Learn All About Home Improvement Efforts For You

Many home-improvement jobs can be done without the help of a professional. Many self-help books are available that you can use to learn exactly what techniques and equipment you need for any job. If you follow the directions, you should be able to get the job done right the first time.

A great way to add ambience to a room is by lighting a candle. Candles are a romantic gesture in any setting, but also give off a warm glow providing a room with the feeling of warmth and coziness. If your candle is scented, it also gives off a nice scent in the room while making you feel relaxed.

Installing carpet can be a daunting task if done yourself, or an expensive task if you pay a professional to do it. Fortunately there is an alternative. Much like vinyl floor tiles, there are carpet tiles that exist. These too have adhesive backing that allows you to install them easily, and they look just like real sheet carpeting when installed.

home

When you are deciding what it is you want to remodel ask for opinions. You want to make sure you are giving off the right vibes when you are choosing how to remodel your home. Ask for advice from neighbors or close friends and family. Sometimes other people’s advice can help you in the decision making process when remodeling your home.

Devote some time into weather-stripping your home. Even though your house might be insulated, there are probably small crevices around windows and doors through which air will leak. That means your house will lose cool air during the summer and warm air during the winter, leading to a higher energy bill when you run heating and cooling appliances. Weather-stripping your doors and windows will keep that from happening.

Remodel your closet by using closet organizer kits. These kits are designed to maximize usable space in your closet. A basic kit usually comes with a closet rod and enough components to give you multiple shelves that you can adjust. Additional components can be purchased to customize your closet even more. This is a great way to add storage space in your home without a major remodel.

If you hire a contractor, ensure you keep good records. Contractors may not always do this for you, so don’t assume that they will. Keep copies of every invoice or contract relating to the project. Saving them will allow everyone to concentrate on the work that needs to be done.

A good tip for home improvement is to plan ahead of time. You can prevent poor decisions and disaster by planning ahead. Planning ahead will help the work go faster and will keep last minute costs to a minimum. Check out the Best Gaming Chairs 2017 Reviews then take a look at what HomeTronix Experts had to say about it!

Remodel your kitchen if it has ugly or outdated appliances and cabinetry. Kitchens are a significant portion of the value of a home. By remodeling your kitchen, you can greatly increase the value of your home. Install stainless steel appliances, replace cabinet doors and put in a tile or glass backsplash.

If you are working on your own home improvement project involving laying brick, make sure you use brick ties in sufficient quantity. Brick ties are metal clips used to anchor bricks to the wall structure (wood studs or what have you) behind them. Many do-it-yourself types are seduced by the apparent sturdiness of bricks and fail to realize that they must be secured to the wall via brick ties.

If you are looking to replace your flooring with hardwood, consider using bamboo. Bamboo flooring has become a popular choice among homeowners because of its many advantages. Bamboo is environmentally friendly. It is exceptionally durable, and it is naturally tolerant of changes in temperature so it is highly resistant to warping. Bamboo is one of the best choices in flooring materials today.

Make some simple fixes around your home. Things like squeaky doors, sticky cabinets or worn out address numbers really make an impact on the potential buyer. It makes them wonder on how you actually take care of the home and may make them question whether or not they want to make an offer.

Doing the home improvements yourself can give you a lot of pride and joy. The money that you can save from doing the improvements on your own could be used somewhere else or to do more improvements in the future. Following the directions in the books will make the work quick, easy and rewarding.…

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How long it takes to replace kitchen faucet ?

Did you know there are few things which look more like you need a professional specialist for the task to be finished by it also give you an opportunity to look into the matter yourself and fix it. Plumbing is a necessary need for almost in every society, and when we think about it, you have to be very patient because plumbers take the time to come down to your place and do the job. When we think of the issue, you need to master a couple of skills that can help you fix the problem faster. In this discussion, we are going to explain how you can fix your kitchen faucet properly.

