An affair to remember
On day five of the India Bridal Fashion Week, Suneet Varma and Adarsh Gill, showcased collections meant for the modern woman
Ashima Batish
A creation by Suneet Varma, Esha Gupta in Adarsh Gill’s creation
EAST MEETS WEST: (L-R) A creation by Suneet Varma, Esha Gupta in Adarsh Gill’s creation
A creation by Suneet Varma, Esha Gupta in Adarsh Gill’s creation
An Adarsh Gill’s design
An Adarsh Gill’s design

Fashion designers who presented their collection at the India Bridal Fashion Week have a consensus at least on one point-their muse, the modern Indian woman, who loves to travel and thus demands a fusion of East and West in her couture wear. Who wants to mingle with her guests and not just sit aside as a bride. Who's more than willing to experiment with her looks and yet continues to be a cynosure of all eyes. On day five, as Suneet Varma and Adarsh Gill presented their opulent and beautiful collections, they once again defined the preference of the modern Indian woman. The veterans of the fashion industry, Suneet and Adarsh introduced to the fashion followers some novel patterns and a few out-of the-box silhouettes.

Keeping it practical
Adarsh Gill

Her ensemble titled Evolution- an ode to the contemporary Indian women- explains the designer's intention behind the creations. The collection was a heady mix of Indian and western wear. The latter boasted of beautiful gowns, short cocktail dresses, short and long jackets, bustiers and bodices. The Indian wear comprised lehangas, shararas and sarees in bright reds and oranges. "If you notice, the Indian wedding scene has also evolved. Cocktail events are an integral part of the ceremonies and people are going for destination weddings, so accordingly, some change in the wardrobes of bride and groom is also expected. It has to be fuss-free, practical, yet something that makes them the cynosure of all eyes," says Adarsh Gill, who ventured into the world of fashion much before the industry came into being.

Her lehangas were more like gowns, as she reaffirms, "They are meant for the contemporary woman. My clients understand the structuring of clothes, they realise how important it is to wear practical clothes, hence more focus on structure than flair." Her creation, an orange kurti with a sharara, had a trouser fit near the thigh and as it descended, the flair was replaced by kalis to tame the volume of the fabric. The boat neck of the kurti rendered it a western touch.

When in Rome…
Suneet Varma

It seemed the other way round, as if Suneet Varma recreated Roman Empire and not outfits inspired from the subject. Each creation had a signature roman silhouette. The sarees were draped in toga style. Intricate gold work, draped skirts with off-shoulder corsets and maroon tunics worn with appliqué, halter and razor cut blouses were so Roman inspired. Derived from the clothing and lifestyle of Pompeii, the creations had been themed as Romance, Wedding and Longing. Besides the detailing of every creation, it was the accessories that added to the magnificence of the show. Handmade in metal, all accessories were in shape of gold leaves to reflect the era. Headgears in the shape of wreaths, twigs like necklaces and golden bracelets were reminiscent of the Roman clothing. Off-shoulder dresses, mostly in off whites and dull colours, dominated the collection but the bright red lehenga, that Chitrangada Singh sported, more than made up for any missing colour.

For the love of cinema
These Naughty Jatts, with a pretty damsel in tow, mean serious business when it comes to comedy
Jasmine Singh

It is like a forest fire, and if environment is your topic of interest, this can also be related to rainfall in Cherrapunji! It is going on and on, without any visible signs of slowing down or stopping. Not that it is a matter of grave concern, what makes us wonder is what has lead to this phenomenon called Punjabi films. The cast of Naughty Jatts, Aarya Babbar, Roshan Prince, Binnu Dhillon, Neeru Bajwa, Satish Katyal and G Deep are a bunch of naughty actors and level headed people who are contributing to this fire. Also, they know exactly why they are in this industry in the first place.

Carrying on the lineage

Aarya Babbar has struck a chord with the Punjabi audiences. Jatts in Golmaal, and now Naughty Jatts, the Babbar sher has all the reason to be a part of Pollywood. “I have grown up watching my father in Punjabi movies, somewhere in my heart I wanted to be a part of it. People have loved my father, and I am receiving the same affection,” Aarya sites his reason. “The fact that I am sticking in the industry is that I am being offered good scripts and movies which are not run of the mill,” adds Aarya.

