Priyanka Chopra at USHA Play

Priyanka Chopra at USHA Play

Priyanka Chopra at USHA Play

If one were to ask what is common between Priyanka Chopra, Mary Kom and Usha, it would be Sports: The spirit that connects people and inspires them to achieve higher things. No wonder while speaking at the recent Usha Play event she stated that after Mary Kom she has developed a new-found respect for sportspersons.

Usha Play provided a platform to acknowledge sportspersons and a chance to celebrate the success of the movie Mary Kom. It was gateway to a world of sports, other than cricket, where the gorgeous actress felicitated sportspersons from various Usha Initiatives spanning across the fields of Golf, Marathon and Flying Discs.

Usha Chairman Krishna Shriram takes the stage and Plays the Piano

Usha Chairman Krishna Shriram takes the stage and Plays the Piano

The theme of the event ‘Play’ was set even before Priyanka stepped in, with Usha Executive Chairman Mr. Krishna Shriram taking the stage and later playing the Piano immaculately!  The rest of the evening unfolded keeping this tune of Play on a high octave. To put to words the mood of the event in the very words of Mr. Krishna Shriram “We borrow both creativity and energy from sportspersons around us.” He went on to state that as a company Usha supports sports and the idea of ‘Play’ because it is more than just business, as sports connects and inspires.

Priyanka Chopra felicitates various Sporrtsperson

Priyanka Chopra felicitates various Sportspersons

This enthusiasm was shared by Priyanka herself, who once was an avid Frisbee player, as introduced by Mr. Rajesh Tara. The felicitation ceremony began with Priyanka handing the Usha Play Trophy to Amateur Golfer Gauri Monga, followed by Arjuna Awardee Marathon runner Asha Aggarwal.  The Mumbai Frisbee team came next. Both the sportspersons and the team have been part of various Usha Sporting Initiatives.

Priyanka Chopra hailed the power of sports at Usha Play

Priyanka Chopra hailed the power of sports at Usha Play

Speaking on the occasion Priyanka hailed the work done by Indian sportspersons, their inspiration and discipline and the power of sports to transform people, which she recently underwent after her Mary Kom stint. According to her the transformation was not just physical but was also spiritual! She further stated “With the abundance of sporting talent in the country not only girls but all sportspersons need to be supported and encouraged to achieve their best.”

Director Chhaya Shriram handing Priyanka a Habadersery Basket

Director Chhaya Shriram gifts Priyanka a Haberdashery Basket

Later, Director Chhaya Shriram gifted her a wonderful haberdashery basket and an Usha Janome Dream Maker Sewing Machine. Expressing her delight Priyanka said she simply adores both the gifts and her mother would love them too!

Priyanka felicitates various USHA performers

Priyanka felicitates USHA performers

She went on to felicitate three Usha Dealers – Mr. Subhash M. Rathore, Mr. Vimal Jain and Mr. Bharat Dharamshi – for their outstanding performance. And also shared the stage with various TISVA Distributors.

Priyanka Chopra with various TISVA Distributors.

Priyanka Chopra with TISVA Distributors.

To know more visit: www.ushainitiatives.com

The Genius of the Movie Mary Kom

Mary KomA lot has been written about the brands being featured in the movie Mary Kom through in-film promotion. So what does that say about the movie? The answer being: The brands beginning with USHA had full confidence on the cast, crew, director and foremost on the legendary story of Mary Kom, which no doubt you will agree once you have watched the movie. And with the critics awarding constellations and not just stars to the movie, proves this beyond a shadow of doubt.

Unlike other movies where in-film promotion is jarring, it is never so in Mary Kom. Priyanka Chopra goes about doing her marvelous magical stuff (read acting) without any disconnect, speaking lines that one would naturally do in real life and not in a commercial.

10599289_10154471862990251_6407367261618533489_nMost likely you never even noticed these in-film promotions before you read a news feature talking about it. The best in-film promotion in all of Hollywood and Bollywood and all others Woods put together probably happens in movie The Transporter, starring Jason Statham driving around in his Audi. It was subtlety at its best. But they did it with just one brand. Here we have 20! And all of it done so very subtlety.

