Guyana Times Sunday Magazine

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Sunday March 5, 2017


Star Times Bollywood:

Anil Kapoor: ‘Indian film industry works in chaotic way’ See story on page 14



Centennial of the Abolition of Indian Indentureship

Endings are also beginnings Page 7

Commemorating the Centennial of Abolition of Indian Indentureship The The East ancient Indian tradition presence of gudna Page 2

Guyana’s stamps

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2 Sunday Times Magazine

MARCH 5, 2017

Times Feature

Ashook Ramsaran at Kolkata Memorial By Ashook Ramsaran


ndian indentureship followed British emancipation of slaves in 1834. The urgent need for labour in the British plantations across the world necessitated a system which could provide continuous flow of cheap labour from India with its abundant availability. It was an intense and harrowing period of Indian migration to faraway lands of then British colonies, on the basis of an indentureship contract with very strict terms and conditions, rosy promises and hope for a better livelihood. March 20, 2017 marks the centennial of the official abolition of Indian indentureship, an era spanning the years 1834-1917. The majority of those labourers came from the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The journey beginning in 1834 from Kolkata and Chennai (Madras) to plantations in the colonies was the beginning of wholesale Indian labour as a commodity for profit and new multi-ethnic colonies, many contentious at times. The history and consequences of Indian indentureship are deeply embedded with tremendous significance, importance, meaningful history and reflections to millions of descendants living in many countries which were the recipients of Indian Indentured labourers seeking better livelihoods. These countries included: Mauritius, Fiji,

Malaysia, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Jamaica, Belize and other countries of the Caribbean, as well as former French colonies of Reunion Island, Seychelles, Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana. The 100th anniversary of the abolition of Indian indentureship is a fitting recognition and honoured tribute to those who made the hazardous journey, endured unexpected hardships and achieved beyond expectations. The descendants of Indian indentureship have achieved through hard work, thrift and resilience, and progressed in all segments of society in their countries of birth, as well as in countries of adoption by those who have made second journeys. Indian heritage is a powerful asset in the Indian diaspora that some other colonial powers marginalized persons of Indian origin curbing cultural observances and by making it difficult to maintain cultural traditions; despite such efforts, those Indians persevered and sought more to preserve and protect Indian by culture, heritage and values, and survived and remained vibrant. Indian heritage has undoubtedly influenced our lives and in time, we have also influenced the lives of others (non-Indians) in our midst. Visible examples include Gadar movement spawned and encouraged others in diaspora countries in their struggle for their independence; Gandhi as model of tolerance and perseverance for those seeking peace,

civil rights and equality in U.S.A., South Africa and other countries; celebration and general acceptance of Holi (Phagwah) and Diwali by non-Indians. Courage, reliance, determination, thrift and hard work, competitiveness, faith reverence and respect – hallmarks of “Indianness” derived from culture, heritage and values that are maintained, nurtured and remain with us beyond the shores of India. As a precaution, it behoves us to take steps to promote and preserve Indian culture, heritage and values among the younger generation in the diaspora who could be easily swayed by the influences of technology, mobility and inter-marriage - lest the diaspora wanes in these attributes that are serving it well. The Indian Diaspora Council, in collaboration with its global affiliates and many prominent and well established organizations and institutions in various countries, is coordinating a series of high profile global events to mark the centennial of abolition of Indian indentureship befitting of this historic occasion. The big finale is the Indian Diaspora World Convention 2017, a series of events marking the 100th anniversary commemoration of abolition of Indian indentureship,from March 17 to March 20, 2017 in Trinidad & Tobago. The convention’s theme is "Centennial of Abolition of Indian Indentureship: End of an Era of Indian Migration &

Indian Arrival Monument in Trinidad

Embarking on New Frontiers and Achievements”. Events are planned for India, Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, South Africa, Netherlands, France and UK. This historic milestone in the journey of people of Indian origin who left India generations ago is another significant marker of their journey to other lands seeking better livelihoods. In recognition of this milestone, a commemoration monument is to be unveiled on March 20, 2017 in the City of Chaguanas in Trinidad & Tobago. This monument would be following the

highly acclaimed Kolkata Memorial, Kolkata, India (2011) in recognition of all of those who left India as indentures during the period 1834-1917; Indian Arrival Monuments in Highbury and Monument Gardens in Georgetown, Guyana (1913); Indian Arrival Monument at Waterloo-by-the-Sea in Trinidad & Tobago on May 29, 2014; and several similar markers in Mauritius, Reunion Island, Guadeloupe and other countries impacted by Indian indentureship. We are always reminded of the Indian indenturedlabourers and their pioneering spirit, determination, persis-

Highbury monument in Berbice

tence and endurance under extremely harsh conditions. While survival must have been the primary concern, they persevered to maintain their sense of origin, traditions, culture and religion. Their children, grandchildren and following generations will always take pride in this unique accomplishment, recognizing and appreciating the sacrifices and achievements made on their behalf. We also recognize the invaluable contributions they have made to the diverse culture and economic development of these many lands far away from their ancestral home. On Indian Arrival Day 2015 in Guyana, I remarked that “our ancestors came here partially by choice, many forced but resolved and persevered under very difficult and harrowing conditions. That shared experience, that saga of shared history, fostered an unusual kindred spirit of resolve, togetherness and kinship – a triumph over obstacles and difficulties with dreams and aspirations of a destiny intertwined by history and fate. We pay homage to those who came before us – from Kolkata, Madras, Madeira, Macao, Gambia and Congo. We have roots in India, Africa, China, Portugal and the Americas, yet we have nurtured stronger roots here, moulded in this land, from whence the descendants have gone to other lands and established themselves with remarkable successes. Such is the special nature of a Guyanese – making it better with each journey, looking for opportunities and excelling in pursuits”.

MARCH 5, 2017

Sunday Times Magazine


Times Feature


t’s an interesting footnote that the end of Indian indentureship had its genesis in the politics of India rather than any struggle in the countries to which Indians had been shipped since 1834. The governments of those colonies were all heavily influenced by their sugar planters who desperately wanted an uninterrupted supply of the indentured to continue depressing wages. In fact, after immigration ended in Guyana in 1917, the government and planters sent a delegation of Guyanese-Indian leaders to India to solicit support for a new scheme to supply cheap labour. In India, the Indian National Congress (INC) had been formed in 1885 by British and Indian members of the Theosophical Society to encourage “dialogue” between “educated” Indians and the Indian Government. According to an 1832 policy enunciated by Macaulay, the “education” promised to create “brown Englishmen”. The graduates assumed they would be treated like white Englishmen individually; and collectively, as members of the British Empire. Consequently, they soon argued for Swaraj for India along the lines accorded to Australia and South Africa. The gap between the


ctober 2 is Gandhi’s birthday. When you can refer to someone by just his last name and yet most people in the world know who you are referring to, there has to be good reason. Most know Gandhi because of his introduction of “civil disobedience” – he called it satyagraha or “truth force” – as a form of struggle for justice. He is also associated with the struggle for India’s independence, which was a seminal event for all the other British colonies, including the then British Guiana. But not so well known is that Gandhi was also associated with the events that led to the abolition of indentureship as is alluded to in the previous article. Gandhi had been hired as a lawyer by a wealthy businessman in South Africa (SA), part of a 5,000-strong mostly Muslim community that had migrated there from Bombay. This community stayed aloof from the “indentured Indians” who were recruited to work on plantations –- or

Labourers on a sugar estate (Circa 1905)

promise and the reality, however, precipitated a split of the INC in 1905 between “Moderates”, led by Gokhale – who continued to “believe”, and “Extremists” led by Tilak who didn’t. Indentured Indians entered the picture through the backdoor when Gandhi, who had gone as a lawyer to South Africa in 1893 in the employ of some Gujrati merchants, was unceremoniously kicked off a train for believing he could travel first class like whites. It was only gradually after the indentured spontaneously joined Gandhi’s pro-

test that the latter’s eyes opened up to the plight of the former: rather not being treated like whites, their very humanity was denied. As racism was exposed through its extreme “apartheid” form a hundred years later, South Africa helped to make more “educated” Indians in India aware of their naïveté in aspiring to be “British”, through information supplied by Gandhi, who was in touch with Gokhale. Ironically, Gandhi accepted a system in which white British persons were seen as being “better” than

Indians, who were to be loyal “helpers”. Gokhale initially saw indentureship as hindering Indians being accepted as British because the “coolies” were not distinguished from “other” (read “educated”) Indians. He sought amelioration of the conditions under which the coolie laboured and only called for the abolition of indentureship to Natal as a tactical measure, after the government of Natal imposed restrictions on the movement of “free” Indians. Abolition there was achieved in 1911. In 1912 Gokhale ex-

in the case of South Africa – also in the mines – except to sell them “goods”. These two sets of Indians occupied separate worlds – socially, culturally and politically – and it was only when the two intersected through personal experiences of Gandhi that their commonality of interests was briefly glimpsed. We have recounted how Gandhi was thrown off a train at the insistence of a white Briton shortly after his arrival in South Africa. The newly minted Londontrained lawyer insisted as a “British subject”, he had the right to the first class seat he had bought. These and other actions problematized Gandhi’s assumptions about what he had been taught about the “benefits” of India being in the British Empire. Shortly after the train humiliation, Gandhi encountered the indentured world. As he recounted it: “A Tamil man in tattered clothes, headgear in hand, two front teeth missing and mouth bleeding, stood before

me, trembling and weeping.” And elsewhere the “hat in hand” anecdote is repeated – clearly as a trope for his shaken premise on “Britishness”: “… Balasundaram entered my office, headgear in hand. There was a particular pathos about the circumstance which also showed our humiliation. I have already narrated the incident when I was asked to take off my turban. A practice had been forced upon the very indentured labourer and every stranger to take off his headgear, when visiting European, whether the headgear was a cap, turban or scarf wrapped round the head. A salute even with both hands was not sufficient.” Balasundaram’s case exposed the inequities indentured endured even though they were supposedly protected by a contract – the “agreement” they tried to uphold from their side scrupulously. Eventually after a great effort Gandhi gets Balasundaram transferred

to another employer but now understood how SA’s institutions such as the magistracy were stacked against the indentured. In 1896 on a visit to Bombay, Gandhi produced a 15,000-word tract on the problems of Indians – merchants, free and indentured in South Africa. He complained bitterly that the Bombay merchants are called “Coolie Traders” and not treated much better than the indentured. He earned some notoriety from the whites when he returned to SA but at the same time much goodwill from the indentured Indians. Between 1907 when Gandhi launched his first satyagraha campaign to 1914 when he left South Africa, even though most of the issues were peripheral to their plight, indentured Indians formed the bulk of the protesters. As recounted before, he provided his mentor Gokhale in the Indian Legislative Council with information on the conditions in South Africa. In 1912,

tended his call to the entire system of Indentureship and other members of the Congress, such as Madan Mohan Malaviya took up the cause. By this time, the harsh conditions in other colonies, especially in Fiji, were made known in India, and the “ban on indentureship” became a nationwide cause célèbre. In fact, it was the one issue that brought together the two factions of Congress and also the Muslim League, under Mohamed Ali Jinnah, which had also withdrawn. For one brief historical moment, Indian indentured

labour brought modern Indians in India together. On March 20, 1916, after Gokhale had passed away and Gandhi returned to India (both in 1915), Malaviya introduced a motion in the Indian Legislature for the cessation of indentureship. Governor General Hardinge agreed in principle but the India Office back in Britain, under Chamberlain balked. He insisted that a new method of supplying labour to the colonies had to be found. By this time, however, most ships ferrying the indentured had been commandeered to the (WWI) war effort and the recruitment was also competing with enlistment efforts of the Indian army. Already under fire for a bungled campaign by that Indian-dominated army in Mesopotamia, Chamberlain did not want to face further attacks from the Government of India. On March 12, 1917, he authorised the Government of India to issue orders under the Defence of India Act to stop recruitment, and the same day an order was made in the Legislative Council. Two weeks earlier, the last ship, the SS Ganges had sailed to British Guiana and Trinidad. On Jan 1, 1920, the system was abolished completely.

