Kolkata: The world’s largest Durga idol was unveiled in Deshopriya Park, Kolkata on Friday with former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and Mayor Shovandeb Chattopadhyay gracing the occasion. The puja committee claimed the height of the idol to be 88 ft.
Artist Mintu Pal, the man behind the idol said: “This has been a very exciting challenge for me and to be honest I am extremely happy with how the idol has turned out. I have hardly slept for the last three months, always imagining, working, and visualizing what the idol will look like. At times I doubted whether I would be able to put it all together in time. But today the creation stands in splendor and I am a happy man.”
The Limca Book of Records, India Book of Records, and Asia Book of Records will officially register the name of Deshopriya Park for making the largest Durga idol on Saturday. Mayor Shovondeb Chattopadhyay told NewsGram, “it is a day of prestige for the Bengalis all over the world. I congratulate Deshopriya Park for making Bengal proud in the global arena.”
-by Veturi Srivatsa
New Delhi, October 23, 2017 :So much of cricket is being played around the world — Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20s. The so-called pecking order is going for a toss with each passing series.
India, who got to the No. 1 position in the One-Day Internationals after beating Australia, vacated it for South Africa who went up beating Bangladesh.
Bangladesh are still playing in South Africa, Sri Lanka in the Gulf, home of Pakistan, and New Zealand are in India for a series each in the two shorter formats. Australia are getting ready for the Ashes and the South Africans will be looking forward to settling a score with India.
Every international side is seriously looking to the 2019 World Cup, building their core component, or is it rebuilding with less than two years for the mega event. Some top cricketers around the world are happy playing in the shorter formats to prolong their careers and with an eye on the pay packages.
There was a time good Test cricketers used to move into the One-Day format on the strength of their technique and fitness. Players now look to get into the Test squad on the weight of their performance in the ODIs. Both the players and the selectors are striking a blance between the long duration domestic cricket and the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL).
India are going through a peculiar renaissance of sorts. Players who are thought to be indispensable not long ago are being rested, rotated and dropped whichever way one wants to take the selectors’ and team management’s perspective.
Not one or two players, practically the entire Test attack is banished to domestic cricket. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajay Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav are playing in the ongoing Ranji Trophy just to keep them in the loop. Jadeja is, with a vengeance, scoring hundreds and taking wickets.
The captain and chief coach Ravi Shastri seem to be calling the shots. Virat Kohli, like his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is slowly seeing the back of senior cricketers who he feels are slow coaches in the field, Jadeja being the exception. Both Jadeja and Ashwin had to go out for their inability to take wickets in the middle-overs on a regular basis.
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal are providing the variety in the attack and importantly they are taking wickets bowling at any stage of the match. Axar Patel is doing the backup job. If Ashwin and Jadeja are in consideration for 2019, then they should also get to bowl a lot of overs before their fate is decided once and for all.
If there are four players good enough to open the innings, none of them is being considered for a middle-order position. Actually, Lokesh Rahul is the man the team management wants to keep him in the squad. He also prefers to open the innings and he just couldn’t adjust at No.4 behind Kohli. Hardik Pandya was tried at four and looked good in one match and then he became a floater, pushing Dhoni up and down.
Ajinkya Rahane continues to be a stop-gap opener, getting an opportunity whenever Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan are out through injuries. Strangely, he is not seen as a middle-order bat after an impression was created that he cannot rotate the strike, though it was during his early years in international cricket.
The other middle-order slots are now with Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey, both have good performances and the powers that be think the two should to be nursed, particularly Jadhav who is not only a handy bowler but also a decent wicket-keeper in an emergency. Rahul is another who keen keep wickets. Amazingly, the squad to play New Zealand has a regular wicket-keeper, Dinesh Karthik as a batsman. He is also seen as a contender for the No.4 position.
Kohli continues to be the man to hold both the top order and in the middle, more so while chasing. His record is amazing going into his 200th match on Sunday against New Zealand in Mumbai. He has 12 hundreds more than Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly who had 18 each at the very stage of their careers.
