Archers destroy Tigers, near twice-to-beat bonus

first_imgMOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Chan, Constantino top NGAP tourney “It worked to our advantage that Salem is sick and Gaye had something wrong with his foot,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Mbala scored 17 points in just 19 minutes to lead seven others who finished with at least six points as the Archers fashioned out their most lopsided victory of the season to close in on a twice-to-beat Final Four bonus.“I’m happy I was able to rest,” said the Cameroonian big man. “Mayhem (the defense that La Salle plays) is not something that’s easy to do, especially when you stay in there for more than 20 minutes. But if it’s less than 20 minutes and the team is still doing good, at least it means somehow that the second group is also doing well so its good for us.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLater, Adamson pounced on a shorthanded National U squad for a 90-77 victory that assured the Falcons of a playoff for a Final Four spot after improving to 8-4.Jonathan Espeleta and Jerrick Ahanmisi led an early barrage by the Falcons to finish with 16 points each as Adamson put NU’s postseason hopes in peril after the Bulldogs fell to 4-7. While NU is in danger of missing out on the Final Four, the Tigers are in a far more miserable state as they have two games left to avert a winless season. The Tigers’ 12th straight loss saw them trail by 42 points at one point.“We’re doing our best, but the results have not gone our way,” UST guard Marvin Lee, who had 25 points, said in Filipino. “We just have to learn and improve and prepare for next season. It’s frustrating, especially with our record right now.”The Archers pulled away in the second period after Ricci Rivero caught fire with 11 of his 16 points.Santo Tomas scored just eight points in that stretch.The Bulldogs sorely missed gunner Matt Salem, who was out due to an illness, while big man Issa Gaye played just 15 minutes due to an injury.ADVERTISEMENT La Salle didn’t need reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala to play heavy minutes and help the Green Archers destroy University of Santo Tomas.The Green Archers had more than enough firepower in cruising to a 94-59 triumph over the struggling Tigers on Sunday for their 10th win in 12 games in UAAP Season 80 at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101last_img read more

Read More →

Davis, Cousins lead Pelicans over Bulls in OT

first_imgDrummond powers Pistons past Kings Jameer Nelson added 13 points, Darius Miller had 11, and Jrue Holiday 10 for New Orleans. The Pelicans improved to 4-2 on the road.Justin Holiday had 18 points, Denzel Valentine added 16 and Lauri Markkanen and Robin Lopez had 14 apiece for the Bulls. They were coming off their first road victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBoth teams looked sluggish completing their first back-to-backs of the season. The Bulls shot 35.4 percent from the field to the Pelicans’ 40.2 percent.Cousins made two of three foul shots for a 91-86 lead with 2:35 left in overtime before Nelson hit a 3 for a 96-88 lead with 48.9 seconds remaining. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH RETURN LOOMINGBulls forward Bobby Portis’ eight-game suspension ended Saturday. Coach Fred Hoiberg refrained from saying whether Portis will play Tuesday at Toronto. Portis was suspended Oct. 18 due to injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic in a fight at practice.Mirotic suffered broken bones in his face and a concussion and is expected to miss four to six weeks. He has been working out, but has yet to get on the court, Hoiberg said. “The important thing is he’s making progress and is in good spirits,” Hoiberg said.TIP-INSPelicans: New Orleans split two preseason games against the Bulls. … The Pelicans improved to 3-2 on the road with Friday’s 99-94 victory at Dallas. New Orleans had not been above .500 on the road after more than one game since 2010-11. … Cousins and Davis are the only teammates among the league’s top five scorers.Bulls: G David Nwaba exited with a right ankle sprain with 5:17 remaining in the third quarter. He had seven points and four rebounds. … Brothers Jrue Holiday (New Orleans) and Justin Holiday (Chicago) both started. … Markkanen is one of nine NBA players since 1983 to have at least 115 points and 65 rebounds in his first seven career games. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) and Chicago Bulls forward Paul Zipser (16). APCHICAGO — Anthony Davis had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 96-90 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday (Sunday Manila time).DeMarcus Cousins added 25 points and 11 rebounds — 18 and seven after halftime — to help the Pelicans snap a six-game, regular-season losing streak to the Bulls.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Next LATEST STORIES Davis rebounded Lopez’s putback attempt with 9.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Holiday missed at the other end with 3.3 to go before Cousins blocked Lopez to send the game to overtime.The Pelicans opened the final quarter on a 20-7 run to take a 77-71 lead. Valentine hit a 3 to put the Bulls ahead 83-81 with 2:28 left before Davis dunked to tie it.Justin Holiday scored 10 points in the third quarter for the Bulls, who led by as much as nine and 64-57 after the period.The Pelicans shot 40.5 percent from the field to the Bulls’ 32.6 percent in the first half of a tied game. Davis led New Orleans with 14, and Lopez had nine for Chicago.Cousins had just seven points and four rebounds at halftime after averaging 29 points and 14 rebounds per game and posting two 20-point, 20-rebound games in his previous five contests.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

Read More →

Last seat

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The Tamaraws outplayed and outhustled the Eagles for long stretches last Sunday with former Ateneo players Arvin Tolentino and Hubert Cani doing some of the damage on both ends of the floor. FEU also got solid games from graduating player Ron Dennison and Richard Escoto.FEU coach Olsen Racela said it would take more than their performance last Sunday to overcome the Eagles in the decider.“It was our best game so far and we’re hoping that it happens in Game 2,” said Racela, a rookie coach in the UAAP.“Actually, I told the players that we’re peaking at the right time so we’re looking forward to the game on Wednesday.”The Tamaraws entered the Final Four with an even 7-7 record, but looked sharper on both ends of the floor against the Eagles, whose only other loss came against fierce rival La Salle.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA “The tough games we went through in the elimination round helped us (against Ateneo),” said Racela.“But then again, it will be about defending Ateneo’s disciplined offense. We did that last Sunday, but it’s not going to be enough on Wednesday so we have to find more ways to beat them.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa New Pinoy boxing star Ancajas burns bright QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games The Tamaraws forced a do-or-die encounter with an 80-67 dumping of the Eagles last Sunday in their initial Final Four meeting. But Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin remains confident enough that the Eagles can turn the tables on the Tamaraws in their rubber match.The Eagles won all but one of their 14 games in the elimination round, including two victories over the Tamaraws, an accomplishment that should give Ateneo a morale boost heading into their most important game of the season yet.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We have a successful season to fall back on in terms of looking for confidence,” said Baldwin.“So really, it’s about the coaching staff giving these players a message, something specific that they can look at and say, ‘Yes, we can do that.’ And go about doing it.” Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES Far Eastern U seeks to complete a stunning reversal, while Ateneo hopes its impressive season won’t go for naught.The stage is set for a dogfight between the Blue Eagles and Tamaraws on Wednesday as they dispute the right to face defending champion La Salle in the best-of-three finals of UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion View commentslast_img read more

Read More →

Set for UST return, Renzo Subido soaks in D-League experience

first_imgDo not bring these items in SEA Games venues Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Still, the 5-foot-9 Subido isn’t losing sight of his individual targets as he makes a much awaited comeback with the Growling Tigers, this time with coach Aldin Ayo calling the shots.“I’m more than excited. It’s a very different system. I’m excited to play for coach Aldin,” he said. “Coach Aldin is a guard-oriented coach, so I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero and I’ll bring it to UST.” Zark’s-Lyceum gets reality check in first D-League game Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles01:32UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” he said.So far, Subido has been nothing but excellent for the Skippers, leading his side to the 94-92 victory over Zark’s Burger-Lyceum on Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 22-year-old led the fight with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds in the victory.While he’s looking to gain experience, Subido’s focus is firmly on the big picture rather than his individual performance. “We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship. But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams. So we’re just going to go all out every game,” he said.That mettle was tested against the Jawbreakers.Marinerong Pilipino jumped to a 17-point lead in the third quarter, 56-39, before Zark’s Burger-Lyceum made a late run and cut the deficit down to two numerous times within the final two minutes.But the Skippers had the end-game poise, making huge stops in the clutch as Subido calmly sank the game-clinching freebies.“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference and it was a good experience with us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA IMAGESFor Renzo Subido, his time with Marinerong Pilipino in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup has a purpose.And his main goal? To become a better leader for University of Santo Tomas.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Read Next View commentslast_img read more

