Lifestyle en Wed Jul 14 10:39:21 IST 2021 how-to-eat-traditional-onam-sadya-chef-pillai-explains <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Wondering where to get a traditional Onam sadya? Bangaloreans can have a princely sadya this Onam, prepared by Chef Suresh Pillai, who has become a household name with his videos of traditional Kerala recipes with a twist.</p> <p>Restaurant Chef Pillai, his new restaurant in Bengaluru’s Whitefield offers a whopping 26-dish sadya (a multi-course vegetarian meal) with three types of payasam. The Onam sadya costs Rs 999 and takeaway and home delivery options are available between August 20 and 22.</p> <p>‘’Starting my own restaurant has been a long-nourished dream,’’ says Pillai, a former BBC MasterChef contestant. Pillai shares some tips on how to eat the Travancore Onam sadya the right way. ‘’It is an eight-course meal that starts with an amuse-bouche (small appetisers preceding the main course) of banana wafers and chips coated with jaggery. The first course includes rice, dal and ghee, along with nine dishes including pachadi, kichadi, avial, thoran, injipuli, kootukari, theeyal and pickle. The second course consists of rice and sambar. This is followed by a third course of ada pradhaman and banana. Course four features paal payasam and boli. The fifth course includes a fruit payasam like pineapple pradhaman or a lentil based payasam. Rice and pulissery is served as the sixth course. The seventh course includes rice and rasam. Butter milk served in the last course helps in digestion.</p> <p>As a child, Chef Pillai loved the lore of King Mahabali, because of whom he would get new clothes and good food. Onam, that marks King Mahabali’s return to Kerala is celebrated with much pomp and splendour. Pillai and his siblings would look forward to the festival. ‘’Back then, there were no readymade clothes or branded shirts. So, we’d go to the neighbourhood tailor to get our shirts and trousers stitched. We’d get the stitched clothes,’’ he recalls.</p> <p>&nbsp;Pillai grew up on an island by the Ashtamudi lake in Kerala. His parents were poor and Pillai and his siblings would barely have three square meals a day. Pillai’s mother would prepare a sumptuous meal and the children would eat to their heart’s content. The sadya would be followed by two varieties of payasam including Ada Pradhaman&nbsp; made by his father, who was an occasional cook.</p> <p>Onam is around the corner and Pillai becomes that little child impatiently waiting for festivities to begin.</p> Wed Aug 18 14:18:14 IST 2021 soundsleep-an-ai-enabled-app-to-track-and-trounce-snoring <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Sociological research will tell you that sleep management in families entails "doing gender" - or how men and women experience snoring in unequal ways which affect the quality of relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted circadian rhythms; there is greater stress, worry and fear. Lack of a structured schedule with work-from-home lifestyles is gradually changing the way we sleep and snore.</p> <p>While snoring is common and harmless, it is often seen as a symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which can cause a person’s breathing to stop and start while they sleep, wake up a lot or snore loudly. OSA has raised the risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke and heart conditions. Sleep aid apps are proliferating in the market and so are the ones associated with snoring. Gone are the days when breakfast table conversations revolved around threats to surreptitiously record the loudest snoring family member. Now one can place a mobile phone next to their bedside pillow to record the intensity of one's wheezing and study their snorescore in the morning. Something called the SnoreLab is already available for iOS and android users. Researchers at the University of Sheffield are developing a new iOS app, SoundSleep, to monitor breathing while people sleep and help discover the causes, factors and solutions to snoring and sleep disorders using artificial intelligence. Dr Ning Ma, research fellow at the University of Sheffield’s department of computer science, has more.</p> <p><b>Q\ When was SoundSleep first conceived and how did it set out to be different from the many sleep aid apps that already exist?</b></p> <p>A\ The use of acoustic analysis in healthcare is one of our research focuses at Sheffield that sets out to use deep learning methods to better understand and treat sleep-disordered breathing. The machine learning algorithm in the SoundSleep App is the output of a Knowledge Transfer Partnerships project between Passion for Life and University of Sheffield five years ago. The algorithm was subsequently fine-tuned during a recent Innovate UK project, which just finished this year. We believe the acoustic analysis of breathing sounds during sleep can offer an inexpensive and unobtrusive way for monitoring sleep-disordered breathing. A key part of this technology is to look at how to differentiate between snoring sounds and background noise, and leverage state-of-the-art AI to identify sleep disorders from sounds. The machine learning algorithm has been designed to work in bedroom environments and can detect snores while ignoring other sounds in the bedroom.</p> <p><b>Q\ Tell us about your work with the AI technology in your app which records and tracks snoring levels and provides nightly reports? How are these nightly reports created?</b></p> <p>A\ We understand privacy is one of major concerns many users have for many sleep monitoring apps. The AI technology that records and tracks snoring has a small footprint in power consumption and the analysis is done entirely on the smartphone. We designed it in such a way so that it does not stream any audio away to a remote server and thus protects users’ privacy. The technology continuously records sound when the monitoring is switched on, and once enough acoustic evidence is buffered, it will start to analyse the buffer and try to identify snore events among many acoustic events in the buffer. This process is repeated throughout the night. The amount of snoring and the snoring levels can be computed from the identified snore events and are displayed in a sleep report ready for the user in the morning. One of the advantages of such an unobtrusive sleep monitoring approach is that it allows continuous monitoring across multiple nights. We believe this will be particularly useful for users to monitor their sleep over a long period of time, and the snoring trend will help users identify any issues such as sleep apnoea at an early stage, allowing early intervention.</p> <p><b>Q\ What are the other ways in which AI is being harnessed to promote better sleep health?</b></p> <p>A\ We have utilised AI to detect and screen for obstructive sleep apnoea from entirely sound. Our next plan is to look at AI tools that will enable efficient sleep disorder assessment, by integrating acoustics and small, low-cost sensors that can be placed unobtrusively on the body in a unified approach. The aim is to implement this software on a mobile device, offering a smartphone-based solution for home monitoring and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.</p> Wed Jul 28 20:37:32 IST 2021 farewell-titos-thanks-for-the-good-times <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Hedonism is synonymous with Tito’s in Goa. The common refrain with the party crowd of north India was “Chalo, Tito’s Chalte hai’. For Mumbaikars, it was the bar next door. They did have to leave behind their daily dose of bar fights and their threats of “Do you know who I am”. Because, while Tito’s was as raucous as it gets, the owners did draw the line and wouldn’t take any of their drunken brawls or nonsense. So, once this was made clear, most happy puppies arrived to have a great time and make new friends, exchanged numbers and yes, promptly discarded them the next morning. I am guilty of this as well. Done it in Ibiza, too.&nbsp;</p> <p>Tito’s made Goa the Indian Ibiza and I can vouch for that! Any bar crawler who frequented Tito’s will affirm the clichéd, “What happens at Tito’s stays in Titos’!” It was the ‘cool scene’ era and violence was rare. The only fear you would face at Tito’s was if someone tried to hug you to death, beer breath et al! Peace maaaaan!&nbsp;</p> <p>Then we evolved. We began to get aggressive. Our idea of a good time went south. Hard liquor became fashionable. But what was commendable with Tito’s was that they knew when to draw the line and the unruly were ejected regardless of ‘who they were’. I recall standing bumper to bumper with happy dunks and enjoying the music that was thankfully loud enough to drown the raucous banter.</p> <p>The beverages and cocktails were reasonably priced as were the Goan starters. The Bloody Marys and Margueritas were the go-to cocktails, and if that didn’t trip your trigger, the tequila was the ’ole faithful to get you up and running, or staggering! The lethal combination was complete with the array of beers to be gulped and there was guaranteed instant nirvana!&nbsp;</p> <p>Goan style spicy cafreal, the ever-popular beef and pork dishes and the traditional Goan fish curry rice were the perennial favourites! The cheerful bartenders were never stingy with their peg measures and it didn’t take long to start schlurring rather soonly! There has to be some magic in a place if the revellers had no qualms about having booze spilt over and have your sweaty ‘newly found buddy’ crawling all over your face. But I have no regrets whatsoever. Over the decades it was always the same great time and the resultant mother of all hangovers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The hordes of German, Israeli and British backpackers found it a haven as they were in a space that satiated all their sinful desires! The free love era was designed for and by Tito’s. The celebs from Bollywood and models pan India were always there in their skimpiest and sexiest outfits to add to the glamour. The poshness was left behind at home. As time passed and the younger generation landed in droves from all over India, Tito’s created another space 200 metres away for the upper class, called ‘Mambos’, where you could find a place to sit and get table service. It wasn’t long before Tito’s attracted the males and the latter, the couples.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are hundreds of bars now and many are good ones, but not many have the instant recall of Tito’s. It does take a lot of verve and thinking ahead to earn legendary status and Tito’s deserves it! It is indeed sad to hear about the rough and shoddy treatment meted out to them by the various authorities. The owners are not making any bones about it, and rightly so. They are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Cheers and thanks for the good times, Tito’s.</p> Tue Jul 06 18:19:08 IST 2021 with-lockdowns-ending-indians-undertake-revenge-travel-after-months-at-home <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>After months of being cooped up inside as Covid raged outside, well-heeled Indians have decided that home is not where the heart is and are hitting the road and the skies to break the monotony of their indoor existence.<br> </p> <p>There is even a term for it revenge travel'. So when states started opening up after a ferocious second Covid wave, people headed out in droves to beachside hotels, hill homestays or even just a resort close by. Anywhere but home and maybe not quite what the doctor ordered<br> </p> <p>Taking revenge as it were for the months of anxiety, of working from home, doing or conducting classes online and unable to meet even close relatives, they masked up, got their jabs and wasted no time in heading outdoors.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;"Advance bookings as measured by the share of bookings with travel dates more than four weeks away are over 10 per cent this year compared to around 5 per cent last year, Rajiv Subramanian, vice president at global online travel company Cleartrip, told PTI.</p> <p>We expect the increased momentum of the vaccination drive and reduced caseloads to catalyse domestic travel recovery in the next two quarters," he added.</p> <p>On the ground, images of people thronging destinations like Manali and serpentine queues of cars waiting to get into popular hill towns such as Shimla give the picture.<br> </p> <p>Be it a workcation, staycation or drivecation, people are clearly eager to travel and splurge as India's Covid cases dipped, determined to make up fo.r lost leisure days due to frequent shutdowns, signalling the return of normalcy for the corona-hit travel and hospitality sector.<br> </p> <p>Noida-based IT professional Avinash Giri chose the quiet town of Naggar in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district for his workcation.<br> </p> <p>"This is the first time that we have travelled since the onset of the pandemic. Things were pathetic in the past two months. We were cooped inside our homes, not going out even to the balcony. My wife and children wanted to be out and I decided to pick this secluded Naggar district," he said.<br> </p> <p>"The view, the weather, everything is amazing here. The property I am staying at is new and economical -- food and other chores are well taken care of by the host. I will stay at least for a month at different places in Himachal Pradesh, and our next possible desti nation is Manali," the 37-year-old added.</p> <p>Both Giri and his wife are partially vaccinated.&nbsp;</p> <p>His 'revenge' is sweet news for the bleeding hospitality industry.<br> </p> <p>Budget-friendly hostel chain goSTOPS, multi-hospitality chain OYO and Airbnb, the online marketplace for arranging or offering lodgings, are among the companies that witnessed a major spike in the number of enquiries and bookings made in June.<br> </p> <p>While goSTOPS, according to its founder and CEO Pallavi Agarwal, has recorded a "1,000 per cent" spike in its daily reservations; Airbnb India has also observed a "strong pent-up demand" for destinations that are a drive away from metro cities.<br> </p> <p>"With different states starting the unlock procedure and beginning to ease Covid restrictions, we have seen a significant surge in enquiry and booking from both metros and mini metro cities. What has also fuelled the sentiment of travellers is the vaccination rate going up and infection rate taking a nosedive," said Agarwal.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to travel tech startup RateGain findings, New Delhi (2,943), Pune (2,113), Hyderabad (1,969), Bangalore (1,516), and Chennai (1,516) are the top five destinations with the most rooms booked from June 7-20.&nbsp;</p> <p>"Leisure cities are taking slightly longer to bounce back. However, they are showing significant potential for the coming weeks. Leisure hotspots like Jaipur, Visakhapatnam and Agra are already seeing positive signs of travel coming back. We're noticing increasing interest for hill stations within driving distance from mainstream cities... (stations) like Manali, Lonavala, Nainital, Shimla, Mysore ," said Yatish Jain, OYO vice president and chief growth officer.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>Hotels and resorts are riding high on the revenge travel trend too.</p> <p>WelcomeHeritage Hotels, for instance, is seeing nearly "70-80 per cent" of occupancy in most of their hill properties, including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.</p> <p>Offering various innovative packages, such as 'Work from Home' and 'Drivable Holidays', their 'Head for Hills' package which is proving to be a hit among tourists travelling from the nearby cities starts from Rs 7,000 onwards.<br> </p> <p>The trend is benefiting resorts near big cities as well.&nbsp;</p> <p>Both The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi, and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa in nearby Gurgaon are clocking week-on-week "25-30 per cent growth" in leisure guests through their staycation offerings.</p> <p>"There is pent up demand; and people do want to get away from the humdrum and monotony of being at home, and are looking for safe ways to return to some semblance of normal life. In fact, the whole of May when the resort was non-operational, we were getting queries asking when we will reopen the resort," said Rahul Puri, multi-property general manager for The Westin Hotel and Resort.<br> </p> <p>The package for two at The Westin Gurgaon and The Westin Sohna Resort and Spa starts at Rs 6,000 and Rs 12,000 plus taxes, respectively.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>Car rental company Avis India has also reported a surge in bookings with commuters travelling "solo, in couples, and with their families".&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>"They are planning weekend getaways to nearby mountains or cities such as from Delhi to Himachal or Jaipur. Or from Bangalore to Ooty. Some are also relocating to work from hills such as Manali or Shimla which is leading to an increase in long term rentals. We are seeing a rise in the booking of Amaze, Honda City in the Sedan category while InnovaCrysta has been the preferred choice by our customers in the SUV category," said Sunil Gupta, MD and CEO, Avis India.</p> <p>As India's Covid numbers fall India on Sunday reported 43,071 fresh cases and a positivity rate of 2.34 per cent, less than 5 per cent for 27 consecutive days doctors advise caution and the need to be vigilant.</p> <p>&nbsp;"Yes, it has been a tough time. However, we cannot let our guard down. We should not be mingling with groups. It is not advisable at all. We need to stay cautious for the next two to three months, said Dr Vikas Maurya, director and Hod, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh.&nbsp;<br> </p> Sun Jul 04 18:53:34 IST 2021 stranger-sons-taking-craft-gin-trail-beyond-indian-shores <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>It was around 2015 that Sakshi Saigal, while pursuing her MBA from Barcelona, started noticing pockets in Europe fizzing with gin bars, especially gin tonic and cocktails bars in London. "I was really surprised that the back-label of these gin bottles listed botanicals, herbs and spices that you could easily find in India, like coriander, black pepper, nutmeg. At that point I was like why isn't anybody in India making premium gin?" says Saigal who after coming back to India went on to set up&nbsp;Stranger&nbsp;&amp; Sons in 2018 with&nbsp;Rahul Mehra&nbsp;and&nbsp;Vidur Gupta.</p> <p>Today Stranger &amp; Sons, packaged&nbsp;in a stylishly stout bottle with a cork stopper,&nbsp;is&nbsp;best-known as an early innovator in the Indian craft gin landscape, a premium Indian brand that&nbsp;can be spotted in bars in&nbsp;London, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. "A&nbsp;domestic consumer in India is always&nbsp;suspicious of&nbsp;premium Indian spirits. And we wanted to challenge that. And&nbsp;not only at home in&nbsp;India, but even globally," says Saigal, now ready with plans to expand to more international markets like New Zealand, Mauritius and&nbsp;Australia.&nbsp;</p> <p>This aspirational Indian brand, once hardly available beyond Goa where it is distilled, is on an expansion spree. Available in Maharashtra and Karnataka, Stranger &amp; Sons launched in Delhi this year and has just landed in Rajasthan too.&nbsp;&nbsp;Not exactly a London dry gin, Stanger &amp; Sons mostly has&nbsp;Indian botanicals and the robust flavour is a perfect blend of black pepper, nutmeg, mace, coriander, liquorice, cassia bark, angelica, juniper and four aromatic citrus peels including&nbsp;Gondhoraj&nbsp;lemons from Kolkata. While not as ubiquitous as Greater Than, another homegrown brand which was the earliest mover in India's gin renaissance, Stranger &amp; Sons is a bit boutique with accessible characteristics. Priced a little under Rs 2,000, it appeals to a wandering tippler always on the lookout for exciting new brands with a story to tell, preferably with&nbsp;farm-to-table bona fides.</p> <p>But Stranger &amp; Sons is now growing beyond its niche credentials. It has&nbsp;constantly tinkered with a range of flavours and spirits and taken&nbsp;a number of&nbsp;initiatives&nbsp;to support the industry in a pandemic year&nbsp;while&nbsp;elevating the home-drinking experience&nbsp;in unique ways.</p> <p>&nbsp;The brand launched Strange Times, their&nbsp;first collection of pre-batched cocktails and cordials, made in collaboration with some of Asia's best bars including five bars from Singapore, Tippling club, Neon pigeon, 28 Hong Kong Street, The Old Man, Native and Cin Cin and O Pedro from India. Pocket-sized, ready-to-pour, single-serve Negroni in a bottle is one of those ideas. Their collaboration with The Bombay Canteen restaurant yielded the refreshing Perry Road Peru, a distilled cocktail made of gin and&nbsp;pink guavas (pink perus). Easily&nbsp;refrigerated with a shelf life of up to six months,&nbsp;Perry Road Peru was a limited edition, pink-peachy goodness in seductively designed bottles.&nbsp; The brand also launched a G&amp;T kit with four bottles of tonic water at no added cost. "We wanted to make sure we build a really diverse gin that stands across all cocktails. So, it is not just about gin and tonic, but we really stand by a drink. program which has the Gibsons and the gimlet. Gibson is basically a martini, but with a twist. It has pickled onions. But we took that whole conversation to pickled tomatoes and apricots," says Saigal about the all-round flexibility of their brand.&nbsp;</p> <p>During the lockdown they&nbsp;had one of their largest orders, from the Craft Gin Club which is the&nbsp;UK's biggest subscription club for gin lovers. They deliver some of the world's best craft gins at the doorstep of their subscribers. "They select one gin every month. And that gin is sent out to about 70,000 homes across the UK. It comes with&nbsp;a really nice kit&nbsp;with tonic water, some chips and chocolate and things like that. We were&nbsp;the&nbsp;gin&nbsp;of the month in September last year. At 70,000 bottles, I think it was the largest order we fulfilled," says Saigal. Apart from the many industry awards they have been&nbsp;winning, Stranger &amp; Sons won the&nbsp;Gold last year at the&nbsp;International Wine &amp; Spirit Competition&nbsp;with a&nbsp;score of 98/100. IWSC is awarded to the eight best gins in the world. This led to a&nbsp;collaboration with Four Pillars gin, a&nbsp;craft distillery in Melbourne, with both companies exchanging and infusing their indigenous botanicals.&nbsp;"We have really been able to add to the global conversation around gin and the perception of India in the international spirits market," says Saigal.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri Jul 02 16:17:35 IST 2021 sg-asudev-pays-tribute-to-girish-karnad-collage <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>S.G. Vasudev’s collages of Girish Karnad beautifully sum up the versatile genius’ scintillating career. The collages were featured in a performance staged by Ranga Shankara recently in commemoration of Karnad on his 83rd birthday.</p> <p>Vasudev shared an intense bond with Karnad, the late playwright, actor, writer and filmmaker. His friendship with Karnad goes back 58 years. ‘’When we first met, Karnad was an assistant manager at the Oxford University Press. He was astonishingly well read. He had an in-depth knowledge of poetry, theatre and even existentialism,’’ recalls Vasudev.</p> <p>In 1967, Karnad got Vasudev a manuscript of Dr U.R. Ananthamurthy’s <i>Samskara</i>. ‘’ Both of us felt it could be made into a film. Tom Cowan, a young Australian director- photographer was staying in Cholamandal then. Cowan was very excited when he came to know about the film project. He offered to do the cinematography for the film,’’ says Vasudev. Cowan worked on the Kannada classic and won much critical acclaim for his contribution. Cowan who has several hit films to his credit still considers Samskara among his best.</p> <p>Vasudev collaborated with Karnad for <i>Vamsha Vruksha</i>, another award-winning movie. The Cholamandal legend says his mind was crowded with memories as he made the collages of Karnad.</p> <p>Collage art is no child’s play for Vasudev.&nbsp; His new series of collages are endearingly playful, and yet powerful and thought-provoking. They offer layers of meaning.</p> <p>Vasudev who won the National Award from the All India Lalit Kala Akademi in 1967 is best known for his <i>Vriksha</i> (Tree of Life) series. The 80-year-old Bengaluru based artist still seems to be obsessed with tree motifs. Trees with pearl shaped leaves growing on long, slender stems appear in his collages too, signifying life, death and what lies between.</p> <p>Asked why the tree motif is so dear to him, he explains, ‘’I like tree shapes. Trees come in different shapes. Tree motifs give me scope to experiment.&nbsp; You can even make human form from them.’’</p> <p>When the pandemic confined him to his home studio, Vasudev began looking for something to lift his spirits up. He ended up making collages using torn bits of paper, wedding invites and magazines. He even took out images from <i>Vriksha</i>, his biography in a coffee table book format. His drawings added zing to his collages.</p> <p>Vasudev’s collages are well thought out pieces of art and he bares his soul in them. A collage is more than just juxtaposing seemingly unrelated elements, he says. ‘’My collages don’t just happen. They are based on solid ideas,’’ adds Vasudev, a founder member of the Cholamandal Artists Village in Chennai.</p> <p>Vasudev has had his share of struggles. ‘’I worked hard in my initial years. I’d do craft work along with my friends in Cholamandal and make money out of them. We hardly had two meals a day,’’ he recalls.</p> <p>‘’Cholamandal is the only artists’ village in the country that has survived even after 55 years,’’ he adds as an afterthought.</p> Mon Jun 07 14:56:55 IST 2021 fashion-photographer-nima-samiee-sets-his-footprints-on-a-global <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Fashion is by far one of the most lucrative professions today. The industry has given the best creative professionals to the world including designers, models and photographers who have proved their prowess with their skills. Utilizing the potential of photography, Milano based fashion photographer Nima Samiee is making the right noise on the internet. Originally from Iran, he moved to Milano in 2012 and has been following his passion since then.