Prince of hearts

Roshan Prince is not a new comer in the industry, he can sing and act, a double advantage that one can draw from him. However, for Naughty Jatts, he hasn’t sung much. “I want to keep singing for my albums. In movies, I would just act well,” he shares. The actor singer is simple in his approach. “I love being a part of the industry, I dedicate myself to whatever I do, which is why I am in this industry.”

Laughing all the way

“I kept my focus throughout; I worked with sincerity and did not give up. This is why I am in Pollywood and will love to stick around for times to come as well,” shares Binnu.

Moolah matters

Satish Kaytal ventures in the Punjabi film industry for the first time as a producer. “I read many scripts and finally finalised Naughty Jatts. It is a comedy but situational one,” adds Satish who wants to bring in professionalism in the industry.

Sing along

He is the youngest music director to open his innings in the Punjabi films as a music director. G Deep is here to give Punjabi films something new in terms of music. “I have gained experience and knowledge on international music as well. With the blessings of my parents and with almighty by my side I will definitely contribute my bit to the cinema, which is growing,” shares G Deep.

Shahid shares it all!

Shahid Kapoor talks about dating, the need for a hit film, competition and much more

Hits and misses
Shahid Kapoor
Candid chat: Shahid Kapoor

I admit that I need a hit at this point in my career. My last hit was Badmaash Company. It is vital that both Phata Poster Nikla Hero and Rambo Rajkumar do well. I have enjoyed working on these films and they are different from my previous films so I hope they do well. I was at a low phase in my career where I had no work for six months and this is a hard reality for any actor. I am happy to be working right now.

Time and tide

The success of a movie is not proportionate to the time invested in it. I invested a lot of time and effort into Mausam but it did not do well. The audience is unpredictable. Jab We Met was completed within six months and that film single-handedly changed my career and that of everyone involved in it. Both the movies I am doing right now seemed fun so I took them up.

Single and happily so!

I am happily single at the moment but that also means that I am linked with every girl I am seen with. I go for coffees and movies with girls, like a regular would do. It is a little tricky to be friends with your ex. It is not impossible but it also depends on the kind of break-up you have had. To clarify, I did not throw a party for Priyanka. I just threw a party for my friends and her birthday happened to be two days later.

Competition galore

I get jealous when I watch newcomers doing a good movie because I wish I could have done that movie. Today, acceptance happens much faster than before and likewise for rejection. I really wanted to do Maneesh Sharma's film but it did not work out for many reasons. I do not get insecure because I have been in the industry for ten years now. I wish I could have done a role and movie like Barfi! and Paan Singh Tomar.

Not so easy

It's a scary profession because it is tough and unpredictable. You can never make comparisons as there are hardly any fixed parameters. I would never advocate a member of my family to join the industry. Acceptance and rejection are in the hands of the public and usually they have extreme reactions, which are both hard to handle.

Surekha wants infotainment shows on TV

She essays the role of Dadisa so well that it is almost impossible to think of anyone else doing playing it better. Talented veteran actor, Surekha Sikri talks to us about her show, which completed five years this week.

How do you find the drive and inspiration to play the same role for so five long years?
Surekha Sikri
Message matters: Surekha Sikri

Firstly, the energy on the set is commendable and my role has changed over the years with the change in the plot and scene of the show, so it does not get boring. Also, I try to give my best to the show. That people are still interested in the show, it speaks volumes about the actors and the makers of the show too.

What kind of rapport do you share with your co-stars?

They are all such wonderful and talented people. I really enjoy working with Ganga (Sriti Jha) and Sanchi too. They are all full of energy and I like such people.

You have worked with three actors while playing the role of Anandi. How was your experience while working with them?

I like them all (laughs). Initially, I couldn't connect with Avika, but later I did. I bonded with Pratyusha and Toral Rasputra too. It's more than a professional bond.

What kind of shows do you want to see on television?

I'd like to watch shows, which focus on social concerns and educate people. For instance, a show, which plays upon the topic of organic farming, weaved in a story format.

What do you watch on television?

I don't have time to watch shows, but sometimes I watch Discovery, Aastha Channel or God TV. Occasionally, I also watch cookery shows.

