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National Award-winning filmmaker Vinod Kapri’s new documentary “1232 Kms” is garnering praise for the depth with which it chronicles the ordeal of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown last year.
Opening up on why he decided to make a film on this subject, Kapri told IANS: “When the lockdown was announced on March 24, 2020, from the very next day, I saw a lot of news on the channels and social media that people were migrating back to their villages by walking thousands of kilometers and cycling thousands of miles. I was very curious to understand what their journey was like, what kind of struggles they were facing, how they are getting food, and where they are going.”
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Journalist-turned-filmmaker Kapri joined a group of migrant workers as they pedaled for several hours every day across highways, villages, and towns, traveling on bicycles from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, to Saharsa, Bihar, a distance of 1232 kilometers.
“I was in touch with a group of seven laborers for two weeks. I was providing them with ration and convincing them not to move because lockdown had just been announced and (there was) the risk of the corona. I was able to hold them for two weeks. But then, without informing me, they left and after reaching about 60 kilometers from Ghaziabad, I got to know that they had left. Then, I decided I should go to them and I googled the distance from Ghaziabad to Saharsa. It was 1232 kilometers. Initially, I was scared but then I thought if the migrants can take a decision to cycle, then why couldn’t I go out and just document the journey?” Kapil said.
Sharing his experience and the ordeal of migrants during the journey, the filmmaker revealed: “These laborers went through so many difficulties during the journey. There were instances when villagers didn’t let them drink water, thinking that they may be carrying the virus since they are coming from Delhi. Dhabas that were open wouldn’t let them stay. They met helpful people, too, as a cycle guy helped them after getting to know they had been traveling for so many days, without even taking any money from them.”
“While capturing their journey, we were clear and careful about the safety rules for the seven migrant laborers and ourselves, too, because we were not sure about where we would get food or a place to relax and take some rest, and the biggest risk was the coronavirus,” he added.
Produced and directed by Vinod Kapri, “1232 Kms” is executive produced by Guneet Monga and Smriti Mundhra. The songs have been penned by legendary lyricist Gulzar and composed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The documentary film streams on Disney+ Hotstar VIP. (IANS/KB)
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in an email to his company's employees asked them to work over the weekend on SpaceX's Raptor engine as the company faces "genuine risk of bankruptcy" unless it speeds up the production.
In the email, Musk revealed that the company faces a "genuine risk of bankruptcy" if production does not increase to support a high flight rate of the company's new Starship rocket next year, reports The Verge.
"Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it had seemed a few weeks ago," Musk reportedly wrote.
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"As we have dug into the issues following the exiting of prior senior management, they have unfortunately turned out to be far more severe than was reported. There is no way to sugarcoat this."
Raptor's engine is a critical component of Starship, which SpaceX hopes will one-day transport cargo and people to the moon and Mars.
Musk also revealed that instead of taking the weekend off as planned, he was going to be working on the Raptor all night and over the weekend. He then asked employees without "critical family matters" to work too, saying it was time for all hands on deck.
"The consequences for SpaceX if we can't get enough reliable Raptors made is that we then can't fly Starship, which means we then can't fly Starlink Satellite V2 (Falcon has neither the volume *nor* the mass to orbit needed for satellite V2). Satellite V1 by itself is financially weak, whereas V2 is strong," Musk added.
SpaceX has raised billions in funding over the past several yearsUnsplash
Also read: Elon musk down as a Chairman of Tesla
Earlier this month Musk had said he expected Starship to be launched into orbit for the first time as early as January, providing regulatory approvals were given by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). SpaceX has raised billions in funding over the past several years, both for Starship and its satellite internet project Starlink.
Keywords: Elon Musk, SpaceX, Bankrupt, Starship
Kolkata, the city of Joy, loves celebrating all the different kinds of festivities. No matter what religious or cultural group one may belong to, Christmas is also not left out. Park Street, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Bow Barracks are the main places to visit during this festival. The festivities last for a few days, starting from the Christmas eve till the 2nd of the January.
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St. Paul’s Cathedral is the place where people gather to listen to the midnight mass. Located on the Cathedral Road, it has other heritage monuments like the Victoria Memorial in the near vicinity. The cornerstone of the cathedral was laid in 1839, and the building was completed in 1847. It is said to be the largest church in Kolkata and the first Anglican cathedral in Asia. On the Christmas eve, people go there, wait for midnight mass and also, sing Christmas Carols.
Also Read : Christmas baking starts now
St. Paul's Cathedral in Kolkata | Wikipedia
People flock to Park Street to see the lighting arrangements and Christmas decorations. Many hawkers and vendors are present there to sell toys, balloons and other objects. Some come with their family, some with their friends and they all walk through the streets viewing the decorations, taking pictures, eating food and buying things.
People walking through the carnival at Park Street | Wikipedia
Throughout the city, there is a massive sale of cakes, not the usual birthday cakes but fruit cake, plum cakes, walnut cakes etc. Not just cake shops, but even grocery stores can be seen selling cakes, such is the craze. Earlier very few brands use to make and sell cakes, but now, owing to the huge demand, numerous new brands have come up with their own line of various cakes.
‘Nahoum and Sons’ have massive queues outside their shop during the Christmas and New Year time, as people gather there to buy them. They are one of the best in the business. This nearly 120-year-old Jewish bakery is located in New Market and they also sell a lot of other old-school treats which are gradually becoming obsolete.
The other bakery which is very famous for its cake is the Saldanha Bakery. They operate out of their house. Mona Saldanha, took over her husband’s family business in the 1960s, revamped it and since then they never had to look back. The cheese puff, walnut cake and coconut macaroon sold there are very popular.
The Flurys shop at Park Street is probably their busiest outlet during the Christmas season. They also sell a huge variety of cakes and other goodies.
The best thing about Kolkata is that you can see people from different religions and different walks of lives celebrating the festival in whatever way they can. Everyone gets to have their own share of happiness.
The footfall at the carnival and the number of people out in the streets during the festivities was lesser last year, owing to the pandemic.
(Keywords : Christmas, Carnival, Kolkata, December, Winter, Choir, Cathedral, Church, Cake)
An international team of astronomers has identified 366 new exoplanets, using data from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope's K2 mission.
The findings, described in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, showed a planetary system that comprises a star and at least two gas giant planets, each roughly the size of Saturn and located unusually close to one another.
The discovery is significant because it's rare to find gas giants -- like Saturn in the solar system -- as close to their host star as they were in this case.
The researchers cannot yet explain why it occurred there, but it makes the finding especially useful because it could help scientists form a more accurate understanding of the parameters for how planets and planetary systems develop.
"The discovery of each new world provides a unique glimpse into the physics that play a role in planet formation," said lead author Jon Zink, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar.
The findings could be a significant step toward helping astronomers understand which types of stars are most likely to have planets orbiting them and what that indicates about the building blocks needed for successful planet formation, acoording to the study.
"We need to look at a wide range of stars, not just ones like our sun, to understand that," Zink said.
The term "exoplanets" is used to describe planets outside of the solar system. The number of exoplanets that have been identified by astronomers numbers fewer than 5,000 in all, so the identification of hundreds of new ones is a significant advance.
Kepler's original mission came to an unexpected end in 2013 when a mechanical failure left the spacecraft unable to precisely point at the patch of sky it had been observing for years.
But astronomers repurposed the telescope for a new mission known as K2, whose objective is to identify exoplanets near distant stars. Data from K2 is helping scientists understand how stars' location in the galaxy influences what kind of planets are able to form around them. (IANS/JB)