Yuvraj Singh ready to fire again

A fitter and slimmer Yuvraj Singh is back from his six-week long fitness camp, along with Zaheer Khan, in Brive la Gaillarde in France and is raring for a crack at Team India again. He is deriving his confidence from skipper MS Dhoni’s recent remark that his team was reserved not only for youngsters.

Yuvraj Singh ready to fire again

“Dhoni must have thought about the 2015 World Cup. I am happy that youngsters are doing well but a right balance, with seniors too, is needed. The most important thing is to have the best team for the country,” said Yuvraj, on his first public appearance since returning from France.

The mainstay of the Indian middle order in the limited-overs format till very recently doesn’t mind talking about his past record. “While one’s past records should not be the criterion for selection, you can’t forget the contribution made by them either,” Yuvraj said at a promotional event here on Friday.

There has been extra emphasis on agility and fitness in Dhoni’s scheme of things. And the veteran of 282 ODIs is well aware of that. “I have never doubted my ability and won’t doubt it ever. The focus is to look sharp and agile in the field. My priority has always been to play for my country,” he stated.

Both, he and Zaheer, decided to undertake a different regimen over the one available at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore mainly to avoid people speculating about them. “I had trained hard at the NCA after I recovered from cancer but I just wanted to get away because of frequent distractions. Here, something is invariably cropping up every day about what I am doing. I also wanted to train in higher altitudes and play different sports, eat a different kind of food and have time to discuss my game with my father (former Test cricketer Yograj Singh). In France, I could stay focused on what I was doing.”

Coming out of that regime, he definitely looked more refreshed and fitter. But what about Zaheer? “Zaheer has been extremely disciplined and he worked as hard as I did. He has lost nearly six kilograms and looks in great shape. We started playing for India together and we gel really well. Working in tandem has helped each other. He has really pushed himself and am sure he will make a comeback soon,” Yuvraj said.

Yuvraj is itching to get back to the pitch but hasn’t got to play any of the pre-season domestic tournaments like the Buchi Babu. “I could only play Buchi Babu or Moin-ud Dowla if my state team is playing in the tournament,” he clarified.

Asked about a recent photograph which showed him along with Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun, Yuvraj recalled, “Some time back (Sachin) Tendulkar told me that his son bats like me. When I watched Arjun, he did remind me of my younger days in Chandigarh.”

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10 reasons why the rupee is sinking every day

The rupee fell past 65 to the dollar to a record low on Thursday, plunging as much as 2.2 per cent to hit 65.56, and ended in the red for the sixth straight session. The rupee has fallen by 4.77 per cent in the last five trading sessions. Here are 10 main reasons that experts say are responsible for the Indian rupee — which has depreciated as much as 16 per cent this year — to touch new lows each passing day:

    1. Widening current account deficit: This is resulting in creating more actual as well as speculative demand for the dollar and other convertible currencies.
    2. Policy inaction: Perception of lack of clarity on the policy front is also fanning speculative demand wherein the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on one day said it will tighten liquidity and on yet another said it will inject $1 billion in the market.
    3. Low forex reserves: India’s foreign exchange reserves are enough to cover imports of only seven months. The forex reserves have declined in the recent months. Due to low reserves, the RBI can’t intervene aggressively in the currency markets.
    4. Growth slowdown: India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth fell to a decade low of 5 per cent in 2012-13. The situation is unlikely to improve much this year. Foreign investors are pulling money out of the Indian markets due to slow growth.
    5. Dependence on foreign money: India’s current account deficit was financed by foreign money for the last many years. Withdrawal of money by overseas investors is leading to the weakness in the rupee.
    6. Recovery in the US: The slow but steady recovery in the US is making the greenback stronger against other currencies.
    7. Stimulus withdrawal: Indications that the US may withdraw or ease the fiscal stimulus package could potentially put the brakes on funds for developing economies.
    8. Capital controls: The decision by the Reserve Bank and the government to impose temporary restrictions on capital flows has not gone down well with the markets, as it will not only discourage Indian companies from investing abroad, but also foreign firms from pumping money into India.
    9. Trends in other markets: The rupee is also following the trend seen in the currencies of other emerging economies such as Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
    10. Speculative trading: Speculative trading in the currency markets is putting further pressure on the Indian rupee.

