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Vir Das talks about Shah Rukh Khan on an international podcast, calls him the ‘biggest star in the world’ – Times of India

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Stand-up comedian and actor Vir Das recently made headlines for his ‘Two India’ monologue. Now, another video of him from an international podcast is doing the rounds where he is seen talking about Shah Rukh Khan.

A fan account of SRK shared a video where Vir is seen showering praise on the King Khan of Bollywood, calling him the ‘biggest star in the world’.

Check out the video here:

In the video, Vir is seen introducing the host of the show to Shah Rukh. He is heard calling the superstar the biggest star in the world in terms of fan base and even reaches. The actor also added that every Sunday, the superstar has about ten thousand people waiting outside his house.

He also narrates an incident where he wrote jokes for the actor. SRK, however, went on stage and did something of his own and that turned out to be better than what he wrote. Vir added that not everybody is smart enough to pull that off but SRK always does.

When the host asked Vir what it is that attracts people to Shah Rukh Khan, the comedian said that apart from his charisma, his story is something that people relate to. He came to Mumbai with nothing but a suitcase in his hand and then went on to become the King of Bollywood.

On the work front, Shah Rukh will be making a comeback into films after three years of sabbatical with Siddharth Anand’s ‘Pathan’ co-starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham.

Apart from this, he also has Atlee’s next with Nayanthara and Rajkumar Hirani’s immigration drama in his pipeline.





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Omicron, 5th wave: Global Covid situation explained | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Covid pandemic “is far from over”. The World Health Organization chief said this recently as dozens of pandemic-weary countries started reimposing restrictions to combat Omicron, the latest — and potentially more dangerous — variant of coronavirus.
While the new variant is yet to lead to a noticeable surge anywhere else except in South Africa, the world continues to report a concerning number of fresh Covid cases every day.
In November alone, over 15.6 million cases were reported around the world.
Here’s a deeper look at the global Covid situation

The daily Covid cases in November this year have shown an upward trend in the second half of the month.
The seven-day average of cases rose from 4.5 lakh at the start of the month to over 5.7 lakh by the end, indicating a rising trend in daily infections.
While the surge is not linked to the new Omicron variant, a consistent upward trend is likely to stoke fears of a global Covid recurrence.
The US, which is the worst-hit country in the world, continues to report the maximum number of new infections. In November, it reported over 2.5 million — or around 16% — of the global Covid cases.

Heading for fifth wave?
A look at the daily Covid infections since the outbreak in January 2020 shows that the world is likely headed for a fifth wave of the pandemic, led by a sustained surge in US and rising trend in several European countries.

The deadliest wave of the pandemic struck the world in March this year and lasted till around June. During this period, approximately 47.4 million cases were reported worldwide while over 9 lakh people succumbed to the virus.
Around the same time, India was grappling with the second wave of the pandemic, which led to largescale devastation and deaths across the country.

While the deaths due to Covid are now lower compared to previous waves due to an uptick in vaccination, there is a renewed fears about Omicron variant’s speculated ability to evade immunity provided by vaccines.
Nevertheless, a close look at the graph shows that subsequent curves of Covid deaths have remained less steep than that of infections, indicating a dip in fatalities due to vaccinations.
Situation in India
In India, there has been a marked improvement in the Covid situation as the country continues to report a downward trend in cases.

In November, India recorded the lowest number of new Covid-19 cases in 18 months since May 2020.
Just over 3.1 lakh cases were reported during the month, a drop of 40% from 5.2 lakh infections logged during October.
This was the sixth consecutive month of falling coronavirus cases in India since the peak of the second wave in May this year, when more than 90 lakh Covid-19 cases were officially recorded in the country.





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Sindhu gets first round bye in World Championships, Tai Tzu in line in quarters | Badminton News – Times of India

