Jaipur · Jaipur Beat · Jaipur Happenings

Meet Jaipur’s Only Railway Station Cocooned In Greens

We bet every one of you has at least one train travel memory from your childhood and why not, we all have waited for summer holidays simply to embark on a new journey or probably the same old journey to grandma’s place, riding on a train. 🙂 Most of us in Jaipur have been travelling through trains since forever. The whole idea of trains doesn’t seem like a novelty to us as we were served with this medium of transport since we were born. However the introduction of railways in the country marked a new era of transportation and the same goes for introduction of railways in Jaipur.

All of us have been train travelers for quite a long while now but how many of you actually know about the first railway junction in Jaipur. We know that most of your answers will include Gandhi Nagar and Jaipur Junction but to your dismay both the answers are incorrect.IMG-20170712-WA0006Very few of us will know that the first broad gauge that was commissioned in the city was at Durgapura Railway station. When the Mumbai Jaipur express started functioning in the city, Jaipur Junction was not ready. Therefore Durgapura railway station, which luckily was ready, became the first station where first broad gauge of the city arrived. From there on, it became the station from where people could travel to other stations like Sawai Madhopur, Kota and to stations across the nation like Bombay. Given such an important place in the history of Jaipur’s interstate transportation, one would think that Durgapura railway Station should be an important landmark in the city.IMG-20170712-WA0003However, the city has somehow completely forgotten about the place. Most of us have not even heard about the station and when it comes to the stations in the city all we can remember is the Gandhi Nagar Railway Station or the Jaipur Junction. However, since Durgapura station has such an important place in the city’s history, Jaipur Beat thought to bring this amazing junction to the forefront and in the eyes of the citizens.

Visit this station once and you will realize what we are talking about. One of the most beautiful and probably the cleanest stations of all, Durgapura station, is surrounded by greens from everywhere. We mean, when did you last spot, flourishing and tall green trees at a railway station? The greens add to the complete feel of this place. Probably one reason why people would love to wait for trains here. Definitely the first comers get the best things, that is why the railway authorities, back in those days, must have taken so much pain to plant these trees around the rails and the station, to make the first station of Jaipur look unique.

Apart from the greens the station has a beautiful and old-fashioned entry. Not only will the entry but the vibrant colors that the station is painted in will charm the onlookers.IMG-20170712-WA0005Apart from the beauty the station also needs to be applauded for its clean surroundings. We bet you haven’t visited a cleaner station in the city like this one. Probably this is the only junction in the city that has taken both, Swachh Bharat campaign and Clean Jaipur Green Jaipur seriously.IMG-20170712-WA0002All said and done, the station that once was held glorious for being the first station in Jaipur is now struggling for its survival. In today’s time many trains do not even stop at this station. So, the next time you happen to pass through this station or board a train enjoy the picturesque surroundings 🙂

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Down the memory lane with Jaipur: Alvida 2013 !!

As we are all set to enter the new year, let’s go down the memory lane and reminisce all that happened in pink city in 2013 🙂

Jolly January

The year 2013 began on a positive and clean note when Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Jaipur for Chintan Shivir. Even though the motive was to ‘connect’ with the urban middle class, Jaipur got a great deal as the entire city was spick and span, a view that we hardly get to see 😀

chintan shivir

At the same time, there was one thing that sure was loved by us; Inauguration of Ghat ki Ghuni tunnel in Jaipur by Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi on January 19th. This 2.8-km long tunnel in Jaipur offers an alternative route to connect Pink City with Agra. The tunnel has sensors for controlling air pollution, display boards and cameras for checking vehicles’ speed !

ghat ki ghuni

Jaipur Lit Fest, Asia’s leading literature event that happens every year in Jaipur was this time graced by the great Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who came and enlightened us with his knowledge and superb wisdom.

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Classy February

Royalty, class and pride, hail the Indian army !! The civilians of Jaipur got a golden chance to witness the 61st Cavalry’s annual parade, an elaborate cavalry drill organized by the army for the first time in the history of pink city.