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the onset of his career, Nima started his job as a photographer in Milan. One of the primary reasons behind zeroing down fashion photography is his immense love for fashion. Nima says, “As a photographer, I have got so many subjects to capture. Whether it is to capture any muse or any launch of apparel, the industry demands more creativity and that is what I love the most.” He further explained that every day is a new learning experience for him.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The kind of photo shoot Nima has been doing redefines glamour in the truest sense. If you have a glimpse at his Instagram feed, a majority of his shots are class beyond comparison. Having collaborated with Milano’s top-notch models and brands, Nima has worked with magazines and publications like Vogue, Numero, Love Magazine and L’officiel. Besides photography, Nima has been covering various shows as a content creator.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking about exploring social media, he says, “It is a platform that can make any artist an internet star. If you have the talent, nothing better than the internet in today’s ever-changing era. Using it as a tool to highlight his portfolio, Nima Samiee has used it as a networking tool with having built strong connections with artists, models and influencers.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Among the numerous achievements of Nima, working with Live Magazine remains one of his most prized possessions. Some of the high-end models Nima has worked with are Sasha Luss, Noel Capri, Sofia Resing, Marianne Fonseca, Cara Delevingne, Kat Graham, Martha Hunt among others. Moreover, the ace photographer has created high-quality content for brands like Versace, Balmain, Fendi and Armani. Along with it, Nima’s work has taken him to global fashion events like Paris Fashion Week and Milano Fashion Week. To know more about Nima Samiee, check out his Instagram page - ‘@nimasamieeph’.</p> Wed Aug 18 15:32:18 IST 2021 mother-daughter-launch-mental-health-helpline-pandemic <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A mother-daughter entrepreneur duo has come up with a unique solution for distressed people during the pandemic in the city of Kolkata. Caring Minds, a subsidiary of Patton Group of companies, based in Kolkata, has opened their toll-free number where adults and children who are depressed after losing their kin, or affected mentally amid the pandemic and shutdown, could seek counselling.</p> <p>Anyone can call seven days a week, 9am – 9pm, and speak with a mental health expert.</p> <p>“With the new normal constantly evolving and bringing with it death, devastation, and grief wherever one looks, it has become a toxic situation that is bound to take a toll on our mental health too.&nbsp;Living in a constant state of worry for over a year under circumstances that are less than ideal affects one and all - all age groups, all genders, all classes,”&nbsp;said Minu Budhia, founder director of Caring Minds.</p> <p>Speaking to THE WEEK, Budhia, herself a leading psychotherapist, said she and her daughter, Preeyam, head of new initiative at Caring Minds, have decided to address the dreadful situation.</p> <p><b>Excerpts:</b></p> <p><b>What kind of advice would be given to people through this number?</b></p> <p>In the present times, all age groups are going through constant stress and anxiety, 24x7. Presently people are overwhelmed emotionally with the negativity of the new normal. This unending feeling of being disturbed, distressed, depressed is demoralising people and creating a&nbsp;toxic situation in their minds. This is then negatively affecting their mental health. Our helpline is an endeavour to alleviate this tension and to help men, women, seniors, and children to cope with hope and come out of this daily negativity.</p> <p><b>Please specify whether only adults would get or children would be equally benefited.</b></p> <p>Our helpline is for one and all. There is no age bar for mental healthcare and thereby we are open to receiving calls from any age group across the country. Sitting at home, being stuck studying online, bereft of direct contact with friends, many children and teens have lost their emotional support system. We are here to provide that support in their time of need. No child should feel lost, lonely, or scared in these difficult days – we are here to be a friendly voice of support.</p> <p><b>How many experts have Caring Minds roped in? What are their specialities?</b></p> <p>We have a pool of trained mental health experts who are there to counsel and provide emotional support and psychological first aid to all callers. It is similar to putting a band-aid on a small cut. Deep wounds need a different treatment plan.</p> <p><b>How would the assistance be provided?</b></p> <p>As a helpline like this is the first step for many to getting the help they need, our counsellors provide help that is psychological. Psychometric testing and psychiatric intervention are secondary steps requiring diagnosis and treatment and that is only possible via planned clinical sessions. If our counsellors realise that someone is in need of urgent or more in-depth help, they are referred to other treatment options.</p> <p><b>Was this a result of the pandemic situation, or did you plan on setting up such a helpline earlier?</b></p> <p>For over a year everything in our lives, both negative and positive, has been about the pandemic. It has permeated our personal, social, and professional lives, become a part of our very existence, and we are aware of it every waking moment. We had been thinking about a helpline for quite a while, but given that emotional support and mental healthcare is the need of the hour, our team worked round the clock to make this launch possible. We wanted to help our community feel emotionally safe in these distressing times.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><i>Caring Minds mental health toll-free number is 1800-891-3021&nbsp;</i></b></p> Thu May 20 16:28:25 IST 2021 in-conversation-with-renowned-spiritual-leader-yogi-shivan--the- <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p><a href=""><u>Yogi Shivan</u></a>&nbsp;is one of the most known faces of ancient wisdom of Yoga &amp; Ayurveda. His healing village is attracting people from various nations across the globe and the Yogi explains the importance of Indian culture to the world.</p> <p><b>The concept of ‘Healing Village’ by you was very innovative. Could you explain more about&nbsp;</b><a href=""></a><a href=""><b><u>“Indimasi”</u></b></a>&nbsp;<b>&nbsp;?</b></p> <p>Indimasi is a replica of villages which existed in ancient India-Bharat. Bharat was a combination of self-sustained villages. These villages were like a joint family who stayed together, worked together and prospered together . In these villages it was mandatory to have a dairy farm, agricultural fields, pond, amphitheatre, Kalari , traditional hospitals and temple along with a meditation centre.</p> <p>By utilizing these facilities, everyone in these villages was well aware of their total well-being in physical, mental, social and spiritual planes.</p> <p>Ancient Indian Healing system gave equal importance for the body and mind.</p> <p>Sage Sushruta says,&nbsp;<i>Sareera manasoyogo paraspara manuvrajeth</i>&nbsp;.</p> <p>If a person can explore the hidden potential of the mind, his body functions will be under his command.</p> <p>Here that person’s inner self will be his own shelter. Samaveda says&nbsp;<i>tat tvam asi</i>, Your inner self is what you are looking for. India’s indigenous techniques make everybody capable of finding their own inner potential.</p> <p>The name Indimasi is a combination of “INDI” from India and “ASI” from&nbsp;<i>tat</i>&nbsp;<i>tvam asi</i>&nbsp;and propagates the ancient wisdom of India in a modern scientific way.</p> <p><b>We have seen many people calling you ‘The Guru of Healing’. What are the methods you adopt ?</b></p> <p>All Indian traditional contributions are from Sages who were known as&nbsp;<i>Thaapasas</i>. In Sanskrit,&nbsp;<i>Thaapa</i>&nbsp;means heat. Heat is the key player behind all molecular structural differences.</p> <p>For example, take ice, water, and vapour. Ice is solid with certain molecular cohesiveness. If&nbsp;<i>Thaapa</i>&nbsp;(heat) is applied, ice will be transformed into water and with further heat application it will be transformed to vapour. If the heat is removed, the same process will be reversed. The human body’s health is based on the management of its temperature (37.3°C).</p> <p>Pranayama and meditation can make a person capable of playing with the body temperature (Thaapa). The process of maintaining&nbsp;<i>thaapa</i>&nbsp;through meditation is called&nbsp;<i>thapas</i>. The person who does&nbsp;<i>thapas</i>&nbsp;is called a&nbsp;<i>thaapasa</i>.</p> <p>Each one of us is having a hidden&nbsp;<i>thaapasa</i>&nbsp;within . Through simple and scientific practice , Indimasi guides everybody to awaken the&nbsp;<i>thaapasa</i>&nbsp;within. Thereby, the healing process will be happening in a natural way for that person.</p> <p><b>Modern World is plagued by stress, depression, suicide tendencies, psychological issues. As a Spiritual leader and Yoga Guru, how would you mentor the society ?</b></p> <p>Modern world is plagued by many diseases . According to Ayurveda and Yoga, immunity of the body is maintained through five energies. They are :</p> <p>1. &nbsp;<i>Anna bala</i>&nbsp;– Power of Food</p> <p>2. &nbsp;<i>Asana bala</i>&nbsp;– Power of Exercise</p> <p>3. &nbsp;<i>Oushadha bala</i>&nbsp;– Power of Medicines</p> <p>4. &nbsp;<i>Prana bala</i>&nbsp;– Power of Breath</p> <p>5. &nbsp;<i>Mano bala</i>&nbsp;- Power of Mind</p> <p>These energies can be attained and harmonized through yogic disciplines or&nbsp;<i>Thapas</i>. To a person who is having the optimum level of immunity, none of these diseases are relevant. In simpler terms, when these energies are balanced, the person will be having a healthy body and mind. Such people can also play a major role in building a healthy society.</p> <p><b>What are the new initiatives and activities of&nbsp;</b><a href=""></a><a href=""><b><u>Indimasi</u></b></a>&nbsp;<b>?</b></p> <p>1. &nbsp;Train the senior citizens to deal with old age.</p> <p>2. &nbsp;Educate everyone in the community about the possibilities of traditional science.</p> <p>3. &nbsp;Teach about the importance of Yoga, Ayurveda and ancient science from school level.</p> <p>4. &nbsp;Through the integration of Ayurveda, Yoga and Kalari therapy, provide everybody a disease-free and contented life.</p> <p><b>Yoga and Wellness are growing worldwide, you also attract a lot of foreigners and people from various nations ; is this a fascination by the west for Indian Culture ?</b></p> <p>It is not a fascination but a realization of the real benefit of Indian Traditional science. Only the Indian tradition can bring the satisfaction and peace that modern man is desperately looking for.&nbsp;World peace cannot be achieved through arms and ammunition. It is possible only through the virtue of individuals. Indian tradition makes love and peace possible for mankind unconditionally.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri Sep 17 11:27:25 IST 2021 ankur-gupta--jmd--ashiana-housing--india-requires-a-push-for-the <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Globally, the coronavirus pandemic has upended many lives and forever altered the life of citizens across all age groups but it has been even more challenging for the elderly population. Due to countrywide lockdown and strict regulations for social distancing and isolation, the feelings of fear, anxiety, loneliness, and depression took over the senior cohort. At present, India’s senior citizen population is second largest in the world after China and while the government policies should cater to the needs of the disadvantaged sections, the seniors from middle income and upper income segments should also be prioritized. A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report projects that the senior population in India will witness a three-fold increase of up to 30 crores by 2050, presenting an exciting opportunity for the senior living industry. Currently, though the senior housing demand is huge but on the supply side, senior housing in 40+ senior living players across all formats stands at just 15,000-20,000 units.</p> <p>Developed economies provide relaxation from financial burden to senior citizens in multiple manners in the form of direct income tax exemptions, exemptions for expenses on clinical and non-clinical care up to a certain limit, which should also be adopted in India. Senior citizens living in retirement community currently pay 18% GST for the monthly services along with 5% GST on food. Several senior citizens also need specialized senior care equipment which when imported attracts 28% GST. Relaxation in taxes will help increase the purchase volumes and in doing so, increase the overall tax value. At the same time more and more seniors will get benefitted by availing the services and products designed especially for them, resulting in receiving better facilities.</p> <p>The need for&nbsp;<a href=""></a><a href=""><u>senior living projects</u></a>&nbsp;will continue to grow over the next couple of decades. As a result, states and municipalities need to update their zoning laws to promote dedicated land allocation for senior living projects and provide a dramatic push to the sector. Within this, relevant authorities need to ensure well planned parking norms, density norms and infrastructure norms, specifically for senior living. The government needs to improve the law for health insurance for seniors as it becomes expensive over time. Health insurance for people taken at corporate level should continue for life and there should be norms to ensure that they remain reasonably priced. Additionally, reverse mortgage needs modification as currently it is not really helping seniors liquidate their assets to solve their medical or assisted care challenges. With 20% of the Indian population likely to be elderly by 2050, the government as well as private sector needs to devise robust strategies for providing social security and healthcare benefits to them.</p> <p>We need to build housing solutions that are completely focused on ensuring requirements of senior citizens are met - through parks where they can enjoy a walk, workout or a designated space with requisite senior-friendly facilities. At the same time, we should bring in standardization for all senior care services and products. This will improve their quality and streamline the processes followed to closely monitor these offerings and be able to make any course correction, if required. And on the other side, when all stakeholders come together, it will help boost the acceptance for senior care facilities in the minds of Next of Kins (NOKs).</p> <p>Positive demographic growth drivers, focused efforts by government and policy makers, and recent rise in number of private sector players across various senior care formats, the sector presents a massive potential for development in the next few years. People post their retirement years, primarily look for a space that provides them with the right amenities ensuring their emotional and physical well-being. Hence, concerted, multi-stakeholder efforts are required to build an ecosystem that helps address their concerns and allows them to engage in various recreational activities for their overall wellbeing. The government must provide the right push to make sure that the private sector is able to generate employment, service the elders better and create the right ecosystem.</p> <p>To know more about&nbsp;<b>Active Senior Living</b>&nbsp;at Ashiana Housing, visit&nbsp;<a href=""></a><a href=""><u></u></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu Jul 08 19:37:36 IST 2021 5-new-fashion-trends-to-learn-from-social-media-celebrities <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>In the years before the active usage of social media, people were less interested in trends. The fashion world felt like a foreign land only accessible to celebrities and designers. However, with the passage of time, style and fashion became more reachable to a broader public. Many influencers have emerged on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, who not only follow but create new trends.</p> <p>Fashion never stops evolving; its ever-changing and fleeting nature keeps us desiring for more. The times change, and so do the fashion trends. Even with the pandemic, it was the same. Bollywood celebrities also contributed significantly to popularising these trends. Although the start of the year was slow in fashion, it was compensated by the end of 2020.</p> <p>From tie-dye prints to sequin sarees, here are five new fashion trends to learn from social media celebrities.</p> <p><b>Tie-dye Prints</b></p> <p>The days of hippie vibes are back, and the tie-dye prints have returned with them. The breezy pattern became a mainstay over t-shirts, jumpers, and hoodies, notably in the tracksuits worn by celebrities. DIY tie-dyeing remained popular in the last year, owing to many people being confined at home.</p> <p>The vibrant trend has been around for a while, but it has now reached prominent designers, who are re-inventing tie-dyed clothes in their current collections.</p> <p>Following the trend, Alia Bhatt wore a faded tie-dye tee and white jeans, which is a superb way to keep your t-shirt in the spotlight.</p> <p><b>Micro Bags</b></p> <p>When it comes to one’s style, bags are an essential item that everyone wants to play around with. Big bags were so last since they got much smaller in 2020. Micro bags, in various forms, have become popular in recent years.</p> <p>From round shapes to micro mini bags, these tiny bags are creating new bag trends. These accessory pieces, which are midway between the form of a party clutch and a shoulder strap, are making social media celebrities fall in love. Sonam Kapoor and others sported the micro handbags trend.</p> <p><b>Statement Sleeves</b></p> <p>The best-dressed stars recognized the power of the poofy sleeves when it came to adding a charm to their OOTDs. From puffy shoulders to oversized peasant sleeves, this year’s volume was undoubtedly up.</p> <p>Oversized sleeves have been around for a while; they are light and billowy in soft colors, lustrous fabrics, and cheery designs this year. Among the celebrities, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja embraced old-world charm with mutton sleeves on her couture dress, while Anushka Sharma liked the trend in a party-ready short dress.</p> <p>A designer case gives an added aspect to your attire if you feel like it’s missing something. Many of the Bollywood celebrities have iPhone and the iPhone covers they use depicts their style. The latest iPhone, iPhone 12 Pro, and&nbsp;<a href=""></a><a href=""><u>iPhone 12 Pro Cover</u></a>&nbsp;are in the game. Moreover, many Indians buy the&nbsp;<a href=""></a><a href=""><u>iPhone 12 Cover</u></a>&nbsp;according to their style and in coherence with the latest trends.</p> <p><b>Sequin Sarees</b></p> <p>While much of 2020 was quarantined, sequin sarees took over during the months when the celebrities were occupied with promotions and making event appearances.</p> <p>The sequin saree is a graceful and exquisite piece of clothing that is the most versatile in our closet. With changing fashion trends, the sequin saree was the ultimate party wear in 2020.</p> <p>Among other celebrities, Malaika Arora, Janhvi Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, and Kareena Kapoor revolutionized the game by making this trendy saree famous.</p> <p><b>Neon Attires</b></p> <p>Acid green was seen everywhere, with Deepika Padukone’s billowing Giambattista Valli tulle on the Cannes 2019 red carpet to Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Retrofête skirt. It wasn't the only shade of green that swept Bollywood; the millennial star’s favorite hue was the iridescent lime, a yellow variant of the color.</p> <p>Jhanvi Kapoor is undoubtedly one of Bollywood’s top style icons. Whether it is her film choices, acting, or dancing skills, the diva nails it all while looking like a million bucks.</p> <p>The diva, an actual snappy dresser, has been setting new trends as well as reviving old ones. It seems like Jhanvi couldn’t get over the neon trend and has shown us again and again how to do it right.</p> Thu Jul 08 19:37:22 IST 2021 lifestyle-icon-narendra-desai-cherishes-his-dream-of-inspiring-o <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Narendra Desai's name is rising in the books of modest influencers impacting lives with a humble and earnest approach, and sincere carvings towards his vocation and desires.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Narendra Desai was a young boy with big dreams and aspirations from a small townlet. Yet his dreams never collided with his confrontation. He has always been a man of charm helping others and putting needs on the plate of others even when he had nothing for himself. Yet, Desai strived harder to achieve his vocation and fulfill people's needs and his aspiration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, when the young entrepreneur is residing his commerce. He is successfully fulfilling his dreams too. Narendra is recognized for his travel trails he is exploring every corner of the world listing his recommendation for others and helping his followers with the suggestion of dos and don't. Even in his desires, he is thinking of the betterment of others.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Narendra Desai is also inspiring others with his fashion sense and lifestyle dairy.</p> <p>He has constantly been one to maintain it real. Be it either his personal or professional life, the entrepreneur has always endorsed authenticity and living true to one’s self. And everyone respects and stands to follow him for the same mantra, He shares that he doesn't want to be like others who he points out have been in the overwhelming politics, peddling stories to their audiences by pictures that are lavish and breaking the hopes of others.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Narendra teaches everyone to be modest about their passion as it's not a breeze to make an impact on social media. He adds to the conversation by stressing the fact " It is not easy to create a niche for yourself just by waking up one morning, it takes a lot of productivity, investments, commitments, and compassion… but if you know what you want, go for it and never settle for less".<b></b></p> <p><b>&nbsp;</b></p> Wed Sep 22 22:33:47 IST 2021 Want-to-give-your-skin-a-lustrous-and-glowing-effect-Try-the-exclusive-Sugar-body-scrubs-from-Bryan-and-Candy <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Skincare is not just about maintaining the perfect glowing skin above the neck; it is to take proper care of the overall body. For a thorough skincare routine, the use of only body lotion &amp; body butter won’t help. Sugar body scrub exfoliates the dead skin cells and promotes new cell regeneration. Sugar body scrubs are better than salt scrubs or any other scrubs with physical exfoliators as the former is less abrasive and works perfectly on sensitive skin. Sugar is a natural humectant that helps in moisturizing the skin while exfoliating it. Bryan &amp; Candy Sugar body scrubs are available in many variants and they are made with Natural ingredients like Sugar, sunflower seed oil, olive oil, oatmeal extracts, castor oil, argan oil, beeswax, and fruit AHAs. Natural oils make the skin soft and supple while exfoliating.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With a variety of bath and body care brands available in the market, the body scrubs from ‘Bryan &amp; Candy’ are a must-have in your bathing routine. Some of the best and highly recommended Sugar body scrubs of the brand are Cocoa &amp; Shea –Sugar Body Scrub, Matcha Green Tea - Sugar Body Scrub, Orange &amp; Mandarin Sugar Body Scrub, Strawberry - Sugar Body Scrub, and Delicate Rose - Sugar Body Scrub. The sugar body scrub helps to get glowing skin, removes dirt, dead skin cells, pigmentation, and hair ingrowths. All products of Bryan &amp; Candy are free from sulphates, paraben, and other harmful chemicals. The Cocoa and Shea – Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub repairs and moisturizes the skin. The Matcha Green Tea - Sugar Body Scrub removes all the toxins and dirt from the skin. Apart from this, the Orange &amp; Mandarin - Sugar Body Scrub, rich in Vitamin C helps to De-tan the skin and reduce pigmentation, Strawberry - Sugar Body Scrub has anti-inflammatory properties that protect the skin from burns and UV rays. The Delicate Rose - Sugar Body Scrub has got a perfect blend of sugar granules and rose oil that nourishes the skin. The subtle aroma of rose oil leaves a soothing impact on skin and makes one feel refreshed all day. It is advised that exfoliating the skin should not be done more than thrice a week.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With a strong presence over the digital domain, the ‘Bryan &amp; Candy' products are available on online shopping portals like Amazon, Myntra, Tata Cliq, and Flipkart. To purchase other Bath &amp; body essentials of ‘Bryan &amp; Candy’, you can visit the official website&nbsp;<a href=""></a>.</p> Tue Jul 20 16:18:29 IST 2021 Inspirational-Journey-Of-Sahil-Kothari-Founder-of-Sahil-Kothari-Training-And-Consultancy <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Not many become successful in their career at a young age but <a href="">Sahil Kothari</a> has a different story to share. Sahil Kothari, the founder of ‘Sahil Kothari Training and Consultancy,' has taught and instructed over 50,000 students in the fields of occult sciences, mind, and psychology, healing and spirituality, and health and wellness. Yet, he was never a whizzkid who got everything easy and his story has the power to instill hope in a lot of people’s lives.</p> <p>Sahil Kothari was born on August 19, 1990, in Kolkata, the City of Joy. Growing up in a middle-class family, he was always disappointed with financial affairs prevailing at home. He lost most of his younger years settling down with puny cashflows and agonizing about which job route to pursue. Sahil Kothari graduated with a bachelor's degree in commerce from the University of Calcutta and was concurrently studying for the Chartered Accountancy exam.