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Nov - Dec 2018 - VOLUME 11, ISSUE 10

we speak your language

KOOHEJI-AJMERA-MAYFAIR: RECREATING THE BAHRAIN-INDIA GOLDEN ERA


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we speak your language

Note from the Chairman

Nov-Dec 2018 - VOLUME 11, ISSUE 10

the editorial team P.O. Box 50650, Arad, Kingdom of Bahrain Licensed by the Ministry of Information Publication Licence no : GASB 740

Chairman and Managing Editor Mahmood Al Mahmood Managing Director P.K. Ravi Editor Meera Ravi Contributors • Maharaja Features Pvt. Ltd. • Amritha Faustine

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The early European explorers brought back many things from what they called the New World – which was actually more ancient civilisationally that theirs. Chocolate, potato, peppers, chillies..and tobacco. While we have happily amalgamated the rest into our diets, the last is a terrible scourge and truly the curse of the thousands of natives who died because of their exposure to the European diseases like smallpox, polio and cholera which their bodies had no resistance to. As we marked Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, it seems apt to remember that tobacco is the single biggest cause of this terrible disease. Lung cancer can occur in non-smokers but remains largely a smoking-related disease. The best way to prevent it is by not smoking - including cigarettes, cigars, and most relevant to the GCC, the sheesha. Which is why I am a bit worried about the many stylish Vape shops in Bahrain selling e-cigarettes. There seems to be a common misconception that this aerosol mix containing nicotine is not harmful when in actual face the concentration of nicotine and the fine spray inhaled makes it penetrate deeper into tissues. Bahrain has a fine track record of health initiatives and a world-class healthcare delivery system. Look at the way we have tackled breast cancer awareness and succeeded in bringing down mortality rates. We now need to push forward a similar agenda against lung cancer also. Having a national plan to curtail the smoking epidemic is of utmost importance. At the same time, proper smoking cessation counselling programmes can help current smokers kick the habit. Of course over the past decade, smoking has been firmly placed among the antisocial habits and restricted to designated poison-cages instead of public spaces. We are nearing the end of 2018 – and that means in another 30 days, it will be time for New Year resolutions. Let’s do our smoker family and friends a favour and help them kick the habit, shall we? Even if one person is saved, that’s a goal for good health. Capt. Mahmood Al Mahmood 2

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Highlights Nov-Dec 2018

CUISINE A grain of difference

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COVER STORY Kooheji-Ajmera recreate golden era

SPECIAL FOCUS Gatekeepers to rescue the depressed

The Golden Gate project in Bahrain Bay is a testimony to the centuries’-old relations between Bahrain and India. It is the first overseas project of Indian realty giant Ajmera Group and Mayfair Housing and Bahrain’s Ishaq Al-Kooheji

In response to the alarming increase in suicide among expats, the ICRF has begun to train volunteers as ‘Gatekeepers’ who will support people with issues of depression and stress before it spirals out of control.

HEALTH Al Hilal’s inclusive approach

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The Al Hilal Group is expanding with a difference – by reaching out to the most vulnerable who have lesser medical access. Their new Salmabad centre is a step in that direction.

IN THE NEWS 2019 Bahrain health insurance Bahrain will unroll mandatory health insurance for all in 2019. What are the rules and benefits? We examine the options

INTERVIEW Man of Courage

Winter ushers in a whole lot of difference in the traditional Indian diet with winter grains like millet, barley and certain pulses taking centre-stage. These days, the exploration of ancient grains and heritage seasonal crops is very much a food fashion.

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At the recent BCICAI conference, motivational speaker Major D.P. Singh showed what courage and determination is all about – we bring you an inside look at this war vet’s success.

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FASHION Fusion palette for winter

Designers are trying out racy ideas in fashion for winter as well as bridal trousseaux. With destination weddings trending, heavy crushable silks are giving way to crush-proof fabrics tailored innovatively

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P, SHU GUP D OO LYW BOL S IX U ..PL NE P SCE Y T PAR

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Kewalram Diwali togetherness

The Kewalram family, one of the most distinguished links between India and Bahrain, celebrated the spirit of Diwali with a grand #TeamBahrain moment in the presence of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, son of HRH the Crown Prince of Bahrain, who represented his gracious father at the celebration, thus affirming the warmth of relations between Bahrain’s leaders and the Indian community. 5

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KABRA Group showcases 7 Mumbai projects

Well-known Mumbai-based builders and re-developers, KABRA Group, held a roadshow and dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain, showcasing the group's 7 prime projects across Western Mumbai in Malad, Andheri, Versova, Santa Cruz, Juhu and the Bandra-Kurla Annexe. Mahendra Soni, Director of the KABRA Group, addressed the over 150 guests who attended the exclusive presentation. 6

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Thaker family welcomes Bahraini Who’s Who for Diwali

The Thaker family, one of the best know in business circles, welcomed the Who’s Who of Bahrain for their Diwali celebration in their Saar home. The festivities were graced by the presence of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, son of the Crown Prince of Bahrain, the Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and leading businessmen and women as well as family and friends.

ICICI begins Bahrain festive season

ICICI Bank was first off the block this year with festivities for Diwali. Their stylish poolside get-together was a treat for all who attended. 7

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Haridas family's Festival of Lights

The P. Haridas family welcomed Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, son of HRH the Crown Prince at their family Diwali gathering this year. The party also included leading Bahraini businesspersons and members of the Indian community.

Jain family Diwali celebrations

Akshay, Pallavi and Arihant Jain marked Diwali with a poolside party in their Saar home with a get-together enjoyed by all age groups. There was also a sweet moment when Dr. Rathi celebrated his birthday by cutting a cake with wife Surekha. 8

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Dadabhai Travel revives iconic Manama landmark The towering doors of the former HSBC building with their embossed giant Dilmun seals once again swung open after nearly two decades when Dadabhai Travel stylishly recharged the building with new business energy, making this iconic Manama Suq building their HQ. The guests at the inauguration by Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, were struck by the care to detail and artistic attention lavished on the interiors and the exterior. Now, that’s a great way to let people know that this is a company that cares for the finest details of your travel.

Karias mark light-filled Diwali

The Karia family - Jatin, Bijal, Dhruvi and Dhruv ushered in Diwali with a grand celebration at home for friends. 9

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KACH GH reopens to big response

Clothing boutique KACH GH Spiritual Clothero relaunched their Moda Mall store with a dizzying three days of fashion fun. Inaugurated by Mamta Sinha, wife of the Indian Ambassador in the company of VIP guest Fatima Al Mansoori, the boutique will stock textiles and fabrics as well as ready-to-wear customized clothing. The owner Isha Vasa is a qualified textile designer whose special area of interest is plant-based fabric. Drop in to see KACH GH’s awesome fabric and textile collection.

MODA Mall’s Diwali showcase MODA Mall welcomed Diwali with its first-ever celebration of India’s rich cultural heritage at the mall’s Jewellery Court. The festive showcase featured classical music - lively amalgamations of violin and mridangam recital on day one and tabla recitals and Jugalbandi on day two - vibrant lights, traditional sweets, live entertainment and shopping for the entire family. Guests of honour were Thanuja Anil, the President of the Indian Ladies Association and Kelvin Crutchlow, Director & General Manager, Bahrain World Trade Center and MODA Mall’s managing agent, Cushman & Wakefield Bahrain.There was rangoli décor and a special poetry programme in English and Arabic from local poets. As part of the Diwali festivities, MODA Mall extended charitable support to the Indian Ladies Association for their CSR initiative, SNEHA Recreation Centre for Children with Special Needs, with a

donation of BD 1,000. Hosting the MODA Mall Diwali Festival, Kelvin Crutchlow said, “We are very pleased to bring the festivities of Diwali – the Festival of Lights to MODA Mall for the first time. " 10

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cover story

A golden development for a golden jubilee year

The inauguration of Golden Gate Developers, a joint venture between Bahraini-based company Kooheji Golden Gate and Indian real estate companies Ajmera Group and Mayfair Housing ushered a new style of living in Bahrain. The joint venture said it has revolutionised the way real estate is viewed via a 360-degree virtual reality tour, enabling guests to walk through the property and have a virtual experience of living in these homes. It is a first GCC engagement for 50year old Indian realty giant Ajmera Group and their partners, Mayfair Housing. That makes it a great fit for Kooheji Golden Gate, a company started in 12

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1889 by partner Ishaq Al Koohei’s great grandfather to trade in building materials and real estate development. “The roots of Kooheji Golden Gate began with my great grandfather sourcing materials for the local market to start building properties around Bahrain,” said Ishaq Al Kooheji, “Our understanding of the Bahrain real estate is deep-rooted and thorough. At the same time, we believe in innovation and future-forward vision. Golden Gate in Bahrain Bay will be the epitome of luxury living in Bahrain.”

Tallest, best Golden Gate will be spread over a sprawling 140,000-sq-m area providing

striking views of the waterfront and iconic Bahraini landmarks, distinguishing itself from other developments and buildings in the area. It will feature the tallest residential towers in Bahrain, consisting of two towers ,with 45 and 53 storeys and a total of 746 luxurious apartments, starting at BD 45,000 ($118,481). It is set to be completed in approximately 36 months. According to Manoj Ajmera, the towers at Golden Gate in Bahrain Bay are specially designed as luxurious and smart living. The apartments will have floor-to-ceiling picture windows overlooking the Bahrain Bay and the special sun-protection glazing will keep 13

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the heat at bay without compromising on the aesthetics. In a nod to Bahraini heritage, the towers are crowned with curved sail shapes, drawing inspiration from Bahrain’s seafaring history. Ishaq Al Kooheji also pointed out that the unique ‘jewellery box’ architectural feature in the sixth floor level will be detailed in shades of gold, sapphire and blue, portraying the precious stones traded for Indian spices, “representing and paying homage to our centuries’ worth of trade between Bahrain and India.” What makes Golden Gate unique is that it will be a one-of-a-kind residence. With panoramic views of Bahrain Bay,


cover story the location and setting are perfect. The property will include top-class facilities such as state-of-the-art gyms, spas, indoor and outdoor pools, 24 x7 conceirge and even business centre and conference room facilities. With years of experience combined and their ambitious nature, the partners has revived decades worth of trade relations between the two nations, further cementing it with the creation of Golden Gate for many years to come.

Impressive Bahrain Kooheji Golden Gate chairman Ishaq Al Kooheji said: "The innovation and creativity that we have shown will only propel Bahrain into the spotlight, making the kingdom an exemplar of excellence in the real estate industry." Ajmera Group managing director Manoj Ajmera, said: “We are thrilled with the way the launch has taken off and are expecting only bigger and greater

successes for the Golden Gate project and our growing relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain.” Mayfair Housing chairman Nayan Shah lauded Bahrain Bay's potential and dubbed it as one of the best waterfront developments in the world. “Bahrain was a great choice for our first international venture as Golden Gate Developers and Bahrain Bay was the best place to begin our journey. We

are impressed with the country’s businessfriendly mentality and strong work ethic, which enabled us to create possibilities such as the Golden Gate project, which we hope to make a prestigious landmark. We are proud and honoured to be a part of this project,” he added Meanwhile, this year is significant for the Ajmera Group because it marks 50 successful years in business. To date, the Ajmera Group has developed more than 47 million square feet of real estate in various parts of India. Ajmera Group began in the fabrication and construction business in the early 1960s and is today a leading conglomerate in South East Asia. Besides construction and development of real estate, the group also focuses on an assortment of businesses such as cement, sports, education, logistics, vaults, etc. Their involvement in the Bahrain Bay Development marks the Ajmera Group’s first investment outside their home market.

