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Ace photographer Raghu Rai was only five years into the profession when the Bangladesh liberation struggle erupted in March 1971. He was dispatched post-haste by The Statesman newspaper to record the exodus of refugees, they would eventually number some 10 million, as they streamed into West Bengal and neighboring states to escape the atrocities being committed by the Pakistani Army.
He could immediately empathize with the refugees being a child of Partition himself when he and his family were uprooted from their Jhang hometown in what is now Pakistan. Rai worked at a furious pace sending back images after images which the newspaper faithfully carried, making him a household name in India and unfolding the horrors that marked the liberation struggle. But then, tragically, his entire body of negatives was lost, till they were recovered, quite by accident.
The outcome is “Bangladesh: The Price of Freedom”, published by Niyogi Books to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of Bangladesh as an independent nation. “I got involved myself in the sense that in 1947 when my family and I were uprooted from Pakistan, we came to India as refugees. Because the newspaper needs one or two pictures every day, my own environment, and being a refugee myself, I got involved in watching the plight of the refugees from East Bengal and their sufferings. And then these negatives were lost. They were put into some big bundle somewhere and never saw the light of the day,” Rai told IANS in an interview.
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“Then suddenly one day my assistant, who was scanning my important photos, said, Here is this packet of photos of Bangladesh refugees’. And I said, Really?’ This was after 40 long years that we discovered it.
“Meanwhile, you know, many photographers from around the world had come and taken pictures of Bangladesh refugees, like Don McCullin from the Sunday Times had done a feature, a very good feature. And I thought, What a great job he’s done!’ And then he had done a quick book and I said, Very good!’ And I had forgotten about my own work. And then I see my work after 40 long years, and I said, My God, it has its own intensity and message that needs to be shared. So then, I spoke to the relevant people and that’s how the book came about,” Rai explained.
What were his thoughts as he once again studied the images and made the selections for the book?
“You see, there were two really important points, one is that in 1971, 72, I was just five years old as a photographer. I was madly, deeply involved. But I was so young as a photographer and then I had seen the work of Don McCullin and, you know, he was 11 years senior to me. And then I discovered my photos and compared my work. And I thought, Let me put it out in the public domain because I have done it.
“So I discovered that even if I was only five years old as a photographer, the intensity and the suffering that I had managed to cover was so powerful and moving that I thought I must share this,” Rai elaborated.
And what an era this recreates! The stories are perhaps not unknown but are retold by a master storyteller the refugee camps, the exodus, the never-ending journey, a whirlwind of poignant, tormented history. And finally, a new nation, a new tomorrow. “Bangladesh: The Price Of Freedom” contains never-before-seen photographs which comprise a significant body of work documenting a turning point in the history of South Asia ï¿½ by someone who was there from the beginning to the end.
In the final denouement, after General Sam Manekshaw, ordered the army to move into action on December 4, 1971, Rai drove with the first column that headed the attack, towards Khulna through Jessore Road, which the Pakistan Army had already abandoned. “The first 40/45 kilometers were easy but then, as we got closer to the Khulna sector, we were greeted by artillery fire with airburst ï¿½ their artillery was locating the enemy with the help of informers on wireless and closing in on targets. We were located and ambushed the airburst caused casualties, as we were moving in the open,” Rai writes in the book.
“I photographed some of the wounded soldiers being taken away. But the question was how many such photographs could I possibly take? The next set of victims could be us. The major who was conducting me wanted me to move to safety. We ran for half a kilometer in a safe direction.
I saw a chai shop and relieved, ordered tea and biscuits, pleased that I had a close encounter of an actual war, had taken action photos and escaped! I was stretching myself on the road when one bullet flew past me. The major shouted for me to lie down. I did ï¿½ and another bullet went past me. I crawled back to the shop and was told by the shopkeeper that the Pakistan Army was on the other side of the rail track, just half a kilometer away.
“This was probably the shortest war fought and won by any nation. This was also due to the fact that the local population in Bangladesh had become hostile to the Pakistan Army. The Indian Air Force did the rest. By day 12 of the war, on December 16, 1971, 93,000 Pakistani soldiers had surrendered to the Indian Army.
