Zaheer Khan: A profile of India’s new bowling coach, the best man for the job

Mumbai, MAHARASHTRA :

Zaheer assumed the mentoring role even during his playing days with India. (PTI Photo)
Zaheer assumed the mentoring role even during his playing days with India. (PTI Photo)

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HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Zaheer took 311 wickets in 92 Test matches and 269 in ODIs over 15 years.
  2. Zaheer was the joint highest wicket-taker in India’s successful 2011 World Cup campaign.
  3. Zaheer wisely understood the importance of cutting down on pace for accuracy.

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New Delhi :

Late on Tuesday evening, news broke from the BCCI that Ravi Shastri was indeed the new coach of the Indian cricket team, capping a frenzied few hours when speculation had been rife about whether or not the former India allrounder, who was team director from August 2014 to April 2016, was stepping into the shoes vacated by Anil Kumble last month.

When the confirmation came, it was no surprise. What did cause a flutter was news that former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan had been appointed bowling coach of the team, for this was not widely foreseen. Add to it the pedigree and tactual nous of Zaheer, India’s fourth most successful bowler in Tests and ODIs, and this was a major announcement. India’s pace bowling stocks has arguably never been better, with Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya all capable of clocking 140kph, and the likes of Dhawal Kulkarni, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat followed by the promise of youngsters such as Mohammed Siraj and Basil Thampi.

While he has no formal coaching experience, the 38-year-old Zaheer brings a vault of experience to his most high-profile role since he retired from international cricket in October 2015. He will rank as one of India’s best fast bowlers and, for two periods in his international career, was on par with the best in the world. From an Indian context, on a thin list of genuine fast bowlers, Zaheer rightly occupied a place because of his wickets and skill with a cricket ball in his hand, new and old.

The highlights reel of Zaheer’s career makes for special reading. A total of 311 wickets in 92 Test matches and 269 in ODIs over 15 years. A World Cup winner, in 2011 when he was the joint highest wicket-taker. A leading role in a rare Test victory in England, and a supporting role in India’s only two on South African soil. In between, there was success in Test wins at home and in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and in the West Indies.

A tall, sturdy fast bowler with a smile to put you at ease, much was expected of him when he burst onto the scene with those yorkers to the Australians in Nairobi in 2000. Here was an Indian bowler regularly able to clock in excess of 140kph and bend the ball back in. That he was a left-arm pace bowler made him all the more appealing and exciting. This was a unique talent in the Indian scenario. Of course, comparisons with Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath , who at the time was starting his decline, were inevitable. Thankfully, for a couple of seasons fans of Indian cricket got to see Srinath and Zaheer bowl in tandem, most effectively in the 2003 World Cup, and what a treat it was.

To watch him move the ball at Trent Bridge in the summer of 2007 and be sucked into the TV screen, to gasp at deliveries that curved away from prodding bats. To see him appeal with a clap when he was certain a batsman was lbw, eyes crinkled as a celebratory smile began to form, then slap your thigh in excitement. To throw your head back in marvel when he went through the defences of Brad Haddin and Brett Lee with successive deliveries bowled with the old ball, getting it to reverse delectably. Was there a better exponent of the old ball for India? With all due credit to Manoj Prabhakar, no. That ability to swing the old ball and new and extract reverse swing was Zaheer’s hallmark. He was a master of bringing the ball back into the right-hander and moving it away sharply from a left-hander by the name of Graeme Smith. Later in his career, Zaheer wisely understood the importance of cutting down on pace for accuracy and the results were, for the most, very satisfactory. Think 2010, and fine bowling performances in Mirpur, Mohali and Durban.

Twice in his international career Zaheer made the hard climb back to the top. First in 2006 after a stint at Worcestershire when 78 wickets propelled him back into the Indian team, and then late 2013 when he worked hard in his fitness and bowling to return for the Test tours of South Africa and New Zealand. On the occasion of his first return, Zaheer proved the perfect foil for Sreesanth in South Africa, before moving past him to reclaim his status as India’s pace spearhead with an unforgettable nine-wicket performance in Nottingham in 2007 that secure India’s fifth Test win in England.

