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As a child, I remember participating in my family’s annual Diwali customs with much gusto. The festivities always began with my grandfather presiding over an elaborate Lakshmi Puja for which, the puja ka samaan would be brought out of the tosha khaana, a storage room for family heirlooms. An old frame of a lotus-seated Goddess Lakshmi would be placed upon a puja altar and surrounded with a volume of ancestral coinage. Seated on his chair due to ageing joints, my grandfather would carefully wash and pat dry each coin before anointing it with kumkum and a few grains of rice. In the meantime, the ladies of our household readied the puja thali and brought forward the two prasad offerings. Smooth, pebble-white batashas sharply contrasted against amber-coloured shards of cane juice, known in our part of the world as chipdra. My cousins and I would buzz around the puja room like mischievous charlatans, awaiting the prasad offerings that we could only lay our hands-on after the aarti was done. Still, when we found our grandfather too engrossed in the coinage, we’d quietly jostle for a handful of those sweets and hide them in closed fists. Our palms often went moist as the batashas and chipdras dissolved in their warmth, and our lenient grandmother would smile at the sight of our sticky hands as they lay outstretched after the aarti for the supposed first helping. 

Thereafter, we’d race to the baaradari or fort terrace and wait for our elders to arrive less hurriedly and light the first diyas. Many senior members of the hotel’s staff body stood waiting, in turn, to seek their blessings on this auspicious day, and to light the remaining diyas with us. The fort’s parapets would gradually be studded with tiny wicks of light that spelt nothing short of a fairy tale from near as well as afar. To watch this silhouette being orchestrated year after year as the rest of the village launched firecrackers into the darkening lilac skies is one sight that has endured the tests of time. Back in the days when the world interpreted environmental concerns with lesser urgency, we kids would unbox phuljaris, anaars, chakris, rockets, and a snake cracker that made an amusing expansion in length when lit. After we’d run out of our sanctioned supplies of firecrackers and exhausted all negotiations for more, we’d join the rest of our family for dinner that ritually ended with a steaming bowl of gajar ka halwa.

As much as this day spelt revelry for us, it must have been the most dreaded one for our four-legged canine family members, who lay hidden anxiously away from the deafening noise, under beds and sofas. Relieved after the long night had ended, they’d lie huddled sunning themselves as the rest of us got dressed for the Rama Shaama, a festive congregation that we presided between a men’s and women’s wing. Seated in the zenana wing, my grandmother and mother offered amal and the contrasting sweets’ thali to swarms of visitors heralding from the village. Accompanied by their children, siblings and in-laws, they were mostly women. Their male counterparts made way for the men’s wing, wherein similar customs prevailed. Growing up, I envied that wing for being placed in closer proximity to the musicians and just more lively in general. Perhaps, coyness spared the virtues of men more often. 

But irrespective of their outward demeanour, each and every person who attended the Rama Shaama was bound to the other by a mutual act of goodwill and hope. This stems from an age-old cultural sensibility as per which, any two persons or parties that happened to have suffered a fallout could mend their relationship at Rama Shaama. In other words, the sheer act of attending the event spelt a willingness of letting bygones be bygones and this intentionality, for me, was the most triumphant aspect of a festival. Especially so, as even though we avow new beginnings and resolutions through most festivals, we mar their collective ethos by the private secrecy of our commitments. Much of our intentionality ends up getting stagnated in our own little imagination and lacks a communicative outlet. 

Unlike these instances of personal conviction, Rama Shaama spells praxis in a community. Retrospecting as an adult, I’d say that it serves as that one cultural link that supersedes our mere intent for new beginnings and translates them into tangible actions. In a growingly egotistical world, participating in a mutual exchange of forgiveness, of simultaneously seeking it and granting it, for me, spells festivity in its truest form. I can now make better sense of the eventual culmination of our numerous Diwali customs into the affair of Rama Shaama, for its magnanimity of intent and action. Fuelled by digital technology and expedited by the recent pandemic, our social isolation has heightened a collective sense of alienation and estrangement. In such circumstances, occasions like Rama Shaama find a steepened sense of relevance for their potential to connect and negotiate bonds. 

Khimsar is gearing up for a post-pandemic celebration of Diwali yet again. In the meantime, I am situated in my Himalayan haven where I must attend to my hotel business. I sure miss the festive air back in my ancestral home and am reminded by this writing exercise to rekindle a community of care right here, wherein the festival of lights might translate into a festival of togetherness, forgiveness and hope, sooner or later.

