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‘NO TIME TO DIE’ AND A BRIEF HISTORY OF JAMES BOND FILMS

Murtaza Ali Khan

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The innings of the longest-serving James Bond come to an end with ‘No Time to Die’, which is overall the 25th film in the James Bond film series. Daniel Craig’s 15 year-long runs as ‘007’ saw a total of 5 films starting with the 2006 film Casino Royale. It was followed by Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), and Spectre (2015). In comparison, Roger Moore starred in 7 James Bond films between 1971 and 1983 viz. Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Love Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985). Sean Connery, on the other hand, starred in 6 official ‘007’ films between 1962 and 1971 viz. Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Speaking of the other three actors to play James Bond, Pierce Brosnan starred in 4 Bond films viz. Golden Eye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Timothy Dalton in just 2 films viz. The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), and George Lazenby’s sole outing as 007 was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). While Connery is widely regarded as the greatest Bond ever, there are also those who favor Moore and Brosnan. Perhaps what made Connery stand out is the rare combination he offered: tall built, muscular physique, finesse, elegance, and charisma. In the words of Honor Blackman, who essayed Pussy Galore in the first James Bond film Dr. No (1962), “He was exceedingly handsome, virile and sexy and that really was the tenor of what the script was always trying to display.”

Needless to say, Connery was a complete package, and all other actors who have played Bond since Connery seemed to have lacked one thing or the other. While Moore lacked his toughness, Lazenby lacked Connery’s charisma. Dalton, to his credit, brought the most realistic Bond to the fore, a burn-out killer with enough gas left for one final mission. But for a film franchise that wants to grab as many eyeballs as possible, Dalton’s interpretation, as close as it was to Ian Fleming’s Bond, wasn’t ideal. His successor Brosnan is all charm and charisma. With the coolest and the deadliest gadgets at his disposal, Brosnan’s Bond is really the undisputed king of escapist entertainers. And, regardless of what anyone says, his Bond girls are the edgiest of the lot. Think of the dangerous Xenia Onatopp (essayed by Famke Janssen) who loves killing men for her pleasure or Sophie Marceau’s evil Elektra King who is master of seduction and fully capable of beating Bond at his own game or Rosamund Pike’s duplicitous Miranda Frost—a character that would become the perfect precursor for Pike’s Oscar-nominated part of Amy Dunne in David Fincher’s Gone Girl more than a decade later.

Now, Brosnan’s flamboyance kind of became redundant in the post 9/11 world which demanded a more grounded persona for James Bond. And in came Daniel Craig who brought a certain ruggedness to the character of 007. His James Bond debut Casino Royale is all about yanking Fleming’s Bond from the dizzying heights he seemed to have attained using Q’s gadgets to the reality of fighting in the streets and for that matter even in the men’s room. Casino Royale pitted Bond opposite Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd and the chemistry the two of them shared is both tenders as well as electrifying. In the literary world of Ian Fleming, Lynd is often described as the only woman Bond ever loved. But as far as the 007 films are concerned, the first woman that Bond ever fell in love was Tracy di Vicenzo who interestingly went on to became Mrs. Bond (Tracy’s the only woman to have brought 007 on his knees for making a marriage proposal) even though the union was short-lived owing to her death at the hands of Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s henchwoman Irma Bunt.

When Bond began an affair with Dr. Madeleine Swann in Spectre it’s a little difficult to say if it’s another fling or the beginning of something serious. But we finally get the answer at the beginning of No Time to Die. Bond has indeed fallen in love again and is enjoying a rather intimate courtship with Dr. Swann. En route to Matera, Italy when Madeleine tells Bond to speed up, he makes a reference to the heartbreaking scene from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when Lazenby’s Bond who holds a dying Tracy in his arms for one last time whispering, “There’s no hurry, you see, we have all the time in the world.” From that point onwards it becomes pretty obvious that No Time to Die is going to have thematic similarities to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Now, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service may not be the quintessential James Bond film but it’s certainly the most unique and original Bond film of all time. Rarely has a 007 film come close to matching the poignant show of emotions that’s on display here. And No Time to Die tries very hard to emulate it. Its first 30 minutes are arguably the most exhilarating 30 minutes in the history of the James Bond franchise. It is also the most romantic and heartbreaking. But then it all begins to fizzle out once Bond and Madeleine are forced to part ways. The two unite once again about an hour later but by then it’s already a little late. However, Léa Seydoux does succeed in ensuring that her Madeleine becomes the best Bond Girl of all time along with Eva Green’s Vesper and Diana Rigg’s Tracy. The scenes that Seydoux shares with Craig are really the high point of No Time to Die.

