Bollywood star Deepika Padukone speaks out on her struggle with depression 

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 Audrey Magazine:

If there weren’t enough reasons to love Deepika Padukone already, her candid piece with the Hindustan Times on her struggles with depression and anxiety solidifies her status as a one of the most outspoken and bravest celebrities in Bollywood.

In the peice, Padukone details how her struggles with depression started negatively affecting her life in 2014. Despite all her perceived success in Bollywood, she admits having trouble even getting up in the morning to shoot one of her most recent films Happy New Year. It was an even bigger struggle to put on a brave front for her parents.

At the advice of an aunt, Padukone started taking medication and continued filming Happy New Year. She concludes that she hopes her example will help inspire others to reach out for help. Additionally, she and her team are working on an initiative to help address mental health issues.

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Padukone’s inspiring actions come at a time when the Indian community is suffering immensely over mental health issues. While the new Indian Prime Minister Modi is attempting to pass a new bill allowing universal mental health services, India still “has the highest number of suicides in the world. According to the World Health Organization, of 804,000 suicides recorded worldwide in 2012, 258,000 were in India. Indian youths between 15 and 29 years old kill themselves at a rate of 35.5 deaths per 100,000 — the highest in the world — and suicide has surpassed maternal mortality as the leading cause of death of young Indian women.”

Since there is still such a stigma against mental health disorders and medication, we find it admirable that a public figure such as Deepika Padukone speaks out. Hopefully, this inspires more people who are struggling with these issues to get the help they need.

If you feel you are struggling with depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health issues, please check out these links here for lists of resources:

APIAHF

NAAPIMHA

NAMI

 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call:

1-800-273-8255 (TALK), 24hr National Suicide Prevention Hotline, >150 languages available

1-877-990-8585, 24hr Asian LifeNet Hotline, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Fujianese available

 

Priyanka Chopra on diversity: The ‘Girl Next Door’ should look like the girl next door

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Elle.com (by Priyanka Chopra): 

Priyanka Chopra can’t easily be summed up in a sentence. The former Miss World (she won the title in 2000) is a Bollywood star, recording artist, model (in December 2013 she became the first Indian GUESS girl), humanitarian (she’s a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), and activist (she promotes the education of girls in India through her namesake charity, The Priyanka Chopra Foundation). All that in one person? Sounds like Chopra, or PC as her friends call her, would have to be superhuman to pull it all off. Only she isn’t. Like us, she struggles to get enough sleep, worries too much, and can’t resist her junk food cravings.

How do we know? Because she told us. And every month on ELLE.com, in a new column, “Pret-a-Priyanka,” Chopra will open up about her life, struggles, and her guilty pleasures. In this month’s column, PC talks diversity.  

I consider myself a citizen of a world. I’ve gone to school in India and the U.S. My career in entertainment has allowed me to travel the globe and interact with many cultures. But my first brush with the world of entertainment—and, really, the world in general—happened in 2000 at the Miss World competition, where I had the privilege of interacting and competing with girls from over 130 countries. It was an overwhelming experience for me to learn so many aspects of so many different cultures, to experience first-hand the similarities and the differences that we had, and most importantly to seamlessly come together into one big unit.

I remember returning to India following my win and meeting so many young girls who told me that my achievement on a world stage was an inspiration for them, giving them hope that the world was truly their oyster.  At 17, all that kind of talk was a little too intense for me to compute but I heard it very very often through the various stages of my career.  It gave me a few ‘pat yourself on your back’ kind of moments, but I mostly chalked it off to people being kind.

I am a girl from a small town in India, the daughter of two hard-working army doctors who achieved a certain success through hard work and determination.  I understood that it was my underdog story that offered hope to all the young people who nurtured a dream for themselves.  I tried my best to encourage people to look at the world as a place of opportunity and to just give their dreams a shot.

But the actual reality of my ‘celebrity status’ (for lack of a better phrase) and what it meant hit me quite recently. It wasn’t until I made my debut internationally, first with my music (I have released four singles so far in English) and then with the campaign I did for Guess Worldwide, that my “fame” really sunk in.