Read More →

La Salle, FEU strong picks

first_imgNATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters So beats Colombian; Sadorra loses Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games “Our team caught a lot of people by surprise,” said Sandy Arespacochaga, deputy of Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin. “We did well so it’s also a challenge for us to be consistent.”For University of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol, the challenge is dealing with the absence of key recruits Ibrahim Quattara and Rob Ricafort, who were declared ineligible Monday, just hours before the league’s press conference at Mall of Asia Arena.“We don’t know yet how our team will look like,” said Perasol, noting UP will appeal the league’s decision that his players need to serve one more year of residency.The season kicks off with University of the East and National U battling at 2 p.m. this Saturday at MoA Arena, followed by the 4 p.m. clash between Ateneo and Adamson.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “It’s a big test playing without Ben,” Ayo said of his Cameroonian center, who may miss two games as he plays for his national team in the 2017 Fiba Afrobasket. “But we don’t rely on one player only, we rely on our system.”Ayo, as well as new FEU coach Olsen Racela, said their teams had moved on from last week’s invitational game that resulted in an ugly free-for-all in Davao City. It’s the second straight year the two schools figured in a preseason altercation.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“What I always preach and tell my players in basketball or in life is not to dwell on the past—move forward, be mindful of the present,” said Racela.All’s well between coaches Aldin Ayo of La Salle (left) and Olsen Racela of Far Eastern U after a recent offseason brawl among their players in Davao City. —Sherwin VardeleonThe Archers and the Tamaraws stand as favorites this season along with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, who reached the finals last year despite the graduation of several veterans. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim A preseason brawl between La Salle and Far Eastern University may have fanned the animosity between the two powerhouse squads, but Green Archers coach Aldin Ayo would rather have his players deal with the absence of their main man.Ben Mbala, last season’s Most Valuable Player, won’t see action with the defending champion Archers when Season 80 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament fires off this weekend.ADVERTISEMENT La Salle, FEU put ugly offseason brawl behind: ‘Let’s forget what happened’1.7K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 LATEST STORIES Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View commentslast_img read more

Read More →

Bucks re-sign 40-year-old guard Jason Terry

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors APMILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks have re-signed Jason Terry after the veteran guard shot 42.7 percent from 3-point range last season.The Bucks announced the contract Monday night. There was no word on the length or value of the deal.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans The 40-year-old Terry is beginning his 19th season in the NBA. He appeared in 74 games with the Bucks last year and averaged 4.1 points in 18.4 minutes per game. He also made 73 3-pointers in 171 attempts from beyond the arc.The 6-foot-2 Terry, who was selected by Atlanta with the 10th overall pick in the 1999 draft, has career averages of 13.8 points and 3.9 assists in 1,359 games.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups PBA teams not obliged to lend players to PH squad for Champs Cup, says Reyes MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

Read More →

Plan to launch small car well on course, says Hyundai

first_imgHyundai Motor India (HMI), the country’s second largest car maker, on Friday said its plan for launching a small car in the Indian auto-market was “well on course”.The Korean company which has presence in the A segment with flagship hatchback “Santro” and the “i10″ has been planning to launch the small car to compete with Maruti Suzuki’s ‘Alto’. The development of the small car has been taken up at the Research and Development centre in Korea.”It is on course… The development is going on in (South) Korea….”, HMI Director (Sales and Marketing) Arvind Saxena told reporters in Chennai.He said the company was “well progressing” on the launch of the car and it was going on “as per plan”. However, he declined to comment on the timeline set for its launch.The proposed small car would be positioned below the company’s existing flagship model, Santro, and compete with the Alto from Maruti Suzuki. Alto is the largest selling model in India with average sales of over 20,000 units per month.On their future plans, HMI CEO H W Park said the company was working on a strategy to launch new models every two years. “We will introduce two or three models in the next one year…,” he said.He said their premium SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) Santa Fe would be launched in India next month.On export front, Saxena said the company would witness a “minimal dip” this year in the overseas sales due to the slump witnessed in majority of the markets.advertisement”Last year 2.60 lakh units were exported (to various markets).. this year we are expecting it to be around 2.50 lakh units”, he said.Saxena and Park were here to introduce the company’s upgraded hatchback Next Gen “i10” in the Tamil Nadu market.The company has spent around Rs 400 crore for upgradation of the car which boasts aggressive and all-new front design, a new chrome raidator grill, 3D wraparound headlamps with multi-reflector chrome surround fog lamps.The 1.1 litre iRDE2 Next Gen i 10 comes with a introductory price tag of Rs 3.48 lakh (Ex-showroom Chennai) while the 1.2 litre Kappa engine is offered at Rs 4.14 lakh, he added.Hyundai Motor India currently has two manufacturing facilities at Sriperumbudur near here. Besides i10, the company retails Santro, mid-size sedan Accent Executive, premium sedan ‘Verna Transform’, luxury sedan ‘Sonata’.The company exports to nearly 110 countries and this year it would be increased to 118 countries, they said.last_img read more

Read More →

Laxman-Ishant special thwarts Australia in Mohali nail-biter

first_imgThis is the stuff of sporting dreams. Two half-fit batsmen, one a crisis specialist, another a wayward young turk, playing on with injections and pain-killers, took India to an astonishing one-wicket win over Australia in the first Test in Mohali.VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma refused to give up in the direst circumstance, leading India to one of their greatest Test wins ever. The match, which see-sawed all five days, is an endorsement for Test cricket, emphasizing that it is a contest — not fours and sixes — that makes cricket memorable.Chasing 216, India were dead and buried at 124-8. Laxman, who had taken little part in this game due to a bad back, and Ishant, who had also injured his knee on the first day of the game, added 81 for the ninth wicket on a crumbling, two-paced wicket on which Australia’s pacers had bounced out as many as five of India’s top-order batsmen.SCOREBOARD: INDIA VS AUSTRALIAIt was then that two umpiring blunders had a huge bearing on the game. With 11 runs to get, Ishant fell LBW to Ben Hilfenhaus but Ian Gould didn’t see the ball drifting down the leg. Out came Pragyan Ojha, shivering in his boots. He failed to turn over the strike to Laxman in the 58th over. In the deciding over — by Mitchell Johnson — umpire Billy Bowden didn’t give one out LBW when it was. In the confusion, Ojha strayed out of his crease, Steven Smith missed the direct hit, and four overthrows resulted. One ball later, Johnson strayed on Ojha’s pads and the batsmen made a mad dash for two runs to complete India’s only one-wicket win in Tests.advertisementThe young Ishant’s bowling form has been suspect for a while, but his finest show in the international arena so far has come with the bat. The 22-year-old played with the calm of a veteran, displaying watertight technique that Gavaskar and Dravid would approve of. Taking injections for his troublesome knee, the lanky No. 10 batsman evaded bouncers, negotiated close-in fielders — edges flying through the vacant third-man did not hurt — rotated the strike confidently and brought India closer to the win with his highest Test score of 31.For Laxman, however, this was just another day at work. He’s probably India’s least acknowledged Test match winner. Think Ahmedabad (1996), Port of Spain (2002), Perth (2008), and Colombo (2010) where his hundred batting with a runner helped India level the series. The 35-year-old battled on with painkillers, while Suresh Raina (out for zero yesterday) did his running. The wrist artist unleashed drives and whips that sped to the boundary even through defensive fields as Australia captain Ricky Ponting was left clutching at straws.India had begun the day wobbly at 55-4. Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, who slummed out half an hour before edging Nathan Hauritz to slip. Tendulkar and Laxman turned the game around with 43 from 37 balls. Runs came with no discomfort for the two who’ve taken plenty off Australia over the decades. Then, Tendulkar slashed one that was too close to his body to point and India were in trouble all over again.Two more wickets fell in the heap. MS Dhoni ran himself out after a gigantic mix-up involving him, Laxman and Raina. Next over, Harbhajan was bounced out by Doug Bollinger and the game seemed gone.Ishant, struggling with his knee, wasn’t to be burdened with the expectations of taking India through. But he hung on for his life, in the process mitigating his wayward ways with the ball.The game also presents a case for the BCCI to implement the Umpiring Decision Review System. Gautam Gambhir yesterday was wrongly given out LBW by Bowden despite an inside edge. Ishant’s fall nearly cost India the game, even though it was an umpiring blunder that helped them win.last_img read more

Read More →

Training camps are a deciding factor in ensuring a win

first_imgWhen people are expecting big things from you, it is obviously quite hard to live up to them. While India can be proud of reaching the finals of the singles events in tennis, we have been disappointed by the results of the doubles and the mixed events.A tally of one gold, one silver and two bronze is certainly not what the public was expecting from us. The biggest positive to come out, in my opinion, was Sania Mirza’s great return to form. The grit and determination she showed in the final against top seed Anastasia Rodionova from Australia was fantastic.But Sania and Leander Paes’s shock exit from the mixed doubles event was followed by another shocker in the men’s doubles when Leander and Mahesh Bhupathi lost on Saturday.With their 13-year-long winning streak in Davis Cup, nothing but a gold was expected of them, but Paul Hanley and Peter Luczak were far too experienced and gritty to let the home crowd assist the Indians.Which is why India’s lone hope of a tennis gold rested on top seed Somdev Devvarman and he did not disappoint. Somdev is a picture of total professionalism and delivered what the public was waiting for.As for me, Rohan Bopanna and I had a tough draw and we lost to top seeds Hanley and Rodionova in the first round itself. It took us almost five to six games to get used to each other’s playing styles.Despite not having practised even once together, I guess we did quite well because we pushed the top seeds into three sets. I think we could have planned the lead-up to the Games a bit better. It should be mandatory for all players to attend a camp leading up to events like these.advertisementOnly then can we practice with different combinations for doubles and mixed doubles. Australians have dominated the scene in tennis, having snapped up four (five) gold. Their singleminded focus is something that demands appreciation.In other news around the Games Village, I think this is the first time I have seen the paragames being held along with the main games.At the dining hall, there is more “food for thought” when you see somebody in a wheelchair, or without a hand, yearning to excel in sports. It really makes us realise how trivial many of our problems are.In conclusion, I feel the CWG has been a success. Starting from the spectacular opening ceremony, India has risen to the occasion. That is not to say everything has passed off without glitches. But I hope we can learn from this experience and make ourselves more ready in the future.last_img read more

