Sabarimala Temple Closes After Annual Pilgrimage Season; Political War On

The Sabarimala temple will be opened in February. (File)


After witnessing unprecedented protests over the entry of women of menstruating age, the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala was closed on Sunday marking the culmination of the over two-month-long stormy annual pilgrimage season.

As the temple closed, the opposition BJP ended its 49-day-long relay hunger strike staged in front of the Secretariat, the administrative hub in Thiruvananthapuram, demanding the lifting of prohibitory orders and restrictions at Sabarimala, which the LDF government rejected.

While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday lashed out at the Sangh Parivar and said their Sabarimala stir was a “complete failure”, BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai claimed the agitations were aimed at protecting the traditional faith of devotees and it had won in garnering mass support.

The Sabarimala Karma Samithi, the rightwing forum which spearheaded the agitations against the entry of young women into the shrine, is all set to organise a mass gathering of devotees, spiritual and cultural leaders in the state capital this evening.

The sanctum sanctorum of the hill temple was closed at 6.15 am after darshan by P Raghava Varma Raja, representative of the erstwhile Pandalam royal family, attached to the centuries-old shrine.

After the customary ”bhasmabhishekam”, the portals of the shrine were closed with the singing of ”Harivarasanam”.

With this, the tumultuous 67-day long annual pilgrimage season at Sabarimala concluded and the Lord Ayyappa temple would be reopened on February 13 for the monthly poojas in the Malayalam month, Kumbham, sources said.

The annual pilgrimage season this time witnessed widespread protests from frenzied devotees and rightwing groups over the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s decision to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the hilltop shrine.

The decision of the state government was described as a “shameful act” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he attended a BJP convention at Kollam in southern Kerala.

Traditionally, women of menstruating age or in the age group of 10 to 50 years were not allowed to enter the temple as the deity, Lord Ayyappa, was in the form of “Naishtika brahmachari” (perennial celibate).

The temple witnessed the first round of protests during the monthly ”Thulamasa” pooja when it was opened for five days in October.

Several mediapersons and women devotees of traditionally accepted age were injured in the protests which were spearheaded by the BJP-RSS led groups.

Later, when the temple was opened for the annual pilgrimage season on November 17, the situation at Sannidhanam (temple complex), which is around 3.5 kilometre uphill from Pamba, was calm but the state witnessed frenzied protests from the right-wing groups under the aegis of “Sabarimala Karma Samiti.”

During the melee, BJP leaders K Surendran, K P Sasikala attempted to visit the shrine defying the prohibitory orders but were arrested.

The Sabarimala Karma Samiti held an event ”Ayyappa Jyothi” (lighting of sacred lamp) on December 26, to protest against the government”s decision, which the LDF government countered by organising a 620-km-long “women”s wall” across the state.

During the season, over two dozen women devotees, of whom some were branded as activists, unsuccessfully attempted to trek the hill.

However, on January 2, two women of the traditionally barred age group–Kanakadurga (44) and Bindhu (42)– trekked the hill and offered prayers at the shrine without facing any troubles from the devotees.

This led to widespread violence across the state and the Samiti, with the support of BJP, called for a shutdown on January 3.

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PUBG Mobile 0.10.5 Update Out Now, Adds Royale Pass Season 5

PUBG Mobile 0.10.5 Update Out Now, Adds Royale Pass Season 5

PUBG Mobile 0.10.5 update is out now but Zombies Mode isn’t a part of it

After a long wait, the PUBG 0.10.5 update is out now. With the PUBG Mobile 0.10.5 patch you’ll get the previously announced ‘Classic’ voice option, changes to what weapons and ammo you find on the Vikendi snow map, and Royale Pass Season 5 complete with new premium outfits and taunting emotes. Tencent has also confirmed that with the PUBG Mobile Royale Pass Season 5 comes server-wide pass upgrade events, which are a nice touch. Making a return is the game’s ‘Share For Deals’ feature after some tweaking and a new weapon — the MK47. It can be found on Erangel, Miramar, and Sanhok. No mention of Zombies mode though, safe to say that might show up in another announcement next week to coincide with Resident Evil 2’s release date.