</p> <p>Although he somehow managed to finish the intermediate level of the course, he was never interested in becoming a chartered accountant and working for someone in a 9-5 job. Later, he was forced to move to Dubai and work at a business run by one of his family cousins, but after only four months, he lost interest and returned to India.</p> <p>Most of his early adulthood was spent resolving inner conflicts about choosing the appropriate professional path for himself and convincing his parents to trust in him, but none of it worked out. He also created a blogging website in the hopes of making a career as a blogger, but it flopped terribly, much to his dismay. Even after so many setbacks, he never lost enthusiasm and continued to pursue his passions.</p> <p>After years of struggling to find the appropriate job, the universe reinvigorated his life with a life-changing event. He came upon a theory known as the Law of Attraction, which proved to be a watershed moment in his life. He was introduced to this theory via the movie “The Secret” and was fascinated by the notion of like attracting like, and how we as humans are directly responsible for the events that happen to and around us all the time.</p> <p>His uncanny indulgence in learning and applying this law resulted in some profound changes in his life. He started encouraging his friends and family to believe in the law and helped them to understand how we hold the power to achieve any level of greatness with the right use of our hidden mental powers.</p> <p>A few months after putting this life-changing philosophy into practice, he was enriched with the idea of starting a training and consulting business.</p> <p>The company began by offering courses on mind power and motivation, and it eventually expanded by incorporating disciplines such as psychology, mind power, health and wellness, and esoteric sciences. “The first few months were difficult since I only had 10 individuals sign up for my courses,” he adds, “but my unwavering commitment in teaching the public made <a href="">i</a>t easier for me to keep going.” Always listen to your heart since it has the answer to all your living impediments. Cancel out the noises and keep striving till you are not contented with yourself and your hard work,” he concludes<a href="">.</a></p> Tue Aug 03 17:59:26 IST 2021 oh-that--natural--5-skincare-trend-predictions-ruling-2021 <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>From establishing and following a natural skincare routine to choosing homegrown such brands, here's what you can expect from the skincare industry this year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, to claim that the skincare industry undergoes constant evolution would prove to be an understatement. Every year, the industry witnesses a fresh array of natural ingredients and skincare trends rise to fame. While in 2020, beauty and skincare enthusiasts and experts experienced the goodness of plant-based ingredients, upcycling, and inhalable products, to name a few,) this year, we’re looking ahead to the trends being just as effectual and diversified. In the same direction, we bumped into Mr Paarth Malhotra, Brand CoFounder, Oh that! Natural to learn about his visionary thoughts on the much-talked-about skincare trends all set to dominate this year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And, let’s just say his insights about minimalistic regimens to the soaring <a href="">natural skincare products for all</a>, undoubtedly confirm that there is a lot more to enhance your personal skincare philosophy this year. Further, you must keep scrolling down to browse through the metamorphic skincare trend predictions that shall set 2021 on fire! Are already doing so!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>5 Skincare Trend Predictions for 2021</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is no denial in the fact that we spent most of the days rather months of 2020 and now 2021, indoors because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, although people used it as a period of creativity and giving their skin special care. However, people, this year are prepared as there were various beauty trends that emerged amid the pandemic last year. The popularity of DIYs and natural skincare products came into the picture as they were more effective than synthetic ones.&nbsp; These developments are only expected to accelerate in 2021 as we are at home again.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are here with some of the latest and best trends for this year, from simple DIYs to one of the best natural skincare brands, “Oh that! Natural:”.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Slow Beauty Is The New Normal</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The beauty industry has always shown quick results for any skin issue or even the skincare routine. Well, people have understood that the quick fixes are either temporary or leave some impact on their skin. To give the best treatment of wellness and skincare to your skin, natural products, as well as slow beauty, is the best option.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Talking about slow beauty as a new normal, Cofounder of “Oh That Natural” Paarth Malhotra said that, “It is based on the philosophy of using organic, wellness, body-positive, and long-term beauty practices.” He added, “This is not only about using the natural or organic methods to treat our skin but also about choosing quality over quantity and maintaining a perfect balance of mental and physical health.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For brands, this entails providing customers with a conscious and clean beauty experience. “It's a sense of self-care fueled by the passion that serves around handcrafting goods with the best and authentic ingredients without using any kind of chemical or artificial elements,” said Paarth Malhotra.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Oh That Natural uses natural and best active ingredients that believe in promoting the slow beauty movement and ensuring long-lasting results.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Embracing The Natural Skin Tone</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new trend of 2021 that emerged after the pandemic year is Skinmalism which also denotes embracing the natural skin tone. People have started loving their skin with all the imperfect yet natural skin concerns where they have started flaunting their textured, blemished skin as well as the pores. Rather than covering the imperfections with cosmetics, people have begun to believe in natural skincare and beauty routines to treat them with utmost care.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Talking about this trendsetting concept, Mr Paarth Malhotra added, &quot;The whole point of ‘skinmalism’ is all about minimal coverage. This is an unusual step in a world of beauty and skincare obsessed with hiding imperfections with makeup. It's also an indication that many people tend to abandon unrealistic beauty ideals and are now confident enough to accept the vulnerability.” His beliefs couple up with this trend drives people's trust and support for homegrown as well as a natural skincare brand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Homegrown Brands To Witness A Huge Spike</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Oh That Natural, a homegrown and natural skincare brand has witnessed massive growth in their sale as compared to the synthetic skincare brands amid the pandemic. Indian customers have started understanding the benefits of natural skincare facilitated by homegrown brands. They attribute the trend to three major reasons. Explaining the same, Mr Paarth Malhotra says, &quot; The initiative of ‘Vocal for Local’ and due to the lack of availability of global products, Indian consumers started using local and 'Made In India' skincare products during the lockdown period.&quot; In other words, where they had turned to these brands as substitutes, customers have now replaced the international brands with these because of their chemical-free benefits and results.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Oh that! Natural products have been loved by the customers for their organic ingredients that cause zero side effects to anyone. The brand amplifies the concept of luxury at a very affordable price through its state-of-the-art and innovative clean skincare products with the mission to beautify the natural you and give you the best skincare routine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, another reason stated was a strong social media presence and digital marketing that have helped in extensive growth far and beyond. To elaborate, a considerable digital footprint assisted by creative visibility on social media channels provides brands plenty of exposure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>An Increase In The Selling Of Personal Care Items</b></p> <p>Body care items have always a reserved place in the market be it any year, thanks to the importance of grooming. Well, the only change is people have switched from international and synthetic brands to the ones selling organic and natural products. According to Mr Paarth Malhotra, any kind of product that enhances and maintains personal cleanliness and hygiene will observe growth in sales every year and especially amid the pandemic. COVID-19’s first weapon is cleanliness and maintaining hygiene as washing hands is still and will be the first priority.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The Selling Of Organic Beauty Items Is On The Rise</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Talking about how the sale of organic beauty products has hit the peaks, Paarth explained, &quot;The global skincare market was evaluated at $633.6 million in 2018 and is approximated to reach $3,484.00 million by 2026.” And, this is exactly why people have zero doubts about how products comprising natural ingredients are quickly gaining acceptance and acclaim among skincare freaks and customers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nowadays, customers are on the lookout for innovative and exciting beauty and skincare products manufactured from organic and sustainable resources. Perfect for anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory skin benefits, such products display satisfactory results in treating various kinds of skin issues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed Aug 18 14:21:56 IST 2021 Manzal-Pathan-From-Passion-to-Profession <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>For success one needs to overcome obstacles. Creativity and Innovation are the two tools to grab success. One of the most trending entrepreneur in the field of automobile proved this passion can end up being a successful profession. The profession choose by him was not easy but his determination put all the obsticals into vain.</p> <p>A man who started his journey from zero ended up a successful young businessman. His charm for cars and vehicles ended up being one of the most trending automobile company. His passion for the venture made his clients adopt the new trend of living. Glorifying from the business family, Manzil Pathan knew the tactics of how the market functions. Venturing into this fortified market was not simple as it seems to be, by his enthusiasm and work-oriented etiquette, he is a very short period of time grabbed success in a very short span.</p> <p><b><u>PROFESSIONAL LIFE</u></b></p> <p>In the year 2007, he started working with the TATA SKY as a marketing professional. Manzil Pathan showed easy-to-go behavior with each work and proved hesitation brings failure. He started working at a tender age and learned many exclusive things about the business world. With embellishment experiences and his passion in the field, he realized to build up his own enterprise, and with just a few thousand in his pocket, which came up from selling his bike in the year 2011, he imposed the foundations of his kingdom. Soon he became the grist of the gossip mill for the town and sold many cars with profit-oriented skills. The customization gives the old cars a new look. Venturing into this fortified market was not simple as it seems to be, by his enthusiasm and work-oriented etiquette, he is a very short period of time grabbed success in a very short span.</p> <p><b><u>FIRST PROFIT ORIENTATION</u></b></p> <p>The greatest achievement he did was by selling Bentley Continental and by selling it with a profit-oriented measure of Rs 1.27Cr. In 2013, he opened his second branch in Hyderabad, organizing workshops for vehicles and selling them with profit-oriented arrangements.</p> <p><b><u>TRANSFORMATION IN CLIENT’S LIFESTYLE</u></b></p> <p>The biggest USP of CCWS is the customization of car workshops gives the old cars a breathtaking look. The cars go through 150 steps of quality checks before each sale. Manzil Pathan has never failed to satisfy the customers with his innovation and creativity. He worked as the owner of a worthwhile automobile organization. He ensures that all of his clients will get their vehicles in a coruscating condition without being old-fashioned. His company ensures that the customers will receive cars in a condition with the latest transformation. Each car is polished and is customized as per the customer's will, though Manzal Pathan deals with each car as his own.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu Aug 05 18:31:46 IST 2021 fitnesspreneur-_the-yash-thakur-training-millennials-to-embrace- <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>For fitness establishments, personal training is the most profitable service. The field has grown significantly over the last two decades, with personal training consistently ranking among the top five services given by health clubs. The most important factor to evaluate is whether it aids clients in achieving their health and fitness goals.<br> <br> With a passion to serve clients, Fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur Yash Thakur has built his own fitness business, coaching a large number of individuals with his great knowledge of fitness and health. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest in his field, having worked in the field for a long time. Yash, the creator of Team YT Master Transformers, has earned a name for himself in the online fitness industry, where he assists clients in achieving their ideal physique through training and food counseling.</p> <p><br> Due to his exceptional athletic skills, Yash has been a Chief Guest at almost every bodybuilding competition or fitness event, where he stimulates aspiring trainers and nutritionists. He is not only a fitness fanatic, but he has also helped other fitness industry entrepreneurs open gyms and supplement businesses. His ultimate goal is to raise public awareness about the benefits of appropriate nutrition and exercise.<br> <br> Currently, he teaches others how to transform in a healthy and appropriate manner. He has over 19 nutrition and fitness certifications on his own. In addition, he assists people in the fitness industry is starting their own businesses, developing their own brands, and finding secure employment in the same field.<br> <br> As the youngest fitness coach in India, he has many enterprises under his name. He started his entrepreneurial journey with TEAM YT Master Transformers, a platform where individuals may seek his advice on how to be their best selves. The second is TEAM YT Coaching, where he transmits knowledge that no one else has because India lacks nutrition and training expertise, thus this is a brand that educates individuals and trainers on proper nutrition and training procedures.<br> <br> After witnessing the duplication of supplements in the Indian market, the young and passionate entrepreneur is launching his own supplement brand, which will be called "Human Evolution Supplements." He is a Master Coach as well as a clinical nutritionist, so he can help clients with both transformations and medical difficulties. He has a staff of doctors and nutritionists who educate people on how to approach eating in order to achieve their full potential.<br> <br> With his incredible knowledge in the realm of fitness, Yash Thakur is creating a name for himself in the industry while transforming the lives of people through his expertise in the domain.<br> <br> <br> <br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri Aug 27 18:31:55 IST 2021 influencer-prasad-nagarkar-have-higher-expectations-from-himself <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>From Tycoons like Ratan Tata to The Ambaini's, you will never get the inadequacy of motivating life-changing stories of entrepreneurs and innovators who altered the dimensions of earning and also received the title of legends, along with being terrifically prosperous without ever fearing the need to quit or having a backup plan. However, a large group of communities would probably never appear with the next most million-dollar idea because of the hurdles that they set for themselves.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But what if the leaders of the fame walk down the stairs to give you some insiders from their books of attainment? Bloody brilliant, isn't it? Well, entrepreneur and influencer Prasad Nagarkar from the Puneri hills who is known to be the owner of S.S Nagarkar Jewelers recently gazed at some amazing settings to reach one's goal. Being the celebrated businessman leading a network of responsibilities he murmured that one needs to have higher expectations from themselves rather than others making you to.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The young entrepreneur is not only living his best life alongside being an artist, trekker, influencer, fitness freak but also a mentor to many in his choices. To carve a set of approaches to young aspirants, Prasad Nagarkar adds to the conversation saying " It is a grim reality that avoiding your principles and virtues and just listening to others in the name of experience will never take you anywhere in the long run. You must keep higher expectations from yourself before others do. The point is that you don’t have to invent a success pillar all at once but pull in more than what you can as if you don't think you can do it, you will never do it!" He says this has been his carving knife to his well-established Jewelry line and luxurious lifestyle!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Wed Sep 22 22:33:49 IST 2021 k-culture-is-booming-in-india-korikart-founder-seo-young-doo <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>There has been a growing love for Korean culture in our country. It all started with Korean drama. The subtle romance, the classy cinematography and the focus on intricate details—it is what one calls a perfect combination. Surely, K-pop has had its effect on our country’s teens but the soap operas did the job of marketing Korean products. And before anyone else could, Seo Young-doo jumped in to take hold of this opportunity in India with his online venture Korikart. He had come to India in 2004 to study international relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and closely observed the growing interest of Indians for everything Korean. Young-doo has been living in India for over one-and-a-half decades. He used to come for standalone Korean projects initially, but looking at the opportunities India offered, he decided to set up his own venture here.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Launched in 2018, this Delhi-based e-tailer for Korean beauty, skincare, food and fashion, home and kitchen products has seen an overwhelming response. As a matter of fact, the company claims to have witnessed 300 per cent growth in sales since March 2020 and is currently reporting over 40 per cent month-on-month growth. The pandemic had many sitting at home and binging on K-drama which introduced many to Korean products.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Noodles was the most purchased item during this time,” says Young-doo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Besides that, the boycott of Chinese goods also came to their favour. “There is a steadily growing population that wants to use products made of natural ingredients, which are affordable and healthier. Korean products tick all these boxes,” says the Korean businessman. With a constant smile on his face and passion for his Korean culture, Young-doo tells THE WEEK about his journey of bringing Korea to India.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>How did it all start?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was a simple thought. India and Korea has a lot of similarities, not just culture-wise but also language and other aspects. Unfortunately, Indians were not aware of the rich Korean culture as they are now, thanks to the rise of K-drama and K-pop. I wanted to bridge the gap and make it easy for Indians to experience Korean culture in their homeland itself. Not just make things available but also introduce new Korean things. And we wanted to go beyond just bringing Korea to India; we also decided to get India to Korea. So, we sell Indian products through our platform is Korea. It was not easy setting this venture up but the journey was definitely worth it. Honestly, we took about 11 years to just prepare, improve and make our processes smooth. I started working on my idea from 2009. Every year I failed but I made sure that I got back up with more power. I have learnt a lot in these past couple of years and these lessons have helped the brand to succeed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Do people know about Korikart?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Initially, our target audience were K-pop and K-drama fans in India. Later, many came to know about Korikart through word of mouth. If we specifically talk about cosmetics, many Indian women have turned to Korean products for all their skincare requirements. Those who watch K-drama are familiar with ramen noodles. With people stuck at home during the lockdown, many were keen to try out authentic Korean flavours instead of the normal noodles. So, yes people are aware of Korikart and the response to our product has been great. We also started our first standalone store in Gurugram. The idea behind the launch is to give that perfect experience to the customer through our physical store, where the buyers can directly speak to the experts and have a good look and feel of the product. Our flagship store will serve as a step forward towards esteemed customers of Korikart. It is a logical extension in order to offer our patrons a seamless shopping experience. We are looking at expanding more and bringing in more products. Having said that, we are not here to change Indian lifestyle but to give Indians an essence of what Korea is.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What is one of your favourite products?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have a lot of favourites. But the popular picks by our women customers are the skincare products. We also have a new range of Korean fashion products like exercise pants and footwear. Even food.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What are some of the products that are currently not in your platform but you would like to have in the near future?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The boycott of Chinese products has definitely bogged down a lot of Indian customers. Especially, when it comes to toys, people were fascinated by the Chinese brands. I would like to get some Korean toys for the Indian market which are equally fascinating. But it would require introducing Korean cartoons to Indian children. There are many other items that I want to bring in terms of fashion products and food as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What do you miss about Korea?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I would have to say Korean food. Like Indians, we also like our food spicy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Future plans for Korikart?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I want to bring more items from Korea. I am also looking at partnerships. Besides that, I want to increase exports from India to Korea as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>One-liner for Korikart.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Visit Korikart and be sure to experience a lot of Korea here!</p> Fri Apr 30 18:24:34 IST 2021 A-Glimpse-into-the-Fitness-World-with-Celebrity-Fitness-Trainer-Aynus-Antony <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>As the entire world struggles to get back on its feet with the pandemic, the truth dawns upon us about our lack of physical fitness, thereby reinforcing the relevance of the question "To gym or Not to gym".</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Had we concentrated on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and overall physical condition, many of us would have avoided what COVID-19 had in store for us. The lockdown imposed more than a year ago, resulting in the closure of businesses, public places, fitness, and activity centers, and overall social life has hampered many aspects of the lives of people including routine fitness activities of fitness freaks, which has resulted in various psychological issues and serious fitness and health concerns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before all of that though, what sparks the flame for this question?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You want to shed those extra pounds. Or hone those muscles. Or just build more stamina, get more fit. Whatever your aim is, there’s one question you cannot avoid: should you join a gym or not, to embark on your fitness journey?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We often ponder over this question, sometimes doing meticulous research and copious reading. Most first-timers often mistakenly think that joining a gym is the only way to get fit. But is it mandatory to join a gym at all to achieve your fitness goals?</p> <p><a href="">&nbsp;</a></p> <p><a href=""><u>Aynus Antony</u></a>&nbsp;is a celebrity fitness trainer who engages as a personal trainer for Mohanlal, Vishnu Unnikrishnan &amp; Bibin George, among others. His take is that physical fitness can be a driving force in anyone's life-supporting mental, physical, professional, and general health. His answer is especially for people whose ultimate goals are to become fit, lose some excess</p> <p>fat from the body and maintain general well-being (that’s most of us out here!).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Is joining a gym necessary?