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New Delhi: Disney India’s attempt at bringing the timeless classic story of “Beauty and the Beast” to India via a Broadway musical was a success in Delhi and Mumbai. The show’s director, Vikranth Pawar, says such “entertaining” endeavours with homegrown talent can give a fillip to the popularity of live theatre in the country.

After bedazzling the people of Mumbai by bringing the story of a girl falling for a prince-turned-beast, to life, the musical show enthralled people in Delhi last month.

“It is important to attract audiences by doing work that they find entertaining like Broadway on a good scale with Indian talent. People will come to watch, they will love the presentation and then the culture of the theatre will grow with the whole process,” said Pawar, creative head and show director, Live Entertainment, Disney India.

Of course, the story was re-imagined to suit the sensibilities of the Indian audience.

“The script and the score are original, but the rest has been re-imagined by Indian talent. From the 360 degree sets with houses and cobbled streets, the script and costumes, we took the liberty to use the embroidery and embellishments which the audience are familiar with and can connect with,” Pawar said.

Pawar, who is also credited for musicals like “Jhumroo” and “Zangoora”, noted that the feedback from Mumbai’s “flabbergasted” audience took the enthusiasm on a whole new level.

“The audience in Mumbai was flabbergasted. It is a big spectacular show nothing that India has seen before and the talent exhibited is Indian as well,” said the director.

Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, the classic musical love story was presented to Indian audiences on the same scale as the mega productions seen on New York’s Broadway and in London’s West End.

Pawar had a huge team to unfold the whimsical chapter in India. Some eminent names involved in the Indian production included Leslie Lewis (music direction), Terence Lewis (choreography), Varsha Jain (set design) and Gavin Miguel (costume design).

Directing Broadway has been a great journey for Pawar, who is in his late 30s.

“It has been a great journey so far right from the time I read the script and visualised how it can be done. Getting to do this with Disney banner is such a privilege. And for me, it has been such a great experience to put out what was in my head and to get appreciated by the crew. It has been a very humbling at the same time, a very rewarding journey”. (IANS), (image courtesy:


Photo by Pixabay

Indian astronomers have found an active galaxy in a very bright state with 10 times more X-ray emission than normal

Indian astronomers have found an active galaxy in a very bright state with 10 times more X-ray emission than normal, equivalent to more than 10 trillion of the sun, and located five billion light years away that could help probe how particles behave under intense gravity and acceleration to the speed of light.

It could help study the role of strong gravity and acceleration of matter in the formation, interaction and evolution of galaxies in the early universe.

Every galaxy in the universe is believed to host a supermassive black hole at its centre. In some galaxies, the black hole is actively devouring a large amount of material and shooting a jet of plasma almost at the speed of light towards us. These are called blazars.

OJ 287 belongs to a class of blazars known as BL Lacertae objects which show very rapid and large amplitude flux variations but barely discernible emission line features.

This class of sources emit in the whole electromagnetic spectrum, a rather uncommon phenomenon which requires extreme physical conditions. Hence, a study of such sources tells us about the behaviour of matter in an extreme gravitational field where it is difficult for light to escape from the vicinity of the black hole.

Astronomers at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, have been monitoring one such black hole system named 'OJ 287' since 2015. This source shows a repeated optical brightness enhancement almost every 12 years.

"The repeated optical enhancement makes OJ 287 very intriguing as this class of sources does not show any repeating features in flux variations. The repeated optical enhancement made the researchers believe that the system hosts a binary black hole," said a release from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

In 2020, the source was very bright at optical and X-ray bands with X-ray flux more than 10 times the normal (non-active phase) flux. This flare was very different as it was not expected in models proposed for this source and thus, indicated a more complex system and physical conditions.

Investigating the extreme brightness shown by OJ 287 at optical and X-ray bands, astronomers led by Pankaj Kushwaha and Alok C. Gupta reported the source in a completely new spectral state.

The team argued that this change of state holds clues to the researcher's quest to understand how matter behaves in very strong gravity and how it accelerates the particle to almost the speed of light -- a feat that is out of the scope of even the most advanced CERN accelerator.

The research published in 'The Astrophysical Journal' tracked the details of changes in optical to the X-ray emission spectrum of the source with time from 2017 to 2020 -- after the second brightest X-ray flare of the source. It revealed how the source gradually started to change its spectral behaviour from mid-2018 to the new spectral state in 2020.

The study included data recorded by the ground-based facility operated by Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, operated Mount Abu observing facility in near infra-red bands and the space-based NASA's satellites -- the Niels Gherel Swift satellite at optical, UV and X-rays with gamma ray data from the Fermi satellite, the release added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Science, NASA, Satellites, Black Hole, Gravity, India

Photo by Flickr

Tospread awareness about the significance of reading, Rachna Kalra, who hails from Gurugram (Haryana), started the Silent Book Club in the year 2019.

Who doesn't like reading, and that, too, reading along the company of mother nature? Well, this book club is truly a fantasy turned to reality.

As said by a regular reader at the Silent Book Club, “There is something meditative about reading. Sitting quietly with a book, without any distractions, is almost spiritual for me," this exactly is the case with many such readers.

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Ninety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year.

A Travel Sustainable badge, provides highly coveted information to travellers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industry, designed to be applicable to a wide range of property types, from apartments, B&Bs, and vacation homes to hotels, resorts, and even treehouses, and adaptable to local realities and considerations.

Ninety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year, and with more than 28 million listings on, the company sees a huge opportunity to highlight more of the impactful efforts its partners are making to create more sustainable experiences, making it easier for travellers to find a sustainable way to stay.

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With 88 percent of Indian travellers indicating that they would be more likely to choose a specific accommodation that implements sustainable practices, it rewards and encourages providers to take the next steps on their individual sustainability journeys.

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