Archive for the ‘Television’ Category


“Heart break is an inaccurate term I feel. It is your soul that splinters. It is up to you how you pick up your torn pieces again and ultimately negate all wrong moves that stymied your journey towards happiness.”

It was the year 2013 and I was imparting my usual spurts of divine counseling to a friend who just had a bitter breakup. It seemed the be all and end all factor. It seemed I knew all the general ethos of heartbreak industry. Well….at least till now. A Facebook notification was waiting for me. Rashmita Gupta had pinged me nearly 2 years after we passed out from our batch of Journalism and Mass Communication. I was little puzzled at first but then chose to go along with the conversation.

“Hey Cutie. How are you? Married?” She asked.

“Hey I am good. Nah…no trace of being married and I am enjoying my single-hood to the fullest. What about you? In Kolkata?”

“No..I am in Delhi”. She responded.

“Great. Doing job there?” I thought the conversation is going to head towards that boring zone of how much you have achieved—and how much I have achieved.

“I am here for my treatment”

“Treatment?” My yawn was interrupted midway.

“Yes.. I am suffering from blood cancer so here at AIIMS since last 6 months.”

“What? You are kidding right?

“No dear. Why will I joke about something like this?”

And my mind went numb just like an ECG reading going flat.

I was already battling my mom’s relapse of breast cancer at that time. With this news, again, my peace of mind was precariously eroded and it precipitated to an impending breakdown.

I typed like a fanatic. “Ohh shucks. How is that possible? I am feeling out of breath on learning this.”

“Chemo is going on and it will continue for next 2 years. I am a bald girl now. Hahahaha”

I was enormously impressed that despite discussing such a critical situation she still had her finger on the pulse of humour. Just like the old Rashmita we knew.

“Hey don’t say like that. Being bald is not that important. Important is that you should come out of this perfectly. Even my mom underwent chemotherapy so I am fairly accustomed to the process. The bottom line is that you should fight like a tigress and you will I know.”

Our chat continued for another 30 minutes and we signed off. But that was just the start of our occasional online nudging of each other’s well being. She notified me of the number of chemotherapies she was undergoing. 95 was the number when last time we spoke.

 

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Yesterday was again one such day. I was talking to my mom on phone and she was confiding how the regular doctor visits to hospital are getting more painful with each passing day. It was churning up my sanity to the extent that I was not able to think of anything else. Later in evening, my husband and I were having a philosophical talk on life and the nauseating hardships that comes along with it. Suddenly I saw a post from Rashmita that said “Watch me on Zee Bangla today on Dadagiri.” For all my non-bengali friends, Dadagiri is a game show hosted by none other than our dada Saurav Ganguly. I am always unmindful of TV shows in general, but something inside today told that I have to see her.

I called my husband and we both started watching the show reveling in the pleasure that there is someone known in television today, completely unaware of the fact that this will be more than a game show.

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She came and conquered not just the fellow participants and the host, but each and every person who get bogged down with little adversities of life. I once told her that fight like a tigress and she truly did.

The way she put a brave front on the show while talking about the day she got to know about her medical condition; how doctors told her that she has only 20% life expectancy; how she went for painful bone marrow test 4 times; how she took 160 chemotherapies in the tenure of 2 and half years; how some of her close people stopped coming to their house thinking that it is some contagious infection; how a firm rejected her on knowing that she has blood cancer, but hanged Yuvraaj Singh’s and Manisha Koirala’s picture outside their conference room with the tag line WE ARE PROUD OF YOU; how she kept repeating that she is a conqueror and will emerge strong out of it……It was so surreal……..and finally she won the game show.

She was so phenomenal that even Saurav Ganguly was forced to come at her place and shake hands to remove the stigma that cancer is contagious. It was bloody applause worthy. Pardon my language but I can’t control my soaring heart and gasping breath even while writing it. The show ended with her holding the trophy in hand and we having tears in our eyes. An hour before, we were discussing that how life can bring burden of prejudice and loathing at times, without having an iota of contemplation that life gives extreme highs and lows to everyone. It is up to us how we fight our torn reflection and see ourselves in the mirror every single day with the same zeal.

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We sat in front of the television as the end credits rolled and my mom called me.

“ I saw your friend today on Zee Bangla. If she can take 160 chemotherapies and refuse to give up, I will not let 8 chemotherapies breed fear and helplessness in me anymore.”

Many knotty issues got straightened out today. There are so many perspectives to ponder upon with that one hour episode and one phone call from my mother. Rashmita Gupta is an inspiration. And no matter how much I write it will always be less. My tank of angst is empty today.

Thank You Rashmita!


