Trophy with a twist

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 11.09.07
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Children of cultural group Probahinee perform ‘Songs of the soil’, a dance programme at a fund-raising event organised by Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP) at GD Birla Sabhagar. A presentation was also made by members of Ankur, the advocacy group of IICP. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

Twelve-year-old Shibaji Das was the man of the moment at the unveiling of a painting to be bagged by the women’s singles winner of Sunfeast Open 2007. A painting, titled Amar Kolkata, depicting Howrah Bridge, the goddess Durga, a map of West Bengal and the Shahid Minar by the Class VII student of Belur High School, was adjudged the best in eastern India by a high profile panel. The judges were painter Wasim Kapoor, Sunfeast Open 2007 tournament director Jaidip Mukherjea and representatives of the sponsors, ITC. Over 50,000 students from 400 schools in India had participated in the “Be the inspiration” painting competition.

Dhruvi Haria of MFH High School, Mumbai, Madhurima Patwari of New State Academy, Delhi and AJS Lakshmishree of Bethesda School, Bangalore were the other regional winners. A Wasim Kapoor painting on the works of the little winners was unveiled at the St Xavier’s College auditorium on Friday.

(Top) The painting that was given final touches by Wasim Kapoor and will be presented to the women’s singles winner of Sunfeast Open 2007 and (above) Shibaji Das, the winner from the eastern zone. Pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray

“Instead of a trophy, the winner of the women’s singles crown at this year’s Sunfeast Open would be presented this painting along with a cash prize,” said Sunfeast brand group manager Devanjan Iyer, adding: “The children had been asked to make paintings showcasing the culture and heritage of their region.” The tournament is a tier III Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event.

Shibaji told Metro that he had never imagined he would win the competition “but now that I have won, I would like to take up painting as a profession when I grow up.”

The only child of Liluah businessman Sekhar Das and mother Rita, a homemaker, Shibaji has been taking painting lessons from a cousin since he was in Class II. “This is the first major painting competition that I participated in,” said the boy whose favourite subjects in school are English and life science.

The Sourav Ganguly fan also likes to play cricket. “I am a middleorder batsman,” he smiled. “I don’t understand the points system in tennis very well but I like watching Sania Mirza play.”

Shibaji has been promised three tickets for each day of the Sunfeast Open. He should have a much better idea about the points system if he makes use of them. “I certainly intend to,” said the young champion. The $175,000 tournament starts on September 17. “The cutoff ranking for the tournament is 102 this time. You can expect close matches from the first round itself,” Mukherjea said.

He hinted that Sania would be pairing up with her US Open partner Bethanie Mattek for the doubles event. And what about Sania’s chances in the singles? “Well, she has defeated top players like Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder this year. So, there’s no reason why she can’t beat the Daniela Hantuchovas and Marion Bartoli,” said Mukherjea. Now, that should certainly be music to Shibaji’s ears.

Rith Basu

Saffron: the colour of celebration

Subhas Bose Institute of Hotel Management celebrated their annual function, Saffron, on September 2 at Eastern Zonal Cultural Complex (EZCC). The evening started with an opening speech by the principal of the institute, followed by the song Vande Mataram, performed by students.

The crowd-puller was Udit Narayan (picture by Aranya Sen), the guest artist for the evening. His hour-long performance rocked the audience at EZCC.

The diversity of Indian culture was also showcased at the event. Students performed to the tunes of popular Bollywood songs like O hum dum from the film Saathiya and A.R. Rehman’s Maa tujhe salaam. Second year students of the institute performed on a Nepalese song.

Rajeev, a second year student, performed Himesh Reshammiya’s Afreen. Bengali folk songs like Sohag chand bodoni dhoni left the audience was much appreciated by the audience. But the pick of the evening was a dance number by a student to the song Beedi from the film Omkara.

The institute also organised a fashion show on bridal wear called ‘Brides of India’.

Anindya Shankar Ray