Srinagar, Apr 28: A private collection of rare hand-woven Kashmiri shawls dating back to the 17th century are on offer at auction by Christie’s here.
Described as “treasured heirlooms”, the auction house has announced that the online sale will take place between June 11 and 18 with prices ranging from 1,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds.
“This ‘Important Private Collection of Kashmir Shawls’ is perhaps the most significant collection of shawls ever to be offered at auction. Dating back from the 17th to the late 19th century, these hand-woven, decorated Kashmir shawls were created as items of luxury,” Christie’s said in a statement.
“Traditionally worn by men and women, these treasured heirlooms were handed down in the family for generations, prized for the very fine quality of wool used and their intricate embroidered decoration. The high level of craftsmanship achieved by Kashmiri weavers remains unmatched anywhere in the world,” the statement noted.
A few highlights offering a glimpse into the “opulent” shawl collection are on display alongside Christie’s Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds sale in London until next Thursday.
The auction notes elaborate on the shawls, known in Kashmir as “pashmina”, as hand-woven from the softest, warmest, light-weight fabric spun from the fine under-hair of high-altitude goats.
The weaving of this fine fabric into shawls is thought to have been done in Kashmir since the 1st century AD and remains in practice even today.
“This extraordinary collection demonstrates the high level of craftsmanship achieved by Kashmiri weavers, with skills perfected over centuries which remain unparalleled anywhere in the world,” Christie’s notes.
The highlights of the sale include an early 19th century square shawl with an unusual pattern, which combines the stripes with the central moon design, estimated to fetch between 7,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds.
Moon shawls are known to have been modelled after a type of 16th century carpet from the Ottoman court in Cairo. Striped examples were especially valued by members of the royal court of Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Moon shawls were also very popular in Western markets, especially with fashionable ladies in Britain in the late 18th and 19th centuries to be worn as accessories with their gowns.
Among the other major highlights include a 17th century Mughal long shawl border fragment comprising eleven singular floral motifs woven on an ivory ground, estimated to fetch between 4,000 pounds and 6,000 pounds.
Very few early shawls or shawl fragments are known to have survived, making it an extremely rare 17th century example illustrating an iconic motif often associated with Mughal architecture and miniature paintings.
Muslim couple thrashed after beef rumours in MP
Omar says ‘just the beginning’; ‘Horrified’ reacts Mehbooba
Bhopal, May 25: In an appalling case reported from Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, a Muslim couple was brutally thrashed for allegedly carrying beef. The victims have complained that they were forced to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ by the accused men.
The local police Friday arrested five vigilantes after the video went viral showing five men beating up three persons including the Muslim couple on suspicion of carrying meat.
The video further shows ‘gaurakshaks’ forcing the three to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans. The incident happened on May 22 but the police came to know of it on May 24 when the video came to the fore.
Dunda Seoni police station incharge Ganpat Uikey said that Shubham Baghel, a habitual offender, Yogesh Uikey, Deepesh Namdev, Rohit Yadav and Shyam Dehriya have been arrested for assault. The five have been booked under IPC sections 143, 148, 149, 341, 294, 323 and 506 and also section 25 of arms act.
On May 22, Taufik, Anjum Shama and Dilip Malviya were arrested under the anti-cow slaughter act and sent to judicial custody after the cow vigilantes informed the police that they were allegedly carrying the meat in an autorickshaw and a two-wheeler from Khairi village. The meat has been sent to a laboratory for testing. Seoni SP Lalit Shakyawar said the situation was under control.
Ganpat said that a relative of one of the three persons filed an FIR after the video surfaced. He said the vigilantes informed the police after roughing up and beating the trio. He added that one of the accused Shubham Baghel belongs to an organisation called Shriram Sena.
Meanwhile, former J&K CMs, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah reacted to the incident.
“Horrified to see cow vigilantes thrash an innocent Muslim with such impunity in MP. Hope @OfficeOfKNath takes swift action against these goons,” Mehbooba tweeted.
Omar Abdullah’s remark was a bit poetical referring to the rise of Hindutva in BJP 2.0 regime.
“Ibtedaae ishq hai rota hai kya, Aage Aage dekhiye hota hai kya,” he tweeted. The Urdu verse roughly translating into, “It’s the start of love, why do you cry? Behold, there is more to follow.”
Everest: 10 die amid overcrowding near summit
Srinagar, May 25: The deaths of an Irish and a British climber on Mount Everest took the toll from a deadly week on the world’s highest peak to 10, expedition organisers said on Saturday.
British climber Robin Fisher, 44, reached the summit Saturday morning but collapsed when he had got just 150 metres back down the slope.
“Our guides tried to help but he died soon after,” Murari Sharma of Everest Parivar Expedition said.
On the northern Tibet side of the mountain, a 56-year-old Irish man died on Friday morning, his expedition organisers confirmed in a statement on their Facebook page.
The man decided to return without reaching the summit but died in his tent at the North Col pass at 7,000 metres (22,965 feet).
Four climbers from India and one each from the United States, Austria and Nepal have already died on Everest in the past week. Another Irish mountaineer is missing presumed dead after he slipped and fell close to the summit.
A traffic jam of climbers in the Everest “death zone” has been blamed for at least four of the deaths, heightening concerns that the drive for profits is trumping safety.
