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All That Glitters

Commonwealth Games 2010As I sat down to pen my thoughts on the just concluded Common Wealth Games(CWG) held in Delhi, India, I did not know which route I wanted to take- whether to write only a scathing account of the blatant corruption that came to light in front  of the whole wide world or whether to celebrate and bask in the glittering haul of 101 medals by the Indian athletes.

Well, always simplify things is what I have been told by a few wise people. So, here are the bloopers and the genuinely joyous moments of CWG 2010 for me.
Lets begin with the bloopers-
Kalmadi and Co made a mockery of the Indian public and continue to deny mismanagement of funds....YAWN.....really?
Does Kalmadi need a slap on his wrist from Sonia?......another yawn......
So, how do the bigwigs in Delhi punish Kalmadi? They don't invite him for a meet with Sonia and all the medal winners....ooohhh that is SOME punishment don't you think? While the common man is supposed to think that Kalmadi has been dealt with, he is laughing all the way to his Swiss bank! Probably in his newly acquired jet plane...of course the way in which he bought his plane is completely shrouded in mystery. There are probably no records of a sale either!
An over-bridge collapsed, a ceiling collapsed, the athletes Village was not ready and the Honorable Ms. Dikshit had to finally intervene. After all she has been the Chief Minister of Delhi for the past 3 terms and her Delhi was in jeopardy of losing face in front of the whole world. All this while Kalmadi was conspiring to buy the most expensive treadmill- one million rupees. Hmm.....very interesting.
So, what can the common man do about this? Nothing, especially if you are in India. You just roll with it. While TV channels were gleefully trying to unearth the shady deals that he was making, Kalmadi had the audacity to say that India had a very good chance of winning the bid and hosting the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.....WHA.....T?? Public memory is very short, atleast it has been in the past. Kalmadi will be given a spanking, his name may be withdrawn from a few unimportant committees.....he will lay low for a few months and lo behold! everything will be forgotten. I would love it if proven wrong.
Enough of the bloopers. Lets get on with some serious bling stuff.
38 Golds, 27 Silver and 36 Bronze to give us a heart warming tally of 101 medals. India surpassed herself from 2002 CWG where she came off with 30 Gold medals and a total tally of 68 medals. Serious stuff people!
Before I single in on the individual performances, a mention has to be made of the Opening ceremony-rich and glittering, culture and tradition soaked giving the world a glimpse of the magic of India! Right from Oscar winning composer A.R Rahman to Little Tabla-maestro-in-the-making, Keshav ( am I correct in thinking that Keshav is little Zakir Hussain in the making? Especially his wavy locks and disarming smile other than the brilliance of playing Tabla, of course ?) to our young dancers who performed various traditional dances and the Yoga asanas to the dazzling display of fireworks. To sum it all in one word-BREATHTAKING.
Moving on to our athletes, what a performance! Our shooters, shuttlers, pugilists, wrestlers, table tennis players, tennis players....all of them gave a most heartening display of their sport to win laurels for the country.
Saina Nehwal deserves every single bit of the attention she has been gaining. She has successfully managed to come out of the shadow of fellow Hyderabadi, Sania Mirza-Malik. Serious sponsors need to be knocking furiously at her door. Jwala Gutta, after being in the news for all the wrong reasons (she is rumored to be having an affair with none other than Azharuddin, former Indian Cricket team captain) finally had a reason to smile when she won the Gold in the Women's doubles badminton.
Kudos to Sania too, for winning Silver in tennis. Another Hyderabadi making headlines with his rifle was Gagan Narang.This handsome lad has been among the medals in the World Cup finals and finally got his due when he pipped the elite Abhinav Bindra to win gold.   What a mouth watering match-up it was in the 10m air rifle finals when Narang took on Bindra and won! More misty-eyed gesture was when Narang received a warm hug from the normally reserved, aloof Bindra.....way to go. 
Also very heartening was to watch the Indian Men's Hockey team winning the Silver medal, it's first ever in the CWG. Never mind that their coach, Jose Brasa, was not invited along with the team to meet with Manmohan Singh(Prime Minister of India) after the games concluded. Don't ask me the reason. I know why but it is not even worth the trouble understanding it.
Also a worthy winner was Krishna Poonia. She won the Gold in the woman's discus throw. A rather sour gauntlet was thrown at Krishna when, out of the blue, the Aussie Dani has challenged her to a contest where the winner walks away with a cool $20,000! I say, Krishna- GO FOR IT! Even if the contest is to be held in Oz land, go for it, you have nothing to lose. But Dani sure is funny. You are a no-show at the Games and now you challenge the Gold medalist to a private duel in your homeland........ok, if that's what you want. Next time try to show up for the actual competition.
I have a very healthy respect for all the other medal winners that I have not mentioned by name in my article. You guys rock because you win medals despite the poor grants, poor training facilities, lack of sponsors and of course the politics involved.
A lot of top athletes from different countries chose to give CWG 2010 a miss......a lot of reasons floated around, health scare, security worries, blah blah......I don't really blame them you know. 
To sum it all up- Great show Indian athletes, keep up the momentum for the Asian Games and of course the 2012 Olympics in London. The Indian public is hungry for more gold medals. As for the head honchos of the CWG Organizing Committee? Now now........

