Siddhant Chaturvedi is an actor who moulds himself into the mask of the characters and brings them to life on the screen. A great example of that would be none other than his debut film Gully Boy where he made quite an impact on the audience and gave them the character of MC Sher which got etched in everyone’s minds.
When asked about how the actor feels on the Ranveer Singh-starrer Gully Boy having a cult following and MC Sher receiving a lot of admiration, he says, “Ha ha really? ‘Cult following’ is a heavy word. I think the film as a unit had that impact on the people. It’s just not me, it’s everything about the film.”
Talking more about his character MC Sher and his upcoming films, Siddhant adds, “As far as MC Sher is concerned, it’s got a lot of love, especially among the younger lot. It’s a great feeling but at the same time Bunty has to gear up his game and I’m very confident that people will see a whole new shade or should I say shades of me in Bunty Aur Babli 2.”
On the work front, Siddhant Chaturvedi released his debut track Dhoop, which received immense appreciation and is an ode to the frontline workers.
Other than his song, on the film front, the young actor has multiple projects in the pipeline as he will next be seen in Bunty Aur Babli 2, followed by Shakun Batra’s next with Deepika Padukone and Ananya Panday
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6 Tips For Transitioning Your Elderly Parent Into A Care Facility
Transitioning your elderly parent into a care facility can be a difficult task fraught with emotion – for both you and them. They would have spent most of their life taking care of themself, and then in the latter part of their years, they now have to suddenly deal with someone else making the rules and setting their schedule.
If the transition is not planned properly, that sudden change can be jarring for your parent. The result is that they are reluctant to make that transition, which makes things harder, and more traumatic for everyone involved.
Below are six tips for making this transition more manageable and comfortable for you and your elderly parent.
- Start At Home
As our parent’s age, they become more and more reliant on others to take care of them. That reliance will vary substantially from person to person and can include small things like making their meals and ensuring that they have taken their medications, to full-on care, including helping them go to the toilet and bathing them.
If you’re in a situation where you know that the best course of action is moving them into a managed care facility, the easiest way to do that is to start at home. Introduce home help slowly beforehand by hiring a caring person to come to their house three to five times a week – that way, they get used to having someone taking over before they move out of their family home.
- Don’t Rob Them Of Their Independence
Independence is such an important thing. If you’re not careful with this long-term care transition, your mom or dad could end up feeling like they have no control over their own lives. Nothing good ever comes of that, and most of the time creates a psychological and emotional downward spiral that can be difficult to come back from.
Be as patient and understanding as possible during this time, they might act out, but that is only out of fearing the unknown – which is both natural and understandable. Encourage them to contribute to the decision-making processes as much as possible along the way.
- Research Your Options
The move from independent or family home living to professional care needs to be a delicate journey. It is a total change of lifestyle for your mom or dad and often one that comes gradually.
Sometimes the need can arise suddenly after injury, which is why fall prevention methods are critical for older individuals. Before exploring managed care options, look into other options like using assistive technology or in-home help – if those don’t work, start researching facilities and choose the one that will take the best care of your parent.
- Find The Right Facility
Finding the perfect care facility for your ageing parent is never easy. It is stressful, and you may find yourself struggling with feelings of guilt along the way. You need to realise from the start that it is the best thing you can do for your parent if you cannot offer them the same level of care and attention.
The best way to choose the perfect facility for them is to visit your top three choices and make your decision based on several factors. The facility needs to feel like a home away from home where your parent will be safe and well taken care of. Ensure that you thoroughly inspect the surroundings and environment and talk to the staff and existing residents.
- Visit As Often As Possible
The only way to know that your elderly mom or dad is getting the best care humanly possible is to visit them as often as you can. Although our lives are hectic and our schedules are jam-packed, you need to carve out time to visit them, so the transition is easier on you both.
Modern technology allows us to keep in touch remotely, but physical contact is a vital component of wellbeing.
- Manage Emotions
This process is not an easy one. Your parent might not understand why it is necessary and will not make your life easy. You need to understand that those feelings are only natural, and despite how guilty it makes you feel in the beginning, you need to act with their best interests at heart – whether they realise it or not.
You will each learn to manage your emotions and expectations over time, and, ultimately, you will find the balance that you need to make this new living situation work for you both.
