Society http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society.rss en Wed Aug 25 14:33:18 IST 2021 https://www.theweek.in/privacy-an-settlement.html a-diwali-to-remember-for-these-patients-in-ahmedabad <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/11/02/a-diwali-to-remember-for-these-patients-in-ahmedabad.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/health/images/2021/11/2/sparsh-foundation-ahmedabad.jpg" /> <p>It was an early Diwali for a group of kidney failure patients and their families in Ahmedabad as a charitable trust organised an event for them to celebrate the festive season.<br> </p> <p>Kidney donors and other caretakers also joined them for the programme organised by Sparsh Foundation, which provides support to kidney patients.</p> <p>This was the first such get-together for the patients since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was held in an open area, to enable social distancing.</p> <p>At the event, Sparsh Foundation formally donated money to Dr Jivraj Mehta Hospital for the dialysis of 277 kidney patients. The average cost of one dialysis is Rs 1,000, depending on the hospital.</p> <p>“This is to support patients needing dialysis so that during Diwali the amount that otherwise would have gone in dialysis can be used for other purposes like buying clothes or something for the home,” said Dr Darshna Thakker, a trustee of the Sparsh Foundation and a gynaecologist. &nbsp;</p> <p>In the last six years, the foundation has sponsored 8,300 dialysis, which roughly amounts to Rs 73 lakh. Singer Namrata Shodhan is also a member of the trust, which has been sponsoring kidney transplants and people with other ailments, too.</p> <p>Much before Sparsh Foundation was registered in 2015, Dr Thakker and Shodhan had been donating money to those who suffered kidney failures. Their inspiration was Nikita Ghiya, a patient who danced between dialysis sessions to raise funds for others like her. She passed away a few years ago.</p> <p>Patients and their relatives shared their experiences and gratitude for the support.</p> <p>Pratyush Trivedi, 39, has been undergoing dialysis for 12 years and he requires to undergo the procedure twice or thrice a week. He had no history of illness. Twelve years ago, a medical check-up revealed that his blood pressure had shot up alarmingly. His creatinine level was not normal. “I was heartbroken. During my dialysis sessions, I came in contact with Dr Thakker. Sparsh Foundation not only gives money but emotional support to kidney failure patients,” he said.</p> <p>His wife Gargi said, “I am speechless. Pratyush also contracted COVID. He thought it was all over, but thanks to the help by Dr Thakker at midnight, we got guidance from experts.”</p> <p>Pratyush said that emotional support matters a lot and now he has taken dialysis sessions in his stride. A couple of hours after dialysis, he returns to work.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/11/02/a-diwali-to-remember-for-these-patients-in-ahmedabad.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/11/02/a-diwali-to-remember-for-these-patients-in-ahmedabad.html Tue Nov 02 15:53:27 IST 2021 alipura-excerpt-the-first-sights-of-the-village-bundelkhand <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/28/alipura-excerpt-the-first-sights-of-the-village-bundelkhand.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/28/alipura-edited.jpg" /> <p>Village and block Alipura, district Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. You know that morning has begun in a narrow lane of this village in Bundelkhand as soon as you notice the long rows of children shitting into the gulp and bubble of drains on either side of the lane. The sun has vaulted over the uneven and crooked roofline—cemented or tiled, sagging or humped—and is settling in for the day. Figures of an almost primal nakedness, in striped drawstring underpants, sit slumped on the plinths of houses, overcome with lethargy. Others are still fast asleep in the open, sprawled on scratchy charpoys, unaware of how their dhotis have ridden up, their long but loose drawers have slid agape, or that the views on offer are a topic of interest and wit among the defecating children. Flies dot the lane from one end to the other. It is mayhem at the public tap, where women noisily claim their turn and savage the claims of other women. On a raised plinth right there, but as if abstracted from the commotion, is a row of people sitting on their haunches, spitting out the results of their datoon, rinsing their mouths and gargling energetically over the drain. Also on the plinth is that band of elderly layabouts who answer to the name of dadda, babba or nanna, all now absorbed in extracting—with the aid of beedis—a full night’s worth of congealed phlegm from their chests, which they reverently dedicate to the same drain. Young men rake over the skin of their inner thighs and scrotums, pinching it between thumb and forefinger. Clutching their precious leaf-cups of jalebis to the chest, gastronomes race homewards to escape the harrying flies. An old woman appears with a basket of jamuns on her head. And spread over the entire scene is a peculiar odour, not exactly a stench, though certainly no fragrance either. On such a summer’s morning in the village of Alipura, a tonga entered the lane. Displaying uncanny skill, the driver steered his horse and cart safely past the squatting children on either side who were resolved not to budge an inch. ‘Is the Manekpur Passenger in, bhaiyya?’ The old-timer who put this question to the tongawala had no need of the information, never having stirred out of Alipura in twenty years. But his guiding principle was that there’s no harm in asking. ‘Hau,’ affirmed the tongawala and brought his vehicle to a halt. The old man leapt off the plinth and landed near the tonga with such speed that even the horse was taken aback for an instant. The excitement of the tonga’s halt roused other idlers to their feet and it was soon hemmed in by a sizeable crowd. ‘You might ask them,’ said the tongawala, to a passenger with the self-important bearing of a policeman. Besides this man and his flaring moustache, the tonga also held a loutish-looking boy and a couple of decrepit senior citizens. ‘Say, bhaiyya, which way is it to Dube-ji’s house?’ was their query. ‘Which Dube-ji? Th e one from Baruasagar?’ ‘No, from Mauranipur.’ ‘Come along, we’ll show you there.’ With enthusiasm, the assembled spectators and volunteers began leading the way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>‘Stick close behind us,’ one of them turned to advise the tongawala. ‘I’m doing that,’ he returned, ‘but watch out for the horse, will you? You’re cramping his space.’ The procession made for Dube-ji’s house. An old man, constrained from movement by his swollen joints and a knee complaint, turned to another on the plinth and remarked, ‘They’re here to see Binnoo. Perhaps an engagement will come of it this time.’ ‘Unlikely.’ ‘Why’s that, bhaiyya?’ ‘You can’t trust these Talbehat people. The bastards go around looking at girls all right, but will never come back with a clear yes or no.’ ‘True.’ The tonga had successfully managed a perilous turn of the narrow lane. It vanished from sight, but the conversation continued.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Binnoo was dressing up elaborately. Why? Because Lallan mamaji had found a likely match for her – a good-looking, capable, educated and cultured boy from a decent family of Gaudh Brahmin stock. Armed with these celestial virtues, the boy was coming over to take a look at Binnoo—which was why she was dressing up. Occasions for this elaborate toilette came her way five or six times a year. It had been so for the past few years. The boy in question was always a capable, well-born, cultured catch, and Binnoo did the honours for his reception every time. She would be ready as the good-looking, cultured, capable boy showed up with his parents, uncles, nephews, chums, hangers-on, or any company with the spare time to join him on a pleasure trip. They would examine Binnoo minutely, as if she were a pot they just might buy, before vanishing from view. Yet, a renewed hope accompanied the preparations each time, as the broken-down chairs of the sitting room made way for a sofa borrowed from the neighbours. A pink sari was unpacked. In the family’s joint opinion, Binnoo looked pretty in this sari, paired with its matching blouse of puffed sleeves and a mirrorwork neckline. On such a day she was permitted, even instructed, to ‘do some cream-powder’, considered a crime under more routine circumstances, and which could earn Amma’s rebuke: ‘Keep clear of fashion, Binnoo. Mind you, don’t disgrace us with the caste fraternity.’ It was commonly held that cosmetics ruin the skin, besides bringing dishonour to the family, just as a girl with an eye-catching hairdo was bound to be a shameless flirt. It was another matter that despite these adversities Binnoo always did manage a pretty-ish arrangement for her braid, and to get some touches of make-up on her face. Far from ruined by these attentions, her skin was glowing marvellously, and the sight of it strengthened Rammu’s hope and resolve to make a grab for her at the first chance he got, by night or day. This Rammu, who grew ever more committed to carrying out his programme, was the son and heir of the Bania Gurcharan, their neighbour.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Excerpted with permission from<i>&nbsp;Alipura, </i>Juggernaut Books</b><br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/28/alipura-excerpt-the-first-sights-of-the-village-bundelkhand.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/28/alipura-excerpt-the-first-sights-of-the-village-bundelkhand.html Sat Oct 30 10:10:36 IST 2021 photo-exhibition-kerala-reminds-auschwitz-not-forgotten <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/23/photo-exhibition-kerala-reminds-auschwitz-not-forgotten.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/23/photo-nazi-1.jpg" /> <p>“If I lived in Germany in 1930s, what would my position be?” This question that once arose in the mind of Sudeesh Yezhuvath, an IT entrepreneur from Bengaluru, paved way for a photography exhibition that takes you through spine-chilling visuals of Nazi concentration camps. The exhibition titled ‘Yours Is Not To Reason Why’, organised at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery in Kochi, is not just a photo series but a reminder of the lessons learnt from Auschwitz where thousands of people were killed every day.</p> <p>Talking to The Week, Sudeesh said: “10 years ago, when I was in Amsterdam to visit the place where Anne Frank wrote the entries that were compiled in <i>The Diary of a Young Girl, </i>a question crossed my mind—will I be with these perpetrators of Nazi ideology or against them?”</p> <p>Though the thought haunted him, he consoled himself by saying “the India I live in will not have to face this in my lifetime.” The idea of sharing these with more people emerged in May 2018 when he visited Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi concentration and extermination camp where his conscience was significantly shaken.</p> <p>Renowned artist Murali Cheeroth and Dr Jayaraj Sundaresan of the London School of Economics, who felt that Sudeesh’s powerful photographs should not be just restricted to a blog, have curated the ongoing exhibition. A total of 74 pictures offer a peek into the insides of gas chambers, prison cells, train tracks, personal possessions of prisoners, containers of poisonous gas, ponds that were used to dump ash after burning the bodies and many more.</p> <p>The exhibitors have also arranged literary sessions, film screenings and poetry evenings as part of the event.&nbsp; Writer and critic Sunil P. Ilayidom, film critic C.S. Venkiteswaran, poet K.G. Sankara Pillai and others will conduct these sessions. There will be a separate screening of films created by artists Gigi Scaria, Sumedh Rajendran, Riyas Komu, Radha Gomaty and Murali Cheeroth.</p> <p><i>The exhibition can be viewed till October 29, from 10 am to 7 pm.</i></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/23/photo-exhibition-kerala-reminds-auschwitz-not-forgotten.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/23/photo-exhibition-kerala-reminds-auschwitz-not-forgotten.html Sat Oct 23 11:41:21 IST 2021 how-ai-helped-a-team-of-scientists-complete-beethoven-unfinished-10th-symphony <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/22/how-ai-helped-a-team-of-scientists-complete-beethoven-unfinished-10th-symphony.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2019/6/7/beethoven.jpg" /> <p>When Ludwig van Beethoven died in 1827, he was three years removed from the completion of his Ninth Symphony, a work heralded by many as his magnum opus. He had started work on his 10th Symphony but, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071597/">due to deteriorating health</a>, wasn’t able to make much headway: All he left behind were some musical sketches.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ever since then, Beethoven fans and musicologists have puzzled and lamented over what could have been. His notes teased at some magnificent reward, albeit one that seemed forever out of reach.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, thanks to the work of a team of music historians, musicologists, composers and computer scientists, Beethoven’s vision will come to life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I presided over the artificial intelligence side of the project, leading a group of scientists at the creative AI startup <a href="https://www.playform.io/">Playform AI</a> that taught a machine both Beethoven’s entire body of work and his creative process.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A full recording of Beethoven’s 10th Symphony is set to be released on Oct. 9, 2021, the same day as the world premiere performance scheduled to take place in Bonn, Germany—the culmination of a two-year-plus effort.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Past attempts hit a wall</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Around 1817, the Royal Philharmonic Society in London commissioned Beethoven to write his Ninth and 10th symphonies. Written for an orchestra, <a href="http://professordeannaheikkinen.weebly.com/uploads/1/6/8/5/16856420/classical_music_form.pdf">symphonies often contain four movements</a>: the first is performed at a fast tempo, the second at a slower one, the third at a medium or fast tempo, and the last at a fast tempo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Beethoven completed his <a href="https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/first-nights-beethoven%E2%80%99s-9th-symphony-and-19th-century-orchestra?delta=1">Ninth Symphony</a> in 1824, which concludes with the timeless “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uooe16ILaPo">Ode to Joy</a>.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But when it came to the 10th Symphony, Beethoven didn’t leave much behind, other than some musical notes and a handful of ideas he had jotted down.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There have been some past attempts to reconstruct parts of Beethoven’s 10th Symphony. Most famously, in 1988, musicologist Barry Cooper ventured to complete the first and second movements. He wove together 250 bars of music from the sketches to create what was, in his view, <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20090203234337/http://lucare.com/immortal/cooper.html">a production of the first movement</a> that was faithful to Beethoven’s vision.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yet the sparseness of Beethoven’s sketches made it impossible for symphony experts to go beyond that first movement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Assembling the team</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In early 2019, Dr. Matthias Röder, the director of <a href="https://karajan-institut.org/">the Karajan Institute</a>, an organisation in Salzburg, Austria, that promotes music technology, contacted me. He explained that he was putting together a team to complete Beethoven’s 10th Symphony in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday. Aware of <a href="https://theconversation.com/meet-aican-a-machine-that-operates-as-an-autonomous-artist-104381">my work on AI-generated art</a>, he wanted to know if AI would be able to help fill in the blanks left by Beethoven.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The challenge seemed daunting. To pull it off, AI would need to do something it had never done before. But I said I would give it a shot.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Röder then compiled a team that included Austrian composer Walter Werzowa. <a href="https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1999-oct-20-fi-24321-story.html">Famous for writing</a> Intel’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ihRPi4wcBY">signature bong jingle</a>, Werzowa was tasked with putting together a new kind of composition that would integrate what Beethoven left behind with what the AI would generate. <a href="https://music.cornell.edu/mark-gotham">Mark Gotham</a>, a computational music expert, led the effort to transcribe Beethoven’s sketches and process his entire body of work so the AI could be properly trained.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The team also included <a href="http://music.fas.harvard.edu/emeriti.shtml">Robert Levin</a>, a musicologist at Harvard University who also happens to be an incredible pianist. Levin <a href="http://journal.juilliard.edu/journal/95031/robert-levin-finishing-mozart">had previously finished</a> a number of incomplete 18th-century works by Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The project takes shape</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In June 2019, the group gathered for a two-day workshop at Harvard’s music library. In a large room with a piano, a blackboard and a stack of Beethoven’s sketchbooks spanning most of his known works, we talked about how fragments could be turned into a complete piece of music and how AI could help solve this puzzle, while still remaining faithful to Beethoven’s process and vision.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The music experts in the room were eager to learn more about the sort of music AI had created in the past. I told them how AI had successfully generated music <a href="https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.01010">in the style of Bach</a>. However, this was only a harmonisation of an inputted melody that sounded like Bach. It didn’t come close to what we needed to do: construct an entire symphony from a handful of phrases.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, the scientists in the room, myself included, wanted to learn about what sort of materials were available, and how the experts envisioned using them to complete the symphony.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The task at hand eventually crystallised. We would need to use notes and completed compositions from Beethoven’s entire body of work, along with the available sketches from the 10th Symphony, to create something that Beethoven himself might have written.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This was a tremendous challenge. We didn’t have a machine that we could feed sketches to, push a button and have it spit out a symphony. Most AI available at the time couldn’t continue an uncompleted piece of music beyond a few additional seconds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We would need to push the boundaries of what creative AI could do by teaching the machine Beethoven’s creative process; how he would take a few bars of music and painstakingly develop them into stirring symphonies, quartets and sonatas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Piecing together Beethoven’s creative process</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As the project progressed, the human side and the machine side of the collaboration evolved. Werzowa, Gotham, Levin, and Röder deciphered and transcribed the sketches from the 10th Symphony, trying to understand Beethoven’s intentions. Using his completed symphonies as a template, they attempted to piece together the puzzle of where the fragments of sketches should go—which movement, which part of the movement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They had to make decisions, like determining whether a sketch indicated the starting point of <a href="https://www.classical-music.com/features/articles/what-scherzo/">a scherzo</a>, which is a very lively part of the symphony, typically in the third movement. Or they might determine that a line of music was likely the basis of <a href="https://www.classical-music.com/features/articles/what-fugue/">a fugue</a>, which is a melody created by interweaving parts that all echo a central theme.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The AI side of the project, my side, found itself grappling with a range of challenging tasks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First, and most fundamentally, we needed to figure out how to take a short phrase, or even just a motif, and use it to develop a longer, more complicated musical structure, just as Beethoven would have done. For example, the machine had to learn how Beethoven constructed the Fifth Symphony <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2012/11/19/165495617/beethovens-famous-4-notes-truly-revolutionary-music">out of a basic four-note motif</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Next, because the continuation of a phrase also needs to follow a certain musical form, whether it’s a scherzo, trio or fugue, the AI needed to learn Beethoven’s process for developing these forms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The to-do list grew: We had to teach the AI how to take a melodic line and harmonize it. The AI needed to learn how to bridge two sections of music together. And we realized the AI had to be able to compose <a href="https://www.britannica.com/art/coda-music">a coda</a>, which is a segment that brings a section of a piece of music to its conclusion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, once we had a full composition, the AI was going to have to figure out how to orchestrate it, which involves assigning different instruments for different parts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And it had to pull off these tasks in the way Beethoven might do so.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Passing the first big test</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In November 2019, the team met in person again—this time, in Bonn, at the Beethoven House Museum, where the composer was born and raised.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This meeting was the litmus test for determining whether AI could complete this project. We printed musical scores that had been developed by AI and built off the sketches from Beethoven’s 10th. A pianist performed in a small concert hall in the museum before a group of journalists, music scholars and Beethoven experts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We challenged the audience to determine where Beethoven’s phrases ended and where the AI extrapolation began. They couldn’t.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A few days later, one of these AI-generated scores was played by <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu1GI0QNLSE">a string quartet in a news conference</a>. Only those who intimately knew Beethoven’s sketches for the 10th Symphony could determine when the AI-generated parts came in.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The success of these tests told us we were on the right track. But these were just a couple of minutes of music. There was still much more work to do.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Ready for the world</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At every point, Beethoven’s genius loomed, challenging us to do better. As the project evolved, the AI did as well. Over the ensuing 18 months, we constructed and orchestrated two entire movements of more than 20 minutes apiece.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We anticipate some pushback to this work—those who will say that the arts should be off-limits from AI, and that AI has no business trying to replicate the human creative process. Yet when it comes to the arts, I see AI not as a replacement, but as a tool—one that opens doors for artists to express themselves in new ways.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This project would not have been possible without the expertise of human historians and musicians. It took an immense amount of work—and, yes, creative thinking—to accomplish this goal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At one point, one of the music experts on the team said that the AI reminded him of an eager music student who practices every day, learns, and becomes better and better.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now that student, having taken the baton from Beethoven, is ready to present the 10th Symphony to the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ahmed-elgammal-142521">Ahmed Elgammal</a>, Professor, Director of the Art &amp; AI Lab, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rutgers-university-1240">Rutgers University</a></i></p> <p><i>&nbsp;</i></p> <p><i>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-a-team-of-musicologists-and-computer-scientists-completed-beethovens-unfinished-10th-symphony-168160">original article</a>.</i></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/22/how-ai-helped-a-team-of-scientists-complete-beethoven-unfinished-10th-symphony.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/22/how-ai-helped-a-team-of-scientists-complete-beethoven-unfinished-10th-symphony.html Sat Oct 23 11:44:37 IST 2021 savarkars-book-influenced-priyadarshans-kaalapani <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/22/savarkars-book-influenced-priyadarshans-kaalapani.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/22/kaalapani-savarkar.jpg" /> <p>The film <i>Kaalapani</i> turned 25 this year. This period drama was arguably the most ambitious film in veteran director Priyadarshan’s career. Produced on a budget of Rs 6 crore and with an ensemble cast comprising Mohanlal, Tabu, Amrish Puri, Prabhu, Nedumudi Venu and Sreenivasan, among others, this film portrayed the lives of political prisoners in the Cellular Jail of Andaman and Nicobar during the British Raj. Priyadarshan co-wrote the script with T. Damodaran. The film won four national awards and seven Kerala state awards (including the second-best film of the year).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Set in 1915, the film follows the life of a doctor who is wrongly convicted in a train bombing case. Though Dr Govardhan is a fictional character, the film features some important historical figures in its narrative. For instance, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the ideologue of Hindu nationalism; David Berry, an insanely cruel jailer in Cellular Jail between 1909 and 1931; and Mirza Khan, a Pathan jail warden who had been a nightmare for the prisoners.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In one of his interviews*, Priyadarshan described the film as “70 per cent history and 30 per cent fiction”.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The film starts with the note that it is “based on historical events that took place in the Andaman Islands during the early part of the century. [And] some of the characters portrayed are real”. One lesser-known fact about <i>Kaalapani</i> is that Savarkar’s book <i>My Transportation for Life </i>was one of the primary sources for the script of the film. The influence is there for all to see.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The book, which was first published in 1927, shows a tendency to tag both prisoners and jail wardens with Hindu or Muslim prefixes. And so does Priyadarshan in <i>Kaalapani</i>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“All political prisoners had Mussalmans for their wardens. And myself was especially given in their charge. Those who were detailed to keep watch and ward on my room took great pride in that mission. For, thereby, they could boast all over the settlement that they were in the special confidence of their superiors. They were appointed to their place because the Officers wanted through them all the information that they could get about the political prisoners in their charge-their possible machinations and their secret communications. And the Officers could use the wardens as convenient tools to perpetrate any kind of cruelty, to trump up any kind of charge against the prisoners in their charge,” Savarkar writes in the book.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He notes that the British authorities in the jail favoured “Muslim” wardens over “Hindu” wardens. “Not only did the Hindu wardens suffer in promotion and disfavour, but the Muslim wardens succeeded more and more in ousting them from their jobs and replacing them by their Pathan brethren,” writes Savarkar. “For the Baluchi, the Sindhi, and the Pathan prisoners had wardens belonging to their own religion while the Hindu prisoners were systematically denied that favour. So that the Hindus suffered doubly. First, from their fellow prisoners, the Muslims, and secondly, from their Muslim warden. Since our admission to that prison, the situation in this respect had considerably worsened. The Hindu prisoners and the Hindu wardens had a hell of their lives in that place...”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Kalapaani </i>is a film that primarily focuses on the problems faced by Hindu prisoners in jail. For instance, there is a scene where a group of Muslim prisoners try to attack Govardhan because he had helped a Hindu prisoner who allegedly made fellow Muslim prisoners eat pig meat. Also, there is another incident where a Brahmin named Ram Lakhan is forced by the sadistic Mirza Khan to eat a dead lizard. Subsequently, Lakhan’s sacred thread is removed on Khan’s orders, and later, he is force-fed human excreta to break his fast.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It may be interpreted that Savarkar, in his book, tries to set a “good Muslim-bad Muslim” binary. “The Pathans, the Sindhis and the Baluchi Muslims, with a few exceptions, were, one and all, cruel and unscrupulous persons, and were full of fanatical hatred for the Hindus. Not so the Mussalmans from the Punjab, and less even than they, those of Bengal, Tamil province and Maharashtra. But the fanatical section always belittled and held up to laughter their co-religionists from other parts of India. It twitted them as ‘half kafirs’. And this constant jibe-compelled them, very often and perhaps inevitably, to follow in the footsteps of their wicked brethren.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Savarkar’s “good Muslim-bad Muslim” binary could be seen in <i>Kaalapani</i>, too. Kunju Muhammad Musaliar (an aged Malayali Muslim prisoner played by Sankaradi) and Ahmed Kutty (a kind-hearted jail guard, again a Malayali Muslim) represent Priyadarshan’s “good Muslims”. And, Mirza Khan and Moosa the traitor ((played by Sreenivasan), represent the “bad Muslims”.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Convicted for rape, Moosa is a converted Muslim and spy of Mirza Khan. And, Khan uses him to ignite communal feelings among the prisoners. In order to understand the nuances behind the creation of this character, we need to go back to Savarkar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>My Days for Transportation </i>has a lengthy chapter on Savarkar’s “Shudhi movement” that was intended to reconvert Hindus who had become Muslims. According to Savarkar, there were forced conversions in the Cellular Jail. He explains the process thus:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“As soon as the Chalan came in that prison or whenever, later on, a suitable opportunity was found for the purpose, the young and the simple-minded lads out of Hindu prisoners were taken in charge by the head of the Mussulman warders and jamadars, the notorious Mirza Khan, and at once put on hard labour. The Mussalman warder or petty officer, in their immediate charge, lost no time in browbeating and thrashing them on the one hand, and in offering them baits on the other in order to force them into Islam. He would give them, with that end in view, tobacco to chew and sweetmeats to eat. On such an occasion, he treated these gullible lads with extreme kindness. When these boys were beaten and worked to the point of crying, he would openly advise them to become Muslims and all their troubles would be over. Gradually these new victims were caught in his net, and at last the ceremony of conversion came to be completed, by making them, openly abandon their seats for the meal among the Hindu prisoners and go into the rank of Muslim prisoners. They were then served Mohomedan food so that there was no more chance left open for them to rejoin their Hindu friends. The Hindu and the Mohomedan kitchens were kept separate in this jail and the cooks were Hindus or Mohomedans according to the kitchen they looked after. Once the Hindu lads were discovered dining with the Mohomedans, they were sure to be banned by the Hindus. This was, therefore, an effective mode and final stroke of absorbing them into the Islamic faith. They were at once baptised with Muslim names. If anyone called them by their former names, Mirza Khan would growl at them, and his myrmidons would threaten them with severe punishment. 'He is now a Musulman' they would say, 'and you must call him by his new name, beware'. This was the ceremony through which these poor lads were made to pass to be the followers of the new faith. No circumcision, no recital of the Koran, no Nimaz, was necessary in their case. Tobacco was their circumcision, hard labour their Koran, and dining with Muslims was their Nimaz.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the film, Moosa represents this process of alleged conversion in the jail. He tries to persuade Govardhan to convert to Islam. In the presence of Khan, Moosa tells Govardhan the hard labour he would have to do if he decides to stay within the Hindu fold. Subsequently, Savarkar would call Govardhan and ask him not to cave into Khan’s coercion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The film also raises certain contradictions about Savarkar. For instance, it shows that Ram Lakhan commits suicide, and Savarkar declares a mass hunger strike demanding an inquiry into his death. However, Savarkar’s own writings in <i>My Days for Transportation </i>suggest he was against hunger strikes. “I was always against the suicidal policy of hunger strike, as I regarded it as ruinous to the individual and ruinous to the cause.” But Savarkar had declared a three-day hunger strike to persuade a co-prisoner named Nani Gopal to stop his hunger strike. “When Nani [heard] the news that I had declared three days' hunger strike, he was stricken with grief,” Savarkar wrote in the book. “I was taken to his cell by [Jailer] Mr. Barrie. I saw him and he agreed to break his fast. I took him aside and whispered, ‘Do not die like a woman; die fighting like a hero. Kill your enemy and then take leave of this world’.