Sunday, April 25, 2004


A secret mission to Sri Lanka

IN June 1989, I got a call from PG Halarnkar, Director General, CRPF, from New Delhi. He said that T N Seshan, Cabinet Secretary, wanted me to meet him immediately at New Delhi. When I visited the Cabinet Secretary’s office, he said, "You have been chosen for a special mission. You are aware of the ongoing conflict between the Indian Peace Keeping Force and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in the northern parts of Sri Lanka.

Impaired franchise
R.C. Rajamani
HE general election in India is said to be the world’s largest democratic exercise. But when this mammoth process remains virtually blind and deaf to its disabled population’s need to exercise franchise with dignity, Indian democracy surely can’t be said to be wholly inclusive.

Confluence of spirit and faith
Jitendar Awasthi narrates how the Simhastha 2004, the spectacular Mahakumbha in Ujjain, is a living symbol of a cultural tradition that has survived down the ages and continues to be sustained and energised by faith.
ONE of the greatest congregations of common people and ascetics in the world, the Mahakumbha, Simhastha 2004, underway in Ujjain, is a rare spectacle. Besides the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists et al are also associated with this Mahakumbha.

For a glimpse of the elusive Everest
Partha S. Banerjee gives an account of a trek to get a view of the mountain that continues to fire imaginations and challenge climbers
VIEWING Himalayan peaks is no big deal for us Indians. There’s the majestic Kanchenjunga from Darjeeling, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna from Nepal’s Pokhara, the Nanda Devi from Nainital and Almora, the Pir Panjal range from Dalhousie and Manali.

Recipe for success
RVIND Saraswat, the author of Professional Chef—The Art of Fine Cooking is one of the senior-most chefs in the country. He is Director, Food Production Taj Group of Hotels. In between all that food production he has been writing books - one book after the other. He has certainly worked hard, set up food units in some of the best-known luxury hotels in the world. In an exclusive interview with Humra Quraishi, Saraswat discusses his work and writing.

Ritesh reloaded
For Ritesh Deshmukh, it’s time for some fun with Masti in the theatres. The architect-turned-actor hopes that this film will draw attention to his acting abilities, writes Avinash Kalla
THE blazing Delhi afternoon sun doesn’t bother him. Nor does the fact that his new film could clinch his future in Bollywood forever. An enviable calm marks his visage as he talks about his career switch, films and more. Ritesh Deshmukh’s mantra is cool and simple: "I don’t expect anything from anybody. I just do my best and leave the rest to destiny. What matters to me is the quality of my work and not the outcome."

Reel look at life behind bars
Ervell E. Menezes
ET inside Tihar Central Jail in Delhi and filmed over a year, Days and Nights in an Indian Jail is a powerful, heart-rending story about characters for whom hope is a mirage and tomorrow is as dismal as yesterday. It has been made by the Delhi-born, UK-based brothers, Yugesh and Sunandan Walia.


TELEVISION: Shaadis: Big and small

NATURE: Sweet armour of aphids
Nutan Shukla

CONSUMER RIGHTS: The fine print of loans
Pushpa Girimaji


DREAM THEME: Paintings spell success
Vinaya K. Manhas

ULTA-PULTAPoll golmaal
Jaspal Bhatti


Straight from the roots
Roopinder Singh
Sacred Trees and Indian Life
by Karuna Goswamy.
photographs by Susanne Hawkes. Aryan Books International, New Delhi. Pages 138. Rs 1,250.

The end of silent acceptance
Rumina Sethi
Violence Against Women
by Gail Omvedt.
Kali for Women, New Delhi. Pages 42. Rs 35.

Balance and beauty in the universe
Kuldip Dhiman
Philosophy of Symmetry
by Sundar Sarukkai. Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Pages 167. Rs 250.

Signs and Signatures
Holistic vision of Guru Granth Sahib
Darshan Singh Maini

A very Soviet coup
Nirupama Dutt
When the Vulture Descends
by Mandeep Rai. UBSPD, Pages 522. Rs. 350

Repository of local truths
Cookie Maini
Inner voices
by Kishori Charan Das Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages-164. Rs 200

Leaders who defined India’s image
Makers of India’s Foreign Policy. Raja Ram Mohan Roy to Yashwant Sinha
by J.N. Dixit. HarperCollins, New Delhi, 2004. Pages 328. Rs 500.

Pilgrim’s progress
Manisha Gangahar
Tulu Tales: A Soota Chronicle
by G. Kameshwar. Rupa. Pages 145. Rs. 250.

Short takes
The law in simple words
Randeep Wadehra