Monthly Archives: February 2016

Lions region meet held


Dr. Bellipadi Shyam Prasad Shetty, who inaugurated the Regional Meet, is seen with (from left) Lion Mohammed Nasir, Lion Sayed Ismail, Cine Actor V. Chandan, District Governor Lion C. Hemanth Kumar, Nur Alam Choudhury, Region Chairman Lion R.Y. Arun, Lion Lady Hemalatha Arun, Lion V.S. Sheshadri, Lion Sriprakash and Lion N. Subramanya.
Dr. Bellipadi Shyam Prasad Shetty, who inaugurated the Regional Meet, is seen with (from left) Lion Mohammed Nasir, Lion Sayed Ismail, Cine Actor V. Chandan, District Governor Lion C. Hemanth Kumar, Nur Alam Choudhury, Region Chairman Lion R.Y. Arun, Lion Lady Hemalatha Arun, Lion V.S. Sheshadri, Lion Sriprakash and Lion N. Subramanya.

Mysuru :

The Region Meet of Region VIII of Lions Clubs International, Dist. 317 A, was held at the GLN Convention Hall in city recently. In all, 745 delegates have registered and attended the Meet.

Dr. Bellipadi Shyam Prasad Shetty, the Head of the Department, Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, JSS Hospital, Mysuru, who was the chief guest, delivered his keynote address on the theme ‘Hrudayada Araike, Namma Haraike.’

He advised the gathering to spread the message of Heart Care as heart ailment is the biggest killer in the world. He further wanted everyone to follow a strict and healthy food habit and adopt a life style of compulsory exercise of atleast half an hour per day and refrain from bad habits of smoking and consumption of liquor and other harmful drugs.

Lion C. Hemanth Kumar, Dist. Governor of Lions Clubs International, Dist. 317-A, Nur Alam Choudhury, Founder and CEO, Prestige Constructions LLC, Ajman, UAE and V. Chandan, Cine Actor & Runner-Up of Bigg Boss – Season 3 also attended the programme as guests of honour.

Various service activities worth about Rs. 8 lakh were carried out on the occasion, including donation of a Maruti Van to Vikala Chethanara Abhyudhaya Seva Samsthe, T.K. Layout, Mysuru.

Chethan and Nur Alam Choudhury have expressed their willingness to join the Lions Movement in appreciation of the yeoman services that the World’s largest NGO has been rendering to the real needy in the society.

Lion R.Y. Arun, Region Chairman, presided over the meeting. Lion N. Subramanya welcomed. Lion P. Rajan introduced the chief guest. Lion Sriprakash proposed a vote of thanks. Lion S. Achutha and Lion Lady Veena Sriprakash compered the programme.

source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / February 28th, 2016

City’s Muay Thai Boxers bag 14 medals


Seen in the picture are (kneeling from left) M. Manoj, Phaneesh, R. Darshan, N. Puneeth, Varun Bhat, K.M. Raaghu, B. Kishora, and Rohith Bhat; (standing from left) Referee M.J. Chethan, Abdul Razack, Naveen Shetty, Chidambaram, C. Chethan, M.S. Sanjana, MTI Official Tanveer Ahmed, MTI President M.H.Abid, Head Coach-Kru.Vikram, R. Rashi, Sumanth Subrahmanya, Dileep, Syed Touseef, Suleman Shariff and Referee Srihari.
Seen in the picture are (kneeling from left) M. Manoj, Phaneesh, R. Darshan, N. Puneeth, Varun Bhat, K.M. Raaghu, B. Kishora, and Rohith Bhat; (standing from left) Referee M.J. Chethan, Abdul Razack, Naveen Shetty, Chidambaram, C. Chethan, M.S. Sanjana, MTI Official Tanveer Ahmed, MTI President M.H.Abid, Head Coach-Kru.Vikram, R. Rashi, Sumanth Subrahmanya, Dileep, Syed Touseef, Suleman Shariff and Referee Srihari.

