Fiorentina fightback at Sassuolo

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Jeremie Boga’s solo effort had given Sassuolo the lead, but Gaetano Castrovilli scored one and created another for a Fiorentina victory. Click here for the full match report. OR See how all today’s Serie A games unfolded on the LIVEBLOG.last_img

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RCB vs NSW: Gayle, Kohli power RCB to CLT20 summit clash

first_imgVirat Kohli struck a match-winning unbeaten 84 while Chris Gayle laid the foundation with a quickfire 92 to power Rayal Challengers Bangalore to the final of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament here on Friday. ScoreChasing New South Wales Blues 203 for two, Gayle and Kohli used their long handle to great effect to overhaul the mammoth target with six wickets in hand and with nine balls to spare.While Gayle started the onslaught with a fiery 92 that came off just 41 balls with eight boundaries and as many sixes, Kohli laced his unconquered 49-ball innings with 10 fours and three hits over the ropes.Right-arm pacer Pat Cummins picked up all the four wickets for NSW, giving away 45 runs off his four overs.Earlier, David Warner slammed a whirlwind unbeaten century to power NSW to 203.Warner (122 off 68) belted the RCB bowlers to all parts of the ground from the word go and together with Daniel Smith (62 off 42) shared a quickfire 146-run second wicket stand off just 87 balls to set the platform for the NSW total.Warner, who scored an unbeaten 135 to set up a victory against Chennai Super Kings, was at his imperious self, hammering RCB’s mediocre bowling. He hit six boundaries and as many as 11 sixes en route his 68-ball innings.Warner was ably supported by Smith from the other end with seven fours and three huge hits over the fence.Barring Tillakaratne Dilshan (1/10), none of the RCB bowlers could find their footing in front of the NSW batsmen, especially Warner.Sreenath Aravind, who has been selected in the Indian squad for the first two ODIs against England, managed to pick up the other NSW wicket but not before yielding 55 runs from his four overs.advertisementContrary to the result, RCB’s chase started on a disastrous note as they lost Tillakaratne Dilshan (4) early in the third over.But then things turned around for the home team with Gayle and Kohli sharing a majestic 142 runs off just 66 balls for the second wicket to bring RCB in sniffing distance of the victory.But just when it seemed the duo would see RCB home without much trouble, Gayle and Saurabh Tiwary departed in consecutive balls.While Gayle fell lbw to Cummins, Tiwary was clean bowled by the right-arm pacer in the very next ball.To make matters worse for RCB, Mayank Agarwal followed suit, edging one to Smith in Cummins’ next over to be reduced to 172 for four.But then Mohammad Kaif joined hands with Kohli and the duo played sensibly to see RCB home with more than an over to spare.Earlier, sent into bat, NSW did not have the best of the start as they lost Shane Watson (3) early in the third over with the scoreboard reading 17.But, thereafter, Warner and Smith paired up and the duo sent the RCB bowlers for a leatherhunt to pile up the misery for the home team.After Smith’s dismissal, bowled by Aravind, Warner and Rohrer stitched unbeaten 40 runs off just 17 balls for the third wicket.last_img read more

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Who can be Dhoni’s successor in years to come?

first_imgIt surely will be difficult for anyone to step into the shoes of the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni — Team India’s one of the most successful wicketkeeper-batsmen who also emerged as the country’s most successful captain.Even as cricket fans hope that Captain Marvel can lead India at the next ICC World Cup in 2015, it is also critical that the future captains are identified and groomed. While a captain is as good as his fellow players, there is no denying that he is critical to a team’s success.Does India have the next generation leaders who can take Indian cricket forward?Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni have been the driving forces for the Indian cricket, taking Team India forward with their acumen and leadership.Kapil — the Haryana hurricane — defied all odds to win the 1983 World Cup when the world thought otherwise. Then came the Bengal Tiger — Ganguly — who believed and sowed the seeds of aggression to take the fight to the best in the business. Finally, Dhoni — the Ranchi bomber — took Team India to the heights it had never reached before with his Midas touch.However, time has come to groom the next leader who can command respect and lead from the front.Likely contendersGautam Gambhir currently seems to be in pole position to take the baton from Dhoni. As fiery as they come, Gambhir has shown he is fearless and hungry. He is the aggressor and the accumulator and the 5-0 series triumph over the Kiwis on his captaincy debut stands testament to Gambhir as the leader.advertisementReaping rich dividends in his brief stint as captain, be it with the famous blues or in the black and gold of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Gambhir has shown why he is marked out for the top job.Gambhir’s closest challenger comes in the form of Suresh Raina. Even Dhoni trusts Raina most to lead in his absence, especially with Chennai Super Kings (CSK).Raina’s only shortcoming could be his inconsistency in the longer format, but there surely is no shortage of skill and commitment. After a tough start on captaincy debut in Zimbabwe, Raina stamped his worth in style in the Caribbean Islands. He was even successful when at the helm of CSK.But if there is one man who does seems best suited to don the captaincy hat, it has to be Virat Kohli. Fiery and aggressive, he is the typical modern day cricketer, ready to go all guns blazing, ready to bare it all.However, the element of maturity in him is what sets him apart. Kohli is not new to captaincy either. He burst into the scene after leading the under-19 side to World Cup glory. Having led Delhi in Ranji Trophy and Bangalore Royal Challengers in the IPL, Kohli has shown he has it in him to be a leader.Batting for Kohli, former national selector Sambaran Banerjee said, “It is too early to say but I can say that Virat Kohli has a good future as a captain.”With great power comes great responsibility. Gambhir, Raina and Kohli have shown that they have it in them to lead Indian cricket ahead in the years to come.last_img read more

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Thirty living treasures that binds India with its eternal past

