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It has been nearly a week since Sonali Bendre issued an official statement on being diagnosed with cancer and getting treated in New York. On Tuesday afternoon, the actress posted a video in which she can be seen getting her long tresses cut. At one point, she can even be seen getting emotional about the considerable reduction in the length of her hair.
Apart from posting pictures of her new look, she also posted a message thanking her friends and fans for the outpour of love. Sonali wrote, “In the words of my favourite author Isabel Allende, ‘We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome’. The outpouring of love I’ve received in the last few days has been so overwhelming… and I’m especially grateful to those of you who shared stories of your experiences in dealing with cancer, whether it was your own or of loved ones. Your stories have given me an extra dosage of strength and courage…”
‘When you’re not playing a glamorous role, people start noticing you more’
Although Kriti Sanon made a mark with her debut in Heropanti (2014), followed by a role in the Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol starrer Dilwale (2015), it was her freespirited act as Bitti Sharma in Junglee Pictures’ Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017) that won her the real accolades. With no filmi lineage to fall back on, Kriti believes in learning with each failure and discovering things on her own. The tall and slender actress bares it all about growing as an actor, her choice of films and her middle-class upbringing. Excerpts…
You have been lauded for your performance in your last release, Bareilly Ki Barfi (BKB),which did well,both commercially and critically. Many felt that it’s your best so far…
When you are not playing a glamorous role in a film, people start noticing you more. Also, my character in BKB was real and relatable, which is what the audience connected with. I feel a performer grows with every act. In my case, I have grown as an actor from Heropanti to Bareilly Ki Barfi. I keep saying that even though Raabta (2017) didn’t work, I feel I grew the most during that film because I was playing two diametrically opposite and layered characters for the first time.
Has the success of BKB changed the way you choose films?
No, I don’t think it has changed at all. Perhaps, the kinds of films that I am being offered today have changed and I have more options to choose from. But the way I pick films still remains the same. If I connect with a script, or if the role is great, I just go for it. These things have always been the criteria for me. I follow my gut.
‘I’m a little too honest, which people don’t always appreciate; it is often misconstrued’
While you’ve chosen contentdriven films like Bareilly Ki Barfi (BKB) and now Panipat,you’re also going to be seen in an outand-out commercial entertainer like Housefull 4.Are you trying to strike a balance in your career choices?
It’s not that after BKB, I only want to do films that revolve around me. As a viewer, I like watching different kinds of cinema. So, as an actor, I have to cater to a variety of audience and not get stuck in a genre. Hence, while I am doing comedies like Housefull 4 and Arjun Patiala, I am also doing Panipat, which is my first full-on period film. With Housefull 4, it is not so much about the script, as it is about being part of a hit franchise. It is a fun film that caters to a much larger audience, across different age groups. Honestly, even though Heropanti did well, it didn’t reach out to as many people as Dilwale did. When I go abroad, people don’t recognise me for Heropanti, but they remember me for Dilwale. Besides, I will be working with Sajid (Nadiadwala) sir again… my second outing with the production house (after Heropanti). It’s a crazy, mad film and funnier than the last three. It’s difficult to do comedy and make people laugh. There is so much stress in our lives today that it’s sometimes good to watch lighthearted films and forget about your troubles.
Hailing from a middle-class, non-film family, how have your parents reacted to your stardom?
It’s been gradual. They have come to terms with a lot of things, like the media attention, all the stuff that’s written about me or even the fact that we can’t visit malls anymore. There have been times when my mom has called me and asked me if I have signed a certain film, because she had read about it in the news. I would tell her, ‘Mom, I will tell you when I sign a film. This is not true’. Now, they know that if there’s something important, they will know about it before others. They trust me a lot. But sometimes, there is a lot of attention, which can get troublesome for them. Well, my parents are the only people I owe an explanation to, while they have to deal with relatives and friends. So, I understand their concerns. My dad has been a very content person. My mom is the one who takes all the stress of the universe, especially when it comes to my sister (Nupur) and me. Sometimes, they ask me sudden questions like, ‘You are not working for these many months?’ and I tell them that it is okay if I am not occupied for a few months. The unpredictability that comes with my profession is something they are still adjusting to.