To mention, earlier this week, Nahida Manzoor from Srinagar became the first Kashmiri woman to scale Mount Everest.
Besides her, two J&K policemen Nazir Ahmed and Falial Singh, who were a part of 11 member climbers’ squad, also conquered Everest last Tuesday.
Nepal issued a record 381 permits for mainly foreign climbers, costing US$11,000 each, for the spring climbing season.
Each climber with a permit is assisted by at least one sherpa, adding to the summit logjam.
With the short window of suitable weather set to close soon, bottlenecks of scores of climbers wanting to achieve the ultimate mountaineering accolade have built up each day.
An estimated 600 people had reached the summit via the Nepal side by Friday, a government official said, based on information from expedition organisers.
At least 140 others have been granted permits to scale Everest from the northern flank in Tibet, according to operators. This could take the total past last year’s record of 807 people reaching the summit.
Many Himalayan mountains – including Everest – are at peak climbing season, with the good weather between late April and the end of May. Eight other climbers have died on other 8,000-metre-plus Himalayan peaks this season, while two are missing.
Ang Tsering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, said that the weather window to summit this season was narrow, meaning that many teams had to wait to go up.
“Spending a long time above the death zone increases the risk of frostbite, altitude sickness and even death,” he said.
The Pursuit of Happiness: Once a floor mopper, Doda man now runs multi-million dollar company in Dubai
Dubai: There is a Chris Gardner-like truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story in Dubai and its roots are in J&K. If you have watched ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, you would exactly know what’s in store.
From a floor mopper to CEO of a multi-million dollar company, life has come a long way for Bal Krishen, a man from Jammu who has become a known name in the ever-competitive world of global financial market.
Son of a school master in Doda district, Krishen has risen from ranks to become the CEO of Century Financial, Dubai’s oldest investment solutions provider. Interestingly it is the same company where he once mopped floor to eke out his living.
In fact Krishen did small jobs like working as room boy at one hotel, bellboy at another and loader at a factory in Jebel Ali before conquering the financial world by his prowess.
Given the poor financial health and a huge family, Krishen, who is one of the nine siblings, started earning from early age back home in Doda district.
“I would take agricultural products like mushrooms and chilli pepper from my village to the city and use the money from their sale to buy toys and bangles which I then sold to the villagers,” he told Gulf News in an interview.
Life took a new turn when he decided to go abroad for earning his living in 1993. With Rs 16,000 of his family property share and some savings he went to New Delhi where a travel agent provided him UAE visa and air ticket. “I told the agent I wanted to go abroad. He asked me if I would consider the UAE and I said ‘yes’ half realizing where it was and what it would be like there,” he said.
The journey was not smooth as he expected.
“I landed in Fujairah which received international flights from India those days. I couldn’t afford a taxi so I waited at a fuel station till late evening until a cabbie, who was going to Dubai, offered to take me along. I still remember where I spent my first night in Dubai. It was at Blue Star Hotel in Deira where the room tariff was Dh20,” he recalled.
From a dishwasher at Hotel in Deira to a loader at a carton factory where he was required to haul gum sacks weighing 40 kilograms each to bell boy to floor cleaner, he did all jobs before he came in contact with a European bank manager while working at Orchid Hotel.
Impressed by his mental maths skills, the manager suggested him to try his luck in a financial institution.
The advice proved to be a turning point in Krishen’s life. He quit his job, prepared a CV and showed up at the Al Khaleej Centre office of Century Financial.
“Even their peons were more educated than me. Understandably so, they refused to touch my CV. Requests to arrange a meeting with the management were also declined. But I didn’t let the setback deter me. Instead, I came up with an outrageous plan. I used to stand outside their office with a placard saying that I was willing to work for free for six months,” he said.
His idea clicked and attracted the attention of Century Financial chairman Sulaiman Baqer Mohebi, who founded the company in 1989 to make global financial markets accessible to Emirati and expat clients.
“He hired me as a cleaner. My job was to dust the furniture, mop the floor and clear the trashbins. The stock market fascinated me but I had no idea how it worked. I watched transfixed as dealers struck deals over the phone. In fact, I was so much in awe of them that I picked a few words from their conversation and used to practice speaking them before the mirror,” said Krishen.
“One day, when I was confident enough, I approached the chairman and expressed my desire to go into sales. He appeared a bit skeptical but when I told him that instead of a regular salary I will take a commission of Dh25 from every Dh100 I made for the company, he agreed.”
And then there was no looking back for Krishen.
Krishen begun with going to Gold Souk, one of the oldest and fascinating traditional market for gold jewellery, gemstones in Dubai.
“I tapped into the Gold Souk. It’s another story how I did that. I would walk up and down the Gold Souk road several times a day, doing nothing other than smiling and waving at the bemused traders and exchanging greetings with them. Often, I would step into their shop and buy tea for all the customers. The idea was to pique the curiosity of traders. It worked. Soon they started to recognise my face. Before long, they began to ask what I did for a living. At that point I would give them my business card and invite them to invest with us. That’s how I got most of my clients some of whom are still with me,” said Krishen
Married with three children, Krishen now employs nearly a hundred dealers.
Century Financial today operates across 100 global markets, giving customers access to multiple asset classes; currencies, stocks, commodities, indices, metals, energies, and exchange traded funds.
“I am planning to open a retail bank in Dubai,” he lets in. “I want to keep going and keep growing,” he said.