• Stephen Wiltshire is known for his panoramic drawings of iconic urban skylines, a typical feat for any artist, but what sets him apart is the fact that his sketches are done entirely from memory. Wiltshire, who is autistic, has an eidetic memory that allows him to recall every detail of city from one 45-minute helicopter ride. Wiltshire signed his live five-day drawing session of the New York City skyline on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building in New York on Monday (October 16). Wiltshire said drawing the skyline was "truly hard work." The finished piece of art, which is the approximately the size of a large gallery wall, was produced using just pen and pencil and gives an in-depth panoramic view of the famous Manhattan skyline. The British artist has sketched several cities in the past, including London, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Hong Kong, but he loves visiting New York, and finds inspiration in its architecture and layout. "It's a very beautiful place. It has lots of skyscrapers, buildings, tall buildings and yellow cabs and some American people," said Wiltshire. Wiltshire was diagnosed with autism at aged three, did not speak until five but as an adult, he sells his art for thousands of British pounds. "I mean it's just as important to make awareness of autism, but I think sometimes it may close doors because people have this preconditioned view about autism," said Wiltshire's sister, Annette. "What we celebrate is Stephen's art. So I think for him it's not really the purpose of his condition. It's more about what he can translate on paper." Wiltshire first started drawing when he was 5 years old. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old and could not relate to the world, or it to him, and one of the few things that calmed him was to draw. He was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in 2006 for services to the art world. Stephen has been an award-winning artist since an early age and received his first commission, a drawing of Salisbury Cathedral, from Prime Minister Edward Heath at just eight-years-old. He is well-known for his astonishing ability to draw detailed landscapes from memory - after seeing his subject just once.
  • Donald Trump has hailed the extraordinary contributions of Indian-Americans to science, medicine, business and education in the country as he celebrated his first Diwali at the White House. Trump was joined by senior Indian-American members of his administration including Nikki Haley, his Ambassador to the United Nations and Seema Verma Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "As we do (celebrate Diwali) so, we especially remember the People of India, the home of the Hindu faith, who have built the world's largest democracy," Trump said in a Facebook post along with a video of his Diwali celebrations inside the Oval Office. Trump said he greatly valued his "very strong relationship" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump said he was deeply honoured to be joined by so many administration officials and leaders of the Indian-American community in celebrating Diwali -- the festival of lights. The president's daughter Ivanka also joined him in celebrations, according to a picture released by the White House. In his remarks, Trump said Indian-American neighbours and friends have made incredible contributions to the country and to the world. "You have made extraordinary contributions to art, science, medicine, business and education. America is especially thankful for its many Indian-American citizens who serve bravely in our armed forces and as first responders in communities throughout our great land," he said. "Today, we proudly celebrate this holiday in The People’s House. In so doing, we reaffirm that Indian-Americans and Hindu-Americans are truly cherished, treasured and beloved members of our great American family," Trump added. Diwali, he said, is one of the most important celebrations in the Hindu religion. "A time of peace and prosperity for the New Year, it is a tradition that is held dear by more than 1 billion Hindus worldwide and more than 2 million Hindus in the United States. It is also celebrated by millions of Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains in America, India and around the world," he said. The tradition of Diwali celebration at the White House was first started by President George Bush. Iconic Sydney Harbour and Opera House also lit up in golden lights during the Diwali celebrations in Down Under. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wowed the crowd in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, by joining in the Diwali celebrations. Diwali was celebrated in Spain’s capital Madrid with massive response seen to the first public Diwali Mela in Madrid.
  • It is the festival of lights and joy. Diwali celebration includes worshipping goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha, traditional sweets, good food, fireworks, special candles and lamps. HOW TO DRESS UP FOR DIWALI? • Avoid wearing clothes that can easily catch fire • Do not wear loose, hanging clothes. Secure all clothes properly • Dupattas and pallus may be properly tagged • Avoid wearing synthetic and silk clothes • Prefer wearing cotton clothes • Avoid glass or metal bangles • Tie the hair properly • Wear footwear while lighting Diwali fireworks DIWALI PRECAUTIONS • Light the diyas and candle carefully • Keep proper distance between the two diyas • Keep them at a safe distance from curtains or clothes • Do not keep diyas and candles at a low height • Fix the candles firmly only on a surface that is hard and not-inflammable • Also do not light a candle or Diya near electrical wiring • Be careful while putting the Diwali light or bulbs • Ends of wires should not be exposed • Fix or cover the ends or wire to prevent shock or burns It is important that while enjoying the festival proper care is taken. Be cautious while lightening lamps. PRECAUTIONS WHILE LIGHTING THE CRACKERS • Crackers should be of a standard quality • Look for an open space to burst crackers that has easy exit • Keep small children away from the bursting area • Allow children to burst crackers under supervision • Burst crackers in a group • Do not use fireworks or sparklers indoors • Use a sparkler, candle, agarbatti or a long fire wood to light a cracker • Light a firework at arm’s length, standing back and keeping your face away • Do not light crackers in your hand • Avoid lighting fireworks in metal or glass containers • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket Avoid bursting crackers to prevent air pollution. Celebrate Deepawali with the great spirit and make sure that you have joyful, healthy and safe Diwali.