How IoT is adding wings to retail?


IoT in retail
Pic courtesy – Internet 

As per a report, IoT or Internet of Things in the Retail sector will be 35.64 Billion USD by the end of 2020. In the current landscape, the merger of technology and human sensors has uplifted the retail business and taken it to another tangent. In several lengths, IoT has assisted retailers and helped in enhancing the rhythm of their client service.  What came in harmony with IoT is increased revenue which all retailers look forward to. Go ahead with this piece of information and understand how IoT has worked like stimulus for retail.

Imagine a large retail unit that serves an ever increasing customer base. How does it record the data or details about the inventory? Gone are the days when MS excel alone could lead the job. A wise solution for retail units that cater to larger customer base is IoT driven software. In the retail sector, the Internet of Things can largely help in areas like managing inventory, tracking thefts or any loss, tracking virtual payments, checking on the promotional campaigns and much more.

The ubiquity of Internet has paved way for the retailers to embrace IoT and advance their offerings. How is IoT making so quickly to the market? Components like RFID, sensors and related hardware integration are coming out to be economical. Also, with the passing time, cloud adoption is adding to the significant drivers in the market. With so many influential factors on IoT’s side, it is expected that the retail sector will thrive at large. There are other reasons as well like increasing Smartphone dependency, or enhanced demands for real-time delivery. Audience wants it quick. Across the global market, IT companies are putting relentless effort in bringing the best of IoT solutions for seamless retail operations.

Even though IoT is creating a storm in the market, the emerging technology is prone to security threats and interoperability. The components be it software or hardware are vulnerable to threats. Certainly, it is may slightly affect the IoT adoption chances. IT companies are working hard to amend high level safety frameworks into their solutions and at the same time, pitching on the internet use and enhanced mobile usage.

For any information technology company, it is integral to focus on providing IoT solutions that are safe and productive. How far is the data safe? What is the upright solution to safeguard all of it? This is what several IT companies are juggling with.

Cardiovascular deaths on the rise – causing one third of the deaths across the globe


Referred as CVD diseases or cardiovascular diseases, it includes heart attacks, peripheral artery disease and strokes majorly

As per a report, in the year 2015, approximately 9 million people got a stroke for the

CVD
Pic courtesy – Internet

first time. With the passing time, CVD has turned out to be a serious threat on a global level. Apart from heart attacks and strokes, peripheral artery disease was one among the most common diseases under the umbrella of CVD.

Across the globe, the CVD threat is reaching its alarming levels. Most of the CVD deaths come from regions such as Oceania, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Xavier from Louisiana University said, “Problems like CVD are hard handle in geographies that have low income population since, they can’t afford the treatment.”

As per researchers, the rate declines in regions like Australia, Canada, the US, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and various parts of Western Europe.

A lot depends on the social structuring of people and their incomes. In the year 2015, there were around 18 million CVD deaths recorded across the globe. Between the year 1990 and 2010, a considerable improvement was seen in high income areas but the same improvement has slowed down recent five years.

In regions like Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe (Easter and Central), the CVD prevalence rate involved heart failure, coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease  and atrial fibrillation. The lowest rates took place in Singapore, South Korea, and southern American nations. The highest was in south Pacific island countries, Afghanistan and Iraq and lowest rates were recorded in Peru, Japan, Israel, Andorra, France, and Spain.

Depending upon the Social Demographic Index – fertility, education and income affect the CVD rate. It first goes high, then down and then increases eventually.

Ruth, a research scientist shared, “In the current scenario, both high and low income countries are suffering. The risk factors behind this rate are poor diet, high BP (blood pressure), tobacco consumption, high cholesterol, obesity and alcohol use.

As per a study, the CVD is not only hitting old but also younger population like people in their 40s. These are the people who are busy in taking care of their families and doing jobs. This also explains the fact, that they do not pay enough attention to their physical needs. So the objective should be to focus on good health that keeps alcohol, tobacco and poor diet at bay. People need to work on themselves and follow a healthy regime full of good food and exercises.

Reference taken from – http://bit.ly/2qyZBcp

 

Top five wearable gadgets you should have to track your health


In the current landscape when technology has deeply penetrated into our lives, it has

wearable technology1
Pic courtesy – Internet

become impossible to stay without it. Among various verticals that are actively embracing technology, healthcare is equally leading the race. While computers, specialized equipment and advanced technology integration have made a strong presence in this vertical, Internet of Things (IoT) is making a steadfast entry as well.

