Cerulean Premium Poolside Lounge Launched at Azaya Beach Resort in Goa

Wanna read a book or spend quality time with your family and friends in the summer in Goa, here is a new premium poolside lounge, Cerulean launched by Azaya Beach Resort. Aesthetically designed to be the ideal ‘anytime destination’ for refreshments on the go or while lounging around the pool, Cerulean is the easy breezy lounge featuring a refreshing beverage menu including a slew of thirst-quenchers, be it the healthy tropical drinks or the frosty, flavoured frozen margaritas and cocktails, everything is available at your beck and call.

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Magnificent Menu

The menu has been designed to keep the discerning tastes of guests in mind and offers a wide range of interesting dishes including fresh salads like the grilled watermelon, cherry tomato and feta with pomegranate quinoa salad or the signature Azaya Caesar Salad with a twist, artisanal burgers and sandwiches like the Azaya Club Sandwich created with a multigrain sourdough bread, avocado and seasonal veggies with apple slaw, our in-house pizzeria featuring classics like the Margherita with Bocconcini or the Marinara-an original seafood pizza from Napoli for the slightly more adventurous palate to an enviable selection of desserts including monster shakes, ice creams and indulgent baked goodies for the kids.

Farm Fresh Ingredients

The carte du jour is crafted using robust and farm fresh ingredients. Your one-stop high end delicatessen with an astounding view is based on the idea of lounging around the pool for a truly susegad experience. It also functions as a convenience store where guests can buy and stock their mini bar. The whole poolside experience of Cerulean is enhanced with Azaya’s signature services and contemporary ambience. In short, Cerulean poolside lounge is the most anticipated chill zone in South Goa in the backdrop of a magnificent locale. So, the next time you contemplate on a trip to Goa, you can make it to Cerulean to enjoy the newest experience you have ever had in this part of the world.

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Rethy Devi’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Me to be published in Tamil

The 2014 Booker Prize nominated global classic novel in English, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Me, authored by Rethy Devi will be published in Tamil soon. Jayashankar Menon, senior journalist and author has already completed the novel in Tamil, which is currently undergoing editing and proofreading.

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The book, which was written and published in Malayalam by the Green Books, while the English version is published by Book Venture, which is available on Amazon website. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Me has been translated into 12 international languages. Termed by the book aficionados as one of the best ever novels of the 21st century, the book has elicited lot of interest the world over.

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The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Me was submitted for the 2014 Manbooker Prize. Completed in a span of ten years, after referring in excess of 500 authoritative books, which occupies a pride of place on the bookshelves of around 60 countries. The book was released at the second biggest international Book Festival of the world, The Dubai International Book Fair 2015, where ten million people visited the fair. The then Ambassador of India in the UAE, Seetharam launched the book by handing it over to the renowned Indian writer Sethu. A sheer coincidence, though, Dan Brown, the author of Da Vinci Code was also present on that occasion.

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Rethy Devi’s novel is also included as one of the best 98 books, chosen from the Malayalam language at the Frankfurt International Book Festival with the stated objective of translating and acquainting Malayalam books with world class literature. “This, I consider, is a great honour I received for my novel”, says Rethy Devi.

She has also attended the International History Seminar in 2015. Her paper, titled: “Post Colonial Feminist and Feminist Identity” was presented, while other eminent personalites such as Dr. Upinder Singh (daughter of then then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh), Dr. Margret Frenz (Grand daughter of Dr. Herman Gundert), Dr. MGS Narayanan and others had presented their papers as well. The fictional biographical novel, titled: “Just Another Day In Paradise”, written by the renowned American writer Tom Mathews, New York, based on Rethy Devi’s life story, when she was a Human Rights Lawyer is also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Arun Arsha, Author of the novel, Auschwitz wrote, “Rethy Devi could go beyond The Da Vinci Code through her novel, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Me. Her language is a blend of love and frenzy, just like a painting by Vincent Van Gog.” On the back cover of the latest edition, Arsha quotes a passage from the book, “There is a crazy female tree, on an island, surrounded by water on all the sides, which blooms only crazy lowers in all the seasons and it is me!”

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The Tamil translation of the novel, titled: Magdaleenaavi (enadhum) pen suvisesham has been translated by the senior journalist, actor and author, Jayashankar Menon. Although a native of Palakkad, the polyglot writes in English, Tamil and Malayalam, besides having spoken knowledge of many languages. A passionate personality, Jayashankar was instrumental in bringing out a musical thriller movie in Malayalam, Kamboji, produced by his aunt, Prof. Lakshmi Padmanabhan. The film went on to bag four state awards and several other accolades. Besides doing cameo role in that movie, the Chennai-based artist has also co-produced a short film, Charakku while portraying a crucial character as well.

