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Strings singer Faisal Kapadia: ‘Still speechless when I think of love we got from India

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Faisal Kapadia is “celebrating right now”. The singer of the iconic rock band Strings, which last week announced its break-up after going strong for 33 years, reveals a bittersweet tone of voice as he speaks. It wasn’t an “easy decision” for him, or Bilal Siddiqui — the other half of the original band — to “end the journey”. But, as Faisal puts it, the timing couldn’t have been better.

“Bilal and I have had this discussion of when do we finish it. Of course, we could have gone on to play till we were 65-year-olds but then we didn’t really want it to come to a point where it started feeling like a chore, or we started getting bored. We didn’t want it to come to a point where we just didn’t enjoy music anymore,” he adds.

Hence, the decision “to pull the plug” was taken, not just because the band was worried about getting to a point where they would stop enjoying making music, but also because they realised that there’s a lot they were missing out on, and it was time to go “beyond concerts, music and Strings”.

“Pandemic in a way helped us to get that perspective. It wasn’t as if we didn’t enjoy our tours and concerts. But for the last 30 years that’s all that we did, and we missed all our kids growing up. They are now about to graduate and go to college, and suddenly we realised there’s this whole other life that we are missing out on,” he says.

“The decision to pull the plug, when there is life in it is very difficult. I am celebrating right now, but a roof that was there for 33 years is now suddenly gone. But we had to do it someday, and this was the best time I feel, because there’s much to life beyond just concerts, music and Strings,” he says.

The reaction of people, ever since the announcement, been “overwhelming and so surprising to see”, Faisal says. Many have signed an online petition asking the band for one last performance.

“Usually the kind of love (we got after announcing the break-up) people get after they die. But we got to see it while we are alive and I am just so thankful and so grateful for all of that. It has been the most overwhelming and the most humbling experience (to see the kind of reaction we got). It was something we did not anticipate at all,” he says.

One of the many memories during this “journey” that lasted more than three decades that Faisal has, is the amount of love the band received from across the border in India — especially since they released their third album “Duur” in 2000, after the band’s seven-year hiatus.

“I am still speechless when I think about the kind of love we got from India. They never ever made us feel like we were outsiders or we were from Pakistan. In fact when they learnt that a Pakistani band called Strings was performing, they started making more noise and they started enjoying more!” he recalls.

“And then we got to work with some amazing human beings and some awesome musicians like Hariharan, Indian Ocean, Sona Mohapatra and so many others. It was just beautiful, the entire journey,” he recalls.

While the band journey ends here, Bilal and Faisal’s individual journeys go on as musicians.

“I haven’t spoken to Bilal honestly about what he is going to do, but I think he wants to explore the world of music production,” he says.

“As for me, I am yet to go to that bookstore and pick up the book about my life where I can know what my next chapter is going to be. I am still processing all this as of now, and I have to yet figure out what I want to really do. Of course I have been doing music for over 40 years now, so I won’t just stop doing that,” he signs off on an open-ended note, just as the band’s timeless songs often do.

source: The Statesman

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Dilip Kumar health update: Actor to remain in hospital, to be discharged tomorrow

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Dilip Kumar health update: Legendary actor Dilip Kumar, who was admitted to a hospital here due to breathlessness, is stable and will continue to remain in the hospital today, the actor’s family friend said.

Dilip Kumar health update: Legendary actor Dilip Kumar, who was admitted to a hospital here due to breathlessness, is stable and will continue to remain in the hospital today, the actor’s family friend said. The 98-year-old screen icon was admitted to suburban Khar-based Hinduja Hospital, a non-COVID-19 facility, on Sunday.

Kumar, who was diagnosed with bilateral pleural effusion — a build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs, underwent a successful pleural aspiration procedure on Wednesday.

The veteran actor was initially set to be discharged on Thursday but family friend Faisal Farooqui said it has been decided to let Kumar rest for a day at the hospital. “He is stable and he is resting at the hospital. There was an option to be discharged today but the family and the doctors decided that we should let him rest one more day in the hospital,” he said.

On Monday, Saira Banu had updated fans about Dilip Kumar’s health and asked fans and well wishers to keeep him in their prayers. Sharing the first picture of the legendary actor from the hospital, Banu requested everyone to stay away from rumours spreading on social media.

“Past few days my beloved husband, Yousuf Khan, has been unwell and recuperating at a hospital in Mumbai. Through this note, I want to thank all of you for keeping him in your prayers and for all the love and affection. My husband, my Kohinoor, our Dilip Kumar Sahab’s health is stable and doctors have assured me that he should be discharged soon. I urge you to not believe in rumors. While I ask you to pray for Sahab’s health, I am praying that the Almighty keep all of you safe and healthy during this pandemic. Sincerely Saira Banu Khan.”