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This took place in Rambagh Polo Ground where 130 officers; sardars and sawars dressed in ceremonial outfits were seen mounting the well groomed horses. But of course the audience was seen behind the cameras clicking pictures like there would be no tomorrow to those precious moments 😀

Merry March

The pleasant march came with something that is close to all our hearts: luxury and cars. The 15th Edition Vintage and Classic Car Rally was held and people were seen mesmerized as it included rare cars like a 1923 Austin 7 Chummy, 1956 Thunderbird and a 1941 Packard that happened to be the first AC car that greeted the visitors at Hotel Jai Mahal Palace.

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March came with a little hitch though. The much acclaimed Elephant festival this year was a little disappointment for the tourists as the major highlight “Elephants” were missing due to the ban by Government.

Exciting April

Our very own Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur proudly and gladly welcomed its first match of IPL Season-6 between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. Jaipur was seen overjoyed as the cricket freaks for whom cricket is more of a religion, could show their love by screaming and jumping in the stadium seeing their own team play.

IPL 2012 Match 60  RR v PWI

With this, Jaipur also got a taste of Kingfisher beerup !! The famous Kingfisher Beerup event that happens every year, for the first time was also experienced in pink city.

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Beer games combined with live screening of IPL, lots of food, dance, music and Jaipur blasted with endless masti. It was organised at The Forresta Kitchen & Bar and encashed really well on social media with the twitter world buzzing with hastag KFBeerup.

May dismay

As the summers were on the peak, every creature had their own way to deal with it. In an unusual incident, while two Italian tourists were having a happy elephant ride in Jaipur, the elephant decided to jump in the Maota Lake below the Amber fort to escape the terrible heat !!

Scorching June

The super hot June came with the sight of the largest Supermoon of the year!! Coined by astrologer Richard Nolle, the term “supermoon” means a bigger and brighter full moon. Many Jaipurites clicked and sent their pictures of Supermoon to Jaipur Beat.

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In this glorious month, our historic beloved Amber fort made it to the UNESCO’s world heritage list in the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee. A proud moment that was 🙂

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Progressive July

Bidding goodbye to summers, came July with some relief from the heat !! Along with this, The Jaipur International Airport also bid farewell to its international terminal, Terminal 1 and all the domestic and international flights to and fro are now taken care of by the Terminal 2 😀

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Jaipur created its own textile park called ‘Jaipur Integrated TEXCRAFT Park Pvt. Ltd.’ The Park has been created to prevent and control the pollution caused in Sanganer and nearby areas due to the chemical disposition from dyeing and painting of clothes in a large scale in the area.

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A two-day weekend festival called ‘Jaipur by Nite’ was held to promote Jaipur as an all-year destination. The colorful event saw the main historical monuments all decorated and the famous bazaars situated within the city walls were open till late night.

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Included in the itinerary were two cultural evenings showcasing live music, fashion show, sound and light show, shopping, food and drinks at the City Palace and Hotel Clarks Amer.

The happening August

As the rain showered Jaipur, the Teej celebrations filled the pink city with joy and Jawahar Kala Kendra pepped up with a lot of folk dancers performing to this cheerful festival !!

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Apart from these celebrations, there was one more thing that was seen rising and rising high: the onion prices. This was followed by a weird incident where an onion laden truck was robbed by a group of three armed men at Shahpura village on Jaipur-Delhi highway, believe it or not !!

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In this month itself, one of the best schools of Jaipur; Maharani Gayatri Devi (M.G.D.) Girls school, that changed the way of girls’ education and took it to a new level, completed its 70 years.

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Run September

With a lot of noise and excitement came chugging the Jaipur Metro with its first trial run on September 18 that was done between Mansarovar and Shyamnagar stations. The metro when it begins will hopefully ease off a lot of traffic issues and transport facilities in the pink city.

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Along with this, to the delight of Jaipurites, started a tourist bus service namely ‘Hop on Hop off’ connecting all major tourist spots and market places of Jaipur.

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Sporty October

Even though we love October for a plenty of reasons, this time it was for Indian cricket and the great wall of India. Yes, you got it right ! The gentleman of Indian cricket and then skipper of Rajasthan Royals, Rahul Dravid, retired after winning every match that he played in the S.M.S Stadium, Jaipur in 2013.