Gandhi as a young lawyer in South-Africa, 1906

the latter called for the complete abolition of indentureship. When this was finally achieved in 1917, Gandhi suggested that satyagraha had “hastened the end”. These has been a steady stream of revisionist accounts of Gandhi’s life – including his 21-year stay in South Africa – especially as they relate to Gandhi’s relations with both inden-

tured Indians and Native Africans. But we have to remember that while Gandhi was ahead of his times on human rights in many regards – we cannot judge him totally by present standards. He was a “Mahatma” – a great Soul – not a Paramatman – the Supreme Soul.


Sunday Times Magazine

MARCH 5, 2017

Times Feature

Guyana’s stamps

With the 1838 arrival of the first East Indian labourers from India – more widely known then as the “Gladstone coolies” under the system of indentureship, Guyana’s political, social, cultural and economic landscape was forever altered and transformed. The system of indentureship lasted until 1917, some 100 years ago, when it was abolished and the East Indian presence became permanently established by those who chose to remain on and whose foreparents had chosen to remain on what was then the colony of British Guiana. Since their arrival, East Indians have faced many challenges to their economic, political and individual

security to become of significant importance to now independent Guyana. Today, many descendants of East Indian indentured immigrants have found an illustrious place in Guyana’s history. Indeed, the East Indians have helped provide a unique Guyanese culture that has been commemorated in many ways over the years. One such way is on national stamps of Guyana. As we observe the centenary of the abolition of indentureship, we look at Guyana stamps that have been issued to acknowledge East Indians of Guyana and their culture.

Observing the anniversary of the Islamic Qur’an (1968)


uyana’s stamps feature both East Indian personalities of great significance as well as East Indian religious festivals. In addition, stamps reflecting the India Motherland have also been issued. During the colonisation of Guyana by Britain, no stamps were printed to depict the East Indian presence – perhaps one can argue though that the 1954 British Guiana six and eight cents stamps, illustrating the rice industry and sugar industry respectfully, reflected the importance of the now traditional East Indian agricultural contribution. It would not be until three years after Guyana’s 1966 independence that the East Indian presence was recognized with four 1969 stamps depicting the East Indian Hindu festival of Phagwah, in six-cent, 25, 30 and 40-cent denominations. The stamps are said to be two different illustrations of “Lord Krishna celebrating the festival with gopis” in 6 and 30-cent and 30 and 40cent pairs. (The gopis are a group of cow herding girls renowned within Vaishnava Theology for their unconditional devotion (Bhakti) to Krishna as described in the stories of Bhagavata Purana and other Puranic literatures, according to one source). However, it may also be argued that the 1968 “Al Qur’an” stamp (six cents), which commemorated the 1400th anniversary of the Holy Quran of the Muslim religion, may represent the first acknowledgement of an East Indian presence, since many East Indian Muslim workers arrived in Guyana during the indentureship period – though scholars do point out that some African slaves may have had an Islamic heritage when they were forced into slavery and shipped to then British Guiana generations earlier. In 1972, five-cent, 25, 30 and 60-cent “Youman Nabi” stamps in observance of the birthday of the Muslim Prophet Muhammed were issued, again apparently in recognition of the predominantly East Indian Muslim population in Guyana. Then in 1976, in honouring the Hindu religious festival of Deepavali (Diwali), four stamps were issued. The 8-cent stamp depicted “Flame in Archway”; the 15-cent a “Flame in hand” and the 35-cent “Flame in a Diya”; the “Goddess Latchmi” was illustrated on the 60-cent stamp in the final of the four-series issue. Guyana has always is-

Commemorating Phagwah (1969)

sued stamps of famous persons, from presidents to famous personalities in Guyana and around the world. However, especially in the earlier years, stamps depicting famous East Indian Guyanese were few to none. There was a 1969, sixcent Guyana stamp of the

Trade Union founder Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow (1979). It wasn’t until 1993 that significant Indian Guyanese were honoured by the Guyana Post Office. Guyanese statesman Sir Shridath Ramphal received the Order of the Caribbean Community, and in November a $7.65

Guyana stamp featuring cricket star Shivnarine Chandrapaul (2011)

world-revered Indian social activist Mahatma Gandhi – “Gandhi and the Spinning wheel”, celebrating the birth centenary of Gandhi.Many other world famous nonGuyanese have since been featured on Guyana stamp issues. The few Guyanese include former president Burnham (from 1970) and

stamp in his honour was issued, “First Recipients of the Order of the Caribbean Community”. Sir Shridath was again featured in a 1994 stamp for the Order of the Caribbean Community.In Dec 1993, the now late President Cheddi Jagan received his first illustration on a Guyana

stamp; the $6.40 stamp was issued in commemoration of his first anniversary as president, after the 1992 general elections that brought him to rule. President Jagan was also featured in 1997 in commemorative editions of the 50th anniversary of Jagan in Parliament ($6) and with former American President Clinton on the latter’s visit to the Caribbean that same year ($30 and $100). Others stamps to follow are sparse and few between but include world famous West Indian cricketer: Guyanese batsman Rohan Kanhai in 1993 ($50) and in the year 2000 ($100). Later Indo-Guyanese batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was honoured with a $100 stamp issued in 2011. In 1995, as the Queenstown Jama Masjid celebrated its centenary, a$60 stamp picturing the mosque was issued. Then in 2014, Indian Guyanese Sandra Persaud was one of several Guyanese women featured in a “Women in Aviation” Guyana stamp issue. Persaud, who joined the aviation industry in 1973, was depicted in the $80 stamp and with another female Guyanese, Paula McAdams, on the $150 edition. Guyana also featured a “Sites and Scenes” of India stamp edition in 2011 that illustrates religious, historical and natural places of the ancestors of the East Indian Guyanese today; people who brought a proud and rich heritage thousands of miles to leave in the care of descendants who remain steadfast to their culture. For more information on this stamp theme or topic, go online or visit the Guyana Post Office or the Guyana Philatelic Society or its website.

Honouring the religious festival of Diwali (1976)

MARCH 5, 2017

Sunday Times Magazine 5

Times Feature

Savitri's 'gudna' is of her husband's name


hen our Indian ancestors came to Guyana as indentured labourers, they brought with them age-old traditions that were passed down from generation to generation. Locally, most of these traditions are dying off, so there is a need to learn and record these ancient customs today. One such dying tradition in Guyana is the gudna. For hundreds if not thousands of years, India has maintained a rich cultural heritage of tattooing, called gudna, (which translates “burying the needle”) in Hindi. Although the exact date of the history of tattooing art in India has not been established due to lack of records on the custom, information as far back as 1910 suggests that tattooing was popular from Punjab to Assam to Madhya Pradesh to Orissa to the states down south. To find out more about this ancient tradition of tattooing for married women, Sunday Times Magazine interviewed 75-year-old Savitri Bisram who resides in Herstelling, East Bank Demerara. She proudly showcased her gudna, as

Savitri with her husband and relatives on her wedding day

she called it, to this publication. Savitri said she got married when she was 17 years old; an arranged marriage. She recalled not being afraid to get married to a man chosen by her parents, nor did she object to the arrangement because, according to her: “...what your parents tell you to do you have to follow”. Her husband died in 1976, and Savitri never remarried. She raised their eight children alone – the oldest is now about 54 years old. Viewing her reaction to the question of remarriage was admirable. It was an unthinkable question to her because “You marry one person only”. The gudna embedded on Savitri’s inner right arm displays a greeting in Hindi and ‘Bisram’, her late husband’s name, just under it. She recalled getting it when she got married and came to her husband’s home. She noted that the gudna is specifically done by a Hindu religious man. Though she cannot recall who told her she must get a gudna, she remembers seeing it on the hands of females in her family, includ-

ing her mother and motherin-law. Savitri was told that if she did not get the gudna, then her in-laws would not eat or drink from her. She added that it was a sign of respect and commitment to her husband. Sunday Magazine also spoke to Judith Deosarran, who is a Christian but grew up in a Hindu household. She said that her “grand father-in-law”, who came to British Guiana from India to work as an indentured servant, did not accept food served by her because she does not have a gudna. However, he would still eat what she cooked, but took it out himself. She said he did not tell her the reason for his refusal, but “older people” told her the reason is she does not have a gudna. Judith disclosed she never liked how a gudna looked (seeing it on her mother’s hand) and so decided not to get one. Guyanese-American journalist/author Gaiutra Bahadur, who penned “Coolie Woman”, recalled on her website cooliewoman. com that she met “a woman nearly a century old, born to indentured parents in plantation barracks in Guiana”

who told her about “a tattoo that new brides were inked with in northeast India, called Sita ki Rasoi, or “Sita’s Kitchen”. “She told me that she couldn’t cook for her in-laws without it. And sure enough, “The Popular Religion and Folk-Lore of Northern India: Volume 2”, an ethnography written in 1896, confirmed that brides in northeast India could not cook for their in-laws without being inked with the tattoo. That the practice continued for generations in the Caribbean, far from the villages where it began, speaks to an enduring cultural commitment to family and tradition. Apparently, the subaltern body could speak, in the case of indentured women. Their vow of housewifely devotion was written on their very bodies,” Bahadur explained. From speaking to several other older women, it seems that in Guyana the tradition of tattooing a husband’s name/initials on a married Indian (Hindu) woman’s arms is solely known as gudna. Anything other than husbands’ names/initials are simply known as “tattoos”.

