Czech-born French writer Milan Kundera has died at the age of 94, according to a Czech Television report of July 12. The award-winning author was renowned for novels delving into the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of the individual, as well as sex and relationships.
In his masterpiece ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ Kundera told the story of a love triangle against the backdrop of the Prague Spring. The epic turned Kundera into an international literary star when it was published in 1984.
By then, the dissident Czech novelist had been living in exile in Paris for almost a decade. His books had been banned in Czechoslovakia, and after the Soviet-backed government deprived him of citizenship in 1978, he remained the country’s most famous exiled writer.
After the Velvet Revolution, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the creation of the Czech Republic, the writer never returned to live in his homeland. “There is no such dream of a return,” he once said in an interview with German weekly Die Zeit. “I took my Prague with me; the smell, the taste, the language, the landscape, the culture.” Kundera’s novels started being published in the Czech language from the 1990s, but “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” was not released in his native land until 2006.
June 26 is observed across the world as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly of the UN decided to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
Supported each year by individuals, communities, and various organizations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.
The world drug problem is a complex issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Many people who use drugs face stigma and discrimination, which can further harm their physical and mental health and prevent them from accessing the help they need. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recognizes the importance of taking a people-centred approach to drug policies, with a focus on human rights, compassion, and evidence-based practices. The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day, is marked on 26 June every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse. The aim of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of treating people who use drugs with respect and empathy; providing evidence-based, voluntary services for all; offering alternatives to punishment; prioritizing prevention; and leading with compassion. The campaign also aims to combat stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs by promoting language and attitudes that are respectful and non-judgmental.
Today, in Puri, Odisha, the rathayatra took place. This is considered the oldest and largest Hindu chariot festival celebrated annually. It is held on the bright half of the lunar month of Ashadh (June-July).
The festival is associated with the deity Jagannath (a form Vishnu or Krishna). During the festival, three deities (Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra) are pulled in three massive, wooden chariots to Gundicha Temple whereby they reside there for a week and then return to the Jagnannath temple.
The electoral juggernaut is set to move up north to two key states, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Coming off the massive Karnataka win, the gong will not be easy for BJP this time.
Coming off the massive victory in Karnataka and basking in the afterglow of Rahul Gandhi’s successful Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Indian National Congress now gears up for two major fights in the coming months. One will be its struggle to regain control of Madhya Pradesh, while the other will be to retain control over Rajasthan. Assembly elections to these two important states will virtually pave the path to next year’s general elections and will indicate how much weight Congress has before it can take on the heavyweight Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024.
True, the Congress is on a comeback path on the power of its development and anti-corruption agenda, but undermining the organisational strength of the BJP will be the Congress’ biggest mistake. One such incident almost happened in Karnataka when aspiring chief minister Siddharamaiah declared that he would be banning the Bajrang Dal when he comes to power. It was a sane claim, but the narrative was quickly changed by the BJP from Bajrang Dal, an outlier outfit, to Bajrang Bali, a god. Congress was lucky that the people realised the difference. Karnataka has a knowledgeable population. In the backward states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, however, such mistakes could prove very costly. One cannot discount the insistent social media campaigning of the BJP IT cell.
To be fair, the Congress IT cell seems to have gained enough momentum to counter the BJP IT cell trolls with enough sober, yet intelligent firepower. More than public speeches, people these days seem to be relying on social media forwards.
Let us take a look at the key states going to the polls.
Madhya Pradesh is slated to go to polls by the end of this year. On May 22, five promises were made to the people of Madhya Pradesh. These promises are almost the same as what was made in Karnataka. The Congress’ official Twitter handle said: “Congress’s promise to the people of Madhya Pradesh. We fulfilled our promises in Karnataka, now we will fulfil them in MP too.”
While the state’s chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has publicly pooh-poohed Congress publicity campaigns, there is no doubt that the BJP has been shaken by the massive loss in Karnataka. At the same time, that victory has boosted the morale of the Congress no end.
Chouhan said: “Who cares about Karnataka results? This is Madhya Pradesh. Here, we will register a record victory with great fanfare. What do they (Congress) have? We have Narendra Modi. We have party workers who toil night and day. Congress comes nowhere close. I still have many cards up my sleeve.”
Maybe so, but Chouhan faces attacks from all sides, including former ministers Ajay Bishnoi and Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat. Also, Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti Sangathan (JAYS) is trying to make an impact in Malwa. This will definitely have an impact on some seats.
