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MARCH/APRIL 2018

REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE

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REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE

PUBLISHERS

WRITERS

Gurvinder S. Hundal Ramneek S. Dhillon

Ashley Stephens

EDITOR

Catherine Tse

Petrina D’Souza

Garima Goswami

ONLINE EDITOR Sumesh Sharma ART DIRECTOR & GRAPHIC DESIGNER Vinay Giridhar

Benjamin Yong

Georgia Nichols Glen Konorowski Jaskirat Sahni Jorge Ignacio Castillo Merilee Kern Muriel D’Souza

ADVERTISING AND SALES

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PHOTOGRAPHY A Master Media AAA movies Pardeep Singh Photography Aziz Ladha COVER CREDITS Cover: Vidya Iyer Photo: Shankar Tucker CONTACT

Renu Singh-Joseph

Tel: 604-572-0199 Email: info@darpanmagazine.com 340-8140, 128 St. Surrey BC. V3W-1R1

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Ramneek S. Dhillon

Pamela Sahota

Shanel Khaliq DARPAN

Gurvinder S. Hundal

ISSN: ISSN 1920-4000

FIRST TIME BUYERS

ello readers, the team at DARPAN is excited to present the March/April issue that celebrates women and their successful journey towards growth, equality and leadership. Based on the theme of women empowerment, this issue showcases some amazing women who have beautifully made their mark in a maledominated society and are encouraging young women and girls to follow their dream. On the cover is the young and talented YouTube star Vidya Iyer, popularly known as Vidya Vox. This sensational singer has been creating ripples in the music industry through her phenomenal voice and creative collaborations. Through her trending mashups, she has been shortening the gap between Indian and Western music, while offering a glimpse of Indian classical and Bollywood music to the world. Her music is inspiring women to be strong, confident and the best versions of themselves. Our Spotlight column features three young, local women who are creating a change in society through their work and initiatives. Amani Kaur Saini is the founder of Adverse Drug Reaction Canada, a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that advocates for the prevention of adverse drug reactions. Zoya Jiwa established As We Are, a style website for people who are facing health challenges with courage and style. Sonia Sidhu’s radio breakfast show, Mornings with Kevin and Sonia , is doing a remarkable job of spreading fun and laughter among people. We hope this issue inspires everyone, especially women, to do great things.


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CONTENTS

2018 MARCH|APRIL

LIFESTYLE 84 TECH

84

Get in Shape wit Smart Tech

86 HEALTH

The Sweaty Tale of Hyperhidrosis

90 RECIPES

Chef Cyrus Todiwala

94 BEAUTY

Facial Massagers: The Secret to Glowing Skin

116 ACTIVITIES

98 FASHION PAGES

COVER STORY

VIDYA

26 IN EVERY ISSUE

IYER

8 READER’S REACTION

BUSINESS PROFILE 38 An Indian Affair 50 Mona Arora

10 DARPAN’S 10

64 YOUTH COLUMN

Andrew Wilkinson

Feminism: Is this Another Name for Equality?

12 SPOTLIGHTS

74 NEWS IN PICTURES

Zoya Jiwa Raasleela Bridal Fashion Week Amani Kaur Saini Sonia Sidhu

54 SALUTES Mithun Kumar: Working to Educate and Nurture

FEATURES

142 GLOBAL INDIANS Aarthi Sampath

5 Amazing Day Trips from Vancouver

118 TRAVEL

102 STYLE

Wear your Pants in Style

Bienvenido a España

104 FITNESS

Celebrate Women’s Day with Fitness

106 HOME

The Right Decor for the Job

110 WEDDING Amy and Jag

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102

144 HOROSCOPE 146 CANADIAN IMMIGRANTS Meet the Garg Family

70 FEATURE Cost of Choosing to have a Second Child

ENTERTAINMENT

A Tale of Two Countries

78 FEATURE

136 BOLLYWOOD

58 FEATURE

Healthy Diet for Kids

40 POLITICAL FEATURE

Build Your Wealth

60 FEATURE Power of Women

The Bollywood Calendar

138 HOLLYWOOD

82 FEATURE

A Spark of Creativity

Ensuring a Stress-free Move for your Child

66 FEATURE

AUTO

122 Maserati Levante S GranSport

A Priceless Donation

126 Mercedes-Benz C300 Wagon 4MATIC 130 BMW M240i 134 Range Rover Velar

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R

eaedacetironss R Write to us: editor@darpanmagazine.com

FROM OUR SOCIAL FEED

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE

NEW

YEAR NEW

YOU TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF ESTEEM

PREPARING FOR

POT

HOW LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS USE WILL AFFECT OUR YOUTH

2018

YEARLY

PREDICTIONS WHAT’S IN STORE FOR YOU THIS YEAR?

CANADIAN

HAYLEY WICKENHEISER’S OLYMPIC ICE HOCKEY LEGEND

INDIAN

MISSION

Cover Story: Hayley Wickenheiser

Yearly Predictions Hey, I await Darpan’s January issue every year to read the yearly horoscope. Thank you for the information. Good luck! – Mira Arora

Re: Hello Mira, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Good to know that you enjoy the yearly predictions. I hope you have a great year ahead of you. – Editor

Just Google it! The article titled Just Google It! was really interesting. We generally tend to listen to what the Internet has to say about our problems. People should be aware that not everything there is true. – Dinesh Nair

Re: Hello Dinesh, I completely agree. The Internet is a good source to gain more knowledge on a topic but people should not consider it the final word. Enjoy the March/April issue. – Editor

Loved the travel article on Finland; the place looks heavenly. I look forward to travelling there some day.

Very nice article. So true. I think , young parents has to start to build a confidence and knowledge at very early age of their children. Teach them to love themselves. (sic) - Daisy Sidhu/Facebook

– Priya Shah

Re: Priya, Finland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Do research on the place further to make sure you have a memorable, stress-free trip. – Editor

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New Year New You: Article on Self-Esteem Intriguing article. These days we live in 2 worlds, trying to show how perfect our life is especially through social media. Rightly said we need to make our children accept their imperfections in a positive way and inculcate the feeling of self worth. (sic) - Chandan Brar Sidhu/Facebook

Travel Finland

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On Hayley Wickenheiser: @wick_22 came & won our hearts @icehockeyindia. Your visit lay the foundation for us to build on with support from @CanadainIndia @nadirypatel @Soyoung_Park1 @Ferknuckle @ferdaAMHA @NHLPA @schippel31@ jrdndeagle @BindyDulay @darpanmagazine #cover-story… its @india2yyc (sic) - Harjinder Jindi/Twitter

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DARPAN’S 10

1 What is main goal for the BC Liberal party?

It is a time of renewal and we have a challenge in taking on the NDP who are moving toward a very difficult place for British Columbians. The first task is the make sure we have unity in the party. I will be travelling through the province to build up those relationships with members all over BC. Secondly, to hold the NDP to account for their massive increases in taxes which are going to hurt the economy and cause a lot of trouble to British Columbians. I have worked and lived everywhere in BC so it is a very attractive idea to me to be out on the road, meeting British Columbians and hearing their concerns of what the NDP are up to and working with them to build up the BC Liberal party.

8 What is your comment on the ICBC crisis?

2 Many say the party is divided especially after

the leadership race, how do you plan to unite it?

I was fortunate to have 13 MLAs supporting me from a broad spectrum of politics. So I will be going around the province meeting BC Liberals members from all corners of the province who have a wide variety of beliefs and perspectives; my task is to unite the party behind me as leader to get ready to form a government so that we can defeat the NDP. What has happened since the leadership election is that our caucus has come together very well. We are an effective legislature against the NDP and I am delighted to see that I am so well accepted by the caucus. The task now is to talk to the communities and people of BC to give them the confidence that we are doing well in the house and bring together all the people who supported different candidates for the leadership. 3 Judging by the positive response Dianne Watts received, do you have any plans on working with her in the future?

I am pleased to be taking over as leader with a whole team of very effective people helping me out, including my very strong relationship with the competitors such as Todd Stone and Michael Lee. I have reached out to Diane Watts, and she and I have an ongoing conversation about where she might want to go in the near future with her political career. 4 How will your past experience as a lawyer and

cabinet minister add value to your new role?

ANDREW WILKINSON

Leader of BC Liberal Party “The NDP has introduced a very wide range of new taxes for British Columbians and our job is to make sure these are not damaging the BC economy and hurting families.” the NDP in power. We will be pointing out to the people that they are much better off if they directly elect their MLA rather than counting on a party list to find who will be representing them. Proportional representation encourages small parties to appear because if you get 2 per cent of the vote, then you are guaranteed one or two seats in the legislature, and that 2 per cent is province-wide. So it’s attractive for people to have geographic parties, ethnic parties or religious parties, leading to a proliferation of small parties. If we start to get parties that become geographically or ethnically-focussed, that can start to dissolve the fabric that pulls us together in this province. We have to prepare and present a program that appeals to everybody in BC, to keep us all on the same page.

It has become very clear in the last few weeks that the NDP are not very good at government. They have made major mistakes in triggering a trade war with Alberta, and having training as a lawyer is very helpful because it makes you understand how the 6 How will you make the NDP government Constitution of Canada actually works, and the accountable for its decisions? NDP clearly did not understand that in the last The NDP has introduced a very wide range of new taxes, more than $5 billion dollars in new taxes few weeks. for British Columbians and our job is to make 5 Your top pledge during the campaign was sure these are not damaging the BC economy and to fight the upcoming referendum on electoral hurting families, and also to make sure that their reform, what steps will you take on this issue? spending plans are responsible. We are working closely with community groups to make sure that the true story about the proportional 7 What are your views on the NDP’s approach representation referendum comes out, and that it is to child care in BC? a little more than a gift to the Green party to keep The NDP put out an ambitious program for

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child care spaces and that is a desirable thing if we can afford to pay for it. The thing we have to keep our eyes open for is if they are simply going to be converting unlicensed spaces to licensed spaces and counting that as a part of their success. That is a problem because it does not actually create any new spaces. They have also abandoned the idea of the $10 dollar a day child care. They have set themselves at a very high standard and we will see if they meet it. Also, part of paying for all that is bringing in a whole series of property taxes.

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ICBC is now a 45-year-old NDP-created state-run monopoly, and I question whether it is a right model at all. It is very easy to talk about tinkering with the caps on injury rates and premiums and so forth, but we have seen that the financial picture of the ICBC has been deteriorating in recent years, and the idea that it can be fixed with a single tweak is unlikely to be true. My view on auto insurance, having been a defence lawyer for 25 years, is that we need to focus on who needs to benefit there. The motorist needs reasonable premiums on their insurance and the injured need reasonable compensation, and we are straying away from both of those things right now. 9 The NDP has announced that the Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums would be completely eliminated from 2020. What are your thoughts on this decision?

The NDP are going to phase out the MSP premiums, which is a continuation of BC Liberal policy. We cut them by half a year ago and they are going to cut them off completely but not for another year. In the meantime, they are increasing employer’s health tax. So in 2019, double premiums will be paid, both the MSP and the employer’s health tax. The Richmond School Board has calculated that this will cost them $2.2 million dollars and they have no revenue to compensate for it. So their only alternative will be to cut down the number of teachers or programs. Clearly this is tax grab that the NDP needs to balance the budget and it has been done out of the pockets of employers and organizations. This is a very poorly thought of tax grab made by the NDP. What is your message to BC Liberal party members and supporters?

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The BC Liberal party is in the middle of a big renewal and we are working to broadening the base of the parry. It will allow us to take in new ideas from all over BC and prepare for a broadly-based election platform that will appeal to the interest of people in their own daily lives, to make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the 2017 election where we were talking big macro terms and not talking about what affects people’s daily lives. We had a very strong leadership race where we doubled our membership. We had heavy involvement from people all over the province who were concerned about the future of our province and have a positive view of BC as a land of opportunity. It is my job to make sure that BC continues to be a place where people can enjoy their lives and get ahead.


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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

Zoya defies the ordinary with her story; she has weaved the road to a vibrant life while navigating through chronic illnesses.

ZOYA

CONQUERING LIFE WITH STYLE

JIWA BY NAINA GREWAL

H

ardships are often looked upon as obstacles on the path to growth and success. However, Zoya Jiwa defies the ordinary with her story; she has weaved the road to a vibrant life while navigating through chronic illnesses. Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called lupus and a chronic pain condition called fibromyalgia since her teenage years, Zoya’s physical condition and medications significantly affected her quality of life, including her passion for fashion. Over the years, as Zoya spent time between home and

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medical appointments, she realized one morning that she had lost her sense of style. “I had more pajamas than pants,” recalls Zoya, who strongly believes that fashion and clothing can play a significant, positive role in how one feels emotionally, mentally and physically. Struck by this thought, Zoya began to explore more clothing options, with adjustments like elastic waistbands or loosefit tops that accommodated her condition. During her exploration in this field, she came across the lack of platforms for those like her. As she conducted more research, she saw an opportunity to spark a conversation around inclusive fashion, alongside highlighting and sharing the stories of people who face unique health challenges. As Zoya was growing up, the common narrative about illness was that she could resume her life “when she was feeling better.” However, her determination prevailed as


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PHOTOS: SHANE SHARMA, ANITA CHEUNG

DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

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Zoya has received multiple recognitions including the 2015 Terry Fox Gold Medal Award, the 2016 YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award, and the opportunity to share her story three times on the TEDx stage.

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she details: “I have a chronic illness and chronic pain, so my symptoms are present each day, even if it’s a good day. I grew impatient with waiting. So, with the support of friends and family, I began to explore what a vibrant life with chronic illness could look like, just as I was.” By creating a community around shared experiences, she desired to shift the conversation to celebrate who we are, as we are. To channel her ideas, Zoya established As We Are, a style website for people who are facing health challenges with courage and style. By combining peer mentorship and storytelling, Zoya has built a space of support for individuals experiencing symptoms and side effects of diseases, disabilities, chronic pain, and other sources of discomfort. Boasting a theme of functional fashion, the organization enables fashion to meet comfort. During initial stages, Zoya reached out to her friends for interviews, and further connected with friends of friends. As her network grew, many began reaching out to

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Zoya with stories of how they used fashion to feel better in some way and live a vibrant life. Just as it was vulnerable to share her own story, Zoya recognizes the responsibility to share others’ experiences. True to the individual, each story reflects a unique narrative. For some, fashion entails adaptive clothing made for their body specifically. Others shine light on the need for education and awareness about their health condition through the lens of fashion. In light of these conversations, when asked how one should respond if a loved one is experiencing a chronic illness, Zoya points out the following: Offer empathy, not sympathy: Rather than pity, respond with compassion and imagine what it must be like to navigate these experiences on a daily basis. Refrain from offering ideas to ‘fix’ their illness, pain or energy levels; this usually comes across as insensitive – even when it’s meant from a place of care. If you say you’ll be there, be there: Actions speak louder than words. If a friend finds grocery shopping exhausting, offer to be their shopping buddy, prep meals with them, or browse together for an online grocery delivery service. Support them through the activities that are particularly difficult or draining. Listen: It feels good to be seen and heard in a space where judgment is suspended. Believe their truth and their lived experience in their body. It’s as simple as that. Regarding what the future holds, Zoya is currently brainstorming next steps for As We Are and has exciting ideas in the realm of product and service creation to increase accessibility and independence for those who face health challenges. A recent SFU Graduate of Sociology with a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Zoya has received multiple recognitions including the 2015 Terry Fox Gold Medal Award, the 2016 YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award, and the opportunity to share her story three times on the TEDx stage. Zoya continues empowering others through her resilience, perseverance and radiance. A role-model to the community and beyond, she is a true embodiment of celebrating ourselves as we are.


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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

For the talented designers, the Raasleela Bridal Fashion Week is their “way of inspiring people to understand & appreciate intricate craft.”

PARVESH KUMAR & JAI SINGH PRESENT

RAASLEELA

BRIDAL FASHION WEEK BY MURIEL D’SOUZA

O

n their journey to fame, Parvesh Kumar and Jai Singh, Vancouver’s renowned and extremely talented fashion designer duo, turned traditions into trends. Their stunning bridal collection is all set to raise eyebrows once again at the Raasleela Bridal Fashion Week Canada this April. Much before Raasleela took shape, the brand ‘Parvesh Jai’ was born, the vision of two fresh NIFT (India) graduates, with no fashion background, no celebrated

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mentors and no investors to bank upon. Shahpur Jat, an urban village in South Delhi with its favourable rentals, resources and the best of talent, set the stage for their dream to take off in 2001. Acceptance was gradual for these young fashion designers, but their zeal kept them going. Soon enough their talent got noticed and they started designing for Bollywood divas, received orders from famous movie makers, and also popular TV channels. After successfully setting up three TM

showrooms in New Delhi and being invited to Milan, Paris and Athens to showcase their work, they took Parvesh Jai to Europe, set foot in the United States, and finally moved to Canada on a well-wisher’s suggestion. The Vancouver Fashion Week 2014 helped them test the waters all over the country before finally setting base in Vancouver. Somewhere during their stint in the US, Parvesh and Jai decided to take the leap and move to traditional outfit designing. That’s how ‘Raasleela’ was born in 2010. “Raas is the act of decorating oneself and everything around. Being Krishna devotees, this name had always fascinated us. We were inspired seeing followers decorate Lord Krishna’s temples not out of duty, but with devotion,” explains Jai. The idea was to weave this devotion into every thread of their creations, perhaps the main reason these devoted designers landed in the spotlight really soon in their lives.


Aanchal Mogla sets the bar high. Not everyone can see past an exciting opportunity to a life-changing one. Aanchal Mogla did. At age 25, after landing a dream job at a non-profit social enterprise hub, she traded it all in to study law at TRU. Now in her second year, Aanchal’s passion for social justice has fostered deep connections between faculty, classmates and community. It also fueled her journey from LSAT to TEDx®, as lead architect of TEDx® at TRU. Clear evidence of the magic that can happen when a progressive university encounters a relentlessly curious mind.

tru.ca/seriously Aanchal Mogla – TRU Law student

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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

“Raasleela is a platform where gifted designers from

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF PARVESH AND JAI

small towns of India and Pakistan get the recognition they deserve with the chance to showcase their work. It is the means of livelihood for several hundred artists who have nothing except for their art.”

In Indian mythology, Raasleela is an ecstatic dance by Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha’s sakhis. A divine celebration beside the river Yamuna as the sky shines in all its glory with a full moon, and the land squares its shoulders with a full bloom. Imagine the beauty, the colours, the charisma, and picture it all on a bridal gown. That’s what Parvesh and Jai are capable of. They are blessed with the gift of bringing to life this dance of divine love through their designs, prints and fabrics. Every piece at Raasleela is painstakingly intricate and that’s why, one-ofa-kind. This multi-designer store aims to connect buyers to designers from around the world, while retailing their masterpieces at the original prices.

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MARCH/ APRIL 2018 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

What better place than Canada, a multicultural country to do so! The Raasleela Bridal Fashion Week is truly the most spectacular display of wedding outfits. “Raasleela is a platform where gifted designers from small towns of India and Pakistan get the recognition they deserve with the chance to showcase their work,” shares Jai. He adds, “It is the means of livelihood for several hundred artists who have nothing except for their art. These designers weave their emotions into each fiber. The price tag is just a way to respect their patience, effort and dedication.” For the talented designers, the Raasleela Bridal Fashion Week is their “way of inspiring people to understand and appreciate intricate craft.” The event is instrumental in bringing together admirers and fabric-art connoisseurs from around the world with the original makers; the very reason the brand will soon be launching raasleelaonline.com, their ecommerce website. This year, Raasleela Bridal Fashion Week Vancouver has spread its wings

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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

Amani Kaur Saini (centre) with Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, and Mehrdad Hariri, President & CEO of the Canadian Science Policy Conference Image: CAP Photographic Solutions

AMANI KAUR

SAINI BY NAINA GREWAL

MAKING A DIFFERENCE FROM THE GROUND UP

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hen hit with a minor headache, it is quite common to purchase an over-the-counter medication of a trusted pharmaceutical brand. We mundanely pop a pill and continue with our day. Such was not the case for Amani Kaur Saini’s younger sister, who, in 2010, faced an adverse drug reaction (ADR) to a sample of an overthe-counter cold and sinus pill her doctor prescribed to take for her common cold while visiting the clinic. As the event took a nearly fatal turn, her sister spent three weeks at Vancouver General Hospital fighting for her life. An ADR, often considered a form of toxicity,

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is a dangerous allergic reaction to a drug. There are an estimated 200,000 severe ADRs in Canada each year, though it is estimated that 95 per cent of ADRs are not reported. Having experienced an ADR so closely, Amani became deeply interested in health policy and began researching on the issue. Divulging further into the statistics, she learned that ADRs kill up to 22,000 Canadians per year, with over 5,000 of these cases being of children. “This was a profoundly staggering number. I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” shares Amani. Amani’s findings, the thought of her sister, and family inspired her to establish a TM

national, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that advocates for the prevention of adverse drug reactions – Adverse Drug Reaction Canada. Born and raised in British Columbia, Amani holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. Before founding ADR Canada, Amani spoke to professors and researchers both at UBC and around the world, through which she found that ADRs can be caused by a gene variant and genetic screening would be able to determine whether or not one carries a gene variant that would make them allergic to a certain drug. Just as South Asians are prone to diseases such as diabetes, particular ethnicities are more likely to have specific allergies to certain drugs. Although genetic testing for drug allergies is prevalent in some countries, Canada does not make the list. Consider how relatively simple it is to have a blood test done in Canada.


