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Child actor Shivlekh Singh killed in road accident

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"Sasural Simar Ka" actor Shivlekh Singh was killed in a car crash here on Thursday, police said. He was 14.
 
Shivlekh and his parents were travelling from Bilaspur to Raipur when their car crashed into a truck on the outskirts of the Chhattisgarh capital. 
 
Police In-charge of Dharsiwa police station Narendra Banchhor told IANS: "The incident occurred around 2 p.m. on July 18. Shivlekh died on the spot while his parents and one more person named Naveen got injured and are being treated in a hospital." 
 
Shivlekh also acted in the TV show "Sankatmochan Hanuman".
 
IANS
 

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Restoration work of Markandeshwar temple in Maharashtra by ASI in full swing

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The restoration work of Markandeshwar temple in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is in full swing.
 
Known as the “Khajuraho of Vidarbha”, the temple of Markandadeo is situated on the bank of River Wainganga. The temples belong to the Nagara group of temples of North India. 
 
On stylistic grounds, their date ranges between 9-12th centuries CE. The temples belong to Saiva, Vaishnava and Sakta faith. Most of the temples have a simple plan, with Ardhamandapa, Mandapa, Antarala and Garbhagriha forming the components of the entire set-up.
 
The large-scale destruction caused on the main shrine (Garbhagriha) according to the very first recordings made by Alexander Cunningham states that about 200 years ago, the Shikhara of the main shrine and Mahamandapa was struck by lightning which led to the partial collapse of the Shikhara (the finial, north and south facade). 
 
The then Gond ruler renovated the temple about 120 years ago, trying to restore the fallen portions as much as possible. This restoration attempt was, however, not as per the modern conservation standards.  However, it helped in the preservation of the religious character of this temple, which attracts a large gathering of devotees.
 
The earliest photograph (1904) of these temples indicates that the main shikhara on the the northern facade was severely damaged as compared to the other two sides.
 
ASI initiated the large-scale conservation work of this temple from November 2017.  A detailed documentation process was initiated to carry out the condition mapping of the temple in order to carry out the conservation process, an official press release said.
 
The documentation process revealed that originally a three-leaf masonry construction with iron clamps had been used to tie the adjacent stones of outer and inner stone walls, also, the inner area between the two walls was filled with rubble masonry with lime. Around 1500 stone fragments were dismantled and later documented in the process.
 
A detailed documentation of the architectural components, the thickness of joints, their colour and the quarry was initiated, including analysis of the mortar used for binding. Prior to the conservation process, soil Investigation studies, foundation strengthening studies, studies of old as well as new stones, beam studies with full-scale testing, beam positioning, the capacity of the beam in flexural and compression etc. were also carried out, the release said.
 
The conservation process was then started by numbering each stone and components of the Garbhagriha. Detailed drawings/photographs of each part of the temple were prepared, showing the numbered stones. This documentation was carried out before the dismantling work, in order to restore all the original stone members in their original location maintaining authenticity.
 
The stone members from the temple was then dismantled in one of the most strenuous and painstaking process and they were thoroughly cleaned in order to remove dirt, dust, algae and mortar remains.
 
In order to achieve a high degree of accuracy, following the trial and error method, critical layers of inner masonry were arranged and placed on the ground for checking the exact position and then placed and fixed at their original location on the temple. 
 
The reconstruction of the temple was then carried out to its original height and form duly following the detailed drawings showing each numbered stone. The references from the older photographs were also taken to check respective North, South and West sides.
 
The old rusted iron clamps were replaced by new stainless-steel clamps which were fixed using adhesive (hardener + resin + stone dust).
 
During the conservation process, all the original stone members, beams were retained and used extensively. Wherever they were found broken, they were mended together.  The broken members beyond scope of mending and repairs were replaced with new ones.
 
As of now, the reconstruction process is in full swing and the ASI has completed the wall portion and the Sikhara portion has been taken up.
 
The quarry site for the stones used in the original temple construction was also identified along the banks of River Wainganga.   A team of skilled craftsmen has been involved in the process of chiselling, finishing the architectural members, planning to fix them in the original form and shape, the release added.
 
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Reality show contestant sings for 'The Lion King'

Sneha Shankar (Photo: IANS)
Sneha Shankar (Photo: IANS)
"Superstar Singer" contestant Sneha Shankar says she enjoyed the whole experience of lending her voice to the Hindi version of "The Lion King" and also singing with one of her favourite singers -- Armaan Malik.
 
"I have sung two beautiful songs for Disney's big project 'The Lion King'. 'Main banoon raja aaj hi (solo) and 'Hakuna matata' (duet) are the songs which I have sung for the movie's lead character, Simba," Sneha told IANS.
 
For her, it was a great experience working on these compositions. 
 
"The best part was that the visuals were also played while dubbing of the song was on. I enjoyed the whole experience and I also have a duet song with one of my favourite singers Armaan Malik. I am singing for Simba's younger version in the song. When he gets older, Armaan takes over. Glad to be a part of such a massive project," said the young singer.
 
Sneha is among the top 16 contestants of "Superstar Singer".
 
"It is a platform where I'll be able to grow and promote my talent. I am glad that I am now in top 16. There are so many other good singers out there and I'll be getting more chances in the future to show my singing skills and versatility," she said.
 
IANS

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Sahapedia bags PATA Grand Award 2019 for its India Heritage Walks Project

Participants of a heritage walk organised some time ago in Old Lucknow by Sahapedia.
Participants of a heritage walk organised some time ago in Old Lucknow by Sahapedia.
Sahapedia, an internet portal that provides open access to content related to the arts, culture and histories of the Indian sub-continent, has won the coveted Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Award 2019 for organising heritage walks across the country.
 
