The Constant Learner: 7 Steps To Enhance Your Career

first_imgIt’s back to school time, and as people agonize over jeans washes, the coolest color of Tom’s shoes and de rigueur data appliances, I thought about all the unemployed people and all the under-employed people.I got to wondering if many of us believe, because we have a certain degree, training or specific on-the-job experience, we are fully educated. Maybe we assume, degree or certificate in hand, that we have met all the requirements, and have no need to do more. We are all employable.What if this assumption is exactly wrong? Who are we kidding?I would argue, instead, that quick-changing economic and global times like these, when there are more lawyers than laws, more managers than products to be managed, more English and History degrees than anyone knows what to do with, is the time for more learning.I’m not talking about conventional course and subject-focused education, but rather about becoming a Constant Learner – an explorer of ideas and methods, a tester of new things that can enhance your current career or assist you in finding a new one The central idea behind becoming a Constant Learner is to keep yourself fresh, open and passionate to help your career. Many people have read Who Moved My Cheese; a Constant Learner can chuckle at the memory, having moved his or her own cheese any number of times, at some risk to self, but with much benefit What is a Constant Learner? It’s someone who:Always tries to do 15 – 25%  more than what is required to get the job doneLooks beyond the task to understand the context in which the task is meaningfulSees that he or she needs to acquire additional skills, open the mind to new ways of thinking, in order to stay fresh and keep ahead of expectationsRealizes that what he or she has learned or experienced is a mere drop in the ocean of human experience – and hungers for moreThe Constant Learner isn’t described by a syllabus or curriculum. Instead, that person is marked by a constant curiosity, a need to understand the right and wrong in a situation and find an alternate path. He or she has the creativity to find the alternate path, and the strength of will to prevail when there is little indication that it is the right path.Here are a few suggestions that might help you become a Constant Learner:Join a Book Club. Yes, really. You will learn two things minimum: how to read and appreciate books you might not otherwise care to read, and how to socialize and communicate your understanding of new material within a group you might not otherwise encounter.Take up a Form of Exercise You’ve Never Done. Take fencing lessons and learn precision, balance and restraint; take yoga and learn mindfulness and how to be quiet; take horseback riding and learn you can control a creature five+ times your size/weight and mass with a subtle nudge.Take Metal-Smithing. Learn the release of bashing a piece of metal, and the awe of creating something of beauty out of a sheet of dull metal.Take a Foreign Language. You will learn that, although you still don’t have an ear for accents, you have the memory for grammar and syntax and a love of reading literature in its native tongue.Take a Cooking Class. You will learn that baking is chemistry and cooking is intuition.Become an Office Whiz. Take Excel or Powerpoint lessons and learn to master essential work tools. The idea is to stretch beyond your comfort zone and find, in that outer fringe, the ability to be a different, larger person, more nuanced and more open to new things.New Classes, New Insight. Take a clinical psychology class, or a history class – something you never did as an undergraduate.Expand your mind, refresh and hone your skills, discover there is always something new to learn, and joy in the knowing.What will this get you? You will find a new energy, a passion to do new things, openness. The next time you interview for a job the hiring team will meet a person attuned to the possible, alive to new things, responsible for his or her own satisfaction, and most importantly, a person able to relate the value of what they have done and learned to the next job, and the next.Make the investment in yourself, and let us know us what you learn.last_img read more

Pakistan cricket teams evacuated in New Zealand after earthquake

first_imgPakistan cricket teams — both men and women — that were touring New Zealand for Test matches have been confirmed to be safe by their respective managers after an earthquake of high intensity hit the country.Wasim Bari and Basit Ali, managers of men and women cricket teams respectively, have confirmed that the two teams are safe. The men’s team was in Nelson, 200km away from the epicenter of the quake, for a three-day tour game before their first Test against the Black Caps, scheduled to begin on November 17 in Christchurch.”We are staying at a hotel in Nielsen, where we were playing our tour match but today when the earthquake came it was a terrifying experience as everything was shaking badly and we were safely escorted out of the hotel,” Bari said.”The hotel staff took great care of us and quickly evacuated us from our seventh floor rooms and have now taken us to a safe zone until the Tsunami warnings are over,” he added.The women’s team that was staying in Christchurch was in more danger but Basit confirmed that though scared, they were safe.”Some of the boys were in prayer, some were watching the India-England Test on TV when we felt the windows shake. The whole room began to shake. We were on the sixth and seventh floor, and evacuated immediately. The hotel staff was very helpful. We are all safe,” Ali told ESPNCricinfo.Pakistan were earlier supposed to leave for Christchurch on November 14 but the plan now remains uncertain and will depend on the damage assessed.advertisementThe team, though staying in northern region of South Island, the east coach of which is on a tsunami alert, is aware of the risk.last_img read more

Timbers and NYCFC advance from knockout rounds

first_imgThe Portland Timbers went on the road and got the result they needed to advance in the MLS playoffs, topping FC Dallas 2-1 behind a pair of goals from Diego Valeri. The reigning MLS MVP netted a brilliant free kick in the first half to put his side out in front, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Timbers. Portland’s Larrys Mabiala was sent off just before the hour mark with the Timbers still leading by just one goal, leaving Dallas in a position to play the final half hour up a man as they searched for a way back into the games.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But Valeri had other plans and netted his second of the night in the 71st minute. Dallas did not go down without a fight, however. Defender Matt Hedges netted for the home side in the fourth of seven minutes of stoppage time to give FCD some late hope. But Roland Lamah’s late blast skidded just wide of the mark to leave Dallas still searching at the final whislte.  The win pushed Portland into the next round but the Timbers will have to wait until Thursday to find out which team they will be facing in the Western Conference semifinals.Down a man, up ✌️ goals. Take a bow, @DiegoDv8 ! #DALvPOR // Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs — Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 1, 2018 New York City FC also secured a place in the final eight on Wednesday, taking full advantage of home turf in a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union. David Villa continued his hot streak, setting up his club’s first and scoring the second himself  as the club cruised to a comfortable win. Unlike Portland, NYCFC’s opponent is already known, with the club now set to take on Atlanta United on Sunday in New York before the return leg in Atlanta on Nov. 11. The Timbers will face either Sporting Kansas City or the Seattle Sounders in Portland on Sunday. They will take on SKC should third-seeded LAFC knock off Real Salt Lake. A win for RSL would see the Timbers face of with the rival Sounders. The other match on Thursday pits D.C. United against the Columbus Crew, with the winner to square off with the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals.last_img read more

Kroos ‘feels at home’ with Real Madrid

first_imgToni Kroos is ignoring speculation linking him with Manchester rivals United and City, with the World Cup winner claiming to “feel at home” with Real Madrid.Talk of a possible Premier League switch has raged around the Germany international for some time.He has already tasted domestic and European success with Bayern Munich and Madrid, with it suggested that a fresh start may appeal to him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! There is, however, still an important role for the 28-year-old to play with the Blancos, as he remains one of the finest distributors of the ball in the global game.Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho would unquestionably welcome that skill set onto their books in Manchester, with talk of £90 million bids doing the rounds.Kroos is fully focused on the present, though, and is reluctant to be drawn into a debate regarding his future when there is no substance to the gossip.He told reporters when asked about his ongoing presence in the Spanish capital: “I had a long, successful spell at Munich also.“Maybe it’s what I said when I arrived here, my feeling is that this club is one step bigger and the success of recent years has shown this a little bit and of course I’m very happy with my time here.“I feel at home and well, there’s no reason for me to change anything, no.”Kroos has claimed the Liga title and three Champions League crowns during his time with Madrid.He had previously savoured Bundesliga success on three occasions with Bayern, while also conquering the continent in 2012-13.International success with Germany followed in 2014, as he helped to secure World Cup glory in Brazil, but Die Mannschaft have endured a humbling fall from grace since then.Kroos will be key to any rebuilding process under Joachim Low, regardless of whether he is playing his club football in Spain, England or any other corner of the globe.last_img read more

Lenovo K6 Note with 4GB RAM launched, price starting at Rs 13,999

first_imgLenovo has launched a slew of new products in India in the last few weeks. The company recently launched the Phab 2 Plus and Phab 2 phablets and the K6 Power smartphones. Yesterday it brought the Yoga Book and the Moto M to India, and today it has launched the K6 Note in the country. The phone is priced at Rs 13,999 for the base model and will be available to buy from December 17.Lenovo K6 Note was first announced along with K6 and K6 Power at IFA this year. The K6 Note features a 5.5-inch Full HD display.The phone is powered by 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with Adreno 505 GPU. The phone comes in 3GB and 4GB RAM options.The 3GB K6 Note comes with 32GB internal storage and the 4GB RAM variant has 64GB internal storage. Both the phones support expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD card.Also read: Lenovo K6 Power review: The little battery champ The K6 Note smartphone sports a 16-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash on the back. On the front it has an 8-megapixel camera. The phone runs on Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box with 4,000mAh battery.Lenovo will also sell the ANT VR headset and VR controller for Rs 1,299 and Rs 2,800, respectively.The K6 Note has 4G LTE support and also includes other connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.Lenovo late last month launched the K6 Power, which is basically a watered down version of the K6 Note.The phone features a 5-inch 1080p IPS display. Other than the smaller display size, the K6 Power comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It sports a 13-megepaixel camera (Sony IMX258) on the rear with phase detection autofocus and LED flash alongside an 8-megapixel front camera.advertisementlast_img read more

