Category Archives: Entertainment

The Legendary Zohra Sehgal: Success Story

Zohra Segal has received honours like the Padma Shri (1998), the Kalidas Samman (2001), and the Padma Vibhushan (2010).  Bollywood’s favourite dadi who craved for attention as she thought she was ugly.

Sahibzadi Zohra Begum Mumtaz-ullah Khan was born in a progressive, aristocratic Muslim family in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in 1912. Brought up in the age of purdah, Sehgal was sent to Lahore to pursue her higher education at Queen Mary College. Sehgal ended up at Mary Wigman’s school in Dresden, Germany, where she trained in Eurythmics.

In 1935, Sehgal joined Uday Shankar’s dance troupe in Japan, and even though she was rarely cast as the lead because of her unconventional features, she deeply invested in her dancing.

In 1942, Sehgal fell for Kameshwar Sehgal, who was eight years younger than her, and married him in Allahabad, one of the few places in pre-Independent India where a Hindu could marry a Muslim without either having to convert. Sehgal had two children, Kiran and Pavan.

Life in UK

In 1945, Sehgal became a dance director at Prithvi Theatre. She stayed on in that position till 1959, and around that time Kameshwar passed away.

In 1962, she got a theatre scholarship to the United Kingdom. She wouldn’t return to India until 1987. Initially, she studied theatre while living at a students’ hostel “like an eighteen-year-old”, according to her daughter’s memoir of her. Eventually, when Kiran and Pavan moved to London, she took up two jobs — dressing actors in a theatre and working at a store to make ends meet.

Career and acomplishments

Aside from mastering dance and theatre, Sehgal also made a foray into movies. She is internationally known for her roles in television series Dr. Who (1964-65) and the movie The Jewel in the Crown.

In 1993, Sehgal and her sister Uzra Butt starred in Shahid Nadeem’s popular play Ek Thi Nani. This role marked the start of her career as the loving, displaced grandmother always clamouring for a return to tradition. She then went on to star in various movies and TV shows as the quintessential grandmother — Bhaji on the Beach (1992), The Mystic Masseur (2001), Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Dil Se (1998), Saawariya and Cheeni Kum (2007) and TV serials Tandoori Nights (1985–87) and Amma and Family (1996).

She was awarded the Padama Shri in 1998, Kalidas Samman in 2001 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement.

Death and tributes

In 2014, Sehgal was diagnosed with pneumonia and died due to a cardiac arrest on 10 July 2014.

Success Story of Arati Saha – the groundbreaking Indian swimmer

Arati Saha, a groundbreaking Indian long distance swimmer and Olympian, on what would have been her 80th birthday.

On 29 September 1959 she became the first Asian woman to cross the English Channel, swimming 42 miles from Cape Gris Nez, France to Sandgate, England. She told interviewers later in her life that she was inspired by Indian swimmer Mihir Sen.

Saha was born in Kolkata Bengali, one of three children. Her incredible athletic gift emerged early in her life and Saha won her first gold medal for swimming at 5 years old, under the tutelage of her mentor Sachin Nag. By 11 years old, she was known as a swimming prodigy.

Today’s doodle was drawn by fellow Kolkata native, artist Lavanya Naidu. Naidu hopes her drawing helps inspire people everywhere to ‘dream big, no matter where you come from.’

Saha earned multiple honors in her early career, including setting an all-India record in 1949 and breaking Dolly Nazir’s all-India record in a 1951 West Bengal state meet. Nazir and Saha would represent India together at the 1952 Olympics, and was one of the four women participants.

After the Olympics, Saha focused on practicing the breaststroke, consistently her best category. She also started participating in a long-distance swim competition in the Ganges. She reached out to congratulate Bengladeshi swimmer Brojen Das when he became the first Asian swimmer to cross the English Channel in 1952. He went on to recommend Arati Saha to the Butlin International Cross Channel Swimming Race organizers for the 1953 event. Despite her popularity and wide support, she struggled to raise the funding to travel to England until the Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru, offered her support.

Arati Saha’s training regime was more than rigorous. At one point, she swam for eight straight hours at the pond in Deshbandhu Park, and then went on to double her time. After six years of training, Saha traveled to England on 24 July 1959.

Her first event was plagued with mishaps. Her pilot boat was almost an hour late, and she missed favorable conditions. Saha came within five miles of the English coast, but had to turn back for her own safety.

