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    William Arthur Ward, an American writer, once said, "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." This saying holds especially true in the present education system as it is running short of teachers who inspire the students. As teachers, I feel, we must take an effort
    to understand our role in shaping the career of a student. What India really needs today is great teachers who can deliver education not just by quantity but by quality.

    Path to being better

    Often, it is asked that what really makes an effective teacher. During my teaching career, there have been several students who have contributed to my understanding the intricacies of a teacher-student relationship. Here are some of the things that I have learned that might help teachers to be more effective and inspiring:

    Create interest: A human can travel beyond his or her possibilities only if he or she is exploratory. One of the best ways to make someone explore is to enable them to develop an interest. It is an important task for a teacher to create an interest in learning something. If a student is not interested in Mathematics, for instance, he or she wont obviously give much attention to it. As a result, the performance in the subject will be poor. It is true that the student can easily love the subject only if a teacher can make it look interesting. Hence, a teacher first needs to have interest in the subject he or she is teaching.

    Develop creativity: An effective teacher is always the one who develops the sense of creativity in students. The teacher should foster a generation of innovators by encouraging students to experiment with improvisational skills, role play and other active learning techniques. The spirit of thinking creatively is what teachers really need to develop.

    Some of the ways to develop creativity is to ask students to make the best out of waste such as using some papers, pins, ice cream sticks, etc. Classrooms should be designed in such a way as to help students to have visual reflections.

    Listen well: A good teacher is always a great listener. He or she not only talks but also keenly listens to all what the students have to say. If a certain topic or point is found to be debatable, a good teacher does not hesitate to throw open the topic to the whole class and invite individual opinions on the matter.

    Be a motivator: Many research articles talk about depression being the biggest disorder of this century. As many students can get depressed, it is the job of an effective teacher to act as a great motivator and help them strive to become better. Today, the role of a teacher is not just to teach but also act as a motivator, guide and
    mentor.

    Be accessible: An effective teacher should always be accessible to his or her students. There are times when I have seen students waiting to talk to their teachers. This should not be the case. Teachers should always be easily accessible to students to clarify doubts.

    Student-teacher relationship: As James Comer, a child psychiatrist, once said "No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship." This holds true in the case of the relationship that evolves between a student and teacher. Most of the times, the things that the students need the most are not in the teachers lesson plans.

    It is essential for teachers to develop a rapport with the students so that they can share their thoughts easily. If a teacher has a good relationship with the students, they are more likely to readily accept the rules, procedures and disciplinary actions. What really makes a positive student-teacher relationship is good communication, a safe learning environment, mutual respect, being patient and fair treatment of students.

    Not all students are alike. While some quickly grasp the concepts taught and take an active part in the learning process, others may be shy, uninterested or even downright disruptive. As a result, it becomes essential for a teacher to create an atmosphere that is conducive to make the learning process interesting for all.

    The teachers are like sculptors and students are like the soft clay ready to be moulded into a masterpiece. This can have a positive and long-lasting effect on a students academic and social development. With these tips, having such a positive effect on the students will become easier.

    (The author is assistant professor, Vidyavahini First Grade College, Tumakuru)


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  • 01/09/18--22:32: Each to his own!
  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday recalled its order that made playing the National Anthem mandatory in cinema halls across the country. Moviegoers in the city share their thoughts about this new move with Metrolife.

    Naveen Suresh, Food blogger

    "Why did the government have to create this drama out of nothing? Before that it was never mandatory to sing the National Anthem. I strongly believe that patriotism is not something that can be forced on someone, it should come from the heart. Instead of stressing on less important things, I think the government should think about providing food, clothing and shelter for the poor and neglected instead of creating all this buzz."

    Gowri Om, Marketing and communications manager

    "It certainly would make people feel less uncomfortable. I have experienced the passively aggressive abrasive environment when I chose not to stand up because the practice of belongingness to the land we refer to as roots is more than the conceptual idea of respecting it. To me, it translates to actually taking care of the land, ensuring you dont pollute it, so on and so forth. I wish theatres used that slot to impart more meaningful information."

    Amrit Prakash, Product specialist

    "Its part of my job to plan refreshment trips for our international clients. Going for movies with them comes as part of it. Most foreign nationals find it odd to stand up for our National Anthem before the film. They usually dont know what to do and they ask as to why it is compulsory. So I think the Supreme Courts move is good. Personally speaking, I will miss singing the National Anthem. Maybe I will just forget about it and look forward to watching the movie."

    Aditya Kshirsagar, Communication manager

    "The SC has passed the onus from themselves to cinema owners. In the current climate, it is not unimaginable that theatre owners would continue playing the National Anthem due to pressure from certain parts of society. The move is a bad decision. I am someone who enjoys the National Anthem but many others dont. Of course, there is a sense of patriotism when you hear it but you cant force it on the people."


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  • 01/09/18--22:34: Do what you love
  • Dear Sir,

    My son is studying in PUC I, with Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Computer Science as his electives. He likes Physics more than any other subject. But he is not able to do well in Maths. Can you suggest some courses based on Physics that he can do after PUC II? Also inform about the scope for these courses.

    A Parent

    Dear Parent,

    Do check with him if he is interested in going into pure Physics as a full-time career. If so, he can take up a BSc degree, an integrated MS degree or even a four-year BS in Physics from any reputed institution.

    But keep in mind that you should also evaluate his other traits to know whether after his studies, he would like to be in research, teaching, product development, quality control, etc. The courses he takes up should be based on his long-term goals. If he is genuinely committed and talented, he can have a good future.

    Dear Sir,

    I am a PUC I Science student. As I to pursue medicine, I have to write the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). I am not going for any NEET coaching. While my mother has advised me to take NEET coaching after my PUC II exam, my friend has advised me to take up NEET coaching from this year itself. I feel that if I concentrate on my NEET preparation, I may not be able to concentrate on academics. I also feel that I may get confused while reading both NEET as well as my syllabus. Please guide as to when is the appropriate time to start NEET coaching.

