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Nisha Grewal Inspiring Entrepreneurial Triumph The Psychology of Colors Designing with Colors: Home Décor in ? From the Shackles of Breaking Free "What Will People Say " Simple & Effective Tips for Happy, Healthy Ageing Brushing up on Trends Fall Makeup From Burnout to Balance Work-Life Symphony Achieving a Harmonious Darpan Awards Extraordinary Celebrating the 13 th AUTO REVIEW: 2023 Mercedes Benz EQE 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid 2023 Lexus RZ 2023 Mazda CX-90 2023 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys 4xe SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE
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As the warm embrace of summer gives way to the crisp and colourful allure of fall, we are delighted to present our September-October 2023 issue to you. The changing seasons bring a sense of renewal and anticipation, much like the excitement building for the grand event of the year - the 13th DARPAN Extraordinary Achievement Awards, set to take place on October 13, 2023.

This edition's cover features the remarkable Nisha Grewal. Her story is of unwavering dedication and entrepreneurial triumph, as she founded Ambari, a multimilliondollar skincare company in Vancouver. Nisha's vision to create quick, easy-to-use skincare products that deliver noticeable results

overnight has made her a successful businesswoman and an inspiration to many.

This time, we also delve into breaking free from the shackles of "What Will People Say?" This phrase, deeply rooted in our cultures, often shapes our decisions and stifles individuality. It's high time we dissect this notion and explore how to liberate ourselves from its grip.

For cricket enthusiasts, we bring you an article on the evolution of cricket in Canada. This year has been a milestone year, with Canada regaining its One Day International status and hosting the Global T20, sparking renewed interest in the sport and opening doors for players to pursue cricket as a full-time career.

These are just some of the topics we cover in this issue. As we embrace the changing seasons, let us celebrate the outstanding individuals who shape our community's future, break free from societal expectations, and discover the beauty of change. Thank you for being a part of our vibrant community!




Gurvinder S. Hundal

Ramneek S. Dhillon


Monica Sethi


Ish Sharma


Jaskaran Singh


Gurvinder S. Hundal

Ramneek S. Dhillon

Gaurav Bhutani


Benjamin Yong

Michele Marko

Mrinalini Sundar

Naina Grewal

Shweta Kulkarni


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DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 4 DARPAN Magazine is published by DARPAN PUBLICATION LTD. DARPAN is a bi-monthly magazine. Any reproduction of the magazine, editorial content, images
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PHOTOGRAPHY A Master Media PUBLISHERS̓ NOTE Nisha Grewal Inspiring Entrepreneurial Triumph The Psychology of Colors Designing with Colors: Home Décor in ? From the Shackles of Breaking Free "What Will People Say Simple & Effective Tips for Happy, Healthy Ageing Brushing up on Trends Fall Makeup From Burnout to Balance Work-Life Symphony Achieving a Harmonious Darpan Awards Extraordinary Celebrating the 13th AUTO REVIEW: 2023 Mercedes Benz EQE 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid 2023 Lexus RZ 2023 Mazda CX-90 2023 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys 4xe SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2023 REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE
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DARPAN LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER CONTENTS 2023 8 READER’S REACTION 10 DARPAN’S 10 Alfred Hermida IN EVERY ISSUE BUSINESS PROFILES 74 DARPAN DECOR Designing with Colors 80 DARPAN RECIPES Chef Tushar Tondvalkar DARPAN MOVIES 84 Upcoming Bollywood Movies 88 Upcoming Punjabi Movies 92 DARPAN STYLE Saroj Jalan's Bulbul Collection 98 DARPAN TRAVEL Monaco, A Tour of the Richest Country in the World 100 DARPAN WEDDINGS 104 DARPAN AUTO REVIEW 114 CANADIAN IMMIGRANTS Meet the Tuteja Family 24 DARPAN AWARDS Celebrating the Extraordinary 32 THE CANADIAN INFLATION STRUGGLE Balancing Everyday Expenses and Housing Costs 36 CANADA'S CRICKET COMEBACK 42 RESILIENCE, WHAT IS IT & HOW DO WE BUILD IT? 46 BREAKING THE SHACKLES OF, "WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY"? 48 GLOBAL INDIANS Pfc. Jaskirat Singh 58 SIMPLE & EFFECTIVE WAYS OF HAPPY, HEALTHY AGEING 66 DARPAN BEAUTY Brushing up on Fall Makeup Trends 70 DARPAN FITNESS From Burnout to Balance: Achieving a Harmonious Work-Life Symphony DARPAN SPOTLIGHT 14 Hemanya Sharma Angel Billen Mannu Sandhu Ujjwalpreet Singh Meera Mehzabin & Saanjh Jaura DARPAN SALUTES CARE India Nisha Grewal Inspiring Entrepreneurial Triumph The Psychology of Colors Designing with Colors: Home Décor in ? From the Shackles of Breaking Free "What Will People Say " Simple & Effective Tips for Happy, Healthy Ageing Brushing up on Trends Fall Makeup From Burnout to Balance Work-Life Symphony Achieving a Harmonious Darpan Awards Extraordinary Celebrating the 13th AUTO REVIEW: 2023 Mercedes Benz EQE 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid 2023 Lexus RZ 2023 Mazda CX-90 2023 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys 4xe SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2023 REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE SKYE Avenue Lounge Amandeep Duggal COVER STORY 26 70 104 32 66 92 100

The Ultimate Ally for Builders and Developers

DARPAN TM Congratulations Kamal ji! What a proud moment it must be as you look back on the legacy you’ve built! – Tamizen Esmail You have been such a positive role model, bringing Indian culture to life for me in Vancouver since I was a child. You deserve every recognition for the impact you've made on so many people of South Asian descent. Thanks for helping me learn about my heritage and feel pride and belonging. – Zahra Teja Esmail Congratulations Nav... well said for extremely talented and professional! – Raji Powar Excellent write-up.... I concur with Mr. Houston. I worked with Nav for years, and he proved both a knowledgeable colleague and a very capable Vice President. All the best Nav. Your hard work in the home warranty industry has paid off. – Brett Bernier Well deserved!!! You look awesome on cover!!! – Parvesh Jai Write to us: editor@darpanmagazine.com or Tag us on social media: @DarpanMagazine & #Darpanmgazine Mental Health 8Alternate Therapies to Boost Nav Grewal The Ultimate Ally for Builders & Developers is AI taking over the world? Question of Drug Overdose Education To Teach or Not to Teach? in BC Schools The Plight of Public Safety Amidst the Aftermath of the Mayhem in the City: Hardeep Singh Nijjar shooting Kamal Sharma A Cultural Trailblazer Preserving South Asian Heritage AUTO REVIEW: 2023 Lexus IS 500 2023 Toyota GR Corolla 2023 Range Rover PHEV 2023 Volvo XC40 JULY AUGUST 2023 REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE COVER STORY Readers Reactions The knowledge you need. The partnership you deserve. ACCOUNTING | ADVISORY | TAX | ASSURANCE Harjit S. Sandhu, CPA, CA Partner, Private Enterprise Group hsandhu@dmcl.ca 604.531.1154 DARPAN JULY AUGUST 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 54 s someone passionate about the construction industry from a young age, Nav Grewal, Vice President at WBI Home Warranty Ltd., has a lot to be proud of when it comes to his professional journey and achievements in the last two decades. After completing the Home Inspection Training Program in 2003 and several construction and business-related courses from BCIT and Kwantlen University College, Nav entered the home inspection industry as an apprentice providing an outlook on the current condition of older homes that a buyer could purchase. "I would complete a walkthrough with the prospective purchasers on the overall condition of the home, identifying any potential defects such as the state of the roof, water tank, heating system, etc.," he shares. His services would help the potential buyer determine the home's current condition and give them a fair idea of any defects that may be present and require maintenance immediately or in the future.  To acquire practical home inspection expertise, Nav volunteered for six months alongside a local home inspector who intended to retire and sought a successor to take over the business. However, due to a failure to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, Nav's mentor suggested that he contemplate starting his own company instead. Following this advice, Nav founded Wall 2 Wall Home Inspections Ltd. in 2003. After spending a few months in construction, Nav discovered his deep interest in the New Home Warranty industry. As he pursued his home inspection business, an exciting opportunity arose. He volunteered to work alongside a Course of Construction Inspector and his team, delving into the world of Course of Construction inspections for a 2-5-10 New Home Warranty provider. This experience allowed Nav to gain comprehensive knowledge about the entire construction process, from excavation to completion of the project. Before this, he had primarily focused on inspecting completed homes. The opportunity also allowed him to meet and network with many builders and developers in the lower mainland area. Soon, he started working on a part-time contract basis with one of the New Home Warranty Providers in BC and later joined them as a permanent, full-time employee.  "In 2004, I found my calling when started working as an Inspector in the New Home Warranty industry," shares Nav. In the last two decades, Nav has been an integral part of the residential construction industry in BC, reviewing brand new homes, including single-family homes, townhomes, and multi-family A GREWAL NAV
have known Nav since he started working in home warranty 20 years back and always admired him personally and professionally. While he was working at WBI, noticed the unbelievable number of people he knew in the Punjabi community. He has great people skills, and his ability to have open, honest conversations and build authentic relationships with people convinced me that he would thrive in a client relations role in our business development department," - Gordon Houston, President, WBI Home Warranty Throughout my journey, have always aimed to maintain a high level of customer service, which at times has involved a few sacrifices from my end, and I am ever so grateful to my wife Ramneek, our daughters Aykam and Anaya, plus my parents who have always understood and supported my professional endeavours." “ “ BUSINESS PROFILE PICTURES CREDIT: MASTER MEDIA NAV GREWAL
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Meta blocked news content on its Facebook and Instagram platforms in Canada due to Bill C-18, a federal law that requires them to pay media outlets for shared content. What are the consequences for Canadians?

Bill C18 was designed to support the news industry. The print has been in decline for years, facing the loss of advertising to digital platforms, largely Meta & Google. However, it has had the opposite effect as they have lost the 20% to 30% of their audience they would get through FB. News outlets have lost the money they were already getting from deals with FB. Canadians have lost out as they will no longer stumble across the news on Facebook as they keep up with family, friends and their communities.

In your opinion, what % of Canadians were engaging with news content by reading or viewing it on Facebook and Instagram?

Before the ban, 29% of Canadians used FB for news. So, even before the news ban, FB was becoming less important to Canadians as a news source. Across all platforms and services, 25% of Canadians use social media for news.

Given the situation, what alternatives do Canadians have for news consumption, especially considering that Canadian media encouraged the use of Facebook? What's the next move?

Canadians get their news from various sources: news websites, television, radio, etc. It's wrong to think that Canadians won't know the news because there is no news on FB. However, we are losing stumbling across something that somebody else in your network posted to Facebook that you didn't know you were interested in until you saw it.

Supporters of the bill argue that it would address an imbalance between dominant tech companies and Canadian publishers by requiring them to provide fair compensation for disseminating news content via their platforms. Do you agree with that?

The imbalance between platforms and Canadian publishers is all to do with advertising. Google and Meta dominate digital advertising in Canada for 75% of the market. Before the internet, TV and newspapers dominated advertising, but now that money is with Google & Meta. When it comes to news, both platforms argue that news publishers & broadcasters benefit from the posting and sharing of news on Google, Facebook and other services.

Meta's move to block Canadian news on its platforms wasn't surprising, given its previous actions in Australia in 2021 when a similar law was proposed. However, the blackout in Australia lasted only eight days, while it has been weeks in Canada with no resolution. Do you see this ban as a threat to Canadian journalism?

The situation in Australia was resolved when the government backed down. While Australia has a similar law, it is not specifically applicable to Meta or Google. Instead, the platforms did their own private commercial deals with news organizations, resulting in a gain of around CAD$175M annually for Australian newsrooms. The platforms oppose regulation and particularly being legislated to pay for news. This is the key sticking point in Canada, as the platforms would rather continue making private deals as they have in the past.

British Columbia's Premier, Mr. David Eby, issued a direct plea to the head of Meta as he urged the social media giant to reinstate access to Canadian news on its platforms amid the province's ongoing wildfire crisis. Eby said it feels as though the social media giant is holding BC "ransom" in its ongoing spat with the Feds while it continues to ban news sharing on its FB and IG platforms. What faith can Canadians have in the democratic process?

I can understand the frustration of the Premier. Bill C-18 is a well-intentioned but flawed piece of legislation. There is digital advertising dominance by Meta & Google. But there is also an issue with four companies owning 80% of Canada's media & communication industry. Bill C-18 doesn't address media concentration in Canada and does little to foster a diverse and vibrant journalism ecosystem.

In the case of an emergency such as the recent wildfires in Kelowna, what does the ban do to citizens' ability to access information at their fingertips?

The lack of news on wildfires on Facebook is regrettable, but Canadians are resourceful. They will find ways of getting news, especially when the wildfires are the main news item across BC outlets.

Blocking of content by Meta on its site is not just limited to news but to any Canadian content. However, in a statement by Meta, the social media giant said if accounts are not sharing news content mainly focused on matters of general interest and current events, they can request a review. How effective will this be?

Meta is using the government's definition of a news organization to block content, meaning outlets that cover news and current affairs of public interest. It is blocking not just Canadian news outlets but also international ones. Some publications have been drawn into the ban, but so far, Meta has been quick to respond to requests to lift the block.

How likely is it that this ban will be reversed?

So far, Meta is holding firm in its opposition to the Online News Act. It's important to note that the beginning of negotiations with the platforms on paying for news has been delayed to early 2025. We may be in a holding pattern until then, which is bad news for news consumers and the journalism industry.

What is a message you would like to share with the South Asian community in relation to these uncertain times in technology?

More news is available from more sources in more ways than ever before. Meta's actions have shown the importance of making an effort to stay informed and ensuring we know what is happening in our communities.

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 10
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Alfred Hermida
More news is available from more sources in more ways than ever before. Meta's actions have shown the importance of making an effort to stay informed and ensuring we know what is happening in our communities.”

In a world where gender dis parities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields still persist, Hemanya Sharma, a Surrey student with a passion for STEM, is making waves. Her journey began with a simple idea: to create a STEM club for young girls in her community. Today, she's not only realized her dream but also secured a $70,000 scholarship for her remarkable contributions to promoting STEM education among girls. When she first embarked on her mission, Sharma was plagued by the common fear that people wouldn't show up. However, at the club's inaugural meeting, ten eager girls did, dispelling her doubts and igniting her passion for change. Identifying the need for more girls in STEM, Sharma didn't find it challenging to get girls to join; the real challenge lay in advertising her club effectively. Undeterred, she set out to learn the ropes. Armed with an idea, she gave a persuasive presentation to her school principal and was met with support from a sponsor teacher as well. Through unwavering determination, the bright mind cultivated leadership skills and has now formed an executive team to ensure the club's longevity even after her departure. Beyond her immediate goals, Sharma has grand plans to expand her club's reach, aiming to establish chapters in other schools and even at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she will be pursuing engineering.

Meet Winner of

$70,000 Scholarship

Inspiring Young Mind in STEM

Hemanya Sharma


Sharma enters university with a prestigious scholarship under her belt. A graduate of Enver Creek Secondary, Sharma is one of 20 Canadian students chosen to be recipients of the $70,000 TD Scholarships for Community Leadership. “Youth, especially students entering Grade 12, should proactively apply for scholarships. Don’t be scared to apply thinking you won’t win. Maybe enough students won’t apply, and you’ll stand out. Believe in your accomplishments. You won’t know until you don’t apply.”, outlines Sharma.

Undoubtedly, balancing academics, extracurricular activities, and a social life was a significant challenge, but Sharma's ability to prioritize and manage her time effectively was a key factor in her success. Her unwavering commitment to closing the gender gap in STEM kept her going, even when the path seemed daunting. She identified the root cause of this gender gap as a lack of awareness and education about STEM fields among young girls. “You can’t be interested in something you don’t even know about”, says the enthusiastic volunteer.