Paris comes to Manama

Celebrity entrepreneur Paris Hilton swept through Bahrain, leaving us mere mortals agog as she launched her latest perfume “Platinum Rush” for Al Hawaj. The perfume is bright and flirty and makes an excellent office wear, lasting a good half-day. Get over to Al Hawaj for a spray –on. 14

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A charming night of talent & laughter The spirit of giving blended well with the festive mood as the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) brought the community together once again for the grand ILA fund-raiser in aid of Sneha, their free recreation centre of children with special needs. This year, the ILA gave a shout-out to all the charming people in the community with a Charm Pageant for women and men which put the focus squarely on how talented the participants were and how they sought to give back to the community. Age (above 21) and size were no bar, making this one contest that was fun, non-sexist, non-sizeist and non-ageist. “Its obvious that women are more comfortable being charming,” laughed ILA President Thanu Anil, “On the day of the show, the audience was full of charming men but only three brave men came forward to actually participate: Achu Arun Raj, Sreejith Feroke and Sandeep Khadilkar. On the other hand, we had seven women finalists.” The jury for the charm pageant was made up of comedienne and show star Anu Menon, Samya Hussien, Sonorita Chauhan and Vaijayntee Bhattacharya. After treating the audience to a fascinating spectrum of talents from “vegan fashion design” to singing, music, ecodécor with old bottles, story-telling, poetry and painting, the judges announced the winners: Smitha Jensen was chosen the lady winner with Shraddha Rokade as first runner-up and Anupam Kinger as second runner-up. Among the men, Achu Arun Raj who stunned the guests with his mime act was crowned the winner and Sreejith was the first runner-up. The evening closed with a laugh-till-you-cry session of stand-up comedy by Anu Menon of Lola Kutty fame who has the audience in splits with tales of her Kerala-meetsGujarat marriage, parenting and family (mis)adventures. “Every year the Bahrain community steps forward to support Sneha – the venture which is not just a recreation centre for the children with special needs but a support group for their families too,” said Sneha Co-ordinator Sushmita Vishwakoti, “The project is now in its 31st year and powered by the never-give-up spirit of the kids and the love and energy of the teachers and volunteers. Above all, the donations of the community helps us to give these children a loving space where they are unconditionally accepted, regardless of their nationality or dis-ability.” Once again this year, the core sponsors were led by Lynn Al Wazzan of Intercol, Mohammed Zaki of Zayani Motors and a host of generous supporters. 15

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Kannada Bhavana dream project started

On a crisp November morning with a light drizzle settling the dust, the former PM of India, H D Deva Gowda laid the foundation stone for Kannada Sangha Bahrain’s ambitious new building – Kannada Bhavana – in Gudaibiya. The ceremony was accompanied by prayers from priests and religious figures of the three main religions in the state of Karnataka: Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The foundation stone laying ceremony, at the grounds of the old Kannada Sangha which was demolished recently, was also attended by Indian Ambassador Alok Kumar Sinha and former deputy chairman of Karnataka Non-Resident Indians Forum Dr Arati Krishna. Work is set to begin soon on building

a new multi-purpose complex at a cost of more than BD 500,000. The new Kannada Bhavana, the first to be build outside India, is expected to be ready for inauguration in a year’s time, said Sangha president Pradeep Shetty. There are more than 25,000 Kannadigas on this island and while the number looks much smaller than other regional communities within the Indian diaspora, the Kannadigas have always made a mark because they are mainly professionals and entrepreneurs and known to keep alive the unique Kannadiga culture with lavish literary and cultural festivals in Bahrain. The Sangha introduced the fantastical and ancient folk dance drama form called Yakshagana to Bahrain and also serves as a meeting point for the 16

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community. Gowda pledged to support the Kannada Bhavana effort, saying, “I’m aware of the challenges you all are facing as it is a huge and ambitious project and you are very badly in need of funds. I will speak to the state governement and try to get as much funds as possible in a time bound way. I will also ensure that you get all support diplomatically.” That is a shot in the arm for the Kannada Sangha since the former PM’s son, H D Kumaraswamy is the present chief minister of Karnataka state and Deva Gowda is seen as an influential elder statesman.. The Kannada Sangha was established in 1977 with the motto Sangha Jeevana Suka Jeevana (A life of togetherness is a happy life). Since then Kannada Sangha


salaam society has strived to give its members a sense of belonging and a life of oneness in a foreign land. “We still have a long way to go. But with the support of all Kannadigas in Bahrain and other GCC countries we are confident of realising our dreams,” said President Pradeep Shetty, “The present Karnataka state government, headed by chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, has also promised help both financially and diplomatically.” Sangha general secretary Kiran Upadhyay, assistant general secretary Arun Airody, entertainment secretary Varun Hegde and building committee general secretary Sreekrishna Bhat were also present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Literary celebration for Kannadigas

The beauty of the melodious Kannada language was the central focus of the Kannada Literary Festival organized by the Bahrain Kannada Sangha. Attended by Karnataka Urban Development Minister U.T. Khader and held under the guidance of the Minister of Kannada and Culture, Dr. Jayamala, the festival was a cerebral gathering. It was also attended by Kannada Sahitya Parishath President Dr. Manu Baligar and Rajya Sabha member Dr. H. Hanumanthaiah The Sangha has to be admired that even in the midst of hectic arrangements for its new building, the committee finds the energy and resources to celebrate the unique Kannadiga culture. 17

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Tamil honours and literary fest

The first ever Tamil Literary Festival in the region was held at the Indian Club to celebrate the Tamil language. The Gulf Tamil Literary Festival and Award Ceremony was organised by the club in co-ordination with the Bahrain Tamil Association’s Co-ordination Committee. The event was attended by officials and Tamil literary enthusiasts from India, Malaysia and other Gulf countries. Malaysian deputy chief minister and former MP Dr P Ramasamy was guest

of honour and other guests included Malaysian legislators David Marshel and Satees Muniandy. Prominent figures and experts in the language gave lectures at the festival, including veteran scholar Vaiyapuri Gopalsamy (popularly known as Vaiko) a celebrated leader and renowned literary scholar from Tamil Nadu. Notable personalities from the Indian community were also honoured at the event; the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Abu Dhabi based NMC 18

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Healthcare founder and chairman and UAE Exchange chairman Dr B.R. Shetty. Other awards for business and entrepreneurship were awarded to Zayani Motors general manager Mohamed Zaki, Santy Excavation managing director R Ramesh, and Daily Tribune chairman and managing director P Unni Krishnan. Social services awards were also handed out to Bahrain Tamil Co-ordination Committee co-ordinator Abdul khader and Indian Club Bahrain president Cassius Pereira.


Moonlight sonata Across Bahrain, ladies of all ages gathered last month to mark Karwa Chauth, a religious ceremony for the well-being of their husbands. Pragya and Charulata led one group in Mahooz and used the building rooftop for a glimpse of the moon in a cloudless sky before breaking their day-long fast in the company of their family. 20

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Oasis Mall opens in Juffair Bahraini homegrown retail and hospitality conglomerate, Al Rashid Group (ARG), a division of the Landmark Group in the Kingdom, celebrates 45 years of success at the official launch of Oasis Mall Juffair. The joint venture between Landmark Group and ARG began in 1973, when school friends, Micky Jagtiani, Founding Chairman of the Landmark Group and Shaikh Rashid Al Khalifa, Founder of Al Rashid Group, joined hands in a business partnership to open the first Mothercare store. Today, the Al Rashid Group has varied business interests, but the Bahraini community has continued to be the focus for the Group through the years. What started with a small toy store in Bab Al Bahrain, four and a half decades ago, has now grown into a thriving network of stores and malls. Oasis Mall Juffair is ARG’s latest addition to the Bahrain retail scape. Coinciding with the 45th anniversary celebrations of the Group, the Oasis Mall in Juffair was officially inaugurated by Nader Khalil Almoayyed, Undersecretary for Commerce Affairs at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism. Present at the event were Shaikh

Hassan Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Chairman of Al Rashid Group, Shaikha Hind Bint Salman Al Khalifa, Board Member, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), Renuka Jagtiani, Chairwoman and CEO of Landmark Group, along with senior officials of ARG. Oasis Mall will bring residents and tourists a diverse retail and leisure offering that promises to transform Bahrain’s retail scape. Designed and built to the highest international standards, Oasis Mall Juffair is set across an area of over 60,000 square metres with offerings for everyone in the family. The Oasis Mall Juffair is slated as the third largest mall in Bahrain with a unique mix of retail destinations, prominent jewellery stores, F&B offerings, salon &

spa, convenience stores, bank and ATM, almost 900 car parks, a super market as well as Bahrain’s first kids’ theatre. The multi-storey Oasis Mall in Juffair will host several of Landmark Group’s brands such Centrepoint, Home Box (both in a new shop formats), Max, Fun City, Steve Madden, Shoexpress, Carpisa and Koton as well as international favourites like Adidas, Samsung, Starbucks, Cinéco Cinemas and a Carrefour Supermarket. Cinéco Cinemas will certainly be a highly sought-after attraction for visitors with first-of-its-kind elements in Bahrain – 10 screens, a dedicated kids’ theatre and party room, Gold and VIP class theatre with butler services, a special lounge and kitchen.

KBC winners from Bahrain!

Two Bahrain residents got to win an all-expenses paid trip to be in the audience of the Amitabh Bachchan-anchored Kaun Banega Crorepati quiz game. The winners, Husna Fatima and Arif Khan Mahadik were among many contestants who crowded to the new Oasis Mall in Juffair for an evening of fun that also drew big crowds and showered prizes on many participants. 21

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art scene

Sairoz makers choose Bahrain as film destination Bahrain is the venue for an international Pakistani film-shoot. Is this the start of a golden future in the movies for our picturesque isle? From a short story to an Indie flick to a full-fledged commercial coming of age rom-com, a still-untitled script written by director Omar Essa Khan has come a long way - all the way to Bahrain. “I wanted to create my own world, to translate my own vision of the story,” he said, “The film is a story of unconditional love between two youngsters who have to part ways owing to their circumstances. It has Pakistan’s glam couple Syra Shahroz and Shahroz Sabzwari as the lead pair and also features an Indian actor Ankur Rathi playing an important role in it while the other cast members include Shahzeen Rahat, Aaadi, Mohi Abro, Sabeena and Amir Qureshi.” The film, which is currently being tagged as the Sairoz film shedding the spotlight on the lead cast members, Syra, one of Lollywood’s most embraced couples. The director has made an interesting conscious decision to avoid labelling the film himself and wants the masses to pick out a name he plans on putting out three choices and conducting an online poll for the winner.

On-screen chemistry This would be both Syra and Shehroze’s second film and the husband-wife star couple’s amazing on-screen chemistry is very much evident. But it is the bold decision to choose Bahrain as a shooting destination that the director is most proud of. More than half of the world the director intends to create is set in Bahrain, a choice he applauds himself for. According to him, Bahrain is a perfect fit for an East meets West situation. He touched upon the lack of infrastructure in Karachi due to previous governments denying investments in the industry. “Karachi has its own film beauty but there is no Amwaj Islands in Pakistan,

no Bushido and no Lanterns,” he said. Bahrain has places, unlike Karachi that gives off the youthful energy his world encapsulates, he added. It also fits the meticulously planned out art direction of the film. Drawing influences from Edgar Wright, Steven Spielberg and other desi directors like Aditya Chopra, Essa Khan has set his art direction in a way that exudes an 80’s vibe. He smilingly adds that the people in Bahrain are very appreciative and welcoming. He’s brought in a diverse crew from Pakistan, India, the US and France to capture his story for the big screen, who is as keen as working in Bahrain as him. Most of the dancers and extras are all from Bahrain, hired through a casting agency named The Casting Company. 22

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By Amrita Faustine

Imtiaz Al Balooshi who runs The Casting Company is determined to mine the potential of Bahrain for movie-making. “Casting in Bahrain is not always that easy, but we're always on the lookout for talent. There are very rare circumstances where people approach The Casting Company to be hired, to be represented because there isn't a lot of awareness of opportunities present here. So we're always scouting wherever we go. We often approach schools and popular locations for fresh faces. And when we do cast people we ask them to spread the word around, so that people in their circles know where they could take their talent to.” He added, “If there are events or settings that require a large amount of actors, or extras we often conduct auditions that


an emphatic no. The director outlined the story as a “coming of age movie, where a boy tries to woo back his ex - with a happy ending”. The script is written in a way in which it works within and with people’s expectations, making it relatable yet original in its own right.

