From yoga, auditions to dance classes: Bollywood goes online amid coronavirus

News Network
March 21, 2020

Mar 21: The novel coronavirus outbreak in the country may have brought the ever-bustling film industry to a halt but it hasn't stopped Bollywood celebrities from utilising their massive online influence to entertain their followers as well as engage them in fitness, dance and yoga routines.

According to the Health Ministry, the coronavirus cases in India rose to 258 on Saturday after 35 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country.

As the government encourages more social distancing, people from the film fraternity are finding ways to connect to people and ensure their self-isolation isn't wasted.

On Sunday, actor Shilpa Shetty will hold a special live fitness session across digital platforms for people to follow from home.

"In times like these, it's important to stay fit, active, and healthy. Join me on Sunday, 22nd March at 4:00 pm IST as I go LIVE on Instagram-Facebook-Helo (@theshilpashetty) and on the @ShilpaShettyApp to show you some beneficial and helpful yoga asanas.

"You can watch, learn, and practice it from the comfort of your homes. Remember, staying indoors shouldn't be an excuse for deviating from your fitness routine," the actor wrote in an Instagram post.

Online yoga and fitness programs are picking up steam, with many celebrities pitching in.

On Saturday, actor Tamannah Bhatia went live with Diva Yoga, a studio part of a larger yoga ecosystem called SARVA, where she participated in a one-hour virtual yoga class, to encourage people to pursue their fitness goals.

Malaika Arora, co-founder of the yoga studio, told news agency that as the world fights a public health crisis, "we must do our best to stay calm and safe."

"There is also a need to boost our immunity levels even if it means continuing our workout from home. The live sessions being conducted on the Diva Studios Instagram handle and immunity boosting modules being shared on the SARVA app and website are aimed at this.

"Our instructors will offer guided lessons every day... for everyone’s benefit. I encourage people to join in and be responsible for your own health. When you are fit and healthy, you can help others in a better manner. It is these small steps that will lead to a better outcome," she said.

With everything coming to a standstill, choreographer Terence Lewis has also figured out an alternate avenue to reach out to his students: through online classes.

As of now, those who are not his students do not have the access to it, but Lewis said that's going to change soon.

"In few days, we will be starting online dance tutorials for people who have no access and means to be a part of our institute directly. Since, we do not have any branches, neither do I believe in having one, we directly teach from our original space in Andheri.

"Here we have instructors who have learnt from me and is the only legit institute we have hence, we'll think of doing the online classes as way of engaging with people who are far away from us," Lewis told PTI.

As shootings of movies, TV shows and web series stand suspended till March 31, casting director and actor Abhishek Banerjee is encouraging artistes to send self tapes from their homes.

"We are encouraging that to minimise human to human contact and audition spaces. Some actors are known to us, some unknown. It's very difficult to track anybody's health of you don't know the person. So it's easier to see the self tapes and keep shortlisting them and maybe we will call them again for a proper audition when everything is alright," he said.

The process of recording a self audition, according to the "Stree" actor, isn't easy.

"Full marks and respect for actors who are sending the self tapes because audition process takes a lot of efforts and to do that alone, without any help in isolation, without cues, it's commendable."

Banerjee, who runs Casting Bay, a leading casting studios, along with his friend Anmol Ahuja, said on an average, any big casting office had around 100-150 footfalls everyday, which has now come to a griding halt.

"The minute the government decided, we stopped all auditions too. Everything is on a standstill now. The production houses have asked us to hold on the auditions and projects. The major worry is that many actors will have date issues now. Once everything opens in April, let's see how to tackle that. It'll be a very difficult situation," he added.


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September 22,2020



Mumbai, Sept 22: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has summoned actor Deepika Padukone's manager Karishma Prakash and a talent management agency's CEO Dhurv Chitgopekar in connection with its probe into the alleged Bollywood-drug nexus, an official said on Tuesday.

Both of them will be questioned by the NCB on Tuesday afternoon, he said.

Chitgopekar is the CEO of KWAN talent management agency and Karishma Prakash is employed with the agency, the official said.

During the NCB's investigation into the drugs angle in actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case, a wider drugs nexus in Bollywood surfaced.

Rajput's talent manager Jaya Saha was questioned by the NCB on Monday.

During her questioning, the NCB got information about many persons allegedly having an active role in the Bollywood-drug nexus, the official said.

Some WhatsApp chats of the persons who were questioned earlier by the NCB suggested discussion about drugs, he said.

The NCB has so far arrested more than 12 people, including Rajput's girlfriend and actress Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty, in connection with the probe into the drugs angle in the case of the actor's death.

Rajput (34) was found hanging at his home in Bandra area here on June 14.


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News Network
September 25,2020


Mumbai, Sept 25: Prominent names from Indian film industry such as veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar, music composer AR Rahman, actors Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor and Ramaya Krishnan, paid tributes to legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam and remembered his contribution in the field of music.

