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Found 59 results

  1. This is the tale of a young Nigerian refugee boy who escaped his homeland along with his mother as the fear of the inhuman terrorist organisation, Boko Haram continued to grow amidst the streets of Nigeria. Getting inside the borders of the United States of America a year ago, the family found solace, no matter how temporary it may be, in a tiny homeless shelter of Manhattan, New York. The eight-year-old boy, who has come to be known as Tani to his American friends, was guaranteed education in a local elementary school called P.S. 116 wherein, a chess coach, Russell Makofsky, took him under his wing. While Tani showed a lot of interest in the sport, his mother was afraid that she won't be able to afford his dreams as they family was living in a shelter and affording two meals a day was a struggle in itself. Tani's coach Makofsky therefore decided to teach him the sport without taking a single penny from the family. “talent is universal but opportunity is not.” Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a homeless 8-year-old refugee, who won the New York State Chess Championship. Tani, you make all of us proud. Keep smiling and keep winning ps guys let's spread the word and help him out https://t.co/16VdapSimb pic.twitter.com/bXybqSBRle — camila (@Camila_Cabello) March 19, 2019 This is what makes Tani's achievements more impressive. The third-grader, who started playing the game almost a year ago, won the New York State chess championship in his category whilst defeating the kids that belonged to the richest families of the state, who could afford private chess sessions from the best coaches at their disposal, giving them a huge advantage over them. Life for the young genius has not been easier despite being thousands of miles away from the terror of Boko Haram. Kids from his school often teased him for being homeless and there have been numerous evenings when he has returned to his shelter with teary eyes because of it. During a pep rally held by his school, his principal Jane Hsu said: “It's an inspiring example of how life's challenges do not define a person.” Hsu also commends Tani's family for their limitless support and love for their child who has been destined to do great things. Tani wishes to become the youngest grandmaster of all time and at the rate at which he has been improving his game month after month, the time is not far when he finally realises this dream of his.
  2. When Bollywood and your friends' social media accounts are constantly trying to feed you cliched version of love and relationships in modern times, there comes another side to the emotion presented to us in the coming together of two very unusual lovers in the movie 'Photograph'. View this post on Instagram It's a very special feeling for me and team #Photograph & @amazonstudios as our film is been officially selected to be screened at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, 2019 Thank You @riteshbatra for making this possible and congratulations @sanyamalhotra_ A post shared by Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@nawazuddin._siddiqui) on Nov 30, 2018 at 2:21am PST Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sanya Malhotra as the leading 'jodi' in this film, 'Photograph' hit the theatres earlier today amidst a lack of fervour and hype that generally follows the release of a Bollywood romantic film. The reason might lay in the atypicality of the love story that 'Photograph' stands for. The film traces the journey of two strangers - Mumbai-based street photographer Rafiq (Nawazuddin) and accountancy student Miloni (Sanya) - and how they come together to smoothen out the ruffled feathers in each other's lives, forming a special bond along the way. View this post on Instagram Repost from @photographamzn- It all started with a ð¸ Take a look at the official U.S. poster for #PhotographMovie, directed by #RiteshBatra starring @nawazuddin._siddiqui and @sanyamalhotra_ Coming to U.S. theaters soon. A post shared by Sanya Malhotrað¥ (@sanyamalhotra_) on Jan 25, 2019 at 9:06am PST Now, even though Twitter has shown close to no interest in the film whatsoever, some earnest movie-goers have given this movie a chance, and from what we have gathered from the Twitter reviews so far, it seems that while the audience has loved the director's vision, the execution hasn't been followed through. Moreover, people aren't convinced about the leading pair's chemistry and seem disappointed with the half-baked character sketches that surface in the film. View this post on Instagram Super Excited to inform you all that after being officially selected at the prestigious #SundanceFilmFestival2019 my film #photograph will also be screened at the #berlinale2019 Thank You @riteshbatra for doing this wonder & @sanyamalhotra_ for being a wonderful part of this. A post shared by Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@nawazuddin._siddiqui) on Jan 17, 2019 at 11:13pm PST While we are all for unusual love stories and happy endings, there is something to be said about poor delivery and going by the audience's words, 'Photograph' doesn't seem to be making the cut this time. Here is what Twitter is saying about the film: #Photograph is an amazing experience. I felt it, can't really explain. It lingers when it's done. @riteshbatra certainly knows to hit the right cord. @Nawazuddin_S is phenomenal as always. But I could actually feel @sanyamalhotra07's character, very relatable. #PhotographReview. — Anwesh Panda (@anwesh_panda) March 15, 2019 Photograph (U/A) Runtime - 110 Minutes Rating - ð ð ð ð 1/2 Review - A very well crafted film. Acting - Nawaz is fantastic What's good - Screenplay,Direction What's bad - No chemistry between the leads — Cinema200 (@cinema200) March 15, 2019 Ritesh Batra has a knack for making his actors forget about the camera. Nothing ever seems filmed. Or designed. My #Photograph Review: A delicate little gem https://t.co/v0SK78gI6n pic.twitter.com/70gFbRf4yO — Sukanya Verma (@SukanyaVerma) March 15, 2019 Watched #Photograph, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sanya Malhotra. Longing, nostalgia and a rather unique take on love, this film speaks most in its silences. But it's not everyone's cup of tea. Here's my review.https://t.co/nktV200UjD pic.twitter.com/ddZMos3Hbm — Lakshana Palat (@lakshanapalat) March 15, 2019 Photograph Review: Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sanya Malhotra starrer is slow paced, ambiguous and melancholic — Bizma Gul (@BismaaGul) March 14, 2019
  3. Vicky Kaushal's upcoming movie directed by Shoojit Sircar is suddenly doing rounds amidst all digital and electronic news portals, as he's set to play the daring martyr Sardar Udham Singh. While we can't wait to see how Vicky manages to portray the freedom fighter, we thought it would be best to throw some light on Udham Singh's life, for people who're unaware of his life and struggles, while he avenged the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. © Twitter The Jallianwala Bagh massacre which took place on April 13, 1919, was one of the most brutal attacks to have taken place on Indian soil. About 1,500 unarmed people lost their lives and many were gravely injured. Amongst the people present there, a young orphan by the name of Udham Singh was also present, who managed to escape the massacre alive. The 20-year-old was scarred for life, enough to remember the atrocities caused and to avenge the death of thousands of people present there on that ill-fated day. This is the story of Udham Singh, a brave martyr, we all need in today's day and age. © Twitter Udham Singh was born on 26th of December 1899 and was orphaned at birth. He was brought to the Khalsa orphanage in Amritsar when he was 5 and was given values any self-sustaining boy learns at that age. Along with a certain set of value systems that was bestowed upon him from the orphanage, Singh was also growing up at a time when Punjab was in deep political turmoil as he grew, observing the changes that were taking place around him. The Uproar In the year 1919, a popular resentment was making its way through against the British in Punjab, due to the way they used to recruit soldiers and make them a part of the British army. There was also resentment on how the British forced contributions of funds towards World War I. In addition to these two issues, the British government passed the 'Rowlatt Act', which solely came into power to extend and strengthen the repressive wartime measures. Because of such a stringent and a counterproductive act, Mahatma Gandhi called for a country-wide 'hartal' (protest)and he received a positive response from Punjab for the same. This left the then British administration in Punjab, namely Lt. Governor Michael O'Dwyer absolutely panic-stricken. © Pinterest Due to the hartal, a number of local leaders supporting it were arrested by the Britishers under the Rowlatt Act and were imprisoned. This was obviously not taken too well in Punjab, the population which was supporting Gandhi's protest to the hilt. Revolts broke out in the state as anger and discontent were looming the territory like any distraught soul. Riots broke out between the British troops and civilians. To restore order in the state, the Governor handed charge of the situation to Brigadier-General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer. The first step Dyer took to uproot tensions, was ban public gatherings, since they accumulated mass protests and riots, according to him. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre On April 13, 1919, of about 20,000 unarmed men, women and children gathered at Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh, on the day of the Baisakhi festival (festival of harvest), to celebrate it in an open space. Many of them had come from out of towns unaware of the ban on public gatherings. Udham Singh and his friends were present at Jallianwala on the same day to serve the turn-out with water and other services. While the crowd gathered to celebrate the festival, General Dyer arrived with his troops, sealed the only exit to the park and opened fire without any warning on the unarmed crowd. The crowd ran helter-skelter for their lives, but in reality, the park didn't have any place to shelter anyone from the firing. Except there was a well, right in the middle of it, where several women and children jumped in to seek protection. Many people lost their lives in the horrific blood bath, but according to the official tally, there were 400 killed and 1200 injured, however, unofficial records state the count was a lot higher. © Columbia Pictures Udham was just 20 when he experienced such brutality. This experience made him a part of the armed resistance that was unfolding in and outside of India and soon he made his way to the United States of America. His Fight Began While in San Francisco, Singh came across some members of the Ghadar party, a revolutionary movement organised by immigrant Punjabi-Sikhs to secure India's independence. The diaspora operated from the USA and aided India with funds that would help make progress with the fight for Independence back in India. He got involved in the movement to a point where he would travel across the USA, using several aliases such as Ude Singh, Sher Singh and Frank Brazil, just to help out with the movement. In 1927, Bhagat Singh asked Udham Singh to head back to India to help out with the revolution back in the country. The year he came back, he got arrested for running the Ghadr party's radical publication 'Ghadr Di Gunj'. He was jailed for four years and was released in 1931. © Twitter Even though Singh was released in 1931, he was under constant surveillance of the police because of Bhagat Singh's circle of influence back then. He eventually escaped the surveillance and made his way to Germany to plan the events for the for independence without any intervention. Singh eventually wanted to make his way to England with an aim to execute Michael O'Dwyer, since he was the governor then who was responsible for the brutal Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Singh finally reached England in 1933 and fell in the socialist groups while working as a mechanic, carpenter and doing other odd jobs. His Fight Came At A Cost Even though he was involved in odd jobs and a fair bit of acting (playing extras) in two Alexander Korda movies, he never forgot his eventual goal- the execution of Dwyer and upon hearing Dwyer was going to make a speech at a conference in London's Caxton Hall, in March 1940, Singh made it a point to sneak in to the hall, while the conference was going on. He had hidden a revolver in his coat when he entered the hall and shot twice at Dwyer after he was done making his speech and moved away from the platform. Singh didn't try and run away or resist the arrest that was made right after. Dwyer died on the spot and Singh was arrested right after, completing his life's mission to avenge the death of thousands of innocent people. © Twitter, Udham Singh, Second from the left arested. Udham Singh was hanged on July 31, 1940, and during the time of his trial, he'd given his name as Mohammad Singh Azad, just to conclude that India was still a secular country and all religions would fight together to do away with the British rule for good. He'd even tattooed the name on his arm to prove the same. He died in London at the Pentonville prison and was buried within prison grounds. In 1974, Singh's last remains were exhumed and brought to India, before he was cremated in Punjab where he was born and his ashes were scattered in the Satluj river, where Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru's ashes were scattered post their death. © Twitter With much valour, patriotism and bravery, Udham Singh finally avenged the death of thousands of innocent lives, by giving up his own, in order to honour his motherland and teach the Britishers that no matter what they do or how they rule the nation, India will never be divided and always be one. The Shaheed left a legacy that was eventually responsible for our independence. People still narrate his stories through movies and plays and recently the Indian band-Sca Vengers released a song dedicated just to him, with a very interesting animated video called 'Frank Brazil', which was one of Udham Singh's alias. The legend of Udham Singh will forever live on and anytime we face discrimination, oppression, injustice or inequality, we must remember we always have the will and the might to fight against it, just like Udham Singh did for the country.