The uniqueness of this book is that the Tamil version is written by a non-Tamil person. Currently, the book is undergoing several rounds of editing and proof reading. At an event held in Kochi last week, Rethy Devi had touch based ace Tamil film actor and politician, Kamal Hassan and handed over the manuscript of the novel and requesting him to write a preface.

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The 575 odd page book in Tamil, based on the most cardinal disciple of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, is going to elicit much interest the other translations of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Me had elicited across the globe.

Elaborating on the experience of transating the magnum opus, Jayashankar Menon said, “For more than three decades I was into full time active journalism covering conceivably all subjects. Of late, I ventured into the moving making aspects, meanwhile contemplating on taking up full time writing. I have about 30 odd Malayalam books at my disposal to be translated into Tamil and English. Last year, Rethy Devi, who contacted me through Linkedin, had thrown a challenge of writing her global classic into Tamil. What a way to start and what a book to translate! I readily accepted the offer. Although, I had my fair share of qutting my cosy job with a fat salary and sit to write a classic, with inherrent domestic pressure to sustain myelf, I did kick-start translating this book. Just eight months, 85K words, 575 odd pages, it was a non-stop marrathon. Some force was behind me, which was making me write in frenetic pace. When I look back, I couldn’t believe myself that I had completed the book within a year, which the original book was completed in ten years!”

The former VC of Malayalam University, Jayakumar IAS said, “This is a book of extraordinary bravery. It defies forbiddence and borders. My imagination of love is a sort of revolution itself. It is searching for the change from the existing male dominated power and forbiddence, which should be overcome.”

A couple of major book publishers have approached Rethy Devi and we will soon be finalising the publishing of the book, once we get to hear from Kamal Hassan, she added.

Love Matters: India’s first bilingual website launched at QTube Cafe in Bandra

Love Matters , India’s first bilingual website dedicated to love, sexuality and relationships organized a one of its kind Open mic session on Valentine day on February 14, 2017 in Mumbai’s quiet but hip QTube Café in Bandra. The event saw a jam packed venue where many came forward to share their tryst with love, sexuality or identity, their take on relationships, family, and society. The gathering was of young and old people, many came with their parents to taste the non judgmental and open minded session.

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While speaking at the event, Vithika Yadav, RNW Head-India, Love Matters India, said: “We organized this open mic session as a true free speech event for young Mumbaikars to come together and have an opportunity to have frank and open conversations on love, sexuality and relationships.”

Love Matters opened its doors for everyone and the differences of Mumbai walked in, slightly unsure and then they took to the stage, and all those differences dissolved to form, what united them for that moment forming a road of open dialogue. With an opportunity to share openly, people poured their hearts out; what they felt about love, lessons they have learnt on the way, good and bad both, how they feel towards every individual deserving a fair chance to love who they want, to freely talking about their sexuality, about society’s perception, attitude and acceptance of every individual.
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“The idea behind an open-mic event with young people is to shed all the judgement around different sexuality and preferences. We don’t want the society to label someone. We want everyone to come together and hear each other patiently”, Roshan Kokane, web editor for Love Matters India, pointed out.
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Love Matters India is moving towards changing how people perceive and are perceived by others, they want to bridge the gap that creates this difference through respectful dialogues and ‘Let’s Talk About Us’ the open mic session in Mumbai was a step towards creating that platform.

Love Matters India is the first ever bilingual English and Hindi website about sex and sexuality in India. It aims to provide science-based information on love, sex and relationships so people can make informed choices, and to create spaces where everyone is free to ask questions and engage in online conversations. In 2016 itself, the website has attracted an average of two million users a month and there in excess of one million followers on Facebook.

Voizd aims at 5 million users in two years in India

Voizd, the audio based anonymous online social space provider is aiming at becoming the defacto safe social space for people to discuss topics most close to their hearts. “We are looking forward to on-board around 5 million users in next 24 months”, say Sameer Agarwal and Pooja Daswani, Founders of Voizd: Voice Without Fear. The duo reveals the growth potential of their venture and more to Jayashankar Menon in an interview. Excerpts:

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JM: Can you talk a big about Voizd and its parent firm in the US?

SA: Voizd Inc., is our parent firm, located in the US. Voizd.com was launched in September 2016. Voice Without Fear is an anonymous mobile app where you can freely express every opinion and thought in your own voice without the fear of being judged, labeled or trolled. A 30-second anonymous (optional) audio clips are available to express your thoughts. A network of real people connects based on real thoughts. Content discovery based on Trending Topics, Emotions and Proximity, Relevant topics. Community with a support system created by the people themselves

JM: When and How VOIZD came into existence?

