Archive for August, 2011

Ludhiana’s Tech Geeks Share Gadget Gyan

August 30th, 2011

Thirty suave and savvy men get along to talk all they know of their machine

Ludhiana: Geeks of technology from across Ludhiana and Jalandhar got together along with their gadgets for the first Ludhiana Gadget Tweetup on Sunday afternoon at a cafe in the city. The thirty odd members comprised industrialists, software technocrats, doctors, DJs, restaurant owners and students. The meet was organized by industrialist, Nishant Jairath and IT professional, Preet Chandhoke.

After a quick round of introductions, Nishant Jairath started the meet by setting up a wireless network for all the geeks to access internet. The topics hopped from mobile phones to operating systems like Android and from various applications to tablets. The gadget freaks discussed the ways to enhance user experience and the ways to enhance a gadget’s performance.

DJ Bhanu and DJ Karan apprised everyone about various applications available on mobile phones and tablets for DJs. Industrialists were keen to know about the usage of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and accessing software packages on mobile phones and tablets. The also inquired about ways to control and manage the flow of information. The gadget gurus shared suggestions on how to use Google apps for businesses to enhance productivity and to bring down the cost of network infrastructure by using cloud solutions by Zoho and Google apps.

They also discussed the ways to overcome the problems faced by network operators in providing 3G services in the region and explored Apple’s new technologies – AirPrint and AirPlay – apart from pondering over the proposed business plans of the company.

Then came the time to discuss wheels, engines, breaks, performance and others mechanics as Mercedes and Audi replaced Apple and Microsoft in the geeks’ conversations. The highlight of the conversation was a drone aircraft controlled through an iPhone by Nishant.

Hotelier Harjinder Singh had brought a surprise cake for everyone present at the Gadget Tweetup. He said, “I used to believe I was a techno freak but I was amazed to see the interest and depth of information of these gadget geeks today”.

The Sikh guys at Manchester United Games

August 29th, 2011

These are no ordinary Sikhs watching and supporting Manchester United. This group of ‘Singhs United’ are die-hard fans of Manchester United and they can be spotted at every big match that Man Utd plays. Yes! every time they get one of the best seats at Old Trafford, and you can also see them from TV a lot too ! Seems the camera people also find them special enough to be shown again and again.

Tony Singh’s Oloroso: One of Edinburgh’s best-known places for fine dining

August 26th, 2011

He combines a proud Sikh heritage with a strong Scottish identity. At 39, Tony Singh is one of the most talked-about chefs in Scotland and a leading culinary entrepreneur. He was raised in a large Punjabi family in Edinburgh-where food and having meals together were always considered important.

And that’s what has also shaped his career in a big way. Singh, who owns Oloroso, an upmarket rooftop bar and restaurant in Edinburgh, first developed an interest in cooking when he saw his mother and grandmother preparing family meals and everyone else pitching in to help.

“The philosophy behind running my restaurant is getting the best products from the local markets and that is something which has come to me from my family kitchen. My mother and grandmother also helped in preparing meals at the gurudwara. My interest in Scottish and other global cuisine developed during my college years in Edinburgh. In the kitchen at my restaurants, I try to use Indian techniques and ingredients to create a fusion with Scotland’s cuisine,” says Singh.

His rooftop restaurant, which was opened in 2001, is now among the best known for fine dining in Edinburgh and offers a breathtaking panorama with enchanting views of the city’s glimmering lights. He has also made a foray into the informal bistro space with Tony’s Table. It’s the social aspect of eating and entertaining that makes them successful.

Singh, a proud Sikh who wears a turban, is the first chef-entrepreneur in the family. His father, Baldev Singh Kusbia, who runs a transport business in Edinburgh, was born in Lahore in 1944- and like many others-the family was forced to leave Pakistan in 1945. After an arduous journey, they reached a refugee camp in Delhi. In 1953, a part of the family, which included his grandfather and great-grandfather, boarded a ship to London from Mumbai, arriving in the UK in winter.

After receiving British citizenship in 1971, Tony’s father’s first job was to shovel coal in a steam engine. He has remained in the transport industry to this day, and is proud to be known as one of the first Sikhs in Edinburgh to drive a bus wearing his turban. “My father, who had a tough struggle in his initial years in Scotland, was very supportive when I started my restaurant. In fact, my siblings too were free to do what they wanted,” says Singh.