Uncapped Tom Bruce in New Zealand squad for T20Is vs Bangladesh

first_imgUncapped batsman Tom Bruce has been called into New Zealand’s Twenty20 squad for their three-match series against Bangladesh next month, while left arm pace bowler Ben Wheeler has been recalled to the national side.The right-handed Bruce would provide a powerful hitting lineup for New Zealand with the aggressive Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Colin de Grandhomme and Corey Anderson, who has been selected solely as a batsman.”Tom is one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball in the country,” selector Gavin Larsen said in a statement on Monday. “He has averaged 76 at a strike-rate of 174 this season, so has proven himself to be a very dangerous player.”Power is a critical element to Twenty20 cricket, so to have him alongside the likes of Martin, Corey and the two Colins is an exciting prospect.”Wheeler played six one day internationals last year but not been picked for New Zealand since. He has been brought into the side with Tim Southee being rested for the entire series, while Trent Boult will miss the first game in Napier on Jan. 3.”Its been great to see Ben back playing cricket and getting near his best,” Larsen added. “He has put in a lot of hard work to get to this point again, so were looking forward to having him back in the mix.”Ben’s ability to swing the ball at a decent clip can trouble any batsmen, as he has shown in domestic cricket this season.”Top-order batsman Ross Taylor was not included as he continues to recover from eye surgery last month.advertisementLarsen said he was expected to be back for the test series that begins on Jan. 12 in Wellington.New Zealand Twenty20 squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler.last_img read more

SC to hear plea for reforms in sports bodies on lines of BCCI

first_imgNew Delhi, Jan 23 (PTI) In a step which may lead to widespread reforms in sports other than cricket, Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea filed by several sportspersons seeking to make applicable several recommendations of the apex court-appointed Justice R M Lodha panel with regard to BCCI, in other sporting bodies as well.A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar issued notices to the Centre, Sports Authority of India and Indian Olympic Association and tagged the plea with the ongoing case relating to sweeping reforms in the cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).The plea has also sought a direction to the Centre to incorporate in the 2011 National Sports Development Code of India, some recommendations of the Lodha panel with regard to structural reforms in the BCCI.The plea, filed by 28 sportspersons from different fields, said that to ensure that the National Sports Federations and their respective state entities function transparently, the government should be directed to incorporate within the national sports code some of the recommendations made by the Lodha panel.The Lodha Committee, in its report, had recommended sweeping reforms suggesting that ministers be barred from occupying positions, a cap of 70 years on the age and nine years tenure of the office-bearers.The petition, filed by advocate Amit A Pai, also sought a direction to the government to “include some of the salutary recommendations made by Supreme Court committee on cricket reforms in the report dated January 4, 2016, in the larger interest of sports administration, and to bring about transparency and maintain institutional integrity of the National Sports Federations”. (More) PTI ABA MNL SJK ARCadvertisementlast_img read more

Animal Board will not go against TN Jallikattu law: Nirmala

first_imgChennai, Jan 28 (PTI) Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said the statutory advisory body Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) will not challenge the law passed by Tamil Nadu to allow the bull taming sport of Jallikattu.”There is no animal welfare board case at all in the Supreme Court,” she told reporters here while reacting to questions of AWBI reportedly going against the law in the apex court.Hitting out at “anti-national” elements who had allegedly burnt the national flag and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a disparaging fashion during the Jallikattu stir at Marina beach here, she said such groups should be identified and action taken against them.Questioning how peaceful protests at Marina beach had turned violent and who was behind it, Nirmala, a native of Tamil Nadu, said, “There is absolutely no doubt that anti-national forces had infiltrated.”Questioning if “those who burn the national flag and disrespect it were not anti-nationals,” she reiterated that such elements who had allegedly indulged in such acts should be identified.”The institution of Prime Minister should be respected, whoever is the Prime Minister…today it is Modi, there had been many before him, the position must be respected,” the Union Minister asserted.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam were allegedly targeted by a section of protesters in a derogative fashion during the stir.Answering a question on alleged police excess and some uniformed personnel involving in arson, Nirmala said, “A fair probe should be held..people should not be targeted (by police).”advertisementShe said both her party and the Central government had always stood behind the cause of Jallikattu.She said the Centre did not bring an ordinance on allowing the traditional sport as the one promulgated in 2016 was stayed by the apex court.”Had we issued one more ordinance to allow Jallikattu, it would have been tantamount to disrespecting the court, that was why the Centre did not issue an ordinance again and we supported the state government in its initiative,” she said.Answering a question on Congress targeting BJP on the issue, the BJP leader said, “Congress should be apologising to the people of Tamil Nadu. They were the ones who brought the 2011 notification that bulls cannot be performing animals. The party read the sentiment of the people wrong, they remained disconnected from the Tamil Nadu people.”On a question related to the Centre allegedly taking a stance against Tamil Nadu on the setting up of Cauvery Management Board, Nirmala defended the Centre, saying the government had only told the top court that it should be done through parliamentary process and not based on a court directive.On the drought situation in Tamil Nadu, she said a Central team was assessing the damage.She added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was following the line of “Team India,” and no state will be ignored. PTI VGN BN SRYlast_img read more


first_imgThe party has left at bay like-minded force GoaThe party has left at bay like-minded force Goa Forward, which had made desperate attempts to seal of poll truck, while it okayed seat-sharing agreement in two constituencies ? Atanasio Monserratte (Panaji) and Rohan Khaunte (Porvorim).Wooing voters with lucrative poll promises, its manifesto mentions ban on casinos, free petrol for students, special status, defreezing lands given to Special Economic Zone developers among others.New entrant AAP will look at repeating its historic Delhi win of 2015 with the party contesting 39 seats.Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, senior AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishwas are often camping in the state.Party workers sporting the trademark topi can be seen across the state reflecting some influence in the tourist state.Clinging on its pet issue of corruption, the Kejriwal- led party among its poll promises has assured a corruption free government and ban on casinos, which has been a prominent issue for the saffron parties.AAP has projected Elvis Gomes as its chief ministerial candidate, who is contesting from Cuncolim constituency.The biggest surprise package in this election is poll alliance of three different forces ? Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) and Shiv Sena.BJPs former ally, MGP had suffered a major fall out with the ruling party, making it anti-BJP.RSS rebel and regional language crusader Subhash Velingkar-led GSM has made the issue of grants to English- medium schools as its poll plank and is supported by the Shiv Sena.The Sudin Dhavalikar-led MGP has fielded 18 candidates and is harping on good governance. Dhavalikar is partys chief ministerial face.advertisementBeside the issue of grants to English schools, the joint manifesto of GSM and Sena promises ban on rave parties, Electronic Dance Music festivals and removal of casinos.While MGP is contesting 18 seats, GSM will fight on six seats and Sena on four. PTI RPS ARS SDMlast_img read more

The zero-bezel Oppo Find 9 may come with 21MP/16MP cameras, 4100mAh battery

first_imgOppo Find 9 has leaked again with the new information talking about its cameras and other features. The phone in limelight is said to be the next to sport a bezel-less front, after Samsung and Apple flagships — rumoured to carry an all screen front design.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Vs Redmi Note 4: Should you upgrade? The new leak, as reported by gsmarena points out that Oppo Find 9 will come with a 21-megapixel rear camera and a 16 megapixel front selfie shooter. Citing a source originating in China, it says the phone will have a 5.5 inch 2K display and a big 4100mAh battery.Talking about the innards, which leaked earlier as well, the Find 9 is said to be based on a Snapdragon 835 chipset, with 4GB and 6GB RAM options and 64GB and 128 GB storage respective storage options. It will clearly be the Oppo’s next flagship device, also supporting the VOOC — Oppo’s charging mechanism that claims to attain 75 percent battery charge in 35 minutes.Though it seems a bit of overkill, the leak also talks about “the chance” that Find 9 will the new Find OS that boasts of Artificial Algorithms. Expected to launch somewhere in mid of this year, the phone could carry a price tag nearing CNY 3,999 (around Rs 40,000) or $580. A video showing the concept renders of the Oppo Find 9 was released by DBS on YouTube.The Chinese phone maker currently is heavily marketing its Selfie camera centric smartphone Oppo F1s in India. It is also set to launch its next phone — the Oppo A57, also a Selfie-centric phone — on February 3. Though the Find series rarely make it to India, the company might change the rules this time, owing to a highly competitive market and a global slowdown in smartphone sales.advertisementAlso Read: Vodafone’s new 4G plans: Bonanza for prepaid users, post-paid users forgottenOppo A57 was launched in China in November last year at CNY 1,599 (approx Rs 16,000). The phone is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, packing 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage expandable up to 128GB via micro SD card. It has a 5.2-inch HD 720p display topped with 2.5D curved glass design. There’s a 16MP/13MP camera combination, Dual SIM support and a fingerprint sensor in the front.last_img read more

