After Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, Into The Wild With Bear Grylls’ next guest is Ajay Devgn

After special episodes of Into The Wild With Bear Grylls featuring Tamil superstar Rajinikanth and Bollywood’s Akshay Kumar, Discovery has roped in Ajay Devgn for an upcoming episode.

Into The Wild With Bear Grylls is a survival skills reality show that involves Indian celebrities venturing into the wilderness with the famous British survivalist and adventurer. It is similar to Grylls’ other, international show for NBC and National Geographic called Running Wild with Bear Grylls, that has hosted actors Channing Tatum, Ben Stiller, and Michelle Rodriguez, and former US president Barack Obama.

Grylls has hosted PM Narendra Modi as well in a special called Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi in 2019.

Sunday Zodiac: Signs that need to focus on being fit

We all have weaknesses that we need to work on. One of the major issues is fitness, and how regular we are at it. While being fit comes naturally to some, others need a lot of push to get started. This Sunday, here are the signs that need to focus on their fitness, as explained by Jeevika Sharma, a tarot card reader and guidance counsellor.

Capricorns need to maintain a balance in their life, which would help them focus on being fit physically and mentally. They will be able to maintain stability once they start working on it.

Aquarius usually spend a huge amount of money in order to stay fit. They will try all possible ways to maintain their fitness. But, if there is any way which seems to be working for them, then they should stick to it.

Pisces are the ones who need a lot of encouragement or need to be influenced for them to be fit. Once they get influenced, Pisceans will work hard to be fit. To put it simply, they need to be pushed to be fit.

A Novelty story: action, climax & the end

In 1958, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the precursor to the BJP, lost the Delhi civic polls it contested. The evening of the results, its top leaders, L K Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, friends and confidants, watched Raj Kapoor’s Phir Subah Hogi at Paharganj’s Imperial cinema.

Advani had narrated this at an event in 2011. “We lost. To drown our sorrows, we went to a movie together at Paharganj’s Imperial cinema. Incidentally, the Raj Kapoor movie was titled Phir Subah Hogi… and we finally came to power at the Centre.”

Such was the enduring charm of cinema. But that was another era, when cinema held centre stage, before plush seats and popcorn in tubs changed the movie-watching experience. Those were the days of wooden seats and 35mm projectors, of groundnuts in paper cones and hooting crowds.

The demolition last year of another single-screen hall, Old Delhi’s Novelty cinema, a few kilometres from Imperial and one of the oldest and earliest cinemas of the Capital, further brought the curtains down on that era. Recently, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, which owns the property, leased out the 1,157-square-metre plot to a private player for Rs 35 crore for 99 years.

The Corporation, which owns the property, is said to have been struggling to redevelop it since 2000, when it took over the premises from Vijay Narain Seth.

Seth, now 75, says his father, Jagat Narain Seth, bought Novelty (then called Elphinstone Picture Palace) from the East India Trading Company in 1933. The first movie to be shown here was Night of Love in 1935. “Initially, only English movies used to be screened. Later, my father started screening Hindi films, including Ratan (which ran for 50 weeks in the 1940s), and Kadambari,” he says. There were to be many more — Dilip Kumar’s Andaz, Jugnu and Mughal-e-Azam. Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay ran for three years.

Seth also recalls how Novelty screened Gemini Studios’ Chandralekha, “the first ever south Indian film to be screened in the north”.

“We would show only three-four films a year, while other theatres would change the shows more frequently,” he adds. The last film that had a jubilee run, Seth says, was Sridevi’s Nigahen, in the late 1980s. In 2000, the family had to down the shutters on their six-decade enterprise.

The family-owned two more movie halls in Old Delhi — Jagat near Jama Masjid and Ritz at Kashmere Gate. “All the cinemas at that time were located inside the Walled City, but a little away from the residential areas,” he says.

Initially, when the civic body took over, it wanted to revamp it as a cinema-cum-commercial complex. In 2012, there was even a proposal to convert the Novelty cinema building into a spice market.

However, both the plans failed to take off.

What is left of Novelty is an open ground with rubble and strewn with plastic bags and water bottles and beer cans.

Old-timers from the Fatehpuri area, where Novelty once stood, recall its two waiting halls, where the crowds waited for the next show, “gorging on cream rolls, pastries and cold drinks” in the meantime.