Sharma's own journey into robotics and coding began at an early age, thanks to her father's determination to provide her with opportunities, despite the challenges. Recognizing that not all children have access to such experiences, the go-getter launched her club, offering free accessible STEM classes to school students. Sharma’s philosophy entails that by introducing STEM to young minds early, they will be more inclined to pursue STEM-related courses and careers as they progress through high school and beyond.

As a message, the young powerhouse provides genuine advice to her peers, “To those who want to make a difference, I say don't be afraid to start, seek guidance from those who have walked the path before, and never underestimate the impact you can have when you follow your passion. To young girls interested in STEM, I encourage you to get involved, talk to people who can help you learn more, and never be afraid to pursue your dreams!”

DARPAN TM 15 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Angel Billen is not your typical 15-year-old, having already made a name for herself in the world of weightlifting. Entering the world of weightlifting at just 6 years old, Angel has won many provincial, national and international medals till date. From the moment Angel embarked on her weightlifting journey, she felt the embrace of her community. "The pride the community takes in my sisters and me is a prime example of how our wins are everyone's wins. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be in a place where I can represent an entire community on world stages.", Angel acknowledges.

A pinnacle moment in Angel's career is her recent remarkable performance at the 2023 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, held in Noida, India. Her meticulous preparation paid off when she lifted 123kg for her last clean and jerk attempt, a moment that felt surreal. Angel's sister, Helena, also her coach at the championships, shared in this victory, creating an unforgettable moment of immense happiness for the Billen family. “We chose lifts very strategically and Angel was able to hit a really big lift that we prepared for to seal the two gold medals. Angel and I shared a very special hug as she walked off the stage towards the coach’s corner. It felt like the entire training block had become successful and the hours she put into her training gave back to her in the best way possible.”, shares Helena.


Growing up with two older sisters, Helena and Jeenat, who excelled in weightlifting, and now a younger brother, Udaypartap Singh Billen, who also partakes in the sport, Angel never felt pressured to outshine anyone. Her family coaches her, trains with her, and celebrates her victories. This familial support has allowed all children to shine in their own right. Jeenat elaborates, “The most challenging part about this sport is that it requires you to give up your time and your day to day in order to accomplish your goals. The most rewarding part is watching your hard work pay off and accomplishing the goals that you had set for yourself.”

Balancing school and the rigorous demands of weightlifting is no small feat, but Angel has mastered the art of time management. She trains twice a day, five days a week, maintaining a disciplined schedule. Her family and community are pillars of support, enabling her to keep pushing her limits in training. Harjit Singh Billen and Atinder Kaur Billen are proud parents. Harjit, who alongside being a doting father is also owner of Rustom Wrestling Club, introduced Helena to weightlifting when she was just 13, igniting a remarkable family journey in the sport. He highlights, “Seeing all three of my daughters excel in weightlifting fills me with so much pride, excitement and gratitude. It’s a dream come true to witness their hard work and dedication pay off. I was taunted for having three daughters and now all three of my daughters are so well celebrated!”

Angel's advice to young girls aspiring to pursue sports is both powerful and straightforward, "Keep training hard and breaking social barriers!" The girl boss encourages budding athletes to give their all, take pride in their hard work, and persist in the face of adversity. Undoubtedly, Angel Billen's accomplishments at such a young age are a testament to her potential, and with her family by her side, the future holds boundless opportunities for this rising star!

DARPAN TM 17 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

In the world of cinema and the arts, stories of remarkable journeys and individuals who break boundaries often captivate our hearts. Meet an inspiring figure in the field, Mannu Sandhu, a multifaceted talent whose life's trajectory has been nothing short of extraordinary. Born in India and raised in Vancouver, Sandhu's journey from a correctional officer to an accomplished actress, model, and community activist is a testament to her unwavering determination and commitment to bringing about positive change. Today, Sandhu is not just a shining star in the entertainment industry but also a leading force behind the International South Asian Film Festival (ISAFF), which celebrates diversity and inclusion through the power of storytelling.

Mannu Sandhu A

Pathbreaker's Journey

Pioneering South Asian Cinema through ISAFF and Beyond

When you feel the butterflies, embrace them. They’ll take you far!”
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Sandhu's journey into the world of arts and entertainment was an unexpected twist in her life story. She candidly admits, "I didn't know I'd go into the arts." Like many young individuals, her path initially would have seemed predetermined – school, career, and a conventional 9-5 job. However, her passion for dance during high school hinted at her underlying creativity. It was during this time that Sandhu's life took an unexpected turn when she was approached to model. At just 16 years old, the prospect of entering the world of modeling brought both excitement and anxiety. She recalls feeling butterflies in her stomach, a common experience for anyone stepping into the spotlight for the first time.

Sandhu was just 13 years old when she made the life-changing move from India to Canada. Her early days in a new country were marked by the challenges of adapting to a different culture and environment. Like many newcomers, Sandhu vividly recalls the moments when she was subjected to bullying and isolation simply because she was perceived as different. In the face of adversity, Sandhu, with her characteristic determination, made sincere efforts to fit in. She sought to bridge the gap between her roots and the new world she found herself in, all while navigating the intricate journey of growing up in a foreign land.

As Sandhu embraced the world of modeling, her confidence began to soar. Every critique and challenge she faced only fueled her desire to improve. Her journey then extended beyond modeling into the realm of acting. Her first audition, however, proved to be a nerve-wracking experience. Sandhu recalls, “I had the lines prepared, but the pressure was overwhelming. I literally froze and ran out of the audition room.” Yet, every setback and hurdle Sandhu encountered only contributed to her growth as a more dynamic individual. Sandhu's struggles and triumphs have been instrumental in shaping her identity as a South Asian woman of color, who understands the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity.

Sandhu's journey is not just about personal growth and success; it's also about giving back to her community

and making a lasting impact. Her involvement in various charities and non-profit organizations, such as BC Children's Hospital, Sikh Blood Donation, and Pakistan Flood Relief, reflects her commitment to creating a better world. One of Sandhu's most significant contributions to her community and the entertainment industry is her role in leading ISAFF as Producer.

Established in 2010, ISAFF is a cultural milestone that celebrates South Asian cinema and promotes diversity and inclusion through the medium of film, arts, and culture. This year, ISAFF unveiled the theme "Pathbreakers'' to celebrate individuals and stories that defy convention and inspire change in all aspects of life. Sandhu explains, "Anywhere - not just in this industry, struggles need to be acknowledged, but it's our determination at the end of the day that pushes us forward. Trailblazers pave the path and open new doors for coming generations." This determination has been a driving force behind her own journey and is now the guiding principle of ISAFF, which will feature many firsts for any South Asian film festival, including:

• A spotlight on social media content creators and influencers, who are at the forefront of dynamic, boundary-pushing storytelling and social commentary.

• Wellness activities lounge for filmmakers and artists to focus on radical acts of self-care and rejuvenation.

• Talks and Q&A sessions with a variety of South Asian artists that dig deeper into topics rarely discussed at such festivals.

• Industry speed networking events where filmmakers, artists, and other industry professionals can connect with specific goals and meetings.

A glittering event on the horizon, the ISAFF Opening Gala Night on September 29, will be a night of elegance and allure that epitomizes the festival's celebration of diversity and inclusion. This soirée is not just an event; it's an experience, an evening where conversations spark, connections flourish, and dreams are set in motion. Attendees will be in the company of industry influencers, artists, and visionaries who are shaping the landscape of South Asian cinema. “From the moment I took the reins of ISAFF till date, the community support has been just incredible. I’m so excited to level up even more this year.”, shares Sandhu.

As the largest South Asian film festival in North America, ISAFF is more than just a showcase of cinematic brilliance; it's a platform for South Asian artists to shine and for stories to be told. It's a testament to Sandhu's vision of building a stronger multicultural society and economy through the transformative power of arts and culture. The passionate artist has been a game changer — be it her first Canadian feature film in 2011, Footsteps into Gangland, an adaptation of real events that shattered the South Asian community of Vancouver, or her most recent project this year, Historica Canada’s new Heritage Minute exploring the rich cultural heritage of Paldi, a mill town founded by South Asian immigrants in British Columbia.

Sandhu's journey in South Asian cinema is a story of courage, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of one's passions. Undoubtedly, her work serves as an inspiration to find one's true calling and make a meaningful impact. “When you feel the butterflies, embrace them. They’ll take you far!”, advises the boss lady, reminding us that it's not just about choosing a path, but about creating one that aligns with our values and aspirations. As such, Mannu Sandhu is not just a rising star in the world of entertainment; she is a shining beacon of hope and a catalyst for change in a multicultural society that thrives on diversity, integrity, inclusion, and collaboration!

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 20
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Modeling, often perceived as a world of glamor and fashion, is far from the walk in the park it may appear to be. Ujjwalpreet Singh Rajewal, an emerging model in the industry, navigating through the challenges and the rewards that come with being a model, is representing the community on an international scale, having featured with prominent names, like Vogue!

For many, the journey into modeling begins with high hopes, but Rajewal's experience reveals a different reality. He vividly remembers his first venture into Vancouver Fashion Week, an event that would forever alter his perspective. Hundreds of aspiring models lined up, all vying for the chance to step onto the runway. The competition is fierce, and getting scouted by a designer is just the beginning. Once selected, the real work begins. Models undergo rigorous training, honing their runway skills and practicing various styles of walking. The fittings, rehearsals, and early morning lineups are all part of the process that aspiring models must navigate.


“Dealing with rejection is a crucial skill in the modeling world”, shares Rajewal, “I approach it with a pragmatic mindset and understand that, sometimes, a designer simply seeks a different look. My aim is to take any rejection in stride, recognizing it as an integral part of the journey.” Rajewal’s journey from India to Canada has brought him to an unexpected destination as Rajewal had never thought of going into the field of modeling, though often encouraged by friends. Today, Rajewal has been featured multiple times in Vogue, a dream come true for many aspiring models, and even adorns the pages of one of Germany’s biggest magazines, Schön!

According to Rajewal, his identity is what sets him apart in the modeling world. Proudly wearing a turban, he found that his unique appearance garnered him respect and intrigue, both in India and Canada. He attributes a significant part of his success to his turban, which opened doors he never anticipated. That said, while looks undeniably play a role in modeling, Rajewal stresses that it is not the only factor, “Expressive eyes, innocence, and even unique body features can capture a designer's attention. Modeling is about more than just conventional beauty; it's about conveying a story and a feeling.”

Delving deeper into the industry, the seasoned model highlights a common misconception: that everything displayed on the runway is intended for everyday wear. Rajewal dispels this myth, highlighting the artistic aspect of fashion. Designers often use their creations to convey messages and perspectives, transcending the boundaries of practicality. As such, walking the runway is no easy feat, even for experienced models. Rajewal explains that each walk is carefully choreographed, taking into account the music, beat, and the designer's vision. Rajewal emphasizes, “Models need to stay focused and composed while maintaining the right facial expressions, even in the midst of the intense pressures of the runway.” Mistakes can and do happen, but the show must go on.

Undoubtedly, Rajewal's journey to the international modeling stage is a testament to his unwavering determination. Making his mark in a highly competitive industry, the accomplished, yet humble superstar shares an encouraging message, “If I can get here, anyone can. I once read a quote that has since stayed with me: ‘He who says he can and he who says he can't are both usually right’. Believe in yourself, and others will, too!"


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Nisha Grewal

Inspiring Entrepreneurial Triumph
I realized that despite so many skincare and beauty fads, and numerous celebrities launching products left right and center, there was a need for effective skincare products that could help transform the skin after just one treatment."

Nisha Grewal's unwavering work ethic forms the cornerstone of her success, enabling her to establish a multimillion-dollar skincare company. Founder of Ambari, a Vancouver-based publicly traded company in luxury skincare, Nisha's vision was to create quick, easy-touse skincare products that delivered noticeable results overnight. Throughout her journey, she has aspired to lead by example and create a brand that not only inspires other women but also makes them feel good about themselves.

Growing up, she was always motivated and determined to give her best in every task she set her eyes on. Her early years instilled in her a mindset geared toward success, inheriting a solid work ethic from her father. Her mother, on the other hand, consistently encouraged her to have an expansive vision for herself. This amalgamation and her knack for breaking down her objectives into manageable steps paved the way for her to go after her dreams and ultimately realize them.

During her undergrad, she pursued a business degree from UBC. She followed it with a Level-1 CFA designation with the aim of becoming an investment analyst at a major bank like Goldman Sachs. "Financial markets fascinated me, and I felt my background in business gave me an edge over others," she shares. Alongside, she was networking and exploring different options to start her entrepreneurial venture.

In 2016-17, she identified a gap in the beauty business, which was booming then. "I realized that despite so many skincare and beauty fads, and numerous celebrities launching products left right and center, there was a need for effective skincare products that could help transform the skin after just one treatment," says Nisha who was keenly aware of the enormous scale of the beauty industry, with giants like LVMH, Estée Lauder, and L'Oréal dominating the global market. She further elaborates, "My intention with my products

was to provide a practical approach to self-care that required less than a minute at night and delivered visible results by the following morning."

Even in the early stages of conceptualization, she had a clear vision of building a fully operational business and aimed to propel her brand into the mainstream. She aspired to take her brand to the next level and see her products sold by the world's largest retailers. To achieve this, she partnered with a renowned chemist based in the US, a legend in her own right credited with creating more than 100 products available at Sephora. Although Nisha wasn't a skincare expert then, her Indian background and the skincare regimen she followed while growing up gave her valuable insights into the specific ingredients she desired in her products. For instance, she knew she wanted to replace retinol, which bothered her skin, with bakuchiol, a natural alternative that delivers the same benefits but is gentler. Additionally,

Cover Story

she aimed to incorporate neroli water for hydration, opt for more potent AHAs and PHAs, and utilize glycolics and lactics instead of fillers, as she was confident that these ingredients would effectively work their magic and contribute to skin transformation. She dedicated time to reading several white papers that helped her gain an in-depth understanding of different ingredients and facilitated collaboration in developing these products, a process that spanned three to four years. Upon completing the testing phase and collecting numerous feedback responses, she was sure she had an excellent set of products. Throughout this timeframe, Nisha actively engaged in various aspects of the brand's development. For example, when she was dissatisfied with the design concepts presented by design agencies for the bottle, she took the initiative to communicate with the bottle designers in Italy directly. She conveyed her precise vision, centred on a simple, minimalist, yet luxurious aesthetic inspired by Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Cologne. In February 2021, she introduced her products exclusively at Neiman

Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave, followed by a launch at Bergdorf Goodman two months later. Ambari additionally is now carried by Europe’s largest retailers and is growing steadily. These strategic moves perfectly aligned with her overarching vision of having her products available with the world's most prominent retailers. The significant milestone for the brand occurred a few months later, when Kourtney Kardashian, chose to partner with Ambari. Kourtney and Ambari carefully curated the event, "Poolside with Poosh," held at Kourtney's home, serving as the platform to introduce Ambari skincare products

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 28
My intention with my products was to provide a practical approach to selfcare that required less than a minute at night and delivered visible results by the following morning."

to Kourtney's inner circle of friends and family, generating substantial buzz, excitement and anticipation surrounding the products. Kourtney advertised this event along with Kim Kardashian and others on their social media accounts.

Since its inception, the company has enjoyed remarkable success and made its initial public offering (IPO) in July 2022, a massive step in its growth. It all started when Ambari's products gained global popularity and showed promise of reaching a billion-dollar valuation. This caught the attention of venture capitalists who wanted to invest and help the company grow. Recognizing the potential to accelerate their growth with this investment, Nisha took the company public, raising millions of dollars and entering the public stock market.

At present, Ambari offers a product lineup consisting of four items: a moisturizing cream, a deep-cleansing mask, an overnight serum that also functions as a toner and exfoliant, and a morning toner, all available in the United States and Europe.

