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Rupee continues to rule firm, quotes at 61.64 vs dollar


he rupee continued to rule firm for the third consecutive day today by gaining another 11 paise to 61.64 per dollar on persistent selling of the US currency by banks and exporters in view of strong foreign capital inflows.

December 2013 Edition

Weakness of dollar in the overseas market also boosted the rupee value, a forex dealer said. The Indian unit resumed higher at 61.64 per dollar as against the last closing level of 61.75 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market. It firmed up further to

61.59 before quoting at the same opening level of 61.64 per dollar at 1045 hours. The domestic currency hovered in a range of 61.59-61.70 per dollar during the late morning deals. Banks and exporters preferred to reduce their dollar position on

the back of strong capital inflows from foreign funds coupled with lower dollar in the global market. In New York market, the dollar fell to its lowest level against the euro in more than a month yesterday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi

signalled that the bank doesn’t have any immediate plans to ease policy further. Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE30 share index Sensex moved up by 26.38 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 20,984.19 at 1045 hours.





Slogans won’t work anymore, it’s time for action: Karuna Nundy

n this violent city that shaped me, I never imagined such a rising. I never imagined the gusts of change that swept down Rajpath last winter, or that nearly all of Delhi would stand with those of us who endure sexual harassment and assault to say: Enough. Governments are now reminded that they exist so we may have our peace, our freedom, our flourishing. An opinion poll in this newspaper shows a stark reality: Two-thirds of Delhi women voting still feel unsafe in the Capital. But the poll also shows that most of us believe things can and should be different: 88% of voters are more likely to cast their ballots for a politician who commits to concrete action to stop violence against women and 93% view it as an election priority. Today, as Delhi choose its government for the next five years, the people are demanding real commitments beyond the sloganeering to “protect daughters” and piecemeal party manifestos. In the last few days, 50 prominent voices for change have launched a concrete plan, which, if implemented, could radically change our city. The

Delhi Elections Womanifesto is a common minimum programme that requires any party elected to act on an achievable six-point plan within one year. Top of the list: Challenging the sexual entitlement which drives 70-80% of rapists. This can only be done through long-term, government-led public education programmes. Making our laws count also needs a radical plan. Each ministry and agency must re-design and budget for infrastructure, personnel and training to end violence against women, starting with the police. Faster courts are key. At least 30 judges per million of the population will have to be appointed in the next year. Finally, Delhi must offer greater care to survivors with 24hour, one-stop crisis centres in each police district and radically improved transport and street infrastructure. Over the weekend, Sheila Dikshit committed to “work tirelessly” to implement the Womanifesto within her first year of office should she win. Leaders of Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP have publicly stated that it’s a “great idea” and they “endorse it”. Harsh Vardhan has told this newspaper that he supports it too.

It is now up to us to hold them accountable to that commitment. Delhi was the epicentre of a movement that sent ripples to the

rest of India and the world. Now, as Delhi goes to the polls, voters from Bawana to Mehrauli are demanding the Womanifesto be

the common minimum programme regardless of who takes office. Who wouldn’t be for reducing attacks on women?

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Sikh man gets $50,000 in religious discrimination case in US

Migrant labour activist Jolovan Wham said it was difficult to determine whether the violence was a symptom of “pent-up rage” among the workers. “We should not see this ‘riot’ as just mindless violence which does not reflect the ‘Singapore way’, as the commissioner for police says,” he said. “We’ll need to wait for more information before drawing any firm conclusions.” State-linked broadcaster MediaCorp said it was the first riot in Singapore since racial disturbances in 1969. Singapore depends heavily on guest workers, with labourers from South Asia dominating sectors like construction. Many congregate in Little India on Sundays to shop, dine and drink. The incident immediately triggered online attacks on foreign workers in Singapore, but officials called for calm and warned against speculation. Retiree Basher Marican, 69, who was returning home when the riot escalated, said the “crowd was clearly drunk”. “They had beer and liquor bottles in their hands and some were throwing them,” he said in Tamil. “It was very unruly. I walked passed a crowd along the restaurants. There were some who were cheering others as they attacked the bus,” he told AFP.

ocial activist Anna Hazare declared his fifth hunger strike for the Jan Lokpal on Thursday except this time he was accompanied by neither his old colleagues nor the fanfare usually accompanying his announcement. Hazare’s ill health has also necessitated a change in venue that could dramatically alter the impact of his fast. He will be sitting on an indefinite fast in his village at Ralegaon Siddhi in Maharashtra rather than Ramlila Maidan from December 10. “I had promised the people of India that if the government does not pass the Janlokpal Bill, then I will sit on ‘anshan’ (fast) from the first day of the winter session at Ramlila Maidan. I am not well as I underwent a difficult operation


Sikh man in the US has received USD 50,000 as compensation in an outof-court settlement of a religious

discrimination lawsuit against a car dealership in New Jersey for denying him a job for sporting a beard.


ingaporeans woke up to unfamiliar images of burned cars and littered streets on Monday after a fatal road accident triggered a riot by South Asian workers — the worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years. The riot erupted late on Sunday in tightly-controlled Singapore’s congested Little India district after a 33-year-old Indian worker was run over by a private bus. Police said about 400 people were involved in the rare outbreak of public disorder, adding that 27 South Asian workers had been arrested on charges of rioting, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison as well as caning. At least five vehicles including three police cars were torched in the violence. The situation was

December 2013 Edition

Photo source: PTI

Rare riot over Indian’s death shocks Singapore

brought under control after elite police commandos arrived at the scene. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “Whatever events may have sparked the rioting, there is no excuse for such violent, destructive, and criminal behaviour.” “We will spare no effort to identify the culprits and deal with them with the full force of the law,” he said in a statement. Commissioner of police Ng Joo Hee also denounced the violence as “intolerable”. “Rioting, destruction of property — it is not the Singapore way,” he told a news conference early Monday. The violence has tarnished multi-ethnic Singapore’s long held reputation for public order.

any statement. “As part of the decree we were able to protect future employees and applicants from religious discrimination and we also have instituted training that will help inform actual employees of their rights under federal employment anti-discrimination law, so we are happy,” said Jahira Rivera, the attorney for the EEOC. In the agreement, Tri-County Lexus “denies all of the allegations of discrimination and failure to accommodate claims asserted in the complaints” and states that it entered into the decree “solely to avoid the burdens and expenses of litigation.” Kherha was recruited in 2008 for a sales position at the dealership, where he completed two days of training and underwent an interview, according to the lawsuit. The EEOC stated in its suit that Kherha was singled out for praise for his performance during the training. But a recruiter, acting on behalf of the dealership, told Kherha that he would not get the job because of a dealership policy prohibiting facial hair, according to the suit.

Anna Hazare to go on indefinite fast

Photo source: PTI

Photo source: PTI The settlement comes more than five years after Gurpreet S Kherha, now 29, applied for a job at the Tri-County Lexus and

was told he would not be hired allegedly because he had a beard, which was a violation of the dealership’s “no beard” policy for sales and administrative personnel. Kherha, who grew a beard as part of his Sikh religious practice, contacted the Sikh Coalition, which filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The commission investigated, and in October 2010, filed the federal lawsuit in Newark against the dealership. “We feel the resolution of this matter is positive for all parties involved,” said Ravinder Bhalla, Kherha’s attorney, was quoted as saying by the NorthJersey. com. “Kherha has obtained both the benefit of monetary compensation and the knowledge that this litigation resulted in substantive non-monetary policy reforms, which will ultimately also make Tri-County Lexus a better business,” Bhalla said. Dena E Epstein, the lawyer who represented the dealership, said she would have to check with her client before she made


and doctors have asked me to take precautions,” Hazare said. “I will be sitting on an indefinite hunger strike from December 10 at Ralegan Siddhi instead of Ramlila Ground in Delhi,” he added. He said the agitation would be organized under the banner of his newly-formed organization, Jantantra Morcha. “We have held over 700 rallies in seven states in the past six months under the organization to mobilize people.” The activist said that the organization had collected Rs 40 lakh so far. The Gandhian attacked both the Congress-led UPA and the Opposition for having “anti-youth, anti-student, anti-village and antipoor” economic policies.




India’s tough stand at WTO conference can ensure food for all


ne man’s fixation with rules can be another man’s lifeline. Many international trade negotiators argue

in favour of shooting down subsidies because it ‘distorts’ trade. But the simple fact is that in a more-than-a-billion strong nation,

in which nearly one in every three lives at subsistence level, one needs an effective and efficient method through which privileged

tax payers can support the poor. India has rejected a proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference that can potentially harm the country’s small farmers as ministers battled it out to end a protracted deadlock over negotiations to set up a rule-based global trade regime. Developing countries want a deal to allow them to increase their ceiling on food subsidies above what is permissible currently as well as a package for the least developed countries. India has firmly placed its recently launched food security scheme at the core of the ongoing WTO’s ministerial conference in Bali making it amply clear that it would not be willing to agree on a global trade regime that could potentially hinder the roll-out of the flagship welfare programme. In the absence of a broad-based agreement on the Doha round of trade talks that started in 2001, member-countries are making a fresh attempt to build a consensus for laying down the rules of global trade. Developed nations have shown support for a “peace clause” that would agree to developing countries’ demands on food security for a period of four years, but In-

dia, very rightly, has pressed for a guarantee for further exemption until a permanent solution is negotiated. India has been pressing the WTO to find a way to allow developing countries the right to provide higher levels of food subsidies for their poor beyond these four years. India’s stance has faced strong headwinds in Bali with the developed countries, as expected, opposed to a lasting agreement on food security. One of the primary objectives of subsidised entitlements to the poor is to address concerns of equity. Otherwise, there would not have been the need to legislate subsidised meals for the poor. India still has a long way to go before it can get food into every mouth that needs it. The Food Security Act may well mark the beginning of this long journey. To that extent any subsidy programme is critical, especially for a middle-income country such as India. New Delhi’s strong pitch for the protection of subsistence farmers underscores the fact that any multi-lateral system must have a fair and balanced outcome, which addresses the concerns of equity among rich and poor nations.

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Govt didn’t violate model code in naming Sachin for Bharat Ratna: EC


ot willing to be part of controversy over Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar, the Election

Commission has rejected a petition of an RTI activist to initiate action against the UPA government for model

code violation by announcing the highest civilian order for Sachin Tendulkar in the midst of assembly polls.

In a communication to activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, the commission said that conferring Bharat Ratna to people belonging

to non-poll going states does not amount to violation of the model code, resting the controversy over the awarding of the honour. The code, also called the gentlemen’s agreement between the political parties, prohibits making announcements which can influence the voters and disturb the electoral level playing field. It does not prohibit the government for announcing programmes and policies for non poll bound states. During the election period, the normal functioning of the government does not come to a standstill,” the commission said, in a response to the Bhattacharya’s seeking action against the government for conferring highest civilian award to the legendary cricketer who recently retired from the sport. The petitioner had claimed that declaring Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar during elections was aimed to influence the voters in favour of the ruling party and could have disturbed the level playing field. He also claimed that it was evident from the EC’s reply that the government did not take prior approval of the commission before making the announcement.

India should curb expectations of peace agreement with Pakistan


rime minister Manmohan Singh’s riposte was quick and to the point — Pakistan cannot win a war with India in his lifetime. This was in response to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s provocative remark that Kashmir was a flashpoint that could trigger off a fourth war between the nuclear neighbours. Mr Sharif also spoke of his commitment to the Kashmir cause and his desire to see a ‘free’ Kashmir. It is odd that he should be so concerned for Kashmir when Pakistan is going down a slippery slope. Instead of trying to set his own house in order, Mr Sharif seems to want to play a bigger role in the region, though given Pakistan’s track record, no one believes that the country can do much more than disperse what it calls nonState actors to wreak havoc in other places, notably India. These belligerent statements come after his adviser Sartaj Aziz has claimed that Indian troops were polluting water sources in Siachen and therefore, should pull out. Mr Sharif’s provocative pronouncements must come as a huge disappointment to those in India who had hoped that his choosing Raheel Sharif, an army chief, perceived to be less hawkish than his predecessor General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was a sign that he intends to call the shots and not leave the bulk of power to the army.

December 2013 Edition

It is possible that he is playing to the galleries at home with his sharp remarks about a fourth war. He knows full well that such a war is hardly a possibility, leave along winnable for Pakistan. There is little he has done since

assuming office to show that he is serious about pushing the peace process forward. The infiltration aided by the Pakistani military could not have been without his knowledge. If indeed it was, it shows that he does

not have a grip on things. There is no doubt that India will have to continue engaging with Pakistan. But it would be wise to curb expectations of a peace agreement any time soon with the new government.

The more things change, the more they remain the same in Pakistan. This is unfortunate but it is something that India has to learn to live with.




Diesel demand drops first time in ten years: Indian Oil Corporation


iesel demand has declined for the first time in over a decade as monthly price increase and rise in power generation pulled down demand, Indian Oil chairman R S Butola said. “This year, there has been 0.8-1% de-growth,” Butola said at the 3rd World Energy Summit here. Improved power generation reduced use of generator sets, which resulted in lesser demand for diesel. But, the bigger reason is the move to deregulate diesel rates through small monthly increases. “Small adjustments of 50 paise every month has brought some parity with cost,” Butola said. Diesel rates have risen by a cumulative Rs 6.62 per litre since January, which has also lead to a drop in demand for diesel cars. Diesel is India’s most-consumed fuel, accounting for close to 45% of the demand of total petroleum products. Since 2003-2004, the demand for the main transportation fuel had been growing at a healthy rate of 6-8%. Butola said petrol consumption had dropped when the fuel was deregulated in June 2010 but diesel continued to see rise in consumption as it was heavily subsidized, thereby discouraging people to use it optimally. Now petrol is at par with its cost of production but the current selling price

of diesel is still Rs 9.99 a litre less than cost. “We believe that market forces need to be allowed to have proper inter-play (on demand and consumption),” he said. While diesel sales dropped in the first seven months of the fiscal,

petrol consumption rose by 10% to 9.1 million tonnes. But, overall fuel demand during the April-October period was largely unchanged at 90.6 million tonnes against 90.2 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Besides losing Rs 9.99 a litre on diesel, state-run fuel retailers are losing Rs 36.2 per litre on kerosene sold through ration shops and Rs 542.5 per cylinder of cooking gas. The slowdown in economic

growth could also be a factor in dampening demand. Growth slowed to a decade low of 5% in 2012-13 and is expected to be in the same territory in the current fiscal year as well. Industrial growth has also remained sluggish.

