Sometimes stories can bring places to life. That’s precisely what TVF’s new series ‘Aspirants’ succeeds in doing. It manages to present West Delhi’s Old Rajinder Nagar, the famous hub of UPSC aspirants, in all its glory. As an uncommitted UPSC aspirant myself (as I was always inclined towards cinema and the arts), I never really got a chance to experience the vibes of Old Rajinder Nagar even though I used to hear a lot about the place from my peers and still do from my juniors. It won’t be wrong to call it the Kota of UPSC preparation (some even go to the extent of calling it the Mecca of UPSC preparation). The iconic neighbourhood offers a wide array of leading coaching institutes, libraries that are functional 365/24/7, tea and samosa points as well as comprehensive study materials for all subjects. Every year thousands of aspirants come here to prepare for the UPSC but only a handful succeed in cracking the country’s premier examination.
A primary character (a failed UPSC aspirant turned teacher) in the first episode of the five episode series proclaims to a new batch of students, “Old Rajinder Nagar is the home to countless tales of emotions, aspirations, failures and frustrations. If you get the time then look at it from the heights. You will discover a sea of unlimited dreams.” Aspirants is about the past and present of three friends, Abhilash (Naveen Kasturia), Guri (Shivankit Parihar) and SK (Abhilash Thapliyal), who are UPSC aspirants. While the past follows their struggle to crack the examination while living in Old Rajinder Nagar during 2012-13, the present examines their lives and failures six years later as we learn that only one of them (Abhilash) eventually succeeded in cracking the exam. While Guri now runs a shoe factory in his hometown, SK teaches UPSC aspirants in Old Rajinder Nagar.
But why is the UPSC exam so tough to crack? “Because once you get selected you will have the task of running the world’s biggest and most complex democracy,” SK tells his students. He also talks about three qualities needed to crack UPSC (it is often wrongly assumed that cracking UPSC is same as getting qualified for the Indian Administrative Service, for only the top rankers qualify for IAS): patience, perseverance, and dedication. In SK’s words, “This is not a normal race. This is a marathon. You need to be the tortoise as the rabbit doesn’t win here.”
While watching Aspirants one gets a feeling that the subject deserves a more wholehearted examination. Perhaps the best thing about the series is that it encourages aspirants to let go of the negative mindsets. It also reminds us that life doesn’t end with UPSC. For, there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Often the desperation to crack the exam emerges out of the peer pressure and the urge to impress those around us. And usually it’s this desperation that makes the job even tougher for the aspirants.
Now, many comparisons are being drawn between Aspirants and Kota Factory (the earlier TVF series about IIT aspirants) even though the latter unfolds is in a far more realistic space. The former, on the other hand, despite the intended realism, isn’t devoid of Bollywood-esque tropes. Also, Aspirants is far more bleaker in comparison to Kota Factory. And it makes sense. For, when one fails to qualify for IIT one still has hope. But when one fails to crack UPSC often one has no backup left as already one has moved into one’s late 20s or early 30s. So it is a make or break situation of sorts if things are not planned properly which is more often the case. Just as a senior aspirant called Sandeep Bhaiya tells Abhilash, “Plan B is for losers,” before acknowledging how wrong he really was to not have a Plan B in place. There is a beautiful slo-mo sequence at the end of the penultimate episode. The results to the UPSC prelims are out and all the students are running to see if they have qualified or not. And suddenly it starts to rain and while everyone has an umbrella only Sandeep and Abhilash symbolically don’t. For, they are the only ones without a Plan B.
Aspirants is a fun watch with some nice emotional moments and is very relatable if you have ever taken any competitive exams in India. It’s certainly not as bad as most critics have proclaimed it to be. Also it’s not as great as some fans are calling it. The performances and dialogue, however, do elevate it. Sunny Hinduja is just perfect as Sandeep Bhaiya—a truly immaculate demonstration of mastery over a character in the realistic space. Naveen Kasturia, Shivankit Parihar and Abhilash Thapliyal are also superb in their roles. Namita Dubey, Kuljeet Singh, and Bijou Thaangjam also deliver memorable performances. The final episode nearly ruins the series as the makers fail to take a stand. The episodes of Aspirants are impregnated with embedded marketing (product/service placements) which after a point gets a little too much. But it’s something that perhaps can be overlooked as all the five episodes are made available for free on YouTube.
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Navigating Depression: 4 Activities to Make you Want to Get out of Bed
Navigating the symptoms of depression is a formidable challenge that takes more than just medication and therapy. It demands every ounce of willpower, inner strength, and courage one possesses to get out of bed and greet the sunshine when all you want to do is bury yourself under the sheets.To fight this complicated and multifaceted battle, it is important to surround yourself with a powerful support system governed by your family and friends. Research reveals that minor modifications to one’s daily diet, lifestyle, and habits can work wonders at fighting off despair and fatigue.Depression drains our energies and deprives us of our will to lead a happy, healthy life. And that’s exactly how you can beat it: reclaiming your life, energies, happiness, and resolve to be healthy and happy.Read on to explore meaningful activities and habits that will make you want to get out of bed and have a fulfilling day.