His journey of course was not easy and he has worked in many kitchens and pubs, including The Royal Yacht Britannia, Balmoral Hotel, the famous Royal Scotsman Train and Skibo Castle, before striking out on his own. He is a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts and has received a number of awards for his talents.

Singh depends heavily on the good relationship that he has with the suppliers and has known them for many years. He makes sure to use local produce in his restaurants. For Indian cuisine he imports the best ingredients. “Rich and heavy Indian cuisine is good in winter and some of the spices lend themselves to the European dishes,” he says. Having grown up in Edinburgh, which he considers a small city, Singh and his family have close ties with the local Sikh and Hindu communities.

“The Sikh families have lived here since the 1940s and are integrated in the local community. But we still maintain our own identity with many of us having done well in retail, food and property businesses,” he says.

Jack Layton [1950-2011]: A Friend of the Sikh Community

August 23rd, 2011

New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jack Layton, who led Canada’s Official Opposition, has died at his Toronto home at age 61 after a battle with cancer.
Layton died peacefully early Monday, August 22, 2011, surrounded by family and loved ones, according to a statement from his wife, Olivia Chow, and his children, Sarah and Michael Layton.
Details about funeral arrangements will be forthcoming, it said.
After the news of Layton’s death emerged shortly after 8 a.m., friends, colleagues and Canadians reacted quickly and with shock, sadness and tears.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying he was saddened to hear the news.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I salute Jack’s contribution to public life, a contribution that will be sorely missed,” said Harper. “I know one thing: Jack gave his fight against cancer everything he had. Indeed, Jack never backed down from any fight,” said Harper.

Longtime NDP leader and MP Ed Broadbent told CBC News that he is “deeply saddened such a great Canadian is taken from us in the very prime of his life.”

NDP deputy leader Libby Davies, fighting back tears, said Layton’s death is “an incredible loss.”

“Jack was not only a great leader of the NDP, he’s someone that Canadians across the country came to love. We feel a tremendous sense of loss and grief,” she said.

Davies said Layton brought a sense of humanity to Canadian politics and in his career and his life, especially his battle with cancer, “he gave it his all.”

“We have only love and respect for everything that he did and he leaves some really important legacies in Canadian politics,” she said.

Tributes to Layton poured in from across party lines.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae said the news took his breath away and that Layton’s death is not just a loss for his party, but for all Canadians.

“It’s a loss for the country because he was a political guy who believed strongly in politics and who had a lot of resilience and a lot of guts,” Rae told CBC News.

The leader of the Official Opposition announced on July 25 he was stepping away from the job to concentrate on his cancer treatment. He told Canadians he had recently been diagnosed with a new form of cancer, in addition to the prostate cancer he had earlier battled.


The NDP appointed Quebec MP Nycole Turmel to take over for Layton temporarily. Layton wanted to be back at work in time for Parliament’s fall session in mid-September.

Reaction to Layton’s death was widespread. American ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, also issued a statement to express his condolences.

“I just received the sad news that Jack Layton has passed away. On behalf of my family as well as the American people I want to express our sorrow to Jack’s wife Olivia Chow, his family, and his friends and supporters across Canada,” he wrote on his website.

“I will never forget the image of Jack campaigning as the happy warrior. His energy, enthusiasm and passion for politics and for the Canadian people were undeniable. Something I will never forget. A standard for all of us.”

Layton’s chief of staff, Anne McGrath, said she last saw Layton on Saturday in Toronto and that they went over plans for the future, should he lose his battle with cancer.

“There’s no question that my heart is broken,” said McGrath, who worked with Layton for nearly a decade.

August 22, 2011

COLOURS OF PUNJAB ON ITALY STREETS: Sikh temple opens in Italy’s farming heartland

August 22nd, 2011

Thousands of Sikhs attended today the inauguration ceremony of a major new temple in Italy’s farming heartland in the Po River Valley, where many members of the community work as livestock farmers.

A helicopter dropped flower petals at the event in Pessina Cremonese, which was attended by Sikhs from across northern Italy as well as mayor Dalido Malaggi who thanked the Sikh community for reviving the region’s declining farming sector.

“The Sikhs have saved the local economy,”Malaggi said.

“They work in the farming businesses where our young people don’t go any more.”

The town website describes it as “a municipality free of racial prejudice.”