Strokes of spirituality
Bani Doabia’s recently concluded exhibition The Journey Inwards captured the essence of Buddhism
Amarjot Kaur

At times, spirituality uses silence to give expression to emotions and more often than not, it conveys the message more articulately than words can ever do. As she romances her tryst with spirituality, which came to her in the form of Buddhism, Bani Doabia, a Chandigarh-based artist, translates her thoughts into expression as she splashes them in vivid colours and forms on canvas. "This is my first exhibition and though I have been painting for over 10 years now, I never really enrolled in any art school," begins Bani as she escorts you to the outdoor seating area at the Virgin Courtyard, Sector 7.

Her paintings were placed steadily on the easel boards as they tendered much warmth to the ambiance, thanks to its robust colour scheme, which reflected rather intensely on her beliefs, thereby justifying the theme of the exhibition-The Journey Inwards.

Behold the sight of a monk walking into the fiery reds in the backdrop of a Buddhist monastery in one painting and watch the colours change into electric green and cerulean to the shades of earthy rust in the other two paintings. What remained constant is the monk, the monastery and a calligraphic representation of a Buddhist chant.

"This chant is the essence of each and every painting, just like it is the essence of Buddhism. Only it is written in different styles," explained Bani. Other paintings in the series seem to personify Buddha as the epitome of tranquillity and composure as his portrait was painted in vivid browns, bronze and reds.

"Though I have been sketching since childhood, I was never really acquainted with the artistic side of me until I started following Buddhism, which banished all traces of doubts and propelled my passion into expression of creativity. It gave me the courage to exhibit my talent and fostered my belief in my own self," shared Bani. "I started painting five years ago and though I was a little subservient, when it came to displaying it commercially, some of my paintings were bought by the Kasauli Club, while the others were purchased by the private houses in Delhi," she added. Bani shuttles between Delhi and Chandigarh and has her studios at both the places, "I am a compulsive painter, and for me, painting is a form of meditation. I have not left my easel even for a minute in the past six months," she says. Coming back to her paintings, in one of her paintings, she symbolised the Lotus Sutra as the radical thought process that defines the fundamentals of Buddhism and she played upon the abstracts. The painting titled, Positive, however, stood as a metaphor for the artist's belief as it bore an impression of photographic negatives of Buddha while they ironically point towards the power of the mind to see the positive in the negatives.

Dream run
Deepika Sharma, a budding fashion photographer, not only dreams big but is also ready to go the extra mile to translate them into reality
Amarjot Kaur

"I was only fourteen when my father refused to buy me a bicycle on the pretext of my poor academic performance. That's when I decided to earn enough money to buy myself a bicycle," says Deepika Sharma, 22, a city-based fashion photographer as she arranges the rim of her spectacles while taking a final look at the venue of her first exhibition Numaish-2013 at the Rock Garden (Gate 3).

Deepika Sharma with her works
Deepika Sharma with her works

"I was passionate about dancing and I decided to teach dancing so that I could earn enough money. I did not have any formal training in dance and yet, on basis of my talent to copy the steps that I would see on television, my first student agreed to pay me Rs 500," she says. Later, Deepika taught dance at several avenues, including gyms. "I earned, spent and saved money and then started a dance academy and even enrolled for Shiamak Davar's dance classes. With the money that I saved, I auditioned for the next level of the dance classes in Mumbai. I could not get through the level and that pushed me to the hills, where I tried my hand at photography for the first time," she says. She came to Chandigarh to do her first photo shoot, which was at the Rock Garden and that is the reason why she chose this venue for her exhibition.

It's been over two years since Deepika is pursuing her passion for fashion photography, but this is just the beginning of her creative expedition. Besides being a fashion photographer, the city lass is a professional henna artist and she does the make up for her fashion shoots and is into film production too. "I was in the production team of the film London Dreams and you can also see me in the film too, but only for a while. Also, I was actively involved in the production of Mausam, Student of the Year and I have also done the casting and styling for Manisha Lamba in the up and coming Punjabi film, Heer and Hero," she says. Presently, Deepika is focusing on the celebrity fashion shots and she signs off saying, "I have many dreams, and I am following them."

