Seth in a scene from A Map of The World: Rave reviewsThe blockbuster Atten-borough film Gandhi seems to have proved a windfall for quite a few members of the cast apart from Sir Richard himself. The latest to hit the big time after Ben Kingsley is the man who played,Seth in a scene from A Map of The World: Rave reviewsThe blockbuster Atten-borough film Gandhi seems to have proved a windfall for quite a few members of the cast apart from Sir Richard himself. The latest to hit the big time after Ben Kingsley is the man who played Jawaharlal Nehru in the film, Roshan Seth. Seth is earning rave reviews for his performance as Victor Mehta, a westernised Indian novelist, in A Map of the World currently drawing full houses at London’s National Theatre. Seth, who plays the lead role in the play, was picked for the part over other established performers like Shashi Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah and British drama critics have hailed his performance almost un-animously. This is the first time in the history of British theatre that an Indian has got the central role in a London play.For Seth, the recognition is a belated one. After graduating from the London Academy of Drama, he struggled along on the fringes of the theatre world without really making an impression. He finally left in 1977, because, as he says: “I was disappointed and disillusioned with my work. Things just didn’t add up and the breaks never led anywhere.” But five years later, the actor in him resurfaced and Gandhi was the result. As he says now: “There was no good reason for not going back to acting and so, here I am.”Patil: Glamorous debut”It’s not quite cricket,” cried the chorus when Test star Sandeep Patil announced that he was unavailable for the coming tour of the West Indies. The tongues, last fortnight, began wagging even faster when close on the heels of Patil’s announcement came the news that the handsome, well-built cricketer was making his debut in films opposite Poonam Dhillon in a movie called Kabhi Ajnabi The (I was once a stranger). Patil, of course, is hardly a stranger to the world of glamour. Shortly after his sporting career took off he cut a long-playing disco record which seems to have sunk without leaving much of a trace. But his foray into the film world has triggered off the rumour mills with accusations being made that he had refused the West Indies tour because of better financial pickings in moviedom.Last week, Patil was forced to issue a denial that he had opted out of the tour because of the film contract. “I am prepared to go to the West Indies as a replacement for any batsman if I am invited,” he said, adding that he would definitely be available for the World Cup to be held later this year in England. But after his nonavailability in the West Indies, it is doubtful if he really has much of a choice. He had a pretty lean trot in the just-concluded Pakistan series and a thigh injury did not help matters either. At the moment he might find facing a camera easier than facing Malcolm Marshal or any of the other West Indian pacers.advertisementRajneesh followers in New Delhi: Protest by proxyGood Gurus never die. Neither do they fade away. Two years after he packed his bags and his Rolls Royces and sought greener pastures in the wilds of Oregon, USA, the self-styled Bhagwan Rajneesh was back in India, in spirit if not in flesh. Last fortnight, New Delhi once again witnessed the once-familiar saffron on its streets as 5,000 of the controversial guru’s disciples marched through the streets to the US Embassy where they handed over a memorandum demanding that their “Bhagwan” be permitted to stay in the US and given a permanent visa.The demonstration followed reports that the Bhagwan and his followers would not be given permanent domicile in the US following a series of controversial events in the sprawling new Rajneesh Ashram in Oregon. Scoffed one of the Delhi demonstrators: “The decision is inspired by political fear and religious prejudices.”