  4. 'Gully Boy'opened to rave reviews and immense appreciation, both at the box office and by the audience. While it was already expected that Zoya Akhtar'storytellingng will kill it with the brilliance of Alia and Ranveer mixed together, what really stood out as a brilliant surprise was the character of MC Sher, played by actor Siddhant Chaturvedi. View this post on Instagram Polished over time, some words. Rusted over dreams, some feelings. . #SundaySymphony . Picture by @abheetgidwani Styled by @mrsheetalsharma Hair by @shifstershetty @bbluntindia Makeup by @mehakoberoi A post shared by Siddhant Chaturvedi (@siddhantchaturvedi) on Mar 2, 2019 at 11:56pm PST The actor bowled everyone over with his strong performance and people are already betting their hearts on him. However, like most successful stories, Siddhant had his own share of blows and lows to reach where he is right now. He shared his story of how acting happened and what all he traded on his way up to reach this juncture with 'Humans Of Bombay'. View this post on Instagram “My father has always been fond of Cinema, so he'd take me to watch movies every Friday & my love affair with Cinema began. My dad would play Salman songs on tape & I'd dance! I even had Shahrukh's 'COOL' necklace! I was always inclined towards art-the first poem I wrote was for a girl in 9th grade. She turned me down, but I continued writing, not knowing where it'd lead. Still, my primary career option was to become a CA, like my father! So I studied, never once thinking about acting. That seed was planted when in college, I got into the drama team. I realised I loved it! But I had to leave it to focus on my CA exams. Between college & my classes–I barely slept! But I knew I had to finish my education– I was doing it for the heck of it, but once I started, I needed to reach that finish line. So I cleared my exams, just 15 marks away from the rank! If you ask me, what my biggest achievement is–it's not acting. I knew I'd achieve that, but it's passing my exams, because that's something I never wanted to do. Later, before my finals, I asked my dad for time to focus on acting. I'd go with my friends to auditions. In my first audition, they told me to 'learn how to look at the camera first & then come back.' But through it all, my dad was my true MC Sher. He said, 'be patient & don't undersell yourself ever, to always chase my dreams & he'll give me food & a roof so that I could do what I wanted. He gave me the freedom to decide & dream. So after 4 years of struggle, with more auditions & more rejections, Inside Edge happened. Because the makers had a vision which my talent fit into! After which– I met Zoya Akhtar at the success party & danced with her on Gallan Goodiyan. As fate would have it, she asked me to audition for Gully Boy, for the role that changed my life. After the release, I received a letter from Mr. Amitabh Bachchan himself & when I handed that over to my father, the biggest Bachchan fan, it was the best moment of my life. His face said it all. Plus I can never get tired of already being remembered for Sher–I can now truly roar, 'भाठभाठभाठà¤à¤¯à¤¾ शà¥à¤° à¤à¤¯à¤¾ शà¥à¤°'!” A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on Mar 2, 2019 at 5:12am PST The post reads as follows: “My father has always been fond of Cinema, so he'd take me to watch movies every Friday & my love affair with Cinema began. My dad would play Salman songs on tape & I'd dance! I even had Shahrukh's 'COOL' necklace! I was always inclined towards art-the first poem I wrote was for a girl in 9th grade. She turned me down, but I continued writing, not knowing where it'd lead. Still, my primary career option was to become a CA, like my father! So I studied, never once thinking about acting. That seed was planted when in college, I got into the drama team. I realised I loved it! But I had to leave it to focus on my CA exams. Between college & my classes–I barely slept! But I knew I had to finish my education– I was doing it for the heck of it, but once I started, I needed to reach that finish line. So I cleared my exams, just 15 marks away from the rank! If you ask me, what my biggest achievement is–it's not acting. I knew I'd achieve that, but it's passing my exams, because that's something I never wanted to do. Later, before my finals, I asked my dad for time to focus on acting. I'd go with my friends to auditions. In my first audition, they told me to 'learn how to look at the camera first & then come back.' But through it all, my dad was my true MC Sher. He said, 'be patient & don't undersell yourself ever, to always chase my dreams & he'll give me food & a roof so that I could do what I wanted. He gave me the freedom to decide & dream. So after 4 years of struggle, with more auditions & more rejections, Inside Edge happened. Because the makers had a vision which my talent fit into! After which– I met Zoya Akhtar at the success party & danced with her on Gallan Goodiyan. As fate would have it, she asked me to audition for Gully Boy, for the role that changed my life. After the release, I received a letter from Mr. Amitabh Bachchan himself & when I handed that over to my father, the biggest Bachchan fan, it was the best moment of my life. His face said it all. Plus I can never get tired of already being remembered for Sher–I can now truly roar, 'भाठभाठभाठà¤à¤¯à¤¾ शà¥à¤° à¤à¤¯à¤¾ शà¥à¤°'!” View this post on Instagram @amitabhbachchan सादर पà¥à¤°à¤£à¤¾à¤®, à¤à¤ªà¤à¤¾ à¤à¤ªà¤¹à¤¾à¤° à¤à¤° à¤à¤¶à¥à¤°à¥à¤µà¤¾à¤¦ मिला à¤à¥ मà¥à¤°à¥ लिठà¤à¤à¤²à¥à¤ªà¤¨à¥à¤¯ हà¥à¥¤ à¤à¤¸ à¤à¤¼à¥à¤¶à¥ à¤à¥ वà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤à¥à¤¯à¤¾ मà¥à¤ शबà¥à¤¦à¥à¤ मà¥à¤ नहà¥à¤ à¤à¤° सà¤à¤¤à¤¾à¥¤ यॠमà¥à¤°à¥ लिठसà¥à¤­à¤¾à¤à¥à¤¯ à¤à¤° à¤à¤°à¥à¤µ à¤à¤¾ पल हà¥, à¤à¤° à¤à¤¬ बस à¤à¤ªà¤à¥ à¤à¤°à¤£ सà¥à¤ªà¤°à¥à¤¶ à¤à¥ à¤à¤¾à¤®à¤¨à¤¾ à¤à¤°à¤¤à¤¾ हà¥à¤à¥¤ A post shared by Siddhant Chaturvedi (@siddhantchaturvedi) on Feb 22, 2019 at 9:36pm PST From his first poem, to being inspired from the real MC Sher of his life, his father, to finally getting the due recognition and validation from none other than Big B himself, Siddhant is truly the roaring 'sher' of Bollywood right now!
  5. Indians are not new to the coffee experience, even when a steaming pan of chai remains a common sight at the tea stalls we spot in every nukkad in town. Yet, the narrative around coffee has undergone major developments in the last few years, as a result of which the appreciation for this darkened gold has made its way beyond the southern borders of the country, where it has been ruling over the hearts of people for the longest time. One of the key game changers in bringing about this notable change in how Indians enjoy their coffee is courtesy to to the makers of 'Sleepy Owl', a specially brewed, gourmet coffee brand that was co-founded by Arman Sood, Ashwajeet Singh, and Ajai Thandi in 2016. © Facebook Before the trio introduced Indian coffee drinkers to the rich and novel taste of cold brew coffee, co-founder Arman by his own admission said that, “up until law school he didn't even know coffee was a bean, that had to be roasted, then ground and brewed.” So we wonder how these three young men came across the gold mine of taste and the high of caffeine discreetly guarded by a select few who had discovered this beauty. Ajai's stint at JP Morgan in New York, stirred his love for coffee for the first time, and in the time he ended up spending there, the love turned into a solid affair. So of course he was more than interested when Ashwadeep show the slightest interest in introducing cold-brewed coffee to people back home. Soon Arman joined the dua, and together the kick started 'Sleepy Owl'. © MensXP So from the very beginning the trio had a very simple agenda, “we wanted Indians to have a fantastic coffee experience, but we wanted to bring it to them in a convenient way for them to enjoy it. So that's what Sleepy Owl does - we make very convenient coffee products,” Arman tells MensXP. 'Sleepy Owl' became a 'corporate-household name' when it came to great tasting coffee which could be freshly delivered to their work desks. The bag-in-box format of 'Sleepy Owl' played a huge part in this, its convenience and quirky packing only adding to the brand's offerings. © Facebook But thankfully, even with his academic backgrounds in law, Arman's family was more than supportive of his decision to transition from law to entrepreneurship. But there is one element that makes the co-founders' and Sleepy Owl's journey all the more special, and it's the fact that Sleepy Owl sources its coffee from within the Indian subcontinent. Proud of this fact, Arman tells MensXP that, “being a startup in India, we wanted to be rooted in the spirit of make in India. With India being the 4th largest coffee exporter in the world, we had to go with its fantastic Arabica coffee. We consistently source 100% of our Arabica coffee from Indian farms. © MensXP The makers of Sleepy Owl work with an aim to create delightful customer experience, yet the initial challenge of getting into retail stores did pose a hurdle. The brand decided to make use of social media popularity and built the hype around the brand online first, and followed it up with customer feedback. So once they had taken care of that along with the daily struggle of roasting, grinding and brewing coffee for that perfect blend, they launched on 16th June, 2016. What started in Ashwajeet's home kitchen in Dwarka, soon moved out to a larger facility in South Delhi, and today they are available in 120 stores in Delhi NCR. But that is just not where they want to draw the line. With the projection that coffee industry will be a 5 billion dollar industry by 2020, Sleepy Owl wants to have a very big portion of that pie. © MensXP So for Arman, every budding entrepreneur must keep this in mind that, “entrepreneurship is like jumping off the cliff without a parachute and building it along the way.” But he also adds that don't listen to the naysayers no matter what they say.
  6. For a man who was busy honing his skills as a chess player before representing India at junior levels, Yuzvendra Chahal has undoubtedly come a long way to become one of the country's preferred spinners in limited-overs cricket. Making his debut in 2016, the leggie has managed to rise through the ranks in Indian cricket and forged a vital partnership with fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav for his side. Continuing his fine form, the 23-year-old played a pivotal role in India's historic 4-1 win the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series in New Zealand. In the five games he played, Chahal bagged nine wickets - emerging as the joint leading wicket-taker alongside Mohammed Shami in the ODI series. But, apart from bamboozling the opposition batsmen, Chahal has carved his own niche with wit and pun. He has struck a chord with cricket fans through his very own 'Chahal TV' - a show that has now become a one-stop shop for fans to watch their favourite cricketers talk about the game. Instagram/@rohitsharma45 Though he has been seen poking fun at other cricketers on his chat show, Chahal was given a taste of his own medicine by none other than 'Hitman' Rohit Sharma. In one of his Instagram stories, the Indian opener shared a picture of the banner of Oriental Bank of Commerce that had Chahal on it. Taking a dig at his teammate, Rohit added the text 'GOAT' on the picture as a laugh riot ensued amongst cricket fans on Instagram. Meanwhile, both Rohit and Chahal will play a pivotal role in the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Australia at home. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also announced a 15-member squad for the two T20Is which will be followed by five ODIs. Here's a look at India's squad: For T20I series: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande. For 1st and 2nd ODI: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Siddharth Kaul, KL Rahul. For remaining 3 ODIs: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.