first_imgThe sacred and the secular, a city or a street, a forgotten tomb or a fabled train terminal, a docked battleship or a dappled beach, these are 30 eclectic examples, some everyday, some exotic, of the civilizational heritage that binds generations, enriches memories, and embroideries a thousand conversations India has,The sacred and the secular, a city or a street, a forgotten tomb or a fabled train terminal, a docked battleship or a dappled beach, these are 30 eclectic examples, some everyday, some exotic, of the civilizational heritage that binds generations, enriches memories, and embroideries a thousand conversations India has with its eternal past. HIMALAYAN RAILWAYRegal EngineOut of the dense white mists around Hill Cart Road, emanates a reluctant chugging sound every morning, and then, as you wait among the hills, slowly comes a train that looks like something “out of a little boy’s Christmas stocking”. Three tiny compartments, the middle with curtains and ornate ceilings-for first class travellers-and a tiny steam engine are what constitute Darjeeling’s toy train. Now, some of them have diesel-powered engines that have slightly diminished their charm. In spite of the dismissive name, it is one of the most important means of transport along the steep inclines of the Himalayan region and a marvel for the rest of the world.Books have been written on how Franklin Prestage, Agent of the Eastern Bengal Railway, decided the Hill Cart Road, the only link between Siliguri in the plains, and Darjeeling at 6,812 feet, was not enough to cope with increasing traffic (in 1881) and proposed a two-feet gauge railway as an alternative. Thus started a project that was to involve building a railway line to unprecedented heights-Ghum, at 7,407 feet, is the highest railway station in India and the second highest in the world. Building along the world’s tallest mountains isn’t easy, and the line has three loops and six Z reverses.advertisementOver 70 per cent of the stretch are curves, with the rail tracks and the road crisscrossing each other at 177 places. There is only one steam engine in service now, plying from Kurseong up the hills to Darjeeling, and the train is mostly populated by rosy-cheeked children who jump in and out of slow moving coaches (at the speed of 8 km an hour) for fun. The train itself, in its quaint splendour, with coal in its open case, a crown around its chute, polished stars on its head and a placard grandly proclaiming it the royalty of the Himalayas, goes full steam ahead.Provenance: West BengalStatus: World HeritageAntiquity: 1881Centrepiece: A 1917-Built Teakwood Saloon, Its Oldest Possessionby Swagata SenMARINE DRIVESunset BoulevardFrom its inception on reclaimed land in 1935, when consulting Town Planner W.R. Davidge’s 1921 plan envisaged incorporating wide, open spaces into residential and commercial land-use, to now, Marine Drive, or Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, stands as Mumbai’s most recognisable 3km stretch that encompasses all that is the city of endless opportunities and glittering dreams. From its ubiquitous Victorias that clip-clop on its paved pathways and wait at traffic lights alongside gunning super-bikes, to the silently purring Mercedes Benzes that drive sedately to the luxury hotels lining the boulevard, it has stood witness to a city that may pause for breath but never sleeps.Architect Claude Batley had once called it “a rather badly fitting set of false teeth”, but today Mumbai’s Miami Mile is all set for a facelift in a proposed Rs 150-crore makeover. But some things can never change. The Art Deco apartments that line the drive hark back to when Mumbai’s wealthier classes began to build across the four blocks of Back Bay reclaimed land in 1929, allowing them an unrestricted view of the beloved sea. A breakaway from all things Victorian, the buildings asserted modern universal values. Along with the buildings, the city’s earliest concrete road was also laid, enduring till today, part of every Mumbaikar’s rain-drenched fantasies.Provenance: Mumbai, MaharashtraAntiquity: 1935 – 1940A.K.A.: Queen’s NecklaceNew Name: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Roadby Kimi DangorSOMNATH TEMPLESymbolic SurvivalFor The Last Ten Centuries, Its Name Has been linked with that of the invader Mahmud Ghaznavi. But few know that the iconoclast was only the first to vandalise Somnath. The fourth attack on Somnath in 1401 by Muzaffar, grandfather of the founder of Ahmedabad, Ahmadshah, was most memorable. A 16-year-old and newly married Rajput chieftain, Hamirji Gohil of Lathi, sacrificed his life defending Somnath-his cenotaph still stands at the entrance. Legend has it that Lord Som (moon) was cursed to wane by his father-in-law Dakshprajapati for being partial to one of his 27 daughters whom Som had married. As a result the moon started losing its shine.To shrug off the curse, Lord Brahma advised Som to do penance in the Prabhas region (the area where Somnath is located) and appease Lord Shiva. As Som realised his aim, he requested Lord Shiva to grace the Prabhas area with his permanent presence.advertisementThus the temple came to be known as Somnath or the temple to protect the Moon God. In its latest and seventh incarnation completed in 1995, the temple built in the Solanki era style, bears testimony to the power of creation always being greater than the power of destruction.Provenance: Somnat H Patan, GujaratRebuilt In: 1995Significance: One Of 12 Jyotirlings Mentioned In The Rigvedaby Uday MahurkarCHITTORGARH FORTRajput RampartsEven Its Walls Tell Tales. Of Rana Ratan Singh, Who Spent years looking for Padmini and then fighting to death to save her from Alaudin Khilji; of Padmini, leading a band of 13,000 women to their deaths; of Meerabai devoting herself to the love of Krishna; of Maharana Pratap Singh refusing a treaty with Akbar and the comforts of his Udaipur palace to wage a war to win back a ruined Chittorgarh. Ensconced within the 28 sq km of the city is a 37 metre tall tower built by Rana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Malwa’s Mahmud Khilji in 1440; Kirti Stambh dedicated to the first Jain tirthankar, Adinath; the Padmini palace; and even a deer sanctuary.The fort atop a 180 metre high hill, once a seat of power for Mewar, stands tall and proud. Ruins rarely reveal how encompassing the reality was but Chittorgarh Fort, which was steadfast while other Rajput states brokered peace, is more than a mere echo. Having witnessed the sieges of 1303 by Khilji, 1535 by Sultan Bahadur Shah, and 1567 by Akbar, it remains a hidden jewel in India’s tortuous medieval history. Akbar’s attack, a deadly aggression that saw the death of 30,000 people, saw Maharana Udai Singh moving the capital to Udaipur, never to return to the city his predecessors had once proudly inhabited.Provenance: Chittor, RajasthanAntiquity: 700 AdSignificance: It Was The Capital Of Mewar Rulers, In Cluding Sisodias, For 900 Yearsby Rohit PariharBHAKRA NANGALPowerhouse EffectAn idea triggered by the leap of a leopard. In November 1908, Lt Governor of Punjab Sir Louis Denn was traveling from Shimla to Ropar via Bilaspur when he saw a leopard leap across the river Sutlej that led him to build a dam at the spot. A year later, a committee surveyed the spot and drew up a plan to build a dam at the cost of Rs 3.72 crore. Though the project was shelved, the idea never died. In 1948, after Independence, the proposal was revived. For eight years after construction began in 1955, 13,000 workers, 300 engineers and 30 foreign experts worked round-the-clock to complete the dam named after the village Bhakra.As many as 151 men lost their lives working on the 222.55 ft high engineering marvel, the highest in Asia and the second highest in the world at the cost of Rs 283.90 crore. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who inaugurated the project in 1963 memorably called Bhakra “the new temple of resurgent India”and “something tremendous, something stupendous and something which shakes you up when you see it.” Roughly 50 to 60 per cent water in the dam comes from melting snow. With two power houses of an installed capacity of 990 mw and a massive irrigation potential, Bhakra has been a trend setter in power generation and contributed to the Green Revolution in Punjab. It is also a byword for independent India’s self-reliance.Provenance: PunjabAntiquity: 1963Significance: It Has Nurtured The Socio-Economic Growth Of North Indiaby Ramesh VinayakadvertisementAJMER SHARIFShrine Of SecularismSyed Mohammad Fakhar Jamali Chisti, 25, is a young khadim (attendant) at Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s tomb. He, like 1,500 others, is carrying on his ancestral tradition of taking devotees around for prayers and maintaining the dargah. Having grown up around the shrine’s medieval narrow lanes, he seems almost defensive about it. “One of my cousins is pursuing engineering and another- besides studying-is modelling in Mumbai,” he says. And the family also knows a farmhouse. Unlike him, the Dargah is suspended in time. Built by Humayun, it embodies the Sufi tradition founded in India by Chisti, who arrived in Ajmer at the age of 52 in 1190 AD when Prithviraj Chauhan’s power was at its peak.Two years later, the Afghan