Salaam Bahrain August 2018

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BD 1.500

August 2018 - VOLUME 11, ISSUE 7

we speak your language

Greetings to all Indians on the occasion of the

72nd Independence day of India & A Prosperous Onam

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BCICAI wishes all Indians A Happy 72nd Independence Day August 15, 2018

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Bahrain Chapter of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(BCICAI) (AfďŹ liated to Bahrain Accountants Association)

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Note from the Chairman

The habit of reading has been under threat for a while – it started with radio, then cinema, then television (the most powerful culprit) and now smart phones. Well, for diehard readers, the habit has shifted to electronic devices like Kindle, their phones and laptops and other channels such as audio books. Newspapers and magazines are making their work available online and getting their news to readers. What concerns me is the younger generation. They are more comfortable with gaming than with reading and attuned to the visual stimuli. Before we decide how we can woo them back to the wonders of reading, I need to ask you: are we wasting our time? Are we finally at the frontier beyond which visual and audio signals are more important than letters of the alphabet? After all, the telegram has faded away, the Morse Code is used only by specific professionals and journalists and office administrators no longer need to know shorthand – they simply record on their mobile phones. Increasingly, augmented reality is making newspapers and magazines look like a magical Hogwarts newsletter, with interviews and events played out on film by simply aiming at the QR code. When you buy a phone or download a book app, it comes with audio book recommendations. Simply plug-in and play from a worldwide library! What we need is a hard look at the future of the written word. Today, as we crisscross between different social media, there is an increasing preference for videos and rich visual content. A photo (or video) is much more digestible than a one thousand word blog post. Our communications landscape will continue to change. And it will never go back to what it used to be. But we adapt. The transition is steeper, but the written word continues to breathe beneath its surface. So maybe we need to focus more on teaching our children to take good videos and photos and listen better to audio information instead of agonizing over their disinterest in books. Capt. Mahmood Al Mahmood




LIC International greets every Indian and the entire diaspora on the occasion of our Independence Day.


Call +973 39936618 or log on to

A company incorporated in the Kingdom of Bahrain (C.R. No. - 21606) and licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain as a Life Insurance Company with paid-up capital of BD 20,000,000.

Highlights August 2018

On our cover

Bahrain residents Reena Sreedhar (orange), Archana Prakash (white) and Nisha Kotwani (green) donned the most patriotic colours to grace our cover in a lovely expression of love for their Motherland. Location: Indian Embassy, Al Seef


SPECIAL FOCUS India celebrates 72nd Independence day

NEWSMAKERS Bahrain resident, writer, publisher and influencer Sunny Kulathakal talks about his plans for the global GOPIO movement as International President.

Feisty, undimmed and unbowed, the Indian democratic experiment completes 72 years. In Bahrain, the community boasts of a renewal of warmest ties, a focused trade and bilateral programme of understanding and exciting opportunities for every Indian in the Kingdom to weave closer ties within this millennia-old relationship.

GOPIO – ‘Sunny’ days ahead

36 Magsaysay winner Dr. Vatwani

Circle of friendship


One of top 15 most influential artist-interior designers of India, Masooma Rizvi speaks exclusively to Salaam Bahrain about her vision in designing the stunning mural that has been installed at the Indian Embassy.

The brother of Bahrain’s Dr. Ram V., this Mumbai psychiatrist has won the Magsaysay for his charity volunteerism in rehab work for the mentally ill.


• 33 Ayaz Memon • 48 Shobhaa De




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A Royal Thai birthday The 66th birthday of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindrade-bayavarangkun, the King of Thailand, was celebrated at the Royal Thai Embassy.





Together towards the future

Photo credit: Premjith Narayan

india in bahran

Independence Day message from the Ambassador of India On the occasion of 72nd Independence Day of India, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to members of the Indian community in the Kingdom of Bahrain. India and Bahrain enjoy excellent relations which are symbolized by civilisational connect and age-old cultural ties. The high level visits between the two countries have nurtured this relationship and have provided a strong foundation for deeper engagement. Today, India’s relations with Bahrain is at an all time high and has considerably widened to cover a range of areas including Security, Infrastructure and Investment, High-tech, Health, Renewable Energy and Food Security. Today, India is entering into a new era of economic transformation. Indian economy has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India has the advantage of demographic dividend, where 65% of our population is young. Our youth has new dreams, and has the energy, enthusiasm and capacity to achieve these dreams. Skilled human resources, improvement in ease of doing business and a huge market are some of the factors empowering India into a most preferred manufacturing destination. Keeping in view the strengths, the government has launched a number of schemes such as Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, and Start-Up India that have also created opportunities for greater economic engagement with Bahrain. Bahrain, the Gateway to GCC market, has also embarked on the journey of diversification of its economy with liberalisation of FDI regime in a number of promising sectors such as financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing and tourism. The developments in India and Bahrain have created many synergies between the two countries thus opening up new avenues for enhanced trade and investment ties. Bahrain continues to remain one of India’s key partners with the bilateral trade surpassing US$ 1 billion. The Indian Community in Bahrain is a significant anchor to enhancing the India-Bahrain ties. The Indian Community has made crucial contribution to the development and success of Bahrain and we are proud of their contribution. Bahrain is an excellent host. I would like to convey our gratitude to the leadership of the Kingdom of Bahrain for providing an environment where the Indian Community enjoys cultural and traditional festivities the same way as they do it in India. I conclude by wishing growth, development and prosperity to the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of India.

August 15, 2018

(Alok K Sinha)

PO Box 26106, Bldg. 1090, Road 2819, Al-Seef 428, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel.: (+973) 1756 0360, 1771 5241, Fax: (+973) 1771 5527 E-mail: - Website: 20 SALAAM BAHRAIN



Lulu transforms Bahrain shopping The Indian retail group is the MENA region’s fastest growing and most popular chain. Bahrain shoppers began their tryst with Lulu Hypermarket in 2007 and eleven years later, the hypermarket chain has six centres across the Kingdom and is a firm favourite. The reason for this popularity is simple - each Lulu Hypermarket is a success story built upon the consistent values of top-quality customer service, a wide range of products at the best possible prices. The scale of operations of Lulu in every country is so big that customers reap the benefit of the price advantage that the sheer volume of turnover gives them. “The Customer Comes First” is the Lulu’s service philosophy that Lulu Group Chairman and Managing Director, Yusuffali M.A. has been put in place throughout his network of the 150+ branch chain of Lulu Hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores and malls that today stretches from Malaysia and India, through the Middle East to the UK and USA. Lulu has established a benchmrk for its huge range of attractive promotions on Indian products, foods, fruit and vegetables as well as meat from India. Currently, there is a big Half-Payback Offer on sarees and salwar kameez. “We have a team of dedicated buyers for our fashion department who ensure that our garments division is on-trend with the latest fashion and top quality in textiles,” said a spokesman for Lulu, “Indian fashions are enjoying a spotlight because of the popularity of Bollywood films and even in high-fashion, so we are delighted to showcase our seasonal Indian styles.”

“As the Indian community in Bahrain gets set to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Indian independence, Lulu Hypermarket will lead the way with celebrations in all our stores and showcase India’s growth and abundant range of goods.” promised Director Juzer Rupawala.




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india in bahrain

Circle of friendship The Indo-Bahrain Friendship mural that dominates the inner lobby of the Indian Embassy is a many-layered work of art


Soaring to the ceiling, the Friendship mural that stops you in your tracks in the Indian Embassy is a work of contemporary Indian art and a testimony to the millennia-old relations and their enduring strength between India and Bahrain. The creator of the mural is Masooma Rizvi, a famous interior designer and creator of large, one-of-a-kind art installations. Ranked as one of the top 15 women architectural interior designers and artists in India by Vogue magazine recently, Masooma spoke exclusively to Salaam Bahrain about the challenge of creating such a huge mural and ensuring that it stayed true to tradition and also to the forms of contemporary India. SB: How did you land this assignment? Masooma: The Ministry of External Affairs, India, announced a competition for a mural to be designed and installed in the Indian embassy in Bahrain. Since I have worked on many Government of India projects, I decided to participate. My research told me that Bahrain and India shared a cultural heritage that touched at many points and also that trade relations were central to the relationship. I created the design that reflected this central reality and also the antiquity of the relationship. After I won the competition came the next challenge – how to translate this abstract idea into a visual threedimensional reality. SB: What were the visual elements you then used to do this? MR: I first worked on a dominant central motif that would embrace the heritage of both the countries and link them. Thus, the giant wheel which is part Konark sun-chariot of ancient India

and part Dilmun seal. When casting the Konark aspect of the wheel, I got some Bahraini clay sent to me and mixed it with Indian terracotta to let the symbolism embed itself in the mural. In the middle of that, I placed the recurring motif of the Tree of Life which is a familiar mystical legend in India as well as in Islamic culture. This is a wonderful coincidence that there is indeed such a Tree in Bahrain which has withstood the ravages of time and thrived in the desert. So the brass tree in the centre of the wheel cements a shared culture and heritage. SB: Take us through the eight panels in the mural.. MR: Well, since trade was the thread that bound both countries since 5,000 years ago and merged into a mutually admired cultural relationship, I have created four Indian and four Bahraini panels. In these, I have placed symbols of trade and of the contemporary history of both countries – oil and pearls for Bahrain, wheat and the Make In India lion symbol for India, the skylines of both countries and the national birds – India’s peacock and the Bahraini bulbul. All these were fitted into circular panels. For the border of these panels, I chose an Indian textile pattern for the Bahraini panels and classic geometric Islamic patterns for the Indian panels. SB: The other elements in the mural also add to the narrative MR: Indeed they do. I have incorporated 3D images of the houses of Parliament in India and Bahrain to the top of the mural to represent modern governance. The whole mural is mounted against a background made up of tiles in which I have created Indian mandala patterns in the Islamic colours 22 SALAAM BAHRAIN



for the Bahraini side of the mural. For the Indian side, I have adapted a classic floral frieze which is made up of inlay work over the tiles. Not a single element is random or meaningless. In fact, the viewer will notice brass, buttons, bangles, a jhumka ear-ring a brass dhurrie embroidery pattern, a gold belt and an ornate sword – I have tried to use the metals that India and Bahrain trade in to translate the trade context. I am particularly proud of the buttons – not many know that this was a sartorial gift invented by India for the world and symbolically too their presence in the mural stitches together the two countries. It took me 30 design drafts before I was ready with the final that the Government approved for the embassy. SB: The mural is 4.5 feet x 4.5 feet and very heavy. Tell us about the challenge of mounting it. MR: This is the most intricate piece I have done. And since it was multilayered – 22 layers in all - it meant that each layer presented its own set of challenges. From the start, I decided to have the background design in the form of a grid of eight very large tiles. But this meant that the tiles and their complex patterns went on first and the panels and the central motif had to be fixed onto them. We could not afford to have any cracks or breakages. The central wheel itself was 160 kilos in weight and each panel circle weighed 50 kilos. And they had to be bolted in to manage this weight. The whole mural was cast and created in India and I personally flew in with it because I was terrified that the pieces should not break while transporting. Luckily all the pieces came intact except for one small stone which we replaced. I

layered the art like a jaali – a trellis, for want of a better word. SB: How did you get involved in designing and installing such huge pieces of what we can only describe as public art? MR: Well, even as a child, I was keen on design and was always taking apart and re-doing my dollhouses. I was born

into an army family with roots in Telengana but hardly stayed there or anywhere else permanently. I was barely out of my teens when I married – my husband is also an army officer. I am a rather unusual army wife in that I have not always accompanied my husband on his transfers – I was busy building my company Belita Design Solutions. You see, after marriage, I 23 SALAAM BAHRAIN



went on to finish my masters in conservation and studied design, museology and art curation. We have two children. SB: What is your workday usually like? Which project are you working on now? MR: I am a nocturnal creature and at my creative best at night. So when the family is sleeping, you will find me in my

india i-day

When Republic Day was Independence Day A curious historical fact about our August 15 celebration


Masooma Rizvi

studio transferring my inspirations onto paper. I work a 15-hour day, most days. One of the blessings of my life is that I have developed such a rapport with the government. In many ways, government is faceless and the only thing that will get you that big break is the quality of your work. I truly believe that good work speaks for itself and after my first assignment in some Army canteens and the Maneckshaw Centre, I was called to present my ideas for other projects. I have designed the installation for the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra and a central panel in the State Banquet hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Right now, I am busy designing the Indian Buddhist temple in the White Horse Temple Complex in China, a gift of the Indian government to the project. I am also presently doing some very challenging museums, converting old museums into digital ones with speaking mannquins and lots of art.

January 26th every year is our Republic Day and August 15th is the Independence Day. But historians point out that originally the Indian National Congress in its Lahore session of 1929 had designated 26 January as the Independence day of free India. At the Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress at midnight of 31 December 1929 – 01 January, 1930, the tricolour was unfurled by nationalists and a pledge taken that every year on 26 January, Independence Day would be celebrated and that the people would unceasingly strive for the establishment of a Sovereign Democratic Republic of India. The professed pledge was successfully redeemed on 26 January, 1950 when the Constitution of India framed by the Constituent Assembly of India came into force, although the Independence from the British rule was achieved on August 15, 1947.