Steve Waugh on DRS incident: Steve Smith will be embarrassed

first_imgA “brain fade” moment led to Steven Smith seeking dressing advice for a DRS referral in the second Test against India and his word should be taken at face value, feels former Australia captain Steve Waugh. (Also read: India Today Exclusive with Michael Clarke makes waves in international media)CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO”It was a fantastic Test match. It’s a shame we are focussing on one incident. I would go with what Steve has said. I would take him on face value. The best part was umpires stepped in and stopped at then and there. Looking back Smith will be embarrassed and must have learnt a lesson,” Waugh told mediapersons at a promotional event today. (Also read: Exclusive: Michael Clarke endorses Virat Kohli’s stance on Steve Smith’s DRS controversy)However he wants ICC to intervene and bring finality to the issue. (Also read: Take action against Steve Smith for infringing DRS rules: Sourav Ganguly to Aaj Tak)”Someone from ICC needs to look into the matter and bring it to a finality. Look we need to move on. Probably he would be cautioned. It was a high intensity game,” said Waugh.last_img read more

DRS Row: BCCI officially complains to ICC against Smith, Handscomb

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India has written an official complaint to the International Cricket Council against Australia captain Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb for their involvement in the DRS controversy in the second Test in Bengaluru. (BCCI throws its weight behind Virat Kohli as DRS row heats up)CLICK TO WATCH FULL INTERVIEWEven though the ICC had said last night they will not further pursue the case and no action will be taken, the BCCI has quoted the Code of Conduct DRS Rule 3.2 and said that since Smith has infringed the laws of cricket, the umpires and match referee should have reported and taken action against Smith. (Steve Smith escapes ICC sanction after DRS mess)In most cases, a report can be lodged with the ICC within five days and the BCCI has now filed a complaint, asking for action. (India Today Exclusive with Michael Clarke makes waves in international media)After the BCCI complaint, the ICC is under obligation to appoint an Independent Commissioner within 48 hours to probe the complaint and incident. The Commissioner will then speak to the umpires, Match Referee and look at the video footage.Interestingly, the video footage is conclusive and the fact that both Smith and Handscomb have already admitted to their “naivety”.The Commissioner will ask the umpires and Match Referee if (a) the Indians did point out any earlier instance during the match, as Virat said in PC it was the 3rd such case and (b) Or if the umpires themselves saw this happening. If it’s proved there were any other earlier instances, Smith will be looking at a ban.advertisementSmith was out leg before for 28 in the tourists’ second innings off Umesh Yadav that stayed low and struck him above his left boot in front of middle stump during their 75-run defeat that levelled the series at 1-1. (Take action against Steve Smith for infringing DRS rules: Sourav Ganguly to Aaj Tak)Smith and partner Peter Handscomb were then caught looking towards the area outside Australia’s dressing room, where television replays can be seen, while discussing whether to review the verdict, prompting umpire Nigel Llong to intervene. (Exclusive: Michael Clarke endorses Virat Kohli’s stance on Steve Smith’s DRS controversy)Players are not allowed to have any outside input while challenging the umpires’ decisions, according to the rules. (Steve Smith’s DRS incident reminded me of an Under-10 game: Ravichandran Ashwin)Virat Kohli just stopped short of calling Smith’s act an act of cheating while former Australian captain Michael Clarke voiced concerns over the incident in an interview with India Today. (Gavaskar slams ICC for taking no action against Smith)Soon after Cricket Australia termed allegations of unfair play against Smith outrageous, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issued a press release expressing its unequivocal support behind its captain and team.Code of Conduct DRS Rule 3.2 – The manner of requesting the Player Reviewa) The request should be made by the player making a ”T” sign with both forearms at head height.b) The total time elapsed between the ball becoming dead and the review request being made should be no more than a few seconds. If the umpires believe that a request has not been made sufficiently promptly, they may at their discretion decline to review the decision.c) The captain may consult with the bowler and other fielders or the two batsmen may consult with each other prior to deciding whether to request a Player Review. However in order to meet the requirement ofd) Above, such consultation will need to occur almost instantly and be very brief. Under no circumstances is any player permitted to query an umpire about any aspect of a decision before deciding on whether or not to request a Player Review. If the umpires believe that the captain or batsman has received direct or indirect input emanating other than from the players on the field, then they may at their discretion decline the request for a Player Review. In particular, signals from the dressing room must not be given.last_img read more

Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan star as Pakistan beat West Indies in 1st T20

first_imgShoaib Malik made a composed unbeaten 38 to lead Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over West Indies in Barbados on Sunday in the first of four Twenty20 internationals. (Scorecard)West Indies, put in to bat, struggled throughout their innings as 18-year-old Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan took three wickets for seven runs off his four overs to land the man-of-the-match award on his international debut.Only an unbeaten 34 from captain Carlos Brathwaite lifted the hosts to a very modest total of 111 for eight and although Pakistan slipped to 49-3, Shoaib struck a six and three fours to guide them to an easy win with 17 balls to spare.last_img read more

Why and how to listen

first_imgMy father does a funny thing with chairs. If he hasn’t seen you for a long time, he’ll rearrange the furniture so he can sit directly across from you and fully absorb every word you utter. At my house, he once moved an immense armchair and ottoman clear across the living room to better hear an old friend sitting on my sofa. It was startling gesture for the friend. It was something I’m used to. My father always removes any obstacle that gets in the way of listening to friends or family or patients in his work as a psychiatrist. My whole life, he has started most conversations with the words, “Tell me everything.” Now he says it to my own children.This is very, very rare.We don’t face each other very much any more, and we rarely listen. We are stunned when someone devotes their full attention to us. Imagine if you did that for the people you want to reach. Imagine what might change.Bad things happen when we stop paying attention to the people around us. We lose them. Our relationships suffer. Social injustices occur – just ask a homeless person how invisible she feels. Our supporters abandon us. Our customers hate us. (Our customers really hate us – look no further than, a website devoted to people frustrated their complaints are not heard by United Airlines.)My frolleague Mark Rovner and I believe that extraordinary things happen when we recognize people – when we truly hear, see and acknowledge them. Making people FEEL HEARD creates great relationships, strong societies, powerful organizations and profitable, popular businesses. That’s different from listening to everything people say and acting upon what they say. Seth Godin has helped me see that distinction. They key thing is to make people feel heard – and then as a leader of a customer service department or philanthropic organization, figuring out what patterns in the comments and subtext beneath the comments signal something you should address.Make sure, as Seth says, you have a way for them to speak. That gives you a way to make them feel heard.More on that this week.last_img read more

Forge Stronger Links Between Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and PR

