Bollywood Actress Sonam Kapoor Talks Homosexuality on the Big Screen

The beautiful Sonam Kapoor is known for a number of achievements. She is a famous model and Bollywood actress, she is known as the daughter of Indian actor and producer Anil Kapoor, and at the age of 28, she has over a dozen films under her belt as well as a number of award nominations in recognition of her talent.

As it turns out, Kapoor should also be known for her strong opinions and ability to stand up for what she believes in. She demonstrated this while in Cannes as an ambassador for the beauty brand L’Oreal.

During interviews, Kapoor discussed her disapproval of India’s laws on homosexuality. Last year, India’s Supreme Court put a ban on gay sex. On December 2013, their Supreme Court reenacted Section 377 of India’s Penal Code, which states, “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Kapoor argued that India’s legal stance on homosexuality does not align with their cultural stance which accepts homosexuality. How does she think India can combat this law? Through the big screen.

Kapoor discussed last year’s Palme d’or winner, “Blue is the Warmest Color,” which is a lesbian love story. Kapoor voiced that having gay love stories on film would help her country become more open to the idea of homosexuality.

“We’ve regressed instead of progressing,” she said. “I think movies can influence the way people think sometimes and if we do start making love stories or we start making movies about people who are amazing human beings, people who have done something in life, people who are inspirational who aren’t necessarily only straight, I think people will start appreciating them more,” she said. “So yeah, I think we need to expose India a little bit more so we should make more movies about them.”

 

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MUST-SEE: Google Glass Used to Create Touching Video

Get your tissues ready. Directed by Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian, the short film called “Seeds” is made entirely using a Google Glass.

For those unfamiliar with the device, Google Glass is worn like any other pair of glasses. It has an optical head-mounted display and allows wearers to communicate with the Internet though voice commands. Aside from it’s impressive LED display and touchpad, Google Glass also comes with a camera that allows users to take pictures and capture video. It was through this method that “Seeds” was created. 

The short follows the 23-year-old filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty as he travels to India and teases viewers with a mysterious manilla envelope. According to Mashable, the video was shot over the course of 10 days in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo and India. 

Thus far, Google Glass has received quite a bit of criticism and has been questioned as an invasion of privacy. This short aims to highlight the benefits of Google Glass. In this case, “Seeds” shows how the device can capture beautiful and touching moments.

Check out the must-see video below.

 

Controversy in India: Politician Believes Women Who Have Premarital Sex Should Be Hanged

The infamous New Delhi Gang Rape of 2012 horrified the world. Since then, India has put forth a number efforts to create strict measures against rape. Unfortunately, incidents of rape continue despite these efforts.

Earlier this year, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village in eastern India as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. Last year, ten men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, a 7-year-old girl was raped inside a state-run school in the Indian capital.

Many netizens are now pointing a finger to politicians who appear to be making matters worse.

Abu Azmi, of India’s Socialist Party, recently claimed that women who engage in premarital sex should be sentenced to death. If this isn’t jarring enough, he claimed that women should receive this sentence even if they were raped.

“If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam,” Azmi said. “The solution is this: Any woman, whether married or unmarried, who goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn’t be allowed even if a woman goes by consent.”

As expected, thousand of people reacted in anger. Over 11,000 Twitter comments were made against Azmi’s statement. In fact, even Azmi’s daughter-in-law spoke out. Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia tweeted, “if wot im reading about my father in laws statements r true then me and Farhan are deeply embarrassed n ashamed…(sic).”

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Since making the statement, Azmi has tried to clarify his words. “I never said that the girl who is raped should be punished. I said rapist should be punished and girl is a victim. I said that all of us should show solidarity with the girl,” Mr Azmi said in Mumbai. “I will never make such statement, only a mad person will say such things,” he added.

Unfortunately, the public is not buying it. Azmi joins a list of politicians who have received heat for their inappropriate comments concerning rape.

Late last year, Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha faced public outrage because of his inappropriate comment. Sinha compared gambling and rape by stating,”If you can’t enforce it, it is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it.”

Months later, female politician Asha Mirje claimed that rape occurs when women act and dress inappropriately. She stated that women needed to be more mindful of whether or not they were “inviting” sexual assault.

All these politicians have tried to retract their statement after public outrage. As you can expect, their apologies have not been accepted.