Hot destination!
Chandigarh now welcomes the popular American chain Chili's Grill & Bar

Sizzling fajitas are here as are grilled baby back ribs…having established itself in 1500 cities all across the globe, Chili's Grill & Bar has registered its presence at Elante, Chandigarh and soon winning loyalists!

The popular American chain has replicated itself effortlessly at Elante and why not, right from the furniture to the core products, they import it all from the US. This is one chain that remains true to its dishes in different continents or countries.

The big 'chilli' is as much part of décor as crimson hued interiors and bluish bar at Chili's.

Food, well if you haven't tasted yet, you must. "Grilled baby back ribs is our signature, known for its tenderness, as are burgers for the real American burger experience," says Sidharh Varun, GM operations, Chili's.

Non-meat eaters mustn't lose heart, for Chili's has an elaborate vegetarian menu, and, a sumptuous one at that. Must tries here are cheese quesdiallas — refined flour triangles stuffed with veggies served with rice and beans. Sizzling vegetarian fajitas get our thumbs up too, roll the vegetables with sauces according to your taste to enjoy your special meal. Nachos come in three lip-smacking flavours. Their house made salsa, freshly prepared pico-de-gello and barbeque sauces lend the meal an all together different flavour. One can enjoy a meal with beer or wine for you will have to wait a little more before Chili's rolls out their signature margaritas. Molten Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie and Brownie Sundae top the dessert section. And, watch out for deal combos and new dishes on the menu that get a makeover every quarter.

The place is a lively casual dining restaurant with close to 200 cover. So, you want to go with family or friends pick is yours. Only warning, take someone along, for the portion sizes are big, even their French fries are bigger and crisper!

Meal for two here will cost around Rs 1200 along with non-alcoholic beverages.

Go nuts over donuts

When young Ketan Kalra returned home after delving into some research on the donut markets abroad and opened up a small donuts outlet in Sector 8, launching his own brand by the name Super Donuts, little did anyone expect that he would make it a successful venture in less than a year.

Not only did the youngster, now 23, show enormous maturity and business acumen in pulling crowds straightaway by catering to their palate a wide variety of donuts, sandwiches, wraps, coolers, shakes, etc, some of which were not even heard of in the tri-city, but has also just opened another outlet in the eatery zone in Sector 35-C. Ketan's face lights up as he explains that his new cafe has trendy rugged looks to its interiors and it is sure to leave customers mesmerised with 28 varieties of donuts alone.

There is the After 8 Mint (named after the famous American chocolate) and 8 to 10 varieties of filled donuts which have different flavours of both fillings and toppings. Some of the other varieties are blueberry, strawberry, Boston cream (which has custard inside), mango, M&M Donuts, Peaches of the Moon, walnuts, etc. The most popular among the city crowds are the Team Double and One Happy Bean (a combination of coffee and chocolate). Among the newer ones is Funki Munky with Strawberry filling and chocolate topping. There are also options available for the experienced palate, the extremely health conscious and the sugar free crowd.

The eatery is well stocked with a variety of healthy bagels with four options of cream cheese - plain, spicy, oregano and garlic and two bread options of whole wheat and multi-grain. Another healthy offering is the tortilla bread wrap in flavours like light smoked chicken and veggie light.

For coolers there are the aptly named Ice Blasters like Purple Haze, Lychee Freeze, Arctic Blue and Big Apple. Super Donuts offers super thick and creamy American style shakes. — TNS

Kebabs & kahwa

This month The Great Kabab Factory-34 organises Daawat-e-Wazwaan as it celebrates Kashmiri Food Festival. To recreate the splendid taste of Kashmiri food, renowned Chef Rayees Khan has been flown in especially from Kashmir to whip up the delicacies. The traditional Kashmiri cooking, known as wazwan, is a multi-course royal meal and is treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art and Kashmiris regard wazwan as the pride of their culture .

A completely different menu is set for the food festival as it will be offering traditional preparations like rogan josh, tabak maaz and gushtaba. In the vegetarian delicacies savour Kashmiri lal paneer, nadru malai kofta and much more. The unlimited lunch and dinner spread will have Kashmiri phirni and also kahwa - the traditional Kashmiri tea. —TNS

Brave and beautiful

Manisha Koirala Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala, who has successfully recovered from ovarian cancer, has managed to come out strong. She recently performed a puja at her Versova apartment and is more spiritual than before. She does Pranayama and meditation regularly. She even walks 6-8 kms every day and is healthier than before. Way to go, Manisha!

