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REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE

JULY | AUGUST 2020

E XCLUSIVE CHAT WITH

PANKAJ T R I PAT H I FASHION ‘UNDERCURRENT’

9

MENTAL HEALTH SPECIAL

MYTHS ABOUT

MENTAL ILLNESS

GAURAV

G U P TA

AN IDEAL HOME OFFICE:

W O R K FROM

HOME

LIVING 30 YEARS WITH

BIPOLAR

DISORDER

SANDEEP Johal Vancouver’s Social Artist

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JULY | AUGUST 2020

PUBLISHERS E XCLUSIVE CHAT WITH

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MENTAL HEALTH SPECIAL

MYTHS ABOUT

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W O R K FROM LIVING 30 YEARS WITH

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SANDEEP Johal Vancouver’s Social Artist

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Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

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WRITERS Alex Sangha Benjamin Yong Ish Sharma

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Hello readers, we hope you and your families are in good health and enjoying the sunny days. To keep you company this summer is our July/ August 2020 issue. There are a lot of interesting and useful articles in the issue that will guarantee reading pleasure. On the cover is Canadian visual artist, Sandeep Johal. A recognized South Asian artist in BC, Johal’s work is well-known in Vancouver’s art community. Her art is unique and refreshing; her style of colourful geometric forms and intricate black and white line work is aesthetically and conceptually inspired by her South Asian heritage. Johal’s art is not only visually appealing but also a subtle presentation of common social issues that are still existent in modern society. “Through my work, I share women’s stories and highlight the often violent injustices women face daily and in doing so, hope to elevate and empower women and challenge beliefs around women’s inherent value and worth,” points out the social artist. Staying at home during COVID-19 got us experimenting with food and gaining a few extra pounds. Now that the gyms have opened with precautions, if you are wondering how to start your fitness journey, we got it covered. There are so many myths and dogmas around fitness that you can really be left dazed and confused. A fitness expert shares tips that can help you make your fitness journey easy, smooth and a success. If you’ve been performing your exercise routine at home, learn a few things you can do to make your efforts more effective. There have been an amazing line-up of Indian original shows and movies in the digital space to binge-watch during the stay-at-home phase, and there are still more to come. From thrillers to musicals to political dramas — premium digital platforms are gearing up to stream several original Indian series in the second quarter of 2020, which are sure to get you hooked. Check out our list of shows that you definitely shouldn’t miss out. And while watching these addictive shows, indulge in chicken chukka and crab and coconut broth by trying out the recipes by well-known Australia-based chef Kumar Mahadevan. Check the food section for the full recipes. We hope you enjoy the issue and keep supporting our work. Have a pleasant summer!


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2020

J U LY | A U G U S T CONTENTS 56

30

Sandeep

Johal

IN EVERY ISSUE 50 SALUTES

10 DARPAN’S 10

76 FASHION PAGES

SPOTLIGHT 14 Tejash Poddar 16 Govind Deol 36 YOUTH COLUMN What Parents Need To Know

About Teenage Stress

56 TECH

Minds Foundation MADE IN INDIA BIBA Canada

92

10 Apps for Anxiety Management

60 RECIPES

Chef Kumar Mahadevan

60 BEAUTY

Proactive Skincare

70 HEALTH

Start Your Fitness Journey

8 READER’S REACTION Dr. Bonnie Henry

LIFESTYLE

70 FITNESS

Make the Most of Your Home Workout

72 FITNESS

Work From Home

90 WEDDING Pavanjit & Jaime

92 TRAVEL

Covid-19 Effect On Your Travel Plans

112 BOX OFFICE Web Diary

76 FASHION PAGES MADE IN INDIA BIBA Canada

114 IMMIGRANTS Meet The Arora Family

FEATURES 26 FEATURE

30

LinkedIn Etiquette

30 EXCLUSIVE Pankaj Tripathi

38 FEATURE

9 Myths About Mental Illness

98

42 FEATURE

“An actor needs thought building more than bodybuilding” 6

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Dr Bal Pawa: Protect Your Mental Health & Well being

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Living With Bipolar Disorder

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Smoke Alarms Save Lives

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Plant Power: Benefits of Gardening

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RReactions

Write to us: editor@darpanmagazine.com or Tag us on social media: @DarpanMagazine & #Darpanmgazine

eaders

DEALING WITH HIGH-SPIRITED CHILDREN The article on handling active kids came at the perfect time when my children were at home and weren’t able to play outside. I have been using some of the tips mentioned and they are of great help. – Alisha T. Glad to know your found the article useful Alisha. Hope it helped other parents with young kids as well. I hope you and family are having a good summer. – DARPAN

PUNJABI MARKET ON MAIN STREET Loved the piece on Punjabi Market on Main Street. It is indeed an incredible landmark representing the South Asian community in BC and a place of cultural and historical significance. – Preeti Singh

Re: Thank you sharing your thoughts with us Preeti. Yes, the

community is proud to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Market. It is an important milestone in BC’s history as well. – DARPAN

VIRTUAL TOURISM A superb feature on virtual tourism. Made us feel happy and positive and kept the kids occupied and fascinated during the stay-at-home.

– Mansi Dedhia

Re: Thank you for writing to DARPAN, Mansi. So

happy to hear that the family was able to travel virtually this summer. Keep supporting us always. – DARPAN

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KITCHEN GADGETS A very useful article on kitchen gadgets for healthy eating. Tech age is really thriving and turning one into an expert cook with these easy, fast gadgets.

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DARPAN’S courage and compassion in the face of COVID-19. Every day I see examples of how people have taken our recommendations and guidance to heart in so many positive ways. I remind everyone to keep going, because this is what will get us through this. 6 There has been a lot of back and forth on masks where do you stand with masks now especially that we are heading into Phase 3?

DR. BONNIE HENRY

B.C.’S PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICER 1 People are somewhat surprised that you have handled the COVID-19 pandemic in a very calm manner. How are you able to show that level of composure?

Thank you for that. Every day that we have COVID-19 in our province, I take confidence in knowing that there is an incredible team at the BCCDC, along with our chief medical health officers, public health teams and front-line health-care workers who are 100% committed to addressing COVID-19. 2 You dealt with the SARS and the Ebola

outbreak, has this been the most challenging outbreak? Every outbreak that I have been a part of has been difficult, because it impacts the health and well-being of people. While public health officials around the world plan for pandemics, the size, scale and impact of COVID-19 has been huge and really unprecedented. The lesson we can all take from this is that by working together and everyone doing their part, we can make a difference.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF BC GOV/FLICKR

3 What has been the biggest challenge during COVID-19?

Many British Columbians have become severely ill and many others have lost their loved ones to COVID-19. This is a tragedy for all of us, and my colleagues and I feel this loss. As I have said a few times, we are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat. Seeing the consequences of both COVID-19 and the measures we have had to put in place to control it, and the negative impact this has had on many families and communities is our biggest challenge. 4 From your experience and what we have

learned about COVID-19 so far, where would you put the odds of a second wave and how

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While public health officials around the world plan for pandemics, the size, scale and impact of COVID-19 has been huge and really unprecedented. The lesson we can all take from this is that by working together and everyone doing their part, we can make a difference.” equipped our health system is to deal with it? COVID-19 is a tricky virus. We have learned a lot since the start of year, but there is still much to learn. We can’t predict what might happen this Fall, but we do know COVID-19 is still circulating in our community albeit at a low level right now. There is always a potential for a surge in cases as people connect more and more activities open up. This is what we are monitoring very carefully so that we don’t get a rapid increase as we have seen in some other parts of the world. We also know that we see influenza and other respiratory illnesses start in the fall and we will need to continue to watch carefully. While we know the precautions we have in place, such as limiting gatherings to no more than 50 people help to control the spread of the virus, the PHO team and many others are working to ensure we are ready should a surge occur. 5 How would you rate the response of the public on a scale of 1 to 10 as to how they have cooperated during the pandemic?

British Columbians have shown incredible resilience, TM

Keeping all of us safe requires layers of protection. The first thing we can do is to keep a safe distance from others. That is why there is a PHO order limiting the size of gatherings to no more than 50 people. The next layers include barriers, enhanced cleaning and clear guidelines, like the WorkSafeBC safety plans, that all businesses now need. Non-medical cloth masks are helpful when it is challenging to maintain our distance from others. They keep our germs in and protect those around us. But we also recognize that for some people, such as those with health conditions, people with disabilities, or young children, wearing a mask is difficult. Where it isn’t possible, the other layers of protection are that much more important. 7 What needs to be kept in mind for the classroom when students and teachers will be in class full time in September?

A lot of thought and consideration was put into the planning for the return of in-class learning in June. I heard from many parents and educators who spoke about how important the return to classes was for so many children and families. We are learning from what happened in June to come up with plans for September that will be able to ensure the best learning environments for all students no matter what the circumstances. 8 There are a lot of pharmaceutical companies and governments working towards finding a vaccine. Any particular researches that you are keenly watching and do you feel a vaccine is the only solution out of this pandemic?

There is a lot of work being done around the world to find a vaccine or an effective treatment for COVID-19. Many are promising, but they are in the early stages. This work takes time. Until we have a vaccine, we’re going to have to monitor and manage new cases, and continue to follow our foundational rules for safe social interactions. This is what will protect all of us until more options are available. 9 Any timeline on when British Columbians will see signs of return to normalcy throughout the province?

We’re now well into phase three of B.C.’s Restart plan. While we may be able to further ease some restrictions, such as allowing for visitors in long-term care facilities, our ‘new normal’ and our rules for safe social interactions are going to be with us until we have an effective treatment or vaccine. 10 Any message to all British Columbians in the midst of COVID-19.

I want to thank British Columbians for doing your part – for showing kindness and compassion to your friends, neighbours and family. COVID-19 has brought many challenges and as we continue to learn more and progress through this pandemic, I ask you to please keep doing what you have been doing. Please keep your groups small, maintain a safe distance from others, wear a mask for those times when you can’t always keep that safe distance, wash your hands and always stay home when feeling ill – no matter how mild the symptoms. And, finally, please continue to be kind, be calm and be safe.


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The Enver Creek Secondary graduate is one of the recipients of the $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship, Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarships.

TEJASH

PODDAR

Engineered for success By Petrina D'Souza

T

he future of British Columbia is in good hands as youth such as Tejash Poddar are aiming to use their knowledge and skills to make a positive change in the world. Tejash Poddar is one of the recipients of the $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. Schulich Leader Scholarships are Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarships. One hundred are awarded to entrepreneurialminded high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) program at 20 partner universities across Canada. “Being given this opportunity is a sign that I should continue doing what I love, and aim to be at the forefront of movers in the STEM world,” says Tejash, a graduate of Enver Creek Secondary in Surrey.

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DARPAN

As a STEM-focused scholarship, Schulich Leader Scholarship stood out to Tejash for a couple of reasons. He states that the scholarship not only provides students across Canada with funds for their post-secondary education, but also enables and encourages them to connect and collaborate with each other as a part of a network of leaders. “I believe this is more valuable than the money itself. I can now get to know and work among other passionate minds across the country, all of whom are motivated to make a difference in society,” explains the recipient, who will be studying Engineering at Simon Fraser University in the fall. Tejash is grateful to his parents, teachers and friends for their support in this process. Tejash’s parents, Rina and Mohan Poddar, are extremely proud of their son’s achievements. “We are delighted to see him growing into a caring young man.” Their advice to Tejash is to “be thankful of this TM

opportunity, stay true to who you are, and keep shining your light.” From a very young age, Tejash has always been interested in and eager to learn about technology. “Whether tinkering with gadgets at home, or 3D modelling at school, I can always anticipate fascination and curiosity. This, combined with my love for technology (this comes from my father), has led me to take on many projects throughout the past couple years. Some of these include designing, building, wiring, and coding my own arcade cabinet for my grade 11 engineering project, and starting my own web development company through which I help small


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in society,” says Tejash businesses and community organizations mark their digital footprint,” shares the web developer, who was recognized as the top engineering student at Enver Creek Secondary. Tejash hopes to use the knowledge and skills he acquires towards helping solve significant issues in the world. “I aim to leverage the opportunities and connections I form while tackling these problems, and hope to both inspire and be inspired by other creative minds facing these same issues. Ultimately, I want to make a positive change in the way people live their lives, and I am excited to see how the future leads me down this path,” says the passionate youth who calls Elon Musk his role model. Talking fondly about his role model, Tejash says, “Whether through pushing sustainable energy or helping further space exploration, his choices aren’t determined by profit-driven shareholders and directors, but instead by his own drive to prove adversaries wrong. Like him, I hope to one day be working in an emerging field motivated to make a difference in the world.” His advice to youngsters who wish to follow your path is “to continue doing what you love. Don’t let others tell you what your future should hold, but instead be ambitious, and drive to create one filled with the things that make you happy.”

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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

provide children with the opportunity to play and have fun. However, this experience showed me how a small step can make a big difference, and it motivated me to get more involved in my community,” says Govind. Camp Next was started six years ago by a teacher at L.A. Matheson and some of his students. It began with 60 kids attending the camp and has now grown to approximately 300 children. The camp aims to provide children with the opportunity to have fun while they learn valuable life skills. “It keeps children away from negative experiences such as television during the summer and

The recent graduate is the first student at L.A. Matheson Secondary School to receive the Loran Award and the fifth in the Surrey school district since the award’s inception.

M

any of British Columbia’s South Asian youth have been in the limelight the last couple of months for their skills and achievements. One among them is L.A. Matheson’s recent graduate Govind Deol, a recipient of the 2020 Loran Award. The Award is a Canadian $100,000 fouryear undergraduate award for character, service and leadership. This Award is a milestone for not only Govind but also his school. Govind is the first student at L.A. Matheson Secondary School to receive the Loran Award and the fifth in the Surrey

a big part of my life. My community has taught me many valuable skills and has allowed me to learn and grow,” he shares, further adding that L.A. Matheson created the foundation for him to learn the value of community. “It is a great school where everyone is a big family who pushes each other to learn and grow to succeed. One of the biggest reasons that I was able to become a Loran scholar was because I attended L.A. Matheson. I am proud to be an L.A. Matheson Mustang for life, and being able to represent my school is a great honour,” says the math and science genius.  

