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Durga Puja-2022 Heats Up Amidst Continuing Humid Heat!

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Kolkata is fully back to its old-normal ways after two long painful years as West Bengal's biggest festival Durga Puja heats up. Pandal hopping is in full flow with thousands on a spree of ' Thakur Dekha' (how many Goddess idols have you seen?) almost since the start of Navaratri. Although Durga Puja rituals start only from Mahashasthi which starts today, technically for all here Goddess Durga descends on earth on Mahalaya, the last day of Pitru Paksha, that is the eve for the beginning of the bright lunar phase or Shukla Paksha . There are crowds thronging the major pandals, particularly from afternoon to late night every day, with their mobiles clicking non-stop, falling upon each other for a better view, the rush for the selfies in all available spaces, thronging all the eating joints to their fullest capacity and all the smiles. Celebration is the motif and soul of the festival. Married or unmarried couples of all ages who could be going through lots of strain and stre

The Celestial Messaging!

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It is a fact of life that we keep on getting celestial or divine messages from the invisible world—particularly during times when catastrophes/tragedies happening in or about to befall our family or locality or country and we might as well call these as intuition or premonition or telepathy or presentiment or the like. Most of the times we fail to decipher these in time; sometimes we understand but fail to act upon it and some other time we comprehend enough to prepare well for it. From at least three months prior to my father’s demise I had been having a very disturbing time—wanting desperately to go to him, be by his side; dreaming about him and at times having a hallucination of seeing him around. However, living quite far away from home, I failed to act upon it due to various external factors including a persistent financial strain. As was inevitable, he passed away one early morning and I could reach home only on the sixth day travelling for three days on an ordinary train as book

Tip of the Humbug!

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The tall, smart yet well-behaved and handsome young man did the job beautifully and had taken so much care of me during the process that I got gloated with gratitude and wanted to reward him in my humble way—meaning I wanted to tip him twenty bucks—even though I normally did not do such things in such places. I remembered I had a tenner in my shirt pocket and hoped I could get another one from the change I would get from the final payment.   I thanked him profusely, got up and proceeded to the counter as the young man took his position behind it. “How much?” I asked because it had been after a long time and in the fluid post-pandemic times prices shoot up anytime anywhere. He smiled and said, “The usual sir! Hundred and fifty rupees.”   I gave him a two-hundred note and hoped he’d give the required change. Unfortunately, he returned only a fifty-rupee note, sweetly and simply. ‘In the most typically tipping places the smart operators know how and in what denominations to give b

India Vs Australia T20I Cricket: India Now Looking More Like the Team It Had Been!

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Although the ‘experiment’ scare is far from over Team India is now looking more like the one it had been in the national sense as regards the international tournaments. Doing justice to the expectations of a decider the third and last T20I match in Hyderabad last night went down the wire keeping the thrill on till the penultimate ball of the match. It was a high-scoring match in a pitch that helped both the batsmen and the bowlers. Australia put up an imposing target of 187 runs for India after Rohit Sharma won the toss for the second time. And India skillfully handled the early losses of both their openers with Virat Kohli (63) and Suryakumar Yadav (69) having a rollicking partnership of 104 runs thus nearing the target with enough wickets left. However, the ride was still not without thorns as the Aussie fast bowlers started delivering beauties and scoring boundaries was difficult. With the demolition-man Suryakumar gone Kohli and Pandya got into some kind of a spot—India needing 32

Amidst the Rohit Blitz Karthik Had His Moments as India Level T20I Series Against Australia!

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Chasing a tall target of 91 runs to win in 8 overs (the second T20I between India and Australia was reduced to 8-overs a side due to rain affected pitch and outfield) captain Rohit played out of his skin remaining not out at 46 off just 20 balls to steer India to a win by 6 wickets against Australia before a packed house in Nagpur. He kept his cool and hit some terrific shots all around the park as he has been known for despite the failures of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya. For a change, we’ve used ‘India’ instead of ‘Rohit Franchise’ because the team finally looked like a national team with main strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah coming back and batsman-keeper Dinesh Karthik retained notwithstanding what happened in the first match. This is not at all due to India’s win. Of course, one of the main weapons for a national side Bhuvneshwar Kumar was dropped or rested as he’s been giving away crucial runs in his second spell in the last few matches. However, the fact

Web Series ‘Hush Hush’: A Promising Plot Peters Out to a Morbid Melodrama!