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Interestingly, Priyadarshan’s protagonist Govardhan—who says that he had been part of Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s Servants of India Society, a moderate group, before coming to Andamans—eventually becomes the hyper-masculine “hero”, similar to what Savarkar wanted Gopal to be. Govardhan kills Berry and Mirza Khan, and is subsequently hanged.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even now, after a quarter-century of its release, the film ignites debates in the Malayalam film circles, because of the socio-political narratives it offers, and the portrayal of Savarkar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i><b>*Priyadarshan’s interview mentioned in the story is currently available on the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so7PyE7SVYQ">YouTube channel of WildFilmsIndia Ltd</a>.</b></i></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/22/savarkars-book-influenced-priyadarshans-kaalapani.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/22/savarkars-book-influenced-priyadarshans-kaalapani.html Sat Oct 23 11:41:49 IST 2021 indo-european-pen-pal-network-seeks-to-bridge-cultural-distances <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/21/indo-european-pen-pal-network-seeks-to-bridge-cultural-distances.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/21/pen-pal-writing-pixabay.jpg" /> <p>From snail mail to social media, pen-pals never really went out of fashion. And there are all kinds of pen pals writing to each other across islands and oceans. In the US, there's something called Meet-an-inmate.com, among several such websites, where incarcerated men and women seek out pen pals from the outside world to exchange letters and form friendships that help ease loneliness behind bars. But for this story, we will stick to literary or cultural pen pals.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As part of Long Weekend of LiteratureS from October 22-23, organised by the European Union Delegation Office, a Europe-India PEN-PAL Network will allow registered participants to make friends with and interact with people from different cultures.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Long Night of LiteratureS this year will be held in a digital avatar. Scheduled from 22nd October–23rd October 2021 from 3:00 PM-9:00 PM (IST; both days) the festival will bring together authors from 11 European countries and India. It will feature panel discussions, quizzes, and audience interaction sessions focused on themes of diversity and belonging.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But the festival is also seeding a long-term pen pal project. "We've been craving social interaction, exposure to new cultures and people for the past 18 months. But there is now a unique opportunity to make friends with and interact with people from different cultures. We are seeing a pen-pal network between Europe and India," says Lasya Nadimpally, partnerships and community manager at Belongg, one of the festival organizers. "Maybe you could learn something about a place you really want to visit, or exchange recipes, or make a new tune with a friend, or learn a new language. Who knows?" says Nadimpally.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The registration for the network will continue beyond the festival and registered participants from both India and the EU countries will be patched via email after vetting mutual tastes, interests and preferences. After the introductory mail, matched pairs can continue their correspondence. Matches will be drawn from two distinct cultural databases comprising of filled-in forms by participants. But they won't be matched according to their age or gender in a cultural exchange program, says Nadimpally.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Personally if you ask me, I would love to make a friend with say a-70-year-old Portuguese uncle and just talk about their life and how it's going there. We don't match interests like the dating site," she says. The idea is to make and retain a friend beyond a standalone literature festival, adds Nadimpally.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pen pal registration can be done on&nbsp;<a href="https://vhjpshv4.paperform.co/">https://vhjpshv4.paperform.co/</a></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/21/indo-european-pen-pal-network-seeks-to-bridge-cultural-distances.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/21/indo-european-pen-pal-network-seeks-to-bridge-cultural-distances.html Thu Oct 21 20:09:38 IST 2021 from-soyinka-to-2021-nobel-laureate-gurnah-african-narratives-in-world-literature <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/from-soyinka-to-2021-nobel-laureate-gurnah-african-narratives-in-world-literature.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/15/Ngugi-wa-Thiongo-Abdulrazak-Gurnah-chinua-achebe-soyinka-wikicommons.jpg" /> <p>Speaking to&nbsp;<i style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">The Guardian</i>&nbsp;after winning the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah remarked: "I could do with more readers." Gurnah—who has published 10 novels, several short stories and essays—started writing in English as a 21-year-old refugee in England; he was forced to flee the island of Zanzibar after the revolution which overthrew the monarchy. A distinguished academic and critic, his work has been recognised for an "uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents". Diasporic literature, themes of exile, memory and migration are intrinsic to his oeuvre.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gurnah is the seventh African to win the Nobel in literature, after Albert Camus (born to French parents in Algeria) in 1957, Wole Soyinka (1986), Naguib Mahfouz (1988), Nadine Gordimer (1991), J.M. Coetzee (2003), and Doris Lessing (2007). And, he is the second black African writer after Soyinka to win the prestigious award. While Chinua Achebe's&nbsp;<i>Things Fall Apart</i>, set in Nigeria, might have been our introduction to African literature in English, Gurnah's win reminds us once again to pay attention to the diversity of literary narratives emerging out of the continent. For now, one can check out Soyinka's latest,&nbsp;<a href="https://guardianbookshop.com/chronicles-from-the-land-of-the-happiest-people-on-earth-9781526638243">Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth</a>, which comes almost 50 years after his last novel.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an interview with THE WEEK, Madhu Krishnan—professor of African, World and Comparative Literatures in the Department of English, University of Bristol—tells us more about the evolving art of African literary writing and its place in the world. She is currently working on a five-year project, funded by the ERC, titled ‘Literary activism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Commons, Publics and Networks of Practice’.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Do you feel Gurnah’s Nobel victory is good news for African literature on the world stage? Will it really help generate more interest and readership for lesser-known authors from the continent?</b></p> <p>It would be impossible to suggest that the Nobel win will not increase the visibility of African literatures on a world stage, or at least [professor] Gurnah's visibility. Already, we are hearing stories of his books selling out in various United States markets, and there has certainly been an increase in interest in the United Kingdom [no doubt linked to the level of publicity here around his win]. The larger question is how long this increase in interest lasts. It has been well documented that large prize wins have an immediate net positive impact for sales of the winner's work, but the long-term impact can be less positive and, in some cases, even negative. I am sceptical that an institution like the Nobel can help generate interest in less-visible writers and literatures, particularly those which take a more deliberately radical aesthetic or ideology. I would also contest the idea that [professor] Gurnah is himself “lesser-known”. Certain, amongst African literary readerships, he is extremely well known! The question of how known a writer is or isn't is a matter of perspective and a matter of scale. Within certain ecologies, something which, say, the global literary market deems 'unknown' or 'peripheral' might have far more purchase and relevance, and a greater audience. So, we need to be careful when we speak in these terms about who we are centering and from whose perspective we are speaking. I would point to this piece in&nbsp;<a href="https://brittlepaper.com/2021/10/103-african-writers-respond-to-abdulrazak-gurnahs-nobel-prize-win/"><i>Brittle Paper</i></a>, which has collated over 100 African writers' responses to the win—not really lesser known, I would say!</p> <p><b>How did the 1986 Nobel win for Wole Soyinka change the global reception of African literary narratives in English?</b></p> <p>I am not sure that it did change the reception of African literary narratives. It might be more accurate to say that [professor] Soyinka's win gave certain amounts of intellectual and social capital to African literature, as a market category, but one could argue that this was a process that had already begun decades ago, with the canonisation of writers like Chinua Achebe, amongst others. Perhaps the most important thing about [professor] Soyinka's win was the way in which his work refuted some of the more peculiar ways in which African literatures are read. Here, I am thinking about the ways in which, certainly through the 80s, but happily less so frequently today, African literatures have been read as sociological or anthropological data, rather than artistic or literary works. Of course, African literary writing, like all writing, intersects with the political, and [professor] Soyinka's work is deeply engaged; at the same time, his explicit modernity and highly crafted aesthetics force readers into thinking more deeply about the art of African writing, one might argue.</p> <p><b>How relevant is the language question for contemporary African novelists writing in English in a post-colonial world? Is conveying the African experience in English the only way to become a literary giant on a global stage?</b></p> <p>I think that the language question is one which comes in two parts. In structural and institutional terms, it is hard to refute the idea that English, as a language, has the largest market share and reach. It is simply a fact that, dollar for dollar, writing in English outstrips other languages. So, there is a question of infrastructure and economics to think about, which is one thing. The other question, however, is about the language of expression. Firstly, I would contend that it is dangerous to see English as anything but an African language—if an African writer chooses to write in it. Why shouldn't an African writer own English as much as a British writer or USian writer? Certainly, myriad African writers have shown the ways in which they can take English and transform it into a language of their own, moulding it and pushing its boundaries. All languages are fundamentally plural, and all languages evolve; English is no different. I don't think it is for me to say how a writer should or should not 'convey their African experience'. This is fundamentally a question about art. Yes, it is mediated by infrastructural and economic factors. And indeed, we should not downplay the importance of areas such as education, which can shape the languages within which writers feel able to write. But, there are so many writers who today say that we can be more radical in our thinking and work in different ways. Most famous here, of course, is Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, whose creative writing is composed and written first in Gĩkũyũ and then translated into other languages, but also other figures such as Boubacar Boris Diop, who himself writes in Wolof and whose publishing house has been transformative in advocating for translation into and out of the language, or Richard Ali A. Mutu, who writes in Lingala and published the first novel in Lingala to be translated into English. The works of these people, amongst many other literary activists including Zukiswa Wanner, Edwige Dro, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Munyao Kilolo and so many others, show that English is not the only way. Equally, their work shows the importance of developing infrastructures and translation in de-centering English, or at least offering alternatives for writers.</p> <p><b>Also, how problematic is it to treat African writing in English as a single domain, just like monolithic descriptions of Africa in mainstream media is frowned upon?</b></p> <p>Definitely it is problematic. What we mean by 'African experience' is not monolithic. A novel that is set in, say, Southwest Cameroon or Ghana or Liberia is going to be radically different in terms of its cultural intersections and framings to a novel set in Kenya or Uganda or South Sudan. Africa is not a country; it is the second largest continent in the world and home to myriad languages, cultures and experiences, so of course literary writing is going to reflect that diversity.</p> <p><b>Some modern African writers you might like to recommend?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>This is a hard question! There are so many excellent writers. Some writers whose work I have enjoyed lately include Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor [I am obsessed with her book,&nbsp;<i>The Dragonfly Sea</i>] and Akwaeke Emezi. I love Zukiswa Wanner's travelogue,&nbsp;<i>Hardly Working</i>. There are really too many to count, to be honest!</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/from-soyinka-to-2021-nobel-laureate-gurnah-african-narratives-in-world-literature.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/from-soyinka-to-2021-nobel-laureate-gurnah-african-narratives-in-world-literature.html Fri Oct 15 23:55:20 IST 2021 jamini-roy-painting-sells-for-rs-432-crore-becomes-artists-most-expensive-work-yet <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/jamini-roy-painting-sells-for-rs-432-crore-becomes-artists-most-expensive-work-yet.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/15/jamini-roy-untitled-saffronart.jpg" /> <p>A live auction by Saffronart on October 13 has set a world record, becoming the most expensive work by Jamini Roy to be sold in an auction. The untitled, large tempera-on-cloth painting sold for Rs 4.32 crore.<br> </p> <p>A 1954 Padma Bhusan awardee, Jamini Roy is one of nine artists the government of India dubs a national treasure or &quot;Navratna&quot;. Heavily influenced by traditional Kalighat paintings, the Bengali painter rejected the Western academic style to adopt the&nbsp;vivid, folk idioms of his native Bengal. He is often considered the father of modern Indian art. Until the sale of the untitled piece, his most expensive work had sold for a relatively modest Rs 72.1 lakh at an auction in 2007. Called &quot;Musicians,&quot; it was sized at 33 x 59 inches.<br> </p> <p>&quot;Works by Jamini Roy have retained a constant presence in Indian art auctions since 1987. Despite this perennial circulation, the price points for his works did not record beyond marginal growth until recently,&quot; says Arvind Vijaymohan, founder and CEO of the art research and advisory firm Artery India. &quot;Jamini's previous best at auction was established for what was till then the largest work by the artist to be seen in a public domain sale. It sold in 2007, achieving £90,000—and could foreseeably be displaced only by a larger dimension.&quot;</p> <p>The untitled painting is acquired from the Uma and Ravi Jain collection in New Delhi.</p> <p>The untitled painting is a&nbsp; rectangular composition with vertical sections and is a massive 100.25x 113.5 inches in size. The central motif is of a stately female form holding a child in her arms. The&nbsp;reddish-brown backdrop is reminiscent of the typical style of Bishnupur temples.&nbsp;The child is believed to be Lord Krishna and is flanked by&nbsp;devoted attendants on either side. This painting, according to the Saffronart website, acts as a &quot;marker of Roy's formidable talent that grew more distinct over the course of his long artistic career.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Several important works by the artist have sold between 2007 and 2021, raising his average price benchmarks significantly, though it was a certainty that a work of such a&nbsp; monumental dimension would create a new world record,&quot; adds Vijaymohan.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jamini Roy passed away on April 24, 1972.&nbsp; There was a Google Doodle tribute for the iconic artist in 2017 to celebrate his 130th birth anniversary.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/jamini-roy-painting-sells-for-rs-432-crore-becomes-artists-most-expensive-work-yet.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/jamini-roy-painting-sells-for-rs-432-crore-becomes-artists-most-expensive-work-yet.html Fri Oct 15 20:02:39 IST 2021 saraswati-goddess-who-reminds-us-of-importance-and-joy-of-reading-learning <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/saraswati-goddess-who-reminds-us-of-importance-and-joy-of-reading-learning.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/15/saraswati.jpeg" /> <p>Wednesday was Saraswati Puja. I do not believe in pujas and gods. I am an atheist, typical of the generation that was influenced and shaped by the Dravidian social reformist movements in Tamil Nadu.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Beyond my atheistic mindset, there is a secret image of Saraswati in my heart. I remember fondly the Saraswati Pujas in my childhood. The image of Saraswati as the goddess of learning, wisdom and arts had fascinated and inspired me as a child and has been etched strongly in my memory. I liked the picture of the goddess sitting on the white lotus flower with a book in the hand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a kid, I was fond of books and tried to read whatever I could get hold of and whenever I could. But my illiterate uncle, who brought me up, did not believe in Saraswati. He worshipped Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. He believed that pursuit of agriculture was the best way to invite Lakshmi into the home. Unknowingly, my illiterate uncle believed in the <i>Thirukkural.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>உழுதுண்டு வாழ்வாரே வாழ்வார்மற் றெல்லாம்</p> <p>தொழுதுண்டு பின்செல் பவர்.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(Life with a plow is the real life</p> <p>The rest are those who follow behind)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>My uncle would scold me if he saw me with a book in hand outside the school. So I would hide the book behind my back while walking around the fields.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I had access only to the school textbooks. No one bought books other than textbooks in the village. There were no books at home in the house of my illiterate uncle and aunt. Neither my elementary school in Raramuthiraikottai nor my high school in Mariammankovil had libraries. Fortunately the village panchayat board building had some books including epics such as <i>Ponniyin Selvan</i> and <i>Sivakamiyin Sabadam</i>. But they had only some parts of the several volumes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So I would go to other village panchayat boards to get the missing parts. Poondi Pushpam college where I went after school had a large library. I was thrilled to read so many books and magazines outside my subject, which was chemistry. I read so many Tamil poems... And I got carried away... I wanted to become a poet. In fact, I had applied for admission for MA, Tamil literature, in Pachaiyappa’s College in Chennai. But my Tamil professor in Poondi college advised me against that and persuaded me to study MSc chemistry, which would have more job opportunities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While working as a junior lecturer in Pachaiyappa's College, I used to carry non-chemistry books to the staffroom for reading to prepare for the civil services examination. Some of my senior colleagues would laugh behind my back and thought that I was delusional. So I had to hide the general knowledge books from the colleagues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I was lucky that my reading resulted in selection to the Indian Foreign Service. During the whole career of 35 years, I had to constantly keep up reading every day to update my knowledge of international affairs. Postings in different countries every three years meant that I had to study and learn about different cultures, markets and political systems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since my retirement in 2012, I follow the advice of Bharathiar:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>காலை எழுந்தவுடன் படிப்பு - பின்பு</p> <p>கனிவு கொடுக்கும் நல்ல பாட்டு</p> <p>மாலை முழுதும் விளையாட்டு - என்று</p> <p>வழக்கப் படுத்திக்கொள்ளு பாப்பா.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(Reading in the morning</p> <p>Listening to music later</p> <p>Playing in the evening</p> <p>Make this as the habit)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I read in the morning, play golf in the afternoon and listen to music in the evening with a drink, which Bharathiar missed out mentioning...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I keep a little bronze idol of Saraswati on my desk, which reminds me every day of the importance and joy of reading and learning. But the more I read, the more I realise the wisdom of the Tamil poet Avvaiyar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>கற்றது கை மண் அளவு. கல்லாதது உலகளவு.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(What one has learnt is just handful of sand... what is more to learn is vast like the earth)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The author is an expert in Latin American affairs</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/saraswati-goddess-who-reminds-us-of-importance-and-joy-of-reading-learning.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/15/saraswati-goddess-who-reminds-us-of-importance-and-joy-of-reading-learning.html Fri Oct 15 13:51:33 IST 2021 ushering-in-spirit-durga-puja-netherlands <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/ushering-in-spirit-durga-puja-netherlands.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/9/puja-nertherlands.jpg" /> <p>Can you think of Durga Puja without Bengali tea, Singara (samosa), pathar mangsho (mutton) or Polao?</p> <p>No, one cannot. That is why non-resident Indians in the Netherlands feel something’s amiss from their celebrations. During Puja, their food will be cooked with canned meat, and the exotic Bengali delicacy Malaikari will be made from shrimp (instead of the local prawns from waterbodies in and around Kolkata).</p> <p>As Covid-19 ravaged Europe last year, Anandadhara, a Bengali organisation, managed to fly a big Durga idol from Kolkata’s Kumartuli. Unlike in Kolkata where pandals are erected in every locality, in Amsterdam, Anandadhara celebrates in a community home.</p> <p>Masks are no longer required in the Netherlands, as advised by the government. But Anandadhara has urged visitors from Monday onwards to enter the hall wearing masks and carry Covid vaccination certificate. Apart from the other international vaccines, Covishield is being allowed for the Indians who are touring the Netherlands now. The five-day Durga Puja, Bengali’s biggest festival, would start Monday with Mahasasthi. In Kolkata, the festivals span almost seven days. But in the Netherlands, the few-hundred-Bengali-community, who are mostly employed in the IT and teaching professions, would restrict it to four days only. Vijayadashami would be the fifth day when the Puja will end.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Said Sudipta Laskar, an IT professional, “Our Durga Puja is in the fifth year. Like every time, this time, too, there will be various cultural programmes. The main attractions would be dances, songs, recitations, sit-down competitions for children, etc. There is also a beauty contest, music, dance competitions for adults.”&nbsp; The most striking attraction will be "Pujor Tilottama" which is basically a selfie contest.</p> <p>Dipanwita Mukherjee and Dolly Devi, who are in charge of the decorations, said that the Puja decoration will be theme-based. "And this time the Medieval Fortress theme will surpass the "Banedibari Building" (traditional Bengali house) theme of 2017 or the "Pagoda of the Far West" of 2019,” said Dipanwita.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/ushering-in-spirit-durga-puja-netherlands.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/ushering-in-spirit-durga-puja-netherlands.html Sat Oct 09 13:44:20 IST 2021 tracing-razakar-legacy-when-razvis-granddaughter-visited-hyderabad <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/30/tracing-razakar-legacy-when-razvis-granddaughter-visited-hyderabad.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/30/atiya-razakar.jpg" /> <p>Sometime in 2016, a Pakistani visitor in Hyderabad was told to go into stealth mode. The caution thrown at her kept her away from a property which was on top of her wish list. Atiya Khan wanted to take a tour of ‘Darussalam’- the headquarters of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) political party located in the older part of Hyderabad.</p> <p>“I wanted to go to Darussalam and see what the Owaisi brothers are doing. I wasn’t encouraged to undertake the trip as it would have led to a big blow-up,” she says.</p> <p>Atiya Khan is the only one among her first cousins to set foot in Telangana’s capital. She can recollect only one from the previous generation of her family - her uncle - one among the 10 siblings, to have made it to Hyderabad, that too decades ago. After all, the family believed that they could not enter India for a good part of last century.</p> <p>Yet, her physical presence raised eyebrows and sparked off intense discussions at social dos. “Please don’t announce who you are related to. It could incite people,” Atiya was told by a person holding an important position in the state government at that time.</p> <p>Atiya is the granddaughter of Qasim Razvi, who remains one of the most controversial figures in the annals of Deccan history. A lawyer by profession, Razvi headed a private militia, Razakars, aligned to the seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. Between 1946 and 1948, Razvi controlled a force numbering anywhere between 50,000 to 2 lakh men. The Razakars reportedly committed atrocities on Congress supporters, Communists and other people who wanted an end to Nizam’s rule or favoured a merger with India. According to some historical narratives, he tried to prevail upon the Nizam to accede the state to Pakistan. In September 1948, as the Indian army made its way into the princely state of Hyderabad, Qazim wanted the Razakars to resist the takeover. A weak defence led to the Indian army rolling into Hyderabad effortlessly.</p> <p>Seven decades later, the terms “Razakar” and “Razvi” are still stigmatic and evoke a strong negative emotion. There are houses in rural parts of Telangana which are labelled as those of Razakars, with an air of hostility. Razvi and his militia’s acts continue to reverberate every year on September 17, the day the Hyderabad state was annexed to India. While local political parties sparred on whether to celebrate the day as “liberation day” or “merger day” this year, for Razvi’s descendants in Pakistan, it is still an unsettled case.</p> <p>Razvi was imprisoned by the Indian government for nine years and later, upon release in 1958, left for Pakistan. Among his 10 children are a professor, doctor, fashion designer, counsellor who grew up in Pakistan and later went on to settle in different countries.</p> <p>Atiya shuttles between Karachi and Islamabad, and is the daughter of politician Fouzia Ejaz, one of the daughters of Razvi. A former model, filmmaker and now a Sufi promoter, Atiya’s visit to Hyderabad happened accidentally five years ago while she was in south India on the invitation of Sri Sri Ravishankar to research on Vedanta Yogis and its spiritual importance. Some of the people she met on the tour took care of her stay in Hyderabad after knowing about her connection with the city. Talking about her week-long trip, she said she became nostalgic while moving around in Hyderabad. “A part of me is very connected to the place. I went to what used to be my grandmother’s house. It is no longer there as it has become a huge housing society. The Golkonda fort and the museum were very grand and beautiful. And then I understood that it is also now the IT capital, and there is a really modern side of it as well, which was very nice to see.”</p> <p>She says when she met people in Hyderabad and spoke about her ancestor, there was an immediate reaction which she was prepared for. In one instance, a person in Hyderabad who she met socially spoke at length about how his grandfather had fought against her grandfather. “They were sharing their stories with me. And then I was sharing my perspective with them,” she says.&nbsp;</p> <p>Atiya was particular about visiting Darussalam as she feels it was synonymous with her grandfather. In 1946, Razvi became the president of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a cultural and religious platform. Darussalam served as the centre of MIM’s activities till 1948 when Hyderabad state was annexed to India. In 1958, It was rebranded as AIMIM, a political outfit by Abdul Wahid Owaisi, grandfather of current Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.</p> <p>In 2019, Atiya made a nine-minute documentary in which she hailed her grandfather as a freedom fighter. She is proud to have his photograph on her writing table. For Atiya, Razvi was a religious, passionate and an idealistic man.</p> <p>What does she have to say about the perception among the masses that Razvi was communal, extremist and involved in acts of crime?</p> <p>“There is a lot of negative portrayal about my grandfather. He argued his case in a military tribunal constituted by the Indian government and they could not prove a single allegation against him. The proceedings of the court case are available online and anyone can see it,” says Atiya. She believes that some elements masquerading as Razakars indulged in certain criminal activities which defamed Razakars.</p> <p>She feels that since the Sunderlal report was not made public for a long time, a one-sided narrative has been set. According to the declassified government-commissioned Sunderlal report, during and in the aftermath of ‘operation polo’, code name given to the police action of Hyderabad, 27,000 to 40,000 people died, mostly due to communal rioting. “An opportunity should be given to bring out the other side of the story so that there is a more balanced view of history,” she says.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Did she attempt to meet the Nizam’s family with whom her grandfather worked closely till the merger? She says she does not wish to have any ties with the Nizam’s family.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“He (Seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan) put all the blame on my grandfather and pretended as if he was the innocent one.”</p> <p>In Atiya’s household, Deccan identity is still alive in the form of photos, artefacts and food. “Sometimes, I get online messages from Hyderabad too,” she says.&nbsp;</p> <p>In future, Atiya wants to revisit Hyderabad and open a dialogue about its past.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/30/tracing-razakar-legacy-when-razvis-granddaughter-visited-hyderabad.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/30/tracing-razakar-legacy-when-razvis-granddaughter-visited-hyderabad.html Fri Oct 01 10:13:38 IST 2021 how-yohan-poonawalla-showcasing-india-vintage-car-heritage <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/29/how-yohan-poonawalla-showcasing-india-vintage-car-heritage.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/29/vintage-cars-1.jpg" /> <p>The Maharajas of pre-independent India were perhaps the most discerning petrol heads. The Maharaja cars have a special place in India's automotive history. It is estimated that between 1910 and 1947, some 900 Rolls-Royces were sold to Indian princes of every persuasion, saving the company from near bankruptcy in the post-war years. Now the new royalty, India's richest 0.01 per cent, take the baton forward in placing India on the world vintage motoring map by restoring and exhibiting these old high rollers.<br> <br> Recently,&nbsp;industrialist Yohan Poonawalla&nbsp;exhibited several cars from his collection at two of UK's premier motor shows including the 2021 Salon Privé which is held at Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO world heritage site and the ancestral home of Winston Churchill. Poonawalla's 1949 Bentley Mark VI, originally built for the Maharaja of Mysore, was awarded the Duke of Marlborough Award at Salon Prive. His 1927 Rolls-Royce Twenty HP by Barker, described by motoring historian Mohammed Luqman as a 'glistening piece of rolling art', was awarded the&nbsp;Most Exceptional Coachwork Award in the same show.<br> <br> In an email interview with The Week, Poonawalla talks about online auctions, NFTs and his cherished &quot;Rhubarb and Custard&quot; car.<br> <br> <b>What was the first vintage car you bought? What was the story behind it?</b><br> In the 90’s I was tinkering around with a car here and a car there because I was still a young lad but the<b>&nbsp;</b>first proper serious car that I bought was in the year 2000 and it was a 1937 Phantom III. It belonged to the Maharaja of Panchkot which is a province in the eastern part of Bengal.<br> <br> Of course, the Phantom III is a very special car in any case and it had royal history behind it--belonging to the Maharaja of Panchkot and the V12 was a very special car because Rolls-Royce only made the Phantom III V12. &nbsp;Until they reintroduced the new Phantom there was no other V12.<br> <br> </p> <p><b>How would you explain your fascination with old cars? What draws you to them?</b></p> <p>Personally, for me, a car is more than just its appearance or the way it looks. Whilst the design and performance play an integral part, the aspects which draw my interest and attention are the bespoke features, and pedigree - a glimpse into the past owners of the car and the events the car was a part of are a few of the factors that drive my decision. If the automobile narrates a story for itself, that piques my interest.</p> <p><br> <b>How resilient is the Indian car collecting market right now? Have you bought anything from an online auction in the pandemic year? Do you think vintage car sales will attract more buyers now with digital exhibitions like the online migration for visual art? Can there be any NFTs for vintage cars?</b><br> Of course, things are tight all over the world right now and so are they in India but things are starting to look up and improve.<br> <br> No, I haven’t bought anything from an online auction here during the pandemic.<br> <br> What this will do is basically create a platform for buyers to know what is out there. &nbsp;To see the cars that are out in the market but basically, I think it is always wise that one sees the car before they actually buy it, you know. &nbsp;You have to see it, you have to feel it because pictures are different and when you look at something physically it's different, as is not only with cars but so many other things as well.