On the second, in what proved his final chapter with India, he bowled more with his head than with pace, which was expectedly down, and with almost Zen-like poise slipped into the role of mentor to the rest of the pacers on and off the field. Five wickets in Johannesburg were testament to his craft and helped India, during South Africa’s first innings, to exhibit control over the hosts. He struggled in the second Test, but nine wickets in two Tests in New Zealand hinted at something more. In the first Test in Auckland, Zaheer was part of the attack that bowled New Zealand out for 105 in their first innings, which he termed one of the best collective Indian bowling efforts he’d been a part of.

It is that Zaheer which this Indian team, as it prepares for a full tour of Sri Lanka starting later this month, can hope to be enriched with. The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Sachin Tendulkar , Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – each of whom has played a lot of cricket with Zaheer – has made a wise choice in pushing for his appointment as bowling coach.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> Sports> Cricket / by Jamie Alter  timesofindia.com / July 11th, 2017

Meet Salim Sheikh, Gujarat bus driver who risked his life to save Amarnath yatris; to be nominated for bravery award

GUJARAT  / Amarnath Yatra (JAMMU & KASHMIR )  :

If Salim, the driver of the bus ferrying Amarnath Yatris, had not acted wisely and shown exemplary courage, the brazen terror attack would have certainly claimed more innocent lives.

SalimMPOs11jul2017

Ahmedabad:

If Salim, the driver of the bus ferrying Amarnath Yatris, had not acted wisely and shown exemplary courage, the brazen terror attack would have certainly claimed more innocent lives.

Salim, the Gujarati driver of the bus that was ferrying the passengers, has now emerged as a hero by saving so many innocent lives while risking his own.

According to reports, Salim drove the bus to safety amid continuous firing by a group of heavily armed terrorists who attacked the bus which was returning from the Amarnath Shrine.

Despite being reportedly hit by a bullet, Salim locked the door from inside, refraining terrorists from entering into the bus.

Realising that if he stops the bus, terrorist would kill many innocent yatris, Salim drove for nearly two kilometers before finally stopping near an army camp.

“I spoke to the passengers and they were all praises for the driver. He drove despite the firing and took them to safety. It made a lot of difference and lives were saved. He did not stop. Had he stopped, more lives could have been lost,” Munir Khan, IG, Kashmir, told reporters.

One of the survivors of the attack also praised Salim for his bravery and said, ”We were asleep and were woken up by bullet sounds. He continued to drive and took us to safety. If not for him, it would have been worse.”

Back home in Gujarat’s Valsad, Salim’s family also expressed satisfaction that he managed to save several lives.

“He called me at around 9.30 pm and said that there was firing. Salim did not stop when terrorists fired but only looked for a safer spot for the pilgrims. He could not save seven lives but managed to move over 50 people to a safe place. We are very proud of him,” said Javed, Salim’s cousin.

Later, speaking to reporters, Salim said, ”God gave me strength to keep moving, and I just did not stop.”

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijat Rupani, who announced ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of victims and Rs 2 lakh for injured, said that he will nominate driver Salim for bravery award.

There were initial reports that the bus was not registered for the Amarnath Yatra and the driver had committed some lapses on his part.

However, the Jammu and Kashmir Police has rejected such reports and stated that reports of the bus not being registered were far from the truth.

“The bus was very much registered for Amarnath Yatra and they were also in a convoy. “They had finished their darshan just two days ago and had plans of visiting a few tourist places. Yes, they were on a different route than the yatra route but the bus was registered and in a convoy,” Munir Khan added.

The bus, which came under a dastardly terror attack on Monday evening, was from Gujarat, and all pilgrims were from the same state.

The bus – GJ 09 Z 9976 – was registered in North Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district, but the owner had sold the bus to one Jawahar Desai of Valsad, Gujarat.

