Give time frame to fulfil election promises: Selja

first_imgTaking a dig at how the BJP and the JJP opposed each other during the Assembly elections, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja on Monday said now after forming the government in the State, both parties should give a time frame by which they will fulfil their poll promises. Stressing that both parties had levelled serious allegations against each other during electioneering, the Congress leader in a statement said, “People of the State want to know the time frame by when those promises will be fulfilled and allegations investigated.” When in the Opposition, the Jannayak Janta Party had alleged a cash-for-jobs scam and the drug menace, Ms. Selja said, adding that now people were “questioning it” for extending support to the BJP despite “opposing them tooth and nail” during electioneering. “People are seeing this as a betrayal of faith,” she said alluding to the post-poll alliance between the two parties. BJP promisesAttacking the BJP, the State Congress chief said the BJP had made many promises in the 2014 elections, which it “failed to fulfil” in the past five years of its rule.last_img read more

Vintage values

first_imgThe 40 ft high dome perched atop the heritage mansionDominating the skyline of Kolkata’s Sambhunath Pandit Street is an octagonal dome, painted a dazzling shade of silver. At an approximate height of 40ft, the orb is seen perched on a four-storeyed vintage mansion. Clustered on its facade are windows with green wooden slats and antique-metal grilles that shove you inside a time capsule.Weave your way through a jumble of modern structures dotting the affluent neighbourhoods of Chowringhee and Elgin Road to gape at the 77-year-old residence of Janaki Nath Mukerji, the first Indian Post Master General of British India. A formal portico leads up to the main entrance where a JNM-stencilled Belgian glass door greets you. Also sharing door space are the family motto”Laborare est Orare” (Labour is worship) and mystic shlokas from The Upanishads.The drawing room is outfitted with ornate sofasStep inside the enchanted precincts of this Raj-era building through a Burma-teak main door. For design buffs who set foot here, it’s a veritable Mecca. The roster of objets d’art strewn generously include a stylish hat stand, opulent four-poster beds, Belgian stained-glass chandeliers and much more. Nearly everything in the 12,000 sq ft-sprawling structure spells heritage chic. There are more than 30 rooms in Santikutir, as the house has been fondly christened, spread out between its four levels. Of all the spaces, the black and white stone courtyard leading on to the foyer make the most fitting start to your sightseeing tour. Snaking up from the foyer is a well-waxed Italian marble staircase, which is indeed a glorious affair with 75 continuous steps that are not punctuated by landings. It is flanked on one side by a flamboyant wooden banister while the other side is a dado rail embellished with Italian grey marble along with red and green mosaic.An intricately carved dresserStroll through a maze of winding corridors and courtyards to discover a fantastic assortment of vintage bric-a-bracs. The roll call of collectibles displayed in various rooms is long and intriguing. You cannot miss Burma-teak secretariat tables, a single-unit dresser, a 1938 roll-top writing desk from the stable of 19th century carpenters Prabartak as well as cupboards from the city’s famed period furniture outfit C Lazarus and Company.Mukerji’s initials are stencilled on the glass doorBut the most treasured piece in this furniture cornucopia is Janaki Nath Mukerji’s very own double bed. A groovy four-poster, this early 20th century piece flaunts a delicate woodwork-detailed headboard and is still cherished by the Mukerji clan. Great grandson Soumen Mukerji recalls how the bed functioned as a single-sleeper unit when he was young. Almost always, he admits candidly, half of the bed’s sprawling expanse was piled high with thick volumes.Clearly, books outnumbered residents in this opulent building once upon a time. Mukerji, who was conferred the ‘Order of the British Empire’ for his contribution in the field of long-distance telephony, built a collection of over 10,000 titles on a wide variety of subjects ranging from history and philosophy to religion and science. Several first editions and rare volumes were part of this collection too.The courtyard is skirted by verandahs on three sidesBut the bibliophile’s family has moved on since then. Currently, frenetic refurbishment is a way of life here but it’s being carried out without toning down its legendary grandeur. The renovated drawing room sports an ornate look with walls painted a dark shade of peach accentuated with warm-yellow lighting. Highlights include floor to ceiling Victorian-style curtains with classic swag valances. They work as adornments for the room’s skylights which are offset by colourful mosaic niches outside. The crown jewel of the mansion is its central courtyard that whisks you off to a bygone era. Offering unfettered views of the sky and skirted by verandahs on three sides, it used to be the venue for several communal gatherings including musical soirees and condolence meets.May be the glorious days of yore are long gone and things have toned down. But as the sun goes down on the glossy dome, you cannot help but wonder how this majestic structure still manages to transform the landscape.advertisementlast_img read more

Leeza Gibbons New Book Helps Jumpstart Your Life

first_imgLeeza Gibbons has released a new book for anyone who wants to jumpstart their life.Leeza Gibbons Take 2“If you could hit the reset button and start over, would you? I did and I’ve found anytime is a good time for a re-do! That’s why I am so excited to tell you about the release of my brand new book, Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings,” she says. “This is more than a book to me. It’s a chance for me to share my life and the lessons I have learned with you in hopes that you’ll be inspired, encouraged and empowered enough to realize that if this is not the life you ordered, you can always call for a TAKE 2!“The book is really for anyone who wants to head in a new direction. If you got divorced, depressed, fired or maybe you’ve gained weight – I’ll help you begin again. If you feel stuck or if you’ve just lost your way, TAKE 2 will help you get back on track and will remind you that this is YOUR life and it should be lived by YOUR rules!“Now is your time. You can do it with no regrets, no excuses and no looking back (I promise).“In TAKE 2 I provide you with the tips and techniques to get you on your way.”You can find out more about the book, and how to order it, here. The book is available at read more