By Petrina D'Souza

GOVIND DEOL Photos: DARPAN, Govind Deol

Making Surrey Proud

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school district since the award’s inception in 1988. “This award is unique because it not only awards individuals for their past achievements but instead focuses on allowing them to learn and grow through different experiences. Loran Award will allow me to learn and grow from new experiences alongside strong leaders to help make a difference in our world,” expresses Govind. The Surrey-based Loran scholar is grateful for the community and his school for his experiences and growth. “Over the last five years, my community has become

JULY | AUGUST 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

DARPAN

Besides academic excellence, Govind has also been heavily involved in extra-curricular activities and volunteering. He started a basketball program for elementary school students and a summer camp called Camp Next for youth. “The basketball program was my first main volunteer experience. I started it to TM


keeps them engaged with people of their community. Also, it tries to make the transition of elementary school to high-school easier by allowing elementary school children to make connections with student leaders from L.A. Matheson during the camp,” adds Govind, who has volunteered for SAF, Surrey Crime Prevention Society, and Kinsmen Lodge. Govind will be attending UBC-Okanagan to get a Bachelor of Science degree and fulfill his goal of becoming a doctor. He proudly states that his parents are his role models. “I have always seen them work hard to accomplish their goals. They have shown me the importance of hard work, and their support has constantly helped me achieve my own goals,” says Govind gratefully. His parents, Sarabjot and Harpreet Deol, have seen Govind work hard from a young age and are proud of him for getting the Loran Award.

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Vancouver’s Social Artist

Sandeep

Johal By Petrina D'Souza

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COVER STORY

A recognized South Asian artist in BC, Johal’s work is wellknown in Vancouver’s art community. Her art is inspired by her South Asian heritage and also creates awareness on social issues such as injustice, gender inequality and cultural identity.

A

rt holds a lot of power; it is a connector, a conversation starter. Art evokes emotions and builds curiosity. Art presents a new side to a story; it influences thoughts and opinions. Art is therefore an effective tool to create social awareness, and this is aptly proven by Canadian visual artist, Sandeep Johal. A recognized South Asian artist in BC, Johal’s work is well-known in Vancouver’s art community. Her art is unique and refreshing; her style of colourful geometric forms and intricate black and

white line work is aesthetically and conceptually inspired by her South Asian heritage. Johal’s art is not only visually appealing but also a subtle presentation of common social issues that are still existent in modern society. Johal’s artwork and murals have been highly revered in the art community. It therefore comes as a surprise that a career as a visual artist was not her first choice. Johal was born and raised in the Okanagan by Punjabi Sikh parents who immigrated to Canada in the

early 70s. She always had a natural aptitude for art. “When I was a kid, my mom would buy me pads of paper to keep me busy. I filled them up with drawings that I wallpapered all over my bedroom,” recalls the visual creator, adding that CBC’s Mr. Dressup was a huge catalyst for her imagination and one of her most formative role models. However, not having any role models in the community to show her that a career in the arts was possible, Johal ended up earning a Biology degree followed by an Education degree. “But my heart wasn’t in it,” she discloses, “At 30 years old, I finally worked up the nerve to go to art school, graduated with honours, and won the design award. Almost a decade later, after having my son, I pursued my art career in earnest at the age of 41.”

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COVER STORY Kafkas Mural, Photo: Laara Cerman

“Through my work, I share women’s stories and highlight the often violent injustices women face daily and in doing so, hope to elevate and empower women and challenge beliefs around women’s inherent value and worth.”

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the South Asian artist. She describes her style as contemporary folk art with a diasporic twist. “I’m so inspired by Madhubani and Gond folk art, as well as folk art from other countries. It’s naïve, yet complex and filled with stories. I also use the term maximalist because I pack as much colour, pattern, and detail into my work as possible while still maintaining space for the eye to rest,” explains Johal, whose art is deeply influenced by her heritage and culture. “My town had a small South Asian population and very little cultural diversity. I rejected my culture to fit in which I regret. As an adult I’ve embraced my heritage. I no longer wish to hide my identity so it’s very important to me that people know my work is made by a South Asian hand. I’m

It was courage that pushed Johal to explore her passion and she is now enjoying the rewards of that courage. Her artistic journey is proof that pursuing one’s passion is not restricted to a set timeline and you can attain your goals with courage, honesty and hard work. “I had no idea when I left my job in 2016 that it would amount to anything. And now I’m a professional artist making a living from my art. It’s been a long time coming, a non-linear path filled with ups and downs, riddled with doubts and insecurities, but most importantly, a testament to my drive, work ethic, and passion,” says

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influenced by the textiles and jewelry I grew up observing – a tiny mirror on a bright textured pillow, the clashing patterns of a salwar-kameez, the border of a sari, the shapes found in ornamental earrings and necklaces, and so on.” Drawing studies form the basis of Johal’s work. “I pull from those studies when I plan my murals, and draw from books by South Asian authors for my shows. I work fairly intuitively with a loose plan,” she says, describing her creative process. Johal uses art to create awareness on social issues that are close to her heart, issues related to cultural identity, gender equality and human rights. Her art practice is an expression of her social and cultural concerns, particularly gender justice. “I’ve always had a very strong sense of justice and fairness, especially when it comes to women. Growing up, I was extremely vocal about the

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COVER STORY Komagatamaru Mural, 2019

At 30 years old, I finally worked up the nerve to go to art school, graduated with honours, and won the design award. Almost a decade later, after having my son, I pursued my art career in earnest at the age of 41.” 22

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to kill their female relatives over it. Over a decade later, her first solo show, Rest In Power (2017), was dedicated to 12 women (half of them South Asian) who were murdered for simply being women. Her series, She Left Only To Come Back (2019) is an exploration of femininity, motherhood, inter-generational trauma and loss set against a backdrop of familial obligation and self-sacrifice. “Through my work, I share women’s stories and highlight the often violent injustices women face daily and in doing so, hope to elevate and empower women and challenge beliefs around women’s inherent value and worth,” points out the social artist. Johal has showcased her work at various art festivals and collaborated with esteemed art organizations over the years. She was invited to make a site-specific work using projection mapping technology for Façade Festival created by inequality I witnessed between Burrard Arts Foundation in men and women in my home partnership with the Vancouver and in our community,” she Art Gallery; commissioned shares. Her first series around to paint four murals inside gender justice, When Honour the Vancouver Art Gallery in Kills (2006), questioned this conjunction with Moving Still: notion of honour/izzat that is so Performative Photography In strong that families are willing India; and collaborated with

Vancouver Mural Festival on a special community mural project about the Komagatamaru which involved the denaming of a federal building. She recently completed her largest mural to date (50’ x 30’) for Nelson International Mural Festival. “I freehanded the entire mural, which was a challenge, and had to get over my fear of heights and my fear of operating a boom lift pretty quickly. This project was a reminder that we can break our self-imposed limits and achieve things we never dreamed possible if we believe in ourselves,” says the 2019 recipient of Darpan Magazine’s Artistic Visionary Award.

Facade Festival at Vancouver Art Gallery For Jyoti By Sandeep Johal, 2019

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“Work on your craft. Hone your skills. Find your authentic voice. Invest in yourself. Find a mentor. Being an artist is not easy. It requires focus, patience and perseverance but it’s absolutely possible to make a living from it.” I ask her about her most memorable project till date and she mentions her piece for Façade Festival produced by Burrard Arts Foundation (2019). “I wanted to create a work to honour Jyoti Singh, the young woman who was senselessly and brutally assaulted in Delhi in 2012 and died of her injuries, but I needed to work through my anger first. Seven years later, I finally had the platform, opportunity, and vision to tell her story in a way that would do it justice,” Johal explains. With the support of a local animator, she created a five-minute digital animation entitled “For Jyoti” which was projected onto the exterior façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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Nelson International Mural Fest, 2020 “It told the story of Jyoti’s attack but ended on a note of hope and empowerment,” she adds. So how has the South Asian community responded to her work and her role as a female social artist? “I wondered whether people from the community would be critical of my work because I talk about things we need to change in our culture, especially around genderbased violence, but the reception has been overwhelmingly positive,” she answers, further adding, “I feel very supported and hope I


COVER STORY can be a role model to the younger generation. I’ve also had the good fortune of working with Indian Summer Festival, Surrey Art Gallery, South Asian Fashion Week, and creating illustrations for Stories for South Asian Supergirls.” Stories for South Asian Supergirls is an illustrated collection of 50 biographies showcasing historical and modern day South Asian women’s stories and achievements. On the topic of being a female artist, Johal believes the industry is more welcoming of different artists at present. “Historically, female artists have not been given the opportunities, resources, and support to develop themselves as artists and have often been excluded from art history. Today, that gender bias still exists. Female artists, especially female artists of colour, continue to be underrepresented and undervalued in galleries, museums, and auction houses. Things are changing, but change is slow.” As a Vancouver-based artist, Sandeep feels the city’s art sector will be in great trouble if the city doesn’t ensure the retention of art studios and spaces at affordable prices. “We have a high number of incredibly talented artists and can’t afford to continue losing them. We need secure spaces and ongoing arts funding otherwise Vancouver will become a cultural void.” Johal is enjoying her career as a visual artist and looks forward to exploring more opportunities ahead. “For so long I felt the shame of failed potential and now I’m finally fully living my true purpose. What an absolute privilege it is to wake up every morning knowing I get to do the thing I love most – I get to make art, put it out in the world, and make a positive impact,” she expresses. She has been invited to do a 10-week residency at Burrard Arts Foundation in the fall, which will culminate in a solo show next year. “I’ll be creating my first series around motherhood, focusing on the “dark” side of motherhood. I want to create an open dialogue about the struggles of motherhood and speak candidly about my own,” shares Johal excitedly. Her advice to young females truly serious about becoming an artist is to not listen to people who perpetuate the starving artist myth and not give up. “You’ve got to treat it like a job and show up every day. Work on your craft. Hone your skills. Find your authentic voice. Invest in yourself. Find a mentor. Being an artist is not easy. It requires focus, patience and perseverance but it’s absolutely possible to make a living from it,” she says in conclusion.

Photos : A MASTER MEDIA, Laara Cerman, Art by Sandeep Johal

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not answer calls from numbers they do not recognize. This has created an aggressive new push towards pitching on LinkedIn.

What is the “Connect and Pitch” Tactic

LINKEDIN ETIQUETTE Hurting the Network

L

inkedIn is a platform for connecting with new people, building relationships, exchanging value, learning, and growing together. Sales and business can also be a byproduct of these relationships, but things get toxic when only pitching becomes the primary intent. LinkedIn, when used professionally and appropriately is an outstanding medium to create, exchange and amplify value. The deeper your network, more the value potential but one must use the network effect and social capital effectively and judiciously. Given the advent of smart spam filters, AI based mail filtering etc., it has become harder for email driven sales reps and most people do

BY NITIN KUMAR Nitin Kumar is a two-decade veteran in the Hi-Tech industry. He is currently the CEO of Appnomic but played a variety of hands on executive roles ranging from CEO, Chief Growth Officer, Chief Transformation Officer, M&A Integration/Separation Leader, BU Head and Management Consulting Partner (corporate and PE portfolio companies). He is considered a business builder, thought leader and pioneer of many innovative approaches.

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It is not the primary intent of professionals who join LinkedIn to get pitched something, nor do they expect people to pitch something as soon as the connection is established. In recent times, we have an increase in the “connect and pitch” tactic (COVID-19 is one driver) – these pitches have disengaged many genuine and interesting people from connecting with new people. The “connect and pitch” artists are doing this in the name of social selling and many of these people would have had at least one interest through their outreach. The act itself conveys lack of understanding around social selling which really means connecting and building relationships rather than hard selling. People forget that the cost of that one success comes at a cost of alienating thousands of people, tarnishing their own and the company’s brand on social media. Now, do not get me wrong - I am one of the biggest fans on LinkedIn. Personally, I am someone who has embraced and harnessed the platform and have driven over $10m in sales over several years owing to strength, breadth and depth of relationships built on this platform and this is why I personally loath the connect and pitch style. The messages in your inbox are also more intrusive (and time consuming) than banners, popups, ads, bots and other distracting methods of online selling and attention seeking. There are other ways of engaging your network


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Perception vs Reality of The “Connect and Pitch” Contrary to their own belief, here is how perception and reality works on people: √ It is the robocall equivalent on social media and most people get put off by spam √ An intent signaling a genuine interest but an action with a straight pitch is immediate breach of trust √ An unsolicited and untargeted pitch indicates lack of understanding around the evolution of sales as a discipline √ A “connect and pitch” approach makes the product or service look like a commodity otherwise lacking traction √ Without genuine intent to connect, know and understand the needs of an individual, the whole interaction is shallow and will not yield results √ LinkedIn has built a brand, reputation, scale and promise on being a stellar platform to connect professionals and exchange value. When people deviate from this intent with the “connect and pitch” act, it comes across as a violation √ If you cannot provide value, there is limited value in a shallow pitch Social capital is the new currency of business and one should not expend it without good reason, be honest, build genuine relationships, authentic connections and business will follow. There are no short cuts to sales without risking your personal brand.

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“An actor

needs thought building

more than bodybuilding”

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DARPAN EXCLUSIVE

Pankaj Tripathi speaks to DARPAN about his journey, life after Covid-19, and nepotism in the industry.

PANKAJ

TRIPATHI BY MRINALINI SUNDAR

P

ankaj Tripathi is no ordinary man. He entered the movie business in 2003 but it took nine years for him to get his break with Gangs of Wasseypur. After which there was no turning back for the actor who has become a must-add ingredient in every movie. His popularity went multifold with his role as Guruji in Sacred Games and Akhandanand "Kaleen" Tripathi in Mirzapur- both web series. The actor has important roles in upcoming movies like 83, Ludo, and Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. Pankaj Tripathi speaks about his journey, life after Covid-19, and nepotism in the industry.

How has the lock-down changed you?

I am getting to spend a lot of time with my family which I was not getting to do previously thanks to crazy shooting. I spend a lot of time with my daughter. I also cook, maybe once or twice a week, and make simple North Indian dishes like dal-chawal, sabzi, etc. I think I will be a changed man after this. If someone doesn't see a change in them, if the pandemic has not changed you internally, there's a lot of thinking you need to do. I personally feel much closer to nature.

What’s the future of Bollywood especially after the lockdown? Is OTT the new way out for moviemakers? I truthfully don't go beyond my acting profession. I finish acting, come home, don’t

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DARPAN EXCLUSIVE

“I think I will be a changed man after this. If someone doesn't see a change in them, if the pandemic has not changed you internally, there's a lot of thinking you need to do. I personally feel much closer to nature.”

I like a slice of life kind of movies that entertain but also teach an important lesson about life. I look for dialogues in movies, not shouting and violence. I, however, noticed that mainstream movies don’t do much about rural genre. 70% of India’s population is on farming yet no stories about village life have come to the big screen in a long time.