If you haven’t got the PUBG Mobile 0.10.5 patch yet, don’t worry about it. Tencent has said it’s “slowly rolling out” so you should see it soon. Here’s the full patch notes.

PUBG Mobile 0.10.5 update patch notes

  • Added MK47, which can be found in Erangel, Miramar,  and Sanhok. It fires 7.62mm rounds and has two firing modes.
  • Added Laser Sight, a lower rail attachment that reduces spread when firing from the hip. Can be found in all maps.
  • Vikendi is now available as a map when creating rooms.
  • The “Classic” voice is back. You can find it in Settings after the update.
  • Spawn Island announcements can now be enabled or disabled in Settings.
  • Royale Pass Season 5 is here! Premium outfits and taunting emotes are available as rewards. There will also be server-wide Pass upgrade events.
  • Ranked Mode Season 5 is also here. Tiers are adjusted and new rewards are added.
  • Vikendi’s resource refresh (type and quantity) has been tuned.
  • Model for Swimmer Sandals has been updated.
  • Share For Deals is back after some tuning.
  • Clan benefit sharing has been tuned.
  • Avatar display of Crew Challenge winner has been adjusted.
  • Shop has been adjusted.
  • Supplies can now be accessed from the main menu.

When is PUBG Mobile Zombies mode out?

Thanks to PUBG Mobile YouTubers Mr. Ghost Gaming and Allthenewsisgoodnews, it appears that the PUBG Mobile zombies update could be out sooner than expected. A host of videos based on the PUBG Mobile 0.10.5 beta show off zombies added to the game. One of them, possibly based on datamined assets even has what appears to be a special map for the PUBG Mobile Zombies mode. However there’s no mention of this in the 0.10.5 update that’s out now. Mr. Ghost Gaming speculates that the zombies may be held back for 0.11.0 or beyond. While that seemed unlikely a week ago, it may just be the case now.


If you’re a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360’s gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week’s episode by hitting the play button below.

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Netflix Renews Selection Day for Season 2, Announces April Release Date

Netflix Renews Selection Day for Season 2, Announces April Release Date

Photo Credit: Vaibhav Chaturvedi/Netflix

(L-R): Akshay Oberoi, Mohammad Samad, Yash Dholye, Rajesh Tailang in Selection Day

In what surely comes as a surprise, Netflix has not only renewed its critically-panned cricket drama series Selection Day — based on Indo-Australian author Aravind Adiga’s book of the same name — for a second season, which will be called Selection Day: Part 2, but has also announced a release date: it’s out April 22, 2019. Given the short gap between the first season, which released three weeks ago on December 28, and the second, it would seem that both seasons had been filmed back-to-back but are being released a few months apart. Selection Day is the story of two brothers who are pushed by their domineering father to become the two best batsmen in the world.

The first season of Selection Day was received unfavourably by most critics, including us. There was no deft or depth to the various storylines, and it was “unable to build any momentum or craft a powerful narrative”. Those who were drawn to the show for the cricket would have also been disappointed, and the show even suffered from geographical and continuity errors. Lastly, it had “nothing to say about modern-day India beyond its checkbox recognitions of the maladies stemming from cricket turning into a new capitalist tool, and the problems of identity faced by a new generation that’s being pulled in different directions”, as we said in our review.

Created by British actor-turned-writer Marston Bloom (Harley Street), who also serves as the showrunner, Selection Day is a production of Anil Kapoor Film Company (AKFC) and London-based Seven Stories, co-founded by Anand Tucker (Girl with a Pearl Earring), who serves an executive producer alongside colleagues Colleen Woodcock and Jo McClellan, AKFC’s Udayan Bhat, and directors Udayan Prasad (The Yellow Handkerchief) and Karan Boolani (24: India), who’s also a creative producer on Selection Day.

