By Ayushi GaurBollywood, like most film industries in the world, has been riddled with the concept of MPDG – Manic Pixie Dream Girl, where the female actors are often in a film only to save the male protagonist with her sunshine personality. In 2022, we are moving towards a place where more and more actresses are taking centrestage. Case in point the recent release Janhit Mein Jaari, headlined by Nushrratt Bharuccha, who has been busy breaking her ultra glam mould with her choice of roles lately. Bharuccha, who plays a condom salesperson in the movie helmed by debutant Jai Basantu Singh, was in the city this past week accompanied by co-actor Anud Singh Dhaka. Excerpts from the interview:JMJ is all about breaking social stigmas. What got you to say yes to it?It was during the promotions of Dream Girl, that Raaj sir narrated just a one-liner of this film to me, without any script or a concrete idea. Right at the moment, I told him that I will do this film and you will not do it with anybody else; I loved the concept to that extent! Everything got okayed based on that one-liner: ‘In today’s time, a girl cannot go ask for a condom even in a Metro city, forget about going around selling condoms for a living in a small town’. Slowly and steadily, we began casting other actors. The last person to come on board was Anud. This was a lot to do with the shuffles that the film’s schedule witnessed, owing to the pandemic.What began with glamorous roles and mainstream masala movies, your career has progressed to portraying more female-led performances. Was it a conscious choice?It is not at all a conscious career decision. Just like a lot of people, I didn’t carve this path for myself knowingly. I only kept walking and the roads kept making a way. I kept meeting people, acting, reading scripts and everything kept happening. Chhori happened to me. I remember I had met the producer multiple times and he kept assuring me that someday we’d work together. I was almost disappointed as he kept making films with everyone but me.And one day, finally for Chhori, a film led by a female actor, he approached me. I couldn’t believe he was considering me for the role. So, these things happen in life, it is all destined. Going up the elevator, you don’t know who you’ll meet and on what floor the elevator will stop, and how that might just end up turning around your life. It’s just the magic of the universe’s timing.Tell us about some of the most memorable times while shooting for the film.I remember this once incident where we had to shoot a Holi song. After a lot of rehearsals, when we finally cut the first song scene, Anud turned around to give me a high-five because it had gone really well, but I had disappeared. After looking around for me among the Holi-coloured faces, they found me on the floor with a twisted ankle and torn ligament. Of course, the shooting hit a pause, and everything was packed up. These guys pulled my leg so much, saying ‘Badi aayi dancer!’People are divided between two schools of thought when it comes to cinema. The first view it as only a source of entertainment, while the other half, view it has a medium that can impact masses, therefore a tool to instill goodness. Which of these do you stand by?My thoughts on this are satirical. Firstly, I definitely agree that as actors we have the power to influence minds and therefore, we must use this power wisely. But a lot of times, filmmakers come up movies/roles that showcase the dark side of our society. And that is not wrong too, because showing people the reality of what is happening around us, is important as well.How has Ahmedabad been treating you?It has been superb! We went to Gowardhan (traditional city eatery) and I broke all my diets today. The food was so delicious, I couldn’t skip anything. From meethi dal, puri, puran poli, fried snacks to aloo and aamras, I had everything.If you could, which social prejudice or practice would you like to abolish?I come from Bhuri Muslim family and there, Khanna is very prevalent for circumcised women who are essentially children. This practice makes my blood boil. It is extremely unhealthy and painful because no doctor does it, they get it done by any Hakim they can find. This practice is cruel as it is depriving people of sexual pleasure that god had blessed them with.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation collected 135 food samples from various places in the city in March, of which 82 samples passed the quality test while nine failed and results of 44 samples are pending. Sample of fruit sauce collected from Manek Chowk Sandwich and Pizza Centre in Manek Chowk failed the test and so did the butter sample collected from New Karnavati Dabeli Stall in the area.During Holi, the AMC set up a surveillance squad to collect samples of dates and other dry fruits and collected 211 samples. Of these, 57 samples passed the quality test while results of 154 are pending. This raises questions on the viability of the tests as the result of samples collected before Holi are still pending.Meanwhile, the AMC destroyed 56 kg of unhealthy food in different areas and imposed a total fine ofRs 46,000 on the food outlets.It has to be noted that for quite some time the AMC health department has not conducted raids at any big food outlets and has been targeting only small food outlets and those on the roadside. No test or visit has been made at the food outlets located in big commercial complexes or in big establishments and hardly any test has been done at big hotels or restaurants. Such establishments get a clean chit without undergoing any lab scrutiny.
