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My life has been very different from the rest of the lot, says actress Urvashi Dholakia

Urvashi Dholakia
Urvashi Dholakia

Urvashi Dholakia, 38, who’s best known for her role as Komolika in the soap opera Kasautii Zindagii Kay, doesn’t look a bit of her age. After winning the season 6 of reality show Bigg Boss, she rejected more than 15 shows, as she wanted to give all her attention to her sons ? Sagar and Kshitij. Urvashi has now turned entrepreneur with her new business venture 9High.  In a candid chat with Nation Next, Urvashi Dholakia speaks about her new venture, her famous role in Kasautii Zindagii Kay and reveals why she never thought of remarrying!

Please tell us something about your new business venture ₹9High.

9High was a business thought that I always wanted to implement and execute since years at some point of time in my life. 9High basically provides a full range of services including event planning, large scale exhibitions, designing, venue scouting, entertainment, weddings, corporate events, private events, parties etc. I’ve been in the television industry for almost three decades now. So, I thought that if I were to use any kind of work experience and expertise, it would be for this business. Even on the website, http://9high.org, I’ve mentioned the same.

Also, please tell us about the upcoming event ? Vintage fair 2016 ? that is in Jalandhar on 17th and 18th December2016.

Vintage Fair 2016 happened by sheer chance! My friend Dhruv Wadhwa knew that I had set up 9High. So, he supported me a lot in my work. Despite being so ambitious, I was kind of aimless! I was still trying to find a path. Things aren’t easy in a business. Also, people had certain inhibitions and preconceived notions about me as I’m an actress. There were people at times who, instead of encouraging me, discouraged me.

Vintage Fair 2016 is an exhibition that includes exclusive artifacts, home décor, crockery, footwear, stationary, etc. In fact, it will also exhibit electronic items, gadgets and mens wear.

You have been a strong independent single mother. You said that you rejected 15 shows post Bigg Boss, as you wanted to give your time to your sons at least till they are 21. Now that they are, when do we get to see you back on television?  

It’s not that I won’t ever work in television again. Acting has always been a part of me. Before I won Bigg Boss 6, I didn’t work for a year or two. Again, post Bigg Boss 6, I took a break and I came back with the serial Badi Dooooor Se Aaye Hai on SAB TV because I thought the serial offered something different. Also, audience saw me in an extremely different light, compared to the previous characters that I have played. Basically, a role has to excite me.

You have almost set a benchmark for comparison of vamps through your role as Komolika from Kasautii Zindagii Kay, which was a very popular saas-bahu soap. How do you feel when people still relate you with a role that you played decades back

I’m amazed, humbled and thankful. Komolikas the name that I have earned! The show began in 2001. People recognise me as Komolika even after 15 years. In fact, today itself, while I was travelling in a cab, the cab driver recognised me as Komolika. He said that I haven’t changed a bit in these years!

You have an interesting tattoo of a constellation behind your neck. What was the thought and motivation behind this tattoo?

I’m a Cancerian, hence the tattoo! Also, I had a deal with my sons; when they turn 21, they can get inked. So, while my son was getting a tattoo done on his back and on his hand, even I got tempted to get a tattoo!

Urvashi Dholakia
Urvashi Dholakia sporting a constellation tattoo behind her ear

There have been rumours that both your sons Sagar and Kshitij would make a Bollywood debut soon. Do they have any such plans

That was news to me! I wasn’t in the country when this news broke out. I was shocked when I heard this news. Sagar does aspire to become an actor though. Kshitij too plans for the same but I guess at present, Sagars more popular. I just want to support and guide my kids for whatever they want to do in life. If Sagar debuts in a film, I need your prayers and wishes! Like all parents, I too want my children to supersede my achievements.

You are extremely pretty. Moreover you look much younger than your actual age. Didn’t you ever think of remarrying? If you were to, how would your sons react?

Squarely, I never thought of remarrying because working in the television industry was too hectic. My only focus has been my work and my family. I always wanted to come back home and make sure that my family is happy. I wanted to provide my family with everything I could. Also, my life has been very different from the rest of the lot.

Speaking about remarriage, I don’t know how my sons would react! (Laughs) My sons and me do have random talks at times. We talk like friends. They ask me at times, You don’t want to get married or what?? to which I reply, Nahi, jab sochungi toh bata dungi?! (Laughs)

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Governance

Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit.  In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.

Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”

“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”

Watch the full interaction here: https://youtu.be/FNeTrm0v0dw

Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.

Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”

Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”

Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”

Also read: Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Governance

Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm.

Dharavi

Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…  

Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’

While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”

The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project.  While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years. 

Also read: Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Crime

Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai
The Bombay High Court said ex-minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues.

Anil Deshmukh

The Bombay High Court said, as per prima facie, 74-year-old former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, said that when Deshmukh’s bail plea was moved on medical grounds, then a fresh medical report needed to be called for. 

Singh said, “There is a compilation that has been given now. There are medical papers attached. We need to go through it. Even though this is not a bail application on merit of the case, it is still being circulated under medical issues. He is getting medical treatment as required. Moreover, medical issues are not static. We need a check on what his condition is right now.”

Deshmukh’s advocate Vikram Chaudhari said the senior NCP leader was being treated but has been suffering from several ailments that require constant treatment and care. Chaudhary said, ”He needs to be released. He is a chronic patient.”

Justice MS Karnik said that the court would hear the bail plea on merits. He said, “I am satisfied that we can proceed with the hearing on merits and give it priority. This is my prima facie opinion that priority should be given. One of the medical ailments (that Deshmukh is suffering from) is degenerative.” Deshmukh’s bail plea would now be heard on December 6.

The bench asked Singh whether he was ready to argue on the merits of the case immediately, to which Singh said he would require a week while Chaudhari said that he was ready to argue. However, Justice Karnik said, “We need to give them a fair opportunity.”

Also read: 10 lakh spectators across 50 km; PM Modi makes history with road show for BJP in Ahmedabad

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