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REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Self-Care Matters

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9 Body-Weight Exercises

BOLLYWOOD: Biggies On Your Home-Screens

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FEATURED BUSINESS

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Dating During A

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Chasing Dreams

Shivangi

Bhayana

PANKHI

By Nidhika

Sekhar

Fashion Spotlight

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PUBLISHERS̓ NOTE

W W W. K R A F T M O R T G A G E S . C O M

H

ello readers, did you have a good and safe summer? Fall is almost here and to give you company this beautiful season is our September/ October 2020 issue. As you stay indoors, relax, sit back and read some interesting and informative articles in the magazine with a nice, hot cup of chai. On the cover is Canadian singer-songwriter, Shivangi Bhayana. The vivacious songstress is a classic example of someone who dared to not just dream but also believed that her dream was something more than a thought and pursued it with such fervour that she is finally living it. In the last seven years, Shivangi has done some noteworthy work in her field and has paved her path of success. In an exclusive interview with DARPAN, she talks about pursuing her passion for music and carving a niche for herself in the city of dreams – Mumbai. Another artist featured in the issue is talented dancer, choreographer and actor, Indiana Mehta. If you haven’t watched the high school drama, Work It, then we suggest you get on it right now. Indiana plays the role of Priya in the movie which primarily focuses on a high school dance competition. She speaks about her Hollywood experience, running her own dance school in Toronto and her dancing style. Is the weather or pandemic making you feel gloomy? We have an easy solution to change your mood! Read our article on a few simple and easy five-minute happiness-boosting tricks. Any singles looking for love? Yes, with lockdowns and social distancing directives in place, finding a partner stands to be harder today than it has ever been before. But don’t fret, there’s plenty you can do while maintaining your distance, all thanks to technology. Dating applications are quite possibly the single best way to chat and make new connections during this uncertain time. Regardless of your religious background, sexual orientation or preference toward casual vs. long-term dating, there is sure to be an app out there for you! Also, once you have found your match, try out some fun, special virtual date night ideas included in the article. We hope you enjoy reading this issue and share your feedback on it on our social media sites. Enjoy the Fall season and make the most of it.

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SEPT | OCTOBER 2020 REFLECTING THE SOUTH ASIAN LIFESTYLE

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Self-Care Matters

TRAVEL:

Fall Glamping Getaways

FITNESS:

For Physical & Mental Wellbeing

9 Body-Weight Exercises

BOLLYWOOD: Biggies On Your Home-Screens

DARPAN's 10:

AUTO REVIEW:

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Fleming BC Minister of Education

FEATURED BUSINESS

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Dating During A

Pandemic STORY

Chasing Dreams

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Bhayana 4

PANKHI

By Nidhika

Sekhar

PUBLISHERS Gurvinder S. Hundal Ramneek S. Dhillon EDITED BY

DARPAN

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020 Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

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DARPAN Magazine is published by DARPAN PUBLICATION LTD. DARPAN is a bi-monthly magazine. Any reproduction of the magazine, editorial content, images or advertisement cannot be reproduced or reprinted in any form, without prior written permission of the Publishers. The views expressed by the writers in this publication are not necessarily the views of the Publishers. The Publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright 2020 DARPAN Publication Ltd. All rights reserved. Publications sales agreement no. 41116014

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2020

42

SEPT|OCTOBER CONTENTS

Chasing Dreams

LIFESTYLE 42 EXCLUSIVE Indiana Mehta

58 RECIPES Chef Kumar Mahadevan

STORY

Shivangi

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70 TECH

Emerging Tech Trends

Bhayana

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 READER’S REACTION 10 DARPAN’S 10

HON. ROB FLEMING

SPOTLIGHT 14 Amandeep Boparai 16 Sia Sidhu 40 YOUTH SPEAK

Mastering Time Management

74 BEAUTY Routines for a Younger Skin

86

77 FITNESS 9 Body weight Exercises

86 FASHION

80 DECOR

BUSINESS PROFILE 52 Counterpoint Projects Inc. 56 Purple Tulip Caters

PANKHI by Nidhika Sekhar

Decorate with Pampas Grass

66 SALUTES

92 WEDDING

84 FASHION PAGES

96 TRAVEL

Ravi & Rita

Goonj Foundation

4 Cozy Glamping Getaways

BIBA Canada

112 GLOBAL INDIANS

110 BOX OFFICE

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Ravi Somaiya

Bollywood Biggies On Your Home Screens

114 IMMIGRANTS Meet The Anand Family

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FEATURES 28 FEATURE The Bitter Truth About Racism

32 FEATURE

The Rise of E-commerce

36 FEATURE Dating During A Pandemic

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Self-care Matters

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Junk Food For Thought

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RReactions

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

eaders

HOME DECOR Perfect time for a work from home article in the magazine. With lots of people now opting for remote work, there are some good ideas in the article to create a positive workspace at your house. – Rocky T.

Re: Work from home has

become a new norm now Rocky. So we thought it would be useful to have an article on home workspace décor in the issue. Happy to know you enjoyed reading it. – DARPAN

APPS AND TECH A good write-up on anxiety management apps. I did not know there were so many of them online. A good time to use them too with the pandemic.

– Amar Rathore

Re: Yes Amar, there is no harm in seeking resources to help your mental

health, and if a simple app on your phone can make you feel less anxious, then it’s perfect! – DARPAN

FITNESS JOURNEY Very useful article on creating a fitness journey. Last few months being stuck at home, I feel unfit and I was wondering how to start getting active. The article is a good guide to start my plan.

– Rina S.

Hello Rina, glad to know you liked the article. We are happy we could help you with the first step. All the very best for your fitness journey! – DARPAN

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GARDENING BENEFITS Quarantine has got me interested in gardening. And reading your article on benefits of gardening makes me feel good about my new hobby. Gardening gives me a lot of joy. – Indra Mann

Re: Indra, thank you for sharing

your thoughts with DARPAN. Yes, gardening can be very fulfilling and provide good health and mental peace. Enjoy your hobby and stay happy. – DARPAN

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DARPAN’S 7 What will be the protocol for kids who are sick, with a spike in cases expected during the Fall with a second wave and the flu season?

1 Why was there an urgency to re-open

schools, keeping in mind it will be an extraordinaryschool year?

A lot of thought and consideration was put into the planning for the return of in-class learning in June. I heard from many parents and educators who spoke about how important the return to classes was for so many children and families. We are learning from what happened in June to come up with plans for September that will be able to ensure the best learning environments for all students no matter what the circumstances.

There is no better place than in-class learning. Having students return to the classroom helps to minimize learning gaps and provide them with important academic, social and emotional supports. The strict safety plans in place, which include enhanced cleaning protocols, frequent hand hygiene, and requiring students and staff to stay home when ill, are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as well as colds and flu. An orientation week starting on September 8th, will allow staff and students to adjust to their new routines, find out about their learning groups, and practice safety protocols. This will allow time for educators and staff to plan their new routines before students will be welcomed back to class for their own orientation by September 10th.

8 How will the one-time federal funding of $242 million dollars be spent?

• To build on the Province’s $45.6 million investment to support a safe restart for BC schools, there has be an additional $242.36 million one-time funding from the Federal Government. • Funding will be allocated to public school districts based primarily on student enrolment.

2 What do you have to say to the parents who believe we should have held off on opening schools with the upcoming flu season and an expected spike in Covid cases?

The Provincial Health Officer is fully supportive of bringing students back to school next week. BC has strict health and safety measures in place, with $45.6 million in new funding for 1.5 million non-medical masks, additional handwashing stations, physical barriers and cleaning supplies, as well as hiring more custodians, loaning technology and supporting students with complex needs. This additional funding will provide school districts with the opportunity to purchase additional PPE if needed, install plexiglass barriers, purchase cleaning equipment such as foggers, improve ventilation systems and hire even more custodians to increase cleaning frequency. 3 Should all parents have the option of

keeping their children at home and engaging in online learning if that feels safer to them? To better support families with medical or health concerns, it is expected that school districts will be flexible and work with families to provide learning options that keep children connected to their school community. We directed school districts to contact all families to confirm if their child is attending school class, or if they require a remote learning option. Some districts have already developed or expanded remote learning programs and we have given school districts the flexibility and certainty to find options that work for families.

The Surrey District Parents Advisory Council have written an open letter calling for a third option allowing students to study online from home without losing their spot in the school they are enrolled in by September 30th. So what is being done for the Surrey school district?

PHOTO: COURTESY OF BC GOV

4

The Surrey school district has introduced a transition plan option for both elementary and high school students. This includes the authority for all school boards to expand remote learning programs to additional grades, as well as the tools they need to increase their existing programs to meet demand. This support will ensure students maintain their learning while absent from school. Visit: www.surreyschools.ca/covid19/backtoschool 5 How does the Ministry plan to tackle the safety concerns from teachers and parents as they feel the current plan falls short on clarity and stricter COVID-19 guidelines such as masks and physical distancing?

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SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

HON. ROB FLEMING BC EDUCATION MINISTER

There is no better place than in-class learning. Having students return to the classroom helps to minimize learning gaps and provide them with important academic, social and emotional supports.” The Ministry of Education has convened a K-12 Education Restart Health and Safety Working Group, with representation from the Ministry of Health, teachers, school leaders, parents and Indigenous rights holders, to develop provincial COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for K-12 schools. These guidelines align with public health advice from the PHO and the BC Centre for Disease Control, and provide clear and detailed guidance on masks, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, illness and self-assessment protocols, hand hygiene and other measures to protect students and staff. We continue to be guided by the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team.  6 With a surge in cases in BC over the past few weeks - what kind of COVID-19 numbers do you need to see before shutting down schools?

Under the updated health and safety guidelines, masks will be required  for staff, middle and secondary students in high traffic areas such as buses and in common areas such as hallways, or anytime outside of their learning group whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained. Even when wearing a mask, staff and students will still be required to maintain physical distance from people outside of their learning group. Efforts will be put in place to ensure there is not crowding, gathering or congregating of people from different learning groups in a school setting.

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• Many school districts have developed or are developing additional remote options and this funding will now allow school districts to implement these programs. • The funding will also support school districts to hire and train more teachers and support staff for remote learning; purchase additional software licences, electronic course materials and textbooks; purchase computers or tablets; and create wi-fi hubs and internet access in remote and Indigenous communities. School Districts and independent schools can also use the funding to: Increase school staff and cover salary costs for additional hours needed to meet health and safety guidelines in schools;  Improve air systems in schools;  Increase access to hand hygiene in schools;  Install plexiglass and other barriers in schools and purchase additional cleaning supplies and PPE as needed; Cover additional transportation costs to have fewer students on buses and support alternate transportation strategies; Open up more space and cover the cleaning and additional staff costs for before and after school care to ensure students can remain within their learning groups. 9 Now that there is indication of remote learning and hybrid models depending on the school districts, is there enough time to bring in these changes?

For instance, in Surrey, Grades K-9 will attend class full-time while Grade 10-12 students will attend class every day in the morning and one day a week in the afternoon, with remote learning available when they are not in class. This is a great example of what’s already being done to further support students, and we look forward to seeing many more. All districts have released their back to school plans and have been contacting parents to determine their needs and discuss options moving forward.

What does this unprecedented school year in terms of equal access to education mean for students who may not be starting the school year in the classroom?

10

The Ministry of Education has given school districts the flexibility and certainty to find options that work for families.This includes the authority for all school boards to expand remote learning programs to additional grades, as well as the tools they need to increase their existing programs to meet demand. The school system needs to be there for students, and we are here to support the school system.


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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

By Petrina D'Souza

The 22-year-old Surrey’s 25 Under 25 Award recipient is the co-founder of SPARK Foundation.

AMANDEEP

BOPARAI Giving Voice to Youth

Photos: Amastermedia, Contributed by Amandeep Boparai

A

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mandeep Boparai originally costarted SPARK Foundation in high school to teach youth that they have a voice. Today, she is leading a team of 12 staff and board directors, and over 140 volunteers. With Amandeep’s business and leadership acumen, SPARK Foundation was recognized with Canada 150 award in leadership and gained support from United Nations for its Climate Change Challenge program. The 22-year-old was recently recognized as one of Surrey’s 25 Under 25 Award winners. “Receiving the 25 Under 25 Award means a lot to me! I co-founded SPARK with Rochelle as a way to teach youth around us that they all had the power to make positive changes in our world. It feels great to see the journey unfold and come to fruition with the youth that have gone through our program,” says the business student at the University Of Fraser Valley (UFV). SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

DARPAN

SPARK Foundation was created by Amandeep and Rochelle Prasad. “We were both avid conference attenders and would often find that most conferences relayed the same information in the exact same way but with different speakers. There was rarely any exciting new information taught to us, and rarely anything that interested us,” recalls Amandeep. The duo therefore decided to host a mega series camp, to find out what the youth wanted to hear and do. “A place where we could hear the ideas of youth for projects they think our community and world desperately needed and give them the resources to put those projects into action. We wanted to show youth that they had the potential to change whatever it was in the world that they didn’t like or thought could be better,” adds Amandeep. TM


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SPARK’s life education programs have helped empower over 5,000 individuals. For SPARK, Amandeep has organized mega series camps and helped develop the miniseries. She also helped plan and implement tons of fundraisers that reduced the cost of the camps so that more youth were able to afford the opportunity to attend the mega series camp. A major project that SPARK is currently working on is revamping the mini-series workshop. “We are completely changing how our workshops currently are and adding additional workshops!” shares Amandeep, “One of the workshops we are adding is focused around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals where we’ll be focusing on raising awareness for 15 of the 17 goals. These new workshops will be launched in September and will be bigger and better than before!” The young co-founder hopes to see SPARK workshops being held across Canada and the world. “We strive to see our workshops in school districts everywhere and have thousands of youth go through our programs!” says the award winner, who regularly volunteers her time at various organizations. Amandeep states that her role models are her parents, who taught her to give back. “They made sure growing up that we (Amandeep and her sisters) understood our privilege and used that privilege to help others. Throughout my life, I’ve seen them give back in countless ways and I strive to be like them.” Amandeep is currently pursuing a BBA with a major in finance at the UVF. Her future plan is to become an entrepreneur and own a successful and thriving business. Her advice to youngsters is “to recognize that you have a voice and put that voice to use. If you see a problem, identify it, and try to find the solution.”

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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

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mong Surrey’s 25 Under 25 Award Winners is 12-yearold Sia Sidhu, who many in the South Asian community are recognizing as a young philanthropist. Since the age of six, Sia has been running an annual fundraiser from her home. Her tireless efforts over the years have raised over $17,000 for BC Children’s Hospital. “Receiving this award at such a young age is a great honor. I’m very happy and thankful. I’m thankful to all my family, friends and the community for supporting me.

I push myself to be a better human being each day through my actions and by helping others."

By Petrina D'Souza

Photos: iStock DARPAN, Govind Deol

SIA SIDHU Young Humanitarian

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I hope to continue giving back to those in medical or emotional need and hope for everyone’s continuous support,” says the youngest recipient of the award. At the age of six, Sia used to watch TV shows that had kids doing lemonade stands for fun. She was inspired and asked her parents if she could put together a lemonade stand. “Instead of using the money for myself, I wanted to give it to people that needed it the most. Therefore, I chose to give it to Delta View Centre as my first charity,” shares the Grade 7 student of SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Colebrook Elementary School. Since then, Sia has organized a charity fundraiser every year. Every year Sia comes up with the idea for a fundraiser and draws up a plan of action to implement it. “I have family members who are part of Team Sia (special shout out to them all) that help me with my marketing, distributing of flyers, and on the day of the event help out with tasks that need to be completed such as making or handling food, taking donations, and selling tickets for

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DARPAN SPOTLIGHT

Last year, Sia’s Burger Shack was my 5th annual fundraiser. All the funds that were raised went to the Neuromuscular Diseases Department at Children’s Hospital, a condition two of my cousins suffered from," adds the young

Photos: Amastermedia, Courtesy of Sia Sidhu, Fotonik Films

humanitarian."

