April 3, 2020
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TV

Making optimum use of the lockdown, the 90s most popular band ‘A Band of Boys’ has composed and released a song straight from their homes. Titled Yaari, the first of its kind song, is the band’s contribution to lift up everyone’s spirits, to communicate that it’s possible to stay indoors and to let creativity thrive.

Throwing light on how did the idea came into being, Karan Oberoi, lead vocalist of the band said, “The idea came to us while chatting about the fears that surround us in the time of corona and how much it has unsettled everyone.”

“Innovation is the need of the hour and in such times music can really add the healing touch,” he feels.

Speaking of how cumbersome the process of recording the song outside a studio (from each one’s home) was, Karan says, “It was difficult and complex because of the general lag in transmission. Each one of us (the band members) had to recalibrate the timing to not go off sync and miss the rhythm. We had to rehearse day and night to get the desired output.”

“Recording a song like that made us admire the yesteryear singers and musicians who performed like that without the option of a second take. I felt good having been able to pull it off,” he added.

‘Yaari’ is composed by Chin2 Bhosle and penned by Karan himself.
Karan also tells about what this song holds for the audience. He states, “It’s real and raw. It’s a song about friendship and about staying positive through difficult times. Yaari is an ode to the indomitable human spirit.”

TV

Be it TikTok videos or household work, actor Vaquar Shaikh is making sure to keep busy during this time of self-quarantine. The actor says that he is also making sure to follow his fitness regime during this lockdown. “I am spending my time making TikTok videos and am also doing household stuff. I am an actor so I can’t keep myself away from acting for a long period of time. So being at home, TikTok is great fun and a good way to showcase my skills. Also, I am helping my parents as well as managing household chores,” he says.

He adds, “I am eating my regular, staple diet which is simple and nutritious. Due to the lockdown, there many things which are unavailable but fresh vegetables and other necessary items are available which everyone can eat. Other than that, for fitness, I am doing Yoga, and most importantly all kinds of breathing exercises as this virus chokes our vascular areas, breathing organs and creates a layer due to which we can’t breathe properly. So, it is important to keep our respiratory system strong.”

Other than these, the actor is making sure to take whatever precautions he can. “I am taking precautions like wearing a mask whenever I go out in three-four days to get groceries, keeping my surrounding clean, maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation, maintain social distance and most importantly have good healthy food,” he says.

Vaquar says that it’s important to follow the orders of the government at this time. “According to me, the government has taken proper measures at the correct time. They learnt from the mistakes that other countries made and locked down the country at the correct time. Yes, for a while, people might face some economic issues or might get frustrated but to follow it strictly is need of the hour. I completely support the decision taken by our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I would also urge people to follow it strictly, maintain good hygiene and also stay away from communicating socially,” he says.

Ask him if he is missing shooting for his show Vidya, and he says, “Yes, I definitely miss my craft and my normal routine as everything is on a standstill but I feel it is necessary to even give yourself time to recover.”

His producer Mahesh Pandey distributed essential items to the crew on the last day of the shoot. Talking about the same, the actor says, “I feel it was a great initiative by our producer Mahesh Pandey. I agree with and respect his thought process. Each and every worker’s contribution has been big. Workers are dependent on the producer for their daily income and I believe that each and every person who have such daily wage workers should also take such an initiative.”

TV

Actor Samir Onkar, who is part of Rajan Shahi’s Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, talks about how this show means the world to him, the recognition it has given him and what fame and being popular is all about.

How will you define your role in YRKKH, please share the journey so far?

Firstly, I am very grateful to be part of this prestigious show yeh Ristha Kya Kehlata Hai and I am happy with my character so far. This character has a lot of shades. I started with a grey character and with time, it turned positive with also some confused shades in regards to his kid and wife. He is not a bad man but reacts according to his circumstances. Nowadays, I am protective of Gayatri since she has conceived a baby. I am very happy so far with my journey in YRKKH as I have got many different shades to play within one character sketch.

Your on-screen chemistry with your co-star Simran Khanna is being loved. Comment?

Firstly, I want to thank the audience for showering love upon us and liking us as a couple. Simran is a very sweet girl and we have a very good bond off-screen as well. Our thoughts match a lot and we share a very good understanding. We will also be making more efforts in working on our on-screen chemistry as much as possible.

After Mohsin-Shivangi your pair has been popular from YRKH what you have to say about that?