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Moreover, in the ODI series of India vs Australia, Jaipur became the city to host India’s biggest ODI victory so far against the Kangaroos 😀 India recorded its highest successful run chase in this match scoring a 362 against 359 by Aussies with 9 wickets and 39 balls remaining.

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Sweet November

As the cold winds entered the domains of Jaipur, it celebrated 286 years of its foundation on November 18 with a lot of dhoom-dhaam !!

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This time, Jaipur hosted its first Art Summit at Jawahar Kala Kendra 😀 It was a true pleasure to watch the royal Rajasthan’s art being expressed in the forms of canvas, visual and digital art, sculptures, interactive art and other contemporary and folk-centric expressions.

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For the first time ever, Jaipur hosted an electric concert ‘Rahmanishq’ by none other than the Oscar winning and soul touching music maestro A.R. Rahman, who came and sizzled the city with his voice.

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Chilly December

Like it is said ‘Last but not the least’, this year December was surely the month that changed everything for the pink city. Rajasthan State Assembly Elections were held on 1st December with a voter turnout of approx. 74%, that was the highest ever for the state. With clear majority, BJP won the elections and Vasundhara Raje replaced Ashok Gehlot as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.

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Along with the new CM, came vrooming into our lives the brand that defines what bikes are all about; Harley-Davidson. Harley opened its first showroom in Jaipur at Sahakar Marg, while the owners celebrated it with a huge launch party and a rally of bikes.

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 After an eventful 2013, just hold your breath and get set for another year, that is about to begin !!

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Life at “Lokrang”

Where life was seen overflowing with colors and the air was filled with moments of joy, that’s where Jaipur Beat was present, capturing the happiness live!!

Presenting a perfect blend of Indian culture and colors of traditions through eleven days long dance festival, ‘Lokrang-2013′ was held at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, to celebrate the energetic folk art and cultural tradition of India.

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Started in 1994, Lokrang is an 11 day festival held every year in the month of October-November approximately 15 days before Diwali from the first day of the month of Kartika. This year it started from 19th Oct and went on till 29th Oct. Lokrang or say “National Folk Festival” comprises National Dance Festival and National Handicraft Fair (Gandhi Shilp Bazar) at the Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.

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The presentations of National Dance Festival are performed in the beautiful ambiance of “Madhyavarti” (Open air theatre) of JKK. It starts around 7 in the evening and goes on for almost 2 hours. This year more than 60 kinds of Dances from the performers from 18 States and 1 union territory were presented to the audience.

Mayur Nratya from Uttar Pradesh
Mayur Nratya from Uttar Pradesh
Brij Ki Holi Uttar Pradesh
Brij Ki Holi Uttar Pradesh

Be it Mayur dance of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat’s garba, Chari dance from Rajasthan or a lot more dances from various states, the one thing that they all showered was happiness !! Each artist came with an expertise and flawless expressions which made the eyes gaze in admiration. The joy on their faces and a myriad of colors filled the air with happiness and it looked like the entire country is soaked in the spirit of celebrations.

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Simultaneously, the National Handicraft Fair at the Shilp Gram of JKK depicts the worthy participation of the indigenous craftsmen from various states of the country. This craft fair has been promoting and representing the indigenous- conventional crafts and also enhancing the interaction within artisans and art lovers in a mesmerizing rural ambience of authentic significance.

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Oh why Ranbir ? Why be Besharam ?

