To be or not to be was yesterday’s question. Today, it is to see or not to see. Chhapaak. Deepika Padukone has left many baying for her boycott (here’s a handy guide on how not to spell that word) after her visit to JNU, the hub of all ‘anti-national comrades’ (also here, how not to spell comrade). The fight on Twitter has moved from JNU vs ABVP in Delhi to Chhapaak vs Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior while a khaki-clad Rajini in Darbar busts a drug racket in Mumbai. This week has been heavy. We know it doesn’t even seem like 2020 began just 10 days ago, but it’s Friday. So sit back and let us take you through the highs and lows of this week and what you can do to unwind this weekend.
A hot bowl of moong dal ki halwa might just be that break you needed. To ensure your calorie-meters don’t scream injustice, we have a healthier version of that sinful goodness that’s now travelling to space onboard the Gaganyaan. On your reading list, we have first-time author Kiley Reid’s Such A Fun Age. It IS a fun age. Up to you to figure out what that ‘fun’ means. If it means a party, we have your wardrobe sorted. Get a pair of embellished denims, a la Deepika Padukone. There’s nothing much happening on OTT this week. Should we thank heavens for that (there’s SO MUCH to catch up on!)?
So head out or stay in; you’ve got only two days before Evil Monday arrives. Happy weekending!
YOUR INTERNET RECAP
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked fans this week by announcing that they would be stepping down as senior members of the British Royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a long statement explained that they wanted to become financially independent and spend more time between the UK and America.
After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support. – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
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However, things took an unexpected turn when reports suggested that they did not consult with any Royal family member before the announcement. In fact, Buckingham Palace called the whole thing complicated. Madame Tussauds London even removed Meghan and Harry’s wax statues. Soon, #Megxit started trending on Twitter and people had the best jokes on the situation. Read here.
Something to make you smile
If you need a break from this British family drama, watch this heartwarming clip of koalas rescued by teenagers, doing the rounds this week. The viral video showed a car filled with several koalas which were rescued from the fire-affected Kangaroo Island in Australia. The teens, Micah (19) and Caleb (18) drove around the island rescuing the distressed koalas. They saved around 20 koalas and said they will take care of them until they can return to the wild. Awww!
This week, Deepika Padukone became the centre of massive backlash after she showed solidarity for JNUSU students. Her film Chhapaak was ‘boycotted’ by Right Wing trolls. But amid this backlash, the trolls managed to give the word ‘boycott’ and ‘comrade’ innumerable spellings, which made us realise we should not ‘boycott’ spell-check.
YOUR READING LIST
If staying home with a book is your thing, we recommend Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid. The first-time author talks about a world that is so busy blindly proving that there is no discrimination, that it ends up falling in the pit of colour bias. If that one-liner reminds you of everything happening around you right now, brew yourself a nice cup of tea, and read on.
YOUR TRAVEL ITINERARY
If you’re planning to travel abroad this week, this month or this year, this one is for you. The world’s most powerful passports ranking for 2020 just came out and India ranks 84th on the list. Indian passport scored 58, which means if one has an Indian passport they can visit 58 countries visa-free. Check out the full list here.
Now that your visa is sorted, you have a new reason to travel to the United Arab Emirates. UAE is opening its gates for travellers of all nationalities, and announced this week that now tourist visas in the country will be issued for five years with provision of multiple entries (details here).
If travelling abroad is not your cup of tea, then this travel calendar according to all the months in the year will help you explore India like never before. From quaint hamlets in the Himalayas and the backwaters in Kerala to the glorious Kutch and breathtaking Pakyong, these 20 places should be on your 2020 travel itinerary.
WHAT TO WEAR
Deepika rocking embellished pants, and wow!
Last week, Deepika Padukone gave us THE look for 2020 – the leather-on-leather ensemble. And then through this week too, she made sure we couldn’t take our eyes off her. However, one particular trend that she swore by was that of the embellished pants and we think they are perfect to add drama to your winter wardrobe. Embellished pants are tricky to rock but Deepika, with her three different appearances, showed us how to wear them in a stylish manner. Take cues already!
ON YOUR TABLE
For Your Tastebuds
Was eating healthy one of your resolutions for 2020? Are you finding it difficult to stick to it? With the winters going on, moong dal ki halwa is everywhere. For the people with a sweet tooth, we have a healthier version of the halwa. The entire recipe stays the same but instead of using refined sugar, you can add 1/2 or 3/4 cups of jaggery. This has two benefits: you do not consume refined sugar which is really bad for your health, and the halwa made with jaggery takes less time to cook. Moong dal ka halwa is also flying to space in 2022 with Gaganyaan, and naturally, it had to be on our list.
