Tuesday, 30 April 2019



The ‘I am Woman’ Awards, an initiative that celebrates the inspiration of women was created by Harvard & IE Alumnus Dr. Karan Gupta and IE Business School four years ago. This award is a movement that believes the fact that women are reservoirs of strength. On this platform every year, powerful women speak about their personal and professional lives, thereby inspiring many others. 

In its fourth edition, the I Am Woman Awards once again celebrated and awarded women achievers for their extraordinary work, breaking the glass ceiling in their respective fields. The awardees this year included Actor and Author Sonali Bendre, Entrepreneur and Designer Neeta Lulla, Activist Dr. Sindhutai Sakpal, Infosys Learning Head Kisha Gupta, Genesis Cofounder Deepika Gehani, Author Priya Kumar, Activist and Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat and Activist Neehari Mandali while the event was hosted by power women Actress Manasi Joshi Roy and Singer Manasi Scott alongside Actors and Directors Rohit Roy, Tanuj Virwani and Parvin Dabas. Guests and celebrities at the prestigious award ceremony included Zayed Khan, Sulaiman Merchant, Aarti and Kailash Surendranath, and Sandeep Soparkar, among others. I Am Woman 2017 winner Krishika Lulla and I Am Woman 2016 winners Kiran Bawa, Maheka Mirpuri and Reshma Merchant were also present.

This discussions this year ranged from empowering women in business to how women can create positive impact in their respective communities. 

Empowering women, actor Sonali Bendre who was undergoing treatment for a high-grade cancer in New York and is back to work after a long hiatus, stated, “My mother always said unless you are independently earning, do not get married. If you are not economically independent, you can never really stand up for yourself. Then it’s up to you, if you want to give it up tomorrow. That’s different. That’s a choice you make. But you have to start out with being economically independent. Given that, there is always a kind of equality in your relationship.” She further added, “I always love awards, as well as the rewards but awards are always special. And I think that the Karan Gupta Education Foundation is doing a lot of good work and this award means more specially because there is so much of good work going into it,” enthused Sonali Bendre. 

The other awardees of this year also shared their honour and delight at receiving the award this year. In 2018, the I Am Woman Award was given to Sushmita Sen, Tata Group Industrialist Leah Tata, Actress & RJ Malishka Mendonsa, Activists Jyoti Dhawale and Preethi Srinivasan, Advocate Abha Singh, Artist and Philanthropist Michelle Poonawalla, International Designer Falguni Shane Peacock, and Entrepreneur Bhavna Jasra; in 2017, the I Am Woman Award was given to Amruta Fadnavis, Laxmi Agarwal, Gauri Sawant, Farah Khan Ali, Malini Agarwal, Shaheen Mistry, and Krishika Lulla while in In 2016, the award was given to Sonam Kapoor, Reshma Merchant, Maheka Mirpuri, Raunaq Roy, Kiran Bawa, Nisha Jamvwal, Devita Saraf, Amrita Raichand, Rouble Nagi and Lucky Morani. 

Expressed Dr. Karan Gupta, ““IE Business School and KGEF actively support and encourage women in business and have special scholarships for women. We recognize the challenges that women in business face and wish to support them in every way that we possibly can.” 

Winding up, one cannot help but think of to a song that dates back to the 70’s… ‘I am a Woman… Hear me roar, In numbers too big to ignore. If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong, I am invincible, I am a Woman.’

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Adhure Adhure is stuck in my head on loop: Shakti Arora

Behind the scenes  from song shoot of Adhure Adhure by Director Aslam Khan

Adhure Adhure, an upcoming romantic melodious song starring Indian Television actor Shakti Arora and model Chandini Sharma in a stellar music video directed by actor turned director Aslam Khan, known for his histrionics in films like Nayee Padosan, Welcome Back, Kaante among others, was shot today at Atharva College, Malad. Sung and composed by Shree D, the song is about a couple who start living together and later land in separation due to their personal egos, coming to realize that they are complete in being ‘adhure’ (incomplete).

The music video director Aslam Khan averred, “If you have a look at the music video, you will realize it is like a film, a four minute long film. It has a beginning, a midpoint and a definite end, albeit, with an incomplete touch to it... a perfect storyboard with an incomplete end.” On working with Shakti Arora and Chandini Sharma, Aslam Khan professed that they have been brilliant. “This song needed Shakti and Chandini only. They have performed really well on this track. It has been a wonderful experience,” he added.
Shakti Arora & Chandini Sharma behind the scenes  from song shoot of
 Adhure Adhure by Director Aslam Khan 

Shakti Arora, who has made his mark on the Indian television scene with shows like Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hai and Silsila Badalte Rishton Ka, confessed that at first he thought it was just another song! “When I went through it, repeatedly hearing it, I came to realize that the song has a soul of its own. It has a Sufi-ish, feel-good, and the perfect choice for a long drive feel to it.” Chandini Sharma concurred with Shakti Arora, “It is a soulful song indeed! Upon hearing, you will realize that you are already connected to it. The song has the innocence while not being kiddish.”