first_imgFollow-up: SocializeUsing these tips can help ensure that your release will feature highly in search engine rankings (and links back to your media room or web site). That same release can now be shared beyond these borders using social media. The inclusion of social media elements in a news release is offered by some newswires, as is search engine optimization. But what makes your news worth sharing?Tags. There are more than 300 social bookmarking sites for Internet users out there, and inclusion comes down to presenting people with readily available tags, such as for digg, technorati or The key, of course, is well-written news: an interesting perspective, an innovative product or a creative article.Include multimedia elements whenever possible. Engaging photos and videos enhance your message, making it more attractive and worthy of sharing with others. Including these elements also goes a long way toward gaining media coverage, as it increases journalists’ options in the ways that they can cover your news.Provide reliable, refreshed information. Whether you maintain a organizational media room or publish a blog, provide the media with one place to find content that is specific, reliable and useful. Develop a regular readership by providing consistent, interesting, reliably refreshed news and information.Use RSS feeds. Utilizing RSS distribution from your company web site and other online content distributors pushes your news automatically to interested parties. It also means that your site will be constantly spidered by search engines, which will in turn improve its ranking in search results. Integrated communicationConsumersGiven the scope of online communication options available, it is possible to make it easy for the media to report on a company’s or organizations news while increasing visibility to consumers. But it takes internal cooperation. For communication, following up with information is as important as gaining initial interest.In terms of crossover from PR to marketing, consider how your organization handles online leads. Is your marketing department aware of the traffic that your news releases generate when you distribute them online? Do visitors to the organizations web site land on a page that engages them and invites them to learn more about or interact with the organization?The people who seek out your organizations website after reading the news release are highly qualified prospects. Ensuring that the information they find on the site is appealing is critical to converting these prospects, whether they are potential volunteers, donors, or journalists or bloggers looking for a story.The mediaOrganizations that develop visible, organized, easy-to-navigate and highly informative media rooms on their web sites ensure that members of the media are as well taken care of as the consumers who reach the sites.Yet it would be naïve to think that any member of the media relies solely on an organizations web site or media room for information. A recent study of journalists by Fusion PR found that the majority often consult blogs for information. It is increasingly apparent that we need to meet them in the online space of blogs, search engines and news aggregators as well as in the media room, and through traditional news release distribution.Dee Rambeau, product specialist for PR Newswire’s MediaRoom services and managing partner of The Fuel Team, a provider of web-based solutions for the marketing and PR professionals, says that based on their own analysis, clients who have used MediaRoom have “increased their media audience, improved the loyalty of that audience due to the ‘unsubscribe’ feature, increased the specificity of their media audience by offering ‘categories’ of news, and increased the usability of their MediaRoom content by offering multimedia galleries, podcasts, images and videos.” Visit the Nonprofit Toolkit today and receive a waived annual membership ($195 value) and more than $2,000 in discounts and free services. As communicators, our words are our greatest tools. They determine our success in building relationships and positive brand visibility. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the Internet. Online communication is still growing and developing, giving us more opportunities than ever to connect with our stakeholders. But our audience is becoming increasingly fragmented. News sites, search engines, blogs and web sites all vie for attention, making it much more difficult to control our message.So how do we effectively communicate our message to each segment of these many audiences? What line do we take? In the online space, are we spokespeople, publicists, marketers, or a little bit of each? Tips and tools for optimizing a news releaseNews releases that are search-engine-optimized can establish an online avenue to draw qualified, interested people to information about your organization. Constructing a marketing- and media-friendly release does, however, require internal coordination and planning in order to best use your resources. Here are some tips:Style guides and key messaging. Maintaining messaging consistency across all levels of an organization is always important, but especially when it comes to ratcheting up your online branding. Search engines use specific words and phrases to categorize news and build a relationship between your organizations news releases and its web site. If your news releases reflect words people are using to find information related to your organization, your release will establish a channel leading interested readers to your web site. Develop style guides with your marketing and product teams to make sure your words are consistent.Choose your keywords carefully. Before you write your news release, determine its theme, a list of keywords to represent that theme, and finally two or three keywords or phrases to focus on. Use keyword research tools to determine how your audience searches for news about your industry. These may also indicate the sort of competition that exists in relation to your chosen words. Your marketing team has probably already conducted this research; synchronizing your efforts will save time and establish a uniform company voice. When crafting your release, though, remember to keep your wording natural, so that readers still connect with your message.Place your keywords up front. Specifically, work them into a short (80-character) headline, and repeat them in your lead paragraph. The inverted pyramid of news release writing lends itself well to search engine optimization. Search engines typically scan the title tag of a page, the headline, and the first paragraph of a release, so be sure to include all important information and relevant keywords at the beginning.Distribute your news online. Most newswires post your news releases directly to search engines and relevant industry web sites as a part of the media distribution your organization receives. Be sure to include links in your release that direct Internet users to your organizations site. Inbound links to your organizations website enhance its ranking on search engines, as search engines count each link to your website as a vote for its significance.Use anchor text. In addition to including your organizations URL in a release, use anchor text (terms that appear as hyperlinks leading to pages on your organizations site). Link important keywords to relevant web pages to create a pathway for your readers (and search engines) to easily find information. This drives trafficto your products, creates links back to your web site, and teaches search engines to associate the hyperlinked words with your organizations web site and news releases. All of these add to your site’s search rankings.Link coverage to your media page. This is when your news release stops being a collection of words and facts and becomes part of a larger, cohesive corporate message. For instance, if your organization has an upcoming product launch, start by researching key industry publications’ editorial calendars and develop a pitching timeline. Communicate in advance with your marketing/website team and make sure that when you receive media coverage, your site reflects that coverage. Make full use of your PR success-don’t keep it locked up in a clip book! Article provided by PR Newswire’s Nonprofit Toolkit, an educational resource devoted to Non Profit public relations. Visit the Nonprofit Toolkit today and receive a waived annual membership ($195 value) and more than $2,000 in discounts and free services. Two audiences: Consumers and the mediaAs public relations professionals, our main responsibility is to provide positive branding for companies and organizations through media coverage and online visibility. The media remain the most important and wide-reaching platform for spreading our message. What has changed with the Internet is that we now have a chance not only to push the message out, but to pull customers and prospects in as well, creating a cycle of communication that links and feeds on itself.Companies on the cusp of the media revolution are taking Web 2.0 and changing internal processes to make the best use of its tools. In particular, marketing and PR departments are coming together to create better communication strategies to target these two audiences: consumers and the media.last_img read more

Barry Diller at SXSW: The evolution of media

first_imgI’m at SXSW Interactive, at a session with Barry Diller on the future of all things media. He has been a visionary on technology since as he put it, in 1992-3, he saw QVC and was fascinated by a screen being used to do something other than to tell a story. He spoke about new and old media. Here were key insights he shared:The control that is passing to consumersWhat seemed to excite him most was the control that is passing to consumers in creation of content. As he put it: “The Internet is a miracle-you push a button and publish to the world. There is nothing between you and all consumers, except perhaps in China and Libya.” He said that Internet television will advance this still further — We will move from utter cable company control to anyone with ideas and backing gaining access to a television audience. The pace of information sharingHe spoke about his own investments in new media – and old: “We started the Daily Beast because there was no place yet with a journalistic process with the rhythm of the Internet. It was differentiated from anything out there… Along comes Newsweek, a weekly news magazine, an antique concept. We’re trying to fuse the Daily Beast into Newsweek… It’s an experiment – it’s better than it was, but we’ll have to see what happens.” The nature of information sharingInformation will be open, and content will need to work in all forms and distribution systems. Closed systems will fail. People in the entertainment business, he said, want to keep the old systems in place. “TV everywhere is still owned by concentrated giants. They are happy to have people watch it anywhere if they pay under the same system – to the cable company and then the entertainment business.” He said these interests are against net neutrality, because it threatens their closed system and sources of revenue.Net neutrality“We should be screaming for an ambiguous law that no one will step between the publisher and consumer. With the Internet, no one should be on that highway choking it. We’ve got it, and it’s a miracle…” He said the policy of the US has to be a competitive broadband.last_img read more

The road to fitness

first_imgA stretch in time: Reform’s physiotherapy and pilatesAbout two years ago, 33-year-old Chandana Mannedi’s, work as a physiotherapist saw her taking things a step forward by training her patients in pilates as a post-treatment workout. But her classes have been getting popular ever since and are open to anyone looking,A stretch in time: Reform’s physiotherapy and pilatesAbout two years ago, 33-year-old Chandana Mannedi’s, work as a physiotherapist saw her taking things a step forward by training her patients in pilates as a post-treatment workout. But her classes have been getting popular ever since and are open to anyone looking for a good pilates workout. She calls it a practice that enables body awareness and is a blend of strength and flexibility.”We don’t work up a sweat here with the goal of bigger biceps and chiseled abs. What we work on, instead, are the deep abdominal muscles behind the six packs,” she quips. So no big weights to lift here, since you work with your own body weight and props. Tone your thighs with the Pilates ring or strengthen your back on the reformer machine, or try the ball to increase stability. Many clients from Mannedi’s class are told that they look taller with the pilates practice, “and that’s because besides gaining strength and flexibility, the muscles elongate naturally and as a result, the posture is improved and you look taller.”Chandana Mannedi (front) Photo courtesy: Krishnendu HalderMannedi has been training a good number of men as well, dispelling the myth that pilates is mostly a ‘woman thing’. “The practice was, in fact, invented by Joseph Pilates for the injured soldiers of World War II,” she says. AT Reform’s Physiotherapy and Pilates, Diamond Point, Secunderabad. DETAILS reformsphysiopilates.inHot pursuit: Bikram Yoga Telangana StudioIt’s a case of hundred percent perspiration alongside the inspiration when it comes to the Bikram Yoga tradition. With the sessions conducted in a heated room, you sweat your way to wellbeing, quite literally. “The perspiration helps not only with detoxification as you go about the yoga practice, but also eliminates chances of injury,” says journalist-turned-yoga-instructor, Kavita Chowdhary, 44. Her class follows the prescribed set of 26 asanas or yogic poses, working on the body and mind.advertisement”Ultimately, a state of health is state of inner balance which yoga helps you achieve,” she says, underscoring the importance of breathing right during the practice and maintaining focus. You are never too old or fat or inflexible for yoga, she assures since all you need to do is follow instructions and flow into a pose as best as you can. “Over a period of time, you will become better at it, which will result in improved immunity, correct body posture and greater confidence, just to name a few benefits.”Yoga-instructor, Kavita ChowdharyBesides this, weight loss is almost a given, says Chowdhary. She shares the case of the lady who weighed over a 100 kgs, “and would do most of her yoga asanas sitting on a chair. She too managed to lose at least four kgs, while a highly diabetic man’s insulin dosage fell dramatically with regular practice.” And with yoga, these miracles are but an everyday occurrence. AT Bikram Yoga Telangana Studio, Izzatnagar, Hitec City DETAILS a punch: Manasa MachaniIf you are piloxing, “you are mixing moves from pilates and boxing,” says Manasa Machani, as she gets her class together for what she promises to be a “killer session.” It’s a new fad that people in the city are warming up to and so happens to be Machani’s latest passion as well, alongside zumba and prenatal yoga coaching and dietetics.As the class progresses, things indeed get more energetic, what with all the punching and grooving. It’s no surprise then that you can burn up to 1,200 calories per session. Apart from that, the blend of power-packed and graceful movements helps improve balance and posture, while working on your musculature for body sculpting.Manasa Machani (front)”It works very well to tone up tough spots like upper arms,” shares Machani, in the midst of a “pumping the arms” movement, barely out of breath. While at it, a few dance moves are thrown in as well to make this interval workout even more fun. If you enjoy zumba, “piloxing can give you a bigger high,” says Machani, signing off. AT Redefine Fitness Centre, Kondapur. DETAILS power: Gavin’z GymActors, entrepreneurs, sports stars or homemakers, Gavin Holt, 48, has trained them all over the last 27 years, so much so that a Gavin-trained fitness enthusiast is a brand unto himself. Holt, though, remains humble in the wake of such adulation and admits, almost sheepishly, that he has restarted his personal practice after years, only a few days ago. But despite that, he can effortlessly balance on a Swiss ball or work with a TRX band. Ask him about new techniques and props and he calls them fads that come and go. “Everything eventually flows from the old school or the basic form of training, which is the stretch and flex,” he says.advertisementGavin Holt (in black) of Gavin’z GymTRX training-used widely by sports persons-is of late getting popular in the city for a full body workout, and since it is a suspension band, it is perfect for training at home or while travelling too, says Holt. “You can gradually increase the intensity of your workout by lengthening the band because the range of motion is greater,” he explains, performing a triceps extension on the band. For somebody who doesn’t have time to head to the gym, Holt suggests a high intensity interval training or tabata session at home, across a 20-minute session to include an assortment of exercises like a quick sprint, a low and high plank, mountain climb etc.”Rather than doing the same thing every day, you would benefit far more if you can rotate your workout and do different things from one day to the other,” advises Holt, “since this way you are confusing your muscles, thereby eliciting the best response from them.” AT Gavin’z Gym, Road No 3, Banjara Hills DETAILS score: PotensIt doesn’t look like a regular gym, since Potens isn’t one, and instead, offers a range of crossfit training activities to develop your strength, endurance, balance and more. Climb a rope, jump atop high boxes or turn a gymnast for a full body workout here.”It’s all about functional training to ease and improve everyday movements of the body, like lifting dead weights or squatting, which you would do outside the gym as well,” says trainer Sandeep Gadde, 27, adding that this is unlike conventional gyms that focus on isolated movements. Delving deeper into the technical details, Gadde adds, “crossfit training is a holistic workout wherein we work on the bigger muscle groups like hamstrings, glutes and the core etc., focusing mainly on the lower body, which enables weight loss in a more efficient way and also works the smaller muscles.”Bharat Vemuri, trainer at PotensThe training group is usually a mixed one, with beginners and more experienced gym enthusiasts working out together. But the practice-comprising a warmup, skill training, the actual workout and cool down-is the same for everyone with varying intensity depending on their fitness levels. The trainers dish out guidance on nutrition as well, “since what you eat forms a big chunk of your fitness,” says Gadde. Each person is also supervised individually to ensure that they are working out in the right and safe way. “While we certainly motivate our clients to push themselves, safety always comes first,” adds his colleague Simmi Gava. AT Potens Gym, Durgam Cheruvu Road, Hitec City DETAILS read more

