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In a film career spanning over 15 years, Priyanka Chopra has essayed diverse roles and paved her way into Hollywood like no other Indian actress has. Now she says it’s her dream to play a man and she is eyeing Broadway too.
At an interactive session for Ficci FLO here on Monday, Priyanka spoke strongly about how her “Quantico” character Alex Parrish was unapologetic for choices — something that all women need to be.
“Alex to me is an unapologetic modern female who lives life on her terms. She is extremely flawed, she’s not perfect, she’s a loner, she doesn’t like people, she only uses people… So, she’s basically playing a man, which is awesome, because girls don’t get to play that… And I was like ‘Yes, we get to turn the tables’,” Priyanka said.
“It’s my dream to be able to play a man… That’s the next thing I want to do,” added the actress, who also expressed a desire to do Broadway as she loves watching theatrical productions when she is in New York.
You’re already playing characters which were written for men, aren’t you, asked the moderator alluding to Priyanka’s role as the villain in “Baywatch”?
“No… I am playing modern women… Alex Parrish is a modern woman. A modern woman is an empowered woman who wants to value herself.
“The only thing she asks for is ‘let me make my own decisions without being judged for it’. That’s the freedom that men have experienced for so many years… And that’s all the women want unapologetically,” Priyanka said to an applause from an audience full of women of diverse age groups.
When Priyanka landed a chance to play Alex, she broke barriers to become the first South Asian woman to headline an American network series.
“I’ve lived in America as a child, and my biggest pet peeve then was not seeing anyone on the television who looked like me. So whenever you saw Indians in global mainstream entertainment, you always saw them in a box of the nerds, the big fat Punjabi family wedding or the shopkeeper or Apu from The Simpsons…
“Why could we not go beyond that? Why did our ethnicity define the roles we played? So, the only thing I told the people was that don’t come to me with a show based on a big Punjabi wedding, I won’t do it… I don’t want to be put in a box and I don’t want my ethnicity to define the roles I take on.”
“Quantico” had her play a half Indian, and that had nothing to do with the story.
“That for me was my biggest win. I had dug my feet in and I said I will not compromise on what I see as the future of global entertainment for people like me and South Asians. I think that gave me the confidence to dig my feet further and demand the kind of parts that I want to do,” said Priyanka.
This has continued with “Baywatch” and her other new films abroad.
“I am playing characters which have nothing to do with my ethnicity and I feel it will open the door for Indian talent or South Asian talent to become mainstream… Why do we play the sidekicks? I want to play the leading lady and I am not going to compromise on it.”
Her next Hollywood release will be “Isn’t It Romantic?” and she is reportedly in talks to star with Chris Pratt in “Cowboy Ninja Viking”. For now, she is in India to shoot Shonali Bose’s “The Sky Is Pink”, in which she will be seen as a mother of an 18-year-old girl.
And she doesn’t care about ‘image woes’ that a lot of actors talk about if they are to play a parent on-screen.
“Nobody can take my glamour away,” said Priyanka confidently, reminding that she not only played a mother in “Pyaar Impossible” but also a 65-year-old in “7 Khoon Maaf”. (Bollywood Country)
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods
Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week, when delivered in the morning, can significantly improve declining eyesight, finds a new study. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found there was, on average, a 17 per cent improvement in participants' colour contrast vision when exposed to three minutes of 670 nanometre (long wavelength) deep red light in the morning and the effects of this single exposure lasted for at least a week.
However, when the same test was conducted in the afternoon, no improvement was seen. "We demonstrate that one single exposure to long wave deep red light in the morning can significantly improve declining vision, which is a major health and wellbeing issue, affecting millions of people globally," said lead author, Glen Jeffery from the University College London.
Using a provided LED device, all participants were exposed to three minutes of 670nm deep red light in the morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m | Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash
For the study, the team involved a small yet significant number of participants aged between 34 and 70, had no ocular disease, completed a questionnaire regarding eye health prior to testing, and had normal colour vision (cone function). This was assessed using a 'Chroma Test' -- identifying coloured letters that had very low contrast and appeared increasingly blurred, a process called colour contrast.
Using a provided LED device, all participants were exposed to three minutes of 670nm deep red light in the morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Their colour vision was then tested again three hours post exposure and 10 of the participants were also tested one week post exposure. On average there was a 'significant' 17 per cent improvement in colour vision, which lasted a week in tested participants; in some older participants, there was a 20 per cent improvement, also lasting a week.
A few months on from the first test (ensuring any positive effects of the deep red light had been 'washed out') few participants, carried out the same test in the afternoon, between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. When participants then had their colour vision tested again, it showed zero improvement. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Deep red light, therapy, eye sight, study,chroma test