Saturday, April 18, 2015

What's in a name? For celebs, a pricey patent

What's in a name? For celebs, a pricey patent

International celebrities I from different walks of life are trademarking their names, in order to prevent people from cashing in on their popularity and using them in matters with which they ideally wouldn't associate. We list some whose names now come with a hefty price tag... 

The latest to join the league is British physicist Stephen Hawking. The primary aim is to prevent the misuse of his name in “inappropriate products“. SARAH PALIN The US Patent and Trademark office revealed in 2011 that American politician Sarah Palin's application to patent her as well as her daughter Bristol names, had been accepted. The trademark would cover “educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values,“ as well as “information about political elections“ and “a website featuring information about political issues.“ Daughter Bristol Palin's name was also trademarked for “educational and entertainment services, namely, providing motivational speaking services in the field of life choices.“

Rapper Curtis Jackson, who is better known as 50 Cent, who has his stage name registered as a trademark, filed a lawsuit against fast food company in July 2008, claiming that they had violated his trademark. Apparently, the chain had sent out a fake letter, suggesting that 50 Cent change his name to “79 Cent,“ “89 Cent,“ or “99 Cent“ to promote the company's Value Menu.The case was settled for undisclosed terms in November 2009.

Close on the lines of Stephen Hawking trademarking his name, British rock star turned physicist Brian Cox, who is the presenter of the series Human Universe, also made the move to trademark his name this March. Cox, who was also a keyboard player in the band Irish band D:Ream may have also patented his name to protect his reputation, for, a few websites were selling a Brian Cox doll, which was described as being as `cuddly as the brilliant Professor Brian Cox himself'.

Soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria have led the way in exploiting their names, after registering them, as well as Beckham Brand Limited. David and Victoria Beckham's value soared to more than £190 million after they successfully trademarked thei names, using them to sell everything from underwear to perfume. The couple has been rumoured to make £100,000 everyday, courtesy their names.

After a attempt failed in October 2012, couple Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z finally won the right to trademark their daughter Blue Ivy Carter's name in October 2013. Soon after, Jay Z told a magazine he trademarked `Blue Ivy' in order to stop others from profiting from his family.“People wanted to make products based on our child's name and you don't want anybody trying to benefit off your baby's name. It wasn't for us to do anything; as you see, we haven't done anything,“ he is quoted to have said.

Tennis star Andy Murray became a brand in early 2014 when the UK Intellectual Property Office accepted his application after he became the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon Men's Singles Titles.Murray's trademark covers more than 100 goods including DVDs, sportswear, lingerie, baby clothes, slippers and pyjamas bearing his name.

Raai Laxmi to make her Bollywood debut

Raai Laxmi to make her Bollywood debut

After doing some impres sive work down South, actress Raai Laxmi is now stepping into Bollywood with A R Murugadoss' thriller Akira, a South remake that has Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. Laxmi has finished shooting the first schedule during which all her scenes were with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who makes his debut here as the antagonist. “I am doing this film essentially because it is helmed by Murugadoss Sir. Some established names are involved with the proj ect,'' says the actress, who plays a dominating and bold character in the action-thriller. “This film's a great debut for me. Even as I will be seen in a special appearance, I've an important part to play in the plot. I'm not there just to add glamour. I have always wanted to move to Bollywood and I'm really excited that I bagged this film,“ says Laxmi, who began her acting career at an early age of 15 and has done close to 50 films in all four languages -Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada in a span of nine years. Bollywood is all set to welcome one more South Indian beauty .

