Inside art's den

The creative corner of an artist always holds a special fascination for art lovers. Parbina Rashid takes a sneak peek

Surkhab Shaukin displays his photographs at his gallery in Sector 16

Who does not like to take a peek into someone working's space? If for nothing else than just to see how tidy or untidy or how organised or disorganised that someone is! And if that someone happens to be an artist, the curiosity is all the more. Those squeezed colour tubes, discarded brushes, overflowing easel, live models - the creative corner holds fascination for any art lover. If one finds a voyeuristic tendency in doing that, then we can assure that we are not the minority here.

Eamann McCabe, an eminent photographer, in 2008 penned down a book called 'Artists and Their Studios', which was based on renowned contemporary artists. He made news when few of the photographs, which he used in his book, were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London the same year and going by the number of visitors, people do like to know how an artist works.

And, artists do not mind sharing their space with art lovers either. Gustave Courbet's famous oil painting The Artist's Studio: A Real Allegory of a Seven Year Phase in My Artistic and Moral in 1855, now located in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, justified by saying "The world comes to be painted at my studio" and true to his words, he captured in his painting forms and figures representing various influences on his artistic life. Famous Dutch artist Adriaen Van Ostade too captured himself in his working area in the painting Selfportrait, which he painted with oil in wood in 1663.

And with this confidence we derive from these two famous paintings, we knock on the doors of a few homegrown artists' working space. Some are organised and some are not, some seeks inspiration from the clutters around them while others like it spic and span. To each of his own!

When an artist creates something he needs to display it properly to know how the final creation looks like. Besides, a visual experience of his own works is important to get inspired. — Shiv Singh

Sculptor of international repute Shiv Singh, for instance, goes for the neat corner and hence has divided working area into two compartments, the furnace area at the backyard and the studio-cum gallery on the first floor of his sprawling house in Panchkula. "It was designed by architect Shiv Dutt Sharma but I have done a few modifications," says Singh as he gives us a guided tour.

Singh had to shell out about Rs 2.5 lakh while making those changes and installing proper lights in his two display sections, which are 30ft X 28 ft and 17 ft X 17 ft. "You won't find this kind of a lighting system in any of the city galleries," says Singh with a touch of pride. Another proud possession of Singh is the metal murhas he has designed as part of the sitting arrangement.

Why, we wonder. "Because when an artist creates something he needs to display it properly to know how the final creation looks like. Besides, a visual experience of his own works is important to get inspired," he adds.

And it was the need for this visual experience that urged Ravinder Sharma to have a full-fledged art studio of his own. "When you are surrounded with your own works it helps you grow as an artist and also as a human being," says Sharma whose newly built Kansal studio has an area of 20 ft X 30 ft display section, a studio and an open-air workplace.

Selfportrait by Adriaen Van Ostade

"The most important section is the gallery, as an artist has to look at his painting from a distance and from various angles. A work of art is never complete but we try to bring it the most appropriate ending and that is possible only when we look at it for hours from all possible directions," explains Sharma. Designed by a young architect Basu Bhasin, both his gallery and studio has enough natural light but for the evenings Sharma wants to put up a specialised lighting system in his gallery.

Having a modern display section had never been the prime focus for artist Madan Lal when he set up his work-station at a separate flat from his living quarters, and so, as one enters his studio in Sector 47, it is more of clutters and smell of paints that greet one, but the array of shelves containing his paintings in the raw form is awe-inspiring. It's all about paintings and paintings and bare minimum technology. "I like to keep it technology free, no telephone, no sophisticated gadgets; I keep it basic to keep me rooted to my artistic ground," says Madan.

While creative inspiration is one thing, commercial aspect of art is another that is driving homegrown artists to have their own studio-cum-galleries. This is what drove young photographer Surkhab Shaukin to start his own gallery about eight years ago. "Photography was not a recognised art in the city those days, so not too many galleries were willing to exhibit my work. So, the alternative was to have a gallery of my own," says Surkhab. Has the emerging market trends helped him commercially? "There are still not too many buyers in the city, but visitors often drop in to look at my works, which is encouraging, " he adds. With artists so dedicated and buyers so enthused, it definitely spells of a good time ahead.

