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    The marriage between a soulful voice and solid knowledge in music is the key for a band to succeed in an industry with many bands just floating around. 'Kalari Strike a Chord', which was founded in 2014, is a neat package of sound, quality and finesse and blends multilingual folk and fusion.They pay attention to aesthetics but are also mathematically complex, rhythmically sound and emotionally connected to their work.

    The band members knew each other as independent artists and came together to work as a powerful, sonic ensemble. This organic collaboration comprises bassist Aditya, lead guitarist Ankur, drummer Vikram, vocalist Shubham and lyricist Shiny.

    Reflecting the essence of life as a broad theme in their music, each song of theirs is distinct and the style reflects the members' varied musical interests and backgrounds. The diversity adds to the largesse of their set at every concert and the band looks at this blend as their unique selling point. From a concoction of blues and Indian classical, the troupe's music ranges from traditional folk music to upbeat pop.

    Shubham says, "We mix a lot of other genres as we do not believe in confining ourselves to one particular style of music. We are a versatile lot. Our peppy numbers can drag the audience to the dance floor while our melodious tracks can gently pull one to understand the soul of our music." The band covers a number of songs from various South Indian languages and also present them as a mash-up, apart from writing original music in Hindi, English and Bengali.

    For the name, the four took a cue from the art form 'Kalaripayattu' as they felt that it catches one's attention immediately. Likewise, 'Kalari Strike a Chord' too struck a chord with audiences across the country. They have soared high in the indie-music circuit by presenting performances with legendary musicians such as Usha Uthup, Zubeen Garg, Karthik Das Baul and other pioneers. Shubham says, "The most memorable concert was our opening act for 'Indian Ocean'. We also performed at a charity event for an non-profit organisation called 'Aham'."

    Currently, the band is working hard on getting their singles featured as they look at it as an opportunity to reach out to a nation-wide audience. Shubham proudly says, "One of our songs, 'Wings of Fire', which is a tribute to late APJ Abdul Kalam was featured on MTV Indies recently. This was our small way of paying tribute to the rocket scientist of India." However, he also wishes that there is a concrete way by which a musician can monetise his work and hence, does not have to depend on a day job, which often proves to be chaotic. He explains, "Today, we have Youtube and Vimeo. Their ability to quickly share music and gain followers have changed the face of the music industry and the way people consume music as opposed to live performances earlier. However, it is difficult to find service and monetise a fan base. The revenue that is generated is encouraging to artists but simultaneously, it is largely dependent on followers as well. Taxing it makes the industry all the more worse."

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    As summer approaches, exposure to the sun can lead to suntan, sunburn and many other effects. Apart from tanning, the skin is also exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, which has several long-term effects, like early formation of lines and wrinkles on the skin. Sun exposure can also lead to dark spots or patches. There are remedies at hand, says well known beauty expert Shahnaz Husain.

    The skin must be protected with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which provides protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun. What are UV rays? The sun gives off ultraviolet rays. We divide them into categories based on the wavelength. There are UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays.

    Of these, UV-C rays are almost completely absorbed by the ozone layer and do not affect the skin. UV-B affects the outer layer of skin and is mainly responsible for sunburns. It is the most intense between 10 am and 2 pm when the sunlight is brightest. UV-A rays were once thought to have a minor effect on skin damage. But now, studies show that UV-A is a major contributor to skin damage and signs of premature ageing, she said.

    Sun exposure can also cause loss of moisture from the skin. However, most sunscreens have built-in moisturisers. So, it is not necessary to apply both moisturiser and sunscreen, unless the skin is very dry.

    So what is the remedy? At the moment, physical protection is the answer. This can
    be done by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen. A sunscreen is a product which forms a protective cover between the skin and the sun's rays, while a broad-spectrum sunscreen is one which provides protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun.

    It is essential to apply sunscreen, not only on the face, but also on all exposed areas. The back of the neck and arms are extremely vulnerable to sun damage too. The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun exposure. If you happen to be in the sun for more than an hour, you should reapply the sunscreen.

    A sunscreen with SPF 15-20 is adequate for most skins.
    But if the skin is more sensitive and tends to burn easily, one should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF of 30-40. Avoid rubbing the sunscreen into the skin. It is better to
    pat it on.

    Also remember to apply sunscreen while swimming, holidaying by the sea or in the hills. Reflective surfaces, like water and snow actually increase the effects of UV rays.

    For oily skin, look for an "oil-free" product, or apply a sunscreen lotion, rather than a sunscreen cream. Add a drop of water to it, to provide a lighter coverage. If the skin is very dry, apply a sunscreen cream. Or, you can apply a moisturising cream first. Wait for a few minutes and then apply the sunscreen.

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  • 02/23/16--02:03: Tickling the funny bone
  • She is one of the comediennes to have shattered the glass ceiling when she first entered standup comedy, a highly-male dominated industry. Punya Arora, the quintessential South-Indian-Punjabi is known for the ability to laugh at herself.

    A photographer who also stumbled into standup comedy, Punya was the only girl to have entered the comedy scene when she first came in. However, she took a break in between and after she came back, was glad to see more women getting on stage and making people laugh.

    Her material sparkles with hilarious, everyday situations, neatly packaged with funny accents.

    She is one of those comediennes who has broken the myth that cuss words and abusive language have to be used in standup. She practises her art off-stage too by making people laugh and spreading happiness. She shares a few funny anecdotes and talks about her journey in an interview with Anushka Sivakumar.

    Does the competition in the standup scene scare you?

    Not at all. I think everyone has their own unique style. Since humour is subjective, there is room for anyone who is original.

    Is there a certain pattern you follow while deriving your material?

    Not really. I talk about things that I enjoy talking about and genuinely excited to share. Most of it comes from personal experiences and observations.

    Recall your worst show...

    I was performing at a place where the mic was set up behind a tree and the cord wouldn't allow me to walk too far. At the same show, one person was drunk and kept talking to me like it was a conversation. I managed to entertain people nonetheless but that was a strange incident.

    Is standup comedy the new engineering or new DSLR?

    It's a growing field but once one has entered it, it's a lot of hard work. There's no way to survive unless one genuinely loves it. I think this holds true for any profession. I wouldnt call it the 'new engineering' or 'new DSLR' but one has to be really passionate about it.

    What if most people walk out in between your show?

    I would continue to perform for the ones who have stayed back and leave only when I finish entertaining them.

    If not a comedienne...?

    I'm already following two of my passions - comedy and photography. If not for both, I would still do something in the entertainment industry. Anything other than singing though.

    The three things you would wish for if you were stranded on an island...

    I'd only wish for one - to not be stranded on the island anymore!

    How do you think the world will end?

    There's this line from a poem by William Wordsworth — 'And much it grieves my heart to think what man has made of man.'

