Naipaul’s Half Life

first_imgV.S. Naipaul, the 77-year-old Nobel Prize winning author, is mistakenly listed as dead in court filings in the trial of two Chicago men accused of plotting to attack employees of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which stirred worldwide rage for publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammed. A footnote in the filing on the sworn testimony of FBI Agent Lorenzo Benedict mentions “the late V.S Naipaul, a Nobel prize winning author,” in a passing reference to his wife, who happens to be the sister of a Pakistani general killed by Islamic militants last year.Naipaul is author of A House for Mr Biswas, India: A Million Mutinees Now, Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted People and Half A Life. Related Itemslast_img

Henri Cartier-Bresson’s India in Full Frame

first_imgIn January 1948 Henri Cartier-Bresson, the famed photojournalist, was on an assignment in India to cover Mahatma Gandhi’s hunger strike to stop the violence between Hindus and Muslims that had erupted following the partition of India less than six months earlier. Cartier-Bresson did photograph Gandhi breaking his fast, but he didn’t have the slightest idea of what was soon to follow. In less than twenty minutes after he last photographed him, Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu militant.Cartier-Bresson’s brief interaction with Gandhi and the tragic turn of events that followed led to some of the most poignant and lasting images of the final hours of Gandhi’s life and the collective pain of a grieving nation. These images are part of a retrospective of 69 of Cartier-Bresson’s best works on India taken over four decades at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.The retrospective at Rubin is organized around three themes: the great migration that followed India’s partition, Gandhi’s death and the nation’s mourning and the waning Indian royalty. Interspersed are real life images of ordinary Indians from all walks of life. Altogether the exhibit offers a masterful kaleidoscope of a society in transition with all its contrasts and contradictions.Friday Prayer, Mahdum Shah Ziarat Mosque, Srinagar, Kashmir, 1948. Photo: © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum PhotosCartier-Bresson’s pictures of fleeing refugees from both India and Pakistan could easily be mistaken for that of migrants fleeing present-day conflict zones in various parts of the world. His photos of tents housing 300,000 refugees in Kurukshetra outside Delhi, or that of a train overflowing with Lahore-bound refugees resonate with the universal plight of the uprooted. As India and Pakistan celebrated their 70th birthdays in August, these pictures serve as a vivid reminder of the staggering cost of partitioning India along religious lines. When the dust finally settled, up to 17 million people were displaced and 1 million killed in sectarian violence.But Cartier-Bresson had also witnessed how Europe emerged from the ashes of two world wars. His images of the dispossessed are also laced with hope. His shot of refugees participating in a bhangra dance (a folk dance popular in northern India) at the Kurukshetra camp to overcome boredom and ennui is a celebration of human spirit and resiliency against unimaginable tragedy.The pictures of migration are followed by those of Gandhi’s death and the subsequent outpouring of national grief. The shock and despair of a new nation are captured in the ashen face of Gandhi’s secretary framed against the flames of his funeral pyre, in Prime Minister Nehru’s announcement of Gandhi’s death, in the throngs of mourners trying to get a last glimpse of their deceased leader and in the scattering of his ashes in the Ganges.But it’s in the pictures of ordinary scenes and daily lives of Indians that one gets a sense of the pulse of perennial India. The picture of a street photographer taking a nap while his camera sits atop its stand forlornly at a distance has a time-stands-still quality about it that defies all norms of movement and motion and time and space that we associate with modern life. In the picture, the street photographer’s camera becomes the silent witness to the stillness around instead of documenting it.One of the most telling pictures is that of several Kashmiri Muslim women offering their prayers facing the rising sun, with raised hands and exposed faces. The photo taken from behind these women fully respects their privacy, yet has a profoundly empowering quality. It seems to capture and celebrate a rare moment when these women are willingly expressing their freedom of how and where to pray.One photo that I was particularly intrigued by is that of Nehru with the Mountbattens on the steps of the Viceroy’s House taken shortly after the transfer of power in 1948. In the picture, Nehru, generally a Harrow and Cambridge educated stoic figure, seems to let himself loose on a banter or a joke with Edwina Mountbatten, with her husband Lord Mountbatten looking the other way. It’s the genius of Cartier-Bresson that in a split second he was able to capture the special chemistry between Edwina and Nehru decades before it was confirmed by the Mountbattens’ own daughter Pamela in a memoir. Nehru’s love letters lay beside Edwina’s bed when she died unexpectedly in Hong Kong in 1960.Cartier-Bresson’s photos of Indian royalty are equally introspective. There is the picture of food being distributed to the poor during Maharaja of Baroda’s birthday projecting benevolent royalty. Yet, on the same occasion, there is also picture of the Maharaja’s wife checking against a mirror how the necklace studded with diamonds once belonging to Napoleon looked on her. Cartier-Bresson was keenly aware that in democratic India the days of royalty were numbered. One could view his image of the Maharani with her necklace as the last display of vanity against the forces of inevitable change.One unmistakable power of Cartier-Bresson’s India pictures is that they seem to speak to you. Perhaps their realism is heightened by their black and white composition without any cropping, as well as the absence of any use of flash or artificial light for special effects. The Leica camera Cartier-Bresson used to take his India pictures is on display at the exhibit as well.It’s Cartier-Bresson’s uncompromising style of projecting the integrity of his images that directly influenced the works of many Indian photographers and most significantly that of India’s iconic film maker Satyajit Ray. Ray openly acknowledged his indebtedness to Cartier-Bresson. He used Cartier Bresson’s pictures to instruct his cameraman to bring about similar application of natural light and editing on the camera itself (versus the darkroom) in the making of the world renownedHenri Cartier-Bresson Photo: Magnum Photos.Cartier-Bresson’s India images invariably invite comparison with those of Margaret Bourke-White, the famous American photographer who also left behind indelible images of Gandhi (including the famous one of Gandhi at the spinning wheel) and searing pictures of dislocation and carnage that accompanied the partitioning of India. She was memorialized in the film Gandhi in which Candice Bergen played her role as Gandhi’s photographer.But although they dealt with similar themes, Cartier-Bresson and Magaret Bourke-White also differed significantly in their philosophical and technical approaches to photography. Bourke-White had a no-holds-barred approach to photography that didn’t shy away from capturing stunning but disturbing images of corpses lying with open eyes, dead bodies lying pile high, or the mournful expression of a famine-starved peasant woman. In contrast, Cartier-Bresson’s images display significant subtlety and sensitivity to their subject matters.These differences in dealing with subject matters played out immediately after Gandhi’s assassination. Upon hearing that Gandhi had been shot fatally, both Cartier-Bresson and Bourke-White raced to the Birla House where Gandhi’s body laid among mourners. As she arrived on the scene, Bourke-White took shots of lifeless Gandhi in repose with a flash. Gandhi’s friends and family members perceived this as intrusive and Bourke-White was denied permission to film. This provided Cartier-Bresson, who only used natural light, with a rite of passage to capture a “decisive moment” in the new nation’s history. He went on to sensitively film Gandhi’s body lying covered in flowers and the gathering of mourners in the nearby courtyard. Everything was captured from a distance in keeping with the mournful state of the occasion. This sensitivity to the surrounding actually helped to heighten the somberness of the atmosphere.Overall what makes Cartier-Bresson’s photos so authentic and compelling is that they are infused with the sensibility that an honest portrayal of a society can only be done from inside out, not outside in.“Once I have arrived in a new country, I feel almost like settling down there so as to live on proper terms with the country,” he was reported to have said. His works are indeed a great expression of Cartier-Bresson’s coming to “proper terms” with India. Related Itemslast_img read more

Indians May Soon Have Their Own Dress Size Chart

first_imgIndia may soon stop borrowing dress size maps from the United States or European countries. A project under of Ministry of Textiles, which will be implemented by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, is planning to scan and measure 25,000 men and women from age group 15-65 years across six major cities to map a size chart that reflects Indian body structure, the Times of India reported.Titled Size India, the project with funding of Rs 30 crore, is expected to be completed by 2021. The project will make use of whole body scanners which would capture 3D body maps, building a database of measurements. The scan will tap and use over 120 measurements to form size chart that accurately represents Indian body sizes.“The idea is to bring some discipline to the sizing chart, which at present is very fluid,” Sunil Sethi, a member of the NIFT board of governors, told TOI.“The methodology will ensure that ISO standards are used for this scientific study so that the data is acceptable internationally,” Noopur Anand, a professor at NIFT Delhi and one of the members of the team spearheading the project, told the publication.The size chart will also be beneficial to the apparel industry, especially e-commerce sites. Return of garments is at 20-40 percent in the national capital region, with poor fit being attributed as a reason. “A standardized size chart for Indian apparel will be of tremendous value, as it will lead to a reduction of returns,” said Rajesh Shah, the chairman of the NIFT board.The entire scanning process will take around 15 minutes per scan. NIFT will set up full body scanners in Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Shillong. “We will try to tap the maximum diversity of ethnicity so that the data is truly representative. The six cities have been chosen based on location,” said Sarada Muraleedharan, the director general of NIFT.The survey for mapping will collate basic data like gender, locality and age. The first phase of the survey will look into a size chart for 15-65 years of age, while the second phase will map sizes for children, as well as for footwear, etc.NIFT is planning to rope in industry players such as e-commerce giants and others for the survey. “It could be in the form of funding for the project, mobilization of people, making venues available or simply perhaps offering gift coupons to encourage people to participate in the survey,” Muraleedharan was quoted as saying.The data will be treated as property of Ministry of Textiles. “It will need to be updated after 10 years, though the next survey can be done at a much smaller level” Anand added, according to the report. Related ItemsFashionstylelast_img read more

