William Perry: Work smarter, faster to dismantle all nuclear weapons

first_imgFormer Defense Secretary William J. Perry recalls three searing personal experiences that helped him conclude the world must dismantle all nuclear weapons.Perry told a Harvard Kennedy School audience that he spent the early part of his engineering career building the most frightening nuclear weapons systems on earth, from the MX missile to the Trident and the Air Launched Cruise Missile.In October 1962, he got a call from a friend in the CIA, telling him to fly immediately from California to Washington. For the next 13 nights, he worked in a team of specialists analyzing photos from U2 spy planes of Soviet missile sites being constructed in Cuba, providing President Kennedy updated information each morning to make decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis.“Every day that I went to our analysis center I truly believed would be my last day on earth,” Perry said.Delivering the second annual Robert McNamara Lecture on War and Peace on Feb. 24 in the Kennedy School’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Perry described his personal journey from Cold War weapons hawk to nuclear disarmament campaigner. Forum moderator Graham Allison, director of the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, called Perry one of the Four Horsemen of disarmament. In 2007, Perry banded together with former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger and former Sen. Sam Nunn to lobby for total dismantling of the world’s nuclear arms.Read an account of Perry’s speech here. Here’s a link to the full transcript of Perry’s address. And the webcast of the Forum event can also be viewed anytime on the Institute of Politics website.Perry also recounted other hair-raising moments, including an urgent US military report that 200 Soviet nuclear missiles were inbound toward the United States — a false alarm — and a practice nuclear countdown by a Russian crew at a ballistic missile launch center — well after the end of the Cold War.Perry, 83, is a professor at Stanford University as well as co-director of the Preventive Defense Project, based at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. Read Full Storylast_img read more