    Priyanka

    Dear Priyanka,

    At this stage it is very important that you build up your foundation and acquire good knowledge and skills. That will be useful to you regardless of what career you take up.

    Also, since NEET is a highly competitive exam and sometimes even very deserving candidates cannot get a good rank, it is better not to put all your efforts and hopes into that one exam. So, you can start preparing initially by getting books or online Apps, and in the holidays after PUC I, you can attend short-term coaching.

    Focus on the learning through your PUC studies, and also start exploring various other career options that interest you and are part of the medical field.

    Dear Sir,

    I am currently studying in Class 12 and I wish to study Speech Language and Pathology. Can you suggest some good universities where I can pursue this course and other allied health sciences courses?

    Nikhitha

    Dear Nikhitha,

    Bachelor of Speech Language Pathology (BSLPA) is a four-year course (including internship) that makes you a paramedical professional to work with patients who have speech or hearing defects, ranging from small children with delayed milestones to elders who lose their hearing or stroke related speech impairment.

    The most reputed institutes are All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru (www.aiishmysore.in), and Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped (www.ayjnihh.nic.in). Bengaluru also has a few colleges affiliated to Bangalore University, notably Dr S R Chandrasekhar Institute Of Speech And Hearing (www.speechear.org) and Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing (www.samvaadinstitute.org).

    Admission is through entrance exams conducted by the respective institutions. Prospects for employment are good in hospitals, polyclinics, therapy centres and one can open an individual consultation also.

    Dear Sir,

    I am studying in Class 12 (Science). I want to do BTech in Chemical engineering. Could you let me know as to what the future career prospects for a chemical engineer in India will be like? Also, please let me know if the course is interesting as I want to join this stream because many say so.

    A Student

    Dear Student,

    Please do not go by others words relating to career. You have to take the trouble of finding out whether that stream is interesting to you or not. Read a few textbooks on Chemical engineering, find out more information about the course online, visit one or two colleges offering this course and speak to a few students and teachers doing the course, and most importantly, talk to some professionals who are already working in the field. Only then you will be able to decide whether it suits you in terms of subjects of study, lifestyle, expertise required, personality traits etc.

    Chemical engineering is offered by innumerable universities all over the country, and there is a steady and consistent demand for chemical engineers.

    Dear Sir,

    I am studying in Class 10 (CBSE). I am interested in Biology, but I do not want Maths in PUC. Are there any PU colleges offering courses in Science without Maths? If I take such a course, what options would I have later?

    SP

    Dear SP,

    There are a number of PU colleges offering Science without Maths. There are also a selected number of CBSE and ISC schools that give such combinations.

    After completing PUC, you can opt to go for courses in the fields of paramedical, nutrition, agriculture, horticulture, environment, wildlife, plant pathology, cognitive neurosciences, and many more. Once you finish PUC I, you can start exploring
    different careers, courses
    and colleges.

    Dear Sir,

    My son is completing his seventh semester in Medical Electronics engineering. If he does not get placement through college, what options would you suggest? Can higher studies be done?

    RT

    Dear RT,

    One need not go for higher studies only because he is not getting campus placement. If he has studied well and is proficient in the field, he can try on his own for an entry level job in even a small or medium enterprise, regardless of the initial salary.

    Having studied the theory, it is very important that he gets hands-on and practical experience, after which he will know what he would like to specialise in and what higher studies to pursue. In case he does not find medical electronics fascinating, there is nothing preventing him from moving into non-technical careers also.


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    Across India, several educational institutes give immense importance to their recruitment drives. While the students get anxious during the placement season and try hard to get a job in a reputed company with a good package, the industry will be looking for the right fit for the profile that is available.

    Recruitment trends in a placement season largely depends on the current and predicted economic developments. India has witnessed a decelerated economy at 5.7% in the June quarter of 2017-2018. In its South Asia Economic Focus (for Fall 2017), the World Bank reduced Indias gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 7% for 2017-2018 from 7.2% estimated earlier, while maintaining at the same time that the economy would claw back to grow to 7.4% by 2019-2020.

    This placement season has witnessed several changes. For instance, in B-Schools, there is an increase in the number of companies that are visiting campuses for placement though the requirement in each company has come down greatly. Mass recruitment by IT companies which was witnessed in the past few years is not seen this season. There has been a cap on the recruitment drive by a few sectors such as the automobile industry.

    While the premier business schools still maintain that they can complete placing the students within the stipulated placement period, the economic slowdown in the year 2016-2017 has affected the appointment being given to students in most Tier II institutions in the country. This calls for a very focused placement drive by institutions. While it is normal to see the salary packages rise every year, this year there has been a rise in the average salary offered to the graduates.

    Overall, though the beginning of this placement season has been slow, some institutions have been able to catch up well with most of their students being offered jobs. With the prediction of a growth in the GDP of the country and increase in global job offers, there is a hope that the job market in the next quarter will see an upward trend.

    Institutions now need to understand the future trends of the economy and the technological disruptions to nurture students to be employable. Focusing on the skills and knowledge that is relevant to the future is very pertinent in the rapidly changing ecosystem. A few institutions have identified programmes to tackle this concern. Additionally, institutions need to find innovative mechanisms to nurture employable students continuously by providing quality education.

    Mentor the students

    It is essential to identify the strengths and career aspirations of the students right from the time they start the course, and mentor them to achieve their chosen career goals. This will help institutions identify companies and job profiles that match the batch that are ready to be placed. This will also translate into better placements every year with an increase in the number of companies visiting for campus placement and offering higher pay packages.

    Getting mentors from the corporate world on board as well can help accelerate placements in the final term. The corporate mentors should engage with the students right from the first term with both industry and faculty mentors guiding them to realise their potential and work
    towards realising their passion and help the students in getting the right profile. The institutions should emphasise the need for concerted efforts that the student has to put in the competitive environment.

