Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Even if you believe you are not motivated, you are. You may not be motivated by success, money, freedom, security, or happiness. But you are in fact motivated, and it could be that you are motivated by comfort.If you want to stay in bed and hit the snooze button three times, you are motivated by the warm comfort of sleep. Sleep is necessary, but the additional comfort of nine minutes is not.Entertainment is a form of escape. It isn’t necessarily negative, unless it consumes more of your time than it should, and unless is subtracts from your higher calling. That escape is a form of comfort. It prevents you from having to deal with the part of your reality that isn’t comfortable.The avoidance of constructive conflict is a form of comfort. Not having to have necessary—but difficult conversations—is another form of comfort that may motivate you, in this case the motivation is avoidance.Some people are afraid to share their voice, fearful that they will be judged as not being good enough—or worse, ridiculed. They find comfort and safety in the fear of not having to risk being criticized.Comfort is a growth and performance inhibitor. It prevents you from being more, having more, doing more, and contributing more. If you are not uncomfortable, you are not growing. More still, you are not making the contribution you are capable of making.Comfort should motivate you. But in the ways described above it should be a warning sign that you need to make a significant change now, and you should stretch yourself beyond whatever you are comfortable with now.
The image below is from an InMail I received today. The person sending it is inquiring about my need for help with sales. He believes he can help me “increase revenue and reduce my turnover with his award-winning sales optimization.” “The best part,” according to the sender, is that “over the past 25 years,” they’ve “helped hundreds of company turn their sales teams performance around.”As is customary from the innumerable LinkedIn spammers clogging up the inbox you never requested, the sender has included a link for me to schedule a meeting with him directly, as if somehow this pitch should cause an irresistible urge to add myself to his calendar. His pitch promises nothing of value in trade for my time, is devoid of any insight that might pique my curiosity, and offers me nothing more than a chance for him to pitch me, under the tenuous disguise of “see how I can help.”The oblivious sender also demonstrates an unawareness of the fundamental that is doing the minimal viable research before sending an InMail or making a call. Worse still, the idea that this is the right prospecting approach in the 21st Century is an indication that the sender is so out of touch with sales as it is practiced today as to believe that spamming people on LinkedIn is a growth strategy. A glance at his calendar is an indication it is not, as there are plenty of times available, all of them are grouped tightly together without an intervening appointment, indicating no one has scheduled a meeting on the days he is available.Within an hour of receiving the first time-waster’s poorly conceived pitch for a meeting, a person with the title VP of Sales decided to steal my time (and likely hundreds more) by telling me how many qualified leads he created for “businesses like” mine, even though it is clear he has no idea what I do. If he had any awareness of what I do, he would not have written that one of his “clients got 131 clients in the first 5 months,” a clear indication he is looking for people who need help with transactional sales. Or, more likely, anyone who might be gullible enough to pay him for the experience in the picture below, which I suspect might be the CEO in the first image.Using the same lame line as time-waster number one, he writes: “The best part . . . If we don’t deliver, you don’t pay!” However, there is no best part.This is not prospecting. It is spam. It isn’t how you should use LinkedIn, and it isn’t how you promise to create enough value to compel your targeted dream client to trade you their time. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday condemned the killing of a 17-year-old Muslim youth, Junaid, who was stabbed to death by a mob on a train last Thursday in Ballabgarh.“I condemn the incident and urge people to maintain peace in the State,” Mr. Khattar said on the sidelines of a meeting to review various skill development schemes being implemented in Haryana. He said that one accused was arrested, and search was on to nab others. The State government had provided financial aid of ₹10 lakh to the victim’s kin, he added.BJP’s minority Morcha chief Abdul Rasheed Ansari said the killing was a matter of concern “not just as a member of the minority community but also as a citizen of India and as member of a political party”. “My party is equally concerned about it,” he said.Fast probeHe also said that the incident in Ballabhgarh was being investigated efficiently with great speed by the State. “It may have been that at the time of the incident, there may not have been enough policemen to control the mob, but that cannot be linked to the intentions of the government to prevent and investigate the incident.”
A delegation of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the recent violence against Catholic priests and seminarians in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, last week.Led by Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, president of the CBCI, the delegation said the purpose of its visit was to express “pain and shock” at the incident. “We pointed out that there was no FIR lodged in relation to what happened to the priests and seminarians while the arrest (of a priest) was undertaken on the basis of a false complaint; the Home Minister assured us that the matter would be dealt with as per the provisions of law,” he said.