I can now make better sense of the eventual culmination of our numerous Diwali customs into the affair of Rama Shaama, for its magnanimity of intent and action. Fuelled by digital technology and expedited by the recent pandemic, our social isolation has heightened a collective sense of alienation and estrangement. In such circumstances, occasions like Rama Shaama find a steepened sense of relevance for their potential to connect and negotiate bonds.

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

‘Shameful that atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits continue today’, says Anupam Kher



Anupam Kher

Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher on Tuesday condemned the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit by a terrorist in the Kashmir Valley.

“Shameful that atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits continue today. They’re killing even their own people. They are killing everyone who stands with India. This has been happening for the past 30 years. The more you condemn it, the less it’s. We’ll have to change the mindset,” Kher said.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead at an apple orchard in Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists. In the Chotipara area, the incident took place.

Meanwhile, the deceased have been identified as Sunil Kumar Bhar and his brother Pintu who sustained injuries.

The areas have been cordoned and the injured person has been shifted to the hospital.

Moreover in June 2022, a bank manager named Vijay Kumar has shot dead and on 31 May a female Hindu teacher, Rajni Bala was shot dead by terrorists in the Kulgam district.

However, Anupam Kher a Kashmiri Pandit starred in this year’s hit movie ‘The Kashmir Files’. The movie showed the life of Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990 Kashmir insurgency.

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

Raju Srivastava on ventilator, manager informs about slow recovery



Raju Srivastava

Comedian Raju Srivastava was hospitalised on August 10 after having a heart attack. Later, Raju had an angioplasty for the same, and he is currently on a ventilator. Raju’s management said in a new media exchange that the actor is gradually getting better.

Raju’s manager, Nayan Soni, stated, “Raju’s condition is slowly getting better. He is responding to the treatment. There is an improvement in his health and he can now move his body parts a bit. He continues to remain in the ICU and on a ventilator. Doctors have informed us that it will take about a week for him to regain consciousness.”

In a message posted on Raju Srivastava’s official Instagram profile last week, his family stated that his status was “stable” and urged people to “ignore any rumour or fake news being propagated.

The statement on social media read, “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 rumours or fake news being circulated. Please pray for him.”

According to reports, actor Amitabh Bachchan sent Raju an audio message wishing him a swift recovery ” It’s enough Raju. Rise up Raju, and keep teaching us all to laugh.”

The movies Maine Pyar Kiya, Baazigar, Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya are some of movies featuring Raju. He also made an appearance in Bigg Boss’ third season. He gained notoriety for his superb comic timing after his appearance as a stand-up comedian on the programme The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He is the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council’s chairman.

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Prabhas and Prashanth Neel’s movie ‘Salaar’ is to release on 28 September 2023




‘Bahubali’ actor Prabhas is in the headlines these days for his upcoming project ‘Salaar’. On the occasion of 15 August, the makers of the film released a new poster of the film.

Taking to Twitter Prashanth Neel said, “Rebel’ling worldwide on Sep 28, 2023. #Salaar #TheEraOfSalaarBegins #Prabhas @VKiragandur @hombalefilms @shrutihaasan @PrithviOfficial @IamJagguBhai @sriyareddy @bhuvangowda84 @RaviBasrur @shivakumarart @anbariv @SalaarTheSaga.”

Sharing the new poster of ‘Salaar’ on social media, Prabhas wrote in the caption, “#TheEraOfSalaarBegins. See you at the cinemas from 28.09.2023. #Salaar.”

Meanwhile, the movie is scheduled to release on 28 September 2023 and is directed by Prashanth Neel, who made blockbuster movies like KGF.

Moreover, the movie is produced by Vijay Kiragandur. ‘Salaar’ is a high-voltage action movie, full of adventure. It has been shot in many countries like India as well as the Middle East and Africa. Prabhas will be seen in the most creepy avatar ever.

The first schedule of the project has already been completed and Prabhas will soon concentrate on completing the last schedule of the film.

However, besides Prabhas the movie also stars Shruti Haasan, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Jagapathi Babu, Ishwari Rao, and Sriya Reddy. The movie will be released in five languages ​​across India.

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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.

1.    Sweat off the Sadness

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.

2.    Fight Back for Things you Love

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.

3.    Connect with Mother Nature

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.

4.    Scribble Away the Hopelessness

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.

Final Thoughts

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. 

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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.”

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Amber hired Investigator to uncover bad things about Jhonny, deets inside



Jhonny depp And Amber

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.

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