 
When you have a movie directed by Abhinav Kashyap, director of Dabangg and have Rishi, Neetu and Ranbir Kapoor acting together for the first time, you really are looking for some thing special. Ranbir Kapoor’s releases are supposed to be the most looked forward releases these days, who can forget the massive opening of Yeh Jawaani. So we at Jaipur Beat decided to watch the movie on the very first day that was released on Wednesday and not Friday for a change due to 2nd October holiday.
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The movie starts with a pretty impressive looking Javed Jaafri (Chandel) as a villian. Must say he is one of the most underrated actors of Hindi films. That Ranbir Kapoor is getting names such as Bunny (YJHD) and now Bubbli in this movie is some thing that defies any logic. May be he is trying really hard to live up to his image of chocolaty hero. Any ways Bubbli is a car thief who also happens to be an orphan. Like a modern day Robinhood, he donates every income from his “not so noble profession” to his orphanage. Pallavi Sharda (Tara), a debutant, is supposed to work in an architecture firm as manager and lives in Delhi-6 kind of colony in Delhi. That she buys a 25 lakh worth of Mercedes B Class in the very first scene of the movie to attend a friend’s wedding is the lamest excuse you can come across. Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor play Police as Inspector and Constable and are called Chulbul and Bulbul Chautala in this movie.
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So Bubbli steals the Merc of Tara and hands it over to Chandel not knowing its hers. Now as he was deeply in love with her and clearly indicated that by barging into her office once, he realises his mistake and decides to steal the Merc again from Chandel. The first half of the movie is totally disconnected and clearly misses any connection. In one scene Ranbir is dancing with all funny clothes and in another he is trying to act like SRK in a shaadi song.
The story takes a turn when it is found out that the car which Bubbli stole back also has huge cash in its boot. So the cash takes a full circle from Bubbli to Chautalas to Chandel. The climax is totally predictable and you can even guess the next scene. There are funny moments in between but overall the director has tried to make Ranbir look and act like Salman in maximum part of the movie. Now having a Salman hangover is one thing and asking Ranbir to act like him is totally another matter. The climax has scenes taken out from Gadar, Ajab Prem ki gajab kahaani and of course Dabangg. Watching Rishi Kapoor with his physique act like a tough cop is quite a hilarious moment of the film.
rishi
Its hard to understand why Ranbir Kapoor would do this movie. He looked good in parts but again those cheap dialogues do not augur well with his profile. And what was the need to show his butt crack once again ? Probably he took the title of this movie way too seriously. The wikipedia introduction of Pallavi Sharda states that she is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer. Watching her moves that look so cheap and vulgar at times, its hard to be convinced by this intro. She does look pretty at times but fails miserably in emotional scenes. Rishi and Neetu Kapoor could have been the highlight of the movie. In fact Neetu Kapoor looks extremely graceful even as a constable. Although at times they do sound a genuine couple but the cheap dialogues take away the authenticity of the relationship.
The songs felt forced and some of them try to copy music of 70’s and 80’s. The music by Lalit Pandit (of Jatin-Lalit fame) is overall average with an exception of  Tu Hai  by Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal and Dil Ka jo Haal hai by Abhijeet and Shreya.
At the end it was really disappointing to see Ranbir Kapoor in this movie. But the blessing in disguise is what would be the fate of this movie if he wasn’t there. If you have nothing substantial to do in life and are ok with a little bit double meaning cheap comedy this movie is for you other wise staying away from this is advisable.
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Different shades of pink city on World Tourism Day

On this World Tourism Day, how about planning an awesome weekend at Jaipur and enjoying the colors at pink city like never before !!

As you open your eyes early in the morning, just pick up your bag pack and drive away to the Jal Mahal palace standing in the middle of the Man Sagar lake. When the sun rises from behind the palace , the sky takes a shade of the vivid orange and the sparkling lake turn the sight into a silhouette of the most beautiful sunrise.

IMG_2336 - CopyAfter the breath taking view, go further and reach the Amer palace, one of the most precious gems of Jaipur that shines with pride in the hues of yellow. The Suraj Pol gate welcomes you with warmth, the name signifying the first ray of sun falling on Amer turning the gate into a glowing orange colored splendor.

Suraj Pol Gate

After the delightful morning it’s time for an equally delightful breakfast !! Thinking where and what to eat?? Don’t bother and head towards the Rawat Mishtan Bhandar on Station road. Is the smell of freshly prepared pyaaz ki kachoris already making your mouth water?? Enjoy the yummiest pyaaz kachoris in town with a big glass of lassi here and get all charged up for the rest of your journey in Jaipur.