Smog in Delhi Alarms Diplomatic Community

first_imgThe toxic smog and the high pollution level of Delhi has alarmed the diplomatic community residing in the national capital. Envoys of various countries urged External Affairs Ministry officials recently to request the government to address the concerns.“The diplomatic community had asked me to share some of our concerns with officials of the Ministry of External Affairs, about air pollution in New Delhi, and how it is affecting the inflow of tourism from some of our countries and the daily operations of some of the Missions,” Frank Has Dannenberg Castellanos, the ambassador of Dominican Republic to India, who has been the dean of diplomatic corps of around 150 foreign missions in Delhi for the last two years, said, according to reports.The diplomat noted that this is an issue that affects not just the diplomat community but the residents of the capital city as well. “We all breathe the same air,” he said.Chief of Protocol Sanjay Verma of Ministry of External Affairs took note of the concerns. “The unusual deterioration in the quality of air is a product of multiple causes, most of which are indeed domestic, but have also been aggravated by a dust storm from a distant geography,” he said, alluding to the dust storm that hit Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and was said to have contributed to the worsening of the Delhi smog.He also assured Castellanos that several new pro-active actions are being considered by the government to tackle the problem.While air purifiers have been a fixture at the offices of the diplomats, many of them have also started installing it at home. “Not every embassy can afford to buy purifiers. And how many can one buy? With quality of life going down with air quality, this will become a hardship posting,” a diplomat told the New Indian Express.Thai ambassador Chutintorn Gongsakdi had, in fact, written to his headquarters, asking for Delhi to be designated as a hardship posting, which is a diplomat category for sensitive and conflict-ridden areas. Many countries pay hardship allowance to officials serving in such countries. “The efforts of embassies are to seek additional measures from our own governments,” the ambassador, the New Indian Express reported.The envoy of Costa Rica to India, Mariela Cruz Alvarez, relocated to Bengaluru to recuperate from respiratory illness caused by the toxic Delhi air. Her blog post about her relocation, which later went viral, said, “We need to wake up fast. India I love you and it hurts me to see you drowning in loads of plastic and toxic air.”Verma, meanwhile, said that the conditions affecting India are historically not unique to the country alone. “These challenges are by-products of rapid economic growth and development, and are known to have affected several countries. We are committed to dealing with this issue, including learning from best practices emerging from countries that have traversed this experience,” he added. Related ItemsDelhiPollutionSmoglast_img read more

