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When Vajpayee heartily relished South Indian cuisine

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Atal Bihar Vajpaeee

Way back in February 2006, when the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was conferred the “8th SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi National Eminence Award” he could not travel to Mumbai owing to certain health issues.

He suggested to Mumbai South Indian Education Society (SIES) President V. Shankar to hold the function at his New Delhi residence, and also made a surprise special request – “to organise the best of South Indian cuisine dishes for the evening”.

Since Vajpayee was known to be a connoisseur of good food, the SIES authorities rushed to comply and ordered the choicest of the delicacies from the Saravana Bhavan, Connaught Place, in the capital.

“He relished the food immensely that evening, and seemed to have had a little more than his normal intake,” reminisced SIES spokesperson K. A. Viswanathan on Friday.

In fact, Vajpayee later expressed surprise that such delicious South Indian food was available in the heart of New Delhi about which “he was not aware”, and wanted to know how many waiters had come from that restaurant to serve for the evening.

“He magnanimously assembled all the eight boys on the lawns for a group photo session with him, followed by individual shots with each of them. Then, he called for Rs 100 currency notes, autographed each of them and presented them to all the excited servers,” Viswanathan said.

The boys were thrilled and overjoyed when Vajpayee smiled and decided to have “one more cup of nice South Indian filter coffee” with all of them before they left the venue.

During the formal award ceremony, of the several mementos presented to him, was a portrait of Vajpayee sketched by a Class I student of SIES School.

The late Prime Minister was highly impressed and wanted to know who had done that sketch.

After the SIES authorities informed that it was a young student Nirman Olwe, Vajpayee immediately said he wanted to meet him and asked that the student should be brought along with his parents to New Delhi.

A few weeks later, the boy accompanied by his grandmother who was also a teacher in the same school, his mother and Shankar, went to the capital and Vajpayee warmly received them.

He presented a return memento to the delighted boy who cherishes those memories till today, Viswanathan said.

Now grown up, that little boy from Antop Hill area of central Mumbai, completed his schooling, HSC and is now pursuing engineering studies.

Lifestyle

How to make your room look bigger than it really is

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New Delhi, Dec 8: The struggle of making your small room look bigger is so real for almost all the people. Fitting all the necessary belongings into places with a limited access to space is a tussle. Be it a dorm or an apartment, getting an adequate, big space for living is hard to find these days but not anymore.

Ankur Dhawan, CIO, Proptiger.com, and Snehil Gautam, Marketing Head, Houisng.com, list ways that can help you make any room look bigger than it really is.

* Use light colours: The reflective qualities of light colours are very well known to us. Light colour helps space open up making it light and airy.

bedroom home decor

Try painting the room in only one colour or with different shades of the same colour so that the boundaries between the walls are not well defined which causes your eye to travel up making the ceiling seem higher than it really is. Light colour even simplifies the space making it look clutter less and emphasizes the architecture.

* Clever use of furniture: When you don’t have access to a larger space but need to cram all your worldly belongings into place, all you need to do is choose your furniture wisely.

Home decor colours

Opt for multifunctional furniture and incorporate clever use of contrasts of the furniture with the walls.You can even use built-in furniture to open up a space.

* Let there be light: Nothing makes a room bigger than the allowance of natural lights into your living space. Natural light opens up space and makes a room look bigger and brighter. When you paint your room in light colour and allow the natural light to penetrate into it, it reflects the light which in turn fools your eye into your room looking bigger.

HOME DECOR

Well placed mirrors also play wonders in penetrating the light and making your room bigger and brighter.

* Keep your room clutter less: A room full of trash and clutter makes you feel claustrophobic. One of the major changes you need to incorporate in the process of making your room bigger is the cutting down of the mess.

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Get rid of all the unwanted things you’re not in need of right now and try placing your necessary items in an organized manner.

* Use same colour or small print fabrics: Pick fabrics of the same colour or select small-printed fabrics for your room. If you choose large-printed fabrics, it’ll make your room look smaller and a bit messed up, no matter how well-organized you keep it.

Home decor colours

* Make your ceilings pop with bright colours: Paint your ceilings with brighter colours than that of the walls. This trick keeps your attention towards the ceiling making the ceiling look higher.

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Essentially, keep your interior simple and go for simpler accessories to deceive your eyes into your room looking wider than it really is.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Longer shifts at workplace can increase your error rates: Survey

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New Delhi, Dec 6: If you thought that working long hours may help you please your boss, think twice. According to a survey, people who work longer shifts typically make nine per cent more errors than those on shorter shifts.

This demonstrates that attention spans drift over a long work day, says a survey by Global software firm Pegasystems Inc, while revealing how ineffective software and poor processes are hindering productivity for many workers.

The survey found that workers are saddled with too many of disconnected apps, leading to poor processes, increased errors, and wasted actions that could otherwise be automated.

From digital distractions to extraneous activities, there are many events over the course of the day that take workers’ attention away from productive tasks.

Workers check their email 10 times per hour, or once every six minutes, throughout the course of their day.

Employees spend 13 per cent of their time on email, of which only 23 per cent is spent on value-generating work.

On average, workers perform 134 “copy and paste” actions each day — highlighting how often employees must switch between applications using same data to complete a task.

“Many organisations instinctively try to solve process issues and improve employee productivity by throwing more software at the problem without truly understanding the root cause of their inefficiencies,” said Don Schuerman, CTO, Pegasystems, in a statement on Wednesday.

Employees commit 845 keying errors per day or once out of every 14 key strokes, which shows the potential to automate more of their workflow to reduce manual mistakes.

Workers multitasking between 30 applications or more in a single shift have a 28 per cent higher error rate than those using fewer apps.

“By streamlining these processes and eliminating repetitive tasks, companies can give employees the right tools they need to succeed and be happier in their jobs,” Schuerman said.

The survey is based on the analysis of nearly five million hours of desktop activity of operational support employees — who primarily perform routine back office, data entry, or contact center tasks — at Global 2000 companies from January to September.

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Just 1 hour on treadmill can boost metabolism for 2 days: Study

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New York, Dec 5: A single workout session consisting of three 20-minute treadmill runs could activate neurons that are important regulators of blood glucose levels and energy balance as well as influence metabolism for up to two days, says a study over mice.

The findings showed that a single bout of exercise for mice could boost the activity of energy-burning neurons and inhibit the counterpart one for up to two days and those changes can last longer with more training.

“It doesn’t take much exercise to alter the activity of these neurons,” said Kevin Williams, a neuroscientist at University of Texas Southwestern.

“The study predicts that getting out and exercising even once in a semi-intense manner can reap benefits that can last for days, in particular with respect to glucose metabolism,” he added.

Further, a single workout consisting of three 20-minute treadmill runs caused a decrease in appetite that lasted up to six hours.

“This result may explain at the neural circuit level why many people don’t feel hungry immediately after exercise,” Williams said.

For the study, published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, the team measured the effects of short- and long-term exercise on two types of neurons that comprise the melanocortin brain circuit. Both humans and mice have this circuit.

One of the neuron types is associated with reduced appetite, lower blood glucose levels, and higher energy burning when activated while the other type increases appetite and diminishes metabolism when activated.

The study also provides avenue to research potential treatments to improve glucose metabolism in patients with conditions such as diabetes.

“It is possible that activating melanocortin neurons may hold therapeutic benefits for patients one day, especially for diabetics who need improved blood-glucose regulation,” Williams said.

“This research is not just for improving fitness. A better understanding of neural links to exercise can potentially help a number of conditions affected by glucose regulation,” he noted.

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