Full freedom But the decision on the Lahore session was not easy. Believe it or not, many 24 SALAAM BAHRAIN



eminent leaders in the INC earlier wanted only a Dominion Status. Till 1930, Home Rule (ruled by Indians) was the watchword for the INC and as late 1929, Srinivas Iyenger, one of the senior-most Congress leaders and the President of the 1926 session of the Congress was expelled from the party for demanding full independence, not just home rule as demanded by Gandhi. However, subsequent events such as the Rowlatt Act of 1918 (which allowed the British to imprison suspected “terrorists” – freedom fighters – for upto 2 years without trial) and the terrible 1919 Amritsar Massacre changed the mood of India’s nationalist leaders. Now Bose and Nehru opposed dominion status, which would retain the monarch of the United Kingdom as the constitutional head of state of India and preserve political powers for the British Parliament in Indian constitutional affairs. Their call for full independence was supported by a large number of rank-and-file Congressmen. Things took a serious turn in 1928 with the appointment of the all-British

Rallying to the ‘Jai Hind’ slogan The year was 1941 and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had arrived in Berlin to ask for Hitler’s help in freeing India from the tyranny of the British rule. Guided by his belief that only an armed uprising could help India become independent, the charismatic freedom fighter began setting his plan in motion. Netaji’s plan was to create the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army or Legion Freies Indien) — a force of 50,000 troops, consisting mainly from Indian prisoners-of-war captured by Rommel’s Afrika Korps. Netaji wanted INA to be an elite fighting force, trained to the highest standards of the German army, in which every man would fight shoulder-toshoulder with his fellow soldier for the sole cause of Indian Independence. For this to happen, it was essential that the army behaved a cohesive and completely integrated unit. This was where Netaji faced a problem as Indian soldiers tended to restrict themselves to clusters of their own ethnicity and religion. This was because, historically, Indian soldiers had been organised into regiments according to ethnicity and religion (eg. the Rajputs, the Madras Sappers, the Baluchis, the Gorkhas, the Sikhs etc.) To tackle this complex issue, Netaji decided to replace the specific religionbased salutations (like “Ram Ram” for

Hindus, “Sat Sri Akal” for Sikhs and “Salaam Alaikum” for Muslims) of the soldiers with a common greeting that would break barriers and help them bond with each other. He found his rallying cry in the rousing words, “Jai Hind!” And the man who would gave this iconic phrase was Abid Hasan Safrani, the man from Hyderabad who was Netaji’s trusted aide, an INA Major, and later, one of independent India’s earliest diplomats. Born into a family with anticolonial beliefs, Abid Hasan grew up in Hyderabad. As a teenager, the deeply patriotic young lad was a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and even spent time at the Sabarmati Ashram. Later, as an engineering student in Germany, he met Netaji in 1941 and, inspired by the charismatic leader, Abid dropped out of the engineering college and became Netaji’s personal secretary and interpreter during his stay in Germany. The hardworking soldier also included “Safrani” into his name as a mark of respect and communal harmony. According to historical accounts, among the INA soldiers, there was a difference of opinion between the Hindus and Muslims about what the colour of the flag should be. While the former preferred saffron, the latter were in favour of green. When Hindus agreed to

Simon Commission to deliberate on constitutional and political reforms for India. No Indians were included in the commission, nor were any Indian political parties consulted or asked to involve themselves in the process. The Congress, as a counterblast, appointed an all-Indian commission to propose constitutional reforms for India. Members of other Indian political parties joined the commission led by Congress President Motilal Nehru. Even The Nehru

Report demanded that India be granted self-government under the dominion status within the Empire.

Resolution When the British government turned a deaf ear to the call of Mohandas Gandhi to grant India dominion status within two years, Gandhi drafted the Indian Declaration of Independence in 1929, which stated “The British government in India has not only 25 SALAAM BAHRAIN



give up their demand, Abid was so impressed that he decided to add ‘saffron’ to his own name as a sign of respect! “Jai Hind” was soon immortalized by Netaji, who adopted it as the formal manner of greeting for INA revolutionaries and used it liberally in his stirring speeches. Later, of course, it would go on to be adopted as the national slogan after India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, used it in his historic ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech on August 15, 1947. It is a phrase every Indian utters with pride even today and it is a homage to the men and women of the INA and to Abid. deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually....(Therefore) India must sever the British connection and attain Purna Swaraj or complete independence.” Reminiscing, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in his memoirs “The Lahore Congress remains fresh in my memory — a vivid Cont'd on page 67


“Every Indian and PIO is capable of serving the nation” - Sunny Kulathakal, International President 2018-2020 GOPIO The international president of a global movement representing the diaspora, Sunny Kulathakal has always had the knack of building networks of friendship across communities and translating these relationships into a lasting and tangible link that always leads back to India. It is not a new trait. Sunny, as he is popularly known (perhaps because of his optimistic nature and beaming smile) has been a public service activist since his teens. As a 15 year old, he became a working committee member of Balajanasakyam focussed on identifying and nurturing future leaders. In fact, he later succeeded none other than the former Kerala Chief Minister and Congress stalwart Shri Oommen Chandy, as its President.

Realistic He first came to the Gulf in 1977 on an assignment for the legendary 'Illustrated Weekly of India', to explore and write an extensive piece about the new wealth centre of the world. His powerful stories laid bare a realistic picture about the region’s promise and also the grim struggle of the semiskilled and unskilled workers to stay a step ahead of exploitative agents and employees. Later, Sunny and his wife Elizabeth started Sunliz Publications and the flagship publication Gulf Who’s Who was born. A painstakingly compiled list of details on movers and shakers in Bahrain, the compendium also boasts extensive interviews and guidelines on doing business in the Kingdom. It has become a go-to tool for all companies wishing to launch products, new businesses or simply to

Sunny Kulathakal

stay in touch with influencers. These days, Sunny is busy travelling the world on behalf of GOPIO, one of the largest NRI and PIO forum in the world is the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), having chapters across most countries where people of Indian origin live. It is claimed that GOPIO was in fact fundamental in starting the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. When the GOPIO Conference took place in Bahrain earlier this year, the number of professionals and successful businesspeople from all over the world was a revelation. But tell Sunny that and he is not happy.

Strong network “This is precisely the problem with GOPIO – as a global body, neither we ourselves nor the public knows our 26 SALAAM BAHRAIN



strength, “ he says, “But if you see the amount of good work that the organisation has done for the Indian diaspora, the causes it has taken up, whether economic or pertaining to political support and seeking India’s intervention when PIOs are persecuted or even in the establishing of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas as we know it today – well, I believe we have the strength and the network with the highest echelons of government in India to make things happen.” Long before the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas came into being, as a meeting point for Indians and PIOs from all over the world to network about business and culture, GOPIO was already mining its member list with annual conclaves at which issues that needed attention was being discussed. This year, as in the past, GOPIO will

With HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa

hold its annual convention in Varanasi just before the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, on 19 and 20 January, 2019. “Most of our members attend both the conventions and having the convention in India is a great way to reconnect with the country,” Sunny said, ‘In fact, GOPIO has served as a platform for so many PIOs to reach out to a country that they know by name only despite their ancestors having hailed from India. GOPIO’s project to honour Indian indentured workers who sailed to countries such as Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad, Guadaloupe,Fiji, Mauritius, Maldives etc from the Kidderpore Port in Hooghly was one such reconnect.” As International President for the next four years, Sunny has already started his work of strengthening GOPIO with new ideas from members and his own indefatigable energy. He is keen to have GOPIO offices in different countries to streamline the work of the organisation.

New ideas “Right now, most of the work is being done by volunteers from their homes but this is a dated way of working. We need professional work space where our teams can meet to brainstorm and organise ideas. To this end, I have been lucky to get the generous backing of a millionaire GOPIO member who has underwritten

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi

With Congress President Rahul Gandhi

office space for us in Manhattan, NY. I hope to replicate this success around the world and build a chain of GOPIO offices.” He added, “I have always maintained that GOPIO needs selfless and enlightened leaders who understand the depth of the problems of NRIs and PIOs. It should fulfill the full potential of its name by having an active presence in most of the countries.” With an eye on the future, Sunny wants to encourage younger members to take up the work of GOPIO. “Much as we all would like to believe that we shall stay around forever, the time has come for the Old Guard to step aside and encourage the new to take charge,” he says. Therefore, the first priority of my team and I shall be to energise GOPIO’s many chapters around the world so that we can work in the true spirit of GOPIO fellowship globally. One of the exciting projects that Sunny is actively promoting is that 27 SALAAM BAHRAIN



every GOPIO member should be an Ambassador for Indian Tourism. “As our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has always told the Indian diaspora, each one of us is an ambassador of India’s culture and tourism potential. The tourism authorities of India have offices in nodal centres but GOPIO members who are spread far and wide can each become a promoter of the many and varied attractions of our beloved motherland. Thus we can effectively use the GOPIO network to promote India.” GOPIO shall also work closely with Indian states to put together a platform for Gulf returnees who are often faced with dead ends upon their return to India after working many years abroad. Often they have resources and ideas but do not know how to implement them. GOPIO would like to work with relevant ministries to help them set up their own businesses and support themselves.

india in bahrain

SBI, the choice of transforming India! Headquartered at Mumbai and spreading its wings over the nations and beyond the boundaries, State Bank of India (SBI) is India’s largest commercial Bank in terms of assets, deposits, branches, number of customers and employees. The bank is present in 35 countries with 206 foreign offices and has the largest network of branches (22,414) and ATMs (59,541) in India. It has more than 3.30 mio strong NRI customer-base, who are being catered to by more than 90 exclusive NRI branches and 150 NRI intensive branches across India. Today, SBI has more than 30 mio mobile banking users and 47.5 mio internet banking customers. Bank tops the list of followers on Facebook and YouTube across all banks in the world.

With an aim of providing all the NRI related services at a single point, it has set up a centralised back-office for handling the entire gamut of nonfinancial services including customer support, lead and query management under one roof. SBI Intelligent Assistant (SIA) also known as Smart Chat Assistant evolved from the cutting-edge technology, which efficiently answers queries, is also available to its NRIs across the globe through its website, ‘’. In Bahrain, SBI has two branches, one in the Diplomatic Area (Main Branch) and another at Bab Al Bahrain. SBI Diplomatic Area branch has NRI Services Dept. for servicing NRI clients exclusively. In the rest of GCC, it enjoys its presence in UAE, Oman and also

manages the Mustafa Sultan Exchange Company and Global Money Exchange Company in Muscat (Oman) and City Exchange Co. in Dubai. SBI is licensed as a Conventional Retail Bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain. SBI offers specialized products for NRI’s. They facilitate Rupee Loans for NRI’s in India like NRI Home Loan and Mortgage Loan. They also facilitate Deposits and Remittances in INR, USD and some other foreign currencies in India. Locally, SBI offers other Loans like Car Loans, Personal Loans, Loans against NRE Deposits in India / Deposits held in Bahrain, Corporate Loans and Trade Finance. It is also the only Indian bank in Bahrain to offer locker services for safekeeping of valuables.

Mega Budaiya presence for favourite store Mega Mart has opened its 12th branch in Budaiya, a supermarket that combines variety, quality and a compact size that is easy to pop in and out of for daily needs. The store aims to woo shoppers with the signature Mega Mart combination of fresh produce, imported international brands and competitive prices. Delighted general manager R.V. Waghnani said the store would augment the bigger Mega Mart in Saar which has made a mark for itself with a judicious combination of Western and Asian products to match the demographics of the neighbourhood. “The new supermarket offers all the brands and products you could possibly need, no matter where in the world you are from,” he added. “It will bring convenience along with trusted brands to Budaiya shoppers. Meanwhile, our

larger Saar branch will cater to more serious shopping needs, so we have both ends of the shopping spectrum covered!” Mega Mart comes from humble beginnings as it opened its first store in Salmaniya called Babasons. The company is one of the biggest importers from countries such as the UK, Australia, US and South Africa and is a particular favourite with expat Brits for its exclusive range of Tesco-branded products, the grocery market leader in the UK trusted for its quality and cost. With different items debuting regularly, Megamart’s team is always on the look out for new offers to please its loyal customer base. A spokesman 28 SALAAM BAHRAIN



added: “We are doing their homework to assess the items and will continue to add more to our product-line.” The supermarket has regular special promotions on its British brands which are often publicised on in-store flyers. So, head to Megamart for quality you can trust.



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india in bahrain

New Board, fresh chapter for BCICAI The Bahrain Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has a new Board of Directors at the helm and has entered the new term with a great start. One of the final achievements of the outgoing Board was the signing of a significant MoU between the BCICAI and the BIBF which was approved by the Indian Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi and was a key agreement that was given the green light during the recent visit to Bahrain of External Affairs Minister Hon’ble Sushma Swaraj. But that is just the beginning of an actionpacked journey that the new team shall be taking the BCICAI on in the months ahead. The new Board will be helmed by veteran CA S. Sridhar, CEO of the food conglomerate TRAFCO who has served many terms on the Board. Salaam Bahrain interviewed him for a quick look at the future of BCICAI in the months ahead. Congratulations on the MoU signed between BCICAI and BIBF – we know that you were part of the efforts as ViceChairperson of the previous Board and many of the current team members were also involved. Can you explain the significance of this MoU and how it will expand the scope of BCICAI’s work in the coming year/months? S. Sridhar: The Indian Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently approved the proposal of signing the MoU by ICAI with BIBF-Bahrain. The MoU was signed on 30 July, 2018 at the BIBF premises-Bahrain by ICAI President CA Naveen N.D Gupta and Dr. Ahmed Al Shaikh, Director of BIBF in the presence of Indian Embassy officials, BCICAI’s Executive Committee members and Past Chairpersons. Both entities will work together to implement joint collaboration programmes that will benefit both sides. ICAI, through BCICAI will also be work-

Standing (L to R) : Sandeep Shah , Bhavin Deliwala, Sunita Gupta, Garvita Shrivastava, Chetan Dongra (All Executive Committee members) Sitting(L to R) : Ajay Kumar (Joint Treasurer), Jaideep Rana (Treasurer), Maheshkumar Narayan (Vice-chairperson), Sridhar Seethapathy (Chairperson), Shubhashree (Secretary), Sthanumurthy (Joint Secretary)

ing with the BIBF in Bahrain on various initiatives such as ICT, Accounting & Finance and Insolvency. BCICAI will be facilitating the exchange of information between the two entities as well as working closely in reviewing the content of the ICAI courses which will be introduced in BIBF to ensure the same is compatible and relevant to the students in Bahrain. As the incoming team for 2018-19, what are the plans you have for making the BCICAI more relevant to the finance community in Bahrain? S. Sridhar: It’s our constant endeavour to provide our members as well as those involved in finance functions various avenues to regularly upgrade their knowledge about all the recent and relevant developments not only in the area of finance but other interrelated fields. It is very crucial that in an ever-changing dynamic environment, we remain abreast of the crucial changes which affect our day to day work. Through our monthly events our members get opportunity to listen from experts from diverse areas and expand their intellect and understanding about current trends and practices in the field of banking, finance, investment, insurance, technology, fin30 SALAAM BAHRAIN



tech and so on. How many chartered accountants are there (qualified from ICAI) and how do you think they are shaping the business world in Bahrain today? S. Sridhar: We have around 450 members of the chapter representing different industries like Banking, Insurance, Manufacturing, Trading, Audit & Advisory etc in Bahrain. 35% of our members are at the helm of affairs in their organisations holding CFO and directorship positions and another 35% of them are in the middle/senior level. We are happy that our members occupy pivotal positions across various sectors and contribute for driving the economy of the kingdom. How has the ICAI responded to the changing professional demands on CAs over the past decade? Do you see those changes on the ground in Bahrain? S. Sridhar: ICAI is a very proactive institution and sets very high standards in terms of ensuring that members and students are provided with enough resources and opportunities to keep pace with the growing demands of the profession. In July 2017, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi unveiled the new curriculum for CA students. The

syllabus has been broadened to cover the very latest in finance, investment and other allied subjects. ICAI conducts several post qualification certificate courses covering topics ranging from Valuation, International accounting standards, Blockchain technology to AML. Recently, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) was passed in India. ICAI has taken the lead in creating the Indian Institute of Insolvency Professionals of ICAI (IIIPI) to enroll and regulate insolvency professionals as its members in accordance with this code. BCICAI facilitates the courses to be held in Bahrain and members enroll for various courses and reap immense dividends as the learnings from these courses directly assist them in their work. The fresh CAs are very well in sync with the latest in the field of assurance, risk, fraud prevention, wealth management and other areas largely due to the dynamic and vast CA curriculum. We know its early days yet, but do give us a quick take on your Annual CA Meet at the end of the year? S. Sridhar: The dates have already been set for our annual International

The BCICAI-BIBF MoU signals a new phase in knowledge-sharing between India and Bahrain.

