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The Absence of Adolescence

Writer – politician Muthuvel Karunanidhi is amongst the most important political leaders India has ever seen. In Karunanidhi: A Life, author A.S. Panneerselvan tells the story of the man who became a metaphor for modern Tamil Nadu, where language, empowerment, self-respect, art, literary forms and films coalesced to lend a unique vibrancy to politics.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter titled, The Absence of Adolescence.

Karunanidhi
Karunanidhi A Life || A.S. Panneerselvan

 

Like many underprivileged children, karunanidhi’s life moved straight to adulthood from childhood, bypassing the phase of indulgent adolescence. The politicization that began with the anti-Hindi agitation and exposure to the literature of the Self- Respect Movement propelled karunanidhi into becoming an activist right from his days in the second form. The police excesses and the custodial deaths of two anti-Hindi agitators, Thalamuthu and natarajan, had a profound impact on the young karunanidhi.

 

The late 1930s witnessed varied crises for all the political players: the imperial government was getting ready for the Second World War; the great Depression and its fallout was taking its toll; Mahatma gandhi’s supremacy was challenged within the Congress by the election of Subhas Chandra Bose as the party president for the second time; and the Left was emerging as a distinct political force with its leaders gaining a hold over decision-making in both the Congress as well as other popular fronts. There was also a shift in Dravidian politics with the leadership moving from the wealthy section among the non-Brahmins to Periyar and Annadurai.

 

The twists and turns of the Left’s mobilization need elaboration in order to understand how, despite its revolutionary aura, karunanidhi remained with the Dravidian Movement’s social reform agenda. in his essay, in the January–March 1984 issue of The Marxist, E.M.S. namboodiripad points out that when the Congress Socialist Party was formed in 1934, the Communist Party of india initially branded it as Social Fascist. With the Comintern’s change of policy towards the politics of the Popular Front, the indian communists’ relationship to the inC witnessed a reversal. The communists joined the Congress Socialist Party (CSP), which worked as the left wing of the Congress. Once they had joined, the Communist Party of india (CPi) accepted the CSP demand for the Constituent Assembly, which it had denounced two years before.1

 

in July 1937, the first kerala unit of the CPi was founded at a clandestine meeting in Calicut. The five persons present at the meeting were E.M.S. namboodiripad, krishna Pillai, n.C. Sekhar, k. Damodaran and S.V. ghate. The first four were members of the CSP in kerala; ghate was a CPi Central Committee member, who had come from Madras. Contacts between the CSP in kerala and the CPi had begun in 1935, when P. Sundarayya (Central Committee member of CPi, based in Madras at the time) met with EMS and krishna Pillai. Sundarayya and ghate visited kerala several times and met with the CSP leaders there. The contacts were facilitated through the national meetings of the Congress, CSP and All india kisan Sabha.

 

in 1936–1937, the cooperation between socialists and communists reached its peak. At the second congress of the CSP, held in Meerut in January 1936, a thesis was adopted which declared that there was a need to build ‘a united indian Socialist Party based on Marxism-Leninism’. in kerala the communists won control over the CSP, and for a brief period controlled the Congress there.2

 

While the Congress in kerala had a distinct leftward tilt, in Tamil nadu it was virtually under the conservative leadership of stalwarts such as C. Rajagopalachari and S. Satyamurti.

 

Thiruvarur became a microcosm of the play of these multiple forces. Smitten by Periyar’s radicalism and Annadurai’s eloquence, karunanidhi began devouring the entire oeuvre of Dravidian literature. Periyar had already published the Tamil version of The Communist Manifesto in 1937; a number of serious political publications were being published from various parts of the state. Periyar’s Kudiarasu (The Republic) was the key vehicle for dissemination as well as articulating new ideas and planning political mobilization towards an egalitarian society.3

 

While Muthuvelar and Anjugam were rejoicing at their son’s tireless learning, little did they realize what he was reading about. Textbooks were last on karunanidhi’s reading list. The extensive literature in politics was revelatory for young karunanidhi. For the first time, he realized that he too had two priceless possessions—his oratory and his pen. His first public speech was a clear pointer. it was a school competition. And karunanidhi decided to make a mark. He looked at some of the redeeming features of the so-called villains within Hindu mythology. karunanidhi spoke at length about the friendship between karna and Duryodhana—a friendship that cut across both caste and class.

