Sie sind auf Seite 1von 40
Annual Subscription incl. postage & handling $17 Newsagencies $1 inc GST VOL 28 No. 1

Annual Subscription incl. postage & handling $17 Newsagencies $1 inc GST

VOL 28 No. 1

Print Post Publication No. 23572300014

VOL 28 No. 1 Print Post Publication No. 23572300014

June - July 2016

Australia Decides!
Australia Decides!
Inside this Issue: Page 08: Election column by Cyprian Fernandes and Karam Ramrakha Page 13:
Inside this Issue:
Page 08: Election column by Cyprian Fernandes and Karam Ramrakha
Page 13:
Vijay Badhwar on Election hopefuls
Page 14: Manju Mittal in chit chat with Nawazuddin Siddiqui on Raghav Raman 2
Page 17:
Indira Naidoo pitches to turn city rooftops into gardens
Page 15: Neeru Saluja talks to Sarbjit director, Omung Kumar
Page 21:
Nitasha Bhatia on big fat Indian weddings in Sydney
Indian Weddings
Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Indira Naidoo
Page 31:
T Selva writes on perfect Vastu of India’s famous iconic Taj Mahal

The Indian Down Under PO Box 99 Thornleigh NSW 2120 Ph (02) 9875 2713 Mobile: 0414 155 402 Email: indiandownunder@gmail.com

02 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
02 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
Australia Decides - Elections 2016
Australia Decides - Elections 2016

May - June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 03

04 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

04 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

May - June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 05
May - June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 05
06 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
06 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

Editor's Letter

Editorial/Advertising Enquiries: 02 9875 2713 Postal Address: PO Box 99, Thornleigh NSW 2120. Email:

Editorial/Advertising Enquiries: 02 9875 2713

Postal Address: PO Box 99, Thornleigh NSW 2120.

Email: indiandownunder@gmail.com

Website: www.indiandownunder.com.au

EDITORIAL

Principal Editor: Vijay Badhwar

Associate Editor: Neena Badhwar

North America : Parveen Chopra

Sports Editor: Kersi Meher-Homji

Delhi Reporter: Ritu Ghai

WRITERS

Third Eye: Rekha Bhattacharjee

Political Columns: Cyprian Fernanades,

Karam Ramrakha

Bollywood: Neeru Saluja

Films and Art: Neeru Saluja, Abhishek Sood,

Sumi Krishnan, Devaki Parthasarthy,

Neena Badhwar, Rekha Rajvanshi,

Manju Mittal

Body-Mind-Spirit: Dr Sunder Das, Kanaka

Ramakrishna, Faith Harper, T Selva

Sport: Kersi Meher-Homji, Gaurav Joshi

Fiji Diary: Karam Ramrakha

Cookery: Promila Gupta

Children Section: Esther Chaudhary-Lyons

Classical Music: Sumi Krishnan, Kris Raman,

Lokesh Varma

Travel : Vijay Badhwar, Kris Raman

Humour: Melvin Durai, Santram Bajaj

Seniors Column: Santram Bajaj

Beauty: Devaki Parthasarthy, Ritu Ghai,

Akvir Kaur

Community: Neena Badhwar,

Kersi Meher-Homji,

Vijay Badhwar, Sumi Krishnan, Neeru Saluja,

Savitha Narayan, Manju Mittal

Photographers: Raj Suri and Jordan Anjaiya

Graphic Design: Dhiraj Kumar, Nayanesh

Gandhi, Dinesh Verma, Bharat Bhushan Chopra/

Bhagwati Multimedia

There’s a right and a far right

M ove over the three oft-quot- ed Australia-

a far right M ove over the three oft-quot- ed Australia- In Australia, the Coalition government
a far right M ove over the three oft-quot- ed Australia- In Australia, the Coalition government

In Australia, the Coalition government dissolved both houses of Parliament, and in India, the BJP government is desperate to secure more seats in the Upper House.

India-shared C’s – crick- et, curry and Commonwealth and enter ‘D’ for the two democracies that are stymied, stalled and seized by the two-tiered parliamentary system manipulated by polaris-

ing agendas. At the brink of becoming dysfunctional, the Coalition Government in Australia has opted to dissolve both hous- es of Parliament and the other, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in India, is resorting to all kinds of tactics to secure more seats in the Upper House, Rajya Sabha. The Federal election in Australia is scheduled for July 2. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has got a lot of catching up to do – not only the 21 seats in arrears but also to bridge the popularity gap between the leaders. But the two main parties are running neck and neck according to the latest opinion polls. It is no longer the economic policies that differentiate a left party from the right, Labor from the Liberals, as they both push each other to adopt centrist options. There is, in fact, a right and a far right. There are no major tax reforms, major changes in super concessions or a ticker to handle negative gearing. They may talk differently, have big slogans, but, in the end, their policies are out from the same mould. The two parties also agree on off-shore processing of asylum seekers; neither cares about their human rights or the plight of innocent children. There may be minor dif- ferences of opinion on transparency issues - how much stifling of social workers, medical professionals and media is absolutely essential. How much their abuse should be shrouded from public view. Coalition’s ‘Jobs & Growth’ slogan is good, as well as Labor’s Education and Health reforms. The latter’s demand for a Royal Commission to investigate the bank- ing sector is a payback for the Commission instituted to investigate the unions. Neither the banking sector does anything for public good nor the unions. If one only looks after their share- holders, the other takes care of their members’ interests. Bringing union indulgences into open has put them on guard, so should there be public benefit from exposition of alleged excesses in the banking sector. Beyond the fabled election manifestos, the real can- vassing is through not so subtle messages as from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton – ‘illiterate and innu- merate’ refugees taking Australian jobs. That gives a direction to the far right which way to vote.

I n another continent, Indian PM Narendra Modi is also

frustrated not having a majority in the upper house,

Rajya Sabha. As the membership of this house comes

from State representation, BJP, in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, tried all the tricks in the trade to destabilise the non-BJP governments there. But to no avail. The BJP’s success for the first time in the northeastern state of Assam, however, in the recent State elections to form gov- ernment in its own right has lifted the party’s spirits. It was also instrumental in changing the government in Kerala while also getting a foothold for the first time by winning a solitary seat in the state ruled by the Congress or the Left taking turns. In West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, however, BJP could not dent the popularity profiles of Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalitha, the latter who likes to be addressed in the parliament only as ‘Most Honourable Ammachi’ else the marshals escort the offending Members out of the House! Meanwhile, the Modi Government cele- brates two years in power with achievements such as attracting highest foreign direct investment and being ‘bribery scandal free’. The Government has, definitely,

powered India out of the slumber of Manmohan Singh’s second term at the helm. The high growth of 7.6 per cent along with real efforts in infrastructure growth and youth- led development in science and technology are certainly feathers in the cap worth celebrating.

are certainly feathers in the cap worth celebrating. The biggest gain in the recent State elections

The biggest gain in the recent State elections for BJP was wresting Assam from Congress. Pictured is PM Modi and BJP bigwigs at the swearing in ceremony of Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal.

and BJP bigwigs at the swearing in ceremony of Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal. May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 7

Columns

Columns Election forecast: foggy but clearing in July At this early stage, Australia appears to be
Election forecast: foggy but clearing in July At this early stage, Australia appears to be
Election forecast: foggy but clearing in July
At this early stage, Australia appears to be favouring Labor but anything could happen in the next few weeks.
By Cyprian Fernandes
A ccording to the ABC’s Vote
Compass online assessment
of their readers’ individual
position in relation to their prefer-
ences and alignment with the major
parties, I am 63 percent aligned
with the Liberal/National Party
Coalition, 53 percent with Labor
and 32 percent with the Greens.
Actually, I feel as if I am a bit foggy
about the whole thing at the
moment. I feel I am not convinced
by any of the three parties. I hope
things will become clearer in the
last week of June. In the meantime,
after many years, I am stuck with
the swinging voter label.
In the 1980s and 1990s, life was
so much easier, the choice was pret-
ty clear: Paul Keating (Labor) and
Peter Costello (Coalition), two of
the most successful, reforming and
innovative politicians of recent
times. Keating, as Treasurer (1983-
1991), introduced far reaching eco-
nomic reforms, progressive deregu-
lation of the financial sector, floated
the Aussie dollar, made vital tax
reforms, dismantled protectionist
barriers and his reforms allowed
the economy to expand. He also
deregulated the airline and telecom-
munications industries and set up a
national framework for power. He
The two rival parties’ leaders: Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal/Coalition)
and Bill Shorten (Labor).
also returned the Budget to surplus.
As Prime Minister (1991-1996),
Keating continued on his national
reform path, setting up the Nation
Training Authority and a national
superannuation for low income
earners and reforms that addressed
the long term unemployed. He insti-
gated the review of the Sex
Discrimination Act and enacted the
Mabo legislation which recognised
land rights for indigenous people.
Peter Costello is one of
Australia’s longest serving
Treasurers (1996-2007). He
reformed the Australian Tax sys-
tem, restructured financial regula-
tion and exercised fiscal restraint.
He also introduced the Goods and
Service Tax (GST), unpopular at
first but now accepted part of every-
day life. Costello reduced income
tax, thus allowing more money to
circulate in the economy.
Those were the glory days.
Then the rot seems to have set in.
So here we are today when noth-
ing is clear cut. Malcolm Turnbull
elbowed out Tony Abbott and took
over the reins as Prime Minister. At
first he was a bright, shining star in
Canberra but of late his star has cer-
tainly been slipping. With the
absence of genuine reforms, like the
ones I have mentioned above,
Turnbull is making his opponent
Bill Shorten look good. Turnbull, it
seems, is all image and very little
substance. It is a shame really
because he is a very likeable bloke.
So what of the uncertain next
few weeks? One thing that is certain
is that there are strange alignments
sneaking into view. Both the
Coalition and Labor are being all
lovey-dovey and are telling anyone
who is willing to listen this mes-
sage: Vote either Lib or Labor but
don’t waste your vote on the
Greens. It would seem that both
parties are of one mind that Greens
should be wiped off the election
landscape. At this point of the
General Election, neither Labor nor
the Coalition will direct their pref-
erences to the Greens and the
Greens, in turn, are leaving the
preferences decision to their indi-
vidual candidates. I wonder if this
ploy will have reverse effect, people
voting Green simply because they
have been told not to!
According to the Greens, “our
preferences are determined by our
membership – not factional power-
brokers. Our members believe in
welcoming people who seek asy-
lum, strong action on global warm-
ing and tackling inequality”.
The second thing both the
Coalition and Labor agree is “stop-
ping the boats of people smugglers”
attempting to bring asylum seekers
and refugees to Australia. Both also
strongly support the offshore pro-
cessing of these sad and tragic peo-
ple. Both parties are almost, rightly
or wrongly, obsessed with stopping
the people smugglers. The common
answer is that by stopping the boats
Australia is actually stopping from
death in the seas.
The Greens’ strongest selling
point, especially with young people,
is their climate change policy. They
plan to bring on the “next wave of
technologies help reduce Australia’s
reliance on coal and gas fired power
through a distributed energy sys-
tem, including community-owned
renewable energy generation, bat-
tery storage, electric vehicles and
fast, affordable public transport sys-
tems”.
Labor, on the other hand, plans
to introduce a domestic emissions
trading scheme that will get
Australia’s pollution levels back
under control and to establish the
architecture for an enduring ETS.
The first phase of this plan will
operate from 1 July 2018 to 30 June
2020 to align with the second Kyoto
Protocol. The ETS would include a
scheme for polluters and another for
electricity providers. More details
to come on the ETS.
The Coalition plans to cut
Australia’s emissions by 26 to 28
per cent by 2030 and Labor promis-
es to cut emissions by 45 per cent by
2030.
At this early stage, Australia
appears to be favouring Labor but
anything could happen in the next
few weeks.
Elections…elections…elections
By Karam Ramrakha
I n my native Fiji, elections formed an
important part of our lives. Suva, our
largest town, had in the 1940s only
30,000 inhabitants, the number is 70,000
today.
Fiji has shunned Australia and New
Zealand because they criticised its military
coup. China came to Fiji's aid and Russia
recently sold arms to Fiji. But the people of
Fiji should remember that it was Australia
which speedily came to Fiji’s aid in the
recent hurricane disaster with relief work-
ers and other aid. Undoubtedly, it was the
largest donor. A friend in need, as the say-
ing goes, is a friend indeed.
As elections overtake our lives, televi-
sion campaigns bring into proximity the
candidates and the parties but it is all long
distance and highly impersonal. For a for-
mer MP and now an election junkie I find
that highly frustrating. On the international
front we have Brexit when the Brits vote to
say if they will quit the European Union.
The Mother of All elections, a phrase
which Saddam Hussain gave us, the convo-
luted and tortuous Presidential race in
America, where, at last, a lady has a
Election campaigns
are also on in Fiji
and in the US, and
Brexit referendum
in Britain.
chance of being a Presidential nominee for
the Democrats. Opposing Hillary Clinton is
likely to be the mercurial and unpredictable
Donald Trump and only in November 2016
the world will know the outcome.
In Australia, we have an eight-week-
long campaign following a double dissolu-
tion and already the Weekend Australian
screams nine pages of broadsheet election
coverage. In the 1950s, Labor was seen as
the party of the underdog and a beacon for
unionists while Liberals were seen as a
party of unbridled capitalism with ‘am
alright Jack and Devil take the hindmost’
and cavalier attitude towards the poor and
less advantaged.
Today, those distinctions have blurred
with the rise of a strong middle class in
Australia. But it has not stopped one media
deriding Bill Shorten quintessentially as a
trade union product, a ‘Union Hack’. There
is some angst among Liberal supporters as
how and indeed why Malcolm Turnbull
deposed Tony Abbott as PM when he has
hardly been able to make any changes or, as
one wag put it, produce a rabbit out of his
redoubtable top hat.
Malcolm is suave, polished and plausi-
ble but is seen as insipid, colourless.
Besides, his latest budget does not quell
fears of changes to Medicare, especially
after the $7 a visit to your doctor debacle in
the earlier budget.
Shorten is no plebeian having once mar-
ried a daughter of a Liberal Minister and
now married to the daughter of Quentin
Bryce, our past Governor General. He is no
Hack having rubbed shoulders with such
royalty and Malcolm should not treat him
too lightly. Already, Shorten senses victory
within his clasp and the Labor Party has
come out swinging and fighting.
Many Australians, by and large, enjoy a
good lifestyle and few are concerned with
the pressures of refugees ‘boat people' who
threaten to engulf Europe and whether
those held in detention centres in Nauru or
Papua New Guinea are getting a raw deal.
What is important is to understand what
makes our economy tick and what can be
done to improve our production, especially
when we seems to be losing manufacturing
jobs, particularly in the car making indus-
try. Asia has always frightened Australia
and the growing power of China casts a
long shadow, especially when a recent pro-
posed sale of the Kidman Cattle Farm was
vetoed by the Treasurer. But the Chinese
secured a 316 hectare Gippsland dairy
farm. Now that the mining boom is over
and we have ‘sold the farm’ we are exhort-
ed by our past PM Bob Hawke to develop a
‘clever country’. No wonder Labor now
flogs Gonski Reforms as a panacea. To end
on a lighter note: In 1966, one of our key
supporters in Fiji openly switched sides and
began to cohort with our opponents but with
an assurance to a confidante: Don't worry
Doc when I enter that voting cubicle (he
used the Hindi word kathghara) and I hold
the pen the Holy Ghost will descend upon
me and guide my pen.
Karam C Ramrakha, Putney Chambers, 36
Pellisier Road, Putney NSW 2112, Phone:
02 98082760, Mob: 0434 986 123, Email:
karamcramrakha@gmail.com.
8 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

Column

The Third Eye

By Rekha Bhattacharjee

As China comes off the boil, Australia keen to engage India

T hey have often been called

natural allies but there is

something which has

always stopped Australia and India from forging closer ties. With India becoming the fastest growing large economy in the world, the Australian politicians and man- darins are left with no choice but to find ways to engage the world’s largest democracy. To mark a def- inite change on both sides, the Engaging with India 2016 confer- ence was organised in Sydney in mid-May. The two-day inaugural confer-

ence, co-hosted by the Australia India Business Council (AIBC) and The Australian Financial Review, discussed the trade rela- tionship between the two Indian Ocean Rim countries. A number of corporate and governmental big- wigs attended the conference, which also explored the possibili- ties of strengthening business ties further. The Sydney conference was organised at a time when Australia and India stand tantalis- ingly close to inking a Free Trade Agreement. Negotiations to con- clude a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between Australia and India were launched exactly five years back in May 2011. Like the overall rela- tionship between two Commonwealth countries, CECA has also been dogged by avoidable delays and misunderstanding which characterise the bilateral

delays and misunderstanding which characterise the bilateral (from left) Jonathan O’Dea, Parliamentary Secretary,

(from left) Jonathan O’Dea, Parliamentary Secretary, Trade, Major Events and Tourism NSW; Lindsay Fox; Sheba Nandkeolyar, AIBC National Vice- Chair; Nihal Gupta, Chair of NSW Multicultural Business Panel; Mr. B. Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India, Sydney; Ted Ballieu; and Navdeep Suri, High Commissioner of India at Engaging with India 2016 conference held in Sydney on May 16-17.

ties. The timing of the conference is immaculate from the Australian perspective as it came at a juncture where the modest growth of the Australian economy is threatened by the slowing down of its largest trading partner, China. Australia, like any other significant trading partner of China, needs to look elsewhere as a part of the strategy to keep the GDP growth rate in black. To make matters worse for the Australian policy-makers, the growth rate of a number of other Eastern Asia economies is also tapering off. Even though Australia is posi- tioning herself for a transition of its own, that is, moving away from the resources-oriented economy to the one more reliant on services,

Canberra still needs to find busi- ness partners to prevent hard-land- ing.