Read More →

Fixing’ fears kept ICC on its toes this World Cup

first_imgThere are rumours that the India-Pak semi-final came under the scanner.The world Cup final will be played today, just five days ahead of the 11th anniversary of the Hansie Cronje matchfixing revelation made by the Delhi Police. While the game has moved on since 2000, with Twenty20 format and ‘Dil Scoop’ shots having come to stay, the stain of match-fixing hasn’t completely vanished.Even as the World Cup final is played in Mumbai, the sleuths of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC), besides several Indian lawenforcement agencies, are on the alert to crack down on those involved in betting on the game. Some people are quietly claiming that the India-Pakistan semi-final on Wednesday was under the shadow of doubt, but as always no proof is forthcoming.Since April 7, 2000, when KK Paul, then joint commissioner of Delhi Police, announced that South Africa captain Cronje (he has since died) and some of his teammates were involved in fixing a One-day International series against India in March 2000, stakes in the game have risen at a mind boggling rate.With millions and millions of dollars at stake in the sport and with the ICC and other agencies keeping a close eye on players and those around them, there is strict vigilance all the time.But people involved in the fixing business have changed some nomenclature, with spot- fixing and spread-betting becoming the more fashionable words.Even during this World Cup doubts were raised over a few individual and team performances, but the ICC, which now has a pro-active and independent anti-corruption setup, was quick to deny any wrongdoing.advertisementOff the field, several cases of illegal betting have been busted by the Indian police during the World Cup and even on a global stage some people still approach/ lure players as was evident in the Mazhar Majeed case involving members of the Pakistani team during a series in England last year.For the ongoing World Cup, almost the entire ICC ACSU team has been camping in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, keeping a close watch on the matches and goings-on surrounding them. But members of ACSU are not ready to speak on their success rate. When contacted, Ravi Sawani, general manager and chief investigator, ACSU, excused himself, saying that he was not allowed to speak to the media. “I apologise for not being able to speak on this. My remit says that I cannot speak to the press,” he said.Even the BCCI’s permanent security advisor Ranjit Kumar Das, a retired police officer, isn’t willing to comment. “Even if I am happy, I am not authorised to share it with the press,” he said.Under Jagmohan Dalmiya’s presidentship, the ICC constituted Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) – it later became ACSU – with British top cop Paul Condon heading it. “The ACU is a well organised setup. And in the past some international sports federations, including tennis, benefitted after studying ICC’s anti-corruption template.Sawani’s predecessor at ACSU, Jeff Rees, a former British police officer, joined as director of the world tennis bodies’ Tennis Integrity Unit to check corruption in the sport,” a former ICC top official told Mail Today . KK Paul, who joined the Union Public Service Commission after retiring as Delhi police commissioner, said he follows the game but not the developments in match-fixing or betting. ” What I can say is that Condon interacted with me in Delhi a few times when I was in the service,” said the man who never misses a game of cricket and will be watching the final too.===Large-hearted Kapil never fails his friends Legendary Kapil Dev’s fans know him as a talented all-rounder and the man who captained India to the World Cup title in 1983. Now a successful businessman, Kapil is involved several other projects.But he hasn’t forgotten his friends from his playing days, especially those who played with him for Haryana. Wicketkeeper Salim Ahmed, who took many catches off Kapil’s famous outswingers, received a boost a few days ago when the former India captain promised to help the students of DNS College of Engineering & Technology in Amroha, near Delhi, get jobs after graduating from the institution Ahmed has established.”Kapil met students of my college and promised them that he would help them find jobs once they complete their education. We have been friends for many years and I know Kapil always lives up to his promise,” Ahmed told Mail Today .===Help thy neighbour When will Bangladesh play their first Test match on Indian soil? Almost 11 years ago they got the elite status, with the BCCI – more specifically, Jagmohan Dalmiya as ICC president – leading the campaign. But since then successive BCCI set-ups, which include Dalmiya as board president (2001- 2004), have given them a royal ignore.advertisementIt’s an open secret that when Dalmiya was staking his claim for the post of ICC president, he needed votes of member countries and apparently promised Bangladesh goodies (read exposure through matches and other help).But once he ascended to the ICC throne (1997-2000) and even later when he became BCCI president, Bangladesh remained isolated. They last played a match in India almost 13 years ago.An indebted Bangladesh Cricket Board is too overawed of the BCCI, to ask the big brother to invite its team to play with the Indian team. When asked about his anomaly, BCB senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam said: “We are talking to them for a series.” He hardly sounded convincing.===Chappell’s wife turns nostalgic Wednesday’s India-Pakistan semi-final made many people turn nostalgic and recall the Indian team’s tours of Pakistan in 2004 and 2006. On the second tour, Indian team coach Greg Chappell’s wife Judith accompanied him and thoroughly enjoyed it and even made a scrap book on the tour. Among the souvenirs she collected during that tour was a half-smoked cigar of the then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, who had left it in the ashtray during a match he came to watch.Judith can still recall a sight that is firmly etched on her mind. “Travelling in the Indian team bus from Lahore to Faisalabad, we were thrilled to see the excitement of the local people lining the road into town. One moment, in particular, stood out for its poignancy and humour.In the crowd a man with a big, toothless grin on his face, standing proudly at the rear of his empty, horse- pulled cart waved at us as the traffic policeman himself let us know that all was well just by the expression in his eyes and bearing the widest grin on his face,” she recalls. “In a split second of my noticing this, Sachin Tendulkar turned around to face Greg and I with a twinkle in his eye.He too had seen the joyous, excited welcome of this man towards the Indian team – one of many wonderful moments which endeared us to the people of Pakistan.”last_img read more

Read More →

Depleted India team arrives in West Indies, Raina says team motivated

first_imgA depleted Indian cricket team, sans senior players Sachin Tendulkar and regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, arrived in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for a limited-over series against the West Indies, starting on Saturday.Smartly dressed in a tee and trousers, the Indian players landed at around 20.30 hrs (local time) on Wednesday at the Piarco International Airport and were received by officials of Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) and sponsors Digicel.The Suresh Raina-led Indian side looked tired and exhausted after their long flight from Mumbai via London and Barbados.Stand-in skipper Raina’s eyes were blood-shot for lack of sleep and a few team members looked dishevelled from the exertions of a long, trans-Atlantic flight.Even though he looked tired and sleepless, Raina exuded confidence that his young team will do whatever it takes to win the lone Twenty20 game and the fivematch ODI series against the Caribbeans.”It’s a young side. The players want to do well for the country and themselves. They are extremely motivated,” said Raina on his arrival.Vice-captain Harbhajan Singh too opined that the starless Indian team would not be short of motivation in the upcoming series, irrespective of their relentless cricket schedule.”These are young boys who are looking to build a career for themselves. I don’t think tiredness or fatigue would be a factor,” said the off-spinner.Team manager Amitabh Chowdhary said that irrespective of the long flight, the side would attend its practice sessions as scheduled.India will play a Twenty20 match in Trinidad (June 4) and five ODIs on June 6 (Trinidad), June 8 (Trinidad), June 11 (Antigua), June 13 (Antigua) and June 16 (Jamaica).advertisementThe One-day series would be followed by a three-match Test series in Jamaica (June 20-24), Barbados (June 28-July 2) and Dominica (July 6-10).RAIN MARS PRACTICERain in the last few days hampered the West Indies in their practice session at the Queen’s Park Oval, the venue of the first three limited overs matches against India starting on Saturday, and they had to sweat it out at the indoor facilities.As West Indies trooped in Queen’s Park Oval for an intense training session, they were disappointed to know that rains of last few days had left the practice pitches unfit to use.The squad was left with no option but to train at Bryan Davis indoor nets but batting coach Desmond Haynes wasn’t ready to come to terms with the situation at the venue which will host a Twenty20 International and the first two ODIs of the series.Haynes sought out 22-year-old Darren Bravo, who is seen as next Brian Lara in this part of the world but had not done well against off-spinners in his career, for a batting tutorial on the least damaged pitch with a little mat rolled over the surface.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Read More →

