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Bollywood Latest News

It’s so bad that if you’re safe, you feel guilty: Javed Akhtar

Veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar feels that it is time to stand together with the people struggling amid the Covid-19 crisis, and appreciates his son, actor Farhan Akhtar for doing his bit.

“Today, people are so worried, tensed and harassed. I never imagined that I’d see my country in this condition,” says lyricist Javed Akhtar with dread, adding that the raging second wave Covid-19 crisis has left him reeling with survivor’s guilt.

At the moment, he’s isolating with his wife, actor Shabana Azmi at his house in Khandala, Maharashtra.

“There are big houses here, which are separate from each other. There are lawns in front of the house as well. So, people can comfortably restrain themselves within that house. All the groceries and items come on the gate, and are sanitised. The whole staff is tested, and all of them are negative thankfully. So, we’ve done all kinds of security,” he was quoted as saying.

However, he’s quick to add that all this doesn’t keep the stress and worry away.

“The news these days is so disturbing. It’s sad that if you’re safe, you feel guilty. Some time back, I was talking to Shabana that we’re feeling safe here, but look what all is happening outside,” confesses Akhtar, 76.

Despite such anxious moments, the veteran writer-poet is finding his strength to go on with the will to help people.

“We are doing whatever we can do, without putting ourselves in danger, because if tomorrow I get Covid, it’ll not help anyone. I can be of help as long as I’m healthy, so, we’re doing whatever is possible,” says Akhtar.

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Bollywood Latest News

Javed Akhtar got warrant against me: Kangana

Actress Kangana Ranaut took a jibe at lyricist Javed Akhtar for issuing a warrant against her. A Mumbai court had issued a bailable warrant against Kangana the day before, when she failed to appear for the hearing of Akhtar’s defamation case against her.

“Another day another FIR, yesterday Javed chacha with help of Maharashtra government got a warrant issued for me and now another FIR for supporting farmer’s bill, meanwhile those who spread lies about this Bill and Farmer’s genocide also caused riots, face no consequences. Thanks,” Kangana tweeted.

In a second tweet in Hindi, she took a jibe at the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

Kangana visited her Bandra office in Mumbai for a meeting, and later tweeted that visit left her heartbroken. The actress also shared pictures of the destroyed office.

In September 2020, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demolished parts of Kangana’s office in Bandra citing illegal construction. The demolition work was stopped midway after a stay order from Bombay High Court on September 9.

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Latest News USA

Over $ 3 M raised at Akshaya Patra Foundation USA’s virtual Gratitude Gala

New York:  The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA raised over $3 million at its 7th and final grand finale virtual gala of 2020 on Nov 28.  

The Gratitude Gala was a huge success with over 10,000 attendees who viewed the event on Akshaya Patra’s webpage, Facebook, Youtube and TV Asia. The seven virtual galas reached over 32,000 people and consisted of a great list of speakers, including Raveena Tandon, John Chambers, Jamshyd Godrej, Sanjeev Kapoor, Boman Irani, Smt. Sudha Murthy, and many more.

The funds raised will provide COVID relief to migrant workers, including cooked meals, ration boxes for families, and Happiness Kits containing 30 days’ worth of food, hygiene products, and educational supplies to its mid-day meal beneficiaries, as well as support mid-day meals for school children when schools reopen for the 2020-2021 school year.

“The Gratitude Gala was a poignant reminder of the realities of hunger. During the COVID crisis, we stepped up to serve 100 million meals. But we also know that for a child, hunger is a crisis every single day,” said Vandana Tilak, President of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA. 

The Gratitude Gala virtual event was a celebration of Akshaya Patra’s 20th Anniversary and thanks to all of its supporters, donors, well-wishers, and partners. Dr. Rachana Kulkarni, Cardiologist, and Akshaya Patra Board Member hosted the evening.

Elegant and talented actress and politician Hema Malini shared her favorite silver screen moments, movies, and heroine roles. Also, she discussed her involvement in politics and utilizing her audience to make a difference by promoting education and women empowerment.

Poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar voiced his gratitude for all the work Akshaya Patra has done to end hunger. Then he graced us by sharing one of his original poems titled, Bhookh (Hunger). 

Consul General of India Randhir Jaiswal expressed his admiration for Akshaya Patra’s achievements and partnership with the Indian Government to change millions of children’s lives. 

Next, the talented Swanand Kirkire recited a poem he wrote and dedicated to Akshaya Patra. The poem talks about the eagerness for children to learn and discover the world and how Akshaya Patra provides for these children, so they do not go to bed hungry.

Throughout the evening, world-renowned singer Shankar Mahadevan sang various songs from semi-classical compositions from Bandish Bandits, Bhajans, and renderings of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi to modern foot-tapping numbers from Kal Ho Na Ho and Lakshya.

Overall, the event was full of heartfelt gratitude, lively musical performances, and enlightening conversations, celebrating the beneficiaries, volunteers, chapter teams from Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey, and New York. 

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Entertainment

Honored to receive Richard Dawkins Award 2020: Javed Akhtar

Popular writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar is honored to receive the Richard Dawkins Award 2020. He says that to have his name included in the list with previous recipients such as comedian Bill Maher and philosopher Christoper Hitchens is fulfillment of a dream he had not even seen.

The award has been presented since 2003, and is named after English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

Akhtar received the honor for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Richard Dawkins Award 2020. I have admired Richard Dawkins ever since I read his first book ‘The Selfish Gene’. I have since then read every book of his and ‘The God Delusion’ is my absolute favorite,” said Akhtar.

“To have my name included in the distinguished list of the previous recipients such as Bill Maher and Christoper Hitchens is fulfillment of a dream I had not even seen,” he added.

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