IoT is an amalgamation of human sensory organs and technology. Underneath IoT is wearable technology, which is steadily becoming a part and parcel of peoples’ life. Fit Bits, Smart Gloves, Smart Clothes etc. are nothing new among people and as a matter of fact, they are adding to the efficiency levels.

As per a report, people will be using around 250 million such wearable devices in coming three years.  Let’s take a look at the following 5 dominating gadgets that can make your life simpler:

  • Fitbit Alta HR – Loaded with good battery and stylish design, the FitBit has an upgraded software and it helps people track their fitness bit by bit.
  • Fitbit Charge 2 – Love working out? It is an easy-to-use tracker that keeps a watch on heart rate and calories burnt, swimming etc.
  • Apple Watch Series 2 – Faster, waterproof and user friendly, the device tracks your activity minus swimming, measures your workouts, and monitors health and thus, keeps you fully updated.
  • Garmin Vivomove A smart analog watch, it is loaded with lot of functions, it tracks your sleep and also, it monitors your sleep.
  • Huawei WatchEasy to pair with Android Smartphones, the watch is solid, rugged and simple. The ergonomically designed watch is a tracker that keeps a check on your activities like walking, climbing and running.

It is certain that after a certain period, the market trends will change, and another set of devices will take over. The point worth noticing is, wearable technology and health apps will keep coming in and help people in tracking their health and maintain a healthy regime. Make sure, you stay updated and healthy!

 

Reference taken from – http://bit.ly/1cZLceO

 

Idyllic Odisha – Part 1


“Dhai giri giri, dhai giri giri” (make it quick!), once you land in Odisha, you can hear Jagannath 1this statement frequently. Welcome to the land of Mahapatras, Patras, Pattnaiks and other multitudes of Odiyan castes and sub castes. The state is one of the most potential, fertile, and naturally beautiful region in our country. Lush green meadow, innocent & spiritual people, Rasgulla, and never ending series of ancient temples greet you at all points. While writing a travel blog on Odisha, I realized one blog wasn’t enough. So here is the part one that solely talks about Shri Jagannath Temple – the main attraction of the state.

Shri Jagannath Temple This temple is the reason why the entire state has a prominence across the world. Made thousand years ago, the temple has been designed and developed out of stone. Alluring, rugged and unbreakable, the temple, no matter how old, it can give a run for money to the contemporary buildings. It is said that it has been made on a framing of a sea shell. Lord Jagannath can be seen seated next to Subhadra (his sister) and Balram (his brother). Lord Jagannath is said to be a reincarnation of Sri Krishna. It is one of the Char Dhams in our country as seen by Hindu devotees.

Hindu mythology says, there 33 crore gods and goddesses and one find then at Shri Jagannath temple. Rath Yatra (chariot procession) takes place annually wherein it is considered that Shri Jagannath along with his brother and sister visit their aunt’s place that is Gundicha Temple. The wooden statues are taken on elaborate and huge temple chariots and taken to Gundicha. The festival is celebrated with huge pomp and show, and scores of people come to participate and pull the Ratha. The significance of this festival is so high that older people intentionally go under the tires of the Ratha, so that they can die, and get Nirvana. The wood of the Ratha once the festival is over, is given during funerals so that the departed soul goes to heaven.

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Inside the temple, you can find a spot where people lean awkwardly on a wall. It is said that Chaitanaya Maha Prabhu looked at the gods from this spot. His fingerprints can be felt on the wall. Cameras and leather products are not allowed inside, be careful. If you are going to Shri Jagannath temple, keep in mind a few things:

  •  Do not fall prey to the Pandas
  • Eat Aghora (Food that was offered to the gods)
  • Offer Prasad and bring it for friends and family
  • Pay visit to the kitchen and go to every nook and corner of the temple
  • Watch flag hoisting at 5 PM

The flag hoisting ceremony takes place at the temple at 5 in the evening (everyday). One of the most unique, audacious and out-of-the-box event it is. It is said, that without changing the flags, the customary Puja can’t take place. Now here is the catch, a young priest is expected to climb (without any support) upto the peak of the temple and change it. It is an activity worth watching and you don’t get to see that anywhere. The replaced flags get sold at a price and people throng in large number to buy them no matter how expensive they are. The flag which is at the highest is priced at 20k or more. And people buy them because they are considered auspicious. If you want your flag to be hoisted, then, in the morning you are required to register your name with the committee and submit a certain amount of money. After lottery, the winner’s flag will be hoisted at the peak, and the rest of the flags will go beneath.