Ahmedabad: Flying squads of the civic body’s health department collected 135 food samples from eateries and factories across the city in March. Of these, nine samples have been found to be unfit for consumption, substandard or adulterated. The civic body found 82 samples satisfactory, while the results of 44 samples are awaited. Samples of vanilla ice cream, butter, fruit chutney, vegetable fat spreads and margarine were found to be unfit for consumption. These samples were taken during random checks and the results usually take three or four days. The department also took 211 food samples in March for detailed investigation. Of these, 57 samples have been approved while the results for the remaining 154 samples are awaited. An official said detailed investigation involves testing for all parameters and the results take longer. Flying squads raid eateries, provision stores, food manufacturing units and collect samples of food they find ‘suspicious’. These are then sent to the public health laboratory.
Actress Katrina Kaif shared the pictures from her first Holi with husband Vicky Kaushal and her in-laws recently.Taking to her Instagram, the actress shared two pictures, where she can been in the company of Vicky’s father and acclaimed action director Sham Kaushal, his mother Veena Kaushal, and brother Sunny.A post shared by Katrina Kaif (@katrinakaif)Everyone is seen smiling with gulal on their faces. In the second picture, Veena is seen touching Katrina’s cheek, as they posed for the camera. This year’s Holi is Vicky and Katrina’s first since their wedding. In the photos, Katrina is seen posing with Vicky’s parents and his brother Sunny Kaushal.Vicky and Katrina got married in December in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. The very intimate wedding ceremony was attended only by their closest friends and family members. After the ceremony, they headed to the Maldives for a honeymoon and returned to Mumbai in just a few days. The couple also rented an apartment in the Juhu area of Mumbai after their marriage in December.
Actress Priyanka Chopra who will be next seen in the OTT thriller series ‘Citadel’, celebrated a colourful Holi with her husband Nick Jonas and friends and family at her home in Los Angeles in California.The actress took to her Instagram to share a series of pictures, videos and boomerangs. In the first post, she shared a video of herself and Nick where the both can be applying coloors to each other and Priyanka giving a peck to Nick.A post shared by Priyanka (@priyankachopra)The other pictures in the series show her by the pool side, soaking in the sun with colours of Holi all over. She captioned the post, “To be able to find some joy at a time when the world feels so scary is such a blessing. Happy holi everyone. Thank you to our friends and family for playing holi like desi’s do! Feeling blessed. #photodump #happyholi #goodoverevil #festivalofcolours (sic).”Her second post consists of three pictures - herself, Nick and the couple sharing a kiss. Taking a quirky route for the second post, Priyanka captioned the picture with the lyrics of her own song from the film, ‘Waqt: The Race Against Time’. She wrote, “Do me a favor.. let’s play holi. Sorry. Had to! #holihai (sic).”
