Books are the best way to document a period of time in history and preserve pertinent information for posterity. A recent book I came across which does this admirably is the coffee table book ‘Five Decades of India’s Built Environment’ by Dikshu C Kukreja and Arunima Kukreja, published by Roli Books. In it, the authors, who have long been associated with Delhi-based CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA), have recorded the most important projects undertaken by his firm over the last five decades, which have been instrumental in shaping a young and newly independent nation.
As a passionate architect, urban planner, environmentalist, and the Managing Principal of the firm, Dikshu has plenty of experience in the field. He worked in the US and France before returning to India and joining the firm in 1997. He says, “We design built environments across scales and typologies, from residential and retail to hospitality and institutional projects. Our work is rooted in contextuality and driven by a sustainable approach reinforced through innovative technologies.”
Rooted in the firm’s noteworthy projects, the book focusses on the evolution of Indian architecture over the last 50 years. It is a showcase of CPKA’s landmark architectural projects undertaken from the post-independence era, moving along with a post-liberalised society before coming to the present. Dikshu’s wife Arunima, who is a passionate writer, interior designer, and philanthropist, was instrumental in shaping this book along with him. He explains, “As we were approaching our company’s golden anniversary, we went through our archives to look at our firm’s vast repository of projects that have contributed significantly to our growing nation. We felt that writing this book would be a great way to bring together all that hard work to be known and cherished by all.”
The compelling subject chosen and aesthetic handling of the book have garnered excellent reviews. As a further mark of appreciation and a showcase of its success, the book was launched at the Jaipur Literature Festival by His Excellency Ambassador of Norway, Hans Jacob Frydenlund.
When asked about the process of compiling the book, Kukreja says, “While we were going through our archives, we were astonished to see the magnitude of the work carried out by our firm over the last five decades. At the same time, we were also intrigued by the significant transformations that have taken place in India’s architectural vocabulary and building landscape during this period. Thus, we decided to document our firm’s work and share it with the world, portraying the profound changes that have taken place in the urban environment in cities across India through the lens of our fifty-year-old architectural practice. Led by Arunima, the book is the result of a rigorous effort over two years in the midst of the pandemic.”
CPKA is commemorating 50 years in the industry in many ways. They have collaborated with the National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA) and instituted a design competition and scholarship for students of architecture through the CP Kukreja Foundation for Design. The team is also travelling across the world exhibiting their most prominent projects done over the last five decades. They have already been to Dubai and Seoul in 2021 and will be part of the London Festival of Architecture this month.
They are also continuing their work through many ongoing noteworthy projects. Dikshu shares, “Our team has just completed the master planning of Ayodhya city, and we are looking forward to its implementation. The ongoing East Delhi Hub, which will be India’s first and largest transit-oriented development project, is another one of our endeavours. It will be home to Delhi’s tallest building. A number of other projects are also in the works. Besides this, we are also working on some exciting international projects in countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Kenya.”
If buildings could speak, they would have many stories to tell. Fortunately, now we can hear the stories of CPKA’s many fascinating projects, first hand through this interesting book.
The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on email@example.com.
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Salesforce Testing Tools: A Comprehensive Guide
As its commitment towards continuous improvement and innovation, Salesforce delivers hundreds of new features and functionalities thrice a year. To ensure that configurations, customizations, and critical integrations are functional and Salesforce apps are supporting your critical business processes after updates are rolled out, you need to do testing. As Salesforce is a complex application and manually testing it can be time consuming, it is recommended to use test automation tools. If you’re looking for a Salesforce test automation tool, you must be wondering which tool you should opt for as too many tools are available in the market. In this article, we’ll discuss two most popular tools i.e. Selenium and Opkey. We’ll also discuss between the two which one will be better for you. Before highlighting the pros and cons of Salesforce testing tools, let’s discuss why it is difficult to test and automate Salesforce.
