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ANUSHKA’S MESSAGE TO NEW PARENTS PRIYANKA-NICK

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 A few days after Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas announced the birth of their baby, actor Anushka Sharma, on Wednesday, penned a cute wish for the new parents in town.

“Congratulations Priyanka and Nick. Get ready for sleepless nights and unparallel joy and love. Lots of love to the little one,” Anushka, the mother to one-year-old Vamika, wrote on her Instagram Story.

For the unversed, Priyanka and Nick welcomed their first child via surrogacy.

In a joint statement, the star couple had written, “We are overjoyed to confirm that we have welcomed a baby via surrogate. We respectfully ask for privacy during this special time as we focus on our family. Thank you so much.”

The couple refrained from revealing the gender of their child but several reports state that Priyanka and Nick have become proud parents to a baby girl. 

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YOUNG TALENT GETS ITS MOMENT

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The sheer level of talent displayed by the younger generation never ceases to amaze. Not only are they comfortable with the innermost workings of technology, but they also have the confidence to use its immense reach to share their talent with the world. This is certainly true in the case of 14-year-old trisha, who recently released her first single ‘i’m tired’. This teenager knows her mind, as is evident from her categorical assertion that her name and the name of her song be written in small letters. She also sings her mind through her first-ever meditative acoustic ballad which released on 20 May.

“I wrote this song in 2021 when I was in a very bad place emotionally. Every day seemed so monotonous, and it was driving me crazy as there was nobody who seemed to understand what I was feeling. I pictured these fantasies in my head that described what I felt, and wrote a song about it. Fantasies were my way of escaping from the world. Then I compiled these thoughts into an original song of my own,” says the young artist.

Having been trained under an esteemed Nigerian pop artist Asari commonly known as Jazzsari, trisha is also a student of Hindustani and western classical vocal training. Her strength lies in her versatility as she composes, records, mixes and masters her numbers herself at her home studio. She has also been trained for piano and western vocals at Performance Collective School, Gurugram. She cleared Grade 4 piano with distinction from the Rock School of Music, UK (RSL) and Grade 2 vocals at the Trinity College Curriculum, UK.

Speaking about ‘i’m tired’, she says, “Last year, my mom asked me to write a song for her birthday, as till then I was mostly doing covers. I had never done this before and was quite excited to take on the challenge. The idea came from how I felt at the time. I was honestly very burnt out from the monotony of life and very ‘tired.’ I wanted to be true to my feelings. My experience of recording it was a lot of fun, although I took my time to decide the sound I wanted, even though it meant recording over and over again. Not sure if the experience was fun for the recording engineer!”

Born in Dubai, and raised in Africa, USA, and now Chennai, trisha has had an interesting upbringing. She credits her African music teacher Asari for teaching her many techniques that improved her range and tone. While in Africa, she also sang with a band on the weekends, which helped her improve her live performance skills.

Despite her confidence, trisha has her head firmly on her shoulders. She shares with candour, “I would consider having made a break once I hit a million streams on Spotify with any of my songs. Until then, I am just evolving. Honestly, these days distributing music is a lot easier because of digital streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music etc. But the fact that your music is likely played alongside Billie Eilish or Ariana Grande means that the production must be of top-notch quality. Hence, we need to find the right producers who can match the sounds you’re looking for, and we also need ample budgets!”

The song is accompanied by a lyric only video, which trisha was closely involved with the making of. Through her mother, she contacted a few lyric video artists online and found one who understood the concept she had envisioned. She has two upcoming songs, very personal with a different flavour, that she believes are a step up from ‘i’m tired’.

The talented young singer signs off with, “I am currently taking a course on songwriting with Berklee College of Music, which is helping me improve my songwriting quality! As I’m just entering Grade 9 at school, I can see that juggling schoolwork and making music is going to be a challenge, but I hope to continue to manage both aspects well and put out more songs.” With her confidence and skill set, trisha is surely one to watch for.

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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‘ESOTERIC CONSCIENCE’ BY DAHLIA AGGARWAL EXPLORES THE MYSTICISM OF SHAPES

The show will focus on Aggarwal’s study of the spiritual meanings of shapes. It has been curated by Jitendra Padam Jain, who has selected works from the artist’s oeuvre that best represent her unending passion for the divine.