Murder and Mourning in Baton Rouge

first_imgIn the laundromat of Lousiana State University’s Edward Gay Apartments complex in Baton Rouge is a small stool on which sits a simple clay pot. The sole flower in the potted plant has already wilted. Tacked to the wall above it is a rudimentary paper sign pasted over aluminum foil, a valiant effort no doubt to create the effect of a plaque – of sorts.It reads simply, “In Memory of: Kiran and Komma.”The modest memorial is the sole visible reminder of a gruesome double homicide in the building that had attracted national media attention just one month earlier. Police transfer bodies of the two graduate students killed on the Louisiana State university campus to a coroner’s van in Baton Rouge, La., on Dec.14, 2007.On Dec. 13, 2007, the last day of final exams, two suspects broke into the family housing complex, Edward Gay Apartments on campus and brutally murdered two doctoral students from Andhra Pradesh, Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam, sending shockwaves through a college unaccustomed to such violence and unleashing a flurry of national and international media attention. The Indian Student Association (ISA), a small social and cultural organization devoted to helping new Indian students adjust, was caught in the glare as reporters, television crews and community leaders turned to the group to which both victims belonged and began tapping them for information.“It was a madhouse,” Dheeraj Reddy, who serves as incoming student coordinator of the LSU-ISA admits. “We were right in the middle of exams when it happened.” He frowns. “I’d seen Kiran a few days ago and suddenly the phone’s ringing off the hook with strangers asking for a comment, personal stories about them.” He scratches the stubble covering his face. “It felt like an invasion and we weren’t ready for it. I don’t think anyone ever is.”Komma was strangled with a computer cable. Both men were shot in the head. But where the crime took place shocked nearly as much as its brutality. A college is thought to be a safe zone, a haven of sorts from the troubles beyond its boundaries. But LSU is surrounded by one of the worst neighborhoods in Baton Rouge, an area still rocked by the after effects of Hurricane Katrina, grappling with not only an influx of the homeless and unemployed, but the accompanying crime that follows disasters. Burglaries on campus quadrupled between 2004 and 2006. This modest memorial is the sole visible reminder of a gruesome double homicide in the building that had attracted national and international media attention only a month earlier.On that December night, the outside world invaded the campus, shattering its illusions of safety. As Reddy’s roommate, Ravi Kavalipati, drives us around the college in his aging red hatchback, pointing out Komma and Allam’s favorite haunts, it’s hard not to notice the divisions left in the crime’s wake.School shootings are an unpleasant fact of life in this country. America is often at its graceful best, however, in its response to such tragedies. Pres. Geroge Bush and his wife Laura mourned with students at a convocation ceremony at Virginia Tech University the day after the massacre of 30 students in April there. The LSU killings occurred just as most students were preparing to head home for their winter break; the memorial services organized by the ISA were relatively low key. But in the glare of the media attention there were many promises: of providing support to the victims’ families; of apprehending the killers; of improving campus security.But as the campus stirred back to life at the start of the winter term in January after the public attention had dimmed, it is striking just how easily LSU has shrugged off the tragedy that seemed so riveting in its immediate aftermath.And perhaps nothing symbolized that calousness and indifference as much as that crude memorial tucked inside a laundromat.The investigation into the double homicide seems to have hit a dead end. And students remain wary about campus security. The university had announced a Komma and Allam Support Fund soon after the tragedy, but Little India could not prod any information from its public affairs office on just how much had been raised or disbursed from that fund.“You used to feel safe on campus,” says Dheeraj Reddy, a LSU student and incoming student coordinator of the ISA. We’re sitting on the steps of the Computer Science building, a popular hangout for Indians. “You can’t say that now.”The New Yorker in me was struck by the insularity pervasive among the different campus groups. The steps of the LSU Student Union, where Komma used to pull all-nighters, are teeming with West coast girls appraising outsiders with the cutting looks of the inner circle. The students smoking outside Tiger Stadium, where Allam, a huge basketball fan, would go to catch games, are divided by race and ethnicity. When I draw attention to this, Kavalipati is surprisingly matter-of-fact.“This is the South,” he says, as Reddy nods knowingly. “There’s always going to be that separation. It’s a fact of life. You can’t get hung up on it.” Police question residents at the Edward Gay Apartment complex following the double homicides. Photo: Trey Pentecost/The Daily RevilleProgress in desegregating the two major colleges in Baton Rouge, the predominantly white LSU and mainly black Southern University, has been slow. And while voters seem to have bridged the racial divide, electing an Indian American, Bobby Jindal, to the post of governor, the social segregation on the LSU campus seems a jarring throwback.“Because there are fewer Indians, finding each other means more,” Kavalipati says. “They’re the only ones who get what you’re going through, how scary it can be to come here alone.”Kavalipati moved here from India a year and a half ago with no family, only a rudimentary grasp of English, and little experience in navigating the currents of American society. It was either sink-or-swim, and he recalls his panic. That’s where the ISA came in. “The seniors helped me with everything from finding a place to stay to the best places for biryani. I’m from Hyderabad, so that was important,” he says with a smile.LSU is host to 332 Indian students, almost a quarter of all foreign students on campus and by far the largest number from any single country. Kavalipati speaks fondly of Komma’s kindness toward him during the first days. “He’d been here for nearly five years at that point, so he knew what I was going through,” he says. “He introduced me to his friends and offered to help in any way he could.”Komma was his inspiration when the time came to select new members of the organizing committee, to help out new incoming students. Kavalipati is the current president of the organization.As I enter the modest apartment he shares with Reddy, it’s hard not to remember my own college digs. Similarities abound: a messy jumble of second-hand furniture, stereo equipment and humming laptops. But what quickly becomes apparent in talking to them is the difference in their mentality as foreign students. Allam Rajaiah, center, father of Kiran Kumar Allam, grieves at his relative’s house in Hyderabad.As a second-generation Indian, the dislocation of college life for me was always tempered by the certainty of better things to come. I knew this world and carried the sense of entitlement that comes with growing up in its embrace. And though my room was scarcely bigger than their cramped space and my bank account laughably bare, that confidence was the most valuable currency I possessed. It was an open ticket, allowing me to form friendships with Americans through pop culture references and a common background, enabling me to transcend racial barriers that might have otherwise hemmed me in. I began to believe, as many children of immigrants growing up in the West do, that this meant I was one of them. That when disaster struck, they’d treat me as one of their own.Like Kavalipati, neither Komma nor Allam had access to that ticket, so, at least in the beginning, it made them vulnerable. But, as I listen to the way they finish each other’s sentences and move through their daily routines with the ease of a married couple, I realize something else: When you do find someone like you, that bond becomes precious – a lifeline to the world outside. By all accounts, Komma and Allam shared that bond. “They’d found that balance between the old life and this one,” says Reddy. “They loved living in the United States, but held onto Indian values. Kiran was a quiet guy, it might take you months to get to know him, but once you became his friend, you were in for life. Whatever you needed, any trouble you were in, you could call him up and he’d drop everything to be there. That’s rare.”K. Srinivas Reddy, Komma’s brother, in a telephone conversation from Kadpa district in Andhra Pradesh, recalls: “It wasn’t easy for him. But he never once complained. For him it was a life’s chance, for the whole family. Problems could never change that.”“As Indians you have to establish yourself as superior to the locals,” says Dr. S. Sitharama Iyengar, chairman of the Computer Sciences Department and faculty advisor to the ISA. “It’s the only way, and that means tremendous sacrifice. I don’t look at it as a double standard. It’s just the way the system works.” Iyengar, who is a nationally recognized scholar in his field, has been through the ringer himself. His goals today revolve not around the hard business of survival, but the management of the department, the Wireless Sensor Networks Laboratory and the Robotics Research Laboratory. And while he is all too eager to speak of his present research, the topic of the shootings hits a little too close to home.No immigrant ever leaves the struggling years completely behind, and what happened is a stark reminder that the price can sometimes be too high to bear. “It was a heinous act,” he says, still shaken. “For decent boys to meet a tragedy like this…it should never have occurred.” Police released sketches of two suspects in the murders. But the investigation has hit a dead end. Quickly distancing himself from its reminders, he points out how remote the apartments are from the main buildings and how inexpensive. It is the first hint of a pervasive trend on campus to push thoughts of these two men – these aberrations in the illusion of a wonderful campus life – out of mind. Buzz words abound: Inexpensive area. Unfortunate incident. Doing all that’s possible. The unstated: we’re doing what’s necessary, so stop looking.“They were living in the worst part of campus,” Kavalipati says plainly. “Should they be blamed for it? Back home, if you saw someone working at a restaurant, you’d lift your nose up, thinking it’s the best he could do. But it’s different here.”Outside the shadows are lengthening, and the lights of oncoming cars pulse against the windows. “Here you do whatever you have to, to get by. And you respect anyone else doing the same.”In the wake of the shootings, the national spotlight was turned on Baton Rouge as people struggled to understand the senseless, and point fingers. The school came under fire after an emergency text-messaging system failed, at least partially, to deliver news of the murders to subscribers. University officials blamed the service provider, clearTXT Inc., citing a “registration problem” that they say has since been resolved.“That was really a foolish thing,” admits Kavalipati. “The ISDS Department (Information Systems & Decision Sciences) was testing this service out, and the shooting was the first time they tried it.” The failures underlined just how unprepared the university was to handle the tragedy, a failure that, in the post-Columbine and Virginia Tech age, some critics complain borders on negligence. Missed texts, however, are nothing compared to the flak the school received when the non-existent security measures at the Edward Gay Apartments were exposed.“Most places on campus require I.D. cards just to enter the premises,” says Kavalipati. “90 percent of the residents at Edward Gay have families with kids. Yet they had nothing.”At times, what’s lost in the shuffle to place blame are the victims themselves. Padma Allam, Kiran Allam’s aunt in Karimnagar district, Andhra Pradesh, remembers her nephew as a devoted family man. “I’d never seen someone more in love with [the idea of] being a father,” she says. “He’d come to visit me, and if there were children around, he was with them, playing. When he found out he was going to be a father…any hardship he had was fine. It was for the child now.”It’s dark by the time I leave Kavalipati and Reddy’s apartment. Perhaps a part of me was delaying on purpose, putting off the trip I knew I had to make to the site of the murders. What remained of the levity in the room has been sucked out in tandem with the fading sunlight. S. Sitharama Iyengar, chairman of the Computer Sciences Department: For decent boys to meet a tragedy like this it should never have occurred.What’s left is a claustrophobic waiting, a feeling of not knowing when the other shoe will drop. The fact that it’s happened, and could well recur, is the unspoken elephant in the room, yet neither Kavalipati nor Reddy are cowed by the fear. When I tell them where I’m going, Kavalipati offers to give me a ride. When I say that I’d like to make the walk that both Kiran and Komma had made countless times before, he nods. “Keep your head down,” he says. “And be careful.”It takes 20 minutes to walk from their apartment, located close to the university’s core, to Edward Gay, and the difference is shocking. You get what you pay for at LSU, and those unable to afford better get the dregs. A gravel road without streetlights leads to the two residential buildings. No gate. No visible cameras. No security. It is, for all intents and purposes, a housing project. As I reach the first set of apartments, I keep expecting to run into the new safety measures touted by the school.In an interview earlier, Detective David Heroman of the LSU Police Department, cited the presence of a community police officer at the apartments between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. I visited well after 7 p.m. and saw no one except a resident fixing his car in the parking lot. Heroman also said the college was in the process of installing closed-circuit cameras, but even after I had spent nearly an hour roaming the area, going up to apartment doors and snapping pictures, no one questioned my presence. Except for a few seemingly new signs advertising the fact that regular LSU-PD patrols monitor the area, there is no indication that anything untoward had taken place there nor any suggestion of any security measures to prevent it from happening again.The place feels abandoned, but it isn’t. In the pitch-black of the parking lot, where the suspects supposedly sat in the cabin of an Oldsmobile Aero sizing up their potential victims, resident Omer Soysal was unloading groceries from the trunk of his car. Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam.“Hold-ups and robberies happen here all the time,” he says. “International students can’t carry guns and the criminals know that.”Campus security is an issue all universities keep under tight wraps. Few students, least of all those moving from other countries, check publicly available campus crime statistics. In 2006, the most current data on file, LSU reported 53 burglaries in its residence halls, a fivefold increase since 2004. In 2006, there were two aggravated assaults and one arson in the residence halls.When I bring up the subject of Komma and Allam, Soysal’s frustration only intensifies. “I don’t think anyone here could have imagined people getting killed. But look around.” He gestures to the glowing strip of Highland Road, a main circuit cable feeding the worst of the city directly into campus.“We have nothing against that. Swapna [Kiran’s wife] was going to have a baby. Does this look like a good place to raise one? I’d tell anyone with a family to find another place to live.” He pulls out the last of his bags and slams the trunk. “When you don’t have much you take what you can get. But we deserve better than this.”Detective Heroman declined comment on the lack of cameras and patrols at the apartments, one of only two on campus for graduate family housing. Like most officials involved in the case, he’s a master at staying on message: “There is a steady progress in the investigation that is being made at this time.”Despite a coordinated effort between the LSU Police, Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana State Police and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office, new leads seem to have dried up. On Jan 3, a local resident Dallas Joseph Staden was charged with criminal mischief after police determined that he had supplied them with false information, resulting in thousands of wasted man-hours on the case during a critical period immediately following the shootings.Spokesmen for the various task forces insist that the lapse of time is not all that crucial in a murder investigation. That what is now being rumored to be not two, but possibly four suspects comes with the territory. That a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest by Christmas Day, since downgraded to a paltry $1,000, is enough of an enticement for someone to come forward.*Baton Rouge is settling for different priorities. There are, for instance, the inauguration ceremonies for the would-be savior of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, which cost, according to his press secretary Melissa Sellers, “a few hundred thousand dollars.”In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, repeated calls were placed to the governor-elect by members of the Indian community asking for a thorough probe. Jindal had campaigned vigorously on a platform to crack down on crime, so this incident seemed a perfect opportunity to test his resolve, as well as reassure his constituents, Indian and otherwise, of their safety.  But Jindal said nothing and did nothing, instead stepping up fund-raising efforts for his inauguration celebrations. Finally, after nearly a week of silence, Jindal, whose transition offices are within sight of the Edward Gay Apartments, released a carefully worded statement through his press secretary expressing his condolences and confidence in local law enforcement in bringing the culprits to justice. “He’s cautious,” says Iyengar. “And he has a big hat to wear. I think he believes that if he made too big of a fuss over this, people would think he only cares about Indians.” I ask him if he shares that outlook. “Just as a human being, he had a responsibility to spend some time here, to try and understand what’s been going on. These are the people in his backyard. They deserve attention.”Rajaiah Allam, Kiran’s father, is a man beyond recovery. During a telephone conversation from Karimnagar, he frequently drifts into random topics, as though unable to focus on the subject of his son directly. “You live through your children,” he says. “Any happiness is theirs. And now he’s gone.” There is an agonizing pause on the other end as he tries to catch his breath. “It’s important to me, not to forget.”The day after the murders, the ISA held a small memorial service for Komma and Allam. Attended by over 300 people, it was the start of an ongoing commitment not just on the part of the organization, but the entire campus, to never forget them. Black ribbons, placed on the lapels of jackets and on Facebook profiles, have come to represent solidarity with the families. For a place where divisions run deep, the shootings have become a potent reminder of the larger community at LSU and the urgent need to forge ties to strengthen it. Ravi Kavalipati: “They were living in the worst part of campus. Should they be blamed for it? Here you do whatever you have to get by. And you respect anyone else doing the same.” “We’ve all been affected by this,” says student Shirindi Shetty. “It doesn’t matter whether they were Indians or not. We all lost two members of the school.”For those closest to the men on campus, the hardest part won’t be remembering, but rather, letting go of the “what ifs.”“My friend was going to meet them,” Kavalipati says. “But he was 10 minutes late. By the time he got there…it was already over. And now all he can think about is how, if he had only been on time, they might still be alive.” He shakes his head. “It’s no good to think like that, but what else can you do?”As I walk through the playground for the children living in the Edward Gay Apartments and sift through a pile of cast-off furnishings stacked against a corner of the building, I realize how tempting it would be to imagine a different outcome… and how futile. For even if Kavalipati’s friend had made it, getting them out in time, the suspects would have still been out in the pitch-black of the parking lot, deciding on their next victim. It wouldn’t have mattered whether they were Indian or not, whether their second-generation background gave them the pleasant illusion of greater safety, whether they believed in the American Dream or were simply trying to get by. Someone was going to die.Despite protestations to the contrary, the LSU administration found it acceptable to shuffle foreigners into substandard and unsafe housing, banking on the conviction that they’d not protest. According to LSU housing data, 94% of the residents at the Edward Gay Apartments were foreign students. A month after the murders, almost nothing had been done to make the apartment complex any more secure.“Things have got to change,” says Soysal. “Because it’s just going to get worse.” Louisiana State University graduate students Jiba Ray Achanya, left, and Deepa Pangeni at a memorial service at the LSU Union in Baton Rouge, La.The crime scene ticker tape over the first-floor entrance to Allam’s apartment has been long removed. All evidence of the violence has been swept away. The only sign that two men had a life here, had hopes and dreams for their families, lies in the makeshift memorial in the laundromat.As hard as I might try to imagine that the fact that Komma and Allam were brown foreigners has nothing to do with the indifference I sensed in Baton Rouge, I can’t. As much as I might try to understand the political imperitive that caused Jindal to ignore their plight, I can’t.I suspect that the potted plant in the makeshift memorial too has withered completely by now.*On Jan 30, the LSU Task Force informed Little India that the reward money for information on the muder had been increased back to $5,000, thanks to an anonymous donor.Edward Gay Apartment Complex on a Recent Mid-January NightYou get what you pay for at LSU, and those unable to afford better get the dregs. A gravel road without streetlights leads to the two residential buildings. No gate. No visible cameras. No security. It is, for all intents and purposes, a housing project. As I reach the first set of apartments, I keep expecting to run into the new safety measures touted by the school. In an interview earlier, Detective David Heroman of the LSU Police Department, cited the presence of a community police officer at the apartments between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. I visited well after 7 p.m. and saw no one except a resident fixing his car in the parking lot. Heroman also said the college was in the process of installing closed-circuit cameras, but even after I had spent nearly an hour roaming the area, going up to apartment doors and snapping pictures, no one questioned my presence. Except for a few seemingly new signs advertising the fact that regular LSU-PD patrols monitor the area, there is no indication that anything untoward had taken place there nor any suggestion of any security measures to prevent it from happening again.  An Alarming Trend?The Louisiana State murders are one of several recent heinous acts of violence on American colleges during the past year in which Indian students and teachers have been also been caught up.Duke University, North CarolinaJan 18, 2008 Abhijit MahatoA 29 year-old student at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, Abhijit Mahato, was found shot to death in a pool of his blood in his apartment in Durham, N.C. In a crime with eerie parallels to the LSU murders, the Ivy League college’s students received word of the killing through a series of emergency email messages.A 19-year-old teen Stephen Lavance Oates has been charged with the murder. According to police, Oates killed Mahato with a 9 mm handgun and stole $200, a wallet and a cellphone from him. Oates is charged with several robberies dating back to November.Tod Laursen, Mahato’s professor, says: “He always had a smile on his face. He was well read in poetry and literature, and loved conversing with others about what they were reading.”His mother, who lives in Jharkhand, recalls the attention he gave her during his final months. “I was ill, so he used to call more often to check on my health. No matter how busy he was with exams, he took the time.”Virginia Polytechnic Institute, VirginiaApril 16, 2007In what is the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, South Korean English student Seung-Hui Cho entered West Ambler Johnston Hall at Viriginia Polytechnic Institute in Va., a little after 7 a.m. and killed two students using a .22 caliber Walther P22 and 9mm Glock 19 handguns. Two hours later, after dropping by a post office to mail a media package explaining his rationale behind the rampage to NBC News, he entered Norris Hall and chained the main entrance doors shut. He then stormed classrooms and started firing randomly at defenseless students and teachers, before finally turning a gun on himself. The second attack lasted 9 minutes, killing 30 and wounding 17. Among those dead were 26-year-old Business Design student Minal Panchal and engineering professor G.V. Loganathan, who died trying to shield his pupils from the bullets. Seung-Hui Cho, the mentally disturbed mass murderer at Virginia Tech University“Minal was a quiet girl, but always thinking of others,” says Ganpath Bhivandkar, who has known the Panchal family for over 20 years. “She always had a charming, ‘Hello Uncle’ whenever we bumped into each other,” he says.Loganathan’s wife, Usha Loganathan, recalls: “He cared about his students as if they were his own children, fretting about their grades, making sure they understood the concepts. To the last minute, he loved teaching.”A former student Paul Bartholomew says: “Dr. Loganathan was one of the people I looked up to as a model for developing a better version of myself. He was not only a brilliant man, but an incredibly wise and gentle one.”The massacre prompted changes in Virginia laws that had allowed Cho, an individual adjudicated as mentally unsound, to procure handguns. It also led to the passage of the first major federal gun control measure in13 years, strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which was signed into law by Pres Bush on Jan 5, 2008. Related Itemslast_img read more