The 74-year old veteran singer, popularly known as SPB, died on Friday after a over two months long battle with coronavirus.

The singer breathed his last at around 1.04 pm, his son and filmmaker S P Charan told reporters.

Balasubrahmanyam, who captivated millions of hearts by his supreme singing talent for over five decades, was admitted to the MGM Healthcare here on August 5 after testing positive for Covid-19.

Hailing Balasubrahmanyam as a "brilliant singer" and a "kind human being", Mangeshkar reminiscenced working with him.

"I'm very disturbed by the demise of SP Balasubrahmanyam. We have recorded many song together and did a lot shows. My condolences to his family," the veteran singer wrote.

Rahman shared his photo with Balasubrahmanyam and simply posted, "#ripspb ...Devastated"

Balasubrahmanyam's voice played a huge role in establishing Khan as a romantic hero in the 1990s with songs "Mere rang main", "Pehla pehla pyaar hai", "Mausam ka jaddu", and "Hum aapke hain koun" among others.

Khan, who on Thursday wished the legendary singer a speedy recovery, said he was heartbroken by the news of his demise.

"Heartbroken to hear about #SPBalasubrahmanyam sir... you will forever live on in your undisputed legacy of music! condolence to the family #RIP," he tweeted.

Kapoor remembered the musician as "great human being" and "an incredible singer" and said that he will be "missed truly".

"Lucky to have had him dub for me... Give his voice to my performances in my first Telugu and Kannada film... SP Balasubrahmanyam will be missed heartfelt condolences & prayers to the family..." he added.

Kumar said he is "deeply saddened" by the news of Balasubrahmanyam's death.

"Just a few months back I’d interacted with him during a virtual concert in this lockdown..he seemed hale, hearty & his usual legendary is truly unpredictable. My thoughts & prayers with his family," he wrote.

"Baahubali" star Krishnan tweeted, "Someone so special can never be forgotten, may his soul rest in peace my deepest condolences to the family....#ripspb sir"

Filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar, Bejoy Nambiar and Sujoy Ghosh also offered their condolences.

"Extremely saddened on hearing the demise of the Veteran Prolific Versatile Singer #SPBalasubramaniam Sir , who redefined singing. My deepest condolences to his family members & millions of admirers globally. #OmShanti" Bhandarkar tweeted.

Nambiar said Balasubrahmanyam's legacy will live on through his music. "Rest In Peace SPB Sir," he added.

Ghosh wrote, "A true legend. Nothing but respect for S P Balasubrahmanyam."

Aditi Rao Hydari said Balasubrahmanyam will forever remain "the voice of eternal love". "My condolences and prayers to the family and fans..." she added.

The health condition of the singer, who was admitted to the hospital with mild symptoms, deteriorated for the first time on August 13 after which he was put on life support and moved to the Intensive Care Unit.

On August 19, he was put on ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)besides ventilator and a day after, when he remained critical, people from all walks of life, including celebrities and the general public, came together to pray for his early recovery.

On Thursday, he was put on ventilator and ECMO after his condition deteriorated.


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News Network
September 12,2020


Mumbai, Sept 12: Veteran singer Anuradha Paudwal's son Aditya Paudwal has passed away at the age of 35 due to kidney failure.

The news of his demise was confirmed by Singer and music director Shankar Mahadevan in an Instagram post on September 12. Mahadevan said: “Devastated hearing this news !! Our dearest Aditya Paudwal is no more! What an amazing musician, what a lovely human being with a beautiful sense of humour! We have collaborated on so many projects! Just can’t come to terms with this !prayers for his family! Love you Aditya .. will miss you."

As per a News18 report, Aditya was suffering from kidney ailments for the past few months and had been hospitalised for the same.

Aditya Paudwal was also a music arranger and producer.

Singer Aditi Singh also wrote on her Instagram post: "Devastating news !! I literally cannot believe it !! What an incredibly talented musician and such a fun & humble guy. I recorded ‘Pyar Karnewale’ with him a few years ago .. what a delight to work with & to be around. We have lost an amazing musician and an awesome human being today. I pray for your soul to rest in peace, dear Aditya. My heartfelt condolences to Anuradha ji, their family & loved ones and strength to cope with this irreparable loss. #ripadityapaudwal #restinpeace #adityapaudwal"

Veteran Singer Pankaj Udhas also offered condolences to the family via a Tweet: "Shocked to learn about sudden passing of dear Aditya Paudwal We will never forget the image of his energetic and bright face. May God grant him eternal rest and the family the strength to bear his untimely passing. our deepest condolences to the family"

Aditya Paudwal was associated with the Nawazuddin Siddiqui's film Thackeray which was based on the life of Shive Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray. He was the arranger and producer of the song 'Saheb tu' in that film.

He had also collaborated with his mother on a few bhajans and was also registered in the Limca Book of Records as the youngest music producer of the country.


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