She is currently leading the development of an AI app known as "Scarlett," firmly believing that it has the potential to transform the beauty industry. The app will be able to scan the face, detect any impurities, and recommend products that can be bought within the app. Additionally, she intends to implement this technology in various retail stores.

Having come this far, Nisha's journey is a compelling example of successfully translating a brilliant idea into a remarkable success story. Her conviction that a robust work ethic can propel one to great heights, regardless of the field, has played a pivotal role in establishing a multimillion-dollar company within a short timeframe. Having succeeded as an entrepreneur, Nisha dedicates her time to volunteering with The Forum Mentor Program, a platform that enables her to share her experiences and offer guidance to other up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

DARPAN TM 29 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle
Cover Story

Surrey Set to Soar with Musical Prodigies, & Saanjh Jaura Meera Mehzabin

Meera Mehzabin and Saanjh Jaura, two remarkable young girls, are deeply committed to preserving and nurturing the timeless art of Indian classical music. Meera, originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, relocated to Vancouver with her family in 2014. At the age of 12, she embarked on a dedicated journey of training under Pandit Ajay Chakraborty of the Patiala Kasur Gharana. Every four months, she would travel to West Bengal, India, to receive personal guidance from her Guru. During the pandemic, she spent three years in India to be closer to her mentor and returned to Vancouver only last year. Her passion for classical music is unwavering, and she considers each Raga as a living entity, infusing it with her unique talim and gayaki. She remarks, "I grew up exposed to various forms of music, but classical

music has always resonated with me, providing an immense sense of peace."

Saanjh Jaura, born in Amritsar, India, and now residing in Vancouver, shares Meera's fervour for Indian classical music. At the age of eight, she began her musical journey under the tutelage of Dr. Prabhakar Kashyap of the Benares Gharana. Recognizing her gifted and magical voice, her father tirelessly sought the right Guru who could introduce her to the pure, rich world of Indian classical music and guide her on this remarkable journey. Saanjh expresses a special bond with her Guru, initially learning in person in Amritsar and now continuing her lessons online. Their classes are dynamic, sometimes focusing on refining songs, identifying mistakes, and improvement strategies. For concerts, Guruji assists her with ghazals, thumris (a semi-classical music style), and other forms. Saanjh shares, "We collaborate on our material, refining it in our classes, but the most crucial aspect

Guruji emphasizes is feeling the

raag, as he believes that deeper emotional connection enhances rendition." Both Meera and Saanjh are excited about their performance at the Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall on September 17th, where they will share the stage with renowned British Columbian musicians Amarjeet Singh on Tabla, Mohan Bhide on Harmonium, and Gavin Dhillon on Sitar. Their performance will encompass Ghazal, Thumri, and Semi-Classical Film songs. Meera will showcase Raag Malkauns, a piece she has been perfecting for the past two years, while Saanjh will perform Raag Yaman. They are enthusiastic about this collaboration and look forward to sharing their music not only with classical music enthusiasts but also with those who appreciate Bollywood and pop music, as there are more similarities than differences, all grounded in the 12 surs (musical notes).

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Inflation is a term that's been making headlines across Canada, and it's not a matter to be taken lightly. Inflation rates have surged more than expected and come on the heels of claims by Trudeau's Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, that inflation was under control. Unfortunately the data tells a different story, one where Canadians are feeling the pinch in their wallets and struggling to balance the rising cost of housing with everyday expenses. Inflation isn't just a number on a chart; it's a real issue that affects the daily lives of Canadians. As the Bank of Canada puts it, “High inflation means that prices are climbing quickly and dollars don’t stretch as far. Purchasing power—our ability to buy products and services with the money we have—weakens. That’s how high and unpredictable inflation hurts an economy: If incomes don’t increase along with

Balancing Everyday Expenses and Housing Costs

the prices of goods, everyone’s purchasing power goes down. People buy less and the economy starts to slow.”

Surely, Canadians, particularly those with lower incomes, are grappling with the impact of rising prices. A recent report shedding light on how inflation is affecting both the Canadian economy and households reveals that inflation began to rise in early 2021 and reached its highest point in four decades last year.

While headline inflation later eased in late 2022 due to a drop in gasoline prices, key drivers of inflation such as food and housing costs have shown little indication of slowing down. The most pressing concern is the increasing cost of groceries, which has surged by a staggering 8.5 percent in the past year. The prices of essential items like meat, vegetables, and dairy products have all risen significantly, making it increasingly challenging for families to put food on the table.

Throughout 2022, as inflation surged, Canadians expressed that they were most affected by increasing food prices, followed closely by higher transportation and housing expenses. Housing mortgage expenses have shot up by over 30%, leaving

many Canadians feeling the burden of their monthly housing payments. This has prompted individuals and families alike to make tough decisions about their financial priorities.

Last year, nearly 75% of Canadians reported that the rising prices were impacting their ability to cover everyday expenses, with 30% expressing significant concerns about their ability to afford housing or rent. By the fall of 2022, nearly half, or 44%, of Canadians expressed serious concerns about their household's ability to manage housing or rent expenses. Additionally, one in four Canadians stated that they would struggle to cover an unexpected expense of $500.

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One major factor contributing to the challenges Canadians face is that wages and earnings have not kept pace with the rising costs, especially in terms of food and housing. In the third quarter of 2022, the net savings among the bottom 40% of income earners fell below the levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, younger households increased their reliance on debt to sustain their spending habits. It's worth noting that Canada's consumer inflation is comparatively milder than that in most other G7 countries, including the United States.

The situation may seem dire, but there are steps that can be taken and are being taken to alleviate the burden of rising prices and inflation on Canadian families. As Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada, has pointed out, Trudeau's carbon taxes and inflationary Liberal deficits are arguably contributing to the problem. Policy changes, such as reducing carbon taxes and addressing deficit spending, may potentially help ease the financial strain on Canadians, if that route is at all taken.

Local and provincial governments should and are aiming to prioritize affordable housing initiatives to help Canadians access stable and reasonably priced housing. Supporting renters and first-time homebuyers may be a step in the right direction. Moreover, promoting financial literacy is of utmost importance. Canadians need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate their finances effectively, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, in times of disparity, communities are coming together to provide support for those struggling with rising costs. Food banks, community gardens, and resource-sharing initiatives are helping ensure that everyone has access to essential goods and services.

Undoubtedly, the surge in inflation and the rising cost of housing in Canada have put immense pressure on individuals and families, forcing them to make difficult decisions about their finances. It is vital for policymakers, communities, and individuals to work together to find solutions to this crisis. By implementing sensible policies, supporting affordable housing initiatives, promoting financial literacy, and offering community support, Canadians can weather this storm and regain financial stability.

DARPAN TM 35 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

A Path to Professionalism and Popularity

Canada’s Cricket Comeback 2

023 has been a milestone year for Canadian cricket. The sport not only regained the coveted One Day International (ODI) status after more than a decade when the national team finished in fourth place in the World Cup qualifier held in Namibia in April, but Canada also hosted the third edition of Global T20 (GT20) after a three-year hiatus, from July 20 to August 6.  These developments have sparked a fresh interest in the sport as players across the board are beginning to see the potential for a long-term career. While earlier, most players on the Canadian national team viewed themselves as weekend cricketers, the start of GT20 in 2018 and the current ODI status paved the way for national players to have contracts, get more involved, and focus on the game full-time. Cricket Canada, the official governing body for cricket in the country, has offered full-time contracts to 14 players on the national team, which is scheduled to play a minimum of 40 games in the next three years.

Saad Bin Zafar, captain of the Canada Men's National Team, who is

happy with his team's performance in recent times, said, "I'm focusing on two goals, first making it to the 2027 World Cup stage and second ensuring Canada becomes one of the top associate countries in the world—and looking at the positive changes taking place, I'm sure we'll make it happen." Canada is one of the eight associate members within the group of 20 countries that possess ODI status. Unlike the top 12 ranked teams, referred to as Full Members, associate members do not have the eligibility to take part in official test matches.

According to Aaron Johnson, another member of the Canadian National Team: "ODI Status and GT20 gave us the opportunity to play with international players which showed us that we can compete with them; but it also gave us the much-needed perspective on what we need to do to survive at this level". He is also pleased that contracted players can now practice 7-8 hours a day, whereas earlier, they would have to balance fulltime work and cricket. More positive changes are in the pipeline as funding Cricket Canada receives from ICC will

Cricket is growing in the country, and we need better infrastructure if we want local people to come and see the matches; they are also pivotal to attracting sponsors."
Saad Bin Zafar, Captain, Canada Men's National Team

go up in November, which will be spent on the Under-19 Canada Cup every two years, the Men's National Championship, Women's National Championship, and bilateral tournaments going forward.

GT20's contribution has also been immense, allowing local players to play alongside their heroes. "In 2018, I played with Chris Gayle and Andre Russel for the first time - it was a dream come true. Also, I receive many messages from club cricketers who want to come and bowl to them in the nets. Just seeing these legends play and interacting with them makes such a massive difference to all of us. We learn what it takes to improve the game," shares Saad Bin Zafar.

Discussing the impact of GT20, the President of Cricket Canada, Rashpal Bajwa, highlights the potential of GT20 to bring tourism into the country besides boosting its global profile. "GT20 was telecasted live in India, Canada, and Australia this year. In all, 4-5 media partners, including CBC and Fox TV, telecasted the tournament," he shares.

Local Cricket's Surging Popularity

Besides the changes taking place on account of the ODI status and GT20, cricket has also gained momentum locally, with many first-class high-level tournaments taking place at district and provincial levels. For instance, Ontario

has Super 9; BC started BC Super League three years ago with six, then eight and now ten teams. There is also BC Big Bash, one of the oldest high-level cricket tournaments, which has been around for the last nine years, a 4-day tournament on Canada Day long weekend. It started with six teams and now has 24 teams competing for a prize of $50,000. In Edmonton, the Champions Cricket Open is in its third year, a 4-day tournament that follows the T20 format and offers a prize money of $100,000. Twenty-eight teams compete, with 4-5 teams from BC, 6-7 teams from Ontario and a few from the US. Players come from all over the world as part of different teams, especially from the Caribbean and the US.  BC has two leagues, BC Mainland Cricket League (BCMCL) and Victoria District Cricket Association (VDCA), along with several cricket clubs that used to charge people to play. In contrast, now clubs are paying people to play, which shows that cricket is getting commercialized in Canada. Several academies, too, have come up recently, such as Stallions Cricket, which offers practice facilities to players throughout the year. It has played a key role in bringing coaches such as Sarbjeet Singh from India and Babar Javed from Pakistan, who have played internationally. Getting the opportunity to learn from world-class coaches is helping the players gain insights on how they should approach and get better at the game.

Expanding Cricket's Reach and Infrastructure

In recent years, Canada's cricket scene has experienced a resurgence after hitting a low point following the 2011 Cricket World Cup. This revival can largely be attributed to strategic management decisions and efforts to grow the sport at various levels. Rashpal Bajwa, who has been at the helm of Cricket Canada for four years, has played a pivotal role in this resurgence. One of his significant moves was hiring a full-time coach in 2021, Pubudu Dassanayake, who has been actively involved with the national team, U-19 team, women's national team,

and provincial teams. This addition of a dedicated coach has instilled greater confidence among the players.

Transparency has also been a focus, with the coach making the selection process more open and accountable. Additionally, he expanded the search for cricket talent beyond Ontario, scouting for talent in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and other states.

Cricket Canada is looking forward to the Women's World Cup qualifiers in Las Vegas in September 2023 and the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States in June 2024. However, despite the sport's growing popularity, funding remains a challenge. Cricket receives only $100,000 from Sports Canada, a stark contrast to sports like canoeing, which receive $4.5 million annually.

Rashpal Bajwa recognizes the importance of creating cricket heroes and increasing the sport's engagement, particularly among the younger demographic. With many young people not actively following sports, he hopes to make cricket a part of the school curriculum and encourage youth participation. This approach aims to grow the game and provide opportunities for youngsters to view cricket as a viable career option, complete with scholarships and role models.

Amjad Bajwa, Vice President of Cricket Canada, emphasizes the potential of North America as a future cricket market. The introduction of the Major

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 38
Rashpal Bajwa President, Cricket Canada Amjad Bajwa Vice President, Cricket Canada

League in the US, with ownership ties to IPL teams in India, indicates the growing interest and investment in North American cricket.

To leverage this potential, Cricket Canada is getting into partnerships with private entities, such as Boundary North, helping them connect with different stakeholders to expand the scope of cricket. For instance, talks are on to expand the Major League to include Canadian teams. It is also focusing on bringing in partners interested in investing in building cricket infrastructure lacking in Canada. While there are a few good cricket grounds, especially in Toronto, no dedicated cricket stadiums exist. "Cricket is growing in the country, and we need better infrastructure if we want local people to come and see the matches; they are also pivotal to attracting sponsors," emphasizes Saad Bin Zafar. According to him, the lack of grounds has even led to turning down clubs interested in joining leagues.

Recognizing that cricket is one of Canada's fastest-growing sports, and there is a growing demand for more space for residents to play, leaders like the Mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown, are investing in building more cricket grounds. Expanding cricket in schools and introducing shorter formats like T10 are being considered to engage more young players. Ultimately, Rashpal Bajwa's legacy aspiration is to see cricket firmly embedded in the school curriculum. With the game evolving, growing in popularity, and embracing shorter formats, the future of cricket in Canada appears promising.

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What is it & How do we build it?

n our ever-evolving world, characterized by burnout, disconnection, disruptive changes, and rapid innovations, developing resilience is an overlooked skill set. We often tend to avoid our problems or want to solve them with a quick-fix solution before moving on to the next task. By slowing down and building resilience, we can create adaptive strategies to help us acclimate to life's challenges and adjust to external and internal demands.

Now, what is resilience in the first place? Think back to when you faced a challenge, and instead of dwelling on the negatives, you decided to take action despite the setback and adapted to the situation. We all face different challenges in life, and being resilient doesn't mean that you won't feel the emotional pain or stress, but instead, you will work through it and build a coping strategy that is unique to you.

Resiliency becomes a desired skill set as we face multiple triggers daily. We can tap into our strengths and use healthier coping mechanisms to process and overcome hardship. If you'd like to become more resilient, consider these tips:

Be Optimistic

Resilience I

You can't change the past, but can always look toward the future. Being aware that change is inevitable allows you to be more flexible and open to challenges.

Daily Gratitude

Make each day count and participate in an activity that has a purpose and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Learn from the Past

Our past hardships are our best teachers. Think back to difficult times and what helped you cope. You may even have a mantra or specific affirmations that you can write in a journal to help guide you in the future.


This is where you pay more attention to your own needs and feelings. Participate in things that bring you joy, and include physical activity in your daily routine. A healthy diet and a good night's rest are crucial to optimizing your health. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer.

Stay Connected

Building strong, positive relationships with others can provide you with needed support, guidance and acceptance in good and bad times.

Becoming more resilient takes time and patience. If you are faced with ongoing challenges and are getting stuck, consider talking to a mental health professional. With guidance, you can improve your resilience and mental wealth.

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 42
Dr. Shimi Kang

Our family is here when you need help with yours.

The breakdown of a relationship is often the most challenging and emotional experience that any of us will endure. Navigating the hurt and the conflict is hard enough without also having to navigate the legal system alone. That’s where we come in.

The breakdown of a relationship is often the most challenging and emotional experience that any of us will endure. Navigating the hurt and the conflict is hard enough without also having to navigate the legal system alone. That’s where we come in.

At Hamilton Duncan, our family law team consists of a team of dedicated lawyers like Preet Gill who are deeply committed to delivering the highest quality family law services with compassion, patience and understanding and who have collectively spent decades in courtrooms and in boardrooms helping our clients overcome legal challenges in their most trying times.