Thursday, April 16, 2015



Check out the latest collection from fbb for this season
Step out in the sharpest looks of the season from fbb, with tie and dye tees, printed shirts and walk shorts. Pair up geometric prints and graphic tees in the colours of the tropic with stylish palazzos for a lazy summer day out. Linen shirts in 50 shades of cool add to the muchneeded chilled out attitude this summer. Checkered and solid toned linen shirts over dark coloured chinos offer a balance of contrast to the brightness outside. For the easy breezy look, pair up light linen dresses with colourful cotton scarves.
The highlight this season is the Indigo collection in fusion and ethnic wear, available at fbb. From ikat to floral prints, find your outfit in this shade of azure. Make boring occasions stylish with jacquard printed jackets over loop button indigo kurtas and denims in different washes. Be the centre of attention with the new party collection. Pair up a bedazzled top with colourful satin pants and party through the night. Georgette dresses, Oxford shirts and trousers pack the perfect party punch.
Kids can now enjoy the summer in comfortable striped and printed nauticals. Graphic tees paired with candy toned shorts promise some extra fun in the sun. Add a cool twist to dressing with colourful anarkalis and long printed skirts. Begin the ultimate season for fashion with some reflectors and sizzling styles at fbb.
Available at fbb and Big Bazaar stores across the country.
(L) Match comfy beige chinos (`1,299) with an anchor print shirt (`1,199) for the ideal summer look (R) A stylish sheer lace top (`599) with printed pants (`1,099) is a trending look this season
(L) Summery linen dresses (`1,099) with stylish scarves will help you keep your cool this season (R) Feel cool and relaxed with linen shirts (`999) and classy blue chinos (`1,199)
(L) Shaded aqua tees (`349) paired with trendy coloured shorts (` 649) perfect for lil' trendsetters (M) Printed tees (`299) with jeggings (`499) and (R) a pretty nautical dress (`399) are catchy looks for some fun in the sun
(L) Dress your best with patterned shorts (`749) and a bohemian white top (`699) to sizzle this summer (R) Pair up rugged stretched denims (`1,999) and a V-neck cold pigment tee (`649) for a stylish and easygoing look
(L) Look party ready in trendy shirts (`699) matched with satin solid toned pants (`799) (R) An elegant self design white dress (`899) will be your entry into any club
The oceanic hues of indigo dictate summer's ethnic collection.(L) Spaghetti printed ghera kurtas (`1,099) and matching churidars for fresh fusion look (R) Layered white and indigo printed kurta (`1,399), matched with blue churidars, is a perfect day ethnic wear
Look vibrant and colourful this summer with an eclectic range of dobby and gold print embroidered kurtis (L ­ `449 and R`499), styled with mix and match churidars and printed patiala
(L) Short printed kurtas (`699) teamed with smart solid toned knee length shorts is a perfect day out esemble (R) Short indigo kurtas (`399) can be teamed with floral patterned jackets (`899) to spice it up

Margarita With A Straw says `Stop judging, start living'

Margarita With A Straw says `Stop judging, start living'

Questioning what is normal and who defines normal, Margarita With A Straw makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. Giving you hope, it also makes you think `Why are we so judgemental?' Through the protagonist Laila (Kalki Koechlin), the film shows how we tend to overlook small joys in our fast-paced lives. Though born with cerebral palsy , Laila loves, fights and enjoys every moment of her life. Kalki's sensitive performance has won her accolades both internationally and in India. Filmmaker Farah Khan says, “I'm actually blown by the performances. I didn't realise that Sayani (Gupta, who plays Khanum) wasn't actually blind and Kalki's performance is a revelation.While I think nowadays every thing is judged in our society , the movie gives the message that you can be as different as anybody else and can still enjoy life and work around what people think is normal.So stop judging and start living and let everyone else live.“
About the film telling a brave and original story , Cameron Bailey , Festival Director TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) says, “This movie is an inspirational love story ­ it transforms the way people see the world through film.“
Moreover, taking the film's message beyond the theaters, Kalki has also started an online initiative and a video series #StopJudging.
Margarita With A Straw, produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Jakhotia Group, Kool Homes and Ishaan Talkies, releases today.

While Nanak Shah Fakir is a biopic on Guru Nanak, his teachings of Ik Onkar


While Nanak Shah Fakir is a biopic on Guru Nanak, his teachings of Ik Onkar (there's but one God) in the film are depicted through the voice of his friend, companion and disciple, Bhai Mardana. A Muslim fakir from an impoverished family of rebab (a music instrument played at weddings and special occasions) players, he accompanied the Guru throughout his `Udasis' (travels) spanning 40,000 km over 25-28 years. Arif Zakaria, who plays Bhai Mardana, says it's a complex role even on paper.“It is one man narrating another man's story . The film portrays how he understood the Guru going through various situations and thought processes. The audience understands Guru through Mardana's expression. He's a chronicler of the Guru's life and also the narrator of the story ,“ he says.
Part of the preparation, to be simple and calm while shooting, came from staying a few days at an ashram in Pune. Besides, the actor also had to lose weight, as his character ages from 20s to the 70s. “Mardana was about 20 when he met Nanak, who was around 10.Also, in those days, people would walk long distances to reach their destinations.So, I had to have that weary and tired look,“ says Arif, adding, “It's not easy to look 20. Thanks to our makeup artistes, we've managed to do that convincingly .“
Asked what he thinks the audience would take away from the film, the actor says it's the `oneness of human beings'. He explains, “The film talks about brotherhood among fellow humans and respect for women, which Nanak propagated.The message is relevant for all eras. In a way , it's also a beautiful road trip of Guru and Mardana... it's about how they discovered life.While it was in a much more internal process with Nanak, it happened spiritually for Mardana by the end of his life.“
Nanak Shah Fakir , produced by Gurbani Media Pvt Ltd, releases today.

