Monthly Archives: March 2014

Art Exhibition at NGMA Bangalore

How’s your Sunday looking?

If you are free on Sunday, you like art and you are in Bangalore, here’s something you can do.

NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art), Bengaluru is holding an art exhibition titled “Amrita Sher-Gil: The Passionate Quest”. The exhibition is curated by Yashodhara Dalmia, an art historian and independent curator based in New Delhi. After the inauguration, which will take place today, March 30 at 5 pm, the exhibition will be on view till April 30, 2014.

Here’s a glimpse of what is in store at the exhibition:

image

Watch this space for more updates.

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A day in the life of a social media professional

How many of you start your day by tweeting or updating your Facebook status? How many of you use social media early in the morning to keep yourself updated on what’s been happening in the world. But how do you think it would be if this was your main job role? Sounds fun?

Welcome to the world of a social media professional.

We start our day by logging in to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and what not. That’s just the beginning. Most people have a perception that the job of a social media executive is updating a status, posting a tweet or uploading a picture.

The ‘real’ work goes beyond this.

Social media is about being real time. Monitoring conversations, organising campaigns, conceptualizing contests and promotions- making the brand relevant on social media- that’s just the crux. We respond to conversations (most of the times negative ones), manage brand reputation, analyse hard numbers (how boring!) and identify influencers who can tell the brand story. We strategize on how a campaign will help a brand not only online but offline. We liaise with brand managers and business heads to see how to improve the ROI.

Social media is ever changing. So, we need to create and sift through dozens of research reports and articles to stay abreast of the ever changing social marketing trends.

Unlike any other job, we don’t call it a day! The internet does not sleep. Social media is endless and so is our work.

We constantly read, we listen, we think, we create and we innovate. And above all, we learn and enjoy our work.

Read more in this Infographic by RazorSocial which I found interesting.

 

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‘All we want to do is enjoy the game’

Virat Kohli first came into the limelight in 2008 when he became the captain of the Under-19 World Cup team. Since then, the suave player has made a name for himself as the batsman of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Suave cricketer

Suave cricketer

He even played an important role in Team India’s victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. At the launch of Flying Machine’s new collection ‘Blue Label’ in the City, Virat spoke to Metrolife about cricket, fashion and Bangalore.

He is quite excited about his team’s performance in the Champions League series. But the RCB player says that while winning is important, the team just wants to put on a good show. He asserts, “In the first few games, we were a little desperate and just wanted to win. But now, since we have crossed the big hurdle, we have to focus on playing good cricket.” Ask him about the kind of strategies the team is going to use and he replies nonchalantly, “We do not have any strategies in mind. All we want to do is go out there, enjoy the game and give our best.”

However, he says cricket has changed a lot over the years. Though the game has different formats today, Virat feels these should not change the goals of any cricketer. According to him, for any cricketer, playing Test cricket is the best achievement and an experience in itself. “When I started playing, my aim was to play Test cricket. I feel that
One Day Internationals (ODIs) are the best way for a cricketer to grow. While Twenty20 cricket is enjoyable, we should concentrate more on ODIs and Test cricket,” he avers.

Ask about his training regime for the Twenty20 games and he says, “Earlier, you could just go on with regular training and play. But now with Twenty20, the training is more power-based and depends on what kind of an athlete you are. Another important thing is what your team wants out of you,” he says.

Apart from cricket, he is looking forward to the Formula One Grand Prix that is going to happen in Delhi. He adds, “I am not much of an F1 fan. But it will be a thrilling experience to watch it live in action. If I get a chance to be there, I will surely go.”

So does he play any other sport? “No. I am busy with cricket almost the entire year. When I manage to get some free time, I simply hang out with my friends to unwind.”

About his personal style statement, he says, “I am an out-and-out denim person. When I am not on the pitch, you will see me in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Comfort is the best fashion statement.” He gets nostalgic at the mention of Bangalore. “I have always loved this place. I have been coming here for eight years and it is like a second home to me.”