Of the seven pilgrims – five women and two men – who lost their lives, two were from Valsad, two from Dharampur, two from Pardi and one from Vansda. Another fifteen sustained injuries, four of them serious wounds.

source: http://www.zeenews.india.com / Z News / Home> News> States> Gujarat / by Zee Media Bureau / Tuesday – July 11th, 2017

22nd Asian Athletics C’ship: India’s Muhammed Anas grabs gold

Nilamel (Kollam District) KERALA :

MdAnasMPOs11jul2017

India’s Muhammed Anas won a Gold and Rajiv Arokia took a Silver in Men’s 400m event at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship here.

“I am very happy, this medal win will further motivate us,” Anas said, after achieving the feat.

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand won Bronze medal in 100m Women’s finals, while Nirmala Sheoran won gold in women’s 400m.

Tejinder Pal won Silver in shot put category.

India’s Ajay Kumar Saroj won gold in Men’s 1500m event, while P.U. Chitra won gold in women’s 1500m event.

Unfortunately, Indian sprinter Amiya Mallick got disqualified from the 100m men’s semi-final for a false start.

The Asian Championships winner gets automatic berth for the World Championships to be held in 22ndWorld Championships

-ANI

source: http://www.catchnews.com / Catch News / Home> Other Sports News / by News Agencies / ANI / July 08th, 2017

Muslim doctor, Hindu compounder spread message of peace in violence-hit Basirhat

Basirat, WEST BENGAL :

Compounder Debprasad Bairagi (left) has been working for the last 35 years with Dr Kaseed Ali (right) in Basirhat.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)
Compounder Debprasad Bairagi (left) has been working for the last 35 years with Dr Kaseed Ali (right) in Basirhat.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)

Dr Kaseed Ali and his compounder Deboprasad Boiragi have been working together for nearly 35 years. Ali tells his patients that Boiragi has been no less than a family member.

Patients coming out of doctor Kaseed Ali’s chamber in violence-hit Trimohini area of Basirhat town are carrying, apart from the medical prescription, advice on communal harmony.

Ali and his compounder Deboprasad Boiragi are working together for nearly 35 years. Ali has made it a point to tell each of his patients that Boiragi has been no less than a family member and any loss to him would have been a personal loss to the Ali family.

“Over the last five days, I was always tense about his family’s security. I told the local leaders from my community to ensure his safety. Fortunately, since I have been practising here for the past 45 years, the leaders took my advice seriously and Debu’s family is safe,” Ali said.

“I find no difference between Debu and my two sons. I consider his wife as my own daughter-in-law and his kids as my own grandchildren,” Ali says.

Boiragi said a doctor’s chamber is the right place to spread the message of communal harmony.

“We are telling everyone how our professional engagement led to emotional bonding between two families and this was normal for Basirhat. It is not that patients are unaware of these facts. But it is time we remind each other of the true character and traditions of Basirhat,” Boiragi said.

Close to his chamber is a medicine shop run by Benoy Krishna Pal, who was horrified by the violence at Trimohini. He even planned on leaving the town with his family, until a Muslim friend, Gazi, asked him not to.

However, Gazi refused to take any credit.

“I did not do anything special to be thanked for. Anybody would have done the same to save a childhood friend. We are like brothers,” he said.

source: http://www.hindustantimes.com / Hindustan Times / Home> India / by Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri / Hindustan Tim ess, Bashirat (West Bengal) / July 10th, 2017

Good Samaritans with an abiding passion for books

Kochi, KERALA :

Two teachers set precedent by promoting reading habit among students

Kochi :

The tale of Totto-Chan, a girl who has come to symbolise unorthodox learning, is among the best-selling books published by NBT in Malayalam. Translated by poet and film-maker Anwar Ali, the book has been flying off the shelves like no other.

But besides the big purchasers, there are dedicated souls like Ramanunni, a retired teacher from Palakkad who set up a non-profit book selling venture. He has also played a key role in popularising books among school students and teachers.