Savitri Bisram proudly shows off her 'gudna'

6 Sunday Times Magazine

MARCH 5, 2017

Times Book World The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

By Petamber Persaud

Centennial End to Indentureship

Part IV

(“Centenary History of the East Indians of British Guiana, 18381938”, by Peter Ruhomon with a Foreword by then Governor, Sir Gordon Lethem, first published in 1947 by the Daily Chronicle’s ‘Guiana Edition’, reprinted in 1988 by the 150th Anniversary Committee of the Arrival of Indian in Guyana May 5, 1838.)


he “Centenary History of East Indians of British Guiana” covers the hundred-year period from 1838 – the beginning of indentureship in Guyana - to 1938 when the centenary of the arrival was celebrated with much pomp and dignity. According to Ruhomon “the celebration was …marked with the pomp and circumstance befitting the occasion and the great event it was intended to commemorate.” Although there was no public holiday, despite efforts to obtain public recognition, activities were centred in the city and around the country. “The first event of the day took place in the spacious pavilion of the East Indian Cricket Club…” presided over by Governor Sir Wilfred Jackson who, in his remarks, declared “that the advent of the East Indian settler had been a decisive factor in determing (sic) the lines of development and thus shaping the destiny of the Country”.

was some seventeen years in the making indicates the thoroughness with which the author approached the task, taking pains to avoid pitfalls that plagued historians before him. Ruhomon was always questioning the text and so he was able to find answers that were deliberately hidden. In his introduction he declared “as I peered into the musty records of the past, the drama slowly unfolded before my eyes in all its luridness and vividness of details; with the tragic happenings that have punctuated the course of our long and chequered history, our aspirations and strivings through cloud and sunshine, through hopes and despairs, through joys and sorrows; the influences that operated to shape our life as a community; and present position in which we now find ourselves and our prospects in the great future that lies ahead of us”. The-then Governor of the colony, Sir Gordon Lethem, was in full support of the work as he declared in the foreword:“… the compilation of the historical facts recorded in his book is the result of praiseworthy employment of much of his leisure time”. Sir Lethem in that foreword made a magnanimous observation that “Mr. Ruhomon’s book…should be a useful addition to the literature of British Guiana and especially to that section relating to the Indians of British Guiana which up to now has not received the attention The hundred-year-period history included the end of indentureship in 1917 with the recording of events adjourned at the year 1938 but not before the author was able to lay the foundation of an exciting future as alluded to in the book’s final chapter titled, ‘The Close of a Century’ where the “people who from the toil and moil of a new slavery had emerged into the light of a new day”! The ‘new day’ unfolded in academic texts and fictional accounts published by writers after 1947. A few of the scholarship on the Indian presence in Guyana would include “The Weston Trial” by Dr. Cheddi Jagan, first published by Michael Joseph Limited, London in 1966;“A Historyof Indians in British Guiana” by Dwarka Nath, London 1970; “Indiansin Guyana” by Basdeo Mangru, Adams Press, Chicago, Illinois 2000;“Tigerin the Stars, The Anatomy of Indian Achievement in BG 1919 -1929”, by Clem Seecharan, Macmillan Education Ltd., 1997;“The Settlementof Indians in Guyana 1890 – 1930” by Dale Bisnauth, Peepal Tree Press, 2000, and others. So Ruhomon’s book is a seminal work in this area of study. This history by Peter Ruhomon is a well-researched work evidenced in the details with whichissues are ventilated and supported by official records. That it

from the literati of the Colony which is deserves”. It was not until the 1960s that we see works of fictional and autobiographical representations of Indo-Guyanese lives written by Indo-Guyanese. Before then we had nothing giving us an insight into the inner feelings, ways of seeing or even the intimate social texture of Indo-Guyanese lives. The book is made up of twenty-three chapters, a preface to the second printing, a foreword, an introduction, a few illustrations and photographs and an index, designed to satisfy the lay reader’s search for the facts and to inspire the academics to further scholarship. Although each chapter is important to the whole, some chapters could stand on their own like ‘Emancipation and its effects on the labour situation’, ‘Plantation life’, ‘Land settlements’, ‘The Rice Industry’, ‘Political awakening’, ‘Social Movements’ and ‘Tragic events of the century’ tabulating Indian resistance, all of which were designed for us to appreciate the Indian presence in Guyana. Responses to this author telephone (592) 226-0065 or email: What’s Happening: Coming soon a new pocketbook “Guyanese Writers of Indian Ancestry”

MARCH 5, 2017

Sunday Times Magazine 7

Times Feature

Centennial of the Abolition of Indian Indentureship

Endings are also beginnings


long-standing debate about freedom and equality shaped the official decisions that ended indentured labour. Judgments about the conditions of indentured labour could not help but be affected by the changing consensus about what legitimately constituted free labour in other contexts. Conditions conceived as "free labour" in one time and place were denounced as "slavery" at a later time or another place. To be sure, changing perceptions were strongly influenced by the grim realities of some systems of indentured labour.However, the final end of the indentured labour migrations was not simply the result of its perception as an unacceptable limitation of human freedom. The rise of strong expressions of nationalism in China and India also served to hasten the end of inden-

Principal overseas indentured migrations, 1834-1919 (routes approximate)

tured labour. Like the abolition of slavery in British colonies eight decades earlier, the

cessation of indentured labour from British India was achieved through a combination high idealism and

BG Ball Field, British Guiana. Atkinson Field Service Club in background (Family - Wallace in the Army 1945 to 1946)

Roadside market at a Demerara sugar estate n.d.

practical politics. This does not diminish the lustre of either accomplishment. But it would be equally wrong to ignore many other instances where high-minded rhetoric about the end of indentured labour masked a racist agenda. By the beginning of the twentieth century the growing numbers of non-Europeans out of indenture and their competition for jobs brought the governments of these now hybrid societies to adopt overtly racialist labour and immigration policies. One trend was to restrict the ability of end-of-term non-European migrants to compete politically and economically with European settlers by limiting their legal status and numbers. In late nineteenth-century Queensland debate about the morality of indentured labour went hand in hand with the promotion of European labour at the expense of Pacific islanders. Consideration of the changing economic conditions also serves to diminish the lustre of an explanation of the end of indentured labour that relies too much on reform as a motive. In the midst of the sugar crisis of the 1890s a major British commission, voicing concern that the continued importation of indentured Indian labour to British Guiana and Trinidad could impose a heavy burden on colonial treasuries for their repatriation if the economy eroded any further, recommended the phasing out of new imports, especially in light of the substantial populations the trade had built up there. The fact that Indian labour imports were already

declining in several overseas locations (and had even ceased in Mauritius) made it much easier for the forces favouring the trade's abolition to succeed. The long-term cultural and demographic effects of indentured migration varied greatly. In some places the migrants' influence declined quickly after the trade ended.In some places, indentured migrants and their descendants blended into other population groups. If the vitality of migrant groups diminished in some lands, in many others their presence remained evident to even the most casual observer. East Indians replaced Africans as the largest part of the population in British Guiana, Mauritius, Reunion, and Dutch Guiana, in time becoming the majority in the first three. In 1871 there were nearly 17,000 unindentured Indians resident in Trinidad (61 per cent of the Indian community), 10,000 in British Guiana (23 per cent), and 134,000 in Mauritius (61 per cent). By 1910-11 the number of Indians not under indenture had grown to 96,000 in Trinidad (89 per cent), almost 118,000 in British Guiana (93 per cent), and 258,000 in Mauritius (100 per cent). In all three colonies, most Indians remained rural residents, working on their own or other persons' land. Even in the early 1960s, 87 per cent of Indians in British Guiana were rural as were 80 per cent of the Hindus and 57 per cent of the Indo-Muslims of Mauritius, far higher than other segments of these populations. This situation reflected the Indians' strong preference for becoming rural landowners as well as their more limited opportunities for advancement in these colonies. Moreover, Indian communities did not consider schools as means of social mobility until well into the twentieth century.The explanation partly reflects the absence of a literate tradition among most Indian migrants,who, as rural residents, also had limited access to schools. Cultural differences seem to have played an important role as well: long after the end of indenture most Indians remained aloof from both European and African cultures and tended to define career aspirations within the limits of caste status.

Compared with East Asian migrants, both Hindu and Muslim Indians seem to have been more fearful of the cultural destructiveness of the Christian-dominated educational systems in their new homes. While the new Asian communities differed substantially in the direction and speed of their cultural evolution, they nevertheless shared some common features. All formed part of distinctly "plural societies," societies with sharply denned communities distinguished by "racial" and ethnic identities and, less rigidly, by cultural norms. Naturally, degrees of cleavage varied. Contrasts within Indian communities were notable.Even closely situated Indian communities in the Caribbean developed in quite different ways, often in complete ignorance of each other's existence. V. S. Naipaul, himself descended from indentured Indian migrants to Trinidad, expressed great surprise at learning during a 1961 visit to Martinique that there had been a large indentured Indian migration there in the nineteenth century (of whose descendants only four or five thousand remained). Another way to assess the legacy of indentured migration is to consider what replaced it as a labour system. As with the legacy of the migrants themselves, this is a vast subject. Like the end of slavery, the end of indentured labour was less a sharp break with the past than a redirecting of the forces that produced it under a new legal mandate in a partially altered economy. The demand for migrant labour was certainly not over, though in many of the largest importing colonies the indentured migration had created a sufficient demographic base. [In the 20th century] The demand for guest workers has been a feature of maturing industrial economies and of modern agrobusiness, sometimes with patterns of ill-treatment reminiscent of indentured labour. Indentured migrants' motives in emigrating, the voyages that carried them, and their struggles to establish a new life once their contract was over, do resemble those of “free” migrants and deserve to be included in that larger story. (From: “Indentured labour in the age of imperialism, 1834-1922” by David Northrup. 1995) (Cover

photo: In rememberance of those who crossed the Kala Pani and never returned)

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Times Feature


he late Lakshmi Kallicharan was a Guyanese of East Indian descent who transcended racial boundaries to see Guyanese culture as a national whole rather than “Indian”, “African”, “Indigenous” “Chinese”, “Portuguese” or “Mixed” divisions of ethnicity, despite her own steadfast adherence to her East Indian heritage.

