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Michelin-Star Chef Vikas Khanna Named Brand Ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council April 23, 2019 17:53

Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna has been named brand ambassador of Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) that showcases the celebrity chef’s film ‘The Last Color’ and Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer 'Photograph' at the annual New York Indian Film Festival next month. The IAAC will present the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), North America's longest-running and most prestigious Indian film festival from May 7 to 12. Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has accepted to join the IAAC board.The 47-year-old’s 'The Last Color', that won rave reviews at various international film festivals, is the closing night film of the festival and has won rave reviews at various international film festivals. The film also stars Neena Gupta, who plays a widow living a life of abstinence and isolation in the ancient Indian city of Banaras.The festival, supported by the Indian Consulate, will open with Rohena Gera directed 'Sir', starring Tillotama Shome, which was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.The festival's centerpiece is 'Photograph', directed by Ritesh Batra and starring Sanya Malhotra.Khanna said it was a matter of immense pride for him to be named as the brand ambassador of IAAC and showcase his movie at the film festival based in his "adopted home" of New York City."The Last Color is the story of moving on, leaving traditions behind which have been followed for centuries. It's very close to my heart," he told PTI, adding that he has seen women who have been widowed and forced to live in total isolation.Khanna said he felt it was time for a change as he saw the widows in Varanasi."When women get empowered, they can make the shift not just in societies but in our lives," he said, adding that he is very fortunate to have worked with Gupta.Khanna was exuberant for getting the platform of NYIFF to showcase his film. "Imagine doing the movie and not having a place to showcase your art. I am glad I could produce such organic art without any selfish motive," he said.Khanna said his film had gone to more than 20 film festivals around the world but the first confirmation for his movie came from NYIFF."The story is a piece of my heart, it may be technically weak, financially bankrupt but it is emotionally overwhelming," he said, adding that India's regional stories are "more powerful" and tell about the amazing resilience of its people.The festival will showcase 30 feature-length films, including three documentaries, as well as bring to the New York audience 30 shorts, 19 regional films, including Bengali, Assamese, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam cinema, Festival Director Aseem Chhabra said."There will be a strong representation of regional cinema from India, including a Ladakhi-Kashmiri children's film," Chhabra said.Consul General of India in New York Sandeep Chakravorty said the strong regional content of the film festival was very important."This is what India is all about. Unfortunately, the image abroad is Bollywood all the time but Indian cinema is more than Bollywood. It is regional films, documentary films, a film by very sensitive and intelligent people," Chakravorty said.He stressed that India lived in its regions and is an amalgamation of cultures."We will be mistaken if we think Indian cinema is only Bollywood, it's not. Some of the finest work in Indian cinema is happening outside of Bollywood, it's important to bring that forward," Chakravorty said.IAAC Vice Chairman Rakesh Kaul said the arts organization wanted the festival to bring a diversity of India to the New York audience, who will get to see the magnificence of India through the festival's line-up.By Sowmya Sangam

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Bride Slammed for Dressing in Period-Stain Wedding Attire That Looked like a Stained Tampon April 23, 2019 17:36

Dip-dyed clothing in vogue and people usually opt for tees made with the dip-dyed process but an unnamed bride chose the dip-dye bridal dress for her nuptial which is quite a rare sight. The bridal opted for the white bridal gown that was dipped in red dye from the lower edge but was criticized online as period-stain' dip-dyed wedding dress and claimed that the dress looked like a stained tampon. A woman has shared a wedding dress online that she felt looked like a tampon and the hilarious post described the ombre gown with a dark red stain on the base as a period-stain bridal gown.In no time the pictures of the crazy bridal dress went viral after a woman posted its photos on Facebook with a caption: "Am I the only one that thinks tampon?" Somebody else commented: "Maybe she knows she's going to be on her period during the wedding and didn't want to take any chances ruining the dress." "I didn't see it until I read the caption and now it's all I can see," somebody else added. Another commenter suggested: "Maybe different lighting and a different angle would help it to look better." Another commenter was very clear about his opinion, and he said: "Some dip dye dresses look good. This is NOT one of those."Recently, the ‘period-stain’ bikini by Marks and Spencer has gone viral online which looked like a lovely leaf scene was said to be ruined by an ombre fade on the bottoms which looked like a period stain.By Sowmya Sangam

