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March 25, 2018

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MARCH 25, 2018

Faith

May Sri Ram's blessings bring you health, happiness and success in your life!

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am Naumi is the Hindu festival celebrating the incarnation (Avatar) of Bhagwan Vishnu as Sri Ram, the son of King Dasratha of Ayodhya. Vishnu is that aspect of the absolute Brahman that sustains the universe and as explained in the sacred texts like Bhagvad Gita. “For whenever the law of righteousness (dharma) Withers away, and lawlessness (adharma) raises its head, Then do I generate myself on earth For the protection of the good, For the destruction of evildoers For the setting up of righteousness I come into being, age after age.” Rama is the seventh Avatar of Vishnu

and was followed by Lord Krishna and Lord Buddha. His exploits are described in the extended 24,000 verse Sanskrit poem “Ramayana” written some 2500 years ago by Valmiki. It was retold in the vernacular Avadhi in the 16th century by Tulsidas as the “Ramcharitmanas”, which is the most influential text in the lives of the area in North India from which most of the Indians in Guyana originated. Rama was born at noon on the ninth day (Naumi) of the first month of the Hindu calendar, Chaitra which inaugurates Spring. It therefore falls on the ninth day of the Spring Nauratri, which falls this year today.For those Hindus who want the most authentic celebration they will perform rites in their home or in their temple (Mandir) at noon on this day. Typically, the families would have fasted all week while worshipping God as the female principle during Nau Raat and on the ninth day honour Sri Ram. A simulation (image or picture) of a Baby Sri Ram would be placed in a cradle and covered. At noon the covering would be removed and Prasad would be offered while the cradle is rocked. Ram is said to be the ‘Maryada Purushattam” the exemplar of mankind and Hindu males are supposed to attempt to imitate him. He was the perfect son, brother, husband and king. His reign is called “Ram Raj” and describes the golden age for Hindus. More specifically, he accepts banishment into the forest for 14 years so as to allow his father to keep a promise he had made. As a brother, he places his brother Bharat on the throne, while he is in exile and as a husband he protects his wife Sita. He allows his brother Lakshman to accompany him along with his wife Sita. In the forest Sita is abducted by the King of Lanka, Ravan and most of the Ramayan tells the story of how he regains her after defeating his nemesis. His great helper is Hanuman, the god in Monkey Form who is always praised when the name of Ram

is mentioned. As a King, he brought peace and prosperity to his kingdom and people. His devotion to the latter is exemplified in a rather controversial episode in the story when in order to fulfil his duty as a king, he allows that to

Facts about Rama Who wrote the epic?

Some 25 centuries ago, a sage ordered a thief to sit under a tree and chant “ma-ra” until he returned. Years passed, and an anthill covered the man, who had lost himself to the chant. The sage returned and broke the anthill, naming the thief Valmiki, meaning “from an anthill.” Inspired by his expaned awareness, Valmiki immortalized Rama by composing the Ramayana,a work umatched in poetic excellenceand longevity. Shri Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas in Hindi and the Kamba Ramayanam by the poet Kambar in Tamil stand alongside Valmiki’s epic in Sanskrit.

take precedent over his role as a husband to banish her away from the palace. In the present age it has become impossible for the moral of the duty of a ruler to his people to trump everything else to be appreciated.

Who was Sita? Sita was a powerful, gifted, beautiful woman, utterly devoted to her husband. Found in the fi elds as a babe by King Janaka, Sita was raised a princess. She walked alongside Rama in exile. When abducted by Ravana, she was unshakable in her faith that her husband would rescue her. She walked through fi re to prove her purity. To prevent further slander, Rama sent her away to the forest. She patiently bore separation from her husband a second time and bore twins named Lav and Kush. When they were reunited with their father, she commanded Mother Earth to swallow her. The Earth split open and Sita disappeared.


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oday, it is almost universally accepted that God, of course, is beyond gender or even form. But for we humans to acknowledge this Divine Consciousness in which all creation subsists, we create the forms to worship based on our own conceptions. As far as gender is concerned, God is worshipped as “male”, female and even in Ardhanārīśwara) , a composite androgynous form of the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati. While there are Hindus who predominantly worship the female forms of God and are called “Shaktas”, twice a year all Hindus worship the Goddess in the form of Durga

in the Spring and then in three of her major manifestations as Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga in the Fall Nau Raat. The worship is done over a period of nine days – “Nau Raat” Spring on the Hindu Calendar starts the New Year – in the month of Chaitra and this year fell on March 18 on the Gregorian Calendar and will end on March 26. Of note is that the birth of Sri Raam, the 7th Avatar of Lord Vishnu falls on the March 25th.

Story behind Chaitra Navratri

Most Hindu festivals have stories associated with them to illustrate the reasons behind them. For Chaitra Nau Ratri a prince named Sudarshan prayed Maa Shakti and emerged victorious in a war. To thank Maa Shakti, the Prince performed a huge yagna on Chaitra Navratri. Sri Ram and Lakshman worshipped Maa Shakti during Chaitra Navratri for nine days and also performed the Yajna on the final day. The blessings of Maa Shakti made them win against Ravana and release Mother Sita from his captivity.

The nine forms of Shakti and Durga

During Chaitra Navratri, the nine forms of Maa Shakti known as Durga, Bhadrakali, Jagadamba, Annapurna, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, Lalita, Bhavani and Mookambika are worshipped.

Puja Vidhi

Chaitra NAVRATRI 2018 PUJA VIDHI This year in 2018, in many Hindu homes and in Temples , special poojas will be performed for nine days beginning from 18th March and ending on 26th March. Navratri pujas will take place during the late evening. The murti/image of Maa Shakti will be decorated and placed on an altar, which will be decorated with flowers and hangings. The puja consists of sixteen types of offerings. Some of the important aspects of rituals include burning incense, offering fragrant substances and flowers to Maa Shakti, offering betel leaves, nuts, coco-

nut, and fruits, waving camphor light and others. Special dishes are made during the puja and then distributed to the invitees after the evening puja.

Fasting Rules

Fasting during Chaitra Navratri is considered highly auspicious. The fasting will start from 18th Morning and will last for the whole day. In the evening, the Puja will be performed and the devotee will break the fast after taking the Prasad offered to Maa Shakti during the puja. This way, the fasting will continue for nine days. During Chaitra Navratri, fasting, performing Durga Puja, chanting Vedasand songs, visiting Maa Shakti temples, doing Navratri puja at homes is important. Devotees should not consume alcohol, non-vegetarian foods, and other spicy foods. Those fasting on these days should not consume cereals, grains, wheat, garlic, and onion. Cheating and indulgence in different pleasures should be avoided to win the blessings of Maa Shakti during Chaitra Navratri.

