Saturday, May 24, 2008

Still Single wants to be mingle then look for online dating

SYDNEY: With scores of dating Web sites catering for the bold and the beautiful, a growing number of niche sites are emerging for less fortunate lonely hearts, those struggling with mental or physical problems.

Australian matchmaker Sara Fantauzzo came up with to link up people with special needs after watching her autistic brother struggle to make friendships.

"I've grown up with a brother with a very mild disability and I've seen him very low and very depressed as a direct result of rejections," Melbourne-based Fantauzzo, who set up the Web site with her husband Otis nearly a year ago, told Reuters.

"I got sick of seeing Marc at home on a Saturday night or having him come along with my friends because he never had anyone to go out himself."

Fantauzzo came up the idea of a Web site to match up people with special needs after noticing her brother joining a few community groups with people with different disabilities and these groups were far more accepting of a wide range of problems.

Similarly American Ricky Durham set up, which matches people suffering from a list of health conditions, after realizing how difficult it was for his brother Keith who had Crohns Disease to meet someone.

"It was hard for him to disclose his disease to anyone, but it was really hard for him to tell someone he had a colostomy bag," Durham told Reuters.

"I thought if he met someone at a Web site where everyone had the same condition, there would be nothing to disclose."

His brother died in 2004, aged 41, as the Web site was being developed but Atlanta-based Durham pushed ahead.

The site launched two years ago and now has about 5,300 members from the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and Israel suffering from more than 50 types of illnesses and disorders including multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, lupus, Tourette syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases, and obesity.

Honesty in search for love
"The ex gave me the gift that keeps on giving ... Herpes," wrote one member. "What I'm looking for is someone who understands why I am on this site and is still willing to live our lives to the fullest and not let this "problem" stop us."

Analysis company Hitwise estimates there are now more than 1,350 dating sites in the United States alone which is up from 876 three years ago with 44 per cent catering for niche groups.

Specialsomeone and Prescription4Love are two of a growing number of niche dating sites emerging for singles who don't fit the traditional mould, with strong growth also in matchmaker sites based on religion, sports, pet ownership and music.

Others include ones catering for people with disabilities like Disabled Dating World or ones for people with STDs like

Durham believes niche Web sites are successful because they are safe spaces for people seeking friendship or love who risk serious embarrassment talking about their condition with others who cannot relate to it. It also gives them a support network.

Large dating sites like,, eHarmony and Yahoo Personals have the general market in online dating covered but Hannah Schwartz, general manager of, said niche sites were becoming increasingly popular.

"Niche sites cater to things like religion, sexual preference, ethnicity, lifestyle, hobbies, and dietary needs," Schwartz told Reuters.

Bharti Denies a Bid of Mtn

NEW DELHI: India's largest private telecom company Bharti Airtel on Saturday pulled out of negotiation for acquiring an estimated 45-50 billion dollar MTN, saying the South African telecom entity deviated from agreed terms.

"An in-principle agreement was reached on 16th May and a term sheet was initialled between two lead bankers... MTN has now presented a completely different structure, from what was agreed," Bharti said in a statement.

The new structure envisaged Bharti Airtel becoming a subsidiary of MTN and exchange of majority shares of Indian company held by Sunil Mittal, promoter of Bharti, family and its foreign partner Singtel, in exchange for a controlling stake in MTN.

"Bharti believes that this convoluted way of getting an indirect control of the combined entity would have compromised the minority shareholders of Bharti Airtel and also would not capture the synergies of a combined entity," the company said.

Both (Bharti and MTN) had initiated talks about three weeks ago and talks were cordial through out this period and conducted in good faith.

Bharti also claimed that over a dozen internationally reputed bankers from the US and Europe of having pledged funds of over 60 billion dollars for the acquisition.

The reference point at which MTN shares were to be transacted was agreed and frozen at the point of starting the discussion and Bharti would like to confirm that there was no further discussion on the share price of MTN, at any point.