Noor Anand Chawla

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Another week brings another promising art event in its wake. This time, the city of Delhi welcomes artist Dahlia Aggarwal who will be showcasing her solo exhibition of paintings called ‘Esoteric Conscience’ at Galerie Romain Rolland, Alliance Francaise de Delhi from 28 to 31 May. The show is presented by Gallery Sree Arts and will focus on Aggarwal’s study of the spiritual meanings of shapes. It has been curated by Jitendra Padam Jain, who has selected works from the artist’s oeuvre that best represent her unending passion for the divine.

Painting by Dahlia Aggarwal.Dahlia Aggarwal and Jitendra Padam Jain.

Painting by Dahlia.Another artwork of Dahlia.

Jain is the founder of Gallery Sree Arts and JJ Sanskriti School of Visual Arts, Gurugram. He is an artist and curator of renown, as well as an avid art collector and gallerist. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. Having witnessed the struggle of young artists at a personal level, he decided to support talent under the Gallery Sree Arts banner.

Aggarwal was trained as a digital designer with a focus on mathematics and analogues. Hence, her body of work contains symmetry that represents mystical concepts, where sacred geometry acts as an antidote to the harshness and noise of the world. She says, “I was acquainted with art at a very young age by my mother, who is the most creative soul I know. Throughout my schooling, I met many wonderful teachers and individuals who encouraged my talent and gave me significant opportunities to hone my skills. I would say that most of my art education took place while I was preparing for art competitions. However, I was also equally intrigued by math and computer science. Eventually, I went to the US for my undergraduate education where I pursued a B.Sc. in Informatics with a specialisation in HCID (Human Computer Interaction Design) from Indiana University, Bloomington. Even though my curiosity led me to explore and experiment with diverse career opportunities from computer science to designing, creativity and art persisted as influences in all my experiences. So, I returned home and after a short stint at a design firm, set up my art studio here in New Delhi.”

Jain felt drawn to Aggarwal’s evocative artworks. He says, “Her pieces incorporate the study of the spiritual meanings of shapes. Art and spirituality have always had a close relationship. Sacred geometry espouses the idea that everything is connected and that patterns are prevalent everywhere in nature. The use of such patterns in art goes back at least 4,000 years and it was believed such forms helped connect people to the transcendent and eternal realm. Dahlia’s artistic expressions also build on the relationship between spirituality and healing.”

Aggarwal adds that art is a cathartic process that is enabled through empathy, iteration, and dialogue. Colours, textures, shapes, and patterns have a subtle and subconscious effect on our mind and body, shaping our feelings and emotions. Some basic shapes and patterns are present around us at all times, especially in nature and architecture. It was her search for the origin and meaning behind these shapes that led her to the mystical world of sacred geometry. Once she was in it, there was no turning back. This exhibition is inspired by her trysts with sacred geometry.

“Owing to my background in interaction design, the study of how people connect with and experience design has always fascinated me. When I started working on this collection, I knew I wanted to create art that allowed the viewer to have an experience which was unique to them and their story. An esoteric conversation, so to speak. I believe art is an esoteric space—it’s beyond form, beyond convention, and beyond limitation. I do not want to confine my art to any one thing or one feeling,” explains Aggarwal.

As this was Jain’s first foray into the sphere of sacred geometry, he found the experience quite challenging initially. Yet, after working with Aggarwal on it, he began to thoroughly enjoy it. For Aggarwal too, the experience was an intense one of self-discovery and learning. She credits Jain as being a great mentor to her through this time and she hopes to continue her research on sacred geometry while experimenting with texture, form, and mediums.

Next on the cards for Jain is a coffee table art book showcasing artists from around the world. He highlights, “The gallery has invested a lot into promoting the works of emerging and contemporary artists. I judge an artist’s works based on their concept, creativity, and passion toward art. Some artists are not trained yet, but their brilliant ideas and creativity shine through. Fortunately, art is no longer restricted to painting on traditional mediums—from paper to canvas, architecture to computers, it is all around us, and takes many forms today. I just love this energy in contemporary art.”

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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The Singer’s Block

Nithya Rajendran

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I sat today with my electronic Taanpura and Swarmandal, both Indian classical instruments used to accompany vocal music, for my vocal Riyaaz, or practice. Riyaaz is the life breath of every singer, the fuel that keeps the singing going effortlessly. It is more than just practice. It is a philosophy in itself. It is this truth that has often caused agony and conflict inside me. Because of the revered position Riyaaz has in our lives as musicians, I have struggled many times when I have not found myself inspired to do it. At such times, it has been with humongous willpower and plodding that I have been able to muster up the will to sit for Riyaaz. It was and continues to cause a lot of guilt and distress in me, and I thought one way to resolve this would be to actually write my way into understanding what I have now come to call The Singers Block.