(Source 1, 2)

 

Breakfast Food From Around The World

If there’s one thing that joins people together, that would be food. In fact, people often travel the world with the goal to try new types of food. This happens so often that the World Food Travel association has coined the term Food Tourism which is “the pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences, both far and near.”

And why shouldn’t travelers be interested in new foods? Afterall, food can tell you much about culture, traditions and taste.

Now the old saying is that breakfast in the most important meal of the day. In honor of that, Buzzfeed recently decided to create the video “What Does The World Eat For Breakfast.”

In the video, we get a glimpse of a typical breakfast in various parts of the world. The video doesn’t seem to contain entire breakfast meals, but it certainly shows the most common breakfast foods of each country including the following Asian countries:
food- china food- india

food- vietnam food- japan

Check out the entire video below:

Female Politician Claims Rape Occurs When Women Act & Dress Inappropriately, Outrage Ensues

It has been over a year since the infamous New Delhi gang-rape where a 23-year-old student was brutally raped, tortured and killed on a public bus in 2012.

Traumatized by the events of that night, India has spent the year putting forth efforts to create strict measures against rape. Despite this, rape continues to be a horrifying reality to many Indian women. Just last week, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village in eastern India. The most horrifying part? This was on the orders of the village court as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. On Christmas eve, ten men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, early last year, a 7-year-old girl was raped inside a state-run school in the Indian capital.

These are only a few of the many rape cases which occur in India and have caused a number of protests.

Under all the tragedy that India has faced with rape-related cases, we certainly didn’t expect to hear a public figure put the blame on rape victims. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Asha Mirje, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and a member of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission is under fire for her recent remarks. While discussing the New Delhi gang rape, Mirje commented, “Did [the victim] really have go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend?”

She then addressed another case where a photojournalist was gang raped in Mumbai. “Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6pm?” Mirje asked. “Rapes take place also because of a woman’s clothes, her behaviour and her presence at inappropriate places.”

“Due to these reasons, a woman has to think whether, mistakenly, she is not inviting or inviting (sexual assault),” she added.

As expected, Mirje’s shocking comments received instant outrage.

“Every time such a statement is made by a public figure it justifies rape,”says Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association. “It’s unconscionable that people in public posts make such remarks.”

AAB Banner Square

Many others are insisting that she be removed from her position.

“She has no moral right to continue on the post as she is biased against women,” says Rupa Kulkarni, activist and the leader of domestic workers in the state.

Another activist Seema Sakhare added, “How can a member of women’s commission make such a comment whose duty is to protect women in the state?”

Since her remarks, Mirje has defended herself.

“I just said that although men are responsible for rapes and molestation, women too need to take more precautions in order to protect themselves,” she defended. “If anyone was hurt by my statement, I am really sorry. I am not diplomatic. There was no bad intention and the motive behind my statement was pure concern for women’s safety.”

(Source 1, 2 )

Men Get A Taste Of Their Own Medicine In This Powerful Indian Ad

Many women have experienced the uncomfortable leer of a male stranger. Many of us have had to endure as a stranger inspects our body from top to bottom and we force ourselves not to think about what he’s imagining. We’ve scowled, we’ve yelled, we’ve rolled our eyes, we’ve ignored, we’ve been sarcastic, and we’ve been scared and yet the leering continues. The worst part about all this is just how common this is.

It is no secret that the mistreatment of women is a large and serious issue faced by India. A little over a year ago, the infamous New Delhi Gang Rape horrified the world. A 23-year-old woman was on a private bus when six men, including the driver, beat and raped her.  The woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault.

According to Huffington Post, a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital where the woman was being treated claimed, “It appears to be that a rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines… That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.”

Though she survived the attack, the woman died thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment. The horrifying case shook the country and widespread protests ensued.

Now, a year later, this ad is released as a reminder the world to not forget that these acts still happen. The video’s description says,

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT” is the need of the hour. On 16th December 2012, the horrific incident of Nirbhaya’s Rape Case not only shattered Nirbhaya’s family but every single Indian. This incident did trigger a sense of solidarity to stand up, fight against and do our best to eradicate such atrocities & gender inequality. At Cinema100, 2013, a WWI Initiative to commemorate the completion of 100 years of Indian Cinema, we commissioned our Alumni Ketan Rana to make an ad on Woman Empowerment. Watch the video & Spread the awareness to Think, Reflect & Act!