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HUELVA (Spain): Defending champion PV Sindhu has got a first round bye and faces the prospect of coming up against Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying and former world number one Carolina Marin in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively of the World Badminton Championships.
Sindhu, who won a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, has been seeded sixth in the December 12-19 showpiece event.
The world number seven Indian has seen a resurgence in form as she had reached semifinals in the last three tournaments she had played.
Sindhu faces the winner of Martina Repiska of Slovenia and Ruselli Hartawan of Indonesia in the second round. If she clears the third round, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu, who had beaten her in the Tokyo Olympics semifinals, will be awaiting her in the quarterfinals.
If Sindhu gets past Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu, she could be up against Marin who had beaten her in the 2016 Rio Olympics summit clash.
Marin returns from injury straight into the World Championships and she will be playing in an arena named after her.
Tai Tzu has also taken sufficient rest as she hasn’t played since winning silver at Tokyo 2020.
The other half of the women’s singles has two players — Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and An Seyoung of Korea — who have swept the prominent World Tour titles since the Olympics.
Nozomi Okuhara of Japan whom Sindhu had beaten in the 2019 final is also in the other half of the draw.
Tokyo Olympics champion Chen Yu Fei of China is not taking part like many other players from her country.
In men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth, seeded 12th, will open his campaign against local player Pablo Abian and has the prospect of facing compatriot B Sai Praneeth (seeded 14th) in the quarterfinals, if both are able to reach that stage.
Defending champion and top seed Kento Momota of Japan could be the man waiting for the Indians in the semifinals.
Young Lakshya Sen has also been drawn in the same half as his two senior compatriots and faces Max Weisskirchen of Germany in the opening round. He can be up against Momota in the quarterfinals if the Indian reaches there.
In the men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have been seeded eighth and handed a first round bye. Three other Indian pairs — Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, and Arun George and Sanyam Shukla are also in the fray.
In women’s doubles, the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will face the French duo of Delphine Delrue and Lea Palermo in the first round.
Two other Indian pairs — Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh, and Maneesha K and Rutaparna Panda — are also in the fray.
In mixed doubles, three Indian pairs — Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh, MR Arjun and Maneesha K and Utkarsh Arora and Karishma Wadkar — are in the fray.





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Adinath Kothare: Ranveer Singh is going to win all the awards for his role in ’83’ – Exclusive! – Times of India

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The young Adinath Kothare is full of surprises. Not only is he more than just the son of Marathi cinema legend Mahesh Kothare, he’s a celebrated actor and director in Marathi films. Not just that, he’s even found an iconic break in Bollywood playing Dilip Vengsarkar in the upcoming ‘83’ with Ranveer Singh. A man of many talents and remarkably wiser than his years, Adi, as he’s fondly referred to by friends, talks to ETimes about his films, experience of working on ‘83’, and more. Excerpts:

You’ve acted in and directed the critically-acclaimed ‘Paani’. How did you end up with such an off-beat subject?


‘Paani’ is a project we started in 2016. I was researching and wanted to direct a film; the subject of the water crisis appealed to me. So I did my research and stumbled upon the story of a common man, Hanumant Kendre, from Nanded district in Maharashtra. This man comes from a village that nobody wanted to marry their daughters into because people had to walk four kilometers to fetch their daily fill of water. Hanumant got engaged to a girl but the minute the girl’s family found out about the water crisis in his village, they called off the wedding. He was heartbroken because he was somehow smitten by that girl… it was love at first sight. He went to the girl and told her “I want to marry you but I will marry you the day there’s water in my village. Will you wait for me?” What happens after that is the story. Today, that village has water 365 days a year. It supplies water to 4-5 neighbouring villages too. This man brought the water-sharing project to his village. It took him two years to successfully run the project and marry the girl.

I played Hanumant’s role in the film ‘Paani’ and directed it, too. We pitched the idea to Priyanka Chopra; she liked it and produced it. Nitin Dixit, who is a writer-director, came on board to write the project as well. When I was in front of the camera, I needed someone behind it, as well.

You play an important role in the upcoming film ‘83’ as well. How did you end up getting that role?


We shot ‘Paani’ and I came back to Mumbai. I got a call from Mukesh Chhabra to come over for an audition and look test for some ad film. I had come from Nanded where I was shooting for over 45 days. So, when I went in to audition, I was all tanned, had a moustache, and I was looking totally different from my usual self. When those at the audition looked at me, they said I am not going to fit the brief for the ad film. But then Mukesh looked at me and said, ‘Adi, let’s try something else’. And then he took me to a cabin and told me that there’s this film that he was doing, and there was a character of Dilip Vengsarkar. Then he showed me a YouTube video and told me, ‘Try to replicate his body language and what he’s saying’. I had 15-20 minutes, so I did the test. And I got a call the same evening from Vaibhav, from Mukesh’s team saying, ‘Tomorrow Kabir (Khan, director) sir wants to meet you’. I said ‘WHAT? I got the part?’. Vaibhav replied, ‘Yeah, you got the part’. The next day I met Kabir Khan and the ‘83’ journey began.