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December 2013 Edition




No life term, death sentence for juveniles, clarifies govt


uveniles above 16 years of age who are guilty of murder, rape, acid attack or gangrape will not be handed

down either life imprisonment or capital punishment, according to a proposed amendment of the Juvenile Justice Act ensuring

that the government steers clear of violating the United Nations Convention on Rights of Child ( UNCRC). The women and child

development (WCD) ministry has come under fire from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and child rights activists for being against international trends and in violation of the UN convention that India has signed. According to the ministry, juveniles who fall between the age bracket of 16-18 years and are guilty of heinous crimes or found to be repeat offenders of crimes like kidnapping, trafficking, attempt to murder or outraging the modesty of a women may be liable for a longer prison term than the three years mandated under the JJ Act. The decision on whether the juvenile will be tried under IPC or the JJ Act will be taken by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). Speaking on the issue, WCD minister Krishna Tirath said, “We are not lowering the age of the child. Keeping in view the rising involvement of juveniles in crimes we have decided to amend the law so that JJB can take a decision on whether a juvenile can be tried under IPC based on mitigating circumstances.” The amendment can say that “nothing contained in any other law for the time being in force, the

provisions of this act shall apply to all cases involving detention, prosecution, penalty or sentence of imprisonment of juveniles in conflict with law under such other law” with the added proviso that the Board will conduct this assessment within a month. The assessment will be based on mitigating circumstances which will be brought out by the social investigation report, nature, seriousness of the offence and the juvenile’s culpability and ability to understand the consequences of the offence committed. The amendment also clarifies that juveniles will not be given capital punishment or life imprisonment. The minister said that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data and consultations with experts were responsible for changing her mind. According to NCRB data, involvement of juveniles in murder has increased by over 86% between 2002 and 2012 while the incidents of rape by juveniles had increased by 142% during the same period. In all, juveniles are responsible for only about 1.2% of the total crime committed in the country last year. The proposal has been sent to the ministries of law and home affairs for consultations.

Now, ‘biopen’ to draw new bones inside body A

ustralian scientists have developed a hi-tech handheld ‘biopen’ that can enable surgeons to draw new bone material onto seriously injured people. The ‘bio pen’ contains stem cells and growth factors, and could eliminate the need to harvest cartilage and grow it for weeks in a lab. The pen-like device developed at the University of Wollongong (UOW) will allow surgeons to design customised implants onsite and at the time of surgery. The BioPen will give surgeons greater control over where the materials are deposited while also reducing the time the patient is in surgery by delivering live cells and growth factors directly to the site of injury, accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage, scientists say. The BioPen works similar to 3D printing methods by delivering cell material inside a bio-polymer such as alginate, a seaweed extract, protected by a second, outer layer of gel material. The two layers of gel are combined in the pen head as it is extruded onto the bone surface and the surgeon ‘draws’ with the ink to fill in the damaged bone section. A low powered ultra-violet light source is fixed to the device that solidifies the inks during dispensing, providing protection for the embedded cells while they are built up layer-by-layer

December 2013 Edition

to construct a 3D scaffold in the wound site. Once the cells are ‘drawn’ onto the surgery site they will multiply, become differentiated into nerve cells, muscle cells or bone cells and will eventually turn from individual cells into a thriving community of cells in the form of a functioning a tissue, such as

nerves, or a muscle. The device can also be seeded with growth factors or other drugs to assist regrowth and recovery, while the hand-held design allows for precision in theatre and ease of transportation. The BioPen prototype was designed and built using the 3D printing equipment in the labs

at Wollongong and was handed over to clinical partners at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, led by Professor Peter Choong, who will work on optimising the cell material for use in clinical trials. The BioPen will help build on recent work by researchers where they were able to grow new knee cartilage from stem cells on 3D-

printed scaffolds to treat cancers, osteoarthritis and traumatic injury. “This type of treatment may be suitable for repairing acutely damaged bone and cartilage, for example from sporting or motor vehicle injuries,” Choong, Director of Orthopaedics at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne said




India and Bangladesh fight over 4,000 sq km of sea


he final legal battle between India and Bangladesh over 4,000 square kilometres of the Bay of Bengal, holding out huge potential for fishing, shipping and underwater resources, will begin from December 9 at The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.

India’s strategy has been chalked out by the ministry of external affairs in consultation with other ministries and the arguments before the International Arbitral Tribunal will be opened by attorney general G E Vahanvati, who will be assisted by attorneys from abroad as well as a team from home.

Bangladesh has proposed the ‘angle bisector’ method for delimitation of the maritime boundary, but India is pitching for the traditional and internationally recognized ‘equidistance’ principle to resolve the dispute. India will point out to the tribunal that it had successfully implemented

‘equidistance’ principle to settle maritime boundary disputes with other neighbouring countries. Bangladesh’s argument is that due to coastal instability and concavity of its coastline, the equidistance line would put it at a severe disadvantage. Bangladesh had challenged the

baselines drawn by India using the equidistance principle and claimed before the tribunal that these were not in conformity with Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on Law of Sea (UNCLOS). The tribunal is chaired by Dr Rudiger Wolfrom (Germany) and the other members are Judge Jean-Pierre Cot (France), Prof Ivan Shearer (Australia), Judge Thomas Mensah (Ghana, nominated by Bangladesh) and Dr P Sreenivasa Rao (nominated by India). India will be represented by the AG, senior advocate R K P Shankardass, advocate Devadatt Kamat, Prof Alain Pellet (University of Paris), Prof W Michael Reisman ( Yale University) and Sir Michael Wood (UK). The nearly 4,000 sq km of Bay of Bengal, which is at the centre of the longstanding dispute which started at the international forum with Bangladesh submitting its written arguments on May 31, 2011, encompasses all maritime zones — territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, continental shelf and outer continental shelf. If Bangladesh’s method of determining the maritime boundary is accepted by the international forum, India will lose control over around 2,905 sq km in the EEZ and 1,018 sq km in the outer continental shelf. It will be a do-or-die legal battle as the decision of the International Arbitral Tribunal will be final and binding on the parties.

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Indian-American honored for laser displays of Indian heritage


enver-based Manick Sorcar has been honored for introducing the younger generation in India and viewers in the West to Indian heritage through laser displays. Sorcar was given a Special Achievement Award for Cultural Enlightenment, at the International Laser Display Association (ILDA) conference held in Aalen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. The citation stated that Sorcar

was awarded “for exceptional merit in using laser display to celebrate India’s heritage, and to prepare the next generation by introducing a course on laser art and animation and establishing the Manick Sorcar Laser Animation Laboratory at Jadavpur University”. Sorcar received the award from Dirk Baur, president of MediaLas Electronics GmbH. Sorcar said he was doubly

pleased with the award because it was an acknowledgement of his work to propagate Indian heritage through laser displays. “Laser has been the painting brush of the 21st century with which spectacular, mind boggling atmospherics can be made. But I feel, laser can be more than that. It can also be the magic-pen or the media with which a message can be passed, a theme can be carried, a story can be told. To-

gether, it can not only be a feast for the eyes, it can connect with people to illuminate a soul,” Sorcar said. “My laser shows are an attempt at that goal. Produced in English and based on stories or events from India, each is intended to be a cultural-bridge between East and West where the viewers are taken to the other side of the globe and introduced to the Indian culture in a grass-root level for a better understanding, harmony and world peace,” he added In 2006, when Sorcar took his laser show to India, it was displayed at Kolkata’s Nicco Park, an amusement park. It ran for one month completing 78 shows. “What touched my heart was to see how dozens of lighting enthusiasts, mostly engineering students, come backstage after each show to see how the strong beam of light was manipulated to be a harmless painting brush to create graphics and atmospherics. When I briefly explained the technique, you could see the sparkle in their eyes and hear their excited discussions on building a story board for their first laser project. But it is not that easy. They must have a thorough knowledge of the laser technology and safety issues before doing anything - and it must be taught systematically, with a

formal educational course and practical training,” he said. Sorcar approached Jadavpur University to set up the School of Illumination, Science, Engineering and Design. The ‘Laser Lighting for Art, Animation and Entertainment’ course was accepted as a special application of lighting towards an illumination engineering degree. The lab and the classes were formally opened two years ago and Sorcar is a visiting lecturer. Sorcar’s latest production “Swamiji”, a laser documentary on Swami Vivekananda, received an enthusiastic reception in India during its four-month tour across the country last year, where it was also nationally telecast. The laser show is currently on a tour across the USA as a fund-raiser for the SEWA International USA, a non-profit humanitarian organization. In 2012, Sorcar, who prefers to call himself a ‘laserist’, retired from Sorcar Engineering, a Denver-based electrical engineering and lighting firm to devote his energy full time to touring laser shows with his production team. Sorcar credits his passion for narrating stories through laser displays to his father, the legendary magician P C Sorcar, whom he had assisted on stage, as a child.

The Real Meaning Of Christmas


hristmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, shar-

December 2013 Edition

ing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25– Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas”

to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas? For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmas time when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some. Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It

can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.




Lucky Kaboor - Combination of Comedy and Romance

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ucky Kabootar (6th December 2013) Bollywood Industry Film. Comedy and Romance. Lead Role Ravi Kissen, Eijaz Khan, Kulraj Randhawa, Shraddha Das, Sanjay Mishra, Madhavi Sharma. Film is Directed by Shammi Chhabra. Produced by Karan Raj Kanwar, Music by Santokh Singh, Background Music by Sunil Singh, Lyrics by Sameer. Film shoot in Chandigarh India. Release date 6th December 2013 (India). The producer of lucky kabootar is karan raj kanwar he is 20 years old. lucky kabootar is the first movie of raj kanwar pictures, lucky kabootar shooting as completed on 12-12-12, karan raj kanwar is son of Raj Kanwar, raj kanwar was a director, writer and producer of bollywood movies. karan as changed is his banner as Raj Kanwar Picturess from Inderjit Film Combines, on his father’s name raj kanwar.Late Raj Kanwar’s son Karan Raj Kanwar is following in his dad’s footsteps and after producing ‘Lucky Kabootar’ plans to venture into direction.When Karan was questioned as to why he chose the comedy genre, he replied, “I feel we are just following the trend. Something that is liked by the audiences has to be fed to them. All I can say is that the dialogues do not have double meaning. In fact our film has bagged an UA certificate.” And adds on a nostalgic note, “Also, the script of this film was thoroughly narrated by the director Shammi Chhabra to dad while he was alive and he had given us a green signal. He did appreciate the intriguing tale.”

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December 2013 Edition




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n a rare act of bravery, 14year-old Gunjan Sarmah volunteered to be kidnapped in order to save the lives of 10 other kids from their school van at Simaluguri in Sivasagar district of

Assam. And not just that, she lumbered through dense forest on Thursday along the Assam-Nagaland border, where she was left abandoned by her armed kidnapper, and reached

the house of a tea garden worker who called the police. Her ordeal lasted around 14 hours. “The kidnapper picked up a small girl in the school van who started crying. I volunteered to be kidnapped instead. He clutched my hand and ran with me towards the forests,” Gunjan said at her home in Simaluguri. “We crossed a river and walked through the forest for some time and stopped at one place. It was pitch dark and I couldn’t see a thing. I didn’t eat anything all night. In the morning, I couldn’t see him and escaped to reach a village. The villagers called up police and I was brought home,” she added. Sivasagar DSP Bijay Kuligam said, “When I spoke to her this morning, she was very calm. She even referred to her kidnapper as ‘uncle’.” But for Gunjan’s father, Shankar, a small-time trader, it was a torrid time. “I was despairing when she was kidnapped. I even thought I’d never send her to school again. She is safer at home,” he said. The unidentified gunman had hijacked the entire van with 11 kids of Nazira Kendriya Vidyalaya from the heart of Simaluguri town in Sivasagar district on Wednesday when they were returning home.

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14-year-old brave heart girl offers herself to kidnapper to save 10 kids in Assam

The driver, who displayed presence of mind, immobilized the van after driving it into a drain in the Chantak tea estate to save the kids. The kidnapper, who threatened all the kids to follow him and picked up one, was approached by Gunjan who asked him to leave him and take her instead. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for Gunjan for her bravery. Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government has asked Sivasagar deputy commissioner S Meenakshi Sundaram to nominate Gunjan

for the National Bravery Awards. “The education department has announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for Gunjan and Rs 10,000 for the driver,” Sarma said. Gunjan told police there was just one kidnapper, who is still at large. He is an Assamese youth but spoke Hindi with the girl, a police source said. “Our team found Gunjan at around 5.30am in the house of a tea garden worker near the Assam-Nagaland border. She was in sound health and we recorded her statement. Our search for the kidnapper is on,” he added.

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Even tea vendor can be PM: Digvijaya Singh

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Singh said in a democracy “if a shepherd from Kerala can become President so also a tea-vendor (chaiwallah) can become Prime Minister”, remarks which were seen as a reference to Modi’s humble origins.

December 2013 Edition

n unexpected comments, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, a known Narendra Modi baiter, said the Gujarat CM was moving away from his “fanatic” ideology and that “even a chaiwallah can become the Prime Minister”, which were promptly welcomed by BJP as praise for its PM candidate. Singh said that he “welcomes that Modi is gradually distancing from his fanatic ideology and gravitating towards the ideology of Atal Bihari Vajpayee” and “it should be welcomed if Sangh and the BJP...are coming close to the ideology of Congress and (Jawaharlal) Nehru.” He, however, added that “Modi will not be acceptable to people of India” and he would prefer Sushma Swaraj to him “if god forbid BJP comes to power”. Responding to criticism that Congress is fine with the party being in the hands of a family and some special people calling the shots but does not like common workers rising as in the BJP, Singh said it was not true. He said in a democracy “if a shepherd from Kerala can become President so also a tea-

vendor (chaiwallah) can become Prime Minister”, remarks which were seen as a reference to Modi’s humble origins. BJP leader Smriti Irani latched on to the comments saying “we had not thought that Digvijaya Singh will say that even a chaiwallah can become Prime Minister...I am happy that Modi ji is being praised so much by Digvijaya Singh ji.” At this, Singh said, “Nobody is untouchable in democracy irrespective of the family he is born in, whether it is poor or rich.” The Congress leader at the same time said that Modi is “not a factor” for Congress and that while Vajpayee and Sushma Swaraj can be acceptable “Modi will not be acceptable to people of India” as the country’s basic temperament is one that favours communal harmony. He was speaking at the ‘Agenda Aaj Tak 2013; — a two-day conclave of India Today Group that began here yesterday. He also rubbished the exit poll results of assembly elections in the five states and refused to accept it as some sort of a semi-final for the next Lok Sabha elections.