 

The speech was well-received, and the teachers developed a new respect for their wayward student. But, what they did not know was the effort that went behind this oratory. karunanidhi worked on the text of the speech for nearly a week; rehearsed the speech frequently before the mirror; changed the words, similes and metaphors to get the rhythm that would alter the art of public speaking in Tamil forever.

 

He also created his own publication—Maanavanesan (Friend of students). A handwritten fortnightly of eight pages in demy size that dealt with a range of issues—from questioning orthodoxy to exploring the poetics of early Tamil. He and his friends would make about fifty copies of the magazine and circulate it for a modest fee that managed to just cover the cost of the paper. Years later, when i met him at Murasoli along with Kungumam editor Paavai Chandran for a short interview for the Illustrated Weekly of India, karunanidhi said the handwritten journal was a great learning experience. ‘We could not afford to make any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. A single mistake meant rewriting fifty copies. The sheer labour of correcting made me write a very clean first draft, without any corrections or overwriting,’ he recalled. He also took pains to mail a copy of the magazine to the leaders of the Self-Respect Movement.

 

But not all of karunanidhi’s icons were happy with the handwritten magazine. Bharathidasan, the well-known poet and a life-long supporter of the Dravidian Movement and karunanidhi, called it a waste of time and effort. He told karunanidhi: ‘The madness of expecting changes from handwritten publications can only be compared to the madness in thinking that development will happen due to spinning charkhas.’

 

Muthuvel Karunanidhi was ardent as a social reformer and unrelenting as an opposition leader. To read more about him, his life and his work, get your copy of Karunanidhi: A Life.

Success stories of people with diabetes

Making Excellence a Habit is a behind-the-scenes account of a person honoured internationally for delivering path-breaking care to hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes. While hard work, passion and focus emerge as winning lessons, delicate and tender learnings from Dr Mohan’s life, such as empathy or spirituality, are not forgotten.

Here is an excerpt from the book that talks about success stories of people with diabetes.

 

Front cover of Making Excellence A Habit
Making Excellence A Habit || Dr V. Mohan

Many people with diabetes believe that because of their illness, they cannot achieve their ambitions. Of the two most common forms of diabetes, type 2 and type 1, the former can be treated with tablets, diet and exercise, although some individuals may need insulin at some point in their life. Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is a more severe form of the disorder where insulin injections are needed from the beginning, and often several times a day, in order to maintain good health. I have seen that when people develop type 1 diabetes (or even type 2 diabetes, for that matter), they often tend to give up. Their family also thinks that they are doomed to a life of mediocrity, devoid of any ambitions or success.

 

Doctors, too, unknowingly, reinforce this mindset. We were taught as students that if somebody is fifty years old and has had diabetes for twenty years, their arteries and blood vessels would be seventy years old. We therefore recognize what’s referred to as the ‘chronological age’, which is the actual age of the patient, and the ‘biological age’, which is the age of the arteries. In the case of people with diabetes, almost every study has shown that diabetes decreases the lifespan of an individual. Statistics show that in both men and women between seven to eight years of life are lost due to diabetes. Currently, the average lifespan of an Indian is sixty- seven years for males and sixty-nine years for females. Hence, for Indians with diabetes, one would expect that the average lifespan would be around sixty years for both males and females. By this calculation, one would assume that it would be almost impossible to find an elderly person with diabetes in India. Only 0.001 per cent of India’s population today are nonagenarians, that is aged ninety years or above. Hence, finding a ninety-year-old person with diabetes in India would be an absolutely rarity.

 

While these statistics are well established, they’re not necessarily true, and moreover, there are a lot of exceptions to the rule. Over the last few years, we have been noticing at our centre that our patients with diabetes, presumably due to better control, are living longer and longer. In 2013, I published a paper to show that patients with type 2 diabetes could live for forty or fifty years despite their diabetes. This paper was published in the prestigious American journal Diabetes Care and became a landmark paper. My colleagues and I were pleased that we as Indians were the first to report on the long-term survival of patients with type 2 diabetes.