There has been subdued infighting in the BJP and that is now coming out in the open. There seems to be growing discontent in the BJP’s Vindhya unit, because despite winning many seats in the region, it was not given proper representation in the cabinet. For all these reasons, there is a slight disarray and disunity in the BJP. While the party was already reeling under it, the Karnataka results have added fuel to the fire and the Congress’s increased enthusiasm has posed a new challenge for the BJP.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) seems to have reached further into desperate lands than the ruling BJP had in Karnataka. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJY and Rahul travelled around 382 km, especially across ancient tribal areas such as the Malwa plateau. People he had come in contact during the BJY, would have been influenced to an extent, and if the Karnataka experience sees a repetition, then the influence of the BJY would be substantial. In Karnataka, out of 15 tribal seats, BJP could not win even a single one.
In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, 20%, or 47 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (ST). According to experts, about 70 to 80 seats in the state are dominated by tribal voters.
Not that the Congress will have it easy, though. In 2003, the tribal community contributed significantly to the BJP’s return to power in the state. In the next two elections, the BJP continued to get support from the tribal community and remained in power. But in 2018 the tables turned and the BJP, which had won 31 ST seats in 2013, was limited to 16 seats in 2018 and the Congress’s seat share increased from 15 to 30, allowing it to form the government.
The BJP had won a total of 109 seats and Congress won 114 seats in the polls. The margin of victory was so narrow that the BJP was bound to form the government had the tribal voters sided with it.
Rahul has predicted that the Congress will win 150 out of 230 seats in the upcoming assembly election later this year. “Karnataka election result will be repeated in Madhya Pradesh,” Rahul told reporters after the party’s meeting on election preparedness.
“We had a detailed meeting just now, and our internal assessment indicates that after securing 136 seats in Karnataka, we are now projected to win 150 seats in Madhya Pradesh,” Rahul was quoted as saying by news agencies.
In a video shared by a news agency, when asked about the Congress party’s chief ministerial candidate for Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi chose not to provide a direct answer but emphasised the party’s goal of winning 150 seats.
One key person for Congress here will be Kamal Nath, who served as the state chief minister during Congress’ short-lived government in the state between 2018 and 2020. He said: “We discussed the strategy and the issues on which the party should contest these polls. We are all of the opinion that we will enter the poll fray unitedly.”
Besides Rahul Gandhi, Kamal Nath, Digvijay Singh, and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, met party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to discuss the upcoming assembly election in the state.
Fifth most populous
Madhya Pradesh is the fifth most populous state of India and has a diverse population of many religions & communities. At the census 2011, out of 7.26 crore population, around 6.6 crores (90.89%) have returned themselves as followers of Hindu religion, 4.77 crores (6.57%) as Muslims or the followers of Islam, 5.67 lakhs (0.78%) as Jain, 2.16 lakhs (0.30%) as Buddhists, 2.13 lakhs (0.29%) are Christians, and in addition 0.12% stated as no religion & 1.04% are other religions.
As per the Census India 2011, Madhya Pradesh has 15093256 households, population of 72626809 of which 37612306 are males and 35014503 are females. The population of children between the ages 0-6 is 10809395 which is 14.88% of the total population.
Currently, Rajasthan is under the governance of the Congress party, led by Ashok Gehlot.
Rajasthan sees a good Congress stronghold, the big chink in the armour, so to say, being the infighting in the party, with deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, son of veteran Congress leader, the Late Rajesh Pilot, having gone head-on against Gehlot on many occasions. Even recently, Pilot had started a campaign against Gehlot, till intervention from the Gandhis and Kharge settled the matter. This may blow up to be a similar situation as had been seen in Karnataka after victory, with both Siddharamaiah and DK Shivaklumar claiming the Chief Ministerial seat.
One does not believe any trouble will erupt during the election process, but post election there could be some problems and the Congress will, again, have use its fire-fighting skills.
Gehlot’s administrative acumen, especially with the party, has been well known. This is something the Congress will be depending on. The dependence has been so much that initial ideas of Gehlot emerging as the Congress presidential candidate had also to be shelved.
While the BJP is banking on its campaigner-in-chief Narendra Modi and anti-incumbency to snatch power, it has a weak representation in former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. She did not pick up too many accolades during her stint as CM and those memories still rankle.
Recently, Gehlot announced a slew of freebies, such as free electricity (till 100 units), and the BJP will, obviously match these. However, the BJP’s organisational prowess, under Vasundhara Raje, maybe a bit weak. Of course, the presence of Modi and Amit Shah, and truckloads of money, may turn the tides in certain places, though the Karnataka victory has really rejuvenated the Congress party and its voters, and the going will be tough for the BJP.
