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JACQUELINE BACK ON ‘RAM SETU’ SETS

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MUMBAI: Actress Jacqueline Fernandez is back to shooting on the sets of ‘Ram Setu’, which co-stars Akshay Kumar in the lead role.

Apart from Akshay and Jacqueline, ‘Ram Setu’ also stars Satyadev and Nushrratt Bharuccha in key roles. Taking to her Instagram handle, Jacqueline posted pictures of herself, flaunting her simple yet gorgeous nose-pin. She added the caption, “Back on set #ramsetu”.

Fans and fellow members of the film fraternity flooded the post with likes and comments. “Soo pretty,” Nushrratt Bharuccha wrote. “So beautiful you look,” a fan added.

Helmed by Abhishek Sharma and produced by Aruna Bhatia and Vikram Malhotra, the film is slated to hit the silver screens on Diwali next year. It will be an action-adventure drama that will bring to light a story that is deeply rooted in Indian cultural and historical heritage. Following the film’s theatrical release, ‘Ram Setu’ will soon be also available for Amazon Prime members in India, along with more than 240 countries and territories.

Besides ‘Ram Setu’, Jacqueline’s other upcoming projects include ‘Kick 2’, ‘Cirkus’, ‘Bachchan Pandey’ and ‘Attack’.

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‘BOB BISWAS’ REVIEW: ABHISHEK BACHCHAN’S CASTING AS BOB LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED

Murtaza Ali Khan

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We first got introduced to the character of Bob Biswas in Sujoy Ghosh’s 2012 film ‘Kahaani’. An insurance sales agent who moonlights as a contract killer, Bob came across as a rather uncanny yet believable character. Brilliantly portrayed by Saswata Chatterjee while combining an equal dose of eeriness and dark humor, the character became an instant favorite. And, after years of anticipation, Sujoy Ghosh in collaboration with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment has finally come out with a full-fledged film for ZEE5 based on Bob and with Abhishek Bachchan essaying the part instead of Chatterjee. The film, directed by Diya Annapurna Ghosh, also stars Chitrangada Singh, Paran Bandopadhyay, Ditipriya Roy, Purab Kohli and Samara Tijori in the pivotal roles.

Almost all origin stories are weighed down by expectations and comparisons. The fans of the original of course are keen to watch it and yet at the same time they are usually a little wary. Sometimes the high expectations and the emotional attachment to the original can also make them overly critical in their scrutiny of the new offering. The best origin stories are always mindful of two things, above everything else. First, there has to be enough on offer for the fans of the original as one certainly doesn’t want to antagonise or alienate them. Second, it should also be able to stand on its own for the benefit of new viewers as one obviously wants to grow your viewership. Often the worst origin stories fail on both these counts.

Now, Bob Biswas is neither a great origin story nor a particularly bad one. The film has its moments but it is also flawed in so many ways. Speaking of the film’s strengths, Sujoy Ghosh’s screenplay stands out for its great attention to detail. Although, the storyline is nowhere near as fascinating as ‘Kahaani’ or ‘Badla,’ there are enough twists and turns to keep the viewer hooked until the end. Paran Bandopadhyay’s performance as Kali Da is a major highlight of the film. Here’s is a fascinating character that deserves a spinoff of its own. Purab Kohli also delivers a memorable performance. Ditipriya Roy and Samara Tijori are also solid in their respective roles.

The Bob Biswas from ‘Kahaani’ is a cold-blooded killer who doesn’t hesitate before pulling the trigger regardless of who the victim is. He has no remorse in even pushing a pregnant woman onto the rail tracks. His only credo is to fulfill the mission that he is assigned. And Saswata captured the character’s mannerisms so well in ‘Kahaani’. Now, there is no denying that Abhishek Bachchan is an earnest actor. Regardless of what his detractors say, he takes his work very seriously. And the same is true of his portrayal of Bob. In fact, this really is the farthest he seems to have pushed himself till date in a bid to make his Bob as identical to Saswata’s as possible. But, the trouble is that a well-known actor like Abhishek Bachchan may never play an out-and-out bad character. And it’s not just the case with Bollywood. In Hollywood also we have actors like Tom Hanks who wouldn’t play out and out bad characters. During the golden age, there were James Stewart and Cary Grant who wouldn’t play killers.