Govt Mulls Mandatory Orientation For Overseas Job Seekers

first_imgThe Union government is planning to make the pre-departure orientation program mandatory for overseas job seekers, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said. The move is aimed at ensuring the safety of Indians in foreign countries.“We are in the process of implementing a mandatory pre-departure orientation program as many Indians land in trouble in foreign countries owing to unawareness of the local laws,” Singh said on the sidelines of an outreach program in Thiruvananthapuram on Sept. 14.The one-day outreach program, organized in association with the Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (NORKA), brought up various issues on migration, steps to curb illegal migration and issues about passports. Senior officials of the External Affairs ministry, NORKA, police department, and representatives of recruiting agencies were present at the event. NORKA is an organization that already conducts these orientation programs for Keralites.Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the outreach program, and emphasized the need for a mechanism to offer assistance to Indians caught in legal issues. He added that the state was trying to make an arrangement with lawyers practicing in foreign countries so they can extend legal assistance to Keralites facing issues abroad.He asked the Union government to make sure that at least one officer who understood and could speak Malayalam was posted at all foreign missions.Singh told the media that a 24-hour resource center with officials capable of handling 16 different languages is already present in Dubai. The Indian embassy in the UAE also rolled out a process this month to provide legal and financial help to people under the ambit of the Indian Community Welfare Fund. He added that similar facilities would be started in all Indian missions abroad.The Ministry of External Affairs is also negotiating with many countries to set minimum wages for jobs in various sectors. Recruitments through the eMigrate portal was made mandatory so that the Union government could have a registry of overseas Indians.Addressing the initial reluctance of foreign employers for the eMigrate system, he said the hesitancy was fading out as 1.15 lakh people were already registered on it. Kerala has the maximum number of overseas migrants in healthcare sector while Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have the most blue collar workers.Singh also talked of the need of Central and state governments to work together. “Over the past three years, over 85,000 expatriate Indians have been successfully evacuated from war zones or from troubled areas,” he said, PTI reported. “All embassies and consulates have been instructed to ensure the safety of citizens, though there may be delays if legal issues are involved. In such cases, we need to work in close coordination with the state governments.” Related ItemsDubai IndianseMIgrateLittle IndiaMEA orientationNORKANRIs GulfUAE Indian embassyUAE orientationVK Singh overseas Indianslast_img read more