<br> <br> Yes, maybe sometime in the future there can be NFTs for vintage cars. Basically, vintage car art per se, I think it has a large market not only in India but even worldwide. &nbsp;So yes, one day probably but maybe not right away. At least not a big market right away.<br> <br> <b>How would you distinguish yourself from an older generation of vintage car connoisseurs? What dictates the choices of younger vintage car collectors?</b></p> <p>I have a strong interest in cars with significant pedigree, for example, who their past owners were, what events and actions a car was part of etc. These vehicles often came from the manufacturer with customisations chosen by their original owners which make them unique and special. For example, my 1949 Bentley Mark VI, which was awarded the prestigious Duke of Marlborough Award,<b>&nbsp;</b>was<b>&nbsp;</b>originally built for the Maharaja of Mysore and came personalised with features including solid silver and 24k gold plaques and shields.</p> <p><br> <b>Can you tell us about some of your most prized possessions, their stories and the challenges of acquiring them?</b><br> Each vehicle is unique owing to its features and has its own story to tell, hence all cars are treated equally. However, there are a few cars which are well-celebrated and are known around the world - such as the Rolls-Royce Phantom II which was owned by the Speedster Sir Malcolm Cambell; the Maharaja of Panchkot’s 1937 Phantom III; the Mysore Bentley which is fondly called the ‘Rhubarb &amp; Custard car’ owing to its colour scheme; and a 1939 4¼ Derby Bentley owned by the son of the last Nizam of Hyderabad.<br> <br> When one is driven by passion and is always on the lookout for a car one wants, they are always available out there, as they say, one who seeks finds! It is true though, that at times it becomes difficult to find and acquire a specific car. The collector's hobby is not a race to hoard the finest and most expensive cars, it is about enjoying the cars one owns and sharing and showcasing them to others. Rebuilding, restoring and reviving great cars, and being part of the heritage motoring movement gives just as much joy to the true enthusiast.</p> <p><br> <b>Where does India stand with respect to the global pecking order when it comes to vintage car collectors? How has our international standing improved when it comes to winning awards and exhibitions?</b><br> There are some fantastic cars in India that came in the 1920’s to the early 50’s. Those cars are still in India and a few of them left India. Following that, the government wisely banned the export of cars but at the same time they should have encouraged the import of cars in India - the new cars, better and different ones could come to India but sadly the import of vintage cars was banned until a few years back when they reopened the import of vintage cars ‘Pre- 1950’. Now, one could import cars and people have started importing vintage cars ‘Pre 1950’ - cars that are excellent for India’s vintage car fraternity as the good cars have started coming in.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/29/how-yohan-poonawalla-showcasing-india-vintage-car-heritage.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/29/how-yohan-poonawalla-showcasing-india-vintage-car-heritage.html Wed Sep 29 15:11:20 IST 2021 birds-of-india-an-exhibition-that-celebrates-rare-portraits-of-birds-made-in-19th-century <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/21/birds-of-india-an-exhibition-that-celebrates-rare-portraits-of-birds-made-in-19th-century.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/21/birds-1.jpg" /> <p>Almost all the folios in the ongoing exhibition ‘Birds of India: Company Paintings, c.1800-1835’ come attached with a &quot;note&quot;. Like caveats and warnings. ‘Note’ that only the male of the Siberian Rubythroat, called lalarki kil kil/bul bul in Urdu, has a red patch on the throat; that the rufous variant of the female Asian Paradise-Flycatcher lacks tail streamers; that the Yellow-Eyed Babbler is neither the European nightingale or a warbler.</p> <p>But one forgets these corrections and clarifications when the portraits of the many raptors, game birds, waders and warblers are so delightfully vivid and charming. At the ongoing ‘Birds of India’ exhibition at DAG, The Claridges, the avian fauna of 19th century India quietly sing and chirrup their own illustrious plumage. With 125 paintings of birds drawn from four key albums, the show beautifully illustrates a lesser-known segment of the famed Company Paintings where Indian artists in the 18th and 19th century worked in a hybrid Indo-European style to produce paintings which appealed to Europeans in the East India Company.</p> <p>Defined by sharp figuratives and muted water-colouring, the company style of painting first took root in Murshidabad in West Bengal and later spread to Benaras, Delhi, Lucknow and Patna. While festivals, everyday scenes from the local milieu,&nbsp; the many castes and their occupations, even plants and animals, were some of the primary commissions, it is difficult to find a whole tranche of company paintings dedicated to the genre of birds. From Brahminy Starling or the Black-headed Myna to the Bay-backed shrike, Indian Pitta (birds of the &quot;forest floor&quot;) and the Blyth's Kingfisher, the feathered wonders strike an upright pose against a white background or are delicately perched atop a stray branch for the nameless painters to delineate and decorate anatomical details, intricately capturing specimens of natural history.</p> <p>&quot;Most of them – a group of 99 paintings – come from one collection that was bound in a single album. Unfortunately, the names of the artists, and that of the original patron or collector, are not recorded. Subsequent owners of the album, including two members of the famous Scottish family called Cunninghame Graham, have added their names and other details (not always legibly) on the flyleaf; but the inscriptions on the front and back of each folio are mostly attempts to name the birds (not always correctly),&quot; writes curator Giles Tillotson in a sumptuously produced exhibition catalogue where he expounds on the association of birds, poetry and the beloved. The single album being referred to here is of Cunninghame Graham (1800-1804) from which are procured the 99 paintings in the exhibition.</p> <p>&quot;We acquired this album in London. I have studied Company Paintings for a long time but I have never seen an album so focussed on just birds. There are lots of botanical albums, there are albums on architecture, castes and trades. I have seen bird paintings in the Company style, but individually, like those by Mary, Lady Impey,&quot; says Tillotson, speaking to THE WEEK. Mary Lady Impey was the wife of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Bengal, Sir Elijah Impey. She nurtured a veritable menagerie and employed artists to depict a whole variety of animals, birds and plants, including the ones she owned. Chief among her artists who painted birds were Shaikh Zain ud-Din and Ram Das.</p> <p>The exhibition also draws from an 1810 album of birds from Northeast India with their exaggeratedly vivid colours believed to be the finest works on natural history painted in India. There is the Faber album from c. 1830 in which the artist’s observations contribute to the ornithological studies and the four folios by Chunilal of Patna—the only one artist that remains identified–from the never-seen-before 1835 Edward Inge album.</p> <p>One of Chunilal's most striking portraits is that of a Black Drongo with his crooked beak threateningly half-opened. &quot;The person who commissioned him, Captain Edward Inge of the 4th Light Dragoons, considered him ‘a most excellent Painter … the best artist at Patna’, well worth the ‘12 Rupees one dozen’ that he charged,&quot; writes Tillotson in the catalogue.</p> <p>‘Birds of India’ is on view at DAG, The Claridges, New Delhi till October 6.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/21/birds-of-india-an-exhibition-that-celebrates-rare-portraits-of-birds-made-in-19th-century.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/21/birds-of-india-an-exhibition-that-celebrates-rare-portraits-of-birds-made-in-19th-century.html Wed Sep 22 11:35:02 IST 2021 evans-francis-announces-re-launch-of-his-first-book--why-pain- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/11/03/evans-francis-announces-re-launch-of-his-first-book--why-pain-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/11/3/francis.jpg" /> <p><i>God has a purpose for those who do not understand hardships – growth and appreciation for the gift of life</i></p> <p><b>NAGPUR, India – October 29, 2021 – </b>Evans Francis today announced he is re-launching his best-selling book, “Why Pain?: Why Does God Allow Pain &amp; Suffering?” The book draws the reader’s attention to real-life experiences – like the trials, the hardships and the tragedies one person goes through and, above all, how one can overcome these conflicts to come out triumphantly. Francis has himself experienced great medical and other hardships, which actually increased his belief in the Lord as he dealt with challenges.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He preaches, “When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity.” Some may experience it physically, emotionally, socially or mentally. Many people go through financial pain and lose hope. When people question, “Why me?” the author assures his followers that, “What is impossible for man, is possible for God.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“No answer seems to completely satisfy when it comes to why God allows pain,” explained Francis. “We have all pleaded with God, asking, ‘Why me?’ You will find the answers to your question in this book that reveals the great wonders and truths of God’s promises. God works in mysterious ways. Each of God’s children is born with a purpose to promote God’s will. During your life’s journey, as time goes by, there will be pain in different areas. Hardships will lead to maturity and growth in Christian life. Most of God’s creatures have to suffer or work very hard in order to survive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Look at a butterfly. It must fight to get out of its cocoon in order to fly. Without the struggle, the butterfly will not be strong enough to survive. Its struggle brings endurance and hope. Without pain, you cannot mature in any area of your life. I have endured many physical hardships and one after another, Jesus has healed me. All things work together for good if you love God. Trust in him and you will see his handiwork in your life.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To order the book, visit <a href="https://notionpress.com/read/why-pain">https://notionpress.com/read/why-pain</a>. To learn more about Francis and hear his testimony, visit youtube.com/evansfrancis</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/11/03/evans-francis-announces-re-launch-of-his-first-book--why-pain-.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/11/03/evans-francis-announces-re-launch-of-his-first-book--why-pain-.html Wed Nov 03 15:20:04 IST 2021 why-should-indians-remember-indias-sacrifice-in-world-war-ii <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/08/why-should-indians-remember-indias-sacrifice-in-world-war-ii.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/8/lyman-prasannan-ww2.jpg" /> <p>The metaphorical elephant in the room today is the view that what happened before independence in 1947 wasn’t India’s history. Indeed, the assumption by many over the decades since independence is that what happened before 1947 – including the Second World War – happened to another, far distant, country. This is because, so it is argued, pre-1947 India was undivided, and that it was part of the Raj. It is politically unbecoming to equate a sense of Indian-hood with what some theorists tells us was India’s slave status under colonialism.</p> <p>As a Briton researching India’s role in the Second World War, I’ve encountered this view repeatedly. But it’s hardly logical. In fact, it gives us particular problems when we look at the Second World War and India’s contribution to the vast human experience that reset the structure of the modern world.</p> <p>The problem is that the post-colonial interpretation makes slaves of Indians. It argues that they had no personal control of their destiny because the government was in the hands of others. When the British declared war, India became an unwilling participant. This argument, simply stated, is that the top-down forces of colonial government, together with its systems, structures, cultures and attitudes, were deeply and inherently exploitative, such that it cannot properly be argued that colonial intentions were anything other than unfair and abusive. In this view, Indian men fought and strived against their will, even though they weren’t fully aware of it, as cultural coercion blinded them to the reality that they were fighting a British war against Britain’s enemies. The absurdity of this argument suggests, to give but one example, that Auchinleck’s otherwise culture-challenging efforts in 1943 and 1944 to raise the pay of Indian Commissioned Officers to the levels of their British colleagues, was for the purpose of buying their loyalty rather than of giving them equality with their peers. Equally, it is seriously suggested in some quarters that the offer of money likewise persuaded millions of otherwise impoverished Indians to sign up for war work during the industrial expansion of India. Illiterate peasants knew no better than to take the financial bribes offered in exchange for their labour. It is argued that others were forced by convention and the belief that ‘family and personal honour depended on a military career.’ Millions of men thus became mercenaries of the British, subject to intense and relentless propaganda which bound their minds and wills in an unprecedented and highly successful, coercive, manipulation.</p> <p>I suggest that we recognise these assertions to be exaggerations and political point-scoring, to prove that the Raj was bad and that the Indians who willingly stood up against fascism and totalitarianism in the Second World War weren’t doing it for India, but because they were forced against their conscious will to do so. But I can find no evidence that 2.5 million men joined the Indian Army between 1939-45 as the result of a ‘propaganda offensive’ by the British government which ‘secured the partial allegiance or at least acquiescence of part of the population’?&nbsp; The argument suggests that the reason, or at least part of it, for the recruitment of such large numbers to the Indian Army lay in subconscious coercion. Yet it does not explain why the men thus recruited were prepared to die for this compulsion, and why Indian soldiers were to win 22 of the 34 Victoria and George Crosses awarded, for example, during the Burma Campaign. It is rational to conclude that, instead, most Indians who joined the armed forces in such extraordinary numbers did so because they had weighed up the options and assessed the nature of the sacrifice, they were willing to make for the sake of the government of India, regardless of its political colour. In this sense, their decision was made on the basis of a conception of India much larger than the framework of politics as it existed within Indian polity at the time. The threat to their conception of what India was and could be therefore far outweighed the rights and wrongs in their minds of colonialism, if the issue or argument ever surfaced at all for the majority of young men making the choice to join up.</p> <p>The truth is that reality trumped ideology in the face of the imminent and existential danger to the Indian state by the Japanese. Most Indians accepted that the Raj was, rightly or wrongly, or for the time being, the legally constituted Government of India. Like all governments everywhere, it had supporters and opponents. Few who opposed the government on nationalistic or self-governance grounds questioned its legitimacy, as that would have invalidated their own claim to be its successor in due course. Likewise, the Indian Army was India’s army, not Britain’s. As Professor Roger Beaumont observes ‘it is most interesting to weigh the charges that the Raj built its army in India as an oppressive instrument against what one sees in how lovingly and energetically the Indians have retained the model.’&nbsp; The evidence suggests instead that the theory of ‘prosaic oppression’ and its common language of ‘unconscious bias and systemic structures of power’ is a fabricated political construct that does not relate to what we know through the historical record of everyday human experience in colonial India – especially in wartime – the facts being squeezed to fit within a fixed and unbending theoretical model.</p> <p>It was true that India did not have political independence, but in every other sense the freedom to make social, economic and political choices within this overall environment cannot be said to have been constrained by such oppression that human agency was so deviously manipulated to suit ruling British interests. Young Indian men and young Britons both joined the Indian Army for the same purpose in times of peace; for adventure, employment, the lure of military glory, the age-old attraction of the sword. Indians were no more victims of their polity than were Britons, both of whom were, of course, victims of the fascist militarism that dragged the world into a second great slaughter that century of world war. The tyranny to which some refer, if it relates to anything, can only do so to the prosaic constraints of ordinary civic society – such as obeying the law, as can be seen during the Quit India protests in 1942 – rather than that of an unbending and devious oppression.</p> <p>Looking back at the imperial period through the lens of victimhood is therefore deeply problematic historically and philosophically. It ensures that we never see the 350 million Indians of the time as they saw themselves, collectively or individually – a people in fact with acute political agency (as evidenced by the burgeoning nationalist movement), on a journey to self-rule. Likewise, it treats every Briton in India at the time, every level of power exercised and every action undertaken in response to a decision by London or Delhi as oppressive, and conversely fails to treat Indians fairly as individuals, denying to them the fact that they wielded real power. In imperial power relationships agency is never one-sided. The victimhood mantle ignores the reality that the actual power wielded by Indian political, social and economic agency in the 1920s and 1930s (combined with Japan’s pricking of the imperial bubble) enabled India to achieve independence in 1947. Our sense today, looking back, of the size of the nationalist protest against colonial rule has almost certainly exaggerated its impact on ordinary people. This is not to underestimate its ultimate importance, rather the noise it made at the time in terms of the influence it had on the behaviour of men considering joining the armed forces, and the impact it had on those who had already enlisted. History remembers the noisy minority, whose views tend to be over-represented in any analysis of the past, while generally neglecting those without a voice. Fortunately, nationalism and respect for the government’s legitimate role in defending India (even a colonial one) were not mutually exclusive in 1942, or the ranks of the Armed Forces might have remained empty, and India’s door opened for the Japanese to march in. Perhaps it is precisely because the ranks of the army were so large between 1942 and 1945, that much effort is generated today in post-colonial studies in explaining away why these men joined in such numbers and with such alacrity.</p> <p>India, therefore, has every right to recover the history of the pre-1947 period, for it was then that the foundations of modern India were established. The Japanese in Assam and Manipur in 1944 and in Burma in 1945 were defeated by an Army that was 87% Indian. Victory in Asia could never have taken place without Indians coming forward in large numbers, and of their own volition, to serve their country. It is this, which India – and yes, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well – can legitimately take great pride.</p> <p><b>Lyman is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and author of more than a dozen books on World War II</b></p> <p><i>The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of THE WEEK.</i></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/08/why-should-indians-remember-indias-sacrifice-in-world-war-ii.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/08/why-should-indians-remember-indias-sacrifice-in-world-war-ii.html Wed Sep 08 23:40:55 IST 2021 we-are-artists-want-to-blur-boundaries-janaki-easwar-the-voice <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/31/we-are-artists-want-to-blur-boundaries-janaki-easwar-the-voice.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/31/janaki-easwar.jpg" /> <p>When 12-year-old Janaki Easwar sang on the stage of Australian music reality show 'The Voice', she not only floored the four celebrity judges, but captured hearts in India, too. &nbsp;Janaki’s rendition of American singer Billie Eilish’s ‘Lovely’ got a four-chair turn from the judges—Australian artists Keith Urban, Jess Mauboy, Guy Sebastian and British singer Rita Ora. The video of her performance went viral, and has earned her a loyal social media following too.</p> <p>The icing on the cake was her touching rendition of a piece of Carnatic music, when one of the judges asked her if she could sing something Indian. It was a moment of pride for her parents Divya and Anoop who hail from Kozhikode in Kerala.</p> <p>Born and raised in Melbourne, Janaki is the youngest contestant in the history of <i>The Voice.</i> She has made her way into the top 20 contestants of the show. Janaki speaks to THE WEEK about her journey with the show, her love for music and what it means to be an Indian-origin contestant.</p> <p>Excerpts:</p> <p><b>How has the journey been with The Voice? Is this your first reality show experience?</b></p> <p>I have been performing on the stage since I was eight but this is my first reality show, or a TV show of such magnitude. There were several preliminary rounds leading into the show. We started the process in late 2020. Demos were sent, there were Zoom sessions, in-person singing session, etc before finally being shortlisted as one among hundred artists to appear for the blind auditions.</p> <p><b>Let’s talk about your rendition of a Billie Eilish song. How challenging was it?</b></p> <p>Billie Eilish is someone I have huge respect for. She has shown the world what one can do with one's passion irrespective of one's age. About the song ‘Lovely’, the way two stylistically different artists came together to create an exceptional track captured my attention in the first listen and I loved the harmonies they created for 'Lovely'. I have tried to add my own elements and tried to give a different dimension to the song.</p> <p>The song tests your vocal range too, so it was a good choice I believe.</p> <p><b>Did you expect that response from the judges?</b></p> <p>I went on the stage hoping to give my best shot not really worrying about the end results. My parents had told me that standing on that platform at the age of 12, as the youngest artist ever itself is a win. But when I entered the stage, the whole atmosphere made me very nervous to be honest. I showed my nerves when I started my song, but as soon as Rita turned, I was a bit relieved. Soon all four coaches turned, and I was literally overwhelmed. I did not expect that kind of response from the coaches and audience. Looking at my Indian background, Guy asked if I could sing an Indian song. My rendition of a Carnatic music piece was received with bigger applause which made my parents very emotional.</p> <p><b>What does it mean for you, being the only Indian contestant on the show? Does it add to the pressure?</b></p> <p>I am a second-generation Australian Indian. All three of us are Australian citizens, so technically I am not an Indian contestant on the show, but being the youngest artist on the show comes with its own additional pressure as I must prove I belong here. I only realised the significance of what I did after I started receiving messages from not just Indian but from south east Asian community living in Australia, that I have done something that thousands of them wanted to do, to uphold the tradition with proud on a global platform. I am glad I could give them a reason to be happy about but ultimately, we are all artists and I want to blur all these boundaries.</p> <p><b>Please share about your music training. You have trained in Indian classical music. Any training in western, instruments? Does a background in Indian classical help you?</b></p> <p>My parents introduced me to instrumental music first. I started with violin when I was five. Then when I started to sing around the house, as migrants from India who have a deep passion for music, they sent me to learn Carnatic music. My focus changed when I was eight, when I developed an interest in western music (even though we don’t call it western here). I started training under David Jaanz of ‘Jaanz international music academy” from the age of nine and David is the main reason why I am on ‘The Voice’ at such a young age. He believed in me, and he said I am ready for the stage.</p> <p>I am still learning Carnatic music from Kalakruthi school of music and everything that I am learning is helping me mould as a better musician. I have started song writing recently and have released my debut single ‘clown’ which is available on all platforms. My guitar teacher Santhosh Chandran has helped me immensely to improve my skills which helps me with my song writing.</p> <p><b>Is there a particular genre or artists who influence you more?</b></p> <p>I don’t restrict myself to a particular genre. I listened to everything from pop to jazz to R&amp;B to K-Pop. I absolutely love singers like Tori Kelly, Yebba and Eva Cassidy and I have my favourite Korean R&amp;B artists who I think are doing exceptionally well. I listen to a Japanese music duo called Lamb and there are many more that I am influenced by. Growing up I listened to a lot of Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil songs and I still enjoy singing them.</p> <p><b>Even before you started performing, what grabbed eyeballs was your Kerala-themed attire. Who designed it for you?</b></p> <p>My mum loves to try fusion attire on me. As NRI Malayalees Onam celebrations are big for us, even though we can’t celebrate Onam this year due to Covid restrictions, my mum came up with this idea of blending ‘kasavu shawl with a black top and a skirt made from set-mundu. Our friend’s mum helped us with stitching.</p> <p><b>What are your other interests and projects? Please share about your song-writing initiatives.</b></p> <p>I started serious song writing in April 2020, when we went into a 4-month long lockdown. I used to scribble even before that, but for the last year and a half I have been writing songs, composing on my guitar, and recording demos on either my home studio or my mobile. I got connected with Alan Joy from Kerala and he did the music production on my debut single ‘Clown’. After my blind audition was aired, I have received a lot of emails and messages about artist collaborations, I will wait for the show to end before finalising on those projects.</p> <p><b>How has the pandemic affected you and your work?</b></p> <p>While the pandemic has been a drawback to people across the world especially performing artists, as they have been deprived off the only source of income, I used the time to improve my skills on song writing, doing a lot of online sessions and workshops and basically to build my social media presence on YouTube, Instagram, and all other online streaming platforms. I got my Spotify account and YouTube channel verified officially as artist channels.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/31/we-are-artists-want-to-blur-boundaries-janaki-easwar-the-voice.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/31/we-are-artists-want-to-blur-boundaries-janaki-easwar-the-voice.html Tue Aug 31 11:52:54 IST 2021 when-clubhouse-helps-you-be-vocal-for-local-lakshmi-menons-traveli-adventure <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/22/when-clubhouse-helps-you-be-vocal-for-local-lakshmi-menons-traveli-adventure.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/22/lakshmi-menon-clubhouse.jpg" /> <p>&nbsp;Around roughly the same time that news outlets in the West proclaimed Clubhouse’s boom to be over, citing a drop in downloads and search traffic for the social audio app and the advent of rival Twitter Spaces, users in India immersed themselves in the platform. This tide has helped it maintain steady numbers: Just a week ago, the app logged 600,000 daily active rooms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Kerala, where usage of the app has exploded, Clubhouse became a novel way for Malayalis to connect in an age of lockdowns. For social entrepreneur Lakshmi Menon of “<a href="https://www.theweek.in/leisure/lifestyle/2018/09/10/chekutty-dolls-hope-for-flood-ravaged-kerala.html">Chekutty Dolls</a>” fame, it has been an irreplaceable part of her life ever since she joined on May 27. She spends between six to seven hours on it each day, balancing chores with the experience of joining in conversations from across the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I can still get all my chores done because I just have to plug in earpods and just listen. I'll be designing, posting on Facebook, emailing, eating, helping Mom at home or driving,” she says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One aspect of Clubhouse she has noted is how it can relieve loneliness. In her hours on the app, she has met a few who were using it while hospitalised or bed bound.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“In a couple of sessions, I started meeting a few individuals who were paralysed from the neck below, or paraplegic, or blind,” she says. For many, they were used to isolation when their family members or carers were away from home, leaving them with few avenues besides listening to the radio or browsing social media. “With Clubhouse they feel they get to listen to people and they get to speak with them, just sitting in bed. They felt that it is like having 25-30 people around the bed all the time, when they were in these rooms,” she says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After months on the app, Menon saw the spectrum of potential it afforded ordinary Indians. From the Dinapathrangalilude (Through the News Dailies) group, where people from around the world take turns reading their morning newspaper, to business networking groups where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and plans to veteran businessmen, to paid concerts for musicians hurting from the death of live events, Clubhouse has turned into a lively ecosystem for Indians.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With such a wealth of freely available knowledge on hand, Menon decided to use Clubhouse to see a new side of Kerala.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Her recent initiative, Traveli (a portmanteau of travel and “Maveli”) , saw her travel from Kochi to Kasargod and back across five days—guided to places, restaurants and people by her lively Clubhouse following, who accompanied her through the app—her phone paired with her car stereo system—and turned the social-audio experience into an act of collaborative travel.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Menon kept her plans flexible to be able to make use of the local knowledge of the 50-60 people in the Clubhouse room. A traffic jam up ahead? A local would suggest an alternative route. One place has a regional variant of the naadan ariyunda (rice laddoo) that you won’t see on Zomato? Take a brief halt to savour and acquire (her mother later said it tasted as good as what her own mother used to make).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The guiding principle behind all this was to find and support local businesses. Explaining her rationale, she says, “The main feature of Traveli was to support the local economy and not make just Jeff Bezos a trillionaire. [Instead of ordering online], if you want to buy a toothbrush or something else, buy it from the local Kirana shop. We are all consumers. But we are not doing conscious consumerism. So only when you support locally, that we as a community can go forward.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Knowing the ability of her Clubhouse friends to aggregate microlocal information, she turned her travel into a social mission. With her niece on social media duties, posting videos and pictures of her travels, she set up a Clubhouse room and with about 40-50 people in tow, started out from the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) campus in Kochi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From there, her followers introduced her to a wealth of local wonders. From the unique enterprises in KSUM itself to the Clayfingers Pottery studio in Trichur, to an off-the-road Sidda Samaj ashram and nude commune in Vatakara, her journey and free spirit led her to places she may not have found at all—without Clubhouse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking of the collaborative aspect of her travel, she said, “It was like a train ride...The format was a hop-on, hop-off. Anybody can join in their own car and they can drop in or drop off whenever they want.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“In Payyanur, somebody said he knew somebody who makes the most unique broom. A broom made out of a weed that grows after the harvest is done in the paddy field—spikey but not as stiff as the usual broomstick. It could be sold in FabIndia tomorrow,” she says.</p> <p>She has had experience turning ideas into reality and benefitting local communities in the process: Her Chekutty Dolls initiative in the aftermath of the devastating 2018 Kerala floods made use of the material from handloom sarees destroyed in the floods, upcycling this to make dolls that later became a symbol of hope. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her Shayya brand used the leftover material used to make PPE suits in order to make mattresses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With her characteristic entrepreneurial spirit, she says she plans to pitch the broom to the Travancore Devasom Board. The broom was being used to clean the sanctum santorum of temples, and she plans a “Temple Traveli” where she will take the broom with her, to hopefully have the Devasom Board take note.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Her other treasures from Traveli include an ancient basket, a basin with a hole in the middle that makes for a useful cooking supplement, a unique banana halwa, and many, many experiences.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She has already conducted another Traveli session to Muziris, and plans another on the food, art and music of Alleppey. While she plans to share this across social media, it will be Clubhouse that drives the flow.