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prizes, among others,” says Sia, who uses her own savings from birthday money or other funds to buy supplies to create posters for the event. Over the last few years, she has held Sia’s Lemonade Stand ($300 raised for Delta View), Sia’s Ice Cream Stand ($1,020 raised for Children’s Hospital - Heart Department), Sia’s Sundae Bar ($1,700 raised for

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Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

Children’s Hospital - Cancer Department), Sia’s Galaxy Hot Dogs ($5,000 raised for Children’s Hospital Research Department), and Sia’s Burger Shack ($9,200 raised for Children’s Hospital - Neuromuscular Diseases Department). “Last year, Sia’s Burger Shack was my 5th annual fundraiser. All the funds that were raised went to

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the Neuromuscular Diseases Department at Children’s Hospital, a condition two of my cousins suffered from,” adds the young humanitarian. This year, her fundraiser will be held on September 20. “Due to Covid, it will take place virtually. We have set up two raffles. We have over 40+ vendors that have come on board and provided us prizes like trips, diamond jewelry, chef experience, car detailing package, family photography packages, gift cards, baskets and more. We are looking forward to raising a large sum for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for Children’s Hospital,” says Sia excitedly. She sincerely thanks everyone who has made the

events successful by attending, donating prizes and funds, and supporting her, especially SaveOn-Foods and Aman and Jag from East to West Group for their contribution. After high school, Sia hopes to pursue a career in politics or broadcasting. Besides community welfare, her other interests are participating in active sports and music. “I push myself to be a better human being each day through my actions and by helping others,” says the Girl Guides of Canada’s 2020 Change Maker Award winner. Her advice to youngsters is “to do things because you want to do them, don’t have others influence your decisions and actions.”


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I had my fears. I had visited India a couple of times. But I was born and raised in Vancouver, so when I did come from Canada, it was a cultural shock and it was difficult. It was only once I reached here that I realized what I got myself into.”

Shivangi Bhayana Chasing Dreams By Shweta Kulkarni 

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COVER STORY

The Canadian singer-songwriter — Shivangi Bhayana in an exclusive interview to DARPAN talks about pursuing her passion for music and carving a niche for herself in the city of dreams – Mumbai.

I

t is one thing to dream and another to chase it all the way to a completely different continent and striving hard every single day until you make your dreams come true. The vivacious songstress — Shivangi Bhayana is a classic example of someone who dared to not just dream but also believed that her dream was something more than a thought and pursued it with such fervour that she is finally living it. Born in Vancouver, Shivangi was always inclined towards music and it was her relentless love for singing that made her land in Mumbai (India) and transform her passion into a career.“I always wanted to sing,” says the rising music sensation and continues, “I began singing at the age of four. My love for music, at first, led me to sing at small gatherings amongst family and friends. Then it led me to stage performances and the next thing I knew was that this is what I want to do. Finally, I came to India in 2013 wanting to make this my full-time career.”

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COVER STORY

I began singing at the age of four. My love for music, at first, led me to sing at small gatherings amongst family and friends. Then it led me to stage performances and the next thing I knew was that this is what I want to do.”

A young girl, coming all by herself to a country which she seldom visited, with no connections whatsoever in the Indian music industry… must have been quite a daunting task. Wasn’t she anxious or nervous? “I was anxious,” admits Shivangi and adds, “I had my fears. I had visited India a couple of times. But I was born and raised in Vancouver, so when I did come from Canada, it was a cultural shock and it was difficult. I couldn’t even cross the

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road, so it was difficult for me to do even simple stuff. I didn’t know anyone here; I was all alone. Initially, when I decided to come here, I was very excited, and when I got here, I got all anxious. It was only once I reached here that I realized what I got myself into.” In the last seven years, Shivangi has done some noteworthy work in her field and has paved her path of success.

However, the journey definitely wasn’t a piece of cake. “I didn’t know anyone here in the industry. So, the first year I spent struggling to connect with people but I don’t think anyone took me seriously then. It was only in the second year that people started calling me for work,” recalls Shivangi. She takes a nostalgic pause and continues, “So in my first year, I didn’t do much singing work. Rather I did some small-time acting jobs. My roommate was an actor so she would push me to go for auditions. I did some ads, I did some TV stuff, some short films, some music videos etc., but I had come here for music and I wasn’t getting any work.” However, Shivangi was resolute to realize her dream and she hung on through all the disappointments until her determination finally paid off. Shivangi says, “Finally, I started getting work in the music industry in my second year here, and my work started to release by 2015. So, in 2015, a lot of my


Photos: iStock

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COVER STORY

I trained in Indian classical in Vancouver. I trained in western music and when I came here, I started doing more Indian classical and I am still learning. I am continuously learning. As an artist you never stop learning,” explains the talented musician. 24

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stuff started coming out. I did the Bigg Boss 9 title track; I was the composer and singer for that. Then I have sung the title tracks for some reality shows, I did the anthem song for Flying Machine brand which featured Arjun Kapoor and Vishal Dadlani. In 2016, my first film titled Scandall came out, it was a small film but it was my first. Thereafter, my film journey began. I did playback singing for Great Grand Masti, I sang in Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, Love Per Square Foot, Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, The Final Exit... I did singles with Indeep Bakshi, Deep Money, Ankit Tiwari. I was the female vocalist for Deepika in Padmavat in the background score. I was the solo vocalist for Kalank in the whole score. I did television singing as well. Last year, I won ITA award for the title track of the TV show Kahaan Hum Kahaan Tum. So, I mean everything kind of happened slowly and steadily and it's continuing that way.” It is not just in India that Shivangi has TM

achieved such great honours. Back home, the versatile singer, songwriter, and composer has performed in the presence of major political personalities like the former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former Fijian Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry Mahendra and even Prince William and Kate. “Yes, I had performed in front of Stephen Harper and Mahendra Chaudhry. I had also got an opportunity to sing for Canada Day, where Prince William and Kate had come. I had also performed during the lead-up event for the 2010 winter Olympics held in Vancouver. Being on that side of the world there is a lot of opportunities. I was lucky that a lot of them worked out for me,” says Shivangi modestly. Having earned a name for herself back home, and then coming to a place where she knew no one, dealing with disappointments and struggling for years


before things finally started working, must have been quite disheartening. Wonder if she ever felt like packing her bags and going back home? “When I was in Canada and as I was singing since such a young age, everyone knew me there. The community knew me. I had put in all those years and they were aware of me. But when I came here… no one knew me. So, I was kind of basically beginning from scratch again, and that was bound to happen. I mean everyone who comes here, has to start from scratch… Unless you are lucky and know the people. But the majority of people, wherever they are coming from, all of them have to start from scratch. I was just among the many others. So, sometimes you are like okay I don’t know if I can do this any longer. It is hard. It is hard even now. Every day, I have to go and work, find work because I am self-employed. I don’t have a job. I don’t have a regular thing happening for me. So that happened many times (feeling of wanting to go back home).” But Shivangi’s persistence and passion for her craft kept her going irrespective of all the challenges. To add to it, the industry can be pretty harsh and one often tends to cross path with the wrong people more often than the right ones, but Shivangi certainly managed to manoeuvre her way successfully through all those hurdles. She reminiscences, “I didn’t find the right people in the beginning, I found almost everyone who was wrong. Then I began filtering and I started meeting the right people so I took a very long time. Initially, when I came, I didn’t know anyone, so I would try and connect with people through Facebook. I used to message people and say ‘I am a singer and here is my number, please call me.’ I didn’t know how to do it otherwise. Sometimes out of the 10 people I would meet, only 1 person was the right person who would help me connect with someone in the industry.” She adds, “I am very straight forward, very clear, and very open kind of person, but I think many misunderstood my personality and thought maybe I was open in other ways also. I didn’t understand at first, eventually, I started understanding what was being said and what they were trying to convey and then I got it. I am still very bad at judging people and misreading them but now no one can take me for a ride.” The fact is when you truly want something nothing can stop you. Like Shivangi’s case, who grew up dreaming to be a singer. Speaking of her early influences, she says, “When you have Indian roots and you are born and raised anywhere outside of India, your connect to

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Indian culture and traditions mostly happen through Indian films. So, I grew up watching Bollywood films and thought this is how India is. We learned everything about the language, people, the cultures, through films. So, films played a huge role in my life and it was films that got me attracted to music. So, if I was influenced by the artist in the west, I was definitely listening to music in Bollywood and getting influenced by artist like Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal… I grew up listening to them.” Shivangi was pretty serious about music from a young age and even took professional training to hone her skills. “I trained in Indian classical in Vancouver. I trained in western music and when I came here, I started doing more Indian classical and I am still learning. I am continuously learning. As an artist you never stop learning,” explains the talented musician. In fact, that is one advice she would even like to give her fellow Canadians, who wish to come to India to pursue their dreams in the world of entertainment.  “I would like to tell them - don’t come unprepared. Learn your craft as much as you can. Work on it. Practice. Take training and be prepared because everyone here is talented and skilled. So, you should be proficient in your craft.” advises Shivangi. “Obviously, in the beginning, we all come here to become famous. I don’t think there is anyone who


Learn your craft as much as you can. Work on it. Practice. Take training and be prepared because everyone here is talented and skilled. So, you should be proficient in your craft. I think that when you focus on your craft and not focus on what it will bring to you, it will bring you success.” doesn’t, but eventually, on the way you will realize that it is not the important part, what is important is to do good work and develop your craft and become better at your craft. I think that when you focus on your craft and not focus on what it will bring to you, it will bring you success,” she adds wisely. Commenting about her recent projects, Shivangi excitedly speaks, “I composed music with a friend — Rishi Dutta, for Prajakta Koli (Youtuber)’s short film Khayali Pulao. I also sang the song ‘Mann Ki Titliyaan’ in the film. Then I am working on my independent space because films are not happening right now as shoots are not happening and all my films are on pause. I think this is the best time to focus on it.” Now that she has finally achieved her dream of becoming a playback singer, one wonders what is her dream now?   “My dream now is not sticking to just singing. I always wanted to keep growing, so now I want to be a composer for films. That is my next goal,” pat comes her reply.   And on that positive note, we sum up the interview.  

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A

DARPAN FEATURE

“For it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.� ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

s 2020 comes to a wrap, we proceed to close the second decade of what we often allude to as the modern age. We boast of this time in history as being groundbreaking and monumental in social victories surrounding equality, justice and democracy. However, recent events shine light on a pill hard to swallow. Racism is not a phenomenon of the past, but rather very prevalent in current times. Over the decade, political events in the Western world, combined with a worldwide pandemic, has added to the already existent deep-rooted social issues, bringing an evident increase in racial discrimination across a variety of arenas.

THE BITTER TRUTH ABOUT

RACISM By NAINA GREWAL

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David Amrik Lau, Executive Director of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society, defines racism as a complicated issue. He points out that many people believe racism to be linked to colonialism because that is when society began to devalue people based on a mistaken idea that races exist. However, this was done to rationalize economic systems like slavery and the genocide of indigenous peoples. Lau concludes, “Races do not exist; they are an incorrect construct. Racism, however, does persist. It persists when people try to devalue other people.” The underlying notion, then, is that racism is not taught; it is a learned set of behaviors, often shaped by one’s upbringing, media exposure and social circle. Racism is many times a product of corporate interest, governmental agendas and/or personal biases. If addressing why an individual may be racist, Lau suggests that racists activate support by inciting fear. We have seen first-hand, that when COVID-19 became a fear, many people linked that fear to their racism and turned to blaming and attacking member of the Asian communities. In a recent AngusReid poll, 50% of Chinese Canadian respondents said that they had been called racist names and 43% said they had been threatened and intimidated. This exemplifies how racism can be quickly activated in otherwise ‘normal’ people. Moreover, racism extends beyond the news we hear about racially driven assaults; racism breathes in the actions that we take on an individual level as well. Mayor Malcolm Brodie of Richmond BC, shares, “Racism takes many forms and is not just about verbally or physically attacking someone based on race, culture or language. It can occur in the way we act toward certain people and decisions and judgements we make about them.” Often, conversations around racism become more about others than the self. We tend to criticize other nations, communities and groups of people based on their behaviors, propelled by the most popular coverages seen on mass media. A prominent example is the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM), which strives to build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. These movements have been prominent all over the world, with much limelight

Racism takes many forms and is not just about verbally or physically attacking someone based on race, culture or language. It can occur in the way we act toward certain people and decisions and judgements we make about them.”

MALCOLM BRODIE

MAYOR, CITY OF RICHMOND

on happenings in the U.S. In fact, the political changes in the U.S. over the past decade is seen as a contributor to a general increase in hate crimes. As per the Brookings Institution, there is a clear correlation between Trump campaign events and incidents of prejudiced violence. FBI data show that since Trump’s election, there has been an anomalous spike in hate crimes concentrated in counties where Trump won by larger margins. However, despite the visually graphic

DAVID AMRIK LAU

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE VICTORIA IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE CENTRE SOCIETY

Races do not exist; they are an incorrect construct. Racism, however, does persist. It persists when people try to devalue other people.”

feed we see funneling from the US, be reminded that racism is still well and alive in Canada. Be it fatal shootings of young black men by the police, the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, denials of Indigenous sovereignty through the Indian Act, or the forced return of those aboard the Komagata Maru, Canada has a long, documented history of racism. Global leader in market research, Ipsos, found that 40% of Canadians still think that racism is mainly an American issue. That said, 60% of Canadians consider racism to be a serious problem as of 2020; this is a steep increase from 47% in 2019. Nearly 3 in 10 Canadians are saying they themselves have been on the receiving end of racist behavior, up 5 points since last year. Looking at Canadian institutions, earlier this year, the Commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki, publicly acknowledged that systemic racism has existed and does exist in many of Canada’s institutions including the RCMP. Corporal Joanie Sidhu, RCMP’s Media Relations Officer, reassuringly adds, “To ensure the delivery of racial, gender and culturally aware and trauma-informed police services, the RCMP continues to improve, develop and imbed cultural sensitive training and tools for all categories of its employees beginning with their time at the Police Training Academy (Depot), and continuously throughout their careers.” Speaking of institutions, schools are arguably at the epicenter of the solution as they hold the power to equip coming generations with the tools of awareness and

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Color) to feel as often marginalized groups. As Lau puts it, we will not always have every solution to every problem because, quite often, the solution is embedded in the process of collaborative social change. That is not to say that change is not being made towards the defeat of racism. Given that nearly half of Canada’s citizens are of an ethnic origin other than British, French or native-born Canadian, the Government of Canada’s Action Plan against Racism takes more than just legal measures. The federal commitment is clear: departments and agencies are working together to implement new and existing policies, programs and activities to address priority issues.

The RCMP continues to improve, develop and imbed cultural sensitive training and tools for all categories of its employees beginning with their time at the Police Training Academy (Depot), and continuously throughout their careers.”

Photos : iStockphoto, Alex Sangha

CORPORAL JOANIE SIDHU

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RCMP’S MEDIA RELATIONS

education. Award-winning Social Justice teacher at L.A. Matheson of Surrey Schools and Community Activist, Annie Ohana, outlines that the B.C. curriculum does take on discussions and explorations of racism, and does focus on respect and tolerance as aspects of being educated. However, Ohana points out a disclaimer of significance, SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

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Racism is not a phenomenon of the past, but rather very prevalent in current times. Political events, combined with a worldwide pandemic, has added to the already existent deep-rooted social issues, bringing an evident increase in racial discrimination across a variety of arenas. “The narratives we still use from our textbooks to our pedagogy are still White and Eurocentric. It has taken years of work by teachers to correct and disrupt these narratives. Bringing forward settler pioneer stories of South Asian families to the recent start of adding Black Canadian history, to retelling Canadian history with the Indigenous reality centered rather than erased, we have a long way to go to undo the White patriarchal narrative considered as objective truth.” In addition to educational institutions, Ohana emphasizes on the role of community movements and protests as being absolutely crucial as they break through standards that limit voice and encourage empowerment. Marches and rallies capture the attention of the wider public, take over space, and allow for power in numbers that is so rare for most IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, and People of TM

ANNIE OHANA

AWARD-WINNING SOCIAL JUSTICE TEACHER

Bringing forward settler pioneer stories of South Asian families to the recent start of adding Black Canadian history, to retelling Canadian history with the Indigenous reality centered rather than erased, we have a long way to go to undo the White patriarchal narrative considered as objective truth.”


DARPAN FEATURE

The action plan invites all Canadians to work together in six priority areas: 1. Assist victims and groups vulnerable to racism and related forms of discrimination 2. Develop forward-looking approaches to promote diversity and combat racism

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3. Strengthen the role of civil society 4. Strengthen regional and international cooperation 5. Educate children and youth on diversity and anti-racism 6. Counter hate and bias

Further, with the priorities clearly defined, Canada has committed to deliver on these initiatives: 1. Working with civil society 2. Working with employers and associations 3. Working with police

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While such governmental involvement shows light at the end of the tunnel, true power lies in the hands of the common citizen. Mayor Brodie encourages people to report incidents of racism and intolerance and to feel safe and supported in doing so, “We encourage people to call out racist, intolerant and threatening behavior and to report such incidents to the RCMP. The more we stand up publicly to recognize and call out inappropriate behaviors, the sooner we will end them.” There is a pressing need for us to realize that our responsibility is twopronged. Firstly, we must educate ourselves enough to inform our social interactions on an individual level to ensure we are role-modeling ourselves as members of a multicultural global community to our coming generations. Secondly, we must understand that systematic change is not a far-fetched goal that lies in the hands of elected decision makers. We are all decision makers. It is up to us to make use of the resources available to us and raise our voice against injustices we see on a micro and macro level.