(From left) Kapil Dev, Mohammed Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar celebrate after beating West Indies in the Cricket Association of Bengal’s Diamond Jubilee six nation tournament in Calcutta on November 27, 1993. Photo: ReutersOne of the finest Indian allrounders of all time, Kapil Dev was a “disappointment” when it came to coaching, reveals batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar in his just-released autobiography Playing It My Way, a PTI report stated.Tendulkar has claimed that he was left disappointed by Kapil during one of the Australia tours since the coach never involved himself in strategic discussions.In the chapter Tumultuous Times: India in Australia, November 1999-January 2000 Tendulkar has written that he had high expectations from Kapil.”During my second stint as captain, we had Kapil Dev as our coach. He is one of the finest cricketers to have played for India and one of the best allrounders of all time, and I had great expectations of him in Australia.”I have always maintained that the coach’s job is an important one, for he is in a position to play a key role in formulating team strategy. Who better than Kapil to come up with options for me during a tough tour of Australia?”However, his method of involvement and his thought process was limited to leaving the running of the team to the captain, and hence he did not involve himself in strategic discussions that would help us on the field,” Tendulkar writes.The Indian batting great also shared his frustration on how some of his moves as captain did not pay off but the same strategy clicked when other captains employed it.advertisementTendulkar talked about the 1997 Sharjah series where he promoted Robin Singh to bat at number three but the southpaw failed and he had to cop heavy criticism from the media.”The match against Pakistan on December 14 highlights how things were just not going my way. I was batting at number four in this competition, at the selectors’ request. Sourav and Navjot Sidhu had given us a good start against Pakistan, and when Sidhu got out at 143 for 2, I sent in Robin Singh, the all-rounder, to accelerate the innings. It was a strategy I had given considerable thought to. .”Manzoor Akhtar, the leg-spinner, was at one end bowling around the wicket to the right-handed batsmen. The theory was that Robin, a left-hander, would be able to negotiate his leg-spin better and also hit some big shots. However, Robin got out without scoring after just three balls from Azhar Mahmood, the medium-pacer, and the experiment proved a disaster. In the press I was criticised for sending in Robin ahead of me and the move was blamed for our defeat,” Tendulkar recalled.”A month later, however, in January 1998, Azhar, back as captain, repeated the very same move in the final of the Silver Jubilee Independence Cup in Dhaka against Pakistan.”Robin was sent in at three to keep up the momentum after Sourav and I had got off to a flier and this time Robin played a terrific hand, scoring 82 and setting up the run chase.”This was arguably a bigger gamble, because he was pitted against the off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and it is no secret that left-handers find it more difficult against off-spinners.”The same experiment was now hailed as a master stroke.Not without reason is it said that success has many fathers while defeat is an orphan,” he wrote.
Hughes has undergone a surgery and remains in critical condition at the St Vincent HospitalThe touring Indian cricket team extended its best wishes to injured Australian cricketer Phil Hughes and his family after the left-handed batsman suffered a vicious blow to his head during a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney on Tuesday.South Australia’s Hughes was hit on the head by a bouncer bowled by New South Wales fast bowler Sean Abbott during a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney, which was abandoned after that.Team India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli alongside his teammates including Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin took to Twitter to extend their support and wishes to the injured batsman.Thoughts and prayers with Phil Hughes all the way. Fight it out mate. You are a top man. All the strength goes out to you and your family. Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 25, 2014Really shocked to see what’s happened to Phil Hughes.Fight and get out of this one my friend.My thoughts and prayers are with you. Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) November 25, 2014Really shocked to hear about Phil Hughes. Fight it out buddy!! You are a champion!!! All our wishes with him and family. ajinkyarahane88 (@ajinkyarahane88) November 25, 2014Have a speedy recovery Hughes! Prayers# Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) November 25, 2014Here’s wishing Phil Hughes a speedy and full recovery. Get well soon, champ. BCCI (@BCCI) November 25, 2014Hughes has undergone a surgery and remains in critical condition at the St Vincent Hospital.”The touring Indian cricket team extends its best wishes to Phil Hughes and his family at this time. We join with the rest of the cricket community around the world to offer our support and prayers to Phil and his family as well as our friends within Australian Cricket,” Indian cricket team released a statement through Cricket Australia.advertisementHughes, who was wearing a protective batting helmet, reeled back and then bent forward momentarily after the impact of the short-pitch delivery before falling suddenly to the ground. He was treated and ventilated on the field by medical experts, including doctors who were flown by helicopter onto the Sydney Cricket Ground, before being taken to nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital by ambulance.South Australia Cricket Association high performance manager Tim Nielsen said the outcome of the surgery was unlikely to be known for one or two days, and he requested privacy for the Hughes family and friends who had gathered at the hospital.The 25-year-old Hughes was considered a strong contender to force his way back into Australia’s test team next week if injured skipper Michael Clarke was forced out of the series-opening match against India. He was batting confidently on 63 when he mistimed an attempted pull shot and was hit on the back, left side of the head by a regulation bouncer from New South Wales fast bowler Sean Abbott.Hughes has played 26 test matches for Australia since his debut in 2009 but hasn’t been able to cement a regular spot in the starting lineup. Australian and international players and officials were quick to react, sending messages of encouragement to Hughes via social networking sites.Cricketers didn’t start wearing protective helmets until the late 1970s, when batsmen decided it was necessary to protect themselves against a 156-gram (5 ounce) leather ball traveling at up to 160 kph (100 mph).Bouncers, where a fast bowler aims to push the batsman back toward the stumps with a ball that bounces above chest or head height, are still a regular and acceptable part of the game.The International Cricket Council revised its laws on short-pitch bowling in the early 1990s, putting restrictions on the number of short-pitch balls allowed per over to stamp out bowlers merely using the delivery to intimidate batsmen. Top-level batsmen can combat the short-pitch balls by either taking the defensive approach of trying to duck out of the way, or take the risk of hitting it to leg-side to score runs.