"The India Heritage Walks project aims to make culture tourism more holistic and inclusive," PATA said in an announcement. The Bangkok-based establishment works to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism.
 
Sahapedia is among just four organisations to win PATA’s Grand Award, and the only one to win in the ‘Heritage and Culture’ category.
 
The PATA Grand Awards are presented to outstanding entries in four principal categories: Marketing, Education and Training, Environment, and Heritage and Culture.
 
The awards will be presented on September 19 at Nur-Sultan (Astana) in Kazakhstan during the PATA Travel Mart 2019. This year’s awards attracted 197 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide.
 
Sahapedia has expressed great delight over this achievement. The heritage walks have been part of "our attempts to democratise access to local history and culture, giving people opportunities to discover the hidden gems linked to the cultural heritage of a place, town or city," said Vaibhav Chauhan, Secretary, Sahapedia and Director, India Heritage Walks. 
 
"It is good to be recognised for our efforts. We would like to extend our gratitude towards our partners and collaborators across the country who have supported us in working towards our vision,"  he added.
 
In 2018, Sahapedia had won the PATA Gold Award for its maiden edition of the India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF).
 
PATA, in its press release on Monday, noted that the purpose of Sahapedia’s heritage walks was to generate interest among travellers as well as the local population to discover India’s cities, its people and the stories of their colonies, ruins, mainstays and migrants.
 
"These efforts have also been directed towards groups for whom engagement programmes in heritage tourism are commonly unavailable, such as children, persons with disabilities and those from economically underprivileged backgrounds," it pointed out.
 
Sahapedia launched the India Heritage Walks project in November 2016, and has, so far, conducted experiences in over 60 cities across India, covering varied aspects of cultural and natural heritage. "Ranging from walks exploring markets, monuments and museums to natural landscapes and regional cuisine, India Heritage Walks are curated thematically, making it an ideal resource for travellers and heritage enthusiasts as well," the PATA release added.
 
Sahapedia’s India Heritage Walks project has been supported by the TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) Foundation and the Axis Bank Foundation.
 
Sahapedia provides open access to articles, videos, interviews and images on a wide range of matters related to the arts, culture and histories of the Indian sub-continent. The portal was launched in summer 2016.
 
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32 young artistes to receive Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars for 2018

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The Sangeet Natak Akademi has selected 32 artistes who have made a mark as young talents in their respective fields in performing arts, including one joint winner, for the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2018.
 
The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar is conferred upon artists below the age of 40 years with the objective of identifying and encouraging outstanding young talents in diverse fields of performing arts and giving them national recognition early in their life, so that they may work with greater commitment and dedication in their chosen fields.
 
In the field of music, the eight recipients of Yuva Puraskar are: Sameehan Kashalkar and Ruchira Kedar for Hindustani Vocal Music; Dhruv Bedi for Hindustani Instrumental Music–Sitar, Shubh Maharaj for Hindustani Instrumental - Tabla; Sandeep Narayan for Carnatic Vocal Music; J.B.Sruthi Sagar for Carnatic Instrumental Music–Flute; R.Sridhar for Carnatic Instrumental Music–Violin and M.D.Pallavi for Other Major Traditions of Music – Bhava Sangeet.
 
In the field of dance, the eight awardees are: Vijna Rani Vasudevan & Rajith Babu (Joint Award) for Bharatanatyam; Durgesh Gangani for Kathak; Kalamandalam Vaisakh for Kathakali; Manju Elangbam for Manipuri; Madhulita Mohapatra for Odissi; Anjali Borbora Borthakur for Sattriya; Rakesh Sai Babu for Chhau and Vikram Mohan for Contemporary Dance.
 
In the field of theatre, seven recipients are: Chavan Pramod R for Direction; Namrata Sharma for Acting; Sunil Palwal for Acting; Preeti Jha Tiwari for Acting; Kuldeep Patgiri for Mime; Subhadeep Guha for Allied Theatre Arts - Music for Theatre; Kalamandalam Sajith Vijayan for Other Major Traditions of Theatre – Kutiyattam.
 
In the field of Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre and Puppetry, eight recipients are: Chandan Tiwari, Folk Music-Bihar; Dinesh Kumar Jangde, Panthi Dance – Chattisgarh; Manoj Kumar Das, Traditional Music – Khol, Assam; Chandani Mansing Zala, Puppetry, Gujarat; A.Aneshori Devi, Traditional & Folk Music, Manipur; P.Rajkumar, Folk Dance, Tamilnadu; Madhushree Haital, Folk Music (Jhumar) – West Bengal; Ashok Kumar, Folk Music-Uttar Pradesh
 
Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar carries purse money of Rs 25,000. The Yuva Puraskar will be presented at a special ceremony by the Sangeet Natak Akademi Chairman. The Akademi, the apex body of performing arts, had decided the names of the award winners in the meeting of its General Council on June 26 at Guwahati.
 
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Zakir Hussain, Sonal Mansingh, Jatin Goswami and K Kalyanasundaram Pillai elected Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows

Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain
Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, Sattriya dance exponent and choreographer Jatin Goswami and dance guru K Kalyanasundaram Pillai have been honoured as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow (Akademi Ratna).
 
The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and rare honour, restricted to 40 numbers at any given time. With the election of these four fellows, all the 40 positions have been filled, an official press release said here today.
 
They were elected unanimously by the General Council of the Akademi at its meeting in Guwahati on June 26.   
 
The Council also selected 44 artistes from the field of Music, Dance, Theatre, Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre, Puppetry and Overall contribution/scholarship in the Performing Arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2018. They include three joint award winners.
 
The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards will be conferred by the President of India at a special investiture ceremony.
 
