Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Turkish connection

Indialogue Foundation director Osman Kayaoglu talks about the places to see in Turkey as he holds a traditional Turkish vase./  Photo: Nagara Gopal / The Hindu
Indialogue Foundation director Osman Kayaoglu talks about the places to see in Turkey as he holds a traditional Turkish vase./ Photo: Nagara Gopal / The Hindu

As the Turkish Consulate gets ready to set up office in Hyderabad, Neeraja Murthy finds a Turkey-Hyderabad connect

Enter the first floor of Learnium School on Road No. 44, Jubilee Hills and you’ll find a slice of Turkey in Hyderabad. On the walls is a Turkish Corner that displays photographs of ‘Turk folklor’, a Turkish bride, ‘Turk Lokumu’ among other things. Move around and there is a Indo-Turk Corner and photographs of famous Turkish palaces. As we soak in the pictures, we hear the booming voice of Sevim Kayaogolu calling out “Bir, iki, uch, dort… “(one, two, three four… in Turkish). She is teaching a Turkish dance to a group of young girls who are dancing to the beats of Yeni bir dunya, dressed in their traditional Turkish dresses.

Sevim (in the centre) joins a group of girls dancing to the tune of Turkish song ‘Yeni bir dunya’. / Photo: Nagara Gopal / The Hindu
Sevim (in the centre) joins a group of girls dancing to the tune of Turkish song ‘Yeni bir dunya’. / Photo: Nagara Gopal / The Hindu

“The students are presenting this Turkish dance for the Parents Day meeting,” informs Sevim. The school (will be called Iqbalia International School) run by a Trust (which also includes Turkish people) teaches Turkish language art, dance and culture to its students, in addition to its regular CBSE syllabus. Osman Kayaogolu, director of Indialogue Foundation’s second year in Hyderabad, calls the city ‘historical’. “Among the different cities in India, Hyderabad has a beautiful history,” he says and adds, “Turkey and Hyderabad share a lot in common in culture. We have given our daughters here in marriage – Princess Durru Shehvar who married Azam Jah, Princesses Esin and Esra have also come to Hyderabad after marriage.”

Osman talks about the ‘royal’ similarity between the two regions. “The Chowmahalla Palace looks like a replica of Dolmabahche palace, only the former is smaller. It is said that the Chowmahalla was built for Durru Shehvar so that she would feel at home in a place that reminds her of Turkey,” he smiles.

Indialogue Foundation, the Turkish cultural centre acts as a hub for the 15 Turkish families living in Hyderabad. “We get together here during religious ceremonies like Eid and we organise inter-faith seminars, talks, conferences and cultural programmes. We arrange business meetings between Turkish and Indian businessmen and also organise Turkish celebrations.”

Osman says the Turks enjoy their stay in the city. “The climate is nice and we enjoy eating biryani which is like our not-so-spicy Osmani pulao. We have made many friends here and people are affectionate too.”

What baffles Osman however is the way friendly Hyderabadis behave while driving on roads. “During busy traffic, they are not at all friendly and act differently,” he says with a smile. The Turkish women volunteers try to spread their art and culture in the city. Osman and his group of friends also play football every Sunday. “We don’t know about cricket, but now our children are picking up the game in Hyderabad.”

There is also good news for the Turkish families in the city with the Turkish Consulate coming up here. “The Turkish Consulate General Murat Omeroglu is in Hyderabad with his family and the work to establish the Consulate has begun. The process might take six months,” says Osman.

Osman says Turkish people in the city do miss their family and friends back home as well as Turkish food; but they have found a home away from home here.

“Hyderabad is our second home. Merhaba Hydarabad (Salaam Hyderabad),” he signs off.

Short film contest

Indialogue Foundation and Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad had organised a Indialogue Short Film Contest 2013on the theme ‘Peaceful Coexistence” which aimed to foster universally shared values among public .

