Colours of Ali's world

Right from his eight-week premature birth, Ali was special. Hearing impairment, dyslexia and a series of accidents failed to break his spirit. He worked magic with paint and brush, exploring new dimensions of life. He was, by turns, a child, a rebel and a survivor. In Ali’s World, Badal and Swapna Mukhopadhyay provide a loving glimpse of the world of their son who died at 20. Excerpts:
In the summer of 1987, we went to Kolkata. In the previous winter, Ali had watched Buju, Swapna, my father and I play contract bridge and his eyes gleamed. So I taught him the basics: four suits, the cards, the point count and the simplest of bids. This time in Kolkata my father would eagerly wait to sit with his two grandsons and me and tolerate all possible blunders.
“Kandinsky, Side 1”. Acrylic on canvas by Ali. October, 1998
“Kandinsky, Side 1”. Acrylic on canvas by Ali. October, 1998

They prefer dignity to tradition
By marrying Arshad, Rehana had become part of the community that serves as carriers of night soil. Giving up the age-old practice was not easy, but Rehana was determined to break out. Today she earns a living by sewing clothes, and has encouraged other women in the community to find better sources of livelihood, writes Shuriah Niazi
ehana (42) of Tarana village in Ujjain district was married at the age of 14. Like other girls, she, too, had dreamt of a happy life after marriage. But on moving into her marital home, the young bride found that she was considered amongst the lowest of the low in the community, and was even excluded from public activities and social festivities.

Lest we forget their sacrifice
Cdre Mukund B Kunte (retd)
n India memorials have regularly been in and out of public glare. The one for India’s police was to be a grand one at the northern end of Shanti Path but it turned out to be too grandiose and was ruled out as it would have overshadowed the dome of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Now, a bike on compressed air
motor cycle that is powered by compressed air has been developed by researchers at the National Central University in Taiwan. Yu-Ta Shen and Yean-Ren Hwang, the researchers behind this discovery, say that such motor cycles may prove helpful in fighting air pollution. They have revealed that the current prototype can hold a little more than two-and-a-half gallons of compressed air, which would carry the bike and driver about three-quarters of a mile.

In Hungary’s heartland
The Puszta or the traditional Hungarian landscape is a barren, treeless flat country full of folklore, writes Inder Raj Ahluwalia
he sweet smell of plums and apricots was quite endearing to the senses. But it was the ghost-like riders in the failing light with their shrill cries echoing across the countryside that captivated the imagination.

Ratings race kills quality
Devapriyo Bhattacharjee on what ails television soaps
he classic school of scriptwriting suggests that every story must have three basic parts — beginning, middle, and an end — without which it is not complete. But the melodramatic daily soaps on Indian TV channels have a beginning that people forget in the middle and wait for the end that never comes.

New serial on Gandhi
he UTV will co-produce its first Hindi daily serial on Mahatma Gandhi in association with Smriti Irani. Describing it as an epic effort, UTV said the drama series would seek to tell the life-story of Gandhi and his incessant search for truth.

Who’s afraid of RGV?
Ram Gopal Varma has been a key influence in ushering in the trend of ‘multiplex films’ with unconventional plots, low budgets and high returns. Derek Bose on the filmmaker who is back with his latest release Phoonk
What is it about Ram Gopal Varma that gets people uptight? Nobody I know has met the man and come out with a kind word about him. Varma takes pride at being unfriendly and maintains that all "relationships" are need-based. He trusts nobody, is pathologically selfish, cagey and conceited and can be horribly nasty. In short, he is not a nice person to know.

Farhan on a song
Director Farhan Akhtar, who debuts as an actor with Rock On!!, is all set to start his own band, says Subhash K. Jha
fter playing a musician in Rock On!! director-turned-actor Farhan Akhtar says the film has changed his attitude towards rock music and he might form his own band.


'ART & sOULWhere money will take us all
by B. N. Goswamy

TELEVISIONInside the body shops

NATUREDance of the dolphin
by Azera Rahman

FOOD TALKBamboo blast
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Justice delayed is also negligence
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: A horror of a horror
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Mobile mania
by Jaspal Bhatti


Young and restless
Rumina Sethi
Fireflies in the Mist
by Qurratulain Hyder.
Women Unlimited, New Delhi. Pages 378. Rs 350.

Books received

Helpful manual
Roopinder Singh
Indian Garden Flowers: Home Gardener’s Guide
by Amarjeet Singh Batth.
Prakash Book. Pages 212. Rs 495.

Emigres’ world
Aradhika Sharma
The Last Dragon Dance: Chinatown Stories
by Kwai-Yun Li.
Penguin. Pages 122. Rs 199.

Dark side of capitalism
Shalini Rawat
Decolonisation and Empire: Contesting the Rhetoric and 
Reality of Resubordination in Southern Africa and Beyond
by John S. Saul. Three Essays Collective.
Pages 201. Rs 200.

Hindi review
Modern verses
Harbans Singh
Angaron Par Nange Paon
by Madhav Kaushik.
Penguin .Pages 93. Rs 75.

Broad field of policy issues
S. S. Johl
Glimpses of Indian Agriculture: Macro and Micro Aspects
Ed: S M Jharwal, R S Deshpande, Vijay Paul Sharma, R P S Malik, Brajesh Jha.
Academic Foundation, Pages 1608. $149.95

Adult Brits love Enid Blyton’s kid stuff
Dipankar De Sarkar

Lid off White House secrets

Architect as artist
Randeep Wadehra
Architecture, Life And Me
By Sangeet Sharma. Rupa & Co. Pages: xviii+164. Rs 195.

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