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My mission is not to become a playback singer: Rising Star 2 winner ‘Hemant Brijwasi’

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Mumbai, April 16: Mathura-born Hemant Brijwasi, winner of music reality TV show “Rising Star India 2”, has already had a tryst with singing for Bollywood films. But he says his dream is bigger than being a playback singer.

Brijwasi won the title on Sunday night, taking home a prize amount of Rs 20 lakh.

“I never imagined to be the winner,” the young talent told IANS over phone.

“I am thankful to all our mentors and especially to Shankar Mahadevan who encouraged me to try out different genres,” he added.

Brijwasi developed an interest in singing from a very tender age. He loves singing Indian classical and Sufi songs.

“Though I have got a chance to sing for a Bollywood film, my mission in life is not to become a playback singer. I admire and idolise Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan saab and I want to be someone like him to who is remembered for his great music for generations,” he said.

He has worked under Vishal-Shekhar’s music direction for “Arjun – The Warrior Prince” as well as for some other projects. He also has a track in the upcoming Diljit-starrer “Soorma”, and the song is penned by celebrated writer Gulzar.

“This is going to be a very special song because Gulzar saab has written the lyrics of it and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have composed the song,” he said.

“Rising Star 2′, aired on Colors, had a panel of experts including Mahadevan and singers Monali Thakur and Diljit Dosanjh.

Mahadevan was a source of encouragement for the singer, who competed in the final round with Rohanpreet Singh and Vishnumaya Ramesh.

“I remember my first performance was ‘Tashan se’ and I tend to sing only Sufi style numbers. One day Shankarji came to me during our practice and very affectionately told me, ‘Why don’t you try something different instead of something that you are already good at?’ Honestly, I did not have much confidence but he kept pushing me,” he recounted.

IANS

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Priyanka Chopra reacts to Meghan Markle’s pregnancy

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Las Vegas, Oct 20: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra is excited about her friend Meghan Markle‘s pregnancy, and hopes the Duchess of Sussex’s new phase is “amazing”.

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“I would, as a friend, just say that I’m really excited for her,” Chopra told People magazine on Friday at the JBL Fest here.

“I think this is a new phase in every woman’s life, and I hope hers is as amazing as she wants it to be,” added the “Quantico” actress who had also attended Markle and Prince Harry’s royal wedding in May.

Priyanka, who attended the royal wedding back in May, has been a close friend of the Duchess for years now and has been supportive of her new role in the royal family since the pair first met at the 2016 Women in Television dinner.

Earlier this week, Priyanka tiptoed around the topic of Markle’s pregnancy, telling E! New”: “I just have a few of my friends who are having babies right now. So I’m like, ‘God, I need to catch up!'”

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MeToo: Lara Dutta refuses work offer from Mukesh Chhabra’s company

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Mumbai, Oct 20: Actress Lara Dutta Bhupathi has turned down a work offer routed through the casting company of Mukesh Chhabra, one of those accused of sexual harassment amid the #MeToo wave in India.

Lara’s tennis star husband Mahesh Bhupathi made the revelation in an open letter posted to Twitter on Friday, urging people to “stop engaging” with those who have been sexual offenders, and raised a concern on why those in positions of power in the film fraternity have chosen to remain silent.

Mahesh wrote: “Two days ago my wife, who’s shooting out of town, got an offer from a leading international digital platform through Mukesh Chabbra’s company. She forwarded it to me for my feedback. I asked if she really wanted to empower his company even after what’s been in the news.

“Her reaction was that the digital platform hadn’t really pulled back business from him either. Later, Lara got in touch with the digital platform and told them she wouldn’t accept work through this company specifically. I think she did the right thing. I’m not sure it’s enough, though.”

As women around the country continue to share their horrific stories, most people in a position of power — influencers, as they’re popularly called, have chosen to stay silent on the matter, pointed out the father of a six-year-old daughter.

He added: “While these Me Too revelations are upsetting my wife as much as they are me, maybe even more since she has seen a lot of this at close quarters and some of her friends are involved at both ends, the fact remains that the cream of the industry has refused to support the movement. Sajid Khan is not directing Housefull 4 anymore, but is that enough?

“A peek at Suhel Seth’s lnstagram account will reveal photos of him with every famous and powerful person in the country, yet not one has felt the need to say anything about his behaviour. People in the know tell me the reason for this is, ‘Everyone has skeletons in their closet’ I don’t buy that.

“Women who have been in toxic work spaces,and yet are staying quiet need to understand how hard it is for these stories to be shared. Similarly, the men must understand that even if you played your part by being a silent spectator to injustice, now is your chance to set things right.”

Mahesh said he has himself heard stories — directly and indirectly — but he chose to ignore them since “business is business”. But not anymore.

“Personally or professionally, I have known and engaged with Suhel Seth, Vikas Bahl, Anirban Blah, Chetan Bhagat, Sajid Khan and Anu Malik. That ends today on all accounts.”

He also urged those who are in a position of influence through their massive social platforms, to stop engaging and start alienating “serial predators”.

“Show them that while the law and investigative agencies willtake their course, society should – and will – reject them. The stance needs to be crystal clear — guilty unless proven innocent.”

IANS

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Sushant Singh Rajput denies harassment claims, shares chat screenshots

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Mumbai, Oct 19: Sushant Singh Rajput has been accused of sexual misconduct by his “Kizie Aur Manny” co-star Sanjana Sanghi. In his defence, the actor shared screenshots of their SMS conversation and called it a “smear campaign”.

Sushant on Friday tweeted snapshots of his conversation with Sanjana from the first day to the last day of the film’s shoot, and captioned it: “I feel sad to reveal personal information but it seems that there is no other way to state what was, in the midst of this curated and well-timed smear campaign.

“From the first till the last day of the shoot, this is what happened on the set with Sanjana.”

Sanjana has accused the 32-year-old actor of behaving inappropriately on the sets of the movie, saying he made her feel “uncomfortable” with his “overly friendly behaviour” during the shoot in Jodhpur.

On Thursday, Twitteratis pointed at Sushant’s missing blue verification tick on the micro-blogging platform following the claims.

However, Sushant on Friday clarified: “For all those deliberately using the missing of Twitter ‘blue tick’ to substantiate their false claims, allow me to tell you that it is not there since September 5. Get your facts checked before jumping to conclusions that you so eagerly want to.

The film’s director and popular casting director Mukesh Chhabra has spoken out in support of Sushant.

“I totally stand by Sushant. No such incident happened on the sets and let’s not have a Twitter trial and make an innocent person suffer for somebody else’s ulterior motives. I had clarified this on twitter long back and I still maintain it,” Chhabra, who too has been accused by a women of sexual harassment, tweeted.

The #MeToo movement in India started after actress and former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta in September recalled an unsavoury episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of “Horn OK Pleassss” in 2008.

IANS

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