  7. Love may be the most powerful feeling known to mankind, but more than anything else, love is a celebration. A celebration of the life we love and are grateful for. A celebration of loving ourselves for who we are, and how far we have come when it comes to living our dreams. And if we are lucky enough, a celebration of finding the person who seems to make life so much more better by simply being in it. So, to love is to basically celebrate the joy and happiness we find with someone else that we didn't even know existed! They just happen to walk into our life one fine day, and bam, nothing remains the same anymore. © Keshav Suri Love is like that added sprinkle of pepper and oregano on the pizza, it is so extra but makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Much like the added sprinkle of squabbles, random fits of laughter and dizzying rush of affection, being in love brings into our life. Keshav and Cyril's heady relationship has been nothing less than a similar celebration. It's full of spice and sprinkled with moments of unceasing fun and laughter, which makes Keshav extremely grateful for the best ten years of his life that he got to share with his French husband Cyril Feuillebois. © Keshav Suri And since love follows no single language or religion, learning about this union between Keshav and Cyril has been a wonderful experience. Lalit Hotels scion Keshav Suri is more than just that, he is a son, a brother and a loving husband apart from being a champion for the LGBTQ community, since his writ in the Supreme Court against Section 377 changed the future for an entire community. This is his story and we are more than proud to share it with you. Chance may have led them to their first meeting, but Keshav remembers it like it was yesterday. Keshav recalls the first time he met Cyril and says, “I distinctly remember it was the summer of 2008 – June, when Cyril and I met for the first time at a party at the 24/7 Bar at The Lalit New Delhi, and both of us felt a connect.” © Keshav Suri Though Keshav and Cyril instantly hit it off at the party, they couldn't spend more time with each other since immediately after their first meeting, Cyril went to Goa. Reminiscing about that time, Keshav says, “though it was June, I followed him. One day, Cyril hired a Vespa and asked me to join him for a ride. I was apprehensive but, our eyes met and I could easily trust him. It was there, in Goa, where we realised, this was meant to be, that we shared something special.” Yet, of the many memories that the couple has made together, for Keshav, the day he and Cyril exchanged their vows and promised to be with each other, surrounded by their family and friends, remains his most precious and favourite memory. © Keshav Suri In Keshav's own words, here's how the day looked like, “one of the most memorable experiences of my life was walking down the aisle during our recent Goa celebrations. My Sister Shradha played dhol, while other sisters – Divya and Deeksha and Cyril's sister-in-law, Jennifer walked us to the aisle.” He also points out that the women in the couple's life have come as angels in disguise. “The women in our family are amazing! Both nature and professionals were in sync to make it picture perfect. Our mothers officiated the ceremony. At sunset, we exchanged vows and garlands in front of a transgender high priestess. The exchange of rings and sunset were perfectly timed. Everyone was teary-eyed during our vows, even we were very emotional”, shares Keshav. © Keshav Suri In the years that Keshav and Cyril have been together, there have been many moments which stood out, many landmark moments they achieved as a couple. Yet, when asked about their biggest milestone, Keshav would give you this heartfelt response, “my writ in the Supreme Court of India to revoke Section 377 and the journey of it reading down has been a huge milestone for us and the country. It would not have happened without my partner and my family's support. And our marriage recently in Paris and celebrations in Goa, which I am sure is a milestone in every relation. I truly value what we share and am glad to have taken the plunge.” © Keshav Suri That almost sounds as much as an ardent love confession, as it was a highlight the couple had the joy of sharing together. But obviously, there is a lot more than just memories that Keshav and Cyril have shared together in the time they have been together. And trust us when we say it, it has been the perfect blend of love and spice. Keshav admits the same himself, “Life together has been a rollercoaster ride, with much fun, laughter and some lifetime experiences. We've travelled around the world together and ticked off life goals. I've always felt at home with him. We have 3 children together – our dogs – Pacco Westwood, Edith Jagger, Maggie Dench and working hard to see them through college.” © Keshav Suri And regardless of the rollercoaster ride that life has been ever since the couple got together, Keshav cannot stop gushing about the love of his love for the kind of person he is, and what Cyril adds to his life. Talking about how proud he is of his husband, Keshav tells us, “Cyril is an extremely private and a creative person. Despite that, he stood by my decision to file a writ, which meant our lives will be in the public eye. The fact that he just lets me be, and is not at all judgmental and nothing anyone says or does shocks him. I am proud of his courage and his love for our country – India. © Keshav Suri But, of course, we also had to be cliched and ask Keshav what love and his relationship with Cyril has taught him, on the occasion of Valentine's Day, and Keshav, being a sport said, “this relation has filled my life with laughter. Even after ten years of being together, we have the ability to make each laugh. It has taught me to be happy and spread love, warmth, positivity and happiness.” © Keshav Suri Valentine's Day may or may not mean something to you personally, but it becomes especially hard to be immune to all the love and warmth that's in the air and in people's hearts today. We hope that whether you're single or in love, the stories in '14 Days of Love' inspire you to love and spread the love all through the year.
  8. While most of you are busy celebrating Valentine's Day today with your SO, we at MensXP are celebrating some of the most beautiful love stories. Love stories that are far greater than any shackles of stereotypes, discrimination against homosexuality, barriers of caste, religion and everything in between. Stories of people who dared to bare their hearts in front of each other, overcame their ups and downs in life together with a big smile on their faces. Amidst the daily battles between old school romance vs millennial love, reel-life romance vs real-life love stories; there is one couple who is living their love one moment at a time and redefining the term 'relationship goals' for all of us every day. We're talking about Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha, whose 8-year-old relationship has not only stood the test of time but also proved to be an inspiration for those around them. © Instagram Rajkummar is undoubtedly one of the finest and the most versatile actors in the current crop of Bollywood. We have seen many facets of Rajkummar Rao on-screen, but how is the actor in real life, especially when it comes to love? Patralekha gave us exclusive insights into their relationship, their favourite memories and their idea of Valentine's Day. Their First Date & Favourite Memory "I was totally amazed and blown away by his dedication and hard work. He was focussed and would only concentrate on his next scene. I started admiring him and then we became friends", said Patralekha, who met him in FTII where the two had gone to do a student project. When asked about her favourite memory, she said, "I was back home in Shillong and Raj just turned up outside my home to surprise me." © Instagram The 'Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga' actor too has a special memory of how the two met and who played the cupid for him. Turns out it was a commercial he saw her in, "We never went on an official date. It's surprising but it's true. I had noticed her in a commercial before we got a chance to work with each other but somewhere deep down, I always knew that she is the one." Millennial Love vs Old School Romance "My idea of love is old school if you ask. I would love to receive a hand-written note from Patra or I love it when she asks me 'how your day' after a day's hard work. So, you can call me traditional that way, but I believe in keeping promises."- Rajkummar. "My idea of love is all about trust. You invest so much in a relationship emotionally that it can totally drain you if your trust or love is broken. So, both of us trust each other immensely and ensure we don't break it or take each other for granted." - Patralekha. © Instagram How Do The Two 'Share The Load' And Responsibilities Recently, Rajkummar and Patralekha appeared together in the campaign organised by Ariel. The campaign talks about gender equality and urges the sons to '#ShareTheLoad'. The core triggering question of this powerful movement is – 'Are we teaching our sons what we are teaching our daughters?' Bollywood's latest 'IT' couple too participated in the campaign and spoke to lengths about their idea of equality. Rajkummar said, "Today's sons will be tomorrow's husbands and thus, they should be equipped to demonstrate equality within the household. They can start this with simple chore like laundry and start sharing responsibilities with their mothers and sisters so that they grow up to be equal partners when they get married." © Instagram Patralekha too feels that since women today are excelling in all fields, they expect to get support from their partners so that they don't feel overburdened with responsibilities. "It's only fair that their partners share the load. But if sons of today are not equipped to contribute to household work, they will never be able to do it in future. Thus, conflict is natural to occur. I am thankful to have Raj as a partner. He believes, says, and demonstrates that we are truly equal partners. But, partners like Raj shouldn't be exceptions, they should be the norm," said Patralekha. Reel-Life Vs Real-Life Jealousy and possessiveness can sometimes break even the strongest of relationships. With billions of people watching you and keeping a track of your personal life, things only get tough for Bollywood actors. "I am quite secure that way. It's because of the confidence, comfort and trust that Raj gives me. We share everything so there is no doubt and if there is, I openly ask him, and he explains. Being from the same industry, I understand the limitations and compulsions that actors must go through. So, it works out fine." - Patralekha. Just like all of us, Raj and Patra too have their own plans and ideas about Valentine's Day and they are genuinely better than all of ours. © Instagram "Every day is a Valentine's Day with Patra. She is a great partner and a great friend; she is the person I want to come back to after a long day. I can be myself with her without being judged. I think love is about all this, about the comfort, compassion, fun that you share with the partner." - Rajkummar. View this post on Instagram #JummaChumma with @patralekhaa #Bangkok video credit by my dear friend @vivek_daschaudhary A post shared by Raj Kummar Rao (@rajkummar_rao) on Dec 30, 2017 at 9:52am PST "We celebrate love every day…that's the best part of being us. No special plans, being together and taking time out for each other is the best thing to do." - Patralekha. We guess we all can learn a lesson or two from Raj and Patra, as the two lovingly call each other, when it comes to treating our partners as equals.
