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JULY 2020 - VOLUME 12, ISSUE 05

8 Meet the Chauhan sisters - The force behind Parle Argo



July July 2020 2020 || CULTURAMA CULTURAMA



ife is what happens when you are busy making other plans. This is so relevant with what we are facing right now, we have all made plans with respect to work, travel, family, but everything is on hold. Businesses have to make plans to survive and then see how we can thrive when this passes. People have to learn to adapt to the new normal. There are some amazing positive stories of humanity that we are hearing and seeing, and if we all come together and support each other, we will march ahead. As citizens of Tamil Nadu and as Indians, we need to speak up to injustice as well. Custodial deaths in Thoothukudi or Minnesota, can’t be ignored and people have to speak up. As a sister and a daughter, I feel so much for the family members and really hope that we are able to take permanent remedial action. I voice here my wholehearted admiration for our police force in Chennai, which has such amazing leadership and officers. We would be irresponsible to generalise the wrong actions of a few officers against the whole force. Join Culturama in saluting their hard work in protecting us.

Rohini Manian rohini@globaladjustments.com

CULTURAMA | July 2020


Rohini Manian Editor-in-Chief


Meera J Pillai Deputy Editor Shobana Sairaj Business Head V. Kathiravan Creative Head S. Rajthilak Graphic Designer

Dear Editor, I liked the Editor's Note. A person we all may not know - his valour, endurance and positivity - really unbelievable. This magazine is very good. Girija, Retd EID Parry India Ltd

Chennai (Headquarters) 5, 3rd Main Road, R A Puram, Chennai – 600028 Telefax +91-44-24617902 E-mail culturama@globaladjustments.com

Dear Editor,


It was nice to read that at least the environment is healing. A heartwarming story.

No: 202, 2nd Floor, MILWAUKEE, 40 Promenade Road, Frazer Town, Bangaluru – 560038 Tel +91-80-41267152,

Anushree Dutta, Chennai

E-mail culturamablr@globaladjustments.com Delhi-NCR Level 4, Augusta Point, Golf Course Road, Sector 53, Gurgaon – 122002, Haryana Mobile +91 124 435 4224

Dear Editor, The railway station artwork, done by the young artist Varshini is truly remarkable.

E-mail del@globaladjustments.com Mumbai #1102, 11th Floor, Peninsula Business Park, Tower B, SB Road, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400013 Tel +91-22-66879366

Bhaskaran C, Chennai

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July 2020 | CULTURAMA

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Big Picture


Around the world

Ice creams of different kinds

Madiba’s Indian connection

Dark and Light side of the Moon



Meet the gentle giants


In Focus

Framing ‘Bharat’ for the world



Stay home, stay fit


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

Creating Empowered Global Citizens




WE BRING BIG IDEAS THAT DELIVER RESULTS Leaverage the experience of our silver legacy and publishing expertise Contact us for customised digital marketing plans Email: anupama@globaladjustments.com | Call: +91 98416 54816 CULTURAMA July 2020 2020 CULTURAMA || July



The Power-packed Trio Sonia Hays caught up with the remarkable business leaders Schauna, Alisha and Nadia Chauhan, CEO, Director, and Joint MD, respectively, of Parle Argo for a friendly chat on family, work and being in positions of influence







and Nadia – have been well-known for their business ventures across the globe.

Titles such as ‘Most Influential Woman of India’, ‘Most Powerful Business Woman’, ‘Most Powerful Woman’ and more are constantly bestowed upon these siblings by leading organisations, but they stay true to their roots and continue to empower their employees through their perseverance and

such as infra development of Anganwadis. I hope to be doing a lot more in this department. How has your father, Prakash Chauhan, a successful businessman himself, influenced you? Shauna: I don’t think our father thought twice about giving his three daughters this opportunity. I took my time to learn till I could gradually blend and merge in with the company. I spent a good amount

hard work. The sisters share their experiences in this exclusive interview with Culturama. Can you share a little about your role in Parle Agro and working with your sisters? Shauna: Since we have such demarcated spaces between each one of our responsibilities, there is a wonderful positive synergy between us. Of course, we do have our differences at times, which we resolve. I know when I go to one of my sisters for advice, I can rely on it. If one of us is doing something wrong, we can tell each other with absolute trust. Nadia: I never joined the company at this position (Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer), but grew into it over a period of almost 18 years. I joined as part of the marketing team and worked on small projects towards revitalising Frooti as a brand. Slowly I started handling many other functions and building larger teams. Alisha: I handle the CSR for the company. I have started a foundation in my father’s name – the Prakash Jayantilal



