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Vol 6 Issue No.65 March - April 2017

PORSCHE 718 BOXSTER

BEYOND RECYCLING towards “zero waste” and the“circular economy” Shri V.P. Nandakumar MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd.

Trip to the world’s largest landlocked country

KAZAKHSTAN

A LEGENDARY AFFORDABLE

HOME BUILDER PRIYA A S, MD, DREAMFLOWER HOUSING PROJECTS P. LTD

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Printed by: Ajit Ravi Published by: Ajit Ravi Owned by: Ajit Ravi Printed at: S T Reddiar P.B. No: 3627, Veekshanam Road, Cochin Published at: Pegasus, L5-106 Changampuzha Nagar Kalamassery Ernakulam-682 033 e-mail: editor@uniquetimes.org uniquetimesindia@gmail.com Ph:0484 3242220, 6555533, 4025666 Mob:+91 98460 50283, 94470 50283 Editor Ajit Ravi Sub-Editor Vignesh Associate Editor Ravi Saini Editor-In-charge Jebitha Ajit Legal Advisor Adv. Latha Anand Correspondents Dr. Thomas Nechupadam Vivek Venugopal- Quarter Mile Bejoy George Amrutha V Kumar Karthika S Nair Marketing BAHRAIN PRESTIGE MARKETING Tel: +971 55 2000933 Email: gopal@prestigemarketing.in UAE Tamquest Entertainments LLC P.O. Box 232886, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Mr.Safi Mulankaad Clap PR and Events:++971 508414706 Email: riju@tamquestevents.com Tamil Nadu Andhrapradesh & Karnataka PEGASUS Ph: 09288800999 Kerala Sunilkumar NN, Saneesh Ashok Your wing Director Shwetha Menon Photographer Ashique Hassan Creative Design PEGASUS Cover Photograph Priya A S, MD. Dreamflower Housing Projects P. Ltd. March - April17 4

Editorial A

nna Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, once said: “A woman is like a teabag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”. Another international women’s day has been celebrated in March. It’s worth remembering the decisive victories of women and their talent, perseverance, and timeless wisdom of women. As the International women’s day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, it is relevant to introduce a successful woman entrepreneur for the issue. And Priya A.S., the Managing Director of Dreamflower Housing Projects Private Limited, is a right choice for more than one reason. By shaking up the stereotype, Priya entered into the maledominated real estate sector in Kochi to write an awesome success story. In the regular column, V.P. Nandakumar, the Chairman and Managing Director of Manappuram Finance, throws some light on a burning issue of Kerala- the recycling and better waste management. Meet the new Porsche 718 Boxster. Our expert team says Porsche 718 Boxster is one of the best driver’s cars in the country. In travel, we check out Kazakhstan with attractive hills, spectacular mountains, splendid canyons... Regular articles on the stock market, gadgets, banking, movie review, and book review are there. I sincerely hope you find as much joy in this issue as it brings me.


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CONTENTS

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Beyond recycling towards “zerowaste” and the “circular economy”

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Are employment indices the best indicator of economic progress?

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A legendary affordable home builder

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Goods and Service Tax Has agriculture been forgotten?

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48

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Gadgets

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Recipes

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Longer threads tips to grow your hair

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Trip to the world’s largest landlocked country, Kazakhstan

Porsche 718 Boxster

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UNIQUE DIARY

Govt set to promote BHIM app using new schemes

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n a bid to promote the BHIM app launched by the government, it is set to introduce two new schemes: the ‘Referral Bonus Scheme’ and the ‘Cash Back Scheme’. While the former is intended to benefit the customers or consumers, the latter is aimed at the merchants. It is learned that the cash back scheme which made way into the budget will be implemented within few weeks. As per the latest assessment, nearly seventeen million users have downloaded the app. The application is targeted at reducing the constraints felt by the customers and merchants at the marketplace due to the shortage of liquid money in the Indian economic system. However, the promotional schemes have already been approved by the concerned authorities so it won’t take too much time to reach the implementation level.

No freebies anymore: Jio plans to charge money from April

'' Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.'' George Van Valkenburg

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decision, which is likely to make a serious impact on the telecom sector of India, has been announced by the Jio telecom’s owner, Mukesh Ambani, recently. It is said that the company is planning to charge a reasonable tariff for their services from April onwards. Even though it already has nearly 100 million customers and is one of the biggest telecom service providers in the country, it is aiming to attract more customers before the March end. For that reason, some more freebies have been offered during the public address organised to publicise the future plans of the company. Anyway, the latest analysis shows that many of the customers of Jio is using it as a secondary service in order to utilise its freebies. Many claim that only after the insertion of the tariff we can know the depth of the customer loyalty achieved by the company.


IT companies conspire to keep ‘fresher salary’ low

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shocking revelation made by renowned corporate legend T V Mohandas has exposed an unethical practice followed in the corporate sector. He said that the corporate houses, particularly IT companies, have conspired to keep the fresher salary low. He advises the IT companies to cut short the salaries drawn by those working in the top executive positions in order to pay good wages for the entry level employee. Over the years, no much difference has been achieved in the pay scale of the fresher. He observes that we are only getting second level professionals in the entry level positions as a result of this practice. It is necessary to get first level professionals in the entry level positions, he reminds the industry leaders.

CSR spend helps to double rural income: FM

'' There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.'' C.J. Walker

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he Corporate Social Responsibility spend would contribute to double the rural income, said the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. Even though the government had to face serious resistance from the huge corporate houses in the beginning while making the CSR spend mandatory, it is doing well now, he added. The CSR rule introduced in 2013 insists companies to spend nearly two per cent of their net profit on the CSR activates. It is a very important development as we cannot simply depend on the government for each and every activity intended to uplift the quality of life of the rural India. The minister observes that CSR spend could boost the NGO activities in the rural regions.

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UNIQUE DIARY

EPFO liberalises the norms for PF claims

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ancelling several unnecessary norms and rules which have been restricting the subscriber from accessing the Provident Fund, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation has liberalised the norms for the PF claims such as its withdrawal and advance. Earlier, we were asked to fill up numerous forms and present several documents while accessing the PF. With the new initiative, the EPFO is trying to do away with several such irrelevant formalities replacing it with some subscriber-friendly procedures and rules and norms. Hereafter, there will be a single form available for all PF claims and we will not have to present numerous documents including the attestation of your employer. It is likely to help the PF subscribers extensively.

Snapdeal reduces workforce

'' Business is more exciting than any game.'' Lord Beaverbrook

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napdeal has been reducing its workforce, working across different layers and sections of the company, for last few days. The company, which is backed by Soft Bank, have an online retail website, logistics service and digital payment service: Snapdeal, Vulcan, and Freecharge. It is said that the company is facing serious competition from its rivals operating in the similar sectors. The workforce reduction is seen as an effort to overcome the financial crisis and operational difficulties confronted by the company. As per the latest assessment, there are nearly eight thousand people working in the company. Despite mounting competition and financial crisis, the company aims to become the country’s first profitable e-commerce conglomerate.

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BUSINESS

Shri V.P.Nandakumar MD & CEO Manappuram Finance Ltd. Chairman, CII’s Kerala State Council

Nandakumar says that Kerala has to start doing a lot more than merely encourage recycling project as waste management is a burning issue of Kerala.

Beyond recycling towards “zero waste” and the “circular economy”

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n 13 January 2017, CII Kerala organised an investors’ meet at Kochi to promote recycling industries in Kerala as part of extended producer responsibility. The event was attended by a galaxy of distinguished speakers drawn from the highest ranks of government, bureaucracy and industry that shared their thoughts about recycling and better waste management. It’s a topic that is very relevant for Kerala where waste management is a burning issue. However, experience tells us that a problem is best tackled when solutions are put in place even before the problem is allowed to manifest itself fully. This is the idea of foresight, and when I look ahead into the future, I feel Kerala has to start doing a lot more than merely encourage recycling projects. We live in an age where “use and throw”

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is becoming the norm, even as healthy living spaces are depleting at an alarming pace. What was once an abundance of beautiful green pastures, lush paddy fields, parks and meadows have all become scarce. In a state that used to pride itself on its cleanliness, we have seen foul garbage piling up on street corners. Who do we hold responsible for this unfortunate state of affairs? Truth be told, we all bear responsibility in some way or the other, having contributed to the degradation if not actively, then at least with our apathy. And so the responsibility falls on us to act now, to change the way we consume, the way we live, and the way we interact with our environment. A good way to start is with the simple concept of the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. If we cut down on the amount of waste we throw away, that will automatically help in


conserving our natural resources, landfill space and energy.

