Akanksha Singh, Dance Content Creator, recently joined us for a fun conversation as part of our special series of NewsX Influencer A-list. In the exclusive interview, she opened up about what brought her into the world of dancing and much more. Read excerpts:
When asked what brought her into the world of dancing and creating content, she said, “I have always been very fond of dance, but especially during the pandemic last year in March 2020, I just wanted to do something constructive with my time and involve my children also. It just happened by chance that I came across these shuffling videos on TikTok. I got very curious as to how it could be done actually, so I just started doing them. It was so amazing because of the positive impact it started having on my body as well as making me stress free. All in all, it was very positive. I got into it and I never got out of it then really.”
Speaking about the moment she started calling herself as a dance influencer and inspirer, she said, “I have no idea what I was doing when I started out. It took a lot of courage to put up dance videos on Instagram. I had a very small community at that time like 400 followers or so, you know, it was all my close friends. I thought I could share a little bit with them, just to motivate everybody to be active and not to very stressed during the pandemic and do something constructive with their time. This pause that life gave us, that god had given us, was to make the most constructive use of it. When I went viral, people started saying you are so inspiring and you have made me go back to dance, you have made me go back to my workouts, you have made me start working out. I am a mother of two. A woman came up to tell me that even I am a mother of two and I left dancing, I left painting, I left my working out, I’ve never taken out time for myself because for us women, we tend to put our families first, we tend to put our children first, everything is about them. She also took time to spoke about how she handles society judgement on following her passion.”
“I was doing the same thing, I was putting my family before myself any time. It was all about them. My kids school time, my husband’s office time, my in-law’s meal times and certain requirements here and there. By the time it came to me, I was too tired. It took a very conscious effort for me to actually start taking out time for myself first in the morning, take care of my exercise and make a routine for myself,” she added.
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VIRGIL ABLOH: AN INDELIBLE LEGACY
As the founder of the iconic brand Off-White and the artistic director for Menswear, Louis Vuitton, Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American, was a pioneer in the global fashion scenario— his indomitable influence as a creative prodigy transcended the boundaries of clothes.
The terrain of fashion today credits a majority of its aesthetic sensibility to the boundless creativity of Virgil Abloh. The designer, who died from cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of 41 on November 28 in Chicago, was called the fashion visionary, but there was no denying that his prodigious work shaped the present. As the founder of the cult brand Off-White and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division, Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American, was a pioneer in the global fashion scenario—his influence transcended the boundaries of only clothes.
Abloh’s creative genius spread across myriad mediums and defied conformity. His mother was a seamstress which influenced him to sew his own clothes as a teenager before he set forth to pursue fashion. He also studied civil engineering and obtained a degree in Architecture.
Off-white, Abloh’s iconic streetwear brand, brought the excitement of a much-hyped collaboration to the world of high fashion and luxury. With Off-White, he collaborated with many premium brands and companies, including Rimowa, Mercedes Benz, the NBA, Levi’s, Moncler, Jimmy Choo, Kith, Timberland and Byredo. His most notable collaborative relationship, however, may have been with Nike, with which he did multiple collections, one of which netted him the “Shoe of the Year” award at the 2017 Footwear News Achievement Awards. With Nike, he also designed competition outfits for Serena Williams. Abloh’s talents were also in high demand by many of his celebrity friends, who commissioned bespoke creations running the gamut from Hailey Bieber’s Off-White wedding dress and veil that read “Till death do us part” in Abloh’s signature irony quotes to Drake’s personal plane that he had Abloh customise with an ethereal blue sky and cloud pattern. Although Abloh’s body of work was often dictated by his talent to capture the essence of an era, his gift lies with his expensive curiosity and unflinching desire to create.
The Louis Vuitton Miami show was a visual tribute (and an emotional one at that) to Virgil Abloh, as friends, collaborators and fans paid homage to him under fireworks and a drone light show. The Spring/Summer 2022 Men’s show marked Abloh’s historical last as the celebrated Creative Director for Menswear.
The front row included longtime supporter Kanye West, who sat next to Kim Kardashian and their daughter North. Other front-row attendees were Rihanna and ASAP Rocky, Pharrell Williams, Joe Jonas, Ricky Martin, Venus Williams, Bella Hadid, 21 Savage and Joan Smalls.
