Root cause
Green entrepreneurs’ big day with Prince Charles
Jasmine Singh

Had Newton not sat under the tree, looking at apple fall and preferred to slip back into dreams, we wouldn't have known gravity. Likewise, had Jacques E Branden Berger ignored the red wine spill onto a red tablecloth at a restaurant where he was eating, we wouldn't have got cellophane, and if Chef George Crum ignored his dinner guest's demand to serve thin crisp French fries, we wouldn't be digging into crisp potato chips. An idea makes all the difference. But if it's backed by something that could transform it into reality, there you are!

Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST) is one such non-profit organisation that assists disadvantaged youth to develop business ideas into viable enterprise under the guidance of a mentor, the basic idea being helping job seekers become job creators. Celebrating the launch of their green initiative where Prince Charles, the Prince Of Wales will give prizes to the Business Ideas contest winners at Raj Bhawan on Monday. We share success stories of young entrepreneurs who had a fire in their belly. Need we say, it hasn't simmered a bit!

Together we can
Amardeep Bardhan & Vaibhav Jaiswal
Amardeep Bardhan & Vaibhav Jaiswal

A young duo, Vaibhav Jaiswal (23) and Amardeep Bardhan (22) believe entrepreneurs are born and not made. They didn't spend sleepless nights cramming management lessons or discussed avenues abroad over a cuppa coffee. The two prioritised what they wanted to achieve in life and how. The answers rolled out, one after the other. Vaibhav who is originally from Varanasi, UP met Amardeep in the business school where both are studying for their final year. "I wanted to start an enterprise that wouldn't harm the ecological balance. I met Amardeep from Assam who had a similar idea. We explored the options and concluded what we wanted," he says looking at Amardeep for a nod. Amardeep takes over talking about the product that gets them the first prize. "Both of us had participated in many business competitions before. BYST was something different. They not only offered us assistance in terms of counseling, their mentors gave us a good hearing, taking us through the entire process of how the idea would materialise."

Areca nut Leaves Kitchen ware and decorative gift items is what the duo plans to come up with. How and why, they explain. "Industrialsation has left us yearning for time when we would eat food on banana leafs. We thought on the similar lines and came up with the idea of making plates and other household items out of Areca nut leaf," they echo.

A business enterprise is suppose to serve three purposes- it would offer a win-win situation for the initiator, company and society. Vaibhav and Amardeep's business idea does just that. "Disposable plates prepared from the leaves are eco-friendly, odourless, bio degradedable and can be used in refrigerator and microwave.

This is something called an idea, which business schools cannot provide or can they? Provides Vaibhav, "Degree can only enhance capability but it cannot gift you with an idea. It can provide the basic knowledge to strategize, understand market, but it definitely cannot make an entrepreneur out of a regular B school students," says this young lad, who admires Ratan Tata for his leadership abilities.

Success tastes sweet

Hitendar Punyane, Amin Almel and Vaidyanathan there is no substitute to success. And it doesn't take much to touch the winning post- probably just a right channel. Hitender, the green ambassador from North region comes up with innovative CFC free small panel air conditioners, Amin shows the world that energy can be saved smartly with LED display system, while Vaidyanathan's answer to water conservation with innovative water level controller. "It takes a dozen approvals to start an enterprise, and another dozen problems to pull it though. If you have the support of a mentor, who can guide through the labyrinth lanes of business, then business is not a challenge," they share. 