‘83’ is an iconic film for many reasons. How was your experience of working on a special project like this?


It was an amazing experience working with Kabir Khan, Ranveer Singh, and the team. We shot in the UK, where the story really happened. We shot at Lord’s, The Oval, and Tunbridge Wells where Kapil Dev scored his iconic 175 not out. The most goosebump-inducing moment for all of us was when we were shooting the victory scene in the World Cup final, when the trophy was handed over. Kabir brought the original Prudential World Cup trophy for the shoot. We all were stunned and everyone broke down. Ranveer was sobbing while talking to all of us. It was an extremely surreal experience. As an artiste, witnessing such a great scale of production, detailing, and passion was fantastic. Former cricketer Balwinder Singh Sadhu trained us in cricket for a year.

How did you prepare to play the character of Dilip Vengsarkar?


I met Dilip Vengsarkar. I was trying to pick up his body language, and so interacting with him was amazing. The most amazing part of this process was that somebody from my generation would never have got the chance to interact with legends like Vengsarkar, Kapil, Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath. We were hanging out with them; it was surreal!

I used to meet Dilip sir at the MCA for coffee and just keep chatting, asking him about his memories and stuff. He has an amazing personality and what a cricketer! In fact, his batting grip was very difficult. I had a difficult time learning it. Balwinder sir was amazing as our coach. Because what happened was, Dilip sir was not a batsman first. He was a bowler. He used to use his wrist a lot and was uncomfortable with the grip. And when he started batting, he met a coach who spoiled his grip. Before facing every delivery, he used to struggle. So emulating that was also a big challenge. Everyone had injuries. I developed a tennis elbow. But the training was amazing. I tell you, by the time the shooting ended, we could have played in the IPL (laughs).

What’s the plan for the theatrical release of ‘Paani’?


It is due for release; we are working on a plan. We made it in two years due to the pandemic. I’m in touch with the production team. Anand Malpani is overseeing things and Priyanka is in touch with Anand. We’re exploring all options. Hopefully, we should be able to release the film early next year.

What are your plans for the future, apart from acting and Marathi films?


We have a production company Kothare Vision Pvt. Ltd and do a lot of television shows. We are producing three Marathi TV shows right now with one Hindi show in the pipeline. I have also started my own company under Kothare Vision, which I will announce in January 2022 probably. I will be focusing on digital content, ads, and independent films. There’s one film that I’m producing, which just got selected at the international co-production market in Film Bazaar. I’m doing a web series for Sony LIV, too, which I will be acting in as well as directing.

How difficult is it to balance between your careers as an actor and director?


I can easily switch between the two. It is always an educational experience working with different directors. You get to learn different styles. For example, Kabir Khan is such a great technician and he just lets you be. It is easy to talk to him. Just imagine, directing 12 good actors in one film. He used to be patient with everyone. He had an absolutely clear vision. If someone went to him with a suggestion, he’d say, “This is nice but we need to do it this way”. Being a captain of the ship is very important.

How was your experience of working with Ranveer Singh?


He was very friendly and grounded with everyone. We used to do a lot of masti on the sets.

Do you have any endearing memories of working on ‘83’? What will you remember the most?


We had just sent ‘Paani’ for the National Awards. It was 2019 and because of some reason, the elections were delayed that year, so the results of the National Awards also got delayed. We were shooting in July-August in the UK. The news of the National Awards came out in the newspapers and from our ‘83’ team, three people’s projects got awards. The entire crew got along very well, but nobody on the team knew that I am a director, too. The next day, when I went to the sets, Kabir Khan told me, ‘Adi, we’re so proud to have you as a part of our team’. I was in tears. I could not express what that meant to me. And then Ranveer gave me the tightest hug, and in the evening, when we came back to the hotel, there was a champagne bottle in my room. I came to know that Priyanka Chopra called Mini Mathur and Kabir Khan and asked them to send it over to my room. That gesture was overwhelming. I dropped a message in our ‘83’ group informing everyone about the gesture and we all met at the bar and popped the bottle of champagne.

Since you are a director, which Hindi film actor would you like to direct?


Ranveer Singh. He is always in his zone when he’s on the floor. The way he got into the skin of Kapil Dev’s character, the body language, and the diction, was mind-blowing. He’s going to win all the awards for this role.

Recently, a lot of stars from Marathi cinema have spoken about how the government should help the Marathi film industry expand. What are your views on the same?