raider Mohammed Ghauri defeated him, the last Hindu king of India. Ajmer remained Akbar’s war capital to defeat the princely states of Rajasthan and legend has it that the emperor travelled on foot from Agra when his son Salim was born. For centuries, the dargah has played host to Mughal emperors (Jehangir is said to have offered a cauldron big enough to cook food for 2,500 people), an English empress (Queen Mary visited in 1911 and built a roof over the tank), and modern celebrities, big and small. Pilgrims are allowed right upto the mazhar and that is enough to achieve one’s heart’s desire.Provenance: Ajmer, RajasthanBuilt In: 1545Also Has: Anexquisite, Marble Mosque Built By ShahjahanBy Rohit PariharBOMBAY STOCK EXCHANGEMoney MattersIndia’s equity cult emerged rather restfully 131 years ago when 22 brokers got together to begin trading under the shade of a banyan tree in Horniman Circle, with a princely investment of Re 1 each, opposite the Town Hall of Bombay. In 1875, the alliance was formalised under the Native Share Brokers’ Association and Bombay Stock Exchange earned the proud distinction of becoming the first stock exchange in Asia. In January 1899, the association hired a trading hall in Dalal Street at Rs 100 a month but when it went broke, Sir Dinshaw Maneckji Petit bailed it out. In gratitude, the trading hall was named after him. The membership fee? Rs 15 then. Now? Rs 1 crore.The imposing Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers, the shorthand for India’s commercial capital was built only in 1980 and occupied a year later. A circular annexe known as the Rotunda was built in 1992, becoming the new home of the trading hall. Just a year later, the iconic structure was forever emblazoned on the nation’s psyche when terrorists targeted it on March 12, 1993. The judgement on the case is currently underway. The Jeejeebhoy Towers was only slightly damaged and trading resumed after the weekend break. The biggest bourse in terms of listed companies and market capitalisation is also, clearly, the bravest.Provenence: Mumbai, MaharashtraBuilt In: 1981Most Recent High: 12,611.71 Points On May 11, 2006by Malini BhuptaNATHULAGateway To ChinaMotilall Lakhotia, a hardy 80-year old marwari, who runs hotel Tashi Delek in Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, remembers the arduous mule treks via Nathula-the path of the listening ear-half a century ago. His hands froze till he couldn’t grasp the reins of his mule. “It was good business,” he reminisces. Trade was hugely profitable-merchants earned up to three times the production costs. Lakhotia hawked construction material, utensils, blankets, eatables and even jeeps and Ambassador cars, knocked down and shipped on mule-back, in Lhasa. Trade on the fabled Silk Route halted soon after the Red Army inflicted a crushing blow on the unprepared Indian army in 1962. It would lead to nearly four decades of hostility across the barbed wire. But a lot has changed in the four decades with the two Asian giants deciding to reopen the pass in a sign of thawing ties earlier this year.The narrow paths, which in Lakhotia’s day saw members of opposing mule caravans battling to death, have given way to tarred roads. Mao has been replaced by posters of Tibetan scenery. India has subtly taken down the signs pointing to “enemy territory”. Lakhotia’s clan is back in business. While the Chinese side brings yak tails and yak hair, goat cashmere, wool, goat skins, horses, borax, butter, salt and, yes, silk. Indian merchants cart watches, bicycles, shoes, farm implements, clothes, coffee, tea and spices. Anything else wouldn’t look fashionable on the Silk Route.Provenance: Sikkim-Tibet BorderClosed In: 1962Opened In: 2006Made Famous By: Colonel Sir Francis Younghusband Whose Incursion To Lhasa Opened The Door To The Roof Of The World In 1903By Sandeep UnnithanSABARMATI ASHRAMWhere Truth Lies”This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for truth and develop fearlessness. For on one side, are the iron bolts of the foreigners, and on the other, thunderbolts of Mother Nature.” This is how Mahatma Gandhi described the site of Sabarmati Ashram when he first visited it in 1917 to assess if it was suitable for his work. On one side of the ashram was the Ahmedabad jail and the other side was the Sabarmati river. The Sabarmati Ashram was home to Gandhi from 1917 to 1930. His many experiments, from ambar charkha to traditional agro-farming, started here. Various buildings inside the ashram-the Hridayakunj where Gandhi stayed, the Nandini guesthouse and the Udhyog mandir, home to many of the Mahatma’s experiments-are strong reminders of India’s freedom struggle.A new museum, designed by Charles Correa and housing a library with nearly 35,000 books and an archive with over 34,000 manuscripts and 6,000 photographs, was added to the ashram in 1963. Gandhi left the ashram in 1930 on his march to Dandi vowing to return only after India attained Independence, but as circumstances would have it, he couldn’t. Today, the ashram signifies the universal truth: while fighting external oppression, the struggle for internal cleansing must go on.Provenance: Ahmedabad, GujaratBuilt In: 1917Significance: Home To Mahatma Gandhi And His Many Experiments From 1917 To 1930by Uday MahurkarJEWELS OF NIZAMStudded With HistoryAs the 400-odd daily visitors shuffle their feet to peer through the gleaming showcases in the green chandeliered hall, the last proud owner-Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad-looks down from a life-size portrait in the Salar Jung Museum. The exquisite collection of 173 pieces of rare value is estimated to cost about Rs 2,500 crore. The centrepiece is the amazing uncut Jacob Diamond, one of the seven biggest in the world. Twice the size of the legendary Kohinoor, the 184.75 carat diamond was mined in Africa in 1867, bought by the sixth Nizam, Mahboob Ali Khan, in 1891, and used as a paperweight by his son Osman Ali Khan.It gets its name from a Shimla trader who sold it to the Nizam’s family. Necklaces, turban ornaments, earrings, armbands, belts, cufflinks, buttons, rings, arm and feet ornaments worn by the royal family abound in a treasure trove for which the Indian Government paid Rs 217.81 crore to the Nizam’s family after the Supreme Court-following a 16-year legal battle with the family-decided to accord it national heritage status in 1995. On display at the National Museum, Delhi, in 2001, these were shifted to Hyderabad, appropriately enough for what was once the capital of the 224-year-old Asaf Jahi dynasty.Provenance: Hyderabd, Andhra PradeshAntiquity: Placed In Vaults Of Mumbai’s Mercantile Bank In 1948Current Resting Place: Salarjung Museum, HyderabadCentrepiece: Jacob Diamondby Amarnath K. MenonTAJMAHALIconic ImageWhen the bereaved fifth mughal emperor Shahjahan commissioned the spectacular marble mausoleum for his wife Arjumand Bano aka Mumtaz Mahal, he intended it to be unique-so inimitable, argues legend, that he lopped the hands of the craftsmen who built it. Now, it means everything from tea bags to Donald Trump’s garish monument to Mammon, the marbledomed Trump Taj Mahal casino resort. Is brand Taj doomed? Not in Agra. Emerging through the winding queues of raucous tourists, doorframe metal detectors and pat-down security checks, the Taj hits you like a diamondtipped bullet. Just as it does to over a million visitors each year who brave the heat, touts, beggars and an ugly host city to bask in its glow. Everything you’ve heard about the serene onion-domed octagonal marble structure, probably the world’s most beautiful building, is true.Embedded in a sprawling green Mughal Garden on the right bank of the Yamuna, the complex is a splash of colours. Thousands of artisans laboured for nearly two decades to fuse diverse styles-Persian, Indian and Turkish-in a testament to symmetry. Mosaic work with delicately inlaid precious stones and vining floral themes, Quranic inscriptions and four minarets, each 42 metres high, flanking the spectacular central dome. For a funeral shrine, the Taj Mahal is pretty celebratory. “The Taj must be seen,” Salman Rushdie says, “to remind us that the world is real, that the sound is truer than the echo, the original more forceful than its image in a mirror.”Provenance: Agra, Uttar PradeshAntiquity: 1545Trivia Trail: The Four Minarets Of The Taj Are Angled 88 Degrees Outwards To Prevent Collapse During An Earth QuakeBy Sandeep UnnithanPRITHVI THEATREStage LightsWhen Prithviraj Kapoor came to India from Peshawar as a 21-yearold, he started what would have a great influence on the development of theatre and cinema in the country: Prithvi Theatre. Set up in 1944 as a travelling theatre group of 150 actors, stagehands, cooks, writers and technicians, they performed plays like Deewar, Pathan, Ghaddar and Kisan for 16 years throughout the country. Prithviraj’s ultimate aim was to build a theatre which would provide amateur groups with professional facilities, but his dream remained unfulfilled in his lifetime.Six years after his death in 1972, though, his youngest son Shashi Kapoor and daughter-in-law Jennifer Kendall gave shape to “Papaji’s” dreams and launched Prithvi Theatre as a non-profit performance space to nurture talent. Jennifer’s last words were “the lights