    Since most companies complain on students not being industry-ready and the need to reskill them during the induction period, there is a requirement of longer internship programmes. This could extend up to four months as opposed to the two-month summer internship where the students might not be able to gain the relevant experiences that are required for a final placement. The longer internships are practice-oriented experiential learning programmes that can help companies deal with the job fit and reskilling requirement.

    It has become essential for institutions to continuously engage in upgrading their deliverables to students. This can enable them to keep pace with the evolving corporate requirements.

    (The author is director, IFIM Business School, Bengaluru)


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  • 01/09/18--22:36: On my pinboard
  • Milind Soman started his career as a model but it was his appearance in Alisha Chinais music video Made in India, in 1995, which made him popular. Later, Milind went on to star in television serials like Captain Vyom and films like 16 December, Pachaikili Muthucharam, Jodi Breakers and Chef. Milind is also an avid sportsperson and is a national swimming champion. He also holds a Limca record for running 1,500 km in 30 days time. In 2012, the womens only running event Pinkathon was set up under his guidance, to promote good health and breast cancer awareness among women. Milind was in the city recently to announce the sixth edition of Colors Pinkathon Bengaluru which is all set to flag off on February 18.

    Actor

    Arnold Schwarzenegger

    "I like him more as a person. The kind of things that he has done in his life is extremely inspiring. He came to the United States from Austria as a young boy. After that, his journey from Mr Olympia to becoming the Governor of California is almost unimaginable. Whatever he has achieved is through sheer determination and self-belief. Benedict Cumberbatch is another actor whom I admire."

    Travel

    Tokyo

    "I love to explore a new place each time I am on the move. Life is too short to repeat destinations. But if I have to choose one, I would like to go back to Japan. I had recently visited Tokyo, and I loved it. I usually travel only for work but I ensure that I run and make the most out of it."

    Movie

    On Golden Pond

    "My all-time favourite movie is On Golden Pond. It is a movie about family relationships and old age. It is a very emotional and touching story and makes for a great watch."

    Book

    Of Human Bondage

    "This novel by W Somerset Maugham is a classic and one-of-its-kind. I like relationships and want to understand and know more about them; what people believe in, what they go through, how they understand each other and maintain relationships. It is a brilliant book and is a good read."

    Cuisine

    Japanese

    "Sushi, Teriyaki and Teppanyaki, whatever be it, I love relishing Japanese food. I am very fond of Bengali food too. Kosha Mangsho is something I enjoy the most."


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  • 01/09/18--22:36: When in doubt, pedal it out
  • Cycling has become a favourite pastime of young professionals. They have been exploring the city and outskirts on the cycle. Most of these trips happen on weekends.

    Software engineer Girish Motwani loves cycling and finds these trips a good excuse to step away from the humdrum of the city. "We usually transport the cycle to locations in the Western Ghats like Chikkamagaluru and Mahabaleshwar, or head out to closeby spots like Ooty, Wayanad and cycle there. Ive cycled from the city to Hessarghatta, Savandurga, Manchanabele Dam and Kanva Reservoir too," he says. He adds that after a trip like this, he is able to handle work better during the week.

    "I read a lot of travel blogs and travelogues to get information about such spots. The intention of such trips is to cycle a lot and enjoy it. One has to plan the trip according to the elevation of the place," he adds.

    Even for Shanthi Prasad J C, senior operations manager with an MNC who has been cycling for decades, such trips have proved exciting. He loves cycling during the monsoons as the weather is best then. "I go for such trips regularly, sometimes two to three times in a month. I head out to the Western Ghats or Jog Falls. I love interacting with the local people and relishing the regional food to feel the true essence of the place," he details. He adds that when travelling in a car, one doesnt notice or enjoy the location as when one is on a bicycle.

    Sarathy PB, who works as a UEX expert, says that he goes to Mallalli Falls in Somwarpet, Madhugiri Fort, Avalabetta, Channagiri and Gudibande Fort in Chikkaballapur often. He echoes the concerns of many other cyclists and says that it is important to plan effectively for these trips. "Cycling trips are not like long drives. It is a new experience riding on long routes. These can be more fun and challenging," he says.

    "One needs to be at their healthiest best. Make sure you walk a lot before you go on a long ride. Travel with plenty of water, glucose and fruits to refresh yourself," he says. Sarathy adds that once such details are paid attention to, these trips can be turn out to be life-changing.


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  • 01/09/18--22:38: To work while studying
  • Its no secret that a good education abroad comes with an even better price tag. While parents typically save all their lives to afford quality education for their children, unexpected expenses and a high cost of living on foreign shores can quickly add up to create significant financial pressure.

    It is, therefore, always advisable for students to look at part-time jobs when studying in a foreign university as a way to reduce excess financial burden on their parents and also gain some interesting experiences and exposure. Heres a look at a few rewarding part-time jobs that Indian students can pick up alongside their studies in various parts of the world:

    USA: According to the visa guidelines for students in USA, there is a cap of 20 hours of work per week and any part-time job can only be held on campus, except in exceptional cases. But dont think that this limits your options. Theres plenty of opportunity and enough money to be made if youre studying at a good university. You can take up roles such as library monitor, teaching assistant, peer tutor or book store assistant.

    The portfolio of these jobs will not only allow you to make some extra money, but will also give you quiet time to pursue your own studies or the opportunity to foster deeper relations with the university faculty, as
    in the case of a teaching
    assistant.

    Canada: The stipulations of the Canadian student visa are quite similar to the American one when it comes to working part-time. However, there is an opportunity to work off-campus in this country. In fact, international students take up part-time jobs in Canada rather enthusiastically because the work experience adds significant weight to their applications for permanent residency in the country later in life.

    Since Canada is a multicultural society, the services of translators are in demand. Multilingual Indian students often benefit from such opportunities. One can also work at restaurants and libraries in the vicinity of the campus with necessary work permits.

