New Delhi: It’s been a great year for actor Pulkit Samrat. The young generation star received a lot of applause for his fantastic performance in Bejoy Nambiar’s film Taish, which could easily pass off as Pulkit’s career best so far. Now, as the actor celebrates his birthday on Tuesday, not many people know that Pulkit shares his birthday with the legendary superstar Rajesh Khanna.
Right in the beginning of 2021, during Makar Sankranti, his next big project Haathi Mere Saathi will have a theatrical release and the actor couldn’t be happier because apart from the same birthday, there is now going to be another big connection between Pulkit and Rajesh Khanna. This time, he will be seen in a similar role of the cult film that starred Rajesh Khanna. The original film had the veteran mega star playing mahout whereas the new version will have Pulkit essaying a similar role.
With the modern adaptation, Pulkit aims at bringing the audience to the theatres and changing the scenario around animal and kid-friendly films in the industry.
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ROHIT SHETTY’S ‘SOORYAVANSHI’ GETS A RELEASE DATE
MUMBAI: The entertainment industry has rejoiced over the news of theatres opening across the country, and team ‘Sooryavanshi’ starring Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, and Ranveer Singh is all set to welcome you back.
The much-anticipated action entertainer, ‘Sooryavanshi’ is all set to release in the theatres on 5 November. Akshay confirmed the news on his Twitter handle by sharing a video where the superstar trio could be seen relieving the cinematic experience.
“Interval hua khatam, now it’s showtime! #Sooryavanshi releasing this Diwali, 5th November at a cinema near you. Come celebrate with us. #BackToCinemas,” he tweeted along with the video.
Director Rohit Shetty had earlier teased that ‘Sooryavanshi’ that also stars Katrina Kaif will release this Diwali (4 November), but the exact date wasn’t confirmed at that time.
The cop drama’s release had been a topic of speculation for a year now. It was originally slated to release on 24 March last year but was delayed due to the pandemic, which led to the shutting down of cinema halls.
‘Sooryavanshi’ is a continuation of the cop action ‘Singham’ universe, which began with the Ajay Devgn starrer ‘Singam’ and ‘Singham Returns’, then expanded with ‘Simmba’, starring Ranveer Singh and Devgn, and now is going forward with Akshay’s character.
Saif’s busy schedule makes him miss Bhopal Pataudi Cup
MUMBAI: The prestigious Bhopal Pataudi Cup has been a long-standing Pataudi family legacy that Saif Ali Khan has successfully carried forward over the years. Due to his jam-packed shooting calendar this year, the versatile actor will be giving the family event a miss.
A source reveals, “The Bhopal Pataudi Cup means a lot to Saif, given that his father instated the Cup in the 60s to commemorate Saif’s grandfather who was a brilliant polo player. Even though he will be unable to attend the event this year owing to a tight shooting schedule, the Cup will be hosted through the family brand—House of Pataudi. It’s the perfect synergy for him and it adds even more value to the family tradition. This makes it that much more special for Saif.” The event will be held on 17 October in New Delhi.
On the work front, Saif Ali Khan has been on a roll with back-to-back blockbusters with ‘Sacred Games’, ‘Tanhaji’, and ‘Bhoot Police’. His upcoming project crime comedy ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ is soon to be released next month.
BOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES EXTEND DUSSEHRA WISHES
MUMBAI: As the country celebrated Dussehra on Friday, members of B-town extended their heartfelt wishes to their friends, fans, and followers. A slew of celebrities including Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan, Shefali Shah and more, took to their respective social media handles to share their wishes on this joyous festival.
Taking to her Twitter handle, Hema Malini posted a digital artwork of a bow and arrow, which read, “Happy Dussehra”. Along with the photo, the actor-politician tweeted, “Vijaya Dashami celebrates the triumph of good over evil. May positive energy always overcome the negative, leading to peace and prosperity everywhere.”
Shefali Shah shared a picture on Instagram with a caption, “Wishing loads of happiness and good health to all of you! #HappyDussehra.”
