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India's Only Cultural Magazine for Global Citizens

Brought to you by Global Adjustments

scored for life

VOLUME 3, iSSUE 3 May 2012

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culturama | may 2012

D e a r

R e a d e r s

“If I were to be born again I just wish for one thing Be a small part of this magnificent game” THESE are lines from the poem written by poet and lyricist Prasoon Joshi and rendered by India’s icon Amitabh Bachchan during the IPL Season 5 opening ceremony. I saw this, as did millions of people in India, with a sense of awe. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, I must confess that I am not a fan of the game; I don’t even pretend to understand it. My tryst with cricket is the hum of conversation I hear all around me and my occasional faux pas of the right name wrong team or vice versa. And yet I am captivated. By the fervour, the madness, its sheer electrifying power, and its ability to unite the country like no other. Cricket and India are like Siamese twins joined at the hip; you can take the India out of cricket, but you can never take the cricket out of India. And so with the IPL fever gripping the country, it was natural to dedicate the May issue of the magazine to this game. From A to Z of India giving you a quick glossary of all things India and all things cricket, an exclusive Coffee & Conversation with L Sivaramakrishnan, former Indian cricketer and now one of the official commentators for the IPL series, a unique food story on a drink named Cricket (yes, we have it all in India), to the Feature story on what cricket is made of in India, and Bursting the Bubble that tells us this game originated in India before heading to the West. Even as cricket takes over the country, we haven’t forgotten that May in India also means the searing heat, as our Photo Feature tells you. We also showcase a nugget of life from the other side of India in our India & I column that features a simple and yet profound interview with an autorickshaw driver in Jaipur. This 199th issue is Culturama’s tribute to the game because if cultures build bridges and communities, then so does cricket. Ranjini Manian Editor-in-Chief To contact me directly, E-mail: globalindian@globaladjustments.com

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culturama | may 2012

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contents 24

8 Coffee & Conversation

Field of Speech

12 curry country

Drink to That IF CRICKET, as a sport, had to choose any country in the world, India would certainly top that list. Worshipped and revered, cricket in India is much more than a game – it is about togetherness, about comradeship, about bonhomie, when victory means we celebrate as one, and a loss means we mourn as one. In this month of IPL and cricket craziness, we dedicate this issue to the game because cricket in India is always in safe hands. Editor-in-Chief

Ranjini Manian

business head tiia vaataja Consultant Editor praveena shivram Assistant Editor

vatsalya janani

creative head

JayaKrishna Behera

Associate Designer

Prem Kumar

Advertising Chennai trishla jain

16 A-Z of INdia

Play List

20 Feature

Shot Changed India 26 Interpretations

Feet First

28 Look who's in town

Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai

36 PHOTO FEATURE

Warm Up to India

Preeti Bindra, Ruchika Srivastava

Mumbai & Pune

Farah Bakhshay, Ashish Chaulkar

Advisory Committee

Talk Back

48 India immersion centre

News & Happenings, Women on the Go, IIC Calendar

38 Calendars

Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai

44 notes from a diary

Memory Game

Bengaluru mukundan T Delhi-NCR

46 India & I

Laugh Lines

52 Bursting the bubble

36

Timeri N Murari, N Ram, Elaine Wood, James J Williams, G Venket Ram, Carmen HUTHOEFER-HEINRICH

50 GLOBAL CITIZEN

A Huge Hit

56 Holistic living

Split Second Self

58 MYTH AND MYTHOLOGY

In Human Form

60 TALES OF INDIA

Chennai 5, 3rd Main Road, R. A. Puram, Chennai 600028, India. Telefax. +91-44-24617902 E-mail: culturama@globaladjustments.com

62 iRead and iSee

Bengaluru 216, Prestige Center Point, Off Cunningham Road, 7, Edward Road, Bengaluru 560052. Tel.+91-80-41267152/41148540. E-mail: culturamablr@globaladjustments.com

67 Festivals

Mumbai/Pune Rustom Court, 2nd Floor, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400030. Tel.+91-22-66104191/2 E-mail: mum@globaladjustments.com

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culturama | may 2012

A Telling Tale and Iqbal

66 Cricket Quiz

Delhi-NCR Level 4, Augusta Point, DLF Golf Course Road, Sector-53, Gurgaon - 122 002. Haryana. Tel.+91-124-435 4236. E-mail: del@globaladjustments.com

Published and owned by Ranjini Manian at #5, 3rd Main Road, Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai – 600028 and printed by K Srinivasan of Srikals Graphics Pvt Ltd at #5, Balaji Nagar, 1st Street, Ekkattuthangal, Chennai – 600032. Editor: Ranjini Manian

Take a Bow

68 Tell us your story

The House Whisperer

70 space and the city

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culturama | may 2012

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india on your fingertips

Letters to the Editor

On Solid Ground A look at some of India’s best cricket stadiums

Feroz Shah Kotla Grounds, Delhi Formerly known as Willingdon Pavilion, this stadium has now been renamed in honour of a yesteryear king of Delhi. It was built during the Raj and is now considered the best stadium in India. It has a reputation of being lucky because India is yet to lose an ODI match on these grounds. Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai Dear Editor, “I am a regular reader of Culturama, right from its inception 17 years ago. Every month I wait eagerly to receive my copy. I was completely bowled over by some of the articles last month, as they were very informative and well written.” -— Ravindra Kumar Bhuwalka

Dear Editor, “It was a pleasure to go through the 198th issue of Culturama. Reading about HH Maharaj Gaj Singh took me back about 26 years, when I had taken my wife for a holiday to Jodhpur. We stayed at the Umaid Bhawan and were invited for drinks by HH to his private residence, which was a part of the palace that had just been converted to a hotel. I look forward to reading the 200th issue!” — Rajeev Kamal, Raymus Conventions and Travels, Gurgaon

Wankhede was constructed in a record six months’ time! It has witnessed players score great innings, such as former Indian cricketer and now commentator, Ravi Shastri’s historic six sixes in an over. This stadium is best known for the World Cup finals it hosted last year, which India won by six wickets. Eden Gardens, Kolkata The oldest stadium in India, this is also the largest in the country and the second largest in the world. It can house almost 90,000 people comfortably and has world-class amenities. Apart from cricket, it has hosted football games in the past. M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru This is the only stadium in India that also hosts cultural events. In fact, this was where the 1996 Miss World pageant was held. These grounds have also seen great cricket legends such as Vivian Richards start their careers. MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai Commonly known as Chepauk, India won its first Test match here. This is where Sachin Tendulkar scored his first century on home ground, and has scored more runs here as compared to any other venue in India Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad

errata In the previous edition of Culturama, Stefania Scrardigli’s name in the 'Look Who’s in Town' column was misspelled. We regret this error.

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This stadium was believed to be jinxed when India lost four continuous matches here. And so, the dressing rooms were shifted and an idol of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god and remover of all obstacles, was placed. India emerged victorious in the very next match!

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www.oryzadayspa.com culturama | may 2012

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It just happened, so very quickly. I debuted at 16 for Tamil Nadu, and suddenly I was in the national team, in the same team as Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. It was the excitement of it, more than anything else.

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Field of Speech IN THE world of cricket, there are only some names that stand the test of time. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, or LS as he is fondly called, is certainly one of them. Not just by the virtue of what he achieved but also by the virtue of what he could have achieved. For at 17, when he burst into the Indian cricket scene as a first class leg spinner, he was the youngest cricketer to be selected for the national team, a record that was later broken by Sachin Tendulkar. Bursting with talent and the energy of youth, he won the hearts of India’s discerning cricket aficionados for his bold bowling attack and spontaneity. His tenure with the national team might have ended much before its time, but when it comes to spinning the ball, LS continues to remain the benchmark. Today, as a commentator (he is one of the IPL’s official commentators) and coach (he is the spin coach at BCCI’s specialised spin academy), he keeps his passion for the game alive. Excerpts from a conversation with Praveena Shivram. You have seen both success and failure at a very young age. In retrospect, do you believe it was an important experience? It was definitely an important experience. I played for India because I had the talent. What we lacked was guidance. Today, you have a batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, and a mentor. Back then, we had only senior cricketers and an administration manager. For us, players like Malinder Singh, Sadanand Vishwanath, to name a few, we didn’t have the right expertise to groom our talent. With the right technical assistance and mental approach to the game, things could have been different and I could have achieved a lot more as a cricketer. But, of course, there are lessons to be learnt. As a young kid, when I was just in 12th grade, I was suddenly in the limelight, and got easily carried away. Perhaps, with the right support staff, I would have been on the right track and worked harder.

Playing for India remains a distant dream for most. As someone who has been a part of the Indian cricket team, what was going through your mind then? It just happened, so very quickly. I debuted at 16 for Tamil Nadu, and suddenly I was in the national team, in the same team as Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. It was the excitement of it, more than anything else. When I was picked for the tour of Pakistan, all that was on my mind was to do well for the country. Then a dream Test debut against the West Indies in 1983, one of the greatest sides ever, with players like Gordon Greenidge, Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall. They had the best batting line-up and four great fast bowlers. At the age of 17, it was a huge challenge to bowl to such a side and even though I didn’t pick up any wickets, I did decently well. I even managed to bat against them for an hour, which nobody expected. That gave me a great sense of satisfaction and I knew I had the courage to do this. Do you think cricket today is more hype and less substance? Cricket has become a profession now. In the sense, you can actually make a living out of it. Those days, it was more of a sport; you played just for the game and pride of the country. Today, there is a lot of exposure. It’s commercial, people love it especially when we win, not the same when we lose; so you have to take it as it comes. When we were kids, parents never forced us or encouraged us to play, which isn’t the case today. I think it’s a good thing for cricket, as long as the particular individual is balanced. If you are going to get carried away with all the money that’s in the game now, then you are the one who will be the loser. All you have to do as a cricketer is play well consistently, focus on the game and deliver at least seven out of ten times. Everything else will come to you.

culturama | may 2012

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The IPL is a good thing because as a cricketer you sacrifice a lot – school life, college life, being away from your family… there’s a lot of hard work you put into the game, so it’s only fair to be remunerated for it Do you believe the current format of IPL is taking away the spirit of the game? I don’t think so at all. When IPL started in 2008, we were No. 4 in Test rankings. Two years later, we became No. 1. And we won the World Cup. Having achieved so much, how can you say it is taking away the spirit of the game? Earlier, we thought it was impossible to get eight or nine runs an over. After IPL, cricketers believe they can. You also learn to handle pressure well as you are live on TV, you are rubbing shoulders with international players and it’s a huge platform. There’s a lot to be learnt from the IPL, as long as you have the right attitude. It is a good thing because as a cricketer you sacrifice a lot – school life, college life, being away from your family… there’s a lot of hard work you put into the game, so it’s only fair to be remunerated for it. How did commentary happen to you? In 1998, when I was playing for Baroda, I fractured my finger and had to undergo surgery. I knew I couldn’t play that season, so I approached Doordarshan Sports (DD is India’s national television broadcaster) for commentary, as they were broadcasting a lot of the domestic matches. They gave me the opportunity and I did a few. I quite enjoyed it and liked the profession. WorldTel gave me my first big break for the inaugural Test match between India and Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2000. That was my first international assignment. People noticed me, and in 2003, my biggest break was doing the commentary for the World Cup in South Africa. Thereafter, I got regular contracts. The last 12 years have been fabulous because you think as a cricketer; it keeps you going, it keeps you involved. Cricketer, commentator and now spin coach: If you had to prioritise them in order, how would you do it and why?

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Cricketer, commentator and then a coach. There’s nothing like being on the field and performing, winning matches for the team, no matter whatever the level, especially with the kind of audience you get today. Being a commentator is probably the next best thing to playing. I get to talk about the game, communicate with the audience… it’s almost like being there on the field. Finally a coach, because this depends on how much players can grasp from you and then execute. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of commentary? As a commentator, your ear piece is connected to the director, producer, stump mike and the crowd. You have to balance this with the co-commentator talking, and the fruit machine (a monitor with all the scores and details of the players). So you’ve got to concentrate, you’ve got to be spontaneous, especially for live matches. You can prepare to a certain extent for studio shows, but when you are live, you have to go with the flow of the game. And you have to keep the game alive. While commenting on a game, do you find yourself being more empathetic towards the players? Well, I do imagine myself on the field, and see what I would have done at that point in the game, which is reflected in my commentary. But mainly, you have to see the situation and be frank and forthright, because the Indian public know the game. You also have to be careful with your choice of words. I can’t say ‘That was a terrible shot’ when, say, Tendulkar is playing. Instead, I would probably say, ‘You don’t expect this of Tendulkar, he would be disappointed himself’, because the Indian audience is touchy about the cricketing idols. What would you say are the three things a bowler and a commentator need to keep in mind? For a bowler, first the basics need to be right in terms of action, then he should be able to spin the ball, and then be consistent with his line and length. Once these three things are in order, then the variation can come in. For a commentator, he’s got to be neutral, keep the viewers interested, and keep the match interesting. .

culturama | may 2012

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curry country H ari n i S a n kara n ara y a n a n

dr nk to that What would be the best beverage to sip while watching a game of cricket? Why, a drink named Cricket, of course!