An expert in IndoGuyanese culture, Lakshmi Kallicharan was also extremely knowledgeable about Indo-Guyanese history, and became one of the premier minds in Guyana at the time; one to whom many turned to learn of the IndoGuyanese experience. With a degree in sociology from the University of Guyana where she had

worked as a librarian, she is also described as a researcher and cultural pioneer. Her contribution to Indian cultural awareness began in the 1970s with her first show “Lalla-Rookh”, (the name of the heroine in a romance book by Thomas Moore (1817) of the same name, and also the name of a ship that carried Indian indentured immigrants to

Suriname in 1873). She sometimes singlehandedly produced Indian cultural shows; particularly remembered is her one-woman cultural exhibition in the 1980 commemorations for Indian indentureship. She organized a unique photographic exhibition on Indo-Guyanese artefacts and history. All this at a time in Guyanese history when Indian culture and heritage were not socially encouraged. Ms Kallicharan would become a talented radio and television producer and also organized Indian dance and musical entertainment concerts. She is remembered by some for introducing Guyana’s national Chutney competition during the Mashramani season. She is also remembered for a controversy – of a former minister’s making however– when he requested that she develop a strategy for IndoGuyanese inclusion in the season, on the premise that they were to some extent excluded from the celebrations. Lakshmi Kallicharran was involved in IndoGuyanese literature as well, penning an anthology of Indo-Guyanese poetry in her 1986 publication “Shraadanjali” (meaning “Tributes”) along with co-editing “They Came in Ships” (1998) with Ian McDonald, Lloyd Searwar and the late Joel Benjamin. A book, also an anthology, on IndoGuyanese poetry and prose, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of the arrival of East Indians in Guyana. For many, Lakshmi Kallicharran was also instrumental in bringing awareness and pride to Hindu religion and culture, wearing her traditional saris and similar ethnic wear to national events, both formal and informal; defying and overturning western-grown ideas of a shameful, “primitive” or “pagan” heritage. But she was also noted for her dedication to ensuring all Guyanese understood and appreciated their multiculturalism. Writing for her obituary, Professor Vibert Cambridge of the School of Telecommunication and African American Studies at Ohio University noted: that “Central to the development of my appreciation for Guyana's multiculturalism is Laxhmie Kallicharran.” He recalled too that while working as an education officer at the Kimbia Training Centre in 1976, Ms Kallicharan arrived to evaluate the books in the library there; according to Dr Cambridge, “She wanted to see if our collection was representative of Guyana's her-

Laxhmie Kallicharran (Photo: Queens Chronicle)

itage and was supportive of the nation's ambitions for the future.” Lakshmi Kallicharan was not only a cultural activist but an independent woman who, in her teenage years was said to be seen driving her family’s Austin Mini Minor in an era when women drivers were scarce because of limiting social restrictions for women and young girls. A later divorcee, she is said to have credited her individuality to a grandmother who lived on her own at a time when such a single life would have been frowned upon. Ms Kallicharran was also described as a mentor to several persons, both local and overseas. Born Latchmie Kumarie Vainmati Kallicharran on June 5, 1951, the daughter of a Hindu pandit and a housewife, Lakshmi Kallicharan grew up in Berbice and attended the Berbice Educational Institute in New Amsterdam, before attending UG and working there in the 70s; settling in Georgetown. Researchers would find various spellings of her name – as no doubt observed as well in this article. From Latchmie to Laxhmie, Lakshmi, Lachmee or Laxhmi, even the 1998 an-

thology spells her name differently on the cover and in its introduction. Perhaps to some a reflection of the Anglicization of her name and to others the search for authenticity of the Hindu name. But that in no way detracts from her remarkable life and work in bringing awareness to Indo-Guyanese culture. In January 2002, Lakshmi Kallicharran died tragically in a fire at her Kitty, Georgetown home. She was just 50 years old; no doubt too soon for her tasks to have been completed. She was cremated on February 1 after a national funeral service was held at the Umana Yana on Jan 31. A tribute to honour the “cultural ambassador” was held on Feb 2 at the Shri Trimurti Bhavan in South Ozone Park, New York, USA, where she was wellknown and respected. Indo-Guyanese and multicultural Guyana have truly lost a cultural icon who must be remembered on this 100th anniversary of the ending of Indian indentureship. A system that led to her gracing us with her life here in Guyana.

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Times Feature

Recollections of Indentureship

much less clothes? Incidentally, Britain became the largest drug dealers up to the present, where the opium – up to 800 tons annually – were shipped to China so that the British could buy Chinese tea. Between the Bengal famine of 1768 and the end of indentureship in 1917, con-


Under the British, India suffered countless famines. But the worst hit was Bengal The first of these was in 1770, followed by severe ones in 1783, 1866, 1873, 1892

etween 1838 and 1917, 239,000 Indians were brought as “indentured labourers” for the sugar plantations of Guyana – and a like number to the West Indies. The question arises as to why these persons left their country when their custom forbade “crossing the “Black Waters” (Kala Pani)”. The short answer is structurally, it was ultimately a matter of life and death. While indentured labour might be seen as a transitory passage of human labour from chattel slavery to the so called “free labour” of today, the conditions that herded Indians into that option were man made. The sugar planters had no faith that free Africans would sell their labour at a rate to make sugar profitable. They therefore actively sought a new supply that would guarantee such cheap labour on demand. But where would such rates that could not attract freed slaves be a “pull factor” for indentureship?

The answer was British India. The story begins in 1757 when the troops of the British East India Company captured Bengal from the Moguls and completed their inexorable conquest of the legendarily rich India within 50 years. Less than a decade later – between 1768 and 1771 from Bengal andeastern Bihar (from where most Guyanese immigrants originated) – more than 10 million persons: one third of the population – died from a “famine”. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, the farmers that supplied the bulk of the population with foodstuff were forced by the British into producing cash crops for export – even while they were forced to pay onerous taxes at the threat of death and violence. We quote the words of then British Governor, Warren Hastings who boasted to the home office: “Notwithstanding the loss of at least one-third of the

inhabitants of the province, and the consequent decrease of the cultivation, the nett collections of the year 1771 exceeded even those of I768… It was naturally to be expected that the diminution of the revenue should have kept an equal pace with the other consequences of so great a calamity. That it did not was owing to its being violently kept up to its former standard.” The cash crops the farmers were forced to grow included cotton, opium, indigo and, as described above, this was simply to keep paying off the extortionate demands of the British who exported rice and wheat even during the famines. Millions were also thrown out of work when the British forbade Indian weavers from producing cotton yarn and the cotton fabrics that had enthralled Europe. Henceforth, only cotton woven by British looms could be sold in India! Where were the weavers to get the money to buy food

Roadside on a sugar plantation, British Guiana (no date)

servatively, more than 54 million Indians perished from famine. In the book Late Victorian Holocausts (2001) Mike Davis describes how Viceroy Lord Lytton, insisted that wheat be exported to England. In 1877 and 1878, at the height of the famine, when 10.3 million persons perished, grain

merchants exported a record 800,000 tons of wheat and 1.9 million tons of rice. As the peasants began to starve, officials were ordered “to discourage relief works in every possible way”. And this is why the upsurge of indentured Indians correlated with the Britishinduced famines.

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Times Feature

Devendra Bishoo B y R avi M adholall


hivnarine Chanderpaul’s auspicious start to international cricket at the famous and now abandoned Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground Bourda in 1994 was a continuation of the Indian’s contribution to both Guyana and West Indies cricket. After twenty consecutive years, the 42-year-old stalwart Chanderpaul has undoubtedly made Guyana proud. An epic career that was certainly admirable in the coveted maroon colours! Chanderpaul, the elegant left-hander, surged to one of Guyana’s most distinguished

batsmen to have graced the cricketing field. He joined another man with an illustrious career for Guyana and by extension West Indies, Berbician Rohan Kanhai. In comparison to Chanderpaul’s talent and his predictable accomplishments, Kanhai’s won the battle of great admirers for his flamboyance and his trademark on-the-back sweep-shot that made him a unique legendary with the display. Kanhai only went about 79 tests whereas Chanderpaul featured in an incredible 164 games. From the beginning Chanderpaul trekked out as a diminutive batsman only to churn out a debut half-century (62) against the England’s touring side in front of a capacity facility, rich history loomed for him. They remained two great sons of Guyana’s soil for their exploitations on the cricket field. Their contributions are terrifically wonderful! Cricket statistics of these two phenomenal Guyanese cricketers speak volume and without a doubt to emulate them will obviously need a herculean task. When Chanderpaul hit the first triple-century (303*) for Guyana at the annual West Indies Cricket Board regional four-day tournament against traditional Caribbean giant team Jamaica at Sabina Park

Rohan Kanhai

in 1996, he was seen as one of the greatest Guyanese East Indian batsmen to bat with that amount of great application and fortitude. He was a meticulously prime batsman for Guyana and West Indies, and at that time he resonated to become a leading batsman for the West Indian too. The man from Unity, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara fortified his dominance as an athlete with tremendous talent. He shared numerous partnerships for Guyana and West Indies with Ramnaresh Sarwan. Sarwan, a neater right-handed batsman born in Wakenaam, an Essequibo Island, but honed most of his cricketing skills after his parents decided to move up to Georgetown. In most of their presence at the crease, both Chanderpaul and Sarwan possessed the qual-

ities to bring home victories on a consummate ease fortunately, Guyanese cricket fanatics saw them on plenty occasions. Among these three established East Indian Guyanese cricketers, another name that would have brought delight to Guyanese fans was the little left-handed batting star from Berbice, Alvin Kallicharran. Good thing for Kallicharran he was in the era when the regional side was dominating world cricket, particularly in the game’s longest version. His 66 test appearances for West Indies placed him in the elite list of East Indian productive cricketers able to represent Guyana at the highest level and more prestigiously West Indies high-profile side. Alvin grew up in the Ancient County with cricket surrounded him. A cousin of the famous Kanhai and the uncle of former West Indies leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo. All born in Port Mourant, Berbice. His brother Dereck was equally talented and promising as well but only achieved regional cricket status. Other Berbician cricketers would have probably inspired by Kallicharran and Kanhai steady selection for Guyana and West Indies and they would have tried with the utmost determination. At least three tests for Leonard Baichan showed that he had also prospered to the ultimate level joining these ranks of Kanhai and Kallicharran. Faoud Bacchus was a superb talent, and his batting temperament was very indicative of his ability to score runs regularly not only for Guyana but the West Indies team as well. Bacchus learned most of his game and the techniques of bat-

Ramnaresh Sarwan

ting at GCC and 19 test caps demonstrated his potential. Like what Kanhai and the late Johnny Teekasingh, a Berbician player in the Colonia British Guiana days, started off most of his cricketing journey at Everest Cricket Club in Georgetown. He spoke enthusiastically about the contribution made by Everest to the success of Guyanese East Indian ballplayers. Ryan Ramdass was a longtime member of Everest and would have gone on to represent West Indies in test and one-day cricket. He now lives in Toronto Canada, and is currently vying for a spot on the Canadian side. Like the others of Narsingh Deonarine, Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul and Assad Fudadin, they all plied their trade at Everest ground and showcased their talent with runs and wickets in galore. They have been impressive with their various outings for Guyana.

The British Guiana Agency for indentured labourers at 61 Garden Reach, Calcutta (Kolkata) India

Sunday Times Magazine 11 MARCH 5, 2017

Star Times Hollywood


eanu Reeves is a Canadian actor, producer, and musician. Reeves is best known for his acting career, beginning in 1985 and spanning more than three decades. He gained fame for his starring role performances in several blockbuster films including comedies from the “Bill and Ted” franchise (1989–1991), action thrillers “Point Break” (1991), “Speed” (1994), the science fictionaction trilogy “The Matrix” (1999–2003) and “John Wick” (2014) and its sequel “John Wick: Chapter 2” (2017). Since becoming active in the film industry, Reeves' abilities have earned critical acclaim. His acting has garnered several awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During his film career, Reeves has engaged in several forms of artistic expression. Active as a musician for a decade, he played bass guitar for the bands Dogstar and Becky. Acting onstage, he performed as Prince Hamlet for the Manitoba Theatre Centre's production of “Hamlet”. He wrote the text for a picture book, “Ode to Happiness”, illustrated by Alexandra Grant. He has also produced a documentary, “Side by Side”, and directed the martial arts film “Man of Tai Chi”. Reeves set up a cancer charity, supported PETA, the SickKids Foundation, and Stand Up To Cancer. Reeves is quoted as saying: “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”

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Times Hollywood

Rihanna honoured with Humanitarian Award at Harvard R

ihanna took a trip to Harvard to accept the university's 2017 Humanitarian Award. Looking delighted to be there to accept the accolade, the singer rocked a super chic off-the-shoulder grey ensemble featuring a cool dress and matching kneehigh boots. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, presented Rihanna with the award for her work with the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship scheme, which helps young children pursue their education in the Caribbean, and for her collaboration with Global Partnership for Education and the Global Citizen Project. Addressing the audience at Harvard, Rihanna said: "You don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian. You don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t gotta be famous. You don’t even have to be college-educated. I mean, I wish I was... especially today... It’s true, I might come back."

