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Poonam, who began her accidental career with Yash Raj Films’ “Trishul” 40 years ago and went on to feature in 80 to 90 movies, has been having an intermittent brush with showbiz over the past few years.
Now, she will be seen in Sony Entertainment Television’s new show “Dil Hi Toh Hai” and in a film helmed by Luv Ranjan — in both of which she plays a mother, but with different traits.
How does it feel to be back?
“Back? Where did I go,” asked the evergreen actress, breaking into a laughter.
“I’ve been very much around, enjoying doing things at my own pace rather than just working, working and working,” asserted Poonam, whose last Hindi film was “Ramaiya Vastavaiya” five years ago, but she did a Punjabi movie and a play in between.
She feels delighted to see the transition that the Hindi film heroine has undergone.
“People have started accepting that today a female plays an equally important role in a film. At one time, especially during the era of action heroes, women took a bit of a secondary role because heroes were doing most of the action. But look at ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’. It saw Katrina Kaif doing as much action as Salman Khan perhaps.
“Women are given their due, and I think female-centric roles are also well-written. But it doesn’t matter who is in the centre — a male or female. As long as it is an entertaining, gripping film, people just enjoy it. Even if it is a cartoon character in it, they still enjoy it. It’s all about good entertainment,” Poonam said.
She has no complaints as far as her career is concerned, but doesn’t dismiss the fact that after a certain age, there aren’t enough roles for older women and men too.
” ‘102 Not Out’ (featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor) was an exception. The age barrier still has to be broken in our Hindi films. Internationally, that’s not a barrier. You see a Jane Fonda doing a romantic scene even at 80 or a Meryl Streep in the central role. Various older actors are doing substantial and meaty roles.
“But we (in India) have to accept that a woman 50-plus still has romance in her life. It’s a reality of life that women have romance, traumas, dramas in their life. Very soon we are going to get there,” added Poonam, who is content with how her journey in the “unplanned and unpredictable career” has shaped up.
“This (acting) was not something I wanted to do or thought about doing. Once it happened, I started learning on the job because I was not a trained actor.
“I came in a bit unprepared and raw; so perhaps that’s what people thought was charming about me because I was naive, fresh and I wasn’t a typical wannabe actress… I wasn’t overtly ambitious, or tried to get films by hook or crook. I always did things at my own pace,” said Poonam, who always enjoyed reading, spending time with her family and studying.
Academics have been intrinsic to the life of the mother of two.
“Three years after joining films, I continued doing my graduation. Then I wanted to do my masters, and recently I got a doctorate through two universities which has been very exciting. I wanted to do my doctorate.
“I got honorary doctorates which made me feel very fulfilled. These are the few things that make you good about what you have achieved, because nobody gives you one if you have not achieved anything in your life.” (IANS)
It's been over two years since Hrithik Roshan appeared on celluloid. Fans have been waiting to witness his next performance on the silver screen and it seems like their wishes will be soon granted. Earlier, Hrithik had made an announcement about getting back to shooting schedule for the upcoming film 'Vikram Vedha'. And now, it's learnt that the actor has recently wrapped the first ever action sequence from the film.
The news came out when a few stuntmen from the film's set shared pictures of the sequence wrap. The stunt sequences seem to be quite crazy as suggested by the stuntmen. Talking about the same, a stuntman posted on his instagram as he wrote, "Wrapped up the first action sequence of Vikram Vedha. A big 'Thank you' to @parvez.shaikhh sir for this opportunity. Wouldn't have been possible without you ?? @hrithikroshan."
Another stuntman posted, "First craziest action sequence have done (sic).!! Cheer's To @hrithikroshan @parvez.shaikhh @stuntindia1 and all the stunt boys.!!"
'Vikram Vedha' is a Hindi remake of the runaway Tamil hit of the same name which was released in 2017. While the original action thriller starred R. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi, the Hindi version will see Hrithik Roshan squaring off against Saif Ali Khan. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hrithik Roshan, Vikram Vedha, action, sequence, wrap up
The niece of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Princess Mako, married a commoner Tuesday, relinquishing her royal status following a heavily scrutinized, controversial four-year engagement.