APRIL and May don’t just bring to India the sweltering heat and humidity. A recent phenomenon continues to occupy the mindscape of the city. IPL with its city teams is all everyone can talk about. The cricket fever is on. Restaurants and hotels fill the thirsting needs of the fans with drinks and food, paying homage to their favourite teams and players. Well, long before this carnival of cricket started, Chennai in South India paid its own homage to this national obsession, with a drink named ‘Cricket’ – naturally. Nothing can be more perfect than sitting back on a lazy summer afternoon with a ‘Cricket’ in hand watching a game of cricket. A delightful concoction of orange and fizzy lime tickles the palate and assuages the thirst. Don’t even try looking for it at the restaurants or pubs. This drink is a Chennai Club special. While it is a staple with the people who frequent the Madras Cricket Club, Race Club, Boat Club or Gymkhana Club, those who are not part of this elite circle have not even heard of the drink. Ask any self-respecting club member and he will have his own story to tell about that special first experience with Cricket. I remember being four or five licking my lips in anticipation; waiting for the bubbles to tickle my nose as they bust deliciously on my tongue. It was sweet like no other drink, but not sickeningly so. There was a tangy, lip smacking sourness that made you pick up the huge tall glass for a second sip. And so it went till there was nothing left in the glass but a sliver of lime and a head full of memories. I could not wait for the next time around till I could order another glass.

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culturama | may 2012

How did this innocuous mix of flavours come to be called ‘Cricket’? One can only imagine a balmy afternoon during the British Raj. While the gentlemen played their leisurely game of cricket, the ladies sat under the shade of their parasols. Surely they must have wanted something cold for their parched throats. Definitely too early in the day for a gin and tonic. Some ingenious bartender must have combined the delicious sun kissed sweetness of the orange with the tangy tropical lime to keep the ladies happy. Or so goes the popular belief. Irrespective of how the mocktail might have originated or which of the many clubs in Chennai might claim ownership and bragging rights, the popularity of the drink remains unchallenged. You might find a similar drink in other cities disguising itself under various other names but to the city of Chennai goes the honour of using the first rule of marketing in creating a product – discover the passion of the people and name the product after it. Each of the clubs may have its own version of the drink. One club swears that to make the best Cricket you need to use orange squash and top it up with 7Up or Sprite. Another claims that the only way Cricket is to be made is by using Fanta or Mirinda Orange and adding a generous dose of freshly squeezed sour lime. If you cannot get to one of the clubs to try this drink for yourself, here is a recipe for you to try this out. Remember there are no strict proportions. Feel free to add more or less of each ingredient. Most important, remember to sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the game as you sip the drink.

culturama | may 2012

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CRICKET

Method

Ingredients

2. Top with lemonade, Sprite or 7 Up (or you can go the other way by topping up the juice of one lime with Fanta or Mirinda orange)

Orange squash – ¼ of a glass Lemonade, Sprite or 7 Up Lime slices and sprigs of mint

1. Pour the orange squash into a tall glass

3. Garnish with lime slices and a sprig of mint 4. Serve chilled

Quick Bytes ▪ At the Madras Gymkhana Club, the drink ‘Cricket’ is also known as ‘Ghost’.

Photo Courtesy india immersion centre

▪ Like most things in India, food plays a major role in cricket, in the form of brand endorsements! A majority of Indian cricketers endorse food products like energy drink, Boost, Pepsi, Sunfeast, Britannia, 7 Up, and Kissan Jam.

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▪ Other food connects are the hotels and restaurants several Indian cricketers successfully run in the country. Some of the most popular are Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Sachin’s’ and ‘Tendulkar’s’ in Mumbai, Saurav Ganguly’s ‘Saurav’s Food Pavillion’ in Kolkata, Zaheer Khan’s ‘ZK’s’ in Pune, Kapil Dev’s boutique hotel in Chandigarh, ‘Kaptain’s Retreat’, and Sreeshanth’s and Robin Uttappa’s home stay hotel in Bengaluru, ‘Bat and Ball Inn’.

culturama | may 2012

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A to Z of India S u sa n P hi l ip

Play List Hockey may be India’s national sport, but cricket is our enduring passion. The ability to talk intelligibly, if not intelligently, about the game is a guaranteed ice-breaker. Assuming a basic familiarity with willow, leather, pitch and overs, here’s an Indian cricket trivia bouquet to help you hold up your end of the conversation!

A

C

E

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culturama | may 2012

Anjum Chopra, who captains the Indian women’s cricket team (yes, there’s one!), brings grace, style and substance to TV commentaries on the game. Accomplished with the bat, she was the first woman to score a century for India in a One-Day International match.

Chakka and Chaar Run are two Hindi terms you need to know if you’re listening to a bilingual cricket commentary. The first means a sixer and the second, four runs.

English willow bats don’t come from England alone; you’ll find fine specimens in India too. Indian manufacturers such as SG (billed as the world’s largest bat factory), use the English willow, among other wood, to create bats for master blasters. If you want indigenous, try the Kashmir willow. And for street cricket, you can pick up bats of local wood for as low as Rs. 200.

B

D

F

BCCI stands for Board of Control for Cricket in India. It is the national governing body for cricket in the country. Its headquarters, Mumbai, is where all the decisions are made.

De Ghuma Ke was a song that captivated the country during the last World Cup. The catchy tune and motivating lyrics burned themselves into the hearts of Indian fans across the globe. Google it and get caught up in the magic all over again.

Fans of Indian cricket and cricketers are many and varied. But perhaps the most unforgettable is Sudhir Kumar Chaudhury, who is omnipresent at India’s home matches. An acolyte of Sachin Tendulkar, he can be seen on the stands with his head, face and torso painted in the colours of the Indian flag.

G

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K

L

M

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P

Gavaskar, popularly known as Sunny, was an iconic opening batsman and former captain, who featured largely in many of his team’s victories. His teammates included the equally iconic Gundappa Vishwanath, Kirmani and the famous Indian spin-bowling quartet of Bedi, Prasanna, Venkataraghavan and Chandrashekhar. IPL, or the Indian Premier League, is the most happening thing on India’s sports calendar in April–May 2012. The unique format has nine teams owned by various personalities or entities, competing for the trophy, with each team comprising players from across the world. Team owners bid for the players, paying sky-high sums. This is the fifth season of the tournament.

Kapil Dev, also known as the Haryana Hurricane, stormed onto the Indian Test cricketing scene in 1978. An all-rounder (equally adept at batting and bowling), he holds the record for having scored 4000 runs and taken 400 wickets. He captained India to its maiden World Cup victory in 1983. He was named the Indian cricketer of the century by Wisden in 2002.

Mahinder Singh Dhoni, ‘Mahi’ or MS for short, is the original ‘Captain Cool’. Currently skipper of the Indian team and of IPL’s Chennai Super Kings, his laidback, unflappable style, which he can adapt to produce fireworks when occasion demands, has helped him power his teams to sensational wins.

ODI is short for OneDay International matches. They’re a breed apart from the conventional Test matches that stretch over five days. At ODIs, the teams bowl 50 overs each. India currently ranks third in the ODI rankings.

Harsha Bogle is Indian cricket commentator extraordinaire. He started his career in the commentary box when he was as young as 19, and has since presented cricket from around the world to avid listeners and viewers. A recent worldwide poll among crickinfo.com users named him favourite TV commentator. Jammy is only one of the nicknames of Rahul Dravid, former Indian captain. Originally a reference to his dad’s job with Kissan Jams, he later plugged the product. ‘The Wall’ and ‘Mr Dependable’ are two other names he’s known by, both referring to his prowess as a batsman. He recently retired from first-class cricket but features in the IPL as captain of the Rajasthan Royals team. Lala Amarnath has the distinction of being the first Indian to score a century in a Test match. He is considered a patriarch of the game, not least because his three sons followed him into First Class cricket, two of them playing Test cricket too. One son, Mohinder, also donned Lala’s mantle as commentator.

Navjot Singh Sidhu was an opening batsman for India who donned other caps after he put aside his cricketing one – that of commentator, and reality show judge,beforeplungingintopolitics. He was elected to Parliament. Other Indian cricketers who have chosen to enter politics include Mohammed Azharuddin and Chetan Sharma.

Pakistan-India matches are terribly fraught affairs – tensions at the geopolitical level are mirrored and magnified on the pitch, and a lot more hangs on winning and losing when the neighbours meet than when they face other opponents. During their semi-final encounter in the last World Cup, the Prime Ministers of the two countries were among the spectators – giving diplomacy a sporting chance. culturama | may 2012

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Q

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culturama | may 2012

Quickies are pacemen or bowlers who make the speed of their deliveries yield results, as opposed to spinners, who rely on the way they make the ball spin to get wickets. Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are some of the best Indian quickies.

Sachin is a name to conjure with, even worship, in India. In this country, cricket often evokes the fervour usually reserved for religion, and, carrying this forward, Sachin Tendulkar is nothing short of a God. The ‘Little Master’ recently made history by scoring his 100th century in International Cricket. Wisden has ranked him the second greatest cricketer of all time, after Sir Don Bradman.

Unsavoury moments have sometimes marred cricketing history, in India as in other countries. Allegations of match fixing and corruption have been leveled at cricketers and cricketing officialdom, while onand off-field rivalries have at times degenerated into actions that are simply ‘not cricket’.

World Cup memories have twice lit up the souls of Indian fans across the globe – first, in 1983, when Kapil Dev led his men to a most unexpected victory at Lords, England, and again, in 2011, when Dhoni achieved the same feat on home ground.

Yuvi or Yuvraj Singh won the heart of cricket-loving India with his Man of the Tournament Award-winning performance in the World Cup 2011. He went on to win the world’s respect by his spirited fight against cancer. Now on the mend, Yuvi vows to be back in action ASAP. Say a prayer for him.

R

Ranjithsinghji was the first Indian to play Test cricket. He represented England, not India, in his debut match in 1896. The scion of a royal family, he is considered one of the greatest batsmen of all time. A major domestic tournament, the Ranji Trophy, is named after him. Another famous blue-blooded cricketer was the Nawab of Pataudi, who passed away recently.

t

T20 or Twenty-Twenty games were introduced with a view to bringing the time-frame of cricket matches closer to that of other popular sports. The teams bowl a maximum of 20 overs each. The format went global in 2007, with the first international tournament being held in South Africa, when India made history by defeating archrivals Pakistan by five runs in the cliff-hanger final.

V

V is an important alphabet in India’s cricketing lexicon. It stands for current-day stars Viru or Virendra Sehwag, the swashbuckling opener who holds many records, for Virat Kholi, angry young man and an emerging talent, and for golden oldies Vengsarkar, stylish batsman-turned cricket administrator.

X

X-Factors are the spice of cricket, in India as elsewhere. Many dark horses have sprung up to turn the tides, and stayed on to write their names in the country’s cricketing history. Yusuf Pathan, Paul Valthaty, Manish Pandey and R Ashwin are only some of these once unlikely heroes.

