Chandrika Ghosh, a resident of Balaji Nagar in Akurdi, died of dengue on Sunday. Ghosh, who was in her early twenties, was admitted to Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital in Pimpri last Friday after she complained of severe body ache. She had high fever and recurrent bouts of nausea, said doctors. Ghosh tested positive for the NS 1 antigen and died at 3:30 a.m. The Health Department of the Pune Municipal Corporation has recorded 380 cases since January. More than 200 cases have been recorded in July alone with 90 testing positive for dengue. Pune claims a large share of the 470-odd cases of suspected dengue recorded across Maharashtra.Rain aids spread The incessant rain over the past three weeks has led to the spread of dengue, say health experts. Last week, a 32-year-old woman doctor who had just given birth died due to multi-organ failure following dengue fever in the city’s Sahyadri Hospital in Hadapsar. The case drew the attention of the State Health Department which accused the hospital of facilitating the breeding of dengue-transmitting Aedes mosquitoes on its premises. It directed PMC to take action against the hospital and rapped the civic authorities for poor health surveillance. On July 19, a 40-year-old man from Satara district who was undergoing treatment at a city hospital succumbed to a viral co-infection brought on by dengue and swine flu. In February, a minor died in the city’s Karve Nagar area. Notices issuedThe PMC has sent notices to 12 police stations in areas where rivulets of stagnant water have been spotted. The civic body has also issued notices to 11,000 public and private spaces and establishments.
What is it about Gujarati women that makes the nation fall in love with them? The Indian television industry has been witnessing an invasion of young damsels from Gujarat for quite some time. But with new faces like Prachi Desai, Apara Mehta, Disha Vakani and Sanjeeda Sheikh winning top roles, they are once again in the news. Name a channel and you have a Gujarati pretty young thing staring back at you. What makes them so irrestistible? Surely, not just the proximity to Mumbai and the ever-burgeoning channels of opportunities?The trend, in a way, started with actor Ronit Roy-who began his journey from the small screen and in a way epitomised the dream of many budding Gujarati stars when he won a whole range of awards- Star Screen, Zee Cine and the Filmfare awards for his role in the movie, Udaan. Following in his footsteps, today many PYTs in the 19-25 year age bracket from Gujarat are making their presence felt on the soaps aired on various channels like Colors, Sab TV, ZEE, Imagine, etc. Here’s an initmate chat with some of the best-known eyecandies from the state.Aashka GoradiaAfter her studies in Ahmedabad, she was freelancing as a translator for marketing companies when she got a break in a TV comedy show, Akting, Akting about seven years ago. “I happened to meet some people who recommended that I audition for TV shows and got me a part in the show. This was followed by Achanak – 37 Saal Baad, a supernatural thriller on Sony TV.” She later joined the cast of Bhabhi on Star Plus. Her big break was the role of Kumud in Kkusum.. Ek Aam Ladki Ki Kahani, a popular daily Indian television drama produced by Ekta Kapoor of Balaji Telefilms and telecasted on Sony.”Playing the role of KKusum’s daughter Kumud was exciting. It was certainly the biggest break I could have planned for, and I owe it to Ekta Kapoor,” she says adding, “her conviction that I was suitable for the role gave me the chance to play a character that was so pivotal to the plot. Since then Aashka played Arpita in Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka, Gayatri in Kahiin To Hoga of Star Plus, Nainia in the critically acclaimed serial Virrudh and Saniya in Mere Apne.She has also been part of reality shows and talent hunt shows. “But, so far the character of Kumud remains the highlight of my career.” In the plot of Kkusum, Kumud was the lead role – she is the daughter brought up for 18 years by Kkusum, a single mother after leaving her husband and has to struggle to save her marriage against her sister Kali.Currently, Aashka is playing Kalavati, a character with negative shades in Laagi Tujhse Lagan which is telecast on Colors channel. Kalavati is the sister of Dutta, the main male lead. She pretends to care for her brother as to get property which Kalavari is aware Dutta will inherit of but he is not. What is her big dream? “I am taking things as they come,” she says.Esha KansaraEsha Kansara studied at Hiramani School in Ahmedabad before leaving for Mumbai to study at the Mithibhai College which has many actors on its alumni list. “I was always keen on acting and dancing. So, I learnt Bharatnatyam for seven years in Ahmedabad. I realised that to make it big as an actress, I had to move to Mumbai with its theatre scene, film industry and television industry. I then decided to study commerce in Mithibhai College,” says Esha adding, “I was part of the drama team there which helped me a great deal in my career later.” She then got an opportunity to audition for Mukti Bandhan, an adaptation of Harikishan Mehta’s popular novel Mukti Bandhan by Vipul Mehta. Recalling the experience, she says, “While I auditioned for one of the smaller roles, I was liked so much that I was signed up for the major role of the ambitious woman Devki.” Her character is considered to be a competitor to IM Virani, the protagonist whose extraordinary sense of business has seen him rise from a modest background to become the fourth biggest industrialist of India in the serial. Even as she enjoys following her passion, Esha is also pursuing her second year in commerce at the college. She says, “I could not have dreamt of a better debut. I play