Searching for the ‘angel’ who held me on Westminster Bridge


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Sometimes you find your angel in the worst moments of your life. Goodness and evil always balance each other out.

“It’s amazing how our friendship came out of something so horrific and terrible,” Will says.

“We wouldn’t ordinarily have crossed paths. We’re different ages, have different professions and live and work in different areas.”

It’s a year later and he’s sitting with Cristina at the back of a busy brasserie in Soho. The sun is streaming through the windows and on the street outside office workers are mingling and sipping their first post-work pints.

Both have just come from work – Will, 25, from his job rejuvenating the area around Baker Street and Cristina, 34, from a meeting with an advertising firm. While Will grew up in London, Cristina moved to the city from Portugal 12 years ago.

It was an act of terror by Khalid Masood that brought them to the same place at the same time. On 22 March 2017, he drove a hired car into dozens of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed to death an unarmed police officer, before being shot and killed himself.

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Claire Bates — BBC

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Stephen Hawking’s advice for a fulfilling career


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“Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it.”

Last month, the American Psychological Association published an article that synthesised findings on this topic that stretch back as far as 1993. Research from Harvard professor Teresa Amabile found that “no matter the size of a goal – whether curing cancer or helping a colleague – having a sense of meaning and feeling a sense of progress can contribute to happiness in the workplace.”

But finding work with purpose can be hard for many.

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Bryan Lufkin — BBC

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Why Casablanca is the ultimate film about refugees


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Still, Rick himself is above such abuse. “I don’t buy or sell human beings,” he informs Ferrari (Sydney Greenstreet), the city’s black-market kingpin. But as time goes by, Rick realises that turning a blind eye to the buying and selling is just as bad. There is a touching scene in which he rigs the café’s roulette wheel so that a Bulgarian newlywed (Joy Page) doesn’t have to sleep with Renault – thus bringing a tear to the eyes of Rick’s employees and to the audience alike. More moving still is the scene in which the café’s head waiter (SZ Sakall) has a brandy with two elderly Austrians who are about to leave for the US, and compliments them on their broken English. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the German director, declared that this humane little sequence boasts “one of the most beautiful pieces of dialogue in the history of film”.

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Nicholas Barber — BBC

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Calling your husband by name for the first time


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This needull is very close to home. My mother and many other women in India have never called their husband by name. But, things are changing.

 

When speaking to us children, she always referred to him as “babuji” – the Hindi word for “father” that we used. When addressing him directly, she always said “Hey ho”, which means roughly “Hey you”.

As teenagers when we became aware of the fact, we made fun of her. We tried to trick her into saying his name just once. But she never did.

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Geeta Pandey — BBC Magazine

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The rise and fall of the Bombshell Bandit


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The teaser is out for Simran – a new Bollywood movie. The movie is based on the real life exploits of Sandeep Kaur. “At just five feet three inches tall, the slender Indian nurse did not boast the muscle of typical bank robbers. She had no weapon or getaway driver. Instead she gripped a hurriedly written note that read: TICK TOCK. I HAVE A BOMB.”

When they suggested bank robbery, Kaur says the idea didn’t seem ludicrous. “It’s do or die. If I did this, and anything did happen then at least the police would be involved,” she reasons. “Or you know, I could just kill myself.” But why didn’t she just tell the police? “Ever since we were kids we had to lie,” she says. From the punishment she suffered at the hands of her parents, to partying, and her parents’ divorce, anything shameful had to be hidden.

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BBC Magazine

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Teaser of the movie “Simran”

How a jacket and a briefcase shaped a partition love story


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Human stories emanating from human created tragedies.

In March 1948, the two got married. It was an austere ceremony; both families were struggling to pick up the pieces.

Ms Kaur wore her favourite jacket. Mr Maini got together his certificates and papers from his briefcase to start a new life: he joined the judicial service in Punjab, got a small house in compensation and moved to Ludhiana with Ms Kaur.

The couple had two children, who both served as civil servants. Mr Maini died some 30 years ago; Ms Kaur died in 2002.

“The jacket and the briefcase,” says Ms Maini, “are testimony to the life they lost and found together.”

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Soutik Biswas — BBC

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The women who invented the Brazilian wax


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This is the story of how the Brazilian wax came to be.

Their signature wax had been invented by their sister Janea. “It’s a funny story actually,” says Malin. Back in the late ’70s Janea was in Bahia with her husband, having a beer and some fried fish on the beach. She was admiring a beautiful girl, but as she walked past Janea was horrified by the pubic hair protruding from the back of her tiny bikini. “The image – it was like a mirror that shattered,” says Malin.

Janea’s next thought was: “Wow, do we have hair there?”

At home her suspicion was confirmed. But when she went to a salon to have it removed, she met with resistance: “Are you crazy? I’m not touching you there,” was the response.

So Janea decided to do it herself.

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Vibeke Venema — BBC Magazine

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