India in their first innings managed to score 465.Hello and welcome to the coverage from day four of the third Test between Australia and India in Melbourne.ScorecardAustralia (2nd innings):Stumps: Australia are leading by 326 runs at the end of day four’s play. Shaun Marsh’s unbeaten 62 really held the hosts’ innings together with the tailenders digging in. Will Australia declare at their overnight score? This Test also heading towards a interesting finish.71.6 overs: Maiden over from Umesh Yadav but Australia surely have put themselves in safe zone by taking a lead of 322 runs. Thanks to Shaun Marsh, who held Australia’s innings together. 68.1 overs: Six. Shaun Marsh goes after Ashwin and hits straight down the ground to bring up his half-century. Australia’s lead now past 300. Moreover, to make up for the lost time due to rain, play has been extended by 30 minutes.65.1 overs: Four. Johnson nails it straight down the ground. Touch short from Shami and Marsh slaps it straight. 61.2 overs: Four. Big inside edge runs down to fine leg. Marsh goes for the cut shot off Ishant but was lucky the ball missed the stumps. Australia lead by 285 runs.59.6 overs: Ishant Sharma has run in hard and bending his back, more importantly bowling in the right channel. Australia lead by 280 runs. 55.2 overs: Out. The ploy of bowling down the leg has worked for India as Umesh gets his second wicket by dismissing Brad Haddin for 13. The ball was sliding down the leg and Haddin flicks to get an edge to Dhoni. Australia six down. Snicko picked up some noise as the ball passed the bat, but nothing on HotSpot.advertisement53.5 overs: Four. Bad bowling from Umesh, full and wide. Marsh takes no half-measures and slashes hard. Australia lead by 262 runs.53.3 overs: Four. Full delivery from Umesh and Marsh drives it through extra-cover. Australia’s lead now past 250 with Shaun Marsh and Brad Haddin at the crease. Australia 189 for 5. Cloud cover now over MCG with India gunning to close out Australia at the earliest. Presently, Shaun Marsh and Brad Haddin at the crease. 45.3 overs: Out. Bad shot selection from Burns, chasing an away going delivery from Ishant Sharma. Burns goes for the cut and gets an outside edge to Dhoni behind the stumps. Ishant Sharma bowls yet another no ball as the third and final session gets underway. Tea: Australia reach 174 for 4 leading by 239 runs with Shaun Marsh and Joe Burns at the crease. India have managed to pick up wickets, but Australia have put up a decent lead on the board. Stay tuned for the final session action. 40.3 overs: Out. Chris Rogers gets played on while playing a defensive shot to Ashwin. The ball takes the inside edge and then pads before crashing to the stumps. Australia 165 for 4.Rogers slams back-to-back boundaries off Ishant Sharma and both lovely driven through the ground. Rogers on 68 with Australia leading by 228 runs.Indian bowlers are bowling to a leg stump line, especially to Chris Rogers. But Dhoni also needs giving away easy runs, meanwhile R Ashwin introduced into the attack.Chris Rogers gets a lucky reprieve as the edge falls short of Dhoni behind the stumps. Replays showed that the ball bounced short of Dhoni. India going for the kill. Shaun Marsh joins Chris Rogers at the crease as Australia’s lead go past 200. 