Pyaaz-Kachori

A perfect beginning of the day must be followed by an interesting afternoon and what can be more interesting in pink city than shopping ? So it’s time to go the walled city and see that it has an offer that you can’t refuse; a matchless shopping extravaganza !! While you see the city side wrapped in bright colors, you can pick your block prints from Chaura rasta, Tripolia bazaar. If you’re fond of jewellery or your friends/ girlfriends or mothers are fond of them, get some exquisite pieces from Johari Bazaar, Bapu bazaar, M.I. road. These markets are also clad with bandhej (tie & dye), lac bangles and jootiya that are specially found here. Now that your hands are full of shopping bags and heart is filled with joy, your belly surely needs a good treat.

jooti

The one place where you’d enjoy both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine equally is Niros, located on M.I. road. The lal maans and chicken is the specialty if you’re a non-veg freak, and you can try baingan bharta if you’re a vegetarian. Make sure that you keep a little space in your bellies for some delicious desserts at Jalmahal Ice cream parlor situated right there.

Watching a sunset is as precious as the sunrise, isn’t it? Drive to the Nahargarh fort and witness the wonderful sight of the sunset from the top of the fort. As the sky gets into a blue mood, the city is lit up and the view from the top is spectacular and worth capturing. It’s time to catch the “Light and Sound” show at Amer. The show presents the symphony of the scintillating shades of light that illuminate the Amber fort after sunset along with narrating the history of the fort in the baritone voice of Amitabh Bachchan (the famous superstar of Indian cinema).

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Now it’s your turn to decide whether you want to come down and have the famous Rajasthani dal baati churma at LMB ( Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar) or leave for a long drive that will take you through the way Jaipur has changed its shades in the last few years. If you have decided to watch the city at night, then drive to Hawamahal to see how its windows have now been back lit and tells a different story at night.

hawamahal

While going towards the Albert Hall Museum, have a look at how the State museum of Rajasthan reflects the deep rooted culture Jaipur is soaked in. On your smooth drive on JLN marg leads to the well lit Shree cements building making way to the newly developed shopping mall; World Trade Park of Jaipur. Now it’s time for a scrumptious dinner at Chokhi Dhani. Gorge on the Rajasthani thali festooned with the freshly cooked dal baati churma served with warmth and affection.

chokhi dhani

If you are planning to spend one more day at Jaipur, you might go to see the grand City Palace and Jantar Mantar the next day and check if Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) is hosting any theater or exhibition for your visual delight.

So are you ready to have the most amazing weekend at Jaipur ??

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Shop till you drop !!

Those looking for a comfortable vacation, the ‘Pink City’ of Rajasthan is a place to be.  With its grand Rajput palaces, forts, cultural ethnicity, princely ambience, amazing colorful markets clubbed with hospitality, Jaipur holds the position of a major tourist destination.

Jaipur, well known for its monumental heritage is also fast transforming into hi-tech city. The Pink City is embracing mall-culture with enthusiasm and hotting up with a trend of shopping in malls. Shopping and hanging out in malls have become a rocking theme among youngsters. Jaipur malls have grown substantially to house all top brands, boutiques, home decor, accessories store, coffee shops, restaurants and other stuff to suit one’s needs.

Ensure you explore the following top shopping malls of Jaipur and make shopping experience wonderful and enduring, whether you are a vibrant Jaipurites or a shopaholic tourist-

1.   Gaurav Tower

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It is the first mall of Jaipur in the journey of modernity that introduced locals with mall culture and cultivated mall shopping habits. It is the most happening place among the Jaipur youth.

Location- Near Malviya Nagar Pulia,Jaipur

2.    Pink Square Mall

pink square

With all modern facilities, you will get to browse all the brands, accessories, shoes and other products under its roof. But what appeals the crowd most is a ‘Scary House’, which got a cheap entry ticket i.e. Rs 40/person. Hence, this haunted house is worth exploring.

Location-1-2, Govind Marg, Adarsh Nagar, Jaipur

3.  MGF Metropolitan

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This mall is perfect in terms of gourmet cuisines, ambience, variety, space and hassle free parking to have delightful shopping experience. Stores of all supreme brands are available here.

Location- Bais Godam Circle,C-Scheme, Jaipur

4.  Ganpati Plaza

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It is the happening and luxurious shopping joint. It is a hub for a complete and latest wedding shopping collections. Do experience the exotic shopping here.