    United Kingdom: Indian students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week while the term is on. During the university vacation period, they can work full-time. Those students pursuing short-term courses, that is of a duration of less than six months, however, arent permitted to work in the UK in most cases. Many Indian students prefer taking up an evening shift at a local restaurant or fast-food chain.

    This allows them to attend classes during the day. Several students, however, prefer doing a part-time job in a domain that matches their areas of study and long-term career goals. They usually sign up
    on online portals that help them discover relevant part-time jobs in their areas of
    interest.

    Singapore: Singapore has emerged as one of the most popular countries in recent times for Indian students to pursue their higher studies. As far as part-time work goes, if one is registered as a student in one of its approved institutions, then working 16 hours a week is permitted.

    However, these jobs have to be taken up at industrial houses which have an internship-based tie-up with your university. So, if you are planning to study in Singapore and work part-time as well, be sure to check that your university offers these internships which will also pay you a stipend.

    Australia: Academic expenses in Australia may be on the lower side when compared to some of the other countries mentioned here, but living expenses are at par with any of them. Students can work part-time for 40 hours during term time and for unlimited hours during vacation time.

    There are several interesting part-time jobs that students can take up including working in one of the many high-end retail malls or stores, in its thriving hospitality industry, or in sales or telemarketing. Tutoring continues to be a popular option for Indian students pursuing higher studies in the country.

    (The author is chairman, ESS Global, Amritsar)


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    When actor Sruti Hariharan was offered the role of Rama Patil in Humble Politiciann Nogaraj which is due to release on January 12, she grabbed it because she felt that it is the story of what every citizen experiences on a daily basis. In a chat with Nina C George, the actor talks about the making of the movie.


    What impressed you about Humble Politiciann Nograj?

    The film is a political satire which addresses a lot of relevant issues such as corruption and the small scams that affect the overall development and progress of the city and the State at large. We all pay our taxes but noneof us seem to see the results of that. This is one of the many issues that the film explores.


    Could you easily relate to your role?

    I play the character of Rama Patil and she is the voice of reason in the film. Rama echoes the problems faced by ordinary people because of the corrupt practices. Rama decides to register her protest and make a change ratherthan just talk about it. I could totally relate to my role.


    What did you like most about your character?

    My role also has a streak of feminism to it. It throws light on how the urban woman of today balances her professional and personal life. She believes in equal pay and equal opportunities and wishes to be treated on par with men.


    On working with director Saad Khan…

    Saads strong grounding in theatre and years of experience on stage makes him look at filmmaking from a different perspective. He doesnt believe indramatising anything but conveying the message in a strong and effective way.


    How was it to work with Danish Sait?

    Brilliant. Danish portrays the life of a politician. He has captured how most politicians sweet talk they way into peoples psyche. His character takes an in-depth look at some important issues.


    You had more than 10 releases last year. How do you handle your meteoric rise?

    One the professional front, it is definitely flattering but somewhere it is scary because this has raised peoples expectations. And too much of expectations can sometimes get hard to handle.


    Any lessons learnt?

    Some of the films that I thought will do well bombed at the box office and those that I had would have good reviews didnt. So I have learnt that it is better not to expect too much.


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  • 01/09/18--22:38: So long, farewell
  • This photo was taken in 1971. The occasion was the farewell party given to S Viswanath, after he resigned as the purchase superintendent of Bharat Fritz Werner (P) Ltd.

    I was born in Mysore and did my SSLC and diploma in commerce there. I came to Bangalore seeking a job in 1961 and was employed in MICO for two years. Then I joined Bharat Fritz Werner in the purchase department and worked there till May 1976.

    Out of the places of service, I remember very vividly my stay with BFW as we had a very entertaining and harmonious group of officials in the department.

    Our boss was S Keshava, who was a kind-hearted and supportive person. He was not only very helpful but also generous and approachable. Sadly, S Keshava passed away last year.

    There was a lot of laughter and joyfulness, even during the production meetings, which were generally tense affairs.

    S Keshava used to receive a lot of flak in such meetings but he ensured to never pass it on to us. This motivated all of us to rise to the occasion when needed, thus endorsing our solidarity and support to S Keshava.

    We used to go for short tours during holidays to Nandi Hills and Meke Dhatu. Thimmaiah was close to us and was always happy to meet up.

    Prasanna, Viswanath and I used to go to Mysore every year for the Dasara festival. Prasanna later left BFW and joined Central Bank of India and retired as the regional manager.

    Viswanath left BFW to join Kamani Metals & Alloys Ltd as purchase manager. Later he joined Nagarjuna Steels and retired as purchase manager. Ramaraj Urs started a small scale industry. I am still in touch with Viswanath and Prasanna.

    Back then, I lived in Malleswaram for many years and then in Sriramapuram for some time. During those days, the roads then were safe and congestion-free and it was easy to enjoy a ride on a two-wheeler.

    There wasnt much traffic in Margosa Road, where we lived earlier. We used to walk on the roads without anxiety and the fear of unruly driving by ruthless drivers.

    Both Margosa and Sampige roads had plenty of trees on both sides of the road. Even in hot summers, walking on these roads was pleasant and comfortable.

    Eateries were only a few and we used to get homely food in Malleswaram in these restaurants. Plenty of cultural programmes used to be held in Malleswaram, which was a cultural paradise in those days.

    However today, it has become unlivable, especially for senior citizens.

    I am blessed with a son and two daughters - all of them are engineering graduates. My son is currently working as an associate professor at the University of Illinois, USA and my second daughter is working with BMW as an executive in Colombo, USA.

    My first daughter resigned her job to take care of her children. She lives in Rajajinagar and takes care of me and my needs. Even after all these years, I still love my locality (Malleswaram), my city Bengaluru and my country even though things have changed in many respects.