  9. Seeing the world through the eyes of an explorer soothes more than just our senses, it feeds our soul. There is a renewed sense of vitality that comes from seeking the world with an avid lust of a traveller, who wishes to discover new places and gather experiences that turn out to be nothing less than Aladdin's treasure. This becomes all the more poignant when people say that the world is an oyster for those who know where to look. Tryst with the travel bug is made memorable every time we witness the lush hill stations, or snow-capped mountains and pristine islands sitting in the lap of nature, that are scattered around the world. © Instagram Yet, such amazing experiences would get heightened manifold if one could witness the teeming beauty of this world in the company of someone they love and wish to share their life with. It is a life that most couples would kill for, and there is no guessing why. The possibility of discovering the captivating beauty of the earth with the person who makes your world go round, would pretty much be like living the dream life. And let us tell you that Vidit and Savi are living this exact life. They are lovers as well as travellers in love, and this is exactly how their story unfolded. For Vidit and Savi, their love for travelling and discovering the world together first began from the backseat of their school bus rides at DPS R. K. Puram. Talking about that time of their life Savi says, “we met in high school in New Delhi – we were friends for years, dated for ages, and then got married!” © Instagram Even their first date involved the outdoors, and even though it was a long time ago, Savi remembers it like it was yesterday, “we went for a long drive and coffee at a newly-opened coffee shop in the city! I'd happily do that on a date even today!” Even after having seen most of the world with Vidit, Savi is more than happy to take him up on a similar date even today - who said little things don't count? From that first date to a gazillion one-of-a-kind dates later, Savi and Vidit have come a long way. However, it was back in 2008 when the couple took the biggest leap of their lives. From travelling as a couple to scaling thousands of miles to get married and travel to a new place every month and amping that up to travelling to a new destination every few days and leaving their jobs to make it possible, Savi and Vidit's journey has been nothing short of an adventure. © Instagram The couple decided to document it all on their blog 'Bruised Passports', which today has a great following online. So, when Jaime Lynn Beatty once said that, “jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul,” we suppose nobody could live up to this saying better than the makers of 'Bruised Passports'. As of today, the couple has travelled to 90 countries around the world, with many more to go as per their itinerary. However, their journey as travellers in love began when they were teenagers. Recalling their journey as a couple, this is what Savi had to say, “we travelled a fair bit in South East Asia as teenagers when we had just started dating because Vid went to university in Singapore. That's when both of us fell in love with travelling together!” © Instagram Soon, life caught up with the young couple and “as we grew up, we moved to London and got married. At this stage of our lives, we would save our salaries to travel together each month. We spent almost 8 years in London and would try to travel to a new place every month! This is how we ended up exploring Europe, the US, and parts of Africa.” However, the thrill of exploration and discovery rubbed off on the couple and they began to seek much more of what they had already tasted of life as travellers. Savi shares more and says, “sometime along the way we fell in love with travelling and savouring new experiences. Eventually, we ended up working towards travelling full time. Experiencing remote corners and busy cities of the world together has brought us a lot closer. It's like being partners-in-crime at a whole new level.” © Instagram Yet, when we asked them of their most cherished memory, this is what they had to say, “Finnish Lapland - the feeling of lying in a transparent glass igloo and looking out at the Northern Lights is incomparable. A trip to Lapland offers so many bucket list items - riding a reindeer, sledging with husky dogs, seeing the Northern Lights, cruising through a frozen sea, swimming with icebergs - and for that reason, it is second to none!” Just reading about it is making us daydream about all the glory they might have witnessed, and that sure as hell would be one of the most romantic ways of spending a date night with our significant other, don't you agree? © Instagram But this journey that Savi and Vidit set out on over a decade ago has taught them as much about each other as individuals, as it has taught them about relationships and life at large. Vidit shares how he learns something new from Savi every single day, “I have learnt to be a fighter when it comes to achieving goals. Savi has a meticulous rhythm of working and because of that, I learn something new from her every day. She juggles so many different roles and does it all with perfection.” As for Savi, she claims that “I've learnt the art of prioritising from Vid and never settling for anything less than 100%. He strives for complete happiness, in work and life, and isn't afraid of spending hours, days, or even years to achieve something. But it has to look exactly like what he had in mind! I'm also really proud of the fact that he's passionate about gender equality and is always talking about how important it is to fight stereotypes and respect women.” © Instagram And when you ask the couple what their relationship has taught them over the years, they say, “loads. But mostly that a long term relationship isn't always about flowers and candles. It's about adventure, experiences, mind-numbing compatibility, and consciously CHOOSING to be with someone every single day. And marriage isn't about duties, being 'tied down' (the one stereotype we hate the most!) or becoming one soul!” For them, love and marriage mean nothing else than saying that, “it's actually about celebrating your individualities, being two financially independent people supporting each other's dreams, giving each other strength when all hope is lost, and most importantly having fun!” © Instagram Savi and Vidit may have travelled far and wide on the face of this earth, but they have also managed to discover themselves in the process, and grow as individuals as well as a couple by coming in touch with myriad people, places and cultures which only helped them to appreciate life and each other a lot better. Why? Because this world can be the greatest teacher, and when you know where to look, it can surprise you with some of life's most splendid experiences.
  10. The quotations for this story was taken from an interview originally conducted by Ravi Gupta for MensXP Hindi. Love is said to be the biggest blessing of life, but when it happens to be one-sided, the same can turn into someone's biggest nightmare. On one hand, where love is supposed to make us feel like a million bucks, a love gone wrong can make someone lose faith in life altogether. While love makes someone feel confident and alive, it can turn someone's life into a curse for not feeling the same way. People have a gazillion ways of showing someone that they love them, but when that love changes into an obsession, the very feeling of affection begins to spread like acid within a person's heart, turning everything in its way into a living nightmare. Crazed by the thought of attaining the beloved, people begin to lose sight of all reason and logic, and give into their inner demons. (c) Caters News Agency Such is the story of Pramodini, who was caught between the love and obsession of an army officer. Odisha's Pramodini Roul 'Rani' was 16-years-old when an Army man changed her life forever. This man wasn't her prince charming by any right, but had come as the devil in disguise. The paramilitary soldier attacked Rani by throwing acid all over her face and body because she had rejected his marriage proposal. In a matter of seconds, everything faded into nothingness - right from her skin to her confidence, everything melted away. The beauty that brought young men to their knees and numerous suitors to her doors, was replaced by scars and painful tears. 2009 turned into the year that not only saw “friends” and “well wishers” turn their backs on her, she lost her eyesight in the attack and was left bedridden for years to come. What was left of that fateful incident was a shadowy life and her widowed mother. (c) Pramodini & Saroj Rani had been in 12th standard, and an army camp had been set up close to her college. That's how the paramilitary soldier first saw Rani. He fell for her in no time, and went to her house with a marriage proposal. Since Rani was merely sixteen years old and underage, her family declined the proposal. Rani was unaware of this entire development all along, and was caught unaware when her life went for a toss within moments! One day while Rani was cycling back home from college along with her cousin brother, the soldier came riding on a bike with his friend and poured acid on Rani's head. Rani recalls that day and says, “the pain that I experienced then is inexplicable. We had registered an FIR after the attack and the police took my statement. But that soldier began to threaten us, and we had to withdraw the case eventually.” Remembering those dreadful years of her life after the attack, Rani says, “one-sided love and obsession took away everything from me. Beauty, dance, happiness and even eyesight, that demon didn't leave me with a reason to live. My relatives spoke of feeding me poison, and even I used to wonder what was the point in living. Thinking about love was equally impossible. But Saroj has given me second lease of life filled with happiness. Now I don't hate Valentine's Day, or men, instead I love it all more than ever.” (c) Facebook Between her surgeries and stay in the hospital, Pramodini never imagined there could come a time when she would find love standing at her door. Rani and Pramod Kumar Sahoo first saw each other during one of Rani's many visits to the hospital. Pramod was working as a medical representative at the time, and was a friend of one of the nurses who was treating Rani at a private hospital. She introduced them, and soon every time Saroj visited the hospital, he would check on Rani. Over time as their funds got exhausted, the hospital began to push for Rani's discharge, stating that she was not showing any improvements and her chances of getting better were low. When Saroj heard about this update, he took it as a personal challenge to help Rani get better. He began to care for her like an earnest friend, and even had to give up his job in the process. Saroj shares, “I decided to help Rani get better for the sake of humanity. I began to give her more time than I gave myself. I helped her walk around and kept instilling confidence in her every time she gave up. At that time she needed the support of a good friend, as much as the medicines - something she wasn't getting at the hospital or from her family.” (c) Pramodini & Saroj After spending a couple of years with Rani, Saroj slowly began to fall for her and wanted to confess his love. All the while his friends discouraged him to make the move and said things like, “you'll get such pretty girls, and you're falling for her. You've lost your mind.” But Saroj knew what he wanted and he decided to follow his heart. He proposed to Rani on 14th February 2016, and decided to share their lives with each other, and move beyond what friends, family and society had to say. Talking about her life with Saroj, Rani says that, “love is very powerful. Nothing can stand in its way. Saroj's love helped to heal me from within, something that had become necessary. Life would have been no fun with 80% burns and 20% eyesight, if not for Saroj's company. I feel alive once more because of him.” Today that couple is in a live-in relationship, and share a rented apartment together. Getting married isn't Saroj's priority now, since he wants to save and gather money for a few more immediate surgeries that Rani needs. Once that is taken care of, they plan to get married and settle down sometime in the next two years. (c) Pramodini & Saroj However, this togetherness has come at a cost for Saroj. Since his family didn't approve of his relationship with Rani, Saroj has had to settle for a life with the love of his life without his family's blessings. “As of now my mother and a few other family members haven't been able to accept Rani completely. So it wouldn't be right to take her home right now. My mother keeps suggesting that I stay away from her, reminds me about the society's empty talks, but I keep such useless talks away from my life.” Together, the couple today runs the #StopAcidAttacks campaign that raises awareness and raises funds for acid attack survivors. Rani and Saroj only have one message for the society, “we need to stop blaming and ostracising the victims instead of holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions. (c) Pramodini & Saroj Saroj's love and constant support has given Rani a second chance at life, one that is full of possibilities and a better future together. At a time when Rani had almost given up, Saroj's love brought her back and gave her the strength to fight back and seize life by the collar. What an inspiration the couple has been!