Mysuru :

Muay Thai Kick Boxers, representing Mysore Muay Thai Trust in city, have bagged 14 medals at the Muay Thai gala events conducted at the Muay Thai India-MTI national head quarters in Bengaluru recently.

Fighters from Odisha, Maharashtra, TN, Kerala and Karnataka participated at the events.


Shetty- Bantam Weight-Winner-A Div

B. Kishora – Welter Weight-Winner-A Div

Abdul Razack- Light Middle Weight-Winner-A Div

N. Puneeth- Light Fly Weight -Winner-B Div

Rohith.G. Bhat- Light Welter Weight-Winner-B Div

R. Rashi- Pin weight-Runner up-A Div

R. Darshan- Bantam Weight-Runner up-A Div

Chidambaram- Light welter Weight-Runner up-A Div

Suleman Shariff- Light Weight-Runner up-A Div

Syed Touseef Ahmed- Light Middle Weight-Runner up-A Div

C. Chethan- Middle Weight-Runner up-A Div

M.S. Sanjana- Fly Weight- Runner up-B Div

K.M. Raaghu- Light Welter Weight- Runner up-B Div

Varun Bhat- Cruiser Weight-Runner up-B Div

Sumanth- Cruiser Weight-Runner up-A Div

L. Srihari- Light Welter Weight-Semi Finalist-A Div

Dileep- Light Weight- Semi Finalist -B Div

Phaneesh Nagaraj- Welter Weight- Semi Finalist -B Div 

M. Manoj- Welter Weight- Semi Finalist -B Div

source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / February 28th, 2016

Belagavi’s superbike tops India Bike Week

Belagavi, KARNATAKA :


Belagavi :

City-based Legacy Custom Motorcycle has brought huge laurels to Belagavi by winning first prize for its superbike Immortale, in India Bike Week held recently at Goa. Immortale has been designed and built in Belagavi.

The motorcycle is conceptualized by Faizal Sait, the son of Belagavi (North) MLA Firoz Sait. MLA Sait unveiled the bike in Belagavi for public view on Thursday evening in a small programme. Motorcycle has won appreciation and prize for its design in Bike Build Off segment.

Around 30 bike builders from across the India had submitted applications to showcase their bike design in which five designs were adjudged as Best Bike Design of the year. Legacy Custom Motorcycle lifted the trophy by winning among the shortlisted five designs. Before it, the bike had gone into two days of toughest test monitored by Hyderabad-based top biker Reza Hussain, machine expert Anand Belerao, Pune based Auto car magazine editor Kartikeya and Arjun Raina of Dehradun.

When come to the specifications of the motorcycle, Harley Davidson 883 iron has upgraded to 1250 CC engine in Immortale to meet extreme speed of bike. Girder suspension technique has been adopted in frontal suspension segment while rear suspension is fitted with Mono Shock placed to fit nicely under tail to provide sporty look. The bike has been built in FRP fibre to reduce weight of the body.

Failzal Sait said he spent about two and half months to prepare the design of Immortale, which is now receiving thousands of appreciation messages from bike lovers and riders across the country. Legacy Custom is the first firm to participate in India Bike Week from Belagavi and it’s first in Karnataka in fetching prestigious prize. “I and my team of Legacy Custom is not interested in manufacturing of motorcycles in large scale. But we do hand build bikes for close ones and for the bike enthusiasts,” Faizal said.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / by Ravindra Uppar, TNN / February 25th, 2016

Chennai Girl Races to the Top in Professional Biking

Chennai, TAMIL NADU :

Rehana Reya
Rehana Reya

Chennai :

Riding on roads is fun. But the track is a completely-different beast — the place is meant to showcase real skills.” This is how Rehana Reya draws the line between your run-of-the-mill, two-wheeled commuting and the adrenaline-filled arena of bike racing.

