Deepika Padukone Launches Self-Care Brand 82E

A pioneering advocate of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, actor Deepika Padukone launches her self-care brand, 82E (pronounced Eighty-two East) on Thursday. The brand will offer premium, high-performance products that make the practice of self-care a simple, effective, and enjoyable part of everyday life.

The name is inspired by the meridian that runs longitudinally through India and defines the standard time of the country. Eighty-Two East reflects the global Indian icon’s journey and experience as a modern woman who is rooted in India but global in her outlook.

The brand will launch with skincare as its inaugural category this month. Eighty-Two East’s skincare products are formulated by in-house experts, and each product combines an Indian ingredient with a scientific compound into a powerful formula. The products have been thoughtfully designed to make skincare a delightful ritual.

The brand takes pride in being India’s first celebrity-owned self-care brand that is backed by global institutional venture capitalists. On the occasion of launching her very own self-care brand, Deepika Padukone, Co-founder, of Eighty-Two East, says “Wherever I am in the world, practicing simple acts of self-care consistently, helps me stay grounded and enables me to feel my most centred. With Eighty-Two East, I hope to inspire us all to connect with our truest, most authentic selves through consistent and humble self-care practices. The first step in that direction is our range of skincare products that have been rigorously sourced, carefully crafted, and clinically tested so you can build simple, joyful, and effective everyday rituals to care for the health of your skin.”

The launch marks Padukone’s foray into full-fledged entrepreneurship, expanding her mission to leave behind a distinguished legacy and to inspire people to live authentic lives beyond her professional endeavors as an actor, producer, and mental health advocate. (IANS)

Paris Hilton Goes Desi For Her Perfume Launch Event In Mumbai

American socialite and international jet-setter Paris Hilton was busy promoting her fragrance, Ruby Rush, here on Thursday evening.

For the product launch at the Phoenix Palladium mall in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai, Hilton chose the perfect attire — a red jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and sheer silver gloves, thereby bringing out the best of desi and chic moods.

She rounded off her look with emerald jewellery, red sunglasses, and open tresses.

Prior to the event, she took to her Instagram to share a video of her trying different outfits. What’s interesting is that all the outfits in the video are Indian attires, designed by Indian designer, Shubhika of Papa Don’t Preach fashion label, as Paris wanted to bring out the essence of the Indian culture.

She sought help from her followers to choose the outfit for the Thursday evening launch event.

She wrote in the caption: “Love wearing and supporting local designers when I travel. India In love with these gorgeous looks from Indian designer @PapaDontPreachByShubhika styled by @Marta.Del.Rio. Which one should I wear to my @ParisHiltonFragrances Launch today?”

Paris touched down in Mumbai on Wednesday night for her stay of two days in the city. She was welcomed by scores of paparazzi, who were waiting for her at the arrival gate at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. (IANS)

Festive Fashion The Bollywood Way

Festivals are charming and significant in their own right. We celebrate it fervently and with great joy. Delectable meals are made and homes are decorated. People attend gatherings and parties dressed in their traditional best. Get inspired

A bandhi & shades

Ranveer Singh, is well renowned for his taste in clothing, looks dashing in this ethnic ensemble. The actor wore off-white kurta, a burgundy Bandhi with matching glares.

All white ensemble

If you don’t want to go overboard, this outfit is understated yet still ideal for the festive season. RajKummar Rao looks sharp in complete white.

Prints galore

In this printed and textured kurta, Shahid Kapoor looks dapper. The matching scarf, velvet boots and white pants complete the look.

Jewel tones

Sidharth Malhotra wears a smart jewel toned blue kurta with off-white thread embroidery. The look is young and chic.

Bollywood style

Inspired by celluloid and Manish Malhotra, opt for a bling kurta with a dupatta to make heads turn, Varun Dhawan style!

The Pathan

Choosing a classic pathani kurta and shalwar, King Khan proves he’s the frontrunner when it comes to fashion too! The actor prefers to keep his clothing stylish.

The Punjabi affair

Vicky Kaushal’s striped kurta pyajama set teamed with Kohlpuri sandals and shades is perfect for a day of festivities.

Dapper dude

Bollywood’s “chocolate boy,” Ranbir Kapoor, has the physique to wear Indian clothing flawlessly, and this textured kurta teamed with silver rings shows that men can flaunt jewellery with confidence.

Style Nawabi

The Pataudi never fails to grab headlines for his minimal looks and always manages to look chic. when it comes to fashion he’s always got his right foot forward (IANS)

Jaipur Literary Fest Takes NYC Arts Scene by Storm

Technology, visual art, high fashion, and literature merged on the same stage last week at the closing night event for the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) New York Edition, curated by cultural producer Myna Mukherjee of Engendered, a trans-national arts and human rights organization based in New Delhi. After a hiatus of 10 years, Engendered returned to New York City’s High Nine Gallery in Chelsea with Techné Disruptors, a hand-picked NFT collection featuring some of South Asia’s most cutting-edge artists, including Ram Rahman, Waswo X. Waswo, Veer Munshi, Raghava KK, Puneet Kaushik, Harshit Agrawal, Nur Mahammed, Balbir Krishan, Amritah Sen, among others.

Co-presented by Avid Learning and High Line Nine Gallery and powered by Technology Partner, Polygon, the show has been conceived through the lens of urbanism and a post-colonial gaze. It engages Indian futurisms, indigenous technologies, and future-forward aesthetics while retaining the notion of cultural perpetuity. Techné Disruptors is coming to New York after celebrating unprecedented success in its first outing in New Delhi (April-May 2022). The show not only helped reshape sedentary categories of art but also radically shifted the way art is viewed, understood, experienced, and sold. For the first time, over 80% of a largely digital exhibition was collected by one of India’s most reputed institutional collectors.

The closing reception of JLF, featured the NFT book launch of Seema Kohli’s “Mitr Pyaare Nu,” as well as closing remarks from Managing Director, Teamwork Arts Sanjoy Roy and Indian politician Shaiza Ilmi. The evening concluded with a fashion show presented by South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), showcasing the designs of Untitled by Nikita, AKS Mathur, Aara by Sana, Aazadi by Naseer Khan and Pakistani headliner Nomi Ansari.

The three-week-long event in Chelsea Arts District with rotating exhibitions (a new chapter each week) features works imagined with the most future-forward technologies of our times including AI (Artificial Intelligence), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), holographs, and works from brand new minted collections of Global South NFTs curated with a critical need to strengthen south-south collaborations.

The exhibition looks at the bridging of the old and the new, the physical and the digital, and lends voice to largely invisibilized conversations and personal stories in the complex landscape of gender, sexuality & marginalities. It speaks to the cultural consequences of migrations within, from, and to the Indian subcontinent as artistic inquiries into difference and belonging.

The artists include: Seema Kohli | Veer Munshi | Ram Rahman | Puneet Kaushik | Waswo X. Waswo | Amina Ahmed | 64/1: Raghava KK & Karthik Kalyanaraman | Harshit Agrawal | Balbir Krishan | Amritah Sen | Babak Haghi | Ritu Kamath | Nur Mahhamed | ‘Rharha’ Rochelle Nembhard | Minne Atairu | Satadru Sovan | Abhishek Singh | SK Sahni | Mahula Ghosh | Adil B. Khan | Santosh K. Das | Sukanya Ayde | Portia Roy | Mandakini Devi | Aamir Rabbani | Arvin Ombika | Ahsan Masood | Baishali Chetia | Chathuri Nissansala | Dominique V. Castelano | Ipshita Thakur | Isha Yadav | Sawan Taank | Mohd Shaze

Jaipur Literary Fest Takes NYC Arts Scene by Storm

Technology, visual art, high fashion, and literature merged on the same stage last week at the closing night event for the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) New York Edition, curated by cultural producer Myna Mukherjee of Engendered, a trans-national arts and human rights organization based in New Delhi. After a hiatus of 10 years, Engendered returned to New York City’s High Nine Gallery in Chelsea with Techné Disruptors, a hand-picked NFT collection featuring some of South Asia’s most cutting-edge artists, including Ram Rahman, Waswo X. Waswo, Veer Munshi, Raghava KK, Puneet Kaushik, Harshit Agrawal, Nur Mahammed, Balbir Krishan, Amritah Sen, among others.
 
Co-presented by Avid Learning and High Line Nine Gallery and powered by Technology Partner, Polygon, the show has been conceived through the lens of urbanism and a post-colonial gaze. It engages Indian futurisms, indigenous technologies, and future-forward aesthetics while retaining the notion of cultural perpetuity. Techné Disruptors is coming to New York after celebrating unprecedented success in its first outing in New Delhi (April-May 2022). The show not only helped reshape sedentary categories of art but also radically shifted the way art is viewed, understood, experienced, and sold. For the first time, over 80% of a largely digital exhibition was collected by one of India’s most reputed institutional collectors.
 
The closing reception of JLF, featured the NFT book launch of Seema Kohli’s “Mitr Pyaare Nu,” as well as closing remarks from Managing Director, Teamwork Arts Sanjoy Roy and Indian politician Shaiza Ilmi. The evening concluded with a fashion show presented by South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), showcasing the designs of Untitled by Nikita, AKS Mathur, Aara by Sana, Aazadi by Naseer Khan and Pakistani headliner Nomi Ansari.

The three-week-long event in Chelsea Arts District with rotating exhibitions (a new chapter each week) features works imagined with the most future-forward technologies of our times including AI (Artificial Intelligence), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), holographs, and works from brand new minted collections of Global South NFTs curated with a critical need to strengthen south-south collaborations.
 
The exhibition looks at the bridging of the old and the new, the physical and the digital, and lends voice to largely invisibilized conversations and personal stories in the complex landscape of gender, sexuality & marginalities. It speaks to the cultural consequences of migrations within, from, and to the Indian subcontinent as artistic inquiries into difference and belonging.
 

The artists include: Seema Kohli | Veer Munshi | Ram Rahman | Puneet Kaushik | Waswo X. Waswo | Amina Ahmed | 64/1: Raghava KK & Karthik Kalyanaraman | Harshit Agrawal | Balbir Krishan | Amritah Sen | Babak Haghi | Ritu Kamath | Nur Mahhamed | ‘Rharha’ Rochelle Nembhard | Minne Atairu | Satadru Sovan | Abhishek Singh | SK Sahni | Mahula Ghosh | Adil B. Khan | Santosh K. Das | Sukanya Ayde | Portia Roy | Mandakini Devi | Aamir Rabbani | Arvin Ombika | Ahsan Masood | Baishali Chetia | Chathuri Nissansala | Dominique V. Castelano | Ipshita Thakur | Isha Yadav | Sawan Taank | Mohd Shazeb

Indian Content Creators Make Runway Debuts At New York Fashion Week

Heralding a massive coup for the homegrown content creator community, celebrated Indian couturier Archana Kochhar has roped in leading social media influencers of Indian origin as showstoppers for her fashion outings at New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. Her New York Fashion Week showcase was hosted in association with The Society at Hall Of Mirrors on September 11.

Delhi-based husband-wife duo, Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Rathee Taneja, of Flying Beast fame, were joined by Mumbai-based lifestyle influencer Aashna Hedge to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week, while Mumbai-based entertainment influencer Nagma Mirajkar will walk the runway at London Fashion Week, setting the stage for increased representation of Indian influencer presenters at global platforms.

This creative confluence marked the debut of these Indian social media stars at international fashion weeks, also marking the very first time that they are being integrated on the main runway in the history of New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week.

Other American social media influencers show-stopping at New York Fashion Week include Tik-Tok’s favourite ‘it’ girl Mckenzi Brooke and actor-musician teen sensation Gavin Magnus, who will be walking for one of the world’s youngest self-made multi-millionaires and child reality TV star, Isabella Barrett.

Kochhar’s London Fashion Week will be conducted in association with the British Fashion Council and Vivz World Fashion Week on Sep. 17 in London.

Kochhar, who had roped in film actress Sunny Leone and acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi for her first-ever New York Fashion Week showing, is the only fashion designer to be handpicked from India to support the Make In India campaign (which was launched by Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, in 2014) at both of these reputed fashion weeks this year.

Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Rathee Taneja of Flying Beast stated, “We are extremely excited to make our international inaugural fashion innings at New York Fashion Week as the first content creator couple from India. It is an honor to be handpicked from the Indian content creator community to represent India on the world stage. It is so heartwarming to see such great reception, and this association truly showcases the advent of the content creator community in recent times. We hope our participation in his runway will open up many more avenues for the influencer community of India.”

Aashna Hegde states, “New York Fashion Week is the most iconic event of the fashion world and this feels like a ‘dream come true’ moment for me! I have been an ardent fashion enthusiast and have always wanted to bring to the fore my experimental fashion persona on the global stage. It’s such an honor to represent the Indian fashion community on such a global stage and help leverage the cause of sustainability.”

Kochhar added, “I’m very excited as this is my fourth showing at New York Fashion Week and my first-ever showing at London Fashion Week. In today’s technology-driven era, social media influencers pose as powerful thought leaders in the world of entertainment and fashion. Their equation with the community at large is highly nuanced and hence, just like actors, musicians and sports stars, they too enjoy a massive fan following as role-models. Each of these content creators will promote and propel the cause of ‘vocal for local’ on a world stage for the very first time.”

Her New York Fashion Week collection, Jharokha, highlights the importance of sustainability in fashion. A marriage between traditional handloom fabrics and inimitable Western silhouettes, the showcase boasted of a burst of colors and abstract designs. The collection primarily focused on handmade locally-grown textiles with a low carbon footprint, curated by women weavers from the interiors of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Colors Of India: 15 Indian American Women Artists Showcase Their Work At Alpharetta Arts Center

Art, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore said, is the response of man’s creative soul to the call of the Real. Responding to their calling and illuminating various spheres of culture, life and nature, Colors of India came alive as 15 artists of Indian origin, all women, presented their work at a gallery reception on August 6, 2022 at the Alpharetta Arts center. Colors of India is a collaboration between India American Cultural Association (IACA) and the Alpharetta Arts Center. The efforts towards the event were envisioned, initiated, and coordinated by IACA member and Atlanta artist, Malika Ghosh Garrett.