Delhi Daredevil Beat Mumbai Indian by 5 wickets

NEW DELHI, PTI: The famed top order crumbled but Dinesh Karthik's bravura unbeaten 56 and Manoj Tiwary's (36) gutsy cameo enabled Delhi Daredevils eke out a thrilling five-wicket win against Mumbai Indians to cling on to their semifinal hopes in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.

For once, the Daredevils middle order took the onus on itself to pull off an improbable win with Karthik being the architect of the victory that helped them stay afloat in the tournament.

Karthiks match-winning unbeaten 56 came off 32 balls and was studded with three sixes, besides four fours.

Needing 177 to cling on to their semi-final dreams, the Daredevils required eight runs off the last over, sent down by Ashish Nehra. Karthik and Ferveez Maharoof (20 not out) kept their cool as the Daredevils overhauled the target with one ball to spare

Story Behind Arushi Murder--By times of india

The shocking murder of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar in Noida has all the ingredients of a classic whodunit.

In the week following her death, it seems, an entire nation – the police, the media, and even the neighbourhood where the Talwars reside, has become obsessed with solving the crime. Suggestions and plausible conspiracy theories and motives are pouring in from well-meaning and concerned citizens. And justifiably so. No one wants to have a killer lurking outside the window.Or worse still, in the confines of our ‘respectable’, ‘safe’ middle class homes.

Sadly, it is these very ‘respectable’ and quite ‘ordinary’ middle class homes that are breeding crime. Crimes of passion, frustration, envy, hate or honour. As the Senior Superintendent of Police (Noida) A Satheesh Ganesh stated in a media briefing: "In a flat where only four people live..., there are reasons for "extreme hatred or frustration. There is a possibility of honour killing." In Aarushi’s case, the fact that suspicion is pointing its ugly finger towards the Talwars is a chilling reminder of this. It forces us to look beneath the veneer of respectability and filial bond and ask: Could the Talwars have really killed their daughter?

Maybe so. Difficult as it may be to believe, Dr Rakesh Talwar, the victim’s father has apparently been arrested for the crime even as this story was being written. While authorities decipher the motive, the very fact that the question has been raised only shows that times have changed, and so have relationships.

Take the case of Mumbai-based TV producer Neeraj Grover who was brutally hacked to pieces just days after Aarushi’s death. The reason: a three-way love story that turned macabre. The culprits: A girl called Maria Monica Susayraj, who had been dating Neeraj and her boyfriend, Lt Jerome Mathew. While both Maria and Mathew have been remanded to police custody we ask: What could have driven Maria and Mathew to take a life so mercilessly?

You may well ask: What’s the big deal about these two incidents? After all, hasn’t history been witness to similar crimes since biblical times? That may well be so but not in the guise of so-called middle class respectability. The fact that both the murders were committed in upwardly mobile urban homes makes you wonder where we are headed. The brutality with which both Aarushi and Grover were killed has brought out the ugly side of relationships in urban India. “It is unfortunate and heartrending to hear such stories and to know that it is becoming a reality in today’s world. Change in lifestyle - change in culture, societal values, mindset, attitude all have their own characteristic role to play. Today with growing competition, changing priorities people seem to have been desensitized to softer aspects of life such as compassion, care, love, empathy which is why we see and hear of such horrific tales,” says leading psychiatrist Dr. Sanjay Chugh, founder chairman of the International Institute of Mental Health.

Horrific tales and times, where human life, no matter if it is your own child or closest friend, has never been so cheap. Where materialism and self-gratification are a priority over relationships. As Dr. Chugh says: “The 'I' is domineering and walking all over the 'We' and ‘Us.' People seem to have become so egocentric that they fail to look at other's rights and choices and forget where to draw that line! They would make or break relationships purely out of convenience, caring little about its impact on those who might be directly and/or indirectly related to it.”

“If at an individual level you have your fundamentals in place, your environment would have little power to affect you/influence you.” What are these fundamentals? For one, tolerance. Tolerance to situations, to people, and to the world around us. Sadly, intolerance is a fallout of this ‘I, me, myself’ attitude, which is pushing us to perpetuate barbaric acts of violence on those close to us. Where is it all leading to? A society where it is so easy to walk away with murder. Scary.

