“Well, the protocol as it exists right now is that no match can be played unless there is medical personnel, so the minimum that we expect is that there must be at least a school nurse. Fortunately, for some schools, they can afford a medical practitioner and that has taken place,” he confirmed. Small added that James’ loss has dampened the spirit of the competitions. “We will be having conversations with the administration of the school, just to find out what their thoughts are as it relates to the school going forward in terms of playing the game. “Condolences to his mother and father, the St George’s family and the sporting family in general,” Small said. SCHOOL NURSE AT MINIMUM “One of the protocols is that … all schools have instructions to have medical facilities very close to your school, so that within 15 minutes or so, you should have services to take them there,” he explained. The Wolmer’s Boys’ School principal, whose school has a team doctor assigned, did admit, however, that some schools can afford medical teams and others can’t, but maintains that minimum requirements should be adhered to. “It’s a lot of schools. It is almost impossible to provide ambulance services for all schools, even if you were to get all the ambulances in Jamaica, the volume of matches we play we would not have them there,” he stressed. He bemoaned that ISSA is not able to provide ambulance service for all schools throughout the competition. Calling the sudden passing of St George’s College captain Dominic James “one too many”, Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) President Dr Walton Small says his organisation will be looking to ensure that no second-round ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup match is played “without minimum medical personnel present”. Small pointed out that one of ISSA’s protocols is to try and ensure that all schools are instructed to have medical facilities very close to their schools. James, a former Jamaica College standout, who transferred to St George’s College, collapsed within five minutes after the game started and was later pronounced dead at the University Hospital of the West Indies on Tuesday. “We are looking seriously to discuss that at our meeting tomorrow (today) to have at least the minimum of an electrocardiogram (ECG),” Small said in an interview yesterday. “As it goes into the second round, where ISSA has responsibility to execute the matches, there are always ambulances, a stretchers and medical personnel,” he continued, adding that schools are expected to have medical assistance near. CLOSE-BY FACILITIES
Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene It was George’s highest scoring performance since joining the Thunder in an offseason trade with Indiana. He said his new teammates are starting to figure out how his game works.“It really is just chemistry,” he said. “When I got here, one of the talks we had about what was best with offense was the movement. Coach (Billy) Donovan was happy that he could utilize me in that situation of moving and getting some flow in offense, so I’m comfortable with that. It’s good for me to get going and move around a little bit.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogRussell Westbrook had 22 points and eight assists in the Thunder’s highest-scoring game of the season. Carmelo Anthony and Alex Abrines each scored 14 points.Westbrook and Anthony made it tough for Los Angeles to deal with George. View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson DROPPING DIMESGriffin had five assists to surpass 2,000 in his career. He led the team in assists, and the team finished with just 13.UP NEXTClippers: At New Orleans on Saturday night.Thunder: Host Dallas on Sunday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) shoots between Los Angeles Clippers center Willie Reed, left, and guard Austin Rivers, right, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. Oklahoma City won 120-111. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)OKLAHOMA CITY — This was the Paul George that Thunder fans had been waiting for.George scored 42 points and Oklahoma City snapped a four-game losing streak with a 120-111 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.ADVERTISEMENT Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Solo accuses former FIFA President Blatter of grabbing her OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson “All of the sudden, he got it going,” Rivers said. “I thought that changed the game when he got it going. That stretched the floor some more.”The Thunder continued their surge early in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Anthony pushed Oklahoma City’s lead to 15. The Thunder increased their advantage to 20 before the Clippers chipped away late in the quarter to close to 94-86 at the end of the period.A 3-pointer by Austin Rivers tied it at 105 midway through the fourth, but the Thunder held the Clippers to one field goal in the final three minutes to regain control.TIP-INSClippers: G Jawun Evans, who played at nearby Oklahoma State last season, scored three points in 16 minutes. … G Patrick Beverley sat out with a sore right knee. F Danilo Gallinari missed the game with a strained left glute. … G Sindarius Thornwell got his first career start in place of Beverley and scored 10 points. … Williams