Raje is currently holding her own public events in the run-up to assembly polls. The BJP in Rajasthan has no woman mass leader of Raje’s stature. She has proven her might in both Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
BJP insiders claim their party’s internal assessments have indicated that should assembly elections be held in Rajasthan today, it would barely manage to get a simple majority. As the BJP hunts for a winning formula against the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress in the state, can it risk overreliance on potential defectors from the ruling party?
Several BJP leaders in Rajasthan, including those with an RSS background, say that while pursuing the aim of a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’, “we are becoming a Congress-yukt BJP”. They question how election tickets can be denied to the traditional political families in the BJP at the cost of losing seats and how it is justifiable to give tickets, and even ministerial berths, to defectors from traditional Congress families just to win seats.
Observers argue that the BJP has a near-saturated base in Rajasthan, where it had won 163 of the 200 assembly seats while coming to power in 2013. So, the party cannot hope to expand its electoral footprint beyond a point and finish off the Congress altogether.
We will have to wait for the final outcome, but how the two major parties behave in the run up to the polls will determine a lot many smaller issues in each state.
The Academic Council of Delhi University on May 26 passed a motion to remove a chapter on Pakistan’s national poet Muhammad Iqbal from the political science syllabus, members of the statutory body confirmed.
Born in 1877 in Sialkot in undivided India, Iqbal wrote the famous song ‘Saare jahan se achha’, sung by school kids in India from after Independence. He is often credited with giving birth to the idea of Pakistan, but his songs are the best that any proud Indian can sing.
The chapter titled ‘Modern Indian Political Thought’ is part of BA’s sixth-semester paper, officials said, adding that the matter will now be presented before the Executive Council of the university that will take the final call.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) welcomed the development.
DU registrar Vikas Gupta said the syllabi, and proposals on setting up various centres were passed in the council meeting on Friday. “Proposals on setting up of centres for Partition, Hindu, and Tribal studies have been passed. Mohd Iqbal has been dropped from the syllabus,” said Gupta. Iqbal was included in BA political science’s paper, “Modern Indian political thought”.
In a statement, Delhi unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad welcomed the decision to scrap Iqbal from the syllabus. “Delhi University academic council decided to scrap fanatic theological scholar Mohd Iqbal from DU’s political science syllabus. Mohd Iqbal is called ‘philosophical father of Pakistan’. He was the key player in establishing Jinnah as leader in Muslim League. Mohd Iqbal is as responsible for India’s Partition as Mohammad Ali Jinnah is,” the student outfit said in the statement.
Kerala becomes India’s first fully e-governed state
Kerala is set to make history by declaring itself as the country’s first “total e-governed state.” Building upon its reputation as the first fully-literate state in India, Kerala has achieved this milestone through a series of policy initiatives aimed at transforming the state into a digitally-empowered society. With a focus on a knowledge-based economy and 100% digital literacy, the government has digitized the delivery of vital services across various domains, ensuring transparency, inclusivity, and accessibility for all citizens.
Under the comprehensive e-governance framework, Kerala has successfully digitized the delivery of all vital services. Key domains such as health, education, land revenue, documentation of properties, public distribution system, and social security payouts have been integrated into the digital ecosystem. By eliminating physical paperwork and leveraging technology, the government has streamlined processes, making services more efficient and accessible.
Kerala’s total e-governance initiative emphasizes the inclusion of all sections of society, including the less privileged and marginalized. By digitizing service delivery, the government has made it easier for citizens, regardless of their socio-economic background, to access essential services. This commitment to inclusivity aligns with the state’s long-standing tradition of social welfare and equitable development.
SpaceX sends Saudi Arabian woman astronaut to International Space Station
A private rocket carrying the first Arab woman astronaut has blasted off on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher from Saudi Arabia, was joined on the mission by fellow Saudi Ali al-Qarni, a fighter pilot.
The pair makes the first Saudi astronauts to voyage into space.
They took off on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in the southern United States at 5:37pm local time (21:37 GMT).
The team also includes Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut who will be making her fourth flight to the ISS, and John Shoffner, a businessman from Tennessee who is serving as pilot.
Indian Navy begins sea trials of Kalvari class submarine Vaghsheer
The Indian Navy’s sixth and final Kalvari class submarine, Vaghsheer, has begun its sea trials and is expected to be commissioned into the force by early next year. The commissioning of the submarine, built under Project-75, is set to enhance the Navy’s combat capability at a time when China has been increasing its presence in the Indian Ocean region.
“The sixth submarine of Project-75 commenced her sea trials on May 18,” the Navy said.
Vaghsheer is scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy in early 2024 after completion of the sea trials.