  11. One Love. Who would have thought a simple phrase such as this one could hold such depth of meaning? Yet, it also finds resonance in the iconic Bob Marley song by the same name. If you don't happen to remember the lyrics to that song, you might want to go through it to understand how this universal emotion is our only hope when it comes to guiding the mankind to a better place where “one love” suffices for all. A love without judgements and reservations. One love that's selfless and where acceptance comes easy, just how it is meant to be - something Marley manages to convey so easily in not so many words. Love does not differentiate between the hearts that wants to love, and who it wants to shower that love on. Love is just the same for all of us who are willing to feel it, and give it a chance regardless of what comes in the way. (c) Meghna Sahoo Such is the story of Meghna Sahoo, a transgender woman, and her husband Basudeba Nayak who went against societal diktats and reservations, to give their love the chance it deserved. When Meghna married Basudeba in 2017, she became Odisha's first transgender woman to tie the knot. It turned into a moment of celebration for the transgender community in the state, and have them the power to hope for their own share of love in life. Meghna and Basudeba's love story began through a chance interaction on Facebook. Basudeba happened to be one of Meghna's followers of Facebook, and had found out about Meghna because of her involvement in social activism. But the possibility that she should chance upon his private messages to her, from amongst the hundreds she received regularly, is a play of fate. Recalling her first interaction with Basudeba, Meghna says that, “We had never met each other before the first time we spoke to each other of Facebook. One day when I turned on my Facebook chat after a long time, I noticed that someone named Basudeba had been messaging me everyday on Facebook. At that time he had been going through some personal issues and he was reaching out to me to seek help.” (c) BCCL This forms the premise of Meghna and Basudeba's first virtual association. She also noticed that all this time when she failed to respond to him, he would regularly drop her good morning or good night messages. For the next two years, Basudeba continued trying to speak to her at various points, but couldn't get through. Finally, when Basudeba's messages caught Meghna's attention, she responded. The messages ranged from normal greetings to even marriage proposals. At that point Meghna was already in a relationship with another guy, who said he loved her, but wouldn't make their relationship public or go out with her like regular couples do. He even had concerns that transgender women cannot become mothers and that the society wouldn't accept them. This sour experience cautioned Meghna to not take Basudeba's proposals too seriously either. However, after they began to interact more and more, she came to know about Basudeba's story. “He told me that back in 2011 his wife had eloped with her lover, leaving behind their 10-month old boy. Even after that point we would talk every now and then.” (c) Meghna Sahoo This went on for some time and then suddenly Basudeba proposed to Meghna once again for marriage. But this time Meghna didn't want to get fooled and wanted to see if Basedeba meant what said. She says, “when he proposed this time, I asked him to get his family to bring the marriage proposal to my family. But since his parents had passed away by then, he spoke to his elder brother and sister-in-law. Initially his family was against it and didn't approve of their brother getting married to a kinnar.” However, his family's concern about “log kya kahenge” didn't stop Basudeb from declaring that if he has to marry it will have to be to Meghna and no one else. “He told his family that he really liked me and wished to get married. His other concern was that another woman might mistreat his son, and he didn't want that. His other motivation was that since Meghna couldn't bear children she would be able to give his son her undivided love.” (c) OdishaTV Meghna admits that this last reason didn't hurt her as much as it should because she thought, “at least I would become a mother to a child who needs a mother's affection. Besides, this could also set an example for others to follow. Two lives got better due to this marriage - a child got a mother and a transgender woman got a loving family. Such a possibility for others could better so many lives. That is why I agreed to accept his proposal.” Even until the last moment Basudeba's family didn't give their consent to the wedding. But eventually they gave up and Basudeba and Meghna finally got married on 26th January 2017 with the blessing of both the families. Talking about her wedding day, Meghna shared that “more than ten thousand people came to attend the wedding. Many politicians, social activists and advocates came to attend the wedding even without invitation and gave us their blessings.” (c) Incredibleorissa Meghna and Basudeba just completed two years as a married couple and Meghna is living a happy married life with her husband, son and in-laws. She admits that arguments do crop up every now and then, but she and Basudeba always reach a middle ground, and work things out. However, she admits that her bond with her son is much stronger than that with her own husband. “I have bonded very well with my son and we love each other dearly. I feel I am more closer to him than my husband.” Basudeba for his part has stood by Meghna through it all and has never paid heed to society's judgements. Currently, Meghna is working with an NGO and also became first transgender woman to work with Ola as a driver. Meghna also holds an MBA in HR and Management. Meghna's lone motivation is to change the society's mindset regarding transgender community and inspire other transgenders to live their dream and build a better future for themselves without any inhibitions. Meghna's journey and story has inspired many other transgenders to turn their lives around and hope for the first time, to live their dreams and find the love of their life who would be willing to accept them for who they are and love them.
  12. ADMIN

    Another Love Story

    Love transcends religion. Nothing proves this more than this short film based on the book Write India Shorts titled Another Love Story.
  13. The world could be a cruel, cruel place for those who are not fated to be born in a socially or financially stable family. Everything they want or need, comes with a lot of difficulty and hardship. While a lot of them get lost in the mundaneness of an average Indian to make a decent living and hustle to provide food on the table for the family, there are some who strive to achieve something a lot more greater. When her father decided to get her elder sister married, Poonam Sonune, a 19-year-old Pune girl knew that her family lacked the funds to carry out a decent wedding. So, she took it upon herself to make it happen. Having run in the 2018 South Asian Junior Athletics and winning the gold medal in the 3000m race, Poonam and her loved ones had complete faith in her abilities as an elite athlete. Her school sent her to Nasik to train under veteran athlete Vijendrasingh. Initially her father, who is an agricultural farmer by profession, bore all her expenses but failed to keep up with time. Her coach, Vijendrasingh then took the responsibility of raising money for her training and nutritional requirements through the corporate-social responsibility (CSR). After countless hours of training, Sonune decided to compete in the Pune Half-Marathon in order to get enough money to help her father organise a wedding for her sister. Surprisingly, the young runner not only participated in the event but also aced it. Giving every penny of the Rs 1.25 Lakh price money to her father, Poonam was able to realise her sister's dream of getting married. In the irony of things, Poonam could not be a part of her sister's celebration as she got selected for India's national roster for the upcoming South Asian Games, to be held in Nepal in March.
  14. They say falling in love with someone, at first sight, is something you only watch in the movies. It never comes to life anymore. I agree it's hard to compare falling in love with someone at first sight to knowing someone for years and then falling in love with them. But love, at first sight, does exist and in reality, it's one of the strongest bonds that barely deters in spirit. (c)Instagram Today's generation is a little sticky with this phenomena though. That's also because a lot of people don't know that the real concept of 'love at first sight' came from our forefathers and ancestors when love was a lot simpler and malleable. Relationships survived without the advent of the 'next right swipe'. (c)Instagram But nowadays, men and women alike, need the clarity to adopt love as a feature in their lives, to pursue one another to look for happiness. No one trusts love anymore, everyone is either rooting for 'the perfect match, after 20 swipes' or looking for 'the one'. Gone are the days, when you'd just meet someone and you know, they're the one for you. Well, not entirely gone though. Meet Ankita and Amish, the only real-time couple we've come across in a long time who've survived beautifully for six years after they fell in love with each other at first sight! I fell in love with her in one night flat- Amish (c)Instagram And that was that we're guessing. All it took for Amish was to spend a few hours with Ankita and be absolutely head over heels in love with her. And she with him. Amish and Ankita first met at a karaoke bar, where Ankita, much to her dislike, was setting her friend up with Amish, but little did she know, Amish already had his eyes set upon her and the rest of the night was just the two of them getting along like a house on fire. Although after her friend's insistence, Ankita decided to approach Amish to pursue him for her friend, instead she found what she was looking for, all along, right at that moment, right there and then. (c)Instagram We found love in a hopeless place, where the world was a drunken mess and looking to have a good time. It was almost like a weekly Wednesday meet up for subscribers of hedonism where winning mating game and detachment ruled the roost. And there he stood with his thick black glasses bobbing his head to a song. That night I realised I had found my co-conspirator, the worshipper of mush and cheese, the love for greasy food, wanderlust, believing the world was made of marsh-mellows and buttercream. He was my kind of boy - Ankita (c)Instagram That's how love swings, or is supposed to, isn't it? It doesn't wait, it never recedes at the perfect moment and it lets you know you can't control it. Falling in love, at first sight, is actually a long lost scientific battle. There is a science involved in every realm of it and while the chemicals balance in your brain, you keep falling deeper in that feeling. It's true, while you are falling in love, your brain is creating dopamine and serotonin, and the composition is a real rush. (c)Instagram But inadequately so, most young people today have learnt to consciously alter that immediate response by judging their own reaction while rejecting the other person's. It tough to let your feelings flow, when you're constantly rushed by numerous 'options' at hand, not giving yourself a chance to experience the purity of that rush. There's Incredible Strength In Just Getting To Know Someone From Scratch We sat across the table, ordered for wontons and beers. Dipped one in the hot sauce, took a bite like it meant life, made disgusting sounds, panted with a chilly breath and washed it down with pints of beers. It was almost like Wonton chomp, chilly pant, glug, hysterical laughter, awkward silence, butterflies and then repeat. I even chose a yellow muffler over a purple jacket for my date, not the quintessential LBD. I was my messy best but Amish always felt like home to me, so it was very real there was no need to pretend - Ankita (c)Instagram Their first date was somewhat like that. Their dynamic was built on the nuance of barely knowing each other. They'd just happen to meet at a bar and they started talking, so there was a lot to find out. But that's the best part about falling in love with someone instantaneously, isn't it? You want to know every little aspect of their existence till it fills your subconscious to the brim. Post their little encounter at the bar, the two spent a good amount of time together to find out who they really were and what made them fall in love, in the first place. (c)Instagram She's incredible. The human being she is, the power to give, the power to love beyond self-love, the power to stand against the tide or a cyclone or both, the warrior she is- Wonder Woman's got nothing on her, her innocence, her morality, her feminism. I am proud that a being like this exists in this humanity-is-secondary world - Amish Amish and Ankita finally tied the knot 3 years ago and because both met as total strangers in love, they started imbibing the best qualities from one another, just to be comfortable around each other. The likes of respect, equality, understanding, faith and trust was an autopilot derivative of that. Amish graceful took her last name after marriage because he realised love shouldn't succumb to your identity as unequal's, rather it should stand out in true equality and unity of one's mind, body and soul. (c)Instagram Amish believes in equality, I dig that about him. It's a simple virtue but easier said than done. When we got married he decided to take my sir name and said- 'why should you have all the fun and celebrate me, I want to celebrate you too - Ankita Relationships based on 'Love at first sight' are long-lasting. That's because they create an illusion of positivity in your head about accepting each other, through a myriad of reasons and making it works against all odds while starting from scratch. And every time Amish and Ankita talk about how they first met and fell in love instantly, their connection certainly deepens in time. (c)Instagram So, if you're looking for a love that's fulfilling and deep, keep your mind and soul open, you never know who you might meet and spend the rest of your life with, at that very moment! I have learnt to be a more aware and honest human being, who can accept his weaknesses, weigh his insecurities and be proud of his strengths. But the most important thing it has taught me that the fairy-tale ideal kinda love does exist but for it to prosper, you work on it selflessly every day - Amish
  15. (The quotations for this story was taken from an interview originally conducted by Ravi Gupta for MensXP Hindi.) Love - /lÊv/ - Noun. An intense feeling of deep affection. Love - /lÊv/ - Verb. Feel deep affection or sexual love for (someone). Those are the standard definitions of love that one is likely to find in any given dictionary picked off the shelf. Some will say that for the most part, love oscillates between two parts of speech, either written between pages and spelled out in black ink, or to be found between the warm and ruffled sheets that say it all. Yet, every now and then we stumble across those who hold a very different definition of love. One which is expressed through abstractions, such as how their lover's smile makes their heart skip a beat, or how the silent support and company of the beloved feels like the greatest prophesy of love. © Vaibhav & Parag Love often shows up uninvited, takes away our breath and is such an invigorating feeling, we end up craving for the next wave to hit us, much before the high from first one fades. It's maddening and heartening all at once, much like the brewing emotion that ebbs and flows within our cardiac valves, almost threatening to spill over and drown us with its depth of feeling. The bottomline being, there is no set definition of love. Each one of us experiences it differently, in different forms, in varying situations and with equally different kinds of people. But that is not to say that any of those forms of love are not worth celebrating. Much like the ardent love that Vaibhav and Parag share between them. © Vaibhav & Parag 32-year-old Vaibhav Jain was born and brought up in Delhi, before he moved to the US to pursue his masters, upon completing his BDS degree. Indian society's intolerance and lack of sympathy towards the LGBTQ community forced Vaibhav to hide his true identity and later leave his home state in search of a safe haven. It was back in 2012 when Vaibhav saw his future-husband Parag for the first time during a Pride Parade. There was an instant feeling of recognition, and Vaibhav sought to further it. He looked up Parag on Facebook and sent him a private message. As the two gradually began to get to know each other, Vaibhav asked Parag out for dinner at a Thai restaurant. © Vaibhav & Parag Though the date turned out to be a mess since the food at the restaurant was a disaster, Vaibhav tells us that regardless of the unappetising food, their first date remains truly memorable. The two spent hours talking, and when they finally left, it started raining. The pitter-patter of the rain inspired Vaibhav to serenade to his favourite singer Mohammed Rafi's song 'tere mere sapne'. This is how they ended up spending 6 hours together on their first date. Now while their innocent love slowly began to bloom, the distance that separated them began to seem like a bother. Hence, one day Parag suggested that Vaibhav moved-in with him. This was even before either of them had confessed their love for each other, which made Vaibhav a little hesitant to make the move. But as their shared understanding began to grow stronger, Vaibhav slowly started the process of moving in with Parag. © Vaibhav & Parag As time passed, both Vaibhav and Parag began to fall deeper in love, and eventually Parag confessed his feelings to Vaibhav. A moment, as Vaibhav tells us, “that still makes me blush.” However, something continued to eat him even as Parag's love filled his heart with warmth. The discrimination that Vaibhav faced in India over the years left deep-rooted psychological impact which prevented him from openly welcoming the affection that Parag showered on him. Once this diagnosis was reached, Parag stood strong beside Vaibhav and helped him believe and put his trust on their relationship and what they shared together. © Vaibhav & Parag Now, while Parag had already come out to his parents 15 years ago, he wished for Vaibhav to come out to his family as soon as possible. As the desire for a future together began to grow stronger, Parag's insistence became more urgent. Vaibhav was also convinced that he wanted to go public with his relationship, and began looking for the right opportunity to break the news to his parents. Finally when he landed an internship with WHO in Switzerland, Vaibhav asked his parents to join him for the trip. It was on the last night before Vaibhav's parents left for India, that he decided to come out to his parents. “I don't like girls, and I don't wish to marry one either. I am gay and I have known it since I was 14-15 years old,” Vaibhav told his parents. While both his parents were shocked by the news, they offered Vaibhav their unconditional love and support. His mother even remarked that she must have failed somehow as a parent – not because he was gay, but because he didn't feel safe telling her his truth for so long. Vaibhav confessed that, “though my parents couldn't sleep peacefully that night, but I have been sleeping peacefully ever since that night.” © Vaibhav & Parag Cut to 2019 and the couple have already been legally married for over a year. However, when it comes to desi, big fat Indian weddings Vaibhav shares that, “ I believe in the traditional Indian wedding, and that's why Parag and I plan to get married is the desi style on 29th and 30th March this year. Since both of us are Jain we plan to follow the traditional wedding rituals and follow it up with a reception back in India.” Getting married isn't their only major plan for the near future. Vaibhav shares that, “I love kids. And though people are quick to suggest adoption for gay couples, we have decided to opt for surrogacy. That is not to say that I am opposed to the idea of adoption, but it's just that we want to try the other possibility. And as for the struggles of parenthood, I think Parag and I are ready for all of it.” © Vaibhav & Parag Talking about the possibility of officially creating a life with his husband in the future, Vaibhav has only one message to share with everyone. “Every human being is precious, and no one should be discriminated against. Everybody deserves to live and the society needs to understand it. If my 85-year-old grandmother can accept our love and bless us, then why can't others do the same? Even if the society fails to understand us, I would still urge others like me to come out and face their truth. If I can do it, why can't you?”
