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Each year, thousands of people from the Indian subcontinent head over to Dubai in search of better opportunities and lifestyle. Some lucky ones, like Renjith Somarajan and his friends, actually do strike gold in the 'City of Gold'.
The 37-year-old Somarajan came to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2008 from Kollam district in Kerala. He started his Gulf career as a taxi driver, and after 13 years of hard work, is on the verge of joining a new job in a private company with a monthly salary of 3,500 dirhams (Rs 71,200).
Life has not been a bed of roses for the father of one, but on Saturday, Lady Luck decided to smile on Somarajan and nine of his friends.
The Indian had crowd-funded and brought an Abu Dhabi Big Ticket, a monthly raffle held by Abu Dhabi International Airport, along with nine friends hailing from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
When ticket number 349886, purchased at a price of 500 dirhams (Rs 10,160) was drawn, the group became richer by a whopping 20 million dirhams (Rs 40.64 crore).
Somarajan, who has been purchasing tickets for the past three years, said he heard the announcement live just as he was passing a mosque along with his wife and son.
He told Khaleej Times: "I have worked as a driver with Dubai Taxi and different companies. Last year, I worked as driver-cum-salesman in a company, but it was a difficult life. My wife works at a hotel.
"I used to buy tickets with the aim of improving my quality of life. I always wanted to start my own business. I will consult my family and make a decision (on how to spend the money)."
The amount will be shared, meaning each person gets 2 million dirhams (Rs 4.06 crore).
Not bad for an initial investment of 100 dirhams each (Rs 2,032).
The 3-for-2 Big Ticket offer meant they could purchase three tickets for the 1,000 dirhams pooled.
Somarajan added: "We are a total of 10 people. Others work in the valet parking of a hotel. We took the ticket under the abuy two and get one free' offer. The ticket was taken in my name on June 29.
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"All I can tell others is to continue trying your luck. I was always sure that my lucky day would come. I was always sure the almighty would bless me one day."
Another Indian, Rence Mathew, won the second prize of 3 million dirhams (Rs 6.09 crore) with ticket No: 355820. (IANS/AD)
The new variant of the coronavirus Omicron is a variant of "concern" not "despair," Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said, adding that the country's health system is prepared for an eventual new Covid-19 wave.
"It is not a variant of despair because we have health authorities committed to providing quality care to our population," the Minister said.
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A Brazilian citizen coming from South Africa was quarantined in the south American country after testing positive for Covid-19, since it was not known which variant had infected him, Xinhua news agency reported.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24.
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The new variant has a number of previously unseen mutations, mainly in the spike protein the virus uses to invade human cells.
Over the weekend, Queiroga asked Brazilians to remain calm, saying that measures against the new variant are the same, and the main weapon against Covid-19 is vaccination.
Brazil had accumulated 22,080,906 Covid-19 cases and 614,278 deaths from the virus as of Sunday.
Keywords : new variant, covid, Omicron, Brazil, Health Minister, coronavirus, mutation, health system, country, vaccination.
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Amit Rai Jain, a Baghpat-based businessman, has found 16 coins made of silver and copper which have a bull and a horseman engraved on them.
He found the coins from a mound, known locally as the 'Katha mound' in Khekhra, close to the Delhi-Saharanpur highway, on Sunday.
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Jain told reporters that some of the coins are from the late 12th century AD, which is the era of Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan.
"I keep frequenting the area, which is rich in archaeological finds. This time, it revealed something considered fascinating in Indian numismatics. The coins which I found belong to a series of Rajput rulers who remained dominant in the region comprising Rajasthan, Haryana, and the western Gangetic plains from the eighth century to 12th century AD," he said.
Jain, is a member of the Culture and History Association, an organisation comprising historians from western Uttar Pradesh.
K.K. Sharma, head of the department of history, Multanimal Modi College, Modinagar, confirmed the antiquity of the coins.
Picture of some ancient coinsUnsplash
"This is an interesting find as the area remained with the Rajput kings for a couple of centuries. Horse and bull inscriptions on coins were quite common in those days. Horses used to be the primary vehicle of soldiers during battles and their depiction on coins is not a surprise. In fact, close to two dozen rulers between the seventh and 17th centuries used horses in some form or the other on their coins," he said.
Baghpat is well-known for the discovery of interesting historical artifacts, the most sensational being three chariots unearthed during the Archaeological Survey of India excavation held in Sinauli in June 2018, which marked the 'first-ever' physical evidence of Bronze Age chariots in India.
In 2006, Sinauli had revealed Harappan-era burial grounds where several discoveries were made such as that of painted grey ware pottery, skeletons, bronze swords, and copper vessels.
Keywords : ancient, coins, silver, copper, archaeological, kings, discovery, historical, artifacts, Uttar Pradesh, India, Rajput.
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With an aim to examine the wide-ranging narratives and the very definitions of the art of sculpture, Palette Art Gallery's forthcoming exhibition, 18 Dimensions - is a show dedicated to sculptures underlining the important works by 18 contemporary artists, who have made a significant impact on the Indian and Global art landscape.
Bringing a seductive edge to the visual arts, an element of pleasure to one's life and working environment, the exhibit is an effort to showcase a broad scope of contemporary sculpture from the abstract and the minimal to the popular, making socio-political commentary that is deeply contemplative and thought-provoking.
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The show reflects on a large number of materials and methods from casting to the modes of assemblage as well as minimalism, conceptualism making visible the process of making in most of the works.
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Featuring over 18 artists, the intention is to present a range and variety of sculptural expressions and encourage viewer participation and physical engagement with artworks once again, as the city opens up to mobility from the studios of Arunkumar HG, Ashiesh Shah, Gigi Scaria, G. R. Iranna, L. N. Tallur, Narayan Biswas, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Manjunath Kamath, Pooja Iranna, Himmat Shah, Jagannath Panda, Rajesh Ram, Riyas Komu, Sangam Vankhade, Sumedh R, Subodh Gupta, Sudarshan Shetty, Valay Shende, Vibha Galhotra and Vipul Kumar, the exhibition studies their involvement with the influences probing the limits and possibilities inherent in a sculpture's inescapable three-dimensional physicality.
One of the highlights of the show includes a selection of the rare hemp works by artist Mrinalini Mukherjee. Known for her distinctly contemporary style and use of dyed and woven hemp fibre, she worked with an unconventional material in the world of sculpting. Her four-decade-long career was an exemplar of a practice dedicated to formulating a language that was a mix of abstraction and figuration.
Keywords : art gallery, sculpture, exhibition, Palette Art Gallery, Bikaner House, New Delhi, contemporary, abstract, materials, conceptualism.
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