In the field of Music, 11 eminent artistes -- Mani Prasad - Hindustani Vocal, Madhup Mudgal - Hindustani Vocal, Tarun Bhattacharya - Hindustani Instrumental - Santoor,  Tejendra Narayan Majumdar - Hindustani Instrumental - Sarod, Alamelu Mani - Carnatic Vocal, Malladi Suribabu – Carnatic Vocal, S.Kasim & S.Babu (Joint Award) - Carnatic Instrumental – Nagaswaram, Ganesh & Kumaresh (Joint Award) - Carnatic Instrumental –Violin, Suresh Wadkar- Other Major Traditions of Music - Sugam Sangeet, Shanti Hiranand - Other Major Traditions of Music - Sugam Sangeet, H.Ashangbi Devi - Other Major Traditions of Music – Nata Sankirtana, Manipur -- have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018.
 
In the field of Dance, nine eminent artistes have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018. They are: Radha Sridhar for Bharatanatyam, Ishira & Maulik Shah (joint award) for Kathak, Akham Lakshmi Devi for Manipuri, Pasumurthy Ramalinga Sastry for Kuchipudi, Surupa Sen for Odissi, Tankeswar Hazarika Borbayan for Sattriya, Gopika Varma for Mohiniattam, Tapan Kumar Pattanayak for Chhau, Deepak Mazumdar for Contemporary Dance.
 
In the field of Theatre, nine eminent artistes have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018: Rajiv Naik for Playwriting, Laltluangliana Khiangte for Playwriting, Sanjay Upadhyay for Direction, S.Raghunandana for Direction, Suhas Joshi for Acting, Teekam Joshi for Acting, Swapan Nandy for Mime, Bhagawat A.S.Nanjappa – Other Major Traditions of Theatre – Yakshagana, A.M.Parameswaran Kuttan Chakkiyar – Other Major Traditions of Theatre – Kutiyattam.
 
In the field of Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre and Puppetry,  ten artistes have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018. They are: Malini Awasthi, Folk Music, Uttar Pradesh, Gazi Khan Barna, Folk Music – Khartal, Rajasthan, Narender Singh Negi, Folk Song, Uttrakhand, Mohd. Sadiq Bhagat, Folk Theatre (Bhand Pather), J&K, Kota Sachidanand Shastry, Harikatha, Andhra Pradesh, Arjun Singh Dhruve, Folk Dance, Madhya Pradesh, Somnath Battu Folk Music, Himachal Pradesh, Anupama Hoskere, Puppetry (String), Karnataka, Hem Chandra Goswami, Mask Making, Assam.
 
Diwan Singh Bajeli and Puru Dadhich have been selected for the Akademi Award 2018 in the field of Overall Contribution/Scholarship in the Performing Arts.
 
The Akademi Awards have been conferred since 1952. These honours not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution. The honour of Akademi Fellow carries purse money of Rs. 3,00,000 and Akademi Award carries Rs 1,00,000 besides a Tamrapatra and Angavastram.
 
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Arbaaz to make Malayalam debut in Mohanlal film

Arbaaz Khan (File photo: IANS)
Arbaaz Khan (File photo: IANS)
Arbaaz Khan is now looking at Malayalam cinema for interesting roles. The actor is all set to make his Malayalam debut with "Big Brother", alongside the iconic Mohanlal. He will start shooting for the film at the end of July.
 
"I am very excited about my Malayalam debut with Mohanlal sir. The film is directed by Siddique sir. I feel it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I am so excited about it," he said.
 
"I am going to start shooting the film at the end of this month. I feel good things are happening with me so, I am enjoying this phase of my life," he said, interacting with the press on the sets of the upcoming film, "Sridevi Bungalow". 
 
Talking about his role in "Sridevi Bungalow", Arbaaz said: "I play myself in the film because the director and producer wanted an actor to play himself in the script. So, it's a guest appearance but an interesting one," he revealed.
 
"Big Brother" might release in October. Siddique has in the past directed Arbaaz's brother Salman Khan in "Bodyguard".
 
IANS
 

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Katrina scorches in swimwear on Mexico beach

Actress Katrina Kaif during a vacation in Mexico. (Photo: IANS)
Actress Katrina Kaif during a vacation in Mexico. (Photo: IANS)
Katrina Kaif is currently on a vacation in Mexico, and a snapshot that the actress has posted in blue swimwear went viral online through most of Saturday, soon after she posted it with heart emojis on Instagram.
 
Fans on social media couldn't get enough of Katrina's scorching avatar from the beaches of Tulum in Mexico, and by afternoon, the pic had garnered over 11 lakh likes. 
 
The "Bharat" star is on a holiday to celebrate her upcoming birthday on July 16, and she has been regularly updating her 24.6 million fans on Instagram with short videos and photos from her vacation. 
 
"Slaying mermaid... love you so much queen!" wrote a fan.
 
"I'm in love with the shape of you", wrote another, borrowing a line from Ed Sheeran's blockbuster song. 
 
Meanwhile, actor Arjun Kapoor had a quick quip for Katrina's picture, which sees her leaning on a wooden pillar. "Watch where you going girl! Hope you didn't walk into the pillar while posing," wrote Arjun.
 
"I'll be careful," Katrina replied sportingly.
 
IANS
 

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A R Rahman returns with Vikram's next

A R Rahman  (File photo: IANS)
A R Rahman (File photo: IANS)
Music maestro A R Rahman returns as a composer with Tamil superstar Vikram's next film, currently known by its working title as "Vikram 58".
 
The makers released a special poster on Saturday welcoming Rahman on board for the project, to be directed by Ajay Gnanamuthu. Vikram is collaborating with Ajay for the first time with this film.
 