The idea for an exhibition of this kind had been on Garrett’s mind since the 90s. “I had approached the High Museum and in 2005 I was the first Indian artist to have a solo exhibit there. Since then, I have worked diligently to connect with other Indian artists and kept connecting with different organizations and galleries to give us a chance to showcase Indian art and Indian artists,” Garrett said. With few shows in between, Garrett also presented an exhibit in the 2021 Festival of India. “But that was not enough, and I wanted a proper gallery exhibit so I approached the Alpharetta Arts Center and pitched them the idea in 2021- luckily Nancy was excited about the idea but said I would have to wait until 2022 and that’s when she gave me a slot for this show,” she added.

“IACA has been organizing art exhibitions during its annual flagship event, Festival of India since 1997. In 2021 it was named Shades of India. Thanks to the support of Alpharetta Arts Center, we were able to organize the event at the center and for a longer period, instead of Gas South Center, where the annual festival is held for a day, every year,” Chand Akkineni, President IACA said.

The Gallery reception on August 6, 2022 brought together well over 250 art aficionados who showed up to support their favorite artists. The event also featured performance by Atlanta-based singer/songwriter/pianist Anita Aysola who brings jazz, blues and Indian classical influences into her original songs along with some Indian delicacies.

The miscellany of art and the myriad of mediums artists use to express themselves creatively, offered an immersive experience transporting the viewer to India and beyond.

ishnoi Women, Malika Garrett’s work of brightly clad women from the desert region of Rajasthan formed the cover art of the exhibition. “The images on my paintings come mostly from my personal experiences and I try and reveal what I have seen. Joy expresses itself in the form of bold colors. With my art, I celebrate life and experience quiet power, tranquility, and purpose.”

Reflective of her own exploration of differences between cultures and her experiences co existing with them, Neha Patel’s America depicts immigrant journey with an artistic twist alluding towards assimilation and so much more. Her goal, as she puts it, is to “symbolize the intersection of our Indian roots with modern design and technology; to weave the old with the new; to re-invent our belonging as a community.

Sarika Jaswani’s crochet art offered a distinctive perspective of art expression. Jaswani, a doctor by profession, extends her creativity in multiple directions, diverging into poetry and children’s stories with handmade illustrations. A certified crochet instructor from American Craft Council, Jaswani donates books to various underprivileged schools around the world.

Characterized by bold color and texture, Jaya Saxena’s grasp on color harmonies draws immediate attention. Saxena identifies most with abstract expressionism but also dabbles in loose figures, abstract florals, and landscapes. As an artist, she says her goal “is to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.” She believes that is what art is about – using the tools at our hands to create something that is more than the technique or the mediums we use to create it.

Chaitali Nadkarni’s fascination and inspiration by traditional Indian art, art from the Renaissance and Baroque period are echoed in her use of light, colors, atmosphere, and depth. “I have developed my own style of painting which has evolved over the years. My personal favorite mediums to work with are Watercolors and Soft pastels. I also enjoy working with oils and acrylics. I believe art is a beautiful medium of expression,” her statement reads.

The apple did not fall far from the tree where Aalia Garrett is concerned. Her piece such as the Pieta, mirrors her growing up in a multi-ethnic household. Synthesizing eastern and western identities, her Pieta depicts Virgin Mary mourning the body of Jesus Christ, who is replaced by Lord Ganesh in the picture, an effort towards drawing similarities between sacrificial histories of Ganesh, brought back to life with his elephant head and Jesus’ resurrection. They both she concludes, are divine sons, conceived immaculately to represent divinity of a holy trinity.

Dr. Nisha Gupta, an associate professor of psychology at University of West Georgia, teaches the psychology of creativity, art therapy, and arts-based research as vehicles for personal and collective healing. A self-taught acrylic painter and experimental filmmaker, her delightful pieces of a woman and a man with vibrant backgrounds, absorbed in their own thoughts form perfect intersection of arts and psychology.

Ruma Das mostly works with colored pencils and other mediums like watercolor, pastels and oil. Her Strength of a Woman in colored pencil and watercolors brings alive a very realistic woman radiating her inner intensity.

The In Conversation pieceof Rajita Tippavajhala impeccably captures a woman facing a mirror, reflecting internally and externally as she gets ready to leave for an occasion. Primarily painting in oils, she concentrated on figurative painting and portraits. Since becoming a mother, she sates that she now paints with intention and is interested in telling a story with each painting, stories of strength, courage and vulnerability.

Monika Gupta’s approach to art involves tradition of classical realism. Her portraits of women showcase the strength and beauty of her subjects.

Aditi Chakrabarty sets on a journey to interpret ideas about herself and the world around her. Dabbling with multiple mediums, styles and concepts her artwork offer a unique perspective.

Having grown amidst creativity, Paromita Ghosh, with training from a renowned artist in India, strokes her canvas with enriched strides resonating her in depth knowledge of the matter.

Defining her style as modern Impressionism Sharmila Ghose Roy’s pieces include an assortment of subjects like waterscapes, figures, landscapes, animals and cityscapes, as she strives to capture the movement of light in all her works.

Meenal Patel’s splendid charcoal pieces embrace her subject matter with exquisite finesse, as do her oil paintings. The elephant piece embellished with intricate designs, Patel said took her only a week to complete!

An abstract-impressionist, Rina Data Chakravorty, though mainly a landscape artist, her deep-rooted connection to India has often been the subject of her art. She paints in watercolor, oil, and mixed media.

From ancient Indian artworks to thriving modern art India’s vivid visual tradition is the culmination of a diverse range of cultural influences. Replete with rich heritage, traditions and culture, art has the power to elicit universal emotions transcending boundaries. Exhibits such as these are also a step towards initiating conversations that bind us as people. And it certainly helps that the vivacious artwork in all its vivid glory is a vision to behold. As John Keats famously said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Experience it for yourself. The exhibit is open till September 23, 2022 at Alpharetta Arts Center, 238 Canton Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009. (Courtesy: NRI Pulse)

First-Ever South Asian Fashion Week New York Announces Exciting Lineup

A finely-curated mix of 15 headlining, established, and emerging designers will make their runway debuts at the first-ever South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), taking place at multiple locations around Manhattan from September 8 to 14, during New York Fashion Week.

Conceptualized by fashion entrepreneurs and co-founders Shipra Sharma and Hetal Patel, the six-day fashion extravaganza will include couture, bridal, and pret runway shows, presentations with various brand partners, a marketplace showcasing eclectic jewelry, apparel, and accessories, and a wellness hub to round out the week, according to a press release from Jingo Media.

Headliners include Nomi Ansari and Mayyur Girotra; Established Designers will be Rivesse, JinaShili, Aara by Sana, and Margi; and Emerging Designers listed are What is Moire, Recover Season, Bedi NYC, RKJ Designs, Pali, Kala Mandir, AKS Mathur, Aariah by Sabbineni featuring Avigna Fine Jewels, and Tai by Studio 9696.

First Ever South Asian New York Fashion Week To Spotlight On South Asian Designers

For the first time in New York Fashion Week history, an innovative initiative is being launched to highlight, recognize, and appreciate South Asian fashion designers through a stand-alone platform. From September 8 to 14, 2022, at venues all over Manhattan, South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW) will take over the city’s fashion scene by storm with some of the most noteworthy names in international couture, including Nomi Ansari and Mayyur Girotra.

The event will feature established and upcoming designers, jewelry designers and retailers showcasing their collections. There will also be an interactive partnership with the app Aina(Nisha Saboo), which enables customers to virtually try on clothing.

In a move to spotlight, acknowledge, and appreciate South Asian fashion designers a South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), is being organised for the first time in New York Fashion Week history.

The event taking place from Sept. 8 to 14, 2022, will give renowned designers like Nomi Ansari, Falguni Shane Peacock, and Mayyur Girotra, a stand-alone platform to display their designs all around Manhat

Established designers include Rivesse (Ishan Sanghvi), Margi Official (Margi Sutaria), and jewelry by ReeMat Designs (Reena Mathur) and Avigna (Deepti Mandhava).

The emerging designers who will be showcasing their collections during SANYFW are What is Moire? (Sezan Khan), Bedi NYC (Alice Narang), RKJ Designs (Renee), Aariah by Sabbineni (Harika & Anusha Sabbineni), Ayla Noor New York, Tai by Studio 9696 (Tupili Andrapathy Sandeep), Recover Season Co. (Reshma Zaman), and Pali (Vinod Muralidhar).

Almost a decade in the making, SANYFW is the brainchild of fashion entrepreneur Shipra Sharma, who after partnering with Hetal Patel, made it her life’s mission to showcase and uplift South Asian fashion inspired by traditional and modern South Asian attire and culture. To watch a video of upcoming highlights, please click HERE.

“Lehenghas turned into co-ord sets. Sarees turned into gowns with drapes. Palazzo pants became wide legged pants. We want to reclaim that narrative and introduce the world to the origins of these silhouettes and designs. At SANYFW, we intend to highlight and share the history of our fashion and culture, while celebrating the fashion pioneers who have been trailblazers for our community universally,” said Founder and CEO Sharma during the SANYFW Summer Kick-Off event.

SANYFW’s official tech partner, Nate – www.nate.tech, is becoming the first solution to bring the hottest looks from the runway directly to the consumer, in real time. Championing initiatives in diversity and inclusion, nate felt it was natural to get involved, using its universal technology to make every show completely shoppable, via nate Lists. Any consumer or creator will be able to scan a QR code directly from the runway and shop any item with a tap, as well as share it seamlessly to social media. With the wide world of social media and viral content creators in the mix, designers’ latest collections are garnering a limitless number of impressions.

Increased visibility and innovative technology to facilitate those sales opens a whole new network of buyers — the luxury, at-home shopper. Further proving their influence, creators are giving a voice to what sells, but also paving the way forward for emerging designers to take claim of their rightful share of wallet.

During the week-long experience, hosted at quintessential NYC venues such as Chelsea Factory, 620 Loft & Garden, Ave India Design Collective, 48 Wall Street, and High Line Nine, influencers, celebrities, icons, and enthusiasts of South Asian design, fashion, and culture will have access to jaw-dropping runway shows categorized by streetwear, sustainability, menswear, traditional, bridal, and Indo-Western styles. The show runner is Ayesha Hakki of Events by Ayesha

SANYFW’s official kick-off party is in partnership with Indo Warehouse, the experiential series under Kahani’s premier label and collective Nonresident, which serves as a space for listeners to feel sound and lose themselves in a world of blended cultures.

“Never before has New York City seen South Asian culture come alive DURING New York Fashion Week the way we plan to showcase it,” said co-founder and COO Patel. “With an expectedly high projected audience and increased participation from leading pioneers of the South Asian fashion industry, SANYFW promises to be the MUST-ATTEND week for fashionistas this fall.”

Events will be ticketed, and the entire schedule of fashion shows, pop-up events, and parties will be on the official website, www.sanyfw.com

Discovering The Next Generation Of Indian Beauty Brands

A first of its kind nonequity grant program,, Beauty&You India, created by The Estee Lauder Companies (ELC) and NYKAA, looks to discover, spotlight, and propel the next generation of Indian beauty brands.

A rare, one-of-a-kind opportunity for founders to create, build and scale in one of the most exciting beauty markets in the world. The programme aims to support India-focused companies and entrepreneurs through a competitive application process. Awards to both pre-launch and in-market premium beauty concepts will be given.

Award recipients will benefit from access to The Estee Lauder Companies and Nykaa relationships and expertise across the beauty ecosystem in order to nurture emerging ideas that amplify Indian voices and address unmet needs in the categories of skincare, makeup, hair care, and fragrance.

Winners will be announced in November 2022 based on applications submitted via no later than September 30, 2022 on https://www.beautyandyouawards.com/ (IANS)

Khushi Patel From UK Is Crowned Miss India Worldwide 2022

Khushi Patel, a biomedical student from England was crowned Miss India Worldwide 2022 during a glittering ceremony of the longest-running Indian beauty pageant outside of India, on Sunday, June 25th, 2002 at the Royal Alberts Palace in New Jersey, organized by the India Festival Committee (IFC), which has been running the competition for the past 29 years.

Vaidehi Dongre of Michigan was declared the first runner-up, while the second runner-up title went to Shrutika Mane of Australia. The top 12 competitors at the pageant were the champions of other international competitions.

Patel, a biomedical sciences major with a psychology minor, expressed her happiness at having won the Miss India Worldwide 2022 competition. The model, who also has a clothing company, intends to participate in numerous charity events and support developing nations throughout the course of the upcoming year.

The Miss Teen India Worldwide 2022 title went to Roshani Razack from Guyana, while Navya Paingol, a University of Michigan, Ann Arbor student was the first runner-up. The second runner-up award went to Chiquita Malaha of Suriname. School teacher Swathy Vimalkumar of Connecticut won the Mrs. India Worldwide title.

Patel, who is majoring in biomedical sciences and minoring in psychology, expressed her happiness at winning the Miss India Worldwide 2022 competition. The model also has a clothing company, and “intends to participate in numerous charity events and assist third-world countries over the next twelve months,” as reported by the Press Trust of India. Over the next one year, the model, who also owns a clothing store, plans to do a lot of charity events and help third-world countries.

This year’s pageant was hosted three years after the last one, which was held in September 2019 at the Leela Hotel in Mumbai. “Pandemic has changed the way we think and live,” said IFC chairman Dharmatma Saran.

Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founder of the New York based India Cultural Festival (IFC) that organizes the trail blazing Miss India Worldwide, is a pioneer in entertainment, holding Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and worldwide.

In 1990, DharmatmaSaran, decided to take the pageant one step further to an international level and started The First Miss India Worldwide Pageant to identify and honor beauties of Indian origin the world over and the show graduated to become the top most international Indian pageant on the earth. “For the first time ever, Asian-Indian communities from all over the world came together in New York for this event,” says Saran with a sense of pride. “To the best of our knowledge, no other ethnic organi¬zation has ever conducted a pageant of this magnitude on an international level.”

The pageant was an instant success and was acclaimed as “the most glamorous Indian function in the world.”

The annual pageants started in a basement in New York in 1980 with the first ever Miss India New York and Miss India USA, has evolved and expanded, nowincorporating and having membershipfrom over 40 countries, that promote Indian heritage and providing a platform for people of Indian origin to unite and showcase their talents, skills and beauty.