Now, even when Abhishek plays a killer in say ‘Breathe: Into the Shadows,’ the character’s outrageous villainy has to be balanced using an alter ego. Similarly, his Bob has to have a redeeming quality. In the film, we meet Bob who is a family man. He dearly loves his wife and children. Yes, he is an assassin but he refuses to kill a woman who is trying to fight the drug mafia. Therein lies the rub. For, the moment you associate those redeeming qualities, he ceases to be what he is supposed to be—a remorseless killer. Bob Biswas is Bob Biswas because he is a killing machine. He isn’t supposed to think or feel before carrying out his missions. And, so, Abhishek Bachchan’s casting as Bob leaves a lot to be desired.

Interestingly, in his defense, Sujoy said that he wanted to steer clear of ‘Kahaani’. And yet the manner in which he ends the film, deliberately connects Bob to Vidya Balan’s thread from ‘Kahaani’. Another problematic aspect of ‘Bob Biswas’ is the weak chemistry between Bachchan and Chitrangda Singh who essays the part of Biswas’ wife. Also, the film is not really a proper origin story in that it doesn’t take us to the very beginning of Biswas’ journey; we only meet him mid-way. It certainly would be an interesting exercise to explore Biswas’ true origins, starting with his childhood. Perhaps, Sujoy has a few more films for the ‘Kahaani’ franchise in his mind.

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‘I WAS DEEPLY MOVED’: AKSHAY LAUDS TEAM ‘CHHORII’

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MUMBAI: Superstar Akshay Kumar on Friday gave a shout-out to the whole team of recently released Amazon Prime Video film ‘Chhorii’ for bringing out the social issue of female feticide in a subtle way through powerful storytelling and strong narrative.

While the audiences are catching up with ‘Chhorii’, it most certainly caught the eye of Akshay, an actor who has been a frontrunner towards highlighting social issues predominate in society through his films. Akshay took to his social media, to share a video that rightly so, highlights what women have been doing and achieving. Akshay wrote in his post, “As father to a girl who is my lifeline, I was deeply moved, and equally concerned, about this. Kudos for taking up this sensitive topic, @vikramix @Nushrratt @Abundantia_Ent . Power to you.”

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SKINCARE MUST DO’S FOR WINTER-READY SKIN

Dr Aparna Santhanam

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Winter is just around the corner and as we begin the task of replacing our summer closets with cosy scarves and sweaters, replacing our fun summer colours with pastel autumn colours; it also means it is time to switch skincare routine to preserve and protect our skin’s innate radiance. During winters, the harsh cold climate and dry indoor air often leave skin dry, flaky, itchy, and chapped and overall without lustre or glow, hence the need for intense hydration & ingredient specific solutions. To keep up with the seasonal shift, here are some winter skincare tips that will help you keep your skin glowing, dewy, healthy, and moisturised during the cold.

1. Add a serum to your skincare regime – Irrespective of the season, it is important to hydrate and nourish the skin. Considering that serum has better penetration into the skin than an average cream or moisturiser, it delivers an extremely high concentration of active ingredients that helps improve hydration levels from the inside out. It also re-adjusts the excess sebum on the face to make the skin look healthy and well-moisturised. Serums are the route to soft, supple and hydrated skin.

2. An extra layer of Hydration – A good Serum is suitable for all skin types. It is advisable to look for a high performing serum that contains Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C. It delivers hydration, covers important natural oils into the skin, and strengthens the barrier so that it can better guard itself against the cold environment. Regardless of what moisturising creams you plan to apply, make sure you start your application using serums. Serums are water or emulsion-based formulations hence they have a light gel-like or watery, non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly into the skin-quenching the skin’s thirst for moisturisation and leaving it with a fresh, dewy smooth finish.

