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    September 30th, 2015adminGreen Initiatives / Environment, Nature, Travel

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    Says Hon. Wildlife Warden N.M. Naveen Kumar

    One should not work in the forest just for the sake of working but should have the passion for wildlife, its protection and conservation. One such person, who not only has the passion for wildlife but also wants to create awareness among the young generation about the importance of forests and wildlife, is N.M. Naveen Kumar, Hon. Wildlife Warden of Chamarajanagar district, who holds a M.Sc degree in Public Policy and Management from University of London. He has been appointed by the State Government for the second term. Chamarajanagar District Wildlife Division consists of six ranges in Bandipur National Park, complete BRT Tiger Reserve, M.M. Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and a major portion of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.

    In a tete-a-tete with Star of Mysore, Naveen Kumar spoke about Wildlife Wardens, their duties, responsibilities and challenges. Excerpts…

    by S. Kenneth Shishir

    Star of Mysore (SOM): Who is an Honorary Wildlife Warden?

    Naveen: An Hon. Wildlife Warden is a gazetted public servant, appointed under Section 4, Sub Section BB of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. It is a statutory post that is created by an Act of Parliament.

    SOM: What are the duties and responsibilities of Hon. Wildlife Warden?

    Naveen: The notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests has clearly stipulated the duties and responsibilities of the Hon. Wildlife Warden. The primary duties according to the Act are of enforcement in nature, namely, Control of poaching and clandestine trade in wild animals and products; Detection and prosecution of offences under the aforementioned Act; Preventing damage to the habitat of wildlife; Initiating measures for dealing with man-animal conflicts including the assessment and payment of compensation, etc.; Carrying the message of conservation to the people and enlisting public support for nature and wildlife conservation.

    SOM: What powers do you have to carry out these duties?

    Naveen: Hon. Wildlife Warden has the status of a deemed public servant under Section 59 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and has powers of entry, search, seizure and detention under Section 50 for prevention and detection of offences under the aforementioned Act and also has powers to inspect records of licences under Section 47 Sub Section B of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

    SOM: Do Forest officials extend co-operation to Hon. Wildlife Wardens in carrying out works?

    Naveen: Co-operation is being extended to a limited extent only by a few honest officers who have the passion for wildlife conservation.

    The officers whose priorities (unfortunately in majority) have certain personal agendas and they see the Hon. Wildlife Warden, especially an educated, informed and pro-active ones, as a thorn in their flesh.

    SOM: Could you elaborate?

    Naveen: The problem with the functional process of the Forest Department is that it is completely beyond public scrutiny unlike the works of Revenue, PWD or Police Department. For example, the Forest Department’s functioning is beyond the sight of the common man (Public) because forest is a technical subject and most importantly, the general public has no right of entry. This has created an atmosphere where “Power – Transparency = Corruption.”

    Therefore, the role of Hon. Wildlife Warden becomes very crucial as he/she is the only representative of the public who has powers of entry and access into the forest.

    SOM: How is the Anti-Poaching Force working in Bandipur?

    Naveen: We have increased the number of Anti-Poaching Camps and to a large extent, they have been instrumental in preventing and contain poaching. But on the ground in case of Bandipur, more than 60% of the Anti-Poaching Camps do not have a gun despite several written observations in this regard.

    SOM: How do they work without weapons then?

    Naveen: Patrolling on foot with a machete in their hands and any observations of human intervention, animal deaths, etc. are being reported to the head quarters in the evenings. Moreover, Anti-Poaching Camps are under-staffed and in case of Bandipur, there are 68 vacant positions with 28 persons at the guard level being transferred with a replacement of only 10 guards which has left Bandipur National Park to the mercy of poachers and timber smugglers.

    SOM: What are your suggestions to improve forests?

    Naveen: In order to protect, conserve and improve the forests, there has to be transparency and open public scrutiny of the Department’s functioning; Corrupt officers, especially those trapped by Lokayukta and against whom cases are pending, should not be given sensitive postings in places like Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks; The subordinate staff vacancies should be filled on priority; Weapons should be issued and hardness allowance extended to those working in the Wildlife Divisions. They should also get basic incentives like Life Insurance, canteen benefits on the lines of Police Department.

    SOM: What are the challenges faced in the forest?