She continued: "When I was 5 or 6 years old, I remember watching TV and I would see these commercials and I was watching other children suffer in other parts of the world... I

would say to myself, ‘When I grow up and get rich, I’m going to save kids all over the world.’ I just didn’t know I’d be in the position to do that when I was a teenager." (Glamour)

Chris Brown struggles with fatal drug addiction


hris Brown has been dealing with legal issues for his abusive and disturbing behavior in the last few years. And now those closest to the 27-yearold singer including his friends as well as his current and former employees have finally opened up about his "downward spiral" amidst his beef with ex Karrueche Tran. In recent interviews with Billboard, they claimed Chris had been struggling with fatal drug addiction. The "Forever" hitmaker, who recently announced his 33-dated ambitious spring tour "Party", had a tendency toward self-medication and had neglected to treat his bipolar disease for at least a year. Chris would sometimes stay awake for as many as three days in a row while snorting coke and "dabbling in" Xanax, molly and lean. "You didn't know how he was going to wake up," revealed a member of his security. "Were you going to

get cool Chris? Or depressed or artsy and focused Chris, who would be very productive? Or the happy-go-lucky Chris, who would just joke around and have fun? It was a different person every day." Chris' mentally unstable reactions and abusive behaviors affect his friends and associates. But he allegedly refuses to change his lifestyle. "He's not doing the things he needs to do to get well, so he's never going to

Katy Perry on Orlando Bloom split: ‘No one’s a victim or a villain’

Ed Sheeran says he once hit Justin Bieber with a golf club


d Sheeran reveals he once smashed fellow musician Justin Bieber in the face with a golf club during an outing in Japan. In an interview with The Guardian, the "Shape of You" hitmaker says he was drinking with the Canadian

singer when they decided to head out to a golf course. "We were in Japan. We'd been out to a dive bar," Ed began. "He just drank water and I got hammered," he explained. "Then we went to a golf course, and he lay on the floor and put a golf ball

in his mouth and told me to hit it out of his mouth. I was like, '…I need to aim this properly,' and I swung." The 23-year-old British singer continued, "You know in films when someone gets punched, and you hear that fake sound, like a slap? But in real life when someone gets punched, you hear that dull thud, a bit sickening? I heard a sound like the last one." Ed went on saying that Justin's security guard was shocked upon learning what happened. "I'd cracked Justin Bieber right in the cheek with a golf club," he shared before revealing that he had been doing a lot less drinking these days. (AceShowbiz)

be well. The kid is going to hit rock bottom," a former member of Brown's inner circle revealed. "He will cuss you out and say, 'Hey, man, I'm functioning. I'm going to get the work out.' And he does," a current member of the "Loyal" singer's team said. "But [he's not] the first functional star who thinks they can handle those powerful drugs. I got to say with all my heart, he's dancing with death." (AceShowbiz)


aty Perry and Orlando Bloom may be taking a break from dating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s bad blood between the two. In a Twitter post on Thursday, Perry addressed her split from the 40-year-old actor — urging fans not to pit the two against one another. “HOW BOUT A NEW WAY OF THINKING FOR 2017!?” the singer, 32, wrote. “U can still b friends & love ur former partners! No one’s a victim or a villain, get a life y’all!” The couple announced on Tuesday that they would be spending some time apart after dating for a little over a year. “Before rumors or falsifications get out of hand, we can confirm that Orlando and Katy are taking respectful, loving space at this time,”

the couple said in a joint statement to PEOPLE. Sources close to Perry and Bloom have spoken to PEOPLE — painting a picture of what led to their breakup. Though it seemed like Bloom — who brought Perry to the U.K. early on in their relationship to spend time with his family — was committed to a serious relationship with the singer, a source close to the Lord of the Rings star said Thursday he was never planning to settle down long-term with Perry. “Orlando didn’t want things to get more serious. Lately he acted like he had one foot out the door and Katy picked up on that,” the source said. “He just isn’t ready to be tied down. He went along with their relationship for as long as it was fun.” On Wednesday, a source close to Perry told PEOPLE echoed those statements, saying the relationship “was never really supposed to be serious” and that as things became “more and more work to make it work,” taking a breather seemed like a natural step. “Because it wasn’t something permanent, it just became time to take a break,” said the Perry source. Though they may have never intended to get too serious, it sure looked to be where the relationship was going at first. The pair began dating back in January 2016 with a source telling PEOPLE then that they looked “very happy.” (PEOPLE)

Hugh Jackman continues to battle skin cancer H ugh Jackman followed up on his recent skin cancer treatment on Live with Kelly on Thursday, telling the audience that “everything’s fine” with him. “All good, almost completely healed,” the “Logan” star said after Kelly Ripa asked him how he was faring. Sporting a small bandage on the tip of his nose, Jackman added, “It’s a basal cell carcinoma, everything’s fine. It is skin cancer but the least dangerous form of it. So

it’s just something I have to get out after being an Aussie with English parents, growing up in Australia, it’s sort of the new normal for me.” “But everything’s fine,” he insisted. “People have been so lovely, thank you.” The actor posted a photo in February to share a bandaged post-op photo of himself after being treated for skin cancer on his nose. “Another basal cell carcinoma,” he captioned the above photo. “Thanks to frequent checks & amazing doctors, all’s well. Looks

worse w the dressing on then off! WEARSUNSCREEN.” The Golden Globe winner shared some skin care advice on Live, encouraging viewers to “wear sunscreen” and “get a check-up.” “So here’s the thing: One sunburn, you’re susceptible to cancer. One. And all of this is 25, 30 years after, the doctor told me,” he said. “Our rule, as kids, growing up, was you get burned and peel two or three times, then you’re set.” (PEOPLE)

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Sunday Times Magazine 13

Star Times Bollywood


onita Gandhi is an Indo-Canadian singer. She sings in English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu and Kannada prominently. She was born in New Delhi, India, but her parents moved to Canada, where she grew up in Toronto and Brampton. She has participated in concerts with Sonu Nigam in various countries including Russia, UK, US and the Caribbean. After that, she decided to try her fortune in India. She started her career in the Bollywood music industry. She was a playback singer with Vishal Shekhar in “Chennai Express”, which starred Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. She continued her work in Bollywood with the movie “Highway”, starring Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt, singing the tracks “Kahaan Hoon Main” and “Implosive Silence”. Gandhi's work as a playback singer is not limited to film soundtracks as she has been featured in AR Rahman's album Raunaq as well. In 2017, she received the Female Vocalist of The Year award at Mirchi Music Awards. She recently confirmed that she will be making her acting debut in an Indo-Canadian film.

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Times Bollywood

Anil Kapoor: ‘Indian film industry works S in chaotic way’

‘Sultan’ dominates Zee Cine Awards 2017 nominations alman Khan-starrer “Sultan” is competing in nine categories, including the Best Film, for the Zee Cine Awards 2017 with Akshay Kumar-starrer “Airlift” in tow. The channel announced its nominations of Jury Awards on Thursday in a statement. Apart from Best Film, “Sultan” has been nominated in Best Director, Best Actor - Male, Best Actor Female, Best Male Playback Singer, Best Female Playback Singer, Best Music, Best Story and Best Choreography categories. To ensure fairness in the selection process, Zee has appointed a jury panel consisting of filmmakers Boney Kapoor, Pradeep Sarkar and Tigmanshu Dhulia, cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee, lyricist and playback singer Swanand Kirkire, singer Kavita Krishnamurti


nil Kapoor, who made an appearance at the British Film Institute as a special guest last month, says people in the Indian film industry work in a chaotic way. However, he appreciated the incredible level of commitment put into planning and preparations in making films in Britain. The British Council has launched the UK India Year of Culture, a celebration of the longstanding relationship between India and Britain. In a conversation with Robin Baker, Head Curator of the British Film Institute, Anil was asked about the key differences between the two film industries. Anil said, “There is no difference. Everybody is the same. We work in the same way... same camera. But what I feel... which I must accept is that the commitment, planning and the prep... which I can see when I work with a British team, is incredible. That’s what we need to learn. We work in a chaotic way, but things are getting better now.” Further talking about the Indian film industry, he said, “In the 1980s and 1990s, I think we lost our way in the Indian film industry, but the younger generation... with the advent of the digital format, I can see people thinking globally.” “The world is shrinking. And I am optimistic about a lot of collaborations between the two nations.” Anil also thanked English filmmakers Danny Boyle and Richard Attenborough

for making Indian actors and culture more acceptable on the global platform. “A lot of British filmmakers have done a lot for India, and made our father of the nation (Mahatma Gandhi) and our culture, all of us... Actors, more acceptable on the global platform,” said the actor, who featured in Boyle’s Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”. (Excerpted from Hindustan Times)

Amitabh Bachchan: ‘My assets will be divided equally between Shweta and Abhishek’


ollywood star Amitabh Bachchan is clearly “Mahanayak” of the century. He floors fans with his performance onscreen and guides thousands towards a better lifestyle at the same time. While he has often championed the cause of the girl child and her importance, Amitabh went a step ahead. Big B took to Twitter and shared a picture where

he is holding a placard that declares that all his assets shall be divided equally between his daughter and son after his death. Apart from his frequent social media posts about heartfelt passion for daughters, Amitabh is also hailed as a champion of gender equality ever since his film “Pink”, starring TaapseePannu, impressed critics and fans alike with

the message that stressed the importance of a woman’s consent. Right before the release of his film in September 2016, Amitabh wrote an open letter to his granddaughters Aradhya Bachchan and Navya Naveli Nanda, urging them to follow their hearts and never bend to social conventions. (Hindustan Times)

Deepika Padukone: ‘I don’t talk about a film until I know I am doing it’


ver the past few months, Deepika Padukone has been busy on multiple fronts including the shooting for film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” and whirlwind global promotions of her debut Hollywood film, “xXx: Return Of Xander Cage”. Apart from this, she also made news thanks to rumours about her being part of various films. “Yes, there have been a lot of speculations as far as my name is concerned in connection with certain films. And I can say that a lot of it is untrue. But fortunately or unfortunately, at this point, I wouldn’t go out of my way to clarify any of those specific rumours,” says Deepika. In fact, Deepika adds that “sometimes”, she gets to

know about her “association with certain films” when the media asks her about it. “So, suppose, I am at the airport and I am asked, ‘We have heard that you are doing this film.’ And I am like, ‘I am hearing about it for the first time myself. Where has

it [the information] come from?’” she says. Ask Deepika if rumours of her association with various films gets annoying and she says, “Let me put it this way: it’s disappointing when it’s untrue and especially, if it comes out in a way that’s absolutely contrary to what might be the actual case. But it’s not my place to sit and talk about what happened and why.” Deepika insists that she “would never talk about films that she is approached for, got a narration for, met the director or if she didn’t like it for whatever reasons.” The actor adds that even if she hasn’t liked a script, “it doesn’t mean that the film isn’t good, it’s just that I didn’t connect with it.” (Hindustan Times)

Subramaniam and sound editor ResulPookutty.