On 15 May 2008 two innocent lives were lost in House No. L-32 of Noida. One of the deceased was 45 years old Hemraj, and the other one was a bubbly, vivacious 14 year girl Aarushi. A promising life lay ahead of her. Unfortunately, it was cut short abruptly because of someone’s sudden impulse. Who was that someone? The Noida police, media channels and two distinguished teams of CBI left no stone unturned to bring the ‘truth’ to the surface. What we were left with was the character assassination of both parents and child, Narco test of three suspected domestic helps, CBI closure, divided opinions of public, and finally sentencing of life imprisonment to the parents for the charge of double murder in 2013.

What we didn’t know was that many more layers were also entailed in this tale of brutal slaughtering. Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar is that attempt to bring to forefront almost all the imperative investigation and case details meticulously and condense them to a two and half hours motion picture. First things first, it takes spine of a steel to take up a subject that is controversial enough to be regarded as one of the most high-profile and mysterious murder cases of the country till date. Writer Vishal Bhardawaj and director Meghna Gulzar, in spite of the possibility and leeway of over dramatization and incursion of songs in a Hindi movie, stuck only to the facts. It is shot completely in a documentary style, leaving the audience with an open end just like the Rashomon style (a form derived from a Japanese film in which there are different versions of the same incident). So, Talvar doesn’t tell you who was the killer that night; rather it focuses more on the botched up investigation process, helping the viewers to draw their own conclusions.

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Having followed the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case fervently since past 7 years, Talvar gave me many points to ponder upon. It’s intense. It’s gripping. It’s disturbing. It’s hard-hitting. Irfan Khan and Neeraj Kabi as the cinematic version of Arun Kumar and Rajesh Talwar respectively, are powerful. Seeing Konkana Sen Sharma on screen after such a long gap was satisfactory. Your heart would ache every time the teenage girl’s throat is slit on that fateful night. Talvar deserves to be seen by each one of us because it is a reflection of our system, our society and our media. If this movie is also sidelined by some leave-your-brain-at-home kind of movie then something is really wrong with the choices we as movie goers are making. Next time, we would not be in a position to anticipate Masaan, Maanjhi and Talvar.

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Who was the actual killer that night? Well, I am as clueless as you all. It can either be the parents or the domestic helps. What really matters is …… On 15 May 2008 two innocent lives were lost in House No. L-32 of Noida. One of the deceased was 45 years old Hemraj, and the other one was a bubbly, vivacious 14 year girl Aarushi. A promising life lay ahead of her. Unfortunately, it was cut short abruptly because of someone’s sudden impulse………

Rest in Peace Aarushi. You definitely deserved better.

P.S: All pictures are result of Google search and I have no copy right over them.

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For all those kind followers, who were waiting for the first teaser of my book, The Paradox of Vantage Point, the wait is over.

Get a peek into the premise of the book.


Sometimes you need part 2 to fall in love, that’s the philosophy director Anand L Rai’s Tanu weds Manu Returns doles out. While the earlier installment ends with the union of the mad duo tanu and manu, leaving the audience to assume that they are happily ever after, its sequel picks the story four years after that. Almost every romantic movie show us the path that why and how opposites attract to fall in love eventually. However, what remains still a mystery is that whether people who are extremely different as chalk and cheese can actually stay and grow old together; if yes, then for how long!!!!

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In a mental asylum of London, amidst professional marriage counselors, we are shown two overtly dissatisfied people who once took the vows to stay together in every situation of life. Keeping her exaggerated and blunt character intact, Tanu compares her husband to adrak (ginger) who is supposedly getting wider from every side. While Manu, a visibly tired and restless husband, retorts that he is not a lighter when questioned about the lack of ‘spark’ in life. After some divorce -shrouded ego stints that brings both of them to India individually, Manu finds himself getting attracted to Harayanvi athlete Kusum aka Datto- lookalike of his wife Tanu. With some days of quirky stalking and unbridled laughter situations, Datto reciprocates the same and both decide to get married. All hell break loose when this news is passed to Tanu via Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Shergill)- who is nothing short of brilliant in scenes where he is venting his frustration that how he is always deprived of his prospective bride. Yes! In part 2 as well. All thanks to doctor saab Manu Sharma. What happens next forms the crux of the story.

