In these morbid times, any beacon of light is appreciated. The sweet and simple story of two sweepers in Delhi – brothers Mohammad Hafiz Ul-Islam and Mohammad Habibur Islam – who seem blessed with both talent and luck, will certainly help lift some spirits.
One afternoon in late February 2021, Hafiz was ambling along the tree-lined streets of Delhi’s posh New Friends Colony, on his daily route to collect garbage, singing Mohammad Rafi’s popular ditty ‘Bahaaron Phool Barsao, Mera Mehboob Aaya Hai’ to pass the time. Anjali Bhargava from Dubai, on a visit to her parents’ home, happened to lean out of her balcony at that very moment and was immediately struck by the beauty of the voice she heard.
Where most others would have moved on with their day, Bhargava implored the singer to stop and allow her to film him. At first shy and unwilling to take her seriously, Hafiz made excuses, but she would not take no for an answer. Quite gallantly, Hafiz pushed his brother Habib forward, claiming him to be the better singer. And that is how Bhargava essayed the role of lady luck by capturing these two singing sweepers on video. She gathered their details from her neighbour Rohit Khanna and began circulating the video on her WhatsApp groups. It reached the hands of film producer Rohit Khattar and from there to businessman Anand Mahindra, whose retweet made it viral, and secured them an invite as honoured guests on India’s favourite singing contest – Indian Idol.
“Clearly there are no limits to where talent can spring from,” stated Mahindra’s tweet, as he asked netizens to suggest a music teacher in Delhi to train them under his and Khattar’s sponsorship. Despite Mahindra’s belief, a conversation with the brothers and their family reveals that their talent is not unfounded. The boys’ father, Mohammad Shah Jalal Qadri, belongs to a long line of Sufi qawwals from Assam. He moved to Delhi 32 years ago in pursuit of better economic opportunities, working as a sweeper by day and performing Bengali songs at religious gatherings or Sufi mehfils whenever invited to do so, with no expectation of payment. When his brood grew to include nine children, the older boys, even though barely in their teens, readily took the mantle from their father – both as sweepers and singers – albeit without gratification.
Fortunately, the tide seems to have turned, as they are now receiving regular tutelage under Nizamuddin Saab of the Dilli Gharana, who runs the popular Sangeet Gurukul based in Daryaganj in Delhi. The most famous student of this music school is Fareed Hasan Khan – son of Nizamuddin Saab – who sang for the popular Amazon Prime series Bandish Bandits, and now teaches there along with his guru and father.
Hafiz and Habib visit the Gurukul three times a week in the evenings, while continuing with manual labour in the day time. According to their guru, they have beautiful voices and depth but need ample practice to become professionals. They face many hurdles on a daily basis, the most important of which is a severe lack of finances. Though the team behind Indian Idol paid for the brothers’ airfare and accommodation from Delhi to Mumbai, the boys could not afford to buy new clothes to appear on the show. Anjali Bhargava and her friends pooled in money to ensure the boys would look presentable while making their stage debut.
When asked about their journey to Mumbai and the sets of Indian Idol, both boys ecstatically describe it as a chamatkar – a miracle they would never have believed possible. Their older brother states his pride with utmost frankness and expresses hope that they may succeed in their endeavours, in turn pulling their family up from its lowly straits.
Khattar sums it best when he says, “Their talent is raw but obvious and we hope to provide them the environment to hone their skills. Setting a target to participate in the next season of Indian Idol has given them a purpose in life.” If lady luck stays firmly by their side, this purpose may be fulfilled too.
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ADITYA ROY KAPUR GETS 4 BIG PROJECTS OFFER AHEAD OF OM’S RELEASE
MUMBAI : Touted as a versatile performer and one of the most bankable young stars, Aditya Roy Kapur is gearing up for his next release, ‘OM’. Transforming into a completely new avatar, the versatile actor is leaving no stone unturned to get into the skin of a ripped action hero.
According to a source, Aditya is also keeping busy reading scripts and has been offered 4 projects which he is considering. A source revealed, “Ahead of the release of ‘OM’, various filmmakers have approached Aditya with some cream projects owing to his rising popularity. Currently, he is taking time to choose as he wants to challenge himself as an artist and wants to take up roles that are diverse.”
Having a packed slate for the year, the good looking actor is expected to make a couple of announcements soon. It will be interesting to watch what Aditya has to offer next.
Not just films, the actor is also being approached by various brands owing to his popularity and huge youth connect. Hailed as the most desirable star in the industry, Aditya is already in talks with a few of them.
SHILPA SHETTY CONFIRMS FAMILY TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
NEW DELHI: Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on Friday revealed that almost her entire household has been infected by COVID and that it’s been a tense few days for the family.