in Prithvi must keep burning”, a poignant moment noted in Prithviwallahs, a book penned by Shashi Kapoor and filmwriter Deepa Gahlot. In its 28 years, Prithvi has played a major role in promoting Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati drama in Mumbai. The 200-seat theatre holds over 400 performances a year, by over 50 groups and hosts an annual Prithvi Festival-an event, started in 1983, that theatre-goers across the country look forward to.Antiquity: 1944Provenance: MumbaiSignificance: It Offers A Non- Profit Space To Nurture TalentBy Kimi DangorINS VIKRANTAll AboardOn the night of November 14, 1971, Commander Zafar Mohammed Khan of the Pakistan Naval Submarine Ghazi sailed out of Karachi for Vizag. Ghazi had to cripple the pride of the Indian Navy, believed to be anchored there, before she could launch her aircraft against erstwhile East Pakistan in the imminent war. It lay in wait of Vikrant off Vizag for several days. But on December 3, a massive explosion tore the submarine apart killing all her crew. No one is certain how it happened, but it was likely she tripped on her own mine or torpedo. The Vikrant, meanwhile, steamed out of her secret lair in the Andamans and cut off a possible seaward retreat of the 90,000-strong Pakistan army.Moored in the dockyard of South Mumbai, Vikrant, as big as a 56-storey building, today sports the prefix Indian Museum Ship since her retirement in January 1997. On days when the Vikrant is opened to visitors-she has hosted over a million over the past five years-visitors stop by an interesting relic: a round heavy hatch which the naval drivers blew out of the Ghazi to enter the submarine- the closest the two erstwhile foes would get to each other.Built In: 1961Origins: Started Life As Hercules In The Royal Navy, But Could Not Be CompletedWeighs: 18,000 TonneBy Sandeep UnnithanCOLLEGE STREETBooked For LifeWhat everyone knows of college Street is precisely the outer wall of Kolkata’s Presidency College, housing rows of old book shops, which every Kolkatan worth his Camus and Derrida claims to spend hours browsing through. In a peculiar case of inverse snobbery, it is College Street’s tiny second-hand book shops that overshadow the big bookstores opposite, and form the elitest part of the street. This is where Saha da or Dhar da will fish out one of Jane Austen’s collector’s editions or a rare print of a Shakespeare play and sell it to you for as little as Rs 30 if you are a regular, or can, if you are the smarty-pants unused to its ways and ask for the latest John Grisham or Frederick Forsyth title, haughtily remark, “Neyi”. Even the statues are peculiar.There, at the junction, stands Krishnadas Pal, journalist, hidden by a row of bag sellers. Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, responsible for the first bookshop on the street, stays hidden behind Sir David Hare, who stays buried on college street. Coffee House, originally known as Albert Hall, just off the street can safely be marked as the place that has given birth to the freedom movement and the 70s’ Naxalite student agitation might have started over a cup of black coffee. For books and coffee can do wonders. enough to give College Street a place of pride in the country’s collective intellectual consciousness.Provenance: Kolkata, West BengalAntiquity: 1899A.K.A.: Vidyasagar Udyan Or Goldighiby Swagata SenHAZRATBALMosque Holy HostAs dusk falls, the still, dark waters of the Dal Lake come alive with shimmering images. The Hazratbal shrine dates back to when Shahjahan’s subedar Sadiq Khan built Ishrat Mahal in 1623 but the emperor ordered it to be converted into a prayer house. In 1699, when the holy relic of Mo-i-Muqaddas (Prophet Mohammad’s hair) arrived in Srinagar, it was first kept in the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Naqshbandi. However, because of the huge rush of pilgrims that caused several deaths in a stampede, the then Mughal governor Fazil Khan decided to shift the relic to Bagh-i-Sadiq Khan (later known as Hazratbal). Also known as Assar-e-Sharif, Madinat-us-Sani (second Medina) and Dargah Sharif, it has for long been a spiritual centre for Kashmiri Muslims.The structure was rebuilt in 1979 by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, founder of the National Conference (NC). Abdullah used the shrine to project his popularity as a mass leader. Militants wrested Hazratbal from NC in 1990. Separatist groups, especially JKLF, found expression in this shrine. This led to rivalry between many groups. In 1993, army and paramilitary soldiers laid a month-long siege to weed out militants holed up inside. And in 1996 over two dozen militants were killed in a gun battle with security forces. Today, it stands for everything that is wrong, and right, in the beautiful but death-ravaged state of Kashmir.Provenance: Srinagar, KashmirAntiquity: 1623Rebuilt In: 1979Significance: Spiritual And Religious Centre For Kashmiri MuslimsA.K.A: Assar-E-Sharif, Second Medina And Dargah Sharifby Aijaz HussainGOLDEN TEMPLESacred FlameValmiki wrote the ramayana near here. The first of the 10 gurus and founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, and Buddha, the enlightened one, 2,000 years before him, meditated here. “I have seen all places; there is not another like thee?”, the fifth Guru Arjan Dev once said of the Hari Mandir. A personification of Sikh beliefs, the shrine is open on all four sides to allow people of all faiths and castes. The three-storied, gold-gilded Hari Mandir is in the centre of the Amrit Sarovar (pool of nectar) symbolising the coexistence of sargun and nirgun. Pilgrims immerse themselves in it to cleanse their souls rather than their bodies.Built at a lower level to emphasise faith as a source of inner strength rather than any external manifestation, inside, on the Darbar Sahib, beneath velvet canopies richly brocaded in silver and gold, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is placed on a Manji Sahib. Hymns from it are rendered all day long, accompanied by drums and stringed instruments. Originally a mud house built by the third Guru Amar Das after he found a magical cure for his master’s skin ailment here, it was given a permanent structure by fourth Guru Ramdas. The Hari Mandir was built in 1588 by Guru Arjan Dev. Afghan invaders destroyed it thrice, in 1757, 1762 and 1764, before the Hari Mandir got its present structure in 1808 after Maharaja Ranjit Singh granted Rs 5 lakh and invited Muslim architects, masons and wood-carvers from Chaniot, now in Pakistan, to build it. It was damaged again during Operation Blue Star in 1984. But like its grandeur, the faith it represents has been enhanced with each reconstruction.Provenance: Amritsar, PunjabAntiquity: 1588Significance: Is Symbolic Of The Egalitarian Sikh Faithby Puja MehraSABARIMALALord’s AbodeOne of the most revered deities in South India, Lord Ayyappa rests in the famed Sabarimala shrine at 4,500 ft in the Western Ghats of Kerala and 115 km from Thiruvananthapuram. Despite the mandatory two-month long vow of 18 strict observances-no meat, liquor or sex, only black clothes and a mala-before one undertakes the 5 km trek to the sannidhanam (sanctum sanctorum), over 40 million pilgrims visited the temple last year. And the revenue went up from Rs 25 crore 10 years ago, to Rs 70 crore last year. Together, with the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the temple sustains 1,200 other shrines in the state and employs 4,500 people. There is no entry bar on caste or religion. Just beneath the sannidhanam is a temple devoted to Vavar, a Muslim said to be Ayyappa’s closest friend.Though highly secular, the shrine is not exactly gender-neutral. Women in the 10-50 age group are forbidden entry. Just a few yards away from the Lord’s sanctum is Malikappurathamma’s abode, who had come with a marriage proposal to Ayyappa. After turning her down, Ayyappa allowed her to live beside him as his sister, and owing to his strict adherence to bachelorhood the temple keeps young women out even today. The shrine, inside the highly protected Periyar tiger reserve, was recently in another controversy, in which the temple’s high priest himself was said to be involved. For the devotees who flock here, nothing matters but their faith.Provenance: Sabarimala, KeralaAntiquity: 800 Years AgoSignificance: Has A Temple Devoted To Vavar, Ayyappa’s Muslim Friendby M.G. RadhakrishnanTIRUMALA TEMPLEGod Of Big ThingsIt is the world’s most active religious destination with more visitors than the Mecca and St. Peter’s Basilica. On any given day, the Sri Venkateswara Temple, atop Tirumala in the arid Chittoor, draws more than 40,000 worshippers, standing and sitting in a series of steel cages, to get a fleeting glance of and pay obeisance to the fascinating life-size idol of Lord Vishnu, a.k.a Venkateswara/Srinivasa/Balaji. About 15,000 have their heads shorn to fulfill a vow or pledge. Every year more than nine million devotees offer money and gold to make it the richest Hindu shrine. The belief is that the offerings go back to pay the dues to Kubera, the Hindu God of wealth, who gave a loan to Balaji when he was marrying Goddess Padmavati. Thirty thousand people are offered free meals and 1,50,000 are given laddoos everyday-the much sought after prasadam