There is more to Lord Jagannath. In every 12 to 15 years, the statues of gods are replaced and new wooden replicas are kept. This activity is done ceremoniously and the event is called as Nabakalebara wherein a village is chosen from where wood will be retrieved. It sounds like just another change of idols but the details around it are mystical and profound. The respective priest will get a dream that will give him directions to a village from where the wood shall be retrieved.  The dream is said to be detailed and elaborate one – people need to specifically go to a Neem tree from where the wood should be taken. It is said that when Lord Krishna’s body was cremated, every inch of body got burnt but not the heart. The heart is called as ‘Brahama’. It is the same heart that resides inside the idol of Shri Jagnnath. The Darus or the leaders who are the chosen one to transfer the ‘Brahma’/soul/heart and create the sculpture need to qualify to take up the duty. It is said that the Darus are blindfolded before doing the transfer (life infusion) and if not done properly, he will die instantly. It is done secretly and in complete silence. During this time, there is a complete blackout in the city of Puri.

There are a lot of mysteries associated with the temple like:

  1. The food that is made as an offering to gods and later distributed to people never gets short in quantity or wasted
  2. The flag always blows in opposite direction on the dome
  3. Never does any bird fly over the dome of the temple
  4. No one has seen the ‘Brahman’ and the transfer ceremony takes place in complete silence and dark
  5. No one can see the shadow of the dome

 

That was Shri Jagannath for you. Wait till the part 2 on Odisha comes up! I will recommend that once, in a lifetime, visit Odisha. You will fall for it instantly.

Ode to Indian Railways – People and Stories


Indian train coverOur Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi said, “The Indian Railways will
become the growth engine of nation’s ‘Vikas Yatra’.

Trains in India carry approximately 22 million passengers a day. Either to meet ends, or for a leisure trip, trains have always been by peoples’ side. Indian railways has gifted us not only a transport but also, a means to understand people coming from different verticals. If one wants to know Indians a little more, he or she should travel by train.

Indian train 4Take a look at the type of people; you come across while doing long distance train journeys.

Railway SME – Have an RAC? In waiting list? Seek his advice, he will have some solution for your plights even if non-applicable. It is worth noticing that these people find special interest in talking about tickets, platforms, duration of a train, etc. This is where these people derive their pleasure from and love talking about all things that go around trains, railways, stations and platforms.

Mr. Geography Honors – If railway SME wasn’t enough, read about his brother here. He seems to be abreast with the map of India, he knows from where the train will change its engine, and where it will change the track. Meet Mr. Geography honors who has strange affinity for figuring out the places, how the train will lead, where it will end up and much more!

That Fidgety Guy – Super restless and round the clock awake kind of a passenger. He is the only one who desperately waits for the TT, waits for the stations, is worried why the train is taking time in starting? is the engine unwell? Is anxious because the train got late…..His tensions could have been leveraged in better place but not on a poor train.

Washerwoman – Many a times, people often forget that there is a thin line of difference between a regular day at home, and a day spent in a train. They continue to spend it like usual. This washerwoman is the one who thinks sitting in a place for more than two minutes is a kind of crime so, she decides to keep shuffling between the bathroom and her seat throughout the journey. You may find her with weapons like steel utensils, her wet hands jerking suddenly on people sitting peacefully and doing some more unnecessary things. Sit quiet madam – what are tissue papers meant for?

indian train 1Nature Lover – They are rare, but, they are real. They love looking outside of the train, squish their nose on the glass window, and admire the nature. They seem to be swoon over by the trees, people at the station, animals, sun and the moon. These are best people out there.

Kumbhkaran’s Fourth Generation – They book tickets only to sleep in the train. They never got sleep otherwise in their lives. Right from the beginning of the journey, they take up the upper berth and surrender themselves to a deep slumber. They get up only to eat. They may look like humans but sound like animals who sleep for most of the year and eat only to survive. But they are good people!

No – Nonsense – He is least concerned with other people traveling in the same bogie. He patiently waits for his station and doesn’t indulge in striking any conversation. There is nothing else to talk about him – seriously, no-nonsense.Indian railway 66

The Annoying Kid – Karma always comes back to you and sometimes in the form of an annoying kind in a long journey. He wants everything from everybody – maybe the snack that you are eating. He may dangle his little feet right on your lap and peep deep inside your mobile. Silly baby! The toddler may have bandwidth of doing a lot of things that you may not even think of but then he is a silly baby. He may want to pee and poop when everything has been settled and he can’t see his mother sitting in peace. The lower berth that you got after a lot of struggle may require your sacrifice because the mother- baby duo needs lower berth and they had middle one on paper.