Mani accuses BCCI of playing politics with Pakistan

first_imgFormer International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani has accused the Indian cricket board officials of using their financial clout to play politics with Pakistan.Former ICC president Ehsan Mani. AP”India has become cricket’s biggest commercial market in the last 15 years and unfortunately their present board is using this financial clout to play politics, particularly with Pakistan,” Mani said in an interview to Radio Deutsche Welle.Mani said that Pakistan losing the 2011 World Cup rights, the forced exclusion of Pakistani players from the IPL and Champions League and the continued refusal of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to even play Pakistan at neutral venues, were some of the evident examples of India playing politics with Pakistan.”The present Indian board has isolated Pakistan in international cricket,” alleged Mani.He also pointed out that the move by the ICC to end the rotational policy system to nominate the President of the ICC, was because of India’s influence.Pakistan and Bangladesh boards are supposed to nominate their candidates for the ICC President’s post when Sharad Pawar steps down in 2014/15.”The Indians are behind this move because they don’t want a Pakistani heading the ICC and also want to increase their overall influence and control in the world body,” claimed Mani.The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already opposed the proposals to end the rotation system and to make it mandatory for all member boards to amend their constitutions to ensure that their office bearers are elected and not through government interference.advertisementThe former ICC President, however, admitted that teh PCB itself was responsible for the existing situation and its continued isolation in world cricket.”The PCB, because of its wrong policies while dealing with other boards and its continued strife with its own players, has inflicted self damage. Gone are the days when PCB carried influence and say in the ICC matters,” he said.Mani said that great damage had been done to Pakistan cricket in the last two years because of the regular problems between the Board and the players.”These things have damaged Pakistan cricket to no end because PCB has had no visibly clear policies on many issues.”Mani, who is the only Pakistani to have held the highest position in the world governing body, said until there was a system of accountability in the PCB, nothing will change.Mani backed ICC’s move to make it mandatory for every member board to have elections and not have government interference in their matters.”This is a good and constructive move by the ICC and I think Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh boards stand to gain the most from it because these are the countries where government interference in cricket affairs is obvious.”He pointed out that even India had repeatedly said that they can’t play Pakistan in a bilateral series because their government had not given clearance.”This is a good development and the Pakistan board should not oppose it because in the long run it will be the Asian cricket boards that will benefit most from it,” he said.But the PCB has already issued a legal notice to the ICC over the proposed regulation, insisting that every country had to operate its cricket affairs in line with its particular system.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Read More →

Be alert, be active and make government pass Lokpal Bill: Kiran Bedi to youth

first_imgAttributing the success of the anti-corruption movement to people’s participation, Team Anna member and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi on Saturday implored the young delegates at the Mind Rocks India Today Youth Summit 2011 that their support should continue so that the government is forced to legislate a strong Lokpal Bill during the winter session later this year.”The movement was a success because of you and all credit goes to Anna Hazare,” Bedi told the summit, which was held on Saturday in Delhi. She attributed her association with the movement to RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, calling it an ‘opportunity.’She called for people to end their indifference towards how government is run, else it would give the people in power a free run to do corrupt dealings. They should be held accountable, she said, calling the government draft of the Lokpall bill ineffective.Bedi said the government proposes to create two CBIs – saying the first CBI will be under the government control, while the other, the new one, would only investigate new cases of corruption. She asserted that a senior minister told her that the government is worried that an independent CBI under Lokpal may reopen old corruption cases like that of Bofors gun deal.The fear of going to jail and usurping of property created by corrupt means will act as an effective deterrent for people like Suresh Kalmadi and A. Raja, she added.On being asked what makes her sure the Jan Lokpal will not become corrupt, Bedi said, “It’s very transparent. It has a search committee and it is very accountable. All its functioning will become website-oriented. It will be a harbinger of change.”advertisementBedi summed up saying that she is still youthful at heart. Her passion, determination and drive to be just and fearless against pressure and adversaries remain intact. That is so because she trained hard as a sportswoman earlier in her life. She told the youth that what they do now in their formative years will have a lasting bearing on the rest of their life. She shared her experiences with the youth on how to deal with life. The former IPS officer, who calls herself a rebel by nature, told the gathering, her passion to stand against the unjust has remained undiminished since her childhood. She attributed this to her devotion to sports. Bedi was an ace tennis player and women tennis’s Asian champion at the age of twenty.Sports gave right focus to immense store of energy in her that helped her lifelong, she said. Bedi feels spiritual, mental and physical are all essential components of education and sports provide best training in the formative years. Saying she never lost her focus in life, Bedi said she joined the Indian Police Service at the age of 22 in 1972, a profession considered taboo for women. She added soon she became a role model for men during training years. She called it ‘destiny’ that she was transferred to Delhi. In 1975, she had a frank talk with the then IG Police (now called Commissioner) Delhi, P.R. Rajgopal, to persuade him to lead the January 26 parade in 1976. “This is one event that announced the arrival of women in the police force,” she says raising fist in the air.She never looked back. In 1982, Bedi issued a ticket to the driver of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi when her car was wrongly parked. “She was in power, so was I,” Bedi said, asserting the point that policing has to be just and equitable. There cannot be two different standards for the rich and the poor.She explained that she was perhaps not made the commissioner of Delhi Police, because she would have not bowed down to the will of politicians. Earlier, she was not given the charge of anti-terror wing of Delhi Police simply because she would have released people held illegally in the name of anti-terror investigations, she said.Motivating the youth, she said, “Had I not been somebody, I would have been nobody. So, I never lost track of my priority. At 16, I knew when to say yes, when to say no… What you did in teenage returns to you at 20-23.”last_img read more

Read More →

Superstar Anand’s tragic ‘safar’ ends

first_imgO Mere Dil Ke Chaen, Chaen Aaye Mere Dil Ko Dua Kijiye – as Rajesh Khanna sashayed in his sports car, scarf flowing from his neck, shades in place, crooning Kishore Kumar’s mellifluous melody in Mere Jeevan Saathi, lakhs of Indian women missed a heart beat.Yes, ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ or ‘Chingari Koi Badke’ also symbolised RK, but for me the abiding image of Rajesh Khanna will always remain ‘O Mere Dil Ke Chaen.’ It captured India’s first megastar in all his many-splendoured glory. Rajesh Khanna was a true blue superstar, a demigod who embodied the characteristics of two legends of the yesteryear – the romanticism, flair and chutzpah of Dev Anand and the tragi-histrionic abilities of Dilip Kumar.BlockbusterIn the five-year span which saw him emerge as B-Town’s first superstar, Rajesh Khanna, or Kaka as he was known in the industry, was all the rage, until he was supplanted by the Paul Muni-baritoned Amitabh Bachchan in Namak Haram. In fact, at the premiere of Namak Haram at Mumbai’s Liberty cinema, Khanna in his candour told director Hrishi-da – ‘My time is up, the new superstar has arrived,’ pointing to his co-star – Bachchan.Khanna was tutored in the art of acting by PD Shenoy, the principal of the Filmalaya School of Acting (Sadhana, Sanjeev Kumar and Asha Parekh also emerged from the same stable). Found in a talent hunt, but a prestigious one – the United Producers Filmfare Contest – Khanna’s initial spurt in Hindi cinema was well-served by this axis. Chetan Anand cast him in Aakhri Khat, but GP Sippy launched him first in Raaz. The United Producers, in many ways, laid the grand edifice of Rajesh Khanna’s undisputed suzerainty.advertisementHe did Ittefaq with BR Chopra; the film was directed by Yash Chopra, who would cast him again in Daag. He did the smash hit Aradhna with Shakti Samanta who used him again in Amar Prem, Kati Patang, Anuraag, Anurodh, Ajnabee and Mehbooba. GP Sippy cast him again in Aan Milo Sajna and Andaz. He did Khamoshi with Hemant Kumar, which was directed by Asit Sen, who later repeated him in Safar. He did Do Raaste with Raj Khosla, who then cast him in Prem Kahani, Aap Ki Kasam and Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka with J Om Prakash and Baharon Ke Sapne with Nasir Husain very early on. As many as 15 blockbuster hits simply rolled off the conveyor belt. With Hrishi-da, he made many memorable and acclaimed films – Anand, Bawarchi, Namak Haram. His ouevre being a combination of stylish romantic and the emotionally high-strung tragic heroes. Personally, he was egotistical, whimsical and completely paranoid about failure.ChangeTowards the mid-1970s, a new breed of filmmaking crept in quietly. It was symptomatic of the times. The air was all-pervasive with hoarding, black marketing and smuggling. In 1972, Khanna enacted one such role in Apna Desh, a remake of 1969 Tamil hit Nam Naadu, with one of his favourite heroines Mumtaz. It was the age of Emergency, which ushered in new acronyms – SITA, Cofeposa, FERA – all dreaded and dangerous. Yes, Amitabh Bachchan arrived as the first anti-hero, capturing the essence of the time and place, blazing away with hands and legs; Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay and innumerable more hits. This was a defining moment in Rajesh Khanna’s career. The presiding holy trinity of Hindi cinema – Rajesh Khanna, RD Burman and Kishore Kumar – saw a churn, the latter two stayed and Bachchan replaced Khanna.The King was dead, all hailed the new King. It is said that in RD Burman’s music room, Rajesh Khanna’s portrait was hung on the wall, such was the bond between the two. It began with ‘Roop Tera Mastana,’ a zingy and peppy new song in Aradhana though credited to an ailing SD Burman, but actually composed by RD Burman. This was a conjoined relationship, one that delivered hit after hit – RD’s music, Kishore’s playback and RK mouthing the lines in his inimitable style.UnforgettableIt is said that RK, or Kaka, was extremely conscious of his posterior, which used to protrude out. So Baldev Pathak, who used to run a boutique in Colaba called Shriman, designed what came to be known as the ‘Guru’ kurta for RK, a trademark which epitomised the star. As a child one saw everything that Khanna put on celluloid, from Haathi Mere Saathi, to his faceoff with Meena Kumari in Dushman, from his mush in Daag, to “I hate tears, Pushpa” in Amar Prem. He made you cry in Safar and Anand, even as you loved the rogue in Sacha Jhoota. There are so many memories of RK, the most obvious and the most indelible is of his voice playing back from tape in Anand – an unforgettable moment etched in our memories.advertisementWhen I worked in Plus Channel in the late 1990s, our office was in Ajanta Hotel in Juhu. The same hotel complex also housed Amitabh Bachchan’s ABCL where the other God used to come to work. RK was close to Amit Khanna and would land up in our office, as did many other stars and directors. Once I remember distinctly overhearing Khanna shout, “arre Amit teri bhi kya kismet hai, upar Lambuji hai aur main neeche baita hoon.” There were days when both superstars would be in the house, making you wonder – Oh, two kings in the house! Wowie. For any movie buff, it was a moment that will never be erased from the corridors of one’s mind.If one of the defining moments in Khanna’s career was the face-off with Bachchan in Namak Haram, where in a smouldering bravura high-voltage Beckettian performance, he screams: “Hai koi mai ka lal? Mujhe maro. Mere dost ko kya marte ho?” then equally significant was his ‘loss’ to LK Advani in a Lok Sabha election. Rajiv Gandhi propped up Khanna by pitting him against Advani. It was to send a message to Bachchan, who had fallen out with Rajiv after Bofors. Though Khanna lost narrowly, he won the re-election to the New Delhi seat by vanquishing Shatrughan Sinha in a gladiatorial contest.I end with his lines from Safar where he portrayed the tragic hero to the core – “Main marne se pehle marna nahin chahta” and “Yeh toh main hi jaanta hoon ki zindagi ke aakhri mod par kitna andhera hai.” A star has fallen.last_img read more