Zero Waste

Having begun with the 3 R’s, we should then aim higher, at the concept of Zero Waste. This is about waste management and planning that emphasizes waste prevention, as opposed to end-of-pipe waste management. According to Zero Waste International Alliance, “Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.” Zero Waste eliminates all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health. Resources are used sparingly, efficiently and optimally, with systems in place to manage waste without much of negative impact on the health of the people and the environment. The aim is to minimize the use of resources in manufacture and distribution, minimize consumption as a whole while maximizing the re-use, recycling and recovery of the intrinsic value within the waste generated by society.

Circular Economy

Today's linear ‘take, make, dispose’ industrial processes are dependent on cheap and easily accessible raw materials and energy to create products that end eventually up in landfills or incinerators. It is a model that has delivered unprecedented growth beginning with the industrial revolution but is now approaching its physical limits as seen in the increasing price volatility, commodity risks in supply chains, and growing pressures on our finite resources. It is said that

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Embracing the circular economy is all about rethinking about the waste management process. Instead of treating waste as a by-product of industry, we should think of waste as a resource stream.

a circular economy system is a process that needs to start at the very beginning of developing waste management systems. Business are encouraged to identify the materials and processes that could play a pivotal role in building circular economy, where the output of one business results in input for some other business.

at our current rate of growth and levels of resource utilisation, we will need three planets’ worth of resources by 2050. Clearly, this is not going to happen. A viable alternative that businesses have started exploring these days is the Circular Economy which is “a model that decouples economic growth from resource constraints” by reducing reliance on virgin materials. Instead, the goal is to keep materials functioning at their highest utility at all time, preventing would-be waste from reaching landfills. Precious resources are shepherded through the value chain and returned as inputs to new, refurbished or recycled products. The objective is

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to delink global economic development from consumption of finite resources. Walter R. Stahel, an architect, economist, and a founding father of industrial sustainability coined the expression "Cradle to Cradle" (to contrast with "Cradle to Grave”) that sums up the idea rather neatly. Embracing the circular economy, then, is all about rethinking and re-strategizing the waste management process. Instead of treating waste as a by-product of industry, it encourages businesses to think of waste as a resource stream. By converting the waste stream into a reusable resource stream, it reduces environmental impact. However, implementing

Inspired by nature, a circular economy aspires not merely to limit waste but to eliminate the very idea of waste: Everything at the end of its life cycle should be made into something else, just as in the natural world the waste generated by one species is food for another species. Finally, the concepts of 3 R’s, zero waste, and the circular economy, are all part of the same vision of more sustainable growth for a healthy, prosperous planet. The common objective is to eliminate waste and optimise the use of our natural resources for the sake of humanity and its future generations. That is a worthy objective indeed 

(V.P. Nandakumar is MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd. and Chairman of the Kerala State Council of the CII.)


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BUSINESS

Rajesh Nair, Director, Ernst & Young LLP Rajesh is also the President of the Kerala Chapter of TiE Global

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The system, especially in developing countries like India, has been for the bright students to pursue a standard professional line of education where medicine and engineering have been careers of choice.

he state of the economies of nations has been the most debated of all topics in recent times. The arguments are mostly around the right indices. What is the right scorecard for a country when we talk of economic prosperity? Is the gross domestic product? Is it the balance of trade? Is it the capita income or perhaps expendable income of its population? Is it the Human Development Index? Is it the literacy levels? Well, the debate can go on till cows come home and then beyond. The popular sentiment is to take the consensus route of having multiple metrics and make it a composite scoreboard of several dials on the dashboard. And well, no shame in that, after all, we do have a wider view and perhaps a more thorough, deeper look. But for the armchair economist in me, if there is any metric which could be the ‘mother of all metrics’ – it is the ‘Employment’ indices in an economy. It is about how many people are gainfully employed to meet their demands and the demands of their near and dear

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ones, create wealth for others by consumption. Large organisations, high-income levels and great consumption is always part of the picture but it is also incomplete. The key is also financial inclusion. High Median income is never the answer, neither is it more exciting than a decent average income. Income parity is not a socialist phenomenon but as much a capitalist agenda as any another monetary concept. Regular income brings in not just economic freedom but also independence in thought, ability to focus on needs and wants, planning for the future breeding self-sufficiency. But employment also needs a supporting ecosystem which needs to prepare and wet the soil.

Basic Education

The importance of perspicacious primary education provides the fundamentals. The base foundation of language teaches us to articulate out thoughts and express our mind. The grounding of arts helps us appreciate the pulchritude of nature and the ability to recognise, appreciate things


ARE EMPLOYMENT INDICES THE BEST INDICATOR OF

economic progress?

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student mostly sticks to the profession and not dabble too much. The consistency in the increase of vocational courses is also the signs of a mature society and also leads to better respect for labour and increased social platform for the fantastic craftsmen in carpenters, masons, plumbers etc.

Industry Internship

There is no real substitute for the process of working intensely and assisting the seniors in the workplace.

that appeal to our senses. Science brings in knowledge of the world around us and provides the much needed common sense. Mathematics, one may argue is the true indicator of progress, movement and growth. Civics and upbringing help us build value systems of what is right and wrong; build boundaries in our mind of actions and ethics. Together they mature the adolescent into a mature mind.

Professional Education

The system, especially in developing countries like India, has been for the bright students to pursue a standard professional line of education where medicine and engineering have been careers of choice. Law, literary and creative arts et.al, in previous generations, had been pursued by kids who had some family members or friends working in the profession. And then, the sundry banking jobs and the teaching profession have been a sort of ‘Option B’ in the past. Most of the other professions have been seen through supercilious eyes and

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we refer to them with a patronising tone too. A popular educationist, in jest, averred that the exodus into management courses in the recent decade has been primarily the ‘bright engineer’ who realises that she is doomed unless she takes a more ‘general’ qualification. The after-effect of this has also been the reduction of standard of engineering education. But, great profession institutions build certain milestone in their respected education field and also set benchmarks for other institutions burgeoning around.

Vocational Education

This is still the most underrated part of education and is also the primary reason why we have a colossal anomaly in every economy–a severe gap in certain skills and the excess of another set of resources. The salary perceptions in India is completely biased towards professional qualifications creating an aversion for vocational courses, while they still have among the highest post-employment ratios and also a credible continuity where the

There is no real substitute for the process of working intensely and assisting the seniors in the workplace. It has been popular and the credo of many a profession and skill in the past. The modern day version of internships for professionals is a route often explored and now made mandatory in many corporate institutions. It is a great reality check for the student to see the chosen profession first hand, understand the ethos of summer jobs. It also gives the pulse of being employed and helps in refining habits and building a professional core of values at work. Internships also instil a sense of intuition and ‘gut feel’ at decision making. What does it entail to commit to something, what date would seek and also builds expediency to take decisions rather than eternally languishing in data collection to make the ‘perfect decision’? It is also perhaps the first interface when you learn that there are no perfect decisions but just ‘right in the given context’

Entrepreneurship

It is now official that countries which have better ‘ease of doing business’ have a better probability of successful entrepreneurs and that ecosystem is directly proportional to the ability of the economy in responding to newer challenges. It is interesting to read stories of great businessmen and their travails and tribulations. There is immense learning in hearing the story of every entrepreneur. The failures are equally important stories, as is that of success. But you can never replicate those experiences and follow them prescriptively. While you can learn the alphabets and grammar of entrepreneurship from


for taking caution to preserve the some of the big employment areas of yesterday and look out to start academies for the restoration of the labour with reskilling, hand holding and helping them transition into modern industry. Beyond a point, subsidies are crutches which will create resistances in embracing the changed scenario. The future is still full of hope for the optimist. With the advent of new fields like robotics and automation, the completely mechanical jobs will phase out through technology. But, it will also bring in more efficient and productive manmachine combinations, though the displacement of labour by technology and globalization is hardly a new phenomenon. In the future of work, the ultimate resource that companies will use more efficiently is the human resource. Labour-intensive firms everywhere will need to reinvent their business models, deploying smart technologies and using labour more productively. But flexible working hours and virtual offices will bring in the right impetus. The inclusion of women in the workforce will also help the employers considerably. So it is time to have the lens focused on ‘employment’; rest will follow ….

these stories, you need to write your prose and script your journey. It is a great continuous journey with several pockets of turbulence. You need to learn from what you see around you but embark on the quest with not just energy and selfconfidence but also restlessness and the ability to take risks. Together some of these complete the jigsaw, but the puzzle is far from over! The role of the government is also to keep the avenues of new employment ushering in and looking to create the best of infrastructure which can facilitate this. This also calls

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COVERSTORY

A LEGENDARY AFFORDABLE

HOME BUILDER The Unique Time magazine has got an opportunity to meet such a business person. It is an honour to introduce Priya A S, the Managing Director of Dreamflower Housing Projects Private Limited, to our readers.