Rehana won the first place in the Honda Support Race — the first all-women’s race in Indian motorsport history — which was conducted on the sidelines of the National Racing Championship in Irungattukottai on Sunday. The 19-year-old Chennaite’s racing roots started taking shape during her days at the MGR Adarsh Matriculation School (Mugappair). “I started with non-geared scooters in Class 7 and I was quite good,” says Rehana.

Her brother, Abdul Wahab, is also a former professional bike racer. But he did not teach this self-made biker. “Though my brother was my inspiration, he didn’t really want me to become a racer because of the hardships he faced — lack of funds and the general struggle that racers have to endure in our country,” she explains. “Now he encourages me all the time. He was there during this race too to boost my morale.”

A friend’s R15 was Rehana’s first geared companion. “That was when I was in Class 12. I tried riding it myself. I didn’t fall the first time, by the way. I used to drive near Besant Nagar and Marina Beach. That was where the Honda representatives spotted me,” she says.

Rehana, now pursuing a degree in Shipping and Logistics at the AMET University and also modelling during her spare time, is intent on realising her dream of becoming a professional bike racer. But, she is wary of the obstacles.

“This is an expensive sport, and we aren’t that well-off. Being a girl from a conservative family comes with its baggage,” explains Rehana. “Hopefully, if I get funding, I may be able to involve myself in racing more seriously.”

When not on a bike, Rehana likes listening to music. “I love peppy numbers and party songs. Rihanna is one of my favourites. And, no. It’s not because of my name. I really love her voice.”

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Rahul Ravikumar / February 24th, 2016

Tribute to Tabla Maestro Brings Stalwarts to Bengaluru

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :


Bengaluru :

A musical evening on February 27 marks the birth centenary of one the world’s most renowned tabla players – Ustad Shaik Dawood Khan.

This event, at the Palace Grounds, is organised by the Tabla Nawaz Ustad Shaik Dawood Trust.

Shaik Dawood Khan (1916-1992) is regarded as one of the greatest tabla maestros of his time, and was the torch bearer of the Farrukhabad, Ajrada, Lucknow, Punjab and Delhi styles.

As part of the centenary celebrations, the trust has organised concerts across the country. In December 2015, a two-day festival took place in Hyderabad. A second season began in Hyderabad on January 7 and 8, 2016.

The Bengaluru event is the third in the series.

Varied Journey

Ustad Shaik Dawood Khan is known as the ‘Thirakwa of Hyderabad’. Between 1926 and 1990, he accompanied hundreds of vocalists and instrumentalists, with equal respect and admiration, irrespective of their age or rank.

Shaik Dawood Khan was born on December 16, 1916. He was attracted to music from a very tender age, and his father Shaik Hashim took him to his neighbour Ameer Qawwal (a performing artist) from whom Shaik Dawood gained knowledge in singing and playing the tabla.

When he was nine, he became a formal disciple of Ustad Khasim Saheb of Sholapur, who had attained fame in the region as a tabla accompanist. During eight years under him, Shaik Dawood Khan emerged as a musician in his own right. Subsequently, he learnt from Ustad Alladia Khan, a Hyderabadi tabla nawaz, as also from Ustad Mohmmed Khan, Ustad Chote Khan and Ustad Jahangir Khan.

At the age of 46, when the whole music world was at his feet, Shaik Dawood Khan had the humility to become a disciple of Ustad Mahboob Khan Mirajkar.

Shaik Dawood Khan had accompanied almost all the greats of his time – Ustad Abdul Kareem Khan, Ustad Fayyaz Khan, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Abdul Haleem Jaffer Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar and illustrious women  vocalists such as Roshan Ara Begum, Girija Devi, Begum Akhtar, and Gangubai Hangal. In fact, Shaik Dawood had the unique distinction of having accompanied four generations of artistes.


Shaik Dawood Khan was honoured with the Hindu-Muslim Unity Front Award in 1975. In February 1992, he was presented the Sangeet Natak Akademy Award. He was a star attraction on Deccan Radio run by the Nizam, which subsequently became All India Radio, Hyderabad.