- Complex Application
It is challenging to test Visualforce, Salesforce, or Service Cloud Console as custom user interfaces can be created for mobile or web apps. Furthermore, it can be integrated with third-party DevOps solutions to support internal workflows. To ensure complete coverage, you need a test automation platform that offers end-to-end testing.
- Frequent Updates
Salesforce rolls out three seasonal updates a year. These seasonal updates offer significant improvements in security, availability, and performance. However, there’s a possibility that they can introduce bugs or break existing configurations, customizations or critical integrations. Thus, necessitating testing each time the updates are rolled out. Automating Salesforce for update testing is challenging as it is a highly dynamic application. As dynamic elements which do not have a fixed ID, name, class or CSS attributes, slight change in the UI can make test scripts flaky. Thus, it requires huge effort to maintain test automation scripts.
- Classic / Lightning
Some of the enterprises have migrated from Classic to Lightning. Since Lightning is Salesforce’s new development framework, it adds up layouts, navigation, views, integrations, and workflows to the platform. So, more test cases need to be added to ensure adequate coverage. Furthermore, object properties are fluid, tabs are iFrames, and indexes and Class names are dynamic. It means that they change frequently with random tags, making it difficult to control thescreen elements. Since you’re aware of the challenges that come across while incorporating Salesforce test automation, let’s discuss the available tools. Selenium pros
- Selenium is an obvious choice for QA teams owing to the fact that it is available as open source.
- Selenium automation suite includes Selenium IDE that offers record-and-play functionality and Selenium Grid that allows you to perform parallel testing.
- Selenium is a natural choice of engineering teams due to its support for multiple technologies including C#, Java, and Python.
- Selenium uses elements’ properties like ID, Name Class, CSS, Xpath, etc to identify control on the screen and perform actions on it. Salesforce is a highly dynamic application. Selenium cannot access the content directly so it will require a lot of effort in identifying the right attributes and to create the script accordingly. Due to nested or hidden frames, it will become more tedious.
- Selenium is a code-based test automation platform. To ensure adequate coverage, you need test creation from functional consultants, business analysts, and stakeholders. Since these people are not programmers, they cannot participate in testing if Selenium is used.
- Due to dynamic elements in Salesforce, it is difficult to maintain test scripts created with Selenium. Three updates a year can offer a great maintenance burden on the QA teams.
- With Selenium, you don’t get any troubleshooting or reporting capabilities. It means that failed tests are difficult to resolve.
- Opkey is a zero code Salesforce testing platform that is easy to set up and implement.
- Since Opkey is zero code, business users can easily participate in testing and create test scripts without requiring any programming skills.
- Opkey comes with self-healing capabilities that alleviate the maintenance burden of testing by autonomously incorporating changes in the impacted test cases. This saves dozens of hours of maintenance work.
- Opkey supports multiple technology stack – 14+ ERPs and 60+ enterprise packaged applications to offer end-to-end testing.
- It is a commercial test automation platform that comes with a certain amount of fee.
5 Features of the Demat account which make it very much popular in the industry
The decision to go for free Demat account open is considered to be a great one on the behalf of people because it will be always at the forefront in terms of providing people with the opportunity of investing in shares. In this particular manner, they will be no chance of any kind of physical security in the whole process and everything will be carried out with a very high level of efficiency and smooth transactions.
Some of the very basic features of the concept of the Demat account have been explained as follows:
- Very low element of risk: At the time of dealing with physical security, risk will be very high which is the main reason that it can cause different kinds of issues in the whole process if not paid attention to. So, it is very much important for people to be clear about the element of the concept of the Demat account so that everything will be sorted out with a very high level of efficiency and further depending upon the major players in the industry is a great idea in this particular approach.
- Easy holding: The concept of the Demat account very well justifies that it will be very easy holding of the shares and other securities in the account because people can very easily access the investment and statement through net banking. Hence, everything will be easily made available to the individuals at all times and further accessibility will be improved because any kind of smart device will be helpful in terms of providing things very clearly.