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eal estate is one of the most profitable business sectors. If a businessman moves his pawns rightly, he can extract plenty of money from this sector. In this sector, the construction of the luxury flats and villas is where huge business and huge profit happen. There is also an unattended section in this sector through which we can serve the people who are looking for an affordable home: the affordable housing sector. Only dedicated and sincere business persons who think beyond the framework of profit making can invest in this sector. The Unique Time magazine has got an opportunity to meet such a business person. It is an honour to introduce Priya A S, the Managing Director of Dreamflower Housing Projects Private Limited, to our readers. Dreamflower is one among the trusted and reliable builders in Kochi, Kerala. It holds a track record of handing over 42 Projects on time in the last 12 years. Priya’s husband, Fazil, is also a member of the director board of this company.


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Dreamflower aims at bringing quality and workmanship delivered at the fastest pace at a reasonable price range. proach. Dreamflower holds a track record for completing and handing over all its projects "ON TIME". It has numerous Ready to Occupy flats and villas located in premium residential localities just 50-200m off the main bus route with all amenities for a better community living in Cochin. All projects stand tall as the marks of testimony for What dreamflower Delivers.The company offers apartments and villas in Cochin at an affordable price

What is the Dreamflower project about?

Tell us about your brand dream flower project

Dreamflower is a 12-year-old brand in Kerala realty sector that is continuing its successful journey forward with on time handing over of 42 projects. The brand focuses on delivering Premium Utility Apartments at a cost effective rate, at the fastest pace in and around the Kochi city. All apartments are planned properly to facilitate ultimate convenience and comfort to all who stay there. The company believes in a Four Point Value System that encompasses quality, timeliness, personalized service and value for money living solutions. Its vibrant team, innovative methodology and immense experience in the field of construction make us stand out in the building arena of Kochi. Combining quality with trust, the brand has developed the reputation of being a builder that customers can confidently ap-

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Dreamflower aims at bringing quality and workmanship delivered at the fastest pace at a reasonable price range. The company has always been keeping its customers first which enabled it to build

a long-lasting relationship with all the customers who dealt with it throughout its journey. Being customer centric, its prime consideration has always been on the uncompromised quality and strict adherence to promised deadlines and specifications. Dreamflower’s mission is to create a unique identity in the field of construction encapsulating high-end technology, rich experience and sheer dedication to the profession. Its ultimate goal is customer satisfaction with which it has succeeded in establishing the brand name in the hearts of many souls who dreamed about making their "HOME" a dream come true.

When did you begin this venture and what was the


motivating factor behind it?

The company was started in the year 2004 with the aim of providing affordable homes inside the city. The real estate was a booming business at the time but most of the projects were in the luxury segment, prices were sky high and unapproachable to working class population. I saw the opportunity to create a niche in that market, hence started a company with the intention of creating custom made budget homes. The houses we build contained all the necessary items or fittings which facilitated the home owner to move in as soon as the possession is handed over.The projects were located at prime areas very near to bus routes, schools, places of worship, shopping areas and other facilities which make a living in the flats a convenient affair. On every stage of planning, the person who is going to live in that apartment is the focal point. I always try to step into the shoes of the home dweller while we design homes.

What are the roles done by yourself and your husband as founder and director respectively?

The business was started by me as the sole proprietor. Like all start-ups I used to be all in all of the business when it was started. From the first project itself, I was very much focussed on running it in a professional way and delivering good quality projects on time. I employed the services of reputed consultants and professional in the field, so that my projects were delivered with utmost quality and perfection. The profit margins were kept to minimum. Focus on the quality and timeliness set the foundation for future growth. The business was later converted to a private limited company. My husband Fazil was working as a sales professional in various reputed companies during the initial years of the business. Though he was an active supporter right through the beginning of this business, I felt that employing his full time services to this company will add

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We take care to update technology and design styles with changing times and our projects are always updated to match the changing times.

has strived to pay for it with his hard earned money saved. so it's our duty that we show respect to his decision to buy a house from us. Each member of my team is trained to bear this fact in mind. Proper planning and dedication are essential for successful delivery of projects on time .

What uniqueness does dream house have as a construction company in terms of work, technology, and style?

to the growth pace of Dreamflower. Hence, Fazil joined Dreamflower as a Director in 2008. From then on, we have clearly demarcated our profiles and responsibilities in the company. Fazil is taking care of the sales, marketing, high value purchases and public relations of this company. And, I remained as the Managing Director and focussed mainly on the site operations, finance and HR of the company

What were the major milestones of this construction company?

From the inception till date, we have not changed our basic value systems and principles, hence our growth has been steady and gradual.So, it is very difficult to pinpoint on a major milestone.

How many projects have

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you undertaken since the inception?

The company has so far completed over 42 projects and is continuing the journey with 8 projects under construction .

Dreamflower has the record for delivering 42 projects on time and has won accolades for the same. What is the driving behind it? To what do you owe this success to?

The success of Dreamflower is mainly due to planning, hard work and a motivated team. I always believe in the motto – work hard and dream big . I always remind my team that the product ( home ) we deliver is the life time ambition of the customer who buys it. The person who buys our home

Our unique style of operation is our focus on customisation. If We value the dreams of the customer and that is our basis of all our planning and execution. We take care to update technology and design styles with changing times and our projects are always updated to match the changing times.

What have you achieved, as a person, through this venture?

I have achieved satisfaction , goodwill and good friends through this venture.

What is the future of dream flower? Do you see it as an international brand?

We see growth and more satisfied customers. We have no plans for international expansion as of now. But, we are always open to changesď Ź


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7 TN WOMEN

VIE FOR MRS SOUTH INDIA TITLE PRESENTED BY UNIQUE TIMES

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even Tamil Nadu women selected for Mrs South India title at the audition held in Chennai. The final will be held at Kochi.

The finalists of the Mrs. South India are Dr. Priya, Vini Sangeetha, Sashi, Preethi, Sishira, Kiara and Varsha. There are doctor, advocate and IT professionals among finalists. For the first time ever, the auditions for Mrs South India were held in Chennai. The event, an initiative by Ajit Ravi of Pegasus - a company that brings to life innovative concepts had over 2285 events under its belt, spanning 16 years. Ajit Ravi of Pegasus said, “Mrs South India brought together the most talented and accomplished married women from the southern states to compete in a contest that

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called for beauty and brains. The Chennai Auditions held at Hotel GRT GRAND DAYS hosted by Naturals - India's No.1 Hair & Beauty Salon with over 500 branches across the country and Style one - the entire family store. Seven winning finalists Dr. Priya, Vini Sangeetha, Sashi, Preethi, Sishira, Kiara, and Varsha were selected to compete in the Grand Finale where apart from Mrs. South India, there will also be a winner from the State Mrs Tamil Nadu. Organiser of the audition

Latha Krishna said, “The auditions were judged by a panel comprising eminent members. 20 women from different walks of life paraded in black Cocktail Gowns. They were judged on their poise, attitude and communication skills along with a ramp walk. The Jury for the Chennai Auditions included Cine Artists-

Ms. Uma Riaz, Ms Sandya & Mr Bharat Kalyan, Kumaravel, CMD of Naturals, Ajit Ravi of Pegasus and Vikram Cotah, COO of GRT Group of Hotels & Resorts. The finalist were provided vigorous yoga training by 136.1 Yoga Studio. The event was co-ordinated by Latha Krishna of Iris Events and her team ď Ź

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FEATURE

Vinod Kumar

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nce again, Indians will wake up to a yet another festival. This time, it is called “Shiva Raatri.� Literarily it means, the night of Shiva. People stay awake throughout night. This wakefulness in times of darkness is one indicator that this person has subscribed to the method of Shiva Raatri.

Is Shiva, a method or a skill?

