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Kelkar, became a household name with the TV soap 'Saat Phere' - Wikimedia Commons

Indian television and film actor Sharad Kelkar says that struggles make an actor value their success more, this was the case with him too. Kelkar has come a long way in not just his actingcareer, but as a voice-over artist too, something he achieved after overcoming the challenge of stammering, he says. Kelkar, who became a household name with the TV soap 'Saat Phere', speaks to IANSlife in an exclusive chat:

On his journey in the film industry:
I'd complete ten years in the film industry, although I started my film career in 2004 when I did a Marathi film. But shifting from this to that, happened in 2012 with 'Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela'. It's been a great journey, I've made good friends. The audience has accepted me as an actor. It's a great achievement. Any actor strives to be accepted and appreciated for your value. Credit goes to viewers who like my work, and to luck also. I do believe in luck.

On initial struggles:
Everyone has faced struggles. My initial dayswere full of struggles, not getting work, 'paise nahi hai' (there's no money), staying with more than 12-13 people in a house. All that has been done, but anyone values their success more when they have struggled for it. For me, I think the struggle was very important. The other challenge was stammering, and somehow I managed to work on that. I'm still trying to do my best and learn without limitations. My career as a voice over artist is a tricky one, as I am unable to give it the concentration it deserves; I'm more focused on my acting career. If one is travelling in a plane with a mask on, and you call up your friends, people recognise you with your voice. It's a great feeling when your voice doesn't need a face. I'm not doing too many voice-overs but I'd love to.

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Is Bhumi comfortable with the 'star tag?. Wikimedia Commons

On her debut in 2015, Bhumi Pednekar took critics by surprise, and won awards, by playing an overweight bride who speaks up for her rights in the romantic comedy 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha'. Since then, Bhumi Pednekar has given a string of hits with meaningful cinema. She has been seen in 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha', 'Shubh Mangal Savdhaan', 'Saand Ki Aankh', 'Bala', 'Pati Patni Aur Woh' and 'Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare', and many more such critically acclaimed films.

But is Bhumi comfortable with the 'star tag? In an interview with IANS, the actress, who started out as an assistant to Shanoo Sharma, the casting director of Yash Raj Films, made the confession: "I am a little shy to call myself a star." She insists she is an actor "who has received a lot of love". Bhumi said: "I think the definition of stardom has changed across different generations. But yes, I am grateful that my films are appreciated and people love me and I am going to continue doing whatever I do on and off screen."

Hindi cinema is known for its bigger-than-life films, but Bhumi has stood her ground on featuring only in 'message-driven' films and calls herself fortunate. "I have always been keen that my films should have a positive message along with entertainment, as that's what cinema is primarily meant to do," Bhumi said. She added: "I feel that's how films in the future would also be. If someone is spending two hours watching a film, or my piece of content, it must lead to some kind of a positive change in their mindset."

Bhumi has a couple of heroine-centric projects lined up over the next few months Bhumi concluded: "I know it's difficult, but I try to make my ecosystem as sustainable as possible." . Wikimedia Commons

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Cuisine is deeply rooted in culture: Chef Anurudh Khanna

It is important to respect the sanctity of any cuisine, as it is deeply rooted in culture, says Chef Anurudh Khanna, Multi Property Executive Chef at Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi. Having curated a food festival that brings to town culinary treasures from the Tamil city of Tiruchirapalli, Chef Khanna highlights that there are many misconceptions relating to cuisine from Southern Indian states, which make for a rich culinary bouquet in themselves.

Chef Khanna speaks to IANSlife on the sidelines of 'Treaures of Trichy' food festival which is going on at Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi till September 15. Excerpts:

Could you tell me about the inspiration behind 'Treasures of Trichy'?
Khanna: While planning a food festival, we were just thinking which cuisine and Indian state to tap into. We looked at the resources in our culinary team at Westin - here someone is from Uttarakhand, from Nepal, southern states, Rajasthan, Bengal - so it's quite varied. Our resident South Indian chef, Chef Vijaykumar is from Tiruchirapalli, who is with us from 2019. That's where we thought of putting this cuisine in the front, and making him the main chef for food festival.

There are many variations in what is singularly thought of as 'South Indian cuisine'. As a chef, what do you have to say about this?
Khanna: I also discovered this, during my last assignment in Bangalore where I traveled to Mangalore, Kerala, and to Andhra. As I travelled I realised that the cuisine is changing. Dishes even 'sambhar' and 'rasam change. Andhra-style 'sambhar' is very spicy in some places and a little sweet-ish in others. Not just the palate changes from state to state, but breakfast 'sambhar' is different from all-day 'sambhar'. The Spice level matters a lot. For example, Kannada cuisine is not that spicy, Mangalore cuisine is rich with spices, Andhra cuisine is heavy on chillies but Kerala cuisine is very fragrant. About the stereotype, yes there are a lot of misconceptions about food among people who are not native to south Indian states or who haven't traveled much. They think South Indian cuisine is mostly just 'idli, sambhar, dosa, vada', and there are a lot of varieties of dosa. But in reality, South Indian cuisine is immense.

person preparing cooked dish Chef Khanna highlights that there are many misconceptions relating to cuisine from Southern Indian states, which make for a rich culinary bouquet in themselves. Photo by Fabrizio Magoni on Unsplash

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Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar says that he is well aware of the fact that he does not have a conventional voice of a playback singer.

Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar says that he is well aware of the fact that he does not have a conventional voice of a playback singer and that is why he does not do playback on film for other actors.Considering the fact that Farhan gets trolled on social media for his singing and for having a different voice texture, when asked about he deals with the criticism, he said, "I totally understand that one thing, which is that it is not a conventional playback singer's voice. In all fairness to these people (trollers), there is a certain quality of work and singing, that is associated with playback singing.

Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar spilled out more such confessions on the episode of QuPlay's 'Pinch' Season 2 in conversation with actor and filmmaker Arbaaz Khan. Wikimedia

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