The ongoing allure of Tolkien

first_imgHarvard’s Stephen Mitchell, professor of Scandinavian folklore and a longtime fan of the fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien, recently sat down with the Gazette’s Colleen Walsh to discuss some of the inspirations behind Tolkien’s 1937 classic “The Hobbit,” the prelude to the author’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and a new major motion picture based on the early work.GAZETTE: When did you first read “The Hobbit”?MITCHELL: It must have been about 1965 or 1966 because I was no longer in elementary school. I am sure I was in high school, and the reason I remember that is because I played hooky for a day or two until I had read through it and the “Ring” trilogy. I pretended I was sick and stayed at home. I am of the generation that experienced [Tolkien’s books] in the hippie, West Coast, counterculture world. You know these buttons that are very popular from Newbury Comics that you see hipsters wearing nowadays? Those were so popular back in the ’60s, and one of them was “Frodo lives.” All of my copies of the Tolkien books have those wild purple psychedelic covers from the ’60s. I even ran across one in the attic the other day that had been taped and re-taped. The cover had fallen off.GAZETTE: “The Hobbit” was published in 1937. Why do you think it has such lasting appeal?MITCHELL: For most of us, don’t we somewhere deep down inside have the “You tore down paradise and put up a parking lot,” Joni Mitchell sort of reaction to modernity? You want things to be the way they once were. I know Tolkien had a similar experience in his own life, seeing the British midlands industrialized. There’s certainly a way in which the text appeals to people who want there to be, as Tolkien writes, “less noise and more green.” That is certainly something most people will relate to. I think there is a kind of rejection of modernity. I also think it really appeals to people because of the simple division between good and evil. There are some shades of gray in there, but for the most part the characters are fundamentally heroic or villainous, and there is something very appealing about that.GAZETTE: What are some of Tolkien’s inspirations?MITCHELL: Norse mythology plays a significant role, but people who know old Irish, Finnish, or middle-Welsh traditions also see inspirations there because Tolkien knew all of those materials. But certainly if you look through the Poetic Edda (Old Norse verse), you will see lots of names you recognize from “The Hobbit.” You have Fili and Kili and Gandalf and many others. Tolkien draws fairly heavily on Norse material and Norse folklore generally. Things like wraiths and trolls and giants certainly are connected, but so too are these other traditions.GAZETTE: How do you think director Peter Jackson will treat “The Hobbit”?MITCHELL: Tolkien’s legendarium, as he refers to it, is a creation that he works out based on his own life experiences, but also on a tremendous amount of knowledge about these older texts and literatures and languages. And so he is part of a continuum that goes back 1,000 years or more, and Peter Jackson is another iteration of that. It seems to me if you go to these movies and you want to see Tolkien and only Tolkien, then you are going to be disappointed. But if you go with the understanding that it’s a kind of moving stream, in the sense that it’s the same river but it’s always different somehow, then it’s likely to be pretty enjoyable. The fascinating thing for me is that there is so much richness in the trilogy. I couldn’t imagine how they could do it in six or seven hours. On the other hand I am really shocked that “The Hobbit” is apparently going to be as long.GAZETTE: How do you think the filmmakers will accomplish that?MITCHELL: Tolkien wrote some wonderful short stories. (“Leaf by Niggle,” for example, is a great story.) There are all kinds of anthologies of his non-“Hobbit” or “Ring”-related materials. He is really quite an extraordinary writer. My guess is they are going to add some of that in; why wouldn’t they? I think it will be fabulous.GAZETTE: How do you view “The Hobbit” in relationship to “The Lord of the Rings”?MITCHELL: I tend to view “The Hobbit” a little bit as an artist’s sketch. It’s an attempt to work out what he is going to do with the bigger canvas. “The Lord of the Rings” feels very much like a heroic epic — like legend. It leaves you kind of awed in some sense. “The Hobbit” feels more like a folktale to me. Things are tidied up here. Legends leave you with your jaw slightly dropped by it all. You can’t quite get over what’s going on, whereas with “The Hobbit,” God is in his heaven. We are all happy and cozy, things have worked out all right — except of course the story also has this wonderful ability to foreshadow that there is more to come from this ring that has been introduced into the world. There is the introduction of evil.GAZETTE: Where does the word “hobbit” come from?MITCHELL: I think you could probably start bar fights over this. There is, I believe, a heated debate about where the word comes from. The obvious answer is that it’s a combination of “human” and “rabbit,” a people-who-live-in-holes kind of thing. But as was pointed out years ago … there is a list of supernatural creatures from Yorkshire, and it does include the word “hobbit.” Scandinavians, for example, refer to the elves as the hidden or underworld people.GAZETTE: Do you have a favorite character from “The Hobbit”?MITCHELL: At the end of the day it seems trite to say, but I think my favorite is Bilbo himself, this fat little man who has success where others don’t. He is the common man, maybe even less than all the other people, who is able to rise and, somehow through his inherent goodness, defeat this monster, and be good in the face of lots of evil, and fundamentally do the right thing even if he has to behave in ways that might not be expected of him. He is shown, I think intentionally at the beginning, to be quite bumbling. He’s, after all, very fat and happy, living his little life, smoking his pipe. He has just finished up his umpteenth meal of the day, and then Gandalf appears, followed by all these dwarves crashing in, and off he goes on an adventure. And the adventure changes him as much as he changes the results of the adventure, which is part of what we look for in these types of texts.GAZETTE: Much of the work you do is similar to that of Tolkien. What do you love most about it?MITCHELL: I love working on what Tolkien loved working on, the older literatures and languages of northern Europe. And for me, languages are a wonderful tool that you need to get to some of these fun stories. To me there’s nothing more enjoyable than trying to take small data outliers, cultural points of information, and figure out what kind of patterns they represent. Somehow, lifting the words on the page up off the page and making them real — making us think about what they meant to the people who used them, wrote them, spoke them — that to me is pretty exciting stuff.last_img read more