Published: Deccan Herald

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Keeping an eye on cyber cafes

We live in an age when Internet has become a necessity more than just a want. Owing to this growing dependence, cyber laws, under the Indian Information Technology Act of 2000, were implemented to keep in check activities in the virtual space.

According to the laws specified for cyber cafes, these cafes should not allow
anybody to use their computer resource without establishing the identity of the user. In addition to this, they have to maintain a record of all the users.

A lot of cyber cafes in the City have taken precautions to verify the identity of the users. But these form a minuscule percentage as there are lot of places that do not follow
cyber laws.

Is there a need for stricter implementation of such laws? 
When the authorities were asked about this, a spokesperson from the Cyber Crime Police Station explained that an officer, above the rank of Police Inspector, is authorised to check or inspect a cyber cafe at any time for the compliance of these rules.

The cyber cafe owner should provide related documents, registers and any necessary information to the inspecting officer on demand.  “If the owner is found guilty, a 15-day-notice is given to him during which he is answerable to the inspecting authorities. If it is not found satisfactory, he is referred to the adjudicating officer of the IT Department, who then takes a decision. The violators have to pay Rs 10,000 as fine.”

The identity of the users have to be established by checking any of the following documents — school or college ID, photo credit card or debit card, passport, voter’s ID card, PAN card, government or employer-issued photo ID card or driving licence. This helps in regulating cyber crimes and the abuse of computers.

Kirti Mohan, a final year law student, says that it is imperative that such measures are taken.

“By verifying the identity, you come to know if the user is underage. Also, if there is a case of pornography or any other cyber crime, nabbing the errant person is easier.”

But many owners say that sometimes people argue that they are not aware of this. In such cases, if they feel the person concerned is in dire need, they let them use the computers.

Says Kumar, who owns a cyber cafe near Garden City College, “Usually we get only college students. So we make it a point to check their college ID cards. Sometimes, they come to us saying they have left their ID cards at home. We let them in only if we know them very well, otherwise we refuse to let people in without identification.”

However, just the thought of having to flash a card puts users off as they feel it is a cumbersome process. Priyanka, an engineering graduate, says that it need not be made mandatory.

She reasons, “Nowadays people have access to Internet in their houses too. Only if there’s some work that needs to be finished urgently, do they head to a cafe.” But she maintains that it is up to the discretion of the cyber owners.

Cyber cafes should take sufficient precaution to ensure that their computer resources are not used for any illegal purpose. Laws are meant for the safety of the people and hence it should be implemented well.

Published: Deccan Herald

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With an element of sophistication

Young designer Shruti Shah always knew that she had a flair for fashion designing and when she got an opportunity to pursue a career in this field, she didn’t think twice.

Shruthi Shah

In a chat with Metrolife, she talks about her inspiration behind her designs, the City and her future plans. About her interest in fashion design, she explains that before venturing into it, she had pursued her masters in psychology.

“Once I completed this course I realised that I was not cut out for it. That’s when I decided to apply in a design school and was glad that I got through.”

It has been one year since she completed her course and now she has launched her very own label ‘Filigree’. She goes on to say, “This label has been inspired from intricate carvings and details. I believe that in every garment there are a hundreds of details and this is what makes it beautiful. I try to incorporate all of this in my designs.”

Every designer has his own muse and she says she has been inspired by quite a few women. She adds, “I have always admired women like Grace Kelly and Maharani Gayathri Devi. There is an element of sophistication that these women exude and my clothes are meant for a woman who is confident about herself.”

This talented designer has already created waves with her creations. But what is her personal style statement?

“For me, the first basic rule is that one should always wear what flatters his or her body. If I was to pick up something it would always be the colours that suit my skintone and the silhouettes that go with my body type. You shouldn’t just follow trends blindly rather you should know what suits you and what doesn’t. And that’s what I do.”