The pageants aim to honor achievement, to celebrate our culture in many ways, among them, the ability to meet people, make friends, to respect and be respected, to continually strive to improve standards, and to live a life as close to the laws of nature.

The IFC selects distinguished local organizations in various parts of the world and authorizes them to conduct national pageants in their respective countries. The India Festival Committee, started in 1974 in a most humble way, has come a long way. While seeking to collaborate with internationally reputed groups, Saran joined hands with the Times of India group’s Femina that runs the beauty pageants in India until 1997.

Most of these women have set their sights on professions like medicine, public relations and the law. The contest gives them a chance to take a detour and explore their Indian identities through colorful Indian attire and dance. Many of them have set their eyes on Bollywood and Hollywood, and participating in the pageants is a stepping stone for many to climb up the ladder in the world of fashion, silver screen, politics and charity.

Saran has become an internationally well-known leader in promoting pageantry around the world. Support came from most unexpected quarters. Noted actress, social worker, feminist and leader, Shabana Azmi, who is known to blast all beauty pageants, endorsed Saran’s show as noble as it helped funds for the deserving children.

The IFC motivates andguides its winners and contestants to take up charitable causes. Many of our past winners have raised substantial amount of money for various charities, especially for handicapped children,” says Saran.

Saran and the pageant are “very proud of the fact that we have been able to provide a common platform for the international Indian community through pageantry. We are equally proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, traditions and culture among the youth of Indian origin around the world. We have also been successful in promoting Indian performing arts in the world.”

Deepika Padukone In A Fusion Saree At Cannes 2022

The red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival is one of the most glamorous in the world of showbiz and Deepika Padukone, who was a jury member this year, had multiple occasions to showcase her sartorial picks. And so for the final leg of her this year’s Cannes festivities at the closing ceremony on Saturday, May 29th the actress made it count and how.

For the closing ceremony, the actress showed up in a ruffled white saree by Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla. She accessorized with an equally stunning pearl necklace. Her kohl rimmed eyes, contoured cheeks finished off the look.

Deepika Padukone, who is serving on the jury of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, said in an exclusive interview to ‘Variety’ that it “gives me goosebumps every single time I walk into the Palais and we leave — it gives me goosebumps because every single person on that seat is there to celebrate cinema”.

Deepika was familiar with the work of some of her fellow jurors, including Asghar Farhadi and Rebecca Hall, but not all. “I wasn’t entirely familiar with all of them, as is the case with all of the jurors,” Deepika told IANS. “I think what all of us did was to actually read up on our fellow jury members and watch some of their work. So, even when you deliberate, you understand where they’re coming from, or what kind of cinema speaks to them.”

The actor sees being on the Cannes jury as a natural progression of her journey, but at the same time being invited came as a surprise to her. “They (the festival management) seem so convinced about why they made that decision. And it makes me sit back and think sometimes maybe I’ve not given myself enough credit,” she said, adding: “If I’ve landed here today, without even realising it, I must be doing something right.”

The actor has just wrapped Siddharth Anand’s “Pathaan”, alongside Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham, and is working on “Project K” by Nag Ashwin. Next up is the Indian remake of “The Intern”, alongside Amitabh Bachchan, which she is also producing via her KA Productions along with Warner Bros. and Sunir Kheterpal for Athena.

Cannes, meanwhile, is going to become a regular mid-year holiday destination for Deepika and her husband, Bollywood star Ranveer Singh, reports ‘Variety’. Her jury service allows them access to the jury box in future years.

“We just come here for two weeks, nobody needs to know,” Deepika said. “Watch movies, sneak in, sneak out. We’ll be like kids in a candy store.”

Actress Deepika Padukone has worked towards normalizing mental health to enlighten everyone that mental illness is not always critical, but can be the reason our daily lives includes so much stress.

The actress now features in a Yoga Campaign, Yoga Make Space, leveraging an initiative which revolves around mental health and fitness. adidas and Deepika together celebrating what brings different people to the mat, no matter their background, ability, or reason to practice.

The Yoga Make Space collection has been consciously crafted, inspired by the elements of nature and aims to support through every move and practice, with apparel for women and men.

When did you start practicing yoga?

Deepika: I started practising yoga with consistency about two years ago after what felt like a deep inner calling. At around the same time, I was also offered a movie where I was given the role of a yoga instructor. In short, it was an inner calling mixed with the professional requirement that eventually pushed me to look for the right instructor and get going on my yoga journey.

What is the connection between nature and practising yoga?

Deepika: The beauty of yoga, apart from its numerous benefits, is that you can practice it in absolutely any space, in any part of the world. We often talk about being self-reliant. Yoga is one such practice. All you need is your mind and your body.

What are your thoughts on the benefit of practising yoga?

Deepika: I have, over the years, been exposed to many different types of workouts, exercises and practices. However, practising yoga, makes me feel the most centred, balanced and grounded. Feeling alive and connected from within, like I am in control, is something I have never experienced in any other practice, except for in yoga.

What does ‘make space’ means to her?

Deepika: adidas’ Yoga Make Space has not only given me a chance to talk about fitness but it is also giving me a space to discuss mental health which society still feels afraid of. When I hear the term ‘make space’ it reminds me of postures that I hold for a minute. Sometimes more. And when you truly tune in, you feel your body opening up and oxygen running into your bloodstream. That, for me, is making space within my body.

Aishwarya Rai’s Cannes Designer Says, ‘Petal’ Dress Represents Hope, Birth, And Beauty

For her second walk on the red carpet on the second day of the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Paris, Bollywood icon Aishwarya Rai Bachchan chose a shell pink and silver Gaurav Gupta couture gown.

Inspired by the birth of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, the gown celebrates pure artistic couture and creates an unforgettable fashion moment on the red carpet. Keeping the hair and make up minimal, the Bollywood actress choose to wear her tresses to one side and kept her look natural.

Gaurav Gupta, who designed Aishwarya’s dress, which featured a mermaid-style silhouette and a shell-shaped structure on its back, has now revealed the thought process and the hard work that went into designing the unique dress.

He said that he wanted to create something special for Aishwarya, as Cannes 2022 marked her 20th year at the festival. The designer said that with Aishwarya’s gown, he wanted to share a message of hope, birth, and beauty after the tough times the world has faced in recent years.

Gaurav told PTI, “We wanted something which denotes hope, birth and beauty.

After all the world has gone through in the past few years, we wanted to celebrate life and art.” The designer also noted that the gown was his interpretation of Italian also Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting Birth of Venus, with the shell like structure behind the shoulder symbolising Venus’s rise from the scalloped shell.

He said, “Aishwarya is a complete woman and a beautiful person. As I got to know her through the process, I discovered a wonderful, spiritual person who is really connected to her soul and is elegant. That purity in the absolute sense of beauty inspired me to think of the concept of the Birth of Venus.”

The designer reported that it took 20 days and over 100 craftspeople to create the outfit as they made sure not to disappoint ‘one of the most beautiful women in the world.’ He added that Aishwarya herself was involved in the creative process right from the beginning.

Talking about Aishwarya’s stardom at the festival, Gaurav said, “The frenzy, the love, that Aishwarya receives here, it’s almost madness. People couldn’t stop screaming her name out loud and the fanfare was insane. So just to see that frenzy, it fills you with joy… She is a phenomenon in Cannes. It’s like a real-life film in itself.”

After attending the Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya returned to Mumbai with her husband Abhishek Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya Bachchan on Saturday night. She will next be seen in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan.

Recently, musical sensation Cardi B. also choose to wear the Indian designer’s creation in her latest music video and single release.

Falguni Shah, Ricky Kej Win Grammy Awards 2022

Two musicians of Indian origin and one of Pakistani descent were among the winners at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, given out to musicians during a glittering annual Emmy Awards nite on Sundsay April 3rd , held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the 2022 Grammys.

The internationally acclaimed and watched the world over on live media streams saw a number of first-time winners from the Indian subcontinent. Falguni ‘Falu’ Shah bagged her maiden trophy for the category of ‘Best Children’s Music Album.’ Composer Ricky Kej repeated his 2015 win with the ‘Best New Album’ award. while Pakistani-American artist Arooj Aftab became the first ever female Pakistani to be on the winning list. The Brooklyn-based artist won in the ‘Best Global Music Performance’ category.

The New York-based artist Falguni ‘Falu’ Shah bagged the award for the ‘Best Children’s Music Album’ category for her album, ‘A Colourful World’. Shah has previously worked with A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire and has received training under the legendary sarangi player and master Ustad Sultan Khan. 

This marks her first victory at the Grammy Awards. The artist’s acceptance speech revealed the inspiration behind the album. In her acceptance speech at the awards, she said, “Who would have thought that having my mother sing an old children’s lullaby from India would get a response from parents in America?”

The performer also posted a picture of herself with her award on Instagram celebrating her win. In the caption alongside, she wrote, “I have no words to describe today’s magic. What an honor to perform for the opening number of the GRAMMY Premier Ceremony, and then take home a statue on behalf of all the incredible people who worked on A Colorful World. We are humbled and thank the Recording Academy for this tremendous recognition. THANK YOU!”

Kej, in collaboration with Stewart Copeland, took home the award for ‘Best New Age Album’ for ‘Divine Tides’. This is Kej’s second win after 2015 while Copeland has a total of six Grammys. “Won the Grammy Award today for our album Divine Tides Filled with gratitude and love this living-legend standing with me – @copelandmusic . My 2nd Grammy and Stewart’s 6th. Thank you to everyone who ever collaborated, hired, or listened to my music. I exist because of you,” he tweeted after winning the award.

Arooj brought home the first Grammy for her song ‘Mohabbat’. The Brooklyn-based singer won in the category of ‘Best Global Music Performance’. Arooj’s work is a confluence of Sufi traditions mixed with folk, jazz and minimalism. She has been receiving global recognition for her work in recent years.

The 2022 Grammys, which kicked off on Sunday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, was hosted by Trevor Noah. At the event, singer Olivia Rodrigo made an impressive Grammy debut, Silk Sonic claimed two major awards and Jon Batiste had the most stunning victory of the night winning the top prize at Grammy Awards.

A R. Rahman was also spotted at the award function. However, much like the Oscars, the ‘In Memoriam’ section missed paying tribute to Indian maestro Lata Mangeshkar. While her name was included in the official website, it did not make it to the mentions at the live event on Sunday night.

Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, Jane Campion Win At 94th Oscars 2022

Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, and Jane Campion are among those who won at the 94th annual Academy Awards 2022 held at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 27th. The ceremony, which used to usually be held in February-end or March-beginning, was delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

For the past three years, the Oscars did not have any host. However, this year’s Oscars was hosted by comedians Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer and actress Regina Hall. Introduced by Venus and Serena Williams, Beyoncé opened the ceremony performing her nominated song “Be Alive” in a lavish production in Compton where the Williams sisters grew up.

The Apple TV+ drama, ‘CODA’ about a deaf family has won the Academy Award for best picture, the first time a streaming service has won Hollywood’s top prize, marking the first time that Hollywood’s top award has gone to a streaming service. Sian Heder’s deaf family drama found a backer in Apple TV+, which scored its first best picture Oscar less than three years after the streaming service was launched.

“Thank you to the Academy for letting our ‘CODA’ make history tonight,” producer Philippe Rousselet said when accepting the best picture honor. Fellow producer Patrick Wachsberger also thanked Oscar voters for “recognizing a movie of love and family.”

Jessica Chastain won the Academy Award for best actress for her role in “The Eyes Of Tammy Faye.” The award was presented by Anthony Hopkins, who was notably absent at last year’s ceremony to collect his best actor Oscar. Jane Campion, won the Oscar for best director for The Power of the Dog.

Chastain’s third nomination is the charm, winning best actress for playing televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” “We’re faced with discriminatory legislation, there is violence and hate crime perpetrated on civilians,” says Chastain, but adds we can find inspiration in Bakker’s mindset and her “radical acts of love.”

Will Smith won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father who raised tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in “King Richard.” He had been nominated twice before, first for “Ali” in 2001 and then for the 2006 movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Smith’s win came shortly after a shocking onstage incident, as he slapped presenter Chris Rock over a joke referencing the hairstyle of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father,” a tearful Smith said in his acceptance speech after the incident with Rock. “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling me to do and be in this world. Making the film, I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse, you’ve got to be able to take people talking crazy about you, people disrespecting you, and you got to smile and pretend that’s OK.” He also apologized to “the Academy and all my fellow nominees” for the Rock moment. “This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about shining a light. … Love will make you do crazy things.”

Following the Will Smith-Chris Rock punch drama, The Academy Awards issued a statement condemning the act. The statement read, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world (sic).”

Dune, starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, led this year’s Oscar tally, picking up six of the 10 awards it was nominated for. Dune walked away with several awards at Oscars 2022 and one of them was for Best Visual Effects (VFX). Dune’s VFX is a London-based visual effects and animations company, DNEG (Double Negative), the CEO of the company is Namit Malhotra, a man of Indian origin. Dune also won the awards for best cinematography, sound, film editing and production design. Hans Zimmer won his second career Oscar for original score for Denis Villeneuve’s film.

Troy Kotsur made history as the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. He won the best supporting honors for his role in best picture winner “CODA,” a title which stands for “child of deaf adult.” Accepting the award, Kotsur signed: “I just wanted to say this is dedicated to the deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community. This is our moment.”

Ariana DeBose also made history with her award for best actress in a supporting role, becoming the first Afro-Latina and openly LGBTQ actor to win in the category. In her acceptance speech, she said, “To anybody who has ever questioned your identity, I promise you there is a place for us” — echoing one of the songs from her film, the musical “West Side Story.”

Disney’s “Encanto” picked up the Oscar for the best animated feature film. Hailed for its magical realism and music, the film won over a range of diverse works — including Afghan refugee documentary “Flee,” Pixar’s coming-of-age tale “Luca” set in Italy, the family comedy “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” and Disney’s own “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Japan’s emotional epic “Drive My Car” won the Oscar for the best international feature film. Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, the film became the fifth from Japan to win the Oscar, the last being “Departures” in 2008. Other nominees included Italy’s “The Hand of God,” Denmark’s “Flee,” Bhutan’s “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” and Norway’s “The Worst Person in the World.”