Breaking barriers through biochemistry
When most of her contemporaries were settling down to encounter the usual conventions of a domestically-paced life, Anuradha Rajput was passionately pursuing her dreams of becoming a medical professional. Born to a lineage of army-officers that originated from the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir region of present-day Pakistan, the passion to fight for one’s beliefs lay inherently in her blood. So, when Rajput didn’t manage to obtain a medical seat post her 12th grade examinations, she relented even more fiercely in the direction of her professional pursuit by choosing to complete a Bachelor’s degree. Upon her graduation, the matrimonial anticipations held by her parents diverted Rajput from opting for the medical seat that she had finally quenched. However, her never-say-die spirit led her to pursue a postgraduate degree in biochemistry instead, which she successfully completed. I always wanted to become a doctor and serve society. “I wanted to reach out to the underprivileged by providing them with basic medical aid, which many are deprived of,” Rajput says, while recounting her aspirations as a student.
Shortly after, destiny brought forth her life-partner in the form of a valiant army officer, who cherished Rajput’s entrepreneurial passions and instilled her flight with favourable tail winds. With his support and encouragement on the one hand, and years of academic persistence on the other, Rajput made a scintillating flight from the University of Mysore with a PhD in Medical Biochemistry.
Being the first girl in her clan to have become a science graduate and PhD, Rajput’s journey as a young medical professional had only just begun. It was in the diagnostics laboratory of a Bangalore-based hospital that Rajput made her professional debut. Looking back, Rajput elaborates, “although I had a supportive husband who encouraged me to finish my PhD, it was difficult for me to balance a married life and doing a PhD.” I had to work very hard to maintain the balance. After I finished my PhD, I couldn’t work for six years. I had to give time to my family and my daughter. I almost gave up on my professional ventures when my husband encouraged me to pick up a job after my daughter began going to school. “
As luck would have it, the mother of a six-year-old resumed her professional career right at that point of time when clinical research was gaining eminence in India. Rajput was a new recruit at one of Bangalore’s hospital diagnosis laboratories, during which her innate authenticity and hard work enabled a rapid ascent for her, right up to heading Mallya hospital’s Department of Biochemistry.
After her dazzling performance at Mallya Hospital, Rajput proceeded to serve as the director and general manager of a laboratory called Clinigene, where she was responsible for establishing and developing the country’s first laboratory to be accredited by the College of American Pathologists, a gold-standard certification in the field.
Speaking of pathological laboratories, Rajput provides an interesting account of the importance of authentic laboratory diagnosis and the loopholes that haunt it in present-day India: “The quality of (laboratory-diagnosis) reports play a vital role in the treatment of any patient.” The treating physicians are guided by these laboratory reports, and they make treatment decisions based on these reports; and many times, a wrong report can lead to a wrong treatment. In our country, one needs a licence to even open a pharmacy store. But no such licences or permissions are required when it comes to starting a laboratory. Hence, the quality suffers. “
Just when her career began to enter the realms of major success, Rajput suffered a tremendous setback. Her husband, who was commanding a battalion on India’s Line of Control as its Colonel, attained martyrdom in the year of 2002. Being widowed at such a young age had caused her unfathomable and unrecoverable damage. Devastated, Rajput accounts for having dealt with much of her pain and heartache under her professional shield: “My education and work helped me deal with the setback to a great extent.” I learnt how important it was for a girl to be educated and independent. “
Five years hence, Rajput started her own company, namely QED Preclinical Services Pvt Ltd., which is based in Bangalore’s industrial area. This workspace serves Rajput in her day-to-day work but is also a physical manifestation of her long-standing vision, which stands for providing certified clinical research to the local populace and developing new drugs for various ailments, to name but a few.
So far, Rajput’s journey has been one rife with tests and challenges. However, the talented medical professional, visionary, and shero serves as a real-life example of the power that lies in strength, resilience, and focus. To put it most aptly, her concluding lines encapsulate her winning attitude “Every step of a career ladder presents its unique set of challenges, but if you start enjoying the challenges, they no longer remain as such and then you overcome them very easily.” I believe in enjoying what I do. I also try to ensure a positive work environment where people under my leadership are motivated to meet the challenges of our industry. They, in turn, become my strength. Lastly, I believe experience teaches you to remain calm and composed during rough times-as they always pass. We salute her spirit and wish her every success.
THE UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD OF UNNATURAL ALLIES
As Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government goes from crisis to ICU mode, there is a larger lesson here on coalition politics. At the very outset, the alliance was termed as an unnatural one that saw ideologically opposite parties like the Congress-NCP join hands with the radical right wing Shiv Sena. For the coalition to tango, one side had to give in and interestingly it was the Sena that took most of the backward steps. It compromised on its hardcore Hindutva ideology, toned down its rhetoric and tried an image makeover under the aegis of Uddhav Thackeray and his heir apparent Aaditya Thackeray. The politics of both Uddhav and Aaditya were progressive, they talked new age concerns like environment and sent the right feelers on governance from the financial capital of the country. The one mistake they made perhaps was not to involve all the stakeholders, it is now clear by Eknath Shinde’s comments that they felt left out of the governance pie and also resented the hold that individuals like Sanjay Raut, Sharad Pawar and even a first time MLA Aaditya himself had over the party. (An interesting factoid is that in 2019 Aditya was the first Thackeray to contest polls and his father the first Thackeray to sit on the CMs chair. Usually Bal Thackeray preferred to appoint a nominee as CM and run the state by remote control from Matoshree.) Whatever the reasons, if the government topples, it would set the Sena back on the path of regressive, chest thumping hardline politics and that would be a tragedy. But that’s another column.