This is the third cinema in the area to be razed. In the 1990s, Jubliee near Chandni Chowk was demolished, and a few years later, New Amar was razed to make space for the Chawri Bazaar Metro Station. In the heydays of single screens, Old Delhi alone had 12. Of those, only four remain operational — Delite, Abhishek, Moti and Ritz.

Kirsten Dunst reveals she welcomed second baby with Jesse Plemons four months ago

Actor Kirsten Dunst has said that she gave birth to her second child with fiance Jesse Plemons four months ago.

During an interview with The New York Times published on Friday, the 39-year-old actor revealed that they have named their newborn son James Robert.

“This is the newest guy, the Big Kahuna. He’s an angel, but he’s a hungry angel. And a heavy angel,” Dunst said about the baby.

“I’m so tired, I haven’t slept through the night in four months. I’ve developed an eye twitch, too. Yeah, I’m in a really special place,” she added.

Dunst had revealed her latest pregnancy in W Magazine’s Directors Issue back in March and showed her growing baby bump on the cover.

Dunst and Plemons, 33, are also parents to their three-year-old son Ennis.

The couple met while filming the second season of popular series Fargo in 2015 and got engaged in 2017.

On the work front, Dunst and Plemons currently feature together in filmmaker Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, also starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. It is scheduled to be released in US theatres on November 17 before hitting streaming platform Netflix on December 1.

Cristiano Ronaldo to make second United debut against Newcastle, says Solskjaer

Cristiano Ronaldo will make his second debut for Manchester United when they host Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday (Sept 11), manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said, but he did not confirm if the Portuguese forward would start.

Ronaldo rejoined United from Juventus on a two-year deal and will be looking to add to his 118 goals at the Old Trafford club where he won eight major trophies in six seasons.

Solskjaer said Ronaldo’s return had lifted the mood at United and the 36-year-old, who had “trained all week”, brought with him a “winner’s mentality”.

“He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus, played with the national team, had a good week with us. He’ll definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday.

“We’ve got mutual respect for each other, but he knows I’ve got to make the decisions when to play (him), when not to play. It’s my job to get the best out of him, that comes from communication. He doesn’t need me to tell him what to do.

“Everyone is going to look up to him and he is going to be a leader in this dressing room.”

Ronaldo will don the No. 7 shirt again at United and Solskjaer said its former owner, Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, had no qualms about handing it to the Portuguese forward.

“Edinson has been remarkable, played really well last season… To pass up his shirt shows the respect he’s got for Cristiano and respect the other way. Two top pros, players and human beings,” Solskjaer said.

United will be without midfielder Fred who is banned after failing to turn up for Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers, which the Norwegian described as a “lose-lose situation”.

“The players want to play but we all know what kind of situation we find ourselves in the last year-and-a-half with the pandemic to limit the spread of the virus,” Solskjaer said.

“We’ve worked really hard to try and find a way – private jets, there are ways of getting them in and out – but all of the decisions have gone against the players who want to play for national teams and clubs but not allowed.

“(I’m) disappointed with the whole thing, common sense might not be common anymore. Fingers crossed, some sense comes into people’s minds.”

The emergence of Muslim ‘politicophobia’ after 9/11

The term Islamophobia is rather inappropriate to map out the nature of post-9/11 Indian public debates on Muslim identity. Islamophobia, which simply means an intense dislike or fear of Islam or prejudice towards Muslims, is a western notion. It captures the anxieties of the middle-class white population in the US and Europe in the aftermath of the war against terror.

The Muslim identity, on the other hand, is an established problem category in India. The political class, including the so-called secularists, has never been fully comfortable with Muslim presence. The involvement and participation of Muslim communities in political processes is often reduced to an imagined Muslim vote-bank politics, while their social life is always seen as a symbol of backwardness. The events of 9/11 intensified such apprehensions. Popular global phrases like jihadi Islam, Islamic terrorism, sharia rule and so on, offered new meanings to already established debates on Muslim separatism and Muslim isolation.

This interesting merger between global anti-Islamism and anti-Muslim communalism led to a new political consensus, which may be called the “Muslim politicophobia”. Political parties adopted this refined mode to address Indian Muslims in the post-9/11 scenario not merely as a problematic religious minority but also as a part of a global Islamic umma.

Three defining features of Muslim politicophobia are relevant to understand the changing political attitudes towards Indian Muslims in the last two decades.

