ARTISTS ARE JUST PEOPLE LIKE US: EKATERINA SEMENUSHKOVA ON HER QUIRKY ART EXHIBITION - The Daily Guardian
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ARTISTS ARE JUST PEOPLE LIKE US: EKATERINA SEMENUSHKOVA ON HER QUIRKY ART EXHIBITION

Noor Anand Chawla

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As the country marks the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, there is much for us to reflect on. For Ekaterina Semenushkova, Russian expat and founder of Atlas—an organisation that promotes socio-cultural ties between the two countries—the lockdown was a period to reflect and create. The fruits of her reflection and those of the fellow members of her organisation are now coming to light, through an interesting art exhibition set to be on display at Delhi’s India International Centre from 6-11 April. “Just People”will display the works of non-professional artists from the large and vibrant expat community in India, specifically made during the lockdown.

In preparation for the event, Semenushkova speaks exclusively to The Sunday Guardian. Excerpts:

Q.Please tell us about the vision behind Atlas—the socio-cultural centre you have founded?

A. Our goal is to organise social and cultural projects in Russia and abroad, in the fields of art and culture, sports and creativity. At the moment, our organisation’s activities are concentrated in India in order to generate strong ties between expats, to popularise Russian culture and to develop intercultural cooperation between our countries.

Q.What, according to you, ties the Russian culture closely with the Indian culture?

In Russia people enjoy watching Bollywood films. They are also interested in Indian cuisine, yoga and are fond of the work of Rabindranath Tagore. Similarly, in India, people know the famous Russian writers Pushkin and Tolstoy well, and even have monuments dedicated to them in Delhi. I believe that Indians value Russian culture very much.

Q. What activities has Atlas organised in the past? 

A. We regularly host women’s meetings known as “Brunch in Dresses”, where we discuss different topics including style, psychology, art, among others. Besides that, we meet for a Russian book club to discuss books every couple of months. We also organise photo shoots for expats wearing Indian ethnic clothes, in collaboration with a professional photographer.

Q.Do you encourage participation of people of all nationalities in Atlas events, or are they meant mostly for the Russian expat community?

A. Of course, I look forward to opening the doors of Atlas to people of all nationalities, and would love for more people to attend our events.

Q.How did the idea of “Just People Art” Exhibition evolve?

A. I am very fond of creating art and organising events. In the process of meeting and communicating with people, I discovered that many of my expat friends also enjoy drawing pictures, embroidery, and other creative work. Believe me when I say, despite having no professional training, these people create masterpieces! We are simply not used to thinking of artists as normal people like us, and believe them to be from some other world. However, they are just people who live, work and practice their hobbies. This is the reason behind the name of our exhibition—Just People.

Q.How many artists will be exhibiting their works in this exhibition?

A. Currently, we have 17 artists on board, and I would be glad if others want to join and display their work too. We have booked the large light gallery at the India International Centre, which caters to large participation. Further, there is an interesting contest for the participants with gifts from Decathlon.

Q. I believe the proceeds from sales of these artworks will go towards charity. Could you please share more details on this?

A. Yes, the proceeds will go to the Main Tendue charity. This organisation offers financial, material and physical support to Indian NGOs caring for children, women in need and disabled people in the Delhi area.

Q. Why do you prefer to showcase only works made by non-professional artists?

A. The aim of the exhibition is to support and encourage young artists living abroad, and I hope the exhibition will lead to the discovery of new talent and make them confident of their abilities.

Q. What was your personal experience of the lockdown? Did your feelings play out through your art works on display?

A. Like everyone else, I was anxious throughout that period. It was particularly hard because I was in a foreign country. I have created a fluid art painting on this topic which I have called Unknown.

Q. What do you have planned next for Atlas?

A. We will continue to organise interesting projects in the future. The exhibition Just People is planned as an annual event. Further, I am planning to organise separate events on Russian culture and famous writers from Russia.

To participate in the exhibition or for any other queries, one may contact Ekaterina Semenushkova at atlas-culture@bk.ru.

The interviewer is a lawyer who pens feature articles for various publications and on her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com

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ASUS ZENBOOK 14 OLED HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

Richa Kapoor

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Asus has well-positioned itself in the Indian tech market when we talk about laptops and notebooks. They have recently introduced a new lineup and that has been grabbing attention. The high-end laptop from ASUS has carved a niche for itself. Asus Zenbook 14 OLED is one such from this present lineup and below is my take on this latest device.