The Selection Day cast includes newcomers Yash Dholye and Mohammad Samad, who play the two brothers Radha and Manju Kumar, and Karanvir Malhotra, who plays their rival classmate Javed Ansari. Rajesh Tailang (Mukkabaaz) played the father of the two boys Mohan Kumar, Mahesh Manjrekar (Kaante) starred as the cricketing coach Tommy Sir, Ranta Pathak Shah (Sarabhai vs Sarabhai) played the school principal Nellie, Akshay Oberoi (Gurgaon) played an investor named Anand Mehta, and Shiv Pandit (Shaitan, FIR) starred as Lord Subramanya.

Selection Day: Part 2 will release April 22, 2019 on Netflix.

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Discovery Season 2 Wants to Be Bold and New, While Holding Onto Star Trek’s Past

Though the first season of Star Trek: Discovery tried to live by the ethos of its franchise — as prescribed by the famous words “to boldly go where no one has gone before” — by exploring a darker, more cynical version of Starfleet ideals that went against audience expectations (and appreciation, for some), its inability to craft meaningful character arcs, a penchant for devising occasionally ridiculous plots, and the unnecessary focus on tying itself around the existing canon held it back from serving a much-needed deconstruction of Star Trek.

Upon its return, Discovery opens where it left off, with the USS Enterprise coming face-to-face with the USS Discovery. The former’s Captain Pike (Anson Mount) arrives onboard the latter to inform the protagonist Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) & Co. that he’s their new captain, for the time being, with the Federation tasking him with a priority-one mission: to investigate seven red-coloured signals that appeared across the galaxy at the same time, tens of thousands of light-years away from each other. Burnham’s foster brother Spock (Ethan Peck, playing a younger version) is connected to this curious situation, as is a mythical figure known as the ‘Red Angel’.

Discovery’s new mission, after its game-changing and universe-flipping presence in the Federation–Klingon War last season, has a few complications, naturally. The plot has to last across 14 episodes of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season, after all. For one, Spock — who supposedly knows more about the seven signals than everyone else — has virtually confined himself and told his caretakers to not let anyone contact him or report on his affairs. And two, there seems to be no way to track the location of these signals unless they want to be traced.

Spock’s shadow hangs over the show, with Discovery writers no doubt using his name recognition to not only propel the show’s narrative, but also keep the anticipation going over his appearance in Discovery season 2. And the show further fuels that by diving into the history of Burnham and Spock’s relationship growing up, with flashbacks giving us a peek at Spock’s frosty reaction to a new addition to his family. Those scenes are meant to provide an insight into the dynamic between the two, which are essential answers given they are siblings and Spock somehow never mentioned her throughout his life.


Discovery was guilty of putting too many eggs in Burnham’s basket in season 1, while other characters, even those part of the main cast, didn’t feel adequately realised. Alex Kurtzman, the co-creator and the newest showrunner — he was promoted to that role midway through season 2 production — had said that each episode would have a central character or question that would tie into the season-long story, and the show does try that for what it’s worth. But it’s only partially successful, as Burnham continues to be emphasised even as others are highlighted.

Sylvia Tully (Mary Wiseman), promoted from being a cadet to an ensign, is now part of the command training programme under Saru (Doug Jones). Tilly continues to be the most relatable of all because she wears her heart on her sleeve, even if she’s shouting ridiculous lines such as “This is the power of math, people!” The Discovery’s chief engineer, Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), has meanwhile submitted a transfer off the space vessel, after what happened with his lover Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) and the things he saw after he turned himself into fuel for the revolutionary spore-drive. Of course, the show keeps finding ways to keep him on board.

