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In India, actresses are pushed to marry late: Rani Mukherjee




How was it to come back to films (with Hichki) after the maternity leave?
It was great. My journey into motherhood and coming back to work was amazing, because as a professional you don’t realise how much you miss your work, unless you take a break. The experience of becoming a mother for the first time was just beautiful. After that, when I got back on set, I felt, ‘oh my god, I just belong here’, because suddenly everything just came back.
Were you nervous?
More than nervous, there was a lot of anxiety and fear. On the first day, when I left home to shoot the film, I remember I was howling in the car. I’ve always had the image of myself as a strong personality and I don’t show my emotions. Then I realised that in life it is so important to express yourself, your emotions, your fears, your anxiety, because eventually that makes you a stronger person. My fears were of leaving my daughter, Adira, behind for the first time. She was going to be without me for several hours, which she had not been since she was born. The other fear was of taking such a challenging role. Will I do justice to it? Do I really know how to act after taking a break? But when I walked in on set, it all came back in one second, and I felt I belong here.
Women tend to get swept up in life experiences.
It’s a choice that a mother makes. I feel that every woman is different, every mother is different. You can’t compare one mother to another. Everyone has different circumstances, background and reason. Our emotions and priorities are different. I’ve been in the industry for 22 years. It was high time I had my family and baby.
In the West, there is no discrimination between actors and actresses, they can go ahead, get married, have babies, and have a parallel work life. In India, strangely, women are pushed to get married late and have a baby. They want actress to be single for a longer period of time, which is strange because our heroes get married early, they have children and continue to work. But I think times are changing. It is our responsibility as actors to encourage actresses to get married early, have children and still pursue their career.
When you returned to work, did you find anything had changed in terms of workplace scenario or gender parity with regard to salary?
Siddharth (director of Hichki) was very well-planned. They all were sensitive to the fact that I just had a baby. My time was a major concern. We used to start shooting at six in the morning and wrap up by one, so I was home by Adira’s lunch time. That worked for me. In every profession, if they can be a little more accommodating for working mothers, women can pursue their careers and have a great family life as well.
In Hichki you play a teacher with Tourette Syndrome, and in Black you played a visually-impaired girl,
who is also deaf and mute. These are extremely challenging roles, based on real people. What did you take away from these experiences?
I connect with the specially-abled. What I love about them is that they are very spirited and confident, unlike how people perceive them to be. They know that there is something that god has taken away from them, but their other senses are way too strong compared to any one of us. That is the core I like to touch emotionally with the characters I play. If you see Michelle
McNally, she is very spirited, so is Naina Mathur, and she doesn’t see her disability as a roadblock.
What is your kind of feminism?
For me, feminism is to be able to live with a man along with your own individual identity, and that is a very powerful sentiment. If you have a husband who respects the kind of woman you are, individual you are, that for me is something special. A lot of times, we may talk about feminism, equality and other things, but what’s happening in your day-to-day life is most important. Changing the world is the next step.



Nike Adapt Self-Lacing Smart Sneaker Will Require Regular Charging

The Kashmir Monitor



Nike has found a new way to capture more information about its customers: through their sneakers.

At an event called the “Future of Footwear,” Nike unveiled a new shoe concept, called Nike Adapt, that tracks performance in real time, allowing the company to give weekend warriors athletic tips and also sell them more products.

“It’s the start of a new day,” said Michael Donaghu, Nike’s director of global footwear innovation. “It’s like we’re moving from footwear to firmwear.”


The shoes, with their data-tracking capability, present customers with a choice about privacy — if they opt not to share their data, they’ll miss out on a lot of the product’s capabilities. The company is starting with basketball shoes, which will sell for $350 (roughly Rs. 25,000).

The shoe self-tightens to an athlete’s preference – there are no laces – and is adjustable via an app. The products carry sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes that can give Nike a full, personalized snapshot of its owner’s performance. They’ll need recharging every two weeks.

“It’s like having two smartphones strapped to your two feet,” said Michael Martin, Nike’s global head of digital products.

CEO Mark Parker discussed the new shoes in vague terms in December, calling it a “major step” in taking Nike’s new digital emphasis and embedding it into actual product.