Just before 7 PM, as the mood shifted from somber to party mode, a dazzling light show filled the sky. It began as a paper plane (a predominant icon in Abloh’s collections), before fluctuating into avatars of the Louis Vuitton monogram, a palm tree and the initials “L.V.,” which turned into “V.A.” For the finale, the drones spelled “Virgil was here” (goosebump-inducing); within moments, these mesmerising visuals of tributes went viral on social media.
MISSION TANDRUST PUNJAB TO KICK OFF RESEARCH PROJECTS WORTH RS 7 CR
Mission Tandrust Punjab, with a zeal to start research and development in various fields, has now planned a 360-degree chart for different research projects comprising clean air, clean water, healthy soil, waste management, green Punjab, safe food, road safety, khelo Punjab, nutrition, preventive health.
These all are the sub-missions that are spearheaded by a lead department supported with different line departments. “The mission has undertaken various activities since it was revamped and launched by the Punjab government in June 2021, under the administrative control of the Department of Science, Technology, and Environment,” IFS Saurabh Gupta, CEO Mission Tandrust Punjab, told The Daily Guardian.
To achieve the objectives of the mission, the first meeting of the Steering Committee headed by Chief Secretary Punjab was held 2nd December 2021 in which Dilip Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Saurabh Gupta, CEO of the Mission made a presentation in which the innovative research projects for about Rupees seven crores were discussed and approved. Reiterating the importance of the mission, the Chief Secretary appreciated these research projects developed by the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change by involving prestigious institutions like IIT Ropar, AIIMS, Punjab Agriculture University, Punjab Biotechnology incubator, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology. The Chief Secretary said that these interventions shall help in ensuring good health of the people through the provision of safe food, clean water, etc.
An awareness project for the Mission was also approved to be implemented in the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala.
The Chief Secretary suggested that more such innovative research projects are required under this mission for which the State Govt. shall provide adequate funds. The projects approved have been time-lined for 18 months added Gupta.
BOUNCE INTRODUCES A NEW ELECTRIC SCOOTER WITH SWAPPABLE BATTERY
Bounce, India’s first smart mobility solution company, reinforced its commitment to support India’s EV potential by unveiling its first consumer electric scooter, the Bounce Infinity E1 on Thursday. The Bounce Infinity E1 will be offered with a unique ‘Battery as a service’ option – the first of its kind in the Indian market.
The scooter with battery and charger is INR 68,999 (Delhi Ex-showroom) and the price for Scooters with Battery-as-a-Service is priced at INR 45,099 (Delhi Ex-Showroom) plus subscription to Battery-as-a-Service. Customers can pre-book this smart scooter by paying a minimal amount of INR 499 which is totally refundable. Bounce Infinity E1 scooters are FAME II eligible. Here, customers have the choice of acquiring the Bounce Infinity E1 at a highly affordable price without the battery and use Bounce’s battery swapping network instead. Customers pay for battery swaps, whenever they swap an empty battery with a fully-charged one from Bounce’s extensive swapping network. This pushes the running costs of the scooter down substantially, by as much as 40 percent compared to conventional scooters. The Bounce Infinity E1 will also be offered with a battery, which can be removed from the scooter and charged by customers at their home or office or wherever convenient.
Bounce has been setting up a wide battery-swapping network through prominent partnerships, which will serve both its retail customers and its successful ride-sharing business. The ambition is to build the world’s largest and densest battery swapping platform to support India’s transition to clean mobility, and offer a swapping facility within one-kilometer distance for its customers.
Mr. Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO and Co-founder, Bounce said, “I strongly believe in the potential of electric vehicles in India – it is with this vision that we launched our in-house EV mobility solutions in June 2019. Today, we are building on our success, and to facilitate faster adoption of EVs, Bounce has taken a step ahead to develop the Infinity E1. We are committed to taking on all challenges to make India a leading EV adopter globally.”
Hallekere further added, “The Bounce Infinity E1 is designed and engineered to cater to the evolving needs of electric scooter customers in India. Our advanced ‘Made in India’ scooter will come equipped with enhanced state-of-the-art equipment and intelligent features. We are glad to announce that we are the first and only ones to provide both options – to swap batteries from our network as well as charge-at-home – for the Infinity E1.”