Nelson U14 Girls strike gold at 2012 Sam Steele tournament

first_imgNelson opened the tournament scoring a 3-0 decision over host East Kootenay Rovers.Emily Graeme found the back of the net at the 20th minute to give Nelson a 1 – 0 lead that would hold to the break.Nelson continued to attack and was rewarded by second half goals from Lakpa Dietz and Allie Zondervan.Nelson wrapped up the pool title by edging out Canmore Avalanche 4-1.Bronwyn Sutherland opened the scoring, which was followed quickly with a score by Merissa Dawson to put Nelson in front 2 – 0.Canmore countered with a late first half goal to make the score 2 – 1 for Nelson at the half. The marker was the first allowed by the Nelson squad in six games.The Selects came out strong after the break, with Perkins scoring six minutes into the half followed by a second goal from Sutherland two minutes later.In semi-final action on Sunday morning, Nelson continued its defensive superiority over Kootenay competition by shutting out the Creston Blitz 4-0.Perkins, with a pair, Voisard and Dietz scored for the Selects.The Reps now prepare for the B.C. Soccer Provincial B Cup July 5-8 in Kelowna. The hottest team in Nelson Youth Rep Soccer continues to roll over Kootenay opposition.The Nelson Selects rolled to the gold medal at the U14 Girl’s 2012 Sam Steele tournament Sunday in Cranbrook.Nelson won the gold medal by stopping West Kootenay rival Kootenay South 4-0 in the tourney final.“Again (Pat and I) were impressed by the skill and passion of the squad,” said co-coach Paul Burkart.“Running short a few defenders and with several others playing injured, players were asked to play in positions that they normally did not play and did so admirably  — allowing only a single goal in the four games.”The Gold Medal match was a spirited affair with exciting end-to-end action in the first half.Early in the second half, Naomi Perkins broke the deadlock with an absolute bullet to the top corner of the Kootenay South net from a free kick from outside of the penalty area.Bronwyn Sutherland scored five minutes later and Voisard added a single near the end of the game to give Nelson a 3 – 0 lead.last_img read more

Leafs, Rebels pull off blockbuster KIJHL deal

first_img“It was a very difficult decision to give up Dallon but (Castlegar) wanted some leadership back and with Dallon’s experience in the league Castlegar wanted him badly,” Maida explained.“You really have to take a look at making sure a deal is going to work from a hockey point of view both on an off the ice,” Maida added. “To get two quality players like Wellman and Vlanich we had to give up fair value in return.”In Vlanich Nelson gets the Rebels second leading scorer both in the regular season and playoffs.Vlanich, from Trail and also sought out by the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, finished the season with a combined 28 goals in 48 games.Wellman, a native of Calgary, was Castlegar’s third leading scorer during the Rebels KIJHL run to the Cyclone Taylor Cup, finishing with 21 points after coming to the Sunflower City following a late season deal.Who knows if Leonard fits into the Cyclone Taylor season for the Leafs?The Kamloops backstop is pondering his future and may not play his final season, instead focusing on an electrical trade.The deals come less than three weeks before Nelson takes to the ice for training camp beginning August 30 at the NDCC Arena.Maida was still rustling the KIJHL bushes in an effort to bolster the roster even more before the Leafs begin a season that finishes with the Green and White hosting the Cyclone Taylor Cup, April 10-13 at the NDCC Arena.“We’re still negotiating with some teams,” he confessed. The BC Hockey roster deadline is more than six months away but already Leaf head coach Frank Maida has made more deals than Drew Carey on The Price is Right.Maida sent forwards Dallon Stoddart and James Sorrey along with D-man Seth Schmidt to Castlegar in exchange for sniper Jamie Vlanich and forward Travis Wellman.The Kootenay International Hockey League Murdoch Division deal comes on the heels of the Leafs acquiring the rights to netminder James Leonard from the Golden Rockets in exchange for future considerations.“Getting two experienced players (Wellman and Vlanich) who have been to the Cyclone Taylor (tournament) . . . two players I believe who can provide leadership being 20-year-olds, gives us a much deeper roster,” Maida told The Nelson Daily.Maida said the deal came together after he heard the Wellman and Vlanich requested a trade.However, the Nelson GM realized to get quality Nelson had to give up quality in the likes of Sorrey, Schmidt and Stoddart — the latter a Nelson Minor Hockey grad.last_img read more