I think we need to organise the Marathi industry before the government can come in to help. The Malayalam industry is the perfect example. They have their own union and no digital platform can buy a film below a certain amount. Their industry is well protected. We need to protect our industry, too. The industry and government need to come on the same page and set some guidelines and ethics.

Marathi actors are doing well in the OTT space. All the casting directors I meet are in awe of Marathi actors because they come from the theatre background. Marathi actors are looked up to nowadays because this is the age of content and not just about glamour. Marathi cinema is content-driven; not star-driven.



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Did you know that Kajol was against the idea of getting married? Here’s how Ajay Devgn changed her mind! – Times of India

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Kajol and Ajay Devgn are undoubtedly one of the most loved couples we have in Bollywood. More than two decades of marital bliss and they are still going strong.

However, did you know that there was a time when Kajol did not want to get married at all? Yes, you read that right! In a recent conversation with a news portal, Kajol revealed that she was never on board with the idea of getting married. Then she met Ajay Devgn. According to her, he gave her a sense of stability.

Elaborating further, Kajol showered praise on her husband by stating that he is a very grounded person and she knew for a fact even then that he would never leave her and she would not want to leave him either. According to her, she found the right person pretty early in her life.

Ajay and Kajol got married in 1999 and are parents to two kids- Nysa and Yug. While Yug is still young, Nysa is all grown up and is a spitting image of her mother. She is often clicked by the paparazzi whenever she is in town.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Kajol and Ajay were both seen together in Om Raut’s ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’. It also starred Saif Ali Khan in the lead role. The movie received positive reviews from the audience and the critics alike. It also made a record-breaking collection at the box-office.



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Multidimension Poverty Index: A quarter of India’s population ‘poor’ | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Bihar has the biggest segment of population (51.91%) in the ‘multidimensionally poor’ category among India’s states, while Kerala has the smallest (0.71%).
Niti Aayog’s National Multidimensional Poverty Index report 2021 says that 25.01% of India’s population has been identified as multidimensionally poor.
Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) uses health, education and standard of living indicators to determine the incidence and intensity of poverty experienced by a population.

Niti Aayog used nutrition, child mortality and maternal health as the indicators for Health; years of schooling and school attendance for Education; and cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, ownership of assets and bank accounts as Standard of Living indicators.

The report mentions using data from National Family Health Survey 2015-16, preceding the full roll out of schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
Uttar Pradesh
India’s most populous state lags the country on most MPI parameters. 37.79% of the state’s population have been identified as poor as per. This, despite UP being second only to Maharashtra in contribution to national GDP.
Surprisingly, nutrition contributes significantly to UP’s MPI score- far more than the national average- despite the state being the top producer of food.

The districts with the highest MPI scores are clustered in north-central part of the state. Bahraich, Shrawasti and Balrampur, all bordering Nepal, have 70% or more people in the ‘poor’ category.
The urban centres of Lucknow and Kanpur, and the districts of western UP bordering Delhi have relatively better figures.

Not surprisingly, MPI score for rural regions were higher for all districts, compared to urban areas.





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Vin Diesel pens a heartfelt note for Paul Walker on his death anniversary: ‘Miss you Pablo’ – Times of India

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Hollywood star Vin Diesel took a trip down memory lane as he remembered his friend and co-star Paul Walker on his eighth birth anniversary.

The actor shared a stunning picture of Paul’s daughter Meadow Walker from her wedding day and penned a heartfelt note for his late friend.

Check out the post here:

The post read, ‘I can remember that day when you and I were filming that scene in F4 where we were eating Chinese food and we had a brother combat scene which ended in you saying ‘Letty just wanted you to come home Dom…’ When we were done filming that day you came into my trailer and asked, what’s on your mind? You always knew when something was on my mind,” Vin began. “…I told you that I was about to have a baby and didn’t know what to expect at the hospital which I was heading to after work.’

He further added, ‘Will never forget what you told me… you said a lot of tough guys will tell you to wait outside of the delivery room, but that’s wrong. Go in there, actually cut the umbilical cord and it will be the best day of your life. You of course, was talking from experience, having already an angel of your own. It’s been eight years today… and not a day goes by that I don’t reflect of the brotherhood we were blessed to have… but you know that.’