of Tirumala that travels around the world.Made at the cost of Rs 13, it is sold for Rs 5 only. Funds are never a source for worry. The bounty of faith is, well, bountiful. This year, the temple earnings are estimated to cross Rs 730 crore-last year, they were Rs 675 crore. An electric mix of modern management and traditional fervour keeps Tirumala ticking. White wristbands have a bar code with a time imprint to manage queues while e-hundis enable devotees to donate at the click of a button wherever they are in the world. Total collections from hundi offerings alone are Rs 300 crore while Rs 170 crore accrues annually from bank deposits. In God, truly, Tirumala’s managers trust.Provenance: Tirumala, Andhra PradeshAntiquity: 9th CenturyMost Recent Offering: 108 Golden Flowers By Hyderabad’s Syeed Meera, Used In The Daily Archanaby Amarnath K. MenonVICTORIA TERMINUSRhapsody In StoneEvery day over three million commuters-the entire population of Turkey’s capital Ankara- busily file past the giant arches of a massive Indo-Gothic sandstone building in the heart of south Mumbai. Most are unaware of its heritage and vaguely familiar with its new politically correct avatar- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). The erstwhile Victoria Terminus occupies 74,550 sq ft in three levels and nearly 1 sq km of urban Mumbai. Even as conservationists debate the nuances, its sheer utilitarian value has helped preserve it. The most heavily-used structure in UNESCO’s list of over 800 properties had already weathered Mumbai’s brutal monsoons, saline air and sheer passenger overuse before it made it to the hall of fame two years ago.The brief to architect Frederick W. Stevens was to create spectacular headquarters for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, a euphemism for a massive rail empire, which radiated inward from Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. Stevens conceived a crossover delight which blended Victorian Gothic revival architecture with the classic Indian palace form.It was crowned by a unique high central ribbed octagonal dome topped with a statue of Progress-a lady holding a wheel and torch. The materials-14 types of stone including Porbandar sandstone for the bulk of the structure and coloured Italian marble for key decorative elements. Work on the structure began in 1878 and was completed a decade later, though it was formally opened in the silver jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1887 to become what one admirer called a rhapsody in stone.Provenance: Mumbai, MaharashtraBuilt In: 1888Significance: Headquarters Of The Indian Central Railwaysby Sandeep UnnithanPONDICHERRYFrench AccentThe beauty of pondicherry lies in the eye of each beholder. It’s an exotic getaway with a French connection; a spiritual sanctuary for Sri Aurobindo’s followers; a tiny cosmopolitan city speaking over 60 languages. Yet for others, it is simply a “new settlement” or Puducherry, as recently rechristened. But its history puts it on the map.Though the French set up a trading centre in 1673, it soon became a battleground for hegemony with the wars in Europe spilling over. The Dutch and British periodically captured it over 10 times. Finally the French got control in 1814, and remained rulers even after Independence. Recognised as a Union territory in 1963, Pondicherry played a significant role during the freedom movement in hiding nationalists evading arrest from the British. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Bal Gangadhar Tilak regrouped here. But its unique architecture, originally conceived in 1756, combining French and traditional Tamil styles, defines it.Many streets still bear French names and are dotted by clean whitewashed buildings with lush gardens surrounded by high walls. It is also home to several religious architectural marvels. But the growing population and the economic boom are taking their toll with many traditional houses already replaced by an ugly concrete jungle. It’s a place that awaits a saviour.Provenance: Former French Colony Near Coromandel CoastAntiquity: 1673Size: 492 Sq Km Over Four Unconnected DistrictsBy S.S. JeevanKALAKSHETRATemple Of ArtOne of india’s premier schools for traditional dance and music, Kalakshetra (temple of art) was founded by a woman who, ironically, broke away from the traditions of her time. Born in a Brahmin family in 1904, Rukmini Devi Arundale took to Bharatnatyam, which was then considered a cheap and vulgar form of dance. Facing social ostracism at 16 for marrying George Arundale, a follower of the Theosophical Movement, she triggered a cultural movement and a social consciousness during India’s Independence struggle. Spread over 100 acre, Kalakshetra was established on Chennai’s sea shore.A humble beginning in a thatched cottage in the gardens of the Theosophical Society, among its contributions are over 25 dance drama compositions conceived by its founder, all based on Indian classical literature. Enriched by the experiences of great scholars and musicians like Tiger Varadachariar, Veenai Sambasiva Iyer, Mysore Vasudevachariar and Papanasam Sivan, it has a fine arts college, a senior secondary school and a craft education and research centre. Born at a time when orthodoxy and prejudices had almost drowned India’s rich heritage, today it stands out as a shining example of artistic revival.Provenance: Chennai, Tamil NaduBuilt In: 1936Significance: A Cultural Landmarkby S. S. JeevanBAGH-E-BEDILOasis In ChaosThis tiny gem of a garden is perched not only on the edge of one of Delhi’s busiest highways, but also, more precariously perhaps, on the fraying edges of our cultural memory. It is dedicated to the memory of Mirza Abdul-Qader Bedil (1677-1720) who is buried here.Bedil was a Sufi poet- not much remembered in India where he lived and died- celebrated as a cult figure in Tajikistan and Afghanistan where people still gather at weekly Bedil meets to sing, study and interpret his complex-yetpopular poetry. So pervasive was the influence of Bedil’s Persian verse in the late-Mughal era and such was his impact on later Urdu poets that even Ghalib admitted: “Tarz-e-bedil mein rekhta kehna, asadullah khan qayamat hai” (“To compose on the lines of Bedil in Urdu, Ghalib, is an impossible task”). Bedil had rather tolerant views on life and the world. He preferred free thought to the established beliefs of the clergy, who he often saw as corrupt.Today, however, but for itinerant Tajik dignitaries, Afghan refugees and stray lovers, few visit this verdant spot that houses his tomb. Not that Bedil would have minded. For he wrote:”Bedil az kulfat-eshikasht mun’aal /Bazm-e-hasti dukaan-e-shishagar ast (Bedil weep not for your losses/ This party that is life, is after all held in a glassmaker’s shop).”Provenance: DelhiAntiquity: 1720Significance: The Poet Bedil Has A Cult Status In Central Asiaby S. KalidasJALLIANWALA BAGHBirth Of FreedomOn April 13, 1919, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer marched into Jallianwala Bagh, an open ground near the Golden Temple, and unleashed an indelible scar on the face of the British empire.The Bagh, bounded by high brick walls, had only one narrow three-and-a-half-foot wide passage. It was Baisakhi day. The Bagh was agog with a political rally of around 20,000 people protesting the Rowlatt Act and the arrests of Punjab Congress leaders Saifuddin Kitchlew and Satyapal. Dyer, with two armoured cars and 90 soldiers, without even the slightest warning, ordered his men to open fire on the unarmed men, women and children. After 1,650 rounds, 379 died and more than 200 were injured. A plaque at a well, now a national monument, into which people jumped to escape the bullets but died due to suffocation, says 120 bodies were removed. “I fired and continued to fire until the crowd dispersed,” Dyer later told the official committee probing the incident. His report said he was “confronted by a revolutionary army and was obliged to teach a moral lesson to the Punjab”.The House of Lords commended Dyer, but the House of Commons censured him-so did the Hunter Committee report in 1920, leading to his resignation. Winston Churchill called the incident “a monstrous event, that stands in singular, and sinister in isolation”. Twenty eight years later, the massacre cost the British the jewel in their empire.Provenance: Amritsar, PunjabMemorial: Built In 1961Significance: 20,000 Protesters Against British Rule Were Fired Upon Hereby Ramesh VinayakMADURAIThe Fish-Eyed GoddessLocated on the south bank of the Vaigai River, Tamil Nadu’s oldest city, Madurai, was built over 2,000 years ago around the twin temples of Meenakshi Sundareswarar. Subsequently rebuilt many times, “it stands testimony to Dravidian architecture,” says M.P. Vasimalai, head, DHAN Foundation, working to regenerate temple tanks in South India. As legend has it, a three-yearold girl walked out on a yagna performed by a childless Pandya king. Meenakshi, or the fish-eyed one, was an incarnation of Parvati, and Lord Shiva came to Madurai as Sundareswarar to marry her.The Chitrai festival, that attracts lakhs of people everyday, celebrates their wedding around April-May. Spread over 65,000 sq m, the city is an exquisite mix of structures built by the Nayaks in the 17th century. The roads