To come back to the topic of unnatural alliances, the first sign of rebellion from Shinde and his men was regarding the MLC elections when they were not happy with the party dictat to support a Congress candidate. The hold of the NCP over governance and powerful ministerial portfolios was another grouse. In the end, it was not so much about ideology about power. But then, that’s how it always is.
Take a look at the Mahagathbandan in Bihar, where again, two political foes—Lalu Yadav’s RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U)—came together on one platform. That did not last long with Nitish soon finding his way back to the BJP. Or even the not so unnatual alliance between two UP Ke Ladke that had Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi contesting from the same platform in the 2017 state assembly polls. When one side did not pull its weight in the ballot boxes that alliance broke with the two taking pot shots at each other. Ditto for the alliance between the SP and Mayawati’s BSP in the 2019 Lok Sabha where the cadres on ground found it difficult to canvass for a party they had spent a lifetime taking pot shots at.
This brings us to the larger issue at play—while on paper, it is all very well for strategists like Prashant Kishor to talk about bringing the entire opposition on one platform to take on the BJP in the Lok Sahba polls, the reality on ground is very different where the Congress and various regional parties are fighting each other at the state level. Bringing diverse parties and egos on one platform post polls is also not easy as Dr Manmohan Singh found out when he tried to run a coalition with both Mamata and the CPM. Which brings another twist in the BJP vs The Rest version of the Game of Thrones, and again, as with most political turns these days, it’s one that works in Modi’s favour.
FATF SHOULDN’T BRING PAK OUT OF GREY LIST
Pakistan is all set to come out of the FATF grey list, according to a report in The Sunday Guardian, the sister newspaper of The Daily Guardian Review. The report suggests that China has been quietly lobbying Pakistan’s case with the Financial Action Task Force, which has put India’s western neighbour on the grey list of countries that require monitoring for money laundering and terror financing. Apparently, the ongoing FATF plenary in Berlin will take a call on Pakistan’s continuation on the list and there is a high probability that Islamabad will be seen to have fulfilled the 27th of the 27 conditions put on it. The last condition is of prosecution of senior leaders, and the 33-year-long term jail term handed to terrorist mastermind Hafiz Saeed will be seen as positive action. It is a different matter that Hafiz Saeed will serve several of these sentences simultaneously and may not be in jail even for five years and if pardoned in certain cases, maybe even less. Even otherwise, we have seen what a farce Pakistani action against its pet terrorists can be. Take the case of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack case. He had untrammelled access to television, mobile phones, internet and several visitors. He was allowed conjugal visits and fathered a child when “in jail”. In fact Hafiz Saeed’s stay at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail last year was a farce because he was found to be at home when a car bomb exploded in front of his house in June 2021. There have been reports about Daniel Pearl’s killer, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, being given home-like facilities at Hyderabad Central Jail, courtesy his closeness to one of then Prime Minister Imran Khan’s men.
Also, given terrorism is state policy for Pakistan, it will be too much to expect it to turn off the tap of terror—which it uses against India and other countries at will—when the international community seems more than eager to believe its case.
As for China, it has a long track record of using non state actors against its adversaries, sometimes through its proxies. More often than not, Pakistan acts as China’s proxy to keep India’s western borders restive. Pakistan and North Korea are anyway the two proxies that China has to keep India and Japan, respectively, on the “nuclear edge”.
Apart from this, supporting terrorism is part of China’s “political” warfare against India. There have been credible reports of Chinese generals establishing contacts with terrorist groups that Pakistan uses against India, including attempting to revive an India-specific group known as Al Badr, which had gone defunct. It was because of China that it took 10 years—from 2009 to 2019—for India to get the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad commander Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee, and this in spite of India having the support of the other members of the UNSC. China is believed to have paid—or is paying—protection money to terror groups functioning in the Af-Pak area to secure its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, as these groups have stepped up attacks against Chinese interests. If we look at India’s Northeast, China has been funding insurgencies there. Reports are that this has happened in Myanmar and Thailand as well.