Emraan Hashmi portrays Raghuram Rathod


Mr. X, directed by Vikram Bhatt, is an out-and-out fun-filled entertainer. The filmmmaker says, “I was always fascinated by an invisible hero breaking the law, and I was also inspired by the Krishna story. For me, Mr. X is the hand of God who doesn't understand or care for the law; he just thinks about what is right and what is wrong.“ In this thriller, Emraan Hashmi portrays Raghuram Rathod, a righteous officer with the anti-terrorist squad, who is almost killed in the line of duty . But destiny wills that he come back later as Mr. X -an invisible superhero, who can be seen in direct sunlight and blue neon light in the night.“This film is lot of fun and Emraan is at his naughtiest, albeit in a different way . It's not that he's not kissing a girl but that is not the focus of the film,“ continues Vikram, further adding, “Emraan has evolved as an actor. He's moved to the next genera tion as he realises there is a younger generation that has come up.“
Besides the invisibility factor, the film being in 3D format, technologically it was a difficult film to shoot. Speaking on the challenge, the director, who has made a few movies in this format, adds, “It required a lot of planning at the pre-production stage. But we decided to have fun with the format. At a time when it is becoming difficult to bring people to theatres, 3D is certainly a differentiating factor that you won't get at home.“
Mr . X, produced by Vishesh Films and presented by Fox Star Studios, releases today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