3. Cost-Benefit – Serum is a multi-purpose product that eliminates the need for hydrators, moisturisers, lotions and cold creams. This single product helps with a host of skincare issues like fighting dullness and dryness, combating acne, acne spots and pigmentation, giving your skin a healthy and hydrated look. It is recommended to use a face serum at least twice a day to maximise its beauty potential. Charmis Deep Radiance Face Serum is Dermatologist & Clinically tested to offer specific skin benefits of Hydrated Clear Radiance. It goes 15 layers deep into the skin with potent ingredients of Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid and Salicylic Acid.

4. Moisturise During Bedtime – Moisturisers and winter skincare go hand in hand. As much as moisturising skin right after a shower is necessary, moisturising with intense nourishing formula before going to bed can help rejuvenate your skin overnight when you are resting for about seven to eight hours. When looking for a deep nourishing cold cream, opt for one with ingredients that have a unique blend of vitamin A, C & E, it is scientifically proven to combat the impact of pollution, dust and sun, leaving skin glowing, nourished and moisturised. Indulge in deep moisturising cold cream before you sleep so you can wake up with beautifully supple skin.

5. Don’t skip Your Cold Cream! – Constant environmental exposure makes your skin lose essential vitamins leaving it dry, lifeless and tired looking. Pick a cold cream that has SPF 30 that is designed to care for skin in the cold climate and is enriched with natural skin soothers like saffron extract and vitamin C, the light moisturiser that provides a two-fold benefit: relief from Sun damage and boosting the moisture reserve and comforting parched skin. Applying cold creams of a light texture regularly will keep your skin refreshed soft and even-toned.

Though you can’t control the colder weather or the amount of time you may be exposed to it, these handy tips will help you get some extra hydration to get through these cold winter months, deep nourishing cold cream and serum can help your skin feel moisturised and luminous.

It is important to adapt your skincare routine to suit the season and opt for skincare and beauty solutions that are made with efficacious formulations to help hydrate and nourish the skin. Winter brings with it a host of skincare problems right from skin turning dry, dull and even itchy. I recommend opting for a lightweight face serum and a deep nourishing cold cream, a combination that can serve as multi-purpose products that hydrate, exfoliate and nourish the skin without making it itchy, sticky or super dry. These multi-purpose products apart from being lightweight in texture are convenient to apply and easily portable. I like multifunctional products that are efficacious and yet budget-friendly as they ensures the longevity of usage and hence are invaluable in any skincare routine.

The writer is Skin Expert on ITC Charmis.

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THE MOST EFFECTIVE SKIN AND HAIR TREATMENTS

Noor Anand Chawla

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With technology improving at the pace of lightening, it is but natural that every sphere of life will become tech-reliant. The field of dermato-trichology has also witnessed big changes. In fact, in 2021, there are far more skin and hair treatments available for the purpose of beautification and rehabilitation, than ever before. But the question begs to be answered—which are the most effective and best?

Oliva is a medico-aesthetic clinic brand rated No.1 in the sphere of Dermatology and Trichology. Claiming the largest team of dermatologists in the country, and with a focus on scientifically-backed treatments that have given them a successful track record, they are probably the best-placed organisation to answer this question.

“We bring you the aesthetics of beauty and the science of medical knowledge as a single unified service. Each consultation at Oliva is conducted by expert doctors who start with a skin analysis and take stock of overall medical conditions before charting out a treatment plan, exclusive to the client. Our carefully balanced combination of aesthetic and clinical approaches—from a simple skin peel to a more advanced medical procedure—suits a variety of skin and body needs. Our holistic approach provides the best that science has to offer. Oliva is, by far, the most comprehensive medico-aesthetic clinic that you can choose,” explains the founder, Dr Soma Prashant.