Amitabh Bachchan posted a beautiful artwork of a silhouette of Ravan effigy, about to be hit by an arrow on fire. The image read, “Happy Vijayadashami”. Along with it, Big B tweeted, “T 4062 – Happy Dashhera.”
Shilpa Shetty shared her Dussehra wishes by posting a video of herself on her Twitter handle. “Happy Dussehra to you and your loved ones,” she wrote.
Kareena Kapoor Khan took to her Instagram Story and shared a short and sweet animated clip to extend her greetings for Dussehra. Several other celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Neha Dhupia and more, extended Dussehra wishes on social media.
FINDING OUR UNIQUE MELODY
Recently I visited a relative for Dussera. More specifically, for Navratri ‘golu’, a colourful display of dolls was done during Navratri in the south Indian states. On the dinner menu, there was the quintessential Sambar, the spicy and tangy soupy curry that all of India is familiar with. When I tasted it, it was Sambar no doubt but it was infused with the flavours and spices so unique to my friends’ cooking that it made me blurt out ‘Wow this is your signature sambar!’
What we all know as Sambar has two components, one which makes us easily identify it as sambar and nothing else. This easy identification is because of the standard ingredients used to make the dish, such as tamarind, turmeric and red chilli. The second component is that which makes the taste of Sambar so unique to a particular household or a particular cook.
This comes from not only the spices unique to that city or state, but also from the temperament and nature of the person who cooks the dish.
It is this very same thing that makes Raagas in classical music so identifiable and yet so unique to each artist. A Raaga is a predefined melodic scale consisting of a set pattern of flat and sharp notes. Every student is taught this basic framework so that whenever he decides to sing that particular Raag, say Raag Yaman he or she is unmistakably singing only that raag. But yet if you hear the Raag Yaman sung by Pandit Jasraj and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, you will see a unique ‘x-factor’ that makes the Raag Yaman carry the singer’s unique stamp. Like in the case of sambar, this comes from the personality and nature of the person that gets infused into the Raaga he or she is singing. Raagas are like shadows or impressions of the person who sings them. While they may have a basic framework that is identifiable, they also hold the essence of the musician creating the music.
We all create our own music. I mean this symbolically. We create our own songs and fill our lives with our unique melodies. While we may be handed, more or less, the same resources, we choose what lives we create with those resources. We choose to infuse our lives and that of others with our own unique stamp.
This essence is what makes music alive and brings sentience into songs. Andrea Bocelli’s Con Te Partiro can never sound the same from anyone else. Even the greatest of great singers cannot reproduce the essence that makes the song so uniquely his. Raag Puriya sung by Pandit Bhinsen Joshi can never sound the same from someone else’s voice. The same is the case with many great musicians, dancers, chefs and leaders.
Our essence is what people sense. Through our work, through our relationships and through our lives. If we can manage to create an essence that is infused with compassion, wisdom, understanding and love, the fragrance of that essence will fill not only our own lives but the lives of every person we touch through our work and relationships.
An interesting anecdote comes to mind. A friend of mine and I were one day, reading some forwarded jokes on WhatsApp. It is amazing how even jokes hold the essence of the person, and the sense of humour can help one identify the person who has forwarded the joke. As we both laughed in unison and identified the person who may have forwarded it, we saw the name pop up. It was her indeed!
Essence is what makes us stand apart. It makes us unique and identifiable. In music, this essence comes from years of dedication to the pursuit of ‘Sur’ or the divine sound. In life, this can be done by practising deeper and deeper levels of self-awareness and understanding of who we really are and integrating our life, relationships and our work to what makes us unique.
Let us no longer just work; let our beings and our essence shine through our work. Let us not just relate; let us put ourselves into our relationships. Let us not just live, but be the lives we lead. Our own melody is the only one the world wants to hear.