Read More →

Star ideas on vacation

first_imgCheck out how the celebrities do it. Swati Gupta, 28, Creative Director, Body Craft Salon and Spa”For clothes, I usually go to Evoluzione. They have some great pieces by Sabyasachi, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta and other designers. I also frequent Ffolio and Samsaara at UB City because they have very,Check out how the celebrities do it.Swati Gupta, 28, Creative Director, Body Craft Salon and Spa”For clothes, I usually go to Evoluzione. They have some great pieces by Sabyasachi, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta and other designers. I also frequent Ffolio and Samsaara at UB City because they have very good collections. For home accessories, I usually go to Raintree or Good Earth. I recently came across OMA and really liked their products too.”Nimirta Lalwani, 33, Fashion designer”Bangalore is a great city for shopaholics. For bridal, designer or high end clothes, Evoluzione is a great bet. For clothes and shoes by international brands, I go to Maison and Zara. And of course, I also like to sport a lot of my own designs.”Nisha Millet, 30, Professional swimmer and former Olympian”I like Mango for casual wear and Avirate has really nice formal dresses. I usually shop in Indiranagar because there are so many places to choose from. My favourite shop in town is the Speedo store which has the best swimsuits ever.”last_img read more

Read More →

INDIA BECOMES A VILLAGE

first_imgThe underlying visual of many in urban India is a rural India marked by thatched roofs, kutcha roads, and uneducated people who work in farms. But the village has changed dramatically from the days of Sholay. Rural India has been growing more rapidly than urban India in the last few years and studies by many organisations are only now capturing what my colleagues at Indicus had gathered some time back. Rural unemployment fell by 3.9 million in the period between 2004-05 and 2009-10, according to the National Sample Survey (nss). Incomes are also growing faster-a 2011 Credit Suisse report found per capita gdp in rural India has grown 1.5 per cent more than urban India: 6.2 per cent in rural areas against 4.7 per cent in urban ones. As per a crisil report penned by Dhamakriti Joshi using nss data, rural household expenditures grew by Rs 3.7 trillion between 2009-10 and 2011-212, compared to less than Rs 3 trillion in urban India. The growth in rural India was 2 percentage points higher during the period. Meanwhile, education attainment is improving more rapidly than in urban India; even in household assets, more two-wheelers and tvs are being used by India’s rural inhabitants (see graphs).These changes have occurred not merely because of productivity improvements in agriculture (marginal), or nrega (slightly more than a drop in the ocean) or even higher minimum support prices (few commodities covered for a small part of rural economy). There have been massive and obvious, though undocumented, productivity improvements in rural India, including in its manufacturing and services sectors. Today, manufacturing and services account for almost three-fourths (73 per cent to be precise) of the rural economy, and will only grow in future.advertisementThese productivity improvements have occurred on the back of three developments in the 2000s. First, the spread of the telecom network across India-rural penetration rose from barely 0.7 per cent of the households in 2000, to greater than 33 per cent in 2011, and there is more to come. The overall growth of telecom has been of the order of 19 times in the period as opposed to six times in urban India. The network, unlike in many other countries, has been able to provide highly affordable services even to those at the bottom of the pyramid. It has been well documented that daily wage labourers are using them to find better daily job options, farmers and fishermen for better prices for their produce and youth for greater education options.The second major improvement has been the building of a good rural road network which will eventually connect all villages to each other and to a large market-place. Between 2004 and 2008, rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana grew more than three times to 1,61,000 km. In 2004, barely 2 per cent of all roads were rural, and this had increased to 5 per cent by 2008. The growth is actually more, but the latest data is not yet available. Many private transport services run on these roads, motorcycles have become more feasible as 24×7 and all-year-round private means of transport, transport of goods and services to villages has become possible at cheaper and regular rates. Together, all of these have led to another major impact on rural productivity. Strange though, India’s urban-centric academia has not even attempted to capture these revolutionary developments and their impact on productivity.The third major development has perhaps been the most important, and it is a result of the improvements in communications and transport. Human capital in rural India is improving at a very fast pace. Many government schools do not function-that is well known-but that they are improving is less appreciated. Today, there is rarely a child that is not in school in rural India. Teachers are more willing to teach in the hinterland as travel between the nearest town and the village becomes easier. Youth are travelling to nearby urban centres for education. Consequently, between 2004 and 2010, nss data shows that among the working age groups in rural India, secondary, higher secondary, graduates and postgraduates have grown by 45, 60, 39 and 28 per cent respectively.As the examples featured in this issue show, at least some of the better educated are electing to stay back in rural India. This group of rural achievers is very different from the ones in the past. They are not only driven by the passion or idealism of remaking rural India, but there is also a conviction that they and their families can lead happy, fulfilling lives in villages. They are benefiting from the progress, as they are also contributing to it. It is this Indian who is changing rural India the most-not an idealist, but a realist who sees opportunities, and actively participates in the great surge that rural India is making.advertisementWe are therefore starting to see the emergence of a virtuous cycle. As better-educated people utilise greater opportunities, they will create further openings for others. They will, in turn, ensure that at least some of the better-educated workforce and dynamic entrepreneurs elect to work in rural India. Some of these people may even live in urban India, as a good transport system makes it possible to travel long distances.Indian policymakers have, however, not realised the two most important characteristics of such cycles. One, that they are, typically, shortlived, and tend to die out unless there is a free flow of people, as well as goods and services to and from such areas with the outside world. And two, rural India can only grow if urban India operates efficiently.Many lazy thinkers have identified nrega and higher agricultural support prices as the key reason behind rural India’s surge, with little data to prove that claim. If the great surge in rural India is due to welfare, then India has discovered a completely new growth model! Growth can only be sustained if there are productivity improvements, and those can only be sustained if the economy is open. But rural India is still only a partially open economy. Laws, infrastructure, procedures, practices and corruption are working together to create a collection of highly walled islands. Once in a while, technology seeps in through these walls and creates a positive wave. This is essentially what has occurred since the latter part of the 2000s. But whether it is irrigation, mandis, highways, warehouses, training institutes or strange laws, a lot remains the same in rural India. Much as we see dynamism today, we shall see fatigue eating into rural India. Reforms and investment allowed urban India to get somewhere, and some of that trickled down. But, just as the urban economy is now getting tired of hope, so too will rural India, and soon.Cities and villages are nothing but a collection of closely packed homes with some markets strewn about in between. But the larger collection of human beings in cities have a role to play in sustaining and providing the scale for the smaller collection that resides in each village. Cities enable villages to benefit from economies of scale. So if rural India needs to grow, Indian cities need to function well. There was a reason why the great agriculture-centric Indus Valley Civilisation withered away once its cities were lost.There is little one can expect or hope from the Government at this time, but policymakers of the future, please note. Rural India can and should grow rapidly, but for that we need to free it from the many artificial barriers our elders have put in its path.The author is the director of Indicus Analytics, a New Delhi-based economic research firmadvertisementk. nicholson singh, 31, turned an innovator out of a sense of guilt. In 2002, a stray dog he used to often feed, died of shock after it accidentally sat on a naked wire at his electrical repair shop.He did not tell anyone how it had died, but shut shop for a month, refusing to speak to friends and family. “It was my carelessness, but it made me want to find a remedy. I asked my father, an electrician himself, if there was any device that absorbed electric shocks. He had no answer. I checked local libraries, but it was a waste of time,?? says Singh, who won the Grassroots Innovator Award in 2009 from the National Innovation Foundation for designing an electric shock-proof converter.Though not marketed commercially yet, it comes in various sizes, depending on the voltage rating of the device. “The principle is simple. I use a magnetic field to make the surge shock-proof. You plug one end of the converter to the power source, the other end to any device-fridge, tv, iron or even naked wires-and you won’t get a shock,?? he explains. Born on March 25, 1981, in village Wongkiei Koijam Leikai, 5 km from Imphal, Singh was exposed to the world of electricity from childhood, as Indrajit, his father, was an electrician at Imphal’s rims Hospital. “I learnt practical aspects of the trade from my father. But he could never explain how things worked. For that, while in Class VIII, I trained for three months under Momom Singh of iti.?? In 2000, Singh borrowed money from friends to start his shop. It was here that three years later, fate intervened, and he ended up designing the converter. by Kaushik Dekaher name means ‘gentle breeze’ in Urdu. And 30-year-old Sabbah Haji is the fresh breath of air that has bypassed Jammu & Kashmir for two decades, but is now back in the inhospitable heights of Doda district. Four years after she quit the comfort of her content-writing job in Bangalore, she’s in the thick of an incredible transformation. In 2008, Haji went back to her village of Breswana, a remote settlement of 1,500 people. “I felt there were far more relevant things I should be doing back home, instead of earning and spending in a lather-rinse-repeat cycle month after month,?? she wrote on her blog. The commerce graduate from Bishop Cotton, Bangalore, spent the next few months setting up Haji Public School (hps). From two rooms of her father Saleem Haji’s home in May 2009, hps today has its own building and nearly 200 children on its rolls, besides two branches, in Parsholla and Shadiwan. Four years on, hps has Classes I to V with no dropouts. Striking a happy mix of modernity and tradition between her Levi’s and hijab, she says it helps that she likes village life: “It’s simple and the people are real.?? For Haji, it’s been a happy descent to the uncomplicated-to the delight of watching a child’s face light up with comprehension. by Asit Jollya cause warrior if there was one, Sonia Suryavanshi