To begin the process, you need to follow the instructions to change the faucet. The following steps would be DIY and easy to follow. So let’s initiate the process. If you are wondering which kitchen faucet to buy, then read this post and you’ll understand which kitchen faucet model is the best for your daily needs. You can check out recommendations for the best panini press here.

How Long It Takes To Replace Kitchen Faucet?

You may have the question in your mind that how long does it take? It depends on the size, Faucet type, and your skills. We will go through the replacing procedure then you can estimate the time consume in the process.

How Can I Replace  Kitchen Faucet?

  1. First of all, things you need to have is Tools, Location of pipelines, Turning off or cut off the water supply and measure the faucet size.
  2. Open the faucet and then relieve the pressure.
  3. The time has come to turn off the water supply and make sure to do it because while changing the water will be leaked through the open wall.
  4. By using the necessary tools you can remove the Nuts from the bottom and start disassembling it.
  5. If your sink has a hose to the faucet, then disconnect it or else leave it if your sink doesn’t have a hose.
  6. After the nuts are removed, you can take the old one out and start cleaning the surface.
  7. Remember, every faucet comes with a set of instructions, which you have to read to finish the task faster and it will be helpful if you are doing it for the first time. Measure the distance, size for the new one to fit.
  8. Plumbers the putty to seal the base and you can use the putty to seal the base. If there are any edges exposing then you can apply some putty to the edges as well.
  9. If the water line and gasket have worn off then consider to replace them.
  10. Add some weight to the Pull-out-spray to retract
  11. Double check everything because you may have missed something during the process. Once it is done, you can reconnect the gasket, water lines and turn on the water supply.

The hardest a part of replacing a kitchen tap is disposing of the old one. Sudden problems constantly pop up—corroded pipes, tough-to-reach nuts and poor access to fittings. Otherwise, putting in a best pull down kitchen faucet isn’t difficult in any respect. Absolutely, the directions that include your new tap are probably all you’ll want to do this part of the process. Barring unexpected problems, you may be washing up underneath the faucet in an hour or so. In this text stroll you through a fundamental replacement method and tell you a way to get through those hard parts.

Disconnect the drain lines and p-traps if they block your access to the faucet and water deliver pipes. (vicinity a bucket or espresso can below the p-trap to dump residual water after you pull it free.

Possibilities are, you’ll want to make a couple of trip to the hardware shop for elements, however to offer yourself a fighting shot at finishing the task with one-prevent purchasing, consult this listing.

Shutoff valves: before you keep on your new tap (see “deciding on a faucet” at the give up of this article), take a glance below the sink and make certain that there are shutoff valves feeding the faucet. If you don’t have shutoff valves, add them. If you have them, affirm that they’re in operating order via turning on the hot and bloodless water at the faucet and closing off the valves. If the tap nonetheless drips, installation new ones. Maximum likely you’ve got half-in. Copper supply pipes. In that case, add smooth-to-set up solderless “compression becoming” valves (pix 9 and 10) in your buying listing. But if not, purchase whichever valve kind is compatible with your pipes.
Deliver tubes: subsequent, degree the prevailing deliver tubes and buy new stainless-steel–sleeved deliver tubes (photo 9). They’re designed to present rupture-loose service for years and may be routed round obstacles without kinking.
Basin wrench: also purchase a basin wrench ($15; photograph four). This bizarre little wrench is made specifically for eliminating and installing those tough-to-attain fasteners that clamp older faucet assemblies to the sink. (newer taps have plastic wing-nuts that could usually be loosened and tightened via hand.) a basin wrench’s spring-loaded jaws pivot so you can either loosen or tighten nuts in tight spaces.
In case you want to eliminate drain strains to access the faucet, get a pipe wrench or slip-joint pliers (photograph 1). For reducing copper tubes, buy a conventional tubing cutter. But if your copper supply traces are within a few inches of the again of the cabinet, buy a unique mini tube cutter (photograph 3). You’ll additionally need a fixed of open-end wrenches for disconnecting and hooking up the water strains.