Z

Zoya brings the circle neatly to a close – she’s the heroine of Anuja Chauhan’s debut novel, The Zoya Factor, in which love and cricket combine with a dash of politics to provide a very entertaining read.

culturama | may 2012

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feature I a n W atki n s o n

shot changed india

Photo ian watkinson 20 culturama | may 2012

In India, there is no competitive sport that comes even close in popularity to cricket, and it seems to be enshrined in the very genes of the Indian people. In fact, it almost seems a rite of passage to be made by all

THE solid crack like a gunshot splitting the calm of a sunny afternoon is the clarion call of a cricket match in progress. A willow bat connecting sharply with a high velocity leather and cork ball is a familiar sound over much of the post colonial world – cricket has established itself as a major global sport of champions in a matter of decades. The weekend English inter-county matches of years ago are now second fiddle to the massive international test matches which have developed rapidly over the last few decades. In India, there is no competitive sport that comes even close in popularity to cricket, and seems to be enshrined in the very genes of the Indian people. Cricket seems a very comfortable, natural sport to play here in India; the quiet morning when the dew has dried, before the sun is too high; when the pitch is examined for flaws, carefully coiffured in neat stripes by the grass mowers, flattened by the slow heavy roller. Each process without hurry. The re-setting of the score boards, lining up the chairs for spectators, the filling of water jugs in the shade of the club house veranda, all under the watchful gaze of bygone cricketers whose framed photographs adorn the shaded wooden panelled walls. Later, the still delicacy of a sunny afternoon’s silence on the pitch, onto which unfolds the subtle skills of the game; mellow and contemplative, players and fielders briefly ambling around as if enjoying the space, enjoying the peace, exchanging comments in passing and then moving back into their allocated position. The batsman reassures his crease, checks his wicket, tautens his calf muscles whilst practising his batting stroke in a perfectly parallel forward motion; the wicket keeper adjusts his head visor and pulls his thick gloves down onto his fingers, one at a time, and squats intently behind the wicket, almost using the wicket bail as a sight, the tail gunner in position, ready to focus on the projectile as it glances from the bat. All is ready for action and the calm tranquillity of the space suddenly becomes charged with anticipation.

culturama | may 2012

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Photo ian watkinson

The fast bowler slowly walks back from the wickets, rubbing the hard ball down the side of his crisp white trousers as if to imbibe it with magical accuracy, then turns and in a flash becomes a whirling dervish, a furious cyclone of revolving movement, and the entire field and audience is snapped back into the fast lane as the ball spins from his hand to its destination. Will he spin it left, or right? Will the bat crack it so hard to take a four or a six? Or will the arms of victory be raised by the bowler as he sees the wickets tumble, another batsman’s day of play over, the spectators applauding the vanquished as he heads for the club house?

Street Cricket

Away from the professional pitches, with their post colonial club houses, iced Pimms, manicured pitches and English willow bats, we find a juxtaposed and different style of cricket across India as we walk along the flat sandy beaches, down the shady lanes and across the city parks in the early morning and evenings. The number of games concurrently being played by youngsters of all ages seem endless – the not so wealthy, no protective gear, often no shoes, where a pile of stones becomes a wicket, maybe a piece of a wooden packing case a bat, yet the crease is still firmly marked in the soil. Children of all ages ply their skill before and after school, and the enthusiasm and effort they put into play is as electric as the professional players on the big pitches. It almost seems a rite of passage to be made by all; from the barefoot bedraggled batsmen in the slums to the more affluent coloured club-shirted players in the suburbs, cricket seems to unify a unique Indian mindset spanning across social boundaries, a common ground where all can exhibit and demonstrate their skill, for that is what is important – everything else is the candy on the cake.

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Strangely, although cricket is undoubtedly the most popular of any sport in India, and treated as if it were one of India’s myriad religions, it is still not the official sport of the country. Oddly, it is hockey that holds that status. So India’s cricket has taken the title of the ‘Non-Official National Sport’.

Back Track

The game we know today as cricket first came to India in the early 18th century when British sailors played here, and the first proper ‘club’ was established in the late 18th century. In 1909, England, Australia and South Africa founded the Imperial Cricket Conference at Lords in London, originally initiated by South Africa. Later in the 1920s and 30s the West Indies, New Zealand and India joined. The seed planted for India’s acceptance is probably down to the vision of one man – English cricket captain of MCC, Arthur Gilligan. In 1911, an Indian cricket team played in England for the first time, then in 1926 England sent a reciprocal team to India, the MCC. Gilligan was so impressed with the skill of the Indian players he competed against that he personally championed and convinced the ICC to include India in the ICC – with the important caveat that this would only happen if all the disparate promoters of Indian cricket unified and established a single controlling body. This they duly did, and in 1928, the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) was formed, and the BCCI thence became a member of the ICC. No competitive cricket involving BCCI Indian players can be played within or outside India without BCCI approval. The Imperial Cricket Conference rules stated, with the typical arrogant colonial attitude of the British – the word ‘Imperial’ in the name said it all – that only countries within the

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Photo dany haim

Photo ian watkinson

In 1983, India erupted in more jubilant celebration – it won the ICC Cricket World Cup, beating the seemingly indomitable West Indies by 43 runs in the finals at Lords in London. India had finally arrived at the pinnacle of world cricket.

British Empire where Test cricket was played were allowed to join. Shortly afterwards, the ICC rules were changed, ‘de-imperialised’ and it became the International Cricket Council (still confusingly initialled the ICC). Membership was opened up to all, including the USA and many others who were previously excluded. The World Cup Series was introduced in the 1970s, one-day test matches introduced, and South Africa was ostracised from the ICC during the years of apartheid. The traditional white shirts and trousers were replaced by vivid coloured team shirts; advertising and commercial sponsoring injected money into the sport. Cricket was going places fast, and globally. Cricket got cool. Cricket got sexy. Initially, India was considered ‘weak’ in international test matches, losing their first test as ICC members against England at Lords in 1932 by 158 runs. But by the mid- 1950’s Indian cricketers had become a serious force to be reckoned with in Test matches, and India was jubilant when they won the test match against England in Madras in 1952. In 1983, India erupted in more jubilant celebration – it won the ICC Cricket World Cup, beating the seemingly indomitable West Indies by 43 runs in the finals at Lords in London. India had finally arrived at the pinnacle of world cricket.

IPL Mania

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional league responsible for short championship matches between teams within India. Established and supervised by the BCCI, the first IPL tournaments commenced in India in 2008. The IPL games in India are revised version of Cricket

The writer is British and has been living in India for the past two years. 24

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called Twenty20 or ‘T20’ which was originally introduced in England for inter-county competition in 2003. It has courted controversy ever since. ‘T20’ games, such as the IPL games, span less than 2 ½ hours; the shorter game is intended to make cricket a more lively, exciting and accessible sport for the short attention span of modern media, and also encourage the support of younger fans who live in a faster, busier world than the days when spectators would return to the same seat for several days to sit through a test match. However, the adapted, faster ‘T20’ game has not over ridden or eradicated the traditional format of cricket, although it has spread throughout the cricket world globally and on most international test tours there is at least one Twenty20 match played alongside a test to satisfy all types of spectators. Scandals in India following the establishment of the IPL have been and hopefully gone; from media rights payment scams, allegations of tax evasion, and the investigation into Lalit Modi, the former IPL chairman, who in February 2010 was named as the 2nd Most Powerful Person in Indian Sports and by the April of the same year had fled India to become an exile in London, facing alleged corruption and match fixing charges. He was declared bankrupt by a UK court a few weeks ago. However, the noble game of cricket carries on and the mandate of the sport continues to be upheld – ‘to make cricket a leading global sport, cricket will captivate and inspire people of every age, gender, background and ability while building bridges between continents, countries and communities.' It has certainly achieved that, and much more, in India. And it is still cool, and sexy.

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INTERPRETATIONS

Photo QUADRANTINE NATHALIE, SWItzerland

Feet First There is a world of tradition sitting under Indian feet, despite its unclean status FEET have two rather contrasting places in Indian culture. On the one hand they are worshipped and on the other reviled as ‘unclean’. In many contexts they are the ‘lowest’ (in every sense) part of your body and therefore it is offensive to let your feet touch anybody. Apologise profusely if you accidentally step on or touch anybody with your feet. In the very same culture, feet are also worshipped. This is done to show the greatest respect. Touching somebody’s feet in reverence is a commonly practised Hindu ritual. This honour is usually accorded to elders in the family, holy men, teachers, or anybody who commands respect. Washing of the feet is an integral part of many ceremonies in India. A famous parallel in Western culture would be the incident in the Bible where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples just before the Last Supper. The lesson he was driving home was humility. The meaning of the act holds good to a large extent in Hindu tradition too. The person washing the feet is abasing himself in true humility before his guru (teacher), father, mother, elder or superior. It is elevated to the level of a form of ritual veneration, pada pooja (feet worship). At Hindu weddings, pada pooja is performed in many ways. By the groom for his parents to signify that he is deeply grateful for all the love and care they showered on him till 26

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adulthood. By the father of the bride for the groom, signifying that since he has cared for his daughter all these years, he is humbly requesting that her husband now look after her with as much care. The bride’s brother performs a similar ritual for the groom in a precursor to the wedding ceremony in an echo of similar sentiments. In the guru–sishya (teacher–pupil) tradition, pada pooja is performed by the student to show utmost reverence for his guide. When a spiritual teacher visits the home of a disciple, pada pooja is called for. In Indian mythology, there are many instances related to feet veneration, a well-known one being that of Bharata, stepbrother of Lord Rama, in the epic, ‘Ramayana’. Rama, as the eldest brother, was in line to the throne. But Bharata’s mother conspired to send Rama into exile and wrested the throne for her son. Bharata, however, refused to rule and instead installed Rama’s paduka (sandals) on the throne and safeguarded the kingdom till Rama’s return from exile. The paduka stayed on the throne as a symbol of his brother for 14 years! In the two padas or divine pair of feet placed at the altar of Hindu homes, one stands for Karma Kanda, the portions in philosophical texts that teach rituals and the second stands for Gyana Kanda, the chapters in the philosophical texts that teach wisdom. The idea is to progress from one to the other in life.

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Look who is in town

Delhi

My India, My Country

Joanna Pini USA

In most ways, India and America are totally different. When I try to describe India to my friends and family back home I tell them that it is like nothing they have ever seen in America. But I have also been surprised to find similarities and reminders of home in the little things – from hearing a familiar song playing on the radio to finding imported American groceries at a local market and even my brand of shampoo in a chemist’s shop!

My Favourite Indian

I can’t say that there is one Indian in particular that I admire over all the rest. One characteristic that I admire in Indian people is their willingness to stand up for what they believe in. It was very powerful and inspiring to see how the country came together in support of the recent anti-corruption movement.

My Indian Cuisine

I can never resist a good North Indian meal – butter chicken, kaali dal, bhindi, etc. But I also enjoy trying new types of Indian food – fish dishes from the South and different types of chaat are my new favourites.

My India Insight

One thing I love about Indian culture is how welcoming and warm people can be. The spirit of family extends far past the traditional boundaries that I am used to. One aspect that is discouraging is the lack of individual respect for public areas. For example, if everyone just threw away their own trash instead of littering, think of how beautiful the streets would be!

My Tip to India

The stereotype of all Americans being shoppers might be true, but we also like a good bargain. It would be nice to start at a fair price or see listed prices on products rather than feeling like we are always getting taken advantage of just because we are foreign. We’re much more likely to buy something if we feel like we are getting a fair deal.

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Look who is in town

ITALY

mumbai

Giancarlo Esposito HR Director, Ravin Cables Ltd. (a Prysmian Group Company)

My India, My Country

Culturally there are few, but strong similarities between India and Italy, such as the love and respect for family. What’s different is the inequality and discrimination I find in society here, which sometimes really frustrates me.

My Favourite Indian

There are a lot of Indian brothers that I really admire, famous and not so famous. If I have to mention one, with due respect to all the others, I’ll go for Anna Hazare, an example of tenacity and clarity, who can really drive this amazing country into the future.

My Indian Cuisine

When it comes to Indian food, I’m really sorry, but the aromas and spice are a bit far

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from my tastes. I do enjoy naan and butter chicken though, and all the amazing Indian desserts.

My India Insight

Just a few words: I admire the country’s unity and the desire to grow. What I would wish to change is the belief that India can grow without anybody else.

My Tip to India

Italians are curious, open, and gentle, and we expect the same from the other person as well.

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Look who is in town

France

bengaluru

Lesage Patricia & David Marques Patricia – Graphic Designer David – General Manager of Airbus Training India

My India, My Country

The importance of the food is similar in both India and France. Each region has different kinds of food. In fact, lunch and dinner play an important role in France’s social life. A lot of time is spent eating or just talking about food!

My Favourite Indian

We love the writer Vikas Swarup! His books are pleasant to read, with a lot of funny references. Moreover, he describes today’s India, not the India we know from Europe, which is sometimes described with a lot of stereotypes from the past. Slumdog Millionaire was the first movie we saw together at the beginning of our relationship… so it was a sign!

My Indian Cuisine

We like butter chicken, biryani, raita, naan… Also, we have rediscovered the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables. They all seem much tastier here.

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My India Insight

What we like in India is that everything is possible, even if it takes more time than in France. If you are creative and have fresh ideas anything can be done, be it furniture or clothes. It’s amazing for us to buy something we actually designed, rather than just choose something in a shop.

