AUGUST   2002




August  2002 Contents



 Kanchan Jha - a mission at 15


 Staying healthy and youthful
 - what the doctors recommend




 Music Therapy for the mind


 Kurukshetra - a city of eons


 India Fashion Week

 Around us

 U.P's MLAs
 Hamid Karzai
 India's Atlantis
 What is a Blue Moon?
 Coffee - a memory booster?
 Hindu sentinels of mosque
 Mayawati's  45 portfolios


 'Knock at Every Alien Door'
 - Serialization of an
 unpublished novel by
 Joseph Harris - Chapter 7



the craft shop

the print gallery


Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh





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Starting this issue, 'Coffee-Break' will be a regular feature of 'the-south-asian'. Readers are encouraged to contribute stories of interest from their part of the world. The following stories are credited to the sources - they are not necessarily current - but are of interest. 


'Leadership' in Uttar Pradesh, India


"122 new UP MLAs (Member, Legislative Assembly) have crime on their CVs "

Uttar Pradesh, or U.P as it is more widely known, is the most populous state of India. In February this year, 122 people with criminal record were 'elected' to the State Assembly. 

"LUCKNOW: The voters in Uttar Pradesh have voted 122 candidates, 20 percent of the total number of MLAs, with criminal record to the Assembly.

A total of 910 candidates with criminal cases registered against them, including 430 who had heinous ones like murder, rape, kidnapping and dacoity, tried  for the
403 seats. Out of them, a surprising 122 made it to Vidhan Bhavan.
The count includes quite a few who till a few months ago were lodged in jails, but are now all set to walk into the Assembly."

The winning felons belong to diverse political parties including Janata Dal (U) , Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samajwadi Party, and some are also Independent candidates. The number of cases registered against them varies  - there is a veteran amongst them  with 68 criminal cases. It obviously does not deter him from political aspirations.

From: The Times of India




Hamid Karzai:   "the most chic man in the world" 
Where did you get that hat?

"Hamid Karzai, leader of Afghanistan's government is under attack - from animal rights campaigners. They have pointed out that his favoured headwear - the karakul hat - has its origins in the cruel slaughter of sheep. An animal rights group points out that the hat is made from the fleece of unborn lamb."

"Afghanistan, along with other countries in the region, exports millions of pelts from the Karakul sheep every year, making it one of Afghanistan's biggest industries. Mr Karzai favours the hat as part of his day-to-day outfit, because it reflects Afghanistan's diversity. It combines the long shirt and loose trousers favoured by Pashtuns, the outer robe popular among Tajiks and Uzbeks and the karakul hat worn by Panjsher highlanders. And his outfits have been praised for their aesthetic quality as well as ability to cross tribal barriers. Gucci's creative designer Tom Ford has been quoted calling Mr Karzai "the most chic man in the world".

"But Mr Karzai may well come under pressure to drop the hat - like others before him. Former Indian Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh wore one too before Ms Maneka Gandhi, who was environment minister in his cabinet between 1989 and 1990, asked him not to. "I was not aware of how it was made. I thought this to be like other fur caps," he said. "When I was told how it was made, I switched over to synthetic and since then I have been wearing a synthetic hat." 

from: BBC News 



Lost city found off Indian coast 

"An ancient underwater city has been discovered off the coast of south-eastern India.

Divers from India and England made the discovery based on the statements of local fishermen and the old Indian legend of the Seven Pagodas. The ruins, which are off the coast of Mahabalipuram, cover many square miles and seem to prove that a major city once stood there. A further expedition to the region is now being arranged which will take place at the beginning of 2003. 

The discovery was made on 1 April by a joint team of divers from the Indian National Institute of Oceanography and the Scientific Exploration Society based in Dorset. Expedition leader Monty Halls said: "Our divers were presented with a series of structures that clearly showed man-made attributes.

"The scale of the site appears to be extremely extensive, with 50 dives conducted over a three-day period covering only a small area of the overall ruin field. "This is plainly a discovery of international significance that demands further exploration and detailed investigation." During the expedition to the site, divers came across structures believed to be man-made. One of the buildings appears to be a place of worship, although they could only view part of what is a huge area suggesting a major city. 

 The myths of Mahabalipuram were first set down in writing by British traveller J. Goldingham who visited the South Indian coastal town in 1798, at which time it was known to sailors as the Seven Pagodas. The myths speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still standing on the seashore.

The myths also state that a large city once stood here which was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day. One of the expedition team, Graham Hancock, said: "I have argued for many years that the world's flood myths deserve to be taken seriously, a view that most Western academics reject. "But here in Mahabalipuram we have proved the myths right and the academics wrong." Scientists now want to explore the possibility that the city was submerged following the last Ice Age. If this proves correct, it would date the discovery at more than 5,000 years old. 

from: BBC News,11 April, 2002



 What is a blue moon? 

" The second full moon in a month is commonly called a blue moon. Because it is a rare phenomenon hence the phrase "once in a blue moon." 


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