Mahatma and the Martyr

Did the ideological distance between Bhagat Singh and Mahatma Gandhi decide the young revolutionary’s fate? Was he a victim of Gandhi’s apathy? V.N. Datta’s latest book Gandhi and Bhagat Singh focuses on Bapu’s attitude towards Bhagat Singh’s trial and execution.

Historians give different explanations about Gandhi's attitude to the trial and execution of Bhagat Singh. Some writers allege that Gandhi was not emotionally involved in saving Bhagat Singh's life from the gallows because of his obsession with his creed of non-violence and his repudiation of violent means, which Bhagat Singh had adopted for the fulfillment of his plans to wreck British power in India.

The Irwin Angle

Art on stone
K.D.L. Khan on the marble carvers of Agra, who have been doing precious inlay work on artefacts over the centuries
VEN 350 years after they created the Taj Mahal, the marble carvers of Agra have no equal in the world. When in 2001 a new Minbar (pulpit) was to be created for Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Mecca, the architects ordered it from the marble artists of Agra.

Flowing with the Alaknanda
Sudha Mahalingam traces the mighty Alaknanda’s journey as she cascades down the mountains and merges into the Ganga
sliver of mist has descended upon Neelkanth, curling around his crown like a gossamer scarf. Flanked by two dark massifs, much like security guards escorting a VIP, Neelkanth dazzles. The chance to catch a glimpse of his snowy majesty is reason enough to brave two days of treacherous ride to the temple town of Badrinath.

Fishing to stay afloat
The daily income of Kashmiri fisherwomen is barely Rs 200 per head. Pollution of lakes, absence of an official fish market and lack of help from the government and NGOs have worsened their plight, writes Prakriiti Gupta
ARLY in the morning, after a simple breakfast of kahwa (Kashmiri tea) and bread, scores of Kashmiri fisherwomen make their way to the Amirakadal bridge, the unofficial fish market of Srinagar. A common thought plays on their minds—to quickly sell off the day’s catch.

No bikinis on the ramp
Shilpa Raina
HEY walk the ramp in contemporary and traditional attire. They reveal loads of skin, but walking the ramp in bikinis or lingerie is a strict no-no for Indian models. As a result of this, though a range and variety of swimwear and lingerie is available off the shelf, no Indian designer has ventured into creating an exclusive line of such wear.

Postcards are back
HE humble postcard is making a comeback after it was almost shown the door by the ‘texting generation’, suggests a new UK report. In an age when we are able to idly text "Wsh u wr hr!" to friends and family from far-flung beaches, the UK’s holidaymakers are staying faithful to the humble postcard.

Man of many acts
Shoma A. Chatterji on Soumitra Chatterjee, who has been honoured with the National Award for Best Actor
OR 50 years, from Satyajit Ray to Tapan Sinha to Mrinal Sen to Gautam Ghosh and Aparna Sen, all major directors have utilised Soumitra Chatterjee’s enormous talent that creates unforgettable cinema. The peerless thespian was nominated for the National Award once, for his performance in Gautam Ghose’s Dekha, but had declined the award while other awards, titles, felicitations and tributes kept flowing in.

Rhythms of passion
Ustad Zakir Hussain says that riyaaz means exploring new movements, ideas, combinations and patterns, writes Ranjita Puri
ABLA maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain dazzles his audience without even touching the instrument. With a poetic turn of phrase that shows a passionate connection with his art, most of the time the maestro turns his pre-concert talks with his fans into a lively interaction.

Neil’s magic at work
Subhash K. Jha
alented newcomer Neil Nitin Mukesh’s next film Freeze is a science fiction about a guy with a camera that has supernatural powers. And apart from taking photographs, the actor performed some breathtaking stunts too. Hesitant to talk about the film’s big USP, Neil said, "We’ve had movies about people who could see the future.

Mita to do cabaret
Radhika Bhirani
Actress Mita Vashishth, often categorised as a serious offbeat artiste in Bollywood, is in for a role reversal. She is set to play a flamboyant cabaret dancer in Sai Paranjpye’s comeback film. "Yes, I am playing a cabaret dancer for Sai Paranjpye’s comeback film Khoon Toh Hona Hi Tha (Paranjpye is directing a film after an 11-year break).

Myths to animate TV
Shinie Antony
UTHOR Anita Nair, who was fed on mythology with dinner from the age of one, will soon have her tales lighting up TV screens, thanks to a tie-up with Canadian animation firm Kahani World. Kahani World has teamed up with Nair to co-produce an animated version of her recently released book for children Magical Indian Myths, which imbues the old legends with wit and fresh insight.


TELEVISIONRomancing the gorilla

NATUREMosquito moves
by Patricia Sullivan

FOOD TALKOnions for all occasions
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Court cuts interest on credit card dues
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Hancock fails to hook
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTANew clear deal
by Jaspal Bhatti


Religions beyond ‘isms’
Upinder Singh

Interpreting violence Violence — Impact and Intervention
Satinder K. Girgla
Ed Manjit Singh and D.P. Singh. Atlantic Publishers. Pages XXV+253. Price 695

Books received: punjabi

President’s power and values
G.S. Bhargava
The Kalam Effect — My Years with the President
by P.M. Nair. Harper-Collins. Pages 147. Rs 250.

Your right to know
Harbans Singh
Right To Information Act, 2005: An Analysis
by Dr. Abhe Singh Yadav. Central Law Publications, Allahabad. Rs.140. Pages 230.

Man who was saint
Shalini Rawat
Thakur: A life of Sri Ramakrishna
Rajiv Mehrotra. Penguin. Pages 178. Rs 250

Jailbird novelist’s wings clipped
Guy Adams

Knowing Lata
A new book reveals little-known facts about the singing legend
Sreya Basu

back of the book

  • The Art of oratory
    Selected, Edited & Introduced by Charles Mosley. Roli Pages 344. Rs 595.

  • The Pedant’s Revolt — Why most things you think are right are wrong
    by Andrea Barham. Michael O’Mara Books Limited Pages 160. Rs 120

  • Serendipities — Language and Lunacy
    Umberto Eco. Translated by William Weaver. Phoenix Pages 153. Rs 175