We have undertaken a few projects Famous Parle Argo products


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

of my time learning, observing and finding out my strengths and weaknesses. Nadia: As a child, I watched my father; he’s my hero. His unconventional approach and his joy in dealing with problems taught me how to tackle each challenge through the power of simplicity. I remember even at the age of 11, coming to the office, attending meetings with him, being part of product launches and more. At that point, I used to wonder what he really expected from me. But he would always say, ‘if you just absorb 1% of what you hear, that is more than enough’, and I do think that experience gave me so much more than I’d expect. When I finally joined the company, I was already a part of the journey. Were you encouraged by your father to take on the company? Nadia: From a very young age, we were always kept involved. Besides just involving us, if we had ideas, he allowed us to own them and take them forward. He’d repeat the question ‘why’ multiple times until he felt that he saw enough conviction in me to drive a particular idea. He allowed me to take many risks early in my career – thankfully, they paid off – but truly it’s heroic of him to trust and encourage us the way he has. Shauna: Our father has mentored us greatly. He gave me an opportunity and allowed me to freely explore it. He always was the go-to person for when I had all doors closed. And, most importantly, he involved me in everything and always asked for my opinion. This gave me a lot confidence. How is the family dynamics at work and outside? Nadia: We have clear, defined roles. We have grown to respect each other in our roles tremendously; at work, we catch up on things that we might need to discuss

Alisha Chauhan CULTURAMA | July 2020


Schauna Chauhan

during lunchtime; and outside of work, our time

What do you think are some of the qualities

together is mostly dictated by our kids. All our kids

required to be an empowered woman?

are around the same age and are extremely close.

Alisha: For me, being empowered has nothing to do

How difficult is to run a million dollar business in a man’s world? Nadia: It’s a matter of how you go about doing it. Your own approach. Often, I’ve been in meetings where I’m the only woman, surrounded by over

with my gender. It has to do with my sense of selfworth. It has to do with me knowing I have a right to, being confident to make my own decisions and to have control of my own life within my own home as well as out of it.

40 men. But that has never intimidated me, and

Nadia: Being empowered is a matter of more than

I believe the way I’ve managed myself is what

just gender equality. It is about being true to who

eventually impacts the response you get from your

you are, about being strong and committed to what

male counterparts.

you are doing.


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

Shauna: It’s about your state of mind. Your environment, your confidence, your passion, your beliefs. It’s about believing in yourself. What is your source of inspiration or the woman who has influenced your life the most? Nadia: There are two women who have inspired my life the most – my mother and my daughter. Both have taught me to be strong and pure. Alisha: My parents have had the biggest influence in my life. They made us responsible for our own choices, starting from a young age. We were given the space to make our choices and, of course, inevitably some mistakes as well and work our way back from it. But, most importantly, being behind us rock solid. Shauna: My mum has been my biggest inspiration. How do you inspire other women who work for you? Nadia: Lead by example. I remember, during both my pregnancies I was in office till minutes before I was admitted to the hospital. I was back in office 15 days after the kids were born and I was working from home, with meetings at home on the 7th day. I do think that if you do what you love, if you are committed and passionate about it, there is nothing that can ever stop you from achieving your goals. You have to work with fearless determination to achieve your goals. What advice would you give to young women starting their careers? Nadia: Do what you love, and do it with your full heart and soul. Work hard and fearlessly to achieve the goals that you set for yourself. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your dream is difficult to achieve; if you think you can, you will! Shauna: It’s a quote from Dr. Seuss: ‘You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, You can steer yourself in any direction you choose, You’re on your own, And you know what you know You are the person who’ll decide where to go.’

