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BOUND BY A CUSTOM, BOUGHT BY MONEY

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All she ever wanted was her freedom: to learn, to dream, to study and to empower others, and to truly love someone. But all her dreams and aspirations  shattered when she was tagged as a ‘sold bride’- a Molkki. Colors presents yet another hard-hitting concept, a family drama ‘Molkki’ that outlines how the skewed sex ratio led to the bride buying custom which is still prevalent in Haryana. It is a story of a 19-year-old, Purvi (played by Priyal Mahajan), who is a Mol ki Dulhan, which means a bride bought in exchange for money. The show trails the journey and relationship of Purvi and Virender Pratap Singh who are bound by this custom and find themselves in a transactional relationship.  From the house of Balaji Telefilms, ‘Molkki’ premieres on 16 November and will air on Colors.

 Purvi is an upright girl with a strong moral compass, who is unknowingly sold as a bride to a sarpanch, a man twice her age, Virender Pratap Singh (played by Amar Upadhyay). Purvi is a self-sufficient, headstrong girl who has always made sure she paved her way in life. She paid for her education by tutoring kids and never footed for any privileges.  On the other hand, Virender is still overcoming his first wife’s death and is soaked in the guilt of not being a part of his kids’ life who are  in their growing up years. But now that he has married for a second time to a bought bride, he does not view it as a real relationship.  

Ekta Kapoor of Balaji Telefilms said, “We have always worked on presenting stories that are realistic, relatable and have a high entertainment quotient. ‘Molkki’ is one such show that puts the spotlight on the custom of buying brides that is prevalent in India even today. It is a story about the journey of Purvi who deals with the tough situation as a bought bride and how she wins back her self-respect and acceptance from the people around her. We are happy to be partnering with Colors who are known to present such hard-hitting and socially relevant topics, and I am sure that the viewers will admire this unique story.”

 Amar said, “It is fantastic to be back working with Ekta Kapoor after so many years. We surely hope to reconstruct the magic and the success that we have jointly created in the past. Virender is an honest and morally upright individual who is battling inner feelings while trying to lead a normal life after his recent marriage to a girl much younger than him. Still in love with his deceased wife, he is not looking for a wife but a mother to his children.” Priyal exclaimed, “I am extremely delighted to be associated with two most powerful brand names in the industry- Colors and Balaji Telefilms. What adds to my excitement is the show’s concept which is a unique combination of a socially relevant tale narrated in the most interesting and entertaining manner. While my character is strong and resilient, I have grown as an actor while playing Purvi and her spirited journey. With ‘Molkki’, a concept that many have never known will be showcased for the first time on Indian television.” 

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‘Rani Mukerji inspired me to become an actor’, says ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ star Sharvari

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 8 (ANI): To mark International Women’s day, Bollywood debutant Sharvari, who will be seen opposite Siddhant Chaturvedi in ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’, has posted a heartfelt wish for her screen idol Rani Mukerji on Monday.
Sharvari credited Rani for giving audiences, including her, some of the most memorable women role models through Rani’s choice of characters.
The 24-year-old took to her Instagram story and posted a picture with the ‘Mardaani’ star. Alongside the picture, she wrote, “I have idolised a lot of women characters who I have seen on the big screen and invariably most of those women have been played by none other than Rani ma’am! So, on women’s day this is my appreciation post for her. Thank you for inspiring me to be an actor.”

“It was such a dream come true for me! Happy women’s day to all the babli’s out there!,” she concluded.
Sharvari’s debut is touted to be one of the biggest launches in Bollywood this year. ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’, produced by Yash Raj Films, is set to release on April 23. Sharvari and Rani will share the screen together in the film as well.
The film, in an exciting casting coup, also reunites Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji and will present them as the original ‘Bunty Aur Babli’ in the film. (ANI)

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Is online dating effective or just superficial

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Washington [US], March 8 (ANI): The findings of a study by Pew Research Center suggest that 1 out of 10 adults living in America have found a long-term relationship from online dating apps, such as Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com. But what is it in people that compels them to “swipe right” on certain profiles and reject the rest?
New research from William Chopik, an associate professor in the Michigan State University Department of Psychology, and Dr. David Johnson from the University of Maryland, finds that people’s reason for swiping right is based primarily on attractiveness and the race of a potential partner and that decisions are often made in less than a second.
“Despite online dating becoming an increasingly popular way for people to meet one another, there is little research on how people connect with each other on these platforms,” said Chopik. “We wanted to understand what makes someone want to swipe left or swipe right, and the process behind how they make those decisions.”
Chopik’s research, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, used two studies to measure how dating app users from different walks of life interacted with available profiles. The first study focused on college students, while the second focused on middle-aged adults, averaging 35 years old. Participants were given a choice to either view profiles of men or women, depending on their dating preferences.
Male participants, on average, swiped right more often than women, and it was also found that individuals who perceive themselves to be more attractive swipe left more often overall, proving to be choosier when picking out potential partners.
“It’s extremely eye-opening that people are willing to make decisions about whether or not they would like to get to another human being, in less than a second and based almost solely on the other person’s looks,” said Chopik.
“Also surprising was just how little everything beyond attractiveness and race mattered for swiping behavior – your personality didn’t seem to matter, how open you were to hook-ups didn’t matter, or even your style for how you approach relationships or if you were looking short- or long-term didn’t matter.”
While attractiveness played a major role in participants’ decisions to swipe left or right, the race was another leading factor. Users were significantly more likely to swipe on users within their same race, and profiles of users of color were rejected more often than those of white users.
“The disparities were rather shocking,” Chopik said. “Profiles of Black users were rejected more often than white users, highlighting another way people of color face bias in everyday life.”
Currently, Chopik is researching how people using online dating apps respond to profiles that swipe right on them first. Though his findings are still being finalized, so far, the data seems to show that people are significantly more likely to swipe right on a profile that liked them first, even if the user is less attractive or the profile, in general, is less appealing.
“We like people who like us,” he said. “It makes sense that we want to connect with others who have shown an interest in us, even if they weren’t initially a top choice.” (ANI)