And though Pike brings a much more rounded and humane approach to the Discovery deck — in the early going, he asks what everyone’s names are, which shocks everyone because the old Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) never seemed to care much — the show’s writers don’t extend that courtesy. There’s little to no effort made to deepen the ensemble, who are stuck spouting pseudoscience-based dialogues that sound very smart but likely wouldn’t mean much if you stopped to dissect them. And it has a habit of forgetting characters it introduces, such as Tig Notaro’s new chief engineer Jet Reno, or not even batting an eye when some of them die.

star trek discovery season 2 pike anson mount Star Trek Discovery season 2 Captain Pike Anson Mount

Anson Mount as Captain Pike in Star Trek: Discovery season 2
Photo Credit: Jan Thijs/CBS

On the Klingon side — they are completely missing from the first two episodes, emblematic of Discovery‘s far fewer Klingon policy for season 2 — Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) is dealing with his species’ mistrust of someone who looks like their archenemy and has a place in the upper echelons, thanks to the support of L’Rell (Mary Chieffo), who brought the Klingon houses together and became their chancellor. It’s the only storyline that reflects contemporary issues, with a woman in a position of power being questioned, in what is otherwise a self-proclaimed escapist show by its stars and writers.

That leaves the Evil Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), formerly the Terran Emperor from the Mirror Universe, who was granted her freedom at the end of season 1 and is still hanging around most likely because of how fun it is to see Yeoh act without the constraints of Starfleet on her shoulders. (She’s also getting her own spin-off show.) A bonus scene revealed last March that she would be part of the mysterious ‘Section 31′, the off-the-books security force that deals with threats in non-Starfleet fashion. Georgiou has a terrific re-entrance in season 2, and though it’s hard to logically justify her presence, it’s also hard to complain.

Production values are stellar, as they were on Discovery‘s first season, and Kurtzman — who worked on two Star Trek movies under J.J. Abrams — brings a cinematic change to proceedings, by opting for anamorphic lenses and in turn, the wider 2.39:1 aspect ratio on season 2, in place of the 2:1 ratio that was used for season 1. It’s well established that widescreen feels epic because of various factors, and Kurtzman seems to be leaning into that invented feeling as he aims to push the show onto loftier heights.

But that was never part of the show’s problem. Star Trek: Discovery has struggled with what’s in that frame, and season 2 has a lot to answer on that front. It must put forth a worthy argument for Spock’s involvement and importance to the overarching narrative, rather than being mere fan service, while not taking anything away from its central character, Burnham. The flashbacks in the first three episodes — that’s what critics, including us, had access to — depend on the fact that audiences will want to know more about Spock, and don’t provide something truly intriguing.

star trek discovery season 2 spock Star Trek Discovery season 2 Spock Ethan Peck

Ethan Peck as Spock in a promotional still for Star Trek: Discovery season 2
Photo Credit: James Dimmock/CBS

Discovery is certainly an energetic show but with the Federation–Klingon War done with — the tool it used to pull viewers to the show — it must show it can deliver on other fronts. The second season does feel like it’s trying to be more heartfelt but it’s impossible to tell where Star Trek: Discovery will end up in terms of narrative or character development, considering 14 episodes is a long run, especially in today’s peak-TV era where creators are increasingly experimenting and finding more success with single-digit runs, and the difference in form for the first season either sides of the mid-season break.

The second half of Discovery season 2 will have external concerns of its own, given that’s around the time the showrunner switch took place. CBS reportedly fired Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg about six episodes into the production of the second season, post which Kurtzman took over — and got himself a five-year deal with CBS that made him the chief of Trek TV — so it will be interesting to see how things changed, if they did at all. Episodes are typically written before filming begins, but scripts do get thrown out in some cases. Hopefully, they can take a cue from what Pike says to Burnham in season 2: “Wherever our mission takes us, we’ll try to have a little fun along the way too.”

Star Trek: Discovery season 2 premieres January 17 on CBS All Access in the US, and January 18 on Netflix in India and other parts of the world. New episodes will release every Thursday/Friday, depending on where you live.

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Formula E: Jerome d’Ambrosio Wins Marrakesh e-Prix; Mahindra Racing’s First Victory Of The Season

Mahindra Racing picked up its first win of the season as Jerome d’Ambrosio beat the BMWs in the Marrakesh e-Prix.

