What's New?

Since childhood, we have all been taught that health is our greatest wealth. To swear by this golden rule in life, people opt for various methods, which include hitting the gym, signing up for various fitness classes, and of course, dieting. The fact that several hundred diet courses are available in the market, only shows its great demand. However, along with such fads come several myths that often lead to confusion. What is a boon in one plan, may turn out to be a bane in the other. So what should one do? Well, just act sensible and find out the right combination of exercise and food plan that works for you. And no, crash dieting doesn't work. We list down 5 myths related to good health.

“I run on the treadmill every day, which means I am fit” - Erm, no! Spending 15 random minutes on the treadmill is not everything. While at the gym, shut off the world (the gym is not a place to gossip) and divert all your attention to the workout. Follow the instructor’s advice and focus on different parts of your body each day. Work on your stamina, track your progress regularly, and make note of your strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, include brisk walking, yoga or a fun activity for added benefits. Don’t treat it as a formal drill, make healthy living your lifestyle.

“I am losing weight, because I am on a juice diet” - Juice diet may work as good detox for a day or two, but skipping meals entirely and starving yourself by only drinking fruit juices for days and weeks is insane. During the course, you may end up feeling weak & exhausted, or even worse, falling sick. Your body needs healthy solid foodstuff too. Balanced meals are the way to go.

“I had a heavy breakfast, so I can skip my lunch” - Not really! A heavy breakfast helps you stay on your toes all day, but the lunch will help you cope with the later (more exhaustive) part of the day. A wholesome, nutritious lunch is extremely important. Don’t eat till you stuff your face and feel like throwing up. Divide the day’s food plan into 5–6 small meals.

“The plan worked for my friend, who is the same age, so it will work on me too” - Kidding, right? No two individuals are the same, and everybody has different requirements. A lot of factors, including your BMI (Body Mass Index), internal and external health issues, family health history among other things, have to be kept in mind before you go ahead with a fitness or food routine. Plus, the key areas that need to be worked upon differ too. So, think twice before you blindly follow a family member, peer, or favourite celebrity’s fitness/food plan.

“I had a bowl full of fresh fruits in the morning. Having a plate of French fries now causes no harm.” - If you have committed to following a particular routine, stick to it. Don’t cause disruptions that can ruin your health during the course. A few cheats once a week are fine, but otherwise, junk food items that do no good to your body are best avoided.

While there are several myths, the best you can do for yourself is to take control of your life at the right time. And if you still dread the consequences of all the time that you have wasted earlier, opting for a health insurance plan may be a good choice. We recently came across Royal Sundaram’s Health Insurance Plan, and after learning how they have been at the forefront of innovative insurance solutions since several years, we definitely thought of giving it a serious thought. After all, precaution is always better than cure, and your health is definitely more precious than anything else under the sun. You may act lazy, make excuses, and try convincing yourself that you don’t need to make that extra effort, but remember, in the end, it is YOU who will reap the benefit.

-- This post is written in collaboration with Royal Sundaram --

The Dancebee
Stress impacts your immune system and can have adverse effects on your blood pressure, sugar levels, cholesterol, digestion and hormones and can lead to fatigue, autoimmune diseases and even cancer. Extreme stress when left unattended can also speed up the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and tumours and other degenerative diseases. 
Stress is a normal part of life and increases every time an event looms up and one cannot expect to escape it altogether. Most of us have long working hours, unrealistic deadlines to be met, family tensions etc. Stress, unwanted, but inevitable reflects concerns like anxiety, fatigue, anger, depression, irritability, headaches etc. It is one’s attitude to life that is necessary to tackle and manage stress. All of us are vulnerable to stressful situations and need to find answers or solutions

☻ Positive Attitude: A positive attitude really helps. Negativity fosters low self esteem and increases the chances to be more inefficient. Learn to manage time systematically, devote time for work and family, and convert any form of problem into challenges.  Pace your activities and learn to delegate, share work, to ease your schedule and lessen the stress.

☻ Learn to relax: Rest, sleep and relaxation are crucial components for relieving stress, both physical as well as mental.

Sleep Like A Baby: A good night's sleep goes a long way

☻ Prayers: Practise of meditation and prayers help to cleanse negative emotions like anger, anxiety and fear. Meditation helps lower stress levels very effectively.

☻ Eat healthy: We are what we eat.” Food has an important role in influencing our attitude, thoughts and behaviour patterns. Opt for foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, fresh vegetable juices, nuts, green tea among others as these foods can enhance energy, give rise to good mood and cheerfulness and can alleviate stress, boost confidence and a sense of wellbeing. Wholesome and natural foods have medicinal, healing and regenerative properties.

Image Credit: healthy-organics.com.au

☻ Kick out the Junk: Avoid excess sugar/sweets, deep fried snacks among others.
Learn to say no to junk food, soft drinks, fruit juices, excess tea, coffee and alcohol. These are stimulants that affect the nervous system and can aggravate stress.  Alcohol and smoking may give you temporary relief from the work stress, but in the long run, your health will suffer big time with their use.