hit a double-clutch shot from half court to end the first quarter. He was called for a technical foul in the fourth.Thunder: C Steven Adams missed the game with a right calf contusion. … Dakari Johnson got his first career start in Adams’ place and finished with nine points. He was a G-League All-Star last season. … George hit a short jumper at the halftime buzzer. He was issued a technical foul in the third quarter. … G Andre Roberson had 11 rebounds.STAT LINESEach of the Thunder’s wins has been by at least nine points. All their losses have been by nine or fewer. Even with a 5-7 record, the Thunder have outscored their opponents by 58 points this season.QUOTABLEJohnson on facing DeAndre Jordan in his first career start: “It was good. I just tried to go out there and be competitive, just compete. He’s a very great player. I’m not scared of anybody, so I just went out there and competed.”Jordan finished with nine points and 12 rebounds. MOST READ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? “It’s hard because they have so many options,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “A lot of times you have the one-two option, they’ve got the one-two-three option. It’s tough.”George made 13 of 22 shots and had nine rebounds and seven assists.“I was just trying to stay in attack mode,” he said. “If plays opened up and there was opportunities to find guys, I was trying to, but it just seems that a lot of the plays just ended up me one on one with a big at the rim.”Lou Williams scored 35 points for the Clippers, and Blake Griffin had 17 points on 5-for-19 shooting. Los Angeles has lost four straight.The Thunder led 63-55 at halftime behind 21 points by George.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award
With 13 months to the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections, the House of Representatives has been urged to pass into law some landmark bills which have been in Committee rooms for more than 90 days.Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), in a letter to the Lower House dated September 5, 2016, but read in yesterday’s (Thursday) session, said there are a number of remaining landmark bills which require immediate action by the House of Representatives.Critical among the draft legislations are the Constitution Amendment Propositions, which have been cleared by the House’s Joint Committee on Governance and Judiciary; the Local Government Act, with emphasis on Decentralization, which has already been reviewed by theHouse Committee on Governance; the Land Authority Act, which awaits the concurrence of the House, having been acted upon by the Senate; and the Land Rights Act, which is yet to be considered.“The Governance Commission wishes to prevail upon you, Mr. Presiding Officer and your colleagues, to become champions of these bills and propositions as history has bequeathed this responsibility to this government, of which you are key player,” Dr. Sawyer’s letter said.“We are sure that your Honorable House will agree with us that we cannot afford to fail the Liberian people at this time by not living up their wishes for greater participation…”Dr. Sawyer added: “We are fully cognizant of your responsibility to enact into law the National Budget and we encourage its early passage; however, the above are other pieces of legislations which also deserve your action at this critical time.”“We of the GC are delighted that the Legislative Session has been extended and we remain wholly available and at your disposal to assist in any way we can to advance the passage of this and related legislations.”The GC’s letter was unanimously noted with an affirmative vote from plenary, which conducted its second unified business in the Joint Chambers.“Considering that these bills were submitted to this body to be enacted into law for the realization of their individual specific objectives, it is important that the relevant committees be asked to make their reports,” the letter said.Earlier, Grand Kru County District #2 Representative Numennie Bartekwa and Montserrado County District #1 Representative Josephine Francis also brought to the attention of Plenary the protracted delay of some proposed critical bills.The two Representatives named, among other bills, the National Road Fund Act, the Act to Establish the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Right to Due Process in the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The KEEP Reading Room that was dedicated at the Peabody Public School in Marshall, Margibi County.The Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) over the weekend dedicated a new reading room at the Peabody Public School in Marshall Town, Margibi County. The Peabody Public School, established in 1980, has never had library. The new reading room will serve 425 students.Latim Da-thong, Deputy Education Minister for Administration, who performed the dedicatory ceremony, lauded KEEP and its partners for the initiative. Reading room (library), Da-thong said, remains a serious challenge to the country’s education sector. He called on authorities of the school to use the reading room for its intended purpose.He said government does not have all the resources to buy everything that is needed for students or school authorities, “therefore, school administrations should make the best use of whatever our partners have presented to us.”