On 29 September 1959 Arati Saha made her second attempt at crossing the English Channel. She was for an astonishing 16 hours and 20 minutes, covering 42 miles. When she reached the English shores, Saha hoisted the flag of India.

After her historic victory, she married her longtime manager Dr. Arun Gupta in 1959. The next year she was awarded Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors, in 1960. The Department of Posts created a postage stamp in her honor in 1999. Google doodle artist Lavanya Naidu was an avid stamp collector as a kid in the ‘90s, and remembers her excitement at seeing her hometown hero on a stamp.

Arati Saha had one daughter, Archana, and worked for the railways through her adult life. She passed away on 4 August 1994.

Reference: Independent.co.uk

Attorney General’s No To Contempt Plea Against Actor Swara BhaskAr

The Attorney General’s nod is a must before filing a contempt petition in the top court.

The Attorney General of India has declined permission to an advocate to file a contempt plea against actor Swara Bhasker for comments on the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Babri Masjid and Ayodhya land dispute case; the comments were described by the petitioner as “derogatory”, “scandalous” and an “attack on the institution”.

The Attorney General’s nod is a must before filing a contempt petition in the top court.

Attorney General KK Venugopal said the comment was the “perception of the speaker” and did not “offer any comment on the Supreme Court itself or say anything that would scandalise or tend to scandalise… the authority of the Supreme Court”.

“In my opinion, this statement does not constitute criminal contempt,” the Attorney General said.

The statement, reportedly made at an event in Mumbai, was written out in the Attorney General’s letter: “We are living in a country where the Supreme Court states that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was unlawful and, in the same judgment, rewards the same people who brought down the mosque”.

In November last year the Supreme Court had ruled that the formerly disputed land in Ayodhya belonged to the deity Ram Lalla, or the infant Lord Ram.

The court, however, also said that the razing of the 16th century Babri Masjid in December 1992 was unlawful and a “calculated act of destroying a place of public worship”.

In his statement today the Attorney General said the “statement in the first part appears to be a factual one, and is perception of the speaker”.

The second comment made by Ms Bhasker, also written out in the Attorney General’s letter today, said that “we are ruled by a government that doesn’t believe in our Constitution… we are ruled by police forces that do not believe in the Constitution… it seems we are now in a situation where our courts are not sure whether they believe in the Constitution.”

Plea for criminal contempt proceedings against Swara Bhasker dismissed 26 New Delhi: 

The Attorney General of India has declined permission to an advocate to file a contempt plea against actor Swara Bhasker for comments on the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Babri Masjid and Ayodhya land dispute case; the comments were described by the petitioner as “derogatory”, “scandalous” and an “attack on the institution”.

The Attorney General’s nod is a must before filing a contempt petition in the top court.

Attorney General KK Venugopal said the comment was the “perception of the speaker” and did not “offer any comment on the Supreme Court itself or say anything that would scandalise or tend to scandalise… the authority of the Supreme Court”.

“In my opinion, this statement does not constitute criminal contempt,” the Attorney General said.

The statement, reportedly made at an event in Mumbai, was written out in the Attorney General’s letter: “We are living in a country where the Supreme Court states that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was unlawful and, in the same judgment, rewards the same people who brought down the mosque”.

In November last year the Supreme Court had ruled that the formerly disputed land in Ayodhya belonged to the deity Ram Lalla, or the infant Lord Ram.

The court, however, also said that the razing of the 16th century Babri Masjid in December 1992 was unlawful and a “calculated act of destroying a place of public worship”.

In his statement today the Attorney General said the “statement in the first part appears to be a factual one, and is perception of the speaker”.

The second comment made by Ms Bhasker, also written out in the Attorney General’s letter today, said that “we are ruled by a government that doesn’t believe in our Constitution… we are ruled by police forces that do not believe in the Constitution… it seems we are now in a situation where our courts are not sure whether they believe in the Constitution.”

She goes on to say that the way forward had been “shown to us” by numerous civil society protests led by students and women, in particular.

The comment has been seen by many as a reference to protests such as the one led by women in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The protest made international headlines with protesters agitating against the “anti-Muslim” CAA, NRC (National Register of Citizens) and NPR (National Population Register).

Passed last year, the government said the CAA would help persecuted minorities from three Muslim-majority nations – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Ms Bhasker was also outspoken in her support of the student community in the national capital for their role in the protests. The actor, who is a graduate of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, praised students for “waking up the entire country“.

The Attorney General’s refusal to proceed with a criminal contempt case against Ms Bhasker comes days after lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan was held guilty of the same charge. Mr Bhushan, the court ruled, had crossed a line in making comments about the judiciary.