The project is slated to go on the floors in August and the makers plan to release it in April 2020.
 
The film aims to capture a pan-Indian market, catering to not just Vikram's huge Tamil fan base, but also to the Hindi and Telugu audience. Produced on a massive scale in association with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, the project will include several big-ticket names in its cast and crew.
 
A first-look poster was unveiled in May, and while most details about the project are being kept under wraps, the buzz is that Vikram plays a photographer in the film.
 
The actor currently awaits the release of the Tamil action thriller "Kadaram Kondan" and he also has a project with Mani Ratnam lined up.
 
In a recent media interaction, Vikram confirmed signing Ratnam's next, a film adaptation of the Tamil epic novel, "Ponniyin Selvan".
 
IANS
 

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Films Division to have fortnightly public screenings of acclaimed documentary films

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Film-lovers now have an opportunity to watch acclaimed documentary films at public screenings, as well as interact with the director/curator of the films with the launch of Kshitij, a documentary film club by the Films Division, in association with Indian Documentary Producer’s Association (IDPA).
 
The public screenings will be organized on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm at Films Division Complex, followed by a short interaction of the audience with the director/curator of the film.
 
Films Division, established in 1948, has been relentlessly striving to maintain a record of the social, political and cultural imaginations and realities of the country on film. For more than seven decades, it has been actively working in encouraging and promoting a culture of film-making in India that respects the individual vision and social commitment. It holds more than 8000 titles including priceless INRs (Indian News Review), documentaries, short films and animation films.
 
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Cinematographer M J Radhakrishnan passes away

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Seven-time Kerala State Film Award winning cinematographer M. J. Radhakrishnan passed away here on Friday evening, industry sources said.
 
The 60-year-old cameraman suffered a cardiac arrest at his home here and passed away while on his way to the hospital.
 
He had helmed films like 'Deshadanam', 'Karunam' and 'Naalu Pennungal' to name a few.
 
He began his film career as an assistant to ace filmmaker and cinematographer Shaji N. Karun. Over a quarter of a century, he helmed 75 films, besides numerous documentaries and also worked for internationally acclaimed filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan.
 
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death of Radhakrishnan and said that the industry had lost a stalwart.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Shah Rukh Khan shares glimpse of 'his' Simba

File photo of Shahrukh Khan
File photo of Shahrukh Khan
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday shared a video presenting his son Aryan Khan as Simba from the film "The Lion King".
 
Shah Rukh tweeted the promotional video of the Hindi version of Disney's live-action film, where Aryan is heard introducing himself as Simba, son of Mufasa. 
 
"Mera Simba," Shah Rukh, who will be voicing Mufasa, captioned the image. 
 
The 53-year-old star's close friend and filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted that he got excited hearing Aaryan's voice.
 
"Pardon my excitement! But Aryan is the firstborn in our family! And even just hearing his voice has made me so so excited! And without a bias he sounds amazing," Karan tweeted.
 
"The Lion King" follows the adventures of Simba, who is to succeed his father Mufasa, as King of the Pride Lands, and narrates a tale of how he rises to the occasion despite several attempts to bring him down by his villainous uncle Scar.
 
"The Jungle Book" fame director Jon Favreau has re-imagined the world of Disney's classic to bring alive the new live-action version. He has stayed true to the classic story of Simba and used pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters alive on the big screen in a new way.
 
The film will release in India on July 19 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
 
IANS

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'Dangal' girl Zaira quits Bollywood over 'damaged peace, imaan'

Zaira Wasim (File photo: IANS)
Zaira Wasim (File photo: IANS)
Zaira Wasim, the Kashmiri girl who became famous overnight after her superb debut in Aamir Khan's Bollywood blockbuster "Dangal" on Sunday said she has decided to say goodbye to her film career as "relationship with my religion threatened".
 
In a detailed post on her Facebook page the 18-year-old cited religious reasons for her decision to quit her promising career in Bollywood.
 
"Five years ago I made a decision that changed my life forever. As I stepped my foot in Bollywood, it opened doors of massive popularity for me. 
 
"I started to become the prime candidate of public attention, I was projected as the gospel of the idea of success and was often identified as a role model for the youth.
 
"However, that's never something that I set out to do or become, especially with regards to my ideas of success and failure, which I had just started to explore and understand.
 
"As I complete 5 years today, I want to confess that I am not truly happy with this identity, that is, my line of work. 
 
"For a very long time now it has felt like I have struggled to become someone else. 
 
"As I had just started to explore and make sense of the things to which I dedicated my time, efforts and emotions and tried to grab hold of a new lifestyle -- it was only for me to realise that though I may fit here perfectly, I do not belong here.
 
"This field indeed brought a lot of love, support, and applause my way, but what it also did was to lead me to a path of ignorance, as I silently and unconsciously transitioned out of 'Imaan' (a Muslim's steadfast path in Allah's devotion). 
 
"While I continued to work in an environment that consistently interfered with my Imaan, my relationship with my religion was threatened.
 
"As I continued to ignorantly pass through while I kept trying to convince myself that what I was doing is okay and isn't really affecting me, I lost all the 'barakat' (fulfilment bestowed upon a devout Muslim by Allah) from my life. 
 
"Barakat is word whose meaning isn't just confined to happiness, quantity or blessing, it also focuses on the idea of stability, which is something I struggled with extensively.
 
"I was constantly battling with my soul to reconcile my thoughts and instincts to fix a static picture of my Imaan and I failed miserably, not just once, but a hundred times. No matter how hard I tried to wrestle to firm my decision, I ended up being the same person with a motive that one day I will change and I will change soon."
 
