Monday 30 September 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 201

Acknowledging Transgender community   
30.9.2013, Mumbai  

“I think I am ‘abnormal’ because, being a man, I am attracted to other men…”
“My family is pressurizing me to get married to a woman and have a family…”

“I feel isolated and depressed because of discrimination I face due to my sexual identity…”

 “I have been sexually abused and I am too scared to confide this with anyone…”
“I have an infection in my private parts and feel ashamed to go to my family doctor…”
“I have had unprotected sex with a stranger, and I am worried what I should do…”

These are some of the questions and fears, many men who have sex with men usually face, and they do not know whom to turn to. A new 24 hours by 7 days helpline has been started to address this very important aspect and provide crucial information and counseling.  Sahaay Helpline can be accessed by dialing the toll-free number 1800-2000-113. While the July 2nd 2009 Delhi High Court verdict read down Sec377 of IPC, effectively decriminalizing homosexuality, brought forward the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender(LGBT) community more openly talking about gender and sexuality, these have primarily been in the four large metros like Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata. In other cities and in smaller towns, the LGBT community is still pretty much underground and largely invisible. Gay men and lesbian women are still being forced into marriages with members of the opposite sex and transgender face acute discrimination. Most of them do not know whom to turn to or seek help from.

To address this, and provide services for the hidden community of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender, a new helpline offers round the clock information and counseling on HIV/AIDS, STI & psycho social and legal issues.  If the helpline is found useful, Sahaay Project will advocate with Department of AIDS Control in implementing it across the country. For any information regarding the helpline itself, one may write to or stay in touch on face book at
BhawanaSomaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 200

X Factor do you have it?

26.9.2013, Mumbai 

The X Factor USA Season 3 started last week on Big CBS Love and has already become a big hit with the viewers. There are many reasons for this. First, the extra-ordinary jury panel comprising music mogul Simon Cowell, Mexican Pop star Paulina Rubio, Grammy award winner Kelly Rowland and American Pop sensation Demi Lovato.  Second the host of the show the fabulous Mario Lopez. There is a slight difference in the categories of the contestants this season and this seems to have gone well with the audience. This season the contestants are divided into four categories namely Girls, Boys, Over 25s and Groups. Viewers have shared that this season that the show is more visually appealing, has terrific production value and most important, the process of auditions have become all the more challenging.
Just one week into the show and participants talk about the energy on the sets. Of course there is leg pulling and harmless banter and the usual stress and nostalgia attached to the show but at the end of it X Factor is about competition and all involved in the show accept and understand that. If you have not watched the show so far it means you lack the X Factor for sure.
BhawanaSomaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 199

Party time

25.9.2013, Mumbai 

Honey Singh is the voice of ‘Party all night…’ Akshay Kumar’s Boss and is going all out to promote his concert to be held in Dubai today. Singh says it is an honor to work for Akshay and this time even more so because he was privileged to sing and rap in his favorite languages-Haryanvi. Singh says Akshay understands music I do and presents it the best possible way. “I’m confident that the concert will rock and particularly ‘Party all night song…” The song is a tribute from the Punjabi Rapper to the actor.

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 198

Action Jackson

24.9.2013, Mumbai 

 Ajay Devgn’s forthcoming action caper directed by Prabhudeva will be called Action Jackson and it is because Ajay has understood that the game of the business is action. To satisfy the artist in him he does a comedy and a social drama in between and then returns to action again. The interesting thing about the title of the film is that it borrows from Ajay’s real name. Ajay’s friends have always called him AJ and now he has a film that will be called AJ. Ajay’s last action film that changed the dynamics of action time was Rohit Shetty’s Singham. His fans expect action from all his films so there was a good dose of stunts in Son of Sardaar as well. This will be Ajay’s first action with Prabhudeva and the title is Deva’s choice without knowing the alphabet connection in the actor’s personal life. Action Jackson has possibility for three heroines and while Sonakshi Sinha and Yaami Gautam have been finalized, the third role, that of a sexy heroine is still under the wraps. Produced by Baba Films who made Ishq /1997 with Aamir Khan, Ajay, Kajol and Juhi Chawla then Pyar Toh Houna Hi Tha / 1998 with Ajay-Kajol this will be a hat-trick for the producer and the actor.