    Naveen: Some of the major challenges being faced in the forest include sand lifting from core area sometimes with the connivance of officials concerned, timber smuggling which is being routed to depots and small game poaching especially deer, variety of fowls, hares and so on.

    SOM: Has the night traffic ban been effective?

    Naveen: Of course yes. Night traffic ban has been effective in ensuing peace and tranquillity for wild animals and has averted a lot of road kills. It is an outstanding example of what a passionate officer (in this case Dr. R. Raju, IFS) can contribute to the wildlife if he really minds.

    SOM: What measures have been taken to end or control man-animal conflicts in forest borders?

    Naveen: The Congress-led State Government has taken up a major project which is worth Rs. 230 crore. The Railway Barricade Project for border areas of both Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks is the first in the country which is an initiative of C. Srinivasan, retd. APCCF, Project Tiger. Upon completion of this project, man-animal conflicts, especially man-elephant conflicts, would drastically subside.

    Apart from this, night patrolling along sensitive areas and Village Watch Committees has been functioning to control Man-Animal conflicts.

    SOM: What is your message to the younger generation who are interested in nature and wildlife conservation?

    Naveen: Just remember, wildlife conservation is all about ‘swimming against the tide.’ Never hesitate to voice your opinion against the system when it is not in the interest of conservation. Help in protecting, preserving and conserving forest and wildlife by creating awareness about its importance to mankind. Those interested in wildlife conservation or have suggestions pertaining to wildlife and forest conservation may contact Naveen Kumar on e-mail: nmnaveen@yahoo.com

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / Wednesday – September 30th, 2015

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    Core System Integration (CSI) pilot project to be launched at 70 POs in Mysuru Division tomorrow

    The staff of Central Post Office in Nehru Circle in city are seen upgrading for the CSI project to be launched in Mysuru Division tomorrow

    The staff of Central Post Office in Nehru Circle in city are seen upgrading for the CSI project to be launched in Mysuru Division tomorrow

    Mysuru :

    The Department of Posts (DoP), in its attempt to integrate all solutions implemented under the IT Modernisation Project across different channels, levels and locations, is all set to implement the Core System Integration (CSI), a pilot project, in Mysuru Division tomorrow — the first in the country.

    A special software has been created by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for this project.

    The objectives of CSI are: To lay down a robust IT infrastructure; Implement software applications for various business areas of the department like Mail Operations, HR, etc. and to provide IT-enabled services to the rural community among others.

    It is envisaged that CSI will be responsible for overall integration of the solution and thus accountable for successful implementation of India Post-2012 project across channels, across various levels and locations, and for all business operations and supporting functions of DoP.

    In addition to the overall responsibility as mentioned above, the CSI will have direct delivery responsibility for mail and logistics operations, enterprise wide human resources and payroll, finance and accounts, and customer interaction management services.

    The CSI shall ensure that the components that are delivered to the end-users are seamlessly integrated onto a common front-end and are successfully deployed onto the client hardware. The pilot project will be implemented in all 40 Post Offices in the city and 30 in Mysuru Division.

    Meanwhile, Senior Post Master of Mysuru HPO H.S. Hunagund, speaking to SOM this morning, said that in view of the implementation of the project tomorrow, all the Post Offices in the city remained closed today to upgrade to the new system.

    With the launching of CSI, the customers will get good and speedy service, he said and added that almost all services of the Postal Department would go online from tomorrow.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / Wednesday – September 30th, 2015

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    Unique hobbies

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    Junk is old and everything old is collectable’ believes Sharath Namburi, a passionate hoarder of antique objects.
    A businessman by profession, he can  be rightly called curator of an unexplored museum, which is his house.

    While it is the vintage bicycles that welcome one at the gate, it is the breeze from the 100-year-old, 40 kilogram fan belonging to the Nizams of Hyderabad, which gives the rustic air as one enters the living room.

    Watches, cameras, lanterns, tricycles, clapboards — ‘antiquity’ shouts from every corner of his house!

    “This interest started as a boy. I used to collect stamps and coins. I collected cricket cards (from the 1990s) that came with the ‘Big Fun’ (chewing gum).”

    “Then I went on to currencies and more authentic and antique objects. Since then, there has been no end to this passion,” says Sharath. It was his frequent business visits that helped him explore the various ‘scrap shops’, which added a lot of value to his invaluable assets.