The contest had two categories – YouTube award and Jury award. Emrah Alpaslan from Saritha Vidya Niketan with his short film titled Dedicated Life won the YouTube award with 2100+ views. Jhilam Chattaraj, from University of Hyderabad with her movie In Search of History was selected for the Jury award.

Both the awards carried a prize money of Rs. 35,000 each.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by Neeraja Murthy / November 19th, 2013

Everyman, once more

Farooq Sheikh will soon be seen in “Club 60” with Sarika./  Photo: Shiv Kumar  Pushpakar / The Hindu
Farooq Sheikh will soon be seen in “Club 60” with Sarika./ Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar / The Hindu

Farooq Sheikh continues to be choosy about roles and forthright with his opinions.

At a time when larger than life was the norm, Farooq Sheikh was the everyman on celluloid. With a series of films he brought out the anxieties of the middle class urban youth on the screen. A combination of choosy and laidback, of late we have seen him in shades he was not known for in his younger days. If in “Shanghai” he was grey without making it too apparent, in “Lahore” he delivered a National Award winning performance as a kickboxing coach. Even his turn as a father, telling his son the importance of family without shackling him, in “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” added some meaning to the gloss. “Some new directors are showing awareness and sensibility to experiment within the contours of commercial cinema. But even in my younger days I waited to play different roles. “Noorie” was different from “Umrao Jaan” and “Umrao Jaan” was different from “Chashme Buddoor” and “Katha”,” he reminds that after “Noorie” he could have easily repeated himself.

Farooq Sheikh is missing value-based entertainment but blames the audience for it. “We have to understand that cinema is still an expensive medium. There is no point in criticising filmmakers for when you queue up to watch monkey dance you are supposed to eat and throw peanuts.” He will soon be seen in “Club 60”, debutant Sanjay Tripthay’s film on a bunch of oldies who haven’t lost their zest for life. “If you don’t suffer from any debilitating disease, age is indeed just a number. It is all about attitude. I have seen young men with stooping shoulders. The film celebrates life without sermonising.”

Farooq Sheikh will soon be seen in “Club 60” with Sarika. / Photo: By Special Arrangement / The Hindu
Farooq Sheikh will soon be seen in “Club 60” with Sarika. / Photo: By Special Arrangement / The Hindu

Cinema is said to be a young man’s medium, with little space for stories of the old but Sheikh maintains, ““Mughal-e-Azam” is as much about young Salim and Anarkali as it is about old Akbar. “Gandhi” is essentially about an old man who led a country to freedom. I always say the backbone of a film is its storyline, if it falls flat even a spritely young man can’t make it run.”

On Muslim socials presenting a distorted view about the community, Sheikh says cinema is a mass medium and touches only the surface and goes by the general perception. “You can ask why Rajinikanth always plays South Indian characters. Why doesn’t he play a Khanna or a Kapoor? What should be looked at is when the credits roll, you get to know that the Hindu boy you were watching on the screen his real name is Salman Khan and the North Indian girl you fell in love with is actually a Padukone.”

Sheikh says people make a lot about nomenclature in Hindi cinema. “To me the idea is to keep it simple so that people could easily remember the name. I haven’t seen a single character named Shatrughan in a Hindi film despite the fact that we have a popular actor of this name.”

Ploughing the middle ground

As we enter into an election year, the choice is fast getting reduced between the communal and the corrupt. Sheikh, who is never shy of sharing his point of view on social and political issues, says corruption can be handled through a robust democratic process but what will you do of people who are eager to create social disorder leading us to a state of chaos. Sheikh is considered as a moderate voice among Muslims but the seasoned actor is not too enthused by this description. “The government either listens to those who threaten to go on fast unto death or those who pick up the gun. Where is the space for the moderate voices,” he asks.

While the government has paid little heed to the findings of the Sachar Committee, he says, the community also needs to look within. “Does a Farooq Sheikh need to buy a car or can he remain happy with his two-wheeler and donate some money for the betterment of the community. Do you procreate to have an educated and well informed citizen or do you just want another hand to help in the business. Do you want to become an asset to the society or do you want to become a huge weight around its neck. If you fall down one way is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. Another way is to keep lying and crying. These are some of the questions that the community has to address,” says Sheikh adding the community has yet to see a leader of the calibre of Maulana Azad.