Freedom Fighter & President 1918 - 2013


outh Africans woke on Friday to a future without Nelson Mandela, and some said they feared the anti-apartheid hero’s death could leave their country vulnerable again to racial and social tensions that he did so much to pacify. As dawn broke and commuters headed to work in the capital, Pretoria, the commercial hub, Johannesburg, and Cape Town in the south, many were still in shock at the passing of a man who was a global symbol of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence. South Africans heard President Jacob Zuma tell them late on Thursday that the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate passed away peacefully at his Johannesburg home in the company of his family after a long illness. Despite reassurances from leaders and public figures that Mandela’s passing, while sorrowful, would not halt South Africa’s advance away from its bitter apartheid past, some still expressed a sense of unease about the physical absence of a man famed as a peacemaker. “It’s not going to be good, hey! I think it’s going to become a more racist country. People will turn on each other and chase foreigners away,” said Sharon Qubeka, 28, a secretary from Tembisa township as she headed to work in Johannesburg. “Mandela was the only one who kept things together,” she said. An avalanche of tributes continued to pour in on Friday for Mandela, who had been ailing for nearly a year with a recurring lung illness dating back to the 27 years he spent in apartheid jails, including the notorious Robben Island penal colony. US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron were among world leaders and dignitaries who paid fulsome tribute to Mandela as a moral giant and exemplary beacon for the world. American talk show host Oprah Winfrey added her voice to the tributes, saying Mandela “will always be my hero”. “His life was a gift to us all,” she said in a statement. But for South Africa, the loss of its most beloved leader comes at a

December 2013 Edition

time when the nation, which basked in global goodwill after apartheid ended, has been experiencing bloody labour unrest, growing protests against poor services, poverty, crime and unemployment and corruption scandals tainting Zuma’s rule. Many saw today’s South Africa - the African continent’s biggest economy but also one of the world’s most unequal - still distant from being the “Rainbow Nation” ideal of social peace and shared prosperity that Mandela had proclaimed on his triumphant release from prison in 1990. “I feel like I lost my father, someone who would look out for me. Already as a black person with no connections you are disadvantaged,” said Joseph Nkosi, 36, a security guard from Alexandra township in Johannesburg. Referring to Mandela by his clan name, he added: “Now without Madiba I feel like I don’t have a chance. The rich will get richer and simply forget about us. The poor don’t matter to them. Look at our politicians, they are nothing like Madiba.” Flags flew at half mast across the country and Zuma has announced a full state funeral for South Africa’s first black president, who emerged from prison to help guide the country through bloodshed and turmoil to democracy. ‘LIFE WILL CARRY ON’ Just hours after the news of Mandela’s death, one of his veteran anti-apartheid comrades, former Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu, sought to assuage fears that the revered statesman’s absence could revive some of the violent ghosts of apartheid. “To suggest that South Africa might go up in flames - as some have predicted - is to discredit South Africans and Madiba’s legacy,” Tutu said in a reassuring statement. “The sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day and the next ... It may not appear as bright as yesterday, but life will carry on,” Tutu said. Zuma and his ruling African National Congress face presidential and legislative elections next year which are expected to reveal

widespread discontent among voters about persisting poverty and unemployment two decades after the end of apartheid. But the former liberation movement is expected to maintain its dominance over South African politics, despite the absence of one of its most towering figures. “It is painful losing him but the ANC is going to stay strong and be dominant. The party is powerful and will stay in power,” said office worker Tumi Matshidiso, 27. Mark Rosenberg, Senior Africa Analyst at the Eurasia Group, said that while Mandela’s death might give the ANC a sympathy-driven boost for elections due next year, it would hurt the party in the long term. He saw Mandela’s absence “sapping the party’s historical legitimacy and encouraging rejection by voters who believe the ANC has failed to deliver on its economic promises and become mired in corruption.” “In short, Mandela’s death will further de-couple the ANC from the liberation struggle on which it still bases much of its legitimacy,” Rosenberg said in a briefing note. Although Zuma’s initial announcement of Zuma’s death left the country hushed, later a crowd gathered overnight outside Mandela’s old house in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, to sing songs in his praise. “Mandela you brought us peace” was one of the songs. DEMOCRATIC MODEL FOR AFRICA Mandela rose from rural obscurity to challenge the might of white minority rule - a struggle that gave the 20th century one of its most respected and loved figures. He was among the first to advocate armed resistance to apartheid in 1960 but was quick to preach reconciliation and forgiveness when the country’s white minority began easing its grip on power 30 years later. He was elected president in landmark all-race elections in 1994 after helping to steer the racially divided country towards reconciliation and away from civil war. “His greatest legacy is that we are basically at peace with each other,”

F.W. de Klerk, the white Afrikaner president who released Mandela in 1990, told the BBC in an interview. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, an honour he shared with de Klerk. In 1999, Mandela handed over power to younger leaders better equipped to manage a modern economy - a rare voluntary departure from power cited as an example to African leaders. This made him an exception on

a continent with a bloody history of long-serving autocrats and violent coups. In retirement, Mandela shifted his energies to battling South Africa’s AIDS crisis, a struggle that became personal when he lost his only surviving son to the disease in 2005. Mandela’s last major appearance on the global stage came in 2010 when he attended the championship match of the soccer World Cup hosted by South Africa.




Indian Facebook users high on anger, low on love


Facebook study on how the social media users make use of stickers and smileys has found that Indian users are among the angriest in the world. While people in the US and Australia are the most angry Facebook users, Indians are not too behind. On a scale where pale yellow colour represents least angry and the red denotes most angry, India has orange colour. The US and Australia are among the red countries. User in most of the Middle East nations, Canada and Japan are ranked below the US users but above Indians on Facebook’s “anger scale.” In showing love through Facebook stickers, users in Russia top the rest of the world. Indians are not very expressive about love and are among the users who are least likely to use stickers to communicate their love or affection. The findings were revealed by Facebook in its annual Compassion Research Day on Friday. The social media company partnered with researchers from Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, Stanford University, Northeastern University, Claremont McKenna University and other institutions for the study.

In terms of positive emotions, laughing, at least in smileys, is one area where Indian Facebook users score high. Indians Facebook users laugh as much as the Americans, though Russians look like the happiest of the lot. “Conflict and other challenges in relationships are impossible to avoid, both online and off. While these are realities of life, scientists are only beginning to understand how unspoken rules of human interaction apply to attitudes and behavior online,” said a Facebook spokesperson. Arturo Bejar, who leads Facebook’s compassion team,said that his researchers have found the emotions expressed by the social media users in the virtual world strongly correlate to their mood in the real world. The study finds that Indian Facebook users are also less likely to be awed or sympathetic. The Indian Facebook users seem quite brazen and are less likely to be embarrassed, or at least less likely to acknowledge that they are embarrassed. Indian, Australian and Brazilian users are most likely to feel sad and express sadness. Though the Americans are the saddest of the lot. Facebook said it has “created

versions of emoticons that people identified with impressive levels of accuracy” giving it a window into how people convey emotion around the world.

“Our stickers emerged as particularly useful to Facebook users in much of South America and North Africa. Australia, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and

the United Kingdom are among the countries that use emoticons to convey the most diverse set of emotions,” said the Facebook spokesperson.

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Govt plans panic button, app in mobiles for women’s safety


year after the infamous Delhi gang rape, government is all set to launch a pilot project introducing a panic button and an application in mobile phones that women can use to raise alarm and seek help

in case of emergency. This will be rolled out in Jaipur, sources said. Government officials said the decision was conveyed by the IT department to finance minister P Chidambaram at a meeting on Tuesday when different

projects for women’s safety were considered. A top IT ministry official said that the rollout and other details will be announced by the minister soon. Sources said while those with smart phones can download the

mobile application, new models of basic phones will come equipped with a panic button. They added that the process to have this facility had started almost a year ago. The finance ministry approved

this project along with another submitted by the road transport and highways ministry which envisages GPS-based tracking of all public transport in million-plus cities. “Buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis will also have panic buttons that can be accessed by passengers easily. As soon as the passenger presses the button, signals will go to the local control room and the information will subsequently reach police,” said an official. The Rs 1,700 crore project also proposes installation of CCTV cameras in buses and even RTVs, which provide last mile connectivity in urban areas. GPS devices installed in public transport vehicles will be connected to a control room and a central server. An official said as soon as a vehicle deviates from the usual or determined route, there will be alerts and CCTV frames will pop up in the control room. This information can be shared with police so that they can reach the spot immediately. Since this system needs proper operation and maintenance, the government will float a tender with the condition that the successful bidder will manage and maintain it for five years.

Women better at multi-tasking than men, reveals study

December 2013 Edition

Photo source: PTI


t is a widely accepted fact that women are ahead of men when it comes to multitasking. But a new study by an Indian researcher and her team will help unveil the truth behind this. IIT Delhi alumna Ragini Verma, associate professor in the department of radiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and her team has carried out the study which helps explain different cognitive strengths in men and women. The study was published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. “These maps show a stark difference in the architecture of the human brain, which helps provide a potential neural basis as to why men excel at certain tasks, and women at others,” said Verma.For instance, on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped at multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group. In the study, gender-specific differences in brain connectivity were investigated during the course of development in 949 individuals (521 female subjects and 428 male subjects) aged between 8 and 22 years using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The findings showed that females outperformed males on attention, word and face memory, and social cognition tests. Males performed better on spatial processing and sensorimotor speed. Those differences were most pronounced in the 12 to 14 age group. “This should help determine why neuropsychaitric disease progresses differently in the two genders,” she said.




Malala awarded 2013 UN Human Rights Prize


akistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year, has been awarded the 2013 UN Human Rights Prize, an honour previously given to icons like late Nelson Mandela in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights. The prize is awarded every

five years and has previously been bestowed on Amnesty International and former US president Jimmy Carter. “The Prize is an opportunity not only to give public recognition to the achievements of the recipients themselves, but also to send a clear message to human rights defenders the world over that the international community

is grateful for, and supports, their tireless efforts to promote all human rights for all,” the Office of the high commissioner for human rights (OHCHR) said in a statement. Apart from Yousafzai, the other five winners of the award are son of freed slaves who works to eradicate slavery Biram Dah Abeid of Mauritania, campaigner

from Kosovo for the rights of short statured people Hiljmnijeta Apuk, president emeritus of the World Federation of the Deaf Liisa Kauppinen, former president of the Morocco Association for Human Rights Khadija Ryadi and Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice. The award ceremony would take place at the UN headquarters

on December 10 as part of the annual commemoration of Human Rights Day, which would this year include the observance of the 20th anniversary of the creation of OHCHR and the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said human rights are increasingly permeating all corners of the work of the United Nations, and that is fundamentally changing the way the UN works with national authorities and the international community. “The key now is to implement the laws and standards to make enjoyment of human rights a reality on the ground. Unfortunately, too often, the political will, and the human and financial resources, to achieve this are lacking,” she said. The high commissioner said the 20 years since Vienna have seen many setbacks and a number of tragic failures to prevent atrocities and safeguard human rights. “In several instances where deplorable, large-scale violations of international human rights law were occurring, the international community was too slow, too divided, too short-sighted or just plain inadequate in its response to the warnings of human rights defenders and the cries of victims. We can and we must do better,” she added.

Farooq Abdullah apologizes for ‘sexist’ remarks


t a time when the nation is debating safety of women at workplace, Union minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday triggered a fresh row by saying that the situation is so bad that he is afraid of speaking to women these days. Referring to the recent indictment of former SC judge Justice AK Ganguly by the SC panel, Abdullah said, “These days, I am afraid of talking to women. In fact I don’t even want to keep a woman secretary, god forbid, if there’s a complaint against me and I end up in jail.” On being asked if he is blaming women for the sudden spurt in crime against them, Abdullah said, “I am not blaming women, but the society.” “Such is the state of affairs today. I agree that incidents of rape have increased...but this has to stop somewhere,” he added. Abdullah drew flak from Congress as well opposition parties for his sexist comment. Reacting to his comment, Congress leader Ambika Soni said, “I don’t expect such comments (from him).” BJP leader Smriti Irani said, “It is a very, very demeaning comment by such a senior political leader.” His son Omar Abdullah, Jammu & Kashmir chief minister, later on tweeted, “I’m sure the attempt

December 2013 Edition

wasn’t to trivialise important issue of women’s security so I hope dad apologises for the misplaced attempt at humour.” The fallout of Farooq Abdullah’s quote was immediate on social networking site Twitter.

Reacting to his statement, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien tweeted, “Dr Abdullah, what have you gone and said! Expect more sensitivity from a senior public figure. And the father of a daughter.”

Social activist Kiran Bedi said, “When men say they are afraid of hiring or talking to women as Farooq Abdullah did. They are visibly a victim of their own insecurity!” Abdullah was forced to retract

his controversial statement within hours. “If I said something that hurt sentiments then I am sorry,” Abdullah said. “My comments were misconstrued.”




Photo source: PTI

Fast and Furious 7 production delayed indefinitely after Paul Walker’s death

sudden death of the movie’s star Paul Walker, who recently died in a fiery car crash along

with close pal Roger Rodas in Southern California. It seems that resuming the


Photo source: PTI

Make milk adulteration punishable with life imprisonment: SC

shooting of the film has proven to be too challenging for Universal Pictures, director James


he Supreme Court urged the state governments to make necessary amendments to their laws to make production and marketing of adulterated milk, which is injurious to human consumption, an offence punishable with life imprisonment. The observation by an apex court bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice AK Sikri came after taking note of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha having made the sale of adulterated milk, contaminated with synthetic material, an

December 2013 Edition

offence punishable with life imprisonment. Asking the states to make the law to deal with production and sale of milk which is harmful to human beings more stringent, the court observed that the maximum punishment of six months for such offences under the Food Safety and Standards Act was grossly inadequate. The court was hearing a public suit which said samples collected by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India in 2011 revealed large-scale sale of adulterated milk across the country.


fter clinching the gold medal for Miss Photogenic title at Miss Earth 2013 pageant, Ponds Femina Miss India Earth 2013 Sobhita Dhulipala has now earned another gold medal by bagging the Miss Eco-Beauty title. Sobhita bagged the gold medal with over 5000 votes and won the coveted title, while the silver medal went to Miss Macau Ashley Qian who received around 4800

Photo source: PTI


he production of Fast and Furious 7 has been put on hold after the

Wan and the rest of the creative team, Fox News reported. The latest installment of the popular franchise began shooting in September and filming was on a Thanksgiving break when Walker died in a car crash. Fast 7 already was on a tight schedule to meet its July 11 release date, which now likely will also shift. On Dec 2 the studio notified cast and crew that production would be on hold indefinitely, reports The Hollywood Reporter. On Wednesday morning, Universal released a statement confirming the report: “Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul’s immediate family and our extended Fast & Furious family of cast, crew and filmmakers. At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Fast & Furious 7 for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise. We are committed to keeping Fast & Furious fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it. Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker.”

votes and the bronze medal was won by Miss Turkey Ezgi Avci. As part of her Eco-Beauty campaign Sobhita took up the cause of promoting safe drinking water. She spent a few days in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district with the villagers to explain them the need for safe drinking water. She also helped install water purifiers in many households in Thopdikupam village in the district.




I’m sure ghosts exist: Samir Soni

Photo source: PTI


December 2013 Edition

From Gutthi, Sunil moves on to Kunwari

complains to her that she is failing as a captain and Gauhar breaks down because she unable to control the fights. Soon, Tanisha points out Gauhar’s inefficiency as captain and asks her team to boycott her. Armaan and Andy agree with her and decide to support Tanisha. Following the boycott, Bigg Boss delivers a task restart letter, reminding both teams that Gauhar’s decisions are to be deemed as final. The letter also asks the teams to continue manufacturing toys until the next order comes in. The cotton bags which were thrown outside the Bigg Boss house by Aijaz and Sofia are returned to Armaan’s team. However, Kushal refuses to participate in the task anymore because of his shoulder injury. In the evening, Aijaz hides one of the well-made toys for his son. As night approaches, Gauhar decides that she will avoid Tanisha ‘forever’. How long will this forever last?