  16. If I look back into time, I remember being a chronic alcoholic. Right from diabetes to thyroid and to high blood pressure, I had everything. Even low testosterone was a huge problem. The doctor told me if I don't change my lifestyle I will never be able to start a family. Sure, addiction to food is a real thing but let me tell you that addiction to alcohol will ruin your life. This is exactly what happened with me. This is how I came out of alcoholism and reclaimed my life back. How I Ate Before anything, let me make it very clear that diet is the first step. I counted my calories, keeping the protein high (150 -250 grams), low fat (50 Grams) and least carbs diet. I reefed myself to keep away from binge eating. What I realized are the rules that apply to staying sober and quitting alcoholism also fit perfectly with weight loss and clean diet. Cutting Alcohol Was A BIG Task Now I was pretty much sorted with my diet. Next step was something that would completely change my life—quitting alcohol. This was harrowing for me to start with. I used to drink regularly. Now I had to stop. But here again, I didn't take any leaps. I took one step at a time. It was tough but I didn't give up. So What Did I Learn? One Day At Time First Apply this motto - When you wake up in morning say this- I WILL FOLLOW MY DIET TODAY NO MATTER WHAT. Don't think about tomorrow or day after, do justice to your diet today. Take it one day at a time. These are certain things I fixed about myself. 1. Serenity Of The Mind Either you are quitting alcohol or trying to be disciplined with dieting in your life. The serenity of the mind is most important. If your mind is not at peace then you cannot concentrate on anything which includes having right meals. So if you want to lose weight or improve your health, then the most important thing is the serenity of your mind. 2. Hardcore Honesty First step is about understanding your problem areas. It can be alcohol or eating junk food. To identify this, you have to be completely honest about it. Don't lie to yourself. If you are fat, you are fat. My alcoholism was killing me but I would tell myself that I will quit it soon. This hardly ever happened though till the time I was warned. 3. Become Selfish If you are not selfish, then you stop caring about what is best for you. If you are selfish you consider your health, your life and your progress before anything else. If you are selfish about your body then you do what is best for it. Most importantly, be selfish about your serenity. How Far I Have Come After years of hard work, now I stand completely sober. I literally came out of the claws of death to becoming one of the hardest workers in the gym and in the kitchen too. To do this, I didn't look at any shortcuts. I believed in myself, ate a structured diet and worked an intelligent training program that was the best for me. If you are also going through addiction, trust me, the solution is right inside you. Find it before it's too late.
  17. Be it making movies on social yet sensitive issues, coming to the rescue of acid attack survivors, to standing with the families of martyrs in tough times, Akshay Kumar has never refrained from going that extra mile for the country and society. He even urged his fans to contribute to 'Bharat Ke Veer', an initiative launched by him and the Government of India, for the bravehearts and their families. This Republic Day lets do our duty for the Bravehearts kyunki woh hain toh hum hain. Contributions to @BharatKeVeer are now exempted under 80(G) of the Income Tax Act. So log onto https://t.co/XL9ubTxtrg now to contribute. pic.twitter.com/t2Ok7nSTcB — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) January 26, 2019 Today, the whole nation is celebrating its 70th Republic Day, and so is Bollywood's OG Khiladi, Akshay Kumar in his own unique style. Though it is our 70th Republic Day, people have fighting for our rights and for the country since time immemorable. And, there couldn't have been a better opportunity than today, for Akshay to share the story of 21 brave Sikh soldiers. Twitter/ Akshay Kumar We're talking about his upcoming movie 'Kesari', the new poster of which was shared by the 51-year-old actor on social media. Akshay wrote, "Happy Republic Day. It's our #70thRepublicDay but our men have been fighting for the country since time unknown. 122 years ago, 21 Sikhs fought against 10000 invaders. #KESARI is their story, in cinemas on March 21." With this tweet, he even announced the release date of 'Kesari' ie. March 21. Happy Republic Day. It's our #70thRepublicDay but our men have been fighting for the country since time unknown. 122 years ago, 21 Sikhs fought against 10000 invaders.#KESARI is their story, in cinemas on March 21. pic.twitter.com/oCUZ6UVdqY — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) January 26, 2019 The new poster shows 21 Sikh soldiers standing in the form of a pyramid with Akshay Kumar standing in the middle, wearing an orange turban and holding a rifle in his hand. 'Kesari' is based on the Battle of Saragarhi and revolves around the Sikh regiment who, despite being outnumbered, fought against the Afghan army with all their might in the 1890s. Given his love for fitness, there was no way on earth Akshay could have let this day slide by like that. While we were busy gorging on delicious food in the morning or watching the parade, Akshay celebrated Republic Day by going on a hike with wife Twinkle and daughter Nitara. Woke up at the crack of dawn and went hiking with the family, high on the #RepublicDay spirit. pic.twitter.com/q0yWHloB0n — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) January 26, 2019
  18. Bollywood is responsible for giving life to the love stories that some of us weave in our hearts when we imagine it for ourselves. While we might wonder if true love even exists in this millennial world, there are some real life examples in the form of actor Rajkummar Rao and Patralekhaa who have redefined the word 'relationship goals' for us. © Instagram The beautiful couple shared their relationship story with 'Offcial Humans Of Bombay' and gave out candid details of how their 8-year-old relationship is still going very strong. “I saw him for the first time in LSD. I thought the weird guy he played was actually what he was like. My perception of him was tarnished! He told me later, that he first saw me in an ad & thought, 'I'm going to marry her.' It was so ironic! Once we began working together–it was magic. The kind of passion he had was powerful & I couldn't respect him any more than I did then! We spoke about our work, love for cinema, passions… I saw him through his struggles, never giving up. How could we not fall for each other? We didn't officially go on dates, but we'd go for drives, movies, or just sit at home. We accompanied each other for auditions, just for support. All we needed was that understanding. He'd often go out of his way for me. Once he was late to see me, so he ran all the way from the airport to Juhu! Not only that, but when we weren't earning much, he gifted me my favorite bag–it was so expensive! Years later, someone stole it in London! I called him sobbing–for me, it was about the memories. He'd bought it for me when he didn't have much. Later, at our hotel, the exact same bag was waiting for me. These little things make me realize how lucky I am for him.And the best part is, he always says he's the lucky one. Isn't that what a relationship needs? To remind each other how grateful we are? He told me once that after I met his mom, she said, 'I have a feeling she's the last one I'm meeting.' She was right–we've been together for 8 years.We're equals–when an article said, 'Rajkumar with his girlfriend, Patralekhaa', he retweeted–'Patralekhaa with her boyfriend Rajkumar.' I can tell you this, when you find the one–through the fights, hurdles & chaos, you should never forget to let them know you love them. It doesn't have to be with expensive gifts & dates–it can simply be with the way you hold them while they need it & when they don't. For us, we don't know what the future holds, but this, being together, is enough.” © Instagram The couple worked together in Hansal Mehta's 'Citylights' which was also Patralekhaa's debut movie. Rajkummar is currently looking forward to the release of his movie 'Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga' which is releasing next month. The next time you wonder if true love will ever coming knocking your way, well, trust your stars and read this story again.
  19. The trailer of the upcoming romantic comedy 'Luka Chuppi' is finally out and it is safe to assume that it is going to be one laughter riot filled with some power-packed performances pelted by Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon. The pairing is fresh, the actors looks extremely natural in their performances and well, there is no stopping Kartik Aaryan from probably giving us one more crazy super hit. Kriti Sanon borrows her sass from her previous outing in 'Bareily Ki Barfi'. © Maddock Films The movie is releasing on 1st March and even though it will clash with 'Sonchiriya' and 'Sandeep Aur Pinky Farar', we think 'Luka Chuppi' will do quite well at the box office. Social media is already abuzz with the love that's pouring for the trailer. #LukaChuppiTrailer looks entertaining.. Kartik Aaryan is suited for such roles only. — Jigarr Jain (@MeinTeraHero) January 24, 2019 #LukaChuppiTrailer is out ð The trailer is amazing looking forward to watch this movie... Can't wait!! @TheAaryanKartik @kritisanon #KartikAaryan #DineshVijan #JioStudios pic.twitter.com/LQb240oPM6 — ||fιzzα ð|| (@ImSfizzaa) January 24, 2019 First Ishita then Bitti and now Rashmi!! @kritisanon love you yaar #LukaChuppiTrailer #LukaChuppi #ArjunPatiala #Housefull4 #Panipat Excitement overwhelming! — Cute S A H I L || ð|| Luka Chuppi Trailer (@VarunShraddha_) January 24, 2019 One might fear that Kartik Aaryan and Kriti are getting stereotyped in these particular kind of 'millennial lovers' role, but as long as they are entertaining and the movie is a super hit, who cares?