Our family law services include:

At Hamilton Duncan, our family law team consists of a team of dedicated lawyers like Preet Gill who are deeply committed to delivering the highest quality family law services with compassion, patience and understanding and who have collectively spent decades in courtrooms and in boardrooms helping our clients overcome legal challenges in their most trying times.

• Separation and divorce

• Child custody, guardianship and parenting arrangements

Our family law services include:

• Child support, spousal support and property division

• Negotiation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution

• Separation and divorce

• Child custody, guardianship and parenting arrangements

• Litigation, arbitration and innovative conflict resolution

• Child support, spousal support and property division

• Negotiation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution

• Cohabitation, prenuptial and property agreements

• Litigation, arbitration and innovative conflict resolution

• Cohabitation, prenuptial and property agreements

Hamilton Duncan is proud to have served Surrey for more than 60 years, and there is a reason that we are the Fraser Valley’s preeminent law firm. To find out how Preet and the rest of our family law team can assist with your family matter, reach out to:

Preet Gill

Associate - Family Law

Hamilton Duncan is proud to have served Surrey for more than 60 years, and there is a reason that we are the Fraser Valley’s preeminent law firm. To find out how Preet and the rest of our family law team can assist with your family matter, reach out to:

604.580.4791 � pxg@hdas.com

604.580.4791 � pxg@hdas.com

Hamilton Duncan Law Corporation � hamiltonduncan.com
Our family is here when you need help with yours.
DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 44

Dr. Shimi Kang is an award-winning Harvard-trained medical doctor, researcher, and expert on science-based health, happiness, and achievement solutions. Dr. Kang is a practicing psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience. She is the author of the #1 bestseller The Dolphin Parent & The Tech Solution, a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC, the founder of Future-ready Minds, Co-Founder of the Get Sparky app, & host of the YouTube show Mental Wealth with Dr. Shimi Kang. She is a proud mom of 3, the Governor General's Award for Leadership recipient, and the Jubilee Medal for community service.

Jas Hundal is a Registered Social Worker and the Clinical Director of Counselling at Future-ready Minds; she has her Masters of Social Work from the University of Victoria and a Certificate in Advanced Facilitation and consultation from the Justice Institute of BC. Jas is trained in various therapeutic modalities and has worked diligently in mental health and addictions since 2006. Jas is passionate about helping members of her community learn ways to improve their mental health by using holistic and strengthbased practices.

Follow: @futurereadyminds

Website: www.futurereadyminds.com

E-mail: info@futurereadyminds.com

Jas Hundal

In our communities, there exists a powerful force that often shapes our decisions, choices, and even our entire lives: "What will people say?" This phrase, uttered by concerned parents, well-meaning relatives, and sometimes even friends, has become an omnipresent specter that hovers over many aspects of life. However, in an advancing and globalizing world, it is time to dissect this notion and explore how we can liberate ourselves from its stifling grip.

"What will people say?" encapsulates a web of expectations, traditions, and social norms deeply rooted in our cultures. From career choices to personal relationships, from clothing choices to marriage decisions, this question often looms large. It's a double-edged sword - on one hand, it can foster a sense of belonging and community, but on the other, it can stifle individuality and personal growth.

One of the most prominent ways this question affects us is in the realm of relationships and marriage. There is immense pressure to conform to traditional norms, including marrying within one's caste, religion, or ethnicity. Deviating from these norms often leads

to whispers, judgments, and the dreaded "What will people say?" phrase. It doesn’t just end there. Trying to exit relationships that no longer serve us are often met with unsupportive glares because of the very fear of others’ commentaries. This can lead to many individuals feeling trapped in relationships and spaces they longer want to be in.

Career choices are another arena where the weight of societal expectations is acutely felt. Many South Asians feel pressured to pursue certain professions, such as medicine, engineering, or law, even if their true passion lies elsewhere. The fear of disappointing parents and relatives by deviating from these career paths often leads to unfulfilled lives.

As such, "What will people say?" can be stifling when it comes to personal expression. From clothing choices to hobbies and interests, people may feel compelled to conform to what is deemed socially acceptable. This suppression of individuality can lead to a lack of self-expression and personal growth. What’s more is that the constant worry about what others will say can take a significant emotional toll. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and a sense of never being

good enough. It's a vicious cycle where individuals strive to meet the expectations of others, often at the expense of their own happiness and mental well-being. Breaking free from the clutches of "What will people say?" starts with the recognition that simply put, ironically speaking, if you believe in the narrative, you are also adding to it. The key lies in open communication. Families and communities need to encourage dialogue where individuals can express their thoughts, dreams, and concerns without fear of judgment. This requires a shift from a punitive mindset to a more empathetic and understanding one.

Moreover, it's essential to redefine success on our terms rather than society's. Success doesn't have to be measured solely in terms of career achievements or marital status. It can encompass personal growth, happiness, and fulfillment in whatever form that takes. Encouraging a more diverse and inclusive definition of success can help individuals pursue their passions and interests.

To navigate self-growth, building strong support networks is crucial. When individuals have the backing of friends and family who support their


choices, it becomes easier to withstand societal pressure. Supportive communities can serve as a buffer against the fear of others. By educating oneself and others about the diverse range of lifestyles, careers, and relationships that can lead to happiness and fulfillment, we can challenge traditional stereotypes and norms. Looking inwards, setting personal boundaries is also essential. It's okay to say no when something doesn't align with your values or desires. Learning to assert oneself respectfully is a valuable skill and is a matter of honoring oneself. That said, it isn’t just about the self. Encouraging and championing individuality can lead to more vibrant and innovative families, communities, and economies. When people are free to pursue their passions and interests, it can lead to remarkable achievements and contributions.

One of the most beautiful aspects of today’s global village is its diversity. However, the "What will people say?" mentality often suppresses this diversity. Embracing the richness of diverse lifestyles, careers, and relationships within these communities leads to a more inclusive and vibrant society. Rather than judging those who deviate from societal norms, we should celebrate their courage to be themselves. Every individual is unique, and their choices should not only be respected, but also celebrated.

"What will people say?" is a question that has long held sway, but the time has come to challenge its dominance. Embracing diversity, open communication, and a redefinition of success can help individuals break free from the stifling grip of societal expectations. It's a journey toward personal freedom, happiness, and fulfillment, and it's a journey worth taking. As we empower ourselves and those around us to be true to ourselves, we can create a more inclusive and accepting society that celebrates the rich tapestry of our culture in its true essence. Next time, as we find ourselves questioning what others will say, let us instead ask ourselves what our inner child, or higher self will say!

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Pfc. Jaskirat Singh has wanted to serve his country since a young age, inspired by his Sikh belief in serving others. However, Pfc. Singh, alongside two peers, was told by the Marine Corps to shave his beard and hair before joining the boot camp. Pfc. Singh was always more than sure that he wanted to become a Marine after graduating. Having a deep respect for the Marine Corps' warrior ethos, he saw alignment with Sikh values of discipline, self-sacrifice, and service before self. When told that he would not be allowed to wear a turban and keep unshorn hair and beards at boot camp, Pfc. Singh felt that he was being forced to choose between his faith and his chosen career of military service — even though he knew that he could meet the Marine Corps' need for discipline and unit cohesion, as Sikhs have done for over a decade in other branches of the U.S. military.  After an initial attempt to secure

a preliminary injunction failed, Pfc. Singh and his peers appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in September 2022. During the legal battle, the Justice Department argued on behalf of the Marine Corps that uniform grooming standards were essential to instill a shared Marine identity among recruits. Note that, as pointed out by the Sikh Coalition, the Marine Corps is the only military service that resisted allowing Sikh men to maintain their articles of faith during boot camp. However, in December 2022, Judge Patricia Millett ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, asserting that the Marine Corps had to accommodate their articles of faith during boot camp. She emphasized that the Marine Corps already permitted various grooming standards, such as diverse hairstyles for women and short beards for men with chronic razor burns.

The grooming accommodations specified that Pfc. Singh would wear a cloth pat-

ka or parna during camouflage combat utility uniform exercises. For his service uniform, Singh would have to wear a dark green turban, and for his dress blue uniform, Singh would have to wear a white turban; this would be aligned with the colours of his peers' hats with those uniforms, otherwise known as covers. A black swim cap would be allowed during swimming. The karha would also be acceptable, except during martial arts training when the karha posed a risk to others.

Of course, Pfc. Singh believed he could be a Sikh and a Marine, which pushed him not to give up. The devoted Sikh also found inspiration from the Sikhs who came before him and showed that it was possible to serve successfully and honourably while wearing turbans and beards, like in the Army and Air Force. Simply put, he did not want the next generation of young Sikhs to face the same barriers he did and believed he had to stand up for their right to practice their faith. As part of a Sikh Coalition release, Pfc. Singh conveyed, "I am honoured to serve my country in the Marine Corps and proud that I was able to do so while respecting my Sikh faith."

Pfc. Singh's case was represented by the Sikh Coalition, Winston & Strawn, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and BakerHostetler. "His achievement is yet another testament to the simple fact that no one should be made to choose between any career and their religious beliefs.", says Giselle Klapper, Deputy Legal Director of the Sikh Coalition. As part of Sikh Coalition's press release last year, Amandeep Pfc. Singh Sidhu, a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, pointed out that the injunction marks progress, aligning with policy adjustments in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, enabling over 100 Sikhs to serve with their religious articles. Sidhu emphasized the need to shift the focus toward implementing a comprehensive policy change within the U.S. Marine Corps to ensure equal opportunities for all Americans, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Fast forward to date, Pfc. Singh has made history by becoming the first Marine to complete boot camp while maintaining his Sikh articles of faith. On August 11, Pfc. Singh's graduation

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 48
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as an 0311 military occupational specialty, or infantryman, from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, marked a significant milestone. The new graduate shared his sentiments with reporters following his graduation ceremony, "I hope that today's events can show other young Sikhs that if they want to pursue a career in the military, they can do so while staying true to their faith."

Unlike his fellow male recruits who spent their mornings in bootcamps shaving, Pfc. Singh focused on tying his turban and grooming his beard. Pfc. Singh's fellow recruits did inquire about his turban, but he found them to be supportive of the diversity entering the Marine Corps. "They were pretty much like, 'Yo, that's pretty cool. That's dope,'" Pfc. Singh shared with reporters. Despite initial concerns, he successfully completed tear gas training with his sealed gas mask and encountered no significant issues due to his beard. Marine spokesman Major Joshua Pena congratulated Pfc. Singh and his battalion on their graduation, highlighting Pfc. Singh's role as a squad leader in his platoon.

That said, while a step in the right direction, the recent legal victory remains incomplete, and supporters are still striving for more extensive concessions. Both Pfc. Singh and another client represented by the Sikh Coalition, Marine Captain Sukhbir Pfc. Singh Toor are restricted from maintaining unshorn beards when deployed to regions where they would be eligible for hostile fire or imminent danger pay, essentially combat zones. As such, the Sikh Coalition is continuing to advocate for policy changes within the Marine Corps to ensure that future Sikh recruits can secure religious accommodations without resorting to legal action.

Regardless, Pfc. Singh's remarkable achievement is undeniably a great victory. His determination and the legal win mark a significant step towards greater inclusivity. Pfc. Singh's accomplishment is a personal triumph and a beacon of hope for a more diverse and inclusive armed forces. Speaking to reporters, Pfc. Singh expressed his pride in showcasing that his turban and beard do not undermine his status as a Marine and committed to persistently reaffirming this in the times ahead, "I'm proud to demonstrate that wearing a turban or a beard does not make me any different or less of a Marine, and I intend to prove that in the future."

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Empowering Change

CARE India is a shining beacon of hope and transformation in the vast tapestry of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) striving to make a positive difference. Established with a commitment to alleviate poverty and injustice, CARE India has become synonymous with impactful change, channelling its efforts to create a more equitable society. Rooted in its values, the organization's tireless dedication and innovative approach have substantially impacted the country.

CARE India, an affiliate of the global CARE network, is a leading humanitarian and development organization operational in India for over 70 years. The organization envisions a world where everyone can exercise their rights and live a life of dignity. Its holistic approach addresses the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice, focusing on sustainable solutions that empower communities.

The Impactful Journey of CARE India in 70 Years

Values that Drive Impact

At the core of CARE India's journey lies a set of values that guide its actions and shape its impact - it starts with transformation. CARE India believes in creating lasting change by addressing the root causes of poverty, injustice, and inequality. The organization upholds the highest ethical standards in its work, celebrates diversity, and values excellence and equality.

70 Years of Impact

Throughout its 70-year journey, CARE India has achieved significant milestones. The organization has played a pivotal role in empowering women, enabling them to break barriers, access education, and participate in decision-making processes. Another important area of progress is disaster Response: CARE India's swift and effective disaster response efforts have relieved millions during crises, helping communities recover and rebuild. Their focus on healthcare and education has helped improve access to quality healthcare and education, particularly in underserved areas.

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Innovative Approaches

CARE India's impactful work spans a diverse spectrum, driven by a holistic approach that addresses multifaceted challenges faced by vulnerable communities. Their commitment to gender equality is evident through initiatives such as "Sajha," where women who suffer violence from their partner or family get support by improving the health facilities' response to such cases. According to the founder, Mathew Cherian, "CARE India's efforts in the health care sector to improve access to quality medical services, to promote maternal and child health, and to prevent the spread of diseases has been splendid." Education is another critical focus, with initiatives like the "Girl Education Program" aiming to increase girls' enrollment and retention in schools. According to their website, "CARE India's livelihood programs equip individuals with valuable skills to secure a sustainable income and contribute to their community's growth." Notably, during times of crisis, the organization's disaster relief initiatives provide immediate relief and long-term recovery solutions, helping communities rebuild and become more resilient.

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Inspiring Change for the Future

As CARE India looks to the future, its journey continues with renewed determination and a commitment to driving sustainable change. The organization remains a vocal advocate for policy changes that address the root causes of poverty, inequality, and social injustice. It also seeks to harness the power of technology to improve the reach and impact of its initiatives.

As CARE India continues to pave the way for a brighter future, it welcomes all who share its commitment to making a lasting and positive impact on India's most vulnerable populations.

DARPAN TM 57 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Nah, you can’t avoid getting older, but hang on a second, you certainly can make some smart choices and age gracefully instead. And mind you, ageing gracefully isn't a code for trying to look like you are eternally in your 20s. Nope, it is all about living your absolute best life while staying fit as a fiddle, both physically and mentally, and embracing every wrinkle, every bit of wisdom and the 'oops,' moments that come our way.

Age, truly, is just a number. Whether you are riding the 20s wave, strutting in your 30s, enjoying your fabulous 40s or rocking the 50s — the real secret to healthy and happy living is not the age, but the attitude, habits, and lifestyle choices we make. Right from the foods we consume and how we exercise to the way we nurture our relationships and set financial goals — all this influences how fast or slow our body ages. Here are a few tips for healthy, happy ageing…

Watch What You Consume

Setting clear boundaries between work and personal time is necessary to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Start by setting specific work hours, even for WFH, and refrain from checking emails or indulging in work-related thoughts during your time. For workaholics, this may seem difficult at first, but making a conscious effort can help in the long run. Consider keeping a separate phone for work, which you can easily set aside when off duty. Inform your colleague and supervisors about these boundaries, it will help them understand and respect your personal and professional demarcation. Avoiding burnout, this practice enhances productivity and focus.

Stay Physically Active

An active lifestyle is key to healthy ageing. Sweating it out not only keeps the muscles healthy, but is also good for bone density, and overall mobility. Exercising also reduces the risk of chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. Whether it is brisk walking, yoga, swimming, cycling, workouts in the gym or dancing, find activities you enjoy to keep your body moving and energy levels high. PS: Exercising not only helps to keep you healthy, but studies have shown that it also slows and even reverses the effects of ageing on the skin. So don’t be a couch potato, and get that body moving whenever possible.