The ceremony held a minute of silence for Ukraine. Among those showing gestures of support for Ukraine were Oscar-winning actress Youn Yuh-jung, nominated songwriter Diane Warren, composer Nicholas Britell and the actress Jamie Lee Curtis. They wore blue ribbons that read #WithRefugees to show support for those who have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded a month ago.

Led by Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis, the Oscars stood in solidarity with those under Russian attack in Ukraine. “We’d like to have a moment of silence to show our support for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders,” read a card presented onscreen.

Shree Saini Crowned First Runner-Up At Miss World Pageant

Shree Saini, a former Miss India USA and Miss India Worldwide, has been crowned as the first runner-up at 70th edition of the Miss World 2021 pageant held in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Coca-Cola Music Hall, on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022. The 26-year-old Ludhiana-born Indian American represented the United States at the beauty pageant.

Karolina Bielawska of Poland was crowned Miss World 2021, which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Karolina is currently pursuing her Master’s in Management and hopes to get a PhD too, according to the Miss World organization.

Introducing the winners, Miss World organization tweeted: “Our newly crowned Miss World Karolina Bielawska from Poland with 1st Runner Up Shree Saini from US 2nd Runner up Olivia Yace from Côte d’Ivoire.”

Toni-Ann Singh, Miss World 2020, also graced the event by performing a special number ‘The Prayer’ to show her support for Ukraine in the midst of its conflict with Russia. “Our current Miss World Toni-Ann Singh performs ‘The Prayer’ as we light candles around the world to stand with Ukraine. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house #mwcandlesforukraine.” tweeted from Miss World’s handle.

Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals in life, she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart.

Shree Saini is from Punjab’s Ludhiana, but moved to Washington, DC with her family when she was five. Shree grew up in Moses Lake in Washington state, has been living with a pacemaker since the age of 12. With a heartbeat rate of 20 per minute, doctors ruled her out for her first love — ballet. But, literally dancing against all odds, Saini became a trained ballerina and has been accepted as a trainee by the prestigious Joffrey Ballet, based out of Chicago.

The story of Shree is one of resilience over adversities that would daunt even the sturdiest individuals. In October 2019, Saini collapsed right before the final night of the Miss World America competition, where she eventually got to wear the crown, which she accepted from Miss World 1997 Diana Hayden.

Taking to Instagram that evening, Saini’s mother, Ekta Saini, said that doctors had kept her daughter on “cardiac arrest watch” because just 1 per cent of individuals around the world get a pacemaker implant. Undeterred by the episode, Saini went on to be crowned Miss World America 2020.

Before she left for Miss World earlier this month, Saini shared a “global message of hope and resilience” in which spoke about how she survived a “major rollover car accident that left my face with bleeding wounds” while she was still in university.

Recalling that horrific episode, Saini wrote: “I no longer had my face. I couldn’t even recognise myself. I couldn’t even cry because my tears would burn as they would pass down my wounds. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever endured.”

The Instagram post, which went viral after Saini became the first runner-up at Miss World 2021, concluded with her urging her social media followers “to keep being solution-oriented … to never lose sight of hope … to have a possibility mindset … and to apply solutions to everyday difficulties”.

Shree was crowned Miss World America 2021 in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021. Diana Hayden crowned Shree Saini, who is also the first Indian-origin contestant to represent America on a global stage. “I am happy and quite nervous. I can’t express my feelings (in words). All the credit goes to my parents, especially my mother because of whose support I am here. Thank you Miss World America for this honor,” Shree Saini said in her statement, after the crowning moment. Saini wrote on her Instagram, “I am the first American of Indian origin and first Asian to be crowned Miss World America.”

An advocate for heart health, Saini has had a permanent pacemaker since she was 12 and overcame a major car accident which left her with burns all over her face. But she rarely if ever lets any of that hold her back or define her.

Shree Saini, who has been recognized by several organizations and states and world renowned persons for her work and is aspiring to be an actor, told this writer during a recent interview “I am now “Miss World America Washington,” which is preliminary to Miss World America and Miss World! Miss World Titles have been won by Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra. It’s the largest and the most philanthropic pageant, having raised 1.3 billion dollars for charities around the world. And I want to promote the many charitable initiatives this noble organization does all around the world.”

The official Instagram handle of Miss World America shared the news with a caption that read as, “Shree, who is currently Miss World America Washington, also holds the prestigious position of “MWA National Beauty with a Purpose Ambassador,” a position she earned by working tirelessly to help those less fortunate and in need. Among her many accomplishments, her work has been recognized by UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, Susan G Komen, and many others. We are certain Shree will continue to immaculately embody Beauty With A Purpose, and no doubt will be successful in raising awareness and attention to the Miss World America mission. Stay tuned and follow the Miss World America 2021 journey!”

Shree Saini has also been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey. “My dance journey began when I was only 3 years old, but a substantial part of my dance journey was filled with both physical and emotional hardships. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a complete heart block. I had to get a pacemaker surgery. The average age of a pacemaker recipient is age 80. Cardiologists told me I could never dance again,” Shree had noted on her social media.

Instead of giving up, Shree Saini went back to dance class with her left arm tied up in a cast and practiced up to 6 hours a day in order to regain her strength. Saini noted on media that even though “dance is a very competitive, cut-throat, high stakes sport”, she wants to “encourage teachers, students, parents to always be uplifting, emphatic, especially when it’s difficult. Real Love takes courage.”

Saini, who has studied at Harvard, has been trained in acting at the Yale actors conservatory. The Punjab native, who moved to Washington State when she was seven, experienced hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. For years, she said, she felt like an outcast at school for being a person of color. Shree has created an app on emotional heath at Stanford University. She has given hundreds of presentations in over 80 cities and six countries and written about 400 articles in newspapers on emotional fitness, via her non-profit shareesaini.org.

Shree says, “The best award is knowing that YOU made a POSITIVE difference in someone else’s life. A girl recently approached me after a talk and started crying. She mentioned that she had followed my journey for a while and felt encouraged to pursue her dreams, despite obstacles. I gave her a big HUG and started to tear up as well. WOW. Your positive words and actions do make a positive difference. Keep being EXTRA LOVING AND ENCOURAGING.

Being uprooted from one’s culture and dear ones was undoubtedly a major challenge. She had to experience hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. Young Shree fought bravely a heart ailment which required her to use a pacemaker. Shree, who had a pacemaker implanted at the age of 12 and was told that she would never be able to dance, is an inspiration for all. “I practice dance almost every day for several hours,” Shree says, pointing to the pacemaker she carries with her all the time.

After doctors diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect at the age of 12, Saini recalls how she struggled to adapt to the life-changing situation of needing a pacemaker while still in middle school, especially when other students did not treat her kindly as a result. “I truly believe your legacy is defined by how you make others feel and the positive difference you make in your lifetime,” said Shree, who started her non-profit organization, when she was 15. Shree said it was her dream to compete for a world title, which was started when she was in the elementary school.

“I have been the target of brutal emotional bullying. I was ridiculed in the most subtle ways, which is why I so often talk about ‘nonverbal’ bullying. For example, there were many instances where I was left out of events or edited out of pictures, and daily ‘whispered about’ by others. As a result of this treatment, there were many times when I would cry in my school’s restrooms or come home in tears after dance class… yet I persevered.

“My family helped me endure,” she explains. “My mom said, ‘the way people treat you has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with them.’ She empowered me to step up and be even more compassionate towards those who hurt me, and to never give up on my true belief in always being kind.”

In order to reprogram her brain towards more positive thoughts and reach an understanding of how she could find inner peace in spite of all the negativity, she read extensively. “I read books and essays on achieving a more powerful mindset, responding to acts of hate with compassion, and the true value of emotional fitness and what can be done to address the lack of education around it. From what I have learned, I have formed my personal mantra: ‘Giving powerful responses to life’s struggles while being a positive contributor to every situation.’”

After dealing with her own personal experiences, Saini penciled her thoughts in a journal, which she said helped change her from a victim to an empowered young woman. The journals in her diary turned to newspaper clippings in local papers in Washington. “In a society mainly obsessed with physical fitness, emotional problems are dismissed,” noted the young activist. “Emotional well-being is necessary to have a healthy body and mind,” she says.

These experiences did not deter young Shree from pursuing her life’s mission.  “My journey went from a silent sufferer to a bitter person and finally an enabled victor,” she says. “If anything, the physical challenges and social pressures fueled her – all the way to the Joffrey Ballet and beyond, including winning the title of Miss India USA.”

Shree gives credit to her parents, Sanjay and Ekta Saini, who have not only supported her dreams, but have gone beyond to help her succeed at every step of the way. Pointing to her mother, Ekta, Shree says, “My mother is my role model, who has been with me, supported me and have encouraged me to work hard and realize my dreams.”

Regarding her future goals and ambitions, Shree is candid about her choices. If good offers come her way, Shree is open to acting in movies, whether it be in Bollywood or Hollywood. Another effective way to showcase her talents and still more importantly, another way to champion and spread her message for a better, just and peaceful world. “Meanwhile, I want to continue working on my nonprofit and become an ambassador of emotional health by continuing to visit as many places as possible, spreading my positive message of hope,” Saini says.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im7eb8b68Ek

International Indian Icon (3iii), A Global Platform For Indian Talent Across The Globe

The Grand Finale of 3iii (Three Eye) 2021 International Indian Icon (3iii) Season-V resulted in successful completion of 1st Phase of 5 seasons. The awards ceremony of the Grand Finale was hosted by Sharan Walia, CEO of Gee Vision Inc.

All judges and participants, including legendary music director and Grandmaster Jatin Pandit (DDLJ, KKG, KKHH, Fanah etc.), lyricist and music director Arko Mukherjee, Slumdog Millionaire Jai Ho Choreographer Longinus Fernandes and Ms. India 2013, International celebrity anchor and 3iii Fashion Ambassador Simran Ahuja were present here, along with 148 participants along with their families from all over the world approximately 24 countries.

Winners were picked after 3 days of rigorous semi-final and finale competitions (28th to 30th December 2021) 1st and 2nd runner-ups, along with judges’ choices in different categories for Juniors and Seniors were also declared here. The winners are as follows:

         Abnash Kaur from San Francisco, California USA was declared 5th INTERNATIONAL INDIAN ICON of 3iii 2021 Season-V in singing Senior category.

         Uttara Vaidya from Miami, Florida USA got the title for Dancing senior and tied with Ankur Sharma for Fashion Senior

         Hasini Namala grabbed the Fashion Junior title

         Mrunal Behere-Langote from India got the title in IGT (Whistling) Senior Shrusti Gubbi became the International               Indian Icon in Junior category for singing

         For dancing, there was a tie between groups The Dynamites and Season-II winner Mirava Vekaria

         Ryana Rajesh won the title in IGT category for Instruments.

3iii Multiple episodes are planned to be aired globally on some National/International TV Channel, OTT Platform and/or Streaming Platform (TBD) globally in 2nd quarter of 2022.

Other participants who were recognized as 1st & 2nd Runner-ups, along with judges’ choices in different talent categories under Junior and Senior age categories are:

         Singing: Sunidhi Chiplunkar, Sanika Pandey, Tulip Ghosh, Mahimn Dave, Aupsara Banik, Akshitha jagadeesan, Sohana Mansur, Chirag Chaya, Pranav Shil, Sushmit Das Rahul, Prabodh Chiplunkar

         Dance: Arnav Amit, Mannat Bhagel (India), Rahul Kathak (India), Nayan Nampally, Aruna Ramamurthy, Sanika Lingayat & Ghazal Seth,

         Fashion: Vama Shah, Arnav Amit Mehta, Nayan Nampally, Kashish Joshi (India), Pranjali Sharma & Yatin Kumar (London, UK) , Elena Y Elsoukov, Lori Neena

        Instruments, Acing & IGT: Skipper Crew (IGT, India), Hasini Namala (Instruments, USA), Karthikk Voruganti (Instruments, India), Kaira Gard (Acting, India), Surjit Singh (Instruments, India), Mamta Garg (Poetry, USA), Deepak Krishan Kant (Acting, India)

During 3iii 2021 Season-V, 6951 participants from 24 courtiers of 7 continents registered for on-line audition (Video up-load), online live audition (Zoom) and on-site audition in all 7 talent categories under two age groups of junior and senior.

In India, Gee Vision Inc., with the help of India Partners Ajit Bains & Arun Thakran (Cosmic Energy), Deepak Walia (AGE Group) planned multiple auditions in multiple cities. In Delhi, 3iii audition was held on 12th Nov, Semi-final on 13th Nov and 3iii Indian Icon 2021 finale (Semi-final of 3iii 2021 Season-V) and Awards ceremony on 14th Nov 2021 in Godavari Auditorium (Andhara Association) , 24-25 Lodhi Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 10003.

Gee Vision Inc’s Vision and Mission of building 3iii is to give opportunities to Indian talent of all age groups across the globe to perform and showcase their talent at International level in all types of talent categories, including Singing, Dancing, Instruments, Acting, Fashion, Comedy & I Got Talent (Any Talent) in all three participation categories of Solo, Duet & Group without any restrictions. The aim is to keep the talent close to Indian Art & Culture and make them proud of Indian Art & Culture

3iii is a unique 5 level on-line, on-line LIVE & on-site platform with no restrictions where any talent of any age group of any culture, any gender, any region, any religion and any color can showcase his/her talent and can compete at City, State, Country level to win title of State Indian Icon (California Indian Icon, Delhi Indian Icon) and Country Indian Icon (Indian American Icon, Indian Icon) in their respective category and age group and proceeds to win prestigious title of International Indian Icon (3iii) in their respective category.

Any Indian talent can sing in any language, can perform in any dance format, can play any instrument, can showcase any Indian or non-Indian talent. Only restrictions for Non- Indian participants are to sing on one of Indian languages, perform in one of Indian Dance format, play any Indian instrument, wear Indian dresses and jewelry for Fashion or show any Indian art and culture.

After huge success of 1st four seasons of 3iii International Indian Icon with 1000s of participants from 24+ countries of 7 continents and with multiple Bollywood legendary celebrity judges like Bappi Lahiri, Jatin Pandit, Meenakshi Seshadri, and others, Gee Vision India Pvt. Ltd.  launched 3iii 2021 Season-V in 7th continent Asia and hosted semi-final 3iii Indian Icon 2021 (Semi-final of 3iii 2021 Season-V) in Delhi NCR, India on Nov. 12th to 14th 2021 and Grand-finale International Indian Icon – 3iii 2021 Season-V in Chicago, USA. To give Indian talent international exposure and experience, starting from 3iii 2022 Season-VI, Gee is planning 3iii Episode Production & Grand-finale in different countries.