  Emraan Hashmi interview

Ayaan has taught me that it's okay to fall: Emraan

Emraan Hashmi faced the toughest emotional test of his life last year. A four-year-old son Ayaan detected with cancer just three days before him having to start shooting for his upcoming 3D entertainer Mr . X. While his fighter-son battled his cancer with the help of Batman (his father's voice on his mobile which he believes is a real man, a man who saved him from that dreaded disease), his father stayed away from his son for three-and-a-half months to complete his professional commitments.His film Raja Natwarlal bombed at the box office, but Emraan continued to do what he was committed to and believed in. Ayaan today is back to being fit and Emraan is looking forward to his upcoming releases. Over an hour-long conversation at his home, he talks to Bombay Times about the dilemma of being a father and a professional, what he learnt from Ayaan and how he has started praying every night now. Excerpts: 
Given that your son Ayaan was detected with cancer just a few days before you were to shoot Mr. X last year, how difficult was it for you to shoot the film?
We were to start shooting Mr .X on January 16 last year and on January 13, the problem happened with Ayaan and the schedule was pushed ahead indefinitely . I realised that I had to juggle between two things, the role as a father and the role as a professional and that too was very important. So, as much as there are people around for you, everyone has their own kitchens to run, so everyone's life goes on. I had to take a call on whether to be with Ayaan for six months for his treatment or not. My wife Parveen and I decided that we settle her in Toronto, get the chemotherapy going and a month after his operation, I return to work. Ayaan is a fighter and thankfully, his body took the chemo very well without adverse reactions, and I flew back a month later on Valentine's Day and we started shooting. It had been a tough call for me to say a goodbye to Ayaan and take a flight back. I had to lie to him that I was going to get him gifts, but I knew that I was actually going away to shoot for three-and-ahalf months. I tried in between to go back to Toronto, but couldn't due to my commitments. I was shooting here, but my mind was constantly there. You understand that nothing really prepares you for something like your son having cancer. The plus point of being in the movies is that you can escape for those couple of hours that you are on a film set.But you can never forget it, as it is always at the back of your mind.You don't consciously think about it, but you carry it everywhere you go. You kind of learn to live with it, you learn to put it on the back burner, but suddenly , it surfaces again at times when you least expect it to surface. I didn't sleep for three weeks till I came back. I was on sleeping pills. I used to go for bike rides alone at 3 and 4 am in the morning, as I would not get sleep.And then, I would get only an hour or two of sleep. But thankfully , I was not singing or dancing in Mr . X, in fact, it was a guy dealing with trauma. So, I was acting out what I was feeling at that point. If you remember, you had come on the first day of shooting to see me at Filmalaya Studio. That first scene was of a guy who almost dies. He is a righteous ATS officer, who is brutally injured by this group of people to the point of death. He almost dies, but then he takes this particular medicine that gives him a new lease of life, but it's not the life he imagines, his cells stop reflecting life and he is almost invisible. It's a man who is defeated and is the story of his resurrection.
In a sense, your personal story is also one of resurrection at this point in your career?
You could say that. I believe that in everyone's life, where success or trauma can change you, it's important that you deal with both in a way that is not self-destructive.There was this rise I kind of had two years back when my films were successful, and then there was this lull where four of my back-to-back films did not work at the box office.There is a side of the industry that is always jumping at writing an actor's obituary , writing you off, which is nothing new to me. I never ever confuse what these people think of my career or my selfworth with what I actually think about myself. I have tremendous confidence that things will bounce back, that I will bounce back with great successful films. The same people did not think that I will last for even two years in this industry .But I have lasted for over a decade.These are the same people who thought that after five back-to-back hits, I had all the answers and I was hit man Hashmi and I was invincible, but they were wrong even then.So, if they didn't know that then, then what the hell do they know now? You have no choice but to embrace the sadness and the pain when you go through something like this. The trauma becomes a part of you. The dream that you have built for yourself suddenly crumbles and you realise that it is so fragile. And there is nothing you can do to stop it, so you cope with it and fight and as much as people may think they are your bad and weakest times, you are fighting the highest at such times and there lies the resurrection and it instills in that dream more vigour and vitality and something more emerges.Something else has emerged and it will reflect in my performances over the next few months. And I want to tell my detractors in the industry , there are four phases in any celebrity's life. The first phase when the world says, `Oh! He has potential.' The second phase is, `Ah! He has arrived.' The third phase, `Oh! He's finished.' And then comes the fourth phase, ` Ah! He is back.' So, for the myopic morons, who don't know anything about inner strength, wait for a couple of months. I will be back.
Doesn't failure make you doubt yourself? Where do you get your confidence from?
I do get anxious if I have a flop, but I don't lose sleep over it. I detach from things and that is true for both, success and failure. I don't let both define me. It's a journey , I may pop a champagne bottle for success, but I don't start feeling cat's whiskers or that I am invincible.Somewhere down the line, I will give you a bad flop film once in a while. Everyone does that. Even more so in my situation, as I see myself as a risk-taker. I have done many films that are unconventional and out-of-the-box niche films.Always remember what Robert De Niro said while getting his lifetime achievement award. He said, `I am accepting this, but this is not the end. A lot more bad films to be made.' That's what filmmaking is about. As an actor, you get scripts you like and you take a swing at everything, some of them turn out as gems, some of them turn out in the crash can. but every film is made with the best intent. Some are successes, but you cannot be bogged down by that.
What should we expect from a Mr. X?
If It's not a superhero film.Superheroes are kind of altruistic as in they are selfless, they are the protectors of humanity and very righteous in what they do. This man is not. He is a right cop, who wants to avenge his own revenge to get his parallel justice to get back to the guys who did it to him. Yes, he is a superhero as he has superhero powers of being invincible. Mr .X promises all of that and a great love story in the middle of it. Amyra Dastur's character is that of an ATS officer and while his ideologies have changed overnight, she still upholds the law and so they are opposite sides of the spectrum and they become enemies, but even being a cold-blooded murderer, he feels for her.
What is your biggest lesson from Ayaan's incident?
Even in my career, I have fallen and come back, but Ayaan has taught me a lot. I have realised that it is okay to fall. It's okay to fail. He is very resilient and is fit now. Three months after his recovery , he started going to school and wanted to participate in sports day in a race.He was still weak and frail, had lost his thick crop of hair (which has now returned) and while we didn't want him to run, he is competitive and was adamant. He participated and the race started. He ran three steps and fell and he got up. He again ran five steps and fell even harder this time. Again he got up and ran and he finished the race. I looked at Parveen and could not help feeling moved, as I could not control my tears. He came last and still went to everyone saying I participated. For me, it was more than any gold medal or first prize. He had given all that he had with all the obstacles he had faced and that was a big learning lesson for me.There is nothing special about me when this child after such a traumatic experience, can get up, complete the race and smile. He actually winked at me when he finished.It was too much for me to handle and I left from there. My wife went and got him. In life, it's all about hanging in there. However shaken your feet, however much you are bruised, you crawl, hop, but get up and take that first step, that's what I learnt from him. After every hurdle I have faced, it's become more clear to me that we need to embrace life with all its tears, screams, the anger, the pain, the shame, because they all demand to be felt. And every time I fall, I have promised myself that however shaky my feet, I will get up. It's only after a disaster that you are resurrected.

Who was your emotional anchor during his treatment period?
Family and friends were an immense support, but I grieve alone. I don't show my emotions and cover it up with external brava do, but there are times when you feel frail. After Ayaan's incident, I have started praying at night which I never used to.