Murder suspect arrested 18 years after crime

first_imgIn 2000, Daniel Singh was brutally hacked to death at his home, and his family is finally getting justice after his killer was arrested on Sunday morning after being some 18 years on the run.The suspect, Deonarine Bhihari, was picked up by Police on Sunday morning at a Logwood, Enmore, East Coast Demerara residence.A brief statement from the Police Force reads, “A male being sought by Police since 2000 for the murder of Daniel Singh at Enmore, ECD was this morning apprehended by ranks of ‘C’ Division at Enmore.”Acting on information received, the Police swooped down on the house and effected the arrest.The Police were accompanied by a son of the deceased, Deochand, who had been trailing the suspect for several months, and had even put out a reward for information that can lead to his apprehension.Deochand, a Councillor at Hope NDC, told <> that his father’s killer was never apprehended since he had connections with key members of the then Government, who allegedly had facilitated his escape to neigbouring Venezuela.However, he related that the man returned to Guyana a few years ago because of the crisis in that neighbouring country. He has reportedly since been occasionally spotted at various places.Deochand related that when he saw the man at a funeral a few months ago, he began to collect information, and as such, trailed him.After observing that he was staying at his sister’s house in Logwood, Enmore, Deochand contacted his attorney, James Bond, and Police ranks from the Enmore Station went with them to make the arrest.“When we got there, the man come out because he didn’t know what we went there for, and when the Police tell he, he tried to run, but they warned him not to, and then they arrested him,” Deochand related.Deochand said he and his siblings are overjoyed and relieved to have their father’s killer finally brought to justice.“I spent so much time and money to get him arrested, and I’m happy it happened,”Murdered: Daniel Singhhe expressed.According to reports published at the time, 49-year-old Daniel Singh, a single father, was living at Hope West, Enmore, ECD with his four children when the incident took place on May 21, 2000.Guyana Times understands that Singh and Bhihari usually had confrontations, since the suspect and Singh’s daughter, Nalini, had reportedly liked each other but Singh did not approve of this. At the time, the suspect was in his 30s while the young woman was in her late teens. It is, however, unclear what might have triggered the suspect’s actions.It was reported that on the day in question, Singh was on the front step when he was attacked by the cutlass wielding man, who also killed three of the family’s dogs while injuring Nalini as well and another one of their dogs during the brutal attack.One of the then young sons had recalled being awakened by his sister’s screams, and upon looking through the window, had seen the attacker firing chops at his father. At the time, the daughter was shouting at the suspect, asking him what he was doing to her father. The man reportedly then turned his attention to her, also inflicting chops to both her hands. She managed to run out of the yard but he had pursued her. However, she had run into a neighbour’s yard to seek refuge. The suspect reportedly returned to the Singhs’ residence, where two of SiMurder suspect Deonarine Bhiharingh’s young sons were standing outside watching helplessly as their unconscious father lay bleeding on the ground. Upon noticing that the attacker was charging towards them, the two young boys ran into the bedroom and locked the door. After realizing that he was unable to get the door open, the man reportedly left the yard by scaling the back fence and making good his escape, going into hiding for over adecade. Singh’s badly injured body was picked up by neighbours who were awoken by screams, and rushed to the hospital where he was admitted and subsequently died a few days later without regaining consciousness.last_img read more

