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The difficult matter of paying artists

Nithya Rajendran

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Recently, I went through a difficult interaction with one of my clients, a matter that was originally born out of misunderstanding which led to a fair bit of unease on both sides. The matter was centered on money. Basically, the difference of opinion was whether a payment was due or not. Because of the misunderstanding, each party held their opinions dear and felt righteously zealous about their view on it. Without further elaboration, I will summarize that the decision was finally made in a way that resulted in loss of money for my company and staff despite the work put in. I had made the decision to keep the relationship intact and to keep work going. But I was and am still left feeling a fair bit of dissonance about the matter. This is an issue artists and people from the fine arts fraternity face very often. Since the arts are considered a matter of indulgence and luxury rather than necessity, the attitude towards payments to artists is also treated as a luxury. Artists are often paid last and haggled down to the last penny.

Cancellations and postponements of events and engagements are common, with artists expected to accommodate date changes. If not, they lose the contract. God forbid, if the scenario was turned around and the artist were to do the same, the artist would instantly lose reputation and commercial opportunities. Somehow, we are unable to muster up respect for the artist as a professional who needs money for the very same things you and I do. To run their families, to pay their bills, and to have a little extra for the occasional indulgence. I find it quite hard to understand this lack of sensitivity. I have been trying to for the last little while, and with some difficulty, have come to a few thoughts on why this is the case.

Firstly, I feel that people don’t mind paying even sometimes in excess for things they feel are necessities. I heard recently from a student of mine who paid a ‘therapist’ with questionable credentials, an obscenely high amount of money per session just to be able to go and talk her heart out of anxiety. But the same student speaks of paying one-fourth the amount for her child’s art lessons as ‘expensive’ and ‘unaffordable’. So, therapy is perceived as being ‘worth’ more.

Secondly, as Indians, we are value conscious to the point of being sometimes unfair and miserly. We try to get the best deal out of everything because we view money as something to be always saved and not spent. So, the tendency is to just haggle everywhere. We have seen painful sights of flower or fruit vendors who have to justify charging as little as a few rupees more than what the customer thinks is the right price. Why doesn’t it strike us that those few rupees mean a lot more for the vendor than for us and it may be a kind gesture to just pay them? It could buy them a meal, or, over time, even a school admission for their child.

Thirdly, we feel we cannot haggle everywhere because there are people more powerful than us. Service providers in positions of strength, such as hospitals, who we cannot but pay. So, the frustration is then taken out on artists and the ‘less needed’ service providers. We are also okay to pay for branded items because somewhere the brand has managed to establish its value firmly in the mind of the customer. No matter what the explanation may be, at the end of the day there is something unfair in the way artists and musicians and treated. This needs to change. It can happen only if we can move beyond our own insecurities and pet peeves and think a bit about the other person as a human being who provides real value, and who has needs. As a person who needs as much validation as we do through timely and correct remuneration. As people for whom time and relationships are as precious as they are to you and me. When we can start to promote thinking in this direction, we can allow space for a bit more sensitivity and kindness to artists. A happy, validated and well-paid artist will most likely show their appreciation through genuinely sincere and good work. I think it is time we started trying this alternate approach to dealing with artists and discover for ourselves how a positive and generous attitude can benefit everyone. You never know; you might find a gentle kind space within yourself glowing in happiness at just making the beautiful soul of an artist satisfied and happy.

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Comedian Raju Srivastava suffers heart attack, admitted to AIIMS

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Raju Srivastava

Comedian Raju Srivastava has suffered a heart attack and has been admitted to AIIMS, Delhi. Comedian Srivastava’s health deteriorated last night after which he suffered from a heart attack.

Srivastava fell unconscious when he was working out on a treadmill at the gym. Later he felt severe chest pain and then collapsed after which his trainer brought him to the hospital.

According to comedian Sunil Pal Srivastava’s health is good now. He is recovering rapidly and will be home soon.

Meanwhile, just hours before Srivastava suffered a heart attack he shared a stand-up comedy piece on his Instagram. He mimicked a few veteran actors on information being spread on Covid-19 via caller tune on the phones.

However, Srivastava got recognition by participating in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He has done roles in films like Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya. Moreover, Srivastava is also the chairman of the Uttar Pardesh Film Division Board.

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Taapsee Pannu’s ‘Shabaash Mithu’ to stream on Voot Select; streaming date awaited

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Taapsee Pannu

Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu’s film ‘Shabaash Mithu’ is all set to stream on OTT platform Voot. Recently the movie released in theaters but failed to impress the audience.

The movie is based on the life of Indian cricketer Mithali Raj. Pannu’s movie is slated to stream on Voot select in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. Meanwhile, the final streaming date of the film is still awaited.

Earlier on Tuesday, Voot Select dropped a teaser of the film on Instagram. “The untold story of a fighter, an achiever, and a game changer who deserves a ‘Shabaash’ over and over again. Watch Taapsee Pannu as ace cricketer Mithali Raj, in the World Digital Premiere of Shabaash Mithu, Coming soon on #VootSelect,” Voot captioned.

Taapsee portrayed the role of a sportsperson for the third time in her career.

Meanwhile, Pannu shared her excitement about the movie’s OTT release and said, ” This film is very close to me. As someone who prides in championing roles and characters that celebrate women, playing the character of an iconic and truly inspiring cricketer has been a matter of immense pride and satisfaction. It was a challenging character to portray, especially as every chapter in Mithali’s life revealed the many layers of this national inspiration. I am very excited about its release on Voot Select.”