☻ Balanced Diet: If you are on the go all the time and have been eating away from home (especially in the case of those who live alone), opt for grilled or steamed foods with clear soups and salads and avoid rich gravies, salad dressings, cheeses and desserts. Avoid large portion and sizes, especially during lunch time, as you have to get back to work. A balanced diet always helps.

In Part II, we will discuss effective exercises, that will help keep stress at bay!

By Mickey Mehta 
for Diary of a Dancebee

Admit it, many of us survive in our jeans. Some of our favourite pairs have been with us through all the good and bad times. First day of college, first day out at the coffee shop with your new girl gang, first international country travel, finding your first love, going through the first heartbreak; that super comfortable pair has been through this entire roller coaster journey. So, isn't it essential for us to invest in the perfect pair? I certainly think so.

For me, investing in the right pair of jeans in extremely crucial. Right from the fit around my waist, hip, ankle to checking out the comfort level while sitting, walking and even twirling around, I pay a lot of attention to everything. Plus, it helps if the quality of denim is superior and flexible enough. One brand that has never comprised on delivering the perfect fit and quality is Levi's. While the styles have evolved over the years, their motto remains the same - delivering much more than just a pair of blue jean. Levi's has been a pioneer when it comes to experimenting with new fits, cuts, colours among others and recently, when I was invited to preview their all new Levi's New Women's Denim Collection, I knew that my next favourite pair will be from this range. According to the team, the idea was to present a pair of jeans which fits so well, that a woman almost feels that it was specially made for her. With six fits to choose from (710 super skinny, 711 skinny, 721 high rise skinny, 311 shaping skinny, 312 shaping slim and 501 CT boyfriend), there is something for everyone. And I had my eyes set on the Skinny range.

I have found my favourite in the Levi's 711 Skinny Jean - Star Gaze. This super duper awesome pair of jean scores well in almost every department, be it the colour, fit, comfort and the overall look. Its a mid rise skinny jean, which is slim through both the leg and thigh, with a classic skinny leg. The fabric is very comfortable and doesn't feel heavy at all. In fact, its a unique stretch denim that allows room for lots of flexibility. Yes, I can do my splits and jumps quite comfortably. It has fast become my favourite go-to pair. A tee/sweat shirt, pair of sneakers and I am ready to roll. Bring on the Monday blues, I shall fight em with my blue jean, alright! 

Outfit Details
Blue Jean - Levi's 711 Skinny Jeans (Star Gaze)
Top - Zara
Shoes - Adidas
Watch - Swatch

Photography - Team Dancebee

Have you tried or purchased anything from the all new Levi's New Women's Denim Collection?
Join the conversation on Twitter | Instagram - @priyaadivarekar

The Dancebee
So, after facing a whole lot of technical issues since more than a month (also the reason why we were off YouTube) and being busy with a few personal projects, we are back with regular posts, just like always. This time, we have got a beauty review. Za India recently launched their all new liquid foundation - Za Perfect Fit Liquid Foundation - which has a water based formula. The product was tested during the experience period and the results are here! Read on to know more.

What? Za Perfect Fit Liquid Foundation
Quantity: 30ml
Price: Rs 700
Available in: 6 Shades
Shade tested: OC 30
What does it promise? The Za Perfect Fit Foundation contains micro pink pearls. These ultra fine pearls emit diverse kinds of light, that can help diminish uneven skin tone and pores. It helps emit light from within for flawless skin, with a rosy glow and great complexion. The oil free and water based formula feels watery and spreads over the skin with a dewy texture, in order to perfectly suit your skin. It provides a non-sticky finish, that renders the use of a face powder unnecessary.

How to use? Shake lightly, 2-3 times and apply an appropriate amount over face, spreading evenly from the centre of the face to outwards.

Packaging: Comes in an adorable, plastic bottle. The metallic cap ensures that the product does not spill. It also ensures that no extra amount of the product pours out during application. The cap fits well and both the bottle, cap are not too heavy. The packaging is very convenient and light weight, especially to use while traveling, which is a major plus point.

Texture: Since its a water based formula, the texture is light weight. It does not feel too heavy, even after application. The product is smooth and has a satiny finish.

Overall Experience: Personally, I have always preferred foundations with a water based formula as compared to the normal ones, thanks to their light texture and non-cakey finish. The Za Perfect Fit Liquid Foundation makes for a perfect addition to your make up kit, especially during the hot and humid climate. The bottle is easy to carry. For a natural look, just a little bit of the product goes a long way. The coverage is decent, but if you are looking for a heavy coverage, you might have to depend on extra use of concealer. After evenly applying the product, it hydrates and does not leave your skin feeling too oily or dry. I also noticed how the product has a pink undertone, which gives a light rosy finish (at least my shade did). The SPF 17 PA ++ makes for an added advantage, as it does the job of protecting your skin as well. What also works in the favour of this product is the fact that it is suitable for all skin types. It works well for those with dry, oily and combination skin, which is great. Plus, the price you pay for all these benefits is perfect. The fragrance is similar to other Za make up products.