REVEALED: GARDAÍ HUNT CRIME GANG AMID NEW BURGLARY FEARS

first_imgGARDAÍ are searching for the occupants of a car which was disrupted during what officers believe was a crime gang’s bid to carry out house raids.It follows an incident in which a man was arrested in Letterkenny on Wednesday. Martin Stokes, from Derry, appeared in court in Sligo yesterday on 36 separate driving offence charges.He will appear in court again in Letterkenny next Monday. Gardaí are now searching for a second car which was spotted in and around Ardara on Wednesday afternoon with a number of males inside.Officers believe the men – who fled the town at high speed – may have driven across the Border.They are liaising with colleagues in the PSNI to identify the gang members.Gardaí believe good police work prevented a series of planned break-ins in and around the Ardara and Glenties areas. Officers have set up a special team in Letterkenny to coordinate a high level investigation into a series of robberies in the county in recent weeks.It’s understood detectives are looking at suspects from both Donegal and Derry in several different investigations.Some of those suspects may now be armed after stealing weapons belonging to a burglary victim in Rooskey earlier this week.So far no-one has been arrested in the hunt for the gang behind robberies at the homes of six elderly people in the east of the county in late January and early February. REVEALED: GARDAÍ HUNT CRIME GANG AMID NEW BURGLARY FEARS was last modified: March 7th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ArdaraburglarsGardailetterkennythieveslast_img read more

A’s set to play in New York for AL Wild Card game after Yankees win

first_imgANAHEIM — It was going to take a miraculous turn of events to change what was almost a given, but it’s now set in stone — the A’s road to the ALDS will have to go through New York.The Yankees knocked off the Boston Red Sox 11-6 Friday night, securing their position as the top American League wild-card team. The wild-card game will be played Oct. 3 at Yankee Stadium.Before the A’s took on the Angels Friday, manager Bob Melvin said he along with pitching coach Scott Emerson and GM David Forst …last_img read more

SlideShare Used to Spread Malware

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… When it comes to spreading malware on the web, virus writers are nothing if not creative. We’ve seen malware infiltrate everything from Facebook to Twitter to email to IM. Now it seems you can add another site to that list: Slideshare, the community for sharing your slideshow presentations on the web. Over the weekend, security firm ESET discovered that this popular social media resource was being used to spread malware in the form of fake slide decks. Although these initial attacks were relatively simple to detect, future variations could easily become more deceiving. That’s Not a Slideshow, It’s a Virus!According to ESET’s report, the attackers created slide decks which would contain a link to a malware-laden website and would then lure unsuspecting victims to Slideshare using traditional social engineering tactics. The presentations themselves should have raised a red flag for careful users, we think, but we have no way of knowing how successful they were at this time.One of the presentations found included just one slide with a single link. The slideshow was purportedly offering a cracked download of ESET’s own NOD32 scanner, an antivirus software program. To lend credibility to the download, the attackers added in the SourceForge logo (as if the open-source application directory SourceForge was a place to find cracked warez!) Of course, when the user clicked the link, they wouldn’t end up on SourceForge, but on a spoofed site that looked very similar. A window would then pop up prompting the user to download a .EXE file. Since the user already thought they were accessing a link for a software installation program, they would click the link and let their computer be infected with the malware. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Of course you may scoff at these victims since they were trying to get “something for nothing” – in this case, a free anti-virus program when really they were being given a free virus instead. However, while you may not have fallen for this particular scam, it’s only one example of how the SlideShare platform could be used for nefarious purposes such as this. It’s not far-fetched to imagine that in the future attackers could create even harder-to-detect malware-infused slideshows. We foresee them copying a legitimate slideshow from the site and then including an extra page with their malicious link. News like this is all the more reason to run a good anti-virus program on your PC. SlideShare Responds QuicklyIn SlideShare’s defense, they took action quickly against this threat. As soon as it was brought to their attention by way of the ESET blog post, SlideShare CoFounder Amit Ranjan responded in the comments saying: “I just wanted to let readers know that the offending user account has been removed. Thanks a ton for bringing this to our notice. Spam slideshows are a problem for us. And as this example shows, they can be turned malicious as well. In case anyone comes across any other user account from where this is happening, please email us, and we shall take immediate action. As a company we are committed to stop all such malpractices.”However, the rogue account which had been used to spread the malware had joined the SlideShare community in June 2009 and had uploaded as many as 2473 presentations before they were banned this week. Social Sites Need to Think About SecurityThe more popular the site becomes, the more likely it will be used to spread malware, so perhaps SlideShare should be somewhat flattered that they’ve reached this level of notoriety. They’ve now joined the ranks of many other social networking sites who have seen regular malware threats invade their platforms. Facebook, for instance, has come under attack multiple times in the past, the most memorable of which was the Koobface trojan which leaped outside of Facebook to spread to other social networking sites. It continues to evolve, even infecting Twitter as recently as last month. But Facebook isn’t the only example by any means of social sites under attack. Unfortunately, any website or social community where users are allowed to post content could become victim to threats such as this. What’s odd, though, is how many sites seem to think of security as an afterthought. Case in point, it was only on Monday of this week that we saw Twitter start filtering malicious links from being posted. These are the sort of features that really should have been included from the get-go. In SlideShare’s case, they may eventually have to go the same route as Twitter and partner with a malware-scanning service like Google’s Safe Browsing API to make sure their hosted content isn’t dangerous to their users. In fact, they may want to start looking into that right now. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts sarah perez Tags:#news#NYT#social networks#Trends#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