Before disconnecting the drain strains, take a polaroid photo or make a caricature of the layout that will help you placed all of it lower back collectively.

Conclusion

usually, it takes around 15 minutes to replace the faucet but if you are doing it for the first time then you can take your own time to get it fixed. We would like to know your thoughts on how it has went for you and what are the things a starter should be taking in the comment section.…

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Smoke In The Gardens

 

THEY are playing with fire and smoke in Bournemouth this week.

The fire is courtesy the Carabosse Company, a French performance collective, which has transformed the Lower Gardens into a magical fiery landscape. They really have done that. Its cosy warm and I have not seen so many people having a wonderful time in the Gardens, ever.

And the smoke? Thats from Fuel, a fantastic group of free-runners and dancers, who are performing in a 360-degree open air theatre by the pier. I was too cheap to pay the £15 to go in, so I climbed some stairs and watched from the back of the set.

The performance was of a composition called The Roof. Lots of running around and circusy jumps across tight ledges set high on a circular set that hissed with coloured smoke. It was all astonishingly well timed and spectacularly colourful. The audience stood and watched in the middle of the set, listening to surround sound through headphones. It looked like a lot of fun.

I did go in the next day, and it was fun, which prompted me to do a bit of digging around. Fuel, I have come to know, is funded by the Arts Council England, and is London-based. Check out The Roof here. And for a glimpse of the performance, heres a video:

As for Carabosse, what they do is impressive. They take over large spaces—gardens, towns, that sort of thing—and set fire in a public space, while guaranteeing free circulation, making it vibrate with the closeness of our work to the spectator. Given the healthy and safety mania in England, how they managed to get the required permission to do something of this scale is even more impressive than their artistry. Anyway, click through to their artistic aim to know more. And heres a YouTube video I found, a reportage on how they actually go about creating their amazing show. Enjoy!

Great Organic Gardening Tricks From The Pros

Nobody really wants to think about about what would happen if they invest time and money into an organic garden and it doesn’t grow. Still, if you want your own organic garden to grow, then it’s important to know what you need and what you need to do. That’s what the tips below are for.

Combining different selections of plants in a garden area holds the interest and adds to the enjoyment of the viewer. Merge contrasting plants to craft interesting combinations. Add big leaf plants with fine leaf plants and combine them with plants different in texture and color to create the most eye catching and interesting landscape garden.

If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don’t require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.

There are home solutions available to combat the powdery mildew you may find on your plants. Plain water with a bit of liquid soap and baking soda will do the trick. Spray this solution on plants once weekly until the mildew is gone. Baking soda is not harmful to your plants and will take care of the issue as well as any other treatment.

If your green thumb starts to wilt during those long winter months when your garden is buried beneath a foot of snow, learn how to grow microgreens to provide yourself with fresh, healthy salads, sandwich toppings and garnishes all year round. Microgreens require very little sunlight and are easy to grow indoors. Some common microgreens include kale, dill, basil, spinach, and chard.

Store your seeds well. If you do not store your seeds properly, they will not last long. A great place to store your seeds in a dark spot that is cool and has low humidity. You could even use a refridgerator. You can use zip bags to hold the seeds themselves.

Clean your garden tools before you put them away. It seems strange to worry about keeping a gardening tool clean, but it’s actually very important for the health of your plants. Tools that are put away while coated in dirt can harbor microbes and even insects that can be deadly to your plants.

A useful solution to keep pests like bugs and flying insects away from your garden is to put basil, garlic or parsley plants as trim plants around your garden. These plants have the ability to deter pests, while still being quite useful in your kitchen! If a splash of color is more your style, marigolds have a similar effect.