    Of course, the world is coming to an end and were all doing a pretty good job at making it happen sooner than it should.

    What if someone comes up to you and says you cant do stand up comedy since youre a woman?

    I would feel bad for them because they thought that their opinion will make a difference to my life. It must be scary to live with such delusions.

    Your favourite comedians from Bengaluru?

    Praveen Kumar, Sundeep Rao and Kenneth Sebastian.

    Tell me a joke!
    Come for my show. Ill tell you more than one!

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  • 02/23/16--02:10: Knead to be healthy
  • Bread, whatever kind it may be, has a long history and even today, it remains a valuable food item in our daily lives. Whether it's spread with peanut butter, jam or Nutella, or the dough is stretched out to make a pizza base, it has become a part of our staple diet. A weekly visit to a bakery or a supermarket seems incomplete if you don't purchase a loaf of bread for the week. But how healthy are the loaves you buy?

    Making a loaf of bread might seen like an easy task; all you need is some flour, yeast, salt, water and oil. But when you buy it from the store, there is a certain amount of chemicals and preservatives added. This may make the bread taste delicious, but it's not healthy for your body. So, many bakers in the City are experimenting with flavours and techniques to make their own bread at home.

    Jeyadra S, a part-time baker, says, "There's a timeline for consuming bread — the best time to have it is before four days of making. But by the time it is dispatched to each store, it's already two days old and when you take it home, it would have expired. People don't realise that they are having old stock, which is not good for one's health. When I make it at home, Imake sure that there are no added preservatives, which increases the health quotient."

    She also explains how store bought bread uses milk emulsifiers and other substitutes to make it taste better. "It's alright to have it once a week, but since we've unknowingly made it a habit of consuming it daily, we are damaging our bodies."

    Others are also making it a habit to bake their own bread. Archana Pai, a homemaker, says, "I started kneading my own bread since December. I made 'whole wheat honey bread' and it was amazing. The aroma and the flavour that it had was something I never expected."

    She usually makes her bread for the week by Sunday or Monday, which she says lasts her till the end of the week.

    She adds,"My kids love this and I'm glad that I can make something exciting
    for their lunch boxes every day. BecauseImake bread at home, I know it is hygienic and there aren't any preservatives."

    Caroline Radhakrishnan, a food blogger, has been making her own bread for over five years. Apart from regular milk loaves and shaped rolls, she also makes bread sticks, pizza bases, no-knead artisan bread and sour doughs.

    She says, "I like creating my own recipes and using unusual ingredients like tomato puree, orange juice and beetroot puree. It's not right to generalise and say that all store-bought bread is bad, but there are a few stores who claim to sell whole wheat and healthy bread, though they usually colour them with caramel or other agents. When one bakes at home, you have total control of what goes in to the dough and that's a very comforting thought."

    But some bakers have problems making soft loaves as they don't have access to the right kind of ingredients. Caroline says, "We don't have access to the wide range of flours that one would get abroad — we usually make it out of 'maida' and 'atta'. There are a lot of baking equipment like dough mixers, shaping baskets and over wear that are either not available or highly prices. As many are diving into home baking, it would be great if we could have access to it at affordable prices." So whether it is to keep yourself healthy or because you loves baking, you are responsible for what you are consuming.

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  • 02/23/16--02:13: He is game for adventure
  • Popular actor Arjun Sarja is on a twin high. He is getting ready to launch his daughter, Aishwarya, in his next directorial venture in Kannada, and will also be essaying the role of a cop in 'Game,' directed by AMR Ramesh.

    Arjun and Ramesh are coming together after 'Attahasa' which was based on a true story. 'Game' has a solid storyline narrated in a commercial and entertaining format, Arjun says.
    The veteran actor has always worked on a lot of things simultaneously. "Even when I am acting, I always sit with the directors and give them my inputs. I also share my thoughts on how best to improvise and better the product. Ramesh has conceptualised every character in this project after a lot of thought," says Arjun.

    Arjun is playing a cop but the director has made sure it is not the typical cop's role. The actor has also undergone a complete makeover for this film. He has cut his hair really short and sports a clean-shaven look.

    The movie also has Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala making her debut in Kannada. Arjun and Manisha were last seen together as the romantic lead in Tamil film, 'Mudhalvan'.

    "Manisha is a brilliant actor. When I read the script, I told the director that she would be best suited for the character and after it was narrated to her, she accepted the role without a second thought," shares Arjun, who says that it is great to be working with Manisha once again.

    Arjun always encourages new talent and the audience will get to see some new faces in 'Game'.

    "Young talents must be encouraged. We have roped in some new faces will give the story a new high," he adds.

    Commenting on the title, Arjun says, "We chose to call the project, 'Game', because all the characters are caught in a game of sorts and it's only when all the characters come together the real game is exposed," he explains.

    Arjun feels his daughter Aishwarya is ready to debut as an actor. "She's grown up to be a very confident individual and she is finally set to make her entry into the world of cinema. I keep telling her that it's not easy to be an actor and that there will be a lot of expectations from her and I think she's now up for the challenge,"
    he says.

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  • 02/23/16--02:16: An unsafe journey
  • Those who regularly travel by an autorickshaw say that they have to battle two problems — overcharging and the driver picking up random people who are travelling in the same

    Overloaded vehicles definitely attract heavy fines, but sharing an auto doesn't
    really get noticed because there's usually not more than three passengers at a time.
    People who live in areas such as Mariyanapalya, Cox Town, Dodda Gubbi and RT Nagar say that they are sometimes forced to share rides with total strangers.

    Both women and men admit they have had their share of bad experiences when sharing an auto with strangers.

    Observing this, Viny, a professional, says, "I make it a point not to share my ride with anyone because I feel it is unsafe. While the auto driver ends up making some fast money, the passengers feel uncomfortable. Autos should never be shared, unless in case of an emergency."

    There are several instances when the auto driver stops for people when there's already a passenger seated inside. If a person is headed in the same direction as the one sitting inside, then the driver obliges to take the new passenger, observes Namrata H, a professional, a resident of Cox Town.

    She recollects an incident when she hailed an auto from MG Road to Indiranagar
    and the driver picked up one of his acquaintances along the way. "I was terrified because
    the person who got in was a man. I usually never share an auto with anybody but that day, it was late and I had to wait for a long time to get an auto," she says.

    There are a few people who believe that one has to think twice before one boards an autorickshaw after dark. Increased instances of mugging and overcharging have got men to think about taking an auto late at night.

    Bharath, who works in a private company and a resident of Dodda Gubbi, points out that you never know if the stranger hitching a ride is a person in need of the ride or
    someone the auto driver knows.

    "Auto drivers always invite strangers in between a trip and charge both parties and try to earn some extra money. I don't mind sharing the ride if it is an emergency but I do not think it is a safe thing especially for women," says Bharath.

