FEATURE Health London News

Release the issues in the tissues: The Rosen Method Bodywork by Francesca Stutely

The Rosen Method is hands-on bodywork that connects physical tension with emotional holding. The subtle touch allows your body to go into a deep state of relaxation, letting go of tension that may have been there for years, it creates a space for letting go. The Rosen Method is hands on touch that peels back the layers of protection, once released love and joy are found. A feature by lifestyle columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Our bodies have muscle memory and The Rosen Method encourages access to this space, creating a possibility for softening of the muscles, a release and a new space for change, both physically and emotionally. 

Francesca Stutely “I was fortunate enough to be in Marion Rosen’s class, learning from the founder herself and I enjoy passing on this knowledge to my clients. There’s strength in vulnerability. Once you allow yourself to be vulnerable – you don’t have to pretend anymore. This is where the truth lies. The Rosen Method Bodywork releases trauma from the body, softening muscles and creating peace and space, in the body and the mind’ Francesca Stutely

A session takes place, on a massage table, wearing underwear, covered with a sheet and blanket and lasts for one hour. This is not a pamper massage, it’s an extremely powerful tool for self development.

‘This work takes u from who you think you are to who you really are. In the end you can’t be anyone else’ said the method founder Marion Rosen once.

The Rosen Method Bodywork allows you to be you- not who you have become or who people expect you to be. The healing is in the feelings, allowing the tears to flow creates space for inner peace. There’s no more delicious place to be, said Francesca Stutely.

About Francesca Stutely:

At age 21 Francesca, born and bred in London, travelled through India and Nepal, where she contracted amoebic dysentery, then a viral illness, which resulted in reactive arthritis. Unable to walk properly it set her on a path to her own healing.

Absolutely determined to get well, with a mixture of dozens of holistic therapies, and a different mental attitude, she changed her diet, and her party lifestyle.

On her path towards healing, she discovered The Rosen Method bodywork, a very powerful hands on technique that connects muscle tension with buried emotions. She was so fascinated by the mind-body connection, that she stayed and studied at The Rosen Institute in Berkeley California with Marion Rosen herself. After 4 years of studies, she became a practitioner herself (1994).

In California, she also started practicing Yoga and was hooked, later deciding to become a teacher. She studied at Yoga Center Madrid qualifying as a Sivananda Hatha Yoga teacher 2005.

The Rosen Method connected Francesca to the unconscious body, and she wanted to know more about the unconscious mind. This led her to study NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and she became a Practitioner, and then a Master Practitioner at The NLP School in London in 2011, with Robbie Steinhouse.

Francesca has been crew at both Tony Robbins’ UPW, and various Hay House events in London.
Francesca truly believes it takes a continuing combination of disciplines, both mental and physical to achieve ongoing health and wellbeing.

Francesca wants to share her knowledge and experience with the world so they can obtain the same inner peace that she feels so blessed to have found.

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FEATURE Lite Blogs London News

Bloom Boutique Official: Luxurious Eternal Roses

Bloom Boutique Official is a London-based brand offering elegant and sophisticated luxury eternal roses ethically-sourced from South America. The company was founded in 2020 by Tia Singh, whose love for creating beautiful things in life reflects the company name. A feature by lifestyle columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Tia’s passion for floristry and extensive experience working within the beauty industry has influenced the development of these luxurious floral arrangements, each being the result of the highest quality combined with unique design.

“Luxury Eternal Roses create a memorable keepsake that our close ones can value for years to come without any maintenance. 

Our highly skilled artisans work with passion to create your perfect arrangement that displays beauty at its best.” Said founder Tia Singh.

While real roses only last around a week, eternal roses can last up to three years. The roses are preserved with a non-toxic proprietary solution which helps to reduce the negative environmental impact and enormous carbon footprint created by the fresh flower industry. 

Thanks to these innovative procedures, Bloom Boutique Official’s precious arrangements maintain freshness for several years, allowing clients to experience the luxury, elegance and beauty of the roses without the maintenance.

Tia had been searching online for artificial floral arrangements for her home, similar to what she had seen in 5-star luxury hotels in London, but was not able to find elegant arrangements that satisfied her taste.

Given her creative skillset, Tia decided to purchase some unique vases and flowers and was inspired to have a go at making them herself – and being very home-oriented she soon realised that this had the potential to be transformed into a business that those with a taste for the finer things in life would love and appreciate.

Tia started exploring other types of long-lasting sustainable flowers and arrangements which led to the discovery of Eternal Roses. After many months of researching, Tia announced her first product line in May 2020, which rapidly flourished and since then has added further product lines to meet the requirements that have been requested such as personalised boxes.