My Tip to India

In France, it is acceptable to say 'no', or to say something unpleasant. We prefer knowing the constraints in advance instead of discovering them when it is too late. Be honest with us!

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Look who is in town

Chennai

Cedric Fontant Applications Manager, Delphi-TVS

France

My India, My Country

Difficult to find any similarities, as in France we’re quite obsessed with organisation and procedure, whereas Indians seem to have a more pragmatic approach. On another topic, traditions and religions are very vivid in India, while in France we tend to drop these aspects more and more.

My Favourite Indian

All of them who help us understand Indian culture – from our housemaid and driver who are very traditional to our Tamil teacher and Indian friends.

My Indian Cuisine

My favourite dish is Chicken 65! I would love to learn the recipe and make it myself, one day. But what I am most curious about is where does the name Chicken 65 come from?

My India Insight

Most Indians we have met till now seem to help each other easily and are usually warm and friendly. Although it’s sad that Indians have such short weekends. As a Frenchman, maybe I can help and teach you about going on a strike!

My Tip to India

We are known to be excessively proud; even our cheeses deserve respect! Although, if you are tempted to try some of them, be prepared for some taste change for a nice experience. Also, when we speak English, you can easily find out that we are from France, thanks to our accent! But, every nationality has an accent, Indians included, as long as we can understand each other.

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Photo Feature

P ra v ee n a S hi v ram

warm up to india

The Indian summer is relentless in her intensity and obstinate in her consistency. But there is something more powerful hidden in the everyday life of India THEY say the weather in heaven is always a pleasant summer’s day, but I bet the Indian summer doesn’t feature on heaven’s season’s list. There is something inexhaustible about summer in India, like a three-hour long movie still running in the theatres, the monsoons and winter making that occasional cameo appearance. The sun is the reigning star, always larger than life and demanding attention that can put any celebrity to shame. But this sun isn’t a megalomaniac, for he knows who he is competing against. You only need to see the images around you to see how the sun takes on various roles, greasepaint duly changed for every scene, in an attempt to win over the competition. So in the desert plains of Rajasthan, amidst a raging dust storm, the sun plays the role of that pesky friend, always following you around, while you go about your life, casually covering your face from the sun’s onslaught. A role reversal of sorts happens in the serene waters of Kashmir’s Dal Lake, as he waits patiently on the water’s surface, deep and non-intrusive, ever-ready if you need a shoulder to fall back on. During festive times, when the streets of India come alive, the sun is there, dancing and celebrating in style, abandoning all sense of decorum. Or in times of quieter, soulful revelry, he is there, gently caressing the lines on the faces of the old, reminding them that they are never alone. He is also there when young boys beat the heat with a dip in the water, playing hide and seek, laughter spilling out from his rays, as he jumps in and out, through hands, legs and happy faces. And he is there in the very heart of a musician’s soul, aiding in the deep communion with a higher power, lifting you up to realms where everything ceases to exist, the sun included. Through it all, the sun, sometimes harsh, sometimes kind, sometimes light, sometimes dark, bows down to the stronger power. Like those in the show business revere the audience, the sun too knows, deep in his fiery abyss, that when it comes to the warmth of the spirit of India, there is simply no contest.

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EMMA HOrne, BRITISH EMMA HOrne, BRITISH

ALAN DOUGANS, AUSTRALIA DOUGLAS VANHERPE, BELGIUM

ANDRE ALPHONSO, AUSTRALIA

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CALENDAR DELHI

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

THEATRE & MUSIC

Website: www.thedecorarts.com Cake Decoration Workshop May 4 to May 6, 0930h to 1730h Sugarcraft India presents an exclusive three-day workshop on cake decoration. Hotel Comfort Inn Greater Kailash 2, New Delhi Tel: 08427955398 Email: sugarcraftindia@gmail.com Website: www.sugarcraftindia.com

Wadali Brothers Live in Concert May 13, 1800h to 2200h The Wadali Brothers are Sufi singers and musicians from Punjab, India. They are the fifth generation of musicians singing the messages of Sufi saints. Tickets are priced from Rs 500. Sirifort Auditorium Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi Tel: 09891001515 Email: alizaidi4u@gmail.com It’s Complicated May 30, 1900h onwards Directed by Rakhi Manay, this comedy in English is presented by 5Elementz Art & Culture Society. Poorva Sanskritik Kendra 14 District Centre, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi Tel: 9811445355 (Rakhi Manuv)

#70 B First Level, Khan Market, New Delhi Group Show May 1 to May 5, 1100h ‘His-Story and Her-Story’, is a collective account of four young contemporary artists, exploring personal narratives of distinct moments. Gallery Exhibit 320 F 320, Lado Sarai, Delhi Photography Exhibition May 1 to May 20, 1100h Alliance Francaise de Delhi is proud to present you the work of photographer Sebastian Cortes revolving around the city of Pondicherry and its different perceptions and representations, through pictures and words. Alliance Francaise de Delhi 72, Lodhi Estate, Delhi

aRT & EXHIBITION Art from Iran May 1 to May 29, 1100h Devi Art Foundation presents contemporary art from Iran titled, 'The Elephant in the Dark'. This exhibition will be curated by Amirali Ghasemi. Devi Art Foundation Sirpur House, Plot 39 Sector 44, Behind The Epicenter, Gurgaon Photography Exhibition May 1 to May 4, 1100h Apparao Galleries from Chennai presents a group photography exhibition titled ‘Frames of My City’. Triveni Kala Sangam 205, Tansen Marg, Mandi House, Delhi Solo Exhibition May 1 to May 5, 1130h An exhibition of small paintings titled ‘Unified Imagery’ by artist Paresh Mridha. MEC Art Gallery

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FOOD & SHOPPING Luxury Shopping Festival 2012 May 1 and May 2 India's finest luxury destination, DLF Emporio, invites you to the Luxury Shopping Festival 2012, with more than 100 luxury brands to choose from and mega launches and events. DLF Emporio Mall Vasant Kunj, New Delhi Asparagus Temptation May 1 to May10 Experience an exquisite range of modern European dishes complimenting this fine ingredient and creating a wholesome and light culinary palette. San Gimignano at the Imperial Hotel 1, Janpath, New Delhi

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs IPL Matches May 1 to May 27, 1600h & 2000h No matter which part of India you are in, the IPL mania is sure to hit you. Catch a live match in the city you live in and experience the country’s love for cricket first hand. For the schedule and ticketing details, visit http://www.iplt20.com/schedule Gift and Trousseau Packing May 4 to May 14, 1030h onwards The Décor Arts is organising a gift wrapping and trousseau packing workshop with special focus on wedding boxes, Christmas gift boxes, chocolate containers, platters, and wine & assorted cookies hampers. The Décor Arts Civil Lines, Delhi Tel: 9711901626 Email: shruti@thedecorarts.com

Mango Mania May 1 to May 31 Celebrate India’s mango season at Craft House with mango-flavoured products such as Lip Balms or Mango Teas. The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa Bangla Sahib Road, New Delhi

CALENDAR MUMBAI THEATRE & MUSIC

Bubblegum May 11, 1830h Set in the 1980s, Bubblegum is a heart-warming story of a boy and his physically challenged sibling. It shows how he learns that his brother is special, ensuring that their relationship doesn’t go bust like a bubblegum! The Comedy Store 3rd Floor, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai Tel: 022 43485000 Jumpstart May 16, 2030h This is a funny story involving a rebellious teenager and a young man with low self–esteem. They meet on a fateful night, intending to end their lives, but something unexpected happens and a strange alliance is formed. The Comedy Store 3rd Floor, Palladium Mall, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai Tel: 022 43485000 Time Boy May 20, 1100h and 1600h This is the story of a seven-year-old boy, who can’t wait to grow up. He surrenders to his curiosity and decides to fight time by making a quick trip to the future and back! Prithvi Theatre 20, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Mumbai Tel: 022 2614 9546

aRT & EXHIBITION Solo Exhibition May 1 to May 9, 1100h to 1900h On display are Ranjith Raman's paintings titled, ‘Intangibles’ that focus on a three-dimensional view of his creativity. Galerie Mirchandani Steinruecke No. 16/18, Mereweather Road, Colaba, Mumbai Tel: 022 22023030/34343636

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

Solo Exhibition May 1 to May 26, 1000h to 1830h The Guild Art Gallery presents ‘Mirage’, a display of differently-themed paintings by artist, Sathyanand Mohan. The Guild No. 2/32, Kamal Mansion, 2nd Floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai Tel: 022 22880195/0116 International Art May 1 to May 28, 1100h to 1800h The second international art exhibition at Galerie Isa showcases the works of Angel Otero, a Puerto Rico born artist based in New York. His paintings showcase life in Puerto Rico. Galerie Isa No. 132, Great Western Building, 1st Floor, Opposite Lion Gate Clock Tower, Shahid Bhagatsingh Road, Fort, Mumbai Tel: 022 66373432/33

Capoeira Classes Ongoing, 1900h to 2030h Learn the Brazilian martial art Capoeira that specialises in synchronising the moves to music. S.S. Sahani School 8th Road, Khar (West), Mumbai Tel: 98690 55371

FOOD & SHOPPING New Spring Menu May 1 to May 14, 1900h to 2300h Elbo Room introduces their new spring menu with dishes such as Spring Courgettes (cottage cheese rolled in zucchini, stir fried with garlic and red chillies), Pomfret Muniere (pan fried lemon grass, crushed peppers, sun dried tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms served with garlic bread), and more. Elbo Room Sant Kutir, Linking Road, Khar West, Mumbai Tel: 022 26483316 Kebab Festival May 1 to May 26, 1900h to 0000h Indulge in the rustic flavours of smoky and succulent kebabs paired with chilled beverages. Dig into Rajmah ki Gilawat (a red bean kebab), Hare Channe ki Seekh (a chickpea preparation), Murg Kothmiri Tikka (mutton with coriander), and more. Seasonal Taste 18th Floor, Oberoi Mall, Goregaon East, Mumbai Tel: 022 61470000/67361801

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs Portraits and Caricatures Workshop May 7 to 12, All Day A workshop that teaches the basics of painting live human faces and also making caricatures. Rachna Sansad Art Gallery No. 278, 1st Floor, Shanker Ghanekar Marg, Near Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai Tel: 022 24129281 Summer Camp for Children May 1 to May 31, All Day NCPA organises summer workshops that include classes in dance, music, theatre, creative writing and puppetry. NCPA, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai Tel: 022 22824567

IPL Special May to May 27, 1600h to 2200h This IPL, EarthPlate, the global cuisine restaurant at Sahara Star, offers unlimited Kingfisher beer or soft beverages with a lavish buffet or with a choice of two starters. Sahara Star Opposite Domestic Airport, Mumbai Tel: 022 39895000

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CALENDAR BENGALURU THEATRE & MUSIC

Robinson and Crusoe May 20, 1530h and 1900h Designed for the young and old alike, ‘Robinson and Crusoe’ is about two soldiers from different camps who are stranded together on a roof and surrounded by nothing but a vast ocean. Filled with comedy, energetic action and fantastic stunts of the kind not seen before, the play is a delight to watch while leaving one with a heartwarming message. Ranga Shankara 36/2 8th Cross II Phase J P Nagar, J.P Nagar, Bengaluru Tel: 26592777, 26493982 Classical Music Concert May 1, 1830h Catch one of India’s celebrated classical musicians, Bombay Jayashri, in concert. Fort High School Grounds Krishna Rajendra Road, Chamarajpet, Bengaluru – 560018 Tel: 080 26604031 Email: info@shreeramasevamandali.org

aRT & EXHIBITION The Kynkyny Mix May 1 to May 3, 1100h to 1900h This group show deconstructs urban life using themes and perspectives from folk art. Kynkyny Art, 104, Embassy Square, Above Ganjam Jewellers, 148 Infantry Road, Bengaluru My City – Group Show May 1 to May 30, All Day India's only Sky Gallery unveils 'My City', which illustrates the artists' perceptions of the energy and essence of a city and their interpretation of urban life. Sublime Art Gallery UB City, MG Road, Bengaluru Labyrinth of Abstraction May 1 to May 31, 1000h to 1800h This exhibition will display the paintings of