Some of your friends and acquaintances, who are into Brand promotions, might disagree. Well, that’s their job – they are hardwired to notice such things. Never mind them, because that experience would be similar to watching Sholay with a Camera person, which a friend of ours did a few years back. His experience was jarring, not because he found Sholay lacking but because of the constant chatter of his cinematographer friend who kept commenting on the angles taken and how it could have been done better! Forgetting to take into account that Sholay was actually shot on traditional 35 mm film! And was later converted to give it the look of being shot with a 70mm (the reason being 70mm cameras were expensive in those days). During that era Hollywood was using 35mm to shoot documentaries and here was a genius who made a legendary film with the very same camera type!

So our accolades go out to the writers and director who managed to seamlessly integrate 20 leading brands into a span of 3 hours without a hitch!

By, the way look out for USHA, when you are watching the movie. We are impossible to be missed, now that you know.10534692_10154471855855251_3464035536723766996_n

8 Reasons to Watch Mary Kom

Here are 10 good, solid, hard hitting reasons why you should cancel all your previous plans and hit the theaters in swarms to watch Mary Kom:Mary Kom

1. Get to know the real story of Mary Kom. A recent survey revealed only a very few Indians know who she really is. This is your chance to get to know the real Mary Kom, and thereby also pay homage to other such unacknowledged sportsperson of India

2. Watch it for Priyanka Chopra’s performance in Mary Kom. Well, Priyanka Chopra is Mary Kom. Period. Her acting is so convincing that you forget you are watching Priyanka Chopra, it is all Mary Kom. If there was an Olympic Medal for acting, she would have got it with her knockout performance. If you like to watch movies depending on their ratings and critical reviews, well this one is a 5 star winner. Just Google it, we are not kidding.

3. The story is real. The story is gritty. The story has everything from romance to action, all acted out with the never say die spirit. And it will take you in from the very beginning and will only leave you long after you have walked out of the theater, or perhaps never. Even the songs are not just great but they blend in perfectly without jarring you out of the story. The songs serve more than their purpose for once in a Bollywood movie.

Mary Kom

4. Every time a Bollywood Actor, perhaps after a thousand push-ups and bench-presses reveals his six pack, all of us go gaga. Well, Priyanka has done better, getting six-packs is one thing, but getting a Boxer’s body (which sadly even some professional boxers lack) with two years of intense training is a thing that deserves a standing ovation.

5. It is not just Priyanka, who acts great, other cast members and supporting actors have done a great job too, from Sunil Thapa to Darshan Kumar – who play her trainer and husband respectively.

7. It is a tribute to all women who have fought against all odds, like the many women who have been empowered through Usha Silai Schools and sports initiatives.

8. The Boxing is as real as it gets. Those moments in the ring are for real with actual Boxers, cuts and bruises and not make-up and CGI effects. Once Mary Kom joked that her favorite movies are Rocky part 1 to 100! No matter how many Rocky’s come and go, there will be only one Mary Kom! So go watch it.

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Mary Kom’s Raging Bulls

Mary Kom Boxing Academy Imphal

Mary Kom Boxing Academy Imphal

The vision of the Boxing Academy set up by Mary Kom states “Quality Boxers with Prestigious Sports Medals from under-privileged potentials”. So far its Boxers have taken part at various state and national level championships and tournaments brining back Gold and Silver.

The Star Boxer after having realized that there is a lot of hidden talent, very like her, living untraceable lives in the interior parts of our country, set up the academy in 2006. These unacknowledged young people, she believes posses skills and enough will-power to bring laurels to the country. And with this motive she goes about inspiring and training our future champions.

No, wonder after speaking at The HAB by Usha she updated her Facebook Status to #UshaIntl Thanks for a great evening. I’m sure our paths will cross again when it comes to empowering women #UshaMpower

Mary Kom Facebook Status

Mary Kom Facebook Status

For just like her USHA INITIATIVES is empowering both women through its various Silai Schools and supporting and sponsoring various sports events – Marathon, Frisbee, Golf and Cricket. The former Silai Schools are an attempt to empower under-privileged women in rural areas of the country. Whereas, the latter sports initiatives do not only encompass urban areas but go on to include rural Frisbee camps for the marginalized.