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My debut single ‘In My City‘ featuring will.I.am was chosen as the theme song for NFL‘s Thursday Night Football for two years in a row.  Suddenly, there was this brown girl (their words not mine) from India who became a part of this quintessential American culture.  And then came the Guess campaign.  The all-American blonde bombshell was replaced by a dusky, brunette Indian girl!

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I was proud to be a part of both these milestones and very happily took on the role of brand ambassador of South Asia and India to the world.  I wasn’t being positioned as “Indian” in any way for either of these initiatives, I was simply being me: an artist sharing her creative self with the world.  But the reality of the bigger picture of both these initiatives hit me after an interaction with a young American of Indian descent. (A little context before I continue: India has a population of over 1.2 billion people and also, importantly, a vast diaspora. While some may have become citizens and passport holders of another nation, somewhere they still have a connection to India.) This young lady came up to me in the airport and gave me a hug and said “Thank you for making us relevant.”  I was stunned at the comment and asked her to explain.  She said she was second-generation Indian, born and brought up in the US.  Her family still had strong ties with India.  She said that most people still equated our culture to speaking like Apu from The Simpsons or living in a country of snake charmers and elephants!  She said with the NFL and Guess, I proved that we are much more than that and that we are ‘cool’ too.  She said “You broke the norm… the quintessential all-American girl has changed…. She can be of any ethnicity and culture…for the first time in my life I feel like it can be me too!”  That conversation was a real eye opener for me. It inspired me  to champion the cause of diversity in entertainment and media.

I was reminded of that experience recently when the news of my developmental deal with ABC Networks was announced.  It all began with a chance meeting with the fiery Keli Lee (EVP of Casting at ABC) and a continued conversation aided by my equally fiery manager Anjula Acharia Bath. Both of these ladies have been on a mission to embrace and to celebrate diversity in the United States.  In her role at ABC, Keli has pioneered diversity at the network, scouting talent from around the world, and casting strong female diverse talent in top dramas–like my friend Kerry Washington in Scandaland Sofia Vergara in Modern Family. Similarly, Anjula has championed South Asians in music and entertainment. Collectively, their efforts are bridging cultures from around the world through pop culture and entertainment.

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So why is that important you ask?  What exactly is the true meaning of diversity?

In my opinion, diversity means the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, gender, or sexual orientation, and it is the responsibility of the entertainment community to mirror the world we actually live in every day. To create a screen that shows color—not only black and white, but also brown, Asian, Hispanic, gay, and transgender—and cast an image of the “girl next door” that actually looks like the girls next door with roots from countries around the world.

Diversity is the one thing that we all have in common, and so I hope—as I prepare for my long-term stay in LA at the end of this month, adding a new layer to my career—that my presence on your television is accepted for the characters I portray, and not judged by where I come from. We are, after all, citizens of the same world!

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Pharrell Williams – Happy Vancouver Desi!

Vancouver based Actress/Model/Designer Mesha Toor and film maker/videographer Adam Dosanjh of Triple7Films present #HappyVancouverDesi.

Inspired by Pharrell Williams video “Happy,” this video was created to unite the “movers and shakers” of the South Asian community in Vancouver, BC as a means to spread more positivity, happiness and togetherness.

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Must See: “100: The Tribute”… A tribute to 100 Years of Bollywood cinema (from 1913 to 2013)

Friend of Team-Yellow, Anuja Joshi (along with her twin sister Aneesha Joshi) presents “100: The Tribute“… a ridiculously impressive school project celebrating their love for Hindi Cinema

The quintessential Hindi film Hero falls in forbidden love with the quintessential Heroine, spiting the Villain and setting off the chase of a century. The three characters take the avatars of the most prominent actors and actresses in the history of Mumbai cinema as they move through the decades. Watch as we follow the three to celebrate the 100th Year Anniversary of Hindi Cinema!”

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29 Awkward and confusing facts about every American Desi’s life

1. You have two names: the correct pronunciation for your Indian family and friends, and the Americanized pronunciation for everyone else.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

You every time someone turns an Ajay into an “A.J.” or an Anamika into an Anna-Meeka.

