Bollywood heartthrobs Farhan Akhtar and
Shraddha Kapoor were in town, and stopped by at the hotel for the cake mixing event. A lot of laughs were shared as the stars got their hands dirty.
The Luru Diwali party was a hit as DJ Anoop Absolute took control of the turntables. Guests flaunted their fancy ethnic attires, posed for selfies, even as they danced to the best of desi music.
Back in the game
Just as the response to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is polarised, so are reactions to Ranbir Kapoor’s performance as the lovelorn Ayan. Indeed it is nowhere close to Kapoor’s best work, perhaps because it shows shades of characters he has played before (mostly in Imtiaz Ali’s films), but it certainly restores his box office position—something that was suffering after Tamasha and Bombay Velvet. His next release is likely to be the beleaguered Jagga Jasoos with Katrina Kaif. The film is so delayed that one wonders how it will survive the vagaries of time, break-ups and going over-budget. He’s also got the potential blockbuster biopic of Sanjay Dutt on his plate, which is being directed by Rajkumar Hirani, followed by Ayan Mukherji’s superhero style movie, Dragon, with Alia Bhatt. While these projects will keep him busy till 2018 at least, let’s hope Kapoor finds a script-director match that can truly explore his
Director Alankrita Shrivastava’s second
feature film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, was one of the hottest tickets at the 2016 edition of the Mumbai Film Festival (MFF). The multi-story narrative features interconnected stories of four women in small town India and their small dreams. Shrivastava took her time developing the script, and after four years her sophomore effort had its world premiere in Tokyo and Mumbai on the same day. Starring Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur, Sushant Singh, Vikrant Massey and Shashank Arora, the film won the Oxfam Award For Best Film on Gender Equality at MFF. Shrivastava is hoping to get an India release early next year before working on her next feature film—a legal drama with a strong female protagonist.
In spite the controversy and mixed reviews, one actor who has clearly benefitted from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is Lisa Haydon. The model-turned-actress has so far been window dressing in films such as The Shaukeens and Housefull 3. Prior to playing Ranbir Kapoor’s gold-digger girlfriend in ADHM (her scenes where she talks about vaatavaran are hilarious), her most notable part was as Vijaylaxmi in Queen. But one wonders whether she will hang up her acting boots now that she has married a jet-setting businessman. Haydon got hitched on the weekend in an intimate wedding held in Thailand. She had come close to getting hitched before, so it’s heartening that this time things seem to have worked out for her. As to a future in Bollywood? It’s hardly likely to matter to either her or the industry if she retires from the arc lights.
Taking it slow
Actor and producer Sohum Shah is a man in no hurry. He made his debut in Baabarr (2009) and since then has only been seen in Ship of Theseus and Talvar. He’s also been patiently producing films, including the fantasy epic Tumbad, in which he also acts. So when Shah recently shared a picture of himself with director Hansal Mehta, it made Shah’s followers sit up and take notice. The picture was taken in the United States of America on the sets of Mehta’s latest feature, Simran. Shah features alongside Kangana Ranaut in the film, which is currently shooting in North America. Speculation is rife as to whether Shah has landed the plum part of Ranaut’s love interest in this comic-action-drama. In between the selective acting work, he continues to back edgy content, including documentary films.
November 9 | Church Street
This is the big chance for Mr. Big fans. Watch the frontman of this rock band, Eric Martin, perform live at The Humming Tree. He will play some of his most popular tunes. Tickets (`1,000 upwards). Indiranagar. 8 pm onwards. Details: 7022359288
Ongoing | Indiranagar
Ever wondered what it feels like
to be part of a well-planned heist, getting away with your loot? The Amazing Escape gives you the opportunity to experience a faux heist. Get your gang of friends and family, be
part of a real-like experience. Tickets (`449 upwards).
September 4 | MG Road
Head to City Bar, as DJ Vipul mixes some Bollywood tunes. Burn the dance floor with your grooves and moves as the DJ plays some of the most popular numbers from the biggest hits. Entry free. 8 pm onwards. Details: 41716359
Fun with pictures
November 5 | Koramangala
Give your child the opportunity to explore
more with his drawings and pictures. A two-day,
fun-filled animation workshop at Atta Galatta helps children learn the art of telling animated stories, letting them design their own characters and tales through drawings. Tickets (`1,500). 10.30 am onwards. Details: 9167100254
Find a parking slot before you arrive with DIVRT
Parking woes giving you second thoughts about stepping out of home? If yes, DIVRT is your answer. This new app, though currently operational only at VR Bengaluru, lets you book your parking slot much before you arrive at your destination. “The idea was to solve a 100-year-old problem. What this app does is save you about 10 to 20 minutes,” says founder Amit Rohatgi, who will introduce the feature at numerous locations in the city within the next few months.
Through the app, users can specify the time of arrival and duration of their visit to the mall, and pay directly online. “We’ve tied up with Paytm, and have credit card-enabled payment options too. UPI (United Payments Interface) was enabled just last week,” reveals San Francisco-based Rohatgi.
Launched barely four weeks ago, the app has seen a total of 650 bookings so far. “We block off 50 spots and have an average of 80 bookings at different hours of the day,” shares the founder.
While the app is all set to launch at a second location in Bengaluru on November 7, Rohatgi tells us that he also plans to introduce certain features that will add more value for users. “For example, a car washing service. You’ll get a push button notification asking if you’d like to get your car washed while you’re shopping or watching a movie,” he says.
— Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo
Story31 revives age-old stories through contemporary narratives
Back in the day, stories for children were either granny’s bed-time tales or fairy tales such as, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Beauty and the Beast. As time passed, children grew up with Tom & Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Pokemon.
Now, with an explosion of technology, story-telling for children is significantly through online games and animated series. Perhaps a reason why, though story-telling has evolved, the art of teaching life lessons to children seems to have retreated with the invasion of new-age culture. Story31, an online portal available both as a website and an application is trying to bridge this gap between traditional life-lessons and contemporary story-telling. “It’s primarily a platform that delivers interactive, animated stories that introduce a child to the world around them,” says Satvik Shahpur, co-founder, Story31. Launched in October last year as a website that customised hard-bound story books for children, Story31 has now metamorphosed as an app. “We had been working on this idea for more than a year, and only after we had developed substantial content, we started with printed books, which was last year,” explains Shahpur, adding, “These were available on our website on order. We wanted to test our concept by starting out as an offline product.”
The books received a positive response from parents who were looking for an alternative to television and video games. From here, there was no looking back for the team, that includes co-founder Sunil Kumar.
How it works
The website and the application currently feature four animated stories — the first story can be personalised by entering the child’s name, “The child learns to spell his name by meeting animals. Each of these are as per the letters of his/her name,” says Shahpur. Through the second story, one learns about different animal sounds. In the third story, responsibilities at home are introduced in a fun way: by helping the father’s character shop for groceries. The fourth story introduces emotions through sounds and expressions. Shahpur explains, “Parents had given us feedback that their children don’t go beyond the phrase, ‘I don’t like it,’ to express their dislike, so in this story, the child will be taught different ways of expressing through new words and exclamations.” The fourth story helps in building a family picture.
These animated tales are up for trial on the website and on the app. Aimed at children between 0-6 years, the animation and content have been developed by the co-founders. “But we have whetted the content by education experts before launching it,” says Shahpur. With the next set of stories ready to go online, the team has planned to update the app with four to five tales every month. Trial lasts for a week, after which users will have to subscribe for either monthly, quarterly or yearly plans. Additionally, Story31 adheres to the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) Regulations, so the website and app are completely child-friendly sans unsolicited advertisements or content.
— Ayesha Tabassum