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THE RISE OF E-COMMERCE Side Effects of COVID-19

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By NAINA GREWAL

s the world settles into a new normal, many elements of daily life are undergoing change. With social distancing measures and safety precautions being placed, an increasing number of Canadians are avoiding situations that require them to physically shop at grocery stores and malls. This set of behaviors has had a tremendous impact on the e-commerce industry, where growth has spiked greatly in recent times. As of mid-April, online U.S.

With social distancing measures and safety precautions being placed, an increasing number of Canadians are avoiding situations that require them to physically shop at grocery stores and malls. 32

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retailers have shown a 68% yearover-year growth. Undoubtedly, much of the growth has also been a result of surge-buying. Based on data released by Statistics Canada, e-commerce sales hit a record $3.9 billion in May, a 2.3% increase over April and 99.3% increase over February. Shopping in stores exposes people to others in an environment that they cannot necessarily control in terms of the cleanliness, number of individuals that have been in the store and the back-end precautions taken while stocking products. In addition, a visit to the store means committing to commute time. On the other hand, shopping online allows for browsing a variety of items without time-pressure, investment in travel time or exposure to a physical environment beyond one’s fingertips. Most platforms relating to online shopping offer no-touch delivery systems, in which the deliverer simply leaves the item(s) at the buyer’s doorstep. E-commerce options also allow an individual to compare product characteristics and pricing amongst retailers to ensure the best possible value.


DARPAN FEATURE

w w w. e x c l u s i v e f l o o r s . c o m

Given the booming demand of online platforms, the investment being made by e-commerce companies into improving

WHERE BUILDERS BUY

customer experiences is now heightening. These investments are not being

td.com

made in vain; changing buyer

Photos: iStockphoto

habits are here to stay. Given the booming demand of online platforms, the investment being made by e-commerce companies into improving customer experiences is now heightening. These investments are not being made in vain; changing buyer habits are here to stay. According to McKinsey & Company’s latest report regarding the pandemic’s impact on the consumer-packaged goods industry, staying in is the new going out. Even if restrictions are lifted, it is expected that consumers will continue spending more time at home, driven by a desire to save money, persistent safety concerns, and a newfound pleasure in nesting. The growing prevalence of online shopping also has implications from an employment standpoint. In March, e-commerce giant, Amazon, announced that they would hire 100,000 full-time and part-time hires across their Operations

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Stand out Make sure your offering is able to offer a unique solution that addresses a specific consumer needs, as compared to competing with the already-prominent alternatives available.

network to keep as many people as possible working during the coronavirus pandemic, and that the company would invest over $350 million globally to increase pay for their teams during the crisis. Especially for those that are vulnerable to being out in public, the dependency on providers like Amazon has increased to a wide extent. This creates unprecedented needs from a labor standpoint. However, looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, the outlook does not look as strong for retailers that may not have an online presence. Given permanent store closures and some retailers even filing for bankruptcy, the decline in retail workforces could be here to stay. This is not to say that brick and mortar stores are going away anytime soon. Shoppers have formed trust and communities surrounding physical stores, and the convenience aspect of buying a product immediately cannot be matched by online experiences. Browsing for products is much better in person, where consumers can touch and feel items, much likely contributing to why people tend to spend more time physically browsing vs. online. That said, e-commerce is an undeniable threat to the sustainability of stores that do not offer online alternatives. Traditional brick and

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7 E-commerce Tips for Small Businesses:

Bundle up

Chief Revenue and Business Development Officer of software service company, ClickFunnels, Dave Woodward, offers 7 e-commerce tips for small businesses

Lose your single-product mindset

Don’t let technology be an obstacle.

Offer more with complementary products and services.

Understand that when a consumer comes to your website, the intention is not to have them buy a single product and leave. Ensure that the website is designed to encourage more purchases.

Build a sales funnel

Get familiar with the options you It is okay to bring in customers with have and take the time to explore alternatives that are easy-to-use and low-priced offers as the value of acquiring a customer who will bring offer automated solutions. more business exceeds costs at the forefront. Build online trust It is essential to gain customer trust by entering into their realm of awareness online via social media channels, emailed newsletters and other marketing tactics. This will lead to getting that first purchase, following which, things get easier.

mortar stores were already challenged by the daunting shift towards online shopping before the pandemic even hit. After COVID-19, the intensity of this challenge has magnified, making it almost necessary for businesses to have some type of online presence, whether that is in the form of making their products shoppable online, or reaching consumers through digital marketing. TM

Deliver quickly Given the competition, customers value fast delivery. This will retain customers and give them another reason to keep ordering from your website.

For small businesses, there is a higher risk given constrained resources and limited capability to bear short-term losses. Throughout COVID-19, 92% of small businesses disclosed they were experiencing negative financial effects, with merely 5% stating that they had experienced no effect at all, based on findings from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).


DARPAN FEATURE Overall, the era of COVID-19 brings extreme levels of uncertainty. There is no guarantee in terms of which side the needle will swing when it comes to shopping habits and for how long. Panic buying and the mentality to follow the crowd to ensure over-preparedness creates a unique situation for businesses that serve consumers directly. What can be concluded, though, is that the worldwide web will be a preferred destination for shopping. Subscription services, grocery shopping, retail purchases and even window-shopping will see an increase

Convenience aspect of buying a product immediately cannot be matched by online experiences. Browsing for products is much better in person, where consumers can touch and feel items, much likely contributing to why people tend to spend more time physically browsing vs. online. in prominence on e-commerce platforms. The implication for brick and mortar stores is not that of existence, but that of relevance. The key lies in adapting current distribution and marketing strategies to consumer preferences by having some sort of presence in the online world. This will be especially important for businesses of smaller sizes. Regardless, the world is going through major changes and the business universe is undoubtedly going to see the effects. Only time will tell the true impact of this accelerated rate of change on commerce, shaping years to come.

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DARPAN FEATURE

BY ANOOP ARK

With lockdowns and social distancing directives in place, finding a partner stands to be harder today than it has ever been before.

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A

Dating During A Pandemic

sk anyone you know - dating has always been tough. Throw a worldwide pandemic into the mix and you now have a whole new set of challenges. Finding the right partner for yourself is arguably one of the most important, yet difficult decisions to make. It requires a deep investigation into what you and your potential partner want out of life to truly determine your compatibility. With lockdowns and social distancing directives in place, finding a partner stands to be harder today than it has ever been before. Many blame technology for the complications that come with modern dating. However, in this time of loneliness and isolation, technology may just be our one saving grace. Dating applications are quite possibly the single best way to chat and make new connections during this uncertain time. For

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those who still feel the negative stigma of online dating or have never used an online dating app, now is the time to try it. After all, what better time to take a leap of faith than during a global pandemic? With an abundance of apps available on your computer or smartphone, the options may seem overwhelming but

not to worry. Regardless of your religious background, sexual orientation or preference toward casual vs. long-term dating, there is sure to be an app out there for you! Reading descriptions of the various apps available, reviews by current users and doing a quick Google search will give you insight into which app is best suited to your needs. Once you’ve downloaded an app and have ventured into the world of online dating, you might be wondering how you can possibly get to know someone without


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DARPAN EXCLUSIVE

There is nothing more frustrating than texting a person who cannot carry a conversation. Avoid uninspiring, oneworded responses and try to come up with interesting questions that keep the dialogue going to help you learn more about the person you’re texting.

Some ideas for a special virtual date night include:

Photos: iStockphoto

• Chef for a Night: Impress with your skills in the kitchen by finding an easy to follow recipe you and your date can cook together. You won’t be able to taste each other’s food, so make sure it looks yummy! • Home Theatre: Search for the perfect movie or TV show to watch on a comfy night in and you might just find a mutual addiction to binge-watching Netflix. • Paint like Picasso: Get your creative juices flowing and grab your arts and crafts kit to create a masterpiece worthy of being displayed at the MET. • Table for Two: Create the ambience of a restaurant with a personalized playlist and a plate of your favourite food. • Play Date: Will a friendly games night quickly turn competitive or bring you even closer?

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DARPAN

spending time in person. When text messaging via an app, be sure to make engaging conversation and put your best self forward. There is nothing more frustrating than texting a person who cannot carry a conversation. Avoid uninspiring, oneworded responses and try to come up with interesting questions that keep the TM

dialogue going to help you learn more about the person you’re texting. Be yourself and most importantly, try to have fun! Now that you’re ready to go beyond text messaging, take it a step further with a video chat. Virtual dates are the next best way to get to know someone from the comfort of your home but require a bit of imagination and creativity. Try to think about the many things you do at home alone and try to find innovative ways of doing those things together. If someone has sparked your interest enough to finally take the dates offline, there are a few honest conversations that should be had first. While social distancing and other preventative actions are widely recommended, many are not adhering to it as closely as they should. Given this, it is important to be transparent about what you expect from a date to ensure you are gathering safely. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has strongly urged that all gatherings be socially distanced and held outdoors where the risk of transmission is lowest. Important discussion points around this include whether you both will be wearing masks, how you will maintain social distance, and where exactly your hangout will take place. These candid conversations will ensure you both see eye to eye before meeting up and as a bonus, may help screen out those who are not taking the recommended precautions seriously. Now that you’re both on the same page, you can finally begin planning your first inperson date!

Here are five fun ideas for a socially-distanced outdoor date: 1) Have an outdoor picnic in the park. 2) Soak in some sun together at the beach. 3) Explore hidden parts of the city on foot. 4) Break a sweat on a local hiking trail. 5) Have a drink or meal at a patio restaurant. Finding love in our new reality requires you to go deep beyond the surface. It presents a unique opportunity to shift your focus from insignificant details to the meaningful things that develop closeness and trust. Take a chance, be open-minded and put yourself out there. You never know you might just find the one - even if for now, they’re keeping six feet away.


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YOUTH SPEAK

THE KEY TO SUCCESS:

MASTERING

TIME

MANAGEMENT BY MEHAKPREET DHALIWAL

PHOTOS: ISTOCKPHOTO

T

here’s 24 hours in a day, and our daily life demands a whole lot of things to be done in this time span. Sometimes, it’s just not enough time. Unfortunately, we haven’t discovered the secret to controlling time just yet. But, until then, we can do with another, equally effective, alternative: time management. Time management is the way we organize and utilize our time in order to achieve maximum productivity and success in a given time. Effective time management is one of those issues that we all face, especially during high school and university or college years. Successful time management gives you control of your day. It’s the skill that will help you build good habits, set proper goals, and most importantly achieve work-life balance. With the following time-management

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tips, you can plan, execute and manage your day to become a master of time yourself!

With the following time-management tips, you can plan, execute and manage your day to become a master of time yourself

Plan ahead Either plan your day the night before or first thing in the morning. This gives you a clear idea of what needs to be accomplished, how much time it will take, and ensures you have enough time for other activities you enjoy.

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Set a time limit for tasks

Prioritize your tasks wisely

Setting a time limit helps prevent you from getting distracted or procrastinating. It keeps you focused and helps you become more efficient. If you still find yourself exceeding these time limits, examine your workflow and try to eliminate any unnecessary breaks or distractions.

Prioritize your tasks based on importance and urgency. Spend your mornings on your most important and urgent tasks. Most people have more energy in the morning, and that feeling of accomplishment helps get you through the rest of your day.

Set long-term and short-term goals

The average human brain can only focus for about 90 minutes at a time. Allow breaks between tasks to clear your mind and relax. Go for a walk, listen to music, or meditate for a quick refresher.

Having a clear idea of what you want to do makes it so much easier to accomplish. Follow the SMART method when setting goals for yourself. Make sure your objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Take breaks

Learn to say “no” Sometimes you don’t want to upset anyone or seem rude, but you can only handle so much. Your time is precious. Instead of immediately accepting invitations and offers, try saying, “I’ll check my schedule and get back to you.” This will buy you time to consider your schedule and help you make smart decisions.

With these time management tips, you’ll put an end to procrastination and be able to take control of your time. Most importantly, enjoy every day with an appropriate balance between work and life and don’t forget to have fun. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is like money. Without being managed properly, how do you know where it’s going?”


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DARPAN EXCLUSIVE

SHE’S GOT THE MOVES

INDIANA by Mrinalini Sundar

MEHTA

by Mrinalini Sundar

With wishes in her eyes and dreams that touch the sky, the talented dancer, choreographer and actor hopes to shatter the field of dance with her moves. 42

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I

f you haven’t watched the high school drama, Work It, then we suggest you get on it right now. We can give you two reasons to do so – it is a super inspiring story about misfits coming together to become successful in life. The second reason being Indiana Mehta, the talented dancer, choreographer and actor from South Asia currently settled in Canada has done a commendable job in the movie. We speak to her about her Hollywood experience, running her own dance school in Toronto and her dancing style. For Indiana, life was all about spreading those wings and flying high. In pursuit of her dreams, she came to Canada in May 2018. “I am a professional dancer and trained

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in London, England, for three years. I did a full-time degree and trained extensively in musical theatre. I moved back to my hometown, Mumbai, and explored my options there. But I was in pursuit of international exposure. I chose to move to Canada and it has been my best decision,” shares the dancer who runs Bollyhells, a dance school in Toronto. The first thing Indiana did after landing in Canada was that she signed up with an agent. Since then, the Mumbaikar was


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DARPAN EXCLUSIVE

Photos: Contributed by Indiana Mehta

I gave myself that nudge and did a little bit of Bharatnatyam, mudras, bhangra, and garba to a Chris Brown song. I had never expected it but I received a standing ovation for it. They were impressed and called me for a reading for an Indian character,” Indiana elaborately explains.

The first thing Indiana did after landing in Canada was that she signed up with an agent. Since then, the Mumbaikar was spotted in television commercials and shows as a dancer. The acting was never on the cards until Work It happened.

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spotted in television commercials and shows as a dancer. The acting was never on the cards until Work It happened. “My agents told me about an opening in the movie and asked me to give it a shot. I submitted a dance video to the production team to be one of the dancers in the movie. Two months after the submission, they called me over for an in-person audition. So, I flew down to LA and was nervous to perform. They were looking for people who could do hip-hop, popping and locking. I wanted to try something different but at the same time didn’t want to embarrass myself. But I gave myself that nudge and did a little bit of Bharatnatyam, mudras, bhangra, and garba to a Chris Brown song. I had never expected it but I

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received a standing ovation for it. I had also mentioned to the makers that I was a National level skating champion. They were impressed and called me for a reading for an Indian character,” Indiana elaborately explains. She plays the role of Priya in the movie which primarily focuses on a high school dance competition. She also shares several scenes with Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy, and Jordan Fisher. “It was lovely working with them all. Sabrina is amazing

at singing and dancing. Similarly, Liza has like 20 million subscribers on YouTube and she has amazing videos to her credit. Jordan is such a star and it truly was amazing to learn from them. They would be impromptu and constantly think about acting and the process,” explains Indiana, who took to dance because of her father. She believes that her parents have a huge role to play in how she turned out to be. “My dad was interested in Bharatnyatam and he would teach kids in our neighbourhood. I used to watch and replicate it. Then I got into a western dance phase and moved towards that. I wanted to learn ballet and my parents let me move to Bangalore to learn from Yana Lewis, the CEO of Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet, for three years. They have always been supportive of every decision I make,” she says. Now that Work It has happened, what’s next for Indiana? To which she says, “I am looking at different kinds of roles – from being a teenager to something like Mean Girls.” Indiana confesses that she loves being on the set and is always looking to learn and explore. Having said that, Indiana is also looking to make a mark in Bollywood. In fact, she already made her debut in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. “I was the dance teacher who was conducting that class before Ranbir Kapoor breaks into ‘Baby Doll Main Sone Di’. So, I met Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor during that shoot. I was selected after an audition was conducted. I would love to go back and work in movies, and at some time, I will do an amazing item number!” she laughs. Indiana is constantly learning and is getting inspired by dancers like a Russian ballet dancer, Yana, and Brian Friedman. Her personal favourite is late Saroj Khan and her go-to dance number will always be ‘Dola Re’. With wishes in her eyes and dreams that touch the sky, Indiana hopes to shatter the field of dance with her moves.


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DARPAN FEATURE

7 simple

mood boosters for your blue days

FINDING

HAPPINESS BY MEHAKPREET DHALIWAL

B

ad days are common; days when you feel unhappy, restless, irritable or just tired. However, there are a number of simple things that anyone can do to lift one’s mood. You may already be doing some of these without even realizing it! Here’s a look at a few simple and easy five-minute happiness-boosting tricks for you.