Bloom Boutique’s Timeless Rose collections are handmade in London. They are all about creating the feel of a gift of luxury and love that will lasts for years. All of their products are handcrafted ensuring the utmost attention is delivered on every arrangement.

“Bloom Boutique Official seeks to become an essential lifestyle brand to customers in UK and abroad by providing a variety of sustainable luxury products that elevates style quotient and creates lasting memories. We at Bloom Boutique pride ourselves on delivering exceptional customer service and this is reflected by our online glowing customer reviews and feedback which means so much to us.” Tia Singh, CEO.

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Arts & Culture FEATURE India News

Mewari Miniature Paintings Retell Epic Mahabharata

The Mahabharata, Mewari Miniature Paintings (1680–1698) is a Grand Visual Retelling of the Great Indian Epic. An exclusive feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

The collection Showcases nearly 2000 never-before- published miniature paintings of the Mahabharata by Allah Baksh, from late 17th century Mewar. Features fine translations of the Mahabharata from Mewari into Hindi by Chandra Prakash Deval and English commentary by Alok Bhalla. Insightful introductions by Alok Bhalla on each of the parvas, provide a comprehensive understanding of this great Indian epic.

Allah Baksh’s magnificent miniature paintings of Vyasa’s great epic, the Mahabharata, were commissioned by Udaipur’s Maharana Jai Singh, and painted between 1680 and 1698.The selection of nearly 2000 paintings, published in four volumes, are from a folio of more than 4000 extant works illuminating the Mahabharata.The fifth volume of 500 paintings devoted to the Gita, has already been published.

These radiant miniatures, which follow almost every story in every chapter of the Mahabharata, have no precedent in India’s art tradition.The emphasis in these paintings is not on heroic posturing and spiritual pride, but on the pain that the earth and its creatures endure when human beings tragically fail to fulfil their dharma.The images in the paintings are symbolically charged, their colours are clear and luminous, their lines are restrained and precise. Allah Baksh’s art of visionary thoughtfulness deserves an honoured place in the great library of Indian scriptures and their visual interpretations.

Introductions to the parvas illuminated in these four volumes offer reflections on the moral resonance of the stories, as they reveal the fate of a civilisation from its divine beginning to its fateful destruction.The Hindi translation

of the Mewari text in the colophons, describing the story being illustrated, furthers our understanding of the history of cultural exchange between the different religions, regions and languages of India. Comments on the paintings in English enable the reader to decode the images and follow the narrative grandeur of this great Indian epic.

Chandra Prakash Deval says, ‘The Hindi text, published below the reproductions of the paintings, is a faithful translation of the original Mewari version. There are, however, some instances where additional information has been provided to help the reader follow the storyline and make the necessary narrative links.’

Chandra Prakash Deval

Alok Bhalla says, ‘When I first caught a glimpse of more than 4000 magnificent miniature paintings of the Mahabharata and the Gita by Allah Baksh in the State Museum of Rajasthan, Udaipur, I understood what Plutarch meant when he exclaimed, ‘The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled. Our hope is that readers will find, in these miniature paintings, an exciting dialogue between the verbal and the visual imaginations of the poet and the painter; between the grandeur of Vyasa’s epic and the vision of Allah Baksh who draws upon an endless store of images, designs and colours to offer his own discovery of moral truths in old fables.’

Alok Bhalla

On publishing the set Bikash De Niyogi, Managing Director, Niyogi Books says, ‘When I first heard about the magnificent miniature paintings eight years ago depicting the Mahabharata, commissioned by Udaipur’s Maharana Jai Singh, and now in the collection at the Udaipur Government Museum, I was full of curiosity to go and see them. When I saw the paintings, I was filled with wonder at their fine artistry, the depth of detail and the richness of the colours. Publishing this four-volume compendium for me has been a labour of love, which showcases the richness of Indian culture and craftsmanship. It is the biggest and the longest project taken up by Niyogi Books so far. This is our humble contribution in bringing the Mahabharata to discerning readers.’

About the Authors

Alok Bhalla is a widely published critic, translator and poet. He has taught in various universities in the US and India, and has held Fellowships from different academic institutes in France, Italy, England, Germany, Canada and Israel. His books include Stories about the Partition of India (4 volumes), Partition

Dialogues, Shades of the Preternatural, among others. His verse translation of Dharamvir Bharati’s play, AndhaYug, is a recognised classic.