Revolutionary facts

Kate Winslet, who starred with DiCaprio in cult romance Titanic in 1997, found it difficult that Mendes was not troubled at all while directing some of the most intimate scenes in the movie, about an American couple whose marriage is on the brinks of collapse.

The couple recently announced their split and DiCaprio admits that Mendes wasn't bothered by Winslet's intimate moments on set with him. In fact, he was so relaxed about the issue that Winslet ‘freaked out’. The 35-year-old star worked with Winslet, 34, and her director husband on The Revolutionary Road in 2008.

And when asked if the filming had marked the beginning of the end of their marriage, DiCaprio said, "It was certainly a difficult time. She was really worried that Sam wasn't bothered by the fact that his wife was making out with another guy right in front of him. I told her it was only acting, but she kept on saying, 'This is really weird'. When Sam started telling her exactly how to have sex with me she didn't like it at all. She was freaking out because she was supposed to be having sex with her best friend - me - while her husband directed," the actor said, adding, "I didn't find it weird at all. It didn't bother me, because that's part of acting.

Winslet and Mendes, 45, have never given a reason for ending their marriage. They wed in a secret in the Caribbean in May 2003 and their son Joe was born that December. The Oscar-winning actor also has a nine-year-old daughter Mia by her first husband Jim Threapleton.

DiCaprio, who has been friends with her since they starred in Titanic, feels that Hollywood is not the place for happy marriages.

"She loved being a wife. Some people are meant to be married and I think Kate's one of them, but Hollywood and this movie business can be a killer for marriages." The actor, who has been dating Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli off and on since 2006, is so disgruntled with bad marriages in Hollywood that he is not sure whether he will tie the knot in near future.

"I don't know whether I'll ever get married. I've seen too many supposedly happy marriages go down," he told Reveal magazine. — PTI

Comical bonding

Govinda is one Bollywood actor who can leave Aamir Khan in splits. Khan, who has been a part of hit Andaaz Apna Apna, says Govinda has a great comic timing.

"My favourite actor is Govinda. He can really make me laugh. I just love his films," he said.

"Govinda is one actor who really entertains me. He has got a great comic timing and he is a fine actor," said Khan, who was here to promote his next release Peepli Live.

Among many films starring Govinda, one that Khan has seen a dozen times is Sandwich.

"I have seen his film Sandwich some 10 or 12 times," Khan said. Directed by Anees Bazmee Sandwich starred Govinda alongwith Raveena Tondon and Mahima Chaudhary and was released in 2006.

Without mentioning names of his contemporaries like Shah Rukh and Salman Khan, the actor said he does not like being compared with anyone.

"I m not comparing myself with anyone. I think they are all very successful and popular and doing films that have received a lot of viewership and have entertained a lot of people including me," the 45-year-old star said. Asked if his recent films like Taare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots and Peepli Live are a step towards parallel cinema, Khan said he did not see cinema in commercial and parallel terms.

"For me its a mass media and I only do films that excite me. It should be economically viable and people investing money should not lose." — PTI

Home front
Splash of colour

Dr Parmod and Dr Anita's abode, in keeping with their persona, is lively and bright

Tip talk

"Dr Parmod and Dr Anita's home is the perfect translation of the client's aspirations," says Purnima Sharma, CAPT consultancy, Panchkula, who has designed the place. "The exuberant and lively nature of this doctor couple finds expression in their house, where a lot of colour has been used," she adds. The washrooms here are state-of-the-art. "Nowadays, shower cubicles loaded with sauna and Jacuzzi, with your favourite FM or CDs playing, are in. You can also choose from the range of interesting shapes of the bowls and experiment with colours to make this stylish," she adds.

White and green colour combination, huge bay windows in an impressive three storey, Dr Parmod and Dr Anita's bungalow, spread over a kanal, stands tall. Each piece that makes this six-bedroom home has a story to tell.

