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 email@example.com.
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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.
Five fashion faux pas women should avoid
We are living in an era where there are not too many fashion rules. Thus, the go-to move is to choose an outfit that makes you feel comfortable.
Yet, even the outfits that seem to be effortless aren’t that easy to style. From matching different patterns and colours to picking out accessories, it takes a lot of thought. Here are some of the most common fashion mistakes to avoid.
1. Unbalanced proportions: To balance the proportions is all about styling in a way that makes your outfit look in harmony. It is important that you wear outfits as per your body shape. If you want to play with a baggy look, make sure you balance the rest of the outfit with a fitted look. For example, pair that baggy wide leg with a fitted crop top, or a baggy sweater with skinny fit jeans.
2. Overdoing or underdoing colours: Use the colour wheel to balance out the colours of your fit. As your comfort level increases, you will know which colour combination suits you best. But, too many colours in a single outfit can make your outfit lose its relevance. Choose an interesting combination of colours, be it bold or pastels.
3. Overloading of accessories: Too many accessories can actually ruin your entire outfit. It can take away the charm of your outfit. Make sure you choose a single statement piece and keep other accessories minimal.
4. Wrinkled Clothes: it is undoubtedly the most common and the most avoidable fashion faux pas. You may be wearing the trendiest shirt or the cutest flowy dress, but if it’s wrinkled, it will lose its charm. Looking shabby has never worked out for anyone. A well-ironed or crisp fit makes you look more poised and presentable.
5. Inappropriate Dressing: We can always add a touch of our personal style to our outfits for the office or special occasions, but completely ignoring the dress code is a faux pas. Read the room well before finalising your outfit.
It’s time to ace up your fashion game by avoiding these small fashion mistakes.
The writer is the CEO and co-founder of BoStreet.
How pop culture is deeply rooted in merchandise
Pop culture consists of contemporary cultural ideas that are transmitted through mass media and aimed particularly at younger people. Though it is a very broad term, one usually associates it with fashion, music, and contemporary iconography. Now preferences may change with times, fashions and trends, but the thing that endures is a steadfast love for pop culture.
Siddharth Sood or MC SID,
Aware of its immense popularity and potential, Siddharth Sood or MC SID as he is better known, launched Epic Stuff India in 2015, which is a platform catering to all things pop culture. It houses a large number of franchised brands to appeal to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. He says, “Our goal was to translate the essence of pop culture into products that are as innovative and distinctive as the licensed brand franchise itself. We strive to provide the best quality of cool products for pop culture fanatics, and along with that, our event decor and gifting collection provide customers with the best gifting experience for their loved ones. I felt a platform like this was necessary.”
With 15 years of experience in pop culture media, Sood started Epic Stuff by selling posters at college exhibitions. He was most inspired by his travels to New York City, particularly the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. The goal of this platform is to offer products that are an experiential extension of the brands that fans love. Epic Stuff is an official licensee of over 20 brands with a product portfolio that includes accessories, stationery, home, kitchen, and apparel. Currently, they are the leading officially licensed pop culture merchandise brand in India. Their sales growth in India has jumped 100 per cent year on year in the last two years. Exporting to international markets has yielded favourable results, and they are also the largest sellers on Amazon India and Comic Con India for licensed pop culture products.
Apart from this venture, Sood holds the distinction of being a popular and influential emcee and rapper under his chosen name MC SID. His particular brand of hosting is unique for being heavy on comedy and DJ beats. This makes him India’s first comedy rapper. His raps in English with a pinch of Hindi and Punjabi, consist of rib-tickling one-liners, and are much appreciated at corporate events and weddings. He has also created his own special brand of ‘team-building’ exercises called Comedy Rap, where he taps into the relaxing power of music by rapping with a percussionist for a wholesome experience. When asked about his unusual choice of profession, he says, “I chose this unconventional profession purely by mistake…I was part of the debating team in school and college and thoroughly enjoyed being on stage. One thing led to another, and I got the opportunity to be paid to have fun and do what I loved, hence decided to take it up as a profession!”
The concept of Epic Stuff ties in well with his persona. Further, his global exposure ensures that only the best merchandise is sold on his platform. One can access original merch featuring one-liners and characters from their favourite sitcoms and movies like Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/Friends or anything else. He adds, “This site is where you go when you have forgotten a really important birthday or anniversary and want to fake that you did not! You can also go a step further and send in an ‘epic quote’ to go along with your epic stuff. Say, you want to express your love (but not really…) to your secret crush? Or just want to let your homies or girl gang know how much they mean to you? Just browse through our collection of epic quotes on Instagram and become one of over 400k followers who have a witty slogan for every mood.”
Their most popular categories include stationery, home and kitchen products, and collectibles. They vary from bookmarks, notebooks, coffee mugs, and cushion covers to specifically themed collectibles like wands, maps, frames, etc.Epic Stuff delivers pan-India and has a strong distribution network across Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
The next time you or someone dear to you wants to show off their allegiance to a particular pop culture theme, you know exactly where to look.
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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