Location- M.I. Road, Nr.Amrapura Asthan Jaipur

5.  Triton Mall

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This mega mall of Jaipur matches the impressive designs and brilliant architecture of Tier 1 cities malls. It houses top labels, gaming zone, cinemas and other interesting stuff.

Location- Near Jhotwara Pulia, Sikar Road, Jaipur

6.    World Trade Park

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It’s the largest shopping cum business hub of Rajasthan with a world class infrastructure. It houses all those top brands that may be missing from other shopping malls of the city.  An amazing mall to explore!

Location- Near Gaurav Tower, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur

7.    Crystal Palm

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It is a one stop for fashion, food and fun. It’s very popular destination for entertainment and enjoyment among Jaipurites.

Location- Bais Godam Circle, Opp. MGF Metropolitan, Jaipur

 8.    City Pulse

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It is another cool mall to hangout. It is the biggest mall, situated in the heart of Jaipur. The elegant entrance of this commercial shopping mall is pleasing.

Location- Narayan Singh Circle, No. Of Stores: 110, Jaipur

 

 

Jaipur · Reviews

Review : ‘Special 26’

Known as Special Chabbis, from zero song in Wednesday to half a dozen in Special 26, Neeraj Pandey has made it amply clear that he now represents main stream cinema.

Based on the real life heist, Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher and gang loot the self-serving politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen off their riches by posing either as CBI or income tax officials. As they raid people of their black money, there are no police reports or investigations.

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After committing at least 50 robberies across the country, they plan to loot a high-profile jewelry brand based in Mumbai. But CBI officer Manoj Bajpayee  who masterminds a supposedly bigger trap to nab the thieves red handed.

Great acting can be seen by leading actors especially Akshay Kumar, who leads the group of con men, the no-nonsense by-the-book CBI Officer, Manoj Bajpayee and the naïve police officer, Jimmy Shergill. In fact Jimmy Shergill, at times takes the glory away on screen from his renewed co-actors. The leading actress, Kajal Aggarwal, is as wooden as she could be. She is neither so pretty nor so expressive.

The climax of the movie is inspired by a real life incidence when bogus CBI officials raided a leading jeweller in Bombay at Opera House, on 19th March 1987.

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The movie has its funny moments especially the dupatta scene and Anupam Kher’s interrogation scene.

Despite a good plot, the movie certainly misses the WOW factor. The second half drags a lot and viewers just wait for the film to end. The end does provide a bit of excitement as some unexpected events unfold, but its too late by then. The music is average with an exception of one song Kaun Mera sung by Papon.

Good to watch if you have nothing substantial to do, else wait for its DVD release which should be happening pretty soon.

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International Non-Fiction authors to regale readers at DSC Jaipur Literature Festival

The sixth annual DSC Jaipur Literature Festival has begun from today i.e. 24th Jan, 2013, at Diggi Palace in Jaipur. This year 285 speakers would be attending the festival. Non-fiction has always been particularly strong at the Jaipur Literature Festival and this year it is completely outstanding.

The festival has numerous award winning authors like Nobel prize, Booker Prize and Sahitya Akademi Award, prominent winners like His Holiness Dalai Lama, Howard Jacobson, K Satchidanandan along with Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, Frank Dikkoter on Mao, Wade Davis on Everest and Orlando Figes on Stalin’s purges, while Pulitzer winner Andrew Solomon will speak on his remarkable new book, Far From the Tree.

Three of the world’s most acclaimed artists will be in conversation in the session ‘The Artist’s Eye’ – Glen Lowry, the director of Museum of Modern Art in New York discusses the eye of the artist with three of the greatest eyes in modern art, Marc Quinn, William Kentridge , and with leading cultural theorist Homi Bhabha.

Nandan Nilekani will discuss Breakout Nations with Ruchir Sharma, author of this year’s bestselling book of non-fiction. Sharma argues that the astonishingly rapid growth over the last decade of the world’s celebrated emerging markets is coming to an end. China will soon slow, but its place will not necessarily be taken by Brazil, Russia or India. Ruchir Sharma shows how weaknesses and difficulties were often overlooked in the inflated expectations and emerging markets mania of the past decade and that India’s chance of economic success is no better than 50/50.