China and Pakistan apparently are “iron brothers”, and the deeper a bankrupt Pakistan slips into China’s trap and becomes its client state, it is but natural that to stabilise the situation and complete the Chinese projects, China would want Pakistan out of the FATF grey list. China has sunk billions of dollars in CPEC and that money is stuck, with CPEC not going anywhere at present. So it is in Beijing’s interest that Pakistan comes out of the FATF grey list.
But that will be a major mistake, and no amount of economic difficulties faced by Pakistan justifies taking it out of the grey list. It is hoped that whatever be the pressure from, or lobbying by PRC, the FATF will not forget that Pakistan will never mend its way. It is a terror state and will continue to be a terror state.
Decoding gender-neutral clothing
In simple terms, Gender-Neutral clothing or androgynous clothing can be classified as unisex clothing. However, it is much more political than that. To know this, we must understand the difference between gender and sex. Sex is something which is biological and assigned to us by birth, gender however is a social construct. Gender roles are defined and shaped by society, history and social conditioning of the time. Gender Neutrality thus breaks away from this conditioned notion of gender and acquires a more free and inclusive space. Gender Neutrality is a move towards a world that doesn’t distinguish between genders through societal forms like language, colours or even clothing.
NEED OF THE HOUR
Not only gender-neutral clothing is “trendy”, but it is also the need of the hour. Individuals need to feel more free, comfortable, and occupy a safe space without the fear of being judged for any choice that they make. The clothes under gender-neutral clothing don’t come with the label “for men” or “for women”. It is also a move towards the larger ideology that fashion is genderless; it is neither masculine nor feminine. It is for everyone, for every fit, size or body type.
INCLUSIVE FASHION IS ON THE RISE
Fashion has always evolved with people and also can significantly influence them. With the world becoming bold, free, safe and inclusive, it is fair that fashion had to comply. To suit the needs of individuals to be accepted as they are and make choices that are gender fluid, there have to be options available. There are several collections and lines by leading brands which are a move toward a genderless world. The value of self-worth is over everything. Equl store is one of a kind and India’s first complete gender-neutral clothing brand. From sizing to design, everything is very thoughtfully crafted. Their sizes are kept bigger than the usual standard size to promote physical and psychological ease. Their “Feel Good Collection” is crafted to make you feel good, of your choices and also to highlight the fact that they use sustainable fabric.
GENDER-NEUTRAL FASHION IS MORE SUSTAINABLE
Gender Neutrality is not just a fashion trend; rather it’s a fashion revolution for which the world was waiting for. It makes a positive political and sustainable statement. With the same number of options available, there is no need to rebrand the market or fit them separately thereby reducing the burden on the planet.
PROMOTES A POSITIVE BODY IMAGE
Gender-Neutral fashion also promotes a healthy body image. It breaks away from the notion of what is “desirable” and normalises both petite and plus sizes. Each style is available in all sizes promoting that there is no one normal or accepted body size. Fashion and style exist for everyone and there is no play of size in the same. There are brands that are trying to break this notion by basing their entire market positioning on neutral and sustainable clothing.
HELPS YOU OWN YOUR CHOICES
Since gender-neutral clothing doesn’t conform to one gender or one size, it enables an individual to be unapologetically themselves and own their choices. It is a move away from what society or generational conditioning has taught us to be like: Skinny girls should wear fitted clothes, boys shouldn’t wear pink, and people who weigh more should wear loosely fitted clothes. Gender-neutral clothing promotes being unabashedly you. To reinforce this idea, Equl store’s collection name is ‘The Feel Good Collection’ which as its name suggests is made to help you feel good about yourself and also the planet since they use sustainable hemp and cotton fabric. “It also promotes you to be effortlessly bold and expressive. They have curated a contemporary range of clothing that features fits, sizes, and colours that are completely gender-neutral and break away from the conditioning of “Pink is for girls and blue is for boys”. The tagline for the Feel Good collection is ‘Your Voice Can Change The World’ inspired by the famous quote “Be the change you want to see”.
The writer is Managing Partner, EQUL Store.
NO CUSTODIAL CRIME TO HAPPEN IN TAMIL NADU ANYMORE, SAYS STALIN
In the wake of the custodial death of Vignesh, who mysteriously died on April 19, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said, “accused in police custody should not be tortured physically or mentally”.
He assured that there will be no lock up crimes in Tamil Nadu any more. Stalin further said that the government had not hid anything. “We have given required instructions to prevent custodial deaths in future”, the CM said.
Stalin added that those who were arrested should be presented in front of the magistrate following due procedures.
The death of Vignesh who used to offer horse rides as livelihood in Marina beach in Chennai, became a subject of political slugfest between the ruling party and opposition in Tamil Nadu. The 25-year-old suffered multiple injuries and fractures on his body, indicating custodial death due to torture.
The post-mortem report too indicated a foul play. However, the state police claimed that the death was natural.
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