In 2016, she wrote a policy as a submission to the Canadian Science Policy Conference that called on provinces to test Canadians for gene variants. For this, she won the Canadian Science Policy Award of Excellence. Amani’s organization is advocating for the implementation of a parallel procedure for genetic testing, where patients are asked if they would like a genetic test before taking a new drug, be it nonprescribed. Such a process could indeed relieve the government financially, details Amani, “Genetic screening could cost around $100 per person. If an ADR is prevented, an abundance of medical costs are saved for the BC Health Care System. ADRs cost Canada between $13.7 and $17.7 billion per year.” In fact, Amani accounts that her sister, despite having survived the ADR, still faces impacts on her quality of life, as she must make regular visits to eye specialists and purchase expensive eye drops – all from pocket. The stakeholders are many in this situation, but Amani holds that the first step should be taken by the federal government. Firstly, a national database should be created where health institutions mandatory report ADR cases and track which drugs are causing damage. Secondly, there is a dire need to support publicly-funded genetic screening, which would help to identify gene variants and would be given before a person takes a new drug. This young leader’s efforts are certainly beginning to bear fruit. In 2016, Amani wrote a policy as a submission to the Canadian Science Policy Conference that called on provinces to test Canadians for gene variants. For this, she won the Canadian Science Policy Award of Excellence and received a tremendous amount of support, gaining recognition from the science community. When asked about her future plans for the organization, Amani expresses that her ultimate goal is that there is no need for the organization to exist. While many diseases and conditions are still unpreventable, ADRs can potentially be prevented. Every patient is not the same; it’s time we stop giving drugs at random and make genetic information the grounds for drug prescription decisions. An inspiration for the community, Amani calls on those impacted by an ADR to connect with her and share their story as she stands at the forefront of stirring change in the lives of Canadians. If you have been impacted by an ADR, contact info@adrcanada.org. If you would like to donate to the organization, visit www.adrcanada.org.

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a positive attitude and creative productions, she and her best friend, Kevin Lim, began building the ‘Sonia and Kevin’ brand. Today, Sonia’s radio career spans over 10 years and boasts of radio shows hosted in Kelowna, Penticton, Castlegar and others cities. “I got into radio in an effort to make people feel emotions, whether its happiness and joy after listening to a segment, or sadness and hope after hearing a news story,” reveals the radio star. Mornings with Kevin and Sonia airs everyday from 6 am to 10 am. Every morning, thousands of listeners are tuned in to hear what this delightful duo have in store. Authenticity and positivity are the two pillars of support through which the show has quickly garnered popularity and loyal


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followers. “There’s no filter when it comes to us and how we share our lives. We aim to be a show that can be your escape from the every day stresses of life. Whether it’s laughing or spreading kindness to our community, you always know what you’re going to get when you turn on our show on KiSS RADiO,” shares Sonia proudly calling her show “The Ellen Show of radio.” Though it may seem like merely four hours of interesting conversation and peppy music, extensive research and planning form the backbone of the show. “A lot of people think we just have a four hour work day, but it’s definitely more than that,” points out Sonia. Trending topics, local news stories and entertaining ideas are picked out and discussed, which are then fine tuned as material for the show to present the next day. Besides the usual preparation, radio personalities also at times have to deal with mood swings or bad days. Surprisingly, the dynamic duo deals with it by going on-air and turning the situation around to their advantage. “Whenever we’re having a bad day, we talk about it and then we all agree that being on the air is one of the best cures for a bad day. It’s definitely our happy place and it’s an adrenaline rush,” explains Sonia. For Sonia, an exciting part of being a radio host is meeting people she admires. You could definitely call her job the best in the world knowing that this lucky lady interviewed music superstar Ed Sheeran last summer. Reliving the moment, the fangirl says, “I was so nervous. He [Ed Sheeran] knew how nervous I was so he gave me a few extra minutes to chat with him and was such a sweetheart. That was probably my most memorable interview yet.” Sonia’s talent and passion is reflected beautifully through her work; and the love and support the show has received is a clear indicator that she is doing a remarkable job of spreading fun and laughter among people. It does not come as a surprise that the cohosts have received the Broadcast Performers Of The Year Award by the British Columbia Association Of Broadcasters (BCAB) in 2013 and other notable recognition over the years. Mentioning the award by BCAB, Sonia says, “It was an honour to receive this award among our peers. There are so many radio hosts we look up to in the market and to win an award like that, meant the world to us.” Her advice to those aspiring to be on radio is “reach out to a radio performer that you look up to and ask yourself why you want to do it. If it’s for fame and money, you’re likely in the wrong business.” With long hours, lots of moving to different cities to follow your career path and being away from home, a radio career is not for the faint-hearted. “If you want to do it because you truly love it, then it’s definitely worth it. The adventure and experience of being a radio host is priceless,” exclaims Sonia in conclusion.


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COVER STORY

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BY PETRINA D’SOUZA

The Million Dollar Voice The YouTube star has been creating ripples in the music industry with her phenomenal voice and creative collaborations. Since launching her YouTube Channel in 2015, Vidya has amassed over 350 million views and over 4 million subscribers.

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usic is universal; one does not need to understand its language or genre to enjoy it. It exceeds all boundaries and connects to millions. It has the power to bridge the gap between multiple cultures and people. Due to the advancement of digital and social media, the music industry has gone through a transformation and produced a new class of musical artists – the YouTubers. The power of this video-sharing website is such that creative work and talent is instantly recognized and promoted.

Dancers, singers, musicians and many other creative people are using this platform to showcase their work globally. A name that stands out among these trending YouTube idols is of Vidya Iyer, popularly known as Vidya Vox. This famous singer has been creating ripples in the music industry with her phenomenal voice and creative collaborations. Since launching her YouTube Channel in 2015 with mashups of Western pop hits and music from her native land, India, the Los-Angelesbased singer has amassed over 350 million views and over 4 million subscribers, changing the course of her life in ways she never thought possible. Through her mashups, she has been shortening the divide between Indian and Western music, while offering a glimpse of the Indian classical and Bollywood genre to the world.

VIDYA

IYER PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SHANKAR TUCKER, VIDYA IYER, LOVEBUGROBIN PHOTOGRAPY, PRASANTA KUMAR SUR PHOTOGRAPHY, AMANS PHOTOGRAPHY, DREAM BIG STUDIOS

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COVER STORY

I learned Indian music but I grew up in the West, so I was always trying to find the middle ground. How do you keep your roots and also follow local culture? I found mashups as a good outlet for me in the way I express my upbringing.”

While the concept of musical mashups is not entirely new and has been existing for decades, Vidya’s USP is her sensational voice and ingenious videos. She brings together influences of her Indian-American heritage to create music that is refreshingly new, unique and contemporary, seamlessly fusing together the intricacies of Indian music with elements of electronic and hiphop for an undeniably catchy sound. Among her most notable works is the mashup of Closer/ Kabira, which garnered over 55 million views in seven months, and Major Lazer’s ‘Lean On’ with the traditional Punjabi folk song ‘Jind Mahi.’ With over 20 million views, the cover remix was so well received that it caught the attention of Major Lazer who reached out to Vidya to praise her rendition of the song. Vidya’s mashups have since gained worldwide recognition from the likes of Diplo and Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan.

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Born in Chennai, but brought up in Virginia, Vidya studied Carnatic classical music since the age of five. “In the beginning I used to hate practicing so much. As I grew older, I really found a passion for it. Music was my go-to place during high school and college when academics were too stressful,” she discloses. Yet singing was never a career choice, Vidya studied psychology and pre-medicine in college to become a doctor. It was when she collaborated with Shankar Tucker, now co-producer and composer, on her very first video for Shankar’s channel that the thought of becoming a full-time singer entered her mind. Recalling her first video-making experience, Vidya says, “It was interesting because it was during the time

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COVER STORY

where not much of Indian music was on YouTube. When I saw how we used the platform, I thought that maybe this is something I could do but I never thought about it until I graduated.” Upon graduation, Vidya moved to Mumbai for a year to learn music. While training in Hindustani music and touring with Shankar’s band, the idea of creating something of her own sparked her interest. With Shankar on board, the duo decided to transform this idea into reality through song mashups – a concept that was influenced by the way Vidya had grown up. “I learned Indian music but I grew up in the West, so I was always trying to find

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It is important to break people’s preconceived notions of what music is supposed to be as music really has no language or barrier.” the middle ground. How do you keep your roots and also follow local culture? I found mashups as a good outlet for me in the way I express my upbringing,” explains Vidya Vox, who was given this catchy name by Shankar. “Vox means voice in Latin; it is a very cool alliteration with my name. Shankar would always label my vocal tracks as Vidya Vox and that’s how it came about.”

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Today, Vidya is counted among the top YouTubers in the world. Her mesmerizing voice is like magic that attracts viewers all age groups and nationalities, regardless of the language or genre the video is in. Another added feature in the videos is the use of different Indian languages, instruments and dance elements, which gives international audience a glimpse of Bollywood music and Indian culture. The queen of mashups also experiments with folk or regional Indian songs, and writes her own English lyrics for it.

“It is a little different [than Bollywood mashups] because you need to make sure the meaning and feeling of the song is matched,” adds Vidya, who aspires to bring a bit of


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“I hope that through my music, young boys and girls, especially Indian girls and boys, know that it is okay to sing in your language, wear your clothes and be proud as an Indian, and still do things which people from other cultures can relate to.” Indian culture and representation to western pop music through her work. “It is important to break people’s preconceived notions of what music is supposed to be as music really has no language or barrier,” asserts Vidya, whose favourite genres are Indian classical, EDM and R&B. Though it involves a lot of hard work and time, Vidya states that creating covers or mashups are not that challenging anymore. “The song already exists, you just put a new spin on it. I have done it a lot now so I am very intuitive and know whether the song is going to work or not.” What is difficult yet exciting for this young musician is composing original music. “It is really hard to make sure your message is being conveyed in a way that is

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COVER STORY

“kuttu is the dance/music of folk tradition of Tamil Women get a lot of criticism for culture. I’m Tamil so I have either dressing a certain way or heard a lot of kuttu music. for being outspoken. It is all about It is kind of like the party, fun music of Tamil culture freedom of choice without being and I wanted to bring in the beats and arrangements to judged for the choices that you some of the songs we were make. I’m always thinking about that writing. And fire because when I’m writing original music and it was a catchy name to go with it.” how I can provide a voice for that.” Kuthu Fire includes a set of genre-mixing and cultureblending original songs that are enjoyable to the listeners but also an extension of Vidya’s mashups; something that you are proud of,” they blend together very different shares Vidya who finds writing her cultural styles of music but own music immensely liberating. stand apart in their hip-hop and “I have a lot of experiences that electronic-inspired arrangements. I draw from and I enjoy putting Through this interesting project, them down to a melody and Vidya wanted to share some of rhythm.” the Indian musical arrangements Turning another dream into and instruments; the EP has reality, the YouTube star recently Indian influences like tabla and released her debut EP (extended dhol all throughout. The songs play), Kuthu Fire, last year. are influenced by Vidya and Comprising of six of her original Shankar’s personal experiences. pieces, the EP is produced by The songs ‘Tamil Born Killa’ Shankar and mastered by Tony Joy. and ‘Be Free’ revolve around the Stating the meaning behind the theme of women empowerment captivating name, Vidya says that and Vidya’s own understanding

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COVER STORY “I’m a huge fan of Beyonce. I think she represents so many things that we need in society today and she shows it through her music, which is really admirable and important.”

of the concept. “Women get a lot of criticism for either dressing a certain way or for being outspoken. Whereas men dress or say things but are not labeled or looked down upon. These double standards really need to change. It is all about freedom of choice without being judged for the choices that you make. I’m always thinking about that when I’m writing original music and how I can provide a voice for that,” Vidya explains, who is specially inspired by music legends Beyonce and A.R. Rahman. “I’m a huge fan of Beyonce. I think she represents so many things that we need in society today and she shows it through her music, which is really admirable and important. A R Rahman is someone I have been listening to since I was a kid. He is one of my inspirations.” Touching upon the subject of women empowerment and gender inequality, Vidya believes that women deserve equal rights. “We are humans and we deserve the same rights and opportunities that men have had for centuries. I think it is really important that we keep having these conversations, especially about harassment in the work place and power dynamics. It is going in the right direction but there is a lot of work to be done,” comments the young feminist who is proud of the fact that women, and especially celebrities, are sharing their experiences and bringing these issues to light. The 27-year-old wants to inspire the younger generation to be strong, confident and the best versions of themselves. This special message comes from her own personal struggles as a young Indian girl in a big American world. In middle school, Vidya was subjected to bullying due to her skin


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colour, the clothes she wore or the food she ate, which led to her hiding her Indian identity. “When I was younger it was not very cool to be Indian or brown-skinned. I did not have people like Mindy Kaling or Priyanka Chopra in the media then, and I just couldn’t look up to somebody who looked like me,” recounts Vidya, who is pleased that Indian representation has gotten better over the years and now young people can look up to someone for inspiration. “I hope that through my music, young boys and girls, especially Indian girls and boys, know that it is okay to sing in your language, wear your clothes and be proud as an Indian, and still do things which people from other cultures can relate to. That is one of my goals.” Vidya’s incorporation of Indian culture is not just limited to her songs and videos but are also highlighted in the way she dresses. Proudly taking up the title of a fashion icon, Vidya’s outfits and accessories strongly reflect her Indian

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culture and style. “That is how I dress in normal life,” says Vidya, who styles herself for all the videos. “I really put in a lot of thought into clothes because I feel that through fashion you can say so much without saying anything at all and that really is so powerful. I genuinely love fashion and dressing up and finding that balance.” Like any celebrity in the crazy world of social world, the beautiful artist is exposed to criticisms and demeaning feedback. Vidya deals with it by turning a blind eye to negative comments. “It is important to take everything with a grain of salt, including compliments. I post videos and don’t look at it again because that is the only way I can keep my sanity,” she says. Initially, she would feel sad and upset about the comments but eventually realized that one can’t please everybody. “Music is so personal and so subjective that you just have to live in your own world. You just have to be proud of your own work and your own music,” declares Vidya, who is still learning Hindustani music, western vocals and going to class to expand her knowledge. “And I practice now and am very good at it,” she quickly adds. I ask her if a singing career in Bollywood is in the near future, and Vidya answers, “I have a few offers from Bollywood; I haven’t been able to accept them yet because I was working on my own music and it did not feel like the right project. If it is the right project and the right song, I would love to sing for Bollywood and even Hollywood.” Just back from her tour, Vidya is currently enjoying her time in LA and getting ready for an exciting year ahead. Instead of mixing up various elements, she is looking forward to experimenting with a new concept for her songs and videos – mixing just one genre with Indian influences. Her 2019 goals are “to do an album, work on a brand new show, and do a concert of fully original music.” We are confident that Vidya’s year will be just as vibrant and energetic as her music.


Lincoln Smith generates powerful start-ups. TRU Generator. Favoured hangout of TRU students with ambitions to come up with the next best thing in BC. Or the world. Here, they share ideas, attend workshops, get one-on-one coaching, quiz accomplished guest speakers and participate in our unique “Start-up Academy”—all with the goal of moving smart ideas from incubation to implementation. Today, over 20 alumni of The Generator head start-ups in high tech, design and social enterprise. Last year, their achievements helped Kamloops win the coveted title of Start-up Capital of Canada. And this year, director Lincoln Smith is setting the stage for a whole new round of brilliant ideas. Stay tuned.

tru.ca/seriously Lincoln Smith – director of TRU Generator

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An Indian Affair A Culinary Destination

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s more and more people are making Langley their home, the culinary spaces in the region are gaining popularity. Leading the popularity chart is An Indian Affair, a restaurant that offers authentic Indian food and a wide range of healthy options. Started in 2012 by food expert and Master Chef Gary Bakshi, An Indian Affair is a favourite food hub among Langley locals and visitors, and

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offers a unique experience unlike other Indian eateries in the city. “An Indian Affair is a scale above; we do everything with a twist. The food, customer service and ambience we provide are on a different level,” says Gary proudly. An Indian Affair is now become bigger and refined; it recently had a makeover and expansion. Promising a relaxing yet lively ambience, the attractive look and feel of the restaurant is working its magic and bringing in an increasing number of customers. Bright hues of red, orange and yellow dominate the colour scheme of the restaurant; creating a balance between bright and soothing are subtle earthy tones of bronze, copper and brown. “Indian food is all about celebration, so the restaurant’s décor includes a lot of bright, inviting food colours such as the red of a chilly and yellow of turmeric,” explains Gary, who has had 26 long years of experience in the cooking and hotel industry as

The food at An Indian Affair is prepared with utmost sincerity, providing a delectable dish that blends flavourful spices with alluring colours, satisfying not only your appetite but other senses as well. an expert chef in the finest restaurants of India, United States, and Canada. Offering an enjoyable atmosphere, multiple and healthy food choices, creative presentations, and excellent customer service, An Indian Affair is on a mission to earn the title of the number one Indian restaurant in Langley. Satisfied with this immense growth and fame, Gary says that before the upgrade, An Indian Affair was “a neighbourhood restaurant, now it is a destination.” The restaurant’s extensive menu comprises of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian specialities, and gluten-free and


An Indian Affair is a scale above; we do everything with a twist. The food, customer service and ambience we provide are on a different level.” - Gary Bakshi

Founder of An Indian Affair

of and fulfilled in the most efficient manner – so much so that everyone leaves the place feeling happy and satisfied. “The restaurant is all about the experience which needs to be good. Every customer matters to us,” says Gary, who has also introduced entertainment nights at the restaurant. Once a month, talented local musicians perform live at the restaurant, taking the ambience factor a notch higher. The flourishing restaurant has won many accolades for its food and service. Over the years, An Indian Affair has received notable titles such as #1 Restaurant in Langley, Best Vegan Food in Langley, and Favourite Buffet in Langley. “Ours is the only restaurant in Langley of this calibre, people compare us with Cactus Club and other top food outlets,” reveals Gary in conlusion. Go ahead and enjoy authentic Indian food with a modern, healthy twist and revisit India right here in BC. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GARY BAKSHI

vegan alternatives. The daily lunch buffet includes guest favourites like Butter Chicken; a salad bar; multiple dessert options; and complementary Indian chai tea. The restaurant also has a good wine collection and a wide range of local wines. The food at An Indian Affair is prepared by 5-star trained chefs in the healthiest and hygienic way. “We use a lot of olive blends and organic food products, and have a moderate spice level that suits all our customers,” adds Gary. The food is prepared with utmost sincerity, providing a delectable dish that blends flavourful spices with alluring colours, satisfying not only your appetite but other senses as well. Gary understands that delicious food and presentation go hand-in hand. Each item is presented in a creative manner and the final touch gives it a very high-end feel. “Our most popular dishes are Gobi Manchurian, Mixed Grill Affair, Chicken Chettinaad and lamb chops,” says Gary, whose special touch and care has made him a known face among the loyal customers. At An Indian Affair, you are not only guaranteed exceptional food but an overall pleasurable experience at a vibrant location run by talented staff. Every customer’s need is taken note

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TALE OF

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TWO COUNTRIES

A Closer Look at Prime Minister’s Trip to India!

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Little did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that not only would the visit to India be memorable for both countries but it would also leave a bitter aftertaste for him.

BY PETRINA D’SOUZA

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few weeks ago Indian media had a new story to feed on – that of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first visit to India with his family and team from February 17 to 23, 2018. The Canadian delegation comprised of four Cabinet Ministers of Indian decent – Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and Minister Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism; along with other officials. Trudeau’s troop were excited about the trip which would further enrich Canada and India’s relationship. Little did they know that not only would the visit be memorable

for both countries but it would also leave a bitter aftertaste for Trudeau. Let’s begin by understanding the purpose of Canadian Prime Minister’s visit to India. The official statement from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) said that during the visit, “Prime Minister Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reaffirm the close friendship between our two countries, and discuss ways to create good middle class jobs for Canadians and Indians alike.” It also included the former’s participation in several business roundtables to promote further trade and investment between Canada and India; working closely with Indian leaders to advance mutual growth and prosperity; interacting with students; and visiting several landmarks.