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* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

established, mid-level and budding artists, giving them an opportunity to showcase their work to different profiles of buyers. Gallery Third Eye, F-2, Epsilon Villas, Yemlur Main Road, Next to Logica IT Park, Behind HAL Bengaluru – 560 037 Tel: 9845585235/9845585235 Website: www.thirdeye-art.com Photography Exhibition May 1 to May 12, 1000h to 1900h Titled ‘Being and Nothingness’, this exhibition will showcase Kolkata-based photographer Swapan Nayak’s work. Tasveer Sua House, 26/1, Kasturba Road, Bengaluru – 560052

wORKSHOPs & EVENTs

IPL Matches May 1 to May 27, 1600h & 2000h No matter which part of India you are in, the IPL mania is sure to hit you. Catch a live match in the city you live in and experience the country’s love for cricket first hand. For the schedule and ticketing details, visit http://www.iplt20.com/schedule

Tel: 9844743120 Email: nikhatpowell@gmail.com Self-Defence Class May 1 to May 29, All Day The Krav Maga Israeli Self-Defence Class for students teaches one to prevent, deal with and overcome all kinds of violent attacks. Krav Maga C/o Smart Building, House No# 3, Curley Street, Richmond Town Richmond Road, Bengaluru – 560025 Tel: 9886769281 Email: frank@kravmagabangalore.in

FOOD & SHOPPING IPL Fever @ Tease May 1 to May 27, All Day Tease is the place to catch some live IPL action on a giant screen and cheer for your favourite team, with unlimited beer and mojitos, along with a free shot when your team wins! Vivanta by Taj Whitefield, Bengaluru – 560066 Tel: 080 6693 3333 Email: vivanta.whitefield@tajhotels.com Express Lunch at Szechwan Court May 1 to May 30 The perfect option for a busy professional, combining delicious food with elegant presentation and efficient service. The Oberoi 37-39, MG Road, Bengaluru – 560001 Tel: 080 2558 5858 Email: bangalore@oberoihotels.com Website: www.oberoibangalore.com

Music Workshop May 1 to May 31, All Day Eastern Fare Music Foundation is a music school in Bengaluru that organises workshops and courses for the keyboard, guitar, piano and Indian classical music. Eastern Fare Music Foundation #117, 1st Block, 1st Main, Koramangala Bengaluru – 560034 Tel: 080 41570279 Website: www.easternfare.com Filmmaking Workshop May 1 to May 30, 0700h to 1400h Learn the basics of filmmaking in 100 hours. This end-to-end course is open to anybody interested in filmmaking, and covers the entire gamut of production – from the concept to the final movie. Alliance Francaise de Bangalore No.108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanthnagar.

Unlimited Drinks & Buffet May 1 to May 27 Priced at Rs 999 only. A group of six gets an additional 15% discount on the regular dinner buffet at Keys Cafe. Keys Hotel 1st Phase Industrial Area, ITPL Road, Graphite India, Whitefield, Bengaluru

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CALENDAR CHENNAI THEATRE & MUSIC

* Event details are correct at the time of printing. However, we encourage readers to call and reconfirm at the venues concerned. Numbers beside each event indicate the date. Events are divided into categories like film, music, etc. Addresses and phone numbers of venues and places mentioned are listed under Venues.

Solo Show May 1 to 12, 1100h On display are a collection of paintings by French artist, Sophie Jo, inspired by daily life with an undertone of humour. Apparao Galleries, No. 7, Wallace Gardens, 3rd Street, Nungambakkam, Chennai Tel: 044 28330726 Group Show May 1 to June 30, 1100h The Affordable Art Show is a platform that encourages new and young artists. The paintings on display are reasonably priced. Vinnyasa Premier Art Gallery, No. 21/11, First Main Road, CIT Colony, Mylapore, Chennai Tel: 044 24982515

Samarpan May 6, 1815h Presented by TVK Cultural Academy and Vipanchee, Samarpan brings together two of India’s veteran classical musicians in a concert: Dr. M.Balamuralikrishna and Pt. Ajoy Chakraborthy. Kamaraj Arangam, No. 492, Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai Tel: 044 24349040 Melody Kings May 13, 1815h Melt in the music of India’s evergreen Bollywood hits from famous playback singers – Kishore, Rafi and Mukesh. Presented by Mumbai Cine Musicians and Rangeela Rhythms. Kamaraj Arangam, No. 492, Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai Tel: 044 24349040

aRT & EXHIBITION Gem & Jewellery India International Exhibition May 23 to 26, 1000h The seventh edition of this show, which brings both exhibitors and traders under one roof, will feature high-quality, original designs. CTC Complex, Mount Poonamallee High Road, Nandambakkam, Chennai Tel: 044 22316033 Travel & Tourism Fair May 6 and 7, 1000h Planning a trip? Don’t miss the Travel & Tourism Fair. It provides an annual opportunity for organisations from India and abroad to showcase their products and services to a large cross section of traders and consumers in India. Rajah Muthiah Hall, Ethiraj Road, Egmore, Chennai Tel: 044 28553700

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wORKSHOPs & EVENTs

English for Kids May 7 to 25, 1400h Hansel & Gretel is offering a preparation course for the University of Cambridge ESOL YLE Exams for children. These exams provide a reliable measure of how well your child is doing in the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Hansel & Gretel, No. 11, Jagadambal Street, Off Dr. Nair Road, T.Nagar, Chennai Tel: 044 28152549 Summer Camp for Children May 11 to 21, 1000h to 1600h Kalaa Manjari presents full-day workshops for children in phonetics, public speaking, craft, western dance, keyboard and guitar, and more. Kalaa Manjari, No. 6/12, I Street, Venus Colony, Alwarpet, Chennai Tel: 2431 2676, 98402 25570, 90941 01126

FOOD & SHOPPING

IPL Matches May 1 to May 27, 1600h & 2000h No matter which part of India you are in, the IPL mania is sure to hit you. Catch a live match in the city you live in and experience the country’s love for cricket first hand. For the schedule and ticketing details, visit http://www.iplt20.com/schedule Painting Workshop for Children May 12 to 16, 1430h The workshop will cover the basics of sketching and shading using dry pastels, oil pastels, water colours and acrylic paints. Forum Art Gallery, No. 57, 5th Street Padmanabha Nagar, Adyar, Chennai Tel: 044 42115596 Theatre Workshop May 10 to 31, 1000h Camp Neuve presents the fourth season of its theatre workshop for students and youngsters between the ages of 13 and 25. With 15 sessions in theatre, it also teaches other performing art forms like mime, Tai Chi and Folk Theatre. Chettinad Hari Shree Vidyalaya, No.162, Srinivasa Avenue Road, RA Puram, Mandavelli, Chennai Tel: 044 24615264

IPL Live Telecast with satay and grills May 1 to May 27, 1700h to 2300h Indian Premier League live telecast with Satay (marinated bean curd grilled on skewers) & Grills at Pergola, with select unlimited domestic beverages. The Accord Metropolitan, No. 35, GN Chetty Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai Tel: 044 28161000 Sunday BBQ and Beer Brunch May 1 to 30, 1100h Choose from a wide selection of curries, biryanis, momos and salads with your favourite dressings. The brunch comes with a wonderful combination of starters, a wide main course spread and desserts, paired with beer. The highlights are the live stations for barbecue, tandoor, pancakes, waffles and chaat. Hotel Garden Cafe, GRT Radisson, No. 531, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai Tel: 044 22310101 Shopping Fest May 1 to May 31, 1000h to 1930h Shilpi presents ‘Amritaa – Colours of India’, a new collection of vibrant stoles and dupattas, paired best with white and off-white kurtis. Shilpi, No. 29, C.P. Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet, Chennai Tel: 044 24988303

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notes from a diary M S u n d ar

Memory Game India is a country where every street is a practice ground for budding cricketers. Meet one such Indian, who shares his memories of the game’s transition over the years

Photo: DOUGLAS VANHERPE, BELGIUM

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MY FIRST brush with cricket was probably watching the ‘cricket gang’ in my neighbourhood play with a bat and ball. That’s probably when I even knew a game like this existed. As a young boy watching them, my interest grew, and soon, I was a part of this gang as well. My passion for the game, however, was kindled by the great grandson of Buchi Babu Naidu, acclaimed to be the Father of Chennai Cricket. We would play for long hours on the huge grounds adjacent to his house and that’s where my knowledge of the game increased and I honed my skills. Cricket, back then, was only what we played outside our homes. Or what we heard on the transistor. Televisions were a luxury then, and the only way to see a match was to go in person. In fact, every time there was a match scheduled in the city, my friends and I would willingly stand in the never-ending queue outside the stadium. Sometimes, in our desperation for tickets, we would spend nights on platforms outside the stadium! I vividly remember my first experience of watching a live match. It was 1967, a match between India and West Indies. Thirty-five years ago, this blitzkrieg of technology we see today did not exist. No online tickets, no gruelling security checks, no pizzas or cokes, no cell phones or iPhones or cameras to mask the excitement. Just the sheer basics – a packed stadium that had no amenities, lots of noise, parcelled food from home, and watching your heroes play in the flesh and blood. Although the view wasn’t clear (we saw the entire match standing in the gallery), I was thrilled with the entire experience, hanging on to my borrowed field-glasses like my life depended on it. It was an altogether different experience, a different time… That sense of freedom is missing today. In fact, television is the best option now, as one can watch the game from the comfort of one’s home. Also with the replay options and the different angles that are shown, it is a good learning process for budding cricketers. But back then, we budding cricketers had to rely on pretty much ourselves and the resources at our disposal. Playing professional cricket was always considered prestigious, but choosing it as a career was difficult for us because it did not pay much. Cricket was a tool to get a good job, period. Now, the scenario has changed radically, thanks to the interest the game generates and the sponsorships pouring in.

For instance, one of the simplest differences for me is in the quality of bats, which were made of plain country wood then. So, a part of our preparation before a game would be spent seasoning them. And that means dousing the bat in linseed oil several days ahead of the match, and tapping a ball all over its surface. Today, bats are much lighter, and better, and require just a slight force for the ball to soar into the air. If we had delivered as many shots as the batsmen do now, fours and sixes increasing by the day, we would be considered super humans! Trust me, it was no menial task to hit with the bats we had. We were also used to playing without any protective gear. In fact, I don’t remember wearing a helmet for the longest period of my cricketing career. As a result, we would play carefully to avoid sustaining injuries. Today, with so much protection, batsmen hit strokes that would have been impossible for them to hit in the past, without serious injury to the nose or the jaw. Several new strokes such as the scoop and reverse sweep have now come into play. The game has evolved, and is evolving, in front of my eyes. From a time when cricket meant five-day long matches, we have moved on to one -day internationals, T-20 tournaments, Indian Premier League and now to Celebrity Cricket League. Although it might appear as if the mania for cricket has gone up, I personally feel that there is hardly any difference in the enthusiasm for the game. Sure, technicalities of the game were better known and the spectators had substantial knowledge of the game then, but cricket remains cricket in India – a game for all seasons, all ages, all classes. And for people like me, in this rapidly changing world of the game we love, we grew up with, memories remain, memories sustain. And sometimes, memories make you laugh. Like this incident I will leave you with. It happened during one of the matches I played in, when a new five rupee coin was introduced. It had the Indian emblem on one side and the other had the head of the former Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. After the coin was tossed, there was confusion regarding which side was the head and which, the tail. As we started to argue, the game was delayed by an hour and the crowds were screaming themselves hoarse. In the end, the Reserve Bank of India had to step in to restore peace!

The writer is a retired banker and state-level cricketer with a 25-year association with the game. He resides in Chennai.

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india and I M ari n a M ara n g o s

Photo: HARIPRASAD SADAGOPAN, CANADIAN

Talk back

A simple ride in an autorickshaw leads to an interesting conversation that showcases the dreams and reality of an India we hardly see

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WHEN I was in Jaipur recently with a friend, we were walking along the road looking for an autorickshaw when we were approached by a smiling, good looking young man, who in understandable English invited us to ride in his autorickshaw. We agreed and on our short journey we had a lovely conversation with him, paid him and said goodbye. He did, however, give me his phone number, so when we needed an autorickshaw again I called him up. He popped round promptly and off we went. In our short stay in the city, he became our dependable and fun transporter. By the time we were ready to leave, I was positively intrigued by this young man who seemed to possess a flair and manner unlike the other rickshaw drivers in the area. So as we were driving along one day, I asked him if he was willing to answer some questions for me. I confess to being very inquisitive. I am interested in other people’s lives and I was particularly pleased when he agreed. I suppose I was curious about his background and the reason he was as engaging and knowledgeable as he appeared to be. It is also a reverse process going into operation. Everywhere I go in India, the first question I am asked is ‘Where are you from?’ and ‘What do you do?’ I thought that for a change, I would be the Indian and pose all the questions, which he answered with earnestness and a sense of humour. His origins are humble and perhaps no different from that of many others in similar positions around him, but he has used what he does as a tool to better himself and to get more out of life than perhaps life has bestowed on him. Here are some excerpts from the interview. What is your name and where are you from? My name is Vishnu and I was born in Jaipur. I am 23 years old. My father was an autorickshaw driver and my mother a housewife. I have three sisters and I am the third born. Did you go to school? I went to school until I was 10. Then I had to stop. My father wanted me to help with his autorickshaw and he taught me how to drive.