Shiva can be skill and simultaneously be the method also. Attributes of Shiva is unending. But we cannot leave it all to infinity. We are people who analyze and thereby make sense of events and activities. We are capable to articulate and define. So there is a frame for Shivaraatri. When, Shivaraatri began, as a celebrative day, will remain uncertain. But that, this festival is getting prominence among the Hindu people, is certain. More people are flocking to venues, to participate in the splendor, that is Shivaraatri. Not that all of these people, understands the context of this person called Shiva. But yet some celebrations, transcends reasons and logic. Aggregation is a trendy word in business and industry today. Then what is dis - aggregation? Consider a unifocal pursuit to become a microbiologist, or an orthopediatrician. These professionals become too specialized. They are effective

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Inclusiveness of all varieties and diversities makes Shiva very attractive. This is because, Shiva is free from compulsion to analyze, assess and give verdicts. Shiva has a focus on vastness and therefore ignorance is neutralized.

in their respective trade to such an extent that they cannot understand the wholeness of healing and the hospital. Their capacity to treat and cure a common cold is diminished, owing to their excess detailing of a specific and narrow subject. This is dis - aggregation. Some standardizations have become rigid and stagnated. Now they cannot scale up their trade and aspects of living. Their brains become skewed to a single department. This excessive segmentation will isolate people. Alienation from the whole can make you strange to many other things. Shiva is the concept that will disrupt such Status Quo. Shiva intrudes into stagnation. Eliminate sense of strangeness. Shiva is the method to scale up your operations. This scaling up may have rough corners. A meal laid out to you in a five star restaurant, is customized and personalized. You can take joy in the opulent ambience. The designer foods can qualify as diligent because of many expert chefs that attended to your meal. But things are different at the Langar. Yes, Langar is a place where hundreds of thousands of people are fed a sumptuous meal. This is achieved by people who Volunteers their talent, skill and services. The eaters do not pay any money for the fulfilling meals. This is an example of scaling up in number. Some bruises on the roundedness of the Chapati (Indian Bread) can

be forgiven. The server, host, eaters, the entire guest, the donors and workers, all of them blends and merges into one unit. There is absolute allegiance to the cause. No divisiveness in attitude is visible in such work cultures. Management concept is evident. This wholeness is Shiva tattwa. Consider a bundle of currency notes. One hundred dollar notes. A hundred pieces of such notes makes a bundle. A rubber band is used to fasten it together. One rubber band is wrapped over these notes, to make it manageable. But if over a fifty rubber bands are over and around one bundle, then you cannot spend the money easily, and at will. Because the notes are all, too tied in. This is confines and controls. In India the word is Vashi for confines and controls. Shiva is freedom and liberation. The reverse of the word Vashi. Shiva is fresh and new. The chewing gum is moist and tasty and colorful. But after an hour of chewing, then this gum loses all its utility. Such has become of most of the habits and patterns of behavior. Such has become the routines. In such cases, the Shiva concept eliminates this metaphor, of used chewing gum. Shiva comes as a fresh breath, new innovations and solutions. Inclusiveness of all varieties and diversities makes Shiva very


SHIVA RAATRI

attractive. This is because, Shiva is free from compulsion to analyze, assess and give verdicts. Shiva has a focus on vastness and therefore ignorance is neutralized. Accommodating of adversity and opponents, with immense poise and magnanimity, Shiva has postured himself as a role model. Symbolically, Shiva transforms and metamorphosis. Perhaps this change of form is driven by the fire element. People observe fasting from food during Shivaraatri. May

be, to respect and recognize the fire element of digestion. In all, any method of celebration is welcome. Much personal skills has to be taught, for people to out live their emotional challenges. So, open up to new initiatives and interests. Everybody can make some space of this concept of growth and development. Irritations and Annoyances are like class rooms. Intrusions and disruptions are the examinations. Adversity and opponents are material

for your research. Bottle necks and other obstacles are further training programs. Hecklers and protesters are your private tuitions. Pleasures and profits are like weekends. Accomplishments and achievements are like long holidays. Spectacular and fabulous events that are in your favor are long annual vacations. Shiva is the canvas on which all the above situations are painted on. So, the twenty fourth of February, people meditate together. They adhere to the method and the skill of the “Shiva learnings.â€?ď Ź

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29


It would be pertinent to note that while poultry production in India has been growing by 15%, Kerala has witnessed a declining growth rate of 15.4 percent. Interestingly, the State which used to be an exporter of eggs in the 1970s is now an importer of eggs.

Goods and Service Tax Has agriculture been forgotten?

A

Adv Sherry Samuel Oommen is a practising lawyer at High Court of Kerala who specialises in tax and Corporate Laws. Presently he heads the tax and corporate law practice of Nash Capital Partners. Apart from being a qualified lawyer, he is also a chartered accountant, cost accountant and a company secretary. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate Degree and is reachable at sherryoommen@nashcp.com.

griculture has been the backbone of the Indian economy and the primary source of livelihood for about 58 percent of India’s population. Further, during the financial year 2016-17, the GDP of agriculture and allied sectors accounted for USD 244.74 billion, with a Compounded Annual Growth Rise of 6.64 percent during the period 2007 to 2016. Our state, Kerala, has witnessed a remarkable transformation in the agricultural sector since its formation. Cash Crops like coconut, rubber, tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom, areca nut, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon etc. and food crops paddy, tapioca etc. gives the agricultural sector of Kerala a distinct flavour. The agro-climatic conditions in Kerala suite the cultivation of a variety of seasonal and perennial crops. India is fundamentally an agriculture driven economy and for which reason it enjoys a special tax treatment. For instance, many agricultural commodities are ex-

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empted under Central Excise Law or taxed at the Nil rate of duty. In Service tax, agriculture related services are exempted under the Mega Exemption Notification. Under this scenario, how is agriculture proposed to be taxed in the GST regime? It would be befitting to understand the definition of the term “agriculture” under the GST Law. Section 2(7) defines the term “agriculture” to include floriculture, horticulture, sericulture, the raising of crops, grass or garden produce and also grazing but DOES NOT include dairy farming, poultry farming, stock breeding, the mere cutting of wood or grass, gathering of fruit, raising of man-made forest or rearing of seedlings or plants. In contrast, under service tax law, for instance, the term “agriculture” has been defined in a broad fashion to mean “cultivation of plants and rearing of ALL LIFE FORMS of animals, except horses, for food, fibre, fuel, raw materials or other similar products. As evident, rear-


ing of animals has been not been included in the definition of the term “agriculture”, which could imply that the said activity would be taxable. Additionally, under the GST regime, it is proposed that ONLY a person who PERSONALLY CULTIVATES land would be eligible to claim the related exemption. Hence, the question lies, what are the activities taxable under GST?

Some of the activities taxable under GST

As a matter of dictum, considering the restricted scope, the following activities shall be taxable under GST if the turnover of an assessee in Kerala exceeds the basic exemption limit of INR 20 Lakhs.  Poultry and stock breeding are currently nil rated goods in both

Excise and State VAT. Considering the specific exclusion from the definition of agriculture, it appears that products such as egg, meat and sea-food would be taxable under GST. It would be pertinent to note that while poultry production in India has been growing by 15%, Kerala has witnessed a declining growth rate of 15.4 percent. Interestingly, the State which used to be

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Dairy farming in India has been an alternate source of income for farmers. The sector provides employment throughout the year for a farmer. Under the GST regime, the dairy farming would now be taxable. This would imply that dairy products such as milk would fall under the purview of GST.

an exporter of eggs in the 1970s is now an importer of eggs. The applicability of such taxes, in my view, could further hurt the sector.  Dairy farming in India has been an alternate source of income for farmers. The sector provides employment throughout the year for a farmer. Under the GST regime, the dairy farming would now be taxable. This would imply that dairy products such as milk would

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fall under the purview of GST.  Kerala has witnessed various models of crop cultivation. For instance, models such contract farming or crop sharing would be taxable under the GST regime.

My concluding thoughts

It appears that the Government is likely to include various aspects of agriculture within the purview of GST. This would lead

to an increase in the inflation rate of CPI commodities. I would urge the government to allocate a slower slab rate to the said sector along with necessary exemptions in order to curb inflation and the negative impact on agriculture arising on account of the introduction of GST. Nevertheless, it does become onerous for agriculturist to plan for the future taking into account the current realities rather than living in an ivory tower 


h

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T

here is a saying ‘fear of suffering is worse than actual suffering’. And, as equity market is a game of anticipation, the market participants usually face the fear of suffering. Union Budget 2017-18 was one the most anticipated budgets. Simple reason being, many reforms and changes in tax structure was anticipated ahead of it. Taking cues from the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi about higher taxes to be paid by the financial market players, everyone expected changes in the Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) tax regime. Many on the street expected that from one year period at the current levels, the LTCG regulations would be extended to two years or three years. Further, a lot was expected to change on the Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) regards. No wonder the street was cautious ahead of the D- Day. However, as the Budget Speech ended, the indices have witnessed only one-way movement and that was upwards. There was hardly any tinkering with anticipated subjects, making a budget a fine balancing act.

A Credible Fiscal Roadmap

Real estate and Infrastructure are major employment generating sectors and hence they have a great multiplying effect on the economy.

