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Women's Day: OTT series that have redefined portrayal of female protagonists

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Women's Day: OTT series that have redefined portrayal of female protagonists

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) The disruptive OTT space in the country has seen an unprecedented rise in women-centric shows scripted by a new generation of talented women storytellers. The shows not only celebrate femininity, but also have sparked conversations around gender equality, female identity, and social norms.

Series such as ‘Delhi Crime’, ‘Maharani’, ‘Dahaad’ and ‘Scoop’, among many others, offer a nuanced exploration of the struggles, triumphs and aspirations of women. From gripping dramas to heartwarming tales of ambition and self-discovery, each series reflects the diverse strengths of women in our society.

Here’s an IANS listing of seven titles you may want to watch on International Women’s Day:

‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’: Marking the OTT debut of the auteur Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the series stars Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal and Sanjeeda Sheikh.

It explores the cultural reality of Heeramandi, a dazzling district, through the stories of its courtesans and their patrons set against the backdrop of the freedom struggle in the 1940s. It is slated to premiere on Netflix.

‘Maharani’ (Seasons 1, 2 and 3): Huma Qureshi has won hearts and earned fame with her portrayal of Rani Bharti, a character inspired by Rabri Devi, in the political drama series ‘Maharani’, which exposes the seamy underside of the corridors of power.

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The show is partly inspired by incidents that took place in Bihar in the 1990s, when Lalu Prasad, who had to resign as Chief Minister after he was arrested in the fodder scam, announced his homemaker wife Rabri Devi as his successor and got it endorsed by his party’s legislators.

The series also stars Amit Sial, Vineet Kumar, Pramod Pathak, Kani Kusruti, Anuja Sathe, Sushil Pandey and Dibyendu Bhattacharya in pivotal roles. The show is available on Sony LIV.

‘Delhi Crime’ (Seasons 1 and 2): Shefali Shah as Delhi Police DCP Vartika Chaturvedi is a character who embodies a sense of calm, composure and unwavering rationality in the face of intense job stress, challenging the way the male-dominated profession of policing is seen by the general public. Addressed as ‘Madam-Sir’ by her staff in the tradition of the Delhi Police, Shah’s character shatters gender barriers.

The International Emmy-winning show also features Rasika Dugal as Neeti Singh, IPS.

Season One delved into the harrowing events of the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape in Delhi and the second season focused on the ‘Chaddi Baniyan’ gang that wreaked terror in the national capital. Written and directed by Richie Mehta, the series is available on Netflix.

‘Scoop’: The Mumbai-based crime drama headlined by Karishma Tanna as Jagruti Pathak, inspired by ex-journalist Jigna Vora, who was falsely charged with being connected to the murder of crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey and was booked under MCOCA.

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Karishma’s character, an established crime reporter and Deputy Bureau Chief of the fictional ‘Eastern Age’, brings out her versatility as an actress. She conveys the essence of Jigna and navigates the complexities of her profession in a male-dominated industry.

Karishma elevates her character beyond mere stereotypes, showcasing the resilience and inner strength of women striving to make their mark in the world.

The show also stars Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Harman Baweja and Prosenjit Chatterjee in pivotal roles. It is streaming on Netflix.

‘Aarya’ (Seasons 1, 2 and 3): Sushmita Sen, who has had a brilliant second innings on OTT, plays the titular role and truly comes across as the symbol of strength and determination in the series. Set in the world of organised crime, Aarya transforms from a loving wife and mother into a confident decision-maker after her husband’s mysterious death. She goes on to uncover his illegal activities and that’s how the narrative unspools.

Nominated for International Emmys, the series has been co-created by Ram Madhvani. It also stars Ila Arun and Aarushi Bajaj in pivotal roles.

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It is available on Disney+ Hotstar.

‘Dahaad’: Sonakshi Sinha’s portrayal of Inspector Anjali Bhaati in this police procedural crime thriller series is nothing short of electrifying. With her fiery determination, Sonakshi breathed life into the character, bringing a perfect blend of toughness and charm, exuding confidence and authority.

The show is inspired by Mohan Kumar (known as Cyanide Mohan), a serial killer who preyed on women looking for marriage. Created by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, and directed by Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi, the show’s male protagonists are Gulshan Devaiah, Vijay Varma and Sohum Shah.

It is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

‘Karmma Calling’: Raveena Tandon, who marked her return to the screen with her kick-ass role in ‘Aranyak’, explored a very different aspect of herself as an artiste with her portrayal of Indrani Kothari in the ‘Karmma Calling’.