  20. My name is Miten Kakaiya and I am a fitness coach. You might think it was easy for me, because it is my profession. The truth is that I was nowhere close to where I am now, physique wise. I tried and failed for many years before I learned what I was doing wrong and what I had to do right. This is a look into my journey. When Fitness Was A Dream Back in school, I was the 'fat', out-of-shape kid. I would still push myself to get through a workout routine (3 sets of 10 push-ups, 3 sets of 50 crunches, 3 sets of 10 squats) that I had fashioned for myself every night before bed. But those push-ups, crunches, and squats did absolutely nothing. Perhaps because I was doing it for the wrong reason, which was simply that I was frustrated. My first gym experience was a short, 3-month stint before I was to leave for the university to Manchester, UK. I thought it would do the trick since I clearly wasn't getting anywhere on my own. As part of my membership, I received a complimentary month-long diet plan, which was quite terrible. I also hired a personal trainer, who introduced me to the basics of weight training. The outcome was- I did manage to increase my arms by half a cm which gave me the false impression of having achieved an Arnie-like physique! Life Lesson 1 Stints don't stick. When starting any fitness journey, even if it's an 8-week Plan, the mindset should be to focus not just on a goal to be achieved by the end of the plan but to look ahead at making that planning part of a journey. When Fitness Was A Fad False impressions aside, my stint at the gym in India led me to join a gym as soon as I got to the UK in 2011 for keeping the momentum going. But the distractions of being in a new country, with new friends and a new life meant that I went to the gym not more than 6 times in a whole year. This plus my irregular eating habits resulted in a 'skinny fat' physique, which I had come to accept as my body shape. With very little motivation left in me, I didn't dare re-join the gym next year but occasionally played some football to keep my stamina up. When, in my third year, a gym opened up right under my student accommodation, my flatmate and best friend, who was also my first fitness motivator, persuaded me to join with him. We believed that thanks to the proximity, we'd be more regular than we'd ever been. What happened in reality though was that gymming became just a vanity trip – we'd go only on days we were planning to go out clubbing, so we could show-off the pump and feel good about ourselves. And although we were more consistent with gymming by the end of the year, my nutrition needs were severely lacking. Grabbing a burger from McDonald's or a £1 frozen pizza for our post-workout meals effectively meant our 'workout' sessions were nothing but a waste of time. The next year, an unexpected (albeit misguided) motivation came my way when my sister moved to the US, making it possible for me to attend my dream festival – the Ultra Music Festival in Miami in March 2014. Two months ahead of the festival, I was gymming 5 days a week, pushing myself to run that extra mile, and eating only home-cooked meals. At the end of 2 months, I achieved decent results (still no abs though!). But again it all came to naught, as after the festival I had lost all my motivation again. Life Lesson 2 Right reasons matter. Motivations come in many shapes and forms but the ones that truly last are those that are not limited by transient goals, such as a number of the weighing scale, a pair of jeans to fit into, or the number of abs that show. When Fitness Became A Reality In my final year at university, a new friend became possibly my biggest and most influential motivator till that point. He introduced me to the concept of a Balanced Diet (as opposed to just dieting), and Macros and how it all works. I came to realize the connection between food and exercise as I observed how eating healthier made working out easier, effective and enjoyable. It was during one month just before the summer of 2015, when I was on lockdown, studying for my exams that I went a clean-eating mission. Naturally, I had no distractions in the form of parties and what not. Instead, I was tied to my study table, with very little physical activity. My daily routine was cooking clean meals, eating them, studying, cooking again, eating again, studying and sleeping. To my shock and surprise, I saw the best results that I had ever seen in my entire life from those 4 weeks of no exercise but eating pristine clean. I had lost 7 kgs! I even observed the faint beginnings of my ab muscles showing through for the first time in my life. After years often pointless slogging at the gym, I realized that food was the real answer! Soon I couldn't wait to apply weight training with diet to see what wonders it would do for my body. And for once I was not disappointed! Two months later, I had a ripped physique with six-pack abs. Now I was the one with the physique I always admired on others. Life Lesson 3 Finding the right balance is crucial. Food is an essential part of the health and fitness equation. It literally is the fuel for our body and can change the outcome of your workout routines. Being on the fitness journey is also a constant process of learning about your body, how it works and what works. When Fitness Became A Lifestyle The results were so incredible and addictive that I just didn't feel like eating anything unhealthy. Eating clean and going to the gym became a natural part of my life, such that my day felt incomplete if I didn't eat clean through the day, and didn't manage to squeeze in at least one weight training session. What was also incredible was that I was seeing these results without having done a single mile of running or cardio. And I didn't even have to resort to bland foods and salads all the time. But I was willing to experiment, learn, and adopt a few things from my old lifestyle to fit my new one. By now, I knew what I was doing would continue to get me the results if I was consistent, and so I had no reason to stop. My goal, then, changed to PROGRESS. They say that it is good to have an end goal in mind. According to me, however, that's not the case for fitness. The aim shouldn't be just to reach a particular shape, size or number because you'll lose motivation the moment you get there – similar to what happened to me after Miami in 2014. But when the goal is to keep growing and progressing, one day at a time, to be the better version of yourself every single day - there is nothing that can stop you. My biggest victory was a mental one. I had long stopped comparing myself, my physique, my body with those around me. I was my only competition, and that was what motivated me to stay on track. Make this a lifestyle – do it to please no one but yourself. Life Lesson 4 The fitness journey never ends. Fitness becomes a lifestyle when it stops being something extra that you have to accommodate into your lives, instead becomes what directs how you live your life. Your fitness routine (diet and workout) also has to be your own. It has to seamlessly fit into your life so that it stops being a struggle but comes naturally to you.
  21. While most of us claim that our childhood was the best phase of our lives, the same could not be said for Mihir Kapse. For Mihir, his childhood came laced with questioning stares and a constant fight to seek acceptance. Not much of a childhood memory we would want to hold on to, right? Mihir was barely 10-years-old when his family discovered that he was suffering from a learning disability, which was later diagnosed as dyslexia after some tests were carried out. While carrying on with regular schooling slowly began to turn into a problem, Mihir was not quick to give up. © The Indian Express Even as a kid, Mihir relished his own company, and found solace in reading and playing games. Yet, regardless of the discrimination that he faced in school, Mihir managed to complete his schooling till class 10th. However, as time would soon reveal, dyslexia wasn't to be the only medical diagnosis that was to come his way. Mihir was pursuing his engineering degree from College of Engineering, Pune when a sudden neurological attack revealed that it wasn't dyslexia but autism that Mihir was suffering from. Talking about that fateful incident of his life, Mihir told Career360 that, “It took me two years to recover from that attack because the first autistic attack is one of the worst ones which one faces. It almost feels like reverting to your childhood phase and from that, we are required to build ourselves all over again”. © Flickr The diagnosis came as a shock, but could not trample Mihir's spirit. He continued to work hard throughout his life, to chart his own path and make his own place in this game called life. So, when the CAT 2018 results were announced earlier this month, guess whose hard work and grit paid off in full? With a 99.97 CAT percentile, Mihir proved to this world that the will to fight and win is the most powerful to survive in this world. Talking about this massive achievement, his mother Jhanvi Kapse said in an interview with MyMedicalMantra that, “all this has come after many hardships. We were not only fighting with his disorder but with the outside world as well, where children like him are not easily accepted”. © IQuanta However, it isn't just his CAT score that is impressive, but the 27-year-old also holds a fancy job at JP Morgan as a quality analyst. When he was busy with his work or preparation for his exams, Mihir would solve puzzles or read fanfictions to destress. Today with such a stellar score, Mihir ranks amongst some of the highest scorers of CAT 2018 and dearly wishes to get through IIM Ahmedabad and work in the investment banking sector, before starting his own startup some 10 years from now. Mihir's journey might have been filled with many challenges, but it was his spirit and determination for a better life, that pushed him to move beyond his disabilities and achieve something many of us have aspired for.
  22. Given my passion for both writing and acting, I'm aware that every good movie has five essential elements – the characters, the setting, the conflict, the climax and finally the resolution. I recently got my hands on an Amazon Echo and it's made my life nothing short of a sci-fi drama film. The Character: A technologically-challenged guy like me is an exception in this Age of Connectivity. Blame my generation – I grew up in the 90s when the most advanced gadget out there was the Walkman. The Setting: Here I am now – introduced to the Amazon Echo. It's like my grandmother using a smartphone. Actually not really, because even she's better with technology than me. Every time I get a new gadget, my hands tremble. Technology has always made me nervous, really nervous. © MensXP/Rhea Dabas The Conflict: Being an actor, my days can be very hectic. Add to that my complete lack of organisational skills, and you have absolute madness, Monday to Friday. Trying to get the best of working hard and playing harder, balancing between multiple gadgets – life is really not that simple. The Climax: Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, comes in as a saviour with timely reminders, alarms and calendars. But what intrigued me the most, were the insanely cool Smart Home features that she supports. Through the Alexa app, I simply had to enable the specific skills for my smart devices, pair it with my Echo and just let Alexa take control (Frightening? Not really. Insanely cool? Most definitely). © MensXP The Resolution: Setting up my Smart Home with Alexa was as simple as – 'lights, camera, action.' Lights: If vegetating on weekends is your favourite hobby, Amazon Echo might just spoil you silly. If you have smart lights installed in your house, you could actually control them hands-free. Besides turning them on or off, you can even change the brightness or alter the colours too. It's time to replace those dingy, old LED tubes and go “Alexa, reduce brightness to 60%.” © MensXP Camera: For someone like me, who's used to the old-school life, this was futuristic. If you have the Echo Spot, you could even see live feeds from any Alexa-compatible camera. If not, Alexa on your phone also works Action: Imagine not having to wake up one hour in advance to switch on the damn geyser during cold January mornings just with some Smart Plugs. You can use the Oakter Smart Plug to switch on the geyser and with Smart Voice Remotes such as OakRemote or Broadlink, you don't even need to fumble around to control your AC or the TV. Ask, and Alexa shall deliver. The only problem here, though, is that Alexa is going to have a tough time deciding who to listen to – me or my mother. Alexa works on voice requests, and she is definitely a good listener. I say that because if with the TV blaring and the cacophony of the kitchen, she could hear me through all that chaos, she can definitely be a great host. © MensXP/Rhea Dabas As much as the little kid in me loves the feel of a new gadget, the adult in me is seeing himself becoming more efficient and organised with work and play. I suppose you could say that I lived happily ever after. The END…
  23. Being a hardcore foodie, fitness was never on my mind in the first place, as all I wanted to do was just please my taste buds. Back in 2014, post my MBA, I joined a gym as a fluke to avoid boredom after work. I followed my girlfriend (now my wife) who thought it would be a good idea to a join a gym. We signed up with a personal trainer as well. Honestly, I had no intentions to achieve a stunning physique. I was there just to accompany my wife. It was not the first time that I was paying for a gym membership, as I had done this earlier as well and, of course, never went. Surprisingly, this time I managed to go to the gym for 1.5 years (all thanks to my wife) but with little and unsatisfactory progress. During this period, when I use to look around in the gym at people with a good physique, I gradually developed an aspiration for having a fit body myself. Gradually, I realized that my gym trainer was not adding any value to my progress and by that time, I was desperate for some good results. A lot of gym trainers are solely focussed on increasing their client base with absolutely no intention of doing any good for them. One fine day, I decided to go my own way and was the day, I believe, my actual fitness journey started. I made my own strict and disciplined regime and tried to stick to it. Slowly and gradually, the results started showing and it became a domino effect for me. In the pursuit of achieving more and take fitness seriously, I developed an interest in this field. I became focused and disciplined and started learning about fitness (nutrition/exercise) on my own. One of the biggest challenges for me was to have a discipline in life for both my workout and my diet. Being a foodie, it was very difficult to restrict myself to clean diets especially with long and stressful working hours at my job. I used to start with any diet but give up mid-way to sweet cravings (I have a very sweet tooth!) in a few days. Also, with lots of misleading information prevalent in this industry, everyone around (including internet) has their own so-called mantras of weight loss and muscle gain, which made it even more complicated for me to decide what to do/follow and what not. During the course of my fitness journey, I followed a lot of diets and workout regimes. I used to take a lot of guidance from different trainers and so-called fitness experts at the gym. I was told to take certain protein powders https://www.mensxp.com/health/supplements/44439-3-pro-tips-to-select-the-best-whey-protein-powder-and-not-get-cheated.html , supplements and fat burners; or else I would not be able to shed any weight. A lot of crash diets were recommended to me by the trainers and I was so obsessed to shed those extra kilos, that I followed everything but could not get the desired results. Since the time I became serious about my health, I started following many programs from the internet and curated my own diets as well. I used to follow those diets for a few weeks and then give up mid-way. Also, the programs which I used to follow were not really sustainable. I also took help of fat burners and other supplements (No steroid) in anticipation of fast-tracking the progress but of no use. Then I got to know about Pratik Thakkar of GetSetGo Fitness, whose client was at my gym, and I was impressed by his progress. When I got in contact with Pratik, I gradually understood how simple and self-sustaining a fitness journey can be, despite conflicting prevalent notions. The past one year has been a revelation for me. I learnt a lot about nutrition, lifestyle changes, keeping flexibility in my diets yet enjoy what I like. I still need to learn a lot and have a long way to go.