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BMW drivers da Costa and Alexander Sims collided into each other handing the win to Mahindra’s d’Ambrosio

After securing a podium finish in the first race of the 2018-19 Formula E championship, Mahindra Racing took its first win of the season with the Marrakesh e-Prix. Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio brought the win home after the BMWs of Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims crashed out in the final stages. The win puts d’Ambrosio at the top of the driver standings with 40 points, followed by Antonio Felix in second place with 28 points. Mahindra Racing is now in second position with respect to team standings with 47 points, 7 points off DS Techeetah Formula E team.

The Marrakesh e-Prix started with Sam Bird of Virgin Racing on pole followed by Jean-Eric Vergne of Techeetah starting second. Bird, however, spun on the first corner itself as Vergne attacked the pole-sitter. Sims was who was running third was promoted to second and hot on Vergne’s tail until letting da Costa move up to second. The latter attacked Vergne to take the lead with Sims in the second. Da Costa and Sims started competing with each other as race neared conclusion with the BMW drivers now in 1-2 positions.

While the race seemed like a perfect victory for BMW, the unimaginable happened with Sims attacking da Costa. The latter slammed into the tyre wall as a result of the collision. The crash promoted d’Ambrosio in the lead, while the safety car ensured the Mahindra driver held on to the position. As the race restarted for just one lap, d’Ambrosio faced an attack from Robin Frijns and Sam Bird but managed to fend off the attack to take the team’s first win.

Alexander Sims eventually recovered to finish fourth behind Frijns and Bird, while teammates Vergne and Andre Lotterer finished fifth and sixth respectively with Lotterer starting the race from 21st. Lucas di Grassi of Team Abt finished seventh followed by Renault Dams’ driver Sebastien Buemi at P8.


Jaguar Racing’s Mitch Evans and Daniel Abt of Team Abt took the last spots in the top 10 list. Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein made his Formula E debut at Marrakesh but resulted in a non-finisher for the day after sustaining damage in Turn 1.

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The Punisher Season 2 Release Date on Netflix, Cast, Trailer, Poster, and More

Netflix-Marvel shows have been dropping like flies in past few months, and one of the surviving ones — The Punisher — is back for its sophomore run that will most likely also be its final hurrah. The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal returns as the gun-toting, anti-hero vigilante Frank Castle, who has been living a quiet life on the road but is drawn back into the fold after he thwarts the attempted murder of a young woman (Giorgia Whigham). The Punisher season 2 is about Castle having to decide if he should take up the mantle of the Punisher, showrunner Steve Lightfoot has said.

From release date, cast, trailer, poster, and its (impending) cancellation, here’s everything you need to know about Marvel’s The Punisher season 2.

The Punisher season 2 release date

All 13 episodes of Marvel’s The Punisher season 2 will release Friday, January 18, 2019 on Netflix worldwide.

The Punisher season 2 cast

In addition to Bernthal as Frank Castle, Ben Barnes returns as his former best friend Billy Russo, whose face was disfigured by Castle at the end of the first season. Fans expected him to adopt his comic book alter ego Jigsaw for season 2, and though he does look somewhat like that in the marketing, that name will not be used on the show. That hasn’t stopped from the writers from referencing it, though.

Daredevil star Deborah Ann Woll, who plays the reporter Karen Page, is back for The Punisher season 2 as well. She has a special relationship with Castle, and Lightfoot has said that it would continue “to be very important”. And you have Amber Rose Revah and Jason R. Moore reprising their respective roles as US Homeland Security special agent Dinah Madani and veterans therapy group leader Curtis Hoyle.

Moving on to new cast members, there’s Josh Stewart (Dirt) as John Pilgrim, a Christian fundamentalist whose calm exterior belies a ruthless interior, Floriana Lima (Supergirl) as Krista Dumont, a smart, compassionate, and driven psychotherapist for military veterans, and Corbin Bernsen (L.A. Law) and Annette O’Toole (Nash Bridges) as husband and wife schemers Anderson and Eliza Schultz. And of course, there’s the aforementioned Whigham as Amy Bendix, a street-smart grifter with a mysterious past.

Russo will be the main villain, given his long-standing dynamic with Castle, in addition to Pilgrim serving as a secondary antagonist force on The Punisher season 2. Of course, we still don’t know anything about the people who are behind Bendix’s life.