(Excerpted from Hindustan Times)

Sanjay Dutt apologises for bodyguards assaulting reporters


gra Cine actor Sanjay Dutt, who is shooting for his comeback movie “Bhoomi”, has apologised for the incident in which his bouncers manhandled media persons. In the film, the actor is playing father to young Aditi Rao Hydari and currently shooting is on in villages on the outskirts. Addressing a press conference in Agra on Friday, Dutt clarified that he was not present when the alleged brawl took place and had he been there, the incident would have been avert-


“Had I been there, I would have resolved the matter with a ‘jaadukijhappi’ (magic hug). Yet I ten-

dered an apology yesterday and offer the same again,” said a rather toned down Dutt. (Hindustan Times)

Alia Bhatt speaks out about death threats R eacting to the ‘death threats’ Bhatt family faced recently, Alia Bhatt said that her father Mahesh Bhatt and the police did not give her a chance to panic and added that all are safe and happy now. “My father (Mahesh Bhatt) and the police did not give me a chance to panic. They just took over. But things have resolved now. Everyone is safe and happy. With my father by my side, there is no reason to get scared,” Alia said. Meanwhile, based on the complaint registered by filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, the Anti Extortion Cell (AEC) has, with the help of Special Task Force (STF) UP Police, identified and detained one person in connection to the threats, yesterday. The caller had demanded a large amount of money from Bhatt and threatened to kill his daughter Alia and wife Soni Razdan, if the

amount was not given. Bhatt later took to Twitter and confirmed the news. “A bolt from the blue in the form of an extortion call and threat to my family was nipped in the bud by the MH & UP police in tandem. Gratitude!” he posted. Earlier in November 2014, 13 people belonging

to a certain D gang were arrested, who had plotted to eliminate Bhatt and his entire family. On the work front, Alia is on a promotional spree for her upcoming movie “Badrinath Ki Dulhania”, alongside Varun Dhawan, set to release on March 10. (New Delhi)

MARCH 5, 2017

Sunday Times Magazine


Times Feature


We were on another boat, returning to quench this thirst, utterly alone. Always a pardesi in speechless contemplation.

Eastern Architecture

Upholding religious heritage

A bird charted its music between us, like a satellite in cosmic range. A man counted coins in his corner, as if gold measured his reason for leaving. Ahh, the length and breadth of his contract provided sustenance for awhile. The granite pace of cloud made my body ache. I yearn for the spring of liberation to be near Durga .� Again we are on the turbulent sea returning, breath and life to retrace sacred rituals to reinvigorate with mother earth. Will there be a familiar being to open the gate? Wet sheets lift and splash and rise and splash again – everything exposed. Now night storm demands anchorage. I depart from the land I toiled and return to you like a sojourner swimming across waves of bondage. Suddenly a shoreline emerges. At the Depot again, seemingly free, the shrinking sun removes my saffron veil ending a lifetime of plantation labour. Now I know the impossible dream. The unimaginable voyage seems worthy of some reward like a conditional greeting guarded with high expectations: Jihaji bhai, from Damra?� Always leaving and returning, I imagine an old acquaintance waiting near the Hugli ,� singing the song of a charioteer I once knew in my childhood. Perhaps he holds a bowl of water to quench my thirst.

Providence Mandir, EBD (National Trust)

Providence Mandir Described as an eloquent reminder of our Eastern heritage, the Providence Mandir, built in 1932, is a fine example of timber craftsmanship and localized architecture that employs traditional Indian elements and features alongside Christian and western influences. Decorative and intricate fretwork can be seen on panels, doors, and open areas; there are also stained glass, turned columns, jalousies, and ornate fenestration (window design).

Another prominent ornamental feature is the decorative railings or balustrades encircling the structure. This is evidenced in the turned supports of the handrails of staircases and along the galleries and porches. The centrally placed tower or sikhara is the focal point of this octagonal mandir. Such eight-faced parts represent the regents of the four cardinal points of the compass, and the ninth panel or segment in the centre of the ceiling is topped by a sikhara that represents Brahma, the creator deity of the Supreme Hindu Triad. >National Trust of Guyana)

The Eidgah The Eidgah, formerly known as the Open Air Mosque,located at Cumberland, Canje in Berbice, is a typical representation of traditional Indian Islamic architecture. Today, it remains a testament to the diversity of culture that has shaped Guyanese tradition. Built during the latter half of the 1800s by Muslim immigrants who had come to British Guiana as indentured labourers, it was constructed originally of bricks donated by the Bookers’ Sugar Estate; the land too was a gift from the estate. Believed to be oldest structure of Muslim worship in Guyana, it remained until 1932 when it was demolished and rebuilt of reinforced concrete. Constructed to provide the Muslims with a place to perform Eid Salaat (Eid prayers) for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ulAdha, the Eidgahis unlike other later constructions. As the name suggests, it is open air:

there is no separation between the internal and external space nor are there any full length walls covered by a roof. Some of the structure’s features reflect Indian Islamic architecture. These include the courtyard, minarets and mihrab. The courtyard, entered from the west, boasts an arched gateway decorated with bosses and bulbous widgets at the top of the arch. Opposite the courtyard’s entrance, the mihrab is located in the eastern section. It is so situated that when worshipping, one faces Mecca. The minarets complement the structure at the four corners and are approximately 30 feet high, slender and square in shape which is finished by a half moon and star structure, while the western wall is decorated by various diamond shaped accentuations. (From a 2011 article by the National Trust of Guyana)

Now I am home Now Kala Pani� purifies my body I appeal to the riverbank, shivering. I feel my way against natural foliage and channel of muddied water – Will it cleanse me out of the tunnel of leaving and returning to a place without stains? © Janet Naidu Published in the poetry collection, “Rainwater” - 2005 � � � � �

Foreign Traveler Hindu Goddess Jihaji Bhai (brothers of the ship), included men and women. Damra – Demerara. River in India where Indentured laborers departed for other destinations. Kala Pani – Black water Eidgah at Cumberland, Berbice (LJH)

16 Sunday Times Magazine

MARCH 5, 2017

Times Art

Designs on cards


he art of henna was brought to these shores with the customs of early indentured la-

bourers, and it remains an integral part of our heritage today. From this age-old tra-

The artist's intricate henna designs on another client

dition, Muslim and Hindu East Indian indentured labourers brought the art of henna, also known as mehndi in Hindi or Urdu, to British Guiana where their descendants continue to uphold this ancient art form. One such keeper of tradition is 25-year-old Shafrana Aliof Chateau Margot, East Coast Demerara. The selftaught henna artist, who is also a makeup artist, has been practicing this ancient art form professionally for about three years now. “I was a business student at ISA Islamic School. I have always loved doing designs ever since my school days. My classmates would ask me to do designs for them, whether it’s on their hands, folders, banners and much more. For Eid celebration, I started doing henna for the girls and women at the LBI Masjid. After people saw my work, I was encouraged to take it up professionally. Initially, I was a bit sceptical because I was unsure if person would like my designs. However, I didn’t allow this doubt to deter me. I continued to do henna for family and friends at their

Shafrana's henna designs done on a Hindu bride's hands

weddings and from there I started to develop my art,” Shafrana recalled in an interview with Sunday Times Magazine. Shafrana artistic henna designs not only include drawing on people, but also on glassware, candles, cards and much more. “Apart from henna being done on brides and others, I started to do henna designs on objects. The idea came about when clients ask if I can do tokens for their henna night, a keepsake for their guests to remember the joyous occasion. I did henna on glasses, papers, plates, clothing and they loved it. This makes me happy,” Shafrana expressed. According to the artist, the henna designs on objects last longer than those done on hands because she uses paint instead of the henna paste. Shafrana mentioned that her work has provided opportunities to travel across Guyana to share her love for henna and makeup artistry. She hopes that “with the grace of God” she can expand her work throughout Guyana and, if possible,to other countries as well. Currently, Shafrana is employed as a fulltime cashier and would do henna mostly on weekends, which has become a thriving part time business. “It’s my dream to become a renowned henna artist in Guyana. Having a fulltime job doesn't affect my love and passion I have for henna because clients mostly get married on weekends, which fits perfectly for me. I utterHenna painted on glasses

Henna and makeup artist, Shafrana Ali

ly love being able to beautify my clients for that special day. With the grace of God Almighty and the support of my wonderful family, I will continue to strive for greater success,” she declared. For more information on the artist’s work, visit SA Henna & Makeup Artistry on Facebook.

Brief history on henna art

The art of henna has been practiced for more than 5,000 years in India, Pakistan, Africa and the Middle East. Some historians even say it is more than 9,000 years old. The English name “henna” comes from Arabic hinnā Henna art involves putting henna paste made from the henna plant on the body, and is said to have first been practiced because of its ability to cool the skin in the very hot, arid climate conditions people of the desert regions faced. People would daub the paste on their palms and soles of feet, and experience the cooling effect as long as the henna remained on their skin. Noticing that when the paste faded it left behind the

patterns of being rubbed on the skin, it wasn’t long after perhaps that some creative individual decided to begin making decorative patterns as well, on the hands and feet. Among Muslims of the Middle East, in Islamic literature, the Prophet Muhammad used henna to dye his beard, and administered its use to the sick. In Hindu culture, mehndi is applied for important festivals and occasions, such as weddings. A mehndi ceremony is an important pre-wedding ritual, observed in India and many Arabic nations. At the ceremony, the bride-to-be adorns her hands and feet with henna designs. The groom may also apply a bit of mehendi (or mehndi) on his hands as well as feet. This ceremony is not just about adornment however, it has a sacred relevance for both Hindus and Muslims. According to some, among these religions, mehndi represents the bond of matrimony and is therefore considered a sign of good luck. It signifies the love and affection between the couple and their families. It is also considered a symbol of fertility.