ZENBOOK 14 OLED SPECS SHEET

Zenbook 14 OLED is 16.9 mm

Weighs 1.39 kg

Display with 2.8K OLED HDR NanoEdge

Powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, and Intel Iris® Xe graphics.

16GB RAM and up to 512GB SSD PCIe 4.0 SSD

Dolby Atmos sound system powered by a smart amplifier

ASUS ErgoSense keyboard, and ASUS NumberPad 2.0.

Asus has not shied from making the device look elegant and slim. It is lightweight and easy to use and carry around. Fits well in one’s hand and can be easily carried around at work or even for travel. The laptop is sleek in its design and keeping the style minimalistic works wonders for it.

You get a 16:10 2.8K OLED HDR NanoEdge touchscreen which has a vibrant display. This display is good to work on and the contrast is comfortable to work on. You will find it easy to work on this laptop and even viewing and gaming will be easy for the eye. With a good display what you really need is a good sound system and you get one in this laptop. The Dolby Atmos makes the experience worthwhile. The smart amplifier does make the sound quality way better. Making the entire experience a lot more engaged and wholesome.

Something which has been a personal favourite in this laptop is the touchscreen number pad it is without a doubt extremely useful and helps increase productivity for sure. You would realise after a few days of usage how it helps increase efficiency. When we are constantly working on the laptop what we need is a good webcam specially for our online meetings and calls. The 3DNR webcam provides the needful. You not just get good video quality, but also good sound and an AI noise cancellation facility making your calls a way easier and noise-free process.

The laptop gives no issues like heating or draining out. I am not a gamer but had tried a few low graphic games on the laptop and felt no glitch at all. For heavy graphic games, I might not be in the right place to suggest. In terms of battery, the laptop charged fast and helped function well for seven to eight hours. In the usage, there were a lot of video meetings and constant web browsing. In terms of battery, there is nothing for me to complain about.

VERDICT

Using the laptop for good over two weeks there was really nothing to dislike or complain about. Introduced at Rs 1,04,990 with a lot of offers on the price this is a high-end laptop. That is the only catch that this product has. One must look at the great design, fully rounded spec sheet, and some great additions like the numeric touchpad, great sound, and excellent display before making up their mind against the laptop due to its price tag. It is a well-rounded laptop which has something for everyone.

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Snehalata Memorial Foundation brings Sambhav on Stage at Triveni Kala Sangam

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During the last two years, a lot of shows were organized online due to the raging pandemic. Now, most of the organizers have decided to conduct their events offline. Snehalata Memorial Foundation established in the year 1992, is a social organization that aims to spread awareness about classical music throughout the world. Snehalata Memorial Foundation is set to organise Sambhav on Stage with the tagline ‘Gayan Vadan Nritya’. The program is being organized at Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, Mandi House, Delhi, 110001 on the 19th of May 2022 from 6 PM onwards.

The program will start with a vocal, followed by a Tabla duet, and end with a Kathak trio recital. The performers have already performed online, this time they would be performing offline. During covid, the upcoming performers have suffered the most and Snehalata has planned to encourage young artists and present their art in front of the audience.

In a candid conversation tabla artist, Saptak Sharma who will be performing in the event said, “It’s completely an honor for me to be performing for Snehalata Memorial Foundation. Especially getting an opportunity after a long gap of 2 years is a whole another experience. I’ve been attached to this organisation and did some online concerts during the lockdown as well. A big thanks to Binay ji and the whole team for making this possible and getting the artists back on stage. It’s a whole different thing to live with the audience in a face-to-face way as compared to the online sessions. The essence of classical music lies in the baithak systems in which the artist is being praised by the audience and the music flowing out of that is completely felt differently. It’s always said music can only be felt and not seen. And that’s the best part about being on stage when you realise your audience feeling your music and reacting to it.”

The event features

Classical Vocal Recital by Abhijeet Mishra

Accompanists:

Sarangi – Ejaz Hussain

Tabla – Kamil Khan

Duet Tabla Recital by Saptak Sharma and Ashutosh Verma

Accompanist:

Sarangi – Mudassir Khan

Kathak Recital by Harshita Vaish, Disha Gupta, and Sagar Vishwakarma

Accompanists:

Sarangi- Ejaz Hussain

Vocal- Zaki Ahmed

Tabla- Shubhan Khan

Padhanti- Aishwarya Rawat

Venue-Triveni Kala Sangam, Delhi

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‘WE AT ICCS ARE OFFERING CUSTOMIZED OUTSOURCING SOLUTIONS WITH BEST TECHNOLOGY & INFRASTRUCTURE’

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In response to The Daily Guardian, Divij Singhal, Founder & CEO, ICCS, said ICCS’s mission is to outperform the industry by fostering innovation and forming collaborations with the world’s largest brands, as well as enthusiastic leaders and employees. The company envisions being one of the worlds’s most recognized and trusted BPM service provider, offering exceptional value to customers across all industries through cutting-edge technology and world-class service.