Adhure Adhure is Aslam Khan’s twenty-fifth directorial venture. On being asked what he felt was different about working in front and behind camera, he expressed “Both are fantastic but there are many differences though. This I have realized because I am now working behind the camera. Just because I have been an actor myself, I know about all the nuances a director should take care of.”

“There goes a saying, ‘All’s well, that ends well’. I am glad it has actually shaped up the way I wanted it,” summed up Aslam Khan.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Writer-Director-Animal Rights and Gender Activist Anusha Srinivasan Iyer,
Audiologist-Speech Therapist-Philanthropist Devangi Dalal and
Filmmaker Dr. Aleena Khan felicitated with the Garnet & Gold Women of Influence Awards.

Writer-Director-Animal Rights and Gender Activist Anusha Srinivasan Iyer, Audiologist-Speech Therapist-Philanthropist Devangi Dalal and Filmmaker Dr. Aleena Khan felicitated with the Garnet & Gold Women of Influence Awards.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Bhagwad Gita for World Peace

Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, Buddhists perform sacred yagna to inaugurate the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Dnyan Bhavan at the World’s Largest Dome at MIT campus, Vishwarajbaug, Pune

Vishwarajbaug, Pune that hosts the MIT World Peace University, Pune and MIT ADT University campus and houses the World’s Largest Dome -- Philosopher Saint Shri Dnyaneshwara World  Peace Prayer Hall, witnessed yet another unique happening. The confluence of World Peace, Spiritualism  and Science happened once again with Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Dnyan Bhavan was inaugurated by world renowned scientist  Padmabhushan, Padma Shri and Maharashtra Bhushan awardee Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar, and the architect of India’s national initiative in super computing.

Based on the time-tested Indian concept of Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti i.e. there is only one truth though wise men call it by different names, the yagna or the sacred fire and prayers were offered by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jews  and many other religious leaders, propagating oneness of mankind and peace.  

Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad at the inauguration ceremony of
 Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Dnyan Bhavan, MIT Pune.
Eminent personalities like Padmav Vibhushan Dr. KH Sancheti, Renowned Orthopaedic Arif Mohammad Khan, former Union Minister, Dr. Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Urdu University, Hyderabad, Dr. Budhajirao Mulik, Eminent Agriculturist, Kamal Kishor Kadam, former Education Minister of Maharashtra, Dilip Deshmukh, Joint Charity Commissioner, Pune, Vitthalrao Jadhav, former Member of Parliament and renowned educationist, Dr. Shripal Sabnis, former President, Marathi Sahitya Sammelan and Prataprao Borade, renowned educationist graced the occasion.

            The  function was blessed by renowned scholars like H.H. Shrikrishna Karve Guruji, Pandit Vasantrao Gadgil, Dr. Sanjiv Arsud of Spicer University, Bhante Naga Ghosh, Gyani Amarjeet Singh, Dr. R. N. Shukla, Mr. Rameshwar Shastri, Dr. Meher Master Moos, Dr. Isaac Malekar among others.

Said eminent educationist and UNESCO Chairholder  Vishwanath D. Karad, President of World Peace University, “In the 19th Century, Swami Vivekananda prophesied that ‘in the 21st Century India will emerge as knowledge corridor of the world and will lead the pathway to peace, happiness and contention as Vishwaguru’. This Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Dnyan Bhavan is an attempt to bring the people together, so that we realize this dream of Swami Vivekananda.”
“The Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Dnyan Bhavan is also an embodiment of the eternal truth all religious scriptures are true life-guiding scriptures and also give information about the religious practices in various religions,” elaborated Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar, who is also currently working on developing Exascale supercomputing mission for India.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Singer-Performer Lalitya Munshaw makes waves

Born to connoisseur parents with strong musical beliefs deep in her family, Lalitya Munshaw grew up to become an artiste with clear inclinations towards music. Lalitya is now a seasoned artiste who has performed across the national and international circuits.
Laitya has received extensive formal training in Hindustani classical music which led her to an Alankar (M.A.) in music. Blessed with a melodious and serene voice, she has developed her own expressive and unique style over time. With a strong background in classical training, she forayed into several genres of music such as Fusion, Bollywood, Bhajans, Ghazals, Sufi and Folk.
Lalitya Munshaw            
As a live performer and recording artiste, Lalitya Munshaw has had the privilege of working with stalwarts like Hariharan, Sonu Nigam, Arijit Singh, Shaan, Ustd. Rashid Khan, Ustd. Sultan Khan, Anup Jalota, Louis Banks, Ronu Majumdar, Neeladri Kumar, Karsh Kale, Prem Joshua and Abhujit Pohankar.
As an entrepreneur, Lalitya Munshaw runs a music label of her own called Red Ribbon.

Lalitya has to her credit, accolades and awards of the likes of the Pandit Omkarnath Thakur Trophy, the GINFS Nav Shakti Gurjari Award, FICCI Flow Award, GCCI Award (2011), Business & Entertainment Global Award to her label, Red Ribbon; the 6th Gauravvanta Gujarati Award by Gujarat Tourism (2013); and the Gratitude Award among many others.