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Tanu Weds Manu Returns is an enjoyable fun ride from the word go. It makes no pretense of being a preachy take on how to make your marriage work. Instead, it brings to us the little nuances of a middle-class north India based families and renders it a laughable spin. Every character in the movie are mouthing the most witty, rustic and vivacious lines you have heard in recent times. The show stealer, however, is the double role played by Kangna Ranaut. After Queen, this will probably the other movie for which she would go down in history and sweeping awards at every award ceremony possible. She plays the arrogant and over-the-top Tanu as effortlessly as she plays the sorted haryanvi-speaking athlete Datto. So much that you actually end up believing that they are two different people. She relies less on make-up and haircut. On the contrary, she goes deeper and succeeds in bringing out the different dialect, mannerism, gait, thought process and personalities of people with same face to the forefront.

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One of my favourite moments from the movie is the introduction given by Chintu to Raja Awasti when he is inquired about his closeness to Tanu. He declares, “Hum hain kandha. Jab ladki dukhi hoti hai to humare paas aati hai. Aapne jhatak tha to doctor aa gaya, abhi doctor ne jhatak diya hai to hum hain. Jab hum jhatakein to to tum wapas lapak lena.”

Well thats Tanu weds Manu Returns for you – colorful, rustic, enjoyable, realistic and total paisa-vasool.

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When you walk out of theater laughing and seeing the fellow viewers clapping and hooting, you know the filmmaker has achieved what it set out to do in the first place.

One word for Kangna Ranaut- Banno tera swagger sach me SEXY!!!!!

P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copy right over them.


The media is getting berserk and the common man is breaking into debates every now and then. The much-awaited verdict is out. Salman Khan’s fate was sealed yesterday when the case with several twists finally found its culmination; he was sentenced to 5 years of Jail in the infamous hit and run case of 2002. After Sanjay Dutt, this time our judiciary left no stone unturned to catch up with Bollywood.

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Many are feeling sympathetic and giving him an area of consideration because of his humanitarian work associated with Being Human NGO, while some are erupting in joy as apparently it has been established that law is above everyone. DW Deshpande, the session court judge who brought this verdict, was hell-bent on making this an exemplary decision. However, it is a known fact that, to his loyal fans, he will always be the invincible superhero who is –just like his on screen persona–good at heart but can resort to “little” law breaking aberrations when need be.

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Since yesterday I have been exposed to a steady stream of opinions. The sentiment that came through was either the thought that Salman Khan was paying the price of being an actor or how he deserves this for not giving value to human life. Honestly, I don’t have any stance at this moment. On the contrary, I have few questions that are refusing to leave my mind since yesterday.

  • Why it took 13 years for the witness (driver Ashok Singh) to claim that he was driving the car?
  • Why the sudden disappearance of Ravindra Patil- the key witness who later died of TB after leading an abandoned life- was not taken seriously?
  • What was the mistake of Constable Ravindra Patil; his sticking to one statement that Salman was drunk driving at more than 100 kms/hour on that fateful night?

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  • Why the investigation pace was so botched up that it took insane 13 years to arrive at the facts on a mere hit and run case?
  • Why the media is more obsessed with getting the viewers visuals of Salman and his family rather than the victims or their loved ones?
  • How can Salman Khan return to home on the same day when he was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced to 5 years of jail?
  • Did the tedious legal battle made the victims give statements like, “the jail term to Salman will not fill our stomach. We just want compensation. Nothing else.”?

Surely he has a heart of gold and I really respect the kind of body of work he has in terms of philanthropy. In the coming days, we will see many more facets of this trial while the life of common man will return to normal and the superstar will perhaps continue with his movie run. But, in the democracy of India many questions stills needs to be answered and until then you can take sides and blurt anything in the name of support or justice.

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P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.


No, the chief minister of Maharashtra was never Prithiviraj Chauhan. Not even in the wildest dream of people with the same name. Yet, a budding bubbly actress made one of the major laugh-inducing blunders in the chat show of Karan Johar called Koffee with Karan. Alia Bhatt–riding high on her back to back success of 2 States and Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya–could not answer who was the CM of Maharashtra accurately a couple of months back.

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What followed was an apparently mortifying ride wherein the Twitter and Google was flooded with stuffs like “Alia Bhatt memes”, “Alia Bhatt Jokes” and “Alia Bhatt dumb”. Embarrassing indeed for any person, let alone a popular A grade actress. This went on for many months, and the discovery of new memes and mockery of her IQ just wouldn’t stop. It was a laugh riot on different social networking sites. And going by the obsession of general public with celebrity humour, it wouldn’t have ceased at least for couple of decades more.

