Trevor Bayliss is delighted with how his first year as England team’s chief coach has unfolded and said the Ashes win was the highlight of his tenure so far.The Australian was brought in charge before the Ashes and was successful in making an immediate impact by ensuring a 3-2 victory over World Cup winners Australia in the five-match Test series.England could have won the One-Day International (ODI) series too against Australia but lost the decider on Sunday after having levelled the five-game series at 2-2.Despite the English summer ending with a reverse, Bayliss has been delighted with the start to his tenure.Also read: Two new caps in Australia squad for Bangladesh Tests “It has been great, I suppose winning has made it a little bit easier to take,” Bayliss, whose side also won both the T20 internationals against Australia, was quoted as saying by ecb.co.uk.”Certainly everyone in English cricket has made me feel very welcome, especially the boys, the other management and the coaches. It has been really good.”Commenting on his first summer in charge, Trevor Bayliss said: “It has been great, I suppose winning has made it a little bit easier to take.”Asked to pick out a special moment, Bayliss said: “The Ashes win was a highlight. The game for me was down at Edgbaston. To come back from the flopping we got at Lord’s was a fantastic effort.””The crowd down there was also really good, the atmosphere was superb. That really gave the guys the kick along they needed. To end up winning that fourth match (at Trent Bridge), you almost had to pinch yourself the way it went on that first morning. Plenty of things to remember and remember for a long time.”advertisementEngland have also seen major improvements in their ODIs form following the early exit from the World Cup. They have been counter attacking which has yielded results, as they bagged the ODI series against New Zealand 3-2 a few months back.Revealing reasons for the turnaround, Bayliss said: “The attitude of the players, they want to play positive and aggressive cricket.””But they want to get better, they realise they have played some good cricket and come a long way but if they want to be the best in the world, they have got a lot of hard work to do.””Most of them are only mid-20s so they have got a lot of time in front of them, and a lot of hard work. The skill level of the players actually in the team going forward is very exciting,” he added.
On a rainy afternoon in Mumbai in August 2007, with the half-constructed Bandra-Worli Sea Link looming in the distance, an unsuspecting new colleague was ushered for an audience with Indrani Mukerjea in an office that served as the temporary headquarters of her soon-to-be-launched television empire. Without greeting or preamble, Indrani,On a rainy afternoon in Mumbai in August 2007, with the half-constructed Bandra-Worli Sea Link looming in the distance, an unsuspecting new colleague was ushered for an audience with Indrani Mukerjea in an office that served as the temporary headquarters of her soon-to-be-launched television empire. Without greeting or preamble, Indrani smiled at her new colleague and said: “Imagine there is a meadow with a hundred sheep on it. Now imagine that 99 of those sheep are looking in one direction, and one sheep is looking in another. Do you know who that one sheep is?” The bemused new colleague professed that he didn’t. “That sheep,” declared Indrani, “is INX!”This was Indrani Mukerjea, then 39 years old, in her avatar as a wannabe media baroness who, she imagined, would one day be as powerful as Rupert Murdoch. Until then, she had already been through several transformative makeovers in various phases of her eventful life. She’d played the role of a pampered child growing up in a middle-class Guwahati locality. Of a girl who left home early and dashed into an all-too-hasty relationship. Of a woman who fled that relationship, after bearing two children, to embrace the glitz and glamour of Kolkata’s famous club scene with a new husband. Of a suave, polished woman making another fresh start to run a successful headhunting firm in Mumbai. And eventually, as Peter Mukerjea’s wife, of the first lady of Indian television who was still seeking her own individual space. Indrani’s life was indeed an epic saga-part-Margaret Mitchell, part-John Steinbeck, part-Danielle Steel, until a grisly murder has now given it a macabre, sui generis Roald Dahl twist. Told like a grubby Madhur Bhandarkar potboiler.advertisementIndrani today stands accused of brutally killing her daughter, Sheena Bora, whom she had passed off to Mumbai’s high society as her half-sister. She allegedly committed the crime in collusion with her estranged ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, a member of Kolkata’s swish set, and her driver Shyam Rai, who later bragged about the crime to a friend in a Mumbai bar. The three had allegedly abducted Sheena on April 24, 2012, strangled later, and then burnt and dumped her body. Indrani’s arrest this August 25 and details of her hitherto-unexplored life have set into motion a series of revelations about her past that have both intrigued and disturbed India. Indrani, her face covered with a black cloth as she is ushered to court by policemen amidst a frenzy of TV journalists, now finds herself in the discomfiting glare of a nation that is unable to look away. She is a figure of universal derision-a bit like Walter Palmer, the dentist from Minnesota who has been accused of beheading Celil the lion in a Zimbabwe forest reserve in July, and a bit like the scheming, despised vamp from the family soap operas she once commissioned as the programming head of general entertainment channel 9X.But even as the police close in on preparing a chargesheet, led by Mumbai Police’s media-savvy Commissioner Rakesh Maria himself, it’s been hard to distinguish fact from fiction in Indrani’s carefully constructed, but brittle life story that has now been shattered into a million pieces.The police and media circus is still throwing up more questions than it is answering. The motive, the modus operandi, the sudden reconciliation of Indrani and Khanna, are all unclear. Is this a debauched family squabble? Is it all about money, as top investigators have suggested to India Today? Why did Sheena have to lose her life? And, perhaps the most unsettling question of all, did a mother really sever the most umbilical of bonds