Food Family – The family that eats together, stays together. They bring their own kitchen, plates, spoons, bowls and inventory of snacks. If you are traveling with them, you will never stay hungry. They don’t believe in getting food from outside. It’s not about just eating. They are highly disciplined in keeping the food neat, tidy and well placed. They will first put the newspaper and cover the entire berth (this is why we publish newspaper), big bowls and hot cases will appear as lead actors, and then will appear all the side actors. Sweets have guest appearance – come and vanish. The food family passes its entire time by wrapping, unwrapping and eating. Happy people on Earth!

Singers – They are college students heading on an excursion with their teachers. They are not a bunch of students in train if they haven’t screamed at the top of their voice when a train passes through a tunnel and definitely, they are also not a bunch of students if they haven’t played Antakshri. They are also a not a bunch of college students if they haven’t eyed the pretty girl in another bogie. These things are part of the itinerary in any college trip. La-lala-lalaala!

Trains in any way are a medium to bond with fellow passengers and a way to know Indian train 5more about them. Of all the brands, Paper Boat (Beverages Company) has significantly contributed by reminding us of our childhood train journeys, the bookshop owner at the stations, passengers, so on and so forth with their advertising campaigns. It is due to their promotional pictures and ads that we connected again with those moments in our life, which we once, spent as a part of our routine existence.

In this fast and Smartphone driven life, when we don’t have enough time to travel, we often forget that we have come far away from that simplicity.

P.S. – Pictures taken from Paper Boat advertisements and Google.

Chronicles of Mysore


If a blissful climate is what you have been urging for, then Bangalore will quench your thirst at one go. I planned a trip to Bangalore and Mysore in the beginning of the year and the trip turned out to be the most rejuvenating one.

The next day after landing in Bangalore was dedicated to Mysore. Approximately five hours away from Bangalore, the quiet city offers lush greenery and well-planned infrastructure. Our driver who last went to school in his matriculation spoke to us in fluent Hindi despite being raised in Karnataka. The trip was planned as per his expert inputs. Following were the attractions we had a brush with:

1. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple – On the way to Mysore, we came across places like Ramnagra where Sholey, the cult Hindi film was shot (now, I can die in peace), and Channapatna where wooden toys are made. We dropped at Shri Ranganatha temple or Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Rangapattana before heading to Mysore. There is something unique about South Indian temples, which puts them in a different bracket of beauty, charm, and peace.
The architecture has always lured me to keep my eyes glued at the temples. This temple has lord Vishnu in his sleeping position which is rare in Hindu temples. Don’t forget to checkout the Ratha outside the temple for its intricate design. Trust me, it is hard to find such minute detailing elsewhere.

2. Ruins of Tipu Sultan – Close to Sri Rangapattana Temple, there are ruins of the palace of Tipu Sultan. When I say ruins, unfortunately, everything is dead. It is just the name and you may not be able to differentiate between a deserted land and a place with broken rocks lying here and there. We did check the burial ground (the tombstone says – he was found here) of the emperor, which still looks decent. When he was attacked by British army, he said, “Better to live one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep”.

The highway, cool breeze, occasional drizzles and smooth drive made our travel way more comfortable than we had thought of. Mysore is largely identified by Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, Chamundeshwari temple, Tipu Sultan’s palace ruins, Mysore zoo, St. Philomena Church, and Infosys Campus (looks like it is a tourist spot but no, it is IT).

3. The Palace of Mysore – Spectacular beyond words or I should say it is an understatement. Scattered across a large mass of land, the palace belongs to the Wodiyars/Wadiyars, the royal family that ruled Mysore. Every nook and corner is strictly supervised by policemen. Spick and span, the palace gives you a glimpse of their lifestyle, grandeur, art and culture preferences. Their furniture still dazzles and they are taken care of with utmost precision. Apart from the chandeliers, furniture, idols, utensils and much more that you may stick to inside the palace, do take a vivid look at the photographs of the family and its lineage. Inside the palace, there is a temple called, Sri Lakshmiramaswamy Temple which is another attraction to look at. The yellow tint on the architecture, women making Laddoos, Holy Basil plant and some more things will give you peace. Not sure if others found windows beautiful but I did notice that the windows were designed in smaller sizes mostly with red color, they looked exceptionally earthy and idyllic.