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No, joining a gym is not mandatory for your fitness journey. You can easily attain your fitness goal by working out at home, as long as you plan your training well. As a beginner, you can start with basic home workouts that include bodyweight exercises and maybe a pair of dumbbells and a resistance band, if you can invest in one. Even though it's a small investment, it is highly recommended. If you are seeking the guidance of a coach then let him know what equipment you have at home, to begin with. Your trainer can then tailor your workout regime accordingly, as per your goals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But does that mean you should rule out joining a gym altogether?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are instances where joining a gym may be more advantageous than a home workout. If you are someone who has trouble being consistent with training at home, perhaps because of distractions, then joining a gym ought to be a jackpot, a choice that would help you commit to and build consistency in training. A regular fitness workout at home during the lockdown greatly helps people to overcome psychological issues and fitness concerns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What should be one's target while undertaking physical fitness?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The target you want to achieve plays a role in this decision too. For instance, if you aim to not just lose pounds but also build muscle and stamina, it could necessitate using specific equipment – which may be too costly to afford or cumbersome to place in your home. That’s because building muscle or getting stronger over time requires a strict weightlifting regimen: the trainer will need to progressively overload the weight you lift over time. This would require more weights and equipment which can be a hassle to own at home if you do not have a space dedicated to working out.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Is it safe to go back to the gym?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With the pandemic that’s still raging, safety is yet another concern that needs to be taken into account. Considering the current circumstances revolving around the pandemic, gyms are required to follow specific safety precautions – including social distancing, sanitizing equipment after every use diligently, and so on. Opt for a gym workout only if you are convinced that your gym follows all these precautions, and only if you can handle the risk factor!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Have doubts or queries? Drop me a note here in the comments and I'll be more than happy to answer them for you!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>--</i></p> <p><i>Antony is a personal fitness trainer who believes in transforming the lives of his clients so that they are healthier and happier. You can reach him on&nbsp;</i><a href=""></a><a href=""><i><u></u></i></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue Aug 24 14:47:46 IST 2021 your-food-lab-is-more-than-just-experiments-its-love-chef-sanjyot-keer <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Sanjyot Keer was 12 when he attempted his first dish—Pav Bhaji. It was the beginning of a culinary love story. “I wanted to recreate the pav bhaji that the street food vendors sold; that was my first inspiration,” says the Indian chef whose Instagram page, Your Food Lab, has over a million followers. </p> <p>Keer was the food producer for MasterChef India Season 4 and was also featured in the Forbes list of India’s Tycoons of Tomorrow 2018. He is not only famous for the way he adds his own twist to Indian food but also for the simplicity with which he explains the process; his content is admired by both young and old. And during the lockdown, when many who never stepped into the kitchen turned into home chefs, his short cooking videos were a lifesaver for many. </p> <p>Surrounded by a family of chefs who helped his love for cooking grow, Keer comes alive every time he is around anything that resonates with food. Maybe, this is what one calls true love. The chef tells THE WEEK the tales he weaved in his favourite place in the world—you guessed it right—the kitchen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What made you pursue cooking?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I belong to a foodie family. That is how I became interested in a variety of cuisines and its cooking process. Street food has always fascinated me and even today, I enjoy it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I remember my mother cooking delicious recipes and serving it to guests and family. They used to have a smile on their faces every time they ate her food. I always thought my mother had a superpower to make people happy, and I wanted that superpower. That is where it all began.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>From Masterchef India to Your Food Lab—Tell us about the journey, the road blocks and the success.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Master Chef India came into my life at a very early stage in my career. I was offered a job as a food producer for the MasterChef India, a year after I graduated. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I had the opportunity to work with some of the best chefs in the industry, including chef Vikas Khanna, chef Ranveer Brar and chef Kunal Kapoor, which was an insightful experience. Following that, I received a slew of offers to work behind the scenes on a variety of shows, but I kept thinking—‘what should I do for myself?’ I did not want to start a cafe or a restaurant too soon, but wanted to continue my studies. However, there was a lot of financial strain at the time and I did not want to put more pressure on my family to fund my education. I joined my father’s business at the time but also decided to start a blog or a YouTube channel. That is how Your Food Lab was conceived.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When I started I did not own high quality equipment for shooting so I did it with my phone and an old DSLR camera. We then started renting out cameras and shot content like that for almost a year. Before uploading my first video, I had about a hundred videos ready in my library; my first video was posted on Your Food Lab on Facebook on April 25, 2016. In only one week, my third video went viral, receiving close to two million views. I recall the video reaching 1.7 million views in three or four days, and indeed, it was a fantastic feeling at the time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The story of your Instagram success.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Started off with Facebook since I didn't have a lot of people working with me at the time. It was just me and one of my team members, Akshay, who were actively creating content. I was just paying attention to one platform at the time, but after a few years, I realised that I needed to be on several platforms. We then began doing Instagram posts in late 2019, but it wasn't until early 2020 that we started regularly posting content to Instagram. Within a few months, we had crossed a million Instagram followers, and the growth has been phenomenal. We have about 1.6 million followers and an incredible organic reach. We are seeing it grow every day.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>While most people say it is essential to retain the authenticity of desi food, many chefs are advocating the idea of Westernising it. What are your thoughts?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I began my channel by cooking a lot of fusion cuisine, which is my specialty. That is the kind of cuisine I admire. Furthermore, as a chef, I believe that we ‘desify’ a lot of foreign cuisines as Indian chefs and Indian food customers, not just westernising of Indian food.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Take the example of pizza; large pizza chains now offer butter chicken pizza, chicken tikka pizza recipes, and several similar items. You also have risotto or pasta being ‘desified’. So, I think it is fine and, sometimes, the way to go. I am not sure I want to do that though because Indians have a really desi palate, which we should be proud of.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What is your go-to dish?</b></p> <p>It is difficult to choose just one dish, but my pick is pav bhaji as it is the first recipe that I cooked as a child. However, there are a range of recipes that I enjoy cooking at any time of day. I enjoy cooking a lot of oriental cuisine at home. And Indian street food such as chole pattice or frankie, pav bhaji or butter chicken.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>One of your signature dishes.</b></p> <p>There are many, but one early recipe I did was a pullout pav recipe in which I simply took a pav, cut some incisions in it, and filled it with some cheesy filling like cheese chilli garlic and supreme paneer filling, and baked it. It is the simplest way to turn something that is readily available in the market into something very fancy. I really enjoy making butter chicken bombs, which are minced chicken balls filled with makhni sauce and it is deep fried until crispy and golden brown. When you bite into it, you will notice a velvety makhni sauce flowing out. And it is fantastic!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>A hack that you learned in your home kitchen, which you use even now.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Whenever I make something, I like to freshly grind green chilies, ginger, and garlic together to use as my ginger garlic chilli paste, and I usually do so with a mortar and pestle because that is how my grandmother did it back in the days.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I also liked to grind my spices only on days when I wanted to cook something specific, such as my garam masala or spice mix should be fresh. This brings a lot of spice to the dish and it brings out an incredible taste and aroma of those spices, as well as to your dish.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Do you watch your calories? How do you stay fit whilst running Your Food Lab?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I don't count calories or calculate what I consume, but there is the fear that if you eat something heavy in the morning, you will want to eat something light in the evening, or if you eat something really cheesy, you avoid cheese for a week. I used to keep in shape a lot when I worked out, but the pandemic has meant a little less working out and a lot of shooting pressure, as well as a lot of good food cooked at home. And, yes, I gained some weight in 2020, but have recently resumed working out. If you want to eat well, you must balance it out by working out and burning calories. Even if you are unable to go to a gym, a regular run or jog will benefit you. You must exercise in order to eat good food.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>One thing you would like to tell aspiring chefs.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you want to be a good chef, try cooking a lot of good food with whatever you have available in your home kitchen. At a beginner stage, be open to trying new flavours, learn about more ingredients and techniques. You will benefit in the long run from a lot of practical experiments. I did not know a lot of cooking techniques when I first started, but the journey of making food videos as well as cooking a lot of food at home has taught me a lot. And I am still learning. Always be willing to learn new things; it will greatly benefit you. And if you want to be extremely good, start working on it right now, rather than worrying about how I might have made this or how I could think about this specific recipe. If you have a recipe idea, make it today, plate it, and serve it to your family as if it were a restaurant meal. The journey would be long. Also, tough. But it will pay off in a very good way in the long run. So, begin your journey today, take action, rather than just talking about it.</p> Sat May 01 16:03:02 IST 2021 Akhil-Poddar-The-Awful-Entrepreneur-inspiring-the-youth-to-dream-and-dare-with-his-gaining-financial-lifestyle <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Akhil Poddar&nbsp;Belongs to Poddar Group Of Industries which manufactures PPC electric poles since 1979. He is popular for his exceptional business skills and extravagant lifestyle. The young entrepreneur who hails from Jaipur, a city known for its royal heritage, has an equally royal lifestyle.</p> <p><br> The young man who has inherited sharp business skills from his grandfather and father has left no stone unturned to make them proud. He joined the business at an age when most of the boys of his age enjoy life. He learned the nuances of running the family business efficiently and strategies to expand it. Mr Poddar has taken his business to great heights and He is known to infuse next-gen ideas to already established businesses to bring in the fresh air of change and development. He is planning a Pan india -level expansion of Poddar Group which has already manufactured 3.5 lacs approx PPC Poles so far in the state of Rajasthan.</p> <p><br> Akhil is not only a thriving businessman his lifestyle is also a stimulating one. He has an alluring personality and a great sense of style. He is everything majestic, be it the way he carries and conducts himself or his social life, he is charismatic in every walk of life. He dons most exclusive brands of apparel and accessories like Louis Vuitton, Armani, Gucci, to name a few. Akhil is also very particular about his diet and fitness. He is an ideal representation of modern Indian youth who leads a life like a dream come true. He wants to inspire the youth not only by gaining financial success but by showing them how to connect that success with leading a life that everyone aspires to have.<br> This gem from a well-recognized business house is also a great globetrotter. He believes the word is too massive to live in a corner and also that those who are travelers amass knowledge through traveling. He has traveled to the most exotic destinations of the world. Akhil not only measures the world with his footsteps but he is also a terrific traveller &nbsp;with hands behind the steering of most expensive wheels. He enjoys driving Mercedes, Range Rover and Jagaur.<br> Akhil Poddar’s life is like a dream that every youth wants as reality, but it has not served him in a platter. He has worked his way to develop that image with hard efforts and disciplined life. He has worked thoroughly on time management, work-life balance, and the most important wealth management. He says, “ If you can not create and control money then it controls you for entire life and you can not rise above a certain level.” He understands the value of each penny he earns. He says, “There is a huge difference between investing money and wasting money. One must invest in right resources and right people consistently to get best returns.” So all the luxurious life that people see him living, he has created it with immense efforts. He says, “ I want to inspire people to dream and dare like me. Every dream has the possibility of getting fulfilled if there is conviction and willingness to work towards it. If I can make it possible, so can you.”<br> </p> Mon Aug 02 18:13:24 IST 2021 pandemic-allowed-us-to-reflect-review-and-reimagine-noted-jazz-musicians-balani-brothers <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Christina Dayal always wanted to play the saxophone. Growing up in Delhi, the 22-year-old was exposed to all genres of music by her father—from Bollywood songs to ghazals. She loved singing in her school choir group. Later, with her best friend Jason she went on to form a jazz and blues band in college.</p> <p>Dayal commands a powerful presence in her four-member band called 'All Jazzed Up' for her New Orleans-style vocals. Even so, she couldn't muster the courage to pick up the saxophone. It was only when she completed her studies at the Global Music Institute (GMI) last year that she felt she knew how music really works and found the confidence to teach herself to play the sax. "I entered GMI as a vocalist and came out as a complete musician. Earlier, I could not bring myself to play the instrument because I hardly saw women pick it up. But when lockdown happened last year, I decided to just go with it and play the instrument. Now, it is a fixture in our band. And the audience absolutely loves the sax, even if you play little of it," says Dayal who has sung and played the sax in a number of live gigs in Delhi ever since the lockdown was lifted. "Studying under the amazing faculty of GMI like Tarun Balani, Ujwal Nagar, and others have really helped me evolve as a musician," she adds.</p> <p>It has been 10 years since the Balani brothers, Aditya and Tarun, set up the GMI to introduce a more progressive idiom of teaching contemporary music, to resemble the training they received in their alma mater, the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The brothers have been praised for injecting freshness and verve into India's jazz scene and they continue to do so by roping in some of the best teaching staff at GMI which is now located in a pristine campus at Greater Noida. Aditya Balani talks to THE WEEK about how GMI has grown and the transformation wrought by the pandemic.</p> <p><b>The playing field for students interested to study contemporary music is rather small and limited in India. How do you seek to fill this gap? How do you want to stand out?</b></p> <p>The playing field is smaller when compared to other streams, but is growing steadily. As more career opportunities are evolving in the performing arts and entertainment industry, the field is getting more structured and gaining the attention of aspiring young professionals. One of the major changes we have seen in the last few years is that many students are eager to start their professional music education right after completing high school to get a head start. Earlier, it would be usually after finishing another academic college degree.</p> <p>We constantly strive to bridge the professional world and the academic learning environment with seminars and workshops by visiting artists and professionals for students to gain insight into the workings of the industry. We also bring in internships with studios, media/production houses and performance opportunities at various cultural centers and venues for students to gain real world experience and build their professional portfolio.</p> <p>We have also recently introduced the GMI Tribe, a global community of performing artists, industry professionals, music producers/composers, professional educators, advisors and mentors. The aim is to transcend cultural and geographical barriers by giving aspiring musicians and producers career development opportunities access to an even wider pool of international mentors.</p> <p>In terms of standing out, we let the strength of our programmes and the professional work of alumni speak for itself and focus on building a stronger community of artists and musicians.</p> <p>Our programmes are designed keeping the contemporary musician and modern music producer/composer in mind. We have kept certain international markers but have also curated courses with reference to the Indian context, especially courses like Hindustani music, and our professional development stream within our diploma programmes. We do have international partnerships for certain programmes where the curriculum is modeled along with another institution. For example GMI-Berklee track which allows transfer credits for select courses to Berklee College of Music in Boston, utilises a large portion of the core music courses taught at Berklee.</p> <p><b>Can you tell us more about the teaching faculty at GMI and how different are their tutoring approaches?</b></p> <p>Our faculty consists of musicians, performers, educators, composers, producers and business professionals from India and around the world. We look for very specific skills in our faculty and follow a stringent selection process to curate faculty for each term. We believe that all the individual approaches and backgrounds provide varied perspectives to the students and benefit their world view. It also unboxes their creativity as they learn that there isn’t one singular, standard approach when it comes to music.</p> <p><b>What are some of the interesting takeaways for GMI after 2020? Has your location in Greater Noida ever been an impediment in attracting more students or organising/participating in events and recitals?</b></p> <p>We have always wanted to create a focused and holistic learning environment for our students. Our Greater Noida campus is strategically placed at a comfortable distance from the city, allowing us to build a creative space for our community while being closely connected to all the performance spaces in the region. We also have a hostel facility that allows students and faculty to be completely immersed in music 24/7 and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city. The priority for us has always been to engage with students in a creative way, and to encourage their artistry. We have designed and developed our facilities keeping that in mind.</p> <p>The pandemic gave us the opportunity to take a pause as well as allowed us to reflect, review, and reimagine the way we would have liked to move forward so as to ensure we were able to create offerings for our community, upholding the standards that GMI has always stood for. We wanted to make sure that whatever we do next is value driven and also helps our community engage and connect, which has always been the essence of GMI. Our programme format adapted to the times. Thus, while the October 2020 term was fully online, our current term is operational in a blended format with a mix of in-person classes on the campus while others continue to be online. Later in 2020, we introduced the GMI Tribe, giving aspiring musicians and producers access to some exceptional talent from around the world.</p> <p>Now that the pandemic is a bit more manageable we are very glad to have opened the campus for our students, while maintaining all the essential health and safety guidelines of course. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions on travel, our international faculty are still in their respective countries so they continue to teach online. Thus, we have managed to uphold the quality of education that we pride ourselves with.</p> <p>While the pandemic has made us value human engagement a lot more, it has also given an opportunity to explore alternative models of learning. Going forward, we see the two formats continue to blend and co-exist, thereby providing only enhanced value to the community. Of course, the transition phase is always challenging, but it is allowing us all to stretch our ideas and open up to more broader visions and perspectives.</p> Tue Apr 06 22:36:48 IST 2021 Ryan-Tanveer-aka-Bandzo3rd-drops-his-hot-new-single-Pop-Some <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Bandzo3rd, who is only 22 years old, has had numerous hits in the rap world, including Yaar Koi Ni, 109 Flow, and others. He has released his new single Pop Some, which is composed by Sharoon on the beat, and in his lyrics, he raps about his conflicts with the justice system and fight of being in jail without doing anything. This song is really appreciated by the desi people in their Punjabi language.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He used drill music and Punjabi rap in this song, making it very raw and bringing you closer to what he's been through.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When I asked him, what inspired him to write this song about his struggle, he said, “There isn't a desi Hip-Hop artist who has lived in California and experienced the violence that I did, all that violence made me write it,” Bandzo3rd said. He also claims that drill music has a trill and a feel and that this type of music is his way of expressing himself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He is constantly attempting to transform negative energy into positive energy and make it appear erroneous through music.&nbsp;</p> Tue Aug 10 15:34:21 IST 2021 Actor-Gourav-Chaudhary-shares-tips-with-youth-to-stay-loyal-to-their-dreams-and-fulfill-them <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>We are living in times when mental health issues are common among the youth. More youngsters are struggling with self-worth issues. Demotivation due to lack of opportunities that interest them is common. While all of us dream high, the inability to fulfill those dreams often results in disappointments. Actor&nbsp;<a href=""></a><a href=""><u>Gourav Chaudhary</u></a>&nbsp;is one such person who was once struggling with similar disappointments. However, he did not give up and today has achieved his dreams and is working harder to achieve more. Ever since Gourav was a child, he dreamed of becoming an actor. While he knew his destination, the route was unclear to him. He started auditioning for roles at the age of 17 but did not get successful. Despite the disappointments, Gourav did not lose hope. He kept working towards his dreams and today he is all set to mesmerize the audience with his performance in an upcoming web series on one of the OTT platforms. We asked Gourav to share tips with the youth to follow their dreams and fulfill them. Gourav smiled, went down memory lane, and shared his takeaways from his journey along with tips for youngsters.</p> <p>Gourav said that his journey was not devoid of problems and uncertainties. He advises youngsters to believe in themselves. He strongly believes that every person is their own cheerleader. Gourav mentions times when he gave numerous auditions but never received any response. Those times were tough but Gourav reminded himself that he was good at acting and success will come around one day. This helped him to stay motivated.</p> <p>Gourav also quoted the famous line ‘It is not the end in the road, but just a bend in the road’. He said that there were times when he thought that he had no more hope in his career. However, good times followed. Once, Gourav met an accident and couldn’t join his job at an airline company. He neither had an acting assignment nor a job and his future seemed blurred. However, Gourav started tutoring and found success. He also came to know about at that time and started making and sharing videos. So he advises youth to look beyond the current issue and focus on the goal.