The Punisher season 2 trailer

The first teaser for The Punisher season 2 was a short 30-second clip in which Castle can be seen lighting his presidential pardon on fire. We got another teaser a couple of days later, which set up the conflict between him and Barnes. A proper trailer — set to the tunes of American rock band Alice in Chains’ 1992 hit song “Would?” — arrived a week before release, which gave us our first look of several new characters in season 2.


Has Punisher season 2 been cancelled?

Netflix has cancelled Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist in the past few months, which signals that time is running out on all Netflix-Marvel series. The Punisher and Jessica Jones are the last two standing, with the latter due for a third season later this year. Both might have been cancelled if they weren’t already deep into production, so we don’t see them lasting any longer.

It’s unclear what has transpired but it’s possible that Disney’s ultimate ownership of these shows — Netflix produces them but doesn’t have any stake — was one of the reasons for the axe. With Disney moving all its content to Disney+, its upcoming streaming service, there might have been little incentive to continue making more of them. Reports suggest that the shows’ high production costs due to filming in New York put additional pressure on the shows to overperform, which wasn’t happening except for Daredevil, it seems.

Publications have claimed that these characters could be revived at Disney+, and Disney+ head Kevin Mayer has said that it’s a ‘possibility‘, but there are caveats.

For one, the contract between Netflix and Marvel Television doesn’t allow them to reappear elsewhere at least for 18 or 24 months, reportedly, which means they won’t be back before 2021. It’s hard to say if these properties will still be worth an investment then. Moreover, Disney+ seems to be focused on bringing the Marvel movie stars to its service, given it has miniseries centred on Loki, Scarlet Witch and Vision, and Falcon and Winter Soldier/White Wolf in development.

The Punisher season 2 poster

Posters, you say? Here you go.

the punisher season 2 poster frank castle The Punisher season 2

the punisher season 2 poster jigsaw The Punisher season 2

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6 Authentic Desi Recipes To Try This Festive Season

Lohri 2019 is a winter harvest festival celebrated on January 13 every year. The festival will be celebrated in several north Indian states on the coming Sunday. The festival is characterised by large community bonfires, get-togethers, dance and merry making, as well as eating a number of seasonal sweets and savouries. Lohri is a predominantly Punjabi festival, which has a great significance for Sikhs and Hindu Punjabis. From an agricultural standpoint, it marks the passing of the winter solstice. Lohri marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of longer days and shorter nights. The festival is celebrated on the night before Makar Sankranti or Maghi and is an official restricted holiday in the state of Punjab in the Indian subcontinent. However, it is not a holiday in the Punjab state in Pakistan, although it is celebrated by Sikhs and Punjabis in Pakistan as well.

Food is central to Lohri celebrations as a number of winter Indian sweets including til ka ladoo, gajak and revari are consumed and distributed to neighbours, friends and families as ‘prasad’. However, since the festival is a Punjabi one, there are a number of seasonal savoury foods that are also enjoyed on the festival. These include the flagship Punjabi vegetarian combo of sarso ka saag, with cornmeal flat bread or makki ki roti. We bring to you a list of these amazing Punjabi sweet and savoury recipes that you can enjoy on the occasion of Lohri 2019.

Also Read: Lohri 2019: 5 Foods That Come To Mind When We Think Of This Harvest Festival


Lohri 2019: Til ke ladoo are made from white sesame seeds and jaggery

Here are 6 traditional and authentic Lohri 2019 recipes to try:

1. Sarso Ka Saag With Makai Ki Roti

This is a quintessential Punjabi dish that cannot be missed during this time of the year. Sarson or mustard greens are cooked and spiced with garlic, garam masala powder and treated to the warming winter concoction of ghee. It is served with makki ki roti slathered with some fresh homemade white butter. A treat to the senses and warming for the belly.

2. Till Ladoo

White sesame seeds are known to be incredibly warming in nature, which is why they are used in a number of festive sweet preparations, including til ladoo, barfi etc. Til ladoo is a compact round sweet that is crunchy and filling.