Review Of Madras Cafe

Straight up, Madras Cafe couldn’t be more different to director Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor. Political, tense, finally explosive, Madras Cafe is no picnic in the neighborhood park. Major Vikram Singh (Abraham) lands in Sri Lanka, heading RAW’s covert operations. He must work with colleague Bala to get Anna Bhaskaran (Rathnam), head of the rebel LTF group – “Also known as Tigers” – to accept a peaceful resolution. Vikram knows Anna will be a huge challenge – what surprises him is how many others he must face.

Review Of Madras Cafe

Madras Cafe dives boldly into terrain Bollywood hasn’t touched before. Its arsenal features research, respect and bravely, no songs. But it’s not arty or preachy anywhere. Its first half is layered, complex trails – leaks, foreign interests, domestic rivals – slowly revealed to Vikram. As RAW boss Robin Dutt (Basu) ups the pressure, Vikram must move fast through sultry, dangerous airs. His foreign journalist friend Jaya (Fakhri, apparently playing real-life journalist Anita Pratap, who first interviewed LTTE chief Prabhakaran) knows this conflict’s heart even better than Vikram, whose discoveries, from Sri Lanka to South Block, grow traumatic.

Madras Cafe’s true star is its story which builds up to an agonizing end. It brings to life the Lankan war which many viewers were too young to have known. It highlights India’s ambiguous role, moving sensitively, taking no sides, except those of relationships involving respect – but no romance – between Vikram and Jaya, duty, victory and loss. Its second half grows more fraught and taut, conspiracies and compulsions becoming clearer. John stays low-key and competent as Vikram while supporting actors, like agents Bala, SP and Vasu, stand out. Restrained performances by the LTF suicide bombers are chilling.

The cinematography is remarkable, shots of huge naval warships, helicopters floating across hills, sunshine on a deadly sea, haunting. Commendably, Sircar never overindulges in gore, keeping Madras Cafe a shifting site of mental violence. Madras Cafe deserves an extra half-star for guts, going for the gunpowder – but with a restrained hand.

Note: If you like typical Hindi movie masala, unrealistic action or melodrama, this movie is not for you.

This article originally appeared in Times Of India.

9 Quick Hangover Cures that Actually Work

You might be the occasional drinker, an experimental one or a regular at the bar, getting a hangover is always a possibility.

A hangover can be very nasty, upsetting your entire schedule for a day or even more, depending upon your propensity for tolerating alcohol. Rather than trying-out different hangover medicines, some of which have rather unworthy credentials, it is much better to try quick hangover cures at home that are easy and effective. Some of these have been listed below for your consideration:

Hangover Cures that Actually Work

 1. Vitamin Drinks Hangover Cure

Vitamin drinks are easily available in most super-marts today. Just ensure that there are always a few bottles in the fridge. Vitamin drinks are loaded with water-soluble vitamins like vitamin B and C that get absorbed and work towards eradicating the hangover. Just ensure that your vitamin drink doesn’t contain too much sugar. If you already know when the next bar binging trip is scheduled, try to take a few over-the-counter multi-vitamins on a daily basis. This will ensure that your body has a better degree of preparedness against the hangover. You can dilute the vitamin drink with some water for better rehydration.

2. Curing Hangover with Orange Juice, Eggs & Common Eatables

Orange juice is among the commonest of home remedies for hangovers. It performs the function of rehydration with great intensity and the Vitamin C acts as a counter to that nauseating feeling. You can combine this with a few boiled eggs and slightly toasted bread. This might sound strange but the protein from eggs helps the liver to filter the toxins of alcohol faster while toasted slices have a charcoal-like effect, preventing bloating or vomiting caused by alcohol.