At Palace Grounds

The musical evening on Saturday begins with a tabla homage by Sarfaraz Ahmed, grandson of Ustad Shaik Dawood, followed by a tabla ensemble featuring Ustad Shabbir Nisar (son of the ustad) and Abhman Kaushal (USA), Uday Kumar, Mihir Kallianpur and Roopak Kallurkar.

This will be followed by vocal music by Vidushi Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar. The grand finale is a sitar session with Ustad Shahid Parvez accompanied on the tabla by Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.

5.30 pm, Palace Grounds, Gate 4. Entry free.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Express News Service / February 27th, 2016

Award for Frontline journalist

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed.
Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed.

Bangalore, KARNATAKA :

Frontline’s reporter in Bengaluru, Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed, has been awarded the Nasheman Award in Journalism for his contribution to journalism.

The award has been instituted in the memory of the late founder of Nasheman, Usman Asad.

The award was given at a special function that marked 55 years of the publication of “The Nasheman Weekly”, an Urdu news weekly published in Bengaluru that has a pan-Indian presence.

The jury for the selection consisted of Rizwan Asad, Editor of “The Nasheman Weekly”, and senior journalists of the newspaper.

The award was given by Karnataka’s Minister for Infrastructure, Development and Hajj, Roshan Baig, and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, C.M. Ibrahim, at a function at the Press Club of Bengaluru on January 27.

source: / Frontline / Home> The Nation> Media / Print editin: March 04th, 2016

This Man Wants to Make Mysuru’s Ring Road Cooler


Hyder Ali Khan of Kalyangiri in Mysuru
Hyder Ali Khan of Kalyangiri in Mysuru

Mysuru :

Thandi Sadak in Haldwani, Uttarakahand, is famous for lush green trees and pleasant breeze.

Here, a man is on a mission  to make the Ring Road as city’s Thandi Sadak.

It started with one Honge tree sapling at Idagh Maidan 16 years ago.

Now for Hyder Ali Khan of Kalyangiri, life’s sole aim is to plant maximum saplings.  Khan has already created green canopy in several schools and public parks by planting nearly 2,500 saplings and is knocking at the doors of the government for help to increase green cover in the city. He plans to plant the saplings of certain selected trees on the  stretch of the Ring Road beginning from the Mysuru-Bengaluru intersection.

In the initial stage, he wants to plant 925 saplings in the one-km stretch. He approached MUDA officials seeking support for his mission.

“A green canopy can be created on the highway which benefits motorists immensely. If I get permission from the government, I intend to plant wild Almond Trees (Kaddabadami) along the one-km stretch of the Ring Road. It takes four years to complete the project. If we can do this, Mysuru will become a role model for other cities and towns in the country,” he said.

“I had worked as fitter for 27 years. One day, when I got exhausted while riding my bike, I sat beneath a roadside tree and felt immensely relaxed and rejuvenated. It was then I decided to plant trees. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than planting trees,” he said.

He planted 313 saplings of Honge tree at the famous Idagh Maidan in the city, thereby creating a green canopy. Today 15,000 people can sit under the shade of the trees at the Maidan.

He has created such green pandals in several schools too.

“The Thandi Sadak of yesteryears had introduced in Mysuru by  Wadiyars; a portion of which can still be seen inside zoo. We can convert the entire city into a green canopy and make the district more tourist-friendly, if we plant more trees,” he said.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Karnataka / by K. Rathna / February 26th, 2016

K.K. Muhammed – Digger of truth



LAST year, a young journalist friend, Rajeev Mangottil, invited me to speak at the Onam Day celebrations at Jamia Millia Islamia. The name of this venerable institution is derived from the Urdu language in which Jamia means ‘university’ and Millia means ‘national’. That is where I first met the youthful-looking K.K. Muhammed, Director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Rajeev whispered into my ears that Muhammed would soon be retiring and his story on him was scheduled to appear in the Malayala Manorama supplement. Since the Malayalam daily is fond of showcasing every Malayali as an achiever of sorts, I was not greatly impressed.