Music can have a powerful effect on mood. Make a playlist of songs that leave you feeling happy or confident. When you’re feeling down, crank up the volume and sing along!

Smile

Physical exercise is one of the most effective mood-boosters. It gets your blood racing, promotes the production of endorphins, and gives you a jolt of positive energy. Go for a run or walk through a park or trail, or do yoga at home.

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It is scientifically proven that chemicals found in chocolate help stimulate the body’s pleasure sensors and production of serotonin. It’ll leave you feeling blissful with just a couple of bites! The repetitive action of chewing gum has also proven to promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety.

Listen to music

Take a walk

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Eat chocolate or chew gum

You smile when you’re happy, but did you know that smiling can actually make you happy? Mimicking emotions with the body can trick the brain into actually feeling that way. Forcing yourself to smile on days you feel down will actually boost your mood, along with those of the people around you.

TM


Let the sunshine in

Reflecting SouthAsian Lifestyle

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Opening curtains and blinds to expose yourself to sunlight is one of the quickest ways to improve your mood. Exposure to natural light keeps your body rhythms in sync, and regulates sleep, metabolism and mood. Regular exposure to sunlight will make you feel happier and more refreshed.

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Talk to a friend Social connection is an effective moodlifter. The happiest people have strong social relationships and spend lots of time with family and friends. Set aside time every day or week to just connect with and talk to friends and family.

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DARPAN FEATURE energize yourself. However, it is important to know that self-destructive activities like overeating, alcohol consumption or doing drugs, doesn’t get categorized as self-care. Unhealthy coping mechanisms like such and others may temporarily help some in challenging situations but they don’t count as self-care. There are several different self-care practices that one can incorporate in their daily life, and if practised the right way self-care adds to your over-all effectiveness. Practising self-care makes you more optimistic, gives a boost to your self-esteem, and provides several other health benefits. Still not convinced? Well, we have listed down a few reasons as to why a self-care routine of any kind is crucial for your well-being. Here, take a look at how self-care can benefit you physically, mentally, emotionally and even socially…

Self-care is not just another fancy term, but is extremely important for our physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Self-Care Matters BY SHWETA KULKARNI

PHOTOS: ISTOCKPHOTO

W

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orking round the clock, focusing on our goals and career, fulfilling our social obligations, carrying out innumerable responsibilities, so on and so forth. In this chaotic, fast-paced world, a rigmarole like such, more or less, defines most of us. What’s more, being in this perennial state of hustle, we often forget to pay any heed to the most significant aspects of our life — our physical, mental and emotional health. Amid our relentless schedules, we fail to notice how our stressful lifestyle is damaging our overall health and the much-needed ‘self-care’ is often put on the back burner. Many assume self-care to be just another fancy term, which is frequently used by counsellors, seen in magazine articles and mentioned in self-help books. However, self-care is crucial not just for SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

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Self-care is crucial not just for our physical health but also for our mind and soul. our physical health but also for our mind and soul. So, what exactly is self-care? Wikipedia defines it as any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and selfinitiated. To put it in more simple terms — it is just about anything that you do thoughtfully to make yourself feel better — be it taking deep breaths when you realize you are stressed or taking a step back to reTM

Boosts Your Self-Esteem When you take time out to engage in self-care, you start the process of building a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Making a conscious effort to practice self-care enhances your positivity and makes you feel good about yourself. Self-care teaches you to love yourself. And mind you, it definitely doesn’t mean you are selfish, rather it shows you that your needs are important too. When you make your well-being the topmost priority in your life, you are bound to become happier and confident.


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DARPAN FEATURE

Facilitates Stress Management Self-care equips you to handle your stress issues effectively. While a little bit of stress is but natural in our everyday life and, in fact, helps us to meet our deadlines and finish work, constant stress and anxiety are detrimental to health. Carving out time for self-care practices like having healthy meals, getting enough sleep, practising yoga and meditation, exercising regularly and connecting with your dear ones, not only helps you build a healthy response to stress but also prevents chronic stress.

Improves Physical health The conscious steps that you start taking while following self-care practices, not only ensure your mental and emotional well-being but it also positively impacts your physical health. Studies have shown that when you are eating healthy, striking a good work-life balance, exercising, meditating, and caring for yourself‌ you automatically start feeling relaxed, positive, energetic, happier and good about yourself. It improves your immunity and you are not susceptible to colds, flu and upset stomachs. Selfcare helps you to be strong inside and out.

Enhances Productivity

Makes You A Better Person

More is not always good, especially for your productivity. While it is good to work hard, workaholism is a vice, and the sooner all work addicts come to terms with it the better. Getting yourself overworked impacts your productivity and can lead to several health issues like stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression and even heart diseases. Cultivating a consistent self-care routine while you are at work like taking breaks or setting professional boundaries, not only helps you avoid burnout but also keeps you motivated, sharp and mentally healthy.

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When you nurture yourself internally and emotionally, you not only become healthy but also a happier person, which in turns makes you more compassionate towards others. Self-care gives you the resources to be a better caretaker and a better person.


It is important to know that self-destructive activities like over-eating, alcohol consumption or doing drugs, doesn’t get categorized as self-care. Unhealthy coping mechanisms like such and others may temporarily help some in challenging situations but they don’t count as self-care.

How To Practice Self-Care

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While self-care practices can differ from person to person, below are a few basics that can be followed by everyone… * Eat a balanced diet * Exercise regularly * Give yourself a break when you need it * Be mindful about your needs * Learn to say no * Spend quality time with family and friends * Meditate whenever possible or take deep breathes occasionally * Take time out for your hobbies * Get good sleep

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Basically, the key to self-care is to engage in a deliberate activity which makes you feel better physically, emotionally and mentally. So, as you can see self-care isn’t a rocket science… start today and begin your journey to a healthier, fitter and happier you.

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BUSINESS PROFILE

Punjabi Market

MIKHAIL MOORE

SABI BINING

SURAJ GEHLA

COUNTERPOINT PROJECTS INC.

DESIGNS THAT CAPTIVATE

Y



52

ou envision the grand opening of your brand-new business or office, a beautifully designed and fresh new space. However, all the minute details are vague in your mind. Making sure your design-build project is 'smooth-sailing' from start to finish, that is where Counterpoint Projects Inc. comes into the picture. The sky is the limit when it comes to one's dreams and aspirations of achieving great things in life, but building a solid foundation is key to making these goals not only accessible but successful. This is certainly the case for Counterpoint Projects Inc., an industry leading design build firm specializing in commercial interior design and construction management. The company has been in business for over 30 years making it one of

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the oldest design and build firms in Vancouver. They're a one-stop shop catering to all your build and design needs, the team at Counterpoint takes care of it all. Whether your space is for office use or medical, modern retail to industrial, no space is too large or too small. Keep your stresses at bay, there will be no need to fuss over city permits, design or even construction while the Counterpoint team is on the project. Every space is of the utmost importance to the company so the objective is simple, go above and beyond exceeding all expectations, leaving you with only your anticipation and growing excitement for your new businesses opening day. Counterpoint believes in making your vision a reality. They will not only work with your pre-existing space or one you may have in mind but also find you a suitable space if need be, helping make


your vision come true. The in-house team of designers will develop a space plan and select the appropriate furniture for both your current needs and future growth in mind. While business ethics may be key, the team at Counterpoint understands the importance of having space created where not only clientele feel welcomed but where employees are productive, happy and can flourish. They balance practicality with aesthetics. The driving force behind the trusted Counterpoint brand are the three partners, Suraj Gehla, Sabi Bining and Mikhail Moore. All together they have more than three decades of combined experience between them in the fields of business, design, engineering and

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“Our Vancouver staff love coming to work in our Yaletown offices, thanks for all your services.”

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“We are a boutique law firm who utilized the services of Counterpoint to design and build our new office in Vancouver. We highly recommend Counterpoint.”

Webster & Associates

PHOTOS: AMASTERMEDIA, CONTRIBUTED BY COUNTERPOINT PROJECTS INC.

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consulting. As a team they have taken on projects that range from $50,000 to as much as $50 million. These three friends have collaborated as partners for Counterpoint Projects Inc. and each bring their own individual knowledge and experience to the table. Suraj Gehla has a background in civil engineering and construction management. Gehla worked with PCL Construction for 13 years and his expertise lies in successfully executing large-scale projects. Sabi Bining has a master's degree in Business. Sabi is the President and CEO of the Bining Health Care Inc., a conglomerate which operates Western Canada's largest health care centers in BC. Mikhail Moore has an engineering consulting background. A decade ago, Mikhail founded an engineering consulting firm specializing in building science. He has single-handedly carried out projects with some of the largest developers in Vancouver, as well as government organizations. “Counterpoint brings solid expertise on both the project and business side and they aspire to be recognized as the leader of designbuild firm of your choice. There is no back and forth with clients once you decide, we focus on your project while you focus on your business. We make things happen with skill of practicality while keeping costs down, deliver on-time and always with full integrity,"says Sabi Bining. The organization has a great vision and wants to broaden its horizons by showcasing its portfolio

“Counterpoint’s design skills more than met our expectations; one only has to visit our place.”

Parastoo Farrokhyark, CEO Figure and Food

to Surrey. Surrey is the fastest what we are all about." growing city not just in the Lower Counterpoint Projects Inc. has Mainland but is also on the map as been recognized as the top interior a prospering city in all of Canada. design-build firm for years in the “We have a great relationship with Vancouver market with its numerous developers in the lower mainland awards and accolades. and have worked with a number The design philosophy behind of Surrey based companies Counterpoint is simple: they create a expanding their operations in both space that is ideal for work and play office, hospitality and industrial while putting you at ease, creating projects," says Gehla. connectivity and joy. To make your While speaking to Darpan dream a reality and bring your vision Magazine, Gehla emphasized that to life, reach out to Counterpoint, he is a Surrey resident and that he a brand backed by exceptional is also raising his young children leadership and excellence in quality in Surrey. He understands the and design. needs of a growing city, both from a construction and a design point. He feels the team at Counterpoint can be instrumental in shaping the future of the City of Surrey for firms and corporations as a whole. Moore added, Counterpoint takes pride in what it does and delivers the best to customers. “If you are not happy with something, we will never turn you For more information visit: away, we are always there for you 400-224 W 8 th Ave, Vancouver, BC to make sure you get the most for V6B 2X6 the money invested. Customer (604) 683-8407 Email: Info@counterpoints.com satisfaction and building great relationships with our clientele is www.counterpoint.com

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Kids and families at the new Sunny Hill Health Centre at BC Children’s Hospital will now receive care in a place designed just for them

A NEW BEGINNING Sunny Hill Health Centre is the only pediatric developmental

care and rehabilitation centre of its kind in BC. Patients here may be recovering from life-altering events like traumatic injuries or strokes, or receive assessments or care for developmental conditions like cerebral palsy. These children often show resilience beyond their years. Now, a new beginning awaits them. The brand-new Sunny Hill Health Centre re-opened its doors on the campus of BC Children’s Hospital in late August as a one-of-a-kind facility, thoughtfully designed for the kids and families who count on it. Built as part of the third and final phase of BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project, the new Sunny Hill was made possible through the significant support from the Government of British

Columbia, Provincial Health Services Authority and our committed and generous donors. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation also launched the Sunny Hill Enhancement Initiative, which raised additional donor funding, and exceeded its $14 million goal, with a significant capstone gift from the Lalji Family. Donor support from across BC is helping to create a new facility that is just as special as the children it serves, and enables its experts to deliver care that’s tailored to them. This donor generosity is helping to elevate the care patients receive with highly innovative technology, advanced purpose-built spaces and specialized equipment. In addition, curated artwork throughout the facility helps to create a warm and calming healing environment.

The new Sunny Hill will open up a world of possibilities and hope, creating a home-like and welcoming environment for kids, families and staff. Some of the remarkable spaces include:

POOL: a cherished spot where kids can feel weightless and free—but now, with movable floors and water jets to help them build muscle strength, or learn how to walk again

OUTDOOR GARDEN: for patients to practice and improve their mobility in a real-world environment with varying terrains

In addition, with significant support from several of our most generous donors, the new facility has embodied the vision for what is possible at Sunny Hill. Some of the spaces inspired by their support include:

GYM: a large, purposeful space with a basketball court, practice kitchen and state-of-the-art technology provides countless therapy and recreational opportunities

BLAAUW FAMILY HILLTOP PATIO: this beautiful outdoor space accessed from the gym is a calm haven for relaxation and active therapy for children and their families DR. HILARY AND PATSY HUI PATIENT AND FAMILY LOUNGE: for inpatient families staying at Sunny Hill, this home-like area is a sanctuary for recreation, privacy and social connections DJAVAD MOWAFAGHIAN WELCOME GALLERY: the main entry point where visitors step into a healing environment flooded with natural light and engaging sculptures and murals PETERSON FAMILY GATHERING SPACE: for families spending long days here, this welcoming lounge has a child play area, an enclosed dining space and engaging art

Hill’s world-class gym 2020 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 54 Sunny Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

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The Children’s Healing Experience Project at Sunny Hill curated a collection of original paintings, murals, interactive installations, sculptures and Indigenous artwork. Twenty-eight artists and five community partners, all from Canada, contributed their expertise and passion to the project. Sunny Hill patients and families had the final say in the selection of the artwork. Each piece is “kid approved” and helps support the therapeutic needs of each space.

Artwork throughout the facility helps support the therapeutic needs of each space

The new Sunny Hill is also equipped with the latest technology and innovation designed to help customize therapy and recreational activities for patients, which in turn can help improve their overall health outcomes. For instance, Western Canada’s very first functional electrical stimulation (FES) bike and stepper helps build muscle strength during supported cycling and walking patterns through low-energy electrical pulses to simulate body movements.

Spaces like this one help create home-like areas for families

“Sahib’s coordination and balance improved quickly at Sunny Hill. When you see progress like that, it really gives you hope.” –NAVNEET AND SUNNY, SAHIB’S PARENTS

Sahib’s family at the 2018 A Night of Miracles Gala, Gala, which raised funds for the Sunny Hill Enhancement Initiative

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS DONORS When it comes to advancing children’s health care and transforming lives, it takes every one of us. We are immensely grateful for the outpouring of compassionate support from our donors, the 2018 A Night of Miracles Gala Cabinet and supporters, volunteers, community partners, and Canadian artists, who all shared in the vision to provide the very best to patients across the province who rely on Sunny Hill Health Centre. In particular, in addition to several donors who gave significant gifts toward the Sunny Hill Enhancement Initiative, we also want to recognize those donors who supported the new facility through the efforts of the South Asian community. Thank you. $3 MILLION +

$1 MILLION–$3 MILLION

LALJI FAMILY

THOMAS AND ANN BLAAUW AND FAMILY

DR. HILARY AND PATSY HUI

DJAVAD MOWAFAGHIAN FOUNDATION

PETERSON

Dr. Dhar Dhanda

Lisa & Mike Hudson

Ganesh & Anita Nanda

David & Sasha Sandur

Fruiticana

Sukesh & Sunita Kumar

The Shokar Family

Arran & Ratana Stephens, Nature’s Path Foods

Golden Girls Group

Muslim Business Council of British Columbia

Panatch Family Foundation

$10,000–$1 MILLION

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BUSINESS PROFILE

After transitioning to Canada, he set up agribusiness divisions for the largest food processor in the country in the Indian sub-continent and set up a food production business making RTE products for the retail and food service sector. Dan and Pi met in Mumbai and Delhi on a few occasions and KUNDAN CHEF PIYUSH struck up a friendship. Over a few KHULLAR (DAN) SAHAY (PI) good bevvies & dinners, an idea of starting a quality Indian influenced diner came to be. Laced with bold flavors of India with the ancient cooking techniques from the world's oldest civilization, teamed with the finesse and modern techniques of French and West Coast cuisine, a concept was born. “The market needs good caterers, especially for Indian food, with many existing restaurants offering similar menus. Our aim is to serve the niche Indian market, those who enjoy good food and presentation.”, says Pi. Purple Tulip specializes in custom menus to fit your event, be it a sit-down dinner, cocktail reception, live action station or family style meal. The CATERING FINE FLAVORS FOR YOUR MEMORABLE EVENTS food is always fresh, flavorful and t is often said that nothing Canada. Aside from heading Pi is also a Certified Chef artistically displayed in a fun and brings people together like the kitchens of Cathay Pacific’s (CCC) and a member of BC trendy manner. With a restaurant good food. Purple Tulip offers inflight catering facility and Chefs Association, Canadian coming soon, the Purple Tulip exactly that – and beyond – by UBC Point Grey Campus, Culinary Federation and World kitchen boasts a team of chefs with catering fine global cuisine as well Pi has competed in multiple Association of Chefs' Societies. professional designations, who put as modern & traditional Indian culinary challenges across Dan’s background entails food safety on top of the priority cuisine for your event. Providing North America, winning a management degree in UK, list. To delight your guests and unsurpassed quality, Purple Tulip Gold & Silver medals. He followed by a degree in Law and make your next event memorable, is the brainchild of long-time was also awarded the CATIE entry into commodity trading look no further than Purple Tulip friends from the industry, Piyush (Catered Art Through and bulk food production and Catering! Sahay (Chef Pi) and Kundan Innovative Excellence) award sales. He found his calling in Khullar (Dan). by the International Caterers different large food processing With over 25 years of Association, Las Vegas. HH corporations and finally at a international culinary experience, Dalai Lama, Rev. Bishop Tutu, Japanese multinational, where Chef Pi, after completing his Emperor & Empress of Japan, he managed their steel division degree in Hotel Management, King of Mongolia, Princess and established their agribusiness 8140 120 ST SURREY BC worked at Michelin star of Japan & the President of division, spearheading the restaurants in France and top Mexico are just a few celebrities development of Ready to Eat T: (778) 590-2573 hotels in India, Mauritius, that have enjoyed his finely (RTE) frozen Indian meals for www.purpletulip.ca and Kenya before moving to honed culinary skills. Chef Japanese retail supermarkets.