The Wadiyars were cursed – they could never bear their own biological child and this is why they went on for adoption. The untimely death of his highness Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar has certainly brought questions to the entire Wadiyar dynasty but the palace still continues to glow in its own allure. His wife, son and daughter in law reside in the extended section of the palace.

Once, you are out, take a look at the Sandalwood products like perfumes, Sandalwood paste, Sandalwood bark, incense sticks, and others available at the shops in the campus. After Mysore Palace, we dived into Mysore Masala Dosa, Mysore Pak and curd rice.

4. Chamundi Hills and Chamundeshwari Temple – We headed towards Chamundi Hills which is easily accessible by cars and other means of transport. On the way to the hills, we came across Sandalwood trees which Mysore is known for (you don’t get to see Sandalwood trees everywhere, I can die in peace again).

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Above the hills, is the magnificent Chamundeshwari Temple where the Wadiyars used to come and offer their prayers.  Chamundeshwari or Durga, the Wadiyars were highly devoted to the goddess. It is also one of the 18 Shakti Peethas in the country. Thronged in high frequency by fellow Kannadigas, the temple is also attended by a large number of visitors from others parts of the country and abroad. And also, monkeys. There are several shops near the temple where you can buy photographs of the goddess, Kumkum, Prasad, necklaces, toys, etc.

5. Mysore Zoo and St. Philomena’s Cathedral – We couldn’t visit the zoo as it was closed but if you get an opportunity, do tell me how it was. Our trip ended with a small visit to St. Philomena’s Cathedral. Built in Neo-Gothic style, the giant church was built by the Wadiyars – Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Coming back from Mysore and not buying Mysore Silk is a sin that cannot be forgiven. Do buy a silk saree, Sandalwood bark, incense sticks, idols and perfumes. You may find them slightly expensive but you can give it a shot as the purest form will not be available anywhere else.

Mysore, in all honesty, was a refreshing treat and I would recommend everybody to travel once here.

 

Writing in Technology Vertical


Underneath a broad topic – technical/technology writing lies a huge explanation. If you

technical-writers1
Pic courtesy – Google

are planning to take up a job in content writing in an IT company, take a look at this following piece of information.

 

There are three layers below content development in IT companies:

  1. Technical writing – It is hard-core technical and offered at IT companies. The writer should preferably be a B.Tech degree holder. The job usually requires writing user manual, release notes, technical articles etc. Take this job only if you are confident about it. Let me inform you, this job doesn’t not give you any space for creativity.
  2. Marketing content in IT sector – Every IT Company has a marketing department and it requires a content writer without fail. The profile requires writing material like – blogs, articles, marketing collateral, newsletter, whitepapers, press releases etc. This may sound easier but it also requires technical bent of mind. I will not recommend it unless you are actually interested in knowing technologies, software and solutions.
  3. Writing about newest gadgets – It doesn’t fall directly under technical writing but considering that it is related to technology, one can say it is a part too. This can be done by writers from different genres. This depends on the interest you have for technologies that keep evolving every day. As a writer, if you love tracking technologies and gadgets that are making life way better for people than this is your space. You may often come across section like ‘technology’ in lifestyle magazines. This can be done without any technical degree. Al you need is interest.

A sneak peak into the world of perfumes


ultra limited
Pic courtesy – Google

“He didn’t smell great, hence rejected.” Said Simran when she was shortlisting executives for marketing in her company.

You can know a lot about someone’s personality by the way he or she wears a perfume. And something very terrible if they aren’t wearing at all! Since thousands of years, humans have worked hard to extract beautiful fragrances from flora and fauna and different kinds of other ingredients. Extraction is just not one aspect in the making, but the best perfumes also call for research on human behavior, demographics, cultures and a lot more.

Over the years, people have been investing largely in the beauty and wellness for themselves. Perfumes to be particular stand as a top priority in the list. As per a study, the global market for fragrances in 2016 was estimated to be USD 40.1 billion. This statistic tells us about the usage level among people and the significance. Companies engaged in making fragrances, perfumes and scents are working hard every day to bring something new to the consumers.