What do you do now? Now I am an autorickshaw driver. I am renting my autorickshaw. I pay Rs 500 a day for it. Sometimes I make enough, other times not so much, like last year was a good season but this year not so good. When I have a good day, I make Rs 1500, but on a bad day about Rs 800. Where do you live? I live in Javarnagar district of Jaipur with my family. Two of my sisters are married, and I stay with my mother and father and my youngest sister. We have three rooms. A kitchen and two other rooms. Are you planning to marry? I am looking for a hardworking girl, nice looking but also fun, to marry. I have a girlfriend who goes to college. Will you marry her? I don’t know. Do people say you are handsome? Everyone says I am good looking and the other autorickshaw drivers are jealous of me because tourists like me and ring me up. I like to dress well and look nice and I learned all my English listening to the tourists in my rickshaw. Some tourists say I speak well and have good accent, but many words I don’t know and want to learn more. What do you like about expatriates? They are friendly people and they give me more rupees. Would you like to go abroad? Yes, I would like to go to Spain and Paris. I hear Paris is very expensive but there are a lot of things to see there and I would like that. How do you see your future? You know business is not so good at the moment, but the Elephant Festival is taking place in Jaipur on the 7th of March and I hope more people will come to Jaipur. Then it will be Holi and I celebrate with my friends. We go to my friend’s house and eat sweets and play with colours and this is a very good holiday in India. How do you see your future? I hope more people will come to Jaipur and I work more. Then I will make my English better too.

The writer is Greek-Cypriot and has been living in Delhi for the past three years.

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news & Happenings A summary of cross-cultural events held at the India Immersion Centre last month

Konnichiwa, Japan!

WHERE do India and Japan meet to exchange not just goodwill but also cultural tidbits? At Global Adjustments, of course! A mini Japan gathered at the headquarters of Global Adjustments on April 20 to mark the launch of the Japanese website to support their Japan desk. Presided by the Guest of Honour, Shinya Fujii, Director General of Jetro, this event celebrated the Tamil New Year and 60 years of Indo-Japan bi-lateral trade. Fujiisan spoke of the relationship India and Japan share, saying, "The Japan Desk at Global Adjustments will be a great support to increase Japanese FDIs in India." Fujiisan also conveyed a message in Tamil, as he has been learning the language with great enthusiasm at Global Adjustments. Dr. M. Rajaram, IAS, Secretary, Tamil Development, Religious Endowments and Information Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, another guest of honour, expressed his pleasure in welcoming the Japanese community to India and Tamil Nadu. He said “There are a lot of similarities between Tamil Nadu and Japan, in terms of culture and also the language. I would like to convey my deep appreciation to all of you for bringing these two communities together.”

Coffee Morning Freshly brewed coffee with cakes, traditional Indian snacks and lots of shared experiences – these are just a few things our Coffee Mornings at the Indian Immersion Centre consist of. In April, we celebrated Tamil New Year and Baisakhi to give our expat spouses an insight into the festivals of India. Between sips of the strong brew, the ladies chatted, caught up with each other and made new friends.

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Ranjini Manian, CEO, Global Adjustments, who speaks fluent Japanese, added, “Our Japan Desk headed by Nemu Takahashi will provide the Japanese expatriate community a deep insight into Tamil cultural immersion, while supporting them on relocation, realty and cross cultural training in India. It is to ensure the Japanese community learn and partake in the rich culture of India and the state of Tamil Nadu.” Welcome Voices “The U.S. Consulate sends its heartiest congratulations to Global Adjustments on broadening its cultural reach in opening a Japan desk during this 60th year of IndoJapanese relations and we wish you the greatest success in your continued outreach to the international community in South India.” Jennifer McIntyre-American Consul General, Chennai "On the occasion of the official opening of its Japan Desk, we extend warm congratulations to Global Adjustments for its continued endeavours in welcoming and embracing the international community in Chennai." David and Monica Holly-Australian Consul General, Chennai.

Know your Lucky Stars

How will you be 20 years from now? What is going to be your biggest success? What does fate have in store for you? This is what our participants found out in our astrology session, at the India Immersion Centre, Global Adjustments.

Women on the Go “As you walk around the U.S. Embassy today, you will hear the stories of amazing Indian women who are working to make a difference in their own lives, in their children's lives, in their communities, and in their country," said Herro K Mustafa, Minister Political Counsellor, at the Women's Empowerment Mela held on March 27 in New Delhi. Mustafa’s words couldn’t have been truer as the event showcased not just their stories but also the tangible manifestation of the stories through luxurious crafts, beautiful clothing, high-quality handbags made from recycled materials, handmade jewellery, paper products, spices and household items. Local nonprofit organisations also set up stands to increase awareness and raise funds for projects focusing on women’s empowerment. Organisations such as the Laksh Foundation, Koshish, Cross Stitch – a project of Catalyst India, Guild for Service, Cequin Craft-Centre for Equality and Inclusion, India Vision Foundation, RMAS Project Jeevika, Kriti, Happy Hands, among others, were part of the event. The annual Women’s Empowerment Mela is part of an ongoing effort by the American Women’s Association, the American Embassy Community Liason Office (CLO) and local non-profit organisations to highlight the efforts of women, girls, community groups and associations that focus on improving the role of women in Indian society. Mustafa spoke about the work between the Indian and American governments to create a regular dialogue between the two countries on the exchange of ideas, and on strengthening women’s political and economic participation.

IIC EVENTS CALENDAR MAY EVENT Chennai

Delhi

DESCRIPTION

DATE & TIME

PRICE

TASTE OF INDIA

A journey through the heart of India engaging all five senses, leaving you with a sixth sense of wonder

Thursday, May 3 10am-12noon And Monday, May 28, 5pm-7:30pm Thursday, May 31 5pm-7.30pm

Call for availability and prices

Natya

Narrative and Classical Indian dance moves

Last week of April

Call for availability and prices

Dilli Saaga-Know Your Lucky Stars

An astrology session that will give you a glimpse into the future through the Indian Science of Astrology

Friday, May 4 at Boombox, New Delhi

Pleaseemaildillisaaga@ gmail.com to RSVP

culturama | may 2012

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global citizen Nei l M i l l er

Photo: ALAN DOUGANS, AUSTRALIA

Laugh Lines

Humour plays a vital role in cultural adaptation, and, as our writer says, if you can make a joke in a new language and other people laugh, it’s a sure sign you’ve arrived!

WHAT is funny in one culture doesn’t always translate well. My parents were visiting India from the United States and I took them to meet my neighbour Uncle and Aunty. My wife and I had spent a long time developing a good relationship with this family through careful attention to respecting their culture and watching a lot of cricket. As soon as I introduced him, my father (not the poster-child for cultural awareness) said, ‘Hey, you guys don’t seem half as bad as my son said you were!’ which in American translates as, ‘It’s nice to meet you’. However, the joke was lost and we spent the rest of the evening trying to reassure our neighbours that we really don’t say bad things about them and my father rarely travels out of the state. Humour is a tough thing to get a hold of in a new culture. It is often cited as the last phase of enculturating into a new life. If you can make a joke in a new language, and other people laugh, it’s a sure sign you’ve arrived. Indians love to laugh, but the epitome of hilarity (at least in South India) is the bumbling sidekick who must look and sound as ridiculous as possible, which makes the hero of the movie seem even more strong, intelligent, and anti-bumbling. Apart from slapstick, Indians love the ironic twist of the phrase, and of course the ubiquitous forwarded e-mail or picture. My personal favourite is the one of the man holding a baby between his knees while he takes a quick snap with his camera. The humour of other culture often comes across as very strange. For example, I was once interacting with some Australian businessmen who had come to India. The Managing Director and another Director of the company had come to meet with the new hires and welcome them into the organisation. The Managing Director introduced himself and then turned to his partner and said, ‘And this here is old big-nose who doesn’t know anything’. To which, the other man replied, ‘Well, sir, you didn’t have to be so kind!’ Of course, the young Indian audience was floored that two men of such standing would say that kind of thing to each other in public! However, in Australia, this is called ‘taking the piss’ and is an affectionate and even expected way for friends to talk with each other. While preparing Indians to live in Australia, we advised them to take such ‘insults’ as a clear sign that they are welcome in their new country. Whether in Australia, India or in the United States, if you can’t figure out why everyone else is laughing, either the joke is on you, or like so many other things – it’s just cultural.

The writer is head of Business Strategy at Global Adjustments. He is American, and has been living in India for the past two years. For information on our cross-cultural training courses, contact courses@globaladjustments.com. 50

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Bursting the bubble te x t & ph o t o s b y I a n W atki n s o n

a huge hit

Did you know that there was a time when playing cricket was considered a punishable offence, and at times, a low and rowdy sport? Read on.

CRICKET has developed over the years into its current international format from very simple and chequered universal origins. There were no real formal rules of play for the game until the late 18th century; indeed in earlier centuries, cricket had been banned in England, playing it was a punishable offence, and at times was considered a low and rowdy sport! One thing is for certain – the games of hitting a small wooden object or a ball in the air with a stick and running, whilst competitors tried to catch you out or hit your ‘wicket’ or ‘base’, seem to have been played just about everywhere. The root origins of all these ‘hit and run’ games may have evolved from earlier simple ‘stick and hit’-type games, which are recorded as being played in rural Punjab of modern India and Pakistan as far back as the 6th to 7th century, and known by various names such as ‘gilli-danda’ in North India and ‘kitty-pul’ in the South. Gilli-danda arrived in Persia from Punjab in the 8th century. Persia’s pedigree with ‘hit and run’ games was undisputed as they were creators of the game of polo, a military training game for cavalry dating from the 5th century BC. The original idea of polo, however, is known to have spread with migratory traders and gypsy metalworkers from India into the Byzantine Empire via Persia, and hence across into Western Europe, as did the then more complex game of chess (which originated in India

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as ‘chaturanga’). That polo and chess migrated from the East to the West is pretty much acknowledged; however, these were the games of the elite, educated and wealthy, unlike gilli-danda, which was the common man’s game. Gypsy legacy

Evidence seems to suggest that a simple-to-construct folk game, such as the gilli-danda played in the Indus valley, travelled with the gypsy communities as they moved westwards – games that could be quickly made from a couple of pieces of readily available wood, easy to carry yet still involved competition and a high level of skill. In the 8th century in Florence, Italy, a monk named Eustatius Cardonius demonstrated how to play a new ‘bat and ball’ game he had witnessed in his travels to the Byzantine Empire. Within another century, similar games were being played in Spain and Portugal, and then later further west into Saxon England. The ‘krucke kruk’ clan!

In 1066, the sophisticated and elegant feudal Normans conquered Southern England and in time refined the basic stick bat and ball Saxon game they found being played into their own gentrified, more refined form. Prince William is noted in 1301 as playing ‘creag’ taken from the Old Saxon English ‘cricc’, which means a staff or long stick. In fact, cricket, croquet, crutch, crook – these modern words are all derivations from the word ‘cricc’. English shepherds in the Middle Ages passed their time herding flocks of sheep by bowling balls of cloth or wool at a target, often the field’s wicket gate, which may also explain where the word ‘wicket’ originated (a wicket gate is a small wooden gate to allow sheep to be passed through one at a time from a fold ). Other shepherds defended the ‘wicket’ with their crooks or staffs (‘cricc’). Similar games were played in much of Europe – German ‘krucke’, Swedish ‘krycka’, Dutch ‘kruk’, and so on. Gentrification of cricket

Middle Age ball making was also a technology that had been developed over the years, especially by the Normans, whose powerful guilds controlled the manufacture of specialist balls. Not the crude floppy inflated pig bladders

that had been used for games since Roman times, but perfectly spherical, small, hard, projectile balls made of stuffed leather or wood encased in leather. The gentrification of ‘cricc’ into the Norman ‘creag’ would probably have been the time when hard, well-made balls were first introduced into the game, replacing the peasant rural form played with a short stick or crude stuffed bag as the projectile. Cricket was evolving. A very old, well-documented predecessor to the medieval form of cricket in England was called ‘tip-cat’. This is almost identical to gilli-danda in every way. Tip-cat had localised variants, as did gilli-danda, but all variants were common in the use of a metre-long stick or bat (the danda), and a smaller piece of wood carved with pointed ends about 10 cm long (the cat or the gilli). A seemingly perfect parallel game to gilli-danda, the cat was angled on the ground in a circular ‘base’ area and struck lightly on one edge to lift it, then struck hard to propel it, whilst fielders tried to catch it and get it back to the ‘base’ before the batsman could return. A variation of tip-cat from Northern England was called ‘giddy-gaddy’, or ‘cat’s pallet’. The rules were basically the same again. Many researchers are certain that tip-cat is a rural, simple forerunner of the more sophisticated game of modern cricket. In the 14th and 15th centuries ‘cricket’ was completely banned by the powerful barons in England, in favour of more warlike activities such as archery. In the 16th century, it reemerged from exile with new vigour and grew steadily into the game we know today. And, it seems, when a group of English sailors first played cricket on the beaches of Kutch in 1721, they had unknowingly bought gilli-danda full circle – back to its birthplace.