Security vs. love

are posted online and so far there's been a huge reception for such events. It takes a while to create momentum here but it's catching on, there is an interest among the youth in Bahrain, you just need a keen eye to spot the interest along with the talent.”

Evolving script When asked about the choice in the cast, director Omar Essa Khan beamingly expressed his admiration towards the star couple for their positive outlook and dedication to spirituality. He highlighted the couple’s ritual of performing namaz five times a day and the energy they brought to the room. “It’s how your lead actor interacts with the crew that directs the energy of the film - not the director” In an interview with Syra Shahroz in the Express Tribune, it was revealed that the

script had originally been presented to her five years back which made way to speculations that the project was shelved for five years. However, Essa Khan claimed that the film was never shelved as such, but the continual evolution of the script caused a delay in production. “It started off as a short story and then we felt that the elements in the storyline were too big to be contained in a short story. So we shaped it to an indie flick aimed for the festival circuit. But once again that direction felt misguided, so we drew it out into a commercial cinema script and that took its time” So far it’s evident that the filmmaker has a clear vision for the yet to be titled romantic comedy, but upon asking if there was something that set this film apart from other romantic comedies, there was 23

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The film centres around the debate that exists in our society today - Marrying for social security vs. Marrying for love. It is a relevant open conversation that the director wants to take up with his audience. He hopes for a positive reaction from his audience where people understand his argument of marrying for love, but he concedes to the possibility of being wrong and going against the tide. When expanding and evolving the script, Essa Khan realised that the movie would require all of his resources and thus every step the director has made since the conceptualization has been to execute that vision and equipping himself with the resources required. This dedication also factored in when expanding the story, he thought to himself if he was going to put his all into the story, he might as well put himself in the story. This insight helped in casting the lead actor, - Shahroz Sabzwari, because he saw himself in the actor. For the filmmaker, this movie is as personal as it gets, it led him to take four years off from his stint doing sitcoms to relearn direction and update himself. The film is also fully financed by his inheritance which he thinks the story absolutely deserves. The director is also an avid historian who talked about the influence of political leadership in the depiction of heroes in films. He rests his faith in the current Pakistani president who he hopes will pave the way to a better film industry that could match the Indian film industry in the coming decade. He tries to encapsulate the new president’s attitudes in the protagonist - his focus and grit. Omar Essa Khan is full of hope and determination that translates into his current work. But we’ll have to wait till 2019 to bear witness to it.


salaam society

Change management dynamics focus at international CA meet There were serious sector-related gyan, 21st century motivational talk & fan moments for all

What an energising two days the BCICAI (Bahrain Chapter of the prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) provided to over 400 delegates from the GCC, Bahrain and India during their recently-concluded 10th annual international conference. Held under the patronage of the Minister of Industry, Commerce & Tourism, Zayed Al Zayani, the event was carefully curated to reflect the theme ‘Embrace Change and Grow’.

Stalwarts The conference speakers were a mix of CA stalwarts such as N.P. Sharda and CA Santhanakrishnan, speakers from reputed financial and accountancy firms who addressed a wide range of topics as well as speakers who sparked discussion and debate with their new ideas and their motivational talk. The trend was set by the Keynote Speaker Pujya Brahmaviharidas Swami of the BAPS Foundation in the opening session.

What was a sadhu doing at a chartered accountants conference, you may ask? Well, since studies have increasingly shown the correlation between spiritual awareness, a moral compass and material well-being, the conference started on a high note with Swami’s talk. He set the template for change, saying that change is inevitable, inescapable and cannot be categorised as good or bad. “Since change is inescapable, we have to tackle it by adjusting ourselves, anticipating it, attuning ourselves to it and also changing ourselves without giving up on our spiritual and ethical values,” Swami said, “As Shadow CEOs/Chairmen and entrepreneurs, accountants must be aware of change and prepared to build it into their lives. Like finding a location on Google, we need to find our own location first and then map our response.” Indian Ambassador Alok Kumar Sinha highlighted the transformative impact of the changes that India has embraced such 24

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as GST and said that Bahrain too was poised to benefit from new perspectives on economic and national growth. “Embracing change and working towards growth is not just an impactful lifestyle choice but its positive effects transcend to policy making and lead to better bilateral relations between Bahrain and India” Ambassador Sinha said.

Bahraini presence The role of chartered accountants in Bahrain’s progress was underscored by the presence of several high-ranking Bahraini officials such as EDB head Khalid Al Rumaihi who was chief guest for Day 2 of the event, Hameed Yusif Rahma, Assistant Undersecretary for Domestic Trade at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOIC) who said, “The contributions of the ICAI in the economic growth of Bahrain in these challenging conditions have helped tremendously in working towards


Bahrain Chapter of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (Affiliated to Bahrain Accountants Association)

EMBRACE CHANGE and GROW

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stabilization and economic growth in Bahrain. This conference could not have been more timely and appropriate.” The opening ceremony was attended by Indian Ambassador Alok Kumar Sinha, Hameed Yusif Rahma, Assistant Undersecretary for at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOIC) and Ali Abdulhussain Maki, Assistant Undersecretary for Commercial Registrations and Companies, MOIC and KPMG Fakhro Managing Director and

Shura Council member Jamal Fakhro. A host of influential speakers from India and Bahrain addressed the international audience on topics that have been chosen to reflect the changing aspirations and career paths of chartered accountants world over, expand the mind and generate new ideas about areas as diverse as AI in the workplace to a fine group of experienced TEDx motivational speakers and insights on harnessing CSR effectively. 26

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“Every year we seek to refine and redefine our topics to reflect the interests and concerns of chartered accountants in a rapidly-changing workplace,” said CA S. Sridhar, Chairperson of the BCICAI, “We believe that this year our line-up of speakers engaged with the aspirations of chartered accountants who want to explore innovation and new career paths as entrepreneurs and also update their understanding of a millennial workplace.”


accolade

The Challenger

One of the most interesting and inclusive aspects of the BCICAI Annual Conference is its series of motivational talks by speakers who are not necessarily chartered accountants or even finance professionals. This year, the star speaker was Major D.P. Singh, who transformed a lifethreatening injury and amputation into a lifeaffirming contribution to society. “Nothing lasts forever but the certainty of change” said Bruce Dickinson and it pretty much sums up the life of Major D P Singh. Major D P Singh’s extraordinary story starts with an explosion. Standing just 80 metres away from the enemy post in the midst of the Kargil war at the age of 26, with 30 lives in his command and a mortar bomb with an eight metre kill radius landing just a metre and a half away - the numbers just didn’t add up. The projectile weapon left his body mangled, in a pool of his own blood. Embedded shrapnel, heavy blood loss, cardiac arrests - doctors at the nearest hospital thought it best to declare him dead. But as luck would have it, a senior specialist at the hospital managed to revive him and a slew of surgeries ensued, Major D P Singh survived - or rather threequarters of him did. Gangrene formation in his right leg led it to be amputated, Major D P Singh was set to lead his life as a dependant. It’s safe to say that the war took its toll. No bitterness Speaking to the BCICAI delegates, Major Singh said that he never gave in to bitterness or self-pity. But there was 28

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salaam society initially plenty of self-doubt. “Yes, I did go through the “Why me?” phase but I soon realised that in battles “Fighters discover their potential, while losers seek support”, he said, “I understood that disability does not exist in your body, it exists in the mind and that the human body is so beautifully adaptable that I could build a new life.” Major Singh is a great believer in the idea that war is not the solution, but it levels the playing field and leads to a stage where the warring factions can sit and find solutions through discussions, where both parties are equally committed to the best interests of the people they want to protect. So then, is violence justified? He quoted Guru Gobind Singh, saying, "Chu kar az hama heelte dargujasht, Halal ast burden ba shamsheer daste." "When there's no other course open to man, it is only righteous to unsheathe the sword.” As an amputee in the prime of his life, it was time for Major Singh to unsheath his sword. Searching for a new meaning in life, he trained hard and in 2009, despite an unsuitable prosthetic leg, he completed his first 21 km marathon, turning himself into the weapon of his own choice. Terminating pitying eyes filled with rejection, the insecurities of heartbreak and self-doubt, the obstacles of his physical limitations, Major D P Singh won a Limca Book Record that day. Then he won another and another. The story of his first marathon spread like wildfire among his brothers in the Indian army, a Kargil war veteran staying true to the undeterred spirit their alma mater embodied certainly deserved more than recognition. The Indian Army chose to import their first blade and gifted it to Major D P Singh in 2011, making him India’s first blade runner. Chosen One The challenges he faced since that first run has only doubled over the years, but they fail to faze him. Not vertigo, the injured stump, the lacking prosthetics, the growing pains of the embedded shrapnel that still remain inside him - nothing fazes him because he believes that he is the chosen one. He believes that God gives his toughest battles to the toughest soldiers and thus he keeps fighting. He fights towards a world of inclusion. He has inspired many people like himself to take up challenges and leave the sedentary lives that destiny presented them with. “I am not the challenged one, I am the challenger.” Initially his story led 12 men like him, including a 65- year old double amputee to finish a half marathon. From there he started the organization “The Challenging Ones” which has grown to more than 17,000 amputees today. The Challenging Ones have organized many events and runs that send a clear message that no challenge in life is too hard - The only thing worth giving up is giving up. With an undeterred spirit and unimaginable determination, Major D P Singh is more than an inspiration. He is a Life Coach, a Guru For Change. 29

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Kalyani's tribute to her genius mom

At 96, the general impression is that a person is sleeping most of the day and with creaking bones and wandering mind. Not Kalyani Krishnamurthy's feisty mother Parvathy, who, with her daughter's help, collected her spiritual poems and released a CD of 30 devotional songs. The CD was formally released in July in Mumbai and recently in Bahrain with singers Indu Suresh and Siva in the forefront. "My mother didn't really write this music for the public but I felt that music lovers must know of these lovely songs," Kalyani said, "At 96, she is still very independent and keeps her interest alive in spiritual matters. She speaks fluent English and Tamil and is well-versed in Sanskrit and Malayalam as well - her generation is one where women of Kerala were educated well in modern curriculum as well as all the traditions of a pious Hindu life. As a creative person and dancer myself, she is my greatest inspiration." In true Carnatic composing style, the lyrics were strung across the frame of classical raagas by the composer herself. However, Bahrain singer and musician Indu Suresh polished the tunes professionally and even co-ordinated the background score in faraway Kerala, sitting in Manama! Indu and Siva then proceeded to give voice to the prayerful lyrics. The recording tracks were combined seamlessly by Prajod and Sashwat, whose sound engineering skills have resulted in crystal clear quality. The Bahrain release was held at the meditative Chinmaya Mission HQ. More than anything, it was a life-lesson on the intellectual vigour and spiritual strength we should all aspire to in the twilight of our lives. NOV - DEC

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BOS raise cancer awareness

Under the patronage of KIMS, Bahrain, co-powered by Convex and International Printing Press, Bahrain Odia Samaj (BOS) recently hosted a “Cancer Awareness Program” in Tropicana Hotel, Mahooz, with the aim of raising awareness about cancer and highlighting the preventive measures to be followed. The event was initiated by Anita Anjali Nayak followed by a speeches from Mahesh Prasad Dash, President of BOS. Dr. P.K Dash from Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi conducted a remote online session on the myth and truth of cancer. Dr. Neeta Ravi and Dr. Ashish Kalra from Royal Bahrain Hospital along with other pioneers in this field gave speeches at the event which was attended by over sixty people.

