Issuu on Google+

talk Volume 1 | Issue 37 | April 25, 2013 | Rs 10

magazine

the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

AYYOTOONS Chain kahan re? The gold plunge 5 BALLOT BOX Why is Congress choosing sure-to-lose candidates? 7 FOSTER CARE Dream-come-true for homeless children 10 MUSIC Old and new at the Ramanavami concerts in Chamarajpet 23 The Congress eased SM Krishna out of the foreign ministry, dangling a prize role for him in Karnataka. At 81, he still wants the chief ministership, but the party is quietly putting an end to his political career, reports BASU MEGALKERI 12-14

GAME OVER


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

2

mail

Maria Laveena’s stories on breast cancer provide a wealth of info I read with great interest the articles on breast cancer featured in your latest issue (No 1 In Breast Cancer, Issue 36). They are well articulated, with authentic and authoritative inputs from experts. What is even more appealing is that the reporter has taken a very positive approach to the issue, which helps readers to be hopeful.

the body to react with cancerous growths. Along with the prescribed treatment, patients need to relax, practise yoga and follow a strict diet.

These days, when patients hear the word ‘cancer,’ shock and despair seem to engulf them. What is needed is courage and will power to fight it. Louise Hay, author of the book You Can Heal Your Life and a cancer patient who fought the disease successfully, says more than anything else, it is the stress and extreme anxieties people go through in life that cause

Numbers are shocking Your cover story on cancer was brilliant. The numbers were nothing short of shocking, and your information on the various treatment options is worth preserving. Let me also congratulate you on presenting the story well, starting with the cover page.

Talk reporters come up with fresh ideas every time. The magazine needs to be marketed and publicised better. Melwyn Pinto SJ by email

Rekha Harsha by email

team talk EDITORIAL

EXECUTIVE TEAM

SR Ramakrishna Editor Sridhar K Chari Consulting Editor Prashanth GN Senior Editor Sajai Jose Chief Copy Editor Savie Karnel Principal Correspondent Basu Megalkeri Principal Correspondent Prachi Sibal Senior Features Writer Sandra Fernandes and Maria Laveena Reporters and Copy Editors Anand Kumar K Chief of Design Shridhar G Kulkarni Graphic Designer Ramesh Hunsur Senior Photographer Vivek Arun Graphics Artist

Sumith Kombra Founder, CEO and Publisher Abhay Sebastian Asst Manager - Sales Mithun Sudhakar Asst Manager - Sales Kishore Kumar N Head - Circulation Vinayadathan KV Area Manager - Trade Yadhu Kalyani Sr Executive Corporate Sales Lokesh KN Sr Executive Subscriptions Prabhavathi Executive Circulation Sowmya Kombra Asst Process Manager

Printed and published by Sumith Kombra on behalf of Shakthi Media Ventures India Pvt Ltd FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore -560025 and printed at Lavanya Mudranalaya, Chamarajpet, Bangalore-560018. Editor: SR Ramakrishna. Editorial Office: FF70, Gold Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore 560025 Email: info@talkmag.in Phone: 08040926658. © All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.

Not a festive dish One of the recipes in your Ugadi special, Sukkinunde, is usually made when someone dies, and never for festivals. Please take note. Tarini Nagaraj by email

‘Looter ID’ is a fun term In last week’s Ayyotoons (Gifted Voters, Issue 36), the coinage ‘looter ID’ as a counter to ‘voter ID’ is witty. Good show! Nataraj Huliyar Rajarajeshwari Nagar

Write to letters@talkmag.in


market watch

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in RAMESH HUNSUR

IN DEMAND Jewellers in the city claim they are getting up to 40 per cent more customers

A golden trap? The sudden crash in prices has sent Bangaloreans scampering to jewellers to stock up in anticipation of a future rise. But some experts believe gold prices will slide further before stabilising at a much lower rate PRASHANTH GN prashanth.gn@talkmag.in

ast July, Karthik Rangappa, an investment consultant of the city’s Quantlab consultancy, wrote in the very first Talk edition, “What we have been witnessing since 2002 is a frenzy of gold buying reminiscent of the 1980’s gold rush. But market statistics show that gold prices have started to ease. While this does not mean that gold prices will come crashing down immediately, it’s reasonable to believe that the end of this extraordinary bull run is just around the corner.” Earlier this week, that “extraordinary bull run” of gold did come to an end, as prices crashed by a startling 9-10 per cent, the

L

steepest one-day plunge in history Portugal, Spain and Italy too have since the gold crash of 1985. A been advised by the European gram of gold priced at around Rs Union to sell part of gold reserves 2,950 a week ago fell to around Rs to shore up finances, triggering 2,410. But rather than serve as a speculation about prices dropping stark warning, the crash has been still further. treated like the pop of a starting Ankita Debora, research anagun in a race. lyst at Mumbai’s Emkay Global As we got to press, Bangalore financial consultancy, says, “Gold and the rest of India are witness- prices saw about a decade of bull ing an unprecedented frenzy of run—from 2001 to September gold buying as customers rush to 2011—when prices rose to an alltake advantage of the lower prices. time high of Rs one lakh-plus per Coming right in the ounce. The current middle of the wedfall happened after It was the ding season, it Cyprus sold its gold. seems as if the price steepest one- They came under crash was timed for pressure from the day plunge local gold conEuropean Union, since 1985 sumers. Not surwhich asked them to prisingly, jewellers sell gold reserves to across the city are reporting as meet their financial obligations. much as three times the normal According to World Gold Council’s sales in the first half of the week. latest data, Cyprus holds only 13.9 tonnes of gold and is expected to sell around 10 tonnes. But other When nations sell The record fall in gold prices is struggling countries such as said to have been caused by a dis- Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and tress sale by economically troubled Spain may also sell gold. Together, Cyprus, the sudden influx of the these countries hold about 3,230 metal into the international mar- tonnes of gold, and if even a fracket bringing prices down. Also, the tion of it enters the market, prices US Federal Bank’s decision to will drop further.” But customers in Bangalore slowdown buying government bonds has impacted gold prices. seem unaware of any such possiOther European countries in a bility, and are making a beeline for similar situation, like Greece, jewellery shops hoping to stock up

3

editor talk On our cover, we feature SM Krishna, a politician whose career spans 51 years, and who was till recently India’s foreign minister. Krishna hails from a district not very far from Bangalore, and has risen consistently from MLA to union minister of state to chief minister to governor to foreign minister. Bangalore-centric political analysts compare Krishna with HD Deve Gowda, a leader from the same region and a fellow-Vokkaliga, and end up praising his taste and sophistication. Texas-educated Krishna is urbane and stylish, if you like him, and a city slicker if you don’t. Similarly, for his admirers, Deve Gowda is a leader blessed with native wisdom, but his critics would describe him as cunning and anti-city. Basu Megalkeri, who has reported on politics over the decades, met several Congress leaders and wrote our lead. When Krishna arrived in Bangalore, speculation was rife that he would lead the Congress campaign, and stop the march of Deve Gowda in southern Karnataka. But it looks like the Congress is unwilling to let him spearhead the battle. You will find some interesting insights into the life and times of one of Karnataka’s most famous politicians here. On Wednesday, as we were preparing to release our pages, news broke about the bomb blast in Malleswaram. Vasanthi Hariprakash, a long-time resident of the old Bangalore neighbourhood, filed a quick personal reaction to the terror attack. PB Sreenivos (that’s how he used to spell his name) died earlier this week. If you had to compare him to a singer in the North, you might think of Mukesh. For lovers of south Indian cinema, Sreenivos was the voice behind hundreds of exquisite melodies. This edition features a tribute to him. Also read Savie Karnel’s touching report on how some families are throwing open their doors to rescued street children. SR Ramakrishna ram@talkmag.in


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

Gold stats  Annual gold sales in Karnataka:

Rs 14,000 crore/50 tonnes  Annual gold sales in Bangalore:

Rs 10,000 crore and 30 tonnes  Annual gold sales in India:

Rs 1,50,000 crore/450 tonnes on gold in the hope that price will swing back. DV Ramesh, CEO of Davanam Jewellers and Secretary of the Karnataka Jewellers Association, told Talk that jewellers in the city have seen a 40 per cent rise in customers from Monday, in tune with the national trend. A representative of well-known jeweller C Krishniah Chetty & Sons on Commercial Street, confirms this: “We have seen an almost 30 per cent rise in customers after the price dropped. People are drawn by the lower prices and a good number are buying for marriages and festivals.” Chemmanur Jewellers at JC Road too has seen a rise in number of customers, and a store representative said they expected the numbers to grow in the coming days.

But others are not so optimistic. Srikala Bhashyam, analyst with financial consultancy RS Consultants, told Talk: Emkay’s Ankita Debora expects gold prices “People buy gold for reasons of custom and to fall some more. When asked about the for investment. If it’s the former, they will slight rise in prices after the fall, she says it buy it at any price. If it’s investment that is a natural market correction, after which they have in mind—usually for a five to 10 prices are expected to slip again, to as year period—then too they will not be much 15 per cent of pre-crash prices. In affected by the price drop as they can other words, she expects another steep fall afford to wait for it to rise again. In any before prices finally stabilise at a much case, a family does not invest more than 10 lower rate. Earlier this week, Swaminathan S per cent of its savings on gold, so the risk Aiyar, who writes the popular attached to gold investment is low.” Amit Shah of the Bangalore Stock ‘Swaminomics’ column in The Times of Exchange agrees, saying that unlike long- India, said the boom in gold prices over the term investors, it is short-term specula- last decade was over, and that it was time to “sell gold, not buy it.” tors—traders who buy and Aiyar firmly believes gold sell gold every day— who Karthik expects prices are likely to fall furhave lost heavily in the last prices to recover ther, and refers to trendfew days. “It is very difficult setting global investors to predict whether prices briefly before like George Soros getting will plunge more, because sliding again rid of their gold and goldthat depends on the global linked investments well situation. Typically what goes down, comes up and over a few weeks, ahead of the crash. State Bank of India, India’s largest gold prices may go up again,” he said. Jewellers Association’s Ramesh points out lender, which has a gold loan portfolio of that the price has already gone up margin- Rs 35,000 crore, is already preparing for a ally. He expects it to stabilise over a period. further fall in prices. Chairman Pratip

T

A bomb?

In Malleswaram? This is the spot for mallige hoovu and masala dose, not for a terror attack, writes Vasanthi Hariprakash

ime: 10.50 am. A close friend’s number beeped on my mobile phone. “Hey, what’s up?” I said into the phone, preparing for a leisurely banter. “Listen, quick call. Just to say don’t go to your favourite place today. There has been a blast in Malleswaram. I am at work, but wifey just called to say she heard it, it was so loud.”

RAMESH HUNSUR

BUSTLING Malleswaram is famed for its colourful shopping areas

Blast? In Malleswaram? Should I first hold back the spouse who would step out any moment to get to his office in Malleswaram’s neighbourhood of Rajajinagar? Or should I switch on the TV first to see if it’s at all true?

4

Chaudhuri told the media even a fall of up to 20 per cent will not hurt lenders, but beyond that it will. As a precautionary measure, the bank is planning to rein in loans given against gold, or reduce the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which stands at 70 per cent currently. Speaking to Talk after the crash, Karthik Rangappa reiterates his view, and says he expects gold prices to fall some more. “I see a further 8-10 per cent fall in gold and maybe up to 15 per cent in silver. Interestingly, this drop is not restricted to precious metals alone but the entire commodity markets which seem to be in a bearish zone, with the price of crude oil also dipping by around 7-8 per cent.” In the near future, he expects gold to see a “dead cat bounce” (what market watchers call a brief recovery amidst a general decline in prices) before prices begin to slide again. So are sellers and speculators suppressing information about a further fall in prices? He said, “With a natural tendency of Indians to buy gold at every possible rate, I don’t think the public needs the sellers to cajole or prompt them when it comes to buying gold.”

Switched off. Only to get another message half an hour later from the same friend again. “Hey V, it is a bomb blast. Check the channels now.” And so it was. Headlines and supers scrolled madly across the screen. “IED device... Indian Mujahideen could be involved… 2 kg of explosives used… Bangalore blast a terror attack, confirms Karnataka Home Minister.” Different channels, same old theories.

It was time to Facebook. The ultimate place for conspiracy theories and hearsay. “Second blast at Esteem Mall, Hebbal. True?” wondered a post. That sent Thankfully, one can multitask. me to the TV remote yet again. So, the husband and I quickly got to Nope, that was a rumour, the police the remote. Oh yes, it was that chief clarified... What a day, Devre! familiar locality on national Only an afternoon siesta would television. Near the BJP office. An bring back sanity, I realised. And in Omni car was on fire. So was a that peaceful nap, I was back in Honda Activa parked next to it. Cops were helping firemen with the that favouritest area of mine. Malleswaram. Amidst the large hose. Commotion. And former trees in my grandma’s 19th Cross colleague and friend Maya garden, where we used to hang out Sharma’s voice on the phone, as kids whenever we came to telling the anchor in the NDTV Bangalore for the summer holidays. studio that the police suspected a And on that fragrant road some ‘cylinder blast’. genius named rightly after the “Oh, just a cylinder blast, da. Thank Sampige flower, and not after a God, not some terror work,” texted neta. And that mother of all the friend who had called to warn markets on 8th Cross, where you me. could shop for the freshest of veggies and soppu, pick up bindi As is my wont, I flipped channels. packets and bangles at the ‘fancy For the more local news to store’, buy clothes for a family Kannada stations, and for the big member and top it up with picture to the national ones.

unparalleled vade-sambar at Janata Hotel. If it was Dhanur maasa (or Maargazhi as they call it in Tamil), you could get up nice and early to go to the 11th Cross Krishna temple, in time for the sinful, gheeladen sakkre pongal. Or if you are the musical type, you could head for the classical concerts at Ananya or good old Rama Mandira. Such a beautiful reverie it was, but I woke up disturbed. Yes, for us Bangaloreans, Malleswaram is The Spot for mallige hoovu, masala dose and the colourful market on 8th Cross. Hardly the location for a terror attack. We have no qualms when we say this old-world locality, like a Basavangudi or Chamarajpet, is an extra-special child of this city. To strike at Malleswaram is to strike at the very core of whatever true blue Bangalore stands for. And therefore, is it too much to ask that those who shook this core are exposed soon? We owe it to the by-two coffee we have grown up drinking. (The author is an independent journalist, radio anchor and former special correspondent for NDTV. She has lived in and travelled through towns in 16 Indian states, and yet loves Bangalore to a fault. She can be reached at vasantihari@gmail.com)


fun lines

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

5


ormer prime minister HD Deve Gowda's family believes in God, black magic, astrology, homas, and even street soothsaying. His son HD Kumaraswamy married a second time— the bride being movie star Radhika— purportedly because an astrologer told him it would help him become prime minister one day.

Ritual and magic rule F Deve Gowda’s family What prompted the former prime minister's son Revanna to rush to temples in Kollur and Sringeri this week?

Some people who know the family's fear of the occult spread the rumour that Deve Gowda's elder son HD Revanna would contest from Shravanabelagola, and not Holenarsipura, his regular constituency. The rumour attributed this to an astrologer predicting that Revanna would be vanquished if a woman took him on. A woman from the politically active family of Puttaswamy Gowda is contesting from Holenarsipura. The rumour circulated widely, and when Revanna heard about it, he called a press meet and declared he wasn't running away from Holenarsipura. And then, to protect himself from any adverse planetary effects, he rushed with his family to temples in Kollur and Sringeri. Who said politicians are not God-fearing?