    He has a collection of 185 models of reel cameras, 780 mechanical watches, a 100- year-old-dressing table, a tricycle and a toy jeep that belonged to the Nizams, 40 types of kerosene lamps; the list goes on and on.

    “I do not just collect them, but use them too. The kerosene lamps come in handy during the power cuts, the tricycle and the toy jeeps have been restored for my four-year-old son Tejal, the wall clocks still tick in all the rooms and I change my watch three times a day to keep them all going!” he explains. Ask him if his wife is supportive about his passion and he jokes, “I think she is forced to support me. She believes – if you can’t beat them, then it’s better to join them.”

    His Sundays are spent winding the 780 mechanical watches and he says, “I am a HMT watch collector and since the factory is shut, a bunch of watch collectors have started a club and we meet once in two months.”

    Among his camera collection, the reputation for being the oldest one goes to his 1885 Eastman Kodak, which has the first transparent photographic film. Apart from the antique gadgets, he owns a portable coffee mill — Philco coffee grinder.

    “Till date, we  use this at our house,” he details. It is his friends and scrap shop owners who have contributed largerly to his interests.

    “I have a lot of friends in Hyderabad who  also collects antique stuffs. There was a guy working at the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, which is now run by the Taj, who helped me get the 100-year-old fan. This ceiling fan had once fallen off the roof and it was kept aside for 20 years without any repair. My friend informed me about this and the next morning I was on a train to Hyderabad,” he reminisces.

    He visits the scrap shops during lunch breaks to look for more antique objects.
    However, he goes back in time and says, “Initially I have lost a lot of money as I could not differentiate between authentic and fake objects. It was a learning experience. Now, I know what to collect from where.”

    Some day, he hopes to open a walk-in museum to exhibit his collection to the next generation.

    He is hopeful that his son will take forward this passion. The next priced possession he wants to own is the Penny-farthing bicycle, which has a large front wheel and a smaller rare wheel. “I wish I could insure all these collections,” he says as a parting shot.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Metrolife / by Prajna GR / DHNS – September 28th, 2015

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    September 30th, 2015adminEducation, Sports

    Blazing the track

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    His journey is one behind the wheels and his mind moves at the same pace as his vehicle. Final-year medical student and City-based racer, Shuchindra Gowda made his foray into motorsport four years back and since then, he is an alter ego of his car — fast-paced, edgy, rushing and rolling outside the track as well.

    He is a man of few words but has traversed a long, tough journey. His first lap was ‘just for fun’, he recalls, when he was a newbie to the sport and didn’t know the basics, including tuning the car. From there, he has driven a long route.

    After steering through some nail-biting rounds, he participated in the finale of Toyota’s Etios Motor Racing (EMR) recently at Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida.

    He says, “It was my first time in this Circuit. It’s a very well-respected and inspiring track. Great racers with shining careers have come here. It’s a humbling feeling to have represented my State and country.” After bagging the Indian National Autocross Championship in 2012, which was one of his biggest milestones, he wishes to make his friends and family proud here now. Though he has no strategy planned out as he is yet to analyse the race track, he is mentally prepared and bustling with confidence.

    The only student to be stepping into the circuit this year, especially from a world of skulls and cadavers, he practises as much as he can during the weekend at his own race tracks in Nelamangala and Hesaraghatta. Happy that he is representing Bengaluru, he wishes that the racing circuit grows in the City.

    “The City lacks professional tracks and hence fails to promote more racers. Racing is still an expensive sport so the growth is slow. However, the Federation is supporting us so that the racing scene around the country can become active. There are many races now which promote freshers in the novice category, which is helpful for them so that they can gauge their interest and see if they want to continue with racing.”

    Though these loopholes are taken care of, Shuchindra believes that winning a lap depends on the driver and his relationship with the car. He adds, “There is nothing like a perfect lap. One can lose out within a fraction of a second here. The most important thing is to be focussed. Racers have to understand the nuances within racing and different kinds of tracks and rallies to continue. More sponsors, race tracks and awareness will only follow after dedicated racers.”  And this dedicated racer will not stop his lap here. With veteran Michael Schumacher as his inspiration, he plans to participate in “many more races” and conquer the racing circuit.

    “I feel like I am living in two different worlds altogether. There are times when I have thought of quitting medical school and taking this up professionally to continue living a swift life.”

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Metrolife / by Anushka Sivakumar / DHNS – September 30th, 2015

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    Candida Louis at Gurez in Kashmir where she was given a rousing reception by school girls.