- Reduced costs: Whenever the individuals will be dealing with physical securities it will be including multiple additional costs in the form of handling, stamp duty and other associated things. But on the other hand, depending on the concept of the Demat account is a great idea because all these kinds of charges will be eliminated in the whole system and there will be no scope for any kind of extra cost in the whole process. People only have to pay the brokerage which will be very well informed the advance and further, there will be no scope for any kind of problem in the whole process.
- Reduced time: The process of purchasing and selling the shares with the help of the concept of the Demat account is considered to be a great idea because it will be instant and further will be helpful in terms of providing people with a clear-cut idea of the things without any kind of issue. In this particular manner, there will be no chance of any kind of problem and the seamless technicalities will be paid proper attention to throughout the process.
- Eliminating the loss: The concept of the Demat account will be always at the forefront in terms of ensuring that all kinds of losses will be eliminated and further, there will be no scope for any kind of misplacing of the securities.
Hence, depending upon the decision to go for a Demat account from the house of experts at 5paisa is a great idea so that everything will be sorted out very successfully and dematerialisation will be taken complete advantage of in the whole process.
An event to remember
As I saw the logo of my venture, Music Vruksh, projected on to the screen while in the middle of the annual Baithak, an event we conduct for students and music aficionados, I experienced a surreal feeling.
The event was presided over by the executive director of World Trade Center, Mumbai, Rupa Naik.Nithya and team’s performance.Nithya and team Music Vruksh.
It was years ago when a friend of mine and I sat down to think of a logo that would personify everything I had dreamt of doing with my music. The logo had to symbolise Indianness; it had to convey inclusiveness and compassion. It had to tell people that Indian classical music is deep and rooted in spirituality. It had to be a logo that would tell everyone that this movement would grow; the movement to demystify and make Indian Classical music accessible to one and all for its aesthetic, spiritual, and wellness benefits. And thus came the logo of the musical tree of Music Vruksh. Incidentally, Vruksh means tree in Sanskrit. The designer had skillfully crafted the V of vruksh using the image of two taanpuras crossing each other.
Many years after that incident, as the Music Vruksh Baithak was underway last week, I indulged in emotional pride at what I, my team and Music Vruksh had achieved. It was touching to see people from age four to fifty sitting on stage with professional classical music accompanists and trying and succeeding in pulling off Indian Classical Ragas. It was even more heartening to see them enjoy themselves and feel validated by the applause and encouragement from the audience. I had done it. We had done it. Classical music had touched these people in a way that connected their souls to it. This was my dream, my vision, my deepest desire.
As the programme continued, it was the turn of the Music Vruksh team to render our professional performance. A performance that contained only my own compositions had to be learnt by my team-mates within a span of just a few weeks. They were in Raagas, which was relatively unfamiliar to them, but my team stepped up and gave their hearts to their practice. The compositions were based on pure Indian Classical music, but were composed in such a manner that they would be able to reach every soul that would be hearing them. As we finished our finale piece, it happened again! That surreal feeling, I held back tears looking at the standing ovation from lay listeners and people from all walks of life, as they applauded heartily for this erstwhile elitist form of music.
Bringing an event together is a Herculean task. Being an artist myself and leading a team that is far removed from anything to do with event management, bringing this event together was tedious. Months of effort followed by rehearsals of students, rehearsals of the team, along with meetings with sound professionals, decorators, and the stage team defined our daily routine.
In addition, managing the ticketing and logistics of the audience, which included over a hundred people, was tiring and exhausting. Logistics often took precedence over music, and we, as a team, had to wear many hats to make this work; as event managers, as teachers, and as musicians. We were worried about this shift in priorities and worried about whether the music itself would suffer.
But it has been my deep belief that no experience or effort is really wasted. At the end of it all, we managed to come around to doing what we had originally wanted. We have included many more families into the fold of classical music. We had fulfilled the yearning of all those hearts that wished to break into a song and receive the divine blessing of God as classical ragaas emerged from their vocal cords and their hearts.