A wonderful treat for your indoor houseplants is to take them outside periodically and let them bask in the glory of a summer rainstorm. You will be treating them to higher humidity and longer hours of daylight that far surpasses the stale conditions they may be getting indoors! You will want to minimize too much direct sunlight and make sure your plant containers have good drainage holes so that extra rainwater doesn’t collect to cause root rot. Some quality time in the outdoors will pay off with lush, healthy plants year-round!

Install a sprinkler system to water your garden. It can be difficult to find the time to water your plants each day, particularly if you work outside of the home. Proper hydration is essential to the success of your garden, so putting in a simple sprinkler system can save you time and energy.

Be careful when applying mulch. Too much can suffocate a plant’s roots and prevent moisture from penetrating deeply into the soil. Too little will not be able to suppress weed growth, effectively. An appropriate amount is 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch. Always keep mulch away from a plant’s crown or stems.

Organic gardening is a great way to get exercise, as well as, a way to relieve stress. There are many healthful benefits you will reap, especially if your organic gardening efforts reward you with a plentiful harvest. Do yourself a favor and follow the tips in this article so that you can grow a healthy organic garden.…

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Orwell On Writing Bad Metaphors

 

Modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier — even quicker, once you have the habit.

That, from George Orwell. Much as I would like to, I can’t take credit for picking out that passage today; thanks must go to Maria Popova and brain pickings.

Have a look at her interesting analysis, George Orwell on Writing, based on his 1964 essay, Politics and the English Language.

Orwell’s thoughts on metaphors is worth re-quoting as well:

A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically “dead” (e.g., iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, Achilles’ heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a “rift,” for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying.

While on this, can’t resist posting this resource, also from brain pickings: Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers.

Let me stop here, lest I end up using a deador worse still, dyingmetaphor.

A newly invented metaphor assists idea by way of evoking a visible photo, whilst alternatively a metaphor which is technically “dead” (e.G., iron decision) has in impact reverted to being an normal word and might commonly be used without loss of vividness. But in among those training there’s a huge sell off of tired metaphors which have lost all evocative electricity and are simply used because they shop people the trouble of inventing terms for themselves. Examples are: ring the modifications on, absorb the cudgels for, toe the road, journey roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no awl to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in bothered waters, achilles’ heel, swan tune, hotbed. a lot of these are used with out knowledge of their that means (what is a “rift,” for example?), and incompatible metaphors are regularly mixed, a sure sign that the writer isn’t always interested by what he is announcing.

Combining different selections of plants in a garden area holds the interest and adds to the enjoyment of the viewer. Merge contrasting plants to craft interesting combinations. Add big leaf plants with fine leaf plants and combine them with plants different in texture and color to create the most eye catching and interesting landscape garden.

If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don’t require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.

There are home solutions available to combat the powdery mildew you may find on your plants. Plain water with a bit of liquid soap and baking soda will do the trick. Spray this solution on plants once weekly until the mildew is gone. Baking soda is not harmful to your plants and will take care of the issue as well as any other treatment.

If your green thumb starts to wilt during thos

Store your seeds well. If you do not store your seeds properly, they will not last long. A great place to store your seeds in a dark spot that is cool and has low humidity. You could even use a refridgerator. You can use zip bags to hold the seeds themselves.

Clean your garden tools before you put them away. It seems strange to worry about keeping a gardening tool clean, but it’s actually very important for the health of your plants. Tools that are put away while coated in dirt can harbor microbes and even insects that can be deadly to your plants.

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That Tweeting, Blogging, Microvideoing Meccsa Media Team!

LAST week 10 journalism students got together at  Bournemouth University and blogged the hell out of the 2014 MeCCSA Conference. They really did.

Across nine Twitter accounts and a live blog, they posted some 62,488 words: an estimated 43,000 words in 2,900 tweets, and another 18,988 by way of the live blog. That’s pretty near the wordage of a PhD thesis.