Iqbal Day at Pakistan Club

The Pakistan Club, Bahrain celebrated Iqbal Day with style on November 9, the birth date of great poet, philosopher and thinker, Sir Allama Mohammad Iqbal. The Chief Guest was Afzaal Mahmood, Ambassador of Pakistan. Eng. Rehan Ahmed, Chairman, Pakistan Club highlighting the necessity of celebrating Iqbal day and his message for peace through his poetry and writings. Khurram Abbasi gave a brief on Iqbal’s poetry and his main subjects. Later, a small ‘mushaira’ was held in which renowned local poets presented their poetry. To celebrate the day, a special cake was cut by the Chief Guest along with board members of Pakistan Club in presence of community members. Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood quoted few verses and explained his message to youth and people to serve humanity. 30

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salaam society

Bolly magic in Bahrain

The popular dance studio Bollywood Steps held their second annual Step Up competition and celebrity choreographer and dancer Salman Yousuf Khan was the judge. He also held workshops for enthusiastic local dancers. So if you see some zinger moves on the dance floor in Bahrain, you know where they were polished!

Delmon's melodious Diwali

Delmon Hotel organised a fabulous Ghazal Night for Diwali and the weather was perfect for a poolside musical night. Everybody had a melodious celebration and enjoyed the delicious festive dinner afterwards. 31

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fashion news adda

Creating a new culture by ANUPAM R. KINGER

We bring you a new feature – news adda. As you know, an adda is a communal space where we argue, discuss and fiercely debate. Every month we shall discuss a red button topic from the point of view of two readers and see what readers feel. Join the debate by responding to these arguments with YOUR comments. Write to us with NEWS ADDA – October in the Subject line. Just 200 words. The best response will be published in the next issue of Salaam Bahrain.

Culture , like worship or faith, is extremely individualistic. It is taken, Imbibed and carried forward. From all the inputs we receive, we pick a few and call it our culture. And pass it on to the next generation to choose from. Somebody somewhere started something that received the approval of the masses and got ingrained into the fabric of life. Became culture. ‘Where should I start putting these tiny lit lamps, ma?’ asked a young boy. Ma looked out and judging from the direction of the wind, suggested, ‘Start from the prayer room.’ And that became routine and after a few years, culture. Ever changing, ever evolving, and yet a reminiscence of the roots. We carry our culture like our identity. Like a skin tone, which gets highlighted when one lands in a different land. We get identified by that skin tone and try to associate with those or that which is of the same skin tone. In an ideal situation, the new land becomes a melting pot of sorts and different cultures engage in a healthy sharing of these tones. Hence we get to see beautiful instances of a Ganapati procession in Italy being welcomed in a church or a Sikh group providing free food regularly to the helpless immigrants in Spain. We in Bahrain too have been enjoying this cohabitation of cultures during celebration of Eid, Deepawali Christmas etc. This cultural heritage and exchange reaches new heights when it transcends the skin tones. When a Wasiffudin Dagar sings “Shiv ko poojan chali main aaj”, or a T, M, Krishna sings Sufi chants in Carnatic music style, we evolve. When a Pandit Jasraj sings a shabad, he transcends these superficial barriers. When a Sanjay Subramaniun and a Bismillah Khan sing or play from the soul, words are rendered meaningless. It’s a journey. Its spiritual and it is liberating. When Kathak reaches 32

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the church and ballet the temple, we transcend. For then we have broken all barriers of manmade differences and art has become a manifestation of the divine and art has become worship. There will always be some who will want to keep this cultural heritage bound in their skin tones, for want of a better metaphor. And these few will want to patronise only specific art forms. And if they are attempting to hold sand in their tightly closed fist, I wish them all the luck in their endeavors and pray for their liberation. But does my art have to bow down or be bound by such stringent guidelines? No . Never. More so when I am away from my homeland. Why should the hues of my paintbrush always be shades of the same colour? What stops me from painting my canvas in the colours of the rainbow. It gives me variations, it provides me with a depth hitherto not experienced. I fly. And I don’t fly alone. I fly with others from other skin tones who have also found their rainbow hues. And in this flight, we creat a new music, a new shade of the colour, a new raag, a new thumri, a new sonnet, a new taal. A new alive breathing futuristic culture.


Do expats ghettoize themselves? by Nayan Thara Salim People uproot themselves and fly off to faraway lands, forced by their necessities, or to fulfill their dreams, with the same endgame – thrive, progress, burgeon. When attempting to build a home away from home, there are physical emotional and spiritual effects that we carry with us, for solace. A part of that is rituals, traditions, and culture. Culture is allencompassing. Do we mean eating with our hands instead of utensils or do we mean talking about log kya kahenge – you’ll never know. Ants build colonies in places that will encourage their sustained existence. The way I see it, people do the same. So, pick a spot on the globe or Google maps - if there is an Indian community there, there will be associations named after some tiny little bus stop somewhere in India, there will be associations of people belonging to a certain caste, not just the religion. There will certainly be conflict within the groups, arising from the Indian version of democracy, and they will be standoffish to other groups. The men will be in the executive committee of these groups, and then we’ll make a spin-off of a ladies version of it. The men will find the required funding and plan the activities for their events, the ladies will gather the kids, train them, and dress them and do their makeup. Indians are industrious and extremely hardworking, and we do really take over jobs all over the world – this means that we’d definitely be in a position of power, wherever we are and will continue to silence sociopolitical dissent. Now comes the interesting part. This dissent isn’t anti-national or espionage because the countries we are in aren’t parties in this feud. Their laws are different, their interests lie elsewhere. This is – in our argument - anti-national as per the frames of interest of our small groups. Although the events in India affect our near and

dear ones there and also our own Indian identity, I do believe that by arguing and gathering under the flag of the political or social group we are affiliated to in India, we narrow the scope of dialogue. We are fighting, crying ourselves hoarse and juxtaposing social, religious and political happenings onto the social and physical space of the country we are in. Also, we claim for ourselves the good features of the host country – freedom of expression and immigration laws and H-1B visas and right to jobs and to build 33

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churches and temples and follow our faiths. But then we protest fiercely when it comes to extending the same ideals to our diaspora. We force organisers to cancel concerts and talks by people we don’t see eye to eye with, we silence opposition to anything that is not a majoritarian line of thought. Why do we ghettoize ourselves to the last mundane detail? Expanding the horizon of your thought is never a parameter of growth or prosperity. Expats should be the ones who are the most capable of perceiving the enormity of the world, and yet, we insist on thriving under the labels of our sub-castes and sub-sects, in a cosmopolitan society. Most of us insist on propagating the status quo to such extreme extents, you’d think the President of the association of an unnoticed bus stop back home, was the next Prime Ministerial candidate of India. Also to be noticed is the fact that none of these efforts are pan-Indian. A namesake one, sure, but not one that actually matters – unity in diversity is Greek and Latin to us. Next time we pack to go abroad, let us take our art, our literature, values, mom’s pickles, our favorite sarees, and veshtis along, and leave behind the insipid, and hugely misplaced, affiliations, shall we?


fashion

WINTER GLAM 34

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It’s all about change this winter as designers explore combinations of weaves, avantegarde bridal trousseaux for modern brides and offer a fresh and sprightly take on winter clothes. Gone are the stodgy jackets and coats and in come fresh colours – pink hues from Pero, the internationally acclaimed Indian brand, for example. While the shades of pink dominated the silhouettes, the floral print on chequered wool and hand embroidery, and ornamental needlework on appliqued flowers added depth to the designs. Delhi-based Madhu Jain fused Indian painting and art into her fashion interpretation.

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fashion

Watch out for Shivan & Narresh, whose winter collection is inspired by 17th century Edo Art aesthetics and elements from the natural wonders of Seychelles. Different from the usual, their collection showcased a perfect play of colours and patterns that painted a clear picture of its influence. Exciting artisanal craft and contemporary silhouettes are the hallmark of label Patine which focused on Uzbek patterns and embroidery.

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review

A crisp and well-conceived ballet Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy examines the artistic challenge and triumphs of this much-talked-about local production

I was looking forward to watching "Bhavahara". I had heard much about it and I was not disappointed. Presented by IIPA, directed and choreographed by Dr. Nidhi Menon Bhavahara is a crisp and well conceived dance ballet that seeks to explore the complexity of victory and defeat in war and our understanding of good and evil in that context. Set against the backdrop of the fierce and bloody Kurukshetra war Bhavahara traces the complicated relationship between Kunti and her first born son Karna. Kunti's anguish and Karna's dilemma at being pitted on opposite sides in the war forms the crux of the theme.

It is great credit to Bhavahara that it neither demonises nor valourises any of the characters in its depiction of the conflicts of war. The choreography is imaginative and contemporary, but yet, rooted in tradition. The build up of the story from Karna's birth, Kunti's turmoil and Karna's yearnings are simply but effectively portrayed. The fighting in the war scenes require special mention for the ferocity it displayed to great effect. The dancers acquitted themselves well and the effort towards precision and synchronisation showed! The costumes , props, lighting and special effects complemented the 38

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production to good effect. They were well crafted to suit the ethos of the production. The two aspects that held Bhavahara back were it's music and pre- recorded narration/ dialogue. While the music did not detract from the dance, a more thought out selection could have added greater depth to a theme so intense and thought provoking. The lightness of the music diluted the dramatic effect of the story telling. Bhavahara also suffered the inevitable malaise of static that comes with prerecorded narration and dialogue. That, combined with the lack of fluency in dialogue delivery and weak enunciation


stalled the dramatic intensity of the moment. Overall, clear visualization and skilfully presented. Bravo! The evening ended with a performance by popular musician Unnikrishnan in keeping with the IIPA tradition of presenting a popular music concert by a well-known artist each year.

A late Onam in Manama

Although the celebratory moment came later than usual, the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam, that grand-daddy club for Keralites did indeed mark Onam with a grand feast and also entertainment by light music doyens K.S. Chithra and S.P. Balasubramaniam.

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youngistan

PAACT paints for Kerala

“PAACT Empathy…Rebuild Kerala”, an event exclusively conceptualized to extend a helping hand to the flood affected Keralites, through a Charity Lunch, cultural programme and Art Fest for children, was hosted at Indian School, Isa Town Campus. The Art Fest saw more than 100 participants who were judged by the popular art icons of Bahrain Sathyadev, Heera Joseph and Biju Satheesh. The winners were awarded trophies. PAACT President Jyothy Menon announced, “The funds received during the Charity Lunch programme will be donated to build house for those affected badly in the recent flood in Palakkad, Kerala.” Bahraini yoga expert Fatima Al Mansouri was honoured for lending a helping hand in Kerala during the flood.