</p> <p>Gourav primarily advocates for patience and persistence as the key drivers of success. He talks about the time when none of his videos were going viral and he was just waiting for his happy day. Gourav admits that he was getting impatient because others were succeeding and it seemed to be a long and painful wait. He even lost patience once and planned to quit creating TikTok videos and focus on his tutoring career. However, he gave it a last shot that was destined to be his winning shot. One of Gourav’s videos went viral and he went from 35k followers to 100k followers within a night. He became the man behind the famous dialogue ‘Mela babu ne thana thaya’ and got the popularity that he always dreamed of. Several other viral videos and popular dialogues later, Gourav reached 3.1 million followers on TikTok.</p> <p>Gourav told us about his fears after the ban of TikTok. He said proudly that it is ok to be scared but not ok to let your fears engulf you. He admitted to being scared after TikTok was banned but continued his journey with Instagram and YouTube. Today, Gourav has 740k followers on Instagram. Lovingly known as Gouravch2, he is also the exclusive content creator for Mx-Takatak with 6.8 million followers. Now that Gourav will appear in a web series, he has achieved his childhood dream. He wants to tell the youth that dreams will come true if you stay loyal to them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon Sep 06 16:38:42 IST 2021 dynamite-disco-club-wants-to-usher-in-a-dance-revolution-again <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Back in the 1970s, disco music had become so popular that a DJ in Chicago blew up records of the same in a football stadium, backed by mad chanting of &quot;disco sucks&quot;. The event in 1979 was also recorded in a book titled 'Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died'. In the history of modern club music, this &quot;death of disco&quot; moment also heralded the birth of house, a groovier version built on electronica, drum machine and synths, a departure from plain live singing and dancing.</p> <p>But Stalvart John knows that the two are always ribbing each other. The 31-year-old DJ and producer could not let go of the original dance music genre in a new collective he started in 2017 to get people to rediscover a time when 'Saturday Night Fever' was serious business. &quot;Everything started from disco. I always loved dancing. From my college days in Cochin, clubbing was all about dancing. With Dynamite Disco Club, I want people to really let their hair down,&quot; says John who, with DDC, has started an event series on disco and house music, culminating in over 25 gatherings in quaint night dives across Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, and Chennai, including five since January this year after lockdown-induced hiatus in 2020. DDC follows hot on the heels of similar concept dance party collectives like BLOT! and Wild City's 'Disco and Daiquiris' and 'Grime Riot Disco', both of which have folded, although the famed Mumbai-based Bhavishyavani Future Soundz collective which threw their first party in 1999, is still going strong.</p> <p>&quot;Dynamite Disco Club is a universe of disco and house music that takes a closer look at the roots of soul, funk, disco and house, while also touching the basics of Chicago house, Detroit funk and Philly soul scene. It wants to get into the A to Z of disco and house music culture like music, fashion, merchandising, events and media,&quot; says John who found his home in electronic music as a podcaster and online radio show host about a decade back in Cochin when he discovered artists like Fatboy Slim, Prodigy, and Robert Miles. But he moved out of his hometown in 2015. &quot;No one would book me outside the state. There was no clubbing culture in Cochin. And Kerala had imposed a strict alcohol policy in 2014,&quot; says John who started a monthly radio show in 2017 at India’s first electronic music community radio called 'Dynamite Disco Club'. Soon he launched his own 'Dynamite Disco Club' nights which are held regularly in major Indian cities.</p> <p>Taking inspiration from the bold, agitational design aesthetic of communist propaganda posters of yore alongside vintage Japanese matchbox labels, John likes to design his own party posters. &quot;Disco and house is all about equality. It is about being young and free. It is about freedom. It is a happy-making music. My dance events are not the rave parties projected in movies and media,&quot; says John who has also taken to educating and mentoring musicians keen on soul, funk, disco and house. &quot;Two students of mine performed at the just concluded Magnetic Fields Nomad in Ranthambore. With my teaching and events, I want to usher in a disco revolution again,&quot; says John.&nbsp;</p> Fri Mar 26 09:28:47 IST 2021 Meditation-A-Journey-Towards-Your-Inner-Self-By-PrashantPandey <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>"Meditation" may be a very small word to hear, but it can be understood in such a way that if you give seeds of any tree in the hands of a person and ask him to imagine thinking of it as a tree, then will the person fully imagine the tree. From that seed, only one will be able to understand the feeling and the situation. Whereas it is determined that if that seed is fully looked after and served, then after many years it will turn into a huge tree and will provide countless seeds like itself. It is a journey that starts from your mind and leads you to your inner self.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Suppose if we do not have complete knowledge about trees and plants and someone talks in such a way that this small seed will later become a huge tree and is capable of giving innumerable seeds and trees like itself, then we would consider it funny. And put that person in the category of silly people, when this is the ultimate truth. If there is a need, then the time, hard work and service required for the seed to become a tree, there is no need to do anything separately, it will attain its form under the divine qualities and laws of nature itself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Similarly, even if we tell a million experiences and things about meditation, it cannot be understood unless time and practice are given behind it. The person does not need to do anything separately or learn, nature according to his practice. He/She will automatically reach that state in which the things have been told in the scriptures during meditation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Just remember, practice the basic meditation patiently, serve yourself and give time, nature itself will give everything in return.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Practice meditation Like This:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What you eat, What you drink, what business you do, etc. does not matter in a process of practising meditation. All you need to do is improve your routine. And the evil that happens will automatically go away with it. However, a suitable time for meditation is either early morning or evening or night, but not everyone can follow this because of the busy lifestyle. Therefore, you can meditate as per your daily routine. Let's say you are going to make tea. To make tea, it is not necessary to get up early in the morning, do daily activities and show incense sticks to your favourite deity etc. You can make tea at any time according to your convenience. Similarly, there is no restriction for the practice of meditation. Learn to meditate freely and happily.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You need to ensure that you do not sit in meditation immediately after having a meal. Give a gap of four hours after having a meal to do meditation.&nbsp; Even if you have had a light breakfast, then a gap of one hour is a must for meditation. While meditating, the mind is instructed to engage with the breath. This does not prove to be favourable for everyone. So stay on your stability.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After a few days, you yourself will know how to do what. Then you should not be bound by anyone's instructions. Use your intuition only. You will also experience some difficulties, but the knowledge of how to overcome those difficulties will also happen automatically. Then your mind will prove to be your true Guru. Then you should not be in the bondage of anyone's thoughts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Process of Meditation:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Take appropriate time out of your routine. Fold the woollen blanket and lay it flat in such a way that one can sit comfortably and no part of the body is in contact with the ground. Your limbs should be resting on the seat of the blanket.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sit comfortably in Padmasana. If you cannot sit in Padmasana, then sit in Sukhasana. Keep both the palms in your lap. Place the right palm on top of the left palm. Sit straight. Keep the spine straight, the neck should also be straight. Close your eyes stay in this position. Check once that there is no tension in the muscles while sitting like this. Because you have to sit relaxed. Keeping the body straight, you have to sit and remain stress-free. Keep this in mind. When you sit in this position, maintain this position. Sit still like a statue and don't move at all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Practice this position for three minutes for fifteen days. After that, keep increasing the practice for ten seconds every three days and when you reach fifteen days, pay attention to some things. Once the stability of the body increases, then the mind will also gradually start to become stable. You may feel sleepy but you need to avoid and be alert.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If your mind moves here and there in between, then do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama four or five times. When it is done in the best forms it is also called Uttam Pranayama. In this process, take a deep breath in four seconds, then the breath has to be held inside for sixteen seconds and then slowly you have to release it in eight seconds. Breathing and Exhaling should be done in one rhythm. After this, sit in the meditative position again.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Due to the stillness of the mind, there may be visions of those deities that you have heard or read about. You should not be affected by this type of philosophy, it is an indicator that your progress is being made. If you get caught in these visions, then your progress can stop. Gradually increase the duration of meditation.</p> Wed Jul 07 22:00:44 IST 2021 the-fine-art-of-tasting-honey <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>In the middle of a cellar with giant steel tanks filled with fermenting liquid, sits a large table with an assortment of grappa glasses, cheeseboards and crackers. But a group of eager, young visitors at the Moonshine Meadery in Pirangut, near Pune city, can't stop staring at dappled watercolour palettes aligning the table. The palettes are filled with raw honey which would later be fermented to make meads—that ancient drink predating wine or whiskey. While the purpose of this visit on a sultry March afternoon is to taste the many meads made by Moonshine, it is the honey tasting session which lingers long after patrons have left the factory-laboratory with their stash of bottled meads.</p> <p>In the West, there are honey sommeliers, who learn the tough science of tasting honey just like wines. According a report in <i>Popular Science</i>, a honey connoisseur colour guide is often used to measure the lightness or darkness of amber in the liquid gold, usually in millimeters. Water white is 8mm, extra light amber 50mm, and dark amber 140mm, according to a chart created by the founder of the American Honey Tasting Society, which has also devised an aroma and tasting wheel with notes like woody, vegetal and animal.</p> <p>Devashish Sutavani, who calls himself a "mead druid" at Moonshine is taking guests on a similar journey to understand the "mouthfeel" of six varietals of raw honey sitting pretty on the colour palettes. "Use your fingers to really feel the textures," instructs Sutavani, as guests jostle around for sanitizers and washbasins. 'Multifloral' is slightly more acidic and sour than commercial honey, explains our honey taster. Orange Blossom is a single-varietal, derived from honeybees that feed on the nectar of one type of flower. It is citrusy like marmalade on toast. Sidr honey is from the lote tree which only flowers for 20 days in a year; it is intense and exquisite like butterscotch and vanilla. Rosewood honey from sheesham tree is fragrant; ajwain is fatty and oily in a good way, and the showstopper mustard is like crystalized ghee but doesn't even taste like the plant. As part of a tasting trail in Nashik, organised by Delhi-based <i>Indulge India</i>, the wine enthusiasts are used to swirling their glass and spitting their drink. But this tasting is different. Licking their fingers and glowing in an amber haze, the visitors ask if they can buy the filtered raw honey from the meadery. To their dismay, the limited batch honey jars had flown off the shelves.</p> <p>"We always knew we would be doing something specially with honey," says Rohan Rehani, co-founder of Moonshine Meadery, which has been selling the world's oldest alcoholic beverage, made with fermented honey and water, since 2017. Many reports say they are Asia's first meadery.</p> <p>The founders left their lucrative jobs in MNCs to start afresh in the alcohol industry. It took Rehani two years to convince the excise department in his state to consider mead as a whole new category of alcoholic beverage with its own license. With this first-mover advantage, Moonshine Meadery has grown in size and scale over the years—from 100 to 1,000 cases, a proper sales team, the watchman's cabin converted into a full-blown lab, producing 20,000 litres of mead at a time. All the action in "bee craft" segment makes his eyes glaze with excitement. "We are buying honey from beekeepers now. We have access to about 170 beehives, 150 of which are in Rajasthan. But we also want to get into the reverse supply chain. We will soon start talking to the government for something called pollination on wheels where we take beehives and go from one area to another for pollination," Rehani reveals his plans for the future, which also includes harvesting and sourcing honey on their own without middlemen. A "non-carbonated" honey, derived from tribal communities in Palghar, is in the offing, apart from insistent efforts to procure the sweet nectar from the intrepid honey-hunters of Mudumalai forests in the Nilgiris.</p> <p>"As we all know the oft-quoted line, if bees die out, humanity will perish in four years," Rehani reminds a rapt audience rediscovering the joy of taste raw honey.</p> Wed Mar 10 17:22:40 IST 2021 Opa-Bar-and-Cafe-why-this-restro-bar-cafe-deserves-a-spot-on-your-wishlist <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Warm tones encapsulate the walls of this café. A careful look will softly transport you into the lands of the middle east, with lush interiors and promising earthy tones around you. The designers haven’t been shy of putting their best foot forward in making it look as Arabic, as you may have it.&nbsp;</p> <p>A shift from the interiors will have you noticing the carefully crafted menu that sits on your sturdy wooden table, ornamented with beautiful dinnerware. The cosy yet spaced out seating arrangement gives you the right amount of peace amidst the chitter-chatter that has a known comfort, even as it fades into oblivion.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Doorways with intricate carvings lead you to the dining space. Delicate drapes cascade around you forming a haven of good food, memories and good times spent with your loved ones. The bar, on the other hand, is lavished with the best of cocktail, and mocktail mixes.&nbsp;</p> <p>Opa! is for everyone. From the ones who want to grab a quick brew to the ones who like dining under the stars. It is the celebration of everything that is middle eastern, with a hint of modernism right in the heart of the city that never sleeps.</p> <p>The elaborate barista menu not only empowers the Indian classics like the variety of teas, but also offers you a plethora of herbal options from teas to juices and even smoothies. The Chef’s special ‘Baklava Shake’ is a crowd favourite amongst their many other specialties like rose pista, date, and parle G that take you back to your childhood with every sip.&nbsp;</p> <p>While the menu boasts of an expansive range of herbal juices on one hand, with options like pomegranate, carrot, and watermelon. On the other, it serves you teas from both at home, and abroad – with an imported delicacy like alokozay. You can also get your hands on freshly pullped fruit juices, a range of cold coffees, and healthy options for smoothies. Whether you have a sweet tooth, or you’re the one to keep calories in check – this menu has got your back! ttb</p> <p>But Opa! is not only a spot for barista lovers but also merrymakers. Come dusk, the elaborate menus come out, the bar is stacked, and the ambient lights turn a little bit softer. The menu entails everything from sides, to appetizers, and the mouth-watering entrées and desserts that make for the perfect happy ending.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The blaring music, the delish cocktails, and the mystical ambiance transcend you into a world of your own, as you dance the night away – only to greet the dawn as it peeks through the tinted windows.&nbsp;</p> <p>Adapting to these unprecedented times, and keeping the customer’s comfort a priority – Opa! has been transformed into an office-friendly atmosphere, where you may eat, relax and work at your convenience.&nbsp;</p> <p>Opa! believes in catering to every customer alike thus most of the dishes have vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free alternatives. From mezze platters to extensive mains, nothing in this menu is built to disappoint.</p> Fri Jul 30 18:06:19 IST 2021 DeFi11s-Founder-Ritam-Gupta-Talks-About-His-Journey-Career-and-Motivation-in-Life <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Ritam Gupta is a living illustration of success and hard work. The businessman is the founder and CEO of DeFi11 and Nonceblox Private Limited. Nonceblox, founded by Gupta, was named one of the top ten most promising blockchain firms of 2018. The achievements encouraged him to do more, and a few months ago, he started DeFi11.</p> <p>About being an entrepreneur and starting DeFi11, Gupta shares, "To date, I have successfully established a blockchain agency on my own, with around 100 employees. Aside from that, my most recent project is DeFi11, a defi-powered gaming ecosystem that addresses all of the flaws and frauds in the current gaming ecosystem."</p> <p>Ritam Gupta, an entrepreneur who was born and raised in New Delhi, now lives in Dubai. He is an expert in software development, technology consulting, team leadership and management, strategy and operations, enterprise architecture, and delivery management, among other fields.</p> <p>Ritam began his career in the blockchain business seven years ago with no prior experience but a desire to learn. He began his career as a developer before transitioning to consulting. The learning experience gave him enough confidence to start his business. Often people appreciate his personality as "a problem solver and technology enthusiast."</p> <p>The route from beginning something from scratch with little knowledge of the subject to today becoming one of the best was fraught with difficulties. Ritam Gupta expresses his thoughts, "There were numerous difficulties, but I'll keep them to myself. What's crucial here is to recognise and embrace every problem as an opportunity to succeed."</p> <p>When asked what keeps him motivated, entrepreneur Ritam Gupta shares, "Having an unconventional career graph, I believe that ‘SkillSet’ and ‘Talent’ should always be the key factors to look for in an individual."</p> Sat Aug 07 17:08:15 IST 2021 this-dog-chef-rustles-up-cakes-waffles-canines <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Home-style food for pet dogs is not quite encouraged. Ishmeet Chandok, as India's first "dog chef" wants to change that misconception.</p> <p>Ishmeet is the founder of Harley's Corner, named after his adopted Indie dog Harley and his love for the motorcycle brand, Harley Davidson. Harley was part of a litter of 6 pups at a construction site and the friendliest of the lot.</p> <p>When Ishmeet brought Harley home, he noticed no matter how much kibble or dog food he had in his bowl, Harley would always be eyeing the food his pet parent was eating and would look always forward to a bite.</p> <p>That’s when the founder started researching about food which are safe for dogs and the ingredients that should go in to give them the right nutrients. Today, Ishmeet can whip up a five-course meal for canines promising to tickle their taste buds and is also ensure safety using human grade food.</p> <p>And recipe is ever produced or released unless it has Harley’s approval with a lick of his tongue and a wag of his tail.</p> <p>As a certified canine nutritionist and founder of India’s first ready-to-eat wet dog food brand, Ishmeet wants to tell all pet parents that dogs that grow up eating home style food, actually live longer than the ones on commercial kibble diet.</p> <p>The company is the first in India to launch food for canines which is salt and sugar free and made completely with human-grade food. The brand has both subscription meals for dogs based on their age and weight as well as treats such as lamb, chicken munchies and rawhide besides ice cream made of fresh fruits like apple and carrot for the warmer months and a wide range of cakes from paneer, liver, bacon, mutton, beef, among others for festive occasions with family.</p> <p>With people planning&nbsp; long drives, brunches in the backyard and picnics, Ishmeet Chandiok is planning to launch waffles and&nbsp; donuts. Also seeing how families are now trying to keep their kids entertained and spend more time at home with cooking and storytelling sessions and how many have actually adopted dogs during the pandemic, Harley’s Corner is looking to launch the first DIY Doggy Cake Kit. It will consist of a proprietary dry cake mix which is salt and sugar free. There will come in two pouches; one of chicken icing and another of liver spread which can be made following instruction videos on Instagram.</p> <p>The brand also designs meals that are gluten free, low fat, fish-based and hypo allergenic, apart from activated charcoal treats which help with hair fall.</p> Wed Mar 03 15:43:49 IST 2021 Sunny-Kalra-aces-the-game-ofsocial-media-with-his-charm-wit-and-entertaining-content <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p><i><b>He highlights what can turn individuals into great influencers like him.</b></i></p> <p>It is surreal to know the kind of momentum the digital media world has gained over the years, especially now, where more and more young talents are coming forward to showcase their creative sides and build a robust career for themselves on social media. Sunny Kalra did the same when he started off with TikTok and now has been continuing his career creating top-notch content with Instagram, Moj app and other platforms. The kind of content he creates never fails to amuse people, for which he is also popularly known as "muser" and enthral them with his performances, which are only aimed to spread more smiles and laughter around.<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This passionate content creator has been gaining more recognition and name for being constant with his unique content and posts that, on one side, is innovative and, on the other side, hilarious. Sunny Kalra, in times of TikTok, was known as a TikTok star and now has become an internet sensation with his massive fans and follower base across Instagram and other platforms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He highlights what can turn individuals into great influencers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>Relatable content:</b>&nbsp;Sunny Kalra can't emphasize enough how important it is to create relatable content to grab more eyeballs and connect deeply with the audiences. He says such content has a longer retention rate, and people feel compelled to follow influencers for the same.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>Consistent content:</b>&nbsp;All those influencers who today have been able to earn a colossal number of followers on their social media are those who never stopped making content. This consistency and coming into the audiences' feeds daily with new content helps turn them into great influencers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>·&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>Creative content:</b>&nbsp;Only for the sake of being consistent, influencers must never try to repeat what they have already done, explains Sunny Kalra. Instead, he says that influencers must try and come up with creative ideas, around which they must build their content to entertain their audiences.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sunny Kalra has always shown a lot of potential since the beginning and now is stopping for none as he keeps creating creative and entertaining videos that engage audiences on a deeper level. To find out more, follow him on Instagram @sunny_kalra55<br> </p> Wed Jul 28 15:23:34 IST 2021 25-Splendid-Spiritual-Books-from-Pranay--Fingerprint! <a href="!.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Mystic author Pranay and Fingerprint! Publishing brings you two splendid, stunning book series on spirituality. These comprise 25 titles.</p> <p>The first series of 5 books, titled ‘Spirituality for Leadership &amp; Success’ is already in the market. The series is available in major bookstores, and online globally. The books are already creating ripples because of their innovative and brilliantly insightful approach to Indian spirituality.&nbsp;</p> <p>The second series of 20 books, titled ‘Greatest Spiritual Wisdom for Tough Times’, is forthcoming. The books in both series are must-read spiritual guides.