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My daughter has been my life’s greatest teacher: Lara Dutta

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Mumbai, May 18: Actress Lara Dutta, who has a daughter named Saira, says the six-year-old has been her life’s greatest teacher.

Lara was interacting with media along with her husband, professional tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, at the launch of Pediasure’s new flavour here on Thursday.

Asked how parenthood has changed her as a person and how prepared she was for it, Lara said: “I think no mother with their first child is really 100 percent prepared for parenthood until it happens to you. It is pretty much something that you learn on the go with each day.

“It doesn’t matter if your child is one day old or whether she is 21 years of age. It is constantly evolving and each parent’s experience is completely different, but it has been a wonderful ride. My daughter has been literally my life’s greatest teacher and she has pushed all the limits as (far as) possible because she is at that age right now.

“She is pushing it how far it can go before mom erupts, but it is fun and wonderful. Mahesh has been a wonderful and hands-on dad.”

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Lara also spoke about how she ensures that her daughter consumes a healthy diet and avoids gorging on junk food.

The former Miss Universe said: “The minute you have kids, everybody becomes an encyclopaedia on your child. So everybody wants to advise you including your mother, mother-in-law, sisters and friends…and obviously it was try and taste kind of pattern because your child is not going to do things like other kids do.

“So, for us from a very young age, especially from the time she started solids, she started with avocados and it helped her form a really good healthy relationship with vegetables. Today, I don’t have a problem with Saira because she is a good eater and I think that is my greatest blessing as a mom.

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“It’s all about trying to find that balance where you don’t deny a child treats but you just try to find smart ways of sneaking in some healthy things while you are giving them a treat.”

Lara stressed on the importance of optimum nutrition in a child’s holistic growth.

“During summer, my daughter is filled with ideas to play new games, places to go and have lots of uninterrupted fun. I am sure all young ones look forward to the summer break the same way. While children are excited about holidays, parents often stress about how they can engage them effectively and ensure that they eat right.

“My daughter has very strong taste preferences, and I am on the lookout for food options that are not just healthy but also tasty and packed with nutrients.”

Lara was last seen on-screen in Chakri Toleti’s “Welcome To New York”.

IANS

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MeToo allegations against Anu Malik false, baseless: Lawyer

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Anu Malik

Mumbai, Oct 18: Singer Anu Malik has denied allegations that he sexually harassed singer Shweta Pandit, who has called him a “pedophile” and “sexual predator”.

“The allegations made against my client are emphatically denied as completely false and baseless. My client respects the #MeToo movement but to use this movement to start a character assassination mission is obnoxious,” Malik’s lawyer Zulfiquar Memon told IANS.

Pandit, in a Twitter post, recounted her ordeal with Malik in an incident dating back to 2000. She claims once in a cabin at a studio, he told her he would give her a song with Sunidhi Chauhan and Shaan “but first give me a kiss now”.

“He then smiled, what I would recall the most evil grin I’ve seen,” Pandit said of the incident when she was all of 15 years old.

Before Shweta, singer Sona Mohapatra called out Malik.

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To all the young girls & women who are coming out with their experiences with this creep, journalists, ‘fans’ & even kids from college, know that you are not alone. This guy, #KailashKher is a serial predator & has been for years as are many others like Anu Malik in the industry. I cannot be tweeting about everyone cus I work 18 hour work days & have a life to live & breathe in. Also I cannot comment on many others basis heresay. That would be unfair. (Many journalists have been asking me for stories thinking that I’m most likely to ‘spill the beans’. I’m not) It is important that we stick to facts & our personal experiences to make this a serious & credible movement to help clean a system & lopsided power structure. It is just a start but an important one. #TimesUp #India #Change

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IANS

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‘Namaste England’ Review: Arjun-Parineeti’s film is outdated and cliched

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New Delhi, Oct 18: Film: “Namaste England”

Director: Vipul Amrutlal Shah

Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Aditya Seal, Alankrita Sahay, Satish Kaushik

Rating: *1/2

Designed from a sloppily crafted script sans any logic delivering an equally tactless message, and steeped in mediocrity, Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s “Namaste England”, is a big disappointment.

It is about “the freedom of making one’s choices”.

“Namaste England” is a forced concept, where a married couple separate due to their own whims and fancy only to reunite later after realisation dawns on them.

Jasmeet (Parineeti Chopra) comes from a very regressive family, where women are not supposed to work, but are only meant for giving birth and taking care of children.

So when Paramveer (Arjun Kapoor) falls hook line and sinker for Jasmeet, she makes him promise to let her follow her dreams and work as a jewellery designer. He agrees with a caveat, “If the decision is solely mine, then yes.”