In an earlier column piece, I wrote about bridging the gap between the worldly and the divine through music. Our event this year was a true case in point. From difficult negotiations with suppliers, mind-boggling logistics and all the people management we needed to do, we moved through to a divine and blissful culmination to our event. People from all parts of the world heard our music live, and were moved and touched. Our international students expressed deep gratitude at our idea to relay their performances while still giving them live accompanying support from the venue. Thanks to technology for that.
Overall, it was a divine, blissful, and happy experience for me and my devoted team. It will continue to tell us to work harder and better at our goal and to never give up. It was truly an event to remember!
The event received huge impetus with the presence of executive director of World Trade Center Mumbai Rupa Naik.
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.
WHY A LOVE OF TATTOOS ENDURES THROUGH THE AGES
There is something about body art or tattooing that appeals to people across the board—whether rich or poor, old or young, cool or misfit, happy or troubled. Why exactly is this? Perhaps it is the promise of longevity. Or it could be a desire to share a message with the world. It could also be in memoriam or simply a way to explore your creativity. Whatever the reason may be, the popularity of tattoos has only grown over the years. As I too have a tattoo of my own, I am no stranger to their appeal. Recently, I had the chance to catch up with Lokesh Verma, founder of Devil’z Tattooz and co-founder of Heartwork Tattoo Festival, to explore this subject.
Listed as one of the top 10 tattoo artists in the world, Verma is the only Indian tattoo artist whose name features among legendary artists like Paul Booth and Scott Campbell when one searches on Google. Moreover, Verma is known as the pioneer of Soundwave tattoos (audible body art) as well as permanent tattoo removal through the Pico Laser service in India. He owns three studios in Delhi-NCR at prominent locations in Greater Kailash, Gurugram, and a new one in Dwarka, and will soon be opening one in Europe too.
Having been an artist since the age of six, Verma won an international award for art at a young age. However, he was most fascinated with tattoos and chose this as the medium to pursue art. His initiation into the field was all his own—he collected money to buy a tattoo machine and taught himself the methodology for putting the needle in the machine. His father became his first subject, and later he practised by making tattoos on himself.
In 2003–05, his practise picked up as people started lining up outside his place to get tattoos from him. At that time, there were hardly any professional tattoo studios in Delhi providing high-quality tattoos. He says, “I personally have OCD about hygiene. Therefore, I wash or sanitise my hands ten times a day, and this really helps in running a tattoo studio. Today we have over 20 artists working as a team, learning from each other and growing happily, and this is just the beginning of many more decades to come. I also hold a Guinness world record with my team for tattooing the maximum number of flags on the human body.
From making just five tattoos a month, Verma has come a long way. He explains, “I’m doing what I love and getting paid for it, I couldn’t ask for anything else. I don’t take the credit for whatever I’ve achieved. Neither do I believe that I’ve worked harder than others, as it was all fun and games for me. Money was never the goal when I started, and this attitude helped. I happened to be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing 19 years ago as a hobby. I had no idea that it would take off in the future! I consider myself beyond blessed.”
Each of Verma’s 20 tattoo artists, under the Devil’z Tattooz banner, specialises in something unique, so every client can find what they are looking for. Whether that is biomechanical tattoos and cover-ups or clean, minimal lines, In fact, this is what Verma describes as the USP of Devil’s Tattooz. Having made a name for himself, he also trains students in exclusive batches of four apprentices, and over the years, has taught hundreds of talented young individuals.
Verma shares the reason for the enduring appeal of tattoos by saying, “Apart from emotionally helping people who have lost their loved ones, tattoos also help countless people around the world physically change their appearance.” For example, people who have lost their eyebrows and hair through alopecia can get eyebrow tattoos and SMO (Scalp Micro-pigmentation). Some people who have white spots can get the skin colour of a tattoo design on top of it. It usually helps them regain their confidence in a big way. “ If you too are in the market for a unique tattoo, reach out to Verma’s team at www.devilztattooz.com.