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Aamir Khan Ditches Business Class and Travels in Economy Class, Amazes Co-Passengers with His Kind Gesture April 23, 2019 14:26

Celebrities ditching the luxuries is a rare occurrence and Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan took everyone by surprise as by traveling in the economy class of domestic budget airline IndiGo. In a viral video, the Dangal star is seen sitting by the window seat quietly, wearing a pale blue cap with his signature spectacles on. The video received a lot of praise from fans and followers, who lauded the 54-year-old's simplicity. One fan said: "Aamir Bhai Masha Allah you are real hero economy class". Another wrote: "It's actual class of simplicity."       View this post on Instagram #ripbusinessclass #aamirkhan A post shared by Viral Bhayani (@viralbhayani) on Apr 22, 2019 at 7:34am PDT On the Bollywood front, Aamir was last seen onscreen in the Thugs Of Hindostan along with megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Sheikh. Aamir is also the founder of Paani Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is active in the area of drought prevention and watershed management in Maharashtra. -Sangam Sowmya    

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‘Avengers: Endgame a Greatest Superhero Movie Ever’: Critics Rave About This Marvel Movie April 23, 2019 13:07

Just 3 days left for the release of Avengers: Endgame in English and other regional languages and first reviews of the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film is finally out. Earlier today, the world premiere of Avengers: Endgame was held in Los Angeles, California and critics from across the globe attended the premiere along with the stars of the film. And as soon as the screening was done, reactions from critics started to flood Twitter. John Campea, a film pundit who has his own channel on YouTube, said the following: “Avengers Endgame: A mediocre first 2 hours that's equal parts cool moments and problematic moments that ends with a final hour that's an absolute magnificent geek wet dream. Need to see it again (tomorrow) to solidify my thoughts,” – his Tweet read. A number of critics are stressed on the fact that no amount of theories and speculations that fans may have read online will prepare them for the journey to come. INCREDIBLE!! #AVENGERS #ENDGAME brings the entire MCU to a rousing, exciting, deeply moving & wholly satisfying conclusion! It’s a *BEAUTIFUL* film! Fun, smart, clever, BRILLIANT! Perfect blend of action, heart & humor! This is as good as it gets! Greatest superhero movie EVER! pic.twitter.com/dMeLtvO7Gy — Scott Mantz (@MovieMantz) April 23, 2019 #AvengersEndgame is filled with so much comic book awesomeness that you may not be ready! Great blend of action, emotion and humor while keeping the stakes high throughout. Truly an achievement in blockbuster filmmaking. — Dennis Tzeng (@ThinkHero) April 23, 2019 Man #AvengersEndgame kicked my ass. It was an epic conclusion to 11 years of films. It had laughs, incredible action and absolute emotional rollercoaster. It was the series finale for these cast of characters that I had been hoping for. Congrats to all for pulling off the feat. — Kristian Harloff (@KristianHarloff) April 23, 2019 Avengers Endgame’s storyline is a culmination of 22 MCU films before it and will end phase 3 for the shared cinematic universe. A lot of rumors are suggesting that after Endgame, the original Avengers, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, will hang their armor and call it a day. Instead, new Avengers will carry the franchise forward, with the likes of Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel and others. There are also rumors that one or more of the OG Avengers might bite the dust at the end of the film and at the hand of Thanos. While Captain America seems to be the favorite Avengers likely to die in Endgame, Iron Man and Hulk are other names being contemplated as the ones who don’t make it post Endgame. -Sangam Sowmya        

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Avengers: Endgame: Bookmyshow India Sells 1 Million Tickets in Just over a Day April 23, 2019 13:03

