Ra.One Premier Toronto: October 26th 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to attend a huge bollywood film premier in Toronto at the Bell TIFF Lightbox. This was special to me because the movie stared my favourite actor, Shahrukh Khan (SRK). I have been a huge SRK fan since I was a kid and have met him a few times as well. For most fans, their dreams would come true if they could meet their idol but for most SRK fans, just seeing him from far gets them hysterical and fulfills a life long dream. Shahrukh Khan is the biggest star in the world with a fan following of approx. 3.2  billion people. In 2008, Newsweek Magazine named him of the 50 most powerful people in the world. Since he doesn’t come to North America much, it is a huge deal for his fans when he comes to town. Toronto has been extremely lucky this year and with the opportunity to host the IIFA awards this past June and therefor, got the opportunity to see the King SRK twice!

As a diehard fan, I felt extremely excited and also in disbelief when he announced that he would be coming to Toronto to launch his film Ra.One (the most expensive Indian film till date).

When SRK arrived at Pearson International Airport on the morning of the 26th of October, there was absolute pandaemonium. Ear piercing screams, tears and loads of smiles – just hysteria, when he arrived. People lost all control and after a few minutes, they had to carry him out because people were pushing and shoving and he couldn’t even walk through with the 10 security guards he had. I got a check to hand him a gift of letters that  we had gathered from fans all around the world. He shook my hand, took the letters and thanked me. It was an amazing moment for me.  He shook as many hands as possible, gave autographs, and spoke a bit to the press. SRK, being the kind person that he is, still gave hugs and signed autographs even after being lifted out. He got up on the car in his trademark style and waved out, blew kisses and gave high-fives to everyone around him.

After the airport, I headed downtown to help at the red carpet and wait for him to arrive for the premier of the film.

Shahrukh Khan at Pearson Airport in front of me!

Interacting with fans outside the airport

The Red Carpet:
The official red carpet was to begin at 6:30pm. Fans started lining up quite early even though it was raining and cold, so that they could get good spots near the barricades. At 7:30pm, after a long wait and people freezing waiting for the main star, finally Shahrukh Khan arrived. Once again, the crowd went wild as soon as he got out of the car – all the tiredness and numbness from the  cold vanished and people went hysterical. Shahrukh khan did a few interviews on the red carpet and then he spent a good half an hour just interacting with his fans – taking pictures, signing autographs, blowing kisses to crying girls.

All attending the premier got the chance to walk the red carpet and then get seating inside the theatre.

Waiting at the Red Carpet

Film Screening:
We all got seated and  SRK came on stage at about 8:20pm and again entertained the audience with his wit and energy. He joked with everyone and talked about how he always gets the warmest welcome in the world from the Toronto crowds. He also thanked TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey for his support. He did a bollywood dance to “Chammak Challo” which was the hit song of the movie. He watched half the movie with the audience as well. The movie was thoroughly entertaining, action-packed, advanced in terms of special effects I had and a lot of fun.

Overall, it was a great experience in terms of being apart of star studded film premier, seeing my idol and favourite actor and spending a wonderful few days with other diehard fans and organizers.

SRK with the cast on stage at TIFF light box


“All of the Lights” Fundraiser Event for Children’s 10

So I know I haven’t written on here for a while but life had just gotten a bit crazy and I have so much to say just not enough time to write it all up. I have to post about my wonderful experience at the Ra.One Movie Premier in Toronto which happened on October the 26th. I will be post that shortly a long with some other topics I wanted to talk about.

So last Thursday, I went to a charity event at my my school’s on-campus pub called “All of the lights” which was basically a talent show the Tamil Students Association put on to raise money for a children’s charity called “Childrens 10” which they started to raise money to give technology to kids so that they can empower themselves and learn through technology.

Though I knew I would be seeing various kinds of talent at this talent show, I for some reason wasn’t expecting to be blown away by anything and was just going to contribute to the fundraiser and help raise money for the charity. I was actually amazed by some of the acts that performed from singing, dancing, people playing instruments, rapping, beat boxing,and so on. I was blown away by the hidden talent the University of Waterloo has (or hidden to me anyways)! This was a local on campus event which cost just 8 dollars and I got some great entertainment that evening. I think there is so much available to experience and learn on campus but since most of us don’t go looking for it, we don’t get to see it. I happen to go to this event because a friend convinced me to accompany her and I figured why not do something different and experience some of the arts and culture happening at our school! I think events like this go unnoticed and most people don’t know what they are missing and this happens with arts and culture in our communities as well. It’s not that people wont enjoy it, it’s that people don’t go out of their way to go to try new things that they may actually love and could add a lot of value to their lives.

One of the dance acts that was very interesting to watch:

Some pictures from the event:

Ra.one Movie Premiere

So I got some super duper exciting news a few days ago and have been dying to write about it but just haven’t had much time due to the long weekend.

A huge movie premier staring my favourite actor, Shahrukh Khan will be happening in Toronto on the 26th of October. To understand how huge this is, bollywood film premiers with SHAHRUKH KHAN just haven’t EVER.HAPPENED.HERE!!

The premiere will be taking place at the TIFF Lightbox and will be a huge Bollywood event. Events like this make me feel so proud to live in Canada and in Toronto specifically. Having the chance to experience my families culture and the Bollywood movies and stars  I have grown upright in my backyard is amazing! Having IIFA here this past summer and now this just makes me really appreciate the arts and culture that I get to experience living in Ontario and the way different cultures are promoted and accepted here.