VOODOO PEOPLE Deve Gowda and sons Kumarswamy and Revanna are famously in thrall of the occult

MADHUSUDHAN SR

Rebel star Ambarish’s flagging popularity Thirty years ago, Ambarish played an angry rebel in many of his films, and gained a big following. Now, he is a rebel of another sort. He is fighting his own party men, and losing friends by the day. In 2008, Ambarish decided to contest the assembly elections from Srirangapatna and scuttled the chances of Congress worker Ravindra Srikantaiah. Ambarish lost the election. Now, he has decided to contest from Mandya and ruined the chances of leader Atmananda.

BASU MEGALKERI

supporter was not given a ticket. The high command gave in to his threats. Long-time party workers like Ravindra and Atmananda are in no mood to work for him. Ambarish has not cared to visit the party's local offices, and is just throwing his weight around because of his connections in Bangalore and Delhi.

Ambarish enjoys some popularity because of his glory days in the movies. But he has done precious little in politics. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Mandya, and Ambarish has even got a ticket for his man, Lingaraju, had even become union to contest from Srirangapatna, after getting minister, but Ravindra to return the ticket has nothing to he had already secured. Ambarish told the Congress show for high command he would not all that. contest from Mandya if his Ambarish

Revanasiddaiah (left) with Siddaramaiah

Retired top cop’s flip-flop Retired director-general of police Revanasiddaiah has just joined the Congress in Mysore in the presence of Congress leader Siddaramaiah, his one-time enemy No 1. Revanasiddaiah had served as Bangalore city police commissioner during JH Patel's chief ministership. A Lingayat and a devout follower of the Suttur pontiff, he plunged into politics and contested the 2004 assembly elections from the Lingayat-dominated Chamundeshwari constituency. Siddaramaiah, in the JD(S) then, was his opponent. Later, Revanasiddaiah exited the Congress and joined the BJP. In 2008 he contested as a BJP

Why Rakshita quit the BSR Congress Retired glam doll Rakshita, who had joined the BSR Congress, has just ditched the party and joined the JD(S). She was BSR Congress Mahila Morcha President, and was the official candidate from Chamarajanagar constituency. She had promised she would file her nomination papers on Monday. That was not to be. Last week, Talk had reported an exodus from the BSR Congress. Many had joined the party thinking it was flush with mining money, given that Sriramlu is jailed mining lord Janardhana Reddy's right hand man. Under the scrutiny of several agencies, Sriramulu has not been able to dish out any largesse, prompting many to leave the party. Rakshita is the latest. When Talk contacted Rakshita to find out why she quit the BSR Congress, she said: "Well, you have written about me in the past. I'm a little busy now, why don't you call me after two hours?" Her phone remained switched off when Talk called her later. Rakshita had received a lot of encouragement from Sriramulu and she had also campaigned for the party. But a party insider said she had quit because Sriramulu did not meet her demands for money.

candidate from Mysore's Varuna constituency, where the Suttur pontiff's word can sway votes. Siddaramaiah again was his opponent, but this time he was contesting on a Congress ticket, having quit the JD(S).

"She called on Saturday and said she wanted Rs 2 crore by Sunday if she had to file her nominations on Monday. Sriramulu said he was in no position to pay her. She promptly quit the party," he told Talk.

Revanasiddaiah contested twice against Siddaramaiah, and lost both times. He has now returned to the Congress and accepted as his leader the very man who defeated him twice. He took Siddaramaiah along to seek the blessings of the Suttur pontiff. That could garner Lingayat votes and stall KJP candidate Kapu Siddalingaswamy's chances. What is the retired DGP gaining from all this?

So has she got any money from the JD(S)? No way! Deve Gowda is not the sort, party insiders say, to shell out money for the likes of Rakshita.

Rakshita


election diary

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

7

RAMESH HUNSUR

UNITED WE FALL The Congress leadership is split over ticket distribution, and is choosing candidates with no chance of winning

Will the Congress defeat itself? The party on the upswing is taking utterly foolish, suicidal decisions

f you want to know how to complicate an easy thing, ask the Congress high command in Delhi. Karnataka voters were strongly in favour of the Congress just a month ago. The urban local body election results also showed the party on the upswing. Sensing victory, all kinds of people started lobbying for Congress tickets, and that's when the high command started making one mistake after another. The Congress has been out of power for seven years. Even though it lost in 2004, it retained power in alliance with the JD(S) till January 2006. HD Deve Gowda, the JD(S)

I DP Satish Senior Editor with CNN-IBN. He is passionate about everything

patriarch, remote-controlled the government and wrung the life out of the Congress. It is again a critical time for the Congress. If it loses the third straight election in Karnataka, it will be the end of the grand old party in a state that was once its stronghold.

No support for BJP It is true that people across the state are fed up with BJP rule. Yeddyurappa's angry exit from the party to launch his own KJP, and the exodus of its MLAs, has considerably weakened the ruling party. Yeddyurappa's exit has made this election much easier for the Congress. Deve Gowda's family-centric JD(S) is also facing internal rebellion in some districts, a situation most helpful for the Congress. So what is the problem? The Congress itself! As Prof Yogendra Yadav, the eminent

psephologist says, the party is very when an angry public prevented him good at turning certain victory into from filing his nomination papers. certain defeat. Many Karnataka lead- One of his brothers was murdered ers with bloated egos and another faced a Bangalore votes rape charge when and their bosses in Delhi with no clue Seats in BBMP limits: 28 Ibrahim was a central Outskirts: 8 about ground realiminister in 1997. Yet, (Total seats in Karnataka 224) ties are working the Congress has overtime to complicate an easy elec- given him a ticket from Bhadravati. tion. This when the sitting Congress MLA Thanks to illogical, arrogant dis- BK Sangameshwar, a Lingayat leader, tribution of tickets, the state's two is popular. He is now contesting as a largest castes, the Lingayats and rebel and the Lingayat stronghold of Vokkaligas, are angry with the party. central Karnataka may vote against the Congress to teach Ibrahim another lesson. Tickets for the mafia Chief ministerial aspirant In many constituencies, the Congress has announced tickets for real estate Siddaramaiah has pressured the dons and relatives of central leaders. Congress into giving Ibrahim a ticket. One needs no political acumen to There are others. AICC general secrepredict that the Congress is going to tary BK Hariprasad has fielded his brother BK Shivaram, a trigger-happy lose most of these seats. Former civil aviation minister former DCP, from Malleswaram. It is CM Ibrahim is hated in his home- no secret that two others contesting town of Bhadravati in Shimoga dis- from Bangalore, Manjula Naidu and trict. He fled from the place in 1983 Muniratna, are also his favourites.


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

FREE RIDE Congress has given tickets to the likes of Anil Lad and CM Ibrahim, ignoring popular sentiment. G Parameshwar has wrangled tickets for his equally unpopular supporters

They have no reputation for service either. say Lad bribed his way to the list. KPCC president Dr G Parameshwar faces the charge of giving tickets to his The Bellary rebellion chamchas with an eye on the chief ministeThe Congress decimated the Reddys in their stronghold of Bellary in the urban rial chair. SM Krishna, a tall Vokkaliga leader acceptable across local body polls. Former Karnataka, has been sideminister and Congress There is only an lined. This has sent a strongman M Diwakara anti-BJP wave, wrong message to voters Babu worked hard to in the old Mysore region, improve the party's forand no proand will benefit the JD(S) tunes here. But the Congress wave in a big way. Congress ticket has gone Film star Ambarish is to a one-time friend of the Reddys, mining baron Anil Lad. This not a force in Mandya but the Congress has has led to a revolt in Bellary and neigh- given tickets to him and his supporters, bouring districts. Congress workers openly ignoring SM Krishna's recommendations.

Insiders say the JD(S) will exploit the situation and the Congress under Ambarish's leadership will bite the dust. A 'cleansed' BJP is doing everything possible to win at least 60 of the 224 seats. It is hoping the JD(S) will win at least 40, so that the two parties can come together to form a coalition government and keep the Congress out. The half-way mark, to be eligible to form a government, is 113, and the BJP and the JD(S) plan to rope in independents to make up for the shortfall. The Congress and the BJP are locked in a direct fight at many places in coastal and northern Karnataka. The JD(S) does not even exist in some constituencies. Yeddyurappa's KJP has replaced the BJP in at least eight districts in these regions. If the KJP eats into BJP's votes, the Congress can win many seats by default. If the BJP manages to hold its ground, it is the end of the road for the Congress.

Rahul’s unrealistic advisors It is true that there is a strong anti-BJP wave across the state. But, there's no proCongress wave either. The JD(S) and KJP may benefit from this neutrality factor. There is a huge difference between being the single largest party and being able to get at least a simple majority.

8

Three scenarios

.  The Congress gets a simple majority of 113. The BJP wins 6070 seats, the JD(S) wins 40 and the KJP stops at 10-15.  The Congress reaches 100 seats and forms a government with independents and the KJP.  The mandate is badly fractured like in 2004, and wild alliances across the spectrum are attempted. Even if the Congress gets 90-100 seats, there's no guarantee it will be able to form a government. The JD(S), for all its 'secular' pretensions, prefers the BJP over the Congress any day, and could form a government with that party. Yeddyurappa can't be a trusted ally and could ditch the Congress and return to the BJP any day. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi should realise that he can't run the Congress like an NGO with aides like Madhusudhan Mistry and Jitendra Singh. Old hands like AK Antony can't think realistically and offer practical solutions either. Given this situation, May 8 could go either way for the Congress.


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

echwalk

When networks fail We flagged last week some of the issues that technology throws up--here is another one, following the Boston Marathon bombing. As happens after such attacks and natural disasters, there was a problem with cell-phone networks slowing down or even hanging. People could not connect with friends, family, and emergency workers. Bangalore was hit by a bombing too, and while thankfully it was not big enough to affect networks, this is something that we have faced in India too. Bloomberg Businessweek has a report by Brad Stone analysing why this happens to networks. Stone first talks about initial reports that

RAMESH HUNSUR

The set-top box order

Nagaraj authorities shut it down fearing more bombs being triggered by mobile phones. These though were later reversed, and networks also denied that this happened. Congestion was the obvious and simple answer. Networks were not designed to, and can't take such spikes in loads. Which is why they

Former cable operator and manager of Amogh Broadband Services

were advising people to send text and e-mail messages. Stone concludes therefore that not much can be done to prevent poor network performance. Creating rarely used over-capacity would be wasteful and costly. Technology and economics always go together.

The High Court has upheld the decision to make digital set top boxes mandatory for TV viewers. Who will this benefit? This will benefit digital signal providers and the government. Earlier cable operators would cheat digital signal providers. They would say that they have 100 customers, but would provide signals to 1000 households. Service providers approached the government and demanded that set top boxes be made mandatory for every TV.

Smartphone roundup It won't be long before every mobile phone is a smartphone. So the launches continue unabated, and the technology website

Tech2.in has put together a list of new smartphones expected to hit the market in India soon. We thought we'll share some with you.

Cable operators went to court stating there were 40 lakh customers in Bangalore and it would be difficult to supply so many boxes at one go. They demanded that signal providers supply set top boxes to them. Claiming that there weren't enough stocks, they asked the court to postpone the deadline. The court rejected their plea. Cable operators will now face losses. They have to pay 10 per cent service charge on monthly fees collected from customers. Government will earn revenue.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 A GigaOm post by Kevin Tofel, also on Businessweek.com, reports on the new Galaxy Note that hit US stores recently. 400 bucks. While the Notes we are familiar with are phones too, Kevin's buy was wi-fi only, so more like an iPad Mini—and it is nearly the same size. Interesting. Priced higher than the iPad's $329, the writer is not yet sure if it is worth it. This is what he found: Look and feel more like an upsized Galaxy S 4 than a Note 2; Expected battery life, 10 hours; Samsung's 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos processor, with 2 GB of RAM—reasonably fast. Pixel density slightly higher than the Mini; Good video playback and great note taking experience. Looks like what Samsung missed out on is providing a better display than the Mini. That would have made it quite a contender.

The display has got to be HD and the bigger the better, as long as you don't feel like you are carrying around a clapboard. And going by those numbers, these displays approach those of the smaller tablets.

How will set top boxes help viewers? Signal providers will be in direct touch with the consumer. The picture quality will be better and viewers will have more choice of channels.

Sony Xperia SP

Once you stop raving about the Xperia Z and its mil-spec style ruggedness, may be you are thinking, do I really need that? So now you’ll have the SP, minus only the dust and water-proofing—give or take a feature or two. Android Jelly Bean is the OS, with a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor. Can be pre-ordered now at about Rs 26,000.

Are there enough stocks of set top boxes for all Bangaloreans? About 30 to 40 per cent people already have set top boxes. Some have paid an advance and are waiting. Since the boxes are made in China, we will have to wait a bit for the imports. The manufacturers have started production. The price ranges from Rs 1000 to Rs 1500.

Micromax Canvas 3D

And how can Micromax not be in the picture? Tech2.in is skeptical about its 3D capabilities (it is still in the realm of rumour and speculation) and believes it may even settle for HD in the end. But the very thought of a 3D phone is intriguing. Who knows, there might be takers for that sort of thing, and Micromax likes to think cutting-edge.

BASU MEGALKERI

Nagaraj is a digital service provider in Rajajinagar. He has also been a cable operator for 20 years.

Optimus G Pro

LG is trying hard to remain in the fray, and tech2 says this is a fairly worthy entry, boasting, among other things, Dolby sound. Again, running Android Jelly Bean, and the display is a full HD, IPS (In-Plane Switching) screen.

SRIDHAR K CHARI Send feedback to sridhar.chari@talkmag.in

3

?

?

?

Questions

Reactions, statements, accusations, complaints, or just straight talk—this is where you get them all

9


foster parents

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

10

RAMESH HUNSUR

WE’RE FAMILY Van driver Nagesh and his wife Shobha have opened their Chamarajpet home to four foster children

For a hug and a home A fledgling system of foster care is offering new hope for homeless children

SAVIE KARNEL savie.karnel@talkmag.in

aja is in the sixth standard, but he looks about 11. As we enter the small house, in a bylane in Chamarajpet, he greets us excitedly. He then helps his foster father Nagesh, a tempo driver, arrange plastic chairs in the small living room, and his foster mother serve payasam. Raja lived in an NGO institution for street children for six years before he was placed in foster care. Has he ever wanted to go back? “No, I want to stay at home,” he says, clinging to

R

his “appa.” When a social worker had asked him a couple of months ago what kind of a home he would like to go into, he replied: “The house should be grand and should have a swimming pool.” The very idea of a home was fantastical to him. “These kids have never seen a home. It is something imaginary to them and they have unrealistic ideas,” says Ann Mary, a counsellor with BOSCO, the NGO that rescues street children and places some in foster care. Raja is among 19 lucky children from there who have found foster homes. BOSCO started the foster care project last year, after getting the necessary clearances. Radha Srinivasamurthy, Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Bangalore (Boys), of the Government of Karnataka, is all for the foster care programme. “It definitely helps children,” she told Talk. “In India, we have traditionally had a kinship system, where relatives take care of a child. Foster care is similar to that. It wasn’t successful earlier, but now more people are

coming forward as foster parents. foster them even after that. There When adoption was introduced in have been cases in other parts of the India, people were reluctant. But now country where foster parents have adoption is widely accepted. We hope even arranged marriages, and stayed foster care will also become success- in touch. After short term care, foster parents continue to be mentors and ful in a similar way.” According to Milan Mandanna, meet them regularly. In a way, they co-ordinator of BOSCO’s Foster Care remain foster parents forever. “We provide foster homes for a Project, “These kids are older than they look. Some may be 14 or 15 and short duration, so that children can look like 10 year olds.” She quotes know what a family is, and then from a study which says that it’s not decide if they want to move into a family,” says Milan. just malnourishment Families can also probut also lack of love Unlike in vide vacation foster and emotional attachment that has made adoption, the homes, for a couple of days. “But here the conthem physically underkids are not dition is that the family developed. legal heirs agrees to be a mentor Some of the chilfor the child. Even after dren are orphans, some abandoned by their families, and the vacation they should regularly some others about whom nobody visit the child,” she adds. When BOSCO started with the knows anything. Many have been rescued either begging, rag picking or foster care project last year, it had to face several bureaucratic hurdles. working as child labourers. Unlike in adoption, children do Many mistook it for adoption. not become legal heirs when placed in Government departments asked foster care. Foster homes could take them what it was all about. “We later found that Karnataka in children for a short duration, even just a few months, or till the child is had made guidelines for foster care in 18 years old. Parents can choose to 1995, but everyone had forgotten


