The changing cycle

India may be the second largest producer of bicycles in the world but precious little has been done to promote the cause of cycling in the country.
Shveta Pathak reports that the cycle industry is today churning out beauties that could easily make a style statement but the road ahead is rough for the two-wheeled bikes. And, the status-conscious still refuse to adopt them as a mode of transport.

DO you remember the tinkle of the bell as daakiya Rajesh Khanna delivers the post in the song Daakiya daak laya? Or, the very urbane Aamir Khan making your breath stop for a while as he competes for the famous race in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander?

A case for bikes

Minstrels of mysticism
Baul chants are invariably in the form of a dialogue. They move around villages and cities singing simple melodies rooted in the folk music of Bengal, writes Dipti Ray
AULSs are a group of Hindu/Muslim religious singers—minstrels, the Hindus among them subscribing to Vasihnavite philosophy and the Muslims to Sufi tenets. The Hindu bauls only wear saffron clothes as mark of their "sadhu" status with a long kurta like upper wear. The Muslim bauls wear plain white dress.

A date with hot springs
Santosh Utsuk
anikaran in Himachal Pradesh, situated at 1737m, on the banks of Parvati river is known for its curing waters. The place famous for its hot boiling sulphur springs is revered by lakhs who come here for a dip in the curing waters. It is believed that the hot springs can cure skin diseases like gout.

Laughter the Punjabi way
Punjabi comedians have been a rage for long unlike comedians from other parts of the country who credit the recent TV show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge for making them popular, says Anandita Gupta
unjabis laugh their hearts out, be it on Santa Banta jokes or on life’s ironies. No wonder Punjabis are great comedians themselves. Perhaps that explains why Punjabi comedians are going places leaving everyone in splits.

Johny arrives on small screen
Srabanti Chakrabarti chats with Johny Lever about his foray into television with the recently launched Johny Aala Re
THE usual trend is to leave television and venture into Bollywood. The lure of the big screen is often too difficult to resist. And even if an actor from the big screen moves to the small screen, mostly it is because he is running out of options. But Johny Lever has never followed the trend.

You can bank on Hanks
Tom Hanks’s youthful looks and exuberance belie the fact that he completes 50 years today. Double-Oscar winner, his landmark performances have made him one of the top actors of our time, writes Vikramdeep Johal
ikable, saleable, durable — Tom Hanks has been one of the most "able" Hollywood stars in the past decade or so. His youthful looks and exuberance belie the fact that he completes 50 years today — half of which he has spent in the film industry.

Unforgettable Madan Mohan
Madan Mohan was not formally trained in music yet his music was richer than the work of better-qualified composers. M.L. Dhawan pays a tribute to the maestro whose 31st death anniversary falls on July 14
adan Mohan started his career as lieutenant in the Army. As an artilleryman, he received his commission (emergency) in 1943 and was stationed in Bangalore for about two years. It is believed that he could handle weapons and play the sitar, the sarod and sarangi with equal felicity.


TELEVISION: A passion to heal

NATURE: A slice of summer
by Lt General (retd) Baljit Singh

Food TalkAwadhi flavour
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Flying problem
by Pushpa Girimaji

by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Crash course
by Jaspal Bhatti


The health scene in colonial India
Randeep Wadehra
Old Potions, New Bottles
by Kavita Sivaramakrishnan. Orient Longman. Pages xiv + 280. Rs 795.

Expunging Variola
by Sanjoy Bhattacharya Orient Longman. Pages xv + 327. Rs 750.

Reproductive Health in India
edited by Sarah Hodges Orient Longman. Pages ix + 264. Price Rs 620.

Books received: ENGLISH

Rainbow of dreams realised
Roopinder Singh
California Dreams: India Shining in the Land of Hollywood
California Dreams: India Shining in the Land of Hollywood
by Gurmukh Singh. British Columbia Books, BC, Canada. Pages 208. Rs 999.

War for oil supremacy
Himmat Singh Gill
Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq
by Kees Van Der Pijl Vistaar Publications. Pages 459. Rs 650

Brilliant tale of growing up
Deepika Gurdev
Black Swan Green
David Mitchell. Sceptre. Pages 304. Rs 622.

Clairvoyant commentator
M. S. Unnikrishnan
Tragic Idiom—O. V. Vijayan’s Cartoons and Notes on India
Editors Sundar Ramanathaiyer, Nancy Hudson-Rodd. D C Books, Kottayam (Kerala). Pages 261. Rs 1150

Difficult daughters
Shalini Rawat
Whither Justice: Stories of women in prison
By Nandini Oza. Rupa. Rs 195. Pages:188

Through the biotech lens
Jayanti Roy
Science, Agriculture and the Politics of Policy: The Case of Biotechnology in India
by Ian Scoones. Orient Longman. Pages 417. Rs. 795.

Voice of a subaltern subject
Gaurav Kanthwal
Collected Poems (1970-2005)
by Keki N Daruwala. Penguin. Rs 350. Pages 355

US library battles bigotry

Back of the book

  • The Brief History of the Dead
    by Kevin Brockmeier John Murray £3 6.90

  • Debts of Dishonour: The Return of Imogen Quy
    by Jill Paton Walsh Hodder and Stoughton Pages 284. £3 6.90