The highly anticipated superhero film Avengers: Endgame is witnessing a huge rush from Marvel fans. The online ticket company BookMyShow has witnessed a record advance ticket sales with one million tickets sold in just over a day.BookMyShow sold a maximum of 18 tickets per second, even before the film releases in cinemas on April 26 in India in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.Ashish Saksena, Chief Operating Officer - Cinemas, BookMyShow, said in a statement issued on Monday evening: "We expect Avengers: Endgame to break more records as cinemas continue to open advance bookings."Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the latest after Captain Marvel, which released last month.The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Brie Larson, amongst others."Avengers: Endgame is not just a movie, it's an epic culmination of a decade-long journey which the fans have taken with us across 22 films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The phenomenal interest shown by audiences across the country is a testament to how this is one of the most anticipated movies for the fans and we can't wait for them to watch it," said Bikram Duggal, Head - Studio Entertainment, Disney India.Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted on Monday: "Avengers: Endgame advance booking is unheard of, unimaginable and unprecedented. Much better than several Hindi biggies that opened in 2018 and 2019."The interest has been more in metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai.Rahul Kadbet, Vice President Programming, Carnival Cinemas, told IANS: "Around 2.25 lakh tickets have been sold, which is about 74 percent of the capacity for weekends. We have 1000+ shows per day for the movie in over 100 cities. Maximum tickets were sold in Delhi/NCR and Mumbai."The rush for tickets for the film, which will show supervillain Thanos engaging in an epic battle with superheroes like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, was anticipated.Rajender Singh Jyala, Chief Programming Officer, INOX Leisure Ltd. said: "As anticipated, across the country, the shows of Avengers: Endgame are almost sold out in a very short time. The first-day advance sales have been unprecedented."The craze for the film has also compelled some fly to different cities to watch it.Imphal-based engineer Sanjay Nongmaithem told IANS: "I have been following the series since its beginning in 2008 with Iron Man, so I want to see how it ends. My eight-year-old daughter, Gracy, is also a fan of the Avengers. In Manipur, our theatres don't screen Bollywood or Hollywood films, so we are left with no choice but to fly to Guwahati, which is nearby."One fan also posted a request on Twitter to the film's directors - the Russo Brothers. "I am from India and a huge Marvel fan. In Silchar, Assam, there are two movie halls but none are screening Avengers... Help us."By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Woman Gives Birth at Dubai Airport, Cop Saves Lives of Both Mother and Newborn April 23, 2019 12:52

An unidentified Indian woman went into labor at Terminal 2 of the Dubai airport and a quick-thinking female inspector saved not one but two lives at the airport. According to a Khaleej Times report, the people around the women were reduced to mute spectators as they didn’t know what to do. Soon, Hanan Hussein Mohammed, an inspector at the airport acted swiftly to handle the emergency medical situation. She rushed the pregnant woman to the inspection room of the airport and helped her give birth to the baby at that place. But the baby was not breathing, so Mohammed performed Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the new-born baby. The mother and the baby were then taken to a hospital. Mohammed was later honored by Brigadier Ali Atiq Bin Lahej, director of the General Department of Airport Security at the Dubai Police, for her presence of mind that saved both the woman and the baby.                        (Image source from: Facebook/KICHU NAMO) By Sowmya Sangam

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Situation in Sri Lanka Remains Volatile: U.S., Canada Issue Travel Advisories to Citizens Traveling to Island Nation April 23, 2019 12:45

Days after gruesome bombing targeting Sri Lanka’s hotels and churches that claimed lives of at least 310 people, the United States, and Canada have issued travel advisories to their citizens seeking to visit Sri Lanka. According to advisories, travelers should exercise a high degree of caution in Sri Lanka due to the current security situation.The United States Embassy said terrorists may attack with little or no warning targeting markets/shopping malls, government facilities, transportation hubs, tourist local hotels, locations, clubs, places of worship, parks, restaurants, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.The U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Sri Lanka were advised to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the latest security updates, the Sunday Times reported.The situation remains volatile in Sri Lanka after eight explosions rocked churches and upscale hotels, claiming lives of up to 310 people, including eight Indians, and with over 500 sustaining injuries.The Canadian government also issued a travel advisory to its nationals.“The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad,” the advisory said.“We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad,” it said.The blasts in the island nation on Easter Sunday is the worst attack in the country’s history. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, however, police on Monday arrested 24 people.By Sowmya Sangam

