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You will see a new Alia Bhatt in Raazi: Meghna Gulzar




Dainty and demure female characters don’t find a place in director Meghna Gulzar’s films. She says her films are not always women-centric, but agrees that the female characters in her movies are stronger than those in most films.

At a time when surrogacy wasn’t a trend, she brought together powerful women and actresses Sushmita Sen and Tabu to star in her 2002 film Filhaal, that dealt with the subject. Actress Alia Bhatt, who made her debut as a fashionista and the popular girl in her school in Student of the Year, is now set to stun many as a spy in Meghna’s forthcoming directorial Raazi.

On making female-led films, Meghna told IANS via recorded response, ”I wouldn’t say female-centric or female-led films… but yes, the female characters in my films are stronger than in most films.”


“I think that also has to do with the kind of stories that I choose. I wouldn’t say the same for ‘Talvar’. It was around the murder of a 14-year-old girl but the central character of the film was the investigator. So, the choices (for characters) are not gender-based but on the basis of stories that I want to tell,” she added.

As a writer and a filmmaker, she believes one needs to “internalise whichever character you are telling the story of, irrespective of their gender. Again, taking the example of Talvar, the main protagonist was the male investigator from CBI. What possibly could I draw from my personal life or experiences to put into him?

“You just have to become the character that you are talking about. It doesn’t matter what gender they are,” she added.

Has she thought of adapting a Hollywood film? “No, I am happier trying to generate original content rather than remaking or adapting films at least,” she said.

But the daughter of veteran lyricist and poet Gulzar and actress Raakhee likes to take the world of books to the big screen through her films like “Raazi”, which is based on Harinder Sikka’s novel “Calling Sehmat”.

“The advantage of adapting a book to a film is that the story is already there for you, as opposed to having to write the story from scratch if you are creating original content. But then again, how the author has translated the events has to be manipulated because you are making a film.

“It has to go beyond the written text. Otherwise what’s the point? Don’t make a movie on it. Also, you have so many layers available to you when you are making a film. You have sound, visuals, characters and costumes… the advantages are far richer. So, it’s important that the film that you make goes a few notches ahead of the book.”

There were also reports on Meghna working on a film based on a book about the Indian Airlines Flight 814 hijack.

Clearing the air, she said: “No, I wasn’t.” But she shared many reasons why the audience should watch Raazi.

“First and foremost, you will see a new Alia Bhatt. I am sure she will surprise you. And above that, the story itself is an extremely powerful one. For me, what makes it special is that it is a beautiful story. So just that in itself is completely overwhelming. I hope the audience endorses and internalises the journey of Sehmat the way we all did while making the film,” said Meghna.



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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