Photo source: PTI


he luxury budget task of making toys continues. The lack of raw materials and working overnight aggravates the contestants. Sofia’s team is irritated as Armaan’s team manages to grab a large quantity of raw materials for making the toys. Aijaz and Sofia throw away bags of cotton outside the house to slow down the production of Armaan’s team. Catching Sofia throwing the bags, Armaan yells at her and Sofia, in turn, pushes Armaan when he approaches her. Armaan complains to Bigg Boss, seeking fair judgement. Bigg Boss warns Sofia to follow the rules, after which Armaan demands an apology from Sofia. Earlier in the day, Armaan and Kushal get into a fight over the raw materials and manufacturing tactics. Annoyed with each other, both begin commenting on the other’s personal lives. Meanwhile, Gauhar’s captaincy turns ugly. Tanisha

culture on our cinema and television is undeniable. But we Indians love a good story with plenty of drama. Nothing can change that,” said the actor who is active on the small screen since A Mouthful of Sky days. Samir feels television is an important medium of social change. “We are going through a period of tremendous media influence in every walk of life. Television plays a major role in shaping the coming generations,” he said. Unearthly shooting hours on television do not deter Samir from spending time with his babydaughter Ahana. “I admit I am not able to spend as much time with her as I’d like to. She’s 11 months old. And she has her own schedule. I find it hard to co-ordinate my timings with hers. But it’s a delight to wake up to her smiling face.” More than his own joy at parenthood, it is wife and former actress Neelam’s happiness that makes Samir happy. “I’ve never seen Neelam happier since I’ve known her. And to me that complete feeling of a happy family means everything. Our daughter is named Ahana. It means the first ray of the sun. And she has indeed brought sunshine into our lives,” he said.

Photo source: PTI

Bigg Boss 7: Armaan fights with Kushal, Sofia

amir Soni, last seen in Zee TV’s Parichay - Nayee Zindagi Kay Sapno Ka, is back on television as a ghostbuster. He believes that supernatural elements do exist. In the supernatural thriller Ringa Ringa Roses, which went is aired on Life OK channel, marks Samir’s first foray into fearsomeness. And he says it’s to do with the character rather than the genre. “This is the most intense multilayered character I’ve ever played. To me, the challenge is to convince viewers that this character of a ghostbuster actually exists,” said Samir. The actor, who has also dabbled in big-screen acting with China Gate and Baghban, admits he had never encountered a ghost in real life. “But stories about the supernatural have been around for centuries in all parts of the world. I am sure ghosts exist, although I haven’t encountered any,” he added. For someone who has been around on television to see myriad changes, Samir is nonchalant about the changes. “Change is inevitable in life. As the audience adopts changes of lifestyle and morals, television too must incorporate the changing mores and sensibilities,” he said. “The influence of Western


unil Grover has been in the news since his sudden exit from ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’, on which he played the popular character of Gutthi. While viewers wait to see what Sunil does next, he’s taking on a new drag role - that of Kunwari on ‘Boogie Woo-

gie’, say sources. The character will only be seen for one episode on the show. Kunwari will display her three special dance moves - Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and Seasonal - to judges Naved, Javed and Ravi. But is this the character Sunil’s carrying forward now? Watch this space!


Food & Wine


Paneer mixed Capsicum Delicious dalSabji recipe Chickpea Sausage and Peppers Salad

Ingredients • • • • •

Chickpeas 200g Chicken sausages 200g Green pepper 2 Red pepper 2 Cumin seeds 1tsp

• • • •

White vinegar 5tbsp Coriander leaves 1 bunch Salt to taste Oil 1tbsp

Method: Soak the chickpeas overnight. Slice the red and green peppers. Deseed and soak the slices in the vinegar overnight. Boil the chickpeas with ½ tsp salt till done yet firm. Drain and set aside. Lightly roast the cumin seeds till it gives off an aroma but does not change color. Cool and grind coarsely. Wash, clean and finely chop the coriander leaves. Finely slice the sausages. Heat the oil in the pan and add the sausages. Toss for a minute. Add the drained chickpeas, cumin seeds, toss and remove. Add the pickled peppers, coriander leaves, salt and black pepper powder.

Photo source: PTI

Human Relationship and drug Addiction Crisis


elationship which exists with drug addicition probem will be marked by constant arguments, financial turmoil, emotional blackmail and even physical abuse. It is a relationship where one partner is always at the receiving end, and lives on the hope that the addict will kick the habit one day. What to expect in such relationships These relationships can only bring unhappiness. There is bound to be loneliness, despair,

December 2013 Edition

and at times rage at what the addict is doing. There will also be constant confrontations. But these confrontations instead of driving the couple apart often unite them. This happens because of the helplessness displayed by addicts. The addicts break down at such confrontations pleading helplessness and beg support. They also make promises of moving away from the addiction, and never to hit the bottle again. It is this helplessness that pushes the other partner to

provide the necessary emotional support. Unfortunately, this cycle of support-confrontationsupport keeps getting vicious and vicious only. Why can’t individuals break out of such cycles Most would think that there is enough reason for a suffering mate to walk out of such a relationship. But this does not always happen. The partners invariably find a reason to stay on. This may be on account of fear of a future without financial security, an obsessive love

for the mate, a fear of public disapproval or the need to keep the family together. Sometimes the partners convince themselves that without them the addict will die. They therefore avoid doing anything that may hurt the addict. Some even convince themselves, that they alone can help the addict give up the bottle. Whatever the reason, the partners convince themselves that they need to stay on, and that everything will be fine one day. The addicts make full use of such prevarication, and indulge in more emotional blackmail, and subtle arm-twisting. How to identify if you are such a person You are in danger of entering into such relationship if you show the following characteristics: 1.You refuse to end the relationship even though you know that the relationship is bad for you, your career and your personal life. 2. You find reasons for sustaining the relationship even though you know that your logic is convoluted. 3. The thought of breaking the relationship throws you in a state of confusion, even panic, and you cling on, even more strongly, to it. 4. You suffer physical discomfort when you try to move to a place where your mate can’t reach you, and you yearn to get back to him. What should you do to save the relationship You first need to strengthen yourself. In this quest, you should not allow your morals or principles to weaken your resolve. Be ruthless in dealing

with the addict. Treat addiction as a disease that needs to be cured. Don’t give in to emotional blackmail because then you will only end up feeding the disease. Look upon yourself as an equal partner in the relationship. Don’t be manipulated into believing that you are the rescuer or a victim of an unfortunate relationship. Let the addict know that you have no desire to become a martyr for his cause. You must make sure that you do not accept the lies offered by the addict. As any psychologist will tell you, addicts are very adept at coming up with explanations that sound very convincing. This is how they delude themselves into continuing with their addiction, and forcing their loved ones into becoming unwitting partners in their addiction game. You need to find a support group that understands your pains and sorrows, and can also help you overcome them. You will realize that you were blundering in a maze in your effort to salvage the relationship. The support group will show you the path to come out of the emotional maze that your subconscious mind has built, and also give you the strength to take that path. You should even consider getting professional help. This may sound shocking to you initially because it is not you but your addict mate who needs professional help. But counseling can come in very useful in such a situation. It will give you the necessary emotional and mental strength to tackle the relationship blues.





Photo source: PTI

‘ Lake District ‘ of India

The hill settlement of Nainital is full of natural beauty and was a popular summer retreat for the British during the time they ruled India. It features the serene, emerald colored Naini Lake and action filled strip called The Mall, lined with restaurants, shops, hotels, and markets.

Photo source: PTI


Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalyan necklace, blessed with scenic natural spledour and varied natural resources . Dotted with lakes , Nainital has earned the epithet of ‘ Lake District ‘ of India . The most prominent of the lakes is Naini lake ringed by hills . Nainital has a varied topography . Some of the important places in the district are Nainital , Haldwani , Kaladhungi , Ramnagar , Bhowali , Ramgarh , Mukteshwar , Bhimtal , Sattal and Naukuchiatal . Nainital’s unending expense of scenic beauty is nothing short of a romance with awe-inspiring and pristine Mother nature. Nainital is headquarter of Nainital District. It is also divisional Headquarter of Kumaon Division of Uttarakhand State. The town is actually made up of two areas, Tallital and Mallital, which are on either end of the lake, surrounded by mountains and connected by The Mall. Nainital is the perfect place to come and simply enjoy nature and the pristine views, which you’ll find in abundance there

Nainital Attractions

One of the most relaxing things you can do is go boating on Naini Lake. Peddle boats, row boats, and small yachts are all available for hire. For fantastic views, take the Aerial Express cable car from Mallital up to Snow View. If you’d prefer, you can also ride a horse up there. Animal lovers will be interested in visiting the well laid out Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo, which has some wonderfully exotic high-altitude species. It’s closed Mondays and national holidays. Those who want to get a feel for how royalty lived should have a meal at the historic Palace Belvedere overlooking the lake.

When to Visit Nainital

Photo source: PTI

Weather wise, the best times to visit Nainital are from March to June and from September to November. The area experiences heavy rain in July and August and landslides are known to happen. Winters, from November to February, are very cold and sometimes it snows in December and January. If possible, try to avoid peak times from mid April to mid July and October, as Indian holidaymakers converge on the place and hotel prices skyrocket.

Nainital Side Trips

There are many settlements similar to Nainital in the hills around this region and you’ll find plenty of tour operators in The Mall who offer excursions there. Some recommended side trips include Ranikhet, Almora, Kausani, and Mukteshwar. A half day tour of the enchanting local lakes, including Sat Tal, Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal, is also enjoyable. Kilbury, with its unspoiled forests, offer a peaceful getway only 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Nainital. In addition, it’s possible to visit the Corbett Tiger Reserve from Nainital.

Nainital Travel Tips

The cable car up to Snow View is very popular so try to get there early as possible after it opens at 8 a.m. in the morning. You’ll also get the clearest views in the morning. The entry of vehicles into The Mall is restricted during the busy tourist months of May, June and October, enabling visitors to leisurely wander around. If you find that Nainital is too crowded at the time you’re there, do visit some of the quieter surrounding places. Also, for a more peaceful experience in Nainital, stay in a hotel away from Naini Lake and The Mall.

Photo source: PTI

Getting to Nainital

The nearest train station is at Kathgodam, around an hour away. One of the best trains to take is the overnight Ranikhet Express from New Delhi, which departs every evening at 10.45 p.m. Alternatively, Naintal is well connected with other parts of India by road, and buses frequently run. It takes around 8 hours to get there from Delhi by road. The nearest airport is at Pantnagar, around two hours away away. Jagson Airlines has permission to service that route from Delhi, but it’s best to check if flights have commenced operating.

Nainital Adventure Activities

Nature walks, trekking, horse riding, and rock climbing are the main adventure activities on offer around Nainital. The Nainital Mountaineering Club runs trekking and rock climbing expeditions. There are so many beautiful forest walks that you can do, including a 3 kilometer (1.9 mile) walk to the Dorothy’s Seat picnic spot at Tiffin Top. From here you can continue walking 45 minutes through the forest to the breathtaking viewpoint at Land’s End. The trek to Naina Peak (also known as China Peak) is also particularly memorable. To see an incredible sunset, head to the Hanuman Garhi temple that’s just out of town.

Photo source: PTI

Nainital Hotels:

December 2013 Edition

Most of the hotels in Nainital are set around the lake. The Hotel Alka is located right on the water front and has a wide range of colonial style rooms ranging in price from around $70 for an economy room, up to $190 for a family apartment, during the high season. The restaurant here is excellent as well. In a quieter location a short distance away from The Mall, The Pavilion offers really charming and spacious rooms from $60 to $100. Packages are available. A more luxurious heritage option nestled right up in the hills is the Claridges Naini Retreat, with packages starting from around $220 for two nights.

ASTROLOGY PREDICTIO Aries Income and properties Ketu transiting the 1st house, during this period you will be worried about difficulties at your business, career or education thinking of the possibilities of sudden reversal of fortunes. This felling of suspense and tense can effect your work and make it trouble some and can hinder the progress of career or business. You should cultivate self confidence, systematic working and courage during this period to overcome these tendencies. Risky investments should be avoided. Domestic Environment You need to be patient and tactful in handling relationship matters both within and the outside of the family at this period. Possibility of your attending to activities in regard to marriage or a similar good period for a brother/sister or to a person closely associated to you. , will meet close relatives or friends whom you have not seen for a long time allowing you to renew the friendships or contacts. High expenses and problems or worries in relation to debts or paying debts are also likely. Health A sort of feeling loneliness or weakness of the body and mind may start to reflect in your appearance, you may look pale and weak, pimples or rashes may appear from time to time, pains of unexplained nature or hard to find a reason for the cause of pain can make you worried. Should be careful of arthritis or hart related complications.

Libra Income and properties Will engage in activities related to learning new trades of subjects. Success in examinations or promotion or increased recognition in occupation. Increased corporation from the family. Help from people who live in far away places or foreign associates. Profits from the business or transactions with distant areas or foreign associates. Increased income and lands or houses etc. Domestic Environment Jupiter transiting in 9th house, indicates that you will enjoy all prosperity, enhanced prestige, respect from others and happiness. Pleasure and happiness in home. Happy long tours away from home, possible travel abroad or trips to areas of interest or pilgrimage far from home. Anyway for the down side of things that Saturn’s transit over the first house is “Lagna Aerashtaka” and you are now in the middle of such period. During this period, you should be ready to incur unexpected high expenses, the health of family members such as children, spouse and close relations can be affected. Be patient in troubles, otherwise problems with neighbors or relatives are also likely. Health This is a bad period in regard to the health. Small health complications can develop in to expensive, painful problems requiring frequent visits to doctors, should be careful of problems of legs specially in the left side of the body and Problems such as Arthritis or heart complications or strokes.

Taurus Income and properties Jupiter transiting the 2nd house is a good period, your salary or income other activities may increase. This is a good period to buy new properties, start new ventures or business activities or to apply for promotions. Will get a chance to learn new things or innovative ideas. Domestic Environment Comfortable time when compared to last year. Will have parties of functions at home and entertain guests. Good food and entertainments. May meet friends and relatives whom you haven’t met for a long time. Trips to places of worship. Pleasure trips, new additions to family, new positions or new relationships are also a possibility during this period. Will acquire money, domestic happiness, and gain of wealth and commodities. Defeat of enemies, occasions like marriages in the family, birth of a child, new position and status can be expected. You are finally learning to see and own your true value, Taurus and this will transform the quality of your love life like nothing else. You’ll no longer settle for lovers or partners that do not honor, cherish and celebrate your essence. No longer will you cling to relationships for the emotional security if the other person does not truly step up to the plate and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Health A good period in regard to health.

Scorpio Income and properties Good period to apply for bank loans for further development of your properties or business. Will get a chance to renovate or repair the valuable possessions belong to you, gains through legacies are also a possibility. Things to be careful during this period are, paying high fees or penalties, excessive taxes or duties, troubles from pests, thieves or people jealous of you. Hence, should not engage in speculative deals or investments as those may bring unwanted problems and a bad name for you. Domestic Environment Generally a bad period in regard to the family affairs. problems in the family and possible separation from them for a period. Will have fatigue by wearisome journeys to distant places. A bad period for a close relative and problems with relatives. Closely associated people will let you down. Though you will see some improvements in your overall situation, this is not a fully beneficial period it is something like bumpy road, good one stretch bad next few meters, and should be careful of accidents and sudden ailments. Health Bad period in regard to health. Feeling of weakness in the body and tiresome journeys. and accidents in journeys. Possibility of getting hemorrhoids or problems associated with back or spinal area, therefore should be very careful of what you eat and drink, Should take proper rest and sleep. This is a difficult period in regard to the health of the children such as illnesses or injuries to children.

Gemini Income and properties During this period you will go on a long distance travel and incur high expenses or will change the place of residence. A change to the usual place of work is also a possibility. During this period you should be careful not develop frictions between your superiors or teachers or colleges as small issues can flair up to big things during this time hindering your progress or promotion on the line. Domestic Environment A happy time with the family, success, pleasant functions, a time of peace, happiness and tranquility in the family. Happy occasions in the family and invitations to auspicious functions of friends and relatives. Purchase of new expensive items, good food, increase of the name and fame in family and friends circle, happy long tours, to places of interest such as visit to birth place or relatives, will meet close relatives or friends whom you have not seen for a long time allowing you to renew the friendships or contacts. On the down side, High expenses and useless spending can make things stressful. Domestic problems are also an area of concern to you, as you may hear some unkind words form your own family too. Health Health wise this is a good period for you but should be careful about stress related complications such as loosing of weight and weakness in the body , it is also likely that you may learn a bad news regarding a close associate or a friend of yours, which will bring sadness to you.

Sagittarius Income and properties This transit of planets indicates new friendships and relationships and gain through them. Financial gain and profits. May expand the business for definite profit. Friends and relations will be helpful and sincere. Rahu transiting the 11th House, will bring Gain of money and property, fame, position, promotion, honour, this is a very good period coming after a period of difficulties and hardships and at last you can relax and enjoy the Success and the results of the hard work you had been doing for a long time. Previous work, as well as newly starting works will bring good and desired results, your cherished desires will be fulfilled bring you prosperity fame and good income or profits. Income from properties or earth such as real estate, building activities, or lands. Purchase of new properties or engaging in new careers business. Help from superiors or people in responsible or influential positions. Domestic Environment A happy time with the family, success, pleasant functions, a time of peace, happiness and tranquility in the family. Happy occasions in the family and invitations to auspicious functions of friends and relatives. Purchase of new expensive items, good food, increase of the name and fame in family and friends circle, happy long tours, to places of interest such as visit to birth place or relatives, will meet close relatives or friends whom you have not seen for a long time allowing you to renew the friendships or contacts. New additions to the family such as marriages or birth of children, pleasant functions, recognition of service, enjoyment with opposite sex, agreeable events, outstanding reports, gain of wealth, new properties, pleasure, prosperity, success in undertakings. Defeat of enemies, happiness, power , position and enjoyment. Health A good period in relation to your health.

ON FOR THE YEAR 2014 Cancer Income and properties Rahu transiting the 4th House, can be helpful in relation to acquiring landed property , or conveyance, but this is also a period which can create troubles or messy situations due to carelessness or negligence creating worries and unnecessary troubles therefore you should be very careful in sighing agreements or contracts and also in purchase of valuable possessions. Or else new pursuits should not be started, the old ones completed will give benefits. Domestic Environment Happiness in relation to new hopes in mind, some profits from properties, an old job or a work will renew with new vigour, will be able to get gains from old properties, vehicles or recyclable materials. You may feel like changing residence or leaving the usual place of residence for a period of change. This is a year to let go of all of the pain and baggage from the past so you can embrace the powerful potential of a fulfilling relationship in the present. Health This is not a good period for the health of the elderly relatives in the family or parents. You also should be careful of chest pains or back pains at this period.. Feeling of weakness in the body and tiresome journeys. and accidents in journeys. Possibility of getting hemorrhoids or problems associated with back or spinal area, therefore should be very careful of what you eat and drink, Should take proper rest and sleep.

Capricorn Income and properties Rahu transiting the 10 th house, you will gain through profession by hard work and may receive recognition or award of the same type or may become leader of the mass at work place this transit brings in your way prosperity and success in undertakings through new employment opportunities. Therefore changes in career is also on the agenda during this period. Though financially rewarding, you will find that the new income opportunities unfolded are physically demanding and tiresome with less opportunity to relax and enjoy the life. Domestic Environment Increased work load and less time to spend with the family can case problems in the family front if you are not able to balance the two areas resulting irritations, family disputes and unhappy atmosphere, ill health to spouse and family members are also the things to be expected leading to increased expenditure A kind of a lonely and trouble some period. Sicknesses in the family or separation from loved ones for a period. No joy from friends or the family. Increased expenditure anxiety and stress can result in quick anger leading to difficulties with friends or neighbors. If not careful may have to face legal problems over the trivial matters. May think of changing the place of work or the residence. Health This is not a good period for the health of the elderly relatives in the family or parents. You also should be careful of chest pains or back pains at this period.


Income and properties Rahu transiting the 3rd house, during such transit, it is possible to get gains through publishing ex. Written documents, appeals, submissions motions, reports, letters, publications, advertisements etc. New work or a career line or an education is possible to be commenced, help from influential supporters or friends. Change of place or long distance travels for benefits or gains. New income opportunities or new positions or gains of prosperity. Previously neglected work projects, business ideas, educations or property developments may start with renewed vigor. A good time to start new things. Profits from business ventures, and chances to buy valuable things or property at low prices. Domestic Environment A fortunate period. Help from priests or teachers or elderly peoples or relatives. A happy time with the family, success, pleasant functions, a time of peace, happiness and tranquility in the family. Happy occasions in the family and invitations to auspicious functions of friends and relatives. Purchase of new expensive items, good food, increase of the name and fame in family and friends circle, happy long tours, to places of interest such as visit to birth place or relatives, will meet close relatives or friends whom you have not seen for a long time allowing you to renew the friendships or contacts. Rahu receives aspects from Jupiter, will gain new friends, enjoyment of romantic affairs or relationships. Health Health wise a good period too. But, in relation to health this is a bad period for the mother or a relative from the mother’s side. Worries from brothers and sisters, neighbors or cousins. Needs to be careful of sudden accidents.

Aquarius Income and properties Long distance travels are a possibility during this period and may travel abroad to gain higher education or career expansion. During such transit, you may gain through publishing (Ex. Written documents such as applications, letters ect.), Religious institutions and distributions. This is a period of high expenses, income position will be all right but due to high expenses the savings will start to deplete, therefore you will start to look for the help from friends and relatives. The financial stress can cause you difficulties in proper maintenance of lifestyle. Changes to the day to day life such as change of career direction or residential arrangements are a possibility. Domestic Environment You will find it difficult to maintain a regular household routine due to various obstacles, which will make you worried and desirous of peace and harmony thus you will be more spiritualistic and will begin to visit religious places more often than you used to be. Rahu’s transit in 9th house denote prophetic dreams pilgrimage and religious and philosophical ideas. Problems in the family and specially the health or elderly relatives can cause you concern. A long distance travel under stressful situations is also possible at this period. Will be forced to spend time money and energy on things which are unprofitable or less rewarding. Health This is not a good period for the health of the elderly relatives in the family or parents. You also should be careful of chest pains or back pains at this period.


Income and properties High expenses but may gain small profits and less frequently. This is a period you may think of finding a new job, a business activity or a promotion. Loss of profits or decrease of income. Will get a chance to learn new things, new ideas or meet new people. Should be careful of engaging in risky activities as those may likely to get you a bad name or displeasure of superiors and change of place. Domestic Environment There may be a lot of traveling but those will bring very little results. Properties, agriculture activities or gardening may prove useless and unprofitable. Change to the place of work or residence. A difficult period for the family members, silly quarrel, misunderstanding and arguments can disturb the peace and tranquility of the family, people jealous of you can cause problems, a pleasure seeking attitude with chances to be involved in romantic situation may cause unbiased accusations and unhappiness in the family. Troubles through enemies can bring difficulties, a bad period for spouse or a family member or a person close and helpful to you. Should be very patient in handling day to day affairs and matters. Health A difficult period in regard to your health or the health of the family members or children, will be inclined to do physical exercises fitness and hygiene related activities.

Pisces Income and properties Decrease of in come and increase of expenses which may even lead to borrowings from banks or friends. A kind of a suspense or indecisiveness in regard to the current situation or activities. Obstacles in regard to work or the current occupation. Possibility of a start of a new construction work or a building activity. You will be able to buy valuable real estate properties or vehicles at cheaper prices and will be able to gain some profit from it at a letter stage. Domestic Environment Association with new people are shown, a new person previously not much known will join the family. Ex. a distant relative, a border, a new friend or an in-law or a person currently passing some difficult period of adjustment and you may have to help, share things or do things such as taking to doctor or undergo some troubles in order to look after the person. Difficulties in regard to properties may also a possibility. Problems or misunderstandings with family members or relatives. A long journey either towards East or West direction. A person whom you have helped can bring you trouble. Though this is a good period in regard to the parental family, this is not a good time to find business or marriage partners. Be careful of people who may deceive you. Health Should be careful of accidents while travelling.

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December 2013

Happy New Year 2014


4B Dhoom 3 Aamir Khan learns tap dance from Dein Perry...

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4b Bollywood


Not sure of adopting baby right now: Karan Johar


ctor Aamir Khan got his lessons in tap dancing from Australian choreographer and renowned dancer Dein Perry for ‘Dhoom 3’. Aamir flew to Australia to learn the dance from Dein who had choreographed the Sydney Olympics opening act and ‘Happy Feet 2’. The actor spent a while in Australia and learnt the dance form

with the choreographer’s students, mostly in the age group of 10 - 24 years. Aamir had to learn the ‘grungy tap’ dance which is high on energy and more difficult than the classic tap dance. “Aamir had visited Dein Perry’s academy in Australia to learn the grungy tap dance. After the training was done, the dance team came to India to shoot the song,”

a ‘Dhoom 3’ spokesperson said. In the third installment of ‘Dhoom’ series, Aamir will be seen as a baddie opposite Katrina Kaif, while Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra will continue to reprise their roles. Releasing on December 20, ‘Dhoom 3’ is directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya and produced by Aditya Chopra.

Picture source: lightscamerabollywood

Picture source: lightscamerabollywood

Aamir Khan learns tap dance from Dein Perry for ‘Dhoom 3’


aran Johar has often said he’d be a good father, but the filmmaker, who is a bachelor at 41, says adoption is not on his mind as of now. When asked if he will adopt a baby some day, he said: “I am 41, and marriage has not happened, so one doesn’t know. There has

been a lot of talk and I have said it before, but I am not so sure right now. Right now my focus is on my company and my work.” His popular celebrity chat show Koffee With Karan is entering its fourth season which kicks off Sunday.

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In 2008, Arun Pratap Singh was looking for an opportunity to supplement his banking sector MRGSQI,I[ERXIHWSQIXLMRKXLEX[EW¾I\MFPI[MXLLMWHEMP]VSYXMRIXLEXLILEHXSXEPGSRXVSP over and could be in charge. And he found it in a Jani-King Commercial Cleaning Franchise. With the majority of Jani-King’s work taking place in the evening, it’s the ideal choice for those [ERXMRKXSFSSWXXLIMVGEWL¾S[EJXIVLSYVWSVGEVZISYXEGEVIIVMRXLII\GMXMRK[SVPHSJ franchised commercial cleaning. Today, Arun and his business partner Anuj are cleaning up as Jani-King Commercial Cleaning Franchisees and independent business owners with the full support of Jani-King Australasia right behind them. Contact Gilles Delord today at Jani-King Melbourne today on 03 9265 2200 or email and discover what it’s like to be “The King of Clean!”

December 2013 Edition




Picture source: lightscamerabollywood

I try to read scripts but I fall asleep: Kareena Kapoor


ctress Kareena Kapoor says she has no qualms about rejecting those film offers which later went on to become blockbusters.

December 2013 Edition

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s recently released “ Ram-Leela” was the latest in this list, said the 33-year-old actress. “I don’t know what clicks with me as an

actor. There is work for everyone. I will do what I believe in. Like ten years back if I did not want to do a film then I used to be the first one to leave it.

“There is no heroine like me who has left more films than I have, and given them on a platter to everybody and said go do it. I think I am mad...I am like if I don’t

want to do a film I will not to do it. I would sit at home and enjoy, party and travel,” Kareena told. In the past, she has reportedly rejected films like “Chennai Express”, “Fashion”, “Page 3” and “Kal Ho Nas Ho”. “I have said no to films like ‘Ram Leela’.... I am sure it interests other actors which is fine but at that moment it did not excite me,” Kareena said. And she does not regret of not doing the films that she turned down even in hindsight, though some of them became blockbusters. “Those who know me as a person know it that I am not the kind of person who have any regrets in life. I never look back in life. I thank god for being kind to me,” she added. “The role is more important to me, when you are hearing the narration you should feel good. Many actors like to read scripts, I try to read scripts but I fall asleep. I like to hear it. So when I hear the script it should excite me. Sometimes you like it (script) and sometimes you don’t,” she said. Kareena will be seen next in “Shuddhi” opposite Hrithik Roshan, and in a special appearance in actor-husband Saif Ali Khan’s “Happy Ending” and Akshay Kumar’s “Gabbar”.




Monthly Astrology - DECEMBER 2013 Aries – Mesha You may have to face many problems in your home-front and in respect of property-matters. Health problems of the family members may also cause you some concern. There might be loss of property and you may have forced change of residence. You may become tense, worried and pessimistic during this time. Dealing in land, buildings, building construction materials and could fetch you good returns.

Taurus – Vrushabha

You will enjoy good health and so will do the other members of the family. Your family-life will be blissful and bright with happiness. Your earnings will receive a boost and you will have new acquisitions which will improve your living condition and increase your satisfaction. Your relationships with relatives and friends will improve. In professional sphere, things will be in your favour during this period. You will secure favours from persons of rank and authority, besides enjoying many other benefits. Opportunities will come your way and you will make timely use of them in a prudent way. Socially you will gain more popularity and prestige.

Gemini – Mithuna

You may suffer from skin diseases or else may feel nervous. Your sources of earning may get squeezed whereas you may not be able to control excessive expenditures. You may associate yourself with your secret admirers or friends for which your near and dear ones might feel concerned. By excercising will-force you must try to

change your outlook and rather than trying to please every one and being a prisoner of some belief, you should exercise your freedom and enjoy your life in a manner which brings happiness to you.

Cancer – Kataka

You will have success in all your endeavours and may have gains from various sources. You may have good gains from a new venture and also from prudent investments. Some of your ambitions will be realised. If married, your children will make you happy by their successes in academic persuits and extra-curricular activities. If unmarried you may receive some acclaim and become distinguished by securing some achievements in career or education. Your earnings will increase considerably.

Leo – Simha

You will have a pleasant time to enjoy the luxury and comforts of life. You may have some costly acquisitions which will increase your satisfaction and raise your social status. All your efforts during the period will bear fruit and contribute to your progress. You will receive favours from your superiors and secure betterment in career. Your family-life will be joyous and comfortable with all it’s members becoming very loving and caring. There could be a happy celebration in the family. You may spend money for renovating the interiors of your house by decorations and procuring attractive furnitures while the exteriors may have a face-lift too.

Virgo – Kanya Your earnings will improve and you will have gains from various sources. You may be benefited by receiving a windfall quite unexpectedly. You will form new friendships and will become very popular in your friends’ circle. Some of your ambitions may be realised and you may have new acquisitions that will add to your comfort. You will lead a prosperous and happy family-life; there could be a celebration in the family. The performance of your educational activities, will instil a sense of pride and joy in your mind. You may spend a lot for having some renovations done to your house-building. Your mother may suffer from some minor ailments.

Libra – Tula

You will be very fortunate and will receive special favours from the authorities. You will be successful in all your endeavours and rise to a powerful and lucrative position. Some of your cherished desires will be fulfilled and you may have new acquisitions. Your family-life will be happy with comfortable surroundings and socially you will gain more popularity. Your relationships with relatives and friends will become more cordial. You will be a centre of attraction in social gatherings.

Scorpio – Vruschika This position offers mixed influences. You may become less energetic and lose confidence. Your wandering tendency and wasteful expenditures may increase. The

health-condition of some of your male relations may deteriorate and arouse your anxieties. Your earnings will be somewhat increased. The position however is favourable for securing higher education, having long journeys and pilgrimmages; it is also a propitious period for developing foreign connections from which you can derive benefits in future.

Sagittarius – Dhanu

You should take every possible care for avoiding quarrels and conflicts; you should not get entagled in any Law- suit also. Your health needs much more care and you should be very cautious while driving as you will be prone to sustain injuries and suffer blood-loss. In professional sphere, you may face many problems which you should try to sort out peacefully. The period is not favourable and you must let the adverse period pass over by lying low. The period is not good for finances; so think twice before making any new commitments

Capricorn – Makara You may have problems either with your business or marriage partner and the health of your spouse may make you anxious. Romantic liaisons if any could take a bad turn and you may become a victim of slander and disrepute. You may be emotionally disturbed and may not be in good health. Journeys in connection with profession may not bear fruit excepting in the direction of east. For securing new deals the period is not favourable. You should try to avoid quarrels and confrontations by being diplomatic.

Readers please note that the below predictions are given according to North Indian tradition of Hindu Vedic Astrological methods, using your Lagna as the base. Aquarius – Kumbha

You will become very courageous and will conquer your enemies. You will be victorious in conflicts. By putting forward your endeavours in a proper manner and by facing situations with confidence, you will make excellent progress in your professional sphere and will have boosted earnings. You will receive favours from authorities and form new relationships. You will become very popular in your circle of acquaintances and your social status will be considerably improved.

Pisces - Meena you may derive much of benefits if you can overcome your restless disposition and changeful nature. If you only look for quicker methods and easier ways then you may only invite changes which will be pretty worse. You may have good gains from trading activities. In financial matters you should remain careful and become more farsighted; you may otherwise run into debt. Relations with your businesspartners may become bitter if your plannings are faulty. You may have jouneys to many places for meeting with authoritative persons.

If you wish to know the difference between Eastern & Western Astrology you are invited to visit

Monthly Predictions for December- 2013 By Lakshman Abeykoon - Noble Park, VIC 3174 - Phone (03) 9548 1613 -

The Divine And The Demonic


ach human being is a fascinating combination of divine and demonic qualities. We all have the devil in us; something that makes us pursue self-destructive ways. Yet, even the worst among us has extraordinarily divine traits. Our success depends on how well we are able to operate out of our own goodness and marginalise the demonic qualities. Bhagwad

December 2013 Edition

Gita Chapter 16 enumerates 26 qualities of the divine and six qualities of the demonic. Krishna assures Arjuna that he is born of divine temperament. Some divine qualities listed are fearlessness, purity of heart and charity. Most people are materialistic, chasing the world for happiness. Those who turn spiritual are driven by fear of retribution. Worship must be

backed by love, not fear. Purity of heart comes with freedom from selfishness and desire. Lower desires go when you are inspired with a higher goal. Charity comes from recognising the infinite benevolence of nature. Yet people visit places of worship only to ask for more. True prayer is acknowledgement of what you already have and the desire to share, serve, and

contribute to the less privileged. You become rich by what you give. The attitude of grabbing impoverishes you. The basic difference between divine and demonic is knowledge. The divine have access to higher knowledge while the demonic, deluded by greed, lust and ego are ignorant of their potential. They do not know what they ought to do and what they should not do. Impure and lacking in good conduct, they declare that the world is meaningless, brought about by lustful union. Resorting to insatiable desire, of scant discrimination and savage deeds, such people cause destruction to themselves and others. You are a combination of matter and Spirit. You know only matter. You have no inkling of the Spirit in you. Yet because Atman, Spirit, is our original nature It makes Its presence felt. Thus you attribute the glory, magnificence and grandeur of Atman to your individual personality. Worse still, you project the dependence, weakness and finitude of the body, mind and intellect to Atman. This is moha, delusion. The way out is knowledge -- of the distinction between matter and Spirit. Then there is no more confusion; misery and grief vanish and you get established in happiness.

It all begins with a thought. You experience a sense of emptiness within and thoughts go out into the world to acquire objects and beings. You believe, wrongly, that acquisition of worldly objects will fill the void. You give in to sensual pleasures. One indulgence leads to another and before long you are enmeshed in the web of delusion, moha jala....You get addicted to sense gratification and go into a downward spiral. You lead a stressful life devoid of vitality, cheer and growth. Ignorant of your divine birthright you go through the endless cycle of birth and death.... Having described the perils of yielding to devilish tendencies Krishna urges you to free yourself from the three gates of darkness – desire, anger and greed. Anger and greed are mutations of desire so it is desire that needs to be combated and overcome. Yet desire is encouraged, fanned, and promoted. Nobody understands the devastating effects of desire, your greatest enemy. The doors to your soul are kept shut and you live and die without even a glimpse of your own power and magnificence. If you follow your divine nature you do yourself good and uplift others as well. You live a life of success and happiness and eventually transcend the world to attain liberation.




What The Fish Director:

Gurmmeet Singh


IDimple Kapadia, Manu Rishi Chadha Manjot Singh, Anand Tiwari beloved crystal fish bowl and collection of money plants. Everything seems to be in order but is it? As she opens her bedroom door she is taken aback by a woman rushing past her. Sumit had thrown the helluva party for all his friends at Sudha’s house and broken all the rules as instructed by her and also handed over the house to an eloping couple, who then handed it over to a miscreant property broker. The house is then taken over by a Haryanvi Jaat who is a cross dressing Kathak Dancer, followed by a tribal family from Mizoram. What ensues is a recap of the events that took place beginning from when Sudha left her house in Sumit’s hands. The mystery unravels almost as a game of Chinese Whisper.

Picture source: lightscamerabollywood


udha Mishra (Maasiji) who is a 67 years old, divorced and grumpy woman with enormous energy and the ability to live in the present has just come back to her home in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. She is a mother to a confused and angry young man who has given up a career in television direction and her divorced husband is a playboy in L.A . While she was away, Sumit, her niece’s fiance was given the responsibility to take care of the house and was clearly instructed to feed the fish & water the plants. His marriage was hinging on this. At the end of the holiday when Sudha reaches her quaint house and starts it’s inspection with detective accuracy. Had the fish been fed? Had her plants been watered? She reaches the alcove with her


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“ Fares given below are subject to availability and can be changed without any prior notice”

December 2013 Edition




Picture source: lightscamerabollywood

Farhan Akhtar to endorse Coke?

This time round, according to reliable sources, Farhan Akhtar has now been roped in as the brand ambassador of the cola major Coke. The official announcement of the same is being awaited.

I don’t want to get serious in any relationship: Salman Khan

I want to be in a relationship but now, I don’t want to get serious,” confesses Salman Khan on Koffee With Karan, that kicks off tonight Behind The Scenes, Beneath The Sheets is the tagline of Koffee With Karan’s fourth season and no points for

December 2013 Edition

guessing that it’s going to be spicier than before. As Karan says, “It’s going to deliver all of the excitement, glamour and gossip it always has, but on a much larger scale this season.” Thrilled to be kicking off the

show with Salman Khan as his first guest, KJo says, “I think viewers are in for a real treat this time around.” The usually elusive Salman was at his candid best, with his offbeat sense of humour. When asked why it took him so long

to feature on the show, he told Karan, “Because of the questions you ask. I am very uncomfortable answering them.” He also commented on his love life at Karan’s behest saying, “I want to be in a relationship but now, I don’t want to get serious.”

Picture source: lightscamerabollywood


ust a couple of days back, we reported that the multi talented Farhan Akhtar has been reportedly signed up to be the brand ambassador of Gillette. It seems like this man is on a roll and how!

Salman also spoke of the rapport he shares with his contemporaries and who he deems among them to be his competition. And, in some context, even demonstrated to Karan how he sleeps at night!



Small screen’s abusive hubbies make for a ‘hit’ story

orget monster MILs! Small screen’s bahu brigade has a new nemesis to deal with, one who’s making them shed glycerine induced tears during their 20 minute screen time on weeknights — their significant other. Fiercely dominating, aggressive, chauvinistic male protagonists have reduced their wives to tear jerking beings with their regressive thought and abusive behaviour. Some are plain insecure of their wives’ success (RK played by Vivian Dsena of Madhubala...) some physically abusive (Parmeet played by Gaurav Chaudhary in Bani — Ishq Da Kalma and Pramad played by Aanshul Trivedi in Saraswatichandra) some mentally and even physically torture their wives (Mrityunjay played by Viraf Feroze Patel in Ek Boond Ishq, Shaurya played by Rohit Khurrana in Sasural Simar Ka and Anshuman played by Iqbal Khan in Tumhari Pakhi) and some are married for revenge, (Shlok played by Avinash Sachdev in Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? Ek Baar Phir ) — but they are united by a common strain, their abusive treatment of their better halves which could include verbal abuse, mental torture, or actual

physical trauma, depending on now negative the character is meant to be. Evidently, there’s a clear sadist streak in soap-addicts who seem to love these kind of traumatic tracks where the women have to battle for her self-respect against her own spouse! Producer Yash Patnaik explains, “We can’t take away the fact that India is a maledominated country. That’s why we have female protagonists who fight against abuse of any form because it’s a story everyone understands. However, we try and show both sides of the story and maintain a neutral stand.” Producer Sudhir Sharma says, “All these ‘abusive’ characters are inspired by real life people. These characters also make the storyline dramatic and the audience likes the battle of the good vs evil.” While the abusive protagonist does grab a lot of attention and becomes the most hated personality in a show, not too many actors willingly slip into such roles. Shashank Vyas who had briefly played an abusive husband in Balika Vadhu says, “A lot of Indian women have to cope with abusive and aggressive spouses, that’s why such characters strike an instant connect

Picture source: lightscamerabollywood



with the audience.” Aanshul Trivedi, who plays Pramad in Saraswatichandra, shares, “Every positive or negative character has

a story to tell.” In the soap-studded small screen, the amount of tears shed by the harmless bahu often adds

to the number of viewers. And if in the process the hero turns ‘grey’ then it’s only for a reel purpose.

Picture source: lightscamerabollywood

Only have love and respect for Bhardwaj: Shahid Kapoor


t’s a poorly-kept secret that Shahid Kapoor has teamed up with Vishal Bhardwaj again (after Kaminey; 2009) for Haider

December 2013 Edition

- an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s popular play, Hamlet. But long before that, three other Bollywood film-makers - Tigman-

shu Dhulia (reportedly with Hrithik Roshan), Onir and Sudhir Mishra - were also planning to adapt the play.

But Shahid maintains he and Bhardwaj were never worried about competition. “Yes, we had heard about others also planning

to make the film. But by then our script was ready and we were prepared. We know that the milieu and our interpretation will be very different. So we were never worried. We thought, ‘we believe in this film and so we should go ahead and make it’,” he says. In fact, the actor says that Bhardwaj is the most apt to take up this adaptation. “He made Omkara (2006) and Maqbool (2004) so I really feel that he is the best person in the industry to make another adaptation of Shakespeare’s work. Everyone knows the stories and plays because they are in the public domain. But how you adapt them, makes them interesting. And he has always found a way to make them interesting,” says Shahid. Around 15 days ago, Shahid came back to Mumbai from Kashmir, after shooting for Haider. “I really had a very interesting time in Kashmir. We (Bhardwaj and him) share a great equation. Kaminey, I feel, is my best performance till date. I have a lot of fond memories associated with that film,” he says. Ask him if everything was okay between him and Bhardwaj after reports of a tiff (which apparently came to blows) after Kaminey and he says “The fact that we are working together should put all those rumours to rest. I only have love and respect for Vishal sir,” he says.



< 250 LOTS





























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Eventograph photographs from latest B-Town Events

Kajol in Our Girl Our Pride Campaign

Anushka Sharma during Our Girl Our Pride Campaign

Madhuri Dixit at Dedh Ishqiya Press Meet

Shahid Kapoor at Promotion of Movie R Rajkumar

Priyanka Chopra during Our Girl Our Pride Campaign

Huma Qureshi at Dedh Ishqiya Press Meet

Arshad Warsi at Dedh Ishqiya Press Meet

December 2013 Edition

Sonakshi Sinha at Promotion of Movie R Rajkumar

Boogie Woogie Launch

Alia Bhatt during Our Girl Our Pride Campaign

Ravi Behl at Boogie Woogie Launch

Naved Jaffrey at Boogie Woogie Launch

Rekha Bhardwaj at Dedh Ishqiya Press Meet

Vijay Raaz at Dedh Ishqiya Press Meet




Eventograph photographs from latest B-Town Events

Bipasha Basu at HCG Pinkathon 2013 Event

Milind Soman at HCG Pinkathon 2013 Event

Evelyn Sharma at IRFW Collection Preview

Priyanka Chopra on Ram Leela Special Screening

Sophie Choudhary at IRFW Collection Preview

Ram Leela Special Screening

Karishma Tanna at IRFW Collection Preview

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone on Ram Leela Special Screening

Rishi and Neetu Kapoor Ram Leela Special Screening

Urvashi Rautela at Music Launch of Singh Saab the Great

Imran Khan at Gori Tere Pyaar Mein Promotional Event

Kareena Kapoor at Gori Tere Pyaar Mein Promotional Event

Simran Kaur at Music Launch of Singh Saab the Great

December 2013 Edition




Picture source: Picturelightscamerabollywood source: india-forums

Mahesh Bhatt to direct Indian and Pakistani actors


ahesh Bhatt, in an endeavour to find common ground

between India and Pakistan, is all set to produce and present a play, Milne Do.

A collaborative effort of theatre actors from the two countries, the play â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an intense love story

between two culturally crossed individuals during times of abject hatred â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is aimed at promoting

the core message of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aman ki ashaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Actor Imran Zahid will be playing the lead along with an actress from Pakistan, who is yet to be finalized. Incidentally, Imran is also playing the lead in the theatre adaptation of Bhattâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Arth. Two bands â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one each from India and Pakistan â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will also perform live when the play tours cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore to begin with. Later, it will also travel to other cities of the two countries. While Pakistani band Laal has been confirmed, its Indian counterpart is yet to be finalized. Sources told us that Indian Ocean has been approached for the slot. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This play is still in conceptualization stages. A part of the story will be rehearsed in India and the other in Pakistan. However, we will stage the play together on stage,â&#x20AC;? said Imran Zahid. Mahesh Bhatt said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have always maintained that a movie or a play can be a greater vehicle of peace than all the lectures we give. Any message, if communicated through storytelling, touches a chord. We are also trying to do the same. This play will be an emotional transaction between industries on both sides.â&#x20AC;? This will be Mahesh Bhattâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth play after The Last Salute, Trial of Errors and Arth.

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December 2013 Edition




bollywood music Jackpot

Music Review :


here is nothing significant that we anticipate. The last Kaizad Gustad film was Boom a decade ago and the music was eclectic but not inspiring.


A killer of a song opens the soundtrack, boosting our hopes sky high. A lovely piano riff is followed by a soulful tryst with two guitars (one electric), and Arijit Singh comes in to sing ‘Kabhi Tu Baadal Barse’ straight and with transparent soulfulness. The lyrics (Turaz with Aseem Shirazi) move from eulogy of the beloved to acceptance and later angst. The composition (by Sharib Sabri and Toshi Sabri) seems to have wandered in straight from a Mukesh BhattMahesh Bhatt film in its haunting intensity. The song impresses even the filmmakers so much that three more versions are included two nondescript remixes by Maxi and Rishi respectively and a female, more accomplished version by Shreya Ghoshal. This one’s more placid in vocals and orchestration. Shreya brings in classical nuances and her artistry shines in the tiny inflections in her renditions of virtually the same lyrics, taking the song to another dimension. However, for obvious reasons, the simpler Arijit version stays with you longer because it is ‘hummable’ and more ‘direct’! But the rest of the album just does not measure up. A really amusing recitation is ‘Eggjactly’ by Jaaved Jaaferi, whose words are strangely not credited. Lampooning his famous character

in Salaam Namaste and adding elements of pun, fun and even past films, Jaaved makes the track ‘time-pass’ entertainment. The female voice is not mentioned. Why? Have samplers been used? Mika is his usual self in ‘Full Jhol’ - he even composes this

predictable item number, and one must say that is catchy while it lasts. Akasa Singh, his co-singer, sounds impressive in the small portions she has. Sunidhi Chauhan’s skill is completely wasted in ‘Jackpot Jeeto’, a much-ado-aboutnothing number that strangely

“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. “ Mahatma Gandhi

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December 2013 Edition

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needed three lyricists (Kaizad Gustad, Sridevi Keshavan, Irfan Siddiqui!) and two music makers (Sridevi Keshavan, Janaka Atugoda) to fashion it! The remaining three tracks, ‘Jackpot’, ‘Now You See Him’ and ‘Bol Bugger Bol’ just do not register.


Just one killer composition is like the proverbial swallow that does not make for a musical summer. Even that one standout song will need huge promotional pushes and a huge success of the parent film to make a mark.

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Dhoom 3 R...Rajkumar Ram-leela Ram-Leela Bullett Raja R...Rajkumar Ram-leela Boss Yaariyan Gori Tere Pyaar Mein

16b LOCAL News



group of Sydney-based Indian-Australian professionals have come together to form a venture which would invest in feature films, documentaries and TV shows with Indian themes. The Australia India Film Fund (AIFF) would be led by two Sydney-based professionals of Indian origin — Devendra Gupta and Yateendra Gupta. The AIFF was launched on Friday and has also managed to rope in perhaps the best known Indian film personality Down Under, Anupam Sharma, as its head of films. “We believe it is the right time to invest in the Australian film industry’s niche projects and redefine the form and content of an Australian story,” Anupam Sharma said in a media release. “India-centric stories like the UK’s ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ have resonated with global audiences, and we hope to do the same from Australia,” the Sydney-based filmmaker and consultant added. “It is important for us to entrust our finances and resources in professional hands with impeccable reputation,” AIFF CFO Yateendra Gupta said in a media release. “We are delighted that Australia’s leading film professional working with India, Anupam Sharma, is going to be at the helm of our initial projects. He has an en-

viable reputation for professionalism over hundreds of AustraliaIndia projects,” Gupta added. “It is a wonderful initiative and we expect to give some good movies to the audience both here in Australia and India,” Anupam Sharma said from Sydney. Sharma, who has been the line producer for most of the Indian films shot Down Under, believes that even though the AIFF movies would be made here in Australia their “soul” would have the quintessentially Indian elements of emotional story, music, colour and intense drama. The announcement comes at a time when the size of the South Asian community is burgeoning in this country. India has emerged as the largest source of skilled migrants to Australia. The number of Indian students in Australia in the last decade or so has always been very high. “We have professional crews, a producer’s offset and a strong Indian diaspora,” Anupam Sharma said. “Now with this fund, Australia can be more than just a service provider for the Indian film industry, but an active participant in India-centric film projects,” the newly-nominated Australian Day ambassador added. The Australia India Film Fund, which plans to make at least one feature film, one documentary and one TV show in the next 12

Photo source: PTI

Indian-Australians to make India-centric films Down Under

months; would also be assured about the casting and other technical aspects of film-making like music, vocals and photography. The AIFF business plan developers would not be disappointed as far as the number of aspirants dreaming to work in Indian-Australian ventures is growing with every year.

“The AIFF initiative would help us to unearth some hidden talent,” said Anupam Sharma, who recently hosted a SBS Television talent show “Bollywood Star”. Industry pundits have welcomed the initiative as another step towards growing bilateral links. “It’s terrific to see more opportunities for Australian filmmakers

to explore stories with a unique viewpoint. India and Australia have great shared stories to tell,” Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason has said. He would know what he is talking about as, after all, India’s famous “Hunterwali” aka Fearless Nadia aka Mary Evans came from Down Under.

Indian boom might not eventuate


Moti visa Dinesh Malhotra Tonee Sethi Srikanth Balan Anil Sharma Ashish chawla Paul McLane Raj Dudeja Taswinder Singh Sidharth Suresh Srinath Nadador Vandna Bhatia Bharat Shah Mani Maaran Neeraj Nanda Ravi Ragupathy

0412 087 192 0412 767 197 0412 114 383 0400 422685 0433 447 150 0468 389 272 0433 676 636 0414 499 442 0419 316 544 0424 934 804 0403 424 134 0431 800 994 0433 308 002 0401 738 848 0421 677 082 0432 594 170


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All correspondence to be addressed to: The Secretary, IMOAA - PO BOX 1009 | Blackburn North | VIC 3130

December 2013 Edition


USTRALIA has been shielded from falling student demand in India due to the depreciation of the rupee because of visa reforms and post-study work opportunities, a report from the British Council says. The report ‘Inside India – A new status quo’ says demand from Indian students for British universities dropped by 23 per cent between 2012-13 and by 4 per cent in the US. However, demand for Australian places increased by 36 per cent during the same period despite Australia being the destination with the highest living costs. “The recent increase in students studying in Australia has happened when the currency valuation makes living costs very expensive. However, work opportunities seem to have mitigated the effect of high costs of living and the negative sentiment created in 2009-10,” the report says. The report, which is based on interviews with 10,390 Indian students between September and November, says both Canada and Germany are emerging markets, with demand increasing by 23 per cent and 19 per cent respectively between 2011-12. But the report warns that despite almost exponential demographic growth in the

15-25 age group and a burgeoning middleclass, predictions for an endless flow on Indian students to offshore universities are misplaced. “There will continue to be a segment of Indian households that can afford to finance an overseas education and seek it as a highly valued opportunity. This segment has decreased and may continue to do so, contrary to popular views of the boundless untapped potential in India for international students.” The country’s investment in new institutions will also impact demand as students find quality alternatives at home for a much reduced cost. “India provides real challenges,” writes Richard Everitt, a director with British Council India. “Local legislation can be slow and ambiguous, the size scale and diversity of the country makes it difficult to navigate and the greatest democratic show on earth will play out next year, with national elections, which will be disruptive. “The significant reduction in Indian students applying to UK universities underlines just how competitive international student recruitment has become [and] how traditional markets can rapidly change.”





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Nargis’ endorsement bunch gets thicker December 2013 Edition

ctress Nargis Fakhri of has been roped in as the brand ambassador of Kerovit, a sanitary brand by tile and manufacturer company Kajaria Ceramics Limited. The association between the brand and the actress of “Madras Cafe” fame will remain for the next two years. “Kerovit is synonymous with a blend of simply elegant aesthetics, enduring style and subtle luxury. Our association with Nargis Fakhri is an apt extension of the brand’s core identity,” Rishi Kajaria, joint managing director, Kajaria Ceramics Limited, said in a statement. ”Nargis has emerged as a promising new hallmark of raw talent, sophistication, elan and affability, which resonates perfection in terms of a brand fit for Kerovit,” he added. Kerovit’s product range comprises of wash basins, western commode and touch-free dual flush concealed cisterns (flush tanks) at prices starting from Rs.1,500.




Amitabh Bachchan in a spot over Jumma Chumma

Picture source: lightscamerabollywood


hat happens when Amitabh Bachchan speaks extensively on gender sensitisation? He gets asked about the portrayal of women in his own films. After he spoke at the Penguin Annual Lecture in the Capital on Friday, an audience member asked the actor if he approved of the way women were portrayed in his films. To this, media personality Rajdeep Sardesai, who was moderating the session post the lecture, quoted a magazine as saying, “Jumma Chumma, a song from his film Hum (1991), was the closest cinema had come to almost sanctioning the idea of a potential gangrape”, and asked Bachchan if cinema should imbibe some of the values he spoke of, when it comes to Indian women. Bachchan replied, “I am certain that recent events and social uprising to those events has given way to a thought process amongst society in general, that is looking at each aspect of what is happening, morally, socially, with a microscope. But everything isn’t as bad as it is being portrayed and I feel maybe there are moments when a lot more is looked into than is actually true. I’m very happy there are questions. I am very happy to be put in a spot and asked why this is happening and I am very happy

to make amends,” he said. However, the 71-year-old added, “In all our films we have always propagated poetic jus-

tice in three hours. No one that has dealt in an oppressive manner with any woman is allowed to go free. But unless you show

the crime, how are you going to really punish him? Perhaps, that is what has happened,” he said. When asked if he would

do Jumma Chumma again, he answered, “You must be joking. They are never going to ask me to do Jumma Chumma!”

Want to take my kids to Peshawar: Shah Rukh


“My family is from Peshawar and few of them still live there. I would love to come to Peshawar and bring my children over because my father took me when I was 15. Then he passed away. December 2013 Edition

uperstar Shah Rukh Khan wants totake his children -- Aryan, Suhana and AbRam -- to Peshawar, where his family hails from. Shah Rukh, who was in the capital to be a part of Agenda Aajtak conclave, did not refuse the request of former Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar to visit Pakistan and said he would love to go back to the place again where his father took him when he was too young. “My family is from Peshawar and few of them still live there. I would love to come to Peshawar and bring my children over because my father took me when I was 15. Then he passed away. I still have some of the greatest memories of the time I spent with my father in Peshawar, Karachi and Lahore. I just wish that I could take my children there someday,” he said. Shah Rukh was born in India but his father Taj Mohammed Khan, who was one of the youngest freedom fighters, was from Peshawar. The ‘Chennai Express’ star also praised the warm hospitality of the people from across the border. “The one thing that I learnt from there is that people there are very warm. They know how to greet their guest. I have learnt the art of loving and welcoming people from them,” he said. Shah Rukh feels that the tension between the two countries should reduce and they again become friends. “I hope that we become friends and be like a family because if we come together than we have the greatest of things for each other,” he added. Shah Rukh, 48, who recently became a father of AbRam, born through surrogacy, said the six-month-old baby is fine now and has got dimples like him. “AbRam is very much healthy. He is a good-looking baby and has got dimples. I and Gauri (wife) decided to go for a third child because we were missing the childhood of our kids. My son is 16 and daughter is 13 and they always lock themselves up in their room with their friends. So, we decided to have a third child and keep Gauri busy with the new born,” he added.




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Getting used to pace and bounce is a big challenge: Dhoni


ndia skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that “getting used to the pace and bounce” in South African conditions will be the biggest challenge for his young team, which is here to play three ODIs and two Tests. “One of the big challenges is to get used to the pace and bounce. If you are just new to the international circuit, then it becomes more of a challenge. The reason being, in India even on the best of wickets you don’t get the same pace, or even bowlers who can generate similar pace and bounce.

“So it makes slightly more difficult for the players who have just made their debut in the international arena,” Dhoni told reporters at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday. He, though, also believed that there are some players who have had international experience. “But at the same time there are few players (in the side) who have been playing for the last few seasons and have had a decent outing all over the world. When you come to the same venue, you know how the situation or condition will be,

and it gives an edge to adapt quickly. At the end of the day experience always counts.” Young they may be, but this Indian lot is also very enthusiastic about their cricket. And now, they will be raring to take on the challenge of facing against some of the best fast bowlers in world cricket. The battle then essentially will be between Indian batsmen and South Africa bowlers, and how they cope up with the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander will be intriguing to say the least. “Strategies have always been formed against batsmen. Batsmen form their own strategies to counter bowlers’ plans. The real challenge is how you are able to change your game and adapt as per different conditions. More important than strategies is who scores more runs and takes more wickets,” said Dhoni. That, again, brings up the topic of the Indian bowling, the same deemed ‘weak’ by his counterpart. “It is important how you exploit conditions,” he replied, when pointed out. “It’s not important if you have the best bowlers. I think we have done pretty well. There have been ups and downs. We have really struggled when there is dew on the field or the wickets are really flat surfaces. That’s an area where our bowlers haven’t done outstandingly well,” Dhoni said. “But if there is help for them, fast bowlers or spinners, they have made use of it and done well. So we are happy with how they have done, quite happy with both ups and downs.”

Although Dhoni admitted that he hadn’t seen the pitch, early on A B de Villiers had talked about the amount of grass on it. If some of it stays there come tomorrow, even the hosts will be wary of the threat Indian bowlers can pose. Both captains have candidly agreed that saving wickets early on, for an attack in the death overs, is the safest bet. “Irrespective of where you are playing, wickets in hand always get you good runs in last 8-10 overs. In subcontinents, the wickets slow down and sometimes it is difficult to for the new batsmen to come in and play shots. In those circumstances, we have not been able to get par-plus scores. “If there is good pace and bounce, we have seen that generally batsmen can get runs in the last 8-10 overs, and they add on to the par-plus score,” said Dhoni. “South Africa is one place where I believe a lot depends on how the conditions are, how the wickets are prepared, and whether it is overcast or a bright sunny day when wickets can be very good for batting. A lot will depend on what the circumstances are on that day,” he added. It is a fact that India go into this ODI rubber as the world’s number one side. It is also a fact that they have never won a bilateral series in South Africa, and their record in the ODIs is poor as well. “It is not about favourites. The poor record wasn’t on my mind, but there have been instances, where we had an opportunity to win the series, but we didn’t cash in on it. So, what is important is how you play cricket on that particular day.

We have seen that in ODIs, you need to get off to a good start. With two new ball rule and especially if conditions favour the fast bowlers, it is important how you play the first ten overs. Having wickets in hand, cashing in on the last 15 overs to get par plus score and then how you defend it. It all depends on how you play and the kind of impact individuals have on that day.” Dhoni’s words seemed to suggest that India weren’t too flustered about batting first or second. South Africa’s recent chase-record, losing seven of their last eight matches, could be tempting. Or, they could instead bowl first and chase themselves, something the Indian batsmen have done with great aplomb recently. “We are working on our strengths in batting and bowling, and accordingly we will try to make the most of it. If we don’t have bowlers who don’t bowl at 145 or 150 km/h then there is no point thinking about pace and bounce. “But if you have someone who can swing the ball, then we will make the most of conditions here with two new balls, try to get wickets in first ten overs and that can have an impact on the game.” “We have won a few games where we haven’t scored a lot of runs. At the same time we have won quite a few games where we have scored 350 while chasing. “In the past one year if you see, we have equal instances of players chasing down over 300 runs and at the same time defending something close to 150 (number of overs were reduced). So, to say which a better pick is, I cannot say,” Dhoni opined.

Federer can play until he is 60, says Nastase

December 2013 Edition

Photo source: PTI


oger Federer should play until he is 60 if he wants to, according to Romanian former world number one Ilie Nastase. The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion has slipped down to sixth in the world rankings and won only one title this year, prompting many to suggest he is a spent force at 32. Nastase the former bad boy of tennis, believes Federer should not listen to the naysayers, however. “I wish people wouldn’t say that Roger Federer has to retire,” the 67-year-old former French Open and U.S. Open champion was quoted as saying in Romanian media. “I think he should play for as long as he wants. “I don’t agree with those people who say that you should retire when you’re past your absolute best or prime. “No, Federer doesn’t have to prove anything, he can play to 60 if he wants to.” Federer, who has spent a record 302 weeks as world number one during his illustrious career, is still one of the biggest draws in tennis, according to Nastase, even if he has fallen behind players such as Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. “If Federer wants to carry on playing, no-one is going to say: ‘No, we don’t want Federer to play’. “He is going to retire when he feels like it. I don’t think that he has to retire just because he is no longer the world number one. That happens to everybody, as you can’t stay as the world number one forever. He retires whenever.” Nastase himself retired from the Tour at the age of 39 but continued playing invitational seniors events into his 60s.




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Technology taking hockey to another level


f you believe playing hockey is all about skills, well think again. With the evolution of technology, the game has reached a level where it can be compared - as far as planning is concerned - to chess. The hockey support staff has become like those invaluable ‘seconds’ in the chequered board

game, planning every possible move beforehand to outsmart the rivals. The use of video analysis has reached such a level that teams no longer play according to their main strategy for the entire duration of practice matches before big events. Indian hockey team and its

coaches have also woken to the fact that every move of theirs is closely monitored and scrutinised. “In practice matches, we use different strategies. We don’t use the strategy we are going to use in the tournament for the entire duration of the practice matches. We use them at some point of time and for a

limited period of time,” Indian junior hockey team’s coach Baljeet Singh Saini said. “These days video analysis is a very important factor. In that sense you can’t expose yourself.” We have butterflies in stomach but not under pressure, says coach Saini India may be playing the impor-

tant tournament at home but that won’t put pressure on the home players, said coach Saini. “We have got a lot of exposure before the event. This team has been together for the last two years. It’s like the school exams. Events like these tell you where you stand as a team. Looking back at the tournaments we have played, I can assure you that we are confident,” said Saini. “You have butterflies in the stomach before the start of the match. You are excited and a bit anxious. But once you get into the ground and touch the ball you don’t know whether you are playing in India or abroad. You get into the zone. What happens in the stands does not matter much. You are just focusing on the ball,” added the coach. Captain Manpreet Singh said the team was not under pressure since they have played some senior tournaments together before the junior World Cup. Saini said that the team was on track. “We have participated in senior tournaments to prepare for the World Cup. We did well in Johar Baru where we won the title. We finished fifth in the in Asian Champions Trophy, but as coaches we are quite satisfied with the performance there. “We are on track. Our preparations have been good. We have studied the grey areas and have worked on it.”

Sandhu retained as chief boxing coach till 2016 Olympics

December 2013 Edition

Photo source: PTI


he long-serving Gurbax Singh Sandhu was retained as the national coach of the men’s Indian boxing team till the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “The Indian Boxing Federation is pleased to announce that Mr Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu will be retained as the chief national coach of the Indian boxing team till the 2016 Rio Olympics. This decision was taken in consultation with the Sports Authority of India at New Delhi recently,” the IBF, which is currently suspended, said in a statement. Sandhu, under whose guidance India won its first Olympic and World Championships medal through Vijender Singh (75kg), has been with the team for two decades. “I had retired in June this year but I am happy to get an extension. I am satisfied with the terms of my contract because my purpose is to serve Indian boxing,” Sandhu said. “I am grateful to the IBF and the Sports Authority of India for having faith in me,” he said. Sandhu, who was first appointed as the chief coach in 1993, was picked for a fresh term by a committee under the IBF president Abhishek Matoria. The committee also included ID Nanavati (vice president, IBF) and Naraottam Singh Rawat (chairman, Ring Officials Commission) and they “unanimously agreed” that Sandhu was the “right man to handle the Indian Boxing Team”. “I think Indian boxing has grown by leaps and bounds so far and I would love to see it progressing ahead. That is my aim and desire,” said Sandhu. Sandhu has been with the team in four Olympics so far, including the 2008 Beijing Games where Vijender got India its first medal in boxing -- a bronze. The very next year, he was at the helm when Vijender won the country’s maiden World Championships medal -- again a bronze. Save for the slide in the past one year after the IBF’s suspension, the boxers have been bringing laurels to the country.




Alarming rise in HIV cases among adolescents


new report released by UNICEF shows great progress has been made to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, with more than 850,000 new childhood infections averted between 2005 and 2012 in low- and middle-income countries. However, the 2013 Stocktaking Report on Children and AIDS released on Friday raises the alarm on adolescents, citing the need for increased global and national efforts to address HIV and AIDS among this vulnerable age group. AIDS-related deaths amongst adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 increased by 50% between 2005 and 2012, rising from 71,000 to 110,000, in stark contrast to progress made in preventing mother-to-child transmission. There were approximately 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV in 2012, the report says. “If high-impact interventions are scaled up using an integrated approach, we can halve the number of new infections among adolescents by 2020,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “It’s a matter of reaching the most vulnerable adolescents with effective programmes – urgently.” High-impact interventions include condoms, antiretroviral treatment, prevention of mother-

to-child transmission, voluntary medical male circumcision, communications for behaviour change, and targeted approaches for at-risk and marginalized populations. This is in addition to investments in other sectors such as education,

social protection and welfare, and strengthening health systems. In contrast to adolescents, progress has been impressive in the area of preventing new HIV infections among infants. Some 260,000 children were

Drinking caffeinated coffee boosts blood flow

newly infected with HIV in 2012, compared to 540,000 in 2005. The report also emphasizes that for an AIDS-free generation to become a reality, more children living with HIV should receive antiretroviral treatment. Only 34% of children living

with HIV in low- and middleincome countries received the treatment they needed in 2012, compared to 64% of adults. As a result, an estimated 210,000 children died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2012.

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Live life...Naturally


new study has revealed that the caffeine in a cup of coffee might perk up your blood vessels, thereby improving your cardiovascular health. A study of 27 healthy adults showed, for the first time, that drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee significantly improved blood flow in a finger,which is a measure of how well the inner lining of the body’s smaller blood vessels work. Specifically, participants who drank a cup of caffeinated coffee had a 30 percent increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period compared to those who drank decaffeinated coffee. “This gives us a clue about how coffee may help improve cardiovascular health,” lead researcher Masato Tsutsui from the pharmacology department at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. Study participants were people who did not regularly drink coffee, ranging in age from 22 to 30. On one day, each participant drank one five-ounce cup of either regular or decaffein-

December 2013 Edition

ated coffee. Then researchers measured finger blood flow with laser Doppler flowmetry, a non-invasive technique for gauging blood circulation on a microscopic level. Two days later, the experiment was repeated with the other type of coffee. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew when they were drinking caffeinated coffee. The researchers noted blood pressure, heart rate, and vascular resistance levels. They also took blood samples to analyze levels of caffeine and to rule out the role of hormones on ! blood vessel function. Compared to decaf, caffeinated coffee slightly raised participants’ blood pressure and improved vessel inner lining function. Heart rate levels were the same between the two groups. The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

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Up late, working or partying? Cheating sleep causes harm to your heart. World over, several studies on sleep deprivation have linked it to an increased risk of getting a stroke, besides cancer, obesity, diabetes, memory loss, bone damage, anxiety, depression and even early death. All studies are united by one critical association — an adverse impact on the heart. A Norwegian study conducted earlier this year found that insomnia may triple the risk of developing heart failure. A 2008 University of Chicago study found that one hour less on average each night can increase calcium build-up in the coronary arteries by 16 per cent. This build-up causes plaque that can rupture vessels and cause heart attacks and strokes. Dr Prafulla Kerkar, head of department of cardiology, KEM hospital, says, “For heart disease, we assess risk factors. Sleep-deprivation is a significant risk factor.” A Philips-AC Neilson study conducted four years ago found that 93 per cent of urban Indians are sleep-deprived. Workaholics and the self-styled owls must realise that the consequences of cheating sleep are darker than the circles it leaves under their eyes, say doctors. Restoring to sleep debt Dr Preeti Devnani of Jaslok Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Clinic

says, it’s only now that we are waking up to the connection between sleep and mortality. Ideally one must sleep for seven hours a day. “Instead, people resort to sleep debt, where they chronically sleepdeprive themselves and reclaim it over the weekend. After a point, the brain and the body can’t catch up. Besides, such sleeps don’t have the same efficacy, and the impairment can’t be undone.” You may think your job leaves you with no choice, but that doesn’t make the problem go away. In October 2009, the 42-year-old CEO and MD of multinational corporation SAP, Ranjan Das succumbed to a cardiac arrest after finishing a work out session in his Bandra apartment. Das had no unhealthy habits besides sleeping for only a few hours every day. Earlier this year, in January, 45year-old cardiologist of KEM Hospital Dr Prasanna Nyayadhish died of a cardiac arrest after returning home from a workout. Overworked and under-rested, he had taken up consultations at multiple hospitals. What about those who are ‘built’ for less sleep, you ask? “Even for that minority, quality of sleep is key,” says Dr Kerkar. However, Dr Devnani insists that’s still unhealthy. “By pushing themselves night after night, they think they are making the most of their time, but they are only damaging their

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Cheating sleep slowly kills your heart

cardiovascular health,” she says. Dr Kerkar cites the instance of an angioplasty he performed last week at Asian Heart Hospital on a 35-year-old who trades online in US markets — this means he stays up at night. “His angiography showed blockage and pre-

heart attack signals, but he was so caught up that he even cancelled the operation date and asked to have it postponed by weeks,” says Dr Kerkar, who agreed only to delay the procedure by a few days. Although he had diabetes and high blood pressure apart

from being obese, Dr Kerkar says lack of sleep aggravates even these factors. “With TV, Internet and smart phones keeping people up till late night, sleep cycles have gone for a toss. In any case, ‘a city that never sleeps’ is not a healthy reputation to have.”

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Energy drinks change the way your heart beats


f you rely on energy drinks to give you a buzz, researchers have news for you. According to a new study, all that caffeine in the drinks can alter the way your heart beats.

December 2013 Edition

A team from the University of Bonn in Germany imaged the hearts of 17 people an hour after they had an energy drink containing caffeine and taurine. Findings showed more forceful heart contractions after

the drink, especially in the left ventricle, which is the chamber of heart that pumps blood around the body. “Until now, we haven’t known exactly what effect these energy drinks have on the function

of the heart,” said researcher Jonas Dorner in a statement. “The amount of caffeine is up to three times higher than in other caffeinated beverages like coffee or cola.” Caffeine levels in drinks

such as Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar range from about 6 milligrams to 242 milligrams per serving, and some containers have more than one serving. By comparison, an 8-ounce/236.5 mL cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams. “There are many side-effects known to be associated with a high intake of caffeine, including rapid heart rate, palpitations, rise in blood pressure and, in the most severe cases, seizures or sudden death,” Dorner said. Dorner and his colleagues have presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. “We’ve shown that energy drink consumption has a short-term impact on cardiac contractility,” he said. “We don’t know exactly how or if this greater contractility of the heart impacts daily activities or athletic performance.” His team advises that children and adults with an irregular heartbeat avoid energydrinks altogether. A recent report in the journal Pediatrics found that up to 50% of US adolescents and young adults drink energy drinks on a regular basis.



How men and women emotionally cooperate with each other

ooperation is essential in any successful romantic relationship, but how men and women experience cooperation emotionally may be quite different, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona. Ashley Randall, a post-doctoral research associate in the UA’s John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences and the UA’s department of psychiatry, has been interested for some time in how romantic partners’ emotions become coordinated with one another.For example, if someone comes home from work in a bad mood we know their partner’s mood might plummet as well, but what are the long-term implications of this on their relationship? Randall wondered how the act of cooperating, a beneficial relationship process, might impact emotional coordination between partners. “Cooperation – having the ability to work things out with your partner, while achieving mutually beneficial outcomes – is so important in relationships, and I wondered what kind of emotional connectivity comes from cooperating with your partner?” she said.What she found in her recent study were surprising gender differences.She and her colleagues

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found that during high mutual levels of cooperation with a romantic partner, men typically experience an “inphase” response to their significant other’s emotions. That is, if the woman in the relationship is feeling more positive,

the man will feel more positive. If she feels less positive, he will feel less positive. On the contrary, it seems women experience more of an “antiphase” pattern during high mutual cooperation. If her partner is feel-

ing more positive, she will tend to feel less positive, and vice versa. Social psychology literature on cooperation tells us that women generally tend to cooperate more, while men often try to avoid conflict.Thus, men might be subcon-

sciously syncing their emotions with their partners’ during cooperation in an effort to avoid conflict or reach a speedy resolution, Randall said.The study is published in SAGE’s Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

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Blueberries and red grapes may boost immunity

Indian Times time discovers truth

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December 2013 Edition


study announcedhas found that chemicals in red grapes and blueberries may boost your body’s immune system. Researchers from Oregon State University looked at the impact of 446 different chemicals on the human immune system. Findings published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research showed that two compounds, resveratrol found in red grapes and pterostilbene found in blueberries, when combined with vitamin D, could boost the body’s ability to fend off illness. Resveratrol has been the subject of dozens of studies for a range of possible benefits, from improving cardiovascular health to fighting cancer and reducing inflammation. “Out of a study of hundreds of compounds, just these two popped right out,” said lead researcher Adrian Gombart. “Their synergy with vitamin D...was significant and intriguing. It’s a pretty interesting interaction.”

These compounds, which are called stilbenoids, worked in synergy with vitamin D and had a significant impact in raising the expression of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP gene, that is involved in immune function, the researchers explained. Still, the scientists point out, the study was done using laboratory cell cultures and more research needs to be done before they offer dietary recommendations. In prior research this year, blueberries were also found to boost brain power in that they contain high levels of compounds called polyphenolics, which researchers say can help the brain to carry out vital “housekeeping” functions. Scientists from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and University of Maryland Baltimore County studied the effects of berries on the brains of rats, looking specifically at the berries’ effect on clearing toxic accumulation from the brain.



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