The writer is a vocalist of both Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music, with over three decades’ experience. She is also the founder of Music Vruksh, a venture to make classical accessible for its aesthetic and wellness benefits.
DO EDTECH PLATFORMS GIVE ENOUGH IMPORTANCE TO EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?
There is no denying that edtech is the future of education. Even before the pandemic rendered it a necessary medium of imparting education to all and sundry, it had begun to catch on like wildfire among the urban elite. While they mostly viewed these edtech platforms as an extra boost to their children’s education, the rest of the world only woke up to its charms during the pandemic–when even education became a form of entertainment and distraction with everyone stuck indoors. Another noteworthy aspect is the ability of edtech platforms to democratise education and make it available across the board to anybody with a smartphone and a passable internet connection.
According to business research platform Statista, in 2020, the edtech market in India was worth USD 2.8 billion, however, by 2025 this is expected to change drastically, increasing the overall market size to USD 10.4 billion. Is it any wonder then that people are jumping on the edtech bandwagon in droves? However, for a new edtech platform to stand apart in this clutter of platforms, it must focus on providing a holistic education, where children focus on academics and varied extra-curricular activities as well.
Orphicy (Orphic Learning Private Limited), an Ahmedabad-based Education Startup is here to address this problem. Led by seasoned academicians with over a decade of experience, this platform has only recently been launched. Vipul Tyagi, CEO of Orphicy is a serial CAT Topper and has been part of the education sector since 2010. When asked what sets Orphicy apart from its competitors, Tyagi shares with candour, “We are a highly engaging education company that provides online live lectures to school students of grades 5-10. The company takes pride in its holistic approach to education, stressing equally on academics and extracurricular activities.”
Its unique methodology for virtual education sets Orphicy apart from other edtech startups. Their one-of-a-kind ‘Flipped Learning Approach’ includes three distinctive steps. The first of these encourage students to prepare beforehand by listening to pre-lecture capsules that will stimulate interest in a subject, no matter how disliked it may be. The next step is to encourage students to participate in the live learning process, by imparting superior learning with hands-on activities and through active discussions. Lastly, the team focuses on the process of learning to ensure a continuous improvement in the students’ exam readiness index.
To achieve their goals, they rely on visualisation methods, live interactions, analytics, and psychometric analysis and provide dedicated career guidance to each student. One can choose from their Flagship Course covering the school curriculum, with the unit and term tests, subject-based mentoring and access to concept based worksheets; a Free Programme with pre-recorded lectures, assignments and tests along with performance analysis and weekend webinars; and the Aspire Programme aimed specifically at students preparing for Olympiads, and JEE-NEET with interest-based monitoring, higher difficulty of questions, blended learning, and exposure to practice sheets for competitive examinations.
“Apart from providing live online coaching for the prescribed school curriculum, our startup helps students prepare for NTSE, Olympiads and other competitive exams,” shares the founder. The promising concept and operational excellence displayed by the team at Orphicy, have led to them successfully obtaining their first round of funding recently.
Studies have shown that hands-on learning incorporating fun elements of education, leads to better academic results as well as the overall development of the child’s personality. Keeping this in mind, the team at Orphicy introduced the ‘Orphicy Curiousity Box’, which aims at improving children’s comprehension and knowledge retention, through a series of hands-on experiments related to the child’s syllabus. In addition to this, several ‘Micro-Courses’ focussing on extra-curricular activities, aim to equip every child to deal with the dearth of quality on-ground teachers and the high fees they are forced to pay for attending schools.
Ultimately, it is important to bear in mind that education cannot simply be restricted to traditional modes of learning and a strong focus on academics. Were this to remain the case, present and future generations of children would be severely ill-equipped to deal with the realities of life. Education is a tool of empowerment, and therefore choosing the right kind of education for one’s child, is a heavy burden indeed.
The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEN ARE A RECEPTIVE AUDIENCE: KAPIL BATUS ON HIS MEN’S FASHION AND GROOMING APP D’HYBRID
In an exclusive chat with The Daily Guardian, d’Hybrid founder Kapil Batus opened up about his innovative app, entrepreneurial journey, and more.