    R Subramanyam(The author can be contacted at subbu_r30@yahoo.com)


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    Digital media has transformed the method in which we invest in real estate. From performing the basic property search online to closing the deal with a safe and secure transaction, the online portal has taken over the sales and marketing of completed, under-construction and upcoming properties. A large portion of homebuyers research online and find it convenient to check and shortlist apartments virtually before physically going to see it.

    In fact, data suggests that 92% of homebuyers search online to find their dream home. Additionally, 82% of real estate investors trust online agents as a reliable source of information, and 42% have resorted to the internet as their first-search medium. With such statistics, it is no surprise that digital media makes a huge contribution to real estate sales.

    Multiple platforms

    Gone are the days when real estate companies used digital media merely for brand building. With a plethora of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google, it is safe to say that digital media plays a pivotal role in making the world a much smaller place.

    With YouTube being the most-watched medium, Twitter being the most credible platform to influence purchase decisions, LinkedIn being the go-to medium for professional networking, and Facebook being the most popular social networking site in India, it only makes sense for real estate developers to resort to social media marketing for advertising and branding.

    In todays digital world, most companies are allotting 50% of their marketing budget for digital marketing, with Facebook contributing to 18% of the overall online sales. Facebook ads provide developers with the advantage of picking out their target audience and presenting them with offers and benefits they cannot say no to. Apart from detailed targeting, Facebook also helps you with micro-targeting in which consumer data and demographics are used to identify the interests of individuals to influence them into making a purchase.

    There is no doubt that social media platforms provide property builders with opportunities to showcase their brand and engage with their target audience. However, apart from reaching out to homebuyers and ranking first on Google, real estate developers are also targeting potential clients through Google ads and property portals. They have started utilising digital media as a channel for quality lead generation and to widen their clientele with advanced advertising strategies such as Google search, banner ads and regional ads. Interestingly, Google ads contribute to 12% of online sales, making it a fool-proof method to generate leads.

    In the past few years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of real estate companies resorting to regional ads to widen their reach and generate more leads. With the help of regional content, companies are now targeting Tier II and Tier III cities to take the plunge and invest in real estate.

    Going international

    Real estate portals, on the other hand, help consumers with personal recommendations and reviews of the property at stake. They connect potential homebuyers with property developers and are an excellent platform for like-minded people to have an insightful conversation.

    Since referrals and testimonials are the basic ingredients to create a credible brand name in the real estate industry, being active in these portals is a sure-shot way to reach your audience and generate quality leads. Additionally, the fact that online portals contribute a whopping 25% to overall digital sales is only proof that this is an assured way to generate leads.

    Furthermore, digital media marketing also helps in showcasing properties on an international front. Not only does this give property developers the global recognition that they are striving for, but also helps in targeting NRIs to invest in real estate from the comfort of their homes. NRIs can now easily perform searches, read reviews and conduct their entire research online to shortlist properties, and even invest in the desired property with a click of a button.While print media remains a big part of real estate developers marketing strategies, digital media has become an integral part of the marketing plan. According to leading real estate developers, the quality of leads is excellent, deriving better return on investment (ROI) from digital media. For some developers who have been successful in digital marketing, over 30% to 50% of their total sales come from the digital medium, and this number is only going to increase in the coming year.

    (The author is founder and managing director, Casagrand)


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  • 01/10/18--21:26: Let the festivities begin!
  • The dawn of the New Year always coincides with Makara Sankranti, the first major festival of the year which celebrates the beauty and love of nature. Being a harvest festival, the occasion invokes the theme of back to the roots and is sort of a thanksgiving to nature and its bounties. This is a perfect time to give your home a new look, inspired by the festival. If youre confused, well tell you how to do it right.

    Tradition beckons

    When it comes to decorating your home to give the feel of Sankranti, the evergreen idea is to make a beautiful and traditional rangoli at the entrance of your home. It can be drawn using chalk or flour. Alternately, artificial or acrylic rangoli stickers or floor murals work well to enhance the festive look too.

    "Make a floral statement with various flowers available in the market. Let the freshness and fragrance of these flowers boost the festive spirit. Go traditional by using the customary oil lamps or diyas. Paper lanterns, colourful kites, fancy ribbons and candles are an easy way of adding charm to the living space. The festival is marked by feasts and bonfires, so it is the best time to invite friends and family over for an outdoor night party, with music and fairy lights. Be mindful of serving them in style, this must constitute a part of your decor plan. The dining table of your house must look ready for the occasion. Ensure thoughtful arrangement of sweets and snacks, probably on gold or silver-plated bowls or trays. Support the look with eye-catching candle holders," suggests Amardeep Gulri, founder, Deco-Arte.

    This festival is the perfect time to deck up your home. "It is a great idea to introduce coloured fabrics in the form of interesting pillow covers or a throw. Having brass accents in the home with colourful potpourri is an unexplored yet interesting decor accent. Avoid having multiple decor accents in a single room. Do not have clashing colour schemes in a single area," says Shibani Dasgupta Jain, founder and CEO, Baaya Design.

    Do the new

    As a festival that heralds new beginnings and which has an inextricable connection with nature, it is time to ring in the new. Terrariums are among the most prevalent festive trends of the year and complement any room in a house, and are also inexpensive and easy to maintain. "They come with too many variations and styles. You can place them, hang them, fill them or paint them as per your requirements. Printed terracotta tiles provide an earthy and matte look, giving a chic and contemporary look to ordinary spaces. So, one can use different kinds of tiles and can make pavers, coasters or some wall art out of it," says Amardeep.

    Mixing colours with metals is going to be big this festive season. Think hot pink orchids floating in a simple copper urli as an entryway decor idea. Sagar Datta, head designer, Casa Interio, explains, "Incorporate bright colours into your home. Maintaining the traditional appeal of this festival, one can incorporate a lot of Indian contemporary design ideas. Get different fabrics in a variety of colours and textures like nets, velvets and sequins to decorate walls and the entrance of the house."