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TopYa! spearheading its social impact project NacFun

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): TopYa! India Pvt Ltd (TIPL), which is an Indian Ed-Tech start-up, is now spearheading a social impact project, NacFun, a free e-Learning Program of National Active Championship, in order to build digital components of Co-scholastic, sports, and fitness activities.
NacFun, when appropriately integrated with Scholastic programmes, will lead to a holistic education eco-system for children that will also help them in reducing screen time.
With the spread of COVID-19, the Ed-Tech space is overwhelmed with established and upcoming new businesses offering scholastic programmes online for school and college education, entrance examinations for professional courses, competitive exam preparations for jobs in banks, State and National civil Services among others.
Unfortunately, Co-scholastic activities, such as sports are largely neglected by these new businesses. Due to this, NacFun decided to fill the void to help in building an education ecosystem that will lead to a holistic (academic focus, physical fitness, and emotional balance) development of children.
TIPL – NacFun Chairman, Ambassador A.R. Ghanashyam, said, “NacFun integrates the Co-Scholastic and Sports components with the Scholastic programme of schools making the education ecosystem holistic”.
He further added that they are extremely happy that India’s New Education Policy is in sync with NacFun’s vision of integrating Co-scholastic activities and sports as integral components of the education eco-system.
NacFun program provides over 150,000 Fun n’ Learn activities for students ranging from Nursery to College. Students can even self-learn the activities at their own pace and they can create their own activities too, to share them with their peers.
The NacFun curriculum can be integrated into schools, as a part of their program to digitally assign homework for co-curricular, sports, and other fun physical activities to their students. The students can submit their completed assignments digitally over the NacFun platform for assessment and further guidance.
The platform also provides an opportunity for parents to home-school their children. With the ease of a few clicks, parents can create a daily learning plan for their children, assign it to the child’s account to perform.
NacFun’s program motivates children and youth towards co-curricular and Fun Sports that entice them to take up enjoyable activities away from the screen resulting in reduced screen time and in turn creating a happy and healthy future youth that is physically active, academically focused, and emotionally balanced.
To make learning fun, NacFun has integrated gamification and launched the National Active Championship that since 2018-2019 conducted 1500+ school workshops nationwide benefitting over 2 million children.
Activities performed by the children digitally or in school, allow children to earn points, climb the leaderboard and win certificates, prizes, and scholarships supported by corporations from their branding, marketing, and CSR budgets.
NacFun has caught the fancy of parents, schools, teachers, and children. With participation from 10,000+ Indian schools, spontaneous testimonials have poured in.
Manisha Johri, Educationist and Principal of Asnani School Bhopal, and former principal at Delhi Public World School and Chrysalis High School in Bangalore said, “TopYa’s NacFun vision to provide Co-scholastic, Sports and Fitness programs digitally as part of comprehensive education is revolutionary and helped her design programs digitally during Covid to benefit her students.”
Minakshi, a faculty member from Lotus Valley International School, Noida, said that this endeavour will help students inculcate a healthy lifestyle and become more active.
Kanishtha Goel, who is a 7-year-old child from Shimla, thanked Nacfun for helping children express their talents through various co-curricular activities.
NacFun online traffic continues to grow rapidly and has attained an Alexa Certified Rank of 60K globally and 5K in India. (ANI)

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‘Saina’ trailer: Parineeti Chopra gets into the skin of Saina Nehwal

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Keeping up with the spirit of International Women’s Day, Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra dropped the highly-anticipated trailer of her upcoming sports-biopic ‘Saina’, in which plays the role of ace badminton champion Saina Nehwal.
After several teases, the 32-year-old actor on Monday finally unveiled the forthcoming movie’s trailer on her Instagram handle, along with the caption, “This women’s day, proud to present to you – SAINA.”