The Bounce Infinity E1 comes in five exciting colour options: Sporty Red, Sparkle Black, Pearl White, Desat Silver and Comed Grey. Pre-bookings started on Thursday, with deliveries slated for March 2022 through its dealership network and its online platform, for seamless deliveries across India. It will come equipped with a comprehensive warranty of 3 years, up to 50,000 kms.
Design: The Bounce Infinity E1 achieves elegance and simplicity while ensuring maximum performance. Convenience and safety have been kept in mind while delivering a thrilling ride for the commuter.
With a strong desire and determination to address the need to bring ease of commuting to people across many categories like small businesses, college students, office-goers, etc., Bounce was launched in 2018. A blend of advanced digital solutions with a seamless operations network on the ground helped Bounce become India’s largest smart mobility solution.
INDIA LOOKING TO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL RELATIONS ON UAE’S 50TH NATIONAL DAY
The Expo has played a pivotal role in the recovery from the repercussions of the pandemic; bilateral trade is gradually seeing signs of picking up and is expected to reach pre-Covid levels soon.
The India Pavilion yesterday marked the UAE’s 50th National Day and will be presenting an array of cultural performances showcasing a unique fusion of India’s and UAE’s culture.
India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles and Leader of House in Rajya Sabha, Shri Piyush Goyal said in a tweet message: “I extend my best wishes to the leadership & people of UAE on the occasion of their 50th National Day. India Pavilion @Expo2020Dubai is a testament to solid bonds of friendship & extensive cooperation India & UAE share. Wishing 50 more years of peace & prosperity.”
The UAE National Day celebrations will be hosted at the Amphitheatre at India Pavilion. Various dance groups including Balle Balle Dubai, The Punjabi Dance Group and Dhol Tasha will perform at the ceremony to highlight India’s festive spirit and its support to the UAE, an important strategic partner for India.
H. E. Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to UAE, congratulated UAE on its 50th National Day, and said, “UAE is one of India’s most valued partners. The two nations have always shared a commitment to openness, peaceful coexistence and social harmony that are based on their cultural traditions, spiritual values and shared heritage.”
UAE’s 50th National Day is of great importance to India as it was on 2nd December 1971 when the bilateral relations between the two countries strengthened with the unification of the UAE and the Federation coming into place; exactly 50 years ago. The cultural performances will include the dance groups presenting an amalgamation of Indian dances with Arabic Music, representing the true essence of the UAE and its achievements in the last 50 years and the peaceful co-existence of varied cultures in one nation.
India is UAE’s second-largest trading partner, and the total volume of trade was estimated at USD 43 billion in 2020-21. India and the UAE are working together relentlessly to ensure long-term growth in the coming years. India has commenced negotiations with the UAE to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which will help in leveraging the complementarities in trade between the two countries and see a quantum jump in the bilateral merchandise trade as well.
The Expo2020 Dubai has been a catalyst for a stronger collaboration between India and the UAE and continues to grow and strengthen further. Besides showcasing India as an important destination on an international platform, the Expo has played a pivotal role in the recovery from the repercussions of the pandemic, the bilateral trade is gradually seeing signs of picking up and is expected to reach pre-covid level soon.
Both India and the UAE are optimistic to deepen the trade ties despite the inherent challenges. The synergies, shared vision and complementary strengths of India and the UAE present a rare opportunity to contribute to the progress of not only our two countries, but also for the larger region and the world.
The year 2021 has been an important milestone as India is celebrating its 75th year of Independence and the UAE is celebrating its 50th year of unification. This auspicious year is a stepping stone to an even stronger strategic partnership that will resonate with success in the years to come.
India’s finest carpets, now adding life to homes in Mumbai
Obeetee rugs have brightened homes and lifestyles for decades on end, infusing them with an impeccable sense of grandeur. Revered across the globe, Obeetee carpets continue to prosper in both Indian and international marketplaces. After taking the western world by storm, the brand now has its eyes set on capturing markets on the home turf. Mumbai the financial capital of India, is hence an obvious choice for opening their brand-new store.
