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Varun Dhawan: The actor who became a star first

Monitor News Bureau





Varun Dhawan is still basking in the glory of his latest release October and for anyone who has seen and loved the film, they will know that with this film, an actor was born. Tapping into Dan’s psyche and making us see the world through his eyes was quite an achievement for Dhawan and I say that because never had I imagined that the man who has featured in films like Judwaa 2 and Main Tera Hero would successfully display this side of himself on the silver screen.

It isn’t just me who holds this opinion for Varun Dhawan, many would agree when I say that Varun Dhawan has always been the quintessential Bollywood star, but acting.. not so much. The superstar title does not necessarily require one to act but if they can, it’s like a cherry on top. Varun Dhawan, is now a part of that league, even though he only has a couple of films to back that claim.

Ever since he made his debut in 2013, Varun Dhawan has been a part of a lot of hits. By hits I mean the films that have done really well at the box office but haven’t necessarily been great performances. His chiseled abs and near-perfect dance moves have gathered him a large fan following. I even once saw a little girl going ga-ga when she saw a poster of Dhawan in a mall and insisted that her mother click her picture with the said poster. That is his charm. In impressing a younger audience, Varun Dhawan has managed to secure his longevity as a star. But cinegoers who come back disappointed from the theatres every week were still not a part of his fan base. With October, he has impressed them as well and that only adds credibility to his future work.


For many years, Dhawan stood tall for his performance in Badlapur and while that was quite commendable, it was no October.

With conversation about nepotism erupting every few weeks, Varun Dhawan has borne the brunt of being David Dhawan’s son as well. Even though he wasn’t launched by his father, one can suspect that having Dhawan as his surname must have played a role in the same. For having seen superstars like Govinda and Salman Khan casually hang out at his house, Varun has seen what makes a star and that too, really closely. And that probably played a role in his film choices as well.

Having starred in 10 films till date, Dhawan is just starting to build a filmography that will tell his tale one day. He became an entertainer with his dance moves and with some really mainstream film choices, he reached a large part of the audience who loves to watch the song and dance drama because after all, that is what we love about Bollywood. His upcoming films include Sui Dhaaga and the recently announced Kalank and if October is an example, we will probably see a hint of this nuanced performer in all his future films.

One would remember that it was soon after Highway that the audience acknowledged the acting chops of Alia Bhatt and since then, even her commercial mainstream performances like 2 States and Badrinath Ki Dulhania have always carried a hint of the actor that shone in the Imtiaz Ali film. We hope that October will act as the benchmark for Varun Dhawan as well.



Windows 10 May Soon Allow Amazon Alexa to Activate on the Lock Screen

The Kashmir Monitor



Amid transforming Cortana and making it complementary to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Microsoft has started testing a new Windows 10 build that will enable third-party digital assistants to voice activate on the lock screen. The new change, which is currently available through Windows 10 Insider Preview Build version 18362.10005, is supposedly set to expand Alexa on the latest Windows platform. The new Windows 10 build also includes a fix to reduce the inking latency on Windows 10 machines. The Redmond, Washington-based company is also testing a key-rolling or key rotation feature through the new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build.

Microsoft in a blog post highlighted that the newest Windows 10 preview, codenamed 19H2, enables third-party digital assistants to voice activate on the lock screen.

The blog post notably doesn’t specify which third-party digital assistants will work with the new change. However, considering the strong relationship between Amazon and Microsoft, Alexa should be the first one to get deeper integration into Windows 10.


Back in August 2017, Amazon and Microsoft announced their partnership to closely integrate Alexa and Cortana. Various Windows 10 PCs from companies such as Acer, HP, and Lenovo in January last year were launched with pre-installed Alexa voice assistant.

Similarly, a native Amazon Alexa app debuted on Microsoft Store last November. The app, which was initially available in markets such as the US, UK, and Germany brought a hands-free Alexa experience to Windows 10 PCs.

In late June, a Cortana beta app was also spotted on the Microsoft Store that hinted at the separation of the digital assistant from Windows 10. The change was well suggested by CEO Satya Nadella in January where he mentioned that the company would no longer attempt to compete with Alexa and Google Assistant using Cortana.

All that set the pitch for an extensive Alexa experience on Windows 10 that would debut through the fresh Windows build.