T.N. Gopalakrishnan Nair
T.N. Gopalakrishnan Nair

Another compulsive book promoter is T.N. Gopalakrishnan Nair, a resident of Kallara near Koothattukulam, who retired as a government high school Malayalam teacher in 1994. “He comes with an autorickshaw to ship books for sales exhibitions,” says NBT assistant editor Rubin D’Cruz. “Considering that NBT books are heavily subsidised, leave alone profit, he ends up spending money from his own pocket in popularising these books.” Sure enough, Mr. Nair’s tryst with books began back in the 1980s during his association with the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad. He saw before his eyes his son becoming a bookworm and excelling in studies and co-curricular activities alike. “This brought me closer to books big time. Subsequently, I found myself sourcing rare volumes for parents and teachers alike and began to extensively travel between Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode for books which were in short supply those days,” he says. Over time, Mr. Nair carved a niche for himself by single-handedly organising book exhibitions, which grew in scale with publishers, NGOs, schools, and like-minded individuals coming on board.

Recuperating from a medical condition, Mr. Nair is concerned about not being able to host a few exhibitions he had promised at schools in Kottayam this month.

“I should be active, hopefully from the second week of August, and I have committed book exhibitions at three spaces already. I have enough books with me now to hold five such. Fortunately, there is an auto driver who helps me out in transporting books,” says Mr. Nair.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / July 09th, 2017

Chronicler of the mundane: Ranjith Kally documenting Indians in the anti-apartheid movement

SOUTH AFRICA :

Born into a family of ‘coolie Indians’, Ranjith Kally was important in documenting the role of Indians in the anti-apartheid movement

Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela, and Yusuf Dadoo at the Treason Trial, Pretoria, 1958.
Monty Naicker, Nelson Mandela, and Yusuf Dadoo at the Treason Trial, Pretoria, 1958.

For most Indians with some awareness of the history of South Africa, India’s connection with the country begins and ends with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. As Nelson Mandela famously put it, India sent Mohandas to South Africa and received a ‘Mahatma’.

If the province of Natal was one of several places around the globe where the epic of Indian indentured labour was writ large, South Africa was nearly distinct as the site of an unusual and inspiring solidarity between black people and Indians in the equally epic struggle against racial oppression. Photojournalist Ranjith Kally, who died at the age of 91 in Johannesburg this June, was the great chronicler of both Indian life in Natal and the resistance to apartheid.

Kally was born near Durban in 1925 into a family of ‘coolie Indians’. His grandfather worked on a sugar plantation; his father, likewise, left for the fields early every morning. As was common in his generation, Kally was educated only up to Class VI. He worked in a shoe factory for 15 years and stumbled upon a Kodak Postcard camera at a rummage sale. In 1956, Kally procured a job as a photographer with Drum, a magazine that had been launched to give expression to the lives of black and coloured people.

Chronicling a struggle

Kally’s first photographs of anti-apartheid figures would be taken in the late 1950s. One of his favourite subjects was Monty Naicker, an Indian who trained as a doctor before turning to political activism. At a break during Pretoria’s Treason Trial in 1958, Kally captured Naicker with a young Mandela and the venerable communist leader Yusuf Dadoo in the background. Kally’s many photographs of Fatima Meer, another titanic figure in the anti-apartheid struggle, furnish insights both into how women assumed political roles in the public sphere and the little-discussed role of South African Indian Muslims in shaping secular narratives of freedom.

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In one photograph, taken in the early 60s, Kally seated Meer’s daughters, Shamin, Shehnaaz and Rashid, around their buoyant-looking mother in Durban’s Botanical Gardens. The photograph was intended for Ismail, Meer’s husband, who was then in detention, as a keepsake of his family. There is no hint here of anxiety, fear, or the oppressiveness of racial terror. But Meer was also godmother to Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s children, giving them a home and hope at a time of despair.