The temple, or gurdwara, is located about 100 kilometres (62 miles) southeast of Milan. It can hold 600 people and is one of the biggest in Italy.

Members of the Sikh community take part in a ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new temple in Pessina Cremonese, northern Italy August 21, 2011. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

FESTIVE CHEER: Sikhs celebrate the inauguration of a new gurdwara in Italy’s Po River Valley,where many members of the community work as livestock farmers.A helicopter dropped petals at the event in Pessina Cremonese,which was attended by Sikhs from across northern Italy. The Pessina Cremonese gurdwara is one of the biggest in Italy .

Members of the Sikh community take part in a procession during a ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new temple in Pessina Cremonese, northern Italy August 21, 2011. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

Women members of the Sikh community take part in a ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new temple in Pessina Cremonese, northern Italy August 21, 2011. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

Women members of the Sikh community attend a ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new temple in Pessina Cremonese, northern Italy August 21, 2011. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

Thalassemic’s Dream to Join Civil Services Comes True

August 21st, 2011

Thalassemia patient Sukhsohit Singh, who was denied final clearance even after securing 833 rd rank in Civil Services examinations, is all set to join the services after Prime Minister intervened into the matter.

“After I came to know through the media reports that the Prime Minister had stepped in and approved my selection, I got in touch with the Department of Personnel and Training, where the officials told me that my case was considered very seriously after which the go ahead was given. They told me that they will be communicating me the formal order very shortly,” Panchkula-based Sukhsohit told PTI today.

Rejected by the medical board at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital to join any branch of the civil services as he was suffering from the rare genetic disorder, 25-year-old Sukhsohit Singh said his appointment had been cleared following a fresh DoPT recommendation to the Prime Minister favouring his selection.

“After my case was rejected by the medical board, I had approached many Union Ministers including Dinesh Trivedi and Ambika Soni, who had extended all help to me,” he said.

“Ambika ji had earlier said the whole case needs to be dealt with a humanistic touch. She had also written a letter to the PMO in connection with my case,” said Sukhsohit, whose father M S Bawa is a wing commander in the Indian Air Force and brother Mukhmohit Singh is a doctor.

Sukhsohit Singh was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of two, after which he has been regularly undergoing transfusion.

Suffering from ‘thalassemia major’, Sukhsohit claims to be the first person with the disorder to have cleared the civil services examination in 2008, with a rank of 833 in the general category. The results of the examination were declared late last year.

Sukhsohit said that after his case, he was happy to learn that DoPT was reviewing nine other similar cases.

“Well, today I am extremely happy and delighted, but real victory will come when the new disability law will be passed in the Parliament. Under the law, Thalassaemia has been included as a disability and reservation in jobs proposed,” he said.

Sukhsohit Singh said while his case may set a new precedence for others suffering from genetic or physical disorders like him, but he would like the new law to come into existence soon.

“While I have been able to fight for my rights, there are others like me who get dejected as all may not get the same support from the system as I have got. We need to have this new law for them,” he said.

According to Sukhsohit, denying him entry into civil services, “will have been violation of my human rights and right to life and dignity and right to equal opportunities to public services.”

He said that he had made three preferences — Indian defence accounts service, Indian railway accounts services and Railways personnel services and had duly attached the relevant medical certificates when he applied for the UPSC examination.

“I was not declared as ineligible then,” he said.

He said that it was for the first time that DoPT had to deal with a candidate suffering from the disorder.

SOURCE: Outlook India

Pune Sikhs show solidarity with Anna Hazare

August 17th, 2011

PUNE: As an act of solidarity with activist Anna Hazare, the Pune Sikh Sangat, an association representing Sikhs across the city, has demanded his release and fair decision on the current scenario by the prime minister, Manmohan Singh. A memorandum on the same lines will be sent to the District Collectorate on Wednesday, said Rajwant Singh, member of the Sikh Sangat.

“Pune’s Sikh Sangat is and has always stood against corruption in various walks of life especially since Sikhism teaches one to be fair to all and leading a pure life. We wish the prime minister of India takes a free and fair decision as per the tenets of Sikhism. Our community is supporting all the citizens protesting for the anti-graft cause and in our letter we have requested the prime minister to take the right decision to handle corruption,” added Singh.

The letter demands transparency from the government in power. “The Sikh community just wants to prime minister to take the right stand keeping in mind the situation as far as corruption goes. We dont think he should step down because that is not necessary,” said Inderpal Singh.