    "We read of incidents like gang robbery and I always wonder if these strangers who step in are known to the driver," he adds.

    Echoing Bharath's views, Mirshad, another youngster, says, "After reading a lot of cases of theft and mugging in autorickshaws, I've stopped sharing autos with strangers. It is better to be safe than sorry."

    Officials with the transport department point out that cases of autorickshaws carrying more than three passengers attract a fine amount and the driving licence and vehicle permit are liable for cancellation.

    "When such cases are caught by the traffic police and referred us, we immediately cancel the vehicle permit, because overloading must be discouraged. It jeopardises the safety of passengers whether men or women," reasons Rame Gowda, Transport

    He feels people must opt for cabs rather than travel by an autorickshaw when it late.

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  • 02/23/16--02:21: A feminine twist
  • Trends are mushrooming by the day and taking the fashion world by storm.
    There is a shift from the utterly feminine to tomboy-ish style of dressing, and women are preferring more relaxed outfits these days. From crop tops to jumpsuits and palazzo pants, the latest addition to the closet of a fashionista is the shirt dress, which is an oversized, buttoned-down outfit that is inspired by menswear.

    According to designer Parul J Maurya, a shirt dress has become an all-time favourite of fashion enthusiasts.

    She says, "It suits almost every body type, making it a true closet-keeper. An edgy shirt dress with sharp cuts, if teamed with heeled boots, it gives a structured feminine feel. The best part about this ensemble is that one can treat it like a blank canvas and accessorise with funky neckwear and clutches."

    Looking at it as an ideal summer outfit, she adds, "Shirt dresses are comfortable and are great for summers. Pastel hues and whites work well for a cool, fresh look. However, bright colours with frills and details on the collar give these outfits a 'beach-y' vibe. Experimenting with looks, people can unbutton the dress and team it with a crop top and jeggings to give it a street style inspired look."

    Fashion is all about experimenting and creating a style statement that makes one stand out in a crowd, and it is never a bad idea to try out something different and quirky.

    Designer Shibani Sanghvi reasons, "For me, fashion is about timeless garments constantly being reinvented. Whether they are oversized or more tailored, shirt dresses are pretty much a perfect piece for every season. Shirt dresses are a classic and with time, they have evolved from being something basic to having accents of minimal detailing so as to keep the essence of vintage fashion alive while keeping it innovative."

    Explaining her work with shirt dress, Shibani says, "Ihave tried to play with traditional shirt dresses by giving them a new dimension with light shirting fabric to maintain the classic fluid feel and details such as structured, exaggerated collars, cut out shoulders, piecing and wrapped ties to add a fresh twist to this versatile silhouette."

    She adds, "Some of the trending colours are rose quartz, marsala, oxblood, pristine whites, powder blues, mauves, sunrise orange, emerald and ruby red. While sporting the shirt dress in a more casual manner, one can go for a pair of basic sneakers, high bun-tied hair, deep kohl and berry pouts. However for a dressy look, 'oomph' it up with stilettos, statement jewellery, winged eyeliner and lose, wavy hair."

    Labelling it as "the perfect attire for summers this season", designer Farah Sanjana says, "Be it oversized or tailored, shirt dresses are summer's perfect piece to opt for. They are super comfortable and are climbing to the top of style charts. They can be worn with skinny pants or bare legs, and are a complete blend of comfort and edginess."

    Pointing out how shirt dresses are gaining popularity, and becoming a staple outfit
    in everyone's closet, she says, "Shirt dresses with checks, denim and stripes have become a favourite in everyone's wardrobe whereas chambray shirt dress is a versatile trend. Pastel and light-coloured shirt dresses can easily find place in anyone's closet."

    Looking at shirt dresses as both casual and formal wear, Jayati Goenka elaborates, "Shirt dresses can be sported on any occasion. It is basically an adaptation of menswear which has gained popularity over the years. We can see many professionals in their mid 20's pulling off this trend in a great way. As all shirt dresses look alike, styling is the key to making them look different and stylish. Unique cuts, patterns, fabric and even, belts play a big role in the styling. Like for a formal look, the belt will be on the waist, whereas for a laid-back look, the belt is usually below the waist line."
    Talking about traditional fabrics, she says that printed Indian textiles are also trending. Like 'khadi' — it looks subtle but makes a strong statement.
    "It is important to focus on the neckline, and to complete the look, one can wear bangles, wedges and chunky necklaces. When dressing more formally, one should keep in mind not to go overboard with the accessories.

    Bangles, studs on the ears, formal shoes, boots or scarves can do wonders," explains Jayati.

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  • 02/23/16--02:24: 'I had to find my own way'
  • I would have wanted India to recognise my efforts first," says fashion designer Manish Arora who was recently conferred France's highest award, 'Chevalier de la légion d'Honneur', which is given to recognise eminent accomplishments of service to France.

    As the youngest recipient of the award, among personalities like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Amitabh Bachchan and JRD Tata, and the only one from the field of fashion, Arora feels his journey has just begun.

    "It doesn't feel like I started long ago. This award makes me feel older. The journey has been long — around 15-16 years. But time wise, it has just flown by. It feels I just started yesterday. I always say that I am a newcomer and want to keep thinking like that despite the honour," the 43-year-old says.

    Born and brought up in Mumbai, Arora graduated in commerce, and decided to change his career path and applied for the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi, and then went to London.

    "I started in India first, and I think, I am what I am, and I am getting what I am
    because of the fact that I am an Indian. I can never forget that. I started in London about 12 years ago. I was asked to design for ballet (performances); and things started to fall in place," he says, pointing out to his initial days in the field.

    Recollecting how he landed in London having no "understanding of the enormous opportunity" before him, the designer says, "There are so many moments that are
    cherished in this career span. The funny one being that I landed in London in 2005
    for the London Fashion Week not realising that one needs a public relations agent.

    I didn't know that I had to get serious because I didn't understand the enormousness of it. That was a first. I had to find my own way. I did not have an example to follow from India."

    Being the first one from India to consistently present in Paris for eight-and-a half years in 16 shows, he says France is his second home.

    "French are very good at understanding new ideas. I am not the first one (to be awarded). There have been Japanese designers Garson or Yohji Yamamoto or Belgium's Dries van Noten. They are very welcoming of new talent. It does not matter where you come from. In fact, if you look at the Paris Fashion Week, the loved designers are actually not French. They belong to somewhere else and come to France," he avers ahead of his next show in Paris on March 3.

    Does he want to design for Bollywood? "I love Bollywood and some of my very good friends are from the industry. But that doesn't mean that I want to do clothes for Bollywood. I have my own, very strong, opinion about fashion. I am not ready to compromise on my style. I want my style to show across. I am not here to do clothes for a regular story. If there is a film that deserves me, I will do it," he avers.