New life: Manisha Koirala

Bruna Abdullah Bruna’s bold act

Bruna Abdullah has a bold and a sassy image but she was quite nervous while shooting for some steamy scenes with co-star Riteish Deshmukh in Grand Masti. She had to shoot the scenes from the beginning and she broke into a sweat. The scenes are steamy yet hilarious as the movie is a naughty comedy.

Face value: Bruna Abdullah

Saif Ali Khan Win-win situation

Saif Ali Khan is bonding very well with, his Happy Ending co-star, Kalki Koechlin as they shoot in Los Angeles, USA. Ileana D'cruz is also a part of the movie. Saif and Kalki have a common friend in Deepika Padukone. The movie is directed by Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru and is a comedy.
Three cheers: Saif Ali Khan

Not so street smart!

Sushant Singh Rajput is currently in Kolkata shooting for Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. While in the city, he gorged on some mouth-watering street food only to be brought down by a bout of stomach flu. He not only had to retire to his vanity van but cancel some interviews as well.

R Madhavan Hopping onto Hollywood

R Madhavan has been off the Bollywood radar since Tanu Weds Manu but he is doing a remake, of the Hollywood film The Night of the Living Dead, in Hollywood. He is also a part of the sequel to Tanu Weds Manu.

R Madhavan

Poster of Prague Censor strikes, yet again

The release of Indie-flick Prague, starring Chandan Roy Sanyal, has been postponed as they ran into censorship issues. The movie is a psychological love story and a thriller and has been shot in Prague. The unit also had some paranormal experiences while shooting for it.

Scary side:
Poster of Prague

chatter box
Waiting for Draupadi

Producer of the show, Draupadi, Siddharth Tewary and his team are running against time to lock an actor for the much coveted role of Draupadi. The show is slated for release in mid August.
Riya Sen
Role over: Riya Sen

Though the makers of the show have been searching for an actor to play the powerful role, they are still unable to get the right fit. A source informs, "The makers are looking for a beautiful young woman, who can emote through her eyes and has much grace. After considering Riya Sen, who did not give an audition and turned down the role due to date issues, the makers roped in Sayali Bhagat, who auditioned, but thinks did not work.

Yuvika Choudhary, who did television shows and later jumped to films, was next choice but she didn't audition for the role and vehemently denied being considered for the role too. Perhaps she didn't want her film producers to think she was inclined towards television again.

The latest contenders for the role are Sargun Mehta and Ekta Kaul. The other actors include Shaheer Sheikh as Arjun and Saurabh Jain as Krishna. Can't wait to see, who the makers finally select.

Karanvir Bohra Loss and gain

Apparently, Karanvir Bohra has lost a lot of weight because he has been for several weeks for his show, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. Earlier, he claimed that he wanted to learn professional dance, which was his main agenda for being a part of the celebrity dance show and seems like he is getting a free workout in return.

Free fitness:
Karanvir Bohra

Pratyusha Banerjee A Bigg approach

Apparently, Pratyusha Banerjee was approached to participate in the Season 7 of Bigg Boss, which will begin in September. After Balika Vadhu, Pratyusha has been relaxing and enjoying the break, she promises to be back on television soon.
                                                   On a break: Pratyusha Banerjee

Cyrus Sahukar Cyrus returns

SAB TV will shortly be launching a game show called SAB Khelo SAB Jeeto. Families from across the country will participate in the show to win prizes up to Rs 1 Lakh. This show will be anchored by the much loved, Cyrus Sahukar, who hosted multiple shows on a youth channel.

Family affair: Cyrus Sahukar

Gustakh Dil replaces Amrit Manthan

Popular show, Amrit Manthan that is telecast on Life OK will now go off air as Ravi Ojha Productions', Gustakh Dil will replace the show at 7.30 pm, starting August 5. The show has a promising cast, including Sana Sheikh, Meghana Mallik, Parvati Sehgal and the newbie Vibhav Roy.