“I flew into Dhaka in an army helicopter to witness scenes of jubilation and humiliation ï¿½ of victory and surrender. Indira Gandhi’s bold decision, General Manekshaw’s masterstroke, and General Jacob’s strategic planning had brought an end to nine nightmarish months of brutality and terror rapes, torture and dehumanization of Bangladeshis ï¿½ the price they had to pay for their freedom,” Rai writes. This book is one of four being published by Niyogi Books to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bangladesh war.
“The liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 was like a geopolitical earthquake. No sensitive person in publishing or in any other profession could avoid its huge ramifications. As a publisher, we thought of documenting this event through different books because of an inner urge. There was no grandstanding or expectation of a future commemorative event. This is how the books Bangladesh: The Price of Freedom’, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’ and Blossoms in the Graveyard’ came about,” Trisha De Niyogi, COO and Director, Niyogi Books, told IANS.
“Simultaneously we are bringing out a unique book to commemorate the celebration. This is a first-hand report by a rookie Calcutta journalist from The Statesman, who accompanied the Mukti Bahini fighters at different places in the then East-Bengal. Later on, he also trailed the Indian Army when the latter got seriously involved in the liberation War. The book is titled as Bangladesh Liberation War: Report from Ground Year’ and the writer is Manas Ghosh,” Niyogi added. (IANS/SP)
By Prerana Agarwal Saxena
In all the wedding excitement, it's easy to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment. While everyone is making their big fat Indian wedding dreams come true, they are also adding their carbon footprint and undue energy consumption. Modern couples are now looking for ways to have a wedding with a sustainably conscious mindset. It's become about incorporating less waste, locally sourced and seasonal food, natural materials over the use of plastic. Mindful wedding planning and decor includes the use of recycled paper and goods along with eco-friendly venue needs. Check out this quick guide to achieve a sustainably conscious wedding without compromising on luxury:
Choose locally sourced material to uplift artisans
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. With the use of locally sourced materials and local artisans coming into play, the wedding instantly becomes sustainable. Include the work of local vendors ensure minimal packaging requirements, thus saving on unnecessary plastic and lamination. It also decreases the need for transporting elements from other cities and hence lowers the carbon footprint. For instance, at one of our weddings, we made use of sand art for a setup in Jodhpur. This helped promote local work while also being environmentally friendly with zero wastage of other materials. In another instance from Rajasthan, the traditional glass-blown technique was used to build decor items while giving a cultural touch to the destination wedding.
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. | Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash
Say yes to recycling
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. It can be a small step such as making a conscious switch from plastic water bottles to copper jugs or glass bottles. Also use artificial floral decor thus minimising the wastage produced from real flowers. This recyclable decor is then donated to various NGOs, further ensuring sustainable use of resources. Such steps, however small they might be, keep the environment free from the release of any additional carbon footprint.
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. | Photo by Ravin Rau on Unsplash
Go for zero-waste wedding decor
Make use of fabric as it enhances the elegance of the wedding while being sustainable. Include vibrant colours apt to the theme of the wedding and bring in bright sprightliness with breathable fabrics. Ensure to include LED lights for lighting. They can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. They also help conserve energy and bring in soulful energy for nighttime decor. Choose virtual invitations, keeping up with the digital times. Make a conscious choice of plated dinner menus rather than a buffet as they allow less wastage of food and ensure enough food for guests in attendance.
LEDs can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Include Sustainable Gifting
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. Offering a plant or a succulent, is a great idea. One can also gift recycled organic fabrics and cutlery or zero-waste kitchen and bathroom essentials to use in their homes as some distinct gifting options.
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. | Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
Acting in the best interest of the environment and the society, Theme Weavers Designs has started a social cause, Weaving Hope, where a part of their earnings along with food and decor are donated to social communities. Royal Rendezvous, is an event started by us to put India on the Global Map, inviting international wedding planners to India to experience the rich culture and heritage, also employing and displaying the work of local artisans to this international audience.