persuaded a group of nomads to settle in her village of Sarasar to send their children to school when she was 14 years old. Now 27, she has devoted the last 13 years to many righteous causes. She started off by setting up an agarbatti unit to give local women jobs. That venture folded up, but her next attempt, to get polythene banned from the local market, was taken up by municipal officials. She is a messiah-on-wheels, riding her two-wheeler from one village to the next, raising awareness about education and women’s empowerment. In 2010, she took up the cause of children of lepers. “I petitioned local schools to consider these kids as potential students. They ignored me,?? she says. She finally found help from then-Udham Singh Nagar district magistrate R.C. Puroshottam. Over 300 kids of lepers are now enrolled. Next in line is revolutionising farm practices. “I can imagine myself riding a tractor,?? she says confidently. by Olina Banerjimeet himanshu Patel, one of India’s best sarpanchs. In six years, he has transformed the sleepy, garbage-littered village of Punsri, Gujarat, into a model of rural life. Patel was elected in 2006. He immediately got a Rs 4.5-lakh sound system with speakers installed in the village. It is connected to his mobile, and allows him to call villagers to assembly in minutes. It has been such a success that 500 panchayats in Gujarat alone have adopted it. Punsri now has a bottled-water plant, a Rs 10-lakh bus and home garbage collection. Patel won the Rajiv Gandhi Bharat Ratna as India’s best sarpanch in 2011. His next target: solar street lights. by Uday MahurkarWith one hand typing furiously on a BlackBerry, another clicking away on an iMac, Vijay Bhaskar Reddy Dinnepu, 36, ceo of Vinfinet Technologies (vt), a Bangalore-based it firm, takes to technology like fish to water. One can scarcely believe the winner of 2011 Samsung Innovation Award never saw electricity till the age of 12. “I was born and raised in Palli, a small village in Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh, in a family of poor farmers. Being deprived of technology in my childhood made me hungry for more of it,?? he says.Dinnepu completed a BTech in Chemical Engin-eering from Sri Venkateswara University in 1997 and MTech in Computer Science from iit-Madras in 1999. He went on to work at firms such as LightSand Communications, Wipro, lvl7 Systems, Intel and Cisco. But a void remained. “I lived in the US for almost two years and could have settled there. But I had a conscience-call-that I should use my success to help others,?? he says. He returned to Bangalore in 2003, and realised he could give back most by extending to his community the benefits of technology. His mind made up, he left Cisco in August 2010 to set up vt, which builds cost-effective it solutions for agriculture. Its first product, Kisan Raja, was launched in early 2011. “It’s a gsm-based software that makes a cellphone work as an irrigation pump switch,?? says Dinnepu. At Rs 5,000 per unit, it’s already being used by over 500 farmers in the state. by Sonali Acharjeeif mahatma gandhi believed India lives in its villages, a young couple has ensured that the village they have adopted lives well. In five years, Jaldeep Thakar and his wife Snehal have spun a remarkable turnaround for Pedhamli in Mehsana district, be it in education, health, hygiene or women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship. Jaldeep imbibed the Mahatma’s vision of rural sufficiency at Gujarat Vidyapith, a university founded in 1920 by Gandhi himself. Once they settled in Pedhamli in 2006, from health issues, they moved to reviving a cooperative dairy. They opted against floating an ngo, saying Pedhamli is their ngo and its inhabitants their trustees. by Uday Mahurkarby 1928, under the leadership of Sardar Patel, Bardoli Kisan Satyagraha had developed into a model Gandhian community. That legacy continues today in this corner of Gujarat, through the Suruchi Yantra Vidyalaya. It’s here that Ram Kumar Singh and Rama Singh, a Gandhian couple, are trying to bring about rural industrialisation for the last 12 years.There have been no improvements in agricultural tools technology since India’s Independence. “We started a centre to train blacksmiths to re-design tools for farmers in south Gujarat,?? says Ram. “Since farmers trade in their produce and tools in the weekly mandi (market), we tried selling there as well. When our sickles and harrows sold quickly, we started selling them across the region. We cover five districts, 15 talukas and more than 50 villages,?? he says. The institute has so far trained 31 blacksmiths, all of whom work in their centre. “We apply engineering ideas, and have so far bettered 166 tools. Our research is documented in Gujarati,?? says Ram.The couple began their journey in Wardha, Maharashtra. “Both of us believed in a revolutionary ideology those days,?? says Rama. Today, they do research in rural and tribal uplift, and have collaborated with National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and iit-Madras among others. “More than 80 per cent of our production is self-funded, and our turnover is around Rs 50 lakh a year. We’ve identified 130 farmer clusters in Gujarat as our potential customers. The day all 130 are in our fold, our turnover could exceed Rs 5 crore,?? says Ram Kumar Singh. by Devika Chaturvedia film at 17 may not sound that big an achievement, till you realise Jayshree Kharpade’s father forced her out of school in Class II, so that she could work at a brick kiln. Fire in Our Hearts, her 27-minute autobiopic, won first prize at the Asian-American International Film Festival in New York in July. In it, the tribal girl from Wada, 120 km from Mumbai, narrates her struggle to get an education.Now in Class X at Eklavya Vidyalaya in Usgaon, 70 km north of Mumbai, Kharpade exudes the confi-dence of a girl determined to make up for lost time. “At 12, ngo Shramajeevi Sanghathana re-enrolled me in Class II,?? she says. “I picked up so fast that my school allowed me to sit for the annual exams of Classes III-VI. I cleared them all.??There’s no rancour at her father for pulling her out of school, though, in the film, she asks him why he forced her to abandon school. “Now, baba wants me study further,?? she says. Kharpade had not seen a camera until filmmaker Joyce Chopra of New York-based ngo BYkids visited her school in December 2010, and warmed to her story. Chopra encouraged Kharpade to shoot, and edited the film.Her film’s success has sharpened Kharpade’s focus. She wants to be a civil engineer and build a school in her village, so that no girl is deprived of an education. by Kiran Tare in mandva, a village of about 11,000 people on the banks of the Narmada near Chandod, Vadodara district, Gujarat, Mehul Panchal Chand has created a forested ravine in the midst of barren land, appropriately called Oasis Valley. Racked by guilt at farmer suicides in Gujarat, this organic farm was his gift to the community he feels he belongs to. Panchal qualified as an electronics engineer from M.S. University, Vadodara, in 1993. He landed a job at an it firm in Bangalore, but unhappy with it, a year on he made a life-changing decision to move back to Vadodara and immerse himself in the uplift of the nearby villages.He bought a nine-acre barren plot nearby for a meagre Rs 35,000 in 2002. With continuous experiments over 10 years, he has turned it into a fertile valley, and has inspired over 400 farmers to his cause, that of sustainable but economically viable organic farming. “I’m inspired by India’s organic farming pioneers Ashok Sanghavi, Bhaskar Hiraji Save and Subhash Palekar,?? he says. Organic farmers like Panchal rear earthworms to turn compost to manure, and use cow urine as insecticide. He says: “With chemicals, the land needs more fertilisers in the next period. Pests become immune, and a ruinous downward spiral ensues.?? Panchal believes a farmer with just two acres can be richer than a small-town engineer. But first, “you need to be one of them??.by Devika Chaturvediat an annual salary of Rs 1.05 crore from his club, Prayag United, and Rs 65 lakh a year from All India Football Federation, 26-year-old Gouramangi Singh is India’s second-highest paid footballer. But for this soft-spoken defender from Awang Sekmai, 17 km north of Imphal, invest-ment in Indian football is not taking the right direction. “One thing our football lacks is investment in youth and infrastructure. National team players get to play abroad, but it’s important for every region to have good academies, right training, nourishment and technical assistance. India is not short of talent, but we need to be groomed to be at par with the best,?? says Gouramangi.Though born in football-crazy Manipur, Singh’s rise to stardom has not been easy. The big break came in 2003 when he captained India’s under-18 team that won the Ian Rush Trophy in Ireland. The next year, he was selected for the Tata Football Academy (tfa) in Jamshedpur. “Renedy Singh, also from Manipur, was a star when I joined tfa. It was my first step in his footsteps,?? says Gouramangi.His struggles began once he left tfa. “From being one of India’s most promising players, I struggled in Mohun Bagan. It’s only after I joined Churchill in 2007 that I settled down,?? says Singh. In 2007, he was in India’s first-ever Nehru Cup-winning team. He rates the 2008 afc Challenge Cup victory higher-it gave them a chance to play in the afc Asian Cup. “Sharing the same space with South Koreans and Australians was amazing,?? he says.At 6’1??, he is one of India’s tallest players. His headers are feared by opponents. On September 2, 2012, Gouramangi scored the first goal, a header, as India beat Cameroon to lift the Nehru Cup for the third time. by Kaushik Dekakumaravel premkumar, 19, is on his mark. In a flash he’s running, long limbs flying, till he lands, kicking up a sandy halo around him. The Pachiyappas School ground in Chennai is strewn with paper cups and garbage-not the training facility that befits India’s junior long jump champion. But he isn’t bothered. It’s his home. “I live here with seven other athletes,?? says Premkumar, who set a national record of 7.86 m in the junior level in Bangalore in 2010, and topped it with 7.92 m at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championship trials in January 2012.Hailing from Orthanadu village in Thanjavur, 300 km from Chennai, Premkumar didn’t take up sport seriously until he was 15. “My school games teacher asked me to focus on sports,?? he says. Victories at various state meets caught the eye of P. Nagarajan, head coach of Prime Sports Academy, Chennai. “I convinced him to move to Chennai,?? says Nagarajan.The decision was difficult. “My father passed away when I was two years old, and I didn’t know if I could live away from my mother,?? says Premkumar. His mother, Uma Rani, who worked as a cook in the local diocese church to make both ends meet, initially said no. “I had to convince her that this is what I wanted to do, that if I had to achieve something as an athlete, I would have to avail of better facilities and training in Chennai,?? says the champion.Premkumar’s trophy cabinet includes bronze medals from several Asian meets. He finished 8th at the iaaf World Junior Championships in Barcelona in July. Premkumar admits he has a long way to go, but his long-term goal is to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. For now, passing high school is a priority. “I failed in the commerce paper. I’m going to sit for it again this October,?? he says sheepishly. by Lakshmi Kumaraswamias a child, Tine Mane had to negotiate rocky terrain and wild animals, every time her family needed rice from the nearest shop. The 25-year-old from the remote Inshani hills in Arunachal Pradesh was spotted in 2007 by R.K. Meetei of the state’s Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs during an expedition near her village. She was recruited as the team’s guide for her rock-climbing skills and ability