Much like a well-aged wine, we too, can get better with age. Read on to know more…
DARPAN TM 59 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Healthy ageing is not only about ensuring physical health. Taking care of your mental health is equally important. Practice yoga and relaxation techniques like meditation, mindfulness and breathing techniques to keep a check on your stress levels and enhance mental clarity. Further indulging in activities that stimulate the mind, such as reading, puzzles, or learning new skills also keeps the mind healthy. Ensure to get good quality sleep and, of course, don’t ever shy away from therapy and counselling if needed.

Nurture Your Bonds

Another secret to positive ageing is nurturing your relationship and actively getting involved with your social environment. Engage with friends, family, and community members to maintain a sense of belonging and combat feelings of loneliness. Nurturing our bonds can provide emotional support, reduce stress, and contribute to a more fulfilling life.

Love Thy Skin & Body

A visible change in the skin and body is a part of ageing. And for our sanity, it is important to love every aspect of this process. Embrace this change and show the skin some TLC. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside and stick to gentle products in your skincare routine.

Gain Financial Stability

Studies have proven that individuals who have sorted their finances lead a healthy and stressfree life. Gaining financial stability is another secret to ageing gracefully. Maintaining financial stability provides a safety net for unexpected challenges and freedom to pursue your dreams and hobbies.

Schedule Routine Checkups

Regular health checkups and screenings are essential to catch and address potential health risks early. Discuss preventive measures with your doctors, such as vaccinations, screenings for common age-related conditions, and appropriate medications. Maintaining a proactive approach can contribute significantly to your well-being as you age.

So, embrace these tips, and remember that with the right choices, every day is an opportunity to age gracefully.

Nourish Your Mental Health

SKYE Avenue Restaurant

A Culinary Oasis in Surrey Central


In the heart of Central Surrey, a culinary gem is poised to shine its light on the dining scene.

SKYE Avenue Kitchen, a concept brought to life by Skie Hospitality Group Inc and supported by the visionary leadership of CEO Garry Sangha the CCI Group of Companies, of which Allure Ventures is a part, is set to redefine luxury dining in the area. Guided by the creative expertise of Executive Chef Valerio Pescetelli and General Manager Rohit Sharma, SKYE Avenue Kitchen promises a dining experience that transcends the ordinary. Get ready to embark on a journey into this culinary oasis, where artistry, craftsmanship, and a passion for excellence converge to create something truly extraordinary.

Surrey City Centre is experiencing a rapid transformation, evolving into Greater Vancouver's next downtown hub. The area already boasts world-class infrastructure, thriving educational institutions, and a burgeoning business sector. With a highly aspirational and cosmopolitan population, the demand for luxury living is on the rise. Allure Ventures, a land development company also owned by Garry Sangha, is at the forefront of this transformation. Allure Venture’s massive real estate projects like The Grand on King George, SkyLiving, and Emerald

Gardens, comprising nearly 1,700 luxury homes, signify the company's dedication to providing residents with a superior quality of life. As this brand new, bustling metropolitan downtown takes shape, SKYE Avenue Kitchen is set to become a cherished dining destination, catering to both locals and visitors alike.

As you step into SKYE Avenue Kitchen, prepare to be enveloped in an atmosphere of pure extravagance and tranquility. The ambiance exudes the warmth of a dear friend welcoming you home, where every detail is carefully curated to ensure your ease and deliver a pleasurable experience. The menu at

SKYE reflects a dedication to curative Canadian cuisine with hints of European and Asian influences. No dish treads the path of safe convenience, but rather strives to be unique and spectacular — each a masterpiece, crafted with precision and creativity, promising to send your palate on a delightful journey to exotic, flavorful destinations. From the quality and originality of the food and beverages to the seating choices and decor, every aspect of SKYE Avenue Kitchen is designed to immerse you in a world of pure indulgence.

The painstaking planning and the careful deliberation to achieve an

We truly believe that SKYE Avenue Lounge is going to be a remarkable addition to our city. It's not just about offering exquisite cuisine and a luxurious atmosphere; it's also about filling a need we saw in our community's cultural fabric.."
Garry Sangha, CEO, Allure Ventures

ambience that is as close to perfection as humanly possible is not surprising though. The forces behind Skie Hospitality Group have picked up the reputation for being relentless in their pursuit of perfection. This approach, however, is not new, and is carried over from the parent company, the CCI Group, which unsurprisingly is one of the most respected construction companies around. Skie Hospitality Group’s CEO, Garry Sangha shares, "We truly believe that SKYE Avenue Kitchen is going to be a remarkable addition to our city. It's not just about offering exquisite cuisine and a luxurious atmosphere; it's also about filling a need we saw in our community's cultural fabric. We saw a need for a place where people can gather, indulge, and savor moments of pure delight. SKYE is our way of giving back to the city we love, and we can't wait for everyone to experience this new dimension of luxury and comfort."

SKYE Avenue Kitchen

At SKYE Avenue Kitchen, the menu is a testament to the team's commitment to excellence. Every ingredient

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 64

is sourced locally, from quality-focused farms and suppliers, with a focus on local, organic, and sustainable options, including Oceanwise selections. The menu seamlessly weaves together contemporary and progressive interpretations of local dishes with European and Asian influences. Whether you're in the mood for comfort classics or innovative creations, SKYE's culinary offerings promise an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates the best of British Columbia's ingredients.

The culinary experience at SKYE Avenue Kitchen is perfectly complemented by an extensive and unparalleled drinks menu. The Whisky and Cognac Lounge stands out with its remarkable selection of labels from around the world, catering to all tastes. SKYE offers an impressive assortment of handpicked Single Malts, Blended, American, and Craft Whiskies, along with a dedicated Hennessy & Remy Martin experience. Each whiskey in the lineup has been carefully chosen for its distinct flavors, rich history, and extraordinary craftsmanship.

SKYE Avenue Kitchen offers a variety of seating options to suit your dining needs:

• The expansive Dining Room can accommodate up to 150 guests, with tables that can be configured for groups of up to 10.

• An intimate 20-seat private dining area within the restaurant provides an exclusive setting for special occasions, business meetings, or those seeking a quieter dining experience.

• The Chef's Tables offer a unique and exclusive dining opportunity, allowing guests to observe the culinary action up close. Choose from a set menu or a personalized tasting menu curated by the Chef.

• The Lounge features limited seating for an intimate experience, with an exquisite Whisky and Cognac menu for those who want to savor their pre or post-meal moments. With over 1,000 curated choices available, there's something for everyone.

• An outdoor patio, nestled beside the main dining area, offers seating for 60 guests in an inviting space with a stone fireplace, views of the mall, university, and high-rises. The patio is pre-heated in winter and fully ventilated in summer, ensuring your comfort regardless of the season.

SKYE Avenue Kitchen is ready to welcome you to an unforgettable dining experience at Central City Mall. Whether you're seeking a luxurious evening with friends, exquisite food choices, or an extensive drinks menu, the team at SKYE looks forward to serving you. Come and indulge in the culinary delights that await at SKYE Avenue Kitchen in Central Surrey. It's a journey into the heart of Surrey's culinary excellence, where a commitment to excellence shines!

#190, 13450 102 ave (Central City Mall)


DARPAN TM 65 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Just as we look to the fashion week run ways for direction on how to freshen our fall wardrobe, so do makeup trends flow from there. These days social media is another source of influence for how we come to present ourselves. From runway to social media platforms and back to the runway and then to the street, it’s a symbiotic flow of style inspiration for celebs and the masses alike.

“Both social media and fashion week influence trends now,” says Elizabeth Layton, regional education trainer for M·A·C Cosmetics. “We instantly

see runway trends brought to life on social, and social trends influencing the key makeup artists backstage. Even the celebrity looks from the front row can instantly become new trends. At M·A·C, we have a rich history of setting the trends backstage, and now our M·A·C artists are creating them on social. So it’s become so much more accessible to find trends that resonate with you and your makeup goals.”

Shannon Calvert, Benefit Cosmetics’ national brow and beauty authority, concurs that social media complements what happens on the runway but that it also launches new looks.

“I think with the growth of TikTok being used as a search engine, we will continue to see beauty trends being very influential on there while taking inspiration from fashion week, being widely shared on social media, with TikTok taking the lead to influence the biggest beauty trends,” Calvert observes.

The biggest shift this fall season Layton says is a throwback to the 1990s.

“Makeup today is more effortless, skin-like but with impact,” she explains.

“We have seen a massive resurgence of ‘90s and early ‘00s influence on both makeup and fashion this fall, making its way into streetwear, makeup and aesthetic. It has a realness to it that is hugely appealing, not intimidating.”   Darpan asked Layton and Calvert to breakdown some of the dominant trends

Skin as a Canvas

The finished complexion, Calvert notes, is still very natural and all about skincare. “Glass skin will be taking a back seat as we’re now seeing a soft matte finish to the skin.” This look can be achieved by prepping the skin with a mask like Benefit’s Deep Retreat Pore Clearing Clay Mask which she says has a 12-hour mattifying effect. Follow up with a primer to minimize pores so skin is left with a matte yet smooth finish.

Layton uses the term the skinification of makeup when it comes the complexion. Celebrity

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Makeup today is more effortless, skin-like but with impact”
Elizabeth Layton, Regional education trainer, M·A·C Cosmetics

makeup artists and influencers emphasize the importance of skin care and priming the skin for makeup, she says. Newer formulations for foundations have skincare benefits—both immediate and others that work overtime.

“The skin trends for fall are luxurious, plump and hydrated skin that looks effortless – and this always begins with skin care,” Layton explains. “We are seeing the M·A·C Hyper Real Serumizer shining beneath foundations like the new M·A·C Studio Radiance Serum-Powered Foundation for skin that looks youthful and glowing. Whether you want your skin to look sunglazed or steamy, radiance is key.”

Lips Redefined

Calvert see a return to a bold lip, adding that matte lips are here to stay but with strong colour and are effortless to create with lip tints as they require minimal touch ups. “Ombre lips can be created by using a water based lip stain such as Benetint in the centre of the lip and blending softly around the outer corner,” she says.

Layton says the return of the ‘90s lip looks is evident with the visible lip liner made famous by M·A·C. “Ombre is a more structured version of the ‘90s lip trend, and a great option for those who like a more glam lip look,” she explains. “Matte will always be

DARPAN TM 67 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle
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part of this trend, and formulas have evolved to give a more modern, lightweight look and feel – like M·A·C Powder Kiss Lipstick in Teddy 2.0, which we are seeing paired with M·A·C Lip Pencil in Chestnut for an instantly iconic, structured matte lip.”

Eye Definition

Graphic liner and metallic shadows are in the forefront for fall. Layton sees graph ic liner as the natural evolution of the traditional wing liner. “We’ve seen popand celebrity-culture really bring graphic liner into the mainstream. “Products like Brushstroke Liner are making it easier for anyone to achieve impactful and graphic liner looks. For even more creative ex pression, gel-pencil formulas like M·A·C Colour Excess Gel Pencil Eyeliner come in a multitude of colours and wear all day,” she says.

Calvert says that graphic liner remains on trend owing to its modern yet simple look. This season, she sees a more natural sharp wing trending on TikTok. “For a graphic liner, I would suggest They’re real! Xtreme Precision Eye Liner as it easily glides on to create a perfectly

bold look with the tapered 0.1 mm brush tip. For a more subtle yet sharp winged liner I would recommend Roller Liner, the felt tip gives control to create a precise sharp wing.”

Metallic shadows have returned but are being used in more casual daytime makeup looks, says Layton. “A sweep of a single metallic shade is a modern and easy approach – think of it as jewelry for the eye – and textures like M·A·C Extra Dimension Eyeshadows and M·A·C Dazzleshadow Extreme are finger-friendly, can be used wet or dry to customize and come in a range of metallics to enhance

range of brow trends but says the only constant in brows is that they’re always integral to setting the tone for the overall makeup look. “Even if the look is a skin-focused trend like sunglazed, the brows are made fluffy and natural using Eye Brows Big Boost Fibre Gel to add colour, volume and hold,” she says.

Brow expert Calvert notes there have been a lot of recent brow trends — from bleached brows to Y2K thin brows— but that straight brows are easily becoming the biggest brow trend of 2023. She advises against following the viral TikTok video that mapped brows out to a straight shape and then people would shave off the tails of their brows to achieve it. “A straight brow is a beautiful shape but isn’t for everyone,” she explains. “You can easily fake it with Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer and Precisely My Brow Pencil to see if the shape suits your facial features, if you like it then I’d recommend going to a Benefit Brow Bar to get them professionally mapped and shaped.”

Layton acknowledges the

Get The Look

One trend that is simple to integrate into any beauty routine is Soft Goth, says Layton. “We are seeing this wearable take on deep lips coming back for fall and the essentials to recreate this trend couldn’t be more simple: M·A·C Lip Pencil in Nightmoth pushed into the lip and topped with M·A·C Glow Play Lip Balm in Halo at Me for moisture and shine. You can really choose your own depth with this combination, and it looks great on everyone.”

Calvert suggests the monochromatic makeup look which she says is evident in both the strawberry makeup (pinks and reds) and latte makeup (browns and nudes) trends. “I’m all about a one-tone look as it is simple to create and looks well put together. I always use my Hoola Bronzer on my eyelids to complete my makeup.”

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Products like Brushstroke Liner are making it easier for anyone to achieve impactful and graphic liner looks. ”
Elizabeth Layton, Regional education trainer, M·A·C Cosmetics
I’m all about a onetone look as it is simple to create and looks well put together. I always use my Hoola Bronzer on my eyelids to complete my makeup.”
“ “
Shannon Calvert, Benefit Cosmetics


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DARPAN TM 69 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle


Unless you are staying under a rock, chances are this age-old saying has serenaded your ears more than once during your professional journey. However, striking that delicate balance between the realms of work and personal life is a perennial struggle for all working individuals. When it comes to balancing our life, we are all walking the tightrope, while juggling work, social life, and our health. Often neglecting the latter two in the quest to be successful in our careers. Our demanding work environment, with its quintessential erratic work hours, tight deadlines, and digital connectivity, often leaves most of us grappling with the challenge of maintaining a sense of harmony. But like the famous

American singer-songwriter — Dolly Patron said, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” While the grind is essential, not letting work take precedence over everything else in your life, especially your wellness is also vital.

Studies have proved that working long hours in a stressful work environment can lead to serious health issues such as sleep deprivation, depression, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease. Thus, making the need to find a balance between professional and personal life even more important.

The perks of achieving a healthy worklife equilibrium are many. Not only does it nurtures our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, but also benefits our career progression. Scientific research affirms that those who pirouette through life balancing work, health and social life are the most productive beings, both on the office stage as well as on life's grand theatre. So, folks, mastering the wholesome work-life balance is nothing short of essential.

Wondering how to ace this elusive equilibrium?

Worry not, we have gathered some pro tips which will help you not only conquer spreadsheets but also achieve wellness in even the most demanding of workplaces. Read on.

Define Boundaries

Setting clear boundaries between work and personal time is necessary to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Start by setting specific work hours, even for WFH, and refrain from checking emails or indulging in work-related thoughts during your time. For workaholics, this may seem difficult at first, but making a conscious effort can help in the long run. Consider keeping a separate phone for work, which you can easily set aside when off duty. Inform your colleague and supervisors about these boundaries, it will help them understand and respect your personal and professional demarcation. Avoiding burnout, this practice enhances productivity and focus.

Striking a healthy work-life balance in demanding workplaces is essential for your wellbeing and professional growth.
DARPAN TM 71 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Prioritize Personal Interests

Yes, we know your job is important, but don’t let it overshadow your identity. Devoting time to personal interests and hobbies that make you happy will nourish your mind and body. Engage in activities like reading, dancing, painting, hiking, exercising, practising mindfulness or anything else that you enjoy; it will do wonders for your well-being. Carve out at least 30 minutes of ‘me-time’ daily and disconnect from work stress and concerns. Occasionally setting aside a day of complete rest can also be beneficial. This dedicated self-care time enhances your physical and emotional well-being, nurturing both you and your career.