“Encourage the young people to continue to read, because we are now considering revision of the present curriculum with a key focus on reading. We are now talking with stakeholders to ensure that from 3rd grade to 4th grade do only four subjects,” he said.“We know Brenda or KEEP’s work. We are grateful to the partners, who have made this dream a reality. KEEP’s dream is to continue helping the future leaders through youth empowerment,” Mr. Da-thong said.He added, “we appreciate these kinds of efforts and will find a way to help because educating Liberian children requires collective efforts. Every parent, stakeholder, guardian, and the community is cardinal as Liberia’s greatest resource is the young people.”Edward Sharpe, representative of Amos Lodge and a sponsor of KEEP’s program, expressed gratitude for the initiative. Mr. Sharpe said the reading room will impact education to greater extent.“We are here to identify with KEEP, because they are one of our partners that have worked with us for years, and so, Amos Lodge remains proud working with them, specially the construction of reading rooms,” he said.Brenda Moore, KEEP executive director lauded partners, including Royal Hotel, APM Terminals, Amos Lodge, Liberia Telecommunication Authority and Liberia Airport Authority for supporting the construction of the various reading rooms over the years.Mrs. Moore said KEEP has established reading rooms in Grand Gedeh, Gbarpolu, Margibi, and Montserrado counties. “Reading remains fundamental to education, which indicates one cannot learn without it,” she said.She said KEEP will continue its journey of establishing reading rooms around Liberia, stating, “we need to provide spaces for children to read.”KEEP has established 10 reading rooms across the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
One day after carrying out searches at both Lusignan and Camp Street Prisons, the prison service officials swooped down at the New Amsterdam penitentiary where a number of contraband items were found in prisoners’ possession.The three hour search started that 06:30h by officers of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Prison Service and unearthed 14 cellphones, five improvised weapons, 22 lighters, wires, 12 chargers, 11 earpieces, two SIM cards, and 12 grams of cannabis.This most recent find comes on the heels of searches carried out at the Lusignan and Camp Street Prisons on Friday.At the Lusignan, East Coast Demerara penitentiary, the search commenced at 06:00h and ran until 08:15h. During the exercise, a number of prohibited items were found in the possession of inmates.These include four small plastics containing a quantity of cannabis, 10 lighters, four improvised weapons, 30 razor blades, nine needles, a pair of scissors, a piece of broken glass, two metal nails, three geometry set compasses, one metal spoon, two cellphone batteries, six cellphones, five earphones, seven chargers, five sim cards, two memory cards, and a quantity of wires.Meanwhile, over at the Georgetown prison, the exercise lasted much longer. It started around 06:05h and went until 09:13h.The following illicit items were found in the possession of inmates: 13 cellular phones, three cellular phone chargers, eight packs and 10 loose Bristol cigarettes, 21 cigarette lighters, 226 grams of suspected cannabis, small transparent ziplock bags, a quantity of improvised weapons, and three hacksaw blades.According to the Police Force, there were no incidents during the two exercises.Contraband smuggling has long been a perennial problem within the prison system and this is compounded by the fact that both prison and Police Officers are facilitating the illegal trade, which is said to be a “big business”.While the authorities have been struggling to curb the illegal practice, there has been a breakthrough on the apparent network among rogue prison officers. In fact, only in October, four prison officers were arrested after they smuggled a bottle of rum and a pack of cigarettes into the Lusignan Prison the weekend prior. These officers were subsequently charged and interdicted from duty.In addition, another two ranks found themselves in hot water following the discovery of illegal items at two separate prison facilities.In Berbice, 1032 grams of suspected marijuana and 39 packs of cigarettes were found in the New Amsterdam Prison and a prison officer had admitted to conspiring with inmates to hide the contraband that was thrown over the fence.Meanwhile, another prison officer at the Timehri penitentiary was taken into custody after he was implicated by an inmate regarding the presence of 584 grams of marijuana in the compound.Furthermore, five other prison officers were relieved of their duties back in July after they were fingered in an incident whereby a parcel containing cannabis had been thrown into the Lusignan Prison Holding Bay area.Director of Prisons (ag) Gladwin Samuels had disclosed in September that so far for the year, some 28 prison officers have been dismissed; 11 for facilitating or directly smuggling contrabands into the prisons system.The Prison Director added that there are 12 ranks currently interdicted from duty; nine of whom have been charged either departmentally or criminally for trafficking-related activities.
