New Delhi has been awarded as the best destination for food and drink by Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards 2013 at a glittering ceremony held at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai last weekend.Manish Chatrath, Chairman, Delhi Tourism along with Sudhir Sobti, Chief Manager (PR), DTTDC received the award from Lonely Planet.The best destination for food & drink award is an extremely prestigious award for Delhi and is a step forward towards making Delhi a preferred tourist destination. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Lonely Planet Magazine India Travel Awards is widely acknowledged as the most prestigious award in the travel industry. The magazine invited the country’s elite travelers to choose their favorite destinations and most favored travel experiences. The awards were shortlisted by a panel of travel experts and professionals.A poll was also conducted for the magazine’s readers both online and in the magazine. The readers have voted in large numbers, across 40 categories, to celebrate the best in travel. The travel awards reaffirm the commitment in pointing Indian travelers to the best experiences they can find.The award ceremony was attended by who’s who of the national travel industry, several international invitees and celebrities.
Myths, folklore, everyday life, flora, fauna and people of Kerala have been depicted in paintings, murals and drawings by three artists from the state who are showcasing their works here.Works by artists – Murali Nagapuzha, Sajeev Visweshwaran and Suresh Muthukulam – who follow different styles of painting have been brought here by Bangalore-based Gallery Dravidam in a show titled Following Parasurama – native memories. Murali Nagapuzha, a self taught artist has created picture postcard views capturing the lush green landscape of Kerala. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Profuse with variegated vegetation, the fauna of the land is broken only by guest appearances of children or wildlife.“Murali has been quoted as saying that his work is a collage of his childhood memories, his imagination, a collection of photographs and even his dreams. Indeed, stepping into Murali’s world is a journey through a magical wonderland,” the gallery said in a statement about the exhibition. Sajeev Visweshwaran, a Baroda based artist who has adopted drawing as his visual narrative, has in a series of black and white drawings brought familiar home scenes of his native village and home in Kerala in minimalistic, fine, unbroken lines conveying an obvious longing for memories of another day. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Visweshwaran who worked as a printmaker and also explores new ways of creating installations with his drawings has been a part of group and solo shows in India and abroad,” says the gallerists.The third artist Suresh Muthukulam who trained in the Kerala mural tradition under Guru Mammiyoor Krishnakutty Nair, merges myth with everyday images from the coastal state.“Muthukulam’s works reflect the rare talent of being able to merge a training and background in the Kerala mural art tradition with a contemporary style which is unmistakably his signature style,” says Jaya Mani, owner, Dravidam Gallery.Muthukulam’s spectacular 70 foot mural is featured on one of the walls at the T 2 terminal of Mumbai’s new international airport.Gallery Dravidam organises an exhibition of South Indian artists every year.
Arth, experimentation with physical theatre, embedded into a periodical story was performed by students of Shri Ram Centre of Performing Arts on March 24 at Shri Ram Centre. The Hindi play leaves an imprint in Indian theatre with an innovative perspective to a periodical story.Written and directed by Niloy Roy, the play’s two consecutive shows challenged human limitations along with parameters of story-telling capability in an unconventional way. It has hardly been seen in India that a periodical story is being told in this format where actors are more than real, yet maintaining a well directed aesthetic sense of performance. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Their physical capability matched the rhythms of nagara and taal that was well assisted by well thought classical vocal ragas. The breakup of scenes into elegant use of colours, choreographed movements and the usage of stage kept the audience spellbound. Though the language had been essentially Hindi in its pristine form, today’s generation as well as audience from this metro city, were captivated by the visual accomplishment. The story does not take us to any specific personality in the history, rather depicting the larger global issue of economic imbalance and political interference that can be easily equated with contemporary economical situation. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixArth, the substance or the financial value as it might be connoted, is a periodical play that is set in 320 BC. The play reveals intricacies of values in life and society, when even Mauryan empire falls prey to internal conflicts of a human being. Though non-specific to any particular historical character, Arth brings the essence of economical dominance marred by political lineages.Chanakya, Bindusara and their lives are catalysts to the changes in pages of history but the play revolves around the dilemmas of common man and their rebellious disposition to create their own liberated thought process, embalmed by the advent of political and religious change. The political conflict between Takshshila and Mauryan Empire is the symbolic expression of dominance and veiled manipulation of financial axis to control the livelihood and resources.