Chandra Prakash Deval is an eminent poet, fiction writer, translator, bibliophile, and cultural historian. He has published 14 collections of poetry in Hindi and Rajasthani. He has also translated the works of Ashok Vajpeyi, Ramakanth Rath and others into Rajasthani. He has been the recipient of many

prestigious awards like the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Padma Shri.

About the Publisher

An internationally acclaimed publishing house, Niyogi Books, established in 2004, has more than 700 titles today. Niyogi Books not only specializes in textual context but also strives to give equal importance to visuals. It purveys a wide range of content on art, architecture, history, culture, spirituality, memoirs, and every aspect which connects with our rich heritage. The house has co-published a number of critically acclaimed books with reputed institutions like the British Library, Rietberg Museum Zurich, IGNCA, National Gallery of Modern Art, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India), National Manuscript Mission, Sahitya Akademi, among many others.

Niyogi Books also publishes fiction and non-fiction that cover books on social science, cookery, and self-help as well as English translation of modern classics from different Indian languages. Niyogi Books now has four more Imprints: Olive Turtle (English fiction), Thornbird (English translation) and Paper Missile (English non-fiction) and Bahuvachan (Hindi translation: Fiction & Non-fiction).

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Events FEATURE London News

Unrivalled shopping and a wealth of festive inspiration – This year, Christmas starts at Spirit!

Festive inspiration from over 700 exciting independent brands at the Spirit of Christmas Fair, 30 October – 5 November at the iconic Olympia London. An exclusive preview feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Discover a diverse collection of carefully curated gifts from small independent brands and designer-makers each one picked for its originality and quality, brought together for this seven-day event. Discerning shoppers can expect a diverse collection of curated gifts to shop from to satisfy all their gifting needs including toys, fashion, homeware, and stylish décor as well as the finest food and drink from award winning artisans and producers.

New official restaurant partner this year is acclaimed Spanish chef, José Pizarro who has curated a special Tapas menu that showcases his signature dishes alongside exclusive creations designed for the show. Prepare yourself for a Spanish twist on a traditional afternoon tea that promises to be an unforgettable experience. These dishes are perfect for sharing with friends or family at the Fair in this new restaurant, ‘José Pizarro at Spirit of Christmas’.

2023 sees the return of the popular complimentary, creative Workshops offering inspiration to visitors who can enjoy a range of interactive sessions including Jemma Cotterrell, The Shoe Loving Stylist on ‘How to dress with positivity and confidence this festive season’, ‘Biscuit decorating’ from Honeywell Bakes, and ‘Spanish party food inspiration’, while in conversation with José Pizarro himself.

Fair Director, Mary Claire Boyd comments “The Fair is a guaranteed place where visitors know they can leave brimming with festive inspiration to help them start planning their festivities and this year is no exception. They can truly curate their own Christmas from exquisite tablescaping, joyful décor and stylish partywear to uncovering the most original gifts for all their family and friends. We have an exceptional line-up of workshops with top chefs including José Pizarro, florists including Paul Thomas Flowers and renowned chocolatiers; Prestat. We champion British craftsmanship from ethical and sustainable brands and our specialist team have been busy sourcing new businesses and uncovering emerging talent that visitors will relish amongst the treasure-trove!”

The gallery level Food Hall offers visitors the opportunity to buy foodie treats and discover new artisans from whom they can source the best for their guests this Christmas including Great Taste Award-winning produce. The Fair boasts four Louis Roederer Champagne bars providing a relaxing place for visitors to rejuvenate with a glass or two in-between shopping. Two adjoining Fairs can also be enjoyed whilst visiting; the Winter Art & Antiques Fair taking place on the Grand Hall gallery, and The Luxury Travel Fair, taking place 2-5 November on the National Hall gallery.

The Fair provides the perfect social occasion and festive ambiance to enjoy with friends and embrace the season of festivities and gifting. With creative workshops, demonstrations, live music, endless festive inspiration and an unforgettable atmosphere, this year, Christmas really does start at Spirit.