When urban designer Trupti Vaitla asked residents of a Mumbai slum what new features they’d like to see in their dilapidated public space, she was surprised by one popular answer: a patch of grass.The Lotus Garden is the only open area for about 200,000 people who live in cramped and squalid tenements abutting the city’s biggest landfill. The municipal corporation had done little for its upkeep and it was littered with trash.Three years ago, Vaitla and her team were tasked with transforming it into a space that people would actually use. They expected residents to suggest elements like lighting, elaborate landscaping and a gym.The team didn’t expect such enthusiasm for a simple lawn.“But they were excited to be involved, and for them, a patch of green was really important – a small oasis in their otherwise drab and congested world,” said Vaitla, chief executive of Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN).Vaitla’s team, backed by funding from United Nations Habitat, which promotes sustainable urban development, spent months cleaning up Lotus Garden. They installed lights and water, planted shrubs and grass, and built an open-air gym.From the very first day, residents including women and children who had earlier avoided the space, swarmed in, Vaitla said.The appetite for areas like the Lotus Garden is not surprising. In Mumbai, with its population of 18 million and counting, soaring real estate prices and relentless construction, public spaces are shrinking.“In a crowded slum, these spaces are particularly relevant, as people have nowhere else to go,” said Pontus Westerberg, digital projects officer at UN-Habitat.“These spaces also impact on their health, sanitation, safety, access to emergency services.”Digital LegoEncouraged by their success with Lotus Garden, MESN and UN-Habitat collaborated on another space in the nearby Gautam Nagar neighbourhood. This time, they decided to use technology to encourage even more community involvement.The team settled on Minecraft, a video game that allows players to build their own worlds using virtual Lego-like pieces.For the past five years, UN Habitat has used Minecraft in its Block by Block programme, which aims to encourage some of the poorest communities in the developing world to participate in upgrading their common spaces.The programme is a partnership between UN-Habitat, Mojang, the creator of Minecraft, and Microsoft, which owns Mojang.“It can be a challenge to mobilise people in slums – especially the youth – who are resigned to their environment and don’t feel a sense of ownership,” said Westerberg by telephone from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.The traditional approach, using maps and drawings, often draws little interest from residents, he said.“But with an interactive design tool like this – I call it digital Lego – they are so engaged, and that makes the process more democratic,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.The Block by Block programme was launched in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum. It has since been used in about 50 locations in more than 20 countries including Indonesia, Nigeria and Mexico.Once UN-Habitat selects a site, a Minecraft model of the site is built using photographs, videos, maps and Google Street View, if it is available. UN-Habitat then holds a workshop.Residents are put into groups of mixed ages and genders, and given a laptop with the Minecraft model. They learn the game in a matter of minutes or hours, Westerberg said, and everyone pitches in on the redesign.The designs are then discussed with local officials, one design is chosen, and the project is handed over to a local architect to execute.No swimming poolWhen Vaitla brought Minecraft to a workshop in Gautam Nagar, participants used it to create plans including better lighting, seating, trees and play areas for children.The slum’s 6,000 residents live in close quarters, among open drains and common spaces strewn with garbage. They were looking for realistic solutions to improve their lives.“The designs they came up with were all sensible,” Vaitla recalled. “No one said, ‘We want a swimming pool.'”Other organisations are also putting digital tools like Google Earth and smartphones to work for disadvantaged residents of India’s urban areas.Shelter Associates, a charity that focuses on slum upgrades, is working with residents to create maps of slums that need amenities like sewage lines, or are at risk of eviction because they are on disputed land.This is particularly relevant as the government’s Smart Cities plan risks hastening slum evictions.In the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, Shelter Associates has mapped about 500 settlements of more than 200,000 homes, said Executive Director Pratima Joshi.“There are so many low-cost technologies that are easy to use, and we train slum residents to use them as a first step towards mobilising the communities,” she said.As for Lotus Garden, residents continue to take pride in the space they redesigned, said Vaitla.“The lawn is a bit scraggly, but still being maintained, as are other amenities,” she said.“If you involve the community, they will participate, and they will take better care of these spaces.”