The Hindi cinema veteran, whose career spans over five decades with hits like “Mughal-e-Azam”, “Devdas”, “Naya Daur”, and “Ram Aur Shyam”, was admitted to the same hospital last month for a regular health check-up. Kumar’s last big screen appearance was the 1998 film “Qila”.

-with inputs from PTI

Source : IndiaTvNews

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas is back on the red carpet

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas has always managed to stir a conversation around her fashion choices. The actress never fails to impress with her bold style choices made headlines at the recently held Billboard Music Awards.

PeeCee’s appearance at the event held at the Microsoft theatre in Los Angeles, US, garnered a lot of attention, thanks to her ultra-glamorous look. She wore a custom Dolce & Gabbana dress, inspired by the brands Fall 2007 collection. The sheer gold ensemble featured a thigh-high slit and an accentuated waistline thanks a metallic gold belt by Dior.

Diet Sabya has called her out for wearing a brand which (Dolce & Gabbana) was boycotted in 2018 by many for being “racist” and many ditched the brand altogether as part of the ‘cancel culture’. Be that as it may it doesn’t take away from her turning heads on one of the rare red carpet outings that fashion addicts have had the pleasure to see this season.

Priyanka teamed the nude gown with a classic jewels by Bulgari wearing a Serpenti bracelet, diamond drop earrings, and rings. Strappy metallic sandals, soft smokey eyes and silky hair extensions completed the transformation.

Also spotted at the event was Indian-American TV personality and author Padma Lakshmi, who wore a Christian Siriano pantsuit covered in crystals. Lakshmi chose to go shirtless beneath her plunging blazer. She accessorised the look with a layered, dainty silver necklaces by Jacquie Aiche and added a sparkly silver clutch.

Priyanka was also on the cover of Australian fashion glossy ‘Vogue’. Feeling comfortable in her skin, Priyanka looked incredible in a black gown which showed off what she has referred to as her “now body”.

source: The Statesman

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Before ‘The Family Man 2’ we never were the sequel kind of people: Raj and DK

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The second season of their popular web series “The Family Man” sure marks a first for the filmmaker duo of Raj and DK.

“We have not been the ‘sequel kind of people’ until now. The Family Man season 2 is literally the first time that we are continuing something from where we stopped. We will have to get around to doing more sequels soon, I suppose,” says Krishna DK, who prefers going by the name DK in the professional circuit, about co-helming the extension of a story on screen for the first time.

The second season of their 2019 espionage action thriller series premieres on June 4. Manoj Bajpayee returns in the starring role of NIA agent Srikant Tiwari, along with Priyamani, Sharib Hashmi, Sharad Kelkar, Sunny Hinduja and Shreya Dhanwanthary in pivotal roles.

The casting that particularly seems to excite Raj and DK is of South actress Samantha star, who makes her digital debut as antagonist in the new season. She plays a terrorist named Raji.

“Samantha brings a whole new flavour to The Family Man because she is playing something she has never played before, a completely 180-degree contrast to what she has done earlier. She brings in a very power-packed female character that is way stronger than people would think. She brings in a really strong punch to the story,” says Raj Nidimoru about the season’s highlight casting.

He adds that there wasn’t much scope to monitor season one’s reception in order to change the new season. “We had started shooting and writing (season two) even before season one came out. So, we didn’t have to worry about writing it based on response. We were fine except maybe like a five per cent tweak,” Raj reveals.

While not much is being revealed about the story of the second season, Raj and DK, who hail from Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, tell you the setting is a region they are “kind of familiar with”.

“Season two is more personal and a lot more intense. Season two is also kind of closer to heart because the focus shifts to a region we are kind of familiar with,” Raj says.

The setting and the storyline will usher novelty but the director duo have ensured the tone of the show remains the same. “The tone and intention of season one is true to season two — essentially, that is the spirit of the show. It’s just that because the story moves to a different region of India, the realities of that region come to light. The various elements including the politics of the region, comes to light,” DK says of the show, which returns on Amazon Prime.

Will there be more seasons of the series after the second? “We have lots of stories (for more seasons) but it is up to the platform, up to Amazon, to figure when and what to do,” Raj grins.

For now, their immediate focus after the launch of season two of the series is their pending projects. There is a series coming up with Shahid Kapoor, plus a couple of film assignments.

“We have a couple of films we were planning to do before the pandemic hit, so now we are trying to pick up the pieces and figure out how, when and all that stuff,” Raj sums up.

source: The Statesman

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