Sunday, June 6, 2004


Bollywood’s new badshah
His movies dare to be different and offbeat. Yet, they turn out to be box-office grossers and strike a chord with the masses. Saibal Chatterjee finds out what makes the non-conformist Ram Gopal Varma a hit in showbiz.

TRUST Ram Gopal Varma to achieve the seemingly unattainable. Steadily, assertively, and without the ballyhoo one usually associates with the badshahs of Bollywood, the 42-year-old Hyderabadi has brought a bit of the past roaring back into the frame of Hindi popular cinema even as the crisis-ridden Mumbai film industry strives to stride into the future of the entertainment business.

Bollywood’s new badshah
Ram Gopal Varma 

Vashisht’s western ways
Roshni Johar
HE statue of sage Vashisht in an ancient temple in Vashisht village, 3 km from Manali, has remained unchanged for centuries. It is the world around it that has acquired a different look. A unique culture has emerged, created by foreign tourists and locals alike.

Time for monsoon masti
NDIAN folklore is replete with images of the monsoon, the season of dancing peacocks and cooing papihas, occupies a lot of significance in Indian folklore. A number of fairs and festivals mark the coming of the rains, be it the Teej festival of the North, the Ambubasi mela of Assam or the revelry down South.

A seaside drive
Renu Manish Sinha
S the Air Deccan flight descends down the Bajpe airport in Mangalore, the eye registers a vast lush expanse dotted with clusters of buildings. In the parking lot of the airport are eight brand new Elantras, launched recently by Hyundai Motors.

When it rained misfortune
K. Rajbir Deswal
NDIANS may find the coming of the rains a time to celebrate. But monsoon fury is something that used to fill Europeans with dread during their stay in this country. It used to take five years of exposure to the severe summer and the subsequent humid rainy season for a European to get acclimatised to India.

Heavenly trek in Garhwal Himalayas
A calm destination in the Himalayas, the Bhagirathi Valley is an ideal getaway to beat the heat and enjoy nature’s bounty, says Tarun K. Roy
HAGIRATHI valley is a tranquil and scenic destination in the heart of the Gahrwal Himalayas, blessed with the holy river Bhagirathi, enchanting white-water streams, snow-clad high mountains, milky glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, conifer forests and alpine meadows.

A dull affair
Ervell E. Menezes
THE Day After Tomorrow is a disaster film with its roots in an ecological crisis caused by global warming. But two decades ago, Hollywood used a missile attack from the Communists to trigger off doomsday in a film called The Day After. This is evidently a remake of it but after 9/11, they prefer to deal with natural disasters.

Pakistan’s Big B
Aditi Tandon
E is known as the Amitabh Bachchan of Pakistan. And why not. Ghulam Mohinuddin, who attended the 10th World Punjabi Conference in Chandigarh recently, has acted in over 300 big banners in Pakistan. What makes Mohinuddin stand out in the fraternity of Pakistani actors is his proclaimed pro-India stand.

Music now for netas, not abhinetas
Ruchika M. Khanna
OT to miss the chunky gold chains or heavy Bengali accent. Bappi da, the man who brought disco to Bollywood, is happy churning out political tunes these days. Taking his foray into politics rather seriously, Bappi Lahiri's political tunes in his latest album, Ghungta, are taking him places.


TELEVISION: Watch out for Shamalia

FOOD TALK: Savour the flavour of summer specials
Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Mark of justice
Pushpa Girimaji

LIFE'S LESSONS: The thief of self-belief


DREAM THEME: Kiss and foretell
Vinaya K. Manhas

ULTA-PULTANow, touch-proof jackets
Jaspal Bhatti


Off the shelf
The many roads of revolution
V. N. Datta
Themes in World History: Revolutions in World History
by Michael D. Richards.
Routledge, New Delhi and London. Pages 104. £ 13.


Books received: Punjabi

Citizen in uniform
Rajendra Nath

The Dynamics of Soldiering
by Maj-Gen Kuldip Singh Bajwa (retd)
Military Affairs Series, New Delhi. Pages 284. Rs 495.

Uncharacteristic of her canon
Darshan Singh Maini

Tell Me Ma!
poems by Shiela Gujral. Allied Publishers, New Delhi. Pages 27. Rs 90.

Mixed bag of tales from Pak
Aradhika Sekhon

A Letter from India
Edited by Moazzam Sheikh, Penguin, New Delhi.
Pages 166. Rs 200

Tales from the wild
Inderdeep Thapar
The Scarlet Tiger and Other Stories.
The Black Beast of Mussorie and Other Stories.
Both by Hugh Gantzer. Rupa. Pages 102. Rs 95. Pages 137. Rs 150.

"A translator has no style of his own"

  • Short takes
    Frills not needed
    Randeep Wadhera

    Corporate Governance in India
    by Dr. George John.
    Pages 327. Price not mentioned.

  • Matter of courage
    Tearless Eyes, Fearless Heads
    by Shakti Sharma. Macmillan.
    Pages 167. Rs 225.

  • Food for the soul
    Sunrays for Sunday
    compiled by Priya & Sanjay Tandon. Competent Professionals. Pages 210. Rs 100.

  • Hindi review
    Variety in verse
    Shalini Rawat
    Taaron ke Jungle
    by Rajbir Deswal. Books For All. Pages 41. Rs 40.

  • Haryanvi humour
    Latke Jhatke
    by Rajbir Deswal. Books For All. Pages 148. Rs 60.