By Somali K Chakrabarti On 13 February, the opening of the 2015, ICC World Cup Cricket tournament, one of the world’s most viewed sporting events, was celebrated with a Google Doodle. The tournament has come up a long way from the time when the first Cricket World Cup was played in England in 1975. And how! Back in the seventies and early eighties, when all the matches were played during the day, people would gather around the Television or radio sets to watch the match, or at least to listen to the commentary. The games were slow paced and the hangover of the 5-day Test Matches could be seen in the World Cup too. Players dressed in traditional white uniforms played 60 overs per team, with red balls.
By Somali K Chakrabarti India – A Break Out Nation India, a home to 243 million internet users in 2014, is poised to rapidly improve its digital readiness and develop into a strong digital economy. The steep rise in the number of mobile phone users in India will bring into the fold many such users who did not have access to internet before, and with little or no idea of how or why internet is useful for them. Based on the premise that connectivity is the right of all human beings, Facebook has launched the initiative Internet.org to bring down the cost of internet access by extending basic internet access free of cost to mobile smartphone and feature phone users in different developing countries.
By Somali K Chakrabarti Hope inspires, Hope enthuses, Hope soothes, Hope seduces. [Tweet this] Hope is an universal phenomenon Life without hope is drab. What keeps us going each day, is the belief that there is something good in store for us, or that the future holds something fancy in the form of luck, happiness, or whatever we wish for. As we go on in the pursuit of our goals, hopeful thinking at each and every stage in life, both during the good and bad times, gives us the energy and enthusiasm to move on with zest to pursue our goals. Here is a collection of 10 beautiful quotes on the significance of hope and optimism in our lives. [ Tweet this picture ]
By Bhudeb Chakrabarti Manipuri Dance – One of the eight Indian Classical Dance Styles Manipuri dance, from the ancient land of Manipur, is one of the eight and the finest Indian classical dance styles. As the legend goes, Lord Shiva, the great connoisseur of cosmic dance of Lord Krishna, Radha and the Gopis, ensured that no one disrupted the rhythmic beauty of the heavenly dance. When Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva, desired to see the ethereal dance, he chose Manipur as the venue for re-enactment of the divine Raas Leela Dance.
By Somali K Chakrabarti In my last post The Power of Storytelling, I had mentioned about the advertisement ‘Will of Steel’ that inspires us to break gender stereotypes. Here’s an equally moving advertisement from HDFC Life Insurance that shows a dad giving his daughter an opportunity to be self-reliant. This touching ad shows a father helping his child put on her anklets (ghungroos) on her artificial titanium foot after he takes her to join a dancing school. The child keeps on insisting that her father ties up her anklets each time she dances. Slowly he convinces her to tie it on her own. With a smile of satisfaction, the father watches his daughter adjust anklets on her titanium foot, by herself, and perform in a dance ceremony with a group of other children.
By Somali K Chakrabarti “Mere Sapno Ki Rani kab aayegi tu….” This romantic Hindi song from the movie Aradhana, had enchanted hundreds of thousands of people from all over India in the 70s. Sitting atop an open jeep, Rajesh Khanna, crooned the lively song to woo Sharmila Tagore, who sat reading a book in the Toy Train, as the miniature steam engine chugged uphill in the scenic settings of Darjeeling. The “Toy Train” on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) line has been a unique feature of Darjeeling since the 19th century. Ferrying between Darjeeling and Ghoom (India’s highest railway station), the Toy Train moves through the hilly terrain absorbing the magnificent beauty of Darjeeling hills. Inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, DHR became the first Hill Railway in India, and the second in the world to be accorded this status. Here are some vintage pictures of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway from the 19th century. Darjeeling Station, ca 1891 Darjeeling was the chief summer resort for the British government in Bengal.
By Somali K Chakrabarti I am not an avid TV watcher, but often when I do, a remarkable advertisement ‘Will of Steel’ never fails to catch my eyes. This advertisement shows a girl, in a village in Haryana, getting up in the morning, putting on her shoes, and going out for a run, followed by practising crunches and weight lifting. Another lady in the house is shown lighting incense sticks, sweeping the house, washing clothes and preparing food. A background commentary in rustic Haryanvi language sermons the duties of a woman. A woman must get up before the sunrise, offer prayers and get into the kitchen to get on with the household chores.
By Somali K Chakrabarti Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, was also once the city of adab and tehzeeb (etiquette and manners). Refined speech, manners, art, literature, poetry and “Nawabi” style cuisines once marked the culture of the city. The capital city of Uttar Pradesh, on the bank of River Gomati, has a cultural legacy shared by Hindus and Muslims, with a strong influence of Persian court culture. The nobility consisted mainly of Shiite Muslims, who traced back their ancestry to Persia. Peppered with Persian vocabulary and idioms, Udru language spoken in Lucknow was known for its elegance, expressiveness and extreme politeness. Lucknow Urdu played a key role in the city’s cultural milieu. Lucknow first attained prominence in the 15th century under the sultans of Jaunpur. Later it was ruled by Mughal governors. By the 17th century, Lucknow was a prosperous commercial centre, and continued to flourish till 1856 as the capital of the independent Nawabs of Avadh (originally governors under the Mughals).
By Bhudeb Chakrabarti The Birds Mystery Jatinga, a scenic village nestled among the Borail Hills range in the Dima Hasao District of Assam, is known for a strange eerie phenomenon. During misty and foggy days in the months of September to November, each year, thousands of birds come to this valley and crash to their death. As the sun sets, huge number of birds descend on the village and fly full speed, smashing against buildings and trees, to drop dead. [ Tweet this picture ] People from all over the world come to see this mysterious annual phenomenon of suicide by disoriented birds, which lies unexplained so far. The renowned ornithologist Dr Salim Ali had noted, “The most puzzling thing about the phenomenon is that so many species of diurnal resident birds are on the move when, by definition, they should be first asleep.” This weird mass suicide phenomenon of birds has earned Jatinga the name of Death Valley for Birds.
By Somali K Chakrabarti 14th Feb is the day when love is in the air as people all over the world celebrate Valentine’s Day. Love, it is said, is what makes life worth living. Philosophers and poets have defined love in numerous ways. Here is a collection of some of my favorite quotes on love and life. ‘They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.’ ~Tom Bodett ‘There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.’ ~ John Lennon ‘Where there is love there is life.’ ~Mahatma Gandhi