We have seen you do comedy and crime. But what’s your favorite genre? I do a lot of crime but don’t advocate it on or off-screen. I never understood how people enjoyed watching movies showing cars flying. I like social dramas - life se relatable.

attend parties, and I am no trade expert. I don't know about the business part of things. But I guess OTT has paved way for makers to reach the audience. People are constantly looking for new content and with OTT they get it, albeit it is no match to community viewing.

Still from Sacred Games/Netflix 

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How do you make every character relatable? Do you follow a process? Everyone is a method actor- whether your method works or not tells you how successful you are! Everyone has their own way of doing things. I am from drama school and a trained actor, so I do have a process. But my thing is I don't get too involved. I let things take


 Still from Mirzapur/ PrimeVideo. an organic route and don’t go to the set with a preconceived notion. Sometimes, two days after starting the shoot, I get a breakthrough with the character and I understand it fully. The thing is, it took me 20 years to get prepared to be an actor. That itself is a long process. The thing with acting is you need to make it look like it is happening for the first time even though you took 20 retakes for the shot. Personally, I find it difficult to maintain continuity which is why my editors get super irritated with me.

Is Extraction your gateway to Hollywood? I was told that Russo Brothers are big, and my role as a guest appearance. I saw it as a good opportunity, a scene that sees impact throughout the movie. I would be glad if I get offers but that’s not my goal. I honestly, got into acting to enjoy getaways and go on vacations, while someone else is spending cash on you. I don't take acting too seriously. I just want to have fun.

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But your movies have a lot of impact on the society… I agree but I can't change the world with my acting. I know movies have a social impact which is why I sometimes add satirical lines to my dialogues. In Stree, there's a dialogue, "woah purush nahi hai ki jabardasti karegi. Woah stree hai, pehle tumse tumhara naam poochegi," This one line changed the view towards the movie. I believe a doctor can save a dying man, but an artist can save a dying society.

You don’t seem to market yourself enough. Do you agree? I don’t need to market things. I don't need gym shots and the airport looks to be closer to the audience. I want to be memorable, not popular.

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DARPAN EXCLUSIVE

18 years to prove that he is still alive. This one was super interesting to me. Post-production is on for Mirzapur 2 and I cannot reveal much about Ludo, but the movie is unique and will be relatable with the audience.

What is your take on nepotism? Have you experienced it?

You need a new term for us (character artistes as they call us). I have a problem with that word. All actors in a movie are playing a character, not just character artistes. That word screams hierarchy, like the side actors, are next in line.

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I have never experienced it. Nepotism comes into picture when a hero or a heroine needs to be launched. If someone not-so-talented is launched, they would maximum have a three-movie run and then face disappointment I never got launched. You need a new term for us (character artistes as they call us). I have a problem with that word. All actors in a movie are paying a character, not just character artistes. That word screams hierarchy, like the side actors, are next in line. Every actor is important for the movie. I have realized that people suddenly wake up and ask for equality then forget all about it. It is the way society works.

My acting will do the marketing, I don’t need special tactics. I am not saying this with arrogance but with confidence. I come from the school of thought where I believe an actor needs thought building more than body building.

Tell us about your upcoming movies. I play PR Man Singh, the manager of the Indian cricket team during the 83 win. I met the man in Hyderabad, and it was a delight playing this role. I also have Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, a sweet and emotional movie. Then I have Kaagaz based on a real-life story about a man who was declared dead when alive. He fought for

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What do you have to tell those who are struggling to make a mark in the industry, with the recent events in Bollywood? It is very important. We keep ignoring but if you are coming into cinema, or any other field for that matter, a farmer, teacher - everyone faces it. You must be strong, and this world will trouble you no matter what. You won't get everything in life and that’s a fact. You need to look at the positives in life than the negatives that are the way of life.


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YOUTH SPEAK

Support Make sure your child knows that you will always be there to support them. Saying something as simple as “I love you” or “I’m really proud of you” can often go a long way. Learn to acknowledge your child’s efforts and praise them for what they have attempted, no matter the outcome.

Spend time together Spend some time with your teen each week and make it a regular routine. Do different activities together, such as cooking, reading, watching a movie or going for a walk. Providing them with a stress-free zone can help take their mind off of making the experience even harder. However, with the proper things. tools and assistance, stress can be effectively managed. Here are some things parents can do to help their children cope with stress. Teach your child how to manage their time effectively to ensure they get all their tasks done. Get them to make a list and plan stuff out. Sometimes, a visual Hear out what they have to say aid can help them sort out their and try to understand their tasks better. point of view, feelings, and concerns. Ask questions and share positive thoughts and suggestions. Teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep every night. However, between schoolwork As parents, talk to your children and various extracurricular activities, getting enough about your expectations sleep can sometimes become a and goals and ask them challenge. One way to help is what they think, want, and monitoring your child’s screen feel. Talk out solutions to time. Set screen time limits for problems and be willing to your children and restrict all compromise sometimes. Good screens 1-2 hours before bed. communications will lead to healthier relationships, and your child will be more willing to share their feelings and concerns with you.

WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

TEENAGE STRESS

BY MEHAKPREET DHALIWAL

S

tress- we hear the word quite often in today’s day and age, but do we really know what it means? Stress is the body’s reaction to pressure, threat or change. Stress triggers a surge of adrenaline that affects your nervous system. Everyday pressures such as taking a test, participating in a competition or challenge, or performing in front of people may activate stress. In these situations, some people perform well under pressure, and once the challenge is over, the stress response calms down. However, ongoing events or problems can cause long term stress. This can have a negative impact on your health. Stress can lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system, which can further lead to diseases and

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Everyday pressures such as taking a test, participating in a competition or challenge, or performing in front of people may activate stress. complications. Stress is now affecting teenagers more than ever. At age 13, 27% reported concerns of stress, and at age 18, the amount rose to 50% of Canadian teens. A combination of pressures from home, school, work, and relationships, and the transitions during this age contribute to stress amongst teenagers. Today’s technological and social innovations have changed family life so much,

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Teach them time management skills

Listen to them

Monitor their sleep

Communicate


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9

DARPAN FEATURE

Myths About

MENTAL ILLNESS

MENTAL ILLNESS ONLY OCCURS IN WEAK PEOPLE

BY VINAY SARANGA M.D.

W

hat if we could break through those myths and misconceptions around conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD and more? Here are nine myths about mental illness:

Telling someone with anxiety or depression to “snap out of it” or “just get over it” is one of the worst things you can say. YOU CAN ‘JUST GET OVER IT’

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Vinay Saranga M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry. For more information, visit sarangapsychiatry.com

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Telling someone with anxiety or depression to “snap out of it” or “just get over it” is one of the worst things you can say. It diminishes the severity and seriousness of the condition, makes it sound like you don’t believe what they are going through, and knocks down their self-esteem. If recovering from anxiety and depression was as easy as snapping your fingers and moving on with your life, it wouldn’t be as big a problem as it is today.

Mental illness can happen to anyone. It’s not about how smart or strong you are. It’s usually a result of an imbalance of certain brain chemicals, is hereditary, due to your environment or in response to specific life events and circumstances. Many smart and successful people, even celebrities, have been treated for a mental illness.

MENTAL ILLNESS ISN’T REAL According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in five adults in the U.S. — 43.8 million, or 18.5 per cent —experiences mental illness in a given year. Mental illness is very real and is accompanied by many uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms. It requires real professional help to get better.

MY OCD IS KICKING IN OCD is often used to describe someone who is super organized, a neat freak or checks things over and over again. The truth is, OCD is a real anxiety disorder that severely interrupts a person’s ability to function unless certain rituals or sequences are followed.


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DARPAN FEATURE

ANXIETY IS JUST NERVES

DEPRESSION IS JUST A BAD CASE OF THE BLUES Depression involves much more than just feeling sad. It’s a serious psychiatric condition that leaves the sufferer feeling tired, hopeless, at a higher risk of suicide, problems with appetite, feeling guilty, loss of self-worth and aches and pain. It requires therapy and/or medication to recover.

Joking about ADHD is not funny. ADHD is a real neurodevelopmental disorder that occurs in children, young adults and can go on into adulthood. It should never be used to label a child who is simply misbehaving or struggling in school.

Photos : iStockphoto

Joking about ADHD is not funny. We’ve seen a spike in the diagnoses of ADHD in recent times, many times an incorrect diagnosis at that. ADHD is a real neurodevelopmental disorder that occurs in children, young adults and can go on into adulthood. The typical symptoms include trouble concentrating and hyperactivity, but should never be used to label a child who is simply misbehaving or struggling in school.

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The truth is, many general practitioners and family doctors write too many prescriptions for psychiatric medications instead of referring their patients to a psychiatrist. Nonetheless, these medications are a lifesaver for people who are truly suffering from anxiety and depression.

STRESS IS NOT A BIG DEAL

MY ADHD IS KICKING IN

40

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric conditions and include OCD, panic disorder, PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety is in response to a specific set of circumstances that are quickly addressed and resolved. Other times, anxiety can become a real psychiatric condition that must be addressed for a lifetime.

ANTIANXIETY AND ANTI-DEPRESSANTS AND MEDS ARE HANDED OUT LIKE CANDY

TM

Life is chaotic and all the craziness usually manifests itself as stress. Unfortunately, many people play this off as nothing to worry about. Stress is a very big deal and can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and more. Learning to deal with stress is important for your mental and physical health. Try meditation, mindfulness and other relaxation techniques to relieve your stress.


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Dr. Pawa provides actionable advice that you can implement while dealing with fear, uncertainty and beyond. She works with organizations to transform health in the workplace and optimize employee performance, engagement and productivity. Dr. Pawa has received training through Institute of Functional Medicine for Immune health and GUT/ Brain health and acertification from Harvard on Mind/Body Medicine, among other credentials. She is the cofounder of Westcoast Women’s Clinic, a board-certified menopause clinician, and a well-known TEDx Speaker on the effects of stress hormones on the body. She is a Clinical Instructor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. In an exclusive interview with DARPAN magazine, Dr. Pawa shares knowledge and advice on mental health challenges and ways for people to cope with it.

DARPAN FEATURE

In an exclusive interview with DARPAN magazine, Dr. Bal Pawa shares knowledge and advice on mental health challenges and ways for people to cope with it.

DR. BAL PAWA “PROTECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH & WELL-BEING” BY ISH SHARMA

T

he number of people suffering from anxiety, loneliness and depression has spiked amidst COVID-19, and with lockdowns around the world, people’s mental health has been severely impacted. We spoke to Dr. Bal Pawa on how one needs to deal with depression and anxiety during these unprecedented times. Dr. Bal Pawa is a physician, pharmacist and author of the self-help REFRAME Toolkit and The Mind-Body Cure book. With 30 years of clinical experience backed with academic credentials,

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Q

Due to COVID-19, many are feeling isolated at home which is taking a toll on their mental health. What are some tips you can offer during these challenging times? We cannot control if we are going to get a vaccine and we can’t control if there is a second wave of the virus coming in the fall but what we can control is what we should put our energy into.


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stands for the resetting of your nervous system – that is through the BMW meditation: Breath, Mind, Word meditation and doing deep controlled breathing.

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is for looking at the dialogue that you are having with yourself. What sorts of thoughts dominate your day? If your thoughts are negative then they feed into your nervous system and affect your immune system. It is about making healthy choices and living with trust and positivity.

M

is for mindset, mindset is how you look at the world and to choose responding over reacting. With a responding mindset versus a reaction mindset, you are saying no matter what I am okay even if there is uncertainty with COVID-19 and fear.

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is for examination and evaluation. If your symptoms are severe, it does not mean you are a failure, it just means that biologically your body is not able to cope and you need help.

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Photos : iStockphoto, Dr Bal Pawa

DARPAN FEATURE

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The most important thing is to also not judge anyone who has a mental illness but see it like any other medical condition. It is common in the South Asian community to be judgmental and see mental health issues as a sign of weakness.”

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Practice a morning meditation, focus on deep, controlled breathing, and have a mantra to start your day with words such as peace, Om, and Amen. These are techniques to help you calm down your nervous system which indirectly helps your immune system. Once you get off the technological gadgets and the news, focus on how you respond to what you have heard or seen –you do not need to react negatively. You don’t need to consume news all the time and react from a place of fear and wonder about the state of economy or on what’s happening to people’s health – this creates more worry and stress hormones. Instead, shift your focus and stay informed by taking in what you need to hear, take a deep breath and make a measured response so that your nervous system always stays calm. The main thing is to not react but respond in a way that does not put you in a state of anxiety.

Q

What are the signs and symptoms that family or friends can look out for to help a person suffering from

TM

a mental issue? How can they initiate the conversation? If you are worried that your family member or somebody close to you is dealing with severe anxiety or depression, there are some signs you want to look out for. The ones experiencing anxiety and depression are consumed with it and will talk about it all the time. These individuals will also be socially distanced; they will find doing simple tasks like going out as pointless, they will not want to engage with others, and think there is no point in living – these are signs that you should look into resources available to help them out. COVID-19 protocol of physical distancing is important but that does not mean you cut yourself off from others. The most important thing is to also not judge anyone who has a mental illness but see it like any other medical condition. It is common in the South Asian community to be judgmental and see mental health issues as a sign of weakness. It is important to be openminded and have conversations that engage the person suffering from a mental issue so that he/she feels comfortable to seek help and are able to get out of the state of denial.


Q

Why it is hard for people to accept that there is a mental illness at play and seek help? What is your message to people dealing with these challenges? Mental illness is not easily accepted in our society and we need to be culturally sensitive and help remove the stigma. Counsellors are needed who are aware of the risk in the South Asian community. It is important to find the root cause and not just prescribe a pill or a bandaid solution. People do not realize that stress exacerbates physical symptoms; you would be astonished to know that 75 per cent of people show up at a doctor’s office with symptoms that can be attributed to excessive chronic stress hormone exposure. It is extremely important to learn to connect the dots and remember that the body works as an integrated unit where all the different systems are working for the body.

Q

Tell us about your recentlypublished book. How is it being received? The book is a passion project of over three decades of experience as a doctor. It is called The Mind-Body Cure and includes a REFRAME Toolkit. I met with a horrible accident at the age of 32 and when I was hospitalized, I realized that there are some major gaps in the medical system that needed to be addressed. The medical system was great at giving me medications and doing surgery yet there was no emphasis on the involvement of the patient and their self-care as well as no body and mind integration model. You need to take charge of your health; you are your best doctor – you know your mind the best and you know how you react to situations. It is very important to become familiar with your mindset, and it is your mindset that helps you make choices around diet, sleeping habits and physical fitness. In the book, I have created a selfhelp REFRAME toolkit in order to give readers the knowledge and the tools to look after their health. We need medications and surgeries but for prevention you need to be your own best doctor. The book took two and a half years to complete and is now available on Amazon.

