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Kishore Asthana, Houston
This is about nothing and about everything
We are visiting Houston and, when everyone is in the office or school, we spend our time driving around Houston. Today, we are at the Woodlands Mall, some 28 miles away from our home in Piney Point.
Outside Macy’s at this mall there is a small rectangular area with comfortable chairs arranged around it. Sitting on a chair here, waiting for my wife, the mind goes back to where I started from. I find myself in the small government school in Jhalawar, a small town in Rajasthan. It did not have furniture and we used to sit on jute strips, called tat-patti. It has been a long journey from there to here and I count my blessings.
Back in the present, I pass time observing people passing by. There is this white haired senior citizen who walks with a slight limp. He reminds me of myself when I am tired. However, he looks much older than me. Then comes a mother with her son, walking purposefully towards the store. A mother pushing a baby in a cart passes close to my chair. The baby looks at me and I look back. He waves and his mother chuckles as I wave back.
Then come a rather big middle-aged couple. The man is wearing his pants very low and I wonder what keeps them up. I smile, remembering that I had said the same thing to my wife when, earlier, we had come across a rather large person with his pants half-way down his buttocks and she had remarked that I wore my pants around my neck and he is at the other extreme. No, I do not wear my pants around my neck, I had corrected her, I wear them around my waist where they are supposed to be worn.
The heavy woman is wearing black tights. I watch them pass by bemused at the fact that here everyone can buy clothes that fit, regardless of their shape and size.
A very thin, very white girl goes by holding a coat in a hanger. A lady who looks like her mother is walking besides her. The mother’s expression says, ‘one work done!’
I am startled by a sharp whistle from the chair opposite me. A Mexican man, perhaps in his forties is sitting across from me. He whistles again. In the distance, following his line of sight, I notice a woman who suddenly looks towards him and grins. Then she comes over and says something to him in Spanish. He gets up and they walk away smiling and talking.
A tall, well-dressed couple walk by. They do not look Mexican to me but they are speaking in Spanish. I remind myself that I am no expert on what all Mexicans look like. Then again, they could be visitors from Spain, couldn’t they?
I hear a very distinct Chinese voice behind me. A man replies in Chinese, ahead of me, from across the chairs. He walks across to my chair and then past it. He is wearing a tan colored shirt and a similar colored pant but they are looking OK on him. All through the two people keep conversing in Chinese, the volume gradually decreasing as they come closer to each other. They walk away.
Then come two women in black pants and white tops. They look as if they work in one of the shops and are wearing a uniform. Their purposeful stride confirms this in my mind.
I look around to see if my wife has emerged from the store. No sign of her, so I keep a casual eye on what is going on around me.
The shop ahead of me is Al’s Formal Wear. I can see formal suits with bow-ties and pocket handkerchiefs in the window. Inside, there is a rail with a row of dark suits on hangers on it. A distinguished looking person is in the shop. He is well-dressed in a dark suit and white shirt. His hair is well-combed. He could have just stepped out of a fashion magazine. I think there are no customers in the store but an elderly lady clad in a light blue dress emerges from somewhere in the shop and starts talking to the debonair gent. Perhaps she is picking up a suit for her husband, I speculate.
Three young girls in very tight black jeans pass between me and the suit shop. How on earth do they get the jeans up their legs, I wonder. I have such trouble with my churidar pajamas. Two of them are wearing boots, in which the jeans are tucked in. I am reminded that my wife had told me that women wear their jeans inside boots and men wear them outside. I have yet to discover why this is so.
I look around at the others sitting on various chairs. There are four people, with a few chairs empty. Based on the rather glazed look in their eyes, I feel tat two of these middle aged men are bored out of their skulls. One of them appears Mexican and the other is an African-American. I think of this term and smile inside myself. I can be politically correct, too.
The third person is younger and has a small child who keeps running away. He has a phone at which he is reading something but is distracted by his child. He scolds the child in Spanish and the child replies back. This is repeated often.
Some more passers by pass by. One has the yellow bag of Forever 21, a store from which we have just come, and one has a Macy’s bag. One lady is carrying three bags from different stores. Some are going into Macy’s, some coming out of it. No one is going to Al’s Formal Wear where the gentleman is the lone occupant now.