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The Genesis of the Series</b></p> <p>Speaking to The Week, the author Pranay Gupta said: “It all started with a discussion that I had with my brilliant literary agent, Anuj Bahri at Red Ink Literary Agency. We realised there’s a huge gap when it comes to presenting the greatest spiritual teachings of all faiths in a condensed format, with fresh insights for contemporary circumstances. We decided to do these series in a way that distils the finest teachings of ancient mystic paths, in manner that is far more relevant for today’s times! When our wonderful publishers at Fingerprint – Shikha Sabharwal and Gaurav Sabharwal – came on board to publish these, we were delighted, as we realised that their vision matched and in fact enhanced our own. Our aim is to do pathbreaking and maverick mind-body-spirit titles that shed fresh light on timeless topics”.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The First Series: 5 Books</b></p> <p>The first series (‘Spirituality for Leadership &amp; Success’) comprises 5 key topics: HINDUISM, the BHAGAVAD GITA, BUDDHA, VEDANTA, and SWAMI VIVEKANANDA. The emphasis is upon the greatest leadership and success lessons from these 5 key angles of Indian mysticism. The lessons are truly universal in scope.</p> <p>Within these books, the greatest spiritual secrets for higher achievement, fulfilment, and happiness have been gleaned and presented along with brand new, deep insights by the author. The whole idea is to present the very best learnings from Indian spirituality in a way that has relevance for people everywhere: especially those who are seeking to excel and succeed to another level.&nbsp;</p> <p>Complete mind-body-soul wisdom is the essence of these books, with special emphasis on what it takes to find spiritually-established success, leadership excellence, creative value-creation, peace of mind, and overall brilliance in all our pursuits. The books take a broad spectrum view and are especially relevant in today’s age of massive change and disruption.</p> <p>The depthful lessons in the books will hold leaders and potential leaders in good stead, helping them succeed further. The books are for both advanced levels as well as for those readers who are looking for simple, direct learnings from spirituality. Unnecessary jargon has been avoided within the books: the language has been kept simple, intuitive and perceptive.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The Second Series: 20 Books</b></p> <p>Titled ‘Greatest Spiritual Wisdom for Tough Times’, this series of 20 books is based on both Indian and world spirituality.&nbsp;</p> <p>The core idea of the series is this: to guide us towards living fearlessly and successfully. Especially in today’s world that is beset by crisis situations, challenges and tough circumstances!</p> <p>To help people transcend all difficulties through the power of spiritual values and mystic wisdom, is the aim of this innovative set.&nbsp;</p> <p>The first two books in this series are ‘Vedas &amp; Upanishads’ and ‘Krishna’.</p> <p>The series is unprecedented in publishing, as it collates the most broad range of topics, spiritual paths and mystics in a singular set.&nbsp;</p> <p>Topics include Vedic knowledge &amp; Hindu mysticism, Tantra, Buddhism, Guru Nanak &amp; Sikhism, Jainism and several world religions. Also included in the series are various mystics both ancient and modern: Krishna, Kabir, Adi Shankaracharya, the Bauls, J Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharishi, Neem Karoli Baba, Rabindranath Tagore, the Rishis, and others. There are learnings from great scriptures and sacred texts such as the Mahabharat &amp; Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas &amp; Upanishads, the Zend Avesta, the Bible, the Dhammapada, and so on.</p> <p>World wisdom is included: from Toltec, Taoism, Zen, Tibetan Tantra, Rumi, Socrates, Jesus of Nazareth, the ancient alchemists, Kabbalah, and so on.&nbsp; This assimilation makes&nbsp; the set stunningly original!</p> <p>The emphasis is on the core mystic essence and secrets that can help us live more purposefully and dynamically, instead of on the outer or more superficial aspects of religion. The essence is to help us live with greater inner courage and wisdom during today’s tough times, and unlock our greatest potential even amidst challenges.&nbsp;</p> <p>The lessons and spiritual principles within these books are meant to catalyse dynamic living in every way: at work and for professional accomplishment, for spiritual realization / self-knowledge / cosmic realization, for personal happiness and inter-personal relationships, etc.</p> <p>The goal that the series has for its readers worldwide is simple: to help them move towards greater bliss and ultimate peaceful fulfilment.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Quality</b></p> <p>Particular care has been taken to present aesthetically pleasing books, with very high production values. Producing top quality books - rich in content and meeting best global benchmarks in look and feel - is the credo at Fingerprint! As far as Pranay’s series go, the effort has been to do full justice quality-wise, to these wonderfully original versions of mankind’s spiritual inheritance over thousands of years.&nbsp;</p> <p>Both series are quite simply splendid and great buys, whether for personal reading or as gifts. The books have been reasonably priced also.</p>!.html!.html Sat Feb 27 16:21:29 IST 2021 the-connaught-serves-up-bold-new-hotel-design-flooring <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>We don't usually consider business hotels as heritage properties. But The Connaught in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi is different.</p> <p>Strategically located in one of the most expensive commercial hubs in the world, more endearingly known as CP, the hotel is nestled in the closest proximity to the capital's historical landmarks like India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan and Jantar Mantar. This fact alone lends The Connaught—a 104-room, four star property—the aura of an edifice primed to be considered modern heritage. But its recent new incarnation also makes it a chic interpreter of legacy, especially in the way the redesigned hotel has elevated its charm with a winning floor plan.</p> <p>After a gap of eight years, The Connaught hotel in Delhi welcomed back patrons this year following extensive renovations undertaken since 2018. Indian Hotel Company Limited, the Tata company that runs the Taj group of hotels, acquired The Connaught in 2018 for a 33 year lease and gave it a complete makeover to start life afresh in 2021, heralding a new chapter in design and architecture for Taj Hotels as well. For what strikes the eye in the refurbished property which marries contemporary luxuriance with CP's art deco aesthetics, is the sumptuous spread of floor tiles undulating in ocean green and blue. Christian Lundwall from Sweden's Studio kin was commissioned as the principal designer of the The Connaught's bold, new face.</p> <p>The studio is known for its minimal, modern approach to hotel designing across Europe and those ethos have been infused in The Connaught's interiors which Lundwall regards as a boutique urban sanctuary which is at once charming, eclectic, quaint and intriguing. &quot;Generally we feel that the flooring is an often overlooked design element that offers unique possibilities to influence the way a space feels and is perceived. It is after all one of the few surfaces that you have to interact with virtually all the time,&quot; says Lundwall over email to The Week. &quot;We brought this thought into The Connaught, New Delhi. The Bikaneri inspired tiles and flooring create a suave ambience for the entire hotel,&quot; says Lundwall whose play of warm colours with strong vivid patterns are unusual to hospitality interiors.</p> <p>The result is an eclectic scenery with sudden, dramatic pops of colour like an orange couch in the lobby or a vintage yellow sofa in a standard room. Large windows overlook an abandoned hockey stadium next to a chequered wall with mon cheri-like profile faces staring back in retro eyelashes, often lending the space a Hockney-esque feel. But no matter where you are at The Connaught, the floor hangs around like a transfixing painting, an enchanting spell. &quot;The floor serves as the backdrop. It is one of the main design elements and makes the space feel dynamic and colourful even though both walls and ceilings are predominantly white,&quot; says Lundwall on making the floor speak the language of the wall.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon Feb 22 11:54:56 IST 2021 we-have-now-become-completely-vegetarian-property <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>As things gradually get back to normalcy, reports and surveys predict that wellness is going to be the topmost priority for most travellers in the year 2021 with wellness staycations, immunity boosting retreats, socially distanced wellness trips and complete health and wellbeing on offer.</p> <p>As wellness tourism takes centre-stage, and the focus on nutrition and rejuvenation assumes importance now more than ever, Nikhil Kapur, Cofounder and director of Atmantan Wellness Centre in Mulshi (near Mumbai) speaks to THE WEEK about his own experiences during the lockdown, plans to come bring in newer offerings at the resort and what the current year looks like for Atmantan.</p> <p><b>Excerpts:</b></p> <p><b>On the challenges posed by the lockdown</b></p> <p>It was an extremely challenging period because we were shut for nearly five months. We did not have any stranded guests at the property as we started getting cancellations right from January of 2020. It was in the last week of February when a large group of women from Qatar who were to come down to the property cancelled the trip, that the shock was felt. Most foreign guests who were with us, left by the second week of March.</p> <p>During the lockdown, we tried to work on three key things during that period. One was to make sure that the team is engaged with and are made to appreciate the challenging situation we were in at the time so that they understand what the guests go through. We did not want to let go of the team and hence had to keep them engaged at all times even when there were no guests staying at the time.</p> <p>This is because we have a very skilled and passionate team at the resort and hence, many of them lived at Atmantan itself during the period of the lockdown. We engaged with our top 50 clients during the lockdown in the form of focused group discussions because we wanted to understand what was happening in terms of customer psyche. This was something that was absolutely unprecedented and we made a project wherein we got in touch with those who typically spend a month or more with us each year. Each member of the guest relations team was in touch with the client about the goings-on in the hospitality industry.</p> <p><b>On gradual opening up</b></p> <p>We opened up with limited inventory and a short team. We house one hundred and fifty people at the property itself. So, this includes the general manager, senior managers, therapists, guest relations executives, because Atmantan has now developed into a safety bubble as for us we get long-stay guests. Our team is highly sensitised to how and why of precautions such as making it mandatory for each guest to undergo an RT-PCR test before entering the property within 48 hours before arrival. We do it ourselves as a part of the package in which we organise home visits from our side. We also have UV machines, automatic temperature sensors, those put up at the property are discouraged from venturing out unless it is a medical emergency so the risk of infections at Atmantan has always been minimal. Also, the pool sessions including the aqua exercises were closed and the group sizes for the other activities are small.</p> <p><b>On Post-covid changes</b></p> <p>We have now become a completely vegetarian property. Earlier we did serve a non-vegetarian fare, essentially chicken and fish but we will no longer do so. It will be a fine-dining veg cuisine only from hereon. The response to this has been fabulous so far and we've just hired a chef who specialises in raw veg cuisine.</p> <p><b>On vegetarian food being better for health</b></p> <p>We felt that we had to relook at how we were living our lives and that vegetarian food is better for one's healing, for detox and it adds a lot more. We only do limited animal protein such as egg and chicken broth but only if it is accompanied by a doctor's prescription for people with certain conditions, such as auto-immune disorders for example.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>On moving from non-vegetarianism to vegetarianism at the resort</b></p> <p>Whatever we are interacting with there is a certain energy transfer. Somewhere our beliefs say that if you're killing something and consuming it the energy which is getting transferred is not a good one. That is why we say that let's go with vegetarian cuisine. When you're going for a holiday to a destination where you actually want to improve your health, I do not think one craves for non-vegetarian fare. When one is coming to a wellness centre, one needs to be open to making healthy decisions, for instance, we do not even serve alcohol. At Atmantan, we want people to pick up healthy habits.</p> <p><b>New verticals in 2021</b></p> <p>We are now aiming to reach people in various formats apart from that of the wellness centre. Our e-commerce platform through which we will sell nutritional and herbal supplements is the next addition to the family. This is based on the expert advice by doctors and scientists based out of Kerala.</p> Tue Feb 02 16:37:40 IST 2021 we-are-often-pressured-start-new-year-some-perfect-way <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>The most of last year, well, all of 2020 for some, was tiring and awful. Glad as we are to welcome a new year, at least the beginning of 2021 looks a bit grim. and seems like it will be so for a few more months till we get to a sense of normalcy. We speak to optimism doctor (really!) Dr Deepika Chopra, who holds a doctorate in clinical health psychology to tell us how we can be more positive in 2021. Here is what Chopra, who is based in California had to say.</p> <p><b>2020 was particularly hard for everyone. What are the first few things you would say, one can do to begin the new year on a positive note?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>I think we are often so pressured to start the new year in some perfect, balanced, overly productive, positive way. And the truth is most people do not carry through on resolutions they make because they are either too lofty, out of reach or a source of pressure and often shame. I often like to start the new year off more so reflecting on the past year and all that I have overcome, the big stuff and the little stuff, reminding myself and my clients that we have overcome all 365 days of the past year, the good ones, neutral ones and the oh so hard ones. So, I guess I’d say, focus on your strengths, resiliency and self-gratitude.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Social media constantly has us feeling that we have to have perfect thoughts, perfect feelings, positive outlook towards life, perfect beauty etc. How to stay positive in the face of all this?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>Perfection is not real, it is a misguided perception and is well… a trap. And as an Optimism Doctor, I know it sounds strange to hear me say this but, positivity has become so intertwined with the misguided perception of perfection that it becomes toxic. Somewhere along the line, we started pressuring ourselves and others to be “positive” all the time… besides being humanely impossible it is also a notion that can be entirely detrimental. Humans are made to experience the full range of emotions and it is damaging to have our authentic feelings suppressed, especially because emotions such as anger, shame, anxiety, sadness are part of all of our daily lives.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Negative headlines-- more so in the past year has dampened our spirits-- how do we avoid getting sucked into a rabbit hole of negativity?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>I don’t believe in “turning off the news” or “ignorance is bliss”. I believe that knowledge is power and knowing what is happening can lead to one person having a solution and so on. However, I believe in boundaries… being mindful about how and when you consume your news and spend your valuable energy. If you know that you can sleep if you’ve watched the news, then setting a boundary of not consuming media or upsetting headlines a couple of hours before bedtime is key… or, if you feel overwhelmed by the number of articles you are exposed to throughout the day, then setting boundaries to limit yourself to only reading two a day or whatever the number that feels good for you.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p><b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">You say, your process is not about positive manifestation-- eg. put your heart into it and it will happen-- please elaborate.</b><br> </p> <p>It’s not that my process or practice is not about positive manifestation, it is, it’s just that I very strongly remind people that it takes hard work, real mindset shift, lifestyle changes and mental fitness to make whatever it is you want to happen. I think it can be dangerous to promote that if you just want something it will magically appear in your lap, It can be dangerous because it can leave people feeling a sense of failure when it doesn’t happen and worse, they may start to think that something horrible that had nothing to do with them, they single-handedly caused a death in a family, a fatal diagnosis etc. For me, it is of course important to know what you want, but it is more important to examine what you are truly expecting to happen. The expectation holds more potency than the want.&nbsp;</p> <p><b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">Please define ‘being optimistic’.&nbsp;</b><br> </p> <p>I think the word “optimism” can often be misunderstood. People generally amount optimism to positivity, it’s much more complex than that. Optimism is about resiliency, curiosity and hope. It is not about disregarding the truth and being devoid of reality. True optimism is someone very aware of the setbacks, roadblocks and less than ideal situations … the caveat is that they see these setbacks as temporary and something that they have the power to overcome, even if they don’t know exactly how or when. An optimist is someone who recognises and validates their negative feelings but at the very same time can hold hope for something better.&nbsp;</p> <p><b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">Reality check— what is your take on self-help books-- are they worth it?&nbsp;</b><br> </p> <p>Well, it depends on which ones! There are some very valuable books out there! I always ask my podcast guests on my show ‘Looking up With Deepika Chopra’ if there has been a book that has changed the way they live their life. And it’s always fascinating to me to gather the titles! I generally don’t tend to gravitate to the ones that start with “21 days to…” it is a myth that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or even break a bad one down. The real number is actually on average in the 60s.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat Jan 30 16:49:30 IST 2021 kumaresh-r-the-man-who-wants-to-make-learning-of-indian-violin-joyous-and-easy <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Kumaresh R. of the noted violinist duo Ganesh-Kumaresh, cannot help but mention the "dhanur veena" found in the ancient temples of south India. At the eighth century Chola temple, Thirumukkudal, near Mysore, there is a sculpture of a woman playing the violin sitting in a posture which Indian violinists have adopted for years. "This instrument very closely resembles the modern violin. People do not know that the Indian violin precedes the western one," says Kumaresh, also known as the 'fiddling monk' in Carnatic music circles.</p> <p>"Even the word 'classical' in Indian classical music is a western nomenclature we copied. More than classical, our music is grammatical, a lot more deeper than period or era music. It is very relevant even today; it is very present," says Kumaresh, who feels the "guru-shishya parampara" also needs to adapt to the changing times. To that end, Kumaresh launched a digital learning platform for Indian violin. The portal was inaugurated by tabla virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain on YouTube Premier, and is touted to be first of its kind digital learning experience of the violin in India.</p> <p>"Lockdown, for me, personally, was a boon because I could play music for myself. I thought why not create a platform where anyone can learn the most defined musical system there is," says Kumaresh, who has been conducting online lessons on playing the Indian violin for more than 15 years now. Skype and Zoom, says Kumaresh, are limiting the number of people who can participate. "E-learning is like an international music academy. Anyone can start learning how to tune the violin, how to hold the bow, the grip, the posture, the position of all the 12 notes. They can pause the video in the middle, learn more about the challenges of learning the violin and how to overcome them. It can be very joyous and easy," says Kumaresh who wants to demystify the learning of traditional Indian violin by taking his e-course to music departments in schools. They are designed for beginners, intermediaries and advanced learners.</p> <p>Kumaresh, a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy award, has traced a musical career spanning 48 years to change the way the world looks at the Indian violin by refining teaching methods and repertoire for his many students around the world. A child prodigy, he played his first concert when he was just five years old and completed his 100th stage performance even before he was 10.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu Jan 14 20:34:32 IST 2021 cyanotype-easiest-way-to-document-nature-in-its-natural-form <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Dr Gunjan Shrivastava is a professional artist, educator, art critic and co-founder of You Lead India Foundation based in Mumbai. She loves to play around with new media and uses Cyanotype, a mid-nineteenth century printing process to capture the beauty of nature in its natural form.</p> <p>In an exclusive interview with THE WEEK, she speaks about her myriad passions and her obsession with decay and death.</p> <p>Excerpts:</p> <p><b>Tell us about your recent solo show at Jahangir Art Gallery. How did you depict the five elements of nature?</b></p> <p>My collection ‘Adviata’ accentuates the philosophy of oneness of an individual soul, God and the universe. The inspiration behind this collection is the five elements of nature, these elements that constitute the universe; Prithvi (Earth), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire), Vaayu (Air) and Akasha (Space).</p> <p>The use of abstraction is consistent with the philosophy of Advaita where the elements do not associate with form but instead depict as mediums. The aim was to use fluidity of interpretation that is associated with abstract paintings. The purpose was to let each viewer interpret how the element as mediums, dictates one’s experience in the universe.</p> <p><b>What does art mean to you?</b></p> <p>Art is my energy, my fuel. Art is my medium of expression to my personal journey on this planet as it plays as a connection between me and the world around me. My relationship with art is bilateral, there are a series of questions and answers that emerge in the process of art making. Repetition, stillness, and rhythm are essential elements in my work; they help me to create a moment of silence within me, helping me to connect with myself.</p> <p><b>You use Cyanotype for portraying issues of the environment. What are the advantages of Cyanotypes?</b></p> <p>I use camera-less photography which is a mid-nineteenth century printing process to capture dried and worn-out leaves in their distinctive essence. It is a meditative moment, making use of fragments, light, shadows and process. The chemistry used in the process has an unpredictable behaviour posing science as an inherently experiential art making. Using the sun as the source of energy, which magically translates the subject into something ethereal, I enjoy both the process and its outcome. Behind the visual excitement I feel when I see the striking blue colour and the relationships of the organic shapes it captures, there are multiple steps needing technicality.</p> <p>Though after many years of exploring this technique I believe that cyanotype is the easiest way to document nature in its natural form.</p> <p><b>What are some of the new trends in textile designing?</b></p> <p>The latest trend of raw weaves, earthy hues and natural textures organic and environment-friendly materials addresses the growing awareness of sustainable alternatives. The industry is becoming mindful of the production of textiles and clothing and how this process does not have to pollute the environment. The latest trend in textiles is arguably timeless, resurfacing the use of raw silks, cotton linens, and heavy weaves in tones such as taupes, creams, browns and greys.</p> <p><b>Natural decay is a dominant theme in your work. Why are you so fascinated with decay and death?</b></p> <p>Through my works, I hope to share something thoughtful and intriguing with viewers, and to arouse their curiosity. Knowing and feeling are not separate, and the whole of the environment can be used as a pedagogic instrument. My engagement with issues relating to sustainability drives me to explore cyanotypes documenting decaying leaves in their natural form while attempting to restore the belief in redemptive restoration and emboldening better environmental practice to reclaim what is degraded, damaged and destroyed.</p> <p><b>Which is your favourite medium?</b></p> <p>Experimentation is a major part of my work and I enjoy working intuitively, giving myself the freedom to change my subjects and my mediums from time to time. Like all trained artists, I started with traditional methods and mediums of painting but years later I found the pleasure in conceptualising new stories through my cyanotype processes and various other mixed media techniques. My mediums do not go by the books or any set rules, I like to play around and investigate new media according to my requirements.