She adds, “I love wearing short dresses because they are perfect for the weather and are comfortable too. Apart from this, you will find me in a pair of jeans and a top.”

Ask her about the City and she says, “This is my first time here. But I have fallen in love with the place and its beauty. Before I came here, I thought this city would be like any other metropolitan city. But in comparison, Bangalore is very peaceful and well maintained in terms of  architecture and infrastructure. I would love to come back to the City again.”

As for her future plans, she says, “Right now, we are a very new label. But I am planning to launch myself in Bangalore and other places by next year.”

Published: Deccan Herald

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‘I don’t have plans of working on an album’

Amit Trivedi

Amit Trivedi

MUSICALLY YOURS.

After giving scintillating hits like Emosanal Attyachar and Saali Khushi, National Award winner Amit Trivedi is back. And this time with another refreshing set of music for director Onir’s ‘I Am…’ In a tete-a-tete with Metrolife, the young music director shares his views about music and work.

Being an out-of-the-box film, the music of ‘I Am…’ suits its independent theme. Says Amit, “The movie has four parts to it — ‘I Am Afia’, ‘I Am Megha’, ‘I Am Abhimanyu’ and ‘I Am Omar’ and each part has an inspiring story behind it. I have worked on the title track for ‘I Am..’ and two other numbers for ‘Afia’ and ‘Megha’.

The songs have been influenced by different genres like soft rock, Sufi and electrical sounds. They are very diverse and philosophical and have depth, in the lyrics as well as the composition.” He adds, “Onir is a brilliant person and very dedicated. I have worked with director Anurag Kashyap (who make his acting debut in this film) and Amitabh Bhattacharya, the lyricist, earlier too. So it was a great experience.”

Touted to be the ‘next big thing’, Amit broke all barriers in ‘Dev D’ by using different genres of music. He says, “I love experimenting and bringing in different instruments and styles.” And his work speaks for himself — be it offbeat projects like Aamir and Udaan or commercial flicks like ‘Wake Up Sid’ and Aisha. He adds, “It is all about striking the right balance. I love doing offbeat music because it comes naturally to me and is more interesting and challenging. But it is also fun to work in a not-so-serious film, once in a while.”

He has varied taste in music which is very evident in all his compositions. He adds, “I enjoy almost every kind of music be it alternate rock, pop, jazz or even Punjabi and contemporary Indian music.” And his musical journey has been a smooth one, right from his college days when he was part of a band called ‘Om’, till date.

Before foraying into films, he composed music for TV shows and albums. “But for now, I am happy doing films and have no plans of working on an album.” He adds, “I have two movies lined up. One is ‘Chillar Party’, a kids movie and is something that I have never done before. And Karan Johar’s rom-com which is a commercial movie.” And apart from composing music, he is a lyricist as well as a singer. He says, “I mostly concentrate on making music but if required, I don’t mind singing.”

Though he has composed the theme song of Royal Challengers Bangalore, personally, the director is not a big fan of cricket. He grins, “I am not following IPL at all. I had too much of cricket when the World Cup was on. I root for Mumbai Indians but the initial excitement of IPL, when it first started, isn’t there anymore.”

Published: Deccan Herald

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Going through the danger zone

PEDESTRIANS’ NEGLIGENCE

In the wake of increasing accidents,it is imperative for the pedestrians to follow traffic rules

Traffic rules are not meant for the safety of the drivers alone. They are also meant for the security of the pedestrians.

Considering the increasing number of accidents on the road, there is a dire need for people to be aware of these rules.

Many people cross roads with complete disregard for the signals and pose a serious problem for a lot of vehicle users.

Anil, an advertising executive, says, “I have faced this problem a lot of times. Once a pedestrian decided to cross the road without noticing that the light was still green. As a result, I met with an accident. Ultimately the blame was put on me for no fault of mine.”

There are many like Anil, who have to bear the brunt of the pedestrians’ negligence.