The Reel Life of Mr and Mrs Sambavam

first_imgYou can never really take the Kerala out of a Keralite, they say, no matter where they go. It is evident in the Malayalam web-series, Singappooram (Celebration in Singapore), in which the protagonist Sooraj asks for the delicacy pisang goreng at a shop because it reminds him of the deep-fried snack payamboli of Kerala. The entertaining web-series, made by Singapore-based technology professionals Sooraj Jayaraman and Ann Sooraj, details the life and nostalgia of Malayali expatriates in the country.Drawing heavily from their own experiences, the couple plays the protagonists, named Sooraj and Chinchumol.It didn’t quite start out that way. The first two episodes of Singappooram, of around two minutes each, were largely about the different stages of married life. Speaking to Little India, Jayaraman elaborates: “These two videos were very easy for a married couple to relate to and were widely accepted. After that we decided to take it forward, include more characters and develop a storyline that can be accepted by everyone without any age bar.”The gears of story being pushed up a notch are visible from the third episode, Thepu Patti, which clocked a little over eight minutes, and received over 33,000 views. The episode introduces Chinchumol’s cousin Ikru Mon who comes with an enormous bag full of goodies from Kerala, and Tittu, the family man who lives alone. With the fourth episode, Thallu Jeevitham, there was no looking back.Singappooram had arrived. There are running jokes that go through the entire series — Ikru Mon’s quest for chicken biryani, for example. In one of the numerous fourth wall-breaking moments in the web-series, Ikru Mon laments: “Does that mean I won’t get chicken biryani in this episode also?”There are times when Jayaraman addresses the cameraman and asks him to film in slow motion — the web-series is peppered with clever movie referenced jokes, and colorful recurring characters like Sooraj’s ex Mary Kutty, and true to Singapore’s multi-cultural vibe, the Japanese Mokoto.There have been nine episodes so far in the series, which has been uploaded on their YouTube channel, We are a Sambavam.The Deepika Padukone ConnectionThe channel was started in April 2015 with a spoof of Deepika Padukone’s “My Choice” video. After the spoof, the couple did a dubsmash compilation with popular Malayalam comedy dialogues of the ’80s, which got them some fame as the Sambavam couple. The two then did a video titled Premam Hangover, which was about the after-effects of the popular Malayalam movie, Premam. The video went viral instantaneously.“People started liking our chemistry and the simplistic comedy we had in our videos,” Jayaraman says.Juggling Work and Video ProductionSingappooram was conceived next. While most of the storylines are threads from the experiences in their or their friends’ lives, some of it is spontaneous. “When some thread strikes us, we discuss how we both feel about it. Within 30 minutes to 1 hour we decide whether to go ahead or not,” reveals Jayaraman, talking about how he writes the rough script during his lunch breaks, transit, etc. Ann helps to coordinate with the cast and crew. “I’ve developed a semi-automated spreadsheet application for this, which really helps in speeding up things and monitor the progress,” says Jayaraman.Since Jayaraman works as a director of a software company and Ann is an electronics engineer, they usually do the pre-production work during lunch breaks or after office hours and keep shooting for the weekends. “Once we had to shoot one of our episodes from midnight to 6am for four consecutive days,” Jayaraman recalls. “It was very tiring but I am thankful that everybody kept the same spirit and made it happen. Doing comedy when you are worn out is difficult, but we try to cheer each other up and try to keep it as fun as possible.”Being working professionals is not the only challenge they face. Neither of them is a trained filmmaker. The wide acceptance of their craft, however, prompted Jayaraman to learn video editing, color grading, and other technical aspects. “Internet was my only guru,” he says.Art Mirrors LifeJayaraman and Ann are as livewire off-screen as they are on-screen. In fact, an exaggerated version of their off-screen dynamic plays out in Singappooram. Before work took over, Jayaraman was an active blogger (I am a Sambavam, which later got changed to We are a Sambavam after their marriage), who was fascinated with how comedians could change the mood of people in an instant. Ann, on the other hand, is interested in singing, dancing and acting.The rewards of the web-series are high. They get recognized when they are in India and abroad, a feat that they say humbles them. Last year, people came up to them at Singapore airport when they went to drop their parents and handed them compliments in front of their family. They are not resting on their laurels though, says Jayaraman. “The ultimate goal is to make it to the big screen one day.” Related ItemsLittle IndiaMalayalam dubsmashMalayalam web seriesMalayali community SingaporeMr and Mrs SambavamMy wife my only choiceNRISambavamSingappooramSooraj and Annlast_img read more

An Artist’s Day Out

first_imgArtist Vilas Tonape’s journey, from starting out as a student at the JJ School of Art in Mumbai to imparting lessons in portrait painting to former U.S. President George W. Bush, has been dotted with excitement.“I was humbled by the experience,” the 49-year-old artist, who now chairs the department of art at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, tells Little India.Tonape moved to the United Sates in 1994 to pursue higher education and studied art at the Texas Christian University. “I was born and brought up in Mumbai and lived in a chawl. The area where I grew up was quite infamous for its goons,” he says. He came to the United States with a scholarship and there was no looking back. Tonape has been in the country for the last 24 years and America is as much his home as India is.Artists in India are aplenty and it is a respected profession, Tonape says. In the United States, however, he often encounters expressions of astonishment when he introduces himself as an artist. “It is not the Americans, even Indians in America are thrown off a bit when I say that I am an artist,” he says, adding that India’s cultures and traditions are steeped in art and Indian art is recognized across the globe. “I cannot comprehend why I get such surprising looks from the U.S. Indian community, let alone the Americans,” he says.Looking back at one of the most memorable days of his life, Tonape says that it was his professor in college, Jim Woodson, who recommended him to Bush, who has taken to painting after retirement.“I received a phone call from Prof. Woodson in October last year, asking me if I would be interested in teaching the former president and soon after he handed the phone to him. All I could say was that I would be humbled by the opportunity,” reminisces Tonape.Vilas Tonape with George W. BushHis lesson was scheduled on March 14 this year. It was an experience that has transformed his life, says Tonape. “He was a great student, observing each detail minutely and has the skills that are equivalent to a post-graduate student. The highlight of the day was former first lady Laura Bush volunteering to model for a portrait,” he recalls, adding that the warmth and affability of his student made the day special.For a moment he felt that the way the events had unfolded, it was a page from a bestseller. “The former president has an incredibly warm personality and we ended up cracking jokes while the session was underway,” he recounts.Tonape, who comes down to India every summer, wants to share his experience with his students in India.His experience of teaching students in India and those in United States varies. Indian students have this inherent quality of obeying their teachers. “American students are very interactive and ask questions, while most Indian students are reticent and hesitate to clarify doubts,” he says.Tonape’s art is a reflection of how he views life. It is full of colors, and rooted in visual rhythms of gesture. “Painting to me is music for the eyes, conceived without conscious articulations, sentiments or statement,” he says. “They reflect my response to nature. They are conceived by an abstract, intangible sensing of nature that erupts into spontaneous imagery.”For now, he wants to meet and teach more students in both countries, and is ardently waiting to spend the summer in India. Related ItemsArtistGeorge W BushIndian Americanlast_img read more

Wizards All-Star guard John Wall to have left knee surgery

first_imgGlobe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) moves past Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, right, to shoot during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)WASHINGTON — Washington Wizards point guard John Wall will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Wednesday and could miss much of the rest of the regular season.The Wizards announced Tuesday that Wall would have the operation in Cleveland and that a timeline for his return would be determined afterward.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa A person with direct knowledge of the injury said Wall could miss six to eight weeks. That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not release any estimate of the length of Wall’s absence. Washington’s last regular-season game is April 11.“It just proves that he wasn’t the John that we know,” backup guard Tomas Satoransky said. “His knee was bothering him all season long.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThis is the latest knee problem for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft out of Kentucky. Wall had surgery on both of his knees before last season.Coach Scott Brooks delivered Tuesday’s news to other players at a shootaround ahead of Washington’s night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Washington went into Tuesday 6-6 without Wall this season.The timing of the surgery gives Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld a chance to find a new point guard before the NBA trading deadline, which is Feb. 8.Brooks said he didn’t think Wall’s injury will substantially alter the team’s approach to the deadline.“This is a minor setback. And he will be back — I don’t know when,” Brooks said. “We’re not going to change things up just ’cause of this.”Reserves Satoransky and Tim Frazier figure to get additional playing time.“We cannot panic about it,” Satoransky said about losing Wall.“John is the main guy, so it’s always tough to cover your main guy when he goes down,” said Satoransky, who is averaging five points and 2.6 assists. “It’s very challenging.”Wall sat out Washington’s most recent game, at Atlanta on Saturday, because of a recurrence of soreness and swelling in his left knee. Earlier issues led him to sit out nine games in November and December, and attempts to help him included draining the knee and getting platelet-rich plasma injections.“It just kept becoming a problem,” Brooks said.Led by its backcourt of Wall and Bradley Beal, a first-time All-Star pick this season, Washington reached the Eastern Conference semifinals each of the past two years before being eliminated from the playoffs. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stingcenter_img Pistons land Griffin from Clippers as LA sheds another star NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Now they’ll have to try to go what could be a long stretch without their on-court leader.“By the time he comes back, we’ll be in the playoff push,” forward Markieff Morris said, “or just getting ready for the playoffs.” Read Next “It’s definitely not an easy day,” Brooks said at his pregame session with the media. “Over the last week, we saw he was dragging a little bit. … Decided going forward that it would be best for him to get a little cleanout.”Wall is second on the Wizards in scoring, averaging 19.4 points, and is second in the league with 9.3 assists per game. In July, he agreed to a $170 million, four-year contract extension that starts next season.He was selected last week for his fifth NBA All-Star game but now is expected to miss that event in Los Angeles next month.The Wizards entered Tuesday tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 27-22 record.“We don’t have the cushion that John can take over a game,” Brooks said, “or John can create a shot (for himself) or … for the other guys.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