As per expectations, the budget reinstated that the fiscal deficit target of 3.5 percent of GDP would be met for 2016- 17 and set the target of 3.2 percent for the next fiscal year. The gross tax collections have jumped 17 percent (y-o-y) according to revised estimates Visà-visa budgeted 12 percent(y-o-y) in 2016-17. Direct tax collections have been in tandem with the budget estimates. Indirect taxes of which Excise Duties (30.4 percent over budget estimates) and Service tax (5.6 percent over budget estimates) have contributed majorly to the uptick. There are few factors we would

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like to specially mention. First of all, the fiscal Deficit target for FY17-18 is fixed at 3.20 percent and then for next two years to be at 3 percent. Looking at the current scenario, the expected rise in fiscal deficit was a major concern. However, the Government categorically stated that it would keep the fiscal deficit under check. Apart from that, the lower borrowing at Rs 3.48 lakh crores from is another positive factor. In the last year, it was estimated at Rs 4.25 lakh crore. This signifies that there would be a lot of scopes for the RBI to reduce the repo rates going ahead. Had there been more amount of borrowing done by the Government, the interest rates would have remained at higher levels. While the lower borrowing is one positive, the focus capital account is another positive. Scheme expenditure on the capital account to Rs 3,09,801 crore from the levels of Rs 2,47,023 crore is a great positive. We feel, with the focus on capital formation will provide a much-needed impetus to the GDP growth.

Realty and Infra– Great Multiplying Effect

Real estate and Infrastructure are major employment generating sectors and hence they have a great multiplying effect on the economy. To put it in a simple manner, one rupee invested in the infrastructure sector generates opportunities to the tune of Rs 10. And for the FY17-18 budget, Government has put a focus on Infra as well as realty. As for the real estate, affordable housing is being given an infrastructure status. This means they will get an access to low-cost funds and hence making life easier for many real estate developers. There are few other advantages as well,


India Union Budget 2017-18 Fine Balancing Act by Finance Minister

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35


but the availability of funds at lower cost seems to be the biggest positive. As for the affordable housing, the definition or parameters have been changed in terms of the size of a housing unit. Following are few of the changes that are positive for the real estate sector as a whole. 1) Under the scheme for profitlinked income tax deduction for the promotion of affordable housing, carpet area instead of built up area of 30 and 60 Sq.mtr. Will be counted. 2) The 30 Sq.mtr. limit will apply only in case of municipal limits of 4 metropolitan cities while for the rest of the country including in the peripheral areas of metros, limit of 60 Sq.mtr. will apply For builders for whom constructed buildings are stock-in-trade, tax on notional rental income will only apply after one year of the end of the year in which completion certificate is received 3) Reduction in the holding period for computing long-term capital gains from transfer of immovable property from 3 years to 2 years. As regards the infrastructure sector, the allotment of Rs 67,000 crore(up from the earlier levels of Rs 57676crore)for the National Highways is a major positive factor. Further, the focus on capital expenditure would that the engineering and infrastructure order book witness traction.

Rural and Agriculture Focus- A good Long-Term Positive

While the ‘Infrastructure and Realty’ are largest employers, the agriculture also plays an important part. With the contribution of loads of positives for the agrarian sector, like increased credit limits and FasalBimaYojna, we feel the rural spending would definitely improve. Even the increased allocation to the MGNREGA to the highest ever level of Rs 48,000 crore in 2017-18 is a positive for rural spending.  Target for agricultural credit in

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2017-18 has been fixed at a record level of Rs 10 lakh crore  Farmers will also benefit from 60 days’ interest waiver announced on 31 Dec 2016  Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund to be set up in NABARD with a corpus of Rs 2000 crore and will be increased to Rs 8000 crore over 3 years  Coverage und er Fasal Bima Yojana scheme will be increased from 30 percent of cropped area in 2016-17 to 40 percent in 201718 and 50 percent in 2018-19 for which a budget provision of ` 9000 crore has been made For transportation sector as a whole, including rail, roads, shipping, provision of Rs 2,41,387 crore has been made in 2017-18. For 2017-18, the total capital and de-

velopment expenditure of Railways has been pegged at Rs 1,31,000 crore. This includes Rs 55,000 crore provided by the Government. With Railways and infrastructure having highest capital gearing, we expect GDP growth to sustain.

Direct Taxes– Lower Income Group Stands Benefited

The new slab rates for income tax 2017-18 income are as follows.  Till 2.5 L - NIL  Rs 2.5 Lakh – 5 Lakh – 5 Percent  5 Lakh – 10 Lakh – 20 Percent  Over 10 Lakh – 30 Percent  However, the Rebate of 87A reduced to Rs 2500 from Rs 5000. We think it will widen the tax payer base in India and lower taxation would result in higher disposable income of people. We feel that


 Sr. Citizen- 8 percent guaranteed pension for 10yrs by LIC of India scheme  Rail Budget- 1.31 Lakh Crore, New Railway Line of 3500 kms, No service charge on IRCTC Ticket booking  Highway- 67,000 Crore for National Highways  Disinvestment- Continue through ETF's and timely disinvestments of PSU's,  Target 72500 Crore  Banking- 10,000 Crore to PSU banks for recapitalisation, Double landing targets to bank 2.44 Lac Crore, 2.44 Lac Crore under mudra scheme  Total Expenditure- Estimated at 21.47 Lac Crore  Defence Expenditure- 2.74 Lakh Crore excluding Pension  Long Term Capital Gain- For immovable property reduced to 2yrs from 3yrs  Income Tax- Companies turnover less than 50 Crore will pay 5 percent less tax, Effective rate 25 percent  Cash Transaction- No transaction over 3 lakes will be permitted in cash  Infra- Insurance company has to invest 25 percent in Infra bonds this is a positive factor as domestic consumption story would get an impetus.

Boost to Consumption through Personal Tax Sops

Private Consumption contributes about 55 percent to our GDP. In alignment with the expectations, tax rate cuts were announced in the budget. The new tax regime for individual tax payers will reduce tax burden of 5 percent for income between Rs. 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh. This would amount to savings of Rs. 12,875 for every tax payer with income less than Rs. 50 lakh p.a. With this change, a fiscal stimulus of about Rs. 13,000 crore has been provided which is small but significant. For a consumption driven economy, this could have a huge multiplier effect on the economy.

Following are few of the

Budget Highlights

 GST- No changes in service tax & excise duty as GST draft will be launching soon  Fiscal Deficit- Seen at 3.2 percent (17-18) & 3 percent (18-19)  Current Account Deficit- 0.3 percent (16-17) 1st Half  FDI Investments- 1.45 Lakh Crore (16-17) 1st Half  Direct Tax- Tax to GDP Ratio is very low  Income upto 2.5 Lakhs- Nil Tax  Income above 2.51 Lakhs to 5 Lakhs- Reduces to 5 percent Tax from 10 percent  Income above 50 Lakhs to 1 Crore- 10 percent surcharge  Farmer- Double their income in 5 years  Agriculture- 10 Lac Crore credit  MNREGA- Allocation 48,000 Crore  PM Gram SadakYojna- Allocation 19,000 Crore

Our Take

Overall, the Budget is positive and we would rate it at eight out of ten points. We will not be surprised to see Nifty making a further northwards move and then making a new high soon. With strong Q3FY17 results and a positive budget, sentiments are good and new high may be made soon on Nifty.

Disclaimer: This material is

based upon information that we consider to be reliable, but Pentad Securities Pvt. Ltd. does not warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Before acting on any recommendation in this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice 

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"Obese women had a 13% higher risk of death from cardio-vascular disease compared to women with a normal BMI and life-expectancy could be shortened by as much as seven years in these women."

DR BINOY JOHN Director & Head: Dept of cardiology, interventional cardiology, advanced heart sciences & cardiac transplant medicine MIOT International, Chennai

WOMEN

AND THE HEART

WHAT LURKS BENEATH? “No life can ever sprout without the touch of a woman”

O

estrogen, the female hormone offers premenopausal protection in women from blocks in the blood vessels of the heart! But then why is cardio-vascular disease the leading cause of death in women? The idea of my authoring this article is not to scare the women, but to highlight their own complacency with their health that emanates sub-consciously from the security of oestrogen. That with standing, this confidence also percolated to the earlier physicians who often indeliberately ignored or under-investigated symptoms given by younger women, for the same