It’s hard to channel your inner workout warrior when your biggest life struggle is getting out of bed and taking a shower. The suggestion that you should exercise may seem like a horrible joke given your current state of mind, but sweating off the sadness truly helps.Clinical studies suggest that going for a walk or engaging in any form of physical activity is as effective as antidepressants and other medications designed to treat depression symptoms. In fact, regular exercise elevates energy levels and prevents depressive episodes from reoccurring.Depression encourages us to give in to the exhaustion and stay curled up under layers of sheets. We suggest claiming small victories, like a stroll to your favorite coffee joint or a walk around the park, to rebuild your stamina and improve your mood. Consider signing up for fun dance classes, yoga sessions, or another workout that you find genuinely enjoyable.
The symptoms of depression push us away from every activity and hobby that adds meaning or pleasure to our lives. Artists struggle to paint again, adventurers lose interest in nature trails, and musicians can’t seem to hold their beloved instruments again.Fighting back for the things and activities you love is imperative to reclaim your personality. Indulging in meaningful and constructive pleasures will help you fill up your daily routine with activities that allow you to reconnect with your real self.For instance, nature enthusiasts can join a hiking group to explore nearby state parks and trails. Likewise, high-rollers can relive the nostalgia of blackjack spreads and gaming slots at a casino online. Artists should consider an art retreat, and makeup enthusiasts must brighten up their social calendars with fun-packed events that give them opportunities to dress up and socialize. Indulging yourself in activities that you loved before depressive symptoms began emerging is constructive and effective. It will help uplift your mood, increase energy levels and motivate you to fight back against depression-induced fatigue and despair.
The therapeutic powers of Mother Nature have given birth to innumerable therapies, including forest therapy, adventure therapy, therapeutic farming, and animal-aided interventions. Studies suggest that simply walking through a beautiful natural landscape helps alleviate the symptoms of clinical depression.Spending more time in the wilderness will help improve your mood, energy levels, and cognitive abilities. Plan fun picnics in your local state park, go hiking with your friends or plan a camping adventure with your family. Connecting with nature will help you soak up vitamin D, serenity, and nature-induced happy endorphins.
Patients struggling with depression are overwhelmed by feelings of despair, hopelessness, and lack of motivation. As Gotye describes it, one can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness, and fighting this state of mind isn’t easy.Psychologists and therapists worldwide advise journaling to find a powerful way to express one’s feelings and emotions. Scribbling away the hopelessness will promote acute awareness of your mood swings, symptoms, and triggers. It will also help you design practical strategies tofight these overwhelming feelings and moods.
When one feels shackled by desolation and sadness, even the smallest steps toward reclaiming your happiness have profoundly significant impacts. Clinical depression is increasingly complex and multifaceted, and patients need more than just therapy and medications. Surrounding yourself with the loving care and affection of your friends and family will work wonders at regaining your agency and feeling healthier.
Pippa trailer out, shows a glimpse of 1971 Indo-Pak war
Pippa, starring Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur, is set to open in theaters.The makers released the new trailer on the occasion of the nation’s 75th independence day. The movie is set against the backdrop of the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Raja Krishna Menon has helmed the movie, and other actors, including Soni Razdan and Priyanshu Painyuli, will also be seen on screen with Ishan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur.
In the one-minute trailer, Shaan is seen portraying Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta, a former member of the 45th Cavalry Tank Squadron who fought for Bangladesh.
In a film full of strong emotions and brutal battle sequences, Ishaan plays a young military hero who commands soldiers to liberate then-Eastern Pakistan.The first scene of the warm drama strikes the perfect note with phrases like “Joy Bangla,” the well-known battle cry of the liberation war. Soni and Mrunal, who will be seen as Ishaan’s mother and sibling, respectively, were also given a brief appearance.
Ishaan posted the trailer on Instagram and said, “PIPPA in cinemas December 2nd, 2022.On the momentous occasion of our country’s Independence Day – presenting a glimpse from a film we’ve collectively put our heart, gut and soul into. May our soil, our people and our culture be blessed always. It’s been an honour to represent the valour and bravery of our defence forces. More to come.”
Amber hired Investigator to uncover bad things about Jhonny, deets inside
Last year, actor Johnny Depp prevailed in a slander lawsuit brought by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Amber made various accusations against Johnny during the six-week trial, claiming that he had mistreated her both physically and mentally. Investigator Paul Baressi has confessed that Amber hired him to “discover nasty things about Johnny.”
Paul admitted to Law and Crime Network, “I collected all of these historic document on him (Johnny Depp). The home he used to live in, the places his father worked, just really great stuff. Amber hired me in the summer of July 2019. I searched on every rock, every stone, all over the world to find out bad things about Johnny and we all came empty handed.”
He further added, ” She fired us. It was not until April of 2020, when I decided to share my time as a private detective with Amber. Johnny’s father was four years younger than his mother when they got married. He was a passive man and did not like confrontation. Johnny is just like his father, from what we have heard in court. However, the father let his mom call the shots rather than arguing.”
