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India’s Oscar winning designer Bhanu Athaiya dies at 91

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One of India’s most renowned costume designers and Oscar Award winner, Bhanu Athaiya passed away at her Mumbai home on Thursday after a prolonged illness.

Athaiya, who was 91 hit the headlines for winning an Oscar for her elaborate work in the 1983 film ‘Gandhi’.

Her daughter, Radhika Gupta in a statement to PTI, said that the designer passed away peacefully in her sleep.

The last rites took place at the Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai on Thursday.

“She passed away early this morning. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with a tumour in her brain. For the last three years, she was bedridden because one side (of her body) was paralysed,” her daughter added.

Athaiya, was born in Kolhapur and began her career as a costume designer in Hindi cinema with Guru Dutt’s 1956 superhit ‘C.I.D.’.

She won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Richard Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’ along with John Mollo, making her the only Indian woman to win an Academy Award till date.

In 2012, Athaiya returned her Oscar to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for safe-keeping.

In a career spanning five decades and over 100 films, she won two National Awards – for Gulzar’s mystery drama ‘Lekin’ (1990) and the period film ‘Lagaan’ directed by Ashutosh Gowariker (2001).

With inputs from PTI


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Best crime stories to read this year

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The Dagger in the Library is given to a body of work by an established crime writer who has long been popular with those who borrow books from libraries. It also awards authors who have been known to support libraries and their users.

This year’s winner is Chris Brookmyre, whose books have sold over two million copies in the UK alone. He has won the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award for his work.

Photo: thecwa.co.uk


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My COVID story: My body ache was so terrible that even touch of water was causing pain

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Shikhi Sharma was working through the pandemic and suddenly experienced shivers and body ache. She tested positive along with her in laws and had to spend a lot of time in isolation. Here’s her COVID story-

I am a branch manager in Allahabad bank and my husband is an engineer in the State Government of Rajasthan. We are a family of 6 including my in-laws, my 4 year old daughter and my sister-in-law. Since both me and my husband’s jobs involve public dealing, we used to take extra precautions like steam, hot lemon water etc. since the pandemic started.

On the 18th of September, I returned from the bank completely fine. But after cooking dinner by 10 PM, I felt like my body was shaking. I told my mother-in-law that I am struggling to even stand and went off to sleep. I had no other symptoms, no fever, no throat pain but there was a sudden discomfort in the body.

The next morning when I woke up, I couldn’t even open my eyes because of a severe headache. My husband gave me some medicine for headache but after two hours when I went to take a bath, my whole body was in deep pain. Even the touch of water on the body was causing pain. I somehow took a bath and called up my sister, aunt and uncle, all of whom are doctors. They advised me to get myself tested immediately.

I got myself tested and the result was positive. By then I had already isolated myself. I asked everyone in my family to get tested including my 4year-old child. We were shocked to know that both my in-laws were positive. They didn’t have any symptoms and thereafter began the quarantine period. They isolated themselves on the first floor while I was in my room on the ground floor.

My husband, daughter and sister-in-law were isolated in the other room. It was a really tough situation with three people of the family isolating in three different rooms, my daughter too was sort of restless with everything around her.

My in-laws didn’t report any symptoms, except slight body pain. But my symptoms were severe. I used to feel sudden shivers which I still feel after 21 days of testing negative. I used to vomit, have episodes of splitting headaches. These symptoms started waning out after the 6th day. But the blessing in disguise was that I read a lot, I am a big, big bookworm and I finished about 18 books in 14 days. Books like “A man called Ove” made me feel light while some like “Mornings in Jenin” transported me to a different world altogether. Since I was in isolation, I could feel the characters more deeply.

My parents, sister and sisters-in-law kept me company via video calls and so did my friends. I connected with family and friends to whom I couldn’t give time in my daily hectic life because of my job. The toughest part was staying away from my daughter.

Even after testing negative, me and my in-laws still remained in isolation for 7 more days. My parents and elder sister-in-law used to drop food at our doorstep, while the younger sister-in-law took a lot of care of us all.

The best part was that my daughter got a lot of time to spend with my husband. They kept each other company and by the time I came out of isolation, they were like a team against me.

I can still feel the after effects of COVID but I would advise everybody to please wear a mask all the time, eat healthy home cooked food and have plenty of hot water and steam.

Did you fight COVID-19? We want to hear all about it. ETimes Lifestyle is calling all the survivors of COVID to share their stories of survival and hope.
Write to us at [email protected] with ‘My COVID story’ in the subject line.
We will publish your experience.


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Opting to get pregnant in 40s? Know how safe is late pregnancy and what to expect

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As per experts, the right age to get pregnant is between late 20s and early 30s. This age bracket is best for both the mother as well as the baby. Post this age bracket, it not only becomes difficult to conceive but even the pregnancy symptoms can become complicated. One study pointed out the ideal age to give birth to the first child as 30.5 years.

However, when it comes to the second pregnancy, the health of the mother is the biggest deciding factor. Only after complete recovery from the first pregnancy, a woman must think about the second. According to a study, the risk of premature babes and low birth weight is high in babies conceived within six months of first delivery. A gap of 18-23 months between two pregnancies is ideal and gives enough time to the mother to recover and replenish from the first pregnancy.


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