Phenomenon called Shammi Kapoor refuses to die down

first_imgYears of hard struggle, patient perseverance and even hard-hitting brickbats created the “Shammi Kapoor phenomenon” which is remembered by his fans even after he bade adieu to the silver screen.Being son of Prithviraj Kapoor and brother of “showman” Raj Kapoor was not easy to carve a niche for Shammi.When he embarked upon his acting career, he had to live up to a lot of expectations.Shammi was aware that comparisons will be drawn because his brother was already an established superstar and an acclaimed filmmaker. He knew that if he needed to make a mark, he should be as different from his brother as possible.However, making his debut in 1953, Shammi’s initial film portrayed him as nothing more than a mere shadow of his brother Raj.Films like Rail Ka Dibba, Chor Bazaar, Shama Parvana, Hum Sab Chor Hain, Memsaheb and Miss Coca Cola had Shammi in a completely different get-up, especially his hairdo, his moustache, and even his on-screen antics resembled to those of Raj Kapoor to a considerable extent.It was only in 1957, with Nasir Hussain’s Tumsa Nahin Dekha, that the actor finally tasted success.He sported a new look sans whiskers on the lines of the contemporary Hollywood greats like Elvis Presley and James Dean; and a star was born.Shammi often discussed with his friends on how best to present himself, especially when his flicks bombed at the box office one after another.Bunny Ruben came up with the title rebel star, struggling to make a space against the reigning trio of Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar.advertisementTumsa Nahin Dekha was also Nasir Hussain’s directorial debut and its success prompted the Nasir-Shammi pair to follow up with several blockbusters.One of the main highlights of the film was its foot-tapping music, and boisterous, smooth and easy dancing style of Shammi that gained immense popularity and literally became his trademark over the years.Incidentally, Shammi was happily married to well known actress Geeta Bali even before he became a star. And his marriage didn’t affect his popularity even a bit.But unfortunately for him, Geeta Bali passed away too soon due to illness.In 1959, the Nasir-Shammi combination delivered yet another superhit, Dil Deke Dekho which was also the launching pad for Asha Parekh. Shammi never looked back ever since.He finally hit big time in 1961 with the all-time classic, one of his most popular films till date – Junglee – directed by Subodh Mukherjee.The film also attains significance for giving him the image of ‘The Yahoo Yuppie’. Junglee regarded as a ‘cult classic’ was incidentally one of the first romantic films to be made in colour.Shammi’s persona as a fun-loving, boisterous, romantic and rebellious hero worked very well and contributed to the success of many of his movies including China Town, Dil Tera Deewana and Professor.Aware of the kind of hysteria he generated among the youth, most of his films were hero-centric and youth-oriented.Filmmakers would cast new heroine opposite him to add freshness to the film. Some of the prominent ladies who made their debuts against Shammi later went on to become stars like Asha Parekh, Saira Banu and Sharmila Tagore.The Nasir-Shammi combination struck gold at the box-office with Teesri Manzil, one of the most unforgettable films of Shammi’s career.Shammi sashayed his way into young hearts aided by melodious, memorable music composed by RD Burman in the murder mystery directed by Vijay Anand.It was also one of Shammi’s biggest hits. Despite his increasing weight, An Evening In Paris, Brahmachari and Tumse Achha Kaun Hai did reasonably well.Salubrious music of these films had as much to contribute to their success. One of Shammi’s last films as a hero was Ramesh Sippy’s Andaz, where he was paired opposite Hema Malini.Despite his successes, critics of that time would dismiss his films as lightweight tales and criticise him for his acting. But he replied to criticism with sensitive performances in Brahmachari and highly charged Teesri Manzil.He donned the hat of a director, making Manoranjan in 1974, a film based on Irma La Douce. Two years later, he made Bandalbaaz. However, both the films didn’t do well at the box office.Shammi never really bid adieu to the big screen, appearing in films time and again giving an opportunity to the next generation of stars to share screen space with him. He starred with Shah Rukh Khan in Chamatkar (1992) and played Salman Khan’s grandfather in Janam Samjha Karo (1999).His latest onscreen stint was a cameo in grand nephew Ranbir Kapoor’s yet-to-be-released film Rockstar directed by Imtiaz Ali.advertisementHis love for the cyber world was well known. Shammi was the founder and chairman of Internet Users Community of India (IUCI). He also played a major role in setting up internet organizations like the Ethical Hackers Association and maintained a website dedicated to the Kapoor family.-With PTI inputslast_img read more

Vidal not happy with Barca role

first_imgArturo Vidal admitted he is not happy with his limited playing time at Barcelona, though the midfielder insisted he would tell Ernesto Valverde directly if he had a problem with the head coach.Vidal has been in the headlines after reacting angrily to his benching in Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Tottenham in the Champions League last week – the Chile international using social media to voice his frustration.An angry emoji was posted on social media by Vidal – who arrived from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the off-season – following the match at Wembley. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Vidal was also absent from Valverde’s starting XI for Barca’s 1-1 draw away to Valencia in LaLiga on Sunday.Asked about the situation at Camp Nou, the 31-year-old – who is in Miami for Chile’s friendly against Peru on Friday before heading to Queretaro to face Mexico four days later – told reporters: “I am not happy but if I have a problem with the coach I will say it to his face.”How am I going to be happy if I don’t play, and me of all people. I am someone that has always fought, that has been in the best teams in the world, that has won everything and who wants to continue winning at Barcelona.”I am fine physically and happy. In the past few games I have been a little irritated but that’s how it is, we will keep battling, there are a lot of important games ahead and we will see.”Vidal was quizzed specifically on his social media activity after quickly deleting a message, which read, “You don’t need to fight with Judases, they end up hanging themselves.””When I have a problem or I am angry then I go straight to the coach and I speak to him,” he said. “You can have various reasons for doing these things.”It [the Judas message] was nothing to do with anything sporting and I took it down to stop people speculating. There are personal things, jokes which you can put on social media and people take the wrong way.”last_img read more

15 New Jobs in Maternal Newborn Health!

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 15, 2016July 28, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Interested in a position in maternal, newborn or reproductive health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaCommunications Director: Population Services International (PSI); Dar-Es-Salaam, TanzaniaCountry Director – Liberia: Jhpiego; LiberiaQuality Improvement Practitioner: Jacaranda Health; Nairobi, KenyaSenior Technical Advisor – Maternal Health and Family Planning: Jhpiego; MaliAsiaClinical Trainers: EngenderHealth; Bihar, IndiaSenior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (Delivery Efficiency, Mechanisms, & Financing): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; New Delhi, IndiaSenior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (Health Coverage, Quality, & Delivery): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; New Delhi, IndiaEuropeResearch Fellow in Reproductive & Maternal Health: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; London, EnglandNorth AmericaCommunications and Development Manager: Global Health Media; Waitsfield, VTCommunications Coordinator: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C.Communications Specialist: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C.Policy Communications Officer, Advocacy & Public Policy: PATH; Washington, D.C.Program Officer – Zika: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Baltimore, MDSpecialist, Communication and Advocacy, Global Health: Save the Children; Washington, D.C.Technical Writer: Jhpiego; Washington, D.C. Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.Share this:last_img read more

Are We Measuring Correctly? A Way Forward for Improving Maternal and Newborn Health Surveillance in Pakistan

first_imgPosted on February 17, 2017February 22, 2017By: Jasim Anwar, Doctoral Candidate, University of New South Wales, Sydney, AustraliaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Globally, more than half a million women die each year from pregnancy-related causes, and almost all of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Pakistan is among the ten countries that comprised 58% of the global maternal deaths reported in 2013. Many births and deaths are not registered, and information on the cause of death is often unknown or unreliable. The lack of information about maternal mortality at the regional level and among high risk populations makes it difficult to identify target groups, for whom scarce resources should be focused. Similarly, risk factor data such as socioeconomic status and medical conditions are not routinely analyzed and reported. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the mortality rate of various high-risk subgroups within populations and to identify problems in a timely manner.In Pakistan, a significant reduction in maternal mortality from 431 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 178 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015 has been achieved. However, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of 140 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births was not achieved. The recent Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) estimated neonatal mortality at 55 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, accounting for 74% of all infant deaths in Pakistan, while the perinatal mortality rate (death of an infant occurring between the seventh month of pregnancy through the first seven days of life) was estimated at 75 deaths per 1,000 pregnancies.Many births and deaths are not registered, and information on the cause of death is often unknown. As a result, maternal mortality estimates for Pakistan are likely underestimated. In countries where there is no maternal and child health surveillance system, surveys like the PDHS provide useful information to estimate morbidity and mortality, but their reach is limited.In our research project conducted under the University of New South Wales, Sydney, we estimated maternal, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates by complete enumeration of all pregnancies, births, and maternal, perinatal and neonatal deaths in a rural district of Pakistan using an existing information system of the Lady Health Workers (LHWs) Programme. We also extended data collection to areas without existing information systems by recruiting community health workers (CHWs). The LHWs Programme covers about 70% of population in the Pakistan. Data from the LHWs Programme covered 79% of our study population; for the remaining 21%, we recruited CHWs to ensure 100% population coverage and, therefore, a more accurate and timely estimation of maternal, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates—including area-specific causes of maternal and neonatal deaths.A total of 51,690 women between the ages of 18 and 49 years were recruited for the study. Any of these women who became pregnant between 1 June 2015 and 31 May 2016 were registered and followed throughout their pregnancies through 42 days after delivery. Births were counted and maternal, perinatal and neonatal mortality rates calculated. A “short household questionnaire” developed by the National Institute of Population Studies and used in the 2006-2007 PDHS was adapted for a cross-sectional survey of all households in the study area. Data were compared with those from the LHWs Programme and the PDHS 2012-2013. The causes of deaths were ascertained using World Health Organization’s verbal autopsy tool.Our research found variations in maternal, neonatal and perinatal mortality rates estimated using different information sources. Pakistan, as well as many other countries, currently have weak civil registration and vital statistics surveillance, often missing the most vulnerable women and children. Complete enumeration of all pregnancies, births, maternal, perinatal, and neonatal deaths provides the most reliable mortality estimates, thus enabling health authorities to monitor the progress and impact of ongoing public health programs in a timely fashion.—Learn more about Demographic Health Surveys.Read about the Lady Health Workers Programme in Pakistan.Search organizations working on maternal health issues in Pakistan. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