Has the fact that you are not from the industry made you more realistic about this profession, where fate changes every Friday?
As an outsider, you feel like a baby who is coming into a new world and is fascinated by everything that’s happening around. You learn with each fall at every step, because you are discovering how things work. I think you slowly understand what matters and what doesn’t in the long run. You also realise how to approach certain situations and how to be diplomatic. I have had so many foot-in-mouth situations. My problem is that sometimes, I am a little too honest, which people don’t always appreciate and it is often misconstrued. I am not the best at putting my thoughts into words. I just say what comes to my mind, with complete honesty and without any malice. At times, I feel that I shouldn’t have said some of the things, but I can’t be fake. I feel being fake and trying to fit in is dangerous, because then, you are acting all the time. It’s better to be real and face situations as they unfold.
Your sister Nupur is all set to follow in your footsteps and join the industry. What’s the one advice you have given her that you got from your parents?
My parents told me nothing (laughs!). They didn’t put any restrictions on me. Of course, they told me to be patient and choose the first film very carefully, as your debut film sets you on your career path. Fortunately, I waited for the right debut and it paid off. There are times when you are irritated and tempted to just start out with whatever comes your way, but you should not let that feeling take over. When Nupur moved to Mumbai, I advised her to try out things to see what she really likes and find her true calling. I told her to be patient and not be in a hurry to grab the first opportunity. I am always there to guide her, but she wants to have her own journey, too.
THE ‘SISU’ WITHIN YOU
The Finnish word which roughly translates to stoic determination has been touted as 2018’s most powerful word. Here’s why…
Perhaps the German soccer team could have done with some ‘sisu’ in their lives while playing South Korea in the Fifa World Cup 2018.
If they believed in the Finnish word ‘sisu’, the results could’ve been different… because ‘sisu’ denotes determination, guts, hardiness, courage and willpower; but not ordinary courage or willpower – ‘sisu’ is the last bit of strength that is lying somewhere deep within you – but difficult to draw out because you need extreme perseverence to reach that kind of strength.
Author Joanna Nylund made the word trendy this year when she wrote her book Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage. “You don’t brag about having ‘sisu’; you just let your actions do the talking,” she says. If your life situation is overwhelming, which is quite often these days, finding your ‘sisu’ within would be quite valuable. Although this philosophy is about developing a certain kind of mental attitude, it actually means your strength lies in your gut, literally. ‘Sisu’ originates from ‘sisus’, which means guts or the intestines, in Finnish.
The emotion associated with it has no direct translation though. In Finland, telling someone he/she has ‘sisu’ is one of the biggest compliments. It means this person encompasses extreme perseverance and dignity in the face of adversity.
To incorporate a ‘sisu’-like attitude, one must learn to truly disconnect, embrace silence and schedule alone time. That apart, it’s essential to get back to nature and think low-key.
MAKE LIFE SISU-FUL
Prepare yourself: Don’t let a crisis overwhelm you. If you are nervous, prepare yourself for things to come. Lie low: When you want to restore your life, lie low. Spend time to get your energy back.
Keep your friends around: There are some people who always stay strong and are around you in bad times. Keep them close when the going is tough. Self-care: When the going gets tough, don’t neglect yourself. Good sleep and good nutrition are key for survival. Stay centred: Enhance your wellbeing and find your focus. Try to silence your mind and practise deep breathing.
CAN INNER STRENGTH BE ACQUIRED?
Yes, inner strength can be acquired. I don’t think you are born with inner strength. Some people do, which is great. But I have acquired inner strength over the course of my life and I am now a much stronger person.
—Amrita Puri, actor
Yes, there are certain ways you can train your mind, and therefore, you are focused in the eye of storms. How one does it depends on the individual. You can train yourself to stay very calm and focused. Admitting your weakness also shows strength, and people who face challenges in life usually come out stronger.
—Adhuna Bhabani, hair stylist
Inner strength can definitely be acquired. When you play a sport with a team, you become stronger and a confident player. Practice makes you more confident.