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog, www.nooranandchawla.com.
IMPERFECTO’S MADAN BROTHERS OPEN THEIR NEW PERSIAN OUTLET, KHUBANI
Laden with shimmering chandeliers, doused in red hues, this beautiful restaurant will transport you to the mythical and magical world of Khubani by Sharad and Naresh Madan.
They say a zeal for entrepreneurship runs in the family, and when the family is one of foodies, as in the case of brothers Sharad and Naresh Madan, the food business comes calling. The brothers, co-founders of the popular Delhi eatery, Imperfecto, have made an impact in the hospitality industry despite being the first-generation business pioneers in their family.
Though the seeds of the brand Imperfecto, which has now completed a decade in the business, were laid by their father, Suresh Madan, in the venture’s first outlet at Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi, it was Sharad and Naresh who took it forward and made it the well-known brand it is today with over 10 branches across Delhi-NCR. Their newest venture, Khubani, is a passion project of Madan’s. Sharad says, “I guarantee this new venture of ours will provide a door into regality and help you embark on a veritable journey for all the senses to enjoy!”
Sharad, a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Delhi University, is an artistic and creative persona whose constant endeavour is to bring to his clientele unique experiences from around the globe. Naresh is a BBA graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada and is known for his high sales acumen. Their ability to marry their business skills with their creativity allows them to breathe life into Khubani, which has a truly unique concept. It is a Persian bar which offers a series of delicious cocktails and food made by skilled chefs, along with a line-up of international artists performing live entertainment.
Naresh says, “We have built our brand from scratch. With no industry background, it was only our vision that brought us to where we are today. I have personally shuffled between outlets in Connaught Place, Noida, and Cyber Hub in Gurugram in a day, while Sharad spent his days in transit from Delhi to Noida, and nights at the outlets studying operations and garnering authentic responses. To both of us, delivering what the clientele requires takes precedence over everything else. However, they also point out that no journey is without obstacles. They survived three national lockdowns amidst the pandemic, which were tough times for the industry in general. Yet, they are now riding high on the success of Khubani.
In their leisure time, the brothers enjoy travelling to the hills and listening to music across genres. They also like exploring restaurants and bars, so they can learn new skills on the go. When asked their motto for success, they say, “A man paints with his brain and not with his hands.” If you are not the artist, you can still get things done, but you have to be an artist from the brain. “
Speaking about Khubani, Sharad says, “Laden with shimmering chandeliers, doused in red hues, this beautiful restaurant will transport you to the mythical and magical world of Khubani! As soon as you step into the enigmatic foyer, we take you on a journey like no other; a voyage all around the world and an escapade into the lifestyle of modern-day royalty. We are an amalgamation of global cuisines and Persian culture and offer a unique dining experience.
Khubani reflects this tryst of international cultures with a distinct ethnic touch through its scenic mastery across its two-floor property. Each corner of the space is different to the other-personally curated and handcrafted by us. “
Naresh adds, “An exquisite ambiance is created by the chandeliers that have been sourced from all over the world, looking down upon guests while mystical dim red lighting engulfs the aura of the venue.” Persian rugs carrying intricate tikari work from Rajasthan adorn every corner of the venue. At the entrance, flows a reservoir of opulence through a magnificent fountain, and sculptures and period art pieces bring walls to life, while hand-cut mirrors sparkle, and champagne showers arrive in a stunning palki! “
The duo described Khubani as a multi-destination space that is experiential, as it has eight separate rooms within it to offer privacy and exclusivity. Sharad explains, “Khubani is the story of a royal Persian bar introduced in India for the first time where good food, good drinks, and Persian interiors welcome you during the day for lunch, and the night sees the space being converted into a high-energy bar with performers from all around the world.”