USHA INITIATIVES

USHA INITIATIVES

In a recent interview the Magnificent Mary said “With women’s boxing becoming an Olympic event, lot more nations will compete in 2016 and the competition will be tough. I hope it helps Indian women boxing as well and there’s a growing awareness about the sport, and we hope to see lot more talent in the country.”

Just as Dingkok Singh’s success in the ring, got Mary into boxing, so has Mary’s success inspired many to enter the ring. Now with the release of the biopic Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra, there is hope that many more women will take up boxing against all odds.

Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom

Priyanka Chopra as Mary Kom

If Music be the Food of Love Box on

Watching Mary Kom with Our Ears Wide Open.

If Music is the soundtrack to life the songs of the movie Mary Kom does justice to it. Beginning with its signature song Ziddi Dil to the soothing lullaby Charo, the latter sung by none other than Priyanka Chopra, in which she excels. The songs almost narrate the yet to be released movie perfectly.

The energetic song Ziddi Dil manages to encapsulate the entire theme and story of the movie. How women with stubborn passionate hearts can overcome all obstacles; fight against all odds and create history. What Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger was to Rocky III starring Sylvester Stallone in the ring, Ziddi Dil is to Mary Kom.

While Adhure, complements Ziddi Dil, its melody and melancholy, reveals the other side of the story, the thin line that separates struggle from futility: The line that heroes need to transgress and survive. It is the song every struggling hero needs to live for a song like Salaam India to follow. The latter being a patriotic song that salutes victory and pays tribute to both the Country and Mary Kom.

The romantic track Sukoon Mila shows yet another side of the story – a gentle love story in making. Powerful and melodic it is a very nostalgic track, which made Mary Kom’s husband K Onler Kom recall his teenage years, in tears. If that is not moving, nothing is.

Real life sadly doesn’t have a soundtrack. But if it did for the many marginalized women across India who have similarly fought against all odds to establish their own USHA Silai Schools, we believe it would be something like that of Mary Kom. Perhaps some of them are listening to these very songs as they stitch their lives together over their sewing machines.

Diet Hard Or Gone in 8 Minutes

Mary Kom at The HAB by USHA

Mary Kom at The HAB by USHA

Years and months of training are all put to test in just 8 minutes inside the boxing ring. The result of all your disciplined routines of exercises, practice bouts and diet plans either will see you through or rest you in peace with the knockout that you never see coming.

When it comes to Mary Kom, though she follows a regular and a much MC BWdisciplined diet and training routine, it was not so during her initial years. As a struggling boxer she was “fighting five years without any good diet. No supplement, no eggs. No breakfast. Just lunch and dinner, vegetable only and rice. Sometimes when the relative I am staying with in Imphal, when he gets salary, then we get meat. Once a month.”

mary_kom copyHowever as the medals kept coming things got better, both her diet plans and training regime improved. Gone were the days of protein-less life. Today, she survives on light snacks before her training, followed by a healthy breakfast. Lunch around 2 and Dinner before 9 pm. And in between, she drinks a lot of juices, ending her day with a glass of milk. Morning follows with a similar diet routine coupled with her training schedule, which consists of early morning runs, followed by punching and kicking the Punching bag for an hour. And o’ course bouts of practice fighting, follow.

While at The HAB by Usha Mary Kom claimed that this routine helped her to lose 2 kgs a day, after her pregnancy! Impossible though that may seem to us, we all can try and live healthy lives, even with our offices, meetings and daily chores. No, you won’t lose 2 kgs a day but healthy you will stay. The secret dietary plan that normal boxers follow, which you could too in order to stay in shape goes something like this: To begin with skip from 3 heavy meals a day to 6 small meals a day – smaller meals keep you energized and keep your metabolism high.

From: Expert Boxing

From: Expert Boxing

Workout on the above graph would translate into your daily official chores in place of rigorously punching bags or co-workers around the office! We highly recommend you refrain from the punching part.

If you do have a craving for fried food, which is natural – cook them using devices that use minimum amount of oil like the USHA Halogen Oven (click for recipes). For snacks sandwiches work best and USHA has some of the best Sandwich Toasters around, pick one up for your light in-between meals – they are pretty portable too.