Highlights of the Spirit of Christmas Fair will include:

• 700 independent small businesses and designer-makers to shop from

• Brand new restaurant partner: acclaimed Spanish chef, José Pizarro

• Return of inspirational creative workshops hosted by experts including, The Shoe Loving Stylist, Prestat Chocolates, José Pizarro, Paul Thomas Flowers, Honeywell Bakes, Bettina’s Kitchen, Louis Roederer

• Visitors can enjoy a glass of the finest Champagne in the stylish Louis Roederer Champagne Bars  

• The Food Hall hosts an entirely delectable mix of leading artisans, independent producersRoyal Warrant holders and Great Taste award-winners

• Late night shopping Thursday 2 November 10am – 9pm

• Enjoy complimentary entry into the Winter Art & Antiques Fair from the 30 October – 5 November. Presenting a collection of the finest specialist dealers, offering a wide choice of high-quality, vetted art and antiques spanning centuries

• Condé Nast Traveller presents the Luxury Travel Fair also takes place alongside the Spirit of Christmas Fair from 2-5 November 2023. Offering a collection of the finest bespoke and immersive travel experiences

With this unmissable shopping experience spreading over two halls, shoppers may need to pace themselves. Those wanting to peruse the Fair more than once can upgrade their tickets and make the most of a Premium, Weekend or Unlimited Pass!

Opening Times

Monday 30 October 10am – 6pm ***OPENING DAY***

Tuesday 31 October 10am – 6pm

Wednesday 1 November 10am – 6pm

Thursday 2 November 10am – 9pm ***LATE NIGHT***

Friday 3 November 10am – 6pm

Saturday 4 November 10am – 6pm

Sunday 5 November 10am – 5pm

About The Spirit of Christmas Fair  

• The Spirit of Christmas Fair first launched in 2001 

• Visitor numbers were circa 45,000 in 2022

• Organised by Clarion Events and home to unrivalled shopping from small independent brands, inspirational workshops, and exceptional dining

About Clarion Events  

Clarion Events organises more than 200 events each year across the globe, ranging from exhibitions, conferences and seated events.  Well-known for identifying high-value, niche audiences in difficult-to-reach markets and building them into market-leading products, over 12,000 companies trust them with their custom each year, with more than 700,000 people attending their events.

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Fashion FEATURE Lite Blogs

Unveiling the Beauty of Traditional Craftsmanship: Roohme Chikankari Couture

A magnificent work of art, the Roohme Chikankari outfits capture the spirit of Indian culture and workmanship. These stunning masterpieces by Roohme, a brand committed to conserving and promoting traditional craftsmanship, is sure to enthrall both fashionistas and craft meets heritage lovers. A feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

In the spirit of summer talking with a spotlight on the brand’s Chikankari outfits, it is a testament to Roohme’s dedication to preserving this aspect of rich Indian culture. By working with regional artisans from Lucknow who have a long history of mastering Chikankari embroidery, Roohme protects the integrity of this traditional trade and gives talented artists more opportunities.

Their signature kurti, which is made of high-quality Viscose Georgette fabric, emanates a classic elegance. The great craftsmanship of Mughal hand embroidery is seen in the delicate Chikankari work that is accented with Mukaish details. The garment gains a touch of regal beauty from this fusion of artistic styles, truly elevating it to masterpiece status.

The Roohme Chikankari Blue Ombre Kurti is created with easy elegance to suit a variety of events. This kurti transforms into a picture of style and refinement, whether it’s worn for a casual excursion or a semi-formal occasion. The classic Chikankari style is given a contemporary twist with the ombre effect in blue colors and the round neck and wide sleeves.

The variety of sizes provided by Roohme demonstrates their commitment to inclusion as their couture is for all, it guarantees that wearers of any body shape and size may appreciate the beauty of their garments. Wearing it even all day long is a pleasure because of the fabric’s unmatched comfort.

With Roohme, embrace the fascination of Indian workmanship and let the Chikankari enchantment weave a message of timelessness and national pride into your clothing.

Roohme aims to also spread the Indian craftsmanship around the globe. Fast fashion is taking away the authenticity of designs and the cultural aspects of art forms like chikankari. They work with local artisans from Lucknow, coming from families who have been designing Chikankari for generations even. They aim to bring Lucknow’s age-old hand-embroidered Chikankari to every home. Unique embroideries straight from the traditional weavers, to your doorstep, on pure Georgette and Chiffon is their vision. Great packaging, great designs and colours, great fit and finish … highly recommended!

ALSO READ: ‘Fashion has the power to transcend boundaries’

Asia News FEATURE World News

INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS: Scientific temper brings inclusion in society

To develop science in a way that it becomes India’s strength will be crucial to India’s story of development over the next 25 years i.e. the Amritkaal. In that context, the 108th Indian Science Congress at Nagpur was inaugurated on the onset of this year to boost India’s scientific strength and meet the needs of India, becoming the root of all inspirations for the entire scientific community … writes Dr Remya Ajith. Scientific temper and inclusion in human society can significantly empower individuals and communities to take control of their lives and make informed decisions. Scientific temper refers to a mind-set and approach that is rational, objective, and evidence-based, where individuals evaluate evidence critically before making decisions or forming opinions

As the strongest pillar on which our ancient as well as modern societies have found support on, science as a profession has had a lasting impact on humanity by transforming people’s lives, driving economic growth, healthcare & wellness, enhancing the quality of life and providing solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges.