    Go natural

    Jalaj Anand, creative director, Frazer and Haws, says, "One can light up the house with diyas and make rangoli, just like you would on Diwali. Sankranti marks the start of an auspicious phase for Hindus, so any new start like building or redecorating your home is a good idea. Since it also marks the onset of spring, one can choose decor pieces inspired by nature."

    Mrinmayee Kundalia, owner & creative director, TUNI Tales, adds, Bright colours, kites and new beginnings is what comes to mind when I think of Sankranti. To bring that festive spirit home, I suggest a change in table linen as the most fun way to celebrate this festival. Yellows and oranges are close to this festival. Toss up the table linen with fun runners, mats, napkins. Paired with seasonal flowers and plants, the home can look bright, fresh and signify new beginnings. With festive sweets and food taking centre stage, team it with bright handmade linen."

    It is a good idea to try using colourful napkins and fold them in fun kite shapes to bring in the festive feel. Paper lanterns are another easy way of adding charm to the living space. So, go ahead in full force this Sankranti to give your home a festive makeover.


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  • 01/10/18--21:28: For a dash of romance
  • The very image of a balcony thrills most of us. The breeze, the outdoors and perhaps a mini garden to bond with nature is all too enticing. But not all balconies are spacious enough. For instance, faux balconies are more of an aesthetic element. These balconies are small and their main function is to provide an obstruction to a doorway or a French window opening out from a room. A true balcony, on the other hand, has the doors opening out onto a small patio with railings.

    One of the interesting variations in balconies is the Juliet balcony. No prizes for guessing the origins of the term. This is a small balcony and does not afford space for a recliner or a cane table-chair set. But one can open the French window or the door on a sunny day and convert the entire room into a balcony. One can also place a relaxing chair in the balcony and create a reading or a napping spot.

    The aesthetic appearance of a Juliet balcony is not restricted to the interiors. It adds to the beauty of the building from the exterior too. Its railings can be made of different materials. Glass sheets lend a touch of class, a stone balustrade is a time-honoured option, while metal railings are sturdy.

    Aluminium Juliet balconies are quick and easy to install. Since its small, the Juliet balcony usually does not require columns, posts or rods for support. You can always add a touch of green to the balcony. Add hanging baskets with bright flowering plants. Twine creepers around the balusters. Fix planters to the railings and use them to grow plants with colourful flowers or foliage.

    The Juliet balcony need not be incorporated only into a building thats under construction. You can get your existing building renovated to accommodate it too. And, the best part is that it is inexpensive. Modern apartments are going for it with great gusto.

    So, what are you waiting for? Get that Juliet balcony for your bedroom or living room, and invite the outdoors inside.


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  • 01/10/18--21:34: 5 tips for a clean home
  • With the winter at its peak, staying indoors is the ideal option. However, while our homes can be inviting, it does tend to accumulate dust, dirt and germs with every arrival and exit. Hence, it is crucial to clean and maintain the well-being of the living quarters. Here are a few tips on maintaining a clean space.

    Clean & clear

    Water heaters tend to accumulate dirt and dust over a period of time. With hot water being used more often in winter, its important to have your water heater thoroughly flushed and cleared of its impurities. This ensures its efficiency, clean water and prevents wear and tear.

    Clean ceiling fans

    Clean the fan blades and other hard-to-reach surface furniture with a damp cloth. Places situated at a height accumulate dust and circulate in the room. Regular cleaning improves the overall look of the space and makes it less toxic.

    Disinfect

    Telephone receivers, carpets, window panes, computer keyboards and door handles are common areas that are soiled easily. Use anti-bacterial wipes for a swift and easy clean.

    Shoes out

    Make it a habit to leave the shoes out and wear a different set of slippers inside the house. Furthermore, if you have pets, make sure you clean their paws before letting them in.

    Be prepared

    Since this is the season of the flu, ensure all your warm clothes and blankets are washed ahead of time and are ready to use.

    Fog the corners

    In winters, bugs and pests seek comfort in the corners of the house. Fog the corners of the house using eco-friendly or house-friendly pesticides, and dust the corners properly.

    (The author is home-cleaning
    category head, Housejoy)


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    Choose the right geyser

    There are few things that are as soothing and relaxing as a warm shower. If youre just moving into a new place or want to replace an existing water heater, deciding which one to choose can get confusing. Here are some points to consider when you are looking for a geyser:

    Energy efficient

    Geysers usually require a lot of energy and are one of the main reasons for high electricity bills. Hence, energy efficiency is one of the most important things to consider while selecting geysers.

    Auto Off

    When the water is sufficiently heated, the power supply gets automatically cut off and starts again when the water begins to lose heat. Of course, you still must switch off the geyser or else the whole on-off cycle continues through the day. The auto-off feature keeps the geysers inner part from burning out.

    Service & warranty

    Make sure to check the warranty period and how efficient the company is with after-sales services. Most manufacturers provide at least two years of warranty and some offer different periods for different parts of the geyser.

    Space & size

    The size of geyser mostly depends on your needs and the size of your bathroom. You will also need to consider where exactly you need the geyser to be fixed and consider the height and where the pipes are. Traditional geysers are huge and take up a lot of space while the instant geysers take up little room.

    Lifespan

    Instant water heaters are more durable than the storage geysers because they tend to decompose. Also, instant heaters come with parts that can be easily replaced to give them a longer life.

    Appearance

    May not be as important but, in a new house or bathroom, we would want the geyser to blend with the tiles and walls. Most geysers come in subtle colours and have a glossy finish. Some of them have a rust-proof body.

    (Abhay Singh, appliances category head, Housejoy)


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    Solo artiste Sanjay Kumar started his tryst with music as an eight-year-old when he was training in Carnatic music and learned to play the keyboard. He wanted to explore much more, his interests moved to rock music and he started playing the guitar soon. After being a part of several bands, he is now a member of the Raghu Dixit Project while he explores his own music through his instrumental solo project Foi. In a candid chat with Tini Sara Anien, Sanjay talks about his world of music.

