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Ruskin Bond conferred Lifetime Achievement Award

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ruskin bond

New Delhi, Nov 26 : Noted author Ruskin Bond was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Times Lit Fest here on Saturday for his outstanding contribution in the field of literature.

Bond reminded his young readers of climate change during a conversation with writer Paro Anand.

“Nature has been really kind to me. So I think I can give back to nature by celebrating it. I am not an activist, but I can celebrate it in my writings,” the author said as he took a pause to think.

“For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we should try and save the planet,” he added.

Bond was speaking to a packed house, comprising of young school children and elderly, at India Habitat Centre here.

“I am not a pessimist so I will not say that life will end in 50 years. I am an optimist so I will say that life may end in 150 years,” said an emotional Bond, whose writings reflect his close proximity to  nature.

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“It has always been my observation that I have written better when I am in the lap of  nature. People have been my stories, animals have been my stories and when I run out of people and animals, I make stories out of ghosts. But there is an element of nature all through.”

He advised his young readers to become “one’s own best friend” and read as many books as possible.

“Reading books has sustained me right from a young boy to this age. It has always made me feel that life is beautiful,” he said.

ruskin bond

Bond also responded to questions from young readers and shared his answers on diverse issues, ranging from the current state of children’s literature in the country to the number of times he has fallen in love at first sight, second sight or at hindsight, for that matter. IANS

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Priyanka not a bridesmaid at Markle’s royal wedding

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New York, April 26: Actress Priyanka Chopra says she will not be a bridesmaid at Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle’s upcoming royal wedding.

However, the actress didn’t clear the mystery whether she has been invited to the wedding or not.

In an interview with people.com, Priyanka expressed her excitement about Harry and Markle’s wedding. The couple will exchange vows at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19.

“I’m super excited about her and her big day,” Priyanka said.

She added: “It’s not just going to be life-changing for both of them, it’s life-changing for the world that needs to see strong women as icons, and I think Meghan has the potential to be that.”

Talking about Markle, the “Quantico” star said: “She’s just a really real girl. She’s a girl’s girl. She’s a really relatable young woman who is concerned about the world just like you and I are. That’s what I love the most about her. I feel like her authenticity is what’s going to make her really stand out in this new life she’s going to take on.”

Prince Harry and Markle started dating in July 2016 and made their first public appearance as a couple in September 2017.

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Karan Johar launches 6 Pack Band 2.0, says used to think he is ‘different’

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Mumbai, April 26: Filmmaker Karan Johar, who along with Y-Films introduced a specially-abled teens band 6 Pack Band 2.0, says as a child there were times when he used to feel different from others.

“At times, as a child, I used to think that I am different. To accept that, was a task. Though I shouldn’t say that my condition was like these children, I surely understand their emotions.

“I understand how it feels to fear to go outside and mingle….I think it is our responsibility to create an atmosphere to make sure that all these children feel free to come out and live,” Karan told the media here on Thursday.

While Karan urged all the parents to support their children, he said: “I think I was very fortunate to have parents who were very affectionate and supportive towards me which gave me the confidence to overcome my fears.

“My parents were very progressive to understand me, and never made me feel like I am a kid who tends to behave differently in a certain situation. As elders that is what we should do…every child is different and parents should support them all through, to achieve their dream.”

The band will come up with six songs along with their music videos. All the songs are written by lyricist Kummar.

Sharing his experience of working on the project, Kummar said: “I was the last person who came on board for this project. So, basically I just added lyrics to their beautiful thoughts.

“Of course, it was a very different experience of writing songs for this project because these are not regular film songs. This is a very special project, with a wise vision.”

The six members of the band are Ananya Halarnkar, Anjali Ramesh, Maitreya Matale, Paarth Padhye, Prerna Agarwal and Rishaan Patil.

The children have come up with their first video titled “Jhakkad pakkad dance”, choreographed by Adil Shaikh.

The initiative is intended to create awareness about autism and mental illness. The campaign is partnered with Brooke Bond Red Label.

“Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response that India’s first transgender band received, we are back with India’s most special band. We hope that our talented band members receive similar love this time around as well,” said Shiva Krishnamurthy, General Manager, Beverages, Hindustan Unilever.

IANS

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Sexual favours happen in entertainment, political world: Shatrughan Sinha

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BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha
Actor Shatrughan Sinha. (File Photo: IANS)

Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) After choreographer Saroj Khan and senior Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary, actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha says sexual favours are demanded in and given in both the entertainment and the political world.

“Neither Saroj Khan nor Renuka Chowdhary is wrong. Sexual favours are demanded and given in both the entertainment world and in politics. It’s an old and time-tested way of getting ahead in life. ‘You please me I’ll please you’.

“This has been happening since time immemorial. What is there to get so upset about,” Sinha said.

Defending Khan, he said: “Saroj Khan’s contribution to choreography and to shaping the careers of Rekha, Madhuri Dixit and the late much-missed Sridevi, was invaluable. Saroj Khan is a legend in her own right.

“She often speaks from her heart and lets emotional correctness rule over political correctness. If she said that girls have to compromise sexually in Bollywood, she must be aware of what goes on.”

Sinha himself does not deny the existence of the casting couch.

“I completely agree with both Saroj and Renuka. I know the kind of compromises girls have to make to get into films. Perhaps Sarojji has herself gone through her own pain and humiliation.

“As for politics, I don’t know what we can call the casting couch in politics maybe the casting-vote couch. Of course the young aspiring brigade is known to offer sexual favours and of course the senior brigade is known to accept.

“I am not saying it is right. I would never be part of such a compromise. But we cannot shut our eyes to the reality around us. Don’t condemn Sarojji for speaking the truth.

“Condemn those who create a situation where girls and boys feel they have to compromise to get ahead in life.”

However, Sinha is quick to point out — like Khan — that the casting couch is a personal choice.

“What happens on the couch or wherever two people come together, is a matter of personal choice. No one is forcing any girl or boy to lie down on the couch. You have something to give and you are offering it to someone who is interested. Where is the coercion or compulsion.?”

IANS

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