The submarine was launched in April last year from the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
India has been focusing on bolstering its maritime capability with a focus on the Indian Ocean in the backdrop of concerns over China’s growing forays into the region, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy.
The Project-75 includes indigenous construction of six submarines.
Hari Budha Magar, a former Gurkha soldier from Nepal who lost both his legs, made history by successfully climbing Mount Everest using prosthetic legs. Upon his return to Kathmandu, he was warmly welcomed by his relatives and family members.
Speaking to the crowd gathered at the airport, the ex-Nepalese soldier expressed his gratitude and acknowledged that this accomplishment was the result of a collective effort.
He mentioned the team of people who risked their lives to help him fulfil his dream of ascending Everest. Hari Budha Magar also thanked the government of Nepal and individuals from around the world for their support, constant presence, and blessings, emphasizing that without them, this feat would not have been possible.
In 2010, while on a mission in Afghanistan, the British Army veteran tragically lost both his legs when he accidentally stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by the Taliban.
About a year after the incident, Magar started participating in various sports activities included in the Paralympics.
During an interview in 2022, Magar expressed his aspirations for the future, stating that he aimed to climb mountains and undertake more adventurous activities to raise awareness about disabilities in Nepal and across the globe. In the past decade following the tragedy, Magar successfully reached the summits of several notable peaks, including Ben Nevis (1,345 m) in a time of 23 hours and 20 minutes, Mount Blanc (4,808.72 m), Kilimanjaro (5,895 m), Mera Peak (6,476 m) and Mount Toubkal (4,167 m).
Indian origin Sikh becomes first turban-wearing Lord Mayor of UK city Coventry
Jaswant Singh Birdi, originally from Punjab, India, has made history by becoming the first Sikh councillor to hold the prestigious position of Lord Mayor in Coventry. The city, known for its diverse community, has embraced Birdi’s appointment as a symbol of progress and inclusivity. His ascendancy to the role of Lord Mayor is a testament to the city’s commitment to promoting diversity and recognizing the contributions of individuals from different backgrounds.
Coventry, a city in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom, has appointed Jaswant Singh Birdi as its new Lord Mayor. As an Indian-origin Sikh councillor, Birdi’s appointment marks a significant milestone in the city’s history. Taking on the role of Lord Mayor also means assuming the position of chairman of the City Council. In his new position, Birdi will serve as the non-political and ceremonial head of Coventry.
Jaswant Singh Birdi follows in the footsteps of Councillor Keven Maton, whom he served as Deputy Lord Mayor for the past 12 months. With his experience and dedication to public service, Birdi is well-prepared to assume the responsibilities of the Lord Mayor and carry forward the legacy of his predecessor.
Georgi Gospodinov becomes first Bulgarian writer to win International Booker Prize
Georgi Gospodinov has made history with his book ‘Time Shelter’, which becomes the first ever book translated from Bulgarian to win the International Booker Prize. Translated by Angela Rodel, the novel beat 5 other works on the shortlist in the completion led by a panel of judges which boasted prize-winning French-Moroccan novelist, Leïla Slimani at the helm.
Gospodinov and Rodel were given the honour at a glitzy ceremony at London’s Sky Garden on May 23.
The book is Gospodinov fourth to be translated into English and focuses on an Alzheimer’s treatment centre – a time warp environment – which comes to serve as a refuge for healthy people tired of modern life.
When initially published in Bulgaria in 2020, ‘Time Shelter’ topped the book charts, winning the Strega European prize.
Slimani headed up the panel of judges and was joined by Ukrainian Uilleam Blacker, one of Britain’s leading literary translators, Booker-shortlisted novelist Tan Twan Eng, New Yorker staff writer Parul Sehgal and the Financial Times’ literary editor Frederick Studemann.
The Prize is the United Kingdom’s most prestigious award for translated fiction published in the UK or Ireland, with a prize of £50,000 (about €57,500) split equally between the book’s author and translator. Previous winners have included literary heavyweights Han Kang and Olga Tokarczuk.
Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran conferred with France’s highest civilian award
Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran has been given France’s highest civilian award Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur for his contributions to strengthen the trade relationship between India and France. French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna gave the award to Chandrasekaran on behalf of the French President.
Earlier this year, Tata Group-owned Air India had inked a multi-billion dollar deal with Airbus to buy 250 aircraft from Airbus, which included 210 A320 neo planes and 40 A350 aircraft. Last year in December, Tata Technologies inaugurated its innovation centre in Toulouse, France, to cater for the new-age product engineering and digital requirements of the global aerospace and defence sector.