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reasons. However, with the progress of medical science, evidence from research and the increasing awareness both amongst women and physicians, there has been a steady decline in death due to heart disease in women. But, statistics do show that death from heart disease has increased in women less than 45 years of age. This topic is way beyond the scope of even many scores of ten thousands of words, let alone a thousand, but I shall address the commoner risk-factors which women should not be lackadaisical about. Smoking has been found to be

more deleterious to women’s health than men. Studies show that women smokers died 14.5 years earlier than female non-smokers and it took more than a decade of not smoking for this risk to reduce to levels of never smokers. Hypertension or high blood pressure though was commoner in men than women before the age of 45 years, was seen more commonly in women than men after the age of 65 years and it was also seen that in this elderly age group, women had poorer control of blood pressure as well. Notably hypertension was two to three times commoner in women taking oral-contraceptive pills than


in women not taking them. Also, hypertension was associated with a higher incidence of heart-failure in women than men. Diabetes was associated with a higher risk of cardio-vascular disease in women than in men with a three to seven fold risk for developing blocks in the arteries of the heart in women in contrast to diabetic men who had only a two to three-fold increased risk of blocks. Obesity or a body-mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2 is a strong predictor for the development of diabetes. Studies have shown that women with a BMI > 35 kg/m2 had a forty times greater risk for diabe-

tes than women with a BMI < 23 kg/m2. It was also seen that visceral obesity with a waist circumference > 35 inches was associated with an increased risk for developing cardio-vascular disease. Obese women had a 13% higher risk of death from cardio-vascular disease compared to women with a normal BMI and life expectancy could be shortened by as much as seven years in obese women. Physical-inactivity and a sedentary life style are commoner in women in contrast to men and are risk-factors for cardio-vascular disease with an inclination to develop diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

In contrast to men, women solely faced the travails of pregnancy. Women who developed high blood sugars during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) confronted a life-long risk of developing diabetes and thus cardio-vascular disease. Pregnant women are also predisposed to developing a condition called preeclampsia characterized by the triad of high blood-pressure, water retention or swelling of the body and presence of protein in the urine. These women are at a three to six fold risk for the development of hypertension subsequently and a three to four fold risk of developing diabetes. 1 in 4000 pregnant women also faced a risk of heartfailure of which 20% could die or

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could need cardiac transplantation. Risk factors aside and coming to symptoms, women interestingly lacked typical cardiac symptoms like chest pain and presented more often with a typical symptoms, being easily ignored by the patient herself. More bizarrely, even if a woman had chest pain and other signs of reduced blood supply to the heart, but when investigated with a coronary angiogram, many of these women did not have any obvious blocks at all, a condition called cardiac syndrome X, which was also seen more commonly in women than men. In such patients, the blocks are located in the microscopic branches of the main arteries of the heart, not visible on angiograms, but resulted in microvascular dysfunction. Nonetheless, there is no reason for the ladies to be too worried! In spite of all the horrors I have described above, there is no need for despair or being disheartened. There is always the good old proverb to bank on: “Prevention is better than cure” paired with vigilance and periodic consultations with the

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physician. There is truly nothing that can beat life-style modifications with regular physical exercise and a healthy diet. 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week in the least is the key to a healthy heart and a healthy life. A diet elaborate in fruits and vegetables (4.5 or more cups per day), fibre (30 g per day), whole-grains (3 servings per day), sugar (5 or less servings (1 tablespoon) per week), nuts (4 servings or more per week), saturated fat (constituting less than 7% of the total energy intake), cholesterol (less than 150 mg per day) and sodium (less than 1500 mg or 1 teaspoon per day) are recommended. Women are also advised to take 7 oz of oily fish per week. Smoking can be done in dreams but in reality is an emphatic NO, to the extent of avoiding even passive environmental tobacco smoke. Thus an active life style with a healthy diet would solve most of the hazards, but my instructions would be incomplete if I did not touch on the much enticing hormone-replacement therapy or the administration of oestrogen

pills. With the advent of menopause, when the bodily oestrogen levels dwindle, all studies have shown, that the cardio-protective effects of endogenous oestrogen were not mimicked by consuming oestrogen pills and therefore none of the guidelines recommend hormone-replacement therapy for the prevention of cardio-vascular disease. So, in her life, unlike a male, a woman endures a plethora of changes in her body from menarche, pregnancy, lactation to menopause and what not, encompassed with even more lashings, in the challenging roles of a wife, a mother, a home-maker and many more. So it is only fathomable that whatever stresses that lurk beneath her heart or health, is what evolves her and nourishes her with the strength to be the pillar to her family and the essence of our society. I dedicate this article with a salute, on "the international women’s day", to all the daughters and mothers of the society…..the women that make the world! 


Regd. Office : HORNBILL CHRONOTECHNOLOGY PVT. LTD. 914, Corporate Annexe, Sonawala road, Opp. Udyog Bhavan, Goregaon, Mumbai East 400063 Overseas Marketing Office : AL AFNAN TRADING LLC Shop #5V, Bldg G-4, Hamdan Street, Al Karama Dubai, UAE PO Box- 121845 Tel : +971 43705538, Fax : +971 43570760 Corporate Office : O.S 58, 4th Floor, G.C.D.A Shopping Complex, Marine Drive , Kochi, Kerala - 682031 Tel : 0484 4026511 www.dqueglobal.com March - April17 41


GADGETS

HTC Ocean Note

MRP: `49,999 (approximately)

        

Android v7.0(Nougat) OS 24 MP Primary Camera 13 MP Secondary Camera 6 inches Display 6 GB RAM 64 GB Internal Memory 256 GB Expandable Memory 2.45 GHz Octa Core Processor 4000 mAh Battery Capacity

Swipe Elite 3

MRP: `5,499 (approximately)

        

42

Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS 8 MP Primary Camera 5 MP Secondary Camera 5 inches Display 2 GB RAM 16 GB Internal Memory 32 GB Expandable Memory 1.3 GHz Quad-core Spreadtrum SC9832 Processor 2500 mAh Battery Capacity

March - April17


Huawei Honor V9

MRP: `29,999 (approximately)

        

Android v7.0(Nougat) OS 12 MP Primary Camera 8 MP Secondary Camera 5.7 inches Display 4 GB RAM 64 GB Internal Memory 128 GB Expandable Memory 2.4 GHz Octa Core Processor 3900 mAh Battery Capacity

Sony Xperia XA2

MRP: `19,999 (approximately)

        

Android v7.0(Nougat) OS 13 MP Primary Camera 8 MP Secondary Camera 5 inches Display 4 GB RAM 32 GB Internal Memory 200 GB Expandable Memory 2 GHz Octa Core Processor 2300 mAh Battery Capacity

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COOKERY

Toshma Biju

ORANGE-PINAPPLE JUICE Ingredients

• • • • •

Orange juice................. 1 cup Pineapple juice............. 1/2 cup Ice cubs Sugar............................ 1 teaspoon Orange ice cream......... 3 scoops

Method Place orange juice, pineapple juice, ice cubes and orange ice cream into a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, and garnish with pineapple ring.

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WATERMELON JUICE

Ingredients

• • • •

Watermelon.................. 2 cups (chopped) Lime juice.................... 1/4 teaspoon Sugar............................ 2 teaspoons Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Method Removing the rind and seeds of watermelon, place the chunks into a bowl. Let them cool in refrigerator for 1 hour. In blender, combine watermelon, lime juice, and sugar. Pour into the glass and garnish with mint leaves.

SAMBARAM MANGA UPPILITTATHU

Ingredients

• • • • • •

Curd............................. 2 cups Water............................ 1 cup Salt............................... to taste Sliced Green Chilli....... 1 Curry Leaves................ a small sprig finely chopped Ginger.. 1 teaspoon

Method Add water to curd and whisk it well. Add curry leaves, ginger and green chillies. Add salt.Whisk it well and serve.

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BANANA SMOOTHIE

Ingredients

• • • •

Banana......................... 1 Plain yogurt.................. 1/2 cup Sugar............................ 1 table spoon Ice............................... 2/3 cup

Method Add the banana, yogurt, sugar, and ice cubes in a blender until smooth and thick. Serve immediately.

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BEAUTY

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Longer threads TIPS TO GROW YOUR HAIR A

beautiful hairstyle decorates women as well as men's facial beauty. There are limitations in terms of hair growth bringing in both genetic and climatic factors to it. There is no magical way in which you could lengthen your short threads but it could be in your control to an extent. Here are some methods in which you could grow your hair and avoid hair loss.

Scalp massage

With your neat and tidy hands, massage your dry scalp or ask your friend to do the same for you. This is a relaxation process and will stimulate blood flow to your scalp. Soaked with nutrients to nourish your head, the blood flow helps in better hair growth by entering the hair follicles. This is also an opportunity to sit back and relax, as it soothes your head. Two strikes with one blow.

Use shower power

When you take a shower, brush your hair back and ensure that the clean flows through your scalp. Don't leave out any regions and wash all the dust and dirt away. The presence of dirt and other factors will be an obstacle to the hair growing process, so wash it all away. Use hair conditioning shampoo every once or twice a week to handle cleaning process

effectively. Don't use an excess of shampoo as it will break the hair strands.

Avoid heat

This is impossible for you if you are a professional and has to iron your hair for public appearances. Try to limit the number of times you use the heating instruments. It affects the hair follicles and stimulates hair loss. Cover your hair when you go outside with your shawl or handkerchief, especially if it is very sunny. This process is also recommended for men, who have to travel under scorching heat. Wear a cap or hat with white lining when you go out.