Kally knew better than most that the story of the anti-apartheid struggle was not only one, or even mainly, of ‘great’ figures. In a rigidly racist society, the occasions for transgression were many and the outcome generally was painful for those animated by the desire for equality and social justice. The anti-miscegenation laws were severe, but, as one of Kally’s most stunning photographs shows, this did not prevent Syrub Singh and the dazzling Rose Bloom (seen emerging from a court hearing) from joining hands in matrimony.

Courting the everyday

What is striking in Kally’s large and still largely unknown body of work is his attentiveness to the quotidian life of Indians in and around Durban. Close to half a century after the end of the indentured system, the greater majority of Indians still lived below the bread line. In one photograph, an Indian woman scrubs dishes outside a group of shacks; a very young girl, clutching a toddler, stands by her side. Kally closely observed young Indian boys and girls working in the cane fields.

His 1957 photograph, ‘Children Gotta Work’, is illustrative of not only Kally’s approach to the grittiness of Indian life in Natal but of the self-reflexivity in much of his work. Four Indian children, some unmistakably teenagers, are on their way to work in the fields. Shovels are flung across their shoulders; two of them firmly grasp lunch boxes in their hands. They walk barefooted in the morning light. The photograph resonates with pictures of Partition, but there are also shades of the historic march of Indian miners from Natal to the Transvaal in 1913. Workers on the move, the daily walk, the look of determination: all this is part of the ensemble.

I didn’t know Kally well enough to say whether he was a man of sunny optimism, but his photographs nevertheless suggest an eye for the whimsical and a zest for life. The whimsical touch is nowhere better captured than in his photograph of a boy with a large tortoise on his head.

The wide grin on the boy’s face reveals the unmistakable fun he is having in ferrying his slow-moving companion. The boldest expression of this element of joie de vivre in Kally’s work is a photograph called ‘The Big Bump’. Two men, both amply endowed at the waist, are rubbing against each other. Each man seems to be saying, ‘My tummy is larger than yours, and all the better for it.’ Kally’s camera paves the way for understanding the extraordinariness of the ordinary.

That is not an inconsiderable gift.

Professor of History at UCLA, the author has the distinction of being listed among the 101 Most Dangerous Professors in America.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society> Spotlight – History & Culture / by Vinay Lal / July 08th, 2017

Palmyra of the Deccan

Vijayapura (formerly BIJAPUR ) , KARNATAKA :

A view of Gagan Mahal in Vijayapura.
A view of Gagan Mahal in Vijayapura.

The Adil Shahis made Bijapur (now Vijayapura) a city ahead of its time in terms of infrastructure development and security. This well-planned city had two fortifications, one around the principal Adil Shahi administrative and residential buildings, and a larger one around the rest of the city. Both were roughly circular and had moats and several gateways. To further strengthen the defence of the city walls, the Adil Shahis built many bastions and about 96 gigantic cannons were placed on them. Only a dozen of these canons exist today. Most of them are placed in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) museum housed in the Nagaad Khana in front of Gol Gumbaz and some of them still sit atop the surviving bastions.

First line of defence

The fortifications have crumbled due to neglect and the moats are overgrown with thorny shrubs and in some places, they are filled with sewage and garbage. The only gateway that the citadel still has is on the south. This was the principal gateway into the citadel but now wears an abandoned look. Just inside this once splendid gateway are the remains of guardrooms constructed entirely of pillars from Hindu temples mostly belonging to the Vijayanagara period.

One of the surviving bastions is the Sharza Burj or Lion Bastion which is also the largest bastion in the city. It is famous for housing the cannon Malik-i-Maidan or Lord of the Plains, which was a war trophy won after the defeat of the Vijayanagara Empire at the Battle of Talikota. The cannon is made from a special alloy and can fire not only cannon balls but also metal slugs and copper coins.

Nearby is Haidar Burj which is the highest gun platform in Vijayapura and is a very conspicuous solitary structure.

It is also called the Upri or Upli Burj by the locals. It was built in 1583 by Haidar Khan, a general during the reigns of Ali Adil Shah I and Ibrahim Adil Shah II. A spiral stairway leads to the top which houses two long cannons. The tower was most probably customised for the guns which needed to be fired from a height so that they can have a long range.

