Sunday, November 9, 2003



Hindi cinema’s
First superstar

With his stunning portrayal of Devdas, Saigal brought the author Saratchandra’s desperate character to life. His brooding looks, that drooping lock of hair and his mournful singing Dukh ke ab din bitat nahin made him a cult figure and Saigal became the first superstar of Indian cinema, writes Pran Nevile


MORE than half a century ago K.L. Saigal—the greatest musical genius of the 20th century—passed away in the prime of his life but it is a pity that we have not set up any befitting memorial in his honour. The first superstar of Indian cinema, who brought music to the masses and became a legend in his own lifetime, deserves to be honoured at the national level.

K.L. Saigal

English-speaking apes
Kuldip Dhiman
ANZI, a bonobo chimpanzee, and Koko, a female gorilla, appear to have learnt to do something which most of us believe only humans can do: they can ‘speak’. But can they? If the video documentaries and other written material concerning these apes are any indication, Kanzi, his half-sister Panbanisha and Koko appear to have acquired linguistic and cognitive skills far beyond those achieved by any other non-human animal in previous research.

Capturing the moods & the man
Derek Bose
IRTHDAY celebrations for Amitabh Bachchan are getting bigger by the year. Last year, the event was marked by a flurry of parties and public functions — including one on the release of his biography — mostly localised in Mumbai. This year, for his 61st birthday celebrations, the whole of India seems to have got together to felicitate the celluloid icon with events spaced out over the next 12 months.

Bonding with brands
Abhilash Gaur
ORMS in chocolate. Pesticides in cola. Unmentionables in most other stuff that goes down the gullet... It’s only fair that people love to hate brands these days. MNC brands, in particular. Why so? Maybe because we feel cheated. All along, we’ve bought MNC brands in the name of quality.

Common people, uncommon zeal
Dogged perseverance
Plagued by an outbreak of rabies in 1994, the people of Kalimpong approached an animal welfare organisation for help. Today, the Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter’s work is being recognised at home and abroad. Benita Sen reports.
A transferable job means that we move home regularly. One of the first tasks anywhere is to locate a vet who will take care of our pet and consider requests to help street dogs in distress.

Telly needed Jassi Jaisi Koi...
The protagonist of the TV serial Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin has come as a breath of fresh air at a time when soaps are ruled by diamond-dripping or tear-dripping bahus and bhabhis. With her girlish giggles and clumsy gestures, this ‘ugly duckling’ knocks off not only flowerpots and files but also these stereotypes. Chetna Keer Banerjee examines the factors behind her appeal.
HAT relief! After ages, the small screen has a character whose appeal doesn't get buried in yards of silken or chiffon finery. A head whose crowning glory is not a mop of streaked or permed tresses lined with a designer sindoor or bindi but a Sadhna-cut, pony-tailed simplicity.

Everybody Says Rahul Bose is fine
AHUL Bose seems to have struck gold. Time magazine has featured him as India's answer to alternative cinema and Bose can't stop smiling. Just last year, he won similar acclaim for his directorial venture Everybody Says I'm fine. But Rahul's not content. 'I am always hungry for more', says the intelligent actor.



TIME OFF: A system full of sound & fury
Manohar Malgonkar

TELEVISION: Over to the sultan of swing
Mukesh Khosla

NATURE: Snail’s pace of life
Nutan Shukla

TRAVEL: Medieval magic
Arun Gaur

LIFE TIES: Maturity and respect matter
Taru Bahl

LESSONS FROM LIFE: CEO reveals secret

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Getting into a girl’s mind now
Ervell E. Menezes

DREAM THEME: Dreaming of an eclipse
Vinaya K. Manhas


The illusion of coherence
Shelley Walia
The Roots of Romanticism
by Isaiah Berlin.
Chatto and Windus, London. £ 20. Pages 171.

Angst of youth in the City of Joy captured skillfully
Aradhika Sekhon
The Youth
by Sunil Gangopadhyay. Rupa.
Pages 212. Rs 195.

Adventures on the road
Manisha Gangahar
All the World’s a Spittoon
by Samit Sawhny. Penguin Books. Pages 270. Rs 260.

Looking back at varied facets of life
Randeep Wadehra
The facets of Human Life
by Niranjan Singh Tasneem. Indian Publishers Distributors, Delhi. Pages x+302. Rs 495.

A disappointing compilation of studies on Central Asia
Parshotam Mehra
Central Asia, the Great Game Replayed: an Indian Perspective.
edited by Nirmala Joshi. New Century Publications. Rs 670. Pages 294.

Mirror images across tales of love
Harbans Singh

Heer Ranjha and Other
Legends of Punjab.
by Harjeet Singh Gill. Harman,
New Delhi. Rs 600. Pages 157.

Bangladesh, the land of turmoil
Bangladesh, Past and Present
by Salahuddin Ahmed. APH, New Delhi. Pages 367. Rs 795.

Establishing harmony with nature
B. B. Goel
Environment Protection and Sustainable Development
by S. Bhatt. APH, New Delhi. Pages XVIII +241. Rs 495.

Let religion marry science
B.S. Thaur
Religion and Philosophy for Modern Youth
by J.N. Nanda. Concept,
New Delhi. Pages 110. Rs 180.

A peek into the future of technology
Chandra Mohan
The Technology Machine
by Patricia Moody and Richard Morley. Free Press. Pages 318. Rs 1050.