MARCH 5, 2017

Sunday Times Magazine 17

Times Tech


n Feb.27, Apple seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta of iOS 10.3 and more than two months after the release of iOS 10.2, the last major update to the iOS 10 operating system. Registered developers can download the fourth iOS


10.3 beta from the Apple Developer Centre or overthe-air with the proper configuration profile installed. iOS 10.3 is a major update, introducing several new features and changes to the iOS 10 operating system. The biggest new consumer-facing feature is "Find My AirPods," which is designed to help AirPods

owners locate a lost earphone. Find My AirPods records the last known location of when an AirPod was connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth and can play a sound on a lost AirPod. Apple's latest update also introduces a new Apple File System (APFS), installed when an iOS device is updated to iOS 10.3. APFS is optimized for flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption. Apple plans to introduce some App Store changes in iOS 10.3, allowing developers to respond to customer reviews for the first time. iOS users are also able to label reviews in the App Store as "Helpful" or "Not Helpful," which should help surface the most relevant review content. Apple also plans to limit the number of times devel-

Mitsubishi crosses the Eclipse over into SUV territory

the eX and GT-PHEV, the automaker will premiere the Eclipse Cross at the Tuesday, March 7, 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Mitsubishi ended production on the Eclipse back in 2011, after having the car in its line-up for more than two decades. It’s now back as a fourThe Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross door SUV. itsubishi is bringing back the The "Eclipse" Eclipse ... as a compact SUV.The seems merely Mitsubishi's way of signifycoupe-infused crossover will go ing sportier, coupe-inspired SUV styling. into production later this year as the lat- Mitsubishi will offer a 1.5-liter direct-inest member of Mitsubishi's global SUV jection turbo petrol engine with CVT and a family. 2.2-liter turbo-diesel with eight-speed auFollowing the debuts of concepts like tomatic transmission.


Canoe folds into bag for easy storage is made of 5-mm doublelayer UV-treated polypropylene, which is said to be good for at least 20,000 fold cycles. Including some plastic and aluminium supporting bits and pieces, such as its gunwales, end caps and ribs, the whole thing weighs 52 lb (24 kg) and measures 14.7 ft (4.5 m) when folded out. It's made to carry two passengers, as long as they don't have a combined MyCanoe's main body is made of 5-mm double-layer weight exceeding 440 lb UV-treated polypropylene, which is said to be good (200 kg), which is its maxfor at least 20,000 fold cycles (Credit: MyCanoe) imum capacity. anoeing may indeed be a lot of fun, MyCanoe has been around in protobut the boats themselves aren't extype form since at least 2015, although actly made for being stored in small it's just recently become the subject of a spaces, or transported via small cars. Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$840 That's why MyCanoe was created. It folds will get you one, when and if it reaches up like origami and can be carried in a couproduction – that doesn't include paddles, ple of bags, yet reportedly only takes about or the stabilizers seen in some of the pho10 minutes to be made seaworthy. tos. The planned retail price is US$1,400. The TUV-certified canoe's main body

opers can ask for a review, allow customers to leave app reviews without exiting an app, and provide a "master switch" that will let users turn off all app review request prompts. Also new in iOS 10.3 is a redesigned app open/close animation, an Apple ID

Tech news

profile in Settings, a better breakdown of iCloud storage usage, warnings about outdated apps that won't work with future versions of iOS, HomeKit support for programmable light switches, improvements to SiriKit (bill paying, bill status, and

scheduling future rides), CarPlay interface improvements, iCloud analytics options, and more. For a full rundown of the changes introduced in the first beta, make sure to check out our dedicated "What's New" post. (MacRumors)

Amazon to power fulfilment centres by solar energy

the company’s facilities in New Jersey, California, Maryland, Delaware, and Nevada. Amazon says that it plans to introduce solar panels at 50 centers globally by 2020. The company says that a specific solar installation could generate “as much as 80 percent of a single fulfilment facility’s annual energy needs,” though this will naturally depend on the time of year, Aerial view of two Amazon fulfilments facilities with solar systems on their rooftops among other environmental factors — some centers will be mazon has announced that it in- located in places where there is more suntends to power dozens of its fulfil- shine. mentcentres around the world with “As our fulfilment network continues to solar energy, with plans in place to deploy expand, we want to help generate more re“large-scale solar systems” on the centres’ newable energy at both existing and new rooftops. facilities around the world in partnership The company says that 15 fulfilment with community and business leaders,” and sortation centers across the U.S. will said Dave Clark, senior vice president of receive the solar panels in 2017, generat- worldwide operations, in a press release. ing up to 41 megawatts (MW) of power at



Madrid gets world's first 3D-printed footbridge

he Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has designed the world's first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge. Installed January this year in the urban park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, Madrid, the bridge is made up of eight separate 3D-printed parts, the bridge spans 40 ft (12 m) and measures 5.7 ft (1.75 m) wide. Developed in collaboration with a mul-


The world's first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge sits in an urban park south of Madrid (Credit: IAAC)

tidisciplinary team of architects and engineers, the bridge is constructed out of a fused concrete powder micro-reinforced with thermoplastic polypropylene. Enrico Dini, a pioneer in giant 3D-printing techniques, was a principle collaborator with his D-Shape printer allowing for the creation of this novel structure. Large-scale 3D printing has become more widespread in recent years and many types of materials are currently being experimented with. A 3D-printed office building was constructed in Dubai in 2016 utilizing custom-built printers that exuded a cement mixture, while an Italian engineering company has been working on massive 3D printers that can build structures out of mud, clay or natural fibres. Dutch printing firm, MX3D, is even planning on building a steel bridge across a canal in Amsterdam using an innovative robotic 3D-printing technology that allows structures to be created on-site, in mid-air.

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MARCH 5, 2017

Times Home & Cooking

Recipe of the Week

30-Minute One Pan Beef Penne


olour your home with bright, bold and cheerful colours that defy thinking only about colours for the walls, floors and ceilings of your rooms...

Earth tones work with splashes of colour

Ingredients 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 pound ground beef ½ tbsp. garlic powder ½ tbsp. onion powder 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained 1 cup jarred marinara sauce ½ tbsp. chopped parsley 12 oz no boil penne 2 cups vegetable stock 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese 4 oz thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese



eat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Cook the beef, breaking it up with a spatula, until browned and cooked through. Add the Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, and parsley and stir to combine. Add the penne and the vegetable stock. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the penne is tender, stirring frequently. While the pasta is cooking, preheat the oven to broil. Uncover the pan and sprinkle the parmesan over the top. Place the mozzarella slices on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil until the cheese is melted.


White is a canvas for your colours

Greatest Cooking Tips

here are substitutes for when you do not want to use alcohol in recipes that call for the use of alcohol: Instead of Bourbon, use one- and- a- half to two teaspoons of vanilla extract. Instead of Champagne or sparkling wine, substitute ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice. Use white grape juice or apple cider combined with lime juice or plain water in place of the vodka. If a small amount of whiskey is called for, it can be eliminated altogether. White wine can be substituted with sweet or dry non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to cut the sweetness, white grape juice, apple juice, apple cider, tomato juice, chicken broth, liquid drained from vegetables, ginger ale, or water. Use equal amounts of liquid as called for in the recipe. Red Wine can be substituted with sweet or dry non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to cut the sweetness, grape juice, cranberry juice, grape jelly, tomato juice, beef broth, liquid drained from vegetables, or water. Use equal amounts of liquid as called for in the recipe.

C Brightly painted modular storage boxes create a unique display for decorative items in the home

Home Help

hoosing spray-on insect repellent over “wearable” devices will give you the best protection against mosquitoes, says a new study. The research tested the effectiveness of 10 commercial products against Aedes aegypti, the species of mosquito that carries Zika and other viruses. Sprays that contain DEET and PMD (the chemical name for the oil of lemon eucalyptus) took top honours, say researchers from New Mexico State University. Other products— including mosquito bracelets, a wearable sonic repeller, and a citronella candle—were significantly less effective.

MARCH 5, 2017

Sunday Times Magazine19

Family Times




JOKES Groan jokes for kids There’s a fine line between a numerator and a denominator. Only a fraction of people will find this funny. What’s the difference between Dubai and Abu Dhabi? The people in Dubai don’t like The Flintstones, but the people in Abu Dhabi dooooo. I’ve fallen in love with a pencil and we’re getting married. I can’t wait to introduce my parents to my bride 2B. The lesson A boy scout says to his scout leader, “Sir, is this snake poisonous?” The scout leader says, “No, that snake’s not poisonous at all.” So the boy picks up the snake which bites him, and the boy starts to spasm and foam at the mouth as the other kids look on in horror. The scout leader says, “But that snake is venomous. Poison is ingested or absorbed, while venom is injected. Let’s get it right next time, boys.” No pets allowed Two men, Jim and John, were walking their dogs when they passed by a restaurant. “Let’s go in and get something to eat,” Jim suggested. “We can’t” responded John, “don’t you see the sign says NO PETS ALLOWED.” “Aah, that sign,” said Jim “Don’t worry about it,” and taking out a pair of sunglasses, he walked up to the door. As he tried walking into the restaurant he got stopped at the door, “Sorry no pets allowed.” “Can’t you see?” said Jim, “I am blind, this is my seeing eye dog?” “But it’s a Doberman pincher, who uses a Doberman pincher as a seeing eye dog?” the man asked. “Oh,” Jim responded “you must have not heard, this is the latest type of seeing eye dog, they do a very good job.” Seeing that it worked, John tried walking in with his Chihuahua. Even before he could open his mouth, the doorman said, “Don’t tell me that a Chihuahua is the latest type of seeing eye dog!” Thinking quickly John responded in an angry voice: “You mean they gave me a Chihuahua!?”

f your teen isn't getting enough sleep, there are a few things that you can try to help: Curb the caffeine. A jolt of caffeine might help your teen stay awake during class, but the effects are fleeting — and too much caffeine can interfere with a good night's sleep. Keep it calm. Encourage your teen to wind down at night with a warm shower, a book or other relaxing activities. Know when to unplug. Take the TV out of your teen's room. Minimize use of electronics in the hour before bedtime. Adjust the lighting. If your teen does use a phone or tablet near bedtime, tell him or her to turn down the

brightness and hold the device at least 14 inches (36 centimetres) away to reduce

the risk of sleep disruption. In the morning, expose your teen to bright light. These

simple cues can help signal when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up. Sleeping pills and other medications generally aren't recommended. For many teens, lifestyle changes can effectively improve sleep. In some cases, excessive daytime sleepiness can be a sign of a problem, including medication side effects, insomnia or biological clock disturbance; depression, Obstructive sleep apnoea, Restless legs syndrome, or Narcolepsy. If you're concerned about your teen's daytime sleepiness or sleep habits, contact his or her doctor. If your teen is depressed or has a sleep disorder, proper treatment can be the key to a good night's sleep. (Source:

Mayo Clinic)



The Ugly Tree

ong, long ago, in a dense forest there were thousands of tall and beautiful trees. They were happy, but proud of themselves. Among them there also an ugly tree whose branches were badly twisted. Its roots had uneven curves. All the trees made fun of that ugly tree. “How are you, hunchback?" the other trees always shouted and their laughter made the ugly tree feel sad. But, he never raised a voice against them. The ugly tree thought, “I wish I were as beautiful as the other trees. Why did God do this to me? Neither can I provide shade to the travellers not can the birds make their nests on me. Nobody needs me." One day, a woodcutter came to the forest. He took a look at the trees and said, “These trees are lovely. I must cut them." As soon as he picked up his axe the trees became frightened. ‘Chop, Chop, Chop’ went the woodcutter’s axe and one by one the trees started to fall. “None of us is going to be spared,"

screamed one of the beautiful trees. Soon that tree too was brought to ground by the woodcutter’s axe. B y now, the

woodcutter had come near to the ugly tree. He had just raised his axe when suddenly he noticed how crooked the ugly tree was. “Hmm! This crooked tree seems to be useless for me. I cannot make long straight logs of this ugly tree," he thought. And he moved towards another beautiful tree. The ugly tree heaved a huge sigh of relief. He realized that by making him ugly, God had actually given him a boon. From that day the ugly tree never complained. He was happy with his crooked branches. He never forgot how he was spared from the woodcutter’s axe, only because he was crooked and ugly.