Naresh ends with, “Khubani is a Persian bar which is hand-curated by Imperfecto Designs, it’s a perfect blend of best cocktails, an international culinary team of chefs, and international artists performing various entertainment acts for you. We have created a blend the likes of which has never been seen before, which won’t let you go back home. Nights at Khubani are spectacles to marvel at. Experience enthralling entertainment through an array of performers at the hub. Allow us to take you on this magic carpet ride into the world of Khubani, where modern royalty dwells. Come explore the mystery of Khubani! “
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com.
Exchange Your Bets – Top Betting Exchange Sites in India
In a betting exchange, one has to bet against other players. There are diverse types of bets to choose from at a betting exchange. You can choose from among them to make a considerable amount of profit. This is the reason why a host of top betting exchange sites in India are now available for your use. However, it can be a bit difficult to map out the most credible betting exchange sites among so many. To help differentiate the top picks from the remaining, we have curated this massive guide for your assistance. Here are the top names.
Fun88 is a secure gambling website that offers a 200% welcome bonus up to Rs. 30,000. There are also other bonuses for live casino and slot lovers. The site provides an easy-to-use user interface with high-end features that allows everyone to access it easily. Live Andar Bahar, Live Teen Patti, and Live Roulette are also some other games you can play here. The best part about Fun88 is that an individual can start their bet from as low as Rs. 200. Cricket and Football are also some other betting odds you can avail of here. For more comprehensive details, you can read this Fun88 review.
BetWinner provides a 100% bonus up to Rs. 8,000. Here, you can expose yourself to great odds and an extensive range of sports betting options. Cricket, Football, and Rugby are among the most popular sports betting options. The deposit options at BetWinner are also quite convenient. Netbanking, Skrill, and even Cryptocurrencies are accepted here. But you might want to consider that the site has a slightly cluttered dashboard. The customer support team may also be a bit slow in responding to your queries.
Here, you can receive massive bonuses up to Rs. 10,000. The site provides a range of sports betting options. The company was founded in 2007, and since then, it has focused on being a user-friendly site with convenient deposit and withdrawal options. Here, all personal information of players and bettors is also entirely secure. So, there is no risk of privacy issues too. But the only challenge is that their customer support team delivers a slow response rate that can put both players and bettors in jeopardy when needed. The bonuses too are not very impressive as compared to its other potential competitors.
At FairPlay, you can make the most of the best welcome bonuses. The site also provides an easy-to-navigate user interface with high-end payment solutions. Live streaming and real-time statistics to ease your betting experience only add to your comfort. But remember that the site does not offer any customer care number. So, you might face hindrances when in need of resolving your queries. Apart from this, FairPlay also has a massive Terms & Conditions section that can be a bit inconvenient to remember and read.
24Betting was one of the most recently founded exchange betting platforms in 2020. The site renders an array of options in the world of casino gaming. This may range from live games and popular Slots to table games. Here you can enjoy exchange betting on both in-play and pre-play matches. On your initial three deposits, you can avail of a 10% bonus.
The site also offers a list of payment options like UPI, Credit/debit cards, and net banking for your comfort. As such, you can use this exchange betting site in need. However, remember that you might face challenges with lower promotional offers and bonuses availed here. The site also does not have a mobile app, so you can only use it on your laptop and computer devices. It also only deals in INR, which might not be convenient if you want your transactions to be converted into any other currency as well.
At Satbet, you can make the most of massive jackpots. Here, you may also be able to make the most of diverse welcome bonuses and an extensive range of casino games. The site also provides 24*7 customer assistance along with a great sportsbook. You can also enjoy good deposit options and self-withdrawal options for maximum convenience. The website is also powered by Betfair India and provides an easy login experience as well. So, why keep waiting to use it?
How Does Betting At These Betting Exchanges Function?
In exchange betting, one is more capable of winning better odds than a basic bookmaker. Here, you can place your bets as per a negative or a positive result against any punter.
These exchange betting sites are popular, convenient, and loaded with high-end betting solutions for you. Remember to sign up for the one you prefer the most and make your profit at the earliest hour. However, ensure the site you choose fits your criteria and adheres to your betting needs.
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