Scientific temper and inclusion in human society can significantly empower individuals and communities to take control of their lives and make informed decisions. Scientific temper refers to a mindset and approach that is rational, objective, and evidence-based, where individuals evaluate evidence critically before making decisions or forming opinions.

Inclusion, on the other hand, aims to create a society where everyone can participate fully and equally by ensuring that the benefits of these advancements are accessible to everyone regardless of their background, ethnicity, race, gender, culture, caste, religion or abilities. When the passion for science and welfare of the humanity intersects with each other, the results have been nothing short of spectacular. However, even with the use of novel technology and rapid advancements in the field of education, research & development in India, there has been less than expected progress in the scientific temper over the past many decades. Nevertheless, there has been a renewed vigour on those lines over the last decade is bound to yield results sooner than later.

One of the key resolutions for the Government of India has been that India makes its place in the top 10 countries of the world in the field of science. For any community to make progress, it becomes imperative to collect and analyse data at every step, especially in the new era of the 21st century where there is constantly churning and changes taking place every moment. Within the country, there are two things in abundance: data and technology. With the massive potential to take India’s science to new heights, the newly[1]assigned role to the scientific community in India has been to make the country Atmanirbhar (self-sufficient) in every sense of the word.

Developing science in a way that it becomes India’s strength will be crucial to India’s story of development over the next 25 years i.e. the Amritkaal. In that context, the 108th Indian Science Congress was inaugurated on the onset of this year to boost India’s scientific strength and meet the needs of India, becoming the root of all inspiration for the entire scientific community.

The Indian Science Congress is a premier scientific event that brings together scientists, researchers, and academicians from various fields to discuss and disseminate recent advances in science and technology. The congress provides a platform for sharing knowledge, collaboration, and networking, which can empower individuals and institutions in the science community. Keeping in mind that 17% of the world’s population is rooted in India, it makes sense that any scientific work that fulfils the needs of the society would give momentum and mean progress to the world as its impact will be on a substantial chunk of the entire humanity naturally. Within the Indian Science Congress, the major focus has been on the Children’s Science Congress with more than 7000 students participating and the Women’s Science Congress where a large number of women scientists have participated from various organisations. These communities i.e. women and students have historically witnessed abysmally low interaction and participation in sciences, and therefore the focus has been to ensure that the same is given a major fillip. In addition, a new entrant within the setup has been the Tribal Sciences Congress – a platform for the scientific display of indigenous ancient knowledge systems and studies, and the Farmer Sciences Congress – a platform to improve the bio-economy and attract the youth towards agricultural science as well.

Along the same, an exhibition pride of India depicting the lives of personalities who have left an indelible mark in the field of sciences across the globe and in India has been put in place. As the nation increases its tally and share of PhD scholars across the globe as well as the number of start-ups, the focus has also been on the level of progress made in terms of innovation with the Global Innovation Index of 130 countries showing India ranked 81st in 2015 and making its place up to the 40th spot by the year 2022.

With the traditional Vigyan Jyoti – the flame of knowledge – being a significant part of the Indian Science Congress, the attention has shifted to building the scientific temper with an inclusive approach in society and among the youth as well. Science has the potential to bring out cataclysmic changes with its impact percolating from the global to grassroots level, its ambit increasing from journals to zameen (land) and changes are quite perceptible from research to real life.

In consonance with the theme this year ‘Science & Technology for Sustainable Development & Women Empowerment’, the exhibitions and sub-programmes have been carefully curated to shift attention towards the same. Any kind of sustainable development can only take place if and when 49% of the global population i.e. women are empowered enough in every field exuding a new momentum to research as well as a society too. Science enables women’s empowerment by providing access to education, healthcare, and job opportunities, leading to their economic self-sufficiency and social independence.

Women’s participation in science and technology fields is growing, and programmes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana and Digital India have made exemplary efforts to encourage girls and women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. In tune with the idea of shifting focus towards women, W20 (a sub-group within the G20 setup that is being hosted in India this year) listed that W20 India’s vision was to create a world of equality and equity with the removal of all barriers to ensure women-led development. Enabling an ecosystem where women feel empowered and secure enough to thrive, transcend and transform their own lives and that of others, the W20 shall focus on bringing out white papers, policy briefs, video documentaries, opinion pieces, handbooks and communique with the purpose of influencing G20 nations and leaders to make women’s agenda at the core of G-20 deliberations.

