Sunday, January 25, 2004


India Shining, dimly
L.H. Naqvi

India arrives. India Inc. India Shining. Is all this just hype? Do such catch-words reflect the real India? On the eve of Republic Day, two writers, a generation apart, find that there are no clear-cut answers.


I HATE being pushed, I hate being jostled. I hate being frisked. In 1975, I had to endure all this because my office could not find a more junior reporter to cover the Republic Day parade. (That is how important it is as a journalistic event.) Since the invitation was for two, my wife came along to witness the display of military might followed by the state tableaux. In between, we caught a glimpse of exhausted schoolchildren dancing their way in and out of Rajpath.

Gen Next proud of Brand India
Muneeza Naqvi
E had been summoned for one of our famous family "discussions", very often a euphemism for heated debate or quiet sulking. My father wanted to know when I had last watched the Republic Day parade. I seriously couldn’t remember, but I’m pretty sure it’s never been on my agenda, post my 10th birthday.

From mofussil mantri to natty neta
Chetna Keer Banerjee
WEED coats, Armani jackets and solitaires have done to our Nehru cap and khadi-dominated political wardrobes what power dressing did to corporate India. The new-age CEOs of India Inc have changed the way our republic looks and dresses.

Magicians make merry
Ashok Malik
HE popularity of the Harry Potter series worldwide has had an unlikely fallout in India: magic, as a form of entertainment, is getting a fresh boost. Children are once again being drawn to the masters of illusion, abandoning their electronic gizmos and games for a taste of pure fantasy and fun.

Black is beautiful
Mythology describes exotic black pearls as ‘beams of heavenly light, given to human beings as a symbol of harmony, love and beauty’. Today, these pearls, harvested in the Polynesian Islands, have become the favourite gem in the international circuit, says Vimla Patil.
EVERY gem has some exotic legend attached to it. One such jewel is the Tahitian black pearl. Legend says that this gem illuminated the heavens and was used by gods to create the firmament of bright stars. A symbol of harmony and beauty, it was given by the gods to humans as a token of love.

Broken bits of wisdom
Rooma Mehra
SHARE, undoubtedly, with a lot of other people, a special attachment to things that are fragile.. small mementos sometimes preserved lovingly for years. An attachment that threatens to become more and more obsessive, as their sentimental value multiplies.

A Sa(i)f bet
Avinash Kalla
After Kal Ho Naa Ho becoming the biggest hit of the year, Saif Ali Khan today features in the list of Bollywood's most talked about actors. He's on top of the wishlist of leading filmmakers. With the release of his first single-hero film Ek Haseena Thi, he hopes to get the viewers’ stamp of approval on his versatility.

T has taken a dozen years for Vicky Sehgal of Yeh Dillagi to become Rohit Patel of Kal Ho Naa Ho. And by Jove, what a transformation it has been. From a rabble-rousing, long-haired son of sapnon ki rani Sharmila Tagore and Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Saif has blossomed into a suave star with a fan following from Ludhiana to London and from New Delhi to New York---in fact, wherever there's an Indian diaspora there are people who throng to movies featuring Saif.

Wedding planner
Smart and assertive, there's just no messing with the Mast Mast Raveena Tandon. She makes for good copy with her spade-for-spade talk. In an interview with Vickey Lalwani, Ravishing Ravs speaks about her courtship and impending marriage
SHE has never minced words and neither is this time an exception. "Why shouldn't I always say it as it is? At the risk of sounding boastful, let me say today that I am the happiest person in the world. I have found my soulmate, Anil Thadani."


'ART AND SOUL: The curling roots of time
B.N. Goswamy

TELEVISION: Of webs of fantasy, snake boats & black humour

GARDEN: Carnation care
Satish Narula

TRAVEL: Pay dirt: Treasure amidst Mumbai’s trash
Abhilash Gaur

LIFE TIES: Blessed to be uncomplicated
Taru Bahl

LIFE'S LESSONS: Learn to count your blessings

ULTA-PULTA: Dubious alliances
Jaspal Bhatti


Are there any men in home science colleges?
Rumina Sethi
Some Questions on Feminism and its Relevance in South Asia
by Kamla Bhasin and Nighat Said Khan. Kali for Women, New Delhi. Rs 40. Pages 46
Exploring Masculinity
by Kamla Bhasin. Women Unlimited, New Delhi. Rs 70. Pages 68

Congress party’s first steps to power
R. L. Singal
From Movement to Government: The Congress in the United Provinces, 1937-1942
by Visalakshi Menon. Sage Publications, New Delhi. Rs 395. Pages 364

Alternative routes to women’s empowerment
Ranjay Vardhan
Gender Issues: A Roadmap to Empowerment
by Rashmi Agarwal and B. V. L. N. Rao. Shipra Publications, Delhi. Rs 550. Pages 272

Meet the author
"Successful writers in India do not love their language"
C. D. Verma

Kids’ corner
A big book for the little ones
The Red Giant and the Little Girl
by G. S. Dutt. Macmillan, Bangalore. Pages 124

Flawed conclusions mar account
Harwant Singh
War Despatches: Operation Iraqi Freedom
by Ashok K. Mehta. Military Affairs Series. Pages 216.
Rs 395.

Neglected issues
D.S. Cheema
Values & Ethics in School Education
by MM Luther. Tata Mcgraw Hill. Pages 436. Rs 350.

Short takes
The one who showed the Mahatma the way to Swaraj
Jaswant Singh
Lokmanya Tilak, Symbol of Swaraj
by Sorab Ghaswala. Rupa, New Delhi. Rs 195. Pages 62