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TV channels would request me to wear my trademark sarees and blouses: Mandira Bedi



Mandira Bedi
Mandira Bedi

Mandira Bedi, even today, is popularly known as Shanti because of her erstwhile Indian daily soap ? Shanti. Mandira had a drastic image makeover when she became the host for ICC Cricket World Cup on Extraaa Innings (in 2003 and 2007) on SET Max. Her see-through designer sarees and low cut blouses made her a talk of the town then. In an interview with Nation Next, Mandira Bedi speaks about her maiden show Shanti, her clothing store ? Sarees by Mandira Bedi ? and her ?unplanned transition from a girl next door to a fashion diva!

You are so poised and elegant and you have always made a very bold fashion statement. How did you develop this amazing fashion sense?

I don’t know how to answer that one! (Laughs) This fashion sense developed over the years. It all started when I wore sarees for the Extraaa Innings on SET Max as a cricket host. People would wait to see what I would wear next and follow suit! Eventually, I started designing sarees. I absolutely love what I do. I do different things every day. I feel that one can excel in his/her work if he/she really loves it.

The first role you played on television was of Shanti, who was a girl next door but over the years you have become sort of a fashion diva. Now you’re also designing sarees. How did the transformation happen?

Nothing was planned and no thought actually had gone behind my transition. Certain changes in me have happened naturally over the years. As I said, it started with Shanti and then Extraaa Innings, for which I wore sarees. I knew then that I would design sarees. Ultimately, I opened my store Sarees by Mandira Bedi. I never really plan anything. I just go with the flow.

Whom do you relate to more – the girl next door Shanti or the fashionista – that you are now?

I’ll never forget Shanti as it was my first ever television show. It taught me discipline and I worked really hard for many hours in a day. I wasn’t like Shanti in real life but my character taught me a lot. That character is going to stay with me forever. The ?fashionista? in me evolved gradually over the years. I definitely relate to Shantis character because it still holds a special place in my heart.

Fashion critics at times have applauded you and at times have panned you. How did you deal with them?

Not just fashion critics, but even as a cricket host, I got a lot of flak. The telecast partners of the first world cup match kept me away from all media interactions, as I was being discussed a bit too much! I still managed to change quite a few people’s mindsets. One has to show resilience, as there are lovers and haters in any field you’re in. If you can’t take criticism sportingly, you shouldn’t go ahead with your work.  There were people who didn’t like my first saree collection at the Lakme Fashion Week. But, at the same time, there were people who appreciated my collection for which my mother was the showstopper. Overall, I got a great response for my collection. The next season, I showcased Banarasi fusion sarees, which the critics appreciated, but it didn’t do as well as my previous collection did. I don’t really know how this business works but I don’t let negativity dampen my spirits!

How did you come up with the idea of launching your own saree brand Sarees by Mandira Bedi??

People had become curious about my clothes when I was the cricket host. Usually, a host is expected to wear western outfits, but TV channels would request me to wear my trademark sarees and blouses. It’s great to see hosts in glamorous outfits today. Once, during Diwali, I wore a saree that I had randomly designed for myself, and to my surprise, people were asking me which designer label I was wearing! Then, in no time, I was designing sarees for two exhibitions for which my husband, Raj Kaushal, had enrolled me in. The collection was sold out, which boosted my confidence to start my own store.

Tell us more about your 2016 summer collection ? Salt.

I came up with the idea of Salt because of Sunburn Festival. Gillette Venus, who was the sponsor, wanted me to design a saree that would reveal legs. So, I designed sarees, which could be worn as a sarong too. It was a lovely cover-up and was revealing at the same time. My collection of 200 pieces was sold out. We even did a photo shoot for fashion, food and fitness bloggers ranging from skinny to plump body types. I couldn’t decide who looked better since my outfits suited every body type!

Since when have you been designing clothes under your label and how is it different from the rest?

It’s been almost three years since I’ve been designing sarees now. Whatever the trend may be, a saree is an outfit that suits every lady. I always use fabrics that are flattering. They should be draped well to make you look slim. Sometimes, a lot of work on a saree doesn’t add to the value of it. These days less work is more work (on outfits). My sarees are colourful, easy to wear, and can be worn anywhere right from a press conference to an evening party.

What are your future plans for your saree brand ? Sarees by Mandira Bedi?

I had thought of designing sarees only but now I’ve started experimenting with crop tops and long skirts too. I experimented with beachwear, in summer 2016. The beachwear could be worn as a saree and a sarong both. As a designer, you should be open to new ideas and inspiration. One should never stop experimenting.

How have you maintained yourself so well? What’s the trick

There is no trick! There’s no secret behind it. Nothing succeeds like hard work. I put on weight easily, so I have to follow a strict diet. I make sure I religiously work out six days a week. I hit the gym but if that’s not possible, I work out in my living room or even in the basement of my house at times! One just needs an excuse to not to work out.

Do you plan on making a comeback in the film or television industry anytime soon?

I haven’t done a movie in a long time and I don’t see myself in daily soaps anymore but I would like to be associated with not more than one big show a year.

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DR Karthikeyan attends Rocketry: The Nambi Effect premier, recalls experience with Dr Nambi Narayanan




Radhika Dhawad | Delhi
Former CBI Director DR Karthikeyan, ex-officials from the probe agency recently attended special screening of ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.’

R Madhavan with DR Karthikeyan (centre)

Former CBI Director DR Karthikeyan, former officials from the probe agency and members of the film industry recently attended a special screening of film ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ at Siri Fort auditorium in New Delhi.