    Arora, who is regarded as the "John Galliano of India" for his innovative bold cuts, says it is necessary to believe in oneself. He mentions, "What worked for me was that
    I was honest with what I did and never compromised.

    I believed in myself and as many struggles as I might have had, I still didn't budge from what I believed in. I never tried to convince the West. I never tried to be in the West. They found me because I just did what I believed in. That is the keypoint here. You have to do what you believe in and that is the only way you manage to create something or
    achieve something that you want."

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  • 02/23/16--02:26: Pushing the boundaries
  • The ambient sounds, some of which are considered to be pure noise, are polished with rhythmic beats to befit his musical tunes.

    Dancey, upbeat, downtempo and sometimes soothing, Ketan Bahirat's music, breaks away from the stereotypes of music production and offers his audience an intellectual combination of sounds.

    Popularly known as 'Oceantied', Ketan is a music producer and a performer who weaves sample sounds into electronic music.

    While he collaborates with other artistes to produce post-rock and electronic beats as the lead guitarist of the band 'UntilWe Last', 'Oceantied' is his music project that
    explores his creative side as a solo musician.

    Recording different ambient sounds, many a time on his phone, he merges them with existing tracks to give voice to his music.

    "I use the sampling technique to produce music. Downtempo and fast paced, I create two sides of electronic music. A fan of drums,you can find a lot of percussion sounds in my music too," explains Ketan.

    He has been producing music for over four years now, but it was just a year-and-a-half back that he started producing music under his solo project 'Oceantied'.

    He has performed alongside various artistes including Bass Sekolah (Malaysian band), Justus Köhncke (Germany) and Maria ('Project Mooncircle',Berlin). Within the City, he has won over his audience with unique tunes at the HummingTree,Church Street Social and The Warehouse.

    "The Indian music scene is very encouraging for independent solo artistes. There are a lot of newly emerging music festivals that are booming in the country and all of them are moving away from the mainstream pop culture.The City too has a lot of venues that support solo artistes," he says.However, he adds that the increasing support for the solo artistes can be seen through a bad lens by music bands as he explains, "It is a good thing that the solo artistes are offered support by event organisers. But this can be bad news for the bands as more often solo artistes are preferred over bands. It is a more economical option for the organisers."

    He recalls how his tryst with music began and goes back to his childhood days when he attended music concerts, mostly Hindustani, with his dad. "This might have been the first step that inspired me to transverse the musical path," he says.

    Ask him if it is the performer or the producer who plays a major role in his life and he replies, "I cannot choose just one.They are equally thrilling. While I love to sit at home and record different sounds and make music, I also enjoy performing live for the audience who have come to listen to what Ihave produced." He feels that the music producers have to push themselves to make intelligent music and educate their listeners with some good sounds, which will in turn result in the evolution of music other than the pop genre.

    He is working on his debutEP 'Consolidate' that explores the genre called the 'footwork' — inspired by the footwork and street dance culture that existed in Chicago in 1980s. "I have combined my favourite tracks in this album and they revolve around the sounds of life," he explains.

    He will be performing on February 27 at the multi-genre festival called 'The Lost Party'.

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  • 02/23/16--02:29: Leaving a track record
  • TV heartthrob Parth Samthaan, popularly known as Manik of 'Kaisi Yeh Yaariyaan', fame will be making his Bollywood debut this year with producer Subhash Singh's (Katrina Kaif's former make-up artist) next directorial venture.

    Parth will not just showcase his acting credentials but also his singing abilities with his untitled debut film.
    Parth recently recorded the promotional track — a romantic number for the movie composed by music director Kaushar Ali.

    Subhash wanted to cash in on his singing skills as he felt Parths voice suits the mood of the song that will be part of the promotional video.

    Parth's movie co-star Pakistani model-actor Sohai Ali Abro will also make her Bollywood debut with Subhash and Sonali Singh's film.

    Sohai is a popular name in Pakistan film and TV industry. Interestingly, when Sohai was narrated the script of her debut film, she was slightly skeptical, but when the makers informed her about her co-star Parth, she immediately agreed to do the movie since she's a huge admirer of Parth and used to watch his show 'Kaisi Yeh Yaariyaan' in Pakistan.

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  • 02/24/16--01:49: The blissful ballads
  • She was born and brought up in a poetic family. Her parents being writers in Hindi, she was encouraged her to write verses and recite them even as a child. By the age of nine, she had written a collection of verses in her diary. The only difference between her and her parents was that she put melodies to her words.

    Nirmika Singh of 'Nirmika &The FewGoodMen' is an independent artiste known for her melodies, peppy and rhythmic, and her live acts Starting her musical journey on stage with her first school choir performance, she moved on to become a part of a retro band. However, her serious relationship with music began in 2011 when she started working on some original creations.

    The artiste, who has presented her live gigs across the country, is now releasing her debut EP'Jhoothe', which features three songs that are introspective yet playful in nature. Composed and directed by her, Nirmika says, "My life as a 20-year-old girl, who was trying to navigate an exciting career, a fledgling relationship and everything else in between, has inspired my debut EP. For this project, I have collaborated with inspiring musicians like flautist Naveen Kumar, Canadian cello player Jake Charkey and violinist Jose NeilGomes, with whom Ihave had the honour of knowing and working closely. One of the songs has synths by Vijval Barboza."

    The songs in this EPare unsophisticated yet well-cultured leaving a pleasant earworm. The fruit of two years of hard work, this Hindi EP has simple and candid lyrics, all inspired by her life choices and experiences. She has playfully used the various figures of speech to derive artistic yet relatable lyrics. She also provides an insight to her lyrical style saying, "Filled with metaphors and similes, Ihave used onomatopoeia (words that are named after the sounds they make) in my lyrics. I am a big fan of alliteration and you can see its generous use in myEP.
    Two out of three songs are ballads as the lyrical context demanded this style. But I am equally a fan of happy tempo songs, which you see me using in my live acts." She looks up to a few artistes like Carole King,Patti Smith,RaghuDixit and Papon.

    About her independent music path, she says she chose an independent music career over a Bollywood career (playback singing) as she loves the creative freedom. "Bollywood might have a diverse and a democratic space. But I find my indie route to be more satisfying for the endless creative freedom it offers me" However, she agrees that independent musicians do not get the kind of exposure Bollywood artistes get. "We need to build a support system by persuading venue owners to give us a chance, sometimes even over increasing Bollywood DJs."

    While she has a blooming career in music, she also likes to learn new cooking skills and her alternative career option would be, she says, "A Political Science lecturer at JNU (my alma mater)." Nirmika will be performing on February 26 at Indigo Live Bar. "I will perform the songs from my debut EP.One will also here fresh composition of a Konkani song," she adds.

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    Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar became a name to reckon with through movies like 'Tanu Weds Manu' and 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'. She also received wide critical acclaim for portraying an aggressive lover in the romantic drama 'Raanjhanaa', which was released in 2013.