 

After we had submitted the paper, Dr William Cefalu, then the editor of Diabetes Care, visited me in Chennai. Dr Cefalu told me that he was delighted to receive our paper and wanted to learn more about the survival among people with type 2 diabetes. Dr Cefalu then suggested that we have, as a control group, patients who were ‘non-survivors’, that is, had not survived for forty years. I mentioned to him that this would take time, as we would have to painstakingly match the ‘survivors’ and ‘non-survivors’ from our large electronic records. He gave us additional time to do it, and once we were done, we submitted the paper again to the journal. The paper was an instant hit—and was the first in the world to demonstrate the long-term survival of patients with type 2 diabetes of more than forty years duration.

 

In fact, when I received the Harold Rifkin Award for Distinguished International Service in the Cause of Diabetes from the American Diabetes Association, Dr Cefalu was present at the ceremony. I walked up to him and asked him whether he remembered me. Dr Cefalu smiled and said, ‘Why do you think you are receiving this award?’ By then, Dr Cefalu was the chief scientific officer of the association and, despite his high position, he hadn’t forgotten my paper in his journal. ‘That paper of yours was definitely one of the highlights of your career,’ he said. I agreed. I was humbled to receive the award, and even more so because I was the first diabetologist from India to have been chosen for the award.

 

However, in that study we did not take the age of the patients into consideration—only the duration of diabetes. Only recently have we started looking at our electronic medical records again to see how many patients lived very long lives. This time, our study showed that 325 of our patients with type 2 diabetes had survived beyond ninety years of age. This meant that if one applied the formula taught by our teachers, the biological age of these patients was unbelievably long. By now, I have several patients who have crossed ninety-five years of age and are approaching their hundredth birthday. I have also seen my first patient with diabetes cross the coveted hundred-year birth-anniversary mark. This man was the former vice chancellor of two universities and has had diabetes for almost sixty years. This means his biological age would be 160 years!

 

To understand the fundamentals of what makes a person achieve meaningful success, get your copy of Dr Mohan’s Making Excellence A Habit

The story of a tea-laborer and his path-breaking journey

If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.- Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

Bike Ambulance Dada, the authorised biography of Padma Shri awardee Karimul Hak, is the most inspiring and heart-warming biography you will read this year. It documents the extraordinary journey of a tea-garden worker who saved thousands of lives by starting a free bike-ambulance service from his village to the nearest hospital.

Here is an excerpt from Bike Ambulance Dada by Biswajit Jha titled A Bike Ambulance Takes Shape.

Front Cover Bike Ambulance Dada
Bike Ambulance Dada || Biswajit Jha

Now that Karimul had a bike, he was no longer dependent on his cycle to ferry a patient. The bike gave the patients a greater chance of survival by ensuring they got to the hospital quickly. Karimul, too, was under less pressure, physically and mentally; he could be more certain of patients getting timely medical attention, be they sick or injured, and riding a motorbike was far less physically taxing than cycling all the way with a passenger.

One day, in 2008, when Karimul was enjoying a cup of tea with some acquaintances at a tea shop in Kranti Bazaar, one of them, Babu Mohanta, suddenly cried out. The engrossing discussion on political affairs was halted abruptly. The small group sprang into action to find out the reason behind Mohanta’s shriek. Investigations revealed that a snake had bitten him just above the ankle. Karimul immediately made up his mind to identify the snake, as this would help the doctor decide on the course of treatment; it was imperative in such cases. He saw the snake but could not identify it. Thinking fast, he somehow caught the snake and put it in a small box so that he could carry it to the hospital. He applied a pressure bandage on the wound as well. With the help of those around them, Karimul got Mohanta tied to his back and asked a villager to ride pillion with him. Before starting out for Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital, Karimul instructed the man to make sure that Mohanta did not fall sleep. The snake, carefully locked in the box, accompanied them to the hospital.