Who says fashion is the domain of women? Certainly not the team at d’Hybrid–India’s first platform dedicated entirely to various aspects of men’s fashion and grooming, launched in May 2021. In an exclusive chat with The Daily Guardian, founder Kapil Batus talks about his innovative app. Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far?
A. I began in the world of publishing and content creation in early 2000. I was the creative and fashion director for Rolling Stone and Man’s World magazines in India and worked with several global menswear brands, creating content and advertorials for Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci and Calvin Klein, to name a few. In 2016, I started a niche creative studio, helping fashion houses create commercial campaigns. Some of my clients included top Indian fashion retailers like FILA, Selected Homme, Park Avenue, Parx and Pepe Jeans India.
In recent years, I have seen a rapid shift in the digital ecosystem leaning towards content-led social commerce. I noticed a demand for an exclusive platform that could help urban and aspirational consumers in India discover brands under one channel. So, I decided to build a unique consumer-centric short-format platform that would simplify fashion and grooming.
Q. Why did you think of creating an app instead of a simple retail platform?
A. Presently the landscape for the men’s segment is highly under-serviced. Information and consumer awareness are very fragmented. As consumers evolve, there is a disconnect between consumption patterns and new age habits. So, I decided to launch a digital venture called d’hybrid–a content-led fashion-tech platform aiding urban audiences in India to discover more in the field of fashion and grooming.
Q. What is the USP of d’Hybrid?
A. d’hybrid is designed around new-age consumers and their habits of content consumption in an ephemeral format. Our app aims to simplify the discovery of brands and influence consumers’ fashion and grooming habits. An easy-to-navigate app with minimally designed UI/UX, it is contemporary and offers an immersive personalised experience. This new age platform is supported with AI tech for personalising feeds and creating segment-based community clusters. d’hybrid offers informative and engaging content, ranging from a style directory of essentials that every urban and aspirational consumer needs. The app is customised to allow every user a personalised feed and curated content suggestions. We feel that men are receptive and are opening up to some unconventional grooming products that they never thought of consuming earlier.
Q. What is the most popular offering or service on the app?
A. Currently, we are only offering curated fashion and grooming content. This information is free to be bookmarked or can be shared through social sharing options. The d’hybrid team is working continuously to bring in more value for its existing and new customers. There will be a host of features added to the platform within the next quarter.
Q. How frequently do you update what people see on the app?
A. As our name reflects, we live in a new-age hybrid world of consumption. Therefore, d’hybrid offers curated content to its customers that is updated daily. Every piece of content has a shelf life of a few days or weeks, after which it gets archived.
Q. What have been your biggest challenges in recent times? How have you overcome them?
A. d’hybrid, like every startup, is attempting to build a level of confidence within the B2B market and investor community. Fortunately, the product has been widely appreciated and accepted. It’s just a matter of time till we bring the right partners on board to enable the product to reach a wider audience.
Q. Do you work with partner fashion brands?
A. d’hybrid doesn’t have its own merchandise. However, the brand partners with fashion brands for both content and brand activations. A recent activation was d’hybrid Playoffs, which saw brands like Jack & Jones and Selected Homme join as fashion partners, Svami as a lifestyle partner and LetsShave as a grooming partner with d’hybrid.
Q. Do you plan to expand your services?
A. The idea is first to enable content linked commerce and keep engaging with the community to understand their preferences. d’hybrid’s objective is to offer experiential shopping to its consumers. If a physical store or a women’s vertical is something the customers will expect to have, the brand will address that when it comes up.
Q. What are you working on next?
A. The app is free for use anywhere in the country but once we are established here, the plan is to spread in key global markets as well. d’hybrid is currently working on adding more value for consumers and will be adding an e-commerce section soon. This will be supported with a host of other features that focus on convenience and ease of shopping.
The interviewer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on email@example.com.
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