I would take it as a compliment because Mohsin and Shivangi make a really beautiful pair and it’s fun to watch both of them together. If audience feels that after them, our pair is very popular, then it is a great compliment indeed.

There will be a new track which will involve your relationship in the show, please share about that.

The uniqueness of this pair is that they don’t behave like a normal life couple. Their life journey is very interesting. Both the characters are very different and have seen a lot of ups-downs in their relationship. I feel in the future their storyline and relationship would be unique.

How do you see Rajan Shahi as a maker of Indian television?

No words can be enough for Rajan sir. As a maker in Indian television, he is everyone’s boss. We don’t need to speak about him, the world knows him. His capabilities, his creativity and many more of his skills make him the magician of Indian television. He hasn’t yet tried his hand at films as yet, but I feel he will be amazing there too.

For this corona outbreak, the shooting has stopped how much you are missing the daily madness of the set?

of course, I am missing our daily shooting madness. Generally, we reach the sets at 9 am and leave at 9 pm. We have a lot of fun with Mohsin, Shivangi, Akhil, Simran, Sachin Ji, Manish Ji, Surekha, dadi etc. We all actually live a double life on set. It’s fun to live our characters as well as our lives in reality.

Tell us how you are spending time now?

I don’t know when my day passes by, while I am working out, reading books, listening to music, spending time with family etc. The time passes by so fast with family and I play carrom, ludo, cards, watch films, web series and old episodes of my own show. There are so many things to do nowadays that there are activities in abundance. I don’t know where people find the time to get bored. There are a lot of things we are not able to do with busy with hectic schedules and then we crib about not getting time. Now, when we an abundance of time, people are cribbing about being locked up.

Message for YRKKH fans.

Lots and lots of love to all the YRKKH fans and I wish that they keep showering all their love upon us. I would advise you all to think positive as we all are going through the same situation and we can only fight it by staying at home and being positive. Be safe, take necessary precautions, follow the advice of doctors and our government and take care.

The best compliment you received so far for your performance

I keep getting compliments in real life from my friends, family and social media too. Two months back, I had gone to attend a friend’s wedding somewhere in the north and there I got to know the extent of recognition YRKKH has given me. People went mad seeing me. I would like to share one more incident, when we had gone for a two-three day trip to Lonavala before New Years with the whole cast and crew including creatives and Rajan sir, we had to halt at three places in between.

The whole team was shocked seeing everyone at these places shower their love on us. They were clicking selfies and talking to us. the fans told me that I shouldn’t hate my on-screen child. I still remember Rajan sir had tears in his eyes. I can’t thank Rajan Sir enough for trusting me and allowing me to do what I wanted to.

What success and fame mean to you?

Everyone wants success and fame in life. In the span of 10 – 15 years, I have seen my friends, co-actors, colleagues and many actors experience fame and success. But what I have noticed is that the higher you go, the easier it is to fall down. So, we shouldn’t get used to fame. I am very happy about what I have got as many people don’t even get to explore this much. I thank god every day for everything but, yes, I won’t say I am satisfied. I would want to work more and more and explore myself as an actor.

TV

The whole world is suffering from COVID19. People are helpless and restless. In this situation, there are many people who are also losing their mental balance. Actor Arjun Bijlani is someone who has always supported the cause of mental happiness.

Today through his social media handle, Arjun has shared a toll-free number which people can call to find the right advice on mental health. When asked Arjun says,”I know due to Corona there is a lot of anxiety, fear and uncertainty in people’s mind.

So I was talking to my producer friend Rupali Singh that how important it is to maintain mental balance in this madness. Then she told me a friend of her is working for this cause and has also started a helpline. I always wanted to do something for mental happiness so I shared the number from my social media handle.

And also requested my friends in the industry to share because more we share more people will come to know. I am sincerely requesting people to call freely. Do not hesitate. There are 450 volunteers waiting to guide you. If I have any issues with mental happiness I will call this number too.”

TV

It is a fact well known that it is not easy to become an actor. There are many look tests, auditions, workshops which you have to attend in order to come on screen. Actor Shashank Vyas rose to fame with his very first show Balika Vadhu, but it wasn’t easy. However, the actor has no regrets. “I know I worked really very hard. I gave almost 285 auditions and there are certain principles that I haven’t changed over the years and I never will. I have believed I will reach where I want to and I have given everything to my work and till my last breath, I will give my hundred per cent. The utmost sincerity of my work determines my success,” he says.

