Daily Archives: Apr 17, 2015
Art & drama
April 27 – June 4, Ashvita Nirvana
Ashvita Nirvana is organising six workshops for summer. On April 27, sign up for a drama workshop by Theatre Nisha, where participants will take part in voice and prep exercises, spatial relationships, acting improvisation and more (Rs 5,500). Therea��s also a painting and crafts workshop for children on the same day by Megha Kapadia (Rs 3,000). Details: 09791088189
Enjoy reggae and rock music with the Jaysithar Trio from Auroville, with David on violin and saxophone, Jaysee on vocals and Suresh on drums. At La Plancha, Pondicherry. Today, from 8 pm onwards. Details: 0413 4300333
Beyond the book
April 27 – May 15, British Council
Britsh Council is conducting a 30-hour summer school course. It includes activities that develop language skills (speaking, writing, reading and listening), vocabulary and pronunciation. The workshop also targetsA� confidence building and encouraging team work. For ages eight to 15. Priced at Rs 9,000. Details: 18001024353
Prince Jewellery has launched their newA� PrinceA� diamond wing. Prices start from Rs 4,000 onwards.
Do the Hawaii
On April 25, Luz house
Creative Ladder is organising a Hawaiian- themed kids carnival this summer. It starts with the Swachh Bharat activity in association with World Art Cafe. Other activities include umbrella painting, a tattoo corner and nail art. The carnival ends with a Hawaiian-themed fancy dress show. From 11 am. Entry at Rs 50 per child.
Beyond the book
April 27 – May 15, British Council Britsh Council is conducting a 30-hour summer school course. It includes activities that develop language skills (speaking, writing, reading and listening), vocabulary and pronunciation. The workshop also targetsA� confidence building and encouraging team work. For ages eight to 15. Priced at Rs 9,000. Details: 18001024353
The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt
Enjoy the T20 season at The Flying Elephant, with their package called Zooter 20. You get unlimited beer (only British Empire) and munchies like nachos, nuts and popcorn. Till April 24. At Rs 1,099 per person. Details: 71771655
The Moon and Sixpence, Hablis
The Irish-themed pub at Hablis is offering a host of packages for the T20 season. You get one starter and one domestic/imported beverage or one main course and a domestic/imported beverage from Rs 350 plus tax onwards. And for an additional Rs 250 plus tax, you can add on
a domestic/imported beer, imported liquor, a starter or a main course. Details: 22334000
Willows, The Westin
Head to Willows at The Westin and cheer for your favourite team as you binge on finger food or raise a toast to the winner while enjoying unlimited cocktails and beer. From 4 pm onwards at Westin, Velachery. Packages from Rs 1,200 onwards.A� Details: 66333777
365 AS, Hyatt Regency
356 AS will be screening the matches live on their LED screens with special packages for Chennaia��s matches titled Home and Away. For the a�?homea�� matches, five pints of beer are priced at Rs 1,444 and for the a�?awaya�� matches theya��re priced at Rs 1,888. This will also include one appetiser from their regular menu. Details: 9884650680
The Leather Bar, The Park
The Leather Bar at The Park has a host of special iced teas and offers for the season. The offers include unlimited draught beer
(per innings) and beer buckets (five mugs of beer) while the special iced teas include Sehwaga��s upar cut (vodka, lime and mint), Dhonia��s Helicopter (dark rum, mint, lime and Lipton peach tea), First Powerplay and Free hit (white spirits). Priced from Rs 550 onwards. Details: 42955580
Is there a shiny new gadget youa��dA� like to tell us about?A� Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Victorinox INOX Remade
The INOX Remade in Switzerland collection will be available in a limited edition of 250 timepieces and is made using recycled military leather on top of the super tough INOX watch. victorinoxwatches.com
Beats SOLO 2 Wireless
SOLO 2s come in a wireless design and have a 12 hour battery plus can take your calls. They also come in a multitude of colours including Applea��s gold, silver and grey. beatsbydre.com
Sonya��s UX series voice recorder is super thin, has a direct USB feature (charge, store and slide), Four GB of storage + micro SD and MP3/AAC/WMA/WAV playback. It also lets you record and play FM. Weighs only 58 grams. sony.co.in
Canon XC 10 4K
Canona��s new 4K camera shoots ultra sharp video and 12 MP stills. It also goes one up and extracts eight MP stills from 4k motion video. The versatile cam can shoot H.264 movies to CF cards, full HD video to SD cards and play 4k/30p output via HDMI. Pre-order now for `1.56 lakhs.Usa.canon.com
Now you can protect and track your gear from anywhere using theA� Trace. This clever device sends you texts/email when movement is detected and lets you track using sat tech when cellular coverage is unavailable. The Trace can also be viewed in real time using Google maps. findmespot.com
Intela��s stick lets you compute using any HDMI display.
