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Varun Dhawan: I insisted that Shoojit Sircar cast me in October





Basking in the glowing reviews of October, Varun Dhawan says he wants to continue seeking roles that are unique and “tear” the envelope.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Hello, am I speaking to the Superstar Varun Dhawan?


A. (Laughs) No, this is Dan (the character from October). I still haven’t come out of my character. This is that kind of an experience which I can’t just leave behind.

Q. Dan is not heroic in the filmy sense. What made you play such a character at this stage of your career?

A. This is what I was asked when I did “Badlapur”. I hope this question keeps coming up in my career.

Q. You will continue to seek out roles that push the envelope?

A. Not just push the envelope, but ‘phado’ (tear) the envelope. I am not interested in doing unconventional roles that don’t go all the way. I don’t want to take sides as far as doing mainstream and unconventional roles are concerned.

Why should off-beat roles not be popular? When we made October, we knew it won’t get the audience of a “Judwaa”. It was made within the required budget. And we were not disappointed with the results.

varun dhawan in october Varun Dhawan’s film October released on April 13.

Q. The collections have increased manifold.

A. Yes, a day after the release, the audience began to increase considerably. That was very reassuring. People have connected with the film. What we see in October is what everyone goes through in life.

Q. Would you be doing more such ‘tearing the envelope’ roles?

A. Yes, absolutely. But it has to be a character like the one in October who is completely honest even about his dishonesty. We all lie to others and to ourselves. But how often is the hero allowed to admit his weaknesses on screen?

(Screenwriter) Juhi Chaturvedi has written the character as flawed and yes, quite annoying in the way he pushes his opinion about everything on others. Dan is quite overbearing. Yet he redeems himself finally. It proves there is a sensitive human being inside him. I loved my character’s journey.

Q. I didn’t like the way the journey ended?

A. I know. A lot of people have told me it shouldn’t have ended the way it did. But this was the only way it could end. If we changed the inevitable, we would be cheating.

Q. You’ve had cent-per cent success so far. Even your awful Dilwale is considered a hit. Do you think October will not interrupt your success spell?

A. About Dilwale, even today you will be surprised at how many people tell me they love that film. When I decided to do October, I put my entire soul into it. After Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Judwaa 2, I could have done another blockbuster kind of film. But I wanted to do a character who was not so high on self-confidence.

Dan is a bit of an upstart. He isn’t your average hero at all. When I heard about the role, I insisted that Shoojit Sircar cast me, although he had a completely different cast in mind. Dan is just 21-22. Much younger than me.

Q. How old are you?

A. I am 30. So I am actually not as inexperienced in things like illness and grieving as you might think. I’ve watched both my parents lose their parents and how it affected them. And I saw how my mother did the seva (tending) of her parents when they were ill.

Somewhere, I had stored all those memories and I used it in October.

Q. I believe you took a massive remuneration cut in October?

A. I wasn’t even thinking about money when I got the chance to do October. I just wanted to be part of this film.
Q. What is your biggest takeaway from this film?

A. It has definitely taught me to be more considerate towards others. It is not just important to feel for someone. It is also important to express that feeling. This film has also taught me to be sensitive about what goes on around me.

People die, people have accidents, but Life goes on. Nobody cares beyond a point. That’s really sad. Most importantly, now after doing October, I want to spend more time with my family.

Q. And yet you’ve moved out of your family home into your own place?

A. That’s because I needed more space. And my own private space.

Q. Did you buy your home as preparation for marriage?

A. Nothing like that. Of course it will happen in good time.



Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 With IP68 Build, Knox Security Integration Launched in India

The Kashmir Monitor



Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab Active 2 in India. Rugged in design, the new tablet has a military-grade, MIL-STD-840G certified build. It comes with capabilities such as enhanced touch support and S Pen integration as well as a pogo pin connector. Samsung has also provided its defence-grade Knox security platform that is touted to protect against malware and hacks. Additionally, the Galaxy Tab Active 2 has biometric authentication to secure sensitive information. The Galaxy Tab Active 2 also comes with IP68 certification.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 price in India

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 price in India has been set at Rs. 50,990. The tablet will go on sale in the country starting mid-March.


To recall, the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 was originally unveiled for the Netherlands market back in October 2017. The tablet carried a price tag of EUR 500 (roughly Rs. 40,000) in the country.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 specifications, features

To make the Galaxy Tab Active 2 ready for industry use, Samsung has offered a build that is MIL-STD-840G certified. The design of the tablet is touted to protect against vibrations, accidental shocks, drops, rain, and dust. Also, the tablet is IP68 certified, which makes it capable of remaining 1.5-metre underwater for 30 minutes. It is also claimed to withstand extreme temperatures (storage minus 40-degree Celsius and operating minus 20-degree Celsius to 71-degree Celsius).

Samsung has provided its Knox 3.2 platform integration that is touted to protect the system from hackers and cybercriminals. There is also a Knox Configure to enable a large range of configuration options in wallpapers and boot screens among others. Further, the tablet has a facial recognition feature to let users unlock the screen by looking at the front-facing camera sensor and comes with an S Pen integration.

Similar to other rugged tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 also has an Enhanced Touch option that enables the display to work even under rain or during a snowfall. There is also a Glove Mode to let users use the display even while wearing gloves. Additionally, the tablet has augmented reality (AR) capabilities.