to find new routes. “Meetei sir motivated me to join an advanced mountaineering course in Darjeeling in 2009,?? she says. She soon started dreaming of scaling Mount Everest. It didn’t take long: On May 29, 2011, she became the first person from the North-east to do so.Mane’s feat was nearly a non-starter for lack of funds. The Jindal Group pitched in with Rs 15 lakh; and a fund-raising drive by two state legislators, Laeta Umbrey and Rajesh Tacho, raised another Rs 10 lakh. Her next goal is to scale Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak, on her way to becoming the first Indian to conquer the highest peaks of all seven continents. by Kaushik Dekain bhainswal kalan village, Sonepat district, Haryana, Yogeshwar Dutt is a man with a Midas touch. “You see that huge water tank? That is part of a new domestic water supply gifted by our champion,?? says 40-year-old Raju Sharma, who teaches in an Ayurvedic college nearby. Since 2006, when it was declared a ‘model village’ after Dutt began winning international wrestling medals, Bhainswal now has streetlights, concrete-lined streets and a sewage system. No wonder then that a thousand jubilant residents carried the Olympic bronze medallist from Delhi airport on August 14. “The cheers get wilder each time I return with a medal. What more can one ask for??? says Dutt.Born to schoolteachers Ram Meher Sharma and Sushila Devi, Dutt showed early inclination for wrestling. His early mentors were his own parents. He was eight years old when Sharma packed him off to Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium. There he trained under Satpal Pehalwan, alongside Olympic silver medallist Sushil Kumar. Like many other wrestlers, Kumar loves coming to Bhainswal. “Dutt’s mother is like my own and spoils us no end,?? he says. There is still no place like home for Dutt. It’s where Sushila polishes the trophies won by her son each morning, and hopes to bring back a “gunwaan aur susheel (accomplished and pleasant)?? bride for Dutt very soon. by Asit Jollynaval kishore Godara, 39, looks at the impressive building of his high school, Saraswati Vidya Mandir, with justifiable pride. This is where 1,800 students from a dozen villages within 30 km of Bhinyad, his village in Barmer, Rajasthan, study. He built it two years ago to provide quality education in this backward area. His father was illiterate and he dropped out from Class VIII.In 1987, Godara left to work at salt factories in Rajkot and Gandhidham, where he sealed salt packets and loaded 50 kg bags on trucks on his fragile frame. He earned Rs 1,500 a month as a daily labourer.”I wanted to do something big. In my spare time, I served my employer Mohammad bin-Abdullah, and observed him for clues to success,?? he says. He carried out Abdullah’s personal tasks and looked after his guests. Godara’s sincerity and honesty impressed Abdullah. One day, he even expressed concern for him: “If you keep carrying such heavy loads, you won’t live long.??Godara worked here for four years. Then one day, he asked Shahabuddin, a visitor from the Democratic Republic of Congo, to take him abroad. He arranged for him to emigrate. In Congo, Godara picked up French in six months, and was soon looking after Shahabuddin’s cosmetics shops. In 10 years, he built contacts with cellphone sellers, as well as copper and cobalt miners.In 2001, he set up his own business in cosmetics, expanding to cellphones and copper. Already, he has a billion-dollar turnover. Two years ago, he sent his wife, Verju Devi, and three children back to Jodhpur, to imbibe Indian culture, and set up his school, before he returned himself. The school has buses for students living in far-flung areas. Godara implemented Right to Education to provide free education to 25 per cent students and charges Rs 250 a month from other children. These days, he is busy organising a district cricket tournament in his school. by Rohit PariharEvery night, Mohammad Ismat would study under street lights. Haoreibi Mayai Leikai, his village in Lilong, Imphal, suffers 11-12-hour power cuts a day. To crown it, six months before Class XII finals, he underwent an emergency surgery. Still, Ismat topped the 2012 all-India cbse exam with 99.6 per cent marks. The 18-year-old has battled adversity since he lost his mother when he was 18 months old. “My father had Rs 2,000 a month to raise us,?? he says. His success fetched a Rs 10 lakh grant from Manipur’s education department for his school, Zenith Academy. “I’m proud to have brought attention to my school,?? he says. by Sonali Acharjee”my name is Hanmantrao Gaikwad,?? the five-year-old introduced himself on his first day at school in Rahimatpur village, Satara, Maharashtra. The honorific ‘Rao’ took the teacher by surprise, but then, Gaikwad, chairman and managing director of India’s largest housekeeping firm, the Rs 1,000-crore Bharat Vikas Group (bvg), took pride in himself from an early age. Son of Ramdas, a Pune sessions court clerk, he would sell fruit at Pune’s railway station to supplement the family income. Their struggles increased when his father passed away in 1990, but his mother took a loan of Rs 15,000 for him to study BTech at Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Pune.Gaikwad joined Telco, now Tata Motors ™, in Pune in 1994. He soon impressed his supervisors, who let him launch his own firm and recruit eight villagers from Rahimatpur as housekeepers in 1997. tm, his first client, contracted him to maintain its Indica plant near Pune, and he quit his job. bvg’s clients now include Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi High Court, Prime Minister’s residence, Parliament House, etc. “My goal is a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore in three years,?? says a confident Gaikwad. by Kiran Tarevikash kumar, 29, managing director of industry-centric knowledge portal Micro-finance Focus (mf), says he was once called “useless?? in Sahibganj, a small hamlet in Jharkhand. “I didn’t believe in what others said about me,?? he adds. The perception of others, particularly family members, changed as well when, in 2003, he qualified for a government job on his very first attempt. “My family started believing I would do something in life,?? says Kumar. His father allowed him to leave the village, and he joined Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, for an mba, specialising in microfinance.In July 2006, he was hired by Bangalore-based Grameen Koota, a microfinance body, and launched mf, which he now runs on the side. Kumar is also a visiting faculty at Autonomous University, Madrid, and a trainer certified by the Asian Development Bank. by Ayesha Aleem”you can describe my village as ganna, gehun aur goli (sugarcane, wheat and bullet),?? says Nawazuddin Siddiqui, 38. He could well be talking about Wasseypur, and his role as the drug-addled, gun-toting mafia don Faisal Khan in Anurag Kashyap’s hit films, Gangs of Wasseypur I and II. “There are many Wasseypurs in India. My village is one,?? he says, of Budhana, Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh. Electricity is a luxury in this village of 33,000 people and even an hour’s uninterrupted supply is cause for celebration. Dacoity, murder and honour killings are commonplace. As part of a large family of farmers-he is the oldest of seven brothers and two sisters-he worked in the family’s fields, and tended their cattle, while growing up.Two of his films, Gangs of Wasseypur and Miss Lovely, were shown at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, but acting wasn’t on his mind when he passed out of dav Inter College, Budhana. He moved to Haridwar to study chemistry at Gurukul Kangri University, and then to Vadodara as chief chemist at a petrochemical factory. A friend took him to watch a play and he recalls thinking “yeh sahi cheez hai (this is the real deal)??. He joined Delhi’s National School of Drama in 1993, and shifted to Mumbai in 2000, that ushered in a long period of struggle, that only turned in 2010 with his role in Peepli [Live].Today, he has 13 films that either await release or are ready to be shot. Earlier, he’d be paid Rs 500-Rs 1,000 a day for bit roles. In the last two years, his earnings have risen eight times, “and a thousand times overall??.Even now, home remains his inspiration. As a child, he mimicked those around him. “Film people have rarely seen the world outside. I’ve seen the characters I play, for real.??It was a childhood crush on a girl next door that propelled Siddiqui to his profession. Her conservative Muslim family made it difficult for him to approach her. When he managed, though, she chose to ignore him for a tv serial. Spurned, he promised to appear on tv one day. And when he finally did, he asked a friend back home to remind her, but unfortunately she was married by then. That, of course, is just a footnote, for Bollywood’s latest shooting star is now happily married, with 20-month-old daughter Shora bringing joy to his life. by Nishat Barihe was still shy of 16 when he gave in to wanderlust, to explore the world beyond Harsour, a small village in Himachal Pradesh’s hilly Hamirpur district. Unlike his peers, who headed for lucrative jobs in the metros, Vijay Kumar followed his father, Subedar Bankuram Sharma, into the Indian Army. Recalling early signs of his son’s prowess, Bankuram says: “He was precise even in the way he cut and stacked grass for our buffaloes, when he was barely seven.??It was this single-mindedness that drew him to competitive shooting, shortly after he enlisted as a sepoy in his father’s regiment, 16 Dogra, in 2003. Witnessing the young soldier’s ability to repeatedly hit bull’s eye at arms training, instructors pushed him to the Army marksmanship trials. He never looked back, having won 110 national and 45 international medals in eight years, crowning it with Olympic glory.”Seena chaura kar diya hai mere bete ne (My son made my chest swell with pride),?? says Bankuram. The village that helped raise the champion is agog. “Who could’ve imagined that a Harsour youngster would make the world stand up??? says the proud father. “It’s all because of Jwala Mata’s blessings,?? insists Roshini Devi, his devout mother.Inspired Harsour youngsters are already honing their marksmanship skills with catapults. With Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal promising a “world-class sports shooting facility?? at Hamirpur, Vijay Kumar’s success could usher the dawn of a revolution in marksmanship in this quiet corner of India. by Asit Jollythe world has many ugly corners. One of them is the world of orphaned children. There are dozens of them in Ahmedabad’s railway station, victims of exploitation by unsavoury elements of society. But 18 of them have found saviours in Sanjay Bhavsar, 47, and and his wife Tula Patel, 44, who run a unique orphanage at Bansa village near Visnagar, Gujarat, where they transform lives through innovative festivals and camps. Their traumatic stories, of lives on station staircases, addiction and sexual exploitation, are too grisly for Hollywood makeovers.Both Sanjay and Tula went to village schools. When they met in Ahmedabad, Sanjay was pursuing BTech, while Tula was studying commerce. They fell in love and got married, united in their desire to serve rural India. In 1993, they floated Vishwagram, an ngo, which began by serving the poor and the youth. Then in 2006, they decided to take up the cause of the orphaned children. They tracked down some with the help of ngo Childline, and with a large donation, built an orphanage at Basna.The world of the children here is truly unique. The duo set about transforming the children’s lives by changing their habits and influencing their tastes, weaning them away from their tragic pasts. Here, they attend festivals of films, books, theatre and sculpture that showcase wholesome classics, and are organised in collaboration with artistes. These run for a week, but leave an indelible impression on the children’s lives. by Uday Mahurkarlast_img read more