2. You get made fun of for your American accent when you go to India…

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

3. And you’re self-conscious about your parents’ Indian accents when your American friends come over.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

4. You have spice-craving Indian taste in a bland American culinary landscape.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

Where nobody makes anything as spicy or delicious as your mom does.

5. The downside: bringing elaborate Indian meals to school for lunch while all your friends had PB&Js.

The downside: bringing elaborate Indian meals to school for lunch while all your friends had PB&Js.

6. Constantly being asked this awful question: “But where are you really from?”

7. And: “What was it like growing up in the third world?”

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

Hey, now, don’t say that about New Jersey.

8. The most difficult decision you made in college was whether to join a dance team, and which one.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

9. You’ve been called a coconut at least once in your life.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

10. Every time you misbehaved growing up, your parents threatened to send you to India.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

11. And their attempts to keep you connected to your roots meant you spent your childhood in and out of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic singing lessons.

And their attempts to keep you connected to your roots meant you spent your childhood in and out of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic singing lessons.

12. Going to the one Bollywood theater in your town meant running into all of your family friends.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

13. Your biggest secret is the hardcore Bollywood playlists on your iPod and Spotify.

Your biggest secret is the hardcore Bollywood playlists on your iPod and Spotify.

14. Every time you go back to India to visit your relatives, they’re constantly calling you healthy*.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

*Healthy (noun): Aunty code for fat. Just say it like it is, Aunty. All those American McBurgers have made me a McFatty.

15. But at the same time, they’ll feed you relentlessly until “Eat, beta!” sounds like a threat.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

16. Another well-meaning threat: “Don’t worry, we’ll find you a nice Indian husband/wife.”

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

Even though they’re usually kidding when they say this, you can’t help but get suspicious that someday they’ll actually follow through.

17. Which makes bringing home a non-brown significant other extremely awkward.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

18. When people ask you why your English is so good:

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

19. Or if you speak Hindu:

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

20. You grew up confused between “Indian-American” and “American Indian.”

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

When you’ve been asked enough times whether you’re a “dot Indian” or a “feather Indian,” everything begins to lose meaning.

21. Your parents constantly make you download and test various free international calling apps.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

To stay in touch with their parents.

22. Every time someone you know goes to India, you send a shopping list.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

23. And every time you go, you in turn become a delivery service for laddoos and sari blouses.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

24. You know cricket is in your blood and all, but you truly understand baseball better. Oops.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

25. Being repped in popular culture by characters that are math nerds or otherwise caricatured stereotypes.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

26. Everyone congratulated you when a brown Miss America was crowned even though you did literally nothing.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

27. When your Indian-from-India friends reminisce about their craaazy childhoods, you just listen quietly…

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

28. Knowing that you had a crazy and wonderful childhood too, as a permanent citizen of chaos and madness.

29 Awkward And Confusing Facts About Every American Desi's Life

29. And you wouldn’t trade your insane, baffling, incredible American Desi life for anything in the world.

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“Forever Gone- Maple’s Song” by Krystal Kiran, now available on iTunes!

When filmmaker Krystal Kiran Garib heard about the tragic killing of Simon Fraser University student Maple Batalia, she knew she had to do something about it. In September 2011, Batalia, a 19-year-old model and actress, was shot to death in a campus parking lot.

So she set to work on a five-minute film, “Thy Beauty’s Doom,”based on Sonnets 14 and 66 by William Shakespeare, and inspired by the paintings and artwork of, and dedicated to, Maple Batalia.

It was such a tragic and unnecessary thing that has happened,” Garib told Global News. ““I really wanted to make the type of film that she would want to be part of.”

The film‘s original soundtrack will be for sale on iTunes, with proceeds going to theMaple Batalia Memorial Fund.

All sales/proceeds of this song go to the Maple Batalia Memorial Award & Bursary.

Download ‘Forever Gone – Maple’s Song’ here to contribute to Maple’s cause:
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/forever-gone-maples-song-feat./id818524066