 

According to Jezebel, the lyrics of the song say, “Look how you look when you’re looking at me,” in Hindi. The video shows men getting a taste of their own medicine. Sure enough, they are all equally uncomfortable with being leering at. They are physically forced to look at themselves and reflect on their actions. Watch the powerful ad below.

Video of The Week: Google India’s Heartwarming Ad

Ready to have your heartstrings pulled? This ad for Google India will sure do the trick. The video, titled “Google Search: Reunion,” focuses on two men in their elder years who were childhood friends.

The men reflect on their younger years and on their forced separation due to the India-Pakistan partition of 1947. Thanks to technological advances, Google’s search system and their kinda grandchildren, the two are finally able to reunite.

Times of India claims that the ad went viral within a few hours of being released because it strikes such an emotional chord. They certainly weren’t kidding. The video has already gathered over a million views since its release yesterday.

Check it out for yourself and be prepared to find a smile on your face.
Note: Turn subtitles on by clicking on the Closed Captioning option in the video.

India’s Top Police Official Says “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it”

Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha is facing quite a lot of heat for a comment he made on Tuesday during a conference concerning illegal betting and gambling during sporting events.

Sinha tried to convey the idea that if the state could not control the gambling, then they could make some revenue by legalizing it. Innocent enough right? Unfortunately, he tied this along with a very inappropriate comment concerning rape.

If you can’t enforce it, it is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it. It is better to legalize it and earn some revenue rather than throwing up your hands.

As expected, this comment was met with outrage throughout India. Just this year, widespread protests occurred throughout India after a fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. Clearly, this is an issue which should never be taken lightly.

The following day, Sinha tried to explain that his words were taken out of context. He issued an apology saying,

I gave my opinion that betting should be legalized and that if the laws cannot be enforced that does not mean that laws should not be made. This is as erroneous as saying that if rape is inevitable one should lie back and enjoy it.

I regret any hurt caused as the same was inadvertent and unintended. I reiterate my deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues.

 

Of course, many did not accept this apology and continue to protest. Several organizations such as the National Commission for Women (NCW) and  All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) call for his resignation.

Additionally, they have plans to ask the court to draw up guidelines for action against public figures who make such remarks against women to avoid situations like this in the future.

“We will move court seeking the CBI director’s removal for his highly objectionable remarks. There is no point going to the government as they are unlikely to take steps against the CBI chief,” said AIDWA chief Sudha Sundarraman.

Kavita Krishnan, who is also part of AIDWA claims, “His explanation is making it worse. It is inadequate. By saying he was misinterpreted, he is trying to tell us we got it wrong. What he said is not a proverb. His statement endorses the analogy. Enough is enough. He must resign.”

BOLLYWOOD GOSSIP: Deepika Padukone compares her ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor to rumored new beau Ranveer Singh

The Deepika Padukone cover story for the September issue of Filmfare Magazine starts: “It’s the best time to be Deepika Padukone, right now.”

The Bollywood actress (daughter of famed cricket player Prakash Padukone) has recently seen her star power shine brighter and brighter with each film release. Last year’s Cocktail was a hit, and this year brought the popular sequel Race 2; the box office success Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, showing she still has some sizzling on-screen chemistry with her ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor; and Chennai Express, which reunites her with Shah Rukh Khan.

Next up for Deepika is the much-anticipated Ram Neela, opposite Ranveer Singh, her new “are they or aren’t they dating” co-star who’s hot off the critical acclaim of Lootera, and she’s in pre-production for Happy New Year, which reunites her with not only Shah Rukh Khan but also the director Farah Khan of her debut film, 2007′s Om Shanti Om.

filmfare deepika

Highlights from her Filmfare interview:

On her relationship with Ranbir Kapoor:

It’s always nice to have that one screen jodi that the audience looks forward to. I’m glad that Ranbir and I have formed that. I guess it’s also the way our characters were written and what the film did for us. And what also helped was the way Ayan [Mukerji], whoh’s a dear friend, directed the film. He brought out the best in us. I’m glad I have that equation with Ranbir. He’s someone I trust my life with.

On rumors about her dating Ranveer Singh:

People are more than welcome to speculate about Ranveer and me. But there’s to much goodness around me to worry about these speculations. … [As a co-star, he's] too giving, very positive and very entertaining. He’s also extremely sensitive. He puts on this tough exterior, shows his fun side, quirky side all the time. He’s all that. But beyond it, he’s also sensitive to the energies of people. To what people say. That’s such a wonderful quality for a man to have, when everyone else is trying to be manly, tough, and all of that. It’s so nice to meet someone who’s so real and so giving and so uninhibited. What you see is what you get with him.