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Not much of a welcome? Indians are known for their hospitality. The ancient Sanskrit saying, “Atithi Devo Bhava,” meaning a guest is akin to god, is highly believed and practised among Indians. Yet the welcome PM Trudeau and his family received on arrival to India wasn’t at par to the Sanskrit phrase. To begin with, the Indian Prime Minister wasn’t present to welcome the Canadian delegation. Modi who has previously broken protocol to greet country leaders on arrival was campaigning for a state election in the south. Trudeau was welcomed by junior Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare,

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Gajendra Shekhawat. This came as a surprise to many as not even India’s Foreign Minister was present to meet Trudeau and his group on arrival. However, it should be noted that when Modi visited Canada in 2015, he was also not received at the airport by the Canadian Prime Minister. So the Indian PM did not break any protocol by refusing to receive the Canadian leader. Though Trudeau put on a happy face showcasing that it was not an issue, Indian media was quick to point out that the welcome was undignified and unfit for the leader of a powerful country. This allegation was further confirmed when tech-savvy Modi


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SPECIAL FEATURE

“The visit was more show than substance. Colourful to say the least. I think much more could have been achieved had there been a much clearer purpose for the week long visit.”

ex-citizenship judge of British Columbia (BC) and Yukon region and professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, says, “For the present BJP government, India’s security has become a key issue of building relations with other nations. Canada’s current Prime Minister has not understood the seriousness of Khalistani or other security threats to India. He casually compares Sikh secessionism to Quebec’s role in Canada.”

Too much or too little Like most official tours, Trudeau’s schedule in India allocated time for visits to some monumental sites in the country. Among other significant places, the PM and his family visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, Amritsar’s Golden

— Barj Dhahan, Community-oriented business owner

did not tweet about Trudeau’s visit to India. Speculations began that it was a lukewarm reception; Canadian media also picked up this story, questioning whether Trudeau was ‘snubbed’ by the Indian government. This cold response has been attributed to Trudeau and his government’s support to pro-Khalistan (an independent Sikh nation) supporters among the Sikhs in Canada. Providing a possible explanation to this snub, Shinder Purewal, an

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Temple, and Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabramati Ashram in Gujarat. Dressed in colourful, traditional Indian attire, the Canadian family made a pretty picture throughout the tour. The jewellery and outfits were made by a Toronto designer, Kim Smiley, who works with Syrian newcomers. Canada’s first family put in a sincere effort to show their respect and appreciation towards Indian culture and customs. Though at first, this cultural effort was lauded by Indians, it eventually turned into annoyance. People blamed Trudeau for being ‘overdressed’ or trying to ‘blend in.’ The irony of it all was that at a meet and greet with Hindi film fraternity, Trudeau and family came dressed in Indian outfits while Bollywood celebrities ditched the traditional wear


for the formal suit and tie or casuals. The contrast was so evident that it went viral on social media. On the other hand, Canadian PM’s scheduling was criticized for including only half-a-day of official state engagements in New Delhi and utilizing the rest for “photo opportunities.” “The objective of the Canadian government was neither trade nor strategic-political dialogue. It was reflected in scheduling not more than half a day’s worth of official meetings for a week long visit,” states Purewal. Besides his official engagements, Trudeau did give enough time to connect with Indian media, business and social organizations and leaders, and educational institutions.

Major deal breakers In India, months before his arrival, Punjab’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, publicly accused members of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet of being connected to the Sikh separatist movement. When in India, Trudeau’s team announced that he would not meet with the Punjab CM because of his previous comments. However, Trudeau had a change of heart and decided to meet Amarinder Singh. Reports say that this decision was made on the request of Minister Sajjan. Trudeau met the Punjab CM on February 21; Minister Sajjan and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu were also present at the meeting. The two exchanged views on a range of issues, including youth employment and investment towards mutual prosperity. Just when it seemed that Trudeau had won everyone with his charm and support, a major disaster took place. Jaspal Atwal, a convicted BC gunman, was invited to a reception for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Canada’s High Commission in New Delhi. Atwal was convicted of attempting to kill Indian cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986. He was also charged, but not convicted, in connection with a 1985 attack on former BC Premier Ujjal Dosanjh. This did not sit well with Indian and Canadian media who repeatedly questioned Trudeau’s government on this blunder. Atwal was added to the guest list by BC MP Randeep Sarai, who later claimed responsibly for the action and apologized. A few weeks later, MP Sarai resigned as chair of his party’s Pacific Caucus. Trudeau’s office stated the invitation was a mistake and it has been withdrawn. Fabian Dawson, a veteran award-winning journalist, filmmaker and author, points out an interesting element of this episode. “The South Asian community is a strong supporter of the Liberals. The Jaspal Atwal incident was the central controversy in the trip and it was selfinflicted. There are some who say it was orchestrated to drive home the message that India isn’t happy about the Liberals cozying up to who they see as potential threats.” This major error left a negative mark and overshadowed all the positive outcomes of Trudeau’s visit.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Strengthening IndiaCanada relationship

“I’m glad to see continued cooperation between Canada and India to keep strengthening cultural and economic ties, build a more peaceful and secure world, and work together on climate change, oceans, space, and clean energy.”

PM Trudeau’s visit, however, had positive and constructive results as well. In the short period of his time in India, he managed to discuss and create a dialogue about issues concerning both countries and offered help to Indian initiatives. While meeting with business leaders in Mumbai, the Prime Minister welcomed more than $1 billion in investments between Canadian and Indian companies, which will lead to the creation of more than 5,800 good, well-paying middle class jobs for Canadians. On the last day of his trip, February 22, he met with the PM Modi, who greeted him with his famous hug. They announced a wide range of new initiatives and agreements between both countries that span education, security, sustainable development, trade and investment, and women’s health and empowerment. Both country leaders also released a Joint Statement that outlines the way forward for the CanadaIndia relationship and how they will invest

— Manjot Hallen,

Photos: Prime Minister's Office

President of the BC Liberal Party of Canada

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in mutual growth, achieve gender equality, and empower women. Canada and India signed six memoranda of understanding which will increase Canada’s cooperation in areas such as education, sport, intellectual property, information and communication technology, as well as science and innovation. In addition, 20 new or enhanced initiatives were launched, including projects to support education, women’s empowerment and health, and research to clean polluted waters. Manjot Hallen, president of the Liberal Party of Canada (BC), who was in India for the duration of Justin Trudeau’s visit said that the relationship between both countries is now deeper and more


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robust than ever before. “I’m glad to see continued cooperation between Canada and India to keep strengthening cultural and economic ties, build a more peaceful and secure world, and work together on climate change, oceans, space, and clean energy. I am certain that increased cooperation in these priority areas will help grow Canada’s economy and strengthen our middle class.”

The aftermath Upon Trudeau’s return to Canada, a conspiracy story began circulating that the Indian government tried to sabotage Canadian PM’s trip by approving a visa to Atwal. PM Trudeau did not exactly refute this story stating, “When one of our top diplomats and security officials says something to Canadians it’s because they know it to be true.” Unhappy with Trudeau’s stand on this theory, Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party, tweeted, “Justin Trudeau confirmed that he believes the Government of India attempted to sabotage Canada’s reputation on the world stage. It’s irresponsible for him to make such an accusation without any proof. Justin Trudeau must explain the facts behind his conspiracy theory.” Calling these reports “baseless and unacceptable,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs gave a statement saying “the Government of India, including the security agencies, had nothing to do with the presence of Jaspal Atwal at the event hosted by the Canadian

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High Commissioner in Mumbai or the invitation issued to him for the Canadian High Commissioner's reception in New Delhi.” Talking about the Atwal incident, radio broadcaster Harjinder Thind says, “As far as the guest list is concerned, it is prepared by the Canadian authorities. You can’t blame the Indian government for that.” Purewal further remarks, “The only thing worst than inviting Jaspal Atwal on official tour was attempts by Trudeau government officials to invent a conspiracy theory that the Khalistani protagonist was planted in the delegation by India. Indian officials were perhaps more furious at this suggestion than the inclusion of this controversial man in formal and informal events because, after all, India had removed him from a ‘blacklist’ of terrorists not allowed to visit India sometimes back.” A twist in this story is that in a previous interview with The Canadian Press, Atwal said he received an invitation directly from the Canadian ambassador's office. He also publicly apologized in Canada for the embarrassment the issue might have caused both countries. He mentioned that he has travelled to India a few times in the last few years, on visas provided by the Indian government. The damage done on this trip is irreversible and can even cause Trudeau his seat at the 2019 election. India’s cold shoulder to the Canadian delegation raises many questions on the purpose of the trip. “The signs of this trip becoming a debacle were evident especially with the Khalistan issue and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh saying he won’t meet with Trudeau’s ministers. Trudeau may have public charm but playing Mr. Dressup in India with your family doesn’t equate to statesmanship. It’s not clear why this trip had to be done now amidst heightened tensions. What’s clear is that there was a lack of enthusiasm to this visit from the Indian side to the visit,” points out Dawson, who believes it will however not harm relations between India and Canada in the long run. “But it will be a subject of ridicule. Given the events, I would say this trip wasn’t as much about Trudeau’s passage to India it was about India’s message to Trudeau.” Sharing his views on the trip, communityoriented business owner Barj Dhahan, says “the PM Trudeau visit was more show than substance. Colourful to say the least. It’s unfortunate that the Jaspal Atwal affair overshadowed some good meetings and agreements that took place. I think much more could have been achieved had there been a much clearer purpose for the week long visit.” Reports also suggest that Trudeau’s eight-day trip was a carefully planned move to win precious votes of the South Asian community at the 2019 Canadian federal election. “If an official visit had no trade, strategic or political agenda, then the only warranted conclusion is that the visit was a pre-election campaign for the Liberal Party. As they say, the politicians are clever by half; the benefits of this visit to campaign are not clear.


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“Indo-Canadian voters are very conscious and selective. One incident or just the India trip is not going to make the decision on whom they are going to vote for. There are many other factors, like his economic policies, immigration policies and more important factors, for voters of Indo-Canadian origin to make a decision in the next election.” — Harjinder Thind,

The cost of living keeps going up.

Radio broadcaster

The damage, however, at this moment, is very clear even to non-political types,” adds Purewal. Dawson agrees, adding that “it’s not the Liberals alone who cash in on this. All parties do.” Thind, however, adds in that this trip will not be a deciding factor on votes from Indo-Canadians. “Indo-Canadian voters are very conscious and selective. One incident or just the India trip is not going to make the decision on whom they are going to vote for. There are many other factors, like his economic policies, immigration policies and more important factors, for voters of Indo-Canadian origin to make a decision in the next election.” With a strong contender like NDP’s Jagmeet Singh opposite him, Trudeau has to up his game to ensure he gets the desired votes, especially from Indo-Canadians. Would the trip still have happened if Jagmeet Singh was not standing against Trudeau in the leadership race? Will this trip damage the PM’s stand in the election? Will it ruin India-Canada relationship in the long-run? These are questions one needs to keep an eye on in the coming months.

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BUSINESS PROFILE

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your account. Keep your future needs in mind – don’t make the decision in REALTOR & FOUNDER excitement of owning a big house. Make Strata Queens sure you have enough to enjoy life. For investors, as much as you want to buy real estate, keep selling as well because you can build your equity. Sell it and see where else in the market can you get high returns. I have clients that are selling in Surrey and buying investments in other parts of Fraser Valley. This would also be a good time for investors to sell their investment condos that are ready, because we are seeing the trend of Burnaby, Vancouver, West Vancouver and North Vancouver moving this way.  Once you sell, get into presales. knows the workings of the industry Buy something that is available and helps clients make an informed at today’s market rate and has longdecision, promising a stress-free term potential once it is built. However, process. Having witnessed the dramatic with presales, know the ins and outs of change in the real estate market the project, like the developer, project first-hand, Arora asserts that it is quality, financial situation, and future never too late to buy. She shares a developments around the area. There is few tips for those exploring the real a lot to understand before investing in estate market: certain development projects.  Those who are houseConsult a realtor of your choice hunting, take the step, even if and check what the value of your it is a baby step. At present, if your current home or investment is; keep mortgage and down payment can yourself informed about the market so only accommodate a condo, don’t that you can decide whether you are delay it. It is never too late to get ready to sell or not. If you are thinking into the market and there is no such of buying or investing again, contact a thing as when the time will be right.  real estate professional and see what your Having mortgage in place options are. Sometimes even if you have is very important. It is an to move to another location, do it, but ‘ACT FAST MARKET’ right now, get into the market. so knowing how much one can afford is very important. However, my biggest advice is that though you can afford the house and the initial down payment, be realistic and make sure you are comfortable making payments each month. RE/MAX PERFORMANCE REALTY Mortgage payments should be such Ph: (604) 590-4888 | Mob: (604) 809-1111 that it should excite you when you 11925 - 80th Avenue Delta, BC V4C 1Y1 pay it rather than draining you and www.strataqueens.com

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well known investor philanthropist once said, “The best investment on planet earth is earth,” a statement that realtor Mona Arora (PREC) firmly believes in. A distinguished name in the South Asian community, Arora is the founder of Strata Queens and specializes in townhouses, condos, apartments and offices. With professional experience of more than a decade, Arora is counted among the top real estate agents in the market. An expert in the field, she mainly works in the Surrey, Langley and Cloverdale market and has immense knowledge about selling, buying and investing in property. Arora’s personal experience sparked

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an interest in real estate which soon turned into a full-time, successful career. “I bought my very first house in 1997 and my real estate transaction went sideways twice. So I decided to be a realtor so that others don’t have to go through the stress that I went through.” The talented realtor’s passion and expertise lie in strata work for condos and townhouses. “My work at Strata Queens is taking pride in knowing the stratas.” Arora provides potential clients the right resources to make their homebuying process simpler, from tools to estimate mortgage payments to buyer resources and articles; she

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DARPAN SALUTES

N U H T I M KUMAR CATE U D E O T G IN K WOR D NURTURE AN

When he wasn’t even ten, Kumar expressed his desperation for education by slashing his wrist and demanding admission into a school.

By GARIMA GOSWAMI

M

ithun Kumar had understood the value of education at a very young age. Born in an underprivileged family as the youngest of five siblings, Kumar did not have access to education like his peers. His father was a rickshaw puller and his mother worked as domestic help to sustain a family. With limited means, Kumar’s parents could not afford to raise a family or send their children to school, therefore, the children worked and contributed their earning towards the sustenance of the family. When he wasn’t even ten, Kumar expressed his desperation for education by slashing his wrist and demanding admission into a school.

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Today, Kumar holds free classes for children at his school – children who cannot afford education otherwise. The name of his school, MReal (Methodologies for Rural Education) is based in Nangli, a village in Punjab, with two locations that attract children, mostly of migrant labourers, from nearby villages. “I noticed that there were quite many children in Nangli who TM

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Photos: Mithun Kumar/Facebook

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could not afford education,” Kumar says. He started holding classes for these children at a plot that has now expanded to a two storey structure holding 180 students at two locations. Initially, Kumar ventured on this journey on his own, but he now has a couple of teachers, who are also his former students, as his aides in this social cause. In order to operate the schools and pay his teachers on time, Kumar works during the day and donates all his income towards the functioning of his schools. He maintains a focus on English language skills so that the students feel confident pursuing higher education after primary school. Kumar mentions that he is in talks with some schools that can possibly take in his students after Grade 5 on a nominal fee, which will be paid by Kumar. This young and tireless individual is not just educating children but is in fact fighting with taboos and stereotypes as well. His village, Nangli, like many other villages in India, lacks infrastructure for electricity and water supply, and has become a convenient dumping

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spot for factories nearby. As a result, children and adults within the region face multiple health risks. Girls, for example, face gynaecological issues due to lack of proper sanitation facilities. Kumar is fighting these issues by addressing them and not bypassing them. He lobbies with private schools for old textbooks, and with pharmaceutical students for sanitary pads for girls so they do not have to miss school. The tireless work of Kumar has definitely been recognized at various levels in Punjab. On January 26, 2013, former Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash

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Singh Badal, recognized Kumar’s work by awarding him the Youth Award for his work in the field of education and social work. Amongst other awards, Kumar has also received the Vivekananda Award in the field of Education in 2013. Currently, Kumar is looking to expand his school so that he can accommodate more students, facilities and resources. This includes teachers because currently his teachers are former students of MReal. With his hard work and passion towards education, we are confident that Kumar will make a positive difference in the world. He has inspired individuals not only in and around his village but the entire nation. Kumar’s story of courage and action has been extensively talked about in media and is definitely making an impact.

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Leverage your equity without actually selling your home

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One of the many things you can use your equity funds for is purchasing an investment property, whether it is a secondary rental producing property or a business you’re looking to purchase.

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id you know that as a homeowner you can use the equity in your home to build your wealth? Yes, that’s true! Perhaps having access to some extra finances could really be helpful right now. Available to homeowners are excellent options that allow you to leverage your equity without actually selling your home. One of the many things you can use your equity funds for is purchasing an investment property, whether it is a secondary rental producing property or a business you’re looking to purchase. It could be used for those much-needed renovations around the house, or it may be time to start thinking

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about your children and their postsecondary education. Another great thing you can use the money for is consolidating debt. Maybe you have a credit card that just doesn’t seem to get paid off. Well, now you can pay it in full. As a homeowner, there has to be enough equity actually built up in the home to access these funds, and is subject to bank approval.

Here are a few options you can consider: The first product available is a mortgage refinance. A refinance gives you the option TM

of borrowing against your property’s equity and gives you the flexibility to take advantage of better rates. By refinancing your current mortgage, you can access up to 80 per cent of your property’s value and increase your current loan size. Both fixed rate and variable-rate options are available for all refinances, while the loan would then be repaid back with monthly payments depending on the loan term and rate. For example, Tom and Betty purchased their first home a few years back for $700,000 with a 20 per cent down payment and took out a mortgage of $560,000. Today, the mortgage balance is down to $530,000 and they just received their most recent home assessment and realize their house has gone up in value by $300,000. Shocked at how much their home’s value has gone up, they remembered hearing from friends how they accessed their equity for some renovations around the house. They spoke to their mortgage broker who advised them they could borrow up to $800,000 minus their current mortgage for $530,000. They could now access $270,000 for whatever they needed and they decided to use that money to invest into a vacation home for themselves. The next product available is a reverse mortgage which taps right into the equity of your home and turns into cash, and lets you enjoy life on your terms. With this type of mortgage product you do not have to make regular monthly payments, instead the loan is to be repaid when the homeowners no longer live in the home. Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) are also available to homeowners. They are typically obtained on a lower interest rate, which saves you money in the long run. With this option you can borrow up to 65 per cent the appraised value of your property. Considered a revolving loan, you can take or pay back the cash whenever you would like. Why not see if you’ve got the ability to use your equity for an investment. The great thing is you can really use the funds for your benefit, but using it for everyday expenses is not recommended. Leveraging your equity is gradually becoming an attractive trend in the housing industry. With house prices rising rapidly, the number of people accessing their equity is also growing. Pamela Sahota is a young mortgage broker working with Dominion Lending Centres First Pacific.


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POWER OF

WOMEN

CREATING MILESTONES FOR GENERATIONS TO COME BY JASKIRAT SAHNI

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Women have accomplished a lot in their community and in the professional world over the years.This growth and positive change should be celebrated, as it will encourage us to continue to strive for equality.

W

omen have always faced many obstacles related to gender equality, when they really should be regarded as equal members in society. As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we see the great things women have accomplished in their community and in the professional world over the years. This growth and positive change should be celebrated, as it will encourage us to continue to strive for equality. Many monumental feats have been achieved in the most recent years, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to make Canada’s first-ever genderbalanced cabinet. Perhaps the most important thing to appreciate is that the 15 women chosen were equally experienced, knowledgeable and capable of fulfilling this duty as the men in the same position.

Their identity was their ability, and by emphasizing that as the focus of Trudeau’s decision, we see yet another example of how women continue to break barriers in society. Another area of growth has been women involvement in business. Anita Huberman, the CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, is a prime example of reaching such benchmarks, and using hard work to attain success in business leadership. Huberman believes that a lot can be done to eliminate gender bias in the world of business, such as by shifting the focus to productivity and results, and by “building a culture where the team does not shy away from talking about uncomfortable or difficult topics”. She firmly believes that “you have to work hard but work smart to differentiate yourself,” and by keeping that in mind, women can continue to progress in roles of leadership in the future.