"I kept procrastinating by tricking and deluding my conscience into the idea that I know what I am doing doesn't feel right but assumed that I will put an end to this whenever the time feels right and I continued to put myself in a vulnerable position where it was always so easy to succumb to the environment that damaged my peace, imaan and my relationship with Allah," said the actress who also starred in "Secret Superstar".
 
"I continued to observe things and twist my perceptions as I wanted them to be, without really understanding that the key is to see them as they are. I kept trying to escape but somehow I always ended up hitting a dead end, in an endless loop with a missing element that kept torturing me with a longing I was neither able to make sense of nor satisfy.
 
"Until I decided to confront my weakness and began to strive and correct my lack of knowledge and understanding by attaching my heart with the words of Allah. In the great and divine wisdom of the Quran, I found sufficiency and peace.
 
"Indeed the hearts find peace when it acquires the knowledge of its Creator, His Attributes, His Mercy and His commandments.
 
"I began to heavily rely upon Allah's mercy for my help and guidance instead of valuing my own believability. I discovered my lack of knowledge of the basic fundamentals of my religion and how my inability to reinforce a change earlier was a result of confusing my heart's contentment and well being with strengthening and satisfying my own (shallow and worldly) desires." 
 
IANS
 

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Popular Telugu actor-filmmaker Vijaya Nirmala passes away

Vijaya Nirmala (File photo: IANS)
Vijaya Nirmala (File photo: IANS)
Veteran Telugu actor-filmmaker G. Vijaya Nirmala died on Thursday, her son Naresh announced. She was 75.
 
Naresh, who is also a popular Telugu actor, took to Twitter to announce the death of his mother.
 
"I regret to inform you that my mother, senior artiste, prominent producer and director Dr. A G Vijaya Nirmala passed away during early hours today, that is, 27.6.2019, at Continental Hospitals, Hyderabad, due to sickness. She was 75," Naresh tweeted.
 
"Her body will be kept at our residence from 11 a.m. Final rites will be held tomorrow (Friday)."
 
Vijaya Nirmala started her career as a child actor. At the age of five, she made her acting debut in the 1950 Tamil film "Machcha Rekkai" and four years later she forayed into Telugu cinema with the film "Panduranga Mahatyam".
 
It was through the 1964 Malayalam film "Bhargavi Nilayam" that she rose to stardom and got noticed. She went on to work with Prem Nazir again in "Udhyogastha".
 
As a leading lady, she made her Telugu debut with "Rangula Ratnam" alongside Vanisri and Anjali Devi. In 1967, she starred in Telugu film "Sakshi" and it was on the sets of this film that she met actor Krishna with whom she worked in 47 films and eventually ended up marrying him. It was her second marriage.
 
Vijay Nirmala, who has directed 44 films, was a visionary filmmaker. She made her directorial debut via 1971 Telugu film "Meena", which was based on the eponymous popular novel written by Eddanapudi Sulochana Rani. Two year later, she directed her first Malayalam film "Kavitha".
 
As a filmmaker, she had the privilege of directing major stars like Sivaji Ganesan and Rajinikanth. She directed the latter in the Telugu remake of "Amar Akbar Anthony", which also starred her husband Krishna.
 
Her other popular directorial projects include "Rowdy Rangamma", "Sirimalle Navvindi", "Bezawada Bebbuli" and "Collector Vijaya", among others.
 
She holds a Guinness Record for the most number of films directed by a female filmmaker. In 2008, the Andhra Pradesh government conferred her with Raghupathi Venkaiah award for her contribution to Telugu cinema.
 
Members of Telugu film fraternity took to Twitter to condole her passing away. Actor Jr. NTR wrote she was a "pioneering filmmaker whose life is an inspiration for many".
 
Actor Nithiin said her demise was a "huge loss" to the Telugu film industry. Actor Sudheer Babu described Vijaya Nirmala as a "mother-like personality".
 
IANS

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Rupsa Batabyal, 6, wins 'Super Dancer - Chapter 3'

Rupsa Batabyal and Nishant Bhatt
Rupsa Batabyal and Nishant Bhatt
Kolkata's Rupsa Batabyal, a six-year-old who wowed the audience with her moves and expressions, has won "Super Dancer - Chapter 3".
 
Rupsa charmed her way into the audiences' hearts with superlative performances week after week, and won the maximum votes in the finale episode of the contest, aired on Sony Entertainment Television on Sunday night.
 
"It feels really nice and I am very happy to have won the trophy of 'Super Dancer Chapter - 3'. I will continue dancing because I love it. I look forward to going home to Kolkata, and celebrating with my entire family," she said in a statement.
 
The young girl and her 'Super Guru' Nishant Bhatt were awarded a trophy and a cheque of Rs 15 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively from the channel.
 
Close on Rupsa's heels was contestant Tejas Verma from Mumbai who was declared the runner-up.
 
Each finalist was awarded with a certificate of appreciation along with a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each, and the Top 5 finalists, including Gourav Sarwan, Saksham Sharma and Jayshree Gogoi, were awarded a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each from Lotus Herbals.
 
The grand finale saw the contestants and their gurus perform for one last time on the platform.
 
Judges Anurag Basu, Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Geeta Kapoor along with the hosts Rithvik Dhanjani and Paritosh Tripathi also reminisced the show's journey.
 
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Attack on web series crew: 3 accused nabbed, remanded to custody

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A city court on Thursday remanded to police custody till June 24 three prime accused who were arrested for attacking the cast and crew of a web series being shot at an outdoor locale in Thane while Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a probe into the incident, police said.
 
The accused Krishna Sonar, Sonu Das, and Suraj Sharma were nabbed from different parts of Thane district early on Thursday.
 
"We have charged them under Indian Penal Code sections 326, 143, 180 and others," Senior Police Inspector of Kasarvadawali Police Station Kishore Khairnar told IANS.
 
