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Muslim woman translating Ram Charit Manas in Urdu

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Varanasi, Jan 14 : A Muslim woman in Varanasi is working overtime to translate the Ram Charit Manas written by Tulsidas into Urdu.

The woman, Nazneen, has already translated five of the seven ‘kands’ (chapters) of the epic. She has translated ‘Baal Kand’, ‘Ayodhya Kand’, ‘Aranya Kand’, ‘Kishkindha Kand’ and ‘Sunder Kand’. The ‘Yuddha Kand’ and ‘Uttar Kand’ remain to be translated, she said.

“I have already translated Hanuman Chalisa, Durga Chalisa and Sai Chalisa in Urdu. I am doing these translations because I want Muslims to know more about Hindu mythology and culture. I feel my community should know about Lord Ram. This will bring Hindus and Muslims closer,” said Nazneen.

A member of the Muslim Mahila Foundation, Nazneen works for the empowerment of Muslim women.

She finds inspiration from Emperor Akbar who had set up a department for translation of scriptures form one language to another.

Nazneen, daughter of a weaver from Lallapur in Varanasi, says her work will also send a message to those politicians who are warring over issues such as the new citizenship law.

“I want people to learn about sacrifice and co-existence from Ram, Sita and Laxman and stop fighting over such issues,” she said.

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India

Politicians, netizens greet nation on National Girl Child Day

Apart from senior leaders and politicians, common man also participated in greeting the nation on National Girl Child Day.

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National Girl Child Day

New Delhi, Jan 24 : Twitterati greeted the nation on the occasion of National Girl Child Day.

The National Girl Child Day is celebrated in India every year on January 24. It was started to spread awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by girls in the country and to promote awareness about the rights of the girl child.

Taking to Twitter, Union Minister Smriti Irani posted a photo of her daughters and wrote, “Shanelle & Zoish – I’m proud to be their mother… one a lawyer, the other hoping to follow her sister’s footsteps. Ever caring & confident, my daughters are my pride.”

She also requested the tweeple to celebrate National Girl Child Day and wrote “Join us in celebrating your blessings, your daughter’s achievements using #MeriBetiMeraGarv.”

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh greeted the nation on National Girl Child Day and tweeted, “This #NationalGirlChildDay let us celebrate the exceptional achievements of our girls who have been making us proud with their excellence in every domain. I am committed to empowering Punjab’s girls with best of facilities & secure environment.”

Posting a photo from his Kashmir visit, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote, “Felt so proud of Ishrat Akhtar of Baramulla who has defied all adversities and represented India in International wheelchair Basketball tournaments. This daughter of India represents hope, aspiration and prospects of a better and brighter Jammu and Kashmir. #NationalGirlChildDay.”

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted, “Our athletes in SAI Training Centers all over India are celebrating ‘National Girl Child Day’ with the theme #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao as launched by PM @narendramodi ji. Let’s all of us celebrate the “DAUGHTER” in our life as #MeriBetiMeraGarv.”

“Every child is the future of #India. Our policies must be duty-bound to take into account the critical needs of the girl child. Empowering them with quality education, health, nutrition and ensuring their safety are the true indicators of development @MinistryWCD @smritiirani” wrote Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma.

Apart from senior leaders and politicians, common man also participated in greeting the nation on National Girl Child Day.

A user wrote: “We should be respectful but we must also have the courage to stop harmful practices that impoverished girls, women and their communities.”

Another wrote, “This #NationalGirlChildDay, let us pledge to save the girl child & create a safer environment for women, a society in which they have equal rights and can be heard.”

“Let’s celebrate advancement of women & girls in our community.In their honor we should pledge to promote the education of women & girls because education is key to economic security, stability & freedom of thought & empowerment” read one post.

A Tweeple remarked, “#Daughters are a blessing. They are caring, loving & most precious of our treasures. I take huge pride in being a proud father of my little angel who has grown to become strong, independent, successful individual following her passion. #MeriBetiMeraGarv”

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Nine Reasons to Stay in the Heart of Los Angeles- Beverly Hills

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Nine Reasons to Stay in the Heart of Los Angeles- Beverly Hills
When you hear the mention of Beverly Hills, you might think of shopping on Rodeo Drive first—Pretty Woman references included. Indeed, upscale shopping is a great draw to this sophisticated city, but the reasons to visit do not stop here. With its central location, warm climate, beautiful parks, acclaimed hotels, fine dining, health and wellness offerings and storied past, the city is the destination of choice in Southern California.