  24. 2018 has been an absolutely marvellous year for Ranveer Singh, both on the professional as well as personal front. However, now that we have officially stepped into 2019, Ranveer is all set to welcome this year with a mega release, that has the audience hooked ever since the movie was announced. Inspired by the life story and achievements of rappers Divine and Naezy, Zoya Akhtar decided to make a movie on the lives of upcoming hip-hop singer and rappers in Mumbai. Now, with the movie all set to release next month, this movie holds a lot of promise to become a big box office blockbuster of the year. Fans and fellow rappers in Mumbai, as well as movie-goers who love to see Ranveer and Alia in action on-screen, cannot seem to wait for the movie's release. But before that happens, let us take you through everything that you need to know about Ranveer and Alia's mega release of 2019! 1. First time pairing of Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt for a movie, though the two have been seen making quite an impact with their screen presence together in multiple advertisements. View this post on Instagram 14th feb 2019! Gully Boy @ranveersingh @aliaabhatt @zoieakhtar A post shared by D I V I N E (GULLYGANG) (@vivianakadivine) on Feb 10, 2018 at 1:18am PST 2. The tagline on the posters “Apna Time Aayega” resonates with Divine's utter faith in his talent, hard work and the cosmic power that would help him realise his dreams. View this post on Instagram ðð½ðð½ðð½ðð½ðð½ ð·- @avinash.jai.singh Styled by @dez_fdz A post shared by D I V I N E (GULLYGANG) (@vivianakadivine) on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:15am PDT 3. The movie is based on the life of street rappers Vivian Fernandes aka Divine and Naved Shaikh aka Naezy of the song 'Mere Gully Mein' fame. View this post on Instagram 2014! @naezythebaa #GullyGang #Gamechangers #proud A post shared by D I V I N E (GULLYGANG) (@vivianakadivine) on Jan 5, 2018 at 9:29am PST 4. The film has been shot around Mumbai, but is rooted in the Dharavi neighbourhood. View this post on Instagram The voice of the streets. #GullyBoy #14thFeb @ritesh_sid @zoieakhtar @faroutakhtar @excelmovies #TigerBaby @aliaabhatt @zeemusiccompany A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh) on Jan 1, 2019 at 7:30pm PST 5. Kalki Koechlin is also reportedly a part of this film, and plays a significant character as a rapper. View this post on Instagram Apna Time Aayega #GullyBoy #14thFeb #2019 @zoieakhtar @ritesh_sid @FarOutAkhtar @excelmovies #TigerBaby @ranveersingh @aliaabhatt @ZeeMusicCompany A post shared by Sanaya Irani Zohrabi (@sanayairanizohrabi) on Jan 1, 2019 at 9:41pm PST 6. Ranveer Singh shall take over the microphone and rap for the first time in a film. He was spotted around Mumbai attending rapping workshops and jamming with real-life street rappers. View this post on Instagram #gullyboy @ranveersingh @aliaabhatt A post shared by R@nveer Singh Bh@vn@ni (@ranveer_jagjit_singh) on Jan 1, 2019 at 6:16pm PST 7. According to reports, Ranveer Singh has shot multiple lip locks with both the leading ladies of the film. That is, three with Alia and two with Kalki. View this post on Instagram #gullyboy On the way #zeecineawards #shahrukhkhan #shahidkapoor #akshaykumar #aishwaryarai #allabhatt #varundhawan #deepikapadukone #priyankachopra #kareenakapoor #sonamkapoor #salmankhan #katrinakaif #taapsee #shraddhakapoor #madhuridixitnene #kingkhan #bollywood #sonakshisinha #afghanistan #afghansong #bollywoodsongs #indian #arjunkapoor #nehakakkar #ozee #kvminati #i_am_ranveerian A post shared by ranveerians (@i_am_ranveerian) on Jan 1, 2019 at 3:19pm PST 8. Ranveer underwent a dramatic physical transformation for the film. He followed a strict diet and gym routine, which helped him to lose his buffed up physique, and take on that boyish look. View this post on Instagram #padmaavat —> #gullyboy A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh) on Jan 19, 2018 at 12:01am PST 9. The film also stars Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Raaz, Amruta Subhash, Ali Asgar, Pooja Gaur, Parmeet Sethi and Vijay Verma. View this post on Instagram Aasmaan ko chukaar niklenge tere saamne @ranveersingh @dubsharma #GullyGang A post shared by D I V I N E (GULLYGANG) (@vivianakadivine) on Mar 31, 2018 at 8:47am PDT 10. 'Gully Boy' will have its world premiere at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival which will be on from 7th - 17th February. However, it releases on Valentine's Day, 14th February in India. View this post on Instagram Happy birthday mera bhai @ranveersingh aayega aayega! #GullyGang A post shared by D I V I N E (GULLYGANG) (@vivianakadivine) on Jul 6, 2018 at 6:52am PDT
  25. The Kargil War had been one of the most dramatic, turnaround military events at the turn of the century in 1999. Hundreds of soldiers were martyred on the battlefield and thousands ended up as war casualties between May-July 1999. While the war ended with the ousting of the Pakistani Army from the Indian territory and put into display the terrific side of Indian warfare, the mentions and accolades for the Kargil warriors are limited to just a few. The war saw the best of joint efforts by all the warriors involved, the Army, Navy and the Air Force, yet names such as Gunjan Saxena do not get the amount of recognition and mention which is due to them for their contribution during the war. © Facebook Gunjan Saxena - we haven't heard of this name enough. We do not know about her enough. Somehow the world does its share to remember and revere the ones who gave their lives for the motherland, and rightly so. But why is it that we end up losing sight of all the others who stood up and stood out during such moments of crisis? Gunjan Saxena happens to be one such person. She is a warrior, and one to be feared at that. Gunjan is one of India's first combat aviators who went all guns blazing into the battlefield and came out a winner! Coming from a family of warriors, sensational patriotism ran in her blood since she first let out her warcry as a baby! Her father and brother were Army warriors, and her choice to join the forces was a natural inclination. A Delhi University graduate from Hansraj College, Gunjan became one of the 25 young women who formed the first batch of women IAF trainee pilots in 1994. She was the first one to set precedent back in 1999, by getting inducted into the fighter squadron. She, along with a few other female pilots became the ideal role model who showed the then apprehensive society, that women could do wonders as fighter pilots too! © Twitter Even after her induction, tough times were ahead for Gunjan. The Armed forces was a male-dominated space, much like today, and women had to constantly prove their mettle while carrying out their missions. Her chance finally came with the outbreak of the war with Pakistan over Kargil in 1999. Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Sharma flew over a highly troubled zone, where the Pakistani had let its senseless killing on the loose. With all hands on deck, Gunjan was assigned the task of carrying out medical evacuations, supply drops and spotting Pakistani positions on the ground. Equipped with the tiny, unarmed Cheetah helicopters which were very vulnerable to enemy attacks, Gunjan continuously flew in and out of the trouble war zone without giving a damn about her safety. Reportedly, a Pakistani missile barely missed her chopper right before take-off during an attack, and many more death scares looked her at the time, but she continued to carry out her tasks without any slack. Gunjan even carried a fully loaded INSAS assault rifle and a revolver with her, in case of a crash landing near the enemy base, so she could die fighting, if that's what it took. © BCCL Talking to NDTV, she said, "I think it is the ultimate feeling that you can ever have as a helicopter pilot. That was one of our main roles there - casualty evacuation. I would say it's a very satisfying feeling when you save a life because that is what you're there for.” After seven years of service, Gunjan's tenure as a chopper fighter came to an end, while she also ended up getting awarded with a Shaurya Veer award for her excellent show of courage and valour. That also makes her one of the first women to be awarded such honour by the Indian Army. Her story is not often told but needs to be put out there, and seems like we won't have to wait much longer to witness it unravel before our eyes. Earlier today, the first look of Janhvi Kapoor, who is playing the role of Gunjan Saxena in the war hero's biopic went viral on social media. View this post on Instagram Janhvi Kapoor's first look as Gunjan Saxena, the first female IAS pilot will leave you in awe of the actress! @pinkvilla ð. . #janhvikapoor #firstlook #gunjansaxena #iaspilot #actress #bollywood #sweet #beautiful #adorable #celebration #pinkvilla A post shared by Pinkvilla (@pinkvilla) on Dec 25, 2018 at 10:53pm PST As per latest reports, Janhvi will undergo basic flying lessons and will also spend more time personally interacting with Gunjan to understand and portray her role better. It has also been reported that Dulquer Salmaan will be paired alongside Janhvi in the movie that is being produced by Karan Johar.
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