‘Obeetee’ Mumbai Store
Rudra Chatterjee, Chairman, Obeetee, said, “We are firm believers of what Obeetee stands for and the value that it adds to lives and homes. Our mission to weave its brilliance into the country began with the Obeetee store in Delhi and is now reaching new heights with our new store in Mumbai. We put our heart and soul into each store to ensure it encapsulates what Obeetee is and the Mumbai store captures every essence of it. This launch is another huge step in our expansion plan and we are honored to be launching it for the world to see.”
Speaking about the new store launch, Angelique Dhama, CEO, Obeetee Retail, said, “Created with the most detailed and artisanal craftsmanship using the purest and most natural forms of materials, Obeetee carpets are unlike any other. After the overwhelming response that we received for our Delhi store, it gives us immense pleasure to expand our reach in Mumbai. We are delighted to be expanding in the home ground of the brand and enabling more people to enter this beautiful world of tradition, aesthetics and opulence. The Mumbai store has been designed with the utmost detail and crystal-clear vision and we are ecstatic to open our doors and welcome you to experience it.”
Obeetee has opened a retail store in Mumbai’s Famous Studio Worli, which attracts some of India’s most affluent crowds. The store is set within a beautiful space of approximately 3000 square feet. Characterised by room in-room experiences, the store makes the customer go on a personalized and warm soiree at all times and we call it the ‘Makers Manor. The modern luxury setting amplifies the experience of the finer details of the legacy of Obeetee and its impeccable craftsmanship. The interiors and façade have been transpired through an intricate depiction of warping of a carpet.
The store also boasts of customised lighting suitable for all times in the day and has incorporated the use of kinetic fixtures that enable customers to see the carpets vertically in its whole avatar. The contemporary use of this in-house technology helps the customer see thousands of designs at one click and is called “Carpet Diem”. This Mumbai store is set to be one of ten exclusive retail stores that Obeetee aims to open across the country in the next 3 years.
This luxurious experience is elevated to greater heights when you simultaneously sip and feel the aromatic whirlwind of specially handpicked Makai Bari tea from Obeetee’s own tea estates. We invite you to come and experience an all-encompassing experience with us.
Founded in 1920, Obeetee is one of the oldest and largest hand-woven rug companies in not only India but also the world. Expanding over a century, Obeetee has garnered an undisputed reputation in terms of its brilliance. With over 25,000 artisans dedicated to the creation of extraordinary rugs, Obeetee boasts of a community that sustains its existence and excellence.
The uniqueness and regality of Obeetee is undeniable, and the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which houses two beautiful Obeetee creations, is in agreement. In addition to that, innumerable prominent people have experienced and recognised the world of Obeetee over the years.
Obeetee has the greatest in-house rug-making capabilities in India, powered by their modern dyeing plant and ever-inspired design department. They constantly employ new textures and designs, and house over 4,000 color-fast shades of wool in their bank. Obeetee was the first company to receive the SA 8000:2001 certification for Social Accountability. The company does an endless array of things to give back to the community. From supporting children’s education, women’s vocational training, public health, and sanitation, to numerous environmentally conscious efforts, Obeetee is by the people, of the people, for the people.
SPORTS AL DENTE TO DISTRIBUTE FREE JERSEYS
Sports Al Dente is a rapidly growing sports news and updates website that attracts over a million site visits each month. The website’s impressive numbers are in large part due to the credibility it champions in its coverage. Sports Al Dente boasts about its exclusive content curated by dedicated sports enthusiasts and analysts.
From post-game discussions to analysis and exhaustive match reports, the website has witnessed significant growth in terms of the type of content it publishes each day. Along with providing sports fans all around the world with reliable and unbiased news, the website has now decided to venture out of cyberspace and cater to the underprivileged and masses deprived of proper sports and games facilities. In a partnership with its sister company OtakuRage, Sports Al Dente is now seeking to distribute free jerseys to the underprivileged of society. The initiative by Al Dente comes after the company decided to expand its reach to other parts of India and beyond. Based in Surat, the website has been catering to masses all over the world. The overarching mission of Al Dente has been to popularise sports and games in general. While the Indian sports scene does have a large number of athletes and enthusiasts with a keen interest in various sports, the fledgling facilities and general lack of awareness have been a massive roadblock. Sports Al Dente’s latest partnership with OtakuRage is the company’s efforts at combating the prevailing issues with the Indian sports scene.
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