to murder her daughter in cold blood? To comprehend this most sordid of modern-day fables, one must first attempt to decipher who Indrani really is by charting the astonishing journey that she has traversed. Growing Pains | Indrani Bora | Guwahati (1968-1990)Indrani Mukerjea. Facebook imageIndrani’s story begins in 1968 in a dusty colony in Guwahati. Sundarpur, literally “a place of beauty”, wasn’t always the posh locality it is today. Once in the news for flash floods and roads with potholes the size of bathtubs, the area has recently gone through a ‘gentrification’, as if in anticipation of the national attention it was about to receive.Its concrete roads are now smooth, and most houses boast of unusually large compounds, with lush gardens and fleets of cars parked in driveways. Here, House No. 8 always stood out-not for its size, its design, or the cars parked outside, but for its heavily padlocked windows and for a distinctive spiral staircase that led directly to one of the bedrooms on the first floor. This is the house where Indrani Bora, known back then by her “ghoruwa naam” (nickname) Pori, lived with her parents, Upendra Kumar Bora and Durga Rani Bora. Six hefty young men, all regulars at a local gym, guard the house round-the-clock these days-to keep prying reporters and inquisitive onlookers at an arm’s length. It is said that Durga Rani is not keeping well, and must not be aggravated further.advertisementWith the Boras out of commission, people in their locality are having a field day offering different versions and myriad impressions of the family to anyone armed with a TV camera, or even a notebook. Neighbours today describe them as “reserved” and “reluctant to mingle with others”. According to Jibon Bordoloi, who lives down the road, they would rarely attend weddings or any other ceremonies in the locality. But no one seems to know for sure what Upendra Bora did for a living. His brother Manik, who lives a four-hour drive away in Tezpur, Assam’s cultural capital, says Upendra was a contractor. “He also rented out some of his properties,” Manik tells India Today, adding that Upendra still earns “about Rs 27,500” as monthly rent, which, he stresses, is a fair amount given the going rate for rentals in the city. Part of the ground floor is leased to a private firm while two families and some working men stay in what were once the Boras’ servants’ quarters.A 31-year-old man, who asks not to be named, claims that Upendra once worked as a manager in his father’s paint factory, but was sacked because of a dispute over money. People also remember that the Boras once ran a guesthouse in Guwahati called Chanakya Inn, which, according to a local newspaper, was raided by the Dispur police in 2000 over allegations that rooms were being rented out on an hourly basis for sleazy liaisons. When India Today checked records in Dispur police station, however, no such case was found to be registered. Another example of wild, unsubstantiated rumours flying thick and fast, as neighbours, colleagues, even relatives, stretch the limits of reality to align their versions of Indrani with the demonised figure they now see on TV.By all accounts, the Boras led a comfortable middle-class life. Manik claims his brother is close to 90, but electoral records suggest that Upendra is now 78 and his wife Durga Rani 73. The Boras sent their only daughter, Indrani, to St Mary’s, Guwahati, one of the most prestigious girls’ schools in the state. One neighbour suggests that Indrani had eloped with a man from Nepal when she was in the ninth standard, and was rusticated from school. The school records, however, tell a different story. Indrani was, in fact, a bright student, scoring over 80 per cent when she cleared her Class X board examination in 1983. Her classmates remember her as a “brat” who always managed to do well in studies.After Class X, Indrani joined Guwahati’s Cotton College, alma mater of the who’s who in Assam, including musician Bhupen Hazarika and former chief minister Sarat Chandra Sinha. It was at Cotton College that Indrani, still in her teens, met Bishnu Chaudhury, a law student who was the son of a well-known Guwahati-based doctor, B.L. Chaudhury. There are some suggestions from former classmates that the two were married briefly, but Chaudhury says that though they were in a relationship, they never tied the knot.advertisementIndrani moved to Shillong’s Lady Keane College midway through her intermediate studies and finished her Class XII board examinations in 1985. Here, she would often frequent a popular restaurant, Chirag, where she met Siddhartha Das, then a dashing young man who used work in a private firm. A far cry from the Das who was seen on TV on September 1, face covered with a handkerchief, offering details of their time together. It appears that Siddhartha’s wife, Babli, had no idea about his links with Indrani until the media came knocking. By 1986, Indrani had told her family that Siddhartha was her husband, and had brought him to live in Sundarpur with her parents. This month, almost three decades later, Siddhartha has said that they were not married then.Indrani’s father tried to help Siddhartha settle down by opening a restaurant for him in Ganeshguri, but the venture never really took off. A jobless partner was not Indrani’s idea of marital life. The responsibility of two children-Sheena, born in 1987, and Mikhail, born in 1988-added to the tension between the two. So in June 1990, Indrani moved to Kolkata, saying she wanted to complete her education. Within three days, Siddhartha was evicted from her Guwahati home.In 1992, when Sheena was to be admitted to school, the Boras decided that her grandparents would be the legal guardians of the two children. The following year, Indrani submitted an affidavit in the Kamrup judicial magistrate’s court handing over custody of the two children to her mother. But the birth years of both children were changed. In the affidavit, Indrani claims she lost touch with Siddhartha in 1989 and Mikhail was born in 1990. With Siddhartha out of the picture and Indrani in Kolkata, the Boras raised Sheena and Mikhail as their own.Sheena was enrolled in Disneyland School, now renamed Sudarshan Public School, in Guwahati’s Khanapara locality. Quiet and unassuming, she finished Class X with over 80 per cent marks, and her Class XII board from Faculty Higher Secondary School as a humanities