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DARPAN RECIPES

Steamed fish in banana leaves

C

hef Kumar Mahadevan has become widely regarded as the Godfather

of Indian cuisine in Australia. He opened his first restaurant, Abhi's in North Strathfield, Australia in 1990. Now, Abhi’s has obtained status as one of Sydney’s cult dining hot spots, testament to the popularity of Chef Kumar’s distinctive and elegant brand of Indian fare. BY CHEF KUMAR MAHADEVAN

Patrani

Machi Chef Kumar’s modern interpretation of Indian food – the light, delicate flavours and generous use of fresh, aromatic spices have become his s ignature.

modern interpretation of Indian food – the light, delicate flavours and generous use of fresh, aromatic spices have since become Chef Kumar’s signature. Chef Kumar delights in creating dishes that combine the best of local seafood and fresh produce, rich with the flavours of his native Southern India – a

• 2 tsp mango chutney

cuisine that has won him praise and

• Lime wedges, to serve

Preparation • Rub the fish with the turmeric and set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes. • Cut the banana leaves into 4-6 squares large enough to enclose a portion of fish. Line a large bamboo or metal steamer basket with baking paper to prevent sticking.

• 2-3 banana leaves • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped • ½ bunch mint, roughly chopped

• Put the remaining ingredients, except the lime wedges in a small blender with half a teaspoon of salt and process to a

• 2 green chillies, roughly chopped • 1 piece ginger (5cm), roughly chopped

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Both restaurants showcase Kumar’s

contemporary approach to a traditional

• 6-8 black peppercorns

• 1 tsp ground turmeric

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

historic finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo.

respect.

• Juice of 1-2 Lime

• 800 g Barramundi fillets

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

a more ambitious operation, Aki’s, on the

• 90 g desiccated coconut • ½ tsp cumin seeds

Ingredients

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Following this, Chef Kumar embarked on

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coarse paste. Do not grind too finely or you will lose the texture of the coconut. • Put a portion of fish into the centre of each banana leaf and apply a thick layer of the paste on top of the fish to completely enclose and put, fold side down, into a steamer basket. • Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam over a saucepan or wok simmering water for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. • Serve immediately in the leaves with the lime wedges. Images contributed by Chef Kumar Mahadevan


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DARPAN RECIPES

BY CHEF KUMAR MAHADEVAN

Scallops With Tomato Chutney

Ingredients For the chutney • 1 kg ripe roma tomatoes • 1 medium red onion

• Small knob ginger, peeled and grated

For the leaf-infused olive oil • 15 curry leaves

• 2 tbsp sunflower oil • 6 dried whole chillies • 1 tsp black mustard seeds • 1 tsp cumin • ½ tsp red chilli powder • 10 fresh curry leaves • 1 tsp sugar (optional) • Small knob ginger, peeled and grated

For the scallops

• 1 tbsp sunflower oil • 45 ml extra virgin olive oil

Preparation For the leaf-infused olive oil • Fry curry leaves in sunflower oil for 30-40 seconds. Drain on kitchen paper and let dry. Crush and mix with the olive oil. The oil will keep for two weeks.

• ½ tsp turmeric SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

For the chutney • Score the bottoms of tomatoes and blanch in boiling water. Peel, de-seed and coarsely chop. Peel and dice red onion. • Heat sunflower oil and add chillies. When the tips of the chillies turn black add the mustard seeds. When they crack or pop, add cumin and chopped onions. Sweat the onions. • Add chilli powder, ginger, curry leaves and tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. If the tomatoes are not sweet enough, add one teaspoon of sugar.

For the scallops • Marinate the scallops with half a teaspoon of turmeric and ginger for 20 minutes. Sear in a hot pan. When adequately coloured on one side, quickly turn over. • Serve scallops on a bed of tomato chutney. Drizzle with curry leaf-infused olive oil.

Courtesy of Chef Kumar Mahadevan

• 12-16 scallops

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Chef Kumar delights in creating dishes that combine the best of local seafood and fresh produce, rich with the flavours of his native Southern India.

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By naina grewal

What happens to your brain on junk food?

E

very night, you make a resolution. Starting tomorrow, I will eat healthy. I will resist the temptation of junk food. Tomorrow is the day I start treating my body right. Come morning, you might start strong and have a bowl of fruits. However, the adrenaline wears off as you find yourself enjoying a bowl of French fries with your favorite soda once the afternoon settles in. The struggle is real. Junk food is just so easy to cave into. You are not alone in falling prey to the enticing smell, taste and aura of your favorite treat.

In fact, there is a science behind it. Often defined as foods that provide low or no nutritional value to your body, junk foods are known to have a direct impact on the way your brain functions. For this reason, understanding what exactly happens to your brain on junk food can help you combat the cravings and start taking steps

Sukhy Mahal

Registered Professional Counsellor

“Junk food gives a feeling of pleasure as it releases dopamine. This leaves a person feeling temporarily satisfied. When this feeling wears off, we look for it again and have created a vicious cycle.”

JUNK FOOD FOR

THOUGHT ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Naina Grewal is a youth radio show host on Red FM and is pursuing a Business and Communication Joint Major at SFU. She recently won the national Robert E. Oliver award for outstanding students interested in marketing from Advertising Standards Canada. Naina is an engaged community volunteer, passionate about creating dialogue, and stirring youth involvement. In 2015, Naina was recognized by the Surrey Board of Trade as a community role model and one of Surrey’s “Top 25 under 25”.

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Whitney Hussain Registered Dietician

towards a heathier lifestyle. Sukhy Mahal, Registered Professional Counsellor of Surrey Weight loss Clinic, shares, “Junk food gives a feeling of pleasure as it releases dopamine. This leaves a person feeling temporarily satisfied. When this feeling wears off, we look for it again and have created a vicious cycle.”


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Hussain often asks her clients questions like, “Is it stress? Are you mindlessly eating with distractions? Is it part of your routine? Are you missing out on certain nutrients? Are you just not eating enough throughout the day?” Eating junk food activates the reward system in our brain and releases the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which is a "feel good" chemical. For this reason, junk food may almost seem to have addictive qualities. Junk food is usually high in ingredients that are not necessarily the best for our body in copious amounts – salt, sugar, and fat. To top it off, junk food is readily available and is often cheaper to purchase than healthier options. Despite the high-calorie count, it is simply hard to resist. Having a couple of chips or tasting one spoon of ice cream often leaves us longing for more. Psychology Student, Linda Magyari, elaborates further, “Eventually our brains become accustomed to a specific level of dopamine and we may begin to eat more junk food to experience more pleasurable feelings. This how an addiction can occur.” Although this may make it seem impossible to escape the alluring technicalities of junk food, Registered Dietician, Whitney Hussain, offers insight. “Treats can have impacts on our stress levels by decreasing our cortisol levels, the stress hormones. Treat foods are not necessarily ‘addicting’, but rather make us feel good, especially during times of stress. Working on ways to decrease our stress levels are important, including

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focusing on non-food related activities like exercise, reading, or spending time with loved ones.” Deductively, it seems that slowly beginning to replace junk food with other activities that naturally release dopamine, may be a good strategy. Depending on each person, these activities can range along a variety of spectrums, including exercise, meditation, listening to music, sleeping, getting a massage, listening to music, spending time in nature, and watching a movie. To truly stir change in your diet, the key lies in first determining the reason you are eating junk food. Hussain often asks her clients questions like, “Is it stress? Are you mindlessly eating with distractions? Is it part of your routine? Are you missing out on certain nutrients? Are you just not eating enough throughout the day?” After answering these questions, it is then vital to create a goal, which may be a certain size, weight, or the way you feel about yourself. If feeling overwhelmed in the beginning towards what your game plan should be, or if you are just looking for accountability, you can also outsource support from an app, a friend, or a dietician. Using such tools to aid your lifestyle changes can be a catalyst in working on the mindset shift that is much needed when decreasing intake of junk food. Mahal describes a winning approach to thinking about food intake, “Our bodies are like a relationship: you get back what you put into it. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet; most people think that they can eat whatever they want and then work out. This is not the case. Abs are made in the kitchen and 90% of our results – good or bad – are based on diet.” Information is power. Now that you are well-versed with how junk food has just the right tricks to entice your brain into habitual consumption, take back the control and keep the junk where it belongs!


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DIGNITY FOR WORK

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GOONJ/FACEBOOK, ISTOCKPHOTO

by Mrinalini Sundar

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Goonj was started by

M

ore often than not, people living in cities have everything in Clothing Man aka Anshu abundance. The economically well-toGupta, one of India’s leading do category of the society is spoilt for choice when it comes to food, restaurants social entrepreneurs. He was and leisure activities. Well, nothing is the one who moved away wrong in it. But what happens to all the from the conventional urban discards – in terms of clothes and equipment? That’s where Goonj steps in. – giver’s pride to the No, they are not an organization unconventional – that picks things up from the rich and redistributes it to the poor. According receiver’s dignity. He is to its website, Goonj is an idea across also the receiver of the regions, economies and countries using urban discards as a tool to alleviate prestigious Ramon Magsaysay poverty and enhance the dignity of the award in 2015. poor in the world. It addresses basic but SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

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neglected issues of the poor by involving them in evolving their own solutions with dignity and urban material as a reward. The organization based in Delhi has some basic principles and strategies that they follow. Their main motto is to build and maintain a connection of empathy, dignity and values between the issues of the poor and the rich. Leveraging traditional wisdom and empowering already available resources, time and skills is the next big effort for the team. Considering the sensitive topic, the organization approaches the complex and interwoven challenges of poverty and discards, in a humancentered and community-driven way. The organization also supports communities in cities and villages to thrive and evolve sustainably. In the bigger picture, the


organization aspires to listen deeply to their communities, be responsive, plant ideas in the communities, and work alongside their partners. The value system that runs in the organization is pretty solid which explains how the team has been intact since 1999. Who are the visionaries behind this initiative? The organization was started by Clothing Man aka Anshu Gupta, one of India’s leading social entrepreneurs. He was the one who moved away from the conventional – giver’s pride to the unconventional – receiver’s dignity. He is also the receiver of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award in 2015. He is joined by his wife, Meenakshi Gupta, who is also considered the backbone of the company and is working with Anshu and the team on building pan India civic engagement through powerful communication with the masses.

Goonj is an idea across regions, economies and countries using urban discards as a tool to alleviate poverty and enhance the dignity of the poor in the world. It addresses basic but neglected issues of the poor by involving them in evolving Fabricating Beauty For Your Home & Office!

their own solutions with dignity and urban material as a reward. Their initiatives are simple yet profound – from making ponds, canals, wells, reservoirs, check dams, rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharging, cleaning and reviving, road repair, dustbin making, cleaning of hand-pump, land bunding, creating kitchen gardens, to a plantation and vermicompost pit making, rural folks are indulging in all this and a lot more activities thanks to Goonj. There is also one for children and students. The School to School initiative addresses the educational needs of thousands of remote and resource-starved village/ slum schools by channelizing under-utilized material of city’s affluent schools not as a thing to distribute but as a tool to bring about comprehensive behavior change in the

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Their initiatives are simple yet profound – from making ponds, canals, wells, reservoirs, check dams, rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharging, cleaning and reviving, road repair, dustbin making, cleaning of hand-pump, land bunding, creating kitchen gardens, to a plantation and vermicompost pit making, rural folks are indulging in all this and a lot more activities thanks to Goonj.

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Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle

recipients and the contributors, says their website. What is the outcome, while urban children learn to be more empathetic towards rural issues; rural children learn to own a sense of achievement and positive behavior? The one thing lacking and needs immediate attention in rural areas is the lack of menstrual hygiene. The website narrates the story of a woman who died because she wore a blouse with a rusted hook. The idea behind this initiative is to address the gaps and challenges of menstrual hygiene and management by engaging comprehensively with all key stakeholders. Their three-step approach includes – awareness, affordability and access. The

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main aim of the program is to motivate rural women and communities to use their wisdom, communicate, and address sanitation-related issues. The team also provides cloth sanitary pads to women who have no access to resources. Green by Goonj is another successful campaign started to reuse, up-cycle every last shred of material available with the team. According to the website, “A range of over 100 different products like purses, fancy bags, file folder, mats, etc made from torn jeans, obsolete audio tapes, one side used paper, etc, shows the ingenuity, craftsmanship and design aesthetics of women from nearby slums involved in making these products. Buying ‘Green by Goonj’ products ensures that our work in rural India continues unhindered irrespective of large/ small funding support.”

Goonj did their bit in this fight against the pandemic. They have organized for over 2.5 million kilograms of rice, manufactured masks, and provided vegetables to the people with no access. If you would like to join the movement, the steps are simple – you can either donate online, partner with them, intern or work for them, or simply donate goods – clothes, school material, paper, dry ration, office equipment, woolens, toys and games, furniture, footwear or sewing machines, can all be contributed towards the cause. The other thing you can do to support Goonj is to purchase products that are made by the Green Goonj project. Browse through their product catalog and order online. It is all about going back to our roots, our villages, and our country.


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DARPAN TECH

EMERGING

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TRENDS By Shweta Kulkarni

5 Emerging Technologies That Will Redefine The Post Covid-19 World

D

espite our scientific and technological advancements, scientists are yet to find a definite cure for coronavirus, however, one can’t refute the fact that it’s modern technology only which has come to our rescue in these trying times. Technology has played a crucial role by offering solutions to overcome the challenges thrown by the pandemic and has been instrumental in keeping the society functional in the face of the necessitated worldwide lockdowns.

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Digital readiness has helped businesses to sustain, aided educational institutes to complete their curriculum and also made it possible for almost everything to be brought at our doorstep with contactless e-commerce strategies. Furthermore, smart devices, deployment of robotics, AI-based chatbots, and technologicallydriven healthcare tools, have further eased the pressure in this crisis. What’s more, these technology trends are bound to have a lasting impact even when the pandemic finally sees its end. Experts believe that as we slowly start adapting to the new normal, technology will continue to play an important part in our lives. Here, we have listed some of the emerging technology trends that will redefine the post-COVID-19 world…

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Internet of Things (IoT) Our life has become pretty easy going, courtesy our smart devices, especially during this pandemic they have been the saviours in most households. Furthermore, with the onset of COVID-19, there has been a surge in the innovation of many such smart devices which are connected to the Internet. While IoT solutions are already being used in the healthcare sector, some analyst believes that in the post-pandemic world, IoT will enable us to predict and treat health issues with smart devices that shall keep track of our health. As per a report by statista.com, in 2019 there were about 26 billion IoT devices and by 2025 there will be about 75.44 IoT devices that will make the quality of life better and comfortable.


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Robotics

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In the post-pandemic world, whether you like it or not robots are going to become a part of our day to day lives. With social distancing and no human-to-human contact becoming the new norm, robotic technology is already taking several industries by storm. Many companies like Walmart are dealing with the COVID-19 challenge by using robots to scrub and disinfect the floors, while some have successfully used robotics to deliver packages without physical contact during this outbreak. Automated robots have even assisted healthcare professional to carry out diagnostic processes like measure temperatures and collect samples, during this pandemic. A report published in the Science Robotics emphasised on robots having the potential to be deployed for disinfection, delivering medications and food, measuring vital signs, and assisting border controls. So, don’t be surprised to see a steady rise in robotics technology in the post COVID world.

