Why widows go to Vrindavan

The poverty and neglect faced by widows in West Bengal is driving them to seek refuge in Vrindavan’s charity. Usha Rai looks at the studies that show why, despite welfare measures initiated by the West Bengal Government, widows from the state and other regions, too, are flocking this temple town

Vrindavan is known for its exquisite temples. In and around Vrindavan or the Brajbhoomi is where the Krishna Leela or the birth and romance of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha was enacted. Round the year there is an unending stream of tourists, Indian and foreign, who wish to savour the enchantment of the holy city and seek the blessings of the resident deities in the temples. Vrindavan is also famous for its lathmaar holi celebrations, where women pick up sticks and hit men.

From Kota with love
Only a handful of Kota sarees sold across the country are genuine and these come from Kaithoon village in Rajasthan, writes
Abhilash Gaur

IF Banarsis and Kanjeevarams are the flavour of winter, Kota sarees rule through summer. Light and airy, these are an excellent protection against the north Indian heat. However, these are less common than one thinks. One can get Kota sarees at practically every saree shop, but the bulk of these have never been within a few hundred miles of Kota.

Eye Kandy for the spiritual tourist
The world heritage resort of Kandy in Sri Lanka comes alive with pomp and pageantry as tourists throng this hill town to pay homage to the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha enshrined in a temple here, writes Anurag Yadav

all the extravagant religious celebrations around the world, a unique festival in the island country of Sri Lanka stands out for its amazing pageantry.This spectacle happens every year during the full-moon night towards end of August at the golden-roofed Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa), at Kandy — the UNESCO declared world heritage hill resort of Sri Lanka.

Now, Rabindra Sangeet in Oriya
V. V. Shukla
songs, popularly known as Rabindra Sangeet, can now be heard in Oriya as well, thanks to upcoming singer Trupti Panda. She has assorted 24 songs out of about 2,400 compositions of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and rendered them in her mother tongue Oriya (also in its original Bengali) in double-CD packs.

World’s fastest snapper
termite is the world’s snappiest animal, two entomologists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama have discovered. Marc Seid and Jeremy Niven filmed the termite’s jaws at 40,000 frames per second, and found that they achieved a speed of 70.4 metres per second — albeit over a distance of only 1.76 mm.

Colours of Punjab
Donald Banerjee

artistes stole the show in three world festivals held recently in Buyukcekmecee, Bursa and Izmit cities of Turkey. Their colourful dresses and foot-tapping bhangra and gidda performances saw a number of artistes from 30 countries cry for more. 

‘I had a good story and I wanted to tell it’

Novelist Jayabrato Chatterjee tells Shoma A. Chatterji on his coming back to feature films after 22 years
ward-winning novelist Jayabrato Chatterjee has waited for two decades to make his second feature film (in English) Lovesongs — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, with stalwarts like Jaya Bachchan, Om Puri and Mallika Sarabhai. first feature film Kehkashaa (1985) received critical acclaim. Over the years, he has written and directed more than 50 documentaries and training films, short features and telefilms for NGOs in India and Bangladesh in the areas of disability, women’s empowerment and education for slum children.

By George!
Ervell E. Menezes
on George Clooney who has been in films for a decade and even today is one of Hollywood’s most sought after actors

oted the Sexiest Man Alive by People’s magazine last year is no small honour for George Clooney and that too after being only a decade in films. But this nephew of singer-actress Rosemary Clooney (he was pall-bearer for her funeral) has been able to forge a sort of unique persona, rugged yet dignified, humorous yet steely to become one of Hollywood’s most sought actors today.

Mummy dear
Randeep Wadehra
nusual entertainers have become a norm. On the one hand there are sports-oriented flicks like Chak De India sweeping the box office stakes and on the other you have Bheja Fry giving the funny bone a much-needed tickle and more. Strengthening the trend is Pammi Somal’s family entertainer Mummyji — a typical multiplex movie.

No ifs and butts
The risk of dying due to lung cancer is 20 times higher among women who smoke than among those who don’t, writes Kavita Devgan

o you’ve been told umpteen times that cigarette smoking is injurious to health. After all, tobacco affects the lungs, causes various types of cancer, brings on heart ailments, triggers tuberculosis and causes osteoporosis to set in. But if you are a woman, then it is time you paid heed to the statutory warning on your cigarette pack. The reason being that more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer. And having said that, the risk of dying of lung cancer is 20 times higher among women who smoke than among women who don’t, say some reports.

Teej with a difference
Moushumi Sen

ajasthan’s tradition can be captured at its festive best at fairs and festivals which are dazzlingly theatrical and lively.The celebration of Kajli Teej in Bundi, the queen of Hadoti, in Rajasthan, is different from the many other Teej festivals celebrated elsewhere in the state and outside. Here it is more than a week-long celebration of gaiety and funfair.Goddess Uma is worshipped by the seekers of conjugal bliss and love.


TELEVISION: Crime and capers

NATURE :These snakes won’t bite
by T.S.N. Murthy

FOOD TALK: Bihar special
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Ban on forced recoveries
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES : Watchable horror
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Taken to task
by Jaspal Bhatti


Unending quest
Rachna Singh
Solving Kashmir
by Lt Gen M.C. Bhandari. Lancer Publishers.
Pages 362. Rs 795

Books Received

Creative visions
Aradhika Sharma
Once Upon a Time in Doon: Writings from the Green Valley
Ed. Ruskin Bond. Rupa & Co.
Rs 295. Pages 220.

Distinctive pathfinder
Himmat Singh Gill
Guru Granth Sahib and its Context
Ed. J. S. Neki. Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi.
Pages 304. Rs 250.

A pioneer’s parting gift 
Randeep Wadehra
The Science of Mental Healing
by Dr N. L. Dosajh. Unistar, Chandigarh.
Pages IX+166. Rs 295.

Why Pash still matters
Rajesh Kumar Sharma

Make love for books pay

State of flux
Vijay Mohan
Lost Opportunities:50 Years of Insurgency in the North-East and India’s Response
by Brig (Dr) S.P. Sinha
Lancer Publishers and Distributors.
 Pages 357. Rs 695

Not happily ever after

On the road with two ace reporters
Paul Cartledge
Travels with Herodotus
by Ryszard Kapuscinski, trans. Klara Glowczewska. Allen Lane. Pages 275.