</p> <p>&quot;This is a simple audio platform. I never thought I could connect to people through voice so much,&quot; she says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/22/when-clubhouse-helps-you-be-vocal-for-local-lakshmi-menons-traveli-adventure.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/22/when-clubhouse-helps-you-be-vocal-for-local-lakshmi-menons-traveli-adventure.html Mon Aug 23 09:35:25 IST 2021 gautam-kulkarni---a-photographer-with-a-unique-concept-called-pi <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/27/gautam-kulkarni---a-photographer-with-a-unique-concept-called-pi.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/27/Gautam-Kulkarni.jpg" /> <p>The passion that drives photographers</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Have you ever thought about what drives passionate photographers to go to remote places and spend hours in difficult conditions many times without what we consider are basic facilities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The community of photographers is thriving today thanks to social media sites such as Instagram that has brought photography to the forefront of our lives.&nbsp; However, the people who look at photography beyond taking a pretty picture or posting a highly edited picture devoid of flaws are the true artists in this field.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is these very group of people who are our eyes to the world. They inform us, inspire us, astound us, and place our reality in the larger framework of history, whether as established artists and journalists or enthusiastic rising voices.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We met one such rising voice.&nbsp; Gautam Kulkarni is a photographer with a unique concept called pictureforapicture.&nbsp; This concept not only changed his life but has touched the lives of many others who he photographs when he gives back to them prints of the photograph he takes of them.&nbsp; The idea of giving printed photographs back came to Gautam’s attention by a young boy he met at the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India in 2012.&nbsp; This young boy was standing all by himself, with no supervision (parental or otherwise) in this sea of millions of human beings (the Kumbh Mela is one of the largest gathering of humans on this planet).&nbsp;</p> <p>His beautiful smile stood out to Gautam and he asked to take the boy’s photograph, to which the little boy responded by asking, “what will you give me in return for taking my photograph?”&nbsp; Gautam had never thought of photography as taking something from a subject without giving anything back.&nbsp; This was how he came up with the concept of pictureforapicture; giving back a print of the photograph to the person in the photo.&nbsp; The people he gives these photo prints to are generally those who live in poverty or are nomads in remote places who do not have access to preserving this memory of themselves for their own sake as well as to show their children or grandchildren.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This was the beginning of Gautam’s love affair with not just photography and travel but also philanthropy.&nbsp; The idea of giving back became very important to him and he has since not only continued giving back photo prints to locals whenever he travels, and published a book on this, but also started a charity called the Kara Foundation with his wife Kanchan.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His book pictureforapicture chronicles his photographs and also a provides a glimpse into what transpired in the process of taking the photograph and how this created a connection between him and the people he photographed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Kara Foundation (#kara_foundation) has funded several education and healthcare projects in India and Nepal.&nbsp;&nbsp; His wife Kanchan is also a renowned mental health coach and has been providing free mental health sessions since the start of the pandemic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Picureforapicture is available on Amazon and Kindle and is published by Notion Press.&nbsp;&nbsp; Gautam’s Instagram handle is #hobograph and his social media is managed by Groundwork.<b></b></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/27/gautam-kulkarni---a-photographer-with-a-unique-concept-called-pi.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/27/gautam-kulkarni---a-photographer-with-a-unique-concept-called-pi.html Wed Oct 27 16:46:18 IST 2021 opinion-confessions-of-a-copywriter <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/14/opinion-confessions-of-a-copywriter.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/14/copywriter.jpg" /> <p>The year 1984. Agencies were recruiting from top management schools. Rediffusion was blazing new trails, Trikaya was in the limelight, and advertising was riding the wave of creativity. Nargis Wadia, Tara Sinha, Usha Bhandarkar, Kamlesh Panday, Arun Kale, Kiran Nagarkar, Arun Kolatkar, Viru Hiremath et al were the icons everyone wanted to emulate. That was the time I did a stint in an advertising agency in Mumbai as copywriter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During those days, to an outsider, advertising was a glamorous profession. But let me assure you that the closest I came to glamour was the free copy of Stardust, the famous film magazine edited by Shobhaa De, which used to come to the agency. In our agency there was a visualizer by the name Rane who used to reminisce wistfully about his days at Stardust. He held Shobhaa De in high esteem.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I had heard people talk about the supposed promiscuity prevalent in ad agencies. During my tenure with the agency, however, nobody hit on me. More importantly, the guys were very careful about the language they used in my presence. Of course, the odd double entendre would happen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the agency I got to work on a variety of projects. One was for a company that manufactured different kinds of glues. The brief we got, I remember, was to create a print ad for the company’s range of glues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We were briefed in the morning and were supposed to present our ideas by evening. I kept scratching my head (literally and figuratively) and chewing my pen. But to no avail. I went for a walk to clear my head. Nothing doing. I ate my lunch desultorily. No go. Then, as the deadline approached, I started getting fidgety and nervous. But the muse seemed to have deserted me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In my mind’s eye I can see myself looking through one of the artists who was applying rubber solution to stick typesetting on an art board. And then out of nowhere I got it: Ideas that stick!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Only a copywriter will understand the joy of cracking a brief.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The copy chief loved it. It went into layout and when we presented it to the client, they were thrilled too. The ad was released in some trade magazines.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, how is advertising created? What are some great and memorable headlines?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the beginning, in ad agencies, advertising used to be created in silos. Meaning, the art and copy guys inhabited their own worlds. In the 1960s, there came this man by the name of Bill Bernbach. He was an innovative and divergent thinker — a rebel by the standards of his time. Bernbach had worked for big, prestigious agencies before breaking away and starting his own — Doyle Dane Bernbach, DDB. Bill integrated the process of creating advertising. He started the concept of the creative team. The art director and copywriter sat in the same room and ideated together.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This may not sound earth-shattering, but it was. It led to a more collaborative approach which in turn led to great ads. The upshot: the creative revolution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the main changes that the creative revolution wrought was that the creative guys started using pictures as words, words as pictures, and pictures and words together. The communication piece aimed at engaging the reader with wit, brevity, and cheekiness (in some instance).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The most frequent reason for unsuccessful advertising is advertisers who are so full of their own accomplishments (the world's best seed!) that they forget to tell us why we should buy (the world's best lawn!)," said John Caples.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the headline is one of the most important parts of an advertisement what exactly makes for a great headline? Which are the most famous headlines written?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, there is considerable debate as to whether this is the best headline written; however there is no argument that it is one of the most memorable:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even so many years after it was written by the great agency head/copywriter David Ogilvy for the Rolls-Royce, there is still an essential lesson in there for marketers and copywriters:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is visual movement (“At 60 miles an hour”).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It relates to the sense of hearing (“The loudest noise… comes from the electric clock”).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most importantly, there is a twist in the tale.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result, the ad succeeds in putting you in the driver’s seat.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an aside, David Ogilvy describes how the chief engineer at the Rolls-Royce factory shook his head sadly and said, “It is time we did something about that damned clock.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, take the ads for Chivas Regal. Perhaps the most famous is the one that depicts a half-full bottle of Chivas Regal with the headline: To the host it’s half empty. To the guest it’s half full.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another famous campaign from the DDB stable was for Avis car rentals. At that point of time Hertz was the number one car rental in the US. DDB created its famous:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Avis is only No. 2 in rent a cars. So why go with us?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ad went on to talk about how ‘We try harder’ by paying attention to details. Taking the thought further, Avis did an ad with a big-fish eating small-fish minimalistic illustration for Avis:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When you are only No. 2 you try harder. Or else.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Could there be a more boring subject than advertising a library? DDB did a great creative for the National Library Week (April 16-22). The visual was the 26 letters of the English alphabet in lower case. The headline said: At the public library they’ve got these arranged in ways that can make you cry, giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder and understand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the 80s/90s the advertising agency Fallon Mcelligott created some advertising that has stood the test of time. In one of the ads for The Episcopal Church there is a picture of six men carrying a coffin into a church. The headline says: Will it take six strong men to bring you back into the church?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I recollect another ad by the same agency. This was for the Minnesota Zoo. It showed a silhouetted figure of a kid on an elephant with the line: A ride your child will never forget (Of course, neither will the elephant).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the most talked about campaigns for a publication was for The Economist. Created by Abbott Mead and Vickers, a London–based ad agency, it was typographical. The ads just had a headline set in white font against a red background.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A headline read: Not all mind-expanding substances are illegal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another one said: A gymnasium for the mind.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And then there was this one:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I never read the economist.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>--Management Trainee, Aged 42</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In these days when the attention span of readers is limited to reading tweets, take a look at this one, again for The Economist: A poster should contain not more than eight words, which is the maximum the average reader can take at a single glance. This, however, is for Economist readers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>India has its own creative masterpieces. Kersy Katrak of the erstwhile MCM is one of the pioneers of the creative revolution in advertising in India. The more visible creative ads were done by Rediffusion, Trikaya and others in the late 70s and 80s.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the most famous ads was done by Trikaya in 1993.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NUDE MODELS WANTED</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Figure: Chubby; Hair: Preferably; Chin: Double; Eyes: Brown; Skin: Peachy; Age: 8-12 months. Candidates should be carried to Trikaya Advertising on Sunday, 12th September, 10 am to 2 pm.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, Enterprise, under the maverick Mohammed Khan, did this one for the open top Mahindra Classic (a ‘jeep’):</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Admit it. You have always been crazy about topless models.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I wonder if it would have made the cut today. Or would it have been labelled sexist?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Then there were the headlines for Mauritius Tourism by Alok Nanda of Trikaya.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Mauritius Natural History Handbook lists 174 rare species; last summer, a visitor spotted Brigitte Bardot.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Or take this one:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Political assassins, ruthless mercenaries, ex Nazis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Frederick Forsyth found them all in Mauritius.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Strange as it appears in today's era of cricketers as fitness-and-health-conscious athletes, there was a time when they actually drank sugary sodas during the drinks breaks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Coca-Cola had paid Rs 10 crore for the rights to be called the official sponsors of the 1996 Cricket World Cup tournament. Its television commercial for the campaign, sung by the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and featuring the street scenes of India, was classy and evocative.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pepsi’s agency, Hindustan Thompson Associates (HTA), came up with a campaign that was both combative and creative in equal measure and turned the tables on Coca-Cola –- a classic example of converting a disadvantage into an advantage. The ads showed cricketers and even officials rejecting the official drink in favour of Pepsi -- the unofficial one. One of the television commercials even featured the charismatic umpire, Dicky Bird, going bonkers. Its theme line: Nothing Official About it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This turned the apparent disadvantage of losing the battle for the sponsorship to Coca-Cola into a massive win for Pepsi. The ad was the talk of the town.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Enterprise’s ‘Charms is the spirit of freedom. Charms is the way you are.’ found favour with the youth. Today, of course, cigarette advertising is banned –- and rightly so.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No account of great headlines would be complete without a mention of the delightful Amul ads. While the ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ Amul ads are terrific and topical, my favourite is from the days when the run machine of the Pakistan cricket team, Zaheer Abbas, went on a rampage against India. The cheeky Amul hoarding said: Zaheer, ab bas!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Newspapers have got into spats over circulation and readership numbers. My choice is the fight between the venerable The Hindu and the Old Lady of BoriBunder, The Times of India. One of the ads for The Hindu carried the headline:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Also has pages 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7…</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Hindu—Stay ahead of the Times.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Rolex ads of yore are timeless. All of them had headlines that a copywriter would have killed to write. My personal favourite:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1953 they used Rolex Oysters and oxygen on Everest.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1978 they managed without the oxygen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The reference is to Reinhold Messner scaling Everest without oxygen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Then there is public service advertising. “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest—it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.” So said Howard Gossage, referred to as The Socrates of San Francisco. Ad agencies have used it as a springboard to project their creativity and win awards.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The one that gives me the goose bumps even today has a bunch of people gathered outside a ring where a dogfight (Or is it a cock fight? I can’t remember) is in progress. The headline reads: The real animals are outside the ring.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Agencies leave no stone unturned when it comes to advertising themselves. This one for DDB says: I got a great gimmick. Let’s tell the truth. The quote was attributed to N.M. Ohrbach and lists the great and successful campaigns done by the agency for its clients in its inimitable style. Sounds almost like a throwback to George Bernard Shaw’s ‘My way of joking is to tell the truth; it’s the funniest joke in the world.’</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Leo Burnett showed a hand dropping a crumpled piece of paper into a waste paper basket. The headline said: One of an advertising agency’s most effective tools. The ad talked about the need to be conversational rather than clever in advertising. And was also indicative of the quality control exercised by the agency—how so many not-so-great ideas get binned.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, most copywriters prefer the audio-visual medium to the print medium. No wonder, the television commercials (TVCs) for Fevicol score high on viewership. Ogilvy’s Mera Wala Blue and its ad for Cadbury -– the one with the girl dancing in gay abandon -- still reverberate in people’s minds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Circa 2013 Samsung's new ad promoting its S Pen, came with a bunch of smartphones and tablets. It invited ridicule and went viral on social networks after what seems to be a typo/misspelling it made on a hoarding in France. Advertising the power of the S Pen, Samsung changed the original adage "The pen is mightier than the sword" to "The pen is mightier than the finger." But a small typo in a version of its billboard ad gave a phallic meaning to the communication. The ad in question read, "The penis, mightier than the finger."You have to be extremely mindful of dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s when in advertising. Proofreading should be done with extra care.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we see from the above examples that headlines are pivotal to a successful print ad. Ad agencies use various tactics to grab the reader’s attention. To quote John Caples, again: “Remember that the reader's attention is yours for only a single instant. They will not use up their valuable time trying to figure out what you mean.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Returning to the glamour aspect of advertising, in my experience, it is collateral. Advertising is, let me assure you, blood, sweat and tears (I know, David Ogilvy said ‘Blood Sweat and Beer’). This was my other brush with glamour.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1984, the vocal group Boney M was slated to come to India. XYZ Roadways (name changed), our client, had won the contract to look after the Group’s equipment transport logistics. Our agency was mandated to create an advert for XYZ Roadways announcing this.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At that time there was this belief that nobody read long headlines. The client, therefore, wanted a slogan of sorts as the headline. I spent half a day racking my brains trying to write a headline. Nothing came out of it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Post-lunch I was pacing the room of the creative department trying to figure out a suitable headline. Desperate as the deadline approached, I saw the office boy serving tea. He was telling one of the artists how he had travelled in the luggage compartment of the local train that morning and how there were so many ‘luggage men’ in that compartment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The moment I heard ‘luggage men’ something clicked in my head. I grabbed a pencil from the artist’s desk and took his tracing pad. I quickly wrote down on the thin paper in all-caps:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>XYZ ROADWAYS.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BONEY M’S BAGGAGE MEN!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The art director was thrilled. We made a layout and presented it to the review committee. They okayed it. We presented to the client, who loved it. And I was looking forward to a free ticket to the concert.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The next day, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated. And the Boney M tour was cancelled.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Epilogue:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let me hasten to add that this piece doesn’t purport to be a history of Indian or American or British advertising headlines. For sure there are other fantastic headlines. These are my subjective choices. But anyone who has been interested in advertising will concur that these are timeless classics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I have not mentioned stalwarts of Indian advertising like Ivan Arthur, Frank Simoes, Pankaj Mullick, Alyque Padamsee,Bobby Sista, Jean Durante, Sheila Sista, June Valladares, Roda Mehta, Gerson da Cunha, Sylvester da Cunha, Bharat Dhabolkar, Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, Agnello Dias… phew, the list is endless. This is just an impressionistic view of advertising headlines…arising from the recesses of the memories of a person who was a copywriter once upon a time. I crave your indulgence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The author is a freelance writer based in Mumbai.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of THE WEEK.</i></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/14/opinion-confessions-of-a-copywriter.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/14/opinion-confessions-of-a-copywriter.html Sat Aug 14 22:46:32 IST 2021 this-13-year-old-author-fascinated-by-idea-good-evel <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/14/this-13-year-old-author-fascinated-by-idea-good-evel.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/14/anagha-1.jpg" /> <p>Anagha Ratish may be just 13 years old, but this eight-grader has already published two books. And many more are on the way. In her debut novel <i>Celestia Chronicles: Fire and Water</i>, published last year, Anagha conjured up a world of fantasy and mythical beings. Her latest book—A World of Intricacies—is a compilation of poems.</p> <p>Anagha describes herself as a bibliophile who loves all things books. A Keralite, she lives with her parents in Gurgaon. Besides writing, Anagha says she loves to read, sing and compose ‘depressing, yet realistic’ poetry.</p> <p>Excerpts:</p> <p><b>Q: Tell us about your latest book 'A World of Intricacies'. What are the themes covered?</b></p> <p><i>A World of Intricacies</i> is a compilation of 38 long poems and 15 haikus. The topics range from hope, to the idea of good and evil, to time. All of them are rather philosophical, yet logical.</p> <p><b>Q: Among multiple themes that inspire your writings, what is your favourite?</b></p> <p>One of my favourite themes for writing is ‘good and evil’. Ambiguous morality intrigues me, and several of the poems in <i>A World of Intricacies</i> are based on this idea. I am also fond of rewriting myths, popular fairy tales and questioning the descriptions of widely known fantasy creatures. The protagonists of my first book<i>, Celestia Chronicles; Fire and Water</i>, are pixies, who are not exactly represented as they are usually pictured.</p> <p><b>&nbsp;Q: Your first published work was fiction. Tell us about the book <i>(Celestia Chronicles</i>) and the world you created in that. Also, when are you bringing out the next part?</b></p> <p><i>Celestia Chronicles</i> is a fantasy trilogy, following the story of Adaire Quicksilver, a 14-year old girl. The tale is set in Celestia, a seemingly perfect world; but all this beauty only hides a thirst for power that rages within the lands and threatens to tear it apart. There are four kingdoms, each ruled by pixies with different elemental powers. Queen Zyra, the ruler of the fire-wielding pixies, has shrouded her kingdom in magic and mist and the barrier is now seeping further into the other kingdoms. It is up to Adaire to defeat the queen in a battle between good and evil, hope and fear; fire and water. The second part should be out in a month or two.</p> <p><b>Q: You said you are mostly drawn to fantasy. Does that influence your interests as a reader, too?</b></p> <p>Certainly; the first full novels and series I read were fantasy. Most of the short stories I write are also from the same genre. However, I am fond of historical fiction and horror as well.</p> <p><b>Q: What are you reading currently? Who is your personal favourite author?</b></p> <p>At the moment, I am reading the first book of the Firewall trilogy, <i>A Girl from Nowhere,</i> by James Maxwell. I don’t really have a particular favourite, but I enjoy the works of Cassandra Clare.</p> <p><b>Q: How has the pandemic and lockdown affected you? Was it difficult, or did it help you find more time to focus on your works?</b></p> <p>Without the lockdown and pandemic, I don’t think I would have been able to write a book. I was always fond of writing, but I never got a lot of time between all of my schoolwork and classes. Over the lockdown, I believe I have really evolved as a writer and a reader, which is the reason I was able to write my books.</p> <p><b>Q: What are your future projects? Any other interests besides books?</b></p> <p>Currently, I am working on the second part of <i>Celestia Chronicles</i>, as well as a prequel to <i>Fire and Water</i>. Apart from that, I am writing a historical fiction book. I enjoy singing and knitting, but to be honest, reading and writing take up most of my time.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/14/this-13-year-old-author-fascinated-by-idea-good-evel.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/14/this-13-year-old-author-fascinated-by-idea-good-evel.html Sat Aug 14 16:40:03 IST 2021 nancy-mello-is-the-staggering-entrepreneur-working-as-a-psychic- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/27/nancy-mello-is-the-staggering-entrepreneur-working-as-a-psychic-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/27/Nancy-Mello.jpg" /> <p>Nancy Mellon has taken the pledge to radiate hope of happiness in the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The compelling reason for success sometimes is what makes you satisfied. It is not always a materialistic world that creates an environment of joy and happiness. The dazzling entrepreneur Nancy Mellon has stunned the globe with her miraculous work for people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She has proved her ability within a short span of one or two years by managing and building a solid reputation in the minds of people teaching the value of life. As a psychic and animal communicator, she had helped people deal with hard times in their lives and had helped in finding the lost pets. With her optimistic thought, she had glittered the world towards happiness.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She has proved her ability to transform people's lives into a glorious, joyful world of peace. With her ability to radiate healthy energy, she has successfully changed millions of lives, like people going to therapists or life coaches to help them get through difficult circumstances. She has proved that she can bring comfort and peace to the open mind.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She is a highly educated entrepreneur and understands the power of social media through which she can deliver her viewpoints charging the minds with happiness. She has escalated her followers through free readings and support in her best way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What makes her unique from others is how she handles every session with a client radiating the feeling of care and compassion that displays her humble personality. The way she approaches her client is like adding magic to their life, giving trust and a friendly environment. As she believes they share their personal life, which is deeply related to their emotions. Hence, she is extremely friendly and supportive to shine their future through her involvement in finding peace in her life.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/27/nancy-mello-is-the-staggering-entrepreneur-working-as-a-psychic-.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/27/nancy-mello-is-the-staggering-entrepreneur-working-as-a-psychic-.html Wed Oct 27 16:30:17 IST 2021 founded-by-sunil-ydv-ss--ss-motivation-becomes-world-s-most-popu <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/founded-by-sunil-ydv-ss--ss-motivation-becomes-world-s-most-popu.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/20/Sunil.jpg" /> <p>The Covid19 pandemic has robbed thousands of people of their motivation, self-confidence, and mental happiness. As a result of the growing health crisis, job insecurity, and social isolation, a majority of people ended up with stress, anxiety, and misery. They found it hard to ensure their physical and mental wellbeing. During these times of utter confusion and hopelessness, Sunil ydv SS, through his motivational channel, SS Motivation in Telegram, helped people from several countries to fight and survive. Crediting this, SS Motivation became the world's most popular Telegram Channel.</p> <p>Sunil ydv SS,&nbsp; is a 24-year-old Author ,World record Holder ,Karamveer chakra awardee and social activist.</p> <p>SS Motivation is a media and entertainment company Founded by Sunil ydv SS . Headquartered in Alwar, Rajasthan. SS Motivation is a subsidiary of MotivationbySS Private Limited. It works with an aim to provide aid to those who are facing a hard time in their lives. Through his discussion on social issues, he strives to ignite the spark of hope in the masses. As a result, his motivational content received more than 127 million views in 2019. This is, in fact, one of the highest global viewership attained by any Telegram channel that addresses and provides practical solutions to social issues.</p> <p>As a new-age leader, he used a popular messaging platform like Telegram and turned it into a platform for spreading physical, mental, emotional, and social awareness. This genius and path-breaking endeavor have earned him recognitions like the “Karmaveer Chakra Award” by the Global Fellowship Award instituted by United Nations (UN) and International Confederation of NGO (iCONGO) at the ReX ConcLIVE hosted at IIT Delhi. If you do not already know, the Karamveer Chakra is a prestigious award that is awarded to those who try to bring in society with their valuable contribution to society. In addition, this courageous spirit has been nominated and awarded with more than 30 International, National and State awards since 2019 including Rastra Prerna, Iconic Personality of India, Incredible Indian Icon, and Humanitarian Excellence. The fact that Sunil has earned such global recognition at such a ripe age is both astonishing and to be proud of.</p> <p>A lot of his subscribers have often acknowledged his channel and shared how its posts have always kept them motivated and positive even on their darkest days. Many have credited Sunil ydv SS and his approaches for enhancing their personality and helping them get a job of their liking.</p> <p>Besides being a motivational figure, this energetic youth is also a short-film producer, prolific author, and entrepreneur. This multi-talented youth icon has also authored a book called “The Secret Behind Success.” Through this well-researched and well-crafted book, Sunil has made a bold attempt to make our general population realize the importance of focus and dedication in the path of success. He believes that success can be achieved by anyone. All they need to do is focus and channelize their potential in the right direction. Sunil, with his motivational videos, quotes, and shayaris, provides assistance to people to follow the right path.</p> <p>Coming from the small town of Rajasthan, this young achiever’s life journey and success themselves are inspirational enough. Within a very short period, Sunil ydv SS and his unique channel SS Motivation have become a social media sensation. He has a fan base of 5 million on social media, with more than 2 million followers on Facebook.&nbsp; His vast fan base includes Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah also recently started to follow him on Twitter. Looking at the pace he is growing, improving, and expanding, there will be no exaggeration to speculate that reaching the pinnacle of success is only a matter of time for Sunil.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/founded-by-sunil-ydv-ss--ss-motivation-becomes-world-s-most-popu.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/founded-by-sunil-ydv-ss--ss-motivation-becomes-world-s-most-popu.html Wed Oct 20 16:16:11 IST 2021 press-unmute-for-help-on-safeguarding-rights-of-artists <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/13/press-unmute-for-help-on-safeguarding-rights-of-artists.