Not only on international grounds but also, within India, there is a huge demand for fragrances, essential oils, and perfumes. The growth of perfume industry has been steady in the last five years. A huge importance is growing towards self-grooming and personality development that drives people to buy perfumes. Currently, the Indian perfume industry is estimated at Rs. 2000 crores and it has been estimated that it will grow Rs 3000 crores in coming 5 years.

Among various industry leaders, Ultra International Limited is widely known in the perfume industry (across the globe). Strategically located in New Delhi, the company is extensively engaged in making and selling fine fragrances and many other kinds for:

  1. Air Care
  2. Personal Care
  3. House Hold
  4. Oral Care
  5. Aromatherapy

 

ultra
Pic courtesy – Google

Being a leader in the industry since 1929, the company is a name to reckon with in India and overseas. It owns a massive plant in Sahibabad in Ghaziabad and it is taken care by highly experienced scientists, fragrance experts, and several highly skilled human resource.Talking to Mr. Parsenjit Majumdar, Director, Marketing, Ultra, he shares, “We believe in following rightful methods of extraction in a hygienic environment. Our seasoned team knows how to systemically exploit aromatic plants in our advanced labs. Efforts like these have high possibilities to enhance the usage of plants and resultantly escalate the economy.”

The team takes ardent care in areas like raw material aggregation, environment, storage and other parameters. Right from agro-climatic condition to hygiene and safety measures, every detail is kept in mind. In a country that is humid, and has a working class as a majority, perfumes are a blessing in disguise for many. Companies like Ultra are tirelessly working towards bringing new fragrances to people and make them feel confident about themselves.

Want to know more about Ultra International Limited, check out their website – http://www.ultrainternational.com/

Reference: http://bit.ly/2ojky71

 

Beauty and The Beast – art and emotions in one picture


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Pic courtesy – internet 

I remember reading “Beauty and the Beast” as a child and later watching Bangla telefilm on the same as a teenager. The story has always kept in awe with the concept of falling for a beast. Recently, I watched “Beauty and the Beast”, a 3D Hollywood movie as an adult.

Directed by Bill Colldon and starred by Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, the movie was a mélange of pretty colors, pleasing music and good pace. My faith in love, love stories and fairytale has been restored – Beauty and the Beast has cast that kind of spell on me. Nothing but a piece of art – the movie is a treat to eyes to anybody who has an affinity for literature, poetry, art, humor and old world charm. I felt, I watched a painting in motion in 3D.

Emma plays the role of a little girl named ‘Beauty’ living in a small village Villeneuve in Northern Italy. She is a petite and fearless beauty loves reading, dots her artist father, and is admired by villagers and envied by a few. She is nothing but a pretty picture full of poems, songs, books and self-realizing questions.

Lot of effort has been put in the dialogues and monologues, as they seemed straight out of literary books. Songs are like breath of this film and they have blended so well with the plot.

Due to situations, Beauty’s father lands up in a desolated castle. The hauntingly beautiful, the palace is an abode to the ‘Beast’, who was once a handsome and charming prince. Cursed by an angel for being arrogant, the prince continues to live in complete isolation in the dusty castle, which has never seen sunlight in years.

Beauty, on being worried about his father’s whereabouts rides her horse to check him out. The story as we know it, is about how she lets go her father and offers herself to the prison, extending affection to the unloved Beast. “Beauty lies within”, one can hear this as the film moves like a painting. Dan Stevens plays the role of a prince who is bearing the brunt of being arrogant – he is the beast. He has love for literature that plays the Cupid’s role and thus, begins a love story, between a beauty and beast. The assurance that Beauty gives while taking care of him makes him fall for her more and more.

Every scene has been taken care of meticulously and the performances delivered by all the actors is class apart. Something that stood apart for me was the humor quotient. The film didn’t fail to give me reasons to smile and chuckle at several intervals.

And if I do not talk about music then I am a sinner. Alan Menken was the music director for “Beauty and the Beast” and he did complete justice with the plot. Listen to the tracks like ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Something There’ especially.

Costumes and set design are on point, they take you to an Elizabethan era. Detailing seems to be the key for the director in this section. In all honesty, I would say, this movie was a delight to eyes with no flaws. In a long long time, a movie managed to impress me to this length. Watch it at the theaters to savor the experience.

Asha Kiran – an apathy we should not allow to reoccur


Tattered rags, human excreta on floors, pungent smell across all nooks and an eerie mental healthatmosphere everywhere – this may have a resemblance with that of ’10 Days in a mad house’. Who knew that Swati Maliwal will relive the same sequences that Nellie Bly went through 130 years ago. Certainly, nothing has changed since then. Recent Asha Kiran apathy displays the same – a foundation for mentally challenged unfortunately stands like a monster untouched by judiciary.