Q: What made you launch this business?

A: We looked at the domestic service industry and it was growing in the country and skilled people for voice and non-voice would be needed. We evaluated that there is a niche that can be created in this industry by the amalgamation of people and technology. That motivated us to be a part of this BPO industry.

Q: Goals and objectives when it is founded.

A: The goal was to be a leading player in this space of domestic BPO with the right quality and consistency being delivered to our customers at the right price.

Q: Business success so far

A: Our growth is consistent with the growth of 25% YoY, and something which we really can cherish is all our customers who started with us continued together, and we both grew over time. We believe in high quality and besides, we also give them the technology to improve their customer experience turning into retention.

Q: What will be the industry trends in 2023.

A: New-age technologies are emerging and making their mark in businesses across sectors. We feel that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in particular will be buzzwords and their impact will be such that the BPO sector will witness growth concerning the people in the coming year. The yield per employee will increase and this trend will render a positive impact on the valuation of the BPO industry

Q: What are your future plans?

A: We are indeed joyous that we have had a successful run so far. Indeed, we had our fair share of ups and downs. But we take pride in the fact that we have surpassed them all and are bracing for exponential growth in the future. As far as our growth plans are concerned, we at ICCS are looking forward to expanding our footprints in tier 2 regions as well as in the metro cities. We are also planning to hire 1000+ employees by the end of this year. From the business perspective, our focus is to increase our presence in the healthcare and retail distribution verticals. On the whole, we are striving to bring about innovation as well as foster associations with reputed brands at the global level.

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VIBE, THE SKYBAR REOPENS AT GURUGRAM BAANI SQUARE

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True to its name, Vibe – The Sky Bar, a rooftop bar at DoubleTree by Hilton Gurugram Baani Square is back to serve its patrons.

Blessed with breathtaking city views and sparkling ambiance, this high-end rooftop bar is an ideal place to socialize with friends and family or for a corporate gathering. Wind down after a busy day in comfortable lounges while you enjoy the sophisticated bites and handcrafted concoctions to lift your spirits.

Enjoy an open-air dining experience in re-imagined spaces secured with stringent safety norms, where Mukesh Kumar, Executive Sous Chef has introduced an array of delectable choices in the eclectic menu which includes The Giant Chicken Wings, Kaffir Lime Gamberi, Kasundi Salmon, Crunchy Amritsari Fish Tots, Tenderloin Boti Popsicles, Raan, Ragi Chickpea Falafel, Mexican Tacos, Citrus Creme Brule, DoubleTree Cookie Pastry, and many more to choose from.

Timings: – 04:00 PM–12:00 AM

Average cost for two: INR 3500 plus taxes

For reservations: +91 9711216466

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LOGIC OR INSTINCT, WHICH DO WE FOLLOW?

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During the last days of 2004, as a giant tsunami-ravaged a dozen countries, killing almost two hundred thousand people, researchers noticed something odd at the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. The park, home to several hundred species, hardly had any animal carcasses. National Geographic magazine quotes observers reporting strange behavior from animals before the tsunami hit. Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground, turtles changed paths, and dogs refused to go outdoors. What did the animals sense that humans didn’t?

The pinstriped world of Wall Street might seem far removed from the forests of Sri Lanka, yet the same animal instincts run deep. Billionaire investor George Soros said that the onset of back pain is, for him, often “a signal that there was something wrong in my portfolio”. In his son’s words, Soros often “changes his position on the market” because “his back is killing him”. A study by researcher John Coates observed that traders who were more aware of their body rhythms made more profitable trades and could sense when ‘something just felt right.

Does this mean that we should trust our ‘gut instinct’ more often?

The answer, unfortunately, is not that simple. Almost every trader or gambler who places a bet feels that ‘today is going to be my lucky day. A look at the ranks of failed gamblers tells us that blind reliance on instinct can lead to ruin. Examples abound not just of businesses but entire kingdoms which were destroyed because the leader chose to act on an impulse or a whim. Giving our instincts a free run is like letting an angry elephant loose in a bazaar.

Scaling up and running a large enterprise requires standardization, and standardization leaves little room for subjectivity. Not surprisingly, our professional worlds elevate logic over instinct. The parameters for business decision-making, whether at Board meetings or client presentations, prioritize measurable metrics and tangible calculations. For a firm to say that decisions are made based on ‘gut feelings’ of key executives would be comical.

