This column titled ‘Snippets of Life’ shares interesting perspectives from varied fields. Hence, when I came across Smita Das Jain’s latest book, ‘A Slice Of Life: Every Person Has A Story’, I was curious to know more. Jain refers to herself as a personal empowerment life coach, executive life coach, speaker, and writer, and she has just published her first book, a collection of short stories.
She wrote her first story when she was twelve for publication in her school magazine. It made her an overnight sensation. She followed it up with an article and the series continued, eventually leading her to become the chief editor of the school magazine. College at IIM Indore, however, meant that creative writing took a back seat. Then in 2018, she enrolled in Stanford Continuing Studies for Creative Writing and Novel Writing courses. As part of that, she completed the first draft of her novel and produced fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, which people appreciated. She has also done Certification programs with the Henry Harvin Institute and is a certified creative writing specialist as well as a certified digital content writer.
She loves writing in all forms and writes both to express herself as well as to inform others. The short story format worked best for her first published work, as it was aimed at busy professionals like herself who have short attention spans. When asked about the choice of subject for the book, she explains, “I thought it would be best to write stories from everyday life that readers can relate to. People have had enough of make-believe fantasies. I have taken inspiration from real life to write this book on human relationships. The truth is often stranger than fiction, and the more you observe people and things around you, the more stories you can narrate.”
It is perhaps this relatability that struck readers as well. The book reached the number one spot in the short story and anthology category in the Kindle Store in its first weekend of release, with over 200 four star+ reviews on Amazon. The book has certainly paved the way for Jain’s inclusion in the competitive arena of the Indian writing community.
Referring to her writing process as a matter of discipline, she highlights that she wakes early every morning to work on a word document from scratch. “I don’t write with a set plot in mind and let my characters lead me in my stories. This is my routine every single day. I find the idea of following a plot very boring; I have written a couple of stories that way but didn’t like the output, so I prefer to be spontaneous,” she says with a smile.
Jain is a fast worker, as it took her only about three months to write this book, and another two to edit, market and bring it out for publication. She derives inspiration from real life, and all the characters in her tales are based on real people placed in fictional settings. “I like to observe people and my surroundings and record everything in ‘My Observation Diary’. I do this every day, which makes every page a source of inspiration.”
Riding high on the success of her new book, Jain is now working on editing the fifth draft of a novel that spans ten years and two Indian cities amidst the backdrop of corporate India. The protagonist of this work is an unapologetic and ambitious woman who wants more out of her career and life. She describes this upcoming novel as a tale of love, ambition, deceit, and betrayal. Simultaneously, she continues to write two to three short stories every week.
For those looking to enter the field of writing, she signs off with this sage advice, “Writing is a long process, and the job doesn’t end after completing the first draft of your manuscript. Editing, publishing, and marketing collectively take more time than completing the draft. Patience is as much a virtue in writing, as it is in real life!”
‘A Slice of Life: Every Person Has a Story’ and other works of Jain are available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions, Flipkart and the Notion Press store also keep paperback versions.
The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on [email protected]
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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.
Latest trends in beauty: High-end fashion to street-style looks
“Confidence” is an essential element of “beauty”. It is important to have confidence. While people’s opinions, what we see and read online, and what society considers to be “beautiful” may influence us; one should not seek external validation about beauty. Beauty is what we perceive and believe. It lies in the confidence that comes from within. The most important thing to remember is to be a champion of your unique beauty.
In today’s world, there are several ways and benchmarks of beauty, and there are different ways to meet those; it should be left to the individual how they want to enhance their beauty. When it comes to aesthetics, I believe there should not be any definitions or standards and one should be able to express themselves as they want rather than following trends or abiding by any sort of rules or standards.
HOW THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY IS CHANGING THE GAME
As much of a luxury as they are in our daily lives, beauty products take up a great deal of space in our routines and wallets. Thus, multi-use items provide simple solutions that address multiple concerns at once. There are all-in-one products, from lip and cheek tints to SPF foundations, which take up less space and time to help spruce up one’s looks. Multi-purpose beauty goodies are not very uncommon today, with most top beauty brands having at least a few of them in their line-up. Switching to these ‘do-it-all’ formulas crafted for the modern, multi-tasking woman is indeed a great move. Adding to the novelty in the industry is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is closing in the gaps between physical and digital experiences of wearing make-up. It adds to the shoppers’ experience and thus sales conversion, something that’s surely helping, especially given the disruption owing to the pandemic. In addition to all this, there is a growing demand for “clean” beauty products with added health benefits, which are increasingly appealing to environment-conscious consumers.