To learn more about Dr. Pawa and her work, visit her website,

www.drbalpawa.com

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DARPAN REFLECTION

LIVING WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER WHY I DECIDED TO COME OUT AFTER 30 YEARS At the age of 19, when I was first diagnosed, the psychiatrist told my mother to not expect me to go to university. During my second hospitalization, the social worker wrote that I should not apply to be a social worker because I was non-compliant with my medication. I have since completed two master’s degrees and even received an award from the BC Association of Social Workers for advocacy.”

BY ALEX SANGHA

B

Alex Sangha is an author, activist, a Registered Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC. He is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada. He is currently involved with a social support organization for LGBT South Asians and friends called Sher Vancouver. Contact: alexsangha@gmail.com

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ipolar disorder or manic depression is defined by Wikipedia as "a mental disorder characterized by periods of depression and abnormally elevated moods. If the elevated mood is severe or associated with psychosis, it is called mania; if it is less severe, it is called

TM

hypomania." Bipolar disorder is more common than you may think. Growing up with bipolar disorder in a South Asian family was not easy. My family did not know what was happening to me. I felt guilty for being depressed and unable to work. Some people told me that “depression was just in my head and that I am being lazy.” I expected the worst and there was very little hope. I felt alone, scared, and vulnerable. Living with bipolar disorder can cause several life setbacks. For instance, I had to delay my admission to UBC by a year because I was hospitalized with severe mania. The treatment/ medications for which comes with bad side effects such as extreme weight gain and drowsiness. Support of family and friends is very important. The people close to you can monitor the signs and symptoms of your illness. Their support can help reduce stress, which can reduce relapse. I strongly believe people living with bipolar disorder can not only survive but thrive.


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www.capitaltiles.ca DARPAN

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DARPAN REFLECTION

Growing up with bipolar disorder in a South Asian family was not easy. My family did not know what was happening to me. I felt guilty for being depressed and unable to work. Some people told me that “depression was just in my head and that I am being lazy.” I expected the worst and there was very little hope. I felt alone, scared, and vulnerable.”

Photos : iStockphoto, Alex Sangha

Why I came out as living with Bipolar after 30 years

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In the past, I was afraid if I was public about my condition that I would be stigmatized in the workplace and feared being “conveniently dismissed” as someone who is not fit to do the job. Even-though many friends and family tried to stop me from coming out, mainly due to the stigma associated with mental illness, I was getting tired of living a double life. I wanted to be honest about my strengths and struggles. I saw no JULY | AUGUST 2020

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(ABOVE) Alex Sangha receives Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) Right Honourable Julie Payette at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, 2019

point in struggling with bipolar for decades if I am not going to share what I learned and accomplished with the community. Life is short and I want to make a difference helping others. So I decided to come clean about my condition after 30 years of living with bipolar disorder. My goal was to give hope and share my story. To my surprise, the response I received was overwhelming and emotional. I have received many messages from people and families in the community who thought they were in this alone. One person even said that my story and life experiences and ability to achieve despite my struggles is very inspirational for many other people living with mental illness or suffering in silence. Many commented how it changed their perspective about this condition. By coming out, I want to reduce the TM

stigma and discrimination that people with bipolar disorder face. For instance, at the age of 19, when I was first diagnosed, the psychiatrist told my mother to not expect me to go to university. During my second hospitalization, the social worker wrote that I should not apply to be a social worker because I was non-compliant with my medication. I have since completed two master’s degrees and even received an award from the BC Association of Social Workers for advocacy. I would like to educate the general public about the many benefits of living with bipolar disorder. For instance, during the highs, I am very productive. I graduated from a prestigious Masters program in Public Administration and Public Policy in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics where I was admitted on a partial entrance scholarship. In addition, I founded a growing non-profit organization called Sher Vancouver, published a book entitled “Catalyst,” and produced a short documentary called “My Name Was January,” that won 14 international awards and garnered 63 official selections at film festivals around the world. The film also entered the Canadian Screen Awards for Best Short Documentary in 2020. With bipolar disorder, I can view the world from three different perspectives when my mood is low, high, and more in the middle. This makes me very creative individual. In fact, I feel a label as a

(ABOVE) Alex Sangha at VISAFF (Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival) screening of 'My Name was January'


“creative humanitarian,” more accurately reflects my current situation and abilities. Currently I work for myself and in control of my life. I am immensely proud to have established a flourishing counselling business. In fact, I believe being bipolar makes me a better counsellor. Being bipolar has provided me with insight, resilience, and empathy for others. I subscribe to Freud’s philosophy that the best therapists have gone through therapy themselves. As a result, I felt now was the time to go public about being “blessed with bipolar.” By coming out as a person suffering from bipolar disorder, I am creating a custom world around me that I can handle. I believe in a holistic approach to treatment, including medication, counselling, nutritious diet, exercise, socialization, support groups, family

With bipolar disorder, I can view the world from three different perspectives when my mood is low, high, and more in the middle. This makes me very creative individual. In fact, I feel a label as a “creative humanitarian,” more accurately reflects my current situation and abilities. Support of family and friends is very important. The people close to you can monitor the signs and symptoms of your illness. Their support can help reduce stress, which can reduce relapse. I strongly believe people living with bipolar disorder can not only survive but thrive.

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support, good sleep and low stress. I find swimming really helpful for the body, mind and spirit. My brain chemistry and moods may be different than the average person but that does not mean I am not a capable person. In fact, I don’t even like being labelled as having a “mental illness.” I am not an illness! I am a human being with feelings, emotions, strengths, and potential. I am a “creative humanitarian.”

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DARPAN SALUTES

"I founded MINDS with a passion to bring the human right of proper mental health resources back into the hands of those in the most vulnerable

MINDS FOUNDATION

Creating Mental Health Awareness one village at a time by Mrinalini Sundar

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MINDSFOUNDATION, ISTOCKPHOTO

J

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une 14th was a tragic day in the Bollywood film industry. Superstar actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai. Why? The actor had been battling depression for the past six months and was under severe counseling. Time and again death of a celebrity sparks conversation about mental health and depression which eventually fizzles out. Which brings me to the next topic- what happens to children who face depression at a very early age or communities in villages who face mental health issues? That's when The Minds Foundation comes into place. According to the website, "Globally, there is 1 suicide occurring every 40 seconds. Youth are also essential to the dissemination of information and change in the perceptions of mental health. Therefore, we strive to focus on delivering mental health education to JULY | AUGUST 2020

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youth in schools. This program is tailored to cover topics such as autism, OCD, depression, anxiety, self-image, suicide, cyber-bullying, substance & alcohol use, eating disorders, and internet addiction." Their School Mental Health Education is not just targeted at kids but also has important takeaways for parents and teachers. Their second biggest focus is on Community Mental Health Education

TM

regions of the world.�

Raghu Kiran Appasani Founder, psychiatrist, neuroscientist, mental health advocate

- with a special focus on rural sectors. "We believe that education surrounding mental health is a critical component that needs to be addressed in order to diminish the stigma surrounding it. In order to address this component, we organize evidence-based mental health education workshops in partnership with local stakeholders. Communities are provided with a list of resources as well as being left with visual aids and educational materials" states their website. What does one do when you feel depressed but have no place to go to for treatment? The Minds Foundation identifies this large treatment gap and


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offers task-shifting. The organization trains community members to be able to handle basic risk assessment, counseling skills, and triage. The community mental health workers (CMHWs) work primarily with rural and semi-urban communities. "The workers use their familiarity with the community and leverage their social networks so that we may efficiently reach more people. Furthermore, they support patients through their recovery and continue to educate the community about mental health by hosting workshops and peer, support groups," the website states. These measures don't just help create awareness but also increase access to care and mobilizes the community to take charge and improve the health of their own members. The Minds Foundation doesn't stop with just that - they also have customized workshops for teams in corporate offices. Office environments can be stressful and peer competition can get to people- that's when these workshops come to use. Not enough is spoken about mental health and its consequences in the global arena. Rural communities have no material to identify the issue or means to deal with it. "Through film, poetry, art, media partnerships, PSAs, and grassroots movements—we can create true change and bring a voice to those often left in the dark,' shares the website. The Minds Foundation works extensively in Gujarat - having started in Vadodara, they eventually expanded to Bhavnagar, Chhota Udepur, Panchmahals, and Narmada as well. In 2018, they moved to Mumbai. They also work closely with The Thought Company and The


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DeSousa Foundation. The organization regularly runs themed support groups, school education programs, and are expanding their research initiatives along with Sion Hospital. They are also expanding community-level services to Dharavi. The organization's strategy is different in New York and Los Angeles. At LA, they have an Active Leadership Council that supports the work with The Minds Foundation. They have events such as intimate salon dinners, mental health targeted panels and events, ambassador training programs, and corporate partnerships for continued wellness. Research is a big part of The Minds Foundation. For strategies to fall in place, the NGO indulges in in-depth research. Their data collection team extensively works with diverse communities in India. They also monitor and evaluate the progress of the plan s they have evaluated in order to improve and customize their programs based on the actual needs of the people. The organization believes that "In order to advance any sort of health priority, research must be done to understand the root cause of problems, the consequences of these problems, and how to effectively reduce them."

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Who runs the organization? Raghu Kiran Appasani, a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, mental health advocate, launched the organization to bridge the gap between western and eastern practices to create a wholesome society. He says, "I founded MINDS with a passion to bring the human right of proper mental health resources back into the hands of those in the most vulnerable regions of the world.� If you wish to get involved, there are several ways to do it - donate, join their Leadership Development Program exclusively designed for students, or their Fellowship Program for students and professionals who want to delve into the healthcare realm. visit: www.mindsfoundation.org

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DARPAN HEALTH

Tips to make your fitness journey smooth

Exercise 2-4 Times A Week

Start Your

Fitness Journey

You do not have to go

by Pardeep Bains

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to the gym every day

ooking to learn about how to start your fitness journey? Then you have come to the right place. There are so many myths and dogmas around fitness that you can really be left dazed and confused. For this reason, I wanted to write an article that can help you make your fitness journey easy and smooth. Let’s get into how you can make your fitness journey a success.

when you start your fitness journey. Nor do you have to be doing an endless amount of steady-state cardio.

Stay Moving When it comes to how to start your fitness journey and how to have success, simple things often get overlooked. Such as walking and moving. By walking and moving around you can burn a lot of calories and help with creating a calorie deficit. By becoming more active you not only burn extra calories but you make fitness a part of your lifestyle. You can simply burn more calories by walking around the house, at the park, putting things away, cleaning, and so on. Aim for 8-12k steps a day and you’ll burn an additional 400-600 calories a day! You can track this on your phone or by getting a FIT BIT or an APPLE WATCH. Using those tools can make it easier for you to see how active you really are.

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You do not have to go to the gym every day when you start your fitness journey. Nor do you have to be doing an endless amount of steady-state cardio. You can simply begin to create a larger calorie deficit by proper weight training and sprinkling in a bit of cardio. Yes, there is a high likelihood that you will not know what exercises to do! This is why it is vital to hire the right personal trainer. When you are a beginner and embarking on your fitness journey, there may be a chance that you do not want to go and do your own research on the best exercises and programs for your goals. This is where a great personal trainer can help you. By hiring one you will learn proper movements and programming. You will also learn the why behind every exercise you are doing. However, if you feel comfortable learning how to weight train properly on your own, do so!

DARPAN

Don’t Do Any Fad Diets With the endless amount of diets out there promising you results, you can get trapped and leave your metabolism in bad shape. The main factor in weight and fat loss is eating in a calorie deficit. Essentially this means burning more calories than you have coming in. Fad diets go to the EXTREME when it comes to this. These ultra restrictive diets could be from eating as low as 500 calories, cutting out all carbs, not eating after a certain time, or no sugar. The list is endless. This is why it is vital to stay from fad diets, they are NOT sustainable in any way.

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Typically what happens is when you go on a strict diet, you’ll lose weight initially, and then because you’ve suppressed all your cravings, you end up binge eating. Very hard too. What happens to all the weight you lost? Comes back and then some. Therefore, when looking to lose weight on your fitness journey, eat in a balanced manner but in a calorie deficit! Eat high in protein, whole foods, and high fiber. Enjoy your favourite foods in moderation. Eating in a sustainable manner will make it seem like you are not dieting at all because no longer are you suppressing cravings. You simply eat in a manner that you can enjoy and live with!


Photos : iStockphoto

Limit Alcohol Consumption Unfortunately, when you are looking to lose weight, drinking alcohol is probably not going to help you lose body fat quicker. If the amount of drinks you have gets high enough, you can actually stop yourself from burning body fat. What do I mean by that? Essentially when you drink too much alcohol, your body thinks it’s in starvation mode. Therefore, when you eat on top of the drinking your body stores everything as fat because it does not know when food is going to come again. So how many drinks would be ideal? Probably about two to three would be optimal. Research shows that anything more stops muscle protein synthesis and again, your body stores everything as fat. For this reason, having two to three drinks is A-okay. However, it gets dangerous when you go past that, especially for your fat loss goals!

Enjoy It

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Don’t take your fitness journey too seriously. Relax and have fun with it. The process in itself is beautiful because out of nowhere you will start noticing many changes. Yes, you’ll notice how your physical body has changed but don’t expect to either. By not expecting you’ll be relaxed and let the results just happen. Also, you’ll notice you have more energy and that you stay calmer. There are many factors as to why you started your fitness journey but being too serious should be the last thing. Have fun with it and enjoy it!

Last words By following the tips you can have a successful fitness journey. Yes, there are a lot of myths out there but it’s not as complicated as it’s made to be. Simply just be consistent and eat in a calorie deficit and you are nearly guaranteeing yourself some results! Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the process!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Pardeep Bains has been a personal trainer for nine years now in the fitness industry. Pardeep’s main approach is to help his clients become more present through weight training and ultimately achieve their fitness goals through sustainable methods of eating and training. coachpb_

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DARPAN TECH If you want

to eat out less and cook more at home, these are the must-have gadgets for your kitchen.

Breathetorelax Do you know your breathing pattern changes when you get a panic attack? What you need at that point is monitored breathing, soothing music, and looking at nature-centric pictures. You get all this and more in this app. Most importantly, it guides you on how to breathe, longer inhale and exhale patterns, and makes you comfortable.

