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  1. The LGBTQ community made a huge leap in their journey towards social recognition and equality in India and got an influential mascot in sprinter and Olympian, Dutee Chand, when she decided to come out and disclose being in a same-*** relationship with a girl from her hometown of Chaka Gopalpur in Odisha. In an interview with The Indian Express, the national record holder in 100-m sprint said, "I have found someone who is my soulmate. I believe everyone should have the freedom to be with whoever they decide they want to be with. I have always supported the rights of those who want to be in a same-*** relationship. It is an individual person's choice.” This made Chand the first and only Indian athlete to reveal her homosexuality and gathered attention from all over the world including the famous American talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres: She's the 100m record holder and the first openly gay sportsperson in India. I guess she knows a thing or two about being first. I'm so proud of her. https://t.co/auoyWY8yvk — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 21, 2019 We caught up with the fearless athlete and spoke about her decision to come out and become a beacon of hope for the rest of the members, especially of the sports fraternity, who are also involved in same-*** relationships but have not mustered enough courage to speak openly about it. 'Initially I was terrified of how people would react to my sexuality but now that it is out in the open, I find myself to be in a really happy place. The fact that big celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres have showed her support for my cause means a lot to me." © Reuters "Ever since I shared my struggle, all my friends and relatives, other than my eldest sister and parents, have been good to me. They said: “Dutee, this is your personal life and you have every right to live it however you want to. We will not interfere with it.” "Ours is a democratic State and people have the authority to live their life however they want to and with whoever they want to." "Times are also changing. Back in the day, rituals suggested that women were not allowed to marry a second time. They were supposed to spend the rest of their lives all alone, as widows had their husbands expired. Now, not only can women marry multiple times but they can do so without being judged, not by the people who matter, at least." "Whenever something new happens, it is always criticised at first." "As far as my career is concerned, I have shown my worth as an athlete time and again. I have passed all their tests and excelled in doing so. I have full faith in the Sports Authority of India and the Athletics Federation of India and know that my sexual preference will have no impact on my relationship with them." © Reuters "I liked her for a really long time and even she liked me but we did nothing about it until the Supreme Court passed Article 377. As soon as the judgement was passed, I went to the girl's parents and asked them if they were open to such a relationship. They said that she was their only daughter and they are willing to do whatever it is that keeps her happy." "It was only after her parents' blessings that I told the world about our relationship." "Just like the Supreme Court decrimilarised same-*** relationships last year, I urge the judicial system to allow same-*** marriage, it would be great for people like us." "I believe in the ritual of marriage and ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamt of getting married to someone that I love dearly and spend the rest of my life with them. If in the future, the Supreme Court does make same-*** marriage legal, I would forever be thankful to them."
  2. There is something to be said about the overwhelming feelings of solidarity that pervade the moments celebrating the pioneers of change and innovation. Regardless of their area of domination, recognition and admiration come aplenty to those who not only believe in taking the plunge, but also believe in rewriting the rules of the game. Last evening saw the coming together of important men and women, who have upped the game within their respective fields, and set amazing examples for others to follow at the one-of-a kind event called Times Prime presents MensXP 'Icons of Newhood', which aimed to recognise, celebrate and award inspiring entrepreneur superheroes for their visionary achievements. View this post on Instagram And that's it from @timesprime presents @mensxpofficial Icons Of Newhood. Now, it's time for the after party!!! A post shared by MENSXP (@mensxpofficial) on May 4, 2019 at 12:29pm PDT With twenty-seven nominees and six different winners under a number of cool categories, the event came to a grand conclusion amidst loud cheers and applause from one and all. While it was delightful to see the happy faces of all the nominees and winners, excitement went through the roof before the biggest award of the night, Icon of Newhood, was announced. Bhuvan Bam was chosen as the 'Icon of Newhood' by people, who chose the winner in each category by casting their vote. The 'Icon of Newhood' award was meant for the one who is a complete package. One who is at the helm of the power shift towards the millennial generation, and resembles what it truly takes to be a success story in this day and age. View this post on Instagram For our final award, we're proud to announce @bhuvan.bam22 as the Icon Of Newhood! Ain't nobody like him - a comedian, a sensation, and India's favourite. He's at the helm of the millennial order and displays what it truly takes to be a success story in this day and age. ______ Title Partner: @timesprime Craft Beer Partner: @whiterhinobrewingco Style Partner: @lombardlinen Location Partner: @thelalitgroup Pouring Partner: @dewars A post shared by MENSXP (@mensxpofficial) on May 4, 2019 at 11:18am PDT Bhuvan Bam, who changed himself into a marketable brand, needs no introduction. The content king and most subscribed Indian YouTuber, Bam changed the YouTube scene in India. The 4-year-old internet celebrity has been tickling our funny bones, and making us think through his sketches and jokes. Bhuvan's 'BB Ki Vines' became such a show stealer, it put him on the map as one of the best in the industry and turned him into one of GenY's most beloved entertainers. View this post on Instagram Don't believe me just watchâ¼ï¸â ï¸ . . ð¸: @tusharmahajanofficial A post shared by Bhuvan Bam Official (@bhuvan.bam22) on Mar 27, 2019 at 7:16am PDT All this, and much more, made him the most popular choice amongst our voters who declared him as the Icon of Newhood 2019. Many congratulations to the man of the hour for making it to the top yet again.
  3. Music is said to be a universal language, but for some, it is the only language that they are most comfortable speaking. For those who communicate best through notes of music, whose hearts beat in tandem with the hum of musical instruments and who speak their mind most fluently through words intricately threaded into beautiful songs, music is more than a universal language. We caught up with someone who literally eats, breathes and lives music. One of the country's sensational, rising voices that rocked the nation in 2018 with a chartbuster like Chogada, and lulled the nation's heart with 2019's greatest love song, the title track of 'Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga'. © Instagram There is no way the person in question needs anything further introduction, but if it isn't obvious yet, we are talking about singer, songwriter and composer Darshan Raval. He is currently one of India's most sought after voices, and even though he enjoys every bit of the love and attention he has been garnering, Darshan has been in the limelight for his newest venture with MTV Beats. But before we get to that let us tell you how Darshan the singing superstar came into being. The Backstory It all started when Darshan first started putting out covers of popular Bollywood songs on YouTube. Having been fascinated by music for most of his life, this must have seemed like the most obvious thing to do. But never did he imagine to land up in a singing reality show, and become a part of the top 3. © Instagram Darshan may not have won the show, but he won thousands of hearts across the country. His journey on the show earned him a crazy fan following and he instantly became an internet celebrity. He admits that he never set out to become a part of the music industry. All he cared about was music. Darshan says, “I never thought I wanted to be in the music industry. I just knew I wanted to do music. I had no idea about the industry, how will I reach there, what will I do. So I just started putting out my music cover videos. Soon, I started getting opportunities and every opportunity that I got, I picked up.” The Breakthrough However, the final breakthrough came with his Bollywood debut back in 2015, that put Darshan under the spotlight. His Bollywood debut song 'Jab Tum Chaho' caught the attention of all the right people, and there was no looking back after that. © Instagram Talking about this colourful journey, Darshan tells MensXP, “My journey has been wonderful and magical. Magical because everything that has happened so far, the good and the bad, feels like it was all meant to be. Those things happened and that's the reason why I am here today. Falling everyday, but getting up again, as well as believing in myself and my music has made me what I am today.” Spreading His Wings The fame and popularity that has come his way, hasn't stopped Darshan from stepping out of his comfort zone, and trying out new things. So in between his personal projects, Bollywood stints and music concerts, Darshan is now also part of MTV Beats' 'Dil Beats With Darshan Raval'. © Instagram Talking about his newest venture, Darshan tells us, “It's a beautiful show and has a very beautiful meaning. I am the Love Dost, on the show where I talk to people and share amazing love stories. The show has a very different concept. I am not a love “guru” but a friend and confidante people can reach out to. I am coming back to the television after 4 years with something very new. I'll be singing and interacting with people. So I am excited. ” The Lesser Known Challenges © Instagram However, getting to this point of success and popularity didn't come easy. There was a time when Darshan was so disheartened, he was about to give it all up. Darshan recalls that time of his life and says, “I thought I won't make it in Bollywood. After every reality show you think now people know me, everything will be amazing. But the reality is very different. So when I was about to leave, I called by Himesh (Reshammiya) sir and he asked me to not give up and stay back. Later, he helped me bag my first Bollywood song, and I will always be grateful to him for showing that kind of faith and support when I needed it the most.” The Real Struggles Come Much Later © Instagram Darshan tells us that simply being a good singer is not enough. Making your own identity in the industry is much more important. Otherwise, unless you have that one chartbuster song of your career, you will constantly get compared to other singers in the industry. “I have been told I sound like Atif Aslam, Mohit Chauhan, and Arijit. People have this tendency to do that. But the journey from that point, to the moment you get a chartbuster song of your own, that becomes the game changer. Today, people recognise my voice even without a mention of my name.” © Instagram He further adds that the “high” which comes from fame and success is another real struggles upcoming artists have to face. “When you start, you have a lot of purity and innocence as a singer. But it keeps evaporating over time when you are constantly singing superhit songs and doing housefull shows. Sometimes the fame and popularity gets to your head. But we should stay rooted during such situations, while accepting all the love and positive feedback we are getting.” Key To Success Darshan feels that in the music industry failure becomes your greatest teacher. “I pray to God everyday that I fail. You can't learn from success, it the failures that teach us the best lessons. Even as a composer and a singer I have to keep practising and making music. This phase of introspection and revision that comes from failing is important for growth.” © Instagram He gives the same advice to every aspiring singer out there who wishes to make it as a singer in the industry. He says, “You have to failure. However, failures will come and go, but believe in yourself. People will always have opinions. It's a beautiful life, regardless of failure or success, enjoy what you do and love what you are doing. #DarshanSpeaks: How To Become A Singer “Keep practising, keep listening to music. It's a process. You have to keep training yourself, it won't happen overnight. Having a sense of music is also important.”
