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MeToo: Artist Binoy Varghese named anonymously, painter denies

“This happened (sic) years ago. I had moved to Delhi from Hyderabad to pursue MPhil program at JNU… I spoke at length to many artists (at Travancore House) and even exchanged numbers.

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Binoy Varghese

New Delhi, Oct 21 : Artist Binoy Varghese was named in an anonymous #MeToo post on Instagram on Saturday night. Varghese has denied knowing the woman.

The allegation made on Instagram page “@herdsceneand” — a handle that has previously posted against artists Riyas Komu and Rahul Bhattacharya, among others — does not name the victim.

“This happened (sic) years ago. I had moved to Delhi from Hyderabad to pursue MPhil program at JNU… I spoke at length to many artists (at Travancore House) and even exchanged numbers.

“The next day I started receiving random messages on friendship from one of the artists I had met. I ignored them, soon the messages took a slightly shady turn, and then in a couple of days he started writing about how much he was in love with me,” the post alleged.

The post added that despite saying she was not interested, Varghese “started pestering” a common friend to tell her that his “intentions were noble i.e. he wanted to marry” her, and even threatened to contact her gallerist to find out about her parents.

The 1966-born painter, however, denied the allegation.

“I don’t know who she is. I tried my best to recollect but I don’t know who she is. Even if like that, she herself has written that I only proposed to her, and asked her parents for marriage. It’s something any gentleman would do. It’s not a crime, no?” he told IANS.

Varghese has curated “Green Line”, an exhibition by 110 participating artists that will open on Thursday at the Creativity Art Gallery here. As per the organisers, the sale proceeds will be donated for Kerala flood relief work.

Gallerist Shekhar Jhamb confirmed they are going ahead with the exhibition despite the allegation.

“It’s his personal thing, if it’s there. Professionally, I am only talking about the paintings and the charity,” he said.

The #MeToo movement in India has had many artists, including Padma Bhushan recipient Jatin Das and artist Riyas Komu being named, with Komu stepping down from all management positions of the famed Kochi Muziris Biennale following the allegations.

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“Period. End of Sentence” lands Oscar nomination

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Los Angeles, Jan 22 “Period. End of Sentence”, an India set film on the taboos around menstruation and featuring the real ‘Pad Man’, has made it to the Oscar nomination, it was announced here on Tuesday.

The film has made it to the top five nominees of the Documentary Short Subject category. Other nominees include “Black Sheep”, “End Game”, “Lifeboat” and “A Night At The Garden”.

“Period…” is executive produced by Guneet Monga and is co-produced by Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment, which has backed films like “The Lunchbox” and “Masaan”.

Ecstatic about making the cut, Monga told IANS over phone: “We made it… It is beyond everything we thought.”

The film is about women in India fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation and delving upon the work of real life ‘Pad Man’ Arunachalam Muruganathan.

Directed by award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi, the film is created by The Pad Project, an organisation established by an inspired group of students at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles and their teacher, Melissa Berton.

The 26-minute film follows girls and women in Hapur in northern India and their experience with the installation of a pad machine in their village.

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People still get moved by Anuradha Paudwal’s performances, says son Aditya

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New Delhi, Jan 22 : It has been a while since singer Anuradha Paudwal lent her voice to Bollywood films. But her son Aditya Paudwal, a music arranger and producer, says the singer, who now focuses more on devotional music, is still able to move people through her performances.

Anuradha has given many hit Bollywood songs like “Dil hai ke manta nahin”, “Jaane jigar jaaneman” and “Mujhe neend na aaye”.

Asked if he misses her singing Bollywood songs, Aditya told IANS in an email interview: “She has made a mark in devotional music. People still get moved by her performances. I have seen people’s lives changing after listening to her devotional ‘aartis’ and ‘mantras’.

“I would like to come up with a composition for my mother,” he added.

Meanwhile, Aditya is currently associated with “Thackeray”. He is the song arranger and producer of “Saheb tu” from the film which is based on the life of Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray.

“When I was working with (composers) Rohan-Rohan on a Marathi film’s score, they had mentioned to me about this song which they wanted on a epic scale with symphonic kind of an arrangement. This song basically shows the journey of Balasaheb Thackeray,” he said.

“This is the first time that a 72-piece orchestra has recorded in one go in a studio,” he added.

On why the song has an European feel, Aditya shared: “The film is set in the 1950s to the 1960s.”

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Madhavan’s painfully long transformation for ‘Rocketry…’

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ROCKETRY - THE NAMBI EFFECT

Mumbai, Jan 22 : Actor R. Madhavan says getting the look of scientist and aerospace engineer S. Nambi Narayanan for “Rocketry – The Nambi Effect” was a “painfully long” process.

“The process took painfully long…about 2 days of sitting on a chair for 14 hours at a stretch,” Madhavan said in a statement.

“Initially it looked easy but later I realised how tough it was on the body,” he added.

The actor says getting the look right is “definitely half the battle won”.

“But the other half was really really tough because the age group I’m playing is around 70-75. Mr. Nambi is a very good-looking man and he has got his own charm and charisma so it took me around two-and-a-half years to actually imbibe him and learn how to walk like him.It wasn’t easy and it’s probably one of the toughest looks and characters I’ve had to pull off”.

The film is based on the life of the scientist. As a senior official at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Narayanan was in-charge of the cryogenics division. In 1994, he was charged with espionage and arrested. The charges against him were dismissed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 1996 and the Supreme Court declared him not guilty in 1998.

Madhavan has got the look right, and the actor says the biggest encouragement came from Narayanan himself.

“Nambi sir couldn’t stop laughing and getting amused by my look. There are so many pictures on the set that it looks almost eeriely how similar we both look.”

The film is slated for a release later this year.

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