Samsung claims that unlike the non-rugged tablets that generally last just one year in tough work environments, the Galaxy Tab Active 2 has a product lifecycle of more than three years. The tablet is specifically targeted at sectors such as mining and refinery, manufacturing, and construction. IT managers can also manage file timecards and daily reports from the field, or edit plans and drawings on the spot.

There is an anti-shock cover that helps the tablet withstand accidental drops and shocks. Further, there is a pogo pin connector that could be used to connect and charge multiple devices at once or easily attach a notebook or keyboard.

In terms of the specifications, the single-SIM (nano) Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 runs Android 8.1 Oreo and features an 8-inch WXGA (1280×800 pixels) TFT display along with a Gorilla Glass 3 panel. The tablet is powered by an octa-core Exynos SoC, paired with 3GB of RAM. For storing content, it has 16GB of internal storage along with microSD card support (up to 256GB).

The Galaxy Tab Active has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. Among the connectivity options, there are options such as 4G LTE, Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, pogo pin connector, and a USB Type-C port. On-board sensors include an accelerometer, ambient light, fingerprint, geomagnetic, gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. Besides, the tablet packs a 4,450mAh battery that is user replaceable.

“Armed with innovative capabilities, our devices are robust, dependable and purpose-built to fit their specific needs of on-site operations,” said Sukesh Jain, Senior Vice President, IT and Mobile Enterprise Business, Samsung India, in a statement. “The product will suit the demands of field professionals across sectors like defence, law enforcement, transportation, e-commerce, logistics, manufacturing, and many others by allowing the field managers to oversee the operations digitally.”

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Sony Wena Smart Watchstraps Launched, Add Fitness Tracking and Payments to Traditional Watches

The Kashmir Monitor



Sony has announced a new range of Wena smart watchstraps that it hopes will appeal to traditional watch loyalists. If you want the features of a smartwatch or fitness tracker but don’t like the idea of giving up your current watch, you can instead attach a Wena strap to it. There are two models, the silicone Wena Active and the metal Wena Pro, aimed at those who want options to match formal and sporty watches respectively. If you don’t mind getting a whole new watch but would prefer the look and feel of a traditional one, you can also choose one of Sony’s own Wena watch heads.

All the electronics for the smart functionality, including sensors, a small display and a battery, are contained within the clasps of the Sony Wena straps. The two models are different in terms of features as well as looks – the Wena Active includes a GPS receiver and heart rate monitor, and can be worn independently just like a fitness tracker, including while sleeping. However, both versions can track steps taken and calories burned.

Both models support contactless payments. Sony’s Wena Pay platform has been developed in partnership with Mastercard, NXP and Wirecard. The two-line display shows calls and other notifications from a paired smartphone, and users can customise vibration and LED lighting in seven colours for quick recognition.


The Wena watch heads and straps are designed to be interchangeable. Sony has designed a variety of analog watches including solar-powered and chronograph models. Both straps will come with 18mm, 20mm and 22mm watch lugs so they can be attached to a variety of watches. The Wena Pro strap is water resistant to 5ATM while the Wena Active can handle up to 3ATM.

Sony has launched the Wena range exclusively in the UK for now, with no word as to wider availability. The Wena Active strap is priced at GBP 349, while the Wena Pro strap in black or silver will cost GBP 399. The Wena watches will sell for between GBP 100 and GBP 450. The range is already available for pre-orders, and the company is offering its basic Three Hands watch head for free with all strap purchases as an introductory offer.

The name Wena is an abbreviation for Wear Electronics Naturally. The idea for these devices came from a Sony employee who took advantage of the company’s internal Seed Acceleration Programme, which aims to tap ideas that wouldn’t fit into any of Sony’s existing product category or business vertical. Sony’s announcement did not name the employee or describe his or her job role.

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Fiio BTR1K Portable Bluetooth Amplifier Launched in India

The Kashmir Monitor



Fiio has launched the new BTR1K portable Bluetooth amplifier in India, at a price of Rs. 3,890. The BTR1K is an updated version of the BTR1, and comes with added features and capabilities. The portable Bluetooth amplifier allows users to add Bluetooth capabilities to normal 3.5mm wired headphones, which is particularly useful with smartphones that don’t sport the 3.5mm audio jack. The device will be available to purchase on Fiio’s official India website, along with leading online and offline retailers across the country.

The Fiio BTR1K comes with a new design and look, along with USB Type-C connectivity for charging and use as an external digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). Under the hood is the new Qualcomm QCC 3005 Bluetooth chip, an AK4376A DAC, Bluetooth 5.0 and support for aptX, aptX LL and AAC audio codecs. The users can connect high-end wired headphones to this and use it directly with their smartphones, with the on-board DAC serving to convert the digital signal.

While the Fiio BTR1K doesn’t have a display, it uses an RGB indicator light to indicate the audio codec and working status. You also get a 205mAh battery that takes 1.5 hours for a full charge, and is claimed to offer a battery life of 8 hours. The device can be charged through the USB Type-C port, which also doubles up as the connector to use the Fiio BTR1K as a standalone DAC with a computer. Furthermore, the device also has NFC for quick connectivity and Qualcomm cVc noise cancellation technology for better audio quality on voice calls.


Fiio earlier this month launched the M6 high-resolution audio player in India, which not only works as a wireless-capable audio player, but can also function as a USB DAC. Fiio’s range of products in India includes audio players, amplifiers, DACs, receivers, headphones and other accessories for audio equipment.

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