A day after Chief Justice of India H L Dattu refused to attend meeting to select two members to the NJAC panel, various Bar bodies on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the validity of new law on appointment of judges cannot be sustained as it violates “basic structure” of the Constitution.”Basic Structure is violated because the body (National Judicial Appointments Commission-NJAC) sought to be created, does not have the salient features of the body (collegium) substituted,” senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA), told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice J S Khehar. SCAORA, Bar Association of India (BAI) and few others are challenging validity of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 and enabling Constitution (99th amendment) Act 2014.
The works of Chigiri-e is basically an art form created by joining torn pieces of paper in collage style, transforming the myriad pieces into majestic paintings. As per popular lore, this art style came into being when the sense of melancholy and hollowness among the Japanese people, following World War II, gave birth to a type of art where an artist unified some assorted and fragmented bits of paper to depict hope. Chigiri-e evoked people to retrieve their lost hopes by knitting the broken threads of their lives together. Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) said, ‘given the present situation of mankind’s overuse and abuse of nature’s bounty, these works provoke a certain yearning for peaceful balance and co-existence.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Traditionally, however, Chigiri-é aesthetics are said to have originated during the Heian period (794-1185 CE) in conjunction with calligraphy. The exhibition showcases the artist’s expression of hope manifested through the ‘flight to freedom’ as well as displays many moods of love, myriad facets of nature and inter-play between human life and nature. Rajeev Lochan added, ‘The compositions emphasize on the harmonious relationship between mankind and nature which depicts engagement and interaction between the two entities.’
Kolkata: The high-power committee in its preliminary report has found negligence on the part of five engineers of the state Public Works Department (PWD) and three officials of the state Finance department for the caving-in of the Majerhat bridge on September 4 in which three people died.”The five engineers belong to three divisions of the PWD and one of them is the Engineer-in-Chief of the department. The five along with three officials of the state Finance department have been found responsible for the delay in clearing files (for the repairing work of the bridge). If they had acted in the right manner, then we could have taken precautionary measures to avert the incident. They came to know about the weak condition of the bridge in 2016 but kept the concerned minister in the dark,” a senior official of Nabanna said on condition of anonymity. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to sources, the five PWD engineers who had been found to be involved in dereliction of duty are Assistant Engineer and Executive Engineer II of Alipore division, Superintendent Engineer Nabanna, Chief Engineer South Zone and also Engineer-in-Chief of the PWD department. The high-power committee, headed by state Chief Secretary Malay De, has recommended strong action against the negligent officials in the report that was submitted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday. The committee is also awaiting the report of the Kolkata Police and will be submitting a final report to the Chief Minister within a month. The state government that has decided to bring down the entire bridge, including the damaged part, and construct a new one within a year will write to the Railways next week seeking its permission to demolish the structure. The state has set a target of completing the construction of the bridge in a year and wants to begin work within a month. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBanerjee, along with De, held a press conference on Friday and said some officials of the PWD department were negligent about their duties that led to the cave-in.”No one will be spared if found guilty in the probe and the government will take steps as per the law,” Banerjee had said. The government has also sought permission from the Railways for setting up two level crossings to facilitate the movement of light vehicles. “We have received the letter and are considering the same,” a senior official of Eastern Railway said.