  4. Every time the Indian borders or the safety of its citizens are threatened, it is the men in green who stand in the way of trouble. Holding the fort with all their might and even putting their lives on the line to get it done. Yet there's no denying that their bravado and selflessness also makes them easy targets and puts them in harm's way, every time our foes wish to make a point (however unnecessary and futile). Jammu & Kashmir: Mortal remains of CRPF personnel who lost their lives in #PulwamaAttack yesterday, at CRPF camp in Budgam. pic.twitter.com/h4XoD5tC7o — ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2019 Yesterday's terror attack in Jammu & Kashmir's Pulwama, which is being called the biggest attack in the area since the Uri attack in 2016, is a proof of such a situation. Yesterday JeM terrorists targeted a CRPF procession in Jammu to Srinagar which comprised of over 70 vehicles and 2,547 personnel. The attack took away the life of 44 jawans and has left the country seething with anger and grief. © Twitter Targeting unsuspecting soldiers and attacking them when their defences are down is the biggest proof of cowardice that there is. Yet, even in death the jawans and their families continue to prove that they are the country's biggest pride. Even through their ultimate misery and loss, the families of the martyred jawans continue to take pride in the sacrifice their sons, husbands and brothers made for their motherland. However, it the need of the hour is to stand with the families of the martyred and share in the pain in grief. And since acknowledgement is the simplest way to start, let's begin with that. Martyred CRPF jawan Nasheer Ahmed's family in mourning: Rajouri: Family of CRPF personnel Nasheer Ahmed in mourning. The Jawan lost his life in #PulwamaTerrorAttack yesterday. #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/KxMRujDCPy — ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2019 Martyred CRPF jawan Jaimal Singh's family in mourning: Moga: Family of CRPF personnel Jaimal Singh in mourning. Singh lost his life in #PulwamaTerrorAttack yesterday. #Punjab pic.twitter.com/E8cYtx7s41 — ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2019 Martyred CRPF jawan Pankaj Tripathi's family in mourning: Maharajganj: Family of CRPF personnel Pankaj Tripathi who lost his life in #PulwamaTerrorAttack yesterday, in mourning. pic.twitter.com/Pw9cNLpRPw — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 15, 2019 Martyred CRPF jawan Maninder Singh's family in mourning: Gurdaspur: Family of CRPF personnel Maninder Singh who lost his life in #PulwamaTerrorAttack yesterday, mourns his death. #Punjab pic.twitter.com/Hhegt5Sanr — ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2019 Martyred CRPF jawan Ramesh Yadav's family in mourning: Varanasi: Family and relatives of CRPF personnel Ramesh Yadav who lost his life in #PulwamaTerrorAttack yesterday, mourns his death. pic.twitter.com/3qhjdX6bte — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 15, 2019 Then there are fathers and families like Martyred CRPF jawan Ratan Thakur's father who is willing to send his other son for the service of the nation, after losing his son on nation's duty. CRPF Personnel Ratan Thakur's (who lost his life in #PulwamaTerrorAttack ) father in Bhagalpur: I have sacrificed a son in Mother India's service, I will send my other son as well to fight, ready to give him up for Mother India, but Pakistan must be given a befitting reply.#Bihar pic.twitter.com/rI6cM38Agh — ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2019 We salute our brave jawans and their even braver families. We are with them in this time of loss.
  5. For those of us located in the geographical area that lies between how itchy (and bit*hy) we get over matters related to Kashmir, and how easily we can look at the southern states beyond the “Madrasi” tag, lies an avidly growing crop of connoisseurs who have the heart (and able ears) to appreciate comedy that is to be found all around us - hidden in a chaiwala's hometown, to the cool locales of the seven sisters, you can't even name correctly. And there is one man in particular who has been feeding the voracious appetite of all these comedy-lovers who lay in-between this ever agitated conundrum called India. Amit Tandon is one of India's most favourite funnyman, and his masterstroke lies in bringing a highly varied gathering of people to double over with his rib-tickling laughter-bombs, irrespective of their age, gender, creed or for that matter, even their class, bank balance and cab-booking service preferences. © Instagram However, if you asked a decade younger Amit Tandon the most static question one gets asked in an HR interview, “where do you see yourself in the next 5 years”, you would have probably been surprised by the response that this query fetched you. Because, much like the unpredictability of Ranveer Singh's next fashion choice, Delhi's weather and the car ahead of you changing its lane within a matter of seconds, stand-up comedy happened to Amit all of a sudden, and all at once. The Backstory Back in 2010, when Amit was minding his business (literally!), after having made it through years of academic trials (you may know them as exams), first in engineering college and then while pursuing his MBA, Amit was intrigued by the concept of open mic that was slowly gripping Delhi. He decided to go and attend a open mic near his place to see for himself what the hype was all about. © Amit Tandon Turns out, he was bowled over by the idea, and took to it as effortlessly as Delhi boys take to cussing. Having stayed off the stage for almost a decade due to his studies, Amit found himself inspired enough to put pen to paper once more since his college days, when he actively wrote for college theatre plays and the like. The Ultimate Initiation It was in July 2010 when Amit finally gave in to his overbearing desire and performed at his first ever open mic in South Delhi. The following two to three years went by in a blur, with more and more open mic performances in various places, which were usually 5-7 minute long sets. That eventually scaled up to 30-minute sets on stage, and gradually paid gigs at clubs et al. became Amit's new normal. However, it was in 2012-13 when he started doing corporate shows, that he began to feel he could finally switch to stand-up comedy full-time, and turn it into a career. The rest, as we all know, is history. © Instagram The Stand-Up Comedy Industry - Then & Now 2015 has to be Amit's most memorable year professionally, because that is when “the married guy” took off in the virtual space, after one of his video went viral on social media. However, when you ask him how times have changed since, Amit would give you a very personal and insightful peek into the stand-up comedy industry. When I posed the same question, he went on to share that, “earlier there was only one set of audience - cosmopolitan, urban Indians living in South Delhi or South Bombay, who were open to the concept of live entertainment.” That time saw the domination of English comedy coming from well-educated and well-travelled comics. On the other hand, “now it's a mix of languages, where we have English, Hindi and even Hinglish. Even the art has travelled far and wide in the country, with shows happening in even smaller towns and cities such as Siliguri, Guwahati, Indore, Bhopal besides many others”. © Amit Tandon Amit further added that today even the audience has undergone a drastic makeover. He said, “it's not a single stand-up audience now. Everyone has developed their own fan base. There are genres developing in comedy now, which is a huge development since the earlier times”. What It Takes To Make It As A Stand-Up Comic So finally now that I had the chance, there was a nagging question that I wished to get out of the way ASAP. Thus, I ended up asking Amit if being funny, and an ability to make people laugh the only prerequisites to becoming a stand-up comedian (you see, the hope and subconscious desire to make it as a comic blooms within the heart of many of us). This is exactly how he took that question, “stand-up comedy is not just about being funny, it's being funny for strangers. Being funny with your friends is easy, given the numerous touchpoints you share. Even a simple one-liner can make your friends laugh because of the connection. Whereas, being able to make complete strangers relate to your work and laugh at your jokes, is what makes you a comic.” © Instagram That would have dashed a lot of hopes, but what Amit adds next is pure gem. He said that the difference between being funny and being a comedian lies in making a varied group of audience laugh at your jokes. Because as a performer “your audience changes everyday - their experiences and background change, so one needs to go up there, build a relationship with their audience and then make them crack-up”. The Other Side Of Comedy So when we are talking about stand-up comedy, how could I not touch upon social media popularity, its longevity and it turning into an obsessive aspiration for amateur comics? Amit was quick to share his valuable insights when he pointed out that social media popularity is short lived and has its own challenges. He pointed out how social media constantly beckons us to keep feeding a “monster”, so people would follow us. Yet it also acts as the first stepping stone for new artists to show their work. “When one is starting out, YouTube videos come in