Sharan Walia, CEO. Gee Vision Inc. / Gee Vision Pvt. Ltd., with the help of partners, is in the process of requesting Indian Govt. to recognize 3iii International Indian Icon as Indian Art & Cultural Program and seeking support from Indian business community and Global Indian community to help 3iii in reaching each and every Indian on this earth to give opportunity to deserving Indian talent.

World-wide 3iii Season-6 audition registration on-line (Video Upload), on-line Live (through Zoom) and on-site will open on Apr 1st, 2022 on 3iii websites and 3iii Apps (iOS & Android). State level competition (Level-3, State Indian Icon) will be completed by end of July 2022 while Country level competitions (Level-4, Country Indian Icon) are planned to finish by end of Sep 2022 so that participants can get sufficient time to get visa to come to USA for 3iii S-6-episode production & Grand-finale in USA.

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu Is Crowned Miss Universe 2021

Harnaaz Sandhu of India was crowned the 70th Miss Universe 2021 on Sunday, December 12th topping a field of some 80 contestants in a pageant that was touched by politics and the pandemic. The previously reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned her successor, a Bollywood actress, in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

Harnaaz Sandhu, the Punjabi film actress and an alumna of Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, won the coveted crown 21 years after Lara Dutta won the title in 2000. The 21-year old is described on the Miss Universe website as “a strong advocate for women’s empowerment, particularly their constitutional rights to education, careers, and their freedom of choice.”

In a glittery show held in Eilat overnight for a live prime time broadcast in the US, Miss India took a jaunt around the stage as directed by host Steve Harvey after he announced she had won the Miss Universe 2021 competition.

Sandhu was surrounded by 79 other pageant participants who stood in the background as gold confetti rained down and the crowd cheered while last year’s winner put a crown on her head.

Hailing from Punjab, India, Sandhu beat out Nadia Ferreira also known as Miss Paraguay who placed as runner up, and third choice winner Lalela Mswane, also known as Miss South Africa. Miss India is a model, recently having acted in two Punjabi films, studied information technology and is now working on a master’s degree.

Judges on the panel included some heavy hitters like Lori Harvey, Steve Harvey’s model-actress daughter who owns her own skincare line; Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere of France; actresses Rena Sofer, Urvashi Rautela, Marian Rivera, Adamari López; and supermodel Adriana Lima.

Contestants participated in a series of competitions including swimsuit, evening-wear and rounds of questions. The queens held their composure on stage following three weeks of 3 a.m. wake-ups, late nights and touring the country.

The final question – “What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?” – was asked to each of the last three women standing. While one contestant was answering, the other two wore soundproof earphones so as not to be affected by their competitors’ answers.

Sandhu replied by saying women need to believe in themselves and speak out in order to rise above the pressures of today’s world.

Israel’s international pop sensation Noa Kirel opened the night with a full dance routine equipped with a backup crew wearing sparkly dresses. The American pop star JoJo performed various numbers throughout the night as women paraded around the stage in evening gowns behind her.

Miss India told the media after the pageant ended that her favorite part of touring Israel was getting into the water and swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Reef in Eilat.

“There are a lot [of memories] and that was one of my favorites. Israel is a beautiful country and the people are so warm, and that’s what I love about Israel,” Sandhu said.

Days before she was crowned Miss Universe, Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, wrote on Instagram the words, “India, this one’s for you.” The days of waiting anxiously, working hard to perfect the deliveries to be made, the walk, the talk, learning to expect the unexpected, all part of this 70th pageant, are over.

On her Instagram site, Sandhu wrote, “It’s been 74 days since the day I was chosen to represent India at Miss Universe 2021. It’s been a ride full of love, fun and immense hard work,” Sandhu. “As I set to walk out on that stage today as ‘India’, I carry with me your prayers & love. Thank you to my family for standing by me, today & always. Thank you to all my panelists & designers who have put together so beautifully this woman who now stands in front of you. Thank you everyone. It would not have been possible without you,” she added, ending with the unforgettable words, “India, this one’s for you.”

Professionally, Sandhu is an actor with two Punjabi LMS (Local Movie Showtimes) slated for release in 2022 and hopes to essay characters in LMS that break stereotypes that the world has of women, the bio says.

Growing up under the wings of a mother who is a physician, specializing in gynecology, Sandhu, appears to have been inspired by her mother’s example, as a woman “who broke generations of patriarchy to become a successful gynecologist and led her family.”

Sandhu grew up working with her mother at health camps addressing women’s health and menstrual hygiene, “at the same time deeply conscious of the privilege her mother’s struggles have gifted her.”

She also draws inspiration from Bollywood-Hollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, who is her favorite actor. In her spare time, Sandhu enjoys the company of friends, loves yoga, dancing, cooking, horse riding, and playing chess. She loves swimming. She believes in the saying – “Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”

She also stated that she was looking forward to strengthening relations between Israel and India and was super excited about the challenge. She said, “I have to bring back the crown home.” The Bollywood aspirant has kept her word and made India proud. Sandhu said, “One must keep growing through life as we all learn something every day. To believe in yourself is the key to success. I represented myself as the best version of myself.”

Sandhu believes that pageants are a platform where women come forward to celebrate sisterhood and womanhood and people across the world celebrate their beauty queens and their successes with great pride. “According to me, it’s all about being true to the self and people around you will definitely look at that spark in you,” she stated.

The 21-year-old’s winning response to a question on climate change — “This is the time to take action and talk less. … Prevent and protect is better than repair and repent” — helped her clinch the coveted title.

Sandhu’s final statement at the pageant was about the pressures that young people face across societies today. She said: “The biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves, to know that you are unique and that’s what makes you beautiful. Stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that’s happening worldwide.
“This is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourselves because you are the leader of your life, you are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that’s why I am standing here today.”

Raghavendra Rathore, First Designer To Use NFTS For A Cause

Few people are aware that Raghavendra Rathore studied robotics and created electrical circuits with sensors that mirrored human behaviour. A decade later, he and his colleagues created one of India’s first apps, iCarbon, a smart carbon footprint calculator with links to lessen an individual’s carbon footprint by recommending tree planting. He’s always been at the crossroads of art and technology, including an art (electronic) installation in the early 1990s with recognised names like CK, Cristo, and other eminent art and creative giants to raise money for AMFAR.

Rathore turns his own art into NFTs using exclusive blockchain technology, resulting in art that is genuinely priceless and everlasting. He has also made meticulously designed paintings NFT inspired by the Raghavendra Rathore, Jodhpur, which will be available for purchase. In collaboration with FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week, this series is being released as part of a limited edition NFT on the WazirX NFT marketplace.

“Designers, globally and in India, have started to realise how NFTs can be used to engage with the greater community,” said Vishakha Singh, Co-Founder & VP, WazirX NFT marketplace. The fact that the money will be donated to a worthy cause makes this drop even more precious. Our goal with each release is to add as many use cases as feasible. For producers and collectors, India is a promising NFT market, and this relationship will benefit both parties. We’re excited to have these NFTs available on our platform.”

These NFTs are being generated for the first time ever to promote awareness for the Raghavendra Rathore Foundation (RRF), a certified non-governmental organisation. RRF will get a share of the sale earnings to assist strengthen communities through mentorship programmes, cultural experiences and scholarship possibilities. This is the first time an Indian designer has reinvented the fundraising experience by moving to a digital-first strategy.

The Gurukul School of Design students are honoured and motivated by the NFT. A series where one can acquire unique digital artworks and digital treasures such as apparel, original forms of art, unique experiences, and unique moments in time; now captured, exchanged, and treasured, to build more permanent links. “The relevance of blockchain is something we all need to be aware of, as it will become an integral part of our lives in the not-too-distant future.”

“We must create products and services that are built on this ground-breaking technology.” Raghavendra Rathore is a Bollywood actor. All collectors will receive verification of ownership and authenticity of their purchase.

Leena Nair Named CEO Of French Luxury Group Chanel

Leena Nair (52), who was named the new global CEO of French fashion house Chanel on Tuesday, said that she is humbled and honored to be appointed the global Chief Executive Officer of Chanel, which is an iconic and admired company.

In a rare move for the tightly-controlled fashion house, picking the consumer goods veteran to run one of the world’s biggest luxury groups sends a positive and inclusive message, setting the pace in an industry reeling under pressure to show a more inclusive and accepting approach.

“I am so inspired by what Chanel stands for. It is a company that believes in the freedom of creation, in cultivating human potential and in acting to have a positive impact in the world,” Nair tweeted.

The Indian born British national has been given the charge of ensuring Chanel’s “long term success as a private company”, it said in a statement, recognising Nair as a “visionary leader whose ability to champion a long-term, purpose-driven agenda is matched with a consistently strong record of business outcomes”.

Renowned for its women’s pantsuits, tweeds and famous handbags, Chanel was founded in 1910 by the legendary Gabrielle Chanel, fondly called “Coco” Chanel. What started out as a hat boutique in Paris became synonymous with French chic and Parisienne style.

From 2016 to date, Alain Wertheimer, who owns Chanel with his brother Gerard Wertheimer, temporarily took on the CEO’s job till a suitable candidate was found. The 73-year-old French billionaire will take on the role of global Executive Chairman.

Nair’s 30-year-long career at Unilever comes to an end with her as the chief of human resources and a member of the company’s executive committee. Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope, thanked her for her “outstanding contribution”, adding that she “has been a pioneer through her career… a driving force on our (Uniliver’s) equity, diversity and inclusion agenda… she has played a critical role in building our purpose-led, future-fit organisation.” Nair will now be based out of London and will join the luxury house at the end of January. (IANS)

Tamil Superstar Kamal Haasan Launches A New Fashion Line, His Favorite Khadi

Mohandas Gandhi, the original proponent of the fabric, once said, Khadi is not fashion it is a value. Tamil movie superstar Kamal Haasan, who is also someone with an unbridled passion for all things Gandhi, would seem to disagree in nuance because he believes precisely Khadi is a value it also ought to be fashion.

As the 66-year-old actor, now in his 62nd year as an artist, prepares to launch his own Khadi-based fashion line called House of Khaddar, he thinks it is more than time for this versatile all-weather fabric to be projected around the world through his fashion line and with it carry the story of Gandhi’s values.

The artist whose name means a smiling lotus, as in Kamal for lotus and Haasan for smile, plans to launch ‘House of Khaddar’ out of Chicago soon. He is also launching a fragrance along with it.

“I was born under Khadi, literally on Khadi in the sense that my father held me in his lap for the first time and he never wore anything but Khadi till he died. He was a great Gandhi admirer,” Haasan said in an interview as part of the upcoming launch.

Saying that “the idea of khadi was always with me” Haasan said his commitment to Gandhi and his values came from his father.

Asked whether he was trying to bring about an awareness among the younger generation how intrinsic Khadi was to India’s freedom movement before 1947, Haasan said, “My intention is to say that we made history, now we will do business. That is what Britain was doing with calico, with our cotton or Egyptian cotton. Cotton has a great history of so many unjust and just things that happened. There were slaves created because of cotton. I was born to a history where freedom was created because of cotton. The civil disobedience movement also had the Khadi thread running through the weave. Gandhi is the biggest weaver I have known in my life.”

It was a measure of Haasan’s devotion to Gandhi that he even said, “All my metaphors I learned from Mr. Gandhi and my father. Our tagline is ‘Fashion is being civil yet disobedient’.” Asked who wrote that tagline, he said “I did. I am an understudy of Mr. Gandhi.” He added that he wished he had Gandhi to write all his copy because he regarded him as the greatest Indian writer.

On why global fashion labels never chose Khadi as a fabric despite its obvious versatility, Haasan said he was thankful that they did not since it left the field open for him to explore.

Gandhi first introduced the idea of Khadi in 1918 as a way to help the impoverished Indians by giving them a means to earn a livelihood. Writing about Gandhi and Khadi for mkgandhi.org, Divya Joshi says in her introduction, “But one finds a change in his emphasis from 1934, more especially from 1935, when he began on insisting on khadi for the villager’s own use, rather than merely for sale to others. His imprisonment in 1942 and 1943 gave him time to ponder further over his khadi movement, and when he came out of jail he came with a determination to give a new turn to khadi work in order to make khadi serve the needs of villagers themselves first and foremost. He poured out his soul to his fellow-workers in 1944, and urged them to effect the change.”

It is a measure of Gandhi’s steadfast commitment to the handwoven fabric that he wrote in the Navjivan newspaper on April 5, 1922, “Like swaraj, khadi is our birth-right, and it is our life-long duty to use that only. Anyone who does not fulfil that duty is totally ignorant of what swaraj is.”

In the same newspaper, he wrote on December 12, 1922, “We cannot claim to have understood the meaning of swaraj till khadi becomes as universal as currency.”

In an interview published in Navjivan on March 19, 1922, Gandhi said something even more remarkable about Khadi: “I have only one message to give and that concerns khadi. Place khadi in my hands and I shall place swaraj in yours. The uplift of the Antyajas is also covered by khadi and even Hindu- Muslim unity will live through it. It is also a great instrument of peace. This does not mean that I do not favour boycott of Councils and law-courts, but in order that people may not have a grievance against those who go to them, I desire that the people should carry on work concerning khadi even with the help of lawyers and members of legislatures. Keep the Moderates highly pleased, cultivate love and friendship for them. Once they become fearless, that very moment they will become one with us. The same holds good also for Englishmen.”

Gandhi’s emphasis on Khadi was also a part of his broader political doctrine. “Ever since the commencement of our present struggle, we have been feeling the necessity of boycotting foreign cloth. I venture to suggest that, when khaddar comes universally in use, the boycott of foreign cloth will automatically follow. Speaking for myself, charkha and khaddar have a special religious significance to me because they are a symbol of kinship between the members of both the communities and the hunger- and disease- stricken poor. It is by virtue of the fact that our movement can today be described as moral and economic as well as political,” he said in a letter he wrote from the Sabarmati jail on December 12, 1922 to a certain Abdul Bari.