Nadia Chauhan CULTURAMA | July 2020



Madiba’s Indian connection Lovingly called as Madiba, Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela is one of the more significant leaders to shape the world. It is International Nelson Mandela Day on July 18 and Team Culturama takes a look at his special relationship with India

• Nelson Mandela met with the Indian cricket team during the Test match between South Africa and India on January 4, 1997. The lunch break during the match was extended by 15 minutes when Nelson Mandela came out to meet the teams. Earlier known as the Freedom Trophy, the Test series, which started in 1992 between India and South Africa, was rechristened as the Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela series in 2015.

12 12

July 2020 | CULTURAMA

• The Indian government awarded Nelson Mandela the International Gandhi Peace Prize in 2001. Indian President KR Narayanan gave him the prestigious award at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. He was previously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990.

• While unveiling the Gandhi Memorial in South Africa in 1993, Nelson Mandela fondly spoke of his role model, ‘The Mahatma is an integral part of our history because it is here that he first experimented with truth; here that he demonstrated his characteristic firmness in pursuit of justice; here that he developed Satyagraha as a philosophy and a method of struggle.’

CULTURAMA | July 2020


• Former Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam met Nelson Mandela at his office in Johannesburg in 2004. Abdul Kalam hailed the anti-Apartheid icon by calling him a ‘mighty spirit’

• During his fight against the Apartheid system

• After he was released from prison, Nelson

in South Africa, Nelson Mandela received huge

Mandela’s first destination abroad was India, which

support from India. Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946

he considered as a pilgrimage. During the visit to

declared that India would not cooperate with

India, he spoke about Mahatma Gandhi’s influence

South Africa till the Apartheid policy ends.

on his ideas, ‘I could never reach the standard of

He said, ‘There is nothing more terrible than

morality, simplicity and love for the poor set by

the infinite tragedy of Africa in the past few

the Mahatma...While Gandhi was a human without

hundred years.’

weaknesses, I am a man of many weaknesses.’


July 2020 | CULTURAMA


Dark and Light side of the


Team Culturama takes a short trip to the Moon and back, to share some interesting facts about the solar and lunar eclipse

Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned (with the Moon in between). The Moon blocks out the Sun’s rays, which casts a partial or a full shadow on parts of the Earth. When the Earth aligns between the Sun and the Moon, a lunar eclipse occurs. A total lunar eclipse, wherein the Earth completely shadows the moon, can last up to 2 hours. Noteworthy facts • The first ever total solar eclipse photograph was taken in July 1851 by Julius Berkowski at the Royal Observatory, Königsberg, Russia. • During the solar eclipse on May 29, 1919, Sir Arthur Eddington helped confirm Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. • Solar eclipses have greatly helped



scientists to measure the diameter of the Sun and many



findings. • People are advised not to look at the Sun directly during the eclipse as the Sun’s UV radiation can damage the eyes. • During a lunar eclipse, a little sunlight makes it to the Moon through the Earth’s atmosphere. This light makes the Moon appear reddish and thus the name Blood Moon. CULTURAMA | July 2020

15 15

Myths in India In ancient times, solar and lunar eclipses were often associated with bad omens. Across the world, several customs were followed during the time. In India, even today a few of these customs are followed: • No food is cooked during the eclipse. If there are any leftovers, it is to be finished or thrown

of the Hindu temples stay shut during the period. • After the solar eclipse is over, people are expected to take a bath and change clothes. • During the lunar eclipse, pregnant women are advised to stay indoors and abstain from any activity.

away, before the eclipse starts. Most people

Mark your calendar

believe that food goes bad during the eclipse

• A penumbral lunar eclipse will occur on July 5,

and may cause digestive issues. Some even leave Tulsi (basil) on cooked food as it is known to have medicinal properties. 16

• Partaking in any worship is forbidden, and most

July 2020 | CULTURAMA

2020. • A total solar eclipse will next occur on December 14, 2020.