3. Curing Hangover with Antacids

Get hold of any granulated antacid that you can easily consume by just pouring it in a glass. This eases the body ache caused by hangover. Most antacids contain some form of sodium bicarbonate that helps to neutralize the excessive acidity caused by consuming too much alcohol.

4. Curing Hangover with Coffee

Another world-famous hangover cure is a strong cup of coffee. However, not many people realize that you need a cocoa-rich variant of coffee for neutralizing the hangover. Rather than having a huge serving at one go, have many smaller cups of coffee throughout the day. Caffeine raises the blood pressure that helps the body to metabolize the alcohol faster apart from providing some relief from the drowsy feeling and headaches.

5. Artificial Rehydration Hangover Cure

There are a number of rehydration solutions and powders that are sold at your local chemist. These are excellent rehydration sources, usually prescribed for children who are suffering from an intense case of cellular dehydration due to illnesses. These are packed with a high concentration of electrolytes that instantly replenish the vital minerals that have been wasted due to drinking. Just dilute the solution more and drink it slowly throughout the day.

6. Painkiller Pills Hangover Cure

Every household is bound to have some sort of over-the-counter analgesic or painkiller. These are excellent for relieving the pain and discomfort induced by a hangover. When back home, just pop an aspirin or Aspirin or Ibuprofen but don’t overdose yourself. It is better to start with just one pill and wait to feel its relieving affects.

7. Exercise: The Hardest Hangover Cure

This hangover cure requires the greatest degree of determination. However, exercising here doesn’t refer to hitting the gym hard. Something simple as running on the treadmill combined with a few push-ups can help. The sweating induced by exercising followed by rehydrating yourself with a low-sugar sports drink helps to cure hangovers.

8. Curing Hangover with Ginger Tea

Your mother might have repeatedly told you about the benefits of ginger tea for relieving nausea, cold and cough. However, what she didn’t tell you was that it is an excellent aid for hangover headaches. It can alleviate that typical head-splitting feeling induced by hangovers apart from helping the stomach digest the alcohol better without suffering cramps.

9. Curing Hangover with Bananas

More than a hangover cure, this is a hangover prevention aid. Here, you need to be a bit quirky and eat a few bananas before you hit the bar. The potassium in the banana and its complex carbohydrates has a rehydrating and coating effect on the intestines respectively, helping you recover faster from the alcohol excess.

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

While we cannot really rate our politicians in terms of efficiency and performance, we can confidently state that most of them suffer from foot-in-the-mouth disease.

If you don’t believe us, then check out some of the most stupid comments our politicians have made this year.

Poverty is a state of mind – Rahul Gandhi

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

 

“One can have a full meal for Rs 12 in Mumbai. No, no, not vada paav. So much of rice, daal saambhar and with that some vegetables are also mixed”

Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar showed how out of touch he is with reality.

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

 

“You can eat a meal in Delhi for Rs 5, I don’t know about Mumbai. You can get a meal for Rs 5 near Jama Masjid (in Delhi)”

Rasheed Masood, trying to go one up on Raj Babbar.

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

 

“If you want, you can fill your stomach for Re 1 or Rs 100, depending on what you want to eat. We are working to change the life of the poor so they can eat well be healthy and India can progress”

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah justifying the Planning Commission’s definition of poverty and proving who the real idiot is.

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“People join (the) army to die or for becoming martyrs”

Rural works and Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh apologized for saying this but not before a huge outrage was made over his remark.

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“Veg skies, Veg hospitals, Veg housing societies. Soon Veg Mumbai! Either Gujjus go back to Gujarat or they turn Mumbai into Gujarat… Red alert”

Nitesh Rane’s unedited Twitter rant against Gujaratis in Mumbai.

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“If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible”

Maharashtra state deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has said. You can judge his crassness further from this next statement where referring to the load shedding situation in parts of the state he said, “I have noticed that more children are being born since the lights go off at night. There is no other work left then.”