Pros: Light weight formula
Gives a natural, satiny finish
well prices
convenient packaging

Cons: Light coverage
Use of Alcohol in Ingredients

Verdict: Makes for a great buy, if you are looking for a well priced, light weight foundation with light coverage. Plus, the adorable packaging only makes it more coveted. The smooth texture and perfect finish will give you a subtle, natural glow. It's a wonder product, housed in a beautiful little bottle.

The Dancebee
For someone who has made it to the top league all by herself, Katrina Kaif is not among the ones who would give up easily. She is constantly working hard to prove her critics wrong and with several blockbuster films in her kitty, Katrina is surely enjoying the last laugh. She is signed on by some of the best brands in the world, and recently made her debut at Cannes as a L'Oreal Paris ambassador. She is worshipped by millions of fans on social media, despite the fact that she does not have a single official account on any digital platform (except the Twitter account, which was created solely for her Cannes debut). Her love life has always been in the public eye, thanks to the fact that she is reportedly dating one of Bollywood's most loved heart throb - Ranbir Kapoor. But despite all this, Katrina's main goal has always been signing good films. She returns to the big screen almost after a year with Phantom, her third film with director Kabir Khan and second with actor Saif Ali after Race. Katrina is visibly excited, thanks to her challenging role in the film. 
I met the actress on a Friday, when her schedule was super packed with multiple interviews, and a few shoots at Mehboob Studios. Eventually, our interview got delayed by a few hours and we finally settled down for a conversation at around 9:30 pm, when the two of us were visibly tired. Looking gorgeous as ever, dressed in a white shirt and brown pencil fit skirt, she politely apologised for the delay and made sure that I was comfortable. "Sorry to ruin your Friday night plans," she said. I smiled, thanking her for the kind gesture and replied, "No plans, actually! I am only looking forward to catching up on some sleep. Its been a long day." After a little chat and discussing how sleep is a much needed luxury, we finally got down to business - A tete-a-tete with Katrina, where she talks about Phantom, journey as an actor, why she hates the malicious reports about her love life, wedding and more.

Did you get a chance to watch any of the recently released films?
Oh yes! I saw Brothers and absolutely loved the film. Did you see Akshay and his incredible new look? I thought he was phenomenal. To look so fit and perform fantastic stunts at his age is commendable. I also got a chance to watch Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan recently. Baahubali made for a visual treat. I was so mesmerised with the visuals, that I didn't even realise when the film got over. Bajrangi.. left me feeling happy, because initially I was worried if Kabir would dilute his voice or lose the style that he is known for. We have done two films together and he is a very unique director. Like even in Ek Tha Tiger, Salman's look had a different edge to it. So, I was curious to see what Kabir has done in Bajrangi.. and was really surprised to see the final product. I think it shocked everyone. It was a wonderful film, and the girl (Harshaali) was really beautiful. Also, I think Salman has performed this way after Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

So, do you think the success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan will give the right push to Phantom?
Absolutely! I agree. Plus, it will do well on its own as well, because as I said, Kabir has a unique approach towards all his films and he has got a very strong credibility. And while people believe that Phantom was pushed ahead due to Bajrangi... it is not true. There were a few delays and also, there came a point where either Bang Bang or Phantom could release. There is an unspoken rule where the film that goes on the floors first, should release first. So, although it was a tough, it was a complicated  decision and ultimately, we decided to give Phantom some more time in the post-production phase.

Are you slowly getting comfortable in the action space after films like Bang Bang and Dhoom 3?
Well, yes! But although Phantom has action, it is situational action, where you gotta face the enemies, run, jump and shoot. But its not the kind where you gotta build your physique in a certain way, which will help you look a certain part, like Akshay and Sidharth in Brothers. I am yet to fully try something like that. But, I guess I dabbled with a similar thing in Dhoom 3, where I tried my hand at acrobats in a few portions like songs like Malang and Kamli. Although it you guys saw it for a short time, a lot of training went into it.

Your look in Phantom is very raw and edgy.
Yeah! Plus, there is no focus on make up and hair like most hardcore action films. I would see my stylists in the morning and that's it, we would only meet later in the night. We just went for a messy hair do, because Kabir did not want me to look all glamorous. We would just use an occasional summa in the eye, you know, to just give it a visually different look. Its really not a film where the girl needs to think about her look. Also, I personally think that acting has nothing to do with your looks. Its not like if you see yourself in the mirror without make up, then you will get the part right. Its the connect that you have with your character, eventually. The overall appearance is just an added icing on the cake.