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in the news

Bahrain health insurance for all

Bahrain’s health authority is gearing up for the roll-out of the National Health Insurance Scheme (Sehati) which will make health insurance mandatory for all expatriates. Under the new National Health Insurance Law, which governs Sehati, Bahrainis will be able to seek certain medical services for free at government-owned facilities. The National Health Insurance Law will see the government shoulder the cost of 19 categories of medical care for Bahrainis, as well as their domestic staff. Expatriate home workers, including housemaids, drivers, gardeners and nurses, will be covered for free under the scheme. A total of 105,000 domestic workers registered in Bahrain would be granted the same health privileges as Bahrainis, with no extra charge for their employers. Speaking to local media recently, Sabah Al Dossary, undersecretary for labour affairs, emphasized that compulsory health insurance of expats would be the employer’s, not the employee’s, responsibility. “With the national insurance scheme, which will also cover domestic workers, in place, there should be a system to cover their insurance fee – which is the sponsor’s responsibility,” he said. “The suggestion tabled was to hike visa charges, with a proposal to add close to BD50 to current charges paid by the sponsor. This has been agreed to be studied and put to the government as a proposal.” Bahrain’s National Social Health Insurance Programme (Sehati) was first proposed in 2014 and is now being introduced by the Supreme Council for Health (SCH) to ensure every resident in Bahrain is covered by health insurance. It is expected to come into effect by January 2018. Charges for expat health insurance will be made through the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) when work permits are issued or renewed. Under the new health insurance scheme, private sector companies must pay $189 for expats, $58 for local employees and this will entitle them to health insurance covering basic healthcare. The Ministry of Health has issued a rule that each private company with less than 50 employees must pay an annual fee for the government-provided medical services of $189 (BD72) per expat employee on renewing work permits at the Labour Market 42

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Regulatory Authority. Private sector firms also have to pay $58 (BD22) per Bahraini employee each year, and the levied sum will be incorporated into the overall social insurance cost. Private sector companies with more than 50 employees have the option of registering with the ministry and paying the fee, launching their own health insurance or opening clinics which operate round the clock. The ministry said that companies who do not pay the fees will not be issued with work permits for workers. Expatriates will have to contribute to their medical costs in 16 of the 19 categories – excluding primary and limited secondary healthcare and emergencies – since they will enjoy only partial health coverage, paid for by their employers. The law also paves the way for a new National Health Insurance Authority which will invest funds to generate income and will also accept donations. The services that will be provided free for Bahrainis and expat domestic workers include medical check-ups, diagnosis, treatment and primary healthcare; laboratory examinations and X-rays; operations; maternity and child care; hospitalisation for treatment and rehabilitation; dentistry excluding unnecessary cosmetic procedures; psychiatric treatment and consultation; physiotherapy; In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF); liposuction; cosmetic surgery; medicines required for treatment; medical aid devices; cost of one travel companion if the case requires it; ambulance services; long hospitalisation; chronic illnesses; and any services added later by the SCH. Bahrainis will be able to seek these services for free at government-owned medical facilities. Those choosing private sector hospitals or clinics will have to pay no more than 40 per cent of the cost, with the government picking up the balance. Foreign visitors to the country will also be covered for emergency healthcare, although the cost of visas will increase as a result. Providing false information in an attempt to manipulate the new health insurance scheme will incur a fine of up to BD50,000. BDF personnel are not included in the law, but their medical facilities are optional under the scheme. The BDF has opted off the scheme awaiting its implementation with the possibility of it joining later. “We respect the BDF’s decision and the agreement with them is that their employees will continue following the current medical system, but the BDF Hospital will be an option in the scheme as well as the King Hamad University Hospital currently under military management, but would be turned independent in a few months.” said Supreme Council for Health (SCH) chairman Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa. At a recent Gulf Health Insurance Conference, Minister of NOV - DEC

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salaam society Health Faeqa Al Saleh said, “Last year we started restructuring the ministry, but now with a step closer towards the autonomy of hospitals and primary healthcare, we are going to work with the Supreme Council for Health (SCH) as a regulator rather than an operator, which is the case in all countries that follow a national insurance scheme and this has been successful.” “We will leave the operation of primary and secondary healthcare and they will deal with their jobs independently, while we will together monitor the services that will be provided to give them more freedom to ensure quality healthcare in Bahrain.” SCH chairman Dr Shaikh Mohammed said current annual public spending on health averaged BD480 million with the government contributing around BD350m. Under the current healthcare system, by 2038 the government would be spending BD1 billion annually but under the new National Health Insurance Law, approved by the Shura Council unanimously, this sum would be BD800m, resulting in a saving of BD200m. “The new health insurance scheme takes into account all variables aimed at controlling government spending and not lowering it,” said Dr Shaikh Mohammed, “The variables include population growth, new advancements in the market, new illnesses and possible treatments. The law will govern the scheme which we are planning to launch officially in January next year, and we will ask for amendments only when necessary.” Dr Shaikh Mohammed said the medical cost per Bahraini annually is between BD300 and BD350 and the scheme’s operational costs will not exceed five per cent of its allotted budget. Expatriate employees should also consider buying an international health insurance plan to cover them, not only in Bahrain, but also back in their home country and anywhere else in the world where they may travel. Having a comprehensive health insurance plans is important for both the expat and his/her family and also a key component of a quality international benefit package.

Cultural Diwali by Samskruthi Bahrain

Samskruthi Bahrain hosted a grand cultural Diwali under the leadership of North India Chapter President Jaideep Sikand at the Atiram Premier Hotel, showcasing Indian heritage and traditions. In attendance were chief guest Prabhir Kumar Chowdhury, Second Secretary of the Indian Embassy, guest of honour Almed AlHaiki, Director of Inspection and Occupational Safety and patron of Samskruthi Bahrain, Arunkumar Praharaj, CEO of the Dadabhai Group. 43

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health

Al Hilal eyes major expansion

Dr. Faeqa Bint Saeed Al Saleh, Bahrain’s Minister of Health inaugurated the fourth branch of the Al-Hilal Healthcare Group in Salmabad. The Medical Center will see Al Hilal grow in a new direction, taking its affordable healthcare formula to areas that have hitherto been untapped. The official inauguration was attended by the directors of Al-Hilal Healthcare Group P.A Mohammed, V.T Vinodan, Abdul Latheef, the CEO Dr. Sharath Chandran, Ambassadors of Thailand and Sri Lanka, community leaders and ministry officials of the kingdom. Earlier at a press conference to

announce the inauguration, Director Abdul Latheef said the Group would stay true to its vision of making the best healthcare affordable and accessible to all. “We are particularly keen to bring experts from around the world to bring their knowledge to our patients,” he said, “Al Hilal is set to grow in Bahrain and we shall soon open a well-equipped medical centre in Askar also, to reach out to worker camps in that area.

Complex procedures

We are also investing in a superspeciality state-of-the-art hospital in 44

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Saar which will be equipped to handle complex medical procedures including open heart surgery, organ transplant and dialysis. We are looking to invest BD 100 million or even over that amount and have a network of 10 medical centres and hospitals.” He added, “Our vision is to ensure affordable and quality healthcare to all sections of the society. We are committed to improve our span of services by adding new centers in the Kingdom. Al Hilal eyes sternly on a fast-track expansion drive in the country. We will be establishing four more medical centers in the different


regions of the country like Saar, Hamad Town, Askar and Al-Hidd in the near future”, stated Abdul Latheef, Director.

Expansion The inaugural programme in Salmabad was followed by a live music concert by popular Indian singer Mohammed Aslam which was attended by hundreds of people. The management of Al-Hilal has announced 15 days free consultation and 50% Discount on services as inaugural offer to the people of Bahrain. Minister Dr. Faeqa Bint Saeed Al Saleh expressed her happiness at the facilities and services of Al Hilal Hospital and congratulated the Board of Directors and management for their noble service to the people of Bahrain. “I am satisfied with facility provided at Al-Hilal Multispecialty Medical Center Salmabad and I wish them all the best for the future” she said. She advised the Board to open more facilities in the kingdom. The new center, well-equipped with advanced healthcare technology will initially operate the departments of Internal Medicine, ENT, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Radiology, General Practice and Dentistry. The infrastructure has a perfect and spacious ambience to accommodate a large number of careseekers, and cater to their healthcare needs conveniently. The medical equipment meets excellent standards, and ensures high-quality healthcare delivery. The centre is equipped with Bi-Directional Interface Laboratory, X-ray, CT and Ultrasound Scan test facilities and a full-fledged pharmacy.

Talent pool “We are proud of the opening of our fourth center, by which we have now become one of the largest clinical workforces in the private healthcare sector of the Kingdom. At Al Hilal, we have employees from more than 15 countries working cohesively. A highly experienced team of healthcare talent sourced from Bahrain and other nations, adds substantially to the care-giving standards of Al Hilal”, said P A Mohammed, Director in his address. “If global group strength is taken into account we are one of the largest healthcare service providers in the GCC with facility strength of 25, and a talent pool of more than 800 doctors and 3500 paramedical staff.” Director V.T. Vinodan said, “The center is ready to extend the finest patient care to the vast majority of nationals and expatriates settled in and around Salmabad, and other regions of Bahrain as well. Sticking firmly to the noble standards of healthcare on

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which the Group has built its tradition of trusted care over the years, Al-Hilal Multispecialty Medical Center hopes to fulfill the needs of the people who belong to various social strata. We are committed to the society, and so, we organise health screening camps and informative health talks to the public by partnering with a wide spectrum of self-help groups. I would like to emphasize here that, the same level commitment will remain unwavering.” Al Hilal has become a prominent brand name in the healthcare scenario of the Middle East in a short span of time on account of its keen and consistent adherence to premium quality standards. More than a million patients have been served since its inception in 2005. “We are accredited by JCI (Joint Commission International), a certification of Global Standard for healthcare facilities. The Hospital functioning in Muharraq, and the Multispecialty Medical Centers in Manama and Riffa have become highly preferred healthcare destinations of everybody in the Kingdom for more than a decade. We are committed to conserve this trustworthy association with the people forever. With our new center, we aim at ensuring a complete solution for all healthcare needs of the people living in the vast and thickly populated areas of Salmabad, A’ali, Buri, Isa Town and others”, said Dr. Sharath Chandran, Chief Executive Officer.


in the news

Taboo no more... Addressing the rise in suicides A unique humanitarian effort has been launched to help curb suicides among expats.

Probably one of the biggest dilemmas the Kingdom has to face in recent times; suicide is now slowly edging towards normality as there have been 32 reported cases in the past 8-9months only. With migrant workers in majority to this figure, the numbers are a testament to the abysmal conditions they have to endure as they come to Bahrain with big dreams, which are quickly tarnished when hit with reality. Of these recent cases, 22 deaths have been reported from the Indian community, which itself raises the alarm to their subjection to deep-rooted depression, leading to such dire acts of desperation. According to a study from the Bahrain Medical Bulletin in September of 2013, “Prevalence of stress was higher among those who worked for more than eight hours daily.” Many of the expatriates earning less than BD 100 a month and participants in debt reported a “higher prevalence of anxiety.” The study concludes that the strongest predictor of depression was outstanding loan,

assessing that the main component of the worry and anxiety of expat workers is financial issues. And while this may remain as one of the leading causes of depression-induced suicidal attempts, personal reasons also come into play, such as loneliness, peer pressure and family expectations, much of which are leading factors to cases subjected to teenagers. And while, there yet needs to exist a helpline or mainstream centres to tackle the issue at large, smaller grass-root initiatives aim to make a difference and pass on the message that “suicide isn’t the answer.”

Gatekeepers One such impactful concept being introduced in Bahrain for the first time is called “gatekeepers.” The brain-child of the Indian Community Relief Fund (ICRF), the new initiative comes under the umbrella of ICRF’s ‘LIFE’ campaign which stands for Listen-Involve-Foster-Engage. Dr Babu Ramachandran, Vice-Chairman 46

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By GRACE YASMIN

of ICRF, believes that this project will aim to make a strong difference in combating the suicide dilemma ingraining the Kingdom right now. “Being a strong representative of the community outreach programme, I see many cases of depression for adults and teenagers alike. There isn’t a strong podium for people to voice their conditions. It is even more of a taboo subject within the Asian community; going to a specialist for treatment would mean you are not in a stable frame of mind. Gatekeepers will be aiming to break that ice and speaking of how help is readily available for all,” Dr. Babu said. A workshop was recently conducted by Dr.Anisha Abraham, a clinical psychologist at the American Mission Hospital (AMH) with the sole purpose of providing training to these gatekeepers. It was the first training programme for volunteers who are willing to devote time to assist anyone in a grave situation. The launch event saw the participation of 70-80 volunteers who will be receiving


continuous training as the ICRFF aims to raise 300 gatekeepers within a year to help in the cause. “They will aim to prevent high instances of suicide, by identifying people with high suicide risks, help them by enhancing knowledge of immediate intervention and provide awareness of local resources readily available,” Dr. Anisha said. “In the workshop, we identified ways on how to recognize signs of distress which include feeling of hopelessness, negative thoughts, a change in a person’s behaviour, not producing good work, snapping easily, or even utilizing social media for projecting forth dark messages and thoughts. This may not entirely mean the individual with such traits is suicidal

but there is no harm in reaching out and having a conversation with them. To know what is their underlying concern and suggesting helpful resources to combat their situation before it gets any worse.” Dr. Anisha also pointed how suicide cases aren’t subjected to certain or specific group, but it can impact an individual from any gender, age group, and culture. However certain groups may be of slightly increased risk, like expat labourers. “If you look within Bahrain, there is a huge disparity in the suicide rate among the locals and the expatriates. For the locals, it is miniscule; its 0.6 for every 100,000 people and for Indians, its 17.7. There is a massive difference in 47