Says Nikhil, a student, “These kind of things happens almost everyday, especially at the Brigade Road traffic signal.”

“I almost met with an accident over there two years back. I was relatively speeding at 60 km/hr on the left side of a bus. When the bus stopped abruptly, a person just jumped off from the bus. Had I not applied the brakes on time, I would have hit that person,” he adds.

“Most pedestrians are unaware of the dangers of not following traffic rules. Just because they want to save a minute of their time, they opt for convenience over safety,” Nikhil says.

And this is true especially when people do not make use of the overbridges constructed for the purpose of crossing.

Says Kiran, a student, “Even though there is an overbridge on the road
near Chancery Pavillion, I have seen many who just choose to cross the road and jeopardise their lives. So mishaps are bound to happen because this is a very busy road.”

But Lionel, a marketing executive says, “It is actually the responsibility of the government to impose stricter rules. Zebra Crossing is for the pedestrians so if more such crossings are added,it will be a lot more convenient. Also if roads have proper fencing, like the one near the Tin Factory Bus Stop, the people will be forced to use the overbridge.”

While all these suggestions need to be worked upon, it is the onus of the pedestrians to follow rules for their own safety and for the convenience of vehicle drivers as well.

Unaware: People cross roads with complete disregard to the signals.

Unaware: People cross roads with complete disregard to the signals.

Published: Deccan Herald

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Walk the talk

Toastmasters International not only eggs you on to speak but also gives you confidence to face people

Gaining poise Through Toastmasters

Gaining poise Through Toastmasters

 

How many of us can come in front of an audience and speak on a topic on the spot? When was the last time you voiced your opinion in a meeting, without the fear of being ridiculed? Trishma Pinto, a member of Toastmasters International quips, “In such circumstances, we often run out of good ideas and words, resulting in embarrassment. Almost all of us develop cold feet when asked to speak in front of a crowd. It also happens occasionally in a one- to-one conversation.”

“At Toastmasters, one has the freedom to introspect. You have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, which gives people the confidence to improve their performance, each time they make a speech or presentation.”

A Toastmasters club meeting consists of three parts — prepared speeches, evaluation, and table topics. “Prepared speeches provide an opportunity for members to research and present topics. The Table Topics session requires the speaker to speak impromptu on a particular topic.

The comprehensive ‘Communication and Leadership Programme’ makes the art of speaking and listening more enjoyable. It does not comprise traditional classroom learning methods, but envisages and puts into practice an area where each member learns by observing the other and offering constructive feedback.

Sakina B.M., a fellow Toastmaster says, “The journey of two years in Toastmasters has been very enriching. I still remember the first time I attended a meeting of the Mangalore Amateur Speakers Club. Speaking before a small bunch of people was a frightening thought. With Toastmasters, we are reinventing ourselves with new skills.”

Trishma Pinto is the president of St. Agnes College and attributes her success in the presidential elections to her participation in the Toastmasters programme. Though she had been active in public speaking and compeering in school, it was here that she honed her communication skills. “Toastmasters is not about public speaking only; it involves integrated learning. You learn by participating. During a meeting, you will have different roles to play such as speaker, evaluator, grammarian, timer etc. It provides scope for continuous learning.”

The Educational Programme encompasses a two-pronged approach. The club organises various activities addressing social concerns such as water conservation, global warming etc. Delia Reynal D’ Souza says, “I have grown as an individual — from being a shy teenager to a confident person. I no longer shirk responsibilities, and take up every challenge as a new learning experience. Every moment at Toastmasters was challenging journey.”

The Toastmasters International has a foothold over four clubs in the city — Winner’s Club, Mangalore Toastmasters, Evening Club and INFYnity (Infosys Toastmasters). The president of Mangalore Toastmasters, Anita Cordeiro says the heads of the different clubs co-ordinate and organise various activities like speech contests and conferences.

 

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‘Chaat’ tastes good here!

Binge On!

