in the trade
In some villages of the Bedia, Nat and Kanjar communities in Rajasthan, there are no women under 25 years. Here families force their girls into prostitution in cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
Usha Rai visits these areas and recounts the plight of the girls who have to fend for their families while the men idle away the hours
Bansi Paharpur, Khakranagla and Ludhawai villages, barely 20 to 30 km
from the famous Bharatpur bird sanctuary of Rajasthan, are like
umpteen other villages of India steeped in poverty and desperately
trying to modernise. In the midst of ramshackle houses and narrow
gullies with overflowing gutters, a couple of garish double storey
buildings stand out like pimples on a scarred and pitted face.
Mekong magnificent obsession
John Keay recreates the tribulations and tragedy in French exploration of the Mekong river, reports
Lieut-Gen Baljit Singh
the last thirty years, four writers of travel and exploration have
endeared a vast cross - section of readers the world over. Eric Newby’s
narratives of routine encounters laced with subtle humour in A
Short Walk in the Hindu-Kush won him a huge readership. Next on
the scene came Bruce Chatwin whose first book In Patagonia was
undoubtedly the work of a born, gifted writer. A pity that death
snatched him young; a year before he was even fifty. All his three
books won recognition: In Patagonia, a prestigious first book
award, the next became a Hollywood film and the third was short-listed
for the Booker!
|The Khon Falls on the Mekong, the largest in the world, and tigers in the foreground.
|Nobility and the public watching a boat race in the
Ozone hole may heal
Scientists claim that the ozone layer hole seems to have stopped widening and it may recover fully in 60 years
David Hofman and Dr. Susan Solomon, two of the scientists who helped
alert the world to the existence of a hole in the ozone layer have
said that they were hopeful that the ozone layer was recovering.
"I’m very optimistic that we will have a normal ozone layer
sometime, not in my lifetime, but perhaps in yours," BBC quoted
Dr David Hofman, who works for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) as saying.
Rich haul of 7th century coins
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has confirmed that the 3,000 coins found in a field in Mathura district were indeed of antique value.
The ASI chief here, Dayalan, said this was the biggest such find in the Agra circle and that the coins found in two copper vessels were of different periods between the 7th and 10th centuries.
|Where freedom held fort
Himmat Singh Gill
deeply within the 180 feet wide and 20 feet deep moat that girdles the
Kot-Bagh Nizam or the Ahmednagar Fort of the Nizam Shahi dynasty
(1490-1600 AD) lies a slice of resurgent India’s silent struggle for
The yard between the two barracks at the Ahmednagar Fort where Nehru and other freedom fighters did yoga and played badminton.
— Photo by the writer
Picking up the pieces
Yu Zhixiao Zhang
Workers are clearing and sorting
out pieces of the two well known but damaged Bamiyan Buddha statues in
central Afghanistan, which might be rebuilt by the end of 2009. At the
site in Bamiyan province, Afghan workers with yellow safety helmets
are collecting pieces of the two statues with shovels and
Lion of Punjab wows London
new play, charting the life and times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
(1780-1839), has recently been performed in London. The Lion of
Punjab tells the incredible story of a man who became the ruler of
Punjab at the early age of 10, on the death of his father, and who
then went on to rule for 35 years.
Forty years of Robert Redford
In the last four decades, he has come a long way from just being a good-looking blonde. An Oscar-winning director, his commitment to parallel cinema is impressive, writes
Ervell E. Menezes
Redford has always been one of my favourites over the years, not only
because of his protean acting skills and his even more impressive show
as a director but because of his commitment to parallel cinema through
his Sundance Institute. He has the courage to break away from the
Hollywood pattern which today seems to be scraping the bottom of the
|Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby.
||Robert Shaw, Robert Redford and Paul Newman in The Sting
|Hrishida: Life at its gentlest
a titan bows out of the scene forever, obit writers tend to quickly
allude to the end of an era. With the death of Hrishikesh Mukherjee,
however, it is not merely an era on which the curtains have dropped. A
whole sensibility, an entire way of making films, has lost its
Hrishikesh Mukherjee made movies without selling his soul
‘My Don is very different’
Subhash K. Jha
Akhtar’s remake of the 1970s Amitabh Bachchan hit Don is 60
per cent complete and is likely to get a Divali release. "We are
looking at a Divali release. The film is almost complete," Farhan
"I’m not stressed. But it is a very hectic
round-the-clock schedule. We are working like crazy," said
Farhan, sounding far less relaxed than he usually does. He’s been
shooting vigorously in Malaysia.