One reason why I underestimated him was that I have a poor opinion of the ASI. Just last fortnight a friend from Punjab SMSed to say that he had visited Nangal and seen the glass case which commemorates Chinese leader Chou en Lai’s visit and the discussions he had with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru while formulating Panchsheel or the five principles of peaceful co-existence. I had visited the place a couple of times and was shocked by the fashionable sofa in the glass case. I checked and found that the two leaders had used caned, wooden chairs, which the officials concerned did not find impressive enough to be showcased.

In contrast, I saw at Potsdam, near Berlin, the large table and the chairs used by Stalin, Churchill and other victors of the Second World War, while deciding to divide Berlin into four zones and to constitute the United Nations, preserved in the same manner in which they were used, attracting thousands of tourists every year. But the first time I visited Shimla, I was unable to see the table and the chairs used by Indira Gandhi and Z.A. Bhutto for finalizing what is known as the Simla Agreement because no official had any clue about their existence.

Muhammed preferred to speak after J. Gopikrishnan, the ‘Pioneer’ reporter who unearthed the Spectrum scam, and I had our say. He spoke extempore and quoting the Vedas and the Upanishads, he took the listeners on a conducted tour of ancient Kerala, where the persecuted Jews found asylum and Semitic religious ideas flourished and enriched the native cultural practices and traditions. It was apparent that he had an excellent command of Sanskrit, the language of the gods. No, he did not say anything about the ASI or the work he had been doing.

He gave me his visiting card, which said that he lived in the Red Fort. He certainly could not have found a better place to live in than the fort the Mughals had built and from which they ruled the country. No other monument has witnessed history as the Red Fort from the ramparts of which the Prime Minister addresses the nation on Independence Day. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Muhammed breathes history and archaeology, rather than air.

So when I received an invitation for his lecture on the ancient churches of Goa at the Kerala Club, I could not resist the temptation to attend. What makes Muhammed stand out as an archaeologist is the passion he has for archaeology. We have all studied about Akbar the Great and Din-i Ilahi, the divine faith, he propounded by incorporating the best from Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism.

It was at Ibadat Khana, the House of Worship, that the Emperor used to hold discussions with religious scholars. Miniature paintings that depict Akbar meeting Christian theologians exist. But where exactly was Ibadat Khana?

Mohammed studied the painting thoroughly and believed that it could be excavated at a particular spot in Fatehpur Sikri. He was in his late twenties and could not, therefore, convince his seniors, who all had a different belief. But he started excavating on the spot and found that the dome, the antechamber, the different layers and the gate depicted in the painting matched his excavation. It was a great archaeological discovery for which then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi congratulated him. What’s more, he also discovered a Christian chapel and a bazar in the same area.

Ask Muhammed and he will tell you that restoration of the 1300-year-old Bateshwar temple in Madhya Pradesh as the high-water mark of his career. He found hundreds of temples in a state of ruin, devastated as they were by an earthquake. Restoring them was a challenging task. Nobody seemed to be bothered. He had heard that dacoits would occasionally drop in to worship at the Hanuman temple there.

One day while returning to his workplace, he found a person smoking beedi in the temple. Muhammed rebuked him for smoking in a sacred place, little knowing that he was none else but dacoit Nirbhay Singh Gujjar! Fortunately, the dacoit did not pull his trigger and he left only after he was told by Muhammed that he belonged to the Gujjar-Pratihara dynasty that had once ruled the region.

He found that he could not carry on his work without the cooperation of the MP government, which was disinterested. Then he hit upon the idea of writing a letter to the then Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps) Sarsanghachalak, V.S. Sudarshan, telling him that though the BJP ruled the state, its government was not at all interested in restoring the ancient temples.

The RSS chief took up the matter with the Chief Minister, who ensured that he received the full support of the state government. He also had to contend with the mining mafia, which took a dim view of the restoration work. Finally, he was able to restore about 80 temples while the work is still going on.