    How did your interest in music develop?

    After my training in music, I remember being part of college bands and winning various competitions across the country. I got attached to music and before I knew it I was producing electronic music. I set a studio up and was working with music before I knew that I wanted more.

    Tell us about your solo project.

    I love working with people. Thats how Foi came into the picture. Foi means faith in French and it revolves around themes that are connected to faith. I write all the music, record it and do gigs with sessions musicians. I produced an album in this project which was released recently.

    What is the album about?

    The album was called Faith and has eight tracks in it. Some of the tracks in the movie are Balance, Battles, Trenches, Gaps and Freedom. My songs were inspired by an artwork, which showed a person walking on a thread towards the sun. My music is left to the listeners imagination and does not stick to rigid parameters. Instrumental music is more imaginative.

    Do you like recording music or performing live?

    I really like creating and recording tracks. I find this very fulfilling. But, the energy at a live act is infectious.

    What is your favourite kind of music?

    I work with folk music in one project, metal music in my project and have also worked on movie tracks. It would be really hard to pick a favourite. I love listening to certain artistes. My choice in music varies according to my mood. Raghu Dixit is my favourite artiste in the country. In the international music scene, I love Ed Sheeran and Foo Fighters.

    Has your music changed over the years?

    I believe that all the experiences I have had over the years have affected my music. All the people I met and things I have seen over years have rendered their own touch to my creations. The more you work with an instrument the more proficient your music becomes.

    What usually inspires you?

    I drawn inspiration from things around. I listen to music and get inspired.

    What is the last track you heard?

    Catalyst by Linkin Park.


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  • 01/10/18--22:10: A safari through Dubai
  • The City of Luxury they call it, and truly so. Although the city has been hyped up by movie industries all over the world for its extravagant lifestyle, it still hasnt lost its old world charm.

    My trip to Dubai was a last minute plan. Desperately wanting to get out of my very monotonous routine, I decided to go on a solo trip to Dubai. This was my first international trip and its a wonder that my parents let me travel all alone. But, I guess since my uncle and aunt reside there, my parents took comfort in that.

    I departed from Bengaluru to Chennai and from Chennai I got on a flight to Sharjah. I decided to take this route as I wanted to ensure that this trip was as inexpensive as possible.

    My plan was to stay in the Emirates for 10-12 days, and I intended to meet as many new people as possible, I wanted to be know their stories and be a part of new experiences.

    Since I didnt want to make a huge dent in my bank account, I decided not to spend a lot of time and money on activities like visiting the Ferrari World or going to highest floor in Burj Khalifa.

    Instead I wanted to travel and get to know the city. I mainly wanted to visit the old side of Dubai like Bur Dubai and The Creek, so for the first few days that is exactly what I did.

    For someone like me who is into artistic and aesthetic surroundings, the older part of Dubai is the place to be. I absolutely fell in love with this area, the atmosphere was so different when compared to the rest of Dubai.

    The next place on my list was the Gold Souk solely because after all that I had heard about the place, I really needed to see it for myself; and let me tell you I still havent recovered from the amount of gold I saw that day. I also visited the Spice Souk which ended up being one of my favourite places. The most incredible spices there excited the baker in me.

    Taking a break from my solo adventures, the next day, I decided to take a trip down to the Global Village with my aunt and uncle. This as also became one of my favourite places. Visiting the Global Village is like going on a trip around the world in the span of a day.

    I also took a single ticket for a desert safari and ended up becoming friends with a group of Korean youngsters. At the end of the desert safari, I had become such good friends with one of the girls from the group called Char that it felt like we had known each other forever.

    If you are is planning to make a solo trip to UAE anytime soon, I would recommend that your travel plans are done properly. Travelling to any of the Emirates alone, especially if youre a young woman is extremely difficult, the security is bound to give you some trouble throughout the immigration process.

    But irrespective of all this, this has still been one of my best trips ever. From the old school charm of the various Emirates to the buzzing nightlife of Dubai, it has been one great experience.


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    The popular Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai will be shutting its doors for a few months this year while it undergoes major renovations from mid-May to early October 2018.

    The hotel will relaunch in time for its 21st-anniversary celebration in December 2018. This is part of a two-year renovation programme, during which it will refurbish 425 guest bedrooms and public spaces, including sections of the beach, outdoor facilities, restaurants, dining outlets and lobby area.

    Sven Wiedenhaupt, the general manager of Jumeirah Beach Hotel, said: "The famed wave-shaped exterior of the hotel will remain untouched, but the experience inside will be revamped, ensuring that we are geared up to create another 20 years of memories."

    Wild Wadi Waterpark, however, will continue operating as normal for both external guests and, on an unlimited and complimentary basis, for all guests staying at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Jumeirah Emirates Towers and Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.


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  • 01/10/18--22:22: In the line of fire
  • The recent incident of a fire at Kumbara Sangha building in Kalasipalya where five people were killed has brought to fore the violations when it comes to adhering to fire safety standards.

    Most of the buildings that come on small plots dont usually adhere to safety rules, confirm officials with The Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services (KF&ES) Department. This wing has the power to issue a non-compliance certificate to a building owner and direct the BBMP for cancellation of the occupancy certificate.

    A senior official with the Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services (KF&ES) Department, points out that the Kalasipalya bar and restaurant that caught fire had violated all fire safety standards. "That structure comes under the low rise category. It had no proper stairway and ventilation. The interiors were modified many times over to accommodate more customers. The restaurant had violated all the norms of the National Building Code and made additional alterations without seeking prior permission," confirms the official. He also observes that more than half of the smaller and makeshift restaurants in the city have violated all the safety rules.

    Bengalureans who regularly dine out observe that most of smaller restaurants are prime culprits when it comes to flouting safety norms. Satish Mohapatra, an IT professional who regularly eats out, says that he has come across a lot houses, especially in Indiranagar and Kammanahalli that have been converted into restaurants. "I wonder how can a house be converted into a restaurant because they werent initially meant to be a restaurant and wouldnt have the safety measures like emergency exits, sprinklers and fire extinguishers," says Satish. He also points out that he has never seen the required safety requirements in most of the smaller restaurants.