What went wrong? Gross ignorance? Or bureaucracy? Or laid back attitude? Or simply stars working against humans? Asha Kiran questions every little ethic that we have learnt in our childhood. Approximately 60 million people in India face mental disorders according to a news report in ‘The Indian Express’. It is startling to realize that such a large number of people, who could otherwise have been actively resourceful in some field, are struggling to lead a normal and healthy life. Some of the major psychological problems that people suffer from include – bipolar disorder, depression, Schizophrenia, and anxiety. Some of these problems start from a level when it doesn’t seem alarming. But due to general ignorance about them at first, the symptoms escalate. It is extremely important to take action at an early stage.

In India, people have a tendency to ignore issues around mental illness and psychological problems. There is stigma attached to it so people try and avoid giving attention to it. Going around Indian cities, one may see mentally challenged people walking aimlessly often in filthy conditions. Many of them have been abandoned by their families as their people were either not able to afford the treatment or they didn’t want to face society with a mentally challenged family member.

As per a report featured in The Quint – More than 7 crore mentally ill people live in India and there are less than 4000 doctors to treat them: NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru). Isn’t that a sorry state? It is important to understand why things have screwed up so much?

A complicated lifestyle today demands too much from the common man – a demanding job beyond 9 to 6, a general expectation to put up a happy face round the clock, smartphone driven regime to fit in with society and much more. People are finding it difficult to deal with life transforming every so often. Coping with a fast changing lifestyle demands a lot from the mental stamina of people. Almost the entire younger population is running a race, trying hard to keep pace up with every other social athlete and often collapsing at the threshold.

Is it not possible to recover from this desperate and dismal situation? Asks the mind. Somewhere in this complex life, people are always looking out for good listeners. It is very crucial to listen to each other and understand what is going on within our minds, what is disrupting our peace and fueling our inability to relax. Each condition can be treated provided enough time is given and precautionary measures are taken. If society continues to treat it as taboo, or not a subject for public discussion, there are feeble chances of progress

Even cities are struggling having only a small number of psychiatric treatment and doctors. Imagine the plight of remote villages. Major facilities, which take in mentally challenged, are in disgraceful conditions. The American based Human Rights Watch says that there are places where patients are treated in inhuman conditions.

It is important to concentrate on the most constructive policies and programmes that the government can put in place and most importantly the efforts that families of the affected can put. Families that abandon their mentally challenged member should be helped to take some positive action.

Partha De (Kolkata) is a classic case of a society gone wrong, ignorant of issues within it or just ignoring them. It is a case of abandonment and excessive but irrational emotional attachment with sibling and pets. Patha De was found living with the decomposed body of his sister, charred body of his father, skeletons of his two pet dogs and food scattered around the house. The police officials found him feeding his ‘sister’. Had relatives or neighbors been connected or slightly concerned, possibly such a massive breakdown within a family and the consequence could have been kept at bay. Often such situations arise due to family disputes, sour relationship between parents, loss of a loved one, excessive loneliness, career crisis and other related issues. Partha’s case demonstrates an alarming rise of isolated lives in metropolitan cities.

It comes as a shock that educated people are succumbing to loneliness and they are unable to find good listeners. It is time, that society takes action. We should look around and evaluate if our near and dear ones are doing fine just not physically, but mentally too.

Why not start with those around us. Always check if someone in your circle has suddenly turned quiet, has become fussy with food, has stopped going out etc. These are signs that the person may be gradually sliding in the direction of depression or similar mental disorder. Moreover we should be vigilant about the centres. We need to make sure that apathy and indifference to mentally challenged human beings who are resident in institutions like Asha Kiran shouldn’t repeat again. Only unconditional love, compassion and empathy can bring a person back on tracks of happy life.

 

References:

https://www.thequint.com/fitness/2015/07/09/a-life-in-shackles-mentally-ill-in-india

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/nearly-60-million-indians-suffer-from-mental-disorders-3022073/

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/mental-illness-indias-ticking-bomb-only-1-in-10-treated-lancet-study-2807987/

http://www.firstpost.com/india/delhis-asha-kiran-home-as-crimes-against-mentally-challenged-continue-policy-and-social-intervention-required-3271780.html