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

about them. These guidelines helped us start off,” says Milan. The foster care system also helps couples who seek to adopt children. People prefer to adopt children who are very small. BOSCO Mane has children above six years. “Families which haven’t been lucky to find a child can foster a child. If the family and child continue to be interested, we can later help the families become legal guardians,” she says. BOSCO first tries to find their families, then they ask the relatives. When nothing works out, they look for foster homes. One of their first children to be placed in a foster home was eight-year-old Vishnu (name changed.) Vishnu was a rag picker in Tirupati when he was rescued, initially faced adjustment problems, but all and was brought to Bangalore since he said seems to be fine after three months. “He that he had lived here. At BOSCO Mane he wouldn’t listen to me and would answer said that his family lived in Tirupati. back to the older kids. Now, he has settled BOSCO Foster Care’s social mobiliser Raju in well,” she says. He regularly attends school as well as Arabic classes. KN went to Tirupati with him. The greatest moment for Suhail was After searching in several localities they found his mother. She had married when the school results were out recently. again and had children from her new hus- It was not because he scored well, but because, for the first time, he band. “When we reached had a mother who came with there, her husband asked Most foster him to receive his report card. who the child was. He was families are “He took me to all his not even aware that Vishnu friends and introduced me as existed,” says Raju. His from the his Ammi,” says Shabana. She mother refused to take him. working class too felt appreciated when the After her first husband’s teachers told her that Suhail death, Vishnu’s mother had abandoned all her six children, their had improved a lot when compared to the time he was in the institution. “A teacher whereabouts unknown. BOSCO traced Vishnu’s father’s dis- said that he studies well and comes neatly tant relatives in Bangalore. One of them, dressed,” she says beaming. Being accompanied by a parent on the Velumurugan, a security guard, is now fostering Vishnu. His biological son, who is day of the results means a lot to these chilstudying in PUC, and his daughter, who is dren. “When we go on results day from in the ninth standard, have accepted him BOSCO Mane, there is one aunty with 10 of us behind her. She goes from class to as their kid brother. “When I told them about Vishnu, they class collecting report cards. Now Amma were glad to have him home,” says comes only with me,” says 13-year-old Velumurugan. Since Vishnu had lived on Austin (name changed). “They crave personal attention, which the streets, he would sometimes crave for the “freedom” of street life and bunk isn’t available in an institution with about school. “We warned him that we would 90 children,” explains T Bhagyalakshmi, a send him back to the ashram, and he counsellor with BOSCO. The foster home has brought visible changes in Austin’s life. mended his ways,” says the foster father. If the foster families are not well off, When his school teacher complained that BOSCO also offers financial help for the his notes were incomplete, Austin’s foster upbringing of the child. “We ensure the mother Shobha stayed up till 1 am and language and cultural backgrounds match. made him complete his school work. Shobha and her husband Nagesh, a We also secure a no-objection letter from the biological children in the foster fami- driver, have volunteered to provide a group lies who are older than six years,” says foster home. They have opened their home Shaffiq Jalalpasha, a social mobiliser with to four children, who will live with them till they find a long term home. Like in all BOSCO. In the case of eight-year old Suhail families, there were initial skirmishes, (name changed), the family wanted anoth- including arguments over which TV proer son. “We have one son and two daugh- grammes to watch. They have now settled ters. We wanted another son, so we fos- down. Earlier, the children would simply tered Suhail,” says Shabana Banu, a homemaker whose husband works in an agarbat- pour water on their heads and say that they had bathed. Now, Shobha ensures that they ti factory. Her biological children too were actually bathe daily and wear fresh clothes. happy to have a new brother. The family Right from cooking for them to washing

11

MOVING SPIRITS BOSCO’s Foster Care Project team: (From left) T Bhagyalakshmi, KN Raju, Milan Mandanna, Ann Mary and Shaffiq Jalalpasha

their clothes, Shobha does everything with a smile. “They are my sons,” she says. She has a biological son and a daughter. Ajit can’t stop raving about Shobha’s cooking. “In BOSCO Mane we got the same kind of food. Here, Amma cooks new dishes and makes whatever we like,” he says. Three children in Shobha’s house have already found long-term homes and will be going away soon. One of them, who hasn’t yet found a home, asked his counsellor, “Aunty, how long will you take to find me a home?” Ann says she faces these questions regularly from children in institutional care. “They all want to see what a home is,” she says. People think foster care is a Western concept. Milan refutes this. “Traditionally in India, if a child lost his parent, the extended family, neighbours or friends would look after the child. With nuclear families, this concept is lost,” she says. Most of the families coming forward to foster children belong to lower social

Who can be foster care parents?  Age of the parents should be above 30 years  Should have enough financial support to raise a child  Should have reared children earlier  Married with a stable relationship for a few years  At least one parent should be educated  The youngest biological child should be at least five years old and must be elder to the foster child  No death or serious illness in the last one year If you want to foster a child from BOSCO, call 080 22424138/ 9845462571/ 8748879723 Email: fostercarebosco@gmail.com

backgrounds. “We have a scientist and a bank manager who have now come forward. We hope more people open their homes to these children,” she says. Dr Meena Jain, psychotherapist and chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Bangalore (Girls), says foster care works very well, and helps enhance the psychological well-being of a child. “In my 27 years of working with children, I have often heard children with no parents ask me when they will go home. I hate that,” she told Talk. She says NGOs should do a thorough background check of the families, as sometimes there is a risk of the kids being used for work. Proper counselling and mental preparation of both foster parents and children is required. “For example, the child could suddenly feel that he or she is being corrected for his mistakes and being disciplined, and resist that,” she said. Sheila Devaraj, Director, Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), who has placed nine children in group foster care and has plans to place children in individual foster homes soon, says there are no clear rules in India yet, but the system is gaining more acceptance. Sr Dulcine Crasta, Coordinator, Child Protection Committee (UNICEF), Department of Women and Child Development, says some guidelines are being drawn up, and efforts are on to bring in a government scheme for foster care. “With legalisation, we hope more people will come forward to foster children. It will need a lot of motivation for families to come forward. For adoptions, we have a long waiting list of parents. But for foster care, we have a long list of children but not many parents. We need a strong will from the government, involvement of NGOs and awareness among people,” she told Talk. We asked 12-year-old Sanjay (name changed) another boy in foster care, what the main difference was between his new home and his old institution. He said, “If I fell there, aunty would take me to the medical room and apply medicines on my wound. Here, if I fall, Amma hugs me first.”


spotlight

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

12

RAMESH HUNSUR

SIDELINED Krishna completed 50 years in politics this year, but finds himself increasingly irrelevant in the Congress’ scheme of things

Krishna’s biography May 1 1932: Born in Somanahalli village in Maddur taluk of Mandya district. His father was Mallayya and mother Thayavva. Born in a rich agricultural family, Krishna studied till graduation in India. He later went to Texas University on a Fulbright scholarship and studied international law. He returned to India and worked as a lecturer in Bangalore’s Renukacharya College for a year. He taught international law. 1962: He contested assembly elections from Maddur constituency on a PSP ticket. He was elected MLA. April 29 1964: He married Prema. The couple have two daughters: Shambhavi and Malavika. 1968: Won parliamentary elections from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency. 1971: Joined Indira Congress 1983-8 84: Appointed Union minister of state for Industries

No, thank you, Mr SM Krishna

His spirit is willing—he doesn't mind another shot at chief ministership—but both his friends and rivals in the Congress are pushing him towards retirement BASU MEGALKERI basavaraju@talkmag.in lone security guard sits at the gate of SM Krishna’s house in Sadashivanagar. Not a single party worker is waiting at the door. If you didn’t know the house belonged to the Congress stalwart, you wouldn’t

A

give it a second look. The guard lets me in without any fuss. Krishna’s personal assistant Dhananjay is lounging around, and he is not in election mode either. “Sahebru is busy. I will speak to him and then contact you,” he says, casually. Having covered politics for nearly three decades, I know what a big

leader’s house looks like at election time. I find none of the excitement here. Assembly elections are barely a fortnight away, and Krishna’s house is uncharacteristically quiet. Is it all over for him, then? Six months ago, Krishna heeded the Congress high command’s directive and resigned as foreign minister. Leaders in Delhi said they were send-

1984- 85: Appointed Union minister of state for finance 1989-9 92: Appointed Karnataka assembly speaker 1992 to 1994: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister 1996: Nominated Rajya Sabha member. He was also appointed President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee 1999- 2004: Karnataka’s 16th Chief Minister 2004-2 2008: Maharashtra Governor May 23, 2009 to October 28, 2012: External Affairs Minister He now doesn’t hold any post


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

13

FRIENDS NO MORE? Krishna with fellow Congress leaders. His supporters like DK Shivakumar (extreme left) and G Parameshwar (third from left) are now said to be forging other alliances

Knowing well that Krishna may not (KPCC) general secretary (additional), hints ing Krishna back to Karnataka to steer the party to victory. But once he came here, he have a big say in party affairs any longer, Krishna’s time is up. “We do not know if has remained at home. No party meetings, staunch followers are distancing themselves Krishna resigned as the external affairs minfrom him. DK Shivakumar, a minister in ister, or was asked to resign. He hasn’t tried nothing. Krishna’s cabinet, was till recently consid- to clear the air either. The conditions in the ered his right hand man. Today, he is down- party don’t favour him. It is not in a position No party position to give him power,” he said. From all accounts, Krishna’s game is over. It playing his association with his mentor. “Even before I was dubbed a Krishna appears party elders in Delhi used the Karnataka elections as an excuse to ease him follower, I had won elections. Veerendra A futile Delhi trip out of the cushy external affairs ministry. Patil was the state Congress president then. Sonia Gandhi invited Krishna to Delhi and Today, he has no official or party position, I was a cabinet minister in Bangarappa’s cab- discussed the Congress candidate list with and Sonia Gandhi has not assigned any elec- inet. When I was in Krishna’s cabinet, he him twice, on March 19 and on April 14. Yet, noticed my work and gave me more respon- when the list was announced, many of tion-related work to him either. “Neither Delhi leaders nor state politi- sibilities. People noticed me and associated Krishna’s loyalists were given a go by. cians need him anymore,” a source close to me with Krishna,” he Atmananda from Mandya, Krishna explained. That seems unfair to a explains. Kalpana Siddaraju from ‘Neither Delhi Shivakumar is now man who has spent 51 of his 81 years in polMaddur and actress itics, but the Congress sees no worth in scouting around for other Ramya’s mother Ranjitha leaders nor state friendships and alignpushing him centre-stage. failed to make it, despite leaders need But why? One reason could be his age ments. About Krishna’s Krishna’s backing. On the him any more’ and deteriorating health. When he appears absence from the campaign other hand, movie star before the media, Krishna looks dapper and scene, he says diplomaticalAmbarish, who is in a rival well preserved, but in truth, he is tired, ly, “He hasn’t been sidelined. The party high camp, got a ticket. Not just that, Amabrish command knows who to use and when.” exhausted and on serious medication. even managed to get the candidacy of H Vishwanath, a Krishna loyalist who Krishna loyalist Ravindra Srikantaiah from was also the co-operation and education Srirangapatna cancelled after it was We have not in his cabinet, is optimistic, announced, and secured it for his supporter sidelined Krishna. He minister though. “Krishna is a party working commit- Lingaraju. is a senior leader. We tee member. We cannot predict who the Some of Krishna’s supporters did make need him to guide us high command wants and when,” he told the cut, but the credit isn’t going to Krishna. Talk. BL Shankar from Dasarahalli, BK and bless us. He BL Shankar, another Krishna loyalist, Chandrashekar from Basavanagudi, DK attends all party believes the party will benefit from his wis- Shivakumar from Kanakapura and RV functions. He has dom. “Krishna doesn’t need any post to Deshpande from Haliyal figure on the list, provided us with prove how important he is,” he said. but a senior Congress leader believes they Just a couple of months ago, the buzz made it on their own merit. “They have dates for election was that Krishna would contend with other developed a good network. Now, some of campaigning. He too Congress leaders to be the next chief minis- them wield more influence in Delhi than will campaign for ter. Today, such talk is rarely heard in party Krishna.” the party. circles. Krishna is no longer seen as a poten- Foreign fixation tial chief ministerial candidate. A Fulbright scholar who studied internaR Ramachandrappa, former mayor and tional law at Texas, Krishna returned to Dr G Parameshwar KPCC president Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee India and taught at Renukacharya College in

Krishna’s day

Whenever he is in Bangalore, SM Krishna stays at his house in Sadashivnagar. After coffee and breakfast, he spends time with his family. From 10 am to 1.30 pm, he is in his home office. There he meets party workers, politicians, admirers and well wishers. He hears their pleas and tries to help them. He has lunch at 1.30 pm and then takes a nap. At 4 pm, he goes to the Bangalore Club on Residency Road to play tennis. From 6 pm to 7.30 pm, he meets friends at his office. He is said to be writing a book. He is a voracious reader and reads Kannada and English books. He discusses books with some close friends. He mostly watches football on TV. He had also gone to Germany to watch the football World Cup live. He listens mostly to Hindustani and Carnatic music. He also listens to Jazz. He hardly goes out after 7.30 pm. He rarely attends parties and prefers to spend time with daughters Shambhavi and Malavika.


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

14

Wife’s view

Krishna’s wife Prema is soft spoken and doesn’t open up easily. Of late though, she has spoken about Krishna’s political career to some family friends. She seems satisfied with what Krishna has achieved and wants him to retire. “Krishna has been in politics for 51 years and has received all the status and power he deserves. We feel he should rest now and spend time with the family,” she reportedly said. A close family friend of Krishna told Talk that there is another reason behind what Prema says. “Krishna is 81 years old now. If he comes into active politics, his enemies like JD(S) leader Deve Gowda will rake up issues from the past to tarnish his image. She feels it is not worth risking it to bring Congress into power, only for someone else to become the chief minister,” he said.