33.3 overs: Out. The plan of placing a leg slip has worked for Dhoni. The ball bowled on the pads by Umesh Yadav and Smith falls in the trap by playing to leg slip where Rahane dives to complete a low catch. 31.5 overs: Four. Another similar kind of delivery, which meets the same result. This time Smith places it to deep square leg. 31.4 overs: Four. Poor delivery from Umesh Yadav, short and down the leg. Steve Smith pulls it to a vacant fine leg boundary. 30 overs: Steve Smith has been sedate so far for his 15-ball three runs, but has the ability to accelerate once he gets his eye in. Australia 117 for 2.Dhoni and India should be looking for wickets and can’t afford to let Australia off the hook. However, the hosts would be looking to score quickly and put in India with a target. 27.4 overs: Four. Chris Rogers reaches to his fifty in style with a boundary to the sweeper cover. This was his fourth half-century in a row. Australia now lead by 178 runs. Chris Rogers gets two boundaries off Shami – one off the outside edge to the third man and second driven through the covers. Australia 108 for 2 and lead by 173 runs. advertisement24.1 overs: Out. Ishant Sharma strikes after the extended rain delay by getting Shane Watson caught behind for 17. Length ball from Ishant and Watson going for a defensive shot gets an edge to Dhoni behind the wickets.22.2 overs: Dropped. Dhawan drops Chris Rogers at second slip off Ishant Sharma’s bowling.Rain update: Hold on guys, not so soon for the start as rain comes back again but looks like a passing shower. The Indian bowlers are warming up on the sidelines under the watchful eyes of bowling coach Bharat Arun.Good news from Melbourne, rain seems to have stopped and also the covers are coming off. The rain had stopped briefly but once again light drizzle has started with the covers coming back.Now the drizzle has picked up to proper rain in Melbourne.There has been a delay to the start of post-lunch session as drizzle stops play with the covers on. Lunch: India were all out for 465 and then Australian openers gave their team a good start before David Warner fell for 40. At lunch Australia were 90 for 1 and leading by 155 runs with Chris Rogers (33*) and Shane Watson (15*) at the crease.Day 3 round-up: Australia’s Nathan Lyon and Ryan Harris each claimed twovital late wickets to leave India on 462 for 8 at stumps on day three of the third Test, after Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane shared a 262-runpartnership.India trailed Australia’sfirst-innings 530 by 68 runs after starting the day on 103 for 1. Kohliand Rahane made the most of a placed pitch at the Melbourne CricketGround to put together a fluent partnership that looked like turning the Test in India’s favour. They brought up India’s first fourth-wicketcentury partnership at the MCG off 138 balls and went on to build theIndia’s highest partnership outside Asia in 10 years.Lyon (2 for 108) ended the long partnership when he trapped Rahane lbwattempting a sweep on 147. The offspinner then dismissed Lokesh Rahul,caught at deep backward square off a top-edged sweep, dismissing him ondebut for 3. Rahul’s wicket came much to the relief of substitute fieldPeter Siddle, who dropped Rahul at midwicket two balls earlier.