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It is said that the most loved comedian is one who can start with making fun of himself, technically known as self-deprecating humour. Alia Bhatt is not a comedian; she is an actress, but somewhere it appears she took this funda of self-deprecating humour seriously. She knew that if she can come up with the most hilarious parody on her alleged dumbness then at least she can reach an outlet if not stopping it entirely. Instead of blowing fuse on all her dumbness-celebrating jokes, she decided to collaborate with All India Bakchod (AIB) and came up with a hysterically entertaining 10 minutes Youtube video that shows how Alia develops her brain muscles by taking membership of ‘Dumb Bells Gym’. In the video she is shown to be an ‘acute case of Darsheel Safary’ and how! You will find many more uproarious references in this video that also includes the special appearances of Mahesh Bhatt (her father), Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra.

I would call it a smart decision. You can’t refer Alia Bhatt dumb after this because I feel only a sharp and mature mind can have the guts to take potshots at oneself, especially on the same medium that once could not get enough of her memes. This video transported me 2-3 years back when I was known for taking dig at everyone including me. However, an incident engulfed me into vortex of misgiving when a girl called me “Joker” for having the potential to make anyone laugh at the drop of a hat. I just couldn’t take it at that instant and refrained from letting my witty side out after that.

Few weeks down I knew that I was not doing right in suppressing myself. I am a quintessential happy-go-lucky girl and my loved ones admire me for that. There is no way a mere “Joker” remark can penetrate me and initiate a barrage of rage. I thought of walking up to that girl and saying, “Yes I am a Joker, and I am content as I am involved in a noble job of bringing smile on people surrounding me.” But, then explaining it to my inner self was far more important than to someone else. I liberated myself from those negative thoughts at that very instant and realized that there is no harm if I can laugh at my weakness and have a good time with others.

I completely adore and respect this attempt of Alia Bhatt and AIB group called Alia Bhatt – Genius of the Year’ because it takes lot of guts to ridicule yourself in a healthy way. Please do watch it guys for it may leave u giggling even when the documentary is over. Way to go Alia!!!!!!!

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P.S: All pictures and video link used are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.


When we stepped into the new millennium in the year 2000 things were changing at a rapid phase. Even the Hindi film industry was trying hard to move out of their comfort zone and present something new to the audience. But, the work of a Bollywood actress was still more or less very much the same; she was expected to mouth some romantic dialogues, run around the trees, shed some tears and get wet under a water fall.

A student of psychology, who had just appeared in a brief role opposite superstar Shahrukh Khan in Dil Se, had the backbone and conviction to consent for a role that talked about pre-marital pregnancy and the reaction of Indian society way back in 1999-2000. The film’s name was Kya Kehna. Yep. You got it right. It was none other than Priety Zinta. Her unprecedented fearless act was followed by playing a CBI officer in Sangarsh and then a prostitute in the official remake of Pretty Woman in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. When live-in relationships were still a taboo in India, she starred in Salaam Namaste and still maintained the earnestness. She chose only those roles that defied all old school thoughts related to a Hindi film “heroine”.

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Her every act proved that she is more than meet the eyes and her bubbly dimpled smile is just one of the many layers of her personality. However, her best act of courage—for which she was touted as the ‘only man in the industry’–was yet to come!

In the year 2001, Bharat Shah, financier of the film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, was arrested on the grounds of using money from Pakistan based gangster Chhota Shakeel for this particular film. Police succeeded in recording several telephonic conversations of Bharat Shah, Chhota Shakeel and the producer of the film Nasim Rizvi. During this time, the statements of many celebrities were documented saying that they received threatening calls from the underworld. These celebrities were Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Mahesh Manjrekar, Rakesh Roshan, Anees Bazmee, Priety Zinta, Harish Sughand, Ratan Jain, Sanjay Gupta, Ali Morani and Mohammed Morani.

Call it the love for their family or the reluctance to get into any tardy legal process, all the people mentioned above turned back to their statements. Except one! It was Priety Zinta. Unlike her colleagues and friends, she stood firm with her earlier statement of receiving threatening calls and maintained the same confidence in court. The actors we see bashing 50 goons at one go in movies distanced themselves from the truth when the time of interrogation came. True to her personality, the fearless blood in Zinta could not turn her hostile at any cost. In 2003, she received the Red and White bravery award for singlehandedly standing against the Mumbai underworld.

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I still remember cutting that newspaper article and sticking that in my personal notebook of “Inspirations” when I was in standard 10th. Following that incident whenever anyone asked me who do you idolize the most in life, I used to answer in a split-second that it has to be Priety Zinta. I think knowingly or unknowingly I have imbibed the boldness and straightforwardness from traces of her life activities. Apart from regularly writing about female infanticide and human trafficking in India, she also took the financial responsibility of 34 orphan girls from Rishikesh.