Photos: iStockphoto

5G Networks The one thing that has kept the world from completely falling apart during this pandemic is undeniably the network connectivity. With offices across the globe embracing the ‘work from home’ policy during this pandemic, people have understood the need for good connectivity. Moving forward, the 5G network is going to be the next-gen ruling network and is sure to take over the entire mobile industry. While 5G mobile data networks have existed since 2019, they were not used by everyone due to its expensive plans. However, according to a Huawei Technology vision, super-fast and affordable 5G mobile data networks are likely to be made available in the market soon. In fact, it

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DARPAN TECH

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Unlike 5G network, Artificial Intelligence also known as machine intelligence has been around for years, however, during the COVID-19 outbreak, the technology has now gained newfound popularity. AI is based on computer science research that looks at how to imitate the workings of human intelligence and uses powerful algorithms that digest large amounts of data to identify patterns. While most companies turned to AI-powered chatbots to provide customer support in this time of crisis, one also saw its application in education, finance and healthcare sector. In fact, China even reported the benefits of AI as a crisis management tool. Apparently, China, with the help of AI was able to identify patterns from big data, support their health systems and control the spread. The AI was also applied in radiology technologies in China which helped speed up the diagnosis of

is believed that because of its super-fast download and upload speeds (five times faster than 4G capabilities), 5G networks will actually be used more than wired networks at home and offices.

large numbers of patients with the novel Coronavirus. Post Covid-19, one is likely to see AI applications aid various sectors to adapt to the new normal.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality With the world going through several phases of lockdowns and self-quarantine during the coronavirus outbreak, AR and VR technologies emerged as heroes that helped us explore through virtual travel, kept us entertained, assisted our shopping spree and enabled us to stay connected even though the world had shut down. That’s not all, several industries like healthcare, architecture, education, retail among others have also adopted the VR/AR technologies during this pandemic. According to a Coresight’s report, the AR and VR technologies are all set to play a huge role in the retail industry in the future.



nspired by art, culture and heritage, Hi-Class Jewellers has been in the fine-jewellery business for five generations. With roots that date back to the British Raj, the Nanda family’s story now continues in Canada, with the local shop serving customers for 35 years. Hi-Class Jewelers was founded by the late Mrignesh Nanda in 1985, and is currently run by his wife & son, Seema & Gulzar Nanda. The importance of design and quality, and a passion for noble metals, fine gems, and jewellery has been passed down from ancestor to ancestor, and across continents. The Nanda family honor their heritage by serving the community from their small boutique in Vancouver’s Punjabi Market. At the core of Gulzar’s philosophy is cultivating an essence of community and honoring the deep roots his parents have set with their leadership. Gulzar describes, “I have been working at my parents store since I was 9 or 10 years old; Over the last two decades I have seen many families purchase their daughter’s bridal trousseau, I have seen that bride purchase jewellery for their newborn baby, and I have seen that newborn grow into a young adult who wants jewellery to express their own identity.” Gulzar adds that, “this has enabled us to connect families through every occasion.” The business sees itself as being able to connect different generations through jewelry. Priding itself on its ancestry of unparalleled fervor and craftsmanship, Hi-Class Jewelers extends to you a promise across generations, creating timeless connections.

6570 Main St, Vancouver, BC www.hiclassjewellers.com

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@hiclassjewellers @hcjewellers


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DARPAN Beauty

Therefore, it is important you align yourself with beauty experts who understand the skin, its aging process and are knowledgeable about medical grade skin products. Start early and be consistent in using good medical grade products for a healthy glowing skin that will continue to age well. Here are two great skin care routines our staff at Wave Skin Care have compiled for glowing skin and to help it age well:

Sheer Physical Fusion UV Defence

Routines for Fresh,

Younger Skin

Protects your skin against harmful UBV and UVA rays and evens out the appearance.

CE Ferulic A vitamin C serum that smooths out fine lines, brightens and improves the overall firmness and texture of the skin.

BY DR. SATINDER SANGHE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. S. Sanghe has been practicing as a Family Physician for 17 years with her practice focusing primarily on Women’s health. Besides her family medicine practice she serves in the area of medical aesthetics as a Consultant and Medical Director of Cool Sculpting at Wave Skin Care. Visit: www.waveskincare.ca

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aving a dewy, fresh and glowing skin is the most essential beauty weapon you can possess! And the earlier in life you begin caring for your skin, the better your skin will age. Signs of skin aging such as wrinkles, discolouration and loss of skin tone begin as early as in the 20’s. This happens when production of collagen and elastin begins to fall resulting in loss of the youthful glow and texture.

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Great skin care products to help your skin glow and to help it age well, compiled by the staff at Wave Skin Care.

Morning Routine LHA Cleanser Balances oil production to reveal clean, balanced and smooth skin.

A.G.E Eye complex To improve under eye dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness.


Evening Routine Soothing Cleanser Easily removes dirt and makeup off the skin leaving it with a clean and calmed base.

Micro exfoliant Removes the top layer of dead skin cells on the face, revealing much smoother, cleaner, and healthier skin

Retinol Works to improve the overall appearance of your skin by minimizing hyperpigmentation, acne scars, dull skin texture, fine lines, and surface level acne.

A.G.E Eye Cream To improve under eye dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness.

Triple Lipid Repair Cream Composed of amazing fatty acids that work together to repair and replenish your skin. Revives the skin with high levels of moisture and helps plump up the skin and ultimately reduce fine lines resulting in a more youthful appearance of the skin.

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As a mom of 3 with a passion for fitness, I strive to help my clients reach their personal fitness goals. Whatever be your goal, let us make it happen together.

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778.996.8844


DARPAN FITNESS

B

etween safety concerns due to the pandemic and the decline in favorable weather that tends to come around this time each year, it’s likely that you’ll soon be performing your workout at home, if you’re not already. While exercising at home is certainly convenient, it’s oftentimes difficult to feel as if you’re getting the effective workout you’re looking for due to the lack of machines and equipment.

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Chest/ shoulders: Pushups Pushups are the foundation for any bodyweight exercise as they are great for the chest and shoulders, and provide a little bit of activation for the biceps and triceps. What’s more, by changing your hand placement you can target different areas of the chest, resulting in a more well-rounded aesthetic.

Nine bodyweight exercises, that will provide the full-body workout you need, when performed in conjunction with one another. To that end, let’s go through nine bodyweight exercises you can perform that, when performed in conjunction with one another, will provide the full-body workout you need. But before we get started, here are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re maximizing the effectiveness of each exercise.

How to Make Bodyweight Exercises More Effective The first and most obvious thing you can do is add additional weight to make the workout more challenging. While this can be accomplished with dumbbells or resistance bands, you don’t necessarily have to run out and buy a bunch of expensive equipment.

BODY WEIGHT

EXERCISES FOR A COMPLETE

AT-HOME WORKOUT BY NICK HILDEN

A pair of old water bottles filled with water, sand, or pebbles will do nicely. You can also make each motion more effective by performing it either very slowly, thereby forcing your muscles to hold tension for longer, or by moving fast and explosively, which is great for increasing your heartrate and getting in some solid cardio. Whichever speed you choose, be sure that you’re using proper form for each motion, which ensures that the targeted muscle is properly activated. What’s more, with every workout session try to add either a little weight or one or two repetitions to each individual

You can also make each motion more effective by performing it either very slowly, thereby forcing your muscles to hold tension for longer exercise. This will provide the progressive overload you need to improve over time. Now without further ado, let’s get to the workouts. To see them in action, tutorials for each of these can be found on YouTube.

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5 2

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Biceps: Downward dog pushups

While the biceps are muscles that most people want to emphasize, they’re actually among the hardest to target without equipment. Your best bet is to use virtually anything as a weight to perform bicep curls, but if you’re going bodyweight only, downward dog pushups will get the job done. The motion is fairly straightforward— simply get into the downward dog yoga position, then lower your elbows to the floor. Push-up until the elbows are straight, then repeat.

3 Hamstrings/ glutes: Hip thrusts This is another muscle group that is somewhat notoriously hard to target as most leg movements tend to emphasize the quads. Hip thrusts, however, are the solution you need. You can perform this motion with your upper-back on the floor (which technically makes it a “glute bridge”), but by resting your back on a raised bench or even the edge of

your couch, you have the option of holding weight over your hips to get more out of the exercise.

Photos: iStockphoto

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When it comes to developing their arms, most people put all their energy into working out the biceps, but in reality the majority of your upper arm musculature is made up of your triceps. And whether you’re working out in a gym with plenty of equipment or at home with none, dips will consistently be among your most effective tools for hitting the triceps. The best part is that you can perform them virtually anywhere—using the arms of a chair, the edge of a stable desk or table, or even on the floor.

Abs/lower back/ core: Plank

A lot of people have a love-hate relationship with planks because they’re sometimes hard and usually kind of boring, but when it comes to developing a strong core there are few exercises that compare. The key is to hold it as long as you can, then continually beat your time even if just by a few seconds.

Triceps: Dips

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Quads: Squats

Like pushups and dips, squats are an essential component of any at-home bodyweight workout. The key here is form. Be sure that your back is straight and your feet are about shoulder-width apart. You can always make them more challenging by holding weights, or by adding a jump at the top of each repetition. SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2020

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Calves: Ankle raises

Calves are the most overlooked muscle group in the lower body, and not only do strong calves look great, but they can be essential for safe mobility. This motion is not only easy and effective, but can be improved upon by holding weight, or merely by standing with your toes on a slightly raised ledge thereby allowing your heels to dip below parallel to provide more range of motion and muscle activation.

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Shoulders: Doorway lateral raises

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Upper back: reverse snow angels

I’ve always had trouble finding effective ways to work out my shoulders without equipment, so when I discovered this move it was a gamechanger. All you need is a doorway. Simply stand in the door, raise your locked arms until your wrists are pressing against the frames, then apply pressure and hold for as long as you can. It might not seem like much when you’re doing it, but with time and repetition, you’ll feel it.

Usually I would recommend that you do pullups—the grand-champion of back exercises—but for our purposes here we’re assuming you don’t have access to a pullup bar. Absent of this, reverse snow angels are a pretty good alternative. Essentially, you’re just performing a snow angel movement while lying on your stomach. The key here is to make the motion slowly, and to focus on activating your back muscles.

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DECORATE WITH

PAMPAS GRASS

DARPAN HOME

to the decor. The side tables in the living room or even your bedroom are perfect spots for the grass. Make note of the height of the grass, however. You don’t want huge grass sticking on your head! Pampas grass can go well even in a contemporary setting. Modern lighting and sleek furniture, no worries- this pliable grass can fit itself into any setting. Just place them amidst the right decor and it wouldn’t look like a mismatch. We love the spot above the fireplace for this one – but make sure not to overcrowd the space. One vase, lots of grass, and the spot give the space a muchneeded rustic break. Pampas grass makes for great decor on the dining table. Place it as a centerpiece and your dinner with fam just got a glam makeover. A simple white vase should do, you could also go with a vase that is not too funky.

9 Simple Ways To Style Pampas Grass In Your House BY MRINALINI SUNDAR

They are simple, elegant, and bring with them texture, fluff, and give a personality to space. Styling pampas grass can be easy since they are neutral coloured and can blend with any background and interior.

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ome decor trends keep changing every year. But who would have thought the grass would be the winner this year? Pampas grass is in vogue and how. They are tall grass that can reach a height of three meters. Their scientific name is Cortaderia Selloana and is mostly used as flower arrangements. The best part about the grass is that they are all-season. It won't scream Halloween or harvest! If you were browsing through Instagram or home decor magazines, you wouldn't have missed the wheat-like grass. They are simple, elegant, and bring with them texture, fluff, and give a personality to space.

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Styling pampas grass can be easy since they are neutral coloured and can blend with any background and interior. The most uncomplicated way to style pampas grass is by placing them in a simple plain vase and keep them on the side table in the living room. They work best on white walls as they add a tint of beige tone

Our recommendation is to find yourself a big vase that you can place probably in the corner of the room. Tuck in some grass and your little corner décor is all ready! A statement vase with grass can work both indoor and outdoor if placed strategically.


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Boho look Give the house a boho look

Try a pampas grass wreath Add some jazz to your door with a pampas grass wreath. This could also be a DIY mission for you. Whether you want them around during Fall or Winter, even summer- they work best. Pampas’s wreath adds a touch of elegance and grace to your door and can be made in different styles. We recommend not adding any other fixtures to this wreath as it might spoil the look.

Play with contrast Photos: iStockphoto, lifeisaparty.ca

Since the grass comes in light colours it is best to play with contrast. When you place the pampas grass against a dark wall, it makes for great contrast and looks attractive. For example, you could place the grass in vases that are aged blue or pink, even with a rustic shape or finish is a good option. If you have a

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specific coloured wall- say black, yellow, or green- then the grass makes for the perfect contrast. If this space is getting a little too monotonous then you could add some greenery by placing a few plants. Make sure the pots and plants are small and not larger than the grass itself. There could be a clash and could create chaos. By adding some green plants, you are cutting the clutter and it automatically becomes a green space.

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Minimal and simple is the mantra for this grass. When they are combined with other items, it could be a misfit.

with a sitting space, clubbed with brown and beige cushions. Now that in itself is super Instagram-worthy. It is also your cozy corner and can be a perfect spot for a date night. Now add grass on vases (which are not too fancy so the attention is given to space) and your own little boho corner is ready. You could also add some dim lighting for more effect.

Try a different colour Pampas grasses also come in pink and purple shades. The coloured grass is unique and needs to be placed strategically. They are perfect if you are looking to add some colour to your home. Pair them with a few neutral coloured dĂŠcor Pampas grass also makes for great products such and you are decor during events. Having a good to go. This could go on wedding or just a get together, the entertainment unit, or on place a few vases with the grass your study. at the entrance point to give the event a special and unique look. You could also use them in the garden to add some personality to the backyard.

Event decor


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165-12899 80th ave Surrey BC

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604.503.6330

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165-12899 80th ave Surrey BC

604.503.6330

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The eloquence of The Fashion old-world charm ʻUndercurrentʼ seamlessly blends with modernCelebrating the 1in 5 day influences th

year milestone of Nidhika Shekhar’s the brand, merging latest festive indigenous Indian collection — construction and PANKHI embellishing techniques with his idea of the future, Gaurav Gupta emerges as a leading beacon of dramatic, cultural shift in the way the modern Indian bride and groom wear couture.

PANKHI Gaurav

Gupta

Turn on the Festive Mode BY SHWETA KULKARNI

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FASHION SPOTLIGHT

“We make clothes which are easy to wear yet are little experimental. There is always a modern touch to our Indian outfits. And that is also the USP of PANKHI,” reveals Nidhika, the creative brain behind this festive collection.

E

ver since its inception in 2014, Nidhika Shekhar’s eponymous label has made heads turn with its elegant, fresh and easy to carry designs, which are a perfect amalgamation of Indian aesthetics and unique silhouettes. And now the popular fashion brand is dazzling every fashion enthusiast once again with its latest festive collection — PANKHI. Infused with a passion for constant innovation, Nidhika Shekhar has integrated the essence of India’s rich cultural heritage with contemporary aesthetics to create a dreamy festive collection — PANKHI,

which is sure to spruce up your festive spirit. Inspired by the traditional hand fan, which was often used in the royal households, the fashion-forward collection is aptly titled PANKHI and features an array of beautiful drape sarees, jumpsuits, draped anarkali, Indo-style sarees, lehengas, capes, dhoti sets among other festive silhouettes. Commenting about the collection, designer Nidhika Shekhar said, “The driving force for our collection is the beautiful ‘phanki’ of ancient time, so we thought of keeping it simple by naming the collection PANKHI. The

motifs and embroidery used in the collection reflect our inspiration.” The ethnic motifs and flattering cuts rooted in festive colour unite in harmony to give the collection a whimsical appeal. The elegant collection of feminine drapes is specially designed for the modern-day Indian woman, who keeps evolving with time yet is connected to her roots. “As a Nidhika Shekhar brand, our forever muse is our inspiring Indian woman, who loves to experiment with every changing time,” explained Shekhar. Experimentation has always been the hallmark of Nidhika

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FASHION SPOTLIGHT

FASHION SPOTLIGHT

The Nidhika Shekhar label has carved a niche for itself in the fashion industry with its continuous effort to infuse Indian aesthetics with a unique style and reinventing itself with changing times. Shekhar brand, which is a favourite among Bollywood celebrities like Taapsee Pannu, Radhika Apte, Neha Dhupia, Sanjana Sanghi, Radhika Madan, Rakul Preet, Yami Gautam, Huma Qureshi among others. The Nidhika Shekhar label has carved a niche for itself in the fashion industry with its continuous effort to infuse Indian aesthetics with a unique style and reinventing itself with changing times. “We make clothes which are easy to wear yet are little experimental. There is always a modern touch to our Indian outfits. And that is also the USP of PANKHI,” reveals Shekhar, the creative brain behind this festive collection. With a colour palette of happy hues such as pristine peach, aqua, sunny yellow and the colour of the season – blue, flattering silhouettes and fabrics like silk, chanderi, organza, crepe, silk, georgette with zardosi embroidery, the festive collection is the perfect amalgamation of old-world charm and contemporary nuances. The ethereal ethnic range — Pankhi, is priced between INR 22000 to INR 50000 and can be purchased from Nidhika Shekhar store at Shahpur Jat. The collection is also available at Aza (online), Pernia’s Pop-up shop, Fuel, Azra, Kayra, Agashe, Armadio, Ole, Collage (Dubai) and several other highfashion online platforms. So, go ahead, redefine your festive wardrobe with PANKHI.