No Time to Die can best be described as a bits and pieces film that leaves a lot to be desired. There is so much in the movie that seems to be borrowed from the Mission: Impossible films. Rami Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin joins a long list of weak Bond villains from the Craig era. Perhaps, the only exception is Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre from Casino Royale. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s presence in the writing department does help with the female characters in No Time to Die. Also, the strong influence of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service works to the advantage of No Time to Die and it also includes the film’s background music which bears an uncanny similarity to the background music of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. No Time to Die is far from being a great Bond film but it’s certainly a fitting end to Daniel Craig’s decade and a half long tenure as 007.

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Five Top Benefits of Buying Moissanite Jewelry

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Moissanite jewelry has continued to become famous. If you love quality jewelry pieces, you must be aware of the many advantages, and impact diamond has in this industry. Diamond is an expensive gemstone. It’s rare and exists in small quantities. However, moissanite is a similar gemstone to a diamond. But, although moissanite is close to the diamond, they are not the same. It is a synthetic gemstone but with high durability and hardness features. There are many advantages of buying jewelry designed with this gemstone. 

One distinct difference between these two gemstones is that diamonds are obtained through mining from the earth. However, moissanite stones are artificial. However, these two gemstones have many similarities, although moissanite has many distinct characteristics and is much better than diamond. It has carbon and silicon carbide. These elements are also common in all the other gemstones, including ruby, emerald, sapphire, etc. But, although the other gemstones are natural, moissanite is artificial, hence manually manufactured through different methods. This gemstone is transparent, has consistent color, and does not have impurities. Wondering if you could wear your Moissanite earringsBelow are the incredible benefits that this gemstone has to offer. 

Durable 

Jewelry designed with moissanite is strong and highly durable. They are resistant to scratches and abrasion. Although diamond is considered more robust than this gemstone, moissanite offers similar durability features. In addition, this gemstone does not break or chip easily, hence makes the best option for your everyday wear. 

Easy to clean and maintain 

Once you own a diamond, you know it is not easy to clean or maintain. This is because it gets dirty quickly. When you sweat, the diamond easily gets stained. However, moissanite gemstone is easy to clean. You can effectively use a soft cloth to wipe, and your jewelry will be sparkling clean. If you compare this with other gemstones, moissanite is extremely easy to maintain. 

High quality

Moissanite is made of carbon and silicon carbide. These materials are solid, making this gemstone more durable than others. Hence, it can withstand extreme pressure, heat, and regular wear and tear elements. Thus, moissanite gemstone makes the best option for long-lasting jewelry, depending on your lifestyle. 

Affordable

Buying diamond jewelry is extremely expensive. But, moissanite costs half the price that you pay for the diamond. It is also cheaper than the other gemstones, including emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. In addition, this gemstone can be manufactured in labs, making the cost much more affordable than the mined gemstones. 

Lightweight

Diamonds gemstones are heavy, 1oo times heavier than moissanite. Diamond is also huge, hence occupying lots of space. But on the contrary, moissanite gemstone is lightweight and still gives a brilliant shine. This makes it an excellent option for designing jewelry. 

In addition, this gemstone is developed in labs, hence offering a vast selection. Unlike diamond mined, you can easily choose the grade and a style that suits your needs. If you could wear your Moissanite earringsthey come in different shapes and sizes. Whether you want the pillow cut, round or royal cut, or the emerald, orange, or blues, these are some options. 

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How green is the new black in fashion industry?

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Fashion sustainability has been dominating the fashion industry for quite some time now. Yet, it was during the pandemic when humans were locked in from the outside world that they had the time to slow down and reflect on what they had done to the planet.

Sustainable fashion.

The fashion industry alone is responsible for a high impact on the environment when it comes to the use of chemicals to treat the fabric and it was the need to find alternatives to high waste fashion production that led to the emergence of sustainable fashion.

Fashion sustainability is driving advancement in a wide range of ways for certain significant brands leading the way. The Rising demands for designer brands to commit to environmental wellbeing have pushed them toward specific action plans moving to more sustainable production and selling. These incorporate eco-friendly designs, corporate social responsibility, sustainable assembling, and the use of honest raw materials and ingredients. However, with limited information and awareness, greenwashing issues, the absence of guidelines, and the general lack of execution, sustainability continues to face challenges.