‘Too many robots’ – Gascoigne questions player development

first_imgOnce known for his unpredictable nature on and off the pitch, Paul Gascoigne has voiced his concern that too many players are becoming robots. The former Newcastle and Tottenham midfielder believes the pressures of the modern game are denying players the chance to properly express themselves.While worried about the state of player development, Gascoigne singled out Leicester City midfielder James Maddison and England boss Gareth Southgate for attempting to buck the trend.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “There are too many robots, definitely, because there is so much pressure on players and managers not to lose the game – they’re frightened to lose,” Gascoigne said at Premier Sport’s launch of their Serie A coverage in Glasgow. “I always say keep trying things and, eventually, it will work out. But they’re afraid to try.”I don’t know what these coaches are doing to our young players coming through, I really don’t, because we don’t have many players like Maddison coming through. He wants to be on the ball, he is creative, he takes people on. I’ve seen him do that often for Leicester, when I’ve been watching games.”Gareth Southgate has done a great job, got them playing great football. They just miss that something creative in the middle, the willingness to have a go at someone. Just have a go.”Maddison, 22, is yet to play for the Three Lions but has played several times for England’s U21’s side. After a strong start to his season with the Foxes, Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers has backed the attacking midfielder to be called up in the future. “If you’re looking at talent, players who are hungry and coachable, he fits into that mould,” Rodgers said recently.”England have a lot of very talented players. However, he is one that certainly Gareth will see that in his game and how he has a real talent to succeed.”Many players say they want to be the best they can be but they are last into training and first away. So what they want to be isn’t matched by putting the effort in. He’s a guy that puts the effort in.”Everyone talks about his set pieces but it does not come by accident. Every day he will spend extra time on them, the quality he has on his delivery is sensational. He has confidence as he puts the work in.”  Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Report: Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis

first_imgAntoine Griezmann scored his first Barcelona goals as Ernesto Valverde’s side recorded a thumping 5-2 LaLiga win over Real Betis on Sunday.Griezmann endured a disappointing debut in last weekend’s surprise 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao, but the €120million signing from Atletico Madrid – leading the line in the absence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – announced himself to the Camp Nou faithful in style.Nabil Fekir had given Betis a shock 15th-minute lead before Griezmann turned the game on its head either side of half-time with two fine finishes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Barcelona did not look back after his second, adding further goals through Carles Perez – his first for the club – Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal before Loren Moron’s wonderful late consolation for the visitors.Full-Time: 5-2 #ForcaBarca— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 25, 2019Barca started sharply, going close through Sergi Roberto and Griezmann, but it was the visitors who struck first.The hosts lost possession cheaply in the middle of the pitch, allowing Moron to feed the marauding Fekir. The former Lyon man pulled away from Alba and dispatched a clinical left-footed strike from 16 yards into Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s bottom-left corner.Barca came agonisingly close to restoring parity 10 minutes before the interval when Rafinha’s close-range effort was diverted narrowly past the post by the outstretched leg of Sidnei.They did pull level in the 41st minute, however, Griezmann stretching superbly to meet Roberto’s clipped ball over the top and volley past Dani Martin.Roberto was the provider again for Griezmann’s second in the 50th minute, the France international whipping a glorious left-footed strike past Martin from 18 yards.Barcelona were well and truly in the mood and scored a third six minutes later when Perez skipped past his marker and coolly slotted past a helpless Martin from just inside the area.The Betis goalkeeper picked the ball out his net again just four minutes later, this time from Alba. The left-back surged into the penalty area, collected Sergio Busquets’ pass and slid past the beleaguered Martin.Barca eased off in the final 30 minutes, but they did add a fifth in the 77th minute when substitute Vidal expertly steered into the roof of the net from 10 yards after being picked out by Griezmann.The final goal was one from Betis, with Moron firing a wonderful strike into the top corner from 25 yards in the 79th minute, although it did little to detract from a fine Barca win.What does it mean? Barca’s attack in rude healthIt was not all plain sailing for Barcelona – they were badly exposed at the back for Fekir’s opener – but there was enough on show to suggest the Catalan giants will once again be the side to beat in LaLiga this season. The thought of Messi and Suarez joining Griezmann in attack is sure to give defenders across Spain sleepless nights.Griezmann introduces himself in styleThe World Cup winner took full advantage of Messi and Suarez’s absences, leading the line superbly and opening his account with two typically efficient finishes.2 – @AntoGriezmann is the first Barcelona’s player to score a brace in his first #LaLiga game at Camp Nou in this century. Reference— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 25, 2019Pique endures landmark game to forgetAcross 500 games for Barcelona, Gerard Pique has firmly cemented his place as one of this generation’s finest defenders. Little of his legendary composure was on show against Betis, however, with the 32-year-old looking surprisingly shaky against Fekir and friends.What’s next?Barca will hope to make it back-to-back wins when they visit Osasuna on Saturday, while Betis host Leganes on the same day. read morelast_img read more

‘Impossible’ for Hazard to match Ronaldo at Madrid

first_imgPredrag Mijatovic does not think Eden Hazard is capable of achieving the same levels of performance as Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid.The former Chelsea winger completed a big-money switch to the Bernabeu in the summer and is expected to play a key role for Zinedine Zidane’s side as they look to improve on a disappointing 2018-19 campaign.Replicating Ronaldo’s impact during his time at Madrid will be a tough ask, however, with the Juventus star having scored an incredible 450 goals in 438 games in all competitions for Los Blancos. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Hazard has yet to make his competitive debut for Real after it was announced he had suffered a hamstring injury a day before their Liga opener against Celta Vigo on August 17.Madrid won that game 3-1 despite a red card for Luka Modric, while they followed that up with a 1-1 home draw with Real Valladolid to leave them in third place in the table after two matches.With Goal having learned that Hazard is due to be sidelined for up to four weeks, he is likely to be absent again for the club’s next match against Villarreal before a possible debut after the international break against Levante on September 14.And, while Mijatovic believes that the Belgian is one of the best players in the world, it will be “impossible” for him to have the same impact as Ronaldo in the Spanish capital.He told Goal: “Hazard is a very good player, for sure. He is one of the best players in Europe. But, in my opinion, we can’t expect him to do what Cristiano Ronaldo did. In my opinion, it’s impossible – there is no player who can play like Ronaldo.”The pressure at Madrid is different to the pressure at Chelsea and you need some time to handle that.”Zidane will be hoping that the signing of Hazard in particular will help Madrid improve on their third-place finish from last season – a campaign made worse by the fact that champions Barca were 19 points ahead of them.Madrid have already had a busy summer but, with the transfer window in Spain not closing until September 2, there is also the chance for further additions, with Neymar continuing to be linked with a potential switch to the Bernabeu.And, speaking about his former side’s prospects for the 2019-20 season, Mijatovic added: “It’s still a big team, with big players. The new players who came in, they have to adapt – that’s normal at such a big club.”This season probably won’t be easy – it’s never easy at Madrid with the pressure. But I’m very optimistic that they’ll compete for titles, this won’t change.”last_img read more