A highlight we are very proud to acknowledge is the contributions South Asian women have made in their community. Whether we see it through sports, politics or social initiatives, these women have been representing the South Asian community in an exemplary way. Aditi Chauhan, goalkeeper and vice captain of the Indian National Women’s Football team, believes that these achievements serve as encouragement for women to continue “becoming stronger, more confident, goal-oriented, and willing to overcome the hard challenges of life”. One of the most recent and now widespread movements, which has been initiated by women for women, is the #MeToo Movement. Starting as a hashtag following sexual misconduct accusations against a well-known film producer, this movement has now become the voice for women who have been victims of sexual harassment.

Women must encourage each other to be bold and raise their voice against harassment. I am positive of the fact that if the women start imbibing this kind of supportive and bold behaviour in their lives, there will soon be a change in the society’s perception of the victims, and eventually more and more women will be motivated to raise their voice and fight for their rights.” - Aditi Chauhan, goalkeeper & vice captain of the Indian National Women’s Football team

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DARPAN FEATURE By sharing their personal stories, women hope to spread awareness that sexual misconduct does, in fact, occur in social settings and in the workplace. Light has been shone on the abuse of power and fame by many celebrities, and the phrase ‘MeToo’ is now being tweeted millions of times with more experiences that explain the extent of this problem. Some people may feel that movements such as #MeToo start losing their meaning, as they get lost amidst all the publicity and celebrity attention they receive. There have been cases where #MeToo has been used to report instances which are simply being used to defame famous personalities for personal motives. In such cases, it is important for us as a society to understand that we must always keep the initial goal in mind when participating in a movement. #MeToo has a core purpose, and that is to stand up for your rights, and speak out when they are being violated or disrespected. This movement gives us the immense power of using our words to express our thoughts and feelings, which will be heard by the world, and will be the key to positive change occurring. Therefore, it is up to us to use the tools we create for a genuine cause, and not misuse them in a way in which our

integrity is challenged once again. Sonia Virk, a lawyer, co-founder of Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers in Surrey and an active community member, believes that the first step to change is accepting that there is a problem that needs fixing. Women need to demand equality, and “we may initially have to fight for it, but we will receive it. It is just a change in the mindset that is required, for both men and women.” We need to make gender bias a phenomenon of the past, and work towards a future where it becomes irrelevant. What is a huge positive aspect of the #MeToo movement is that this is the first time where topics like sexual harassment are being discussed so openly and seriously. This is something Maninder Dhaliwal, an award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder of Lions Gate International, really values. She agrees that “changing status-quo is

A lot can be done to eliminate gender bias in the world of business, such as by shifting the focus to productivity and results, and by “building a culture where the team does not shy away from talking about uncomfortable or difficult topics.” - Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade

“I am very proud of fellow women and what we have achieved. And we achieved it all despite the odds stacked against us. The world is progressing in the right direction. The progress is slow and the path is winding, but overall things are moving in the right direction. So, I am very hopeful about the future of equal opportunity and wage parity.” - Maninder Dhaliwal, award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder of Lions Gate International

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always a so-called ‘sensitive’ topic, but that does not mean that you back away from it.” Perpetrators need to be mentioned so that they receive consequences, and seeing the immediate actions being taken in response to allegations through the #MeToo movement creates a promising outlook for the way we choose to deal with these issues.

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The first step to change is accepting that there is a problem that needs fixing. Women need to demand equality, and “we may initially have to fight for it, but we will receive it. It is just a change in the mindset that is required, for both men and women.” - Sonia Virk, lawyer and co-founder of Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers

Often, women feel there is a strong societal pressure to conform, but knowing what is unacceptable to you is an important step to seeing change in the form of a positive feedback loop. Perhaps this year’s International Women’s Day is the most important day of all, as it is a reminder of all the great milestones women have achieved, as well as all the work we must continue to do in order to reach the goal of full gender equality in our society.

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FEMINISM

IS THIS ANOTHER NAME FOR EQUALITY?

BY JASKIRAT SAHNI Jaskirat Sahni is a third year student pursuing a Bachelor of Science at UBC. She is an active member of her community, and involves herself with important initiatives both on and off campus, such as Sci Team, UBC Blood4Life Club, and an organization she has founded, Girls Empowered. She hopes to combine her passion for healthcare and business in her future career.

T

he idea of being a feminist, or believing in the movement of feminism can be traced as far back as the late 19th century, but what exactly does this mean to us today? There are numerous social movement groups, charities, celebrities and everyday people who consider themselves as being feminists, and

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present their own opinions on what they believe feminism means. Media and the film industry also play a huge role in portraying various aspects of feminism and women empowerment, to the point where it almost seems like a far-fetched title that not everyone can claim. However, when we further examine the definition and reasoning behind feminism, we see that the underlying principle is something everyone is capable of practicing and believing, and that is equality. In my opinion, feminism is the idea that women should have the right to gain equal opportunity, resources, respect and status as any other human being on the planet. The divide between males and females has always existed, and despite us living in the 21st century, it continues to prevail. However, I believe that eradicating this bias or lack of equality is possible if we all look within ourselves and

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ask ourselves some fundamental questions that revolve around our society. Feminism should not be treated as something only people of power or influence can represent, but rather it should be regarded as another way for us to see the irrationality of continuing to deprive women of their basic rights and freedoms. As a young woman, I reflect back on all the times I heard women around me say that certain tasks are just better left to men, or that there are certain limitations girls have that boys

do not necessarily need to worry about. As a society, we have spent a lifetime being surrounded by norms and teachings passed down from previous generations. Many of these teachings are great for us to learn from, but perhaps sometimes they do not allow us to think beyond what everyone else believes. The whole idea of feminism is that we treat women as equals, and give them the appreciation and support they deserve. However, in today’s time, certain people declare themselves as feminists, and thus we think that only those people are capable of making a difference to this matter. I believe that the idea of equality should be instilled in every individual’s mind, and its importance should be emphasized from an early age, in order for us to see a massive shift in the upcoming generation. Actions will change, but the way we think is what will serve as a precursor to positive change in society. Through my organization “Girls Empowered,” I strive to help young women understand and realize that we should be champions of equality. We should not treat ourselves as an elite group of people but rather push for seeking opportunities to prove that we can do whatever we put our minds to. As the world around us evolves, some problems finally get resolved, but new challenges appear simultaneously. The initiative for achieving equality is one that we continue to hope for, but I am confident that this feat can be accomplished if we open ourselves to adopting a new mindset. As Mary Shelley said, “I do not wish for women to have power over men; but over themselves.” To contribute to this column, please email us: editor@darpanmagazine.com

Photos: Eden, Janine and Jim(Feminist & Proud), Elvert Barnes/Wikimedia Commons | Pictures are for representation only

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DARPAN FEATURE BY MURIEL D’SOUZA

In 2017 alone, a 25 per cent increase in deceased organ donors helped save a record-breaking 479 lives in British Columbia.

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our-time Olympic gold medallist, Hayley Wickenheiser, has promised to donate her brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to research her condition of dizziness and nausea caused due to getting hit while playing. Not just her, many famous celebrities around the world have pledged to donate their organs after death. But you needn’t be celebrity to be a hero. By donating an organ, you don’t just transform the life of the recipient; you also touch the lives of their loved ones. In 2017 alone, a 25 per cent increase in deceased organ donors helped save a record-breaking 479 lives in British Columbia. BC is one of the leading provinces in Canada for deceased donation. Its deceased donor rate has increased to 24.9 per million people from 20.3 in 2016. The province also happens to be a leader for living kidney donation.

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 Ed Ferre, the Provincial Operations Director at BC Transplant says, “Statistically, more kidney transplants take place in BC than other organs. This is because we can perform living kidney transplants, where a person who is alive donates one of their two kidneys to someone else. Also, one deceased donor makes transplants to two different recipients possible.” While being proud of ushering happiness into so many families, he also expresses his concern saying, “There are currently more than 600 people in BC waiting for life-saving TM


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transplants.” But the situation is definitely better than last year. The increase in donors in 2017 increased the total transplants to a 13 per cent, which is significant. There were 225 deceased donor kidney transplants and 52 lung ones just in 2017, a substantial 30 per cent increase. A record number of 80 liver transplants were performed last year, which is a great eight per cent increase. Apart from deceased donation, 97 living kidney donor transplants were performed. “More lives are being saved thanks to life-saving transplants,” says Dr. David Landsberg, BC Transplant’s Provincial Medical Director, Transplant Services. “This is a result of system changes we’ve made over the past few years and also a shift in our culture to one that fully supports organ donation as a normal end-of-life option.” Moving from just one lung transplant in 2016 to 52 in 2017, Dr. John Yee, Medical Director of the BC Lung Transplant Program says, “We’ve had a dramatic increase in lung transplants in British Columbia. There are many factors that have affected this increase; the greater availability of

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Quick facts on organ donation You are more likely to need a transplant in your lifetime than become an organ donor. Organ donation can save up to eight lives. An organ donor can donate: heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and corneas. Donation is considered only after all life-saving efforts are made and it’s certain you will not survive. Two doctors, not involved in transplant, must declare your death before organ donation can proceed.

Photos: Courtesy of BC Transplant, iSrock

There is no age limit for organ donation. Canada’s oldest organ donor was 92 years old. organs, and a well-trained and experienced team that can manage the demand while achieving excellent health results for our patients.” Saving lives and giving someone a gift they will cherish forever is a fulfilling feeling. Yet many are unaware of how important their decision can be to someone in need. Sadly, a third of the Canadians who need a transplant will never receive one. On an average, 250 Canadians die each year waiting for the miracle to happen. “It’s important that we continue to raise awareness – through our community partnerships, our volunteers, and our work in the community. The more conversations we can have about organ donation, the more people will register their wishes, which in turn, will hopefully result in more people getting the life-saving transplants they need,” adds Ferre. BC Transplant is working together with ICBC to create more buzz around organ donation. With so many British Columbians visiting ICBC offices daily, it makes for an excellent platform to increase awareness. Everyone believes donating organs is the right thing to do, but don’t make an effort to actually register their wishes. About 50 per cent of British Columbians believe they have registered their decision on organ donation, but the fact is only 21 per cent have actually

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Any BC resident 19 years and older can register their wishes. For those below the age, parents need to take charge. Age doesn’t matter if you intend to be a donor. Canada’s oldest organ donor was in fact 92 years old. done so. Ferre points out that the registration is not linked to the driver’s license but to one’s personal health number in an electronic database only BC Transplant can access. Every year in April, BC Transplant runs an awareness campaign to support the National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW). Ferre explains that NOTDAW is “an annual, nation-wide recognition week in support of organ and tissue donation. It includes registration drives and a green light campaign where buildings around the province are lit green in support” Any BC resident 19 years and older can register their wishes. For those below TM

You can register your wishes regardless of any previous medical history. The doctors will do the testing at the time of donation to determine if and what you can donate. Any BC resident who is 19 years of age or older can register their wishes for organ donation regardless of gender, medical history or religion. Parents can register their children under the age of 19. It’s important to have a conversation on organ donation and about your wishes with your family.


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the age, parents need to take charge. Age doesn’t matter if you intend to be a donor. Canada’s oldest organ donor was in fact 92 years old. If previous medical history is stopping you from taking the step, rest assured doctors have their tests ready. They will tell you exactly what you can donate and what you can’t. Typically a healthy organ donor can donate his/her heart, lungs, kidney, liver, pancreas and corneas. For a deceased transplant, organ donation is considered only after all life-saving efforts are made and survival is impossible. As of January 1, 2018, 638 people were still waiting for an organ transplant in BC, and the need keeps growing. “We ask that anybody who wishes to be a donor speak to their families and register their wishes. Only 1% of people die in a way that enables them to become organ donors. This is because organ donors must pass away in a hospital ICU in order to make sure the organs are viable for transplant” shares Ferre. We encourage one and all to step up, talk to your families and arrive at a decision. It takes two minutes of your time to gift someone a lifetime with their family. So go ahead, register you decision to be a hero at: LiveOn.ca or transplant.bc.ca or fill out the paper form at an ICBC driver licensing office or a Service BC office.

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$

$$

$

Second

Is it too expensive to have two kids? usband and wife. 2.5 kids. Double income. Single family home. The ideal family, right? But when a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to, the ‘million dollar family’ isn’t what it used to be. Huge housing costs, rising daycare payments, increased daily expenses – price tags are all going up and being able to afford to raise a family can be a real concern in today’s unforgiving landscape. With responsibilities on the MARCH/ APRIL 2018 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

of

to have a

BY ASHLEY STEPHENS BY ASHLEY STEPHENS

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According to the most recent numbers from Statistics Canada, the average cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old is $253,956. At over a quarter million dollars, children aren’t cheap.

Cost Choosing

$ H

$

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Child

rise in order to afford living in the Lower Mainland, one child comes with enough costs that parents are opting to stop having children after the arrival of their first. The option for a second child is often not much of a choice. Couples are being forced to closely examine their finances before making the tough decision to expand their family. It’s a sad reality for many families who have an abundance of love to give but not the financial means to do so. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that having a child comes with added costs but when you start crunching numbers, it can become quite

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According to the most recent numbers from Statistics Canada, the average cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old is $253,956. At over a quarter million dollars, children aren’t cheap. While expenses will vary between families and depend on many factors such as location and lifestyle, the cost of feeding, housing and having someone care for your little bundle of joy are all big numbers that may require big sacrifice.

shocking. Between cribs and car seats, and sleepers and strollers, there are obvious daily expenses associated with adding a tiny new member to your family. Unfortunately, babies, who become toddlers and grow up to be teenagers, carry on costing parents money long after they’ve outgrown their diapers.

Whether you’re buying or renting, being able to afford a home large enough to house your growing brood is a huge cause for concern among Lower Mainland residents. With a one-bedroom apartment renting for close to $2,000 a


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DARPAN FEATURE Budgeting is essential in order to maintain a certain standard of living but rising costs have turned family planning into financial planning, forcing families to think twice about money before doubling up on offspring.

month on average according to PadMapper Canadian Rent Report, you’ll either be forced to fit a lot of people into a little bit of space or increase your housing budget if you want more than one child. It’s an area where many are already stretched to their limits and, without more money, there’s often no more room to be had. It’s forcing residents out of the Lower Mainland and out of the province. The high price of real estate is always a hot topic in British Columbia but, for many families, the dreaded daycare costs are enough to cancel out the idea for a second child before it’s even a topic of conversation. According to a recent

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survey by Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre, the average cost for an infant in full-time care is over $1,400 a month in Vancouver. Two in care could see a family of four paying well over $2,500 a month and suddenly any double income is easily spent on double daycare.

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These huge fees are rising alongside the cost of food, hydro, gas and other bills while wages aren’t on the rise nearly as fast. Couples are finding it harder and harder to keep up the standard of living that they’d like to provide for their families. When you’re able to take good care of one child but worry about barely scraping by with a second, the choice may not be easy but instead may be a necessity. The average family size is shrinking and while there isn’t sufficient data to support the various reasoning behind the downsize in dependants, it’s obvious in speaking to many families that cost comes into play. Parents have often expressed their frustration and worry when it comes to affording extracurricular activities for their children – if one child wants to play hockey, the money might be there. But if there are two or more? There’s likely not room in the budget. School trips, secondary education, vacations – the list is long and adds up quickly. When

you multiply these costs by two or even three, it’s easy to see why parents are making the argument for having only one child. It’s not always an argument they envisioned themselves having but when it comes down to affordability, it’s not always feasible to debate it any other way. Having multiple children comes with a cost and many families are finding that it’s not one they can afford. Budgeting is essential in order to maintain a certain standard of living but rising costs have turned family planning into financial planning, forcing families to think twice about money before doubling up on offspring.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ashley Stephens is a mom by day and a creative entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast by night. Her degree from Bishop’s University created a life-long learner who can most often be found reading, writing and taking as many online courses as possible.


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Media roundtable with Premier John Horgan A media roundtable with BC Premier John Horgan and a Meet & Greet with local Cabinet Ministers and MLAs was held in Surrey recently. The Premier was joined by Ministers Harry Bains and Bruce Ralston, and MLAs Raj Chohan, Jagrup Brar, Ravi Kahlon, Rachna Singh, and Garry Begg.

Anti-Bullying Flash Mob A Bollywood/Western-inspired flash mob dance was put together recently to raise awareness on Anti-Bullying. The Anti-Bullying Flash Mob is a community initiative that is organized each year by Sean Bindra on a volunteer basis and choreographed by The SHIAMAK Vancouver Dance Team. More than 1,000 students from six schools in Delta, BC, participated in a Flash Mob style dance at North Delta Secondary School. A second Anti-Bullying Flash Mob, with the Surrey School District involved more than 400 school kids from Surrey and took place at Beaver Creek Elementary. Images: Aziz Dhamani, Peter So 

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Girl’s Leadership Conference L.A. Matheson Secondary organized a girl’s leadership Conference themed "Fearlessly Girls” in collaboration with Surrey-Newton Rotary.


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Amit Tandon spreads laughter in Vancouver Indian stand-up comic Amit Tandon toured Canada in February and March and performed at Bell Performing Arts Centre to a full-house event.

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South Asian Women’s Network Group hosts Paint Night

Hollywood Harv & Friends LIVE River Rock Casino Resort and A-Town Presents presented BAKWAAS - Outrageous Stand-Up Comedy at the River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond, BC. The inaugural event featured Richmond’s very own stand-up comic Hollywood Harv alongside a great line up of South Asian comics from Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Be Your Own Best Friend (BYOBF) Network teamed up with Neighbourhood Art Studios to present The Joy of Painting, a guided painting session. Women enjoyed an afternoon of creating art over coffee and cocktails at the Pelican Rouge Café in White Rock, guided by a professional artist, Preeti Dhillon.

Andrew Wilkinson meets South Asian media in Surrey

Holi Milan Gala by ICA Indian Cultural Association of Vancouver (ICA) celebrated the joyous festival of Holi with Holi Milan Gala on March 3. The lively and upbeat celebration featured various cultural significances such as Rangoli along with a plethora of other activities. Abha Gosain, Consul - Commerce, Education, Culture and Information from Consulate General of India was also present.

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Leader of BC Liberal Party, Andrew Wilkinson, met members of South Asian media organizations to talk about various provincial issues. He shared his views on proportional representation, the NDP Government, housing affordability and BC Budget 2018, among others topics.


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DARPAN FEATURE

Healthy

Diet

Kids for

Str uggling To Give Your Child Vital Nutrition? Experts Suggest What You Need To Do! By Tarika Ahuja & Neeti Sarin

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mother is like an alchemist in the kitchen, always on the lookout to build her child’s immunity, strength and bone health by the choices she makes every day. As a parent, she is a strong believer in the fact that sustainability begins at home and therefore everything she prepares and serves her child becomes a part of the child’s blood chemistry. Her choices either compliment or hamper her child’s cells, tissues and organ systems’ growth. Tarika Ahuja, a holistic nutritionist, parenting coach and author of the accredited book Beautiful Children: The Parent’s Essential Guide for Raising Strong, Balanced, Healthy Children, and Neeti Sarin, founder of Tiffin’s Etc., a company catering nutritious food to school children since 1990, have put together some golden rules for mothers who wish to strengthen their child’s immune system.

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Three things to INCLUDE in your child’s everyday diet plan:

1

whole millet (foxtail millet, banyard

Feed your child whole millet, black millet, finger millet) and grains every day whole amaranth. Cracked grains like

Most children do not have the habit of eating breakfast in the morning, and many mothers don’t tend to realize it much as they replace the same with milk. Therefore, whole-grains become all the more vital in at least two meals every day. Not many know, but wholegrains contain the goodness of energy-giving carbohydrates, which nourishes a child’s body and mind and helps him/her to deal with hectic mornings. These whole grains include whole brown rice, whole barley,

wheat dalia, barley dalia, and steel cut oats are also very important. These contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that help digest the food better. The third meal can be a delicious pasta, bread or chapatti but from unadulterated flour instead of refined flours and sugars.

2

Consume beans and lentils every day

Who does not love the ever favourite rajma chawal? But did you know that these beans shaped like our kidneys actually help in the proper functioning of


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Adding more of leafy vegetables and salads in the meal

It is often a task to feed children vegetables, let alone salads. But a consistent effort from the parents ensures wonders of lifetime benefits for the child and their immunity. One successful way of implementing this habit is by making food art. Children love colours, stories and adventures. They will relish salads more if the dressing is creamy and slightly sweet such as a lemony peanut butter dressing or creamy tahini dressing. Not only are these dressings delicious, but the very reason a child will enjoy eating a nutritious salad every day. Different vegetables offer healthy fiber, different nutrients and enough energy to fulfill varying needs of a growing kid. A good variety of salads support good digestion and ensures circulation.

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the kidneys? Lentils and beans stabilize blood sugar, support heart health, provide healthy protein and energy for the body and mind. Their consumption is also essential for one to two meals every day. To make the menu interesting and appetizing, you can serve hummus, dips or bean burgers, which are equally nutritious and also taste delicious.