The new Windows 10 preview is also designed to improve the inking latency based on hardware and includes the key-rolling or key rotation feature to enable secure rolling of Recovery passwords and help prevent accidental recovery password disclosure that comes through manual BitLocker drive unlocking process. There are also five fixes to address issues related to Windows containers.

That being said, the latest blog post confirms that the changes provided within the Windows 10 preview are disabled by default, and these will be enabled for select Windows Insiders initially. This means the company will consider the feedback of the testers to bring fresh features for the masses.

Microsoft is expected to release Windows 10 19H2 build for the public in September. Until then, only some Windows Insiders will get the chance to experience the latest series of changes.

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Xiaomi Mi Rechargeable LED Lamp With Five Days Battery Life Announced

The Kashmir Monitor



Xiaomi has been introducing a slew of products to celebrate its 5 year anniversary in India, and the latest to be announced is the Mi Rechargeable LED Lamp. The new product will be up on the company’s crowdfunding site this week, and its pricing hasn’t been revealed as of yet. This comes right on the heels of the launch of Mi Super Bass Wireless Headphones in India. The headphones are priced at Rs. 1,799, are available in two colour options – black-and-red and black-and-gold – and can be purchased via Amazon and Mi India online store.

The Mi Rechargeable LED Lamp will be up on for crowdfunding from July 18 at 12pm (noon) IST. The company will reveal its pricing details, and the goal it needs to achieve for getting into production on Thursday. The lamp comes in a singular White colour option, has a round base stand, a long slim pole, and a cylindrical lamp at the top that holds the bulb. Xiaomi Global VP Manu Kumar Jain took to Twitter to make this announcement and even shared a video detailing all of the lamp’s features.

Xiaomi says that the Mi Rechargeable LED Lamp has three brightness levels – white, warm white, and yellow – suiting to users’ needs. It is touted to last up to 5 days on a single charge, and is lightweight and portable as well. The lamp is claimed to be a perfect solution for emergency light, and in areas around the country where power cut is an everyday affair, the consumers may find it very useful.


The Mi Turns 5 page also reveals that the Mi Water TDS Tester will be up for crowdfunding on July 23. This tester will help in checking the health of your drinking water, and it can detect TDS of up to 9990 in a few seconds.

As part of its 5th anniversary celebrations, Xiaomi has already launched Mi Beard Trimmer in India, and is available to buy on and The Mi Truck Builder toy for kids was also listed on its crowdfunding site with an introductory price of Rs. 1,199. The toy managed to surpass its 1,500 units goal, and has attracted 4,387 supporters in total.

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It’s truly an honour to be part of Army of the Dead: Huma Qureshi

The Kashmir Monitor



Huma Qureshi will be soon seen in zombie heist thriller Army of the Dead. Directed by Zack Snyder, the Netflix movie also stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera and Theo Rossi among others.

Talking about Army of the Dead, Qureshi admits that she is surprised at how swiftly things progressed during her chance visit to Los Angeles in May.

Huma Qureshi said, “Well, I was in Los Angeles and I was here for other work. I was asked to go for this audition. I said why not, and I went for it. This was on a Friday and they told me this is a film which is amazing. It has Zack Snyder and it’s something different. This happened on Friday and I came back to India the next day. On Tuesday, they called and offered me the film. That is how it really happened. I am excited about this film and but I cannot reveal much about it as it is too early to talk about it. We haven’t started shooting yet. I just want to shoot and give it my best shot.”


The actor added, “It is a great opportunity for me to explore such varied genres. The idea of working with Zack is amazing considering his films in the past. This genre is vastly unexplored in India, and right now is the time for successful experimentation. As an actor, I am constantly trying to do something different, something that is never done before, and it is extremely gratifying. The team behind the film needs no introduction and it’s truly an honour for me to be part of Army of the Dead.”

Huma Qureshi was last seen in Deepa Mehta’s Netflix show Leila. She has also been a part of some south Indian movies like White and Kaala.

When asked how she balances such varied projects, the actor said, “I have always believed in growing and essaying characters which are totally out of my comfort zone. These experiences at the end of the day make you a better artiste. It is a great time and opportunity for me to explore as many varied genres as I can.”

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