…construction of main access bridge delayedThe small village of Kamwatta Hill in Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini), has been plagued by a number of alarming issues, from the delayed construction of the main access bridge to inadequate medical supplies, which are yet to be addressed.One of the trucks stuck along the bypass last weekSpeaking with Guyana Times on Monday, Toshao of Kamwatta Hill, Maurice Henry stated that complaints were being raised by health officials about the shortage of medicines for quite some time. It was also a trending shortcoming among previous healthcare workers. The village is currently inhabited by 377 residents and over 60 migrants, making accessible healthcare essential.“There is shortage of drugs for a long while. There’s a young health worker who recently started working and he said he hasn’t received any kind of drugs in adequate amounts although they made requests. When the former health worker was there, we used to get complaints about the shortage of drugs,” Henry noted.He said this issue comes on the heels of various sicknesses among the migrants, who have set up camps and were offered refugee status in the community. While the language barrier continues to challenge their communication with locals, officials cannot provide for these persons and have opted to offer land for farming.“Since they [the migrants] came, the Village Council tried their best but we couldn’t afford because we don’t have money to support them wholly. The Regional Council give some food supply seven times. Right now, they are faced with diarrhoea and vomiting in the camp. The language barrier with us and them is a little difficult. We can’t really understand clearly,” the village head explained.Meanwhile, educational facilities are yet to be opened to the migrants, since regional officials are relying on Government to establish a segregated facility for school-aged Venezuelan children.“On the education side, we were asking some time ago if we cannot have the children enrolled at our primary school. The education officer said that they have some setbacks unless the Government has a separate place for them.”Kamwatta BridgeAlong with healthcare and migrant glitches, infrastructure continues to pose a challenge in the village and surrounding areas. For one week, two trucks belonging to the Guyana Water Incorporated were struck along a bypass route since the Kamwatta main bridge was dismantled for repair works.Consequently, Henry indicated that planks along the bypass structure were damaged after the vehicles were removed on Saturday. Already, bus operators have complained that the structure is unstable.“The trucks were removed but they left some damages to the part that the contractor made. The small bypass where the trucks was fastened damaged now and I get a complaint that some of the planks is not in good condition. It’s quite shaky,” he informed.Works on the Kamwatta Bridge was expected to commence since July but this publication was told that this operation never commenced.“For a long while, the contractor came and dismantled the bridge. It has been two months now and nothing has been done to fix the right bridge that he was contracted to do. I received a copy that the contract was signed since March and the work was supposed to commence since July. Nothing has been done so far on the bridge.”Initially, persons within the village had requested for an alternate road to be rehabilitated, instead of using a bridge. The Toshao expressed that using the mainland route through the Wauna Oil Palm estate was more effective for the locals but this idea was never considered.He said, “It has another main road but it is not in full usage. That road runs through the Wauna Oil Palm estate. We had asked that if that could be renovated and upgraded because that is mainland. It doesn’t have no bridge and we thought that would be more recommendable but nobody come to our assistance for that.”This publication understands that without the main bridge or a suitable makeshift bypass, there is no connection to leave the village.
Management at a stunning new café are giving one lucky customer the chance to win FOUR FREE breakfasts.Florence Food Co, based at 63 Main Street Letterkenny opened a couple of months ago and has been an incredible success. The exciting new Deli and Eatery has proved extremely popular with those who have frequented the café since opening.Manager, Natasha McFadden told Donegal Daily, “Our ethos is to provide affordable, great and locally sourced food, coffee and bakes in the best possible environment.“We make all our menu from fresh ingredients in-house ever morning including chowder, soups, cakes, bakes, hot dishes and our signature salads.“We are open Monday – Sat from 08.30-18.00 and Saturday from 09.30-18. 00.” To celebrate the launch of their full breakfast menu they’re offering FOUR FREE breakfasts to be won for one lucky person including tea / coffee.The closing date to win the competition is Friday 29th January.To win the competition all you have to do is answer the following question.Question – In which Country is the City of Florence located? Send your answers to email@example.comTheir breakfast fare includes porridge, delicious home made granola, pancakes, eggs florentine and expertly sourced local full Irish. Check out Florence Food Co today and taste the quality food and top-class service for yourself.FOUR FREE BREAKFASTS TO BE WON AT STUNNING NEW CAFE FLORENCE FOOD CO was last modified: January 28th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BreakfastBusinessCaféFlorence Food Cofreeletterkennynewssuccess