Usha Halogen Oven and Sandwich Toaster

Usha Halogen Oven and Sandwich Toaster

And no diet as stated by Mary Kom, Dietitians and a zillion boxers is complete without fresh juices. The USHA Juicer Mixer Grinder can be your best friend here. And if you are looking for what juices to drink, we have a complete Juice Therapy course for you. Click Here.

Usha Juicer Mixer Grinder

Usha Juicer Mixer Grinder

For more USHA Kitchen Appliances Click Here

Mary Come!

1For once a lot more went on behind the scenes of the upcoming movie Mary Kom, than the normal diet of SloMo and CGIs that we have got used to. It is real and it is gritty to begin with, no wonder we all are waiting with abated breath for the movie to release on September 5. Oh Mary Come! Come soon.

For instance Priyanka Chopra underwent two years of training to get in shape as a boxer and the bruises you see on her face are as real as they get. Since, she fought real boxers and not actors or stunt artists. Further when Priyanka visited Manipur to meet the legendary boxer she got a few parenting lessons too! How do you handle two kids and a family in between rigorous training?

Priyanka Chopra, Mary Kom, Sanjay Leela Bhansali & Omung Kumar

Priyanka Chopra, Mary Kom, Sanjay Leela Bhansali & Omung Kumar

A lot of people think that fame approached Mary Kom after she won the Olympic medal, which is not exactly true, because the director of the movie Omung Kumar visited Mary Kom in Imphal at her place before the 2012 Olympic Bronze! Her story was inspiring enough even then to make a movie on, the London Bronze just added a greater sheen to all of it.

2 Mary Kom and PCSpeaking about Priyanka as Mary Kom in the movie she stated that the actor’s body was structured much like of a boxer and that she was the one and only perfect choice. Add to that Priyanka’s vigorous training and whole of Bollywood got talking about the new look even before the first stills of the movie were officially released.

For instance Madhur Bhandarkar, tweeted: “Hard-hitting, passionate poster of Mary Kom! The versatile @priyankachopra in a never-before-seen avatar! Looking forward to this Jalwaa!” And so did her contemporaries from Dia Mirza to Bipasha Basu; this is what Preity Zinta had to say about Priyanka’s looks: “PC loved the new poster of #MaryKom. So proud of you! Hard works always pays. Looking forward to seeing it soon.”

As for the actress herself she admits that this was the hardest role she has ever played.

The director Omung Kumar was looking for a larger-than-life character for his debutant film after working with the colourful Snajay Leela Bhansali in many of the latter’s movie. And in Mary Kom, Omung did not only find a character that surpassed his expectations but to quote his words his “Mother India”

USHAGoing beyond the biopic there are many “Mother India’s’ not the larger than life kind, but poor marginalized women who USHA Initiatives is trying to reach out to through their many Silai Schools. These women too, remember posses a Ziddi Dil with which they struggle everyday to survive. Perhaps somebody will discover their story someday and adapt it not just to entertain us but also to acknowledge them for their struggle against all odds.

But for now we all wait anxiously counting days, minutes and seconds to see all the hard work unfold seamlessly on the Silver screen. Are you with us?

Usha Silai Schools Working with Magnificence

Usha Silai SchoolsWe all gleam with achievement now that Polio has been eradicated – a milestone that we are all proud about. Oblivious in our pride we have somehow forgotten the people who are still afflicted by it. Do you still feel proud?

A lot needs to be done, but Usha Initiatives does feel proud of Ms. Laxmi Maheshwari from Bhuj Gujarat. Though both her legs are polio afflicted and she still lives with her parents confided between four walls, she is no longer dependent on them but instead supports them! Thanks to a simple seven days Sewing Course and an Usha Sewing Machine given free of cost to her as part of the Usha Silai School Programme.