    She was nominated in the 'Best Supporting Actress' category for her role in 'Tanu Weds Manu' and 'Raanjhanaa'.

    Apart from movies, the actress is also a theatre enthusiast. She is currently working in the plays 'Anaarkali Aaraawali' and 'Nil Battey Sannata'. In the latter, she essays the role of the mother of a 15-year-old.


    "I think Lahore is a gorgeous place and it feels like home to me. I have been there twice and the placetakes me by surprise each time. The people are warm and hospitable. I have a few close friends there and I'd love to go back over and over again. I also like London for its vibrant and cultural vibe. There's always something great happening there, some amazing events to watch as well. In India, I love going to Jodhpur and I hang out there for as long as I can."
    2. Book
    'The Mill on the Floss' by George Eliot
    "This is one of the books that I read when I was a Literature student in college. It had a great impact on my life, something I can't put in words. Maybe it was the way the protagonist was portrayed or the way the entire story was written but I've read the book so many times after that and it still moves me. I get very emotionally attached and cry every time. I remember reading Mary Ann Evans' (known by her pen name George Eliot) biography and her partner claims that she locked herself in a room after she finished writing it because she thought her kids (two characters from the book) had died and she couldn't take it. It was absolutely moving because as an actor, I can relate to being absorbed by the character."

    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan"Iam a huge fan of 'qawwali' music and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is one of the main reasons for it.Istarted listening to him at a very young age and he passed away at the time. I'm still upset that I didn't get a chance to hear him live but I love all his songs. Since I'm a fan of fusion folk music, 'Coke Studio' on MTV is also one of my favourites. Anything that's traditional and has been broken into a fusion of sounds is music to my ears."

    'You're worth it'"Idon't have one philosophy I stick by because I believe that we go through different stages in life. So our thoughts and philosophy change with it. But given the situation that I am in and the pop-culture world that we live in, I'd go with the tagline 'You're Worth It'. Ibelieve in whatever I am doing right now, that I am worth it and this gets me going. I've also been reading a lot of philosophy-made-easy books by Alain de Botton. It's a school of series which also has sections on 'How to be alone', 'How to age' etc which I think is perfect for me, given the industry I am in."

    5. Inspiration
    Meryl Streep

    "I believe Meryl Streep is worth the admiration. She's an amazing actor and a human being. I'd also place Maggie Smith in the same category as these two women are breaking barriers for older women actors and are doing a fantastic job. I also admire Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor for the work they've done. Apart from film personalities, I also look up to activists like Aruna Roy and others who work so hard to engage actively with public service and social change. I find that very inspiring and heartwarming."
    6. Theatre
    The Crucible

    "I recently watched Yael Farber's visceral revival of Arthur Miller's classic American drama, 'TheCrucible'. The playwright did an amazing job with the way it was portrayed. I loved it because it was designed differently and brought out the conflict in a beautiful manner. It struck and became a hard-hitting story for me. Yael also worked on a story about Nirbhaya which was great as well."

    7. Cuisine
    Home food

    "Home food is very special to me because I end up eating out a lot. So whenever I get home and see that my mother and grandmother have made something delicious for me, I am happy. My mother makes amazing 'dosa', 'sambhar', 'daal-chawal' and 'sabzi'. She also makes great Continental food. My grandmother is great at preparing 'dum aloo', which is one of my favourites. But I'm not that demanding and fussy about my food. I'm more of a person who likes junk food — anything with cheese and bread is my favourite."

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  • 02/24/16--02:02: 'Everybody needs a change'
  • Sandalwood actress Ragini Dwivedi has entertained the audience with roles in action-thrillers and other sweeping performances. She is now trying to do something different in a psychological thriller, 'Huli Devara Kadu'. She plays the role of a challenged girl in the movie and is extremely excited about how the movie will shape up.

    "It is a conscious decision to work on just one action film a year from now onwards as it can get really exhausting. I have 'Ranachandi', an action film slated for release soon. This will be followed by 'Nanne Next CM', which is a story about the common man, interspersed with fun elements to make it apt for everyone," she says.

    Ragini says that the performer needs to be excited about a project to get the audience to watch it. "Everybody needs a change. People get tired of the same scripts and films easily. The film has to interest me as an artiste for me to convince others about it." Ask her more about the project and she says, "The very fact that it is a genre that I haven't explored has me excited. The moment I heard the script, I said 'Yes!'. We shot for three days and the rest of the scenes will be shot soon."

    Ragini says that there is something about the role which struck a chord with her.

    "My character in the movie is of a girl who lives in a world of hallucinations. She has a strange disorder and finds everything around her problematic. It is a very challenging role and a break from what I have worked on," she details. Sporting a new look — complete with a fringe cut and bangs — Ragini will also have a gothic look in the movie. She says, "There will be a certain mystical tinge even in the outfits worn by the character to make the role more convincing."

    Another reason why Ragini and the movie's team is excited is that 'Huli Devara Kadu' will be shot at beautiful locations across the State.

    "We intend to shoot at different waterfalls, lakes and rivers in Sirsi, Madikeri and Sakleshpur among other places. There is so much beauty in the place we stay in and this movie intends to use them as a space for the script to unfold," she says and adds that the movie will also include underwater shots and other aerial scenes.

    "These will not be like the rope shots that are included in action films. The technicality of the shots will charm the audience," she elaborates.

    Ragini wishes that she could predict what makes a film click with the audience. "It is always important to think from the audience's perspective. Sometimes, a project might not work as planned. But giving it the best shot is the right mantra," she says.

    She adds that 'Huli...' will be a different experience for her as there is a lot of travelling involved. "We will be shooting in dense forests and it is going to be really hard for the team to transport all the equipment around. As for me, it's been a while since I have jumped into a river and I will be doing just that," she sums up with a smile.

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  • 02/24/16--02:12: The royal frames
  • An exhibition titled 'Maharanis: Women of Royal India' is being organised by art gallery Tasveer at lifestyle store Cinnamon from February 20 to March 21.

    Along with the preview of the exhibition, there was a launch of its accompanying publication, produced by Tasveer, in association with Mapin Publishing.

    "Although Indian royalty have in the past formed the subject of several exhibitions and publications, the emphasis of these has always been centred around the figure of the male ruler or the 'maharaja'. As a counterpoint to these narratives, this exhibition, organised as part of Tasveer's 10th anniversary season, focuses on the 'maharanis' and other royal women of erstwhile princely India," says organiser Shilpa Vijayakrishnan.

    Chronicling the historical representation of royal women in India for over half a century, and through it, tracing the changing tropes of photographic portraiture, the exhibition includes images from the archives of the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), esteemed royal collections from across the subcontinent and other institutional and private collections both in India and abroad such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Amar Mahal Museum & Library in Jammu.