On the way, they met with a huge traffic jam on the bridge over the Teesta, just 5 kilometres from the hospital. The road was chock-a-block with vehicles stranded on the bridge, all trying to find a way out and, in the process, aggravating the situation. As Karimul zipped past the four- wheeled vehicles, he saw an ambulance stuck in the traffic. When he asked the ambulance driver for the patient’s details, he was told that the man had also been bitten by a snake, and they were heading for the same hospital as Karimul. Manoeuvring his much-smaller vehicle between the cars and moving towards the hospital with Mohanta, the soft-hearted Karimul felt sorry for the patient in the ‘proper’ ambulance, unable to get out.

Karimul soon reached the hospital. Once there, he showed the snake to the doctor, who was at first startled but then observed it intently for a few seconds before springing into action with the treatment.

After getting Mohanta admitted, Karimul went back to the bridge where they had seen the ambulance. He saw that the ambulance, along with other vehicles, was still there; the patient had, unfortunately, passed away.

After a couple of days, Babu Mohanta was released from the hospital. He was the first person bitten by a poisonous snake in the village to be saved—all because of Karimul’s timely intervention and bike ambulance service.

Before this incident, though Karimul had ignored the taunts of some of the villagers and had gone about ferrying patients to hospital, he had sometimes harboured misgivings that his bike ambulance was a poor substitute for the conventional ambulance. But that day, he realized that his bike ambulance was sometimes far more convenient than a standard ambulance. From then on, there was no looking back for him. His new-found confidence enthused him to serve people with increased passion.

After he was awarded the Padma Shri, the Navayuvak Brindal Club, Siliguri, donated to him an ambulance that he used for some months. But the traditional ambulance not only consumed more fuel, it was also rather difficult to drive it to remote and far-flung areas. After some weeks, he stopped using that ambulance; though it is still with him, he doesn’t use it. Instead, he now has three bike ambulances at home; one is used by his elder son, Raju, another by his younger son, Rajesh, while Karimul himself mostly uses the bike ambulance donated by Bajaj Auto, which has an attached carrier for patients.

Thanks to Karimul Hak’s unique initiative, the bike ambulance has become popular in rural areas of India. Inspired by him, some social workers, as well as some NGOs, have started this service too, thereby saving thousands of lives in far-off areas of the country.

While Karimul has saved many lives, he deeply regrets not being able to save some. Still, he derives immense satisfaction from the fact that a person like him, with a paltry income and limited capacity, has made a difference in the lives of so many people. Relatives and family members of those who died en route to the hospital, or even after reaching the hospital, at least know that they, through Karimul, tried their best to save their loved one. This is a noteworthy achievement for Karimul, who dreams of a day when lack of medical treatment will not be the reason for someone’s death.

Bike Ambulance Dada is a must-read today as it will inspire us to do and be better in our lives.

Raja Rao’s Gandhi – A life in words

In many ways, Raja Rao changed the way Mahatma Gandhi is read and written about. Get a glimpse into the processes of his writing through Makarand R. Paranjape’s introduction to Mahatma Gandhi: The Great Indian Way: 

 

In the symposium on Raja Rao on 24 March 1997, I had spoken on his forthcoming book The Great Indian Way: A Life of Mahatma Gandhi. This was a marvellous retelling of Bapu’s life in the form of a modern purana. Rao had called it ‘an experiment in honesty’, adding that the ‘Pauranic style, therefore, is the only style an Indian can use’.

The publisher was Kapil Malhotra of Vision Books, who in 1996 had published The Meaning of India. Malhotra had inherited one-half of what used to be Dina Nath Malhotra’s Hind Pocket Books, India’s first paperback imprint. Malhotra, believing in Rao’s genius, had also published The Chessmaster and His Moves in 1988. That book had won Rao the coveted Neustadt Prize. The manuscript was part of a veritable treasure trove of unpublished material that some of us, who were close to Rao, had been fortunate to be able to see. But there were many more such unpublished works, which I had seen at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, where Rao’s papers now rested.

front cover The Great Indian Way
Mahatma Gandhi: The Great Indian Way||Raja Rao

After the Chessmaster, Malhotra published On the Ganga Ghat (1989) too. It was a unique collection of short stories with the common theme and location of Varanasi. It was clear that we were in the midst of a quiet Raja Rao efflorescence. It would culminate in his being posthumously awarded India’s second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2007, ten years after the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Fellowship mentioned earlier.