Out of the box

Lakshmi V VenkatsesanBYST co founded by Lakshmi Venkataraman Venkatesan in 1992 with the doyen of industry late JRD Tata and with support of Prince Charles. It works with captains of Indian industry to support young underprivileged entrepreneurs and to create employment across the country. "We work like missing middle, providing what it needs to kickstart, and keep an enterprise going," says Lakshmi amongst the select few who returned to serve India in the late 1980's after spending nearly two decades abroad. She voices that all ills of the society can be traced back to young unemployed youth. BYST nurtures the young entrepreneurs through training, support, monitoring, mentoring and networking till they reach a level where they are self sufficient, and also make contribution to society through wealth and employment."
Lakshmi V Venkatsesan

No short cuts
The problem with overseas learning is that without any proper guidance one is forced to believe what he is told, only to land up in an alien land and in a totally different situation
Neha Walia

At 15, he sold candles on the wayside when children of his age were bursting crackers on Diwali. Next, he sold fabric to the shopkeepers across the city markets. He shared the same childhood as millions of other children dream of making it big. And, he actually made it. His is a story of dreams coming true; his success story started from Rs 5,000 to Rs 600 crore. We might call it inspiring, but Naresh Gulati calls it a possibility.

From a commoner to the CEO and founder of the OCA Group Pvt Ltd, Melbourne Australia, it's only determination and confidence that kept Naresh going strong. A post-graduate in information systems from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, Gulati believes that success has no short cuts. "My father's business broke. To ease the burden on the family, I used to help out by selling stuff and menial jobs." Later, he started working as a computer teacher before setting up a computer centre in Chandigarh and thereafter diversified his business. "I believe every problem is an opportunity; an opportunity to provide with a solution. If you do that, you have found your calling."

His focus now, is to provide quality overseas education solutions to thousands of aspiring students from the region. "The problem with overseas learning is that without any proper guidance one is forced to believe what he is told, only to land up in an alien land and in a totally different situation. We try to condition them and prepare them for what is to come," he says. With his three-way expansion, into overseas education, BPO intelligence and logistics for foreign universities and developing softwares for these institutions, he wants to provide a complete approach towards the education system. His companies have been listed in the fastest growing businesses in Australia, winning Australian business awards for three consecutive years. He has expanded his business in Canada, New Zealand and the UK as well.

"There has been a growth in Canadian education system compared to others," he says, predicting that the overseas education will see a decline in the future. "Under the market correction, foreign universities have started recognising genuine students so the number might restrict itself to a few."

While he is busy advising others about overseas education, what gone wrong with the Indian system? "Nothing apart from the fact that we are too much into theory than practical. Our graduates are not job ready, instead that part comes way after the education is complete." Well, does he have any suggestions? "Pull up your socks. We have the best infrastructure, put it good use."

Masala Mix

Her last film, Shyam Benegal's Well Done Abba, went on to win a National award but actor Minissha Lamba says the genre lacks mass appeal and she now wants to do some 'cliched masala' flicks.Critics lauded the actors' performance in the film and the movie was also in the running to be India's official entry for the Academy Awards, but Minissha says that she was disappointed."What's the point in doing good films that do get appreciated critically but don't quite reach the intended audience? It was very disappointing actually when the film didn't do well," Minissha said.

The 25-year-old actor who debuted with Yahaan, a gritty film about the ill-fated romance between an Indian soldier and a Kashmiri girl, says that she now wants to be a part of conventional Bollywood flicks."I want to do films which reach out to maximum audience base. Whichever movie you are a part of, you want it to do well. I am game for those conventional song and dance affairs. After all this is the heritage that we carry in Bollywood.

I want to be a part of those cliched movies," said the actress.Minissha is currently working on Hum Tum Aur Shabana, a romantic comedy and the sequel to the hit satire Bheja Fry.She plays the central role of Shabana in the Sagar Ballary directed affair that features Tusshar Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade as her suitors." Hum Tum Aur Shabana is a lovely film. It is a very different comedy and is altogether different from the work that I have done in the past. I have done a lot of serious and heavy dramas like Shaurya and Yahaan before. I guess now is the time to get people laughing. I guess this way you can reach out to a larger set of audience," added Minissha.While laughter is in, how about the liberal dose of skin show that she had willingly indulged in, especially around the release of Kidnap. "It was something that I did because Kidnap was releasing at that time.

The sort of image that I carried pre-Kidnap days was completely different so a makeover was a must. I don't regret any of those decisions at all," said the actor.


Following Bapu
I believe in Mahatma's ideology: John Abraham

Bollywood hunk John Abraham, who distributed copies of Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography My Experiments With Truth at an event on Saturday, revealed that he believes in the ideology of non-violence advocated by the Father of the Nation.

"I respect Gandhiji a lot and totally believe in his ideology of non-violence. I'm a very non-violent man," John told reporters.

The actor was present at a bookstore to distribute the Mahatma's autobiography as a promotional activity for his forthcoming film, Jhootha Hi Sahi where he will essay the role of the owner of a bookstore.

"I own a book store in the film so on a day like today, which is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, we are here to sell books to the customers," said John.

Director Abbas Tyrewala and John's co-star in the film Raghu were also present at the event. John, who was dressed in his geek look complete with broad-rimmed glasses, also revealed that his girlfriend and actress Bipasha Basu is also quite happy with his look in the film.

"When Bipasha saw my look in the film, she said that if there is any director who has managed to break me down physically and in terms of a character on screen, its Abbas. She completely loves my look. She wants to watch the film because it's unique and fresh," he added.

The film, made under the Saregama banner and slated to hit screens Oct 15, is about a suicidal woman whose final call mistakenly connects her to a man who gives her something to live for. — IANS

Rajni Rocks

Bollywood actor-producer Aamir Khan says he is yearning to watch southern superstar Rajnikanth-starrer Robot. "I am most keen to see Robot. Rajni sir rocks!" Aamir posted on social networking site Facebook.

The movie, which is called Endhiran in Tamil, also features Aishwarya Rai. Apparently made at a budget of Rs.175 crore ($38 million), it is being lapped up by audiences across India.

Actors who have seen the movie are all praise for it, but have pointed to its inordinate length.

Riteish Deshmukh posted on Twitter: "Superstar Rajni! He is a phenomenon. Action in Robot is just what you want to watch as a Rajni fan. Go watch it now - a bit long but worth it."

Actor Tusshar Kapoor opined: "...quite a fun film but a bit long. Rajni looks young and energetic even at this age. No wonder he's such a superstar." Actress Sameera Reddy went gaga over the 60-year-old actor. — IANS

Fashion tacky-tics
Coloured lenses, hair tacky: Sonam Kapoor

Actress Sonam Kapoor, who is a style icon for the youth, feels wearing coloured lenses and sporting coloured hair is the worst thing girls can do to themselves.

"I don't understand the concept of coloured lenses and bleached blonde hair. It looks so tacky. Why oh why do girls do it to themselves," Sonam posted on her Twitter page.

No wonder she has long black hair, unlike others in the film industry who keep experimenting.



Hollywood actress Emily Blunt is all set to star opposite Bruce Willis in a new time-travel sci-fi thriller Looper.

The film also stars Inception actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and will be directed by Rian Johnson who has written the script as well.

Ram Bergman, who produced Johnson's previous two films, will be producing the Looper.

The film is centered on a group of killers who send bodies of their victims back in time. Blunt will play a single mother forced to go to great lengths to protect her son.

Last seen in The Wolfman, the 27-year-old actress will also be seen opposite Matt Damon in 'The Adjustment Bureau'.

Endgame Entertainment is financing Looper, scheduled to begin production in Louisiana in January. FilmNation is handling foreign sales. — PTI

Green with fear!

Hollywood beauty Christina Ricci has confessed that she suffers from a phobia of plants and can't even touch them.
Christina Ricci
Christina Ricci

The 30-year-old actress revealed that she has a strong dislike for gardening and does not like being near plants because the soil makes her feel ‘dirty’, reported Contactmusic.

"They are dirty! If I have to touch one, then it freaks me out. Honestly, I can't go near them," she said speaking about her phobia. Apart from this, the Speed Racer star also admitted that she still struggles in the kitchen as she knows to cook only two dishes.