student. Mikhail, not quite as smart in classwork, dropped out of Disneyland in the ninth standard, and finished his Class X boards as a private student. The Boras’ main source of income at this time was their guesthouse Chanakya Inn. When it finally went under in 2000, they began struggling to make ends meet. Over this period, Upendra, Durga Rani, and their two adopted children seemingly lost all touch with Indrani- at least for now. The Transformation | Indrani Khanna | Kolkata (1990-2001)It was in Kolkata, as a young woman free of family encumbrances, that Indrani first reinvented herself. A sprightly 22-year-old, who first rolled into town as Indrani Das, she is remembered by partyphiles as a charming roisterer, and by corporate bigwigs as the exotic Assam beauty who knocked on every corporate door, always draped in chiffon saris-black, red or yellow-in search of business for her small-time HR consultancy, INX Services.It hadn’t taken too long for Indrani to don her new air-kissing avatar. Although she lived in a modest PG accommodation after arriving in the city, she got access to the upmarket neighbourhood of Hastings in Alipore after a brief romance and swift wedding with Khanna in 1993. The Kolkata clubland believes that Khanna, a regular on the manicured grounds of the Calcutta Cricket & Football Club (CCFC)-India’s oldest sporting club and one of Indrani’s favourite playing fields in the city for 10 years-played Pygmalion to her. “He was a jovial fellow, friendly, spoke to seniors with respect, came from a good background and a good school,” says a CCFC committee member. “Although he was not into the key activities of the club, say, hockey, football, cricket or rugby, he was a motor rally enthusiast. And he knew a lot of people.” On the flip side, he loved his drink, sometimes got into brawls, got suspended from the club for a while, and defaulted on payments time and again. He suffered from a “damsel-in-distress syndrome”, say his friends, and was besotted by Indrani. Their daughter, Vidhie, was born in 1997.An HR consultant, who used to work with leading recruitment agency ABC Consultants, remembers Indrani as someone who often approached them for placement services with INX, which she set up around 1996. “Her office was somewhere near Park Street Post Office and she would walk over to our office regularly,” she says. “She was trying to cater to restaurants, small hotels and events outfits, basically placing girls fresh out of college.” Over the years, her network started to grow.But it was possibly T.P. Roy, Ronnie to his friends, former owner of tea plantations in the Dooars, north Bengal, who gave Indrani access to the dyed-in-the-tweed upper crust of Kolkata. Roy was an active member of clubs across the city, until he was struck by paralysis a few years ago-members of Tolly Club still remember the garrulous old man nursing his drinks, with a nurse in tow. Roy belonged to one of those old money families that have historically exuded a larger-than-life image in the city: for the early fortunes their ancestors made, for their love of art, and for the privileges they have always enjoyed. “They don’t have that sort of money anymore,” says someone who knew Roy and his family. “But doors open for them socially. Indrani was close to him and, through him, got access to those exclusive echelons of an ultra-snob society that wouldn’t have opened for her otherwise,” says a veteran club man.”She was never a kitty-party person,” says another HR consultant. “Her favourite hunting ground was corporate offices, the CCFC, the gatherings of rich Marwari girls, mostly old students of schools such as Queen of the Missions and Calcutta Girls, and the IAS wives’ circuits.” It probably helped Indrani climb the ladder through the changing profile of the city. As expat British chef and restaurant consultant, Shaun Kenworthy, says: “Kolkata is all about history and heritage. But now a whole lot of cool, smart Marwaris are giving the city a new sort of buzz. And that’s the game changer for the city.” Kenworthy, who joined the Park Hotel as executive chef 14 years ago, has unveiled the swanky 1658 Bar and Kitchen recently. He had never met Indrani but thought of Khanna, who helped launch 1658, as “a genuinely nice bloke”.Indrani in Kolkata is a kaleidoscope of impressions, and a litany of contradictions: from sweet to manipulating, polite to aggressive, vivacious to vengeful. According to a senior HR executive, she was “mindlessly ambitious”. Yet others “never sensed anything like that in her”.Indrani and Khanna slowly drifted, and then fell apart. Soon, she was gone. The last Kolkata remembers of her is a phone call that everyone who was anyone had received from Mumbai in 2002. “You know what? I was Indrani Das. I was Indrani Khanna. And now I’m going to be Indrani Mukerjea. And Peter has bought me this amazing red Mercedes!” The small-town girl from Assam had won by hard conquest the right to reinvention: from the abyss of being nobody to the pinnacle of being somebody.Juicy gossip rippled through the CCFC. In between drinks and laughter, people huddled discreetly in corridors and walked to balconies to chat: “She did what?” Just one solitary figure in the main bar, drowning dangerous amounts of Jack Daniel’s and throwing darts at a board, seemed oblivious to it all: “Poor Sanju,” they all said. The First Lady | Indrani Mukerjea | Mumbai (2001-2012)Former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea with his wife IndraniIndrani’s move to Mumbai was fortuitous. Advertising and theatre maven Alyque Padamsee would frequent Kolkata to meet with clients, says wife Sharon Prabhakar, and he often encountered Indrani there. She was a party-perennial who had bagged a staffing contract with Reliance through her HR company. She was going through a troubled marriage and had dreams of making it big.Padamsee says he nudged the petite, polite, put-together professional to move to Mumbai. When she did, in 2001, he became her step up to the social circuit. Most advertising professionals today recall first meeting Indrani with Padamsee, then quite at the peak of his branding career. He presented her as his chic ‘plus-one’ at a party hosted by Suhel Seth at The Library Bar of the Taj President in 2002, and Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea, there with a girlfriend, was interested enough to drop her home.On day two, she walked