Kamal Haasan’s launch of ‘House of Khaddar’ almost a century after those pronouncements may be fortuitous but given his superstardom, there are expectations that Khadi just might cross from being a coarse and lowly fabric to the level couture.

Rajinikanth, Dhanush, Kangana Ranaut, Manoj Bajpayee Honored At 67th National Film Awards

Superstar Rajinikanth received a standing ovation by the audience while he was conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honor, by Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on October 25, 2021. The veteran star was felicitated with a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize.

Actors Manoj Bajpayee and Dhanush were conferred with the Best Actor Award for their films ‘Bhonsle’ and ‘Asuran’ respectively at the 67th National Film Awards, which took place on Monday. Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut received her fourth National Film Award, as she was awarded the Best Actress Award for her performances in ‘Manikarnika: Queen of Jhansi’ and ‘Panga’.

While accepting the award, Rajinikanth took a stroll down memory lane to thank one of his old friends, who saw acting talent in him and encouraged him to try his luck in films. “I am extremely happy to receive this prestigious award. My heartfelt thanks to the central government for honouring me with the Dadasaheb Phalke award. I would like to dedicate this award to my guru K Balachander. Today, I remember him with great gratitude. I also want to thank my friend who saw this talent in me and suggested me to do acting while I was working as a bus conductor,” he recalled.

Rajinikanth also dedicated his win to all the producers, directors, members of the film industry and fans. “Thanks to everyone for their support… press, media, directors, distributors, producers and fans… my heartfelt thanks to everyone. Also, a special thanks to Tamil people… without them I am nobody,” he expressed his gratitude.

Rajinikanth attended the presentation ceremony along with his wife Latha, daughter Aishwarya, and son-in-law Dhanush. Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad on December 12, 1950, to Ramoji Rao and Jijabai, Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor before embarking on his film journey about 45 years ago.

He recalled his days of struggle. “When I was the bus conductor, he identified the acting talent in me and encouraged me to join the cinema. All my producers, directors, co-artistes, technicians, distributors, exhibitors and the media, press and all my fans. Tamil people – without them I am no body. Jai Hind!”

For the special occasion, Kangana chose to wear a traditional silk saree. “All set to receive the highest honor for an artist in the country today …. National Award,” she captioned the post. Earlier, she had won Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Fashion’ and Best Actress Awards for ‘Queen’ and ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’. After receiving the prestigious award, Kangana took to the photo-sharing application to thank her parents for being her support system.

“We all grow up with a deep desire to be worthy of our parents love, care and sacrifices…After all the troubles I give my mummy papa such days seem to make up for all those mischiefs ..Thank you for being my mummy papa I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she wrote.

Manoj, who has previously won the National Film Award twice, Best Supporting Actor in ‘Satya’, and Special Jury Award for his feature film ‘Pinjar’, was felicitated at the in-person ceremony for his performance in the Devashish Makhija directorial ‘Bhonsle’. The movie saw the ‘Family Man’ star portraying the titular character who is a retired policeman and is living a non-interfering life in a colony dominated by locals, diagnosed with stage 4 brain tumour.

Manoj, who was dressed in a black shirt and trousers for the award ceremony, spoke about receiving the award and said, “The National Award for ‘Bhonsle’ means a lot because this was a film which we wanted to make but we were not getting money from anyone to make it, it took us four years to make this film, so definitely it means the world to all of us. It’s kind of a poetic justice that has happened to ‘Bhonsle’ and I share this award with the director and the entire team.”

Dhanush received the Best Actor Award for his role in ‘Asuran’, which also won the Best Tamil Film award. It’s a period action drama film written and directed by Vetrimaaran, based on Poomani’s novel ‘Vekkai’. The film’s plot was influenced by the real-life Kilvenmani massacre that occurred in 1968. At the ceremony, Dhanush was joined by Aishwarya R Dhanush, his wife and superstar Rajinikanth’s daughter.

One of the country’s most eminent awards in entertainment, the 67th version of the National Film Awards, which were handed out to the awardees by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, was initially going to be held in May last year but had to be delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

“Chhicchore” director Nitesh Tiwari and producer Sajid Nadiadwala dedicated the Best Film Award to late Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, who passed away in 2020. Vijay Sethupathy was awarded the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Super Deluxe.”

The Malayalam film, “Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham” (Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea), received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. The film has been written and directed by Priyadarshan, and stars Mohanlal. The actor was also present at the awards show. “The Tashkent Files” won two awards – Best Supporting Actress, which went to Pallavi Joshi and for Best Dialogue Writer.

Shree Saini Is Crowned Miss World America 2021

Indian-American Shree Saini from Washington State was crowned Miss World America 2021 at a glittering pageant held at Miss World America headquarters in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021. Diana Hayden crowned Shree Saini, who is also the first Indian-origin contestant to represent America on a global stage.

“I am happy and quite nervous. I can’t express my feelings (in words). All the credit goes to my parents, especially my mother because of whose support I am here. Thank you Miss World America for this honor,” Shree Saini said in her statement, after the crowning moment. Saini wrote on her Instagram, “I am the first American of Indian origin and first Asian to be crowned Miss World America.”  An advocate for heart health, Saini has had a permanent pacemaker since she was 12 and overcame a major car accident which left her with burns all over her face. But she rarely if ever lets any of that hold her back or define her.

Saini, who has been recognized by several organizations and states and world renowned persons for her work and is aspiring to be an actor, told this writer during a recent interview “I am now “Miss World America Washington,” which is preliminary to Miss World America and Miss World! Miss World Titles have been won by Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra. It’s the largest and the most philanthropic pageant, having raised 1.3 billion dollars for charities around the world. And I want to promote the many charitable initiatives this noble organization does all around the world.”

The official Instagram handle of Miss World America shared the news with a caption that read as, “Shree, who is currently Miss World America Washington, also holds the prestigious position of “MWA National Beauty with a Purpose Ambassador,” a position she earned by working tirelessly to help those less fortunate and in need. Among her many accomplishments, her work has been recognized by UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, Susan G Komen, and many others. We are certain Shree will continue to immaculately embody Beauty With A Purpose, and no doubt will be successful in raising awareness and attention to the Miss World America mission. Stay tuned and follow the Miss World America 2021 journey!”

Shree Saini has also been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey. “My dance journey began when I was only 3 years old, but a substantial part of my dance journey was filled with both physical and emotional hardships. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a complete heart block. I had to get a pacemaker surgery. The average age of a pacemaker recipient is age 80. Cardiologists told me I could never dance again,” Shree had noted on her social media.

Instead of giving up, Shree Saini went back to dance class with her left arm tied up in a cast and practiced up to 6 hours a day in order to regain her strength. Saini noted on media that even though “dance is a very competitive, cut-throat, high stakes sport”, she wants to “encourage teachers, students, parents to always be uplifting, emphatic, especially when it’s difficult. Real Love takes courage.”

Saini, who has studied at Harvard, has been trained in acting at the Yale actors conservatory. The Punjab native, who moved to Washington State when she was seven, experienced hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. For years, she said, she felt like an outcast at school for being a person of color. Shree has created an app on emotional heath at Stanford University. She has given hundreds of presentations in over 80 cities and six countries and written about 400 articles in newspapers on emotional fitness, via her non-profit shareesaini.org.

Shree says, “The best award is knowing that YOU made a POSITIVE difference in someone else’s life. A girl recently approached me after a talk and started crying. She mentioned that she had followed my journey for a while and felt encouraged to pursue her dreams, despite obstacles. I gave her a big HUG and started to tear up as well. WOW. Your positive words and actions do make a positive difference. Keep being EXTRA LOVING AND ENCOURAGING.

Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals, she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart. Shree from the state of Washington was born in India. She immigrated to the United States as a toddler.

Being uprooted from one’s culture and dear ones was undoubtedly a major challenge. She had to experience hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. Young Shree fought bravely a heart ailment which required her to use a pacemaker. Shree, who had a pacemaker implanted at the age of 12 and was told that she would never be able to dance, is an inspiration for all. “I practice dance almost every day for several hours,” Shree says, pointing to the pacemaker she carries with her all the time.

After doctors diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect at the age of 12, Saini recalls how she struggled to adapt to the life-changing situation of needing a pacemaker while still in middle school, especially when other students did not treat her kindly as a result. “I truly believe your legacy is defined by how you make others feel and the positive difference you make in your lifetime,” said Shree, who started her non-profit organization, when she was 15. Shree said it was her dream to compete for a world title, which was started when she was in the elementary school.

“I have been the target of brutal emotional bullying. I was ridiculed in the most subtle ways, which is why I so often talk about ‘nonverbal’ bullying. For example, there were many instances where I was left out of events or edited out of pictures, and daily ‘whispered about’ by others. As a result of this treatment, there were many times when I would cry in my school’s restrooms or come home in tears after dance class… yet I persevered.

“My family helped me endure,” she explains. “My mom said, ‘the way people treat you has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with them.’ She empowered me to step up and be even more compassionate towards those who hurt me, and to never give up on my true belief in always being kind.”

In order to reprogram her brain towards more positive thoughts and reach an understanding of how she could find inner peace in spite of all the negativity, she read extensively. “I read books and essays on achieving a more powerful mindset, responding to acts of hate with compassion, and the true value of emotional fitness and what can be done to address the lack of education around it. From what I have learned, I have formed my personal mantra: ‘Giving powerful responses to life’s struggles while being a positive contributor to every situation.’”

After dealing with her own personal experiences, Saini penciled her thoughts in a journal, which she said helped change her from a victim to an empowered young woman. The journals in her diary turned to newspaper clippings in local papers in Washington. “In a society mainly obsessed with physical fitness, emotional problems are dismissed,” noted the young activist. “Emotional well-being is necessary to have a healthy body and mind,” she says.

These experiences did not deter young Shree from pursuing her life’s mission.  “My journey went from a silent sufferer to a bitter person and finally an enabled victor,” she says. “If anything, the physical challenges and social pressures fueled her – all the way to the Joffrey Ballet and beyond, including winning the title of Miss India USA.”

Shree gives credit to her parents, Sanjay and Ekta Saini, who have not only supported her dreams, but have gone beyond to help her succeed at every step of the way. Pointing to her mother, Ekta, Shree says, “My mother is my role model, who has been with me, supported me and have encouraged me to work hard and realize my dreams.”

Regarding her future goals and ambitions, Shree is candid about her choices. If good offers come her way, Shree is open to acting in movies, whether it be in Bollywood or Hollywood. Another effective way to showcase her talents and still more importantly, another way to champion and spread her message for a better, just and peaceful world. “Meanwhile, I want to continue working on my nonprofit and become an ambassador of emotional health by continuing to visit as many places as possible, spreading my positive message of hope,” Saini says.

Mindy Kaling, Sudha Reddy Stun at Met Gala 2021

Fashion’s biggest extravaganza, The Met Gala 2021, made a comeback with a vengeance after a skip in 2020 due to the pandemic. The theme for this year’s gala was ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, and as usual in attendance were a long list of celebrities including actors, musicians and sportspersons. Many fashion houses and celebrities chose to dazzle with the dark side of fashion as capes, leather, face masks and all kinds of drama unfolded at the event, with black ruling the red carpet with its darker vibe. Met Gala regulars like Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Sharon Stone, Emily Blunt, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid and the Kardashian-Jenner siblings were spotted alongside debutantes like 18-year-old British tennis star Emma Raducanu who recently won the U.S. Open, Rose Leslie from “The Game of Thrones,” gymnast Nia Dennis and Justin and Hailey Beiber who walked the Met carpet together for the first time.

Indian American producer, actress, director Mindy Kaling also walked the Met carpet, wearing a Tory Burch-designed elegant silk dress with a high-low hemline, deep V-neck and cinching leather waist belt, according to vogue.in  The event, hosted by Vogue’s Dame Anna Wintour, is held annually at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City. At this year’s event, also known as the “Costume Institute Benefit,” there was Indian representation once again. Joining the megawatt celebrities was philanthropist and business tycoon Sudha Reddy. Wife of billionaire Megha Krishna Reddy of Hyderabad, this was Sudha Reddy’s maiden outing at the glamorous soiree. As a supporter of the fine arts and widely known for her charitable disposition, her presence at the 2021 Met Gala came as no surprise.

An avid connoisseur of art and fashion, Sudha Reddy is considered amongst the well-heeled jetsetters of South India. In the past Indian celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Isha Ambani and Natasha Poonawala have graced the event. Sudha Reddy has moved from ‘check philanthropy’ to ‘hands-on philanthropy’, as the Sudha Reddy Foundation has socially and economically empowered hundreds of people in Telangana. When she’s not spearheading the Megha Group of Industries and TruJet Airlines, she’s working towards affordable healthcare and accessible education. Widely celebrated for her charitable disposition, she was the only Indian to be invited to the Global Gift Gala and nominated for The Global Gift Empowerment of Women Award. With a commitment and vision to continually pledge out of her personal wealth, she handed over grants to two charities: ‘Action Against Hunger and Fight Hunger Foundation’ and ‘Breast Cancer Research Foundation’ in Paris with Elizabeth Hurley in attendance.

Normally held on the first Monday in May, for the first time since its inception, the Met Gala included two exhibitions. The first exhibition was held Sept. 13 at the Met, timed to coincide with the close of New York Fashion Week. Held annually to support the Met’s Costume Institute in New York City, the second half of the event will take place in May 2022. Each year, the Met Gala has a specific dress code that ties into the museum’s latest fashion exhibition theme. “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” was the first exhibit’s theme and will open in the Anna Wintour Costume Center on Sept. 18; the second exhibit, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” in May 2022, will illustrate through style 300 years of historic narratives, both personal and political.

Keeping up with the year’s theme, Reddy donned her haute couture look by Indian designer duo Falguni Shane Peacock, who have dressed the likes of Beyonce, Madonna, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, and Lady Gaga. Inspired by the American Revolution, the metallic gold body-hugging gown with its ‘au courant’ cuts entail a shimmering 4-meter flared trail that imbibes a medley of hues borrowed from the American flag and varnished with refined 3D adornments of Swarovski crystals, sequins and bugle beads. Falguni Shane Peacock, who has dressed Sudha Reddy on multiple milestone celebrations in the past, said, “It took us numerous sessions and more than 250 hours of labor to put together this spectacular statement work of art for our dear friend Sudha. We have focused on a lot of detailing and we employed the services of our skilled atelier artisans in order to ensure the outfit does full justice to Sudha’s eclectic persona. We have created a novel edgy military-inspired look that blends well with the overall theme of the Met Gala.”