The MeCCSA coverage (#MeCCSA2014, @MeCCSA2014) was noteworthy not just in terms of the word count, but also for the spread of social media channels it utilised. Besides Twitter and the live blog, the team experimented with Vine, Tout and Vizibee to post 90-odd microvideos; engaged in realtime iPhone photography; curated social media with Storify; and created podcasts for Audioboo and iTunes (six-plus hours).

In the final 24 hours alone, as per this Hashtracking stats, the team helped create 333,065 Twitter impressions, reaching a potential audience of 85,324. Heres a snapshot of the most active Twitter accounts in the final phase.

And heres a taste of how #MeCCSA2014 played out is still playing out on Twitter (or check out https://tagboard.com/MeCCSA2014):

All in all, it was pretty much an interesting experience, and I will be back with another post on what we learnt from it later.

Could this be a first of its kind in volume of coverage? I cant swear by it, but I dont recall a student social media coverage of this nature unfolding on this side of the Atlantic. If you have done or know of something similar, do get in touch and we can hopefully compare notes.

In the meantime do meet the tweeting, blogging, videoing MeCCSA media team. In no particular order: Charlotte Gay,Ben Fisher, Polina Stoyanova, Jessica Foster, Patrick Ward, Gabriela Vlahova, Tazz Gault, Rachitaa Gupta, George Underwood, and Tom Beasley.

Is Facebook Marketing Going To Enhance Your Business?

If you’ve been paying attention to things online these past few years then you probably are aware of how big Facebook has become. This means that it’s a great place to market to people because so many people use it on a regular basis. Here are a few ideas on how to get a Facebook marketing plan underway.

Do not sign up for a Facebook account and expect the name of your brand to speak for itself. Even if the brand you are marketing is fairly well established, you still need to do work to make it even more popular. Failing to do this may result in you losing some of your fans.

Sponsoring a contest can be a fantastic way to get more followers on Facebook. Take advantage of this great idea. Offer prizes or discounts to your users when they like your page. If you do offer a cash or gift prize, though, make sure it is actually awarded. Be honest in business, of course.

Use Facebook to share links to your site. You should try writing weekly articles or launching a video blog so you can create more content on a regular basis. Your audience will subscribe to your updates on Facebook if you create quality content. Make sure you mention your Facebook campaign in your articles or videos.

One way to target your customers with specific ads is to add your email list to the “custom audience” feature on Facebook. This method will lower your campaign cost and increase your page’s conversion rate due to the fact that more leads will turn to actual sales.

If you do not have time in the day to maintain a Facebook page, you should get someone else to do it. People will notice if your messages become to brief and start to lack substance. It is perfectly acceptable to have someone else run the page while you work on other aspects of the business.

Don’t think of your fans as numbers. That’s a big no-no in Facebook marketing. You aren’t collecting numbers, you are building brand champions. You are creating a community of people who love your company or brand. Treat them with the respect that they are due. These people can make a difference for your company.

Make content on your Facebook page exclusive. People tend to love what they think is “out of reach.” Try offering something valuable to your audience in exchange for them to “Like” your page. This is a win-win situation for everyone. Some businesses have offered free products like e-Books just for “Liking” their page.

Post status updates on a regular basis. In order for your page to be seen, you will need to post things, such as status updates. These status updates should be relevant to your company and not random things that your audience will not care about. Try to post something at least every day or two.

You should post videos regularly on Facebook. A video should be much easier to notice than a text update and can be used to share a lot of information with your audience. If you cannot find quality videos your audience will be interested in, consider launching your own video blog.

Don’t use Facebook Update too often. This helps you send messages to all of your followers. But, it states you can only do so for important events, such as emergencies. This is not a tool to be used for promotional purposes but to show that you care about keeping customers informed of real news.

Promote your Facebook posts on Twitter. Twitter is an amazing social media for link sharing. If you take the time to craft some excellent Facebook posts, then get the word out by passing it through your Twitter stream. Don’t be afraid to tweet it a few times over the course of the week to help the content gain some traction.