into Peter’s office to ask for a recruitment assignment. By day three, they were dating. And by day four, Peter had fallen for her signature North-eastern mutton curry. With Peter firmly by her side, Indrani set her focus on the media and began to acquire big clients-the Times Group, HT Media, Percept Picture Company, BIG FM, WorldSpace Satellite Radio and FedEx, to name just a few. A month into their romance, she had moved in with Peter. Three months later, they were married at their marble-floored Pochkhanwala Road home, with singer couple Sonali and Roop Kumar Rathod for neighbours.The newlyweds soon came to be known as one of those “get-a-room” couples who couldn’t stay away from each other. At a dinner hosted at socialite Farzana Contractor’s Malabar Hill home in 2002, a few weeks into the young flush of their love, Indrani and Peter famously interlocked their hands under the table and, unwilling to be parted, ate dinner-one with the right hand, the other with the left. Friends laughed at Peter’s newfound adolescence. But the story goes that Indrani managed to offend actor Simi Garewal at a party with a few ill-timed remarks early into her Mumbai initiation. Another friend, who once saw her correcting a CEO on how to hold his wine glass, said she soon earned many “polite enemies”.It was in Mumbai that the fantasist in Indrani first began to take flight. She constructed a whole new back story for herself-as corroborated by senior journalist Vir Sanghvi, with whom she worked during the planning of INX Media’s NewsX channel. Indrani told her newly acquired friends that her father had died when she was a child, and that her mother had married the father’s brother. According to Indrani, her stepfather had molested her, and she’d fled to Kolkata at a young age. She also claimed that her ex-husband Sanjeev was “vile” and “abusive”, and that she had left for Mumbai with their daughter Vidhie, who was later adopted by Peter.Home after home in Bombay’s high society opened their doors to the Mukerjeas, more out of a connect with Peter than his wife, whom they didn’t really know, and who, as TV executive Ravina Raj Kohli says, “was often discussed behind champagne glasses”. Indrani was too clearly receiving a step-up to be fully accepted. “She was too nice,” says one industry magnate’s wife, “so nice that you couldn’t believe it after a while. She would look into your eyes too much when she spoke, and flutter her eyelashes, and call you ‘babe’. Nobody is that nice.” As socialite and former Miss India Queenie Singh puts it: “She was never a part of Bombay society. She was too much of an outsider. Bombay society would not accept her, so she was creating a society that was clearly all in her head.”But a lot of these comments, including the accusation of “crazy eyes” that most of high society today avers they once saw in Indrani, spring from wanting to dissociate with someone accused of murder. By all accounts, Indrani and Peter were a unit and she made herself a roaring success in the city-he played golf and tinkered with cars, she placed top CEOs and cooked her famous mutton curry. “Mumbai society lies prostrate before success. In front of success, all is forgiven,” says former Times Group CEO Pradeep Guha, the inventor of Page 3. “And like it or not, she was successful.”In 2002, when news of Indrani’s providential new marriage filtered to Guwahati, her parents wrote to her, for the first time in almost a decade. They said they were struggling financially, and could not take care of the children any longer. They urged Indrani to do right by them and send home a stipend. Indrani, although incensed by a letter that may have exposed her past to Peter, agreed to help.Neighbours in Assam say the Bora house was transformed overnight. Interior decorators were summoned, and two new cars were bought. Indrani went to Guwahati in 2006 and brought Sheena to Mumbai, as her half-sister. The Mukerjeas enrolled her at St Xavier’s College, and Sheena, who got along famously with Vidhie, was often seen with them at social gatherings. Mikhail was moved to Pune to further his education. Peter’s son, Rahul, from his previous marriage with Shabnam Anand, never warmed up to Indrani but grew fond of Sheena almost immediately. The two even began dating later-an awkward link that led to much disharmony in the Mukerjea household.It was in the middle of this complicated family dynamic that Peter and Indrani decided to launch INX Media in 2007, with Sanghvi as the credible face of NewsX, and Indrani taking over as programming head of 9X after the first incumbent, Dilip Ghosh, was removed months before launch.Peter, known for transforming Indian television with shows such as Kaun Banega Crorepati, and mentoring a host of future channel heads, had been sidelined in 2006 after Star had been overtaken by Zee after six solid years. He had quit soon after.The investors of his new venture INX, insiders say, were a curious mix. There was investment from some subsidiary companies owned by a top industrial house; from the Singapore-based Temasek Holdings; from New Silk Route, an entity that involved Rajat Gupta, the US-based businessman who was later convicted for insider trading; from another group called New Vernon Private Equity; and from Kotak Mahindra Capital.Not long after the launch of 9X and music channel 9XM, however, it became clear that the network was not going to be the money spinner everyone thought it would be. That was a peculiar time in India’s TV industry, not too dissimilar to the dotcom boom of the early 2000s. Sameer Nair, Peter’s longtime colleague, had left Star to launch NDTV Imagine, and Viacom18 was investing heavily in their new venture Colors. All these networks were hoping to garner huge advertising revenues and high valuations. But the market was more saturated than they imagined, and of the three, only Colors eventually survived.With 9X’s ratings plummeting and NewsX still far from launch after a dispute over its distribution budgets, allegations of misappropriation of funds through inflated billing and hawala transactions began to surface. An inquiry was ordered by the government in 2008, but never really took off. To put the numbers into perspective, insiders say that 9X had an annual programming budget in the region of Rs 350 crore, a distribution budget of Rs 150 crore, and a marketing budget of Rs 100 crore. Another inquiry, conducted