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/13/unmute-help-website.jpg" /> <p>An essay on how artists can interpret copyright law in an age of booming virtual content; situating the law on prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace in performing arts; petitions on the rights and royalties of artists and choreographers; audiovisual docs, posters and handbooks on workplace ethics in the arts—all this and much more can be found in a new resource portal called Unmute which seeks to educate practising artists about ways and means to safeguard their rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unmute: A Performer's Guide to Speaking Up hopes to provide a safe platform for information and guidance to aggrieved artists seeking legal redress against violations like copyright protection issues, sexual harassment, obscenity and sedition charges, etc. Spearheaded by Delhi-based arts scholar Arshiya Sethi, performer-arts manager Paramita Saha and dancer-lawyer Somabha Bandopadhyay as founding members, the website will address the issues of rights and responsibilities of artists and arts leaders in India. </p> <p>The website www.unmute.help is now live.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The website will serve as a resource centre for information, reference material, a guide to laws, rules and regulations, research content and audiovisual documentation of expert conversations. It will also act as an independent advisory platform headed by a panel of representatives from both artistic and legal communities, including professors from West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, interpersonal ethics advisor Asiya Shervani and sociologist and activist Urmi Basu.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking at the virtual launch of the website, Akhil Sibal, senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India, stressed the importance of preserving artistic freedom. "Artists need to challenge our prejudices, our status quo and thoughts that we assume are the right way of approach, they are meant to provoke us into pushing ourselves to improve and grow. They can only do that if to some extent they have the right to offend," said Sibal who represented the late MF Husain, defending the celebrated painter against obscenity charges in 2008.&nbsp; He also spoke about the need for victims of sexual assault to "own" their allegations. "It's very dangerous, legally, though it’s comforting, to make allegations on social media anonymously. It creates a major legal problem because they fail to appreciate that the person against whom the allegations are made is also interested in protecting themselves from false allegations."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two years after the explosion of the MeToo movement when the Madras Music Academy barred seven Carnatic musicians from performing at its famed Margazhi music festival, the Indian classical music fraternity in 2020 was again jolted by news of sexual harassment allegations against two senior gurus of Bhopal’s Dhrupad Sansthan by a group of students.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Discussions at the launch ranged from elitism, skewed power dynamics and personality cults in the performance arts to the need for nurturing "brave spaces". Artists seeking legal help can write to the Unmute administrators via email or by filling an information form on the website.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/13/press-unmute-for-help-on-safeguarding-rights-of-artists.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/13/press-unmute-for-help-on-safeguarding-rights-of-artists.html Fri Aug 13 22:29:43 IST 2021 zen-and-the-art-of-negotiating-old-age <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/13/zen-and-the-art-of-negotiating-old-age.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2021/1/13/man-holding-woman-old-age-care-help-shut.jpg" /> <p>I have&nbsp;made it to the good old age of 90 simply because death has been kind enough not to knock on my door.&nbsp;That my&nbsp;life&nbsp;is still&nbsp;running&nbsp;is a gift.&nbsp;Negotiating it&nbsp;is fun.</p> <p><br> Old age is what others attribute to you. To a great extent, age is a state of the mind. I take pleasure in&nbsp;working on my computer on science,&nbsp;religion and culture.&nbsp;I have learned a lot over the years but the most important thing&nbsp;I always follow is: be useful to yourself and to others. Keep&nbsp;your mind and body fit by reading and ruminating, and&nbsp;by doing walking exercises.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Life&nbsp;in my 90s is much slower because I have difficulty with movement. Luckily,&nbsp;I am not slower intellectually.&nbsp;My memory has been strong.&nbsp;I have&nbsp;also gained&nbsp;new interests. I never used to write so often. I write quite a lot now, particularly&nbsp;on subjects like the vedas, ethics, medical entomology and vector control, which I had dealt with during my active service as a researcher.&nbsp;I also delight in writing incisive articles&nbsp;on faulty public health practices in our country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I can still walk (with the aid of a cane). I can talk, eat, sleep (with the aid of pills). I can smile and, on occasion, laugh. Being 75 per cent deaf, I am no longer confident enough to start a long conversation&nbsp;on any important topic. Yet, while sitting at my computer and fashioning my articles,&nbsp;resisting an urge to lie down, I cannot but plaintively remember the years of my creative vigour when my body and spirit jubilantly embraced the strain and rigours of work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Waking&nbsp;up in&nbsp;the&nbsp;morning&nbsp;is&nbsp;a big effort. I do it&nbsp;with great reluctance,&nbsp;assisted by&nbsp;an alarm clock at the bedside. I have to do it, because my handicapped&nbsp;wife,&nbsp;aged 82,&nbsp;is usually lying listless at that time, and our day has to start. I&nbsp;sit on my bed and&nbsp;say, "Thank&nbsp;you God for everything that you have given me, for&nbsp;keeping me alive and reasonably active,&nbsp;and for helping me wake up on time today."&nbsp;I&nbsp;have started this&nbsp;new&nbsp;practice,&nbsp;and&nbsp;when&nbsp;I&nbsp;feel negative&nbsp;(which is more often than not)&nbsp;I&nbsp;say a simple prayer: "Please&nbsp;let me get through the&nbsp;day with a positive bent of mind, or at least&nbsp;help me stay positive." I may not always see results but&nbsp;I&nbsp;feel slightly better.&nbsp;</p> <p>When&nbsp;I&nbsp;lie down to sleep,&nbsp;lulled by TV serials or news,&nbsp;I&nbsp;say, "Please help me fall asleep soon;&nbsp;I&nbsp;do not want to stay awake with negative thoughts; please help me wake up on time." I try to recollect whether I have hurt anybody by word or deed, and ask forgiveness of God. I try to recall whether I have helped anybody during the day, and if so, I pat myself on my back.&nbsp;</p> <p>For&nbsp;the last&nbsp;many&nbsp;years, early in the morning,&nbsp;I&nbsp;have been lighting diyas&nbsp;(lamps) in&nbsp;front of&nbsp;several images of gods&nbsp;in my&nbsp;house.&nbsp;I say a few&nbsp;hymns (mantras)&nbsp;whose meaning&nbsp;I&nbsp;know,&nbsp;but recite&nbsp;them&nbsp;mechanically&nbsp;day after day. I&nbsp;then say&nbsp;to God, "Please&nbsp;help me go through this day. Take&nbsp;away my wife, married to me for 64 years, a veteran of many&nbsp;surgeries,&nbsp;physically incapacitated&nbsp;and totally wedded to a&nbsp;walker. Take her away&nbsp;while I am still alive to look after her." We were married in 1957, and she was&nbsp;taking care&nbsp;of me&nbsp;all these years. She became bedridden about a decade ago, now moving about slowly. Every day we think, without saying to each other, who will survive whom.&nbsp;<br> <br> </p> <p>We somehow manage our life; we do not visit anyone nor welcome&nbsp;visitors. I do certain essential chores--heat the milk in the milk cooker,&nbsp;prepare a&nbsp;cup&nbsp;of tea&nbsp;and share it with my wife. Then&nbsp;I&nbsp;have my bath at&nbsp;5am, and&nbsp;go for a&nbsp;walk for 30 to 40 minutes. After I return, I&nbsp;prepare and eat&nbsp;breakfast. It is&nbsp;almost&nbsp;the same items&nbsp;every day&nbsp;for which I grind&nbsp;the dough for a week at a time. After breakfast, I&nbsp;tend my terrace garden and feed some pigeons, mynahs and squirrels.&nbsp;Then I read newspapers.&nbsp;</p> <p>After 9am&nbsp;I cook a meagre meal, with my wife giving me guidance. Sometimes we order meals from outside.&nbsp;For as long as I can remember, some crows have been visiting me when I am cooking, and they virtually eat rice (with curd and sesame seeds)&nbsp;out of my hands.&nbsp;I am&nbsp;having a lot of exercise by&nbsp;moving about in my house, cooking&nbsp;and&nbsp;doing&nbsp;other chores, and that is&nbsp;what is&nbsp;keeping me fit. I go shopping at nearby places, driving my&nbsp;Alto 800.&nbsp;People recognise it since it has been hit by almost every other motorist, but it is working well-–In four years, it has run only 4,000km. I spend more money on car insurance and routine servicing than on petrol!&nbsp;</p> <p>Post lunch,&nbsp;I&nbsp;lie down&nbsp;because I always feel dead tired. I remember Porthos&nbsp;(of&nbsp;Three Musketeers) telling how his legs are giving away and suddenly dropping dead. I feel&nbsp;the&nbsp;same. I&nbsp;hope one day I will be blessed to drop dead, without being bedridden.&nbsp;</p> <p>After facing disappointment with&nbsp;several&nbsp;cooks I&nbsp;had&nbsp;hired, I have slowly evolved into a good cook (a favourite profession of Palakkad Iyers in olden days).&nbsp;Ever since I got an&nbsp;old computer free&nbsp;in 2010, I have been writing articles&nbsp;which keeps&nbsp;me busy. Some good Samaritans I know help me and some even admire me for my&nbsp;achievements in life (Padma Shri award, several gold medals, and ten lifetime achievement awards from universities and scientific bodies). I just enjoy my life-–too lazy to shave and therefore&nbsp;have a long beard and&nbsp;look like a sanyasi. I have my own flat and a good pension. My wife&nbsp;holds a record for the number of surgical operations undergone, starting with brain tumour surgery in 1985, and&nbsp;moves about&nbsp;like a zombie&nbsp;with a walker.</p> <p>Philosophically speaking,&nbsp;we&nbsp;always underestimate our own potential, creativity and originality.&nbsp;Only a few people do or act; the rest of us spend life judging, criticising or commenting on what the doers have done; especially, we focus on what they have failed rather than what they have accomplished.&nbsp;We hardly know other people; we just make up or assume images of them and, most of the time, believe in those images more than the real person.&nbsp;Whatever happens in our life or in someone else’s life, we comprehend the events by associating them with the experiences we have had in the past but hardly with what has happened in the real.&nbsp;We are all mortals, but we behave as immortals.&nbsp;Many&nbsp;people do not realise how their life is affected by the rules, laws, policies, systems, etc., of the country in which they live.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>We are all different because we have passed through different experiences.&nbsp;All of us are creative in our own ways, but many of us do not realise what that means at all.&nbsp;There is neither a good nor a bad thing, idea, or person; they only differ because of our varied perceptions and beliefs.&nbsp;We only receive what we want to. For instance, we only listen to those words which we&nbsp;want to; rest&nbsp;are just noises.&nbsp;Life is nothing but routines shaped by our memories; thus, the only way to transform a life is by transforming our routines.&nbsp;</p> <p><br> Smartness is a gift; hardworking is an attitude; both make a person ‘good and great’.&nbsp;My life is not just about me and my decisions. It also depends on the decisions or choices of many others, such as family, community, mentors.&nbsp;What we know or understand is nothing compared with what we do not know or understand in life.&nbsp;The only perfect person is God (if He exists). Nobody gives a&nbsp;damn&nbsp;about what you are going through in your life; they are here just to listen to your stories.&nbsp;</p> <p>One day&nbsp;my&nbsp;sons&nbsp;came and said&nbsp;that since&nbsp;I&nbsp;had&nbsp;not done&nbsp;enough&nbsp;good deeds propitiating&nbsp;God,&nbsp;there was some&nbsp;curse&nbsp;affecting the family. They said I must&nbsp;agree for a grand 90th&nbsp;birthday celebration, and that it&nbsp;is a must for the&nbsp;vamsa vruddhi&nbsp;(progress of the family).<b>&nbsp;</b>Since my life was already over, and I was eagerly awaiting my end, I&nbsp;wondered which family -- my children’s progeny and&nbsp;their&nbsp;vamsa vruddhi?&nbsp;I did not want to deny them their desire, so&nbsp;I agreed to have this function celebrated, but only after they assured me that I would not have to take any trouble or spend any money. Also, I was curious and wanted to enjoy festivities being conducted with me as the central&nbsp;hero,&nbsp;for&nbsp;the first time after my wedding.&nbsp;<i>Ek Din ka Sultan</i>&nbsp;(king&nbsp;for a day).&nbsp;</p> <p>Quite a few of my old&nbsp;friends, who are about my age, who share my crazy ideas and views on life, and many genuine well-wishers and scholars from my native villages of Tattamangalam and Payyalore&nbsp;took part and fell at my feet seeking blessings, as I was the oldest among the gathering.&nbsp;Plus, of&nbsp;course, many invitees of my two sons, none of them I know, attended. My children&nbsp;had&nbsp;spent quite a lot of money, took lots of trouble to ensure that every&nbsp;aspect in&nbsp;the ceremony, which culminated in a grand feast,&nbsp;was well conducted, photographed and&nbsp;applauded. After the event my wife and&nbsp;I&nbsp;were escorted back&nbsp;safely&nbsp;to my apartment&nbsp;and forgotten thereafter.&nbsp;We were back to square one&nbsp;and had to manage our miserable life alone&nbsp;from the same evening itself.&nbsp;Whether they really got&nbsp;<i>vamsavriddhi&nbsp;</i>or not, they patted themselves on their back that they did a good job.&nbsp;So that is life!</p> <p>As we get older, attempts to hold on to our own way of life can be at odds with even the most well-intentioned “suggestions” from our children. We want to be cared&nbsp;<i>about</i>, but fear being cared&nbsp;<i>for.&nbsp;</i>Hence the push and pull when a well-meaning offspring steps onto our turf. So, what&nbsp;<i>are&nbsp;</i>older parents looking for in relationships with their adult children? In a 2004&nbsp;study, two professors from the State University of New York at Albany, the public-health professor Mary Gallant and the sociologist Glenna Spitze explored the issue in interviews with focus groups of older adults. Among their findings: Their participants “express strong desire for both autonomy and connection in relations with their adult children, leading to ambivalence about receiving assistance from them. They define themselves as independent but hope that children’s help will be available as needed. They are annoyed by children’s over-protectiveness but appreciate the concern it expresses. They use a variety of strategies to deal with their ambivalent feelings, such as minimizing the help they receive, ignoring or resisting children’s attempts to control…”</p> <p>&nbsp;I recently read a story. When&nbsp;Arnold Schwarzenegger was&nbsp;the governor of California, a popular hotel honoured him with his statue in their hotel. The hotel officials told Arnold:&nbsp;"At any time you can come and have a room reserved in your name."&nbsp;&nbsp;A few years later, when Arnold was no longer the governor and went to the hotel, the administration refused to give him a room arguing that the hotel was&nbsp;fully booked. He brought a bed cover and slept under the statue. He wanted to convey a very important message that when he was in a powerful position the hotel authorities were very respectful, and when he lost his position, they treated him like a stranger.&nbsp;Our position is also like this. After&nbsp;I got old and physically dependent on&nbsp;others for help and succour,&nbsp;people started avoiding me. Sheer will power and financial independence somehow help me carry on with life.&nbsp;People, emotions, respect and even affection change over time.&nbsp;Change is the only constant.</p> <p>What is it like to be really old and know that death is not far off, as opposed to dying at any age and knowing death is imminent? People who are faced with death can be extremely adult and mature in their last year or two of life. This is because what makes adults seem adults&nbsp;compared with a youth is not the greater knowledge base from which adults can enjoy a broader conversation, but that as we get older most of us realise and sense that we are going downhill. With that appreciation, we cannot help but progressively contemplate our life and what its purpose was, along with any regrets. This tends to change the focus of a person’s life, as one&nbsp;ages,&nbsp;into thinking more of others, hence what we call ‘maturing’. This maturing, I believe, can happen at any age not just in adulthood. Youth who are reflective will evolve through very similar but faster maturing processes because they have had plenty of time to meditate on their own life and present condition.&nbsp;How we all reflect on what happens in life, and manage to live with it, is itself a wonder.&nbsp;My only daughter, my favourite child, now&nbsp;61, is&nbsp;having leukemia for the last eight years.&nbsp;She&nbsp;has to be admired, she is so active--working as a teacher, publisher,&nbsp;doing all household chores,&nbsp;and&nbsp;so cheerful always.&nbsp;What about her thinking process?&nbsp;Her&nbsp;zest for living with a positive outlook has inspired me to look forward to the future even&nbsp;now.</p> <p>Therefore, to me there is nothing special about the thinking processes&nbsp;knowing that I&nbsp;am “really old” and know death is&nbsp;not far off if not&nbsp;imminent. I have many other relations also, but they have their own problems, and have no time for me. Therefore, we two old&nbsp;persons&nbsp;live together, facing all problems and just&nbsp;managing --this is what I always tell, we manage!&nbsp;&nbsp;Have&nbsp;to!&nbsp;Ultimately, it is all one’s own&nbsp;<i>Karma</i>.&nbsp;In&nbsp;the 90th&nbsp;year of my birth, I feel God had been very kind to me; I am still in my proper senses; doing my daily chores without&nbsp;anybody’s help, and am financially&nbsp;independent thanks to my pension.&nbsp;How I die, and what happens to my wife if she survives me, and what others feel about my death, etc., are matters of no consequence at&nbsp;all!!&nbsp;The ugliest truth about&nbsp;life, I&nbsp;feel,&nbsp;would be the following: No&nbsp;matter how good your life is, you will always&nbsp;find one thing or the&nbsp;other that makes you miserable. &nbsp;All I see is people chasing moments of happiness and laughter. What the heck for? Instead of running towards happiness, why can’t people find a way to run away from sadness? Eliminate the reasons that make you sad, instead of thinking of the things that would make you happy. It’s easier to do, and trust my&nbsp;happiness would follow.&nbsp;</p> <p>Life is never perfect. Every solution comes with a new problem. Light exists because of the darkness and that is the harsh truth of life. Sometimes, the only solution is acceptance. That is my plight.&nbsp;Please bear with me. I have written all these things in a lighter vein&nbsp;and with malice towards none!</p> <p><br> <b><i>(The writer was director, Vector Control Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research)</i></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/13/zen-and-the-art-of-negotiating-old-age.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/13/zen-and-the-art-of-negotiating-old-age.html Fri Aug 13 11:51:02 IST 2021 blue-rose-publishers-release--you-are-thee-priority--by-author-d <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/blue-rose-publishers-release--you-are-thee-priority--by-author-d.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/20/Devesh-Singh.jpg" /> <p>It is a unique book that leads people towards self-awareness, motivating them to be their priority.</p> <p>Over the years, many new writers, authors and publishers have come to the forefront, for they have published books that have proven to have changed the course of life for some, while for some others, given a new meaning to their lives, helping them walk towards the world of enlightenment and positivity. Such books ensure to impact the mindsets and perspectives of people to help them lead a happier and more content life. Doing exactly that is Blue Rose Publishers, who recently published the book "You Are Thee Priority" by author Devesh Singh.</p> <p>You Are Thee Priority is all about helping people lead to self-awareness and serves as a special book for the author Devesh Singh, who reveals that the book has been a special moment and assignment in his life, driven from real-time scenario and live example, written in such a way that every sentence would make the readers feel relatable, ultimately highly influencing them. Throwing more light on the book, the much-talked-about author says, "It is about finding a footing in a volatile world, focusing on life's goals, dealing with society's problems, and leading towards light and self-awareness, where a person takes him as a priority." You Are Thee Priority deals with various crucial issues that have taken a huge part of many individual lives – anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, insomnia, and other mood disorders. Every chapter explains the importance of balancing life by understanding the true nature of happiness and contributing to overall mental health.</p> <p>Devesh Singh from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, besides being a passionate writer and author, is an IT Project Manager with FirstRand Bank at present with 7+ years of experience in the industry, a motivational speaker, and has even addressed the audience as a guest speaker in regards to the survival of the fittest in MNC.</p> <p>The Managing Director of Blue Rose Publishers, Syed Asad Hassan, was more than delighted to join hands with author Devesh Singh to publish the book and also stated, "The book can truly and positively influence and inspire people to become their best versions and consider themselves a priority. We at Blue Rose Publishers are thrilled to work with writers like Devesh Singh, who has the power of deeply connecting with readers, making them more informed, and helping them get their thoughts and beliefs aligned to get closer to their better selves. Hence, we feel the book is a must-read as it has the dynamism and potential to influence more and more people."</p> <p>On asking what inspired him to write this book, Devesh Singh highlighted that two years ago, coincidently, when he met his childhood friend, he learned about his severe depression. So, he began consulting him and helped him cope with his struggles, overcome them and lead him to a stable life. This motivated him to voice his ideas not just vocally but by writing as well.</p> <p>Devesh Singh says that You Are Thee Priority holds everything about depression and the process of self-healing by doing simple things but primarily for their own happiness. The book is available on Amazon and Flipkart. His second book, "Covid You &amp; Your Confidence", is also available in the market and plans to come up with many more books in the coming years.</p> <p>Devesh Singh has been recipient of various awards and honours, including Sahityakosh Samman Awardee 2021, Tagore Commemorative Honouree 2021, Outstanding Young Achiever Award by Global Education Summit &amp; Awards 2021, Words Brew Book Awards 2021.</p> <p>To know more, visit his website, <a href="https://deveshconsciousness.com/">https://deveshconsciousness.com/</a><br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/blue-rose-publishers-release--you-are-thee-priority--by-author-d.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/blue-rose-publishers-release--you-are-thee-priority--by-author-d.html Wed Oct 20 16:02:08 IST 2021 in-praise-of-praise-why-some-indians-need-to-stop-cribbing <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/08/in-praise-of-praise-why-some-indians-need-to-stop-cribbing.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/magazine/theweek/sports/images/2021/8/5/170-Indian-players-celebrate-after-scoring.jpg" /> <p>Our athletes have done what has rarely been done before, and yet… there are those who will still find it hard to come up with a word of praise. Instead, they say, “Oh, 7 medals are too few for a country of our size.” Or, “We don’t have a good system, a good diet, a good anything!” Or again, “Even if we count all the medals India has ever won in the Olympics, the total is still less than what Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have bagged between them”. It just shows that if you make up your mind to criticise, you won’t need to look far to find ample material to crib about.</p> <p>Whingeing goes beyond the Olympics to cover almost all aspects of our everyday life. There are those who whine incessantly about their jobs and employers, about traffic, about the municipality, neighbours…. And they are so miserly with praise, the only way to get a decent compliment out of them is to pick up third-degree techniques from your nearest police station. I often ask myself what is it that makes them skimp so much, when a <i>shabash</i> here and a ‘good job’ there won’t cost them a rupee?</p> <p>My own DIY psychoanalysis told me that it’s due to an inborn negative disposition. It’s vinegar that runs in their veins, and altering their fundamental attitude to life would probably call for hospitalisation and a long procedure of transfusion. There is also vicarious vanity at play because critics are seen as being somehow intellectually superior to those who are more free with praise. It’s an oblique way of letting you know that their standards are up there. If your benchmark is P.V. Sindhu, you can’t be seen complimenting some stripling playing badminton at the clubhouse.</p> <p>Psychologists tell us, that at an interpersonal level, a costive inability to praise is repackaged jealousy. These guys are obviously seething with so much unexpressed envy that they can’t stand someone else feeling good about themselves and what they have done. Sometimes, just sometimes, the causes are not so ignoble. Apparently, some people don’t like to be seen to be flattering. So they go to the opposite extreme and “damn with faint praise”. Then there are those who believe that compliments breed complacency—pat someone on the back and pronto, you take the fire out of their belly. If you ask me, it is a pretty rickety excuse… it’s like refusing to give someone a lift in your car on a wet morning, so that he or she better appreciates the benefits of walking.</p> <p>There is one thing worse than not praising you; and that is praising someone else—in your presence. This is meanness topped with mischief and will feel like salt on your wounds. The person being praised could be your counterpart (ouch!), your cousin (ouch again), or—the unkindest cut of all—your rival. There is a trendy word to describe it—it is called ‘negging’. Considering it is so vicious, it is surprisingly common, and you are sure to have experienced negging at work, at home and all points in between.</p> <p>After I was subjected to this form of criticism for a long time, I began developing my own homespun antidote. When my wife pointedly tells me that Purshottam next door is excellent at tending to the garden, keeping the house tidy, buying fish, etc., I hear her out and then, smiling blandly, say something complimentary about Purshottam’s wife. It usually nips negging in the bud.</p> <p>We need to accept that most of us are hardwired to like nice, warm things said about ourselves. We didn’t need Abraham Maslow to spell out the hierarchy of needs and tell us that human beings crave for appreciation even more than we crave for money. Didn’t we know that as children? A <i>shabash </i>from papa or momma meant the world to us. Over the years, we may have outgrown the people we need praise from, but we haven’t outgrown the need.</p> <p>So, for a start, let’s hear a round of applause for our sports heroes. Be sure to clap a little louder for our women’s hockey team who deserve a ‘gold’ for gallantry. And of course for Neeraj Chopra who calmly, and with an almost sublime level of confidence, gave a fairy tale ending to our Olympic story.</p> <p><b>The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of THE WEEK.</b></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/08/in-praise-of-praise-why-some-indians-need-to-stop-cribbing.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/08/in-praise-of-praise-why-some-indians-need-to-stop-cribbing.html Sun Aug 08 14:47:35 IST 2021 know-why-james-gamet-s-agency-is-considered-top-10-pr---social-m <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/know-why-james-gamet-s-agency-is-considered-top-10-pr---social-m.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/20/James-Gamet.jpg" /> <p>James Gamet is flourished entrepreneur who runs a successful digital marketing agency called 'Inches Make Miles'. He has expertise in PR, media placements, SEP, Paid and Organic Marketing, etc. Over the past few years, James and his digital marketing agency have helped various brands and businesses grow on social media. While also helping others, James ensured his business showed a boost too.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>About his background, James shares, "Coming from an impoverished upbringing in central Washington, I joined the United States Marines at the age of 17. From there I served for 8 years, conducting 3 deployments, and recruiting duty, before getting medically retired. This is when I found my saving grace in Martial Arts. I coach at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Portland and Bang Muay Thai Portland. While coaching, I have worked with everyone from day 1 beginners to cornering and working with fighters in each of the top fight organizations UFC, Bellator, One Championship, etc. I spent 3 years doing federal work with the Department of Veterans Affairs (Veteran Service Representative) and the Census Bureau (Regional Technician), before finding my footing in digital marketing. One of my Marines, Johnny Vo actually introduced me to the freedom of being able to run my own business."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>James Gamet found himself in a debt of $70k. But he worked hard with all his focus and determination and started 'Inches Make Miles'. James digital company provides everything - website building, SEO, Google PPC, YouTube Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email campaigns, Social Media Management, Press Release &amp; Media Placement campaigns. His team of experts work efficiently to help people with exposure, building brand authority, and growing their target audience with media placements and our custom social media growth strategies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During the pandemic, Digital Marketing expert and entrepreneur James Gamet helped a lot of businesses to stay in the game. That's why 'Inches Make Miles' is considered one of the best in the list of top 10 PR &amp; Social Media Growth agencies in the world. Gamet shares that he helped many small businesses and real estate agents during the pandemic, which resulted in them getting the best production in the years. The entrepreneur finds joy in people and brands and shows them the best possible ways to promote themselves online. He claims to love helping people grow their target audience and getting others verified.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/know-why-james-gamet-s-agency-is-considered-top-10-pr---social-m.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/20/know-why-james-gamet-s-agency-is-considered-top-10-pr---social-m.html Wed Oct 20 16:25:48 IST 2021 a-small-pebble-can-create-several-ripples--dynamic-peace-activis <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/12/a-small-pebble-can-create-several-ripples--dynamic-peace-activis.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/12/Dibyajyoti-Saikia.jpg" /> <p>Though you will not find a cape fluttering behind his back like other superheroes, Activist <a href="https://www.facebook.com/531766530541232/posts/1441938159524060/?d=n">Dr. Dibajyoti Saikia</a> will prove to be no less than a knight in shining armor who magically appears to save Peace and Humanity from being attacked.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The rising superstitious notion and social stigma act as a dagger to murder compassion, brotherhood, the dignity of men and women and the feeling of oneness. Activist Dr. Saikia scrolls the conflict zones to bring about social reforms and humanitarian work, Humanity and Peace.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Notwithstanding the threat to his life, the influencive Activist Dr. Dibyajyoti Saikia moves around rural India with the message of Humanity, brotherhood, Peace and many more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Though the peace leader campaigns PAN India, in part like Northeast Zone, ravaged by decades of insurgency and ethnic riots and superstitious activity like witch hunting, perhaps no one knows better than Dr. Saikia how challenging it is to work in a place where communities have been at daggers drown for long.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His ground zero work involves making the country superstition free, terrorism free, and establishing communal harmony and a drug-free nation. The thought leader Dibyajyoti Saikia dreamt about a peaceful and progressive India.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The dynamic peace leader Dr. Dibyajyoti Saikia has been extending his service for Society for the last 21 years. It was only once that he was attacked when he was organizing a meeting after a woman had been banned from a village in the name of the witch.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During the Flood periods, he keeps a hawk-eye on the distribution of relief and makes sure it reaches the real effected. His efforts have been recognized by the Government as well as many national level organizations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His motto in every motivational session he took is to motivate people and explain pure and knowledge-based quality education. He believes that in India, the education system revolves around marks and mark sheets. That’s why he comes out of this comfort zone and teaches people about knowledge-based education, which can eliminate superstition, communalism, terrorism, and drugs and enhance Humanity and brotherhood. He also believes that only these facts can make a better India and progressive India. He successfully finishes near about 1000 campaigns on these topics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During his sessions, he meets backward boys and girls, families of hunting victims, and families of terrorism victims. He tries to help them as much as he can. He also distributes educational supplies such as books, khata.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For his immense contribution to society, the thought leader, Dr. Dibyajyoti Saikia, has been recognized nationally and internationally. To date, he has received more than 96 such awards and recognitions, which include prestigious awards like Babu Jagjivanram Rashtriya Smiriti Sanman, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika National Peace Award, Maulana Azad National Award, Gandhi Peace Ambassador International Award, Nelson Mandela International Award, Bharat Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam Rastra Ratna Award, Sant Gadge Baba Karmabhumi Purashkar, Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award, Excellent Humanity and Peace Award, Tilka Majhi Rashtriya Samman, Global Peace Council Award, India Star Icon Award and International Education Award, Rastra Prerna Award, World constitution and Parliament Association Award from the USA etc.