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about Facebook marketing you should be able to put what you’ve learned into your marketing plans. Make sure that you stay on top of things because social media is still fairly new and could change at any time. Now the only thing left to do is to get out there and be successful!

PS: If you are into microvideos, check out Vizibee.com. Very useful tool, in development.…

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The Return Of The Natives

BEEN meaning to post this for a few weeks now, these excerpts from an interview with Edita Daniute that I did for Dance Today a couple of months ago.

Ballroom lovers around the world were happy to see the return of Mirko Gozzoli and Edita to competitive dancing at Bassano del Grappa in Italy exactly 11 months and 28 days after they split, and I had particularly wanted to explore how they got back together. Normally I hate telephone interviews if you get a sullen subject, these can be as much fun as a tooth extraction and I had cursed the editor quietly when she refused to pay my fare to Lithuania for a face-to-face.

But as things turned out, it was painless. Edita was forthcoming, talking frankly about her at times fiery relation with Mirko, and about her feelings at being compared to Mirkos former partner, Alessia Betti. Here are some excerpts some of it could not be carried in DT for want of space  that provide interesting insights into one of the most-watched ballroom partnerships in the world:

How did you and Mirko get back together again?

He came to my training camp in the summer and we practiced a bit. We still have some business that we were supposed to do together – like teaching trips. And we did a few of those and we practiced. We enjoyed that. We didn’t fight as much as before. Actually we didnt fight at all. So we kind of– we found again the joy of dancing. And that was partially to do with not competing.

Did you miss competing?

No. I was okay even without competition. Mirko was the one who wanted to compete. He never wanted to retire. He decided to split with me because I was asking him to travel more, to come more to Lithuania, and he needed to stay in Italy. This was the main disagreement.

In an earlier interview, you had said you missed competing so much that you were crying while judging, and that was why you decided to compete again after you had your daughter. But this time, you didn’t miss competing. What had changed?

Then I felt I had not competed in professionals. I hadn’t finished my career the way I wanted. Then I felt really bad. But this time, when Mirko decided to split and I retired, I didn’t feel too bad. Absolutely not.

Why was that?

Before this time, there were a lot of fights. When you are struggling to win, to get to the first place, there are many people who give their advice. Normally people try to find the person who is guilty. So my dresses were wrong, my dancing was wrong. Obviously because Mirko was a champion with Alessia [Betti] and not the champion with me, the whole world tried to improve me. I got a lot of pressure and I wasn’t enjoying my dancing. That was why I felt quite a relief, instead of sadness and missing the competition. Because my personality is very different from Mirko’s previous partner. And I am who I am. And as a dancer you have to find your own personality. You cannot copy because that will be worse.

How did the decision to compete again come about?

Mirko wanted to compete in WDC, to come back, to prove something to Arunas [Bizokas], to beat him. Since I retired, I have taken some business with WDSF. In Lithuania we have a strong WDSF federation. So I had already made a choice. It’s sad that somebody has to make a choice. I really do not think it should matter which federation you belong to, but sadly you have to choose these days. And I have chosen WDSF because I was already judging there. I suggested to him to take part in the WDSF competitions. And he agreed, and that’s how we ended up in Bassano.

*

Another aspect we spoke of was the enthusiastic support the partnership always seemed to elicit from spectators. Why, I asked Edita, did the crowd love watching them? She attributed it to the risks they take on the floor:

The ability to risk is something that is very attractive to the audience. To play with your dance and enjoy it – but you can suffer for it. Some people choose to have a safer way, and the safe way guarantees winning. But the safe way will not always guarantee the love of the crowd.

What plans for the future? On that, I am afraid I couldnt get much. Edita went all diplomatic on me. They wanted to see what everyday brings, she said, not worry about results, but focus on improving quality.

Oh well.

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Dateline Hastinapur

BEEN THINKING, a lot, about how the media narrate war how war stories play out on front pages and television screens.