Conference for 23 & 24 November 2018 at Diplomat Radisson. As is the practice followed by us every year, we invite speakers from various industries to address our members and we believe that the culmination of thoughts of persons from different walks of life across the globe would significantly augment the knowledge base of our members. This mega conclave is expected to blend technical and non-technical speeches, success stories of great leaders in their respective industry, motivational and humorous speech, musical and cultural programme etc. Finally, a personal question – as a CA of many years experience and standing, do you see the Gulf as a rewarding workplace? Many people see it as a step back from the challenges of working in

India where taxation and complex regulatory environment makes a chartered accountant’s work more rewarding. How do you feel? S. Sridhar: The ICAI is the second largest professional body of Chartered Accountants in the world, with a strong tradition of service to the Indian economy in public interest. The Institute ensures that the knowledge base of the profession keeps pace with emerging global practices and innovations. Hence our members do have the right skills to serve global markets which are regularly updated and are relevant in the changing economic order. With the introduction of VAT(Value Added Tax) in GCC, the taxation and other regulatory environment are becoming integral part of our profession in Gulf.

Gulf expats are not fiscally savvy A lack of savings, poor financial discipline and no long-term plans are among the biggest worries facing expatriates in the Gulf, according to the experts at a leading wealth management firm. Despite earning higher salaries than they would back home and not paying income tax, many people struggle to put away money each month or simply neglect the need for savings all together. In fact, experts at Guardian Wealth Management estimate that individuals could be jeopardising as much as BD 33,500* in savings over five years, which is the average length of time an expat stays in the UAE.

It is often only after a major change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job or making the decision to relocate, that expats realise the impact years of bad financial planning can have on the rest of their life. It doesn’t matter how long you have lived in the Gulf or how old you are, financial advisers say is important to start saving as soon as possible and to get into the habit of balancing your monthly budget. The earlier people start saving the better. For your long-term goals such as retirement, you should try to put away 2030 per cent of your monthly salary. If 31 SALAAM BAHRAIN



you do that from a young age you’ll be in a great position. However, most people do not, and they tend to be in their 30 or 40s before they start saving seriously. You can begin by putting away as little as $200 per month. As with any kind of financial planning, setting out a budget and a target to reach, and then being disciplined to stick to it, is key. However, getting into the habit of saving is essential in order give you a good foundation to achieve your financial goals. For information, visit

new in town

Carrefour Bahrain comes to Juffair Majid Al Futtaim, the exclusive franchisee of the Carrefour brand in 38 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia opened its 12th Carrefour store in Bahrain. Located in Oasis Mall Juffair, it features a range of fresh meats, bakery items, fruits and vegetables, hot meals in addition to 1200 of Carrefour private label products. The new Carrefour supermarket will also feature a wide array of healthy and organic products in the Healthy Kitchen section. Apart from the vast selection on offer, the store has been designed with the environment in mind, and includes special freezer cabinets that both increase food safety and reduce power consumption. Oasis Mall Juffair was strategically chosen as it is situated across from AlFateh Grand Mosque next to the King Faisal Highway. With an overall 2000 sq. meters of retail space and more than 900 free parking spaces, customers can benefit from a shopping experience that is convenient and hassle free. Jerome Akel, Country Head of Carrefour Bahrain at Majid Al Futtaim Retail commented, “In response to the growing demand from our customers for

quality food and non-food products at the best value, we’re pleased to be unveiling our latest location in Oasis Mall Juffair. We look forward to creating great moments for our shoppers every day and are confident that the standards they’ve come to expect from our brand will be met and exceeded.” Carrefour was launched in Bahrain in 2008. Today, Carrefour operates 7 hypermarkets and 5 supermarkets, employing over 1,250 people of different nationalities

BFC's Bob checks up customers' health As part of its annual CSR and BOB Cares campaign, the Bahrain Financing Co. conducted a free health checkup camp for the people who stays in the vicinity of its Budaiya Village Branch.The camp was conducted in association with Al Hilal Medical Centre where more than 150 people who walked into the branch between 9am to 12pm availed the opportunity of a free health checkup. BFC has been conducting several such events for a year now and hopes to continue the same till the end of 2018.





Middle East Medical Center opens in BIW Marking another milestone, The Middle East Hospital Group opened its 4th medical facility in Bahrain Investment Wharf, in the Hidd Industrial Area. The Middle East Medical Center-BIW was opened at a soft opening ceremony on 20th June 2018 by Lizhyamma Kurain, in the presence of Jeeben Kurian, Executive Director of VKL Power, Eng. Abdulla Jamal Alabbasi, Director-Technical Affairs, BIW, officials, dignitaries, invitees and the staff of MEH-MEM group. MEM-BIW will provide the much needed medical care services to the large number of business establishments and industrial houses located in the BIW area, Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) and the Salman Industrial City, in addition to the workers residing in the labour camp in the Hidd Industrial area. There has been no medical facility in the area and MEM-BIW is the first facility providing high quality medical services in this vicinity. The facility will provide immediate medical care, GP and Specialist Consultations, outpatient treatment procedures, observation care and Dental

services along with primary diagnostic services. Speaking at the occasion, Eng. Abdulla Alabbasi spoke of the importance of quality medical services as an integral part of industrial townships. He congratulated the team of Middle East Hospital Group, Al Namal Group and VKL Holdings Chairman Dr. Varghese Kurian for his vision to provide high quality medical services. Middle East Group of Hospitals and Medical Centers now comprises of 4 facilities located strategically in Manama (MEH-Segaya), Salmabad (MEMSalmabad) and Hidd (MEM-Hidd) & Bahrain Investment Wharf (MEM-BIW Hidd Industrial area). The locations, facilities and the dedicated highly qualified team of doctors, make the Middle East Hospital group an ideal choice for comprehensive medical care of

families, nationals and expatriates, corporate houses and companies for the employees as well. As an inaugural offer Middle East Medical Center-BIW has introduced 60 parameters along with BMI, Vision Test, BP checkup, GP consultation and Dental checkup for only BD 8/-. The Middle East Hospital & Medical Centers announced its expansion plans to extend their services to all parts of Bahrain, with the next multi-specialty medical facility coming in Riffa. The facility will commence operations by the end of 2018. The group plans to open medical centers in Janabiya, Aali, And Hamad Town and work has commenced to establish these projects in 2019.

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Lulu Exchange gets refurbished branch Lulu International Exchange in Seef Mall, Arad has moved to spacious premises in the first floor of the Mall. “Our customer base has widened considerably and we believe that this move will help us to offer quality service to even more clients,� said a spokesperson for the company.





Winning hearts through empathy A familiar presence in Bahrain, Dr. Bharat has won the Ramon Magsaysay Award his work with mentally-challenged in Karjat, Maharashtra



In the 21st century’s rat race, the power of kindness is often discredited and branded as the instrument of the ‘weak’ while ‘macho’ qualities like physical strength and striking out are celebrated. Thankfully, the world has heroes like Dr. Bharat Vatwani to remind us about the strength of a kind heart in the midst of despair. “True human empathy makes the world go around. It can change, actually transform the world we live in,” says the 2018 Ramon Magsaysay awardee and psychiatrist, Dr. Bharat Vatwani. The award was announced for his work in successfully treating and reuniting over 7,000 mentally-ill, homeless people with their families through volunteer work. The younger brother of renowned, Bahrain-based neurosurgeon, Dr. Ram Vatwani, Dr. Bharat is familiar with Bahrain and has visited the Kingdom in 2016 to raise awareness about mental health here. Being asked about Dr. Bharat’s achievements, proud brother Dr. Ram Vatwani said: “I am extremely elated for Bharat. He has nurtured Shraddha, his centre, without any vested interests for so many years and for an International forum to recognise that is the best way to reward him for his efforts. More power to him!”

Care & reunion Dr. Vatwani established Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation in Karjat, Maharashtra in 1988, as a five-bed facility. He and wife Dr. Smitha and his team of social workers and doctors volunteer their skills as psychiatrists to serve the most vulnerable in society – homeless, mentally-challenged men and women. These people are brought

to the centre off the roads and once they recover, they are reunited with their families. Often, this involves journeys to faraway hometowns with just minimal details in hand and then the arduous task of digging out more information with the help of the police and locals. He describes every reunion as an overwhelming experience with great amounts of hugs and tears. Reminiscing an incident that left a longlasting imprint on his heart, Dr. Vatwani narrated his experience whilst dropping a young female patient back home. “This was in the early days. Both the NGO and I were young running on the basis of trust and dedication. We had no female staff so I had to accompany her to Warangal in Andhra Pradesh. “In those days, it was a Naxalite zone so there were safety issues aside 36 SALAAM BAHRAIN



from the locals warning me about being arrested for ‘kidnapping’ her. I paid little attention to the circumstances and walked into the Police Station. Instead of communicating with the police, I cajoled the girl into telling her story. There was a language barrier as I could not understand Telugu and they could barely understand English. But emotions and truth found their way.” As Dr. Vatwani waited in the Police Station for four long hours, he was suddenly startled by an excited scream. It was the girl’s mother running towards the Police Station. Overjoyed and eternally grateful, clutching her daughter in one arm, the mother touched Dr. Vatwani’s feet with the other and thanked him in a language he did not understand. “Their hearts said it all! The image of the girl and the mother in the night light, sobbing

and embracing one another will remain with me unto eternity,” he said.

Speak up Purveyor of multiple such moments, Dr. Vatwani is one among the two Indian winners of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s highest honour in the social activity sphere. Whilst he is certain the award brings great recognition and encourages more people to work in this field, he

Drs. Bharat & Smitha Vatwani with Baba Amte in 2004

Little understanding about mental health coupled with myths and societal pressures often escalates the problem. An advocate of accepting your condition and having an open dialogue about it, Dr. Vatwani says: “I have gone through depression myself. I wrote it on a big 6x3 feet board outside my consulting room for all to read and absorb, along with my expectations from myself vis-a-vis psychiatry.” Whilst many were aghast at Dr. Vatwani’s disclosure, he believes it helped others develop maturity and attain emotional insight - they felt they we are all in the same boat. He strongly believes every human being who has seen mental illness can be an emissary of mental awareness. “Of course, with such long-standing generational issues, patience and perseverance are a must but raising awareness by teaching people about mental illness at a school or grass-root level and duplication and replication of the Shraddha model is the way forward.”

Music & treks

Dr. Bharat with his brother Dr. Ram Vatwani and his sister-in-law Joyce

believes there is still a long way to go. “It is claimed that there are 400,000 mentally-ill destitutes in India. I believe there are more because quite a few of the destitutes housed in regular NGOs are also mentally-ill, not merely homeless. If out of 400,000, I have only managed to assist 7,000 and reunite them with their families, does it truly constitute as enough?” Discussing society’s strong stigma around mental illnesses, Dr. Vatwani explains that much of it stems from a lack of awareness about these issues.

Aside from being a passionate man with a mission, Dr. Bharat’s also spends some quality time unwinding. A usual Sunday in his life consists of trekking in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park whilst playing his favourite “old-isgold” Hindi tracks which he finds is a wonderful combination of nostalgia and unwinding fitness. If not saving the world or trekking, you will find him at the movies catching the latest blockbuster with his wife and four children followed by a close family dinner. Dr. Bharat’s journey is a living example of how empathy and kindness can move mountains. So, here’s to nurturing more kind, more empathetic heroes in our world. After all, where there is kindness, there is goodness and where there is goodness, there is magic! 37 SALAAM BAHRAIN



July / August 2018

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 Contributor • Maharaja Features Pvt. Ltd. Designer • Sumesh. C. Unni Photography • Jomon • Hussain - Salmaniya Studio Marketing P.R.M. Marketing Consultancy w.l.l Advertising Sales Contact: +973 3668 4011/ 1772 0797 Published by Al Ayam Publishing Promoted by Ajyal Consultations w.l.l Advertising / Editorial / Circulation Enquiries +973 3668 4011 +973 1772 0797 e-mail: Copyright Reserved. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of the publisher and Editor. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, the publisher & editor cannot accept legal responsibility for any error, content or omissions.