And yet, something valuable is lost when we rely too much on logic. Logic is often just a way for us to rationalize and reduce dissonance with a decision that has already been made based on our emotions. One needs to look no further than debates on Twitter or WhatsApp groups to witness this. Data can often be tortured to spit out a conclusion that suits a particular viewpoint.

In the numerous Board or investment committee meetings that I have attended, I have noticed that if you peel beyond the veneer of logic, key decisions almost always rest on softer factors, such as trust in the management team. Great investors focus on qualitative factors, such as the drive, energy, or integrity of the founders, instead of relying on metrics alone.

Can we leverage this power of instinct in our lives? Experience has shown me that there is a way.

First, we need to build deep expertise in the field in question. Coates’ study was done on experienced traders. My involvement in the stock markets dates back twenty-five years. Over two-thirds of those were spent focusing on left-brain analysis, involving numbers, financials, strategy, metrics, and so on. But in the last eight years, I have been able to transcend these and understand the softer realms of temperament, awareness, subtler patterns, behavioral biases, and so on. Yet, the latter would not have been possible without the former. The logical parts need to be integrated into muscle memory for the instinct to be robust.

Second, we need to polish our antennae. Today, as we increasingly tune into digital noise, we have lost the connection to nature and to the cues that it gives us. We need to tune in to signals from our bodies, minds, and the environment. Coates found that successful traders exhibited greater self-awareness of their body rhythms, such as heart rates. My practice of mindfulness meditation forms the core of my creativity, as it enables me to tap into intuition and get ideas for my writing.

As we eliminate the dust and cobwebs from our antennae, we re-establish our connection with our inner compass and with activities that nourish us deeply. We are then able to tap into the vast primeval universal intelligence. This intelligence works through processes that transcend logic and opens us up to the true power of instinct and intuition.

S.Venkatesh is the bestselling author of AgniBaan and KaalKoot, a leadership coach and an investor who has held key positions with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Macquarie. He writes about mindfulness and its link to creativity, business and wealth.

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SATELLOGIC AND UP42 TEAM UP TO OFFER RAPID MONITORING CAPABILITIES

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Satellogic Inc. (NASDAQ: SATL), a leader in sub-meter resolution Earth Observation (“EO”) data collection, announced today that it has agreed with UP42, a geospatial developer platform and marketplace enabling direct access to Satellogic’s satellite tasking high-resolution multispectral and wide-area hyperspectral imagery via the UP42 API-based platform. The agreement includes the archive of high-frequency, high-resolution Satellogic data.

The companies made the announcement today at the Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where UP42 CEO Sean Wiid and Satellogic Business Development & Sales Director Eldridge de Melo are featured, speakers.

“This exciting new collaboration gives UP42 customers a distinct advantage in rapidly creating geospatial solutions,” said UP42’s CEO Sean Wild. “Users can now derive insights from Satellogic data using algorithms and data fusion via our developer-first platform.”

Direct API access to Satellogic’s multi- and hyperspectral data – with intraday updates – supports rapid, timely, and frequent monitoring of critical assets in diverse sectors, such as energy, utilities, local government, and security. The UP42 platform’s REST API and Python SDKs can be fully customized, allowing UP42 users to build cost-effective solutions and quickly deliver end products to their clients.

“Our mission of democratizing access to critical Earth Observation data means making our data available where it’s convenient for end-users,” said Thomas VanMatre, VP of Global Business Development at Satellogic. “UP42 is a leading geospatial marketplace with value-added capabilities, enabling its customers to access and analyze data without extensive expertise. It is collaborations like this alliance with UP42 that will increase adoption of EO data across new markets, driving better decision making and outcomes.”

The growing Satellogic constellation currently consists of 22 operational small satellites, capable of acquiring 4-band (RGB NIR) multispectral data at 70 cm (1m native) spatial resolution over a 5km swath and up to 29-band (460-830nm) hyperspectral imagery at 25m resolution over a 125km swath.

During pre-processing, Satellogic imagery is optimized for analysis by Machine Learning (“ML”) and Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) applications – a significant benefit for UP42 users who will have access to more than 75 ML/AI algorithms on the UP42 platform.

UP42 users will be able to apply Satellogic data sets and extracted knowledge to support projects in a range of applications spanning the public and private sectors, including Agriculture and Forestry, Energy and Sustainability, Critical Infrastructure Management, Finance, and Insurance, Environment and Climate, and Government.

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