• the-south-asian.com                                               JUNE  2002




June  2002 Contents



 Mt. Everest - beginning of 50th
 year celebrations

 Sherpas - the Real Men who
 bring glory to others

 Everest Facts

 K2 - an account of a winter



 Super Achievers & Success
 Marshal of the Air Force
 Arjan Singh

 Shovana Narayan, Sidhartha
 Basu & Anjolie Ela Menon

 KPS Gill & Dr. Trehan


 Indra Varma - Polymers


 Sahir Raza - capturing Gujarat



 Jeev Milkha Singh

 Baba Saheb - the grand old
 man of kite-flying


 Raja Bundela's 'Pratha'


 The reincarnated Rickshaw


 'Ananda' spa in Garhwal


 Indu Gupta's new dimension
 to Tanjore paintings


 'Knock at Every Alien Door'
 - Serialization of an
 unpublished novel by
 Joseph Harris - Chapter 6



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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 Page  2  of  3

Super Achievers

- Still in the Fast Lane



Isidore Domnick Mendis


Shovana Narayan - civil servant & classical danseuse 


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" .. thereís no greater success than that which comes with honest hard work"

After an energy-sapping day as the Deputy Director General of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., this civil servant is all refreshed up in the evening for a two-hour hi-energy classical dance performance.

For danseuse and civil servant Shovana Narayan, success is a blend of commitment, hard work and dedication. "I am not flattered when people say I am very successful. Thatís their perception of me. What matters is my own perception of myself. And thereís no greater success than that which comes with honest hard work," says Narayan who is married to Dr. Herbert Traxi, the Austrian ambassador to India.

Recipient of the Padmashree, Narayan says that both dance and civil services fascinate her equally. " If that werenít the case I would have happily chucked up one. But both have helped me in retaining a sense of balance."

Her idol
Dancer Shovana Narayan considers her late mother, Lalita Narayan as her mentor. " She influenced me the most in my life. She taught me the importance of hard work, sincerity and devotion. Those good old fashioned principles still hold true and always will." 

Destressing routine

Shovana Narayan says she doesnít get stressed simply because she enjoys doing what sheís doing.


Sidharth Basu  - Anchor, Producer, Director


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"Success, if any, has come due to consistency and commitment." 

On certain days quizmaster Sidharth Basu can be having his breakfast, lunch and dinner at three different cities and still be ready with his disarming smile for a camera shot.

For quiz master Siddharth Basu success is no big deal. A person who has anchored, produced and directed dozens of hit quiz shows including Kaun Banega Crorepati, Basu is a modest man.  "Exposure hasnít meant much other than the opportunities it opens up. Success, if any, has come due to consistency and commitment. Itís been a steady graph."

Basuís production house Synergy Communications has done Quiz Time, Spectrum, Bean StalkQuiz, Mastermind India. However, its biggest success to date has been Amitabh Bachchan anchored KBC. Says Basu, " Itís been 26 years of work, work and work."

His idol
Siddharth Basuís mentor/idol is theatre person Barry John who also designs his sets. " To me he is a teacher and a stage artist. He is a guru who taught by example and precept."

De-stressing practice

Basu says his de-stressing happens " with the family, watching TV, listening to music, sharing a good laugh and taking a walk."


Anjolie Ela Menon - Painter


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" I think the secret of my success is that I remained focused."

Success, says Indiaís best-known woman painter, Anjolie Ela Menon, is seldom very sudden. " Work metamorphoses slowly. There are no quantum jumps. No sudden successes just small milestones at a time."

Over the past 45 years the artist has held 35 solo shows and several group shows. She's been invited by the U.S. State Department and the French Ministry of Culture to confer with leading artists in those countries. Her works hang at the National Gallery of Modern Art and she has been conferred the Padmashree for her pioneering creativity.

" I think the secret of my success is that I remained focused. I never dropped out of the art scene. As far as I remember I have been painting nearly everyday of my grown up life. All that hard work has now translated into success."

Her idols
Anjolie Ela Menon has not one but three people whom she looks up to. " My earliest guide Sushil Kumar Mukherjee who taught me all I know about art. The second is M.F.Hussain who helped me have my first show in Delhi in 1957. The third was Aujame my teacher in Paris who taught me fresco paintings."

Destressing technique

Says Anjolie Ela Menon " My destressing technique is cooking for friends and family. An hour in the kitchen relaxes me completely."


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