Seek Support

Well, you can’t always be the superwoman/superman doing all the tasks at work. Don’t hesitate to speak to your superiors when your plate overflows and the work pressure gets unbearable. Request them to give you more time or allow you to share your load with colleagues. Suffering in silence and taking unnecessary stress hampers your well-being and efficiency at work.

Take Paid Leaves

You don't need to skip taking your paid holidays if not planning a fancy vacation. Instead, make sure to take these breaks for relaxation and rejuvenation. Disconnect from work, recharge, and return with renewed zest. Using your paid time off not only helps your physical and mental well-being but boosts productivity and makes you more competent to handle difficult tasks at work.

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 72 AMIT CHOPRA REALTOR ® Buy & Sell With Confidence! SUTON PREMIER REALTY An independent member Broker 15483 104th Ave Surrey BC V3R1N9 Office: 604.581.8400 Fax: 604.581.0495 778.891.4339 Email: amit21X@gmail.com www.Suttonpremier.com AMIT CHOPRA PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION WE DON'T JUST BUILD HOUSES, WE BUILD HOMES CAN - WEST D EVELOPMENT LTD CAN - WEST D EVELOPMENT LTD Custom Homes • General Contracting www.CanWestHomes.com 6625 FRASER ST, VANCOUVER, BC V5X 3T6 Jiwan Ranauta C: 604.537.8374 | T: 604.866.8374

Plan & Organize

A cornerstone of balance is effective time management. Plan your tasks, set achievable goals, and allocate time for work, leisure, and personal commitments. A well-structured schedule helps mitigate stress and ensures that essential aspects of life receive the attention they deserve. Set aside ten to fifteen minutes daily to plan your tasks and activities for the day in advance, use calendars and planners to schedule tasks, and see how you seamlessly get through the day without distractions and giving your cent per cent at work.

Savour Breaks

An occasional break from your desk invigorates your workday. Go grab a cup of coffee, take a lunch break with colleagues, or indulge in an occasional chitchat ses sion with workmates. The change of pace is always refreshing, and the break ushers in renewed perspective and sharpened focus.

Prioritize Health

If anything, that is non-negotiable at the workplace -- it is your health. If you are not healthy, it is bound to impact your work life too. Ensure you are eating on time, not skipping meals at work, taking a pause when needed and indulging in selfcare. Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being will not only make you more efficient at work but also keep you happier at work and outside of the office too.

DARPAN TM 73 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle
T: 604-657-6612 | F: 604-207-0444 E: info@aneleganttouch.ca www.aneleganttouch.ca Rita Chohan Founder & Owner Make a Great first impression You only have five seconds to make a good first impression on a buyer when selling your home” Home Staging Interior Design Color Consultation An-Elegant-Touch-Home-Staging-and-Design eleganthomestaging

Life minus colours will be pretty dull, grey, and literally a snooze fest! However, colours, my friends, also have the power to throw our emotions into a frenzy. Ever waltzed into a room and felt your mood either nose-dive or skyrocket? Or felt inexplicably irritated in some space and blissed out like a Zen master in another? Colours are emotional hijackers, which pull on to our mood strings like no other.

So, the next time you blame the universe for your cranky mood, glance around — those cheeky hues could be the real culprits tinkering with your feelings, behaviour, and mood. While shades evoke certain emotions, colours have also been associated with physiological issues, including increased blood pressure, hypertension, and eyestrain. That is why it is essential to consider colour psychology while designing homes to create an atmosphere that vibes just right for your space.

So, what exactly is colour psychology?

Simply put, colour psychology studies how colours affect human behaviour, emotions, and perceptions. So, if you plan to add a pop of colour or decorate your entire room, read on; we have all the info you need for nailing those hues.

Power of Pink

Nah, pink is not just a girl thing! It’s about time we bury such ancient notions. Embodying playfulness, innocence, and tranquillity with a touch of whimsy, pink is known to create a warm, welcoming, and compassionate atmosphere. Research even shows that shades of pink can calm your mind and tame your inner hulk, as it is known to lessen aggression. So, don’t underestimate the power of pink and consider it for a dreamy bedroom, snazzy bathroom, or a chic living room.

Stress-Free White

The colour white undoubtedly rules the interior designing stage, and rightfully so. White represents purity, innocence, and simplicity and is also a versatile colour with textures, accents, furniture and other colours, making it a hot favourite in any décor style. A symbol of cleanliness and simple life, white is also known to help reduce tension and enhance creativity, thus making it an ideal choice in almost every corner of your home. From living rooms to bedrooms, white is your go-to for that fresh, calm exuding Zen space.

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Charming Blue

The colour blue is a mood magician, and incorporating this superstar of colour psychology into any space uplifts the mood and has plenty of health benefits. Be it the deep shades of navy or bold cobalt blue or the dreamy sky blue, all shades of this hue have a calming effect and are known to soothe the heart, mind, and hypertension. Furthermore, studies have shown that the tranquil nature of this colour helps restless minds and positively impacts sleep quality, making the shade an ideal choice for bedrooms. As the oh-so-cool blue is known to enhance one’s focus, it is also perfect for study rooms and living rooms.

Sunshine Yellow

Need a burst of joy in your space? Yellow is your go-to hue. Known for its lively charm, yellow is associated with prosperity, intelligence, happiness, and sophistication in colour psychology. It is a perfect choice to keep the vibe of your space lively and joyful—however, yellow needs to be handled with caution, care, and aesthetics. While too much yellow can make your space look tacky, rooms decorated from ceiling to floor in yellow can also impact your mood negatively and spike up your blood pressure. Hence, it is advised to tread lightly with yellow in your décor. The best spaces to incorporate this hue are the hallway, bathroom, dining room and kitchen.

Energizing Red

It is no surprise red is linked to passion, love, dominance, power, and prestige in colour psychology. Whether blood red, brick red, or any other shade of this hue, red is unmistakably fierce and exudes power. Psychologists believe that red makes people more accurate, focused, and cautious. However, like yellow, red has its cons and can lead to negative emotions like anger, so it is best to combine it with soothing colours like white or beige while decorating your space with red. Red encourages conversations when used in spaces like the dining room and living area. It can also be used in the hallway to leave a lasting first impression on guests. Red is also great for creative spaces and bedrooms.

Regal Purple

Mysterious, spiritual, and royal, the colour purple is often associated with several emotions in colour psychology, but most interior designers often use shades of this nobility to inspire creativity. It also enhances sensitivity in children but should be used sparingly as it negatively impacts sleep patterns. Use it in the dressing room or the hallway to impress guests or the in-house art studio. For the rest of the space, use it as accents, gallery walls, upholstery, furniture pieces, etc. Remember, let purple reign in your spaces, but not create a riot.

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 76
DARPAN TM 77 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle Allure Ventures Inc. is a family company that is built on family values. Our promise is embedded in “Our Family Building Your Home.” Allure Ventures Inc. uses an inventive, sustainable and communityminded approach to develop multi-family environments where residents can thrive. Our Family Building Your Home SUPERIOR CONSTRUCTION & FINISHINGS STATE-OF-THE-ART AMENITIES TOP-LINE APPLIANCES & FIXTURES COMMITMENT TO QUALITY www.allurebuildings.com 604-359-8118 info@allureventures.ca PRESENTATION CENTRE: 13629 108 AVENUE, SURREY BC


tarting part-time in the mortgage business in late 2018, Amandeep Duggal has made impressive progress. He began by subleasing a room and working as an in-house mortgage broker at City 2 City Real Estate Services Inc. Today, as the Founder of Duggal Mortgages, he oversees three offices in Surrey, Abbotsford, and Calgary and leads a team of eight people.

"I never thought I'd be working in the mortgage industry, and I had no idea I'd find it as enjoyable as I do now. When I began, my main goal was simply to help people. I noticed they were frequently being misled, and I wanted to make sure they could make informed choices when purchasing their homes," he explains.

Amandeep was well aware of potential home buyers' challenges regarding mortgages. He had faced several obstacles in getting his mortgage approved when he was buying his home in Surrey, which inspired him to do a Mortgage Brokerage course from UBC and take the exam to become a licensed mortgage broker.

At Duggal Mortgages, Amandeep and his team truly try to understand their client's needs and give them a clear picture of the options available and the best way forward. He considers himself quite fierce when it comes to his clients. Everyone who works for him, too, embodies the same attitude so that whatever needs to be done is done in time, which could include explaining the situation and processes to the client, preparing the list of the documents required, reviewing those documents, putting the offer and everything in between. His passion and a unique blend of empathy and fierceness have led to many success stories. A recent example involves a woman who had previously declared bankruptcy due to her inability to meet mortgage payments. Amandeep suggested selling her house, using the proceeds and refinancing to purchase a different property. She is doing well with her payments now, facilitated by favourable mortgage terms, and her new property has appreciated by five hundred thousand dollars. His client's success is reflected in Duggal Mortgages' performance, which was among the top 0.4% of all DLC brokers in 2022 and won the "Top 50 Mortgages Funded Monthly 2023 Award" and "Elite Hall of Fame Award" among many others.

Beyond mortgages, Amandeep is working on setting up a financial consulting company, offering advice in areas ranging from RRSP, insurance, and proper wills to the power of attorney and wealth planning. He is also busy partnering with builders and developers to help build custom luxury homes in British Columbia.

While his professional journey is going from strength to strength, Amandeep places immense value on family and experiences. Father of two sons, he loves spending time with his family and especially enjoys travelling with his wife, Anushka.

Mortgage Maverick (778)951-7000 #404, 8318 120 St, Surrey, BC

Chef Tondvalkar Tushar

Tushar Tondvalkar is a celebrated Chef and Owner of The Indian Pantry, a culinary enterprise focusing on contemporary Indian dining experiences in Metro Vancouver. In early 2023 he partnered with Brave Brewing Co. to open Frankie Street Food, a food truck specializing in Bombay-inspired wraps and burgers. Notably, he achieved recognition as the Winner of Season 1 Episode 4 of the show "Chefs Vs Wild" on Hulu and Disney+. With a deep-rooted love for regional Indian cuisine, Tushar has effectively broadened the scope of his culinary offerings throughout British Columbia, making the authentic flavours of India accessible to a diverse range of diners.

During his culinary career, Tushar has gained invaluable experience through internships at prestigious establishments such as Gaggan, Asia's Number One restaurant, and Gaa, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Bangkok. He has also honed his skills at some of Vancouver's most esteemed restaurants, including Bauhaus, Fish House in Stanley Park, and Blue Water Cafe.

Driven by a mission to redefine Western perceptions of Indian food, Chef Tushar aims to showcase its dynamic nature while preserving the essence of authentic flavours abundant in Indian cuisine. His innovative approach encourages diners to explore Indian gastronomy with a fresh perspective, discovering the richness and uniqueness within.

Lamb Vindaloo

with Chilli Garlic Tadka


• 1 pound lamb neck

• 2 cups veg stock or water

• 2 tbsp of oil

• 450 gm (1 jar) vindaloo sauce by The Indian Pantry

• Salt to taste

• 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

Chilli Garlic Tadka

• 2 tbsp of oil

• 3 cloves chopped garlic

• 3 pc red chilli whole dried

• ½ tbsp cumin seeds

• 3 tbsp chopped cilantro and mint


• Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

• Add oil to a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven and sear the lamb neck until it is golden brown on all sides.

• Add veg stock to the pot and vindaloo sauce and boil it.

• Put the lid on the pot and let it braise in the oven for about 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender.

• Season with salt.

Chilli Garlic Tadka for Garnish

• In a pan, add oil on a medium flame.

• Add cumin seeds, garlic, and chillies for 10 seconds when the oil is hot.

• Remove from the heat and add cilantro and mint to the pan.

• Add the tadka to the curry for garnish.

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 80
DARPAN Recipes
BC SHOWROOM 19178 34A Avenue, Surrey, BC | ONTARIO SHOWROOM 6900 Airport Road, Suite 211, Mississauga, ON


Skinless bone-in chicken legs (score with a knife) 4 leg pieces

Oil 4 tbsp

Diced onion 2 large

Garam masala by The Indian Pantry 2 tbsp

Mint chopped 1 cup

Cilantro chopped 2 cups

Green chilli 2

Ginger garlic paste 4 tbsp

Lemon juice 2 tbsp

Salt to taste


In a blender, add mint, cilantro and green chilli with a touch of water (for blending); make a thick paste; marinate the chicken legs and keep them aside.

In a medium pan on medium heat, add oil and add onions.

Cook until the onions are translucent, then add ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add garam masala and cook for another minute, then add the marinated chicken and all the marination.

Add a little water, put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes at low-medium heat.

Check if the chicken is cooked; if not, let it be covered. Add water if needed, but not too much because you want the sauce thick.

Season with salt to taste, squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve with rice or a dinner roll.

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DARPAN TM 83 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle O U T D O O R K I T C H E N S O L U T I O N S E L E G A N T B A T H R O O M S W E H A V E P A R T N E R E D W I T H S E V E R A L L E A D I N G I T A L I A N B R A N D S T O B R I N G A T A S T E O F M O D E R N I T A L Y T O T H E C A N A D I A N M A R K E T . 1 3 3 7 5 C o m b e r W a y S u r r e y B C O f f i c e : 6 0 4 . 5 9 7 . 0 3 6 4 i n f o @ s u n r i s e k i t c h e n s . c o m w w w . s u n r i s e k i t c h e n s . c o m S U N R I S E K I T C H E N S C O N T E M P O R A R Y C L O S E T S L U X U R Y K I T C H E N S

It has been a delightful year for Hindi cinema so far! And the excitement only grows as Bollywood gears up to amaze us with an interesting lineup of films in the coming months. From inspiring biopics like SRI to uproarious family comedies like The Great Indian Family and poignant tales of valour like Mission Raniganj — this season offers an enthralling array of emotions and experiences in entertainment. So, block your dates for these silver-screen wonders now.

Release date: September 15, 2023

Directed by: Tushar Hiranandani

Starring: Rajkummar Rao, Alaya F, Jyotika, Sharad Kelkar, Ravi Singh

Following a fabulous performance in the recently released webseries ‘Guns & Gulaabs,’ versatile actor Rajkummar Rao is all set to grace the screen again, this time in the eagerly awaited biopic — SRI. Helmed by director Tushar Hiranandani, SRI delves into the remarkable life of industrialist Srikanth Bholla, who didn’t let his visual impairment come in the way of his vision and founded Bollant Industries. Rajkummar Rao, who plays the titular role, said, “It's indeed a privilege to play such an inspiring persona who has been through a lot of hardships and despite that has risen like a phoenix!” With such an inspiring story supported by Rao’s exceptional acting chops, SRI promises to be a cinematic experience that can’t be missed.


Release Date: September 22, 2023

Directed by: Vijay Krishna Acharya

Starring: Vicky Kaushal, Manushi Chhillar, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra

Get ready to fall off your seats with laughter as The Great Indian Family gears up for release. Headlined by the charming Vicky Kaushal, The Great Indian Family promises to be one crazy rollercoaster ride, which is packed with truckloads of quirks and chaos. In a teaser that was dropped recently, we got a sneak peek into the delightful mayhem that awaits us on the silver screen. Picture this: Vicky Kaushal passionately talking about the beauty of family... until he is shedding tears over his family's craziness and even refers to them as a bunch of ‘snakes.’ While the plot is well-guarded by the makers, Manushi Chhillar, the film’s leading lady, playfully teased on social media. She wrote, “This family is one of a kind! Come along with your family to meet #TheGreatIndianFamily in cinemas on 22nd September.” Seems like this joyride is about to take family drama to a whole new level.