Been thinking, a lot, also about Epicretold  suppose, just suppose, there were newspapers then, the equivalents of The Times of India and The Sun and The New York Times and the BBC. How would they have narrated the Kurukshetra war and the events that led to it?

I guess my interest in such a narrative is driven in the main by my fascination with ‘war journalism’. It is not difficult to see war coverage as serialised storytelling: episode after episode of drama, over weeks and months and years, with conflict, escalation and resolution, the same major characters weaving in and out accompanied by the same minor actors – all coming together to form an overarching narrative, which, I dare say, pretty well follows the shape of Freytag’s pyramid.

Interesting to think, then, of how the Mahabharata can be told as news. Can the story be strung together as a series of media reports? Would such storytelling make sense to a reader, particularly one not familiar with the storyline? Would it help him/her create own narrative of that reality?

Solely in the spirit of experiment, here’s a take. I see this as appearing in an ‘international’ newspaper  call it what you will (and drop me a line if you come up with an interesting name):

Pandu family returns
King welcomes Kunti, sons with open arms

By Our Royal Correspondent

HASTINAPUR:  The family of King Pandu, the renunciant royal who died in the Shatashringa forests in a mysterious accident last week, returned yesterday to a grand ceremony that spilled out on to the streets of the capital city.

The royal widow Kunti and her sons – Yudhishtira (7), Bhima (6), Arjuna (5) and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva (4) – were met at the city gates by Bhishma, the patron of the royal clan, and driven through the high street in a chariot drawn by seven horses at the head of a ceremonial procession.

Accompanied by a select group of palace officials and personal maids, Queen Gandhari welcomed Kunti at the palace gates.

“It is good to be in Hastinapur again,” Kunti said, wiping away tears. “My sons are finally back where they belong.”

At the palace, the family were taken straight to King Dhritarashtra for a private meeting. A palace official present on the occasion said the king was overcome with “tears of joy”.

“I welcome my brother’s family with open arms,” the king said in a statement released later. “This is their kingdom and I am glad they have returned. Now I have five more sons.”

While reports about the cause of Pandu’s death remain sketchy, palace sources confirmed that Madri, his second wife, had opted for the practice of Sati, stepping into his funeral pyre, as “befitting a princess and loving spouse”.

Pandu, though second in line to the Hastinapur kingdom, had ascended the throne 11 years ago, superseding his elder brother Dhritarashtra, who, owing to his blindness, had been deemed unfit by his elders. However, seven years ago, for reasons not yet clear, Pandu had renunciated the kingdom while on a hunting trip to the Shatashringa forests.

He had lived there since, fathering five sons – Yudhishtira, Bhima and Arjuna with Kunti, and Nakula and Sahadeva with the younger Madri.

The Kuru Kingdom, which lies north of the Vindhyas bordering Panchala, is one of the largest in the region, and has been traditionally ruled from Hastinapur, ‘the city of elephants’. Though under King Dhritarashtra the kingdom has seen relative stability and peace, his ability to rule has always been questioned. The king, born blind, is seen as ‘unfit to rule’ by many, including Bhishma, his grandfather. Queen Gandhari’s self-imposed blindness – since the day she found out her betrothed was blind, the former princess of Gandhara has chosen to wear a black blindfold – has not helped his case.

The death of King Pandu and the unexpected return of his family have brought a feeling of unrest in the palace. A highly-placed source, who did not want to be identified, said the king had to be persuaded by Bhishma to invite Kunti and sons to Hastinapur.

“The royal politics is likely to be murkier in the coming years, the source said.

Treat this as the equivalent of an ‘establishing’ shot, the beginning of this narrative. The next take could be from a Hastinapur-based newspaper – a human interest story perhaps, on the five little boys, the Pandavas. And, yes, there could a political commentary or a news analysis, which would expand on the last quote of the report above.

Guess I will be back with more.…

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