Shilpa took to her Instagram handle and shared a note that read “The last 10 days have been difficult for us as a family. My parents-in-law tested positive for Covid-19, followed by Samisha, Viaan-Raj, my Mom, and lastly, Raj. They’ve all been in isolation in their rooms at home as per the official guidelines and have been following the doctor’s advice.” It further continued, “Two of our in-house staff members have also tested positive and they are being treated at a medical facility.
By God’s grace, everyone is on the road to recovery. My tests came back negative.” “All safety measures have been followed as per protocol, and we’re grateful to the BMC & authorities for their help and response. Thank you all for your love & support. Please continue to keep all of us in your prayers. Please mask up, sanitise, stay safe; and whether Covid positive or not… still stay positive, mentally,” the note concluded. The second wave of coronavirus has infected many people, and the number of COVID-19 positive cases has been rapidly rising.
In Bollywood, an array of celebrities have got infected within a span of a few weeks.
With a total of 4,14,188 new COVID-19 cases being recorded in the last 24 hours, India again reported its highest single-day spike on the second consecutive day.
KARTIK AARYAN IS OVERWHELMED BY THE KINDNESS OF PEOPLE
MUMBAI: With the second wave of Covid hitting the nation adversely, social media has risen to help each other in the testing times. Overwhelmed by the heartwarming actions of humanity around, Kartik Aaryan took to social media to share a hopeful message.
Posting a picture of himself at the Golden Temple, Kartik Aaryan said, “These tough times reinstate my faith in humanity. “It is truly heartwarming to see how everyone is doing their bit in one way or the other or using social media to show more compassion and empathy towards one another and serving each other with kindness. Praying for everyone and hoping for a better tomorrow”.
Having recovered from Covid-19 himself, Kartik has been actively creating awareness to wear masks and maintain social distancing using his social media. He has been constantly striving to spread information about the virus.
HOPE FOR O2 WITH MISSION OXYGEN
NEW DELHI: India is suffering and it’s dealing with the worst health crisis in the living memory. With the help of various artists like Sonu Nigam, Badshah and many more, a virtual fundraiser has been started to help India breathe again. It’s an interactive session. This Live interactive event is curated & hosted by Entertainment Expert Nitin Arora and is an initiative by Mission Oxygen. Join live streaming on Facebook You tube
Expectant and new mothers need more protein during pandemic
As we continue to feel the tremors of the Covid-19 pandemic in different waves, a largely affected group is that of expecting and new mothers. The world is aware about the significance of the care and attention that pregnant women and new moms need but the pandemic has only increased concerns. With prolonged periods of isolation, lack of in-person doctor interventions and limited interaction opportunities within the community, pregnant women and new mothers need additional support. This year on Mother’s Day, it is crucial to create awareness for ‘pandemic moms’ and their healthcare, immunity, strength and nutrition, especially for overlooked deficiencies of essential macronutrients such as protein.
WHY DO ‘PANDEMIC MOMS’ NEED ENOUGH PROTEIN?
Protein develops the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin, and hormones. While adults need it for tissue maintenance and repair, children need it for growth. This is exactly what makes protein such an important pillar of health for pregnant women and recovering new moms. Babies need to be supported with micro and macronutrients for better growth and nourishment. Good health for the baby and the mother is supported by a mindful consumption of the right nutrients by the mother. The most important dietary guidelines for all new moms or mothers in general are:
• Ensure you have the right amount of protein in each meal, balanced with healthy unrefined carbohydrates and good fats
• A good dose of vitamin C, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and vitamin D are also required which you can get from fruits, nuts and veggies to keep your immune system up and running
• Stay hydrated and away from sugary foods, refined carbs, oily and processed foods
As protein is responsible for the development of hormones, it ensures that women have adequate hormonal levels that are required to be maintained during pregnancy and for post-pregnancy recovery. Furthermore, protein assists in adequate production of milk and development of neurotransmitters that help women avoid postpartum depression. It also plays a crucial role in maintaining muscle mass to carry out their daily activities and maintain good health even after pregnancy.
HOW MUST WOMEN INCREASE THEIR PROTEIN INTAKE?
The general rule of thumb is that 25% of a plate in every meal should include protein. Protein consumption is no rocket science. It is available in plenty in most Indian dietary preferences. However, the variety of options is yet a mystery to many. In 2020, the Right to Protein’s Protein Paradox Study revealed that mothers could identify only basic sources of protein which probably continues to the larger protein deficiency challenge of the country. Therefore it is crucial to know about several easily accessible sources of protein from which pregnant women and new moms can receive their nutrition. These include foods like:
• Meats such as chicken, turkey, duck, mutton, etc.
• Seafood such as salmon, mackerel, pomfret, etc.
• Pulses such as soybeans, kidney beans, mung beans, etc.
• Nuts such as soy nuts, peanuts, almonds, etc.
• Grains such as oats, quinoa, millets, amaranth, etc.
• Seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc
The best way to increase protein intake is to consume complete proteins. Complete protein foods are those that contain all nine amino acids essential for the human body that are not synthesized and need to be consumed through daily diet. These include animal protein sources such as poultry, fish, eggs, etc. Vegetarians can find their complete protein in the newly emerging superfood, soy, which has all essential amino acids and is comparable to any animal protein produce. Soy, in its many forms as soy chaap, chunks, milk, nuts or mock meat, which are alternative protein options for non-vegetarians too, can help meet one’s daily protein requirements easily.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It is true that navigating into new motherhood is not an easy feat and doing it during a pandemic has evidently added to the challenges. According to UNICEF, reports indicate that a quarter of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished. It could lead to more babies with lower birth weights and severely impact a child’s growth and development and the next generation of kids may not be able to perform to their full potential. Therefore, it is crucial that this Mother’s Day we call out for nutrition-aided immunity for new and to-be mothers and watch out that the basics of consuming balanced meals with adequate protein is no longer ignored.
The author is a medical nutritionist and aesthetic physician and a supporter of the Right To Protein initiative.
SIMPLE ASTRO-NUMEROLOGICAL REMEDIES TO COUNTER COVID-19
The advent of May indicates another month spent indoors with constant news of the suffering of near and dear ones due to Covid-19, the collapse of our healthcare system, and systemic failure to grapple with the sheer volume of cases. With each day, our hearts are more affected and our resolve to weather this storm is further weakened. Many people are running from pillar to post in search of adequate healthcare for their loved ones, and the ones fortunate enough to be well are cowering indoors, praying with all their might that the deadly virus does not pay them a visit. In times of uncertainty, many Indians turn to traditional wisdom for advice or to help them cope.
The practice of yoga, particularly breathwork involving Anulom-Vilom, has helped many manage their Covid-19 symptoms. Additionally, many have turned to consulting the stars and numbers as per ancient traditions like astrology and numerology. Sidhharrth S Kumaar, Astro-Numerologist and Mantra Healer as well as the founder of the popular online portal NumroVani, shares easy and practical tips that one can adopt in these difficult times. These will keep the coronavirus at bay as well as help with a speedy recovery, in case the virus has already struck.
ASTROLOGICAL AND NUMEROLOGICAL REMEDIES TO KEEP THE CORONAVIRUS AWAY FROM ONE’S HOME
Apart from regular prayers and hygiene measures mandated by the government and medical guidelines, one can turn to the following advice given by Kumaar:
• A swastika symbol should be made with red vermilion or sindoor and placed at the absolute centre of the main gate at the entrance of the house. This will act as a protective symbol.
• One must maintain proper cleanliness in the house and mop the entire house with a solution of rock salt mixed in water at least once a week, every week.
• It is advisable to listen to 528 MHz of music every day for at least 10-15 minutes with headphones plugged in to tap into the positive vibrations emanated by music.
• Chanting or listening to the Navarna Mantra dailyhelps greatly in these situations.
• These numbers should be written with blue ink on one’s left palm, exactly as shared below, with spacing intact:
o 42 41 750
o 71 72 510
o 13 13 514
o 24 27 483
• Other simple advice that can easily be implemented includes the remembrance and worship of one’s family deity every day.
• One can also greatly benefit from including turmeric milk in their diet on a regular basis.
ASTROLOGICAL AND NUMEROLOGICAL REMEDIES TO REDUCE THE SEVERITY OF COVID SYMPTOMS
If you have already contracted the virus, there is no need to panic or jump to negative conclusions, as negative thoughts can manifest and come true. You should instead focus on thinking only positive thoughts that will manifest into positive outcomes such as good health and happiness. Here are a few simple remedies to explore on Kumaar’s advice:
• One should listen to 741 MHz music for at least 24 minutes three times a day to benefit from its healing vibrations.
• For deeper treatment, one should listen to 852 MHz music for 15 minutes once a day.
• The following numbers should be written on a piece of paper with blue ink and that paper should be pasted on a transparent water bottle, so the numbers are clearly displayed on the side. Make sure to maintain the correct spacing:
o 38 89 332
o 33 89 847
o 88 81 643
o 51 56 886
• The Udana Vayu Mudra or proning position should be practised for 6 minutes three times day.
ASTROLOGICAL AND NUMEROLOGICAL REMEDIES TO HELP FAMILY MEMBERS THAT ARE SEVERELY UNWELL
Instead of worrying excessively about a family member in the hospital, one should adopt the following measures:
• The Mahamrityunjay Mantra or the Kunjitha Padam Saranam should be chanted to help them.
• On a piece of paper a swastika and the Mahamrityunjay Mantra should be written, and pasted near the bed of the affected person. If the person is in the hospital, then this symbol should be placed where the person usually sleeps.
Most of all, it is imperative to keep a positive mindset and believe in the imminent recovery of those who are affected. To consult Sidhharrth S Kumaar for any Covid-19 related queries, you can reach him through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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