Do you think actresses today are less bothered about how they look on or off screen?
Yes, we are not in an age where people are only bothered about their looks and are constantly experimenting with make up, at least I am not. If you are like that, then its a foolish thing. You are what you are and you will ultimately look your age. Time doesn't wait for anyone, and if there is anyone, then its a foolish thing to follow. I have no problem playing any age or getting into a certain look on screen. If the script demands it, I will do it. You will see me do something different in Kal Jisne Dekha (tentative title). But its not like what the reports suggest (which say that she will be wearing prosthetics in the film). Nitya's approach is completely different and I was completely taken aback.

What do you think has been your biggest takeaway from the film (Phantom)?
Well, every film teaches you a lot and so has Phantom. It was a long and hard journey for all of us. The film was really tight since the scripting stage and we were all prepared since the time we came on board. From all the films that I have done with Kabir, this was one film where I saw him being extremely passionate about the story. The roots and base story required that kind of passion, and fortunately, we saw how even the producers supported the film wholeheartedly. They haven't left a single stone unturned to make sure that this film turns out well. So in a way, there was something to learn from everyone.

Do you think Kabir Khan is one director who has always tapped into your potential and portrayed the female characters on a large scale?
Absolutely! Kabir will always portray strong women characters, because that's how he sees women. A man will always write stronger roles for women, mostly depending on his own perception about women. Kabir sees women as independent, capable, strong minded and in equal means to any man. As far as tapping my potential is concerned, I think that varies from film to film. In New York, everything fell into place, while Ek Tha Tiger had other plus points and then Phantom was completely different experience. Also, Kabir will never offer me something forcefully, where I have to say yes immediately. Kabir has got a strong integrity about his work. I certainly think Kabir and I have a great understanding and working with him is always special. 

Talking about third film with Ranbir, Jagga Jasoos, which is a highly anticipated project. Do you think your chemistry with him in the film will surpass what we saw in Rajneeti and Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahaani?
(smiles) I can vouch for the fact that our chemistry will only be better than what you saw in the earlier films. And a lot will depend on how Jagga Jasoos turns out, because your chemistry will get appreciated only if the audience receives the film well. And that's exactly what Anurag Basu is trying to do. He has got a very different voice, and his style of film making is very unique, which is why the film is taking time. He is an artist, who has a bohemian approach and likes doing things according to his time. There were random reports of an argument between us, and they were all false. Everyone knows how sweet Anurag is, and even on the sets we would have a great time. It's like, I would say "Dada, I wanna go home," and he will be like, "Ya okay, go." One can talk, discuss and do everything when he is around, Dada is a free spirit. Instead of following rumours and reports, the audience should just wait and see Dada's world unfold on the big screen, once its ready for release.

You are working with Ranbir for the third time. How do you think the two of you have grown as actors?
I have grown by leaps and bounds. I don't know about Ranbir (smiles). See, he was always a superb actor. There are several other great actors, but I personally think that Ranbir is a great comic actor. He was brilliant in Ajab Prem... and the credit also goes to Raj Kumar Santoshi's excellent guidance. Even when I think about some of those dialogues today, I can't stop laughing. Also, people must remember that Ranbir came into this industry with a lot of training. A lot of people, including me, were not that lucky enough to get professional training before making a debut in Bollywood.

Ranbir went through a slightly rough phase professionally. With Tamasha creating a good buzz, what are your thoughts?
For an actor, its painful when your films aren't doing well. Every actor must go through a phase of ups and downs, because only then will you appreciate what you have. It helps you become a stronger person. I know Ranbir loves his fans and he breathes, lives cinema. No one can challenge that passion and commitment. These ups and downs have happened in almost every star's life, be it Shah Rukh, Salman or Aamir. I have complete confidence and belief that Tamasha will do extremely well and Ranbir will be amazing in it. I wish the team a lot of success and I am quite sure Ranbir will be back with a bang with this film.

How do you react to the reports about your private life, especially stories about you and Ranbir. Does it affect you?
I have got used to it. Its okay! As long as its not malicious and nasty, I am fine. As far as I can remember, it has happened to be 3-4 times, where the rumours and reports were very nasty. And yes, I have fought back. I am a human being, after all, and being nasty is not a very nice thing. There have been cases where journalists, whom I have known for years, would be nice to me during interviews and then turn around to pass malicious reports. I am not talking about random gossip, where news about me attending a birthday or dinner are floated around. These are the really bad ones, which can hurt an individual mentally. It has happened to me, and I was very disturbed. But for the most part, it doesn't matter to me, because the small reports like getting engaged on my birthday and stuff are harmless. Its sweet, but unfortunately, its not true (laughs). It's a little difficult for me to understand that why would anyone try to hide their engagement or a wonderful thing such as marriage. Nobody will do that, unless the person is extremely private, like Mr. Aditya Chopra may. Like I don't know when he got engaged. But that's not me or Ranbir. What is marriage after all? Beyond all the rituals, its a celebration of two people coming together. So, a celebration won't be a secret. I definitely want my wedding to be a big event. There is so no doubt about it. Its just not happening now. And I don't understand why people get so excited about an actor's wedding or why do they want a woman to get married off quickly? Are we trying to say that every woman's destiny is only to get married? I am tired of saying the same thing, but still, there will be false reports of us getting married. Its weird!