France’s highest civilian award is the National Order of the Legion of Honour (French: Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur). It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is awarded to French citizens and foreigners for their outstanding service to France in the fields of military, civil, and cultural affairs. The Legion of Honour is a symbol of France’s national pride and is a testament to the country’s commitment to excellence. It is an honor that is bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to France and to the world.
India’s undying love for multifaceted world of pani puri represents possibly the most popular street food in the country.
India is a treasure factory of flavours and glee, known for its rich cultural heritage and various cuisines. One delicacy stands out as an all-time favourite among the wide variety of street cuisines in India: Pani Puri. This tangy, spicy, and completely tempting street food, also known by other names like Golgappas and Phuchaks, has won the hearts and taste buds of countless Indians all over the country. Pani Puri has become an integral part of the Indian cuisine, loved by individuals from all walks of life.
A classic street food treat known as pani puri is made from round, hollow puris (crispy fried dough balls) that are stuffed with a mouth-watering combination of spiced mashed potatoes or chickpeas, tangy mango chutney, and an icy mixture of flavoured water. The flexibility of Pani Puri to adapt and change, not just in flavour but also in its regional name, is what truly sets it apart from other traditional cuisine.
Pani puris are called differently in the other parts of the nation. This dish is versatile in nature, from the busy avenues of Mumbai to the winding alleyways of Delhi and the colourful nooks of Kolkata. It is affectionately referred to as Pani Puri in Mumbai and Golgappas in Delhi. This delectable, flavoured dish is known as a “Phuchka” in Kolkata.
Even though the labels may be different, the basic concept is the same: each bite is a blast of flavour.
The adaptability of Pani Puri is what makes it so exceptional. Indians enjoy experimenting with flavours, and Pani Puri provides the ideal platform for such an attempt.
It is possible to alter the pani, a chilly, sour beverage, to suit personal tastes. Some people like it more intense, while others want it milder. A fresh flip on the classic recipe has also been added by inspired versions including mint-flavored water, hing flavoured water, coriander flavoured water and even pani with a Jaljeera flavour.
Pani Puri, also known as Golgappas or Phuchaks, represents the experimental nature and love for food of the Indians. This classic street food perfectly captivates the nation’s passion for originality and its capacity to turn each taste into a distinctive mouth-watering experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to savour the taste of panipuri.
Here’s a basic recipe for making Pani Puri at home:
Prep time: 17 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 32 mins
Ingredients: For the Puris: – 1 cup semolina (sooji/rava) – 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (maida) – Water for kneading the dough – Oil for deep frying
For the Pani (Spicy Water): – 1 cup fresh mint leaves – 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves – 2-3 green chilies – 1-inch piece of ginger – 1 small lemon, juiced – 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder – 1 teaspoon black salt – 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala – Salt to taste – 4 cups chilled water
For the Filling: – 2 medium-sized boiled potatoes, peeled and mashed – 1/2 cup boiled chickpeas (optional) – Tamarind chutney – Mint coriander chutney – Sev (crispy chickpea flour noodles) – Chopped onions (optional) – Chopped coriander leaves (optional)
How to make:
1. Puris: – In a mixing bowl, combine the semolina and all-purpose flour. – Gradually add water and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and stiff. – Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. – Divide the dough into small portions and roll them into small circles. – Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai over medium heat. – Fry the rolled puris one by one until they become crispy and golden brown. Drain excess oil using a slotted spoon and set them aside.
2. Pani (Spicy Water): – In a blender, add mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chilies, and ginger. Blend into a smooth paste, adding a little water if needed. – Transfer the paste to a large mixing bowl. – Add lemon juice, roasted cumin powder, black salt, chaat masala, and regular salt. Mix well. – Gradually add chilled water while stirring continuously to make the pani. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. – Refrigerate the pani for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.
3. Assembly: – Take each puri and gently tap the top to create a small hole. – Fill the puri with a small amount of mashed potatoes and boiled chickpeas. – Add a teaspoon of tamarind chutney and mint coriander chutney into each puri. – Dip the filled puri into the prepared pani and quickly pop it into your mouth. – You can garnish with sev, chopped onions, and coriander leaves for added flavor and texture.
This is the tenth edition of the super successful franchise, though this time out, the producer may have gone just too far.
By Screen Shot
The immensely successful Fast & Furious franchise it at it again, bringing to you its tenth edition.
Fast X (also known as Fast & Furious 10) is the 2023 version of the action film directed by Louis Leterrier from a screenplay written by Dan Mazeau and Justin Lin, who also co-wrote the story with Zach Dean.