In every locality, there are a few special eateries where people keep coming back for a bite. Calcutta Victoria Chaat House, located on the quiet street of Kasturinagar, is one such place. It has become a perfect hang out zone for people in the area.

The eatery sells a variety of namkeens and chaats that have the quintessential Kolkata flavour. There is not much space to sit in the place – a few plastic stools are kept for those who like eating their bhel in a relaxed manner. In spite of this, Calcutta Victoria Chaat House, has managed to pull in a huge crowd comprising of students, office goers and families.

Freshness is the USP here. Fresh fruits and vegetables are used to prepare the chaat items. The place serves a variety of items like bhel puri, sev puri, nippat masala, groundnut masala among many others. A plate of bhel puri is served in a rolled up banana leaf and tastes a little sweet and spicy with pieces of tomato, onion and carrot adding to the crunch of this dish. The masala puri is also quite popular on the menu. Served with a large splash of masala over green peas and crushed sev, it is a welcome bite in Bangalore’s mild weather. The place also serves lip-smacking samosa chaat – hot and spicy – this is a treat for the taste buds.

“I come here almost every other day and especially like the bhel puri,” says Sheethal Balam, a regular customer. Another must try item is the kachori, which is a version of samosa but with channa masala and different vegetables. The dahi puri also has the good blend of dahi and the masala making it a perfect evening snack.

In addition to this, the place also serves parathas that come with different types of filling like gobi, aloo, methi etc. Many customers say that the parathas have the right amount of filling and are not too thick.

The place is open from 11 am to 10 pm. Evenings are specially busy and it is hard to find a space inside the shop, most customers are seen eating outside on the platform.

Published: Deccan Herald

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Hours wasted at bus stops

Bus connectivity to different parts of the City is bad and unbalanced, say commuters.

Public transport is not favoured by many. One of the reasons for that is the less frequency of buses. The authorities had taken a decision to increase the number of buses plying in the City.

Despite that, at many places there are just a handful of buses, compounding the problem of connectivity. Metrolife spoke to the authorities and people to find out the possible reasons for this.

Says K S Vishwanath, chief traffic manager (operations), “We decide on the number of buses depending on the density of population and demand. We are going to increase the bus service in a few important places. People need to understand that we will not be able to give them buses from every nook and corner of the City.”
Says Gurpreet, who stays near Bangalore University, “There are just a few buses to Majestic and K R Market.

To make matters worse, they are always crowded. So the bus drivers take the liberty
of not stopping at all. The next bus stop is about fifteen minutes from our place.
Even while returning, one hardly gets a bus to this area. We have to wait for one and a half hours to get a bus.”

Another commuter Sumitha, a working woman, says, “I travel to Bannerghatta Road everyday. Usually in the morning I do not face much problem. But on my way back, there are not enough Volvo buses. After 4 in the evening, the next bus comes only at 7.30 pm.”
A lot of other people too say that the connectivity is very bad in the City.

Says Raghu Kumar, an IT professional, “There are not many buses that go to Majestic, because of this we face a lot of hassles. We have to go to Banashankari, K R market or South End to take a bus to Majestic. Even from these three points the buses that go to various places in the City are very less. We are forced to go all the way to Majestic for taking a bus to any other place. Another route that has low frequency of buses is the BIAL. We get buses only from J P Nagar to go to BIAL.”

However, there seems to be no balance in the number of buses to the various parts of the City.

Says Hrishikesh, who stays in Avalahalli, “There are quite a few buses that go to Majestic and Market. But for Shivajinagar, it comes only once in every hour. The authorities claim that there are not many people who go to Shivajinagar. But I have seen this is not so.”

He feels the BMTC should devise a method to gauge the demand in different places.

Says Aakash, who travels from Rajajinagar to M S Ramaiah College, “It may not be viable for the BMTC to have buses on all the routes. So what they should actually do is have a forum where the people can post their grievances and feedback so that they can ensure that maximum connectivity is achieved.”

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