To start with, a massive main door carved manually, which weighs 180 kgs. "It took as long as three months to complete. It's handle came all the way from the US," says Dr Parmod. Beautiful stars and crescent moon welcome you at the doorstep with its bright blue light. In fact, all the lights are magnificent. "This one is from Germany," points out Dr Parmod to a huge, ornate chandelier in their formal living area. Dressed in royal Indian splendour, in gold and deep maroon, this area is adorned with Egyptian pyramids and paintings. A golden cabinet, next to matching chairs houses the souvenirs gathered on travels around the world.

In stark contrast, the lobby is modern in white and blue. A life-size mural of the family decorates the main wall. The dining area is a step up with a section of wall in colourful polka dots. Kitchen is classy, modular and imported from Italy. The ground floor has two guest bedrooms, one in beige and another in blue with matching washrooms. "These rooms are mainly used by our parents when they visit," says Dr Anita.

Round staircase with a fibre dome take one up to the first floor, which the family occupies. The bright patterned wall along the stairs has amazingly beautiful lights in small alcoves.

"Kids had their preference straight when the house was being done," shares Dr Anita. Shubham, 14, has a rock theme with one wall dedicated to music that glows at night. Sabhya, 11, has picked up a fairy theme with pink walls. Her fairies glow at night and keep her company. Master bedroom is done in lemon and has huge bay windows to let the light in.

It's the attached washroom that steels the limelight. With a sauna and jacuzzi with music, the shower cubicle is Dr Parmod's favourite area of the home. "It's the place where I love to unwind, read papers and magazines," he says. Another bedroom on this floor is reserved for close friends. For small get-togethers, the family makes most of its basement that has a small, elegant bar, seating for up to 40 and a corner that houses gym equipment, where the couple works out together. A full wall here is done in bright polka dots. In keeping with the exuberant nature of the couple, the house dons 15 colours…each portion for a different mood!

The voice within
Jasmine Singh

Sunderlal Bahuguna and wife Bimla were and still are the true champions of the cause of environment

Theirs' was a choice between need and desire. Ironically, none of the two actually made sense, not when they were accustomed to listening to the voice of their conscience. In a jam-packed hall, a feeble, saintly-looking man, blissfully smiling at the audience pours his heart out.

Sitting in the audience, a lady with a hunched back nods to everything he says. She smiles, looking keenly at the old man who has been on her a side for nearly 83 years now. Not a minute, not a second did they fall out because of difference of opinion, not a day did she thought of deactivating her support. Not even a day passed when Bimla Bahuguna thought of juggling between the choice of need and desire.

Today, when a photographer in a crowd asks them to hold hands for the picture, she shies like a newly wed bride and the old man blushes. In the city to judge the mimicry auditions for 92.7 Big FM and to be part of the Nagasaki Day organised by Yuvsatta, Peace club of SCCS Collegiate Public School Sector-26, the old couple has known nothing else other than one mantra that they learnt in their own way - practise what you preach!

"I have always believed that the only way one can make a difference in society is when he or she decides to bring in 'that' difference in their lives," Bimla Bahuguna says with conviction. "First I should be in the capacity to follow Gandhian teachings before I pass them on to others," adds Sunderlal Bahuguna, gathering all energy.

He looks tired after the lecture, but with repeated 'polite' interjections from Bimla he elaborates on his philosophy. "If Mahatma Gandhi could get freedom with a spinning wheel, I could do it with fasting and my conviction," he says with all the calmness of the world while sipping juice. "He has grown old now," smiles Bimla, "Now he survives only on Dalia, vegetables and milk, which is a must. He gave up eating rice nearly 25 years back because rice plantations consume a lot of water. Now, we don't go to many events and functions." Sunderlal just looks on.

Do you feel sad at the present day scenario, we ask promptly. He gives a blank expression. "Yes. We need to be more aware about how we are misusing the natural resources. Water and air pollution are at their peak. How long will we survive in this scenario," he says. Bimla has an opinion on this, in fact, we soon realise she does most of the talking.