Some of the clerics have shown their conditional support to a particular leader. “There is nothing like a cleric in Islam,” Sheikh counters. “They are useful only for the people who can’t read and understand Koran. And those who understand can make up their own mind.” On Lata Mangeshkar being hounded for supporting Narendra Modi, Sheikh says she has every right to air her opinion. “If somebody feels that an election can be win or lost according to the opinion of a film personality he is mistaken. In that case a political party just has to rope in one of the Khans,” says Sheikh denying he holds any political ambitions.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> Friday Review / by Anuj Kumar / November 28th, 2013 ( in Print November 29th, 2013).

A gem of a story

The man dealing with treasures at the world’s premium auction house spills the beans on some famous sparkles

David Warren International Director ofJewellery, Christie’s

As the man in charge of organising auctions of exquisite diamonds, jewellery and artworks, David Warren is always on the lookout for treasures from private collections, estates and individuals. As a child, he would help out in his mother’s antique shop in Scotland. “I appreciated beautiful things even as a child and now, I see and handle some of the world’s most exquisite jewels every day,” he says. He tells us the stories behind the some of the famous baubles he has worked with.

» “I love the story behind the ruby ring from the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection in 2011. Richard Burton was looking for the perfect ruby, and wrote in fluent French (not bad for the son of a Welsh miner) to Pierre Arpels of the jewellery house about it. Years later, they found the world’s perfect ruby, which was then set in a ring he presented to Elizabeth Taylor in her Christmas stocking. At first, she left the small package inside the sock, believing it to be a walnut. Burton had to make her look again and that’s when she picked up the ring.

» In the late 1980s, an elderly lady in Scotland would tell me she had gemstones of national importance. I didn’t really believe her. One day she invited me to lunch and showed me a light pink cushion-shaped diamond. I traced its history and found that it originally came from India in 1526 — it was the Agra Diamond, that Emperor Babur wore in his turban. It was later passed down among the Mughal emperors. In the late 19th century, the stone was smuggled out of India by an English officer and reached London. It was sold to an American railroad engineer Louis Winans, who built trains in Russia. He enjoyed collecting gemstones and this became one of his treasured pieces. The old lady was a relative of his and when he died, her sisters each received tin boxes with precious jewels inside. During World War II, she dug a hole in the ground and kept the box there for safety. Later, she moved it to a safe at the bank. When we finally sold the Agra, it made $ 7 million — a world record price for any coloured diamond in 1990.

» In November this year, Christie’s held an auction of the Orange diamond. It is the largest fancy vivid diamond (14.82 carats) ever offered at auction. It sold for $35,540,612 at Christie’s Geneva, setting a world record price for an orange diamond. I can’t disclose the name of the buyer but the stone is described as a ‘miracle of nature’. I don’t think I’ll ever see another like it in my lifetime.”

source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Columns> Work / by Bangalore Mirror Bureau / by Jayanthi Madhukar / November 28th, 2013

Fifty and counting

Wait till Wasim Jaffer draws stumps on his career. Wait till he adds a few more tons to his already glittering array of records. And then he’ll leave us with that searching question. Should he have played just 31 Tests? When he was 32, supposedly a time when batsmen peak, the selectors felt his best years were behind him. Now he’s 35, and probably his best years are indeed behind him. But he remains that unbending spinal column for Mumbai.

Against Vidarbha at the Wankhede yesterday, he notched up his 50th first-class ton (34th in Ranji). If not for Jaffer’s unbeaten 133 (261 balls, 393 minutes, 13 fours, one six), Mumbai wouldn’t have come anywhere close to 200, let alone 254 for eight, on the opening day.