one of the most important characters in the soap and that too one of a strong, positive woman respected in business circles.” she says. She adds that she can identify with the character, a contemporary woman with aspirations but at the same time has her roots firmly in place. Having got her big break with Mukti Bandhan, Esha is hoping to make it big in acting with many more TV series.Rashmi DesaiRashmi Desai’s family is from Vapi but she has spent much of her life in Mumbai. “I had never thought of acting as a career choice. I have a great wanderlust and was attracted to a career in airlines,” she says adding, “I did a modeling assignment for a hair oil brand which happened by chance while I was in school and my face appeared on the bottles.” Dancing is her passion. She has learnt Bharatnatyam and Kathak. Later on, she also did an album called Ye Pal. Rashmi got her first break on television in the mythological serial Raavan aired on Zee TV in which she played the teenaged Mandodari. “I come from a very educated family and my grandmother advised me not to give up my studies for an unpredictable career in the show business so I continued my studies in travels and tourism.” She entered regional cinema and worked in Bhojpuri films like Balma Bada Naadan, Kab Hoi Gawana Hamaar, Mai re Kar De Bedai Hamaar and Bambai Ki Laila Chapra Ka Chaila. “I signed up for Star One’s Pari Hoon Main, produced by B.R. Films in which I played a double role in 2008.” The story of the film revolves round the dual characters of Nikki Srivastav and Pari Rai Chaudary and showed how their uncanny resemblance causes turmoil in their lives. Pari was an arrogant, elegant and shorttempered character while Nikki was a simple and down to earth rural girl. “It was challenging to play both roles,” she adds. In the same period, she played Dr Meher Datta in Meet Mila De Rabba aired on Sony TV and after that she played Mona in Ssshhhh…Phir Koi Hai on Star One.”An exciting role is that of Tapasya Thakur in Uttaran, one of the most watched dramas on Colors and ranks among the most popular TV programmes.” The role of Tapu as the character is called is actually Desai’s main calling card today. She also won the Indian Television Academy award for best actress among other awards. “I never dreamt of being a star or even an actor but now I am really happy with this career,” she says adding, “It gives me the opportunity to travel, shop, be adventurous, and at the same time have enough time for my family between shooting schedules.” Everything has fallen in place for this young lady. So what would be that one thing that she wants to do? “I would like to act in Gujarati theatre one day.”Binny SharmaBinny Sharma from Ahmedabad was always fond of dancing. “While I loved dancing, and had the talent for it, I could not attend any serious courses as my father was in the textile business, kept shifting to different locations during my childhood for work,” she says. “However I did pretty well at everything from dance to athletics. I represented my school and college in sports. My parents encouraged me to take up everything possible, from studying to dancing and sports.” Her confidence in her dancing skills led to her auditioning for dance reality shows in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Mumbai.”Though I had no formal training and had just done a short course in hip hop, I have a passion for dancing and learning new styles. I love Hip hop, locking and popping, and stunt dancing, but can also do semiclassical, krumping and B boying,” she says, admitting, “I auditioned for a dance show and was not selected. This taught me an important lesson -hard work, dedication and practice are necessary to back up talent. I also started watching dances on TV, You-Tube, and internet for ideas. The efforts bore fruit when I got selected for Dance India Dance (DID), the dance-based reality show, choreographed by some of India’s top choreographers and I got the big ticket for DID which airs on ZEE TV.”During the show, she was offered Sanjog Se Bani Sangini. “This is an Indian television series based on the love story of Gauri and Rudra and how these two people complete each other. The series premiered on Zee TV in 2010. I play the part of Gauri, a gentle and modest, yet sensible, intelligent, brave and practical character.I’m happy that people started recognising me as a good dancer with DID and now as an actor. I am concentrating now on my acting and dancing. I also completed my first year masters in commerce in Gujarat University and plan to get back to pursuing my post-graduation soon.”Aashka GoradiaGujarat connection: I am an Ahmedabad girl. I grew up, studied and lived there before joining films.Defining moment: Playing the character of Kumud in the popular TV series KKsum.USP: My eyes, I’m toldIdol: RekhaEsha KansaraGujarat connection: I hail from Ahmedabad where I went to school before leaving for Mumbai. Defining moment: Getting selected for the strong role of Devki in my debut serial, Mukti Bandhan.USP: My smile I would sayIdol: Kareena Kapoor, Apara Mehta and Kirron KherRashmi DesaiGujarat connection: My family is from Vapi in south Gujarat. Though I grew up in Mumbai, Gujarati is the language at homeDefining moment: Playing the part of Tapasya Thakur in UttaranUSP: My acting, I’m sureIdol: Angelina Jolie, Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Raut.Binny Sharma Gujarat connection: Though my family is from Punjab and Himachal, I have lived much of my life in Ahmedabad. And, yes, I speak Gujarati.Defining moment: Getting selected for Dance India Dance made me and my family proud.USP: My acting skillsIdol: Madhuri Dixit. She is a super dancer and great actor. Saroj Khan and my mentor Geeta Kapoor are my favourite choreographers.advertisementadvertisementadvertisement