Framing ‘Bharat’ for the world Team Culturama catches up with the incredible film-maker and influencer Bharat Bala on ‘Virtual Bharat’, his visual extravaganza in the social media platform, and his experiences while creating this one-of-a-kind destination to learn everything unique about India How did you come up with the concept of Virtual

our milestone by uncovering 1,000 untold stories


of India. We have about 10 films, with around 30

From the time I made the Vande Mataram video, I

million views. Imagine the impact it will create if

have been travelling the length and breadth of the

we had 1,000 films. Telling stories from all parts

country and observing remarkable stories. Over

of India in original languages and bringing in a

the past 5 years, I have been constantly seeing

lot of young talents, editors, cinematographers,

interesting content on the social media. But I

reserachers and more to engage in this big idea

noticed a solid vacuum in the space because there

called Virtual Bharat.

was very little systemic high-creative content on India. While growing up, parents, grandparents and teachers have taught us that India has a rich culture, and that got me thinking. How do I experience it? That is when I came up with the idea called Virtual Bharat, which has anything and everything about India in the form of stories. We hope to achieve

How do you decide on the subjects? It is in my DNA. We have made 10 films and we have already researched for 300 stories. We look for unique stories within the stories that people already know. Take, for example, the video called Thaalam. Everybody knows about the Alleppey CULTURAMA | July 2020


boat race (in Kerala); it is a centuries-old tradition,

generating interesting content on all social media

but not many know about the incredible diversity

platforms and they will come on board.

in the boat race crew. There is a school teacher, a plumber, a carpenter, a farmer, a shopkeeper and a postman, all sitting together. They are not athletes or professional sportsmen, but they come together only for this purpose. What binds them together is the thaalam, the rhythm of the boat. So the whole idea is that if they are in thaalam, they will win the race. That angle has never been explored before. How can millennials be engaged in




topics? That is where you have to look at the craft of film-making. We have many youngsters working on this idea. If we give content that is well made and engaging, they will automatically hook on to it. One thing I have learnt is that I don’t need to find a way to figure out millennials; you keep 18

July 2020 | CULTURAMA

Can you share something about the project Uthenge Hum Over the past few years, I have been deeply engaged in Virtual Bharat, and suddenly March 24 happened. The next morning when I woke up, I realised what a unique situation we were in. Previously, we could never have imagined that a country where we have been travelling and witnessing its vibrancy and

sounds, where people don’t stop even at traffic

on how to go about it. In a few hours, my camera

lights, would come to a standstill. How do you lock

is set up in Dehradun. Meanwhile, from Fort Kochi

them down? It is disturbing where we are, but it is

someone sends me a video of a particular drone

also historic. So on 25th morning I decided that we

shot just being completed. It was unbelievable. We

need to document this. It was a lockdown with law

never thought of this or imagined that sitting at

enforcement on the ground. I was constantly on

home (except in Mumbai, where we travelled) with

WhatsApp and messaging Virtual Bharat teams

16 states, and 117 crew members, we could make a

in various states, along with following up with

film. There was a madness in this process, but the

government officials and sharing with them the

experience was interesting. While so many people

idea of what we wanted to do. And suddenly we

worked on the film, it looks like one product with

got permission from Uttar Pradesh, to go ahead.

a singular vision. But that is the first hour of the

And there on, we got permission from all the

film, we have 100 hours of material. We are now

other states. Immediately, our team sprang into

focusing on completing the documentary. When

action. Our crew in Varanasi informed about how

the first lockdown got over, I wanted to showcase

the ghats near the Ganges were empty. We have

the silence and emptiness of India. But we will

never seen it like that. So they set up their cameras

overcome this pain. That is why the title Uthenge

near the ghats at 5.30 in the morning, and I was on

Hum, which means we will rise.

WhatsApp video on LCD panel giving instructions

What is your takeaway during these trying times? It has been extremely painful to see so many poor people affected by the pandemic. On the other hand, we have these high-rise buildings where people are having avocado sandwich, doing yoga and looking at the sea breeze from within the comfort of their homes. These two contrasting worlds have been really exposed. On the positive side, Nature is blossoming. When we were filming in Rishikesh, we CULTURAMA | July 2020


could see pebbles in the Ganges, through the transparent water. It took a lockdown to show us the real Earth, and all the things we have done so wrong all along. We must remember all this. What lesson would Bharat Bala give to his younger self? Never give up. Nothing is impossible.

