Former doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi on Tuesday reminisced about the heydays shared with doubles partner Leander Paes and asserted that what the pair have achieved for Indian tennis won’t ever be replicated.”Let’s put controversies aside. What we achieved as a team between 1996-2002 will never be replicated in Indian tennis,” the non-playing captain of the Indian Davis Cup team said on the sidelines of a book launch here.”Two kids coming up from below 100 to be No.1 is amazing. Things didn’t work out for various reasons. We have tried a lot of times and I don’t think you can fault us for not trying.”We kept giving our best shot because we know how special a relationship it is for not just us but the country as well,” said Bhupathi, who formed a formidable doubles partnership with Paes for over 16 years and won 25 ATP doubles title together, including three Grand Slams.In the Davis Cup, the duo stitched together a comprehensive record of 23 doubles rubber victories on the trot, right up to the 2010 World Group Play-offs against Brazil that India won 3-2.Recently, the estranged pair washed their dirty linen in public, taking pot shots at each other following India’s 4-1 win over Uzbekistan in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 1 Round 2 match in Bengaluru.Bhupathi termed his former partner ‘unprofessional’ for ‘sulking’ after being dropped from the team, and leaving the tie midway through.India’s top ranked doubles player Rohan Bopanna and Paes had been in contention for the only doubles spot available in the three-singles-one-doubles combination Bhupathi had opted for.advertisementPaes accused Bhupathi of showing bias while Bhupathi revealed a Whatsapp exchange the two had shared where Paes had promised to be part of the six-member team even if he did not make the cut of four.India will take on Canada in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff in what would be an away tie from September 15 to 17. Asked whether there is a chance of Paes being included in the team, Bhupathi said: “We will see. We have a very tough match against Canada in September. We have a chance of going into the World Group.”On Indian tennis being on an upward spiral, Bhupathi said: “We are going in the right direction. We have a lot of players ranked between 200-300 now. Indian tennis is at its best depth today. So hopefully a couple of those players will make the next transition and into the top 100 which is what makes the difference for us.”
Contributing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign in a unique way, Khadi India has launched a designer carry bag made from a mix of plastic waste and paper pulp, a senior official said on Sunday.The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) showcased the plastic-paper mixed eco-friendly handmade carry bags on Saturday at it’s flagship Khadi India outlet in Connaught Place on the occasion of Swachhata Diwas.As the prime minister launched the cleanliness campaign, Khadi India introduced the carry bags at all of its stores across the country, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSaxena said KVIC conducted experiments at its Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI) unit at Jaipur to develop the unique bag.”The KNHPI officials were directed to collect plastic garbage and after necessary cleaning and processing, mix it with paper pulp up to 20 percent to find out whether plastic waste can be utilised in handmade paper industries or not,” Saxena said.”The experiment was done on utilisation of various types of plastic waste including high-density and low-density polyethylene… The experiment was successful,” Saxena added. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe KVIC said preliminary studies showed that polyethylene waste could be used to make cost effective handmade paper – reducing the existing production cost by 34 per cent– which in turn can be used to make cheaper carry bags.In its project called REPLAN (Reducing Plastic in Nature), the waste plastic from nature is collected, de-structured and de-gradated and then mixed with paper pulp in a ratio of 80 is to 20, it said.REPLAN aims to remove the existing waste plastic material from nature and use it in a semi-permanent manner, so that availability of plastic in nature is reduced to a large extent, it added.The continued removal, coupled with steps taken by the government are expected to provide significant relief from the existing problem of plastic waste, it said further.