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the ratios and it usually arises from the challenges with living in an expat country. The gatekeepers’ programme aims to promote connectedness and support. To let expatriates know that help is available if needed and all one needs to do is ask.” Gatekeepers will represent members of various societies and associations within the Indian community, who regularly get to meet lots of people on a day to day basis. They are not professional psychologists or medical personnel but they have the training to identify individuals who may be prone to suicidal-thoughts and are in a depressive state of mind. “Usually what we see in reported cases of depression is that they don’t have anyone here to share their feelings and sufferings with. This makes them vulnerable.” Dr Babu said. Unlike others, these expats never seek psychiatric help owing to lack of awareness or poor financial situations. “We have to first identify suicidal tendencies among people. Everyone including social workers, employers and even those who share accommodation should come forward to help each other. Then only we can arrive at a solution or else the numbers are going to rise.” Dr. Anisha suggested that while there may not be many local resources available, many hospitals do have psychiatric departments, which the expat community might not be aware of being readily accessible to expats as it is to the locals. She also brushed upon online resources that offer anonymity and may provide a nudge to take more help from professionals or assurance to the matter. “It’s all about getting awareness to this situation; knowing you are not alone. And talking to someone; reaching out to someone as it can divert any tragedy from occurring. Gatekeepers are going to be representatives of the society, representing the society; being a voice to the ones in distress and guiding them to a better path, the path to recovery.” To join Gatekeepers or seek more information, call Dr. Babu Ramachandran on 3943 0708


salaam society

Kids of gold

Its never too early to catch the budding fashionista according to Dream Gold & Diamonds which celebrated Children's Day with their customers at the Riffa Showroom.

Multi-cultural Diwali at GT Golden Tulip Hotel celebrated a multicultural Diwali with British Ambassador Simon Martin and wife Sophie presiding as special guests.

Rachel's gold rush ISB Student wins gold in CBSE National Badminton Championship Indian School student Rachel Jacob Cherickal has won gold medal in the mixed doubles category of the CBSE National Badminton Championships held in Vadodara in Gujarat. 17-year-old Rachel is the first girl from Bahrain to win a gold medal in the CBSE National Badminton Championship. The Grade XII student at the ISB IsaTown Campus has earlier won gold in the Badminton Doubles category of the Dubai Junior International Series 2018. She had also won gold in the Badminton doubles event in the Bahrain International Series 2018 and silver in the mixed doubles .

Rachel is the daughter of Bahrain Petroleum Company Engineer Jacob Thomas and Miriam Jacob. ISB Chairman Prince S Natarajan, Secretary Saji Antony, EC Member- Sports &Discipline Rajesh MN and Principal VR Palaniswamy congratulated the Badminton team members and coach CM Junith on winning laurels for the school. 48

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cuisine

A grain of difference Food diversity is good for health – and eating seasonal foods is the key. Let’s explore the triumphant revival of the humble millet For sometime now a quiet revolution has been taking place, not just in India but around the world. Thrust into the limelight by the quinoa craze, ancient millets and cereals have been making a comeback – either as traditional food, adapted dishes where they replace rice and other standard grains or in joyful experiments that touch gourmet palates. And what better time to experiment ourselves than in winter? As most of the world moves into cold season, climate change notwithstanding, it is time to seek out these winter superfoods , whether they are seasonal vegetables and fruit, seeds and nuts or millets and grains and balance an otherwise monotonous, two or three grain diet with a wider range that promises good health. Alas, despite their nutty flavours and the inspired twist that they can give to food, millets and winter cereals, they suffer from a bad image overall since most people treat them with suspicion and think of them as tasteless and virtuous ‘hippy’ food. The fact is that millets and winter cereals are a part of life in many countries. Ragi or finger millet is one of the most popular millets and in South India, it is used for everything from the first easy-to-digest baby food to sophisticated whorls of idiyappam, steamed and served with stew. Nutritionists sing its praises as a gluten-free alternative to wheat and rice and its support for those trying to manage diabetes and weight issues.

New diet Essentially, all grains and millets available during winters are good to be included in your diet, as all of these are low-glycemic, high in fibre and packed with a range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Winter is an ideal time to give our regular grains a break and turn to millets like jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), ragi, makka

(corn) and thinai or kangni (foxtail millet). "Millets are usually off the grid for people in India as we are so used to eating grains, especially rice and wheat. Multigrain flours are a good way to introduce millets in your diet. It must be noted that those suffering from joint issues and inflammation are asked to avoid consuming too much grains - millet are therefore excellent for them," shared Girija Nath, a Mumbai-based weight management coach and dietician. Millets and grains can easily be incorporated in your diet in the form of flours. These are easily available in the market and fuss-free to use. While you can use these floursindependently to arrive at lip-smacking preparations, the best way to reap the benefits of the seasonal produce is to add a bit of everything along with some wheat and use the mixture as your everyday flour. Here are your best bets this winter and sumptuous recipes to get you cooking. 1. Jowar - Alternatively known as sorghum, jowar is best enjoyed in the form of cereals. 2. Bajra - There is a reason why Bajre ki roti becomes such a hit during the colder months. 3. Makki - Ever tried Polenta? It is nothing 49

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but porridge made out of cornmeal. Alternatively known as maize flour or cornmeal, this ingredient assumes great significance during winters. 4. Foxtail millet - Easy to cook, this millet can substitute your everyday rice. The ingredients features primarily in South Indian delicacies like Poha or Upma.

Millet magic There are many varieties of millet to experiment with. Millets are coarse grains and a repository of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Besides the more popular varieties listed earlier, they also include arke (kodo millet), sama (little millet), chena/barr (proso millet) and sanwa (barnyard millet). The practice of consuming millets as part of the daily diet is not new to India. “Millets had been the major staple food in central India, southern India and hilly regions of Uttarakhand for centuries till the time of the Green Revolution. After the advent of high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat during the 1970s, millets got sidelined from our food basket,” says Vilas A. Tonapi, director of the Indian Institute of Millets Research in Hyderabad. The reason for this is lack of awareness about the


cuisine Jowar Tacos With Spicy Chicken Filling PREPARATION

Ingredients • 3/4 cup jowar flour • 1/4 cup wheat flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1/4 tsp salt • 40 gram cold butter

For the Spicy Chicken Filling • 1 chicken breast, cut into small cubes • 1 onion, ground into paste • 1 tsp fresh ginger paste • 1 tsp fresh garlic paste • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped • 1 tsp paprika • Salt to taste • 1/2 tsp jaggery • 1 tsp dried herbs, oregano • 2 tbsp oil

To Assemble • Crisp greens of your choice, sliced (lettuce, peppers, onions, corns) • Cream cheese or hung yoghurt • Barbecue sauce (optional) nutritional benefits, the not-so-sumptuous taste and the tag of “a poor man’s food. Also, government pushed only rice and wheat in the subsidized public distribution system, rendering the cultivation of millets uneconomical,” he says. Consequently, this resulted in high consumption of polished rice and refined wheat flour, which happen to be the main ingredients of foods consumed by the urban population. This trend, coupled with sedentary lifestyles, has led to a rise in obesity and other lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, across age groups, says Divya Choudhary, chief dietitian at the Max Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi. A study published earlier this month in The New England Journal Of Medicine says India has the world’s highest number of obese children (14.4 million) after China (15.3 million). Globally, it found that over two billion children and adults suffer from health problems related to being overweight or obese. In such a scenario, gluten-free millets could prove to be an effective weapon, believes nutritionist Shubi Husain, founder and managing director, Health Sanctuary, a healthcare chain of clinics in Delhi-NCR and north India.

Generation change

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For the Tacos 1. Sift together jowar flour, wheat flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter cubes and start rubbing the mixture using your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. 2. Pour in some warm water, a little at a time, and continue kneading until it forms a soft dough. Wrap it with a cling-film and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 3. Take the dough and knead it a little. Divide it into small balls, about 7-8, and using a rolling pin, shape them into circular discs. You may require some flour for dusting while rolling the balls. 4. Heat a tawa and roast the tacos on both sides on medium flame until done. Then transfer to a preheated oven set at 150 degree C and bake for 5 minutes. 5. Remove from the oven. Place the rolling pin at the centre of each taco and slight bend the edges. For the Spicy Chicken Filling 1. In the meantime, make the filling. Heat oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger pastes and saute for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. 2. Add the tomatoes and saute for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is nice and pulpy. 3. Add paprika, jaggery and salt, and mix well. Tip in the chicken cubes, coat well in the mixture. Cover the pan with a lid and allow it to cook for 7-8 minutes until done. 4. Mix in the oregano and check seasoning. To Assemble a. Load the tacos with the spicy chicken filling, fresh greens, cream cheese or hung yoghurt and serve immediately.

“Children learn from their parents. If we eat healthy, they will also learn to eat healthy. Millets were part of our grandparents’ diet, it’s only in the past few decades that their consumption has reduced. We need to embrace the goodness of millets: Their high-fibre content helps in bowel movement and manages diabetes and obesity. Their high magnesium level is good for lowering blood pressure, while the potassium content keeps hypertension at bay,” says Ashraf Husain, a Mumbai nutritionist. Research validates the goodness of millets. In 2010, a study

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Lemon Millet Fig Cake with Walnuts and Candied Ginger Packed full of whole grains, fruits, nuts, healthy oils and no refined sugar, this hearty millet cake will satisfy the sweet tooth without layering on the guilt!

PREPARATION 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. 3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the honey and olive oil then add the vanilla, lemon extract and lemon zest. 4. Beating just until combined between additions, add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk and repeat. Be careful not to over-beat. Stir in the millet, chopped figs, candied ginger and walnuts. The batter will be very thick. 5. Spread the batter into a greased 8x8 inch pan. 6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 7. Heat the honey and lemon juice for 30 seconds on HIGH in the microwave. 8. Use a fork to pierce holes throughout the cake. While the cake is still hot, pour the warmed honey over the cake, using a knife to evenly guide it. 9. Let the cake sit for about 10 minutes and then cut into squares and serve while still warm.

Ingredients • 1 1/2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 2 large eggs • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil • 1/3 cup raw honey • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon zest • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or whole milk with 1 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar stirred in and left to sit for 5-10 minutes) • cup cooked millet, cooled (can substitute quinoa) • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts • 1 1/4 cups chopped dried figs • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger For the Honey Lemon Glaze: • 1/4 cup raw honey • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice published in the Pathophysiology journal said that eating korra could help bring down blood glucose in diabetics. The same year, a research paper published in the Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry confirmed that all millets are rich sources of antioxidants, while another study in Nutrition Research concluded that millets may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease. Famous nutritionist to the stars, Rujuta Diwekar has always urged people to eat seasonal and eat local. “In the hope of becoming fit, we start consuming whatever ‘superfood’ is trending in the West (wheatgrass, cranberries, soba noodles, broccoli rabe, to name a few), ready to spend a bomb, and indifferent to the goodness of our own food,” she says. To make millets popular across India and revive traditional food habits, Bengaluru—regarded as the millet capital—hosted a three-day Organics and Millets National Trade Fair in April. An initiative of the Karnataka government, the fair saw farmers, traders, processors and exporters taking part. Shauravi Malik, co-founder of health and organic food brand Slurrp Farm, was one of the attendees at the fair, which saw 60,000 visitors. “A stall of the state government read, ‘Let’s Millet,’ along with a tag-line, ‘Next generation smart food’, 51

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which really brought the message home. Not only are millets healthy, they are also farmer- and eco-friendly,” she says. Compared to rice and wheat, millets need less water and chemicals, explains Tonapi. “Besides, some millets can come up in marginal land and harsh weather conditions where no other crop can grow. Bajra, for instance, comes up well in the hot weather of Rajasthan. Little millet, foxtail millet and barnyard millet are known to assure minimum yield even in case of failure of the monsoon. So as global warming becomes an increasingly real phenomenon, millets can actually be a smart way of farming and eating,” he says.