Kohli’s faith in Dhoni as his onfield consultant gives a totally different connotation to captaincy. None of the Fab Four or Five ever looked demonstrably carrying the side as Dhoni looks today. The arrangement is working out perfectly fine. The two are pulling the the youngsters in the side with them to give them confidence.
When will the exciting IPL stars get a chance if others are allowed to consolidate their positions playing at home? When will Rishab Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana or someone like all-rounder Washington Sundar and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj get a look in?
The bench strength looks impressive, but it has to be tested sooner than later.
(Editorial note : This article has been written by Veturi Srivatsa, a senior journalist and was first published at IANS. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Raj Kumar Vaishya was recognised by the Limca Book of Records as the oldest man to apply for a postgraduate degree
He wrote in English and used nearly two dozen sheets
Vaishya has set an example for millions of people who use age as an excuse to give up on their dreams
Patna June 3, 2017: It was a sunny day and Raj Kumar Vaishya had trouble walking. But determined to get a postgraduate degree, the 97-year-old sat for a three-hour MA exam, along with students younger than his grandchildren.
Vaishya, who graduated in 1938, was appearing for his final year MA (economics) examination at Nalanda Open University (NOU), Patna. The exams began on Thursday and will continue till next week.
He wrote in English and used nearly two dozen sheets, an NOU official said.
“He sat for three hours like every other student, most of them younger than his grandchildren. It surprised us all, including other examinees,” the official said.
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Early this year, Vaishya was recognised by the Limca Book of Records as the oldest man to apply for a postgraduate degree.
A rare man, Raj Kumar Vaishya has set an example for millions of people who use age as an excuse to give up on their dreams. “I have decided to prove that even at 97 years, one can fulfil their dreams and achieve anything. I am an example,” Vaishya told IANS here.
Vaishya said: “I am also trying to send a message to the youth that defeat should never be accepted. I want to tell them not to get upset and depressed. ‘Mauka aur awsar har wakt rehta hai, kewal khud pe vishwas hona chahiyea’ (There will be always be opportunities for those who believe in themselves),” Vaishya said in mix of Hindi and Urdu.
He was frank in admitting that it is not easy to follow the routine of a student at his age. “It is really difficult for me to wake up early to prepare for the exams. My first exam was on June 1.”
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Talking about his routine, Vaishya said he has devoted hours every day to studying and worked hard to prepare for the exams. “If I clear MA this year, my long cherished dream will be fulfilled. I hope I pass with a good percentage like in my first year MA exam.”
Vaishya enrolled for the course in 2015. He said he has no plans to pursue a PhD.
NOU officials said the 97-year-old had not requested for any special facility for the exam.
Vaishya, who retired from a private firm in Jharkhand in 1980 after having worked there for over three decades, recalled that he wanted to study economics to understand the problems being facing by the people, and the society as a whole, in the country. “The idea is not to get a degree but to study economics. There are many PhD students who have superfluous knowledge.”
Born on April 1, 1920, in Bareilly, he did his graduation from Agra University in 1938 and got a degree in law in 1940.
“I failed to pursue a postgraduate programme at the time due to family responsibilities,” he said.
A vegetarian and a lover of simple traditional Indian food, Vaishya said he never consumed fried food and always ate in moderation.
“As one approaches old age, one should pick up a hobby. I regularly read books, newspapers, magazines and watch television serials, including popular historical TV serials like Jodhaa Akbar, Razia Sultan and Maharana Pratap,” says Vaishya.
A confident and upbeat Vaishya says he can read without glasses and write in both Hindi and English. “I only take the help of a walker after I fractured my back a few years ago,” he says.
The perennially happy Vaishya lives with his son Santosh Kumar in Rajendra Nagar Colony, a posh society in Patna. He has been living here for almost a decade after his wife died.
Before this, he lived with his wife in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. He shifted to Patna because there was no one to look after him.(IANS)
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