Having studied medicine at Andhra Medical College, Vizag, he pursued his M.D. in Manipal and then did a Fellowship in Lasers at the National Skin Centre in Singapore. He eventually chose the field of dermatology with the far-sighted vision that lasers would be game-changers in this field. His approach focuses on leveraging ad¬vances in medicine to make people look more beautiful and youthful. Oliva has ad¬vanced facilities with qualified dermatologists and trichologists, skin and hair thera¬pists, and advanced equipment that bring the best of what aesthetic medicine has to offer. They are currently operational in seven major cities of India—Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Vizag, Kolkata and Pune. Oliva has continuously enjoyed a whopping 91% rating on the satisfaction scale with a loyal base of more than 3,00,000 happy customers.

Some of their most popular services include their Non-Surgical Weight Management Solution; Laser Treatment for Body Hair Removal; Skin Rejuvenation Treatments such as Skin Lightening, Pigmentation Removal, Dull Skin Treatments and Signature Facials. They also have acne and scar removal treatments; Non-Surgical Body Contouring Treatments; Inch Loss Treatments; Dermal Fillers; Skin Tightening; Anti-Ageing; Permanent Tattoo Removal; Mole Removal; Stretch Mark Treatments and Wart Removals.

A particularly popular treatment is the one for battling hair loss. The focus is on identifying the underlying cause of hair loss and customising the treatment plan accordingly. A few diagnostic tests may be prescribed to assess the client’s nutritional status after physically examining their hair and scalp condition and noting their medical records and family history of balding. Oral medications may be suggested such as nutritional supplements or injections to correct an underlying deficiency.

“We may advise you to use topical applications like peptide-based serums to strengthen hair roots and follow a customised hair-care regimen. We may recommend the above as standalone or combination treatments depending on the cause and severity of your hair loss. Above all, we offer extensive post-care support and counsel our clients to reassure them that they may expect a reduction in hair fall within the first two months of treatment and that the hair loss condition may subside within three to four months. This helps prevent the vicious cycle of stress-induced hair fall,” explains Dr Prashant.

Though Oliva has a fairly widespread reach around certain parts of the country, the brand constantly strives to reach out to people living in remote parts. Especially after Covid-19, there has been a record number of dermatological concerns as a side-effect of the dreadful infection, which is what Oliva hopes to resolve.

Residents of Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Vizag, and Kochi can visit their nearest Oliva clinic to seek expert advice from experienced dermato-trichologists. People living in other parts of the country can connect with their experienced medical team via e-consultation to seek customised treatments and world-class care.

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

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18 DIMENSIONS BY PALETTE ART GALLERY SHOWCASES SCULPTURAL WORKS OF EXEMPLARY INDIAN ARTISTS

The intention behind this exhibition was to offer a range and variety of sculptural expressions and encourage viewer participation and physical engagement with artworks once again, as the city opens up.

Noor Anand Chawla

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The onset of Delhi winters signals the beginning of the art season, which is finally back to its physical setting. Palette Art Gallery, founded by Designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna in 2001, opened the season with their exhibition titled ‘18 Dimensions’. On display from 28 November to 6 December at Bikaner House in New Delhi, the show presents the sculptural works of 18 contemporary artists, who have made a significant impact on the Indian and global art landscape.

Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna.

Behold! He comes again by Riyas Komu.

TBD by Subodh Gupta.

Vigor by Rajesh Ram.

“The intention behind ‘18 Dimensions’ was to offer a range and variety of sculptural expressions and encourage viewer participation and physical engagement with artworks once again, as the city opens up. For us, this is an exciting medium of expression as sculptural art requires a certain amount of physical presence to be appreciated and this form of interaction can be a motivating factor for people to visit,” explain the gallery owners in a chat with The Daily Guardian.

Palette Art Gallery was conceptualised to give voice to the emerging talent of the day, while also presenting the works of the Masters of Indian Art through the pre- and post-independence period. In the 20 years since its inception, the gallery has covered many milestones. “We pride ourselves on presenting different mediums of artistic expression ranging from the traditional to the experimental. Oils, watercolours, video, photography and performance art have all found a home at our gallery,” explains Gandhi.