The government should provide reasons for its acts, said Gurmeet Singh. “On what basis is the government arresting people who are protesting? We can see clearly how much Hazare has struggled for our country. And it’s shameful to put him behind bars,” said Gurmeet Singh.

Some of the community members are also joining the relay fast on Wednesday and Thursday, said Narendra singh. “All those people joining in the cause are Anna Hazares. The activist is right, otherwise the entire nation wouldn’t be supporting him today. It’s because corruption was never controlled in the past, that we have reached this stage today. The richer are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The ‘chalta hai’ non-chalant attitude typical to our society, is also a result of corruption. this needs to stop. And our community is supporting anyone, who is fighting to ward off corruption through such protests,” he said.

Salman donates one lakh bricks to Gurudwara

August 16th, 2011


Mumbai: Salman Khan is known to have a big heart. And the most recent testimonial does like this – While shooting at Commando Training School in Patiala for his upcoming film Bodyguard and was approached by a granthi (prayer reader) from the near by Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib gurudwara to help in reconstructing a new wing of the gurudwara.

Salman agreed and immediately after returning to Mumbai the actor kept the promise he made and promptly sent across money for one lakh bricks for the gurudwara. After some convincing Salman’s brother in law, Atul Aghnihotri confirmed that Salman and the crew visited the gurudwara twice while they were is Patiala.

Atul Aghnihotri added, “Around the commando Training School where we shot, people have strong faith in the gururdwara. So all of us, including Salman, visited the holy spot on the first day, and went back to seek blessing on the last day.”

Atul explained that the granthi has asked if they wanted to do ‘kar seva’ (service) since the gurudwara authorities planed to construct community rooms for worshipers. He adds, “So all of us, including Salman decided to donate one lakh bricks to construct the rooms.”

The upcoming Eid release, in which Salman plays a bodyguard, opens in theaters on 31st August, 2011. It will be the third Eid release of Salman after blockbusters likeWanted (2009) and Dabangg (2010).

While shooting in Patiala, Salman and Katrina were mobbed in crowds, leading to a woman getting hurt in the commotion. Salman met her, and gave her an autograph after chatting with her.

Prakash Kaur: Real Life Hero

August 5th, 2011

In a country notorious for female foeticide, Punjab is making strides, through the work of real-life heroes, in addressing the issue, while the rest of India continues to drag its feet.

Prakash Kaur is mother to 60 abandoned girls in Jalandhar, Punjab. She has given them a life to look forward to, when their own parents wished they were dead.
No one knows when they were born. But for Sheeba, for little Zeinab and their 60 sisters, April 24 is special as it is their birthday.

Prakash Kaur doesn’t like to look back.
Sixty years ago, she too was abandoned by her parents and a local Gurdwara was what she called home.
The stories of her little ones mirror her life.

Siya was only a few hours old when she was found in a drain, wrapped in a black polythene bag. Reva a newborn was dumped on a highway off Kapurthala and it is their future that Prakash is determined to change.

1993 was the turning point in the lives of these girls. That was when Prakash set up the Unique Home for girls on land donated by the Gurdwara where she grew up.
Surprisingly, it is the works of Charles Dickens that inspire the feisty lady from Jalandhar.
Little Zeinab was found in a garbage dump, packed in a polythene bag only because she is mentally challenged. But today she is the darling of the home, bringing colour into everyone’s life.
Thus, this hole in the wall becomes the cradle of life for many like Zeinab.
But all the girls who come here make it through just fine.
Every morning the home comes alive. After a quick breakfast, Prakash and the senior girls help the the little ones get ready for school and as they step out, there is a sweet beginning for the day at some of the best schools in Jalandhar.

A brilliant student, 15-year-old Sheeba wants to become a neurosurgeon. Recognising her potential, Prakash sent her to a boarding school in Mussoorie.

“I am really proud of my mom, because I think that there is nobody like her in the world, she is God, she is a friend, she is everything to us,” Sheeba added.

Prakash lives for the girls.

Stepping out in tattered clothes, she picks out fruits for her daughters. Giving them the best in life is the only thing that is on her mind and Prakash knows there’s no shame in asking people for help.

The prayer on the lips of the girls is simple, ‘Thank you, God, for my Mama … one who is ready to die so I can live’.

[Courtesy: IBN. Edited for and used by]

Get Adobe Flash player