    Candida Louis at Gurez in Kashmir where she was given a rousing reception by school girls.

    It was on a hazy morning last month that Candida Louis rode into the largely unexplored Gurez Valley in Kashmir on her Royal Enfield.

    It didn’t take long for the news to spread about the girl on motorcycle, a rare sight in those parts of the world. The next thing the 24-year-old knew was she in the middle of a mob of girls who had come to meet the brave one. They were awestruck by the adventurous spirit of the Bengaluru girl and wanted to ride pillion, which she obliged. “Its such experiences and people I meet that count more than covering thousands of kilometres,” said the IT professional with Infosys, who is on a three-month vacation to live her dream.

    Circumstances conspired to help her fulfil that dream in a flurry. First, Dalton Louis gifted his only daughter with a Royal Enfield on her birthday last November and then seven months later a television channel approached her to be part of a group of ten riders in a programme meant to cover 30,000 kilometres in 22 states.

    The supportive parents gave their nod and so did her employer. And before she knew it, she was on the road this July. Though the programme was wound up just in 20 days, Candida declined to be dispirited and continued her journey solo with the same target.

    Since then she had covered 8,200 kilometres in over 12 states and till now she didn’t have a single bad experience despite many apprehensions about her safety by her loved ones. She reached Kochi from Munnar and was at Vypeen on Tuesday.

    Staying at different hotels and experiencing variety food, the youngster plans to write about her travelling experience for a mobile app, which she said would help her meet fuel expenses.

    The end of the journey in Goa in November would just be the beginning of wait for her next big adventure. “I always dreamt of going around the world in a motorcycle and I wanted to start it covering India,” she signed off.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home>National> Kerala / by M.P. Praveen / September 30th, 2015

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    Belagavi :

    The alma mater of many priests in the diocese of Goa, Karwar and Belagavi — St Michael’s Seminary here will be observing its golden jubilee celebrations on Tuesday.

    Located at Macche on the Belgaum-Goa road via Chorla, about 12 kms from city, the seminary is well known amongst the Catholic religious circles across the nation and is hailed as one of the finest seminaries where more than 200 priests including two bishops have passed out.

    At the celebrations that will be held at the premises of the seminary, three archbishops and six bishops will be taking part in the holy eucharistic celebrations that will be held at 4pm followed by a programme to commemorate the golden jubilee.

    Archbishop of Bengaluru Rev Bernard Moras will be the main celebrant for the mass accompanied by archbishops, bishops and about 500 priests from three states of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra will be celebrating the mass.

    Rev Fr Joseph Rodrigues and team of priests under the guidance of bishop of Belagavi Rev Dr Peter Machado have made elaborate arrangements for the golden jubilee celebrations.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City> Hubballi / by Ravindra Uppar, TNN / September 28th, 2015

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    September 28th, 2015adminLeaders
    Mysuru MP Pratap Simha diving from a height of over 10,000 feet during a sky diving event at the Mysuru airport on Monday. Photo: M.A.Sriram

    Mysuru MP Pratap Simha diving from a height of over 10,000 feet during a sky diving event at the Mysuru airport on Monday. Photo: M.A.Sriram

    Mysuru MP Pratap Simha on Monday took a daring jump from a height of about 13,000 feet as part of his maiden sky diving at the Mysuru airport.

    “When I boarded the four-seater Cessna aircraft and reached the desired height for the jump, it was a bit scary. But, when I took the plunge and floated in the air, it turned out to be my lifetime experience. The dive was beyond belief and enormously thrilling,” the BJP MP told The Hindu, after the dive.

    This was the 38-year-old first-time MP’s maiden attempt in sky diving. Accompanied by an instructor from the United States, Mr. Simha took the jump, which was conducted by Su Kakini Enterprises Private Limited, the country’s only certified agency for sky diving.

    The agency is holding sky diving at the airport since April this year.

    Incidentally, Mr. Simha is one of the few MPs in the country to perform sky diving. “I am the first MP in the 16th Lok Sabha to perform this adventure,” he claimed.

    Mr. Simha jumped from the sky around 8:45 am and was airborne for over 10-15 minutes before reaching the ground. “I was falling at a speed of 220 km but never felt it,” he said.