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DARPAN Weddings

Photography by Studio 55

Ravi

Rita &

Q: How did you meet?

We met through my best friend who is his sister. I had a crush on him in high school and she gave him the go-ahead to text me and we instantly hit it off. Over six years later, I get to call her my best friend and sisterin-law.

Q: What do you love most about one another? Rita: I adore Ravi’s every attempt to make me happy. He is the most caring person I have met and goes above and beyond, even if it means getting out of his comfort zone. Ravi: I love the small things Rita does to put a smile on my

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face. She is the most caring and honest person I know. I also love that she is very  passionate about every task that she starts, big or small, and does it to perfection.

Q: Could you share your proposal story? Ravi proposed to me the day we were doing our engagement shoot. He coordinated the moment with our photographer from Studio 55. Ravi knew he wanted to do it that day, but didn’t know how to plan it. When he mentioned it to Studio 55, they planned it so I wouldn’t be suspicious and started posing me so my back was turned to Ravi. When I turned around, I was so surprised to see him down on one knee. It was

I adore Ravi’s every attempt to make me happy. He is the most caring person I have met and goes above and beyond, even if it means getting out of his comfort zone,” shares Rita definitely an intimate moment that we are able to treasure with the pictures that were captured.

Q: Describe your wedding day. What was your favourite moment? Rita: The wedding day was absolutely amazing. I was stressed at first with the Covid-19 restrictions and not having our families travel from all over the world to be with us during this special moment but with the live streaming that was set up, everyone was able to watch the wedding. This included those who otherwise would not have been able to come even if restrictions were lifted. My favourite moment of the wedding day was seeing Ravi’s reaction when I walked in.


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DARPAN Weddings

My favourite moment of the wedding day was the last lavan because at that point, I knew it was official and I could call her my wife,” says Ravi. He was shocked and smiling ear to ear. Ravi: Aside from the things Rita mentioned, my favourite moment of the wedding day was the last lavan because at that point, I knew it was official and I could call her my wife. 

Q: Could you tell us about your reception? With the Covid-19 restrictions, we weren’t able to continue with our big reception plans.

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We did a small reception in the backyard where we were still able to wear our reception outfits, get our photos taken by Studio55, have our first slow dance as well as cut our cake. Although it wasn’t in a banquet hall, everyone had such a good time!

Q: Can you describe your outfits? For our wedding outfits, I wanted to stray away from

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the traditional red. We ended up doing a pastel pink where my outfit consisted mainly of thread work with other pastel colours in it. Ravi had a similar style where he went with a white achkin with thread work and a pink palla and turban. For the reception, I wanted something different so it was a sparkly gold gown with a short trail. Ravi had a maroon suit with black suspenders and black bow tie.

Q: Where did you honeymoon? We originally had big plans for the honeymoon, but we will be saving those for our future anniversary for when travel restrictions are lifted. We ended up going to Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper and Vernon. We got to explore the beauty in our own backyard.

Q: What are your goals as a couple? One of the things we have always talked about is travelling and seeing all the different parts of the world together.

Although the travelling is on pause, we hope to continue it soon. Another goal as a couple is to support and motivate each other through any rough patches that may arise.

Q: What are the strengths of your marriage? Ravi and I are really patient with each other and we take the time to understand the other perspective of an argument before coming to a conclusion that works for both of us. I think this makes us stronger as an entity.

Q: If you could provide any advice to other married couples, what would it be? As newly-weds, our advice isn’t speaking from experience, but we definitely would suggest to keep it fun in the marriage. Continue the romantic dates and surprises for one another.


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DARPAN TRAVEL

Stay in an Tree Sphere

4Cozy

GLAMPING

Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island lets you experience the coastal rainforest in an extremely unique way. You’ll be staying in a suspended fiberglass sphere, nestled among the trees. This magical forest accommodation is one-ofkind and truly a work of art. Each sphere can accommodate two people, and is equipped inside with a bed, a kitchenette and dining area, with an elegant outhouse bathroom nearby. An adult-only facility, you need to be 16+ to stay here and pets are not permitted, which makes it an ideal romantic getaway. Sleep among the trees and take in the tranquil surroundings.

Getaways BY TARANA RANA

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all in Vancouver is an ideal time to spend in nature and try some off-season camping. But if you’re not a fan of roughing it in the wilderness in a tent and sleeping bag, the good news is that you don’t have to. Glamping or ‘glamourous camping’ lets you experience the great outdoors in style and comfort. This means you can immerse yourself in nature yet still enjoy a good comfy bed, running water, and a fully equipped kitchen. The best part? You often get to stay in a unique location that makes the experience all the more memorable.

Check out these four unique glamping getaways in BC.

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Stay in a Geodesic Dome If you’re looking for a memorable weekend, head out to Tofino for a spot of luxury camping. You’ll stay in one of six geodesic domes, which are located right on the waterfront. Each dome comes equipped with a queen sized bed, an ensuite bathroom and shower, an equipped kitchenette, a small dining table and chairs, a propane fireplace, and locally sourced coffee, tea, and milk. Enjoy the stunning views, sunsets, and wildlife from the privacy of your own cedar deck. One thing to keep in mind is that the Wildpod experience is for adult couples only, children and pets are not allowed.


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Way Point Resort offers a fun way to experience the natural beauty of the west coast. You can enjoy pristine, private beaches surrounded by acres of forest in Ucluelet in a yurt. The yurts come in different sizes, and can accommodate families up to five people. Each waterfront yurt has a private beach entrance, a gas fireplace, a wrap around cedar deck and chairs to enjoy some BBQ and the stunning views. These are both children and pet-friendly, and would make for an unforgettable family trip.

Family Law Stay in an Airstream Woods on Pender offers a unique luxury camping experience where you enjoy the forest and rustic wilderness from the comfort of a beautiful airstream. Each airstream has its own fire pit, propane BBQ, double hammock, and Adriondack chairs to lounge in while you pop burgers on the grill or makes s’mores on the fire. The airstreams also come with their own two-person cedar hot tub where you can soak after a long day. Inside, you’ll find comfy beds, a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom and local coffee. Woods on Pender is kid-friendly, and they have nine airstreams to choose from, which accommodate parties of different sizes. PHOTOS: VANCITYWILD, WAY POINT RESORT, WILDPOD, TREEHOUSE MAP

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DARPAN AutoREVIEW

2020

BMW M550i

THE PERFECT COMPROMISE BY BENJAMIN YONG

HIGHLIGHTS MSRP: $89,549.26 Motor: 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 Horsepower: 455 @ 5,500 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 480 @ 1,800 rpm  Gearbox: eight-speed automatic transmission  Layout: front engine, all-wheel drive  Fuel economy: 10.1 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

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ooking for an executive sedan on the sportier side, but not quite as aggressive as an M5? Then BMW has the vehicle for you: the M550i xDrive. Sitting atop the 5 Series range, this recent addition to the lineup is truly the ultimate touring sedan with ample seating for five adults and loads of legroom. The standard all-wheel drive system normally sends more power to the rear axle to provide signature German agile handling, intelligently sending torque to any corner requiring additional grip in slippery situations.

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During my week evaluating our loaner, I took it both on a long drive down the highway and the electric power steering gave wonderful feedback of the road.

During my week evaluating our loaner, I took it both on a long drive down the highway and the electric power steering gave wonderful feedback of the road. Fully variable, the wheel firms up in SPORT and SPORT+ modes making navigating windy country roads a particularly enjoyable experience. Sudden required stops are handled beautifully by the big M Sport brakes visible from afar, the calipers finished in a bright metallic blue colour and covered in M logos. The M550i is proof the mighty V8 isn’t quite dead yet. Delivering silky smooth performance is a 4.4-litre eight-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo unit rated at 455 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. With a 0 to 100


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As expected, the M550i takes the elegant lines of the current 5 Series and ratchets everything up a notch. illuminated “M550i xDrive” inscription. The seats are covered in Black Dakota leather with contrast blue stitching, and buyers have the option of swapping in nappa leather at an additional cost. Other highlights include specialty steering wheel, floor mats, and aluminum pedals.

km/h time of four seconds flat, merging and passing is truly effortless. However, puttering about town isn’t jerky or loud — under normal operation the ride is quiet and comfortable. In ECO mode the vehicle was even able to achieve an astoundingly efficient fuel consumption of 8.7 L/100 km on the highway. As far as infotainment systems go, the latest iDrive 7.0 is among the best. Many manufacturers struggle to strike a fine balance between responsive, intuitive software and amount of physical buttons, which is not the case here. The control wheel makes selecting what you’re trying to select quick

PHOTOS: BMW PRESSROOM

With a 0 to 100 km/h time of four seconds flat, merging and passing is truly effortless. Delivering silky smooth performance is a 4.4-litre eight-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo unit rated at 455 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque.

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and easy, for example browsing SiriusXM radio channels. A builtin Wi-Fi hotspot means everyone in the car stays connected even while road tripping. Open the door and the doorsills light up to greet occupants, displaying an

As expected, the M550i takes the elegant lines of the current 5 Series and ratchets everything up a notch. The grill frame, front bumper air intake, Air Breathers on the front fenders and side mirror caps are all painted a Cerium Grey metallic, and the side windows feature a high-gloss Shadow Line trim around the edges. An M Performance aero kit is installed all around, topped off by a rear spoiler on the trunk lid. The dual angular black chrome muffler tips poking out from the back are far from cosmetic. A free-flowing M sports exhaust is fitted, producing a soundtrack that’s exciting yet civilized for enthusiastic motoring on the open road.


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RUGGED LUXURY

JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE BY BENJAMIN YONG

The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee remains one of the best double-duty SUVs that are actually built just as much for

ack for another year, the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee remains one of the best doubleduty SUVs that are actually built just as much for the city as the trail. FCA was kind enough to lend Darpan Magazine a fully loaded Summit model for a weeklong evaluation, and we break it all down in the following review. First introduced in 2017 at

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the city as the trail.

B

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HIGHLIGHTS MSRP: $58,517 Motor: 3.6-litre V6

the New York International Auto Horsepower: 295 @ 6,400 rpm Show, this fully loaded trim was Torque (lb-ft): 260 @ 4,000 rpm intended to inject some class into Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic the capable commuter. Layout: front engine, Four-wheel “Our new Jeep Grand Cherokee drive Summit is in direct response to consumers who continue to ask for Fuel economy: 16.8 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed) even more luxury, craftsmanship and standard premium features in a full-size SUV packed with Cue the iconic seven-slot capability,” says FCA CEO Mike polished mesh grille, matching Manley in a press release. polished alloy wheels, LED foglights, headlamp washers and auto-folding side mirrors. Inside, though, is where the upscale appointments really shine through. Think quilted leather upholstery — new for the latest model year is a Light Frost/ Brown interior theme — suede headliner, illuminated doorsills, Berber floor mats and an 825watt Harmon stereo with 19 speakers, three subwoofers and active noise cancelling.


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“Our new Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit is in direct response to consumers who continue to ask for even more luxury, craftsmanship and standard premium features A high-tech safety suite, equipped on all Summits, keeps the driver and passenger safe in the form of blind spot, lane departure and forward collision warning; adaptive cruise control; and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

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An 8.4-inch touchscreen houses the excellent Uconnect infotainment system responsible for everything from climate controls to displaying heavyduty information like wheel articulation and traction management settings. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is included. In addition, dual rear seat headrest entertainment monitors may be optionally fitted to keep little ones in the back entertained. The long list of features doesn’t end there. A hightech safety suite, equipped

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on all Summits, keeps the driver and passenger safe in the form of blind spot, lane departure and forward collision warning; adaptive cruise control; and parallel and perpendicular park assist. While the aforementioned audio system is great, the standard Pentastar 3.6-litre V6 provides a surprisingly pleasant soundtrack. Sure, it’s not the available, 5.7-litre V8, but the six-cylinder definitely has a bit of grunt. Pushing 295 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque, the mill can support up to 6,200 pounds of towing capacity. The 4x4 setup, dubbed Quadra-

in a full-size SUV packed with capability,” says FCA CEO Mike Manley. Drive II, takes advantage of a rear electronic LSD to ensure optimal traction is always delivered, torque being instantly directed to any slipping tire. QDII is even able to in certain cases predict a low grip situation and adjust accordingly as a preventative measure. Quadra-lift, on the other hand, is air suspension using air rather than traditional coil springs at each corner. Allowing 104 millimetres of travel up or down, the latter yields better fuel economy on the highway and the former increased clearance for off-road adventures. What’s handy is the vehicle doesn’t have to be stopped in order to raise or lower, done by pressing a button on the centre console. The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit is built in at the Jefferson Avenue North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan and starts at MSRP $58,517.


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FASTER FASTBACK

MAZDA MX-5 BY BENJAMIN YONG

The silhouette is dead sexy, especially sprayed in the optional $200 Polymetal Grey Metallic paint, and the RF makes the MX-5 truly capable of handling all four seasons with ease.

T

ake everything that’s great about the current fourth generation “ND” (chassis code) Miata, throw in a folding power hardtop with a sloping roofline and you’ve got the 2020 Mazda MX-5 RF, short for Retractable Fastback. Like the soft-top version, the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre engine was tweaked by headquarters last year to squeeze out an additional 26 horsepower, for a total of 181. And although the total torque has only increased

HIGHLIGHTS MSRP: $46,950 Motor: 2.0-litre four cylinder Horsepower: 181 @ 7,000 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 151 @ 4,000 rpm Gearbox: Six-speed manual Layout: Front engine, rear-wheel drive Fuel economy: 9.0 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

and matching piano black side mirrors. If you’re wondering how exactly engineers worked the aforementioned magic under the hood, the secret is smaller and lighter pistons, optimized valves and fuel injectors, dual-mass flywheel, fresh exhaust system and a higher transmission final drive ratio. Although the RF is slightly portlier than the standard MX-5, our manual transmission tester weighing in at 51 kilograms

PHOTOS: MAZDA PRESS ROOM

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three lb-ft, from 148 to 151, the curve is more robust equalling an enhanced driving experience. The cost of all the upgrades? A modest $1,000 price bump for the base GS-P, and $850 for the GT model. The latter gives customers a choice of an Exclusive Package (+$900) bundling a contrast piano black roof and grey-stitched nappa leather seats, or a Grand Sport Package (+$3,600) tossing-in Brembo front brakes, 17-inch BBS forged aluminum wheels

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E: info@darpanmagazine.com | T: 604.537.7277 heavier, the extra mass isn’t too noticeable. Certainly not as much as the dreadful blind spots caused by the targa top, however thankfully a blind spot warning system is installed on all trims. The vehicle remains as toss-able as ever, and is no doubt the model in the lineup best representing Mazda’s Japanese slogan of “Jinba Ittai,” or oneness between horse and rider. Cornering is nearly a subconscious act, the new Miata seemingly predicting and executing steering inputs effortlessly. Yes, it’s that good. Most people won’t notice the power boost, which doesn’t really become evident until you reach the maximum redline now stretched to 7,500 (vs. 6,800 before). At higher RPMs the motor definitely breathes better. While the majority of the changes are found in the engine bay, a few enhancements have been implemented elsewhere as well. The door mechanisms, cup holders, seat levers and steering wheel are redesigned, as is the telescoping function on the steering wheel to give 42 millimetres of travel. In terms of downsides, the story is largely the same as the regular variant. Forget about carrying much more than a couple of bags in the trunk, and a small cubby behind the centre console replaces a traditional glove box. The electric hardtop also takes a lot longer to put away than the manual soft top — a full 13 seconds — and can’t be done at speeds greater than 10 km/h, considerably slower than other convertibles. At least in the stowed position it doesn’t intrude into the cargo area like a BMW. But hey, the silhouette is dead sexy, especially sprayed in the optional $200 Polymetal Grey Metallic paint, and the RF makes the MX-5 truly capable of handling all four seasons with ease. The 2020 Mazda MX-5 GS starts at $40,100.