We can continue debating on who or what really killed Aarushi, or Grover for that matter. We can dedicate more column space and prime time slots to the wonderful people that they were. But the fact of the matter is that they are gone. And nothing that you or I can at this point do or say that will bring them back. What we can do is take a deep, deep look within and ask: Are we really safe behind the four walls of our middle class homes and it’s aspirations?

Arushi ..9th standard gurl brutely killed by her father

Fatally assaulted in life, and slandered in death. Fourteen-year-old Aarushi Talwar, the bright and popular student of DPS Noida, was allegedly caught in an "objectionable, not compromising" position with domestic help Hemraj — a situation that supposedly drove her father, Dr Rajesh Talwar, into killing both.

Amidst the garbled wordplay and assumptions (there is no evidence to support the allegations) lies a deeper issue. That of justifying a heinous crime — whether it's cops or lawyers — by casting aspersions on the character of a girl who can no longer defend herself. Says an outraged Madhu Kishwar, professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), "If the defamation laws were strong in the country, these people (the cops) would've been arrested." She also felt that a child, in the absence of a nurturing environment at home, could turn to the domestic help for familial warmth and attention.

Sudha Sundararaman, General Secretary at the All India Democratic Women's Association, believes the issue at stake is to find out the exact sequence of events on that fateful night. "The fact that Aarushi was in a relationship with Hemraj is merely speculative and cannot soften one's stance on the crime, whether committed in a fit of moral outrage or otherwise."

The slow buildup of the wayward character of the 14-year-old has been widely condemned by women's groups. Says Nandini Rao, joint co-ordinator at JAGORI, "The most vulnerable place to hit a girl is at her character." She adds that the details of Aarushi's friendship with a boy in her class (she made 688 calls to him) and her obvious popularity are an attempt "to make us believe that she deserved it. And by using terms like honour killing to describe cold-blooded murder, one is increasingly left feeling that she may have done something to justify it."

Kiran Walia, who heads the women and child committee of Delhi Assembly, stresses the importance of raising public consciousness. "If the public believes the allegations being tossed around, they won't come out and condemn the crime."

Women lawyers, too, came out strongly against Aarushi's character assassination. "It's preposterous! It is very unlikely that there would be an affair between the girl and the servant. This is a typical situation when a girl child or a woman is involved. Crimes of passion happen instantly, not with the surgical precision and with cold calculation as Rajesh Talwar allegedly did," says senior advocate Pinky Anand. She says that if indeed something like the police version happened, then the girl would be a victim and therefore saw no reason why the father would kill her too. "It doesn't fit into the sequence of things. If indeed the father is the killer, he must have consulted some lawyer and given such a statement because it is intended to make it look like a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder," she added. However, Aarushi's mother, Dr Nupur Talwar, has dismissed the police story, saying she completely trusted Hemraj.

Noted criminal lawyer Kamini Jaiswal also voiced her outrage, calling the turn of events "disgusting." Adding that the case still had to be proved in a court of law for Rajesh Talwar to emerge as Aarushi's killer, Jaiswal saw attempts at erecting a legal defence in maligning the girl after her death. "The father, provided charges stick to him court, has to show it was a case of grave and sudden provocation. But facts don't support him. He has organized everything. If it was sudden he would have killed the girl and the servant instantly. Instead he waited and took his time planning and used a surgical knife."

Drawing an interesting parallel with the Jessica Lall case, advocate Shilpi Jain said this is a common strategy adopted by the accused. "Even in Jessica's case, the murderers tried to portray her as a woman of questionable character, but it didn't help their case. These aspects come to light during cross-examination. Legally there is no strong evidence against Rajesh Talwar because no recovery of weapons has been made yet. Also, the police can't show any chain of evidence, leave alone an unbroken one."

Whatever the legal loopholes the police may have to plug, the lawyers were unanimous that any decision by the court will have to be closely hewed to the facts of the case.
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