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ZODIAC

Found 4 results

  1. India is a country where cricket is considered nothing less than religion and people literally worship the game. It is a country where no matter how much you promote any other sport, it will always come under the shadow of the game of cricket It is a country where children are playing the game even in the narrowest of streets, aspiring to represent their nation. But at the end of the day, the Indian National team has only 16 spots, out of which the 11 best players get to play. And let's be very honest, not everyone can be a Virat Kohli or a Rohit Sharma. Millions of children play cricket every day, out of which about fifty thousand take it up as a profession in a good year, and out of those fifty thousand, only 16 get selected. The numbers put things into perspective, doesn't it? The cricket mania in our country is such that people leave everything to excel in the sport. They train day and night just to get into that blue jersey. Many leave their studies and every other hobby, just to focus on the game. And out of all, there are only a handful of people who get to have their dream come true. The rest have to make do with crushed dreams. The importance of studies is such that even a legend like MS Dhoni completed his degree. Even after years of getting on the field, he did complete his education, because he himself realises how imperative it is to have one. © Reuters Speaking of wise legends of the game, how can we forget our Mr Dependable, Rahul Dravid, who himself has a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from St. Joseph's College? Dravid, who has been in charge of India's U-19 squad and India A team for over three years now, has also raised his voice in favour of young cricketers having alternate career options as the drop-out rates continue to escalate. During a recent meeting with the BCCI officials, 'the wall' weighed in on the importance of working on the life skills for the budding cricketers. © ICC Tufan Ghosh, the COO of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) spoke of the meeting with TOI in his recent interview: “Dravid and the other coaches here had pointed out the need to start such a process. We are working towards formulating a structure before it is sent to the higher authorities in BCCI to get things going... Right now, we can't be teaching them like what happens in NIS, but Dravid has emphasized on life education.” Further explaining his statement, Mr Ghosh said: “Most of the cricketers these days are so engrossed in playing the game that they don't look at any other aspect of life. It has been observed a lot of these young players quit cricket by 21. Then it's a struggle for them to lead a stable life. We are looking at life coaching, internships with companies and training in other vocational courses and then facilitating jobs for the youngsters.” BCCI is further looking to rope in companies that can help them with the process. They have also planned to align with the state bodies and academies, so that if the players from different state bodies feel the need to avail the facility, then it could be done easily. Let's hope this step by BCCI proves to be a fruitful one for the coming generations.
  2. For those of us located in the geographical area that lies between how itchy (and bit*hy) we get over matters related to Kashmir, and how easily we can look at the southern states beyond the “Madrasi” tag, lies an avidly growing crop of connoisseurs who have the heart (and able ears) to appreciate comedy that is to be found all around us - hidden in a chaiwala's hometown, to the cool locales of the seven sisters, you can't even name correctly. And there is one man in particular who has been feeding the voracious appetite of all these comedy-lovers who lay in-between this ever agitated conundrum called India. Amit Tandon is one of India's most favourite funnyman, and his masterstroke lies in bringing a highly varied gathering of people to double over with his rib-tickling laughter-bombs, irrespective of their age, gender, creed or for that matter, even their class, bank balance and cab-booking service preferences. © Instagram However, if you asked a decade younger Amit Tandon the most static question one gets asked in an HR interview, “where do you see yourself in the next 5 years”, you would have probably been surprised by the response that this query fetched you. Because, much like the unpredictability of Ranveer Singh's next fashion choice, Delhi's weather and the car ahead of you changing its lane within a matter of seconds, stand-up comedy happened to Amit all of a sudden, and all at once. The Backstory Back in 2010, when Amit was minding his business (literally!), after having made it through years of academic trials (you may know them as exams), first in engineering college and then while pursuing his MBA, Amit was intrigued by the concept of open mic that was slowly gripping Delhi. He decided to go and attend a open mic near his place to see for himself what the hype was all about. © Amit Tandon Turns