This brings Australia’s age old ‘natural ally’, that is India, into play. “Other opportunities in the region, particularly in ASEAN countries, particularly in India, will hopefully meet the hole that has been left by the slowdown in China,” Australian Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg had opined earlier this year. To state the obvious, there is definitely room to grow as far as commercial ties are concerned. Like China, India has 1 billion plus population and has equally enviable GDP growth rate too. Even though India is Australia’s tenth largest trading partner accounting for almost

A$18 billion in two-way trade, New Delhi’s share in total Australian trade flows is barely 2.7 percent. Compared to this, Australia’s trade with its numero uno trading partner China is worth A$149.8 billion, which is nearly one quarter of Australia’s total trade. The trade with the South Asian powerhouse interests Australia’s policy-makers for one significant reason and that is Canberra’s mas- sive trade surplus with India. It would be prudent for any economist in the world to recom- mend commercial tie-up with India which is now a $2 trillion econo- my. Moreover, India is on track to become one of the top three economies in the world by 2030. According to a write-up on Department of foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website: India’s youthful population, diversified economy and growth trajectory present significant opportunity for Australian business, especially in the agriculture, energy, manufac- turing, mining and services sec- tors. But to increase the export- dominated bilateral trade with India, many in Canberra need to upgrade their mindsets. The successive governments have been neglecting India as the China-driven resources boom yielded unprecedented wealth to the Australian coffers. India was kept on a backburner as the mam-

moth Chinese manufacturing units displayed insatiable hunger for the Australian resources creating numerous multimillionaires in its wake. It was a classic dream ride which had previously ended in soul-numbing bust. But this time Australia is better equipped to manage the slowing down of the gravy train. The numerous Free Trade Agreements Australia has with various global economies are help- ing to absorb the downturn in the resources boom. If Australia man- ages to sign the CECA with India later this year, it will be seen as a major success for the Liberal poli- cy of engaging India. Australia is also busy negotiat- ing another major FTA – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The twelfth round of negotiations towards a major new free trade agreement was hosted by Australia last month in Perth. As many Australian commentators have been telling us in recent days, the potential of RCEP is staggering as it would bring together the eco- nomic powerhouses in Australia’s neighbourhood with China, Japan, Korea, India, New Zealand and the 10 Member States of ASEAN. This grouping covers nine of Australia’s top 12 trading partners and almost 30 per cent of global GDP. Rekha Bhattacharjee can be contacted at vijay@hotkey.com.au

Big trade opportunities await Oz in India

I n the end, the message emerg-

ing out of the Engaging with

India 2016 conference was

emphatically clear: Australian businesses need to get their act together and take massive opportu- nities in India seriously or miss the boat. The two-day conference was organised by Australia-India Business Council. The criticism of the indiffer- ence shown by the Australian cor- porate world came from none

other than India’s senior most diplomats. "I think there's more interest from India in Australia than vice versa. I don't see that same level of enthusiasm coming from Australian industry," The Australian Financial Review has quoted newly-appointed Consul General of India in Sydney, B Vanlalvawna, as saying. The Consul General reportedly also expressed surprise at the low number of Australian companies making enquiries about the busi- ness opportunities in India. Indian High Commissioner

busi- ness opportunities in India. Indian High Commissioner A view of the attendees mingling at Engaging

A view of the attendees mingling at Engaging with India 2016 conference.

Navdeep Suri’s views about the legendary Australian apathy towards India were not much dif- ferent from Mr Vanlalvawna as he told the forum that Australian business was being "a bit behind the curve" in engaging with India. The warnings have come at a time when China, which is Australia’s largest trading partner, is coming off the boil forcing Canberra to look elsewhere. The Sydney conference has come at a time when Australia and India stand tantalisingly close of

inking a Free Trade Agreement. Negotiations to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between Australia and India were launched five years back in 2011. Like the overall relationship between two Commonwealth countries, CECA has also been dogged by avoidable delays and misunderstanding which charac- terise the bilateral ties. "CECA presents an opportuni- ty to reshape the Australia-Indian partnership, leveraging each

other's strengths for the benefit of both countries,” Australia’s Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told the Engaging with India 2016 confer- ence in Sydney. "For Australia, CECA offers a framework for tapping into the fastest growing major economy in the world. India's rising middle class offers big opportunities for Australian business – particularly in services and investment. “Australia has much to offer a growing India. Our strengths match India's priorities – in resources and energy, agriculture, education and infrastructure. "CECA is a valuable opportu- nity to promote India's reforms and increase India's productivity and competitiveness. With over half of India's exports to Australia currently facing tariffs, a CECA would quickly put India on the same tariff-free footing as its major competitors in the Australian market,” Steve Ciobo added. While the Australian gov- ernment is all excitement about the

Free Trade Agreement with India, it is yet to be seen how the corpo- rate world would lap it up once CECA is inked. The scepticism shared by many observers of the Indo-Australia bilateral ties is not entirely misplaced. They have often been called natural allies but there is some- thing which has always stopped Australia and India from forging closer ties. With India becoming the fastest growing larger econo- my in the world, the Australian politicians and mandarins are left with no choice but to find ways to engage the world’s largest democ- racy. The two-day inaugural con- ference in Sydney discussed the trade relationship between the two Indian Ocean Rim countries. A number of corporate and govern- mental bigwigs attended the con- ference which explored the possi- bilities of strengthening business ties further.

Rekha Bhattacharjee can be contacted at vijay@hotkey.com.au

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 9

India

Modi and ministers highlight achievements, anti-graft moves

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28 said his government was working with determination to fulfil its promises to people and had been able to check leakages to the tune of Rs.36,000 crore as the NDA organ- ised a gala event at India Gate here to mark its two years in office. Union ministers showcased their achievements and Bollywood's leading names, including Amitabh Bachchan, espoused social causes at the "Ek Nayi Subah" event which lasted over six hours. A range of initiatives including 'Swachh Bharat' campaign, the 'Beti Badhao, Beti Badhao', 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana' and were highlighted as well as moves to boost farmers' income, improve connectivity, step up investment and enhance jobs and improve rail, road and air infra- structure and provide electricity to all villages. The event was held in a "Talkathon" format with ministers answering queries put to them. Media was not invited at the event which was screened live on various

not invited at the event which was screened live on various Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi speaking

Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi speaking at the India Gate event celebrating two years of NDA government

channels of Doordarshan. Discussions were in studio for- mat and interspersed with some light entertainment in the form of songs and dances. The "breaks" in between discussions featured con- sumer awareness advertisements as also the NDA government's theme song on completing two years in

office - "Mera desh badal raha hai (my country is changing)". Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, Minorities Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, HRD

Minister Smriti Irani and Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan high- lighted government initiatives and heaped praise on Modi's leader- ship. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who inter- acted from Nagpur, said that Modi had taken steps to end "policy paralysis", while Jaitley said the economy had achieved a growth rate of around 7.5 percent amid global slowdown. Meanwhile, Big B said the girl child should be nurtured, educated and treated as equal and how 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padao' aims at ending discrimination against them. Sporting a saffron coloured Nehru jacket, he also interacted with girl children from various schools, and even recited lines from his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan's famous "Madhushala". In his speech, Modi targeted Congress over alleged corruption during the UPA rule and said his government will provide LPG con- nection to five crore rural women by 2019. In a veiled attack on Congress

and parties critical of the govern- ment, Modi said some will just oppose his government for political reasons. "Two things have emerged in the last 15 days. One is 'Vikasvad' (development) and the other is 'Virodhvad' (opposition). What is the reality, people can judge for themselves", he said. He said the government had saved leakage of Rs.15,000 crore in LPG subsidy, identified over 1.62 crore fake ration cards and checked other malpractices such as appoint- ment of fake teachers. "In broad terms we have been able to plug leakages of Rs.36,000 crores," he said.

able to plug leakages of Rs.36,000 crores," he said. Amitabh Bachhan and some other Bollywood stars

Amitabh Bachhan and some other Bollywood stars also took part in poke at the event.

Meet two new chief ministers
Meet two new
chief ministers

Sarbananda Sonowal after being sworn in as chief minister of Assam in Guwahati.

Kerala Governor Justice (Retd) P Sathasivam administered the oath of office to CPI-M leader Pinarayi Vijayan (left) as chief minister of the state on May 25.

BJP expands base, Congress shrinks

Mamata and Jaya retain power, Left regains Kerala in state elections

New Delhi: West Bengal's ruling Trinamool

Congress in mid May crushed the opposition and Tamil Nadu's AIADMK proved exit polls wrong by retaining power in assembly elections, the biggest popularity test after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP stormed to power in Assam while the Left made a come- back in Kerala amid a washout in West Bengal. The Congress was the worst hit in the five-state election, losing power both in Assam, which it had ruled for 15 long years, and Kerala, where it was confident of win- ning its second term. The Congress-DMK alliance was, however, the victor in Puducherry. The BJP also made history in Kerala where its veteran O. Rajagopal, 86, was

elected

Thiruvananthapuram. He will be the first

in

from

Nemom

ever BJP member in the Kerala assembly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Across India, people are placing their faith in (the) BJP and see it as the party that can usher in all-round and inclusive develop- ment." Riding on the development plank, Banerjee led the Trinamool to a landslide win, winning 211 or more than two-thirds of the seats in the 294-member Bengal assem- bly. Tamil Nadu produced a spectacular result. The AIADMK was set to grab 126 of the 234 seats, leaving the DMK-Congress combine with 102 seats, but far more than what it won in 2011. Almost all other parties were wiped out. An elated Jayalalithaa said: "There are not enough words in dictionary to adequately express my feelings of gratitude to the people of Tamil Nadu." Most exit polls had predicted that the

10 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

AIADMK would be unseated. In a much-awaited victory, the BJP was took power in Assam, with its candidates and allies winning 85 of the 126 seats. The stunning performance buried the Congress. Keeping alive Kerala's tradition of ousting the government in every election, the Congress-led UDF suffered a stunning rout, which its leader and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said he had never expected. Left Democratic Front (LDF) led in 91 of the 140 seats and the UDF in 47. An apparently shattered Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the party will work "harder" to gain the trust of the people. "We will work harder till we win the confi- dence and trust of the people," he tweeted after the Congress was voted out in Assam and Kerala.

Modi govt doesn't deserve Rajan:

P Chidambaram

Taking a dig at the Centre,

former finance minister P Chidambaram on May 28 wondered whether the Modi-

led BJP govern- ment "deserves" RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and described him as "one of the most outstanding econo- mists" in the world. Rajan’s three- year term ends in

September. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has been repeatedly urging that Rajan should not be given an extension. "UPA government appointed one of the most outstanding economists of the world as the governor of RBI. We placed full confidence in him at that time, we continue to place full con- fidence in him today," Chidambaram added. The former finance minister chose not to comment on Swamy's letter to the prime minister asking him to sack Rajan. To a question on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley having differences with Rajan on the issue of interest rates, Chidambaram said, "World over finance ministers and central bank governors engage in a dialogue. That doesn't mean finance minister is questioning the compe- tence of the RBI governor. Each one approaches the economy in his or her per- spective. Government's perspective is growth and central bank governor's per- spective is monetary stability."

New Delhi:

is growth and central bank governor's per- spective is monetary stability." New Delhi: RBI Governor Raghura

RBI Governor

Raghura Rajan

India

Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal Challengers to win IPL 2016 Chasing 209, RCB were 114/0 before
Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal
Challengers to win IPL 2016
Chasing 209, RCB were 114/0 before Hyderabad
bowlers choked the run chase, winning by 8 runs.
Bengaluru: Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers
put up an incredible performance to ruin
Virat Kohli's fairytale season, beating Royal
Challengers Bangalore by 8 runs in a high-
octane summit clash walking away with their
maiden Indian Premier League trophy, in
Bengaluru on Sunday. The Orange Army
came up trumps despite initial blitzkrieg
from Chris Gayle and Kohli, defending their
total of 208 for seven by restricting the home
team to 200 for seven.
It was David Warner's batting and astute
captaincy complemented by some inspira-
tional death overs bowling by Mustafizur
Rahaman (1/37 in 4 overs) and Bhuvneshwar
Kumar (0/25 in 4 overs) that clinched the
issue.
Warner, who hit 68, finished IPL season
second in run-getters' list with 848 runs.
Gayle (76 off 38 balls) and skipper Kohli
(54 off 35 balls) had a scintillating opening
stand of 114 in 10.3 overs as it looked like a
Sunrisers Captain David Warner, of
Australia, hit 69 off 38 balls
cakewalk for the home team.
But in the end, Kohli was the tragic hero
once again after the WorldT20 in a tourna-
ment that will be remembered for his
exploits. He finished the tournament with an
astounding 973 runs at an average of 81.08
and equally impressive strike-rate of 152.03.
He hit an unbelievable four hundreds and
seven half-centuries, not to forget 83 bound-
aries and a staggering 38 sixes.
Taliban supreme leader Mullah
Mansour killed in Pak
Islamabad/Kabul: Taliban
supreme leader Mullah
Akhtar Mansour has been
killed in a US drone strike in
Balochistan province of
Pakistan.
The Taliban confirmed
the death as well as Paksitan.
Mansour killing was author-
ized by President Obama.
The US had targeted a vehi-
cle Mansour was travelling
in, a Pentagon statement
said.
US Secretary of State
Mansour’s killing by US
drone strike is a big blow
for the Taliban and
embarrassing for Pakistan.
tinue to stand with our
Afghan partners".
Mansour took control of
the militant group in July last
year after the delayed
announcement of Taliban's
then leader Mullah Omar’s
death.
The Afghan Taliban
announced a new leader to
replace former chief Mullah
Akhtar Mansour.
He is named Mawlawi
Haibatullah Akhundzada.
Leader of Haqqani terrorist
John Kerry said Mansour had
posed "a continuing, imminent threat to US
personnel". He said the air strike sent "a
clear message to the world that we will con-
network, Sirajuddin Haqqani
and late Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s son
Mullah Yaqoob were appointed as deputy
supreme leader of the group.
Nirankari chief dies in car
crash in Canada
New Delhi: Baba Hardev Singh,
the head of Sant Nirankari
Mission, was killed in a car acci-
dent in Canada’s Montreal area in
mid-may. He was 62. His
widow, Savinder Kaur, has been
made head of the sect.
Baba Hardev Singh was made
head of the spiritual organisation
(characterized by its followers
wearing white) after his father
and previous Satguru Gurbachan
Singh was assassinated in 1980
by a hardliner Sikh organization.
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, Union home minister
Rajnath Singh, BJP leader
Shahnawaz Hussain and
Congress’ Captain Amarinder
Singh extended their condolences
on Twitter.
Baba Hardev Singh

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 11

India

India is ready to become the world’s industrial hub

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was the keynote speaker at the Make in India Conference on March 30 in Sydney.

at the Make in India Conference on March 30 in Sydney. By Vijay Badhwar I ndia

By Vijay Badhwar

I ndia is in a hurry to develop, to lead the world out of its recession. The largest democracy in the world is

not satisfied with its present high growth rate of 7.5 percent that is an envy even of the major economies in the world. The recent budget in February is cast from the theme ‘Make in India’ launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 25, 2014. It identi- fies three sectors that converge on to the theme – Smart Cities and Urban Solutions, Agri-business and Mining and Resources. India has to prepare for a massive move towards urbanisation that may send 300-400 million people from rural areas towards the cities.

This has to happen quickly – within the next five years, according to experts from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for which the Indian Government has empowered the States to take the lead, according to Sumit Mazumder, its president. The Special Envoy for Trade, Andrew Robb, recognised the political gravity of the globe shifting towards India and China that has profound effect on the world, he said, at the Make in India Conference on March 30 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney. The Indian Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley, said that India became a low- cost service provider but not a low-cost manufacturing provider, a change India is keen to implement. “Despite global downturn, India has shown remarkable resilience. 7.5 per cent growth does not reflect our true potential,” he said. Mr Jaitley said the buying capacity of a large middle class constituting nearly 30-45 percent of Indian population, no investor could ignore. The States and regions have become competitive, both in policy and attitude, complemented by people who have shown acceptance for technology advancement, start ups etc. That makes trained manpower readily available. Mr Jaitley quoted Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull’s remarks at the Lowey Institute about a resurgent India that would become a leading economy in the world.

India that would become a leading economy in the world. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley flanked by

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley flanked by Andrew Robb, Australia’s Special Envoy for Trade, and Indian High Commissioner in Australia, Navdeep Suri, and others.

Arun Jaitley spoke at the SP Jain School of Global Management’s Sydney campus on March
Arun Jaitley spoke at the SP Jain
School of Global Management’s
Sydney campus on March 29.
During his Sydney visit, Indian Minister of
Finance Arun Jaitley called on Australian
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