AT THE MOVIES
Starring: Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey
Akota, Vadodara may have experienced a technical failure when the same ticket was cancelled several times, but we’ve already booked ours. Deepika Padukone is back on the big screen with Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak. This time, it is the story of the acid attack survivor, Laxmi Agarwal.
Deepika’s visit to JNU in solidarity with students has won more hearts than ever and then there’s the news of it being made tax-free in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. That’s exactly the kind of support this film needs. But if you need to make sure Chhapaak is being hailed for its content as much as for Deepika’s stand, read our review here.
Did you know?
Deepika Padukone burnt the last piece of prosthetic make-up she wore during the shooting of Chhapaak to cope with the trauma her character underwent, on the last day of the shoot. In fact, she had watched the piece burn till it turned to ashes.
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Saif Ali Khan
If history interests you and you’ve still haven’t learnt a lesson after Panipat (read Pani pits!), catch Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior this weekend. Ajay Devgn is essaying the role of Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare, while Saif Ali Khan plays Udaybhan Singh Rathore, the antagonist. Kajol is Savitribai Malusare, Ajay’s on-screen wife. But apart from the nostalgia factors of Ajay-Kajol reuniting after U Me Aur Hum (2008) and Ajay-Saif reuniting after Omkara (2006), there’s nothing much going for the film, at least that’s what our review says.
And if you’re a Thalaivar fan, do not miss Rajinikanth’s Darbar, a film by a Thalaivar fan. AR Murugadoss is a self-proclaimed fan of Rajinikanth, and he pays an ode to the superstar in Darbar. So, no point looking for logic, or a cohesive plotline, just let the Rajini experience sink in. Wait, read our review first.
ON YOUR TELEVISION SCREENS
What to watch: Indian Idol 11
Where to watch: Sony Entertainment Television, 8 pm
Taareekh teh ho chuki hai, Mummy-Papa ne bhi apni haan de di hai! Kya Aditya finally Neha ko apni dulhan banaane mein kaamiyaab hoga? Dekhiye #IndianIdol11 #AlkajiUditjiSpecial mein, iss Sunday raat 8 baje. #AlkaYagnik #UditNarayan #AdityaNarayan @iAmNehaKakkar @VishalDadlani pic.twitter.com/odf47CSwMH
Sony TV (@SonyTV) January 9, 2020
Udit Narayan wants Neha Kakkar to be Aditya Narayan’s bahu. Yup, this Sunday, Indian Idol will turn into a full-fledged family drama. Laughter, guaranteed.
What to watch: Bigg Boss 13 Weekend Ka Vaar
Where to watch: Colors TV, 9 pm
More fights, more evictions and one new guest – chef Vikas Khanna. Adding more spice to the already spicy spread of Bigg Boss, this week, all the housemates are nominated for elimination. In the meantime, Paritosh Tripathi will continue hosting the BB Comedy Club task inside the house. Contestants will keep roasting each other during the task.
The Kapil Sharma Show
Where to watch: Sony Entertainment Television, 9.30 pm
Jackie Shroff on The Kapil Sharma Show.
Jaggu Dada will be in the house this Saturday, people! The team will dedicate special performances to some of Jackie Shroff’s popular numbers. Krushna Abhishek, who is often seen mimicking Jackie, will be seen grooving to Chhalak Chhalak as Chunni Babu from Devdas.
Sunday will be a totally different mood with cricketers Yuzvendra Chahal and Piyush Chawla taking the couch on TKSS.
ON YOUR OTT SCREENS
What to watch: Jamtara – Sabka Number Ayega
Where to watch: Netflix
You will like it if you liked: Mirzapur
Streaming starts: January 10
Jamtara is about how a group of youngsters, pretending to be bank officials, con people and get them to share OTPs and card numbers while a politician gets interested in their scam and wants his share. This is Netflix’s first India original this year. Directed by Soumendra Padhi of Budhia Singh Born to Run fame, Jamtara stars Amit Sial, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Aksha Pardasany, Sparsh Srivastava, Monika Panwar and Anshumaan Pushkar.
You are just a phone call away from losing your life savings. We will leave you with this haunting thought, among those that have haunted you through the week. Party season is over, it’s back to work, back to consciousness. But it’s still the weekend. Have fun!