The principal of a school, where a class I boy was allegedly attacked with a sharp-edged weapon by a girl, was on Thursday arrested even as officials said the suspect wanted a holiday in the event of a schoolmate’s death. The girl was later sent to a juvenile home till January 31. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the trauma centre and talked to doctors, inquiring about the well-being of six-year-old Ritik, who was attacked in the toilet of Brightland School in Triveni Nagar locality by his senior, in a chilling reminder of the murder of class II student Pradyuman Thakur in a Gurgaon school last year. The boy was stated to be out of danger. The school’s principal Rachit Manas was arrested by the police in connection with the incident that took place on January 16.“He has been arrested for negligence and hiding evidence. He did not inform the police of the incident,” Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said. Later, Chief Judicial Magistrate (Custom) Chhavi Asthana granted bail to Manas on furnishing two sureties of ₹20,000 each and a personal bond of the same amount. Kumar said the knife used by the 11-year-old girl, who was his senior in the school and was studying in class 7, has also been recovered. She was produced before the juvenile justice board after which principal magistrate Achal Pratap Singh sent her to the juvenile home for allegedly causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.“The hair recovered from the victim has been sent for forensic examination,” Kumar said. District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said that prima facie it appeared that someone might have told the girl that a holiday could be announced by the school authorities only if there was death of any student.“For getting the school closed, the girl attacked Ritik,” police said. The victim’s father Rajesh had on Wednesday said, “I was informed by the school that my son is injured. He has been attacked with knife by a girl.” The boy was rushed to the trauma centre. Dr. Sandeep Tewari, who was treating the boy, said the victim had deep wounds on chest and stomach that “seem to have been inflicted with a knife-like sharp object”.An FIR was lodged in connection on Thursday. Panic gripped the school a day after the incident took place when other parents came to know about the matter and charged the school administration with trying to hush up the case. Taking note of the incident after the picture of the wounded boy went viral on social media and TV channels, District Inspector of Schools (DIoS) Mukesh Kumar Singh issued a notice to the school seeking clarification as to why legal action should not be initiated against it.“The school has not provided information to our office regarding the incident after registration of the FIR. A clarification has been sought from the school,” Mr. Singh said. Seven-year-old Pradyuman of Gurgaon’s Ryan International School was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon in the school’s washroom in September last year in which a 16-year-old student has been charged with committing the crime.
Two days after a chunk of the Majerhat bridge, a key connector between south and southwestern Kolkata, collapsed, killing three persons and leaving more than 20 injured, the West Bengal government made a startling revelation. After a meeting with officials of different Departments, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said 20 bridges in the city and its suburbs had outlived their life span.What is the problem?While the government did not name all the bridges that are operational and carrying traffic well beyond their expiry date, it specified three bridges at Sealdah, Ultandanga and Santragachi. These are three of the busiest flyovers and railway overbridges that carry thousands of vehicles and commuters every day. For the city, which is still grappling with three bridge collapses since 2013, crumbling infrastructure is a cause for concern.Why are bridges falling?One of the key problems, cited by the government, is that being a riverine State, it has hundreds of bridges, and many were built years ago, including some dating back to colonial times. For instance, the iconic Howrah Bridge, which was opened to the public in 1943, faced a peculiar problem earlier in the decade when its pillars started corroding because of spitting by thousands of gutkha-chewing commuters. The steel structure was made stronger by fibre-casing by the Kolkata Port Trust.The State government claims that documents relating to many bridges built before independence and during the previous governments are not available, and therefore the agency that is responsible for their maintenance cannot be located. The case filed by the Kolkata police in the Majerhat bridge collapse under several Sections of the IPC, including 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), is against “unknown persons.” However, documents in the public domain suggest that the tenders for repairing the bridge were brought out by the Public Works Department earlier this year, but renovation was never taken up. Moreover, a fresh coat of blue and white (favourite colours of the government that adorn all public offices and infrastructure) paint on these crumbling structures, where vegetation, including trees are found to be growing, indicates that adequate measures for ensuring the safety of these structures have not been taken.Who is responsible?A close look at the urban infrastructure in Kolkata reveals that due to lack of road space, along with surburban and metro railway projects criss-crossing the city, many flyovers, railway overbridges and elevated corridors have been built. There are multiple agencies managing these structures: the Public Works Department, the Kolkata Metro Development Authority (KMDA), the Irrigation Department, the Kolkata Port Trust and the Railways. This often means that no one party can be held accountable for the sorry state of affairs. Another hurdle to repairs is that people have taken shelter under these structures and refuse to move.What is the government doing?The State government has set up bridge inspection and monitoring committees under the PWD, the Irrigation Department and the KMDA. These committees will be engaged in the safety audit of the bridges. The State government has also banned the plying of heavy vehicles and 20-wheeler trucks on bridges and flyovers of the city. The government has urged the Joka-BBD Bag metro project, being carried out in the vicinity of the Majerhat bridge, to suspend work till the inquiry committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, completes its investigation.What lies in store?Since the Majerhat bridge on Diamond Harbour Road connected Behala and the adjoining suburban areas to the city, the accident has resulted in traffic bottlenecks. The Transport Department has started bus services, but with the festival season approaching, the traffic police and the government will have to take more measures to ensure full connectivity to the southwestern suburbs.
