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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

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Band baaja baarat on Delhi streets Tuesday

Monday - Apr 23, 2012, 06:43pm (GMT+5.5)
[+] Text [-]

New Delhi - Come Tuesday, all roads in the capital will turn into one huge marriage procession. Delhi residents, be prepared for blaring music and traffic snarls as about 30,000 weddings are expected to take place on the day, deemed auspicious, alone.

According to the Hindu calendar, Akshaya Tritiya, which falls April 24 this year, is considered by Hindus as one of the most auspicious days of the year. Also known as Akha Teej, it is a considered the most auspicious day to perform nuptials.

"An estimated 30,000 marriages are planned in the city as the entire day is considered highly auspicious for marriages. This year with more rush we are inviting priests from in and around Delhi. About 250 priests, mostly from Rishikesh and Mathura have been called," said Ravindra Nagar, the head priest at Birla Mandir in central Delhi.

"It is an auspicious day as people who get married on Akshaya Tritiya will get the same husband or wife for the next seven lives. Apart from this there is a belief that Lord Vishnu chose Goddess Lakshmi to wed on the Akshaya Tritiya day so it considered to be auspicious," he added.

Many priests also admit they are booked for more than one marriage for the day.

"I have five marriage already booked in advance. One of them has been arranged at the girl's residence as they were not able to get a marriage hall," said Acharya Mahesh Vashisht.

With thousands of weddings have been planned all over, the wedding bazaar too has perked up, and marriage halls, caterers, decorators, and mehendi artistes in the city have their hands full.

"After much hassle we managed to get a venue for our marriage, which is double the normal rate. But I don't mind to pay the hefty amount as I don't want to miss the opportunity of getting married on such a auspicious day," said bridegroom-to-be Ankit Yadav.

Meanwhile Suman Seth, of Eve's beauty parlour in south Delhi, is forced to refuse clients for the much important bridal make-up, with her establishment already fully-booked. "We are planning to stay open even though it's a Tuesday (weekly market holiday in the area)," Seth said.

Sukhram Bharghav, who runs a fancy garment store in Chandni Chowk in old Delhi, has sold 5,000 wedding headgear for the bridegrooms in the run up to the wedding season.

Meanwhile, police are keeping an eye, though no special arrangements have been made.

"No special security arrangements have been made as of now," Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told IANS.

The traffic police are on alert for the inevitable snarls.

"Usually congestion is expected in the evening," a traffic helpline official said.

Not just marriages, the day is also preferred for starting a new business, or buying gold - an important aspect - as many believe that whatever wealth or thing bought on this day lasts long and brings prosperity and luck to the household.





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