THE WAY UP (Above) A young Krishna (wearing sunglasses) with former chief minister Devraj Urs. As chief minister with the then governor Khurshed Alam Khan. (Right) With Michelle and Barack Obama as external affairs minister

Bangalore. In the 1960s, for a foreign- position of foreign minister, but his perreturned academic from a well-to-do formance was uninspired. Vokkaliga family, politics was a natural choice. In 1962, he contested the assembly Adverse reports elections from Maddur (an hour’s drive The Centre for Voting Opinion and Trends from Bangalore), on a ticket from the Praja In Election Research (C VOTER), has been Socialist Party (PSP). He won. In 1971, he conducting surveys for two decades. When joined Indira Gandhi’s Congress. it asked Karnataka voters if Krishna should Over the years, Krishna was given sev- retire because of his age, 71.28 per cent said eral important positions. As chief minister he should. Only 11.8 per cent said he between 1999 and 2004, he claimed credit should continue in politics. The Congress for promoting the software and biotech high command seems to have taken this sectors. He also initiated flyover projects, report seriously. allotted some sites to citizens, and introIntelligence Bureau sleuths, whom duced a mid-day meal scheme for school the Congress in Delhi uses to gather inforchildren. His focus on Bangalore, and his mation about grassroots trends, have subunabashed adoration of everything for- mitted reports that indicate Krishna’s eign—he kept saying he influence is minuscule. wanted to turn the city into A senior Congress leader It is said that Singapore—ended up givsaid retired DGP Krishna was the ing him an anti-rural Shankar Bidari had been image. instrumental in the filfirst to allow Krishna faced many ing of intelligence illegal mining challenges during his reports against Krishna. tenure. Veerappan kid“Bidari joined the napped Rajkumar, a much loved movie star Congress at KPCC President G and Kannada icon. C Dinakar, a former Parameshwar’s behest. He is working for DGP, was among those who alleged the Parameshwar and against Krishna,” he government paid a ransom to the bandit. said. Drought stalked the districts. Parameshwar was a Krishna camp loyMany decisions he took then are alist for years, but is now charting out an being scrutinised today. Krishna allegedly independent path for himself. When started the illegal mining scandal that Krishna was chief minister, he sidelined eventually toppled Yeddyurappa and many Lingayat leaders. “The Lingaytas fear besmirched the BJP’s reputation. he will do the same again. That’s why they More recently, the Lokayukta Special are keeping him out, and Bidari, being a Court has named Krishna as one of the Lingayat, is helping them. These reports accused in the NICE expressway scandal. are helping Parameshwar,” he explained. The party lost miserably under his stewWhen Krishna was chief minister, ardship in 2004. He was later made gover- people close to him dominated the party. nor of Maharashtra, and his tenure passed His son-in-law Siddhartha, loyalists DK off peacefully. He was then elevated to the Shivakumar and RV Deshpande called the

The brand-obsessed tennis player

Those who know Krishna say he is choosy about his personal articles, and insists on using only high-end brands—be it shoes, bags, or clothing. His car is an Audi. A passionate tennis player, he makes sure everything he uses sports an international label. To illustrate just how far this brandobsession goes, a close associate has a story. Once, Krishna visited Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa’s house in Davangere. After alighting from the helicopter, he wanted to freshen up.

shots. He ignored senior Lingayat leaders HK Patil and Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Dalit leader Mallikarjuna Kharge, Muslim leader Jaffer Sharief, backward classes leader Janardhan Poojary, besides other senior leaders such as Oscar Fernandes,

Shivashankarappa led Krishna to a room set aside for him. Krishna came out in minutes and didn’t utter a word. He simply ate and left. Shivashakarappa later found out Krishna was upset because none of the things set aside for him were branded. Krishna is equally choosy when it comes to people. He has very few close friends. “When he visits friends, he behaves like a family member. If he is taken to a place he doesn’t like, he doesn’t even talk,” the source said. Margaret Alva and Veerappa Moily. They have all now joined forces to push Krishna out. For the tennis player with a penchant for the good life, retirement is finally here this summer.


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

15

The humble seed that grew to measure diamonds

Carat SAVIE KARNEL savie.karnel@talkmag.in etrol is called black gold. But going by this week’s gold price plunge, the wags are saying the yellow metal is more volatile than petrol. In India, as we all know, a wedding is not a wedding if there is no gold. We do not need to be told that carat is a measure of W gold’s purity. When carat was first used as a scale or measure, it was for the weight of goods—any good. When ancient Arabs traded with Europe, they did not have a standard scale to measure their wares. When the exchange was of The Talk precious metal or column on gems, they need-

P

ed a small scale of measurement. So, they used seeds of the carob tree, which the Arabs called qirat. The carob tree is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region. It grows edible pods that contain seeds. These seeds are believed to be of an identical size. Wheat grains too have the same quality, where the grains do not show much variation in weight. Both carob seeds and wheat grains were used to measure weight. Over time, wheat grains were abandoned and carob seeds gained wider acceptance. Scientists say the carob seeds hardly vary in weight. The differences if any are miniscule. People would carry their own carob seeds so they weren’t cheated by merchants. The weight of the carob seeds of the buyer and the seller would be the same. The Greeks turned the Arabic word qirat into kerotion. Though kerotion literally meant ‘little horn’, it was used to indicate carob seeds. As

K E Y

O R D S

word origins

trade spread, and along with it the scale, kerotian became carratus in medieval Latin. It turned into carato in Italian, and finally became carat in middle French in the 14th century The term carat entered the English language in the 15th century. It was used as a measurement for the fineness of gold. When it came to measuring diamonds, carat was used as a measurement of weight. This usage is still in practice. The Americans spell carat with a k (karat) when it comes to measuring gold purity, and with a c (carat) when weighing diamonds. The current scale of a carat as one of 24 parts comes from the Greek. The Greek measure was the equivalent of one twenty-fourth of a golden solidus (gold coin) minted by Constantine. So carat took on the sense of being a proportion of one twenty-fourth. This has become a measure of gold’s purity. When we say 24 carat gold, it means ‘all 24 parts’ are gold. If it is 18 carat, it means that the metal is 18 parts gold and six parts alloys.

SEED CAPITAL The word ‘carat’ traces its origins to the carob seeds used by ancient Arab traders to weigh goods


food path

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

RAMESH HUNSUR

Richie Rich, St Mark’s Road This ice cream parlour has a much-loved Death by Chocolate, and an equally famous Elvis Presley, apart from a few other chocolate sundaes. Though housed at a prime location—St Mark’s Road—the seating area on the first floor was quite empty when we went in. We did see a lot of students outside grabbing a scoop of ice cream at the ground floor counter though. That is what Richie Rich essentially is, a quick ice cream take-away joint.

We tried

Elvis Presley:

Lakeview Milk Bar MG Road & Indiranagar

Bangalore’s old favourite when it comes to ice cream, Lakeview keeps up to its reputation and rustles up the likes of the Dry Fruit Special, and seasonal offerings like fresh strawberries or fresh mango with ice cream. The old world charm of the place is a welcome add-on to the overflowing creamy goodness on offer.

This one is a fruit-filled surprise with a refreshing play on colours and dollops of ice cream. It contains generous amounts of fruit like kiwi, strawberry, chikoo, apricot, mango and fig, along with two

scoops of vanilla ice cream. Verdict: The combination of fresh fruits and ice cream did work like a dream. The flavour of the ice cream didn’t overpower the tangy fruits. After the first bite, we thought it a shame that the seats around us were all empty. Rs 140

Richie Rich Special Duck: This one is made up of seven flavours of ice cream in a bowl—black currant, pista, kesar, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate garnished with some dry fruits. Verdict: This has to be one of the best combinations we sampled in our ice cream journey and we credit it to the vast range of flavours in a single bowl.

Bella Mooz, Church Street Located on Church We tried

Rs 160

We tried

Black Forest Special: You really got to have a big appetite for this one. It comes with a black forest pastry sandwiched between two heavy scoops of ice cream, one chocolate and one vanilla. Verdict: The pastry was moist and fresh and worked well with the subtle ice cream flavours. One thing’s for sure, this one will fill you up! Rs 130

Polar Bear, Frazer Town

Fresh Strawberries with Ice Cream:

We tried

For light and fresh indulgence, you can’t beat this classic, with strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

scoops of litchi ice cream and one scoop of

Verdict: We were all smiles when greeted by a heap of strawberries precariously perched atop the ice cream scoop forming a ring. The strawberries were fresh and the ice cream smooth. You can hardly go wrong with something like this! Rs 135 (rates vary depending on the season and availability of the fruit)

This is the kind of place where you can spend time with your family or friends over a cup of ice cream. Apart from their well known creations like Belgian Chocolate and Litchi Sundae, the latest on their menu is Cake Sundae and Sitaphal (custard apple) Sundae. However, the staff here seemed a little clueless when we asked them about the ingredients.

Litchi Sundae: The Sundae had two

fresh cream, dry fruits like raisins, chopped dates and cashew, litchi syrup and fresh litchis. Verdict: Though the flavour of the litchi ice cream was spot on, the ‘fresh litchis’ were, well, not so fresh. The biggest let down was the dry fruits. The chewy dates stuck to our teeth and the raisins were a bit too hard to digest. We felt, the dry fruits, unless carefully picked, are best avoided. The cream didn’t go well with the entire combination either. Rs 130

Corner House With outlets on St Mark’s Road, Residency Road and in suburbs like Marathahalli, HRBR Layout, Indiranagar, and Richards Town, this place is a name to reckon with when you think of ice cream in the city. Corner House offers everything, from the most basic flavours all the way to some exotic and far out ones. Add the laid-back ambience, and there isn’t much more you can ask for from an ice cream place. Some of their famed combinations include chocolate mint fudge and fruit jackpot. The place also serves sugarless ice creams for diabetics and the health conscious.

We tried

Death by Chocolate: The name as we all know, speaks for itself. Death by Chocolate comes with a large slice of chocolate cake, three scoops of vanilla ice cream, a

17

generous drizzle of chocolate syrup, roasted peanuts and a topping of fresh cherries. Verdict: Warning, do not attempt to try this alone. The quantity of ice cream and chocolate cake served needs a minimum of two people to finish this. The warm cake was moist, and along with the chocolate sauce, melted in the mouth. The vanilla ice cream helped by providing some creamy relief. Needless to say, we had stopped counting the calories by then. Rs 150

Hot Chocolate Fudge: This is a simple serving of three scoops of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and roasted cashews. Verdict: The combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and nuts is an ice cream classic. An all time favourite, this one you really wouldn’t want to share. Rs 90

The inside scoop Isn’t summer the best excuse ever to gorge on ice cream? Sandra M Fernandes took a trip around town on an assignment to die for: here are some old haunts and some delightful new parlours The Edge, Koramangala Away from the noisy main streets of Koramanagala, this place has a simple seating arrangement and attracts a lot of college goers. They recommended The Edge Fudge, the Cake Fudge and yet again, Death by Chocolate.

We tried

The Edge Fudge: The ice cream had two scoops of vanilla and chocolate brownie, drizzled with chocolate syrup and roasted cashews.

Verdict: Just one bite and we were disappointed already. The vanilla ice cream lacked the creamy texture and was somewhat watery. The brownie on the other hand was moist and soft and better without the ice cream. We thought an extra helping of chocolate syrup could save it from being a disaster, but it still wouldn't make it a treat to go for. Rs 115

Street, Bella Mooz is a quaint little stand-alone ice cream parlour that offers off beat cream treats. Make sure you keep the calorie metre at bay as this is one place where quality and quantity go hand in hand. Bella Mooz boasts of sundaes in out-of-the-ordinary combinations like Xstrawberry Banana, Rocky Road Redux and Cacao Cacao on their list of top selling desserts. The ambience is quirky and we love the idea of a contest for ice cream lovers. It requires four people to finish up a 5.45 kg tub full of ice cream within 30 minutes. Those who manage the feat don’t pay for the ice cream and get their pictures pasted on the wall, apart from getting a free t-shirt each. Naturally, those hapless ones who can’t finish the tub get no goodies nor a shot at ‘wall’ fame, and also end up paying for the ice cream.

OMG: Choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream on rich chocolate brownie with a generous amount of chocolate sauce and nuts Verdict: We found this rather rich in chocolate but we weren’t complaining! The vanilla ice cream that we picked complemented the brownie, balancing out the chocolaty creamy structure. The roasted nuts add some crunchy relief, though we admit to feeling overdosed on chocolate half way through. Rs 139

Cookie UFO Chocolate Chip: Cookies with chocolate ice cream filling, resembling a sandwich. Verdict: This combination is a surprise and a good choice for those who like their food eggless. The ‘sandwich’ concept is definitely worth a try. Rs 84


food path

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

RAMESH HUNSUR

Richie Rich, St Mark’s Road This ice cream parlour has a much-loved Death by Chocolate, and an equally famous Elvis Presley, apart from a few other chocolate sundaes. Though housed at a prime location—St Mark’s Road—the seating area on the first floor was quite empty when we went in. We did see a lot of students outside grabbing a scoop of ice cream at the ground floor counter though. That is what Richie Rich essentially is, a quick ice cream take-away joint.

We tried

Elvis Presley:

Lakeview Milk Bar MG Road & Indiranagar

Bangalore’s old favourite when it comes to ice cream, Lakeview keeps up to its reputation and rustles up the likes of the Dry Fruit Special, and seasonal offerings like fresh strawberries or fresh mango with ice cream. The old world charm of the place is a welcome add-on to the overflowing creamy goodness on offer.

This one is a fruit-filled surprise with a refreshing play on colours and dollops of ice cream. It contains generous amounts of fruit like kiwi, strawberry, chikoo, apricot, mango and fig, along with two

scoops of vanilla ice cream. Verdict: The combination of fresh fruits and ice cream did work like a dream. The flavour of the ice cream didn’t overpower the tangy fruits. After the first bite, we thought it a shame that the seats around us were all empty. Rs 140

Richie Rich Special Duck: This one is made up of seven flavours of ice cream in a bowl—black currant, pista, kesar, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate garnished with some dry fruits. Verdict: This has to be one of the best combinations we sampled in our ice cream journey and we credit it to the vast range of flavours in a single bowl.

Bella Mooz, Church Street Located on Church We tried

Rs 160

We tried

Black Forest Special: You really got to have a big appetite for this one. It comes with a black forest pastry sandwiched between two heavy scoops of ice cream, one chocolate and one vanilla. Verdict: The pastry was moist and fresh and worked well with the subtle ice cream flavours. One thing’s for sure, this one will fill you up! Rs 130

Polar Bear, Frazer Town

Fresh Strawberries with Ice Cream:

We tried

For light and fresh indulgence, you can’t beat this classic, with strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

scoops of litchi ice cream and one scoop of

Verdict: We were all smiles when greeted by a heap of strawberries precariously perched atop the ice cream scoop forming a ring. The strawberries were fresh and the ice cream smooth. You can hardly go wrong with something like this! Rs 135 (rates vary depending on the season and availability of the fruit)

This is the kind of place where you can spend time with your family or friends over a cup of ice cream. Apart from their well known creations like Belgian Chocolate and Litchi Sundae, the latest on their menu is Cake Sundae and Sitaphal (custard apple) Sundae. However, the staff here seemed a little clueless when we asked them about the ingredients.

Litchi Sundae: The Sundae had two

fresh cream, dry fruits like raisins, chopped dates and cashew, litchi syrup and fresh litchis. Verdict: Though the flavour of the litchi ice cream was spot on, the ‘fresh litchis’ were, well, not so fresh. The biggest let down was the dry fruits. The chewy dates stuck to our teeth and the raisins were a bit too hard to digest. We felt, the dry fruits, unless carefully picked, are best avoided. The cream didn’t go well with the entire combination either. Rs 130

Corner House With outlets on St Mark’s Road, Residency Road and in suburbs like Marathahalli, HRBR Layout, Indiranagar, and Richards Town, this place is a name to reckon with when you think of ice cream in the city. Corner House offers everything, from the most basic flavours all the way to some exotic and far out ones. Add the laid-back ambience, and there isn’t much more you can ask for from an ice cream place. Some of their famed combinations include chocolate mint fudge and fruit jackpot. The place also serves sugarless ice creams for diabetics and the health conscious.

We tried

Death by Chocolate: The name as we all know, speaks for itself. Death by Chocolate comes with a large slice of chocolate cake, three scoops of vanilla ice cream, a

17

generous drizzle of chocolate syrup, roasted peanuts and a topping of fresh cherries. Verdict: Warning, do not attempt to try this alone. The quantity of ice cream and chocolate cake served needs a minimum of two people to finish this. The warm cake was moist, and along with the chocolate sauce, melted in the mouth. The vanilla ice cream helped by providing some creamy relief. Needless to say, we had stopped counting the calories by then. Rs 150

Hot Chocolate Fudge: This is a simple serving of three scoops of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and roasted cashews. Verdict: The combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and nuts is an ice cream classic. An all time favourite, this one you really wouldn’t want to share. Rs 90

The inside scoop Isn’t summer the best excuse ever to gorge on ice cream? Sandra M Fernandes took a trip around town on an assignment to die for: here are some old haunts and some delightful new parlours The Edge, Koramangala Away from the noisy main streets of Koramanagala, this place has a simple seating arrangement and attracts a lot of college goers. They recommended The Edge Fudge, the Cake Fudge and yet again, Death by Chocolate.