12 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

Community

Community Marginal seats empower Indian community Lisa Singh, sitting senator from Tasmania, is up against heavy
Marginal seats empower Indian community Lisa Singh, sitting senator from Tasmania, is up against heavy
Marginal seats empower Indian community
Lisa Singh, sitting senator from
Tasmania, is up against heavy
odds this time.
Alex Kaur Bhathal is a Green’s
candidate from the currently safe
Labor seat of Batman in
Victoria.
Restaurateur Avtar Singh Billu
is standing as an independent in
Greenway
Mohit Kumar is the Liberal
candidate for the
Chiefly seat.
Mahesh Raj is running for
Parramatta seat as an
independent candidate.
By Vijay Badhwar
W in or lose doesn’t mat-
ter; participation is the
name of the game and
no game is bigger than politics.
Based on this philosophy, there
are many participants of Indian
origin in the forthcoming elec-
tions, albeit none predicted to cre-
ate even a dent in the results.
Our only pride, sitting senator
from Tasmania, Lisa Singh, has
become a victim of factional
Labor politics, relegated to the
sixth position, thus being out of
the reckoning to retaining the
position from a predicted four or
five Senate seats Labor may win.
Lisa Singh was conferred with
the highest honour given to people
of Indian origin living overseas,
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, recog-
nising her exceptional and merito-
rious service in fostering better
Australia-India relations. She par-
ticipated in the Lowy Institute’s
Australia-India Roundtable in
2012 and 2014 and led ALP
engagement on the ‘Australia in
the Asian Century White Paper’.
Alex Kaur Bhathal is a
Green’s candidate from the cur-
rently safe Labor seat of Batman
in Victoria. The sitting ALP mem-
ber David Feeney requires a hefty
10.6 % swing to unseat him but
he is embroiled in so many con-
troversies, of not living in the con-
stituency, neither disclosing his
$2.3 million property which he
could not tell if it was negatively
geared, that the target has come
within reach of the Greens.
Ms Bhathal has got the right
credentials being a well-known
social worker, popularly known as
Tampa Green after the children
overboard scandal of the refugee
ship, Tampa. She is also helped
by the rising popularity of the
party leader Richard Di Natale
from the neighbouring electorate.
She was a Labor follower in her
university days, but became disil-
lusioned with ‘careerist politics’.
Tampa affair – the plight of young
children on board being dragged
into politics – and subsequent dis-
cussions with then Green’s leader,
Bob Brown, motivated her to join
the party.
Alex Bhathal’s success
depends on Liberal Party directing
their preferences to her or the
Labor Party. In 2013, her primary
vote was 26.4 per cent, up from
23.5
per cent in 2010. While in
2010, with Liberal preferences
directed her way, she received
42.1
per cent votes, in 2013 the
Liberals changed their stance to
direct preferences to ALP, making
her lose the election. ABC poll
analyst Antony Green argued that
she would have won the election if
Liberal preferences had come her
way.
Bill Gupta is also contesting
the Batman seat as a 21st Century
Australia nominee.
Restaurateur Avtar Singh
Billu, standing as an independent
in Greenway, a Labor seat held by
Michelle Rowland, can make a
difference by directing his prefer-
ences (which, he says, he will
nominate after having meetings
with other parties). The seat
requires a swing of only 3 per cent
but its boundaries have been
redrawn to lose parts of Pendle
Hill and Toongabie and gain parts
of Blacktown. This should not sig-
nificantly affect the voting prefer-
ences except for a significant
Indian community presence in the
area which can shift the scales.
Billu’s slogan is ‘Community
First’ and easier visas for parents
and close family members.
Parramatta is a Labor held seat
with a margin of 0.6 per cent. Its
boundaries have also been altered
in the north and the south, the
expected benefit of redistribution
going to ALP.
The seat is held by Julie
Owens who is very visible at
Indian community functions.
Mahesh Raj is running for this
seat as an independent candidate
promising to provide effective
representation to communities set-
tled in Western suburbs.
Chifley in the Western suburbs
of Sydney – Blacktown,
Doonside, Rooty Hill and parts of
Mt Druitt in the main - is another
seat where the Indian community
has a strong representation. It is a
safe Labor seat, further helped by
boundary redistribution. The seat,
always held by Labor since its
inception, has prominent unionist
Ed Husic as the sitting member.
Mohit Kumar is the Liberal candi-
date here representing his party’s
manifesto for jobs, growth and
investment.
Bowen family enjoys Holi colours
By Manju Mittal
O ne politician who has enjoyed a
meteoric rise in the Australian
Labor Party is Chris Bowen. And
you haven’t seen nothing yet.Elected to the
House of Representatives in 2004 from
Prospect (now abolished and renamed as
McMahon), Chris Bowen was appointed in
2006 to the Labor front bench as Shadow
Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister
for Revenue and Competition Policy.
The following year, then Prime Minister
Kevin Rudd appointed him Assistant
Treasurer and Minister for Competition
Policy and Consumer Affairs. Two years
later, in June 2009, Bowen was promoted to
cabinet as Minister for Financial Services,
Superannuation and Corporate Law and
Minister for Human Services. He was
appointed acting leader of the Labor Party in
September 2013 following the resignation of
Kevin Rudd in the wake of the party’s defeat
in federal election that year.
Chris Bowen regards multiculturalism as
one of the pillars in the Australian society
and has enjoyed being part of the Indian fes-
tivals Holi, Diwali and Vaisakhi recently.
“I feel Indian community growing very
strongly. Multiculturalism is all about
respect and I show respect to the Indian
community. I have done Diwali events in the
past and I just wanted to make sure we all
celebrate together. Holi festival was a huge
success this year; especially my children had
a
wonderful time with colours. I look for-
ward to holding Diwali at the end of this
year,” he said.
“India now provides majority of
migrants to Australia. I think Indian com-
munity integrating into Australian culture
perfectly and possibilities are endless. The
role it plays and strength it adds in NSW is
increasingly significant. We feel a real affin-
ity with India, in terms of the work ethic,
the contribution to the economy, not only
with cricket, but the history and culture. It’s
who we are as NSW- the multiculturalism
and Indians play a big part in that.
“Elections are opportunities for people
to
express themselves for Australia’s future.
I will be honoured to represent the subconti-
nent people in the Parliament following the
July 2 elections,” Chris Bowen said.
Arunesh Seth and kids with Chris Bowen
May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 13

Bollywood

By Manju Mittal C rowned Miss World back in 1994, Aishwarya Rai has forged a
By Manju Mittal
C rowned Miss World back
in 1994, Aishwarya Rai
has forged a successful
modelling and subsequent acting
career in Bollywood. In 2003
she became the first Indian
actress to be a Cannes Film
Festival Jury Member. She is
the brand ambassador for
L’Oreal, a regular at Cannes
where she has reigned as the
queen of red carpet for 15
years. Having proved her versa-
tility as an actress, Aishwarya
took her onscreen talent to
Hollywood in 2004 with
‘Provoked’, ‘The Last Legion’
and ‘The Pink Panther 2’.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
who has a four year old daugh-
ter, Aradhaya, with husband and
actor Abhishek Bachchan, says
she is committed as an actress,
but being a mother tops her pri-
ority list.
I caught up with the
Bollywood diva and a woman
named one of the most beautiful
on the planet at Grand Hyatt
Cannes Hotel Martinez, just
before she walked the red carpet
at the prestigious film festival in
an off-shoulder Rami Kadi ‘May
Blossom’ gown and wearing a
purple lipstick. She chose a
sober gold and black creation by
celebrity Indian designer Rohit
Bal for the screening of her new
film, the biographical drama
Sarbjit, and looked simply stun-
ning. Aishwarya talks about her
passion, style and ‘Sarbjit’ that
premiered at Cannes.
Aishwarya Rai is drop dead gorgeous in person, but in the film
‘Sarbjit’ she has an utterly unglamorous woman-centric role,
which she has handled brilliantly.
L’Oreal ambassador?
I enjoy working with
TIDU interviewed Aishwarya just
before she walked the red carpet in
an off-shoulder Rami Kadi ‘May
Blossom’ gown and wearing
a purple lipstick, the
latter which
became trending
topic on social
media.
Did you enjoy your visit to
Sydney last month?
I loved the whole feel of the
city of Sydney, the vibe, the
warmth of the people. It was
short but sweet experience to
visit Australia.
L’Oreal, it’s their prerogative
and I am happy about it, it is
my professional commitment to
deliver what they expect from
me as their ambassador. I feel
fortunate to work with great
professionals and they have been
magically creative with me. It’s
not about an opportunity, it is
not about an event and it’s not
about the clothes, it’s just about
being comfortable in your skin.
I started having fun with it. I
feel truly honoured to be a part
of L’Oreal and love my role as
the ambassador.
Can you tell us about your
film ‘Sarbjit’ premiering at
Cannes and your views in
Congratulations for com-
pleting 15 years at Cannes,
how do you feel?
Yes, I have been associated
with Cannes for 15 years. I have
come here initially for my films
like Devdas, then as a Jury
member for the opening ceremo-
ny in 2003 and as a brand
ambassador, besides a couple of
times for our cinema. I feel for-
tunate to bring ‘Provoked’ here
at Cannes, then there was a
shout out for ‘Raincoat’ in 2004.
It’s a blessing when you get a
chance to take your work to
Cannes and now I go with the
flow. I thank everyone here at
Cannes, L’Oreal and (laughs) of
course media like you that
remind me it’s 15 years now.
terms of your character in the
film?
It is very
inspiring
and liberat-
ing so I
can make
choices as
a profes-
sional.
And
hence let-
ting me
give my
voice and
my presence
I had done one similar film
‘Provoked’ in 2006. ‘Sarbjit’
was a divine connect. It was a
wonderful and intense piece of
cinema to work on. I thought
this was a unique subject and
movie based on a real story of
Indian national who was sen-
tenced by Pakistani court in ter-
rorism and spying case. I feel
incredibly honoured and this is a
great pride for all of us to bring
this film to the Cannes Film
Festival.
to the kind of
cinema I can
enjoy. Big com-
mercial productions
and subjects as that I
believe should find audi-
ence, on this festival platform,
so glamorous on one end and at
the same time meaningful from
where media, market, cinema
find avenues to reach wider
audience. Hence it is important
to bring Sarbjit here and share it
because it can find a wider
Aish has reigned as the queen of red carpet
at Cannes for 15 years now.
I am very grateful to God
How do you feel being an
and people for incredible sup-
port and their love towards me
and my entire career for all
these years. I use word well
wishers because that’s what I
experience - my fans’ blessings.
viewership. I am sure you will
get where I am coming from
when you see the film, and the
reason why I definitely wanted
to give my presence and share
my voice while getting the
opportunity to play the role of
an incredible spirit like Dalbir,
my character in the film.
Having interviewed Abhishek
last year in Brisbane it was a
sheer desire of mine to be able
to talk to Aishwarya. Having
befriended her and seeing her
from up close in my three visits
at Cannes, it was good to catch
up with her and talk about her
journey in films. I must say she
is drop dead gorgeous in person
but in the film ‘Sarbjit’ hers is
totally an unglamorous woman-
centric role. She has handled it
brilliantly. )

14 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

Bollywood

Sarbjit will be Aishwarya’s Mother India –Director Omung Kumar After a dream diectorial debut with
Sarbjit will be Aishwarya’s Mother India
–Director Omung Kumar
After a dream diectorial debut with Mary Kom starring Priyanka
Chopra, Omung Kumar has made another biopic, Sarbjit.
By Neeru Saluja
N ational Award winning
director Omung Kumar is
known for cutting edge
biopics. After making his directo-
rial debut with Mary Kom, a
biopic on an Indian woman boxer,
he is all geared up for his next
release Sarbjit which is already
creating waves.
The film Sarbjit narrates the
struggle of Dalbir Kaur (played by
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) whose
sole aim was to get her brother
Sarbjit Singh (Randeep Hooda) out
of the Pakistani jail as he was mis-
takenly taken to be an Indian spy.
In a conversation with the
director before the release, Omung
reveals his style of direction and
passion for transforming his
actors. Viewing the promotions,
there is no doubt as actors Randeep
Hooda and Aishwarya are
unrecognisable. A Mind Blowing
Films release, this film released
across Australia on May 20.
ter was trying to make the world
aware of her story and how her
brother died four years ago, but
after my national award, I was not
ready to do another biopic. Once I
saw her videos and realised what
she has gone through in life, I
asked myself why I’m shutting
myself away from a biopic. This
was a story that inspired me to tell
the world. I called her and wanted
to know the smallest details of
actually what happened.
Was Sarbjit’s family
involved directly into the making
of the film?
Dalbir Kaur came here, talked
to
us and told us all the details. She
A deglamourised Aishwarya Rai plays Dalbir Kaur, Sarbjit’s sister who fought long
and hard for his release from a Pakistani jail.
has been a part of the film through-
out, from being on the sets to
explaining the narrative to us. She
was very happy to see her broth-
er’s story finally made into a film.
the couch and narrated the story to
her in 15 minutes, she said a yes
because she understood the role.
This film is going to be a ‘Mother
India’ for Aishwarya.
doesn’t have many dialogues, she
expresses herself really well in the
film.
We have also heard that it
took Aishwarya Rai just 15 min-
utes to accept the main protago-
What inspired you to make
the film Sarbjit?
This movie was meant to be
made four years ago by another
director. I had just finished Mary
Kom and I wanted to do another
film, but not a biopic. Sarbjit’s sis-
nist’s role?
The role comes with a respon-
sibility and I chose Aishwarya as I
wanted a mature actress who can
play the role of a 22 year old and
Talking about Aish accepting
the role in 15 minutes takes me
back to the time when we knew
you as the ‘Ek minute’ guy….ek
minute ek minute anchor Ek
minute!
(Laughs aloud) It feels good
In both of your films you
have deglamourised the most
beautiful women of the world. Is
the transformation a deliberate
attempt?
I want to change people. This
is a challenge for me. I didn’t want
Priyanka to look like Priyanka, or
Aishwarya to look like herself. I
like to change people and see that
transformation in actors. That’s a
big achievement for me as a
director.
60 year old. Aish is a director’s
actor, she will mould herself
accordingly. The moment I sat on
a
when people recognise you as the
ek minute game show anchor.
They also say they used to watch
the show when they were a kid
which makes me feel really old!
Besides Aishwarya, how was
it working the remaining star
cast of Sarbjit – Randeep Hooda
and Richa Chadda?
Randeep Hooda is a fantastic
actor. He gets into the skin of the
character like no one does. Here I
wanted him to push himself fur-
ther, I wanted him to lose weight
like no actor has done before. He
thoroughly researched the charac-
ter before he took up the role. He
went into the psyche of Sarbjit, he
wanted to feel how he lived in a six
foot hole for 23 years. Randeep
actually lived in a dark area in his
house and he would walk in that
area. Richa Chadda is another bril-
liant actress. Even though she
Neerja, Azhar and now
Sarbjit, 2016 sounds like the
year of biopics. Are filmmakers
taking a new approach?
After Mary Kom and Bhaag
Milkha Bhaag, the viewing pattern
has slightly changed. The audience
have started liking such kind of
films. Producers and directors
have now got a new avenue of
telling stories rather than the
cliched love stories and dishum
dishum. Because the viewers have
opened up their minds, the writers
are now open enough to say some-
thing new. It’s not a trend, biopics
are here to stay. We have seen
love sagas for years, the audience
wants something new now.
It’s also a platform for actors
to show their real talent. Do you
think history will be repeated for
Aishwarya like Priyanka Chopra
in Mary Kom?
You are getting to play a role
from someone’s life and it depends
on the actor how he or she moulds
it. I like to make movies which
bring out the best in actors.
Mother India was not a biopic but
every actress wants to do the
Mother India role. This will be
Aishwarya’s Mother India.
Will you be releasing this
film in Pakistan and do you
expect a backlash?
I want to release this film
everywhere in the world otherwise
how will people see the film. I will
definitely take the film to Pakistan.
Regarding the backlash, the facts
and the story are already out there.
Whatever happened can’t be
undone.
It’s a film that needs to be seen
and hopefully this won’t happen
again.
What will the viewers of this
film – be it in Australia or India
-- take home?
With this film, you will see
family relations in a different light.
Everyone needs to see the struggle
of this family. You will cry with
them and you will laugh with
them.
Randeep Hooda and Richa Chadda in a still from Sarbjit
May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 15

Bollywood

By Neena Badhwar S hanul Sharma arrived in Australia as an IT student a few
By Neena Badhwar
S hanul Sharma arrived in
Australia as an IT student a
few years ago. Little did he
know that he would, one day, be
an opera singer and a tenor at
that.
A handsome young man who
landed in Australia at a tender age
of 19 was moulded into what he is
today, his journey traversing from
listening to Mohammed Rafi in
his younger years in Delhi, to
heavy metal and finally being an
opera singer who is being hailed
as the operatic voice of the young,
yet, multicultural Australia.
On stage, Shanul has appeared
as ‘Piangi’ in Phantom of the
Opera (Babbira Music Theatre)
and ‘Engineer’ in Miss Saigon
(Albury Wodonga Theatre
Company), subsequently per-
forming throughout 2010 and
2011 as a guest tenor with the
Australian Army Orchestra.
Shanul moved to Melbourne in
August 2012 to commence vocal
studies and has remained active
on the concert and recital stages
around Victoria and NSW since.
In 2013, he was a featured soloist
on the ‘Melbourne Welsh Male
Choir’ album ‘In the Spirit’.
Having ended up in Regional
NSW in Wagga Wagga, Shanul
joined the band, Subrusion. He
was deep into heavy metal then as
he wrote lyrics and produced
three albums under its banner.
He says music was a regular
feature of his childhood when his
civil engineer dad took the family
around on outings along with his
mum and his little sister. As chil-
es people on various levels of
their consciousness,” he says.
Shanul keeps on going
back to his childhood days
and remembers, “Ram
Leela – remember the
enactment of the story of
Ramayana also used to
leave the audience spell-
bound. Same is with opera.
It plays with basic human
emotions. It is able to bring
that out of a singer and drags it
out of you on stage. When
performing, I totally get lost.
And as you know opera is
very lavish with over
100 musicians
playing
dren they sat at the back of the car
and their young ears were so
receptive to Bollywood songs
sung in the 50s and the 60s that
his dad loved.
“I remember the speakers at
the back of the car that blared all
Mohammed Rafi songs, mostly
from Shammi Kapoor movies,
such as the famous ‘Yahoo’ song.
“I loved Rafi’s voice, his trills
and shrills, the highs and the
lows. What a fine singing, how he
sang some of the most memorable
songs.
“This gave me the musical
spark,” says Shanul.
“That is what led me to like
music a lot. My dad used to say
academics are many but singers
like Rafi were very rare.”
Unlike many Indian parents
who put a lot of stress on their
children to study, his dad, howev-
er, Shanul says, loved music and
steered his taste towards music.
He says with a laugh that he start-
ed off in India singing songs such
Shanul Sharma and Margaret Plummer in
Werther – Lyric Opera of Melbourne.
as ‘Khambe jaise khadi hai’ but
soon was introduced to Michael
Jackson’s music and also rock
music.
“We Punjabis kinda sing with
‘dil khol ke’ and that is what gave
me my originality when I was in
the band. We wrote a lot of orig-
inal music and I wrote lyrics
myself,” he says.
Shanul soon realised that he
had to go deeper into his passion.
After his band broke up, he
thought why not to try the western
classical. He packed up his bags
and landed in Melbourne to learn
western classical music.
In this transition phase Shanul
read a lot of Gita and Eckhart
Tolle, both gave him power, pur-
pose and a path and a passion to
follow.
“I didn’t have a very big voice
and I refused screaming, so I had
to develop frequencies in my
voice that could travel over loud
guitars, drums and the rest,”
Shanul says.
He tried to explore his voice
further when he trained under
some of the best opera singers in
Australia and last year earned a
scholarship with Opera Australia
and trained with Joshua Hecht.
Soon he was spotted in various
ARIA concerts, at times singing
from start to finish. “It was last
minute casting sometimes and I
had to learn just in a matter of two
days before performing,” says
Shanul.
He has been accepted by
Wales International Academy of
Voice in Cardiff and is looking
forward to be trained under the
best conductors, opera singers
which, he tells TIDU, will devel-
op his career further. This school
accepts only about 15 students
from around the world and is
known for having produced some
of the best opera singers in the
world.
What does he say to Indians
who are Bollywood fans, how
they can get hooked to his genre
of music that is pure classical
western.
“Opera is an art that combines
music and drama and requires a
deep intellectual commitment at
the highest level. At times one can
see that even in Bollywood
movies. They take one to a differ-
ent level. When you listen to
opera, close your eyes and imag-
ine the character, his pain, love –
a whole gamut of emotions come
to the surface. Opera helps people
to get lost in themselves. It touch-
in the orchestra. It can be quite an
absorbing experience, not just for
the singers, the conductor and the
musicians but also for the audi-
ence who get drawn into it.”
When I ask him whether there
will be any Indian folklores con-
verted into opera, Shanul men-
tions ‘Pearl Fishers’ by Georges
Bizet and the French ‘Lakme’
which is set in India. “Portinis’
Turende and Madame Butterfly I
suggest one must see,” he says.
Shanul disagrees that the
opera has not been taken up in
India. “I have heard that a quite a
devoted audience has built up in
India who love opera,” he says.
“So when are you performing
in Sydney for us?” we ask him.
“I will definitely let you know
when I come to Sydney,” he
replies, at the moment funding
his study at Wales is on top of his
mind, which he says will cost a
lot.
Shanul Sharma recently per-
formed on May 1 at the
Southbank in Melbourne as one of
the 10 tenors in a 55-piece sym-
phonic orchestra, ‘Songs that my
father taught me’.
Keep an eye and listen to this
young Indian tenor who is well
versed in Hindi, Punjabi, English
and Italian and can sing a
Neapolitan Italian number to the
highest pitch opera style, as also
with equal ease, a Mohammed
Rafi.