Until recently, those wishing to purchase sustainable clothes had to buy from individual businesses at higher price points. While this has given rise to many bespoke boutiques and businesses, consumers often feel more comfortable with larger chains that they’re acquainted with. As sustainability has become more and more the need of the hour, buying economical clothes from well-known brands is now possible.

Consumers are now looking for purpose-driven brands—products and brands that line up with their way of life, health benefits and aspirational thinking. Consumer buying patterns have changed to reflect environmental conditions such as climate change, endangered species and preventative healthcare. Such buyers are additionally ready to change their shopping behaviour to diminish the impact of their choices on the environment by opting for more sustainable and recyclable clothes.

Buyers are progressively searching for items with explicit features that line up with their values, so offering the right combination is a key differentiator. However, high on the list of customers’ needs is a comfortable and easy shopping experience. 

There is no question that Covid-19 was a gigantic leap in consumer behaviour and shopping trends in the fashion business. The circular economy, for example, gained a lot of popularity during this time. Brands and retailers are now effectively hoping to partake in this new economy in shifted ways to inculcate more recyclable materials and textures than plastics. Others are fashioning new ways consumers shop. Many patterns that were prevailing in the fashion industry before the pandemic were made considerably more prominent because of the situation and some were introduced freshly.

Roopam Gupta is co-founder of The Woman’s Company.

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What will schools of tomorrow look like?

Noor Anand Chawla

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With everything changing at an incredibly fast pace, have you ever wondered what direction traditional schooling is set to take? Now that online mediums of education have been adopted so readily, what will the schools of tomorrow look like? The Ajeenkya DY Patil Group has an answer for you, in the form of its brand new school. GoSchool is billed as India’s first career-focused high school launched in partnership with international education leaders Pearson, iXperience, and UniDirect.

“This school combines high-quality teaching, personalised counselling, extracurricular activities, test preparation, counselling for university admissions along with cutting-edge skills to deliver a transformative high school experience. Our core philosophy is to provide the most powerful learning engine propelled by new-age Hyflex learning, which offers a hi-tech yet hi-touch model of delivering education. This usher in a new vision of education, for the next generation of students by deploying cutting-edge technologies to maximise learning,” Dr Ajeenkya DY Patil says, adding, “GoSchool is a leap towards forward-looking systems that deliver quality international education for all as a springboard for building futures. Supported by the vast ecosystem of technology partners, we are proud to deliver solutions that expand access to education, enhance student experience, improve engagement, and ignite innovation.”

“In our view, everyone is a unique individual. Therefore, we adapt our approach to each student offering them the specific challenges and customised support that brings out their best. We will endeavour to inspire our students with new ideas, to support them as they learn to think for themselves and then to challenge them to transform the lives of others,” says Sidney Rose, FRSA, Academic Director. 

The school’s international partnerships provide access to an international curriculum that is focused on the skills of the future. They also set up internships and counselling for admissions to be best placed for leading universities in India and the world. Pearson brings with it a legacy of over 170 years and is recognised globally for successfully blending world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalised learning at scale.

The key attributes of GoSchool can be summarised as the following:

• HyFlex learning: It seamlessly integrates the experience of attending a brick and mortar school with the advantages of technology-led active learning methodologies.

• A strong foundation aimed at professional success: It inculcates 21st-century skills to prepare students for long-term success. By assisting students to develop critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and strategic decision-making, they profess to lead their students to assured success in their chosen careers.

• A pathway to the university of your dreams: It has inbuilt, personalised guidance on the pathway to the best universities within India and around the world. Through guidance, counselling and support we assist students to gain acceptance to highly selective universities.

• Best-in-class faculty: Rigorous instruction from experienced and inspirational global faculty with personalised assistance and progress monitoring helps students to excel and realise their potential. Student success coaches assist students to deepen academic focus while raising the bar.

• Encouragement in one’s chosen career path: They empower their students by delivering cutting-edge, in-demand skills and practical experience through global internships. Their students explore and experience different career paths from high school itself.

• Smart learning: Their holistic curriculum includes wellbeing, school clubs like art and film production and preparation for entrance exams. Peer learning groups and one-to-one mentoring ensure each student receives the best preparation for life.