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Second Home Store opens doors

Lals Group, a leading conglomerate in the GCC, launched the second showroom of its home concept, The Home Store. The launch took place at City Centre Bahrain in the presence of Lals Group CEO, Jayant Ganwani, representatives from Bahrain City Centre, guests and members of the media. Having launched its first showroom in Bahrain Mall in 2006, The Home Store has garnered a reputation as the shopping destination of choice for stylish home concepts. Known as Homes r Us across the GCC, The Home Store prides itself as a complete

lifestyle destination due to its wide product ranging across furniture and furnishing categories. Products include an extensive range comprised of living, dining, bedroom, kids & teens, and light fixtures amongst other home décor essentials As part of its aim to increase its footprint in the Bahrain market, the new showroom was designed by a team of expert interior designers, and boasts an inviting layout and comfortable customer experience. The ambience of the showroom will appeal to a larger target market, as natural materials and bare floors have been

Superfoods for supermen Water bottles and instant-energy bananas were distributed to around 200 construction workers at a worksite in Tubli by the Indian Community Relief Fund (ICRF). This is the third event that ICRF-Thirst Quenchers organised as a part of its efforts to support the Ministry of Labour and Social Development’s campaign to keep workers hydrated and safe during the peak summer months. Participating in the distribution were Ahmed J Al-Haiki, Director of Professional Inspection and Occupational Safety from the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, Aruldas Thomas - ICRF Chairman, Mehru Vesuvala - ICRF General

Secretary and other ICRF volunteers Al-Haiki also inter-acted with the labourers and stressed on the importance of maintaining health and safety. “The outdoor workers are most vulnerable to the heat and by distributing water and bananas to them, we want to remind them to take care of their health and also that the community is with them. Indeed, for braving the heat daily they are supermen in our eyes,” said ICRF Chairman Aruldas Thomas 38 SALAAM BAHRAIN



incorporated into the design to provide a spacious yet homely feel to offer an optimal shopping experience. Said Jayant Ganwani, CEO of Lals Group, “We are delighted to be launching our second store in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as we believe we can offer something to suit every individual taste from classic to contemporary. The Home Store aims to provide customers with not just value for money but also the opportunity to decorate their homes with products of the highest quality, as we aspire to leave our mark in every household.”

A Salute to the Indian Community on the occasion of

India's 72nd Independence Day Peace, Prosperity & Joy to All

V.M & Bros. Co. W.L.L.


Glorious Indian breads – a culinary heritage Prepared in hundreds of different ways, Indian breads can beguile the taste buds as homely curry partners, sophisticated repast or street-food fare.


We bring you all your ingredients for a healthy life

Our Cuisine Section is brought to you by 41 SALAAM BAHRAIN



Tanned tea-red with a creamy underside, the pão is a street bread of Mumbai and Goa. It comes in downy sets of four small buns and is split to accommodate breakfast omelets or spicy kheema and found an eternal pairing in the ‘seventies as the eponymous half of pav bhaji, which was the ultimate street food of the era. Pav belongs to the Portuguese era of Mumbai’s history and was introduced by traders and missionaries in the early colonial period. Because yeast was hard to come by at the time, early recipes for pav used toddy as a fermenting agent, though most modern recipes for these soft, spongy buns call for shelf-stable yeast.

Colonial symbol The most iconic snack of the city combines pav with the Maharashtrian batata vada—a deep-fried battered ball of spiced smashed potatoes—for a fullon carb punch to the gut. Ironically, this colonial bread plays a starring role in this snack, often called the ‘Shivaji Burger’ after the regional warrior-king of the 18th century and has been embraced as a ‘working class meal’ by the state’s conservative, regionalist ruling party. That makes it a powerful symbol of how unstable the idea of “tradition” truly is. Just a trickle down the South-west coastline, is the Arabian Sea port city of Mangalore where an altogether different type of breakfast bun claims Portuguese influence. Like naan and sheermal in the North—and really any wheat-based bread in the South—the Mangalore Bun is the result of outside influence. A major trading post for millennia, Mangalore has been under the control of the Buddhist Mauryas of North India, many of the major Hindu dynasties that rose and fell in Southern India, the Muslim Sultans of Mysore, and the Catholic Portuguese (regional competition from Dutch trading posts down the coast also left their mark on the region), resulting in some of the finest, most varied food in South India.

The dough for the Mangalore bun consists of refined wheat flour kneaded with ripe bananas and yogurt (and sometimes some cumin seeds); it’s left overnight to rise, then deep-fried in the morning. Steam-filled, fluffy and mildly sweet, Mangalore buns—particularly when eaten with coconut chutney and a cup of milky-sweet South Indian coffee—are among the heartiest breakfasts the subcontinent has to offer.

Central Asian There are hundreds of varieties of Indian breads and unlike the Western breads which are invariably baked, the breads of India come baked, steamed, deep fried, spun out crepe-style or roasted. They can be fermented or unleavened, stuffed or plain, wheat or

rice-based or multigrain, savoury or sweet. The accompanying side-dishes are just as tasty. From the masala dosa of Tamil Nadu which has acquired the status of National Dish (Outlook Magazine survey of circa 2013) to the everyday phulka that is roasted and puffed over flame in millions of households, to the deep-fried poori and the seasonal makkai di roti (unrefined corn flour) of a Punjabi winter and the breakfast appam and chicken stew of Kerala, the history of Indian breads is as varied as their taste. It is widely believed that Indian flatbreads are part of the culinary


Kanchipuram Idli The Kanchipuram Idli or the Kovil Idli is the traditional prasadam offered in the Varadharaja Perumal Temple at Kancheepuram. The idlis are cooked in bamboo casings lined with dried “mandharai” leaves. The mandharai leaves (scientific name: Bauhinia Racemosa – its leaves are also used to make the thin bidi or indigenous cigarettes) add to the flavour of the idlis. Ingredients Measurements used - 1 cup = 250 ml (approx) For the batter • • • • • •

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds ½ cup parboiled rice ½ cup raw rice ½ cup whole white urad dal ½ cup poha /beaten rice 1 tsp salt

Spices • • • • • •

2 sprigs curry leaves, finely chopped ½ tsp asafoetida 1 tsp dry ginger powder 1½ tsp cumin seeds 1½ tsp black pepper 2 tsp ghee

Preparation 1 2 3 4 5

Wash and soak the raw rice, parboiled rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water over night. Drain the water and grind the mixture to a slightly coarse paste – it should feel like fine semolina to the touch. Add up to a cup of water for grinding and grind the batter in batches. Do not add too much water while grinding. Soak the poha for 10 minutes in half a cup of water. Grind it to a smooth paste and add it to the batter. Heat ghee in a pan and add in the crushed cumin pepper mixture and curry leaves. Once the curry leaves are crisp, switch off the flame. Add in the dry ginger powder and asafoetida. Toss well and add it to the batter. Add in the salt to the batter and mix everything well to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and allow it to ferment in a draft free place for 8-10 hours. It will rise in level as well. Steam the idli for 20 minutes. Serve with chutney and sambar.

influence of the Central Asian invaders who ruled the subcontinent for centuries. As such, Kashmir, which is geographically the closest to Central Asia, home to some of the world’s oldest and richest baking traditions, has the most exotic varieties of Indian breads. Almost every street in Kashmir has a traditional bakery (known as kandurs) because Kashmiri breads are never baked at home. These bakeries open at the crack of dawn to serve the morning breakfast breads of girda (with its distinctive fingerprint or knuckle indents) and the bagel-shaped chochwor. The

menu of breads rotates throughout the day, making way for large, pale naanlike breads called lavasa; flaky, layered katlams, eaten with salt chai and gahwa and melt-in-the-mouth kulchas dunked into rich curries.

Multigrain In central and western India, one finds a huge variety of breads made with different grains. While most of India revolves on the North wheat vs. the South rice axis, these regions use seasonal grains effectively. The Bhakri of Maharashtra and Gujarat is made using sorghum (jowar) or pearl millet (bajra) A favourite haunt in Matunga, Mumbai 43 SALAAM BAHRAIN




Radhaballabhi Ingredients For The Dough • 2 cups all purpose flour (maida) • Water For The Filling • • • • •

½ cup black urad dal (whole) 1 ½ tsp cumin (jeera) seeds 1 ½ tsp fennel seeds (saunf) • 1 tsp ginger 2 kashmiri red chilli powder • ½ tsp sugar 1 tsp garam masala powder • ½ tsp salt • cooking oil, for deep frying Preparation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

12 13 14

To prepare Radhaballabhi, prepare all the ingredients first. Soak clean urad dal for 4 hours. In a bowl, add maida and water little by little and knead the flour into the pliable dough. Set it aside for poori dough. In a frying pan, dry roast Kashmiri chilli, ½ tsp. of cumin seeds and ½ tsp. of fennel seeds until they turn light brown and give off a fresh aroma. Allow it to cool down and grind to a coarse powder. This is known as bhaja masala. In a blender, added washed dal, green chili, ginger, and salt. Grind them coarsely. In the same frying pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add remaining cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Fry them for few seconds until they turn brown and sizzle. Now, add the urad dal paste to the seeds and combine well. Stir in the bhaja masala, garam masala, sugar and salt. Cook until the spice powders are combined well with the urad dal paste and the paste is golden brown. Take off the flame. Allow it to cool and make small balls out of the urad dal paste. For the stuffing, take a lemon sized piece of dough and smoothen the cracks and make a ball. Roll the dough into a poori slightly less than a saucer size and place about a tablespoon of urad dal filling in the centre. Pull up all the edges of the poori, cover the stuffing with dough and roll the dough lightly so that the filling doesn’t come out of poori. The finished poori will be fairly thick In a wok, heat enough oil to deep fry one Radhaballabhi poori at a time, till both sides are browned and cooked. Flip only once, so that they puff evenly. Drain the excess oil from the puffed puris with a paper towel. Serve warm Radhaballabhi with lightly spiced potato curry.

and is a heavy bread usually served with baigan bharta or simply a knob of butter and a bowl of fresh curd. The sweet puran poli, stuffed with mashed lentils and cooked with jaggery is a shared heritage of Gujarat and Maharashtra. In Tamil Nadu, it is served as poli, with a grated coconut filling sweetened with jaggery. Deeper South in Karnataka, the poli is a lighter, flakier

version with a mix of sweetened chana dal and coconut in the filling.

Arab link One Southern bread that traces its beginnings to the Arabian sailors and traders who first came to India, is the Keralan pathiri. Legend has it that the many Arabs who married and settled in Kerala were dismayed at the dominance 44 SALAAM BAHRAIN



of rice and the lack of flatbreads in the menu. So the Keralan flatbread pathiri was born, made out of rice flour and soft enough to mop up the meat gravies. This travelled further down the coast and emerged in Karnataka as akki roti. Another popular Keralan bread is the appam. Made of fermented rice and coconut milk, it is cooked in a wok and comes out shaped like a lacy bowl with


Mangalore Buns, a breakfast special

a fluffy centre and is eaten with sweetened coconut milk, flavoured with jaggery or with chicken stew. Vegetarians can also opt for kadala curry, a rich curry of black chana cooked in spicy coconut gravy. Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state is North Indian and boasts a regal cuisine in its erstwhile princely state of Awadh. The Sheermal of Lucknow, the former capital of the Awadhi Nawabs is fragrant with saffron milk. Sheermal first came to India when the Mughals imported a governor and bureaucrats from Iran to oversee the region

of Awadh, which, by the early eighteenth century, had become an extra-vagantly wealthy king-dom in its own right. In the bazaars of Lucknow today, whole lanes of sheermal vendors stack orange rounds of bread around open tandoors —a decadent utensil for the richly spiced meat curries and kebabs for which the city is famous. More ‘everyday’ is that old Northern favourit, poori, has become a panIndian star, popping up in thali meals at all places and even having a dedicated space in places such as Mumbai’s Pancham Pooriwala, opposite the main Shivaji Railway Terminus, where they serve only poori withan awesome red pumpkin and potato curry or Uttar Pradesh origin. The bhatoora, naans, parantha and stuffed breads of Punjab are well-known and in Old Delhi, there is even a whole street with stalls selling just parantha,

called Paranthawali Gulli. Did you know that the Eastern states also had many breads to boast of? The Radhaballabhi and luchi of Bengal usually takes precedence but there is also the lesser-known bread of the Khasi tribes in the hill state of Meghalaya, just north of Bangladesh, called putharo. It is a glutinous pancake made from ground red sticky rice that’s wrapped in leaves (usually banana), steamed, and served hot with red tea at small shacks on damp hillside roads. Variations of a dosa-like bread called Pithe is served in Bengal, Assam and Odisha with seasonings and fillings. In Bihar, you will be served Litti-Choka. Litti are dense, dry balls of carom-spiked wheat atta stuffed with a mixture of spiced chickpea flour, usually flavored with some combination of cumin, carom, onion seed, cilantro, chilies, and ginger. Formed into fist-sized balls and roasted in ghee, litti are almost always served with a mashed vegetable, called chokha. Although very often confused with the closely related Baati, it is a completely different dish in terms of taste, texture and preparation. And then there are variations of breads that take their names from pilgrim towns – the large and spicy Kanchipuram idli of the temple town of that name comes to mind. The St. Thomas Christians of Kerala – the earliest to embrace the religion - serve a special unleavened Pesaha Appam as their Passover bread on Passover night.