Benefits

During the change of season, this event prepares the devotee physically, mentally and spiritually for a better time ahead ensuring good health and happiness.


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MARCH 25, 2018

Faith

MAA Chandraghanta

– the third Manifestation of Devi Durga

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his year, Hindus in Guyana around the globe will be observing the Chaitra Navaratri period from 18th to the 27th March, 2018. It is also known as ‘Vasanta Navratri’ or ‘Rama Navratri’ as the ninth day of the Navratri festivity is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama (Ram Navami). Chaitra Navratri is solely dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga in her nine forms. Navratri – literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, ‘nava’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning nights. Chaitra is the first month of the Hindu calendar and hence the name which also starts the New Year and also the new season. Praying and fasting is pivotal during this period. Before the start of the celebrations, the house is cleaned for welcoming the Goddess into your homes. The first three days of Chaitra Navratri is dedicated to Maa Durga, the Goddess of energy, on the next three days, Maa Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, is worshipped and the last three days are devotes Third Manifestation

to Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. Today, the Goddess is being worshipped in her form as Chandraghanta. One story states that after Lord Shiva gave Parvati his word that he would not marry any woman, her sufferings overwhelmed him so much that he gave up, followed by a tearful reunion and then agrees to marry her. Soon, the joyous moment of Parvati's life comes. Shiva brings a procession of gods, mortals, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, sages, ascetics, Aghoris and Shivaganas to the gates of King Himavan's palace to take away his bride Parvati, on the occasion of his remarriage. Shiva arrives at King Himavan's palace in a terrorizing form and Parvati's mother Maina Devi faints in terror. Parvati appears to Shiva and sees his fearsome form, so to save her parents and other family members she transforms herself into beautiful Goddess Chandraghanta. Maa Chandraghanta persuaded Shiva to re-appear in a charming form. On listening to the Goddess, Shiva appears as a prince decorated with countless jewels. Parvati revived her mother, father and friends then Shiva and Parvati get married and made promises to one another. Maa Chandraghanta is believed to govern the Shukra (Venus) planet and according to legends, she drives away the negativity affecting her devotees with the sound of the moon-bell present on her forehead. With elegant garb and weapons in her hands she gives appearance of a strong female with composed countenance who establishes justice and gives her devotees the courage and strength to fight challenges. Even though Chaitra Navratri is a 9-day festival, for some the celebrations come to an end on the day of ‘dashami’ (10th day). This day is known as ‘Navratri Parana’ and devotees bid farewell to the Goddess Durga, and pray for Her return soon, next year. The HIndu Swyamsevak Sangh of Guyana (Hindus for Selfless Service) calls on all Guyanese especially the Hindu community to take this period to observe, enact positive changes and instill oneself with the courage to fight challenges facing us either individually or collectively. Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu Maa Chandraghanta Rupena Samsthita

Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah

I join hands in front of the supreme Goddess and adore the goddess with a bell shaped mark whom I praise over and over.

MAA KUSHMANDA

– the fourth Manifestation of Devi Durga Today, the fourth day of Navaratri the Devi, Durga is honoured and worshipped in the form of Kushmanda Devi. The word Kushmanda is made of three words that are “Ku + Ushma + Amnda= Kushmanda”. Here “Ku” is “Little”, “Ushma” is “Warmth or Energy” & “Anda” is “Egg”, means the one who create the universe as “Little Cosmic Egg” with the energy of Her divine smile is called “Kushmanda”. Goddess Durga is very happy in this incarnation and it is believed that when there is no existence of any creation or universe and there was the eternal darkness, which ended when Maa Kushmanda smiled. So that Kushmanda Devi is known as the creator the whole universe. She is also named as “Adi Shakti”. The core of Suraymandala (Sun) is the residence of this form. She is the only one who has the power and strength to live in the core of Suryaloka (Sun). By her the Sun obtains its brilliance and all the directions are pervaded by her light including the Sun God himself. Her luster illuminates and removes darkness from Earth; her boundless blaze gives light in life of human beings. Devi Kushmanda also known as “Ashtabhuja” (eight armed) as she is often depicted as having eight arms. In her seven hands she holds Kamandalu, Bow, Arrow, Lotus, a Jar of Nectar, Discus, and Mace. In her eighth hand she holds a rosary capable of giving eight Siddhis and nine Niddhis. She rides a lion who represents “Dharma”. On worshiping Her ailments and sorrows are eliminated and life span, name, strength and health improved. She also brings light into darkness and ignorance, gives true knowledge, destroys ego, disease, sorrow, depression and ignorance. Yogis and other dedicated devotees in spiritual practice should focus their energy in the Anahata Chakra / heart chakra which represents Kushmanda Devi. On this day whether you are attending mandir across Guyana or conducting your worship at home you should meditate on letting go bad habits/activities, asking forgiveness, being in touch with your true inner reality and position in the universe; your relationship with yourself, the universe, others in it and the Divine. Remind yourself that all power of the self comes through her grace. Remember, the Goddess Kushmanda favourite is red coloured flowers, offer some and recite this simple mantra to her. Ya devi sarvbhuteshu mam kushmanda rupena samsthita

Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah.

I join hands in front of the supreme Goddess and adore the goddess with a bell shaped mark whom I praise over and over.

Fourth Manifestation

Maa Skandamata

– Fifth Manifestation of Devi Durga The fifth manifesis known as Maa

tation of Devi Durga Skandamata. She is fifth

Fifth Manifestation

among Nava Durgas, that’s why she is worshiped on the fifth Navratri. Devi Maa is the mother of Kumara Skanda or Kumara Kartikeya also called Lord Murugan in south India. Kumar Skanda was chosen by Gods as their commander in “Deva-Sura Sangram” (the war of gods & demons) against the demons. According to Hindu Puranas, when all devtas (deities), manushya (mankind) and rishis (sages) were tired by the atrocities of demon Tarkasur, they sought help from Brahma to help end this demon’s tyranny. Brahma, who was earlier pleased by the hard penance of Tarkasur, granted him with the boon of invincibility from all, except Lord Shiva’s son. Upon being urged by all the devtas, Lord Shiva agreed and got married to Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya and later, their son Skanda destroyed the demon. Thus being the mother of Skanda she is Skandamata. Worshipping Skandamata has on the fifth day of Navaratra has very importance for Yogis & Sadhaks. Using a lion as a vehicle, Mother Goddess has four arms & three eyes. She holds Lord Skanda in her right upper arm and a lotus flower in her right lower hand, which is slightly raised upward. The left upper arm is in a pose to grant boon and in left lower hand, which is raised, she again holds lotus. She is Golden color. She is seated on lotus flower so she is called Padmasana. The planet Budha (Mercury) is governed by this Devi. The scriptures are very eloquent in glorifying the fifth day of Navaratra period. It is time when the aspirant should be most careful and cautious on the path of his Sadhana. By worshiping the goddess in the form of Skandamata, the devotee gets all his desires fulfilled. He starts tasting the Supreme joy even in this very mortal world. The gateway for salvation to him is spontaneously opened. Her worship automatically includes the worship of Lord Skanda in his child form. Only she has got this pride of place. So the sadhak should particularly be attentive to her worship. Being the presiding deity of sun god, she bestows an uncommon luster and radiance on her devotee. He is always surrounded by an invisible divine halo, which always maintains his ‘Yoga-Ksema’. Therefore, we should try very sincerely to take refuge under her. There is no better way to moksha from this world. Ya devi sarva bhutesu, Skandamata rupena sansthita Namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namaha! The goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Skandamata. I bow to her, I bow to her, I bow to her again & again.

MAA KATYAYANI

-the sixth Manifestation of Devi Durga Divine Goddess Katyayini is the sixth manifestation of Durga and one of the prominent deities among Navdurga. She is grandly worshiped on the sixth day of Navratri pooja.


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Faith

Her appearance is immensely majestic and divine. She is represented with four-arms. Her upper left hand holds sword and lower left hand represents lotus-flower. Her upper right hand and lower right hand are left open for actions and showering blessing on us. The lion is her procession. Her appearance is imagined with pink sari wearing white rosary on her neck. Goddess Katyayani also represents divine power for demolishing tyranny and torments of demons and giants. According to Hindu Mythology, it is believed that long time ago there was a renowned sage called ‘Maharashi Kat’. Rishi Katya was son of Maharshi Kat, and under clan of Katya a prominent rishi was born with name ‘Katyayan’. Rishi Katyayan was a great devotee of Devi Durga and performed eras of hard penance to delight her. When Goddess Durga was pleased by his devotion, he prayed Goddess to take birth as his daughter. Devi Durga accepted and accomplished his wish. Devi Katyayani (manifestation of Durga) took this horn on her shoulder and destroyed devils. Being the daughter of her great devotee Rishi Katya, she became prominent with name ‘Katyayini’. Delightful Devi Katyayini bestows copious fruitful results to her devotees. On the auspi-

Pooja during Navratri. This auspicious day is vivaciously celebrated with whole of heart and devotion inclined toward Devi Mahagauri. During Ashwin Shukla Ashtami, the Mahagauri Pooja is performed. Goddess Mahagauri pooja is accomplished with worship of both Goddesses Gauri and Shankar (Lord Shiva). Adherence toward Mahagauri is truly advantageous. Her worshippers are never returned with empty hands from asylum of Goddess Gauri. Grand worship, donations, customs and rituals are performed during Ashtami of Navratri Pooja to delight this deity. Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Maa Mahagauri Rupena Sansthita,

Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha

Meaning: The Goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Devi Mahagauri, I now to Her again and again. Illumination of her grace is infinite. Adhering toward her faith, devotees start believing on honesty, loyalty and lifelong relationship. Jai Devi Mahagauri

DEVI SIDDHIDATRI

- the Ninth Manifestation of Devi Durga

Seventh Manifestation

Sixth Manifestation

cious sixth day of Navratri Pooja, devotees perform pooja and offer customs, rituals to this divine Goddess. Worshipping this Goddess on the sixth day of Navratri Puja bestows desired husband and accomplishes other true wishes. It is also believed that while worshipping Devi Katyayini on the Shashti (sixth day) of Durga Pooja, devotees feel presence of Agya Chakra in their mind and soul. Agya Chakra shows the light to devotees to completely sacrifice everything for Goddess Katyayini. Through this Chakra, devotees get influenced for Sampurna Atmadan (Absolute self-sacrifice) at asylum of Devi Katyayini. The feeling of absolute selfsacrifice wins heart of this divine Devi and she accomplishes true desires of her devotees. Her regular devotees certainly get eminent position on earth. Offer your devotion and dedication to majestic Devi Katyayini on sixth day of Durga Puja and get glorious fruits. The katyayani durga gayatri mantra: Om Katya Yanaya Vidmahe, Kanya Kumari cha Dhimahi Tanno Durgih Prachodayat Meaning: The Devi who took birth in the abode of Rishi (Sage) Katya, we bow in reverence before You bless us with illumination and inspiration and give us strength. Her grandeur is infinite. She is highly generous toward her worshippers and devotees. Jai Katyayini Maa!

MAA KALRATRI

- the Seventh Manifestation of Devi Durga The most horrendous appearance of Durga is in form of Kalratri. Devi Kalratri is the seventh aspect of Durga and worshiped among Navdurga. She is also glorified with name ‘Kali Maa’. She is believed to be the most violent Devi among Navdurga. She has dark krishna (black) complexion and her appearance is extremely fearful. Her large red eyes, open red tongue, and sobre on hand violently demolish devils and monsters. Devi Kalratri has three round eyes, and scattered long black hair. She wears a bead that gleams like fire of

electric power. Durga manifested herself as completely destroy the dirt and demons from existence. She is revered with name Kalratri, because she represents herself as a death of Kaal appeared like a dark night for demons. Donkey is her procession, as she rides on gadarbh. Goddess Kalratri also has four arms. She holds sobre in her upper left hand and thorn of iron in lower left hand. Her upper right hand is in Var Mudra and lower right hand is in Abhay Mudra. During the seventh day of Navaratri, Sadhak or devotee enters in Sahastrar chakra. After immersing oneself in Sahastrar Chakra, devotees are able to see the entrance of getting complete perfection in Universe. However, appearance of Maa Kalratri is so dreadful, but her grace is generous toward devotees. During Navratri, Saptami Pooja of Devi Kalratri is considered as Maha Pooja or great worship of Goddess Durga. Delighting this deity, devotees certainly get enormous happiness, power and comforts in life. Maa Kalratri is worshiped to destroy agony of awry influence from life of mankind. On the seventh day of Navratri Pooja, Saptami fast is observed to please this deity. Tantra-mantra practices are also performed and accomplished under blessings of this Goddess. Seventh day of Navratri pooja is envisaged as one of the great days in Durga Pooja. Worship Maa Kalratri on the seventh day of Navratri Pooja and obtain her enormous grace. Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Kalratri Rupena Sansthita,

Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha

Meaning: The Goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Maa Kalratri, I now to Her again and again. Her splendor is limitless. She removes any kind of fear in life and protects all her devotees. Jai Maa Kalratri!

DEVI MAHAGAURI

- the Eighth Manifestation of Devi Durga Spellbind, mesmerizing whitish look of Durga is Mahagauri. Goddess Mahagauri is eighth form of Devi Durga and one of the graceful Goddesses among Nav Durga. She is majestically worshiped on eighth day of Navratri pooja. She denotes peace and endurance. She is represented with four arms seated on a Vrishabha (bull). Her upper left hand holds Trishul (trident), lower right hand carries Damru (hand drum) and other two hands are in different Mudras (positions). It is believed that this manifestation is of Parvati when she did hard penance to obtain her Shiva due to which her body color turned dark. When Lord Shiva accepted her great devotion he washed her body with pure Ganga water that made her body completely Gour (white). Worshipping Goddess Mahagauri during eighth day of Navratra is immensely fruitful. Offering invocation to this almighty makes worshipper sacred. Ashtami poojan is considered as Maha

Devi Siddhidatri is the ninth manifestation of Shakti and is greatly worshipped among Nav Durga. On the final day of Navratri pooja, worshippers and devotees of Durga wonderfully pay homage to Goddess Siddhidatri. This Goddess is revered to offer all types of Siddhi (perfection) to her devotees and thus glorified with name ‘Siddhidatri’. She is represented with four arms sitting on lotus flower. Her arms hold Gada (bludgeon), Chakra, Shankh (scallop shell) and lotus flower. Her appearance glows in red saree. Her procession is lion but she is more often seen sitting in a lotus flower. Worshipping goddess Siddhidatri on the ninth and final day of Navratri bestows all Siddhis to worshippers and successfully completes their Navratri Pooja. On the ninth day of Navratri Pooja, Kanya Poojan is also performed with grand touch. Little girls are offered homage and feed with blessed meals. Yagya, Maha Pooja and other grand celebrations are also performed to delight Nav Durga on this day. Each day of Navratri has a significant importance, but ninth day is the most prominent, as this is the final and concluding day of Durga Pooja. With her grace, all wishes are fulfilled. It is also believed that grace of Devi Siddhidatri satisfies and controls all desires of her worshippers. There is no any type of wish remain in heart after worshipping her solely. Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu, Maa Siddhidatri Rupena Sansthita,

Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha

Meaning: The Goddess who is omnipresent as the divine Goddess Siddhidatri, I now to Her again and again. She ends greed and unnecessary temptation toward material comfort. Pray Goddess Siddhidatri and get her immense blessings. Jai Maa Siddhidatri! Ninth Manifestation


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MARCH 25, 2018

Fasting

: Ash Wednesday observences

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ust as we set aside time to spiritually prepare for Christmas Day, it makes sense to set aside time to prepare for the two most important days of the Christian year. Like Advent, Lent is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper, so that when Good Friday and eventually Easter comes, it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing of graces God has to offer. These were the sentiments of Reverend Terry Davis, who is attached to the St. Phillips Church in Smythe Street, and who also holds the office the Diocesan Secretary of the Anglican Churches in Guyana. “Lent is a period of 40 days during which many Christians are given the opportunity to get involved in some reflection and introspection of their lives and that is done in preparation

for celebration of Easter. It is a time when we slow down, look at our faith and we will find ourselves wanting,” he explained, during an interview with the Times Sunday Magazine. According to Rev. Davis, while we deal with day to day issues, it is important that we also ask God for help, and for his grace to help us deal with our sinfulness. He added, “It is hoped that by Easter we would have achieved a certain level of maturity. We hope that by the celebration we would be a little closer to God.”

prayer, confession, fasting,

and almsgiving as we anticipate Holy Week. Lent traditionally lasts forty days, modeled after Christ's forty day fast in the desert, and ends on Good Friday. “During Lent, we do not count the Sundays, they are not considered days of Lent, but days in Lent. So that’s how we get 40 days. We do not count the Sundays; from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday,” Rev. Davis stated. In pointing to the significance of fasting, Rev. Davis underscored the importance of understanding the meaning. “We have to be careful with the word ‘fasting’. Fasting really means the denial of oneself of some pleasure. I am making this clear because when we talk about fasting, very many people think about food; but we could fast from music, people and any pleasure.” More importantly, he also pointed to the importance of helping oth-

ers or charitable organisations during this period. “Denying oneself to help other persons, that is very important,” he emphasised

Significance

Fasting, he continued, also encompasses abstinence from certain things like meat. “The idea is to deny oneself these pleasures with the hope of engaging more in prayer. We should use the time to be more prayerful and reach out to God to deal with our sins, our weaknesses. It’s not just fasting there must be something connected with the fasting, like prayer and almsgiving, these three go hand in hand, ” he said.

Easter

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion. For Christians, remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that mankind will have victory over sin.

Fasting

The Lenten season developed as part of the historical Christian calendar and is typically celebrated by Catholics and some mainline Protestant churches that follow a liturgical calendar. Although its format has varied throughout the centuries and throughout different cultures, the basic concept remains the same: to open our hearts to God's refining grace through

Church Services are held during the period

“It is our hope that we too would one day be resurrected through our faith in him and so through our baptism, we believe that we die with him and that we were raised with him to eternal life . And that is all through faith. It is all about Gods love for us that he sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sins, which is death, which is in the book of Genesis,” Rev. Davis said.

Kites and Easter

According to the Diocesan Secretary, kite flying has no real connection with Easter; rather, the practice is man-made and believed to have started around the year 350-60. He added, “Its relationship to Easter in man-made. In societies around the world it is associated with Easter but it has no connection. There is no harm done, if they enjoy themselves and families get together, no problem.”


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Fasting

on your blood sugar levels you should avoid fasting. In addition to this, some groups of people are at greater risk of the negative effects associated with fasting. Such effects might include, but are not limited to, headaches and dizziness, an inability to concentrate, flare-ups of a long-standinghealthcondition

Is fasting healthy and is it an effective and safe way to lose weight?

If you’ve ever considered following a diet, make sure you have all the facts first. Fasting has been used throughout history and across the world for religious, cultural and spiritual practices. In recent years, the media attention given to diets such as the 5:2 diet have made fasting a popular choice among those wishing to lose weight without having to give up particular foods. IF focuses around the periods of time that we are not eating – ‘fasting’. The frequency and duration of these fasting periods depends on the specific diet followed and the individual’s schedule. Some popular IF eating patterns include: Choosing a time period in which to eat each day, while refraining from eating outside of this For example, the 16:8 diet involves fasting for 16 hours per day and eating within an 8-hour window. One of the most common ways to do this is by skipping breakfast and only eating from midday-8pm, so you are fasting for 16 hours per day (between 8pm and midday the next day). Other variations of the diet involve 6-hour eating periods or shorter. Choosing a regular day

of the week or month during which to fast, for a full 24-hours For example, if you finish dinner at 8pm one evening, you would refrain from eating until 8pm the next day. Choosing certain days of the week to consume very few calories, while eating a normal number of calories during the rest of the week For example, the 5:2 diet involves eating only 25% of a normal calorie intake (500 kcals for women, 600 kcals for men) on two days per week, then eating a normal and unrestricted amount on the other five.

Benefits

As well as weight loss, various studies have linked IF with a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, an extended lifespan, some protection against age-related diseases and a protective effect against cognitive decline. This is still an emerging area of research and these links are as yet inconclusive. It is important to note that some of these studies have only been carried out with animals, and it is unclear at the moment whether all the benefits will be replicated in human studies.

Is it safe?

Much of the emphasis of these diets is on the fasting stage, but in order to be

a safe, effective and healthy style of eating, the food consumed during your 'eating windows' needs to be of high nutritional value. Aim to include essential fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds, lean sources of protein, wholegrains and starchy carbs and plenty of fruit and vegetables to supply dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Is it effective for weight loss and is it sustainable?

Studies suggest that when you compare IF with daily calorie restriction it is equally as effective at promoting weight loss in those who are overweight and obese. Results will vary, however, dependent on your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose. How effective it is in the longer term will depend on your ability to maintain this style of eating going forward. This is because IF is not so much a ‘diet’ but rather a programme of eating, which means sustaining the weight loss is all down to how well you adapt your eating patterns in the long term.

Who should be more careful when considering fasting?

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, diabetic or have a condition that requires you to keep a close eye

like gout or an alteration in the way certain medications are absorbed and used by the body. Vulnerable groups may include the elderly, the young (under 18 years of age), those who are on medication, those who have a low body mass index (BMI) and those with emotional or psy-

chological issues around food, including any history of eating disorders. Please note: if you're considering attempting any form of diet, please consult your GP first to ensure you can do so without risk to health. (BBC Good Food)


8 Sunday Times Magazine Festivities

MARCH 25, 2018

Easter 2 18

B

oth visitors and locals are in for an exhilarating Easter weekend; from participating in traditional kite flying, to joining in the adrenaline filled Easter Rodeo in Lethem, there is much to celebrate and enjoy. There are many fun-filled activities during this period, ranging from the traditional Pakaraima Mountain Safari to the relatively new Sand Creek Rodeo. The Easter weekend celebrations commence with Good Friday observances on March 30th and stretches to Easter Monday, April 2nd. Picnicking, kite flying and general enjoyment are all components of the annual Easter festival in Guyana. In Georgetown, the Botanical Gardens, the National Park and along the sea wall families gather to celebrate together. These areas are hot spots for Easter activities; here you c a n see thousands of kites of all colours, sizes, and shapes flittering the air a s

guyanatimesgy.com

Bartica Regatta

This exciting period commences with the ever popular Pakaraima Mountain Safari, which commences today, 25th March and which will culminate on April 1st. This journey of over 600 miles winds through 25 Amerindian Villages, between mountain passes and over mountain tops to the amazing Orinduik Water Falls. This frontier is blessed with a wide range of flora and fauna and the rich history of our indigenous peoples. This Mountain Safari is organised by Rainforest Tours. This event is followed by the Bartica Regatta and its impressive lineup of activities beginning on March 31st and stretching until Easter Sunday. For those who seek a more adventurous holi-

Bikers participating in the annual Pakaraima Safari

Safari

adults and children alike hoist them high. For many Guyanese their activity of choice varies during this period; where some prefer to bask in the religious nuances of the occasion, others prefer to relish in the revelry and excitement surrounding all of the fun filled events that are staged across the country .Whatever the choice, this celebratory period will be littered with a multitude of events stretching from Region 6 to the Rupununi; each expected to attract thousands from at home and abroad.

day, t h e L e t h e m Rodeo also commences on March 31st and runs until April 1st as well. This popular national event is staged in vaquero country, and competition runs high among the various ranches

of the region. Now an Easter tradition, the Rodeo brings thousands thronging to the destination, by planes, cars, or 4x4 trucks. Held in Lethem, the activity will allow visitors the opportunity to see cowboys from the various ranches pit their skills against each another in friendly competitions. With its origins in the 1960's, the event has gained national and international reputation, drawing increasing spectators and participants from around the world. It is a historical tradition and a celebration of the cowboy lifestyle that Guyana’s Rupununi Savannahs are renowned for. While these are some of the main events during this celebratory period, there are many other activities staged across the country, these include GMRSC Motor racing which will kick off today, the Savannah Drive to the Rupununi and Orinduik Falls slated for March 27th, the annual Lake Mainstay Car and Bike Show for March 31st and the Sand Creek Rodeo slated for April 2nd. Most of the activities will culminate on Easter Day, Monday April 2nd when the skies over the

city will be adorned with kites of all shapes, colours and themes expertly navigated by the thousands of Guyanese and tourists flocking one of the popular venues to participate in this age old tradition. For many families, the annual activity is highly anticipated and the Easter Holidays would be incomplete without a trip to the #63 Beach for heaping helpings of relaxation, sun, food and family fun for everyone. The festivities at the beach are an integral part of the promotion of domestic tourism and allows for the showcasing of Guyanese Easter traditions, in addition, families flock every year to participate in the annual Kite Flying Competition there. With such an impressive itinerary, it is anticipated that next few weeks will see an influx of visitors; whatever the choice, regardless of the preference, one thing is guaranteed; Guyana is the destination of choice for the upcoming period and visitors and locals should be prepared to be swept up in the flurry of activities planned to commemorate the cherished occasion.


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Sunday Times Magazine

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10 Sunday Times Magazine

MARCH 25, 2018

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Fashion Designer VandaAllicockCalistro

Y

ears of experience in the clothing design business have not tempered Vanda-Allicock- Calistro’s creativity, in fact, the local designer continues to grow from strength to strength. During an interview with the Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Ms. Calistro revealed that by harnessing her creativity, she was able to transform the lives of her family after the tragic passing of her sister. She explained, “After my sister died, her son started at Borrowes [School of Art] and we were financially challenged, so I started designing on shirts.” Her father, she added was her first customer. Since that time, the 33 year old has participated in several local and regional events. “Apart from fashion Week, I have participated in the Suriname Expo

and a few local shows with Sonia Noel, mainly find raising activities,” she said. Vanda recalled that she left her home in the Rupununi at the tender age of ten, when as the recipient of a scholarship, she moved to Georgetown. However, despite the transition, the designer never lost touch with her Indigenous roots. “I do fabric painting mostly and I try to capture indigenous aspects like the birds, trees and basket weaving,” she said. For her, inspiration comes from customers’ appreciation of her designs which incorporate the various aspects of her culture. While she continues to build on her successes, Vanda has acknowledged that her journey has not been without its trials. “One of the biggest challenges has been finding a seamstress to get the product I wanted, which I use as a medium. It is a lot better now though,” she added. Vanda credits her continued success to her persistence and the support she received from family and friends, including the Radziks, her nephew Nigel, Anna Isles , her seamstress and Sonia Noel. “I would tell anyone, do not to give up when you fail. If you embrace failure there is something better on the other side; and remember to be kind to people,” She emphasised. According to the local designer, she has grown as an artist over the years and she is looking forward to embracing the future. She said, “I had no idea in the beginning what I was going to do, at least now I have a fair idea; I am still learning.”


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Sunday Times Magazine 11

Home & Cooking

Recipe

Want to preserve your Easter eggs for years to come? Blow out the interiors of each egg before decorating, then hand-paint with various shades of acrylic paint. Once dry, use a liner brush to paint polka dots, swirls or other designs with glue onto painted eggs. Then sprinkle the wet glue with glitter. The end result will be a batch of glamorous and glittery eggs to display for spring guests. Served as a classic Easter treat, the buns can also be enjoyed at any time of year. Preparation time: over 2 hours Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins Serves: 12 buns

Ingredients: For the buns

625g/1.3lb strong white flour, plus extra for dusting 1 tsp salt 2 tsp ground mixed spice 45g/1.5 oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing 85g/3oz sugar 1 lemon, zest only

1½ tsp fast-action yeast 1 egg 275ml/10fl oz tepid milk 125g/4oz mixed dried fruit For the topping 2 tbsp plain flour vegetable oil, for greasing 1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing

Method

• For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast. • Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk. Mix together to a form a soft, pliable dough. • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. • Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove. • Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise. • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. • Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise. • Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/ • Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water. • When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun. • Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack. (BBC)

Marbleized Eggs Add a fun, multicolour twist to plain eggs with a marbleized effect. Simply add olive oil to the dye solution to create an unpredictable, mottled look to your eggs.

Bejeweled Eggs

Add some glitz and glam to your Easter eggs with sparkling rhinestones. First, if you want, paint your eggs with acrylic paint and let dry. Then place stick-on rhinestones in various colours and sizes to create the pattern of your choice.

Easter Egg Animals Let crafty little hands get creative by turning colorfully dyed Easter eggs into adorable bunnies, chicks, sheep and birds. Download and print patterned paper so kids can cut out ears, beaks, feathers, whiskers, etc., to create springtime animals.

Thread-Wrapped Eggs Use baker's twine to add a trendy look to your eggs. First, dab a fast-grab tacky glue to the bottom of a paper mache egg and coil the string around. To change colours, trim the first Glue-Strip Dyed Eggs colour and glue the end of the second color. For Use plain hard-boiled eggs and stick on glue strips where desired. You can create a planned a seamless finish, coil the string around the top, pattern or stick them in unexpected places for a surprising finish. Dye your eggs, then peel off strips trim and dab on some glue. when cool and dry to reveal overlapping white lines.


12 Sunday Times Magazine

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MARCH 25, 2018

Puzzles

Crossword

ACROSS 107 Randomness 1 Iffy attempts 108 The "I" 6 Hindu ascetic 110 Aparicio of baseball 11 Safari sighting 111 Swerves 16 Like Mozart's flute 112 Bellyached 21 Native American dwelling 113 Pharaoh's textile 22 Martini garnish 115 Blues street in Memphis 23 -- -- in the bucket 116 Knock for a loop 24 Speedily 117 Alpaca cousin 25 Pablo's girl 120 Hotel patron 26 Filled the hold 122 Exhaust gradually 27 Rockhound's find 124 Highest point 28 Celtic priest 128 Tooth-puller's org. 29 RN assistant 129 The -- Enterprise 30 Clan leader 131 Disordered 32 Bach instrument 133 Sonnet stanza 34 Spanish hero El - 135 -- Dawn Chong 36 "-- whiz!" 136 Tightwad 37 Barrels 138 Correspond 39 Pago Pago locale 140 Moon track 41 Cherbourg shes 142 Adjust the tires 43 Tables or shelves 144 Ease of manner 45 Zingy flavors 145 -- -- costs 47 Gives medicine 146 In a -- (later) 49 Preferred strategy (2 wds.) 147 Bard's teen 51 Cheesecake brand (2 wds.) 148 Lost a lap 54 Buy by mail 149 Chinese canines, briefly 55 Russell Crowe role 150 Solitude enjoyer 56 Plover's dwelling 151 Oak-to-be 60 Quick-witted DOWN 61 Tender sprig 1 Hunt down 62 Fleet 2 Arizona town 64 Utmost degree 3 Mocking 65 Yellow pigment used in 4 Implore cave art 5 Circus animal 66 Walking -- - 6 Leaves 67 Marshal's star 7 Waker-uppers 68 "Sesame Street" regular 8 Pal, slangily 70 Burns' "-- -- Mouse" 9 "-- been had!" 71 Rowboat seat 10 Change the decor 73 Mawkish 11 Bargain driver 74 Show off 12 Principles 75 The "Elephant Boy" 13 Liable 77 "Diana" composer 14 Bean hull 78 Gambles badly 15 Fuel cartel 79 Spice-rack item 16 Enrage 80 Landslide debris 17 IRS time 82 Type of headache 18 Estimate 83 Airport problem 19 Less cordial 84 Went biking 20 Yields territory 87 Mountaineer's aid 31 "Roots" Emmy winner 88 Ducklike bird 33 Change the clock 89 Hitchhiker's need 35 Wyoming neighbor 93 Alpha opposites 38 Fend off 94 Alma - 40 Deft 95 Irregular, as fog 42 Like foam rubber 97 Dust cloth 44 Geisha's accessory 98 Perk up 46 Police bulletin 99 Assumed identity 48 Hound's trail 100 Texas spread 50 Cleanse 101 Beside 51 Bagpipe players 103 Yalie 52 Bauxite giant 104 Swigged down 53 Fixed-up building 106 Bandmate of Mick 54 Maureen of the screen

Colouring Fun

55 57 58 59 61 62 63 66 67 69 72 73 74 76 78 79 81 82 83 84 85 86

Twig junctures Lethargic feeling Reek Frat letter Plumber's tool Soap units Dog plaints Bought Petty officer Harder to find Furry hoppers Privilege Fidelity Common practice Quart, plus Mutt Jangle Positioned Arrow part Tent supports Novelist -- Zola Tasmanian --

87 88 90 91 92 94 95 96 99 100 102 105 106 107 109 111 112 114

Blacktops Tips to the side Presses Move to the beat -- on (incited) Sulking Two by two Coarse person Private eye's lead Fishing gear -- Ingalls Wilder Radius companions "Endymion" poet Old hag Winter woe Bowls or ships Sparkle Accustomed

115 116 117 118 119 121 123 125 126 127 130 132 134 137 139 141 143

Ladybug Glib Seductive women -- box Name in watches Boat made of skins Worm seeker First-class, in slang Gung-ho Inert gas Make a trade Caterwaul Mitchell mansion That, in Tijuana Country addr. Letter before sigma -- cit. (footnote abbr.) See Solution on Pg 13

KATHLEEN SAXE

WORD GAME TODAY'S WORD -- EUPHONIOUS

(EUPHONIOUS: yoo-FO-nee-us: Pleasing or agreeable to the ear.) Average mark 38 words Time limit 60 minutes Can you find 57 or more words in EUPHONIOUS?

epos upon peon peso phon phone phonies pine pious pish poise poison pone ponies pooh

pose posh punish push heinous hone hoop hope hose house onus oops open opine opus

noes noise noose nose nosh shin shine ship shoe shone shoo shop shun sine siphon

snip snipe snoop sone soon soup spin spine spoon spun sunup supine

RULES OF THE GAME: 1. Words must be of four or more letters. 2. Words that acquire four letters by the addition of "s," such as "bats" or "dies," are not allowed. 3. Additional words made by adding a "d" or an "s" may not be used. For example, if "bake" is used, "baked" or "bakes" are not allowed, but "bake" and "baking" are admissible. 4. Proper nouns, slang words, or vulgar or sexually explicit words are not allowed.


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MARCH 25, 2018

Sunday Times Magazine 13

Tech

Facebook's Zuckerberg speaks out over Cambridge Analytica 'breach’ F

acebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the social network "made mistakes" that led to millions of Facebook users having their data exploited by a political consultancy. Cambridge Analytica is accused of improperly using the data on behalf of political clients. In a statement, Mr Zuckerberg said a "breach of trust" had occurred. In a later interview with CNN he said he was "really sorry", and pledged to take action against "rogue apps". He added that he was "happy" to testify before Congress "if it's the right thing to do". In his statement posted on Facebook, he promised to make it far harder for apps to "harvest" user information. "We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," Mr Zuckerberg said. What has Zuckerberg pledged to do? To address current and past problems, Mr

A

pple says it will fix a bug that caused Siri to read out hidden lock screen notifications to anyone who asks. Apple said in a statement to MacRumors, “We are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update.” The update might come in iOS 11.3, currently still in beta, or possibly in iOS 11.2.7 if Apple releases a minor update. The original bug allowed Siri to read out lock screen notifications for thirdparty apps, even if you turned off message previews while the phone is locked. Siri didn’t check to make sure the owner of the phone was the person who was asking. iMessages and SMS texts were still kept private from being read aloud, but Facebook Messenger, Slack, email apps like Apple’s own Mail app, and more could all have

further" to prevent other kinds of abuse; remove developers' access to a user's data if the user hadn't activated the developer's app for three months; reduce the data that users give an

Zuckerberg said his company would: investigate all Facebook apps that had access to large amounts of information before the platform was changed "to dramatically reduce data access" in 2014 conduct a "full forensic audit" of any app with suspicious activity ban any developer that did not agree to a thorough audit ban developers that had misused personally identifiable information, and "tell everyone affected by those apps" In future, he said Facebook would: restrict developers' data access "even

messages read by Siri. (And since whisper mode hasn’t yet come to Siri, despite Apple patenting that technology, the voice can still be quite loud.) Anyone can just hold down the home button on most iPhones or a side button for the iPhone X to activate Siri without voice recognition and ask to read notifications. The problem remains in iOS 11.3 beta and iOS 11.2.6 devices until Apple issues the fix. (The Verge)

Crossword Solution

app when they sign in to just name, profile photo, and email address; require developers to obtain approval and also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other

private data. Mr Zuckerberg added: "While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn't change what happened in the past.

"We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward." (BBC

Tech)


14 Sunday Times Magazine

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MARCH 25, 2018

Bollywood/Hollywood

A

fter a gruelling shooting schedule for Thugs of Hindostan in Jodhpur, megastar Amitabh Bachchan is back to Mumbai, where he will gear up for the promotions and shooting of his other projects. Big B, whose shooting experience for the actionheavy film took a toll on his health briefly, wrote about it in an early morning blog from Jodhpur on Thursday. “The intense schedule gives a cheer from the crew on a schedule wrap for Mr B... only to rejoin them in a few days for another, and hopefully the last schedule for the TOH film. Meanwhile, back in the ranch the preparations for the promotion of 102 Not Out would begin and the shoot for Jhund and

S

alman Khan has been sharing posters of his upcoming film, Race 3 and the latest one featured Bobby Deol. Posting the image on his Instagram account, Stallone sent ‘best wishes’ to the Dabangg star. A day after Bollywood star Salman Khan shared a video from Sylvester Stallone’s Creed 2, the Hollywood star has returned the favour, promoting the

P

Even at this age, Amitabh Bachchan is more active than younger stars

Brahmastra,” he wrote. Earlier this month, the 75-year-old actor had revealed his health was not up to the mark, and that’s why doctors were called in from Mumbai to “fiddle around” with his body. Thugs of Hindostan, being directed

latest poster of Khan’s Race 3. Salman Khan has been sharing posters of his upcoming film, Race 3 and the latest one featured Bobby Deol. Posting the image on his Instagram account, Stallone wrote, “The very best wishes to very talented film hero SALMAN KHAN For his next film RACE 3 !@ beingsalmankhan.” Salman, on Wednesday,

ictures from Manmarziyan, the new film by director Anurag Kashyap, which is the film comeback of Abhishek Bachchan after a two-year gap, were shared online on Wednesday. The new photos give us our first good look at Abhishek, Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal’s characters in the film. Abhishek can be seen wearing a turban. He has a stern expression on his face. Taapsee and Vicky, meanwhile, look like the perfect young Punjabi couple, with Vicky even sporting a new hairstyle and a Jim Morrison T-shirt. Vicky previously worked with Anurag on Raman Raghav 2.0, in which he played a drug-addled cop. “Your Daadi, Teji Kaur Suri pre marriage .. your par Nana Khazan Singh Suri .. your par Naani Amar Kaur Sodhi .. & all related must feel great pride and love for you .. as do I,” Amitabh wrote.

by Vijay Krishna Acharya, also features Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Sheikh. Parts of it have been shot at Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, which caught Big B’s fancy. (Hindtsuan

Times)

shared a clip of the Rocky star wherein he is promoting his flick Creed II. He wrote alongside, “While I introduce the #race3 family this week, this is something all of you should know.” Directed by Remo D’Souza, Race 3 is the third film in the hit franchise Race and it also stars Jacqueline Fernandez, Saqib Saleem, Daisy Shah and Anil Kapoor, apart from Salman and Bobby. Abbas-Mustan directed the first two iterations of Race and both films had Saif Ali Khan and Anil Kapoor in lead roles. Likely to be inspired by Stallone's Rocky I, Creed 2 will have the star return as Rocky Balboa. The film will also feature Michael B Jordan. Directed by Steven Caple Jr., the film is slated for a November 2018 release.

B

rad and Jen have been 'secretly getting together for late night hook ups' following her split from Justin Theroux. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston may be giving their relationship another chance. In this week's issue, Star magazine reports that the exes are back together, all thanks to the "Allied" actor's best friend George Clooney. According to the webloid, the 54-year-old actor and the blonde beauty have been having secret meetups after George encouraged Brad to reach out to her following her split from Justin Theroux. "They've been secretly getting together for late night hook ups, and it's all because of George," a source tells the magazine. The source adds, "George was the first person to call him when his marriage to

B

ad news, Celine Dion fans. The songstress has canceled fourteen performances at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas starting from March 27 to April 18 as she undergoes surgery for an ear issue. Her team announced the news on Facebook on Wednesday, March 21. "Celine has been dealing with a condition in her middle ear known as Patulous Eustachian tube, which cause hearing irregularities, and makes it extremely difficult to sing," so the announcement read. "She has been experiencing this condition for the past 12-18 months but it has been successfully treated with various ear drop medications." Her team went on ex-

Angie imploded. After Jen and Justin Theroux announced their split, he encouraged Brad to reach out and give their relationship another chance." While Jen was close to George when she was with the "Inglourious Basterds" actor in late 1990s until early 2005, George was shunted out of Brad's life by Angelina Jolie during Brad's relationship with the "Maleficent" actress. And now that Angelina left Brad's life, George reportedly took the opportunity to get Brad back together with Jen. According to Star, Brad and Jen met for the first time post-her split on March 3 at a private pre-Oscars party in Beverly Hills. "The plan was to head over to Jen's place afterward for a nightcap, but, of course, George would just drop Brad

off," a source reveals. "Their evening together was very relaxed and low-key. They reminisced about the past and had a lot of laughs. It seems just like old times, only better." A rep for George has denied the story, but that doesn't stop the magazine from claiming that Jen "wants to keep the reunion under the radar." Previously, New Idea reported a similar story about George's role in Brad and Jen's alleged reunion. The "Ocean's Eleven" stars were spotted enjoying dinner with Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper and Laura Dern in L.A. last weekend, with George even using Jen's private bodyguard. During the dinner, the "ER" alum reportedly told their friends about how happy he is that Brad and Jen have reunited. (Ace Showbiz)

plaining that the medications she's been taking for the past couple of weeks "have no longer been working to treat the condition, so she will undergo a minimally invasive surgical procedure to correct the problem." The "My Heart Will Go On" hitmaker also released a statement regarding the cancellation. "My luck hasn't been very good lately... I've been so looking forward to doing my shows again and this happens... I just can't believe it!" she wrote. "I apologize to everyone who planned to travel to Las Vegas to see my show. I know how disappointing this is, and I'm so sorry. Celine is expected to continue her residency on May 22. A refund will be available for those who pur-

chased tickets to one of the canceled performances. This wasn't the first time Celine was forced to cancel some of her Las Vegas shows due to health issue. In January, she canceled seven shows after suffering from congestion and irritation of the vocal chords due to a lingering cold. Fortunately, Adele was able to cheer her up during her "rough time." "I had a pretty rough time during the last couple of weeks... a lot of people have been hit with cold and flu bugs... but I'm doing much better now," Celine wrote on Instagram. "Wasn't able to do all my shows, but was thrilled that Adele came to one of them... I love her so much!" (Ace Showbiz)


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MARCH 25, 2018

Sunday Times Magazine 15


16 Sunday Times Magazine

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MARCH 25, 2018

Fun Times

Archie

Your reputation may be in jeopardy if you aren't rea(March 21- sonable. Don't let anger take April 19) the reins and lead you into a situation that could damage your personal or professional future.

ARIES

Listen to the voice of reaTAURUS son and someone who has (April 20- more experience. What you May 20) learn will help you avoid getting involved in something that could put a dent in your wallet. Getting together with old GEMINI friends will also bring back (MAY 28- matters you left unfinished. June 20) Expect someone to remind you of something you'd rather not deal with or think about.

Try something new or learn a new skill that will help you (June 21- stay current with the latest July 22) trends. An interesting encounter will turn into an opportunity.

CANCER

LEO (July 23Aug. 22)

Dilbert

VIRGO (Aug. 23Sept. 22)

LIBRA (Sept. 23Oct. 23)

Peanuts

Emotionally fueled spending is apparent. Instead of going shopping, work on clearing a space you can use to study, hone a skill or start a small business that will bring in extra cash. Look at every facet of a situation and the cost involved before you make a move. Don't feel you must follow in someone else's footsteps. Do what feels right. An opportunity will not be as good as you've been led to believe. Don't fold under pressure or agree to something without knowing the risk involved. Focus on personal growth, not on changing others.

Expect travel delays or to be SCORPIO (Oct. 24- faced with opposition. Nothing Nov. 22) will run smoothly, but if you are diligent and go about your business strategically, you will make progress. Problems at home will SAGITTARIUS leave you perplexed if you (Nov. 23have allowed someone else to Dec. 21) take care of domestic matters. A financial situation should be dealt with swiftly before it causes undue stress.

Calvin and Hobbes

Don't take what others say CAPRICORN to heart. Someone who lacks (Dec. 22- discretion can be silenced withJan. 19) out nastiness. Dealing with friends and relatives will be difficult. Stick close to home. Weigh the pros and cons AQUARIUS regarding how you earn your (Jan. 20- income. You may want to Feb. 19) consider branching out and taking on something more challenging. Talk to someone with experience.

PISCES Look for a new interest, (Feb. 20- hobby or creative outlet. Being Mar. 20) active will help support your emotional outlook and give you a sense of accomplishment and belonging.

Sunday times magazine march 25, 2018  
Sunday times magazine march 25, 2018