SA: During 2013 general elections and post elections while sharing his opinions on many issues, I started getting death threats and troll attacks, initially I thought it’s isolated to political opinions but soon realized that our society in general has become quite intolerant towards opinions and thoughts which are divergent from mainstream. I also realized that we as a society subconsciously judge and label people based on their every thought and action and hence most people are always trying to fit in with the status quo even with very basics of their expressions, that seeded the idea of creating a safe space where people can be themselves.

While the app was still on the drawing board a conversation with an acquaintance made the team realized that traditional social spaces today are owned by English speaking audience and people who are not very comfortable with English or other written forms get hard end of the stick, hence the team decided that Audio/ Voice based expression should be mainstay of the App, as everyone can speak even when they are not very comfortable in writing. What voice also does is that it keeps the essence, emotion, tonality, of the poster and hence the message intact leading to a deeper connect between the poster and listener.

JM: How did you build the core team (co-founders and initial employees) – How did you meet and how did everyone align to the idea?

SA: Pooja, Rajiv and I use to work together at RockeTalk, which was founded by the latter. Pooja used to run Communities and I was the CMO and Sales head. All three of us had experience in building large communities, Social spaces and audio based interactions. I also knew that both of them have also faced similar troll and judgment attacks on social networks and real life so when I discussed the idea they connected with it. Then came the task of hiring core-engineering team. Since we are bootstrapping it we dug into our combined network to find talent from UI/UX to Engineering team, which helped us pushing the beta app out.

JM: Describe Your Startup, and explain, what exactly it does?

SA: VOIZD is an audio based Anonymous online social space where people around the world share real thoughts and experiences and trade advice. What’s catchy is that, you get to share all the above anonymously and in voice without the entire persistent real name trapping of other networks.

The app protects your identity, so you can go all out sharing what you actually feel without having to fine-tune it (i.e you can be 100% real), so basically it Gives you the Power to share your thoughts without the fear of being judged, labeled and trolled. It is an anonymous sharing app where you can divulge your deepest secrets to an audience of unknown people, and respond to their secret confessions or questions. The app beta was launched in Sepember 2016.

JM: What prompted you to start the VOIZD as another social network with many being already in the market?

SA: With traditional social networks being purely identity driven, the feeling of always being in the spotlight forces us to relentlessly curate how we self present online. Constant self-monitoring to hide our rough edges or different opinions to “fit in” leaving no space to be original, be weird or flawed. This especially sucks for the young people, who wish to freely exchange their thoughts and ideas.

Voizd is the only social space at the intersection of audio and anonymity, giving its user power to share their most intimate thoughts and issues without the barrier of language and education, as everyone can speak and Listen. Purely Visual and text based social spaces often leaves a huge mass of people, with powerful ideas on the sidelines. Text is limiting, and video is too bandwidth hungry and risky for countries like India. Besides, text lacks the emotive power of expression that voice carries, appealing to our very basic senses. It is also friction free and has no sign up on boarding.

JM: Who Are Your competitors? How are you different from them?

A: How are we different: Expressing your true thoughts on identity driven social networks means being trolled by people who do not share the same opinion as yours. It is at the cost of being judged by your very own family, friends or co- workers.

On Voizd you can freely express every opinion and thought in your own voice in 30-second anonymous audio clips. Since there is no sign up hence people connect with your thoughts/opinions than your identity leading to thought becoming more important that the user.

JM: Is The Startup funded? If Yes, provide details like – date, stage and source of funding.

SA: VOIZD is currently bootstrapped by the founders. We are working towards growing the network further and looking for funding.

JM: What are the technologies Used in VOIZD?

SA: Server side: Java, Apache, PhP, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Hadoop, Elastic Search  and Native implementation on Android and iOS client.

JM: Provide statistics of Your Startup/App/Project such as tractions per month, revenue generating per month or any other stats that the company wants to share with us to influence our readers.

SA: VOIZD beta app was only exposed in mid September last year, to a 100 people but since has organically grown to 2000 users, doing over five thousand posts and over one lakhh public conversations, from topics ranging from Relationships, Gender issues, Fashion, Abuse. Around 70 % of our current users are women and highly vocal.

JM: What challenges are you facing in running your business?

SA: Indian startup ecosystem is skewed towards ecommerce/ transactions based business models and VOIZD is trying to build a social networking product with social impact out of India which is unheard of, plus it is easy to raise funds for copy past business models from western world but not when you are trying to do something totally out of the box. Even startup accelerators applications don’t have a column for mobile social, they have for everything from payments to commerce to food delivery but not for social startups

On the product side while audio is super engaging, UGC around Audio is hardly attempted in India which has both tech and acceptability challenges as with any new concept

JM: How do you look at expansion?