16 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

Community

By Neena Badhwar W hat should news anchors do when they move on. Should she
By Neena Badhwar
W hat should news anchors do
when they move on. Should she
find another job or start a new
program was the dilemma former ABC
news presenter Indira Naidoo faced. She
had seen enough, watched enough footage
of gruesome stories, wars, abuse and vio-
lence. She really sat and pondered about
things seriously, she says.
At her home in Paddington, Indira
turned inwards and turning inwards made
her find herself, her roots and the knowl-
edge she came with when she had moved
from South Africa. It reminded her of her
childhood days how they had a vegetable
patch next to the house and how some of
the dishes had vegetables sourced from the
home garden. “The food tasted so good
though it was just a very simple meal that
we all enjoyed eating together.”
Indira turned to growing herbs and
vegetables in her apartment balcony at
Potts Point. Would you believe, on the
balcony, a 20 square metre concrete
space, 13 floors above the ground level!
Her partner Mark, obviously, objected to
the idea. “It couldn’t happen,” he prophe-
sied.
But to Indira and Mark’s surprise the
balcony facing the northerly Sun actually
“I experimented a lot with my cook-
ing, just simple dishes we used to have at
my parents’ place. It has been a kind of
learning curve for me. I ended up writing
my first book ‘Edible Balcony’ and then
last year I wrote ‘Edible city’ on my expe-
rience in helping some of the city gardens
that I have been involved in.” Indira was
approached by actor Dave Wenham to
help set up a rooftop garden for Wayside
took to the plants and also to their pride,
they actually flourished. Before starting
out she read a lot, talked to some avid gar-
deners and watched gardening shows on
television. Soil, sun, shade, wind, direc-
tion, weather, pollination, bees, water,
compost and mulch were all the factors
that she thoroughly looked into and went
and spent just around $200 on good pot-
ting mix, good seeds and seedlings.
“I happened to taste some heirloom
tomatoes from an organic farmer from a
stall at a farmer’s market. They were just
delicious and reminded me of tomatoes
from childhood days, their aroma that
wafted. It was divine.”
She says she got as much info as she
could from the farmer about those toma-
toes and went ahead and planted some on
her balcony. Not only the tomatoes, Indira
went ahead and experimented with around
40 herbs and vegetables and ended up with
Chapel which has turned out to be quite a
fruitful journey for its team of volunteers.
Also, a Melbourne restaurant that turned
its rooftop into a beautiful garden where
its patrons can enjoy their meals in the
middle of city, yet sitting in the midst of
greenery.
In her books, Indira talks about food
miles how the cost of food increases with
the distance it has to cover to reach the
consumer, at times from one part of the
world to the other, travelling thousands of
miles. The stored food loses its value, she
says, even the fresh vegetables losing half
their vitamins once left in the fridge for
over a week.
Indira’s books are an interesting read
as they take one from being a novice to a
seasoned gardener, like what she is now.
At times frustrated, other times elated,
Indira pours out all her emotions as she
goes along and encourages the reader not
to give up. She describes each and every
herb and every vegetable she has grown
and follows it up with a recipe that has
used the crop from
her own garden. The
dishes are simple, look
good and authentic
and seem delicious
for anyone to try on.
Indira has also
visited many gar-
dens around the
globe to see and
study how people
grow and handle
such kitchen gar-
den experiments.
Indira Naidoo in her balcony garden that inspired in her a cause to promote
changed her life and also through her
experience Indira is trying to change
people’s lives, people who are worried
about the world, the climate change and
want to be able to produce things right
close to them.
It
has
a bumper crop of about 72 kilos.
“Mark had stopped complaining by
then. We arranged the balcony in such a
way that we had our barbecue and our
chairs and we sat in an environment with
herbs and vegetables growing around us.
My mornings became quite interesting as
I looked forward to checking the plants
on my balcony soon as I got up, watering
them, weeding and getting rid of any
bugs and pests.
“If I could, I would
change all the roof tops
in the city to gardens
tended by its residents.
A place where they
can go and relax
right in the middle
of city, not to some
far away farm,”
said Indira in her
recent talk at
Hornsby library.
The talk was
attended by aspir-
ing community members who bought her
autographed books. She gave away com-
plimentary ‘Munash’ - the rock dust that
has come out of a used mine and is rich in
nutrients and helps grow rich, robust crop
when used.
Her going away tip is to ‘always read
the label on the plant you buy. Don’t
throw it away as it has some very good
information. And make sure to invite bees
by planting bee-attracting flowers such as
calendulas, marigolds, nasturtiums and
borage. You can also keep sting-less bees.
Know the friends and foes of the bugs and
plants that grow synergistically alongside
each other’.
I am one convert now, trying to grow
things in my garden, armed with her book
which has given me new confidence to go
try gardening the way Indira explains.
} If I could, I would change all the roof tops
“It was only 10-20 minutes of my
time but it relaxed me a lot and gave me
a good reason to get up to,” says Indira.
“We have had some very interesting
dinners where we have cooked dishes by
using produce from our garden. And
every one has really enjoyed the food
and the environment.
in the city to gardens tended by its resi-
dents. A place where they can go and relax right
in the middle of city, not to some far away farm,”
said Indira in her recent talk at Hornsby library.
May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 17

Bollywood

By Manju Mittal N awazuddin Siddiqui is a well known actor of Bollywood. He has
By Manju Mittal
N awazuddin Siddiqui is
a well known actor of
Bollywood. He has
In
the title role
of the serial
killer in Raman
Raghav 2.0,
Nawazuddin Siddiqui
has surpassed
his notable earlier
roles such as in
Bajrangi
Bhaijaan.
stormed the film Industry with his
powerful performance in ‘Bajrangi
Bhaijan’ as Pakistani reporter.
Nawaz has been a regular at the
prestigious Cannes film festival.
‘Raman Raghav 2.0’ was his
eighth film at the film gala in four
years. He was the talk of the town
during this year’s Cannes film fes-
tival. So much so that he even
earned himself the special sobri-
quet ‘King of Cannes’. He has
been to the Cannes for ‘The
Lunchbox’, ‘Gangs of
Wasseypur’, ‘Miss Lovely’ and
‘Liar’s Dice’ among others.
Among the eight films, Nawaz has
been a part of the cast in seven,
while one was a short film, which
he produced and was directed by
his brother Shamas Siddiqui.
‘Miyan Kal Aana’ was Nawaz’s
debut production and was also
screened at the festival.
Nawaz was in for a great sur-
prise when his latest film ‘Raman
Raghav 2.0’ got a standing ovation
of 20 minutes at Cannes. The film
is based on the notorious life of
serial killer Raman Raghav who
operated in Mumbai during the
mid-1960’s. The title character is
played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui
and the film is directed by well
known film maker Anurag
Kashyap. It was great meeting
with Nawaz at Cannes Majestic
hotel after the premier of ‘Raman
Raghav’. Nawaz was quite busy
giving interviews after the premier
of ‘Raman Rahav’, yet he spared
some precious moments with me
for TIDU in an informal chit chat
when he said at the end ‘kuchh aur
poochhna hai poochh lo’, one of
the most down-to-earth actors I
have met:
now that I have become a regular
here. This is my third visit to
Cannes. People have started recog-
nising me, it feels great. The first
time when I came here I was excit-
ed and nervous at the same time: I
was shocked at not just the
grandeur but the passion for cine-
ma people have here. It is amaz-
ing. The culture of cinema here is
very rare to find elsewhere.
I am very happy that ‘Raman
Raghav 2.0’ was premiered at
Cannes, it only goes to show that
you are on the right track and are
making the right choices. I consid-
er myself fortunate playing title
role in the film.
with Anurag has been a great
process of discovery, you are
exploring all the time. I am grow-
ing with every film.
What other festivals have you
been to?
NS: Yes, Berlin, Venice all are
good festivals, they showcase good
cinema. I have been to Sundance
festival. Cannes & Sundance are
my favourites.
I have done Garth Davis’
‘Lion’ with Dev Patel, Nicole
Kidman and Rooney Mara. I
enjoyed doing this film because I
wanted to be part of a good story.
There is another one ‘Te3N’ with
about it. Many projects are on the
floor and in the pipeline.
Bachchanji and Vidya Balan, a sus-
pense thriller set in Kolkata which
And a few last words to your
fans in Australia?
NS: Thank you for watching
my films that I have been in. Love
you all and keep watching.
is releasing on June 10. I am doing
Nawazuddin’s film ‘Raman Raghav
a film with Sridevi, ‘Raees’ with
Tell us about your current
projects?
Shah Rukh Khan and ‘Farzi’ with
Shahid Kapoor are nearing com-
pletion. Here at Cannes I am dis-
cussing a film ‘Manto’ with
Nandita Das and I am very excited
2.0’ will be released in theatres by
the end of June and is also part of
the Sydney Film Festival. Surely,
one must watch out for this actor
and his movies for they are defi-
nitely a must see on our list.
Tell us about your journey in
Raman Raghav?
NS: Well, it was a challenging
role for me. Raman Raghav was
not a normal man, he lived in a dif-
ferent world of thoughts, his logic,
his reasons for what he did were
something a normal man can’t
even think of. I had to work hard
to get into the mind of a serial
killer. Before the shoot, I went
away from Mumbai for two days to
internalise the man’s thought
process. By the end of it, I was at
times scared of myself. It is a
thriller and audience will find it
interesting to travel through the
mindset of somebody who is not
normal. They will know that these
kinds of people also exist.
Nawaz
has become a
regular at the
prestigious Cannes
film festival, where
Raman Raghav 2.0
was his eighth film to
be featured. TIDU
caught up with him
in the mecca of
cinema.
First of all, congratulations
on ‘Raman Raghav’ being cho-
sen to premiere at the prestigious
Cannes International film festi-
val. How do you feel and what
are your impressions of Cannes?
Nawazzuddin Siddiqui: I have
a special relationship with Cannes
How was your experience
working with the director
Anurag Kashyap?
NS: Anurag Kashyap is one
who makes his actors comfortable.
Even the difficult characters are
made easy and I would know since
all my characters in his film were
not at all easy to portray. I like him
both as a person and as a filmmak-
er. I am very impressed with his
knowledge of cinema. Working

18 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

Bollywood

Sydney Film Festival warms our winters with nice picks from the subcontinent

warms our winters with nice picks from the subcontinent their hidden stories of sacrifice, it is

their hidden stories of sacrifice, it is ultimately a universal story about longing for recognition, and finding the courage to make a change.”

A Girl in the River

More than a 1000 women are killed in the name of ‘honor’ in Pakistan every year. ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ follows the story of a rare survivor

who falls in love and lives to tell the tale. Academy Award winning Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy shares her experiences as

woman making films in Pakistan, following the screening of her feature A Journey of A Thousand Miles (Meet The Film Maker: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy) hosted by Macquarie University’s Kathryn Millard.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles

Co-directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Sharmeen Obaid- Chinoy, “A Journey of A Thousand Miles” follows a unit of 160 who, between June 2013 and July 2014, travel far from their families, friends and all that is familiar at home in Bangladesh to join the United Nations Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

Tithi – a Kannada film

A 2016 Kannada-language film written and directed by

Raam Reddy. Consisting of a cast of non-professional actors from villages in the Mandya district of Karnataka, the film

is a light-hearted story about three generations of men react-

ing to the death of their 101-year old patriarch. http://www.sff.org.au/

By Neeru Saluja

Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it finished second in the voting for the People’s Choice Award. It has been billed as India’s first all-out female buddy film. Freida (Sarah-Jane Dias) is a fashion photographer who invites a group of friends to her family’s home to announce that she is getting married. The announcement sets off a chain of reactions, letting out hidden secrets. After the announcement the wild bunch of girls from all over India descends upon Goa, thus begins an impromptu bachelorette, and a riotous roller- coaster ride of girl bonding. Amidst the fun and frenzy, the girls are oblivious of the impending doom and go on living life like there is no tomorrow.

Raman Raghav 2

W inter is upon us and so is the popular Sydney Film Festival from June 8 to June 19 in venues across town. The 63rd Sydney Film Festival program

was officially launched recently by the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant. “The NSW Government is proud to continue its support for this amazing festival; a key event that has cemented itself in Sydney’s winter entertainment calendar,” Mr Grant said. “I’m extremely pleased that these films will be seen by more and more people in regional NSW, as the Festival goes on its regional tour later this year.” “SFF has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with attendances increasing by over 59% to 176,000, since 2011,” said festival director Nashen Moodley. “In 2016 the Festival will present 244 films from 60 countries including 25 World Premieres, representing hun- dreds of fresh perspectives and new stories from across Australia and around the world,” he said Following are the films that are participating in this years’ Sydney film Festival:

a Angry Indian Goddesses Set in present day Mumbai the story follows the life of
a
Angry Indian Goddesses
Set in present day Mumbai the story follows the life of
a serial killer Ramanna who is inspired by an infamous seri-
al killer from the 1960s Raman Raghav. His strange obses-
sion with Raghavan, a young cop keeps growing as he close-
ly follows him without his knowledge and often creates sit-
uations where both of them come face to face.
Spice Sisters

Angry Indian Goddesses, a 2015 Hindi drama film, direct- ed by Pan Nalin with Sandhya Mridul, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande and Pavleen Gujral in the ensemble roles with Adil Hussein. It was screened in the

Rohini Bhaskar (played by Kumud Merani), a former

Bollywood actress, is bored and restless with her life. When

a popular reality cooking competition issues a call for

entries, Rohini decides it’s now or never to make a change. Says the director Sheila Jayadev, “Spice Sisters explores the alienation and loneliness of the migrant experience, and

Preethi & Shilpa wow audiences on TV and at home

Kersi Meher-Homji interviews Preethi of Family Feud fame

F urther to the story Mohan family wins

cash, car and hearts (published on-line

in e-TIDU, April 25) I interviewed

team captain Preethi and was overwhelmed by her enthusiasm for the Channel 10 Game Show Family Feud. In five evenings in April, Preethi, her husband Ajay, her vivacious sis- ter Shilpa and Dad Mohan won cash worth $24,900 and a new Mitsubishi car worth $30,000. “Shilpa and I always wanted to be on a Game Show, so we tried Family Feud and were delighted to be called for an audi- tion. We had no expectations of winning but went for fun. The victory on all five days was a bonus,” she said smiling. “I remember our first day during audition in Melbourne when we met other families. Everyone was nervous although we had lots of fun.” She had a good laugh when I interrupted her, “Should Family Feud be renamed Family Fun?” “Tell us something about you,” I asked. “Born in Chennai, I came with my fami- ly to Australia when I was four years old in 1991. Recently, I got married to Ajay in Chennai. Ajay is Test cricketer Murali

Vijay’s cousin. I am a B.Com and a Bachelor and Master in IT. Professionally, I am Digital Marketing Manager with Intercontinental Hotel Group. My hobby is classical Indian dancing which I did a fair bit in Adelaide.” What is Games host Grant Denyer like - just as charming, bubbly and humorous as he comes out on the TV screen? “He is a terrific entertainer who puts everyone at ease. He is extremely sponta- neous, interacting well with all the families on the show. He enjoys himself and makes everyone comfortable,” she said. How did you react to Grant teasing Shilpa, “Doing a Shilpa” with the studio audience chanting and clapping in unison after she scored four zeroes on the first day in Fast Money? “Oh we all loved it,” she replied chuck- ling away. “On the whole, although we were nervous as the show was pre-recorded, we enjoyed ourselves laughing most of the time.” Thank you for the time, Preethi. Our con- gratulations and best wishes to you, Ajay, Dad and your younger sister “Doing it a Shilpa”!

The Mohan family: (from left) Preethi (captain), Shilpa, Ajay and Mohan.

The Mohan family: (from left) Preethi (captain), Shilpa, Ajay and Mohan. May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 19

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 19

COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY A wedding with a lot of layers By Neena Badhwar A much awaited play of

A wedding with a lot of layers

By Neena Badhwar

A much awaited play of

Girish Karnad directed by

Sydney’s Saba Abdi with

actors of the Adakar Theatre & Cultural Group was staged at NIDA on May 1, 2016. Watched by a packed Sydney audience it drew a mixed response. Wedding Album depicts the lives of women from different genera- tions that included a maid servant’s story interwoven along with the

depicts the lives of women from different genera- tions that included a maid servant’s story interwoven
depicts the lives of women from different genera- tions that included a maid servant’s story interwoven

Stories within stories

Director Saba Abdi is presented with a bouquet by Sheba Nandkeolyar.

characters who hail from a family when its younger daughter is to be betrothed to a suitable NRI boy from US. Though the whole drama is set around the wedding and the guests who enter the household on account of it, yet the family goes through a roller-coaster mix of sto- ries that are linked to its cast, in one way or another. Family secrets come out from the closet as the characters themselves become a party to the intricacies of plots and subplots. Director Saba Abdi herself introduced the story pretty much in the beginning, yet it confuses the viewer whether the story is cur- rently taking place with wedding as the backdrop. The point that it was three years ago was missed by many in the audience. At times the sequence of events does not match up as one wonders whether there are more than the 50 shades of grey in this Indian drama. Has the plot moved ahead in years when the son of the family (played by Vedant Tijoriwala) is now settled, married

and a father or that the present scene of wedding is yet to take place. Or the girl bride-to-be-in- waiting (played by Pragya Goswami), a girl playing multiple personalities when she pretends to be her maid-servant at the internet café she visits often, to do what, explore her sexuality? It seems that Girish Karnad has quite a fertile mind for the Sydney audience who could not keep up with the stories and the layers that were created through its charac- ters. Bobby Malik’s role as maid servant that shone right at the end could have been exploited a bit more. Since there were too many shades to almost all the characters then why not use grey even for the head of the household and perhaps link him up with the maid-servant as his keep, which could have been a good reason for her not to leave the household as well as the reason of the fear of losing her job. She could not be that selfish a mother if

there was more than just the reason of self preservation. The groom-to-be (played by Kartik Mohandas) came pretty much late and went about with a long monologue while the girl sat like a dolled up Indian bharatiya nari subservient and too keen to move to the US. The girls these days in India can be quite demand- ing and not as willing to be door mats as expected. When inside at the internet café she shows her true colours and grit to fight the Hindu vigilantes who come barging in. Perhaps it was too complicated a play to be handled right though it is quite contemporary in its con- tent. That the women have not found their freedom and are shack- led to the mindset of the society which has passed through genera- tions still suppressed in different ways from old to the new genera- tion as well as from rich to the poor. Role played by the mother Aprana Tijoriwala suited her to a

tee. Others of note were, of course, Bobby Malik as the maid-servant and Nissar Sirguroh as an uncle. Others did well but some scenes at times were very good and at other times they sank with characters looking a little lost. All in all the play Wedding Album is a good effort and we are sure that some of the dialogues could be changed to suit the current set of situations. We raised an eyebrow and also our ears when Kartik says on the phone, “Oh so Donald has got the nomination.” We all know who that is and dread America’s future as well as that of the world’s. Director Saba Abdi tried her best but the script was a bit com- plicated and confusing to portray not just for her but also for the audience to capture. Though some scenes did leave an impact and intrigue when Aparna Tijoriwala is put on the spot due to her brother- in-law’s mischief of naming the younger daughter as the father in

her birth certificate. It did bring the best in Aparna and the characters around her, Preeti Thadani and Amitav Goswami. The end scene was the best as the actors intro- duced each other and took a bow.

