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Theatrical releases are here to stay in India: Anushka

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Actress-producer Anushka Sharma feels nothing can substitute the experience of watching a film on the big screen, and feels the post-Covid era will usher in a new wave where OTT platforms will “parallely exist” with theatres.

 “Let’s be very honest, these are extraordinary circumstances that we are all experiencing. I think, to judge anything on the basis of this time would probably not be valid,” Anushka said, when asked if the digital medium was filling a void of content due to the shutdown of the film industry amid the pandemic. “At the same time, I feel that theatrical releases are here to stay in India because we, as a society and a culture, enjoy celebrating.”

 “But yes, certain things have come forward, which I think are true. For example, I think the digital platforms have, not just because of Covid-19, but over the years, established themselves in a way that they are creating a wave with the content that they’re doing. They have a wider reach. Filmmakers like us are able to explore ideas and stories that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, because of — I don’t know if that’s the right word — but let’s say, because of the pressures of a box-office release,” added the actress, who is looking forward to the release of her next production, the supernatural thriller film Bulbbul.

She continued: “You have to mount a film in a particular way with stars, and you know there are certain stories and certain concepts that are harder to push (in cinema), although you understand that there is a huge audience for that in the country.”

 That is where the digital platforms take the spotlight. “That has been proven right with these platforms, where certain stories, like all the shows that have done well or all the movies that have done well on these platforms, found that audience in India. They have reached out to people and got appreciation and applause from the audience. So, I think this audience is here for content and content only. And you don’t have to fall back on certain tropes of theatricals, which can be a bit limiting,” added Anushka, who turned producer at the age of 25.

The actress launched her production house Clean Slate Filmz, and has backed unconventional stories, bankrolling films like NH10, Pari, Phillauri, and the web-series Paatal Lok, which was her debut digital production and which turned out to be a massive hit.

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YOGA & MEDITATION FOR THE STRESSED MIND

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YOGA & MEDITATION FOR THE STRESSED MIND

According to the latest studies, an estimated 33% of people are feeling extreme stress. Around the world, 77% suffer from poor physical health because of stress and 73% of people have stress that impacts their mental health. Stress leads to numerous lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, depression and diabetes among others. Globally, 48% of people suffer from insomnia due to stress.

It is important that we find effective solutions to help overcome stress to live in a satisfactory manner. When we suffer from stressful situations, it hampers our ability to function properly whether at work or in personal relationships. Yoga is a holistic science which offers us practices such as meditation and physical flows and asanas which allows us to relax and take the mind off stress.

THE POWER OF YOGA

Yoga consists of many powerful techniques which can be used by anybody to heal the mind, body, and spirit. The practise of meditation is a powerful weapon that allows us to stay grounded and fully present in the current moment. There are techniques such as Sthithi Dhyan which builds up our observation powers and help us to stay aware of our surrounding environment. Meditation techniques allow us to remain detached from our thoughts which could cause confusion and mental chaos. With the help of regular meditation practise, we can make the mind free of clutter which is caused by mental chatter and enjoy focused thinking. Yoga makes us more positive overall helping us to face life’s challenges without getting too overwhelmed or flustered. Due to the mental clarity that we achieve through meditation and yoga, we are able to focus our energies towards building ourselves towards growth.

SURYA NAMASKAR AND CHANDRA NAMASKAR

The body is a reflection of the mind and the mind too is a reflection of the body. If we are able to keep our bodies fit and active, then we can be assured of a mentally sound mind as well. Yoga has the practice of sun and moon salutations which are offerings to the divine energies of the sun and moon. We can practice this early in the morning or in the evening starting with five cycles and slowly increasing the number with time. Not only will we cultivate a better body in terms of physical strength, flexibility, stamina, and better immunity but we can also enjoy a peaceful mind.

MEDITATION TECHNIQUE

SWAAS DHYAN

Formation:

• Sit in a comfortable posture (such as Sukhasana, Ardha Padmasana or Padmasana)

• Place your palms on your knees facing up (Prapthi Mudra)

• Straighten your back and close your eyes

• The time you take to inhale and exhale should be in a ratio of 6:6, i.e., if you inhale in six counts, you need to exhale in six counts

• Focus on your breath entering and then leaving your nostrils as you inhale and exhale.

Be an observer of your flow of thoughts by not resisting them initially and letting them flow. Gradually, keep shifting your awareness to your breathing until you reach a point where your complete focus is on your inhalation and exhalation with your mind almost completely devoid of thoughts.

Disha/direction: Face towards East

MINDFULNESS AND POSITIVITY

The biggest advantage of practising meditation regularly is developing the habit of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a process where we are non-judgemental towards our thoughts and towards others’ behaviour. Mindfulness allows us to respond to any given situation rather than react to it impulsively. Through the process of yoga and meditation, we are able to respond to life better in a more positive way that helps us towards our goals. We can increase our vibration through yoga and meditation and enjoy a better quality of life without stress, anxiety, depression etc.

The writer is an internationally acclaimed spiritual yogic master, author and TEDx speaker.