A meme from Old Delhi's Paranthawali Gulli 45 SALAAM BAHRAIN




Chicken Kheema Paratha

Ingredients For The Dough • • • •

1 cup maida / all purpose flour 1 tbsp oil ½ tsp salt to taste water

For Chicken Keema stuffing • • • • • •

250 gms boneless chicken pieces ¼ tsp pepper powder 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp coriander powder 1 tsp cumin powder

• • • • •

1 tbsp chilli powder 2 green ghilies 1 tbsp oil 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped Salt to taste

Preparation 1 2 3


5 6 7

In a bowl add in the all-purpose flour, some salt and then gradually water and mix well to form a nice soft dough. The consistency it should be soft and smooth. Now add a tbsp of oil and coat nicely all over the dough, cover and let it rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile let’s make the stuffing for that in a pan add the chicken pieces and season with some salt and pepper. We need to get rid of all the moisture form the chicken. Once the chicken is nicely cooked, transfer this to a blender and shred the chicken and keep it aside. In a pan heat 1 tbsp of oil, once the oil is nice and hot, add the chopped onions, some salt and sauté it for few minutes. Once the onions are translucent add in the masalas turmeric powder , ginger garlic paste, cumin powder , coriander powder, red chili powder, chopped green chilies and mix it nicely with the onions. After the raw smell is gone add the cooked chicken and mix it well with the onion masala mixture. Add the chopped coriander leaves, give it a mix and turn off the heat. Sprinkle some flour and take a small portion of the dough and roll into a slightly thick disc. Place the chicken stuffing at the center. Gather all the corners and seal the dough with the stuffing inside. Press it down and dust a little flour on the top and roll it very gently to make a circle of 6-7 inch diameter. Place it on a hot tawa and cook over medium heat. As you press it down gently, it will puff up. Flip it again and spread ½ tsp of oil and press it with spatula and cook for 30-40 seconds over medium heat until Golden brown spots should appear on both sides of the paratha. Serve with a bowl of creamy, cold yogurt. 46 SALAAM BAHRAIN




Message in a chapati

If you think this is a picture of a tandoor shop somewhere in North India, you're mistaken. This is a Turkish bread store in Istanbul - a clear indication of the Central Asian origins of our naans, rotis and other baked flatbreads

One of the earliest efforts to give a contemporary shape to the treasury of bread recipes was the cookery author and researcher Purobi Babbar’s Rotis & Naans of India which meticulously reconstructed the ancient recipes for the modern kitchen, complete with traditional accompaniments. Not surprisingly, similarities pop up across India – the high-protein lentil adai of the South is the Handvo of Gujarat which has finely-chopped vegetables added and the Cheela of Uttar Pradesh. An easily digestible moong dal version called Pesaretu, stuffed with – surprise, surprise! – rava upma, is served in Telengana and Andhra Pradesh with a side of racy ginger chutney. Like bread everywhere, Indian breads too are versatile. Most of them travel well and are fairly easy to make. They require few ingredients and are the building block of all meals. Unlike most Western breads, there are natural gluten-free versions too, what with so many grains to choose from. Embrace them in all their varied goodness and your meals will never be boring again!

In 2013, the Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation on earth, took place at Varanasi on the banks of the holy Ganges. While all big marketers were vying to sell their wares and boost their brands, one promotion really stood out for its innovation and its message. Hindustan Unilever's 'Roti Reminder' for its Lifebuoy soap brand is still talked about as one of the most innovative marketing campaigns. Since health and the spread of disease is a key concern, authorities were promoting the hand washing habit among the mela pilgrims. Now, hand washing is seen as one of the best defences against the spread of germs but is not a habit that comes naturally to most people. It was here that Lifebuoy stepped in with a brilliant campaign: the country's largest consumer products firm, along with creative agency Ogilvy, partnered more than 100 dhabas and hotels at the mela site to serve rotis that are stamped with “Lifebuoy se haath dhoye kya?” (Have you washed your hand with Lifebuoy?) in different languages. Talk about having your chapati and eating your message! All this did put us to mind of the mysterious “chupatty movement” of 1857 which spooked the British. Thousands of chapatis were distributed across India at a speed faster than the British Mail and although there were no messages etched on them, the British saw it as a subversive call to rebellion. However, even the Indians who baked and carried the bread from village to village “did not know why they had to run through the night with chapatis in their turbans.” It was estimated that the chapati chain covered over 200 miles every night! The “culinary chain mail” is still not satisfactorily explained and remains a historical mystery. It is a coincidence that it preceded the First War of Independence in 1857 which rose out of fears among the soldiers of conversion to the British religion of Christianity and the power politics of rulers such as Tantia Tope and Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. 47 SALAAM BAHRAIN







v a s t u i l a h T i h t a Gujur nch u L y a Every d day n o M t Excep



BOOKING CONTACT 17224000, 34067052, 36401071

salaam society

Sayanora Shamima! Tireless charity volunteer, fashion designer to shaikhas and many times executive committee member of the Indian Ladies Association (last as Acting President), Shamima Noorani will be leaving Bahrain after four decades to explore a new life in Mumbai, India and play adoring grandmom to her two grandchildren in USA. “I came to Bahrain as a teenage bride and used to travel frequently between Bahrain and Mumbai till 1983. When my son Zulfiqar started school, I cut back my travels and started my fashion business.” Shamima recalls. A trained textile designer from Mumbai's famous Nirmala Niketan, Shamima calls herself an 'accidental designer' who built a great reputation for herself as a designer to discerning fashionistas and choreographer and stylist for many local beauty queens. Her sunny temperament and calm and smiling face has long been a fixture in the social scene as organiser and back-stage queen bee. But she will be best remembered for her work with the children of 'Sneha', the recreation centre for children with special needs that the ILA runs. She has served as co-ordinator, volunteer and fund-raiser for the project many times over. “I shall miss Bahrain tremendously but am excited about my 'retirement' plans. I want to indulge my artistic side once

again and get back to textile designing instead of focussing on clothes. But most of all, I am looking forward to quality family time with my large and scattered global family and my two grandchildren. Bahrain has shaped me and while I have given the best years of

my life to Bahrain, the Kingdom too have given its best to me. I shall cherish my friends among the international community, my Bahraini friends and the great memories that I shall take with me. And I shall return regularly to keep in touch.”

Via Brasil gets ‘pressed’ Wyndham Garden Manama in Juffair hosted a Brazilian churrascaria dinner for media members of Bahrain at its newly opened Brazilian restaurant, Via Brasil. Via Brasil is a Brazilian style all-you-can-eat barbeque restaurant, where guests have unlimited meat cuts served straight to the table by our Passadores (meat waiters). Located on the rooftop of Wyndham Garden Manama, Via Brasil offers fantastic city skyline views of Manama with live entertainment. The restaurant is open 7:00pm to 02.00am. Wyndham Garden Manama features seven specialty dining options ranging from Indian, Italian, International, Brazilian, Sports Bar and an open roof top terrace outlet.





The Indian wedding season is in full swing and now is as good a time as any to reduce your fashion carbon footprint and look at sustainable fashion choices, whether you are a guest or the bridal couple. Say what? Does that mean we have to dress down and look less glamorous – more Mother Earth and less Princess Perfect? Not at all. Today, sustainability is the trending rule in the fashion runways of the world and in the Indian subcontinent, we are spoilt for choice because of the treasure trove of handicraft and handloom heritage that is ours to choose from. Step One for a wow look that is also sustainable, is to do what your dietician orders – no, not go on a diet - but check the label. According to award-winning designer Ruchika Sachdeva who won the 18-2017 International Woolmark Prize (Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East regional),

“Biodegradability is the most important. So if something can decompose, it’s not so bad. Anything that has polyester, polyamide, plastic, PU — look for the P — is non-biodegradable, and avoidable. What most people identify as synthetic materials are non-biodegradable,” she says. As a wedding participant – guest, bride or groom – you can start by choosing lavish Indian silks and cottons but do ensure that they are handloom. Powerloom fabric scores over handloom in pricing but it fails the sustainability test. A sustainable fabric is a heritage story – it is woven using skills passed down through generations and the yarn, dyes and designs are usually closest to nature – organic, vegetable dyes and timeless heritage designs. When you invest in a sustainable dress or saree, you are empowering the whole craft and loom industry which is the second-largest employer of thousands 52 SALAAM BAHRAIN






it’s difficult to trace who is making high-street brands and how responsibly they’ve been made. Buy from local labels, whether it’s Dastkar or local fairs or weaving centres in your area. These days there are so many online sellers of beautiful

of people after agriculture. Look beyond the fast fashion and the “now”. Invest in wedding trousseau and, as a guest, in stylish clothing that will mark the occasion and be passed down to your children and grandchildren. Responsible buying with awareness and education is the cornerstone of sustainable fashion. Invest time and

thought into your fashion choices. Make that effort to buy a little bit less from the mall and a little bit more from smaller brands, because 54 SALAAM BAHRAIN



sustainable fashion but you have to ensure they are not just middlemen and women who rip off craftspeople. Look for knowledgeable sellers who are transparent about their sources and understand their wares. Reuse – with a little creativity, you can upcycle older clothes – sarees can become skirts and tops, saree pallu and borders can

embellish other clothes and fabrics, kurta material can be appliquéd onto saree borders and yes, they can make for dazzling wedding wear. You can also experiment stylishly – with the range 55 SALAAM BAHRAIN



now and we, as consumers have to support it. As a country with one of the world’s largest handmade creative economies — artisans involved in creating textiles and handicrafts — there is an

of saree drapes to choose from in India, try a different regional drape or weave. A Kanjeevaram or a Benarasi brocade is always a never-fail go-to at weddings, but exquisite Assamese silk Mekhala Chadar, a Gujarat Patola or a Marathi Paithani can be a stand-out

showstopper. Also look for plant fabrics. These days, with weaving technology having improved, clothing made of jute, banana fibre and tree bark are being produced in stunning designs. And don’t turn up your nose at cottons either. The Chanderi, Venkatgiri and other cottonzari weaves are fabulous and so are the newer designer khadi wear. Fashion is no longer just about trends and innovative design, it is also a means to encourage dialogue on sustainable choices. We need to promote ethical, artisanal fashion, but the value behind these principles is sustainability. This is the global conversation 56 SALAAM BAHRAIN



upswing in people leveraging it in India. But even more positively, this is happening with an evolved sense of aesthetics, with labels creating contemporary collections with global appeal. So let’s put some thought into our wedding wardrobes. You can be beautiful and still switched on about the environment and economy.

comic history

ACK – India’s comic mythmakers The story of how chemical salesman Anant Pai revolutionised children’s book publishing with Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) is worthy of a movie, not just a book! By MELISSA NAZARETH Whether you are a child of the ‘seventies who grew up poring over Indian mythology presented in simple and understandable comic-book format or a millennial NRI parent who buys Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) to acquaint your child with Indian lore, you belong to a vast global fan-club that swears by the world of ACK. Founded in the 1967 by a gifted story-teller, Anant Pai, ACK and its companion modern-day comic magazine Tinkle have won children’s hearts for generations. The beautifully illustrated ACK is one of India's largest selling comic book series, with more than 100 million copies sold in 20 Indian languages Uncle Pai, as the founder came to be known, has introduced millions of children over five decades and three generations to a cast of magnificent characters from Hindu mythology, as well as modern-day Indian heroes. Through comics, a medium then uncommon to Indian story-telling, it created an animated world that made complex and colourful stories immediately accessible to young readers. Tinkle comics, also Pai’s creation, published its first edition in 1980 and covered a wide range of topics right from the country’s geography and history through to its famous personalities. Pai, a trained chemical engineer, was a sales executive when he decided to radically change tracks. An oft-told story is that he and his wife were watching a quiz show on Doordarshan, in which participants were unable to reply to the question ‘In the Ramayana, who was Rama's mother?’ Shocked by this, Pai resolved to acquaint Indian children, particularly the urban child, with their heritage. And what better way than comics, which all children loved?

Anant Pai the founder of Amar Chitra Katha

Road-blocks The way ahead wasn’t easy. Pai and his idea were viewed with great scepticism. Says Reena Puri, Executive Editor of ACK, and a 25-year veteran of the company, “Amar Chitra Katha made its first appearance at a time when comics weren’t thought of as ‘teaching’ material. We were attempting to tell stories from Indian mythology and history in a western format, quite an ambitious endeavor for those times.” Pai approached the Mirchandanis of India Book House who agreed to give him a space to work in and print what he created but on spec, without a salary. The first ten issues of the series were reproductions of Western fairy-tales which the publishers felt were more acceptable as reading material. Pai gave up his job to work on his idea. There were times when he and his wife, 57 SALAAM BAHRAIN



Lalita, went without food but Pai remained undeterred. Such was his passion, not just for stories and storytelling but also children. In fact, he was known to his young readers as ‘Uncle Pai’ and shared a personal rapport with them. Later, when ACK became wildly popular, Pai’s young readers wrote to him about his comics and other things, and he always tried to personally reply to as many letters as he could. Though ACK currently has 400 plus titles that have sold over 100 million copies in more than 20 Indian languages, it started breaking even and gaining popularity only after an initial five-year struggle period. During that time, Pai took to the road with a suitcase full of comic books every day and even set up display shelves in bookshops. A perfectionist, Pai was equally

Amrapali ACK

Cover Kurien

Kabir ACK

Mother Teresa

Reena Puri, Executive Editor of ACK

particular about the script. He instructed his writers to tell the story as close to its source as possible and use the most wellknown version.

Technical “We could access all information but had to whittle it down to the basic story that would interest a child and tell it in a way that a child could understand easily,” says Reena. “Moreover, we had to choose stories from which a child will always have something to take away. All the scripts would be first written in English and no slang was permitted.” The language in ACK has sometimes been called archaic but it was a conscious decision to try and convey some of the richness of the ancient texts and the atmosphere of a period. Reena further shares how master artist, Ram Waeerkar, on approaching Pai about his concerns on getting proportions and angles to the human physique wrong, was advised to stand between multiple full-length mirrors and sketch himself to get it right. “Today, the

computers do ‘turnarounds’ with so much ease!” she exclaims, adding, “Colouring has taken on a whole new dimension from the time we worked with a 33 colour palette and did flat colouring with a manual paintbrush, to the hundreds of shades available in Photoshop today, not to mention the kind of colour grading that is possible.” The original printings of Amar Chitra 58 SALAAM BAHRAIN



were not in full colour—because of budgetary constraints, the panels were printed using yellow, blue and green. Subsequent issues, however, changed to full colour. All Amar Chitra Katha books stuck to a monthly (later fortnightly) 30page format, with emphasis on lucid, entertaining storylines. In addition to the 'singles' form,at the stories are also available as hardcover 3-in-1 and 5-in-1

bundles. There are special editions of the epics like the Mahabharata which is available in a 3 volume 1300+ pages set. Occasionally there were “bumper” issues with 90 pages, most collecting stories of a similar type from individual issues (e.g. Monkey Stories From The Hitopadesha, Tales of Birbal and some being longer stories such as The Story of Rama). As the epic stories became more popular, the team began to publish stories based on Indian history, of men and women belonging to different regions and religions and also on stories based on Sanskrit as well as regional classics. The continuous popularity of the comics led to reprints being issued frequently, which ensured that the backissues remained in print throughout the seventies and the eighties. At the height of its popularity, in the mid-eighties, it had been translated into Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Urdu and selling half a million copies a month. Some titles were also translated into French, Spanish, German, Swahili, Fijian, Indonesian, and Serbo-Croat.