handy when people ask for showreels.” But Amit also cautions us that social media popularity cannot be the only aspiration when someone is just starting out, especially in the first three years.” © Amit Tandon Why? Because “for the first three years, you should work on building your material, making yourself funny and becoming good enough, so that when people call you after that 5-min sneak peek, we have a good 30 min entertainer on the ready”. Advice For Aspiring Comedians So basically I went on Humans of New York on Amit, and asked him that one question we have all picked up since HONY turned it into a rage, in this case, “what advice would you give to aspiring stand-up comedians” and trust Amit Tandon to give it to you most honestly. “Find an open mic to go to and perform. Next, write your own material, go back again and perform. So in short, write, record and repeat. Perform as much as you can, record your performance, watch it, make changes where required and go back again. That's the only practical and healthy way to improve. However, senior comics are easily approachable, who can guide you in the field. But the basic would still remain 'write, record and repeat'.” © Instagram Failures In This Field & How To Deal With Them Sure enough, I wanted to find out about failures in this field and how to best deal with them, because that's perhaps the biggest reason why the best of us with the talent to make it big as a stand-up comedian never give it a try in the first place. Especially, since failures in this field can be pretty personal. But guess what, Amit gives you the best way out to deal with them! “Failures in this career happens every other day - maybe you thought a joke was funny but no one laughed, offending people can also be a failure. No one liking your set, people doing something else during your performance, these are all failures.” So what Amit suggests is that, “take each of your failures personally. That is only when you will improve, or else you'll forget about it by next morning. Look at your failure, introspect and think about what went wrong and better it - was it the setup, did you not research about your audience, was the beginning not right, did you not do your jokes properly or if the timing was off? Figure out and take it personally in comedy to improve.” © Instagram #AmitSpeaks: How To Become A Stand-Up Comedian Last but not the least. I made Amit answer the most important question, and here is exactly what he said: “First, find out where open mics happen around your city. Go attend it and see how it works. Come back and write your own story - don't write on the basis of what people are laughing at. Instead, write on what frustrates you, what you find funny in life, what your observations are. Prepare a five minute set and register for an open mic. Go on stage and perform. If it doesn't work, go and check why it didn't do well. Better it, go back and do it again. So "write, record and repeat" that's your ultimate mantra.” Amit was the most gracious star who patiently and earnestly responded to my long list of questions. The man believes in offering people the space to let go and laugh freely, through his highly relatable observational comedy, delivered in a simple language funny enough to tickle your bones. © Instagram But while 2019 has just begun, I couldn't end this article without telling you about all that you can look forward to from Amit this year. From his extensive international tour across Europe, to a number of series that he is working on, there is lot in store for his fans! But if there is one project Amit is super excited about, it's the project on partition that he is working on, which might be launched on the small screen. What makes this project so special for him is his family's history being connected to it. Amit's family migrated to India in 1947 from Pakistan, so that establishes a personal connect. There is so much more to Amit Tandon that we haven't seen so far, but for now his laughter-bombs in Netflix's 'Comedians of the World' are keeping us more than sated.
  6. Arguably one of the biggest and most popular electronic music festivals in Asia, Sunburn, with its unique concept and star-studded guest-list, has enthralled EDM fans for the last eleven years. Thus, when the 12th edition of the music festival sprung to life in Pune this year, there was little doubt over its success in presence of the multi-cultural music devotees who congregated to surrender to their favourite artists. Hosted at the aesthetic 100-acre Oxford Valley and encircled by the beautiful valley of Lavale, the musical extravaganza ensured the EDM loyalists had inimitable and individualistic experiences, enabling them to begin their new year with zeal. With some of the biggest DJs in attendance, this year's edition had as many as four different stages - including the massive 5000-square-feet mainstage - to satiate the thirst of its attendees. The first day of the festival saw the likes of 'desi' bass king Nucleya, Israeli psy-trance perfectionist Vini Vici, Netherlands' electro wizard Don Diablo and Sweden's most prominent EDM duo Axwell & Ingrosso making full use of the LEDs, pyros and SFX at their disposal to send the fans into delirium and kickstart the three-day spectacle with a bang. © Sunburn If Day 1 left the fans reluctant to bid farewell to their music demons, the second day ensured they had more coming their way through another prominent line-up. If Sartek - India's first DJ to be signed by Hardwell's Revealed Recordings - set the ball rolling on Day 2, Bosnia's pride Salvatore Ganacci gave the crowd the time of their lives through his dramatic antics behind the decks. But, the biggest acts of the night undeniably came through Norway's rising talent Alan Walker and 'Trance King' Armin van Buuren who created unmatched intensity levels through their serene music and immersive visuals. For a festival that had the fans wanting for more on the first two days, there was no surprise to see the annual music fest carrying on the powerful momentum and leading to an extraordinary finale, ushering in the optimism of the New Year. This year's edition adequately repaid the faith of its fans - who had decided to celebrate the most important night of 2018 with Sunburn - via desi rap god DIVINE, Pakistan origin sister-duo Krewella and France's Grammy-nominated producer DJ Snake. While Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf had the fans screaming Krewella through widespread smiles, blissful dancing and their energy-thumping sounds, the headliner of the night - DJ Snake - was seen testing the sound system to its limits in what was arguably a relentless, sensory assault that lasted over an hour. On one hand, where the three-day festival - staying true to its reputation of being India's biggest music extravaganza - gave fans unforgettable memories, it also gave MensXP an opportunity to interact with some of the biggest artists on the EDM circuit and unravel their secrets at the event. Armin van Buuren © Sunburn Arguably one of the biggest names on the EDM circuit, Armin van Buuren needs to introduction to the music fests or the enthusiasts across the globe. The Dutch music maestro has been ruling the charts for two decades now. Thus, when Sunburn included the five-time winner of the DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs poll in their line-up this year, there was no surprise to see many fans circling the date and time of his performance on their calendars. But, while the 42-year-old made the Pune crowd to the beats, we grilled the Dutchman with some impromptu questions. Man Crush: "That would be my Lego Millennium Falcon." Woman Crush: "My woman crush is Sandra Bullock from the movie Birdbox." Weirdest/Funniest Dating Story: "Well, I remember, I was really in love with this girl and I ordered a bracelet with her name. And, when we went to watch a movie together, I gave her this bracelet. But, she was so surprised or scared that she immediately ran away. She was like 'Oh, he wants something from me'." A Rumour About You That's Not True: "That I made 15 million dollars in one year. And, that I have a private jet. But, I don't." Biggest Guilty Pleasure: "My Lego Millennium Falcon." Funniest Pick-up Line: "How would you like to do an extended set at my place." Favourite Indian DJ/Musician: "My favourite Indian DJ is Ritviz." Krewella © Sunburn Back in 2007, when sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf forged a partnership with Kris Trindl (who is no longer a part of the group), little did they know that Krewella would eventually reach the heights it has today. Producing a blend of electro house and dubstep with some shades of trap, Krewella has established its reputation as one of the biggest acts in the EDM scene. And, when they were roped in to bless the Pune crowd at Sunburn, there was little doubt that the American band would disappoint. Dropping one of the best sets at this year's festival, Krewella won over the attendees with mesmerising music. But, apart from what was arguably a standout performance, the sister duo spilled some secrets about their lives to us in a personal Q&A. Woman Crush: While Yasmine was quick to answer: "My woman crush is American actress Tessa Thompson", Jahan took some time before seeking her sister's help to eventually reply: "Deepika Padukone from Bajirao Mastani". Man Crush: Without wasting any time, Yasmine replied: "Her (Deepika Padukone) husband Ranveer Singh. We were just googling