One, the slow and gradual transformation of the Indian Muslim identity into a reference point for global Islamic terrorism. The Islamic connection between India’s Muslims and the Islamists/jihadi organisations is evoked as the most legitimate template for making sense of violent events associated with Islam and Muslims.

Two completely different statements made by Indian prime ministers in the aftermath of 9/11 are relevant to elaborate this point.

In 2002, Atal Bihari Vajpayee argued stridently that Muslims “want to spread their faith by resorting to terror and threats. The world has become alert to this danger”. Three years later, Manmohan Singh made a very different argument. He took pride “in the fact that, although we have 150 million Muslims in our country as citizens, not one has been found to have joined the ranks of al Qaeda or participated in the activities of Taliban.”

Although these statements offer us two completely opposite conclusions, the manner in which Muslim identity is linked to the global terrorism clearly underlines the fact that Muslim presence in India is seen as an imprint of global Islam.

The recent Afghanistan crisis is a good example of how Muslim politicophobia functions in public discussions. A section of the media has been trying to interpret this crisis by evoking a strange speculative fear. They work hard to find evidence that Indian Muslims subscribe to the ideology of Taliban. There is a popular conception that India (read Hindus) must not rule out the possibility of an internal version of Taliban or an “Indian Taliban” precisely because there is a sizeable Muslim population.

The fear of active Muslim political engagement (or even the lack of it) is the second feature of Muslim politicophobia. The renewed debate on a Muslim vote bank in the last three decades is a good example. Muslims are alleged to vote as a collective in favour of a particular party at the national level. In the post-Babri Masjid scenario, the scope of this argument has been expanded. It is now claimed that Muslims primarily take part in electoral politics to teach a lesson to BJP.

Last year’s Bihar assembly election is an appropriate illustration of this feature of Muslim politicophobia. The Hyderabad-based party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), won five Muslim dominated constituencies in the state’s Seemanchal region. The success of AIMIM under the leadership of Asaduddin Owaisi was seen as an Islamic response to BJP’s Hindutva. Even serious secular commentators and non-BJP parties accused Muslim voters of a communal Islamised voting response. No one bothered to look at the political context of Seemanchal region, where caste among Muslims played a significant role in AIMIM’s victory on those five seats. The almost insignificant vote share of the party at the state level (1.24 per cent) was also neglected simply to substantiate the imagined fear of Islamic expansionism in India politics.

The third feature of Muslim politicophobia is related to the popular representation of Muslims as a politically conscious community or what I call siyasi Muslims. It is assumed that Muslims are fully conscious and informed of their collective right and hence always take politically motivated decisions. This perception has found a different overtone in recent years.

The recent Afghanistan crisis is a good example of how Muslim politicophobia functions in public discussions. A section of the media has been trying to interpret this crisis by evoking a strange speculative fear. They work hard to find evidence that Indian Muslims subscribe to the ideology of Taliban. There is a popular conception that India (read Hindus) must not rule out the possibility of an internal version of Taliban or an “Indian Taliban” precisely because there is a sizeable Muslim population.

The fear of active Muslim political engagement (or even the lack of it) is the second feature of Muslim politicophobia. The renewed debate on a Muslim vote bank in the last three decades is a good example. Muslims are alleged to vote as a collective in favour of a particular party at the national level. In the post-Babri Masjid scenario, the scope of this argument has been expanded. It is now claimed that Muslims primarily take part in electoral politics to teach a lesson to BJP.

Last year’s Bihar assembly election is an appropriate illustration of this feature of Muslim politicophobia. The Hyderabad-based party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), won five Muslim dominated constituencies in the state’s Seemanchal region. The success of AIMIM under the leadership of Asaduddin Owaisi was seen as an Islamic response to BJP’s Hindutva. Even serious secular commentators and non-BJP parties accused Muslim voters of a communal Islamised voting response. No one bothered to look at the political context of Seemanchal region, where caste among Muslims played a significant role in AIMIM’s victory on those five seats. The almost insignificant vote share of the party at the state level (1.24 per cent) was also neglected simply to substantiate the imagined fear of Islamic expansionism in India politics.

The third feature of Muslim politicophobia is related to the popular representation of Muslims as a politically conscious community or what I call siyasi Muslims. It is assumed that Muslims are fully conscious and informed of their collective right and hence always take politically motivated decisions. This perception has found a different overtone in recent years.