The world of Virtual Bharat Virtual Bharat is a 1,000-film journey of untold human stories from India spanning

Can you share a film-making secret?

people, landscapes, literature, folklore, dance,

Every idea and every film, you are on ground

music, traditions, architecture, and more. The

zero. There is no formula or secret. Creativity is

vision of director Bharat Bala, creator of Maa

different for everyone. I only do things that I feel

Tujhe Salaam, the platform is a tale of India

excited about.

told person-by-person, story-by-story, and experience-by-experience.

Your most memorable moment as a film-maker? My life is full of experiences. Meeting ordinary

Virtual Bharat has released 10 films till

people and walking away with extraordinary

date on their YouTube channel, which has

memories is definitely special.

garnered millions of views and generated a

What is the new normal for the film-making industry? It does not matter. The end product will always be the same; your ideas and thoughts. The process may change, but the aim to create a quality end product will remain the same.

buzz on social media from multiple eminent personalities




India's former Ambassador to the United Nations, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways in the Indian Government, Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, William Dalrymple, acclaimed writer and historian, and Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development.


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

CULTURAMA | July 2020



STRENGTH IN THE STORM It is important to have a steady and peaceful mind when you are dealing with turbulent times. Eknath Easwaran shares the power of the mantram


y first encounter with an ocean storm came on my way to the United States on the Fulbright exchange program. I sailed

from Bombay on an ancient P&O liner that had been in service before the First World War. There were no luxuries, but I enjoyed the trip because of the variety of passengers – from empire builders to scholars from the Far East – and the ever-changing beauty of the sea. But July in the Arabian Sea is monsoon season, and three or four days out our little ship began to be tossed like a toy by winds and rain. A storm is a great equaliser. All distinctions of class and colour were swept away. Empire builders hung at the railings side by side with Asian academics,

Photo: JF Vial France

clutching identical brown bags. All of us cheered with relief when the weather passed and we were obliged

Steadiness of mind

to put in at Aden for repairs.

I often recall those two journeys to illustrate one of

Sailing from Cherbourg to New York on HMS Queen

the most important truths I have ever learnt. Like a

Mary was an utterly different experience. The Queen

storm, life is a great equaliser. It does bring sunny

Mary too was nearing retirement age. But she was

days, but it is sure to bring storms as well. And

fast, and positively luxurious by comparison with that

regardless of class, colour, status, birth, or wealth,

P&O vessel. When we hit rough seas on the Atlantic,

some of us sail through surely, while others flounder

we sailed through majestically without a roll.

and even go under.

‘Why aren’t we being tossed about?’ I asked an officer.

Few human beings are born with the skill to weather

‘Is it because of the ship’s size?’

storms and stress with grace. Yet everyone can

‘No,’ he said proudly, ‘it’s the stabilisers. We installed

learn. We can’t control the weather outside, but we

them a couple of years ago. Now rough waters don’t

can control how we respond. Like the Queen Mary,

bother her at all.’

we can install stabilisers – in the mind.


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

Photo: Tanja Brixblaich German

For it is in the mind that the storms of life really

So how do we calm the mind? One very powerful

blow. What matters is not so much the turmoil

way is so simple that everyone can learn it easily,

outside us as the weather within. To a person with

right now, even a child: the repetition of a mantram

an agitated mind, something as minor as a rude

or ‘prayer word’ as it is called in some circles in the

driver can cause enough stress to ruin a day.

West. You can think of the mantram as a handrail for the mind. It gives you something to hold on to, so that

By contrast I think of Mahatma Gandhi, who gave himself away when he confessed, ‘I love storms.’

you can steady yourself in confusing circumstances until your thoughts become clear.

Gandhi began life as a timid child, but he learnt to keep his mind so steady that he could face

You can draw on the power of the mantram like this

tremendous crises with courage, compassion,

at any time, wherever you happen to be, whatever

wisdom, and even a sense of humour. This

you happen to be doing. But if you want the mantram

steadiness of mind is one of the most practical of

to come to your rescue when you need it, if you want

skills. Without it, no one can face the challenges of

it to steady your mind in times of turmoil, you need

life without breaking. And life today is challenging

to practice, practice, practice in calm weather.

to say the least.