Pre-installed with Windows 8.1 or Linux, you can carry it anywhere with wireless connectivity, on board storage and a micro SD slot. Available later this year. For the Windows version. intel.com
FLIR FX wifi
This lovely wifi home monitoring camera is small, records full HD video on a micro SD card and gives an innovative RapidRecap (a daya��s worth activity in a minute). You also get seven to 30 days of cloud storage for motion video. fx.flir.com
KOBO Glo HD
The GLO HD is a six inch Carta E-ink reader with a resolution of 300 ppi. At 9.2 mm and 180 gms it has wifi and connects via micro USB. Therea��s also built in lighting in the form of ComfortLight tech that lets you read in any light conditions. kobo.com
* All prices are approximate and may vary according to dealers
The month-old Mooi boutique features muslins in pastels and florals, with hints of zardosi
Meaning a�?beautifula�� in Dutch, Mooi is an attempt to make Chennai summers a lot more bearable while helping you look stylish. Vaishnave Kandule, the owner of the boutique, says their signature is cotton and she lets you access the craftsmanship seen in her hometown, Hyderabad. The month-old store is tucked away in a building in CP Ramaswamy Road. a�?I started this with my sister Shreya Reddy (who studied photography in London) and Chitra Penanatsa (a fashion designer from Californiaa��s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising). They work out of Hyderabad and do the designing. We have artisans for the handprinting, dyeing and hand embroidery, especially zardosi,a�? she explains.
Mooi stands apart for its quirky mix-and-match optionsa��tunics with asymmetrical hemlines that can pass for dresses, anarkali sets with waist coats that can be teamed with jeans to sari blouses that can be worn as crop tops. a�?Accessorise it well and these outfits can work for any occasion. We have found that youngsters love the colours and fabrics we have used,a�? says the 32-year-old.
Predominantly made out of mul cotton, there are tunics, anarkalis, saris, lehengas and crop tops in pastels and florals. TheirA� floor-length dresses are eye-catching in stunning colours like purple and yellow. You can also team the crop tops with one of the highwaisted skirts at Mooi.
One of a kind
Admitting that her new venture has competition in the city, with the likes of Fabindia, Good EarthA� and Soma, Kandule says Mooia��s designs are unique because there are no two pieces alike. a�?In other stores, you will have the same design in various sizes. Here, evenA� the small, medium and large sizes of a single outfit will have design variations, making it exclusive. Also, we concentrate on occasion wear that can seamlessly move from a brunch to an evening party,a�? she says.
While they havena��t yet begun customising apparel, she says that is an avenue they will be considering in the future. While at the store, also pick up kota, mul, mangalgiri, chanderi and hand embroidered saris, which come with blouses in contrasting colours with embellishments.
Between Rs 3,000 and Rs 25,000. Details: 9966178666
Preethi Ann Thomas
Known for her red carpet essentials, Sapna Singhania makes her Chennai debut
MUMBAI-BASED jewellery designer Sapna Singhaniaa��s latest sees delicate designs that serve everyday requirements or jazz up a cocktail outfit. The designer has lived in Bangkok for over 18 years and learnt jewellery designing from GIA (Gemological Institute of America) there. She specialises in invisible setting, a�?where the prongs of metal holding the stones arena��t visible. Instead, grooves in the stonesa�� girdle slip into the metal frame below, giving an illusion of size,a�? she says. She will be at Evoluzione this weekend.Fashionable firsts
For the designera��s first showcase in the city, she is bringing a mix of cocktail and everyday jewellery. These include rings, bracelets, earrings, bangles and cuff links. She is also bringing lightweight jewellery for children that includes simple earrings and bracelets. Singhania says her contemporary designs are a�?inspired by architecture of various places, nature and sometimes even prints and designs on garments.a�? Widely-travelled, she adds that the architecture of a�?Croatia and Prague have made a lasting impact.a�?