After all it is because of this lady that Sunderlal became an environmentalist. Her only demand for marriage was that the man should be working dedicatedly for the society. Sunderlal was the general secretary of the Congress before he married and took up the cause of Tehri Dam. "We have a lot of hope from the younger generation. We did whatever we had to, now it is up to them what they make of this world," she sounds almost like a philosopher.

"People often ask what we gained out of all this? What has society given you? The answer is simple respect. I did not go to jail with my six-year kid because we wanted laurels from the society. Bahuguna ji would not observe fast for days at a stretch because he wanted a medal. Together we wanted to work for a cause, for our environment. George James, a professor from Texas, is writing a book on him. This is respect," Bimla seems to have beautifully taken charge of the interaction.

Something that his husband doesn't mind at all. "We will be going to Germany to receive the Alternative Nobel Prize in The Right Livelihood category," she adds looking at her husband for the first time, who is observing the room and people surrounding him. "He is the philosopher kinds," and bursts into laughter. "He has always been like this. I used to be dead scared when he used to fast for days together, but I just kept going because I had faith in him and our cause," says Bimla, a mother of three. "He would fall sick if he were to just sit at home. This is why he insists that he needs to move around, and keep working for the cause."

Who needs a man?

Hollywood A-lister Jennifer Aniston insists it's not vital for women to have and raise a child with a man because there are so many options available to them.

The 41-year-old actor, who has previously spoken of her desire to become a mother, says women can get pregnant and raise a child without the help of a boyfriend or husband because there are so many options available to them.

Friends star is playing a woman who gets pregnant using a ‘turkey baster’ in new movie The Switch. "Women are realising it more and more knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child.

Times have changed and that is also what is amazing is that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents' days when you can't have children because you have waited too long," she said.

Aniston, who was once married to Brad Pitt, insists raising a child without a father is not always a bad thing.

"The point of the movie is what is it that defines family? It isn't necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children and a dog named Spot. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere. That is what I love about this movie (The Switch). It is saying it is not the traditional sort of stereotype of what we have been taught as a society of what family is," she added.

Aniston also revealed she still wants to have a family, saying, "Yeah, I have said it years before and I still say it today." — PTI

Social debate… online
Jasmine Singh

Talk about this generation and the things they do. In fact, they have a justification for whatever they do! Nevertheless, whatever they do need not always be lambasted.

For instance, the virtual war that they have taken up against the violence in Kashmir Valley. This, however, is not the only case when generation Y has fallen back on the social networking sites to demonstrate their anger- be it gathering opinion against Jessica Lall murder case or expressing anger against Aman Kachroo ragging case. Copenhagen summit, drive to wipe the country of corrupt political leaders, the generation knows and says it all through a common platform - social networking sites. But are the noises of the virtual world heard outside, affecting those who need to be?

"This is where the world meets, which explains the reason why political leaders, sports stars, actors, social workers, people from just about any field, including youngsters in colleges and universities, have their profiles on networking sites," says Amit Kakkar, managing director, Healthyway Immigration. "Social networking sites are not only places where people exchange pictures or their routine for the day. They are also used as serious platforms to express views and form an opinion on matters that affect the society."

The ongoing Kashmir Valley issue sees youngsters leaving scraps and posts voicing their take on how to deal with the situation. Facebook, Orkut and Twitter are used as an engine for change. Pramod Sharma from Yuvsatta is rather thankful to the networking sites and how the organisation has benefited from it. "We share our work through Facebook or Orkut, creating awareness, and we always get a great response. Tree plantation drive or creating awareness about AIDS, these sites do the needful."

Yogesh Bansal, Founder & CEO, says, "The very fundamental base of social media sites is freedom of expression. It is the user-generated content that sets them apart. Youth of our country today is extremely active, aware and communicative. They raise issues of concern whether it is inflation or corruption in the country, restlessness in Kashmir or Social causes like Save Tigers and Clean Yamuna campaign. Social media sites lend a great expression tool." He adds, "Not every voice can reach out to government, but collectively through social media it spreads as a viral and does create a noise as youth push themselves hard to be heard. When complaints and issues spread like a virus in public, over a period of time; concerned authorities do get jitters."