Are there any specific genres that you are looking at exploring in the future?
I think every actor wants to do a memorable role or film. Everyone is in search of that, and even I am in search of it everyday. But right now, my choices are only based on what interests and excites me. Fitoor is one film that really excited me, because I was in love with the script. 

Any plans of making a official debut on Twitter, unlike the one you did exclusively for Cannes and L'Oreal Paris?
But when I go on Twitter, I need at least 13 - 14 million followers (laughs). If there are just a few lakhs, it means I shouldn't go for it (laughs). Well, I'll think about it.

What do you think about your competitors in the industry?
Honestly, I feel healthy competition is always welcome. Otherwise, you get all lazy and feel relaxed, which is a human tendency. But competition reminds us that if you don't focus or don't put in an extra effort, someone else might do just that and take a leap. In an industry where focus and dedication is a necessity, I think competition is very important. I don't mind working with my contemporaries if the script demands it, but I think its the right time in the industry to make a multi-starrer, like a Maharabharat. It's been long since someone did that, and it would be great to see some of the best actors coming together for one big star cast film.

How do you look back at your journey so far? Did you imagine you would come this far?
Imagine, yes. Because its our dreams and imaginations that drive us. I have worked hard to reach where I am today. Despite being someone who did not belong to any film family, I was always very passionate about my goals and achievements. I was very focussed about my work, but in a very passionate and clean way. Every actor wants to be accepted by the audience, so I would go to a temple and pray for my film, for my fans to continue loving me and to get accepted as an actor. My permanent wish has always been the fact that my audience enjoys and loves watching my films.

Before we end this conversation, I would like to know, what do you like the most about living in India? 
I love the chaos of this country. We may complain about the traffic, mess and all that, but its important. There is a beauty in that chaos, which just shows the warmth of this country. If you travel across the globe, you won't find a more warmer country than India. The culture and hospitality is unmatchable. But on the offside, I don't like the poverty. Its really sad and in certain parts, the situation is terrible. We really need to get together and do something about it.

The Dancebee
Jacqueline Fernandez is on a roll, and there is no looking back for the actress, who is busy working with the best of directors and male actors in her upcoming projects. From winning hearts with her gorgeous avatar in Kick, to getting appreciation for her double role in Roy; Jacqueline has entered the big league with great style. The birthday girl, who enters a new phase in life today as she turns 30, is quite excited about her next release, Brothers, which hits the screens this week. Despite back-to-back promotions and city tours, the actress looked radiant and calm, and admitted that although the schedule is crazy, she is loving every moment of it. We caught up with Jacqueline for a late morning chat at the Dharma office last week, where apart from discussing beauty and green tea (Yes! We couldn't stop talking about The Body Shop's Fuji Green Tea scrub), we spoke to her about films, brand endorsements, life as an actor and more.

You are one of the most sought after female actors in the industry today. How does that feel?
It’s like a blessing in disguise. Being in the Top 3 or even in the Top 10 is a huge thing, because I have worked very hard to reach where I am today. Now, it’s time to work harder and achieve many more things.

You have two back-to-back releases, with Bangistan and Brothers. How excited or nervous are you?
I don't get pressurised or feel nervous anymore. I used to, a few years back. When Aladdin and Na Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hain released, I was very nervous. But then, I realised that there is no point in feeling the pressure, because the film will eventually release and perform the way it has to. As an actor, you have done what you have to. In fact, I am very excited about these two films, as they are both different and give out a message. The very fact that I am a part of such films keeps me happy. I am a harsh critic of myself, so I learn from my mistakes, soak in the experiences and then, move on to new projects. Plus, Bangistan was more like a special appearance.

What’s your character in the film Brothers like?
Brothers is a very special film, especially because this is my first Dharma film. I didn't think this would be the kind of Dharma film that would be my debut, as my role is very different and is something that I haven’t tried before. I play Jenny Fernandez, who is the wife of David Fernandez (Akshay Kumar). In fact, I would keep telling Akshay that you guys are ankle Fernandez, and I am the asli one (laughs). Well, in the film, ours is a happy family and we have a six-year-old daughter. All of a sudden, our daughter becomes very ill and we don’t have enough many to pay for her treatment. That’s where things take a turn. You will have to watch the film to know more (smiles). Jenny is definitely one of my most challenging roles till date and Karan (Malhotra) helped me a lot with understanding my character. He is very strong and strict. He made us do a lot of retakes, until I got the emotions and expressions right in a scene.

