The zero-minute recipe

Ready-to-eat food has become the flavour of the times. The mind-boggling variety dished out in tetra-packs and sachets is more than passable, almost gourmet stuff. This zero-jhamela fare has made life easier for those pressed for time, says Pushpesh Pant

RECALL Aamir Khan slithering and swaying seductively in a reptilian courtship dance hissing ‘Aati kya Khandala?’ Well, we think if the question had been popped a wee bit differently, ‘Khaati kya zero jhamela?’ the assent would have followed earlier.

Painter of people
Though Sobha Singh belonged as much to Himachal Pradesh as to Punjab, the Himachal Government has done little to keep the memory of the renowned painter alive, writes Vibhor Mohan
IS paintings are descriptive—as if he could close his eyes and see every detail, from the faces to the intricacies of the background. Sobha Singh has painted some of the best-known paintings in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Where ice is nice
The scenic Chamonix valley in France is one of the world’s most visited natural sites, writes
Inder Raj Ahluwalia
N the middle of the valley, there’s a town. Wedged between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean, in the heart of the Northern Alps, and at the intersection of an international communication network, it is just 20 km from Switzerland and linked to Italy by the Mont-Blanc Tunnel.

Torch of freedom
Ramesh Seth
HE Statue of Liberty, standing outside the New York harbour, is universally regarded as the emblem of the United States of America. The Lady with the Torch stands still, tall and proud. Below the statue is inscribed, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore".

Bizarre happy endings
Randeep Wadehra
HAT is common among Rabba Ishq Na Hove, Sarrrkar and Miilee? The three serials have concluded their respective sagas in the first half of 2006. And, more important, all three had unexpected if not unlikely happy endings. In reel, or rather, digital life serial makers contrive happy endings any which way they can. To please the God of TRPs, of course.

Double take
Vikramdeep Johal on how several Hollywood actors turned directors and even went on to win awards
ene Hackman once quipped that actors evolve into either directors or drunks. Hackman himself has never tried his hand at direction, but there have been several top actors who have taken the plunge. A few of them have even established themselves as renowned filmmakers, winning plaudits and awards.

‘Curiosity for epics never dies’
Ravi Chopra, son of film-maker B.R. Chopra, in a chat with Santosh Mehta says he does not wish to make poor quality films or television serials because that could spoil his famous father’s reputation.
AVI is making Viraasat—Nafrat ke Khel Mein, Do Dilon ki Chahat, a star-studded TV serial for primetime viewing on Star Plus in the 9 pm slot. He said in an exclusive interview: "We enjoyed making Viraasat. My father always says we must keep the audiences’ interests in mind. So I keep his advice uppermost in my mind.

Story of sex change
The film treads new ground, breaking psychological barriers
T’S amazing, that plastic surgery can heal a mental disorder," is one of the lines thrown up in Transamerica, a stunning, revealing story of sex change. Another is "we’re not gender challenged, we’re gender gifted." In fact there is so much about the grey frontiers of sex that GG, which stands for genuine girl, is a bit of a rarity.


TELEVISION: Gambler’s paradise

NATURE: Who killed the dodo?
by Steve Connor

Food TalkRepast for a king
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Worse than snail mail
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUESThe slapstick palls
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Fuel furore
by Jaspal Bhatti


Power of tank irrigation
Meeta Rajivlochan
Social Designs: Tank Irrigation Technology and Agrarian Transformation in Karnataka, South India
by Esha Shah. Orient Longman. Pages 288. Rs 295.

Development and conflict
Usha Ramanathan
Interstate Disputes over Krishna Waters: Law, Science and Imperialism
by Radha D’Souza Orient Longman. Pages 487. Rs 1150


Books received: PUNJABI

Mysteries of the great goddess
Arun Gaur
Devi: The Devi Bhagavatam Retold
by Ramesh Menon Rupa. Pages 514. Rs. 595

Travails of migration
Santosh Kr. Singh
Migrant Women and Work
ed. Anuja Agrawal. Sage Publications. Pages 226. Rs.350

Revealing portrait of society
Kanchan Mehta
Conflict and Other Stories
by Shubham Gupta. Frogbooks. Pages 198. Rs 250.

Discovery of a ‘woman eater’
Shubhadeep Choudhury

Decoding God
Shalini Rawat
Code name God
by Mani Bhaumik Penguin. Pages 222. Rs 150

Publisher extraordinary
Keki N. Daruwalla

Back of the book

  • The Boy Who Fell Out Of The Sky
    by Ken Dornstein Sceptre. Pages 355. £ 8.15

  • The Grip of Change
    by P. Sivakami Orient Longman Pages 207. Rs 190