Inspirations and more
While Singhania loves designs by Cartier, Chanel and David Morris, among Indian designers she favours Amrapali. Her easy-to-wear jewellery works at destination weddings, where you dona��t want to lug along heavy sets. She prefers 18 carat gold, sapphires in different colours, diamonds, rubies and emeralds. a�?I also like working with mother of pearl,a�? she adds. According to her, the four must-have pieces in a working womana��s wardrobe are a pair of diamond hoops, a solitaire ring, a tennis bracelet and a jewelled watch. These pieces, she believes can be worn with numerous outfits.
At Evoluzione, today and tomorrow, from 11 am onwards. Rs 1,00,000 onwards. Details: 28333627 sapnasinghania.com
Kamal Haasan tackles questions on everything from his insatiable appetite for films to the fear of losing audiences.
AS I ENTER the 112-year-old bungalow on Eldams Road, I am shown into a spacious hall. While I sit restlessly on a sofa, a massive oil portrait of the legend stares down at me. Every corner of the house illuminates our Ulaga Nayagan. Besides an impressive glossary of books, an antique Matchless bike and a figurine of him as a child actor from Kalathur Kannammaa��this world of Kamal Haasana��s boasts his legacy, family, childhood, fame, art and memories. With four National Awards, 19 Filmfare Awards, a Padma Shri and a Padma Bhushan, the 60-year-old has practically donned every hat in his 50 years in the film industry. Having fielded communal controversies with his previous film (Vishwaroopam), the actor is relieved that his latest, Uttama Villain, is finally releasing in two weeks. a�?Along with freedom comes responsibility. I am responsible. I dona��t think those who throw allegations at the wind are half as responsible as they expect me to be,a�? he begins, before speaking about the film, critics and Indian cinema:
No film falls in place, the way we want it to. It takes a life of its own and becomes disobedient, when so many things go out of hand and then Murphy rules. But we got Uttama Villain under control, out of experience, I guess. Working with director K Balachander (KB) in the film is another angle. I have worked as his assistant, I have given him a story (after joining him knowing nothing), I have done several roles and even dance-composed for him. It didna��t feel strange, or like a special day. It felt like it was long overdue.
Uttama Villain is not a musical. I got a music director, Ghibran, who was itching to do something different; that made two of us. We call every film a musical, but a musical is far more complicated than what most people think. We wanted to attempt something midway, to use music as a narrative tool. I am a great fan of Carl Maria von Weber and Alain Boublil who wrote Les MisA�rables. They became sort of a template and we started working on those lines. The lyrics of Jesus Christ Superstar and CATS are so surprising and we wanted to bring about that kind of a style.
Qualified critics take themselves too seriously. I think it should be left to the people. Your angst is all about getting them to say good things about your film. So do you expect them to only say good things? What sort of a megalomania is that? I expect them to like and dislike my film. They have sculpted me. This grotesque or beautiful sculpture is thanks to them.
The biggest pleasure is when the film is already a big success and yet they are criticising it. That said, apart from ridiculing the critic for not being part of the major crowd, you might get a clue of the unknown quantum, about the minority that has been thinking. It is nice to know that also. After all, they might be the future audience.
From the advent of independent cinema, there has been no attempt to make a film purely for children. Similarly, we have neglected adults.
To be a film, our films have ended up being juvenile and I dona��t exclude myself from this.
We are underestimating or overestimating what the youth want. Directors think they know the demographic. They dona��t know that I watched Godfather, not for Michael Corleone, but for Marlon Brando and Francis Coppola. Only later came Al Pacino. I was a young kid myself and thata��s how I thought. At that age, you want to look at the other side of the world.
There are so many young filmmakers today. I would rather kill them because I am so envious of them. I dona��t even know their names. And if you think of it, they are not all in America.
Hey Ram changed me. Gandhi changed the way I think. I was a hell of a Gandhi basher, just like the rest. Nobody told me that it was wrong or punished me. In my ignorance and under peer pressure I had to say the most shocking things. And claiming he is not my father, was the first step. Then I discovered Gandhi and Periyar. Gandhi became my hero on my own merit.