The Japanese Imperial Household Agency issued a statement announcing the marriage of Mako to Kei Komuro, both 30 years old.
The couple broke with tradition by foregoing the usual rituals and ceremonies of royal weddings, including a reception, while Mako also refused the one-off payment of about $1.3 million typically made to royal women who leave the imperial family to marry.
The couple had been classmates at Tokyo's International Christian University when they announced their engagement in 2017, saying they intended to marry the next year.
But shortly after the announcement, a dispute involving money Komuro's mother, a widow, had received from a former suiter surfaced and the wedding was postponed. Komuro wrote a lengthy statement explaining the situation, and but it is still unclear if the dispute has been fully resolved.
Komuro spent the last three years at law school in New York City, where The New York Times reports tabloid newspapers documented everything from his hairstyle to the food trucks where he bought his lunch.
At a news conference, the former princess addressed the controversies, gossip and mixed public opinion about the relationship, saying, "I am very sorry to the people who had trouble (with our marriage). Also, I feel gratitude towards people who cared and quietly worried about me, or people who were not misled by the non-factual information and still continued to support me and Kei."
The couple expressed their love for one another, and Mako said, "As we go on with our lives, I think there will be different difficulties. But as we have in the past, we will work together and continue to move on together."
The couple plans to live in New York City. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Japan, Princess Mako, Komuro, Marriage, Royals
WASHINGTON — U.S. federal law enforcement agencies and Europol announced dozens of arrests to break up a global operation that sold illegal drugs using a shadowy realm of the internet.
At a Department of Justice news conference Tuesday in Washington, officials said they arrested 150 people for allegedly selling illicit drugs, including fake prescription opioids and cocaine, over the so-called darknet. Those charged are alleged to have carried out tens of thousands of illegal sales using a part of the internet that is accessible only by using specialized anonymity tools.
The 10-month dragnet called "Operation HunTor" — named after encrypted internet tools — resulted in the seizure of 234 kilograms of drugs, including amphetamines, cocaine and opioids worth more than $31 million. Officials said many of the confiscated drugs were fake prescription pills laced with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. The counterfeit tablets are linked to a wave of drug overdoses.
"This international law enforcement operation spanned across three continents and sends one clear message to those hiding on the darknet peddling illegal drugs: there is no dark internet," said U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco speaks during a news at the Department of Justice in Washington, Oct. 26, 2021. Photo credit: VOA
Investigators rounded up and arrested 65 people in the United States. Other arrests occurred in Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In addition to counterfeit medicine, authorities also confiscated more than 200,000 ecstasy, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methamphetamine pills.
"We face new and increasingly dangerous threats as drug traffickers expand into the digital world and use the darknet to sell dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine," said Anne Milgram, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). "We cannot stress enough the danger of these substances."
The international police agency Europol worked alongside the U.S. Justice Department's Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement team.
"No one is beyond the reach of the law, even on the dark web," said Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, Europol's deputy executive director.
The dark web is preferred by criminal networks who want to keep their internet activities private and anonymous. In this case, it served as a platform for illegal cyber sales of counterfeit medication and other drugs that were delivered by private shipping companies.
Investigators said the fake drugs are primarily made in laboratories in Mexico using chemicals imported from China. Prosecutors also targeted drug dealers who operated home labs to manufacture fake prescription pain pills.
FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate, second from left, speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, Oct. 26, 2021. Photo credit: VOA
"Those purchasing drugs through the darknet often don't know what they're getting," Associate Deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate said. The joint investigation followed enforcement efforts in January in which authorities shut down "DarkMarket," the world's largest illegal international marketplace on the dark web.
Last month, the DEA warned Americans that international and domestic drug dealers were flooding the country with fake pills, driving the U.S. overdose crisis. The agency confiscated more the 9.5 million potentially lethal pills in the last year.
More than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2020, the highest number on record, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. U.S. health officials attribute the rise to the use of fentanyl, which can be 100 times more potent than morphine.
U.S. officials said investigations are continuing and more arrests are expected. (VOA/RN)
(This article is originally wriiten by Chris Simkins)
Keywords: Drug Vendors, Investigation, DEA, Illegal purchase, Police Operation, Internet