We tried

The Edge Fudge: The ice cream had two scoops of vanilla and chocolate brownie, drizzled with chocolate syrup and roasted cashews.

Verdict: Just one bite and we were disappointed already. The vanilla ice cream lacked the creamy texture and was somewhat watery. The brownie on the other hand was moist and soft and better without the ice cream. We thought an extra helping of chocolate syrup could save it from being a disaster, but it still wouldn't make it a treat to go for. Rs 115

Street, Bella Mooz is a quaint little stand-alone ice cream parlour that offers off beat cream treats. Make sure you keep the calorie metre at bay as this is one place where quality and quantity go hand in hand. Bella Mooz boasts of sundaes in out-of-the-ordinary combinations like Xstrawberry Banana, Rocky Road Redux and Cacao Cacao on their list of top selling desserts. The ambience is quirky and we love the idea of a contest for ice cream lovers. It requires four people to finish up a 5.45 kg tub full of ice cream within 30 minutes. Those who manage the feat don’t pay for the ice cream and get their pictures pasted on the wall, apart from getting a free t-shirt each. Naturally, those hapless ones who can’t finish the tub get no goodies nor a shot at ‘wall’ fame, and also end up paying for the ice cream.

OMG: Choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream on rich chocolate brownie with a generous amount of chocolate sauce and nuts Verdict: We found this rather rich in chocolate but we weren’t complaining! The vanilla ice cream that we picked complemented the brownie, balancing out the chocolaty creamy structure. The roasted nuts add some crunchy relief, though we admit to feeling overdosed on chocolate half way through. Rs 139

Cookie UFO Chocolate Chip: Cookies with chocolate ice cream filling, resembling a sandwich. Verdict: This combination is a surprise and a good choice for those who like their food eggless. The ‘sandwich’ concept is definitely worth a try. Rs 84


box office

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

18

LIKE THAT Chaitanya (seated on the bonnet) on the sets of Parari. The director says comedy is the hardest of all genres

Well-known director KM Chaitanya, whose film Parari hits theatres this week, gives Talk a peek into its making

A comedy is no joke W hen people heard about Parari (Escape), they said, “So you are making a COMEDY?” My debut, Aa Dinagalu (Those Days), was a realistic film, free from commercial trappings, and the last thing people in the industry expected from me was slapstick. My first film earned me a tag. In social circles, they described me with admiration as a “classy film maker”. In Gandhinagar, the hub of commercial cinema, I was derisively called a “class film maker”. It is easy to be branded in the high-profile world of movies. Parari, produced by Shakti Movies Worldwide, is an out and out comedy. Fun runs through every scene, song and action sequence. Even our villain is comical. Over the years, I have noticed that a majority of those who come to the movie halls to watch Kannada films are young-

sters. I was sure a story that addressed When I met Talk publisher Sumith their generation would kindle their Kombra, he expressed a desire to veninterest. ture into film production. My colleague Haridoss mentioned our script to him. Within days, we had an agreeMemories from college Parari is based on what happened to a ment. It allowed me to cast and plan friend in our student days. I devel- the film more ambitiously. oped the story with writer-director S Mohan. We had studied in college Rajini’s comedy insurance together, and share many memories. I don’t know who said, “Dying is easy, We put a lot of those times into the comedy is difficult”. It is the truth. story. The result was a racy, youthful Unlike in other genres, in comedy, we film. After we had completed the can hear our audiences react. It is script, Mohan joked, “We should rumored even superstar Rajinikant make this with cartoons.” used to ask producers to cast comediWhen I started scripting Parari, I an Vadivelu in his films. Maybe havwanted to create something that ing a comedian is one way of ensurcould be executed with a modest ing the viewers stay back: every time budget. But as we continued writing, they laugh they are in a mood to sit we became more ambitious. And the back and wait for the next comic budget kept rising to keep up with sequence. our ambitions. Casting is crucial. An actor’s This is when providence stepped timing decides whether the audience in. SR Ramakrishna, editor of Talk, will laugh or walk out. Even estabcalled me to do a short video about lished actors find this daunting. the magazine’s launch. Parari features a mix of known faces and fresh talent. After extensive auditions, we chose Shrunga Sharavanth and Jahnavi for the lead roles. With them we cast Bullet Prakash and Shubha Punja, already popular in Kannada cinema. The supporting cast of Rangayana Raghu, Sadhu Kokila, Umasri, Sharath Lohithaswa and Arun Sagar are counted among the best in Kannada cinema. I come from

a theatre background, and a majority of the actors in Parari have some theatre experience as well. Parari has an expert technical crew. HC Venu has been director of photography from my very first film. Anoop Seelin, the music director, has composed songs that have already become chartbusters. Haridoss, who worked both as executive producer and editor, had a tough time juggling his roles. Arun Sagar, who plays the villain, is also the film’s art director. Every time I take up a new genre, I discover new aspects. I like to divide my scenes into many shots, taking the viewer’s attention to every crucial detail. That technique works well in a fast-paced psychological drama. In comedy, I had to employ lengthy single shots, working with actors to get the timing right and movement funny. Many comedies rely on dialogue, but Parari explores non-verbal comedy. The stunt directors, choreographer and music director had to make sure everything went off well and triggered laughter. When Parari finally hits the screen this Friday, I look forward to hearing the audiences react. Laughter can provide relief from the summer heat, the stress of exams, and the anxiety of elections. (Now showing at Nartaki theatre and multiplexes across Bangalore)


tribute

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in RAMESH HUNSUR

19

The icon A fan remembers the king of south Indian playback DEEPA BHASTI nce upon a time, long, long ago, I met PB Sreenivos. I was a child, and I like to imagine that my parents were buying me ice cream that evening in balmy (then) Madras. We were at the beautiful drive-in Woodlands Hotel, just off Mount Road. PBS was a regular there. A portly man behind the cash counter told my dad that the owner of the place was a huge fan of PBS and he was allowed to eat anything he wanted there for free. The man who was born with a golden voice came there every day to eat a piece of sweetmeat and have a cup of coffee; as a diabetic, he wasn’t allowed to eat sweets at home. My parents went up and said hello to him. He looked small, with that same crinkled face that I somehow imagine he always kept, even when he was younger. Did he crinkle his face along deep lines when he sang those romantic melodies for Rajkumar? I am a PBS fan. In a loyalty contest, I would join his camp rather than side with Rajkumar, who gained popularity in later years and usurped PBS’ highbacked throne in playback singing kingdom. I am fan enough to be able to sing along most of his major Kannada songs. Yet, I was never fan enough to be aware that he sang in seven other languages; I never followed his career, so to speak. For me, the memory of PBS’ songs will be entrenched with my memories of watching films in the two derelict cinema halls of Madikeri. Before one of them was demolished and the other went Dolby sound and fancy, every show would begin with PBS singing Kodagina Kaveri, from the film Sharapanjara. The record was scratchy from overuse and would get stuck in places. That was the cue for people to lower themselves down gingerly on the broken seats and attempt to recline just so. PB Sreenivos’ voice was the precursor for our entry into the magic of the movies in those smoke-filled halls. I miss that song before every movie elsewhere now.

O

Described as the soul of Rajkumar, he pulled off a range of songs to which he imparted a philosophical mellowness

The gravitas of PB Sreenivos SR RAMAKRISHNA ram@talkmag.in B Sreenivos, who died on April 14 in Chennai, had a voice that worked like magic for Rajkumar, the Kannada actor for whom he sang about 200 numbers. It might be useful to compare Sreenivos (that’s how he preferred to spell his name) with singers of this era to understand how he was special, even if such an exercise is not usually encouraged. For example, you could look at Hariharan, whose voice is acrobatic in the extreme. He is capable of fast up-and-down runs and minute ornamentation, and perhaps because he is so flexible and agile, he cannot keep anything straight and steady. By contrast, Sreenivos delivered his songs with a contemplative slowness: he could sound wistful and happy, but he could never sound frivolous even in the most cheerful of his songs. Since Mungaaru Male (2006) became a hit, Sonu Nigam has sung several Kannada songs, but his voice is thin, and cannot match the majesty and gravitas of Sreenivos’ voice. From 1956 to 1974, Sreenivos lent his voice to Rajkumar in almost every film. Three decades later, when Rajkumar took to singing and rendered Yaare Koogaadali in Sampattige Saval (1974), he sounded fresh and energetic, contrasting with his more sedate playback voice. He went on to sing almost all his songs following the popularity of that number, but roped in Sreenivos when he did a double role in the mythological Babruvahana (1977).

P

VERSATILE Sreenivos sang in eight languages. (Top left) Rajkumar’s Kasturi Nivasa featured lovely numbers by Sreenivos

Rajkumar was the younger voice, songs. In Nagu naguta nali nali while the voice of Arjuna, (Bangarada Manushya, 1971), he had Babruvahana’s father, went to to bring out an expansive optimism. Sreenivos. It couldn’t have been oth- In Nee bandu nintaaga, which I conerwise. Sreenivos comes across as sider one of the most beautifully rendered songs in Indian cinema, he mature, even philosophical. The reason could be the timbre, had to express the joy and anxiety of or what some call tone colour. If you love. Aadisi nodu beelisi nodu had to describe Sreenivos’ timbre, demanded that he be playful and you might choose ‘warm’ as against didactic at the same time. Sreenivos Rajkumar’s ‘bright’. While SP pulled it all off with understated Balasubramanyam and Yesudas style. In some songs, Sreenivos outsound outgoing, Sreenivos sounds introverted. To understand how this sang his fellow-singers. Listen to Madhura madhuravee works, listen to manjula gaana. While Sreenivos’ lovely lullHis timbre was BK Sumitra sings abies Haadondu sweetly and compehaaduve and Toogire ‘warm,’ while tently, Sreenivos Rangana, and then Rajkumar’s sounds leagues ahead compare them with was ‘bright’ in what he conveys. Yesudas’s lullaby Jo jo The Shivaranjanilaali naa haaduve. Sreenivos is gentle and whispery based duet is perhaps the one number you should listen to if you while Yesudas belts it out. Sreenivos’s songs in Bhakta haven’t heard anything of Sreenivos Kanakadasa (Badukidenu badukidenu, yet. 1967) and Sandhyaraaga (Deena naa While Sreenivos was widely bandiruve, 1966) set the tone for his acknowledged as Rajkumar’s ‘soul’, devotional numbers, and continued he also sang for other heroes in to appeal even in much later films Kannada, and for other languages. such as Bhakta Kumbara (1974). But Baare baare, which he sang under the if you were to ask me to choose his music direction of Vijayabhaskar, best numbers, I would choose his was a huge hit, and the hero lipdark, brooding love songs, such as syncing to it was Vishnuvardhan. Olavina priyalate (Kulavadhu, 1963), Vijayabhaskar once told me the and Baadi hoda balliyinda (Eradu song, for the film Naagarahaavu Kanasu, 1974). They are truly exqui- (1972) was inspired by a Cliff Richard site. Among his songs in praise of the number. Kannada land, I like Apaarakeerti galSreenivos knew many lanisi nadeda bhavya naadidu, which is guages, and attempted writing poetmore flamboyant than the very pop- ry in several of them. It is unlikely he ular Naavaaduva nudiye Kannada will be remembered for his versifynudi. ing skills, but you can be sure the Sreenivos was called upon to beauty of his melodies won’t fade express several emotions in his away so easily.


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

20

Rewind The week that was  Iran quake: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Iran and Pakistan on Tuesday, collapsing buildings and killing at least 38 people. Tremors of the quake were felt in places as far as Dubai and New Delhi.

Learn to write on food and films To be a competent food or film writer, it’s just not enough to have a

 Boston bombings: An eight-year-old boy and two others were killed and 174 injured in bomb blasts at the US’ Boston Marathon. The twin blasts occurred 90 metres apart and near the finish line of the marathon.

If you love exploring different types of cuisine and your entire universe revolves around food, then this workshop will help you blog or write about your gastronomical experiences. Gaurav Jain, critic and former literary editor at Tehelka, will teach you various techniques of transforming your food experiences into readable copy.

 Thatcher funeral: Thousands attended the funeral service for Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Prime Minister of the UK during the Cold War, whose policies remain controversial to this day, with leftists groups even celebrating her death openly.  Gay marriage legalised: New Zealand became the 13th country in the world and the first in the AsiaPacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.  Reprieve: The Supreme Court granted actor Sanjay Dutt four more weeks to surrender and undergo his remaining prison term of 42 months in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.  Himachal tremor: A mild tremor shook Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, MeT officials said. The quake measuring 3.9 magnitude on the Richter scale had its epicentre at Chamba.  Bangalore blast: At least 16 people were injured in a bomb blast near BJP office in Malleshwaram. The injured include eight cops. Investigators probing the blast say that a bomb was fitted on a motorcycle parked near the BJP office.  Congress discontent: Veteran leader SM Krishna’s supporters are shocked at the Congress replacing its Srirangapatna candidate Ravindra Srikantaiah with Ambarish’s supporter SL Lingaraju.

passion for your subject— you must also learn the craft of using words well. This set of two workshops— on food and film writing— promise to teach you just that.

Film lovers, who always wanted to pen down their thoughts about movies, get some handy tips from

Nisha Susan, writer and film critic. A former features writer for Tehelka magazine, her articles have been published in Time Out Delhi and her short stories by Penguin and Zubaan. The workshop will teach you the basics of film analysis and how to write about films for the popular media. Intro to Food Writing: Saturday, April 20, 10 am to 1.30 pm. Fee is Rs 1,500 Intro to Film Writing: Sunday, April 21, 10 am to 1.30 pm. Fee is Rs 1,500 Venue: Indian Social Institute, 24, Benson Road, Benson Town Note: You can attend both the workshops for Rs 2,500

Make your own comic strip The British Council’s LearnEnglish Kids programme now has a neat application that allows kids to make their own comic strip. It is similar to, and as easy as making slideshows on Microsoft’s PowerPoint application. Available are a wide range of backgrounds, characters and objects to choose from, using some easy-to-use tools. Its major limitation is its fixed template, which is useful if you are an executive trying to make an important presentation on short notice, but extremely limiting when the purpose is to explore your imagination. To let your kids have a go at creating their own comic strip, log on to www.learnenglishkids. britishcouncil.org

What toys tell about kids Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti has compiled photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. The project, titled Toy Stories, took Galimberti nearly 18 months to shoot. It explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the world. Talking about the project, he says, “At their age, they are pretty much all the same; they just want to play.” But what makes the project varied and interesting is how kids play, which differs from country to country. Galimberti also found that children in richer countries tend to be more possessive with their toys and took more time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do preshoot before arranging the toys). Whereas, in poorer countries, he found it much easier to interact with the kids, even when they possessed just two or three toys. This picture shows Pavel from Kiev, Ukraine. You can see more pictures at www.featureshoot.com

Vintage car rally completes third edition The third edition of the yearly Vintage Car Rally organised by the Whitefield Club was held last Sunday. The rally, which was flagged off from Forum Value Mall in Whitefield, paused briefly at the pit stop at the Bengaluru Mariott Hotel before proceeding to the end point at The Whitefield Club. Following the rally, there was also a display of

vintage cars which attracted enthusiasts from around the city. Some of the star attractions of this year’s rally were a 1968 VW Beetle, a Jaguar Sovereign-XJ-6, a 1935 Baby Austin and a 1939 Aston Martin. The day concluded with distributions of mementos, followed by lunch and music performances.