DARPAN MOVIES SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle DARPAN TM 84 www.darpanmagazine.com

Amarpal Singh


Release Date: October 5, 2023

Directed by: Tinu Suresh Desai

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra, Suniel Shetty

There is quite a lot of excitement around this upcoming survival thriller, and rightfully so. Drawing inspiration from the real-life story of Raniganj Coalfields, wherein 64 miners were trapped in West Bengal, Mission Raniganj narrates the gripping tale of the rescue mission, where mining engineer Jaswant Singh's risked his own life to save the trapped miners. Akshay Kumar, who has earlier played real-life heroes in several films like ‘Airlift’ and ‘PadMan’, will be seen playing Sardar Jaswant Singh Gill in the movie. The film also stars Parineeti Chopra and Suniel Shetty in pivotal roles. Speaking about her part in the film, Parineeti enthusiastically shared in an interview, “I play his (Kumar’s) wife, and I’ve done ‘Kesari’ (2019) with him before, so I always told him ‘whenever you’re doing a film dates are not a problem, I’m just going to come,’ because I have so much fun shooting with him.” Well, with an inspiring storyline and an ensemble cast of this calibre, Mission Raniganj is sure to captivate your hearts.

DARPAN TM SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle 86
E: amarpal.singh@td.com C: 604 761 8509 td.com Get
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Release date: September 1, 2023

Directed by: Ashish Kumar

Starring: Prince Kawaljit Singh, Japji Khaira, Baljinder Kaur, Mintu Kapa

Excitement is at its peak for the much-awaited revenge drama — Cheta Singh. The film has been creating a buzz ever since its announcement and stars ver-

Attention, Pollywood lovers, get ready for a pure treat as a series of intriguing and diverse films are all set to hit the screens in the coming months. From revenge dramas to empowerment narratives and rib-tickling comedies, there is something for everyone, and you sure don’t want to miss out on all the entertainment they have promised. So, block your calendar now for these upcoming releases that are all set to redefine the landscape of Punjabi cinema.

satile actor Prince Kawaljit Singh in a never-seen-before avatar. If the recently released trailer is anything to go by, Cheta Singh looks like an electrifying revenge thriller that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. “Cheta Singh is intense and very different from what I have done before,” confesses Prince Kawaljit Singh in an interview. The poster alone gave us a sneak peek into the film's dark and mysterious narrative, with the hard-hitting tagline – “Je tan bansari vechda, pata udon laggu jadon vajaunga.” Directed by Ashish Kumar, the film boasts a star-studded lineup featuring Japji Khaira, Baljinder Kaur Ballu, Mintu Kapa, Irwin Meet, Mahabir Bhullar, and more. Interestingly, the screenplay and dialogues are written by none other than Prince Kanwaljit Singh. With high-octane action sequences, intense performances and a gripping plotline, Cheta Singh is sure to stun Punjabi film aficionados.


Release date: September 15, 2023

Directed by: Uday Pratap Singh

Starring: Neeru Bajwa, Rubina Bajwa, Nirmal Rishi, Rupinder Rupi, Jaswinder Brar, Gurpreet Bhanghu

DARPAN TM 88 www.darpanmagazine.com SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Buhe Bariyan undoubtedly is one of the most eagerly awaited Punjabi films of 2023. Directed by Uday Pratap Singh, Buhe Bariyan stands out not only for its talented ensemble cast but also for its empowering subject. Though multi-starrers are not a novelty in Punjabi cinema, a film led by a powerful female star cast is indeed a rare sight. Set in a rural background, the film stars Pollywood’s queen Neeru Bajwa as a cop and narrates a story of women who stand unwaveringly together, championing not only each other, but also their rights. Neeru Bajwa expressed her enthusiasm about the film, stating, “This film holds a special place in my heart, and I am excited for you to get a glimpse of the incredible journey we have embarked upon. The entire team has poured their passion and hard work into this project, and I can’t wait for you to join us on this emotional ride.” Well, we can’t wait to catch this one in the cinema soon.


Release date: September 22, 2023

Directed by: Navaniat Singh

Starring: Dev Kharoud, Japji Khaira, Aarushi Sharma, Sukhi Chahal

Ever since Punjabi cinema's action star, Dev Kharoud, unveiled the first look poster of Blackia 2 on his social media with the enticing caption, "This time, the black will be bigger," a wave of anticipation has swept across audiences. Set in 1975, this sequel to the 2019 hit film Blackie, is touted to redefine Punjabi cinema’s thriller genre. Inspired by true events, the film promises to have jaw-dropping action sequences and revolves around the theme of gangsters and smuggling. Helmed by Navaniat Singh, Blackia 2 also feature Japji Khaira as the female lead. While not much is revealed about the film, Dev Kharoud said, “The entire team, of Blackia has put a lot of hard work and dedication into making this movie. We can wait to show it to you all.” As excitement builds, the makers aim to raise the bar even higher with Blackia 2, promising another gripping drama, which is high on action and intensity.


Release date: October 20, 2023

Directed by: Smeep Kang

Starring: Gippy Grewal, Binnu Dhillon, Karamjit Anmol, Tanu Grewal

One can trust Gippy Grewal to deliver nothing but sheer entertainment, and the megastar’s forthcoming film Maujaan Hi Maujaan seems no different.

Directed by Smeep Kang, Maujaan Hi Maujaan, is a comic caper revolving around three characters played by Gippy Grewal, Binnu Dhillon, and Karamjit Anmol. While the storyline remains shrouded in mystery, the film’s initial poster tagline – A deaf, dumb and blind comedy — hints at an uproarious comedy drama. Speaking about the film Gippy said, “It has a very different storyline. I hope viewers will support our new creation wholeheartedly and bless us.” Further promising it to be a mad ride, producer Amardeep Grewal said, “It is filled with madness, humour, comedy and an amazing star cast.” We bet you won’t want to miss this laugh-riot.

DARPAN MOVIES DARPAN TM 90 www.darpanmagazine.com SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Saroj Jalan’s latest collection Bulbul is imbued with the spirit of self-discovery, empowerment, and liberation.

Bulbul Collection Saroj Jalan's

A Flight of Freedom and Expression

Renowned for its ability to infuse Indian craft into opulent designs, couturier Saroj Jalan’s eponymous brand has made an indelible mark on the Indian fashion landscape, captivating both the discerning Indian fashion market and a constellation of celebrity clientele. Capturing the essence of timeless elegance, Saroj Jalan designs are versatile and exquisite enough to transcend people, places, and occasions.

In the latest collection ‘Bulbul’, the designer artfully weaves together threads of her childhood memories, creating a festive/bridal edit that leaves an enduring impression with its ethereal designs. It's not merely a collection; it's a voyage through Saroj Jalan's life, a tapestry of emotions and experiences expressed through fabric and form.

Describing the edit’s essence, the designer says, “Bulbul is an expression, a foliage of stories budding from my childhood in Natore, Bangladesh to till date thriving in Kolkata, India. It is a tale in transition, a voyage on an endless path of discoveries and rediscoveries. It is about losses and findings, it is about collectibles, and reminiscing. It is a jubilee of celebration of emotions of each milestone, in brief, it is a celebration of self-liberty.”

The inspiration behind Bulbul stems from the free-spirited nature of the bulbul bird, which epitomizes freedom and confidence as it gracefully soars through the skies. Drawing from this essence, the designer aims to empower women to express themselves freely and embrace their inner ‘bulbul.’ She articulates her vision by saying, “My collection aims to achieve just that, to give them freedom of expression of their confidence, vigour, and beauty.”


At the heart of Bulbul lies a profound philosophy about choices and their profound impact on our lives. Saroj Jalan reflects on the core theme of the collection, saying, “We make about 35,000 choices a day. From what we are going to have for breakfast to what time we are planning on waking up the following day. The accumulation of these choices has a huge impact on our mental health, thus the quality of life. No matter how big or small; every choice matters. One choice, conscious to some yet unconscious to others, is our fashion choice. I wanted Bulbul to be one such choice, which is an outward form of self-identity, self-discovery. Through Bulbul I wanted to send a message to my customers to start valuing everything that makes them who they are… to be the wind beneath their wings.”

The name ‘Bulbul’ is deeply intertwined with Saroj Jalan's connection to her roots and her nation. It resonates with the eternal struggle for freedom and self-expression. “Saare jahaan se acha, Hindustaan humara, Hum bulbule hai iski, ye gulistaan humara… Bulbuls’ connection to me, in fact, with the nation runs deep, with several writers mentioning them in literature throughout different eras. Our national song even personifies them, symbolizing the country’s eternal struggle for freedom and how could it be any different in expressing my freedom of thoughts,” says the designer who is a favourite among celebrities like Malavika Mohanan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Rao, Genelia Deshmukh, Karishma Tanna, Sania Mirza and many others.

Saroj Jalan's journey as a designer has been remarkable. Hailing from Bangladesh and weaving her roots into Kolkata's fashion tapestry, she has become one of the leading bridal-wear fashion designers. Her eponymous brand, launched in 2004, is not just about creating stunning outfits but also about empowering Indian artisans and women by providing livelihood opportunities and valuable skill training. Saroj Jalan’s commitment to reviving local craftsmanship has been a defining feature of her brand's ethos. The brand has charted a remarkable course, from the runways of prestigious fashion weeks to winning the admiration and loyalty of her customers.

One iconic moment that etched Saroj Jalan’s name in the fashion annals was

during Lakme Fashion Week in 2019. Here, the designer left an indelible mark when the celebrated actress Genelia Deshmukh graced the runway wearing a bridal lehenga paired with boots, instantly becoming a style icon for brides-to-be, and setting a trend that reverberated throughout the bridal fashion world.

The brand ‘Saroj Jalan’ aims at uplifting Indian artisans by designing collections in which today’s modern

Indian bride can create beautiful memories for themselves and the people. Hence, it is no surprise that craftsmanship takes centre stage in Bulbul. “We at Saroj Jalan only deal in hand-embroidered garments, and we take pride in our craftsmanship and the exquisite zardozi embroidery we use on our ensembles. We have dealt with fabrics like silks, organza and georgettes in our garments and teamed them with rich handloom fabrics like paithani and patola as well,” explains Saroj Jalan.

DARPAN 95 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

What sets Bulbul apart from Saroj Jalan's previous creations is its focus on liberation. The silhouettes and embroidery are a testament to this theme. The collection offers different drapes, silhouettes, and structures, defining the confident and beautiful Saroj Jalan Bride. The collection is designed to encourage women to embrace their true selves and make a fashion statement that reflects their individuality.

For those curious about the price range, Bulbul caters to a wide audience, with pieces ranging from INR 70,000 to INR 150,000. One can find these exquisite creations at Saroj Jalan's flagship store in Kolkata or connect with them through their social media platforms.

In the world of fashion, where each piece tells a story, Bulbul stands as a celebration of choices, self-discovery, and the liberation that comes from embracing one's true self. It's a collection that invites all age groups to appreciate the journey of life through the lens of fashion. As Saroj Jalan aptly puts it, “My collection is for all age groups, and I would want everyone to love it as much as I did while making it.”

Nestled along the sparkling Mediterranean coastline, the tiny city-state of Monaco gleams as a beacon of grandeur. With an area of merely 0.76mi² (1.98 km²) and a population of almost 38,100 inhabitants, the country is home to approximately 8,300 Monegasque citizens and other residents from 125 nationalities. Alongside being the second smallest country in the world and the smallest member of the United Nations, Monaco is also the world’s most densely populated country with approximately 18,750 inhabitants/km². Possessing the world’s highest GDP per capita at $234,316, Monaco stands as the world’s richest country and is often referred to as the jewel of the French Riviera, where wealth and luxury intertwine with the very essence of life.


A Glimpse of Monaco's Opulent Lifestyle

Monaco is synonymous with luxury, and every corner of this glamorous enclave exudes wealth. From the opulent casinos of Monte Carlo to the lavish superyachts dotting the azure waters of the Mediterranean, every aspect of life in Monaco is tailored for the affluent. Nicknamed the Billionaire's playground, English novelist W. Somerset Maugham describes the country as a “sunny place for shady people”.

The Richest of the Rich

Monaco's reputation as the world's richest country is not unfounded. The principality boasts the highest GDP per capita globally, largely fueled by a thriving economy driven by banking, real estate, and tourism. A favorable tax regime, which includes zero income tax for residents, has long been a magnet for the world's wealthiest individuals. It is of no wonder that the number of millionaires and billionaires residing in Monaco is on the rise. In fact, it is often said that people of great affluence and riches will visit Monaco at least once a year.

Tax Haven or Paradise?

The tax benefits in Monaco are a magnet for the wealthy. Residents, including a significant number of international business tycoons, celebrities, and sports stars, are drawn to the principality's low tax rates. The absence of income tax and minimal corporate tax provide ample incentives for high-net-worth individuals to relocate to this sunny paradise. The financial sector is a pillar of Monaco's economy, with numerous private banks catering to a discerning clientele. Furthermore, Monegasque citizens are the privileged few who receive subsidized housing and guaranteed employment. That said, although they might not receive equivalent privileges as citizens, obtaining residency in this locale certainly comes with advantages, courtesy of Monaco's zero income tax and wealth tax system.

Real Estate and Extravagant Living

Monaco's minuscule size results in premium real estate that often fetches astronomi-

cal prices. The principality is home to some of the world's most sought-after properties, including penthouses with panoramic sea views and sprawling estates perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. The sheer exclusivity of Monaco's real estate market further solidifies its reputation as a hub for the rich and famous.

Cultural Charms and Entertainment

Beyond its financial allure, Monaco offers a vibrant cultural scene. The iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo, a playground for high-stakes gamblers and the backdrop for James Bond films, remains a symbol of luxury and elegance. The Princess Grace Theater, named after the beloved Princess Grace of Monaco, hosts world-class performances yearround. The appealing weather conditions in this region are also a significant attraction. Monaco reportedly enjoys approximately 300 days of sunshine annually and carries one of the world's top life expectancies.


Monaco's essence is succinctly captured by its language. Referred to as Múnegu, as the signs at its borders indicate, this linguistic identity is an integral part of the principality. Múnegu is taught in educational institutions and finds its way in local newspapers. Over time, the language has evolved into a Mediterranean fusion, assimilating influences from French, Provençal, Spanish, and other linguistic sources.

Political Landscape

Monaco's political landscape operates under the structure of a constitutional monarchy, wherein the Prince of Monaco serves as the head of state, with certain authority delegated to various advisory and legislative bodies. Government regulations dictate that individuals residing in the Principality for a minimum of ten years can seek citizenship. Nonetheless, each application must gain the approval of Prince Albert II, and only a limited number of citizenships are granted annually. However, corruption remains a problem. In a report published by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), it has been concluded that Monaco had made insufficient progress in the prevention of corrup-

tion by members of parliament, judges, and prosecutors.

Safety and Security

Safety and security are paramount in Monaco; the crime rate in Monaco is lower than in most European countries. The matter of safety emerges as a significant consideration in assessing the attractiveness of this diminutive nation, characterized by its exceptionally low crime rates and a substantial police presence relative to its population. The principality boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world, ensuring that residents and visitors can enjoy their opulent lifestyles without the concerns that often accompany wealth.

Sustainable Luxury

Monaco is not only about conspicuous consumption; it is also making strides towards sustainability and environmental responsibility. Prince Albert II, a passionate advocate for environmental conservation, has worked tirelessly to position Monaco as a leader in sustainability. Initiatives such as the Monaco Ocean Week underscore the principality's commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the Mediterranean.

A Global Magnet

Monaco's allure extends beyond Europe's borders. It has become a global magnet for the ultra-rich from around the world. With its ideal Mediterranean climate, world-class healthcare system, and a concentration of luxury brands and services, Monaco stands as a destination that offers not just wealth, but also a high quality of life.