Cold water treatment

When you have to work under the sun and if your feel all heated up, just go home and wash your head under cold water. It cools the scalp and any factor that inducing heat. Eat lots of vitamin-rich food and drink plenty of water. Hair follicles require Vitamin B and C for better growth. Keep drinking water occasionally as it will help in blood flow. These methods will play a mild role as the band that puts hair growth in your control ď Ź

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Kazakhstanis are peace loving, friendly, people. Just like their pure souls, their land is blessed with mesmerising locations. There are attractive hills, spectacular mountains, splendid canyons, beautiful flatlands, magnificent deltas, mesmerising lakes, impressive deserts, and dazzling snowfall in the country.

M

ost of us have never heard too much about Kazakhstan. The main reason for this oblivious characteristic of this country is that for a long period it was an iron curtain country under the USSR. It is one of the last countries which dropped its loyalty with the union days before its disintegration. It is a pleasure to say that this country is one of our distant neighbours. There are all necessary elements available in this country which could qualify it to become the most attractive tourist location but it did not get into any tour hit list, which publishes the top tourist locations in the world. This Central Asian country, which is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest landlocked country, is the ninth largest country in the globe. The country shares borders with China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. It is an unfortunate fact that the country has not been completely released from the clutches of the dictatorial regime, which grabbed its political admiration post the USSR era. Nursultan Nazarbayev has been ruling

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Trip to the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest landlocked country,

Kazakhstan

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51


the country for last few decades, suppressing all dissident voices, denying the freedom to bring forth the multiparty system which could eventually mould a potential opponent to fight the dictatorial regime. This Asian country is constituted of nearly hundreds of ethnicities including Kazakhs, Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Tatars, Germans, and much more. Though nearly seventy per cent of the population is Islamic followers, there are many followers of Christianity in this republic, where all religions are treated equally and the religious freedom is ensured strictly. Officially, Kazakhstan is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic. There are allegations that those values offered by the constitution are not properly implemented under the dictatorial regime; even their elections are not at par with the global standards. Anyway, all these constraints have not stopped it from becoming one of the powerful economies of the Central Asia. It contributes nearly sixty per cent of the total GDP of the region. The Oil and gas sector is the backbone of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. Originally, the nomadic tribes were the inhabitants of this country. In the 13th century, Genghis Khan conquered this land. Later, after his era, the land was returned to the tribes. Following the sudden â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rise and fallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of the Kazakhs, the

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Russian Empire slowly occupied the territory. The land underwent several crises, bloodsheds, political uncertainties, humiliations and reorganisationsbefore it finally succumbed on to the foot of the Soviet Union. The region was renamed as the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936. It took several decades for them to erase that tag forced on them by the Soviet Union, USSR. When it finally removed it, a dictator was awaiting in their doorstep to took over the regime and enforce a dictatorial system on to a society which dreamed of a democratic system. Kazakhstanis are peace loving, friendly, people. Just like their pure souls, their land is blessed with mesmerising locations. There are attractive hills, spectacular mountains, splendid canyons, beautiful flatlands, magnificent deltas, mesmerising lakes, impressive deserts, and dazzling snowfall in the country. For the sake of argument, one can say that there are no beaches, but it does not affect the overall beauty of this country in anyway. That deficiency has been perfectly covered with other blessings. The entire Kazakhstan can be divided, for the sake of our convenience, into five regions: Central Kazakhstan, Eastern Kazakhstan, Northern Kazakhstan, Southern Kazakhstan, and Western Kazakhstan. Almaty, the former capital, and Astana, the present capital,


Unless you are a food explorer, try not to explore too much local restaurants and local foods. Rooms and paying guest facilities are available for reasonable rates. The trip to this country will not be either an expensive or a cheap trip.

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Astana is the home to all modern recreation facilities like shops, restaurants, clubs, pubs, and even casinos. Korgalzhin National Park, Duman, Bayterek Tower, Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cultural Centre are popular destinations here.

are the most developed and most attractive regions in the country so we need to make a separate travel plan for these regions. In Central Kazakhstan region, there are several archaeological sites that date back to Bronze Age and New Stone Age. The famous Balkhash Lake, which delivers half saline and half fresh water, is located in the region. Apart from it, there is Bayanaul national park. As many as three lakes are situated in the park which comprises an area of 50000 hectors.

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Meanwhile, Eastern Kazakhstan is popular for its snowfall and natural beauty. Here, we can see several dazzling snow-capped mountains, impressive mountain peaks, and superb canyons. The region is less populated. We can see thick forest in most of the locations. Its beauty is beyond explainable level. Semipalatinsk, a region seen by the then USSR as an exile spot for the dissident voices, is situated in the region. It is a blessing that the region gave shelter to several renowned political thinkers and writers including Dostoyevsky.

Northern Kazakhstan gains much more prominence than any other region as it consists of the capital city of the country, Astana. There are several natural reserves, reserve forests, lakes and national parks in the region. It is one of the most popular tourist regions of the country. Burabay Natural National Park, Borovoye Lake, Naurzum, and Kurgaldjino are the popular tourist locations here. As we move on to the Southern Kazakhstan region, the first region that comes into our mind is


Almaty, the former capital and the most developed city in the region. There are several heritage sites and historical regions here. The 2000-year-old Taraz city, where we can see several historical and heritage sites like Babaji-Khatun Mouseleum and Aisha-Bibi Mouseleum, is situated here. It is a privilege to this region that it is the home to the world’s oldest and largest operational space launch facility centre, Baikonur Cosmodrome. However, Western Kazakhstan lies partly in both Europe as well as Asia. It shares a mixed culture and heritage. This part of the country is aggressively developing marking trade ties with several European countries particularly Russia. As it has numerous natural reserve spots, it is economically superior and independent than any other region of the country. Apart from this, this region has numerous tourist locations and archaeological monuments. Mangystau region,

Atyrau city, and Ustiurt are the famous tourist locations here. It is an interesting fact that we will not get bored even if we chart our trip surrounding the old capital and new capital, because there are several tourist spots and recreation activates available in this region itself. We may feel that the country’s development is totally concentrated in these regions. Astana is the home to all modern recreation facilities like shops, restaurants, clubs, pubs, and even casinos. Korgalzhin National Park, Duman, Bayterek Tower, President’s Cultural Centre are popular destinations here. Meanwhile, Almaty is the perfect place to enjoy art, architecture, natural beauty and much more. Here is where you can find some of the world class skating centres and Skiing centres. Medeo, Chimbulk, and Charyn canyon are the famous

tourist spots here. Kindly refer the climate details before planning a trip to this country. Unless you are a food explorer, try not to explore too much local restaurants and local foods. Rooms and paying guest facilities are available for reasonable rates. The trip to this country will not be either an expensive or a cheap trip. Try to get a good guide. We cannot visit the space centre unless we apply a request nearly forty days prior to the trip. Even though the country is politically oppressive, it never disturbs the travellers or tourists. Indeed, the Kazak government encourages tourism and it is trying to develop the tourist sector of the country. Several policies have been launched aiming at that. It is a perfect spot to spend your next vacations. Book your trip at the earliest 

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AUTO REVIEW

VIVEK VENUGOPAL

W Porsche 718 Boxster is one of the best driver’s cars in the country and also among the best looking. The car like the Mustang offers more size and a big V8 engine around the same price but lacks the dynamics, performance, badge value and perfection which the Porsche 718 Boxster has.

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ith its steering rack borrowed from the 911 Turbo and the rear suspension derived from the excellent Cayman GT4, the new 718 Boxster isn’t to be passed off for its new small engine. Yes, Porsche fans will moan about the death of the flat six- as with any big change Porsche makes these days- but truth is, the Boxster has now become a better car overall. And that 2.0-litre engine, while down on capacity, has 35bhp and 100Nm more than the 2.7-litre engine it replaces. While it might look like an all new car, the new Boxster is a thorough facelift of the 981 third generation. It looks so fresh with the new face and the four dot DRLs that are so distinctively Porsche. The chin is more pronounced and the headlamps


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look so well integrated with the bulging fenders. The rear appears even sleeker with new blacked out tail lamps and pop-out Porsche name spelled out under the spoiler. Only the hood, boot lid and windscreen have been carried over. In fact, the update on the 981 is so comprehensive it warrants a new chassis name on its own – the 982. Of course, Porsche calls it the 718 –a name that harks back to the race car of the sixties– one which punched above its weight and used a 1.5 litre flat four engine to beat a 3.0litre V12 Ferrari. A 718 RS60 won the Sebring 12 hours and the Targa Florio in 1960, so there is some racing pedigree to be had with the flat four and 718 name. Also, the new 718 name is in line with the 911, 918 and upcoming 919 models.