The Adil Shahis wanted to transform their capital city to match the Mughal cities in the North by building imposing courtly structures, gardens, wells, waterways and granaries. While most of the structures have fallen to ruin, some have been converted to government offices and only a handful are open to tourists. The Gagan Mahal was built by Ali Adil Shah I as a palace and an audience hall. Only its structural skeleton remains today. A short walk from the Gagan Mahal is the Sath Manzil (Seven Pavillions) or Haft Manzil built by Ibrahim II as a pleasure pavilion. Only a few storeys survive now and there is no way to go inside. Just opposite this is Jal Mahal or Water Pavilion that has been decorated exquisitely and is crowned by a dome. It is set in the middle of a square pool which is now dry and filled with garbage. Again, there is no way to go inside.

Reservoirs & stepwells

Water was and is a precious resource for Vijayapura and the Adil Shahis built a complex hydraulic system to bring water from distant sources into the city and supplemented this with reservoirs and stepwells. Only a few stepwells and reservoirs survive today and the system of aqueducts and horizontal wells are lost. The Taj Baoli is the biggest stepwell in Vijayapura and was built by Malik Sandal, a Persian architect, in honour of Taj Sultana, the wife of Ibrahim Adil Shah II. Sadly the well, its gateway and the gallery around it are in a very bad state. It won’t survive for long if no action is taken immediately.

Another well-known stepwell present here is the Chand Baoli. The stepwell was built by Ali Adil Shah I in honour of his wife Chand Bibi and it served as the model for Taj Baoli. Chand Bibi is best known for courageously defending Ahmednagar and Bijapur against the attacks of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. She was the regent of both Ahmednagar and Bijapur and was known to be a good warrior, musician, linguist and artist. The structure is now completely cordoned off from the public. One can only see it through the grill gate.

Present-day Vijayapura would have benefited if the administration had preserved the hydraulic system of the Adil Shahis and used the many stepwells and reservoirs instead of letting them turn into garbage dumps. Waking up to this, the Minister for Water Resources, M B Patil announced in April that starting with Taj Baoli, around 20 wells in Vijayapura will be rejuvenated at the cost of Rs 4.25 crore. As a part of the rejuvenation process, the dirty water present in the wells is being pumped out, the garbage is being removed, and the well is being desilted. Additionally, there are plans to repair the structures around them. When fresh water accumulates, it will be pumped and stored in tanks, from which people can collect water for domestic purposes apart from drinking. This will ease the water scarcity the city is facing to a certain extent.

Unless people surrounding these monuments understand their historical importance and realise that a clean baoli can help face water scarcity, all efforts to revive the heritage structures will be futile.

source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Spectrum / by Rijutha Jagannathan / July 04th, 2017

Watch: What is it like being an Indian-American Muslim musician? Zeshan Bagewadi tells you

Hyderabad, TELANGANA / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA :

‘Growing up as the son of immigrants, I think it was cool because you grow up with like a dual mind.’

Mouth stuffed with “desi soul food” at a restaurant named Hyderabadi House, Zeshan Bagewadi talks about his family’s journey from Hyderabad to Chicago in Desi Soul, a biopic on his life. The musician explains his relationship with music and the complexities and subtleties of living in America as an Indian Muslim immigrant in this film made by Loyola University, Chicago, and MALA (Muslim American Leadership Alliance).

“You know, growing up as the son of immigrants, I think it was cool because you grow up with like a dual mind. Like I said, you learn different languages and you learn different customs, different ways of life,” he says in the video. Zeshan was born an Indian-American in Chicago, his parents having immigrated to the United States in the mid-1980s.

“I’m proud of all the melanin in my body.”