Antistress One of the most satisfying things to do is to engage in

10

APPS FOR

ANXIETY

MANAGEMENT Rootd

by Mrinalini Sundar

T

Don't deal with panic attacks alone. The next time you feel low, log onto Rootd app which promotes mindful exercises, deep breathing tactics, and general happiness. Another important feature with this female-led app is that there is an emergency contact on the app which when pressed calls your loved ones immediately.

here are apps for everything. Browse through the App Store and the options are unlimited. There's something to find true love, for marriage, for healthy eating habits, weight loss, oh, the list could go on. But have you ever thought of apps to manage that mind that goes into spiraling thoughts? An app to monitor your breathing, to help you destress, or avoid a panic attack? Well, yes, there are apps for that too. Such apps are easy to download and are mostly straightforward. What they do for you is distract you, take your mind off things, mitigate anxiety, and avoid feelings that could trigger an overload of emotions. Here's a look at a few apps that do the trick for you:

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Headspace One of the most popular apps of the lot - Headspace is all about guided meditation that can help you focus on happiness, productivity, mindfulness, and balance on an everyday basis. What is best about the app is the number of options available for beginners and it is equally interactive.

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mindless games that require very little concentration. The good thing about such games is that they help you avoid overthinking or slip into anxiety. Antistress is one such app that has several cute games that are super distracting and a brilliant way to pass time. Games like juicer and fruit slicer are easy-peasy and can be a great way to divert.

Calm One of the main reasons for anxiety and depression is lack of sleep. That's what this app will fix for you. Or at least can help you with it. Meditation gurus and practitioners guide you on how to manage stress, with daily short meditation sessions, and help you lull into a relaxed sleep. They also ask their users how much time they would like to spend on the app in order to suggest solutions accordingly.

What's Up? If you are the kind who likes setting targets and achieving them- then this app is for you. This app takes a more strategic approach with its four options, Help Right Now, Coping Strategies, Information, and Personal. As a user, you also get to personalize your approach toward anxiety. If journaling is of interest to you and you like writing things, this app gives you that option as well. If identifying your emotions and dealing with them is the toughest part - download this app today!


Colorfy Any art form can help you cope with anxiety - but painting and colouring especially can be very useful. One such app is Colorfywhich offers mandalas and paintings that you can colour for hours together. If you are already a mandala artist and have sample pieces, you have the option of posting them on to the app as well. The simple click-to-fill options help you colour the mandalas leaving no rooms for mistakes. This way you are distracted, your anxiety is at bay, and you can concentrate on positive things.

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Stop Panic & Anxiety Self-Help The best way to deal with your anxiety is by making a note of your challenges, emotional trigger points, or any sort of emotional rollercoaster that you experience. What gets even better is that there is audio content that you can listen to as well as empowering reading material for you to stay positive always. There is also an Emotional Training track that helps you streamline your thoughts and bring more calm to your mind.

Sleep Time Do you sleep for seven hours straight without disturbances? It is hard to tell- that's where this app comes into the picture. This app analyzes your sleep, has an alarm clock, a wakeup algorithm, and some soothing sounds to trickle in that positive vibe. How disturbed or good are your sleep cycles - or any unusual trends - this app will track all of that. All you need to do is place it on the bed for it to do the work.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF APPS FEATURED

Acupressure: Heal Yourself You probably are thinking if you can do this by yourself? Well, yes you can and that's why it is on our list. Acupressure is an old method to relieve pain by massaging pressure points. This app provides an illustrated guide on locating these pressure points and shows how the massage needs to be done. This process helps relieve anxiety, muscle tension, headache, and indigestion. All you need to do is a massage with your fingertips and it is safe to do it on yourself for maximum results.

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DARPAN FEATURE

Smoke Alarms

Save Lives CONTRIBUTED BY CITY OF SURREY

During a fire, smoke spreads quickly. Working smoke alarms provide an early warning and can be the difference between life and death. The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 54% lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.

T

he Surrey Fire Service would like to remind you to take the time to ensure your smoke alarm is working by pushing the test button. Over time these life saving devices can lose their effectiveness if not checked regularly to ensure it is working as designed. Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. During a fire, smoke spreads quickly. Working smoke alarms provide an early warning and can be the difference between life and death. A report issued in January 2019 by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), found that “the risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 54% lower in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes with no alarms or none that worked.”

The following are tips to keep your family safe: • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home. Especially outside of sleeping areas. • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound. • Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined. • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall.  Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 metres) from the stove. • Alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers are available for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

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nspired by art, culture and heritage, Hi-Class Jewellers has been in the fine-jewellery business for five generations. With roots that date back to the British Raj, the Nanda family’s story now continues in Canada, with the local shop serving customers for 35

years. Hi-Class Jewelers was founded by the late Mrignesh Nanda in 1985, and is currently run by his wife & son, Seema & Gulzar Nanda. The importance of design and quality, and a passion for noble metals, fine gems, and jewellery has been passed down from ancestor to ancestor, and across continents. The Nanda family honor their heritage by serving the community from their small boutique in Vancouver’s Punjabi Market. At the core of Gulzar’s philosophy is cultivating an essence of community and honoring the deep roots his parents have set with their leadership. Gulzar describes, “I have been working at my parents store since I was 9 or 10 years old; Over the last two decades I have seen many families purchase their daughter’s bridal trousseau, I have seen that bride purchase jewellery for their newborn baby, and I have seen that newborn grow into a young adult who wants jewellery to express their own identity.” Gulzar adds that, “this has enabled us to connect families through every occasion.” The business sees itself as being able to connect different generations through jewelry. Priding itself on its ancestry of unparalleled fervor and craftsmanship, Hi-Class Jewelers extends to you a promise across generations, creating timeless connections.

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DARPAN RECIPES

C

hef Kumar Mahadevan has become widely regarded as the Godfather of

Indian cuisine. Kumar Mahadevan got a taste for Indian cuisine from an early age, learning long-held family recipes in his mother’s kitchen as a child. Knowing instinctively that cooking was to be his career path, he embarked on his culinary education

CHICKEN

CHUKKA Ingredients

BY CHEF KUMAR MAHADEVAN

• 1.4 kg whole chicken, cut in 8 pcs

Chef Kumar’s

• 100 gms coconut • 2 medium chopped tomato

modern interpretation

• 6 cloves garlic

of Indian food – the

• 2 inch knob ginger • 2 sliced Spanish onions

light, delicate flavours

• 10 dried red chillies

and generous use of

at the age of 17 at India’s Institute of Hotel Management. From here, Chef Kumar went on to complete his apprenticeship at the Taj Intercontinental Hotel in Bombay, before moving to Australia in 1985 to work. He soon found himself in Australia heading up the kitchen at the highly regarded Mayur restaurant, where he cooked for the likes of Prince Phillip and Mick Jagger.

Preparation • Brown the coriander seeds lightly. • Grind one tablespoon of oil, browned coriander seeds, red chillies, rest of the spices in the ingredients list to a semi-coarse paste.

• 1 tbsp oil

fresh, aromatic spices

• 2 tbsp coriander seeds • ½ tbsp aniseed (saunf)

have become his

• Brown the sliced onions and chopped tomatoes. Add ginger and garlic.

• 1 tbsp cumin seeds

signature.

• 1 tbsp black pepper corns • 3 cardamom • 6 cloves

• Add ground paste and dry out the moisture. When mixture is semi-dry, add chicken and curry leaves and finish it.

• 3 cinnamon • 4 star anise • 4 bay leaf

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Courtesy of Chef Kumar Mahadevan


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DARPAN RECIPES

Appearing on Masterchef twice and with a book deal in the pipeline, it is no wonder that Chef Kumar Mahadevan has become widely regarded as the Godfather of Indian cuisine in Australia.

BY CHEF KUMAR MAHADEVAN

CRAB & COCONUT BROTH WITH

STRING HOPPERS Ingredients

then add fenugreek seeds, finely sliced one Spanish onion, slit green chilies and sauté in the pan with the oil till onions start to sweat.

• 200 gms blue swimmer crab meat • 2 tsp black mustard seeds • 1½ tsp fennel

• Add the teaspoon of turmeric, six curry leaves and peeled grated ginger. Blanche the tomato and remove skin. Deseed and roughly dice the tomato and add to the mixture.

• ½ tsp turmeric • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds • 2 medium Spanish onions • 1 medium sized tomato • ½ inch knob ginger

Now add coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes. Add the same quantity of water as the coconut milk (The broth should not be too thick and coconuty. The aim is to have a light broth to go with the crab). Finish off with salt to taste.

• 3 green chilies • 10 curry leaves • 330 ml coconut milk • 1 handful fresh grated coconut

Preparation

For the crab meat:

For the coconut broth:

• Heat some oil in a pan and add the black mustard seed to crackle in the hot oil. Wait till the seeds have popped and add ginger, fennel and two tablespoons of finely chopped onions.

• Heat some oil in a pan and add the black mustard seed to crackle in the hot oil. • Wait till the seeds have popped and

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• Add the cooked crab flakes and moisten the crab with two tablespoons of the coconut broth to keep the crab meat moist for a quick toss. Before removing, add the fresh coconut and curry leaves and serve hot on a bed of string hoppers. • Add the tamarind pulp, ground masala paste and 1 litre of water and cook for 20 minutes on slow heat • When the sauce has been cooked well, add the eggplant and cook well. Add the banana chillies 5 minutes before taking of the fire. They do not need to be cooked for too long.

For the string hoppers: • Equipment required: Iddiappam mould or a noodle/pasta-maker. • Keep the noodles as thin as possible. ie. finer than Angel Hair pasta, more like vermicelli. • Buy Iddiappam mix, available from Indian/ Sri Lankan Spice shops. Knead the mix with hot water till the dough is soft. • Make fist sized portions and put in the greased mould and squeeze three inch diameter mounds onto a steaming tray. Steam the mounds to cook and remove. Serve warm. This delicious recipe can also be served on a bed of steamed basmati rice or thin Chinese noodles instead of Sri Lankan string hoppers

Courtesy of Chef Kumar Mahadevan


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DARPAN Beauty

O

ne day for no reason I looked a little closer in the mirror. I was horrified by seeing not one or two, but many lines under my eyes and the starting stages of crow’s feet, I panicked. Not only were there fine lines but my eyes looked tired. Now, I’m probably more critical on myself as most women are and to some, my eye wrinkle issue is not even bad, but for me it got me thinking about future prevention and getting more proactive with my skincare regime.

Proactive

Skin Care BY VANITA CHANDRA

Get proactive with your skincare regime to ensure decades of beautiful skin!

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20’s ~ The Prevention Era

This is one of the best times for you skin, full of collagen support, dewy and radiant. The main complaint here would be combating acne. This is the time to really take care of your skin and prep your skin for future damage control, so make sure to apply an abundance of sunscreen. The skin around your eyes is very delicate, so be gentle when removing make-up or putting on eye creams. Lots of moisturizing and hydration is key to preserving your youthful appearance. No need for anti-wrinkle creams or microdermabrasions.

30’s ~ The Discovery Era Here we begin to notice fine lines around our eyes and mouth, skin begins to look duller and eyes tired. All the youthful laughter and late nights have slowly caught up. This is the time to exfoliate religiously! Start using a retinol (vitamin A in its purest form) at night and if your skin can handle it, try a moisturizer or cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid. Both glycolic and salicylic exfoliate the skin removing dead skin cells, which reduces fine lines and signs of premature aging by increasing cell turnover: meaning healthier cells are now visible on the skin’s surface.


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The affects of sun damage have finally made an appearance, showcasing lines and wrinkles on your forehead, around your eyes, lips and the starting stages of deeper laugh lines. The 40’s is also the peri-menopausal period, meaning that your estrogen levels start to decline and your skin starts becoming thinner and loses elasticity. The most important step here is hydrating. Besides the obvious of drinking eight glasses or more of water a day, a good moisturizer with hyaluronic acid is necessary. A good hydration mask will also help retain moisture in your skin, for maximum results use mask after exfoliation for a deeper penetration. Microdermabrasion is highly recommended.

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40’s ~ The Time is Here

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50’s ~ Embrace & Deal The most visible sign here is dryness (dehydrated skin). Cell turnover is slow, enlarged pores are evident, sagging skin becomes a drag and you're losing your tone. Sounds devastating, but it’s nothing that a few good products can’t help. Go for regular facial peels, exfoliate, hydrate and wear SPF, these are some of the most important steps to take during this age.


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Summer is here, everyone is happy and we’re jumping with glee! However, our skin might have another opinion. Skin changes from season to season, so ideally you’d want to change your makeup and skin regime as well. Heat and humidity can have a huge impact on how your makeup reacts to your skin.

Your best defences against the summer sun R

Dr. Slater’s red flag list: cinoxate, dioxybenzone, homosalate, menthyl anthranilate, methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octyl salicyclate, oxybenzone, para-aminobenzoic acid, parabens and phenylbenzimidazole

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Avoid being outdoors when the sun is at its peak

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Cover up with light clothing

Always have sunglasses. They protect your eyes from harmful UV rays that can cause cataract

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Before you pick a sunscreen, do an EWG

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Avoid spray sunscreens. They can be harmful if inhaled

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Invest in an antioxidant-rich diet to protect the skin on a continuous basis

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Don’t avoid the sun, it is your source for vitamin D

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Remember SPF (Sun Protection Factor) only measures UVB. Grab a broad spectrum sunscreen for protection against both UVA and UVB

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DARPAN FITNESS

Here are a few things you can do to make your efforts more effective.

Get Some Gear

Make the Most Out of Your

Home Workout

I

BY NICK HILDEN

n the era of social distancing, gyms have become—for all practical purposes—out of the question. As of this writing most gyms are closed, but even once they’ve opened, many will have quotas that will limit the number of customers allowed in at a time, and even if you can get into your gym, you might choose not to due to safety considerations. So home workouts it is—at least for the time being. And maybe you’ve been performing your exercise routine at home all along, and this isn’t much of a change. In any case, you want to get the most out

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of your at-home workout, so to that end, here are a few things you can do to make your efforts more effective.

Change Your Pace One of the easiest ways you can make your workout more effective is by either speeding things up or slowing things down. The benefits of moving faster are pretty obvious—you work your body harder and burn more calories. But slowing down can be helpful too. When you go through a motion, whether it’s a pushup, squat, or anything else, you increase

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The first and perhaps most obvious recommendation involves getting some exercise equipment. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank bringing home the whole gym. You really only need a few key pieces of gear. Weights of some sort are essential. A pair of dumbbells will do, but you should probably get two sets—one lighter and one heavier—which will expand your workout options. I’ve found that a great, cost-effective alternative is to simply fill a few different sized water bottles with sand.A few other pieces of equipment that can bolster your routine are resistance bands, a yoga mat, a jump rope, and an adjustable workout bench.

the time your muscles are under tension, thereby forcing them to work harder.