‘Tragedies in life are always followed by life’s blessings if you just stay open and have faith. Look at this photo Pablo, it will make you smile. The same angel that you helped me prepare for in the most beautiful way with your brotherly advice is the same angel that precious Meadow asked to be her Maid of Honor,’ he wrote.

Vin concluded his note by writing, ‘How could I have known that back on the 2008 set of Fast… but maybe somehow you did. Miss you. My children always tell me that uncle Paul is with you dad, always… and I know in my heart that they are right. Miss you Pablo.’



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Junior Hockey World Cup 2021 Quarter-final, India vs Belgium Live Score: India bank on attacking and drag-flicking prowess to outsmart Belgium – The Times of India

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Junior Hockey World Cup 2021 Quarter-final, India vs Belgium Live Score: India bank on attacking and drag-flicking prowess to outsmart Belgium

Stay updated with Times of India to get all the live score updates, results, and points table of men’s junior hockey world cup 2021

THE TIMES OF INDIA | Dec 01, 2021, 19:07:46 IST

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Kangana Ranaut shares a photo with two of her ‘favourites’ and it is the cutest thing you will see on the internet today – Times of India

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Kangana Ranaut often gives her fans a glimpse of her family life through pictures and videos with her loved ones. Her photos, especially with her nephew Prithviraj, are too sweet for words.

Today, the actress treated her fans with yet another cute picture of herself with Prithviraj. The photo also featured her fur baby Pluto.

Check out the picture here:

In the photo, Kangana is seen giving a peck on her nephew’s cheek. Dressed in their winter outfits, the duo looked cute as a button together. Do not miss the sleepy Pluto in the background. Along with the picture, she wrote, ‘My sunshine. Two of my most favourite Prithu and Pluto.’

Kangana recently made headlines today after a plea was filed to seek future censoring of all her social media posts in the Supreme Court. The actress took to her Instagram handle to react to this news and wrote, “Ha Ha Ha most powerful woman in this country.”

Meanwhile, on the work front, she was last seen in ‘Thalaivi’ where she essayed the role of the late actress-turned-politician J Jayalalithaa. The movie received positive reviews from the audience and the critics alike.

Next, she will be seen in ‘Tejas’ where she will be playing the role of an Air Force pilot. The actress also has ‘Dhaakad’ in her kitty where she is Agent Agni.

Kangana has also been roped in for ‘Sita: The Incarnation’.



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2nd Test: Sri Lanka claw back as Mendis sparks West Indies collapse | Cricket News – Times of India

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GALLE (Sri Lanka): Ramesh Mendis led the Sri Lanka fightback at Galle with a six-wicket haul to bowl out the West Indies, but the hosts stumbled after returning to bat in the second Test on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka were 46-2 at stumps on day three, trailing by just three runs. But they lost Dimuth Karunaratne, who made six before he was run out in a superb piece of fielding by Kyle Mayers.

Karunaratne was man of the match in the first Test with scores of 147 and 83 but paid the price for attempting a quick early single as Mayers ran in and found him well short of the crease.
Oshada Fernando too was run out after being turned back by non-striker Pathum Nissanka.
With Angelo Mathews out with a hamstring injury, losing two early wickets was a massive blow for Sri Lanka. They have never lost a home Test to West Indies.
Earlier, off-spinner Mendis belatedly found his line and length, dismissing Nkrumah Bonner to end his 75-run stand with West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite.
It broke a two-session drought for Mendis, who then ran through the tourists’ middle order, ending with figures of 6-70 as the West Indies were all out for 253 after tea — a lead of 49.
The West Indies fell apart against the bounce of the new ball, though Mendis was denied a seventh wicket when wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal dropped Kemar Roach on eight.
Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya dismissed Brathwaite with a ball pitched on leg-stump that turned away sharply from the right-hander to clip the top of off-stump.
The West Indies, who have yet to win a Test match in Sri Lanka, were looking at a decent total and a considerable first-innings lead when they finished on 145-2 at lunch.
Brathwaite’s straightforward footwork and impregnable defence were a vital bulwark for the West Indies after two top-order collapses in the first Test.
The skipper cashed in when loose balls were on offer and was relentless against Sri Lanka’s two left-arm spinners, forcing the hosts to recalibrate to boundary protection.
But the afternoon collapse saw the visitors hand the initiative back to Sri Lanka on a fast-deteriorating wicket.
The second Test has been plagued by inclement weather and bad light, and Wednesday was the first full day played.
Sri Lanka lead the two-Test series 1-0.





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