Constant repetition drives the mantram deep into

The power of the mantram

consciousness, where it can anchor your mind so

Fortunately, we don’t have to develop these

surely that no amount of agitation can sweep you

capacities. We already have them. But we need

away. I must have given this advice a million times,

a calm mind to draw on them. When the mind is

but it can never be repeated too often. Throughout

agitated or confused, the deeper resources we

my life, no matter how assiduously I practised this

require are simply locked up inside. That is the

skill, I have always been able to find more time,

practical importance of a calm mind.

additional opportunities to put it to use. This is how we can gradually extend sovereignty over the mind. CULTURAMA | July 2020


Around the world in


If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream – Steve Jobs

There are several exciting things about the summer, but the best is probably the sight of delicious dripping ice cream! Team Culturama takes a look at some of the more interesting ice creams from across the globe Serendipity’s Golden Opulence Sundae, New York Serendipity is one of the well-known ice cream destinations. Their Golden Opulence Sundae is listed in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive sundae in the world. Priced at $1,000, this special sundae is topped with 23k edible gold. The ice cream also has special ingredients from different parts of the world, so those wanting to have it will need to make a call 48 hours in advance to place a request!

Giapo Haute Ice Cream, Auckland Anyone who has had Giapo Haute Ice Cream will vouch that it is a work of art. They are known for their tiramisu, praline, smoky whiskey and chocolate flavours. And, not to forget the irresistible toppings such as gold-plated hazelnuts, torched meringue or spun sugar. Keep your calorie worries at bay when you reach for one of their delicious cones. It is an experience worth ‘eating’.


July 2020 | CULTURAMA


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CULTURAMA | July 2020


Antico Caffè Spinnato Ice Cream, Palermo Italian gelatos are a favourite among ice cream lovers from across the globe. Antico Caffè Spinnato ice cream offers the best of gelato, inside bread! Founded in 1860, Spinnato is a favourite among tourists and locals alike for their ice cream– filled brioche. The freshly baked brioche bread and the soft gelato make for the ultimate ice cream treat that will leave you asking for more.

N2 Extreme Gelato, Melbourne Liquid nitrogen is a rather famous plaything among the new age ice cream connoisseurs and N2 Extreme Gelato offers an array of these innovative ice creams. The names of the gelato options are also as interesting, such as Brokeback Moment, Murray Mango Sorbet, Kat on Krack and more. Even visually, these gelatos look like something straight out of a scientist’s lab. Also, the best thing is that they change their menu often, ensuring that one never gets tired of this place.

Matcha Ice Cream at Nanaya, Tokyo Matcha ice cream is one of the favourite flavours of many. Nanaya in Tokyo boasts of the world’s strongest matcha, which is made with powdered green tea. They have seven levels of matcha intensity; for the green tea lovers, it is the place to be. Nanaya is the brand under Marushichi Seicha Co. Ltd, a Shizuoka tea company that has been making matcha since 1988.


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

EX CAMERA Family outing

Gentle Giants Blessings to remember

Photo: A.Chandrasekaran India

With these beautiful images of elephants, Team Culturama pays tribute to Vinayaki, the beautiful elephant from Kerala, who met with a tragic end recently. May the world be kinder, like these gentle giants

A happy calf's life

Photo: Robertson Jones

Photo: Paresh Paradkar India CULTURAMA | July 2020


One with the nature

Beauty to behold

Photo: Gurdyal Singh India

Photo: Ranjith Krishnan India

Elephant crossing

Photo: Andre Alphonso Australia


July 2020 | CULTURAMA


Listen, stop and move forward This is one of the hardest habits for you to diagnose yourself – listen to those around you to gauge your guilt. Marshall Goldsmith pens down ways leaders can stop making destructive comments


’m a little sceptical of self-diagnosis. Most

This type of comment adds nothing but pain. See

people tend to overestimate their strengths

if any of these ring a bell. ‘Nice tie’ (smirk). ‘Good

and overrate their weaknesses. They might

move,’ (as someone stumbles on the carpet). Those

think that they are really bad at something at

are the quick quips. There are also the extended

which they’re really only mediocre or ‘kind of’ bad.

critiques of your co-worker’s past performance.