A lot of time has passed. From the reigning queen of Bollywood she became a business entrepreneur. Gradually she was forgotten. When she tried to make a comeback with Ishq in Paris, she decided to produce it herself. Not sure whether it was because of an outdated script or the lack of Zinta magnetism that led to its record-breaking debacle. It could not sustain even 3 days in theatres. Soon there were reports of her going bankrupt. But, those reports were refuted by her.

Cut to June 2014, Priety filed a police complaint against her business partner of Kings XI Punjab cricket team Ness Wadia -who also happens to be her former boyfriend. As per the FIR, it is alleged that he abused and molested her inside Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. It was indeed shocking and disturbing news.

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Coming something like this from an actress who had maintained so much dignity for 15 years was quite unsettling. But, what surfaced after that completely preposterous. Some sources close to Wadia clan started claiming that she is doing all that because she is “jealous” of the new relationship Ness is into. There was an outbreak of anti-Zinta tweets that majorly called it a publicity stunt to save her disappearing career. Some people even compared her to Rakhi Swant. If this was not enough then even country’s one of the most respected columnists Tavleen Singh is giving statements like:

“Shame on Preity Zinta for making a molestation out of a tiff between ex-lovers when little girls are raped and hanged for nothing.”

My heart aches to see that there is no appreciation and support for a woman who has never taken refuge in double standards. Someone whose decisions are an inspiration for many young girls can never resort to such cheap ploy for media hype. Her life is an open testimony that Priety Zinta is a name that has no qualms in calling a spade a spade. I am not sure what will come out of this legal altercation, but I just hope that people analyze things before passing out any judgement and do not classify all actresses as attention-seeking women, especially someone who has conducted all her life with honesty and courage.

I will end the article with some points of Priety Zinta’s public statement regarding this matter:

“I may not be super wealthy and powerful but I have truth by my side and I’ve worked very hard all my life and tried to earn respect for myself as a self made professional. It saddens me that no one at work or around ever stood up for me in the past when I was abused and insulted publicly. This time I was left with no option but to take this stern step as this incident happened in front of way too many people.

I humbly request the media and my supporters to pls focus on the issue and the incident that happened in Wankade and not turn this and me into a TV soap. This is not easy for me and my intention is not to harm anyone but simply to protect myself and to stand up for myself. I don’t want any sympathy from anyone but I will sincerely appreciate it if people do not try to take away my dignity in the process of my fight for respect at my workplace. I think after all these years I deserve it and I’m not asking for too much.”

Think yourself…..is she really asking for too much?

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Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search.


The idea of writing this new post struck me when, out of boredom, I was watching a telemarketing program this morning. I don’t exactly remember the product’s name (and thank god for that), but it endorsed a “life-changing” skin cream that could make you fair in just 10 days. Strangely, this head-banging ordeal did not stop just there; the ad further depicted a life situation where a “sawnli ladki” walks into an office for the purpose of giving an interview, and in parallel to her, a woman with a flawless “fair” skin comes too. No prizes for guessing who got the job. The girl with the amazing “gorapan and nikhar” had the offer letter in her hand by the end of the advertisement.

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The admakers made it more attention-grabbing by taking the help of a fairness meter! Oh Yes, you read it right? There is actually a magic card to measure the fairness of your skin because it has got the different skin shades embedded on it. Irrespective of the technological advancement, it is heartbreaking to see, we fall prey to these plastic cards and magic potions on a daily basis. It becomes more offensive when I see celebrities endorsing these fairness creams and continuously drilling a theory into our head that it is easy for fairer people to win a beauty pageant, woo a girl, get a job—in short achieve anything in life.

All my life I have been an ardent worshipper of Shahrukh Khan because I admired the way his willpower and determination shaped his career path despite not having a godfather. However, now when I see him giving all the credit of his success to a fairness cream just for earning some quick money, I get annoyed and baffled at the same time.

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According to these people, all the potential achievements in this world are stored in a small tube of Rs. 5. What an amazing theory, isn’t it? Going by this theory, working hard for success is an old-school concept now. All we need to do now is buy a fairness cream. It is really a time to ponder where our advertisement and marketing industry is heading. People need to analyze that if there was even an ounce of truth to these claims then all Indian women would have turned fair by now.

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In fact, truth to be told, none of us have come across even one person till today who got married, cracked a job interview or achieved success because of his/her skin colour. Surely our stupidity is paving the way of luxury for many admakers. The lives of Nelson Mandela, Obama, Oprah, Bipasha Basu, Nandita Das, Rajnikanth are an overt testimony that fairness is nowhere related to accomplishment. The feeling of being beautiful and self-confident comes from within and no product can ever bring that out for you.

Sadly no one is willing to understand that love is devoid of any skin colour and so is success!!!!!

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Disclaimer: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.