Science also plays a significant role in empowering marginalized and underprivileged individuals by providing access to resources and opportunities as well. For example, initiatives like the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) aim to provide education and training opportunities for all, regardless of geographic location or socio-economic status.

India has been able to solidify its stronghold on the sciences with new efforts being made on the innovation front nowadays. Science and technology have the potential to improve human lives and promote the well-being of society, but this potential can only be realised if science and technology are applied in an inclusive manner. Inclusion means recognising and respecting the diversity of all people, including their opinions, perspectives, needs, and contributions. It also means fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome and can participate fully in the process of scientific discovery. In this way, science and technology can help create a more equitable and just society for all. Therefore, this urgency to become self-sufficient can serve as a major boost to the livelihoods of the people as well as ensure the larger collective progress of humanity.

FEATURE Lite Blogs UAE News

From Ferns N Petals to FNP: Gifting solutions for every occasion

An Exclusive feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

FNP World comprises of FNP Retail & Franchising, FNP E-commerce – India & UAE, FNP Cakes, FNP Venues, FNP Weddings & Events, Floral Touch – UAE, WDH (Wedding Design Hub), Flowers ‘N’ More, FNP Flagship, FNP Media, BabyBless (a newly launched Baby Planning Services) et al. 

Recently Ferns N Petals has refreshed its brand identity by unveiling its new logo representing the company’s growth and its evolution from a single flower store to a multi-category gifting company.

In the offline front the gifting giant has over 400+ outlets in more than 125+ cities pan India (delivering to 99% pincodes in India) The brand boasts of a robust international presence in Saudi,UAE, Qatar and Singapore. With thousands of products across various categories, such as cakes, flowers, plants, chocolates, and personalized merchandise the online business which contributes to the lion’s share of the business generates 10,000 orders daily. 

FNP has 8.5 million happy online customers at a CAGR of 16% from 2015. The brand enjoys a very healthy returning customer rate of 46%. Since a lot of NRIs also send gifts to their loved ones in India, overseas Indians also contribute close to one-fourth of FNP’s topline. Now FNP provides solutions for all gifting needs from elaborate floral arrangements, to delectable cakes to sending personalised gifts for different occasions.

FNP has recently ventured into the confectionary services with FNP Cakes (established in 2017) a brand which currently has over 160 stores across India and has a robust plan to expand in the upcoming quarter.

Today FNP has a global presence delivering fresh flowers and cakes to over 120 countries. The brand has consistently been honoured for its pre-eminence in creative spirit and service capabilities. 

At FNP Innovation is at the heart of everything they do. They constantly strive to provide the best. They have created a team and culture that is focused on continuously innovating. They have a dedicated design team tirelessly working to create holistic designs which compliment every emotion.

FNP has established itself as India’s largest gifting platform that people trust when it comes to delivery. Talk about Valentine’s Day, Rakhi, Diwali, Christmas, Birthdays, Personalised gadgets, indoor plants, housewarming items, corporate gifts, good luck charms FNP provides gifting solutions for any occasion.

Meet the Founder:  Mr Vikaas Gutgutia, Founder & MD, Ferns N Petals

Mr Vikaas Gutgutia, is a maverick entrepreneur and the Unicorn Founder & Managing Director of Ferns N Petals. Established in 1994 he started his journey  with the purpose of providing world-class facilities to Indian society. 

For Mr. Gutgutia, gifting was an intimate way of expressing one’s love and appreciation to a dear one and he wanted to transform this experience from a beautiful dream to an ingenious reality. Despite what most might think, a university degree doesn’t always equate to success, with just a simple B.Com degree in hand and putting his blood and sweat into the business for years, he established a name that has become a household phenomenon and the largest flower and gifting barnd in India.

With his persistent efforts and desire to create an exceptional brand, he brought a new edge to the flower gifting culture in the country, and now this flower has budded into different directions with 400+ stores across India and 11 verticals under one umbrella. 

Due to his many achievements, he was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year (2020) by Ernst & Young. Mr. Gutgutia has found his success because of his unconventional and out-of-the-box ideology. He had set out with a dream to transform the world of gifting and flowers and has managed to achieve just that. 