Indrani is the reigning queen of Alibaug, the enclave of the elite near Mumbai. She is powerful, strong-headed and wants to maintain her position in that well-heeled society.

Produced by RAT Films, adapted for India and directed by Ruchi Narain, the series also features Namrata Sheth and Varun Sood, along with Gaurav Sharma, Waluscha D’Souza, Amy Aela, Viraf Patel and Piyush Khati.

It is available on Disney+ Hotstar.

–IANS

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Don’t have to explain act of sex to my children: Sushmita Sen

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Don’t have to explain act of sex to my children: Sushmita Sen

Don’t have to explain act of sex to my children: Sushmita Sen

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Actress Sushmita Sen, who was last seen in the 3rd season of the streaming series ‘Aarya’, has shared that she didn’t have to explain the act of sex to her children as a part of sex education.

Sushmita recently appeared on actress Rhea Chakraborty’s ‘Chapter 2 Podcast’, and discussed aspects of her life.

The ‘Aarya’ star shared that the conversation she had with her girls about sex was very different from what the actress had with her mom. The conversation that Sushmita had with her mother was not very intimate, unlike the one she had with her daughters.

She told Rhea, “The act of sex, I didn’t have to explain (to my daughters). They’re already PhDs (sic), all of them are. My younger one is into biology. So, she will get into terminologies, and I’m like, Okay, can we please keep it very generic? We don’t have to discuss the technicalities of it.”

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She went on to say that the only thing that she has repeatedly spoken to them about is, if somebody told them, “It’s the right time or this is not the right thing,” she was not interested in discussing that with her daughter because that’s between them and their friends.

“You figure that out, equate sex with respect in your life,” the actress shared.

“You can explore yourself and your desires, there’s no problem with that. But, in the end, it should not make you feel bad because that’s important. And, don’t do it out of peer pressure. You have to do it because you want that,” she added.

–IANS

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Vatsal Sheth-Ishita Dutta's belated wish for their son: 'Cannot believe you are 1 yr already'

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Vatsal Sheth-Ishita Dutta's belated wish for their son: 'Cannot
 believe you are 1 yr already'

Vatsal Sheth-Ishita Dutta's belated wish for their son: 'Cannot
 believe you are 1 yr already'

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Actor couple Ishita Dutta and Vatsal Sheth on Saturday shared a happy glimpse of their baby boy Vaayu, wishing him love on his first birthday.

Taking to Instagram, Ishita posted a picture, wherein we can see her wearing a green long-sleeved tee-shirt and beige-coloured shorts. Vatsal was donning a white t-shirt and blue ripped denims.

Their little bundle of joy is sitting on a swing wearing a yellow t-shirt. The lovebirds are candidly posing standing behind their baby.

Ishita captioned the post: “Happy bday my baby… cannot believe you are 1 yr already… wish you all the happiness and love… Mumma papa love you so so much Vaayu….. Btw his bday was yest 19th but we were too busy having a blast.”

She gave the geo-tag of London, UK to her post.

Actor Bobby Deol dropped red heart emojis in the comment section.

Ishita met Vatsal on the sets of their show ‘Rishton Ka Saudagar – Baazigar’ in 2016. They had tied the knot in November 2017 in Mumbai.

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Ishita is best known for her performance in the 2015 crime thriller film ‘Drishyam’, starring Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran and Tabu. She has also starred in shows like ‘Kaun Hai? – Ek Naya Adhyay’, and ‘Thoda sa Baadal Thoda sa Paani’.

Vatsal has been a part of TV shows like ‘Just Mohabbat’, ‘Ek Hasina Thi’, ‘Gehraiyaan’, and ‘Naagin 6’. He has also featured in movies ‘Taarzan: The Wonder Car’, ‘Heroes’, ‘Jai Ho’, and most recently ‘Adipurush’.

–IANS

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Saira Banu pens emotional note for her good friend Rajendra Kumar

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Saira Banu pens emotional note for her good friend Rajendra Kumar

Saira Banu pens emotional note for her good friend Rajendra Kumar

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Veteran actress Saira Banu, who often grabs eyeballs on Instagram courtesy of her insightful posts about her life and her late husband, the cinema icon Dilip Kumar, has remembered the late actor Rajendra Kumar on his birth anniversary.

On Saturday, Saira took to the Stories section of her Instagram and shared a throwback image wishing the late actor.