As the death toll in the landslip in Odisha’s Gajapati district increased to 14 with the finding of two more bodies on Saturday, the State government stepped up relief work and restoration in the areas affected by Cyclone Titli.Twelve persons, including five children, were killed in Barghara village under Gangabada panchayat in Gajapati following a landslip triggered by heavy rains on Thursday. Now, two more villagers were said to be missing.Apart from the landslip victims, eight persons died during the natural disaster in different districts.“I heard the information about the landslide. We are waiting for a detailed report. My deepest condolences are for the family members of the deceased,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after making an aerial survey of the flood-affected Ganjam, Rayagada and Gajapati districts on Saturday.Personnel from the Indian Navy joined those of the National Disaster Response Force and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force in rescuing people stranded in Aska and Purusottampur areas of Ganjam which were worst affected by floods.“Appreciate valiant efforts of @indiannavy divers in high risk operations at Aska, putting their own lives in danger to save the lives of people marooned in their flooded homes post #CycloneTitli. We will take every possible step to reach each affected person with required help,” tweeted Mr. Patnaik.Upon his return to Bhubaneswar, CM announced that all affected families of Ganjam, Gajapati and Gunupur subdivision of Rayagada district would be given relief for 15 days. “On an average, a family of four members will be assisted with more than ₹3000 as relief. This is at the rate of ₹60 per adult and ₹45 per child. Connectivity, safe drinking water and electricity supply will be restored within 48 hours,” he said.
RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav said on Saturday that he was a “simple man” who was forced to marry “city-bred” Aishwarya Rai against his wishes and had been living a “stifled life” since their wedding in May. He filed a divorce petition on Friday. Tej Pratap is the elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, said he was not willing to withdraw his petition, which is expected to come up for hearing on November 29.Speaking to reporters in the pilgrim town of Bodh Gaya, where he made a brief stopover on his way to Ranchi to meet his ailing and incarcerated father Lalu Prasad, Mr. Tej said, “I had told my parents that I did not wish to marry at this moment of time. But nobody listened to me. Ours was a mismatch. I am a simple man with simple habits while she is a modern woman, educated in Delhi and used to life in a metropolis.”Ms. Rai is the daughter of RJD MLA Chandrika Rai. Her grandfather Daroga Rai was the Chief Minister of Bihar in the 1960s. The couple had tied the knot here on May 12 this year. The RJD chief had acquired bail to attend the wedding in Patna. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan were among others who attended the grand wedding.Asked about his decision at a time when his father is in poor health, Mr. Tej said, “I have been living a stifled (ghut ghut ke) life. How long can one go on like this?”He also said he has not been on talking terms with his wife for the past couple of months.Asked whether his younger brother Tejashwi Yadav said anything to him on the issue, he said they talk about politics, not about such matters.In his petition, he has stated cruelty as the reason for seeking divorce.His lawyer Yashwant Kumar Sharma said on Friday that the former Bihar minister had sought divorce on compatibility issues.He said the separation has been sought invoking Section 13 A of the Hindu Marriage Act under which either spouse can unilaterally seek divorce.Tej Pratap took the step barely a couple of days after his return from a pilgrimage to Vrindavan, from where he had shared on social media photographs of himself posing like Lord Krishna playing a flute surrounded by a herd of cattle.