Nike stores are also going digital. The company calls new flagship locations unveiled two months ago in New York and Shanghai “Houses of Innovation.” They blend online shopping with the in-person experience. To get the full experience, you essentially have to download the Nike app.

Nike is in the midst of a digital transformation. A large part of that is trying to get more of its customers to become members of the NikePlus loyalty program. The company has found members spend three times more than nonmembers when they shop at

Though Nike has seen rapid growth in apparel sales, shoes still accounted for 61 percent of the company’s $36.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year.

Nike auto-lacing shoes have been around since 2017, when the company sold a limited number of low-top sneakers for $720, the most expensive shoes it ever released.

These shoes will be available through Nike’s direct channels, and through retailers, and will debut in the NBA on the feet of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum later this week.

The shoe’s technology is can be updated through the app, meaning its capabilities can change after it’s purchased. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company plans to release more products with the Adapt technology, including running shoes, sportswear and lifestyle items.

“The advantages we’re looking to provide the athlete are so substantial that you’ll see a mass of people wanting to make use of those benefits,” Martin said.

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Microsoft Says Will Set Up 10 AI Labs, Train 5 Lakh Youth in India

The Kashmir Monitor



Microsoft India to set up Artificial Intelligence (AI) labs in 10 universities and train five lakh youth across the country in disrupting technologies.

The company also said it will upskill over 10,000 developers over the next three years.

“We believe AI will enable Indian businesses and more for India’s progress, especially in education, skilling, healthcare and agriculture,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.


Microsoft AI today is fuelling digital transformation for over 700 customers and 60 per cent customers are large manufacturing and financial services enterprises.

Over 700 partners have geared up to support the AI ecosystem, said the company.

Microsoft in December announced a three-year “Intelligent Cloud Hub” collaborative programme in India, for empowering institutes to skill students in AI and Cloud technologies.

India is one of the first countries to have such a programme in which Microsoft will support selected institutes that have the best-in-class infrastructure, curriculum and content, onsite training for faculty and students, access for participating students to Cloud and AI services, developmental tools and developer support.

In April 2018, the company announced the Microsoft Professional Programme (MPP) for the public.

This programme is helping in providing job-ready skills along with real-world experience to engineers as well as others who plan on improving their skills in AI and data science, using a series of online courses.

“Microsoft also believes that it is imperative to build higher awareness and capabilities on security, privacy, trust and accountability,” said Maheshwari.

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TP-Link Launches New Wi-Fi 6 Routers at CES 2019 With Something at Every Price Point

The Kashmir Monitor



TP-Link has announced five new next-generation wireless products at CES 2019. All these routers are based on Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with prices ranges from the affordable entry-level routers to expensive wireless routers meant for gaming. In December last year, TP-Link had introduced its first two Wi-Fi 6 routers based on Broadcom platforms. With its latest announcement at CES 2019, the company seems keen on bringing more Wi-Fi 6 products for everyone.

The new TP Link Deco X10 is a mesh networking-based wireless router. It comes in a pack of two (one main unit and a satellite), priced at $349.99 (roughly Rs. 24,340). It offers a wireless bandwidth of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz band.

The company has also announced a new Archer AX11000 gaming wireless router. It is a tri-band wireless router capable of a maximum wireless throughput of up to 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz bands and up to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. TP-Link had added USB Type-C and USB Type-A ports to enable storage sharing across the network. The router will sell at $449.99 (roughly Rs. 31,300) and will be available later this month.


TP-Link’s new Archer AX6000 is a dual-band wireless router that offers features similar to the Archer AX11000 and is shipping right away. It includes a 2.5Gbps WAN port so in case you have a high-speed broadband connection, but you don’t play games, this might be the right router for you as it costs $100 (roughly Rs. 6,954) less than the Archer AX11000.

The basic TP-Link Archer AX1800 brings Wi-Fi 6 at an affordable price point. The Archer AX1800 is a dual-band wireless router which comes with a Gigabit WAN port and a USB 2.0 port to share data across the network. The router is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 9,040). It will be available later this year.

TP-Link has also announced a new wireless range extender at CES 2019. The RE705X Wi-Fi range extender is a dual-band repeater which is priced at $99.99 (roughly Rs. 6,953). It will ship in the third quarter of 2019.

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January 2019
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