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

 

“We have told the chief minister in the assembly that the government will pay money to compensate rape victims. What is your fee? If you are raped, what will be your fee?”

CPI (M) party member Anisur Rehman takes a very cheap dig at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

 

“Roads in Pratapgarh district in the state would be constructed like the cheeks of actresses Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit”

Uttar Pradesh Khadi and Village Industry Minister Raja Ram Pandey allegedly said and was subsequently fired.

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“The English language has caused a great loss to the country. We are losing our language, our culture as there are hardly any people who speak Sanskrit now”

Rajnath Singh, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), makes us wonder what he smokes during the day.

Stupidest Comments Made By Politicians In 2013

Delhi Book Fair to begin from Aug. 23

In an age increasingly moving towards digitisation and e-books, the role of libraries keeps coming under focus. Participants at the 19th edition of the Delhi Book Fair opening in New Delhi on Friday throw the spotlight on the role of libraries and readership growth.

A total of 250 participants including overseas publishers are expected to participate in the 9-day fair organised by Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation.

The 2013 edition of Delhi Book Fair will begin from Aug. 23 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. A file photo shows children browsing over the books

“The book fair will facilitate authors and delegates from round the globe. Notably from US, Iran and European countries. A special seven member delegates from China will be here to provide information regarding literary movements in China,” Sudhir Malhotra, President, FIP said on Monday.

Organisers say they also look forward to the participation by publishers from Pakistan at Pragati Maidan, the venue of fair from August 23 – August 31, themed around “Libraries and Readership.”

“Over the last decade, Pakistan has always been an active participant in the fair. But this year, there is some problem with their visa clearance. We have cleared all the formalities from our part and now it is upto the concerned ministries of both countries”, Mr. Malhotra told PTI.

At the World Book Fair earlier in February this year, publishers from the neighbouring country had to wait till the last minute to obtain visas. The government is currently working on modernising and digitally linking nearly 9,000 libraries across the country.

A National Mission on Libraries (NML) has been constituted on the basis of a report submitted by National Knowledge commission set up by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The NML has taken steps for improving library sector including upgradation of existing public, school and college libraries and use of school libraries as community libraries.

Meanwhile the Delhi Book Fair provides a platform for business transactions, establishing new contacts, entering into co-publishing arrangements, translation and copyright arrangements as well as reprinting of old and rare books.

Apart from books, a number of conferences and seminars, buyer-seller meets, book releases, discussions and literary activities for children have been planned during the fair. “To engage the students, we are hosting a ‘Kavi sammelan’ a gathering and interactive session with poets and also, a story-telling event for children too”, Mr. Malhotra said. “We are putting more than 500 stalls for exhibition. So it would cater audience with more collection of books”, he added.

Among other facilities are free shuttle services. “Mini AC buses services are arranged to ferry the visitors from 5 gates. We hope this facility would help them to avoid rush”, Mr. Malhotra said.

Entry ticket for adults will be Rs 20, and Rs 10 for children and students (with I-card).

Rolls Royce brings its most powerful car Wraith to India for Rs. 4.6 cr

Unperturbed by the recent slowdown in the auto industry, super luxury car maker Rolls Royce on Monday launched the Wraith — its most powerful car — in India at a price tag of Rs. 4.6 crore (ex-showroom Delhi). 

 Rolls Royce Wraith

The Wraith fits in between its existing two models, the Ghost and the Phantom range. With a 12-cylinder engine that develops 624 horsepower and 800 Nm of torque, making it capable of sprinting to 100 kph from stand-still in 4.6 seconds, it is the most powerful Rolls Royce till date. However, the company sells less than 100 cars a year in India, and the Wraith is unlikely to alter that equation.

“It will be naive to think these testing times will not impact us but we have seen tough times before,” said Herfried Hasenoehri, general manager for emerging markets in Asia, Rolls Royce. “Our optimisim for India is unwavering. It is the biggest emerging market for us.”

The firm currently has three operational dealerships in India and plans to set up two more by year-end.