him and staring at his photos". Jahan, on the other hand, added: "He (Ranveer) is so talented too. He is an amazing performer and rapper. And, him and Deepika are the best couple". Weirdest/Funniest Dating Story: "I was really jet-lagged or just sleepless. We had just finished shooting the 'Alive' music video and I think I'd been up for three days straight. And, I had just one sip of beer on this date and I blacked out. This was when my date thought that I was on some kind of a drug, which I wasn't," said Jahan. When we asked Yasmine, she claimed: "I went out on a date with this guy. He was so nervous that he crashed his rental car (while I was in it) into the side of a building as he was parking". A Rumour About You That's Not True: "There was a rumour that Jahan started five years ago that I was engaged. But, I'm not engaged," Yasmine said. Answering for her sister, Yasmine claimed: "There's no rumour about her. She's rumour-less which is a great thing", Biggest Guilty Pleasure: For Yasmine, it was: "It has to be Oreos because it's really unhealthy and I shouldn't be eating them". When we asked Jahan, she claimed: "Every time we are in India, at naashta (breakfast), I sit for two or three hours, eating four-meals worth of food". Funniest Pick-up Line: "I could really help you with your career, if you let me," Yasmine replied on behalf of Jahan. "I've never had a bad pick-up line used on me so I use hers (Jahan)," Yasmine said for herself. Vini Vici © Sunburn Undeniably one of the biggest names on the psy-trance scene, Israeli duo Vini Vici have been setting music festivals ablaze ever since founding the group in 2013. Comprised of Matan Kadosh and Aviram Saharai, these Israeli demigods continue to entertain fans with infectious chants and ear-splitting basslines in their music. Such has been their success in the industry that it earned them collaborations with some of the veterans including Armin van Buuren, W&W, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Steve Aoki amongst others. But, despite their popularity, not many know them as a person or what do they like. While we missed out on Aviram (who didn't travel to Sunburn this year), MensXP did get hold of Matan to spill some secrets about him. Current Man Crush: "I don't know, maybe Johnny Depp." Current Woman Crush: "It would definitely be Gal Gadot." Weirdest/Funniest Dating Story: "I remember, this one time, I was in a club. I was really young and then I take a number of a girl. The next day, we went for a date and she looked completely different. So I just picked her up in my car and dropped her back after five minutes at the same spot." Biggest Guilty Pleasure: "There's an Israeli Pop group called 'Static & Benel Tavori' who are a rage amongst the teenagers. But, I really like their production." Funniest Pick-up Line: "God Is A DJ." Nucleya © Sunburn Often labelled as desi bass king, Udyan Sagar aka Nucleya has carved his own niche in the ever-growing electronic music scene in India. From using the dialogues of old horror movies to carefully aligning street sounds in his tracks, Udyan's ability to bridge the gap between indie and mainstream music has made him a countrywide phenomenon. The 39-year-old has been the must-have artist for music festivals across the country which probably explains why we weren't surprised to see him kill the set at Sunburn this year. For an artist who has become a household name in the country, we expected Udyan to spill secrets about his life. While he didn't speak much as we would have liked, Udyan still gave us something to remember him by. Current Man Crush: "Munna bhaiya (Divyendu Sharma) from web series Mirzapur." Current Woman Crush: "Radhika Apte from Sacred Games." Weirdest/Funniest Dating Story: "I got caught once...actually, you know what, I don't wanna talk about it." A Rumour About You That's Not True: "I don't think there are any rumours about me. I'm not so well known, no. I'm very weak at this game." Biggest Guilty Pleasure: "Pani puri, maybe." Funniest Pick-up Line: "None." Alan Walker © Sunburn For someone who had no musical background and learnt the art of producing music by watching YouTube tutorials, Alan Walker has undoubtedly come a long way to become one of the most prominent artists in the electronic music today. The Norwegian wonder kid struck a chord with electronic music enthusiasts through his track 'Fade' in 2014. But, it was 'Faded'- a remastered vocal version of 'Fade' released in 2015 - that earned him global recognition. The single received platinum certifications in over 10 countries and also topped the year-end charts in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, iTunes charts in 32 countries, as well as entering Top 10 in Spotify Global Chart. Since then, life has never been the same for the 21-year-old genius. While many have come to know his music, not many can say much about him as a person. But, not anymore. Weirdest Travel Story: "I don't think it's weird, it's more of a messed up story. It was basically like a bunch of delays and cancellations. And, rather than reaching home at (for example) 2 pm, I ended up getting there the next day." Favourite Musician: "It's gotta be Hans Zimmer." Favourite Indian Musician: "It's Lost Stories. They did a remix of my single 'Faded'. I really like how they used Indian instruments like flutes and all. I really like their style." One Thing You Always Carry With Yourself: "One thing that I just can't leave at home has got to be my cell phone." Funniest Thing A Fan Gave You: "A fan once gave a diary that had all my social media posts including Snapchat and Instagram stories. Everything was put together in that diary with handwritten captions." Biggest Guilty Pleasure: "It's undoubtedly food. I love food and my favourite dish is pizza." Have You Tried Indian Food: "I've tried Indian food a couple of times. But, I'm not a big fan of spicy food." Anish Sood © Sunburn Born and raised in Goa, Anish Sood began his innings with music at a tender age of 15 after getting some exposure from Armin van Buuren's podcast 'A State Of Trance'. Despite holding a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Anish decided that it was through music that he was going to make his parents proud. At a time when dance music concept was at it's nascent stage in India, Anish was one of the first few breakthrough artists to make a mark in the rising circuit. Over the last decade, he has contributed majorly to the country's electronic music scene with his distinctive sound that also saw him winning an award at the Independent Music Awards (IMA), making him the first Indian to win in the Best Electronica/Dance Single category. But, apart from his DJing genius, Anish is a regular guy and these are his secrets. Current Man Crush: "I think, it has to be Roger Federer. He's been my man crush for a while now. I look to everything he amplifies and he's just a super cool guy." Current Woman Crush: "As boring as it sounds, I just got engaged so my current woman crush (and my crush for a very long time or the rest of my life), so it is going to be my fiancée." Weirdest/Funniest Dating Story: "To be honest, I haven't done much dating in my life. I haven't been on crazy blind dates and all. But, I'd definitely not recommend an artist or a musician to take their new girlfriends to a music festival because things go out of control backstage." A Rumour About You That's Not True: "That, I'm gay. And, I'm absolutely not." Biggest Guilty Pleasure: "That's probably watching romantic comedies." Funniest Pick-up Line: "I was playing this show when two middle-aged women came up to me and gave me a note. And, usually when you're playing, you get these notes that generally have song requests and all. But, this one had a hotel's room number and key inside. I think that was pretty creepy." Sartek © Sunburn A New Delhi native, Sarthak Sardana was a studious kid who cleared major examinations to become a Chartered accountant. But, after working in reputed organisations for a while, he realised that it was producing music that he liked more than tallying the balance sheets. He traded his corporate job to don a music producer's hat and began his journey as Sartek. His efforts paid off when he became the first Indian DJ to be roped in by Hardwell's Revealed Recordings and has witnessed all his releases making a mark on the Beatport Top 100 charts. There has been no looking back for the 30-year-old as he has attracted massive support from the likes of David Guetta, Afrojack, Sander van Doorn and Bassjackers. In a bid to know him better, we grilled him on a rapid-fire round and he didn't disappoint. Current Man Crush: "I would say Benedict Cumberbatch. But, in the DJing scene, if you ask me, it has to be Armin van Buuren. This guy hasn't aged in the last 20 years." Current Woman Crush: "I'm married so it's gonna be tough for me to answer. But, I think, it'll be Elnaaz Norouzi from Sacred Games." Weirdest/Funniest Dating Story: "This one time, I was dating this girl from my school and we went to watch a movie together. We wanted to watch an English movie, but my driver bought the wrong tickets. And, we had to watch a different movie which was in bhojpuri." Biggest Guilty Pleasure: "I'd say, it's food. I'm getting fat day by day and it's tough to control." Funniest Pick-up Line: "A girl once said 'Hey, what's your name? Sartek. Oh, that's really cool. It rhymes with your real name Sarthak. That's really smart.' But, I thought it was quite stupid."