A

huge line up of people who put

in the hard yards for months.

Definitely one ought to include the wonderful music as a backdrop contributed by Sumathi Krishnan and her rendition of ‘Kaaye ko biahi bidesh’ and ‘Sita Kalyanam’, sound engineer Sunil Kumar and lighting by Dhruv Jyoti Ghosh both did a good job. Set design was by Rajeev Maini and was tastefully done. Mala Mehta and Saba both designed the costumes and the props. The play generally was well liked by most of the audience

as

one walked out of the hall and

heard from a few a bit of a mixed reaction. There is definitely a keen

audience building up here that looks forward to Indian-centric plays and themes. Let us see.

Indian ragas have the power to heal: Madhvi Mohindra

By Rekha Rajvanshi

M usic not only entertains us, it lifts

our mood, reduces anxiety, raises

motivation and helps combat

insomnia and depression. A recent study by Stanford University shows that depressed patients gain self- esteem and their mood improves after music

therapy. On 16th May 2016, INNER GLANCE, Dr. Madhvi Mohindra’s organi- zation, launched mental health and coun- selling services through a workshop ‘Healing with Ragas.’ This was the first ever workshop on this important subject in Australia. In the workshop, Madhvi Mohindra explained how Music and Music

the workshop, Madhvi Mohindra explained how Music and Music Sydneysiders at Madhvi Mohindra’s ‘Healing with Ragas’

Sydneysiders at Madhvi Mohindra’s ‘Healing with Ragas’ workshop

therapy works. She highlighted how stress, depression and anxiety are affecting Australian people. According to Australian Psychology Society, the social and economic cost of depression in Australia is staggering. Depression costs the Australian economy approximately $12.6 billion per year and accounts for up to six million working days

lost productivity

of

(www.beyondblue.org.au), and there are significant personal and social costs to indi- viduals and their families, which is associ-

ated with depression. Madhvi mentioned that anger and irritability play a big role in family conflict, while high levels of anxiety and panic attacks may lead to heightened dependence on family members. In a sub- stantial number of cases, risk of suicide also puts the family on high alert and can lead to

high levels of stress amongst family mem- bers. She informed the audience that cheap- er alternatives such as music therapy are also available to solve such problems. Madhvi has a PhD in Music

(Therapeutic effect of music on stress depression and anxiety) and believes that Indian Classical Music Therapy is an effec- tive therapeutic tool. Not many people understand the importance of music therapy. Raga performances create sensations in human mind. The raga-generated sensations

are different for different ragas. Indian Raga therapy is 4000 BC old and it is mentioned in Sam Veda. Madhvi explained how ragas affect our body, behaviour and brain. She said music can impact different people’

body Chakras can be balanced with Music

thoughts differently and the imbalanced

therapy. Madhvi is a passionate music therapist and offers free workshops. Her mantra, she says, “I want to let people know the benefits of music and Ragas as a therapeutic tool. I

am open to come and do free workshops at people’s workplaces or organizations. If they want to contact me they can go to our website (www.innerglance.com.au) and send us an e-mail.”

20 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

Community

By Nitasha Bhatia Y es, it’s that time of the year again, wedding season is
By Nitasha Bhatia
Y es, it’s that time of the year again,
wedding season is upon us. I love
weddings; I mean what is there
not to love! It’s my one chance to dress up
in my favourite sari, adorn myself with
glittery bangles, get my hands painted
with mehndi, stuff my face with way too
much Indian food and, of course, dance
the night away to the latest Bollywood
beats.
Yes, one thing is for certain, Indian
weddings are definitely a huge spectacle,
filled with entertainment, food and frivol-
ity. The Australian Securities and
Investment Commission (ASIC) says that
the average Australian spends $36,000
dollars on saying “I do”. Indian wed-
dings, however, tend to be even more
exorbitant. Indian parents spend years
wishing, hoping and praying that their
children get married and want to have the
grandest wedding possible. It’s no wonder
that the average Indian’s budget is close to
$65,000 dollars, close to double the rest
of the population.
Having been brought up by a Punjabi
father, over the years I have attended my
fair share of Punjabi weddings. The
Punjabi wedding motto seems to be “do
everything king-size”.
As much as I enjoy the fun of Indian
weddings, the pressure to be married off
before I become “damaged goods” is
something I’ve become well accustomed
to.
There is no denying
that seeing an Indian
bride brimming with
happiness on her
wedding day, in her
embellished crimson
lehenga and dupatta,
decked out with gold
jewellery is a feast
to the eyes.
For me it started early, from the ripe
age of twenty-one. I vividly recall being
asked at a family friend’s wedding “So
when is it going to be your turn?”
Gradually the questions got worse, “So
you are done with uni, what’s next?
Maybe it’s time to find you a nice boy.”
And there’s more, “if you don’t get in
quick you’ll be left with the duds”.
Yes, I’ve heard it all.
As an Indian-Australian, I’ve grown
up navigating two different cultures and
essentially two different mindsets. Finding
a partner is not as simple as it used to be.
For today’s generation dating is an amal-
gamation of apps like Tinder and Badoo,
and the (in)famous matrimonial website:
There is no denying that seeing an
Indian bride brimming with happiness on
her wedding day, in her embellished crim-
son lehenga and dupatta, decked out with
gold jewellery is a feast to the eyes. And
watching a couple cement their commit-
ment to each other through the act of
walking the ‘saat phere’ (seven rounds)
around the blazing fire is a beautiful sight.
Nevertheless, today’s generation of
women are in no rush to walk down the
aisle. Women today now enjoy high-pow-
ered careers and more freedom than our
predecessors, this has turned marriage
into a choice, not destiny. It’s no surprise
then that so many of us are enjoying being
‘single ladies’.
Yet whatever side of the fence you are
on – whether you are in favour of love
marriage, arranged or not getting married
at all, the institution of marriage still plays
an integral part in each of our lives and
yields significant social benefits to the
wider community.
I’ve given you my take on it. What’s
yours?
shaadi.com.
By contrast, arranged marriages were
the most common and widely accepted
avenue for my parents’ generation. When
choosing a partner, more emphasis was
placed on the marriage between two fam-
ilies, rather than that of two individuals.
However, as Indian women of today,
the prospect of marrying without love is
something we eschew.
Recently, SBS featured an observa-
tional documentary that followed two
Indian Australians, Dalvinder and Tarun,
on their quest to find love before the for-
midable age of thirty. Whilst the docu-
mentary made for an evening of light
hearted entertainment, it also had a deep-
er undertone. Director Sean Cousin put a
spotlight on the struggle today’s genera-
tion face to live out the Western ideal
around finding your ‘one true love’ while
balancing the expectations of their Indian
parents.
Maybe this is the reason we tune out
whenever our parents mention the topic of
marriage?
I recently was talking to a group of
girlfriends, all of whom are in their mid-
twenties, about our plans for the next five
years. We covered an array of subjects
from travelling to New York, to moving
out and buying our first home.
Surprisingly though not one of us men-
tioned marriage.
Perhaps it is just my generation’s atti-
tude, having been brought up in the post-
feminist world filled with ample opportu-
nities? According to The Economist mag-
azine, women of today, aged 25 to 34, are
the first generation to start their careers
nearly on par with men, earning 93% of
men’s wages. Single women of today also
buy homes at a faster rate than single men.
With this rise in women empower-
ment, combined with rising divorce rates
and life expectancies, it’s easy to see why
so many women are putting marriage on
the backburner. More and more women
today are opting to focus on their careers
and stretch out their singlehood. We are
the ‘YOLO’ (you only live once) genera-
tion who have taken living in the moment
to new heights.
One thing is for sure. The complexities
of marriage for our generation are more
so than ever before. Being born or
brought up in Australia, the culture clash
makes marriage even more confusing. We
face questions like:
Should I say ‘yes’ to my mum’s offer
to set me up with that Hindu-Brahmin,
vegetarian engineer, who is also well
versed in Carnatic music?
Or, just continue swiping right on
Tinder?
As a woman of today, do I really want
or need to get married?
I agree marriage is a beautiful thing. It
represents the union of two people.
Marriage is a sacred institution under-
pinned by trust, respect, loyalty and com-
mitment.
“The complexities of marriage for our
generation are more so than ever before.
Being born or brought up in Australia,
the culture clash makes marriage even
more confusing,” writes Nitasha Bhatia.

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 21

Community

SYDNEY DANCE FESTIVAL – A RUNAWAY SUCCESS

By Sumi Krishnan

By Sumi Krishnan
By Sumi Krishnan

M adhuram Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) presented

their third annual Festival of Classical Indian Dance in Sydney on April 16, a six-hour-long repertoire of Indian classical dance. Presented by Dr. Divya Sriram and backed by her mother Kalpana Sriram, director MAPA, held at Bryan Brown Theatre in Bankstown, the festival was a runaway success. In a stand out performance drawing from the traditions of ‘yakshagaana’ (dance that was performed outdoors with inter- mingling spoken work deliver- ies), Sreelakshmy Govardhanan stole the show with her Kuchipudi dance performance. Sreelakshmy introduced and explained each item and demon- strated how she would use vari- ous bhavas and abhinayas to nar- rate the story through dance. Her simple introduction made the item more meaningful and engaged and prepared the audience. Sreelakshmy, an exemplary Kuchipudi dancer, broke new realms in not only her dance tech- nique but also in choosing pieces for the Madhuram Festival of Dance, which were truly unique and different. She captivated the audience with her bhavas as the beautiful Mandodari who finally gives in to the charms of the ten- headed Ravana and be his wife. Her next piece ‘Siggayeno Yemma’ when she shies away from telling her friend her hus- band’s name was rendered beauti- fully. Sreelakshamy’s expres- sions told everything as the Jathis she performed were exquisite. She was equally good in por-

Christopher Gurusamy

Sreelakshmy, brilliant performance

traying ‘Poothana’ a negative character as the demoness who comes to Krishna’s house to poi- son the baby by feeding him on her breast milk. Sreelakshamy quite vividly captured the expres- sions of someone in excruciating pain as poison fills the body when baby Krishna sucks life out of her and relieves her from her present demon form. Finally, though the audience could not have enough of this exceptional Kuchipudi dancer, Sreelakshamy was equally adept at dancing on a plate and quite skilful as she moved around effortlessly. Sydneysiders were totally mesmerised by her per- formance as many keen fans came to meet her in person after-

wards outside the hall. Vishal Krishna, the Kathak exponent belonging to a long lin- eage of dancers from the Benaras Gharana and grandson of Kathak Queen Sithara Devi, entered the stage like the magnificent Nataraj. Standing tall with one leg lifted, Vishal’s cosmic dance was light footed as he heralded the many rhythmic turns and twists with accurate arithmetic meticulousness. Breaking into a feminine role of Kaushalya in Tumaka Chalatha Rama Chandra, Vishal’s expres- sive portrayal of chasing little Rama who hides from him, then picking him up and playing with him, were very picturesque and beautiful.

The Tarana that followed con- tinued to display more complex footwork with rapid turns in fast succession to the tune of Ragam Kalavati in Amir Khusro’s com- position. Vishal concluded with a Meera Bhajan, in Barse Badariya Sawan Ki, with Meera awaiting her beloved Shri Krishna as thun- der, lightning and rain reflect her yearning for Lord Krishna. Divya Shiva Sundar, the torch bearer of the Dhananjayan styli- sation of Bharathanatyam, por- trayed ‘Matha Parashakthi’ in Bharathiyar’s composition set to a ragamalika, which was introspec- tive, restrained and controlled in the main piece of her recital ‘the Varnam’. Her next item of ‘Chaliye

Kunjana Mo’ described the love between Radha and Krishna when they meet amidst the kukkoo birds, to the accompanying flute, beside the river Yamuna, Brindavani came to life in Swati Tirunal’s poetry. Followed by ‘Idai vida’ set to ragam Saveri when the heroine accuses Muruga of having cheat- ed on her. She concluded with a thillana in Kuntalavarali com- posed by BMK. Christopher Gurusamy, a Kalakshetra graduate and a dancer from Leela Samson’s pro- duction company, he was energy personified. His Aramandi was exhilarating, his leaps and jumps produced some breathless moments. In the traditional recital format true to this form of dance, he commenced describing Muruga, the God on the Peacock, followed by an Alarippu. In the main piece, the Varnam, Christopher maintained audience attention as he advanced through the various expressions, stories and cryptic rhythmic pat- terns. He too successfully tra- versed the journey as he swapped in an instant being the heroine and then the hero. He concluded with Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi Kshana Madhuna in Ragam Dwijvanti, followed by a Javali both choreographed by Bragha Bessell and finished with a thillana. It is good to see young dancers such as Christopher Gurusamy in Sydney as part of this Festival.

as Christopher Gurusamy in Sydney as part of this Festival. Consul General Vanlalvawna at the festival
as Christopher Gurusamy in Sydney as part of this Festival. Consul General Vanlalvawna at the festival

Consul General Vanlalvawna at the festival with Dr. Divya Sriram, Kalpana Sriram, Raj Datta and Dak Sriram

MP Dr Geoff Lee with Christopher Gurusamy and Kalpana Sriram

22 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

 

Community

Chef Vikrant Kapoor of the Darling Harbour restaurant talks to TIDU. Zaaffran was started by
Chef Vikrant Kapoor of the Darling Harbour restaurant talks to TIDU.
Zaaffran was started by Firdous Zulfikar with the well known Chef Vikrant Kapoor (left)
The presentation is a sheer delight for the eyes.
By Neena Badhwar
W e sit here in Sydney and
drool when we think of
the fabulous street food
of India. How the khomcha walas
in the street call out with all those
spicy, tangy and fresh food spe-
cialties - Chhole Bhature,
Samosas, Chaat, Panipuris, Mung
Dal Pakoris, Kebabs, Tikkas, Bhel
Puri, Dahi Bhallas, just to name a
few. Each vendor has his own spe-
ciality, his own unique call out.
Just take the example of the
humble ‘chhole’ (chick pea/grams)
and the variety of ways it is cooked
- Peepe wale, Pateele wale,
Keechad chhole - each so different
in flavour and taste and served on
shiny leaves with different hues of
chutneys.
Go to Mumbai’s Juhu beach
and you have Bhel Puri and Pao
bhaji. Go to Gujarat: one is offered
aloo puri, theplas, dhokla, handyo,
dabeli and, down South, one can
feast on dosas, idlis and vadas – all
cheap and cooked right in front of
your eyes. The genuine regional
food variety is not commonplace in
the a-la-carte menus of Indian
restaurants in Australia.
Zaaffran at Darling Harbour
changed the equation some 17
years ago with experimentation on
Indian food. Started by Firdous
Zulfikar with the well known Chef
Vikrant Kapoor, it created an
euphoria for a finer variety of
Indian palette for discerning taste
buds.
Vikrant Kapoor not only
offered tasty Indian food but
served it with a presentation that
was a sheer delight for the eyes as
At Zaaffran small plates served are continuously, one after the other, for people to sample a lot of things in one sitting.
well. Zaaffran’s menu was always
evolving with Vikrant coming up
with beautiful Indian dishes as it
built a loyal following.
Recently in April, Zaaffran
offered a peek into its new
‘Khoomcha’ menu – street food
served in style, creating a fresh
taste for patrons from the business
community and from the nearby
city’s high rise dwellers.
TIDU got a taste of Zaaffran’s
new menu on May 3 at its media
event and also talked to Chef
Vikrant about food and his tasty
innovations inspired by the street
food of India. Here is what he
says:
shadow a chicken, a bhin-
di or any other. They
should complement them,
rather. Like the way Maa
(mother) used to make it.
Simple, yet never over-
powering. Indian food
has, only in the last few
decades, become com-
The ambience is evocative
On Khoomcha menu
Chef Vikrant Kapoor: We do
more to what we do to entice local
palate. These are small plates
served continuously, one after the
other, for people to sample a lot of
things in one sitting. Things will
keep coming as you eat and drink,
similar to India when people go to
a market place. They do not eat
just one thing; they taste various
things and come back home all
well fed having feasted on many
different dishes.
I started to work on the menu
last year and tried it for 2-3
months before offering them to our
patrons. We welcomed their feed-
back and then finalised this menu.
What about the famous
Panipuri?
VK: Yes, we have that but I
tend to make it spicy, tangy and
sweet by adding fresh pomegran-
ate. On the night we served
Beetroot Patties – more of an
earthy flavour, gilavaat kebabs
rotis from lamb cooked slowly.
There are thousands of such dishes
and I am still learning after 17
years of being here and having
worked at the Taj and Oberoi ear-
lier, where I met chefs from many
parts and regions of India and
learnt as I went. We used to share
our cooking secrets with each
other and that is how it evolved for
me.
You seem to like Saffron a
lot…any other favourites?
VK: Yes this is one of my
favourite spices. Hence the name
Zaaffran. My wife is of Persian
origin and a very good cook with
Persian dishes. I tend to use spices
sparingly. They should not over-
mercial. It used to be
home cooked based on
rational cooking. But now
it is bustling all over. Using too
much spice is not what Indian food
is. The spices should be used quite
subtly. Yes, Saffron is my
favourite and it costs the same as
gold.
How hot you make your food
and what has been the response?
VK: There are some
Australians who like it very hot.
But they are only a few. Once I
tried a dish using Bhut Jolokia
chillies – the hottest chillies in the
world. Some of our patrons ate it
willingly and relished on it.
Though I had to take it out of the
menu as it was not popular with
everyone. By the way, when I
made it we had to wear masks to
make the dish as you know this
chilli rates the highest on Scoville
Scale at around 1 million SHU.
Can you comment on what is
being churned out in eateries
here in the name of Indian food?
VK: Sorry, no comment. But I
can say that some of us are doing
justice to Indian food. I can proud-
ly say Zaffraan is one such place.
And for the rest, all I can say is
you get what you pay for.
One last question, who feeds
Vikrant Kapoor, the chef who
feeds Sydney?
VK: My wife cooks at home. I
occasionally help. At times we go
out with kids to Haymarket for
Chinese food. We also like
Lebanese food. Japanese and Thai
are also on our list of favourites.