3. Til Ki Barfi

Til patti or til ki barfi is another Lohri special sweet that is enjoyed while warming oneself near the huge bonfire. The barfi contains khoya, sugar and ghee, all mixed together with the sesame seeds and flattened to make crunchy sweet snacks that can be enjoyed throughout winters.

4. Peanut Chikki

Moongfali ki patti or peanut chikki is another desi winter favourite that gives you an instant sugar rush and is incredibly satisfying, both as a sweet and as a snack.

5. Gur Ki Roti

Want to give your normal rotis a sweet twist this winter? Try this gur ki roti recipe, which is made by melting jaggery in milk and mixing it in with whole wheat flour dough, before it is rolled out into flat rounds and cooked on top of a griddle. It can be enjoyed with fresh creamed butter, plain yogurt, or even saag.

6. Pindi Chhole

Pindi chhole is a north Indian favourite made from chickpeas that are boiled and then a spicy masala is added to them. These are a must for any Punjabi festive meal, Lohri being no exception.

Lohri is a festival of new beginnings, and great food just adds flavour to the festive vibes.

Happy Lohri 2019!

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Pawan Sehrawat’s Heroics Help Bengaluru Bulls Clinch Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 Title

Pawan Sehrawat delivered when it mattered the most as Bengaluru Bulls registered a stunning comeback to edge past Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 and lift the Pro Kabaddi League season 6 title in a nail-biting summit clash at the NSCI stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. Gujarat could only blame their Fortunes after squandering a 7-point first-half lead even as Pawan Sehrawat turned out to be the game-changer for the Bulls with his late strikes, scoring 22 raid points while helping his side inflict two all-outs. The stage was set for a mouth-watering contest, with veteran Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor reciting the National Anthem with the silverware glittering in the middle.

Mumbai once again turned out a happy hunting ground for the Bengaluru Bulls, who lifted their second PKL title after having clinched it earlier in the second season, back in 2015 at the same venue.

Despite going neck and neck in the initial part of the first-half, with both teams locked at 6-6 by 9th minute, Gujarat pounced on the hapless Bengaluru side from there on.

Bengaluru were handicapped by the patchy form of their skipper and star raider Rohit Kumar, who failed to score a single raid point in 6 attempts in the first-half.

Gujarat inflicted an all-out in 18th minute which helped them take a 7-point lead by the end of the first-half with the scoreline reading 16-9 in their favour.

Bengaluru Bulls’ defence made some unnecessary advance tackles which helped Sachin and K. Prapanjan.

Gujarat came back stronger in the second-half by tacking Pawan in the 21st minute before Bengaluru started crawling back with a couple of bonus points and tackles to reduce the margin to 17-21 by the 29th minute.

While Rohit continued to disappoint, star raider Pawan brought the Bulls back into the contest with three raid points to make it 20-21 in the next minute.

Rohit Gulia managed to steal a bonus point for the Gujarat side but a two pointer raid from Pawan help the Bulls inflict their first all-out of the tie and take a slender 23-22 lead for the first time.

But there was more drama in store; with merely six minutes left for the final whistle, both sides went neck and neck at 24-24 by the 35th minute.

Gujarat managed to get their lead of back with a super raid from Rohit Gulia before his namesake in the opposite camp Rohit Kumar finally managed a touch point in his 11th raid to make it 26-27.

Both sides managed to add a couple of points to make it 29-29 in the 37th minute as the contest headed for a nail-biting finish.

Pawan then showed his class, scoring two crucial quick raid points to give Bengaluru the 31-29 lead before piling more misery for Gujarat with an all-out in the dying minutes of the tie.

With that, Bengaluru’s lead swelled to 36-30 before they added a couple more to eventually end up 38-33 and all Gujarat could manage thereafter were gloomy faces after failing to take the title in their second consecutive final.