out, he was bowled over by the idea, and took to it as effortlessly as Delhi boys take to cussing. Having stayed off the stage for almost a decade due to his studies, Amit found himself inspired enough to put pen to paper once more since his college days, when he actively wrote for college theatre plays and the like. The Ultimate Initiation It was in July 2010 when Amit finally gave in to his overbearing desire and performed at his first ever open mic in South Delhi. The following two to three years went by in a blur, with more and more open mic performances in various places, which were usually 5-7 minute long sets. That eventually scaled up to 30-minute sets on stage, and gradually paid gigs at clubs et al. became Amit's new normal. However, it was in 2012-13 when he started doing corporate shows, that he began to feel he could finally switch to stand-up comedy full-time, and turn it into a career. The rest, as we all know, is history. © Instagram The Stand-Up Comedy Industry - Then & Now 2015 has to be Amit's most memorable year professionally, because that is when “the married guy” took off in the virtual space, after one of his video went viral on social media. However, when you ask him how times have changed since, Amit would give you a very personal and insightful peek into the stand-up comedy industry. When I posed the same question, he went on to share that, “earlier there was only one set of audience - cosmopolitan, urban Indians living in South Delhi or South Bombay, who were open to the concept of live entertainment.” That time saw the domination of English comedy coming from well-educated and well-travelled comics. On the other hand, “now it's a mix of languages, where we have English, Hindi and even Hinglish. Even the art has travelled far and wide in the country, with shows happening in even smaller towns and cities such as Siliguri, Guwahati, Indore, Bhopal besides many others”. © Amit Tandon Amit further added that today even the audience has undergone a drastic makeover. He said, “it's not a single stand-up audience now. Everyone has developed their own fan base. There are genres developing in comedy now, which is a huge development since the earlier times”. What It Takes To Make It As A Stand-Up Comic So finally now that I had the chance, there was a nagging question that I wished to get out of the way ASAP. Thus, I ended up asking Amit if being funny, and an ability to make people laugh the only prerequisites to becoming a stand-up comedian (you see, the hope and subconscious desire to make it as a comic blooms within the heart of many of us). This is exactly how he took that question, “stand-up comedy is not just about being funny, it's being funny for strangers. Being funny with your friends is easy, given the numerous touchpoints you share. Even a simple one-liner can make your friends laugh because of the connection. Whereas, being able to make complete strangers relate to your work and laugh at your jokes, is what makes you a comic.” © Instagram That would have dashed a lot of hopes, but what Amit adds next is pure gem. He said that the difference between being funny and being a comedian lies in making a varied group of audience laugh at your jokes. Because as a performer “your audience changes everyday - their experiences and background change, so one needs to go up there, build a relationship with their audience and then make them crack-up”. The Other Side Of Comedy So when we are talking about stand-up comedy, how could I not touch upon social media popularity, its longevity and it turning into an obsessive aspiration for amateur comics? Amit was quick to share his valuable insights when he pointed out that social media popularity is short lived and has its own challenges. He pointed out how social media constantly beckons us to keep feeding a “monster”, so people would follow us. Yet it also acts as the first stepping stone for new artists to show their work. “When one is starting out, YouTube videos come in handy when people ask for showreels.” But Amit also cautions us that social media popularity cannot be the only aspiration when someone is just starting out, especially in the first three years.” © Amit Tandon Why? Because “for the first three years, you should work on building your material, making yourself funny and becoming good enough, so that when people call you after that 5-min sneak peek, we have a good 30 min entertainer on the ready”. Advice For Aspiring Comedians So basically I went on Humans of New York on Amit, and asked him that one question we have all picked up since HONY turned it into a rage, in this case, “what advice would you give to aspiring stand-up comedians” and trust Amit Tandon to give it to you most honestly. “Find an open mic to go to and perform. Next, write your own material, go back again and perform. So in short, write, record and repeat. Perform as much as you can, record your performance, watch it, make changes where required and go back again. That's the only practical and healthy way to improve. However, senior comics are easily approachable, who can guide you in the