Seasons in the sun
Vikas Sethi
Back on Track: Vikas Sethi

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi was the stepping stone in Vikas Sethi's career. His first appearance in the show went a long way to pave his way into small-screen industry. Perhaps that is the reason that people still remember him as Swayam Shergill from Kahin Toh hoga even today. The actor who appeared in some of the biggest hit serials, including Kasautii Zindagi Kii and Geet Hui Sabse Parayi, will now be seen in the fourth season of Nach Baliye as a participant with his ex-wife, Amita. Vikas played the role of Robbie in the film, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum and Rocky in Deewanapan, but unfortunately, things went horribly wrong in his life. Two years ago, Vikas divorced his wife and succumbed to alcohol and depression. The financial crunch took a toll on his life. However, surrendering to hard luck was not a choice for Vikas and though he did suffer, he chooses to get back on his toes. Vikas is all set to do what he is best at by making a comeback on the small screen with his third Reality Show, Bigg Boss Season 7. He will now be seen on television after a gap of 2 years.

Back with a bang

Vikas Sawant, who captivated million hearts and impressed Sonakshi Sinha with his entertaining Vikas Sawant and Riteish Deshmukh acts on the show India's Dancing Superstar, returned as one of the wild card contestants. Known as the dark horse of the competition, Vikas's bewitching performance left the judges spellbound. As soon as he finished his act, Ashley lobo announced that Vikas has always been very special to him and he missed his performances.

Break a leg: Vikas Sawant and Riteish Deshmukh

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Relationships will be in the limelight today. There may be some conflicts due to stubbornness, ego, and pride on either party's side, but you will benefit from the situation. Tarot message: You should maintain balance in all aspects. Lucky colour: Ebony. Lucky number: 25

TAURUS: Focusing on budget and planning a long-term savings will be the highlight of today. Don't let the monotony of work get to you. There would be some interesting tasks later in the evening. Tarot message: Play your cards close to your chest. Lucky colour: Red. Lucky number: 42

GEMINI: Love and romance are highlighted today. Situation at home would be peaceful and calm. In certain relationships, you would need to be extra patient and not form hasty opinions. Tarot message: Do not take any chances today. Lucky colour: Yellow. Lucky number: 52

CANCER: "The queen of cups" says that communication would continue to be vital today. There may be some delays today. Finances and health would remain stable. Health needs attention. Tarot message: Don't reveal your plan of action to anyone. Lucky colour: Royal blue. Lucky number: 29.

LEO: Work and professional endeavours remain the focus today. Have faith in your abilities and everything will be possible. Relationships will become stronger and so will your financial position. Tarot message: Be creative to retain a grip on your business. Lucky colour: Crimson. Lucky number: 33. 

VIRGO: Many of you may form new relationships and associations that would benefit you, personally and professionally. Finances look good as there will be some windfall towards the end of the day. Tarot message: Positive and caring attitude heals old wounds. Lucky colour: Pale yellow. Lucky number: 65

LIBRA: Lovers, friends and partners will want to know your whereabouts and reasons for your behaviour. At work, be vigilant and alert to developments, plans and projects that may be coming up. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid any inbuilt delays. Lucky colour: Green. Lucky number: 60

SCORPIO: Your mental, physical, and emotional state will be in equilibrium. At the work front, you will be open to taking on more challenges and responsibilities. You will be in a peaceful and calm state of mind. Tarot message: Strive for perfection at work. Lucky colour: Golden brown. Lucky number: 36

SAGITTARIUS: The increase in the flow on money would continue because Venus will enter your sign. Emotions would be particularly sensitive and you may get hurt or angry a little too quickly. Tarot message: Involve yourself in the new project. Lucky colour: Crimson. Lucky number: 50

CAPRICORN: This is just the right time to put everything in perspective and remove the element of chaos and confusion that has been prevalent for some time. Be on the guard against legal hassles. Tarot message: Do not leave things up to chance. Lucky colour: Turquoise. Lucky number: 57

AQUARIUS: There would be a flow of ideas, communication, and emotions today. You would be able to come closer to your spouse and other family members. At work, don't avoid any complicated matters. Tarot message: Stay Positive. Lucky colour: White. Lucky number: 63

PISCES: Business people may face some conflict of interest with partners. In the matter of investments, avoid speculating and investing in risk-laden ventures. Health needs attention. Tarot message: You need to think more about long-term interests. Lucky colour: Silver grey. Lucky number: 4

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