It is the sequel to F9 (2021), the tenth main instalment, and the eleventh instalment overall in the Fast & Furious franchise. It stars Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto alongside an ensemble cast including Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Scott Eastwood, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Rita Moreno, Jason Statham, Jason Momoa, and Charlize Theron.
In the film, Toretto must protect his family from Dante Reyes (Momoa), who seeks revenge for his father’s death and loss of his family’s fortune.
The story of the film begins with a powerful action sequence in which Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) eliminates a dangerous criminal mastermind and seizes all of his wealth. The supporting characters in the backdrop are connected to this franchise’s previous films. However, in the present time, Dominic is living a happy life with his wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), his son, and his team. Suddenly, his life is disrupted by the entry of a formidable enemy, Donte Reyes (Jason Momoa), who intends to destroy him and his entire family.
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family are targeted once again, and this time it’s a ghost from their past who returns to haunt them. Dom and his family and friends are hunted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes, Dante (Jason Momoa). Will Dom be able to save his family and friends once again?
Over the course of the past 21 years, the Fast and Furious franchise has transformed from a movie about street racing and the drive for DVD players to one of today’s most profitable and outrageous movie experiences with a slew of sequels. , spin-offs, TV shows. shows, video games and more. During that time, movies have also gone from moderate blockbusters to outright giants, with Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious eclipsing the billion-dollar mark worldwide. Even F9: The Fast Saga, which launched in a pandemic, brought a host of changes upon its June 2021 theatrical release.
Kurt Russell could also return for the movie, as the fate of his character after the last movie is still a bit ambiguous. Fast X seems to recognize Fast Five as the top of the franchise bell curve, because it starts there, by retconning a super-villain out of a previous villain’s son. (It turns out there are unforeseen consequences for killing a crime boss with a flying bank vault.)
By flashing back to the heist sequence, the film also announces itself as a return to the giddy excesses of the series’ best moments, embracing high camp and cartoonishly destructive violence while leaving behind the glum tone of entries like The Fate of the Furious.
It may be dumb as a box of rocks, but there’s still something irresistibly vulgar about a film that nearly blows up the Vatican as a throat-clearing exercise.
Director Louis Leterrier has a long track record of mediocre blockbusters to his credit, including the Edward Norton version of The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans and Now You See Me, but in taking the reins from Justin Lin, Leterrier adopts a tone closer to his Transporter 2, which remains one of Statham’s better vehicles.
His camera pirouettes wildly around the action Leterrier is as addicted to drunk aerial shots as Max Ophüls was to dolly tracks – and he leans into the comic absurdity as much as possible, leaving the physics of suspense to the Mission: Impossible franchise. Dom and his friends treat missions like arcade games where they have all the cheat codes.
Vin Diesel is definitely in his zone as Dominic Toretto. There is an angst, a belligerence, a certain hunger that he brings to the character that fits him so perfectly that it doesn’t seem that he is playing a character. It just feels that he is so naturally Dom. While his character doesn’t have a different arc than what it has had in the previous films of the series, this time he definitely looks a lot more emotional.
Tyrese Gibson does come up with a memorable performance once again. His war of words with Chris “Ludacris” Bridges makes the character so lovable. He brings the necessary fun element to this otherwise jam-packed action adventure.
Alan Ritchson definitely shows that he’s worthy of getting a place in the ‘Fast And Furious’ saga. He may have lesser screen time, but he manages to showcase his prowess in the action department in just that much. Looking forward to seeing more of him in the coming part of the franchise.
John Cena began as the tough villain in the previous film, but by the end of it turned out to be a big ball of mush. He carries that character forward perfectly. However, it’s sad to see him play such a minuscule part in the film.
Vin Diesel looks splendid on the big screen as always. But it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this time, amidst the Aquaman-like setting, Jason Momoa stole the show among the audience. While Vin Diesel is a splendid hero in the franchise, Jason has truly excelled in his role as a formidable villain. The rest of the cast members have also delivered good performances. All in all, this film is a good watch for fans of the franchise.
The anything-goes mentality that drives Fast X backfires a little with Momoa, whose conception of Dante as a mincing, androgynous chaos demon owes a debt to Nicolas Cage in Face/Off and Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, but leans uncomfortably into the gay killer archetype. In a series that celebrates tough-guy bravado, Dante represents a feminized reactionary threat, though the bigger problem here is that Momoa isn’t as gifted as Cage or Depp at devouring the scenery. He’s not as dull as Theron’s whispery Lecter-isms in the previous two entries, but he lurches in the opposite direction, plotting the apocalypse in pigtails, nail polish and an array of half-buttoned satin shirts.