Bagewadi isn’t simply an Indian-American or a Muslim, though – he is primarily a singer and a musician. “Music’s taken me to the White House, the Apollo Theatre, taken me to India, taken me to England, Italy…but most importantly, it’s taken me where I am right now,” says the singer, whose claim to fame are his powerful vocals – he used to be an opera singer – and his video, Border Anthems, which unites the Pakistani and Indian national anthems:

Music came to Zeshan early in his life, but after delving into, and studying, classical music and becoming an opera singer, he realised he savoured soul and blues music, which he grew up listening.

“Growing up, black music, particularly blues, rhythm and blues, soul, that was sort of the soundtrack of my childhood,” he says, claiming that the Black experience and narrative has a certain proximity in his life, which he has grown to love and respect, especially the “blue note”, which he feels is “a note of instability” that is “born in oppression” and can be felt on a visceral, real level.

He previously covered and repurposed Cryin’ in the Streets by George Perkins, which supposedly resonates with his own experiences growing up as an Indian-American Muslim in Chicago, and is a song for today’s civil rights struggles:

Bagewadi says, “What I like about this, what I like about singing the music that I sing is that there’s no way it ought to be done, as long as it’s just real, you know? And I dig that.”

source:  http://www.video.scroll.in / Scroll.in / Home> Video> Around the Web / by Scroll Staff / July 03rd, 2017

Azharuddin, the evergreen legend in nostalgic mode

Hyderabad, TELANGANA :

“Do you know I can read and write Telugu fluently? I can write the script as good as anyone else. I had a tuition teacher for my Telugu language,’’ Azharuddin said.

AzharuddinMPOs05jul2017

Hyderabad:

The magic, mystery and awe were unmistakable as Mohammad Azharuddin strolled into the Telangana Today newsroom on Tuesday evening. The white T-shirt with the collar up and light blue denims marked the legend’s customary style well-known to his lakhs of fans. Many journalists — some with generous amount of grey and some others much younger — greeted him with eager enthusiasm, bringing alive memories of his incredible batting many years ago.

The former Indian cricket team skipper went down memory lane with the effortless ease which he displayed in the wrist-flicks in his prime. Reminiscing his Vittawaldi days, he recalled those glorious times as an upcoming cricketer. “Do you know I can read and write Telugu fluently? I can write the script as good as anyone else. I had a tuition teacher for my Telugu language,’’ he said.

Azharuddin continued: “I miss those golden days. The roads were empty. It was easy to drive. But, now the traffic is so chaotic. Basically, the people are not disciplined. If told, they would disagree with you.’’

The former stylish cricketer said there could have been a better planning while constructing the metro rail. “It is in the middle of the road and the pillars are very dangerous. If you see in other countries, the metros are positioned to a side, away from the motor roads. It looks scary here.’’

He also revealed his love for the bikes. “I always liked ‘Jawa’, particularly the red ones. It had a royal look. We had a few in and around our streets in Himmayatnagar. Those days owning a Jawa or Yezdi was a big thing.’’

Going to his younger days as cricketer, he said he first played for Deccan Club. “I think I joined in 1977. I remember playing on the bumpy outfields of Parade grounds. It was horrific. We usually played without helmets. But it was enjoyable and there was a lot of camaraderie. I learnt my game from this ground. At times, it was challenging.’’

Azhar said he always enjoyed fielding. ”Somehow, fielding came naturally to me. I would attack the ball. We should be focused and should not shy away from the ball. You know, if a fielder is scared, the ball will chase you. I never flinched from hard work and I used to make it a point to put in extra hours in my training session for fielding.’’

In a lighter vein, he even cited the example of Indian women fielding better than their male counterparts. “In Champions Trophy, our fielders missed some easy run outs while the women ran out six batters in the World Cup,’’ he made a tongue-in-cheek statement.

source: http://www.telanganatoday.com/ Telangana Today / Home> Sport / by N Jagannath Das / July 05th, 2017

An 800-Year-Old Piece of Indian Heritage in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM :

The Ansari family in front of their house in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Ansari family in front of their house in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

Did you know that there is a corner of Jerusalem that has a distinct Indian stamp to it and its various residents wear their Indian origin like a medal?