field. But the basic would still remain 'write, record and repeat'.” © Instagram Failures In This Field & How To Deal With Them Sure enough, I wanted to find out about failures in this field and how to best deal with them, because that's perhaps the biggest reason why the best of us with the talent to make it big as a stand-up comedian never give it a try in the first place. Especially, since failures in this field can be pretty personal. But guess what, Amit gives you the best way out to deal with them! “Failures in this career happens every other day - maybe you thought a joke was funny but no one laughed, offending people can also be a failure. No one liking your set, people doing something else during your performance, these are all failures.” So what Amit suggests is that, “take each of your failures personally. That is only when you will improve, or else you'll forget about it by next morning. Look at your failure, introspect and think about what went wrong and better it - was it the setup, did you not research about your audience, was the beginning not right, did you not do your jokes properly or if the timing was off? Figure out and take it personally in comedy to improve.” © Instagram #AmitSpeaks: How To Become A Stand-Up Comedian Last but not the least. I made Amit answer the most important question, and here is exactly what he said: “First, find out where open mics happen around your city. Go attend it and see how it works. Come back and write your own story - don't write on the basis of what people are laughing at. Instead, write on what frustrates you, what you find funny in life, what your observations are. Prepare a five minute set and register for an open mic. Go on stage and perform. If it doesn't work, go and check why it didn't do well. Better it, go back and do it again. So "write, record and repeat" that's your ultimate mantra.” Amit was the most gracious star who patiently and earnestly responded to my long list of questions. The man believes in offering people the space to let go and laugh freely, through his highly relatable observational comedy, delivered in a simple language funny enough to tickle your bones. © Instagram But while 2019 has just begun, I couldn't end this article without telling you about all that you can look forward to from Amit this year. From his extensive international tour across Europe, to a number of series that he is working on, there is lot in store for his fans! But if there is one project Amit is super excited about, it's the project on partition that he is working on, which might be launched on the small screen. What makes this project so special for him is his family's history being connected to it. Amit's family migrated to India in 1947 from Pakistan, so that establishes a personal connect. There is so much more to Amit Tandon that we haven't seen so far, but for now his laughter-bombs in Netflix's 'Comedians of the World' are keeping us more than sated.
  3. Are you interested in creating a smartphone app for your own fashion label? Have you decided to launch a startup that will curate grooming products at affordable rates? Are you planning on opening your own online food store? How about those of you who want set up a business selling gym essentials? Well with Diwali just a few months away, the time is here for you to take your business idea to the next level. Diwal, after all, is a lot more than just being 'the festival of lights', it's also a time for families to throng nearby markets and indulge in their Diwali shopping - something that has become sort of a ritual. Recently, people have realised the benefits of online shopping and have taken to different e-commerce platforms to do their Diwali shopping. In fact in 2017, e-commerce sales during Diwali were reported to have been around 3.3 billion dollars - a 50% increase from 2016 when sales were clocked at 2.2 billion dollars. So if you've been planning on scaling up your business and taking a giant leap in the online market space, then the time couldn't be more appropriate. © Get Me A Shop Being an entrepreneur or a small business owner isn't easy! It requires a magnitude of effort, lots of investment (both in terms of time and money) and an explosion of innovative and creative ideas. Simply put, not everyone has it in them to become a successful (or in some cases even budding) entrepreneur, but those that do are usually able to identify and seize every opportunity that will help them become a big shot. Well as it turns out, Get Me A Shop just happens to be one such opportunity that all young entrepreneurs NEED to check out if they wanted to give their startup or budding business just the boost it needed. © Get Me A Shop For the uninitiated out there, Get Me A Shop is an online portal that will help you amplify and scale up your own small business or startup by providing you with an online platform (one that'll be of your own choosing) for the same. Basically, it can best be described as a tool you can use to create your own online store, one that will help you take it to new heights. Get Me A Shop is loaded with incredible features