The film was initially slated for an April 2nd, 2021 release date, although that release date was taken by F9. A new release date was set for February 2023. On April 11, 2020 stunt double for John Cena, Spencer Thomas made comments about the film beginning production in September 2020 and continuing through 2021 should the COVID-19 Pandemic be under control. He also stated that the film will be divided into two parts. These are yet to be confirmed by Vin Diesel or Universal Studios
As of September 2020, there has been no word on when Fast & Furious 10 will begin production so it is likely that the claims made by Spencer Thomas are false.
In October 2020, it was officially announced that the franchise would end with Fast & Furious 11 with Justin Lin set to direct both. It is likely that the tenth film will be divided into two parts. It was rumoured that Gal Gadot may reprise her role as Gisele Yashar. On April 19, 2021, Justin Lin confirmed that despite Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw going onto star in their spinoff film series Hobbs & Shaw, to Lin they’re still in this universe and they’re part of this family. Which in turn means that a return of these to characters in the franchise’s swan song is possible.
Principal photography began on April 21, 2022, with the film’s title being revealed and Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, and Charlize Theron confirmed to reprise their roles According to Diesel, an earlier draft excluded Brewster’s character, which he overturned. Fast X’s production budget was initially reported to be $300 million in May 2022, which was revised to $340 million that November; the cast was reportedly paid $100 million for their involvement, including $20 million for Diesel.Other costs for the rising budget included increases in production costs caused by global inflation and charges for pandemic testing requirements mandated by COVID-19 safety protocols.According to unnamed sources reporting to Radar, Diesel reportedly “stressed” over the increased budget and the creative decisions in Fast X; sources wrote Diesel is considered by Universal as “simultaneously the greatest star had and their biggest headache” and that doesn’t let anybody forget the Fast & Furious franchise is important to the whole industry”
Fast X or the Fast and Furious 10 was made with a huge budget of 340 million dollars. The film was released in 2200 screens in India due to its high craze and demand. It has become Hollywood’s one of the films released on this range of screens in recent times.
BOX Office Collection :
Fast X performed well on its first 6 days at the box office and earned Rs 70.85 Cr India net. Here is Fast X’s 7th-day box office collection and Occupancy.
Fast X earned 4.35 Cr India net on its seventh day for all languages.
Name of movie: Fast X Release: (May 19) At theatres
Star cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Scott Eastwood, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Rita Moreno, Jason Statham, Jason Momoa, Charlize Theron
Director: Louis Leterrier
Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel, Justin Lin, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Samantha Vincent.
· Writer: Dan Mazeau &Justin Lin
· Music: Brian Tyler
· Production House : Universal Pictures, Original Film, One Race Films, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, Perfect Storm Entertainment.
Trying to explore what India’s leading designers are thinking about this summer, we come up with some of the best things waiting for us.
By Shivika Pandey
India, an amalgamation of cultures, backgrounds, and traditions, has always been a pioneer in the world of fashion. As we enter the summer of 2023, it’s time to delve into the innovative domains of India’s top designers and discover the latest trends for women. India’s fashion wizards not only follow the fashion world’s pulse, but also soak their collections with their own distinct opinions. These designers are redefining Indian women’s fashion in unforeseen manners, from the revival of age-old craft to a fusion of classical aesthetics with modern styles.
Since India is a nation breathing diversity, with profoundly different cultures, including different types of traditions in style, ethnic wear plays an important role in expressing the rich cultural heritage of India and its traditional values.
Lightweight textiles like cotton and chiffon are the chosen one for scorching climates, such as in Rajasthan and Gujarat, whereas mellow materials like wool and velvet are favoured in colder climates like the far north of India. To wrestle the dampness, coastal areas like Kerala and Goa choose lighter materials, whereas the north-eastern states use handwoven silk and cotton to highlight tribal and cultural singularity.
With such a wide variety of ethnic clothing, India’s fashion choices are unusual in that they fuse culture, tradition and weather-conscious styles. Choices are also heavily dependent on the climate of a particular region that affects their clothing style.
This summer’s trends are a perfect blend of history and creativity. Designers are experimenting with an array of fabrics, shades, and shapes to create collections that honour India’s diverse heritage. Handwoven textiles, such as Banarasi silks, chanderi, and khadi are seeing an upsurge as designers such as Sabyasachi Mukherjee highlight their unmatched grace and workmanship.
The summer colour scheme for 2023 is an intriguing mix of bright and lively and calming neutrals. Emerald green, royal blue, and vibrant red are rich jewel-toned colours that add excitement and richness to the collections. Simultaneously, designers are welcoming soft pastels, earthy tones, and soothing coral and mint shades to create a sense of serenity and balance.