Virat Kohli will be rested for T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka if he asks for break

first_imgIndia skipper Virat Kohli and pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah’s workload is expected to be a topic of discussion when the national selection committee headed by MSK Prasad meets this weekend to decide on the Indian squad for the Tri-Nation T20 meet in Sri Lanka next month, from March 6-18.Kohli has played all the matches in South Africa so far but his case will be slightly different from others as a decision on resting him will depend on the skipper himself.”If Virat wants rest, he will get it. In Virat’s case, it’s he who decides on whether he would like to opt out or not. But you never know he might just want to play the T20 series as this is the last tourney of the season.ALSO WATCHOnce the tournament is over, he will get a fortnight off before the Indian Premier League,” a top BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.Chairman of selectors Prasad however refused to comment on the issue. But it is understood that fast bowling unit’s composition will be a topic of discussion as and when the selection meeting is held.Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, who have been India’s star performers across formats, are likely to get a much-needed rest ahead of the long season that starts with the IPL.Bhuvneshwar has bowled around 100 overs including the Test, ODI and T20I series. The story has been the same for Bumrah, who has played in all the matches expect that last T20I on the tour so far.With India set to play 63 international games including 30 ODIs in the coming season, a fit Bumrah is a priority for both the selectors and the team management.advertisementIn case, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar are rested, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat are expected to shoulder the responsibilities of new ball.Kerala’s yorker specialist Basil Thampi was in the reserves during the home T20 series against Sri Lanka and might just make a comeback in case either Bhuvneshwar or Bumrah or both are rested.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Arts and Culture