All That Glitters

Vocations - French teacher and translator

French teacherI am a French teacher and a translator. It’s the most satisfying and gratifying activity ever for me. If you are wondering why I call it an ‘Activity’ rather than work, that’s because I love it and enjoy it tremendously.  I get to meet and teach eager and enthusiastic students who want to learn a foreign language. Well, what better language than French....so exotic, vibrant...far fetched!  Every day I learn something new from their experiences and relive mine while I teach.

 These days learning a foreign language is quite in! It’s useful when you travel, or just as an added qualification or just to compliment your current profession. Whatever the reason, it definitely is considered cool. Then again, if you are really very passionate about it, you can choose to make foreign languages your career. One can teach, translate, interpret, write books, as well as work in various embassies, multinationals, IT companies, global cultural organizations, and in travel/tourism, hospitality industry. The scope is unlimited.

 Being a multi lingual country, Indians have a natural flair for learning new languages. During my 11th standard, I opted for French as my second language. I was really thrilled after my first class and decided to excel in this language. I also joined a Japanese language class. I was thoroughly enjoying both languages, but a career in languages was totally unimaginable. To meet my parents’ expectations, I enrolled myself for Company Secretary (CS). However, managing all that was very tough. I was in no way ready to sacrifice French and eventually gave up CS studies and Japanese, My parents were supportive of my decision and encouraged me to continue with French.

 I started teaching French from my First Year of bachelors in Commerce, starting with 2 students and reaching to about 50 by the time I completed my graduation. I was very motivated to pursue my Masters in French, and so I completed my MA in French Translation. During my first year of MA, I got an offer to teach at an institute for Marine Engineers. This was a very lucrative job as was teaching at Alliance Francaise. I also undertook some translation assignments from time to time. Currently, I am planning to pursue my PHD in French. This will open up exciting new horizons for me, like teaching at a University, supervising Researchers and teaching in schools.

 While learning languages like French, one can get various scholarships. For example, when I was pursuing my MA, I got a scholarship and assistantship in France which included a 1 year stay, teaching English to French kids and learning French there. Since I was a student Ambassador representing University of Pune, everything was paid for by the French Embassy in addition to scholarship money every month. That one year awarded me with a lifetime of experience and some unforgettable memories. Many universities around the world teaching foreign languages have such scholarship programs.

 There is one thing I regret - I should have continued with Japanese. Well, I hope to take it up again and learn more languages. That’s probably the best thing about learning languages. You are never too old or young to learn them and to make a career out of it!



Vocations - French teacher and translator

Vocations - Media Marketing

Media MarketingMedia marketing is one of the sunrise career options that have emerged in the last decade. With the explosion in the availability and consumption of media, the resultant clutter has given rise to a predominant hotbed of activity especially in the marketing field, to create unique positioning spaces for each medium. For example, TV shows get treated as a product, so do movie releases, albeit with a very short life cycle span.

 

A typical media marketing portfolio encompasses creating branding matrices for brand and image management of AV media (movies, TV shows, websites, mobile content), promotional activities across media to enable brand connect with the desired target audience and measuring the ROI at the end of each activity to enhance learning.

 

My journey into the world of media marketing began with my MBA in marketing and the eventual campus placement into a research agency (another path, apart from a direct recruitment into product marketing is via the advertising agency route). On the educational front, any institute offering BMS and later an MBA stands you in good stead (ideally opt for the top fifteen).

 

My own preference would be to spend the formative career years in a service agency to gain value across a plethora of serviced brands/industries, which stands you in good stead while handling an individual portfolio later on. It also helps understand the client and consumer insights much better, than being with a focused product at the very outset.

 

After my market research stint, I moved to movie marketing and then to TV marketing. Exciting times - fueled by tonnes of caffeine driven days, impossible deadlines, exciting ideas, innovations and awards and loads of coordination between functional teams for the best brand benefit.