that run parallel to its four sides are named after seasons. The Hall of Thousand Pillars has every pillar displaying high, ornate, bold sculptures that appear to be in a straight line from whichever angle you view it. The outer corridors showcase the legendary musical pillars, each producing a different note when tapped. The gopurams at the entrance to the temple stand out for their sheer size, some measuring more than 55 m. It is often compared to Athens. And rightly so.Provenance: Madurai Tamil NaduRebuilt: 17th CenturySignificance: Hosts Historic Meenakshi Sundareswarar Templesby S.S. JeevanSCANDAL POINTBorn Of A LegendLike the Swirling Tales Of British-Era ghost houses in Shimla, its myth has survived for decades in the Queen of Hills. Officially, the junction of the Ridge and the Mall is known as the Lala Lajpat Rai Chowk. But, in common parlance it’s Scandal Point, a name that is part of the nation’s oral heritage. Though historians believe that the place got its name from gossip-loving Britons gathering here for conversations, there is a salacious story attached to it. Legend has it that sometime in the 1920s when Shimla was the summer capital of British India, Maharaja Bhupendra Singh, king of Patiala, tried to abduct the pretty young daughter of the then commander-in-chief of the British army while she was sauntering on Mall Road.The Maharaja was subsequently banished by the incensed British and built his summer retreat at Chail, 40 km from Shimla. Scandal Point is also literarily immortalised by Rudyard Kipling in his short story The Education of Otis Yeere. Kipling uses the name of the place metaphorically to suggest the local grapevine. Years later, a life-size statue of Lala Lajpat Rai was brought from Lahore and erected at this point on August 15, 1948. It remains the social hub of Shimla though it no longer transmits the “savoury and unsavoury secrets” of British society with the “speed of wireless”, as Shimla chronicler F. Beresford Harrop once wrote.Provenance: Shimla, Himachal PradeshAlso Known As: Lala Lajpat Rai ChowkSignificance: Part Of The Raj Oral Historyby Ramesh VinayakWAGAH BORDERThe Peace ParadeFrom the thousands who lost their lives while crossing over to their new homes during the Partition to the exchange of hundreds of prisoners over the years to the first Delhi-Lahore bus in 1999, the border separating India and Pakistan at Wagah has been a silent sentinel in the history of Indo-Pakistan relations. And if the sunset show of the soldiers of both countries goose-stepping up and down the margins of the border amid roars of ultra-nationalistic platitudes at the post is anything to go by, it has also represented the hostile feelings the two nations have had for each other. Every time the relationship between the two nations has swung between its two favoured extremes, it has shown at this historic post either through the tense marchpast or the exchange of Diwali and Eid greetings.Now a point of institutionalised exchange, Wagah, just after Partition, was an impromptu site for informal trade and a meeting ground for lost relatives and friends. Today, as much as a showcase of national pride, it is regarded as a gateway to peace. For a daring few, it is the threshold to a memorable journey to our eternal other, while for others in India and Pakistan, it is both, what divides and unites us.Provenance: Halfway Between Lahore In Pakistan And Amritsar In IndiaAntiquity: 1947Significance: Divides And Unites India And Pakistanby Deeptiman TiwaryMARINA BEACHSunlit StripWhen mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff returned to Madras as Governor a few years after his first visit in the 1870s, he developed a 13-km sandy stretch into what is today the second longest beach in the world. What many call one of the world’s most beautiful marine promenades draws thousands everyday. From the Chepauk Palace to the University of Madras’ buildings, it is dotted with architectural landmarks. The Chepauk Palace, now housing government offices, displays the grandeur of the Nawabs and their Byzantine inspiration while the University buildings reflect a fine blend of the Indo-Saracenic architecture of the 1930s.The Ice House a.k.a Vivekananda House (Swami Vivekananda stayed here after his return from America in 1897) was used to store ice shipped from Boston in 1842. The stretch houses two premier educational institutions- Presidency College, built in 1840; and Queen Mary’s College in 1914. It is also a resting place for many Tamil politicians. Disasters too have marked the Marina while plastic and human waste have made it highly polluted. The Olive Ridley turtles which once nested here, are nearly extinct. Yet the beach, once a lifeline, now in danger of turning into a wasteland, lovingly embraces the city it is synonymous with.Provenance: Chennai, Tamil NaduAntiquity: 1870sSignificance: World’s Second Longest Beachby S.S. JeevanFTII ARCHIVESForever FilmsAn old banyan tree, the film and Television Institute of India’s Wisdom Tree, has heard discussions on Satyajit Ray, Bernardo Bertolucci and Akira Kurosawa and witnessed the careers of veterans from Adoor Gopalakrishnan to Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The over-eight-hectare of land where V. Shantaram’s Prabhat Studio once stood was bought by the Government to establish the country’s first film institute in 1960. Today, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), stands on this very campus. Started in 1964 when film reels were stored in the vaults of small sheds, the NFAI is responsible for preserving the foundations of Indian cinema with the largest film collection in Asia.The NFAI’s collection spans the silent era in the 1920s and includes popular box office hits and art-house movies in nearly every regional and international language. Despite the blazing fire that in January 2003 destroyed over 3,000 nitrate based original reels (pre-1950), today the archives store over 10,000 films, close to 15,000 film books and over 55,000 photographs and other memorabilia. Nostalgic stories abound-from Tom Alter’s early morning cricket games with Jalal Agha to Jaya Bhaduri’s Rs 75 pocket money.Provenance: Pune, MaharashtraBuilt In: 1964Significance: Largest Film Collection In Asiaby Kimi DangorKURUKSHETRAEpic BattlefieldSteeped in mythology, the city is imbued with war and religion. The land of the epic battle of the Mahabharat even today has 360 places of pilgrimage. Now a thriving holy town, a dip in one of its sarovars during the solar eclipse is most auspicious. Sanskrit literature sees it as the cradle of Indian civilisation and culture dating back to even before the Mahabharat. The 18-day battle between the Kauravas and Pandavas to uphold the cause of dharma is embedded in the Indian ethos as the triumph of good over evil with the Pandavas emerging victorious. Its embodiment-the Bhagwad Gita, in which Lord Krishna played a central role and persuaded a wavering Arjuna to carry out the war as his duty.The Gita epitomises the noblest way of life in Hindu philosophy. Legend has it that Kurukshetra, the name given to land spread over 48 kos (a traditional unit of measurement), was born out of the amalgamation of the land belonging to King Kuru and the Great Bharatas, described in the Rig Veda as kindling sacrificial fires on the banks of the sacred Sarasvati, now lost, and the Drishadvati. With so much history, the place is also aptly known as ‘Dharamkshetra’.Provenance: Haryana, 160 Km Away From DelhiSignificance: Battle Between Kauravas And Pandavas Fought Hereby Ramesh VinayakKHIR BHAWANISpring In The AirEvery year, at least once, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits throng the famous temple of goddess Khir Bhawani, the most revered deity of local Brahmins. Here they pray that the deity makes it possible for them to return to their beloved homeland. The deity, according to Hindu mythology, came here from Sri Lanka and established her seat in Tullamulla village near Ganderbal, about 28 km north-east of Srinagar. The annual fair is a a rare scene of communal amity in a state where syncreticism was once a quotidian reality. Muslims living around the shrine offer milk to Hindu devotees who come.Amid welcomes, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits from across the country pay obeisance here. After performing the puja, the devotees watch the changing colours of its spring. In the centre of the spring is a small marble temple and the visitors converge on the spot on the eighth day of the full moon in the month of May when legend has it, the goddess changes the colour of the waters to reflect their future. Clear and lucid water brings tidings of peace and prosperity.A turgid, murky colour is the harbinger of disaster. Last year, the colour of the spring turned dark, adding to the woes of a community displaced by the politics of vengeance. The prediction of the local priest that a disaster was in the offing came true in the earthquake of October 2005. At this year’s fair, the spring waters were relatively clear indicating less turbulent times. For many, it’s a prediction whose fulfilment is long overdue.Provenance: Tullamulla, KashmirBuilt In: 1912Significance: The Water In Its Spring Indicates Good Or Bad Tidingsby Aijaz Hussainlast_img read more