How was it working with Akshay Kumar, after Housefull 2, although the two of you were not paired together in the film?
Yeah, Brothers is the first time I have worked opposite Akshay. I have always known and seen Akshay in comedy films, and even Housefull was like that. But in Brothers, he is all serious, which I was not used to. In most parts of the film, I am all sad and crying. Both of us are with our child and its a serious situation. But, Akshay has a great disconnect. He can be all serious and emotional in a character, and the moment you say ‘Cut’, he will be back to “Hey! Kya haal hain? Bhook lagi hain yaar.” So, that was a great learning experience for me. On days when I have heavy scenes to film, where I am all emotional and crying, thinking “Glycerin lagana hain, rona hain,” I would feel exhausted. I used to go back home with a headache and feel very heavy, drained out the entire day. The same happened even during the dubbing. But Akshay is a pro at it! He has an amazing energy and just like other superstars, he approaches every film like its his first. At least, that's the feeling that I get. He wakes up early, never gets tired, and fits in a hundred things in one single day. There is so much to learn from him.

Any memorable incident while you were shooting for the film?
Many! But we had great fun filming the climax. It was shot over a period of 50 days and all I had to do was stand in the crowd, with a placard bearing David's name. That's what I kept doing over and over again (laughs). During one shot, Akshay changed the placard and gave me the one bearing Monty's (Sidharth Malhotra) name. It took some time for me to realise that I was holding the wrong placard and ultimately, I had to get the right one and shoot the scene again. It was fun! There were these little, fun pranks that kept happening, turning the otherwise emotional atmosphere into a fun-loving, light hearted one. Its like a good relief for the entire cast and crew in between gruelling schedules.

Were you comfortable playing a mother at an early stage of your career?
Absolutely! In the end, I am an actress and in this profession, one has to show the kind of range they have got. You have to be able to tap into different kinds of roles and genres. If you keep doing the same kind of roles, over and over again, then what is the joy of being an actor? Honestly, I was thinking the same thing and was a little skeptical. Questions like - “Should I play a mother? What will happen to my career? Will this jeopardise anything? Will this set something in the audience’s perception?” - kept popping up in my mind. But, when you actually take on these roles, the beauty of it is the fact that you can show the audience your versatility. Like I play a mother in Brothers, but in Dishoom, I turn into this cool tomboy and then in Flying Jat, I turn into this fun dancer. So its fun to show different avatars of yourself in films and that’s what keeps it interesting for me as an actor. When you look at your portfolio, it feels amazing to know that one has done this, that and everything. 

You have always taken the versatile route, opting for different characters and genres. But as an actor, how easy or difficult is it for you to disconnect from one character and step into another one, almost around the same time?
Earlier, I used to think that an actor can just snap in, snap out and its not a big deal. But honestly, it is very difficult. Like in Dishoom, my character is rebellious and a complete spoilt brat. She is this girl on the run, who is extremely blunt and not afraid of anything. When I started working on Dishoom after Brothers, where I was playing a mother with a sick child, it wasn't easy. I kept telling myself - Okay! I need to get out of my old avatar and do this. Then after shooting a few days for Dishoom, I started filming Flying Jat the very next day, where I had to be all bubbly and cute (laughs). I was like, “Oh my God! I need to get out of my rebellious side and be sweet here.” So, it does take time, but the constant practice of it has helped me a lot. An actor has to act, right? They are themselves behind the camera, but the moment they hear the word ‘Action’, you need to get rid of everything and become one with your character. Also, I have been able to work with different directors, actors and step into different characters with them, which helps. 

During an earlier interview, Akshay stated that luck plays a major role, almost 65 per cent, in an actor's life. Do you believe in luck?
Nope! I believe that one has to work hard towards creating their own luck. I don't believe solely in the luck factor. I think that if one is not successful, then that person is not doing something right. The people who are in the top league have done everything to get there and a lot of hard work goes into this. One has to push themselves, sacrifice their sleep, and prove themselves to be noticed and reach on top. I personally don't believe that luck has anything to do with it.

What is it that you keep in mind before you come on board to endorse a brand or a certain range of products? For e.g you have always stood by the ethics of the brand, The Body Shop, which you are currently endorsing.
Honestly, I believe in taking things on, keeping in mind that I actually own the brand and use the product. That is extremely important, because I don't believe in selling anything to the public, which I don't use myself. So before I come on board, I always do a background research on the brand, because I am always very active with my brands. I like to get involved in activities, try things on and promote it. So, I won't promote something that I don't feel is right. With Puma, our idea of fitness matches well. The Body Shop is more than just a brand, as their products promote a lot of environmental wellbeing, and support causes like cruelty against animals, environmental awareness, community trade ingredients among others. All these things matter a lot, because its a responsibility. I don't want to be in a situation where I come to know that my brand has deceived the public. I will never represent such a brand. I will always endorse something that is known for its quality.

