Victorious Cross

The passing of the last surviving Indian Victoria Cross winner, Umrao Singh, marked the end of an era. Vijay Mohan reports the heroic deeds of other Indian recipients of the award, cherished as an epitome of heroism and bravery.
Here began the story of Victoria Crosses won by Indians. A story immortalised by deeds of heroism. A story whose mortal link with the present generation snapped with the passing away of Subedar and Hony Capt Umrao Singh. At 86, Captain Umrao Singh was the last surviving Indian VC winner.

Last of the ‘Victorians’
Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd)
The 50th anniversary of the end of World War II was one among the several mega-celebrations organised in the UK during the fading years of the last century. The recurrent theme of almost all ceremonies was the hope that the carnage of the battlefield must not be allowed to inflict humanity in the new millennium.

Preserving a bond
Vibhor Mohan visits the monastery at Khampagar, near Palampur, to see how the body of Yogi Amtrin has been preserved by his followers
Time has been held back in a small room of the Khampagar monastery in the Tashi Jong area, 18 km from Palampur. Not being able to reconcile to the death of 84-year-old Tibetan meditation master, Yogi Amtrin, his students have taken on themselves the challenging task of preserving his body.

His Alaap struck a chord
Channi Singh pioneered the Punjabi music revolution in the UK, writes Prabhjot Singh
For the godfather of bhangra music in England, Channi Singh of the group Alaap, awards come naturally. Latest in the list of honours and awards has been the "Lifetime achievement for Punjabi music Award given to him by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Mary Draycott, at the 13th anniversary celebrations of the BBC Radio’s Punjabi Programme.

British band gets rocking
British band Trickbaby is in the news because four of its compositions feature on the soundtrack of Bluff Master. The music of UTV’s Abhishek Bachchan-Priyanka Chopra starrer has been released in the market to a thunderous response.

Call of faith
Such is the belief in the powers of Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti, that his dargah in Ajmer draws visitors from all faiths every day, writes Humra Quraishi
Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty—also known as Gharib Nawaz—had especially come from the Middle East and settled in Ajmer. He had come when he was in his middle age but stayed on till his last years. It’s said that that he was born in East Persia around 533 Hijri ( 1138-39 A.D ) and lost his parents at an early stage.

‘It is difficult to do comedy’
I think I have a lot more to learn as an actor. The new faces these days are quite talented and are a force to reckon with, Akshay Kumar tells V. Ananth
Akshay Kumar is confident that his latest release Deewane Huye Paagal, which is basically a funny, romantic and racy love story, will turn out to be a hit at the box office like his last release Garam Masala. On the eve of the release of his film, he sounded very enthusiastic about the film.

Act, dance and sing
Although the singing star phenomenon is catching up, film critics say there is nothing artistic about the trend as the stars these days are bad singers
An increasing number of lead actors in the Hindi film industry are no longer content to only emote and dance in their films—singing your own songs is the new trend in Bollywood.

Loaded with suspense
Two stories run parallel in Lemming, an excellent specimen of French cinema, and one event leads to another, writes Ervell E. Menezes
When Alain Getty (Laurent Lucas) invites his boss Richard Pollock (Andre Dussollier) and his wife Alice (Charlotte Rampling) to dinner, it is the beginning of the fireworks and tension that lasts right through 129 minutes of the film.


'ART AND SOUL: A puzzling old map
by B.N. Goswamy

televisioN: Story of a dynasty

GARDEN LIFE: Plants for bathroom
by Kiran Narain

FOOD TALK: Take your pick
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTSCashing in on credit
Pushpa Girimaji

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Underworld show
by Jaspal Bhatti


Asia’s next giant?
M. Rajivlochan
India and Emerging Asia
by R. R. Sharma. Sage, New Delhi. Pages 331. Rs 640.

Scholar who gave us back our folklore
Usha Bande

Scripting success
Roopinder Singh
The Other Side of Me
by Sidney Sheldon. Harper Collins. Pages 369. Rs 195.

Modern talking
D. S. Cheema
Empire of Knowledge by Vinay Lal. 
Vistaar Publications, New Delhi. Pages 287. Rs 380.

A man with rare vision
P. K. Vasudeva 
I too had a dream
ed. Dr Verghese Kurien. Roli Books, New Delhi. Pages 249. Rs 395.

Poetry of terror
Philip Hensher

Ai gham-e-dil kya karoon
Nirupama Dutt

Boost to primary education
Arun Gaur
Elementary Education for the Poorest and Other Deprived Groups: The Real Challenge of Universalization by Jyotsna Jha and Dhir Jhingran. Manohar, New Delhi. Pages 348. Rs 895.

A jungle of poems
Shalini Rawat
The Puffin Book of Poetry for Children: 101 Poems
eds. Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo. Penguin Books India. Pages 103. Rs 175.

S. Nihal Singh

Tribute to Krishna
Randeep Wadehra

  • Krishna
    by Shanta Rameshwar Rao (Paintings: Bulbul Sharma) Orient Longman, Hyderabad. Pages 159. Rs. 750.

  • Educational implications of Guru Nanak Dev’s Concept of Man
    by Kuldip Singh Kahlon K.K. Publications, Patiala. Pages: xvi + 196. Rs. 325.

  • Memory Techniques for Science Students
    by Neerja Roy Chowdhury Fusion Books, Delhi. Pages: 160. Rs 95.