Opinion formation is not the only thing - pictures, videos on YouTube are a regular feature on the sites. The protests, candlelight processions, ragging pictures, protests in Kashmir Valley find place on sites, which are accessible to everyone. Simran Kaler, a city-based filmmaker who has made as many as 30 documentaries, on the other hand, says that the social structure of the society has changed a lot. "Nowadays, youngsters would look up the Internet to check a new mobile or latest gadgets, but they wouldn't necessarily check up to see what is going on in the society. I also feel only those who are aware will write meaningful stuff on Facebook or Twitter, which will be taken note of by those who are interested. On a mass scale writings on the wall fail to make an impression."

Long live the TV!
Amitpal Singh Grewal

Now the point of discussion here is not 'which one is better - LCD or plasma?' but steps you can take to ensure longer and better life for your plasma or LCD TV. And here are a few tips.

  • First and foremost, buy a good brand. Renowned brands are typically better built and engineered and will last longer.
  • Never leave static images (images that don't move like photographs or paused video) on the unit. Even though there are many technologies now to prevent the so-called ghosting effect, still it's better to be safe. Do not leave static image on the plasma screen for more than 15 minutes. This could cause a ghosting effect, which will "wash" out by use over time. Watch all visuals in full wide-screen format as much as possible to avoid differentiation between the sidebars of the ongoing image. While this does not actually decrease the longevity of the display system, it does cause an annoyance to have to play a gray static image to 'erase' the temporary burn in.
  • Use brightness and contrast levels that are necessary or you could say the required level only for viewing - not excessive. In a brightly lit room you may need to view the plasma TV or LCD at a higher contrast and brightness, which will decrease the life of the unit. However, there are memory-setting adjustments available on all recent plasma displays that allow the user to choose a setting to suit viewing needs. At night or in a lower light room use lower contrast levels and extend the life. Do not use your plasma or LCD TV on 100 per cent contrast. In rooms with normal lighting you should not need to use the contrast setting on more than 60 per cent of contrast. Plasma and LCD TV manufacturers routinely ship them with the contrast picture setting tweaked to 100 per cent. Therefore, you will need to make this necessary adjustment yourself.
  • Keep the TV in a well-ventilated area. The cooling system in the plasma or LCD will not have to work as hard.
  • Do not mount the unit face down from the ceiling. Some people do think about this weird idea!

Now, a word of caution. A special antiglare coating is applied to the screen of your TV. Using solvents such as alcohol or abrasive material such as a paper towel, may affect the screen coating. Do not use liquid or aerosol cleaners. Do not expose the TV to volatile gas or fluids. Do not put it in contact with vinyl or rubber products for a long period of time. Extended contact may result in the removal of the coating or degradation of the surface. Even a slight drop of the TV or forceful impact on the screen surface may cause the screen to break. Here are some remedies.

1. Unplug the power cord from the wall (AC outlet) or surge protector before cleaning the TV.

2. Use a dry, soft cloth to remove dust from the TV screen. Then wipe the screen with a very soft, mildly damp, cloth (make sure there is no dust or a grain of dirt on the cloth). Avoid pressing the screen.

Haute pick

Click it

It's truly a travellers' pocket camera and even for professional photographers, keeping one it their pocket for sudden shots is not a bad idea. With some simple modifications like a USB connector, one can connect it to any computer. It'll be handy if your computer doesn't have a card reader or if you don't typically carry a USB cable around with you. With its plug-and-play capabilities, including the auto-install intelli-studio software, it's easy to connect it to any computer via the USB. In addition, users will never have to worry about running out of power with the Samsung PL90, as the USB connector also allows them to charge the battery without a separate power cord.

Samsung PL90:

12.2 million pixels digital sensor

Movie mode - 640 x 480 @ 30 or 15fps

Image stabilisation

f = 5.2 - 19.7mm; 29- 116 mm equiv.

4x optical zoom lens

2.7 inch TFT LCD, 230,000 dot resolution

Dimensions - 98 x 57 x 18 mm

Play on

Mitashi kids gaming devise relentlessly thrive to bring innovative and thrilling range of children's product. This world of amusement is not only cool but also aims to develop a child's mind, making them sharp, intelligent and interesting. Gaming is no longer considered to be something that you do on your own rather it's all about having fun with your friends, and interacting with the game.

To set off an intellectual buff Mitashi Edutainment Pvt. Ltd. launches its Game - In series to add Serious Sporty Fun for your child. Your kids can now celebrate the arrival of exciting range of wireless games by Mitashi - Smarty, Isports and Play on.

Mitashi's Game- In series 'Smarty'

Smarty: is more for an energetic youngster, someone who is constantly on the move and a total gaming freak. The smart and sporty Smarty comes with a 6.85 cm LCD screen, 76 built-in games and runs on 3 rechargeable AAA batteries, which come with the console. If your child is looking for games beyond the built-in ones then you need not worry, as the Smarty also supports 8 Bit gaming cartridges. For a life size experience you can also connect the Smarty to your television through the AV cable provided by Mitashi.

Price Rs 2,299

Mitashi Play On

Play On would certainly throw your child on a competitive spree, with its 7.6 LCD screen lithium rechargeable battery, 30 in-built games and a support for 32 Bit game cartridge the Play On makes sure that you are in for a non-stop action packed ride. Nevertheless, if your lad gets too tired with all the gaming overdrive, than the Play On can easily be converted in to a media player powerhouse as you can play your MP3 and MP4 files by storing them on the 1GB in-built memory or also on a 4GB ike a Pen drive, etc.

Price Rs 3,990

Mitashi Isports

Mitashi's GAME-IN ISportmax has 48 in-built games with the very latest 16 bit graphics. It includes 10 interactive sport games like golf, tennis, football, ping pong, billiards and many more interesting games that your child will not only play but will live them. The wireless console allows your child to enjoy the real sport under your watchful eyes and makes your child the perfect sport star. Complete family entertainment was the motto behind developing 'GAME- IN ISportmax'" Bond over a game of tennis, golf, ping pong, boxing, football and more, settle your battles indoors while laying a bet on who wins. Competitive spirit at its best now, in your living room. With Mitashi GAME-IN ISportmax, not only can you spend time and enjoy enthusiastically with your loved one but also stay energetic as you can indeed play a game like tennis in your living room using the wireless remote as a Tennis racket, wacky but true",

Price Rs 2,490

This remarkable range by Mitashi has been economically priced between Rs. 2,299- Rs. 3,990 to suit the needs of every individual and every budget, thus making it affordable for all enthusiastic parents! —TNS

Spade work
Let it bee
Satish Narula

They have always been around, all the day long and at every place, even in bed. We have always treated them with contempt. We have also killed them indiscriminately. They inhabited this planet even before we did. We have never seen the positive side of them. Yes, I am talking about insects. Let us not hate the word insect as there are friendly insects too.

Myth of the week


The ants feed on the aphids by killing them and thus they are friends of man. It is not so. The ants do not kill the aphids but rear them like we do dairying. The ants visit cluster of the young ones of aphids and rub their antenna on their back. In return, the aphids yield honey drop that is taken by ants. In fact, they protect them. When you see ants moving on the plant in numbers, check for aphids near the growing terminals.

In fact, our existence would have been in jeopardy without the help rendered by most of them. They strike a balance in the food chain, feeding on other species. They are of two types - predators and parasites. The latter being tiny in size may live in the system of other insects feeding on their system within and killing them as a result. Insects also feed on weeds of both kinds i.e. land and water, keeping its population in check. You may also call some of them the nature's scavengers as they remove natural waste. In the woods they may even turn the dead vegetation to humus.

One of the most widely accepted friendly insects is the honeybee. Besides providing with honey, they give bee wax and pollens that have immense commercial value. They are one of the nature's biggest sources of pollinating the crops. They also provide with royal jelly, one of the most valued products. Another well-known and well-respected insect with the gardeners and the farmers is the Lady Bird Beetle. The smooth backed and spotted beetle feeds on aphids, one of the biggest enemies of the gardeners. Thankfully, they have an unending hunger, are very prolific and also have a long life.