With his Bjorn Borg-like stillness – doesn’t he also look a touch like the Swede legend with that wispy beard these days? – Jaffer steadied the innings amidst a regular slide of wickets. He had two fifty-plus stands – 64 with Abhishek Nayar and 58 with Shardul Thakur – but then run edifices are not built on small scraps.

Vidarbha quicks, Sandeep Singh (3/29) in particular, made most of the morning conditions as they made the ball to dart around. “He (Singh) doesn’t have much pace but he uses his swing and doesn’t give you easy balls to hit. He bowls to his strength and bowls patiently. He wants batsmen to make mistakes and that’s exactly what he did,” Jaffer said.

Singh rattled Mumbai early, consuming Kaustubh Pawar at point and Ajinkya Rahane at first slip. Young Siddesh Lad, who seldom appears rushed in his shot-making, promised much before driving Singh away from his body and perishing to second slip.

But it was Vidarbha’s spinners who walked away with the spoils. Not that they had to earn every wicket. Abhishek Nayar was bowled behind his legs in trying to sweep Akshay Wakhare and Aditya Tare perished attempting an injudicious, if not reckless, sweep off the same bowler’s quick off-break that was pitched on the middle-stump.

Suryakumar Yadav couldn’t have made a better gift of his wicket. Somehow he doesn’t cease to embarrass himself or those who back his talent. Mumbai’s innings had reached a point when Jaffer could have done with a hand – and Yadav was the last of the frontline batsmen. He stepped out to left-arm spinner Ravi Jangid (3/48) but the hoick ended up warming the palms of mid-off, making it 161 for six.

Jaffer termed it “a poor shot” but hoped that Surya would learn. “He (Surya) was the last of the recognised batsmen. I’m sure he’s aware of that. But he’s got potential and he’s got runs,” said Jaffer, who felt that Mumbai should have closed at something in the range of 260 for six.

Jaffer’s knock had streaks of the familiar flair but it was more businesslike as Mumbai never settled in. We didn’t quite see those withering drives through mid-off and covers, but he pierced the on-side at will.

But if this match is a preamble to India’s tour of South Africa – given the presence of Umesh Yadav and Rahane – then the script didn’t go as planned. Yadav looked rather stiff in his morning spell as Jaffer tucked him off his toes with consummate ease. Yadav’s acceleration to the wicket wasn’t to be seen, though it’s not quite cricket to be overly critical of a genuine quick bowler returning after a long layoff. The rustiness was expected but India will hope he finds his rhythm soon.

As the day wore on, it seemed strange that this was the place brimming with people for someone’s farewell Test just about 10 days back. All that remained now were desolate stands, an inert giant scoreboard and a crumpled-up India flag lying on one of the roofs. This felt like a true Ranji Trophy match.

Scoreboard: Mumbai (Ist innings) K Pawar ct A Wakhare b S Singh 3, W Jaffer not out 133, A Rahane ct H Badani b S Singh 1, S Lad c F Y Fazal b S Singh 20, A Nayar b A Wakhare 27, A Tare lbw b A Wakhare 17, S Yadav ct Umesh Yadav b R Jangid 5, S Thakur ct (sub) U Patel b R Jangid 26, Z Khan b R L Jangid 6, V Dabholkar not out 26. Extras: 1 wd, 8 b, 7 lb. Total: 254 for 8 in 89.0 overs. FoW: 4/1, (Pawar), 10/2 (Rahane), 39/3 (Lad), 103/4 (Nayar), 141/5 (Tare), 161/6 (Yadav), 219/7 (Thakur), 227/8 (Zaheer). Bowling: Sandeep Singh 19-8-29-3, Umesh Yadav 18-2-69-0, S Wagh 16-3-28-0, R Jangid 18-2-48-3, A Wakhare 17-0-65-2

source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Sport> Cricket / Bangalore Mirror Bureau / by Deba Prasad Dhar / November 28th, 2013

Karnataka Forum staged Indian Comedy Show in Qatar


Karnataka Muslim Cultural Association (KMCA) staged a world renowned Urdu Comedy show -Adrak Ko Panje- for the first time in Qatar on 1st November 2013 at Al Maha School auditorium boys wing.