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 23

Community

By Neena Badhwar I ndian community is greying since the ones who came in the
By Neena Badhwar
I ndian community is greying since the
ones who came in the 60s and the 70s
when Australia opened its door to
Asians. The Indians who passed the immi-
gration points, then, were mainly doctors,
engineers and teachers. Now they make up
the retiree force as they enter into their
sixties, seventies and the eighties.
So also has sprouted the need for
Indian associations that serve the needs of
its seniors. Indian Senior Group Hornsby
recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.
ISGH founder Meera Raheja was hon-
oured at the function in the presence of
Consul General Mr. B. Vanlalvawna and
his wife along with other guests who
graced the occasion.
Mrs. Raheja, frail and weak though
she is, remembered all those people who
had helped her form the much needed sen-
ior group. Her vision ten years ago could
look into the future and see the rising aged
care related needs of the Indian seniors.
The flagship ISGH which is flying high
and now at its helm is Dave Passi with his
wife Kanchan. Not only they both put in
hard work they keep the seniors enter-
tained. Dave and Kanchan as active sen-
iors look after the older seniors. The
activities are well planned in advance.
There are games, interactive activities,
songs, dances as well as talk by specialists
on aging, health issues and yoga sessions.
Dave Passi has also tried to introduce
basic computer sessions to familiarise the
Indian Senior Group Hornsby’s newly acquired 12-seater van will be used to transport people to & from their place to attend social outings.
seniors with the social media of today
such as Facebook, email and other tools
so that people can stay in touch with the
world. Otherwise life can be quite lonely
for the Indian elderly. On the 10th
anniversary ISGH also announced the
newly acquired 12-seater van which stood
proudly outside Epping Leisure Centre
decorated with balloons. The vehicle will
be used to transport people to and from
their place to attend the much needed
social outings that the members eagerly
look out for.
Says Dave, ISGH president who has
just recently finished a course on Senior
Leadership Training, “We follow the
guidelines of ‘myagedcare’ introduced by
the commonwealth government. Recently
we’ve had talks on hypnotherapy, senior
rights, an audiologist, dementia and
Centre Link. We help impart information
and look after the general wellbeing of our
members.”
Dave adds, “The bus has really helped
some of the people who cannot go at night
to functions. The response has been great
from the community with some quiet
donations from well wishers.”
It was Senior Week recently which
usually falls in March but it was celebrat-
ed in April this year and Sri Om Care
foundation held its own function with over
400 people, all older, yet an active lot,
with singing, dancing, skits and even a
fashion parade. The one skit that caught
the eye was an old lady who keeps on
brooming her son’s place diligently every
day when one day she hurts her back and
is then comforted by a social worker. She
is advised to go and enjoy at the Sri Om
Care Centre and not overwork.
This is what the seven Sri Om Care
Centres are doing around Sydney. They
boast full attendance with members who
enjoy the day and snatch some fine hours
with education, merriment and are simply
made to feel special. Birthdays, anniver-
saries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and
Indian festivals as well as important
Australian days are celebrated with equal
ease in an atmosphere of fun, laughter and
friendship. Sri Om Care specialises in
short respite and long day care for its
members. It provides fresh food to its
members, tea, snacks with gentle care by
its workers who are trained in aged care.
The best aspect is that these workers serve
the seniors with lots of love, care and
encourage participation by all. Respect
and love for the elderly is inbuilt in Indian
genes but the Sri Om Care angels definite-
ly have it in them.
ISGH's10th anniversary cake cutting ceremony with its founder Mira Raheja, Consul
General Mr Vanlalvawna and members
Sri Om Care Senior Week skit.
Suheela John in another skit
Mrs Savita Patel during Sri Om Care's
fashion parade catwalk.

24 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

community

Samnatha has travelled to India before. Samantha Gash, an ultra-marathon runner from Melbourne, will run
Samnatha
has travelled
to India
before.
Samantha Gash, an ultra-marathon runner from Melbourne, will run West to East
across India starting on August 22. She will visit 18 development projects along the
route and will be talking about her project as part of the Australia-
India Youth dialogue. She will also raise funds for World Vision – India.
By Neena Badhwar
She says she is quite simplistic
in her approach as she is taking
I ndia lately has turned into a
favourite haunt of Aussie
ultra-marathon runners -
Samantha Gash now running
West-East across India following
Pat Farmer’s much hyped 4,600
km Kanyakumari to Kashmir run
which he completed on March 30.
Samantha will be doing it
easy, relatively speaking, doing
nearly a marathon a day com-
pared to Pat’s two. Starting on
August 22, she plans to run for 76
days, approximately a distance of
4,000 km, averaging about 50km
a day.
Samantha aims to collect
funds for World Vision – India,
which looks at raising awareness
on health education, malnutrition,
sanitation facilities and a whole
variety of difficulty barriers to do
with health and hygiene. The
projects are related to water,
hygiene, eco development and
community related issues.
her 12-space campervan from
Australia that she owns. “It’ll
have its own driver, a security
guard, a chef,” she says, as she
runs ahead with the campervan
following her.
“The idea is to do it in a sim-
ple way and spend as much time
as I can with the people.”
Samantha will visit 18 devel-
opment projects along the route
and will be talking about her proj-
ect as part of the Australia-India
Youth dialogue.
How has she prepared for
this run which is kind of a super
test of one’s endurance; what
went into planning?
“I have done Simpson Desert
in 2012 and also Asian countries.
I collaborate with people who
work out the logistics.
It is a challenge, though, and
it’s not easy. One must have a
strong motivation reminding one-
self that we are very lucky and
A corporate lawyer, Samantha Gash has changed the course of her life to be able to connect to a wider
audience and make a difference in the life of common people.
What inspired Samantha - a
lawyer turned marathon runner
- to take up this ambitious run
through India?
“In 2011 I went to Leh in
Ladakh and spent quite a bit of
time there. I was really impressed
with the beautiful landscape and
the people when I thought, why
not see more of India,” she says.
Samantha is starting her run in
the west from the deserts to the
mountains, from Rajasthan’s
Jaisalmer city and ending in the
east in Meghalaya.
some of us have not chosen to be
in poverty.
“Moreover, I love exploring
countries, cultures, different peo-
ple and I know in my heart that I
am running for a reason,” says
Samantha.
What kind of preparatory
routine Samantha follows?
“I do altitude training, normal
and mountain bike riding, yoga
and a lot of visualisation. My
training tends to be very holis-
tic,” says Samantha.
And what about diet?
“I have a fridge, a freezer and
a cook on board who will cook
simple dishes for me. It is mainly
a vegetarian Indian diet and I take
supplements, vitamins and elec-
trolytes and, of course, plenty of
water, whatever the body needs
according to the day ahead.”
How did she decide to leave
a successful corporate law pro-
fession and take up this as a
way of life?
Says Samantha, “I find more
meaning in work that is not prof-
it based. I wanted to bring about
social change as a lawyer. But it
would have been restricted to
whoever comes to us as a client.
But this way I am able to connect
to a wider audience and make a
difference in the life of common
people. It’s my way of making an
impact on people. Not to prove
myself as a better athlete but a
very adaptable one.”
Samantha wants the local
Indian community to join in her
effort and engage with her
through her website where she
will be posting live, unscripted
version of her run every day. She
hopes people will support her
ambitious marathon and encour-
age her all the way through this
project that she has undertaken.
Samantha’s website blog
address is:
www.runindia.org,au.
Facebook: Run India 2016

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 25

Community

Shirdi Sai Temple comes to Regents Park

Shirdi Sai Temple comes to Regents Park

By Manju Mittal

N early six thousand devotees attended the three-day-long grand opening ceremony of the Shirdi Sai Temple at

Regents Park in Sydney during April 15-17. The newly constructed Sai Temple, Baba’s third temple in Sydney, was inaugurated on the auspicious day of Ram Navami. The beautiful marble idol of Sai baba was proudly ensconced in the shrine in an atmos- phere of bhajans, chants, hymns and dances. It looks at you with all its ‘karuna’ and lov- ing gaze when one bows in front of it with reverence. The idol was sculpted by Rajiv Talim whose grandfather, late B V Talim, carved the original Baba idol in Shirdi, India. Being a Sai Baba devotee myself and a regular visitor of Shirdi Sai Temple in India, the moment I entered Regents Park Sai Temple I felt overwhelmed as if I were in Shirdi. Surely, it would have created similar feelings in thousands of other devotees who came for Baba’s darshan. Sydney’s Baba’s idol is so similar to the one in Shirdi and so divine that it feels as if Sai Baba is really looking at you. The traditional ceremony of lighting of lamps, Sai Baba Palki and dance on dholak was performed to mark the inauguration of the temple on this auspicious occasion. Everyone participated with a lot of devotion and religious fervour. Thousand of devotees chanted Baba’s name during the abhishek and immersed themselves in his glory. It was a historic day for Sydney and blessing of Shirdi Sai Baba is there now for us all for years to come. Delicious Sai bhandara prasad was served to all the devotees after the inaugura- tion. Jody McKay, Member for Strathfield; Craig Laundy, Federal Member for Reid, and many other dignitaries were present on the occasion. The highlight of the opening ceremony was the Jugalbandi live painting by Navneet Agnihotri at Sai temple on April 16, organised by V3 Events and Entertainment and Avoyasa Entertainments in association with Sai Temple Sydney. Bhajans were per- formed in the evenings by well known singer Vijay Jogia and his team. A few years ago, Baba devotees Jack Tolani and Dr. Hemchander Rao took this ambitious initiative and formed the Trust of

A few years ago, Baba devotees Jack Tolani and Dr. Hemchander Rao took this ambitious initiative
A few years ago, Baba devotees Jack Tolani and Dr. Hemchander Rao took this ambitious initiative
Baba’s idol in the new temple in Sydney is similar to the one in Shirdi,
Baba’s idol in the new temple in Sydney is similar to the one in Shirdi,

Baba’s idol in the new temple in Sydney is similar to the one in Shirdi, India.

Shirdi Sai Temple Sydney with a plan to build Shirdi Sai Baba temple. “With Sai baba’s infinite blessings and the support of Sydney devotees, we have finally been able to build this temple for Shirdi Baba and welcome Him. Our aim was to construct a Shirdi Sai temple in the Auburn area, which is a centre for social and spiritu- al activities promoting Sai Baba’s message of Shraddha (Faith) and Saburi (Patience). Our vision is to spread the message of love, kind- ness, unity and make a meaningful contribu- tion to the welfare of the mankind without any distinction of religion or personal belief,” Jack Tolani said. Do visit the Sai Temple, experience Baba’s presence and His kind gaze and be blessed. For temple timings and general informa- tion please visit the temple website at www.shirdisai.org.au

tion please visit the temple website at www.shirdisai.org.au Dr. Hem Chander Rao, Jack Tolani, Jody McKay,

Dr. Hem Chander Rao, Jack Tolani, Jody McKay, NSW MP for Strathfield, and Aruna Chandrala

Jody McKay, NSW MP for Strathfield, and Aruna Chandrala Vijay Jogia and party singing Sai bhajans
Jody McKay, NSW MP for Strathfield, and Aruna Chandrala Vijay Jogia and party singing Sai bhajans

Vijay Jogia and party singing Sai bhajans

Devotees thronged the temple for the inauguration

26 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

26 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

Body Mind Spirit

A mere 90-minute drive south from Melbourne takes you to the world famous Summerland Beach
A mere 90-minute drive south from Melbourne takes you to the
world famous Summerland Beach where the Penguin Parade
takes place amidst picturesque settings.
By K. Raman
A ustralia is a land packed with
natural wonders – the Great
Barrier Reef, mighty Uluru,
spectacular Katherine Gorge, the
Great Ocean Road and its Twelve
Apostles - are only a few among
scores of others that are unparalleled
for their beauty. But a parade of Fairy
penguins at the Philip Island in
Victoria is a spectacle not to be
missed.
A
mere ninety minute southerly
drive from Melbourne takes you to the
world famous Summerland Beach
where the Penguin Parade takes place
amidst picturesque settings. Created in
1996, it is a conservation Park where
32,000 Fairy Penguins live in harmo-
ny and entertain tourists every day.
Fairy Penguins are fishing mar-
vels, a part of the bird species of
EUDYPTULA minor, weighing 1.5
kg, and 33 cm in height. They are
from the 17 Penguin species seen on
earth whose life span is only six
years.
Fairy Penguins are seen only in
Australia and New Zealand. Their in-
ground accommodation is called
‘Burrow’. They spend one day to four
weeks at a stretch in the sea depend-
ing on availability of the feed. They
are master divers who can dive up to
72 metres, their longest recorded time
to make a super dive is 1 minute 56
seconds in motion.
Male Fairies are distinguished
The author with his family enjoying the Penguin Parade.
from females by their beaks. Females
have thinner beaks compared to males
who also have a distinct hook at the
end of their beaks. Their modified
wings are called flippers. Their stream
lined body structure makes them mar-
vellous swimmers. Water proof feath-
ers, a salt gland above their eyes to
filter salt from sea water, with an oil
generating gland to spread oil on the
feather top are all features that adapt
them to survive in water for long
durations.
It
is a pleasure to watch these
stumpy elegant swimmers in water
while they waddle through the sandy
beach with a languid, clumsy looking
‘Chaplin style walk’, moving their
bodies from side to side in an exag-
gerated fashion.
The ‘Fairy spectacular’ happens
every night for a duration of 50 min-
utes from the time the first small
group of early arrivals cross on to
land from the roaring wind swept
ocean. As minutes tick by, the group
arriving from the frothy sea becomes
bigger and bigger and they waddle up
the beach to the safety of their bur-
rows. When the sun sets, the sea
looks a dark mass but tourists can
view the arrival of the Fairies in the
illumination provided at the entry
point of the Summarland beach
mouth, near which the viewers are
seated in a viewing stand known as
the ‘Theatrette’.
The Rangers at the venue are very
helpful and courteous and they follow
strict adherence to rules requiring
everyone to be seated 20 minutes
before the first batch of penguins
arrive. Photography is strictly prohib-
ited in the viewing area. The flash
agitates the Fairies and may make
them disoriented. During our visit, at
around 7.15 pm, five penguins
emerged from the sea and soon larger
groups began appearing on the sandy
beach. Each one from the 32,000 liv-
ing in close proximity knew where his
or her burrow was and straight went
to their home sweet home without any
confusion. The young chicks venture
A Fairy Penguin coming out of its ‘Burrow’. Fairy Penguins are to be found only in
Australia and New Zealand, and is one of the known 17 Penguin species.
out of their burrows looking for their
parents but the unrelated Fairies pass
by and only stop when their chicks are
spotted. It is hard to explain the
excitement of the chicks when they
meet their parents. A visit to this
event is something divine; you cannot
find another show to match this.
May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 27
28 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER June-July 2016
28 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER June-July 2016
28 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER June-July 2016
28 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER June-July 2016

28 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER

June-July 2016

Santram's Grey Page

By Santram Bajaj

By Santram Bajaj

By Santram Bajaj The spread of flu by small particles, after coughing and speaking, can spread

The spread of flu by small particles, after coughing and speaking, can spread up to 2.5 metres.

Health experts warn of severe flu season

A ustralia is headed for a severe flu

season with doctors advising peo-

ple to take precautions to protect

themselves from getting sick and spread- ing the virus. Australia has had a 47 per cent increase in confirmed cases of influenza this year, with 11,000 cases already reported. But doctors say it's not too late to get an annu- al flu jab, even though we're almost half- way through the flu season. Vaccine is now available and in most cases it is free. GPs do have the vaccine in their clinics and they are actively encouraging people to have the vaccine. Infection control expert at the University of NSW, Professor Mary- Louise McLaws, says it's really difficult to avoid catching the flu if you haven't been vaccinated. "The flu is transmitted by large and small particles. The large, or droplet-size, fall fast but the spread of flu by small par- ticles, after coughing and speaking, can spread up to 2.5 metres," she says. "Influenza particles can be spread by just talking and breathing, so, if someone is incubating the flu, they are most infec- tive two to three days before they get symptoms." Professor McLaws explains that an infected person could be sitting on the same bus or train as you and be spreading the flu virus without any obvious sign, which is one of the reasons it's so difficult to control. "You have to be very vigilant with your hand washing and coughing," she says. You should also try and avoid touching your face as much as possible, as virus particles need to make their way into your nose. This can happen if you put your fin- ger up your nose or even touch your eyes. (Viruses in the eye can travel to the nose through the tear ducts.) Doctors are encouraging us to consider our families and work colleagues if we are feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms of fever and muscle aches. McLaws recommends self-isolation and the careful use and disposal of tissues together with vigilant hand washing, as soap and water do kill the virus, augment- ed by the use of alcohol-based hand rubs.