Beverly Hills is located in Los Angeles County, which—with upwards of 10 million residents—is the most populous county in the United States. It’s home to more than a quarter of California’s population and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the country. Long lauded as the entertainment capital of the world, it is also a cultural mecca that houses more than a hundred museums.
In the more than 100 years since Beverly Hills grew from a lima bean farm, this picturesque and walkable city has become the crown jewel of greater Los Angeles. The following nine attributes align to make Beverly Hills the perfect location for your Los Angeles stay:

Central Location: Located six miles northeast of Santa Monica and nine miles west of Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills is at the centre of some of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Southern California! Flanked on the west by Westwood — home to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) — and on the east by West Hollywood, Beverly Hills has its own unique, magnetic appeal.
Warm Weather:
While we can’t guarantee perfect weather during your stay, the track record of warm temperatures speaks for itself. Average highs range from 67 degrees in January to 79 degrees in August, according to The Weather Channel. The rose-coloured (sun) glasses you’ll be donning in the midst of this year-round summer will make the rest of your experiences all the more enjoyable.


Lush Green Parks: Beverly Hills’ picturesque parks and trees thrive thanks to the thoughtful design of urban planner and landscape architect Wilbur David Cook. At the heart of the city sits the triangular-shape, five-acre Will Rogers Memorial Park, which features expansive lawns, rose gardens and palm and dragon trees. When you’ve finished relaxing to the gentle sounds of the splashing fountain, cross Sunset Boulevard to enjoy a cocktail at The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel, or begin a 15 minute leisurely walk south to Beverly Gardens Park and pose for a selfie in front of the Beverly Hills sign.

Unique Hotels: Whether grand or intimate, five star or boutique, Beverly Hills has a wide selection of hotels for different tastes and lifestyles. Elegant guest rooms and an Italian Renaissance–inspired facade welcome you at Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. If you’d prefer to stay near world class shopping, you can’t get any closer than the sleek Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel. The Peninsula Beverly Hills is the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star–rated hotel in Southern California where villa suites located among tropical gardens allow for complete privacy. Looking for a spectacular view? Visit the city’s newest hotel, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, and experience their rooftop restaurant, The Rooftop by JG. And not only does The Beverly Hilton have iconic, mid-century modern design, but it also features the largest Olympic-sized hotel pool in the country!


Extended Stay: Guests seeking an extended stay in Beverly Hills can check into AKA Beverly Hills, an exclusive and contemporary residential oasis designed for extended stays of one week or longer. Noteworthy amenities include a complimentary screening room, Spago in-Suite dining and a stunning landscaped terrace overlooking the Hills.


Fine-Dining: Dining does not get any finer than the likes of Spago Beverly Hills, Il Pastaio and Mastro’s Steakhouse, to name just a few, in a city with a vast array of culinary options. It is no wonder that Spago has been awarded AAA’s Four Diamond rating with their varied menus and wonderful dishes. Il Pastaio, the celebrated Italian restaurant in the city’s centre, has been pleasing local patrons and visitors for over 20 years. Make sure you’re camera-ready to pose for the paparazzi as they seek celebrities at this popular gathering spot. A fan favourite and always lively, Mastro’s offers thick, juicy steaks and chops and mouth-watering seafood. Not to be outdone, Beverly Hills hotels also offer impeccable dining with restaurants such as Jean-Georges at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills’ Avec Nous restaurant and The Peninsula Beverly Hills’ AAA Five-Diamond rated restaurant for over 22 years, The Belvedere.
City of WELLTH: Derived from the term ‘wealth,’ which refers to a large amount of money and possessions, ‘WELLTH’ represents a new, less materialistic and more valuable life currency that encompasses wellness and is exemplified by health, purpose and happiness. Beverly Hills invites each visitor to pamper their mind, body and soul. The city has long been known as an authority on five-star experiences. But at its heart is a more mindful ethos that takes a holistic approach to happiness and wellbeing, enlivened by experts who champion the city’s health and wellness offerings.