When thousands of hockey fans were cheering for the home team India in the high voltage quarter final of the 14th Men’s World Hockey tournament held at the Kalinga Stadium here, 30 special guests became the cynosure of all eyes on Thursday.As part of a mission to bring to mainstream the Left Wing Extremists who have surrendered, 30 former Maoists (20 from Malkangiri and 10 from Koraput district) were brought to Bhubaneswar to witness the match.The surrendered Maoists were seen sitting near Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. “The surrendered Maoists expressed their desire to watch the match. So we facilitated their entry into the stadium. Moreover, they would be taken to different places of tourist interest,” said Jagamohan Meena, Malkangiri SP.
A day after Cabinet formation, Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot on December 25 hinted at its expansion in near future, saying several leaders will be given a chance to work.The statement comes amidst growing resentment among some senior Congress leaders who were apparently left fuming after being denied berths in the new government.“Every section of the State has been given representation in the Council of Ministers. It was the first expansion. Another expansion may happen in sometime. Several people would be given a chance to work on various posts,” Mr. Pilot told reporters.On December 24, 23 Ministers, including 13 Cabinet and 10 Ministers of State took oath.As many as 18 fresh faces were inducted in the State Cabinet even as senior leaders like C.P. Joshi and Deependra Singh abstained from attending the ceremony held at Raj Bhawan. Various other senior leaders including Brijendra Ola, Parasram Mordiya, Rajendra Pareek, Mahesh Joshi were not inducted in the State Cabinet.Hours later, supporters of Congress legislator from Kaman, Zahida Khan and legislator from Guda Malani, Hema Ram Chaudhary took to the streets and raised anti-government slogans for not giving their leaders a Ministerial berth. Both the leaders had served as Ministers in the past Congress governments in the State.So far, 25 Ministers, including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have been inducted in the Council of Ministers. The Cabinet can have a maximum of 30 Ministers.
What did ancient sea creatures really look like? Is there an upper limit to how many friends we can have? And how do fire ants form living bridges? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi.Listen to the full Science podcast.Hear more podcasts.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
Angkor Wat may be covered in graffiti—but don’t worry, it’s invisible. Built in the early 12th century, Cambodia’s architecturally iconic temple is known for its intricate carvings, some of them stretching nearly a kilometer in length. But most archaeologists believe that parts of the temple were once painted as well. So when scientists noticed faint traces of red and black pigment on the walls of several rooms in Angkor Wat, they snapped pictures with a bright flash and used a tool called decorrelation stretch analysis to digitally enhance the images. Previously used to highlight subtle color differences in images of the martian landscape taken by NASA’s Opportunity rover, this type of analysis can reveal colors too faint or faded to be seen with the naked eye. When the researchers applied it to their photos of Angkor Wat, they found more than 200 images of boats, deities, buildings, and animals—like the elephants above (inset)—drawn on the walls throughout the temple, they report today in Antiquity. Most of the paintings are haphazardly arranged and appear to be graffiti left by visitors after Angkor Wat was first abandoned in 1431. But one group of carefully drawn scenes, located in the highest tier of one of Angkor Wat’s towers, might be the remains of a 16th century restoration program, when the complex was transformed from a Hindu temple into a Buddhist shrine. The previously lost images could give archaeologists new insight into this little-known period in Cambodia’s history.