Every aspect of Muslim social life is seen through the prism of global jihadi politics. Muslim population growth is interpreted as “population jihad”, as if Muslim couples plan their families primarily to outnumber Hindus. Muslim personal law is seen as a blueprint for a sharia-based Islamic rule in India. An impression is created that sharia is the only hurdle between egalitarian Hinduism and the modernist ideal of the uniform civil code (UCC). The anti-conversion laws (which are strangely named freedom of religion laws) are also based on this fear that poor and illiterate Hindus are being converted to expand the influence of Islam in India.

It would be completely wrong to reduce Muslim politicophobia to Hindutva politics. Although the BJP has always been a clear beneficiary of this political discourse, the role of non-BJP parties cannot be ignored. These erstwhile secular parties as well as the Muslim political elite were instrumental in creating a conducive environment for Hindutva to appropriate Muslim politicophobia.

Major fire at plywood godown in Kolkata

A major fire broke out at a plywood godown in north Kolkata’s Nimtala Ghat Street area around 7.45 am on Friday. No loss of lives was reported.

Six fire tenders were initially deployed to douse the blaze, and later 10 more were dispatched, said officials, since the godown is located in a congested area and people rushed out of their homes fearing that the fire would spread quickly. According to officials, in the area, there are more than 300 plyboard godowns and warehouses that store wooden materials.

Both Fire Minister Sujit Bose, and Women and Child Development Minister Shashi Panja, the local MLA, visited the spot in the morning. Bose dismissed allegations that it took time to douse the blaze. He said the fire was brought under control with 16 engines in just two hours.

The amount of loss has not yet been ascertained. “The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained,” said Panja.

For new hires, remote work brings challenges, opportunities

Rebekah Ingram’s remote internship has come with a series of unexpected challenges: She lacks a proper office set-up, her mother often calls for her while she works, and her dog barks during video calls.

Her situation will sound familiar to anyone who has worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic. The difference for Ingram is that she, like many other young people who started jobs in the past 18 months, hasn’t spent any time in a traditional office. She speculates that remote work is “way more informal”.

“It’s kind of trippy because…you’re working but you’re in your own environment,” said the 22-year-old, who is interning at Like Minded Females Network, a global tech and entrepreneurship non-profit based in London.

Many 2020 graduates left school and entered a world in turmoil, with limited job prospects. Some lost work opportunities as companies cancelled internships or froze hiring altogether. As restrictions have eased in many places, jobs have become easier to find, but work remains far from normal.

Most of all, many young workers say, they know they’re missing out when their office is the four walls of their bedroom. They wish they had more chances for everyday social interactions with their colleagues, both to build camaraderie and to find mentors.

Sohini Sengupta, 22, had an easy transition to remote work because she was used to doing it at school, but she feels she lacks a sense of community at her job.

“When I started working, I took a look at my workplace’s website and I could see photos of them taking trips together, enjoying themselves at the pool table at the office…something I had no chance to experience,” said Sengupta, who lives in Calcutta, India, and is working as a production trainee at a media outlet based in New Delhi.

Annabel Redgate, 25, a public relations account executive at PR agency TANK in Nottingham, England, began her current job in February. When pandemic-related restrictions began lifting a few months ago, she started to reach out to colleagues to meet for drinks after work. Now TANK has begun a staggered return to the office, and it’s the social atmosphere she’s most looking forward to.

“PR is a very personal industry, so I’m excited for the atmosphere in the office,” she said.

For Maya Goldman, a 23-year old health reporter based in Washington, DC, beginning her career remotely has meant struggling to set boundaries for herself, a process she figures she would have seen modelled by her bosses if she had been working in the office.

It was “hard to figure out … when was appropriate to tell my bosses that I was done for the night, or when I should take lunch, and how long I should take lunch for,” Goldman said.

Many employers are conscious of the need to help new remote workers feel welcome.

At 9 every morning, employees at Trevelino/Keller, a marketing firm in Atlanta, participate in “Spotify at 9”, where they all play the same song and talk about it on Slack. They’ve also held book clubs and watched TED talks virtually.

It’s part of an effort to make sure “while you’re waking up every day in your first career remotely, you feel like you’re part of a company and you’re part of our culture,” said Dean Trevelino, co-founder of the firm.