Health and Wellbeing

Six healthy facts about eggs

E ggs were out of favour health-wise

for years. Now experts say they're

a great protein option, packed with

nutrients. Here are half a dozen facts about eggs that may surprise you. There's noth- ing like an egg for a quick snack and they are an essential ingredient in many deli- cious recipes but there are myths and mis- understandings that should be laid to rest before cracking your next egg. 1. Eggs do not affect heart health It was once thought eggs were bad for your cholesterol. But what's far more like- ly to send your 'bad' blood cholesterol shooting up is eating saturated fat or trans fat (a fat found in many deep-fried and commercially baked products). There is little saturated fat and no trans fat in eggs, but they do contain good amounts of omega-3 fats that have been proven to ben- efit heart health in multiple ways. The Heart Foundation says, "In a healthy bal- anced diet low in saturated fat, individuals can consume up to six eggs per week with- out adversely affecting cardiovascular dis- ease outcomes." 2. You can poison yourself and your friends with poorly-handled eggs Before you serve that mousse, mayon- naise or tiramisu, consider this: foods made with raw or minimally cooked eggs are the most common cause of food-borne salmonella outbreaks in Australia. Eggs can carry bacteria from dirt or chicken poo which may be on the outside of their shells. When this bacteria comes into con-

outside of their shells. When this bacteria comes into con- The fresher the egg, the safer

The fresher the egg, the safer it is so store. Eggs keep to their best before date if you store them in their carton, in the fridge

tact with what's inside the shell, trouble begins. 3. There's nothing magical about egg white if you're trying to build muscle Sure, egg whites make a great pavlova and they are a good source of protein. And yes, you do need to eat enough protein when you're trying to build muscle. But there's not much justification for egg whites being the 'food of body builders', says Sarah Dacres-Mannings, a spokesper- son for Sports Dieticians Australia. Two small egg whites are equal to 10g of pro- tein, and they are low in fat, but there is nothing miraculous about them compared with other sources of protein. Dacres- Mannings says, "It's also worth remem- bering that the yolk of the egg contains the iron." 4. You should wash eggs in the laundry sink before using them Bacteria on the shell of an egg can find its way into the egg as you break it. Washing your eggs before using them sub- stantially decreases this risk. By washing them in the laundry sink, you also decrease the chance any bacteria in the

sink will contaminate other food prepara- tion surfaces. Remember to wash your hands too! 5. Eggs are freshest when stored in their cartons in the fridge The fresher the egg, the safer it is so store. Eggs keep to their best before date if you store them in their carton, in the fridge. If you aren't sure if an egg is fresh, drop it (gently!) into a bowl of water. If it floats, it is an old egg and if it sinks, it is fresh, according to the Australian Egg Corporation. 6. You should invest in a yolk separator It's time to invest in one of those cute fish-shaped egg separators, or a plastic bottle or whatever works for you – just don't use the shell to separate the egg. This is how bacteria on the outside of the shell could make its way into the egg white and yolk, contaminating whatever it is you are making, especially if you are only semi-cooking the dish.

HUMOUR

HUMOUR

A woman noticed her husband standing on

the bathroom scale, sucking in his stomach. “Ha! That’s not going to help,” she said. Sure, it does,” he said. “It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”

Disclaimer

The Health tips in the article are taken from various well established and reliable sources and are given to you in good faith. However, readers are reminded to take care and consult their doctor if not sure, as noresponsibility can be accepted by the writer of this column or The Indian Down Under).

Home remedies of mosquitoes bites M osquitoes survive by feeding on human and animal blood.
Home remedies of mosquitoes bites
M osquitoes survive by feeding on
human and animal blood. They use
their thin, sharp and elongated
inflammatory properties.
Create a paste using a few drops of water
and a small amount of table salt. Apply the
mouthpart to puncture the skin of the host
and suck up the blood.
Because the puncture is so small, we
often don’t feel the bite when it happens. But
the after effects can be very annoying and
potentially harmful.
Some of the symptoms of mosquito bites
are itchiness, swelling, skin rashes, bruising
and occasionally skin infection. Mosquito
bites can also lead to fatal diseases like
malaria and dengue in some parts of the
world.
Ideally, you want to avoid being bitten by
wearing long sleeves and long pants or other
protective measures. But if you are bitten,
there are many natural remedies that can pro-
vide symptom relief and help treat the affect-
ed area.
paste onto the area.
6. Ice: Hold an ice pack or some ice wrapped
in a washcloth on the affected area for about
10 to 15 minutes. This will give you quick
relief from the swelling as well as itchiness.
If ice is not available, hold the affected area
under a cool running tap for a few minutes.
7. Alcohol: Put a small amount of alcohol
on a cotton ball and rub it onto the affected
skin area. If you do not have rubbing alco-
2. Minced Onion or Garlic:
the symptoms of mosquito bites
hol, you can use mouthwash that contains a
high amount of alcohol or vodka.
Some of
Onion and garlic help reduce swelling and
soothe the itching caused by mosquito bites.
Moreover, their strong smell repels insects
and mosquitoes.
Apply minced onion or garlic directly
are itchiness,
swelling,
skin rashes, bruis-
8. Tree Oil: Simply use a cotton ball to
ing
and occasionally
skin infection.
apply some tea tree oil to the affected area.
If you have sensitive skin, do not use tea tree
oil as it can cause skin irritation. You can try
other essential oils like lavender or cedar oil.
9. Toothpaste: Toothpaste can help mini-
Here are home remedies
for mosquito bites.
1. Lemon: Lemons contain natural anti-
inflammatory and anaesthetic properties that
make them very useful in treating mosquito
bites.
Simply cut a lemon into two pieces and
rub the inside of one of the halves against
your itchy skin for quick relief. You can try
rubbing the yellow rind of the lemon over
your skin too.
Apply lemon juice to the bites to help
reduce the chance of developing an infection.
Another option is to add crushed basil leaves
to lemon juice and apply the mixture onto the
affected area.
onto the affected area. Leave it on for a few
minutes, and then wash it off.
mize itchiness caused by mosquito bites.
3. Baking Soda: Baking soda can effective-
Simply dab some toothpaste onto the affect-
ly stop the itchiness caused by mosquito
ed area.
bites. Being alkaline in nature, it neutralizes
the pH of the skin and hence provides relief.
Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in
a glass of water. Dip a clean cloth into the
mixture and put the cloth over the affected
skin area for 10 to 20 minutes.
10. Aspirin: Grind a regular aspirin into
powder form. Add a few drops of water to
make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected
area and leave it on for a few hours. Wash it
off with lukewarm water.
Omega-3 aids muscle regeneration
4. Aloe Vera: Cut the meaty portion of an
aloe vera leaf to extract the gel. Chill the
aloe vera gel in the refrigerator for 10 to 15
minutes. Rub it directly onto the affected
site.
5. Salt: Salt is another easy remedy for mos-
quito bites due to its antiseptic and anti-
It was first noticed in cattle. Now
researchers have shown that a diet rich in
omega-3 fatty acid assists in muscle regener-
ation when combined with exercise such as
resistance training. This can be useful for
people of all ages including seniors, who
experience muscle reduction with age.

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 29

30 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

30 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

Body Mind Spirit

Taj Mahal represents perfect love and Vasthu

Taj Mahal represents perfect love and Vasthu VasthuSastra By T. Selva M oved by its architecture

VasthuSastra

By T. Selva

M oved by its architecture and much talked about magnificence, I made a

trip to Taj Mahal recently, a mas- terpiece of the world’s legacy. It is dubbed as the most pho- tographed monument of love and anyone stepping foot there will be mesmerised by its beauty and the peaceful energy it exudes. My recent visit to the integrat- ed complex in Agra was to analyse the memorial from the Vasthu Sastra perspective because no grave in the world can draw over four million visitors annually. According to Vasthu practi- tioners in India, Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, bears influences of the ancient sci- ence of construction in its layout, design and placement of the build- ing.

Built in 1632 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife Mumtaj Mahal, the magnificent white marble structure sits on a square piece of land as recommended in Vasthu Sastra. An awesome sight of grandeur welcomed me when I entered the main entrance to the huge court- yard which was lined with trees and water channels located in the West. Taj Mahal has four grand entrances located in the four com- pass directions of North, South, East and West. Each entrance measures 32m high and was built with red sandstone. The construc- tion of Taj Mahal took 22 years and this was marked by the 22 small domes at the main entrance. My tour guide Furqan Ahmad Ali was quick to point out that sev- eral key aspects of the layout and design of the monument were in accordance with the principles of Vasthu. According to him, Taj Mahal is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture which com- bines elements of Persian and Indian styles. It was designed by Ustad Isa Afandi of Persian Indian

It was designed by Ustad Isa Afandi of Persian Indian origin, before he embraced Islam. The

origin, before he embraced Islam. The land slopes towards the North and East which is an auspi- cious feature in Vasthu; its length and width are exactly the same as its height. As I strolled through the Taj Gardens lined with flower beds, fountains and running channels of water drawn from the Yamuna River, I stopped to admire its nat- ural beauty which has been pre- served for hundreds of years. The tomb was framed by four minarets, one at each corner of the pedestal and reflecting pools. For every hour of the day and for every weather condition, the Taj has its own colour display, from the dreamy mood at dawn

and the stunning glow of whiteness at midday, to its romantic glitter in the moonlight. I felt a strong energy over- whelming me as I queued and walked closer and closer to the tomb. Furqan stopped me in my tracks and prepared me to experi- ence a sense of contentment and achievement when walking into the large white dome. He asked me to take a look at the entrance arch which was deco- rated with messages of love and peace written in Arabic calligra- phy, and motifs of entwined flow- ers and leaves made by semi-pre- cious stones inlaid in the white marble. The intricate, decorative themes are embedded with jade,

crystal, turquoise, lapis lazuli, sap- phire, carnelian and other gem- stones. This decor was repeated on the translucent marble throughout the complex. No photography was allowed and there was complete silence from the crowd as we walked pass the graves of Empress Mumtaz Mahal and Emperor Shah Jahan placed in the middle of the dome. They were buried along the North- South axis – an appropriate posi- tion for the departed. The inner chamber was dimly lit. The air was still and I felt a chill as I bowed and paid my respect. Taj Mahal is a burial site but people who visit the grounds return home feeling blessed that

they experienced something that words could not explain. For many people, the Taj Mahal is a symbol of overwhelm- ing love. It sends a strong but sub- tle message on the importance of strengthening bonds and relation- ships between loved ones. Designated by UNESCO as a

heritage site in 1983, today Taj Mahal remains a source of admira- tion.

T. Selva is the author of the bestseller book titled Vasthu Sastra Guide for peace, happiness and prosperity. To get a copy contact Devi at 0412623017. He can be contacted at drtselvas@gmail.com Website: www.vasthusastra.com

To get a copy contact Devi at 0412623017. He can be contacted at drtselvas@gmail.com Website: www.vasthusastra.com

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 31

Matrimonials

Matrimonials Mat16052016MM. Match for my daughter Hindu Gujarati Australian born brought up vegetar- ian well cultured

Mat16052016MM. Match for my daughter Hindu Gujarati Australian born brought up vegetar- ian well cultured 28 year old girl, beautiful, fair, tall 5.7, educated completed Diploma in Paralegal and also Completed Bachelor of Business and Currently Studying Bachelor of Law - University of Western Sydney Rose Hill Part time while working full time with Department of Immigration. Looking for a Hindu, fair, tall and handsome, vegetarian non smoker and non drinker preferred, 5.10ft to 6 ft. tall highly educated please contact by email - krish-

nagopee9@gmail.com

Mat170616MS. Looking for a suitable match for boy, 39 year old, 5’ 8” tall, divorcee. Running an Australian Grill restaurant. Hindu, educated, good traditional values would like a girl from Australia with similar values and traditions. Divorcees can apply. Belongs to well settled family with grandpar- ents and uncles living in Sydney. Write to: The Indian Down Under, PO Box 99, Thornleigh NSW 2120 quoting Mat no.: Mat170616MS.

Mat140616DH. Qualified professional match for Bengali boy, Australian citizen, 31, 5’10”,

Master in Finance, FRM, Manager in a leading bank. Girl should be Hindu, 23 – 28 years, slim, pro- fessionally qualified, Australian Citizen or PR. Please send details to ‘vidhu7612@gmail.com

Mat190616SG. Suitable alliance sought from girls 28-30 for a boy 33 years, 5’11”tall, finishing MBBS internship at the end of this year. Family well settled in Australia, Hindu and believes in Indian tradition and well versed in western ways. Girls from similar academic background, preferably from families living in Australia with similar beliefs and respect for Indian culture. Write to; The Indian Down Under PO Box 99 Thornleigh NSW 2120 quoting Mat No.: Mat190616SG

Mat200616VG. Suitable matrimonial alliance sought from boys 30-34 years for a 5’6” tall doctor girl, specialising currently. Belongs to well settled Hindu family and is comfortable with both in Indian as well as western culture. Local boys from similar family background, doctor, lawyer or IT profession- al are welcome. Write to The Indian Down Under PO Box 99 Thornleigh and quoting Mat No.:

Mat200616VG.

Under PO Box 99 Thornleigh and quoting Mat No.: Mat200616VG. 32 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
32 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
32 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

Monika Geetmala

Sundays - 10am - 3pm

89.7fm Eastside Radio

or Tune into:

www.eastside.org

Nonstop entertainment at home, in car, on your computer or radio

3pm 89.7fm Eastside Radio or Tune into: www.eastside.org Nonstop entertainment at home, in car, on your
Eastside Radio or Tune into: www.eastside.org Nonstop entertainment at home, in car, on your computer or

Body Mind Spirit

Slow, deep, long exhalation and retention after exhalation is the secret to a calm mind
Slow, deep, long exhalation and retention after
exhalation is the secret to a calm mind
By Saraswathi Vasudevan
H ave you ever noticed that when
your mind is preoccupied or dis-
turbed, your breath will invariably
be short, shallow and disturbed? Even oth-
erwise, we generally breathe from the
upper chest or, worse still, by using our
neck and shoulder muscles primarily,
causing fatigue, pain and stiffness in this
area. This kind of breathing does not
allow us to take in oxygen or remove
waste products from the metabolism opti-
mally.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali intro-
duces a powerful method to calm the dis-
turbed mind by focussing on exhalation,
and holding the breath after exhalation
(Yoga Sutra 1.34). You can try this when
you experience a mild disturbance, not
intense. Try to breathe out slowly and
deliberately, focusing on the exhalation
and suspend the breath for a few seconds
after a complete exhalation to experience
the stillness within.
Through regular pranayama practise
we can detoxify the system, calm and
clear the mind and prepare for meditation,
while also training our system to develop
complete mastery over every component
of the breath: exhalation, inhalation, reten-
tion after exhalation and inhalation.
Through this mastery, we are able to
deploy the breath more efficiently and
effortlessly. The mind, of course, calms
down quickly as we shift the system from
sympathetic to parasympathetic domina-
tion.
This Sutra also suggests that discrimi-
nating between what to retain of our expe-
riences and what to throw out of our sys-
tem will calm the mind too. Often, we
hold on to what is disturbing, and create
greater turmoil. While letting go is easier
said than done, a systematic practice of
working with long exhalation through
pranayama practice is the key. The breath
has to be trained to be long (dirgha) and
subtle (sukshma). Controlling the breath at
the throat/nostrils or tip of the tongue are
techniques employed to lengthen the breath
and make it more and more subtle.
Mrgi mudra
Mrgi mudra is useful for nostril con-
trol in pranayama. If you are right-handed,
use the right hand for mrgi mudra (left
hand can count the number of breath
cycles). Fold the index finger and middle
finger (of the right hand) and hold them at
the base of the thumb. Bend the ring fin-
ger slightly to bring the tip to match the
length of the little finger. Place the fingers
Mrgi mudra is useful for nostril
control in pranayama.
right nostril fully and partially close the
left nostril. Inhale through the partially
closed left nostril. Exhale through the par-
tially closed right nostril with the left nos-
tril fully blocked. Then inhale through
partially closed right nostril and exhale
through partially closed left nostril. This
will constitute one breath cycle. A mini-
mum of 20 breath cycles (40 breaths) at
least is required to complete a good
pranayama practice.
When the breath is drawn in and
exhaled through partially closed nostrils,
the breath is very long and subtle, the
velocity of air flowing in through the par-
tially closed nostril is higher and therefore
through its penetrative power facilitates
greater reach into the bronchi and air sacs
for better exchange of gases. Similarly
exhalation through partially closed nostril
helps better emptying of the lungs and
removal of waste creating a powerful
detoxifying effect.
on the nose (thumb on right side and ring
and little finger on left side exactly where
the bone ends and cartilage begins so that
it is possible to block the nostrils partially
to narrow the passage for air flow.)
Do Nadi Shodhana (Anuloma Viloma)
pranayama, using mrgi mudra to close the
Saraswathi Vasudevan is a yoga thera-
pist trainer in the tradition of Sri T
Krishnamacharya. She specialises in
adapting yoga to the individual.
(www.yogavahini.com).
This article courtesy Life Positive
Magazine, India.
THE HUMOR OF MELVIN DURAI
The plane truth about Yoga
Y oga offers a number of benefits,
including stress reduction and
improved fitness. It may also
reduce your risk for heart disease, high
blood pressure and other conditions. Best
of all, it allows you to twist your body
into various impressive positions, earning
you admiration from your friends and
family, and perhaps even a recruitment
letter from the traveling circus.
One of the major advantages of yoga
is that you don’t need any equipment to
do it. That means you can do yoga any-
where you go. But please resist the temp-
tation.
Some places are just not meant for
yoga. You probably shouldn’t do yoga in
a busy restaurant, for example, even if
you’ve been waiting too long for your
food. A few breathing exercises are fine,
but unless you’re eager to get the wait-
er’s attention, please keep your feet on
the ground.
The same applies to a crowded bus,
even if putting one foot behind your head
allows you to occupy less room. If the
bus makes a sudden stop, you may hurt
yourself or someone else. The para-
medics may have trouble untangling you
from yourself.
Trains are also not ideal for yoga,
unless you have a compartment to your-
self. But even then, you need to be cau-
tious, in case the train makes a sudden
stop and sends you rolling, all balled up,
into the next life.
Planes are usually too cramped for
yoga and your fellow passengers may
look at you strangely. Before you attempt
anything, please ask the flight attendant if
the airline has a policy about in-flight
yoga. It may not seem fair, but the in-
flight yoga policy is usually quite similar
to the in-flight golf and in-flight soccer
policies.
If you’re really eager to do yoga
while flying, feel free to start a petition.
I know at least one man who’d be willing
to sign it. His name is Hyongtae Pae and
he recently tried to do yoga during a
United Airlines flight from Hawaii to
Japan.
Rather than stay in his seat during
meal time, the 72-year-old retired farmer
from South Korea decided to go to the
back of the plane to do yoga and medi-
tate. (This is not too surprising. Most
people would rather do yoga than eat air-
line food.)
When members of the flight crew told
Pae to return to his seat, he grew violent,
according to an Associated Press report.
He allegedly pushed his wife and tried to
head-butt and bite some military person-
nel (U.S. Marines on the flight) who
joined the effort to get him back to his
seat.
Yes, he was very determined to do
yoga. Not many people would fight off
the Marines to do yoga, but Pae was
ready to take on the entire U.S. armed
forces if need be. “I want do yoga! You
no stop me do yoga!”
Pae also allegedly threatened to kill
his fellow passengers while yelling that
God doesn’t exist. The pilot, concerned
about safety, had no choice but to turn
the plane around and return to Hawaii.
“Request to land! Request to land!” he
radioed the Honolulu airport. “We have
a yoga emergency!”
Pae soon found himself in jail, with
enough time and space to do as much
yoga as his heart desired.
Prisoners, incidentally, can benefit
immensely from yoga. It calms their
minds and reduces their stress. But more
importantly than that, it greatly enhances
their flexibility, allowing them to squeeze
through small openings.
According to his attorney, Pae started
doing yoga recently to help him deal with
anxiety. He was probably feeling a little
anxious on the flight – that’s why he
wanted to do yoga. But a plane, like a
bus, train or car, isn’t an ideal place for
yoga. Pae should have perhaps done his
yoga and meditation in the airport, before
boarding the plane.
Airports usually have plenty of space
for yoga. But please be cautious. Even if
you have good balance, you probably
should stay off the baggage carousel.
You never know who might claim you.
Airports also have travelers taking
naps in all sorts of unusual positions, so
it’s easy to blend into the crowd. Just
close your eyes, assume a yoga position,
and no one will raise an eyebrow.
But if you happen to be doing yoga
with your limbs bent awkwardly, don’t
be surprised if a rich traveler tosses a
few coins at you.
It’s yet another benefit of doing yoga.