Similarly, inner strength makes you empowered.
—Dino Morea, actor
I think you have to work a lot on yourself to cultivate inner strength. It also depends on how you are raised and how inner strength is nurtured. Even though I’m strong, I admit to my breaking point when it gets too much; that’s important.
—Shibani Dandekar, actor
Besides acting and dancing, TV actor Rithvik Dhanjani thoroughly enjoys listening to music, too. He also has a penchant for collecting musical instruments. During a vacation in Berlin, he came across a rather unique and expensive instrument — the hang drum — and liked it so much that he decided to bring one home. Rithvik says, “I attended a street music festival in Berlin, where I befriended a man who was playing the hang drum and it was magical. That’s when I decided I would own the instrument someday. I contacted a few people for it, but they were charging me a bomb. Now, I have finally found a guy who is going to make the instrument for me. I am really excited and looking forward to learn the instrument.” The actor already owns a flute, mouth organ and guitar, which he plays frequently.
Digital filters spurs make-up to go the pop art way
Forget multi-hued rainbow eyes and wearing sheer lace make-up. The latest artistry is getting folks to wear graffiti and pop art on their cheeks, at the side of their face and on their eyelids. It’s edgy, vibrant and gives a funk vibe to the whole party look. Fashion has been embracing graffiti of late on apparel, bags, shoes and glasses. Some years ago, there was a trend of graffiti hair, which made use of hair stencils and spray-on paints to get the look. And now, it’s the turn of make-up to join the fad-wagon.
HERE ARE FIVE STEPS TO GET THE BEAUTY POP-ART LOOK:
First use a face primer that helps even out lines if any, on the face.
Add a layer of foundation on the neck and face.
Draw lines on the nose, eyes and cheeks with face paint to get the outlines for your art.
Fill the lips with a high-shine base colour in pink or red.
Using the face paint, create your art on the cheeks, too. Add eyeshadow and mascara to complete the look.
FROM BEING A DREAMER TO LIVING THE DREAM
Over the past one month, the 30 dazzling Miss India finalists have mesmerised the country. Their journey began with the auditions in the South Zone. Culminating in the West Zone (Mumbai), the auditions were held across 24 fbb outlets.
While the auditions were on, customers who came to shop at the fbb stores were greeted to a mind-blowing display of fashion. But they did not stop at cheering for their favourite beauty queen. The shoppers also took to the ramp to bask in their own glamour, and earned themselves fbb gift vouchers by winning the fbb Mr and Mrs Most Stylish title.
As for the gorgeous finalists, they got a chance to experience a taste of the Miss India competition. Coming from humble backgrounds, and with a childhood dream of adorning the Miss India crown, this year’s contestants have gone to live the Woh#MissIndiaWaliFeeling. And in the process, have won hearts of countless Indians.
The actor will play Tiger Shroff’s rival in SOTY 2
Television actor Abhishek Bajaj, currently seen on the show Bitti Business Wali, is all set to enter Bollywood. BT has it that he will play Tiger Shroff’s rival in the upcoming film, Student Of The Year 2 (SOTY2).
The actor, who has been part of shows like Hitler Didi and Dil Deke Dekho, said, “Landing this film has made me believe that some dreams indeed come true. I had never thought that I would land a Karan Johar movie so early in my career. Also, it’s not a blink-and-miss role. So, quite unlike the popular perception, that most TV actors only get bit roles in movies, I will be essaying a pivotal character.”
Abhishek is aware that his on-screen rival, Tiger, has an envious physique. So, is he trying to match up to it? He replies, “More than matching up with Tiger, being fit is a part and parcel of our job. I work out on Aksa beach, go to the gym after I pack up and also follow a strict high-protein diet.” Juggling his TV show and the film is proving to be quite hectic for the actor. While his show is being shot in Allahabad, SOTY 2 is being filmed in Mussoorie. But Abhishek has no complaints. “On days when I am travelling from one location to the other, I sleep in the car, but I guess you can’t achieve anything in life without hard work.”