I recently saw a documentary telecast by Asianet on the Bateshwar temple complex, which has started attracting tourists. Restoring a temple from the ruins is not an easy job. One should have a great knowledge of the art of temple construction. On TV, I heard Muhammed explain to the viewers how he came to the conclusion that a statue of Nandi could only have been at that particular spot. Rome was not built in a day. Nor had he learnt archaeology in a day.

Muhammed is modest when he says, “I have always been inspired by the Upanishads”. He knows important texts like Manasara Shilpa Shastra and Mayamata Vastu Shastra by heart. He is unabashed when he says: “I must have been a Namboodiri Brahmin in my previous birth”. I would have certainly believed him, if I had not heard his lecture on the ancient churches of Goa, where he was posted for about six years. He showed slides of various churches before and after restoration. That any ASI official could have done.

What no non-Christian could have done with such finesse was give a graphic account of the religious traditions and practices of Christians. He showed the picture of a temple, which gave Vasco da Gama the impression of a church. He went on to explain how the builders of churches in Goa liberally followed the motifs and styles used in Hindu temples and architecture.

For instance, lotus enjoys a pride of place in Hinduism. Vishnu’s feet are always qualified as the “lotus feet”. But in Christianity, no such importance is given to the lotus, which is like any other flower. Yet, he found that many of the churches in Goa sported lotus paintings and motifs.

There were many other features from Hindu temple architecture that were freely adopted by church builders. In temples, leftover water was always allowed to flow through a pipe the mouth of which resembled a crocodile’s. He showed with slides how the idea had been freely incorporated in church construction also. Of course, Muhammed had an explanation for it. The artisans who built churches came from the same class, which built temples in the area.

I was not surprised by Muhammed’s statement because a Malayalam journal had recently published a photo feature on one Govindan Gopalakrishnan, who specializes in mosque construction despite never having studied at a school of architecture, and never having seen the Taj Mahal, let alone the Jama Masjid in Delhi. He has so far built 88 mosques, including the magnificent Palayam mosque in Thiruvananthapuram and the strikingly beautiful ones along the highways in the state. Gopalakrishnan, who is a practicing Hindu, considers mosque construction as his “karma”.

Mohammed’s knowledge of church architecture was as splendid as his knowledge of the life and work of St. Francis Xavier, whose mortal remains are preserved in a church in Goa. When he spoke about him, I felt there was a devout Catholic in him.

And when he explained the various Stations of the Cross that he helped preserve in a church, and recited a line from the Bible “Elahi Elahi Lama Sabachthani” (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?), I could see that he was overwhelmed by the enormity of emotions. I would not be surprised if he claimed that he was a bishop in his previous birth.

You and I may brand him as a Muslim or a Hindu or a Christian but Muhammed is a professional archaeologist, who ensures that wherever excavation is carried out, the local children and youth are involved in it so that when they grow up they will not leave vandal-like imprints of “Pappu loves Pappy” on the monuments they visit. In his case, wrong perceptions turned out to be far too costly.

When the post of Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University fell vacant, many knowledgeable people suggested Muhammed’s name but some thought that he was too close to the Sangh Parivar to be trusted with such a job. Instead, a person of lesser merit was chosen. Muhammed would not, however, be bothered for he knew that “an archaeologist is one whose career lies in the ruins”.

It was just the other day that historian M.G.S. Narayanan lamented that in Kerala, the Archaeology Department was headed by people who could not spell the word “archaeology” and would ask whether Alexander Fleming and Alexander Cunningham were the same.

For Muhammed, work is worship and it does not matter that he has not been adequately recognized for his contributions. However, he has many anecdotes to recount. Like the one of the time when he took President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle round the Humayun tomb and answered their questions.