A lifetime of being friends

first_imgMrunalini Joshi and her friends sit around the drawing room, giggling and chattering nineteen to the dozen. What’s unusual about four gal-pals getting together, you ask? They’re all in their eighties! Both Mrunalini Joshi and Usha Deshpande have known each other since they were five – a comradeship of 75 long years that is still holding strong. This is thanks to progressive ideas of women’s education that held sway in Maharashtra even as far back as the 930s, where Mrunalini Joshi and her lifelong friend Usha Deshpande met in “bal-varga”, the all-inclusive nursery class, at the Maharashtra Education society School. The two girls were in the same class till the second standard, when Usha was transferred to a different school. But fate decreed that hey were to meet again and renew their old ties in their golden years.While Mrunalini lost touch with one friend for a time, she found another in Mina Parande, with whom she went to high school. After being married and moving to Kolkata with her husband, Mrunalini caught up with an old family friend Saral Phatak, who lived close to the Marathi Mandal in Calcutta (as it was called back in 1958). Their husbands were colleagues and good friends, and the two couples soon became close. ‘When we’d get bored in the evenings, we would simply drop in on each other. We had that comfortable a relationship,’ reminisces Saral fondly. Over gossip, tea and food, the bonds of another lifelong friendship were forged. An old tradition among the Maharashtrians is to change a woman’s first name as well as her last name when she marries. To her friends, however, Mrunalini is still Sudha, the girl they went to school with. Even Saral, who met her only post-marriage, knows her as Sudha. ‘I never knew your (formal) name was Mrunalini! I just found out today!’ exclaims Saral, laughing. Today, the four women are closer than ever, meeting at least once in a week, destiny having brought them all to Pune now. Each one of them is part of a dynamic group of alliances and associations formed over the years. ‘It’s nothing special,’ shrugs Mrunalini modestly, when asked how these friendships have survived the test of time.A former classical singer, Mrunalini sang for the All-India Radio in Kolkata for nearly 10 years, while her friend Usha distinguished herself by graduating with a B.Sc in Botany and joining the Western Circle office (in Pune) of the Botanical Survey of India in 1958. Mina Parande, meanwhile, dedicated her life to sports, as fourtime National Champ of Table Tennis, sports coach and Central Railway official at Pune Station. Saral followed her husband around the country, dedicating her life to home and hearth. As the women got on with their busy lives as homemakers, mothers and working women, old associations took a backseat. But these affiliations, though neglected, were never forgotten. They’ve gone all over the country, enjoyed their travels, and finally settled down in Pune, close to their roots and their friends. A common interest in spirituality was instrumental in rekindling their old friendship. Mrunalini and Mina had mutual acquaintances at the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, which facilitated a happy reunion. Usha also got in touch with her childhood playmate Mrunalini through the Pondicherry connection. The Arvind Mandal, a Pune-based branch of the Auro Ashram, became a meeting place for the long-lost friends. Mina, who had turned from the more vigorous tabletennis coaching to teaching yoga and pranayam, was taking a class at the Arvind Mandal in Pune, where she later reconnected with her former classmates and friends. Now, every Friday, she visits the ancestral home or “wada” where Mrunalini lives with her daughter, son-in-law and their family, to conduct 2-hour sessions of yoga mudras and pranayam for her group of four friends. In an ebullient spirit, the other women laughingly chide her for being a hard taskmaster. Once a year, Mrunalini, Mina and Usha, singly or with other friends, visit Pondicherry to spend time at the ashram. Meditation at the inner sanctum or spending time near the tomb are the highlights of the visit for them. Staying at Pondicherry, the women travel to the ashram during the hours allotted for meditation, soaking in what they describe in their own words as “the quiet”, “the