Where they see cancer, the doctor diagnoses a

Something that everyone but you has forgotten.

muscle pull. My hope is that you are not too hard

(‘Do you remember the time you totally missed that

on yourself, but that you do change.

really important deadline and the whole company

If you are guilty of Making Destructive Comments,

almost went under?’)

however, this one you’ll want to stop. Immediately.

The thing about Making Destructive Comments is

Destructive comments are the cutting, sarcastic

that if you press someone to list the ones they’ve

comments we let fly with or without intention.

made in the past 24 hours, they will draw a blank.

They serve no other purpose than to put

Most of us make these cutting remarks without

people down, hurt them, or assert

thinking, so we don’t remember them. But the

ourselves as ‘superior.’ They are

recipients of these remarks remember. The

different from comments that add

feedback that I’ve collected says that ‘avoids

too much value.

destructive comments’ is one of the two items with the lowest correlation between how we see ourselves and how others see us.

CULTURAMA | July 2020


In other words, we don’t think we make destructive

under no moral or ethical obligation to express that

comments, but the people who know us disagree.

to the boss, or to anyone else for that matter.

Destructive comments are an easy habit to fall into, especially among people who habitually rely on candour as a management tool. The problem is that candour can become a weapon if people permit themselves to issue destructive comments under the guise that ‘they are true’. Before you make a destructive comment, as yourself, not ‘Is it true?’ but, ‘Is it worth it?’ We all spend a







organisation, with your peers, managers, direct reports. You might even find it benefits your personal relationships! Here’s a simple test you can use to help you avoid destructive






lot of time filtering our ‘truth-telling’ throughout

1. Will this comment help our customers?

the day. Little white lies abound like, ‘I like your

2. Will this comment help our company?

haircut’. When what you really want to say is that it

3. Will this comment help the person I’m talking to?

looks ridiculous! We know the difference between

4. Will this comment help the person I’m

honesty and full disclosure – this is a basic survival instinct! We may think our boss is lame, but we are 30

July 2020 | CULTURAMA

talking about? If the answer is no, the correct strategy is to say no!


Stay home, Stay Fit

Fitness Guru Jen Thomas shares tips on how to create a ‘home gym’


ow often have you heard some enthusiastic trainer say, ‘no gym – no problem’ and all you can do is groan? We now work, eat

and socialise exclusively at home. Everyone talks about the ‘new normal,’ but what does that mean for our health and fitness? They should be two of our most paramount concerns. In some cases, our lives depend on it. Clear space for your ‘gym’: First, you need to find a consistent space, the size of your mat and call it your gym. The best places are in well-ventilated areas, such as a rooftop, under a fan or next to an AC. Secondly, it shouldn't be near fancy things – you don't want to hear your prized crystal vase smashing! Get your equipment: If you don't have any weights around the house, what are the next best things? Do you have a spare backpack that you can fill with your child's textbooks? Water bottles or soup cans? Whatever you need, find it and place it neatly near your mat. You don't want to waste time searching for the right tools for the job when the inspiration to workout strikes. Create






demotivating than a sad song in the middle of a workout. Have your pump-up music ready to go, so you just have to just push play.

CULTURAMA | July 2020


Find a workout: Whether it’s an online personal

Set up: Ahead of your appointment, lay out your

trainer, exercise videos, or a charismatic fitness

workout clothes on your bed, and your socks and

coach – find and download your exercise options

shoes. Leave yourself no excuse.

in advance.

Accept distractions: Distractions are part of life, and

Now that you have your space, where do you find

it's incredibly challenging to keep children out of the

your motivation? Being stuck within the four walls

room when there is limited space. Instead, how about

over again can dampen your inspiration to work

you invite the kids, husband, or wife to participate

out. However, the most successful people don't

with you? Make it a game. Can you beat mommy at

have more willpower than anyone else. The most

push-ups? How many squats can you do? Can you

successful people have successful systems that they

count daddy’s jumping jacks and see if he can get

stick to. Here are some ways you can set up your

to 100? By involving your kids to make exercise fun,

Systems for Success, to ace your home workouts:

they will help you become more accountable!