(With IANS inputs)

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American Gods Season 2: Watch the First 3 Minutes of the Neil Gaiman TV Series

American Gods Season 2: Watch the First 3 Minutes of the Neil Gaiman TV Series

Photo Credit: Twitter/ American Gods

American Gods season 2 will release March 10, 2019 on Starz in United States

American Gods season 2 will release March 10, 2019 on Starz in United States. Ahead of that though, official Twitter handle of American Gods released the first three-and-half-minutes of the TV Series last Sunday with the two “new gods”, Mr. World and Technical Boy. “Your worship of #AmericanGods has been rewarded. Check out the first three minutes of Season 2, and don’t miss the premiere March 10 on @STARZ,” said the tweet. In the video, Mr. World (Crispin Glover), the god of globalisation, can be seen asking the Technical Boy, the god of technology, to find goddess Media. Here, it is worth noting that while Gillian Anderson played the role of goddess Media in the first season, in the second one, Kahyun Kim will be taking over, owing to difficult times faced by the production team between the two releases.

The new season will have 8 episodes instead of 10. The new video shows the gods getting ready for another tussle during the upcoming season. Season 2 will become available on Amazon Prime Video for viewers in India within a few hours every following Monday after its March 10 US release, starting with March 11, a trend that was witnessed during the first season.

The TV series, based on Neil Gaiman’s 2001 book of the same name, shows the conflict between the new gods and the old ones that soon escalates into a war. In the first season, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is the lead of the series whose viewpoint becomes the prism through which the story unfolds. Shadow Moon happens to meet Mr Wednesday (Ian McShane) on a plane ride home after being released from the prison. The two later embark on a road-trip across America.

American Gods season 1 aired between April-June 2017. American Gods season 2 begins airing in March 2019, 21 months after the first season aired. The first season was praised by viewers and Starz sanctioned a new season in May 2017 itself. In November last year, however, original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green quit over budget and other issues. By that time half of the scripts were already written. Those scripts had to be checked after Starz hired a new showrunner in Jesse Alexander.

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PBL: Pune 7 Aces Register Their First Win Of The Season

However, Mumbai showed some stunning resilience to fight back through their two men’s singles exponents, Anders Antonsen and Sameer Verma, sending the tie into a deciding fifth match.

With little to separate the two teams, it all depended on who would hold their nerves under pressure.

Ivanov and Kjaersfeldt did an admirable job for Pune in the final rubber that saw them beat Mumbai’s highly experienced mixed doubles pair of Pia Zebadiah and Kim Gi Jung 15-13, 11-15, 15-12 in a thrilling finish to the Maharashtra derby.

Earlier, Pune started off the proceedings on a positive note with their trump, Line Kjaersfeldt taking the place of Carolina Marin in the women’s singles.

The gulf between the 21st ranked Kjaersfeldt and Mumbai’s 202nd ranked Shreyanshi Pardeshi was evident right from the start.

The rising star from Mumbai failed to pose any threat and caved in 11-15, 7-15 through her array of unforced errors.

If Mumbai Rockets looked up to the legendary Lee Yong Dae to turn around their fortunes, they were in for a disappointment.

Dae was very much off-colour and his frequent errors at the net didn’t help the cause of the Mumbai side.

Chirag Shetty’s exquisite touches and the 6’6″ Vladimir Ivanov’s fiery smashes made the Pune pair a deadly combination.

While the first game was on level terms till the deciding point, Ivanov and Shetty simply upped the ante in the second to take a 15-14, 15-7 win.

World No. 18 Anders Antonsen proved a wall too high for the 17-year-old Lakshya Sen of the Pune franchise in the Rockets’ Trump clash.

The young Dane made a strong start against the Asian junior champion but a string of errors in the second game allowed the Indian to come back.

In the decider, a calm and steady Antonsen tackled the drift and his opponent much better to sail away to a 15-13, 7-15, 15-8 win for a vital 2 points for the visitors.

World No. 12 Sameer Verma was expectedly in devastating form against Pune’s inexperienced Harsheel Dani.

The latter showed signs of a fightback in the second game when he went up 7-5 but his chances were soon thwarted by Sameer who wrapped it up 15-7, 15-10 to bring his side back into contention.

(With IANS inputs)

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