The trio was produced before the court this afternoon, and efforts are on to trace the other suspects involved in the incident which happened on the sets of the web series titled 'Fixer', he added.
 
Later this afternoon, a delegation of the series makers met Chief Minister Fadnavis in  Mumbai to apprise him of the brutal attacks and sought protection.
 
After listening to them, Fadnavis ordered Thane Police Commissioner and Konkan Range IGP to get the incident probed.
 
"Strict action will be taken if any police official is found responsible for delay in investigation or performing duty," Fadnavis warned.
 
Producer Sakett Saawhney thanked Fadnavis on social media for the action against the perpetrators.
 
At least four drunken miscreants allegedly barged onto the sets of 'Fixer' produced by ALTBalaji located in a factory premises on the picturesque Ghodbunder Road on Wednesday afternoon, creating a ruckus and vandalising the sets with sticks and rods.
 
In the attack, at least 10 members of the cast and crew of were injured, including the director of photography Santosh Tandyal, but lead actress Mahie Gill escaped unhurt as she ran and hid in her vehicle parked outside the venue.
 
The director Soham Shah also was hurt, while Tandyal later received half a dozen stitches for his injuries, according to filmmaker-actor Tigmanshu Dhulia who is also a part of the show.
 
Associate Producer Rajveer Ahuja said that the goons also damaged valuable shooting equipment, vanity vans, and lights before fleeing.
 
IANS
 

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Kerala actor charged with abusing woman gets bail

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Award-winning Malayalam actor Vinayakan, who was accused by a woman of abusing her in a phone conversation, was on Thursday granted bail.
 
The Kalpetta police station in Wayanad had registered a case against the actor on June 15 after activist Mridula complained that Vinayak had abused her when she called him up to request his presence at an event.
 
Even though the woman hails from Kottayam, the incident occurred while she was in Kalpetta and hence the complaint was registered here.
 
Accompanied by his legal counsel, Vinayakan turned up on Thursday morning at the Kalpetta police station to surrender. Police formally arrested him and then released him on bail, as the offence was of a category where the police station could grant bail.
 
The actor's phone was confiscated and will be sent for forensic tests.
 
Vinayakan denied saying anything bad to the complainant.
 
Known for his offbeat roles and his mannerisms, which have made him popular among cine-goers, Vinayakan was presented the best actor award by the Kerala government for his role in "Kammattipaadam" (2016).
 
IANS
 

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DD Free Dish to offer Bangladesh, South Korea channels

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The Government has decided to show BTV World, a channel owned by Bangladesh TV, on the Doordarshan (DD) Free Dish which will be available for the viewers of the national broadcaster.
 
At the same time, DD India would be made available in Bangladesh for being viewed by the people in that country, an official press release said.
 
This arrangement is the result of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh TV (BTV) on May 7. 
 
BTV World would be of special interest to the viewers of Eastern India, the release said.
 
"The decision marks an important watershed in the strengthening of ties between the two countries and follows with an earlier decision taken by the two Governments to co-produce a film on Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which will be directed by the eminent film director and producer Shyam Benegal," it said.
 
The Government has also approved the proposal of Prasar Bharati for making available KBS World, an English 24x7 channel of the Government of South Korea on the DD Free Dish.
 
Simultaneously, people of Korea would be able to view DD India in their country, the release added.
 
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Priyanka Chopra's wax figure unveiled in London

Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas' wax statue, which was launched at Madame Tussauds London on June 18, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/@MadameTussauds)
Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas' wax statue, which was launched at Madame Tussauds London on June 18, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/@MadameTussauds)
Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas's wax statue, clad in a low-cut dazzling golden dress, was launched here on Tuesday.
 
"Welcome to London, Priyanka Chopra," read a post from the official Twitter handle of Madame Tussauds London.
 
The actress had been working closely with the Madame Tussauds team on the four-figure project -- in New York, London, Sydney and Asia -- since 2018, beginning with a private sitting at Priyanka's New York City apartment.
 
Apart from being a screen star, Priyanka is a passionate advocate of women's issues and equality and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. 
 
Of her initiation to Madame Tussauds London, Priyanka said in a statement: "I love London, it has such an energy and spirit to it. Working with Madame Tussauds London's team has been so much fun. It's incredible to think that my fans can now meet my figure in one of my favourite cities in the world."
 
Priyanka's figure has been placed at the Baker Street attraction's Party area. Styled to match the actress' appearance at the 2017 Golden Globes, Priyanka's figure flaunts an exquisite gold sequin gown by Ralph Lauren. The only update to the look is the addition of replica diamond wedding and engagement rings in a nod to her newlywed status.
 
IANS
 

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Suman Rao crowned Miss India 2019

Suman Rao (C) from Rajasthan has won the Femina Miss India World 2019, Shivani Jadhav (L) from Chhattisgarh clinched Femina Miss Grand India 2019 title and Shreya Shanker (R) from Bihar won Miss India United Continents 2019 title during the grand finale of the beauty pageant at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Mumbai on June 16, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/@feminamissindia)
Suman Rao (C) from Rajasthan has won the Femina Miss India World 2019, Shivani Jadhav (L) from Chhattisgarh clinched Femina Miss Grand India 2019 title and Shreya Shanker (R) from Bihar won Miss India United Continents 2019 title during the grand finale of the beauty pageant at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium in Mumbai on June 16, 2019. (Photo: Twitter/@feminamissindia)
Suman Rao from Rajasthan has won the Femina Miss India World 2019 beauty pageant during a star-studded ceremony at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium here.
 
Shivani Jadhav from Chhattisgarh clinched Femina Miss Grand India 2019 title and Shreya Shanker from Bihar won Miss India United Continents 2019 title during the grand finale of the beauty pageant on Saturday.
 