  7. If you have seen 'Jurassic World', then you will remember this scene, where a bunch of people are running to save their lives from dinosaurs. via GIPHY Now, imagine yourself at the NH7 Weekender, Pune and this was the exact situation when a certain song started playing. People were not running away to save their lives or ears. They were, in fact, running towards the stage where the song was playing. People screaming the lyrics and the whole stadium echoing with 'Hum Toh Udd Gaye', was mind-blowing, to say the least. You guessed it right! We're talking about the latest musical prodigy, Ritviz. The man who dared to break free from the shackles of conventional music and is now taking the world by storm, one song at a time. We caught up with this uber talented 22-year-old budding superstar, who bared it all exclusively on MensXP and spoke about his journey so far and his future plans. © Fleck Media At the age of 10, when most of us were busy stressing over homework, Ritviz was taking his first steps towards his musical dream, "I started making music when I was 10 and it's been a really long time for me, although I am only 22. It has been an unbelievable journey and I have everybody (around me) to thank here, whom I couldn't thank enough." Ritviz has given us tracks like 'Beatific', 'YUV' and 'Jeet', but 'Udd Gaye' happens to be one of the most successful songs. It was not one of the regular tracks, yet it managed to captivate the masses and how. Blending melancholic lyrics with a peppy soundtrack, was one trippy and tricky kind of music that we didn't know we needed in our lives, until it happened. © Fleck Media "If you just listen to the A cappella, it's very sad and you can hear the sadness in the melody. But, the instrumental is very uplifting. So when we put them together, it formed a very weird combination, which I won't call something very happy. It's a nice mix that brings a different feel and I think that's what is catching people's attention," he says. Ritviz further adds, "All I do is wait for a melody to hit me and take the lead." In case you missed out on the song, here is the masterpiece everyone is talking about. This is Ritviz's third weekender and definitely one that is closest to his heart since it was in Pune, "With Pune being my hometown and my folks being here, this has by default become one of the best shows I have ever played. It was unbelievable and mind blowing and way too big. In 2015, I started doing shows. There were a few festivals where there were 3:30 or 4:30 slots, last year it was a 6:30 slot and this year I am headlining, so it's unbelievable and I hope this stays consistent." EDM has a lot of scope in India and Ritviz too thinks on similar lines, "At one point I think people just started rebelling and were like 'Oh no, this is not something that I want to follow, because the West is so much more exciting'. My whole idea was that if I want to reclaim this in a way where I feel that the classical music, our Indian roots and everything is intact, that's where it all starts." He adds, "We can be inspired by the West, but can also create our own identity and I feel people should focus on that more. That's how you can find your own way. That will make you feel that 'Yeah this is my song'. I feel like people are scared to experiment." © Fleck Media So where exactly does Ritviz derive his unusual musical influences from? "In my initial years, I used to wake up to my mom singing bandhish and stuff, those were my early influences. Then, came the VH1 era and my teen years were spent listening to pop music. But, post 2011-12, when I started producing music, electronic music was what really drew me closer to production and that's when I created 'Mukti' and 'Beatific' and started my entire journey. First, it was classical music, then VH1 top 40 and then BOOM Ritviz music (laughs)." The moment we hear EDM, Nucleya aka Udyan Sagar comes to our minds. For those who don't know, Ritviz was mentored by Nucleya and despite being a competition, he gets major inspiration from him, "He is an inspiration, he is the reason why I am here today. He's opened doors for so many people and I love that man so much." © Fleck Media Ritviz credits his success to his parents, "They are the reason why I am here. I brought them on stage today, that has been my dream for the longest time and I am happy that it came true today. Without their support, I don't think i would have been able to do anything that I am doing today because you need to let the child explore. They let me do what I wanted to and I am very grateful to them and I hope that I continue to make them proud." He has a lot of interesting stuff in the pipeline for his fans, "One that is confirmed and which I can talk about is the one with Divine that's come up recently. It's the title track of album 'Ved'. The song has a nice hook to it. Last year i was trying to figure out the vocals on top of this and I was humming and I came about saying 'Ritveda' and its also a word play around rigveda. Then we thought about getting someone on board and that's how we ended up hitting it off with Divine." © Fleck Media In every group, there is this one friend who knows you and your talents. That friend will make you do what you're good at and then boast about your talent in front of others. For Ritviz, Sahith Sethuraman and the Bacardi House Party Sessions was that friend. Bacardi House Party Sessions is a platform that gives budding artists an opportunity to showcase their talent. Apart from Ritviz, they also have artists like GURBAXX, MOJOJOJO, BABU HAABI, and MALFNKTION under their umbrella. Sahith who is the Senior Manager, Rum Brands, India & South East Asia, said "Bacardi has always had a very close association with music. We're not here to make money out of music or artists. What these guys create is pure brilliance." © Fleck Media "When we look at aspiring musicians, we realise that there is a wealth of talent in India and there are very few avenues for them to go out and explore themselves. We genuinely encourage the artists and allow them to have a platform to showcase what moves them, the talent that they have within them and the happiness that they can bring to people's faces. That's what Bacardi house party sessions sets out to do," he further added. Sahith discovered Ritviz's talents after listening to 'Mukti', "I listened to it the first time and within the first 10 seconds I realised that there is gold in this boy. This boy oozes talent. His journey started 4 years ago with his first single 'Beatific', we came along and we helped him along in this journey. He would have got there anyway, we're just trying to make this journey faster and little bit smoother for him." © Fleck Media Sahith, like a proud father, further added, "Being there on stage and watching him drop 'Udd Gaye' last year and this year, and hearing the crowd sing along gives you goosebumps, especially knowing that you had a little role to play in that journey." While most of us have incomplete assignments saved in our laptops, this guy has as many as 700 semi-finished tracks saved on his system (enough to blow our minds away). So what's left right now, is to just sit back and watch this guy wave his magic wand over his fans as we go back to humming 'Hum To Udd Gaye' at the top of our voices.