She wrote on the picture, “Remembering the legendary Rajendra Kumar ji also known as Jubilee Kumar on his birth anniversary. He wasn’t just a prominent actor with whom I had the pleasure of sharing the screen in much-loved films like ‘Jhuk Gaya Aasman’, ‘Ayee Milan Ki Bela’, and ‘Aman’, Rajendra ji was also a cherished family friend and a constant well-wisher.”

The former actress then wrote that their bond was beautifully captured in his biography, ‘Jubilee Kumar: The Life and Times of a Superstar’.

He spoke about her in the biography, and had shared, “I have always prayed that Saira should find a worthy life partner. And see, my wish came true; she married the legend of Indian films, Dilip Kumar.”

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The actress further mentioned: “His words reflect the warmth and affection he had for our family, making his memory all the more precious. Happy Birth Anniversary, dear Rajendra ji. Your legacy and the kindness you bestowed upon us continue to inspire many.”

Rajendra Kumar, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 1970, appeared in more than 80 films in a career spanning over four decades.

He starred alongside Sunil Dutt and Nargis in ‘Mother India’ which was India’s first submission for the Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category.

He was popularly known as Jubilee Kumar during the 1960s when he starred in several commercially successful films.

–IANS

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Twinkle Khanna shares ‘genuine concern’ on menopause phase in a hilarious way

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Twinkle Khanna shares ‘genuine concern’ on menopause phase in a hilarious way

Twinkle Khanna shares ‘genuine concern’ on menopause phase in a hilarious way

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Actress Twinkle Khanna has raised awareness for the late periods in women at the age of 50, wondering if it is ‘menopause’ or ‘pregnancy’.

The digital media company Tweak India, which was founded by the ‘Baadshah’ actress shared a Boomerang video of Twinkle on the Instagram, in which she is wearing a white top, holding a cup in her hand and wondering: “When you’re 50 and your period is late, you wonder if it’s menopause or pregnancy”.

The bilingual digital media platform for women, Tweak India, which is now acquired by the Good Glamm Group, captioned the video as: “50 and swiftly descending into panic – Is this the welcome to the perimenopause club?”

The columnist Twinkle, who is known for her books ‘Mrs Funnybones’, and ‘The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad’ is in her 50s and relates to the late periods and the menopause situation that occurs in women.

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Menopause, which occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is the time when menstrual periods permanently stop, marking the end of reproduction.

The common symptoms during this time are — women can experience hot flashes, night sweats, reddening of the skin, vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and mood changes.

There are also physical changes like — bone loss, increased central abdominal fat, and adverse changes in a woman’s cholesterol profile and vascular function.

Twinkle, who is the daughter of superstars Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, made her acting debut in 1995 with the movie ‘Barsaat’, alongside Bobby Deol.

She has starred in movies like ‘Dil Tera Diwana’, ‘International Khiladi’, ‘Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan’, ‘Mela’, ‘Chal Mere Bhai’, and ‘Jodi No.1’.

Twinkle is married to Akshay Kumar, and the couple have a son Aarav and daughter Nitara.

–IANS

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Hina Khan is taking 'one step at a time' as she drops workout video amid chemotherapy

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Hina Khan is taking 'one step at a time' as she drops workout video amid chemotherapy

Hina Khan is taking 'one step at a time' as she drops workout video amid chemotherapy

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Actress Hina Khan, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for stage three breast cancer, is taking ‘one step at a time’, saying ‘this journey should be remembered for what I made off it’.

The diva took to her Instagram account and shared a Reel video, wherein we can see her working out in a gym. In the video, she is wearing a pink tank top and black tights and is flaunting her pixie haircut, which she opted for because of her treatment.

The post is captioned: “Will it to win it, one step at a time.. Doing what I promised myself.. yes .. just as I said you can find Good Days and make the most of it, even if they are few.. This journey should be remembered for what I made of it. not the other way around..”

“Thank you Allah for giving me this strength.. I pray for your continuous support and healing. With all due respect to everyone who’s battling similar fights more or less.. the idea is to know yourself, find your own way and listen to your body. #ScarredNotScared #AWindowToMyJourney #TheGirlWhoNeverGivesUp #DaddysStrongGirl #OneDayAtATime,” added Hina.

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On June 28, Hina took to social media and announced the news of her breast cancer.

The actress is best known for her role as Akshara in the popular TV show ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’. She has then participated in ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 8’, ‘Bigg Boss 11’, and ‘Bigg Boss 14’.

On the work front, Hina recently made her Punjabi film debut with ‘Shinda Shinda No Papa’, alongside Gippy Grewal.

–IANS

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