20-year-old Suman, a college student, will represent India at Miss World 2019 in Thailand.
 
"When you get yourself determined towards a particular goal in life, every single nerve and fibre of your body starts working into that direction for a victorious journey," she said in an interview.
 
The prestigious event was adjudged by Bollywood choreographer Remo D'Souza alongside actress Huma Qureshi, Chitrangada Singh, fashion designer Falguni Shane Peacock and Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri, among others.
 
During the event, film stars like Katrina Kaif, Vicky Kaushal and Mouni Roy enthralled the audience with their dance performances.
 
The event was hosted by the Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Manish Paul.
 
IANS
 

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Sahitya Akademi announces Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Puraskar 2019

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The Sahitya Akademi has selected 22 writers for the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2019 and 23 writers for Yuva Puraskar 2019.
 
The Executive Board of the Akademi that met in Agartala on Friday, under the chairmanship of its president Chandrashekhar Kambar approved the selection of awardees. 
 
Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel congratulated the award winners.
 
The awardees have been selected on the basis of recommendations made by the jury comprising three members each in the concerned language, in accordance with the rules and procedure laid down for the purpose. 
 
The executive board declared the awards on the basis of a unanimous/majority vote by the jury.  The award in Maithili will be declared on a later date, an official press release said.
 
For the Bal Sahitya Puraskar, the Awards relate to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of award (between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017). However, during the initial ten years, from 2010 to 2019, the award may also be given to an author based on his/her total contribution to children’s literature.
 
Meanwhile, eleven books of poetry, six of the short story, five of the novel and one of literary criticism have won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2019. The award relates to books published by an author of age 35 and below as on January 1 of the year of the award.
 
The award, in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000, will be presented to the awardees at a special function to be held at a later date.
 
The following are the awardees:
 
SAHITYA AKADEMI YUVA PURASKAR 2019
 
Assamese: Ei Pine Ki Ase? (Short Story), Sanjib Pol Deka
Bengali: Kuntal Fire Ase (Novel), Moumita 
Bodo: Sansri Arw Mwndangthini Mwkhang (Poetry), Rujab Muchahary
Dogri: Sees (Short Story), Sunil Kumar
English: Diwali in Muzaffarnagar (Short Story), Tanuj Solanki
Gujarati: Retino Manas (Short Story), Ajay Soni
Hindi: Baagh Aur Sugna Munda Ki Beti (Poetry), Anuj Lugun
Kannada: Beru (Novel) Fakeer (Shridhar Banvasi G.C.)
Kashmiri: Thaer Angnech (Poetry), Sagar Nazir
Konkani: Kathaakar (Short Story), Hemant Aiya
Malayalam: Amma Urangunnilla (Poetry), Anuja Akathoottu
Manipuri: Canvasta Tarakpa Pirangna Poetry), Jiten Oinamba
Marathi: Shahar Atmahatya Karaycha Mhantay (Poetry). Sushil Kumar Shinde
Nepali: Charkiyeko Bhui (Poetry), Karna Biraha
Odia: Bimugdha Uccharana (Literary Criticism), Sisira Behera
Punjabi: Waqt Beeteya Nahi (Novel),  Yadwinder Singh Sandhu
Rajasthani: Saglaan Ro Seer (Short Story), Keerti Parihar
Sanskrit: Vagvilasini(Poetry) Yuvraj Bhattarai
Santali: Jarpi Disomrin Manmi (Poetry), Guhiram Kisku
Sindhi: Anmol Rishta (Poetry), Kiran Paryani ‘Anmol’
Tamil: Vaal (Tail) (Poetry), Sabarinathan
Telugu: Kongavalu Kathi (Novel), Gaddam Mohan Rao
Urdu: LaC Ke Lahoo (Novel), Salman Abdus Samad
Award in Maithili to be declared on a later date
 
BAL SAHITYA PURASKAR 2019
 
Assamese: Mili, Amia Aru Ekhon Nadi (Stories), Swmim Nasrin
Bengali: Total Contribution, Nabanita Debsen
Bodo: Solobatha Khwnasong De (Folk Tales), Lakhminath Brahma
Dogri: Larjaan (Poetry), Vijay Sharma
English: India Through Archaeology: Excavating History (History), Devika Cariapa
Gujarati: Total Contribution, Kumarpal Desai
Hindi: Kachu Ki Topi (Stories), Govind Sharma
Kannada: Kadu Kanasina Beedige (Novel), Chandrakanth Karadalli
Kashmiri: Shurin Hund Naji (Poetry), Naji Munauwar
Konkani: Chitkulya Chinkichye Vishaal Vishwa (Stories), Rajashree Bandodkar Karapurkar
Malayalam: Total Contribution, Malayath Appunni
Manipuri: Thawaishinggi Thawai (Play),  R.K. Sanahanbi Chanu
Marathi: Jangal Khajinyacha Shodh (Novel), Salim Sardar Mulla
Nepali: Chara Ko Chirbir Bhura ko Kirkir (Poetry), Bhabilal Lamichhane
Odia: Total Contribution, Birendra Kumar Samantray
Punjabi: Aliens Di Dharti Te (Novel), Pawan Harchandpuri
Sanskrit: Chitva Trinam Trinam (Poetry), Sanjay Chaubey
Santali: Jharumjhag (Poetry), Lakshman Chandra Saren
Sindhi: Total Contribution, Veena Shringi
Tamil: Total Contribution, Devi Nachiappan (Deivanai)
Telugu: Thatha Maata Varaala Moota (Short Stories), Belagam Bheemeswara Rao
Urdu: Science ke Dilchasp Mazameen (Stories), Mohammad Khalil
 
The award in Maithili will be declared on a later date. 
 