    "The photographs here function as documented history, pointing towards the ways in which these women circumvented and reinvented the traditional or embraced and reinvented the modern. Serving as windows into a time of great political and social change, they allow one to map the transforming modalities and conditions of the princely class, and its complex relationship with colonialism and the British Empire," adds Shilpa saying, "Peeling several layers, the exhibition looks at these alluring figures, who sported chiffon sarees and exquisite jewellery and were touted as fashion icons — as voices from the past that history has seldom paid attention to."

    The accompanying book (available for purchase) will include not only photographs from the exhibition, but also additional material sourced during its research stages. It also features an introduction by Abhishek Poddar & Nathaniel Gaskell, and four original texts authored by Pramod Kumar, Martand Singh, Amin Jaffer and Shilpa Vijayakrishnan, that provide the reader with wider contexts within which to view the photographs.

    The exhibition is on view at Cinnamon, 24, Gangadhar Chetty Road from 10.30 am to 8 pm.

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  • 02/24/16--02:17: Characters come alive!
  • Arundhati Raja's production, 'At Home at the Zoo', will be staged on February 27 and 28, 7.30 pm, at Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield. The play is part of the ongoing 'Deccan Herald Theatre Festival' which is taking place at various venues across the City.

    Originally written by Edward Albee in 1958, the play has been performed all over the world.

    The first act, 'Homelife' talks about the character Peter, who has a comfortable job as an editor in a publishing house. Him and his wife Ann have a good marriage and the duo are happy until Ann walks away. In the second act, ' The Zoo', Peter decides to go to the park to regain some comfort and meets Jerry who is full of stories and looking for someone to talk to. The plot revolves around Peter's life which is turned upside down after his marriage.

    The cast includes Roy Sinai, Swetanshu Bora and Vandana Prabhu.

    Tickets are available at the Deccan Herald office, and at the venue.

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  • 02/24/16--02:22: Caring to paws
  • Nishi, a boxer, was 11 months old when she was run over by a car (to be more precise, it ran over her face). "She was in and out of surgery for a year," says her parent, Sindhoor Pangal. Realising the emotional trauma Nishi would suffer because of the accident, Sindhoor began looking for help. "I didn't want just a trainer. I wanted someone who could understand and help her deal with the trauma," she explains. When she couldn't find such a person, she decided to become a dog behaviour counsellor herself.

    Unlike pet trainers, who are found in plenty, dog behaviour counsellors are hard to come by in the City. (However, in recent times, they have become more popular.) The ones who go into the field emphasise on the difference between 'training' a dog and understanding it. They challenge the traditional norms set by pet trainers and highlight the equality of a human-pet relationship. Devisri Sarkar, founder of 'The Urban Dawg', a pet counselling centre in the City, puts it bluntly, "Behaviour counsellors allow dogs to make their own decisions; they aren't treated like slaves. It's a more holistic approach to understanding them."

    But a lack of awareness pushes people towards pet trainers, who are known to use harsh methods to gain control. Madhurima, who owns a bullmastiff, recalls her experience, "When Zorro was a puppy, we hired a trainer but he was rough with him, which I didn't like. At the time (this was about five years back), there weren't any behaviour counsellors in the City so I decided to do it myself."

    Sindhoor, who now runs 'Bangalore Hundeskole', a centre for studying and understanding canine behaviour, mentions the importance of an understanding pet owner. "Dogs, by themselves, are never challenging to work with. It depends on how they are treated at home. There are old ideas, like humans have to dominate their pets, that are in circulation and these cause problems." Although partially blind and unable to open her mouth fully, Nishi is a happy dog who has put the past behind her because of the emotional support she got from her parents. "You need to diagnose the problem before you can treat it," Sindhoor adds. A largely unregulated profession in India, pet counselling often becomes synonymous with pet training. This means there's a lot of unlearning pet enthusiasts have to do, as Anusha, a certified canine counsellor trainer, explains, "When a dog barks, it's important to see why it's doing so, and not just quieten it. There are many factors you have to look at — the breed of the dog, its age, diet, physical and mental health, home environment and more." And just like parenting humans, one should make sure not to force their expectations on to a dog. "You can't take your expectations of the dog and get them trained accordingly, like circus animals. A pet parent needs to earn its trust, which takes time," she adds.

    Each dog is unique though they have some characteristic traits, and both these aspects need to be addressed. And Anusha, who uses the 'reward method' to bond with dogs, says that the younger the pet, the easier it is to work with. "There are some breeds, like labradors and beagles, that are more trusting than others like dobermans, rottweilers and German shepherds. But with the right understanding, any dog can be trained."

    However, there can be some hiccoughs as many breeds, like St Bernards and huskies, are raised in unsuitable environments. "People might have the means to manage such breeds but even then, the dogs will get frustrated. Instead of sniffing around outside, they are expected to sit in air-conditioned rooms for 20 hours a day, which can make them aggressive or grumpy," explains Sindhoor.

    And when it comes to Indian mongrels, it gets a bit more complicated as Anusha says, "They are very social and like to be on their own. While they beautifully capture any training thrown at them, it won't be permanent." Even Devisri mentions that it's difficult to predict their behaviour.

    Socialisation is an important step in understanding pet behaviour. But, as Shiva Natraj explains, the socialisation process should be with the dog's family and not necessarily other dogs. "You can't treat them like humans, they should be allowed to live their own life." Devisri adds, "Pet parents need to understand how to co-exist with their pets. Each dog is unique so understanding the trigger for their behaviour is essential." Once a dog is stress and anxiety free, it will be more forthcoming towards the parent and there will be no need to command it. "My golden retriever, Caesar, understands 70 words now. When I'm talking, he listens to what I'm saying. When I ask him to do something, he responds, but only if he wants to," she says. Whatever method they use, dog behaviour counsellors all agree that fear-based training is not the way to go and freedom and trust are the key to good communication.

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    Yuvraj never set out to become an actor. He always loved the stage and engaged with it through plays in school, college and during his stint as a software professional until a picture that he had posted on Facebook changed his destiny.

    His picture on the social networking site was spotted and picked up by Kannada producer Vishwa Cariappa, the producer of 'Auto Raja'. He wasted no time in calling Yuvraj for an audition for his latest venture 'Astitva'. "My only experience in acting was on the stage. So when I was called for the audition, for a role in 'Astitva', I was taken aback but I still went ahead and gave the audition. A few days later, I got a call from the producer saying that I had been chosen to play the lead. For a second, I froze from sheer disbelief," Yuvraj recollects.

    The shooting for the project is underway and Yuvraj says he couldn't have asked for a better debut. "There are three shades to my character — one as a poor guy, the other as a rich man and the third part is still kept under wraps because this last one plays a decisive role in changing the course of the story," explains Yuvraj.
    He likes to call the script the hero of the story rather than talk about his role. "I am not allowed to give away too much about the story but the way it unfolds is interesting," he states.