  8. Back in the day, the likes of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi successfully carried the baton for Indian tennis at global events. The Indian duo forged a formidable partnership to put India on the map of international tennis. Then, came a young Sania Mirza who inspired a whole new generation of players, allowing them and the Indian fans to dream on. While these iconic tennis stars might no longer be as clinical as they once were, their tryst with success - in a sport which was largely considered a superior game for Asians and a country that has been obsessed with cricket - has arguably paved way for young and rising stars to carve their own niche and consistently evolve in tennis. Though, producing a player of, say, Roger Federer's calibre might still prove to be an uphill task for a country like India, but the commendable performances of proven Indian tennis veterans did wake the nation from its slumber, serving a stark reminder to those who felt that this country was only good at playing cricket. © ASICS The intriguing story of Karman Kaur Thandi and her rise in tennis is, to an extent, a byproduct of the legacy established by Indian tennis veterans who continue to serve as role models for these young guns. "Sania (Mirza) is a huge inspiration for us Indian athletes. Leander (Paes) and Mahesh (Bhupathi) have also done so much for the sport in India. My interactions with them have allowed me to learn from their experiences. They also keep giving me tips from their journey and success," Karman said. For a 20-year-old, Karman is no stranger to unique feats. From clinching the WTA Future Stars U-16 title to becoming only the fifth Indian to break into the Top 200 rankings in women's singles, the Delhi-born tennis sensation has already achieved a lot at such a tender age. But, last month, the youngster, partnering Ankita Raina, won her maiden WTA doubles title at the Taipei Open - an achievement that stays close to her heart and allows her to dream for bigger things. "It's very special to have won my first WTA doubles title with an Indian partner, it means a lot because now I know that I belong at a certain level in the sport and it gives me a boost to perform along with top women's players. All in all, it gives me the confidence to go out and compete with them and step up my level of play," she spoke, oozing confidence. © ASICS But, tasting success at a young age has its own drawbacks. Many budding athletes never truly recognise their full potential, while others have been seen succumbing to pressure. But, Kamran, surprisingly for her age, is not only indifferent to pressure, but she has made it her strength. "Of course! I mean, there's always going to be pressure. But, pressure is good because when you go on to the court, it forces you to give it your all. It feels great to be an upcoming player in India and all the hard work that we're doing each day as athletes. My family has supported me throughout my career and they have made many sacrifices to help me be the player that I am. It has made a big difference to my success overall," she revealed. She might be one of the most promising young talents in tennis right now, but Kamran knows her roots and the sacrifices her parents have made. "My parents are from Punjab and have lived most of their lives in Delhi. My father is an electronic engineer and mom is a national-level athlete. We come from a middle-class family, my dad's a self-made man so I'm lucky and proud to say that I have parents who are always there for me," Karman, who idolises her parents as role models, said. © ASICS "My parents and my brother have been a great support and have worked very hard with me. My mom has been constant support both during practice and during tournaments to make me comfortable. I think we all have enjoyed this journey and grown as a family through it. My Father and brother support me extensively, and my family watches me play all my games and tournaments. They are very positive and have kept me positive through all my ups and downs whether I lose or win. Overall, it's a great team effort!" she added. Asked what made her choose tennis, she quickly replied: "I don't think I chose tennis, I believe tennis chose me. My parents introduced me to tennis at the age of 8 and I quickly learned to love the sport. As I kept on playing tournaments, my game improved and I kept getting better and better. When I started competing, I loved winning and the fact that I won made me go out and play tennis with a positive mindset. Enduring every competition and learning from each tournament, it helped me develop both as a player and a person". For someone who really liked arts and craft as a child, it was not surprising to see Karman confess her love for nail art like any other young girl. But, despite being fashionable, the youngster equally values a good support system for a budding talent like herself. "It's really important. I'm lucky to get Mahesh (Bhupathi) as my mentor and ASICS to support me with good gear and good sportswear whether I'm on or off the court. This motivates the player to do more and go forward freely without any mental pressure," she claimed. © ASICS Thanks to ASICS, Karman has a special connection with none other than Novak Djokovic. "It feels special to me that Djokovic and I are ASICS athletes. When you see Djokovic wearing ASICS shoes and then you are wearing the same shoes it feels good that even at that level players use it. Because the ASICS technology is high performance and it feels good to be part of a brand that the top players in the world are using," Karman disclosed. She might be smitten by Djokovic, but Karman seems to have learned the tools of her trade from modern-day legends Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. "I am an aggressive player on the court. I admire and watch a lot of matches where Maria (Sharapova) is playing, and I think our game style is pretty much the same. I also admire Serena (Williams). She's an absolute legend because of the revolution she's brought into women's tennis. Her achievements as an athlete are commendable," she claimed. Talking about her future, the Indian tennis star aims high but stays realistic. "Right now the goal is to get into the Grand Slams. 2019 Australian Open is around the corner, so that's the first goal and then, maybe getting to the Top 150 in WTA rankings. Amid expectations, I just want to give my best out of there, stay fit and healthy and play more tournaments," she said. © ASICS Having enjoyed a great year, Karman intends to keep pushing forward, improving her game every day and making her country proud in upcoming tournaments. She will be seen plying her trade in ITFS (Pune and Solapur) which will be followed by a pre-season in France before all-important preparations for the Australian Open kick in. "Tennis is the one thing I enjoy and spend most of my time doing. I've always believed that it's important to enjoy what you do, have fun in what you're doing. If you love what you do and have fun doing it, it's not a task or obligation anymore. A balance of hard work and enjoyment is the best combination, Karman, who's rapidly rising as the new poster girl of Indian women's tennis, signed off with a valuable piece of advice for the youth.
  9. Sunny Leone is known for a lot of things. But, there is one facet of her life which has been largely overlooked. Who knew that Bollywood's very own Sunny Leone even had enough time to talk about fast cars, cool gadgets, and video games, let alone actually indulge in some of these teenage fantasies. © MensXP While Sunny now has three beautiful kids who are probably taking up all her time she's a huge fan of all things fast, cool and geeky. We sat with her for an exclusive interview and here's how it went: MXP: What's the fastest car you've got a chance to sit in? How fast did it go? Sunny: A Lamborghini. We weren't driving that fast because I was headed to an event, though. MXP: Everyone knows Sunny Leone - the actress and model, can you tell us more about Sunny - the speed junkie? Sunny: Well I like extreme sports and I also like really nice cars. I love the sound a car makes when you hit the gas. © MensXP MXP: What do you think of the iPhone X? Is it worth its price? Sunny: I like a lot of the features it has. A phone is something that we all use all day long so why not have one that is among the most advanced gadgets to date? I am not sure how many people will be able to afford it but for those who can i think they will enjoy it very much. I definitely want to upgrade my phone every year. MXP: Would you prefer going off-road or speeding down the highway? Sunny: Highway so that I can drive as fast as I want. I like fast smooth rides over bumpy ones. MXP: How important should grooming be for your ideal man? Sunny: Extremely. No ones likes to date someone who doesn't care about hygiene. I like to meet men who dress nice and are well groomed. MXP: If you could own any car in the world right now, what would you buy? Sunny: 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster Convertible. © YouTube - CanAm Motorsports MXP: What about video games? Are you every geek's dream come true? A hot gamer girl? Sunny: Yes I like video games very much. I love nerds and geeks. They are the ones that run this world and I love men who are really smart. I guess if you saw me at home playing games you might not think I was so hot. Gamers will understand.