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

21

Forward

City’s oldest festival is here Festivities for the yearly Bangalore Karaga, the oldest and most important local festival celebrated in the city, have already begun with the flag hoisting on April 16, followed by daily rituals. The highlight of the 11-day festival is a procession led by a man dressed elaborately as a woman, expertly balancing a sacred floral pot on his head. The procession, which starts from the Dharmarayaswamy temple in Thigalarapet, will go around the old city, visiting many temples and other spots, before returning to the starting point. This year, it will start at midnight, April 24, while on April 22, a mini Karaga will be performed near Sampangi tank. The festival is a nearly

The week ahead

five-centuries old tradition followed by southern Karnataka's Thigala community, who believe that their origin goes back to the era of the Mahabharatha. According to legend, they are descendants of soldiers created by the Pandavas' wife Draupadi, who had taken the form of Shakthi Devi to defeat the demon Tripurasura. After the battle, the soldiers, called Veerakumaras, requested Shakthi Devi to stay back with them. She had to go back, she said, but promised them that she would visit them every year on the first full moon of the first month of their calendar. It is in honour of her that the Thigalas celebrate the Karaga to this day, and it is to symbolise her that the man who carries the pot dresses up as a woman.

Shankar Nag and the auto drivers

Sushma Veerappa’s film When Shankar Nag Comes Asking is less about the popular actor who died in an accident 20 years ago, than about today’s Bangalore and the lives of its underclass. Visitors to the city could not have failed to notice the presence of the actor’s pictures on auto rickshaws, ubiquitous enough to be mistaken for a godman or a deity. The film explores questions of identity and belonging, through the lives of auto drivers Ramana, Mahadeva and others at the Shankar Nag auto stand in Basaveshwaranagar. With Shankar Nag’s continuing presence in their lives as its takeoff point, the film attempts to illuminate the lives of the vulnerable millions that populate Indian cities. For more information on the movie, log on to: www.facebook.com/ whenshankarnagcomesasking

Homegrown chefs Will Bangalore have to be evacuated in 2023? A recent contest saw Bangalore’s cooking enthusiasts get creative with traditional home food. Organised by Dabur, the contest called for innovative recipes using the company’s products. The winner, Asha Hariharan, says she tweaked the classic Avial recipe. “I made a fusion, by using coconut milk instead of curd. It came out something like the Indonesian dish gaddo gaddo,” she told Talk.

Meera Chellappa, who came second, whipped up the Burmese dish Khowsuey. “I used coconut milk and chicken along with other ingredients, to make the thick gravy.

Vegetarians can use tofu or paneer instead,” she said. Sunanada Basalalli (in pic), the third place winner, made sweet corn masala curry and banana rice tikka. “I also made capsicum dip and jaljeera,” she said. The three winners will now have to compete at the Grand Finale in Delhi next month.

This was the startling title of a recent article by TS Sudhir on the news website Firstpost.com. The source of the story is V Balasubramanian, former additional chief secretary of Karnataka and chairman, Centre for Policies and Practices, who has conducted an extensive research study on the city’s water problems. “The Government of Karnataka will have to evacuate half of Bangalore in the next ten years, due to water scarcity, contamination of water and diseases,” is his ominous conclusion. Before you dismiss the study as alarmist, note that it is corroborated by tests conducted by the state’s Public Health Institute and the Department of Mines and

Geology of the Karnataka government. Their data show that 52 per cent of the borewell water, and 59 per cent of tap water in Bangalore, is not potable and contain 8.4 per cent and 19 per cent E.coli bacteria respectively. The reason is that at least half of the city’s groundwater is contaminated with sewage water which accumulates in Bangalore’s nearly 200

lakes, and which then percolates into borewells. As Balasubramanian puts it, “Only 30 per cent of the sewage is treated by the sewage treatment plants and the rest flows into the existing lakes.” With borewells in the city digging as deep as 1,500 feet for water—the bigger fear is that even this polluted water may not be available after 2018.

 Luxe policing: Cash-rich Dubai police would be using Ferrari luxury sports cars, to enhance its patrolling abilities, just a week after adding Lamborghini to its fleet of vehicles.  Musharraf trouble: Trouble is mounting for Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf who is now out of the electoral race. An election tribunal rejected his nomination papers from the only constituency where his eligibility to contest next month’s polls was accepted earlier.  Nuke watch: A UN nuclear watchdog team will inspect Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which has been plagued with radioactive water leaks and other glitches more than two years after it was struck by a tsunami.  China patrol: Chinese military for the first time deployed its naval ships to patrol the islands disputed with Tokyo in the East China Sea, escalating tensions in the region.  Gujarat tension: Gujarat is expected to remain tense after the Gujarat government sanctioned the SIT’s demand for death sentence for its former minister Maya Kodnani and nine others, including Babu Bajrangi, in the Naroda Patiya massacre case during the 2002 riots.  BJP-JDU rift: The BJP does not want any ally to leave the NDA, party president Rajnath Singh said as speculation mounts over the future of its ties with the Janata DalUnited.  Bhullar verdict: Union home ministry is expected to consider the Punjab government’s plea for commuting Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar’s death sentence.  Veggies dearer: Vegetables and fruits in Bangalore are expected to get costlier this summer with the hot weather affecting crops in farming areas.


OOKtalk

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

Review

22

Pakistani fiction

Literarily Lahore ohsin Hamid’s debut novel, the fantastic Moth Smoke, was my first introduction to his country’s English literature. From then on, I’ve almost blindly picked up every book that comes with a Pakistani tag, and they have rarely disappointed. You wonder if it’s the constant turmoil there that makes the country produce such brilliant literature. (That said, most of the successful new crop of writers seem to be suspiciously alike: they invariably tend to be foreign-educated upper middle class professionals who have returned home, keeping themselves busy writing columns for the Dawn or Friday Times or comment on Pakistani society for the world media.) Here is a list of personal favourites; by no means comprehensive:

M

This book will make you rich Well, not really. But Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid's new novel How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is an enriching literary experience, finds Deepa Bhasthi

ou are already a Mohsin Hamid fan, a fan of his threadbare, no frills, nonscented style of writing. You have, for the first time ever, preordered a book, Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. You discover that it uses the second person ‘you’ throughout the story. It strikes you that this style isn’t new—your other favoured author Chimananda Ngozi Adichie has used it in a short story, for example. You realise that Hamid’s prose isn’t exactly the literary invention you had imagined it was. But you still acknowledge that his writing has poetic notes, and you only need to read a sentence out aloud to find out why his minimalistic style never fails to hold your attention. Now, I shall go back to being me so that I can tell you what happens to the unnamed ‘you’, the hero of Hamid’s bril-

Y

liant How to Get Filthy Rich… In terms of genres, this one is interestingly placed; it is a fictional work narrated like a self help book. The book begins with a line that is by now much quoted: “You read a self help book so someone who isn’t yourself can help you, that someone being the author.” Hamid then goes on to meticulously detail everything that ‘you’ does to get rich, with interesting asides that analyse the genre of self-help books itself. How to Get Filthy Rich… follows the life of ‘you’, a nameless, faceless person in a nameless village in a nameless Asian country. ‘You’ is sick when you first meet him in the book and is “huddled, shivering, on the packed earth under your mother’s cot one cold, dewy morning.” A series of chance events takes ‘you’ to the city, into a school, into college, into love. While there are no names for anybody, anything, you cannot help but place the story in rural Pakistan. Perhaps it is the author’s nationality that doesn’t let you imagine (or ‘cocreate’ as Hamid likes to call it) any other country. I found the book’s chapter headings especially charming. In keeping with the tone of a self help book, Hamid calls attention to seemingly prosaic things like moving to the city, falling in love (rather advising you not to), how to deal with idealists, politicians, bureaucrats and such like. Some

are chillingly practical; for instance, you are warned against becoming an idealist yourself, and instead, to lend support to the ‘artists of war.’ It seems that’s the only way you move up. Our hero makes a living by selling expired goods with a nonexpired sticker slapped on them. Or by delivering pirated CDs. He briefly subscribes to fundamentalism, but only because it funds his college education. He eventually starts a packaged water business which makes him rich. Along the way he finds the love of his life, marries someone else, has a son, loses everything and lives a full life by the time Hamid is done with him. The protagonist’s life follows the familiar path of the Bollywood theatrical that Asians, sub-continental ones especially, relate to well. It is a family saga, epic love story and revenge thriller all rolled into one, but in Hamid’s skillfully restrained style, it gives you a story that seems completely new. The story may not be unusual—it is no different from the dozens you have read, told or lived in. But, like with two previous novels, here too Hamid creates a conceptual piece of art rather than just tell a good story. As with a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book, it is for his masterful reining in of language, without succumbing to grand flourishes, that makes you want to return to his books again and again.

 A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif: Dry humour, satire, oodles of sarcasm and fantastic storytelling. It would be very hard not to love this book. The book leads up to the plane crash that killed the former president of Pakistan, General Zia-ul-Haq. A box of mangoes plays a very important role in the story. His second book, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti is another favourite. A third book called The Baloch Who is Not Missing and Others Who Are is yet to be launched here.  The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid: A nameless Pakistani launches into a monologue with an American in a café and there emerges his reactions to 9/11, a slow building up of rage and aggression that completes a story that is sad, yet almost frightening. Hamid’s short story, A Beheading, published in Granta, is another must read.  In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Muenuddin: These short stories, seemingly different, are sometimes connected in unexpected ways. Once you finish the book and sit back, you wonder if it was just one extended story after all.  Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi: Though a British citizen, Kureishi has a Pakistani father and hence gets to be on this list. Said to be semi-autobiographical, this short novel deals with one man’s dilemma as he prepares to leave his wife and two sons.  Faiz Ahmad Faiz: This last, just for the sheer wonder that is his poetry.

DEEPA BHASTHI


music festival

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

23

A little kosambri, and a wealth of ragas The Sree Ramaseva Mandali classical music concerts at Fort High School grounds in Chamarajpet, now in their 75th year, take you back in time, tradition and music. MS Subbulakshmi sang here a record 36 times

PRASHANTH GN prashanth.gn@talkmag.in

or generations of musicloving Bangaloreans, summertime has meant Ramaseva Mandali concerts at the Fort High School grounds in Chamarajpet. Featuring a blend of the best and the aspiring, the Ramanavami concert season, now in its 75th year, has always offered listeners a wealth of choice. Both the discerning listener and the eager new enthusiast find great joy in poring over the schedule and choosing which concerts they are going to make time for, and the discussions over coffee on how the concerts turned out. While the expert takes pride not only in identifying the raga in the aalapana but also in making a comparison between a bright new star’s rendering of Saamaja varagamana with that of a veteran a decade ago, the novice delights in a favourite’s rendering of a classic already heard countless times.

F

STORIED VENUE U Srinivas and U Rajesh perform a mandolin duet at the ongoing Sree Ramanavami National Music Festival. (Below) Mysore Maharaja and music-enthusiast Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar was among the festival’s earliest patrons

The concerts were launched by the late SV Narayanswamy Rao back in 1939, who ran it for 61 years till his death in 2000 at the age of 75. The tradition is being carried forward by his son SN Varadaraj and his family, and they haven’t missed a single year. Narayanswamy Rao, as a boy of 14 years, would take the lead in organising Holi and Ganesha festivals in his locality. In 1939, he found he had some money left over, and hit upon the idea of celebrating Ramanavami with music concerts. He held a job at the public-sector Hindustan Aeronautics, but gave it up to devote time to his passion. He would camp at the Ramanavami pandal for the whole duration of the festival, a practise he followed all through his life. Over the years, it has seen some of the biggest names in Carnatic and Hindustani music. By far the biggest change is in the cost of organising the festival. “It costs us about Rs 50 lakh now to organise it. During my father’s time, back in the 1950s and ’60s, it would cost about Rs 5,000. It used to run for two weeks. We now run the festival for 36 days, a practice my father later started on the advice of an astrologer,” says Varadaraj. One good thing is that artistes are paid much better now. Senior

artists command Rs 50,000, while preparing it. He was so good at it that stars may charge in lakhs, which is a he came to be called Mandige far cry from the old days, even Srinivasachar. Karbooz fruit juice and accounting for inflation. “While kosambri (grated and seasoned Balamuralikrishna may have per- cucumber) are served today to every formed for Rs 12 in the 1970s, now we visitor, just like in the old days. And the platform and furniture have to pay him Rs 3 lakh for a fullfledged concert. My father would pay for the concert is supplied by Saleh on average Rs 10, Rs 30, Rs 50, and Rs Ahmed brothers—who have been doing so for more than 30 years. 100 to the artistes,” he said. Then there are the legends and In the old days, coconut fronds served for a roof. Today, zinc, fibre stories, most to do with the eccentricities of the artistes. and plastic sheets are One of the biggest used, and the ground Artistes are draws at the festival was boasts a board and carpet covering, not least still handed a flautist T Mahalingam. He was to perform at because of fire prevencover with Rs 6.30 pm on a particular tion regulations. 20 as advance day. But Narayanswamy But some things Rao received a message don’t change. One is the practice of presenting Rs 20 in a that Mahalingam would not be comcover, as advance, which Varadaraj’s ing as he was too sleepy. Rao was father would hand over irrespective taken aback. He arranged a car and set off for of the final payment. The tradition continues. Artistes insist on it, attach- Madras. On reaching Madras, he ing sentiment and good luck to the found Mahalingam drunk and cover, with one even protesting when drowsy. Undeterred, he ferried a the Rs 20 was not paid, and waiting sleeping Mahalingam to Bangalore to for the cover before he would begin. reach here by 10 pm. Then he gave Another tradition is a sweet Mahalingam a hot bath and got him called mandige, a chapathi with sweet ready. Mahalingam then delivered a stuffing inside. Narayanswamy Rao much appreciated concert from 11 would insist on mandige for all visi- pm to 5 am. Two other interesting experitors and the Mandali’s long-time cook, Srinivasachar, was an expert at ences involved the flautist, recalls


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

24

COURTESY SREE RAMASEVA MANDALI

HALL OF FAME (Clockwise from top left) 1. MS Subbulakshmi 2. A 14-year-old Balamuralikrishna performing at the Mandali 3. AKC Natarajan. 4. Lalgudi Jayaraman 5. T Mahalingam 6. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer 7. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan 8. ML Vasanthakumari

Varadaraj. Mahalingam was deep into his concert once when the governor at the time, who was in the audience, asked him to perform a particular raga. Mahalingam retorted, “I am not in the mood to play that raga.” And that was that. Once a man in the audience asked Mahalingam to play raga Ahiri. Mahalingam said, “If I play that, you won’t

Chamarajpet, hub of classical music

From a few years after its inception in 1939, the Ramanavami concerts were conducted on 3rd Main, Chamarajpet, and were subsequently shifted to the spacious grounds of the Rameshwara temple nearby. From 1949, the venue moved to the spacious Banglaore District Central Cooperative Bank Hall in the same area. In the 1940s and ‘50s, the Ramaseva Mandali established its reputation as an important cultural centre in Bangalore, and music lovers from Mysore, Kolar and Tumkur would come visiting. In 1952, the Mandali moved to a vacant land adjacent to Bangalore City Institute where it continued for 16 years. MS Subbulakshmi's first concert took place the same year. Finally, in 1968, the concerts moved to Fort High School Grounds, opposite City Institute, where they are held to this day.

be able to have good food at home.” But the concert. So managing him was a core conman insisted and Mahalingam played the cern. I should say my father did a great job raga. When the music-lover went back of it. She has not performed so many times home, it is believed, he found the food on one stage in any other city or music fesovercooked. He could not have a tasty din- tival,” he says. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s conner! The Ahiri raga is said to have the attribute of ensuring the listener does not cert too was eventful. He had come all the way from the North and get food on the day. people were keen to listen An interesting incident involved the great ‘We charge only to the Hindustani maestro. But it rained heavily on the singer Semmangudi Rs 200, but day of the concert. Then it Srinivasa Iyer. In the front people still ask rained again for two to row sat another veteran, days more. Maharajapuram for concessions’ three Narayanswamy Rao conSanthanam. Iyer started vinced Khan to stay back as singing, but Santhanam found his singing amiss, and told him, “You people would not get a chance to listen to are a disciple of Maharajapuram him otherwise. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Vishwanath Iyer (Santhanam’s father!) and obliged and when it stopped raining after four to five days, he gave a rousing concert. you should sing to his standards.” Mandali members are happy about Iyer responded, “I was feeling somewhat disturbed when I saw you in the front the interest shown by youngsters in recent row. I feel your father’s pressure on me. years. “In the last five to six years, we see Why don’t you sit towards the side, I’ll sing many from professional streams like IT not only come to the concerts, but also learn better.” Santhanam obliged and Iyer per- music as well. They value our heritage,” a member told Talk. formed well after that. While there was no entry fee in the And then there is the fact that the peerless MS Subbalakshmi sang a record 36 old days, a modest fee of Rs 200 is charged times at this venue in 40 years, something as a season ticket now. That is cheap, conwhich Varadaraj claims has not happened sidering it costs between Rs 8,000 and Rs 15,000 to attend the famous Madras even in Chennai. He recalls difficulties in handling MS December music festival, lasting two to Subbulakshmi’s husband, T Sadasivam. three weeks. “Here we charge just Rs 200 for the “My father had to keep Sadasivam in good humour as he was the man organising entire festival spread over 36 days. Even everything for Subbulakshmi. If he was then people ask for concessions. A tribute upset for some reason, he would cancel the to the Madras audience is that they go

despite costs being so high, which means music is precious to them. I am not suggesting it is not the case here, but people seem used to coming here without paying.” Of course, in Madras, nearly 50 organisations are involved in organising the festival over a shorter period. The Mandali is proud it is a single venue event, and the artistes are on a par with any festival elsewhere.