 

 Also, another important mainstay was entering into alliances with complementary product owners to create win-win situations without having to spend too much marketing monies (budgets are almost always a constraint - regardless of INR 300,000 or INR 300,000,000! An example: The promotional campaign for the India release of the movie Toy Story 2. A relatively small marketing budget was shored up by massive support from McDonalds and Coca Cola. The Happy Meal toys sold out in week 3, the movie got fantastic mileage helped along by the local coke promotions with the characters.

 

One challenge is that the function is a bit nebulous at times, so one has to work hard at finding a method to the madness, to set meaningful systems and processes in place and to also get people to adopt these.

 

However, this is offset by the pace and excitement of constant innovation, adaptation to rapidly changing environments (especially in the mobile data domain), flexibility, freedom, networking and a free hand at creativity

 

It is important to not get into it with great expectations. Also, one must be passionate about the chosen medium, be it TV, movies, internet, mobile, print, radio, etc. If you go with the flow and with dedication, it is a highly rewarding industry – for personal growth and for the career graph

 

Overall, it’s a young and extremely dynamic industry. Also, with the advent of newer media, the industry always evolves enough to create new spaces for learning and exploration

 

Supriya B

Head Marketing - Cinemax theatres

www.cinemax.co.in

Vocations - Media Marketing

Agent Ash

Agent Ash

Its a typical day in the big city for our fun loving, city gal. She maneuvers the crazy chaos to settle herself in the comfy office chair. There she writes passionately all day long to make a living. Good food, movies and music are always on her mind! Bitten by the travel bug, she dreams of visiting places far and wide!

Then......dusk settles in. Millions of shimmering lights come on, magically transforming the landscape. Something else has also changed.....where is our ‘Pukka Mumbaiyya’?

She is smart, she is sassy and she is on a mission. She blends in with the happening crowd but she also stands out. Will she find a good catch today? Will there be a good story tomorrow?

What's the scoop Agent Ash?

Agent Ash brings to you original, unpublished stories, and a unique insight into Bollywood that has never been seen before.




Agent Ash

Spicy Fall Table Decor

The autumn is finally here. Its time for sunny and rainy days ..cool evenings and shorter days... crimson leaves falling on the ground.... crisp air!!! It's time to celebrate fall/autumn season!!!! I decided to make this fall table decor with down to earth, natural accessories with some things which I feel describe the fall season...

 

This is a table for two. I love to do table decor and arrangement for me and my husband .Its fun and adds spice to everyday life. It makes regular and sometimes stressful days very special!! I used wood, cork and spices to decorate this fall themed table. The highlight of the autumn season is the changing of color of leaves. Some lucky people get to see splendid shades and colors of the leaves in their region. I see more of crunchy brown and some red leaves floating down and the intricate structure of the trees left bare and naked by the leaves. The crunchy leaves make a lovely sound when we walk on it!!! I really like it!! That is why I had the major color of the table decor as brown!!

 

The centerpiece is made of pinecones. I I love to collect pine cones from our walks and strolls. I placed a medium sized pine cones in terracotta pots, added some flowers and kept them in rattan tray with a scented candle!!

 

A close up of the Swiss dancing couple in their traditional clothes. It is a Schweizer Heimatwerk (Swiss handicraft) product, hand carved from wood. It inot one piece. The lady can move round and I can arrange them in other dance poses as well. A special gift from my husband!!!

 

I really like star anise spice. It looks so pretty. I arranged 4 star anise around the Japanese bowls and placed flowers in the soup spoon, lavender for him and yellow for me!!

 

Browns and reds are the two main colors of fall. Though I must admit I see more browns than reds. Exactly in the proportion of red color in my table décor :) I tied a red napkin and 2 cinnamon sticks with a white ribbon. Red color and cinnamon sticks give a festive effect. This could be perfect idea for Christmas as well!!

 

 

 

 

The coasters are from Malaysia and have a beautiful design on them and a rattan border to them. I used cork as wine glass coaster. I am planning to paint on them some day when I get time. On the other side I placed Balinese dolphin wood carvings.

 

So that’s my spicy fall table inspired by nature and the season’s colors and charm!! I recently saw pumpkins in the market. I want to do an orange decor next!!!

 

 

Purnima is a fun loving, laid back person who writes a creative Blog to document, share and inspire others. She posts her creative projects, tutorials, table decor and travel stories on her Blog @ http://acreativeproject.blogspot.com

 

Spicy Fall Table Decor

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