    "It traces the life of a young man and how he overcomes many a hurdle to emerge strong and fulfill his dream of leading a life free of poverty, hunger and deprivation. It's an honest story and I am sure a lot of people will relate to it," says Yuvraj.

    He also states that the movie does not require the hero to reel out a lot of dialogues. "There are very few dialogues for me because importance is given to the contrasting emotions." Yuvraj says he thoroughly enjoyed his first venture not only because the script was interesting and gave him a lot of scope for performance but also because the technicians and the director Nuthan Umesh did well to guide him through his first project.

    Yuvraj points out that he had to attend a few workshops in acting and read up about the character. "I attended a few workshops to understand the difference between acting in theatre and on the big screen. It was during those sessions that I realised that the two are very different," he states. He also says that he had to lose 10 kilos for his role. "Toning up was an important part of adapting to the role." The trailer of the film has been released and Yuvraj says he was thrilled to see himself on the big screen. "I never set out to be an actor but now I feel humbled when I see myself on the silver screen and the hard work that has gone into making that happen," he says.

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  • 02/24/16--02:28: Swinging back to the 70s
  • This photo was taken in 1972 at the Department of Geology in Central College during the farewell to MSc students. I had joined Central College in 1967 for the BSc (Hons) course and completed my MSc in 1972.

    The choice of Geology as a subject over Engineering and Medicine stemmed from my fascination for colourful minerals, rocks and fossils, exhibited in the college museum. I also nursed a dream of becoming a scientist.

    The MSc course had 16 of us. We were guided by a team of dedicated senior faculty including Dr C Naganna, Shastry, Gangappa, Seebaiah, Gubbaiah and a team of young lecturers namely Dr Srinivasan, Dr Mahabaleswar, Dr Pathan, Dr Subramanyam and Dr Phene.

    The library at the Central College was a well-stacked one with the best of reference books and material onGeology. We liked spending a lot of time on campus not only because of its sheer size but also because of its unique architectural glory, grandeur, structural elegance and the lush green spaces that always left us fascinated.

    My years in college were most memorable. I used to go cycling from HK Hostel in Wilson Garden till Central College every day or sometimes even take the red BTS (Bangalore Transport Service) bus till there. We would sometimes walk down to Kempegowda Road during lunch hours and savour some South Indian snacks at Vishnu Bhavan Hotel. There were a lot of theatres there as well, most of which have now been converted into malls. I clearly remember Alankar Theatre where we would catch a film once in a while. Our college had a big park and it was extremely relaxing to sit on the grass, chit-chat and exchange views whenever we were free. The Central College grounds were where we would watch the state level cricket matches and have an enjoyable time.

    I secured the fifth rank in MSc and also got a subject scholarship during the first year of MSc. After my post graduation, I worked as a research scholar in Central College. After my stint in research, I joined Soil and Land Use Survey of India in 1974 and worked there till 1983.

    I later joined NABARD in 1983 and served in various capacities as technical officer and retired as General Manager in 2011. I am currently the consultant to NABARD on Watershed Development and Rural infrastructure projects.

    Bengaluru was not the same as it is now, way back in the 1970s. It was much calmer, cleaner, safer and had more green spaces than it has today. The roads were free of traffic and trees lined the stretch along Double Road.

    I picked up the habit of writing Kannada poems after my retirement and I've even published a book titled, 'Sravana.' My second book of poetry titled 'Hongirana' is half way through and should be ready soon. My wife also studied in the same college and was a year junior to me which I didn't know until we met through an arranged marriage.

    My classmates branched into different professions. Many joined as geologists in the Department of Mines and Geology and some others joined as hydrogeologists in the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB). One of my close friends Srikanta Murthy, a high school classmate, studied with me until MSc and retired as deputy director, Mines and Geology.

    Another friend Shanthakumar GS was my colleague in Soil Survey and retired as Assistant Soil Survey Officer. Ajeeth Chinnappa, who secured the first rank, is currently working as advisor to the Minister of Environment in Dubai. Nijagunappa retired as professor of Geology from Gulbarga University.

    This picture was taken 44 years ago and every time I look at it, I feel good because it brings back memories of days when life was simple and free of all responsibilities. Those were our golden days.
    (The author can be contacted on 8762692651)

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  • 02/24/16--03:07: Anything is possible
  • Dear Madam,I am currently in my 2nd year of BBM and want to do MBA in the future. I have always wanted to study abroad but I can hardly afford my college fees right now. Moreover, I'm afraid that I won't be able to secure a seat in a good college abroad since my marks have been average. I scored 77 per cent in my 10th and 86 per cent in my 12th. My average in college has been 74 per cent (in the past 3 semesters). My mother is trying to convince me to write UPSC examinations. While I understand that it is a prestigious position and it guarantees job security, I want to pursue a management career. My questions to you are:a)Are there any good universities in the UK, Canada, or USA that I can apply to considering my marks?b)Can you tell me about some scholarships and loans I can avail if I get placed in a foreign university?c)Are there any universities that are cheaper in any other country while providing quality education?A concerned Student

    Dear Student,Don't worry. There are enough and more universities for all budgets that will accept you. Your scores are not so bad. You are just being harsh on yourself. All universities offer scholarship, research assistantship, graduate assistantship and teaching assistantship opportunities. Take the GMAT and the IELTS exam. Get good scores in both these exams. Entry to most MBA programmes would require two to three years work experience. If you wish to pursue an MS or MSc in Management or any other Business related subject you could apply soon after your BBM. Many UK and Canadian universities offer courses that have study and work options. In UK for instance, all Masters programmes are for one year except in Scotland where the duration of the programmes are for two years. If you pick a sandwich programme (work-study) in a university in England you would study for the first year and pay tuition fees for that year alone and in the second year you would work and get paid. Canada also offers similar options but their masters programmes are for two years.

    Dear Madam,I am pursuing my BPharm from Pune University. I wish to obtain my masters degree abroad. Which country provides with the best opportunities for an MS degree related to my field of study? My aggregate percentile score for 3 years is 55.Which entrance exams, should I plan to pursue? My elders have advised me to drop this plan as I don't have a good aggregate score and the expenditure for studying abroad is too high.Shubam Tiwari

    Dear Shubam,I would suggest UK or US since you have a huge option of Universities that will accept your present scores. UK will be cheaper than US since the duration of your programme will be for one year and not two as is the case in the US.

    Dear Madam,I have finished my diploma in civil engineering this year and interested in going abroad for further studies in bachelors in architecture. Kindly help me where to study. Suggest me where to study. Is it beneficial if I study abroad?Syed Zeeshan

    Dear Syed,I would recommend you pursue your Bachelors in Architecture in the UK. Not only do you have world renowned Universities in the United Kingdom but you also complete your Bachelors in a matter of 3 years. If you study an extra year, you complete your Masters. You save on time and money and your BArch is recognised all over the world.