Read More →

Liv Tyler flashes underwear

first_imgActress Liv Tyler accidentally flashed her undergarment when she stepped out here.During her recent outing, “The Leftovers” star suffered wardrobe malfunction, flashing her thigh and black underwear as the strong wind blew, reports aceshowbiz.com.She sported a black-and-blue wraparound dress and a pair of sunglasses and was apparently unaware of the incident. Actress Liv Tyler accidentally flashed her undergarment when she stepped out here.last_img

Read More →

Gilas Pilipinas heads to final Fiba window on high note after routing Meralco

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Anthony Davis leaves with shoulder injury but Pelicans cool off Thunder Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “We played good defense today and we’re hoping we can still improve our defense and be able to translate or apply the things that we’ve practiced in the Fiba window.”Marcio Lassiter was mainly responsible in Gilas’ third quarter surge after he scored 10 of his total 14 points in the period.Roger Pogoy top billed Gilas with 21 points while June Mar Fajardo and Troy Rosario had 13 and 10 points, respectively.Reynel Hugnatan led the Bolts with 13 points while Baser Amer, who was once part of the Gials program, and Nico Salva had 12 points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Gilas Pilipinas is leaving for Doha on Saturday for the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers. It will face Qatar at Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall on February 21 then Kazakhstan three days after at Saryarka Velodrome.The national team was already in control against the Bolts after the first half with a 55-45 lead but took it up a notch in the third after Gabe Norwood put Gilas up 74-50 with a breakaway jam to complete a 23-5 run.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesGilas also played without naturalized center Andray Blatche, who is still playing in the Chinese Basketball Association and will rejoin the team in Doha.“At least even without Andray, we’ve seen that the guys are blending well,” said Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao. Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes LATEST STORIEScenter_img View comments MOST READ US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine national basketball team made sure to wrap up its camp in the Philippines on a positive note, handing Meralco a 100-82 rout in its final tune-up game here Friday at Meralco Gym.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Read More →