Tradition Even though it was an endeavor to reach out to children, the hallmark of ACK was research – for the illustrations as well as the stories told. An early challenge was presenting our gods and heroes in the comics’ format without hurting any sentiments. Pai asked his team to follow certain guidelines. “While the cartoon style could be adopted for folktales and fables, we used realistic illustrations for mythology, history as well as biographies,” says Reena, “Artists took inspiration from the frescoes at Ajanta and Ellora, and the sculptures at Elephanta to draw the gods. The carvings and paintings in temples helped them create the physical image of Vishnu or Krishna. They researched the old texts for authenticity of costume and though these could not always be adhered to, the closest acceptable version was adopted.”

Bangalore poetry festival

Shashi tharoor launching Dhyan Chand

This tradition of doing research has not gone away even after Pai passed away in 2011. “Books are still our first preference for research but travel has become easier and people more accessible,” says Reena. “For her research on Mother Teresa, our scriptwriter spent almost a week volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. She also travelled to Darjeeling to meet Tenzing Norgay’s daughter Pem Pem who shared wonderful memories of her father.” ACK has not only witnessed generations of readers but also artists and writers. “A lot of the earlier artists have stopped illustrating and some have passed away,” says Reena. “The core team that creates ACK today is a young one, one that has grown up reading these comics.” Despite this, ACK has successfully retained the very essence of Pai’s legacy while gracefully adapting to the changing times. For instance, the primary language in which the scripts are written today continues to be English but 59 SALAAM BAHRAIN



the sentences are more lightly and informally constructed. They’ve also adopted to quicker and better ways to source information.

PC perfect “The puranas and epics are still our greatest source of mythology but today we are also looking at ballads and tribal lore which is so powerful in India,” says Reena. ACK Media has tweaked the older characters and modified storylines to fit the current times and political correctness perceptions. It has also made efforts to address pertinent issues, like gender equality. Tinkle, for instance, collaborated with Ariel, the detergent brand, for its ‘Dads Share The Load’ campaign and published Shikari Shambu doing the laundry along with his wife Shanti. Moreover, Shanti now actually helps her husband out on his adventures rather than just following him like a stereotypical spouse. Supandi was appropriated into

ACK Media’s collaborations with financial institutions. A campaign for Tata Mutual Funds makes investments simple for Suppandi - because if Suppandi can understand mutual funds, everyone can. Also, Suppandi’s girlfriend now has a fulltime job and supports him. New characters, like Mapui Kawlim a.k.a Wingstar, Tinkle’s first superhero from the North-East, have been introduced and whole-heartedly received. It’s worth mentioning that Reena started her career with writing the script for the beloved Shikari Shambu. “There was a vacancy for an Assistant Editor for Tinkle,” she recalls. “Uncle Pai, then Editor, gave me a story idea about a funny hunter and I was supposed to write a 4-page script based on it.” Reena passed the test and joined the team in 1991. “At the time, we were concentrating on Tinkle and ACKs were only being reprinted,” she says. “A couple of titles did come up in the early 2000s like Kalpana Chawla and JRD Tata, but it was not until 2010 that we started working in earnest on creating fresh titles.”

... and those are the different components of the union budget! Understand, suppandi?

i’m sorry, professor, i didn’t hear anything you said! after you said pie chart, i couldn’t stop thinking about pies!

Suppandi in an advertisment for Tata Mutual Fund

ACK Media is exploring newer platforms including tablets, e-readers, smartphones and web programming.

ACK has its own app across Windows, Android and iOS platforms as well as an e-commerce site. There is a YouTube channel called Suppandi And Friends too. Further, Augmented Reality makes a regular appearance in Tinkle editorial content. ACK is also working with Nazara, a mobile gaming company, on games based on Tinkle characters.

Forever books One of the traits that has kept ACK in the hearts of millions over decades is its openness to change and ability to overcome challenges. Back in the days, when televisions entered the market and diverted young readers, Pai brought out deluxe volumes of the most popular stories, like the one on Krishna and the Ramayana, and targeted NRI children who were raised on a staple diet of Superman and Spiderman. The strategy worked, for many NRI parents bought dozens of these volumes during their annual holidays to take back and even recommended them to their friends. Team work is another quality that’s valued. A good example of this is the episode that took place back in 1994. “One morning, we discovered our office building had burned to ashes,” says Reena, adding that they were left with only two weeks to bring out the next issue of Tinkle. “We had lost 200 pages of art, three files full of scripts, all our records and data, 3000 books in our reference library and all earlier issues of ACK and Tinkle which we had bound and kept in our library.” There were no computers back then and publications depended on hard copies. Also, most of the work was done manually. Under the guidance of Pai, Reena successfully managed her team and together they did the undoable. “We later issued an appeal in Tinkle telling our readers about the fire and asking them to send us whatever spare comics they had. There was a flood of comics from every part of India and the children built back our library within 3 months.” Such was the relationship that 60 SALAAM BAHRAIN



Pai and his dynamic team shared with their young readers. There’s no doubt that over the years, this bond has been nurtured and only grown deeper. More so through the many story-telling events and workshops at malls, and school outreach programmes held across the country. While Reena has had big shoes to fill, she believes that all those years of working under Pai have stood her in good stead. “He taught me how to communicate with children, how to write for children, how to be friends with the reader. He made me feel proud of the comics we were making and taught me his vision.” “We have made not just comics on mythological stories but also written comics on the lives of Indian heroes like Salim Ali, the greatest ornithologist of our time and Dr Verghese Kurien, the man who created Amul and made India number one in milk production in the world. We have made the biggest comic on Indian war heroes called 'Param Vir Chakra'. These are our own heroes, our own role models who we need to read about and appreciate. And that, simply, is my mission today.”


Preparing for uni abroad Take a leaf from Ashishvangh and Avishya’s Book of Student Hacks and make the most of study abroad where cultures and climates can be oh so different! its own course requirements per year laid out on their websites. Be ready for a complete 180-degree switch in the learning and teaching style in Canada and the Gulf – a course that you may not have enjoyed in high school, may grow on you in University simply because of the way it is clarified by your professors or contents of the syllabus.


Ashishvangh Contractor

Ashishvangh Contractor (AC) and Avishya Uchil (AU) are two Gulf-based students making their futures through studies in Canada. With an increasing number of young people opting to go abroad (as opposed to back home or in Bahrain) for further studies, let’s hear it from these two on how to make the most of the Student Experience Abroad. AC: A 2017 survey conducted by IDP engaged international students and highlights a pronounced interest in

Canada in terms of most attractive destinations based on factors ranging from safety and affordability, to quality of education and lifestyle, to the ability to work during or after their studies. I first came to Canada from Dubai, UAE in August 2012 to pursue my undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia. I have had the chance to reflect back on and recall the lessons I learnt and understand the measures I should have taken in the first place! I suppose… you live, and you learn (and then potentially write a long article about it…)! AU: A Bahrain resident, I am an incoming second year student at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and reveling in the academic challenge of my course. Along the way, I have picked up loads of gyan on how to adjust to the Canadian student life – rules and ideas that will probably work everywhere!

Managing Course Selection Look at ‘course selection’ as if it were a jigsaw puzzle that takes you 4 years to complete. More than often, your programme or faculty website will have 61 SALAAM BAHRAIN



1. Consult with parents, career councilors and mentors when choosing courses – be mindful that the courses you chose today can lay the groundwork for your future. 2. Prior to each semester, bring pen to paper a couple days before your course selection date – Map out the courses you need currently in order to accommodate the courses you need in the future. Aim to take on about 5 courses each semester. 3. Be ready to register at the exact time that online registration opens – popular first-year classes tend to rapidly fill up due to the high volume of incoming students. 4. Opt for summer courses – classes are a lot more easy-going. Crossing off a of couple classes over the summer could certainly allow for a less dense semester. Plus, the summers in Canada are beautiful – the temperatures are quite similar to those we experience in the Gulf in December. 5. Explore electives – Electives are your chance to venture out of your program and explore additional subjects and dip your toes in unfamiliar territory. 6. Mix and mingle with upper level students to get their feedback on classes and professors you should keep an eye out for. They are your best recourse in terms of informing you of

the journey you are about to embark upon as they have been exactly where you currently are.

Managing Time As clichéd as this may sound, an old fashion, pen to paper, To-do list is the way to go. University has distractions around every corner; you will want to try a million things within a span of 24 hours. In such cases, a hard copy list of tasks that you need to accomplish in the day will help compartmentalize the scattered brain.

Hacks 1. Multitask through mindless tasks – there will come a day where you will open your underwear drawer to find that you are completely out of fresh underwear. Multitasking through your chores will offer you room to accomplish more tasks in your day. Avoid sitting around while you wait for your laundry to dry. Instead use those 30 minutes to prepare a meal and clean up your dorm room, or even go for a quick run. 2. Make it a habit to write down a todo list before you go to bed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a time bound list, but simply a list of things you need to accomplish through the day. 3. Balance it out – Don’t limit this lists to just work or study. Include time for your hobbies, socializing, going to club meetings or campus events. 4. Use the little slots – At times, you may find that you have a few gaps between classes. A common oversight by students is that they use these open slots as free/ down time, where they can sit around and socialize. I did too. However, you soon start to realize that these hours can quickly start to add up to deadlines. Use these little slots in between classes to get tasks out of the way. Plan a club meeting, complete an assignment, do some pre-reading before class. 5. Get rid of physical clutter – your surrounding will have a direct effect on

your mindset and productivity. Stay light with household, kitchen and clothing items. Donate items you do not need. Rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it on over 6 months, you probably don’t need it. 6.Choose who you spend your time with wisely – you have travelled miles away from your home and family, and have spent copious amounts of money for a quality education and experience. Ensure that your friendships hold quality too.

Managing Money Avishya Uchil

Bank account, cellphone and transit pass – set these up upon arrival! Setting up a bank account with a popular local branch will allow you to receive and transfer money from home, pay for tuition and expenses, and receive scholarships securely. Understand the major branches in your city or town that accommodate international money transfers to allow for easy international banking. Arriving sheltered from the Gulf, most of us have little to no knowledge about financials or setting up a bank account, so having a parent or grown up walk you through the process can be extremely helpful.

Hacks 1. Know the power of your student card – Just like children and seniors, students too are entitled to discounts – From barbershops to transportation to restaurants. Do not be afraid to inquire about deals. Have your student card ready for proof. Ask and you shall (sometimes) receive. 2. Get an SPC (Student Price Card) – This is an additional discount card in Canada that allows students to get discounts on a variety of dining, apparel, and leisure activities. 3. Shop generic, no-name brands – there is no point in paying $10 for 6 rolls of a fancy brand toilet paper when you can get the same amount of TP for $5. 62 SALAAM BAHRAIN



4. Take advantage of free Events around your campus or city – watch out for bulletin boards around campus as well as coffee shops and stores. 5. Buy and sell used textbooks. 6.Inquire about credit card applications at your banks – earning a credit card soon as possible can help you start building your credit score.

Managing Food During freshman year, most universities offer a Meal Plan Service that allows you to purchase food on campus through credit or meal plan dollars you can load onto the card. Though handy when you are looking for a ready meal, the meal plan has a limited amount of money and does not necessarily cover all 3 meals for the day. The average cost of a meal on campus is about $10-12. Average amount of meal plan dollars per semester is $1400. Depending on your appetite, this may or may not be a sufficient amount to feed you through the semester. A weekly grocery trip can go a long way. You are free to customize your food based your preferences and potentially opt for a healthier option. Any Canadian university student will share with you the wrath of hopping over to their campus Tim Horton’s before their 8AM class only to find a

meter long line that almost wraps around the building – what can I say they’re cheap and are a popular breakfast choice in Canada. Avishya suggests her magic bullet (a type of mini blender) was a top investment – she likes to toss up a bunch of fruits and vegetables into a blender and make smoothies that she can take and have in class. That way, she isn’t late to class and has a substantial meal to hold her through her 8AM. Lunch can be bought on campus with the help of your meal plan. Campus cafeterias often have lunch specials that switch up everyday. This way, you are guaranteed a fresh meal with fairly decent portions. Dinners can be based on how creative you want them to be. Avishya said that she likes to have free rein over dinners at home. She likes to cook meals with her roommates and even make a little extra that could serve as a meal for the following day.

Hacks 1. Be wise with your meal plan dollars – it is very easy to run out of your meal plan dollars even before you are half way through the semester if you consume them too often. Use them as on-campus emergency meal money. 2. Have breakfasts that are easy to grab and go – Cup yogurt, fruit (apples, berries or bananas), granola bars, etc. 3. Use the freezer – fresh vegetables and foods tend to go bad after a week or two. Popping them in the freezer can allow them to last almost three times longer. 4. Frozen bagged vegetables are highly underrated - In my second year, I discovered that that frozen vegetables are not only an excellent time-saver, but were also a bang for your buck! 5. Plan and prepare meals before hand – that’s one less decision you need to worry about through your jampacked day (no sandwich pun intended) 6. Do not waste food – Instead, pack it up and take it home for your next

meal. Your future self will thank you.

Managing Sleep Recommended sleep per night is 6-8 hours. Some nights, this may seem unrealistic - You may have a pressing deadline for an assignment that forces you to pull an all-nighter. AC: After having moved out of home and into a dorm, I found that dorm living was simply one big slumber party every night. Some nights, my friends and I would unwind from studies by hanging out in the student lounge and chat for hours. Before we knew it, we lost track of time and were watching the sunrise an hour and a half before an 8AM. Nights like these call for great stories (once in a while) but should aim to be limited to weekends. Naps can work wonders. If you have a fairly scattered second semester with big gaps between classes, run home, and take an hour power nap before your next class – or find a quiet corner in campus and do the same. Avishya, however mentioned that with her tightly packed schedule, and the fact that she wasn’t too close to campus, she did not have the luxury to do the same. However, she has prioritized her sleep and always manages to get in her 8 hours a night, even if it meant she would have to skip her 8 am class (Kindly do not inform her professors). She found that sleep is top on her priority list in order to be able to focus for the rest of the day.