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Sri Lanka Blasts: Death Came to Indian Descent Woman Holidaying in Island Nation When She Was About to Check out April 23, 2019 12:32

The deadly serial blasts in Sri Lanka claimed lives of about 310 people, including eight Indians and a woman with roots in Kerala was one among who fell victims to the explosion that rocked the island nation on Easter Sunday. Kerala-descent woman Raseena was on a vacation with her husband in Sri Lanka and was scheduled to leave the country on Sunday afternoon to Mangalore but in vain. Raseena and her husband Khader Kukadi has been set up home in Dubai for years and were on a vacation in Sri Lanka for over a week. Raseena's family originally hails from Kasargod in Kerala and had put down roots in Sri Lanka for decades. Her husband Khader, who is originally from Mangalore had left for Dubai in the morning time and Raseena was about to accompany him in Dubai after a stay in Bengaluru.The couple was staying in the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, one of the luxury hotels that was the target for blast. According to reports, Raseena was having breakfast at the hotel before checking out to catch the flight when the explosion took place. The Sri Lankan government on Monday said that it will hold an official funeral to pay tribute to all the people who were killed on Sunday. The funeral will be held on Tuesday at the Katuwapitya church in Negombo, a few kilometers to the north of Colombo, Efe news reported.By Sowmya Sangam

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Dear Comrade Postponed Again April 23, 2019 12:02

Super talented actor Vijay Devarakonda has his diary full for the next two years and he is in talks with a bunch of talented directors for his next projects. He recently wrapped up the shoot of his next film titled Dear Comrade. Bharat Kamma is the director of this social drama and the post-production work is currently on cards. Rashmika Mandanna who worked with Vijay Devarakonda in Geetha Govindam has been roped in as the female lead. The film is initially announced for May 31st release during summer in all the South Indian languages. With a bunch of releases on May 31st and cricket fever in June, the makers decided to push the release of Dear Comrade. The film will now release all over on July 19th in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam languages. Mythri Movie Makers are the producers and Vijay Devarakonda plays a student leader in Dear Comrade and the film is set in the backdrop of Kakinada.  

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World Book Day: Best Quotes on Books That Will Certainly Inspire You to Get Hands-on ASAP April 23, 2019 10:33

April 23 is observed as World Book Day and it is no less than a fete for all the bookworms from getting your hands on the books you wanted badly since long on a special offer to turning up to events organized to mark the day. Books are best friends. Books are a companion. Like a good company, a good book can enrich one’s mind with great thoughts and knowledge. It has the power to change us and help us unleash our full potential.The aforementioned proverbs don’t make soundness of judgment until you make the first move of reading a book that awakens you. World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book is celebrated on April 23, 2019. The annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright was first celebrated in 1995. The idea to dedicate a day to books was first thought by Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andres as a way to honor the author Miguel de Cervantes, widely regarded as the greatest Spanish writer on his birth anniversary (October 7) and again on his death anniversary (April 23.) However, UNESCO locked on to April 23, which is also the death anniversaries of notable writers such as William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.One can perceive a collection of exciting one-liners from the great authors of all time that can certainly trigger some enlightenment. 1.“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story2.“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” - Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches3.“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings4.“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone5.Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.- H.Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You6.It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.- André Gide, Autumn Leaves7.“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” - Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower8.When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.- Paulo Coelho, The Zahir9.It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets10.Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.- Oscar Wilde, The Critic as ArtistIf you find these quotes thoroughly arousing curiosity then go and grab one without further ado!By Sowmya Sangam

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