Tell us about the latest Fuji Green Tea range by The Body Shop, that you recently launched.  
Oh! I am loving it. I am a huge fan of green tea and I drink it everyday. So, when I was told that I can also apply it on my body, I got so excited and was like - "Yay! I have got green tea for my skincare too." (laughs)

Which projects are you currently working on?
I am working on two films. I started shooting for Dishoom in July, which stars John Abraham and Varun Dhawan. Around the same time, I also started filming Flying Jat, where I am paired opposite Tiger Shroff. Next month, I will start shooting for Housefull 3 with Akshay Kumar. So, these 3 films will keep me busy this year

The Dancebee
Gone are the days when hues of red dominated Indian marriages (but in some parts, they still do). Today, the modern bride is excited to experiment on her big day. Be it opting for unique bridal wear, or minimal make up, brides are not shying away from looking different and fresh for their big fat wedding. The recently concluded Amazon India Couture Week 2015 showcased several looks, that left most to-be brides (and even those waiting in the wings) with dreamy eyes. Designers like Anju Modi, Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi among others showcased mesmerizing outfits, that made future brides sit up and notice the bridal trends for this year. But apart from the outfits, what really stood out for us were the make up trends, put together brilliantly by the Make Up experts at MAC cosmetics. From nude hues to warmer tones, there was something for everyone. We decode some of our favorite looks created by the experts, which are sure to rock the wedding season this year.
Anju Modi

• Start with the Studio Moisture Cream, a super-rich creamy moisturizer boosted with skin-nourishing extracts including passion fruit, spinach leaf, green tea, algae, wheat germ and coconut. Moistens, feeds, firms and protects the skin and Promotes a healthy radiance.
• For a long lasting hold on the makeup, hydration oil control and smooth texture, use the Prep + Prime Natural Radiance primer
  Apply the Mineralize Moisture Foundation and set it using the Mineralize Skinfinish Powder 
• Conceal using the Pro Concealer Palette
• Apply Vintage Rose Cream Color Base on the eyelids for a sheer base
 Use Lash No.7 for added drama
• Keep the brows well groomed
  Use Hush Cream Color Base on the cheek and contour them with Mineralize Skinfinish
 Apply Skin Studio Nail Lacquer on the nails
• Line the lips with Burgundy and Cherry Lip Pencil
• Fill them with the Dangerous Lipstick

Manish Malhotra 

• Start with Fix+, an aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. It adds radiance and helps prepare the skin
          •    Next apply the Studio Moisture Cream, a super-rich creamy moisturizer boosted with skin-nourishing extracts including passion fruit, spinach leaf, green tea, algae, wheat germ and coconut. Moistens, feeds, firms and protects the skin and Promotes a healthy radiance.
             •  Correct and Conceal using the Pro Conceal and Correct Palette
     • Use the Shadester Sculpting Powder to contour the cheeks
                 • Use the Vanilla Pigment for a wash of color. Apply Sincere Blush
              •    Apply Hush Cream Color Base on the eyelids for a sheer base.
               •  Create a smokey eye using Sketch, Ricepaper, Carbon Eyeshadow and Chromographic Pencil NW25/NC30
     •    Use Lash No.4& 7 for added drama
     •     Use Overlacquer MAC on the nails
        •     Line the lips with Soar Lip Pencil and fill them in with Mehr and Sandy B Lipstick

Rimple & Harpreet Narula

   • Start with Fix+, an aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. It adds radiance and helps prepare the skin
 •   Apply the Studio Moisture Cream, a super-rich creamy moisturizer boosted with skin-nourishing extracts including passion fruit, spinach leaf, green tea, algae, wheat germ and coconut. Moistens, feeds, firms and protects the skin and Promotes a healthy radiance.
 •     For a long lasting hold on the makeup, hydration oil control and smooth texture, use the Prep + Prime Natural Radiance primer
 •  Apply the Studio Sculpt Foundation and conceal using the Pro Concealer Palette. Set with the Careblend Powder
• Apply the Constructivist Paint Pot, a long-wearing bendable cream shadow on the eyelids followed by Blacktrack Fluidline Eyeliner Gel
•  Use Lash No.4 and apply a coat of Haute & Naughty Mascara for added drama
•  Keep the brows well groomed
•  Use Hush Cream Color Base on the cheeks as a highlighter. Contour with Mineralized Skinfinish
•  Apply Skin Studio Nail Lacquer on the nails
• Line the lips with Burgundy Lip Pencil
•  Fill them with the Sin Lipstick

Do you have a favorite look or are looking forward to trying out any of them? Let us know on Twitter at - @priyaadivarekar - and join the conversation.