He pulled off certain things that nobody could till date.
Going to the Oscars is not even a pinnacle, ita��s a journey. My aim is to take our films internationally. It has taken me 30 years to talk like this confidently. Perhaps I might even act on it.
It is nice to be with equals because leading can be boring. You have set an example and there is no more to learn. You are all the time teaching and teaching itself is such a sacrifice. You might be a PHD but if you decide to teach undergraduates you are stuck with only undergrads for the rest of your life.
Amitabh Bachchan is like MGR with a grain of Sivaji thrown in. But he kept to his place and played it safe. It is only in recent times that he has done different roles. I still miss Amitabh from a Pukar, Anand and Deewar. Even when it was an Amitabh circusa��he was the elephant, the horse and everythinga�� he maintained his grace and never lost his dignity. I have learnt a lot from that.
After a point you lose stage fright, then comes money and fame. What matters to me is losing audiences. That is my greatest fear. You are reading poetry and somebody is yawning; you have lost him.
I attribute my success to my family. Some of them are practitioners, not performers or professionals. My sister, Nalini Raghu, is a very good teacher and is one of the best among the family. What is important is making others dance. Why Kamal Haasan becomes important or KB becomes important is because they make other people instead of putting the spotlight only on themselves.
I never raised children. They just take care of themselves, like a tree. I will see to it that they dona��t lean onto a wall or break the wall. I dona��t even want to clip the tree, like bonsai. I want to make sure they grow tall. Pretending that I made that leaf sprout is silly. It will happen with or without me. That is photosynthesis.
Ia��m a proud baapu today with my daughters doing well. I thanked Balki again and again for Shamitabh. Akshara refused to act in Avvai Shanmughi as my daughter. I knelt before her, I kissed her hand and begged her to act in the film. She thought about it and in the morning when I asked her again, she gave me a condition. That she will act with me only for three days. That left me with no choice. So for her, entering films is long overdue. But they have a long way to go. Even today, Shruti told me how she is hollow. She is successful but hollow. I told her it is a good feeling, as being hungry does not make you ill, it makes you grow.
Given a choice, I would be with the least clothes in a public forum. But I need to maintain decorum. I shield my thoughts too sometimes and values. When people ask, a�?it must be driving you mad?a�� I say, a�?I have my sessions. No, I dona��t go to a psychiatrist. I do interviews.a�? (laughs) Indian cinema isna��t going the right way. The industry is run by money bags who dona��t think straight because they are constantly palpitating about their money. They dona��t need a bag, they need diapers. They are soiling their pants in the fear of what will happen to their money. They dona��t think of the film, thata��s why the fail.
Inside aA� young mind
[[We have no clue what films school children are talking about these days, especially the so called critically acclaimed films. My daughter Subbulakshmi and her friends are fond of directors like Roland Emmerich but they look at it from another point of view. Two years ago, I tried impressing her with Robert Graves, and she finished his I, Claudius. They are out reading or playing the piano or understanding photography. What do you think selfies are all about? A selfie will take you away from self absorption and turn the camera the other way, soon.
? I like Chad Kultgena��s disturbing kind of writing which is very honest. It goes to the deep core
? I am learning cooking, and Gautami helps me. I have learnt to make rasam and drumstick sambar
? I am sporadically learning piano. I learnt for sometime from Karthik Raja, but he was fed up and told me I was pretending not to understand anything!
? I have a new app which is not for total public consumption. Called a�?Live,a�� it lets me colour correct and work on my edit notes. It is my current toy
I watch about 100 hours of moving images per month, which is at least 30 films.
I see all the European and American television series. I like Borgia, Marco Polo, Peaky Blinders, Breaking Bad, Killing. I watch a lot of documentaries because they give me better ideas than films. I dona��t attend film festivals these days. It is too political, and Ia��m on the inaugurating end. I would like to go to a festival with a bag on my shoulder, take notes, sit in a tea shop, rip a film and then go back.