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The Web Series Hush Hush Season 1 started streaming on Prime Video from the 22 nd of September 2022. It has at least three very important reasons for being watched eagerly by a lot of viewers. First, filmmaker Tanuja Chandra whose intense flick Dushman (1998) is still remembered by movie fans features as one of the directors and producers in a clearly women-oriented story with mostly women in the crew too. Second, the cast is tremendously interesting and exciting with two of the most beloved babes of Bollywood since the eighties Juhi Chawla and Ayesha Jhulka coming back/appearing on the OTT Platform for the first time, and joined by the immensely talented Soha Ali Khan, Shahana Goswami, Kritika Kamra and Karishma Tanna. Third, the story begins on a very taut and promising note, seemingly doing justice for a mature series in the Suspense genre. But unfortunately, that lasts only till the third episode, and then, rather inexplicably, the storytelling breaks up and meanders to a morbid

Is The Dinesh Karthik Riddle Over Now?

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Continuing with the Asia Cup-2022 legacy and the experiment-legacy since time IPL the swashbuckling Team India management, the dead- ‘wall’ coach and the devastatingly discerning selectors had once again preferred batsman-keeper Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant in the playing eleven pitted against the T20 World Champions Australia in the first of the three T20Is in Mohali on 20 th September, 2022. Keeping up with the ‘traditions’ Karthik came in to bat after the supposed all-rounder Axar Patel and was still lucky enough to have four overs to play out. Unfortunately, he could not capitalize on this golden opportunity and perished cheaply. Not only that, he failed miserably to read a suspected LBW ball to convince his captain Rohit Sharma to go for a DRS. As the replays showed the ball hitting the leg stump clearly Rohit vented out all his pent-up anger on the poor but experienced Karthik. Rohit’s magnanimously displayed public anger could perhaps also be the result of the ceaseless

The System!

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The calls never stop. They’re ruthlessly regular as always even if you’re going through a huge personal crisis or that you’ve been rendered ineligible for most of the offers in circulation due to various reasons. And I don’t blame the ‘casuals’ desperately trying to augment their measly income with the commissions cum incentives that they hope to earn by getting the customer’s consent for a personal loan or a deposit/investment scheme or a pre-approved credit card. In fact, I always have sympathy and understanding for them; that I get angry most of the times is a part and parcel of the hazardous virtual games being played in abundance nowadays. This time, for a change, it was a male voice that addressed me in all possible politeness. But he sounded weary and lazy, perhaps frustrated by the endless calls from his end since morning without any tangible progress. “Sir, I’m calling from the xyz finance company. If you can spare a moment, please!” For a change, again, I decided not to

Hindustani Classical Music Living Legend Dr. Prabha Atre Speaks!

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The living legend of Indian Classical (Hindustani) Music and the senior most vocalist of the Kirana Guarana, Padma Vibhushan Dr. Prabha Atre celebrates her 90 th birthday on 13 th September, 2022. This is indeed a most significant and momentous occasion in the history of Indian classical music as the complete artiste goes tirelessly on serving the cause of music with her lilting compositions, her sweet and melodious presentations, her scholarly discourses, her progressive outlook, her in-depth research and enlightening books and her devoted role as the most ideal beloved Guru for her countless disciples. Dr Prabha Atre holds the world record in releasing 11 books on a single subject which is music and has been instrumental in propagating and popularizing Indian classical vocal music in the West as the late Pt. Ravishankar did with the Sitar. On this occasion the legendary artiste is also initiating a new chapter with the inauguration of the Kirana Gharana Library and Resource Centr