Don’t miss:

On from April 11 to May 16, every day 5.15 pm to 6.15 pm and 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Jayanthi Kumaresh (Veena)—April 18, 6.30 pm Kadri Gopalnath (Saxophone)—April 19, 6.30 pm Sanjay Subramanyan—April 27, 6.30 pm Nithyasree Mahadevan—April 28, 7.30 pm Ranjani & Gayathri—May 5, 6.30 pm Gayathri Venkataraghavan—May 07, 6.30 pm Kumaresh & Ganesh (Violin)—May 09, 6.30 pm K.J.Yesudas—May 13, 6.30 pm Check the full schedule at www.concertatmandali.com For tickets contact Sree Ramaseva Mandali at 2660 4031, 94480 79079, 99649 50778


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

25

The soul-destroyers Choose your entertainment wisely, for it can create anxiety and hamper freedom, says Sensei Avinash Subramanyam

hen you watch a serial, cricket match, movie or surf the Net, understand the true meaning of what you are doing. Are these aids to living your life well? Or are they deterrents? Living life well is to live free in every sense—body, mind, spirit and soul. We talk about freedom of expression and freedom to live how we want. We protest against individual freedom being curbed under a dictatorship. While these are important, do we care enough about the real freedom of the self? Freedom is to live without anxiety, sadness and distraction. These can be caused by the different forms of entertainment we consume. Anxiety destroys. When someone dear is unwell we don’t feel good. If there’s anxiety about an impending exam, food tastes like saw dust. If a lover breaks up with you, you hit rock bottom. Both body and mind get affected. Getting anxious over an IndiaPakistan match has the same effect. People bet on matches, they stake huge amounts of money on them. A friend does not watch Sachin bat because he fears Sachin will get out! Anxiety! The body and mind do not distinguish between causes for anxiety. The impact is the same. We have forgotten the meaning of sport, which is essentially about sportsmanship—a love of the game for its own sake and to be played with fairness and honour. How many people jump and clap at a good ball or shot irrespective of the team that the player belongs to? It’s fine to want India to win but appreciate whoever plays well. Serials are another big cause for anxiety. Kyunki Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi was very popular and ran for eight years. The Bold and the Beautiful ran for 25 in the West. Today Punar Vivah and Balika Vadhu have caught the public imagination. At what cost though? People neglect family, friends

W

SCAR TV Ill-conceived television shows not only create life-sapping anxiety, but also take a toll on relationshsips

and work. This breaks relationships and trust. If there’s a power cut, they get anxious. Even if they go to parties or if guests come home, they cannot miss an episode. The serial becomes an obsession and causes irritability and anger. What are serials about? Tears, scheming and betrayal! Continuously watching them will reflect in life. What you see and hear will make you who you are. You identify with characters and behave like them in real life. You become paranoid and believe people are scheming against you. Dance shows have children behaving like adults. They wear ‘sexy’ clothes. Parents encourage them since it is a chance at ‘fame’. Reality shows like Roadies insult their participants in abusive language and we watch and enjoy another’s indignity. If money, winning at any cost, and scheming is what you watch, only these elements will get mirrored in your life. Serials are worse than movies because the latter run for about two to three hours and there is no contin-

ued anxiety that they build. Also, in most films, the hero wins and the villain loses. In serials the anti-hero or anti-heroine rules the day. Of course not everyone succumbs to the ill-effects of serials. The strong and discriminating will not get obsessed in the first place. The weak minded will suffer its consequences. Studies and career can get affected. Relationships can suffer. It can lead to disappointments in life. Mobile addiction can cause anxiety. I know of boys who cannot do without their mobiles. They constantly stay up late surfing the net for nothing significant, are on social networks or texting friends. These people develop anxiety, fear and lose the ability to concentrate. When I was young I used to play Wolfenstein 3D, a game revolving around a first person shooter called BJ, an American spy trying to escape from and fight the Nazis. The game involved opening walls to find guns and treasure to help you further the journey. I was at one stage playing the game from 7 pm to 2 am every day. There were days when I neglect-

Way of Budo 29

ed studying and training. Luckily I realized what it was doing to me and stopped. I know of people who were similarly addicted to Mario and would play the game from 8 am to 5 pm not getting out of their beds. They became lethargic, irritable and stopped living. Anxiety and stress affects the heart. They burn your life-force. It’s like killing the engine by constantly revving it. No wonder the youth of today are burnt out between 25 and 30 years. Anxiety doesn’t allow the soul to breathe. When the body is wasted how will the soul housed within the body flourish? Spirituality is nothing other than to be one with nature, to live free. To embark on this journey requires you to refine not only your body and five senses but much more. It requires you to be complete. Like James Bond, who knew not only to wield the gun but also wear his white shirt well and be witty! You need to be in harmony. Like the tree that is strong and rooted but sways to the breeze. Where there is anxiety, there is neither completeness nor harmony. How then can there be freedom? Next issue: Which films to watch and which to avoid


L I S T I NGS

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

26

food

comedy show Tanmay Bhat

 Comic evening: Tickle your funny bone this weekend as four stand up comedians; Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Ashish Shakya and Gursimran Khamba will unleash the fury of Bollywood's worst films ever. For those who hate Bollywood movies, this show is sure to fire up your evening. And for those who love it, well, that’s even better! The show with a Bollywood theme will make you laugh till it hurts. Tickets are priced at Rs 1,200. The Park Hotel, 14/7, MG Road, April 19, 7.30 pm 25594666 Alila Hotel, 100/6, HAL- Varthur Road, Whitefield, April 20, 8 pm

 It’s raining prawns: At the ongoing prawn festival you can try out dishes like coconut stickered jumbo prawns with balsamic cured pineapple grills, masala flavoured hearts of lettuce and prawn tempura in morimotto sauce, scampi thermidor, belado prawns, bagara prawns and more. The Grill and Curry Bowl, 5th Floor, 1 MG Mall, Trinity Circle, till April end 9743488880  Get a taste of Thai: Get authentic Thai cuisine at the Thai food festival. You can try out dishes like

pae-re-nuea phad kanaa (sauteed lamb or beef with broccoli and mushroom), kaeng paa (a jungle curry with egg plant, noodles and rice), guay teow raad naa (wild rice noodles stir fried in Oriental sesame oil with Thai herbs, sweet soy sauce, broccoli snow peas and mushrooms), and gluay guan (a caramelised mixture of ripe bananas, coconut milk and sugar cut into cubes and topped with date sauce). 24 Carats, The Capitol Hotel Ground Floor, Raj Bhavan Road, till April 21 22281234

 Berries all the way: Make the best of the berries' season as you learn to make blueberry muffin, strawberry smoothie, smoked chicken sandwich, potato and corn mini burgers, vegetable empanadas, assorted cookies, berry and yoghurt crunch and more at this demonstration. The Oberoi, 37- 39, MG Road, Yellappa Chetty Layout, April 20 25585858

val where you can choose from some of their specials like cold poached salmon, seafood thermidor, prawn molee and shrimp and avocado salad. The food festival will also have an oyster bar. The Raj Pavilion, ITC Windsor, Golf Course Road, April 20 22264941

Nothing can cheer you up like a good breakfast. Choose from eggs benedict, eggs florentine, potato toasties, vanilla French toast with maple syrup or honey and fruit juices or smoothies. Le Cristaal, # 36, Vittal Mallya Road, available everyday 41462747

 A taste of Thai: Celebrate the water festival of Thailand, Song Kran as you savour some dishes like raw mango salad with grilled chicken, stir fried tofu with mushroom sauce and Thai herbs or a zesty prawn curry with pineapple. Rim Naam, The Oberoi, 3739, MG Road, Yellappa Chetty Layout, till April 21 25585858

 Sweet Summer: It’s that time of the year when you can enjoy ice creams and offering a new sweet surprise is Cream n Fudge. Their latest, the mango praline sensation has mango ice cream and French vanilla ice cream, topped with mango cubes and sugary sweet praline. Available at Cream n Fudge, Koramangala and New BEL Road

 Healthy breakfast:

 Seafood mania: Craving for some seafood? Head to this seafood festi-

music

retail therapy

Rhythm Method  Dazzle this summer: Add a dash of bling to your wardrobe this summer. Choose from neck pieces, earrings, bracelets and more. These can be worn both at work and on an evening out with friends. Prices start at Rs 599 onwards. Available at www.americanswan.com  Skin care for ladies: Catering to your cosmetics needs this season is the international brand Chambor. The brand has opened up its first store in town. Phoenix Market City, Mahadevpura, Whitefield  Get that envious figure: Want to hide your flab behind the clothes so that you get that desirable body shape? Then try on the Shape sensation, firming body ware. These can be worn under western or Indian outfits and are available in two colours, black and beige. Available at all Triumph outlets  Add a dash of colours:

This summer, revamp your wardrobe. Throw out the dull colours and splurge on Max’s latest Summer 2013 collection. The collection has apparel for women, men and children. Women can choose from brightly coloured dresses, tops and jeans whereas men can choose from classic t-shirts and shorts. Available at all Max outlets  Happy feet: Summer brings a lot of sweat with it. Give your shoes and sneakers a rest as you slip your feet in these leather slippers, latest from Florsheim. The slippers are priced at Rs 3,975 onwards. Available at outlets like Metro, Mochi, Regal

 Stylish jeans: Men have reason to smile this summer as John Players introduces its latest, the Spring Summer collection. The collection offers many styles of jeans like colored jeans, chic over-dyed jeans, distressed heavy washed jeans and vintage jeans that are available in slim, skinny, twisted and regular fits. Available at all John Players showrooms  Sunglasses this summer: Vision Express introduces its latest, the Aero Collection. Available in different styles like chroma, sport and captain these sunglasses are priced at Rs 799 onwards. Available at all Vision Express stores.

formed with musicians from Turkey, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Argentina and other countries and have found an ardent fan base in the city's expats. Sharing the stage with them will be Louis Banks and Bruce Lee Mani. Windmills Craftworks, No. 331, Road No. 5B EPIP Zone , Whitefield, April 19 and 20, 8.30 pm onwards 25602012

 Rhythmic weekend: Watch Rhythm Method perform live this weekend. The band's music is a mix of drumstep, breakbeat, world sounds and a bit of rural folk and classical. Watch Siddharth Basurur on vocals, Ustad Dilshan Khan on sarangi and Laiq Qureshi on percussion. bFlat , 100 Feet Road, Above ING Bank, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, April 19, 8.30 pm 41739250  Delusional night: Watch the city drench into some French magic as Issac Delusion will perform. Issac Delusion is a band from Paris. Their music is a mix of pop, electronic, hip hop loops, folk and funk bass. Watch this two member band spin their

magic. Opus, 4, 1st Main, Chakravarthy Layout Palace Cross Road, Sankey Road , April 19 9 pm 9008303330  Get set for a wipeout: Some of the biggest names in the trance music industry, W & W will see artists like Willem van Hanegem and Wardt van der Harst, Nikhil Chinapa, Lost Stories and Pearl perform this weekend. The Chancery Pavillion, 135, Residency Road, April 20, 2 pm onwards 41414141  Jazzy weekend: Termed as one of the best jazz combinations, Adil and Vasundhara will be performing this weekend. They have per-

 Back with a bang: After being inactive for a few years Caesar's Palace is back and will be performing live. The band has performed at festivals like Delhi Eastwind Festival in 2008, Independence Rock in Mumbai and the Bangalore Habba in 2006. CounterCulture, 2D2 , 4th cross, Dyavasandra Industrial Area, Whitefield, April 20, 9pm 41400793

Nikhil Chinapa


L I S T I NGS

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

theatre

27

culture camp Inherit The Wind Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, April 19 and 20, 7.30 pm and April 21, 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm 26493982

 Inherit The Wind: The play is about the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trials of Tennessee. A school teacher is accused of teaching Darwin's Theory in his classroom. William Jennings Bryan, three times US Presidential candidate and ardent Christian, come in for the prosecution. He accepts to be a witness for the defense. Famous defense attorney and agnostic Clarence Darrow fights a lonely battle, where his only weapon is the Holy

Bible. Directed by Jagdish Raja, it has Koshy Varghese, Janardhan Roy, Sanjay Iyer, Noel Mannasseh and Pooja Shankar in the cast. Jagriti Theatre, Ramagondanahalli, Varthur Road, Whitefield, April 19 to 25, 8 pm 41242879  An Evening With Anton Chekhov: The play has four short plays namely The Harmfulness of Tobacco, A Man With a Violent Temper, A Reluctant Tragic Hero and

Swan Song. All of these plays concentrate on the failings of men, and their inability to take responsibility for their lives and failures. Directed by Anmol Vellani, it has Anish Victor, Sachin Gurjale, Ashish D`abreo, Nakul Bhalla, Sharanya Ramprakash, Prashanth Nair and Ravindra Vijay. Ranga Shankara , 36/2, 8th

 Sex, Likes and Pokes: From the team of What’s with Indian Men and Love , Sex and Mocha comes another comedy. The play is the story of three friends and their quest for sex. The play mocks Facebook and the whole online dating phenomenon. Two friends make a bet as to which is the better method to find an ideal mate; the Facebook way or the old school natural way. Both friends find flaws in their methods. Directed by Chaitanya, it has Chaitanya, Anjali, Marylin, Vamsi, Karan B,Abhishek, Pari, Rachael, Shubra and Arun in the cast. Alliance Française de Bangalore, Thimmaiah Road, Opp.UNI Building, Vasanthnagar, April 21, 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm 41231345  Gulle Nari: The play has five characters and is about a rich guy Nariyanna who craves for

more and more riches. He is a cunning man who puts up an act to gain riches from his well-wishers. He is ably supported by his man friday Pathangi, who is as cunning as his master and helps Nariyanna to fool people. The three well-wishers Kaakaraaya, Gidugayya and Haddappa are well to do people with a good name in the society but they are eager to send Nariyanna to the next world to get their hands on Nariyanna’s wealth. All of them pose as most concerned about Nariyanna in order to gain his trust. KH Kalasoudha, Ramanjaneya Temple Compound, Hanumantha Nagar, April 21, 7.30 pm 7259998222  Avanu Ghazal Avalu Shayari : The play is a romantic comedy, set in the early 80's. It is all about Kannada shayaris, where the protagonist falls in love with a person of similar interest. The play is lyrical in nature and uses poetry. Ranga Shankara , 36/2, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, JP Nagar, April 23, 7.30 pm 26493982