By applying the values of sustainability, you can reduce the energy consumed and the resources used as much as possible. Go ahead and have a luxurious zero-waste wedding and navigate into the world of green living! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Luxurious , Gift, sustainable, wedding favours, gifts that grow. Gifting, recycling, locally sourced, material. zero-waste
The Tamil Nadu health department has administered 16,43,879 lakh doses of vaccine in the second mega vaccination camp organised by it. The state public health department in a statement on Sunday said that this has taken the total vaccination to one crore since the beginning of September till date. The vaccination was administered from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. and the compiled data was made available late at night.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. Regular vaccination will resume after the vaccine supplies arrive from New Delhi, officials said. The state health department had expected to vaccinate 15 lakh people on Sunday in 18,824 centres spread across primary health centres, anganwadis, noon meal centres, government hospitals, schools and some auditoriums.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. | Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash
Of the 16,43,879 people who were inoculated, a total of 10,85,097 received their first dose and 5,58,782 their second dose of vaccine, the statement said, A total of 9,66,568 people in the age group of 18-44 were vaccinated on Sunday and vaccines were administered on 5,02,578 people aged between 45- 59 in the mega vaccine camps.
State health minister Ma Subramanian, who inaugurated the vaccination at Pollachi, also visited the centres in six districts -- Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Dharmapuri and Salem. The state government, according to the health minister, is to receive the next allotment of vaccines on September 21. Minister while speaking to IANS said, "We will be receiving the next allotment of vaccines on September 21 itself and we will resume vaccinations immediately. The state has already touched one crore vaccine-mark in the month of September till date." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: COVID, vaccine, vaccination camp, Tamil Nadu, India, vaccinated, mega camp
Festivals are just around the corner and while you brainstorm about OOTDs (outfit of the day), don't forget the right makeup. Hanisha Kapoor, COO, ArchiesBeauty.com shares makeup trends experimented by these Bollywood divas throughout 2021 for inspiration. While some stuck to the classics, others mixed it up... take a look:
The Classic Red Lip
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. The right way to achieve this celebrity look is to focus on accentuating your lips and keeping the rest of the face minimal. Give your lips a good scrub to plump them, moisturize and follow it up with a red lip liner to define the shape of your lips. Now go on with the perfect shade of red and finish your look with a slick of eyeliner, minimal concealer, and foundation.
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. | Photo by Ina Garbé on Unsplash
No Makeup Look
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look. This natural beauty does a wonderful job of achieving the minimal soft look by softly cover any dark spots or blemishes and highlighting features she's most proud of. To achieve this start with concealer and use small dots to brighten your darker areas like under eye, corner of the nose or upper lip, and any visible spots, and set it up with loose powder. Apply a soft pink lipstick, light blush, and mascara.
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look | Wikimedia Commons
This look shouts pink. When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. Everyone should try a rosy look once in a while. As we are focusing on only one shade, this look is pretty easy to achieve. Bring out your favourite pink lipstick, favourite pink blush, and a matching shade of eye shadow. Start with the base - concealer, and foundation and set it up with loose powder. Follow it up with eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Remember to draw a line by not using any pink mascara, eyeliner, or a bold shade of lipstick, as this is meant to be soft on the eyes.
When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. | Wikimedia Commons
Glass Skin Makeup
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. This look is slightly complex with an equal focus on skin before makeup, so slather on those moisturizing serums and creams to prep your skin first. Start with a highlighting primer, keep your foundation and concealer minimal to avoid looking cakey. Follow it up with soft blush & nude lips and lots and lots of highlighter. Use the highlighter on the main points of your face, like upper cheekbones, the centre of the forehead, the tip of the nose, cupid bone, and chin. If you are feeling a bit extra, don't hesitate to put some on your shoulders and collar bones. This celebrity makeup look makes your skin glow without the need for a spotlight.
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. | Photo by 邱 严 on Unsplash
Pop It Up
Put a zing to your party look with the pop of funky colour. This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. This works with your eye makeup while keeping the rest of the face minimal. Start with the base - concealer, apply a bit extra on your eyelids to make the colour pop. Don't mind going the extra mile and colour blocking your eyes with complementary colours on eyelids and under the eye. Apply nude lipstick and a soft blush to balance your look.
This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. | Pixabay
(Article originally published by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Celebrity, makeup, Deepika, Jhanavi, Korean, Red Lipstick, Glass Makeup, Pop makeup