</p> <p><b>COVID-19 has transformed the art scene in India. Has the pandemic opened new avenues for artists in India?</b></p> <p>This pandemic has definitely seen a change in artistic trends and perhaps changed the landscape of the industry forever. While many large events have been cancelled or postponed, some have moved to virtual. The new trend or rather the shift toward online exhibition is going to stay. Major museums had already started featuring their collection online but now even local galleries are moving towards more viewer friendly virtual experience. Though, the world will surface back to on-site exhibits but still this pandemic has taught us a new way of looking at art especially benefitting for artists who found it a challenge to find space or means to exhibit in galleries.</p> Wed Dec 30 15:51:19 IST 2020 india-first-bottled-mulled-wine-touch-of-traditional-flavour <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>It is believed that mulled wine became a festive fixture because of Sweden. Although it was invented by the Greek father of medicine Hippocrates as a health tonic and subsequently became a Roman tradition to help stay warm in the bitter cold months, the popularity of wine mixed with herbs, fruits, spices and honey dwindled in 17th century Europe. Except in Sweden.</p> <p>The Nordic country retained a variation of it called the 'Glogg'. In the late 19th century, the Swedes shipped bottles of glogg with images of Santa across Europe and since then it's hard to dissociate Christmas with mulled wine.&nbsp;</p> <p>But store-bought mulled wine with flavours ranging from fiery jalapeno to semi-sweet apple pie? To many, it may seem like scrimping on a homely tradition, disrespecting a glorious ritual celebrated in books and films, like cheating. In Dickens'&nbsp;<i>Christmas Carol</i>&nbsp;Scrooge assures Bob Cratchit thus "...we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop!" a kind&nbsp;of mulled wine made in Victorian England with port, red wine, lemons, Seville oranges, sugar and spices.</p> <p>Bloggers and food reviewers this time of the year rapturously educate the world on how to blend&nbsp;this perfect Xmas punch----not too sweet or bitter, or god forbid, how not to obliterate the alcohol.&nbsp;</p> <p>But now there is an option for lazy drinkers, raging workaholics or just curious, gamely consumers.&nbsp; Next week one of&nbsp;India’s leading wine-makers, Grover Zampa Vineyards, will launch&nbsp;One Tree Hill Mulled Wine Kadha in several metros. They are calling it India's first-ever bottled mulled wine. It takes inspiration from&nbsp;traditional Indian Kadha recipes. So,&nbsp;the wine is infused with spices like black peppers, cinnamon, cloves, ginger,&nbsp;<i>tulsi</i>, cardamom, and lemon topped with star anise, parsley, fennel, cumin seeds, orange peel, and kapok buds. "A warm concoction of spices and wine,&nbsp;mulled wine&nbsp;is the ideal&nbsp;Christmas&nbsp;companion and is sold in quantities during the season in European markets. Hence this wine is not restricted as a make-at-home drink. Bottled mulled wines of various brands are available in Europe as well," says&nbsp;Sumit Jaiswal, AVP, Marketing and Exim at Grover Zampa Vineyards, on the feasibility of selling packaged mulled wine in India.</p> <p>&nbsp;"The One Tree Hill Mulled wine has a perfect balance of herbs and spices also called traditional Indian spices with its true aromas. It’s a premium bottled mulled wine and like all Grover Zampa wines, we are sure that it will appeal to the palates of consumers," adds Jaiswal.&nbsp;</p> <p>Priced at Rs650 a bottle, Grover's Mulled Wine Kadha will hit the shelves in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Goa, Haryana and West Bengal this month. Be it hot toddy, mulled wine or Kadha, the health benefits of the spices used in them have been all too well reinforced in a pandemic year which has trained us to glug copious amounts of Kadha, and the winemaker has inevitably tapped into this trend.</p> <p>"There's a necessity to make wine-drinking easier in India and this mulled wine seems to do just that. The price and packaging seem lucrative and coming from the house of Grover Zampa is surely of bankable quality," says Gagan Sharma, a Delhi-based sommelier.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ankush Singh, a 32-year-old pharma professional based in Gurugram, is not too convinced. "I don't think I will buy it. It is a vanity product for one time of the year. I'd rather make my own stuff."&nbsp;</p> Sat Dec 19 14:33:48 IST 2020 19-Years-old-Lokesh-Khatri-makes-one-of-the-best-quality-iron-man-mark-5-suit-around-Youtube <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Today we are going to introduce a 19 Year old youtuber&nbsp;<a href=""></a><a href=""><u>Lokesh Khatri</u></a>&nbsp;. At Present he is a VFX artist by passion and he wants to become a charted accountant in near future.<br> </p> <p><b>He started doing VFX in very early age</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While we were talking with Lokesh we came to know that he was interested in VFX since he was child. But that time unfortunately he don't have any means to create something. He started doing vfx after he got his first laptop when he was in class 9th .</p> <p>During a conversation,&nbsp;<a href=""></a><a href="">&nbsp;<u>Lokesh</u></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;told that he is currently preparing for CA but his interest for VFX was awakened in his childhood. He needed expensive hardware and resources to make it, so he had to wait 3 years. He got his first laptop in class IX after which he started working in this field. He then went on to create one-by-one VFX design, eventually creating Iron Man's iconic MARK5 suit. Lokesh Khatri tells that during this time he used to think about this design even in his night dreams and immediately wake up and work on that design. For this, he also watched many Hollywood films so that his concept on VFX could be more clear.</p> <p>While we ask him about why did he choose VFX , he answered that while child he always wanted to see an Iron Man Suit. Then after growing ages he came to know that these suits are made with VFX. So from that day<a href=""></a><a href="">&nbsp;<u>&nbsp;Lokesh</u></a>&nbsp;also planned to do VFX in near future to become Iron Man.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>One of the best quality VFX maker.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lokesh is one of the best quality VFX around the YouTube web. You will glad to know that Lokesh made Iron Man Mark 5 Suit VFX best in terms of quality in YouTube web after Marvel.</p> <p>His effort to prepare a perfect VFX design of the MARK 5 suite has been completed after almost 9 failed attempts. In the past too many people worked on it but either they left it unsuccessfully or their work lacked quality. This MARK5 suit made by Lokesh is being highly appreciated all over the social media and especially in the world of YouTube.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Wants to settle in abroad</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lokesh have a set planned for his future. He wants to become a charted accountant and than move to a new country. He said that whenever he will settled in a new country he will oay more attention on his Passion VFX. Lokesh said that after doing CA he wants to go abroad and represent India, VFX design is his hobby and his dream to become a CA. He also said that through his YouTube channel, he is also giving information to the people about this and very soon he is trying to make another big contribution in this field.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri Jun 25 16:04:28 IST 2021 Addicted-to-the-adrenaline-rush-of-action-storytelling-Nidhie-Sharma <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p><b><a href="" target="_blank">Nidhie Sharma</a></b>&nbsp;is a Filmmaker and also an Author. In an exclusive interaction with <i>The Week</i>, she speaks about her transcontinental journey into storytelling and her passion for the action and sports genres.</p> <p><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p><b>You’ve been credited with writing the first fiction book on boxing in India. How do you feel knowing you’re the first woman to do so?</b></p> <p>I wrote a story that I passionately wanted to write, around a sport that I love and that’s about it. It never crossed my mind that I was setting some sort of precedence and frankly I have never felt limited by the constructs of gender, thanks to my gender-balanced upbringing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In fact, when Harlequin Harper Collins published the book, I was repeatedly asked “why boxing”. It was only then that I realised that people were wanting to understand why I had ventured into combat sports storytelling, which is widely considered a male domain. Despite the fact that we are living in a post foraging society, our theories on social roles are still rigid and gender stereotyping an accepted norm.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>You are a Filmmaker and Author but what came first?</b></p> <p>My journey into storytelling started with films. I am a film school graduate, trained in direction and screenwriting.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Could you tell us something about this journey. How did it begin?</b></p> <p>On a flight from New York to Los Angeles, without a place to stay at the other end! My filmmaking course in New York had just ended when I got to know of a gig in Los Angeles. An American Indie feature was being made and they were looking for an Associate Producer. Indies are great training grounds for filmmakers as you get to learn how to put together a film from scratch, without a studio. I applied and interviewed with the Executive Producer Gildart Jackson and landed the gig. The very next day I bought a plane ticket to Los Angeles and in the six odd hours that I was still in the air, my resourceful film school buddies had found me a place to stay and even paid the deposits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Associate Producer gig turned out to be extremely enriching. The film was called YOU and it was directed by well-known Actor-director Melora Hardin. It had the cast of Desperate Housewives among others and we filmed all over California and Beverly Hills. Melora, who was nursing a new born baby girl on the sets while directing the film, totally blew my mind. When I saw her and Gildart on the recently released web series <i>The Bold Type</i>, it brought back a flood of memories and gave us lot to talk about.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>You have directed documentaries. How did that happen?</b></p> <p>I was still working on <i>YOU</i> in LA when I got an email from Current TV. The company was being helmed by Al Gore, who is a fierce climate change activist and had produced the Oscar winning Documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. They were looking for unique stories from India and asked me if I’d like to pitch some ideas to them. The thing with documentaries is that you have no control on how they’ll turn out and I was not trained to direct a documentary. Like it’s famously said, ‘in feature films the director is God; in documentary films, God is the director’. I took on the challenge and pitched a host of ideas of which they picked three so I flew to Delhi to film the first. I was planning to tell the story of a group of young rag picking children in Delhi, mostly boys, who deposited whatever they earned in a kiddie bank inside a children’s shelter where they spent the night. The bank inside the shelter was being run by one of the boys, a nine-year-old, who’d record the daily earnings in a register. The money they saved daily was deposited in a Big private Bank at the end of the month. What was eye opening for me was how each one of them was sending most of their measly earnings home and living on nothing. I felt heartbroken too. Why should children have to live this way? Picking rags and being exposed to bullies and street mafia. But that is what it was. That documentary was a huge reality check about what life was like for a child on the streets.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the day of the shoot, the cinematographer didn’t show up so I put the camera on my shoulder and shot the film. Thankfully I had hired a film school student who helped me with lighting or it would have been a total disaster. <i>Kids Bank of India</i> turned out to be the most watched short documentary pods on Current TV and that still gladdens my heart. I think my experience on the Indie set and my fiction film directorial <b><i><a href="" target="_blank">Mask in the Mirror</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></b>made it easier for me to produce and direct the three documentaries.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>You’ve worked on the Anil Kapoor starrer action thriller 24. Tell us more about it.</b></p> <p>My boxing novel <i>Dancing with Demons</i> had just released when I got a call from a Producer at Anil Kapoor Productions. She had heard about my book and the boxing scenes in it. Now, I had been a big fan of the Original 24 with Kiefer Sutherland and also knew that with Anil Kapoor at the helm, it would be mounted at a grand scale. This was a no brainer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I met the Series director Abhinay Deo, who knew about my boxing book and that I had previously worked with critically acclaimed director Sudhir Mishra. Abhinay watched the pre-visualisation boxing footage that I had shot for Dancing with Demons with combat sportsmen in Copenhagen and believed I had the right skill set for 24. &nbsp;Unfortunately, they had finished hiring directors for the second season but I was offered the gig as an Associate Director-broadly the directorial second in command. I grabbed it with both hands. It turned out to be a really good decision and as luck would have it, I did get to direct.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>24 was the first Indian series to be produced at par with any international show there was. It was super slick and well-crafted from a story and execution perspective. The best teams were brought on board. We shot over 1200 pages of screenplay across 100 locations with over 300 actors. It was a mammoth production and it took us almost an entire year to shoot 24 episodes. These days one season of a web series is shot in roughly 60 to 70 days. So you can imagine how gruelling the 24 shoot was, especially since it was a high-octane action series with explosions, counter-terrorism action sequences, hand-to-hand fights, chopper chases and a lot more. In fact, if you’ve worked on a series as massive as 24, you can handle anything. <a href="" target="_blank">The adrenaline rush that comes from filming action is unparalled</a>.&nbsp;<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What are the challenges of action filmmaking? Could you elaborate.</b></p> <p>This is a challenging genre to pull off well. Action needs precise planning and execution and an expert team of stuntmen and women, cinematographers and technical crew who can execute the director’s vision. Action storytelling also needs a mind that can strongly visualise action, can break it down into smaller shots while also keeping an eye on the story and performance. The stakes are very high on such expensive projects and the per-day costs are huge. You need guns, ammunition, explosives, cars, drone cams, helicopters, blood squibs, prosthetics, specialized stunt teams, fire work et cetera. For action to look clutter breaking on screen, it needs to be shot from multiple angles with multiple cameras. This means more time and more money and a lot can go wrong. One misstep, a little extra gunpowder, an incorrect fall during a fight and people can lose their lives. This is why the action filmmaking community worldwide hires specialists and people with actual experience with directing action. There is absolutely no room for error.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Is there any bias against women in action storytelling or filmmaking in general?</b></p> <p>I did not face any on 24. In fact, I was given a leadership directorial/creative position on an almost 300-member crew, mostly comprising of men. I think, there are enough people out there who don’t link your abilities to your gender but to your talent and ability to handle story and scale. I believe we attract our tribe and I was really fortunate to have found mine on 24.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While I was hired as a directorial second in command for the series, over that one year of filming, I landed the opportunity to direct incredibly gifted actors like Ashish Vidyarthi, Neil Bhoopalam, Sakshi Tanwar and many others. It happened because of exigencies faced by the directors, but the makers chose not to bring in replacements and I was asked to step in. They had shown faith in me and it was a dream come true. I believe I manifested this gig.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While we do know of gender biases in filmmaking worldwide, let me just close this argument by quoting one of my favourite directors Kathryn Bigelow, who has made <i>Hurt Locker</i> and <i>Zero Dark Thirty</i>, “If there’s a specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies”.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Could you share your favourite moment from filming action?</b></p> <p>There are so many unforgettable moments but I do remember this elaborate action sequence we shot on the outskirts of Mumbai while filming 24. The story needed helicopter borne snipers to chase after and fire at the protagonist and antagonist, who were in a moving ambulance. This sequence was going to be patched in CG with a drone shot on a highway and was a very important part of the story.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I was in the action vehicle along with the doubles, the director of photography and two others when the radio communication between the action director on the ground and the pilot suddenly snapped. There was no way to communicate with the pilot to line up parallel to our moving vehicle so the snipers and the chopper could be filmed from inside the vehicle. Time was running out and we were close to last light. We could not come back to shoot this again, so I threw open the rear door of the ambulance and stepped near the edge to signal the chopper pilot to line up with us. At this point, the ambulance was hurtling away on the arid ground and the chopper was right behind us. I still remember how the anxious gaffer gripped my jacket tightly from behind so I wouldn’t fall out of the moving vehicle. The pilot, by some stroke of luck, understood the hand signalling and we circled back one last time to get the shot. At that point, I got back inside, pulled out my phone and filmed the precise moment we nailed the shot. That crazy clip is still on my phone and puts a smile on my face every time I watch it. I think I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush that comes with filming action.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>How is writing for Action and Sport different from other genres?</b></p> <p>That’s a really good question. Since both these genres are extremely visual ones, it is imperative that you know these Universes well. One needs to write in such a way that the material can be filmed or the readers can see it clearly when they read it. For action specifically, the screenplay must describe the sequence in detail so it can be broken down into accurate number of shots. Often writers write sequences that either cannot be practically executed or they underwrite it; they will describe in two lines what most likely will take three days to film, thereby entirely upsetting the production schedule. The same applies to Sports writing. You need to know the sport well and it is imperative to describe the ongoing game in as much visual detail as you can. When I was writing the boxing sequences for <i>Dancing with Demons</i>, I wrote each single round blow by blow, and then pared it down. I also put on meditative music, so essentially, I was writing at counter point to what I was describing. The boxing bouts in the book were later called highly visual with a lyrical quality about them.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What are your plans on directing Dancing with Demons?</b></p> <p>The screenplay has been adapted, the storyboarding done, I also have a team of boxers and sports bodies associated with the project. Movie making has many moving parts and when they all fall into place, you’ll see the film on screen. As a storyteller, you have to keep writing new material as you’ll never know which story will hit the floors first.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Where do you see yourself in the next five years?</b></p> <p>Ever since the Pandemic happened, I have stopped looking that far ahead but I can confidently say, I will still be telling stories. In July, I have a new adventure book titled <b><a href="" target="_blank">INVICTUS</a></b>&nbsp;that’s coming out. It is man vs wild real-life account from my own life and later this year a sports-based web series that I have written on for a leading OTT platform. That for me is cause enough for celebration.<b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Finally, would you like to share some tips with budding storytellers?</b></p> <p>My own journey has only just begun I’d say, but here are few things I can safely share. Write what you feel passionate about and you will find a good home for it. Complete what you start and please don’t take rejections personally. Producers or publishers pick projects for a variety of reasons and a rejection isn’t necessarily a rejection of your craft. Often, it is timing or your project doesn’t fit into their overarching strategic plans. Storytelling is a capricious line of work, fraught with uncertainty at every stage. Prepare yourself for that. Pick yourself up every time you fall. And persist!<b></b></p> Sun Jun 06 13:56:01 IST 2021 moments-in-motion-a-unique-exhibition-on-motion-pictures-and-vehicles-in-motion <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Dilip Kumar raced his tonga with a bus, a seminal ‘Man vs Machine’ moment, in 1957's Naya Daur, while Fearless Nadia movie posters always had a steam engine in the background. And who can forget the many unforgettable film scenes featuring cars, either in the thrill of the chase, or anchoring the charismatic romantic credentials of the hero?</p> <p>Motion pictures and vehicles in motion have been in a romantic liaison ever since their advent. Now, an exhibition in the national capital region lets you relive those golden moments from the silver screen through a collection of film posters, lobby cards and memorabilia.</p> <p>‘Moments in Motion’ is India’s first exhibition of its kind, where original Indian movie posters and lobby cards featuring modes of transport that were part of the storyline of a movie and important enough to have found a place in their advertising. The exhibition at the Heritage Transport Museum, an hour’s drive away from Delhi in Gurgaon, runs till end of January and features more than 60 posters and over 100 lobby cards — the oldest is ‘Hunterwali ki Beti (1943)’ while the youngest is 1982’s ‘Chalti ka Naam Zindagi.’</p> <p>There’s a reason why. “All the posters we have on display are painted posters only, drawn by hand by poster artists and then printed. Post-1982, digitalisation started coming in and the art of drawing posters by hand started going down. You don’t find it anymore,” explains Tarun Thakral, founder of the Museum. “We are paying a tribute to the art also, and a tribute to the creativity of those poster artists, a lot of whom lost their jobs (when digitisation came in),” he adds.</p> <p>Thakral came up with the theme after realising that visitors to his one lakh sq feet museum found the famous car from the nineties hit ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, one of the permanent exhibits there, “fascinating.” He quips, “Bollywood is something that connects with every Indian visitor.”</p> <p>With the museum’s seventh anniversary coming up and faced with a financial loss after the museum had to be shut down for five months due to the lockdown, Thakral decided on one stone to kill two birds — a Bollywood themed special exhibition to celebrate the anniversary, as well as bring the crowds back.</p> <p>Luckily, the logistics were already sorted out. “I had this huge collection of Bollywood memorabilia pertaining to transport, collected over a period of time,” Thakral points out.</p> <p>The exhibition is equally a celebration of cinema and its association with modes of transport (there’s even a poster with a goat cart from an old film on display!), as well as poster art. “Over the years, its aesthetics, importance and the meaning it transmits has gone through several transitions,” says a note from the Museum, “These cultural artefacts allow us to trace the history of popular art, political and cultural norms, and our ineffable relationship with the theatre of dreams.”</p> <p>Though the exhibition closes in end-January, it may not be the last of it. Enquiries are pouring in, right from the National Rail Museum to even the London Transport Museum. “These posters hark back to the masses and tastes of a particular period. How the artists changed, how movies evolved…,” explains Thakral. “And of course, Bollywood is big everywhere!”</p> Fri Dec 11 11:30:48 IST 2020 how-lipsa-hembram-is-modernizing-santali-sarees <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A few years ago, when fashion designer Lipsa Hembram heard her mother complain about the short length and coarseness of traditional Santali sarees, the idea of Galang Gabaan was born.</p> <p>It was in 2014 that Hembram started her label for contemporizing Santali sarees, after she returned from Hyderabad where she earned her degree at NIFT. Galang Gabaan in Santal could be translated as 'creating something with utmost care and devotion'.</p> <p>Just before the label was about to be launched, Hembram eschewed conventional models for promotional images on social media and got her mother and aunt to flaunt the chequered drapes in red and white. Today, the six-year-old label, based in Bhubaneswar, retails modern Santal sarees in cotton, linen and silk to patrons across the country.