However, the movie was released on 15 July 2022 and is helmed by Sriji Mukherji.

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Scared to work on a film on Mahabharat, explains Aamir

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Aamir Khan has discussed his long-term goal of developing a movie based on the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata and stated that he is frightened to begin work on it. An ambitious plan to produce a high-budget movie based on the Mahabharata has been under development by Aamir. In fact, writer Anjum Rajabali revealed to the media in 2018 that he left the Rakesh Sharma biopic in order to concentrate on the movie, which is rumoured to have a budget of Rs 1000 crore.

“When you make a film about the Mahabharata, you’re not just making a film,” Aamir explained. “You are performing a yagya. It is not just a film, it is much more. That is why I am not ready for it yet. I am scared of bringing it out. Mahabharata will never let you down, but you may let down Mahabharata. “

Aamir previously discussed how long a movie on the epic would take, saying in an interview, “It is a longing. The task is enormous. For me, it is a dream come true. However, if I make the decision to succeed now, I will have to dedicate 20 years to it. The content is incredibly intriguing to me, but I’m afraid that if I say yes and decide to do it, five years will solely be spent on research before it can be put into practise.”

Aamir’s forthcoming movie, Laal Singh Chadha, is now being promoted, a legitimate reimagining of the 1994 Forrest Gump, a Hollywood production. Laal Singh Chaddha is the movie that Aamir spent more than ten years working on.

The Advait Chauhan-directed movie also prominently features Kareena Kapoor Khan and Mona Singh. The movie is scheduled to hit the theatres on August 11. Rakshabandhan, starring Akshay Kumar, is expected to compete with the movie at the box office.

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‘If you don’t feel like watching the movie, then don’t’, Akshay Kumar reacts to boycott Raksha Bandhan trend

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Raksha Bandhan

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is in the news these days for his film ‘Raksha Bandhan’. A campaign of boycott is being run against Kumar’s film.

Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar himself has broken the silence on this whole controversy. He said in a special conversation that if someone does not want to see this film, then do not watch it, because we live in independent India. He recently said this at a promotional event for the film in Kolkata.

“If you don’t feel like watching the movie, then don’t. It’s a free country and the film is out there, so if someone wants to watch it or not, it’s up to them. I would like to tell you, no matter which industry it is, be it the clothing industry, film industry, or anything else, all of these help the economy. But doing things like boycotting movies, it doesn’t make sense,” Kumar said.

A few days ago, Aamir Khan also expressed his views about the ongoing campaign to Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha in India.

“That Boycott Bollywood…Boycott Aamir Khan…Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha… I feel sad also because a lot of people who are saying this in their hearts believe I am someone who doesn’t like India… In their hearts, they believe that… And that’s quite untrue,” Aamir Khan said.

Earlier in 2015, Aamir Khan made a controversial statement and said, “Our country is very tolerant, but there are people who spread ill-will.” Where his wife Kiran Rao also considered leaving the country for the safety of their children.

Moreover, on 11 August Laal Singh Chadda and Raksha Bandhan will clash at the box office. Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is directed by Aanand L Rai and Aamir Khan starrer ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ is directed by Advait Chandan.

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Abhishek Bachchan to be honored with the Leadership in Cinema Award at 13th IFFM

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Abhishek Bachchan

Actor Abhishek Bachchan will be bestowed with the leadership in Cinema Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2022.

“I’m excited and looking forward to being part of celebrating all things movies and cinema in Melbourne. I’m elated to have been invited by IFFM and to be part of a festival that truly celebrates Indian cinema in all its glory. For them to confer me with the Leadership in Cinema award is truly an honor for me and I’m thankful to the jury and the team of IFFM. To be in another country celebrating Indian pride and Indian content alongside my peers in something I’m truly looking forward to,” Bachchan said.

The ‘Guru’ star will also deliver a special speech about his journey in cinema at IFFM 2022.

This year the film festival will be in its physical version after being solely virtual for the last two years.

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Meanwhile, the award night will take place on the 14 August in Melbourne. The festival will be opened with the film Dobaaraa directed by Anurag Kashyap.

However, Karan Johar, Kapil Dev, Anurag Kashyap, and Vaani Kapoor are likely to attend the Film festival.

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Bieber said sorry to an unidentified user, fans go crazy over his benevolence

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Justin Bieber

The generosity of Justin Beiber has won the hearts of many on numerous occasions. Justin Beiber is well known for being extremely generous to his friends and fans.

The pop star apologised on his Instagram on Sunday for making “inappropriate comments” on a user’s post.

Contrary to his persona, Justin revealed that he had rudely commented on a user’s Instagram post and had eventually realised that he should not have done so.

On his story, Justin published an apology to the unidentified user.

He said,”For some reason, I commented on some guys’ page ‘sad existence’ because he was doing something I thought was dumb. I’m not quite sure why I felt the need to write that. If what he was doing made him happy, who am I to say anything? I hope it didn’t hurt his feelings. It’s been eating me up all day. To the dude I wrote it to, man I’m sorry”.

This kind gesture by Bieber has won the hearts of millions, pouring him love from his fans all across the globe.

Justin has begun his “Justice World Tour” after experiencing recent health complications, and he is currently in Norway, where he performed.

Justin will travel to India soon. On October 18, he will perform in New Delhi as part of his “Justice World Tour.” On the aforementioned date, he will perform at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Prices for the concert tickets start at Rs 4,000 and go up from there.

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