first_imgEvery time I have done something unusual, it has worked for mePoet, singer, linguist and author, Minu Bakshi believes in dreaming the impossible, not giving up easily, and fighting against all odds.In November 2017, the song DJ Waleya with Mika crossed over five million views on YouTube in just 30,Every time I have done something unusual, it has worked for mePoet, singer, linguist and author, Minu Bakshi believes in dreaming the impossible, not giving up easily, and fighting against all odds.In November 2017, the song DJ Waleya with Mika crossed over five million views on YouTube in just 30 days. And Minu Bakshi, who collaborated with him on the track was well aware of people’s reactions. “They were amused that the song was done by a 62-year-old woman and not by some young singer,” she says. But this is perhaps what sets Bakshi apart. She dons many hats thanks to years of training, experience and immense talent. She is busy collaborating with pop singers for viral tracks (there’s a remix of DJ Waleya and another collaboration with Mika in the works), has released a set of eight Punjabi folk music CDs, while simultaneously writing poetry, books and teaching Spanish at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi. In the next two months, she will be performing a piece in memory of veteran Pakistani singer Reshma at the Regent Street Cinema in London and also be part of Jashn-e-Bahar in Delhi and Kolkata.As she sits in the well-appointed, aesthetically designed and art-filled living room of her Kautilya Marg bungalow in Delhi, dressed in smart black trousers and a well-tailored jacket, the disarming ease with which she can speak about her many passions is admirable. Wife of real estate baron and industrialist Kanwaljeet Bakshi, mother of three grown-up children, and a grandmother, Bakshi comes from a close-knit, traditional Punjabi Sikh family and has never shied away from doing what she truly believes in. From learning Urdu poetry and training in Hindustani classical music as a young college student in the early seventies, to participating in mushairas over the years, to going on three Himalayan car rallies with her husband, Bakshi is inspiring.advertisementFrom Beatles to begumIt was while attending an evening concert by Begum Akhtar at her college auditorium in Miranda House, Delhi, that the then bell-bottom sporting Beatles fan realised her love for classical music. “I was mesmerised and couldn’t get that evening out of my head. I was possessed. Then began my search for all her records and recordings and for Begum herself,” she says. Bakshi managed to trace Begum Akhtar and requested a meeting during the latter’s next visit to Delhi; this she says completely changed her life. “That was the end of Western music for me. I traded in my guitar for a tanpura. I was lucky to find a maestro in Ustad Ghulam Hussain Khan saheb and started my training in Hindustani classical music,” says Bakshi. A desperation to understand the finer nuances of Begum Akhtar’s ghazals resulted in Bakshi learning Urdu. Since then, there has been no looking back, and she still says that Begum Akhtar “gave her focus and direction in life”.Pursuing other passionsBakshi got married at 19 while pursuing her masters in Spanish at JNU and had her first child while she was doing her MPhil. Being a mother to a three-year-old didn’t stop her from making a solo trip to Spain for six months to study the language further at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, travelling with all her musical instruments, Urdu poetry and ghazals. She says none of this would have been possible without her husband who was supportive right from the start, as were her in-laws who let her follow her dreams, never stopping or discouraging her. “My husband has made things possible for me,” she says. “Every time I have done something unusual, it has worked for me. When I went to Spain to study further this was my first trip abroad. I was all alone, and I loved the country. I felt I had come home,” she says. Bakshi has now been teaching Spanish at JNU for over 35 years and was recently conferred the Order of Isabella la Catolica by the Spanish government for promoting Spain and its culture, the second highest order given to foreigners. “Teaching Spanish is my life and I have been living that JNU story every day. Teaching is gratifying, a habit more than anything and I have taught students from across the world,” says Bakshi, who makes it a point to travel to Spain almost every year.At her creative best”There is a constant search in my poetry and there is still something incomplete,” says Bakshi, who writes at night, wrapped in her blanket of quietude. Refusing to let go of any opportunity, multi-tasking is almost a habit with her. “I am a breathless person,” she says, and goes on to add that she has always done things that other women would never even think of doing. Author of two books, she is a prolific writer who pens her thoughts as they come to her. Her first book Tishnagi which means ‘the thirst’, was released in 2013 in Delhi in the presence of poets and filmmakers such as Muzaffar Ali, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and the late Farooq Sheikh, and was introduced at a packed House of Lords and Nehru Centre, London, and later at the Lahore Literary Festival in Pakistan. Published by Rupa and designed by Ritu Beri, it is a collection of Urdu poems and recounts the story of her personal journey from the early years till now.advertisementHer next book Mauj-e-Saraab which means “waves of illusion” came four years later, in 2017. This was released in Delhi by Shabana Azmi. Launched officially at the Apeejay Kolkata Literature Festival in January this year, the book is a compilation of ghazals written by Bakshi. She is already working on her third book of Urdu poetry titled Justaju which means “the quest.”Empowering through artThough art and culture dominate her time, Bakshi is also keenly involved in philanthrophic endeavours. She is the founding member and Vice-Chairperson of Savera, an NGO which works towards empowering economically weaker sections of society and providing them with education and medical facilities. “If we can change the lives of people, why not? Uplifting and empowering people is very satisfying,” she says. The funds to run Savera are generated along with other donations through various charitable concerts at which Bakshi performs both within India and abroad.By Shelly AnandThe filmmaking community in India is brave and resilientReema Sengupta, 27, Filmmaker, MumbaiPhoto: Anish Sarai Storytelling has always been an important part of Reema Senguta’s, childhood. While her friends spent their summers on holiday, she would attend screenwriting workshops and even use the process as an emotional release. “I always knew I wanted to be a writerdirector, so in a lot of small ways, I’ve been preparing for that career all my life. I studied Contemporary Media Practice at the University of Westminster, London, where I graduated at the top of not just my course but the entire Media, Art & Design school,” she says via email from the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France, for the European premiere of her short film Counterfeit Kunkoo, which immediately prior to this was one of the first Indian fiction shorts to be selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 15 years. Founder of Catnip Culture, her “playground to experiment with short form video content” and one of the city’s go-to production houses for branded and music content, the 27-year-old is taking quality Indian cinema to the world.How did filmmaking happen?I have directed narrative films, music videos, commercials, interactive video installations and after-movies across India, UK, South Korea and the US. I was 21 when I made my first short film that won 16 awards. At 22, I was awarded the prestigious Asian Film Academy Fellowship (2012), where I represented India and co-directed a short film at the Busan International Film Festival. The International Green Screen Lab 2012 (supported by British Council, Goethe Institute and Cinekid) selected my first feature film script for development. I was the youngest writer at the Lab and shared space with national award winners, international writers and veteran filmmakers. In 2014 I cofounded a niche advertising production house, Catnip, where I wrote and directed over 250 videos and worked with names like Skrillex, Above & Beyond, Red Bull, Amazon, OML, Budweiser and others.advertisementYour views on Indian filmmakingI think the filmmaking community is India is brave and resilient. It would be amazing to get more support from the government, like a lot of European countries have, even for short films. So many new and diverse voices have emerged from India in the last five years. It is inspiring to see us being able to say amazing local stories and connect with audiences around the world. I feel our socio-political history and the need to speak up lends a different kind of passion to our independent film community.Was Counterfeit Kunkoo based or inspired by your mother’s search for a home? Tell us more.Counterfeit Kunkoo is a 15-minute narrative/drama. In a city that houses millions, Smita finds herself fighting beasts of a different kind as she discovers a strange pre-requisite to renting a house in middle-class Mumbai. She would make an ideal tenant, except for one glaring flaw. She is a middle-class Indian woman without a husband. It is an exploration of the idiosyncrasies that come with the deep-seated misogyny that finds its way into everyday life in India, the battles one must fight, and whether winning or losing those battles matter at all in the first place. I wrote the script a couple of years ago when I was so angry and helpless about my mother facing housing discrimination. But the story isn’t based on what happened to her. It is a separate fictional story and completely different characters. At the first couple of screenings, I felt a bit vulnerable, but the response from the audiences was so warm and encouraging. It feels liberating to see conversations around things that have frustrated me for years start because of my film.You shot in a lot of real locales, used real homes and real people. Is authenticity in cinema important?I think staying true to your story world is very important. My film is realism based, so it was important for me to be honest and authentic in my portrayal of the world. The settings and characters are based on the people and spaces I interacted with growing up. Most of the cast comprises of non-actors. All the spaces were real and lived in. I am very thankful to have had the support of everyone who let us shoot in their homes and took time out to be a part of the film. I feel the only way to make a film is with authenticity, but how that authenticity is portrayed changes from film to film.What about your other shorts/features?My first short was a satirical comedy set in Mumbai about what happens when India’s last tiger is found dead under undisclosed circumstances. My second short film was a sci-fi short set in dystopian London, that spoke about the loneliness that comes from over-dependence on technology. I am currently working on my first feature film.How was your Sundance experience?Sundance was life changing. I read the Sundance selection email on the upper berth of a rickety sleeper bus. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I actually believed it was happening till I doublechecked Counterfeit Kunkoo’s name on the Sundance website two weeks later. Having their endorsement and support has given us so much credibility; it has changed the trajectory of the film’s journey and mine too. We were the only film representing India at the festival, and were the first Indian fiction short to get selected at Sundance in 15 years. They did so much more than just screen the film. There were so many highlight moments; the world premiere of the film, the Director’s Brunch, even getting the Director’s Jacket. The festival volunteers were our cheer squad, reminding us to breathe and have fun. I am now at Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France which is the world’s largest and most prestigious short film festival. This is the European premiere of the film, and we’re the only Indian film here as well. It’s been an exciting journey.By Asmita BakshiGood films should have conviction and a unique voiceAshwiny Iyer Tiwari 38, Filmmaker, MumbaiPhoto: Milind Shelte My relationship with storytelling started in school when I saw shows like Malgudi Days, Mr Bean and the iconic film The Sound of Music. I enjoy stories that are told straight from the heart. I was a gold medalist in commercial arts from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, and worked for 15 years at Leo Burnett India but driven by a passion to tell stories through films, I gave it all up to direct my debut film, Nil Battey Sannata, a comedy drama, in 2016. It was critically acclaimed, won audience love and I got the best debut director award. I made the same movie in Tamil as Ammakanakku. Slice of life genres with dollops of laughter excite me. I keep striving to tell different stories that can make an audience laugh and cry. I feel cinema has the ability to change and empower the human mind. In 2017 I made Bareilly ki Barfi, a romantic comedy. Good films should have conviction, truthfulness and a unique voice of storytelling. As a filmmaker who is closely involved with defining the characters and telling an interesting story, I constantly watch people, their behaviour and changing patterns. My eyes are open all the time, I like to get into people’s minds and wonder what they must be thinking; I create back stories of human nature, I enjoy studying cultural ethnography and the psychology of the human mind as a filmmaker.By Aditi PaiThe use of hybrid seeds is not ecologically viableShweta Bhattad, 32, Contemporary artist-activist, Nagpur In 2016, contemporary artist-activist Shweta Bhattad, 32, buried herself in a coffin for three hours during an art residency camp to highlight the exploitation of land and marginal farmers in India. In December 2017, she brought together artists, writer, farmers and singers at Paradsinga, a fairly nondescript village in Madhya Pradesh, to create art works-all made of leafy crops- over 24,000 sq feet of farmland. It was India’s first ever land art festival conceptualised and led by Bhattad. “Art brings people together and helps them express things in a way that no language can,” she says. Inspired by India’s agricultural heritage and the problems of modern farming methods, Bhattad, an alumnus of MS University, Baroda, has been using offbeat forms of art to draw attention to her cause-farmers and the importance of indigenous seeds. “I always wondered why a farmer, who grows so many crops, often does not have enough food to feed his family.” Bhattad is determined to take art “outside galleries to the masses”. She runs the Gram Art Project which holds art residencies and events that spread awareness on issues such as the perils of hybrid crops, the importance of using indigenous seeds and water conservation. In the winter of 2016, the artist made a 7,000 sq feet land portrait of Prime Minister Narendra Modi using locally grown crops like spinach, amaranthus and fenugreek as part of the Gram Dhara Chitra Utsav. “It was to urge him to restrict the use of hybrid seeds which aren’t ecologically viable,” she says. An advocate of sustainable farming and indigenous seeds, Bhattad uses art forms to unite people and raise awareness. The Gram Art Project collaborated with indigenous cotton growers, spinners of Wardha and 50 village women to make handmade rakhis. While the spinners turned indigenous cotton into thread, 50 women from Paradsinga village, led by a local student Nutan Dwivedi, 18, fashioned this yarn into 7,000 rakhis. Each held a seed of a local cotton variety. “Young farmers are willing to experiment but most rarely interact. Art brings them together to spread a message,” she says.By Aditi PaiI talk about things that affect me, anger me or inspire mePavitra Shetty, 28, Comedienne, Mumbai Growing up, Pavitra Shetty would steal her father’s cell phone and quickly learn all the SMS jokes in order to be able to recite them to his friends. “My dad is a doctor, so there were a lot of “non-veg” jokes because these doctors have really corrupted brains,” she laughs, recalling how as a child she was always ready to perform for everyone without the customary parental requests. Now at 28, she’s an IT engineer with Deloitte by day and one of the most promising comediennes on the scene by night.”About two-and-a-half years ago, there was the first women’s open mic happening in Mumbai, being hosted by Aditi Mittal,” she recalls. After being tagged on Twitter by all her friends to participate, Shetty wrote her “script” (she didn’t know what a “set” was at the time) and recited it to one of her “townie friends”. “She said, ‘This is not funny.’ I rewrote it two days before the event and she liked the second one.” And it worked. Soon, Shetty started getting open spots, and from performing once a month, she went on to doing a gig a week, until it took over her life.”I speak about my personal life experiences. It’s something I enjoy talking about even if it’s for the hundredth time,” she says. “There’s this uniqueness but also a relatability factor.” Shetty draws inspiration from her mother and she’s constantly scribbling notes to replicate exactly what is being said to her when the two squabble. “The moment you make a joke out of something that annoys you-it liberates you. Usually as a comic I talk about things that affect me, piss me off or inspire me,” she says. “When I went up on stage for the first time and did my set, I had a lot of guy comics who came up to me and said, ‘Damn, you’re really good for a female comic.’ I was like, ‘umm I’m good in general.” Shetty believes people are ready to listen and learn, and “if you show them you’re talented, they’ll shut up”.By Asmita BakshiWant the audience not to look at me just as a female formNimmy Raphel, 35, Assistant Director and Actor, Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Arts & Research Born to a family of farmers, Nimmy Raphel never imagined a career in theatre for herself, much less being the first woman working member at Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Arts & Research. Founded in 1981 by theatre artist Veenapani Chawla, Puducherry-based Adishakti creates contemporary performances, conducts research in traditional forms like Koodiyattam and Dhrupad and develops and disseminates its own language in theatre.Raphel, who is from the small hill town of Wayanad, Kerala, has trained in dance forms such as Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi at Kerala Kalamandalam before she arrived at Adishakti 17 years ago. “Suddenly, I was introduced to a world of possibilities,” she says. “Until then I was instructed to follow and here I was being made to think on my own and create,” she adds.She found a mentor in Veenapani Chawla and went through years of rigorous training in Kalaripayattu and music and was part of pioneering productions like Brhnalla, The Hare and the Tortoise, The Tenth Head and Ganapati. In 2012, she stepped into direction with a solo, Nidrawatham, where she plays the characters Lakshmana and Kumbhakarna in an aesthetic derived from extensive research in the craft.In her 16 years performing at the company, Raphel has played only one female character; therein lies her belief in the body, rather than the gender of the performer. “I wanted the audience to look at me not as a female form but as a carrier of thought,” she says. Pushing the envelope further through her upcoming production Bali (to premiere in April), Raphel is exploring a performance on a bare stage using the actors’ bodies to tell a story. Bali also draws on extensive research in the ancient form of kushti. “It is a form that lends itself to theatre beautifully and has not been used before. We have been training a lot in it for this production,” she adds.By Prachi SibalFamily photos tell such a complex story about the valleyAlisha Sett, 28, Writer and Co-Founder, Kashmir Photo Collective, Mumbai and LondonPhoto: Sneha Trivedi Sometimes it just clicks. That’s exactly what happed with 28-year-old Alisha Sett, who is a writer and cofounder of the Kashmir Photo Collective, a digital archive that aims to create an alternative photographic history of the Kashmir Valley. It invites individuals and families, photo studios and photographers, as well as institutions to contribute their photographs and stories to the archive.”In my final year (2011-2012) at Tufts University, I was part of the Programme for Narrative and Documentary Practice run by Gary Knight and Samuel James. It was an in-depth immersion in documentary photography and writing. It was an inspirational environment and I decided to keep shooting after graduating,” says Sett. When KPC launched in 2014, she stopped shooting and started focusing on an archival and collaborative approach to photography. “Family photographs told such a complex story about the Valley, one which we don’t get in mainstream media and working together with the families to think about how their stories should be framed has been a huge learning experience,” says Sett, who curated her first exhibition in 2017 for the Focus Photography FestivalShe was an awarded an Edmond J. Safra Network Fellowship from the Safra Centre for Ethics at Harvard University in 2013-2014 to work on a photographic and ethnographic project on psychology and psychiatry in Kashmir. Coincidentally, she ended up living in Srinagar with one of the oldest photography families in the country, the Mahattas. As she spent more time in the Mahatta Studio on the bund she looked through their albums-and they have an incredible collection there, which is soon going to be available as a museum and realised that there was an entire history of the Valley there. Around the same time she met Nathaniel Brunt, a photographer who had begun searching for existing images that told intimate untold stories. They began discussing creating a digital archive that would preserve this material. The final impetus was the floods of 2014. She was always a writer. Now, her primary focus is art history and art criticism. Two editors, Gauri Vij at The Hindu and Avtar Singh at the Indian Quarterly, gave her four things most writers can’t get: confidence, time to write, space to be published, and an income.By Ridhi KaleTravel feeds my design sensibility, sub-consciouslyRuchika Sachdeva, 30, Founder, Bodice, New DelhiAs a student of womenswear design at the London College of Fashion, UK, Ruchika Sachdeva would often play and experiment with clothes. With a strong penchant for shaping and reshaping outfits, like turning a shirt into a dress, she always had an eye for detail. Interning under Vivienne Westwood only sharpened her design sensibilities. On her return to India, she launched her own label Bodice, which stands for strong silhouettes, sustainable design and fabrics. Awarded the International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear in January 2018, Sachdeva talks about her inspiration and the strong connect between art, culture and fashion.What inspires you in your designs, and how are they different?I’m inspired by many different things, but I suppose you could say they all share a common ground of harmony, balance and truth. I am a millennial and grew up in India where global influences were a part and parcel of my formative experience. Strength and individuality comes from being able to harness all those local and global influences and say something new. I think design should reflect that.How do you define your design style?The Bodice silhouette is clean and plays with proportions and layers to create a balance and individual style. It uses indigenous textiles and techniques such as kantha stitch to create texture.Why is art and culture important and intrinsic to fashion design?Art and fashion design share many points of reference in cultural, contemporary history. I don’t deliberately set out to try and incorporate art in my designs. But sometimes the things I’m drawn to have also fascinated artists, and here I find enormous resonance and inspiration in their translation of these universal concerns. For instance, Tyeb Mehta used colour to communicate aspects of the human condition. I drew on both Mehta’s philosophical approach to colour as well as the palette of one of his paintings, for the collection in my Woolmark collection. The difference of course with fashion is that the inspiration must be translated in a way that creates a garment for a living, breathing person.What does fashion mean to you?Culture, history, artisanship, landscape, and personal expression.By Shelly AnandPeople need to be introduced to narratives that do not feature AK-47s and grenadesShamsia Hassani, 29, Graffiti Artist, Afghanistan Like a guerilla fighter, she plans the ambush well, always timing herself. She knows she cannot stay at a place for more than 15-20 minutes. It is important that she wear gender-neutral clothes. Armed with spray cans and stencils, she raids walls and starts painting a wall on the streets of Kabul. Before a crowd can gather, she retreats, managing to finish the mission-most of the time. And yes, she never paints war.Afghanistan’s only street graffiti artist, Shamsia Hassani – named one of Foreign Policy magazine’s top 100 global thinkers in 2014 – insists that painting the walls in Kabul is her way of introducing common people to art. “In the absence of art galleries, private shows and sculpture parks, how would they know that a parallel universe exists?”she asks, on the sidelines of Serendipity Arts Festival held in December last year in Goa. Awarded the Art Spectrum Award brought by Mojarto and Serendipity at the occasion, Hassani, a lecturer of Fine Arts at Kabul University was born in Tehran.Ensuring that her work, much of which deals with women’s issues and everyday lives, stays away from war, the artist elaborates, “a country whose entire generation has seen only war should at get idea of other narratives,” she says. Hassani, who always carries a sketchbook to draw her ideas on, confesses that she has thousands of sketches but not enough walls. “If I ask people to let me paint on their walls, they demand a portrait or a landscape,” she says.Currently working on the theme of migration, the artist doesn’t mind that her art is complicated. “I say what I want, and people can interpret it in their own way. Spoon-feeding them would limit their imagination, no?”By Sukant DeepakThere needs to be a strong dialogue about sex traffickingLeena Kejriwal, 35, Photographer and Artist, KolkataPhoto: Subir Halder Ensconced amid cushions with Frida Kahlo smiling on the covers, photographer and installation artist Leena Kejriwal creates a picture of a spirited canvas, much like her favourite artist. A bit disturbing, the jagged outlines of a black fiberglass installation are a jolt of reality. The silhouettes are part of the M.I.S.S.I.N.G public art campaign Kejriwal had launched in 2014-15 to create a massive art awareness about sex trafficking.”The silhouettes are symbols of black holes into which millions of girls disappear,” says Kejriwal.M.I.S.S.I.N.G, was first featured as an installation piece in India Art Fair 2014. “There is no public dialogue in sex trafficking. I felt the need of creating a strong dialogue with the public about the consumers who create the demand and the girls go missing,” she says. The silhouettes took over the walls in every available open space in 10 cities. But Kejriwal was looking for a blitzkrieg impact. She launched a Missing App, a free android game in animation, which tells the stories of millions of trafficked innocent village girls in the sex trade. The app won Nasscom game of the year and has half a million organic downloads across the country.Born into a conservative patriarchal Marwari family where falling into a set structure-education, early marriage, child birth-was the norm, Kejriwal actually ventured out in the big, bad world, five years after marriage and motherhood. She started off as a portrait artist, taking portrait pictures of her children and other kids in the house. Her first studio was at home within the four walls of a sprawling bungalow in Alipore, Kolkata. Today, she has come a long way from the closeted portrait studio of her terrace to the open- her silhouettes have taken up the university campus, boundaries of public buildings, and street corners, raising a storm and setting off typhoons.By Romita DattaFeed me poetryMithu Sen, 47, Artist, DelhiPhoto: Bandeep Singh Have you been into a space where you never been actually, never knew or seen…”Always the eternal temptress, Mithu Sen’s work have always tried to collapse the hierarchies of gender, sex and even hospitality. It works in the complex domain of theories such as neoliberalism, counter capitalism, and post modernism but a poet must not cohort with the theorists, and Sen is simply “unbound”. Perhaps you could say she is deconstructing and destabilising almost everything-words, diction, grammar, notions, and assumptions. In conversations, she is demanding: “Feed me poetry” is her way of accessing stories. And in her studio and home in Faridabad and Delhi, respectively, there are thousands of “souvenirs” on display; “wholes and parts” picked up from flea markets and forever renewing itself based on her medium, which she calls “life”. Sen is always proposing a quasi-history but histories have been mixed and stories are created; among artists working with mixed media, She is the most radical, the most intriguing and unlike many others, doesn’t use “abstraction” or the linear way of responding to queries. She offers herself and her stories freely. Museum of Unbelonging, which is her most intriguing work, she says in her concept note, is a personal archive with no space in official history, abandoned, impermanent toys and unusual belongings, drawn together.There is a little Pinocchio that hangs from the ceiling. But that’s his name in the books. She got him in Switzerland. She has another name for him or she can make up a name. We can’t verify memory; she is in control of it. She can old shops. This is her Museum of Unbelonging (MoU). Sen’s art is nomadic and adventurous in a way that it breaks away from everything. It is also about love and the quest for immortality but like French literary theorist and philosopher, Roland Barthes, she breaks it up, affixes it and anoints them in her own language, which is often called gibberish as she performs with the body and thereby “un-defines” tabooed identities and acceptable modes of interactions. Her anarchy is manifest in MoU, derived from the name of her sister Mou as a dedication to their childhood memories in transient homes and collected in the museum of unbelonging. These “babies” have their lives and names; it is this induced unsettlement that she aims for. “My personal restlessness and unsettled psychological status; all these collective ideas and physical materials make my MoU politically sensitive and socially aware,” she says. Her work is free of site. She believes she is the surrogate mother of these children and in collecting them and bringing them to her home and studio, she is trying to blur the boundaries of the human mind and its limitations. It is her idea of archiving, which is about sensations, and emotions that are collected but not manipulated by either culture or knowledge. Her travels bring her the stories of people and memories and in rearranging, she explores endless compositions. She plays with them; a doll from Saudi can run away with a man from Israel. Most things are ephemeral but in the heart, these encounters stay. In her MoU, these are tributes to a childhood lost in transition, to her own identity that is ave you been into a space where you never been actually, never knew or seen…”Always the eternal temptress, Mithu Sen’s work have always tried to collapse the hierarchies of gender, sex and even hospitality. It works in the complex domain of theories such as neoliberalism, counter capitalism, and post modernism but a poet must not cohort with the theorists, and Sen is simply “unbound”. Perhaps you could say she is deconstructing and destabilising almost everything-words, diction, grammar, notions, and assumptions. In conversations, she is demanding: “Feed me poetry” is her way of accessing stories. And in her studio and home in Faridabad and Delhi, respectively, there are thousands of “souvenirs” on display; “wholes and parts” picked up from flea markets and forever renewing itself based on her medium, which she calls “life”. Sen is always proposing a quasi-history but histories have been mixed and stories are created; among artists working with mixed media, She is the most radical, the most intriguing and unlike many others, doesn’t use “abstraction” or the linear way of responding to queries. She offers herself and her stories freely. Museum of Unbelonging, which is her most intriguing work, she says in her concept note, is a personal archive with no space in official history, abandoned, impermanent toys and unusual belongings, drawn together.There is a little Pinocchio that hangs from the ceiling. But that’s his name in the books. She got him in Switzerland. She has another name for him or she can make up a name. We can’t verify memory; she is in control of it. She can old shops. This is her Museum of Unbelonging (MoU). Sen’s art is nomadic and adventurous in a way that it breaks away from everything. It is also about love and the quest for immortality but like French literary theorist and philosopher, Roland Barthes, she breaks it up, affixes it and anoints them in her own language, which is often called gibberish as she performs with the body and thereby “un-defines” tabooed identities and acceptable modes of interactions. Her anarchy is manifest in MoU, derived from the name of her sister Mou as a dedication to their childhood memories in transient homes and collected in the museum of unbelonging. These “babies” have their lives and names; it is this induced unsettlement that she aims for. “My personal restlessness and unsettled psychological status; all these collective take us to her world. The artist, a poet at heart who is dismantling language itself to make a dream language that can only be felt or experienced now returns after a hiatus of eight long years with a solo exhibition called UnMYthU, which is essentially the physical remnants of her 20 years of performance, which opened at Mumbai’s Chemould Prescott Road gallery on January 31. Through this exhibition, she focuses on “exploring human relationships” by inverting established modes of interactions to (un)void a space of inbetweenness, revealing complex hidden layers of the mind and senses that inform human behaviour. The output in the format of drawing, poetry, sculpture and installation are byproducts of her performances. She waits, as a poet and a surgeon, to rearrange memories and reactions.By Chinki Sinhalast_img read more