  10. We saw her play Aamir Khan's eldest daughter in 'Dangal' and soon she became a household name. Who would have thought that playing Geeta Phogat would make Fatima Sana Shaikh an overnight star? Her hard work and sheer acting talent have put her on the path of success. Looking back at 'Dangal', we don't think anyone else could have portrayed the raw ferocity yet delicate vulnerability of Geeta, as Fatima did. Going Bindass in Europeððð Can't believe the things @sanyamalhotra_ makes me do sometimes!!! A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Aug 29, 2018 at 11:17pm PDT The journey has just begun for this 26-year-old star and there is certainly no stopping her. She is all set to now romance Aamir Khan in 'Thugs of Hindostan' and share screen space with Bollywood biggies like Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif. The talented actress has been praised for her work but at the same time, she has also been trolled and criticised, however, she is strong, bright, bold and all set to conquer the industry with her acting and persona. Happy walla birthday tauji ð A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Mar 14, 2018 at 7:08am PDT MensXP caught up with Fatima for a little chat and the beautiful star got candid with us on a string of topics, some which caught us by surprise: Shah Rukh, Aamir or Salman? Shah Rukh, my bachpan ka pyaar. I love his work, I love his acting, even though Salman is the BHAI but Shah Rukh is my first love. Working with Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan yet again, how has it been? It's an experience. Aamir is a school in himself. He has a lot of knowledge. You know, anyone who has spent so many years in the industry has a lot to share and there's so much to learn from. A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Dec 4, 2017 at 10:07pm PST And Amitabh Bachchan? People dream of such an opportunity and your second movie is with him. Amitabh sir is like a legend and he's an icon. He's extremely warm and I'm very happy that I got a chance to work with him. Even just being around him, you get to learn so much when you see him working so hard, even now after so many years. I'm very happy to be around such amazing people. A shift from TV to the silver screen? How did it happen? I started my career as a child actor and I was initially doing films and I've done many of them. Then I did TV, so like I've been around since I was a child. Things were coming to me but then there was also a phase when I was struggling again. I began to audition, 3-4 ads in a day, just like anyone else who comes and struggles. My journey has been very interesting, beautiful and difficult at the same time, as I have always wanted to do this and while all these things are happening right now, there's a lot of hard work. You eventually become a public figure and I was not prepared for that, I'm still not. Like even now I feel it's very intimidating, it's very new to me. I'm not used to anything; I'm not used to people talking about me because I'm still the same person that I was before all this happened. @abhitakesphotos दà¥à¤¸à¥à¤¤ फ़à¥à¤à¥ à¤à¥à¤à¤à¤¤à¤¾à¥¤ ð¥ dhanywaad A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Sep 16, 2017 at 11:38am PDT Tell us a couple of things about Mr. Perfectionist that people don't know. He loves to be in a freezer. If you're ever in his office, the temperature is somewhere near minus 15 degrees. So you've to carry your own kambal (quilt) and jacket (laughs loudly). He loves reading, so much that he would finish a novel in 2 days. How do you pick a movie to work in? Well, both the films that I've picked so far, 'Dangal' and 'Thugs Of Hindostan' have been very demanding ones. Playing a wrestler was very demanding. I would do a lot of research, watch a lot of videos of wrestling and the wrestlers giving interviews. I spent a lot of time doing that and of course, learning wrestling in real. For TOH, I learned a new skill. I learned archery and sword fighting and I practised proper Hindi dialogues because you know "Mumbai valon ki Hindi kaisi hoti hai." I think for me, when you're getting into a character there's no process, it just happens. Nom nom ð ð¸#tarunvishwa A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Apr 26, 2017 at 2:51am PDT How are you off-screen? Same only (Laughs). I'm still trying to figure myself out. I'm not a complex person, I'm a very simple and an emotional person. Your dream project? I would want to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Raju Hirani. I really love them and I hope I get a chance to work with them someday and accomplish my dream project. She defines beauty and dignity. Thank you so much for your love and affection. Happiness! â¤ï¸ A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Feb 8, 2017 at 10:33pm PST Which famous movie's remake would you like to be in? 'Mughal–e-Azam'. I love that film. Then there's 'Pyaasa', there is 'Sadma', there are so many old cult films. I would want to do as many films that I can and I would wanna play as many different characters that I can. Who is Fatima's ideal man? Oh God, Shah Rukh Khan, he's perfect for me (giggles). Yaar, I'm happy being single. I'm very comfortable being single. I don't have any strict notions. I think anyone who's interesting and makes me laugh is the right person. Don't judge me if I smell of निमबà¥, next time when you meet me. A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Jul 24, 2018 at 11:57am PDT What is your idea of a perfect date? Coffee and travel. Mujhe life mein aur kuch nahi chahiye. Bas coffee pila do, mai khush ho jaungi. Your support system? My friends and my family. सà¥à¤²à¥à¤«à¥ A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Aug 13, 2018 at 7:11pm PDT Have you had a crush on a co-star? Maine bohot saare logon ke saath kaam nahi kiya hai, so maybe after a few years I can answer this question. One of the most adventurous things you have done? I have a fear of heights and I've done bungee jumping. It was extremely challenging and difficult for me. I almost had a panic attack before the jump. The good times are ticking away. Let the celebrations begin âï¸ðð. I'm so thrilled to announce my association with @Fossil and joining the #FossilFamily. â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸ A post shared by Fatima Sana Shaikh (@fatimasanashaikh) on Aug 13, 2018 at 6:47am PDT What's your favourite brand right now? There are a lot, but I'm going to tell you about the one thing that I love the most right now, which is Fossil. My association with them just happened and I am glad, as I personally love their designs. I love their watches and bags. After 'Thugs of Hindostan', what are your future plans? Well, right now I have not signed anything. I'm still looking for work and going through scripts.
  11. If you live on social media, then you already know who YouTube sensation Bhuvan Bam is. Famously known as BB ki Vines, 24-year-old Bhuvan is famous for his hilarious and satirical takes in his videos. The man is extremely talented and a true millennial at heart. © Instagram He rules YouTube and his videos manage to garner millions of views within hours. And what makes him a powerhouse is the fact that he has set his empire with zero production cost. No, we ain't kidding! “Yeh tohfe hain jo apno se mile hain, Humein gairon se koi bhi gila nahin” -Sajjad Ali A post shared by Bhuvan Bam Official (@bhuvan.bam22) on Aug 18, 2018 at 5:02am PDT The man shoots on his terrace, using the same wall and background but just switching the characters, as per his videos. While people expand and often tend to grow their team with fame, he is a one-man army. From shooting, scripting, brain-storming, to production and feature, he does anything and everything himself. I caught up with him for a quick chat and Bhuvan revealed 10 things about him that make him sound just like any other millennial, which is basically most of us. What made you start BB Ki Vines? BB: It was out of pure passion. I always wanted to be an entertainer, either music or comedy. And I did this. What do you love to eat? BB: Seafood is hands down my favourite food! I got wings ð§ð½‍âï¸ðð« . . ð¸: @tusharmahajanofficial A post shared by Bhuvan Bam Official (@bhuvan.bam22) on Jul 22, 2018 at 7:26am PDT Favourite sport and sportsman? BB: Cricket and it has to be MS Dhoni. What made you pick the name 'BB ki Vines'? BB: I Started with FB and Vine was a popular culture. Ended up taking the name from there unintentionally. BB is my initials, Bhuvan Bam. Hence, BB's Vines = BB Ki Vines. “Sochta hoon uska dil kabhi mujhpe aaye toh” ðð𤪠. . ð¸: @tusharmahajanofficial @storyofspaces A post shared by Bhuvan Bam Official (@bhuvan.bam22) on Jul 30, 2018 at 9:16am PDT Your biggest phobia in the world BB: Water bodies. What do you love the most? BB: Peace of mind. A ðny day..ð´ A post shared by Bhuvan Bam Official (@bhuvan.bam22) on Aug 3, 2018 at 3:56am PDT One moment that changed your life? BB: Getting mobbed at a metro station. Made me realise the game has changed. Your turn-over? BB: Dusro ki thaali mein nahi jhaakte (laughs) Raahi ð£ð¶ð»‍âï¸ . . ð·: @rohitonweb A post shared by Bhuvan Bam Official (@bhuvan.bam22) on Jun 23, 2018 at 2:17am PDT The most expensive things you own? BB: My YouTube subscribers. The game you love the most? BB: I love playing FIFA on my PS.