Always Go to Failure When you’re lifting in the gym, the mere act of increasing the amount of weight will progressively overload your muscles, which is essential to building strength. But when you’re performing bodyweight exercises, this becomes more challenging. The solution is to always perform every set until failure, which means you go until you literally can’t anymore. Between each set, be sure to give yourself at least 90 seconds of recovery time, then hit it again until failure. While you’ll likely perform less repetitions with each progressive set within a single workout, over time you’ll find that it takes you longer and longer to reach your failure point. That means you’re getting stronger.


HIIT It HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and studies have shown that it can be one of the most effective ways to burn calories. A HIIT cycle works like this: perform a motion as fast as you possibly can for a short burst of 10-30 seconds, rest for a brief amount of time, then give it your all again for 10-30 seconds. Repeat. This can mean performing a single activity like sprints, burpees, or squats in a series of short, fast sets, or you can go through what’s called a HIIT “circuit” that takes you through several exercises, for example: 20 squats followed by 20 pushups then 20 crunches, rest for 20 seconds, then repeat for 5-10 rounds. If you’re doing it right, HIIT should leave you absolutely exhausted.

Make a Dedicated Time and Space Perhaps the most challenging part of working out at home involves the fact that it’s so easy to become distracted. At the gym you’re there for one reason, so you get on with it. But at home you have kids, work, phone notifications, and a million other things that zap your focus. Set a time for your workout every day so that it becomes a routine. Inform your family that you’re not to be bothered during this time, and switch your phone to airplane mode so that you won’t get interrupted. It also helps to create a space that is specifically for your workout. Whether it’s a corner of your apartment or an entire room in your house, it’s the place where you know that the moment you enter it, you’re in your own little gym. All of this is to help provide you with a fitness mindset, and there are a number of other tricks and mental cues that can help to this end. I find that by changing into my workout clothes and by having the same water bottle I use at the gym on hand, I’m much more likely to view my at-home workout as an authentic fitness session. For you that might mean wearing the headphones you usually use at the gym, even though you have a stereo. Or maybe your training shoes, even though you’re indoors. You get the point. It’s all a matter of bringing the same mindset you normally take to the gym into your own home.

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DARPAN FEATURE

The Unexpected Health Benefits of Gardening

Gardening helps burn calories Gardening is considered a moderateintensity exercise and is a great way to stay fit and healthy while enjoying fresh air. It’s great for people of all ages and provides the opportunity for a full body workout while doing something fun. You can burn about 330 calories by gardening for one hour- more than walking at a moderate pace for the same amount of time.

PLANT POWER BY MEHAKPREET DHALIWAL

G

ood health is more than just the absence of illnesses or diseases; it’s about the presence of positive emotions, a sense of happiness, and quality of life. Nature has a huge impact on health and wellness. And the added bonus of visual appeal is just what makes gardening the perfect pastime. As an abundance of scientific research suggests, the benefits of gardening are more than just providing you with fresh produce and making your yard look nice. Caring for plants has many

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surprising health benefits as well. If you aren’t sure of where to get started, there are many gardening guides available online and in stores to help you build your dream garden. Enjoy everything that nature has to offer without leaving the comfort of your home. So whether you have a small patio planter, a backyard vegetable garden, or a plot in a community garden, embrace your green thumb and start gardening today!

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Provides Vitamin D Sunlight prompts your body to make Vitamin D, which helps reduce risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and various cancers. The vitamin also bolsters your immune system, results in healthy lungs, and increases calcium in your body. Expose your limbs to sunlight for about 10 minutes a day. If you plan on spending more than a few minutes, make sure to apply sunscreen in order to lower your risk of skin cancer.


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Gardening is considered a moderate-intensity exercise and is a great way to stay fit and healthy while enjoying fresh air. It’s great for people of all ages and provides the opportunity for a full body workout while doing something fun.

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Lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of heart disease 30 mins of moderate physical activity a day can prevent and control high blood pressure. Regular gardening also cuts stroke and heart attack risk by up to 30% and prolongs life expectancy. This comes from the combination of physical activity and stress reduction gardening provides.

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Hand strength and dexterity Hand strength, flexibility and coordination are important for everyday tasks. As we age, diminishing hand strength and dexterity can prove to be quite a problem for some people. Gardening keeps hand muscles vigorous and agile and helps rebuild strength and ability for stroke patients.

Exposure to fresh air Fresh air has countless proven benefits, such as strengthening your immune system, cleaning your lungs, improving blood pressure and heart rate, and helping digest food more effectively.

Stress Relief Gardening helps reduce cortisol levels in your body, the hormone produced by our bodies in times of stress. It has a big impact on our mental health, and is linked to depression and anxiety. Gardening also unleashes personal creativity- a proven stress buster- and allows you to practice mindfulness and concentration.

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DARPAN HOME

7 Ways To Create The Perfect Home Office That Will Make You Want To Work The Whole Day

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WORK FROM

HOME

Let There Be Light

The one thing that can hugely impact your productivity is the light at your workspace. Studies have shown that natural daylight can make you feel more energetic, upbeat and help keep lethargy at bay. What’s more, a well-lit up space also looks bigger, which is a big perk for a work area set up in a small house. So, try to ensure that you have enough daylight in your work zone. If that is not possible, light up your work area with ambient lighting.

BY SHWETA KULKARNI

A

designated workspace, so as to create an environment that facilitates productivity and helps to keep you away from distractions that are bound to happen at home. And while setting up a home office may sound like a gargantuan task, honestly, all it takes is a bit of planning and little effort to create a space that ensures maximum efficiency. Here are a few tips to create an optimum home office space that will keep you focussed, boost your productivity and make you want to work the whole day. Take a look…

Photos: iStock

s work from home becomes the new routine in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, here are some tips to keep in mind to create the perfect home office. Work from home (WFH) is the new norm, courtesy, the COVID-19 outbreak. With a majority of companies and employees finding the WFH option more effective, it is evident that this new flexible work trend is here to stay. Thus, emphasising on the need for a comfortable and dedicated workstation at home. A WFH arrangement undoubtedly calls for a

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A work desk by the window is perfect, however, if your house is close to the street, the traffic noise may be distracting, so take that into account before setting While it is tempting to plonk up your workstation. Try not to down on the couch or bed and work, it is definitely not a great blend your work zone into your home life, this distinction is the idea for your posture as well as key to having a perfect home productivity in the long run. office space. However, Hence you need to pick up an if you don’t have enough space ideal space in the house, where you can set up a work desk if you in the house to do so, get creative and try to use underused already don’t have one. Make certain you choose a quiet spot, spaces or use bookcases, room divider curtains to mark that which is away from the usually busy parts of the house like the distinction between work zone and home area. kitchen, TV and dining area.

Choose Your Ideal Spot


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DARPAN HOME

3

4

Bring In The Greens

Think Ergonomics

Having sorted the essentials of your home office like space, light, ergonomic and comfort, now it’s time to spruce up the space and make it lively. The best way to do this is by adding a dash of greens to your space. Having indoor plants in your home office space can not only brighten up the place but also give a boost to your productivity. Studies show that having plants around your work desk not only reduces your stress but also boosts efficient by 15 per cent. So, go ahead and choose some greens to liven up your space and spirit. Snake plant, spider plant, dracaena, pothos, ficus and Boston fern are some of the best indoor plants to keep.

Once you have zeroed down on the ideal spot, the next step is to choose the right furniture for your home office. You will be spending hours in front of your desk; hence you need to pick up the right desk and chair for your workstation. A comfortable workspace helps you stay focussed and improves your productivity. So, invest in a good ergonomically designed chair that gives ample support to your back and neck. Consider opting for a height-adjustable desk so that you can sit as well as stand and work. Sitting all day can be damaging for the body hence sit and stand desks are ideal in a home office set up. If you have space constraints, you can opt for floating desks or wall mounted desks. There are plenty of economical options available in the market, figure out what works for you the best.

Having indoor plants in your home office space can not only brighten up the place but also give a boost to your productivity. Studies show that having plants around your work desk not only reduces your stress but also boosts efficient by 15 per cent.

5

Colour Matters

It’s a proven fact that colours have a psychological impact on people. The colour surrounding you can affect your mood and thereby your productivity as well. Hence you must pick the right hue for your home office space. Most interior designers swear by the colour green as it is said to have a calming effect on the mind and relieves stress. If green isn’t your colour, you can also opt for other natural tones like blue or offwhite, or best choose a colour that makes you happy.

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6

Add Some Personality

At the end of the day, a home office is still your space and it should be a reflection of your personality. Add a personal touch to your workstation by decorating it with personal items, artwork, and picture frames, it will not only add a cheerful vibe to your workspace but also improve your efficiency at work.

7

Invest In HighSpeed Internet

A good high-speed internet connection is of the utmost importance when you are setting up a home office. A slow or bad internet connection can not only hamper your productivity but also disrupt your focus. Hence make sure you have a good internet service provider to ensure that you get your work done effortlessly.


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MADE IN INDIA (604) 501-2577 | 8312 128 St, Surrey, BC

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MADE IN INDIA (604) 501-2577 | 8312 128 St, Surrey, BC

PHOTOS: A MASTER MEDIA Models : Jyoti johal (R) & Simi ghatora (L) MAKEUP & HAIR: Make up by Fateh

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MADE IN INDIA (604) 501-2577 | 8312 128 St, Surrey, BC

PHOTOS: A MASTER MEDIA Models : Jyoti johal & Simi ghatora

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MAKEUP & HAIR: Make up by Fateh


MADE IN INDIA (604) 501-2577 | 8312 128 St, Surrey, BC

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165-12899 80th ave Surrey BC

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The Fashion ĘťUndercurrentĘź Celebrating the 15 th

year milestone of the brand, merging indigenous Indian construction and embellishing techniques with his idea of the future, Gaurav Gupta emerges as a leading beacon of dramatic, cultural shift in the way the modern Indian bride and groom wear couture.

Gaurav

Gupta

TM JULY | AUGUST 2020 82 Photos: courtesy of Gaurav Gupta Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle DARPAN


FASHION SPOTLIGHT

G

aurav Gupta's Undercurrent collection adds a renewed, avantgarde lens, defining sculpting as a science of new couture. The designer has created exaggerated waves and theatrical drapes in his garments bringing a paradigm shift in the way we view couture. For the global bride, Gaurav imagined a charismatic, graceful yet playful and welltravelled intellectual who wants to have fun— waltzing in the prismatic corridors of the Hall of Mirrors in multi-layered and cascading bustles along with feathers and corsets, looking like an ethereal goddess. The gravity-defying-pattern is engineered with anatomical placement of glass embroidery – instilling a feeling of movement and depth of layers, fantasy and dimension. The outfits are perfectly moulded to flatter and fit the body well in degrade shades of violet, lava red. The collection also boasts of bold ivory whites and ecru which the modern bride embraces. For this couture outing, Gaurav adds a dramatic flamboyance to his menswear – the GG man couture is gatsbyesque. The GG Groom in all his dapperness, is a true embodiment of a Centaur. The designer showcased futuristic, embellished tuxedos and classic, embroidered bandhgalas and sherwanis in aureate jacquards, smooth velvets and brilliant suiting carefully handcrafted to make a confident statement. The colour are kept classic in monochromatic blacks, whites, ivory and midnight blues.

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FASHION SPOTLIGHT

Gaurav Gupta Occasions Fine Jewellery's Special Liberation necklace, designed in the shape of wings interwoven together, stylized to project the movement of a bird gracefully taking flight. Epitomising his vision of the global bride, was influencer and founder of Post for Change, Diipa Khosla, who was seen in an unending ethereal lehenga layered in ombre hues of champagne. Handcrafted with 150 meters of organza and finely embroidered with pearls, this poufy skirt is Gaurav’s idea of the updated statement lehenga, paired with a body sculpted off shoulder blouse. The perfect accent for this was a special Liberation necklace, designed in the shape of wings interwoven together, stylized to project the movement of a bird gracefully taking flight. Each piece of this necklace was set under a microscope, a delicate combination of rose cut and full cut diamonds- 8000 pieces in all, created over 8 months. The highlight of this Gaurav Gupta Occasions Fine Jewellery construction is that every feather is scooped from the backside to keep the necklace light on the wearer.

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FASHION SPOTLIGHT

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FASHION SPOTLIGHT

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DARPAN Weddings

Photography: Zaheer Molu

Wedding Photos by A Master Media.

PAVANJIT & J AIME Q: How did you meet? Pavan: We met each other during the orientation for our accounting diploma at BCIT. We were lucky enough to have been put into the same class. That is when Jaime took the opportunity to introduce himself by taping me on my shoulder. This was the beginning of our story.

Q: What do you love most about one another? Pavan: Jaime always makes the best out of the worst situation. Whenever I am around him he always puts a smile on my

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face. If I am having a bad day, he always seems to find a way to make me laugh or make me feel better. He’s always joking around and lives life to the fullest. Jaime: Pavan has such a loving and caring nature. She is a very kind-hearted individual with a beautiful smile and laugh. We both have a passion for travelling and I truly love how she always includes my interests and makes our travelling experiences memorable.

Q: Could you share your proposal story? Pavan: My sister called and

To my surprise, it wasn’t a party but instead, he proposed. Jaime had hired videographers and photographers to capture this moment. It was extremely romantic as he had set up candles and flowers with a beautiful dinner.” invited me to a friend’s surprise engagement party. I was told that they were hoping to introduce friends and family. The day of the event, I did not want to go because there had been a huge snowstorm but Jaime convinced me to head over. To my surprise, it wasn’t a party but instead, he proposed. Jaime had hired videographers and photographers to capture this moment. It was extremely romantic as he had set up candles and flowers with a beautiful dinner.

Q: Describe your wedding day. What was your favourite moment? Pavan: My favourite moment was when I was in the bride’s room and got a glimpse of Jaime before the wedding. We had to Zoom meeting our wedding due to COVID-19 and my friends were showing me the milni live and I got to see Jaime for the first time on our wedding day. Jaime: My favourite moment was after the last laavan when Pavan


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DARPAN Weddings sat next to me and we looked at each other and smiled because we realized we were officially married.

Q: Could you tell us about your reception? Sadly, due to COVID-19, we had to reschedule but we are hoping to have our reception in 2021 for our one year anniversary. We did have a small gathering of friends and family at a local park the next day to celebrate our union!

