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:
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
“Kandinsky, Side 1”. Acrylic on canvas by Ali. October, 1998
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
(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
we forget their sacrifice
Cdre Mukund B Kunte (retd)
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.
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.
The Puszta or the traditional
Hungarian landscape is a barren, treeless flat country full of
folklore, writes Inder Raj Ahluwalia
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
race kills quality
Bhattacharjee on what ails television soaps
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.
serial on Gandhi
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.
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
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.
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
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.