DR Karthikeyan writes…

“On personal invitation phone call from Dr Nambi Narayanan, I had the opportunity to see the very first premier show of the film ROCKETRY – The Nambi Effect – at Sirifort Auditorium, Delhi on 26th June – Sunday evening.

On arrival at the venue, I was happy to be met by the talented Star/Director/Producer  Mr R Madhavan and senior officers of the Ministry of I&B, Govt of India. It was an amazing production – destined to get an award – nationally and globally! The movie was screened all over the world on 1st July – produced both in English, Hindi and Tamil and also dubbed in many more languages.

Former CBI Director DR Karthikeyan, ex-officials from the probe agency recently attended special screening of ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.’

At the end of the show at the packed auditorium, I was invited by Mr Madhavan to the stage and given a bouquet of flowers along with my colleague PM Nair IPS. I shared a couple of words with the audience. “At that time when there was sensation about the so called “ISRO Spy Case,” I was asked by the CBI HQ for my opinion. I was then investigating Rajiv Gandhi Assassination –  as Chief of SIT CBI – I spent a few hours of conversation with Dr Nambi Narayanan who was in our custody at Malligai, Headquarters of SIT CBI at Chennai. I had no hesitation in reporting to CBI Hq my finding that not only Nambi Narayanan is innocent of any of the charges alleged against him but also he was a noble person.” It so happened when his case came up before the National Human Rights Commission for compensation, I was the Director General, NHRC at Delhi.

After hearing from me what actually happened to Nambi Narayanan, the Commission awarded him financial compensation, as interim relief. Dr Nambi Narayanan has been in touch with me since then from time to time. 

Here is one of his recent communications to me on WhatsApp – “The role you had played in relieving me from the charges was immense.Thank you very much Sir. I will be certainly very happy to meet you in person when I visit Delhi. Once again thank you very much! With regards Nambi Narayanan”. 

As early as on 30th June 2021, Dr Nambi Narayanan had sent to me on email – the extract – MEETING KARTHIKEYAN  ‘Pray to God, he will come.’– chapter 14 of his just then released Biography “Ready to Fire”- (How India and I Survived The ISRO Spy Case).  The same is also attached herewith. The life of Padma Bhushan Dr Nambi Narayanan, the celebrated space scientist, which is very powerfully portrayed in the movie Rocketry – The Nambi Effect carries a powerful message to everyone.

Satyameva Jayate – Truth alone triumphs – Mundaka Upanishad.

While the guilty should be identified and punished promptly and severely, no innocent or the family should suffer physically or mentally or emotionally. That should be the commitment on the part of everyone of us – particularly those in charge of governance, administration, law enforcement, intelligence and the judiciary!”

Released on July 1, the film is a biographical drama based on the life of Nambi Narayanan, a former scientist and aerospace engineer of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who was falsely charged with espionage in 1994.

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Chandrashekhar Bawankule unveils poster, releases trailer of Nagpur film ‘Aamhi Butterfly’




Nation Next Newsroom | Photographer : Nitin Mankar | Nagpur

Former Maharashtra Minister and current MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule unveiled the poster and released the trailer and songs of the upcoming Marathi film – Aamhi Butterfly – at an event held at Deshpande Hall in Nagpur. The film, which has been shot in Nagpur and other parts of Vidarbha, has been directed by Aniiket Limje and produced by Rajesh Rangari and Shrinivas Shiras.

Many child actors who have worked in the movie are from Vidarbha. During the trailer launch, MLA Tekchand Sawakar, actor Girish Pardesi and other actors from the movie, were present. Aamhi Butterfly is going to be released in August 2022.

Above are some of the pictures from the event!

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Ram Kamal Mukherjee named ‘Best Director’ for his short film ‘Ek Duaa’ at IWMBuzz Digital Awards




Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Ram Kamal Mukherjee (R) whikle receiving the ‘Best Director’ trophy at IWMBuzz Digital Awards ceremony in Mumbai

Filmmaker Ram Kamal Mukherjee won the ‘Best Director’ award for his short film ‘Ek Duaa’ at the recently held IWMBuzz Digital Awards ceremony at Taj Lands End in Mumbai. The film is produced by Esha Deol Takhtani and Assorted Motion Pictures. Apart from winning the award, it was a special occasion for Mukherjee as two other films he directed also got recognized.

Esha won the ‘Best Actress’ award in the popular categories for her critically acclaimed performance in ‘Ek Duaa.’ After accepting the award, Esha said: “This film is extremely special for me, because I turned producer with this film and I would like to give entire credit to captain of the ship Ram Kamal Mukherjee for bringing such a wonderful subject to me.”

Avinash Dwivedi won the ‘Most Promising Debut’ award for his acclaimed performance in ‘Rickshawala,’ a film directed by Mukherjee. Avinash, who was accompanied by his wife and actor Sambhavna Seth, said: “This is beyond my expectation that today I am getting this recognition as an actor amidst all Bollywood celebrities for my role in Ram Kamal sir’s film Rickshawala. To get honoured for a regional cinema amidst such Bollywood biggie reinforced my faith in good content.”

Gurmeet Choudhary won the ‘Most Popular Actor’ award for his performance in Mukherjee’s film ‘Shubho Bijoya.’ Choudhary said: “Ram Kamal is an amazing story teller. When he narrated this story to me and Debina, we knew that this film will click instantly. I am honoured to receive this award, though the competition was really tough. I thank my fans and jury members who voted for me.”

Other winners at the award ceremony included Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, Rakul Preet, Raveena Tandon, Huma Qureshi, Dino Morea, Sikander Kher, Sonu Sood, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga, Manish Paul and other popular names from the Hindi film industry.

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