Pandit Jasraj with a swarmandal

One of the cues I am tempted to use to understand some of the mechanisms behind the Singers Block, is from the experiences of my students. I was sitting a few days ago with one of my students for her session, and asked her whether she had been practicing for the major annual concert event of my venture Music Vruksh. She said that she hadn’t, and had been feeling paralyzed to do it.

Since this sounded a bit similar to my experience, I probed and asked her why. She said that she felt embarrassed when she sat down to sing, because she could see her ‘mistakes’ and not tolerate hearing them.

I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to understand the feelings behind the inability to tolerate mistakes. After much discussion, we understood the immense demands the lady was placing on her music to validate her and make her feel good about herself. The reason she could not tolerate her mistakes was that everytime she made a mistake, she felt someone was judging her and ridiculing her. This was the reason for her paralysis. This is why she couldn’t sit down to do Riyaaz. She had made her music her judge, which was passing a verdict on who she was as a person. This incident brought me back to my own singers block and made me reflect. Did I have unreasonable expectations from my music? Why were my achievements in two deep forms of classical music not enough to make me feel secure and validated already?

Why was I afraid to sing? Was it because I feared that I might not be as good as I could be? Why was so much of my ego in my music? What would happen if I were to engage in music for music’s own sake, and leave my identity and its shadow out of it? For the first time, I dared to wonder.

Interestingly, this does not happen just with musicians. I have seen it happen often in people from almost all professions. There are times when we allow too much of ourselves to come in the way of what we do and how we do it. The sense of ownership moves beyond being just a healthy ability to take responsibility and onus for the work, to making our work our only source of validation.

I would assume therefore that many of the struggles workaholics have, are to do with work fulfilling a personal craving or need. They could either be trying to get away from something, or attempting to court power, wealth or adulation through the work they do to compensate for some other unmet need. I have come to realize that if we expect validation from our work as a prerequisite to doing our work, we are bound to hit a point of frustration; a block that does not allow work to progress.

The validation and recognition should be enjoyed as happy by-products of work done happily and well, rather than something that we feel entitled to. If we can transform our need for validation to a need to see our work done well, and cultivate the habit of feeling fulfilled and happy at doing our work with commitment and honesty; validation, recognition and monetary success usually follow.

There are then fewer chances of a block derailing us. But like with any skill, this is something we need to actively work on. This new habit of taking pleasure in just doing something well needs to be actively and consciously nurtured and cultivated.

As for my Riyaaz, this article I’ve written today hopefully will drive my Singer’s Block away as I resolve to sit with my Riyaaz for many upcoming events.

The writer is a vocalist of both Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music, with over three decades’ experience. She is also the founder of Music Vruksh, a venture to make classical accessible for its aesthetic and wellness benefits.

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WHY HYBRID EVENTS ARE THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY

Noor Anand Chawla

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Despite it being the hottest month of the year and Delhi suffering a heat wave, this May has been choc-a-block full of events. The month began with the India Art Fair, which ended on May 1, but continued through its many parallel exhibits at different art galleries and public spaces. It almost immediately gave way to the India Design 2022 ID which concluded last weekend. These were largescale trade fairs open to public on the purchase of a ticket, and the tremendous crowds that thronged both of them, displayed the extent to which people craved the physicality of events. However, these major events were not the only ones taking place in Delhi – many smaller events are also being organised across the industries of food, travel, education, fashion, and hospitality. As an independent journalist I am invited to many of these, and this has given me the opportunity to observe these events up close and take note of a few things.

Firstly, it is delightful to see the events industry up and running once again, after a couple of very difficult years. Secondly, there is an amazing wealth of detail going into the curation of every event. The third and most prominent change that I have noticed in the events industry is the widespread adoption of technology leading to all events being hybrid in some way or another.

Even though we complain about the online medium, there is no denying that it has many factors working in its favour. It allowed us to function even while we were stuck at home under lockdown, it kept us sane by connecting us with loved ones in tough times, and most importantly, it allowed us to reach parts of the world we found difficult to access easily earlier. Keeping these advantages in mind – especially the increase in reach – the switch to a hybrid format for events makes complete sense. However, not every event company has the capability of successfully adopting this medium. One company that stands out in this regard is Delhi-NCR based ShowCase Events. Founded by Nanni Singh in the year 2018, the company had made itself known in the space of cultural events pre-pandemic. Once Covid struck, their operations shut down for a while, but they took the opportunity to reinvent themselves by turning to digital events. Now, with everything opening up, they have become experts at conducting hybrid events.