Iconic Shopping: Beverly Hills is a top destination for fashion seekers and VIP shoppers. Fashion houses, standout boutiques and Department Store Row help the city live up to its shop-till-you-drop reputation. Among the high-end department stores and luxurious designer boutiques of the Golden Triangle is the one of the most expensive stores in the world: House of Bijan. You’ll need to make a reservation to shop at this exclusive men’s shop, which counts presidents, royalty and billionaires as its most loyal clientele.
A Story at every turn: Scratch the surface of many current Beverly Hills attractions to discover part of the city’s rich history. Once home to Marilyn Monroe, the Beverly Carlton Hotel has re-emerged as The Avalon Hotel, a member of Design Hotels, in partnership with Starwood Preferred Guest. Former private estates have been given National Historic Landmark status, as is the case with Virginia Robinson Gardens, a six-acre property encompassing a breath-taking garden, mansion and pool pavilion that is the first luxury estate built in Beverly Hills. The area’s entertainment industry is celebrated at The Paley Centre for Media, a cultural centre devoted to television and radio—past and present.

Beverly Hills is one of the world’s most sought-after locales. Centrally located in greater Los Angeles, Beverly Hills is a premier vacation and business travel destination, boasting beautiful weather year-round, acclaimed full-service and boutique hotel accommodations, sumptuous dining, and incomparable shopping. Synonymous with Hollywood glamour, Beverly Hills enjoys an international reputation as the home and playground of A-list movie stars. The city is not only known worldwide for its grand mansions and chic shops along Rodeo Drive, but also for its multitude of art and architecture, spas, salons and exceptional walkability.

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Festivities at Rajasthan’s Cattle Fair

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Pushkar Camel Fair

Dotted with majestic forts and palaces, deserts and colourful people, Rajasthan is famous for a great many fascinating and interesting festivals. Each festival has its own significance and legends – tales that can keep you entertained forever!

Coming up at the end of this month is Rajasthan’s 2nd largest Cattle Fair at Nagaur. Celebrated with great enthusiasm and full of exciting events, the Fair attracts tourists from all over the world. Visitors have often said that the festivals of Rajasthan are so full of cultural beauty, colour and vigour, that given the chance, they would love to return every year.

The Nagaur Cattle Fair is an annual festival celebrates the coming together of animals including horses, cows, bullocks, oxen and camels, adding up to more than two and half lakhs! Held in the historic town of Nagaur located between Bikaner and Jodhpur, every year traders and buyers, collect here to trade more than 75,000 camels, horses and bullocks. The Festival is spread over 4 days and offers a vast number of events to keep everyone entertained.

In the mornings there are bullock races, cock fights, tug of war, while the evening offers visitors enjoy vibrant folk music and dance performances. Meals seated around bonfires with groups of folk singers and dancers are among the most unforgettable experiences that everyone takes home. There are many competitors for contests. Among the most sought after competitions are for turban tying, for the longest and best mustache, gymnastic stunts, jugglers, puppet shows and storytelling.

The Nagaur Cattle Fair is also known as the Ramdeoji Cattle Fair, started 56 years ago when Maharaja Umed Singh invited Sufi saint Shri Ramdeoji to Nagaur to demonstrate his powers. People from around the town gathered at Nagaur to watch him and it is said that they were convinced about his supreme powers and insisted that he should stay in Nagaur. A Fort was built with massive walls around the existing dwellings and named – the Fort of the Hooded Cobra. Thereafter it became customary for them to visit him once a year, to pay their respects. Till today the day of the Fair coincides with the day Ramdeoji was born.

This year the Fair is scheduled from January 30th till February 2nd, 2020. However, the fair can last even for 10 days. Visitors can expect the fair to open with sellers showing off their cattle. Each dealer is given a shed of his own and buyers walk around looking for the best buy. There will be stalls selling the vast variety of artifacts made in Rajasthan. Games and competitions of all kinds can be expected.

By sunset most of the buyers would have left the fairground and the sellers stay on to guard their animals. The cultural programmes begin after sunset and music fills the air. Among the main attractions at the Fair is the Mirchi Bazaar, This is considered to be the largest chilli market of Asia. Contest for looks as well as attire among the animals, is the most popularly photographed activity. The handicraft exhibition is spread in stores around the fairground. Among the most popular items are camel leather accessories, wooden items, crafts made of iron and others.

Visitors are welcome to stay back and enjoy themselves after the fair closes which is when the locals gather together to dance and sing. There are games to play and the stores are kept open for selling. It is also the right time to taste the local cuisine at the shops, including the rather rare camel milk delicacies! The finale every night is a spectacular burst of fireworks!

(Shona Adhikari is a lifestyle and travel columnist)

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