Killer Queen Experience comes to town with their repertoire of songs in tribute of the British band
All set to play at Phoenix Market City tomorrow, the four band members of the Killer Queen Experience bear an uncanny resemblance to the original quartet. A tribute band to the legendary British rock band, Queen, it comprises John Blunt (vocals), Wayne Vitale on bass, Kevin Shilling on drums and Andreas Tedreiko Edwards on lead guitar. The quartet claim the likeness is both coincidental and intentional. a�?We wanted our show to be an overwhelming Queen experience for the audience,a�? says Blunt, adding, a�?We set out to be the best Queen tribute in the world, hence the attention to detail which you will soon witness.a�?
Based out of Brisbane, Australiaa��and named after the song, Killer Queen, from Queena��s 1974 album, Sheer Heart Attacka��Killer Queen Experience was formed in 2003, after Blunt had the idea while working in Warner Brothers Movieworld. With a a wardrobe of detailed and exactly-replicated costumes and a repertoire that spans the 70s through to the 90s, Blunt promises a show that will be eerily similar to the original. And though there have been many line-up changes to the band over the years, he says that the present one is the most competent and professional line-up that theya��ve had till date. a�?At all our shows (and they have done scores, including headlining at the Skaanevik Blues Festival, in Norway, twice), the crowd is dancing by the second song. We are there to give them to a party and not a rock a�?na�� roll education on Queen,a�? he says.
When it comes to influences, the band members say there are manya��and as it so happens, most of them are the same artistes that inspired Freddie Mercury and his team. These include Elvis Presely, Roy Orbison, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Elton John and The Beatles, to name a few.
In the city
This is the banda��s first time in Indiaa��they consider it their a�?showcase toura�?a��and confess that they hope to come back many times. Come tomorrow, they plan to play a whole set list, including hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Another One Bites the Dust.
At The Courtyard, Phoenix Market City, tomorrow, at 7 pm.
Knife Party and The Bloody Beetroots join the fun at the Smirnoff Experience
Prepare to let your hair down for what is described as a�?Indiaa��s most unfake Electronic Dance Music festivala��. While last year the Smirnoff Experience was held in Bengaluru, the second edition moves to Mumbai, bringing in Australian duo Knife Party and The Bloody Beetrootsa��the electro house project of Italian musician Sir Bob Cornelius Rifoa��as headliners. Adding a desi flavour to the line-up is Delhi-based rock electronica outfit Dualist Inquiry, as well as Sound Avtar, Sandune and Kris Correya from Mumbai.
a�?Right from the artist line-up to the combination of music, Smirnoff Experience is a little unconventional,a�? says Correya, adding that essentially it is a�?a big party where the crowd is equally involved, which is the perfect atmosphere to perform in for every artiste.a�? Revealing that we can expect bass, funk, vocal and jazz elements in his set, he says hea��s most excited about catching up with his fellow Indian artistes, apart from catching some of the big-name acts.
Making a debut
These, of course, include Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, the force behind The Bloody Beetroots, who will be playing in India for the first time. Summing up his sound as a�?digital organic chaosa��, Rifo says there will be a�?a lot of new materiala�� in his set, and that hea��s excited about playing at such an unpretentious festival, as well as hoping to have the chance to a�?soak up the culturea�� and explore the city before continuing on his world tour. a�?Ia��m planning to stay all through the festival, tune into the vibe and enjoy all the acts. I am sure it will be sensational,a�? signs off Correya.
April 17 at The Dome, VSP Stadium, Mumbai. Tickets at Rs 1,500 upwards on meraevents.com
Maegan Dobson Sippy
Isle of adventure
Bear Grylls returns with his latest challenge a�� surviving a desert island. The Island With Bear Grylls sees ordinary men volunteer to head off with Grylls to an uninhabited Pacific island to fend for themselves for four weeks. Watch as they survive predators and strained relationships. Starts April 20, Mondays, 10 pm on Discovery Channel.
Michelin-starred chef, Gordon Ramsay, cooks up a storm in the kitchen with 20 aspiring chefs in the latest season of Hella��s Kitchen. Divided into two teams, the contestants will be put through intense challenges and dinner services and be evaluated on their talent and attitude. Those who dona��t meet the acid-tongued chefa��s mark, will face elimination. Fridays at 9 pm on TLC
Back in time
Patrick Stewart returns as Professor X in X-Men Days of Future Past. The future seems bleak with Sentinels, exterminating mutants. So Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), goes back in time to alter the past. Promoting the film and helping real people turn superheros in their own way, actor Farhan Akhtar, has teamed up with Skrat to create a song Mutant Macha. Premieres April 19, at 1 pm and 9 pm on Star Movies.