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No compromise on this point at any cost. World over, research is suggesting that white sugar is a slow poison and contributes to inflammation, acidic blood quality, and many lifestyle diseases. Replace commercial white sugar (which is often bleached besides being refined) with jaggery, dates or organic unprocessed raw sugar (not brown sugar). White sugar is highly acidic and contributes to body mineral depletion.


DARPAN FEATURE

2

Reduce the intake of dairy

Avoiding or reducing commercial dairy may be a tad bit difficult initially, but, if we follow a simple rule of making just a few changes every week, then no changes are essentially that difficult. Commercial modern cows are injected with hormones to produce more milk and antibiotics for better hygiene and health. These chemicals go into the milk of the cow which is further processed with chemicals and preservatives to make many kinds of commercially-packaged cheeses and other dairy products. Commercial dairy is mucus-forming, filled with chemicals and preservatives that hinder the proper absorption of nutrients, clog the gut, and weaken the digestion for your child. This can be replaced with calcium-laden food like broccoli, beans, legumes, mustard greens, and other dark leafy greens and nuts.

3 Avoid chemical-laden foods

No matter how appetizing they seem, these packet foods such as chips, quick noodles, commercial pickles, processed cheese, are loaded with chemicals and preservatives that weakens the immune function and nervous system of your kid in the long run. Applying the above key pointers require two things. Firstly, umpteen practical and smart shopping skills. The mere act of shopping for the right things makes a huge difference – certain healthy foods make their way into the kitchen and certain old junk items move out of the kitchen; your cooking is healthier already. Secondly, improving your own cooking skills. Taking cooking classes and workshops with holistic nutritionists and practitioners goes a long way in understanding how to prepare the right food for your child. A common presumption is that a child won’t eat healthy food but he or she won’t eat bland food or foods prepared without interesting textures and colours either. The trick is to know how to combine certain ingredients that satiate their hunger and even leaves a taste for it behind.

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DARPAN FEATURE

ENSURING A

STRESS-FREE

MOVE FOR YOUR CHILD Let their wish-list be heard BY JULIE ETTER

TIPS TO FOLLOW WHILE MOVING CHILDREN FROM ONE HOME TO ANOTHER

M ABOUT THE AUTHOR Julie Etter is a professional, national award-winning realtor and former middleschool teacher based in Wrentham, MA. She is the author of Lily and Andrew Are Moving, published by JT Publications, LLC. For more information, visit  www. treehousebuddies.com

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oving can be hectic. It’s a contact sport. It’s physically and emotionally demanding at a time when you are supposed to still carry on with the rest of your life... jobs, dinner, rides to soccer. It’s a full-time job on top of a schedule that doesn’t have room for “another” job. So, in all of that, it’s easy to make mistakes with the kids and their involvement (or often lack-thereof ) in the move. As if there weren’t enough to think about, dealing with temper tantrums, outbursts, and sometimes intangible ways of fearful expressions by kids in the middle of a move only adds to parental stress. Below are some straightforward suggestions that parents can follow while moving children from one home to another. It all comes down to one fundamental component: involvement.

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Have kids identify what they love most about their current home and what they most want to see in a new home. Although this won’t erase all anxiety, there are often simple things that can be created to help with the child’s transition (e.g., a room colour, a swing set, or furniture you are moving with you anyway).

Bring the kids to see the new property. Often, and understandably so, children are left with babysitters while parents view homes. Although this is logical for the hunt, once a property is under agreement and you know where specifically you are moving, set a time to go to the house. Between inspections and measurements, there should be ample times when it’s appropriate for them to come to check it out. At a minimum, this will allow their anxiety to be focused and hopefully more specifically identified than that of the unknown. This is also a good idea in respect to visiting a new school, if applicable.


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Let them pack. Putting all the kids’ stuff in a box and telling them it will be at the next mysterious place creates uneasiness over what’s happening with their stuff. In Lily and Andrew are Moving, a children’s book designed to identify and work with kids’ moving anxieties, each family member gets a “colour.”  The colour-coded stickers are then placed on that member’s belongings/boxes for easy identification for moving location. That same colour is placed on that family members’ bedroom door for ease of identification.

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Prepare yourself for extra emotional outbursts One of the biggest complaints I get from parents is that the kids’ behaviour is very poor and it’s yet another stressor during a hectic time. Try to remember that everything going on and the stress you are feeling is undoubtedly affecting them. They may not know how to articulate why. Use these attention grabbers to grab your attention and talk about the move with your child. Most of all, just understand that the kids are moving too. So, regardless of whether it’s a positive or negative move for the family, work through their reactions just as you do in your role as a parent in any other life event. Trust, though, once everything is in motion, they are far more resilient than their adult counterparts.

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DARPAN TECH

Daily Burn With the Daily Burn app, you can access over 800 streaming workouts from your smartphone so that you can get your workout on no matter where you are. The app features many different styles of workouts at a variety of different levels, all led by expert trainers. Additionally, by answering a few simple questions, you’ll receive personalized recommendations to help you achieve your custom fitness goals.

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Fooducate

This free app offers a plethora of built-in tools to help you achieve your diet, health and fitness goals. These tools include a health (food and activity) tracker, an extensive database of nutritional info, a popular discussion forum, and articles to both educate and motivate you.

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Apps to help you with weight loss

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PlateJoy Many people rely on menu planning as a secret to their weight-loss success, but it can take a lot of time and creativity. PlateJoy eases that burden by preparing fully customized menu plans and grocery lists tailored to your specific health goals for just $59 per six-month subscription. Accessing your plans through their app adds just another level of convenience when you’re at home or on the go.

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ew Year’s Resolutions can quickly become nothing more than a fond memory without a solid plan in place to keep you motivated and on track. If weight-loss is on your list of resolutions for 2018, you’ll definitely want to check out the six apps below. Have a plan, work that plan, and let these apps help you stick to that diet resolution, successfully hit your slimdown goals, and even earn some cash in the process.

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LoseIt! This food tracking app has both free and paid levels, depending on how much functionality you want to access within the app. In addition to food and exercise tracking, LoseIt! syncs with Apple Health, Google Fit, and provides support for wifi scale connections. At the premium level, you can also sync with fitness trackers and apps, track your daily water consumption, and access a library of meal plans, recipes and workouts.


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This app actually pays you to lose weight! With the HealthyWage app, you determine how much weight you want to lose, how long you want to take to lose it, and how much you want to wager each month. If you successfully reach your goal by the end date of your challenge, you win your prize. The average HealthyWager prize is over $1,200! You can also join team challenges, jackpot challenges, and step challenges through the app. Participants have collectively lost over 1 million pounds and gained over $10,000,000 since the company’s inception.

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FatSecret This 100 per cent free app is packed with tools, including food and exercise diaries, healthy recipes, and nutritional info for just about any food item you can think of, to help you achieve your diet goals. Reportedly with over 35 million users, it’s easy to see why they claim to be the fastest and easiest calorie counting app around.

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DARPAN HEALTH Merilee Kern, MBA, a banding and consumer product trends pundit, is a wellness industry veteran, health advocate and influential media voice. Her groundbreaking, award-winning Kids Making Healthy Choices Smartphone APP for children, parents/ caregivers and educators (iTunes) is based on her award-winning, illustrated fictional children’s book, Making Healthy Choices – A Story to Inspire Fit, Weight-Wise Kids. She may be reached online at www.theluxelist.com

Common myths about excessive sweating

People with hyperhidrosis (which causes overactive sweat glands) sweat excessively regardless of mood, weather or activity level – often producing four or five times more sweat than is considered “normal.”

The sweaty tale of

Hyperhidrosis face, underarms or body. Hyperhidrosis can be particularly devastating. While many attempt to hide their sweating problems and suffer in silence, the impacts are often hard to cover up. Dramatic sweating in the presence of peers at work or in extracurricular or social

A

s people go about their daily lives, there’s a common but hidden scourge: excessive sweating. In fact, a national survey conducted by the  International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHhS) – the scholars of sweat – shows multiple millions suffer from extreme, uncomfortable, embarrassing, debilitating and emotionally-devastating sweating. This type of sweating is a serious medical condition known as hyperhidrosis and nearly 367 million people of all ages struggle with it on their hands, feet,

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environments, can cause severe embarrassment, stress, anxiety and other emotional issues. Even when people are alone, away from potential judgements, hyperhidrosis often takes a heavy toll – adversely impacting one’s productivity in a myriad of ways. Those with hyperhidrosis struggle with disproportionate and random sweating that may drench clothing, ruin papers, damage technology tools, make playing sports and musical instruments impossible, promote hiding and isolation behaviours, degrade self-esteem, and prompt bullying at any age – among kids and adults. In fact, research published in Archives of Dermatological Research indicates that the majority of those with excessive sweating confirm the condition has negative

BY MERILEE KERN impacts on their social life, well-being, and emotional as well as mental health. With that in mind, the first step toward providing solutions for those who sweat excessively is to bust some common myths and misconceptions with facts from the experts at the IHhS, including these:

Myth #1 Sweaty people are out-of-shape, nervous or have hygiene issues. Truth: The average person has 2 to 4 million sweat glands. Sweat is essential to human survival and serves as the body’s coolant, protecting it from overheating. Many athletes actually sweat more than other people because their bodies have become very efficient at keeping cool. Meanwhile, people with hyperhidrosis (which causes overactive sweat glands) sweat excessively regardless of mood, weather or activity level – often producing four or five times more sweat than is considered “normal”.


To have hyperhidrosis, one must be dripping and saturated with sweat. Truth: Excess sweating can range from severe dripping to moderate moisture. Symptoms of hyperhidrosis can manifest differently and personally. But, what is consistent is the impact on life depending on areas affected. This can include damaged clothing, paperwork and shoes; obvious, embarrassing sweat marks on clothing; unappealing cold wet hands; discomfort due to dripping sweat or constant dampness; and skin slipperiness that gets in the way of sports, music and day-to-day tasks. Emotional and psychological distress is also common.

Myth #3 People will grow out of hyperhidrosis. Truth: Contrary to popular belief, research shows that hyperhidrosis does not go away or decrease with age. In fact, in one recent IHhS study, 88 per cent of respondents said their excessive sweating had gotten worse or stayed the same over time. This was consistent across all the different age groups, from youngsters to older adults.

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Myth #4 Hyperhidrosis is “just” a summer thing, or it’s at least worse during the hot summer months. Truth: Research from the IHhS also shows that profuse sweating is not simply dictated by the time of year. The majority of patients in one survey indicated that their sweating bothers them equally, no matter the season.

Myth #5 Kids and young adults are “resilient” and can deal with sweating a lot.

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Truth: Medical journal citations substantiate that young people are known to be significantly impacted by emotional sequelae accompanying dermatologic disease and that psychiatric issues inherently accompany dermatologic disease in children and adolescents. Studies further show that most patients with hyperhidrosis – characterized by excessive, spontaneous sweating beyond physiologic, thermal, or stress-reaction body requirements – describe their lives as “bad” or “very bad” due to the disorder.

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DARPAN HEALTH Truth: According to IHhS

Be smart and talk to your dermatologist first before applying an antiperspirant to sensitive areas and test new products on small areas of skin first.

Myth #6 Antiperspirants are for underarms only. Truth: Think outside the pits! You can glide, stick, spray and roll-on nearly anywhere that sweating is a problem (think

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co-founder Dr. David Pariser, hyperhidrosis has the greatest impact of any dermatological disease. In fact, various investigations show the impact of hyperhidrosis on quality-of-life is equal or greater than that of in-patient psoriasis, severe acne, Darier disease, Hailey-Hailey disease, vitiligo, and chronic pruritus. hands, feet, face, back, chest and even groin). Be smart and talk to your dermatologist first before applying an antiperspirant to sensitive areas and test new products on small areas of skin first.

as well as in the morning. Sweat production is at its lowest at night, giving the active ingredients in antiperspirants a better chance to get into your pores and block perspiration when the sun comes up and you really get moving.

Myth #7 Antiperspirants are best used in the morning.

Myth #8 Excessive sweating is less debilitating than other skin conditions people suffer from.

Truth: Pick a p.m. perk! Use your antiperspirant in the evening

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The extreme level of sweat production experienced with hyperhidrosis can disrupt all aspects of a person’s life, from academic performance, recreational activities and relationships, to self-image and overall emotional well-being. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are helpful resources available to help people with hyperhidrosis to not just “know sweat,” but to also achieve a more comfortable and happier life.


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DARPAN RECIPES

About the Chef From ‘chef of genius’ to ‘creator of the classiest curries in the City’ and in 2014 ‘BBC Food Personality of the Year,’ this Mumbai-born Parsee chef has been called all manner of good things, but the Chef Patron of Cafe Spice Namaste, Mr Todiwalaʹs Kitchen, Assado, and The Park Café in Victoria Park East still has his feet very much on the ground...running.

Keralan-style

Crab Coconut

With

With

By Chef Cyrus Todiwala A simple yet fabulous adaptation of a popular crab dish from Kerala.

H

ere is a simple adaptation of a great crab dish from Kerala. It tastes fabulous, but you can add some cumin seeds, white lentils, and asafoetida if you want to ring the changes. Brown mustard seeds can be used instead of black, but note that the flavour will be different. Serve with rice and/or a plain Goan or Keralan-style coconut curry, some steamed rice dumplings or thick savoury pancakes. Alternatively, eat with bread, tortillas or rolls with some salad.

Ingredients • 300-400 g white crabmeat • 2 tbsps extra virgin rapeseed oil • 2 tsps black mustard seeds

Serves 4 as an appetizer

• 1 inch fresh root ginger piece, peeled and chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 6–8 curry leaves, preferably fresh, finely shredded; if using dried, soak in water for 10–12 minutes, and dry thoroughly before shredding • 2 fresh green chillies, chopped • 1 dried red chilli, soaked in hot water for 8–10 minutes, then chopped

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• 2–3 small shallots, finely chopped • 150-200 g freshly grated coconut or 3 tbsps desiccated coconut soaked in enough warm water to just cover for 30 minutes • 1 tsp red chilli powder • ½ tsp ground turmeric • 2 small plum-type tomatoes, chopped and seeds/juice saved for another recipe • 2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander • Salt (optional)

Cyrus is the author of five books: International Cuisine: India, Cafe Spice Namaste: New Wave Indian Cuisine, Indian Summer, as well as  The Incredible Spice Men with Tony Singh, which was nominated for a 2013 Specsavers National Book Award, and Mr Todiwala’s Bombay: Recipes and Memories from India, published by Hardie Grant and nominated for a 2013 World Food Awards Cookbook of the Year.

Preparation Pick over the crabmeat to remove any hidden bits of shell or cartilage. Prepare and set out all the other ingredients. In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil until it forms a haze. Test by adding a couple of mustard seeds: if they crackle immediately, the oil is hot enough. Lower the heat slightly, add the mustard seeds and cover with a lid while they crackle to prevent them from flying off all over the place. As soon as the crackling stops and the seeds smell aromatic, add the ginger, garlic, curry leaves, and the green and red chillies. Stir until the garlic turns pale, then add the shallots and continue to sauté until they soften. Mix in the coconut and sauté for three to four minutes, then add the chilli powder and turmeric. Sauté for about 30 seconds, then add the crabmeat, tossing well for about one minute. Add the tomatoes and fresh coriander. Taste and add salt if necessary, then serve immediately.


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DARPAN RECIPES

Goan Pork Bean &

Stew

By Chef Cyrus Todiwala Originally from Portugal, this recipe has travelled around the world, and

Photos: Courtesy of Cyrus Todiwala

variations of it can be found in former Portuguese colonies.

O

riginally from Portugal, this recipe has travelled around the world, and variations of it can be found in former Portuguese colonies. In Goa, you will often find it made with spicy sausage and red kidney beans. My own recipe below combines slow-roasted pork loin meat with spicy sausage and haricot beans.

Ingredients • 500 g loin of pork • 1 large onion, finely diced • 2 tomatoes, finely diced

• Salt (optional)

• 150 ml cinder vinegar

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• ½ tsp ground turmeric • 1 tsp salt

• 1 tsp red chilli poweder • 1 tsp ground coriander

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Add the onion to the frying pan and fry until brown. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until pulpy. Add the chorizo or spicy sausage and fry until its fat is released. Cut the cooled pork into thick slices, then add to the tomato mixture along with the beans and a cupful of water. Stir well, then cover and simmer for four to five minutes, until the liquid has thickened and everything is heated through. Taste and add more salt only if necessary.

• ¼ tsp crushed black pepper

• 1 inch fresh root ginger piece, peeled • 200 g chorizo or other spicy sausage, and chopped, then crushed in a mortar skinned and thickly sliced • 2 cloves garlic, crushed • 400 g haricot beans, drained

For the marinade:

Serves 4–5

• ½ tsp ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas Mark 2. Transfer the meat to a roasting tray, cover loosely with foil and roast for 40–45 minutes. Pour the roasting fat into a frying pan, and then set the meat aside to cool.

Preparation Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the pork, turning it to coat in the mixture. Cover and set aside to marinate at cool room temperature for two to three hours.

Note The pork may be diced rather than sliced if you wish, and you can use different types of bean, such as butter beans. For a different flavour, add some diced green and red peppers towards the end of the cooking time.


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The Secret to

Glowing Skin PAN R A D

y t u a Be

Facial

Massagers By Catherine Tse

A massage is always the best part about a facial, when the esthetician slowly glides fingers across your face, pausing and pressing down at pressure points.

S

ometimes the best beauty secrets are the simplest ones – and even the oldest ones. Elegant jade rollers date back to seventh-century China and are having a moment of rediscovery right now. At the beginning of this year, Val Garland, renowned makeup artist, British Vogue contributing beauty editor and L’Oreal Paris Global

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Makeup Director posted a video on her Instagram feed (@thevalgarland) showing a model getting “rolled” while in the makeup chair. These rollers (like Herbivore Botanical’s Jade Facial Roller) are hand-held facial massagers consisting of an oblong solid jade stone, about one to two inches in width, attached to a handle much like a paint roller, allowing the stone to freely roll across the top of the face. Some versions – including the one featured in

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Garland’s video – have replaced jade with 24k gold. Others have taken it even further by introducing a textured surface to amplify the massaging action. And it really is all about the massage. It’s always the best part about a facial, when the esthetician slowly glides fingers across your face, pausing and pressing down at pressure points. It not only brings the rosy glow back to your cheeks, but it also has longer lasting benefits like

increasing circulation, releasing tension, and even helping products to absorb deeper into the skin. It’s a simple act, but one we routinely neglect – which is probably why the jade roller has found popularity with a whole new generation of beauty lovers discovering this tool and technique for the first time. And while there are many variations on the facial massager, the general guidelines remain the same regardless of how expensive or high-tech your gadget might be. Always begin by thoroughly cleansing the skin first. If you haven’t exfoliated in a while, this is the time to do it. Follow your usual skincare routine (toner, essence, serum, etc.) but make sure whatever you use as the “base” for your massage has good slip. A facial oil is ideal – just like a massage therapist uses oil to massage your body – since you don’t want any friction or tugging during the facial treatment. Always use gentle strokes with soft pressure. Let the device do the work. Start at the base of the neck, working in outward, sweeping motions, gradually moving upwards to the face. Use the same directional motions here, following the contours of the face. Visualize all those excess fluids and toxins flushing away and rely on your intuition when maneuvering around your face. Overall, it should feel pleasurable and relaxing. You might find some sweet spots, especially if you haven’t had a facial massage in a long time and it’s fine to linger on those areas but


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if anything hurts, you’re using too much pressure. Of course, there are plenty of facial oils on the market to choose from. Some personal favourites include the incredibly inexpensive yet effective 100% Organic Cold-pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil by The Ordinary, as well as Clarins’ Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil and Omorovicza’s Miracle Facial Oil. But other products are starting to capitalize on the facial massage trend and are combining product and tool. Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Lift and Firm Sculpting Gel comes with a roller applicator. Squeeze the tube to dispense a small amount of gel and roll the product over the face. The roller is metal, which feels amazingly cooling especially under morning puffy eyes. I like to do half a face at a time, partly to allow the roller to cool between uses and partly to admire the side-by-side comparison. While I’m generally a big fan of Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide products including this one, it must be noted that massage alone can’t lift or firm (this would require a microcurrent tool or surgery). However, it does absolutely de-puff and bring out contours, giving the appearance of lifting and firming, even if temporarily. While many would argue that the simple roller can’t be improved upon for delivering an effective facial massage, Clarisonic would not be one of them. They’ve taken this simple, manual device and added their own brand of ultrasonic vibrations to bring this tool firmly into the 21st century. Their Uplift Firming Massage Head is a three-pronged detachable head that fits onto their smart profile device. The shape actually hugs most contours of the face extremely well, even navigating the nose and eye socket areas deftly, despite the device’s larger size. Because the Clarisonic vibrates rather than rolls, it’s particularly vital to use a slippy, oily product here in order to glide over the skin. However, I also did use this device with face masks – lightly tapping the device in tiny advancements – to help the products better absorb into my skin. The vibrations were extremely effective in this application as well. Ultimately, the goal is to boost circulation and flush out excess fluids so your face looks brighter and healthier. Don’t forget that your fingers are probably still the best tools for this. Even if you use a roller or Clarisonic, finish off with your fingers – nothing beats skin on skin.