I wonder how I would feel if I had to move to the U.S. I do not like the thought. This is a prosperous society, no doubt. Everything appears to be plentiful, especially if one is well-to-do. However, all my friends are back in Gurgaon. I have a nice house and a retinue of help. I have some very good friends. People know me and I know them. I have so much to do there. Building a new life all over again here does not appear attractive to me. Some years back my son had asked if he should apply for a green card for us and we had said no. It is the preferred answer even now.
I shake my head and look up to see a woman carrying a very small child – Going by the legs sticking out, the child almost looks like a newborn – in a holster of sorts. Its head is covered and I wonder how it can breathe.
I look up at Macy’s and wonder at their brand positioning. I read recently that they are going to close over 70 stores. It seems their sales have declined as their positioning is rather vague – they are neither considered top rung like Neiman Marcus or economical end like Target or JC Penney. Hmmm…
And then the welcome sight of my wife, with her bag on her left shoulder, coming towards me, a-smile.
Kishore Asthana is based out of Gurgaon.
Chip manufacturer MediaTek on Monday announced that it is focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, substantial expansion in Research and Development capabilities.
MediaTek's plans to boost technology democratisation and enable access to disruptive connectivity with its range of mainstream to flagship 5G chips.
"We at MediaTek are focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, and substantial expansion in our R&D capabilities. For 2022, we are focused on further strengthening our presence in India, offering incredible experiences to customers, and supporting the country's technology initiatives with our expertise and collaboration with leading OEMs," Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India said in a statement.
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In the flagship segment, MediaTek recently announced the Dimensity 9000 chip, which is a milestone of innovation and a rise to the incredible, built-to-power flagship 5G smartphones in the world, the company claims.
MediaTek Dimensity 9000 features a single Cortex-X2 performance core clocked at 3.05GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.85GHz and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores at 1.8GHz.
It packs a 10-core Arm Mali-G710 that takes care of graphics processing, the report said.
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.Unsplash
Also read: Realme Unveils First 5G Smartphone
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.
The chipset can handle screens with up to a 180Hz refresh rate at Full HD+ resolutions. It is also the first chipset to have an 18-bit image signal processor, offering the ability to capture 4K HDR video using up to three cameras at the same time, or still photos using up to a massive 320MP sensor. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: 5G, smartphones, Mediatek)
If the US loses Chinese companies, Wall Street will gradually alienate itself from the world's most prosperous market and the US will no longer be the true global financial centre, Chinese state media claimed.
Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing giant, announced on Friday that the company is starting the work of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and initiating preparations for listing in Hong Kong.
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One day before Didi made the statement, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a mandate requiring foreign companies listed in the US to provide audits for inspection. Otherwise, they could be delisted from NYSE and Nasdaq in three years.
"The new SEC regulation clearly targets Chinese companies listed in the US. Analysts believe that it could lead to more than 200 companies being kicked off US exchanges," Global Times reported.
Also Read : The forgotten Indo-China War
Didi is the first Chinese company, which announced that it would delist from the NYSE after the SEC issued its new regulation. The company got listed in the US in June without the approval of Chinese regulatory authorities, sparking concerns that the information of hundreds of millions of Chinese users would be leaked to endanger China's national security. More than 20 apps linked to the company were subsequently removed from mobile stores. The SEC's new regulation has compressed Didi's space for financing in the US from the other direction, the report said.
It will become more difficult for Chinese digital technology and application companies to get listed in the US in the future.Unsplash
There have already been voices in the US demanding most of the "China concept stocks" be removed from the US. Scrutiny of "China concept stocks" is expected to get stricter. The US provides various excuses such as "financial security" and "national security" for such scrutiny, the report said.
It will become more difficult for Chinese digital technology and application companies to get listed in the US in the future. This will cause losses to both sides. But the tendency shows that China has greater initiative to adjust and adapt to new conditions, the report said.
Global Times said Chinese companies have other alternatives, and if they go back to China, they will greatly enhance the attractiveness of the mainland and Hong Kong capital markets, creating the possibility of gradually changing the global financial landscape. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Wall street, China, stocks, companies, businesses, losses, regulations, prosperous, technology, authorities, delisting.)
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Sommet Education, one of the worlds leading hospitality and culinary education players, recently joined hands with the countrys premium hospitality institute, Indian School of Hospitality (ISH).