“For hybrid events, we need a great sync between the on-ground team and the 2D or 3D platform. We also need great internet bandwidth for the streaming and a good sound set-up. Things like video mixers and switchers are very important. Cameras have to be placed all over and the event management team has to be focussed so they can keep switching between the on-ground live requirements and the virtual field. Ultimately, great communication and coordination is required. I think this is why we stand apart from our competitors in this field – it is because we have good experience of conducting hybrid events and a well-oiled team that works beautifully together. We make the entire procedure very user-friendly which is why almost all our clients come back to us for more events,” explains Naina Kukreja, Head of Events at ShowCase Events.

The USP of ShowCase Events is certainly their ability to create customised experiences on any platform – whether it is on-ground, virtual or hybrid. Kukreja shares, “We hand hold people through every step – the size of the event doesn’t matter. We give it a personal touch and believe in delivering quality. Plus, we create an entire social media marketing campaign for them with every event and they really appreciate the results of that.” With an impressive list of hybrid events in their kitty including convocation ceremonies, medical events, tributes to musical stalwarts like Lata Mangeshkar and Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma where they gather the biggest names of the music industry, exclusive private events at embassies and hotels, and a host of others; it is clear that ShowCase Events is the foremost name in the hybrid events space. This is a wonderful thing, as the future of this industry relies almost certainly on the capability of events to be hybrid in nature.

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for her various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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NERO ART HUB PRESENTS URBAN MYTHS GROUP SHOW

Urban Myths is a group exhibition that brings together artists from diverse backgrounds who respond to the concept of urban myths in the present era of modern life while revisiting their roots in their unique visual language.

Noor Anand Chawla

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If the heat of Delhi’s summer is getting to you, an easy way to beat it is by visiting beautiful exhibits in the capital city showcasing the best of artistic works. One such is the exhibition curated by Nero Art Hub set to take place at Bikaner House from May 21-26 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This group show of paintings titled ‘Urban Myths’ has been curated by Ranbir Rathi, and the artists whose works are on display include Ashok Bhowmick, Akshay Sakla, Dharmendra Rathore, Tapan Dash, Ranveer Rao, Ranjith Raghupathy, Rajesh K Baderia, Sanu Ramakrishnan, Sejal Patra, Satadru Sovan, Sanjay Sawant, Sweety Joshi, Komakula Rajasekhar, Mahavir Verma, and Ranjan Kau.

Ranbir RathiRanjan Kaul artwork.Tapan Das artwork.

Ranjith Raghupath artwork

Rathi puts it in simple words, “I am organizing this show in Bikaner House because I feel this is a great platform to showcase our art work to a larger audience and art enthusiasts. It is a cultural hub and this venue is known for promoting art and other cultural activities. I have always been fascinated by Bikaner House because of its unique aesthetic and the large space it provides, allowing us to do justice to the artists and their work. Bikaner House for me is a bubbling cultural hub. Its beautiful ballrooms and its history of stunning exhibits of art make it even more appealing to me. As leading galleries from the country such as Vadehra and Nature Morte have used this space earlier, this is the next big step for Nero and we are so glad to be part of this larger platform.”

Urban Myths is a group exhibition that brings together artists from diverse backgrounds who respond to the concept of urban myths in the present era of modern life while revisiting their roots in their unique visual language. Literally translated, myths are traditional narratives concerning the early history of people, usually of unknown origin, often related to religious beliefs and superstitions based on real events that transmute over time into stories down the ages. As people migrate to towns and cities in search of livelihoods, they carry with them ancient stories of their rural settings.

“On display are the works of a balanced mix of senior and emerging artists who offer an evocative panorama of individualized figurative and semi-abstract forms, using varying innovative techniques, experimentation, and expressive textures – cross-hatching, exaggerated detailing, thick brushstrokes, vibrant, unreal colours, and works that move out of the confines of a well-defined space,” explains Rathi.