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Photos: Herbivore Botanicals Jade Facial Roller, courtesy of products featured

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Frontier bridal boutique

Photographer: AB Photocraft | Hair & Makeup: Vanitee MakeUp | Models: Keshav & Nancy Bhullar

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Frontier bridal boutique

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DARPAN Style

A

right pair of trousers is an essential part of your ensemble and has the power to help you make impeccable style statements. And if you are a trouser lover, there is some good news for you. Right from the 80s high waist to palazzos to paperbag waist pants to culottes and many more… There are plenty of trouser styles trending on the fashion circuit this year. We bring you a list of absolute must-haves this year along with some tips on how to wear them. Take a look…

Wear Pants your

Style

in

in

Check out the trending trousers that are a must-have in your wardrobe!

BY SHWETA KULKARNI

Flared Pant

Culottes These super comfy yet chic trousers are trending this year. The best thing about them is that you can wear them for any occasion – be it for brunch, weekend getaway, date night or work, culottes can help you look classy for any event. Depending on the occasion, you can wear them with blouses, full-sleeve tops, tank tops, or party tops. One can pair them with strappy sandals, sneakers, pumps or stilettos.

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Flared pants are no longer a fetish of the past. This hot style from the 70s is back and here to stay for a while. Many women are still apprehensive to warm up to this type of trousers as they fear it may make them look big, however, on the contrary, they are pretty easy to pull off and style. You can pair them with cropped tops, tees, turtlenecks or with blouses that can be tucked in. To make the look more glamorous, you can always throw in a blazer or leather jacket. PS: Flared bottom pants should always be worn with heels.

The 80s High Waist The vintage 80s high-waisted pants were quite a hit in 2017 and continue to dominate 2018 as well. And if you still don’t have them, now is the time to get them as they are not only glamorous but also extremely comfortable. What’s more, unlike the low-waist these high-waist pants are ideal for all body types and are also quite handy in hiding the belly. High waist trousers can be paired with tees, crops, chic blouses or even bralettes.


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DARPAN FITNESS

Skullcrushers

A lot of women are trying to achieve a tight core, but all too often they work on their abs without giving attention to their obliques, the muscles along the sides of the lower torso.

BY NICK HILDEN

Are you looking to tone your arms and avoid the much-feared “bat wings”? Forget about doing endless curls for your biceps. What you really want is to build your triceps, which comprise twothirds of your upper arm. Few things accomplish this better than the intensely-named skullcrushers. Choose a relatively light barbell, then lay back on a bench. Holding the barbell above you as if you’re preparing to do a bench press, slowly bend your elbows to bring the bar down toward your forehead. When it’s about an inch above your head, extend your elbows to lift back to starting position. The key is to start light then work up in weight. Go too heavy, and you risk a sudden lesson in where this workout gets its name.

Celebrate

DayFitness

Women’s with

5 workouts specifically for women

T

he month of March brings us International Women’s Day, so we’ve decided to celebrate it with a bit of woman-centric fitness. How does fitness differ between women and men? For all practical purposes, it doesn’t. Any exercise that will benefit a man will benefit a woman, and vice versa. That being said, women do tend to have particular goals in mind that are different from those of sought after by men.

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obliques, the muscles along the sides of the lower torso. Few things hit these key spots like For example, many men cable side bends. emphasize growing the size of Drop the pulley on the cable their biceps while many women machine down to the lowest prefer to focus on toning their position, then attach a onebottom. handed grip. Stand with the To these ends, let’s take a look pulley at your side and grip the at five workouts that can help handle. Bend slowly at the waist, women achieve a variety of their making sure to keep your lower fitness goals. body straight up and down, then return to starting position. This can also be performed with a dumbbell rather than A lot of women are trying to the cable machine, but I prefer achieve a tight core, but all too the cable because it maintains often they work on their abs consistent pressure, and allows without giving attention to their you to adjust the weight easily.

Cable Side Bends

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Barbell Hip Thrusts

As we’ve already mentioned the bottom, that’s as good a place to start as any. Barbell hip thrusts are without a doubt one of the best workouts for your posterior chain, which is made up of your glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Rest your upper back on a bench then bridge your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Place the barbell across your hips (using padding around the bar if necessary), drop your butt down as far as you can without slipping off the bench, then thrust your hips upwards, remembering to clench your glutes at the top.


Stability Ball Press For women who are looking to lift and perk up their breasts, the goal is to tone and build the underlying chest muscles. To that end, we have the stability ball press. This is a great alternative to the bench press as it provides more range of motion, and requires you to work out a lot of little stabilizer muscles throughout your upper torso. Position the stability ball in the center of your back, right beneath your chest. Take two dumbbells of manageable weight, then essentially do the same motion you would for a bench press. The only difference is that you can and should bring your elbows down further than you would with a barbell in the way.

Photos: iStockphoto, image for representation only

Jump Rope HIIT Circuit If you’re looking to burn fat, few methods are as effective as the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves increasing and slowing down the pace of a cardio workout through a variety of means. This can involve alternating between sprinting and walking, running on an incline then jogging on a flat surface, or, my favourite, a jump rope session that is broken up by various body or weighted exercises. You’ll tailor this to your goals, but here’s an example of a circuit that burns fat while focusing on the glutes and legs: Jump rope for 1 minute, 10 bodyweight squats, jump rope for 1 minute, 10 lunges, jump rope for 1 minute, 10 calf raises, jump rope for 1 minute, 10 hip thrusts Repeat this three times, and you’ve just gotten 12 minutes of intense cardio along with 40 reps of each workout. While a workout that clocks in at less than 20 minutes might not sound like much, trust me – you will feel it.

About the Author Native to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Nick Hildenʼs career has spanned fiction, travel, advertising, journalism, biography, and more, and his work has appeared in publications such as the LA Times, Vice, LiveStrong, and Global Living Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @theDisembarked

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DARPAN HOME

DARPAN HOME

Make working from home work for your home

The Right

Decor

Job for the

BY ASHLEY STEPHENS

R

olling out of bed and getting right to work is a growing trend these days. No commute, no office attire, no water cooler chat. But with the comfort of being able to work from home, and possibly in your pyjamas, comes the challenge of incorporating – and separating – your work life and your home life. Having a dedicated room to work in isn’t a luxury a lot of us are lucky to have. So how does one leave their home office without actually leaving the room they’re working in? It’s not as easy as sliding your laptop under your couch or replicating a traditional office at home; it’s finding the right balance for your environment so your space is pleasing to the eye, personalized to your

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taste and still inspires productivity. While your bed or kitchen table may seem cozy or convenient, a good desk is essential to creating an effective office space. Desks come in all sorts of styles, colours and materials, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your home. A traditional desk may not look right if your office doubles as your living room so don’t settle for a piece of furniture that doesn’t suit your decor. Converting a vanity or credenza into a functional work space can complement your existing decor without calling attention to the actual use of the additional furniture. A well-organized hutch can add personality to your bedroom-turned-office while giving you ample room to keep


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DARPAN HOME

your pens, paper and supplies sorted. Something simple like a floating desk won’t take up much room and can easily blend into its surroundings. If you don’t want to see your desk when your work day is done, consider an armoire – plenty of storage plus the convenience of being able to close the doors once you clock out. Decorate your office area as you would a mantle, bookcase or shelf. Include artwork in simple frames that is pleasing to the eye and inspiring to your workflow. Add a framed family photo or two to make it feel homey. Use greenery and florals to enhance your existing space as well as your work; plants can improve your productivity by upping your air quality and creating a more pleasing environment. Keep the accessories simple yet attractive – you’ll have some obvious office necessities but incorporate soothing colours and comforting textures to bring about calm and avoid the look of a sterile office space. Storage will be key when it comes to keeping your workspace clutter-free and contained at the end of your work day. Don’t limit your options to wire racks and filing cabinets from office supply stores; consider investing in wooden boxes, wicker baskets or colourful containers to hide your

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files and sync with your style. Office accessories can be found in all sorts of fun colours and materials. From copper containers to bamboo shelves and desk organizers in plastics, metals and various patterns, there’s no shortage of ways to style your files and supplies. Frame your calendar or upholster a cork board. Use decorative clipboards or incorporate a chalkboard. Pick out a vase for your pens or repurpose a jewellery box for your supplies. While being at home gives you the freedom to move about as you please, you’ll likely spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer. Don’t limit yourself to the standard black fabric desk chair that everyone else in your organization is uncomfortable in. Investing in a well-designed, for both form and function, desk chair can not only provide a comfy place to park yourself while you work but it can also add an extra piece of furniture to your space after you’ve logged enough hours in your day. An accent chair can be cozy while seamlessly transition to extra seating when the work day is done. Or search for an ergonomically-designed seat in your preferred style – from mid-century modern to art deco, upholstered to plastic, antique to updated. With how much

time you’ll spend sitting in it or seeing it, it’s an important piece of furniture that should not only be comfortable but also aesthetically pleasing in your home. Keep the colour palate consistent. If your living room boasts bold colours or antique accents, allow your style to flow into your workspace. While it can be tempting to separate the two, your office might seem obtrusive when you’re not using it if the decor is too different. Embrace the space by incorporating your own style into both your work and living space. Decorate your office as you would any other room in your home – for function first but with form in mind. The ability to work from home means you’re not working in a traditional office space – and so your home office doesn’t have to look traditional either.


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DARPAN Weddings

A my &

Ja g

83

Photos: Z Molu Photography

Our relationship is a priority and we have an awareness of the amount of effort needed to maintain a healthy marriage. How did you meet? A: We met at a mutual friend’s get together. I was actually trying to play “bacholi” between Jag and a friend of mine. However, everyone except me noticed I was flirting with Jag. On the way home my friend kept telling me to date Jag as we had obvious chemistry. I was in denial, even though I was drawn to him, I refused to admit it to myself that night. Years went by and we reconnected through email which eventually led to dating each other. According to Jag it was “the force” (Star Wars) that brought us together.

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DARPAN Weddings

and we couldn’t have done it without our planners (Ayda Productions) our videographers (Brellow) and photographer (Z-Molu).

Could you tell us about your reception?

Describe your wedding day. What was your favourite moment? Could you share your proposal story? A: Jag had orchestrated a whole day to re-enact our first date and revisit some of our favourite places to reminisce. Prior to executing his plan, he wanted to show my family how he valued the new relationship. So he met with my family to ask permission

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to marry me. Despite all of his effort, Jag accidently left some details about the ring on his coffee table and I happened to notice it. The cat was out of the bag. We went back and forth on waiting for the planned proposal versus that moment. We compromised, he proposed during that moment and I agreed not to have the ring until he carried out his nostalgic proposal.

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A: Our wedding day was a traditional Sikh ceremony at the gurudwara. Our favourite moment was first look, it was an opportunity for Jag and I to share a private (with photographers) moment before the actual ceremony. It is hard to have that initial eye contact with each other during a Sikh ceremony as the groom is facing forward at the gurudwara when the bride enters. This definitely took extra planning

A: We had our reception the next day, keeping it intimate surrounded by people who love us made it a fun and relaxed event. We felt it was important to focus on subtle details that our guests would enjoy – having a separate photobooth and dessert from our favourite place, Ernest Ice-cream. We also wanted to have our guests dance all night and DJ Ace from Decibel Entertainment kept everyone on their feet until 3 am.

Can you describe your outfits? A: For the wedding ceremony Jag wore a white achkan with red velvet shawl from Sunny’s Bridal. I wore a beige and maroon lengha by Jyoti Sharma and I kept my jewellery


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simple yet traditional. For the reception Jag wore a Tom Ford suit with a bow tie and I wore a navy blue lengha with mirror embroidery from Sunny’s Bridal with minimalist jewellery.

Where did you honeymoon? A: We didn’t plan on a honeymoon right away as we spent time with our out-of-town guests. A few weeks after the wedding we decided to look into honeymoon ideas. 72hrs later we were packed and on a flight to Bali for three weeks. We explored the island travelling to different locations. Spontaneously, we decided to explore Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, small islands off the coast of Lombok. Sometime the best moments are the ones you didn’t plan at all!

What are your goals as a couple?

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A: Individuality has always been important to the both of us; encouraging our individual interests strengthens us as a couple with complementary experiences. We also value not thinking alike, but to think together. Basically, we support each other and foster our individual and team ambitions. It works for us.

What are the strengths of your marriage? A: Commitment would be our strength not only to each other, but in everything we do. Our relationship is a priority and we have an awareness of the amount of effort needed to maintain a healthy marriage.

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If you could provide any advice to other married couples, what would it be? A: We would certainly encourage couples to read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book simplifies the different ways in which we define and receive love. We often express love in the way we view it and fail to understand our partner’s love language.


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DARPAN ACTIVITIES

Within easy reach of Vancouver are some of BC’s most interesting destinations

S

pring’s finally here. Take advantage of the slightly warmer weather and those lovely extra hours of sunlight this season by exploring Vancouver’s beautiful backyard with these fun and affordable day trips!

BY TARANA RANA

OTHELLO TUNNELS, FRASER VALLEY Looking for a slice of history? Check out the Othello tunnels, located east of Hope, BC, and just a two-hour drive from Vancouver. An old series of train tunnels and bridges made by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1900s, these magnificent tunnels are a great feat of engineering and well worth a visit! Photo: Murray Foubister, Natulive Canada/ Wikimedia Commons

Amazing Day Trips

Vancouver From

BRITANNIA MINING MUSEUM BOWEN ISLAND Just a 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, Bowen Island makes for a great day trip because there’s something here for everyone. Visit the Bowen Island Pub for a cozy meal, stroll through Artisan Square for some shopping, perhaps visiting a gallery or two. Outdoorsy types can hike to Dorman Point for spectacular views or check out some of the more challenging trails.

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If you’re looking for an educational day out, check out the Britannia Mining Museum which is located just 45 minutes from Vancouver, just off the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Classified as a National Historic Site of Canada, this was once an actual working mine and visitors will be able to see the original equipment, take underground tours and even pan for gold.


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CASCADE FALLS, MISSION

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF WHYTECLIFFPARK.COM, BRITANNIA MINING MUSEUM, FLICKR, TOURISM BOWEN ISLAND

For a lovely nature walk, head to Cascade Falls Regional Park in Mission, BC, and walk up to Vancouver’s most scenic and accessible waterfall. As it’s an extremely easy trek to the waterfall, this makes it a great choice for families with kids or for those lazy Sundays where you want a taste of the outdoors, but don’t actually want to strain yourself. Photo: Casey Yee/ Wikimedia Commons

WHYTECLIFF PARK, WEST VANCOUVER Just a stone’s throw from Horseshoe Bay, escape to Whytecliff Park for spectacular views of the rugged cliffs and scenic walks on the beach. For more adventurous explorers, this is also a great spot for scuba diving! Photo: Jaden Nyberg ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tarana Rana is a freelance writer in Vancouver, BC. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the city and discovering some of its lesser-known haunts.

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DARPAN TRAVEL

It

had been 20 years since my last adventure in Spain, and this sun-kissed nation celebrated for its fine wine, paella and tapas, flamenco, football and architecture was calling my name and I couldn’t resist! My first stop in España was the captivating seaside city of Barcelona, where you can get lost in the eclectic arts, culture and dining scene.

Gaudi’s Barcelona Barcelona’s architecture is unlike most in Europe, as it was created and/or influenced by Antoni Gaudí, a forward-thinking architect renowned for his modernism and innovative style. “The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God,” Gaudi once said, and this is reflected in his works that are mostly void of straight lines and full of curves and organic patterns. He also drew inspiration from nature, which is always fluid and in motion. While visiting Barcelona, you must see the following Gaudi creations, recognized as UNESCO world heritage sites:

Bienvenido a

ESPAÑA PART 1

BY RENU SINGH-JOSEPH

This sun-kissed nation was calling my name and the first stop in Spain was the captivating seaside city of Barcelona, where you can get lost in the eclectic arts, culture and dining scene. 118

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Casa Batlló Unlike anything you’ve seen, Casa Batlló evokes your imagination at every turn. Throughout this marine-inspired home, Gaudi infuses brilliant hues of colours and wave-like design. Located on the renowned Passeig de Gràcia avenue, Casa Batlló is popularly known as the house of bones – from its balconies resembling skulls to its first-floor ‘human bones’ columns. The most striking feature is the curved roof composed of colourful tiles resembling scales of a dragon. I recommend doing the augmented reality guide, which brings Gaudi’s visions to life as you explore the multi-floor home and rooftop terrace.

Casa Milà – La Pedrera Basilica de La Sagrada Familia When you first see La Sagrada Familia, your breath stops for a moment as you take in all the grandeur of this incredible sight. La Sagrada Familia, meaning the Holy Family, is the largest, unfinished Roman Catholic Church in the world. As you stand there and look at its finite artistic detail carved into stone and stunning architecture and towers stretching into the sky, you feel like you’ve been swept back in time and are standing there with Gaudi himself overseeing the construction process. About 70 per cent of the Basilica is completed and work is currently underway to finalize the six central towers. The final phase should be completed by 2026, a 144 years since its conception in 1882. Walking into the Basilica, you feel a sense of tranquility and astonishment, as its interior is something like you’ve never seen before with massive floor-to-ceiling columns, intricate design and sculptures, and unique stained glass windows that shine heavenly shades of colour throughout.

Can you imagine a building that mimics a huge wave set in stone? Gaudi worked on this concept and created Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, a two-block apartment building with an undulating façade interconnected by interior courtyards. From its attic consisting of 270 catenary arches to its rooftop terrace and courtyards, the unique architecture and art work depicting elements of nature is breathtaking, while at the same time serene and peaceful. Home to the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera, this Gaudi building is an “important cultural center…for the set of activities it organizes and for the different museums and public spaces that it includes.”

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Meliá Barcelona Sarrià From the moment you enter, you are embraced with warmth and welcome at Meliá Barcelona Sarrià, as the friendly and accommodating staff go above and beyond to ensure your stay is seamless, comfortable and enjoyable. Centrally located in the financial district, this 21-floor elegant hotel is steps away from Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia avenues and Camp Nou stadium, home of FC Barcelona. “It’s all about the experience at Meliá Barcelona Sarrià, we want our guests to feel at home,” says Alexis Mazorra, guest experience manager. “We have a great team in place, who provide excellent service for our guests to ensure their stay with us is unforgettable.” Meliá Barcelona Sarrià offers diverse room options, such as executive and family suites,

Camp Nou – FC Barcelona If you’re a football fan, you will no doubt want to visit Camp Nou and watch an FC Barcelona game. The stadium is the largest in Europe and its capacity is 99,354. You can do the Camp Nou Experience – Tour and Museum, which gives you an inside look of the stadium, a chance to see FC Barcelona’s five European Cups and more. As a die-hard fan, it was a life-long dream of mine to watch an FC Barcelona game and I got this opportunity on my trip – an item has been checked off my bucket list!

Foodie Heaven – Agust Gastrobar

at the beginning of our trip, but we went back a second time with a close friend, visiting from London, because it was just that amazing! I would highly recommend the tasting menu, which was prepared for us by talented chefs Julio Escalante and Shu Zhang from Toronto. The eight-course tasting menu was incredible and each dish was better than the last – truly tantalizing your taste buds!

Barcelona’s dining scene has grown and evolved since I was last there, and chefs and restaurateurs from around the world are calling Barcelona home and elevating its gastronomy levels to unparalleled heights. One such restaurant is Agust Gastrobar – “a space that takes you on a sensory journey” – under the helm of Jean Christophe and Hicham Houmidide. Dining at Agust was such an exceptional experience that we not only ate there

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which are perfect for couples, families or business travellers. The gorgeous and spacious rooms offer a luxurious contrast of dark wood panelling to light décor elements. One of the highlights of your stay at this 5-star hotel will be the magnificent, panoramic views of Barcelona’s cityscape, mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, you can even see the sprawling Palau Nacional on Montjuïc hill. The hotel is home to Cheeso Restaurant, Level Lounge and the Breakfast Room that offers an extensive international buffet – one of the best breakfasts I had in Barcelona, definitely worth it! Meliá Barcelona Sarrià is a business hub and has hosted important Spanish and international conventions and events. Its impressive Espai Sarrià Convention Centre offers 18 meetings rooms, one of which has the capacity to accommodate up to 400 people.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DANIEL JOSEPH & RENU SINGH-JOSEPH, ISTOCK, MELIÁ BARCELONA SARRIÀ

DARPAN TRAVEL

The diverse range of dishes not only incorporate fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, but the chefs push the gastronomy envelope blending different cultures and cooking techniques to create aweinspiring plates of culinary art. Further adding to the sultry ambiance was the impeccable service by Raquel and Fabio and fine cocktails created by mixologist Danilo. (The article is a two-part travel series on Spain).