 Holistic holidays: This summer, let your kids learn and live the holistic way with this culture camp at Nrityagram. Children will be exposed to dance, yoga, theatre, Kalaripayattu, nature walks and more under the guidance resident teacher Bijayini Satpathy and accomplished actor Atul Kumar. The residential camp is modelled on the ancient gurushishya tradition. Nrityagram, Hesarghatta, April 22 to 28 28466313

To get your event listed, write to us at listings@talkmag.in

film Parari  Ek Thi Daayan Hindi The movie is about a magician, who is well known in the country. Though he is successful, his girlfriend Tamara is unaware that his life is falling apart. He constantly keeps having hallucinations and seeks psychiatric help. During his treatment it is learnt that he had an encounter with a daayan (witch) in his childhood. She had threatened to return to his life and destroy him. Directed by Kannan Iyer and written by Vishal Bhardwaj, it has Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Huma Qureshi and Kalki Koechlin in the lead. Fun Cinemas, Cunningham Road - 10.30 am, 1.15 pm, 4, 6.45, 9.45 Rex Theatre - 11 am, 3.15 pm, 6.30, 10 Gopalan Cinemas, Bannerghatta Road - 10 am, 12.25 pm, 5.10, 7.35, 10 Gopalan Cinemas, Arch Mall, Mysore Road - 10 am, 2.45 pm, 7.35, 10 Gopalan Mall, Sirsi Circle- 10 am, 2.45 pm, 7.35, 10 Rockline Cinemas, Jalahalli - 11.30 am, 9.30 pm Urvashi Digital 4K cinemas9.45 pm Innovative Multiplex - 11.45 am, 2.30 pm, 5, 10  The Croods 3D English From the makers of Madagascar, comes another animated movie. The film is about a family as they set on a journey when the cave

that has always been their home is destroyed. Travelling across spectacular landscapes, the Croods face generational clashes as they discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures and their outlook is changed forever. Directed by Kirk De Micco, it has Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke in the lead. Fun cinemas, Cunningham Road- 7 pm Gopalan Cinemas, Bannerghatta Road- 7.30 pm Cinepolis, Bannerghatta Road- 7.05 pm, 9.45 Fame Lido, off MG Road- 6.30 pm, 8.30 INOX, Mantri Mall, Malleswaram7.45 pm, 9.40 INOX, Garuda Mall- 7.35 pm, 9.15 INOX, JP Nagar- 6.30 pm, 8.30 Fame Forum Value Mall, Whitefield7.15 pm, 9.30  Scary Movie 5 The latest in the Scary Movie franchisee, this one is the first one to not feature Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) in its cast. The story is of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan who are under attack by paranormal forces which in turn posses Lindsay who ends up killing Charlie. Their three children go missing and are later rescued by Charlie’s brother and his girlfriend. The film like previous ones in the series

is a parody on several movies. The series’ new entrant takes on recent films like Mama, Inception, Black Swan and others like Evil Dead, The Cabin in the Woods and Fifty Shades of Grey. The cast includes Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg and Mike Tyson among others. Fun Cinemas, Cunningham Road - 10 am, 9.30 pm  Parari Kannada Directed by KM Chaitanya, the film is a romantic comedy and stars Shubha Punja, Jahnavi Kamat, Shravanth Rao, Shrungha and Bullet Prakash. The film also has Umashree in an important role. Music has been composed by Anoop Seelin. Nartaki - 10.30 am, 1.30 pm,

4.30, 7.30 Prasanna - 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Nandini - 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Nalanda - 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Sri Siddeshwara - 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Vaishnavi 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30 Rajarajeshwari- 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30, 7.30  Udhayam NH4 Tamil Directed by Manimaran this is a romantic thriller starring Siddharth in the lead with newcomer Ahrita Shetty. The film’s music is composed by GV Prakash. Fun Cinemas, Cunningham Road- 7.30 pm, Gopalan Cinemas, Bannerghatta Road - 10 am, 5 pm, Innovative Multiplex - 4.45 pm, 7.30

Ek thi Daayan


memoir

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

28

VIVEK ARUN

A spiritual-minded village headman is charged with murder atel Venkataswamy Reddy’s case was a turning point in my legal career. He was the headman of Sora Hunase, a village in Varthur, now an IT hub and extension of Bangalore. Venkataswamy Reddy was an accused in a murder case. Fourteen others were arraigned. The case came to my senior lawyer Devadas unexpectedly. Devadas and Venkataswamy Reddy had been friends, and my senior sincerely wanted to help him win the case. But his enthusiasm as a lawyer had diminished. Already senile, Devadas had been depressed because he was

P

with the godman. He used to accomcharged in a murder case. A labourer at a Chikmagalur pany Baba for lunch and dinner. A coffee plantation had been killed. devotee of Sai Baba, Devadas respectDevadas had been dragged into the ed Venkataswamy Reddy for the privcase. Old age and upheavals in his ilege he enjoyed of sitting at the same personal life had taken a toll, and he table as the spiritual leader. When he took up could not focus on the case. Reddy’s case, I felt sorry for him. He was such Venkataswamy a reputed lawyer, but was not in his Devadas asked me to file a vakalat. It element. I always regarded him as a was a clear hint that I had to take on legal encyclopedia. He didn’t have to the burden of the case. I started purteach me: his every word and argu- suing the case with right earnestness. Looking at Venkataswamy ment was a lesson. I could not digest Reddy, no one the idea that he had would believe he become helpless. Looking at was a murderer. He Venkataswamy Reddy, no one had a spiritual glow Reddy was pious on his face, and and religious, and would believe he c o m m a n d e d Devadas held him in was a murderer respect. I was astonhigh regard. As ished to see his president of the Satya Sai Baba Bhajan Mandali at the composure even when he stood in Whitefiled ashram, Venkataswamy the dock. He looked relaxed, and Reddy had been closely associated trusted Baba to save him. However,

crime folio

A feud in Varthur Fabled ranconteur and Bangalore’s top-notch criminal lawyer brings you moving, sensational and bizarre stories from 40 years of his practice

CH HANUMANTHARAYA

the co-accused were nowhere as confident. Venkataswamy Reddy had asked his son-in-law Krishna Reddy to assist me. Providing the details I sought, Krishna Reddy became a close friend. As I went deep into the case, Devadas retired from it. The clients were not happy with


memoir the development. They started grumbling that Devadas had passed on his responsibility to a junior like me. At the behest of his co-accused, Venkataswamy Reddy took up the issue with Devadas. “Can we win the case?” he asked Devadas. “Believe in God. Our duty is to put in our best efforts,” replied Devadas. The co-accused were disheartened by his reply, but Venkataswamy Reddy just smiled. I was taken aback as I had never seen Devadas talking to his clients with such pessimism. I asked him in private, “Sir, I think you have lost hope in the case?” He said with a smile, “Criminal advocacy is not just about doing homework, but about conducting a parallel investigation.” I got the hint and started investigating the case. I called Krishna Reddy and said, “Please tell me in detail what happened so that I can pick up some points and piece them together.” He narrated the story. Patel Venkataswamy Reddy was a peace-loving man. Another villager, Chinnaiah Reddy, had become jealous of his popularity, and instigated some rowdies and formed an anti-Patel group. This group opposed every decision

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

“I want to talk to them now,” I insistVenkataswamy Reddy took, and created hurdles for every little thing in the village. ed. Krishna Reddy had given me all the Chinnaiah Reddy had two sons: Gopala Reddy and Chandra Reddy. details but could not say when exactly Chandra Reddy was a doctor. His wife, also Gopala Reddy had died. The time of his a doctor, worked at Victoria Hospital. death was based on the complainants’ verVenkataswamy Reddy and Chinnaiah sion, which the police had recorded in the Reddy clashed frequently. In one incident, first information report (FIR), and there assailants had chopped off the right arm of was a chance that it was false. When I told Venkataswamy Reddy’s son Aswatha him this, Krishna Reddy’s face lit up. I asked the attackers, “What was your Reddy. Gopala Reddy had led the assailants. real objective when you attacked Gopala While Venkataswamy Reddy was not in Reddy? Did you want to kill him or just wound him?” favour of retaliation, his “We wanted to kill supporters wanted to ‘We first slit his him. We fled from the teach Chinnaiah Reddy’s spot only after we were gang a lesson. “We must throat and then sure he was dead,” they give them a fitting reply. hacked him all said. If we don’t do that, they over the body’ It was as though will eliminate us. Please lightning had struck. I don’t come in our way,” had a new point. The FIR version of Gopal was the chorus. A few weeks later, Gopala Reddy was Reddy’s time of death was wrong. The attacked by Venkataswamy Reddy’s sup- police had built up records with Gopala porters near his farm. A severely injured Reddy’s statement in which he had said he Gopala Reddy was taken to Victoria was attacked by 15 men. That was false, Hospital. He died before the doctors could too. I asked the attackers again, “Did anyattend to him. “How many attackers went after one come to Gopala Reddy’s rescue?” “There was no scope for that. We first Gopala Reddy?” I asked Krishna Reddy. slit his throat and then hacked him all over “Seven,” he said.

29

the body. No one was around, and he slumped in a heap,” one of them said. It was clear Gopala Reddy had died on the spot. I went to the police outpost at Victoria Hospital. That is where they record casualties brought into the hospital. I gave a police constable some money, and he showed me the station diary, according to which Gopala Reddy had been taken in dead. The time recorded was half an hour after his death. I copied the diary, and built up strong evidence to prove Gopala Reddy’s dying declaration had been fabricated. Using all these details, I prepared a note and presented it to Devadas. He was ecstatic. He was clad in a lungi that day. He embraced me and said, “I did less with more, but you did more with less. Now you have become a complete criminal lawyer.” My eyes were moist with a sense of accomplishment. After we won the case, Venkataswamy Reddy came over to our office with two garlands. One was for Devadas and the other for me. When he stepped forward, I took the garland from his hand and placed it at the feet of Devadas. Translated by BV Shivashankar


T I M E P A SS

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

30

talk the intelligent bangalorean’s must-read weekly

How do advertisers talk to Bangalore’s most intelligent readers? They call these numbers Abhay 95388 92618 Mithun 98864 69787


T I M E P A SS 1st Cross

31

Talk’s weekly crossword for Bangaloreans who know their way about town 16 Area home to the Sree Ramaseva Mandali (11) 17 ___ - ____ thousand: The number of Bangalore citizens who enrolled as voters on deadline day (5-4)

7

DOWN 1 Lokayukta activist in the news these days (1,1,7) 2 Karnataka tourist destination known for its sculptures and red sandstone cliffs (6) 3 Yeddyurappa's son who was recently suspended from the BJP (1,1,11) 5 Bangalore-based NGO Centre for Wildlife Studies recently signed a memorandum of understanding with this US University (4)

10

Last week’s solution

ACROSS 4 Kannada action movie starring Sudeep, Bhavana and Tulip Joshi (8) 6 Restaurant on MG Road renowned for its deep fried Bhindi (6) 7 Dr _ _ _ ___ : Bangalore based scientist who recently became the first Indian to reach an H-index of 100 (1,1,1,3)

talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

8

Fourth largest city in Karnataka (7) 11 Reliance recently launched its second branch of Reliance ____ , a cash and carry store, in the country, in Bangalore (6) 14 ___ Cinemas: Multiplex on Cunningham Road (3) 15 Easternmost district of Karnataka (5)

Across: 2 BESCOM, 4 Four, 6 L Srinivas, 8 Hoodi, 11 Platinum City, 12 Ration card, 15 Pecos, 16 Auradkar, 18 Factory, 19 Kingfisher. Down: 1 Srinivasa, 2 Bellary, 3 Kohli, 5 Unadkat, 7 Charminar, 9 S S Prasad, 10 Queen's, 13 Amanath, 14 Rangoli, 17 Ten.

8 9

12 13

14

The RCB batting line-up depends on him for a good start (5,5) Party which won the recent ward byelection in Narayanapura (3) They have been the bane of the city this summer (5,4) Area in the news recently when the police caned Congress workers for stone throwing (7) Chapatti made out of rice (4,4) The High Court turned down this government body's proposal for a uniform improvement fee (4) According to a recent survey at least ____ wards in the city get 100 per cent contaminated water (7)

Prof Good Sense  My daughter is four months short of 14. She is a bright girl but just manages to scrape through every year. She ought to be in Class IX in a couple of months, but the principal has told us that she will be detained in the same class. Her motivation is low and she’s always distracted thanks to the mobile, TV and friends. Is it alright to repeat a year? Could this be due to her age? Komal, Bangalore Not many schools would consider physical age a reason for asking a child to repeat a year. If you impress upon her that she would have to repeat a year and sit with her juniors, she is likely to pull up her socks. Talk to her, but don’t put her to shame. Find out if she is comfortable with scoring average marks. Don’t compare her with others. Appeal to her dignity and honour. Also, monitor her distractions in a healthy manner. Prof M Sreedhara Murthy teaches psychology at NMKRV First Grade College. He is also a well-known photographer. Mail queries to prof@talkmag.in


talk|25 apr 2013|talkmag.in

The Bollywoody Army

Love in Tokyo, the sequel

What you see here is a banner put up by the Indian Army’s recruitment office in Shillong (pic uploaded by @pragsrats on Twitter). Priyanka Chopra, Preity Zinta, Gul Panag... the celebs featured are all children of army officers, and the text reads: ‘If you want to have beautiful and successful daughters, join Indian Army.’ Now, that’s a nice line to take for a cosmopolitan Indian Army to appeal to matrilineal Meghalaya, but we’re not so sure it has worked out very well.

It is well known that the Japanese are good with machines, so much so that it is increasingly difficult to tell the two apart. It is equally well known that engineering students—a group where boys hopelessly outnumber girls— are a lonely bunch. (That’s putting it mildly; engineering college boy’s hostels are virtual ammunition depots of raging, yearning testosterone, as anyone living in the vicinity would testify). But now, it seems the geeks have finally solved this existential problem the only way they know—using technology. Engineering students at the University of Tsukuba have taken their country’s embrace of technology to a literal level by inventing a ‘fulfilment coat,’ which hugs you just like a girlfriend does. They call it the Riajyuu coat. Riajyuu is the the local term for someone “who is pleased with their life outside the Internet” (Don’t ask). It is essentially two robotic pincers controlled by a motor that simulates a girl’s cuddle

A 60,000 ton pyramid under the sea We had always thought of archaeologists as a bunch of over-educated folks who don’t like to work, and instead poke around in remote places claiming to be looking for this lost civilisation or that. Now it seems some of them have gone and discovered something more interesting than potshards and stinky fossil remains—a giant stone structure beneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. At nearly 32 feet in height, this impressive coneshaped structure (not actual

pic) weighs an estimated 60,000 tons, making it heavier than most modern-day warships. The team says it

looks like a giant cairn, boulders piled on top of each other, used to mark burial sites across the world in ancient times. They say it is definitely human-made and speculate that it was built on land, only later to be covered by the sea. Researcher Yitzhak Paz of the Israel Antiquities Authority believes it could be more than 4,000 years old, and located near an ancient city that researchers call “Bet Yerah.” Expect more such educated guesswork about the pyramid’s purpose.

32

from behind when you put the coat on. As you feel the squeeze, the headphone that comes with the coat whispers pre-recorded words such as “I am sorry, were you waiting?” and “ Watch your back!” into your ears. We told you they are good with machines.


TAlk Magazine