If you were in a lift with Ranbir and Ranveer Singh together, what would you do?

A dance off between the two of them!

Who do you think will win?

Tough. They are both superb dancers.

 

Judge for yourselves!


Dream Destinations | Asia’s “Newest Wonders” & Its “Best Islands”

This past July, Travel & Leisure released the list of the “Newest Wonders of the World,” a list, compiled by UNESCO, of World Heritage sites, or places around the globe that have “cultural, historical and environmental importance.”  In addition, the well-known travel mag released their picks (with the help of readers) of the “World’s Best Islands,” complete with white-sand beaches and romantic get-aways. Seeing these lists will spark the travel bug in anyone, and we’re very happy to say that Asia is well-featured on the list.  Take a look below for the newest additions to our travel bucket-list in Asia.

The Newest World Wonders

Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China
Located in southern Yunnan and over 1300 years old, the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces are a complex system developed by the Hani people to channel water from the Ailao Mountains to their as-equally sophisticated terraces and farms.

la-trb-cultural-landscape-of-honghe-hani-rice-terraces-20130625

Hill Forts of Rajasthan, India
Found in the Aravalli Mountains lies six forts that are “a standing testament to the power that Rajput princes enjoyed from the 8th to 18th century.” These series of eclectic forts utilizes the natural surroundings, such as hills, deserts and rivers, as defense while also using fortified walls to protect temples, palaces and other structures.

kumbhalgarh-fort1

Mount Fuji, Japan
Also known as “Fujisan,” Mount Fuji has become an icon of Japan, serving as an artistic muse as well as a site of sacred pilgrimage. As described by UNESCO, “The inscribed property consists of 25 sites which reflect the essence of Fujisan’s sacred landscape” including Shengen-jinja shrines, natural volcanic features, lakes and waterfalls.
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Kaesong’s Historical Sites, Korea
Located in the often-elusive DPRK and near the demilitarized zone, Kaesong is made up of 12 different sites that tell the story of Korea’s Koryo Dynasty.
kaesong-unesco-rex-1372248984

Xinjiang Tianshan, China
Taking up over 600,000 hectares and part of Central Asia’s Tianshin mountain range, Xinjian Tianshin is made up of a four geographically diverse components (Tomur, Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbukuke and Bogda), ranging from snow-capped mountains to forests and meadows to wide-spanning deserts.
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World’s Best Islands
Palawan, Philippines (No. 1)
A favorite get-away of both local and foreign celebrities (including Mariah Carey, Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell, and Rachel Weisz), Palawan has a pure, almost surreal beauty that is something out of a movie.  When you’re there, go diving in the area’s warm waters and find yourself surrounded by natural coral reefs and abundant tropical fish or check out the world’s longest underground, navigable river.

El-Nido-Resorts-Activities-Kayaking-at-the-Big-Lagoon

Boracay, Philippines (No. 2)
An hour’s plane ride away from the hustle and bustle of Manila, Boracay offers visitors white-sand beaches, crystal clear blue water and a well-developed nightlife scene.

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Bali, Indonesia (No. 6)
With its myriad of landscapes, ranging from rice terraces to rugged coastlines (not to mention to the world-famous beaches), Bali has become one of Indonesia’s largest tourist attractions, drawing in people from all over the globe for its “world-class surfing and diving, a large number of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, and an enormous range of accommodations (Wiki).”
bali

Koh Samui, Thailand (No. 9)
This 13-mile wide island, referred to as simply “Samui” by locals, is a favorite of beach-lovers and backpackers alike with its numerous and beautiful natural resources, perfect beaches, clear water and coral reefs.

Koh-Phi-Phi-the-beach

Phuket, Thailand (No. 15)
The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is the Southeast Asian country’s most developed isle with world-renowned beaches, affordable (and more expensive) dining, fancy resorts and much more.  Be sure to make your way to the almost-undiscovered Mai Khao Beach or the visually stunning Phang Nga Bay.

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For more information on this year’s additions to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites as well as a complete list of all World Heritage Sites, visit UNESCO.

[All images courtesy of Google]