The actor says that he has been lucky to be able to play versatile roles on screen. “The casting director is the only person who can imagine you portraying a role totally opposite to where you come. The responsibility of an actor is that he or she should try different genres, doing the same character or playing it safe is not right. An actor should be versatile. I am very proud that in all the three shows (Balika Vadhu, Roop – Mard Ka Naya Swaroop and Jaana Na Dil Se Door), I am playing different roles,” he says.

Ask him what is the notion of success is, and he says, “Honestly, I don’t believe in success at all. I enjoy it but I don’t believe in it. I don’t want to understand its meaning. It’s just being on the set, doing your work, that’s it for me. I think that’s my maturity. I think we strive for success rather than perfection. The goal is not important, working towards a goal is important and that is what I enjoy. Initially, I was here for money but I realized that fame and money run towards you if you are sincere and perfect in your craft. If I get a number of fans, popularity and money, it doesn’t guarantee good work. But the vice-versa is true.” Shashank is focused on bollywood and would be seen in a film titled Laila Manju.

TV

Actor Muzamil Ibrahim is on cloud nine as his web series Special Ops has been received really well. The actor says that while the series must have got more eyeballs since people are at home, it is also well made which is why people are watching it. “The response has been great. This is the first time I’m a part of something which is such a big hit and it feels great.

Everyone who hasn’t called or messaged me from years has called and congratulated me on its success and how well my character was received. Yes, it is unfortunate that we are all at home and maybe because of the current circumstances, the series has got a lot of attention but if it wasn’t well made, no one would have seen it. There are other ones too but everyone appreciating ours more,” he says.

He adds, “I’m thankful that I stood out in whatever capacity possible. People have been very kind and I’m thankful for their strong reception of me and my character. I would love to explore the action genre more.”

Many people have commented that the actor should have got more screen time. Talking about this, he says, “Well, I just wanted to work with Neeraj Sir and Shivam Sir. Whatever they thought fit and most suitable for me, they did. I followed them blindly. I have no regrets and thank them for presenting me in such a strong manner that I stood out in the limited time I was on screen. I’m grateful to them.”

He has been getting a lot of compliments. “The best compliment I got was that a girl watched the 6th episode 50 times over because it had more of me. And that if the makers only showed me driving a car for 8hrs nonstop, everyone would still watch it!” he says.

The actor is on the lookout for more interesting work. “I’m in talks with films as well as other web series, whatever materialises and is worth doing, I’ll do. There are a few interesting things in the development but everything’s on hold for now because of the current situation,” he says.

TV

Actor-director Faruk Kabir who has made the web film 377 Ab Normal is making the most of this 21-day lockdown period. He has been making sure to keeping himself busy and maintaining a good lifestyle. “In this 21-day lockdown, I’ve made a 21-day list of 21 things I’d like to improve in myself and add value to the lives of my family members,” he says, adding, “Less is more, so I am eating less and sleeping on time.

Most importantly, I’ve always been fond of mornings, and for the longest time I have wanted to shift from an 8am wake up cycle to a 5 am wake up cycle, and now finally I am staying disciplined and bettering my overall routine.”

In fact, he is enjoying his time at home. “Well, the family is finally getting the time to have meals together, life’s blessing. I am currently reading “The 5 am Club” by Robin Sharma. I am also finishing a thousand-piece puzzle gifted to me by my sister. I am finishing a script and getting the bandwidth to pamper it; staying in touch with my team from time to time. We’ve set up some creative targets, we can now peacefully achieve,” he says.

He adds, “I am doing my bit in our society for hygiene. We are also cooking and sending food for building watchman. In the evening, 4.30 to 6pm is dedicated to fitness, mat work, functional training and a lot of stretching for both the body and the imagination. A few minutes of meditation, positive visualisation is how I finish my fitness routine.”

TV

Actor Saumya Tandon has been taking this self-quarantine very seriously. The actor says that she and her family members are staying put at home and have been taking all the precautions. “As there is a 21-day lockdown, so we are definitely not going out of the house until and unless there is an emergency. Secondly, there is a huge panic in people’s mind that there will be no basic amenities.

They feel there will be a lockdown and so we will not have food and we need to hoard a lot of stuff. I am not doing that. Apart from that, if I am opening doors or taking milk packets or even if I have to go to buy groceries, I wear gloves and a mask. Whenever I come inside my house, I throw the gloves, wash my hands properly and wash my clothes,” she says.