Within five days, caretaker Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and another contender for the top post Thongam Biswajit Singh on Saturday rushed to Delhi after the BJP central leaders called them to discuss the name of next Manipur Chief Minister and formation of government.Biren Singh, Biswajit Singh along with BJP state President Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi on Tuesday went to Delhi in a chartered flight to discuss the leadership issue with the central leaders of the BJP and returned to Imphal on Thursday.Party sources said in Imphal that two top BJP leaders (Biren Singh and Biswajit Singh) went to Delhi in separate flights on Saturday.Sharda Devi said in Imphal that after the Holi festival, the name of the BJP legislature party leader would be finalised.”During our stay in Delhi, we have discussed the outcome of the recent assembly elections with the central leaders. I have no communication about the next leader of the legislature party,” she told the media here.Both Biren Singh and Biswajit Singh, also separately expressing their anguish over the speculative news in the various media about the new Chief Minister, earlier had said that the leadership issue was not discussed in Delhi.Biswajit Singh had said: “Important budget session of Parliament is going on and the people are in a Holi celebration mood. So after that the Central leaders and observers would take the decision on the leadership at an appropriate time.”Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, who were earlier appointed as central observers, are likely to come to Imphal early next week to hold discussions with other BJP MLAs and leaders to finalise the name of the legislature party leader, state BJP leaders said on Saturday.While Biren Singh, a former Congress leader, joined the BJP in October 2016, Biswajit Singh was the second-in-command in the outgoing BJP government after the Chief Minister and has been in the party for longer than Biren Singh.Biswajit Singh was the lone BJP MLA in Manipur in 2015, two years before the saffron party wrested power in the northeastern state for the first time, defeating the Congress which had governed the state for many years including three consecutive terms (15 years) from 2002 to 2017.The BJP in the recent assembly polls has secured a thin majority of 32 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.The BJP’s erstwhile ally, the National People’s Party, secured seven seats while the Janata Dal (United) won six seats, and the Congress and the Naga People Front bagged five seats each.The Kuki People’s Alliance, a newly floated tribal based party, managed to win two seats while three Independent candidates also got elected to the Assembly.The NPF, the JD (U) and an Independent member have announced their support to the BJP government.Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP supremo Conrad K. Sangma had also said that his party is ready to join the BJP-led government in Manipur if the dominant party in the alliance invites them.The NPP, the estranged ally of the BJP in Manipur, had fielded 38 candidates and fought the recent Assembly elections separately and won seven seats.
AHMEDABAD: Amdavadis are ready to colour over the gloom and doom of the past two Covidhit years with enthusiastic Holi celebrations this year. The state was struck by the first case of coronavirus right after Holi in 2020. The festivities in 2021 were marred by the second and deadliest Covid wave that Gujarat had witnessed. However, with active cases dropping to less than 420 in the state, citizens are in a mood to celebrate with abandon on Friday. The exuberance was apparent in last-minute shopping for pichkaris, water balloons and colours at major city markets. Societies have organized rain dances. While many Amdavadis planned Holi parties, others have decided to make the most of the long weekend by going on a trip. Observing Holika Dahan on Thursday evening, citizens lit bonfires to commemorate the triumph of Bhakt Prahlad’s faith in god and to mark the triumph of good over evil. They prayed for a good harvest and a good year while walking around the bonfire barefoot, offering jowar, batasha, and split chickpeas to the fire. On Friday, silver pichkaris will be offered to deities at Jagannathji temple as the majority of Swaminarayan temples will celebrate the festival of Dhuleti — the second day of the festival — with gulaal and water extracted from kesuda or flame of the forest flowers. The full moon day of Falgun month holds special significance for the devotees of Lord Krishna. About 10 lakh devotees, most of them on foot, are likely to visit Dakor during the weekend. Ravindra Upadhyay, manager of the temple, said, “We expect a heavy rush as devotees were unable to visit last year. Many visit the temple to complete their vows and offer a dhwaja (flag) at the temple. ” Health experts advised caution while enjoying the festivities. Doctors said that after the festival, issues of skin rashes, eye irritation and hair-related problems increase manifold. The experts asked citizens to apply hair oil and moisturize the skin before playing Holi. “It is advisable to wear sunglasses and avoid throwing colours in eyes, ears or mouth. One must refrain from using chemical-based colours and stick to gulaal or natural pigments. Don’t consume bhaang or any other substance before driving,” said a physician.