peace” or “the atmosphere”. They find the place rejuvenating; but the bond that holds them together is more than a shared allegiance to a spiritual guru. Though Saral does not accompany her friends out of town, this easy, undemanding rapport these women share isn’t dependent on everyone being part of the “Auro clique” – Saral is as much a part of the group as anyone. She lives in Pune, and catches up with her old friends just as she did back in 1958, in Calcutta.None of them sought each other out actively. It was pure serendipity that brought these soul sisters back into each other’s lives. Today, with all “the girls” living within 10 minutes of each other, popping in and out of each other’s homes with potluck meals, going out and visiting new places are just some of the ways to spend some quality girlbonding time together. ‘We can’t travel too far out nowadays. The traffic makes it impossible!’ says Usha ruefully. Today, all four women live peaceful, retired lives, and make plenty of time for old friends. Mrunalini has deposited the care of her home on her daughterin- law’s capable shoulders, while her nursery friend Usha has retired from active service. Mrunalini’s high-school buddy Mina has hung up her boots as table tennis champ and coach, but continues to pursue fitness through teaching yoga and pranayam to friends. Saral first met Mrunalini when they were both young wives, and much like her friend, she now makes time for herself, her homemaker’s duties on the backburner.Knocking on wood, Saral says that it’s been pretty much smooth sailing so far in their friendship, with everything in orderly progression, without the ups and downs that mark some associations. ‘Even when we were younger, we fought in a sporting way,’ reminisces Mina. As for squabbling, in friendships that have weathered through decades, that sort of thing is in the past. ‘Now there is no question of fighting. We are way over that stage in life. People get into little quarrels when they expect something from someone and they are left disappointed. But among us, there are no expectations now. We don’t want anybody to give us anything or to do anything for us. We don’t think of things such as “I have more than she does” or “she has less than I do” – that’s the sort of thing that leads to mistrust and discord. We accept one another, and we’re satisfied with our lot in life,’ says Usha wisely.Neither has retirement brought them dissatisfaction. Quite the opposite in fact. When other friends tell Usha that they’re retiring, she’s happy for them, glad that another one of her compatriots can join in the fun. ‘We have lots of time, and much more freedom today,’ explains Mrunalini. ‘Now we aren’t answerable to anyone the way we used to be – no need to explain to anyone why you’re late, or where you’ve been! Nothing to hold us back from what we really want to do,’ exclaims Saral. Freedom from the responsibilities and limitations of a hardworking life is sweet respite, and they live life to the fullest . ‘We do not know what will happen tomorrow, but today, we are happy!’ concludes Saral. And so we leave them, discussing an absent ally in the hospital, whose doctor has forbidden visits from her friends because she talks too much when they are there! Soul sisters, compatriots, boon companions and comrades-in-arms, they are living proof that there’s nothing quite as resilient, or as wonderful, as true friendship. Get inspired and get started today, it’s not too late!advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

a month agoMan Utd boss Solskjaer happy to keep sticking with kids

first_imgMan Utd boss Solskjaer happy to keep sticking with kidsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is happy to keep sticking with the kids.Solskjaer knows it’s a tough gap to bridge to the top two.The Norwegian said: “I want to be a part of us going back to where we used to be, but of course the Premier League is now a different animal. “Manchester City and Liverpool last season were fantastic and we are in the starting phase of a new team.”Many players have been and gone and now there is some youngsters coming in. We are one or two players light at the moment because of injuries but that’s an opportunity for the kids to play and to see if I can get the best out of them.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more