The full jam packed crowd was thrilled with nonstop three hours of comedy by the all artists who came all the way from Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The event was inaugurated by Mr. Saeed Asadi who welcomed the gathering; prominent leader of Indian Community at Qatar Mr. Hasan Chougle addressing the gathering lauded his voice the good community work being done by KMCA and appreciated the Special Needs team for the community service.
The dignities were felicitated by the forum president Mr. Niyaz Ahmed.

Mr. Sayed Abdul Hye, the senior citizen and the past president of KMCA was also present in the diaz. Mr. Saquib Raza Khan proposed vote of thanks and Mr. Ibraiz Khan compared the event.

source: / Sahil Online / Home / Gulf News press release / by I. G. Bhatkali / Saturday – November 16th, 2013

Azad’s views still relevant to country: D. Harinarayana

“Educating the rural girl would be a great advantage to the economy,” said the Pro Vice-Chancellor of GITAM University, at the 129 birth anniversary celebrations of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s views were still relevant to the country, Pro Vice-Chancellor of GITAM University, D. Harinarayana, said while participating in the 129 birth anniversary celebrations of India’s first Union Minister for Education, organised by the GITAM Institute of Science on Monday.

Educating the rural girl would be a great advantage to the economy, Prof. Harinarayana said while pointing out that there was still a lot of disparity in rural and urban literacy and that women’s education was still a neglected area.

The education system as well as quality of institutions must be strengthened and youth must be imbibed with skills so that they could compete in the global environment, he said.

Principal of GIS N. Lakshmana Das spoke on the life of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He regretted that in wake of the IT revolution students were not opting for science courses.

But there was scope for a lot of opportunities in science for the younger generation due to the great ‘Big Bang’ experiment, nuclear energy, space science and other areas, he pointed put.

UGC affairs Director Ch. Ramakrishna, senior professor Ramana and other faculty members participated in the meeting.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Visakhapatnam / by Special Correspondent / Visakhapatnam – November 12th, 2013

GSSS Engg. student represents India


Mysore :

City skater, Benazir Meera, a 5th semester student of Electrical Engineering at GSSSIETW, Mysore, represented India in the Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track Championship (also a qualifier for the Winter Olympics) held between Nov. 7 and 11 at Torino, Italy. She has been coached by K. Srikantha Rao.

Benazir Meera is the daughter of A. Mohammed Meera and Naheed Meera, residents of city.

Benazir Meera had previously won the second place in National Short Track Speed Skating Fall/ Winter Ranking Competition held in Taipei Arena Annex Ice Rink in 2007 and represented India in 2008 at the same event.

source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / November 22nd, 2013

Wins gold medal in squal martial art champ

Mysore :

AnandrajuMPos28nov2013V. Anandaraju, an employee of city-based N. Ranga Rao & Sons, has won gold medal in 60 kg Black Belt Category (Loba) at the Squay Martial Art National Championship 2013 held at Goa between Nov. 14 and 16. He represented Karnataka in the championship.

Anandaraju, 24, has been practicing Squay Martial Art since three years at the Mysore Association for Squay Martial Art under the guidance of his coach Malatesh. He has also practiced Karate for about 11 years.

A BBM graduate from Maharaja’s college, Mysore, he hails from an agrarian family from H.D.Kote in Mysore district.

About Squay Martial Art : The Persian word Squay means ‘knowledge of war’. According to the legend, thousands of years ago, Kashmir’s King Dharyadev trained his fighters in this defensive art form. The modern form of squay was introduced in Kashmir by one Nazeer Ahmed Mir. Now squay is practiced in 20 Indian States.

The swift movements and defensive steps of squay are similar to those of Kalaripayattu of Kerala. Just like in Kalaripayattu, squay employs weapons such as swords and shields.

source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / November 22nd, 2013

Firoz Fatma Becomes First Woman ‘Crorepati’ of KBC7

Firoz Fatma - the first female crorepati of KBC 2013.
Firoz Fatma – the first female crorepati of KBC 2013.