    Foodies like Priya Sharma, a marketing and communications professional, says that people always look for a place with good music, great ambience and good food. "We never usually think about whether it is safe to dine out at a particular restaurant. I can confidently say that small restaurants dont have the required safety measures and emergency exits. If a fire ever breaks out in these small places then I am sure the lives of many people will be at stake," she says.

    People like Anu Pallavi, working in the real estate sector, feels the city has a mix of restaurants that have been built and modified to fully comply with the fire safety norms and those that have totally ignored the safety measures. "I have noticed that some of the restaurants in high rise buildings have fire extinguishers but some of the other norms required for fire safety norms have been ignored. There are also many restaurants that dont even have the basic fire safety requirements like sprinklers, emergency exits and fire alarms. These places need to be inspected on a regular basis and the violators must be pulled up," reasons Anu.


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  • 01/10/18--22:24: It's all about the swag!
  • Akriti Kakar is a singing diva who has entertained her audience with a number of hits. Shes the voice behind songs like Dil Vich Lagya Weh from Chup Chup Ke, Marjani and Khuda-ya Khair from Billu Barber, Saturday Saturday from Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Iski Uski from 2 States.

    Shes also a judge for musical shows on television. But its her single called #SwagWaliBride thats making the waves right now.

    Akriti talks to Anila Kurian about the song and some of the resolutions for 2018.

    What motivated you to release your single #SwagWaliBride?

    I made a resolution this year that I will find the courage to release my independent music. Ive been working on film songs and shows all this while and this just felt like the right time to do it.

    Where did you draw the inspiration from for the song?

    Its my reinterpretation of the famous Punjabi folk song Chidya ya chamba. Ive recreated it in a completely different soundscape and given it a new take on the modern day brides. The song emphasises on how the brides and the mood of weddings have changed over the years.

    Are you hoping for it to become the bridal anthem now?

    I sure am! It says a lot about how we think these days and the kind of celebration we have for a wedding. It reminds me of how much fun my guests had at my own wedding and thats what inspired me to come up with the song. Its a three-part series. The remaining will be released soon.

    Have you made any other resolutions this year?

    I was doing a lot of shows and travelling last year which has taken a toll on my health. I want to bring focus to that aspect of my life because Im starting to understand that health is wealth (laughs)! Apart from that, I want to be known more than just a singer and performer. Its important to add more titles as a composer, director etc. You need to be more than what you are known for in this industry.

    How comfortable are you in the industry now?

    I used to be very nervous. I would just come to the studio, sing my part and leave. I wouldnt even know who the duet will be and which movie it is for. Now Im a lot aware of my work and my stand in the song.

    When will you be singing with your sisters Sukriti and Prakriti Kakar?

    We sing a lot on stage but we havent recorded anything else. We have been discussing our single but they are still finding their way in the industry. Let them figure that out and then well decide what to do.

    Do they come to you for advice?

    There is a good exchange that goes on between us. We discuss our work every day and rubbish each others work. My sisters make me feel young.

    How do you spend your time when youre not working?

    Oh, man! Im always working. But Ive made it a point to explore more places when Im travelling - maybe stay back a few more days. At home, I like to work on my music and cook.


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    Vaishnavi Chandran Menon always knew she wanted to pursue a career in performing arts. After dancing professionally for over 10 years, Vaishnavi tried her hand at acting and fell in love with the art. The winner of the Princess South India 2015 pageant is now all set to conquer 2018 with a number of movies releasing in the coming months. Vaishnavi, who is currently prepping for the release of her upcoming movie Nagavalli vs Apthamitraru and also pursuing her degree, talks about her future projects, her experience in the Bigg Boss Kannada house and more in a conversation with Asra Mavad.

    How were you first introduced to the Kannada film industry?

    I wanted to be an actor since I was eight years old. With no connection in any way to the film industry, I was looking for a chance to act in a Kannada movie as a teen. Thats when I participated in a pageant and won the title of Princess South India 2015. This is the pageant that introduced me to a number of directors and producers from the industry who saw potential in me to be successful in the movie industry.

    Any exciting projects coming up?

    I have four movies releasing this year - Padarasa, Sur Sur Batti, Deva Rantha Manushya and Nagavalli vs Apthamitraru. Im currently prepping for the release of Nagavalli vs Apthamitraru, a movie which debunks the myths and rumours that surrounded the previous movie Aptharakshaka. Through this movie we have tried to portray the true story of the infamous Nagavalli.

    How has your experience in the industry been so far?

    Id have to say it has been kind of bittersweet. There have been equal ups and downs in my journey so far. But the parts that have been good, have been an amazing experience. After acting in five movies in two years, Ive gained a lot of knowledge thatll hopefully help me establish my mark in the industry.

    How does it feel to be recognised by fans in the streets?

    Since Ive been a part of the industry for only two years, everything is relatively new to me. Half the time I forget that people now recognise my face from movies and shows. Recently, when I was walking down the street, I noticed a group of people smiling at me. They later approached me and asked me for a picture and my immediate response was Why would you want a picture with me? (Laughs)

    How was your stay in the Bigg Boss house?

    I feel so bad that my stay was cut short. I hardly got to spend four days in the house, but whatever time I spent was amazing. I met some amazing people in the house and had a lot of fun. If I hadnt further injured my already injured back, I would have loved to spend more time in the house.

    Any advice for youngsters wanting to be a part of the industry?

    I would advise them to be very careful regarding whom they interact with and whom they trust. Its a cruel world out there and youll have to fend for yourself. Also, an advice I once received and have taken very seriously is to always have a plan B. The movie industry is very volatile, you never know what is going to change and when. So, Id advice everyone to have a plan B ready, and better if the plan B is an educational degree.


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