not long after the sale of INX Media to Indi Media in 2009, by the corporate affairs ministry’s Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in 2013, revealed that there had been a wrongful gain of Rs 168.5 crore in what was described as a “sham transaction” carried out at that time. Although there are allegations that a lot of that money went to Peter and Indrani, who have been described as the “Bunty aur Babli” or the “Bonnie and Clyde” of the TV industry, there is no direct evidence yet that the money trail ends at them. Nor is there proof yet that they diverted funds from these deals to offshore accounts.Once their connection with INX ended, the Mukerjeas retreated to the margins of Mumbai’s high society, before extricating themselves altogether for greener pastures. They moved to Bristol, where Vidhie was studying. Sheena, meanwhile, joined Mumbai Metro One, a unit of Reliance ADAG, in 2011-a year before she would allegedly be killed. The Accused | The ‘perfect murder’Indrani’s still-rosy story took a dark turn earlier this year, when the Mumbai Police received an anonymous call from a yet-to-be-identified source in Meerut that Sheena, who Indrani insisted had moved to the United States, was missing for more than three years. It was a tip-off that caught Maria’s attention, and the subsequent arrest of Indrani’s driver Shyam Rai, allegedly in an arms case on August 21, opened a Pandora’s box that led to Indrani’s arrest, and later that of her ex-husband Khanna, who had allegedly waltzed back into her life, out of the blue, for one morbid Last Tango.The case has been taking a puzzling new turn every day. But apart from questions such as who is whose daughter, and who is seeing whom-which have added to the media frenzy surrounding the story-there are serious gaps still to be filled about more crucial issues, such as the motive, the modus operandi, and even the murder itself.The case for the prosecution will now depend on the rigour of police’s forensic evidence, and a lot hinges on the DNA test report of the body that was exhumed in Raigad. For, as things stand, even the identity of the victim has not been proved. Given that Indrani’s key defence is to maintain unflinchingly, even when confronted with Khanna and Rai, that Sheena is alive in the US, establishing the death will be a crucial first step. The DNA report will also determine if Indrani is indeed Sheena’s mother. And it may, depending on the post-mortem and how clear the DNA evidence is after more than three years of decomposition, even reveal the manner of death.The second key evidence will be the computer from which Sheena’s fake resignation letter was allegedly sent after she had been killed, and Sheena’s cell phone from which 11 text messages were sent to Rahul, asking him not to seek her out. Call records that place Khanna and Indrani in conversation 11 times on the day before the alleged murder, and the cell tower data that places them in Raigad after Sheena was killed, are also crucial to the prosecution. And so is Sheena’s passport, recovered from Rahul’s house in Dehradun, that militates against the theory of her living abroad.The third element will be witness testimonies. Key witnesses include Rahul, who attempted to file a missing person’s report at Khar police station; the driver, who is expected to turn approver; Peter, who will need to prove his ignorance of the alleged plot to kill Sheena; and Mikhail, who claims there was a plot being hatched to kill him as well. The police have been filling the gaps with testimonies from anyone or anything that can corroborate their circumstantial evidence. From shop attendants who sold the props used in the murder, the doctor who conducted the post-mortem, CCTV footage from Hotel Hiltop in Worli that would allegedly show Indrani and Khanna working in collusion, and the policemen who did not register an FIR when the unclaimed body was first discovered in Raigad in 2012.Police recover a suitcase from Peter and Indrani Mukerjea’s Mumbai residence. Photo: PTIWhichever way the case unfolds, police sources say that Indrani is an accused like only a few others. Held in the Santacruz police station lock-up for women, there is a steely, look-you-in-the-eye confidence about her. Not for one minute since the police began their interrogation has her gaze faltered. She is stiff and unyielding, strong, and insistent that she will only speak with her lawyers present. She had stuck to the story that Sheena was her sister until the police confronted her with Khanna. It was only then, say those who were in the room with her, did they see her falter, only to compose herself in the blink of an eye.”She assumed that she had committed the perfect crime, except in our line of work, we know there is no such thing,” thunders a top investigating officer working on the case. Another highly placed police source, says, searching for a motive, “It can only be money.” How much? “Enough to make those who participated willing to kill for it, that’s how much!”Peter Mukerjea, Indrani MukerjeaBut the gulf between fact, fiction and theory is yet to the bridged, even as the police and sections of the media seem to have entered an odd race with each other to propound hypotheses and find witnesses. It was the press, for example, that found Mikhail in Guwahati and Siddhartha Das in Kolkata before the police could trace them. And it’s the police that are playing to the galleries by parading the accused from police station to police station, in full public view of the cameras, almost on a daily basis, to conduct their interrogations at Khar. In the middle of this all, Rakesh Maria dramatically arrives from the police headquarters in Crawford Market in a white SUV, getting off in the middle of the information-starved press corps, before wading his way into the police station.At the heart of this grand tamasha, being played out almost in slow motion, Indrani sits on the precipice, a sword hanging over the head. In the end, is this Indrani as Medea, who resolved to kill her own children? Or Indrani as Icarus, who flew too close to the sun? Or, as modern-day fables go, does the Indrani story hold the mirror to an ambitious nation longing for success about the dark alleys that could follow the unbridled thirst for pelf and power? Hark back to the Indrani who wanted to be the one sheep that looked the other way. Was she always a wolf in lamb’s clothing?
