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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ragini Chakravarty Gets Business Express Kala-Shree Puraskar For Music!

Reputed classical vocalist from Assam, Ragini Chakravarty has been conferred with the Maharashtra state level Kala-Shree Puraskar in a dignified ceremony held on Thursday, the 21st of August, 2014 in Sangli, Western Maharashtra. Shree Foundation Trust maintained by the Business Express group of Marathi newspapers and periodicals has been giving these annual awards for the last 19 years in different fields of Arts, Academic, Cooperative sector, Business, Administration—Society and Social activism. Ragini Chakravarty was chosen for the award in the Arts (Kala) category for her contribution to music and for her efforts to promote music in Assam and Maharashtra. The award was formally presented to Ragini by the Chief Guest of the ceremony, Dr. Ved Prakash Mishra, Chairman of Medical Council of India. The ceremony was presided over by eminent economist Dr. J F Patil. Seva Shree Awards were also presented to officials/officers/activists from various fields of activity for distinguished service and work. 
Talking to media persons Ragini thanked the organizers for selecting her for this great honor and for the exemplary hospitality offered to her. She said that being from the far north eastern region performing and working for music based in Mumbai the Award was of great significance and it had given her tremendous inspiration to surge ahead in the pursuit of music. Thanking all music lovers of Maharashtra Ragini said that this wonderful state has always been very appreciative of classical music and that she had got tremendous response in all her concerts across Maharashtra. 

Earlier, Ragini  Chakravarty regaled a packed auditorium with her light classical compositions and Bhajans.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Humor: The Big Bellied Bully!

All bullies do not have big bellies, but some big bellied ones are bullies. Such entities do not believe in the finer connotations of the phrase ‘throwing your weight around’; they literally ‘throw’ their weight around to their bullish benefits. You are likely to confront them anywhere, in every possible activity of life. In the school days you must remember some fat boys you have made fun of (not at all good behavior from you, of course), but there were indeed some others who intimidated you, threatened you and bullied you. In public transport you often curse if big bellied ones are around, even if they are not bullies. If they are you are in imminent danger of being dislocated.

That day the queue at the famous temple was unending and almost unruly. Maybe it was one of the innumerable auspicious days. In India you are often compelled by social or religious or family bondage to visit particular temples on particular days and there you see millions of such ‘pious’ people who stop at nothing to have a glimpse of their sought-after gods. If you come between them and their gods you stand the risk of being pushed out of the way, most…what should we say…non-religiously or religiously! 

We were inching ahead with minutes and hours going by unnoticed, so ‘religiously’ possessed we all were. When progress got hopelessly stranded, devotees cheered with loud intonations in praise of the Lord. In such moments a new spirit invaded the hordes often leading to jostling for no reason. Something pushed me at one such moment. I looked back in anger trying to catch the culprit behind me red-handed.  However, I managed to see only a huge belly. Crisscrossing over that anatomical delight I confronted one immensely disinterested and expressionless face. As if the owner of the belly was hardly aware of what his ‘partner’ was doing. That was the unmistakable sign of a bully, I decided. And I braced myself up for a rough journey ahead.

The big thing kept on pushing me every time there was some movement. I did try to give him stares, but he never noticed or pretended not to notice. He allowed his partner to do all the action for him. I also did try to create some distance by taking one extra step every time almost breathing over the neck of the one in front of me, but every time the thing made up for that extra space too.  I prayed to the deity of that temple to take that blockage out of my back. However, God too took no notice! Maybe the spectacle was entertaining for the divinity too.

At the final leg as we neared the altar the security personnel took over and added to the agony by trying to hurry up things. I vented all my anger accumulated out of the big belly on the security guard hissing out to him, ‘Don’t dare touch me! I can take care of myself, you idiot!’

With the divinity in full view now there was the usual commotion arising out of last minute desperation, and the big belly gave me a real big push. I faltered on my steps and almost stumbled over the altar. To my ‘divine’ surprise I found myself at the feet of the deity, and took full advantage of this unexpected bonus from the big bellied bully. Finally I could pray from the innermost depth of my heart. I then readily jumped to that typical Indian escapist philosophy—everything done at any point of time is for the ultimate good!  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Relationships: Misplaced Priorities…A,B,C, Drivers…Maids And…!

The family, particularly the Indian family, is supposedly the most closely-bound unit in terms of blood relations, in terms of proximity and in terms of unconditional love. In the joint family system, slowly dying even in India, there are tensions concerning the kitchen or concerning wives, husbands, brothers, in-laws and cousins. However, in all cases some people like drivers or domestic helps get into the thick of things. They understand the family moods, they know the underlying conflicts if any, have access to all the secrets and they are always conditioned to swim as per the waters. They are immensely capable of bringing a mere disagreement in the family into a shattering climax and can be a party to damaging relationships, sometimes irreparably. The members of the family in their effort to manage such ‘members’ often succumb to these third-party plays and the misplaced priorities catapult the happy family into an apparently insoluble crisis.  We will take examples describing the major players in a family by the alphabet and making them totally gender neutral to avoid any possible bias to any.

A and B are extremely close in terms of blood relation and friendship. One helps the other on every occasion possible like arranging cars, accommodation, get-togethers and so on. Now C is inseparable with B and by that bond is naturally close to A too. However, the level of priority for A is different as far as C is concerned. As it happened once C visited A’s place alone. A had to provide some facilities due to its closeness to B. C was provided with a car for some of its work assignments. As it happened again, one day C got very disturbed by the way the driver of the car behaved with it. C informed B first and then complained to A. Now A was furious thinking, ‘I gave a car to you, and instead of expressing gratitude you dare complain!’ B understood the case immediately. The driver behaved rather too politely, almost going out of the way, with B once after A provided the car. The intelligent driver understood that if it created problems with B the latter would complain to A and A like all other members of the family would believe B only. Now, in C’s case nobody believed it, particularly E who was extremely close to both A and B, all taking side of the driver fully. C was inconsolable lamenting the fact that despite being a member of the family it got no support from anyone and instead, all got angry with it creating a ruckus. Neurotic rants rent the air and continued creating a new low in the relationship matrix.

Once upon a time B and C visited E. As has been proved over the years C and E do not see eye to eye. They could never gel despite being members of the same family. On this visit too minor scuffles continued between C and E on petty domestic issues. Now, there was a concern for B. It was informed by A that E had developed a worrisome health condition. B took it to heart rather too seriously, maybe because of its bond with E. B was determined not to give E any kind of tension during their stay.

The minor scuffles continued and on two occasions B found E crying and complaining. Not to take further risks, B advised E to go to F’s home, another member of the family. However, E did not take the advice and B could not speak to C about all these due to work pressure of several assignments and B’s growing irritation with the state of things and the weather too. One day, finally having some time, B entered C’s room, closed the door and started a dialogue to try sort out things. But suddenly E threw the door open and baring its teeth started attacking C with most filthy language. Getting disconcerted and surprised B somehow managed to take E out of the room and almost ordered it to go to F’s place immediately. Later B came to know how the spark was provided for the shattering climax. C made a casual remark out of exasperation about the goings-on in the house to the domestic help. Feeling the simmering tension over the days the smart help put some colors to that remark and presented it to E finding it alone and sitting aloof one day at home. Misplaced priorities once again led to putting trust on a domestic help and distrust on a member of the family. The damage was already done.

Relationships are as brittle as they are beautiful. One should always try to nourish and protect them. Ensure peace, tranquility and everlasting love in your family.
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