India at Sixty
Indian writing goes global

After Independence, it has been a rich and eventful journey, with many milestones, for Indian literature. Indian writing has a variety of textures and voices. Harsh Desai looks at some of the authors and their works

Shrikhand, the Kailash of Himachal
The trek to Shrikhand Mahadev is arduous. But the arrangements made by locals and organisers as well as the panoramic view along the way make it an exhilarating experience, writes Dharam Prakash Gupta

Lost town of Rhakotis
Archaeologists have found the first physical evidence of a long rumoured town believed to have existed on the site of present-day Alexandria. Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 332 BC.

Jhansi ki Rani is close to my heart’
31-year-old svelte actress, who has acted in around 30 films, is currently occupied with Dulha Mil Gaya with Shah Rukh Khan and Ram Gopal Varma’s Aag. Dulha Mil Gaya is Sushmita’s second film with Shah Rukh and she says it will show the world her real self.

500 & still going strong
Kapoor, aka Pari of Woh Rehne Wali Mehlon Ki (on Sahara One), which has completed 500 episodes, says she’s looking forward to the 1000th episode now. "It has been a tough journey, TRPs going up and down. But we have emerged a winner."

Mother of stereotypes
The hapless mother coughing away at the sewing wheel has given way to the young and hip mom, says M.L. Dhawan
maa in Hindi films is a woman whose life never runs smooth. The mother toils hard, bending over the sewing wheel and scrubbing dirty utensils to bring up her children. Of the different roles the one that an actress in every generation longed for was the role of mother that Nargis played in Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957).

The happening ’60s
Hollywood came closest to European cinema in the 1960s when real life issues were in focus, says Ervell E. Menezes
were the days my friend, and I mean cinematically when speaking of Hollywood and for me it was the golden era. The late 1960s and the early 1970s was the decade of change. There was the moon landing, flower power, students’ revolt, anti-Vietnam war stirs, attack on the establishment. Everything was happening and Hollywood dealt with real-life issues and therefore came closest to European cinema.

Net’s the way to tie the knot

A number of Indian users claim to have fallen in love with their online partners without ever having met them. The cyberspace created by matrimonial websites is a new ground for preserving old values, writes Anuja Agrawal


'ART & SOUL: Private passions, public legacy
by B.N. Goswamy

TELEVISION: Matter of faith

FOOD TALK: A cut above the rest
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Put erring doctors in the dock
Pushpa Girimaji

Garden life: Scented stocks for winter
by Kiran Narain

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Spirit of driving
by Jaspal Bhatti


Life’s lessons
Amarinder Sandhu
Wise and Otherwise
by Sudha Murthy. Penguin.
Pages 220. Rs 150.

Great promise in a petri dish
Jayanti Roy
Hope... in Vitro
by Shelley Chawla, MD and Dianne Wilson.
Mannat Productions. Pages 209. $ 14.99.
Stem cells are the newest miracle of science. These are found in all multi-celled organisms and can replace and repair damaged tissue or organ. This fact has enormous significance, as we can now look forward to treating ailments which were till now thought to be having no cure: acute leukemia, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer, spinal cord injuries to name a few.

Books received Hindi

From babu’s perspective
Nirmal Sandhu

The Politics of Change
by N.K. Singh. Penguin/Viking and the Indian Express group. Pages 254. Rs 395.
A compilation of newspaper articles in book form usually runs the risk of emitting a stale smell. When the author is an IAS officer, there is an added risk of the writing being polite and dull under systemic constraints. However, N.K. Singh’s book is both fresh and daring.

Brief history of branding
Deepika Gurdev
The Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asia’s Love Affair with Luxury
by Radha Chadha and Paul
Husband. Nicholas Brealey. Pages 341. $35.
This book could have been anything—a serious academic treatise on branding in Asia that could have rested well on the dust-covered shelves of a library of a management school perhaps, and a statistical discourse, crunching some numbers that would have been beyond you and I. However, The Cult of the Luxury Brand is nothing like that at all

Feminist discourse
Kanchan Mehta
Towards Gender History: Images, Identities and Roles of North Indian Women
by Kamlesh Mohan. Aakar Books.
Pages 272. Rs 595.
The book is a collection of articles on women’s history in India. Though the book does not purport to be "a chorological account and analysis of gender history," the writer, Kamlesh Mohan, a professor at Panjab University, successfully captures the critical transitions in women’s movement in India, particularly North India. Apart form its proclaimed feministic intent of acquainting the readers with the "changing images, identities and roles of "Indian Women," the book also contributes to the history of India.

Touching a raw nerve
Vijay Mohan
The Kaoboys of R&AW : Down Memory Lane
by B. Raman. Lancer Publishers. Pages 294. Rs 795
An intelligence agency is the custodian of a nation’s secrets, most of which remain buried in its closely guarded archives or in the minds of a few who deal with information largely denied to others. In India, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), tasked with collecting and collating external intelligence, is the agency holding such secrets. Tid-bits about its functioning and past operations have been written about, a lot has been speculated upon and even more remains hidden.

Want your words published? Blog on
In their latest initiative, portal and publishing house Penguin India have launched a blogprint contest, which will not only let the bloggers do something they love the most—that is to blog, but also recognise their work by getting their blogs featured in a book which will be published by Penguin.

Back of the book
From Raj to Swaraj: The Non-Fiction Film in India
by B. D. Garga.
Penguin/Viking. Pages 214. Rs 695
The screening of the six films of the Lumiere brothers at Watson’s Hotel Bombay on July 7, 1896, marked the beginning of India’s engagement with the moving picture. It also laid the foundation of a remarkable body of non-fiction cinematic work. B.D. Garga’s From Raj to Swaraj: The Non-fiction Film in India traces the century-old history of newsreels and documentaries in the country.

The importance of being Asok
Lamat R Hasan

Long before film-crazy Indian American Raj Patel joined Archie, Jughead, Veronica and their gang in Riverdale High, Asok made his way into Dilbert — the enormously popular comic strip about the corporate world. Asok, an ex-IITian, debuted as a summer intern in this satirical script that dwells on high pressure workplaces in 1996. Scott Adams, the creator, named Asok after an Indian colleague.