Mr Bhushan, in his defence, said he considered the tweets “as an attempt for working for the betterment of the institution”, and that open criticism was necessary to safeguard democracy in India. The Attorney General had clarified in court that his views are not of the government but were personal ones.

An unimpressed Supreme Court gave Mr Bhushan up to three days “to reconsider” his statement and sought an unconditional apology by August 24.

Reference Link: NDTV

TV actor Sameer Sharma found dead at Mumbai home, suicide suspected

TV actor Sameer Sharma, best known for his role in the TV serial Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke, has reportedly died by suicide at the age of 44.

Sameer Sharma, a 44-year-old television actor, was found dead in his Malad apartment late on Wednesday night. Malad police officials said that the actor died by suicide.

An officer from Malad police station said, “The actor was staying at first floor of Neha CHS building, Ahinsa Marg in Malad (west). On Wednesday a security guard found him dead and alerted the society members.”

George Fernandes, senior inspector from Malad police station said, “We have registered a case of accidental death (ADR) and sent his body to a government hospital for autopsy.” According to police, he had rented the apartment in February. The investigation is ongoing.

The actor had also appeared in the shows Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Jyoti, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Du, and Left Right Left, among others. He is also listed as a cast member in films such as Hasee Toh Phasee and Ittefaq.

Sameer’s death was condoled by actors Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan. His last social media post, a picture of the sea, was shared on Instagram on July 29.

In 2020, several cases of suicide have been reported in the film and television industries, including Manmeet Grewal, Preksha Mehta, and Sushant Singh Rajput.

 

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Tests Negative For COVID-19, Discharged From Hospital

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s husband Abhishek said in a tweet that Aishwarya and their eight-year-old daughter had tested negative and been sent home. 

Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been discharged from Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital, where she was being treated for COVID-19, after a 10-day stay. Her husband Abhishek said in a tweet that Aishwarya and their eight-year-old daughter had tested negative and been sent home; he and his father Amitabh Bachchan were still in hospital. “Thank you all for your continued prayers and good wishes. Indebted forever. Aishwarya and Aaradhya have thankfully tested negative and have been discharged from the hospital. They will now be at home. My father and I remain in hospital under the care of the medical staff,” Abhishek Bachchan tweeted.

Read Abhishek Bachchan’s tweet:

Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan announced last weekend that they had tested positive and were in hospital. Big B, 77, wrote: “I have tested COVID positive… shifted to hospital…. Hospital informing authorities .. family and staff undergone tests , results awaited… All that have been in close proximity to me in the last 10 days are requested to please get themselves tested.”

 

Rishi Kapoor dies at 67, brother Randhir Kapoor confirms

Actor Rishi Kapoor has died at 67 after a two-year-long battle with cancer. Rishi breathed his last at the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai. 

After Irrfan Khan‘s death, India is shocked again with Rishi Kapoor’s death. Rishi’s hospitalisation was confirmed by his elder brother, actor Randhir Kapoor. “It’s true that he has been admitted to the hospital. He is in Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital. He was not keeping well and had some problem, so we admitted him early this morning,” Randhir had said on Wednesday evening. Asked if it was an emergency situation, Randhir said: “That’s why he has gone to the hospital. But I know that he will be alright. Neetu (Kapoor) is by his side.”

In 2018, Rishi Kapoor was diagnosed with cancer, following which the actor was in New York for more than a year to receive treatment. He returned to India in September 2019 after recovering.

Post return to India, Kapoor’s health had frequently been in focus. The actor was admitted to hospital in quick succession in February. Amid speculations about his health, he had been hospitalised in New Delhi in early February, while on a visit to New Delhi.

Rishi was the second son of late actor Raj Kapoor and the sibling of Randhir, Ritu Nanda, Rima Jain and Rajeev Kapoor. He made his film debut with Bobby opposite Dimple Kapadia in 1973 and was also seen as a child actor in films such as Shree 420 and Mera Naam Joker.

He was part of hit films such as Amar Akbar Anthony, Laila Majnu, Rafoo Chakkar , Sargam, Karz, Bol Radha Bol and others. In the later stage of his career, he was seen in films such as Kapoor and Sons, D-Day, Mulk and 102 Not Out.

The actor was last seen in Emraan Hashmi’s The Body and had recently announced his next project, a remake of Hollywood film The Intern, also featuring Deepika Padukone.

Source: HT