Hacks 1. Have an automatic alarm set on your phone that rings every morning at 7AM without fail. This way, if you forget to set it the night before, your phone will automatically ring for you. 2. Ask a family member to call you. Accidently sleeping through an alarm and missing an important class or exam was one of my biggest concerns (or fears) in University. I would ask my mum or dad to keep calling me until I 63 SALAAM BAHRAIN



answered to ensure that I was awake in time for my exam. 3. 20 minute naps between classes can be extremely rejuvenating and help you focus though your classes.

Managing Clothing University dress code is fairly casual. There are no set guidelines or uniform. You are welcome to wear whatever is comfortable for you. You can show up to class in a tie and blazer, or simply track pants and flip-flops (as long as you do not steal away from the focus of the class). AC: By now, it is no news to you that Canada is notorious for its long, merciless winters. The winter season in Canada comprises of negative temperatures, snow, and rain. Arriving in Canada from the UAE, I find that you can never be prepared enough for the Canadian winters. Having lived in British Columbia (which is the warmer part of Canada) for almost 6 years now, I have found each winter to be colder than the last.

Hacks 1. Pack as little as possible when you leave for Canada from the Middle East – it is more likely that the winter clothes sold in the Middle East may not be accurately suited to Canada. Purchase winter apparel or gear in the town or city that you will be studying at because chances are, they will sell exactly what you need to keep you warm through the winter. 2. Go shopping with a local or someone who has spent a couple winters in Canada. 3. Invest in one good quality winter jacket. 4. Invest in a good quality pair of winter boots with strong grip technology – As the temperatures rise and drop through the day, the snow on the ground turns to ice, creating extremely slippery floors that can be dangerous. It is extremely important to

watch where you are stepping and walking, as slipping on ice can cause fatal injuries. 5. Bundle up on a bunch of layers instead of just one heavy layer – it is easier to add on and remove layers of clothing based on your surrounding. Classes can get warm and stuffy due to a large volume of students as well as the running heaters.

Managing Safety Moving out of the nest offers a sense of freedom. You are no longer bound to curfews. It is definitely a liberating feeling to be able to return home at your own time and to tasks at your own pace, however, it is important to remember that personal safety needs to be a top priority. It is an inevitable factor of Asian culture to nurture and shelter for as long as possible, but the reality of it all is that not everyone’s intensions are as pure as yours. As I have been in Canada for about 6 years now, I have come to realize that it is extremely easy to spot an international student in a crowd.

Hacks 1. Make sure your cellphone charge is at least over 20% before you leave the house - Memorize the phone numbers of at least 2 friends incase your phone dies or you are out of cell service. 2. Lock up your valuables – Do a once a week check to see that your passport, IDs, and technology are safe and in order. 3. Watch your drinks – I cannot emphasize how important this is! There have been far too many cases of students being victim attacked by having their drinks laced at a party or a bar. A moment that you turn away can have the most fatal consequences. 4. Familiarize yourself with campus security – Save their number on your phone. If it is late and you are alone on campus, you can call campus security and they will walk or drive you to your

dorm or apartment.

Managing Work opportunities One of the many perks of having a Canadian student visa is that, as a student, you are granted the permission to work in Canada while you study (provided your study schedule permits). Most universities offer a Work-study programme that allows students to work on campus for their faculty or campus resources. These positions are often solely created for students and are flexible based around the students’ schedules. This is a good networking opportunity, allows you to earn a little extra spending money while adding weight to your resume. In addition, you gain ‘Canadian experience’, which is a very valuable component when applying for their Canadian Permanent Residency.

Hacks 1. Choose to work ONLY if you feel like it will not hinder with your study times and classes. 2. Interact with Professors and campus resources for potential work opportunities on campus. 3. Use career centers to help you with the refining and improve the presentation of your resume. 4. Go to career fairs – though career fairs often target upper level students, it is valuable pay a visit to get a sense of what their job requirements are and the steps you need to take to tailor yourself for future opportunities. 5. Do psychology studies – this is a fun way to make $10-20 an hour and you can get to know a little bit more about yourself. Inquire at the psychology department if they are conducting experiments for research.

Managing Homesickness Even the most independent and adventurous of us will fall victim to homesickness. In the winters, there are days on end 64 SALAAM BAHRAIN



where the weather will be dull, gloomy and cold, leaving you trapped indoors. The weather can affect your mood too and can take a toll on your physical and mental energy. The no-brainer here is to simply pick up the phone and call your family. Most of us who come to Canada are here on our own, with maybe a chance of having a few family friends living nearby. AU: I have always found that speaking to my parents is an immediate moodlifter and it re-boots my productivity.

Hacks 1. Get a calling card – If you are homesick, chances are you will want to talk to your family at least once a day. The minutes can start to add up and your phone bill can sky rocket to about $100 more. In these cases, Calling Cards are cheap and can allow for ample talking time between you and your family. 2. Create a Whatsapp group chat – Time difference may get in the way of some important news you may want to let your family know about right away. Instead of having to wait hours until you can call them, just text them in a group chat. 3. Find your tribe – Join clubs and student groups that are culturally relatable and that you share similar interests with. 4. Explore your new home away from home – the main cause of homesickness is due to a sense of unfamiliarity. Moving to University is your chance to live your best life. Absorb every opportunity, try your hand at volunteer work, and get involved in organizing activities for celebrations like Eid, Diwali, Holi, etc. to help you feel closer to home. You are stepping out from under the umbrella of your family and friends to explore yourself and become your own self-sufficient individual. So, roll back your shoulders, unclench your jaw and take a deep breath in and out. With hard work and an open mind, you are on your way to get straight “eh’s”?

awards call

Volunteers award now open for expat group The prestigious Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa Award for Voluntary Work in the Kingdom of Bahrain has opened its doors for the first time to expatriate organisations also. The Award, which has been a high point of recognition for volunteer groups and individuals for eight years, carries a cash prize of US$ 5,000 and is given by The Good Word Society. The deadline for submission of applications is August 31, 2018. The Award Ceremony will take place on 17 September, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to coincide with the Arab Day for Volunteer Work. “The main award is presented in cooperation with the Arab Union for Volunteerism and recognizes pioneers of voluntary work in the Arab world,” said Hassan Mohammed Buhaza, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Good Word Society, “This year, His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa has also instituted a new award for the “Best Bahraini Voluntary Project”. In recognition of the yeoman service rendered by our expatriate brothers and sisters, this award is open to both Bahraini and nonBahraini charity organisations whose

Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa

Hassan Mohammed Buhaza

work benefits the community in the Kingdom of Bahrain.” Added Samya Hussain, Head of PR and Marketing of the Award, “A Selection Jury of distinguished leaders of the movement for volunteerism will choose the winners according to a pre-determined set of criteria. Priority shall be given to projects that are dedicated to addressing a social challenge in the fields of health, education, economic and social relevance. We are confident that this award will encourage many organizations to approach much-needed service and CSR projects with even more enthusiasm and better results.” To participate in the Award, organiza-

When Republic Day was Independence Day Cont'd from page 23

patch..The whole atmosphere was electric and surcharged with the gravity of the occasion. Our decisions were not going to be mere criticisms or protests or expressions of opinion, but a call to action which was bound to convulse the country and affect the lives of millions… We had burned our boats and could not go back, but the country ahead of us was analmost strange and uncharted land. To give a start to our campaign, and partly also to judge the temper of the country, January 26 was fixed as

tions can fill out the forms online by reaching

india i-day

Independence Day, when a pledge of independence was to be taken all over the country”.

Tricolour At midnight on New Year’ s Eve of 1929 ( January 01, 1930), President Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the tricolour flag of India upon the banks of the Ravi in Lahore. A pledge of independence was read out. The Declaration of Independence was officially promulgated on 26 January, 1930. Gandhi and other Indian leaders immediately began the 65 SALAAM BAHRAIN

Samya Hussain



planning of a massive national revolt that would encourage the common people to participate and also help involve revolutionaries into a struggle committed to non-violence. The Salt Satyagraha was initiated by Gandhi and the Congress as the first struggle for complete independence. However, freedom dawned much later on August 15th 1947. As such now August 15 is now celebrated as Independence Day, while 26 January was to be as Republic Day.


Break the taboo around U.I. Knowing your bladder health is a way to live a fuller and happier life. “Silence around bladder health has made the topic taboo. We often ignore our bladders, as long as they don’t give us any trouble. And when women do experience bladder problems, we often feel too embarrassed to get help…Taking care of your bladder is a way of loving yourself.” Dr. Tamara Bavendam, M.D., M.S., Program Director, Women's Urologic Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. If you suffer from urinary ‘leaks’, you are one in 50 million Indians who does so. Worse, 14.6% of Asian women (which is a far bigger number) have bladder problems but are silent and too ashamed to get help. Since more women than men suffer from UI as urinary incontinence is called, let’s focus on how we can control it in women. Many of these commonsense tips work for both genders unless we talk specifically about pelvic floor exercises which are femalespecific. Every woman should know how her bladder works and how to keep it healthy. Your bladder has two main jobs: - Holding urine. The kidneys make urine all the time. The bladder holds this urine until you allow it to empty. The bladder should be able to hold about 12 to 16 ounces of urine, about the same amount of liquid in a can of soda. The pelvic floor muscles and your urethra help keep urine in your bladder. - Emptying urine. When you are ready to go, the bladder wall muscles squeeze the urine from the bladder into the urethra and out of the body. Normally, your bladder signals you when it's almost full. This signal gets stronger until you find a bathroom. How

often you need to urinate depends on how quickly your kidneys make urine. Most people go every three to four hours while awake. Once asleep, most people wake up to urinate no more than one time during the night. Because we don't talk about the bladder, many people don't know that bladder problems are very common. Common problems include: 1. Needing to go eight or more times during the day, or frequency. 2.Getting up to go at night, or nocturia. 3.Having a very strong need to go and fearing you might not make it to the bathroom in time, or urgency. 4.Unwanted loss of urine from your bladder, or urinary incontinence. Urgency incontinence is when you can't get to the bathroom in time. Stress incontinence is when you leak urine because of physical stress, such as coughing, sneezing, running, jumping, or lifting. You can have both types. Many women feel ashamed of their bladder problems. Others believe bladder problems are a normal and unavoidable part of aging. Instead of getting help, women may adapt their life around their bladder by changing their routine to be closer to a bathroom, cutting out physical activities that make them leak, or avoiding social gatherings for fear of an accident. These changes may seem easier than getting help. But they have health costs. For example, cutting out physical activity may lead to weight gain and muscle weakness. Don't let bladder problems rule your life. They are not an unavoidable part of being a woman or getting older. If you are experiencing bladder problems, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to treat them. These days, U.I. can also be treated 66 SALAAM BAHRAIN




successfully with simple surgical procedures. Ask your urologist for more information and to see if you are an eligible candidate. Here are some top tips on keeping your bladder healthy: Drink enough fluids, especially water. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best fluid for bladder health. At least half of your fluid intake should be water. If you drink most of your water before 5 p.m., you need not worry about bathroom trips in the night. Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions, such as kidney failure or heart disease. Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid is healthy for you. Be conscious of what you eat. Some foods calm the bladder. These include milk, banana, blueberries, fruits such as honeydew melon, pears, raisins, watermelon, and cucumber (high water content) and vegetables such as broc-

coli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, mushrooms, peas, radishes, squash, and zucchini. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Cutting down on alcohol and caffeinated foods and drinks—such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and most sodas—may help. Quit smoking. If you smoke, take steps to quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Avoid constipation. Eating plenty of high-fiber foods, drinking enough water, and being physically active can help prevent constipation. Keep a healthy weight. Making healthy food choices and being physically act ve can help you keep a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems, as

well as constipation. It can also help you keep a healthy weight. Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can strengthen these muscles, which can help keep urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh or have a sudden urge to urinate. Use the bathroom often and when needed. Try to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours. Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make a bladder infection more likely. Take enough time to fully empty the bladder when urinating. Rushing when you urinate may not allow you to fully empty the bladder. If urine stays in

the bladder too long, it can make a bladder infection more likely. Be in a relaxed position while urinating. Relaxing the muscles around the bladder will make it easier to empty the bladder. For women, hovering over the toilet seat may make it hard to relax, so it is best to sit on the toilet seat. Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Women should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. This step is most important after a bowel movement. Wear cotton underwear and loosefitting clothes. Wearing loose, cotton clothing will allow air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight-fitting jeans and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.

Gut bacteria may impact heart health Researchers at Cleveland Clinic in the United States have designed a potential new class of drugs that may reduce cardiovascular risk by targeting a specific microbial pathway in the gut. Unlike antibiotics, which non-specifically kill gut bacteria and can lead to adverse side effects and resistance, the new class of compounds prevents microbes from making a harmful molecule linked to heart disease without killing the microbes, which are part of the gut flora and may be beneficial to overall health. In the study, which took place in mice, the new drugs reversed two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease – increased platelet responsiveness and excessive clot formation – by lowering levels of TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide), a gut bacteria byproduct that forms during digestion. The research was published in the September issue of Nature Medicine and was led by Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D. High levels of TMAO in the blood have been shown to be a powerful tool for

predicting future heart attack, stroke and death risks, according to previous research initially spearheaded by Dr. Hazen and his team, and subsequently replicated around the world. TMAO testing is now in clinical use as a result. The new series of inhibitors, called mechanism-based inhibitors, potently interrupt the gut microbial pathway that produces TMAO. Because the compounds are structurally similar to choline (called analogues), the bacterial cells are “tricked” into taking them up as nutrients. Once transported into the microbe, the inhibitors then block the production of TMAO by inactivating a specific gut microbe enzyme called cutC (choline utilization protein C). “To our knowledge, this is the most potent therapy to date for ‘drugging’ the microbiome to alter a disease process. In addition, gut bacteria are altered but not killed by this drug, and there were no observable toxic side effects,” said Dr. Hazen. “The approach developed could potentially be used to 67 SALAAM BAHRAIN



target other gut microbial pathways. We look forward to advancing this novel therapeutic strategy into humans.” In addition, the drugs were designed to not kill the bacterial cells and, therefore, likely do not contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Dr. Hazen is named as co-inventor on pending and issued patents held by the Cleveland Clinic relating to cardiovascular diagnostics and therapeutics, and has the right to receive royalty payment for inventions or discoveries related to cardiovascular diagnostics or therapeutics. Dr. Hazen also reports having been paid as a consultant for P&G, and receiving research funds from P&G. This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Office of Dietary Supplements.