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Some signs of a powerful soul

B.K. Atam Prakash

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What is the sign of the high stage of powerful souls by which one can tell that they are not ordinary people? 

Firstly, such individuals are not perturbed or surprised by anything. They see nothing new in an unexpected development; their calmness and assurance give the impression that they have been through such situations before. They do not wonder why something has happened or how it could happen.

 Secondly, they do not have to make an effort to compose themselves in the face of sudden adversity. No matter how grave the situation is, to them it appears as a minor issue. They remain detached and unaffected by things that others find alarming.

 The reason for this is their point of view. Just as when one is standing on a mountaintop, everything in the plains below appears tiny, and even a large factory looks like a doll’s house, one whose mental stage is elevated sees even big problems as trifles.

 Since they perceive the larger picture from their high stage, they are able to discern things correctly and take the right decision. So, their words are meaningful and fruitful, and they succeed in their efforts.

 They have also moved beyond the stage of making mistakes and then regretting them. Let alone do something wrong, they do not even think or speak unnecessarily — their time, energy and efforts never go to waste. 

B.K. Atam Prakash is a senior Rajyoga teacher at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.

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15% of startups have halted operations due to Covid-19

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The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been severe on Indian startups with as many as 15 per cent of them halting their operations. According to a report by TIE Delhi-NCR and Zinnov, 44 per cent of startups have cash runway for less than 6 months, 41 per cent of startups have been impacted negatively while 52 per cent are struggling to raise capital.

 The report witnessed decline in overall pace of investments, especially in April to June 2020, 48 per cent year on year decline in funding and 37 per cent year on year decline in number of deals in the quarter. As per the report, less than 50 start-ups raised their first round of funds in Q2 2020. 

There was a sharp dip in percentage share of total funding for B2C start-ups from 65-70 per cent in Q1 2020 to 30-35 per cent in Q2 2020. The decline was even more prominent in seed and early stage investments.

 More than 55 per cent year on year decline in seed and early stage while 38 year on year decline in late stage funding in the quarter. There was a more than 50% decrease in early and late stage total funding in Q2 20 as compared to Q1 20. Seed stage deals dropped most at 30 per cent in Q2 with investors majorly placing their bets on mature start-ups. 

Enterprise Tech, BFSI, Healthcare and Edtech combined have raised 60-65% of the Q2 funding in 2020. The report notes that the Covid-19 impact has varied significantly by sector and several sectors have significant tailwind due to the pandemic; while others have recovered quickly.

 “We do have sectors that are still deeply impacted and would recover very slowly Indian ecosystem, led by entrepreneurs, responded quickly and effectively to Covid-19 in response to rapidly evolving market dynamics, customer preferences and operating conditions,” the report said. 

With IANS inputs

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BJP will seek vote for development work in Bihar, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

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Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is also the Communication Minister, set the agenda for the NDA’s campaign in Bihar by declaring that the development of the state carried out by the NDA government at the Centre and the state will be the main issue in the election.

Prasad, who represents Patna Sahib constituency in the Lok Sabha, while inter- acting with a select group of journalists on Friday, elaborated on the large-scale work that was carried out by the Modi government in the state. According to him, by March 2021, every village of Bihar will have optical fiber connection as a part of the “Ghar tak Fiber” scheme. The scheme will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 September and is expected to change the face of agriculture in the state. There are 45,945 villages in the state.

Prasad, while speaking on the issue of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who was born in Patna, said that it was not a political issue but a humane issue for the party and the BJP will ensure justice in the case.

Prasad, who is among the top face of the party in the state, while elaborating on the development work done by the Modi government in Bihar, stated that the BJP was the only party — right from the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee — which had done ‘pramanik chinta’ (serious concerns that have later been resolved) for the people of the state.

“The Kosi rail mega bridge, which was dedicated to the nation by PM Modi on Friday, was started by the Vajpayee government in 2003. There were many political parties from Bihar, who were apart of UPAI and UPAII but still the bridge could not be completed during the UPA times. For decades Kosi and Mithila were separated due to lack of a connecting bridge, it was only under the Modi government that this project was completed. BJP does ‘pramanik chinta’ for Bihar rather than just give statements”, Prasad, who is the Chairman of BJP campaign committee for Bihar assembly elections, said.

“From the creation of physical infrastructure to digital infrastructure, we have worked in every field and shown results. We are go- ing to spend Rs 450 crore to bring in a digital revolution in the state. We are build- ing two software parks in Bhagalpur and Darbhanga. The Prime Minister, during the cabinet meetings, always tells us that for the North-East region of India to develop, Bihar has to develop. Such is our commitment to work for the common people that our vision document for Bihar too will be made after taking the suggestions of the common people into account. Aatmanirbhar Rath managed by our party workers is traveling across the state seeking and collecting inputs and suggestions on what the voter wants from us. Till now this Rath has covered 70 Assembly seats,” he said.

Responding to a question of The Daily Guardian, Prasad said that the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput was not a ‘political issue’ but a ‘humane issue’. “The BJP wants that justice should be done in the case of Rajput, a ‘rising star’, who belonged to Patna from where I am the MP,” he said.