Schedule: Make a standing appointment in your

Jen Thomas is a Chennai-based Personal Trainer,

calendar. Schedule nothing else around this time,

online Circuit Training Instructor and Nutrition Coach.

so you are mentally free and clear to work out.

Her passion is to make women feel confident in their bodies.


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

TWISTS In India, there are myriad ways to dress up your dreams. Here’s an A-Z sampling of what the country has to offer the world of textiles

Appliqué is a distinctive style of stitching cloth motifs onto background fabrics of clothing and furnishings.

Batik, a fabric-based craft, involves resistance dyeing using wax, with the cracks in the wax producing a final effect.

Cotton has long been among India’s prized products. Look out for examples further along in this piece.

Dyes - Indigo blue and the Madder dye which produces a vibrant red, have both been used from ancient times in India.

Embroidery styles — Bengal’s Kantha work, UP’s Chikankari, Karnataka’s Kasauti and Punjab’s Phulkari have all found world fame.

Furnishings —­Haryana and Madhya Pradesh are known for dhurries and carpet weaving, introduced to India by the Moghuls.

Gadhwal sarees take their name from Gadhwal in Andhra Pradesh and are made of cotton, with silk borders woven separately and attached.

Hand-knitted socks from Himachal Pradesh are a novelty. As are gloves and mittens in bright colours and beautiful patterns! CULTURAMA | July 2020


Ikkat — otherwise called Pattola — this style of textile refers to the dyeing and weaving of both silk and cotton yarn.

Jamawar shawls — woven in wool, with a touch of cotton, and silk brocade borders, this Kashmiri fabric is mainly patterned in paisley.

Khadi — inextricably linked with the freedom movement, this hand-spun, hand-woven and hand-printed fabric has now become a fashionable fabric.

Lace-making — Jamnagar in Gujarat, Narsapur in Andhra Pradesh and various places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have earned world-wide repute for lace.

Muslin — once called ‘woven air’, Jamdhani sarees are perhaps the most famous of muslin weaves today.

Northeastern India — local tribes bring their unique cultures to bear on the cloth their women weave, mostly in white, black, red and blue.

Orissa’s tribals — The dyeing process is long and tedious, but the scarves and sarees are snapped up by buyers everywhere.

Pashmina shawls — Made from yarn spun from the underbelly fur of the Pashmina goat, these shawls are lightweight, and beautiful.

Quilts — Jaipur Razais, as they’re known, are made by womenfolk in traditional patterns.


July 2020 | CULTURAMA

Roghan — Special oil-based, hand-painted designs that have the sheen of lac. Exclusively found in Gujarat’s Nirona village.

Silks are synonymous with South India. The Kancheevarams from Tamil Nadu and the Dharmavarams from Andhra, each has its own USP.

Tie-and-dye fabric is made using the resistance dyeing technique. The bandhini of Rajasthan is the most popular.

Uppada sarees — made of cotton or silk, delicately patterned and woven exclusively by the Andhra locals using the Jamdhani technique.

Venkatagiri saris from Andhra Pradesh are embellished with pure silver thread, and have traditional floral, avian and geometric motifs.

Words added to the English dictionary include calico, khaki, chintz, seersucker and shawl.

X-clusive! Custom-made ‘designer’ wear sequinned and beaded to within an inch of its life, each can lay claim to this term.

Yarns are the warp and weft of textiles, so to speak, and India is the world’s biggest supplier of this commodity.

Zari gives the finishing touch of richness to Indian textiles.

CULTURAMA | July 2020


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July 2020 | CULTURAMA

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CULTURAMA | July 2020


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July 2020 | CULTURAMA

Profile for Rohini Manian

Culturama July 2020  

We bring you the perfect read for the month! Catch an exclusive interview with India's power women - the Chauhan sisters of Parle Argo...Rea...

Culturama July 2020  

We bring you the perfect read for the month! Catch an exclusive interview with India's power women - the Chauhan sisters of Parle Argo...Rea...

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