What was so special about Rao’s book, yet another of the hundreds written on Gandhi? Why had Mulk Raj Anand called it ‘Among the most authentic accounts of the Mahatma’s life and work’? It was this question that I had tried to answer in my presentation on Rao in the symposium in 1997.

The clue came from Rao himself. ‘Facts of course are there,’ he says in the preface, ‘but facts are shrill.’ Facts, in other words, do not tell the whole truth: ‘They have a way of saying more than they mean, and disbelievingly so. The silences and the symbols are omitted, and meaning taken out of breath and performance.’

What else do we have other than facts? It is, as Rao says, the ‘rasa, flavour, to makes facts melt into life’. The Indian experience is complex and multi-layered, requiring a special style to express it, even in modern times: ‘the Indian experience is such a palimpsest, layer behind layer of tradition and myth and custom go to make such an existence: gesture is ritual, and each act a statement in terms of philosophy, superstition, historical or linguistic provincialism, caste originality, or merely a personal one, and yet it’s all a whole, it’s India.’

Rao, next, makes a very bold statement: ‘Thus to face honesty against an Indian event, an Indian life, one’s expression has to be epic in style or to lie.’ Facts alone cannot tell the Indian story, nor can myths, rituals, or fables by themselves. The two must be combined in a unique manner. That was Rao’s reinvented pauranic style. Not in the manner of the old puranas, with— from the point of modern history—their unverifiable material. Nor the contemporary histories which were slaves to facts. But a unique combination of both.

This is what I called ‘seeing with three eyes’. The first eye sees only facts. The second espies the fable behind and around the fact. It is only the third eye, the eye of wisdom, that can combine both to see into the depths of things, their secret significance and meaning.

This special way of seeing is what Rao calls ‘fact against custom, history against time . . . geography against space.’ In his book on the Mahatma, this is precisely what Rao accomplishes, making ‘life larger than it seems, and its small impurities and accidents and parts, must perforce be transmuted into equations where the mighty becomes normal, and the normal in its turn becoming myth. Prose and poetry thus flow into one another, the personal and the impersonal, making the drama altogether noble and simple.’

An important feature of traditional Indian society, which persists to this very day, is its enormously rich and varied method of chronicling and celebrating life. In rural society, for instance, even humble craftspersons like weavers, potters, blacksmiths and wood workers have a specially designated bhiksha vritti jati, a group of mendicant performers, to record and disseminate their deeds. Thus, all our communities have their own jati puranas or community histories. Likewise, each village, each region, each state has its own legends, songs and stories. All these go into making up our rich narrative traditions.

Raja Rao, as he himself has often reiterated, belongs very much to this pauranic tradition. He has performed his duty as a writer as faithfully and sincerely as our ancient poets, who have told the stories of gods and demons, heroes and villains, apsaras and princesses, sages and mendicants with such zealous relish. A key and recurring figure in Raja Rao’s works is one of the greatest men of our times, Mahatma Gandhi. This book is Rao’s retelling of and tribute to Gandhi’s extraordinary life.

~

Through Mahatma Gandhi: The Great Indian Way, Raja Rao changed the rules of biography writing. The book paints a holistic and in-depth picture of a man who was larger than life.

The life and times of Vasoo Paranjape: The Cricket Drona

“You couldn’t miss Vasoo Paranjape”, writes Dilip Vengsarkar, opening his essay on the legendary cricket coach who changed the lives of everyone who crossed paths with him in marvellous and indelible ways. Cricket Drona is a portrait of the life and times of Vasoo Paranjape, created through first-hand accounts and stories told by the people who were shaped by his wisdom and his compassion. Get a glimpse into the illustrious mentor’s life trough this extract:

 

“ I must have been ten or twelve years old when I watched Denis Compton and Vinoo Mankad playing at the Cricket Club of India in a Ranji final. By 1947–48, I was training at the New Hind Club nets and became a member of the Dadar Union Sporting Club at Matunga. I was given a two-year playing membership by the P.J. Hindu Gymkhana in Mumbai. I was a left-arm slow-spin bowler, and I used to bowl the chinaman as a regular part of my armoury. It was a big occasion for me when, one day, I saw all the Indian players playing at the adjoining Matunga Gymkhana ground, including the great Vijay Merchant. Watching me bowl, Merchant called me over for a chat. However, I was so awestruck that I couldn’t muster the courage to respond. In retrospect, my love for the game of cricket originated with that encounter!…

