Dhaka, Sep 20, UNB -- Newly-elected Trinamool Congress MPs Nusrat Jahan Ruhi and Mimi Chakraborty are seen dancing to a Durga Puja song for a TMT bar company recently, and the video already garnered over 1.5 million views on Facebook alone, reports The Indian Express
Preparations are in full swing for West Bengal’s biggest festival, the Durga Puja. And ahead of the six-day extravaganza, a theme song featuring two Lok Sabha MPs from West Bengal is going viral.
Newly-elected Trinamool Congress MPs Nusrat Jahan Ruhi and Mimi Chakraborty are seen dancing to a Durga Puja song for a TMT bar company, and the video has already garnered over 1.5 million views on Facebook alone. While Nusrat represents Basirhat constituency, Mimi is MP from Jadavpur.
The two parliamentarians, who are also popular stars in Bengali film industry, are see decked up for the song, which also features another top actor Subhashree Ganguly.
The song titled ‘Ashey Maa Durga Shey’ is part of a campaign for the brand’s initiative for the festival which falls on October 3 to 8 this year. The music has been composed by popular Tollywood composer Indraadip Das Gupta while it has been sung by host of artistes from both India and Bangladesh, including Rupankar Bagchi and band Dohar among others.
Sep19 (AP/UNB) --They've become a global sensation — "paint and sip" studios where adults can spend evenings out learning to make art in a relaxed, BYOB setting. Thousands of franchises now exist to help us all unleash our inner creative.
One of the places where it all began was a little studio outside Birmingham, Alabama. In 2002, at age 28, Wendy Lovoy quit her corporate job to pursue a career as a painter. She began teaching adult and kids' classes. The adults, she noticed, were taking far too long to finish their paintings. They were nervous about making them perfect. They couldn't get out of their own heads. When Lovoy encouraged them to relax and move more quickly, their work always turned out better.
So she began holding two-hour sessions during which she would guide adult students to create an entire painting from start to finish. As it turned out, they loved it. The paintings were coming out great, and classes were filling up. Students began bringing mimosas. The atmosphere was relaxed and pressure-free.
So in 2003, her company, Sips 'N Strokes, was born. Sips 'N Strokes pioneered the model of BYOB recreational painting classes that teach students to reproduce a work of art step-by-step.
"My vision was to inspire the world to create," says Lovoy.
She hoped to transform the painting process from something intimidating and seemingly out of reach to something approachable and fun.
The business grew slowly at first, going from one class a month to two, and then, suddenly, it was seven days a week. By 2007, Lovoy was squishing 100 people per night into her studio. By 2009, when she franchised Sips 'N Strokes, similar businesses, like Painting With a Twist and Pinot's Palette, had begun springing up around the country.
"It became an industry that the customer base really gravitated to," says Joe Lewis, CEO of the Mandeville, Louisiana-based Painting With a Twist. "With the increase in the DIY industry, it has really caught on and become popular."
Because the investment needed to start a paint and sip franchise is relatively low, Lewis says, the industry has grown quickly. Painting With a Twist recently acquired a competitor, Chicago-based Bottle and Bottega, and the merged companies have a total of 300 locations around the country.
Lovoy is amazed at how popular paint-and-sip places have become since she opened her studio.
"When you're 28 years old and you see something that was your passion blow up to something so big, it's phenomenal," says the now-43-year-old.
While many people come to the classes to relax with a glass of wine, Lovoy believes that a huge piece of the success of the Sips 'N Strokes model is the way it forces students to speed up their painting.
"When you give an adult time, we overanalyze and overthink everything," she says. "When you give them that time restraint, they can create anything. They just have to get outside of themselves, and you do that when you move fast. You shut down that anal side of your brain and your creative side opens up."
She enjoys watching students gain confidence. "People like to learn things," she says. "It's very satisfying for people to create something themselves."
Some of her most dedicated students have even become professional artists.
Mary Posey, a regular student of Lovoy's who began attending Sips 'N Strokes classes in 2006, has produced hundreds of paintings.
"I went from needing a lot of help to fix paintings at the end of class to, I really started to figure out what they meant by doing a stroke a certain way," she says. "I started figuring out I could do it on my own." Her growing confidence in her art, she says, "spilled over into other things. I just noticed I had more confidence."
Lovoy also hopes her students gain an appreciation for art and the work that goes into it.
"Go out and support your local artists," she says. "Get into the art scene."
Los Angeles, Sept 19 (AP/UNB) — A hearing Wednesday on the future of the court conservatorship that for 11 years has controlled the money and affairs of Britney Spears ended with no decisions made and no appearance from the pop star.
The hearing was cleared of the public and media. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Penny issued no rulings during or after the proceedings, and Spears was not listed among those in attendance.
The hearing opened with a courtroom full of media members and a few Spears fans, but all were required to leave when Penny agreed with attorneys who requested that the hearing and its transcripts should be sealed because of what would be revealed about Spears' medical, mental and financial issues, along with details about her two young sons.
In May, the 37-year-old Spears made a rare appearance in the same courtroom for another closed conservatorship hearing. She had asked to speak to the court and was brought in through a back door once the courtroom was cleared.
Her request raised the possibility that she could be seeking changes in the arrangement that she has largely quietly accepted for years.
Penny asked for an analyst to review Spears' situation after that hearing, and had been expected to get at least some of the results Wednesday. It's not clear whether she did, but in court documents she said the status hearing would resume in January.
Spears' father, Jamie Spears, and mother, Lynne Spears, were both in court, along with a half-dozen attorneys with various roles in the conservatorship.
