How are you feeling? Now, we could have also asked how you are, like people usually do, but we realise that that question needs to change in this age of anxiety. Have you noticed people these days just ask how you are and before you can answer, they have walked past you? To be honest, we have done it as well. And maybe you have done it too.
Seeing the mental health issues we are suffering from, we suggest, you take a pause to ask people how they are feeling. Not everyone. Just your near and dear ones, maybe. While you may want to help out everyone, it isn’t really possible. Mental health experts say it helps when people realise someone cares about them. We say, when we are nice to someone, it helps us too.
We know you know what we mean so, let’s move on.
But so tell us how you are feeling. Leave your messages in the comment box. Where will you find it? Right at the end, as you finish reading DailyOh!
Talking of mental health brought us to Deepika Padukone, who has been working to destigmatise mental health for several years now. Did you see Deepika in her new look? Well, it’s not like she has changed her look really; she just took on the new look for her upcoming movie 83. The shooting for the movie, which has been directed by Kabir Khan, was completed in October 2019. So, Deepika’s new look is not actually new. She got back to her old look sometime ago. We have a feeling, she only put on a wig for the new look and, of course, wore clothes to resemble Romi Dev.
Ooops! We didn’t tell you who Romi Dev is. She is a successful entrepreneur and also wife of legendary cricketer Kapil Dev. The movie is a biopic based on Kapil Dev. We all know, okay most of us know (there is nothing that all of us know, just like there is nobody who knows it all) that India first won the cricket World Cup in 1983 and Kapil Dev was the Indian captain then. But what most us do not know about is a 1979 match that was equally, if not more, significant in the all-rounder’s life.
Before we move ahead, let us tell you — though you might already be aware — that Kapil’s role in the movie would be essayed by Raveer Singh.
Kapil had a friend named Sunil Bhatia. Sunil introduced Kapil Dev to Romi Bhatia. Romi was Bhatia before marriage and though both were Bhatias, Sunil and Romi, they were not related. Sunil Bhatia was Kapil Dev’s friend.
Moving ahead with the story, after meeting Romi through Sunil, Kapil invited her to watch the India-West Indies Test match in Delhi, in 1979. Kapil was master player, but that day, he also had to master the art of impressing the lady. Kapil scored his first century hitting Norbert Phillip for a six to jump from 94 to 100.
In his book Triumph of the Spirit, Kapil wrote that he had fallen in love with Romi. And then he proposed to her in 1980. Guess where? A local train in Mumbai, then Bombay! And while this was happening, Kapil realised that a hoarding along the tracks had a photo of him advertising a newspaper. He asked Romi to take a photo of the hoarding so that they would be able to “show it to our kids”. To this Romi said, “What?”
That’s kinda cute. But we don’t know if Romi was carrying a camera. Maybe she was and that's why Kapil said it. These days, it is easy to capture such moments because the camera is in all our pockets, or purses, or hands.
Now, this is the chemistry Deepika and husband Ranveer Singh have to bring on screen. Raveer, of course, has to bring to life Kapil Dev’s entire life on and off the field.
But talking of Deepika suddenly reminded us of this story related to Delhi elections. Did you read about the deepfakes used in the assembly elections? No, Deepika had no role to play in it. It just because of the similarity her name shares with the term deepfake.
First, let’s tell you about the story. We will then tell you what a deepfake is because deepfake is our Word Of The Day.
On second thoughts, first let’s tell you about the term. It will be easier to understand the story then.
Deepfakes (a blend of "deep learning" and "fake") are media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else's likeness or is shown to be doing something that the person never did.
Let’s try to simplify this. Deepfaking is an artificial intelligence-based image synthesis technique where face A can be morphed onto face B in a way that B's facial expressions become A's.
Take a look at this video. Look at it a little more carefully than you look at other videos.
Now, what if we told you this is a fake video?
Watch the original video:
Many say this is a scary technology. And people are only getting better and better at it.