"I can cook about two things. I can boil hot water for the only pasta I can make. I blame my career, actors work crazy schedules and we are away so often. I just don't get the time to learn how to make stuff. But I need to, when you get back home after shooting there is always a great desire to create some kind of normalcy," she said. — PTI

Bollywood calling?

He has styled the tresses of Hollywood divas like Heather Graham, Drew Barrymore and Sharon Stone but Los Angeles-based celebrity hair expert Jamal Hammadi is in awe of Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Shah Rukh Khan. And he would love to style them too.

"I'd love to work with Aishwarya Rai. I haven't yet. She's got long, gorgeous hair and my god, those blue eyes. I'd definitely love to work with her. She is a beautiful lady and it'll be fun and something different," Hammadi said in a telephonic interview from Mumbai, while on his third trip to India.

"I think Aishwaya Rai is gorgeous...Then, you have Priyanka (Chopra), who is awesome. I worked with her about a month ago…She is so cool and fun and open. She is pretty talented as well and I like her attitude," he said. What about Priyanka's hair? "Priyanka has good hair," said Hammadi, who was in India just for a day but is looking forward to heading "north to the Himalayas for a whole spiritual thing" on his next visit.

Isn't he aware of any Bollywood hero? "Yes. There is Shah Rukh Khan. He is everywhere. He is huge. He is really big. I see him everywhere. And he is funny too. He has a great personality and sense of humour. I have seen his interviews. He seems cool..." said Hammadi.


Spice up
Wed in style
Shahnaz Husain

Over the years the bridal look has changed keeping in mind the changing fashion trends. A few decades ago, red was the bride's colour. Today, there is a lot of experimentation with different colours. Apart from shades of red, magenta and pink, out of the ordinary colours are also being used for the bride's dress like sea green, turquoise blue (feroza), lavender (pinkish mauve), strawberry, fuchsia, rust, copper, purple and so on. Combinations of two contrasting colours are also popular. The prediction is that colours like purple, sheer gold, peacock blue may be the new trend in bridal wear, used with contrasting colours, like purple, pink, gold, rich green and so on.

Lehenga choli is more popular for weddings. Brides are also going for fashionable salwar-kurti, with short and richly embellished kurtis. As for saris, they are being worn differently, instead of the traditional way, so that they show off the choli and the heavy dupatta to advantage. The focus is on cholis, with low and decorative backs, halter necks or tie-ups.

The blouses (or choli) for both lehenga and saris are certainly heavily embellished. Decorative necklines, high at the back and low in front, halter necks, octagonal, scalloped, or backless, are in fashion, rather than plain round or v-necklines. The choli is either made out of brocade, or carry heavy work with tiny sequins. Crystals (small glass pieces) or tiny beads are being used, along with zardosi work. If one wishes to wear gold, it is antique. Silver, or work done in dull copper or bronze are also in demand. Whatever sparkles are being done with crystals, sequins, beads or tiny mirrors; it all works out with the kind of look you are carrying.

Different materials too are being used for the bridal dress. Today tissues, chiffons, crepes, georgettes are being used along with shimmer cottons and crepes. Organzas, tissues and even sheer nets are being made into bridal odhnis, for a see-through look, so that the intricate decorations on the choli and hairstyle are very much visible. Organzas and nets are crisp, transparent and light fabrics and much easier to wear and carry. Even if the head is covered with such fabrics, the bride's hairstyle, hair decorations and flowers are visible. In other words, the bride is no longer hiding herself under yards of heavy silk. Jewellery too has taken a fashionable turn. Diamond or white stone jewelry, even precious stones are in fashion. Dull or oxidized gold is also being used, along with silver and platinum. Stone setting, kundan, polki, semi and precious stones combined together, are all the rage. But, I feel that traditional jewelry has its own charm when it comes to Indian weddings and festivals. Professional grooming for brides seem to be becoming more and more of a trend.