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Kerala honours veteran film star Sheela with J C Daniel Award

Sheela
Sheela
Veteran actress Sheela, 76, has been honoured with the prestigious J. C. Daniel Award in recognition of her contribution to the Malayalam film industry.
 
This award is the Kerala government's top film award for a film veteran.
 
The award, which includes a cash prize of Rs 500,000 and a citation, was announced, here on Tuesday, by State Minister for Culture and Cinema A. K. Balan. It will be presented next month. 
 
Sheela, still active in the industry, along with late actor Prem Nazir holds a world record for acting in the largest number of films -- 110 -- together as heroine and hero in the 1960s and 1970s.
 
Even though she began her career in the Tamil film "Paasam" opposite M. G. Ramachandran, Sheela reigned supreme in the Malayalam industry in the sixties and seventies alongside giants such as Sathyan, Nazir, Madhu and Jayan. 
 
In the latter part of her career, she shared screen space with present-day superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
 
After almost a two-decade break, Sheela returned to the screen in 2003 with Malayalam film "Manassinakkare". In 2005, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film "Akale".
 
In a career spanning more than five decades, she has acted in close to 500 films in South Indian languages besides trying her hand at direction.
 
IANS

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Yamaha Music launches Made in India PSR I500 keyboard with Indian instrumental tunes

Yamaha Music India Managing Director Takashi Haga with the company's first Made in India PSR 1500 keyboard with Indian instrumental tunes.
Yamaha Music India Managing Director Takashi Haga with the company's first Made in India PSR 1500 keyboard with Indian instrumental tunes.
Yamaha Music India has launched its first Made in India PSR I500 keyboard for global music lovers who want to learn and perform.
 
"The instrument consists of a vast collection of onboard Indian instruments tunes and auto accompaniment style functions which covers a broad spectrum of Indian music genres from every corner of the country," a press release from the company said.
 
The PSR I500 consists of 801 instrument tunes, of which 40 are of Indian instruments. The keyboard also has a variety of instruments from Pianos to Synthesizers, making it possible to play songs from a variety of genres which ranges from orchestra classics to electronic dance music, it said.
 
"The instrument is the ideal portable keyboard for music lovers. Functions like Quick Sampling are designed to assist you to perform in a variety of situations. In addition, the PSR I500 features a number of lesson functions including a built-in Tabla / Mridangam and Tanpura function called Riyaz, to help learn how to play songs or traditional Indian Raga scales," the release said.
 
Takashi Haga, Managing Director, Yamaha Music India said the keyboard had been built at the company's manufacturing unit in Chennai. He said it was the most versatile and customized portable keyboard for Indian and global music lovers till date.
 
"India is a land of diversity and the new keyboard will address the requirement of all its discerning customers. Yamaha Music India will not only produce its equipment for the Indian market but make India its major export hub. World over the music Industry is on a growth trajectory with increasing demand everywhere, we see a growing trend in schools and other education institutes, stressing on the importance of learning music. We are confident their products like these which are unique, efficient and customized, will cater to the needs of several hundred music teachers, students, hobbyist and professionals," he added.
 
Established in March 2008, Yamaha Music India Pvt. Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation and is headquartered at Gurgaon near here in Haryana. It has a manufacturing plant in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu.
 
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Tanuja undergoes surgery, to be in hospital for a week

Tanuja (File photo: IANS)
Tanuja (File photo: IANS)
Veteran Bollywood actress Tanuja, who was diagnosed with diverticulitis, has undergone surgery.
 
An official at the Lilavati Hospital here told IANS that Tanuja was doing fine post surgery. The official added that the actress was expected to be in hospital for a week. 
 
Diverticulitis is inflammation or infection of small pouches called diverticula that develop along the walls of the intestines. 
 
The 75-year-old actress was admitted in Lilavati Hospital on Tuesday "with some pain in abdomen".
 
Tanuja's daughter and actress Kajol, whose father-in-law and action director Veeru Devgan died two days ago, was photographed while visiting her mother. 
 
Tanuja's recent prominent appearances have been in projects like "Pitruroon", "A Death in the Gunj", "Aarambh" and "Sonar Pahar".
 
She is known for films like "Memdidi", "Chand Aur Suraj", "Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi", "Jewel Thief", "Nai Roshni", "Jeene Ki Raah", "Haathi Mere Saathi", "Anubhav", "Mere Jeevan Saathi" and "Do Chor."
 
IANS

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Suited, booted: '83' cast leaves for London

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Dressed nattily -- in black and white suits, and sporting blue ties, the cast of Bollywood film "83" has left for the London round of its shooting schedule.
 
The movie will trace India's historic victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Ranveer Singh, who leads the cast of the Kabir Khan directorial playing the role of former Indian skipper Kapil Dev, chose to call the squad "Kapil's Devils".
 
The rest of the cast, includes Saqib Saleem, Adinath Kothare, Chirag Patil, Harddy Sandhu, Ammy Virk, Jatin Sarna, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Dinker Sharma, Jiiva, Sahil Khattar, Dhairya Karwa, Nishant Dahhiya and R Badree.
 
"About to embark on a remarkable cinematic journey. Proud, blessed," tweeted Ranveer Singh on Tuesday.
 
"Let the games begin," tweeted Salim, who will play Mohinder Amarnath on the screen.
 
The young actor also shared a video of his moustached look, and wrote: "Jimmy is ready, Jimmy is about to embark on this beautiful journey... I am super excited to be a part of this film. Boys, this is going to be itihasik (historical)."
 
'83' is being presented by Reliance Entertainment, and will release on April 10, 2020 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
 
IANS
 

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