With the worst of the pandemic over, Palette was quick to open its doors. They recently did a show at the gallery called ‘Fragments of Imagination’ with multiple artists. Their current exhibit, ‘18 Dimensions’ focuses exclusively on sculptures because they believe this medium reflects its place, its society and its time, and is a key indicator of contemporary cultural achievements.

“Our show has been received very well so far. It covers large territory in terms of materials and methods used—from casting to assemblage. The exhibit studies the involvement of these 18 artists with the influences that probe the limits and possibilities inherent to a sculpture’s three-dimensional physicality,” explains Khanna.

The 18 exemplary artists that are part of this exhibit are Arunkumar HG, Ashiesh Shah, Gigi Scaria, G. R. Iranna, L. N. Tallur, Narayan Biswas, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Manjunath Kamath, Pooja Iranna, Himmat Shah, Jagannath Panda (TCB), Rajesh Ram, Riyas Komu, Sangam Vankhade, Sumedh R, Subodh Gupta, Sudarshan Shetty (TCB), Valay Shende, Vibha Galhotra, and Vipul Kumar.

The most distinctive feature of this exhibition, according to the team, is the display of Late Mrinalini Mukherjee’s works. Her sculptures demonstrate the real and fantastical elements from human anatomy and imaginary biota to look for relationships between man and nature. The work titled Vriksh Nata (Arboreal Enactment) has been displayed in various important exhibitions previously.

Apart from Mukherjee’s work, a number of prominent artists are part of this collection. A few that stand out include artist Subodh Gupta, who is best known for incorporating everyday objects that are ubiquitous across India such as steel tiffin boxes, bicycles, thali pans, milk pails, etc. With the help of these ordinary items, Subodh produces sculptures that reflect on the economic transformation of his homeland, Bihar. These sculptures relate to Subodh’s own life, times, and memories. He says, “For me, the motivation for the small utensil sculpture on display at this exhibition, came largely from the ritual everyday-ness that one experiences in India, a country of many minute cyclic returns that people make every day for reasons often greater than us. This idea of rituality is what I grew up looking at, so my imagery naturally borrows from there.”

Artist Rajesh Ram worked with clay for this exhibit. During the lockdowns, he was unable to visit his studio, and the easiest material available was ceramic clay. He shares, “I find this material interesting and enjoyable. During the lockdown, many things came to my mind, like people’s survival, the development of civilisation, technology, political and historical studies. These are all subjects that reflect through my recent sculptures. I have used glazed ceramic which was planned according to the concept of particular sculptures.”

Both Gandhi and Khanna assert that the pandemic provided a fertile subject for the composition of great art. For the curation of this particular exhibition, their criterion was to amalgamate artistic excellence with a diversity of viewpoints. The seniority of the artists and the capacity and compatibility of the venue space also played a role, as did the need to prioritise artworks addressing social issues. Next, they are gearing up for participation in the India Art Fair.

The co-founders sign off with, “We just want to emphasise that sculpture is an art that is concerned with how people think and feel. So we hope to see everyone reading this article, at the show!”

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

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SHAWN DROPS EMOTIONAL SONG AFTER BREAK UP WITH CAMILA

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WASHINGTON: On the heels of his breakup from singer Camila Cabello, singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes dropped a slow, heart-rending track.

Shawn released the emotional breakup ballad titled ‘It’ll Be Okay’ on Wednesday, exactly two weeks after he and Cabello called it quits following two years of dating. Mendes informed his fans and followers about the song release on his Instagram account, writing, “it’ll be okay out now.” Mendes’ latest single, which fans are already speculating is about the couple’s recent separation, included lyrics: “Are we gonna make it?/ Is this gonna hurt?” and “I start to imagine a world where we don’t collide/ It’s making me sick but we’ll heal and the sun will rise.” In the soft, piano-backed melancholic track, Mendes detailed the end of a turbulent relationship as he sings, “the future we dreamed of is fading to black.” He sings going into the chorus, “We don’t have to stay/ I will love you either way / It’ll be OK.”

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