Firoz Fatma from Saharanpur has emerged the first female crorepati of the 2013 edition of popular reality TV game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC).

She took home a jackpot of Rs.1 crore from the show, hosted by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan. Her victory will be showcased on the season’s last episode Sunday.

A Bachelor of Science student from Uttar Pradesh, Fatma participated in the game show to win a certain amount to pay off her deceased father’s loan.

Fatma had lost hope to make it to the hot seat this season, but she finally found her lucky moment.

“I was very nervous when I wasn’t able to make it to the hot seat in the second last episode and felt I have to go home empty handed. But then I aced the fastest finger first round and made my way to the hot seat,” Fatma said in a press statement issued post her Rs.1 crore victory.

“Also, I didn’t feel as the one-crore winner until the audience clapped and Bachchanji hugged me. It is a great feeling,” she added.

Fatma credits her pool of general knowledge to newspapers and news channels.

Now the young lady wants to help her family get rid of her father’s loan, and invest some money in studying further for a brighter future. She also wants her mother to live a tension-free life.

KBC is the Indian adaptation of international format “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. KBC first went on air in 2000.

Except the third season, which was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan, Big B has been in the anchor’s seat for all KBC seasons.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Entertainment> Television / by IANS / November 28th, 2013

Nursing a squash dream by sleeping on platforms

Mumbai :

Dressed in a pair of worn-out track pants and a jacket, Tehrunnisa  calls herself a ‘sportswallah’ — a word she uses to describe her life and career as an athlete. A police constable by profession and an athlete, the 48-year-old mother of two travelled all the way from Allahabad to accompany her children Tamanna and Masoodullah  to the third edition of NSCI Squash Open Championship at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium. She calls it her City of Dreams. Logistics issues though have made her stay a nightmarish experience.

The trio which arrived in the city on Tuesday night, has been camping at the LTT platforms. As the NSCI Open is a club tourney, the organizers do not provide accommodation. “We don’t have money or the time to find a place to stay in this city. We have travelled to metro cities before and at times I’ve used my contacts in the police to find accommodation.

“Nothing has materialized here as of now. We will survive. They say squash is a rich-man’s sport. I want to prove them wrong,” says Tehrunnisa, who stayed at the bus depot in Indore with her children during the Nationals in February.

“It is a four-day event. Instead of wasting time hankering after people in power, I might as well help my kids stay here and practise. It is all an experience for them. You learn by watching and they will get the chance to meet the likes of  Saurav Ghosa  and Joshna Chinappa. It is a great honour for us to just sit in this facility today,” says Tehrunnisa, who reminisces about the time she was awarded the 400m gold in Police Games by then Governor of UP, Motilal Vohra.

Having lost her husband in a car accident in August this year, Tehrunnisa is the sole bread winner of the family and tries to make ends meet and fuel the sporting hopes of her kids within the Rs 12,000 that she makes every month. Cutting corners is the only way to live.

“They started playing in 2010. They couldn’t get into the  Amitabh Bachchan Sports Academy .  Excuses such as gender and lack of seats were cited. But finally my children found a way,” she stresses as her son Masoodullah (17) returns from his round one match against Yohan Poncha with a 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9 win. “I wish Amitabh Bachchan could visit the academy. He is our local hero and a word from him can do wonders for the children who are playing without any facilities.”

Daughter Tamanna (19), her eldest, will be in action on Wednesday. The only girl playing in the academy in Allahabad, Tamanna has suffered prejudice and neglect at the hands of the authorities as well as coaches. “They said girls don’t play squash. There was no encouragement or facilities from anywhere,” says Tehrunnisa. “Travelling across the country I was sometimes worried about Tamanna’s safety. With a girl your worry escalates. But as long as I am alive I shall be with both my children all through the journey.”

source: / The Times of India / Home> Sports Other/ by Maria Bilkis, TNN / November 28th, 2013