Ra.One is a huge budget bollywood superhero film and one of the first of its kind. It has famous singer Akon singing in it which is also huge for a bollywood film. This film is really trying to advance indian cinema and take it to international levels and this makes me very excited and proud.

Events like this really show how universal everyone’s culture is and if we just stay open minded, there is so much out there to experience and learn about and so many other cultures to appreciate.

Go watch Ra.One opening in theatres on October 26th!

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs…

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to…love what you do. – Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. – Steve Jobs –

So yesterday was a very sad day for the technological world and I think for the entire world. Steve Jobs (the founder of Apple. inc) passed away. And though I knew he was sick and had stepped down from his CEO position, it was still a shock for me. I was sitting in class frantically trying to copy down everything the professor was saying and I got a breaking news alert on my iPhone giving me the news of Steve Jobs passing away.  My heart sank to my stomach. I never thought I would feel a sense of emptiness for a person I have never met.  Steve Jobs was a true visionary and innovator. He changed the way we see technology and the world. He made t possible for thousands of other people to follow their dreams using the devices he created to make it easier for them.

So you may be wondering how this is relevant to culture and a culture management course. Well I think Steve helped transform popular culture. I use twitter (@shahrukhzangel) and last night when the news broke, millions of people’s sadness could be felt and interestingly mostly people who were not technology “geeks”. Writers, actors, musicians, artists were all expressing their sadness because Apple products made technology useful and relevant for the common person. For musicians, Apple changed the way music was bought, made and listened too (iTunes and Garageband). People could create music on their Mac’s without having to purchase any additional software. For people who wanted to express themselves to the world, there was the podcast. People could use podcasts to tell a story or have their own show. For artists, photographers or graphic designers, Apple made it easier to create, edit and publish art, photos and websites. Programs like iMovie gave anyone the ability to create professional looking videos to share with friends, family and the world on youtube for example. The App store gave people a platform to create programs and share content with the world about any possible thing under the sun. Apple products give people the power to be creative and have a voice and this is huge for culture and the way our society has evolved in the last 30 years.

Steve Jobs was definitely an inspiration to me and to many and will be greatly missed.

The Canadian Clay and Glass Museum

Last week our class went to the Clay and Glass Museum in Waterloo. Though I do not know much about clay and glass art, I was really looking forward to this experience to broaden my experience on different forms of art. I was also excited that we were doing something different in this class as apposed to just sitting in lectures (like most other professors make you do unfortunately).

 To give you some background, I do not know much if anything about ‘good’ clay and glass art so I was entering this museum with not much of a clue of what I was expecting to see. I think deep down I subconsciously had some expectations of the types of crafts I was expecting to see since when I didn’t see anything like the images in my mind, i was a little disappointed. Though I do not know much about art, I have always enjoyed looking at art in museums just to see the types of things people create and how much diversity there is in people’s ideas.

I will try to summarize some of my thoughts through some of the pictures I took and explain why I could or couldn’t relate to the art.

The overall experience was interesting. I loved that we were able to get a tour of the entire space and see the functionality of the facility. It was also informative to learn about the educational programs offered and to see how this facility and others like it have to run with limited resources and staff and make use of their limited space. Being a business student, it was interesting to be able to hear first hand from the director about running the museum and the challenges they face (like any other facility or business would).

The exhibition we got to see was called Reflective Natures and Transparent Landscapes and it ran till this Sunday, October 2nd, 2011. I personally could not resonate much with this exhibition as I didn’t feel any of the pieces standing out to me or speaking to me. I did enjoy looking at them though and it was wonderful to experience something that I knew nothing about to see how I felt about it and to learn something new.

Below are some of the pictures I took:

Benjamin Kikkert

Trap of Past by Benjamin Kikkert - I thought this piece by Benjamin Kikkert was cool to look at because of the intricate details made into the glass. Other than that, it didn't connect with me on any levels but i liked the use of colours and details.

Benjamin Kikkert Trap of Past by Benjamin Kikkert

Jennifer Bueno

"Great Barrier Reef" by Jennifer Bueno - This piece by Jennifer Bueno was also 'pleasant' to look at and I liked the use of class and colour but again, I felt like it was missing something.

One exhibit which I thought was different and was a bit more interactive than the rest and actually engaged me for a few minutes was Salt, Fire and Light Between the Line of Age by Andre Fournelle. This involved a graphic and a light flickering and doing a variety of things. The whole demonstration took about 7 minutes to watch. What kept me intrigued was that there was some variety in what was happened and therefore made me think about what was going on. I still didn’t completely get it, but it kept me interested much longer than the other pieces and I felt like there was more of a story to it that the viewer could try to interpret.

Salt, Fire and Light Between the Line of Age by Andre Fournelle

Below are some of the other pictures I took:

Sheelerville Reactor by Afred Engerer

Overall, it was a great experience visiting the Canadian Clay and Glass Museum and I would definitely consider going back to look at future exhibits and become more aware of other types of art.

Here we go…

So this is my first post here.. not exactly sure how to start but I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Nabila Kanji and I am a student at the University of Waterloo. I have written a little bit more about myself in the “About Me” section for whoever is interested. I am basically starting this blog for a class I am taking called “Culture Management”. I will be discussing different cultural topics using this blog and will try to include some pictures and maybe video to make it a bit more interactive for those reading. Much of the focus will be discussing class readings as well as sharing my insights and experience with CAFK+A which is the Contemporary Art Forum which happens in the Kitchener/Waterloo Area as well as other arts and culture I encounter throughout this term. I hope this will be inspiring for both me and whoever is reading this.

So thats it for this first post.

Till next time…