Muhammed has in a recent interview expressed his distress over the low priority archaeology enjoys in the country. When he was in charge of the ASI’s work in Northern India, his budget was a puny Rs 6 crore. How many people know that it took 20,000 workers and artisans 16 years to construct the Taj in 1647-48 at a cost of Rs 50 lakh? This, when it is India’s tourism showpiece and the foremost Indian monument that spurs the international visitor to visit the country!

Do they know that parts of the Taj had fallen into disrepair? It was Lord Curzon, who ordered a comprehensive restoration project, which was completed in 1908. If anything, it shows how restoration is important for any historical site. Instead, we are good at spreading myths. One such myth is that Shah Jahan ordered the amputation of the hands of the architect of Taj Mahal in order to ensure that nobody made such a magnificent monument again. Another such myth is that the Emperor started building his own tomb on the other side of the Yamuna in black marble. Excavations across the river revealed no foundations.

Thus archaeology has its use in not only proving historical facts but also in exposing falsehoods. Muhammed showed how he transplanted a temple brick by brick using a numbering process. At the end of the project, not a single brick had become surplus. In retrospect, the most enduring image from the lecture was a gate, which he restored without spending a single penny from the state exchequer. Instead, he involved the local youth in the preservation work. They were only too happy to join him in his noble endeavor.

In all his pursuits, one thought that has guided Muhammed is “Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”! (May all the people be happy!). What a pity that in a country where all and sundry are given Padma awards, a person like K.K. Muhammed has not been given such a recognition because to some, he is a Muslim and to some others, a Hindu. Rather like the poet Kabir over whose body the two communities fought only to find that he had transported himself to the realm of the sacred and the holy. K.K. Muhammed’s scholarship belongs to none, because it belongs to all.

The writer can be reached at
Courtesy: Indian Currents

source: / The Herald of India / Home> Article / by A.J. Pinto / 2012

Stroke of the Healing Tree

Vadodara, GUJARAT :

K K Muhammed | photographs by Albin Mathew
K K Muhammed | photographs by Albin Mathew

Trees are essential for life and have always occupied an important place in myths, folklores and religions. K K Muhammed, a Vadodara-based artist, has used this aspect as the base for a series of works during his first-ever exhibition which was held recently in Kochi.

His paintings depict the malignancy of various maladies prevalent in our society, and the way they have crippled us. Be it discrimination against women, domestic violence, male domination or the exploitation of environment for human need, the artist has used trees as a spokesperson to highlight the issue.

“Every person has a close contact with trees,” says Muhammed. “Many of us have been influenced by the positive aura of trees, even without being aware of it. Hence, those who see these paintings will be able to identify the inner truth that I am trying to convey,” he says.

In two paintings, a log of wood occupies prime position. While the log represents consumerism in one work, it represents opulence of the rulers of the past and the present in another. “Consumerism has become a bane,” says Muhammed. “People today try to find out ways to get things done without effort. The ‘lesser the hard work the better it is’ has become the motto of this generation.”

Nothing has changed much, believes Muhammed. “The rulers of yore and the present are the same lot. Opulence binds them together. The log of wood in the picture cries out against the greed of the rulers which should be satisfied at any cost,” says the artist. These paintings also highlight male dominance and try to depict how men have hold the reins of the society while relegating women to do menial tasks.

Paintings by Muhammed put on display at the exhibition
Paintings by Muhammed put on display at the exhibition

A tree stands alone in one of the paintings in sepia. At one glance, a person cannot notice, but when one looks closely, various images peek out of the stem and branches. Hidden among the leaves and bark are the images of men and women along with various implements that we use in daily life. A thorn can be seen piercing a leaf, which again, highlights the brutal nature of man. Mainly, how he doesn’t flinch from trampling and back-stabbing others to reach his goal. Muhammed has also done a set of paintings on burnt wood. “I wanted to show that the nature is both the creator and destroyer,” he says. “The tender buds and flowers sprouting from the dead wood show the continuity of life. It also shows that nature is forgiving.”A painting, which highlights the hardships of women, catches the eye. The picture depicts how a woman looks after every single need of her family. The tender nature of the gender has been brought up to light through the image of a pregnant woman sitting with a rabbit on her lap.