About the Author Renu is a Vancouver-based journalist with 13 years experience, who has conducted high-profile interviews with individuals from all walks of life, including politicians, celebrities and athletes. She was DARPAN's former editor-in-chief and enjoys writing for the publication. This foodie loves to travel around the world and share insightful, interesting features with readers.


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2018

AS MUCH FUN AS ANY SPORTS CAR

MASERATI LEVANTE

S GRANSPORT BY GLEN KONOROWSKI

When it comes to styling, you cannot beat Italiandesigned vehicles, they just seem to have everything right inside and out, and the Levante S GranSport is no exception. I am not generally

Even as a journalist, it is not often that I get to drive an exotic car like a Maserati, and ones that I have ridden have been a little disappointing in many areas. So when I jumped in the Levante GranSport, I was not expecting to find anything I really liked. How wrong I was! The interior of the Levante

a fan of SUV styling, but Maserati has won me over.

I

n most cases, driving an SUV can be a rather mundane experience for an auto enthusiast as they handle well, but nothing compared to a well-sorted sports car. All that changed when I drove the Maserati Levante, a vehicle that makes driving an SUV as much fun as almost any sports car.

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is well-designed, with all the controls easy to reach and work with little effort. The Italiandesigned leather seats are what you dream of in a unique car, great looking and comfortable with fully adjustable settings

HIGHLIGHTS Horsepower: 424 @ 5,750 Torque (lb-ft): 428 @ 1,750 Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic Fuel economy: 15 L/100 km city & 8 L/100 km highway


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longer item to be stowed in the rear. The car I was given to drive was the Levante S GranSport which is equipped with a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine with 424 horsepower and a stump pulling 428 lb-ft of torque. All this made my drive in the Levante lightning fast for an SUV, in fact 0 to 100 km/h was a very quick 5.2 seconds. The generous torque of the engine allows for good acceleration up those slopes on the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Squamish allowing for easy passing. The power gets to the front and rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic which I found to be excellent. For those who want to shift themselves, there are shift paddles on the console. I preferred to just leave it in drive and let the computer do the thinking which worked well for me in tight turns and curvy roads. The suspension on the vehicle is an adjustable air system that moves up or down depending on whether you are on a pavement or off road. Another nice standard feature of the

Levante S is a limited slip rear axle which I personally like as it adds to traction in wet or snow condition. If you decide a little off-roading is necessary, the Levante does have a hill descent feature which is great when driving on steep dirt or gravel roads. Wheels on the vehicle are a stylish alloy. Hiding under the big wheels are large multi-piston calipers on cross-drilled rotors. Those who want even more traction can opt for 20 or 21 inch wheels and tires. When it comes to styling, you cannot beat Italian-designed vehicles, they just seem to have everything right inside and out, and the Levante S GranSport is no exception. I am not generally a fan of SUV styling, but Maserati has won me over. If you are looking for something not everyone has, than this vehicle is well worth a look.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CAR FEATURED

on both seats. The back seats are equally good-looking and comfortable; I would say that the rear seating is ideal for two and no more. Head room, both front and rear, is about average for an SUV. As this is an SUV, the rear luggage area is of a decent size, considering this is a different vehicle which traditionally doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any room for much of anything. The split rear seats allow for a passenger and a

The suspension on the vehicle is an adjustable air system that moves up or down depending on whether you are on a pavement or off road. A nice standard feature of the Levante S is a limited slip rear axle which I personally like as it adds to traction in wet or snow condition.


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DARPAN AutoREVIEW

2018

RETURN OF THE WAGON

MERCEDES-BENZ C300 WAGON 4MATIC

BY BENJAMIN YONG

F

ollowing a gap in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon line-up in Canada, and then another long delay after a fourth-gen version was initially shown to the public back in 2016, it has finally arrived: the 2018 C300 Wagon. “The new C-Class Wagon is not only extremely practical thanks to its once again enlarged, variable load compartment. With innovative lightweight construction and its state-of-the-art technical features it also strikes out in new directions in this segment with

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regard to safety, efficiency and comfort. Worldwide we are the first to offer a comfortable air suspension in this segment. And both men and women drivers enjoy noticeably more driving pleasure," says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management. Bigger and bolder than ever before, the gorgeous vehicle has striking bodylines. If you’ve seen the sedan variant, the story is much the same save

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for, of course, the tail section. Compared to the outgoing European-market model, the 2018 has grown its wheelbase by 80 millimetres (now 2,840 mm in total), overall length 96 mm (4,702 mm) and width 40 mm (1,810 mm). The result is that rear passengers gain quite a bit of extra legroom, and increased headroom to boot. In terms of cargo size, the news is good as well. There

“With innovative lightweight construction and its state-of-the-art technical features the new C-Class Wagon strikes out in new directions in this segment with regard to safety, efficiency and comfort," says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management.


Make driving a family sport. The Cayenne. The Porsche Cayenne was designed for the whole family - and yet for us alone. It handles the daily commute as supremely as it does the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, while its thoughtfully spacious interior easily accommodates the responsibilities of domestic life. With a performance level that has seen it become the sports car among SUVs and an

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©2018 Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. Optional equipment shown is extra.

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HIGHLIGHTS MSRP (base): $46,000 Motor: 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder Horsepower: 241 @ 5,500rpm Torque (lb-ft): 273 @ 1,300rpm Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CAR FEATURED

Fuel economy: 13.8 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

is 490 litres of space behind the rear seats, or if you fold them down, 1,510 litres, an improvement of five and 10 litres, respectively. The back bench is also more versatile, featuring a 40:20:40 split instead of the previous 60:40, meaning two people can still be seated comfortably in the rear while the middle section is folded down to

accommodate things like skis or furniture. The upscale interior is classic Mercedes-Benz, again similar to the one found in the standard C-Class. A neat addition is the touchpad interface built into the hand rest on the centre console. Like a smartphone, the unit accepts finger gestures and is easy to operate thanks to the ergonomic placement. The head-up display is a nice touch allowing drivers to read the current speed, navigations instructions, and other important messages without having to take their eyes off the road. Originally slated for release boasting a four cylinder diesel, due to recent industry events the intended engine has been deleted in lieu of the same turbocharged four cylinder as found in the – you guessed it – C300 sedan. Which is fine, as the scrappy 241-horsepower 2.0-litre feels fine in pushing this family

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car around, helped by the fact that 49 per cent of the shell is constructed out of lightweight aluminum. While not fast per se, acceleration from the boosted four cylinder is buttery smooth and even produces a faint but pleasant exhaust note. Handling is, as usual, on point, the wagon sitting on a sporty steel suspension setup. And, as mentioned above, the C-Class is being offered with an optional AIRMATIC air suspension for the first time. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 Wagon is proof that practicality does not have to come at the cost of performance and style. For prospective customers who can wait a little longer, a refreshed 2019 model was just recently announced during February’s Canadian International Auto Show. Updates include never-before-offered MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, made up of 84 individually controllable quick-reaction LED bulbs in each housing, and a fully digital 12.3 inch high resolution instrument cluster capable of showing turn-by-turn navigation.


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2018

BMW M240i

BY BENJAMIN YONG

BY BENJAMIN YONG

The front end of the M240i, replacing the former M235i, features a sportier bumper wearing larger, more aggressive lower air intakes reminiscent of other current BMW performance models.

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SPORTY, SUBCOMPACT FUN T

he BMW 2 Series first launched in 2014 as a spiritual successor to the agile sub-compact 1 Series. For 2018, the entire line-up has been refreshed inside and out, and DARPAN got its hands on the loads-of-fun rear-wheel drive (RWD) variant of the M240i Coupe to check out the changes firsthand. The front end of the M240i,

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replacing the former M235i, features a sportier bumper wearing larger, more aggressive lower air intakes reminiscent of other current BMW performance models. Additional horizontal bars can be

found in the middle of the outer pair to emphasize the car’s wide stance. All headlamps are now bi-LED, comprised of projectors surrounded by the familiar “angle eye” accenting and eyebrow signature lighting up above. In addition, designers have tweaked the iconic kidney grille ever so slightly creating a more refined look. Updates to the inside include a new, wider instrument panel and a highgloss finish applied to the centre stack trim. The interior layout is intuitive and the controls driver-focused for the most part, although being wintertime when I evaluated the


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DARPAN AutoREVIEW

Interested in buying a preowned BMW? Rana Malik, Sales Consultant at Auto West BMW, Richmond, gives his expertise on the top five points to know before buying a pre-owned BMW.

1Car history

Once you have made a decision to purchase a pre-owned BMW, the first thing to do is find out the history of the car. Doing a background check gives you access to all the information there is on the car, which can help solidify your decision of buying it. For a minimal fee, you can purchase a vehicle claims history report online from ICBC or CARPROOF. The ICBC report will provide only the car records within BC whereas CARPROOF will give you a complete U.S. history as well. Auto West BMW offers free CarProof with every pre-owned car.

2 Thorough inspection

It is highly recommended to purchase and examine the car from a certified, BMW dealership. Malik points out that an inspection and maintenance at a BMW dealership is ideal as it is done as per company standards and involves a long check list to ensure your car is in good shape and fit for the road.

3 Do a test drive

A lot of buyers confirm a car based on its visual appearance or long list of features. Malik stresses on the importance of a test drive before buying the vehicle. A quick test drive gives you a close and personal feel of the car and the opportunity to test all its various features. It helps you understand if it is the right car for your comfort and needs.

4 Get the ideal price

Your dream car may or may not fit within your budget. But the best way to find out if you have got a good deal is by comparing car prices online. Autotrader.ca and carcostcanada.ca are popular and trusted sources that give you the average market price of the car your desire.

5 Know your options

It is very critical to find out what the best options are for the regular payment of your car. According to Malik, “a car is a liability after four years,” so leasing is a cost-effective solution if it is for short-term use. If you have a business, then leasing a car is beneficial and involves less liability towards the vehicle. While leasing generally costs lower than financing, it all depends on how you see your future with the car. For more information on BMW cars, contact Rana Malik on 604-754-1279 or rmalik@autowestbmw.com

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vehicle, I would have preferred a heated steering wheel button that wasn’t hidden away on the side of the steering column. On my RWD tester, a six-speed manual gearbox is blessedly standard, however the reverse gear is located just to the left of first and is easily engaged by accident – happening to me on a few occasions – since no lock-out ring or other preventative mechanism is present. BMW’s ConnectedDrive infotainment system remains intuitive and easy to use. Content is channelled through a central 6.6 inch display, or an enlarged 8.8 inch unit if the Navigation Package is purchased. Users have a choice of inputting commands using their voice, the onboard iDrive Touch Controller or fingers to tap directly onto the touchscreen monitor. Upgraded verbal recognition means the computer is better at picking up queries spoken in a natural, rather than convoluted, manner.

The little Coupe feels lively and agile, running on an Adaptive M suspension setup comprised largely of aluminum. Throw in a low centre of gravity, near 50:50 weight distribution and variable electromechanical sport steering and what you’ve got is a car that truly handles as though it’s on rails. While the entry level 230i is equipped with a 248 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder engine, our M240i utilizes a healthier turbo 3.0-litre straight six making 340 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and capable of getting from


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Fuel economy: 12.9 L/100 km mixed city/ highway (observed)

0 to 100 km/h in less than five seconds. The little Coupe feels lively and agile, running on an Adaptive M suspension setup comprised largely of aluminum. Throw in a low centre of gravity, near 50:50 weight distribution and variable electromechanical sport steering and what you’ve got is a car that truly handles as though it’s on rails, to abuse a common expression. I felt like I was turning using just a thought. The automatic rev-matching downshifting makes gearing down for a corner great fun as well. There is a whole bunch of safety technology available to consumers, part of the Driving Assistant Package added to DARPAN’s loaner, such as Lane Departure Warning and City Collision Mitigation. The former most people should be aware of by now, where alerts sound anytime the vehicle drifts out of a lane, and the latter automatically applies the brakes at speeds up to 60 km/h if an imminent collision is detected with an approaching automobile, motorcycle, pedestrian or other object. A Parking Assistant is also optional, which via built-in sensors helps to locate a suitable spot under cruising speeds up to 35 km/h. Once something suitable is found, the system can autonomously park the car into both parallel and perpendicular spots at the touch of a button.

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2018

AN SUV NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD

HIGHLIGHTS

MSRP(as tested): $73,000 Motor: 3.0-litre supercharged V6 Horsepower: 375 @ 6,500 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 332 @ 3,500 rpm Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive Fuel economy: 18.6 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

RANGE ROVER

VELAR BY BENJAMIN YONG

“We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything,” says Land Rover chief design officer Gerry McGovern. “Velar is now the compelling, stand-out de-

W

ith formerly only three products under the Range Rover umbrella, it’s clear the brand is all about quality over quantity. However, the family grows a little bigger with the introduction of a fourth member: the Velar midsize luxury SUV. Designed to fill the gap between the smaller Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, the Velar – recently taking honours for the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) Best Small Premium Utility Vehicle – is the first example to display a so-called visually reductive approach that will define the next generation of models.

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sign in the class, showcasing perfectly optimised volume, powerful, taut surfaces and a stunning silhouette.” The profile of the vehicle is clean and minimalistic, making every other previous offering look like a box on wheels, with little clutter on the body between the long 2,874-milli-

metre wheelbase to distract the eye. Even the door handles are flush-mounted and deploy in an electronic pop-out manner similar to the Jaguar F-TYPE. All the pillars and side mirrors are blacked out, and the sleekest headlamps ever created by the brand sit at the front, housing full LED lighting. It’s a similar story in the cabin as well. Many physical switches as possible have been done away with, with many controls relocated to a futuristic take on the InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, now complete with dual 10-inch


DARPAN AutoREVIEW

TOYOTA

high-definition touch screens. The displays are hidden away and do not appear until they are activated and lit. The top unit is gently curved and is responsible for relaying navigation, media and phone information and even news and weather. Below, there are digital controls for changing climate settings. Inputs happen lightning quick, especially compared to prior versions of the software, which product engineering executive director Nick Rogers attributes to major strides in hardware. “Our cutting-edge, consumer technology developed by our pioneering engineers provides an intuitive interface with unrivalled performance and functionality. Touch Pro Duo’s super-fast quad core processor and stunning graphics mean that the driver always has the best information needed exactly when they need it,” says Rogers. Two engines are available: a 2.0-litre fourcylinder diesel developing 180 horsepower and a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 with 380 horsepower, the latter which I borrowed to drive for a week. Both mills are mated to the seamless shifting Jaguar Land Rover standard eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The Velar isn’t just pretty, but is designed to be just as off-road capable as its siblings. Allwheel drive is standard, and when equipped with the optional air suspension, the SUV gains a ground clearance of 251 millimetres a maximum wading depth of 650 millimetres. Terrain Response 2 is also present, a traction control system that optimizes grip on a variety of driving surfaces including gravel, mud, sand and rock. Prices start at $62,000 for the S diesel trim. During this first year of sales, Canada receives 50 units of a grade-topping First Edition model bundled with the V6 and premium interior finishes, a 1,600-watt stereo and three exclusive paint colours: Corris Grey, Silicon Silver, and a unique Flux Silver satin finish hand sprayed at the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations centre in the U.K.

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0% financing is available on all new 2018 Mazda 3 & 3 Sport for 60 months, 2018 Mazda CX3 for 48 months, 2017 Mazda 5 for 84 months. Finance example of $10,000, the cost of borrowing for a 48/60/84-month terms is $0, monthly payment is $208.33/166.67/119.05, total finance obligation is $10,000. Lease examples apply to 2018 Mazda3 GX (D4XK68 AA00)/ 2018 Mazda 3 Sport (D5XK68 AA00)/ 2017 CX-5 GX (NVXK67 AA00)/)/2018 CX-3 GX (HVXK68AA00) and bi-weekly payments of $103/$123/$185$122 for 60 months, including down payment of $0/$0/$0/$0. $4500 cash rebate applies to 2017 MY Mazda5. Offers valid January 3rd –January 31st, 2018, while supplies last. Prices & payments are plus taxes. $425 Winter Accessories credit applies to all new 2017/2018 MY Mazda’s. Pay off trade & lease termination negative equity to be applied to new purchase. $250 lease termination payment in form of service credit at Langley Mazda. All finance & lease offers to qualified buyers.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF CAR FEATURED

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DIL JUUNGLEE Release date: March 9 Directed by: Aleya Sen Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Nidhi Singh, Saqib Saleem, Abhilash Thapliyal After portraying some powerful roles in films like Naam Shabana and Pink, Taapsee Pannu has shifted focus to some lighter characters. We will get to see her in a never-seen-before avatar in this mad-cap romantic comedy – Dil Juunglee. Produced by the brother-sister duo – Jackky Bhagnani and Deepshikha Deshmukh, Dil Juunglee is a coming-ofage film, which unabashedly celebrates love and friendship and traces the love story of an English counselor, Koroli Nair (Taapsee) and Sumit Utpal (Saqib Saleem), a gym trainer. Speaking about her character, Taapsee revealed in an interview, “I am not really a romantic person, though I am playing a character who is very romantic. It is tough for me to do all those things on camera because I am not really like that at all. In fact, I am nowhere near to my character Koroli Nair in any way whatsoever – be it in the way she dresses, speaks or the way she reacts.” Well, we can’t wait to watch this versatile actress in this new role.

T H E B O L LY WO O D

CALENDAR CALENDAR

RAID Release date: March 16 Directed by: Raj Kumar Gupta Starring: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz, Saurabh Shukla Loosely based on one of the longest income tax raids in Lucknow in 1981, this Ajay Devgn-starrer is an intense crime drama that revolves around a fearless IT officer, played by Devgn, who carries out a non-stop raid at the mansion of the most influential man in Lucknow. Will the man manage to stop the raid or will the IT officer bring him down forms the crux of the film. Raid is sure to keep you on the edge of your seats with its dialogues and twists and turns. The film, which also features Ileana D’Cruz and Saurabh Shukla, is set in the 1980s era. Talking about the film, Devgn said in an interview, “The real struggle with the film was that the character is very heroic, but real at the same time. We tried to keep it real even with the punchlines. It doesn’t feel you’re watching a movie. The challenge was to follow the character as realistically as possible.”

BY SHWETA KULKARNI

A

lot of romance, laughter, drama and thrill are in store for movie buffs in the coming months. The month begins with Taapsee Pannu and Saqib Saleem’s Dil Juunglee, a crazy romcom which promises to make you laugh and cry at the same time. Ajay Devgn’s Raid which is a compelling crime drama, is sure to catch your fancy with its intensity and dialoguebaazi. Then there is the action extravaganza – Bhaagi 2, featuring Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani, which is followed by another quirky black comedy – Nanu Ki Jaanu starring Abhay Deol and an unusual love story October, starring Varun Dhawan.

BAAGHI 2 Release date: March 30 Directed by: Ahmed Khan Starring: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Prateik Babbar, Manoj Bajpayee

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Finally, the much-awaited second installment to the 2016 action film Baaghi, starring Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor is here. However, instead of Shraddha, Tiger will be seen sharing screen space with his alleged girlfriend, Disha Patani in the film. While it would be interesting to see Tiger romance Disha, the film will also be a treat for action lovers. Speaking about the film, producer Sajid Nadiadwala said, “This is my third film with Tiger and while he is extremely good with his action and dance, this time around he is going to really astonish you with his action and dance moves.” Baaghi 2 is surely loaded with enthralling action sequences, and we are eagerly waiting to see the film. TM


NANU KI JAANU Release date: April 6 Directed by: Faraz Haider Starring: Abhay Deol, Patralekha, Rajesh Sharma Nanu Ki Jaanu is a one-of-its-kind, romantic story that Hindi cinema has ever seen. Starring Abhay Deol and Patralekha, the film is a quirky afterlife love story, which is being helmed by Faraz Haider. It is a dark comedy, where Abhay plays a character with shades of grey. Speaking of Abhay’s role in the movie, director Haider said, “Abhay’s character and his gang deal with the land mafia in Delhi and they come up with an interesting way to go about their business. His bad boy avatar is quite a change from the roles the audience has seen him portray in recent past.” Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

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OCTOBER Release date: April 13 Directed by: Shoojit Sircar Starring: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu This upcoming romantic drama stars Varun Dhawan and newcomer Banita Sandhu in lead roles. The film is directed by Shoojit Sircar and tells an unusual story. Talking about the same, director Sircar was quoted saying, “It’s not a love story but a take on love. It’s again an out-of-the-box kind of story. We started working on this film’s idea, which came from a small newspaper clipping, right before Piku (2015). It’s a very unusual, unconventional kind of a story in the slice-of-life and romance space.” This is the first time that Varun will be working with Sircar and we are eager to watch the pretty new girl – Banita on the big screen.