Grain diversity However, this doesn’t mean that you give up wheat and rice and start eating millets. “Switching completely to millets is not a good idea. We don’t recommend eating a single grain. You need to mix it up depending on your health. If you are diabetic, for instance, you can have more of ragi instead of rice or wheat. Also, since many urban dwellers are not used to eating millets, suddenly shifting to them is not

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cuisine the best idea,” says Girija Nath. You should slowly introduce any kind of millet in your diet to give some “adjusting time to your digestive system”, suggests Husain. “Have it three-four times a week. You can have it as porridge, in roti or as whole grains in the form of rice or upma. Many people believe that millets shouldn’t be eaten in summer, which is not quite true. As with everything else, eating in moderation is the key (too much of millets can cause stomach ache, bloating and constipation),” says Husain, adding that you should buy unpolished millets.

Taste challenge One reason people don’t like millets is the taste. “My mother used to force me to eat ragi mude (balls of steamed ragi, a local Karnataka dish) almost every day,” says Malik. “I was not a fan, but eventually developed a taste for it. Now, I make ragi dosa every day at home and my kid loves it. It’s all about how you make it,” says Malik, who struggled to make her child

get used to ragi mude. The right cooking technique and a good recipe can lift any ingredient, says Arun Sundararaj, executive chef at The Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi. “It is easy to include millets in the diet as they are very versatile. We can have millet pancakes for breakfast, millets can be prepared like rice, substituted for potatoes when cooked with gravy, and even make a great addition to bread. Millets also make a great bed for roasted vegetables and stews,” he says. India was never a two-grain nation, says Malik. “Our grandparents ate all sorts of grains. We should eat everything in the right quantity, be it rice, wheat, ragi, jowar, bajra, even quinoa (if one wants to spend money)—because each one brings its share of goodness. The key to eating right lies

in food diversity, not becoming a victim of a food fad.” To give readers an idea of the abundance of winter superfoods, we have picked three very different winter treats – a vegetable dish that takes the much-loved mooli or horseradish and makes kofta instead of the tired old paratha; jowar tacos with chicken for a modern twist on millets and an irresistible lemon, nut and candied ginger millet cake. Get that mug of cocoa or coffee and rock the seasonal diet

Mooli ke kofte PREPARATION

Ingredients • • • • • • • •

1/2 kg of white radish • 1 tbsp of grated coconut 1/2 tbsp of peanuts • 2 tbsp of roasted gram flour 1 tbsp of garam masala • 6 Red chillies • 1 green chilli 1 onion • 1 tbsp of coriander leaves • 1 Tbs. salt 1 tbsp of coriander powder • 1/2 tbsp of turmeric 3 onions diced • 1 ground onion • 125 ml of curd 1 tbsp of garam masala • 4 green cardamoms 1 chopped ginger 52

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1. Cut the radish into small pieces. 2. Boil until it becomes soft and grind it well. 3. Grind the coconut, peanuts, gram flour,garam masala and red chillies together. 4. Chop green chillies, onions and coriander. 5. Add the above ingredients with salt to the ground radish and make into balls 6. Fry the roundels in oil until it turn light golden color 7. For the gravy; grind the red chillies, salt, garlic, coriander powder and turmeric together and saute it well. 8. Add diced and ground onion, and add sufficient water. Allow it to cook for a while. 9. Add the kofta roundels to the gravy and cook for just 4 minutes. Serve hot with parathas.

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salaam society

AWA Snowflake fair turns up festive heat

The AWA Snowflake Festive fair was a delightful coming together of local crafts and inventiveness and reflected the global community that makes Bahrain such a unique place. This year guests made this charity event a hit and a great time was had by all. 53

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Amanda & Cajetan’s romantic wedding

It was a beautiful local romance come alive when Amanda and Cajetan pledged eternal love at the Sacred Heart Church, followed by a warm and swinging reception at the Gulf Hotel, with all the décor themed to reflect Bahrain’s desert beauty. Parents Gerard and Sarita and the bride’s sisters Gwen and Meghan joined the groom’s family – Theo and Josefina Pinto and sister Rocklyin later hosted an intimate dinner as well for family and friends who had travelled from as far as India, UK and Canada.

Karwa Chauth by P.U.B. ladies

The ladies of the Punjabis United of Bahrain (P.U.B.) celebrated their annual Karwa Chauth Cultural Festival in dazzling style. Surrounded by loving family and friends, the group created a sacred space full of joy for this festival that has been made so glamorous by Hindi cinema. The event was sponsored by Malabar Gold & Diamonds and Swiss International Hotel. 54

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salaam society

Bhatia double joy

It was double joy for Kant and Meena Bhatia as the family got together to celebrate a ritual baby shower for eldest daughter-in –law Anuja and son Jayesh and introduce their second daughter-in-law to-be Ami, fiancÊe of second son Dhiresh to the family and community. The boys, who grew up in Bahrain and are now settled in Dubai and Dallas respectively, were greeted with all the affection reserved for prodigal sons while the two special ladies were feted by one and all.

Chithra & Setu's colourful Diwali

As always Chithra and Setu and son Vinay hosted a colour-filled Diwali for friends at their Saar residence, replete with good food, great ambience, a bangle stall and festive henna for the ladies and music..all the ingredients for a festive evening! 55

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salaam society

A poem for charity Lions Club of Riffa (LCOR) hosted the Third International Mushaira & Kavi Sammelan at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. The event brought together top renowned & famous Urdu/Hindi poets from India, Pakistan, Gulf Countries & Bahrain. More than 500 poetry lovers from across all strata of society enjoyed the evening. Proceeds from this event will go towards funding various service events of LCOR throughout the year. The chief guest was Abdulnabi Al Sho’ala, Chairman Dar Albilad for Journalism, Publishing & Distribution and former minister of Labour and Social Affairs. On this occasion Lions Club of Riffa also celebrated its Charter Nite by cutting a cake. LCOR has been actively serving the society in Bahrain since last more than two decades. Some of the flagship programmes of LCOR are donation of food packets to needy poor families

through Red Crescent Society; donations to the Geriatric Hospital of usable articles; donations to the Oncology Department of Salmaniya Hospital; regular medical camps for labourers; blood donation drives; tree plantation; children’s essay and painting contests and beach cleanups. The main sponsors of the event

were Delmon Readymix and Precast, E.K. Kanoo, Crown Electromechanical, AlBaker Chakki Aatta, Shakeel Trading, Bahrain Cinema Company, Euroturbine BV, Cushman and Wakefield, Petrolink International, Two Sea Electromechanical and Trafco group of companies. The media partners were Gulf Daily News, Salaam Bahrain and Radio Mirchi.

Shilpa-Vinod meet the Bahrain family

Bahrain gal Shilpa returned with husband Vinod to meet her Bahrain family - the large circle of warmth that parents S.K. Ram and Meena nurtured as friendships. The newlyweds now live in Singapore and the flying visit saw them received with open arms. 56

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Salaam society

Hear the lions r-r-roar!

The Lions Club of Bahrain held its Charter Night at the Golden Tulip Hotel and many Lions were felicitated. This is also the 100th anniversary of the Lions Club International, a global organisation which has a proud track record of service to the community. In Bahrain, there are three Lions Clubs –

Bahrain, Riffa and Manama. They work to help youngsters realise their potential through sports days, painting contests and essay competitions and also donate generously through the Red Crescent for Ramadan Food Drives for poor families. At the Charter Night, Lion Percy Mistry

was honoured by the Lions International for his continued service to the community. Lion Veena of the Riffa Club was also recipient of a similar accolade. The event was well-attended and many active Lions received awards and recognition for their community engagement.

Fun-filled Children’s Day at NMS-DPS

Children’s Day, the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, was celebrated with great enthusiasm on November 14, 2018 by the students and teachers of the New Millennium School-DPS Bahrain. Students, spent a memorable day at school, enjoying the special assemblies and a number of class activities conducted by

the teachers. The entire campus came alive with games and activities specially organized for the children. Teachers also performed on stage in the special assembly conducted on the theme, ‘Make the World a Better Place’. On this special occasion, the teachers pledged to continuously strive 58

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to work for the welfare of the students. Gifts were distributed to the children by the Managing Director Geetha Pillai. Chairman. During the special assemblies, Principal, Arun Kuumar Sharma addressed the students and teachers and expressed his love for the children and wished them a blessed future.


youngistan

First grad ceremony at Pak School

Pakistan School celebrated its growing reputation for academic excellence and fine results by organising a memorable graduation ceremony for its Class of 2018. The event was held with pomp and show in the specially decorated and illuminated stage in school grounds and over 500 guests,students and parents attended. The ceremony started with the beautiful recitation of the verses of the Holy Quran by Mohamed Asif followed by a welcome song presented on the stage by the young students of junior classes clad in eyecatching colorful attires. The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Afzaal Mahmood, graced the occasion as Chief Guest and Members of Bahrain Parliament were guests of honor. Principal, Attiq Ur Rehman gave a warm welcome to the guests and dignitaries and dwelt briefly on the academic achievements of the school, and the 18 multinational community students who form the crux of the student community of Pakistan school. He further highlighted the amazing results of all the four Board classes 9,10,11 and 12 in FBISE Board Exams of 2018 which was a trend setter as this occurred for the first time in the history of Pakistan School. He promised to keep up the momentum in the years ahead. In his inaugural address the Chairman Board of Management Sami ur Rehman elaborated on the strides made by the school in all areas over the last 3 years

and specially on the achievements in academics and the historic results of the Board classes. He extended a hearty welcome to the Chief Guest, guests of honor and offered his sincere gratitude to all the guests for coming to attend the event. He further thanked the Principal and the teachers for their honest, sincere and dedicated services that brought the phenomenal success in academics. The Pakistani Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood congratulated the Board of Management, the Principal, the teachers, students and the parents for the great academic achievement . The conferment of Graduation awards started with group of students dressed in traditional gowns and tassels lined up to receive their certificates from the chief 59

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guest and guests of honor accompanied by the Principal, Chairman and members BOM. Graduating students were divided into different groups and awards were given away. The dignitaries who attended the event included the members of Bahrain Parliament and Chairman, Muharraq Municipality and members, viz, Ibrahim Juma Alhammadi, Ali Isa Bufarsan, Ahmad Abdulwahed Qarata, Abdulrehman Rashid Bumajaid, Nadal Alshomili, Khalifa Alghanim, Abdullah Hamad Aldoseri, Najmussanan, Muhammad Alseesi Buaini, Ibrahim Alnofai, Abdul Latif bin Muhammad Sukeman, and Dr. Ali Fursan and other leading members of the Pakistan community.


buisness news

ZOHO launches cloud accounting software Zoho, the leading information technology and business management software conglomerate, has launched Zoho Books, its cloud accounting software for automating business finances and helping businesses stay Value Added Tax (VAT) compliant. As businesses in Kingdom of Bahrain prepare for the VAT implementation, Zoho Books makes it easy for them to seamlessly migrate to the new tax law and stay compliant in all aspects of their business. With the experience gained from bringing out exclusive tax-specific editions for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Zoho Books is ready to extend the same opportunity to the Kingdom of

Bahrain and help thousands of business owners with their accounting and tax filing needs. Having dealt with the VAT implementation in UAE and KSA, Zoho Books is well-equipped and experienced to guide businesses in Bahrain now.

