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Life in a Metro 21/06/2008
Every fledgling town, every bustling city, every expanding metro has "them". Huddled in hundreds and hundreds of small groups, they live a dismal life, working silently behind the scenes, to add to the glitz and glitter, the sparkle and shimmer of a burgeoning nation. Some see them as encroachers and a serious threat to law and order but come to think of it, without them we would not have the roads and fly-overs, the bridges and the skyscrapers, the malls and multiplexes.

They are the construction workers.

"Why do you want to write about us? Why will anyone be interested? " is a genuinely stunned question of Amol, who has just been initiated in to the family trade at the tender age of 14. He and his family are among the millions of itinerant casual labourers who live in small make-shift shanties made from the throw away construction material...

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Image in the mirror 21/06/2008
Can you relate to any of the following scenarios? Despite hard work at your work place, your promotion has become a thing of the past. On a personal front, you invariably run into rough weather with friends. A negative approach defines you , and most important, you see yourself through what others think of you. If all this feels familiar, you need to reinvent yourself and go for an image makeover.

"A personality makeover does not just entail a simple change in make up, hairstyle, or wardrobe. What lends a "radiant glow" to the new you is the reinvention that will happen within, " says Parvana Babaycon of Optimum Image institute, an image makeover company based in Kolkata. She is a certified Image and Professional Development Consultant with internationally known London Image Institute and Academy of Image Works, Asia, too.

Parvana believes that a serious makeover starts with an honest assessment of how we see ourselves. "To understand your weaknesses and strengths is how you start, " she observes. In marketing and advertising, reinvention is related to a product re-launch and bringing out an advanced and improved product. "Simila...

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Nothing to be wild about 03/08/2008
Tracking illegal trade in wildlife takes one to most unlikely places. Now going towards Nathu La Pass on Sikkim's border with Tibet, my thoughts, however, were more on the prospect of high altitude mountain sickness. Finally, I did succumb to the altitude sickness and had to turn back about 12 kilometres before reaching the destination. How sad.

But why this journey to Nathu La?
With the opening of the Nathu La Pass for international trade and tourism in 2006, conservationists fear that illegal trade in wildlife contraband will spawn further. The highly militarised zone is the closest point connecting Kolkata to Lhasa - the virtual headquarter of illegal wildlife trade according to wildlife experts. Rhino horns, hornbill skulls, ...

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Vegetation-An effective tool to change climate 16/08/2008
Scientific experts agrees that global climate change is accelerating. Human activities are responsible for the vast majority of climate change. If it is left unchecked, climate change threatens to harm current and future generations. The emission of heat trapping gases by vehicles, industrial processes, power plants and deforestations cause climate change. Rising temperature and changing patterns of precipitation drastically shift vegetation. We forget that this vegetation plays an important role in changing the climate of a city.

It is also effective in controlling the microclimate. Plants, shrubs and trees cool the environment when they absorb radiation for photosynthesis. They are useful in shading a particular part of the structure and ground for reducing the heat gain and reflected radiation. By releasing moisture, they help raise the humidity level. Vegetation also creates different air flow patterns by causing minor pressure differences, and thus can be used to direct or divert the prevailing wing advantages.

Based on the requirement of a climate, appropriate type of trees can be selected to preserve good climate of cities. Planning deciduous trees such as mulberry to shade east and west walls would prove beneficial in hot and dry zones. In summer, they provide shade from intense ...

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Work hard, party harder 16/08/2008
This is a generation that is chasing a dream. Interestingly, they are not afraid to pay the price for it. Work is what their life revolves around and they are cool about it as long as their monthly pay packet is enough to buy them their dreams- or what they think fulfill their dreams.

You will find them in almost every sector of Indian economy today, be it the BPO, advertising, software development, media or entertainment. These new workaholics have readjusted their biological clock as per the demands of their work schedule and seem to be quite savvy about it. Says Kanupriya Goenka, a call centre executive based in New Delhi: "I work in night shifts and am pretty coo...

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