After dating for over three years, Johnny and Amber exchanged vows in a private ceremony at their Los Angeles home in 2015. Amber separated from Johnny in May 2016 and obtained a temporary restraining order against him. She said that during their relationship, Johnny had physically abused her, most frequently when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. On June 1, Amber was ordered to reimburse Johnny $10.35 million after he won his slander suit against her.
‘Maybe bit too overstated emotionally, superficial politically’, Hansal Mehta reacts to Laal Singh Chaddha
The film Laal Singh Chaddha, starring Aamir Khan, has received mixed reviews from Hansal Mehta. The director acknowledged the effort put into developing the movie and stated that it deserved to be successful. He said that he found the movie to be a little too politically superficial.
Around midnight, Hansal posted on Twitter his thoughts after having watched Laal Singh Chaddha. He wrote, “Watched #LaalSinghChaddha. It is a very engaging film, made with passion and love. Maybe a bit too overstated emotionally and a bit superficial politically for my taste, but a film made with so much care, heart, and honesty. It deserves to succeed. So much to admire.”
He additionally said, “But the truth is I found myself either moist-eyed or smiling for a major part of the film. Go watch #LaalSinghChaddha. Stop spreading Malaria.”
The film Laal Singh Chaddha, which has been directed by Advait Chandan, is the authorised Hindi adaptation of Tom Hanks’ 1994 Hollywood classic Forrest Gump. Aamir Khan makes his comeback to the big screen with this movie, following the failure of Thugs of Hindostan in 2018. Kareena Kapoor, Mona Singh, and Naga Chaitanya all play significant roles in it as well.
However, the movie hasn’t yet received the anticipated response at the ticket counters. In the first three days after its release, it grossed almost 27.70 crore.
Aamir was the subject of a complaint on Friday for allegedly disparaging the Indian Army and offending Hindu feelings with the movie. In one of the scenes, Laal Singh Chaddha is asked by Pakistani staff, “I offer Namaz and pray, Laal, why don’t you do the same?” Laal responds, “According to my mum, the entire puja paath is malaria. It causes riots.” The way in which a mentally challenged person was permitted to enlist in the Indian Army and participate in the Kargil War in the movie has also drawn criticism.
Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ concludes shooting
The shooting for ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ has come to an end. The movie is directed by Arjun Varain Singh and is scheduled to release in 2023.
Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi shared a heartfelt note for the cast and crew and thanked Zoya for the film.
Taking to his Instagram handle alongside the pictures Chaturvedi wrote, “and its a wrap! #KhoGayeHumKahan. We were young crazy, and restless. Fun, curious & a millennial mess. It’s a story about you & me, and we were just… A bunch a cool kids makin’ a film.”
Thanking director Zoya Akhtar Siddhant said, “Thank you @zoieakhtar @reemakagtil for the best filming experiences ever. @tigerbabyofficial @excelmovies Hail! @arjunvarain.singh Our Captn! My brother! Thank you for showing this mad faith in us. You’ve been strong & vulnerable in a timed beauty of its own.”
“My creative pillars @yashsahai and @sapanv. It wouldn’t have been possible without your Wit, Wohoos, and WTFs! My Co-stars and now friends for life @ananyapanday @gouravadarsh @kalkikanmani. I’ve only grown working alongside you both. You guys are freaking beautiful. And lastly to the whole Cast and Crew, Dadas and Dudes, and my core A-team @radhikamehta9 @gautam0099 @poonamsrv @sandeep.rasal82. Thank you guys, it was an honor,” Chaturvedi wrote.
‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is a story of three friends in the city of Bombay. The movie is written by Zoya Akhtar, Arjun Varain Singh, and Reema Kagti.
Meanwhile, the new age drama by Excel Entertainment stars Ananya Panday and Adarsh Gourav. Moreover, Arjun Varain Singh is making his directorial debut with this movie.
However, the 29-year-old actor will be next seen in the movie ‘Phone Bhoot’ alongside Katrina Kaif and Ishaan Khatter.
Comedian Raju Srivastava’s condition is stable, says family; urges fans to ignore rumors
Comedian Raju Srivastava who went through successful angioplasty following a heart attack is stable.
Raju Srivastava released a statement, “Dear all, Raju Srivastava Ji’s condition is stable. We are praying for his speedy recovery. The doctors are treating him and are doing their best. Thanks to all the well-wishers for their continued love and support. Please ignore any rumor/fake news being circulated. Please pray for him.”
Comedian Raju Srivastava on Wednesday suffered from a heart attack after which he underwent angioplasty and now is on ventilator support. According to sources Raju is “responding to the treatment”.
Comedian Srivastava’s health deteriorated on Tuesday night after which he suffered from a heart attack.
Earlier on Wednesday, Comedian Sunil Pal said that Srivastava’s health is good now. He is recovering rapidly and will be home soon.
Meanwhile, just hours before Srivastava suffered a heart attack he shared a stand-up comedy piece on his Instagram. He mimicked a few veteran actors on information being spread on Covid-19 via caller tune on the phones.
However, Srivastava got recognition by participating in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Big Boss. He has done roles in films like Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya. Moreover, Srivastava is also the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Film Division Board.
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