Solution Commenting on the product, Prashant Ganti, Head of Product Management, Global Tax, Accounting and Payroll Solutions at Zoho Corp, said, “With the implementation of VAT in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Zoho Books would be the perfect solution for businesses looking to adopt VAT into their day-to-day transactions. Zoho Books will provide a complete solution for business owners

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looking for an accounting software that can create transactions and use in-built features to record and file VAT returns with ease. It is also a great opportunity for businesses to transform their business processes and adopt digitalization and automation of business finances,” “There have been many tax reforms in the recent past: introduction of GST in India, MTD in the UK, VAT in UAE and KSA to name a few. Zoho Books has stood by the business owners throughout these changes to help them transition smoothly to the new tax law and stay compliant. The software has also been accredited by the Federal Tax Authority in the UAE and General Authority of Zakat and Tax in KSA,” he added.


youngistan

Bahrain National U19 Cricket Team takes on the world They've been training hard under the watchful eyes of their coach and mentors and now the Bahrain U19ers are ready to bat for the Kingdom!

There cannot be a bigger global arena than a world cup tournament in any sports and the ICC U19 World Cup Qualifier cricket tournament in Thailand next month (Dec 9 to 17, 2018) promises just that, adrenalin pumping exciting and competition. Bahrain will be competing as one of the 10 teams in this prestigious global tournament and have been placed in group B alongside Hong Kong, China, Kuwait, Maldives. Under the watchful eyes of the national cricket coach Azeem Ul Haq, the carefully selected national U19 squad has been training hard, honing its skills in rigorous training sessions and weekend practice matches at the Cricket Bahrain Association’s facilities and grounds. The process of selecting the national U19 team started as early as July with multiple trials conducted in different locations and the first shortlist consisted of 50 players who made the cut in terms of fitness, skills and performance. The shortlisted players were then put through regular training sessions and weekend practice matches in the past 3 months

under the watchful eyes of coaches and selectors to filter out the final squad. The weekend practice matches on Fridays are being played at the national stadium ground, Isa town and the Saturday practice matches were played either at Alba club ground or BCC ground at Riffa. Some excellent batting and bowling performances were seen in the practice matches from the key top order players giving everyone a comfort that the Bahrain U19 team is getting ready to deliver excellent performance in the Tournament next month. Higher focus is now being given on preparing the stamina and temperament to succeed in the longer 50 over format and upcoming practice matches will be against very strong senior league teams so that the U19 squad gets to face the toughest opponents before heading out to represent Bahrain in Thailand next month. According to Saleem Eliyas, the president of the Cricket Bahrain Association( CBA), the opportunity to participate in such international tournaments will further 61

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enhance the development of cricket on the island and boost the game among potential young cricketers. Azeem Ul Haque,the national coach, believes that the team is extremely talented and could go far. He said: “The team has been undergoing strict training exercises since August, with physical conditioning. More recently we’ve focused on skills and scenario practice matches to coach discipline in high pressure situations. “The players are very talented and it’s a pleasure to work with them. I don’t have specific targets for the tournament, but I believe they are good enough to go there and compete strongly, or even win the group. This is by far the best selection of youngsters we have had in Bahrain. Royal Bahrain Hospital and Arab Finance Corporation are the sponsors for the team. In a statement, the CBA said: “Both the sponsors are great believers in youth development, particularly on the sports field, and welcome the opportunity to contribute to providing a platform for Bahrain’s upcoming national cricketers in the highest level of global competition.”


celeb chakkar

Rise of Desi Superheroes on screen The idea of superheroes who save the world by fighting and vanquishing deadly demons and unscrupulous villains have always intrigued people. While it was the likes of Batman, Superman and Spiderman that conquered the hearts of millions in the West, actor Mukesh Khanna’s Shaktimaan from the eponymous TV series was probably the only desi superhero that enjoyed similar following in India. Post the success of such Hollywood movies and juggernaut Baahubali, more filmmakers seem to be mining superhero stories. With Shaktimaan also reported to be getting a film adaptation soon and closer to home protagonists of movies such as Kayamkulam Kochunni and Odiyan being billed as desi superheroes, we are obviously looking at the Rise of the Homegrown Superhero.

Cultural Writer Anand Neelakantan, whose book ‘The Rise of Sivagami’ is set to be a web series soon, is all for the creation of superhero characters says, “Real life is not simple and so every culture has its own hero like figures who would instill hope in people and inspire them. The creation of heroes and their tales is part of every civilisation. Be it Rama, who was created by our ancestors, or the folk heroes Robin Hood and Kayamkulam Kochunni.” While some of the characters might not have been as perfect in their real lives as they are projected to be, they are ascribed heroic values because of the setting. “If you look at the time when Kayamkulam Kochunni is believed to have

lived, you will also get an idea of the caste hegemony that prevailed,” he explains. Kayamkulam Kochunni’s co-scriptwriter Sanjay explains that such superheroes also help pass on the myths and legends to the next generation. “All of these are woven in our culture. I doubt if many from the current generation know about the Pandavas, their lineage or their saga of bravery in the epic Mahabharata. Building films on these myths are also a means to go back to the characters that are rooted in our culture,” he says. A highlight of Indian heroes is that all of them have a cultural aspect ingrained, unlike their Western counterparts, he says. “Our superhero films are modes to know our past and where we are coming from. That way, we understand how life was in the medieval times and which 62

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section of society dominated,” Sanjay says.

Nostalgia Anand, meanwhile, says that movie adaptations of Shaktimaan or any other popular shows target people in their 30s or 40s, who have the spending power and have grown up watching the same. However, movies such as Kayamkulam Kochunni belong to a different era. “When you say Kayamkulam Kochunni or Shaktimaan, people start narrating tales about these characters or how it has impacted their lives. Also, heroes depicted in historical or period films have significantly more appeal because people don’t want contemporary characters performing larger than life feats,” he says. The trend of such period films though


is not new with Mollywood itself having films such as Thacholi Ambu and Padayottam in the past, he says. “We also have characters in our myths such as Hanuman who are entertaining. Using them as base, carving a contemporary desi superhero is not an outlandish thought,” he says, pointing out the examples of Hrithik Roshan’s Krrish and Rajinikanth’s Endhiran. Mollywood filmmaker Vinayan, who had helmed Athisayan, a movie loosely inspired by The Hulk, says that certain myths and beliefs also add to the entertainment value. “That’s why tales of idols such as Rama, Krishna and Jesus Christ continue to thrill people. Also, the fact that a clichéd story such as Kayamkulam Kochunni is massively accepted is proof of the popularity that legends still have on people.” The director though doesn’t consider going back to myths to find stories and narratives for films a good trend. “I think films with such characters are 63

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created keeping the superstardom of actors in mind. If this trend continues and characters such as Karna and Bhima are capitalised, I wonder if innovation would be possible in films. This would further bring down films with new ideas or concepts and smaller budget films. This in totality would have a negative impact.” However, the audience though seems to enjoy such movies as it transposes them to a different time and place. Kochi-based entrepreneur Nikhil R says, “Superhero movies are set in an imaginative world of struggle, trials and tribulation, redemption and nemesis. Watching the good triumph over evil motivates us in many ways. That is the power of the world of fantasy, which is different from reality. At the same time, it gives us the life lessons that we need in terms of crisis.” He stresses that there should be a different hero tailor-made for the age they live in, so that it would deal with more contemporary issues.


Shameful targeting of starbaby AbRam While the picture of an awe-struck AbRam, Shahrukh and Gauri Khan’s cutie five year old shaking hands with Amitabh Bachchan has broken the net, another video too is making waves. This one shows AbRam exiting the party in the arms of a security guard to the explosion of a sea of paparazzi flashbulbs. As he sits in his car, the kid authoritatively shouts “No pictures!” just like his papa, mamma or older siblings probably would! What is irritating is that reports about this incident being headlined “Angry AbRam Khan screams at the paparazzi as he exits Aaradhya Bachchan's birthday party”. Are we so desperately bored with our lives that we stake out and stalk a five year old leaving a kiddy party and then build a story of ire and starry tantrums on his one shout of “No pictures”? We seriously need to Get.A.Life

Kareena-Sara share affection Sara Ali Khan’s debut film Kedarnath is set for a December 7 release and Saif’s daughter has already won praise from stepmum Kareena Kapoor-Khan. Speaking about the debutante, the glamorous senior star said her step-daughter Sara Ali Khan is a born star. Kareena shares a warm bond with her step-daughter Sara Ali Khan and at the trailer launch of the film, the Sara had said that she wants to imbibe Kareena’s professionalism. At an awards function, Kareena told media, “I am quite sure that the film will be a super hit but irrespective of that, I think she is a born star.” Speaking on the 'Koffee with Karan' show, Sara said there are moments when Kareena is still ‘Poo’, from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham for her. Asked what she calls Kareena, she said, “Kareena would have a nervous breakdown if I called her Chhoti Maa. I asked my father what I should call her – Kareena...aunty? My father said you don’t want to call her aunty.” The actress said she would love to go shopping with Bebo. 64

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celeb chakkar

Dulquer is a Bangaldeshi Baby A Bangladeshi man named his son 'Dulquer Salmaan' for his love for the actor. The man is a die heart fan of Dulquer and after watching his movie Charlie, he was not able to stop himself. He became more fond of the actor and named his newborn son after the actor. The story came to limelight when a resident from Bangladesh shared the interesting experience through Twitter. Saifuddin Shakil who posted the story on Instagram didn't forget to tag Dulquer on the post. Saifuddin Shakil also added that the mentioned fan got out of depression after watching the movie 'Charlie'. Soon after the tweet went viral, actor Dulquer Salmaan also responded to it. He greeted the man for his love and added that he had a bunch of Bangladeshi friends in college, with whom he still stays connected. He wrote "Thank you so much !! Lots of love back to everyone in Bangladesh! Had a lot of lovely friends in college from Bangladesh. Still in touch with them."

Quote of the Month In this play that I am doing about rape of a Roman woman, every morning my co-actor and I have consent between each other where we ask 'can we do this?' and agree on touch. That has just made us so much more comfortable. We trust each other a lot more.

- French actress and writer. Kalki Koechlin Kalki Koechlin is a thinking actress. And she says it is extremely important for actors to trust each other before shooting intimate scenes, and believes such a practice should be made mandatory in the film industry. "When we are on a film set, no one is going to not have a really choreographed action scene. No one is going to 'by mistake' punch the actor in the face. So why aren't we doing that for intimate scenes? Kalki said she has done intimate scenes with actors without even meeting them before, something which should not happen. "There are a number of scenes I have done where I have not even met the actor before I have to bite his lips off. It does not make sense. There needs to be trust between the actors," she said.

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editor's view

Of all the self-help books flooding the market (they are consistently the best-selling genre, did you know? Dale Carnagie has a lot to answer for) the most puzzling niche is..books on parenting. Not Dr. Spock for new parents but sub-genres dealing with every age group from toddlers to teens. As a parent who turned to Dr. Spock myself when my first-born came into the world, I can vouch for the sound advise the good doctor gave. But to consistently turn to books - and even YouTube videos and blogs - to calibrate one's parenting output, seems a tad insecure. Of course, the world that our kids inhabit is far different from what we grew up in, given the technological sea-change. The advantages are more numerous and so are the dangers. We never had to bother with online predators, for example, lurking where the neighbourhood nosy aunty could never catch him or her. But surely the parenting logic to be applied stays the same? We don't need books or blogs to tell us to have a family code of conduct and values rooted in ethical behaviour? And it's going to get worse for our kids. Like most creatures who care for their young, whether it is you and me or Ling Ling the panda bear, we learn by observing our parents and mimicking them. Our uncertainty in the face of childhood aggression and the need for props such as books on parenting or coaches for the subject will make our children assume that being a parent can only be achieved through external advise and is all about rules. I say we need to get back the spontaneity into our parenting and remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to teenage angst or a toddler tantrum. We need to take responsibility for our parenting actions and stop going by the book. Go wild. Just randomly hug your kid today, fix a parent-kid date where you can connect. You'll live to tell a glorious tale.

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Salaam Bahrain Nov-Dec 2018  

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Salaam Bahrain Nov-Dec 2018  

Salaam Bahrain Nov-Dec 2018

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