    With Mysuru possessing ideal weather, the MP said efforts will be made to promote Mysuru as a sky diving hub and thereby boost tourism in a big way.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by Shankar Bennur / Mysuru – September 28th, 2015

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    September 27th, 2015adminRecords, All, Sports, World Opinion

    India’s most successful cueist Pankaj Advani today added another feather to his cap by winning the IBSF World Billiards Championship after outplaying his opponent in the final to take his world title count to 14 here.

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    Advani, 30, left the spectators spellbound with his prolific play and indisputable mastery over the 3-ball game, demolishing Singapore’s Peter Gilchrist by 1168 points.

    On lifting his 14th world crown in style, the Indian ace said, “I was determined to get even with Peter (Gilchrist) after losing the point format final to him. A productive chat with my sports psychologist brother Shree and a good night’s sleep did the trick. We discussed my strategies and mental approach the night before the big final and it all panned out perfectly.”

    Bengaluru’s ‘Golden Boy’ was in roaring form and appeared keen to not only defend his Time format world title but also avenge his loss of the Point format championship to Gilchrist, which happened under a week ago.

    In the opening visit, Advani fired in a quick century (127) to take the initial lead. Failing to capitalise, Gilchrist handed over an opportunity to the Indian star and it was taken full advantage of.

    The 2015 6-red snooker world champion showed his fine prowess in billiards by smashing in two back-to-back triple centuries (360 and 301), making the match a foregone conclusion in the first hour itself.

    With a comfortable 700-point lead, India’s posterboy of cuesport continued to add insult to injury with breaks of 284, 119, 101 and 106 in quick succession to extend his lead to 1100 points at the halfway mark of the 5-hour final.

    On resumption in the second half, Advani continued to punish his opponent with two more centuries but a spirited fightback by the Singaporean in the form of a big double century (284) along with a couple more centuries reduced his deficit.

    But Advani was not quite done yet. He continued his devastating form with some aggressive scoring. The last nail in the coffin was a fluent and flawless 430 break that was unfinished as the match reached the end of its 300 minutes duration.

    Advani has stamped his authority yet again in billiards at the world level for a few years now. After annihilating England’s Mike Russell in the final of 2012 edition of the Time format, Advani went on to win twin titles in both Point and Time formats in 2014.

    The champion further added, “I’ve been on the move last couple of months competing in many tournaments back to back, in both snooker and billiards. The stint started with winning the world 6-red snooker championship and ended with this world title in billiards making it a very satisfying phase of the year for me.”

    Result:

    Pankaj Advani (India) defeated Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) 2408 – 1240 (final of Time format)

    Breaks: Pankaj Advani (127, 360, 301, 284, 124, 101, 106, 171, 114, 430*)
    Peter Gilchrist (102, 156, 249, 107, 198).

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports  / PTI / Adelaide – September 27th, 2015

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    The legacy of the 600-year-old Wodeyar dynasty is the subject of the Bharatnatyam dance presentation, Under The Double Eagle. Choreographed and performed by Lakshmi Gopalaswamy and Satyanarayana Raju, exponents of the dance form, it is being presented as part of the Bangalore International Arts Festival to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the International Music and Arts Society.

    Talking about the genesis of the production, Gopalaswamy shares that the two of them were commissioned by the Chennai-based Narada Gana Sabha Trust to do a piece on the Mysore royal family in 2013. “Natyarangam, the dance wing of the sabha, holds a thematic dance festival every year and in 2013, the programme was called Bhoopala Bharatam and focused on good Indian kings who had ruled their provinces efficiently. The Wadiyars were among the dynasties that were chosen and it was the trust members who suggested that Satyanarayana Raju and I collaborate. That’s how Under the Double Eagle was conceived,” recalls Gopalaswamy. Considering the historical nature of the theme, preparation for the presentation entailed delving into quite a bit of research into the royal family, to ensure authenticity. “To begin with, the sabha put us in touch with Vikram Sampath who’d written the book, Splendours of Royal Mysore. But besides accessing and reading books on the royalty’s 600-year-long history , a major challenge was to use lyrics and music pieces that were relevant to the time,” explains Gopalaswamy who according to Raju, “sat and did all the research because I am not someone who can read texts.”

    “To get the right music, we met composers who have studied the Mysore royal family’s contribution to classical music.We also had Lakshmi’s mother, Dr Uma Gopalaswamy , who is a musician, giving us inputs on what ragas to use,” informs Raju. Gopalaswamy adds, “Prof Srikantam Nagendra Shastry was another key source of information. He even shared certain authentic Javali compositions with us.” While the research took them two months to finish, Raju informs the pair managed to complete the choreography in 15 days. The story of the production, if one may call it that, charts the life and times of 8 Wadiyars kings. “With the Wadiyar dynasty spanning generations, it was almost impossible to show all the rulers. Instead we chose the rulers based on their cultural contributions,” says Gopalaswamy.

    Starting with Yaduraya Wadiyar, who founded the dynasty in 1399, the kings who are depicted in the production are Narasaraja Wadiyar I (Ranadhira Kantheerava), Chikka Devaraja Wadiyar, (Immadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar II, Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV and Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar.

    About the choreography itself, Raju says that what proved quite the challenge was, “translating contemporary subjects into Bharatanatyam movements. For in stance, we had to work a lot to choreograph the portion that talks about the construction of the Krishna Raja Sa gara (KRS) Dam by Krishnaraja Wadi yar IV. I mean, how does one show something like this through simple hand movements and little else?” Gopalaswamy believes that the production will be nothing short of an education for the audience. “You learn about the kind of visionaries, and good leaders the kings were. You will also realize how the subtle influence of the Mysore royalty may have played its part in cultivating Kannadigas in to the gentle, cosmopolitan and culturally-oriented community we are.”

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bengaluru / by Mahalakshmi P, TNN / September 26th, 2015

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    September 26th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All
    Writer Sethu handing over ‘Virali Pattu, Valampiri Shankhu, Kannadi Bimbam’ to Biennale director of Programmes Riyas Komu. Artist Balan Nambiar and writer-journalist Jose Panachippuram are also seen

    Writer Sethu handing over ‘Virali Pattu, Valampiri Shankhu, Kannadi Bimbam’ to Biennale director of Programmes Riyas Komu. Artist Balan Nambiar and writer-journalist Jose Panachippuram are also seen

    For the past four decades, veteran artist Balan Nambiar has been researching on three key religious and cultural symbols of Kerala. Now, their key features found compilation as a book that was launched at a function at the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB).

    ‘Virali Pattu, Valampiri Shankhu, Kannadi Bimbam’ was released at KMB ‘14 ‘History Now’ event last weekend, when writer Sethu handed over a copy of the multi-colour work to Biennale director of Programmes Riyas Komu. The book has been translated into Malayalam by writer-journalist Jose Panachippuram.

    The tastefully published work looks at the history of the three iconic objects and their cultural and artistic evolution. The ‘virali pattu’ is a silk double ikat or Patola textile, which was traditionally hand-woven in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. It has been used for centuries in Kerala as garments by priests, theyyam dancers and to clothe deities. Even in the kalam art portraying Bhagavathy, the goddess is depicted wearing the distinctive ‘virali pattu’ design.

    “The weavers calculated the design through the warp and weft as if on a mental computer,” said Bengaluru-based Nambiar, who is a native of North Malabar.

    “It was believed that silk cloth was unpolluted; so it was ideal for ritual use. Today, there are only five Jain families in Gujarat who still possess the weaving skills,” the 77-year-old artist noted at a function in Aspinwall House, the main KMB’14 venue, at Fort Kochi.

    The ‘valampiri shanku’ is a sacred Hindu conch, in which spiral twists right when the spout is pointed up.  Nambiar, who is from Kannapuram near Kannur, has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, has used this and the ‘kannadi bimbam’ as inspirations in his many sculptural works, which have been exhibited around Europe and in India. The ‘kannadi bimbam’ is a metal mirror used as the deity in some temples in upstate Kerala, where devotees meditate upon their own reflection.

    Sethu, also former chairman of the National Book Trust, suggested that the internationally renowned artist was giving back to his home-state through the book.

    “It is sad that he has not got due recognition in Kerala, where none of his sculptures are exhibited,” he said. “But through this book, he is giving back stories of our tradition to our people.”

    The evening ended with artist Shiva Shankaran rendering songs from the medieval ‘vadakkan pattu’ (ballads from north Malabar), which makes reference to the ‘virali pattu’ in the context of a baby’s cradle, and in the dressing up rituals of warriors’ Thacholi Othenan and Unniarcha.

    source:  http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Kerala / by Express Features / March 27th, 2015

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