To another query of this newspaper on whether the government will allow Chinese telecom giant Huawei to take part in 5G technology rollout in India, the IT and Communication minister, said, “Every company from the neighbouring countries will have to go through strict security check as security of India was the primary con- cern of the Modi government.”

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Expected Jaya ji’s support, saddened by her comments, says Ravi Kishan

Rakesh Singh

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Actor-turned-BJP MP Ravi Kishan’s statement about the “drug problem” in Bollywood has triggered a war of words between him and Jaya Bachchan. On Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha, Jaya Bachchan, actress-turned-SP MP, criticised Ravi Kishan without naming him and said that Bollywood has become a soft target and that there are people who “bite the very hand that feeds them” (jis thali mein khate hain, usi mein ched karte hain). Ravi Kishan spoke to The Daily Guardian and said that he is a self-made man and is saddened by Jaya Bachchan’s comment.

Excerpts:

Q: Jaya Bachchan has hit back on your comment stating that Bollywood has been run over by drugs. How would you respond?

A: Jaya ji is my senior. I was expecting her support in this matter but instead of doing that she has accused me of things. I was talking about saving our industry; I was talking about protecting the upcoming generation of our industry. I would expect her guidance on how to tackle this matter. If there is smoke, there must be a fire somewhere, and we have to take care of this matter. The government and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) should ensure that the drug gangs are caught so that this dirt is re- moved from the industry. No one else should be turned into an addict. Ecstasy, cocaine and other drugs have become like the China-sent bio-weapon known as the coronavirus for the film industry. There are so many kinds of drugs, the ones that come from Pakistan, through Nepal and even from Afghanistan. I raised my voice to protect the youth in our country, in the film industry, and to protect our entire film industry from this menace.

Q: Has the drug menace affected the entire film industry? Has the rot really set in that deep?

A: No, not the entire film industry. There are some people involved in this definitely, but who all they are is for the police and NCB to find. My job is to raise the issue and bring the concerns in front of Parliament. That I will definitely do. Who are involved, I cannot say, but it is important for us to protect our film industry and the youth of our industry. We are the largest film producers in the world, an industry worth thousands of crores, and this drug menace is a conspiracy to break it. We have to investigate who made all of us sit at home, who is trying to end us, and I’ve raised my voice against this conspiracy. I was expecting Jaya ji’s support but she didn’t give it to me and I’m truly saddened by it.

Q: She said you are one who “jis thali mein kha rahe ho, usi thali mein ched kar rahe ho”.

A: (Laughs) Jaya ji isn’t giving me any meals. I am making and eating my own meals. I would like to tell her that there are over one lakh people who get the food on their plates from the Bhojpuri industry. I have no godfather in this industry; no one gave me my break. I work for 7-8 film fraternities in the country. I am as popular in Telugu as I am in the North. I am Ravi Kishan, who has turned the plate that he’s eaten from into gold.

Q: You’ve said that she’s targeted you for raising your voice.

A: I am very saddened by her comment. I always touch her feet in the Parliament Central Hall; I always greet her, and will continue to do so. Maybe she didn’t hear my pleas in Parliament; she didn’t hear what I had to say. My plea was that this film industry, the largest in the world, has to be saved. The youth, the next generation of this industry and those who have to take it forward have to be saved. I am sure my government will save them, the NCB is doing a great job and conspiracies from both China and Pakistan have to be stopped. We have to break the back of this huge cartel and nexus.

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Keel laid for the third stealth frigate of Project 17A

Ashish Singh

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Vice Admiral S.R. Sarma, Chief of Material (COM) & CWP&A of the Indian Navy, and V.L. Kantha Rao, Additional Secretary (Defence Production), laid the keel of the third ship (Yard- 12653) of the prestigious P17A class stealth frigates. The keel-laying ceremony was conducted through an e-platform in the presence of Vice Admiral R.B. Pandit, Chief of Staff, HQWNC and Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (Retd), CMD MDL.

Seven frigates under P17A series will be constructed of which four are being constructed in MDL and three in GRSE with MDL as the lead yard. The P17A class frigates are being built us- ing indigenously developed steel and fitted with weapons and sensors along with Integrated Platform Management System. These ships are having stealth features. Construction of P17A ships differ in the very concept of warship building by way of adoption of the modern technology ‘Integrated Construction (IC)’ where the blocks are pre-outfitted before joining to reduce the build period of warships. When commissioned, the platforms will enhance the combat capability of the Indian Naval fleet.

The function was attended by Rear Admiral G.K. Harish, DGND, Commodore T.V. Thomas (Retd), Director (CP&P), MDL, Rear Admiral A.K. Saxena (Retd), Director (Ship- building), Commander Jasbir Singh (Retd), Director (S&HE), MDL, Sanjeev Singhal, Director (Finance), MDL, Mahesh Chandra, CVO, MDL along with senior executives from MDL & Navy through an e-ceremony including the Warship Overseeing Team.

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