Tottenham Hotspur will face Bayern Munich for the first time in the Champions League on Tuesday night as the German giants make the trip to London for a crucial Group B match.The last time these two teams locked horns was in the third round of the UEFA Cup in 1983. Bayern currently lead Group B with three points, two points clear of second-placed Tottenham after one matchday. Tottenham had finished runners-up to Liverpool in Champions League last season, but their domestic form has been worrying since the turn of the year. Spurs kicked off this season’s Group B campaign with a draw at Olympiakos and Mauricio Pochettino wants his team to register their first win against leaders Bayern, whom they visit in the reverse fixture in their final group game in December.”Last season we would have all signed up for the same campaign in the Champions League,” the Argentine told reporters on Monday. “I hope to win tomorrow to be in a better position than last season. Last season we only had one point after three games.”Nobody believed in us, but we went on to reach the final of the Champions League. That is why in football it’s important how you start, but it’s more important how you finish. In a long season you need to be calm and strong in your mentality.”Pochettino pointed out that he had turned Spurs into Champions League regulars, with the club in their fourth consecutive season in the competition despite operating on a smaller budget than their main rivals in England and Europe.Spurs will remain without the services of Giovani Lo Celso due to a hip problem, while Ryan Sessegnon is still out of action with a hamstring issue. There were fears over Son Heung-min after the attacker was replaced in the second half of Saturday’s clash with Southampton, but the 27-year-old should be fit for Tuesday’s clash.As for Bayern, Leon Goretzka and Jann-Fiete Arp are both sidelined through injury, while Ivan Perisic is a doubt after missing the clash with Paderborn through illness.What time is kick-off?The game will kick-off at 12:30am IST on October 2. There are eight Champions League games tonight with two of them in the early 10.30pm slot and six that will start at 12:30 am on October 2. What TV channel is it on?Sony will show every game from the Champions League LIVE in India this season. Tottenham Hotspur vs Bayern Munich will be LIVE on Sony Six SD and HD on Tuesday night.How can I stream it?The Champions League Tottenham Hotspur vs Bayern Munich live stream will be available on Sony LIV app in India for premium users. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. bayern munichchampions leagueChampions League 2019champions league live streaming First Published: October 2, 2019, 12:04 AM IST
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Lausanne: Cardiff City must pay French club Nantes an initial six million euros ($6.5 million) in their dispute over the payment of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala, FIFA said on Monday.The amount corresponds to the first instalment of the 17 million-euro fee Cardiff had agreed to pay Nantes before Sala died in a plane crash on January 21 while travelling to join his new club. Cardiff had previously resolved not to pay any of the money even though the transfer had been completed before the accident.In relation to the remainder of the initially agreed fee, FIFA told AFP: “For confidentiality reasons, we cannot comment at this stage on potential future instalments or other conditions of the transfer agreement.”The announcement from world football’s governing body followed a meeting by its Players’ Status Committee.In a statement, FIFA said it had “never lost sight of the specific and unique circumstances of this tragic situation during its deliberations on the dispute at stake.”Both clubs can appeal the decision to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.Nantes had previously appealed in February over Cardiff’s failure to pay the 17 million euros they said was owed.A Cardiff spokesperson said the club “acknowledges the decision” but added that they “will be seeking further clarification from FIFA on the exact meaning of their statement in order to make an informed decision on our next steps.”The plane Sala was travelling on came down in the English Channel during a night-time flight.His body was recovered, but that of the pilot, David Ibbotson, has never been found.A report by Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch in August said that Sala and the pilot were likely exposed to “potentially fatal” levels of carbon monoxide on the plane.In the aftermath of the tragedy, Cardiff were relegated from the Premier League after just one season back in the top flight. Cardiff CityEmiliano SalaFIFANantes First Published: September 30, 2019, 9:11 PM IST
Published on cricket Kings XI Punjab captain David Miller (left) and Delhi Daredevils captain Zaheer Khan IPL 2016 COMMENTS April 14, 2016 Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (c), Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Pawan Suyal, Jayant Yadav, Chris Morris, Sam Billings, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir, Mahipal Lomor, Chama Milind, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Khaleel Ahmed, Akhil Herwadkar, Pratyush Singh.Kings XI Punjab: David Miller (Capt.), Kyle Abbott, Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Anureet Singh, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Pardeep Sahu, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Farhaan Behardien, KC Cariappa, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Nikhil Naik, Shardul Thakur.Match starts: 8pm IST COMMENT Kings XI Punjab captain David Miller (left) and Delhi Daredevils captain Zaheer Khan × Perennial under-achievers Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will look to recover from opening losses and put their campaign back on track when they clash in an IPL match here tomorrow.Laggards last season, Delhi and Punjab had hoped for a positive start but both the teams suffered contrasting defeats at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Gujarat Lions respectively.Delhi had finished 7th in the 2015 edition and they would be looking to get their combination right to get into the winning mode.The Daredevils, who had qualified for Champions League T20 twice, have a new unit with current India U-19 coach and batting great Rahul Dravid as their mentor and Paddy Upton as their coach.They also have a new skipper in Zaheer Khan and the onus will be on him to inspire his team to put the disappointments behind.Against Kolkata, Delhi cut a sorry figure when they were dismissed for 98 in 17.4 overs with only four of their batsmen reaching double figures and Zaheer has to ensure that they come up with a better performance tomorrow.A lot was expected from Carlos Brathwaite, who became the toast of the cricketing world after hitting England’s Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes to win the ICC World T20 final for the West Indies.But the strapping youngster could not make much impact against Kolkata and Delhi will expect him to repeat his World T20 exploits.Similarly, all-rounder Pawan Negi, who was bought for 8.5 Crores, becoming the most expensive Indian player in the IPL Auction of 2016, also needs to step up and deliver.Delhi’s batting unit looks weak with only Quinton de Kock (17) and Sanju Samson (15) making the double figures among the top five batsmen. Comparatively, their bowling unit looks more solid with the presence of Nathan Counter-Nile, Chris Morris and Amit Mishra, besides Zaheer himself.At 37, Zaheer has been handed the responsibility of guiding a young side and he would like to lead by example.Despite Delhi’s loss, the Mumbaikar defended his young team and sounded optimistic about the times to come. “It was just one bad day. It’s just the beginning of the season, and I hope things will come along. Good things are in store,” Zaheer had said.