After the training Laxmi, started a Silai School on her own village. Initially, due to her mobility impairments, she found it extremely challenging to mobilize students from the village. The village women and girls were also skeptical about coming to her as they doubted her abilities as a teacher. After much convincing, she acquired 2 students and thus began her Silai School. Her teaching was extremely good and through word of mouth her skills gained great popularity in the village. More students came to enquire about the school and numerous got enrolled. Laxmi has trained about 15 women/ girls and 8 are pursuing their training currently at her School. With time, Laxmi’s confidence grew more enabling her to start a tailoring shop as well. Today, the village women come to her for getting most of their clothes stitched.

Ms. Laxmi Maheshwari from Gujarat Similarly, Purnimasi Devi is a very important person. But you haven’t heard of her. Yes, you have heard of Mary Kom who comes from the same Northeastern state of India, Manipur.  Perhaps if they make a movie about Purnimasi you will pay attention! Go ahead do a Google search. Found her? No. Why should Google pay attention to her, when you being her fellow citizen have neglected her and millions like her?

Let Usha Initiatives introduce Purnimasi Devi to you. She is the icon of a small village  near Imphal. No, she didn’t win any medals for her village, but she changed its socio-economic landscape. Like Mary Kom she comes from a very poor farming community, where her father is a private school teacher – earning a meager income once in a while since the school does not receive regular Govt. grants. Purnimasi’s father has to depend on this irregular incomes to take care of his family.

Purnimasi’s amazing triumph lies is the fact that she helped to draw her family out of this abject deep dark hole of poverty and uncertainty. Today, Purnamasi not only supports her father in the household needs but also bears the educational expenses of her four younger sisters and a brother.  And she does it all through her Usha Silai School. An initiative started by Usha which empowers rural women in the country by teaching them sewing and basic machine repair. Not only does she takes on sewing work but also has 22 students under her.purnismasi copy Ace Boxer Magnificent Mary Kom felicitated five such women from different parts of the country at a Mumbai event held by Usha in association with Viacom. They were all recognized and awarded for their successes against impossible odds. To Read more Click Here: www.ushainitiatives.com

Ziddi Dill: Indian Women at the 2012 Olympics

Indian Women 2012 OlympicsLondon Olympics 2012 was many things, it saw great wins and losses, cheer and fun, enthusiasm, energy and pride. Things that the ancient Greek traditional games always brought out in people – the games were and are almost a Catharsis of Sophocles-ian dimensions, one could muse. But what stood out in 2012 were the women participants, not just from the Indian delegation but from the world over.  For the first time since the Ancient or the revived Modern Olympics, for once all nations included women in their contingent. This very spirit of recognizing and celebrating woman began during the opening ceremony itself, as two sportswomen dressed in veils walked under the Saudi Flag.

The Indian contingent of 83 included 23 women of whom two would make us proud. The rest, people generally say ‘is history.’ History it is, but not just of medals won, but the struggle that went behind these achievements – a history that generally goes undocumented in our country. Both these women Saina Nehwal for Badminton and Mary Kom for Boxing won Bronze Medals, history will state in facts and statistics – that it shall in Libraries and Congress (not to be confused with the Indian National Party but is in reference to its original meaning as delegations of a nation or nations.)

Saina NewalHistory will not tell you how Saina Nehwal’s parents borrowed money to keep her training going. It will not tell you that many coaches wrote her off as mediocre and refused to train her. That she had to maintain a grueling exercise routine and give up on chocolates, a self-confessed Sweet tooth – it must have been devastating for a 13 year old girl! Her climb from an early age was steady with wins and close misses. But at the end perseverance paid off. We at USHA, are proud to have her as our Brand Ambassador.

Mary Kom Then there is Magnificent Mary from Manipur (Northeast India) where even living is a struggle given the region’s underdevelopment and unrest. Good training facilities are a distant dream. And let’s admit it for once racism exists and adds further hurdles to a sportsperson’s struggle: There were times when organizers doubted Mary Kom to be a foreign participant (Chinese or even Burmese), almost refusing her into the games and this happened at Indian tournaments!

imagesAdd to this the struggle of being a mother of two and you have impossibility staring at you, right between your eyes. But she did it. How? You question. Well, not to give away any spoilers watch the upcoming movie Mary Kom. It’s a movie without any fabrications, one that made the legendary Boxer for once break down and cry, as she watched her struggles and wins pass by on the silver screen.

USHA MARY KOM