The Dancebee
When it comes to versatility, Ajay Devgn is one of the few actors whose name immediately comes to mind. Right from comedy to action, romance and drama; the actor has done justice to almost every genre. And this time, he chose a thriller to win the hearts of his fans. When reports of Drishyam's Hindi remake broke out and the final cast, crew details were revealed, people were curious to see if the film can do justice to the original Malayalam film that starred Mohanlal, or even to the later remakes that saw Venkatesh (Drushyam in Telugu) and Kamal Hassan (Papanasam in Tamil) in the lead. For someone who hasn't seen any of the above mentioned films, I was looking forward to Devgn's Drishyam already. After all, it had Nishikant Kamat taking over as the captain of the ship, the same man who gave us Mumbai Meri Jaan (gem of a film). The trailer increased my excitement around the film, and my expectations soared. Fortunately for me, the film does live up it all, and much more.

While several members of the audience (at the press show) knew the plot and kept comparing the film with previous adaptations and the original film, I was hooked on till the end credits unfolded. Drishyam is a drama - thriller that is based on the theory - what we see is not always the truth. The Salgaonkar family - Vijay (Ajay Devgn), Nandini (Shriya Saran) and their daughters (Ishita Dutta and Mrinal Jadhav) - are living a happy and peaceful life in a quiet village on the Goa - Maharashtra border, until one incident changes their life forever. Vijay's elder daughter (Dutta) heads out for a nature trip with students from other schools, where she comes across Sam, who is introduced as the son of a high profile personality. One freak incident leads to another, and the Salgaonkar family falls in to deep trouble due to Sam. What makes matters worse is the fact that Sam turns out to be the son of Inspector General Meera Deshmukh (Tabu), who along with Inspector Gaitonde (Kamlesh Sawant) leaves no stone unturned to prove that the Salgaonkars are responsible for her son's mysterious disappearance. The sequences that follow will both blow your mind and leave you on edge of the seat, right till the end.

Nishkant Kamat has done a great job of handling a thriller and has kept it simple on the presentation front. He does not indulge in unnecessary graphics or loud background score for thrills. The direction is flawless, with almost zero loopholes, which is a must for a thriller like this. While the first half is where you get familiar with the characters, it is in the second half when the plot thickens and nail biting moments await. A word for the excellent choice of locations, which is like a breathe of fresh air. The film is entirely shot in Goa and parts of Ratnagiri, and Avinash Arun's cinematography does complete justice to the beautiful locations. The editing is crisp, which is crucial for films of this genre. The background score is good, and so are the dialogues (Upendra Sidhaye), which are lucid and to the point. Upendra Sidhaye's screenplay is excellent and has been adapted brilliantly (originally written by Jeethu Joseph) . That is well expected from a writer who has earlier won accolades for his work in Mumbai Meri Jaan. A word to the casting director, who gets every character right and has done a great job of getting together an excellent cast, that have delivered natural performances.

As far as the performances are concerned, both Ajay Devgn and Tabu make an impact with their power house performances. While Devgn's expressions and perfect dialogue delivery makes you relate to his Vijay Salgaonkar, Tabu's portrayal of Meera Deshmukh has the right attitude and angst. Performance after performance, Tabu has proved why she is one of the best female actors in the Hindi film industry and her act in Drishyam is no different. But if there is anyone apart from these two who steals the show, it is Kamlesh Sawant's excellent portrayal of Gaitonde. He plays it with such perfection, that you will leave the cinema hall hating him to the core. The thirst for revenge in his eyes can be seen throughout the film, and Sawant has delivered a performance that will be remembered for long. Shriya Saran's portrayal of Nandini is good, as she plays her part of a meek yet mentally strong housewife pretty well. Ishita Dutta makes an impressive debut as Devgn's elder daughter in the film and emotes well. Rest of the cast that includes Rajat Kapoor, and other actors who play the roles of Uncle Martin, Prabhu sir, Sam (the boy who is often seen in a sprite commercial, plays the baddie here, and he almost makes you feel like slapping him) among others have all done a good job. A special mention of the little Mrinal Jadhav, who left me spellbound with her incredible act. This young girl is such a natural. She has the power to move you with her adorable presence. In fact, I almost shed a tear or two during a pivotal scene, which involved her. Surely, kids these days are taking their job seriously and are going beyond being just cute. Child actors like Mrinal and Harshaali are proof. Well done, girls!

Verdict: Overall, Drishyam is one power packed film that has got everything right. Be it Nishikant Kamat's direction, the cast's incredible performance or the perfect technical aspect, they have nailed it in every department. It is certainly one of the best Hindi films of the thriller genre that I have seen in recent times. It may not be your regular, entertaining commercial fare, but Drishyam has got everything that a good film should - drama, suspense, action, thrills, humor and above all - an excellent plot. Don't miss it for anything this weekend. A must watch!

Have you seen Drishyam? Tweet your feedback to us on Twitter with the hash tag - #Drishyam - at @priyaadivarekar

The Dancebee