The writer is British and has been living in India for the past two years. culturama | may 2012

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SPACES S aritha R a o

Tea time for the soul

Nestled along the old alleys of bustling Mumbai, Irani Cafes exude an old-world charm – quiet, laid-back and perfect for that refreshing cuppa on a lazy afternoon.

IRANI cafés in Mumbai are considered a haven for many a struggling writer in Mumbai. It’s not uncommon to find a play produced in Mumbai, set in one. Or perhaps a short story where all the action happens in an Irani Café. Many a Bollywood script set in Mumbai is incomplete without the hero and his friends trying to wangle a free meal from the stereotypical Iranian proprietor of a café. An Irani Café is characterised by tall ceilings, mirrored columns, checked tablecloths, bent-wood chairs, and the usual Irani Café fare – tea, snacks, biscuits and dessert. The Irani tea is a milky, sweet, well-spiced cuppa with a mint-flavoured variation. ‘Bun maska’ is buttered bun that is dipped in the tea and eaten. Kheema Pav (mince with bun) is another favourite of the regulars, as is the Mawa Cake (cake with a hint of nutmeg). Akoori is scrambled eggs made using liberal measures of spice, onions and coriander leaves. There are also the usual omelettes, sandwiches and almost always, exceptionally good dessert. For most people who’ve lived many decades in Mumbai, a trip to an Irani Café is more of a habit than an occasional visit. A friend reminisced about accompanying her father to an Irani café every Sunday for breakfast. An interesting piece of trivia she shared about Irani cafés is that they were usually located in the

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corner of a building, at the junction of two roads – a location not considered auspicious by shop keepers of other communities. The Iranians had no such beliefs and probably saw the location as profitable for the same reason – twice the amount of business at a junction. However, Irani cafés are a dying cultural entity in Mumbai today. Some, like Bastani’s have closed down due to differences that arose among the partners. When the old proprietors of some cafés passed away, their children were reluctant to take on the mantle of running the place when better job prospects in corporate India and abroad beckoned. Some cafés have become beerbars. Others have become upscale restaurants. An Irani café like Kyani’s at the Metro Cinema junction has survived almost unchanged in over hundred years of being in business, with prices as low as Rs. 10 for a tea and mawa cake. The proprietor Aflatoon K. Irani had applied for and got a liquor-serving permit, but never actually collected it as he realised that the place would no longer be a draw for families. So, students drop by to get an inexpensive sandwich, elderly uncle-types sit by themselves reading the paper occasionally taking noisy sips of the mint tea, mothers usher in children for a quick after-school black forest pastry treat and businessmen close deals over aromatic kheema pav. In Mumbai, the space simply lives on.

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holistic living ek n a th eswara n

Photo Darren Burnham, UK

Split Second Self Last issue the Gita’s first chapter revealed to us that if we don’t know who we are, we can’t know what we want. But how does one resolve this seemingly irrefutable conundrum?

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THE Gita presents this dilemma as a conflict between a lower self and a higher one. The Sanskrit word for what makes us identify with this lower, separate self is ahamkara – literally, “I-maker,” the component of personality that presents us to ourselves as isolated from the rest of life. Calling this self “lower” simply reflects the fact that it is so limited – just the slimmest fraction of what we are as human beings. Compared with what we really are, the Gita says, this lesser self is a cage of separateness, and identifying ourselves with it is the source of insecurity, friction, disrupted relationships, and mounting dissatisfaction. In practical terms, as long as there is division in consciousness, there will be separateness simply because this is how we see: “People are other than me; it’s me against the world.” And as long as there is separateness, there will always be a tendency to exploit and manipulate others to make up for what we feel we lack. This split in consciousness conditions how we see life. So long as we see through the conditioning of separateness, life seems fragments of a puzzle that do not fit together, without even a picture on the box. According to the Gita, in every one of us – by virtue of our being human – there is an upward

surge to evolve, to grow in humanity day by day, and a downward pull to remain engaged in conflict as separate creatures set against the rest of life. In this view, the human being is still in the making, evolving from an animal past towards a much greater freedom. The war within is between the inertia of our biological heritage and this irrepressible drive to fulfill what is latent in our nature. ARJUNA What is the force that binds us to selfish deeds, O Krishna? What power moves us, even against our will, as if forcing us? SRI KRISHNA It is selfish desire and anger . . . these are the appetites and evils that threaten a person in this life. Just as a fire is covered by smoke and a mirror is obscured by dust, just as the embryo rests deep within the womb, knowledge is hidden by selfish desire – hidden, Arjuna, by this unquenchable fire for selfsatisfaction, the inveterate enemy of the wise.  Fight with all your strength, Arjuna! Controlling your senses, conquer your enemy, the destroyer of knowledge and realisation. (3:36–39, 41) Our real enemies are within us. They are not who we are, but we think that they are and they claim to be; that is why we find ourselves at war with ourselves. In order to discover our real identity, we have to choose sides and then fight all that is false in us until victory is won. It will be a long drawn-out battle, but the Gita’s promise is that if we hold out to the end, victory is assured – precisely because this is our real nature; the rest is a masquerade. But the very word conflict implies a choice. Without conflict, there is no incentive to grow; where there is a conflict, there is hope, because there are two sides. The message of the Gita is that gradually we can choose to throw more and more weight behind the pull towards our higher nature and away from the drag of separateness and conditioned behaviour. This is the choice Arjuna faces, which is why the traditional title of this first chapter of the Gita is “The Yoga of Arjuna’s Despair.” Even despair, as we shall see, can be a yoga – a way to wisdom – if we can see it from a higher point of view. The teaching of the Gita begins when Arjuna throws down his bow and arrows – his supports in the world he knows – and appeals to

Krishna, “My will is paralyzed, and I am utterly confused. Tell me which is the better path. Let me be your disciple. I have fallen at your feet; give me instruction.” Surprisingly, given the urgency of the moment, Sri Krishna responds to this plea not with immediate help but by leading his new student step by step to that higher vantage where he can see his situation clearly and understand what it offers. His reply in chapter two of the Gita is a brilliant summation of the loftiest ideas in Indian philosophy – a foundation that the Gita takes for granted but is likely to be unfamiliar or misunderstood today. For that reason it will be helpful to explore that foundation first: the essential ideas of the Upanishads, which record discoveries made by sages seeking changeless truths in a world of change. To be continued...

Join us every Saturday India Immersion Centre in Chennai facilitates a weekly spiritual fellowship group following Easwaran’s Eight Point Programme of Meditation. E-mail us for more information at contactiic@ globaladjustments.com and Sharanya Govind at 9710947713. If you are in other cities, visit www. easwaran.org for e-satsangs.

Reprinted with permission from “Essence of Bhagavad Gita” http://www.easwaran.org Eknath Easwaran (1910–1999) founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in 1961. The Center offers books and retreats based on the eight-point program of passage meditation that Easwaran developed, taught, and practiced. To learn more, visit http://www.easwaran.org

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Myth & Mythology De v d u tt patta n aik

Mortal Legacy Who or what creates a legacy? Where do they originate and where do they end? The writer shares a story from the Mahabharatha, giving us a practical and simple explanation

Photo LINDA GRAEBLE

WE MAKE monuments so that the world will remember us when we are gone. We do great things, heroic deeds, so that the world will remember us when we are gone. We yearn to outwit mortality through legacy. Here is a little story from the Mahabharata about legacy, and how much of it is beyond our control. Once upon a time, there was a king was called Indradyumna (In-dra-diyumna), and after a long reign he passed away and went to heaven, where he spent centuries, enjoying the rewards of his good deeds on earth. Then, one day, he was told by the gods to leave heaven. “Why?” asked a perplexed Indradyumna. “Because,” said the gods, “No one on earth remembers your good deeds. If you can find at least one creature who remembers you for your good deeds, then you can come back to heaven.

Otherwise, you will have to leave. That is the rule.” Time flows differently on earth than in heaven. When Indradyumna reached earth, he realised that centuries had passed since his reign. The trees were different, the people were different, even his kingdom looked different. Who will remember me, he wondered. The buildings he built were all gone. The temples he built were no where to be seen. The people who were beneficiaries of his largesse were all dead. No one he met remembered any king called Indradyumna. Disheartened, Indradyumna went in search of the oldest man on earth. He found Rishi Markandeya. But the Rishi did not remember him. “There is an owl who is older than me,” said the sage, “Go to him.” Indradyumna did as advised.

He found the owl and asked him, “Do you remember King Indradyumna?” and the owl said, “No, I do not remember such a king but ask the stork who is older than me.” Even the stork did not remember. “But I know someone who is much older than me, who may know of King Indradyumna,” said the stork, “He is an old tortoise who lives in a lake.” Indradyumna went to the tortoise and to Indradyumna’s great relief the tortoise did remember a king called Indradyumna. “He built this lake,” said the tortoise. “But I never built this lake,” said Indradyumna, rather bewildered by this piece of information. “This lake did not even exist when I was king.” The tortoise explained, “My grandfather never lied. He told me that this king spent his entire life giving cows in charity, hundreds of thousands of cows.” Indradyumna recollected that he had. He had been told that gifting cows assures one a place in heaven. Yes, it had, but only temporarily. Now, where were his cows? Where were the people whom he gave the cows to? The tortoise continued, “As these cows left Indradyumna’s city, they kicked up so much dust it created a depression in the ground; when the rains came water collected in this depression and turned it into a lake. Now that lake provides sustenance to innumerable plants and animals and worms and weeds and fish and turtles and birds. So we remember the great King Indradyumna, whose act of charity resulted in a lake which for generations has been our home.” Indradyumna was pleased to hear what the tortoise had to say. So were the gods who welcomed him back. As Indradyumna rose to heaven, the irony did not escape him: he was remembered on earth for a lake that was unconsciously created, and not for the cows that were consciously given. He benefited not from things he did, but from the impact of things he did.

The writer is the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group, and a writer and illustrator of several books on Indian mythology. This article was first published in the Devlok series of Sunday Midday dated Nov 6, 2011. 58

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tales of india Vasa n ti S a n kara n ara y a n a n

Take a Bow True faith emerges when a man’s beliefs are tested, as this story from Jainism tells us

JAIN monks practice great austerity and are credited in many old stories with unparalleled wisdom and compassion. Hemachandra was one such great monk. He became a trusted friend of King Kumarapala of the northwestern state of Gujarat. The king was a Hindu, but sought the Jain monk’s advice on all matters. Seeing the king’s faith in Hemachandra, the royal priests and ministers became jealous. They were afraid they would lose all their influence over the king. The only way they could prevent this, they thought, would be to make Hemachandra unpopular with the king. The priests and ministers put their heads together and evolved a plan they thought would work. They approached the king and told him, ‘Oh King, we have a rather unfortunate bit of news that we hesitate to tell you. We have come to realise that Hemachandra is not really a true man of God. He follows Jain practices and insults our Hindu Gods.’

