indian sport

Shapath Bharadwaj, India’s 15-year-old shooter, secures qualification for ISSF World Cup Finals

The Meerut-based youngsters will compete in men’s double trap alongside Ankur Mittal and Sangram Dahiya.

Indian teenage shooter Shapath Bharadwaj, on Saturday, qualified for the prestigious ISSF World Cup Finals. Having become the country’s youngest athlete to figure in the Target Olympic Podium scheme, the 15-year-old, who clinched an individual bronze medal in the Junior World Cup in Italy last month, will compete in men’s double trap alongside Ankur Mittal and Sangram Dahiya, PTI reported.

The World Cup finals, the top-ranked annual tournament of the International Shooting Sport Federation, will be held at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range at Delhi next month. Champion pistol shooter Jitu Rai, Ravi Kumar (10-metre air rifle), Pooja Ghatkar (10-metre air rifle), Amanpreet Singh (50-metre pistol), Meghana Sajjanar and Deepak Kumar (10-metre mixed air rifle), Rai and Heena Sidhu (10-metre air pistol mixed) will be seen in action.

Rai will be competing in three events – 10 metres air pistol and 50 metres pistol – besides mixed team. The players qualified for the tournament based on their performances in a series of three World Cups held in India, Mexico and Cyprus respectively.

Besides his junior bronze in Lonato, Shapath has won the team gold medal at the Shotgun World Cup in Moscow recently. The Meerut-based Bharadwaj, a student of class 10, is among 45 elite athletes, including Olympic medallists PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal, to be selected for the TOP scheme.

Bharadwaj attracted the attention of the shooting fraternity when he was selected for Indias double trap team at the age of 14 after selection trails in Patiala in November last year.

He represented India along with his senior teammates Ankur Mittal and Sangram Dahya in the ISSF World Cup, Delhi in February and then at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico in April where he secured 10th and 12th ranks respectively.

He then secured the fourth position in qualifying round of the ISSF World Cup in Cyprus in May and topped the 22 shot shoot-off to enter the final where he finished sixth.

Bharadwaj participated in the ninth International Junior Shotgun Cup held in Finland in July and scored 137 out of 150 as India won the gold. He ended up winning the individual as well as team gold in the International Junior Grand Prix in Italy last year.

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.