Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.
Dia Mirza, born as Dia Handrich on the 9th of December 1981 is an Indian model, actress and film producer who has appeared in numerous Bollywood films. The actress, along with her boyfriend Sahil Sangha and good friend Zayed Khan, have started their own production company called Born Free Entertainment. Their first film Love Breakups Zindagi made under the name of the new company was released on the 7th of October 2011. Mirza was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Her father, Frank Handrich, was a German graphic and industrial fair designer, architect, artist and interior designer from Munich and her mother, Deepa is a Bengali Hindu who is an interior designer, landscaper and currently does social work by volunteering to help alcoholics and addicts.
They separated when she was six years old and her father died when she was nine and her mother was remarried to Ahmed Mirza, who died in 2004. She adopted her stepfather's surname and has recently adopted the last name of her birth father - becoming Dia Mirza Handrich. While living in Khairatabad, Hyderabad district, she attended Vidyaranya High School for Boys and Girls, a school partly based on the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and later Nasr School, in Khairtabad. She attended Stanley Junior College and completed her eucation with a Bachelors of Arts from Andhra Pradesh Open University in Hyderabad.
Mirza started working at the age of 16 years old while continuing her education. She worked as a marketing executive in a multi-media firm called Dr. Neeraj’s Multi media studio. She simultaneously modelled for the print and television advertisement campaigns of various brands such as Walls, Lipton, Emami and others. Mirza wanted to complete her graduation in Arts by correspondence, but decided to postpone it as it was becoming difficult to juggle between the Miss Asia Pacific competition, modeling assignments, her travelling and her training. Mirza was a second runner up at Femina Miss India 2000 and was subsequently sent to Miss Asia Pacific, where she won. When she won the Miss Asia Pacific title on the 3rd of December 2000 in Manila, Philippines, she became the first Indian contestant to win this title in 29 years.
She completed the hat-trick of winning international pageants for India in the year 2000 - Lara Dutta won the Miss Universe title and Priyanka Chopra won the Miss World title in the same year. She made her film debut with Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein opposite R. Madhavan. Although the film was not a box office success, she appeared in Parineeta, a Vidhu Vinod Chopra production. She also starred in the music video, Kajara Mohabbat Wala alongside Sonu Nigam from his album Kajara Nite. The album contained multiple remixes, but was mainly advertised with the title song, sung by Sonu Nigam and Alisha Chinai. She also appeared in the films Dus and Fight Club. She was the only female actor among the six key characters in the film, Acid Factory in which she played a femme fatale who is also a gangster.
Mirza has been involved with Cancer Patients Aid Association, Spastics Society of India (now called Adapt), and has worked extensively with the government of Andhra Pradesh to spread HIV awareness and the prevention of female foeticide. She has also been actively involved with PETA, CRY and most recently the NDTV Greenathon – an effort to find tangible solutions against pollution, as well as the book, "Deke Dheko" by Radio Mirchi - a campaign initiated to collect books for underprivileged children. Her hobbies include writing, reading, painting, pottery, horse riding and theater. She has written several articles for the Hindustan Times and various other publications as a guest writer and is on the board of the Coca Cola Foundation that works towards development in rural India.
She recently adopted two cheetah cubs at the Prince of Wales zoological park in Lucknow and she and fellow actor Aamir Khan publicly expressed support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan - a group protesting the building of a dam. This aroused the ire of political activists from the Bharatiya Janata Party, who then led a protest march against the actress. Mirza also received an award from Chitrangada Singh at IIFA 2012 and won the IIFA 2012 'Green Award' for her contribution for working towards a greener environment.
Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats...
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