Talking about the diet and fitness measures that she is following at home, Saumya says, “We don’t really have a choice to go to the gym or for pilates or even on a walk, so what I do is Yoga. I get up early in the morning and do as much as I can. I am doing Yoga every day and am also trying to upload some videos if people want to take some ideas or get inspired. As far as diet is concerned, I am eating regular food.

I usually don’t eat sweets and maida, which I am maintaining and there is no option of eating anything from outside, though there are restaurants delivering food home. I do not recommend that anybody should order food from outside. Please cook at home, even if you are eating basic rice and pulses. Try to avoid outside food as much as you can.”

The actor urges others to take this lockdown seriously as well. “I think it is the need of the hour and this lockdown is important. Yes, it’s true that daily wage workers are going to suffer and it is going to be huge slow down in the economy but we don’t have a choice because we are the second-largest populated country in the world.

We don’t even have that kind of medical facilities that other developed countries have. We won’t even have enough hospital beds to be able to accommodate so many people if this spreads. So, we have to slow down the process of this spread so that our government is able to arrange for more beds, more ventilators and this will also give time to the scientists to come out with the vaccination,” she says.

Ask her how she spends her time at home, and Saumya says, “I am spending time with my family. We always keep cribbing that we don’t have time for each other, well, now we do. So, the first thing that we have is a lot of time to spend with our family, connect with each other, have conversations, as in our normal lives we don’t get to do that.

I am reading books, I am not watching a lot of films and television but I am indulging myself with board games like monopoly, carrom, chess etc. It is a bit frustrating that we can’t go out, but I am making the most of it.” Saumya got lot of appreciatino for the roel of Anita Bhabhi ni Benaifer and Sanjay Kohli’s Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai. The show is having re-runs and is keeping the audiences glued to TV.

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Actor Sanjay Gagnani is on cloud nine as his TikTok videos have crossed the one million views mark. The actor says that he is happy that people are loving him. “I have crossed the one million mark on TikTok. My show, Kundali Bhagya has added a lot to my popularity. I would like to thank all the people, all fans, viewers and audiences who have followed me on TikTok and Instagram after watching my work on Kundali Bhagya,” he says.

The actor is very active on social media and posts a lot about his life, career and his pets. “I feel my audiences, my viewers and my fans have all the right to know about what’s going on in my personal and professional life. It is not that I post 100% of what goes on in my personal and professional life, it is filtered to an extent.

An actor’s life cannot be like an open book. We all would want to carry a certain image in front of the public. I consider social media as a great platform where one has the freedom of expression, one can express the way they want to,” he says.

The actor says that as public figures, they have a duty to keep their fans informed. “Apart from posting about my personal and professional life, I do take social media as a great took to fulfil my responsibilities as a public figure. As an influencer, we are being heard, our actions are looked upon by a lot of people.

follow us. Actors are responsible for many things happening in society today. So, I do try my best to spread a lot of awareness by posting pictures and videos on social media. For example, during the winters, I have done a lot of posts on social media about various NGOs which are borrowing money from the public and helping the needy. Now, I post videos and photos to spread awareness on how to be safe and how to fight covid-19,” says Sanjay.

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In these tough and uncertain times, it is very important to take part in things that help relieve your stress. Watering plants is on such thing for these TV actors.

Aparna Dixit: I have always been someone who loves spending time in the house. Now, given the condition, everyone has to stay in the house, I am actually doing all the things I enjoy. I am spending peaceful evenings with 90’s music, sitting by my window, sipping a hot cup of coffee and taking care of my plants. My mornings start with watering my plants and doing some yoga.

Amrita Prakash : Nature serves us endlessly and unconditionally. While all of us appreciate nature, I think it’s important to make the time to serve nature, too. Like any other relationship, it must be nurtured with love.

Mohit Malhotra : I am home bound in Delhi with my mother. I like to take care of plants here. Green plants give positivity.

Arjun Bijlani : I love potted plants. Greenery is a must at home. My son Ayan and I love to water plants. The plants not only beautify the area but also give positive energy.

Sharad Malhotra : I have grown-up watching my mom water plants at home in Kolkata. I always loved watering plants. I have limited potted plants in my home in Mumbai but I enjoy taking care of them. Plants give oxygen and one must have plants at home. I get positive vibes from plants.

Rishina Kandhari : Plants purify the air. I always have had plants at home. My mother taught me the value of plants and I have taught the same to my daughter.