ART & LITERATURE
'ART & SOUL
ENTERTAINMENT
TELEVISION

GARDEN LIFE

NATURE
FOOD TALK
CONSUMER RIGHTS
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INTERACTIVE FEATURE
CAPTION CONTEST
EARLIER FEATURE
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TIME OFF


Rajinder Puri looks at the year that was



Stills from Don flashback 2006
Déjà view
Familiarity breeds success — this was Hindi cinema’s magic mantra in 2006 as sequels and remakes hogged the limelight. Surprisingly, the few films that ventured to go off the beaten track were also well-received by audiences, writes Vikramdeep Johal

I
f 2005 was the year of Bunti aur Babli, Black, Page 3 and Sarkar, 2006 belonged to Lage Raho Munnabhai and Rang De Basanti.
It was a year of sequels: Still from Don.

Welcome to the Venice of the East
Navigating the Vembanad Lake at Alappuzha in a houseboat and gazing at the distant horizon is an unforgettable experience. Jangveer Singh on a trip to Kerala’s backwaters
A
cloud-dappled sky, coconut trees swaying in the early morning sky and an invigorating earthy smell of rain and water greeted us as we got down from the train at Alleppey (or Alappuzha as it is now known) railway station. Met by a representative from Lake Palace resort, we set off to the private jetty after passing solidly built buildings in white with the trademark wavy burnt brick-coloured tiles.
The teams participating in the snake boat racestage a ballad of perfect poise and strength The Vembanad Lake, a vast sheet of water, is the centre of existence for the residents of this paradise
The teams participating in the snake boat racestage a ballad of perfect poise and strength The Vembanad Lake, a vast sheet of water, is the centre of existence for the residents of this paradise. — Photos by the writer

India’s oldest World Heritage site
Vinaya Kumar
O
f the 24 World Heritage sites declared by the Unesco in India, the rock paintings of Bhimbetka are the oldest, having been dated from anything to 10,000 years and upwards… It is a veritable museum of the evolution of civilisation in India. To quote the Unesco report, “As you walk from cave to cave, and down the ages from when Meso went Neo and historic man appeared, you see the art alter from naturalistic-abstract-royal-and… finally… to religious. 
Animal drawings in Bhimbetka are 5,000 years old
Animal drawings in Bhimbetka are 5,000 years old

...And then there was life
Scientists at Michigan State University in the US claim to have unravelled the mystery behind the human egg’s ability to transform into a new life
I
n the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences recently, scientists reported that they had identified genes unique to the human egg. The identification opened the way to understanding these genes’ functions, which may lead to solving problems from infertility to degenerative diseases.

Honeybees originated in Africa
A
worldwide analysis of honeybees conducted by US researchers has revealed that they first originated in Africa, and not in Asia. Neil Tsutsui, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California, Irvine, said after originating in Africa, honeybees spread into Europe and Asia, creating two distinct genetic lineages, one of which includes the widely cultivated Italian bee, a subspecies used extensively for agricultural pollination.

‘I was fighting a lonely battle’
Govinda returns to Bollywood with Bhagam Bhag. He had a heart-to-heart chat with Vickey Lalwani on the eve of the film’s release

You return to Bollywood with Bhagam Bhag after four years. How does it feel?


It feels great. I want to make a successful comeback. I am nervous but I am hopeful. I am happy to see that my wife (Sunita) stands beside me in my moment of trial. My kids cannot conceal their excitement.

    Govinda and Akshay Kumar in Bhagam Bhag
Govinda and Akshay Kumar in Bhagam Bhag

COLUMNS

TELEVISION: Reality ruled the roost
by Varuni Khosla

Food Talk: Dishes to make a party rock
by Pushpesh Pant

Consumer rightsConsumer wasn’t the king even this year
by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: By Judge
by Jaspal Bhatti

BRIDGE
by David Bird

BOOKS


FICTION 2006
Novel ways but old names
More fiction, good and bad, is published in the English language every year than a person can read in a lifetime. One way of being selective is to read books by established authors who again created ripples this year, reports Harsh Desai as he takes a pick of the fiction published in 2006

NON-FICTION 2006
Making sense of history & society
From Shashi Joshi to Barak Obama, the focus this year seemed to be on trying to decipher trends, be they social or global. Rajiv Lochan takes a look at the books that created a buzz

On a wrong track in India
Temptations of the West
by Pankaj Mishra
Picador
Pavan K Varma

Teen’s bondage tale 
Sudeshna Sarkar

They said it!





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