“I’m just happy with the way the boys have carried themselves on the field. The way the bowlers showed intent of taking wickets. I’m very very happy with the energy and intensity showed by the boys on the field. This is how we’re going to approach the season.”On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab, who have been the runner-up and semi-finalists in the past IPLs, were equally lacklustre as they finished at the bottom of the table last year.The side did not add any significant player this season, and their star player Virender Sehwag has also retired. They have a new captain in South Africa’s David Miller in place of Australian George Bailey, who is no more with the team.Punjab had put up a decent score of 161-6 against Gujarat in their opening match with useful contributions from their opening batsmen — Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra. They also boast of an explosive allrounder in Glenn Maxwell, besides Miller in the middle-order.However, the team failed to defend the total after their bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Aaron Finch and Dinesh Karthik.Sandeep Sharma, Mitchell Johnson and Mohit Sharma constitute their pace battery, while Australia’s Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel and Pardeep Sahu make the spin department and they will have to come good for Punjab to have any chance tomorrow.The Teams SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL
Rio 2016: Faster, Higher, Stronger 2016 Rio Olympics – Swimming – Final – Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final – Olympic Aquatics Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 11/08/2016. Michael Phelps (USA) of USA reacts after winning. REUTERS/David Gray TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. 1/2 COMMENT 2016 Rio Olympics – Swimming – Final – Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final – Olympic Aquatics Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 11/08/2016. Michael Phelps (USA) of USA is congratulated by Thiago Pereira (BRA) of Brazil. REUTERS/David Gray FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. 2016 Rio Olympics – Swimming – Final – Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final – Olympic Aquatics Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 11/08/2016. Michael Phelps (USA) of USA reacts after winning. REUTERS/David Gray TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. × 2016 Rio Olympics – Swimming – Final – Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final – Olympic Aquatics Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 11/08/2016. Michael Phelps (USA) of USA is congratulated by Thiago Pereira (BRA) of Brazil. REUTERS/David Gray FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. SHARE Achievement on par with Olympians Al Oerter and Carl Lewis Michael Phelps of the United States won the Olympic 200 metres individual medley on Thursday to capture the 22nd gold medal of his career and become the first swimmer to win the same event at four consecutive Games.Japan’s 400 IM champion Kosuke Hagino won silver and Wang Shun of China took bronze, both moving dramatically through the field on the final length after turning in fifth and seventh place.It was yet another extraordinary swim for Phelps, 31, who has now won two individual and two relay golds at his fifth Olympics, two years after coming out of retirement.‘It’s been a hell of a career”His medal haul has now risen to 26, including two silvers and two bronzes, with the 100 butterfly final still to come on Friday. Thirteen of his golds have come in individual races, the rest in relays.“Right now I don’t know how to wrap my head around that. I don’t know what to say. It’s been a hell of a career,” Phelps told reporters, while acknowledging the strain on his 31-year-old body.“That hurt a lot … my body is in pain, my legs are hurting, I’m tired.”Despite winning four golds in London in 2012, Phelps has said he was dissatisfied with his preparation and results there and wants to bow out on his own terms.“The biggest thing for me through the meet so far is I’ve been able to kind of finish how I wanted to. I’ve been able to come back and I’ve been able to accomplish things that I just dreamt of,” he said.“Greatest ever”He was lauded by the Rio crowd, with one banner proclaiming “Phelps Greatest Olympian Ever”. At the medal ceremony, he swayed slightly and breathed deeply, his eyes moist, as he listened to the US anthem.Phelps then raised his arms to salute the crowd as fiancee Nicole cradled their baby son Boomer in the stands.There was little time to savour the moment, however, as he raced back off the pool deck to get ready for the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly, which he also has the chance to win for a fourth successive Games.He finished second in his semi-final to qualify fifth fastest for Friday’s final.In the medley, Brazil’s Thiago Pereira went off fastest, leading from Phelps after the butterfly leg, with Ryan Lochte of the United States and Hagino neck-and-neck just behind.Lochte, Pereira run out of gas on last lapWith the Rio crowd’s excitement mounting, the three turned almost together after the backstroke, with Lochte just 0.01 seconds ahead.Phelps led from Pereira and Lochte at the final turn and powered on as the other two faded, opening the way for Hagino and Wang to grab the two other medals.Phelps clocked one minute, 54.66 for a comfortable winning margin of 1.95 seconds.Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori was fourth and Lochte fifth in the last individual race of his long career, with a flagging Pereira seventh.Phelps’ four consecutive golds in the same event are unique for a swimmer, and place him in the same Olympic pantheon as fellow-Americans Al Oerter in the discus and Carl Lewis in the long jump. Published on August 12, 2016 2/2 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS
Advertisement Advertisement(Image Courtesy: Indian Express)Former Indian seamer Zaheer Khan has backed the fitness test referred to as the Yo-yo test conducted by team India in order to recruit fitter players into the squad. But in addition to that, the pacer also added that the fitness criteria had to be made tougher to bring it up to the global standards.“Yo-Yo test is not going anywhere, you pass the test, you play for India,” said Ravi Shastri before the Indian team departed for their England tour and the head coach made his intentions and plans clear about picking up a player.Adding to that point Zaheer said that,”What I know is that the parameter set by the current Indian team (16.1) is pretty low compared to the world standard. If a player is not even able to achieve that mark, then I believe there is some problem somewhere.”“Look, for me any parameter is acceptable as long as it is uniformly applied. If the criteria is same for the top most and the junior most cricketer, I have no issues. Obviously, there is focus on skill but this Indian team wants to be a fit unit. Virat and the team management is trying to ensure that for the benefit of the team,” Zaheer said.Even though the standards were quite low Ambati Rayudu could not make the cut to the ODI side after failing the test. Shami who was also removed from the squad for the same reason later then cleared the test to make it into the test side.Also Read:Cricket: Ravi Shastri hints at flexibility in India’s batting order ahead of the first test