“Men are self-oriented by nature and they do not hesitate to slander even their mothers for their own gain. They are afflicted by a grave malady called narcissism,” says Muhammed. The artist has depicted his belief in one of his paintings which is based on the story of young Narcissus, a Greek mythological character.

The artist is critical to the great importance that society gives to men. He points out this aspect in another painting which portrays various day-to-day affairs that we come across, things like the railings of a fence, the various objects that are used in the household and also symbols of religious importance.

Muhammed has received many awards, including the Bombay Arts Award and Kerala Lalithakala Akademi award, among others. He has done nine solo shows so far and been a part of more than 45 group shows. A postgraduate from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati at Santiniketan, the artist is planning to indulge in his other love, sculpting. “I will be exhibiting my works in a year or so,” says Muhammed.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Magazine / by Anu C.Kuruvilla / February 20th, 2016

Rare books, methodically sorted

Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Suppliers at Mubarak Chowk near Charminar is all set for a massive overhaul.-Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Suppliers at Mubarak Chowk near Charminar is all set for a massive overhaul.-Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

After his death, siblings of Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bafanna, owner of Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Suppliers, start digitising and categorising the inventory.

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :

our months after 67-year-old Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bafanna breathed his last leaving behind a treasure trove in terms of literature, his four-decade-old shop which sells rare books is all set to be brought back to life. While it will take time to return things to full functionality, it is nevertheless something that book lovers have been waiting for.

And if you were one of those people wondering about the future of Haziq and Mohi Rare Book Suppliers, then there is good news. Mr. Ahmed’s five siblings have now begun sorting and rearranging the range of books in the shop subject wise, and they also plan to digitise the entire collection. “We started work in December, and have categorised more than 10,000 books so far,” said Khaled Bafanna, the youngest of the siblings.

The work to categorise all the books in Haziq and Mohi will take at least six months more, given that nobody in the family except Mr. Ahmed had any idea of which book is where.

“He had everything on his mind. We have started separating them under categories like Islamic literature and history. It will make things easier, as we would know how to find things. And we don’t even know the total number of books that are here,” explained Khaled. After Mr. Ahmed’s sudden demise, there was fear among his customers that his store would be shut down. Perhaps the fact that the store was closed for about 40 days after his death may have prompted that idea. For instance, a researcher from the US who was in Hyderabad last December went back disappointed, as the store was closed. The shop is a place where any literature lover could get lost in. Filled with books everywhere, there is just enough space for one person to walk through it, literally. A second person would have to either go outside to give way, or turn sideways to let another person pass. And the books also perhaps live up to the store’s name, as all of them inside are titles that would pique anyone’s curiosity.

For example, some of the books on display there are Aazadi (in Urdu), Women in Delhi Sultanate by Lokesh Chandra Nand, Timardaari (in Urdu) and another one titled Hyderabad Gazetteer by A. Khan. “Once my son’s exams are over, I will also create an email ID for the shop, so that our customers can reach us easily,” said Khaled, who is helped by his brothers to run the shop. And without Mr. Ahmed, how do they fix the cost of the books they sell? “We fix the price based on the date of the books, i.e. how old they are. And also, in case we cannot get another print of a particular book, we will only make Photostat copies of the original and give it, to preserve the copy we have,” he said, sitting where his eldest brother once sat in front of the shop on a small stool. Khaled and his brothers will also be relying on the same book sellers who would inform whenever a rare book would be available in the market for them to purchase. Mr. Ahmed is survived by his five brothers Ali, Abdallah, Salem, Osman and Khaled, all of whom maintain the store together. The shop is open from 12 noon to 7 p.m., and customers can contact Mr. Khaled on 93940 21930.

Some of the books are Aazadi, and Women in Delhi Sultanate by Lokesh Chandra Nand

 source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Yunus Y. Lasania / February 22nd, 2016