Other stand-out sessions include:

“The Global Shakespeare” – We look at how is it that Shakespeare, a sixteenth century Englishman, managed to write work that still resonates around the globe four hundred years later? Celebrated Shakespearian Christopher Ricks talks to Tim Supple, the director of the Indian Midsummer Night’s Dream and the leading cultural and literary theorist Homi Bhabha.

The Elephant Paradigm, Dragon Paradox. – Most authorities agree that the 21st century belongs to India and China, but beyond that consensus breaks down. Can India ever catch up with China? Will China fall apart due to its own unresolved contradictions? Peter Hessler, New York Timescorrespondent and author of the great Chinese Trilogy, River Town compares and contrasts the two countries with Gurcharan Das, author of India Unbound, in conversation with Daniel Kurtz-Phelan a former advisor to Hilary Clinton.

“Roots of Yoga” – Yoga has taken the world by storm and is one of India’s most universal exports. But how ancient, and how authentic, is its modern form as practiced in gyms around the globe? Sanskrit scholars David White, James Mallenson and Mark Singleton discuss authenticity and innovation in conversation with art historian Debra Diamond and historian of yoga Birad Rajaram Yajnik.

“Beyond the Khyber: Future of Afghanistan” – Western troops will finally leave Afghanistan next year after another failed intervention in that most untameable of countries. Leading experts on Afghanistan, Edward Girardet, Jason Burke and Lucy Morgan Edwards, all of whom have covered the country for many years, consider what may happen next with Faisal Devji

The Art of Biography” How do you pin a life to the page? Four leading biographers David Gilmour (Curzon, Kipling) Wade Davis (Mallory) Andrew Lycett (Ian Fleming, Kipling and Conan Doyle, John Zubrzycki (The Last Nizam of Hyderabad) and Pico Iyer (Graham Greene and the Dalai Lama) discuss techniques and literary obsessions.

“Dispatches As India experiences a non-fiction renaissance, four leading war correspondents describe the life of the journalist in a war zone, and talk about how such experiences can be transformed into works of literature. Jason Burke, author of the acclaimed 9/11 Wars, Anjan Sunderam, author of the eagerly-anticipated Stringer, Lucy Morgan Edwards, author of The Afghan Solution and Edward Giradet, author of Killing the Cranes, discuss the journey from reportage to literature with Madhu Trehan of Newslaundry.

Saving Face: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is an Academy Award and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker, named by Time Magazine in the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.. Her recent films include ‘Saving Face’, ‘Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret’and ‘Pakistan’s Taliban Generation’. She discusses her remarkable and award-winning body of work in conversation with Shoma Chaudhuri.

The Decline of America: Westerners and Resterners In his new book, Time To Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline, Edward Luce argues that the US faces a world of rising new countries that will compete with it ever more fiercely as its own power is declining. He argues that in order to slow and improve this steady leakage of power, the US must change course internationally, economically and domestically. Ian Buruma. Peter Hessler and Frank Savage, the author of “The Savage Way” analyse Luce’s ideas in conversation with the author.

From Harvard we have Diana Eck, whose book India: A Sacred Geography has been one of the hits of the year, the philosopher Michael Sandel who brings his popular BBC Radio 4 series, “The Public Philosopher,” to Jaipur and the leading cultural theorist, Homi Bhabha. From Columbia comes the much-revered post-colonial and post-modern literary critic and thinker Gayatri Chakrovorty Spivak and from Oxford comes acclaimed authority on Eastern Europe, Timothy Garton Ash and the Shakespearian Christopher Ricks.

We have sessions on subjects as diverse as the history of miniature painting and war reporting, the Jewish novel, the 18th century sexual revolution, detective fiction and the literature of 9/11. We focus on new writing from Latin America and Iran, examine the economic prospects of India. We’ll look at the mixed legacy of the British Empire, the decline of America and the rise of China. Never before will any literary festival in India have such a rich feast laid before it. Its an extraordinary list and we’re thrilled to be presenting it. Jaipur is only getting better and better.