As a curator based in New Delhi, who was born and raised in Kashmir, Rathi has been in this field for the past 12 years. She is a graduate of Delhi University in History and Arts and a Post Graduate in Public Relations. Rathi also pursued a degree in Fashion Design at the Delhi Polytechnic College. She started her career by working on her family business in the security industry as the managing Director of Fox Hunters Security Pvt Ltd. but later reconnected to her love and passion for art by launching Nero Art Hub in 2018 with the hope of bringing art to the masses.

At her previous exhibition ‘Withering Wings’, Rathi felt the theme was incomplete as it did not cover urban lifestyle and pertinent issues like people migrating from towns and small cities to metropolitan ones. She wanted to show this theme in a broader way to a larger audience focussing on the realities of everyday life. This is also why she chose to display work from different cities to explore the varied realities of modern living, sample people’s myriad beliefs, and hear their stories according to diverse geographical backgrounds and myths.

“I wanted to bring emerging artists and renowned artists together from different parts of India under one roof on the same platform. I’m so grateful that after two years we are able to do this physical exhibition in a broader way with a group of artists. Since our theme is ‘Urban Myths’, we started looking at profiles and artworks of artists from different regions. We asked many artists to send the full profile of their artworks related to this theme and with our team we evaluated each and every art work,” shares Rathi.

It took her nearly two months to plan and execute this display of 30 to 35 artworks. Next, she is in the process of exploring the NFT space. She says she still has a lot to learn as the ecosystem is still in the initial stages of development. “I would definitely like to find new ways to work with the associated artists at Nero in the space next. Nero’s vision is to bring Indian art to the global platform. There is a certain stereotypical perception about Indian art in the international market as they are unaware of the diversity of work that exists in the country. I want to create a space for Indian art in the international market, especially for emerging artists. New York and Singapore are two places that are on my radar for now,” she says, signing off.

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for her various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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Five Top Benefits of Buying Moissanite Jewelry

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Moissanite jewelry has continued to become famous. If you love quality jewelry pieces, you must be aware of the many advantages, and impact diamond has in this industry. Diamond is an expensive gemstone. It’s rare and exists in small quantities. However, moissanite is a similar gemstone to a diamond. But, although moissanite is close to the diamond, they are not the same. It is a synthetic gemstone but with high durability and hardness features. There are many advantages of buying jewelry designed with this gemstone. 

One distinct difference between these two gemstones is that diamonds are obtained through mining from the earth. However, moissanite stones are artificial. However, these two gemstones have many similarities, although moissanite has many distinct characteristics and is much better than diamond. It has carbon and silicon carbide. These elements are also common in all the other gemstones, including ruby, emerald, sapphire, etc. But, although the other gemstones are natural, moissanite is artificial, hence manually manufactured through different methods. This gemstone is transparent, has consistent color, and does not have impurities. Wondering if you could wear your Moissanite earringsBelow are the incredible benefits that this gemstone has to offer. 

Durable 

Jewelry designed with moissanite is strong and highly durable. They are resistant to scratches and abrasion. Although diamond is considered more robust than this gemstone, moissanite offers similar durability features. In addition, this gemstone does not break or chip easily, hence makes the best option for your everyday wear. 

Easy to clean and maintain 

Once you own a diamond, you know it is not easy to clean or maintain. This is because it gets dirty quickly. When you sweat, the diamond easily gets stained. However, moissanite gemstone is easy to clean. You can effectively use a soft cloth to wipe, and your jewelry will be sparkling clean. If you compare this with other gemstones, moissanite is extremely easy to maintain. 

High quality

Moissanite is made of carbon and silicon carbide. These materials are solid, making this gemstone more durable than others. Hence, it can withstand extreme pressure, heat, and regular wear and tear elements. Thus, moissanite gemstone makes the best option for long-lasting jewelry, depending on your lifestyle. 

Affordable

Buying diamond jewelry is extremely expensive. But, moissanite costs half the price that you pay for the diamond. It is also cheaper than the other gemstones, including emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. In addition, this gemstone can be manufactured in labs, making the cost much more affordable than the mined gemstones. 

Lightweight

Diamonds gemstones are heavy, 1oo times heavier than moissanite. Diamond is also huge, hence occupying lots of space. But on the contrary, moissanite gemstone is lightweight and still gives a brilliant shine. This makes it an excellent option for designing jewelry. 

In addition, this gemstone is developed in labs, hence offering a vast selection. Unlike diamond mined, you can easily choose the grade and a style that suits your needs. If you could wear your Moissanite earringsthey come in different shapes and sizes. Whether you want the pillow cut, round or royal cut, or the emerald, orange, or blues, these are some options. 

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