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He is a prestigious member of the World Constitution &amp; Parliament Association as an international Member, World Human Rights Protection Commission (USA) member, Team Anna National Core Committee member, Executive Member of Anubrata Mahasamiti, Chief Advisor of SYT Youth Wing of Asom Sattra Mahasabha etc.&nbsp; He pursues with different people of the country and ethnic groups to maintain communal harmony and brotherhood between various communities of Assam and within the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In today’s world, people are afraid to spend their hard-earned money here and there. But when serving the Society, Dibyajyoti Saikia is never scared to pay from his pocket. Infect in the last 21 years, and he spent tons of amount from his pocket to better Society.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With so much selfless service and immense contributions to Society, Dr. Dibyajyoti Saikia is someone the people of this country must look up to. His aim- a drug, crime, and superstitious free Society. Dynamic Peace worker Dr. Dibyajyoti Saikia is committed to continuing his great work to restore Peace &amp; Humanity. His message of peace is engraving trails of unity, peace, and harmony in the hearts of thousands of people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/12/a-small-pebble-can-create-several-ripples--dynamic-peace-activis.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/12/a-small-pebble-can-create-several-ripples--dynamic-peace-activis.html Tue Oct 12 10:03:40 IST 2021 the-indian-auction-art-market-registered-strongest-sales-in-a-pandemic-year <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/05/the-indian-auction-art-market-registered-strongest-sales-in-a-pandemic-year.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/5/ladies-enclosure-amrita-sher-gil.jpg" /> <p>The financial year 2020-21 has been the strongest sales year in the history of Indian art auctions, according to Art Market Report 2021, produced by art research and advisory firm Artery India.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the annual report created by one of India's leading art market watchers, the year 2020-21 has been the strongest (roughly tabulated since 1987 when the first Indian art auction was conducted). In terms of&nbsp; market performance and turnover, it achieved sales figures to the tune of Rs 880.9 crore from April 20 to March 21, despite depressed market sentiments and ample volatility. The numbers for FY 2019-20 was around Rs 560 crore; hence the pandemic year sales recorded a jump of almost 57 per cent. The Moderns category remained the big winner; in fact its turnover shot up by over 65 per cent from the previous financial year.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>V.S. Gaitonde’s canvases held the top three price slots, collectively achieving Rs 112.2 crore. One of India's foremost abstract painters, Gaitonde's canvases occupy seven slots in the top 10 most expensive Indian works ever sold.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;[Artery India’s research and] data has revealed that the strongest opportunities appear in the aftermath of a financial crisis, typically three to 18 months following first impact. In that regard, current FY 2020-21 will be rife with asset acquisition possibilities,&quot; wrote Arvind Vijaymohan, founder and CEO of Artery India, in previous year's Art Market report. His data study and forecasts have actualised in the real world. The breakdown of data shows that even though the number of artists featured at auctions fell to 358 from the previous year’s 539, there were 58 new names that appeared. This, the report notes, is &quot;a sign of a widening circle of tradable stock, and one that is a clear signal of market maturity.&quot; Again all-time high prices or &quot;record breaks&quot; fell to 75 works, from previous year's 135. But these 75 works fetched a lot more at Rs 98.2 crore, nearly double the previous FY’s Rs 52.5 crore. &quot;It is revealing in many manners that all these records were falling in close succession while the world was reeling under the impact of the pandemic. The two breakthrough months at auction were September 2020 with a turnover of Rs 241.8 crore, and March 2021 which achieved sales of Rs 234.7 crore—both months that recorded extreme dips in the economy,&quot; the report notes.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Amrita Sher-Gil's 1938 'In the Ladies’ Enclosure'—which fetched Rs 37.8 crore last month at a Saffronart’s sale to become the second most expensive work of Indian art after V.S. Gaitonde's 'Untitled' (1961)—is not part of the tabulation in the report. 'Untitled' was sold for Rs 39.98 crore this year in March to become the most expensive work by an Indian artist. Artery India's 2020-21 report had already predicted that even though a rare Sher-Gil deserves to break record ceiling, it may still not trounce the Gaitonde benchmark this year. &quot;According to Artery India research, only 16 canvases by Sher-Gil have been offered publicly for sale. 'In the Ladies' Enclosure' is one of them. At present, there are only a handful of her paintings in private ownership that might possibly come up for sale in the future, making the likelihood of owning one a uniquely rare proposition,&quot; says the report, pointing out that if the 'Village Scene' (which sold at an auction for Rs 6 crore in 2006) comes up for auction again this year, it can easily be estimated to sell anywhere between Rs 44 to 48 crore.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The report has several other interesting insights. But, women continue to be under-represented in the auction market: 303 male artists vs 55 female artists. Male artists account for 84.6 per cent of the total number of artists in the Indian art auction market in 2020-21. The only two pre-modern female artists who appeared at auctions in 2020-21 are Amrita Sher-Gil and Sunayani Devi. The category with the highest number of female artists in the year under review is Contemporary. But the report also reveals that the number of Contemporary artists drastically decreased from 334 in 2019-20 to 171 in 2020-21. Contemporary is also the category with the least difference between the number of male and female artists in the same year. The top three female artists in the Indian auction art market for 2020-21 are Amrita Sher-Gil (15.4 crore, 17 works sold), Arpita Singh (9.9 crore, 18 works sold) and Zarina Hashmi (6.3 crore, 33 works sold).&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Top 3 male artists in the auction market are Gaitonde (180.9 crore, 19 works sold) M.F. Husain (137.1 crore, 183 works sold) and S.H. Raza (78.7 crore, 135 works sold).</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/05/the-indian-auction-art-market-registered-strongest-sales-in-a-pandemic-year.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/05/the-indian-auction-art-market-registered-strongest-sales-in-a-pandemic-year.html Fri Aug 06 11:19:50 IST 2021 entrepreneur-harmanpreet-sehgal-shares--there-should-be-a-social <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/08/entrepreneur-harmanpreet-sehgal-shares--there-should-be-a-social.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/8/Harmanpreet-Sehgal.jpg" /> <p>Harmanpreet Singh Sehgal is an entrepreneur cum industrialist who is well known for his philanthropy. He started very young and with a social cause to make a difference. In his recent discourse with the team, he revealed that it is necessary to have a motive and social spur to things once one starts to achieve great things.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Being only 26 years old Harmanpreet has created a label of his own. This young entrepreneur started his journey as an enthu of automobiles and machines but with the attainment, Sehgal established his enterprise name Insta Hygiene where he and his team provide sanitary products for women at affordable rates and with durability and commitment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sehgal's company is now a trusted brand that even supplies to big firms and institutions. People from Big town are his clients too. This shows his reach and commitment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Harmanpreet believes that no matter how far you reach in your journey it is important to give back to society and the community one comes from. The influencer is a regular visitor to many Non Profitable organizations and committees where he looks after their needs and wants. In Harmanpreet's recent visit to an NGO, he manages to share a conversation with many youngsters, and the moment he realized they want to engage themselves in different hobbies, he funded them to acquire extracurricular activities and courses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Harmanpreet Singh Sehgal is himself someone who lives a flamboyant lifestyle but he understands the importance of being down to earth and generous. He says " Money is materialistic, it is important that one spends on themselves, family and friends but apart from them it is also important to share the happiness with the family outside your house, whose blessings and support would matter in the long run" and hence advise others to search for a social cause in their living.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/08/entrepreneur-harmanpreet-sehgal-shares--there-should-be-a-social.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/08/entrepreneur-harmanpreet-sehgal-shares--there-should-be-a-social.html Wed Sep 08 10:30:26 IST 2021 alan-fenandes-has-been-striving-hard-to-get-mma-the-popularity-i <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/alan-fenandes-has-been-striving-hard-to-get-mma-the-popularity-i.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/9/Alan-Fenandes-.jpg" /> <p>When Alan pioneered as a fighter first from India , MMA was an unknown name. In a country obsessed with cricket, it was difficult to convince people about the value of the sport. However, thanks to Alan Fenandes it has gained popularity over the past few years. The number of MMA enthusiasts in India has been increasing over the years, but there is still a lot more to be done to make it a household name. Alan envisions MMA to be as popular as cricket and is driven to work tirelessly towards it.</p> <p>He began his journey as a pioneer MMA fighter and with his hard work and commitment, earned the reputation of Super Coach. During his journey, he has added several feathers to his cap, the most significant of which is that he is now a director of Matrix fight night that is India’s only Mixed Martial Arts Promotion. The sole goal of this promotion is to help Indian Athletes to make their way to the highest level of Pro MMA.</p> <p>When Alan started with his efforts, no one wanted to send their children to train to fight. As he started getting accolades, it became slightly easier to convince people. Alan and his team faced many difficulties, and the pandemic added to them. First, there was a lockdown and later people were reluctant to leave home. Alan has worked hard to ensure a setup that pays utmost attention to safety. He and his team have ensured that enthusiastic fighters keep training alongside taking care of their health. His crew comprises 100 people who have been following top health and safety protocols.</p> <p>The success of Matrix fight night 5 in December 2020 in Dubai and Matrix Fight Night 6&nbsp; in September 2021 in Dubai bears testimony to Alan’s superior leadership. They are examples that Alan’s love and dedication to MMA are immense. His incessant work towards taking MFN far and wide is commendable.</p> <p>With these efforts, Alan has ensured that MFN gets a global name. He also facilitates a common ground for all enthusiasts to showcase their fighting performance irrespective of their background or financial status. He is the man behind the success and evolution of MMA space in India, who was lovingly called Alan ‘THE BULL’ Fenandes during his fighting days is now addressed as Coach . He has trained all MMA fighters who have made it to the top.</p> <p>Alan closely watches and has designed the coaching manual for All India Mixed Martial Arts&nbsp; Association (AIMMAA) India’s biggest and oldest&nbsp; MMA Federation .</p> <p>An avid Brazilian jiujitsu practitioner now a brown belt Alan was considered the best pound-to-pound fighter from 2004 to 2012.Apart from his thriving trainer career, he puts in these efforts to improve the MMA space only because he doesn’t want other fighters to come across the hurdles that he faced on his journey.</p> <p>We hope Alan achieves all that he envisions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Visit -&nbsp;<a href="https://instagram.com/alanfenandes?utm_medium=copy_link">https://instagram.com/alanfenandes?utm_medium=copy_link</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/alan-fenandes-has-been-striving-hard-to-get-mma-the-popularity-i.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/alan-fenandes-has-been-striving-hard-to-get-mma-the-popularity-i.html Sat Oct 09 20:29:29 IST 2021 cssfounder--from-free-food-to-free-ration-an-inspiring-story-of- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/07/cssfounder--from-free-food-to-free-ration-an-inspiring-story-of-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/7/Imaran-Khan.jpg" /> <p>One such youthful and rising Entrepreneur is Mr Imaran Khan of Noida, who has been a Torch Bearer for aiding the Poor for a long time. He runs an organization CSS Founder PVT LTD working with the mission of 'Website for Everyone', offers financially savvy sites that suit everybody's spending plan independent of the size of the business. Cutting a speciality in the web advancement space for quite some time and developing, Imaran Khan says, "A site is an impression of a business that has been at the front line. Imaran has been helping the less advantaged individuals tide over troublesome occasions since the beginning of the organization. Imaran has been advocating the reason through his CSR drive of "Free Food for Needy Children" starting around 2016.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He has been energetically working for this purpose and has moved the envelope by going through days living with individuals in ghetto regions or streets of Delhi-NCR. What stands apart as a Noble responsibility is that he coordinates these projects constantly consistently. The Team sets out each end of the week to spread bliss and satisfaction with the less favoured. Imaran accepts that if every single one of us who are adequately lucky assumes liability for giving food to certain kids, then, at that point, presumably, there will be the point at which no offspring of the nation will rest hungry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During the pandemic, it turned out to be an issue for every one of the residents to get their proportions; and the majority of the stocks were getting purged. Imaran insight this and settled on the choice of changing from food supply to apportion supply. As proportion supply will help accommodate a more extended time, and many individuals support apportion supply. He was capable t help more than 1000 individuals by giving them proportion. The vision of this organization is to assist individuals deprived of the benefits of the organization. As numerous poor individuals need support in this nation, we need their assistance to get what they need. Imaran needs his organization benefits to be the stepping stool for individuals out of luck.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It's undeniably true that Corona's has been spreading over the nation and is increasing the problems of millions of needy individuals. Metro and urban communities have a highly enormous populace of Migrant specialists who come from small urban communities looking for Jobs as Daily compensation labourers. With the Lockdown came the conclusion of all day by day wage working prospects, and these transient labourers are either abandoned in these urban communities or have needed to go back to their towns in brutal conditions. Of Corona cases likewise came up in Delhi. Transportation has stopped, and there are endless occurrences of individuals strolling around kilometres to their towns. CSSFOUNDER.com executive Imaran Khan and his group have accepted this emergency as a chance to help as many individuals that they can. It is murmur bling to note that his whole family has held hands and have been circulating natively constructed food things and bundled to individuals walking on the interstate of Ghaziabad, NH24. CSS Founder sincerely requests each association, Big or little, to approach and support the nation and the public authority to affect the general public.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Imaran has been a solid promoter for needy individuals, and he, alongside his family, has been demonstrating respectability for a long time now. In 2014 he established his Organization, CssFounder.com, as an ownership organization, which in 2016 was changed over it into a restricted private substance. CSS Founder is a compelling new business today, which vows to be number one in numerous urban areas of the nation like Noida, Ghaziabad, Delhi - NCR, Mumbai, Thane and so forth in the field of site planning. It presently has a worldwide presence throughout the planet with customers In Dubai, Stockholm, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Riyadh, Columbia, Chicago, Norway, Toronto, Denver, Boise, Atlanta, and Tokyo, and so on CSS Founder has a promising arrangement of customers and prides itself as one of the acclaimed web architecture organization worldwide. Innumerable organizations have benefitted by collaborating with CSS Founder for their innovation needs Css Founder is one of best&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cssfounder.com/website-designing-company-in-delhi/"></a><a href="https://www.cssfounder.com/website-designing-company-in-delhi/"><u>Website Designing Company in Delhi</u></a>&nbsp;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In order for us to progress as Humanity, we all have to make our minor contributions. No contribution is small, and even a single meal to a needy person is a step ahead. We should all aim to ensure that not a single person of India should sleep with an empty stomach. CssFounder.com has been a companion to the needy people not just during this time of corona crisis but during every adversity that the poor people face every day. Imaran and his Team have been distributing blankets and ration for food during the winter season who are forced to sleep on the road.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Recently in Dubai, CSS Founder LLC, A&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cssfounder.com/website-design-company-in-dubai/"></a><a href="https://www.cssfounder.com/website-design-company-in-dubai/"><u>Website Design Company in Dubai</u></a>&nbsp;, has registered a CSS Founder Web Design LLC. The newly established company is getting great response from Google &amp; online presence. However, this could not have been possible without the Team of Promotedial.com experts who have been working round the clock for the past two years. Right from the day of establishment, we are getting substantial business enquiries that encourage us to work more efficiently. CSS Founder LLC has come in the top 10 search results of Google in every emirate of UAE, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras-Al- Khaimah and several other Gulf countries. We feel very proud to say that soon our company will become a well-known brand in the web design industry. With a stated objective of "Website for Everyone", CSS Founder LLC is committed to helping companies get a web presence through website design expertise. We are getting good responses quickly because of Team Promotedial and our special thanks to Mr Kabeer, Arman, Shakir &amp; Prince.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Imaran Khan believes that every organization has a social responsibility, and every small and big company in India must invest in social work. We can all bring a change in society by allocating 10% of the Marketing Budget towards the people's service and rightly promoting it to encourage others. People emotionally connect with a company, and that respect generated translates into business as well. I have had a beautiful experience in this work, and I request all the traders of India to take the first step forward towards this change. We all together can make a noticeable difference in society. I have had the good fortune to help people, and you can also get inner joy by helping. When we help someone, a positive message goes on in this nature and multiples many folds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Imaran says we all should lead a purposeful life of Hard Work and compassion. As an organization, we have been successful because of our hard work the good wishes of the people that we have helped along the way. I am deeply indebted and grateful to Shahnaz Begum, Chandni Khan, Aashiya, Kabeer Khan, Salman Aarav, Vian, Lala Saurabh, Sujit Yadav, Rashid Khan, Santosh Kumar Rajendra, Majid Siddiqui and our Most favourite Man Sheikh Iqbal Khan(AquaPro Dubai). They have all played an essential role in this initiative. This Team has been working with us from day one. My Team is multi-tasking. They help in our campaign from the bottom of my heart. I want to say big thanks to the whole of my Team. It was impossible without these people. We are committed to "Free Food for Needy Children" for years to come.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I urge everyone to Stay Safe and wish and pray for your Good Health.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/07/cssfounder--from-free-food-to-free-ration-an-inspiring-story-of-.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/07/cssfounder--from-free-food-to-free-ration-an-inspiring-story-of-.html Thu Oct 07 14:51:23 IST 2021 tenacity-and-technology--ca-gokulrajs-ingredients-for-success <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/tenacity-and-technology--ca-gokulrajs-ingredients-for-success.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/9/Gokulraj.jpg" /> <p>The pandemic has posed a challenge to learning. From pre-school to post graduation, our traditional mode of teaching and learning has been put to test. Yet,&nbsp; it is also the best opportunity to overhaul a teaching pedagogy that has gone out of sync with present technology and learning culture. While the pandemic has forced classrooms to move online, educational institutions are failing to tap the full potential of the digital platforms.</p> <p>CA. Gokulraj, director of KEW Academy and Axus Learn, envisioned a digital learning experience for his students long before the pandemic. While STEM courses, with its appeal and market, had moved towards digital learning, business and accounting courses have lagged behind. However, CA Gokulraj intends to change that for the good.</p> <p><a name="_Hlk84088022" id="_Hlk84088022"></a>Axus Learn, a unique learning application, is set to revolutionize learning for 11<sup>th</sup> to 12<sup>th</sup> grade students. This application, to be launched very soon, will not only be a teaching platform that uses visual aids, but also a space for evaluation, counselling and collective learning.</p> <p>“The Foundation courses in Chartered Accountancy and other corporate management courses are as basic as what is thought in the higher secondary classes, yet students find it a major hurdle because the pedagogy of teaching in schools is bookish. Today’s students need and deserve better. The application will take a practical ‘learning by doing’ approach to teaching and offer a jumpstart to aspiring students” says Gokulraj the brain behind Axus Learning.</p> <p>Chartered Accountant (CA) Gokulraj has been a inspiring mentor to many students. His journey from humble beginnings to being the Director FISMAC Global Services Pvt Ltd and KEW Academy, is rich in practical experience, self-learning, motivation, and focus. An average student in school, he challenged himself through CA course and completed it in 4.5 years and became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) . Today, he authors class notes for CPT and IPCC curriculum for ICAI</p> <p>While he has travelled the world as an Internal Auditor for MNCs and won accolades for his professional acumen in Mercantile and Corporate Law, his greatest passion remains the shaping of our future generation.</p> <p>He takes great pride in personally mentoring over 300 students and teaching over 7000 students through his lectures and courses. It was this passion that encouraged him to establish KEW Academy, a space for young and aspiring students to develop the skills for a career in corporate finance management. Its now 6 years young and adapting to serve many thousands more in the years to come.</p> <p>CA Gokulraj has also co-chaired the ‘Entrepreneurial Skill Development Committee’ in Hindustan Chamber of Commerce and served in its corporate affairs committee to promote enterprise and skill among the aspirational Indian youth.</p> <p>Gokulraj sets an benchmark for excellence and leads by example. His research papers on Companies Act and ‘Internal Audits’ are cited by many young scholars in the field. He has won many awards and recognitions for his work including Star Article Award from PKF Sridhar and Santhanam LLP in 2005the Capgemini Award for ‘Best Employee’ 2009.</p> <p>Apart from the world of academics and business, CA Gokulraj finds time to be a leader in community service too. He has taken on various philanthropic and community building responsibilities. He is a Carnatic Rotarian and a member of the ‘Youth Club Service’ for 2021-2022. He is also a regular motivational speaker in many colleges and schools.</p> <p>This multi faceted personality shall soon add yet another colourful feather to this cap, when Axus Learning App is launched and begins to reach, serve, and propel more students to success in their chosen career path.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/tenacity-and-technology--ca-gokulrajs-ingredients-for-success.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/09/tenacity-and-technology--ca-gokulrajs-ingredients-for-success.html Sat Oct 09 20:20:40 IST 2021 Joti-Statovci-From-unique-ideas-of-selling-to-building-an-empire <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/28/Joti-Statovci-From-unique-ideas-of-selling-to-building-an-empire.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/28/Joti-Statovci.jpg" /> <p>Running a business is an art and not many know the art of running a successful business. The story of a startup is often heard; however, a story of a startup turning into a full-fledged successful business is hard to find. Joti Statovci is the man behind one of the most inspiring trader business models, who has made sure to leave no stone unturned. From selling unique ideas to building an empire has been his passion for years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Joti Statovci is the owner of UBYKS which is considered the best apparel brand of Kosova, one of the recognized states of south-eastern Europe. His brand is even worn by many famous personalities in Europe. He is also a renowned Forex trader with a book called ‘Secret of Forex’ published under his name. Forex trading is a passion that he has turned into reality. The art includes buying, selling, and exchanging currencies at current or determined prices.&nbsp; He self-educated himself by calculating and gaining experience for about 2 years before he could start the real investment in the Forex. He believes his self-taught lessons as it brings both failure and success. His book is a reflection of best work and all specifics individuals should follow to achieve success in the field of Forex trading.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From gaining expertise in dropshipping to successfully running online shopping at unbelievableshop.org, he has done it all to build his empire. His biggest success mantra remains, ‘Try not to become only a man of success try to become a man of value.’ The process of supply chain management is a method that he excels in and this has brought him success. The idea of no upfront investment makes this supply chain method his favorite and this is something he preaches through his sessions. Joti Statovci has seen the true transformation in his life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>For more information on him, one can visit his <a href="http://www.jotiststovci.com" target="_blank">website</a></b>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/28/Joti-Statovci-From-unique-ideas-of-selling-to-building-an-empire.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/28/Joti-Statovci-From-unique-ideas-of-selling-to-building-an-empire.html Sat Aug 28 17:08:33 IST 2021 aaron-civitarese--the-celebrity-podcaster <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/07/aaron-civitarese--the-celebrity-podcaster.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/7/Aaron.jpg" /> <p>Once you've discovered your potential, it's time to work on realizing it. It will take planning, time and effort, but you can handle it! To reach your maximum potential, you need to devote yourself to the entire cultivation process, not just one task. Set sail on your ocean and who knows what you might find there.</p> <p>To assist you in this quest, Growth Mindset podcaster<a href="http://aaroncivi.com/">&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://aaroncivi.com/"></a><a href="http://aaroncivi.com/"><u>Aaron Civitarese</u></a>&nbsp;shares his experience-based insights.</p> <p>&nbsp;<b>Meet Aaron</b></p> <p>To be an entrepreneur, a salesperson, an enrollment director, and a Growth Mindset podcaster all at the same time is no easy job. You can only succeed in so many different spheres only if you can lead by example. That example needs to be experience-based and inspirational. Aaron Civitarese lived through a few bad financial years after he “lost it all overnight in the jungles of SouthEast Asia” as he puts it. But this blow did not discourage him from moving forward. Quite on the contrary, he worked his way towards higher success, staying grateful all the way along. “My wife Nadya keeps me grounded and aware of energy, she is amazing.” Aaron says with a smile.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, Aaron is the enrollment director of an 8-figure sales team that coaches thousands in e-commerce who has won multiple 2 comma club awards with ClickFunnels. He was nominated as HTC Closer Of The Year and apart from this, he runs a podcast dedicated to encouraging millions to ignite their passion for success through embracing a growth mindset. And this is not all. Never willing to sit back and relax, Aaron Civitarese launched a crypto-education platform to help people avoid scams and ensure they get the most out of the industry. Impressive, isn’t it? Well, he did this all in 1 year! Woahh.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Become The Best Version of Yourself</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reaching your full potential means becoming the best version of yourself. Since all people are different, you need to determine your unique measure of success. And to do this you’ll first need to get to know yourself better.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The different negative thoughts pop up in your mind because of your inner critic, a demeaning inner voice you nurture when you always feed your conscious and subconscious mind negative ideas. Once you become more aware of your self-talk, acknowledge you have an inner critic that requires validation, then you can start the process of replacing that with positive self-talk.”, says Aaron.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Find Your Source of Inspiration</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It can be a person, an architectural monument, or your lucky talisman. Whatever it is, it will make you smile in the morning and will be the last thing you want to see before bed. Identify what or who it is and cherish it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To find inspiration, try disconnecting from your everyday worries.</p> <p>Listen to music.</p> <p>Spend time in nature.</p> <p>Carry a small notebook with you.</p> <p>Jot down inspiring moments.</p> <p>Meditate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Do it repeatedly so that you nurture the habit of thinking positively at all times. Being consciously aware of your thoughts ensures that every time you consider starting an endeavor, taking on a challenge, or want to think outside the box, you encourage yourself to embrace every adversity with open arms so that you can triumph over it and prove it wrong”, says Aaron.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Stay Positive</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Maintain a positive attitude. If you have negative thoughts, rephrase them in a positive way.</p> <p>Don't compare yourself to others. Instead of dwelling on other people, focus on yourself and your goals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Take care of yourself. Dress well, do your hair, sit upright, and exercise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Physical fitness is a quality that makes it easier for you to work on your goals and push yourself harder towards the actualization of your goals. When I am in shape the world seems to be easier to navigate”, Aaron adds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Should you wish to gain more insights from Aaron Civitarese, listen to his<a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-growth-podcast-with-aaron-civitarese/id1487494576"></a><a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-growth-podcast-with-aaron-civitarese/id1487494576">&nbsp;<u>podcast</u></a>&nbsp;to begin your spiritual transformation now.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/07/aaron-civitarese--the-celebrity-podcaster.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/07/aaron-civitarese--the-celebrity-podcaster.html Thu Oct 07 14:48:28 IST 2021 10-best-sites-to-read-japanese-manga-spoilers <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/18/10-best-sites-to-read-japanese-manga-spoilers.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/18/manga_spoilers1.jpg" /> <p>For the past decade, Anime had boomed like never before. While the dedicated fan base has existed for years and years. Many non-anime fans have suddenly started acknowledging the art the content brings in with an impactful storyline. So indeed, some big things are happening in the anime business.</p> <p>The love for anime has transitioned into Manga as well. The dedicated new anime fans acknowledge the presence of manga that inspires their favorite show. Thus, even they are keen to keep up with it as well. So here 10 best sites where you can read Japanese Manga Spoilers for free and keep up with it and your show.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>1. CBR</b></p> <p>Despite being a big name in every entertainment topic out there, CBR is quite keen on its content. They supply numerous articles on theories, interviews, and exclusives. But they also keep up with manga chapters covering along with spoilers and release dates as well. Manga spoilers are one of their CBR exclusives, so you can clearly understand the importance here.