Thank you @IrfanPathan. This is such a great picture. Loved playing alongside you 😊 #LeftArmSwingers https://t.co/bYd6ss6xT9— R P Singh (@rpsingh) September 5, 2018 AdvertisementImage Courtesy: NDTV SportsFormer India pacer RP Singh announced his retirement from all formats of the game on Tuesday. The left arm seamer represented the nation in 14 Tests, 58 ODI’s and 10 T20I since his debut in 2005 against Zimbabwe. The 32-year-old posted on Twitter to convey his gratitude to everyone that has helped him with his career. The post read:“13 years ago, on 4th September 2005 was the first time I donned the Indian jersey. It was the stepping stone to what would become the most cherished moments of my life. Today as I hang my boots and call it a day, I wish to remember and give thanks to each and everyone who made this journey possible. Even as I write this, there are conflicting emotions inside me. No matter how much one prepares for the day, there is no easy way to bid goodbye. But somewhere inside there is the voice that tells you – it’s time, And that for me is today. My heart and soul will always belong to that young boy who debuted at Faisalabad, Pakistan, who wanted nothing more but to feel the leather in his hand and keep playing but my body reminds me I am an old man who needs to make way for the young”,Singh also posted a picture of his first Indian jersey signed by all the teammates back then.My first Indian shirt signed by all my teammates back then. My cricketing journey has been nothing short of a dream. I’d like to thank everyone who supported me in my journey. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/EpkWoYSmVR— R P Singh (@rpsingh) September 4, 2018 Thank you @ImRaina. Best wishes for your upcoming matches 🙏 https://t.co/dTuu9UFx3O— R P Singh (@rpsingh) September 5, 2018Read Also:The Indian Cricket team will have a stern test before the Australian series!Cricket: Virat Kohli receives a customised jersey from Southampton FC Thank you @MithunManhas. How can i forget that you were one of the few witness who knew that I was in India and not Miami 😄 https://t.co/6U9mkNXIok— R P Singh (@rpsingh) September 5, 2018 Thank you @RCBTweets 🙏 https://t.co/dcPfXRLMlG— R P Singh (@rpsingh) September 5, 2018 🙏 pic.twitter.com/VluMI8unxM— R P Singh (@rpsingh) September 4, 2018A lethal swinger of the ball, the Uttar Pradesh pacer will be fondly remembered for his contributions to Indian cricket over his career which include a memorable spell against South Africa in the inaugural T20 World Cup and the match-winning spell in India’s historic win at Perth in 2008.While the Men In Blue are short of left-arm seamers at the moment, the contributions of RP Singh can be cherished forever.The speedster also went on to thank the people who wished him luck for his future notably Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan.Thank you Bhajju pa. 🙏 https://t.co/HmzZDpgIM1— R P Singh (@rpsingh) September 5, 2018 Advertisement
AdvertisementImage Courtesy: Indian ExpressThe BCCI announced an 18-man squad for the upcoming four-match test series against Australia. Premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya was not named in the squad owing to the back injury the 25-year-old sustained in the Asia Cup.Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel, and Murali Vijay mark their comeback into the test setup after being dropped from the longest format of the game. Banking on good form, Sharma makes a comeback into the team after last playing in the tour of South Africa earlier this year.While Wriddhiman Saha still out due to injury, Parthiv Patel has been included in the squad as a potential back-up for the in-form Rishabh Pant. This would mark the return of the 33-year-old wicketkeeper to the land Down under after being part of the historic Indian side that toured Australia in 2004.Team for Four Test match series against Australia announcedVirat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Shami, Ishant, Umesh, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.— BCCI (@BCCI) October 26, 2018A good run in the county setup earns Murali Vijay a call-up as well, the experienced opener was dropped after a poor showing in England. Despite Vijay’s inclusion, fellow opening partner Dhawan does not find a place in the squad with Prithvi Shaw given the nod.Moreover, Hanuma Vihari retains his place in the contingent while there are no surprises in the bowling department.Squad for 4-Test series v Australia: Virat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.Read Also:Attack on politician leaves Indian team stranded outside Vizag airportInd vs WI- 3rd ODI Preview: Optimistic Windies out to disrupt India’s momentum Advertisement
Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman could ignite a bidding war between several Big Bash League (BBL) cricket franchises as the promising pacer has caught the eyes of many in Australia.The 20-year-old is one of the hottest T20 bowlers in the world right now, dominating the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sunrisers Hyderabad with lively left-arm pace, deceptive slower balls, hostile yorkers and cutters.Seven BBL clubs have at least one overseas vacancy; only the Melbourne Stars have already filled their quota with English pair Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen.The Melbourne Renegades may have got an early jump on their rivals in the race for Mustafizur. The Bangladeshi’s IPL coach Tom Moody is a director at the Renegades, who currently have two overseas spots available on their list, although one is expected to be taken by the return of the West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.Moody’s close connection with Mustafizur could be a deal-breaker for the Renegades should they want to sign the 20-year-old.Renegades’ coach David Saker recently expressed a desire to boost his side’s bowling stock after a disappointing campaign last season, which saw them miss the finals for the third consecutive season.”To be fair, we probably need an overseas bowler. We’re looking at whether to go down that track or to recruit a bowler from inside Australia,” Saker was quoted as saying by theage.com.au.Recently described as a “little genius” by Sydney Sixers captain and Sunrisers teammate Moises Henriques, Mustafizur could also be swayed to the SCG with the Sixers having room for two international signings.advertisementMusatfizur could be an option to replace legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis at the reigning champions Sydney Sixers, who are expected to re-sign West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell.If Mustafizur does find a team in the BBL he would be the second Bangladeshi to play in Australia after Shakib Al Hasan, who turned out for the Strikers and Renegades.The 20-year-old claimed nine wickets in three matches for Bangladesh in the World T20 in India in March, including a haul of 5-22 against semi-finalists New Zealand.