‘Rashford isn’t a natural goalscorer’

first_imgMarcus Rashford is not “a natural goalscorer”, says Alan Shearer, with England boss Gareth Southgate considered to have got his assessment of the Manchester United forward as a No.9 “spot on”.The man calling the shots with the Three Lions has suggested that a 21-year-old frontman is more comfortable operating in a wider role than he is down the middle.Such an opinion has been shared by many since Rashford burst onto the scene at Old Trafford as a talented teenager. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Shearer is among those who believe that more would need to be offered by the youngster in order for him to move centrally, with Tottenham striker Harry Kane showing how that position should be played.The ex-England goal-getter told The Sun: “Gareth Southgate’s assessment that Marcus Rashford is not a No. 9 is spot on.“Even this season, when Manchester United’s main striker Romelu Lukaku left, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plays Anthony Martial down the middle.“I get the feeling Marcus feels more confident coming in off the left where he does not have to play a lot with his back to goal.“There is no denying he is an excellent talent but I don’t think he is a natural goalscorer. We sometimes forget he is only 21 so time is still on his side.“But he is very different to Harry Kane, who is determined and ruthless.“I do not think Marcus will be bothered by the England boss’ words.“We have not heard from Marcus where he prefers to play and I have never spoken to him about it. But Gareth probably would not have said that if Marcus had told him he sees himself as a centre-forward.“For England, it is not a problem because he will never play there ahead of Harry, and Marcus looked sharp against Bulgaria from the left.“It is a bigger issue for United because they have taken a huge gamble by not replacing Lukaku.“Going into the season with just Marcus, [Anthony] Martial and Mason Greenwood is very risky and that is a huge burden for those three to carry over a long campaign.”Marcus Rashford England 2018Shearer was alluding to comments made by Southgate in the wake of England’s 4-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria, which saw Kane grab a hat-trick.The Three Lions coach said: “For a long time we have almost wanted Marcus to be that option as a No .9, but I’m still not certain that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work.“Marcus is still relatively young. Over the last 12 to 18 months with us he’s had a big impact on our games with a number of goals and assists. So, I think he’s still a work in progress.“A lot of his development at United was as a ‘wide raider’ and I think he isn’t as strong as Harry Kane with his back to goal holding play up.“If he plays as a No. 9, he will play it differently to Harry, but a lot of his best work is on the left coming in off the line.“I don’t think that’s a problem; we have to be aware that’s probably his profile to get the best out of him, they’re the areas that he needs to get in.”last_img read more

Liverpool edge Salzburg in seven-goal thriller

first_imgMohamed Salah stuck twice as holders Liverpool survived a major Champions League scare to defeat Salzburg 4-3 at Anfield.Sadio Mane, Andrew Robertson and Salah goals had seemingly put Jurgen Klopp’s side in complete control in what was their first European game on home soil since triumphing in last season’s competition. They were left stunned, however, when the visitors responded via goals from Hwang Hee-chan, Takumi Minamino and substitute Erling Haaland. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career But Salah’s sixth goal of the campaign with 21 minutes remaining got the Reds out of jail as they got up and running in Group E.What. A. Game!9′ Mané25′ Robertson36′ Salah39′ Hwang56′ Minamino60′ Haaland69′ Salah#UCL— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 2, 2019The visitors served an early warning via Minamino’s long-range shot, yet by the ninth minute the Reds were ahead after Mane drove towards goal down the left before playing a one-two with Roberto Firmino and slotting inside the right post.Robertson doubled the advantage in the 25th minute, finishing a slick move he had started near the halfway line when he swept home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross from six yards out.Liverpool made it three 11 minutes later and had Salzburg goalkeeper Cican Stankovic to thank as he parried Firmino’s header into Salah’s path and the Egypt forward made no mistake from close range.Salzburg gave themselves some hope six minutes before the break thanks to a superb individual goal from Hwang, who cut inside Virgil van Dijk before firing home.The home side made a complacent start to the second half and they were punished when Minamino sent a rasping volley into the ground and beyond Adrian.That was enough to prompt the introduction of in-form Haaland and he soon had his goal, tapping in from close range for his 15th of the campaign to silence Anfield.But Salah came to the rescue when he latched onto Firmino’s flick-on to have the final say in a pulsating match.What does it mean? Relief for Reds as they escape unscathedThey might have got the result, but Jurgen Klopp will be far from impressed with his team after seeing them surrender a three-goal lead before Salah spared their blushes.After losing to Napoli on matchday one, it has been a somewhat unconvincing start to the defence of their European crown – though it should be said the Reds were mesmeric for much of the opening half here, building on their fine domestic form. Qualifying from this group should still be a formality.Sadio on the Mane against old clubMane took all of nine minutes to remind Salzburg what they are missing with a stunning goal – his seventh of the season in all competitions, The Senegal international scored 31 goals in 59 league starts for the Austrian side, earning himself a Premier League move to Southampton for just £11.8million. The rest is history, of course, but what a bargain fee that looks now.Uncharacteristic lapses from RedsSalzburg might be Europe’s goal kings, having scored 55 times in their 12 previous outings this season, but Liverpool would have expected to keep them at bay at fortress Anfield. The likes of Joe Gomez and Fabinho had nervy moments, while even the usually unflappable Virgil van Dijk was troubled at times.Key Opta facts- Liverpool have won their last 12 home matches in all competitions, their best winning run at Anfield since an 18-game streak between April and November 1985.- Salzburg became only the fourth team to score three goals away at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League (also Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid).- Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Roberto Firmino is the only player to have both scored (14) and assisted (10) at least 10 goals in the Champions League.- Salzburg’s two Champions League matches this season have seen 15 goals (9 scored, 6 conceded), more than any other team.- Andrew Robertson is the first Scotsman to score for Liverpool in European competition since Gary McAllister in the 2001 UEFA Cup final.What’s next?A trip to Genk on October 23 in what is the first of back-to-back Champions League matches against the Belgian side awaits Liverpool, who return to Premier League action against Leicester City on Saturday. Salzburg, meanwhile, host Napoli in matchday three. read morelast_img read more

Slate Denim & Co. Forges Quality Jeans in The Lone Star State

first_imgSlate Denim & Co. is a new Texas-based men’s jeans brand that blends the look of premium fashion denim with good old-fashioned Southern heritage. Or, as it describes itself in its press materials: “Our garments embody the independent, no-frills spirit of the open road, and draw inspiration from the toughness, individuality, and forward-thinking nature that make up the fabric of Texas.”Sold in physical and online stores, as well as its own web shop, Slate is an excellent alternative to other, more expensive products of its ilk. Brandon Van Dyck, Slate’s head of marketing, recently shared the story behind this growing — both in size and popularity — denim name.How new is Slate?Slate is a new brand but we are not a new company. Our parent company is Westmoor Manufacturing, so we’ve been making clothing and apparel for over 70 years, predominantly in the Western apparel space. We own several core Western brands, like Panhandle and Rock & Roll Denim, that are focused on our core Western business. We are based in Texas and are Texas born and bred.Slate was a brainchild of our parent company and an opportunity for us to target and bridge that gap between Western and fashion. All of our products sort of have a Texas flair to them, and that’s our point of differentiation to a certain degree.How big is the collection?The collection is growing every season. We are just launching spring ’18 and we added significantly more styles and more tops. The brand started out with predominantly jeans and we’ve really pushed into more fashionable tops in both short and long sleeve.As we push into spring ’18, we’re really taking advantage of very unique indigo washes. Spring ’18 will be the first time we have worked even closer with Cone Denim. Our challenge was really to get the best indigo washes that they have, and it really played into this “blue icon” semantic. We’ve been able to treat them so they come off as if they have been loved and worn — kind of your “favorite pair of jeans” type of aesthetic from the first time that you put them on. And they are just going to get better after that.We’ll continually roll out new fits, styles, colors, and washes, not only in the denim space for jeans, but also in the tops as well.Who is the Slate Denim customer?He’s the discerning fashion connoisseur. It’s people who really appreciate spending a premium price on their clothes and who appreciate things that are well made, well manufactured, and show an attention to detail, so we think we are comparable in terms of price with a lot of our competitors like Joe’s, AG, and Diesel. We model our brand positioning after a premium denim consumer, but someone who’s looking for something a little bit different. Everything is designed in Texas, so we kind of have this Texas or Southern cool aesthetic to our product and brand. That’s really the differentiation that we are trying to bring to our customer.Where are the products made?Everything is designed in the United States and we do have a capsule collection that is made in Los Angeles that we’re really proud of that is going to be rolling out in spring. We’re based in Forth Worth … and we’ve brought in some of the best designers from New York and LA that are working on our designs. We are really excited about our Made in the USA collection.What is the general price range?Our retail prices for the jeans ranges from about $150 to $210 depending on the style, the wash, and whether or not they are made in LA .Do you have a favorite Slate jeans style?I’m partial to our slim tapered fit. It’s like it was almost exactly tailored to your frame. I’m 6’ 2” and I think the slim tapered really does a good job of showing off the longer silhouette and staying slim, trim, and tailored without being too skinny or too loose. That’s a personal favorite, but obviously we have a slim straight and a skinny fit, so we really cater to different ranges of people and different body types. We try to put together a variety of fits, washes, and finishes that can really cater to anyone’s aesthetic or fit.What would you say is the No. 1 reason a reader of The Manual should check out Slate Denim?If your readers are looking for something that is kind of off the beaten path from the well-established denim brands like Joe’s and AG, I think Slate Denim is a really good fit because it embodies individuality a little bit more, and it has a little bit of our Texas spirit, our Southern flair, and this kind of unique brand identity which is portrayed down to the product in both in our tops and our unique pieces of denim.I think the fashion-conscious consumer is looking for what’s next, and we think we’ve put together some really great products and a really great brand story that is trending to be what’s next. If people are looking for product that other people see and say, “Wow! What is that? What brand are you wearing?” then our name can enter the conversation. A Guide to Raw Denim Jean Selection and Care 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts Raleigh Denim Workshop Makes Jeans with Artistry and Ingenuity in the U.S.A. What Wrangler Is Doing to Make Denim More Sustainable Editors’ Recommendations The Best Black Jeans to Have You Stepping Out in Style last_img read more