Vadodara/Rajkot/Surat/Ahmedabad: This year, the festival of colours will assume a green glow proclaiming love for the planet as thousands of cow dung logs replace wood across major cities of Gujarat to light up the Holi fire. The ritual will be held on Thursday. The use of cow dung logs will reduce the number of trees needed for firewood. Moreover, the eco-friendly initiative will financially empower cattle shelters. In Gujarat, at least 50 gaushalas, the majority of them in Saurashtra and central Gujarat, have been making cow dung logs. The bulk of their products is delivered to those who have placed orders in advance even as last-minute orders pour in. Ahmedabad-based Mital Khetani, associated with cow-based entrepreneurship, said, “Cow dung logs are gaining popularity and are predominantly being made by traditional gaushalas.” In Vadodara, a group promoting the use of cow dung logs for the past three years has already sold over 50,000kg of eco-friendly logs. “We have supplied cow dung logs to more than 230 residential colonies this year and people are still calling for them,” said Viral Chaudhary, one of the volunteers. “The idea is to reduce the use of wood for the Holi puja,” Chaudhary said. “Also, burning cow dung logs cleanses the air and helps in reducing pollution.” A Vadodara-based businessman, Dipak Patel, whose society will use cow dung logs, says the trend will curtail need for wood. Cow dung logs price ranges from Rs 5-15 per kg which is also cheaper than wood sold for bonfires at Rs 12-35 per kg In Saurashtra people traditionally prefer blocks made of cow dung to wood. Rajendra Shah, a member of the state animal welfare board, said, “In Saurashtra, very few organizers use wood. Here, the majority use cow dung and grass.” Gujarat Shree Surat Panjrapole, one of the biggest cattle shelters in south Gujarat, will make over 70 tonnes of cow dung logs against 10 tonnes last year. The shelter has more than 7,500 cattle that are injured, ill, or aged. “Cow dung logs have become a major source of income for the shelter that takes care of ill and old cattle,” said Atul Vora, the manager of the shelter. “Given their benefits, cow dung logs are being used not only for Holi fires but also for hawans and cremations.” Dharmesh Gami, a social worker who promotes cow dung logs, said, “Growing trend of using cow dung logs to wood will contribute to the betterment of cows.” Hence, the use has a sentimental value too, Gami said. “The concept of ‘Vedic Holi’ is becoming popular. Most importantly, a large number of people are realizing that cutting trees is damaging the environment. Cow dung logs will become very popular,”, said Vallabh Kathiria, former Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog chief (Inputs from Yagnesh Mehta in Surat, Tushar Tere in Vadodara, Nimesh Khakhariya in Rajkot and Meghdoot Sharon in Ahmedabad)
As the festival of colours is at hand, people across India ready to celebrate Holi with great fervour and zeal. In a bid to make everyone’s Holi eco-friendly, Surat Panjarapole Trust is making ‘gobar’ sticks from cow dung, replacing wooden logs. Traditionally ‘gobar’ sticks were used for ‘Holika Dahan’. "This will help in decreasing pollution, preventing deforestation,” said General Manager Atul on March 15.
The three-day Gihed property show generated maximum inquiries and bookings from those in the age group of 30 to 40 years. The event saw 85,000 to 90,000 visitors, of which 20% went ahead for a site visit or have booked a property through a post-dated cheque.Most of the bookings or site visits took place for two and three Bedroom Hall Kitchen (BHK) projects followed by four and five BHK, said, realty participants.Ankur Desai, founder of Saanvi Nirman Group said they have 2,3,4 and 5 BHK schemes in South Bopal, Central Bopal and Godhavi and got several site visits on Sunday. Desai said most property seekers were in the age group of 30 to 40 years while some were also in their mid to late 20s. Most realtors said appointments were made post-Holi as buyers wanted to wait out the inauspicious period of holastak. Parth Patel, Promoter of Kavisha Group said they got over 600 inquiries where appointments have been made for site visits at their projects in Shela and Godhavi. He said they have projects with two to five BHKs and many of the potential buyers have given post-dated cheques after Holi.“We did not expect such an overwhelming response,” said Patel.Apart from affordable housing, which had the lion’s share in the property show, bookings were also made for plots and bungalow schemes too.Credai Ahmedabad - GIHED President Tejas Joshi said the response to the show indicates that people are enthusiastic about buying real estate. Explaining the surge in footfall at the show, he said with steel and cement prices on the rise, people are aware of the rising construction cost and so over 18,000 visitors have either given cheques or booked appointments for booking a property.Joshi said 65 developers displayed over 250 properties at the show and have decided not to increase property prices till March 31.Realtors seek speedy approvalsThe Urban Summit held as part of the 16th GIHED Property Show culminated on presence of CM Bhupendra Patel on Sunday. CREDAI Ahmedabad GIHED also sought faster CGDCR, RERA, revenue department and environmental clearances for real estate projects. The realtors’ body urged the CM to set up a panel comprising officials and developers to fast track approvals, reducing time for RERA approvals to 3-4 months from 10-12 months at present. Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi, MoS Urban Development Vinod Moradiya, Health Minister Rushikesh Patel, RERA Chairman Amarjeet Singh, Principal Secretary Mukesh Kumar, AMC Commissioner Lochan Sehra and AUDA CEO DP Desai also visited the event.