The nearly two-minute-long trailer of ‘Saina’ shows how a girl from a small village in Haryana dreams about becoming the world’s no 1 badminton player, and how her parents help her out in fulfilling her dream. The trailer then shifts its focus on highlighting the hardships and obstacles that the ace badminton player faces, before getting back into the game with full force and proving herself to be an outstanding player.
It took several stepping stones for Parineeti to get into playing the titular role in Saina Nehwal’s biopic. But, looking at the film’s trailer, audiences would be glad that she came on board. The actor seems to have nailed Saina’s look in the trailer, from the player’s stance and body language on the badminton court to her bond with her parents.
Written and directed by Amole Gupte, ‘Saina’ is being produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Sujay Jayraj, and Rajesh Shah. The movie will hit the theatres on March 26. (ANI)

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On International Women’s Day, Aparshakti Khurana opens up about working with female directors

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Starting with his debut film ‘Dangal’ that released in 2016, Bollywood actor Aparshakti Khurana has worked with some of the most prolific directors in showbiz. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the actor spoke about his favourite female directors and the positive energy they bring with their craft.
While he always carried home a treasure trove of learnings and memories from all his collaborations with them, the talented actor feels grateful to have had the golden opportunity of working with some female directors.
Three years back, acclaimed filmmaker Leena Yadav directed Aparshakti in ‘Rajma Chawal’, a slice-of-life film. The actor captured the attention of the viewers with his earnest performance which was sketched and molded by the director.
In 2019, Aparshakti appeared in ‘Ruka Ruka’, a music single with singer Shalmali. The music video was directed by Ukrainian director Dar Gai who perfectly captured the relationship crisis between a young couple in a hyper-connected world.
A while back, Aparshakti shot for an anthology film and one of the directors on that project is Nitya Mehra of ‘Made In Heaven’ and ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ fame. While much is not known about their short film yet, all we can say is that it will show the actor playing a rather interesting and different character.
Two years back, Aparshakti was directed by director-writer, Tahira Kashyap, when he turned singer, composer, and lyricist for and featured in a music video titled ‘Kudiye Ni’.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Aparshakti said that working with female directors has been an enriching experience for him.
“I have had the good fortune of working with these women directors. They are more sensitive when they tell a story and there is a very different vibe on their sets,” he said.
Speaking about his female directors, he said, “Leena is a keen observer and understands the complexities of human behaviour very well. Dar Gai is amazing to work with. We had a relevant storyline but it was her vision and aesthetics that made Ruka Ruka a visual spectacle.”
Aparshakti added, “As for Nitya, I’m a big fan of Made In Heaven specially her episode. So, when I got the chance to be directed by her, I was really excited. She is extremely warm and calm and that reflects in her work.”
As for Tahira, the actor said, “I have known Tahira bhabhi for a long time now. I love her way of organic storytelling and With her, work never felt like work; it was like a vacation. Plus I really want to mention that she has a very keen eye for emotions.”
Meanwhile, the actor is all set to make his digital debut in the Vikramaditya Motwane web series ‘Stardust’. The series is a fictional take on the Indian film industry from 1947 to 1989 and will explore the clash between two superstars.
Apart from the web series, Aparshakti has a string of releases lined up this year including the comedy film ‘Helmet’ with Pranutan. The actor is currently shooting for his new film, an untitled thriller alongside R. Madhavan, Darshan Kumaar, and Khushali Kumar. (ANI)

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EL James’ ‘Freed’ to release in June 2021

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Washington [US], March 8 (ANI): Author EL James, who is famous for the ’50 shades’ trilogy, is set to release another book in the popular series. Titled ‘Freed: Fifty Shades Freed as Told by Christian’, the upcoming book will be told from the perspective of the famous character Christian Grey.
As per E! News, the final book in E. L. James’ BDSM-themed trilogy that serves as a spinoff series for her ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trilogy, now has a release date: June 1.
The announcement about the novel’s release date was made on Sunday by Dominique Raccah, Publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks.
The original trilogy is told from the perspective of Anastasia “Ana” Steele and chronicles her life with her dominant lover Christian Grey. Those books spurred a Hollywood movie trilogy starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
The spinoff novels contain the same plot lines but told from Christian’s point of view. The first, ‘Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian’, was published in 2015, and the second, ‘Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian’, in 2017. The upcoming third spinoff novel focuses on Christian and Ana’s marriage.
“This story has been a labour of love, one that my readers have been eagerly awaiting,” the author said in a statement about ‘Freed: Fifty Shades Freed as Told by Christian’.
The author added, “For me, just as for Anastasia Steele, Christian is a challenging, infuriating, and endlessly fascinating character. Living in his head is exhausting, but I got to explore aspects of his life in Freed that we only glimpsed in the original trilogy, and to follow his emotional growth in response to Ana’s love and compassion.”
The movie ‘Fifty Shades Freed’, the last in the film trilogy, was released in 2018.
‘Freed’ will be published by the Bloom Books imprint of Sourcebooks. James’ ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trilogy has sold over 150 million copies worldwide. (ANI)

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