Let Anuskha stand where.she.belongs

We simply cannot understand this fuss about Anuskha Sharma being in the official photo of the Indian cricket team at a party thrown by the Indian High Commissioner in London at his residence. For one thing, we all know of India’s twin obsessions with Bollywood and cricket and we are constantly trotting out our cinema celebs at intergovernmental dos. Remember how Gen. Musharraf actually

requested to meet Rani Mukherjee in 2005 during an official banquet for him in Rashtrapati Bhavan? That was after her star turn as a Pakistani rights lawyer in the hit film Veer Zaara. The receptions for heads of state and visiting royalty are stuffed with movie star photoops. So why vilify Anuskha for standing next to her captain hubby at the reception? She was an official guest and if

BCCI wanted Vice-Captain Ajinkya Rahane to stand in the front row instead of the back, they could have arranged the positions accordingly. According to the BCCI clarification, all the players’ families wereinvited and it was up to them whether they came or not. Anushka, however, was a special guest in her own capacity. This practice of trolling women for their husbands’ success and failure has got to stop.

“Don’t cheat fans” says John Over the years, the metrics of measuring a film’s success have changed. From evaluating the success of a film by the number of days it ran in theatres, to the number of crores it raked in at the box office, filmmakers have now begun claiming their ventures as successes after the overall box office collections cross Rs. 100 crores. However, John Abraham, who is currently gearing up for his next release Satyameva Jayate, feels that claiming a film is a success if it makes Rs. 100 cr in its first three days is totally wrong. If that wasn’t all, the actor also feels that in such cases, the filmmakers have achieved nothing except cheating the audience. “I think the concept of 50 days – 75 days is all over – we need to get that cinema culture back and we need to get people to go and watch movies. And the sad part is the concept of Rs. 100 crores in the first three days of a film’s release is the biggest misconception. With these numbers being run telling people that such bad films do Rs 100 cr because they release either in a PVR Juhu or a PVR Saket, where the ticket prices are sometimes Rs. 5000 is simply wrong,” the actor fumed. 68 SALAAM BAHRAIN



How Ghoton changed special child Mahabrata Basu A jewel of a Bengali children’s film Rainbow Jelly was recently screened at the Al Nakhool Tent as part of the Bahrain Summer Festival. It was a magical tale with all the essential fairy-tale composites: a tyrant uncle instead of a wicked stepmother, an autistic protagonist who has to work 24 x7 much like Cinderella and of course, a fairy godmother in Pori Pishi. Instead of a search for an elusive magic slipper, we have Ghoton and his uncle trying to find a password to get a robot working. And then, the replacement prince charming is the girl next door, whom Ghoton has a crush on. What makes the film unique is that director Soukarya Ghosal chose to work with a real-life special needs hero, 13-year old Mahabrata Basu to make the movie. Basu’s 100-watt smile won Ghosal over, who says, “In the film, everyone illtreats Ghoton. I asked myself, ‘Why won’t a boy of today fight back?’ I wanted to see the world through the eyes of a special child.” Attacked by septicaemia after birth, Basu developed a neurological problem, with speech issues and low-reflex disorders. “His mother asked, ‘How many dialogues?’ I said, ‘Barring three-four scenes, Mahabrata is the entire film.’ She said, ‘Drop Mahabrata from the project. He doesn’t even know the concept of memorising, has never given exams or mugged up.’ But I insisted. Through constant sruti (narration), his mother fed him the dialogues. His sense of absorption is strong. It took him one month to learn.” But they had to redo since

Basu was expressionless. “Their minds work at a faster pace than ours, and body is not in sync,” says Ghosal. Intense workshops over three months, eight hours a day, five days a week, preceded the 16-day shoot. “I employed the smiley method, drew emojis on sheets, raised them and shouted ‘angry, sad, happy’ during the shoot. It worked - we did a three-month tireless workshop with him and shot the movie in 16 days flat.” Ghosal had to fight many reality battles to cast Mahabrata as his lead. “I took a loan to make this movie, since the producers wanted to cast someone else for the child’s role. I was adamant on retaining Mahabrata,” he states. In the end, Basu is an example of cinema’s transformational possibilities. All that mugging up of the dialogues helped develop his memory and in clearing the Class VII entrance test at Patha Bhavan. Before this, he was in a school with 15 other specialneeds children, and no examinations. A quintessential meaningless Bengali daaknaam (nickname), Ghoton is not an oghoton (disaster) with a “marginal IQ”, but a ghotona (phenomenon), making things happen. “Mahabrata taught me that our incompetences are our biggest enemies, we can’t let them win,” says Ghosal, “There’s a ‘child self’ in all of us. If the film reaches and touches everyone’s ‘child self’, then it’s a success.” Special kudos to Bahrain-based Nivedita Dhadpale for arranging to introduce the magic of Rainbow Jelly to us all here. 69 SALAAM BAHRAIN



Shruti Haasan calls out dad Kamal

Kamal Haasan who turned politician and launched a party recently said that he doesn’t believe in caste and religion. He also said that he brought up his daughters without mentioning caste ever. “I refused to fill in the caste & religion column in both my daughters’ school admission certificate,” he tweeted. What Kamal forgot is that in this age of social media, all past mistakes or deeds would easily surface. Soon after Kamal boasted that his daughters don’t believe in caste, trollers began posting Shruti Haasan’s old video interview. In 2014, Shruti told a journalist who is an Iyengar: “It is because you’re Iyengar and I am Iyengar and we are both creative. And there’s a very high chance that nobody will marry either of us.” People posting the video felt that Kamal had been exaggerating his nocaste stand. But hey, after all Shruti is now an adult and could have changed her mind about such matters?

Priyanka’s late feminist move Okay – we know this is the second PeeCee story, but its food for thought. When global star Priyanka Chopra turned 36 this July, the Quantico star introduced a special set of benefits for the female employees at her production house Purple Pebble Pictures. The superstar has introduced a clutch of changes including flexible working hours for mothers, maternity leave benefits, a creche arrangement and monetary assistance for post-pregnancy care, to encourage a gender-neutral working environment. Confirming the news, Priyanka's mother and company director, Madhu Chopra said, “We had to keep the interests of the 80 per cent female staff who is married in mind. The idea was simply about why should women's life choices become professional hurdles? The policy of flexible timings for mothers was set in place by Priyanka, but fine-tuned by senior members of our company.” That’s admirable indeed. But why did Priyanka wait till her birthday to institute these changes? Surely they should have been part of the original arrangements? 70 SALAAM BAHRAIN



celeb chakker

Quote of the Month “I feel that from the time we had Smriti Irani portraying the bahu in Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi to Pavitra Rishta to now, TV continues to portray the bahu in the same way. Nothing has changed in the last two decades, because the audience enjoys such saas-bahu dramas. Largely, the TV audience wants to watch kitchen politics and therefore, the makers are creating the same kind of shows. ” Ankhita Lokhande made it to the top of the saas-bahu charts as the quiet and demure Archana of Balaji Productions’ Pavitra Rishta. After six years, she took a break from TV, sadly broke up with live-in boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput and quietly dipped below the radar. She is now playing a meaty character part in Kangana-starrer Manikarnika- The Queen of Jhansi to build her body of cinematic work. Speaking about her break-up with Sushant that held fans in thrall, she firmly said, “I have decided not to talk about it even now. (However) I am okay being friends with an ex. You don’t become enemies. Everybody has their own journey and they leave when the time is over. Maybe, they are only meant to be with you for that particular time. When you start living in with a person, over a period of time, you could start losing interest. I am very giving and I love in such a way that I completely change myself and give full attention to the person. But now, I feel it is important to love yourself before you love anyone else. If you are not happy from within, you won’t be able to keep the other person happy. Also, when I am in love, I know that I can make the other person happy, but I am not sure if the other person is fully committed to that. After I started working on Manikarnika, I realised that I love the camera and acting. I feel that the real happiness lies in my work. I enjoy acting.”

Manoj Tiwari’s comeback BJP’s Delhi honcho Manoj Tiwari rose to fame as India’s bestknown Bhojpuri cinema hero. After a controversial and popular stint in Bigg Boss, the actor-singer found success as a highlyregarded BJP politician. Now he is planning a smashing comeback with an all-new Bhojpuri family movie Yadav Paan Bhandaar. The movie was shot long ago but due to the actor-politician’s crammed schedules, post-production work was completed only recently. 71 SALAAM BAHRAIN



Fans get Afro-Odia hit from Nigerian singer Samuel Adepoju

Growing up in a household that watched Bollywood films regularly, Nigerian singer Samuel Adepoju was already in love with India when he came here on a medical emergency in 2010. Later, as an engineering student in Jaipur, his friends introduced him to regional songs too. After becoming a sensation at a college fest where he sang the Bhojpuri hit song ‘Lollipop Lagelu’, he became a YouTube star with his Odia cover song ‘Rangabati’. It garnered over 1.2 million views and now he has returned the adulation of his fans in Orissa with a new cover number ‘Maya re Baya’. Trending with 179, 000 hits, Samuel’s unique version of Indian regional songs delivered with an earthy Afro tweak is really moving music lovers. Samuel records his songs in his home studio with a singlemic setup. The 27-year-old, who runs a small transport business back home, says he doesn’t understand most part of the lyrics of songs he does, but that hardly stops him from enjoying it. “I write down the lyrics on a paper in English and use them while recording. By the time the audio is done, I get comfortable with it,” he says. His music has drawn interest among people back in Lagos too. Even the Nigerian press has noticed his popularity. The Nigerian Watch newspaper ran a story with a headline: “Nigerian Samuel Adepoju enters fame status in India after singing a Hindi song”. He now plans to do more regional covers and also do African numbers. A Punjabi and Tamil cover is in the pipeline. “I can probably tell you what I am going to work on next week. Aage ka kisko pata hai,” he says.

Nora sizzles atop ladder Moroccan-Canadian dancer Nora Fatehi has been making headlines since the past few days because of her sizzling appearance in the recreated version of Sushmita Sen’s hit number, 'Dilbar'. The Satyameva Jayate song went on to become the fastest Bollywood song to reach 20 million views in under 24 hours and also trended #1 on Twitter 24 hours after its release. It has not only made her the talk of the town but also earned her several offers from producers. Nora recently bagged a role in Salman Khan's Bharat and two dance numbers in Saif Ali Khan's Bazaar and Rajkummar Rao-Shraddha Kapoor starrer Stree. Owing to the success of her recent stints, Nora has now decided to hike her fee. Well, 'If you are good at something, never do it for free!' and Nora knows it too well. 72 SALAAM BAHRAIN



celeb chakker

Akshay-Twinkle swipe test Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna have a razor-sharp sense of humour, and trolls can never get the better of them. The star husbandwife also take swipes at each other although, if you follow their Twitter conversations, Twinkle’s comments about Akshay seem carefully designed to “look” as if she is making fun of him while she is actually giving him a compliment. For instance, Twinkle recently tweeted that hubby Akshay looks at food with more love, than he looks at her. Reading between the lines, she’s saying “Wah, my husband has such iron discipline, he is so strict about his diet.” Now it's Akshay's turn, and it seems like the actor has no such soft-touch intentions. In a recent interview, Akshay was asked about Twinkle's career shift from acting and writing. He quipped, “Yes, looking at the 14 films what she has done, writing has been her best decision.” Yaani ke, “Wow was she a B.A.D. actress.” Which was kinda true actually – but a fond husband does not put that out in a public interview, what say?

Raghu’s Big Riff with music Did you know that famous contemporary Indian music star Raghu Dixit was a trained Bharata Natyam dancer who almost made it to the professional dance stage? He is also a microbiologist and had to take up employment in a pharma company when his father died. It was a friend’s dare that he could not play the guitar which took Raghu to his musical destiny. Within two months Raghu learnt to play the guitar and the music just flowed on after that. The Raghu Dixit Project which sets ancient Kannada poetry to modern music is his most successful work. He has worked with Vishaal-Dadlani on many albums and is now tentatively foraying into film scores. Who knows? Would Raghu the Dancer have been a film choreographer if fate hadn’t intervened? 73 SALAAM BAHRAIN



editor's view

August is a month when patriotism runs high. The map of the world was redrawn after World War II and so many colonised countries found freedom and even new birth. Others found their voices in a new nationalism that asserted their individuality, reshaping regional and world politics. In the Indian sub-continent, the birth-pangs of the newly freed India and the newborn Pakistan led to terrible ravages and violence and the Partition was for long the largest migration of humans in human history. Today, we celebrate our freedom and independence, our growing prosperity and progress and the pain and hurt of those days are buried, especially since the generation that bore the brunt of the suffering is no longer directly engaged in shaping the nation. But the Partition too brought forth heroes and heroines who worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the displaced masses. One such heroine was Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya the socialist activist who not only helped the victims of Partition to come to terms with their condition and look ahead to a new life but also wrested space for the city of Faridabad from the government and helped build it exclusively for resettling refugees. Such a narrative of selflessness would be impossible to script in these modern times when land-grabbing and property scams are the order of the day. Bahrain too saw a swelling of numbers from the sub-continent after 1947, when displaced families from both sides of the border came to join relatives here. The resilience and the hard work put in by these refugee migrants turned the tide for them and made them an integral part of the Kingdom’s growth and burnished the reputation of their community in the eyes of the leaders of Bahrain. Today, in a world where refugees and displaced persons are seen as a waste of national resources and where supporting migrants with liberal policies is the kiss of death for politicians and political parties, we would do well to remember that so many of the respected families and individuals were refugees when they first stepped onto Bahrain’s shores. The warmth with which Bahrain welcomed them and the opportunities that they saw to fulfil their dreams of a rich and productive life are badges of honour that both Bahrain and the Indian subcontinent can wear with pride. We – the migrant community from the subcontinent - remain living proof that a social climate of tolerance, harmony and broad-mindedness nurtures productivity and prosperity at all levels. A salute then, to the freedom which came at midnight and to the generosity of Bahrain and the significant role it played as a haven for all who sought safety in the aftermath.





Congratulations on the occasion of the Indian Independence Day

Indian Curriculum : CBSE From KG to Class 12

British Curriculum: From KG to A level

Bahraini Curriculum: From Grade 1 to Grade 12

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