With this Sommet Education now own a 51 per cent stake in the ISH, a significant addition to the former's expansive global network. The strategic partnership allows Sommet Education to establish two of its prestigious institutions in India: Ecole Ducasse, a worldwide education reference in culinary and pastry arts, and Les Roches, one of the world's leading hospitality business schools. With this academic alliance, Ecole Ducasse will now have its first campus in India at ISH, and Les Roches will launch its undergraduate and postgraduate hospitality management programmes in the country.
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Sommet Education's belief in the Indian market and its potential to grow exponentially made the country the focal point of its development plans. As per the recent data, the Indian hospitality industry has shown a 122.9 per cent growth in RevPAR in Q3 2021 as compared to Q2 2021. The sector bounced back strongly with the relaxations in regulations over travel restrictions post the second wave of the pandemic.
During the recent meeting between Benoit-Etienne Domenget, CEO, Sommet Education and Dilip Puri, Founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality, both the leaders shared their future development plans for India. Two are exploring opportunities to launch a second campus, most likely to be located in Mumbai, Bengaluru, or Hyderabad. The duo also plans to set up a network of Ecole Ducasse studios in select cities across India, including New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. These studios institutes will cater to the needs of not only hospitality aspirants but also professionals, enthusiasts, and career changers for upskilling and acquiring new skills in line with changing dynamics of the industry. Besides setting Ecole Ducasse studios in India, the expansion of the current ISH Gurugram campus is also underway. The new campus will feature an additional 25,000 sq. ft of classrooms, training kitchens, and student experience areas. This expansion will comfortably stretch the current capacity of the campus to over 500 students.
Speaking about the entering Indian market, Sommet Education CEO, Benoit-Etienne Domenget, said: "India is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, with hospitality and tourism contributing to a large share of economic growth and employment. As a dynamic young economy, India is the perfect development platform for international education brands to invest in and expand. We are happy to partner with ISH through which enables us to provide Indian students, within the country, with globally renowned standards of hospitality, culinary and management education.
"Together, we will be able to address the industry's need for specialised talent and expertise in a better and more organised manner. Hospitality management and culinary arts aspirants in India and neighbouring countries will now be able to benefit from our combined expertise and explore international career opportunities."
The mutually benefitting collaboration aims to offer a global standard of education to a larger number of hospitality and culinary arts aspirants in the years to come in India and the neighbouring countries. While ISH has set benchmarks with its cutting-edge pedagogical approach, updated curriculum, learning techniques, faculty base, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, expansion of the campus will lay grounds for more talented students to set foot into the exciting field of hospitality and culinary arts and become future leaders who will steer the industry towards success. New facilities are under construction and will be operational by early 2022.
Commenting over the new partnership and expansion plans, ISH Founder and CEO, Dilip Puri, said: "ISH and Sommet Education joined hands for the two share similar belief system and vision of establishing entrepreneurial and developmental mindset among learners. The higher education landscape in India is rapidly transforming. In order to elevate the same to the global standards, ISH, with the help of its new partner, intends to be the pioneer of this transformation, bringing the best of industry education and opportunities from across the world to our students.
Industry demands for hospitality leaders by bringing two of the world's best brandsUnsplash
"Partnering with Sommet Education will also enable us to strengthen our academic offerings and expand our presence pan India, and in neighbouring countries, as now on we will be part of Sommet's prestigious network of 18 campuses across eight countries. We will also be able to further support industry demands for hospitality leaders by bringing two of the world's best brands in hospitality management and culinary education to India."
The current transition in the hospitality and services sector requires future leaders to be well-prepared to take on global opportunities emerging in India and abroad. This tie-up will help ISH to further expand its portfolio of programs with opportunities for students to study semesters abroad and benefit from various pathways within undergraduate and post-graduate programs throughout the Les Roches network of institutions. Students can access opportunities, including pursuing a part of the select course at Les Roches campuses in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Marbella, Spain and Shanghai. Together the two hold a common vision of empowering learners with new-age skills to stay ahead in the robust and fast-evolving industry and aim to become the country's largest hospitality and culinary arts education player in the next three years. (IANS/PR)
Keywords: hospitality management, culinary education