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Inside, it is typically Porsche with good quality materials and well screwed together parts. The upper part of the dashboard is different with circular vents replacing the rectangular ones. The new touch screen unit looks cool with its bezel-free look. The convertible roof which folds down rather quickly doesn’t squeak or rattle over potholes. You can drive roof down without any buffeting thanks to the air deflector fitted between the rollover hoops. What’s more, you can also use the windscreen washer when driving top down. The spray pattern is so optimized not to wet the cabin and all you’d get is the distinctive smell of VAG spec washer fluid. The wheels are only 18 inches in our base spec car. That we are used to seeing such profile tyres on


You’d struggle to find a better handling car at this price point than the Boxster. There is so much grip and balance through the corners you’d be focussing on correcting your line further and braking later for the next one.

sports cars these days, these look like they are from a bygone era. But they do offer good ride quality and peace of mind when driving over bad roads. The 2.0 flat four is essentially the new 911 3.0 flat six with two cylinders removed. The turbocharger in this one runs up to 20.3psi with peak torque of 380Nm coming in at just 1950rpm and holding that way all the way to 4500rpm. Peak power comes in strong at 6500rpm. The engine revs up to 7500 rpm which is quite lofty for a turbocharged unit. It feels meatier than the outgoing 2.7-litre flat six with strong midrange and clever PDK ratios. The

engine is also very smooth, thanks to its inherent balance and active engine mounts which loosen up at low speeds for refinement and stiffen up at high speeds for that more connected feel. It also has a characteristic sound, unmistakeable of a flat four, with a deep rumble at low revs and a high pitched note when letting loose. The sound is similar to a 911’s flat six and thankfully not like a tuned-up Subaru as most might imagine. With 296 bhp and 380 Nm torque, the standard Boxster now has performance comparable to the earlier S model with the 3.4-litre engine. This must be the first time in the Boxster’s life that the base engine feels sufficient and torque. Yes, there is some unavoidable turbo lag when you are caught in traffic and moving off, but once in its wake, it shines through. 0-100kmph comes up in 5.2 seconds but the Boxster is not about straight line performance. This is a car for the windy bits of roads. You’d struggle to find a better handling car at this price point than the Boxster. There is so much grip and balance through the corners you’d be focussing on correcting your line further and braking later for the next one. There is ample grunt to push you through after each corner and enough give in the chassis to be playful with the car. The new steering is even sharper and thanks to the weight savings, the car feels more eager to change directions than ever before. The bigger brakes are borrowed from the earlier S models (the S now

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It is as much fun driving this thing as it is to park it by the side of the road and enjoy its looks. It is also a time when you can reflect on how much of a car it is for the price. It is one of the best driver’s car in the country and also among the best looking.

gets ones from the 911) and have much better bite, giving you tonnes of confidence at speeds. Driving with the top down makes it even better. As in any convertible, the gush of wind heightens the sensation of speed and you’d never be left wanting for more power. In the Boxster however, it makes you feel more connected to the road and yearns you to drive even faster. You are much more aware of the surroundings and that adds to the overall experience. You can also hear more of the engine which pops and crackles on the overrun adding to the drama of the already

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purposeful flat four note. The 2.5 litre motor with its 350bhp and 420Nm will be even more mental, but Porsche won’t be offering that here initially. It is as much fun driving this thing as it is to park it by the side of the road and enjoy its looks. It is also a time when you can reflect on how much of a car it is for the price. It is one of the best driver’s car in the country and also among the best looking. The car is an eye ball magnet especially in this Guards Red flavour. Yes, cars like the Mustang offer more size and a big V8 engine around the

same price but lacks the dynamics, performance, badge value and perfection this one has. The Boxster is targeted at a different class of buyer, one with finesse and possesses better driving skills. It is about the right size and so easy to drive on narrow roads. The Boxster is also more practical than you think, with its hood and boot, both offering sufficient cargo space. With the smaller engine, it is more efficient and thanks to the lower imports structure, it is a better value than ever. With ex.showroom prices starting around Rs.85 lakhs, you can’t do better than a 718 


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MOVIE REVIEW

Logan

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t is the latest film of the ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine Film Series’. It is an action as well as fantasy drama. The story of the film revolves around Logan’s attempt to hide Professor X and the arrival of a new young mutant. The film is directed by James Mangold. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart appear in the film as the wolverine and professor respectively. Apart from them, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Richard E Grand act in it in the prominent roles. It is one of the big budget action films so it has cost around 127 million US dollars to complete the film. From the preliminary information, this film is also receiving good response from the audience just like its predecessors.

Kong: Skull Island

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t is a fantasy as well as action film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The film takes you to a mysterious island where a giant ape along with some mysterious creatures lives. The story revolves around the expedition of a group of adventures into this mysterious homeland of ape. There are several mind-blowing action sequences in the film. It is the latest of the Monster Verse film series. Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman and John C Reilly act in the lead roles. If you love to watch an exciting drama, you can buy tickets for this. The only issue is that in some scenes you may feel that you are watching the latest series of Jurassic Park. Anyway, it has been given a high rating.

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Commando 2: The Black Money Trail

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t is an action as well as crime thriller directed by Devan Bhojani. The story revolves around a notorious black money agent. When this notorious agent gets arrested in Malaysia, a team of four specially trained persons is being sent to bring him back. There are several twists and turns in the story. But, it is attractive enough to catch your attention. Vidyut Jammwal appears in the lead role. With this film, he has established an unbreakable image of an action hero in the Bollywood industry. Adah Sharma, Esha Gupta, Freddy Daruwala and Adil are the main actors of the film. If you love action films, it will be one of the best choices this month.

Rangoon

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t is a romantic as well as action drama directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The film revolves around a Bollywood actress, her mentor and a soldier. It takes you to the year of turmoil in the Indian history: 1944. Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor, and Saif Ali Khan appear in the lead roles. These three mesmerising actors have shown complete justice to their characters. There are several emotional sequences in the film. The KanganaShahid pair is likely to become the lucky pair of the industry in the near future. Their chemistry is worth appreciable. In this film, there are few amazing songs which synchronise aptly with the mood of the sequences. Pankaj Kumar did an amazing job as the cinematographer of the film.

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BOOK REVIEW

The Refugees Author Price

: Viet Thanh Nguyen : $16.51 (approximately)

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t is the latest book from the writer of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Sympathizerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; who received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Through his new novel, he gives voice to several muted personalities living in the US. The writer, who is a Vietnamese by birth, came to the US as a refugee in the wake of the Vietnam War, perfectly represents an oppressed section. Honestly, it is much better to hear the Vietnamese version of the fatal war and the other events, related to war such as the mass exodus searching for the livelihood and peace, than the US version. Those people who left their identity behind definitely had great respect for their parent country; but, how they see the adopted land? The stories mostly discuss immigration and identity, even though there are subjects like love, family, and society in it.

Pachinko Author Price

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: Min Jin Lee : $17.87

he story speaks about the discrimination faced by the Korean immigrants in Japan during the 1900s. It is one of the less discussed chapters in the Japanese-Korean history as it is a very sensitive subject. Even though the writer begins the story with a sad situation, towards its end he depicts the triumph of the lead characters fighting all odds. It is not a conventional novel. There is something in it makes it exceptional. In some sections, there are clear descriptions about the discrimination practices which prevailed in the old Japanese society against Koreans. The novel is likely to invite some strong flak from the adherent Japanese citizens for that reason.

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BOOK REVIEW

Age of Anger: A History of the Present Author Price

: Pankaj Mishra : $14.44 (approximately)

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he book extensively discusses the present political situation of our world. As we all know, the world is now filled with angry young souls. This fact reflects in each and every political event which has occurred in the recent times. Either be it the emergence of the Islamic State or, more recently, it be the victory of Donald Trump, the angry youth have made that happen. The writer tries to prove that an unconventional culture of paranoid hatred existing in our society. To explain this, he takes us towards the eighteenth century and allows us to come forward slowly analysing all events that needed a second look more closely. He does some excellent connections and comparison between events. It is an extraordinary political work and it deserves genuine appreciation..

Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s War: His Battle for America Author Price

: Michael Savage : $17.70

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he author was a frontline fighter of the conservative revolution that changed the picture of the US, in fact the whole world. Importantly, he was instrumental in electing Donald Trump as the new supremo of the US. Indeed, Trump shares similar views with the author in several issues including border control, and nationalism. In the book, the writer discusses several crucial topics like Mexican wall, new tax system, deportation, Obamacare, military, gun law, abortion, school and religion. The writer also evaluates the initial days of the Trump administration, particularly his appointments, speeches and tweets. It indirectly answers two most common questions: what will the new supremo do and where is he leading us to.

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Printed On 01/ 03/ 2017

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