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Monday,27-September-2021

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Urmila Matondkar seeks to spread cheer in flood-ravaged Maharashtra hamlets

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Amid the gloom that has engulfed the flood-ravaged districts of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena’s glam leader Urmila Matondkar on Wednesday sought to cheer up the people in a couple of villages in Raigad and Ratnagiri, and returned with a lesson on human sufferings.

Urmila drove down this morning to tiny Dadli village and surrounding hamlets in Raigad and later in Ratnagiri – that were completely washed away in last week’s rain fury which fuelled the floods in the district and wreaked havoc all over.

Accompanied by a vehicle loaded with relief supplies and abundance of radiance, she descended on the tiny village where scores of smiling and cheering villagers welcomed her with love and affection.

Clad in an earthy-brown salwar-suit with a white dupatta, Urmila reciprocated with equal warmth, mingling freely with the flood-affected folks, lifting a couple of giggling kids, touching some of the shy women and attempting to break the ice with small talk.

At one spot on the outskirts of Dadli, she learnt of a couple and a brother, mentally challenged, who lost everything including their two bullocks.

Their humble and devastated dwelling was a few meters away from the road, but the undaunted Urmila nonchalantly stepped into nearly 2-3 feet deep muck and sludge, trudged to the family who could scarcely believe their eyes.

“I tried to console them… Offered them some aid kits, and tried to boost their spirits. I promised them that things will improve for them in future and then later they could invite me for a cup of tea,” Urmila told IANS from the spot.

A member of her team later informed that she chatted with the villagers, enquired after their welfare, the status of their near and dear ones, and whether the flood survivors were able to get proper food, water, clothing and other items for survival.

In Chiplun – one of the worst-hit areas which was under 15-20 feet water and now has a mournful countenance, she interacted with a few hundred people and distributed aid material.

“While in Kolkata for a shoot last week, I had watched shocking images of the Chiplun bus depot which was submerged in 10-12 feet water with only the bus roof visible – and, right now I am standing here and seeing the wreck and ruin caused by the floods,” Urmila added.

Shaken to her soul by what she witnessed in her few hours long whirlwind tour, Urmila said the calamity is too huge for words and it will take long for the affected people to return to normalcy.

“Nothing can prepare you for this… Whatever help you can give is less. The most difficult challenge is to look in their eyes and talk… they have lost everything and pin their hopes on you and the government,” she said, recalling her similar 3-day visit to the flood-hit Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli in 2019.

On Wednesday, Urmila distributed around 500 kits with essentials for children and women including food, medicines, sanitary napkins, etc through NGO Rashtra Seva Dal and also pitched in with her own cash donations but did not reveal the amount.

“Tomorrow, I shall make videos of my trip, post it on social media and issue an all-out appeal to the film folks, corporates, charitable organisations and common citizens to open up their hearts and purses for the distressed people here,” Urmila said.

She pointed out that while the government will definitely help, it will take a long to completely rehabilitate the people and heal their mental scars at the loss of their loved ones, “but every tiny effort will count”, and promised to return for a longer visit with more aid material soon.

Bollywood

Aamir Khan’s ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ release pushed to February 2022

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 The release date of Aamir Khan’s ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ has been pushed back once again due to delays amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan-starrer, which was expected to release around Christmas this year, will now be releasing on Valentine’s Day next year.

Aamir Khan Productions made the announcement via an Instagram post on Sunday.

The post reads: “We welcome the decision of the administration to allow cinemas to re-open from 22nd Oct.”

“Due to the delays faced as a result of the pandemic, we will be unable to release our film, ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, this Christmas.”

“We will now be releasing ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ on Valentine’s Day 2022.”

The announcement comes just a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday announced that all cinema halls and drama theatres in the state will reopen from October 22.

‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ reunites Aamir Khan with his ‘3 Idiots’ co-stars Kareena Kapoor Khan and Mona Singh. The film also features Naga Chaitanya and Manav VJ in key roles.

Directed by Adavit Chandan, ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ is an adaptation of the 1994 Hollywood film ‘Forrest Gump’ which was based on Winston Groom’s 1986 novel of the same name.

It is produced by Aamir Khan Productions, Viacom18 Studios and Paramount Pictures.

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the inception of his debut web series ‘Heeramandi’

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As Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming magnum opus ‘Heeramandi’, his first-ever web series, is soon to be released, the ace director shares his inspiration for making the show.

Talking about its inception, Sanjay said, “I remember when I was a four-year-old kid and my father had taken me to a shoot and he said you sit here and I’ll meet my friends and come. I was in the studio and it seemed the most comfortable to me. More than a school, a playground, a cousin’s house, or anywhere in the world, I thought it was the most beautiful place. When I look back at 25 years, I think it’s very precious to me because you have to be blessed to be able to get a chance to make a film and that’s why I cling on to the studio because the studio floor is the most magical, that’s my temple, that’s my everything.”

He further added, “‘Heeramandi’ was something that my friend Moin Baig got to me as a 14-page story, 14 years ago and then finally when we presented it to Netflix, they loved it and they thought it had great potential to make a mega-series. It is very ambitious, it’s very big and vast. It tells you the story of courtesans. They kept music, poetry and dance and the art of living. It shows the politics within the brothels and how to emerge as the winner. It is a difficult one but I hope we come across with flying colours this time.”

The series will explore stories of courtesans and the hidden cultural reality of ‘Heeramandi’, a dazzling district, during pre-independent India. It’s a series about love, betrayal, succession and politics in the ‘kothas’.

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Priyanka Chopra’s Global Citizen Live look makes her trend

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Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas took the internet by storm on Saturday when she hosted the Global Citizen Live concert in Paris. Her dress, with an Earth theme got a fantastic response from fans, which made her trend on Twitter.

Priyanka wore a beautiful ensemble by designer Prabal Gurung as she hosted the concert on Saturday, which will be streaming live for 24 hours from different parts of the world.

Not only did Twitter users point out her beautiful dress, but also the fact that she made India proud by hosting the global concert in Paris.

Meanwhile, the actress gave fans a glimpse into her trip on social media. She uploaded a picture with the popular Eiffel Tower in the backdrop and captioned in on Instagram as: “An Evening in Paris”.

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