The Ajeenkya DY Patil Group is known for seeing the world through opportunities, possibilities and potential. They do this by creating new concepts and new ways of thinking in a wide range of fields including sports, health, agriculture, and education. With over 200 institutes of learning along with five universities based out of Navi Mumbai‚ Pune and Kolhapur, the group also runs three hospitals and provides affordable healthcare and medical attention to scores of needy people. The DY Patil International Cricket Stadium in Mumbai is rated as one of the six best stadiums in the world and among the best sporting facilities in India. With this rich legacy, their latest venture GoSchool, located in Mumbai, is surely paving the way for what schools of the future will look like.

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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‘THE LEGENDS OF TOMORROW’ TO ENTHRAL AUDIENCES

The motto of Pracheen Kala Kendra is to spread the knowledge and love of art and culture and to support deserving artists. This series provides a platform for young talent to display their talent along with veteran artists.

Noor Anand Chawla

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Lovers of art and culture are spoilt for choice with so many amazing things happening in Delhi at the moment. One event that should definitely be on everyone’s cultural calendar is Chandigarh-based Pracheen Kala Kendra 16th quarterly Baithak with its ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ series. 

Deepankar Roy Choudhury.

“This is one of the most highly appreciated programs that everyone waits for. We are all set to organise Legends of Tomorrow on a big scale and welcome you all with warmth. Many eminent personalities will be performing for the attendees,” says Sajal Koser, Secretary of Pracheen Kala Kendra. 

The event takes place on 14 May 2022 at 6:30 pm at Triveni Kala Sangam in Mandi House, Delhi. One will be able to enjoy a Guitar Recital by Deepankar Roy Choudhury accompanied by Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri on the Tabla, a Vocal Recital by Sankumay Debnath accompanied by Pradeep Chatterjee on the Tabla, a performance by Nafeez Ahmed on the Harmonium, a Kathak Dance by Dr Garima Arya accompanied by Ashish Mishra on the Tabla, a recital of Dr Shyam Rastogi on the Sitar, and Jay Dadhich on vocals and Harmonium.

Talking about the Kendra, Koser says, “In olden times, music, dance and fine art used to command a place of pride and prominence due to the classical and technical perfection and excellence that was associated with the performing and visual arts. People used to admire these art forms the world over. Indian classical music and dance had been developed by sages as a medium to display adulation for the gods and as a beautiful way of expression. In a way, these arts covered the entire gamut of emotions and feelings of human beings. We aim to preserve these art forms for generations to come.”

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ is finally back in its physical avatar, after its online iterations during the pandemic. The motto of Pracheen Kala Kendra is to spread the knowledge and love of art and culture and to support deserving artists. Hence, even during the pandemic, they organised many programs.

“When we started this series, one of our aims was to bring up young talent to the stage along with senior artists. Our main aim was to provide newbies with a stage to show their talent,” explains Koser.

Speaking about how people are returning to physical formats of events in large numbers, he says, “Art and culture events can’t be watched online. Through offline events, you can connect with the artist and it is easier for the audience to understand and enjoy the performance on stage.”

Applauding their experienced team for putting the event together in record time, Koser highlights that they have never faced any major difficulties in organising programmes. Next, they will be organising the Karnataka Utsav at Bengaluru from 4 to 5 June. “There is a chain of events that are coming up in various parts of the country. This is our legacy, as the Kendra has been doing lots of events since 1956,” he says.

Triveni Kala Sangam is one of their strongest supporters from whom they always receive a lot of help and appreciation. He signs off by highlighting, “Pracheen Kala Kendra in Chandigarh, is the premier educational organisation which is doing yeoman service for the promotion, preservation, and dissemination of the Indian classical arts of music, dance and fine art (painting) since its inception in 1956. Today, it is one of the oldest affiliating and examining bodies of India with its headquarters in Chandigarh, an enormous sister set-up in Mohali in Punjab and a zonal office for the Eastern region at Kolkata in West Bengal besides zonal/liaison offices at Ludhiana and Bhubaneswar in Odisha. It conducts examinations spanning over nine years and awards certificates and diplomas of Prarambhik, Bhushan, Visharad, Bhaskar and Churamani to the successful students. The Kendra has grown with each passing year. Today, it is the only cultural and educational organisation in the country dedicated to the promotion of art and culture. In the last 50 years, we have worked to provide quality education and job opportunities to lakhs of students, and given a platform to hundreds of performing artists by organising various cultural events in different parts of the country. We feel that Kendra’s efforts for the promotion and preservation of Indian classical arts and artists are unparalleled in the country.”