I studied at the King George School and was the captain of the junior team there… During this period, I had the advantage of being coached by the great Homi Vajifdar, who was the first Bombay captain. Vajifdar was a big man with powerful wrists…Leading by example, Vajifdar taught us the value of being a good person. He was disciplined, meticulous and had an eye for detail. If you trained with him, your shoes had to be properly polished and your cricket attire had to be perfect. He always said, ‘Whatever you do, you must be the best at it.’

…I joined Dadar Union in 1953, when Madhav Mantri was captain. We never had any meetings but focused on fielding a month before the league. Mantri used to come from work at 6.05 p.m., remove his tie, get into his cricket attire, and we practised like maniacs…‘A family atmosphere. Terrific bowlers, terrific batsmen and even more terrific fielders. We were a great fielding unit. Daya Dudhwadkar, Suresh Tigdi, Avinash Karnik, Ramnath Parkar, with Sunny in the slips and myself…When I saw him for the first time, Sunny was a young boy who would accompany his father to Dadar Union games. Right from that time I could sense how serious he was about batting. He would play on the sidelines, with one of the team members chucking balls at him endlessly. He played with a very straight bat—quite uncommon for a beginner, as your instinct is to put power into the shot with your bottom hand, which then changes the angle of your bat from the vertical to the horizontal…

On all his English tours, though, he invariably excelled. He had an intuitive ability to adjust to the varying conditions of the English atmosphere and pitches. The matchless 221 he scored at the Oval, during the 1979–80 season, in challenging conditions was possibly the pinnacle of his career, though the 101 he made at Old Trafford in typical English conditions probably gave him greater satisfaction. But for all his successes in England, he could never fulfil the ultimate dream that every batsman has—to score a hundred at Lord’s, the Mecca of cricket.”

 

 

Cricket Drona is out now! To read more inspired accounts of how Vasoo Paranjape impacted and changed lives of the most famous cricketers, get your copy here.

Get to Know the Author of Requiem in Raga Janki

An Indian English fiction writer and academic, Neelum Saran Gour is the author of Grey Pigeon And Other Stories,, Winter Companions And Other Stories, Virtual Realities, Sikandar Chowk Park and Song Without End And Other Stories.
Her work has appeared in several anthologies and journals and she has been an active book reviewer for the TLS and The Indian Review of Books. She has also been a humour columnist for the Allahabad page of Hindustan Times for a year.
Her latest book, Requiem in Raga Janki is based on the real-life story of Hindustani singer Janki Bai Ilahabadi.
Here are seven more things you should know about the author!







Requiem in Raga Janki is the beautifully rendered tale of one of India’s unknown gems. For more posts like these, follow us on Facebook!

Meet 5 People from MS Dhoni’s Life

For over a decade, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has captivated the world of cricket and over a billion Indians with his incredible ingenuity as captain, wicketkeeper and batsman.
Bharat Sundaresan tracks down the cricketer’s closest friends in Ranchi and artfully presents the different shades of Dhoni-the Ranchi boy, the fauji, the diplomat, Chennai’s beloved Thala, the wicket keeping Pythagoras-and lays bare the man underneath. He discovers a certain je ne sais quoi about the man who has a magical ability to transform and elevate everything which comes into his orbit-the Dhoni Touch.
Funny, candid, and peppered with delicious anecdotes, The Dhoni Touch reveals an ordinary man living an extraordinary life.
Here are 5 important people from his life:
Seemant Lohani – better known as Chittu, his closest friend

Chittu was perhaps the first-ever witness to the singular traits of Dhoni, whether it was his single-minded seriousness with his task at hand on the badminton court or his immensely practical approach to all facets of life, including exam time. Chittu has also dealt with being a celebrity confidante better than most and while nobody knows Mahi better than Chittu, nobody is more elusive when it comes to talking about Mahi than Chittu.
Keshav Banerjee, Dhoni’s school coach