including, but not limited to, a gamut of amazing themes (that require no coding whatsoever!), different marketing tools, a point-of-sale system, a business manager, CRM, cloud hosting, search engine optimisation and even an analytics tool that can help you evaluate your business' performance. To sum it up - Get Me A Shop is THE tool all budding entrepreneurs should have at their disposal if they have any plans of scaling up their business this Diwali season. © Get Me A Shop What makes Get Me A Shop more special than any other e-commerce portal is the sheer variety of options it provides you to base your e-commerce business on. Get Me A Shop understands how different and unique one entrepreneur is from another - and how what might make for a suitable (and effective) platform for one business owner might not be as effective for another. As such, you get to choose from a gamut of different options that would be best suited for your needs. For instance, if you own a tech startup, then you can set up your shop on Facebook and expand your business there. Alternatively, if you want to start your own food delivery business and are only looking at mobile apps as a module for setting up your shop, Get Me A Shop will help you with that as well. Simply put, Get Me A Shop understands that one-size, in fact, does not fit all, and so it caters to your unique and personalised business needs. © Pexels And the icing on the cake? You can try it out without having to spend a single penny! How so? Well, you can opt for the 14-day trial right now to check out all of its amazing features for free! So what are you waiting for? Check out this amazing opportunity for young entrepreneurs wanting to take the next big step towards realising their dream at www.getmeashop.com. We can't wait for one of you to become the next Jeff Bezos!
  4. I think it can safely be said that, perhaps after cricket, badminton has become that one sport that has brought the most international glory to India. Considering the massive accomplishments of the likes of Saina Nehwal and P.V Sindhu, badminton has become a sport where India is excelling in. As such, the potential for aspiring badminton players to make it big is monumental. So if you happen to be a budding or aspiring badminton player who wants to make it big, following these simple (but effective) tips will help you get on the road to becoming a badminton pro. 1) Invest In A Quality Badminton Racket © Instagram/Srikanth Kidambi This one should be an absolute no-brainer. Just like the bat you use pretty much defines how you'll play cricket, the racket you'll be using holds paramount importance in deciding how you'll play badminton. As such, investing in the best badminton rackets out there is not only advisable, but highly recommended. Some reputable brands that you could opt for include Li-Ning, Yonex and Cosco. Pro tip: If you're on a budget, you can opt for the best badminton rackets under Rs 1000 - all of which will deliver the goods without burning a hole in your wallet. 2) Practice Makes You Perfect © Instagram/Saina Nehwal If you ask the most accomplished and renowned athletes of any sport what the secret behind their success is, most of them will tell you that it's practicing. This is true for badminton as well - where the more hours you spend practicing your game and honing your skills, the closer you'll get to realising your dream. Pro tip: Remember, you can easily get injured if you don't take care of your body or exert too much pressure on yourself. So while training is important, doing it at the expense of your physical health is not okay. 3) Don't Underestimate The Influence Your Shoes Can Have On Your Game © Instagram/Srikanth Kidambi Your choice of sports shoes isn't just a fact for flashier sports like soccer or basketball - it plays a significant role in a court game like badminton as well. So don't shy away from investing in the best badminton shoes and you'll be good to go. Apart from helping you take you improve your game, investing in the right shoes will also help you avoid injuring your foot or ankle. Pro tip: Adidas, Puma, Li-Ning and Yonex are premium brands that you could opt for. 4) Invest In A Premium (And Durable!) Shuttlecock © Instagram/Parupalli Kashyap You may have a premium racket and you might have invested in quality shoes as well, but none of it will matter if you don't invest in a premium and durable shuttlecock as well. After all, if you don't practice and hone your skills using a a-grade shuttlecock, how else will you become a pro? Pro tip: Yonex and Li-Ning are known for producing some of the the best shuttlecocks in the market. 5) Know Your Strengths And Work On Your Weaknesses © Instagram/ P.V. Sindhu Knowing your strengths and identifying (and then working) on your weaknesses is absolutely paramount in determining how good (or bad!) of a player you're going to be. After all, without identifying your weakness, how else could you possibly work and improve on that one part of your game which your opponents are most likely to exploit?
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