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 33

34 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
34 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
34 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

34 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

34 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

Sports

IPL 2016 more ho-hum than heave-ho

Many prized signings have been disappointments, even as the spectacle of past IPLs is missing, causing a drop in TV ratings.

By Gaurav Joshi

F or the first time in nearly a decade IPL seems to have dropped in TV ratings in India. Recent survey suggests that peo-

ple of India have not taken to IPL like in the past. As in the past IPL has had its controver- sies with the matches shifted out of Maharashtra due to drought sanctions by the Government. But the most concerning part has been the quality of cricket. Every season IPL franchises spend mil- lions on nursing young players or hoping a new signing can spark a team’s interest on and off the field. But this year those prized signings are yet to materialise and it is still the IPL veterans who are putting on the show. Carlos Braithwaite, the West Indies hero in the World T20 final, was one of the high- est paid signings but is struggling to be part of the final XI with Delhi Daredevils. Yuvraj Singh always attracts big cash but so far injury has kept him out for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Kevin Pietersen was touted as a marketing success for Pune Supergiants but sadly, he has gone home due to injury as has his team- mate Faf Du Plessis. For the Royal Challengers, Chris Gayle had not scored a run but had to fly home to Jamaica for the birth of his first child. Lasith Malinga hob- bled on one leg for Mumbai Indians and was told he was not fit enough. These are the

Indians and was told he was not fit enough. These are the Chris Gayle had not

Chris Gayle had not scored a run but had to fly home to Jamaica for the birth of his first child.

players who have made IPL a spectacular tournament but unfortunately they are miss- ing in action and it has affected the quality. On the other end of the scale, no exciting talents are yet to emerge. Jasprit Bumrah has tried to fill the void left by Malinga in Mumbai but, as the Wankhede crowd will tell you, it’s just not the same. Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya and Manan Vohra have been in the system for a couple of years now but have lacked consistency. IPL popularity still depends on established stars

IPL popularity still depends on established stars Kevin Pietersen was touted as a marketing success for

Kevin Pietersen was touted as a marketing success for Pune Supergiants but sadly, he has gone home due to injury.

like Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Rohit Sharma, Dwanye Bravo and David Warner to brighten it up. There has been the rare onslaught like Chris Morris’ 82 off 31 balls for Delhi Daredevils or Kieron Pollard smashing a half-century off 17 balls for Mumbai Indians, but far too little heave-ho six hitting in between. Perhaps the franchises are becoming pre- dictable or it may be simply a hangover of T20 cricket. Most players have been playing the T20 format now for three months contin-

been playing the T20 format now for three months contin- Lasith Malinga hobbled on one leg

Lasith Malinga hobbled on one leg for Mumbai Indians and was told he was not fit enough.

uously and before they were preparing for the World T20. It means that they are slightly out of ideas and their innovations are not what we are accustomed to. In the last few games we have finally seen a few cliff-hanging finishes but the IPL this season needs more than that. They need an emerging quick bowler or another mystery spinner or dynamic batsmen to really take the game by the scruff of the neck because for the first time in a decade there is a monotonous ho-hum feel about the current IPL season.

Leg spinners rule in World T20 Nine leg spin bowlers between them sent down 116
Leg spinners rule in World T20
Nine leg spin bowlers between them sent
down 116 overs, took 42 wickets at an average
of 17.11 and at an economy rate of 6.27.
By Gaurav Joshi
P icking leg spinners in T20
cricket was always consid-
ered a risky business.
However, in the recently conclud-
ed World T20 leg spinners were
an integral part of each playing
XI. Since the start of the Super 10
stage, nine of the ten countries
used a leg spinner.
Ish Sodhi of New Zealand,
Sabbir Rehman (Bangladesh),
Adam Zampa (Australia), Shahid
Afridi (Pakistan), Adil Rashid
(England), Imran Tahir (South
Africa), Rashid Khan
(Afghanistan), Jeffrey Vandersay
(Sri Lanka) and Samuel Badree
(West Indies) between them sent
down 116 overs, took 42 wickets
(from left) Ish Sodhi playing for New Zealand, Samuel Badree for West Indies and Rashid Khan for
Afghanistan were influential and valuable as leg spin bowlers for their respective teams.
other end of the scale is Rashid
Khan. The 17-year-old is touted as
is probably the only one with the
least variation, but his ability to
a ‘leg spinner’ but rarely spins the
ball away from right-handed bats-
men, preferring to bowl a googly
nearly every ball. With a high and
land the ball on a dime – ball after
ball – is an art that should be com-
mended.
The most classical of the lot is
at an average of 17.11 and at an
a slightly awkward bowling action
economy rate of 6.27. It has been
when he releases the ball almost
a watershed tournament for leg
spin bowling.
Each of them is different.
There are the ageing warriors in
Afridi and Tahir, both in their late
30s but still extremely effective.
Afridi’s straight bustling run up
contrasts to Tahir’s angled
approach. Both rely on beating the
batsmen for pace off the pitch and
ensuring each ball’s projected path
is towards the stumps. On the
off the wrong foot, Rashid Khan’s
freshness has added another
dimension to the Afghan story.
Then there is Badree, the
power play specialist. Out of the
crop, he must be the only one with
most self belief, knowing a small
error can be expensive. He has
learned to be deadly accurate with
quick arm action so the batsmen
have no time to come down the
pitch. Of all the leg spinners, he
Sodhi. With slightly side-on run
up, the arm slanted at the point of
delivery, he is, perhaps, the only
bowler with a big turning leg
break. His ability to spin the ball
sharply and dip it in has made him
the most difficult bowler to con-
front. Besides, he is the most well
built of the lot, standing at 6’2”
with broad shoulders. He has
shown in this tournament since
learning to bowl a big spinning leg
break, his cleverly disguised goo-
gly has become more of a weapon.
His pace through the air has also
been phenomenal. Bowling at
speeds around the mid-80’s has
enabled him to spin the ball off the
surface.
England’s Adil Rashid is the
slowest of the lot. Of all the spin-
ners in the tournament he relies on
flight. His vertical arm at delivery
also means he gets plenty of top
spin. Unfortunately for him, he
had to fight against dew and his
style of bowling is, perhaps, more
suited to pitches which have
bounce. His trajectory is com-
pletely different to that of Afridi,
Badree or Tahir. Rashid is a flight
master but just needs a bit of pace.
Adam Zampa is also a classical
limited-overs leg spinner. Like
most of his leg spinning col-
leagues, the arm is very high at
delivery, so has plenty of overspin
but lacks the side spin. In the
mould of Tahir he is a real threat
when the batsmen are trying to
attack him. Zampa has enough
variety of pace and has a googly.
He could have been more effective
in the tournament had the captain
backed him more.
The two most unnoticed leg
spinners are Sabbir Rehman and
Jeffrey Vandersay. More a part-
time leg spinner, Rehman is in a
similar mould to Vandersay
because both of them barely use
their bodies at the crease. Both of
them rely largely on their arm,
shoulder and upper body, meaning
the revolutions on the ball are well
down compared to other spinners.
Their follow through is nonexist-
ent but they have shown on a slow
low surface that this style of leg
spin can still be effective.
In the past we have seen fast
bowlers with all the variety. Now
it is the leg spinners. As men-
tioned, each of the nine leggies
have different run ups, trajecto-
ries, body rotation, arm angle at
delivery, revolutions on the ball,
dedicated roles and also the faith
of the captain.

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 35

The Kersi Meher-Homji column

Kohli reigns supreme in limited-overs cricket

V irat Kohli is considered among the best batsmen in world crick- et today and among all-time

great Indian batsmen. Comparisons have been made between him and the recently retired Test trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. Here is how I would distinguish them. If Tendulkar was Mahatma Gandhi of cricket and Dravid / VVS were Jawaharlal Nehru then Kohli is Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Subhash Chandra Bose rolled into one. Non-violence is not in Kohli’s vocab- ulary. The famous Subhash Chandra Bose quote: “Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azadi dunga” [You give me blood, and I promise you freedom] sums up Kohli’s philosophy as a batsman and skipper, substituting “blood” for do-or- die on-field performances and “free- dom” for victory. In his red hot aggression, Kohli is more like an Australian cricketer than an Indian, sledging a lā Glenn McGrath and Matthew Hayden. Like it or not, this has given India a sharp edge they never had before. I may add that of late he has toned down his aggro without losing his flamboyance. When MS Dhoni retired after the Melbourne Test in 2014-15, Kohli took over as India’s captain in Tests although he plays under Dhoni in One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. By his own high standard his Test record is modest but he is out- standing in ODIs and T20Is. Born in Delhi on 5 November 1988, Kohli has scored 2994 runs at an aver- age of 44.02 in 41 Tests, hitting 11 cen- turies and 12 fifties, highest score 169. But he averages a high 51.51 in 171 ODIs (with 25 centuries and 36 fifties, highest score 183) and a world record average of 58.60 and an astounding strike rate of 135.17 in 43 T20Is (with 16 fifties, top score an unbeaten 90). In

in 43 T20Is (with 16 fifties, top score an unbeaten 90). In ODIs and T20Is he

ODIs and T20Is he holds numerous Indian batting records including the fastest ODI century, the fastest batsman to 5000 ODI runs and the fastest to hit ten ODI centuries. He is only the second batsman in the world to have scored 1000 or more ODI runs for four consec- utive calendar years. Kohli is the fastest batsman in the world to score 1000 runs in T20Is and also holds the record for most fifties (16) in T20Is. He also has the highest T20I average for any batsman, holding the top position with an average of 58.60. No other batsman has even reached an average of over 50 in T20Is. He was made Player of the recently

concluded World T20 scoring 273 runs in five matches at a mind-boggling aver- age of 136.50 and strike rate of 146.47. The highlights were his unbeaten knocks of 55 against Pakistan, 82 against Australia and 89 in the semi-final against the West Indies. In all matches he batted forcefully without slogging but cover-driving and square-cutting with panache. No wonder he is ranked number one in T20Is in the world and no. 2 in ODIs after South Africa’s AB de Villiers, just as India is ranked no.1 in T20s and no. 3 in ODIs. Thus India and Kohli go hand-in-hand. Virat Kohli has been the recipient of

many awards such as the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 and the BCCI's International Cricketer of the Year for the 2011-12 and 2014-15 sea- sons. In 2013, he was awarded the Arjuna Award in recognition of his achievements in international cricket. A UK magazine SportsPro rated him as the second most marketable athlete in the world in 2014. Test captaincy has toned down his aggro on the field but he is still a ticking bomb when leading India with the Subhash Chandra Bose motto: “Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azadi dunga” [You give me blood, and I promise you freedom].

Will be surprised if Dhoni continues till 2019: Ganguly

New Delhi: Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly does not think that current limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will last till 2019 and feels that it is high time Indian selectors appoint a new captain to lead the side in the next ICC World Cup. Ganguly, who heads the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), further said that Test skipper Virat Kohli is the best man to replace the Ranchi stumper, under whom India won the ICC World T20 in 2007 and the 50-over World Cup in 2011. "Every cricket team in the world plans their future. But my question to the selectors is three-

four years down the line, do they see M.S. Dhoni as captain of India?," Ganguly was quot- ed as saying by 'India Today' channel. "Dhoni has been captain for nine years, which is a long period. Does he have it in him to go for another four years? He has already given up Test cricket and now plays only ODIs and T20s. So the selectors need to find an answer to whether they see Dhoni leading India in 2019? If the answer is no, then find a new captain. If the answer is yes, which I will find very very surprising, Dhoni continues," he added.

no, then find a new captain. If the answer is yes, which I will find very

36 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

The Kersi Meher-Homji Column

WHY VIRAT KOHLI MISSED

OUT ON WISDEN LIST?

T he list of Five Wisden Cricketers of

the Year was announced recently

and the name of India’s Test cap-

tain and master batsman Virat Kohli was missing. Wisden’s Five Cricketers of 2016 based on their performances in 2015 are Australia’s Steve Smith, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson and England’s Johnny Bairstow and Ben Stokes. No one can dispute the inclusion of Smith, McCullum and Williamson as they performed exceptionally well in all forms of cricket in 2015. But why Bairstow and Stokes at the expense of England’s batting maestro Joe Root and India’s stroking supremo Kohli? Here are the reasons: One can be hon- oured Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year only once and Root was awarded in 2014. But Kohli has not been awarded previously. As Wisden Almanack is an English publication one of the rules of selection is that only a cricketer’s performance in England is considered. And as Kohli did not play in England in 2015, he did not qualify. In my opinion this rule should be amended as Wisden is recognised as an international publication, the bible of cricket. From 2000 to 2003 the awards were given based on a cricketer’s per- formance internationally which was a change for the better. But sadly it narrowed down again to

a change for the better. But sadly it narrowed down again to performances in England only

performances in England only from 2004 onwards. This is unfair as a cricketer’s performances overseas do not count. The Wisden Cricketer of the Year award commenced in 1897 and is continu- ing till now, 119 years later. The only exception was in years 1918 to 1919 due to World War I and from 1941 to 1946 due to WW II when Wisden was not pub- lished. Nineteen Indian cricketers have been honoured as Wisden Cricketers of the Year, three when playing for England and 16 when representing India. The three who were selected when playing for England are the legendary Ranjitsinhji in 1897, Duleepsinhji in 1930 and Nawab of Pataudi Snr in 1932. They played for England as Test cricket was not played by India till 1932. Pataudi Snr sub-

sequently played for India in 1946. The 16 Indians who were made Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year are:

CK Nayudu (1933), Vijay Merchant (1937), Vinoo Mankad (1947), Nawab of Pataudi Jr (1968), Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (1972), Sunil Gavaskar (1980), Kapil Dev (1983), Mohinder Amarnath (1984), Dilip Vengsarkar (1987), Mohammad Azharuddin (1991), Anil Kumble (1996), Sachin Tendulkar (1997), Rahul Dravid (2000), VVS Laxman (2002), Zaheer Khan (2008) and Shikhar Dhawan (2014). Outstanding Indians to miss out on this honour are Vijay Hazare, Polly Umrigar, SP Gupte, Ghulam Ahmed, Bishan Bedi, EAS Prasanna, Farokh Engineer, Chandu Borde, Dilip Sardesai, GR Viswanath and Virender Sehwag. Kohli, the Player of 2016 World T20, is only 27 and has time on hand apart from the three Ts – tal- ent, temperament and tenacity – to win this honour when he tours England.

As Wisden Almanack is an English publication one of the rules of selection is that only a cricketer’s performance in England is considered. And as Kohli did not play in England in 2015, he did not qualify. But this rule should be changed.

Two others in the running could be Ravi Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane.

Perhaps it is too late for MS Dhoni.

should be changed. Two others in the running could be Ravi Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane. Perhaps

Quickies and batsmen sizzle but spinners fizzle

Gaurav Joshi reports from India on IPL 2016

S o what has been so unique about this season of the IPL? Sixes continued to

flow, as did the fall of wickets and the crowd still poured through the gates. However, cricket on the field took a slight- ly different turn. One of the key statistics this season is the lack of wickets taken by spinners. Pitches this season have been the flattest and the lack of help for the spinners has affected their wicket-taking abilities. Only since Royal Challengers started posting improbable totals did their spin- ner, Yuzvendra Chahal started seeking rewards. Kolkata Knight Riders have built their success on spin bowl- ing but this year the Eden Gardens pitch behaved in favour of batsmen negating the Kolkata spinners’ impact. In the last two seasons, Kolkata only lost three games at home. This year they

Kolkata only lost three games at home. This year they Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rehman and Dwayne
Kolkata only lost three games at home. This year they Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rehman and Dwayne
Kolkata only lost three games at home. This year they Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rehman and Dwayne

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rehman and Dwayne Bravo’s ability to bowl accurate yorkers at the death has been a standout feature of this IPL.

lost three in one year alone. The impact of spinners has reduced dramatically. The Sunrisers Hyderabad’s path to success has been built around fast bowling. Their spinners have taken only four of the 83 wickets this sea- son. But while spinners have had

low impact, fast bowlers seemed to have evolved. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rehman, Jasprit Bumrah and Dwayne Bravo’s ability to bowl accurate yorkers at the death has been a standout feature. The credit should be given where it is due:

the fast bowlers despite playing on docile pitches have taken the game up to another level. The batting on the other hand has been scintillating. It is no sur- prise to see the three best bats- men in the world Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and David Warner are

smashing all the records. Warner and Kohli have scored more runs in a season this year than anyone has ever managed to do in the last eight editions of the IPL. The cream at the top seems to be rising but perhaps there is a concern that no emerging talent really blossomed with the bat this year. Karun Nair from Delhi was the standout but the likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Unmukt Chand among others really failed to contribute. It begs the question: are the upcoming batsmen still in transi- tion phase? Are they still trying to work out what works the best for them? Watching Kohli, De Villiers and Warner should be a lesson to all of them that hard work is the best solution. The batsmen may have the last laugh in the IPL final but this season has been about the devel- opment of the fast bowlers in the T20 game.

May-June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 37

38 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
38 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
38 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

38 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016

38 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May - June 2016
May - June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 39
May - June 2016 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 39
40 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016

40 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER May-June 2016