SA: Voizd aims to become the defacto safe social space for people to discuss topics most close to their hearts and we are looking forward to on-board around 5 million users in next 24 months.

Parampara Series National Festival of Dance and Music at Delhi on September 30, 2016

Every year as a part of its endeavour to redefine and rejuvenate India’s rich cultural heritage, Natya Tarangini and Padma Bhushans Dr. Raja Radha Reddy organize the ‘Parampara Series’ – National Festival of Music and Dance in capital city, New Delhi, according to a statement.

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The Parampara Series 2016, which is conducted right after the soothing monsoon and just before the withering autumn, has stood firm for the last 19 years and is now synonymous with Delhi’s annual cultural scene. Over time Parampara has blended concerts by presenting classical geniuses under creative themes giving uniquely fresh approach to otherwise traditional arts forms.

This year Natya Tarangini is presenting Parampara Series from the September 30 2016 to October 2 2016 from 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm at Kamani Auditorium (New Delhi). The festivals which will be represent some of the most successful dance productions of recent times in addition to musical concerts by legendary artists. As always the Parampara Series will showcase every evening two concerts (Dance and Music).

Malavika Sarukkai debuts on group choreography Vamatara – Light

Malavika Sarukkai, danseuse par excellence, an acknowledged choreographer and a Padma Shree Awardee is introducing a group choreography for the first time ever, titled Vamatara – To The Light on September 2, 2016 at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleshwaram, Bangalore.

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Malavika’s choreographs are known for the incandescent beauty of the classical language of Bharata Natyam and the energised articulation of a contemporary mind. Intense, extraordinary and luminous are the qualities that distinguish her dancing.

New Chapter

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‘Vamatara – To the Light” is the latest dance creation of Malavika, which opens a new chapter in her artistic journey with the introduction of group choreography for the first time. The concept rests on the enduring image of the lotus rising from the sludge to the light, as a symbol of hope. What is more, this production includes group work in addition to Malavika Sarukkai’s solo choreographies. Vamatara is a validation of the dynamics within classical dance which allows for creative freedom, innovation and imagination.

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In recognition of her contribution, Malavika has received many awards including the Padma shree, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the Kalaimamani award, the Raza award, the Mrinalini Sarabhai award and more. Furthermore, Malavika has recently been awarded the Natya Kala Acharya Award by the Music Academy of Bangalore.

Grand Winter Carnival at Gurgaon on December 19-20 2015

In what could be termed as the first ever winter carnival in Delhi NCR, VRV Entertainment, an event management firm is organising the Grand Winter Carnival at HUDA Grounds, Gurgaon from December 19-20, 2015. According to a company statement, it is a perfect destination for the shopaholics, foodies and for all those who love music and games.

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Get set to experience a well-deserved weekend getaway, wherein you would get great opportunity to feed your shopping hunger. The range of products that one can choose from includes lifestyle, designer clothes, home decor, handicrafts, high-end luxury products, electronics and much more. Music Band will belt out the popular chartbusters to enthrall the crowd. Additionally, the visitors would get a great opportunity to treat their taste buds in the food court. Good care has been taken about the fun element and various games have been planned for the visitors, specifically the kids.

The Grand Winter Carnival is going to be a one of its kind event in Delhi NCR this winter.

Venue: HUDA Grounds, Leisure Valley Road, Next to Leisure Valley Gate 2, Gurgaon 122001

Date: 19-20th December 2015

Activities Planned:

Great shopping options and a wide variety of clothes, accessories, lifestyle, home décor, handicrafts and much more to choose from.
Lip-smacking food options from the best of restaurants in and around NCR
Fun rides, games and other engaging activities to bring life to the carnival games
Soul-refreshing decoration accompanied with amazing performances by dance groups, rock bands, magicians, world class puppet shows and much more

Visitors can enjoy free WIFI courtesy by our connectivity partner Airtel broadband.

Vikalp Aggarwal, the founder of the VRV Entertainment and the brain behind Grand Winter Carnival, said: “The carnival is a mélange of fun, food and shopping for our patrons. The event will be decorated with some of the amazing performances by dance groups, rock bands, magicians, world class puppet shows and much more to keep everyone entertained and engross in the event that nobody would want to leave. We are expecting 25-30 thousand people over the period of two days. Attention is given to every detail so that people just enjoy without any care. We are absolutely delighted to welcome our partners Airtel Broadband, Weddingplz.com, Radio One, Broomberg and ticketplease.com. Hope to have a successful grand winter carnival like our grand partners.”