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Government makes effort to keep people fit

first_imgHealth is wealth indeed. Realising the importance of a healthy body, the government intends to formulate a new set of physical fitness standards to let people judge their fitness levels.A Planning Commission panel headed by the sports secretary has recommended that the country adopt a national physical fitness programme under which standards of fitness for people belonging to different age groups will be formulated. Sources said the sports ministry has already begun work on the project.While many countries have a standard of physical fitness that involves tests such as walking, running, sit-ups, shuttle runs, pull-ups, India lacks any such norm.Under this ambitious programme, fitness standards will be developed for four broad age-based categories such as childhood (6-9 years and 9-12 years.); adolescence (13-19 years.); adulthood (20-45 years and 45-60 years) and senescence (60 years and above).last_img read more

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With Delhi men upping style quotient, top designers go all out to woo them

first_imgMen are not just drinking pink; they are wearing it too. Forget the metro (so 2000), the mirl (so last Friday), Elton (too camp), Bowie (too androgynous) and Springsteen (too basic). Everyday men are throwing away their thrift store jeans to make space for smarter, snappier clothes. It also explains,Men are not just drinking pink; they are wearing it too. Forget the metro (so 2000), the mirl (so last Friday), Elton (too camp), Bowie (too androgynous) and Springsteen (too basic). Everyday men are throwing away their thrift store jeans to make space for smarter, snappier clothes. It also explains why male designers are now designing for their own brood.ROHIT BALIf you’ve seen the Linen Club ads, you’ve seen the suits. His couture line has stylish kurtas and shervanis. Balance, his pret wear, has trousers and shirts with a “summer resort feel”. When you wear Bal, the only accessory you need is a glass of sangria. At 1 MG Road.”It makes better business sense,” says couture cowboy Rohit Bal who started designing for men long before it became fashionable. Also, he adds, “Men are much easier to please than women as they are less finicky.”Explains designer Raghavendra Rathore, “India has always been a menswear market.” By mixing subtle pieces of luxury (think Ermenegildo Zegna) and accessories for the after-eight Lagavulin set (think Alfred Dunhill cufflinks), Delhi’s dandys are putting the Ferragamo-flaunting women to shame.Bal’s legendary linen suits swing smoothly from boardroom to ballroom. In fact, when you wear Bal, the only accessory you need is a sangria in your hand. His couture line has bandhgalas, kurtas and shervanis. Balance, his pret line, has trousers, shirts, shoes and belts that exude a “laid back, summer resort feel”. He predicts that double breasted suits in linen will rock winter. Stripes and prints patterned together on garments and biker boots with a mind of their own will stage a comeback.Emporio, Ravi Bajaj’s four-floor men’s store, buzzes with fashion fiends. Bajaj has tapped into the market by spawning three labels. His Menswear has a neo-classic look that evokes a sense of rock n roll awe. Bankers beware. Bajaj punches up the pinstripes by saying, “Instead of the white shirt and the gray suit, match a pink shirt with navy and red pinstripes.”It lends you enough bespoke flair without breaking the bank. His Sport line has classic pieces that could have walked out of Wall Street. Think cords, linen, leather and denim. “This label has colour,” he says. However if it is meticulously made suits you are after, Gentlemen is your best bet. Manufactured in Italy, the range also has seven-fold neckties and silver cufflinks. “It’s just luxe, pure luxe,” says Bajaj.Artistic instinct aside, Bajaj displays shrewd business sense. “I do need to run a business.” Although more revenue comes from women’s wear, it’s about time men looked good, he says, adding that menswear is a more structured and organized industry. It is tougher to crack primarily because designers are pitched against established and larger players like Hugo Boss, Raymonds, Arvind Mills and the like. Comparatively, women’s wear is smaller, disorganized and runs more in the form of mom-and-pop stores or garage boutiques.advertisementRAHUL KHANNA & ROHIT GANDHIThe go-to guys for high collared shirts with trim silhouettes. Between their brands H20 and Cue, they stock both informal and formal wear. Affordable and addictive. At 14 Golf Links.As for his contemporaries, Bajaj is all praise for Rajesh Pratap: “He stays true to his craft and in spite of doing very limited menswear, has great technique and understands textile behaviour.” Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna of H20 and Cue also have a good knowledge about the industry.”These boys have been commercially very successful and have expanded their base. Their down-to-earth designs and affordable pricing works well with the 18 to 25 set,” he says. Bajaj finds Abhishek Gupta’s clothes “hip and interesting, especially his shirts, the sporty jackets and trench coats.”Pratap’s quiet demeanour marks his clothes with their stark, ascetic patterns and clean confident cuts. “My menswear is designed with slim silhouettes and shirts have sharply defined shoulders,” he says. Pratap designs for the man who doesn’t want to look as if he tries too hard. Which is why some of his jerseys are flipped inside out with the insides becoming outer wear.Although womenswear constitutes 70 per cent of his business, Pratap says he likes to design for men as they are finally willing to experiment. He also does accessories with a back-to-basics approach. Consider his monk-going-to-rave flip flops, which are a knock out.Abhishek Gupta is a pop culture junkie. His muses are beatnik braves like Stanley Kubrick and Andy Warhol. “My men’s range is a trendy line that extends into club wear.”With his ethos rooted in post war modernism, he juxtaposes high-end luxury with Salvation Army slumming.Think combat pants with multi-pockets that are worn with a thigh length kurta with “abstract detailing” layered with formal jackets cut from tweed and topped off with a jovi hat. Or a crushed shirt with a scissor-sharp jacket. Big on burnt orange, Indian reds and dusty jewel tones, Gupta is careful not to cause a riot. Still that does not stop him from making an engine red trench coat. “It’s crazy but that coat is a seller,” he admits. At this year’s Lakme India Fashion Week (LIFW), henamedhis collection Psychedelhi. Little wonder he is tripping the light fantastic.advertisementRAVI BAJAJAt Emporio, the four-floor store devoted to menswear, Bajaj has spawned three labels: Menswear (alternatives to stiff office wear), Sport (cords, linen and denim) and Gentlemen (meticulously crafted suits and sevenfold neckties made in Italy along with shoes and other add-ons). At N Block, GK 1.In another part of town, designers Gandhi and Khanna have become the go-to guys for high collared shirts with trim looks. Between their brands H20 and Cue, they stock both informal and formal wear. “We aim to fill the huge gap in the market for menswear,” they say. “Basic surface ornamentation, knits, engineered prints, along with establishment-type zippers is the way to go.”At LIFW ’05, they showcased cool guy suits that teetered into Goth land. They are now experimenting with ’80s style debonair velvet jackets in dark hues with one button thrown in to keep things interesting. To retain exclusivity, you’ll never find more than 10 pieces of a similar style at their store. “We create wearable clothes not specific to a season.” The duo clearly know that without their Cue, men would be fish out of H20.Rathore lets you play royal with his finely-finished bandhgalas. The couturier renews a sense of traditionalism that reads more modern than ever. “A bandhgala can annihilate an entire wardrobe,” he says. “You can easily wear it with jeans or over formal sleek pants.”As a traditional coat worn by the Rajputs with breeches, Rathore has rein-vented the wheel. “The bandhgala has become synonymous with Inde Pret,” he says. “I avoid a-line cuts as I want my clients to look masculine,” he says. Rathore’s bandhgalas have become a template for timeless charisma and can make any preppy in a factory line three button suit slip into insignificance.RAGHAVENDRA RATHOREThe bandhgala has the potential to annihilate an entire wardrobe, says the couturier who’s made the jacket uber chic. Wear it with jeans or formal sleek pants and the effect is radical. Choose from a spectacular variety of 35 bandhgalas from Rajput regalia to Lakhnavi lustre. At 1 MG Road.The Indian man’s guide to Italian charisma can be found at Sehgal Brothers. They are the stockists of an army of Italian formals from Cavalli to Dolce & Gabbana. What might make you go dolce dolce dolce are top-notch accessories like Alfred Dunhill cufflinks and Versace footwear.If price isn’t a factor, then wait for the store’s soon to be launched boutique that will stock exclusively Corniliani, Versace and Cadini from Italy. Promising to make Indian lawyers look like they leapt out of The Practice, director Abhay Gupta says, “We have a special range for lawyers as well as for those in the ‘big and tall’ category”.If bling is your thing, swing by Gopalsons Selections. These suit smiths can make you look like a million bucks for, er, a million bucks. Lap up a custom-made Zegna suit (prices start at Rs 25,000 and go up to Rs 80,000 per suit length). Brands like Cerruti, Armani, Versace and Dormeuil line the racks. Owner Anil Arora says their USP is “helping clients visualize the entire suit”. For finally, it’s not just about creativity or money or the mood of the moment. It’s about being the complete man.advertisementSEHGAL BROSThe Indian man’s guide to Italian charisma can be found here. They are the stockists of an army of Italian clothing like Cavalli, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Cadini. Accessories like Alfred Dunhill cufflinks might transform you into a slick maverick.At South Extension, Part 1.HUGO BOSSThe pit stop for the power pack, Hugo Boss has ushered in a new order when it comes to edgy German design sensibilities. The Black Label range comprises sophisticated suits, smart cut shirts and accessories for the right amount of charisma.At The Oberoi Hotel.GOPALSONSIf bling is your thing, then this haute spot will answer all your sartorial conundrums. The suitsmiths for fashion fanatics around town, they stock brands like Cerruti, Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna and Dormeuil.At PVR Plaza Building, Connaught Place.ABHISHEK GUPTAThink shock from pop. Killer combat pants with multi-pockets that are worn with a thigh length kurta and layered with formal tweed jackets. Swing by for T-shirts with graphic placements of pop icons. Very Warhol-esque.At 1 MG Road.last_img read more