Steven Johnson throws a modern spin on age-old inventions on How We Got To Now
Writer, scientist, host and historian, Steven Johnson creates a show that talks about ideas, and how they happen. How We Got To Now sees Johnson tracing the history of inventions, tapping into realms of light, cold, sound, time and sight. He sparks our curiosity and chats about rediscoveries.
Getting into science
My parents still tease me because they remember my school biology grades! I was very interested in technology and computers in the early days of the web. But I was studying English literature and history, which is the other extreme. So I was interested in things from different centuries! Soon, I realised though, that you cannot write about historical events without science. You need to know about physics to know about Roman baths.
The showa��s USP
We rarely pause to think about how we got to current times. This focuses on the technology, which we now take for granted. TWe throw light on how things like ACs, glass and artificial light came to being. We take the time to explain how scientists tried to invent something and came out with something else. Ita��s a bit about how solving one problem triggered another and the consequences of it.
The best part
I love that it involves research. Ita��s like a detective at work. One finding leads to another and then you dive into unrelated threads and topics which open up the universe to you. I loved researching at libraries, but the web makes it infinitely exciting.
The most intriguing invention
Undoubtedly glass. It is perhaps the single most important material invented in the past 1,000 years. Our entire world would have been unimaginably different had it not been for glass. Apart from literal glass in windows or tumblers, we wouldna��t have had photography, medicine would have stalled as microscopes need glass, phones, Internet, television… You name it, it needs glass. It has dramatically transformed our lives.
Who is the target audience?
Originally, we hadna��t thought it would appeal to different age groups. We now realise though, that it is a great family show. Ita��s as interesting to an 11-year-old as it is to a 70-year-old because ita��s fun and packed with information. We dona��t go into the complex details but what we do is provoke questions. It sparks curiosity, which is brilliant no matter how old you are, anywhere in the world.
The fact that in most places on earth, I can simply open the tap on the water faucet and drink clean water, amazes me. The other is the Internet. And at a macro level, I pick the city. It is such great mechanism that different people can live together and pursue varied lives is amazing.
A mobile app you cana��t do without…
Four Square. I find it very interesting that an app can tell you what to do through the eyes of local, common people, in a distant land.
Premiering April 20, On Discovery Channel, Mondays at 9 pm
Melissa Joan Hart opens up about playing a politician and stand-in mother
A far cry from her days in Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Melissa Joan Hart has graduated to being a well-liked city councilwoman on Melissa and Joey. Playing a motherly role to her niece and nephew, this real mother of three says she brings the exact opposite of reality to the sets. a�?Mel is not your typical mother, and that is what I actually wanted. I enjoy playing her because everything that I know about being a mom, I try to do the exact opposite,a�? begins the bubbly actor, who has even directed for the show. a�?Ita��s not easy to do both and I cana��t do it too much because ita��s just exhausting.A� Directing is very mental and the acting is very physical. When Ia��m acting, we have a lot more time to joke around,a�? Hart shares.
So whoa��s the funniest on set?A� a�?Oh, thata��sA� me, of course! Joey (Lawrence) and I argue over it. But actually Nick Robinson (who plays the nephew Ryder) is quite hilarious; we cana��t stop giggling with him,a�? she tells us, explaining it is the wine-drinking, lush side of Mel that she enjoys.
Speaking of her co-actor, Joey Lawrence, who plays the nanny and now husband (Joe), Hart says they share a very professional relationship. a�?We have a lot in common. Wea��ve known each other since we were kids but the first time we worked together was on My Fake FiancA� and we hit it off well,a�? she says. Plus, apparently the easy rapport helped greatly in bringing to life their love-hate relationship. a�?It just added to the chemistry and made us want to continue to work together,a�? Hart says
With the series set to end later this year, Hart transforms into her off-screen motherly self saying that she will miss the people the most. a�?That will be hard to let go of. Wea��ve all become such a family. We really know how lucky we are to be able to make entertaining a career.A� We count our blessings and love to just make people laugh!a�? she signs off.
Mondays, 11.30 pm on Star World Premiere
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