DY Patil T20 Cup: Roys effort in vain for Reliance 1Â

first_imgNavi Mumbai, Feb 24 (PTI) Indias�U19 Cricket World Cup star Anukul Roys all-round effort (30 and 3-29) was not enough as Reliance 1 today lost narrowly by three runs to Air India in their final league match in Pool A of the 14th edition of the DY Patil T20 Cup.Reliance 1 bowled well to restrict Air India to 120-7 in their 20 overs. Anukul was the pick of the bowlers and returned with figures of 3-29 for his side.For Air India, skipper Naman Ojha (32) was the top-scorer.In reply, Anukul with Akshdeep Nath (29 n.o.) kept Reliance 1 in the hunt but in the end fell short by� three runs.This was Reliance 1s second loss in three games in the tournament, while Air India registered their first win in their final match after two previous losses.At the University Ground, Indian Oil continued to impress as they registered their second straight win in Pool D over Tata Sports Club.Batting first, Indian Oil posted 152-8 in their 20 overs. Yashasvi Jaiswal (31), Wasim Jaffer (29) and Saurabh Dube (23) were the top-scorers for Indian Oil.Tata Sports Club were then shot out for just 114 in 17.3 overs as Indian Oil won by 38 runs.Veteran Rajesh Pawar (2-25) and Khaled Ahmed (2-15) were the pick of the bowlers for Indian Oil.Earlier in the morning, DY Patil Sports B beat Central Railway SA by five wickets as they overhauled the total of 149-3 in 17.2 overs.Kevin DAlmeida (54: 33b, 7×4, 2×6) and Shashank Singh (38) starred with the bat to lead DY Patil Sports B to the top of the table in Pool D.advertisementCollage Group meanwhile lost to CAG by seven wickets at the University Ground. With this win CAG ended their league phase on top of the table in Pool B, having won all three league games.There are just two matches scheduled for Sunday, both of which will be held at the University ground.BRIEF SCORES Central Railway SA 149-3 in 20 overs (Pravin Deshetti 77, Sanjog Binkar 41 n.o.) lost to DY Patil Sports B 150-5 in 17.2 overs (Kevin DAlmeida 54, Shashank Singh 38)-by five wickets Air India 120-7 in 20 overs (Naman Ojha 32, Pranav Menon 25 n.o., Shams Mulani 22; Anukul Roy 3-29, Mayank Markande 2-16) bt Reliance 1 117-9 in 20 overs (Anukul Roy 30, Akshdeep Nath 29 n.o.; Shams Mulani 3-23, Roystan Dias 2-14)-by three runs� Indian Oil 152-8 in 20 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 31, Wasim Jaffer 29, Saurabh Dube 23; Kaustubh Pawar 2-18, Pariskhit Valsangkar 3-33) bt Tata Sports Club 114 in 17.3 overs (Kaustubh Pawar 32, Sairaj Patil 24; Aamir Gani 3-14, Khaled Ahmed 2-15, Rajesh Pawar 2-25)-by 38 runs Collage Group 117 in 19 overs (Chetan Bist 29, Arun Chaprana 26, Kshitiz Sharma 24; Sayan Ghosh 3-36, Gurinder Singh 2-8, Ankit Sharma 2-16, Mehjoor Ali 2-18) lost to CAG 118-3 in 15.5 overs (Ankit Lamba 50, Prashant Chipta 30, Ankit Gautam 24 n.o.; Jayanshu Chaturvedi 2-17)-by seven wickets. PTI NRB BNMlast_img read more