ARIESGift yourself the knack of responding totally to whatever comes, as it comes in life! Avoid cruel people, as they tend to take up cudgels with you on non-issues. Loved ones are supportive. Your personal affairs may take time to resolve, be persistent. Lucky number 5. Colour yellow.TAURUS Friends, family and children gather around you to share some memorable moments today. Specialization in your field of activity adds to you professional expertise and gain. You can easily trust your feelings and intuition about people and situations. Lucky number 3. Colour cherry red. GEMINIThere is increase of wealth and income, which allows you to make gainful investments. Beware of theft or deception at work as an unknown person may invade your space. Be expansive and share your richness, wisdom, experience, feelings and expertise with others. Lucky number 9. Colour pink. CANCERYou may rebel against domination at work by people in power. You impress people with your talent and charisma. Relationships are sensitive and difficult for a time as both partners seek independence, space and appreciation. You are bold, courageous and frank. Lucky number 2. Colour red. LEOYour instinct and intuition lead you in a positive direction in personal and professional matters today. You are quiet, hardworking and practical when you need to deal with earthy details. Do not allow work to become a drudgery, but keep your enthusiasm alive. Lucky number 7. Colour green. VIRGODelay at work should be taken in your stride today. The temporary absence of a loved one could cause some anxiety. Expect your partner and family to be supportive during a trying time. Transactions are conducted honestly. A positive attitude brings fulfillment. Lucky number 3. Colour blue. advertisementLIBRA You combine well with your partner and realize an ambitious goal. Your actions are based on accurate calculation and good planning. Goodwill and friendship enhance your social standing. You participate in and enjoy sport, theater and the Arts today. Lucky number 14. Colour soft pink. SCORPIO Sorting out the important from the trivial adds to good management of professional and personal matters today. There is clarity about goals and participation of key people. You go beyond illusions and find your truths within. Don’t entertain gossip. Lucky number 20. Colour royal blue. SAGITTARIUS ‘The Moon’ brings Karmic situations and patterns to the fore today. Crazy people can create scenes to upset you, remain a witness rather than become a participator. Listen to your intuition. Guard against over indulgence in food, drink or work. Lucky number 18. Colour sea blue. CAPRICORN ‘The Universe’ opens another horizon with new opportunities today. Despite multifarious activity in varied aspects your security structure remains intact. You assess relationships and realize who and what is important in your life. Health needs attention. Lucky number 21. Colour blue. AQUARIUS Things are changing as you step into new opportunities and dimensions. You play the role of consultant, sharing your knowledge and experience with others. You are caring in established personal relationships and can expect loyalty and support therein. Lucky number 4. Colour purple.PISCES Forces and people at work who are powerful, selfish and destructive may surround you today. Side step them and avoid confrontations or you can be manipulated. Ignore and avoid cruel gossip or you may be involved in controversies. Celebrate with friends. Lucky number 10. Colour red.
Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title, continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals and extended her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a 6-3, 7-6 (5) win on Saturday night.After celebrating prematurely on her third match point, letting her racket go after serving what she thought was an ace but learning that it was a let, top-ranked Williams took a deep breath and fired another ace – her 15th of the set and 18th of the match – to seal it.This time, the celebration was real. She jumped around like a little child, bouncing up and down, before shaking hands with Sharapova at the net.”Growing up I wasn’t the richest but I had a rich family in spirit and support and you know standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen,” Williams said. “I went on the courts with just a ball, and a racket and a hope, that’s all I had.”I’m so honored to be here tonight and to hold this 19th trophy @ my favorite stadium.”Williams, coughing frequently and still affected by a recent cold, controlled the first set around a rain delay in the sixth game, when the match was stopped for 13 minutes for the roof to be closed. Williams came back on court momentarily near the end of the break, but returned to the locker room with a hacking cough. She later said she had vomited before returning to Rod Laver Arena to continue.It didn’t show. She came back from the break and fired an ace to start a run of six straight points. She was broken while serving for the set but broke Sharapova for a third time to clinch it.advertisementThe 33-year-old Williams, the oldest winner of the Australian women’s title in the Open era, won the first six points of the second set and seemed on course for another lopsided victory before Sharapova hit back to set up a dramatic second set.Sharapova saved two match points, including one in the 10th game when she bravely hit a forehand winner down the line – applauded by Williams. She twice held serve to stay in the match.The No. 2-ranked Sharapova forced a tiebreaker and then took the first point off Williams when she leaped into a service return down the line. But Williams rallied again and relied on her serve to keep the points short, missing a second set point when Sharapova hit a winning service return. Williams didn’t relent, though, and secured the title that lifted her above Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who had 18 Grand Slam singles titles.Williams has now won 16 in a row and is 17-2 in career matches against five-time major winner Sharapova, who hasn’t won a head-to-head meeting since 2004.Two of Williams’ six Australian titles have come with straights-set wins in the final against Sharapova, the first in 2007. For 2008 champion Sharapova, it was a third loss in a final at Melbourne Park.”I haven’t beaten her in a long time but I love every time I step on the court with her,” said Sharapova, who had to save two match points in the second round. “I’ve had some of the best memories of my career on this court and also some of my toughest losses, but that’s the life of a tennis player.”
