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Indian American Sanjay Patel feels ‘special’ on Oscar nomination

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Los Angeles: Indian-American director Sanjay Patel’s short movie named as, ”Sanjay’s Super Team”, is nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at this year’s Oscars. The movie which has a story about immigrant community and ”a family of colour”, is nominated alongside the movies like “Bear Story” and ”World of Tomorrow”.

The Indian-American Pixar artist and director says it feels special just to be in the company of “incredibly deserving” nominees.

The world is eagerly waiting to see who will walk away with the prestigious statuette at the 88th Academy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on February 28. And Indians have a reason to cheer as Patel, who has roots in Gujarat, is pitted against “Bear Story”, directed by Gabriel Osorio, “World of Tomorrow”, helmed by Don Hertzfeldt, Richard Williams’s “Prologue” and “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”, directed by Konstantin Bronzit.

“I was confident (of winning) until I saw the other nominees. I became even less confident after I met the nominees. They are so incredibly deserving. All the films are so unique and special. It feels special just to be in that company,” Patel said over the phone from Los Angeles. The US film production studio Disney-Pixar’s film shows a boy, modelled on Patel, who wants to watch superhero cartoons on television. It goes on to present the boy’s daydreams — bored with his father’s religious meditation — who imagines Hindu gods as superheroes.

“John Lasseter (Chief creative officer, Disney-Pixar) was the one who gave me the confidence and permission (to make the film). I had a story about a little boy from India who didn’t have a father and it was more about him being absorbed in western comics and kind of ignoring the stories from his own culture. I told that story to John. He liked it. Then he asked me about how I grew up.

“I told him about my experience with my father. John straight away loved the idea. The same ideas got communicated, but it got richer and more universal. Initially, the concept was something that may be only a certain amount of people might have been able to relate to. But the idea of the generational struggle between a young person and his parents is way more universal and emotional,” he said.

He feels proud that Pixar was “so supportive in letting me tell a story from an immigrant community… a story of a family of colour and give me that opportunity to tell the truth”. Born in Britain to Gujarati parents, Patel moved to the United States in the 1980s. The 41-year-old joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1996 as an animator on “A Bug’s Life”, and has animated on many of Pixar’s feature films, including “Ratatouille”, “Cars” and “Toy Story 3″.

The 41-year-old joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1996 as an animator on “A Bug’s Life”, and has animated on many of Pixar’s feature films, including “Ratatouille”, “Cars” and “Toy Story 3″.

Patel also storyboarded extensively for “Monster’s Inc.”, “The Incredibles” and “Toy Story 2″. ”My father has always been proud of me. The truth is I was always very embarrassed of him of his Indianness. So, I am really proud that my father was patient for me to grow up, for me to come to appreciate who we really are,” said Patel.

In fact, his “big wish” is to visit India with his parents. ”My dream is to… I have never been to Gujarat with my parents. It’s a big wish of mine. I just want to go back and have them show me our roots,” said the first-time director, who also has a son named Arjun.(IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)