When deepfake videos first started to appear, US researchers said deepfake faces don’t blink normally. But this Manoj Tiwari video blinks normally, making it extremely difficult to spot the deepfake. Poor-quality deepfakes can be easily spotted. Though usually, they don’t get the lip sync right. Edges of the face that has been morphed could also be flickering. But people are getting better and better at it.
While many have been using the technology for fun, many have been on the receiving end of it because the technology has been used to depict them in porn videos.
Journalist Rana Ayyub became a victim of one such deepfake porn video recently. You can read more about that episode here. In January this year, Facebook banned deepfakes that were likely to mislead people. But it takes time for videos to be detected and reported and then banned. By then, many people could have already suffered a lot. And quite honestly, it is extremely scary.
We hope people are responsible while using the technology because we can only hope. Also we can ask you to be very careful while believing things you come across on the world wide web.
That will take some time to sink in.
While talking about all this, we forgot to tell you today is the birth anniversary of former RSS sarsanghchalak Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar. Had he been alive, he would have been 114 years old today. That mostly happens only in Japan, where life expectancy is the highest. But India has also had people cross the 100 mark. Even 114. The oldest man in India is Swami Sivananda. He is alive at 123. We wish him a longer life.
But we were talking about Golwalkar, second sarsanghchalak of the RSS that was founded in 1925. The organisation has been growing steadily since then. But it grew exponentially after the BJP came to power in 2014. In 1948, however, the RSS was banned because it was accused in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Even Golwalkar was put behind bars, along with many other RSS workers.
Eventually, all RSS workers were released and the ban lifted. Shortly afterwards, Vallabhbhai Patel wrote a letter to Golwalkar — in response to the letter Golwalkar had written to Patel — saying, “I am convinced that the RSS men can carry on their patriotic endeavour only by joining the Congress and not by keeping separate (identity) or by opposing.”
Yes, he did invite RSS to join the Congress but Jawahar Lal Nehru was strictly opposed to it. Not that Golwalkar wanted to join Congress. On multiple occasions he and, later his successor, KB Hedgewar, clarified that they did not want RSS to become a political organisation. They actually acted smarter and helped in the formation of Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS). BJS later took the shape of the BJP and we all know about how closely interlinked BJP and RSS are.
But that's nowhere as closely linked as the US and India currently are. With Donald Trump at the helm, it is difficult for any country to have ties with the US (not India though. We are his friends.) President Trump, who is arriving in India next week, has already dampened spirits by saying that there will be no trade deal with India during this visit on February 24-25.
If heads of states don’t come for trade, why else should they come? Kidding. They can come just to visit and sightsee. Atithi Devo Bhava. Even if the atithi is Trump.
Talking of sightseeing, Agra is being spruced up because Trump and First Lady Melania Trump might visit Taj Mahal. Now, Donald Trump may think he is not missing out on much by not visiting Taj Mahal. After all, the man had his own Taj Mahal. No, not one like the white mausoleum that Shah Jahan had built for Mumtaz. Trump has a casino by that name.
Actually, the name is ‘Trump Taj Mahal’. Built at a cost of US$1 billion, it reached the brink of bankruptcy in 2014. Trump then sold off most of his stake in it, only retaining a small portion, in return for the right to use his name. Just take a look at it. If not for the losses, it should have been sold off for its sheer looks.
As casino workers went on strike in August 2016, the casino was closed.
Hard Rock, which is owned by Florida's Seminole Indian tribe, reopened it in 2018, renaming it to Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, after scrubbing it off the mentions of Trump that were everywhere on the property.
Now, whether Trump visits the real Taj Mahal or not, the good thing is that the area around the monument is being cleaned. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wants Trump to feel that he is seeing a 'festival' when he lands in Agra. Hence, most parts of Agra are being cleaned.
Let us all help in keeping our surroundings clean. Apart from being easy on the eyes, clean surroundings also help keep diseases at bay. Especially important, given what the world is dealing with these days: yes, coronavirus.
On that note, we take your leave for today.
Will be back tomorrow.