Now, FNP has diversified into various other fields. Mr. Gutgutia has time and again proved that no dream is too big for a person who has what it takes. Other than the quest to be the best in the industry, he has deep interest in penning down poems based on his experiences of life.

Culture FEATURE Travel

Travel travails of a middle-aged empty nester

Eventually, it was happening. The promise of European travel was being fulfilled, though two decades later. Two kids and twenty years behind us, we as middle-aged empty nesters were planning to set out to see Portugal…. writes Meenu Chadha

The Man-made wings Braga

It was an exciting booking right from the start. Gave me a fifteen-minute window to de-plane from the flight to Frankfurt and to catch the next flight to Lisbon. Air India at its best attitude with never say never conveyed to me that there seems nothing to worry about, just land in terminal 1 at Frankfurt airport and catch the flight from the same terminal. They condescendingly added that the Airline is aware of the connection. I wish…

At least they gave me hope along with the stale food they served! My Indian upbringing plus my menopausal hormones made me anyways rush to business class to de-plane with the elite and privileged first-class passengers.  Rushing and saying, I have a transfer to catch. I was always very focused on my goals – be it cracking exams or breaking queues at airports flashing my “boarding pass”.

Travel travails @ Meenu Chadha

Lo and behold – I got the first shock when I was asked to do an immigration check and my request for getting preferential treatment turned down. No problem. Never say never. Started from the end of the long quarantine queue for security check and made my way to the beginning of the queue by flashing my “boarding pass “ and requesting. The first huddle crossed.

Then the long serpentine queues at the Frankfurt security. Egging my way forward, only to be chosen for an extensive security check. She probably liked my perfected airport look or maybe my Clarks boots! I think they thought my new acquisition- the battery bank with 1000 inscribed on it was a bomb. Anyways they even opened my laptop. Or maybe  “ I looked different”!

Then began the journey towards Gate 40 to board the connecting flight to Lisbon. Someone mentioned it is a long walk! Oops, a kilometre-long walk where I was the lone middle-aged woman running with boots on and a carry-on and sweating!  Lost count of local time. And had to reach my goal – gate 40. Nature called and the hunger had to wait. Thanks to my gym trainer for the interval training, he introduced me to my sessions!  Thanks, Clarks, for the boots that doubled up as sneakers.

At Gate 40 another shock awaited me.  The lady at the gate informed me that the departing flight was going to Greece and not Lisbon. I was sure I had missed mine. Sweating in my classic sweatshirt, I eventually found out that my flight was delayed by an hour. Lucky me! The stars were smiling at me as not only did I not miss my flight, but I also completed fifty per cent of my daily exercise quota. I got a breather to catch up with the rest of my world. It just dawned on me that the blessing in disguise was the beginning of another travel travail. I quickly realised; I was going to now miss my connecting flight from Lisbon to Porto too.  The saving grace though was that Lisbon was a smaller airport plus there was no immigration and security, I was told.

Boarded my TAP flight from Frankfurt to Lisbon. Was surprised to see that the small plane did not even have screens. Was it time travel? No food as well! But no complaints. After the Frankfurt ordeal, I decided to miss my connection from Lisbon to Porto gracefully, as there was little else, I could do. I acted cool as a cucumber and was mentally prepared to be a state guest. At least one aspect was clear to me- come what may, I was not going to run at Lisbon airport to catch my connection to Porto. I would simply let it be missed gracefully and accept the inevitable.

At least something was predictable – no more running at the Lisbon airport for me.

Travel travails @ Meenu Chadha

I reached Lisbon and realised that the flight to Porto was also delayed. It was smooth sailing in the forty-five minutes that it took me to fly to Porto.

I was anticipating delayed bags and like any other organized middle-aged passenger,  I had packed my shoes and a few more of the basics in my cabin bags. Lo and behold, even my bags arrived timely! And even the airport officials at Porto seemed welcoming.

I was excited to be at Porto Airport. I was going to meet my husband at Porto airport after six months of parting and proceed to Braga – our first destination in Portugal. There was a small hitch though!

My flight had been booked in error – 12 hours earlier than it arrived. I now had two options – either check in at an airport hotel or wait for the next 2 hrs for the lounges to open.

I chose the latter.

And that was the beginning of another travel travail…….

FEATURE Health UK News

‘We Are The NHS’

New NHS recruitment campaign launches to encourage South Asian community to consider nursing career. Now in its fifth year, NHS England’s ‘We Are The NHS’ campaign has been revamped to champion the extraordinary work of South Asian nurses and inspire a new cohort to consider a career in the health service

Now in its fifth year, NHS England’s ‘We Are The NHS’ campaign has been revamped to champion the extraordinary work of South Asian nurses and inspire a new cohort to consider a career in the health service.