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>2. AnimeMangaNews.Com</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, the name speaks a lot but AnimeMangaNews has not kept it there. Today they cover a range of entertainment media and may continue to do so. But Anime and Manga covering may stay as prominent ones. The writing at AnimeMangaNews is quite in-depth and often gives a good background about the manga as well which may, in turn, help the new readers trying to get into it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>3.&nbsp;</b><a href="https://www.theartistree.fm/"></a><a href="https://www.theartistree.fm/"><b><u>The Artistree</u></b></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Artistree is a new player in the game who recently picked up Anime and Manga as one of their core topics to cover. The history of The Artistree covering many International Films and TVs in-depth with accurate information assures the fact that Manga will be covered the same way.</p> <p>Furthermore, The Artistree always aimed to appreciate the art and this way expect their insights on the manga as well. You can find all the spoilers, release dates along predictions of the writers at The Artistree as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>4. Otakukart</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Otakukart probably began aiming for Anime, Manga and popularising the Otaku culture. Although today they cover a variety of entertainment topics, their hold has remained the same it was when they started.</p> <p>You may find dedicated categories for Manga and Anime on Otakukart. Almost every popular manga is been covered with basic details that may answer a fan’s question about the next issue. Furthermore, OtakuKart creates a space to follow up the happenings in manga and anime storylines and answers some popular questions, theories, and predictions in their other articles to keep you hooked.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>5. Anime Troop</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Well, the name already tells a lot what Anime wants with itself. Furthermore, Anime Troop is living up to their name by covering everything Anime. They have a dedicated category of Manga Spoilers where every popular manga is covered thoroughly. Even Anime Troop comes up with a complete breakdown of release date, spoilers, raw scans, and much more that tells what the audience can expect from the manga.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>6. EpicStream</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>EpicStream is another site that primarily covers every kind of entertainment news to keep its readers entertained. They have been covering popular animes and their mangas for a while including the spoilers and release dates.</p> <p>Apart from the regular details, they dive deep into recaps and schedule times as well as the releasing time for other zones as well. What makes them more special is the fact they follow up the spoiler articles with theories and popular questions the mangas leave behind which may keep you reading more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>7. Stanford Arts Review</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Stanford Arts Review is another one of the sites that almost cover every kind of major news making waves around the world. Even though they have many topics to cover, the site and their writers still work hard to make their work as accurate and in-depth as possible on every category.</p> <p>So the popular mangas are provided with all the spoilers, recap, and release dates with it. Also, it seems like they are willing to expand and take look at the other underrated mangas as well.</p> <p><b>8. Tremblezer</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tremblezer again is primarily a technology news website that has extended its horizon through time. So Anime and manga are something that was added later into their catalog. But despite having an array of areas to cover, the anime and manga news writers are Tremblezer area quite passionate and have kept them updated.</p> <p>Furthermore, there are many manga and animes they cover under their site. A recap, spoilers, a raw scan, and much more are added to the spoiler articles that could answer the basic questions of a Manga fan about the next issue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>9. Omnitos</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Omnitos stays on to be one of the sites known for their accurate information about the entertainment business. It was inspired through acknowledging the misinformation spread among anime fans back in 2016 about their favorite shows and release dates. Henceforth, expect Omnitos to covers every popular manga out there extensively while also making sure the provided information is accurate and up-to-date.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>10. UpToBrain</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>UpToBrain is a news platform that covers almost every kind of news. These range from sports to current affairs to entertainment to education to tech. Manga and Anime are two of the many topics they cover under their entertainment tag.</p> <p>Although UpToBrain may not keep up with every manga out there, it does keep up with the popular ones. So expect big manga names and their chapters to be covered thoroughly on the website. One Piece and My Hero Academia are among the many they cover.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/18/10-best-sites-to-read-japanese-manga-spoilers.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/18/10-best-sites-to-read-japanese-manga-spoilers.html Fri Oct 01 10:36:17 IST 2021 dr--shawana-vali-celebrity-dermatologist-and-functional-medicine <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/06/dr--shawana-vali-celebrity-dermatologist-and-functional-medicine.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/10/6/Shawana-Vali.jpg" /> <p>From CEOs to royalty, Bollywood stars to supermodels, Dr. Shawana Vali’s black book covets the most notable names from across the globe. A dual board-certified consultant dermatologist, her artistic eye and expert technique have sculpted the world most beautiful faces. With two decades of experience, and professorships spanning from the UK to USA, her thirst for innovation and an uncompromising demand for performance extends to everything the ‘By Dr. Vali’ brand does.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>‘In my flagship clinic based in London I curate individualised medical grade skin programmes to treat all skin conditions from acne, melasma, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and papulopustular rosacea. Cosmetic grade products are not able to penetrate the reticular dermis, the medical layer of the skin, so I rely on prescription grade actives and in-clinic treatment to target these inflammatory skin disorders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With my clients based across the globe, I needed to be able to reach everybody. Creating a medical grade product line, without the need for prescription was the next step in the evolution of my brand.'</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By Dr. Vali Adaptive Skincare is a product line proven to give in-clinic results in the comfort of your home. Harnessing a patented BAC12 complex molecule, unique and proprietary to all products, biomimetic transformation and bio-affinity of cell membranes is activated - delivering 12 medical grade active ingredients deep into the medical layers of the skin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By activating your own cells to fix you, the BAC12 patented molecule mimics the water and fat soluble infrastructure of the skin membrane. Cells are optimised from the inside out, without risk of downtime, redness, dryness and peeling.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>‘My Adaptive Skincare is suitable for all skin types and ethnicities as the protective skin barrier function of self-defence is reinforced, promoting skin healing, regeneration and reducing oxidative stress.’</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Undertaking extensive research and clinical studies over four years, Dr. Vali has curated this game changing product line which is set to revolutionise the skincare industry, allowing those across the globe access to her dermatological expertise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Not only is Dr. Vali disrupting the world of cosmeceuticals, but she plans to transform the way we view skin technology with a patented skin-tech device. Cutis - New Breed Skin Technology, is the epitome of skin-tech at the forefront of this booming industry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Researched and developed over three years, Cutis is the ultimate micro-contouring device. German engineered with industrial designers, this new breed skin-tool has the proven efficacy to deliver a lifted and contoured canvas - no needles, no downtime.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Offering the industry one of the most advanced devices with two motors, custom trans-anatomical oscillations and five settings, this device has combined oscillation power of up to 14,400 per minute.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>’The Cutis micro-contouring device operates to deliver five protocols across all anatomical planes, depuffing, radiance, lifting and tightening, tension relief and micro-contouring. Resulting in a legendary canvas.’</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>’The Cutis superstar skin-tech tool allows my micro-contouring techniques to be experienced by everyone without downtime, without needles and without my hands. I created this tool both to optimise my contouring treatment, and as an alternative for those who may not be ready to undergo more invasive treatment. In clinic, the Cutis is used by my team to shape and mould injectable contours deep onto the bone, tightening areas such as the jawline or cheekbones delivering a longer-lasting result.’</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This superstar skin tool can be used to stimulate lymphatic drainage with the depuffing protocol, improves circulation in the outer layers of the skin with the radiance setting and lifts and tightens from the deep muscle layers. The tension relief setting delivers high powered oscillations penetrating all anatomical layers of the face, working to reduce tension at the muscle insertion points. The principle ‘micro-contouring’ setting delivers Dr. Vali’s coveted technique for tightening, defining and contouring the jawline, cheekbones and brows with a supercharged oscillation and pulsation setting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cutis New Breed Skin Technology will be available in-clinic and online exclusively at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bydrvali.com/"></a><a href="http://www.bydrvali.com/">www.bydrvali.com</a>&nbsp;from 01 November 2</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/06/dr--shawana-vali-celebrity-dermatologist-and-functional-medicine.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/10/06/dr--shawana-vali-celebrity-dermatologist-and-functional-medicine.html Wed Oct 06 10:37:02 IST 2021 record-label-ceo-hanna-shanars-hidden-agenda-could-save-lives <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/22/record-label-ceo-hanna-shanars-hidden-agenda-could-save-lives.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/22/Hanna-Shanar.jpg" /> <p>Hanna Shanar is a 23-year-old, best-selling author, research scholar, medical student, and chief executive officer of a multi-million following record label by the name of Instagram account @rapgroupmanagement. Rap Group Management is a conglomerate of accounts totaling well over 2 million followers. Hanna serves as the overseer of the organization, which promotes aspiring artists around the globe, and has recently partnered with some big-name verified artists such as @donphenomofficialpage.</p> <p>This network has promoted hundreds of artists internationally to help these aspiring musicians accomplish their dreams and reach their goals. Hanna’s love and passion for music serve as the foundation for creating this record label. At a young age, Hanna was invested in musical instruments such as the guitar and piano. Shortly after becoming exposed to these instruments,<a href="https://hannashanar.com/"> Hanna</a> began to develop a melodic appreciation as well as a keen ear for lyrical ingenuity.</p> <p>Fascinated by the cleverness employed by hip-hop artists in the early years of the century, Hanna began to thoroughly appreciate their creativity but was rather unappealed by the culture surrounding hip-hop and rap. As a future physician of America, Hanna is committed and obligated to spread relevant and accurate health information throughout his practices. This is part of the reason why Hanna has committed to the duty of CEO of Rap Group Management.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;Hanna’s passion for music allows him to appreciate the artists that he promotes, but the influence of his record label places him in a unique position to foster a change in the hip-hop community. Hanna mentions in other press releases that hip-hop culture glorifies drug use, chronic alcoholism, frequent sexual engagements, and overall hedonistic behavior, even though there are some serious health risks to consider when engaging in these activities. Drug use and dependence, especially in the pain-killing class of drugs known as opioids, has significantly increased since the start of the century, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.</p> <p>Hanna believes that this increased incidence of drug dependence and death is partly due to increased access to social media and mainstream hip-hop artists glorifying the abuse of these substances. Similarly, there are serious diseases such as HIV, syphilis, and HPV, that can be acquired through frequent sexual activity and can result in deadly conditions such as AIDS, or cancer if caution is not taken. Hanna believes that it is part of his duty as a healthcare provider to spread this relevant information to younger generations that look up to rappers and hip-hop artists. The most effective way to reach this audience is directly through the influencers that they look up to. Hanna’s hidden agenda behind Rap Group Management is to grow and develop his label's influence to the point that he has enough “say-so” to create a wave that can shed some light and truth on the behavior glorified by hip-hop culture.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hanna recognizes that his goal will undoubtedly be challenging, and that he may not be able to reverse the influence of current and future massive mainstream hip-hop artists. However, any lives that he can impact are potential lives that he is saving in the future. Innovators like Hanna Shanar are exactly those that change the world, and forever change the lives of millions of people around the globe. Learn more<a href="https://hannashanar.com/"> </a><a href="https://hannashanar.com/">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/22/record-label-ceo-hanna-shanars-hidden-agenda-could-save-lives.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/22/record-label-ceo-hanna-shanars-hidden-agenda-could-save-lives.html Wed Sep 22 22:34:18 IST 2021 sayed-sayedy---a-life-coach--mediator--peace-activist-and-humani <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/17/sayed-sayedy---a-life-coach--mediator--peace-activist-and-humani.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/17/Sayed-Sayedy.jpg" /> <p>Leo Tolstoy once said,’ The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.’ Taking this approach one step further, Sayed Sayedy is on a mission to touch as many lives as possible and help them nourish into something meaningful. With an academic background in sociology and social work from Parwan, he has been on this track since his school and university days.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From very early days, he has worked as a helper and activist empowering the youth. He has also worked as a trainer at the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband). In addition to this, he was active as a translator and intercultural facilitator for the International Security Force (ISAF), where he also trained as an IT specialist. Soon after, Sayed Sayedy has made a name for himself as a life coach, mediator, and peace activist born in Afghanistan. He also works with helpers, teachers, and supervisors by specially training them to assist refugees.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite his young age, Sayed has also become a reliable name in mediation. He uses his personalized approach to resolve various types of conflicts, including professional, personal, sexual violence, etc.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He has extensively campaigned for human and women rights that led him to leave his homeland and moved to Munich at the beginning of 2015, continuing his efforts towards helping humanity. It is surreal to imagine someone to have accomplished so much despite such an age.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Presently, he does regular freelance work hosting intercultural coaching workshops. He also works for the project ‘HEROES - Against Suppression in the Name of Honour’ in Munich, where he is currently located. There, he also continues to assist migrants with various issues, including asylum and job placement. Other projects where he also works are “KINO ASYL,” “UNSER.FILM,” and “Cinema, Cinema!”.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As they say, it is important to stay connected with your roots; he supports educational and civilian peace projects in Afghanistan and Cambodia, offering unique training related to refugee work. He understands the struggles that every Afghan refugee is going through being an Afghan refugee himself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While he was doing extraordinary humanitarian work, he also attracted unwanted attention. Even despite being forced to leave his country, he still continued his peacekeeping and humanitarian activities in Afghanistan from Germany. But things have changed drastically. Now. All the connections have been severed since the terror organization took over the country, and he is continuously worried about his friends and family. When the Afghan leaders promise peace in the country, it is more of a distant dream.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sayed holds various degrees, licenses, and certifications and is on his way to achieving great heights with all the work that he has been doing. He understands that at times, all you need is a little motivation, and people can turn their lives around.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a world where people aspire to become engineers, real estate moguls, entrepreneurs, etc., Sayedy aspires to become a better human and a ray of hope for people fighting to survive through the turmoils of this present world. To know more about him, you can visit his&nbsp;<a href="https://sayedy.com/about/"></a><a href="https://sayedy.com/about/"><u>website</u></a>&nbsp;.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/17/sayed-sayedy---a-life-coach--mediator--peace-activist-and-humani.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/17/sayed-sayedy---a-life-coach--mediator--peace-activist-and-humani.html Fri Oct 01 10:26:09 IST 2021 neeraj-sharma-bhardwaj-aka-nsb-pictures-creates-magic-via-his-le <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/28/neeraj-sharma-bhardwaj-aka-nsb-pictures-creates-magic-via-his-le.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/28/Neeraj-Sharma.jpg" /> <p>The 23-year-old influencer Neeraj Sharma Bhardwaj also known as <a href="https://m.facebook.com/nsbpictures/">NSB Pictures</a> from Uttar Kashi, Uttarakhand is an accomplished Social media influencer or digital creator from the past several years. He is a very famous YouTuber. At a very young age, he has already crossed 1 million subscribers on YouTube. He has proved to the world that with interest and the zeal to learn you can achieve great heights. Neeraj Sharma is a well-known name in social media today.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He was born on 31 August 1997 in the small village Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand. His father’s name is Mr. Ravi Shankar Bhardwaj. He completed his 10th standard from Govt. High school Manimajra, Chandigarh, and completed his 12th standard from Govt. Senior secondary school sector-8, Chandigarh.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://m.facebook.com/nsbpictures/">Neeraj</a> has set new benchmarks in the digital creator industry with his mind-blowing work. The champ not only builds his own large successful YouTube channel Name NSB Pictures but also helped many newcomers to have a head start in their life by influencing them to focus on their goals and achieve them. He is so efficient at his job and he considers himself as “ the pro of digital creation”. He has the ability to make amazing and cool content for the new generation, Neeraj can produce productive and high-level content. His contents attract more and more people on a regular basis of every generation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He owns a YouTube channel with 950 thousand subscribers. Whereas his Instagram crossed 600 thousand followers. As he is one of the gen Z so he is highly active in creating content that focuses on the new generation to attract and inspire them. This YouTube sensation has worked with many celebrities and collaborated with many other influencers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This generation is a huge fan of social media. Youngsters are too serious about maintaining their Instagram feed. Just to ease this out a bit Neeraj helps his audience and followers by sharing his tricks on his YouTube channel.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His YouTube videos are all about tutorials. In some of his videos, he tells his audience about editing’s and photoshops that how a normal person can edit their photos and videos on android or smartphone on their own. On the other hand in some of his videos he shares all the tips and tricks for posing for your Instagram pictures. His videos are really helpful for all kind of people. Through his videos, editing’s and photoshops can be done in a very low budget without paying any big amount.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He started all this from a very young age when there was not much craze of the internet on his own without any help and support.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/28/neeraj-sharma-bhardwaj-aka-nsb-pictures-creates-magic-via-his-le.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/28/neeraj-sharma-bhardwaj-aka-nsb-pictures-creates-magic-via-his-le.html Tue Sep 28 18:17:11 IST 2021 Milanns-precious-baby-centre-Legacy-of-over-30-years-in-delivering-happiness <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/24/Milanns-precious-baby-centre-Legacy-of-over-30-years-in-delivering-happiness.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2019/June/child-baby-infant-smiles-head-face-shut.jpg" /> <p>Established in the year 1990, Milann Fertility Centre is one of the pioneers in the fertility industry in India with several firsts to its credit. With a legacy of over 30 years, the fertility chain since its inception, has helped more than 1,00,000 couples experience the joy of parenthood. Combining experience and reputation, with our medical experts and personnel, all trained in reproductive endocrinology, embryology, ovarian biology, reproductive immunology and the genetics of fertility, Milann has a technological edge over its competitors. Besides its clinical expertise, Milann is also known as one of the very few institutes to offer post-doctoral fellowship programs in Reproductive Medicine and Maternal Fetal Medicine, PhD programs in Reproductive Biology and MSc in Embryology, having nurtured nearly 1000 doctors in Infertility and Maternal Fetal Medicine since inception.</p> <p>Offering wide range of services under one roof, ranging right from our consultations to the quality of our state of the art NABL accredited facility lab, to our interdisciplinary team of specialists, all positively contribute to augment the chances of positive outcome in pregnancies and deliveries. We in fact have a customised model of patient care where our highly specialised clinicians along with our entire team at Milann empathises with patients and partners at every step thereby ensuring tailored treatments to unique circumstances and challenges. Empathy and patient centric care are the foundations for the treatment provided at Milann where entire team understand the needs of the patients and personalized care is delivered as per the individual’s requirements.</p> <p>In addition, we at Milann also offer many speciality clinics to deal with complex cases like Recurrent IVF Failure Clinic, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic, Gynaec Endoscopy Clinic and PCOS Clinic to cater to our patients’ unique needs. And it doesn’t just end there. The relentless faith shown by patients in our services has given us the confidence in growing from a modest fertility clinic to a full-fledged fertility &amp; birthing centre which we depict it as a precious baby centre offering a standardised care to women and children in the country.</p> <p>Milann’s precious baby centre has been offering modern healthcare services for women and children whilst regularly embracing the latest advancements in medical science to offer best in class clinical outcomes and patient experiences.</p> <p>Milann is one of the undisputed Ieaders in high-risk pregnancy care. From preconception to post delivery, we offer a wide range of specialists, including obstetricians, anaesthesiologists, neonatologists and paediatricians, to provide complete care during pregnancy and beyond. In addition, our yoga experts, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals complete the precious baby services team.</p> <p>Most babies are born healthy. But for those who need extra care, Milann is equipped with a specialised Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) headed by Dr. Praveen Kumar Venkatagiri, our National Director for Neonatology and Clinical Operations. The NICU contains the most sophisticated and up-to date equipment to treat babies with special needs where in fact the babies are monitored 24 hours a day by our neonatologists and specially trained nurses.</p> <p>Some of our state-of-the-art facilities include, a level 3 NICU facility, dedicated neonatal ambulances for transport of neonates, fertility treatment for women, specialty services in gynaecology, gynec-oncology, high risk Obstetrics, in[1]house foetal medicine experts, in-utero transfer facility, private suites and experts for OPD consultations.</p> <p>While we at Milann make rapid progress in widening our reach, we are simultaneously committed and focused on further elevating our patient experience to greater levels of satisfaction, and increasing our services by introducing more specialised services that makes us a leading name in fertility, neonatal &amp; paediatric care, and the best in class women &amp; child care facilities. Be it assisted reproduction or birthing, our end goal is to give couples the gift of creating lives and this intention of ours will always exit and will continue with time.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/24/Milanns-precious-baby-centre-Legacy-of-over-30-years-in-delivering-happiness.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/24/Milanns-precious-baby-centre-Legacy-of-over-30-years-in-delivering-happiness.html Fri Sep 24 11:38:55 IST 2021 lokame-tharavadu-celebration-of-diversity <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/31/lokame-tharavadu-celebration-of-diversity.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/7/31/bose-krishnamachari.jpg" /> <p>The erstwhile Kingdom of Travancore (in present-day Kerala) had been notorious for its weird caste laws. One such rule was that every lower caste and untouchable woman who passed their age of puberty had to pay a ‘breast tax’. The tax, which was to support the caste hierarchy in the state, denied basic human dignity to lower caste women. Known as ‘mulakkaram’, the tax was imposed depending on the size of the breasts of the women who wished to cover them.</p> <p>There is a legend about Nangeli, a woman from Alappuzha named who cut off her breasts and presented them to the tax collector on a plantain leaf to protest against this caste-based tax. The legend says that her death ignited people’s protests. Also, the place where she lived got the name Mulachiparambu (breasted woman’s land).</p> <p>Alappuzha-based artist V.S. Blodsow’s wood-and-fabric series ‘Spectrum’ talks about this body politics of outcaste women who had to fight to the power centres for their dignity. Conceptualised in 2005, the artwork was made with blouse materials from a textile shop in Alappuzha. “The work also talks about the poor work conditions and struggles of saleswomen in Kerala’s textile shops,” says the artist. A tribute to American painter-printmaker Ellsworth Kelly—and countless number of women who had to suffer injustices in the past—Blodsow’s ‘Spectrum’ is part of ‘Lokame Tharavadu’ (The world is one family), a mega show of more than 3,000 individual artworks, curated by Bose Krishnamachari in Alappuzha.</p> <p>Alappuzha is a sleepy town today. But once it used to be an important trade centre of colonial powers and a place of diverse culture. Even now, it has the remnants of this heritage, and that makes it an apt spot for a show like ‘Lokame Tharavadu’ which celebrates oneness and unity in diversity.</p> <p>Krishnamachari told THE WEEK that this show was conceived as an effort to instil confidence in the artist community around the world. The show features 267 artists from 15 countries who trace their roots back to Kerala. Spread across five venues in Alappuzha and one in Ernakulam, this is arguably the biggest and most ambitious contemporary art show in India post-Covid-19. Krishnamachari says that nothing of this scale has been set up in South Asia, perhaps ever.</p> <p>“For me, after the Kochi Biennale site, Alappuzha became one of my favourite sites in the world,” says Krishnamachari. “There are possibilities that we can have an extended version of Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Alappuzha as well. These heritage buildings, we have converted them into contemporary art gallery spaces. This can become a place for diverse kinds of exhibitions. This is a fantastic place for any kind of art works.”</p> <p>Alappuzha is a place where history, myths and legends cohabit. For the past many decades, it has been a stronghold of the Communist parties. And, the most important event that made it a leftist land is the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising of October 1946. It was organised against the exploitative policies of Travancore Diwan (prime minister) Sir C.P. Rama Swami Iyer. The coir workers played an important role in this uprising. They fiercely fought the Diwan’s move to make Travancore an independent country with a new constitution, and this had triggered violence across the region. But it was met with violent reprisal from the government; hundreds of comrades were killed in the Travancore military’s firings.</p> <p>Artist Bara Bhaskaran, in his series of 10 paintings named ‘Chambers of Amazing Museum’, depicts this unique working-class movement against the tyranny of Travancore’s authoritarian ruler. “In every uprising or war, it is the women who suffer the most,” he says. “In Punnapra-Vayalar uprising, only martyred men were immortalised; the women who had an equal stake in the struggle, who got widowed, were not acknowledged.” The artist who is known to be a chronicler of subaltern histories says that the movement was driven by the people from the lower strata of the society, and what Iyer had tried to destroy was an idea that people can question the authorities.</p> <p>The exhibition is an effort to raise important questions for the Kerala society. There are several works covering the themes of culture, migration, freedom of expression and home. For instance, artist Ameen Khaleel’s ‘Illogical’ theatre series talks about the fissures between the nature and culture. “My effort was to see these fissures as a drama,” says Khaleel. “I have used a mix of personal histories of people I know, and the local contemporary history in my work. I have portrayed these histories as baggage that should be held by the current generation.”</p> <p>Women-centric issues also have a special place in the show. ‘Lokame Tharavadu’ features 56 women artists. There is an effort to introduce many young talents as well. For sculptor Helna Merin Joseph, 25, the invitation to this show was unexpected. &quot;It is a great opportunity for a young artist like me to exhibit my works along with several acclaimed artists,&quot; she says. Joseph completed her masters in fine arts from Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, Hyderabad, last year. </p> <p>&quot;My works exhibited at Lokame Tharavadu are the ones that I completed during my college years from 2014,&quot; she says. &quot;The attitudes of women and their reactions to their realities are etched in my sculptures with care and my endeavor is to bring their wrinkled circumstances to the audience. My works deal with th&nbsp; insanities and difficulties and agonies faced by women in society.&quot;</p> <p>Finding influence and inspiration for art, from the environment around, is important for artists. Artist N. Balamurali Krishnan’s Memories of Onattukara series explores the topography, culture and history of his native land. “We could find the influence of early Buddhist doctrines in the language, architecture, medicines and lifestyle of Onattukara. I was in search of the soul of my land. And the paintings that are exhibited in Lokame Tharavadu are the ones that I painted from the influence of my studies.”</p> <p>Art practitioners from diverse schools are represented in ‘Lokame Tharavadu’. “From printmaking to augmented reality, and from surrealism to magical realism, so many different kinds of work could be seen here,” says Krishnamachari. “This show will educate diverse kinds of practitioners—writers, filmmakers, theatre artists.”</p> <p>However, the show is yet to be opened for the public because of Covid-19 restrictions. “When we started working on this project in September 2020, the cases of Covid were coming down,” says Krishnamachari. “We felt that we could do a really amazing show; we were expecting a good crowd for this project.”</p> <p>The show was first opened on April 18, and it was supposed to run for three months. “Unfortunately, we had to close it down immediately after it was opened because of the Covid-19 situation,” says Krishnamachari. “We are still waiting to reopen this project for people. Art enthusiasts, connoisseurs, collectors, all of them are waiting to see this project. We are trying to keep the exhibition running until September 30. Our request is to allow people to come and see the show with social distancing. I request the local authorities to please look at the site and make a decision.”