By Grammar G.

Conundrums, confusion but correct


here are many sentences in English that may sound crazy but yet are perfectly grammatical. Look at these few sentences and see if you understand their meanings: 1. All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life. 2. One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I’ll never know. 3. The complex houses married and single

soldiers and their families. Sentence one makes double use of the past perfect tense, while “had” is used as a modifier and main verb (All the faith he had had ---- had had no effect on the outcome of his life.) In sentence two, most persons would interpret the first sentence as the man having shot the elephant while he (the man) was in his (the man’s) pyjamas. Then they get to the

Reliance Not to the swift, the race: Not to the strong, the fight: Not to the righteous, perfect grace: Not to the wise, the light. But often faltering feet Come surest to the goal; And they who walk in darkness meet The sunrise of the soul. -- Henry Van Dyke second sentence and it is unexpected – and so becomes a joke as well. Now they have to reinterpret the first sentence. This type of wordplay is called a paraprosdokian, and comedians like Groucho Marx make much use of it. Sorting out what are the adjectives, verbs and nouns will make sentence three clearer. Instead of reading “the complex houses married” each other, “complex” is in fact a noun, not adjective, and “houses” is the verb, not noun, while “married” is the adjective, not verb. It would then mean that the “complex” (meaning compound) “houses” (has living within) married soldiers and their families as well as single soldiers (and maybe their families i.e. mother, father, siblings etc.). While these sentences may be grammatically correct, a few tweaks to your sentence construction can make them less confusing – that isif you want to be clear.

20 Sunday Times Magazine

MARCH 5, 2017

Times Sunday Puzzle


s you may know, a group of fish is called a "school", a group of lions is called a "pride", and a group of seagulls is called a "flock". Some are a little more unusual. See if you can guess what animals belong to the following groups: Crash Exaltation Mob Murder

Parliament Pod Sounder see ANSWERS on page 23

see solution on page 23

see solution on page 23

MARCH 5, 2017

Sunday Times Magazine


Times Kids

Creature Corner



The flag of Guyana

he Guyana flag was adopted in 1966 for the newly-independent, former British territory, from the winning draft created by American Whitney Smith in a 1962 flag design competition. The flag was nicknamed "The Golden Arrowhead," referring to the yellow/gold triangle that looks like an arrow with white trimming, along with a red triangle with black


he golden rocket frog or Beebe’s rocket frog (Anomaloglossus beebei) is a species of frog found only on the Guyana Kaieteur Plateau of the Kaieteur National Park at the eastern edge of the Pakaraima Mountains, although it has been recently reported to have been found also on Mount Ayanganna in the Pakaraima Mountains of western Guyana. The golden rocket frog can be found

trimming, all drawn on a green background. Each of the five colours is symbolic: green for agricultural and natural vegetation; white for the many waters and their potential; yellow or gold for mineral wealth, black for perseverance and endurance, and red for “the zeal and dynamic nature of nation-building that lies before the young and independent Guyana.”

living exclusively in large bromeliads where they deposit their eggs in the giant waterretaining leaves where their tadpoles grow up feeding on insect larvae, various edible debris that fall in, as well as unfertilised eggs. The frog in fact spends its entire life cycle inside the bromeliad. They are considered vulnerable due to their restricted habitat and population size.

WORD JUMBLE AT THE ZOO Unscramble the words for animals that can be seen in the zoo

Please see solution on page 23

The objective of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order. Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order. Every 3 by 3 subsection of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9.


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MARCH 5, 2017

MARCH 5, 2017

Donald Trump masks a hit at Brazil's Carnival

Sunday Times Magazine 23

Times World

India vendors boycott Pepsi, Coke



S President Donald Trump has become one of the new stars of Brazil’s Carnival, with masks of his face on sale in the costume stores in Sao Paulo and appearing everywhere at the street fetes preceding the “world’s biggest party,” which began this weekend. Trump masks are one of the new – and very popular – attractions along March 25 Street in downtown Sao Paulo, full of costume stores and where each day hundreds, flock to purchase items for their Carnival outfits. With his blond hair and his orange-tinted face, a Trump mask is prominent-

ly featured in the display window of an enormous store selling all sorts of costumes, alongside those of other important politicians like his predecessor, Barack Obama, and former Brazilian President Lula da Silva. “We’ve already done other presidents like (Bill) Clinton, Barack Obama and now we’re also including Trump because he’s one of the most controversial,” said the owner of the Festas e Fantasias store, Pierre Sfeir, a Lebanese resident. There are also masks of late Cuban leader Fidel Castro and other even more controversial figures likeformer Iraqi dictator

ndian shopkeepers in the 70-million-strong state of Tamil Nadu launched a massive boycott against US-based Coca-Cola and Pepsi companies. The boycott targeted the American-based firms as part of a backlash against foreign meddling, provoked by the animal activists from PETA. “There are multiple reasons behind the boycott, but most important is how PETA tried to kill jallikattu,” President of Tamil Nadu Traders Associations T. Vellaiyan told the AFP news agency. Previously, the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA) moved against the ancient bull-wrestling tradition of jallikattu, which sparked massive protests across Tamil Nadu. The tradition of bull-

wrestling is revered among Tamils and boasts over 2,000 years of history. It involves bull owners releasing the animals into a crowd of people, who try to wrestle it into submission, ride it, or hold on to it and remove flags from its horns. However, animal rights activists said owners use alcohol to intoxicate the bulls before the event or throw chili powder in the animals' eyes to get them to act out violently when released. Many spectators also sustain serious injuries while trying to wrestle and subdue the animal. India's Supreme Court banned the activity in 2014, but some bull-wrestling organizers ignored the ruling and pushed for the court's decision to be reversed. Faced with the state-wide outrage, the central government of India temporar-

ily suspended the ban in January 2017. Tamils see the ban as an attack on their tradition and cultural identity. Lashing out against PETA, they also turned their anger against Pepsi and Coca-Cola, whose water consumption also raised anger in the region hit by nearly two years of drought. Previously, authorities were forced to withdraw building permits for new bottling facilities, after farmers staged violent protests. Vendors pulled the iconic soft drinks from their shelves on Thursday, a day after the Tamil Nadu Traders Association called for a boycott. Instead of Pepsi and Coke, the shopkeepers would sell “only domestic brands of beverages,” the trade group said.

paceX has announced it plans to launch two paying passengers on a tourist trip around the moon next year.

The United States has not sent astronauts to the moon since NASA's Apollo missions of the 1960s and '70s.

"This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years, and they will travel faster and fur-

Health tests and training are going to begin later this year, he revealed. "Other flight teams have also expressed strong inter-

According to Al Jazeera, US tech company SpaceX announced that two private citizens have paid money to be sent around the moon next year, in what would mark the furthest humans have ever travelled to deep space.

"We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year," said a statement by the founder and chief executive of the company, Elon Musk, on Monday.

ther into the solar system than any before them." The tourists, who were not named, "have already paid a significant deposit", Musk's statement noted without specifying the amount. "It's nobody from Hollywood," he added.

est and we expect more to follow. Additional information will be released about the flight teams, contingent upon their approval and confirmation of the health and fitness test results," Musk said.

Saddam Hussein, but the one Brazilians seem to prefer this year is that of the 45th US president. The store ordered a mould of Trump’s face to be made in the US and using it produced about 20,000 masks of the president, which have also been selling like hotcakes at other festivals, like Halloween. Sfeir said that it’s more economical to make the rubberized masks in his Sao Paulo store than to import them from other countries like China due to customs duties. The plastic masks are being sold in Brazil for about 7 reais (about US$2.30). (Merco Press)

Brain Teaser Answer Crash - Rhinoceros Exaltation - Lark Mob - Kangaroo Murder - Crow


Parliament - Owl Pod - Whale Sounder - Pig/Hog





Sunday Times Magazine

MARCH 5, 2017

Fun Times


Get together with old friends. Catching up on the (March 21latest news will lead to a new April 19) beginning with someone you lost touch with. Plan a reunion.


The past will have a way TAURUS of surfacing when you least (April 20- expect it. Consider what’s ocMay 20) curred before you decide to get involved in something that could cause emotional turmoil. Emotional manipulation GEMINI will be costly. Don’t ruin your (May 21reputation or give out inforJune 20) mation that might be used against you. Stay focused on using physical means to bring about personal gains.

CANCER (June 21July 22)

LEO (July 23Aug. 22)


VIRGO (Aug. 23Sept. 22)

Look at a situation from every angle. Unless you have a clear picture, you are best off biding your time and waiting for your doubts to be eliminated. Love conquers all. Whether it’s a friend, relative or new acquaintance, taking time to help someone will result in gratifying rewards. Personal and physical improvements will turn out well. Stick close to home and work on becoming a better person. Don’t feel that you have to please everyone else when you’re the one who needs to be satisfied with your actions.

LIBRA Share details of the past (Sept. 23- and build memories with Oct. 23) someone you think is special. Acknowledging the little things someone does for you will bring you closer together. Personal growth will be empowering.


An investment will limit SCORPIO (Oct. 24- your cash flow. Don’t take on Nov. 22) more than you can handle. Do your best to create an honest, open and loving relationship with someone you trust. Emotional manipulation SAGITTARIUS will surface if you discuss prob(Nov. 23- lems with a friend or relative. Dec. 21) Don’t feel compelled to accept someone’s terms if you don’t agree with them. Follow your heart and make changes that suit you.

Calvin and Hobbes

Someone will use emoCAPRICORN tional manipulation to (Dec. 22- tempt you. Don’t waste time Jan. 19) or money on anyone unwilling to meet you halfway. Plans are best shelved until you have the resources to follow through with them. Don’t trust anyone offerAQUARIUS ing you something for noth(Jan. 20- ing. Put greater emphasis Feb. 19) on personal change that will give you a trendy new look. Keep up with the times in order to make an impression. False information will PISCES (Feb. 20- lead you in the wrong direcMar. 20) tion. If you cannot verify certain claims, take a pass. Put more emphasis on personal growth and physical improvements.