YOU GLOW, GIRL, NOT HAUTE MAKE-UP, OR STREET STYLE
With all the beauty trends washing over the industry, it’s simple to stand out by making your own style statement. Be true to yourself and your own sense of style by bringing your attitude with you. Incorporate styles that are built on your sense of individuality rather than merely being fixated on the current beauty trends. By the way you choose to dress, you may say a lot about yourself, your mood, your ideas, and what you perceive. Street style is a very contagious and instantaneous aspect of beauty that has revolutionised the way it’s manufactured and consumed. High-end beauty trends, on the other hand, are stylish and extravagant—leaving behind a style statement. Nevertheless, it is wise to accept your inherent beauty and know what works for you. You must discover what sets you apart from other individuals, and then cultivate an appreciation for what makes you special. Own your individuality and take pride in it. There’s no better medium to communicate beauty than with self-preference. All that counts is to be your original self. It doesn’t matter if you want to dress up or down; the most important thing is that you feel confident, comfortable, and beautiful in the clothes you’re wearing. Style, poise, and good taste are not things that can be purchased, but they can be learned and acquired. So, whether you decide on a vintage street style or high-end chic.
The author is Co-Founder, Renee Cosmetics.
ANUJ B FLEXES IN SHINY ‘MIQESI’ VIDEO
If you are a fan of Punjabi hip-hop, you are in for a treat! ‘Miqesi’ by singer, songwriter, and composer Anuj B, just dropped but is already getting loads of attention. Anuj has been performing live since 2011, and the biggest feather in his cap was his performance at the Supreme Court of India in 2018. After many years in the business, he has released his eighth single, Miqesi. When asked about the inspiration behind this song, he says, “In today’s evolving world of relationships where true love and care seem to have lost their meaning, this song symbolises what happens to the heart of an honest artist who observes the increasing drug culture, one-night-stands, and hardcore party lifestyle around him, but remains unfazed, because his meaningful connections matter more to him, as well as the attraction he feels for one special person.”
Born and raised in Jalandhar, Punjab, Anuj graduated with a B.Tech from Lovely Professional University (LPU). Though he was studying engineering, he felt drawn to music. He used to sing from a young age in school, but he also started writing lyrics and composing music around the year 2011. He claims his biggest strength is his versatility in music. “There have been many inspirations for me, but KK is the one whose singing style has touched me the most,” he shares with candour. Apart from his musical training and background, the reason he ventured into making music was incidental. He shares the story with a smile, “I am blessed in a way that when I was nine years old, my father was learning the basics of music and I was fascinated and started learning from him too. This is how I began my musical journey from such a young age. Then, in the year 2011, I learnt how to play the guitar for six months from Vikram Biswa Sir, who is an amazing teacher, and later in 2014, I took musical classes for a year from Parth Sen Sir and learnt Hindustani classical ragas to hone my craft further. I feel my active involvement in making music was meant to be and when it happened, I felt spiritually connected.
Oncoming to the subject at hand, Anuj shares the interesting story behind the evolution of the song Miqesi. He says, “One day I happened to share my thoughts about an artist not being affected by the crazy temptations of an artist’s life, with Parvish. He too felt inspired by the story I wanted to narrate, and immediately went to the drawing board. Soon, he sent me a scratch of the song, which I loved. It kind of clicked instantly, and that’s how we started working on Miqesi. Whenever I work on a song, I always learn something new, and recording Miqesi taught me a variety of musical nuances. This is why I believe it was a unique and amazing experience to create it. It is never an easy task to break into an industry as competitive as the music one. Yet, Anuj has an interesting take when asked about the challenges he has faced. He asserts that the internet and social media have come as a boon to all budding and independent artists like him, and he uses these mediums readily to reach out to all the musical lovers across India and the world. The video accompanying the song has received many views as well. Anuj especially enjoyed the experience of making it. The concept of the video is the brainchild of Reo Gill, who visualised everything. Owing to its unique concept, however, Anuj felt that shooting the song was very exhausting, as it required numerous takes to be perfect. Yet, in the end, the entire team had a great time together. Next, he is working on a couple of new songs. Also in the pipeline is the release of songs that he created earlier but which needed some tweaking. He signs off by saying, “My motto in life has always been to be a learner throughout—learning music, enjoying music, creating music, and making the audience happy, and I will always strive to do this.”
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog, www.nooranandchawla.com.
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