</p> <p>Krishnamachari adds that the show would benefit several lesser-known artists from Kerala. “Many artists would get future opportunities nationally and internationally from this project,” he says. “People are really looking up to the new-generation of artists from Kerala.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/31/lokame-tharavadu-celebration-of-diversity.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/31/lokame-tharavadu-celebration-of-diversity.html Sun Aug 01 13:42:22 IST 2021 the-relationship-between-astrology-and-medical-science <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/25/the-relationship-between-astrology-and-medical-science.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/25/Sohini-Sastri.jpg" /> <p><b>Writes Dr Sohini Sastri, the best astrologer in India is the only astrologer honoured by the President and Vice President in India for her vast knowledge in astrology and occult science.</b></p> <p><b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">www.sohinisastri.com</b></p> <p><b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">sohini.sastri@gmail.com</b></p> <p><b style="font-size: 0.8125rem;">9163532538/9038136660&nbsp;</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“A physician without knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician”, said the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates .&nbsp; Those with faith in astrology always considered the position of the sun and planets to understand our health, our personalities, and to make predictions about the future. This is an vintage tradition.</p> <p>To live happily we can never ignore our health leading a fit and prosperous life. Health issues leads to a breakdown of the entire cycle of life. Bad health cannot let you study, work or earn. Focusing on our health is very important for us to sustain in this world, more so, with the prevailing pollution, workload, duplicate food, pesticides, junk food habits we all need an extra careful.</p> <p>Astrology helps you to live a healthy &nbsp;and fit life. As each of our organ, anatomical structure, body part is inherently influenced by astrological elements; we can predict certain things through astrology.</p> <p>2<sup>nd</sup>, 6<sup>th</sup>, 8<sup>th</sup>, and 12<sup>th</sup> house plays the major role in indicating health issues. If any of them is influenced by malefic planets then the native will face health trouble. The native will suffer from related medical problem if any planet positioned in those houses is weak or debilitated.</p> <p>The 6th house denotes sickness, 8th house surgery, death, and 12th house hospitalization. If the sub lord of 12th cusp is in 6, the house of disease, and if the sub lord is in the constellation of the planet occupying or owning 6 or 8 or 12 it is definite that one will have the defect from the time when the significant factors conjointly operate. If the sub lord of the ascendant is in the constellation of the significant factor of 6 or 8 or 12 then one suffers from disease or danger or hospitalization.</p> <p>The following list has the planets and organ/ body part/ health issues they represent.</p> <p>Sun: Stomach, heart, head, back, right eye of a man, left eye of a woman, vitality, joint, sinus, migraine, high fever etc.</p> <p>Moon: Lungs, blood, body fluids, brain, left eye of a man, right eye of a woman, insomnia, asthma. When aligned with Saturn it causes dry cough, diabetes, vomiting etc.</p> <p>Mars: Blood, thalassemia, chest, nose, gall bladder, bile, bone marrow, red blood cells etc. It causes brain disorder, itching, blood clotting, female genital diseases, knee problems etc.</p> <p>Mercury: Nerves system, skin, face, thyroid. It has direct influence over mental disorder, ear problems etc.</p> <p>Jupiter: Liver, kidneys, pancreas. Excessive fat gain, fatty liver, heart tumor, memory loss are few effect of weak Jupiter.</p> <p>Venus: It has direct impact over throat, throat glands, face, cheeks, urine problems, ovarian cyst etc. A weak Venus can also cause impotence.</p> <p>Saturn: Legs, bones, muscle, teeth, hair, physical weakness, joints pain, arthritis, gastric problems etc.</p> <p>Rahu: Rahu causes cancer, breathing problems, ulcer, cataract, stammering problems etc.</p> <p>Ketu: This is ‘karaka’ planet of abdomen. It is also responsible for wound and rotten flesh due to insect bite. Ketu brings in mysterious diseases, it gradually decrease our immunity system. It can also cause physical weakness, stomach pain.</p> <p>According to Vedic astrology, planets and our birth sign is closely related to human chakras and organs. Planets and Horoscope will help identify Chakras energy, physical, mental, emotional strength and diseases in the human body. Every planet is connected with respective chakras in our astral body.</p> <p>&nbsp;Chakras indicate qualities of a person through ruling planets. If any planet is weak, respective chakra associated with that planet would also be weak. This also means that the specific chakra energy is debilitated; hence health issues related to that chakra are caused. We call this method as “AstakaVarga” vedic astrology.</p> <p>Seven chakras and their related human characteristics and organs:-</p> <p><b>1. Muladhara/Root Chakra:</b></p> <p>Mental characteristic: Fear, indiscipline, Facing tough situations, being greedy &amp; insecure, sleeplessness, work longevity.</p> <p>Organ/ health issue: Meat, muscles, teeth, bone, knee, feet, joints, rheumatism and endocrine gland: Adrenal cortex.</p> <p><b>2. Svadhishthana/Sacral Chakra:</b></p> <p>&nbsp;Characteristic: Self Assurance, financial wealth, luck, material and spiritual life, justice, education, dishonesty, being opposite to religion and philosophy, expansion, passion.</p> <p>Physical/Mental Health Problems related to: Liver, hips, glands, hormones, pancreas, diabetes, blood vessels, buttocks, obesity, sexual urges and sexual endocrine gland issues, Ovaries, testicle issues.</p> <p><b>3. Manipura/Solar Plexus Chakra:</b></p> <p>Characteristic: Independence, courage, will power, generosity, protection, clarity, Energy Drives.</p> <p>Physical/Mental Health Problems related to: Sexual energy, head, blood, digestive system, bile, accidents, metabolism, burns fractures, fever, piles, skin rashes, electronic shock, suicidal tendencies, pancreas, Endocrine gland: Adrenals. &nbsp;</p> <p><b>4. Anahata/Heart Chakra:</b></p> <p>Characteristic: Love failure, extreme attachment to materialistic things, importance to luxuries, and unhealthy relationships</p> <p>Physical/Mental Health Problems related to: Throat, neck, Sexual organ, pelvis, menstrual irregularity, semen, urinary bladder, kidneys, and Endocrine gland: Thymus.</p> <p><b>5. Vishuddha/Throat Chakra:</b></p> <p>Characteristic: Lack of intelligence and Communication, bad decision making.</p> <p>Physical/Mental Health Problems related to: Abdomen, skin, nervous system, neck, mouth, bronchial tube, tongue, lungs, hands arms, insomnia, deafness, dyspepsia, Endocrine gland: Thyroid and Parathyroid gland.</p> <p><b>6. Ajna/Third Eye Chakra:</b></p> <p>Characteristic: Being overconfident, lack of awareness, dominating, the wrong judgment.</p> <p>Physical/Mental Health Problems related to: Eyesight, gall bladder, spine, belly, headaches, constipation, blood pleasure, immune system, breast, face, psychic problem, sleep disorder, tuberculosis, cough, cold, hypersensitivity, overreaction, lack of appetite.</p> <p><b>7. Meditation Sahasrara/Crown Chakra:</b></p> <p>Physical/Mental Health Problems related to: Memory problems, productivity, femininity, motherhood, depression, emotions disorder, bad and horror dreams, nervous system, neurological Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, paralysis, epilepsy, Head, pineal gland, skeletal and muscular systems Endocrine gland: Pineal gland.</p> <p>According to the best astrologer of India Dr<b>. Sohini Sastri</b>, the combined effort of astrology and medical treatment has a better chance in curing your health issues.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/25/the-relationship-between-astrology-and-medical-science.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/25/the-relationship-between-astrology-and-medical-science.html Fri Oct 01 10:20:48 IST 2021 leenalove-reveals-her-path-to-success <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/09/leenalove-reveals-her-path-to-success.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/9/Leenalove.jpg" /> <p>Humans in this world are similar in shape but very different in their thoughts, desires, and attitudes. So out of these people, there are two types of people who tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world. Those are people who are afraid to try to change the world and the people who are afraid that you will succeed.</p> <p>So, if you want to be a success, do not allow others to make decisions about you. You need to trust yourself and be your own boss. This was said by LeenaLove, a businesswoman who reached the pinnacle of success. Would you like to know how LeenaLove was successful? So, this is her story.</p> <p>Leena pedraza known as LeenaLove is a successful and leading entrepreneur in her own field but not a single field. She was an active personality on streaming platforms by doing live streaming. Also, she is a popular video player and also doing ASMR on networks such as Instagram and twitch.</p> <p>Not only these, but she also started her music career in 2020 by releasing an EP album. She already creates her own unique personality and looks on social media too. LeenaLove is her own photographer and makeup artist. Through these, she does by doing things herself. She takes it as a challenge. But her opinion is, learning is an investment. She always believes in herself and does not take “no” as an answer. This real-wonder woman accepts failures as a positive experience.</p> <p>I would like to distinguish LeenaLove as a woman from the future. Because she always evolves with the time. Usually, she gains benefits from new things for her journey. For instance, she quickly adapts to new methods and technologies. She has this ability because of her desire to learn.</p> <p>Also, she always loves the work that she does. You will think this is not a powerful thing to success. But her opinion is, this is one of the main keys to be a success. She said that If you love and like the work you do, it is the best motivator you ever had.</p> <p>Also, Leenalove goes through the target with hard work. It does not matter either it is hard or not, generally she achieves whatever she believes to be a success. Further, LeenaLove always respects the people behind her journey. Further, she said that if you want to achieve something, you should work through a proper plan. Especially, it would be best if you manage your finance and risks properly.</p> <p>On the other hand, she always promotes herself. I am sure you will wonder. But who else promotes yourself without you? Also, she said, “you should always dream your future. It will motivate you to turn it into a reality.” For instance, if you like to buy a luxury house, you should daydream about your home. So, it will motivate you to work for it.</p> <p>LeenaLove always realized that if you love to work and learn for your success, you can touch the peak whatever you are poor or rich, rural or urban. Also, Leenalove is the village girl who proved that by creating her own style.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Instagram :&nbsp;<a href="https://www.instagram.com/leenalovepro/"></a><a href="https://www.instagram.com/leenalovepro/"><u>@leenalovepro</u></a></p> <p>Facebook :&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leenalovepro/"></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/leenalovepro/"><u>@leenalovepro</u></a></p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/09/leenalove-reveals-her-path-to-success.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/09/leenalove-reveals-her-path-to-success.html Thu Sep 09 17:43:50 IST 2021 project-bismillah-two-years-of-kashmir-after-abrogation-of-article-370-through-images <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/30/project-bismillah-two-years-of-kashmir-after-abrogation-of-article-370-through-images.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/7/30/cropped-image.jpg" /> <p>When 28-year-old Rana Pandey first went to Kashmir in May 2019 with his mentor Kounteya Sinha, he fell in love with it instantly. Since then, he kept going back, his last visit being a few months back this year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ever since the abrogation the special status to Jammu and Kashmir through scrapping of Article 370 and conversion into a Union territory, Pandey has been documenting the valley to record the changes that have come upon the natives there, from social and economic turbulence to emotional upheavals caused by the sudden administrative and political decision.&nbsp;</p> <p>In his visit to the place in 2019 post the abrogation, he witnessed closed shops, streets with massive police deployment and roads deserted even during peak business hours. According to the locals, says Pandey, tourism was at an all-time low, barely fiver per cent of what it used to be. He saw sadness, unemployment, closed schools, children sitting idle with nothing to do, and an atmosphere of despondency and gloom. &quot;It was like a scene straight out of a dystopian novel. Everywhere there was heavy Army deployment with armoured military vehicles continuously patrolling around. Gulmarg, one of the most visited places in Kashmir, was almost empty, there were hardly any tourists. Pine Palace, the hotel in which we stayed in Gulmarg, was vacant for the last three months. Dayawan, who used to be our usual 'shikarawala', was nowhere to be found when we went back in November. Apparently he had left the job and had begun doing work as a construction worker just to make ends meet,&quot; says Pandey.</p> <p>That is what gave him the idea of 'Project Bismillah', an attempt to focus on the positive as a way of ending suffering and despair'. This Pandey did by capturing the valley across three years—2019, 2020 and 2021. &quot;I wanted to train my lens on the soul of Kashmir and the warmth of its people. 'Project Bismillah' is a way of presenting to the world, a changed Kashmir. One that is struggling to come out of doom and welcome the ray of hope and promise. A Kashmir of ambitions and aspirations, of belief, of love and security, and a Kashmir whose people are craving progress. Through this project I want to make others realize that Kashmir needs tourists to survive, it needs the love and support of the rest of India as nothing kills a place like isolation does. This is my humble attempt of using creative arts to bring people, commerce and dreams back to Kashmir,&quot; says Pandey.</p> <p>This year, which marks two years to the revocation of the special status of J&amp;K, Pandey visited the place twice, once in January to experience the winter chill and again in April to capture the mesmerising beauty of the widely popular Tulip gardens in Srinagar. &quot;Two years later, life of people in Kashmir has slowly come back to normal, at least the lives of those commoners whom I documented. Tourism has increased to a large extent and COVID-19 restrictions are limited to the RT-PCR tests that are conducted at the airports for travellers coming into Kashmir. Both, Gulmarg and Srinagar were full with tourists, both, Indian as well as foreigners,&quot; says Pandey who is a Kolkata-based documentary maker and street photographer whose contributions to the 2018 book, 'Altars of Yearning: How India Prays,' was released in the UK's House of Lords by Cherie Blair (wife of Tony Blair) the former first lady of Great Britain.&nbsp;</p> <p>Pandey is the recipient of Russian Press Photo Award and he's been honored at the Kolkata International Photography Festival.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/30/project-bismillah-two-years-of-kashmir-after-abrogation-of-article-370-through-images.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/30/project-bismillah-two-years-of-kashmir-after-abrogation-of-article-370-through-images.html Fri Jul 30 22:29:22 IST 2021 journey-of-inspiration-with-alisha-sah <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/04/journey-of-inspiration-with-alisha-sah.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/9/4/alisha.jpg" /> <p>Alisha Sah a renowned all-rounder makeup artist having worked in the entertainment as well as advertising industry has surely carved a name for herself in the makeup industry. Intrigued by the art of make-up Alisha‘s passion and love towards the make-up industry grew stronger with every milestone she achieved along with the way finding herself truly dedicated towards her upcoming projects.</p> <p>By creating exceptional makeup looks and concepts Alisha has always tried to give meaning to her work. With a zeal to explore and do something new every time, Alisha has gained diversified experience both on-screen as a TV artist and backstage as a make-up artist. Since her early modelling days, Alisha envisioned a dream and chose to follow her dreams diligently to date.</p> <p>It takes courage and dedication to keep up in this creative industry without thinking about the hurdles and criticism that might come on her way. But she lived up to her own expectations and always tried something new and exciting.</p> <p>Alisha Sah born on 18th June 1994 in a city called Bettiah in Bihar has clearly made a name for herself in the makeup industry in no time. Coming from a small town Alisha knew that not everything will be served to her on a platter, which motivated her to keep exploring and experimenting with her projects.</p> <p>Alisha’s utmost dedication and confidence towards her work surely instil motivation in young and upcoming artists around the world who have dreams just like hers. She also tries to reach out many such young upcoming artists through her Live sessions on her social media channels (instagram @Alishaasah) Alisha and at her salon in Surat Alisha believes in creating a vision that is in aberration to what already exists in the creative space today. Alisha Sah quoted “Makeup is a powerful form of an expression and it takes a special kind of precision, skill, and most importantly dedication to create your own space in this industry” Alisha’s future plans focus on bringing out new concepts and spreading the art through various platforms.</p> <p>She is adamant about providing the best services and that can be clearly seen with the kind of international exposure she has as a makeup artist. We do need more multi-talented yet dedicated people to elevate the lifestyle and act as a point of inspiration for the budding artists. One can also browse through her website to see what’s new that she’s been doing. (<a href="http://www.alishaasah.com" target="_blank">www.alishaasah.com</a>)</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/04/journey-of-inspiration-with-alisha-sah.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/09/04/journey-of-inspiration-with-alisha-sah.html Mon Sep 06 16:56:08 IST 2021 Upgrading-Lives-by-Biohacking-the-Holistic-Indian-Way-The-Book-which-became-a-Movement <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/24/Upgrading-Lives-by-Biohacking-the-Holistic-Indian-Way-The-Book-which-became-a-Movement.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/24/sajeev-nair.jpg" /> <p>Noted wellness evangelist, pioneer of Indian bio hacking and transformational coach, Dr. Sajeev Nair who has touched millions of lives, is now leading a revolution in upgrading lives through the science of biohacking, by bringing together next generation medical research and millennia old Indian wellness systems of Ayurveda, Yoga &amp; Meditation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most life gurus invariably face one of these two challenges. Either it is the difficulty in walking their own talk themselves, or it is having nothing other than the success of their motivational career to show as proof. Dr. Sajeev Nair hasn’t faced either of these challenges, due to his unique traits and that is what makes his ideas and innovations worthy of deep consideration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A double postgraduate in science &amp; business, Sajeev began his career in the pharmaceutical sector with some of the top-notch companies and then moved on to different industries. It was an inner calling that he was destined to do much more in life, in a much better way. Recalls Sajeev, “I always knew I could achieve a lot more if I can upgrade myself.” An avid reader of the science behind peak performance, Sajeev immersed himself into the fundamentals of neuroscience and began experimenting on himself the various scientific processes to enhance performance and productivity. Thus, was born Sajeev’s research project called ‘<a href="https://onlinetpr.com/">Thought Process Reengineering (TPR)’.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From a corporate sector executive, Sajeev had become a noted entrepreneur in the wellness industry, having set up the largest distribution networks in India for some global wellness brands. He became a business leader for thousands of people, and by the time TPR was launched as a product, Sajeev had become its greatest testimony, a living proof of personal transformation through TPR.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The introduction of TPR was well received in the market, and soon Sajeev became a much sought-after corporate consultant and transformational life coach. Since then, he has consulted for hundreds of the most reputed companies in India and Middle East and also mentored thousands of entrepreneurs. To take the concept of TPR to masses he launched Peak Performance conventions titled ‘Rise UP,’ which attracted tens and thousands of people in India and abroad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By the time he was in his 40s, Sajeev had achieved success, fame and reach that most of his peers could only dream about. But rather than resting on his laurels, he was plotting for his second innings, his life after 50 years. Says Sajeev, “I knew performing at peak levels was going to be more challenging past 50, but I wanted even more of performance post this half-century mark. Thus began my deep study and practice of biohacking to upgrade my life.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here too, instead of adopting Western style biohacking in its entirety with its focus on embedded chips and such controversial technologies, Sajeev pioneered his own scientific version which brought together its best aspects like personalized epigenetic lifestyle modifications <a href="http://eplimo.vieroots.com/">(EPLIMO</a><a href="http://eplimo.vieroots.com/"></a>) based on Geno-Metabolic Assessments, and the best practices from Indian wellness systems like Ayurveda, Yoga &amp; Meditation. His journey into this holistic version of biohacking is best captured in his recent bestselling book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Biohacking is the science of taking charge of your own biology by using DIY tools, products and services. Sajeev was convinced that just by providing information or knowledge is not enough to empower people to Biohack. Hence on his 50<sup>th</sup> birthday he decided to launch a master piece project which could empower millions of people to take charge of their overall life and upgrade. This he did by launching his biggest venture to date, Vieroots Wellness Solutions, whose flagship product is EPLIMO, the Personalized Lifestyle Management tool. EPLIMO soon attracted the attention of Bollywood superstar, entrepreneur &amp; startup investor, Suniel Shetty who has taken an equity participation in the health-tech startup.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Thousands of people have already upgraded their life using EPLIMO processes in the last one year. Today, major hospitals are also adopting EPLIMO as it is the most advanced and scientific way to geno-metabolically assess the chances for developing any of 200 lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity, high BP, cardiovascular diseases, cancer etc and for keeping them at bay through lifestyle modifications spanning diet, supplements, exercises, yoga, meditation etc.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Says Dr. Sajeev, “EPLIMO not only supports healthy longevity, but also high productivity and peak performance, and thus is the only such advanced scientific tool available in India to truly upgrade your life.”</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/24/Upgrading-Lives-by-Biohacking-the-Holistic-Indian-Way-The-Book-which-became-a-Movement.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/24/Upgrading-Lives-by-Biohacking-the-Holistic-Indian-Way-The-Book-which-became-a-Movement.html Tue Aug 24 10:42:22 IST 2021 voompla-harnesses-the-power-of-social-media-and-bollywood <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/25/voompla-harnesses-the-power-of-social-media-and-bollywood.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/25/Voompla-Harnesses.jpg" /> <p>Entertainment news brand Voompla has amassed over 10 million followers across social media platforms. Social media has become a behemoth for content delivery and distribution, and Bollywood is a favourite amongst Indians across the world. Voompla has successfully combined the power of social media and Bollywood, now serving over a staggering 500 million+ monthly impressions to audiences across multiple platforms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Why does Bollywood align perfectly with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok YouTube? Because social media operates in real-time (think Instagram), embodies brevity (think Twitter and Tik Tok) and uses transient features (think Instagram Stories and Snapchat) to engage audiences. Gone are the days when Entertainment news coverage was dependent on solely big red carpet events, television broadcasts, movie premiere nights or celebrity interviews. “Now that audiences can consume Bollywood content all day, it’s all about Reels, gym looks, salon runs, makeup routines, dinner night outs, Insta lives with fans – content that shows a slightly more spontaneous side of celebrity life, much of what Voompla broadcasts to audiences” reveals co-founder Kaushambi Bakshi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The power of social media is not limited to serving existing followers but also in acquiring new audiences. “Everyone with a smartphone can access news in real time and social media makes it happen. The distribution is unparalleled and unprecedented” she adds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Will there be something after social media? Will audiences tire of scrolling through their feeds on Instagram? “Time will tell. Today we’re harnessing the power of social media, tomorrow it could be a different kind of platform. Which is why, the idea is to keep evolving.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Voompla has featured marketing campaigns and collaborations with leading OTT players in India, top movie production houses and FMCG brands among others. It also has a powerful celebrity quotient amongst its followers - Karan Johar, Ananya Panday, Kiara Advani, Ekta Kapoor and Kartik Aaryan to name a few.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/25/voompla-harnesses-the-power-of-social-media-and-bollywood.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/25/voompla-harnesses-the-power-of-social-media-and-bollywood.html Fri Oct 01 10:33:42 IST 2021 opinion-our-everyday-olympics <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/24/opinion-our-everyday-olympics.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2021/2/11/olympics-rings-tokyo-file-ap.jpg" /> <p>Are you all feeling a wee bit sorry that you are not in Tokyo right now, watching the world’s greatest spectacle of sport? Take it easy, folks – you could be missing the action at the official Olympics 2020-21 but you haven’t actually missed the Games. Just take a good look at yourselves and what you go through every day. By hook or by crook, we are all Olympians.</p> <p>Here are some of the events in which we take part without even knowing about it:</p> <p><b>100-metre sprint</b></p> <p>This is the Usain Bolt’s territory – and the centrepiece of every Olympic Games. No props, no bars; it’s a straightforward dash from Point A to Point B. Before the lockdown changed all the rules, we used to do it too – we ran for bus, train or auto every morning, and again in the evening, in the reverse direction. Rising to the occasion was the sporting breed of drivers who changed gear and stepped on the pedal just as you are about to hop on. Such a thrill! If it’s not the bus, we run to beat the muster at the office, to the bank before they close for the day, or the municipal office, or the market before curfew time. We who run every day of our lives shouldn’t be so bothered about what happens on July 31<sup>st</sup>.</p> <p><b>Discuss Throw</b></p> <p>This is traditional Olympic fare. Remember the classic sculpture ‘Dicobolus of Myron’ - a finely muscled figure bending over, with the right arm flung out and holding a disc? It is poetry in perfect balance. Well, times change and so do we. You don’t need a disc and you don’t need to have a toned, paunch-less physique. All you need to do is switch on television when something controversial is being discussed. The topic hardly matters – it could be Israeli spyware, Chinese incursions and whether or not anyone in India ever died of lack of oxygen. Everyone in the panel is paid to shout, the anchor loudest of all. As the decibels go higher, you sense the bile rising up inside you until you can’t take it anymore and throw up. Next day, you are back again – another debate, another panel but the results are the same – discuss and throw up!</p> <p><b>Shot Put</b></p> <p>The shot in the Olympics weighs the standard 7.26 kg. The shots most of us have taken, however, are measured in millilitres. After you have taken both shots of the vaccine, begins the tantalizing question of whether you really need to put on that suffocating piece of polypropylene or cloth across your mouth any more. You think you have gained enough immunity and sally forth into the welcoming outdoors without any encumbrance. Ah, but the virus may think differently. In many ways, this could turn out to be the riskiest sport of all.</p> <p><b>400-metre hurdles</b></p> <p>This is an event of which Indian sports lovers will forever nurse bitter sweet memories. In 1984 at Los Angeles, our P.T. Usha came as close as can be to winning a bronze. The Payyoli Express missed a medal by 1/100th of a second, and was consoled by a nation which applauded her gallant effort. But, for us, every day hurdlers on our way to work, if you miss by an inch you could end up with a twisted ankle or an outburst of road rage. Our hurdles are many: in the monsoon, it’s potholes and puddles, and all the year through, it’s the pavement crammed with hawkers and squatters, and roads ruled by errant autos and two-wheelers. Don’t expect consolation if you miss, you will lucky if you get by with only a curse.</p> <p><b>Wrestling</b></p> <p>Remember Ghulam Mohammad better known as Gama – the great Indian/Pakistani wrestler who acquired almost mythical status as the champion wrestler of the world? Gama was a professional and did not take part in the Olympics. Neither can we, although we go through some back-breaking bouts every day. In the Olympics, you wrestle on a mat. We have nothing but a moving bus or a train. In the official games, you fight one opponent at a time but when you boarding a bus, everyone is an opponent. In the Olympics, you fight by the rules. Here you are allowed to make the rules up as you go along.</p> <p><b>Shooting</b></p> <p>In 2004, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won asSilver. Four years later, Abhinav Bindra returned from Beijing with our first and so far, only individual gold. We all do a lot of shooting – most of it in the dark. As a nation of experts, we can tell anyone who listens which vaccine is the most effective and if there is going to be a third wave. We can also speak knowledgeably about whether the Chinese are sitting on our territory and if so, when do they plan to leave. We will even tell you if Ambani is intending to follow his billionaire counterparts into space.</p> <p><b>Relay</b></p> <p>The 4 x 100 metre relay is a showpiece event that is usually scheduled late in the Olympic fortnight so that it virtually becomes a grand finale to the Games. Indian sprinters are alas nowhere in the picture and never have been. But all of us have other relays on our mind. Life is tough, and we want to make it easier for our kids. So, we pass on all the tricks we have learnt to our children.</p> <p>May the best man or woman win!&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/24/opinion-our-everyday-olympics.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/07/24/opinion-our-everyday-olympics.html Sat Jul 24 22:44:32 IST 2021 Animals-have-language-Language-of-love-says-Victorija-Lubyte-An-Avid-traveller-and-Animal-rights-activist <a href="http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/19/Animals-have-language-Language-of-love-says-Victorija-Lubyte-An-Avid-traveller-and-Animal-rights-activist.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/society/images/2021/8/19/Victorija-Lubyte.jpg" /> <p>In the 21st century, our generation is as far from the nature as much one could imagine. Enjoying the sight of a beautiful mountain to Enjoying the sight of beautiful animal, We seldom see these things happen.</p> <p>Mountains are now used for construction and Animals are used as Decor items. The situation of the world calls for activists who influence the world to believe in a better tomorrow where humans and animals co-exist.&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s extremely unfortunate that humans don’t understand the language of animals when their language is the simplest, “language of love”. Victorija Lubyte, A London based Traveller, Influencer and animal rights activist expresses her thoughts on the current situation. She believes, “would we kill a human if they stop the ability of conversing with us then why don’t we invest time in understanding the language of animals before killing them or disregarding them”. Victorija strongly believes, “We were all Made to co-exist and not dominate the either one, The current state of affairs between Animals and Humans are at its worst. However, the world is rapidly gaining perspective and knowledge through social media which appears as our only silver lining and Victorija is playing a pivotal role in this campaign.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Victorija, Who is otherwise an extremely private person doesn’t hesitate a bit before expressing her thoughts on animal rights. She is currently working with many NGO’s to spread awareness about Animal welfare and is in constant touch with PETA ( People for ethical treatment for animals) for new programs.</p> <p>The world needs more influencers like Victorija. We can’t wait to the see a world when Humans and animals live in harmony. Let’s not forget, we were animals too then why bother our first cousins so much that we push them to a verge of extinction.</p> http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/19/Animals-have-language-Language-of-love-says-Victorija-Lubyte-An-Avid-traveller-and-Animal-rights-activist.html http://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2021/08/19/Animals-have-language-Language-of-love-says-Victorija-Lubyte-An-Avid-traveller-and-Animal-rights-activist.html Thu Aug 19 16:52:24 IST 2021