Damien Mc Cauley demonstrates how weak the blocks are from his house built in 2006 . all the outer walls have to be replaced at his family home, and his family had to be moved out. Photo Brian McDaidAn expert panel to investigate defective building blocks across Donegal has been finalised and will press ahead with their work.Minister Joe McHugh TD welcomed news from the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Paudie Coffey, the membership of the expert panel that is being established to investigate the presence of MICA in the blocks.“This is a welcomed development in a long and complicated road, and is a result of extremely hard work and perseverance, from the home owners and the MICA Action Group, and Minister Paudie Coffey and his officials, and the work I have done on ensuring that this remained on the Minister’s agenda, even organising a site visit for him to witness the damage first hand happening in Inishowen. I also want to acknowledge the work Councillor Bernard McGuinness has been doing on the ground on this issue, and whose input has been vital from the beginning. He added now that the full panel has been appointed, he has already requested that a detailed timeline be outlined by the panel to let people know what will be happening as part of the investigation.“I have received confirmation today that an interim report will be expected by the end of May and the panel are allowing for 6 months to carry out their investigations before a final report will be completed. This will be presented to the Minister for review.“As part of their work, we have asked that one of the first tasks of the panel is to meet with the MICA Action Group and their representatives, so that they have an opportunity to feed in their knowledge and experience directly to the panel.”In addition to Mr. McCarthy as chairperson, the membership of the expert panel will comprise: – · Mr. Noel Kane, BE, Dip Comp Eng, EurIng, CEng, FIEI, FIStructE, MIEAust, MACI, RconEI, member of the National Standards Authority of Ireland’s Concrete and Eurocodes Consultative Committees and the chair of their Masonry Panel and Eurocodes Masonry Subcommittee,· Mr. Frank Lee, BE, CEng, FIEI, FConsEI who has been nominated by the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland, and· Mr. Dave Blaney, PGeo, and Board member of the Institute of Geologists of Ireland.Concluding, Minister McHugh said, “I would like to thank the Chairperson and each of the three nominees for agreeing to accept this offer and I offer them any and all support I can. And I look forward to their work being carried out as thoroughly and swiftly as possible as this has been an extremely long road for many home-owners.“Since this matter was brought to my attention, I have ensured that it has been a priority for Minister Coffey and the Dept officials and even during this time when there is so much uncertainty regarding the next Government, I have worked hard to make sure that all our progress to date doesn’t stop.” EXPERT PANEL ON DEFECTIVE DONEGAL BLOCKS FINALISED was last modified: April 5th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:building blocksdonegalinvestigationJoe McHughMICA
Rosapenna NotesThe club competition on Sunday the 21st was kindly sponsored by Southwest Technical Services and was won by Seimi McBride (19) with 73 nett.The golfer of the year was deferred until further notice. The Starters Cup will take place thisSunday the 28th over the Old Links.On Sunday the 5th Oct there will be a golfer of the year club competition over the Old Links with the Centenary Cup taking place on Sunday the 12th, this is open to Ladies/Gents, any combination stableford aggregate.The Mulroy Links outings for 2014/15 have been scheduled as follows – •Sat 11th October – Portsalon•Sat 18th October – Rosapenna•Sat 8th November – Portsalon•Sat 22nd November – Rosapenna•Sat 13th December – Rosapenna •Sat 14th February – Portsalon•Sat 28th February – Rosapenna•Sat 14th March – Rosapenna•Sat 28th March – Portsalon •Sat 18th April – Portsalon Captains DayAll tee times for the first outing will be taken by the Golf Shop at Portsalon on 074-91-59459 and all players are encouraged to enter as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as times are limited with the short winter days.On Saturday November 1st there will be a golf classic held over the Old Tom Morris Links in aid of the Mevagh Fire Brigade.It will be a shotgun start at 10.00am with registration in the Golf Pavilion from 9.00am.A meal will be served for all competitors at 3.00pm which is included in the entry fee of €200 per team.Tees & greens are also available to sponsor at a rate of €50 each.Team entries/sponsorship toThe Pavilion Golf Shop on 074-915-5000.Save the date – Rosapenna G.C Dinner Dance,Saturday the 1st of November 2014On Saturday the 15th of November there will be an OPEN four ball scramble over the Sandy Hills Links sponsored by The Pavilion Golf Shop.A shotgun start will take place at 11.00am and the entry fee will include refreshments after the round followed by the presentation of prizes.Entry fee – Visitor €25, Member €15.All entries to the golf shop on 074-915-5000.Any uncollected prizes from the recent presentation are available for collection from the Pavilion Golf Shop and should be collected as soon as possible.GOLF NEWS: SEIMI MCBRIDE WINS THE CLUB COMPETITION AT ROSAPENNA was last modified: September 24th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:golfNoticesROSAPENNASport