Jewelry designer and gem maestro Farah Khan designed a custom-designed statement ear piece called ‘Dreamy Decadence’ to complete Reddy’s red-carpet look.Elaborating further about her eclectic creation, Farah Ali Khan added, “Drawing inspiration from the stars in the American flags that symbolize the 50 glorious independent states of America, I designed a sensual ear cuff with diamond-encrusted stars. I wanted to highlight Sudha’s expressive eyes and the contours of her face so I created this bejeweled piece that starts from her cheek and extends to her hair, culminating as a string of scintillating bezel set diamonds. It is crafted in 18-kt gold with 35 carats of VVS diamonds.”

Zoya Afroz Crowned As The Miss India International 2021

Twenty-six-year-old Zoya Afroz from Mumbai was crowned as the Miss India International 2021 during a glittering pageant, organized by Glamanand Supermodel India on August 21 at Kingdom of Dreams, Gurugram, Haryana, India. Zoya also bagged three sub-titles, namely ‘Best in Evening Gown’ and ‘Miss Glamorous Eyes’ and ‘Top Model’. Zoya Afroz, who promotes Girl child education and financial independence, and wants women to acquire basic knowledge and the right to opportunity, will now represent India at Miss International in November 2021 in Yokohama City, Japan.  Zoya Afroz’s journey in showbiz started early. She started working as a child artiste in the television series Kora Kagaz in 1998 and went onto do hit films such as Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999), Mann (1999) and Kuch Naa Kaho (2003).

The 24 stunning national finalists from different parts of India who had competed at the prestigious pageant included Zoya Afroz, Archana Ravi, Aishwarya Dikshit, Naina Vijay Sharma, Tanya Sinha, Sejal Renake, Himani Gaikwad, Megha Shetty, Megha Julka, Deeksha Narang, Shivani Tak, Saachi Gurav, Asmita Chakraborty, Tanu Shree, Shweta Shinde, Hannah Tamalapakula, Susang Sherpa, Disha Shamwani, Isha Vaidya, Annu Bhati, Arushi Singh, Divija Gambhir, Shalini Rana, Anisha Sharmathe. Divija Gambhir was crowned Miss India Multinational 2021 and Tanya Sinha was crowned Miss India Globe 2021. Asmita Chakraborty and Anisha Sharma were crowned as the first and second runner-ups, at the end of the event, respectively. Divija Gambhir is a 21-year-old who started her own community which helps the stray dogs find shelter and food. She aims to become the voice of the voiceless, is a trained dancer and enjoys modelling. Tanya Sinha will represent India at Miss Globe International. She’s 23-year-old from Jharkhand and holds the advocacy of addressing the issue of untouchability especially in rural areas.

Glamanand Supermodel India is one of the three major pageants of India having one of the Big four franchise under the national pageant. Glamanand is a national preliminary to the biggest International pageants in the world, including Miss International, Miss Multinational, Miss Earth, Miss Grand International, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Globe International, Miss and other international pageants. The competition was judged by Editor-in-Chief of TMM Magazine Kartikya Arora, Businessman Yash Raj Tongia, Amit Karkhanis, Miss India International 2019 Simrithi Bathija, Miss India Multinational 2019 Tanvi Malhara, Rekha Vohra and Varun Katyal.

Zoya Afroz was born in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India to her parents, Shadaab Afroz and Saleha Afroz. She studied at R N Shah High School in Mumbai and earned her bachelor’s degree in commerce from Mithibai College in Vile Parle, Mumbai, India. Zoya started her career from Indian commercials, films and television series. In 1999, she starred in the films “Hum Saath Saath Hain” and “Mann.” In 2000, she starred in the TV series “Jai Mata Ki.” Along with that in 2001, she played Mukta in the Hindi film “Sant Gyaneshwar. Continually in 2003, she played Aarya in the Hindi film “Kuch Naa Kaho.” In 2004, she played Dimples in the TV series “Son Pari.”In 2005, she played the title role in the English film “From Tia With Love.” In 2012, she played Channo in the Punjabi film “Sadi Gali Aaya Karo.”

She was Femina Miss Indore in 2013 and at Femina Miss India 2013, s he was second runner-up. She was named Beauty Queen of the Year at the 2013 Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar Awards. Joining the Miss International pageant has always been dream of Zoya. In fact, she has been waiting for this opportunity since 2013. Zoya took to her social media to share her crowning news as she wrote, “Proud to announce – I will be representing INDIA at the 60th Miss International. So grateful for this opportunity to live my dream. Thank you Glamanand Supermodel India.”

Miss/Mrs/Teen India Pageant In New Jersey Celebrates Indian Culture

Vaidehi Dongre, 25, a graduate of University of Michigan with International Business as Major, currently employed as Business Development Manager with New Zealand Trade Commission, won the coveted Miss India USA 2021 Pageant on Friday, July 16th at Royal Alberts Palace, Edison, NJ. Organized by the New York based India Festival Committee (IFC) and chaired by Neelam & Dharmatma Saran, this is the longest running Indian pageant outside of India.” I am overwhelmed with the great response this year, said Dharmatma Saran, “with a record number of 61 contestants representing 30 states from across the United States.”

Dharmatma Saran, Chairman & Founder, said,  “We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, tradition, culture and performing arts among Indian origin youth across the world” with our motto “bringing India closer.” As though fulfilling his vision, the packed auditorium was filled with men, women and children of Indian origin, adorned in glittering and colorful Indian attire, while Bollywood and classical music filled the air through the entire evening that went into the early hours of the following day.

Swathy Vimalkumar, 32, a mother of 3 and a teacher with a Masters in Elementary Education, from the state of Connecticut was crowned Mrs. India USA 2001, beating over two dozen participants. Her hobbies include playing tennis, Hiking, Reading and Yoga. Swathy wants to be an inspiring teacher to her students and an avid learner everyday. Navya Paingol, 17, representing the state of Michigan, who has just graduated from High School, was crowned Miss Teen India 2021. Navya enjoys dancing (Bharatnatyam), singing (classical Carnatic), playing tennis and is a member of her school varsity team. She volunteers as a tutor and in multiple non-profit organizations. Navya wants to become a Pediatric Cardiologist and help underprivileged children.

Pursuing Master’s Degree in Kathak at Bharti Vidyapeeth, Vaidehi, trained in classical music, is the Co-Director at Taal Academy School of Kathak Dance. She is a lead team member of AWE Foundation (Achieving Women’s Equality). She wants to visit 30 countries before she turns 30!  She also won the Best Talent Award for her performance during the dazzling night attended by dozens of participants, their families and friends from around the nation.

Arshi Lalani, 20 from the state of Georgia was declared the Runner UP, while Mira Kasari, 21 from North Carolina was the 2nd Runner Up. Riya Sapkal, 18, from New York and Khushi Patel, 18 from Florida, and Roma Patel, 30, from Pennsylvania were the top Six Finalists for the prestigious Miss India USA Title. For the Miss Teen USA Title, Aashna Shah, 15 from Florida was the Runner Up and Asees Kaur, 16, from Virginia was declared the 2nd RunnerUJp. Reeya Mathur 17, from Michigan and Riya Pawar, 15, New Jersey were among the five finalists.

Sonal Dua, 36 from North Carolina was the Runner Up at the Mrs USA 2021 and Sunitha Shambulingappa, 41, from Virginia was the Second Runner Up. Aparna Chakravarty, 55 and Sneha Viswalingam, 29 were among the top 5 chosen for the final Q&A Segment of the pageant. Swathy, Navya, and Vaidehi will represent USA in the Miss & Mrs. India Worldwide 2021 to be held in Mumbai on October 4th, 2021. The three won the crowns out of 61 finalists from all over USA. The annual pageant which also celebrated thirty ninth anniversary of Miss India USA had a record number of participants and was attended by hundreds of people from across the USA.

Sonal Dua, 36, from North Carolina won the Mrs Talented Title; Mrs Congeniality was Mohana Namle, 35, from  Connecticut. Harshada Patil Fegade, 32 walked away with the Mrs Catwalk Title. Mrs Photogenic was Aparna Chakravarty, 55 from Florida; Mrs Popularity was Swathy Vimalkumar, 32 of Connecticut, and Mrs Chairman Professional was Sheetal Rana, 36 from New York. Amelia Mallareddy from North Carolina was declared Miss Beautiful Face, while Miss Catwalk was Mira Kasari from North Carolina.  Rishika Pal of Massachusetts took the

Miss Bollywood Diva title. Miss Congeniality was Jaskiran Uppal of Washington State, while Miss Photogenic was Jasleen Gill from Ohio. Athulya Narayanan of Connecticut was declared Miss Beautiful Eyes and the one with Miss Beautiful Hair was  Rishika Pal of Massachusetts. Miss Beautiful Skin title went to Mira Kasari of Michigan. Chairman Professional title was given to Sindhura Mutyala from Texas. Miss Beautiful Smile award went to Chaiya Shah from Michigan and Miss Popularity was Khushi Patel from Florida.

Teen Talented title went to Aashna Shah from Florida; Teen Congeniality award was given to Poorva Mishra and Teen photogenic was Sarina Saran from Virginia. The pageant started with a stunning performance by all the contestants led by the outgoing queens Aaishwarya Gulani, Shruthi Bekal and Sidhya Ganesh, and choreographed by Shilpa Jhurani. All contestants presented their best in the Indian and the Evening Gown segments after which the top five were selected. The top five contestants mesmerized the audience with their talents which included Bollywood dances, Indian classical and folk dances, art, singing and speech.

Diana Hayden, a popular Indian actress from Bollywood and Miss World 1997 was the Chief Guest. Shruthi Bekal, Mrs India USA 2019 and Tarna Kaur, Mrs India Worldwide 2019 elegantly emceed the pageant. Kim Kunari, former Miss India USA 2019 and Easha Kode, the first ever Miss Teen India USA were emcees for the pre-pageant event on July 15th. Nishi Bahl was the choreographer assisted by Shilpa Jhurani. This year’s pageant was presented by Yash Pandya and supported by TV Asia and Royal Albert’s Palace. Yash Pandya, Albert Jassani and H R Shah sashed the winners at the pageant.

The spectacular Miss India Pageants organized by India Festival Committee (IFC), started in a basement in New York in 1980 with the first ever Miss India New York and Miss India USA, has evolved and expanded, now incorporating and having membership from over 40 countries, that promote Indian heritage and providing a platform for people of Indian origin to unite and showcase their talents, skills and beauty. The pageants aim to honor achievement, to celebrate our culture in many ways, among them, the ability to meet people, make friends, to respect and be respected, to continually strive to improve standards, and to live a life as close to the laws of nature.

The IFC selects distinguished local organizations in various parts of the world and authorizes them to conduct national pageants in their respective countries. The India Festival Committee, started in 1974 in a most humble way, has come a long way. Saran and the pageant are “very proud of the fact that we have been able to provide a common platform for the international Indian community through pageantry. We are equally proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, traditions and culture among the youth of Indian origin around the world. We have also been successful in promoting Indian performing arts in the world.”

Vikrant Massey Lays Ethnic Fashion Goals For Men In ₹14k Bandi,Cream Kurta Set

Men take fashion cues as Haseen Dilruba star Vikrant Massey flaunts his effortlessly dapper style at Jio Mami Film Festival Panel in an elegant off-white kurta and trousers teamed with blue floral prints bandi from Anita Dongre and Christian Louboutin footwear

Men looking for a break from the regular daily outfits and in a quest of out of the box and yet sophisticated style need to search no further as Haseen Dilruba star Vikrant Massey is here to sort your fashion woes. While a regular men’s kurta with a traditional print is in vogue this season, Vikrant laid fashion goals as he flaunted his effortlessly dapper style at Jio Mami Film Festival Panel in an elegant off-white kurta and a pair of cream trousers teamed with a floral print bandi.

The pictures surfacing from the event are enough to raise the bar of ethnic style goals for men this summer. Putting the fashion police on immediate alert while fans took cues to slay at the next traditional outing, the pictures feature Vikrant donning a plain cream-coloured silk kurta which he wore with sleeves rolled up and paired with similar coloured trousers.

To frame the style around traditions with a contemporary accent, Vikrant layered the simple look with an elegant bandi that sported blue floral prints and booti detailing all over. The bandi came with a breast pocket and two at the bottom while sealing a sophisticated aesthetic. Accessorising his look with a pair of reading glasses, Vikrant completed his attire with a pair of blue footwear from Christian Louboutin. Striking a chic pose in the backdrop of an exotic seaside location lined with palm trees, Vikrant showed how to look classy and stylish while embracing the cultural side.

Fashion Superstar Masaba Talks About Her Show On Netflix In “Chai With Manju”

Masaba, probably the biggest and the youngest fashion icon in India today, in conversation with Dr. Manju Sheth, speaks about her Netflix series, Masaba Masaba and her plans for the year 2021 and beyond.
In “Chai With Manju,” Masaba Gupta, currently the most well-known name in Indian fashion industry,  talks about her love for acting and the super success of Netflix series named after her called Masaba Masaba and how much she loved acting. She describes acting as Meditation for her and how much she is looking forward to shooting for Netflix again. A true entrepreneur who describes “fashion as the bridge between art and commerce,” Masaba has seen amazing success with online sales of her fashion products as well.
Her advice to those looking for a career in Fashion industry is very timely. She also talks about her fashion icons and styles that she loves including that of our VP Kamala Harris and how much she would love to dress Madonna. Masaba’s bold and beautiful designs which combine traditions with needs of modern women have made her the game changer of the industry. She is the daughter of National award  winning actress Neena Gupta and West Indian cricketer, Legendary Vivian Richards.“It was great to have a candid conversation with her. She is so down to earth and fun .She shared her journey of self love and appreciation after a very tough childhood as a biracial child in stereotypical India, adds Dr. Manju.
At age 19, Masaba presented her first collection at Lakme, called “Katran.” At 20, she started her own brand, House of Masaba Fashions, one of India’s biggest fashion brands. More recently, her Netflix series, Masaba Masaba, has made her a superstar. Dr. Sheth says, “Interviewing Masaba was a true delight . She is young , very focused and a true entrepreneur. I loved the fact that her journey is also focused on self love and being the best version of herself. One of the most enjoyable interviews with a true woman of substance. I am also excited that she is looking forward to working in USA, hopefully soon.”
A physician by profession, having a passion for media and commitment to serve the larger humanity, with special focus on women’s empowerment, Dr. Manju Sheth is a Board Certified Internist, currently serving patients at Beth Israel Lahey Hospital.in the Boston Region in Massachusetts. Dr. Sheth is the co-founder and CEO of INE MultiMedia, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and supporting charitable organizations, art, culture, education and empowerment through workshops, seminars and multimedia. Dr. Sheth is known to be a natural storyteller her popular “Chai with Manju” celebrity series is one of the most read news features in the New England region, where she featured celebrities and spiritual leaders such as Sadhguru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Kennedys and the like.
Masaba believes that grit and perseverance are the key to success. She places a lot of focus on personal relationships and nurturing those who are close to her.