Weddings are very much a part of Indian life and their traditions will always mark their presence. But our mindset is becoming more modern and this influence is being felt in each aspect of life, whether in wedding or the entire affair.

Folk lures
SD Sharma

The folk music and dance traditions of any region are the cumulative expression of their cultural life. Linking up past with the present, this timeless flow of cultural expressions have sustained life in its true form," maintains Kamal Tewari, chairperson, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy.

The Indian folk art lover has always been curious to know, feel and relish the history and multiplicity of folk performing traditions, whether its the ritualistic celebrations of local Gods and Goddesses, love legends, war heroes, historical characters and stories from epic literature. The city art lovers will be treated to folk theatre forms, a rarity in the region, during the six day long CSNA Festival of Theatre Traditions in association with Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi at the Punjab Kala Bhavan-16. The festival commences from October 6.

Here are the brief details of presentations:

October 6- Nautanki -
Amar Singh Rathore

Nautanki is the traditional folk form of India tracing its popularity to 14th century and widely popular in UP, parts of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. A veritable amalgamation of theatre, dance, music and folk literature Amar Singh Rathore will be staged by Mohan Swaroop Bhatia's Swastic group from Mathura under the direction of Sundeepan Vimal Kant.

October 7 - Nautanki -
Bhakat Pooranmal.

The popular tale depicts the salutation to the wisdom of guru Gorakhnath by disciple Pooran Bhagat and how he is treated by his step mother for not succumbing her unethical motifs. The presentation is directed by Sundeepan Vimal Kant.

October 8 and 9 - Tamasha -
Ek Tamasha Sundarasa and Lavani.

Tamasha is a prominent and popular performing folk art of Maharashtra. Known as the standing entertainment, Tamasha means the darkness and hope. Lavani is a combination of three elements of dance, enactment and singing; Raghuvir Khedar and Chhaya Khutegaonkar direct the presentation.

October 10 - Yakshagana -
Kartheerarjun Kalga"

Yakshgana is the traditional theatre of Karnataka and one of the great dance dramas from India. Blend of stylish elements from Sanskrit drama and songs, the dialogues in the enactment are not normally written but are totally impromptu and improvised. Kartaveer Arjun Kalga a slice from the epic Ramayana. Shivananada Hegde directs the presentation for Idagunji Mahaganpati Yakshgana Mandali, Karemani.

October 11- Yakshagana "Vaalivadha"

The festival concludes with the presentation of another Yakshagana titled " Vaalivadham", which depicts the life and killing of "Vaali" king of monkeys. This play too is directed by Shivananada Hegde.

On till October 11

Black is in
Tea is most beneficial when taken without milk, say researchers
Anuja Jaiswal

For most of us a cuppa chai means tea with a dash of milk and sugar. However, many wouldn't know that putting that dash of milk for making the cuppa taste better, one is actually negating the good qualities of tea that are beneficial for one's heart. Scientists always have been telling us that tea is good for the heart but only without milk. Many studies have been conducted and a report published in a leading European Heart Journal categorically states that tea is good only without milk.

Researches have proved that tea improves blood flow and the ability of the arteries to relax. However, researchers at the Charite Hospital at the University of Berlin in Mitte found that if milk is added to the brew of tea leaves, it eliminates the inherent protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. "The beneficial effects of drinking black tea are completely nullified by the addition of milk," claims Dr Verena Stangl, a cardiologist, in a published research.Ditto says the city based Cardiologist, Dr HK Bali of Fortis. He reveals that high consumption of tea has some benefits and lowers the chances of cardio vascular diseases.

Bali says that black tea in particular contains polyphenols, which are natural plant anti-oxidants. These have beneficial effects on many biochemical processes in the body because they protect cells against harmful free radicals. Flavonoids are thought to be especially useful, with a number of studies reporting a link between them and lower risk of heart attack."