</p> <p>In her latest project, Hembram has mounted a sumptuous installation of the traditional Santali costume at the 18th-century, Victorian-style Belgadia Palace in Mayurbhanj . The garment exhibit is part of a campaign called 'The Karkhana Chronicles', undertaken by three erstwhile royal families to engage with the history of textiles and karigari in their respective regions, namely Jaisalmer, Gwalior and Mayurbhanj. The exhibits, created in the last two months by local artists and craftspeople, are showcased at the historic properties of the royal families and will be open for three months for public viewing from 27 November.</p> <p>In a tastefully done backdrop of 150-year-old brass pots, or 'pitol ghagara' which were used in a Santal household to fetch water from ponds and wells, Hembram has a tall, upright mannequin wear the original phuta jhala or saree along with a kacha, a variation of a dhoti drape. The saree is again re-purposed into a long flowing cape in new linen and ghicha silk with cotton. "This is to show how a yardage of fabric can be converted into dhoti, saree and a cape at the same time. Sustainability is not just about recycling or up-cycling. It is also to show the quiet evolution of the Santal saree whose essence has remained the same even though the yarn has changed," says Hembram who sourced the original phutu jhala from her native place in Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj district. Sans blouse, indicative of the choice Adivasi women make in the way they adorn their sarees, the installation is strikingly bedecked with ancient Dokra neckpieces.</p> <p>The last time Hembram sartorially dissected her Santali heritage was at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2017 when she remodeled her traditional saree into a skirt and top. But she now likes to play around with the yarn and design and let the saree be. Flowers, houses, birds, animals and leaves frolic in smooth and soft linen monochromes. Prices range anywhere from Rs 6,000 to 10,000.</p> <p>Hembram's Instagram page is also flecked with odds and ends of Santal heritage and personal history like wood carvings done by her maternal grandfather on panelled doors or her ancestral home in Dandbose, the birthplace of Raghunath Murmu, the inventor of the Ol-chiki script which is the official Santali writing system. Who knows these alphabets might also feature in her beguiling sarees soon.&nbsp;</p> Fri Nov 27 17:52:09 IST 2020 sania-mirza-writes-emotional-ode-to-all-mothers <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Tennis player Sania Mirza has written a moving “ode to all mothers&quot; and shared the post on Instagram along with beautiful pictures on Wednesday.&nbsp;She said that she was inspired by the journey of tennis player Serena Williams.</p> <p>Sania said that her pregnancy has changed her as a human being. “…pregnancy is something that I had experienced for the first time in my life. I thought about it and I think we all have a certain picture about it but once you experience it you really understand what it means. It absolutely changes you as a human being,” she wrote.</p> <p>Sania dedicated the note to all the mothers 'who have dared to dream': She wrote: &quot;I want to dedicate my words to all the wonderful and strong mothers who have dared to dream and each day have strived to maintain a balance between motherhood and their professions. To a world that stereotypes women as homemakers it often comes as a surprise if one succeeds in fulfilling her dreams and career with sheer grit and determination.&quot;</p> <p>In her note, Sania said she was not sure if she would ever get back to playing tennis. “Having put-on around 23kgs during my pregnancy, I wasn't sure if I was ever going to get back to being fit and playing tennis again. However, I lost around 26 kilos with a lot of workout regimes and very strict diets and came back to tennis because that's what I know, love and do. Finally, when I won at Hobart after coming back it was pretty amazing,” she wrote.</p> <p>She added: “&nbsp;Serena's efforts to be a perfectionist on the court and off it as well, motivate us all. She has taught the world that you can have it all if you work hard and don't give up on your dreams!”</p> <p><i>&nbsp;</i></p> Wed Nov 25 17:17:32 IST 2020 gin-and-tonic-in-the-cloud <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>In a reusable burlap &quot;potli&quot;, there are seven samples of Indian gin. The pint-sized bottles with the transparent spirit—as part of a gin tasting kit from the Institute of Wine and Beverage Studies—-are labelled as A,B,C,D, E and F. The seventh one, though, is a Joker with no letter.</p> <p>Each of the 82 attendees on the zoom call are first instructed to smell and sip the Joker from their tasting kit. The organisers lead the guests in decoding the character of this nameless gin: no juniper which is a signature botanical; it can be spun into a dry martini or an old Tom Collins; a sugar sweetened, cold compounded gin which is of an inferior quality, artificially essenced with a neutral spirit and made without distillation. It is important to be disappointed with the joker in order to appreciate the finer variants waiting to be sampled. And to get a sense of the commendable journey homegrown gins have traversed in recent years. The cold compounded gin is later revealed to be the fuddy-duddy Blue Moon, still wrapped in a comfortable blanket of nostalgia.</p> <p>But that is set to become once in a Blue Moon, with an exciting array of new Indian gins ushering in a revolution. The virtual tasting event, titled The Great Indian Gin Trail, by IWBS, on November 18, was a neat affair with patrons from Delhi joining in with their kits filled with samples of craft gins, a bunch of Indian junipers sourced from famed spice market Khari Baoli, bottles of premium tonic water from Sepoy and Co.,and plenty of zing. &quot;Basically, the point was to have an evolved conversation around the great variety of gins that are now available in India—over 10 local gins and the fact that their quality is at par with international gins,&quot; says Gagan Sharma, educator at IWBS and one of the tasting guides at The Great Indian Gin Trail.</p> <p>Meant to be an &quot;academic exercise&quot; with observations to be written down on a scaled sheet, the online tasting event unspooled a spice box that is the ongoing Indian gin efflorescence. From Greater Than to the artisanal Terai to Stranger &amp; Sons (now available in Delhi) to small batch Pumori, Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin and Samsara, the homegrown brands are part of a constellation of craft gins coming out of India in recent years by young, under-30 entrepreneurs. They were all part of the tasting kit and acquired varied levels of intensity when taken neat or splashed with tonic. Aromatic, herbaceous, vigorous, earthy or wholesome, the hosts of the evening Gagan Sharma and Magandeep Singh, led the audience through a dazzling range of expressions with botanical infusions from tulsi, fennel, coriander, gondhoraj lebu, raw mango to cardamom and clementines.</p> <p>The tastings and reveals were followed by brief introductions by the makers of the respective gins, their distinctive characters and how they are to be appreciated—what is a sipping gin, how to have it by the glass, the youngest entrant in the Delhi market being Stranger &amp; Sons, Goa's enduring prominence as the capital of craft gins and how Delhi is an expensive, complicated market for small-batch alcohol producers. A tasting event from the comfort of our homes is just the tonic one needs.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu Nov 19 20:18:04 IST 2020 serving-magic-in-little-bottles--potion-and-ontal-deliver-skinca <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>From potions of love to manufacturing potions for skincare, the world has come a long way. With all the advancements in the industry, its roots still remain the same. Garnering ingredients from the depths of nature to carefully concocting mixtures in appropriate proportions, Potion and Ontal procures skincare products with cosmeceutical standards of 100% safety and effectiveness.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Terming themselves as a social brand, Potion and Ontal believe in gender-neutrality and envision breaking the socially established gender roles and stereotypes for a better, equal, and progressive future for everyone. Keeping this in mind, the efficacious teams at Potion and Ontal across the globe, namely in India, Korea, and Japan manufacture products for her, him and they.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Merging the traditions of hundreds of years ago with scientific measures, they have come up with some unique potions that focus on skin health and texture.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>1)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; AHA 30% + BHA 2% Skin Repair Peeling Solution</b></p> <p>Manufactured in Korea, this is a concoction of the skin-friendly Italian Bergamot, Green Apple, and Daucus Carota Extracts combined with the essence of nature-derived Glycolic and Lactobionic Acids. As the name suggests, the product is best for exfoliation and shall be used as a mask for 10 minutes. Suitable for natural to oily skin combinations, it is rich in antioxidants and has a low pH formula helping in the regulation of breakouts on the skin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>2)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil for Luminous Skin</b></p> <p>Yielding a splash of freshness to energize the skin giving an inherent glow, this potion nourishes the pores deeply. It could be used directly on the skin or can also be blended with sunscreen or foundations for a better effect. Suitable for all skin types it is made with selective oils of fruits and vegetables giving nature a boost in itself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>3)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Super Skin Glow Intense With Real Vitamin C Powder</b></p> <p>An “Industry First” product ! For an even tone and smooth skin, this concoction works best when mixed with rose water or aloe vera gel. The Vitamin C Powder enriched with dairy-derived Collagen Hydrolysate revives the elasticity of the skin giving it a healthy youthful look. The amalgamation of nature-derived extracts also revitalizes dull and tired skin, &nbsp;evens out skin tone, fades hyperpigmentation giving skin a supple and brighter look. Overall helps to make the skin firm and prevent wrinkles.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>4)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Advanced Night Repair Wonder Treatment Gel</b></p> <p>Treating the signs of ageing is not an easy task, but with this concoction of Korean Red Ginseng Water, Brazilian Acai Berry and Grapefruit Extracts, it is made simple. Reducing the fine lines and wrinkles, it works on diminishing the pigmentation caused over time and yields a calming effect to the skin. Applying on the face before going to sleep, will make you wake up refreshed and with an overall hydrated skin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>5)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG Under Eye Total Repair Eye Elegance Serum</b></p> <p>Eyes are the first thing that comes into notice while you are making an impression on someone. Our careful blends with Caffeine and EGCG with Almond and Saffron water, topped with Squalane fortifies that we procure the best method to tone the under-eye skin tone and give your eyes the brightness you desire. It minimizes puffiness and hydrates the eye skin improving the elasticity that might have been reduced due to constant strain. The elixir aims for the complete nourishment of the eyes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Serving a happy clientele, Potion and Ontal have brought a revolution in the skincare industry. Having brought the magic of history to the present times, they have carved a niche for themselves and are currently reigning the domain. Check out their exclusive <a href="">range of products</a>, and it is for sure that you’ll find everything you were looking for.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon Jun 07 17:06:43 IST 2021 radha-and-krishna-at-dags-online-viewing-room <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>On a Reddit thread for the 1915 painting 'Radha and Krishna' by M.V. Dhurandhar, a user comments,&quot;Petty awesome but... Why do Radha and Krishna look European?? Like Greeks or something.&quot;</p> <p>To which another user remarks, &quot;Maybe the colonists had an influence? The room looks Greek as well, or at least inspired by the Greeks.&quot;</p> <p>The oil-on-canvas in the Western academic style of painting where Radha looks at the viewer with a garland in her hand with Krishna seated behind her with a flute is now on view at DAG's online sale and exhibition called 'The World Will Go On'. Here 88 lots and 127 works of fine art have been virtually mounted as part of the exhibition 'The World Will Go On'. It features rare paintings from the 19th century onwards when European and Indian art met to create a hybrid vocabulary.</p> <p>The virtual preview started on 25 October through a seamlessly accessible online viewing room on the gallery website. The works are also on display at the DAG at The Claridges till November 12, 2020. The 'World Will Go On' celebrates India’s visual language of pre-modern and modern art. Leading the sale will be two series on the Ramayana—the first, a set of accomplished prints by the artist Chittaprosad, and the other a complete set of water-colour paintings by Laxman Pai.</p> <p>'Radha and Krishna' uses the naturalistic portrayal of &quot;bhava&quot; or emotion and achieved academically precise delineation by Dhurandhar who was known to use photographs as reference. Born in Kolhapur and trained at the JJ School of Art in Mumbai, Dhurandhar was also an accomplished postcard artist and created illustrations in oil, watercolour and pencil in his time that ranged from bazaar prints and ethnographic postcards to books and cartoons for magazines and posters. He was inspired by Raja Ravi Varma.</p> <p>Rather apolitical, Dhurandhar was more attracted to the female form and exquisitely captured their varying moods and gestures. He was awarded a British Government Award in 1892 for a painting titled 'Women At Work'.</p> <p>Radha, in the 1915 painting, has a faraway look on her face, while Krishna's eyes are on her. A peacock in the foreground also stares at Radha. Both Radha and Krishna are much admired subjects in Indian art for centuries; here they have a more modern, realistic appearance.</p> <p>This painting is expected to fetch the highest price in the exhibition which also has works featuring modernists like S.H. Raza, M.F. Husain, Krishen Khanna, Jehangir Sabavala, K.G. Subramanyan, P.T. Reddy, Natvar Bhavsar, G.R. Santosh, Biren De, Sohan Qadri, and a host of others.</p> Tue Nov 10 11:58:04 IST 2020 the-skipping-sikh-this-74-yr-old-british-sikh-makes-fitness-his-life-mission <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>When he was in his 60s, Rajinder Singh—now more popular as Skipping Sikh—could pull off 5,000 jumps in a day with his rope. Now the septuagenarian Sikh from Harlington in west London can clock two hundred jumps in a minute. On October 23, Amritsar-born Rajinder Singh will turn 74. "I will go to the gurdwara first, then go do a skipping challenge with Khalsa primary school kids and teachers in Slough. Later, (I will) take some cake and food to the homeless shelters," says Singh over email, two days before he celebrates his birthday in a year which has turned out to be quite special for the senior Skipping Sikh.</p> <p>On October 10, Rajinder Singh Harzall was featured in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2020 that felicitates recipients for their "outstanding contribution to British society". This list has 1,495 honours and 13 per cent of the awardees are from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities. Harzall received an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his services to health and fitness in a pandemic. In the early months of the UK lockdown, Harzall started posting videos of himself skipping to inspire the elderly to stay fit. In the process, he also raised over £12,000 for the NHS.</p> <p>Harzall has been skipping since he was six years old. His father, Makhan Singh, was in the British Indian Army as a Naik (corporal) and served in the second World War. Harzall was born at Devi Das Pura in Amritsar in the year India got its Independence. "My father would always tell me how skipping was something he enjoyed. It was a way for him to keep busy and stay out of negative thoughts," says Harzall who imbibed his father's fitness streak. He hopes to run a marathon like British Sikh centenarian Fauja Singh who, in 2011, became perhaps the oldest person to have run a marathon.</p> <p>"I have always been into sports. I have never gone to a gym. I made my own fitness plans and skipping has always been part of my life. I have run marathons and most charity events which involve some exercise," says Harzall who moved to England from Punjab in the 1970s. Harzall, a former Heathrow Airport driver, received a letter of appreciation from UK PM Boris Johnson in June this year. He was inspired to take up the skipping challenge from the 100-year-old army veteran Tom Moore, who raised more than 100 million pounds for the NHS. Moore walked 100 laps of his garden in April with the help of a walking frame in the lead up to his 100th birthday in April. The World War II veteran became a national hero and received a knighthood in July.</p> <p>"I would like to do more workshops in schools and community centres and encourage everyone regardless of age that you can keep fit and active. Age in nothing but a number," says Harzall on how he hopes to use his MBE to further promote fitness. "I have lived through other pandemics and to be honest, I always think the best way to tackle anxiety is to pray and be positive. Why worry when we are not in control?"</p> Thu Oct 22 21:04:49 IST 2020 supermodel-kovid-mittal-becomes-the-ray-of-hope-in-these-testing <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>When times get tough, it is important to maintain physical and mental well-being to overcome the roadblocks on the way. The enthralling actor and model, <a href="">Kovid Mittal</a> believes strongly that today when the world is struggling with the second wave of the pandemic, there are small steps that would prove to be helpful in keeping a sane mind and healthy body.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In lieu of all those who are still out working and cannot stay indoors, Kovid shares his mantras on how to stay safe. According to him, a mask is mandatory at all times. Even if one is stepping out for a minute do not leave the mask. And rather than spending hundreds of rupees on designer masks, one can invest in affordable one-time-use masks to avoid any bacterias coming near the face. Those who often complain about getting acne due to the masks would be benefited from this as a used mask won't be coming in contact with the face again. Another thing is to use a sanitizer at all times. Being a model out on a shoot, one might be coming in contact with a lot of things. Let it be the props or the sets, anything could be contaminated. Hence, it is important to sanitize the hands every ten minutes. Kovid also states the importance of staying hydrated. It is for certain that hydration has actually been the key to fight the virus and maintain a healthy physical and mental being.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Being an active model/actor himself, Kovid realizes the dilemma it might be causing others in the field with shoots being postponed or canceled. Maintaining a calm posture, he says, "I would advise people to not sit back and curse the world for what's happening. It is a time to nurture yourself and find out opportunities with what you can do. Build something up for yourself in regards to your passion, area of expertise, and grow with it." He keeps fixating on the fact that people should not get one-dimensional. To experiment and start your own thing is what will be beneficial. With the restaurants or cafes closed, chefs stuck at home could begin with cooking classes or if you are a fitness instructor, you can get gym equipment at home and train people around you. There is always an option to go back to the academic qualifications if one does not find anything creative to do. The key is to keep yourself engaged and make the most of every small opportunity that comes your way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The actor from the gripping movie, '6387 meters Black Peak', is also very particular about keeping his sanity and says, "If the pandemic is attacking something more than our physical health then it is our mental state. A lot of young minds are tackling depression because of the current situation. I appeal to all those to not lose yourself. Get up and do your thing. Ensure you are keeping your body fit with regular exercise or yoga, whatever pleases you more. It is the best way to keep depression at bay". The actor himself could be spotted doing headstands and gymnastics in his leisure time. He also has come up with a makeshift gym back at his home with the necessary gym equipment to keep up with his fitness game.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Undoubtedly Kovid Mittal is coming out to be a ray of hope in these trying times. He adds, "I keep saying this to everyone that we are all in this together and being positive we shall all come out victorious. Till then keep following your vision and understand that it is never too late to set new goals during such trying times." His little mantras, if followed, are going to be a big help to get over the pandemic in a healthy state. So keep all of it in mind, wear a mask at all times and always keep a sanitizer handy.&nbsp;<br> </p> Mon May 03 17:23:03 IST 2021 a-case-for-churros-con-choco-with-coffee-for-breakfast <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Machan, Delhi's vintage 24x7 jungle-themed restaurant and cafe at the Taj Mahal Hotel, reopened this month after its third ever renovation since it began life in 1978. The year-long extensive renovations have discarded the easy, uncomplicated giveaways of protruding tusks and antlers with images of hunting scenes and leopards. The restaurant is more elegantly and subtly forest-wild. In the dense leafage of the wallpapers, the tiger is always watching even though the patrons may not spot it. Old favourites like Chicken Montecarlo and Bull’s Eye seamlessly coexist with new entries in the menu like Ocean Turns Purple and Lamb Agnolotti. But if there's one crackling idea which comes out a winner, it's the old and new duet played at the end of the meal: Machan's classic Kona Coffee with the delicately crunchy Churros, a breakfast favourite in Spain.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The concept we were exploring began by looking at the world's best breakfast dishes which we could include in the new menu," says sous chef Siddhartha Saharoy at the hotel. "South Indian breakfast, including idli and filter coffee, is appreciated around the world. We wanted to recreate similarly resonant global breakfast staples. And Churros with coffee is a great idea and relatively under-explored in India," says Saharoy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This ancient fried dough pastry has sketchy origins, with China, Spain and Portugal as equal claimants. One theory attributes the invention to Spanish shepherds."High up in the mountains freshly baked goods were not available. So the shepherds came up with a cylindrical daily staple, which could easily be fried in a pan over an open fire. They named the fritter after Navajo-Churro sheep, as the horns of these sheep look similar to the fried pastry," writes Ira de Reuver in Roads and Kingdoms. But they were most definitely introduced in South America during the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th century. It was around this time that the Spaniards returned to Europe with cacao which they began to sweeten with sugarcane. The tradition of dipping churros in chocolate still hasn't been tampered with.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The tubular fritters speckled with cinnamon sugar is a popular walk-around snack around the world. There are multiple Churros-only outlets in Indian metros today, including The Bombay Churros and Chocolateria San Churro in Delhi. For the breakfast lovers divided between camps of sweet and savoury, one may wonder why eating fried white flour soaked in sugar first thing in the morning is a great energy booster. "Don't forget we also love our jalebis for breakfast. In fact, I feel we may have copied some version of churros to make jalebis," jokes Saharoy, who stands by the classic combination of Churros served alongside caramel and chocolate sauce, undercut with a pot of black coffee. But dishing out golden brown <i>churros con chocois</i> not exactly a cakewalk, using just flour, water and sugar in the mix. Cooked right it is warm, soft and crunchy dusted with snowy flecks of sugar. Here, Saharoy shares the recipe of the cylindrical sweet as it is prepared in Machan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Churros hazelnut, chocolate and caramel</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. Eggs golden yolked</p> <p>2. Butter</p> <p>3. Maida</p> <p>4. Sunflower oil</p> <p>5. Mawana breakfast sugar</p> <p>6. Cinnamon powder</p> <p>7. Fresh cream</p> <p>8. Dark chocolate (Callebaut)</p> <p>9. Chocolate filling caramel (Callebaut)</p> <p>10. Chocolate filling hazelnut paste (Callebaut)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Method</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the coating, whisk together sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set it aside. Add water, butter, sugar and salt to a large saucepan, bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Add flour, reduce heat to a medium-low and cook and stir continuously with a rubber spatula until the mixture comes together and is smooth. Add egg to the flour mixture, then blend immediately with an electric pedal and add eggs one by one for a smoother mixture. Transfer to a piping bag and carefully pipe the mixture into the preheated oil. After its fried, transfer to paper towels to dry and soak extra oil. Later, coat with cinnamon sugar mixture kept aside. Serve hot with chocolate sauce and coffee.&nbsp;</p> Sat Oct 17 22:40:17 IST 2020