Priyanka Chopra Signs Deal With Victoria’s Secret In Its Major Rebranding Bid

American lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret has signed a new roster of female brand representatives that includes Indian actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, to replace its supermodels (or Angels as they were called), and focus on women empowerment, giving a platform to female athletes, activists and entrepreneurs. Victoria’s Secret announced on June 18th of the creation of two new partnerships, designed to positively impact the lives of women. The brand’s previous campaigns had come under scrutiny for their embodiment of male fantasy over an accurate representation of what women seek in undergarments.

The new partnerships are ‘The VS Collective’ and ‘The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers.’ Chopra, being one of the founding members of both the partnerships, will be leading this drive to positive change. She and six other new brand ambassadors called the ‘VS Collective’ will model for Victoria’s Secret products, advise the brand and promote it on social media. Announcing her collaboration with the brand, Chopra posted on her Instagram handle, “Representation matters. It’s crucial for us to show EVERYONE all over the world that they matter and are seen! As a founding partner of #TheVSCollective and advisor to the business, this is exactly what I intend to do.”

She added, “It’s been so incredible to see your reactions to yesterday’s announcement. It’s fueled me further and I am excited to bring about meaningful change at one of the world’s most iconic brands. I’m so proud to be in the company of the Collective of incredible women that will helm this change.” “Ps: thank you to my dream team for always thinking big with me. For going on the wild rides I want to embark upon. And for fighting the big fights! Love u and am especially proud of u on this one!” Chopra concluded the post.

Besides Chopra, the roster comprises American soccer star Megan Rapinoe; Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio; 17-year-old Chinese American freestyle skier; soon-to-be Olympian Eileen Gu, 29-year-old biracial model; inclusivity advocate Paloma Elsesser; photographer and Los Angeles-based media personality Amanda de Cadenet; South Sudanese-Australian model AdutAkech. “At Victoria’s Secret, we are on an incredible journey to become the world’s biggest and best advocate for women. This is a dramatic shift for our brand, and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core. These new initiatives are just the beginning. We are energized and humbled by the work ahead of us,” said Martin Waters, chief executive officer of Victoria’s Secret.

Among the first initiatives, the founding members of ‘The VS Collective’ will share their stories in a 10-episode recurring podcast hosted by award-winning broadcaster, Amanda de Cadenet. Each episode will showcase the remarkable experiences and perspectives of a member of the Collective, as well as reveal further details of their partnership with the brand. Furthering on their mission, ‘The VS Global Fund for Women’s Cancers’ with longstanding partner, Pelotonia, will fund innovative research projects aimed at progressing treatments and cures for women’s cancers and investing in the next generation of women scientists who represent the diverse population they serve.

Through the partnership, Victoria’s Secret will grant and award at least five million dollars annually to examine and address racial and gender inequities and unlock new innovations that improve cancer outcomes for all women. Annual grants will be awarded to individual scientists or research “dream teams” who are collaborating across institutions. Victoria’s Secret, which introduced raunchy lingerie to the masses in the ‘70s, has been overshadowed in recent years by brands that have openly embraced both ethnic and bodily diversity. After ages, the brand has now decided to drop Angels in a step towards women empowerment.

Women Rule Grammys As Beyoncé, Swift Make History

Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era.

 

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish made history at the Grammy Awards on March 14th. Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era.

Four women won the top four prizes Sunday, including Swift, who became the first female performer to win album of the year three times. Beyoncé — with her 28th win — became the most decorated woman in Grammy history.

H.E.R. won song of the year and Billie Eilish picked up her second consecutive record of the year honor, telling the audience that best new artist winner Megan Thee Stallion deserved the award. Though women have won all top four awards in the past – including Eilish’s sweep last year – it marked the first time four separate and solo women won the top four honors.

“I feel like there’s been a lot of female empowerment and lots of women winning awards tonight. And so it’s been absolutely amazing to just be alongside all that, to feel that energy,” Dua Lipa, who won best pop vocal album, said backstage.

Swift won the top prize with “folklore,” the folky, alternative album she released as a surprise last year. She previously won album of the year with “Fearless” and “1989.”

Beyoncé walked into the show with 24 wins and picked up four honors, including best R&B performance for “Black Parade,” best music video for “Brown Skin Girl” as well as best rap performance and best rap song for “Savage,” with Megan Thee Stallion.

“As an artist I believe it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect time and it’s been such a difficult time,” Beyoncé said onstage as she won best R&B performance for “Black Parade,” which was released on Juneteenth.

She went on to say she created the song to honor the “beautiful Black kings and queens” in the world. She added: “I have been working my whole life … This is such a magical night.”

Beyoncé now ties producer and multi-instrumentalist Quincy Jones for second place among all Grammy winners. She is only behind the late conductor Georg Solti, who is the most decorated Grammy winner with 31 wins.

But Beyoncé didn’t only make history, her whole family did. The royal family of music all won honors Sunday: Jay-Z picked up his 23rd Grammy, sharing the best rap song win with his wife since he co-wrote “Savage.” And 9-year-old Blue Ivy Carter — who won best music video alongside her mother — became the second youngest act to win a Grammy in the show’s 63-year history. Leah Peasall was 8 when The Peasall Sisters won album of the year at the 2002 show for their appearance on the T Bone Burnett-produced “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.

Megan Thee Stallion, who won three honors, also made history and became the first female rapper to win best rap song. She’s also the fifth rap-based act to win best new artist. Beyoncé was the night’s top contender with nine nominations. She didn’t perform but Swift did.

She sang “cardigan” and “august” from “folklore,” as well as “willow” from “evermore,” and was joined by the collaborators who helped her make the albums, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, who both won album of the year with Swift.

The Grammys featured pre-taped performances that helped the nearly four-hour show run seamlessly — a not-so-easy feat during a global pandemic. Host Trevor Noah told jokes about the pandemic and the year that was 2020, appearing live from downtown Los Angeles with attendees wearing masks and sitting, socially distanced, at small round tables.

Silk Sonic, aka Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, also performed, bringing a throwback R&B vibe to the show with their smooth new single, “Leave the Door Open.” Lipa proved her pop star status with a performance of her hits “Don’t Start Now” and “Levitating,” where she was joined by DaBaby, who was an all-star during his own performance of his guitar-tinged rap hit “Rockstar,” flipping the song for an exceptional live rendition featuring R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, a skilled violinist and background singers.


Country singer Mickey Guyton – the first Black woman nominated for best country solo performance – gave a top notch performance of her song “Black Like Me,” which she released last year as police brutality continued to devastate Black families and the coronavirus ravished Black America disproportionately. Lil Baby, joined by Killer Mike and activist Tamika Mallory, gave a political performance that impressed.

“Black Parade” joined a list of songs honoring the Black experience that won Sunday, including H.E.R.’s protest anthem “I Can’t Breathe” and Anderson Paak’s “Lockdown,” which was released on Juneteenth like “Black Parade.”

Other performers Sunday included Eilish, Cardi B, Bad Bunny, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Harry Styles, who won best pop solo performance for the hit “Watermelon Sugar.”

“To everyone who made this record with me, thank you so much,” said Styles, the first member of One Direction to win a Grammy.

Double winners included H.E.R., Fiona Apple, Kaytranada and late performers John Prine and Chick Corea. Beyoncé’s four awards Sunday brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist. Her celebration of Black history, “Black Parade,” released last Juneteenth, won best R&B performance and she shared two awards for collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion on “Savage.”

She ties Quincy Jones for second most Grammys ever and has the leader — the late conductor George Solti, who won 31 — in her sights.

Further crowding the family trophy case is husband Jay-Z, whose songwriting on “Savage” earned him his 23rd Grammy on Sunday, and even their 9-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who won best music video together with mom. “This is such a magical night,” Beyoncé said.

Swift, who also found time during the pandemic to make another album and re-record one of her old ones, became the first woman to win the album of the year Grammy for the third time. Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra have also done it. She won in 2009 for “Fearless” and 2015 for “1989.”

After her sweep last year, Eilish became only the third artist to win back-to-back record of the year Grammys. Roberta Flack won in 1973 for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and in 1974 for “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” while U2 won in 2001 and 2002 for “Beautiful Day” and “Walk On.”

Then, when Eilish and her collaborator-brother Finneas accepted the award, she almost gave it away. She brought Megan Thee Stallion to tears by saying the rapper deserved the Grammy for “Savage.”

 

Madhuri Dixit On Secret To Memorable Dances In Bollywood Career

It may have been a while since Bollywood’s timeless beauty Madhuri Dixit Nene graced the silver screen and flashed her ‘butterflies in stomach’ inducing smile. However the Dedh Ishqiya is always sharing stunning pictures of herself, dressed to perfection and oozing grace and blessing our social media feeds with her stunning looks.

Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene says performances like Choli ke piche kya hai, Chane ke khet mein, Ke sera sera, Ek do teen and Tamma tamma put her to test. “There are a lot of songs which were difficult for me. But the ones which really put me to test were performances like Choli ke piche kya hai, Chane ke khet mein, Ke sera sera, Ek do teen and Tamma tamma,” Madhuri, who is currently seen as judge in “Dance Deewane 3”, said.

“While these were some of the most difficult songs that I danced on, they are also the most memorable ones,” she added. Madhuri feels choreography in films has become more challenging. “Choreography in movies is definitely more challenging today. These days, dance involves a lot of leaps and there are several new techniques for lifts as well. The choreography these days has a lot of physical movements compared to before,” she said.

The actress pointed out that there were no stunts in dance before, but now if one wants to become an all-round dancer, one should be skilled in stunts, too. “It is definitely more challenging. The young kids who are six and seven also dance well at such a small age. I wonder what magic they will do later!” she said. (IANS)

Last week, the ever green star treated fans to stunning all smiles pictures. The Devdas actor hopped on to Instagram and shared some beautiful pictures posing in traditional attire. The pictures featured in the post see Madhuri sporting a royal blue georgette saree with accentuated scalloped gold floral designs towards the border as well as a very heavily embroidered half-sleeved blouse. With her luscious locks open, the actor looked stunning with a subtle bronze, smokey eye and deep red lips. She accessorized her glamorous avatar with heavy diamond and stone studded earrings, as well as kadas and rings. The Hum Aapke Hain Koun star’s million-dollar smile seemed enough to make the fan’s heart skip a beat.

The Dil Toh Pagal Hai star captioned the post, “Blue hue,” and added a blue heart. Celebrity followers including Lara Dutta Bhupathi and more than 4.7 million fans liked the post with scores of them leaving adorable comments. Nora Fatehi left heart eyes and smiley face emoticon while others left heart and fire emoticons over the post. Madhuri’s stunning blue saree with the embroidered blouse is the Royal Blue tiered ruffle sari set with beige gold linear embroidery by ace couturier Arpita Mehta priced at ₹98,000 on the designer’s website, while her stunning jewellery is from Falguni Mehta’s Jadau Jewellery

Miss Transqueen India 2020 Crowned

India has a new Miss Transqueen — and she’s headed for the world stage, determined to speak out for the country’s marginalized transgender community, reports here stated. Fashion designer Shaine Soni was crowned Miss Transqueen India, the country’s beauty pageant for transgender women, last week. She will represent India at next year’s Miss International Queen, the world’s biggest pageant for transgender women.
Miss Transqueen India was first established in 2017, and involves all the trappings of a traditional beauty pageant — photoshoots, talent rounds, elaborate costumes, judges and hundreds of audience members.
This year, organizers were unable to hold the competition due to the pandemic, which prompted a national lockdown from late March to May. But Reena Rai, chairwoman and founder of Miss Transqueen India, wasn’t ready to give up; she was determined to send a contestant to represent India in the 2021 international pageant.
“My pageant isn’t just about beauty, it is about empowerment and inclusion,” Rai told CNN in a phone interview. “If I am going to send someone without holding a competition, then I have to make sure that they are a very strong candidate, the best of the best, someone who knows the value of (becoming Miss) Transqueen India.”
Soni seemed like the obvious choice; as a fashion designer and stylist whose work is known on the pageant circuit, she has previously helped coach contestants and pick their outfits. For years, she stayed relatively quiet about her own transgender identity while struggling for acceptance from her family and friends — but Rai encouraged her to step forward for the title.
“She has always been a very strong backbone for Transqueen India,” said Rai. “I told her that because you’ve been with us and how important it is, and because you have been struggling with publicly coming out, this might be the best platform to do so because it is something that a lot of people will draw strength and inspiration from.”
While Soni was born biologically male, she identified as a girl from a young age — and was confused and dismayed when people around her began insisting she was a boy, and told her to act and behave like one.
As she grew up, she faced increasing pressure from relatives and friends who would discourage her from growing her hair long, wearing “girly” clothes, or having “effeminate” mannerisms, she said over the phone. “With so much pressure and bullying around me, I desperately felt I was different and that there was a problem in me.”
She found some relief when, as a teenager, she began researching and stumbled upon information about gender identity and gender confirmation surgery. She ended up leaving home at 17, pursuing an education in fashion, and transitioning with hormonal therapy a few years later — a process that she described as “difficult.”
“A lot of my friends gave up on me, they could not understand,” she said. “But I was very determined, so I went ahead and did everything on my own.” Shaine Soni will represent India next year at Miss International Queen. Credit: Courtesy Shaine Soni

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