Stangl and her team discovered that proteins called caseins in milk decrease the amount of compounds in tea known as catechins, which increase its protection against heart disease. The researchers found that black tea significantly improved blood flow compared to drinking water but adding milk blunts the effect of tea. While more studies are needed for conclusive evidence, it has been suggested that regular consumption of black tea leads to a significant reduction in the heart related problems.

Dr Mario Lorenz, a molecular biologist and co-author of the study found that drinking tea significantly increases the ability of the artery to relax and expand to accommodate the increased blood flow as compared to drinking water. The addition of milk completely prevents the biological effect.

However, Dr Bali, said more studies are necessary to explain in detail how tea benefits when consumed without any milk. He said, no doubt, tea is second only to water in worldwide consumption so any benefits could have important public health implications.

While the scientists look for the conclusive evidence to get milk out of our tea, it wouldn't be a bad idea to give it up ourselves for the sake of our heart.

BODY wise
Chill pill
Sachin Kalra

There is no magical way to escape the stress you face each day. Stress has become a wide spread ailment affecting people of all ages. Learning to de-stress is a gift you deserve to give yourself. For this, you need to find effective methods of coping and dealing with stress. A combination of the below mentioned steps may help you in counter stress.

Deep breathing: If your daily activities put you in a stressful and overwhelming state, pause in between and make a conscious effort to breathe deeply. It is the simplest and least time consuming way to de-stress and put you at ease. Bringing conscious attention to our breath, lengthening and deepening the drawing in of oxygen, nourishes every cell of our body and promotes relaxation. Prolonged exhalation helps get rid of stale air and toxins in our lungs.

Yoga: Yoga is an excellent stress relief technique. The physical and mental benefits of yoga provide a natural counterbalance to stress. What's great about yoga is that it relaxes both your mind and your body. It's a great way to heal the effects of stress and tension .

Massage therapy: Getting a massage provides deep relaxation and as the muscles in your body relax, so does your overstressed mind. And you don't have to visit a spa to enjoy the benefits of massage. There are many simple self-massage techniques you can use to relax and release stress.

Positive attitude: Since stress is mind related malady, positive thinking works wonders in concentration and steadiness of the mind. For this purpose learn to see things in right prospective by adopting a positive attitude. Positive thinking works wonders as a stress buster.

Meditation: The benefits of regular meditation include physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Meditation is known to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, calm mind and alleviate most of the symptoms of anxiety and tension. It is an effective method for short-term stress reduction and long-term health. However, it is not an easy thing to master and takes some practice.

Exercise: It is a well known fact that exercise helps to alleviate stress. Exercise and physical activities reduce stress, release built up emotions and promotes physical and mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, the body's "feel good hormones," and in as little as 20 minutes a day, you can experience the benefits of it.

Good sleep: Cortisol is one of your adrenal glands' stress-response hormones. Lack of sleep, or lack of good-quality sleep, affects the release of cortisol into your system, causing your body to release more cortisol for longer periods of time. More cortisol means more stress leading to lack of sleep. A vicious cycle is formed. It's important that you get sufficient sleep. In order to have undisturbed sleep, avoid caffeine related drinks and heavy meals.

Music therapy: Another way to reduce stress is to surround yourself with sounds that soothe your heart and soul. Music is a significant mood-changer and reliever of stress, working on many levels at a time. It helps you calm down, gives you a break from your thoughts and helps you to totally unwind. Experts believe that it is the rhythm of the music or the beat that has the calming effect on us although we may not be very conscious about it. The music you choose can be of any sort depending on what you like.

Healthy eating: Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Also reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you'll feel more relaxed, will sleep better and be less stressed.

Time out: From your busy schedule, put aside some time to relax your body and mind by doing things you enjoy. It can be watching a light movie, reading a book, playing with your kids and pets, or pursuing any hobby which gives you pleasure and a sense of well being. It should allow you to refocus and divert you from your daily grinds.

A particular method of relaxation will work for everyone. It is important to try out different strategies to see which ones meet your needs. There is no right or wrong way to relax.

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