Translating literature into cinema is not new for the Hindi film industry. Now with the emergence of digital platforms and a shift in audience tastes, publishers and content providers are increasingly looking to chart a more streamlined roadmap to bring compelling narratives to screen. “This idea of adapting a book to a movie is becoming more commonplace as compared to five years ago,” Anish Chandy, who heads business development and sales at Juggernaut Books, told during an interview. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Around five years ago, there was no demand…. So we were on a zero base. But now, there’s a significant demand, where people are getting in touch with us and asking what else is there,” said Chandy, who describes over-the-top (OTT) platforms Amazon Prime Video and Netflix as “rich uncles” who have given a boost to the word-to-screen format.Netflix has already commissioned “Sacred Games”, based on author Vikram Chandra’s book, and “Selection Day”, based on the book by author Aravind Adiga, for the Indian market. These apart, there are a string of books being made into films or web series. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveActor Sonam Kapoor, who has confirmed that she is featuring in a screen adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s 2008 novel “The Zoya Factor”, said at the gala: “Books were my respite when I was growing up and then films became my profession. I think the marriage of both is very important, especially because for a consumer who can’t consume books as well, it’s easier to consume films.”Filmmaker Kanu Behl said: “Books seem to be disappearing off desks and the hard copy versions of books are going out of people’s minds. So in today’s time, it’s even more important that books are talked about.” While the filmmaking world has become more receptive to the idea of adapting from books, publishers and authors are trying to decode the ‘right pitch’ apart from looking for the red flags while dealing with content producers.Chandy says 20 per cent queries from content providers turn into deals, and according to him “that’s huge for now. We are hoping for it to increase on a rapid pace,” he said. Arpita Das of Yoda Press said: “The writers are back in the centre. The writer had been relinquished or sidelined for sometime, and I think the next step would be to look towards literature and the stories that it has because that’s a better source.”Smriti Kiran, Creative Director, Jio MAMI is trying to put in place a skeletal system that can help filmmakers, publishers and authors in recognizing the best content and in striking the right deals. Commenting on the same, she says, “This broken, sporadic relationship that the film industry and literature share in this country needs fixing. Cinema needs stories and literature has plenty to offer. We are trying to enable these two worlds to forge friendships, collaborations and find these untapped narratives.”
Kolkata: A shop owner was killed and a firefighter was injured after a devastating fire broke out at a temporary marketplace near the Shapoorji Housing Complex on Thursday morning. The impact of the fire was massive as multiple LPG cylinders blasted. According to local residents, around 3:30 am on Thursday, people heard sound of blasts from outside of Shapoorji Housing Complex. They found that the market was on fire. Within minutes the fire started spreading as multiple LPG cylinders started blasting one by one. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe New Town police station and Bidhannagar fire station were immediately informed. Two fire tenders were pressed into action. While dousing the fire, one firefighter hurt his leg and was admitted to the Bidhannagar Sub-Divisional Hospital. Despite repeated order by the police and firefighters to stay out of the danger area, some shopkeepers went near their shops to save their belongings. Md. Insaan was trying to save his shop when all of a sudden a LPG cylinder blasted leaving him injured. He was immediately rushed to a private hospital in New Town and later shifted to another private hospital near Vivekannada Yuva Bharti Kriranggan where he succumbed to his injuries. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAs the impact of the fire intensified three more fire tenders were sent to the spot. Approximately after one hour the fire was controlled. Till then around 40 temporary shops had turned into ashes. It is alleged to obtain electricity the shop owners hooked wires to electric lines. It is suspected a short circuit in the electrical wire due to hooking might have triggered the fire. As there were several LPG cylinders and inflammable items at the site, the fire spread fast. In another fire incident, fire broke out at a spa on the 10th floor of the Park Hotel behind the Convention Centre in New Town today. The floor was immediately evacuated and the fire was doused using the firefighting system of the hotel. No causality was reported.
Kolkata: South African tourism inaugurated the last leg of their annual road show in the city on Thursday with an objective to double the number of Indian visitors to South Africa.Speaking on the recent initiative taken by the department to simplify and reform the visa application process, Neliswa Nkani, the hub head of South African tourism, said: “In an effort to ease visa procedures, the department is working in collaboration with the Consulate of South Africa to fast-track visa applications and ensure a quick turnaround time of 5-7 days. We are taking less time than some of our competitors who take almost 30 days.” Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe decision came after Kolkata became the Indian city with the lowest turnout in terms of Indian visitors who visited the country last year. While Mumbai contributed to 45 percent to the overall Indian arrivals to South Africa, Delhi was at 17.4 percent, Chennai at 7.7 percent and Kolkata at 1.6 percent. Last month, on his visit to India, South African tourism minister Derek Hanekom said the ministry was planning on rolling out an e-visa process to boost tourism. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSpeaking on the issue, Neliswa Nkani said: “The tourism ministry is waiting for a signatory process between the governments of the two countries and so it is going to take a bit of time. But the South African government is working hard to facilitate the process of visa simplification.” The tourism board is also in talks with the Indian government to start a direct airline service from Mumbai or Delhi. “You can imagine surge in tourist number when direct flights are started. Preparatory talks are on to roll out the plan,” Neliswa Nkani said. The tourism board plans to promote new regions apart from iconic cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban and introduce new adventure activities such as Long Tom Toboggan rides, fatbike tours, and mountain boarding.