Q: Can you describe your outfits? Jamie: Due to COVID-19, our outfits were not able to come in time from India. However, we went to Sarpal Cotton Plus in Vancouver and bought material, and got our outfits made. We went for a classic traditional vibe for our wedding day. Pavan even wore some of her mother’s jewellery from her own wedding day. We ended up loving them and would not have changed anything!

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We had to Zoom meeting our wedding due to COVID-19 and my friends were showing me the milni live and I got to see Jaime for the first time on our wedding day.” Q: Where did you honeymoon? We have not taken our honeymoon yet, but plan on either going on an African Safari Tour or Greece for a romantic getaway. We share a love for travelling; therefore, we hope 2021 is our year for adventures as a married couple.

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Q: What are your goals as a couple? Our main goal is to always be there for each other through all of the ups and downs in life. To live life to the fullest and make each other happy is something we strive to do every day. We also want to travel the world and complete the bucket list of places we’ve always dreamed of going.

Q: What are the strengths of your marriage? Since we went to school together, we know what each other’s priorities are. Through the years, we have learned what is at the core of the other individual’s happiness. We have learned sometimes we need our own space and this helps keep our bond strong. We both are aware of each other’s strengths

and weaknesses and try to uplift each other the best we can. We believe we balance each other out very well.

Q: If you could provide any advice to other married couples, what would it be? Try not to sweat the little stuff. Arguments are a part of life; it is how you get through those arguments with respect and love that is the most important. Also, we believe to keep things interesting and fun, it is important to try new activities as often as possible. May that be weekly or monthly, it is important to try to share the other person’s interests to help strengthen your bond. This could be anything from cooking dates, paint nights or even trying a new restaurant.


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DARPAN TRAVEL

Covid-19 Effect on Your Future

Travel Plans BY SHWETA KULKARNI

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely thrown the travel and tourism ecosystem out of gear, and its impact shall be felt on our future travel plans as well.

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here’s nothing more exciting than exploring a new place. Be it a new country, a new city, or just a new destination near your town – travelling, without a doubt, is fodder for the soul. Many great philosophers, spiritual teachers, health practitioners strongly recommend travelling and going to a place you have never been before at least once a year. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has killed all the wanderlust enthusiasm in 2020. With stringent stay-at-home orders, countries

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sealing borders, drop in the number of operational flights, train and buses put on a standstill, cruise ships firmly anchored at the docks, and all major tourist destinations shut — we have been forced to abandon the travel bug within us. While no one can anticipate when the wrath of this virus shall recede, travel enthusiasts can be certain of one fact — when the world finally adapts to the ‘new normalcy’ of moving forward with a mask, gloves, sanitizers, social distancing etc., there shall also be a dramatic shift in our future travel plans. Here’s how the coronavirus pandemic will impact our holiday plans in future once it finally recedes…

Mandatory COVID/ Health Tests Moving forward, travel enthusiasts will have to comply with certain rules and regulations imposed by the destination country or state. Few countries and states have already opened their doors for tourists but have stern policies that a traveller needs to adhere to. While countries will demand a mandatory COVID-19 test, some tourists shall be tested upon arrival and will have to bear the cost of the test along with the compulsory 24-hours quarantine until the test results arrive.

Travel Insurance Will Become A Priority Travellers often shun the idea of travel insurance. However, in the wake of COVID-19, many had to cancel all their travel plans and face severe financial implications as they received little or no refund at all from hotel bookings and flight tickets. Moving forward, travel insurance will be the first to be ticked off from holiday plans.


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DARPAN TRAVEL

Limiting the number of seats in order to maintain

Precautionary Safety Measures Will Be A Decree

social distancing in the flight

The post-COVID world will be all about health and hygiene. While tourists will want to choose only hygienic places to stay during their vacation period, they will also have to adhere to safety protocols to remain safe and enjoy their holiday without the fear of catching any infection.

passengers — resulting in no

means lesser number of profits for the airlines. Many are speculating a spike in the airfare, so be prepared to shell out more bucks than

To ensure your well-being and evade contracting the COVID-19 virus, below are a few preventive measures to take into considerations…

ever for your next trip to your

 Don’t ever compromise on hygiene and ensure to carry your sanitizer, sanitizing wipes everywhere.

Air Tickets Will Be More Expensive

 When you are in the plane, bus, train, or sight-seeing, or anywhere outdoor where there are people other than you, cover your mouth and nose with a good quality mask.

Most airlines have been functional in a limited capacity throughout this pandemic and have started following a new set of health and hygiene practices, which undoubtedly shall be followed in future too, at least for some time. As per the government mandates most airlines have been taking extra precautions and deepcleaning the aircraft with disinfectants at the turnaround of every single flight, the staff has been wearing PPEs such as hand gloves and face masks, and the aircraft is equipped with surgical masks, gloves, sanitising wipes and contact-less infrared thermometers, which all add an additional expense to the airlines. Furthermore, the airlines have been taking all the necessary measures like limiting the number of seats in order to maintain social distancing in the flight, which means lesser number of passengers — resulting in no profits for the airlines. Hence, many are speculating a spike in the airfare, so be prepared to shell out more bucks than ever for your next trip to your favourite destination.

 Maintain a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) between you and others as much as possible.

Luxury Stays Will Get Cheaper

 Be alert and cautious throughout your travel period and don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes.

While you may end up paying more for your flight tickets, the good news is — luxury stays, which otherwise may have cost a bomb would be more affordable than before. Reason being, even though the travel industry might get back in action, the business is bound to be slow as given the economic crisis not many will be able to afford a holiday after the pandemic recedes. Hence experts believe that the luxury hotels will have no choice but to cut down their tariffs to sustain. In fact, many popular hotel chains have already started advertising big discounts and offers, which can be utilized up till next year.

 Avoid planning trips to crowded places.  Instead of international holidays opt for destinations closer home. Test yourself before your trip. Put your devices and documents in polythene bags while passing through security checks or ensure to clean them with sanitizing wipes once the security check is done. Check the COVID status of the place you are planning to visit.

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Photos: iStock

favourite destination.


Conscious Change In Itineraries Social distancing being the new normal, one will have to bring a conscious shift in the way we used to travel, especially for our own well-being. Slow travel will be the new mantra, and instead of ticking off everything off the list, the focus primarily will be more on keeping the travel itinerary limited.

A Change In Travel Policies The world will never be the same after this catastrophic pandemic comes to an end and there will be a drastic change in all the post-COVID travel movements. While many destinations shall impose strict travel policies, many might even limit the number of visiting tourists. With social distancing becoming the new norm, many popular tourist destinations may introduce several measures to control tourist footfalls to avoid over-crowding.

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DARPAN AutoREVIEW

2021

2020

CADILLAC XT6

GOING WHERE NO SUV HAS GONE BEFORE

C

HIGHLIGHTS

adillac is “XT-ing” its entire SUV line-up, save for the flagship Escalade, and the newest member to don the badge is the mid-size XT6. Boasting the brand’s latest design language, three rows of seating and upscale interior appointments, everything looks great on paper. Lets see if it stacks up in real life. “The first-ever Cadillac XT6 delivers a compelling blend of spaciousness, safety and convenience features for

Motor: 5.6-litre V8 Horsepower: 400 @ 5,800 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 413 @ 4,000 rpm Gearbox: nine-speed automatic Layout: front engine, four-wheel drive Fuel economy: 20.0 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

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“The first-ever Cadillac XT6 delivers a compelling blend of spaciousness, safety and convenience features for customers who thrive on doing it all,” says company president Steve Carlisle.

customers who thrive on doing it all,” says company president Steve Carlisle. “It joins the all-new XT4, which has soared to the top spot in its segment in the US, our global best-selling XT5 and the iconic Escalade to accelerate the brand’s global growth, with a spirit that is uniquely Cadillac.” The vehicle looks fantastic wearing standard slim bi-LED headlamps, vertical LED signature daytime running lights, streamlined grille and big 20-inch wheels. Two specs are sold: Premium Luxury


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The cabin is comfortable and plush featuring heated leather seating (ventilated as well for the front) and steering wheel, aluminum paddle shifters, leather dash and console coverings and on our Sport model, a generous amount of genuine bronze carbon fibre accenting. 100

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is for the buyer who prefers a classier experience, and Sport offers a more performanceoriented appearance. The former is highlighted by a Bright Galvano finish on the 3-D grille, side window trim and roof rails, and red taillight housings, while the latter — which Darpan tested — has a blacked out mesh grille and lower air intake, clear tails and optional 21-inch wheels. As mentioned earlier, the cabin is comfortable and plush featuring heated leather seating (ventilated as well for the front) and steering wheel, aluminum paddle shifters, leather dash and console coverings and on our Sport model, a generous amount of genuine bronze carbon fibre accenting.

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Third row ingress and egress is made easy via an electric sliding second row. The liftgate is powered too, although is curiously missing a customary combination close and lock button. I wasn’t able to locate a remote release switch anywhere inside the crossover, either. Audiophiles will appreciate

PHOTOS: CADILLAC PRESSROOM

DARPAN AutoREVIEW

All-wheel drive is equipped on both variants, however the Sport utilizes a Sport Control active twinclutch system with active yaw control yielding sharper handling.

the bangin’ Bose Performance Series 14-speaker stereo delivering clean sound and punchy mids and bass. Occupants are also treated to an odour-free olfactory experience when the available Comfort and Air Quality package is installed adding an in-vehicle ionizer. Connectivity is no problem here. There’s a total of six USB ports, NFC one-touch smartphone pairing, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (requires subscription), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and high-speed wireless charging. All XT6’s are powered by a 3.6-litre V6 engine mated to an efficient nine-speed automatic transmission. Producing 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque there’s plenty of power on tap — I even managed to create some unintentional tire squeal after pushing the accelerator when the traffic light turned green. Built-in active fuel management allows two cylinders to deactivate under light loads for better fuel economy. All-wheel drive is equipped on both variants, however the Sport utilizes a Sport Control active twin-clutch system with active yaw control yielding sharper handling. In addition, Sports have adaptive damping capability constantly adjusting to current road conditions and a faster steering ratio contributing to more driver feedback and greater overall responsiveness. After sufficiently tossing the SUV around for a week I can attest to the above claim.


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A UNIQUE BREED

DARPAN AutoREVIEW

2020

NISSAN TITAN BY BENJAMIN YONG

Taking care of the refreshed styling was the Nissan Design America team based in La Jolla, CA. The Californiainfluence is evident with the truck looking ready to tackle pavement, sand dunes or anything in-

J

apanese pickups as we know them here in Canada are a unique breed —often designed and built in North America like the Nissan Titan. Originally released in 2003, the vehicle is still only in its second generation and received a significant refresh this year. Here’s what you need to know. Taking care of the refreshed styling was the Nissan Design America team based in La Jolla, CA. The California-influence is

evident with the truck — available in crew cab (5.5-foot bed) or king cab (6.5-foot bed) formats — looking ready to tackle pavement, sand dunes or anything inbetween. The appearance of the aggressive front fascia is dubbed the “Warrior Mask,” most evident on the rugged PRO-4X grade we tested. Highlighted by a massive black interlocking mesh grille that surrounds a brand-first Lava Red Nissan emblem, the badge

HIGHLIGHTS MSRP: $64,498 Motor: 5.6-litre V8 Horsepower: 400 @ 5,800 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 413 @ 4,000 rpm Gearbox: nine-speed automatic Layout: front engine, four-wheel drive

between.

Fuel economy: 20.0 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

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PRO-4X ups the

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equipment ante further bundling an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar control, embroidered upholstery,

PHOTOS: NISSAN PRESSROOM

contrast-stitched leather steering wheel, dualzone climate control and much more.

matches the colour of the tow hooks below. Headlights on either side are full LED (standard on all except base), featuring less glare, signature 800-lumen daytime running lights, automatic high beams and low beams providing an output 120 per cent

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greater than before. Optional LED foglights also add an extra 15 degrees of visibility left and right. On the topic of lighting, the taillamps are LED as well and there’s even LEDs thrown into the bed for good measure greatly aiding nighttime loading

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and unloading of cargo. Other PRO-4X goodies include 18x8inch aluminum wheels with dark accents, semi-gloss black fender arches and bumper trim, sprayon bedliner and exclusive logo placement and decals. The interior is equally as cool. Owning a Nissan product myself, and having driven an extensive amount of the company portfolio over the years, I know how good the infotainment is. Occupants are treated to an eight-inch touchscreen display that, huzzah, works (accurately!) even while wearing gloves. And thankfully not everything is manipulated by touch as there are still a healthy amount of hard buttons present. The NissanConnect service gives access to a live 24hour concierge able to make a restaurant reservation or arrange emergency response. Like other current models, Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are outfitted all around providing optimal support for the shape of the human spine and encouraging proper posture. PRO-4X ups the equipment ante further bundling an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar control, embroidered

upholstery, contrast-stitched leather steering wheel, dualzone climate control and much more. Especially handy on a hot day is an electric sliding rear window. Of course, one wouldn’t expect an off-road edition vehicle to only contain aesthetic upgrades. Cue the 275/65/ R18 BSW all-terrain tires, heavy duty Bilstein shock absorbers, electronic rear differential and hill descent control. When actually going off the paved path, a neat gauge shows handy relevant info such as tire and pitch and roll angles. Under the hood of all Titans is 5.6-litre Endurance V8 paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Raw is the only adjective coming to mind in describing the sound and acceleration of the beefy 400-horsepower engine, which was an absolute hoot to drive especially after piloting a comparatively quiet diesel GMC Sierra 1500 the week prior. And much to my surprise and delight, the 2,600-pluskilogram pickup didn’t handle all that shabby either thanks to four-wheel drive, a rigid chassis and double-wishbone/leaf spring suspension keeping everything tight through the bends.


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2020

60 YEARS EDITION

MINI COOPER S BY BENJAMIN YONG

MINI Cooper’s history however is one that really needs no elaboration nor embellishment being the forefather of the modern day hot hatch -- and BMW Group is celebrating the achievement with the release of the MINI 60 Years Edition.