Monaco's status as the world's richest country is a testament to its unique blend of financial incentives, luxurious living, and cultural richness. This enclave on the French Riviera continues to attract the wealthiest individuals, who find in Monaco not just a tax haven, but a sanctuary of opulence and exclusivity. As the principality embraces sustainability while preserving its legacy of wealth, it remains a symbol of the enduring allure of the ultra-rich lifestyle. Monaco is not just a destination; it's an aspiration, a realm where dreams are woven from the threads of wealth and luxury.

Q: City of Residence?

Surrey, BC.

Q: How did you meet?

We met in a preparatory class for our immigration licensing exam.

Q: What do you love most about one another?

Bisman: I truly admire how selfless and humble Keshav is. He knows how to bring a smile to my face at any given point in time. What I love the most about Keshav is his serene demeanour, kindness, and resilience.

Keshav: Bisman is my greatest supporter and best critic. She supports me in every aspect of my life. I value her goal-oriented and determined mindset.

Q: Could you share your proposal story?

Keshav drove me to the Sky Helicopters in Pitt Meadows, where he took me on a private tour of a mountain. When the plane landed, we walked out to the edge of the mountain, where he went on his knees and proposed to me. Keshav brought a photographer along who captured our special moment. I always wanted an extraordinary proposal, but this was beyond my expectations. I feel blessed and truly very lucky.

Q: Describe your wedding day. What was your favourite moment?


Our wedding day was very special to us and our families. After a lot of stressful planning, we felt that we finally had reached the beginning of our forever on the wedding day. We had been waiting for this day, and it was finally here. Our families were happy and feeling grateful. We saw genuine happiness in their eyes. Our wedding day felt surreal. Everything felt like a dream, and the day just flew by. We felt fortunate to be surrounded by our loved ones, showering their blessings upon us. We felt content knowing we had begun our journey toward a lifetime of togetherness.

DARPAN Weddings

Q: Could you tell us about your reception?

Keshav: Our reception was at Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver. Our reception details, the decor, the food and the energy turned out exactly the way we had imagined. The night was filled with love and laughter from our loved ones, heartfelt speeches and lovely performances. We danced to our favourite song, Tum Hi Ho.

Bisman: My favourite moment was when the Next Day Edit played, and I got to experience a recap of all the pre-wedding events. I felt emotional hearing my family and Keshav speak in the video. At this moment, I realized I had embarked upon a significant phase of my life, and I embraced it with confidence.

Q: Can you describe your outfits?

Bisman: My wedding day outfit was from Marwar Couture; it was the perfect regal red lehenga I had envisioned. My emerald green reception gown was from Gaurav Gupta.

Keshav: My wedding day outfit was from Tarun Tahiliani, an ivory cream sherwani with hand-embroidered work. My reception outfit was from Shantanu & Nikhil.

Q: Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We haven't been to our honeymoon yet but we will be going to Europe in the fall for a month.

Q: What are your goals as a couple?

To reach new heights together, challenge each other to grow and thrive. Continue to provide a strong foundation of emotional support and encourage each other to become the best version of ourselves.

Q: What are the strengths of your marriage?

Knowing that we always have each other to rely on regardless of how challenging anything is. Open communication, a solid understanding, and unwavering trust are the biggest strengths of our marriage.

Q: If you could give any advice to other married couples, what would it be?

Keshav: Wife is always right!

Bisman: Enjoy this time with each other and your loved ones; cherish each moment and embrace it wholeheartedly.

With the federal government mandating at least 20 percent of manufacturer sales to be zero emissions vehicles by 2026, it's no surprise how quick companies have been to put out a plethora of EVs seemingly overnight. As Canadians begin transitioning from internal combustion power, there will be questions.

Enter the annual Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) EcoRun, where members are put behind the wheel of the newest battery electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to test them over hundreds of kilometres in different parts of the country. The latest iteration in June took place in BC, and participants relied solely on the same charging infrastructure regular drivers utilize on the route starting in Richmond, snaking through the Okanagan Valley and ending in Kelowna.

"So why does EcoRun matter?

"We've talked about this over the last few days, and now we've seen it. It's the real-world experience, the stuff we can go home and write about and share with consumers to help them make better informed [shopping] decisions. It was also critical that we use nothing but public chargers," says organizer Kyle Patrick at the program wrap-up in mid-June, adding the event shows EV ownership might be a realistic option for many people, whether they live in urban centres or rural areas.

Out of the 19 models from the 11 brands taking part, here are five favourite (in no particular order) electrified examples currently on the market.

Mercedes-Benz EQE

Following the release of the larger EQS sedan and SUV, the luxury German automaker recently introduced a mid-size alternative in the EQE. Close dimension-wise to the CLS, it is sold in 350 and 500 4MATIC variants, which I evaluated.

Featuring the signature repeating-star solid black front grille found across the EV lineup, the sleek car has minimal body seams for increased aerodynamics, a big flush-mounted 19-inch AMG Five Twin-Spoke Aero wheels, and a nifty little lip spoiler on the back atop 3-D helix-patterned LED taillights.

Inside, the 12.8-inch portrait-oriented infotainment display may be upgraded to a 56-inch fully-glass Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) Hyperscreen spanning door-to-door, replacing the traditional instrument cluster and entertainment/vehicle controls. The second-generation voice concierge is smart and can understand conversational speech like, "Is the destination possible," in case drivers get range anxiety.


MSRP: $95,000 (base)

Motor: Twin Electric Motors (260-kilowatt combined output)

Horsepower: 402 (net)

Torque (lb-ft): 633 (net)

Gearbox: Single-speed Automatic

Layout: All-wheel Drive

Fuel economy: 1.8 Le/100 km


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Honda Accord Hybrid

The 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid emerges 70 millimetres longer and more athletic-looking than the outgoing version, showcasing the brand's contemporary design ethos that has the four-door somewhat taking after the modern Civic. Retaining the fastback profile, the hood is stretched out, and the sedan appears to sit lower, while smoked headlight housings, dark 19-inch alloys, and nearfull-length LED tail lamp bar add to the newfound sportiness.

The family resemblance continues in the interior, most obviously the implementation of the metal mesh screen running down the entire dashboard, concealing the HVAC vents. The layout is clean and functional, and the free-standing 12.3-inch infotainment screen — the marque's largest ever — is visually pleasing, though I could do without using fingerprint-gathering piano black trim.

Our top-of-the-line Touring boasted the first Honda application of Google's built-in OS, where familiar apps such as Google Maps and the Play Store are natively installed. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain accessible, however. Every grade receives front Body Stabilizing seats, which were sufficiently supportive to keep me comfortable during the five-hour drive.

Stiffer underpinnings, extra bracing and a retuned four-corner independent suspension, provided a dynamic ride down the twisty and mountainous Coquihalla Highway. The 400-kilometre journey proved a great place to try the updated Honda Sensing safety technologies. Having Adaptive Cruise Control, Low-Speed Follow, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Jam Assist on meant the Ac-


MSRP: $46,463.50 (base)

Motor: 2.0-litre four cylinder + two electric motors

Horsepower: 204 (net)

Torque (lb-ft): 247 (net)

Gearbox: e-CVT

Layout: Front-wheel Drive

Fuel economy: 5.5 L/100 km (observed)


cord did most of the heavy lifting on the freeway, operating semi-autonomously as long as I had my hands on the wheel, helping reduce fatigue.

Beneath the hood is a fourth-generation two-motor hybrid-elec tric powertrain mounted next to a 2.0-litre Atkinson four-cylinder engine, making 204 horses and 267 lb-ft of torque. The clever setup doesn't rely on a conven tional transmission for propulsion, yet driving still feels natural thanks to Linear Shift Control. But what's really impressive about the above is the efficiency: the vehicle consumed just over a half tank of fuel the entire trip.

DARPAN TM 107 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle
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Lexus RZ


epresenting Lexus' initial attempt at a pure EV, the RZ 450e is essentially its upscale take on the Toyota bz4X and Subaru Solterra, as all three share the e-TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) backbone. Similar to its stablemate, the RX, the spindle body design language takes the place of the previously distinctive spindle grille. This angular theme is carried over to various other parts of the vehicle beyond the front, such as the distinctive pointed roof spoiler.

Sold in three trims in Canada (Signature, Luxury, Executive), the middle one was present at EcoRun sprayed in Eminent White Pearl paint and sitting on 20-inch black and machined finish wheels. Since no ICE is present to cool, nor a "frunk" in place, the lightweight aluminum hood is positioned low, creating a sportier look and, as a bonus, improves passenger visibility.

Speaking of the airy interior, the space is highlighted by an expansive, shade-less panoramic glass roof coated to mitigate excessive light and heat. A slim A-pillar

cross section (to smooth airflow), robust gap sealing, sound-deadening carpets, glass and foam and active noise cancellation contribute to a ride even more whisper quiet than the average gas-free offering.

The 14-inch touchscreen runs off the same software as the two aforementioned alternatively-branded siblings and is immediately noticeable when the system boots up. Our tester was equipped with the head-up display beaming navigational directions, speed and safety information directly onto the windshield, and the Mark Levinson Surround Sound stereo sounded particularly clear in the near-silent cabin.

A front 150-kilowatt and rear 80-kilowatt motor propels the compact crossover, jointly producing 308 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. DIRECT4 all-wheel drive complements the strut/ double-wishbone suspension nicely, resulting in the RZ having a pretty easy time tackling bendy stretches of road. In this specific spec, the 71.4 kilowatt-hour,

96-cell lithium-ion battery pack allows a total travel distance of around 315 kilometres on a full charge, which at 240 volts requires 9.5 hours.


MSRP: $68,275 (base)

Motor: Twin Electric Motors (230-kilowatt combined output)

Horsepower: 308 (net)

Torque (lb-ft): 320 (net)

Gearbox: Single-speed Automatic

Layout: All-wheel Drive

Fuel economy: 1.6 Le/100 km (observed)

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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys 4xe


ero emissions and off-roading are usually mutually exclusive, but not if Jeep has anything to say about it. Cue the 2023 Wrangler Willys 4xe, an extra-rugged variant of the PHEV honouring Willys-Overland Motors that manufactured World War II and later military vehicles. And as if the special Electric Blue detailing isn't eye-catching enough, the optional bright Punk'n orange exterior colour should be. The limited-edition model is fully loaded, featuring LED head and fog lamps, Alpine nine-speaker premium audio, rear limited-slip differential, rock rails and 17-inch black wheels shod in BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain 255/75/R17 tires.

A 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four mill and two integrated electric motors combine to generate 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A

400-volt, 17-kilowatt-hour nickel manganese cobalt battery provides a maximum of 35 kilometres of EV operation. While not super impressive compared to some competitors, at the same time, only a few can claim to traverse difficult terrain sans fuel. And the instant-on torque makes for more precision in exercises like rock crawling.

Although the AJAC event focused primarily on dry paved surfaces, the Willys utilizes full-time four-wheel drive, heavy-duty Dana 44 axles all around, a Selec-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio and a Trac-Lok rear LSD to tackle traction-challenged surfaces including sand, gravel, snow and ice. It's also capable of fording water up to 76 centimetres and packs multiple skid plates to protect vulnerable underbody parts.


MSRP: $65,173 (base)

Motor: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder + Two electric motors

Horsepower: 375 (net)

Torque (lb-ft): 470 (net)

Gearbox: Eight-speed Automatic

Layout: Four-wheel Drive

Fuel economy: 10.0 L/100 km (observed)


Mazda CX-90

Scoot over CX-9, the new Mazda flagship in town is the three-row CX-90 available in two primary partially-electrified Skyactiv flavours: a mild hybrid 3.3-litre turbocharged inline-six and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder PHEV, the latter that we got to pilot.

Boasting a wide stance, long wheelbase and curvy panels to really showcase a beautiful coat of Soul Red Crystal Metallic, the big mid-size SUV plays the top dog role well. However, the stubby headlights and chunky chrome grille frame are a slight departure from conventional Mazda design and take a bit of getting used to. At the same time, the minimalistic interior is familiar and fresh and debuts a fabric dash cover connected via hanging stitches, inspired by an intricate Japanese weaving technique.

Borrowing the MX-5's Kinematic Posture Control, the suspension and

braking systems work harmoniously under spirited cornering to supress body lift. The nifty technology enhances grip and prevents unwanted occupant movement, both welcome benefits on the 100-or-so kilometres I spent in the driver's seat.

The plug-in powertrain takes advantage of a 68-kilowatt electric motor — sandwiched between the engine and eight-speed automatic transmission — and the total 323 horsepower and 369 lbft of torque outputted felt adequate climbing the steep inclines faced along the way at a good clip. The onboard 17.8-kilowatt-hour battery contains enough juice to travel 42 kilometres before the ICE kicks in.

In addition to an EV-exclusive setting, and depending on trim level, the CX-90 possesses Sport, Off-Road and Towing (up to 5,000 pounds) modes. Each alters vehicle dynamics to suit the


MSRP: $59,950 (base)

Motor: 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder + Electric Motor

Horsepower: 323 (net)

Torque (lb-ft): 369 (net)

Gearbox: Eight-speed Automatic

Layout: All-wheel Drive

Fuel economy: 7.7 L/100 km (observed)

chosen activity best, and is selectable using the Mi-Drive toggle switch placed in front of the shifter.

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DARPAN TM 113 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Meet the Tuteja Family

Why did you decide to immigrate to Canada?

After living in India for most of our lives, what compelled us to move to Canada was a desire to ensure that our kid grows up in a safer, cleaner, and healthier environment.

Which year did you immigrate?

We immigrated in November 2020.

What were your first impressions of Canada?

We visited Vancouver in 2018 for a short leisure trip and were mesmerized by its beauty. However, things are different once you move here as an immigrant; while the positives stay, the struggle starts and takes a toll on your mental health. But as Brian Tracy says, "If you can dream it, you can do it. Your limits are all within yourself." It was a choice we made.

Where did you stay when you reached Canada? Hotel, relative or friend's place?

We got lucky as our cousin, Randhir, lives in Surrey. He really helped us in settling down.


Meet the Tuteja family. Amit and Harsimran live with their son, Arjunvir, in West Vancouver. Amit is a licensed builder with Shivalik Homes, and Harsimran works at UBC.

What difficulties/challenges did you face when you and your family moved here?

Moving to another country is not easy. We packed all we could in a few suitcases and moved here. Excitement and anxiety go hand in hand. The weather, house chores, housing costs, absence of family and friends, job searches, learning new skills, gaining qualifications, and high taxes are small and big challenges that almost every new immigrant faces. We did, too. But, over time, we've started feeling more at home in Canada. We are incredibly grateful to my husband's mentor, Gurinder, from Shivalik Homes, whose guidance helped Amit establish himself in his new career as a licensed builder.

How long did it take to get used to the people, weather, or surroundings?

It varies from person to person. For instance, our son is already quite happy and comfortable here. For us, it might take some more time. Although we have adjusted, we're mindful of being in a new culture and environment.

How was your experience getting a job here? Was it easy or troublesome?

January 2021, my husband and I had jobs. But the overwhelming part was that we had to start in junior roles and completely different fields than what we were used to.

What do you like and dislike most about this country?

We live in BC, and it is BEAUTIFUL, but at the same, it is the wettest city! We appreciate the work-life balance, multiculturalism, clean air, clean water, women's safety, and the outdoors. For now, we are focussing on what we like about Canada.

How do you see your future in Canada?

We are hopeful that after a few years, when we look at our life, we will be proud of our decision.

How has your overall journey in Canada been so far?

It's been great! The last few years have been our life's most exciting and challenging time.

Biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada

Making a fresh start can be challenging. It is an expensive country. We're currently living in rented accommodation and still need to buy a house, and buying a home in BC seems like a nightmare.

Advice for Immigrants

Educate yourself – don't hesitate to learn new skills. Keep a positive attitude. Be prepared to build a new identity. Learn to be independent.  Fortunately, getting a job was not hard; we came to Canada in November 2020, and by

DARPAN TM 115 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2023 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle
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