The German Grand Prix was cut from the 2015 Formula One calendar on Friday after neither of the country’s two circuits was able to make a deal with series promoter Bernie Ecclestone. The World Motor Sport Council said in a statement on Friday that the race was withdrawn because the commercial rights holder “and promoter did not reach agreement.”The German Grand Prix, one of the most historic in the calendar that was first held in 1926, had been set for July 19. The last time the German Grand Prix was scratched from the calendar was in 1955.With the two circuits alternating annually, Nuerburgring was scheduled to stage the race, but because it has financial problems, Hockenheim had been considered a replacement. The failure to reach a deal means there will now be 19 races this season instead of 20, with a three-week interval between the British Grand Prix on July 5 and the Hungarian race on July 26.The German race has been losing spectators steadily since the days of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, even though Germany is home to Mercedes, the car maker behind the top team last season, and driver Nico Rosberg. Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who now drives for Ferrari, is also German.Nuerburgring circuit spokesman Pietro Nuvolini said earlier that there was still no agreement with Ecclestone while Hockenheim officials announced that the facility would be unable to organize the race within the time remaining.Nuerburgring officials had been asking Ecclestone to take a cut in his fee for staging the race. The fee is reportedly $15 million. Mercedes had offered a “significant” amount to Hockenheim to help in saving the race but the offer was not taken, according to the German constructor.advertisement
Cricket is a funny game and its fans are a crazy lot. A cricket frenzy in Tamil Nadu cut his tongue on Thursday during the World Cup semifinal match between India and Australia. According to a TOI report, Sudhakar of Ponneri in Vellore district, sought the ‘intervention of gods’ to make India win. He was apparantely sad after Australia amassed 328 runs batting first against India in the semifinal. Eventually, India lost the match.Desperation drove the youth to act in a reckless manner and he cut his tongue with a knife at his residence, the Jolarpet police said. On his hearing Sudhakar’s cries, his relatives and neighbours came to his rescue. They rushed him to Adukkamparai government general hospital.India were bowled out for 233 runs while chasing the mammoth total of 328 runs against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. India started their tour in early December with a loss to Australia and finish their tour with a loss against the same opposition. In between, they beat all opponents, barring Australia and England.What MS Dhoni said after India lost”I think they played good cricket. Over 300 is a difficult score to chase, but it was just above par. They looked like getting 350 at one stage we came back well. The fast bowlers could have done better. When you come to the knockout stages, you have to lift your game. We got off to a good start. Shikhar’s dismissal was soft. There is a pressure when you are chasing 320. I don’t think our lower-order can contribute much in these conditions. I am not sure about it. I am 33, I’m still running and maybe next year, close to the World T20 I will decide whether I want to play the next World Cup or not. Looks like these are the players who will continue forward. Thanks to both the Aussie and Indian fans. It’s a bit disappointing for the Indian fans, but in the end only one team can win.”advertisement
Nitin GadkariThe Rajya Sabha witnessed a ruckus on Friday as opposition parties led by Congress demanded resignation of Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari for alleged irregularities in a company owned by him.A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has named Gadkari as one of the “promoters and/or directors” of Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. that was sanctioned a loan of Rs 84.12 crore by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) in violation of guidelines.The issue was raised during zero hour by Congress MP Shantaram Naik, who said the minister must resign.”Opposition parties demanded resignation of our ministers time to time… now Nitin Gadkari has to resign,” said Naik.Congress MP Anand Sharma said the government was accountable on the issue.”This is a serious matter…the present ruling party when they were in opposition would stall the house until the action was taken… I am saying on behalf of opposition this issue cannot be confined to zero hour, there should be accountability,” said Sharma.Congress members then started raising slogans demanding the minister’s resignation.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the allegations were “baseless”.”Congress party has become a confused party… these allegations are baseless,” he said.In the din, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the house for 10 minutes.When the house reassembled, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad again raised the issue.”This is not a question of allegation against a member; it is a CAG report… On CAG reports on earlier occasions number of heads have rolled. The BJP government inside and outside house is talking about transparency and corruption. Also in the same breath it is talking about stains (of corruption) during UPA government. Here there is a proven case against a minister who had to resign because of the same reason as president of BJP… the party may maintain he did not resign… He has been indicted he cannot continue as minister even for a day,” said Azad.advertisementThe ruckus continued despite several pleas from the chair and the house saw another brief adjournment before question hour.The scene was no different in the question hour and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house for 10 minutes, then for 15 minutes, and finally till 2.30 p.m.