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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OTT has widened the scope for an actor: Aamna Sharif

Actor Aamna Sharif recently joined NewsX for a fun conversation as part of our special series NewsX India A-List

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Actor Aamna Sharif recently joined NewsX for a fun conversation as part of our special series NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, he actor opened up about her role in the series Aadha Ishq, what drew her to the role and much more.

Speaking about what attracted her towards ‘Adha Ishq’, Aamna said, “The title itself is beautiful. I believe all of us have experienced adha ishq once in our life. It is a beautiful love story between Sahil and Roma, the journey of Roma (played by Aamna). The story shows the ten years of Roma’s journey of what happens in her life. The interesting part of this love story is that a couple in love gets separated and later their children fell in love. It’s a different concept which is most exciting.”

Talking about doing a romantic genre, she said she loves being a part of such projects as she is a romantic person and loves watching love stories. Adding further, she said, “I have been playing different roles and was waiting for something like this to come, something as intense as Aadha Ishq.”

When asked about her experience of working in an OTT platform and the scope of digital platforms, Aamna said, “I am loving it, I think it’s a blessing for all the actors because of the kind of scope it provides to all the actors for performances. The last show, which I did, was also a very challenging role and Roma has so many layers to its character. It’s a dream for any actor to do such challenging roles and OTT is giving that scope and space.”

Aamna further shared that it is very important to watch other actors’ performances. She explained that she loves watchjing the work of other actors as it is important to learn as an actor.

When asked about her previous role Komolika, Aamna said, “I was scared to play Komollika as I have never played such role ever before, despite the fact that in ‘Ek Villian’ my character had shades of grey but not as much as Komollika in KZK2.”

While talking about her last two years’ experience, Aamna said “The last two years have taught us top value small moments in life and be grateful towards life.”

Aamna further stated that OTT is giving her the scope to perform different things as an actor and it is grateful that she is being able to be a part of all the three platforms.

Aamna Sharif stated that ‘Kahiin Toh Hoga’ was a game changing project for her as it changed her life.

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Society needs a larger social fabric to see the larger picture: Dr RK Thomas

In an exclusive interview, the aviator talked about his experience in the tech sector and Indian Navy and a lot more.

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Dr. RK Thomas, who is an aviator and the group CTO of Virenxia, joined NewsX for an intellectual conversation as a part of our special series NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive interview, the aviator talked about his experience in the tech sector and Indian Navy and a lot more.

When asked about his journey, he said “After my schooling in Delhi, I moved to the field of mechanical engineering. And one passion that always remained consistent was to be an aviator. So I joined the Indian Navy, went on to qualify in both marine and aerospace engineering, when I was selected and sent to the US for higher studies. That was when I also went on to qualify as an aviator.”

He also explained “ I love learning and competing, and it was this seed in me that made continuously pursue the frontier technology, and thereafter I obtained several doctorates and undertook pioneering research in computer science, quantum science, cryptography, network security, alternative medicine and technological advancement.”

Talking about how this journey has brought in changes and what all companies is has he been associated to, he said “In these 20 years of military service in aviation, I realized that society needs a larger social fabric to see the larger picture towards alleviating pain, poverty and humanity. Keeping this in mind, Technopilot was originated in 2013 with the motive of providing services of various nature from network security to business success coaching to energy based services to oranizations and individuals. Technopilot helps all organizations, whether big or small make profit.”

He further explained “ I am currently working as the group CTO of Virenxia which works on the motto to pioneer the world’s first for-profit socio econic empowerment company which is a paradigm shift in creating a sustainable technology solution alongside ensuring economic growth.”

He also explained how an individual, or any organization can avail the services from his company. He said “ Techno pilot is the only company in the world which used various principles of sciences to develop the security features of the future.”

He added “We’ve worked on different paradigms which are not presently commercially available.”

Lastly, he explained “We at Virenxia are trying to create simple metrics and tools and dynamic package of practices so that the farmer gets a 360 degree solution and we measure our success in how well we serve communities, protect our planet’s resources and make a difference in people’s lives in synergy with the sustainable goals of the United Nations.”

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