Another interesting insect that feeds on other insects is the preying mentis. The nature has given two clutches to this insect in the fore with which it pounces upon the other insect species with lightning speed. A mentis in the garden is also a welcome guest.

Butterflies as adults are not harmful. In fact, they help in pollination but their larval form is damaging. But I remember one of my professors saying that he would not go the garden where there were no butterflies.

Software & sustenance

SAP NEWSBYTE SAP AG has landed the prestigious turnkey contract from the Indian Navy for implementing an enterprise-wide central online financial information system (FIS). SAP secured the contract through an open product agnostic tender scenario. System integrator WIPRO participated in the tender and quoted SAP software as the best-fit solution that met the Indian Navy requirements, followed by an elaborate technical evaluation process. Key decision criteria for selecting the IT partner were its capabilities, functionalities, seamless integration and industry leadership and experience, which were able to address the administration requirements.

The Indian Navy needed to effectively and efficiently manage and control naval budgets and make timely decisions from the voluminous financial information available across multiple locations in the country. Central instance implementation of SAP solutions, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) software SAP ERP Central Component, the SAP Force Deployment for Defense & Security package and the SAP BusinessObjects Access Control application, among others - commenced in March 2010. The project is expected to go live by September 2011. Indian Navy will seek to unify its business processes and automated financial information systems to lower overall maintenance costs, improve management decision-making and resource management, and enhance combat readiness. In tune with the Indian Navy's vision to be a "Power-Packed Force for a Strong Nation," SAP will leverage its global best practices to help the organisation effectively save money, save time and save lives.

"Sustainability has an essential business imperative as it helps companies drive profitability, however it requires a collaborative corporate effort," said Peter Graf, SAP chief sustainability officer and executive vice president of Sustainability Solutions. "SAP views sustainability holistically, encompassing economic, social and environmental dimensions. India is the first country in the South-Asian region to launch SEAC. The council is designed to provide a mutual learning experience between sustainability leaders."

SEAC will provide C-level executives and cross-industry participants with the opportunity to network and collaborate, gain insight into new technologies and SAP strategic initiatives, and learn through leading member company best practices. The council will also help participants gain maximum value from their SAP sustainability solutions. — TNS

Boyle-ing point

Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle

Breakout star Susan Boyle will find a place alongside royalty and Hollywood celebrities as she will be immortalised in wax at the Madame Tussauds Museum

Boyle who became an unlikely star after auditioning for the talent hunt show Britain's Got Talent in 2009, has already been measured for her wax figure.

The 49-year-old singer was nicknamed the ‘hairy angel’ by tabloids for her dowdy appearance but made a fortune of $ 15 million with her very first album I Dreamed A Dream.

The work on Boyle's waxwork, which will go on display at the London tourist hotspot later this year, has already begun. "She's very excited about this. Susan would never in her wildest dreams have ever imagined she'd one day be a waxwork at Madame Tussauds. It's unbelievable," said a source.The wax model will reflect SuBo's off-duty look, casual clothes, little make-up and unkempt hair.

Boyle's will be one of just eight new waxwork figures, costing 150,000 pounds each to make. The wax museum was keen to get Boyle as she is popular among American tourists. "Susan Boyle is hugely popular especially among Americans, says a source. — PTI

Spooky memory

Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron grew up next to a haunted house

The High School Musical star, who was raised in Arroyo Grande, California, has revealed there was a ghost-filled home that people were afraid of.

"When I was growing up, the house next door was haunted and nobody would go inside. It had all these broken boards and all kinds of weird stories happened there," Zac Effron said. Despite being scared of what was potentially inside the spooky property, Zac and his friends plucked up the courage to go in one day.

"One time me and my friends went in but it was really weird like something in Alice In Wonderland. We had to hike through a field of tall grass to get to the front porch. There was a smashed window in the back, so we went inside and looked around.

"We went up to the attic and heard a bunch of noises. We were like, 'What is that?' Then all of a sudden bats just flew, we were sacred and ran away. I'm sure the place is haunted," he said. — IANS

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