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A larger than usual crop of original films will fill the screens this spring. Will they succeed? We give you the odds.

A WRINKLE IN TIME March 9

A SPARK OF CREATIVITY

Disney’s USD 100-million-plus sci-fi adventure is the first movie this size to be directed by an African-American woman, Ava DuVernay (Selma). Based on the 1962 seminal book, the film revolves around Meg (Storm Reid), a brilliant and moody teen haunted by the disappearance of her dad (Chris Pine), a scientist on the verge of discovering multidimensional travel. The girl stumbles onto a tesseract that may lead her to her father, but the trip comes with a fair share of challenges along the way, like saving the universe. A Wrinkle in Time is the quintessential feminist story, one that highlights the roles of scientists and artists in the evolution of mankind, not a bad message for this day and age. Chances of success: Not only is the story solid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Zach Galifianakis are at hand to provide support.

BY JORGE IGNACIO CASTILLO

RED SPARROW March 2

GRINGO

Although Jennifer Lawrence is the most celebrated actress of her generation (four Oscar nominations and one win at 27), she is not necessarily a box-office draw. Her latest film, the controversial mother!, didn’t even crack 20 million dollars. Red Sparrow is a more commercial vehicle, but relies heavily on her appeal: Set during the Cold War, Lawrence portraits a ballerina coerced into becoming an intelligent officer for the USSR. Since her heart is not really on it, her mission to spy on a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) goes awry when she falls for him.

March 9 A comedy dealing with subjects too real for comfort, Gringo revolves around pharmaceuticals trying to cash in on medical marijuana… by turning it into a pill. The liaison between big pharma and the production plant in Mexico is kidnapped by a drug cartel, under the impression that the marijuana pill could be the end of their business. Hilarity ensues. David Oyelowo (Selma) stars as the hapless middle manager at the center of the intrigue, with Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton as the ethically challenged pharma executives, not much better than the narcos.

Chances of success: Good. The actress is reunited with her Hunger Games director and like in the Young Adult saga, no expense was spared.

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Chances of success: I can appreciate the daring approach, but it’s a bit “out there” for mass appeal. TM


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West Vancouver Park Royal South *Offers available until May 31, 2018, to residential customers who have not subscribed to TELUS TV or Internet in the past 90 days. Offers subject to change without notice. Cannot be combined with other promotional offers. Minimum system requirements apply. Final eligibility for the services will be determined by a TELUS representative. Downgrading to Lite after accepting a promotional offer will trigger the cancellation fees associated with the promotion and the free installation and equipment rental. Internet access is subject to usage limits; additional charges apply for exceeding the included data. Optik TV You Pick 6 combo and Internet 150/150 offer is only available to new customers signing for Optik TV, and InterTM upM ARCH/ APRIL 2018 net on a 2 year service agreement. Regular pricing applies from the end of the promotional period. † Compared to other major providers in Western Canada. TELUS reserves the right to modify channel lineups and packaging, and regular pricing, Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle without notice. The TELUS logo, telus.com and Optik TV are trademarks of TELUS Corporation, used under license. All copyrights for images, artwork and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. © 2018 TELUS

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UNSANE March 23 Not one to repeat himself, Steven Soderbergh returns with a new IP, although one rooted on those classic conspiracy thrillers from the 70’s. Claire Foy (The Crown) is a high strung woman who believes she is being followed by a hulking, bearded man. Unable to prove it, she ends up committed to an institution against her will. Worse, her alleged stalker is locked in with her. Is it all in her head or someone is trying to drive her crazy? Chances of success: Soderbergh can spin a good yarn, but it has been a while since his last stroke gold (Magic Mike).

A QUIET PLACE April 6 Real-life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are lending their considerable star power to the horror genre. The premise of A Quiet Place is both simple and effective: A family living deep in the woods must remain silent at all times to prevent a vicious creature from finding them. Unfortunately, with three kids in tow, silence is a tall order. Krasinski himself takes on directorial duties.

READY PLAYER ONE

TULLY

March 29

April 20

One could argue Ready Player One is not an entirely original property: It liberally recycles 80s’ pop culture and puts it at service of a nostalgic trip that doubles as a video game. Then again, Steven Spielberg is at the helm of the project, in his first just-for-fun movie since The Adventures of Tintin (I refuse to consider Indiana Jones 4 ‘fun’). Set in a dystopic version of the US – poor, overpopulated and ravaged by climate change – the only way to escape the harshness of reality is through Oasis, a vast virtual reality game with thousands of worlds to explore. Within this universe, there is an Easter Egg of incalculable value, one worth killing for. A number of classic IPs are part of the plot, like Atari video games, King Kong, and the dearly departed Iron Giant.

Following a couple of high-profile flops (Labor Day, Men, Women & Children), director Jason Reitman reunites with two old collaborators – Diablo Cody (Juno) and Charlize Theron (Young Adult) – for another dramedy. An overwhelmed mother of three (Theron) gets more than she bargained for when her brother hires a night nanny for her. Sounds like Mary Poppins for the new millennium.

Chances of success: Spielberg plus adventure plus a smorgasbord of special effects? He may pull it off.

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Chances of success: Reitman and audiences don’t seem to be on the same wavelength anymore, but his work is always watchable.

Photos: Warner Bros, Focus

Chances of success: Promising. The trailer gives a Poltergeist vibe.


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INDIANS GLOBAL INDIANS GLOBAL INDIANS GLOBAL INDIANS GLOBAL INDIANS GLOBAL INDIANS GLOBAL INDIANS GLOBAL INDIANS

GLOBAL INDIANS My first time baking a chocolate cake felt like magic, those simple ingredients transforming into something so fragrant and delicious got me hooked.”

What’s your take on healthy cooking?

Eating healthy is challenging, especially with all the unhealthy, cheaper options that we have. But it’s a choice I have to make every day as a chef. Feeling good internally is as important as your tastebuds. Sourcing local ingredients is the key to better cooking. How do you see the growth of the culinary industry worldwide?

It’s moving towards concepts that are healthy, fusion is back as much as chefs want to deny it, it’s taking a holistic turn, fast food and casual dining is in.

AARTHI SAMPATH BY PETRINA D’SOUZA

I

t was her love for eating that got Aarthi Sampath interested in cooking. As a child, she would steal goodies from her mother’s larder, often getting caught in the act. “Getting grounded for my mischief got me into reading, particularly old cook books that helped me experiment,” recalls Sampath, who knew the moment she baked her first cake that she wanted to be a chef. “My first time baking a chocolate cake felt like magic, those simple ingredients transforming into something so fragrant and delicious got me hooked.” Sampath’s culinary journey began with her pursuit of a placement in the Taj Hotel Group Management Trainee Program after her time at the Institute of Hotel Management in Jaipur, India. After five years of developing a deep appreciation of Indian cuisine with the Taj Group in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai, she decided it was time to push herself to gain a global perspective on her craft and moved to the USA. There she attended Johnson & Wales University and then joined Vikas Khanna’s Junoon, an iconic Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in New York City, via an internship. Today, Sampath is the Chef De Cuisine at

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Junoon and the first Indian woman to win the third season of Chopped, an American realitybased cooking television game show. Being a woman, that too of colour, Sampath had to break down multiple barriers to make her mark as a chef. Besides the common challenges like understanding the language and the level of cooking, she had to overcome bullying, criticism and other difficulties. “I have always had to work harder than anyone in the room to prove myself. It wasn’t easy, but I dealt with each obstacle with fervour. I can be knocked down, but I can’t give up,” she says confidently. Her love for spices is evident in each of her delicious creations. “There is nothing I cook without herbs and spices. I am also very vegetable-forward, which is the strength of Indian cuisine,” says Sampath, adding that her childhood and south Indian heritage have a great influence on her cooking. “Also my travels and wanting to learn more has always pushed me to try new ingredients.” She also enjoys experimenting with food and creating innovative dishes that fuse Indian and Western cooking together. “Indian food is flavour-focused which is why it is so comforting, whereas classic French

What advice would you give young chefs about to start their culinary journey?

You can do anything you want provided you have the right goal. Goals are dreams with a plan. They always change but there’s a guideline to get where you want. Passion is very crucial with food. Love what you do, as the industry doesn’t pay too well in the initial years. is very ingredient and technique-based. Meshing the two creates one hell of a bomb cuisine,” adds the talented lady. It was this passion for cooking and innovation that declared her the winner of Chopped in 2016. “It summed my entire culinary journey up to the moment I knew I won. It was a goal I had set for myself when I first saw the show in my dorm room in school,” says Sampath about the win. “Chopped is not for the faint-hearted. It is all about time management, staying calm, and focusing on the ingredients in the basket,” says the young winner. A memorable moment on the show was when she created spiced crispy tilefish, bread upma and chayote squash curry on the show. “My second course was inspired by my mother’s home cooking. When I spoke about the dishes to the judges and dedicated the dish to her, it was one of the best moments of my life.”  Sampath believes that her cooking has evolved over the years, and now has more finesse. “I use a lot of my heritage but also focus on technique, keeping flavours clean and simple.” Having achieved immense success and accolades along the way, Sampath is all set to start a new chapter in her life. She will soon be launching KUKREE, a modern American ‘fast fine’ concept in Seattle. “I always wanted to have my own food business, cook exactly what I want and have a partner to do it with. I finally met Shilpi, an ex-manager at Amazon who had a similar vision and beyond, who reached out to me. We are excited to work together to launch KUKREE,” says Sampath in conclusion.


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M A RCH-A PR I L 2 018 By georgia nichols

HOROSCOPE

ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19)

MARCH: Two planetary messages await you this month. One message tells you to keep a low profile and hide. Work alone or behind the scenes. Yet another message wants you to socialize with everyone. It also wants you to travel and explore new places and new ideas (Go figure.) People from your past will appear. Obviously, you have to juggle these contradictions.  

APRIL: This is a powerful time because the Sun is once again in your sign for four weeks giving you a chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of the year. Retrograde Mercury in your sign will cause delays and silly glitches but nothing serious. You’re ambitious this month! You will be pleased with purchases of beautiful things. Yes, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. LUCKY DAYS: March 18, 19 April 14, 15

TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20) MARCH: This is a social month! Enjoy the company of friends and be ready to respond to the demands of clubs, groups and associations because not only do others want to see you, they will help you with feedback about your future goals. They might also give you meaningful feedback about disputes about inheritances and shared property.  

APRIL: This month you seek solitude in beautiful surroundings. Nevertheless, Venus will draw you into social situations, in part because Venus makes you so diplomatic and charming, you attract people to you. Meanwhile, Mars will bring opportunities to study and travel. Take note: This is an excellent month for you to buy wardrobe treasures. And who loves quality more than you?   LUCKY DAYS: March 20, 21 April 16, 17 

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20) MARCH: This is the only time all year when the Sun is at the top of your chart casting you in such a flattering spotlight. This is why bosses, parents and VIPs are impressed with you. Even old friends from your past will appear with compliments and charming flattery. Unfortunately, tension with a partner or a close friend might arise. Could this be jealousy?  

APRIL: You’re popular this month. You might assume a leadership role in an organization. Someone younger from your past will seek you out. Your sex drive is heightened along with opportunities for secret affairs. (Oh my!) Meanwhile, disputes about shared property and inheritances are possible. Cheaters always think they’re being cheated. LUCKY DAYS: March 24, 25 April 18, 19

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22) MARCH: Do something this month that gives you a feeling

LEO (JULY 23-AUG. 22)

SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22-DEC. 21)

MARCH: You’re assessing the resources you have,

MARCH: Mars in your sign makes you energetic and

especially money and help from partners, the government as well as banks and lending institutions. Since you have plans to improve your home or help a family member, you need to know what is available to you. Although travel for pleasure appeals this month, expect delays and glitches.  

forceful. Use this energy to make improvements at home and deal with family. Interactions with a parent are important. You also have to face previous situations with your kids. Meanwhile, some of you are dealing with old flames from your past. Make time to socialize because you will love schmoozing.

APRIL: You still want to travel and expand your horizons.

APRIL: This might be one of the most playful, fun-loving,

You will love discovering something new. Sign up for a class. Learn a new language. Talk to people from other backgrounds and different cultures. Meanwhile, relations with bosses and people in power are cozy. (So cozy that a romance could develop.) Despite your longing for a change of scenery, you will work hard this month. Oh yeah!  

romantic months of the year for you. However, old flames from your past might be on the horizon. This can be unnerving. (Dress sharp because living well is the best revenge.) Money is flowing this month because you’re spending it as well as working hard to earn it. You will do something to improve your work area. Coworkers are friendly and supportive.

LUCKY DAYS: March 26, 27 April 23, 24

LUCKY DAYS: March 8, 9 April 4, 5, 6

VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22)

CAPRICORN (DEC. 22-JAN. 19)

MARCH: Partnerships are important this month. Examine

MARCH: A fast-paced month. You’re keen to enlighten others

your role in these partnerships. Are your expectations realistic? Perhaps your doubts create problems? If you think someone doesn’t care for you, then you will react aggressively, then they will react aggressively, and your fears will come true.   

with your ideas. Short trips will please you as will opportunities to learn something new. Meanwhile, relatives you haven’t seen for a while might be camped on your doorstep enjoying your generous hospitality. Stock the fridge.

APRIL: In one way, you want to explore vacations, travel

APRIL: Get more physical exercise this month because Mars

and stimulating diversions. But you are also caught up with finances, taxes, debt, inheritances and insurance issues. Some of this might be old business from the past. Do what you can and plan for fun because you can have it all..  

in your sign gives you so much energy, it can build up within you, which means you might need to blow off pent-up steam. But you can use this energy to go after what you want. Homeand family are your top focus. (Romance offers dazzling diversions).

LUCKY DAYS: March 1, 2, 28, 29, 30 April 25, 26

LIBRA (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22)

MARCH/ APRIL 2018 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

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AQUARIUS (JAN. 20-FEB. 18)

MARCH: You can accomplish a lot this month because

MARCH: Because this is a year where you can put

you’re keen to work hard. You have high standards for yourself in terms of productivity as well as in terms of your health. This is wonderful. Motivation is everything. Motivation leads to effort and effort brings results. And you want results. This month Mars will energize your communications, especially with ex-partners.  

your name up in lights and enjoy an excellent reputation among your peers, small wonder you’re thinking about cash flow, earnings and your wealth this month. It’s a money month. Trust your moneymaking ideas. Be patient with delays, misplaced items, lost paperwork and transportation problems. It’s Mercury retrograde (Groan).  

APRIL: Ex-partners and old friends might be a strong focus

APRIL: You’ve got things to do, places to go and people

for you this month. Sometimes we learn from people from our past because we have less attachment now and more clarity. This is a good month to explore getting a loan or a mortgage because you will benefit from the wealth and resources of others. Meanwhile, romance is passionate, affectionate and memorable!

to see! Short trips, a jam-packed schedule plus increased reading and writing will keep you on your toes. Unfortunately, Mercury retrograde will cause delays and transportation as well as mixed-up communications. Enjoy redecorating and entertaining at home.   LUCKY DAYS: March 13, 14 April 9, 10, 11

LUCKY DAYS: March 3, 4, 31 April 1, 27, 28

SCORPIO (OCT. 23-NOV. 21) MARCH: It’s party time! Take a vacation. Enjoy romantic opportunities and love affairs. Make time for fun diversions, sports events and playful activities with children. Admittedly, Mercury retrograde will create glitches and delays at work but they’re not insurmountable, plus coworkers are supportive.   

of expanding your horizons and getting more out of life. Obviously, if you can travel, do so. Remember: This is your year to take a wonderful vacation. If you cannot physically travel, then travel through ideas, books and film. Take a course. Study something new. Meanwhile, romance with a boss is possible.   APRIL: This is a productive month because you want to work hard plus your communication skills are tops. Short APRIL: Without doing anything special, you are admired by trips, conversations with others and a desire to study and learn bosses, parents and VIPs this month. This creates an advanmake you effective in all your dealings. Admittedly, Mercury tage for you. Use it! Make your pitch or ask for what you want. (At retrograde will cause delays at work. Fortunately, Venus least, try.) Meanwhile, Venus enriches times with friends, even sweetens all your relationships, while Jupiter brings you divine though Mars makes you annoyed with a partner. (Consider this protection.  an opportunity to practice patience, which is a virtue).    LUCKY DAYS: March 5, 6, 7 April 2, 3, 29, 30 LUCKY DAYS: March 24, 25 April 20, 21, 22

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LUCKY DAYS: March 10, 11, 12 April 7, 8

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PISCES (FEB. 19-MARCH 20) MARCH: People and favourable circumstances are attracted to you because the Sun is in your sign; while Mars at the top of your chart arouses your ambition. Winner combo! Jupiter continues to bring travel opportunities and chances to explore education. However, money delays are likely. Cheques in the mail are late. Patience.  

APRIL: This is a lovely month because you appreciate the beauty of your daily surroundings. Perhaps you finally notice this? Perhaps you are in a more beautiful setting? You will also appreciate how much love there is in your daily world. This is a strong money month. You’re motivated to earn more; and you will buy yourself something you wanted for a long time.   LUCKY DAYS: March15, 16, 17 April 12, 13


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CANADIAN SHARE THEIR IMMIGRANTS STORIES BY PETRINA D'SOUZA

Resolutions made for yourself or family: To adopt the Canadian values and pass it on to my kids.

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G A RG

Advice for immigrants: My biggest advice is that we should follow and respect Canadian values and help each other and live a peaceful life.

Family

Memories of your homeland:

Amit Garg works at RBC Royal Bank as a Commercial Account Manager

came as a student and stayed with his uncle in Toronto for a few days; then moved to the basement with his friend. Sarika Gupta works at Boeing It did not take much time for Amit to Canada as a Test Analyst adjust to the new surroundings as he had studied in Switzerland prior to his Arav is eight and Arjun is three move to Canada. “After my studies I years old moved to Edmonton and worked in ne of the main reasons Amit hotels for about 18 months. Then I Garg came to Canada was to be decided to finally move to Vancouver, close to his family in the United BC, in 2005,” says Amit, who now States of America. His whole family lives lives in Surrey with his wife and two in California. During his young adult children. days, Amit decided not to move to the Like most immigrants, a difficult USA as he wanted to make a life in India. phase in his life was getting a job. Eventually when he decided to make “I had work experience, but the move, he met with an unfavourable I couldn’t get any job in situation. “It was too late as I was over the hotel industry. I did 21. Therefore I decide to come to Canada odd jobs like working in in 2003 and finally moved to BC which a restaurant, delivering is closer to California,” explains Amit courier and selling who visits his family in the US almost insurance. I was the every year. “We sometimes drive to only one working San Francisco!” on a minimum Amit describes his first impressions of wage to support Canada as being “a beautiful country with the family, it was equality, honesty and low crime rate.” He a difficult time,”

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recalls Amit who by then was married to Sarika and expecting their first baby. Ultimately, on Sarika’s insistence and referral from a friend, Amit got a job at the RBC Royal Bank Call Centre. “I performed really well and got promoted fairly quickly. After working several years on the personal financing side of the bank, I moved to the commercial

Friends and time spent with them. side of the bank which was my target,” shares Amit who is now a commercial account manager at RBC. In 2011, the Garg family bought a house in Surrey, meanwhile Sarika got a job, and in 2014 they were blessed with their second baby. “Life is good since then, no complaints,” expresses Amit. Looking back at his journey, Amit is happy that his life shaped out well despite the challenges. “Getting a job was troublesome but when I realized that you need to start from the bottom and work your way up, there was no looking back. It was a roller coaster ride from 2003 to 2008 but after joining RBC and after Sarika’s stable job we were able to progress very fast,” he notes. The Gargs state that they like everything about Canada. “There are opportunities if you know what are you doing, I see a safe future for my kids, and what else do you want?” says Amit in conclusion.

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MARCH/ APRIL 2018 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

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DARPAN March/April2018 - SPRING Issue  

DARPAN's March issue celebrates women and their successful journey towards growth, equality and leadership. Based on the theme of women empo...

DARPAN March/April2018 - SPRING Issue  

DARPAN's March issue celebrates women and their successful journey towards growth, equality and leadership. Based on the theme of women empo...