  12. Racks on racks of India's best menswear designers, two monster-trucks filled with equipment, a massive crew of eager technicians and an over-zealous hotel staff came together — rather seamlessly — to deliver a secret project. A project that was almost six months in the making. More than six long months of deliberating over a rather simple question — What does a 'magazine cover' mean to a 21st century millennial? Fast forward to today and we, at MensXP, are proud to present you with a rather harmonious solution. Kannanur Lokesh Rahul — best known to ladies and lads alike as, KL Rahul — Indian cricket's 'next big thing' — sitting dandy on our (and his) first digital cover ever! In an exclusive interview, KL Rahul sits down with Rohan Raj for a heartwarming chat. As soon as I walk into the room, a sense of excitement quickly takes over. The room resembles a crime scene (sans the bodies, of course). The living area has been redecorated to accommodate towering lights, intertwining cables and other equipments. Our photographer, Anubhav Sood, is busy getting the perfect shots as every click of his camera is met with "That's great Rahul". Waiting patiently in a corner, I see the Indian cricketer truly living up to his star status. He's rocking the casual look and his confidence in front of the camera is synonymous to the majestic drives he plays through the covers on the cricket field. He is well aware of his surroundings and perfectly comfortable in his own skin. © Anubhav Sood/MensXP They're now done with the first look and that's my cue. I make my way towards the couch where Rahul is taking a breather and sipping on his black coffee. Treading with caution, I introduce myself and, just like that, we begin chatting. Within a few minutes, the preconceived notions I had about a celebrity of his stature begin to fade away and a sense of comfort seeps in. I quickly realise how easy he is to talk to. Despite being a popular cricketer and a youth icon, Rahul is grounded, courteous and humble. He defies every stereotypical term that is synonymous with a celebrity. But, of the many disarming qualities he has (the most obvious being his magnificent batting skills), the least talked about is his dynamic presence, eloquently backed by a winner's mentality. When he describes his family, he does not wave his hands or raise his voice excitedly. The 26-year-old speaks in a steady, affectless monotone, and projects an air of complete self-confidence. "They (grandparents) come from a time when life was pretty simple. My grandfather was a simple man. He was a family-oriented guy, something that is generally associated with their generation. He didn't have huge aspirations. He worked really hard, sacrificed his own dreams to ensure his kids got good education," Rahul recalls proudly. © Anubhav Sood/MensXP Reflecting the sense of fulfilment, he adds: "I didn't get to spend too much time with him. But seeing my family - my father and his siblings, I see how he brought them up to make sure they all become good human beings. They wanted the kids to be cultured, humble and down to earth. Yet, in a way, confident enough to be themselves and aspire to achieve big things in life.” Rahul's grandfather reminds me of mine — a disciplined Army man who fought as passionately for his family as he did for the country. As traditional as it may seem now, everything revolved around family for him. But, those values changed as the society reinvented the definition of a man. And, Rahul agrees. He labels his father's generation as the one that bridged the gap between traditional and modern values. Describing his father Lokesh as a man, Rahul pauses for a moment before finding just the right words to commemorate the individual responsible for his cricketing career. "My father was strict and kind of a disciplinarian while we were growing up. But he was pivotal in making me realise my dreams of being a professional cricketer and representing Team India. He played cricket in college and had passion for the sport. Despite being an academician himself, he nurtured me and supported me as I blossomed into a cricketer." © Anubhav Sood/MensXP "As a man, he is a pretty simple guy like my grandfather. But, the major difference is probably the freedom he gave to my sister and me to make our own choices in life. Not that my grandfather didn't give his kids the same freedom, but back in those days, elders had a major say in the lives of their loved ones. My dad always stressed on being a good human no matter what you do — something that was ingrained in him as a kid. But, at the same time, he allowed us to express ourselves," Rahul stresses on the changing mindset of a man. Citing the example of his father, he reveals that it was the evolved mentality of his dad and men of his generation which bolstered millennial men like him with the motivation to pursue their own success and gratification for themselves. And, I couldn't agree more. The traditional masculinity — that told us 'don't feel' — has paved way for modern masculinity, allowing the millennial men to 'dare to feel'. In the modern era of manhood, it isn't surprising to see the Karnataka cricketer not completely identifying with the brand of masculinity his father or grandfather might have projected. Rahul feels he doesn't need external validation by conforming. As an evolved man, he acts according to his volition. © Anubhav Sood/MensXP "My parents taught me to be a good human being above everything else. And, that's the foundation I have. But, at the same time, I want to learn from my own experience and do things that come naturally to me," Rahul, oozing confidence, carefully points it out. "I believe there are certain things you need to do at a certain age. Earlier, people were more engrossed in life as it came, even if it meant postponing things they really wanted to do. But, the societal norms have changed. I don't want any regrets in my life. Thus, whether it's about putting my back into gruelling training sessions to get a chiselled body or sitting patiently for hours to get a new tattoo, I like to do things I feel should be done at a certain age," he goes on to define the new-age man. Impressed by his analogy, I jump to the question, "So, what exactly is the defining factor that separates the new-age man from his predecessors?" "Communication," Rahul replies promptly. "I think communication is a really big factor for my generation. Back in the day, kids patiently listened to what their parents had to say. Talking back or disagreeing while speaking your mind was kind of disrespectful. It was a one-sided affair. You agreed, even if you didn't. There was no communication. But, times have changed. I can talk to my father about things that he probably couldn't have with his dad. Even when we have differences in opinion, the idea is not to disrespect or upset anyone, but have a healthy exchange where I can learn from his experience in life and build on with my own," Rahul says. © Anubhav Sood/MensXP Over the years, a man's ability and desire to provide for those who depend on him has been central to his masculinity. Making full use of his physical ability, wit and ambition to succeed in a combination, a man's role as the breadwinner is what ideally drives him to achieve. But, today's man follows through on his values. He values his own sense of self above others' sense of who he is. Thus, he honours his commitment to himself first. Separating themselves from their predecessors, the upcoming breed of men like Rahul aren't pretending to be someone they're not. They are not ashamed of who they really are or what they truly believe in. This cohort of new-age men is carving its own niche, breaking down barriers and inspiring others to join the 'Newhood'. © Anubhav Sood/MensXP ---- CREDITS: Creative Director: Santu Misra Stylist: Siddharth Batra Photographer: Anubhav Sood Hair And Make-Up: Shallu Chandla Fashion Assistant: Rohan Kwatra Location Courtesy: Andaz, Delhi
  13. When elegant design is combined with exceptional driving dynamics, the result is automotive brilliance. That's KL Rahul's philosophy on cars. Rahul started off this discussion with a car from his garage. The Mercedes AMG C 43 is the kind of car most of us would aspire to own one day. But for Rahul, it's one of the first cars he owned. Not a bad start. Not a bad start at all. © Mercedes The C 43 offers incredible performance at an affordable price. It can go from 0-100 in 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 250 kmph. The twin-turbo V6 deserves a special mention too. The only thing Rahul didn't let us know is whether he preferred sitting in the back or behind the wheel of this one. It's a tough choice. But, nobody cares about what's already in their garage. Here's what Rahul's garage could look like in the future: Lamborghini Huracan Spyder Every 20-something kid in India would love to own a Lamborghini. The only question is, which one? For Rahul, the answer is the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder. Makes sense. We all love convertibles, right? © Lamborghini Can you picture it? A bright yellow or a startling red Lamborghini barreling down the street with the top down. We bet that's what Rahul dreams of every time he scores a century. If you ask us, we'd go with the yellow. Aston Martin DB11 Bond, James Bond. What does he drive? An Aston Martin. Now, imagine getting behind the wheel of James Bond's car. The strong curves on the DB11 would make anyone agree to sell their soul to the devil. © Aston Martin For Rahul, this is not just a dream, it's only a matter of time. A matter of time before we see him in this magnificent car. Range Rover Velar Every Indian guy's wish list needs to have an SUV on it. Yes, Rahul's list has one too but not just any SUV, it's the Range Rover Velar. The Velar features the latest in terms of technology, innovation and design from Land Rover. © Land Rover Creating an SUV that looks spectacular and can hit 230 kmph is something only a brand like Land Rover could do. It's kind of like Rahul's career, built to last long. Batmobile Who would have imagined the Batmobile would make it on to this list? Then again, who wouldn't want the Batmobile on their list of favourite cars? If you ask us, nothing describes Rahul better than this car. It can go anywhere, it can do anything and when you see it barreling down a street, you better move out of the way. © Warner Bros. Pictures Is Rahul hinting at being the Batman of the Indian cricket team? He seems to think so. What Batman is to the Justice League, KL Rahul is to Team India. Believe it!