Liza Streiff, CEO at Knopman Marks Financial Training, a financial education company in New York, recently held a barbecue at her place, the first in-person event for the company since the pandemic.

Many of her employees were meeting in person for the first time. It was two of the youngest workers — an intern and another worker who recently joined full-time following an internship — who told Streiff “how much this meant to them”.

Companies are also helping employees take advantage of mentoring opportunities they may feel they’re missing out on.

Sai Dharam Tej hospitalised after bike accident, Jr NTR wishes ‘speedy recovery’

Actor Sai Dharam Tej met with a bike accident on Friday evening in Hyderabad. The actor, who was admitted to Medicare Hospital, was later shifted to Jubilee Hills Apollo Hospital for treatment. He is currently out of danger. As per a statement from the hospital, Dharam Tej has no major injuries to brain, spine, and vital organs. However, he has sustained soft tissues injuries and a collar bone fracture.

“He is being closely monitored and further evaluation will be done over the next 24 hours. There is no need for any immediate surgical intervention,” an official statement from the hospital read. The news of his accident was shared by actor Chiranjeevi, who also shared the hospital statement to inform Sai Dharam Tej’s fans that he is doing absolutely fine.

“@IamSaiDharamTej met with an accident few hours ago & has suffered minor injuries & bruises. Wish to share with All Fans & Well Wishers that There is absolutely NO cause for Concern or Anxiety. He is recovering under expert medical supervision & shall be back in a couple of days,” the tweet read.

Dharam Tej’s family members were seen visiting him at the hospital. Pawan Kalyan, Pawan Tej and others were seen at the hospital. A fan shared Pawan Kalyan’s video from the hospital in which he can be heard sharing that currently, Sai Dharam Tej is unconscious and under observation.

In a video being shared on Twitter, Allu Arvind shared that the actor is out of danger and will come to consciousness soon.

Producer Sreenivasa Kumar also tweeted a video of an inspector sharing details of how the accident took place. “Sai Dharam Tej’s bike skid due to mud on the road. He is out of danger and is currently receiving treatment,” police said.

As soon as the news of Sai Dharam Tej went viral, many of his friends tweeted wishing him a speedy recovery. Wild Dog actor Ali Reza tweeted, “Just got to know some unfortunate news about Sai Dharam Tej. Let’s pray for his speedy recocvery. Insha Allah.” Manoj Manchu is “glad” that Sai Dharam Tej is out of danger. “Mithrama #SaiDharamTej We all are glad u r out of danger. recover fast mithrama … love you,” the tweet read. Jr NTR tweeted, “Wishing you a speedy recovery brother.”

Sai Dharam Tej is Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan’s nephew. The actor will next be seen in Republic.

Rashid Khan steps down as Afghanistan captain after ACB names T20 WC squad

Rashid Khan resigned as Afghanistan’s T20 captain on Thursday, claiming he was not consulted by the selectors while they were finalizing the team for next month’s T20 World Cup.

Afghanistan’s selectors had named Rashid as the captain while veteran wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad was also included in the squad. Afasr Zazai and Farid Ahmad Malik were announced as the two standby players. However, moments later, in a stunning development, Rashid Khan announced his decision of stepping down as the captain of the T20 side.

“The selection committee and ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) has not obtained my consent for the team which has been announced by ACB media,” Rashid said in a tweet, moments after the ACB tweeted the 18-member squad and also named two reserve players.

“As the captain and responsible person for the nation I reserve the right to be part of the selection of the team,” Rashid said. “I am taking the decision of stepping down from the role as the captain of Afghanistan T20 side effective immediately.”

Rashid, who is the world’s top-ranked bowler in Twenty20s, was named Afghanistan captain for the T20 World Cup in July. His deputy Najibullah Zadran was included in the 18-member squad.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) expressed “concern surrounding women’s cricket in Afghanistan following media reports of the Taliban not allowing women to play the sport.

This in turn led Cricket Australia (CA) also stating that the planned men’s Test match against Afghanistan in November would not go ahead if the country does not support women’s cricket following the Taliban takeover.

“Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level,” Cricket Australia said in its official statement.

Australia’s Sport Minister Richard Colbeck said earlier that the Taliban’s decision on women’s sport was “deeply concerning” and he urged organizations such as the International Cricket Council to take action.