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Grade wall of St. Stephen’s: Cut-offs increased by 2 to 12 per cent

first_imgWith 22,000 aspirants vying for its 420 seats, St Stephen’s College released the first cut-off list on Wednesday and made the contest stiffer than ever before as it raised the bar by between 0.25 per cent and 2 per cent in the popular courses.While Economics (Honours) – the most-sought-after course in the college – saw a marginal jump from last year’s 97.5 per cent to 97.75 for students from the commerce stream, Philosophy (Honours) showed the most remarkable trend with cut-offs in all the seven categories in the Science stream increasing by 7 per cent.In the case of the PH (physically handicapped) category, the spike was an astounding 12 per cent in Philosophy (H). There was also a sharp rise of over 5 per cent in the cut-off for Economics (H) in the PH category, suggesting that several disabled aspirants with high scores turned up for admission.Chemistry (H) witnessed a jump of 2 per cent in the eligibility level for all seven categories and the cut-off in the BSc. Program with Chemistry went up by 3 per cent for each category. There were marginal increases in the cut- offs for Physics, English and Mathematics Honours courses.College principal Dr Valson Thampu wrote in a message posted on the college website: “One among the 22000 thousand applicants this year, you are very precious to St. Stephen’s… Sadly, many of you will not find a place for yourselves on the rolls of the college. This is more a reflection of the bonsai institution that St. Stephen’s is than on the bourns of your merit.”advertisementDelhi’s Commerce topper Ipshita Agarwal with over 97.6 per cent marks overall, was one of the applicants who sailed through the first stage and was now busy preparing for the interview. “I had applied for the Economic (H) course and was quite certain that the cut-offs wouldn’t be a bother. I’m busy preparing for the interview now for which I may be notified any time after June 22,” she told Mail Today.There were many who could not make the mark. “I wanted to study Economics (H) in Stephen’s this year but fell below the cut-off. Judging by the trend, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to any North Campus college considering that SRCC went up to 100 per cent last time. So, I will probably go back to Kolkata for graduation,” a dejected Sujoy Das Gupta said.The first stage of the elimination process having being completed, the selected candidates will be notified on Friday. The next round, the interviews, will be held between June 25 and July 8.Out of every five candidates called for the interview, only one will be selected. So, at the end of the selection process, only one in 52 applicants will make it.”We have a completely rational system of deciding cut-offs. Every department suggests its own cutoff percentages on the basis of the applications received. Overall, we also have to take into account the total number of candidates called for the interview because they must be in the ratio of five to every one college seat,” St Stephen’s College media adviser Karen Gabriel revealed.This year, there were 2,500 applicants who had scored over 97 per cent in their Class XII exams. The academic institution, ranked the country’s number one for science in the recent India Today Best Colleges Survey, received 1000 more applications compared to last year.According to college authorities, the increase in applicants was owing to the strong online application system that they had put in place. More than 67 per cent of the applications filed for admission this year were online. While St Stephen’s has been providing the facility for a few years, the college claimed that it was more robust than the online system of DU which debuted this time.The sports trials of the college will kick off from next Tuesday.St Stephen’s offers undergraduate courses in Humanities and Science. This year, the toughest competition was seen in English, where 119 candidates applied for every seat. This was followed by Economics (H) with 98.5 aspirants for each seat. BSc (Honours) in Mathematics received 991 applications, the highest among the Science courses.With the St Stephen’s setting the trend by declaring higher cut- offs, other DU colleges are likely to follow suit. Over 1,45,000 applicants are in the fray for bagging 54000 seats in the university.Last time, SRCC had shut its doors for students who did not study Commerce in school. SRCC’s cut off for BCom (Honours) had touched an unbelievable 100 per cent for the non-commerce aspirants. Some other North Campus colleges had also come out with 99 per cent cut-off marks for various courses.advertisementThis year’s CBSE results indicate that the Humanities courses will spring many surprises. An unprecedented number of students scored perfect 100s in their CBSE Class XII exams this year, so colleges are expected to come up with higher cut-offs for subjects such as History, Philosophy and Political Science. The first cut-off list of DU will be out on June 26.last_img read more

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Unmukt Chand retained captain for U-19 World Cup in Australia

first_imgDelhi’s promising batsman Unmukt Chand was on Tuesday retained captain of the Indian under-19 team that will compete in the ICC World Cup in which will be held in Queensland, Australia, next month. Unmukt just a few days ago led India to the joint title win with Pakistan in the under-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia.The Abey Kuruvilla-headed junior selection committee, which met in New Delhi on Tuesday, also retained Akshdeep Nath as vice-captain. Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra is the only other Delhi players in the 15-member squad.The selectors have, however, left out wicket-keeper Sanju Samson Vishwanath from the Asia Cup squad. Smit Patel of Gujarat will keep the wickets.The tournament starts with matches getting underway on August 11 when Australia take on rival England at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville. The final will be played on August 26 at Tony Ireland Stadium.Squad: Unmukt Chand (captain), Akshdeep Nath (Vice Captain), Manan Vohra, Akhil Herwadkar, Vijay Zol, Sandipan Das, B. Aparajith, Prashant Chopra, Sandeep Sharma, Kamal Passi, Rush Kalaria, Mohsin Sayyed, Smit Patel (wicket-keeper), Harmeet Singh and Vikas Mishra.last_img read more

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Palestinian football officials get court date for FIFA case

first_img‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims FIFA President Gianni Infantino addresses a press conference in Kolkata, India, Friday, Sept. 27, 2017. The 2018 World Cup champion will get $38 million from a prize fund FIFA has increased by 12 percent to $400 million. FIFA said Friday that each of the 32 competing national federations in Russia will get at least $8 million, the same as in 2014 when the overall prize fund was $358 million. (AP Photo)LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Palestinian challenge about how FIFA handled its complaint against the Israeli soccer federation will be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport this month.CAS says its panel will hear the Palestine Football Association’s appeal on Nov. 27. A verdict is expected weeks later.ADVERTISEMENT Meb runs final NYC Marathon to cheers, collapsing at finish View comments Malditas save PH from shutout Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads LATEST STORIES The court date was announced 10 days after FIFA President Gianni Infantino said his organization would not intervene after years of attempted mediation between its two member federations.The Palestinians’ appeal to CAS followed Infantino steering the soccer body’s annual congress in May to delay debate on a FIFA-appointed task force’s report. It could have stopped West Bank settlement clubs from playing in the Israeli league.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingFIFA rules prohibit federations from holding games on another member’s territory without permission. MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READlast_img read more

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