About The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival is considered to be Asia’s leading literature event, celebrating national and international writers, and encompassing a range of activities including film, music and theatre. The festival has already hosted some of the best-known national and international writers including Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, John Berendt, Kiran Desai, Christopher Hampton, Ian McEwan, Vikram Seth, Wole Soyinka, Salman Rushdie, Pico Iyer, Simon Schama, Thomas Keneally, Hanif Kureishi, Vikram Chandra, Anoushka Shankar, Michael Frayn, Stephen Frears, Alexander McCall Smith, Donna Tartt, Tina Brown, Shashi Tharoor, Mohammed Hanif, Paul Zacharia, among many others. The Directors of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festivals are William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale and the festival is produced by Sanjoy K. Roy and Sheuli Sethi of Teamwork Productions. DSC Limited is the principal sponsor of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival.

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DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 Kicks off with Mahasweta Devi’s keynote speech – ‘O to Live Again’

 Ashok Gehlot – CM of Rajasthan and Margaret Alva – Governor of Rajasthan graced the inaugural event with their valuable presence

Mahasweta Devi, Ashok Gehlot - CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva - Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013
Mahasweta Devi, Ashok Gehlot – CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva – Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013

The 2013 edition of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival started with an inaugural speech by eminent author and social activist Mahasweta Devi. She reflected her long and illustrious life and writing career in a speech laced with references to the rich world of ideas she has imbibed from the tribal and rural cultures that have been the subject of her work.

Ashok Gehlot, CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013
Ashok Gehlot, CM Rajasthan and Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan at the inaugural ceremony of Jaipur Literature Festival 2013

Having written on the “culture of the downtrodden” throughout her life, Mahasweta Devi referred to the simple dreams of simple people in her speech. She called for the “right to dream” to be the first fundamental right of all human beings.

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech - Oh to Live Again
Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech – O to Live Again

In a speech poignantly titled ‘Oh to Live Again’ renowned author Mahasweta Devi said “My early years proved to be formative for my future work as a writer and activist. I also have a different approach to my writing process and I mull over the subjects in depth before setting out on the creative journey”

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech – Oh to Live Again

The five-day haven of literature that starts today brings together renowned authors, thinkers, philosophers from around the world to Jaipur. It will have speakers who will bring their thoughts, ideas, journeys and experiences to the Festival through debates, discussions and readings. With her keynote speech, Mahasweta Devi set the tone for a meaningful exchange of ideas through the rest of the festival.

Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech - Oh to Live Again
Mahasweta Devi at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 with her keynote speech – O to Live Again

Commenting on this, Namita Gokhale, Festival Director – DSC Jaipur Literature Festival said “We are delighted to begin the event with Mahasweta Devi’s warm keynote which was not only inspiring but thought provoking. She has been constantly working for Human Rights and Women rights to bring a change in the society.

The other sessions thorough the day to watch out for, are – ‘Remembering Sunil Da’ – A session that will mark the tribute to iconic author Sunil Gandopadhyay. It will be a session that will focus on his journey in the Indian Literature. Another session on that will catch the visitors attention will be Colliding Worlds: The Quest for Justice’ will speak across the divides of ideology and conventional identity tags. There would be an intriguing session by musical genius Javed Akhtar and Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, Oxford University Press, Pakistan called ‘Ismat and Annie’. It will be a session where two brilliant minds will discuss literary argument between two Urdu writers Ismat Chughtai and Qurrat-ul-Ain Haider.

About The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival

The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival is considered to be Asia’s leading literature event, celebrating national and international writers, and encompassing a range of activities including film, music and theatre. The festival has already hosted some of the best-known national and international writers including Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, John Berendt, Kiran Desai, Christopher Hampton, Ian McEwan, Vikram Seth, Wole Soyinka, Salman Rushdie, Pico Iyer, Simon Schama, Thomas Keneally, HanifKureishi, Vikram Chandra, Anoushka Shankar, Michael Frayn, Stephen Frears, Alexander McCall Smith, Donna Tartt, Tina Brown, Shashi Tharoor, Mohammed Hanif, Paul Zacharia, among many others. The Directors of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festivals are William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale and the festival is produced by Sanjoy K. Roy and Sheuli Sethi of Teamwork Productions. DSC Limited is the principal sponsor of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival.