Ganesan Manoharan and Iris Perrine shine in Superstar Challenge 2014, writes Faisal Asyraf
IN a singing competition, there’s no guarantee of coming up tops even if you’re praised by the judges. Malaysian duo Ganesan Manoharan and Iris Perrine received back-to-back praises only to come in third at the recent Superstar Challenge 2014 international Tamil singing competition.
First runner-up was Singaporean duo Vishnu Balaji and Pavithra Nair, while Aravind Sandhya and Abilasha Venkata Chellum from India, won the grand prize of S$20,000 (RM50,780).
Second and third place prizes were S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively.
In its second year, the competition saw participation from Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and Canada and was broadcast live on Vasantham Central Singapore and Vasantham TV Sri Lanka.
Last year, Malaysian duo Santhesh Kumar and Charumathy Savaratnam won the championship title, so there were high expectations for Ganesan and Iris to repeat the success.
Prior to the competition held in MediaCorp TV Theatre, Caldecott Broadcast Centre Singapore, the bubbly Iris said: “We have been practising five to eight hours daily for six weeks. We are ready to rock!”
Well, they did rock with commendable performances in all three rounds — fast beat, acoustic and a 1980s song.
In the first round, Singaporean judge Mohammed Rafee said “while I had a lot to jot down on paper about the other contestants, there’s nothing for me to write about your performance. It was perfect”, referring to their performance of Jingunamani.
“You enjoyed yourselves on stage, and you made the audience happy. This is what entertainment is all about,” added the judge who worked with renowned Indian composer A.R. Rahman on the song Sonatai Seitu Mudipom.
Mohammed Rafee added that Iris had a total package to make it in the entertainment scene, including strong vocals and the magnetism to attract the crowd.
Iris had participated in other talent competitions such as Asia Bagus (1994) and Vaanavil Superstar (2009) and she came in first runner-up.
Other judges include Praba Balakrishnan (Canada), Sivaguru Sithambaram (Malaysia), Harish Raghavendra (India) and M. Mohanraj (Sri Lanka).
When the Singaporean co-hosts Jaya Ganesh and Eswary Gunasagar announced the fifth and fourth place winners, the audience had anticipated Sri Lanka and Canada respectively.
“Who’s the second runner up?” asked Jaynesh. Some in the audience shouted India and Singapore. So, when the result was announced, it caught everyone by surprise.
The champions, Aravind and Abilasha, possessed excellent vocal skills, despite a lack of showmanship. They performed Katcheri-Katcheri and Ahruhive-Ahruhive in the first and second round, respectively.
After their performance of Enn Jodi Manja Kuruvi in the third round, judge Mohammed Rafee said: “If there was a solo category in this competition, Abilasha would undoubtedly win. Aravind should thank Abilasha because she is the anchor of this performance.”
Abilasha, in her 20s, has been singing professionally for six years. She won the singing competition Zee Saregamara (Hindi version) in 2010. Aravind won with Zee Saregamara (Tamil version) in 2012, back in India.
The duo had only three days to practice before Superstar Challenge 2014.
Other competitors who wowed the audience were Vishnu Balaji and Pavithra from Singapore. In the third round, they put on an entertaining gimmick by wearing afro wigs, as they belted out Onnum Teriyate.
Meanwhile, this is not the end for Ganesan and Iris.
“We know we have put on a good show, but Lady Luck was not on our side this time. I believe in my talent, and I hope to clinch a recording offer,” says Iris. Ganesan says he will be participating in more singing competitions.
Watch the show on Astro Vinmeen HD (Ch 231) today at 6pm, in conjunction with Chithirai Puthandu.
source: http://www.nst.com.my / New Straits Times / Home> Sunday Life & Times / by Faisal Asyarf (email@example.com) / April 13th, 2014
Thousands of faithful from across the country gathered today at Shrine Basillica in Vailankanni, the 17th century Christian shrine in Nagapattinam district in connection with the ‘Palm Sunday’ procession, which marks the beginning of the week long Easter celebrations.
To mark the occasion, a colourful ‘Palm Sunday’ procession was taken out after special prayers with the priests and participants carrying crosses made of palm leaves.
Pilgrims from all over the state travelling for days on foot will visit the shrine and participate in many events taking place throughout the week.
source: http://www.business-standard.com / Business Standard / Home> PTI Stories> National> News / Press Trust of India / Nagapattinam (TN) – April 13th, 2014
KBL’s Mahila Mission 20, an all women project at Coimbatore plant sets foot in Limka Book of Records0
Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL), announced that its all-women Coimbatore plant has bagged a prestigious award by the Limca Book of Records for its project ‘Mahila Mission 20′. The project has achieved a milestone of assembling a pump in 17.25 seconds, making it a national record, stated a company release.
The silver jubilee of the Limca Book of Records dedicated to the cause of Empowering Women honoured Dr.RV.Rajkumar with the recognition on behalf of the entire female workforce of Kirloskar Brother s Limited ,Coimbatore plant. The award was offered in the presence of numerous dignitaries, leaders, decision makers and bureaucrats from various participating companies.
Sanjay Kirloskar , Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Brothers said, “It is a proud moment for us to be recognised for our accomplishment towards women empowerment. Our all-women Coimbatore plant has received many significant awards and this recognition further reaffirms the abilities of our female employee’s.”
He further added, “With the dedication of our associates, we have successfully reduced the assembly time from 60 seconds to a record breaking 20 seconds; thereby increasing the plant production to 34000 pumps per line per month. I am extremely overwhelmed to have such a committed women workforce that settles for nothing but the best.”
KBL’s all women Coimbatore plant was established in 2011. The plant manufactures different models of domestic pumps and has 65 women between the age group of 19 to 30 employed on the shop floor. KBL is the only engineering company in India which operates with 100% female associates in the manufacturing process, stated the release.
source: http://www.articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com / The Economic Times / Home> News> News By Company> Corporate Announcements / by Jayashree Bhosale, ET Bureau / April 11th, 2014
India’s top table tennis player Sharath Kamal thinks he has finally won his long battle against a shaky backhand, which has helped him equal his career-best ranking of 39 in nearly four years.
The jump in the rankings has also given the three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist the confidence to set high targets in 2014, a crucial year with the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asiad all lined up from late April to August.
On top of his wish list is breaking into the top-30 by year end. He also wants to regain the CWG singles and team titles he won in 2006.
“Playing in these big events gives me a chance to further improve my rankings. I think with the level of table tennis I am playing at the moment, I can probably look at a top 30 spot by 2014 end,” Sharath told PTI from Dusseldorf where he has spent two years playing for top German club Borussia Dusseldorf.
He further said about his expectations: “Most importantly, I would like to win back the singles and team gold at the CWG but the mighty Singaporeans will be there as always and we have to figure out a way to beat them. Asian Games will obviously be tougher but I will try to get the maximum out of it.”
Interestingly, it was right before the 2010 CWG in New Delhi that the Chennai-born paddler broke into the top-50 and he has again found his rhythm ahead of the Glasgow Games in July-August. He endured a tough time in between as the changes he made in his game did not bear fruit.
He started losing to lower-ranked players and even the youngsters back home besides letting go off his throne at the National Championship after winning it six times. Now he feels he has improved significantly in the last 12 months with his ever lethal forehand complimenting a solid backhand, considered vital in the modern game.
“All this improvement is a result of stability in my backhand. I am pretty much a different player from last year and have improved my game in all aspects. Training in Germany for the last two years too has helped a great deal,” said the lanky player.
It was only in March he recorded the biggest win of his career, beating World No.8 Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei in the Asian Cup. India’s foreign coach Peter Engel, too, is pleased with Sharath’s progress but warns his backhand issues are not solved yet.
“His backhand has become better but still there is a lot of room for improvement. The recent results show that he is winning the important points and is more relaxed with his service. As he is hardly training with us in India, I hope his club coaches fix the flaw completely,” Engel said.
Overall, the last six months have been encouraging for Indian table tennis with youngsters Harmeet Desai (136) and Soumyajit Ghosh (118) entering the world’s top-150. Senior player Anthony Amalraj falls just out of that bracket on 151.
Sharath said the future augurs well for the men’s team. “This is a really good sign and Amalraj should be also be in the top 150 soon. Now we have a very balanced team and we can challenge many of the world’s top teams. Ghosh and Harmeet will break the top 100 barrier mark if they continue the same way,” the 31-year-old concluded.
source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Sports> Other Sports / PTI / April 11th, 2014
While many of them may miss the eclectic culture of Calcutta, there is no doubt among members of the cotton hub’s Bengali community that Coimbatore has now become their favourite city. This is the one community that has been able to maintain its own identity while blending in perfectly with the local community.
On a conservative estimate, more than 22,000 Bengalis hailing from upper and middle class families have settled down in the city. The city also plays host to numerous youths from districts outside Kolkata migrating to work in various industrial units and private firms in the area.
“Most of us have been living here since the 80s. We have made this our home and are totally comfortable here. The salubrious climate and the peaceful law and order situation makes it a better place to raise a family than Kolkata,” said Subrata Majumdher, Secretary, The Bengali Association, Coimbatore.
Majority of the city’s Bengalis are engaged in various business activities. However, the younger generation is opting for IT jobs in MNCs. According to Subrata Barik, another prominent member of the community, a major chunk of Bengalis are associated with gold manufacturing units. In fact Edayar Street in the old city area is lined up with numerous gold manufacturing units owned by members of the West Bengal community. However, the rest of the community is scattered across the city, especially in Saibaba Colony and Kavundampalayam.
“Majority of our community is associated with gold manufacturing business and our workers and gold craftsmen form an integral part of the sector in Coimbatore,” Barik added
Keeping their traditions alive, the community annually arranges elaborate Durga Puja celebrations in the city. The authenticity of the celebration is maintained as artisans from Bengal are hired and brought to Coimbatore and preparations are done from scratch including making the Durga idol.
“Durga Puja celebrations are always done with pomp and style with artisans and musicians specially brought from Calcutta to make the idols and perform for the crowd,” said Ayan Chatterjee, one of the founding members of the Bengali association here in the city.
However, the absence of an authentic Bengali outlet in the city is the one small grievance of the community.
Despite the numerous chat and snack stalls, the city still lacks an outlet that caters to Bengali tastes. However, members are hopeful that this will change very soon.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Coimbatore / by Binoy Valsan, TNN / April 07th, 2014
Anglos in the two localities have woken up to the yawning differences between them. Here’s how they drifted apart
Darla Jacob* likes hip-hop, Nancy Vincent* likes waltz. Darla likes hard rock, and Nancy, classical music. Darla punches codes and Nancy strings words, for a living.
They are cousins. They are Anglo-Indians. One lives in Pallavaram, and the other in Perambur.
Those outside the community tend to paint Anglo-Indians in one colour with a few variations of it. But the quintessentially Anglo-Indian qualities are vigorously reshaped by geography and nurture, and only a bewildering palette of colours can do justice to them. Every Anglo-Indian group is distinct from all others. The Pallavaram and Perambur groups, counted among the oldest in Chennai, seem to follow different muses. Interestingly, these muses are reported to be at drawn swords.
The Pallavaram Anglos claim they are less insular. Says Darla,“Don’t think I am biased because I am from Pallavaram. I think we blend in a lot better, when we are around non Anglo-Indian crowd. We too use the standard Anglo language like ‘what child’ and ‘what man’, but know when to tone it down.”
There is a theory that Anglo-Indian groups maintaining strong links with the Railways have managed to prevent traditions from being reshaped by the cross-winds of outside influences. Even now, when Anglo-Indians are moving to other countries at a rate that is causing concern to traditionalists, the Railways contributes considerably to the self-identity of the Anglos in Perambur.
In contrast, the Pallavaram Anglos have always had a tenuous link with the Railways with a majority of them employed in the Army. Veteran Lines, a famous Anglo-Indian locality in Pallavaram, was created for World World II veterans. Moreover, the Pallavaram group was among the earliest to turn to the private sector for jobs. To illustrate the point, successive generations of Anglos from Pallavaram were on the rolls of English Electric (now called AVERA), a private company.
“Following the end of the British Raj, Anglos in the southern settlements took up jobs in the private sector, while those in Perambur continued with the Railways and kept to their cliques,” says Mary Mathew*, a long-time resident of St. Thomas Mount and therefore has no axe to grind in this discussion. Ruth Carlton* says, “Yes, it is true. I believe we take a lot more pride in being Anglo-Indian than any other group. It is probably because Perambur was one of the earliest British settlements in Madras.”
Roy Rozario, a Railway employee and a man given to following Anglo-Indian proprieties, thinks Anglo-Indian associations in and around Perambur are more active than most others from the rest of city. As a result, initiatives to conduct traditional balls come more frequently from this part of the city.
As Anglos have an almost intrinsic love for music and dance, these cultural get-togethers help members of the community bond better. Do the differences between the Pallavaram and Perambur groups come to the fore?
“They do, but manifest in subtle ways – a snide remark here and a snarky look there,” says Brian Chatelier*.
Harry MacLure, a force working towards preserving the Anglo-Indian ethos, says there may be differences, but not strong enough to drive the groups decisively apart.
“Regular get-togethers are all it takes to help these groups appreciate each other better. Beyond these groups, there are people who are cut off from the community because work has led them into areas totally devoid of any Anglo-Indian influence. For example, due to employment in the IT sector, Anglo-Indians settle down in areas such as Velachery. Helping these people stay connected to the community is more of a worry than undoing the often imagined slights between any two Anglo-Indian groups,” says MacLure, who is editor of Anglos In The Wind, a community magazine.
Most of the younger Anglo-Indians from Pallavaram and Perumbur consider themselves free of prejudices that mark relations between the groups. They say the differences are not something to be frowned upon: they add variety to a community that is often presented in a single-tone colour.
*Names changed to keep Anglos from Perambur and Pallavaram from stepping on each other’s toes, quite literally at the next May Queen ball.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Society / Melange / by Susanna Myrtle Lazarus / Chennai – April 19th, 2014
In two separate events on Thursday, achievements of orthopaedics in the city were highlighted. While MIOT Hospital celebrated the performance of 30,000 joint replacement surgeries, Apollo Hospital called for a conference to talk about a specific total knee replacement procedure.
MIOT Hospital marked the performance of 20,000 hip replacements and 10,000 knee replacements and also opened a museum within its premises. The Museum of Arthroplasty (Joint Replacement) seeks to educate the public and patients on choosing long-lasting artificial joints. The museum has models of prosthesis used over the years. One of the earliest prosthesis — John Charnley prosthesis of 1963 — resulted in the first successful total hip arthroplasty , said P.V.A.Mohandas, founder and managing director of the hospital.
Barry J.M. D’Rosario, director, Centre for Knee Replacement Surgery and Computer Navigation, said, “Osteoarthritis is one of the main indicators for knee replacement, followed by rheumatoid arthritis and other causes such as post traumatic arthritis,” he added.
Many people under 40 are coming in for joint replacements, Prithvi Mohandas, joint managing director, said. “We need to ensure the artificial joint lasts a lifetime and the patient does not get admitted again,” he explained.
Meanwhile, a team of doctors at Apollo Hospitals have performed a total knee replacement with the help of ATTUNE Knee System and I Assist Navigation System on a 72-year-old patient.
The ATTUNE Knee System helps in re-creating the precision of human knee, allowing doctors to personalise the fit for each patient, while the I Assist Knee System is a computer-assisted stereotactic surgical instrument system that aids doctors in positioning of orthopaedic implant components.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – April 18th, 2014
There were a number of contenders for bowler of the month for March, but none could top Ravichandran Ashwin.
Imran Tahir finished as the top wicket taker of the World Twenty20, taking a wicket once every 10 balls.
Samuel Badree kicked dust in Sunil Narine’s eyes, Amit Mishra was a leg-spinning bundle of joy and Rangana Herath had one really rather good spell.
Even Dale Steyn could stake a claim after a very good run in the World T20.
In the end, though, it was Ashwin who came up trumps. He took 11 wickets in the World T20 at an average of 11.27.
Although his performance in the final of the World T20 against SriLanka was somewhat underwhelming, he was superb overall. It’s not only his ability to take wickets that made him the top choice, but also his ability to stifle the scoring rate, forcing pressure to build and batsmen to lose their minds.
Not once in the entire tournament did he concede more than 30 runs and his 4-for-11 against Australia was fantastic to watch. There was also the carrom ball to dismiss Hashim Amla in the semi-final, a fantastic delivery that would fox any batsman in the world.
Ashwin is the kind of bowler who likes to experiment and who likes to keep on changing and learning. In the lead up to the World T20 during the Asia Cup, Ashwin had a new approach once again. After two average tours against South Africa and New Zealand, Ashwin had to try something, so he tried to model his action after Sunil Narine.
The results weren’t immediate, and he finished the tournament with nine wickets in four games at an average of 18.55. The change in action caused much criticism from some quarters. Maninder Singh was one of the most notable critics. He was quoted by The Times of India as saying the change in action could destroy Ashwin’s career.
” What is he trying to do? He was a wicket-taking bowler for us, but this is going to kill him. I don’t know how the coaches are allowing him to do this. Don’t forget Narine is a freak and his action has always been like that. If a spinner tries to copy Narine at the age of 25, he will not last in international cricket for too long. “
Ashwin, clearly not one for taking note of the naysayers, obviously wasn’t bothered. On the eve of the game against Australia, Ashwinrevealed why he was flirting with the newly adopted action. He was quoted by the Indian Express as saying:
” I want to do something different. I want to keep trying something—unless you try you don’t go and venture and find out what can work or not. I’d never bowled in full-sleeves before. So I wanted to see how it would feel. And I just wanted to see if you can get more revs on the ball if you can do a little bit with your elbow, as much as that is. That’s what it was all about. You can get a lot of advantage with these things—so why should I lag behind if someone else is getting a competitive edge? “
Brief change, innovation, foolish—call it what you want—Ashwin is clearly the type of player who always wants to push himself no matter what. His performance in the World T20 was down to some old-school spin bowling and his carrom ball. That ball, which made him so effective in the first place, proved to be his most potent weapon.
It’s not the first time Ashwin has tried something new; he has admitted in the past, as per ESPNCricinfo, that he uses tennis ball cricket to help him learn new tricks and improve his game.
Spinners are the most effective bowlers in T20 cricket. They are transformed in the format because batsmen are forced to attack instead of just being able to see out the overs. The bowlers likeAshwin who combine the ability to take wickets with the ability to stifle the runs deserve the most credit, though, and if that requires a little bit of innovation here and there, who are we to judge?
Data and stats via ESPNCricinfo.
source: http://www.bleacherreport.com / Bleacher Report / Home> Cricket> India / by Antoinette Muller, Featured Columnist / April 08th, 2014
Assiduous students of College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University, were all smiles on Thursday as they received awards from Arun C Bharath, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai, for their academic excellence in the current year. The additional controller’s office reported that 71 students from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes were awarded endowment projects and scholarships.
Bharath, an alumni of the college, congratulated the students saying, “Although several colleges are affiliated to Anna University, CEG students stand out from the rest.” He advised the students to learn life skills that would aid in the development of the nation and more importantly, participate in the voting exercise.
“As students of a government institution, your engineering degree is subsidised by taxpayers’ money and hence you have a moral obligation to serve the country,” he said. With funny anecdotes, the civil servant shared incidents from his college life, which kept the audience in delight.
Registrar of Anna University S Ganesan made a lighter speech, comparing academic and cultural programmes of the college. On a serious note, he also informed that the college had published a number of scholarly papers and stood at the 76 percentile in the h-index, an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar.
C Chellappan, dean, College of Engineering, and K Ilamparuthi, chairman, faculty of Civil Engineering, presided over the programme.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service – Chennai / April 12th, 2014
April 13th, 2014Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Historical Links, Pre-Independence, Inspiration/ Positive News and Features, Leaders, Records, All
Vaidyanatha Iyer Road in Shenoy Nagar is named after a great son of Madurai – A Vaidyanatha Iyer (1890 – 1955). Other city landmarks that are named after Iyer are Mela Vaidyanathapuram near Thathaneri and Keezha Vaidyanathapuram near Mahaboobpalayam. His statue, which is installed near the Meenakshi Temple, recalls his leadership in securing the entry of dalits to the popular temple on July 8, 1939. This act earned the wrath of the orthodox Brahmins who excommunicated him from his community. Known popularly as Madurai Iyer, he worked tirelessly for the upliftment of dalits.
Though belonging to Thanjavur, the Iyer family moved to Madurai during his childhood. Iyer studied at the Sethupathi School in Madurai, and later in Madura College. After graduating in Law he started his own practice and soon rose to become one of the reputed lawyers of his time.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Iyer participated in the Indian Freedom Movement and took up the cause of dalits. Mu Chidambara Bharathy (54), provincial Congress committee member and state convener of the OBC wing of Congress in Madurai, said Iyer and his wife Akilandammal worked in the slums on weekends. Over a period, they turned out to be the foremost champions of dalits in the city. Iyer organized the historical temple entry movement which is commemorated ever year here.
“As he led the dalits into Meenakshi temple, orthodox Brahmins locked the temple for three days. They installed “Balameenakshi’ (Infant Meenkshi) on Tamil Sangam Road and filed a court case against the temple entry. C Rajagopalachari, the premier of Madras Presidency, intervened and passed a special ordinance turning temple entries legal. “Rajaji’s special ordinance could be termed as an achievement of Iyer because the government led by him collapsed shortly and the temple entry bill would have not come up later,” Bharathy mentioned.
“When Iyer passed away in 1955, dalits thronged the funeral in large numbers and mourned his death more than others,” he remembered.
As MLA representing Melur from 1946 to 1951 he was popular, especially among dalits in the constituency. The Harijan Sevalaya in Shenoy Nagar came up during the joint efforts of Iyer, noted Gandhian N M R Subburaman, woman Congress leader Thayammal and the TVS Group. N Pandurangan, a 77-year-old Congress functionary residing in Shenoy Nagar, said the free hostel for dalit students benefitted many. Former Tamil Nadu Minister P Kakkan and former Melur MP Maruthiah were its inmates.
“When Shenoy Nagar was created in 1951, the streets there were named after Iyer and Kakkan. TVS Group used to operate buses on the wide streets there,” Pandurangan recalled. “Iyer was a simple man and stood for the cause of dalits till his last breath,” he noted.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Madurai / J. Arockiaraj -TNN / April 13th, 2014