And their love story begins with Paramveer asking, “Jasmeetji, hamare ishq ka inauguration karen ji?” This is a definite lazy way of unravelling a love story.

But sadly for the couple, their romance is eclipsed when Jasmeet’s grandfather makes Paramveer’s father promise that they will not make his granddaughter work.

Burdened with this promise, Jasmeet, hits upon the idea of migrating to England, where she can then pursue her work.

The plot meanders on a frothy pace and right from visa to illegal immigration, issues are tackled in a rather half-hearted manner. The dialogues are equally average, run-of-the-mill.

The characters are frivolous, cardboard thin and rationality to their behaviour zilch. While Arjun and Parineeti are competent actors, their performances are juvenile. You squirm in your seat with every passing moment you see them on screen.

Aditya Seal as Sam, Jasmeet’s husband of convenience in England is short-changed as a stereotypical supporting cast. So is Alankrita Sahay as Alisha, Param’s love-interest in England.

Satish Kaushik as the visa taut, Gurnaam, does not enhance his character and thus is an eyesore. Vinod Nagpal as Sam’s grandfather is wasted in a two scene role.

Mounted with ace production values, the film seems glossy and vibrant, but this is strictly visual only. The songs are seamlessly integrated into the plot and are well-choreographed but they do not add value to the story progression.

Those expecting to see the beauty of England would be disappointed.

Overall, the narrative is slow with sensibilities of the late 1990s.

IANS

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‘Badhaai Ho’ Review: Ayushmann Khurrana starrer is refreshingly honest and entertaining

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Badhaai Ho

New Delhi, Oct 18: Film: “Badhaai Ho”

Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma

Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Sheeba Chaddha, Surekha Sikri, Rahul Tewari, Vimi Mehta

Rating: ***1/2 (3 and half star)

“Badhaai Ho” is an astutely handled, slice of life drama that keeps you entertained as three generations of the same family are all touched one way or another by social embarrassment when the lady of the house and mother of two “grown up” sons, unexpectedly finds herself pregnant once again.

The film sidesteps stereotypes and tells a quiet, firm, deeply humanist story about doing the right thing. It is a film that avoids any message or statement and yet shows us, with simplicity and infinite compassion, a timeless profound verity, that family bonds are the strongest.

Set in a typical middle class milieu in New Delhi, the story revolves around the Kaushik family. Jitendra Kaushik (Gajraj Rao) aka Jeetu, is a near retiring Railway Ticket Collector who lives with his spouse Priyamvada (Neena Gupta) whom he fondly addresses as Bubbly, his aged mother essayed by Surekha Sikri and his two sons – Nakul and Gular. While Gular is in his final year at school, Nakul (Ayushmann Khurrana) the older one works in an IT company.

The film begins with the simplest and most ordinary manner in introducing the family and interrupts it with the amazing inciting moment, announcing the arrival of a “chota mehmaan”, without resorting to any assortment of gimmicks. It is some kind of tribute to the strength of the story and the warmth of the performances by Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta, Ayushmann Khurrana, Surekha Sikri and Sanya Malhotra, that the film somehow manages almost to work. Yes, their expressions while reacting to the situation are priceless. It goes without saying that the entire cast gel like a family and their pangs onscreen are palpable.

Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta make an ideal pair. They are naturally earnest and endearing in their performances.

Ayushman Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra as Renee his colleague, make a cute pair and their love story plays a pleasant sub-plot to the narrative. Sheeba Malhotra as Renee’s mother is short-changed with a miniscule, non-effective role, but her line, “His family is a circus, I don’t want to buy tickets for”, would surely etch her character into the minds of the audience.

It is touching to note how in the guise of geriatric behaviour, Surekha Sikri blurts out some home truths and defends her daughter-in-law, when in other circumstances she would be constantly bickering with her.

The script is unwavering. Narrated in a completely straight-forward manner, the progression of this ordinary story is interrupted by some situational comedy that keeps the narrative afloat. While the first two acts are mundane, the final sequence is the most effective. It is honest and strong and has genuine emotional forte.

Mounted with moderate production values, Sanu John Varughese’s camera work is commendable. So is Dev Rao Jadhav’s editing.

As for the background score, while the saxophone is effectively used to elevate and dramatize events on screen, the soundtrack is enhanced by tracks from old Hindi films like “Amar Prem” and “Aradhana”, which gives a nostalgic feel and resonates with a bond of familiarity.

Overall, in keeping with the context and the culture of the hypocritical society we live in, “Badhaai Ho” is a welcome change.

IANS

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