In life, nothing is ever lost. Not even the books you read in your languid childhood. Director Mira Nair pored over William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair when she was a schoolgirl and now decades later, she has reinterpreted that classic piece of literature in a lush cinematic saga from Hollywood. “This story has been one of my absolute favorite novels,” she says. “You know many of us have colonial hangovers in India and we are steeped in English literature. I went to an Irish Catholic boarding school in Simla and studied deeply Shakespeare and Keats and Vanity Fair was what I read, kind of slightly under the covers, when I was 16.”The studios offered her the film because of the whopping success she had with Monsoon Wedding and it was an added bonus that she knew and loved the novel.It is an irony that Thackeray would have appreciated, that this saga of Imperial England should be reinterpreted for the silver screen by a sassy and outspoken child of the former colony. And he would have been pleased, because Nair brings a whole new perspective to this tale of the Raj.An independent filmmaker, Nair usually produces her own work, only going the studio route when she is offered something with such a vast canvas that she would not be able to produce it on her own. This $23 million movie stars Hollywood superstar Reese Witherspoon as the beautiful and calculating Becky Sharp who rises from rags to the pinnacle of high society.The film also stars an ensemble cast of strong British talent including Eileen Atkins, Jim Broadbent, Gabriel Byrne, Romola Garai, Bob Hoskins, Rhys Ifans, Geraldine McEwan, James Purefoy and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.;“The big thing for me with Vanity Fair was that I am a helpless fan of Thackeray really and what I love about him is that he is almost an outsider in his own society,” she says. After all, Thackeray was born in Calcutta and raised in British India and when he returned to England, he could see it with a sharper focus, warts and all.. “He always looked at his own society almost with the same eyes as Becky Sharp does,” says Nair. “And he wrote about a time that was acutely about the relationship between the Empire and the Colonies, a time I’m very interested in where England was first feeling the flush of wealth from what I call the rape of the colonies and was getting richer at home as a result.” Nair says that while she was attracted by the relation between the Empire and the colony, Vanity Fair drew her because it was this huge banquet saga with such a vast canvas: “I love the ensemble casting, I love the layers of the story, I love that Thackeray had the point of view to expose the sham and façade of life.I love that he asked what I call the yogic question – ‘Which of us is happy in the world and when we meet our desire, are we content?’ That is the essence of Vanity Fair.”For Nair the first challenge was bringing the printed page – 900 of them – to the movie screen: what do you leave out and what do you keep? So it was an intense collaboration with writer Julian Fellowes, who bagged an Oscar for his work in another period film, Gosford Park. The two hit it off instantly. She jokingly calls Fellowes the champion of cutlery and butlery from Gosford Park and was a little anxious when he was coming over to her home for dinner, preparing Western food too, in case he didn’t eat Indian.“In my house we eat with our hands, so I thought no cutlery to offer this chap! He instantly chose Indian food and he began to eat with his hands; we were friends for life!”Both of them had made their own maps of the book and then compared notes. Nair says, “What I wanted was this democratic swirl – this whole world – and this inter-relatedness of the characters, because Thackeray does this brilliantly. As Julian wrote the screenplay we used to exchange emails.” In fact, these emailed messages are now part of a book on the making of Vanity Fair, showing how the screenplay took shape.Says Nair: “For me, the task was how to amplify the frame, when we had a scene – how to jam in four or five other things from the book which otherwise I wouldn’t get to do entire scenes of, but to keep the details within each scene.”She was not interested in making it an anemic parlor room drama and wanted to evoke the outside world, the class culture of that time: “The shit on the roads, the pigs on the street, the coal mongers, the entire army of working class England who had to support the upper class