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here’s no shortage of auto manufacturers touting the fine breeding behind some of their well-known models. MINI Cooper’s history however is one that really needs no elaboration nor embellishment being the forefather of the modern day hot hatch -- and BMW Group is celebrating the achievement with the release of the MINI 60 Years Edition. Available in both the 3 and 5 Door variants, I happily got behind the wheel of the latter for a week of evaluation. Even upon approach from the far side

of the parking lot this Cooper S looked stunning. Sprayed in a gorgeous British Racing Green that changes depending on the lighting (alternate colours include Midnight Black metallic, Moonwalk Grey metallic, Melting Silver metallic and Lapisluxury Blue non-metallic), additional details revealed themselves the closer I got. Taking centre stage is a pair of black anniversary racing stripes running up the hood in a V shape, complemented by a “60 Years” logo above the fender repeaters, and an

HIGHLIGHTS MSRP: $35,690 Motor: 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder Horsepower: 189 @ 5,000 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 413 @ 1,350 rpm Gearbox: eight-speed automatic Layout: front engine, front-wheel drive Fuel economy: 9.9 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

illuminated version shining down on the ground when the doors are opened causing the puddle lights activate. In classic MINI fashion, the mirror caps and roof feature contrasting paint, here either finished in Pepper White or Black. Special two-tone six-spoke striped 17-inch wheels cap off the exterior package. Pop inside and find plenty

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Taking centre stage is a pair of black anniversary racing stripes running up the hood in a V shape, complemented by a “60 Years” logo above the fender repeaters, and an illuminated version shining down on the ground when the doors are opened causing the puddle lights activate.

of extra reminders of the sporty car’s milestone. The unique logo also appears on the door sill plates, headrests and steering wheel. Sport seats hold occupants snuggly in place, covered in Dark Maroon leather with green stitching. Other equipment on the special grade is generous, for example full LEDs front to back including the striking taillamp housings that display a Union Jack design when lit up; ambient cabin lighting, automatic climate control, rain sensing wipers and more. The internals are the same as all current third-generation MINI Coopers, last updated in 2018. The S trim I drove packs a punchy 2.0-litre

PHOTOS: BMW GROUP PRESS ROOM

TwinPower Turbo four cylinder mill producing 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. As go-kart-like as ever, the hatch is just a hoot to wind out and attack the corners with. Pro tip: slap the eight speed automatic transmission lever over to the left to activate sport mode, to hold gears longer and hear the audible range of the engine as

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you increase the revs. Contributing to its agility is a short wheelbase and stiff chassis sitting on a front strut/multilink rear suspension system, virtually eliminating body roll no matter the bendiness of the road or the enthusiasm of the right foot. When the situation calls for a more civilized, economical style of motoring, simply toggle the driving back down to Mid or Green to dial performance back a few notches. Honestly I can’t think of many cons to mention. The obvious would be to point out the cramped legroom for the poor souls sitting in the second row, or the limited 211 litres of cargo space behind. But hey, that’s what the 5 Door is for.


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PHOTOS: MAZDA MEDIA GALLERY

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2020

THE BEST BUY IN TERMS OF FUN TO COST RATIO

MAZDA MX5 BY BENJAMIN YONG

So how did Mazda perform such wizardry? Think smaller and lighter pistons, optimized valves and fuel injectors, dualmass flywheel, fresh exhaust system and a higher transmission final drive ratio.

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t’s hard to believe four years have already passed since the fourth-generation Canadian release of everyone’s favourite affordable roadster, the “ND” (chassis code) Mazda MX-5. The car remains the best buy in terms of fun to cost ratio, and is even more of a value now that the model also known as the Miata is a little Zoom Zoom-ier. Last year, engineers massaged the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre engine to produce 17-per-cent extra horsepower,

now rated at 181. Throw a few extra torques with a richer curve and you have one hell of a driver’s machine. All for virtually no difference in comparable cost, as the company has abolished the GX as the base trim leaving the better equipped GS in its place. So how did Mazda perform such wizardry? Think smaller and lighter pistons, optimized valves and fuel injectors, dual-mass flywheel, fresh exhaust system and a higher transmission final drive ratio. Sure, 26 additional horses may

HIGHLIGHTS MSRP: $35,070 Motor: 2.0-litre four cylinder Horsepower: 181 @ 7,000 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 151 @ 4,000 rpm Gearbox: six-speed manual Layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive Fuel economy: 8.1 L/100 km mixed city/highway (manufacturer estimate)

not sound like much by today’s standards, but consider that the current MX-5 is already so nimble and well balanced to begin with. Remember too, amazingly, the ND manages to be 35 millimetres shorter than the original 1989 NA offering and yet weighing only approximately 60 kilograms more. To be fair, under normal dayto-day use — read: following the speed limit — the changes will be unnoticeable. Find a nice stretch of

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empty backcountry road or section of race track, and when you near redline territory, which has a new maximum of 7,500 vs. 6,800 previously, the performance bump becomes evident. Most of the refresh occurs underneath the bodywork, however there’s a few enhancements elsewhere as well. The doors open easier, and the door stops, cup holders, seat levers and steering wheel have redesigned, including the telescoping mechanism on the steering wheel to give 42 millimetres of travel. And for a premium, customers can opt for a brown canvas top and black metallic 16 or 17 inch alloy wheels. Otherwise, the in-car experience remains pretty much the same. Settling into the seat is still like sitting a fighter jet cockpit, the bolsters molding around you and the controls mounted at the perfect distance so that manipulating them becomes effortless. The steering wheel, manual transmission and pedals all felt like an extension of my body while I was on the road. Jinba Ittai (Japanese for horse and rider as one) indeed. Of course, creating the ideal ergonomic passenger compartment does have caveats — for instance storage space is very limited, restricted to a couple of shallow console storage spaces. At least there are dual cup holders. The MX-5 is quite dignified in the noise department when compared to other two seater rear-wheel drive offerings, even with the revised exhaust setup, but a nice little purr is emitted to remind you of the fun times to come when you press the engine start button. It sounds equally pleasing when you push the motor to the increased rpm range. As good as the new Miata is, perhaps nothing is more impressive than the stellar fuel efficiency of the SKYACTIV mill, rated at 8.1 L/100 km in combined city and highway conditions.

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EMERGENCE OF OTT PLATFORMS HAS CHANGED BOLLYWOOD FOREVER Mirzapur 2

Amazon Prime Video

WEB DIARY BY SHWETA KULKARNI

From thrillers to musicals to political dramas — premium digital platforms are gearing up to stream several original Indian series in the second quarter of 2020, which are sure to get you hooked. hile the emergence of OTT platforms has brought about a seismic change in the way Indian content is produced and consumed, it has only proved to be a boon for entertainment lovers, especially in the wake of this COVID-19 pandemic. The amazing line-up of Indian original shows and movies in the digital space has come across as a saving grace during the government-necessitated lockdown. And the good news is, there is still a lot more in store. So, if you think you have binged watch everything that your favourite streaming platforms have to offer during this quarantine period, worry not. From thrillers to musicals to political dramas — premium digital platforms are gearing up to stream several original Indian series in the second quarter of 2020, which are sure to get you hooked. Here’s a list of shows that you definitely shouldn’t miss out.

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Mai

Netflix

The Family Man 2 Amazon Prime Video

Season two of Manoj Bajpai’s The Family Man is yet another hotly-anticipated second instalment of 2020. The first season with its engaging plot and talented actors had received an overwhelming response from the audience and the second dose of this thriller is now eagerly awaited. The Family Man follows the life of middle-class man, played by Manoj Bajpayee, secretly working for the National Investigation Agency. The show will be helmed by the director duo Raj and DK. Commenting about the show, Raj Nidimoru said, “The design of the show is such that it is close to reality we have picked up from real-life incidents but have made a fictitious story that goes with the series.” What’s more, the series also marks the web debut of the talented south star Samantha Akkineni. Now this one has more than one reason to be binge-watched once it hits the screen.

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After producing the gripping thriller Paatal Lok and the enchanting horror flick Bulbbul on OTT platform, actress Anushka Sharma’s production house – Clean Slate Films, is all set with another powerful Indian original — Mai. Helmed by Atul Mongia, Mai is a social thriller that revolves around a 47-year-old wife-and-mother, Sheel, who finds herself accidentally sucked into a rabbit hole of violence and power, following a personal tragedy. Speaking about the exciting new series, which shall soon be streaming on Netflix, Anushka said, “This is my second collaboration with Netflix after Bulbbul, and we are again looking to disrupt the kind of content audiences are consuming. We at Clean Slate Films have been dedicated to making clutter-breaking, powerful stories since our first production and we are looking forward to pushing the content envelope.” Reasons enough to look forward to this one, right! Photos: AMAZON PRIME, NETFLIX

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Ever since Kaleen Bhaiya aka Pankaj Tripathi gave us a glimpse of Mirzapur 2 through his social media post, the excitement for the second season of this gangster drama series is on another level. The gritty first season starring a bunch of talented actors like Pankaj Tripathi, Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Rasika Dugal, Divyendu Sharma among others, was hugely appreciated by the audience and the critics alike. Revolving around drugs, guns and lawlessness, Mirzapur paints the picture of mafia and crime world dominating the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh. Season one had ended on an interesting cliff-hanger thus making Mirzapur 2 one of the most-awaited series of 2020.


Bandish Bandits Amazon Prime Video

There is quite a buzz around the upcoming series Bandish Bandits, and understandably so. After all, the series, which shall soon be streaming on Amazon Prime Video, not only boasts of a stellar cast but is also India’s first original musical series. Directed by Anand Tiwari and written by Amritpal Singh Bindra, the romantic musical drama stars Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Ritwik Bhowmik, Shreya Singh Chaudhry among others, and will have music by Shankar-EhsaanLoy. Commenting about this unique series, show creator Bindra disclosed in a press note, “The show is a millennial love story set against the backdrop of a clash between pop and Hindustani classical music.” While thrillers and crime dramas are primarily dominating the Indian web space, Bandish Bandits definitely sounds like a breath of fresh air.

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u

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CATERING

CHEF BALRAM BALLI

Bombay Begums Netflix

Feisty filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastav, who gave us the critically acclaimed black comedy — Lipstick Under My Burkha and the drama series — Made In Heaven, is now heading back to the OTT space with another compelling story to tell — Bombay Begums. The soonto-be-released series shall follow the lives of five women, from different generations, in contemporary urban India. The series also boasts of an impressive power-packed cast that includes Pooja Bhatt, Shahana Goswami, Amruta Subhash, Ivanka Das, Manish Choudhary, Plabita Borthakur, and Rituraj Singh. A female-driven story like this definitely can’t be missed, what say?

SWEETS & RESTAURANT

Dilli (Tentative title) Amazon Prime Video

Dubbed as India’s answer to House of Cards, this political thriller is among the most awaited series of 2020. Starring powerhouses of talents like Saif Ali Khan and Dimple Kapadia, this Ali Abbas Zafar-helmed political drama has already piqued the curiosity of the audience across the globe with its first look glimpses. While not much is yet disclosed about the plot, Amyra Dastur, who plays a Kashmiri girl in the series revealed, “It’s all about politics where each of us has important roles to play. Right now, with whatever is happening around us, everyone’s eyes are on this and the games that get played in the political world. My knowledge about politics has widened because of the show. I loved the story because people are not going to just remember your characters but the show in totality.” Can’t wait for this one either.

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CANADIAN SHARE THEIR IMMIGRANTS STORIES

Meet the

Arora Family BY PETRINA D'SOUZA Harman Arora is a Real Estate Professional at Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd. Simran Kaur Arora is a Senior Advisor at Khalsa Credit Union Bank Amayra Arora is 17 months old

Photos submitted by Arora family

H

arman Arora moved to Canada with his wife Simran Kaur in 2017 to live with family. Harman’s brother was settled in British Columbia already, so the couple decided to migrate to be closer to their family. Talking about their first impressions of the country, Harman says that Canada is a “land of opportunity where everyone is treated equally, a land which welcomes immigrants, students and workers from all over the world, and where you don’t feel like you are in a foreign nation. On this I am addressing our Punjabi community which holds such a strong influence and makes you feel really proud of being part of the community.” On settling in Canada, Harman and Simran faced a few challenges that many immigrants face. One of them was finding a suitable job. “We would not say it was

troublesome but it wasn’t easy either,” states Harman. The first month they kept applying for all the jobs, they took their time and were open to all opportunities. “We compared our situation and thought that things were pretty smooth back in India as we never worked for someone else but helped our families in their business. Basically the difficulty was to get an answer from our inner soul on what we actually want to do,” shares Harman. Eventually Harman decided to become an entrepreneur and purchased a food retail franchise business, whereas Simran stepped into the banking industry as she has previous experience in finance and accounting helping her father in his money-lending business back in India. Harman also

got into the real estate sector. Another challenge, Harman jokingly says, was getting a driver’s license. “We appeared twice before we were issued the licence. You feel like you are disabled when you cannot drive your own vehicle that is parked in your garage.” One thing that the couple love about Canada is the “country’s belief in multiculturalism where all citizens have the freedom to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage which the government and Canadian society welcomes with respect. Also, BC’s outdoor activities like camping, parks and lakes.” They don’t really dislike it but Harman and Simran feel that the long winter season and the lack of good year-round weather makes life little slower and less exciting. “But no complains, I guess cold winters are what makes this land Canada and it is essential to Canadian identity,” adds Harman. The family believes their future is safe in Canada. “That’s the term that comes to mind when you are living in such a healthy environment with your family. You know you can breathe clean and unpolluted air, you are buying unadulterated food, your medical is covered, your child’s education is good, and you have great government retirement plans (for elders).

Celebrating 14 Years of Publishing Excellence

And not to forget, you are in a country where the sky is not the limit, all you need is great ideas and the growth is unlimited,” the couple says. Overall, Harman and Simran say their journey has been wonderful. “In these three years, there was so much to learn. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride initially where we had no idea what we are going to do as it was a fresh start but thankfully by God’s grace and with full support of our family, things went pretty well and we are very happy to be here,” says Simran in conclusion.

RESOLUTIONS MADE FOR YOURSELF OR FAMILY: I would not call this as a resolution but a commitment rather: Spending more time with family. Everyone here is busy with their work and has their own schedules but one thing that we make sure is that we have one meal in the day (preferably dinner) as a family together. We sit together for an hour or two and discuss our entire day, play some games, and enjoy family time. Also, staying fit and eating healthy is one of the resolutions that we think of everyday to start from tomorrow but tomorrow isn’t coming yet. (Haha)

ADVICE FOR IMMIGRANTS: Build your network and make contacts. Developing a good network is really important for immigrants especially if you want to survive in Canada. As immigrants we have left our homeland and have come here to start a new life, so it’s really important to socialize. Attend social events, talk to as many people as you can, make good use of social media, and get to know as many people. This way your life will become easier and by listening to people’s experiences it will definitely help in settling down here faster.

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Hello readers, we hope you and your families are in good health and enjoying the sunny days. To keep you company this summer is our July/Aug...

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Hello readers, we hope you and your families are in good health and enjoying the sunny days. To keep you company this summer is our July/Aug...

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