The campaign highlights the range of nursing specialisms across the NHS, including in learning disabilities, mental health, adult and children’s nursing. It features a South Asian nurse, who is proud to showcase the many ways that nursing has a positive impact every day, on patients and on himself.

Pratap Perseeddoss, a nurse at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, and now star of the new ‘We Are The NHS’ campaign said: “It’s a very rewarding role. I enjoy interacting with patients and listening to any concerns or feedback they might have – this is absolutely crucial to ensuring you can provide the best possible care.”

After completing his nursing degree at London South Bank University, Pratap is now a Nurse Consultant. Candidates for university nursing courses have access to a support system to guide them step by step through the application process, alongside tailored support. Annual payments of at least £5,000 are also available to help nursing students with their studies.

“A career in nursing is one of the most dynamic and rewarding roles the NHS has to offer,” said Pratap. “With ongoing training and endless opportunities to progress, I am sure a career in nursing will transform your life, as it has done mine. Being in a workplace that allows you to grow and bring your whole authentic self to work everyday is what enables me to deliver the best possible healthcare.”

After graduating, nursing is the UK’s most employable profession with 94% of graduates gaining employment within the first six months of leaving university. Once qualified, there are many opportunities to further develop through additional training or by focusing on specific areas, such as trauma, orthopaedics or neonatal care.

To help those who are unsure of what to specialise in, the ‘We Are The NHS’ campaign has also launched a quiz to raise awareness of the plethora of nursing roles available and to help people find out which nursing role they would be best suited to which is available here

The campaign aims to increase applications for both degree courses and direct entry jobs, seeking to build upon the existing 1.2 million-strong workforce and to shine a light on the incredible work they do in multicultural adverts across TV, cinemas, radio and billboards.

Dr Navina Evans, recently appointed Chief Workforce Officer at NHSE, said: “I am proud to support this new recruitment campaign. The NHS’s greatest strength is in the diversity of our people. Nurses from multicultural communities across the UK are the backbone of our national health service and the contributions they make every day must be celebrated.”

Marimouttou Coumarassamy, Founder and Chair of the British Indian Nursing Association, said: “When I first arrived from India to work as a nurse in the UK, I was pleasantly surprised by the respect given to the nursing profession. Throughout my career, I have been supported through various learning opportunities, which have helped me to grow as a compassionate and inclusive leader. I am proud to be part of the NHS family and would encourage others to choose a career in nursing.”

Search ‘Nursing Careers’ for more information or visit:

  • 81% of South Asian’s surveyed said that nurses have made a positive impact in their life or the life of a loved one
  • Just over two in five (41%)  South Asians surveyed agree they would consider a career in nursing
  • The new ‘We Are The NHS’ campaign highlights the rewarding and diverse range of nursing roles available within the NHS
Asia News FEATURE UK News

Britain Celebrates Intl. Yoga Day

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014

London and major cities across the United Kingdom mark International Yoga Day with several community events. The main event in London was held at the prestigious Neasden Temple. Gaitri Issar Kumar, High Commissioner of India, addressed the gathering at the temple.

The event was held in front of the iconic Mandir and included a live yoga demonstration from three-time World Yoga Champion Ishwar Sharma as well as a presentation of pranayama and meditation techniques from the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) by Neil Patel, an author, lecturer and yoga teacher, and founder of Chi Kri Yoga.

International Yoga Day at Neasden Temple in London

Isha Foundation organised Yoga Namaskaram at Holland Park in London. Other events were held in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester.

 “It has been a perfect start to the International Day of Yoga in London at the [BAPS] Shri Swaminarayan Mandir,” said Mrs Kumar. “Thank you so much to the management and the members of this Mandir and its community for hosting a very good yoga session with the backdrop of the Mandir. It has energised us for the rest of the celebrations today. It was wonderful being here.”

 “Today, we are so grateful to the management of the [BAPS] Swaminarayan Mandir committee for giving the High Commission a place to demonstrate yoga in action,” said Lord Rami Ranger. Drawing upon a newly-erected 27-foot image of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj – the creator of the Temple – Lord Ranger added, “The vision of Pramukh Swami Maharaj is now gracing countries all over the world.”

International Yoga Day at Neasden Temple in London

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. As the UN explains: “Yoga emphasizes the values of mindfulness, moderation, discipline and perseverance. When applied to communities and societies, Yoga offers a path for sustainable living.”