Singapore tech start-ups will have a much easier ride in India, thanks to an agreement signed yesterday.The deal will let Singaporean firms pilot innovations in India and acquire best practices from tech companies in what has become a thriving innovation centre.The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) aims to facilitate business partnerships and knowledge exchange between firms in the tech sector.Singapore companies will be able to participate in programmes co-organised by IE Singapore and the CII to better understand India’s tech landscape and connect to partners in the ecosystem. Both organisations will also build platforms to bring together next-generation Indian and Singaporean tech business leaders.Read it at Straits Times Related Items
A decade-and-half ago, in 2003, Reid Hoffman along with members from PayPal and Socialnet.com which included Allen Blue, founded LinkedIn in Hoffman’s living room in the US. The platform has since become ‘world’s largest professional network’ with 562 million members from over 200 countries and properties.Read it at Money Control Related Items
Bang in the middle of Silicon Valley’s infamous traffic jams, wedged between a shining Tesla and a BMW, it’s entirely possible to forget a section of the region’s homeless population that sleeps in not-so-expensive cars.Read it at New Indian Express Related Items
As the world’s largest democracy gears up for a national election, India is facing a dramatic rise in tensions with its neighbor Pakistan — and America should be concerned.Read it at CNBC Related Items
The Ambassador Gets Some RespectFor anyone who’s grown up in India, the topography of the squat Ambassador car is as familiar as the lap of a beloved old grandma. After all, for decades and decades, it was the way modern India got around, and was the ultimate dream of every burgeoning middle class household.Yes, a lot of life in India has been lived in the Ambassador; it’s almost a part of the family. It was private car and taxi, pride and possession. The seats were tough, the handles hard, but oh, the places it could take you! First manufactured by Hindustan Motors in 1957, the boxy exterior of the Ambassador still echoes the shape of the 1950’s British Morris sedan. As family car and political vehicle, air-conditioned limousine and rattling taxi, it’s been a silent (sometimes noisy) part of contemporary India, a ubiquitous presence at weddings and funerals, on city streets and in the bazaar. And it got its share of ridicule.But now, the Ambassador is getting some respect! It’s the star attraction at an exhibition at the Sackler Gallery of the prestigious Smithsonian Museum.And who better to document the Ambassador for posterity than the late great photographer Raghubir Singh?The Ambassador is the star of Singh’s last big project before his death in 1999 and the result is A Way into India (Phaidon), a wonderful book of images shot by him across India. In Auto*Focus, the Sackler Gallery (through August 10) not only shows 48 of these vivid images, but actually gives visitors a chance to sit in an Ambassador and watch footage of the ‘Amby’ and Bollywood film clips.“Throughout this series of photographs,” says curator Debra Diamond, “Singh used the Ambassador car to see, scale and order the world around him. The car plays a role in everyday narratives – an altercation in traffic, the transporting of chickens, a visit to the Red Fort in Delhi, a family outing, a driver’s nap – Singh not only uses the car as subject, but also uses the car as a camera, a box with windows and mirrors that offer opportunities for framing and hreflecting and transforming the landscape.”Indeed, Singh’s images capture the frenetic rhythms of Indian life through the Ambassador, and his affection for his subject comes through in every frame. Perhaps his own words, in the book, describe the Ambassador best: “It is an organic part of bird shit-and cow dung-coated India. It is the good and bad of India. It is a solid part of that India that moves on, even as it falls apart, or lags behind. In its imperfection it is truly an Indian automobile.”Mr and Mrs IyerYou don’t need ten songs, dozens of costume changes and scores of foreign locales to tell a beautiful love story. From noted actress and director Aparna Sen comes Mr. and Mrs. Iyer – a poignant, lyrical film about romance amongst the ruins, in the middle of riots.Sen, who has directed memorable films like Sati, Paroma, Picnic and Yugant, made her directorial debut with an English language film, 36 Chowringhee Lane, winner of the Grand Prix at the Manila International Film Festival and the National Award for the Best Direction in India. With Mr. and Mrs. Iyer she shows that she has not lost her deft touch. The story is about how ordinary lives intersect and how even a chance encounter can transform a life. Meenakshi Iyer, born and brought up in an orthodox Brahmin family, is traveling alone with her infant son, returning to her husband after a visit to her parents. On the bus, she encounters Raja Chowdhary, a wildlife photographer.The calm and tedium of the journey is broken by an angry mob of Hindu extremists, seeking to avenge the burning of a Hindu village, are out on a rampage, looking for Muslims.Raja is a Muslim. Hardly knowing him, Meenakshi impulsively saves him from the mob by pretending that they are a married Hindu couple, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer. The film follows their slow transformation, as they have to rethink and re-evaluate their prejudices and their entrenched beliefs. And somewhere along the way, as they complete the journey, love blooms.Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, which won two awards at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, was shown at the South Asia Human Rights Film Festival at the Asia Society in New York. The film has remarkable, nuanced performances from Rahul Bose and Konkona Sensharma, who is Sen’s daughter, in the lead roles. And the wonderful music by Zakir Hussain makes every frame come alive, etched in the memory.“I wanted to make a very simple film, without any cinematic gimmickry, about a man and a woman from two different religious communities, who fall in love despite religious differences,” says Aparna Sen.“And I wanted to celebrate that love.” Related Items