Next to the Al-Aqsa mosque in the city there is the Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. The hospice is managed by the Ansari family and has a centuries-old connect to India.

The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

Indian pilgrims to the “holy city” of Jerusalem, can stay at the ‘Indian Hospice’ and pay homage to the Indian Sufi saint Baba Faridudding of Shakar Ganj, who visited the place 800 years ago.

Seen here, celebrated Indian chef Samjeev Kapoor at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Seen here, celebrated Indian chef Samjeev Kapoor at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

The Indian Connection Through Baba Farid

The year is 1200, a little over a decade after the armies of Saladin had forced the Christian Crusaders out of Jerusalem. And an Indian Sufi saint from Punjab named Baba Fariduddin of Shakar Ganj travels to the war torn city.

The victory of Saladin against the Crusaders. Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, c. 1490. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)
The victory of Saladin against the Crusaders. Balian of Ibelin surrendering the city of Jerusalem to Saladin, from Les Passages faits Outremer par les Français contre les Turcs et autres Sarrasins et Maures outremarins, c. 1490. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)

 

Sufi saint Baba Farid (Photo Courtesy: Seeker of Sacred Knowledge)
Sufi saint Baba Farid (Photo Courtesy: Seeker of Sacred Knowledge)

It is said that Baba Farid swept the stone floors around al-Aqsa mosque as a mark of devotion. He is also known to have taken up fasting in the silence of a cave nearby.

Long after he went back to India, Muslims from the sub-continent who passed Jerusalem on their way to Mecca stopped at this spot in memory of Baba Farid. It became a sort of temporary residence for the pilgrims.

Ansaris Deputed To Care For Baba Farid’s Legacy

In early 1920s, Jerusalem’s Supreme Muslim Council requested the leaders of the Khilafat Movement of British-ruled India to nominate someone to care for the hospice. The Khilafat leaders honoured the request of the Supreme Council then headed by Arab nationalist Mohammed Amin Al-Husseini. That is how in 1924 Sheikh Nazir Hasan Ansari – who was also part of the Khilafat Movement – was chosen to go to Jerusalem to take charge of the hospice.

Sheikh Nazir Hasan Ansari (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Sheikh Nazir Hasan Ansari (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

Sheikh Munir Ansari who now heads the place, seen here as a boy. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Sheikh Munir Ansari who now heads the place, seen here as a boy. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

His son Sheikh Munir Ansari now heads the place. The two have during their respective years as administrator of the hospice, persuaded the rulers of several Indian Muslim states, including Hyderabad, to make contributions for the upkeep of the hospice. Munir’s son Nazeer proudly explains the glorious history of the place.

Not only pilgrims, but Indians from all walks of life who visit Israel like to meet the Ansaris. They are amazed by the way the Ansaris care for that piece of India in the land of Arab-Jewish confluence. Past visitors include famous journalists, presidents, Indian politicians, celebrities and commoners.

The Ansaris have been gracious hosts to many Indian journalists. Seen in this picture, among other journalists is Suhasini Haider of The Hindu. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Ansaris have been gracious hosts to many Indian journalists. Seen in this picture, among other journalists is Suhasini Haider of The Hindu. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar at The Indian Hospice. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar at The Indian Hospice. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

 

President Pranab Mukherjee too visited The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
President Pranab Mukherjee too visited The Indian Hospice in Jerusalem. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

The Ansaris value the responsibility that comes with the inheritance of the heritage. Their FB page says:

Maintaining and protecting an Indian institution in Jerusalem’s old city is no easy task. But Sheikh Munir has accomplished the impossible with delicate diplomacy and extreme tact.

The Indian Hospice

The Ansaris on a visit to India. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)
The Ansaris on a visit to India. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/The Indian Hospice)

The Ansari family has been a steady presence in Jerusalem ever since and they all still carry Indian passports.

source: http://www.thequint.com / The Quint / Home> News Videos / by Kirti Phadtatre Pandey / July o4th,2017