There is a noticeable focus on redefining traditional outlines in terms of design. Designers like Ritu Kumar and Tarun Tahiliani are pushing the boundaries of traditional Indian attire, from sophisticated sarees with modern drapes to modern lehengas, embellished with delicate embroidery. Western influences, such as asymmetrical cuts, bare fabrics, add a modern change to these classic combinations.
Footwear and accessories
Footwear and accessories are vital components of an attire. They play an important role in outshining and highlighting the outfit. Handmade jootis, adorned Kolhapuri chappals, and statement stilettos can make ideal matches to the collections, emphasising the significance of footwear for improving the overall look.
Accessories ranging from elaborately crafted heritage jewellery to the rise of oxidized jewellery, minimalist belts and clutches to embellished potlis to hair accessories like mang tikka and mathapattis add an outstanding finishing touch, highlighting the designers’ individual designs.
THE TOP FIVE
We might want to find out about what top Indian designers are thinking for this summer. These are designers who have the talent to blend tradition with innovation while remaining true to their own distinct visions. We have selected five designers, not in particular order, while also maintaining that there are many more with as much talent. We will introduce to them later.
▼ RITU KUMAR
(The Queen of Classical Beauty)
Ritu Kumar, a fashion industry veteran, has entrenched herself as a symbol of timeless elegance. Kumar weaves traditional fabrics like silk, cotton, and handwoven textiles together with a deep understanding of India’s cultural heritage to create works of art that honour the richness of the country’s craftsmanship. Kumar embraces the revival of age-old crafts in 2023, seamlessly integrating them with contemporary designs. Her hue scheme is a mash-up of rich jewel tones and earthy hues that capture the essence of Indian aesthetics.
When it comes to footwear and accessories, she frequently includes handcrafted jootis (traditional Indian shoes, specifically of Punjabi origin) and exquisitely crafted ornaments, lending a regal touch to her collections.
▼ SABYASACHI MUKHERJEE
(The Maestro of Artisanal Crafts)
Sabyasachiis well-known for his skill in highlighting Indian craftsmanship while creating dazzling outfits for global recognition. Mukherjee’s designs in 2023 will emphasise handwoven textiles such as Banarasi silks, chanderi, and khadi. His colour scheme combines earthy tones, muted pastels, and vibrant- dark jewel tones.
Mukherjee’s footwear choices are classic vintage Indian jootis or embroidered Kolhapuri chappals, which support his complex patterns perfectly. In terms of accessories, his collections commonly include heritage jewellery, designed belts, and embellished handbags.
▼ ANITA DONGRE
(Sustainable Fashion Believer)
Anita Dongre is recognised as a leading voice in the ethical fashion movement, fusing eco-friendly practises with cutting-edge designs. Her 2023 collections will feature natural fibres such as handloom cotton, linen, and sustainable silks. Dongre’s colour palette includes soft neutrals, pastels, and earthy tones.
She encourages comfortable and versatile footwear, such as block heels and vegan flats. Dongre’s accessories have a minimalist aesthetic and are made from organic substances such as wood, cork, and recycled metals, highlighting her passion for sustainable fashion.
▼ TARUN TAHILIANI
(Creator of contemporary Couture)
Tarun Tahiliani is known for this incredible designs that is mixture of both Indian and modern aesthetics. In 2023, Tarun is testing out various luxurious fabrics, like light weight satin, velvet, and pure textiles. His summer colour palette this year encompasses rich jewel shades, with ordinary pop ups of energetic colours.
Tahiliani’s footwear is widely known in India, his designs often include contemporary stilettos or decorated flats.
▼ MANISH MALHOTRA
(The Free Spirit of Bollywood Glamour)
With his Bollywood-inspired collections, Manish Malhotra, the designer to the celebs, continues to reinvent Indian fashion. Malhotra’s designs exude a sense of power, as he is known for his extravagant and glamorous creations. In 2023, he seeks out new fabrics like organza (thin silk), sequins, and metallic highlights.
His colour palette is dominated by modern pastels, metallic shades, and vibrant jewel tones. Malhotra’s looks are frequently paired with statement shoes like embellished stilettos or embroidered mojris (traditional Indian footwear).
His accessories, which include statement bags and intricate belts, complete the picture of Bollywood shine.
In 2023 India’s top fashion creators will be making waves with their unique perspectives and innovative approaches. We will wait to see how they embrace the latest trends while staying true to their distinctive styles. Each designer brings their own taste Indian fashion industry. Their choice of fabric and colour, footwear, and accessories sets them apart from each other, inspiring fashion freaks across the country and beyond.
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