Harvest of debt
Once a symbol of the Punjab
farmer’s prosperity, tractors have now become a debt trap. Shveta Pathak visits
the roaring tractor mandis of Moga and Sangrur and wonders whether the
proposal to waive farm loans of around Rs 26,000 crore will help those
struggling with reduced outputs and high costs of cultivation
Time was when while standing amid the vast acreage of lush green fields Sukkha’s heart swelled up with pride.
In the tractor mandis, even a few months’ old tractors are put up for sale by cash-strapped farmers.
— Photos by the writer
A fund for art’s sake
International art funds have under performed and not fulfilled their potential because they are led by financial and not art institutions. If knowledgeable experts were to invest, the returns could be higher, writes
K. D. L. Khan
Although the stock market has gone down abysmally this year, the art market in India is booming. From merely a Rs 5 crore turnover in 1997— the current year itself will see the size of India’s art market expand to— hold your breath—Rs 2,000 crore. When the industrialist Guru, Swarup Srivastava daringly offered last year, Rs 100 crore for 125 paintings of Maqbool Fida Husain’s “Our Planet Called Earth” and other works, even before he had laid eyes on them, he signalled the growing trend of art as an investible commodity for future returns.
After bhangra, West takes to gatka
The marital art, which helped Sikhs defend themselves against Mughal invaders, has evolved into an exhibition sport, says
traditional Sikh martial art of gakta is finding many takers in
the USA, the UK, France and Germany where it is being taught as a
science of combat for self-defence.
A Sikh warrior displays his skill during the Sikh Shastar Vidyaa competition in Delhi.—
Photo by Mukesh Aggarwal
Antarctic sea spiders are weird-looking animals. They look like spiders, but are not
claim to have discovered an unusual Antarctic sea spider that
literally sucks its prey like a vampire and boasts of five pairs of
legs. The weird-looking sea spiders, some of which are even blind,
have a large protruding proboscis that is used as a straw to suck
prey. One has also been caught with a 70-cm leg span.
Last meeting with
train to Kronach with mixed feelings. Once the train started moving,
my last trip to Kronach in the late 1990s flashed before me. At that
time, Julia, my friend, had insisted that I must visit her mother,
Amma Willner. And now I was going to visit Amma, 84, to share her
grief as Julia left us for ever in 2003.
Berry fine Mahabaleshwar
If you have had enough of hill stations where the mall looks like the shopping mall in your city, then Mahabaleshwar is just the place for you. Small town in the western Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar was the summer capital of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency.
Arthur’s Point has formed the backdrop for many a film sequence.
— Photo by the writer
Right as rain
The beauty and ferocity of rain has fascinated many a film-maker across
the world, writes Vikramdeep Johal
or curse, boon or bane, there’s no denying the power of rain. No
wonder it has been used in umpteen films as a dramatic element or a
backdrop for song-and-dance sequences. Some
of the most poetic images of rain appear in Satyajit Ray’s Pather
Vasundhara Das (the bride) and others in Monsoon Wedding
Of human bondage
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna dwells on the theme that complexities of married life can test one’s patience, beliefs and loyalties to the utmost, writes
live in turbulent times. The rock solid superstructures of the past
are giving way to social and economic upheavals of today. Doubts about
the relevance of age-old belief systems are impacting the very
foundations of that sacrosanct social institution called marriage.
Self-gratification or commitment, compromise or self-assertion?
Maya (Rani Mukherjee) and Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan) lead a passionless married life
Dev (Shahrukh Khan) and Rhea (Preity Zinta) find their marriage
in the doldrums
The spectacle of
rain-drenched lovers has been an old cliche in Hindi films.
Bollywood or Hollywood, it boils down to comin’ alive in the
it a lovely day to be caught in the rain... sang Fred
Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the classic musical Top Hat (1935).
Seventeen years later, the sprightly Gene Kelly sang and danced
his way into immortality with the title number of Singin’
in the Rain. This is easily the greatest rain song to come
from Hollywood — unmatched for its joie de vivre and romantic
Raj Kapoor and Nargis in Shree 420