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A MORE GROWN UP VERSION Our tester was the top-of-the-line Essence trim packing all the bells and whistles including chrome-accented bumpers, 18-inch high gloss alloy wheels, roof rails, LED lamps and a power lift gate.

PHOTOS: BUICK PRESSROM

DARPAN AutoREVIEW

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BUICK ENCORE BY BENJAMIN YONG

“Premium SUV buyers are looking for features that fit their lifestyle priorities, and Buick is giving customers more segment choices with our new Encore GX,” says Duncan Aldred, Global Buick and GMC vice president.

N

ot to be confused with the standard subcompact Encore crossover, the 2020 Buick Encore GX is a whole new beast: larger, more tech-centric and designed to slot-in below the Envision. Here’s what we thought after spending a week in the allnew vehicle. Unlike its smaller sibling, the GX doesn’t feel entry level at all. Possessing smooth and powerful contours and an athletic stance, the only thing I really didn’t love about the exterior was the

Burnished Bronze Metallic (orange) paint. “Premium SUV buyers are looking for features that fit their lifestyle priorities, and Buick is giving customers more segment choices with our new Encore GX,” says Duncan Aldred, Global Buick and GMC vice president in a news release. “As we look to the future of Buick, and customer demand trends, our four-SUV portfolio puts us in a strong competitive position across the most popular SUV segments.”

HIGHLIGHTS MSRP: $38,633 Motor: 1.3-litre turbocharged four cylinder Horsepower: 155 @ 5,600 rpm Torque (lb-ft): 174 @ 1,600 rpm Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive Fuel economy: 11.0 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed) Our tester was the top-of-the-line Essence trim packing all the bells and whistles including chrome-accented bumpers, 18-inch machined and dark high gloss alloy wheels, roof rails, LED head, fog and tail lamps and a power lift gate. A Sport Touring package is offered that swaps the chrome for body colour, grill slats for mesh and features a different wheel design. One of the highlights about the interior that really impressed me was

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the roominess. Testing a pickup truck immediately prior I became used to being able to carry a ton of stuff, but the bigger Encore could still fit a baby seat in the middle of the second row, and two inflatable stand up paddleboards behind where the cargo space is rated at 2,670 litres. Also worth mentioning is the quiet ride due in large part to the brand’s QuietTuning hardware — comprised of several elements working together to mitigate unwanted noise. For example acoustic laminated glass, steel dash panel, and an isolated engine cradle reducing under-hood vibrations. The optional Bose stereo even plays a part, producing counteracting sound waves to cancel out outside auditory disturbances. Recently, General Motors began rolling out Amazon Alexa functionality throughout its lineup. Like the home-based Echo smart speakers, once set up she can perform some pretty nifty tasks like start or cut the ignition and control the door locks. Occupants can also make the usual assortment of requests from asking current weather conditions to adding a calendar entry. Infotainment systems have improved by leaps and bounds the last couple of years in terms of responsiveness and ease of use. Buick’s is no exception, accepting touch button presses and menu swipes quickly and accurately. Icing on the cake would be a physical tuning knob for radio stations. Two turbocharged three-cylinder engines are available: a 137-horespower 1.2-litre on frontwheel drive models or the 155-horse 1.3-litre on our all-wheel drive tester. While not fast, the engine is punchy and doesn’t feel underpowered considering the tiny size. What’s neat is a switch sitting above the shifter to turn off AWD when not needed to save fuel. In mixed city and highway conditions, I achieved approximately 11.0 L/100 km fuel economy. Not bad at all.

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DARPAN BOLLYWOOD

Jhund Directed by: Nagraj Manjule Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Vicky Kadian, Rinku Rajguru, Akash Thosar

BOLLYWOOD BIGGIES

ON YOUR HOME SCREENS BY SHWETA KULKARNI

Some good news for Bollywood movie buffs; they no longer have to wait for the pandemic to end to watch new movies featuring their favourite stars.

and instead are arriving straight to your home screens through popular streaming apps. We have listed out below some of the biggies that are all set to release on OTT platforms shortly. So, go ahead and start prepping to pop up a great big pot of popcorn now.

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he world has slowly started getting back on its feet and is transitioning to the next stage of this COVID-19 pandemic by unlocking in a phase-wise manner. However, entertainment sectors like movie halls and multiplexes are yet to resume operations in most countries. But there is some good news for Bollywood movie buffs — they no longer have to wait for the pandemic to end to watch new movies featuring their favourite stars. Following the lead of some of the latest big OTT releases like Gulabo Sitabo, Shakuntala Devi, Dil Bechara and Sadak, most upcoming Bollywood films are now entirely skipping theatrical releases

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Laxmmi Bomb Directed by: Raghava Lawrence Starring: Akshay Kumar, Kiara Advani, Tusshar Kapoor, Sharad Kelkar Pandemic or no pandemic, none can stop the Khiladi of Bollywood aka Akshay Kumar from taking his films to the

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audience. The actor, who usually has about three-four films releasing every year, will be next seen in the horror-comedy Laxmmi Bomb. A remake of the superhit South Indian film, Muni 2: Kanchana, Laxmmi Bomb revolves around a man who is possessed by the ghost of a transgender. Commenting about his role as the most challenging one ever, Akshay, who plays the transgender in the film said, “In my entire 30-yearlong career, this has been my most intensive role mentally. I’ve never experienced such a character before, with this kind of action, reaction, body language. Credit for this goes to my director. He introduced me to a version of me that I didn’t know even existed. Also, I had to be cautious of playing it with full honesty without offending any community. For the first time, I willingly gave so many takes and retakes, so that every shot is captured to its maximum potential. Even after doing some 150 films, I was very excited to be on set every single day, pushing my boundaries, learning more about myself. This film has taught me more about gender equality. Be anything you want, just don’t be ignorant.” Now this one seems like a firecracker that just can’t be missed, right!?!

An unstoppable force in B-town is undoubtedly — ‘The Amitabh Bachchan.’ After a spectacular performance in this year’s OTT release Gulbao Sitabo, the megastar is now all set to wow us once again with his acting chops in Jhund. Directed by the critically acclaimed director Nagraj Manjule, Jhund is a sports drama based on the life of Vijay Barse, a retired sports teacher and the founder of NGO Slum Soccer. Talking about the film, Jhund’s co-producer Savita Raj Hiremath said, “The film is not just about soccer but about channelizing opportunities, bringing the haves and have-nots together on the same platform and erasing the gap.” Apart from a wonderful story, Jhund also brings the iconic Sairat pair – Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar together after 2016. Well, this one definitely deserves a watch the very day it hits your home screen.

The Big Bull Directed by: Kookie Gulati Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Nikita Dutta, Soham Shah, Ileana D’Cruz, Supriya Pathak This biographical crime drama starring Abhishek Bachchan in the lead is another hotlyanticipated film of 2020. Based on the life of stockbroker Harshad Mehta, The Big Bull narrates the story of his financial crimes over a period of 10


years, from 1980 to 1990. Mehta was involved in a financial scandal valued at 5000 Crores, which exposed the loopholes in the Indian banking system and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) transaction system. He was charged with 72 criminal offences, and more than 600 civil action suits were filed against him. Calling it a rag to riches story, Abhishek shared, “The Big Bull isn’t historical. It is based in Mumbai in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It’s a rag to riches story, a story of ambition that if you work towards your goal, you’ll definitely achieve it.” Helmed by Kookie Gulati and produced by Ajay Devgn and Anand Pandit, The Big Bull has certainly piqued the curiosity of one and all.

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THANK YOU Bhuj: The Pride of India

Photos: AMAZON PRIME, NETFLIX, Disney-Hotstar

Directed by: Abhishek Dudhaiya Staring: Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Sharad Kelkar, Sonakshi Sinha, Nora Fatehi Set against the backdrop of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, this war action film is one of the most awaited films of the year for more than one reason. Firstly, the film not only brings to the screen the most fascinating true war-related story but is also packed with a bunch of stellar actors. Bhuj: The Pride Of India is set during the Indo-Pak war, when a squadron of Pakistani jets dropped bombs on a vital Indian airstrip in Bhuj and destroyed it. The film tells the courageous story of IAF squadron leader Vijay Karnik, who with his team, reconstructed the IAF airbase with the help of 300 women from the local village Madhapar. Ajay Devgn, who plays Vijay Karnik in the film, called Bhuj: The Pride of India an interesting film. He said, “After Tanhaji, Bhuj is also based on a true story, the war of 1971. I’m playing an IAF Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik. It’s a very interesting film about how a group of people saved Bhuj from getting taken over during the war. I won’t reveal more than this right now. I think it’s a big scale for me.” Can’t wait to watch this one either.

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

GLOBAL

INDIANS

Q&A Considering the complexity of the subject, “The Golden Thread” reads very fluidly. Good writing is just clear thinking. My fear is that someone would be bored or confused when reading something I’ve written. I get to write clear sentences and paragraphs in journalism, but when it comes to write a plot, that’s a different skillset. For that, I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of thriller novels. Did you ever feel at risk while researching the book?

RAVI

SOMAIYA BY JORGE IGNACIO CASTILLO

“It’s hard to get locked into one culture when you have lived across many.”

A

interesting characters, I felt it wasn’t really about me. You don’t want a plumber to tell you how hard was it to fix your toilet and you don’t want a writer to tell you how hard it was to write the book.” Ravi Somaiya dedicates “The Golden Thread” to his parents: “I grew up in a house full of books. I had a father who instilled the love of reading in me and taught me to root for the underdog. He died just before I started writing this book. My father was a very idealistic man and so was Hammarskjöld. I’m sure I was drawn to him for that reason.” While Ravi was born in England,

n accomplished investigative

rubbed numerous parties the wrong

Somaiya’s grandparents were

journalist, Ravi Somaiya has

way.

Indians who migrated to Uganda:

covered several of the stories

“The complexity of this story is

that have marked the first few

insane,” explains Somaiya. “There

India to Africa to build railroads and

years of the new millennia for the

are so many languages, characters,

my grandparents were merchants.

most prestigious media outlets

disputed incidents, documents…

These people were like time travelers

(NY Times, The Guardian, Rolling

Some days I wondered what did I

to me: My grandmother got married

Stone): Radical Islamic terrorism,

get myself into. Halfway through, I

at 12 and her way of looking at the

disinformation campaigns, mass

thought maybe it was an accident.

world was profoundly different to

shootings, you name it.

That was the lowest point. After that,

my friends at school. It was a lesson

it became exciting and engaging

in understanding we’re all different

and it stared making sense.”

and that doesn’t make us better or

Alas, it was a historic event—the death of the second SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations

In the book, the author makes

“There was a lot of migration from

If you’re sensible and thoughtful and take the right precautions, you’ll be ok. But I come from a tradition of foreign correspondents so my standards of danger are a bit different. How is “The Golden Thread ” relevant today? It became more relevant as I wrote. The background of the book is the end of colonialism in Africa in the late 50’s and early 60’s: You have native black populations rising up after decades of injustices and white Europeans feeling scared and threatened. You can see the resonance. In 1961 there were a lot of conspiracy theories, cynicism, and people doing what was easy and best for them. There’s a lot of that in the air currently. How do you think your background has shaped the way you perceive global events? Before I started writing this book, I would have said it makes no difference. Now I think it gives me an international perspective: It’s hard to get locked into one culture when you have lived across many. For three generations my family hasn’t ended where it started. I grew up as the one brown face in a school in Britain. I love to see people as people, because underneath all the noise we all want the same thing: We want to be loved, we want to safe and have something to hope for.

worse.” Ravi’s parents left Uganda

almost sixty years ago—the

sense of a complicated net of

following the ethnic genocide under

one that inspired Somaiya’s first

political rivals and intelligence

Idi Amin and landed in Britain.

book, “The Golden Thread”: Dag

services at cross-purposes to

Hammarskjöld’s plane went down

discover most of them would

two-time Pulitzer Prize winner John

Hersey reporting from Hiroshima and

in Rhodesia (now Zambia) under

benefit of Hammarskjöld’s death.

Fisher Burns and NY Times mainstay

all the deep, thoughtful narrative non-

suspicious circumstances. His

Even though the writer hints at

David Carr: “They taught me not to

fiction of the likes of Tom Wolfe and

push to help the Congo remain

considerable challenges during

see people as heroes or villains. I

Rachel Carlson. It one of the most

independent of Soviet and American

research, he resists becoming

see a tradition going through them.

beautiful things that America has

influences during the Cold War

the story: “I had so many rich,

American journalism is now in a

ever produced.”

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Somaiya counts as his mentors the

difficult spot, but has a wonderful history and ethos back to John


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CANADIAN SHARE THEIR IMMIGRANTS STORIES We love it here. Canada is our home now. We both feel that we are in the best part of the world and that moving to Canada was the best decision of our lives.”

Meet the

Anand Family Anuj Anand is a Software Architect at Aramark Healthcare Jyoti Anand is a Client Manager at Aylett Grant Tax LLP Aarushi is 13 and Saiba is 7

Why did you decide to migrate to Canada? Before moving to Canada, we were living in Chicago, IL. It was a pleasant life in USA, but we always felt away from home. I was on a work visa and having to renew it every few years used to always bother us as it made us unclear about our future. We wanted to have a stable life and as my daughter was growing up, we wanted her to be closer to the extended family. My parents and brother were already settled in Canada, so we planned to provide her the same experience of closeknit family values which we grew up with. Our move to Canada in 2012 gave us both.

What were you first impressions of Canada? When we landed, we were welcomed by the friendliest border officials we ever dealt with and found that friendly attitude is carried over everywhere in Canada. Canada is very welcoming and full of warm

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How was your experience getting a job here? It wasn’t too bad – we both eventually found jobs matching our skill sets and are still working with the same companies that we joined originally. The work culture here is great and provides a good work-life balance.

What do you like and dislike most about this country?

people and happy lives and we still experience this in our day to day lives wherever we go.

What challenges did you face when you and your family moved here? Lack of job opportunities – as I am into software development, I used to feel there were not enough software development companies in the Greater Vancouver region and most of them were concentrated in Toronto. However, my impression has changed a lot in recent years since many Fortune 100 companies have setup their offices in Vancouver area.

How long did it take to get used to the people, weather or the surrounding? Overall, it was a pleasant experience and it did not take us long to get used to surroundings since we had some close friends and family already living here who never hesitated to help us. Chicago has harsh weather in winters, but BC has a pleasant weather most of the year. We love nature and the nice weather allowed us to experience outdoor activities throughout the year. The surroundings are beautiful and it’s every nature lover’s paradise.

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We like the welcoming nature of the country a lot, the local community of Surrey, presence of all the gurudwaras around us. We had always heard that the Canadian health care system is one of the best and after living here for few years we 100% agree to that. However, we feel the indoor family friendly facilities are limited. We also feel that there is an imbalance between the job opportunities with the growing number of migrants and work force.

What do you miss the most about your homeland? While, we are lucky enough to have some childhood friends already settled here but we constantly miss our old friends and extended family members from India. We feel, wherever you go and grow in the world and meet any number of new people, the childhood buddies and fun together are irreplaceable and always missed. We often visit India to meet our dear ones and take our kids to the places where we grew up and share our memories.

How do you see your future in Canada? We love it here. Canada is our home now. We both feel that we are in the best part of the world and that moving to Canada was the best decision of our lives. We like that even though we are living in a west-

ern country, our kids experience the same cultural values that they would have experienced in India.

What was the biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada? Housing – we felt that house prices were way too high and initially waited for it to come down (which never happened). We finally bit the bullet and glad and thankful to God to own a home in Canada.

What resolutions were made for yourself or family? Life is full of roller coaster rides with sudden turns and events, so be prepared for changes. Education and learning always helps to overcome these hurdles easily and makes you confident to face them. Our resolution is to always welcome any learning opportunities that come your way. We received a lot of support and help in our initial journey here; we look for ways to give it back to the community at different levels and teach our kids to do the same in their own little ways.

Any advice for future immigrants? Canada is a land of opportunities. You might face some initial hurdles, but one needs to remain persistent. The local community and the government programs provide lots of help here, but you will need to be prepared to learn extra skillsets and gain Canadian-recognized certifications or accreditations in your own field. We welcomed any learning opportunities that came our way and advise any new immigrant to do the same. In the end you will find that its all worth it and you will achieve your dreams in no time.


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Profile for Darpan Magazine

DARPAN SEPT-OCT| FALL 2020  

Hello readers, did you have a good and safe summer? Fall is almost here and to give you company this beautiful season is our September/Octob...

DARPAN SEPT-OCT| FALL 2020  

Hello readers, did you have a good and safe summer? Fall is almost here and to give you company this beautiful season is our September/Octob...