to make them look and behave the way they did. “And I wanted to do that in such a visceral way that without giving you a lecture, you would understand, as the audience, that if Becky made a false move – snakes and ladders – she would go right back to where she came from.”The film is very much about two different worlds and also encompasses the opulent world of the upper class with its balls and finery. Nair brings her energetic and very visual filmmaking to Vanity Fair, bringing it alive and giving it glamour with the many Indian and Oriental touches.Ask Fellowes about the collaboration with Mira and how they decided how much of India to put into the novel and he points out that there is a lot of Indian influence in the book, which is usually left out in other adaptations: “India has become this sort of other way of doing things, this freer other society where conceivably Becky may be more at home and that seems to me to be legitimate. We didn’t introduce the Indian theme into the stor,y but we did sort of reap it, rather.”So while the costumes designed by Beatrix Aruna Pasztor are of the period, they are dipped in Indian colors with exquisite detailing, and have almost a theatrical touch. Nair explains: “Thackeray wrote a very detailed, almost cinema verite, of his days. He always hreferred to the pashmina shawls, the inlaid marble tables, to the chinoiserie furniture, to so many illusions of the Orient, the colonies across the ocean, and how people coveted this in England. Again the colonies are such an important part of Thackeray’s fabric, no pun intended, that we went with that – the indigos, the crimsons, the teals, and the peacocks.”The wonderful influence of early Indian cinema and the sassiness of Bollywood are always present in Nair’s work and Vanity Fair has three dramatic song numbers and a wonderful sexy harem dance where Becky performs before the King. In the book it was a game of charades in which Becky played a slave girl, but Nair felt that this in-your-face dance number, choreographed by Bollywood’s Farah Khan, would convey the same shock value more powerfully.Laughs Nair, “It’s much more cinematic and we have this lovely Indian expression on the street, Paisa Vasool, which means, ‘I’ve got to give you your money’s worth.’ Give you a treat or sorry, we haven’t delivered. And I always like to give you paisa vasool.”In the ultimate paisa vasool, Nair also gives cinemagoers a rich eyeful, taking Becky to India, to all the color and pageantry of Royal Rajasthan. While this is not in the book, it seems just what the exuberant and adventure-hungry Becky Sharp would want, and enhances the cinematic experience.What’s next for Nair? As usual, she has several projects cooking, one being preparing Monsoon Wedding in a big, flashy musical for Broadway. Sabrina Dhawan is already writing the script and it will probably be ready around Fall 2005. She’s also directing a film version of Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul for HBO, with Sooni Tareporewala writing the screenplay. Another big venture from Nair will be the film version of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake: “I’ve fallen in love with that so I’m going to do that very quickly, right away, before doing Homebody.” Always encouraging of new filmmakers, she has established an annual filmmaker’s laboratory, Maisha, in East Africa and India. The first lab, with an emphasis on screenwriting, is planned for August 2005 in Kampala, Uganda.She’s also launched International Bhenji Brigade (IBB), a partnership with Bala Entertainment International and Venkateshwara Hatcheries to bring the work of young filmmakers to the screen. She says: “To date we’ve had 56 scripts offered, because there are people just writing and writing and wanting their voices to be heard.”Always outspoken, she says she made Monsoon Wedding on so little money “purposely to prove that you don’t need a whole lot of money and men in suits to tell you how to make a good movie.”She recalls a time when she got a grant to make her very first documentary So Far From Home and the other grantees were overwhelmed with gratitude for being given the funds. She told them, “You know, we have such a voice to say, to speak in this world, you shouldn’t just be grateful. The other people should also be grateful to you for bringing your own voice to the world.”She adds, for the benefit of those embarking on the same journey: “So I must tell you that I don’t sit around looking over my shoulder, hoping that they won’t catch me or something. I think it’s the other way around.I think I have something to say and I have a point of view on the world that I have to offer, and I’d like to open your eyes to that part of the world that I come from. It’s not gratitude, it’s a two way process.”And in this give and take, in this two way process, Mira Nair has brought her own perspective to Vanity Fair, the ultimate tale of high and low society, adding in unique shadings and nuances, redolent of her own Indian background, to enhance the larger picture.After all, India was an invisible but powerful presence running through 19th century England – and Mira Nair has underscored that in her retelling. Related Items