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‘Don’t mask ‘masala’ as history’ says Mewar Royal on Padmavati

The upcoming movie Padmavati is surrounded by controversies. This time its Mewar Royal commenting on the movie's theme.

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Padmavati movie shot
Padmavati movie shot. Instagram
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New Delhi: The drama and debates over Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s Padmavati — the story of Rajput queen Padmini — has upset a direct descendant of the Mewar royal family. Baijiraj Trivikrama Kumari Jamwal, daughter of Mahendra Singh Mewar — the 76th Maharana of the Mewar dynasty and a former Lok Sabha member — is otherwise quietly going about her life as an English teacher at a school here.

But amidst heightened protests against Padmavati, which she has tagged an “inauthentic venture”, Trivikrama says it’s unfair that her family’s name is being dragged into generating “free publicity” for the film. “The sad part is that the film is getting free pre-release publicity and that a commercial and inauthentic venture like this is using my family’s name.

“It’s not just a question of incorrect portrayal, which is established from the trailer and the ‘Ghoomar’ song itself, but also the fact that you’re using my family’s name for the commercial pre-release publicity of your film, free of cost… And the national media is talking about it. That’s my problem,” Trivikrama told IANS in an interview here.

Bhansali’s Padmavati has been mired in controversy. The conjecture that it distorts history has led organizations like Shri Rajput Karni Sena and Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha to go up in arms against the release of the movie, while BJP leaders have been making statements and appeal to stop its release on December 1.

“That’s why I am so upset. People have political and commercial agendas. There’s nothing wrong with commercial enterprises and politics, but misusing and exploiting somebody’s pride, honor and dignity for such shallow purposes, that is where I step in and say, ‘Sorry, not acceptable’,” Trivikrama said.

The makers have maintained there is no dream romance sequence shown between the Rajput queen and invader Alauddin Khilji, as had been alleged by some. But a few political leaders and Jaipur’s former princess Diya Kumari have suggested Bhansali must show the movie to some historians prior to its release.

Trivikrama questions: “It depends on who the historians are because history is also colored. It has to be a well-represented congress of historians. He (Bhansali) should approach the most authentic voice, which is the family itself. That he hasn’t done.”

Her mother, Maharani Nirupama Kumari commented: “He has already made the film. What’s the point of showing it to historians now?”

To many, the story of Rani Padmini remains a mystery. What is the story Trivikrama has grown up with?

“If you go as a tourist to Chittorgarh Fort, you’re taken to Padmini’s Palace, and you’re shown a couple of mirrors. The tourist guide tells you about it and he points out a little pond and says she stood over there and Alauddin Khilji saw her face.

“But that is just packaging culture to sell to ignorant tourists,” she said.

Trivikrama said Rani Padmini finds a mention in “Veer Vinod”, a record book on Mewar’s history.

“It’s a historical record that shows yes she was there, she was the wife of Rawal Ratan Singh and she was only an excuse that Alauddin Khilji used to invade Chittor. The real reason was a very calculated military decision to invade,” she said.

“Padmini was not in the picture at all, except now what has been made into a tale, which is a figment of the imagination, I believe. It’s not there in history,” she said, pointing out that their family is one of the oldest families with an unbroken succession.

She estimated that there were over 30 generations between now and the first Jauhar — self-immolation led by Rani Padmini in 1303 during the siege of Chittor

What about the epic Awadhi poem Padmavati?

“Apparently, it’s a self-confessed piece of fiction. I’m ready to accept that you (Bhansali) have made a piece of fiction. But then don’t drag my family’s name into it and claim you’re the custodian of my family’s history,” asserted Trivikrama, a Ph.D. in English literature.

She said filmmakers are doing a lot in the garb of artistic license.

“Sure you have that, but then along with the artistic license, there should be artistic integrity and sensitivity,” she said, pointing out how the representation of Rani Padmini is “wrong” even in terms of dance and clothes.

“Instead of making it clear that it is Bollywood masala, you’re saying it is history and misleading and ‘miseducating’ the future generations.”(IANS)

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Zumba Master Beto Perez Happy That People Are Health Conscious

"Music is fundamental to Zumba. With great music, you lose yourself in the moment and it doesn't feel like you are working out.

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He will be collaborating with Badshah before the end of 2018, and it will see the singer's signature sounds getting choreography and being distributed to Zumba instructors across the globe.
Beto Perez, Columbian dancer and choreographer, wikimedia commons

Excited about hosting a masterclass in India, Beto Perez, creator of the fitness solution Zumba, says by creating a fun environment, people don’t realise how hard they are working out. He is glad people worldwide are becoming conscious about the importance of exercise.

In India for the fourth edition of Fitex India 2018, Perez on Saturday hosted a high-powered masterclass in Greater Noida, to the beats of famed Indian rapper Badshah.

“The energy that comes from an Indian crowd of Zumba fans is like nowhere else in the world. I am also excited to meet so many new instructors in India. Our programme is booming and it gives me enormous pride to know we are creating employment opportunities for thousands of people,” Perez told IANS in an email interview.

He will be collaborating with Badshah before the end of 2018, and it will see the singer’s signature sounds getting choreography and being distributed to Zumba instructors across the globe.

Zumba mixes dance and aerobic elements with accompanying music that is mainly Latin, but also incorporates various genres of music. The movements involve martial arts, squats, lunges and other aerobic techniques.

In 2001, Perez collaborated with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to create Zumba Fitness, LLC.

Over the years, the company has partnered with stars like Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Shakira, Maluma, Shaggy, Claudia Leitte, Pitbull, Wisin, Yandel, Don Omar, Luis Fonsi, Lil Jon and Daddy Yankee, to incorporate high-energy music into their popular fitness routines.

He will be collaborating with Badshah before the end of 2018, and it will see the singer's signature sounds getting choreography and being distributed to Zumba instructors across the globe.
Zumba Dance, wikimedia commons

“Music is fundamental to Zumba. With great music, you lose yourself in the moment and it doesn’t feel like you are working out.

“Latin music works perfectly for Zumba as the primary steps in class stem from certain Latin styles. But Bollywood music is right up there too,” added the 48-year-old Columbian, who dismisses the concept of ‘Bollywood Zumba’.

“It is important to note that ‘Bollywood Zumba’ does not formally exist. A Zumba class can certainly feature some Bollywood-style tracks but it is important that the music is primarily Latin and follows a certain formula, in which we train instructors.

“Only a properly trained and licensed instructor can deliver the genuine experience. That said, we at Zumba have created some Bollywood style tracks which we have provided to instructors around the world…and they absolutely love them.”

A core idea behind the fitness routine is to combine fun with exercise.

Also Read: Study: Meat Based Diet can Improve Infant Growth  

“People have realised that exercise is the best medicine. Regular exercise reduces the likelihood of a range of diseases and improves the mood. Exercise has moved away from being just for those that want to compete in sport or show off their body — it is a means by which everyone can lengthen their life expectancy.”

Asserting that it is a “business of fun”, Perez added: “Create a fun environment and people don’t realise how hard they are working and how many calories they are burning. The ability to connect with an audience and bring a sense of joy to the class is primarily what I look for in an instructor.

“It’s not about being the best dancer or having the biggest muscles…it’s about filling a room with energy and happiness.” (IANS)