Jamie Spears temporarily stepped down in his role as conservator over his daughter's personal affairs earlier this month, citing poor health, but he maintained his financial control over her.
Prosecutors in neighboring Ventura County announced Tuesday that they would not be filing criminal charges against the 67-year-old Jamie Spears after deputies investigated an allegation of child abuse. The district attorney's office would not say who the child in the report was or give any other details on the investigation. Jamie Spears' attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Jodi Montgomery, who has long helped manage Britney Spears' personal affairs, is now playing the role her father relinquished, and was also in court Wednesday.
Lynne Spears has not been involved in the conservatorship but has recently asked for greater access to information from its proceedings and filings.
Jamie Spears has several grandchildren, including Britney Spears' two sons, who are 14 and 13.
Her ex-husband Kevin Federline has custody of the boys, but she has frequent visits with them.
Conservatorship, known in many states as guardianship, is an involuntary status usually reserved for very elderly or very ill people who are suffering from dementia or otherwise incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves.
The court put Britney Spears under the status in 2008 when she was having serious personal and psychiatric struggles, many of which played out in public.
Dozens of the pop star's fans who oppose the conservatorship and insist she's being controlled against her will protested outside the courthouse Wednesday, as they usually do outside such hearings, with signs that read "Free Britney."
New York, Sept 19 (AP/UNB) — Rihanna believes women of all shapes, colors and sizes should be celebrated, and that spirit of inclusion has made her lingerie and beauty lines massive successes.
"Women just need a little bit of validation," the superstar explained to The Associated Press ahead of her Savage X Fenty fashion show last week.
"You are beautiful. Your body's beautiful. Your body's sexy and you deserve to feel that way," she added.
Her mission will be showcased Friday as Amazon Prime Video streams her New York Fashion Week extravaganza for Savage X Fenty in more than 200 countries and territories. The event's army of models included women of all sizes in a range of ethnicities and skin tones.
"We need to make stuff that's real and looks like the world," rapper Rapsody said of how Rihanna is changing the fashion and beauty game. "The world comes in so many shapes and different colors. Who cares about what people think the standard of beauty is, and lightness. She's like, 'Nah, we need dark tones. We need all tones ... albinos and freckles.' She's really looking at everybody, and that's what's dope about Rihanna."
The show, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was drenched in dreamy color — yellow, purple, blue and green — evoking an exotic locale with four tiers of large arched windows, stairs and a shallow round pool.
And who best to kick things off than the woman herself? Rihanna opened the Sept. 10 show dressed in a sexy lace bodysuit, a black bra top and a black velvet miniskirt. She gyrated, but didn't sing, from a short platform surrounded by fellow female dancers in black bodysuits, only she did it in spiky heels and they in black sneakers.
"She's the black Marilyn Monroe," Fat Joe said of Rihanna. "She's iconic just standing there."
There were rumors she would debut new music. She didn't, but Halsey did when she sang her new single, "Graveyard," live for the first time. Migos, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, Fat Joe, DJ Khaled and other hip-hop talent also performed, including Grammy-nominated artist Tierra Whack.
Among the show's performers — and models — were 21 Savage and Normani. Cara Delevingne, who appears in Amazon's "Carnival Row," strutted on stage in a bodysuit of lime green.
"This is a feast," Delevingne said of the show. "I wish more fashion shows were like this."
The inclusion Rihanna offers, both in lingerie and her makeup line, Fenty Beauty, remains rare. And she does it at reasonable price points. But she says it's more than just a business strategy.
"I never think about, 'Well, I should do this because nobody else is doing this.' I think a lot of people fall into a trap or in trouble with that, because it's not sincere. It's not genuine. Everything I've done has been sincere and genuine from my heart," Rihanna said.
"If I want to do makeup, the only thing I can imagine for makeup is everyone having it. And if I want to do lingerie, it's going to be the same thing," she added. "If I can make a woman feel confident just by the smallest product, that is under $100, I'll do it because people are paying thousands of dollars for something that doesn't make them feel any better."
New Zealand, Sept 19 (AP/UNB) — Amazon announced Wednesday it will film its upcoming television series "The Lord of the Rings" in New Zealand, marking a return of the orcs, elves and hobbits to the country they became synonymous with over the course of six movies directed by Peter Jackson.
Amazon Studios said it had found a great location with world-class sets and skilled staff. It said pre-production had already started and production on the series would begin in the city of Auckland over the coming months.
"As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains," showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay wrote in a statement.
But Amazon wouldn't reveal the extent of its plans for the series. It declined to say how much it plans to spend, how many seasons the show will run, or when it will debut.
Some have speculated Amazon could spend more than $1 billion on the series as it looks to take on other streaming services like Netflix with its Prime Video service.
New Zealand's Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford welcomed the news, saying the series would give a boost to the screen industry and create hundreds of new jobs.
"It's a hugely significant piece of popular culture," Twyford said. "And it now has a special place in New Zealanders hearts as well. We are part of Middle-earth."
The series will be eligible for a 20% screen grant rebate that will be funded by taxpayers. The conservative lobby group Taxpayers' Union said the rebate meant every New Zealand household could end up paying more than $100.
"Who would seriously name Amazon as the most deserving recipient of our hard-earned tax dollars?" the group wrote in a release.
But Twyford said it will be money well spent.
"This is not a charity issue," he said. "This is about bringing jobs, investment, and economic development to New Zealand."
The series will be based on the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. Amazon said it would explore new story lines that precede "The Fellowship of the Ring."
The show won't be connected with the New Line Cinema movies, although Jackson has previously said he'd be interested in helping out. "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy and "The Hobbit" movie trilogy combined grossed nearly $6 billion at the box office.