    Dear Madam,My daughter is in the first year of physiotherapy and is enjoying her course well. She wants to pursue her masters in the field of sports and is keenly interested in doing it abroad either in US, UK or Australia.Kindly share with us the details of the requirements in terms of the expectations from the different countries. Do also enlighten us on what are the entry criteria for this course in those countries.

    Dear Parent,Ask your daughter to write the IELTS exam. This is a simple English test and all she needs to study in UK and Australia. To pursue her Masters in US or Canada, she also needs to write her GRE exam. The reason I have included Canada in my suggestion is many good Canadian universities offer Masters programmes related to sports.

    Dear Madam,I have finished bachelors in architecture, but I want to pursue a masters course in writing/psychology/philosophy in Europe. I am currently doing Diploma in creative writing in English through IGNOU. I would like to know from where I should start looking for information as there are many sites which offer information about courses. Also which universities would you suggest with low tuition fees, provides scholarships and/or fellowships as well. And what are the requirements and qualifications that will be required, as I have bachelors in architecture and not in arts. I wish to pursue a masters programme in the arts, psychology or philosophy.

    Dear Sanjeetha,If you want to study in Europe, I would recommend UK. The universities there are quite flexible and will accept you into any programme, in spite of your back ground being in an unrelated subject. Pick a university outside London where the living expenses would be low. Nottingham Trent University, which is a public university, offers a range of courses in the areas that interest you. They also offer study and work options. Another university that would be reasonably priced is Sheffield Hallam. For more on these universities and scholarship options please visit


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  • 02/24/16--03:09: Bulletin Board....
  • Reva University admissionsReva University has announced admissions for the academic year 2016-17 through its various admissions tests. The engineering online test will be held between 17th April and 24th April and the offline test on 20th April. The University offers several undergraduate and post graduate programmes in engineering, architecture, law, commerce and management, science and technology, arts and humanities. For more information, visit or contact 9538874444/ 45.


    Robotic contest winnersNovatech Robo Bengaluru in association with Robofest Lawrence Technological University Michigan, USA organised Robotic Festival 2016 in Bengaluru with over 140 students from various schools including four government schools participating. In the Junior special category (1st to 4th std), the winners are Arjun, Saamya and Tanush (1st prize), Nikhil Sharma, Chiranjiv Babu and Mattu (2nd), Martin, Ines Lee and Rahul (3rd), and Megha (4th) — all are students from Indus International School. In the Junior Category (5th to 8th std), the winning position is shared between Sophia School, Indus International School and Kushal from Channasandra Government School. In addition, prizes were won by students from Bishop Cotton, Sri Vani school, Venkat International School, National High School Basavangudi and DPS South


    INK Fellows programmeINK, a platform for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas and inspiring stories, is inviting applications for its INK Fellows Programme. The Fellows initiative provides young change-makers a platform for discovery and exposure, while also equipping them with the mentorship, support, networks and specially designed opportunities necessary to help take their brilliant work to the next level. INK will select 20 young leaders to comprise the class of 2016. It is open to individuals aged between 18 and 40 year. The application can be filed by answering an online questionnaire that is available on the website, or by uploading a 3-minute video on YouTube and including it in the application form. INK also encourages nominations. Those interested in nominating candidates can access the form at Shortlisted candidates who make it to the second stage will be called upon to provide additional information in support of their application and to be interviewed. Applications to the initial stage will close on April 8, 2016.


    Entrepreneurs' programme Lemon School of Entrepreneurship (LSE) has announced the launch of its Spring 2016 Programme in "Global Programme in Experiential Entrepreneurship & Innovation" at its Nagpur Campus. India's first experiential entrepreneurship programme was launched last year. Lemon School of Entrepreneurship also announces the admission for the prestigious Spring 2016 batch for GP E2I (Global Programme in Experiential Entrepreneurship & Innovation) at LSE. The program would address various aspects of venture creation, ideation, validation and real life immersion, technology usage apart from knowledge based management subjects. Lemon programmes have no qualification restrictions and are open for Indian and international candidates. Admissions are open and the last date to apply is 29 February, 2016. For details visit the website, or call 8407911142.


    Course in Cloud Computing Manipal ProLearn has launched a certification course in Cloud Computing with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This helps professionals explore the cost effective services offered by Amazon Web Services in enhancing their business opportunities and in attaining their strategic goals. This course is available in three modes of delivery - Online (Self-paced), Instructor-led, and Classroom. Live online sessions and webinars with industry experts ensure better understanding of the subject. With e-learning content and course videos accessible anytime, anywhere, this course gives learners the advantage of learning at their convenience. Self-assessment exercises at the end of each module help students gauge their learning. For more information, visit


    MSc in Wireless CommunicationsUniversity of Southampton, UK invites applications for one-year MSc Wireless Communication programme. The programme helps the students to develop a thorough understanding of some of the most important technologies that are transforming the communications systems. The course commences from September 2016. The deadline for the application is 31 March, 2016.For more details about the course, visit Additionally, you can contact the university directly over email,


    IAS interview guidanceKerala Samajam IAS Academy, Bengaluru is offering free guidance for the Personality test for Civil Services examination 2016. The programme scheduled on February 27th, 28th and March 12th and 13th. This comprises of a comprehensive session on the right techniques and approach for the interview by Y Satyanarayana, Joint Commissioner (Commercial Taxes), Hyderabad, a leading personality development expert followed by mock interviews. The aspirants will get a chance to attend a minimum of three mock interviews from expert panels comprising of senior IAS, IPS, IRS officers and other eminent personalities. Interested candidates may send the copy of the DAF immediately to For more details contact, 9880147952


    MSc in Digital SocietyIIIT Bangalore announces admissions to the second batch of its interdisciplinary Master of Science programme in Digital Society. We welcome graduates from all disciplines to apply to this unique programme that is positioned at the intersection of information technologies and social sciences. The curriculum offers students opportunities to engage with, learn, and attain professional credentials in issues and concerns that fuel the growth and use of digital practices in todays world. Applications are open and can be submitted online until 15 March, 2016. This can be done on the IIITB admissions portal: details about the programme is available at:


    National Engineering ChallengeThe Gate Academy is organising a National Level Engineering Quiz to identify and recognise students with high intellect and academic talent in the field of engineering. The final event that is to be held in Bengaluru is aimed at empowering engineering students and exposing them to national-level competition. Based on the tests and quizzes, 100 scholarships and prizes worth Rs 25 lakh will be awarded to the students. To register, students can either visit any one of the 50 centres of The Gate Academy to get the log-in credentials. Alternatively, they can log on to to register.


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