First look of Bollywood film – Qissa


Directed by Anup Singh

Starring Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Duggal

Release date: The film is releasing on 20 Feb on all formats (theatrical, VoD and DVD)

The first film to shoot under the Indian-German co-production treaty, Qissa is an international co-production between India, Germany, Netherlands and France. The film secured funding from the National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC), the Dutch Film Fund, Eurimage and German funds Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and North Rhine Westphalia (NRW).

Anup Singh - Director Qissa Anup Singh and Irrfan Irrfan Tillotama Rasika Tillotama
The story

Uprooted by the religious violence that came with partition in 1947, Umber and his family move to a safer locale, attempting to forge a new life for his family while keeping their true identities a secret from their community by bringing up his fourth daughter as a son. It is here that the story takes a remarkable turn. History and folklore come together in this tale set in the aftermath of the Partition of India. As Umber’s daughter is raised as a boy, the characters are propelled with greater and greater urgency towards their inevitable fates.


Masterchef Season 4 contest Neha Deepak Shah – Food is a form of meditation for me.

By Aryeman Raj

(On a personal note, Neha definitely has all the makings of a winner. So go ahead and vote for her).

neha deeprakash

From a research scientist to entering the MasterChef competition, tell us about your journey.

I have worked as a research scientist with Dabur and now as a flavourist with International flavours and fragrances. Being and winning Masterchef has been my biggest dream. I tried to come in season 2 and could make it to only top 24. I did not give up, tried to come back in season 3 as a more polished cook with the same passion but still could not make it.

When season 4 was announced, many people around motivated me to go again and things were just working in my favour when it was announced that this season is veg. I didn’t tell anyone and just came back in Masterchef season 4. When I made it to the auditions, I had to tell my family about it. They have been my biggest motivation and support system.

What does food mean to you?

Some people eat to live, some live to eat but I live to cook. Cooking is my passion. It is a form of meditation for me. It pacifies me and gives me a lot of strength. I love cooking all kinds of cuisines. From Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, French…anything.

Who inspired you to cook?

My mom has been my biggest inspiration and she is the one who seeded this love in me. I grew up reading Tarla Dalal books and watching Khana Khazana. I was totally in love with food and cooking. I wanted to become a Chef but eventually became a food technologist but being a chef was always an incomplete dream.
My motto in life

Never give up, no matter what. Always dream, dream high and believe in yourself.
So have you achieved your dream?

It all started with a dream 4 years ago.. A dream to be THE MASTERCHEF.. Wear the pride and carry the title!

The bird always knows her potential to fly and all she needs is belief and confidence in her wings. Spread them long, look up high and just fly. Keep flying till she reaches her destination. So do I, I know I can do it, I know I have it in me to make it there. I have always learnt to chase my dreams and follow them.. Never look back. Nothing can ever stop it..

You didn’t make it in the first 2 seasons. How have you changed since then?

My attempts in Season 2 and Season 3 were not failures.. I have grown up, moulded and groomed myself to wait for this chance.. And here I am today in the top 12 cooks of the nation.


Anupam Kher launches Dr. K.M. Vasudevan Pillai’s book EduNation

By Aryeman Raj


Inspired by the Gandhian precept “strength through knowledge and knowledge to all,” Dr. K.M. Vasudevan Pillai founded the Mahatma Education Society in 1970. What followed was a journey of trials and tribulations, of old ideas challenged and new ideas explored and implemented. On this day, Dr. K.M. Vasudevan Pillai releases his book, EDUNATION The Dream of an India Empowered, as the culmination of this rich and revealing journey. The book is a treasury of insights for every Indian educator, policy-maker, and custodian of this key sector. The highly talented and renowned actor, Mr. Anupam Kher, who is himself an educator, attended the event to support Dr. Pillai in his sterling initiative.

About the Book: EduNation –  The Dream of An India Empowered not only exposes the glaring inadequacies of the Indian education system, but through a deep study of how things work in advanced countries (like Australia, China, Switzerland, Singapore, and the U.S.) and through examples of ground-breaking entrepreneurship from the author’s own lifeprovides an invaluable resource for all those interested in shaping a vibrant and progressive India. Policy-makers looking for change; entrepreneurs looking for management truths; institution-builders wanting to get their foundations right; educators intent on delivering 100% results; and teachers interested in functioning as mentors: the book provides a wealth of insights for all who wish to make a difference, who believe that an India empowered is an India poised to lead. EDUNATION is not a personal story as much as a blueprint for meaningful social and economic change, a book that shares generously, delivers hope, and holds a torch to India’s vast untapped human resource potential.

About the Author: It is said, “Education teaches us to leave the world a better place than when we found it.” In Dr. Pillai we have a man whose life is his message, his institutions are his stories, his ideas and initiatives his legacy. Starting out of a small shed and driven by the sole aim of making education accessible, he worked relentlessly, over forty years, to build institutions of learning: from schools, international schools, and colleges, to teacher training institutions and colleges for Architecture, Engineering, Management Studies, and Vocational Skills. Venturing into areas of little or no development, he worked to create an infrastructure, to provide employment opportunities, and bring about tangible social and economic change.In between managing his institutions, driving expansion programs, and initiating key policy changes, Dr. Pillai would take time off to visit advanced countries and bring back global methodologies, which would then be adapted to local needs. “The whole purpose is to expose students to a global environment and global opportunities, at highly affordable prices,” he would say.

Today the Pillai Group has 48 institutions spread over four locations (Borivali, Chembur, Panvel, and Rasayani), employs over 2000 teachers, and teaches over 35,000 students annually.The whole focus is to deliver holistic education that makes for responsible citizenship. To do so, Dr. Pillai ensures that his teacher function more as mentors and that community development is integrated into the learning curriculum. “Education is as much about character-building as about career-building,” he says. “And at a deeper level it results in true nation-building.”