The hard-nosed, no nonsense sports teacher was single-handedly responsible for transforming a goalkeeper into the foremost wicketkeeper of his generation. Dhoni was by far the most unique ward he came across in his multiple-decade long career and the one who understood his tough love approach to coaching innately. He’ll always remain a very revered figure in the Dhoni journey with the man himself making it a point to pay his guru a visit whenever he can.
Chottu-bhaiya (Paramjit Singh), who was Dhoni’s former clubmate

Dhoni would go on to become a regular feature in the Forbes’ richest sportstars list for years to come and have the biggest brands in the world at his neck and call. He would also boast of a garage filed with the most opulent two-wheel machines the world has seen. But it was Chottu bhaiya who got him his first sponsor and Chottu bhaiya who indulged his passion for bikes by lending his own RX 100 over two decades ago.
Col. Shankar, a good friend of Mahi’s

The Colonel has played a significant role in enabling Dhoni to indulge in his Fauji passions, be it competing with him in shooting ranges around the country or helping him soak in a little of the Fauji lifestyle. Over the years, the two have also developed a friendship that goes beyond army matters, and the Colonel perhaps understands the Dhoni enigma better than most and has come the closest to unraveling the Dhoni code.
VB Chandrasekhar: former India opener and national selector

Chandrasekhar had a hand in two of the most significant moments in Dhoni’s cricketing career. He was one of the national selectors who backed him the most while Dhoni was still making his way into the team. It was Chandrasekhar again who first pushed Dhoni’s case with N Srinivasan to get him to Chennai Super Kings at the advent of the IPL, before he played a Dhoni-esque game to win him over during the auction to change the demographics of sporting fandom in the country.

5 Ruskin Bond Quotes we’ve Written in Our Journal

Remember the last time you stood and quietly watched the rain patter on the empty streets? Remember the last time you watched a snail lazily drag itself across the grass?
It is hard to find time to appreciate the smaller things in life, and that is precisely where Ruskin Bond’s book Words From the Hills helps us. In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, the words from this specially designed journal come as a breath of fresh air, bringing with them the philosophy and legacy of the wonderful author.
Here are 5 quotes from Ruskin Bond we all must have thought of writing in our journals.





Which quote are you going to write in your journal?

Celebrating Cinema: 5 Reasons You Should Know About this Pioneer of New Wave

Adoor Gopalakrishnan, a name synonymous with revolutionising not just Malayalam cinema, but Indian cinema, was born in Kerala’s Travancore on July 3, 1941. Gopalakrishnan is a Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan awardee, a Dadasaheb Phalke recipient, 16 times winner of the National Award, 17 times winner of the Kerala State Film Awards, a recipient of Legion of Honour by the French government, and many more.
Here are five more things to learn about the contributions made by this pioneer of New Wave to cinema:
Adoor Gopalakrishnan is an alumnus of the Pune Film Institute (now known as the Film and Television Institute of India). He applied for the ‘screenplay writing and direction’ course in the year 1962.
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The filmmaker’s growing passion for cinema urged him to start a film society. In the year 1966, the fifth ‘All India Writers’ Conference’ held in Kerala’s Alwaye gave him the perfect opportunity to establish a film society.
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Koodiyattam is the oldest living theatre in the world (2000 years old). Gopalakrishnan fought hard to gain access to the inner sanctums of the koothambalam or the premises of Koodiyattam’s performance to ultimately make a three-hour long documentary on this art form.
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Adoor Gopalakrishnan has experimented with sound and silence in his films in ways that were unthinkable. Gopalakrishnan writes a separate script for sound, he would record natural sounds from different sources, like the train tracks, chatter of young college goers, the pouring rain to be used in his films.
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Adoor Gopalakrishnan is known to include animals and birds as characters in his films. Our friends from the wild are not the ones to be directed and this, Gopalakrishnan treats, as a creative challenge. In his film Elippathayam, rats play an important and parallel role to the protagonist and his family.
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Fascinated by the facts? Read more about the legend of cinema in Gautaman Bhaskaran’s Adoor Gopalakrishnan: A Life in Cinema.