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The king did not believe them. He knew that Hemachandra was a truly enlightened and tolerant person. So he dismissed the priests and ministers saying, ‘I know Hemachandra better than you. Do not make these false accusations against him.’ However, the priests and ministers were not willing to give up. They waited for some time and once again approached the king. They said, ‘O, King! You say that you do not believe us when we tell you that Hemachandra is not a true man of God. But we can prove it to you. Invite him to the Shiva temple and order him to bow to the idol of Shiva.’ They thought that Hemachandra, being a Jain, would not bow to the idol of Shiva. And that would make the king angry with him. The king sent for Hemachandra and casually asked him to come along to the Shiva temple. Hemachandra readily complied. The priests and ministers followed, not wanting to miss anything. When King Kumarapala asked Hemachandra to bow to the idol, he did not hesitate. He said, ‘I bow to that God who gives love and destroys evil. I see no difference between Vishnu, Shiva and Jina.’ King Kumarapala was vindicated. But what a loss of face it was to the ministers and priests. A truly evolved and enlightened soul would accept all forms of God. To him the different forms are manifestations of the one Supreme Being. Jainism sets forth that humans alone among living beings are endowed with all the six senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and thinking. Thus, they are expected to act responsibly towards all life by being compassionate, egoless, fearless, forgiving and rational. Jainism, one of the oldest religions in India, traces its roots to a succession of 24 Jinas or Tirthankaras – those who overcome all attachment to attain moksha (enlightenment) while living. The most recent and last Jina was Vardhamana or Mahavira, ‘The Great Hero’. He lived in 550 BC and was the founder of the Jain community in India.

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iREAD T he 5 W s o f I n d ia n P u b l ishi n g

A Telling Tale What is this book about? A heady mix of cricket, politics, business and Bollywood, The Gamechangers is a story set over 35 days of cricketing action. It’s the second season of IBL – Indian Bollywood League – to be held in London, and the big players are working overtime to make this a success and to live up to the hype generated. There is the Chairman of IBL, Lalu Parekh, envisioning IBL’s future as the answer to end ICC’s domination in world cricket; there is Sigwald Raees Kahn, the self-absorbed owner of the hopelessly disappointing Calcutta Cavalry; there is Raj Singhania, the egotistical millionaire businessman and owner of Bangalore Bangers; and the players – level-headed Rocky, captain of Bangalore Bangers, arrogant Gautam, dark horse of Cavalry, and swaggering Abhimanyu, captain of Haryana Hurricanes. Add to this volatile mix of power and ego an anonymous blogger, calling himself the Fake IBL Player, sharing some of cricket’s dirty secrets, and a detective, Parminder Mahipal Singh (PMS!) hot on his tail, and you have a racy read in your hands.

Book | The Gamechangers Author | The Fake IPL Player Publisher

|

Harper Collins

Who is it by? The book is based on the blog that went viral during the second season of IPL called fakeiplplayer.com. The writer of the blog remained anonymous, and yet seemed to know all the inside gossip and controversies of the game. When this book was published in March 2010, the identity of the blogger was still unknown. In August that same year, however, he revealed himself as Bengaluru-based Anupam Mukerji, claiming never to have met a cricketer in his life and his stories were entirely fictional. Why should I read it? Because it is a clever spoof of all things cricket and all things IPL, and it leaves you with a feel-good, if not a mawkish, end. It reads like a thriller with three different perspectives – the blogger, the omniscient narrator, and the detective – with enough humour to keep you going. And if you can make the connections to real-life celebrities and players (the author throws in enough clues for that), then it makes for an even more enjoyable read. When is a good time to read it? This is one of those easy reads, perfect while commuting locally or on one of those long flights. It’s entertaining enough to keep you from falling asleep, and as a book, neatly sized to fit into your bag. Where can I get it? This book is available in all leading bookstores across the country, and in flipkart.com.

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iSEE T he 5 W s o f I n d ia n C i n ema

Now Playing Film | Iqbal (2005) Directed by | Nagesh Kukunoor Language | Hindi

What is this film about? ‘Iqbal’ is the story of a speech and hearing impaired young village boy, who nurtures the dream of playing for the Indian cricket team. Despite opposition from his family and financial constraints, Iqbal keeps his passion alive. With the help of his sister, he finds a place in the local academy run by a former Indian captain, but is quickly ousted in favour of another player whose father funds the academy. He then solicits the help of a former Indian cricket hero, now an alcoholic, and begins his gruelling training session. After a series of twists and turns, Iqbal achieves the impossible. Who is it by? This film was filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor’s sixth full-length feature film. Kukunoor burst into Bollywood with ‘Hyderabad Blues’ in 1998, the most successful independent film in India, paving the way for a new wave of lowbudget films. Reportedly, the film was made on a budget of only 17 lakhs and was shot in a little over two weeks. ‘Iqbal’ was Kukunoor’s first commercial success that won him the National

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Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues. Kukunoor’s films are rich in content with stellar performances, and are feel-good entertainers. Why should I watch it? Because this is a classic underdog-turnswinner film, with just the right amount of humour (Iqbal trains with his buffaloes as fielders, named after actual Indian cricketers!), the right amount of sentiment and the right amount of tension, that keeps you absorbed till the end. Kukunoor’s direction is impeccable and sincere, as are the performances, especially that of Shreyas Talpade as the charming and endearing Iqbal, and Naseerudin Shah as the compelling coach. When is a good time to watch it? On a Sunday afternoon with your family or a bunch of close friends, popcorn, lemonade and tissues (happy tears only) handy. Where can I get it? This original copy of this DVD is available in all leading bookstores across the country, and in flipkart.com.

Office

Yoga UP AGAINST THE WALL

SmokeFree

Photo Benjamin bowling, USA

A CHAOTIC workday can make you feel pushed up against the wall. When you feel like you can't stand it any longer, find a wall and streatch. Stand about two feet away from a wall. Place your right palm up high against the wall. Raise your left foot behind you until you can grasp it with your left hand. Pull your left heel towards your buttocks. Let your body lean forward slightly. Relax into this stretch, and maintain your balance. Notice how your balance improves and your focus increases with each breath. When ready, switch sides. Let your deep breaths take you deeper into the stretches.

Courtesy: Darrin Zeer “America’s relaxation expert!” –CNN www.HappyYoga.ME

SMOKING affects almost every part of the system. It causes heartburn, bronchitis, bone disorders eye and nasal irritation and also increases the risk for many cancers, including those of the lungs, throat, mouth, esophagus and stomach. Teenagers who smoke experience cough, shortness of breath, severe respiratory illness and poorer overall health. The use of hookahs can be as detrimental to a person's health as smoking cigarettes and they increase the risk of infectious diseases. Passive Missive Second-hand smoke is the combination of smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker. Even if you don’t smoke and are exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis, your body will absorb nicotine and other harmful substances too. Pregnant women and children are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. In fact, for pregnant women, it harms even the unborn child. For children, the chances of developing frequent colds, asthma, learning and behaviour problems are high. Tips to avoid second-hand smoke • Request visitors to your home to smoke outside • Open windows and use fans to ventilate rooms • Avoid using ashtrays in your home • Tell babysitters and other caregivers not to smoke around your children Quit Now Fortunately, for both adult and young smokers, many of the effects of smoking can be reversed if and when they quit smoking. We, at Global Health City, offer a variety of methods that match your lifestyle and help people who want to quit smoking for good. Global Health City Wellness Series culturama | may 2012

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cricket quiz

Over & Out IF YOU think you know your cricket in India, then have a go at our quiz questions the old fashioned way, before the Googles of the world changed the rules and made everyone a winner. If you know the answers to these questions, and we mean really know, then send in your entries to info@globaladjustments.com. Exciting prizes await the first 10 correct entries.

1. Which cricketer’s official Facebook page has 8. Who is the first batsman declared run-out by 1.5 million ‘Likes’?

a third umpire in the history of cricket?

2. How many runs did Sachin Tendulkar score in 9. Who his first one-day international match?

is the author of ‘Straight from the Heart’?

3. Who is the only Indian cricketer to have won 10.Which four successive man of the match awards in one-day internationals?

Indian cricketer is known as 'Brown Bradman'? He was also the first batsman to cross 10,000 runs in Tests.

4. Who was the first Indian batsman to score 11. three centuries at Lord’s?

Who is the famous spinner who made his Test debut in 19992 against India in Sydney?

5. Who holds the unique distinction of being the 12. only Indian bowler to dismiss Don Bradman?

6. Who

is known as the father of Indian cricket?

7. Who is the only player in the history of Test cricket to score a century in each of his first three Test matches?

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Who is the only Indian cricketer to have played for England and India?

13.

Who was named India's Cricketer of the Century by Wisden?

5

22

8 MAY

1 1to 3

Festivals of India

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Thrissur Pooram This is one of the biggest temple festivals in Kerala, celebrated in the town of Thrissur. The highlight of this festival is the grand elephant parade. Gaily decorated elephants draped in a variety of ornaments, such as the nettipattan (golden headdress) take the centrestage, along with a five-piece band called panchavadyam, and an impressive fireworks display. Festivities can go on for 36 hours or more.

Moatsu This is a traditional festival of the Ao tribe of Nagaland, to celebrate the time after their agricultural and construction work is complete. It is a time when the entire tribe socialises. All the men and women dress up in their best and gather around a camp fire for a night of feasting and merry making, called Sangpangtu.

4

Narasimha Jayanthi

6

Buddha Purnima

This is a day when the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu descended on earth to kill a demon. On this occasion, some devotees of Vishnu do not eat, special prayers are performed and gram sprouts and jaggery are offered to the idol.

This day commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha – the founder of Buddhism. Braving the scorching sun, pilgrims from all over the world flock to Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India, where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment beneath a Bodhi (sacred fig) tree. The day is marked with prayer meets, sermons, religious discourses, group meditation and processions. The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya wears a festive look and is decorated with colourful flags and flowers.

culturama | may 2012

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tell us your story

The ouse Whisperer Your monthly dose of information to wish away your relocation and realty blues. We pay a maintenance amount apart from the rent and security deposit. What exactly does this ‘maintenance’ include? – Swedish tenant in Mumbai For an apartment, maintenance would refer to the upkeep of the common areas, wear and tear of the back-up generator, repairs and upkeep of the elevator, maintenance of security, and other expenses related to maintaining the apartment complex in a good condition. In case of a condominium complex, it would also include cleaning of the swimming pool and maintenance of the play area and parking lot. It may include touch up of painting, although a special increased amount maybe requested for painting the exteriors of the building (which the landlord will usually pay), periodic cleaning of the water tank as well as CCTV installation and monitoring. All apartment-related minor and major repairs are outside the ambit of ‘maintenance’. Why do the rents go up from the price actually quoted? – Finnish tenant in Delhi Rents are usually fixed for the house as-is. If one were to occupy the house in the condition one views it, the rent would be as quoted. But tenants typically ask for a few modifications that could range from changing the curtains to renovating the kitchen. Similar to all other industries, a part of the payout would fall on the tenant, and hence the revision of the rent. Moreover, it is important to understand that in a service industry, it is often hard to price the house exactly. Rents are also subject to seasonal changes, as well as personal relationships with the landlord or the realty agent. It is always advisable for the tenant

to enquire whether the rents are negotiable, as well as understand that the more their demands are, the more the rent would swing northwards. Also, it is a good idea to negotiate via the realty expert, who already has a good relationship with the landlord. Then the rent can end up going down too. Why don’t we have a dish washer, a drier, or a freezer? – American tenant in Chennai Because none of these appliances are popular in India. Human hands usually do the job of washing dishes and drying clothes; they are called maids, and giving them a job keeps a family off the street, so do be flexible – you will conserve power and employ a person. Besides, tough curry stains and stainless steel pots and pans are not dishwasher-friendly. Plus, since the demand is very niche, the servicing is also exclusive. Should you require a dishwasher, do negotiate with the landlord. Several of them are open to the idea of a dishwasher. Cities such as Mumbai are usually equipped with a drier, thanks to two months of heavy monsoons. In Chennai or Hyderabad or Delhi, however, where the sun is bright and almost always present, driers are a rarity. Again, should you prefer not to hang your clothes on a clothesline, do talk to your landlord. Freezers are probably the rarest of the white goods being discussed. In India, due to frequent power cuts and high ambient temperatures, food spoils easily than in the cooler climes of Europe or America. It may be a good idea instead to cook and store for shorter durations.

If you have any comments, suggestions or queries for this column, write to culturama@globaladjustments.com 68

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Space & The City

Global Adjustments Easing your passage to and from India

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Space & The City

Global Adjustments Easing your passage to and from India

Owners, list your property with us for MNC clients. Renters and buyers, we are your one-stop shop for all real estate needs.

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For more such properties, call Global Adjustments at 91 44 24617902/9551695968 (Chennai), or e-mail: realty@globaladjustments.com Please note that any changes to the information above are done at the property owner’s sole discretion. Global Adjustments assumes no responsibility for such changes.

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RNI NO.TNENG/2010/32752

REGISTERED No. TN/CC(S) Dn./396/10-12


May 2012 Issue