South Africa makes sense to the Indian traveller and India makes sense to him. That’s what legendary South African crickter Jonathan Neil “Jonty” Rhodes has told me once. Author of the book My Travel Escapades in South Africa, he drives home his point by citing surveys that reveal how the number of Indian tourists in his country has shot up. “Indians are increasingly putting the Rainbow Nation in their holiday itinerary,” he justifies. And why not? After all, as the brand ambassador of South Africa Tourism Board, he is doing a thorough job of telling the world how good his country is. “From the country’s magnificent wildlife, iconic beaches, adrenaline pumping adventure activities, to its world-class cities, shopping, nightlife, food and wine, my country has it all. Be it Cape Town or vibrant Johannesburg, there’s something for everybody,” he says, adding that the greatest thing is the ease of travel. “In Mumbai, if I am driving for three hours, I am still in the city. In South Africa, I can go from coast to mountains in three hours. It is a country with first world infrastructure,” says the fielding coach of Mumbai Indians. Adventure anyone? South Africa has ample. Rhodes admits that he is not a big city guy – he is from Pietermaritzburg, a laid back small town, where his parents still live. Yes, it’s the same town where Gandhi was thrown off from a train for boarding a first class compartment. So, big cities like Johannesburg do not fascinate him at all. “Rather I like Cape Town where I live for its nice and relaxed atmosphere. One of my favourite ways to enjoy my country is to stay in a luxury tent in a game reserve. The lovely Table Mountain region and the Kruger Park area are also my favourites,” he says. advertisementSouth Africa is best seen by road. But Rhodes tells you to skip the bus. “Hire a car and enjoy the great scenery at your own pace. I highly recommend the route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth that entails a drive of a thousand kilometre,” he says. Also in South Africa, unlike in Europe, people don’t mind talking loudly. “I say this because Indians come in large groups and are a chatty lot. Shout out and make noise and nobody will mind. It’s a tradition to talk aloud in South Africa. If you speak too softly, people might think you are bad-mouthing them,” he explains. However, he warns that there is crime in some parts of South Africa. So “don’t wander into areas that your hotel concierge warns you about”. South Africa by Segway is cool too. Over the years, Rhodes has realised that it’s very important to travel with a sensitive companion. In all his travels, he has been accompanied by his wife Melanie. “I always get a new perspective when I travel with her. She is a passionate traveller with a good eye for spotting things. She makes me see things that I often fail to see,” he says. He has another word of advice: “Never be a slave to the camera. If you are going click, click, click, the moment you arrive at a place, you lose out on the essence of the place. Be aware of the surroundings first.” When Rhodes was playing active cricket (between 1992 and 2003), he never had a chance to ‘do’ the place he visited. It was always the airport-hotel-stadium routine. But now he has the time and has been to several countries. “New Zealand is one of the countries I really loved for its beautiful landscapes and many adventure sports – I have done sky diving and bungee jumping there. But the one country I would really like to visit is China. I am very keen to know its people and culture.” Rhodes hopes to see you in SA As for India, he has been here a hundred times. With Melanie, he has ‘house-boated’ in Kerala and snowboarded in Gulmarg. And he has even named his daughter India. Sure he is the right person to provide some advice to first timers in India. “Well, don’t get scared by its food. Try the sweet and syrupy gulab jamuns particularly. And yes, don’t be perturbed by the fact that it has a billion people. And if you are adventurous, ride a Royal Enfield to Ladakh,” he signs off.