Shabana Azmi’s comment on Muslims not getting houses in Mumbai has exposed the chinks in the cosmopolitan culture of India’s most modern city. Shiv Kumar reports on the discrimination faced by the community
Ahmed and Halima Qazi's family is growing and they need a bigger house. They love the middle-class cosmopolitan locality they live in, but they have no choice but to stay put.

Photo by Kuldip Dhiman
Photo by Kuldip Dhiman

Home truths
Shabana Azmi's statement regarding the problems faced by Mumbai's Muslims in buying or renting flats in the city’s cooperative housing societies, kicked up a storm. Though the media has played up the issue for years, the whole country sat up and took notice of the issue after the actress-turned social activist and former Member of the Rajya Sabha spoke out in a television programme.

Shabana Azmi highlighted the issue of Muslims being denied the freedom to choose a house in several areas of Mumbai

Other Muslim celebrities who were denied houses

Cattle stand stranded on small islands surrounded by flood waters of Kosi in this view taken from a relief helicopter

Expanse of sorrow

Cattle stand stranded on small islands surrounded by flood waters of Kosi in this view taken from a relief helicopter of the Indian Air Force in Madhepura district in Bihar. Some 9,00,000 people fled from their homes or were evacuated by boat since the Kosi river breached its defences four weeks ago on the Nepal border and changed course. — AFP photo

Hope for the goddess
Nepal’s Kumaris, who are shunned and denied basic rights when they lose their ‘divine’ status, can now look forward to a better and normal future, thanks to a ruling by the country’s apex court, writes Sudeshna Sarkar
HEN Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, chief of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the country’s former guerrilla party, was sworn in as the young Himalayan republic’s new prime minister, the event was hailed internationally as the climax to an amazing revolution that had ended the reign of the 239-year-old dynasty of the Shah kings, once regarded as incarnations of Vishnu.

Antique jewellery is back
Dolly Sagar
The marriage season is about to begin. Walk into any jewellery store these days and the chances are that you will be taken on a guided tour through its various sections, where a dazzling array of bridal antique jewellery occupies a place of pride. Yes. The antique look is back with a flashy bang. We are seeing it in the world around us and have already seen it on the big screen—Jodhaa Akbar.

Spanish fiesta
Long afternoon naps followed by extended hours of sight-seeing, Madrid offers a perfect balance of languor and vigour to any tourist,
writes Shveta Pathak

THE lively metropolis of Madrid never seems to sleep. And the culprit is the Sun god, which is reluctant to set. For tourists to the capital city of Spain a full-blown sun at 9 pm is a mind-boggling site. Though it is not something they mind as it stretches their hours of sightseeing, shopping and just imbibing the spirit of the city.

The bishop who became Paraguay’s President
Ash Narain Roy

FOR long, Paraguay was virtually terra incognita to the world closed as it was to tourism for political reasons. At best it was known as a refuge for deposed dictators and former Nazi members.

‘It is a hero-oriented industry’
Bipasha Basu talks to V. Ananth about her latest film Bachna Ae Haseeno
INCE her debut in Abbas-Mustan’s Ajnabee eight years back, Bipasha Basu has carved a niche for herself in the industry.

Rare Monroe footage found
rare amateur footage of Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe has surfaced and is up for auction almost 50 years after it was presumed lost.

Benegal’s brush with comedy
Noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal has said even though his forthcoming film Welcome to Sajjanpur is a funny film, it deals with very serious issues.


'ART & sOULPicturing the self
by B. N. Goswamy

TELEVISIONRoyal romance

FOOD TALKSawani murg
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Contractor has to ensure vehicle’s safety
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Animation classic
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTAAdult affairs
by Jaspal Bhatti


Free India’s journey
Kavita Soni-Sharma
India Since Independence
by Bipan Chandra, Mridula Mukherjee and Aditya Mukherjee.
Penguin Books. Pages 771. Rs 395.
THERE is more to India than its ancient civilisation, spiritual traditions and various systems of belief. Professors Bipan Chandra, Mridula Mukherjee and Aditya Mukherjee have brought out a comprehensive volume on the history of contemporary India, called India Since Independence.

Mistress of tales
Strong women characters have been an important part of Chitra Banerjee Devakaruni’s books. In an interview with Shoma A. Chatterji, she talks about her life as an Indian writer settled in the US and her work. Excerpts:
hitra Banerjee Devakaruni’s work is widely known in the literary circle, having been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and being included in over 50 anthologies.

Books received

Janhavi’s musings
It does not take years of mature reflection to ponder on the vicissitudes of life and write about them. The following excerpt has been taken from Aloft on Wings of Grit, a collection by poems of Janhavi Malhotra. As Ruskin Bond says in the Foreword, Janhavi is "able to express herself in so fluent, and at times powerful language." This when she is 14.

Spirit of womanhood
Satinder K. Girgla
Lilacs Bloom in my Backyard
by Meenu Mehrotra.
Rupa. Pages 284. Rs 195.
THE novel is a bold depiction of a challenging subject—alternate sexuality. Written in simple prose, it revolves around a modern professional woman who courageously defies the age-old traditions and chooses to lead her life the way she wants without bothering about society.

In the realm of desire
Alev Adil
The Consequences Of Love
by Sulaiman Addonia. Chatto & Windus
£ 12.99
Sulaiman Addonia’s first novel is a spirited and politically provocative romance set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 1989. Nasser, a young Eritrean refugee, is lonely and at a loose end.

The Babbar insurrection
Nirbhai Singh
The Babbar Akali Case Judgement: From Liberation of Gurudwaras to National Liberation
Eds Malwinderjit Singh Waraich and Gurdev Singh Sidhu.
Unistar, Chandigarh. Pages XII+432. Rs 695.
THE book is based on a manuscript procured from Shaheed Bhagat Singh Museum at Khatkar Kalan, Nawan Sher, Punjab.

Slice of rural life
B. S. Thaur
Pind Awazan Marda
by Bachan Bedil.
Pages 103. Rs 125.
THIS book by Punjabi poet Bachan Bedil contains anthropological and ethnological impressions of his own village in verse. One of the first books on village life, Mera Pind, was written by Giani Gurdit Singh in 1961. A virtual anatomy of village life, Mera Pind now is in its 8th edition, which speaks of its becoming a legendary in its own right.

New-age commandments
Randeep Wadehra

  • MODEL: The Return of the Employee
    by Mukul Deva. Response.
    Pages 227. Rs 270.

  • Enlightenment: Right Here, Right Now!
    by Sirshree. Tej Gyan Foundation.
    Pages 256. Rs 160.

  • The Sikhism
    by Jagjit Singh. B. Chattar Singh Jiwan Singh, Amritsar.
    Pages: xviii+262. Rs 300.

Bawdy Tintin goes off the shelf
he Spanish version of one of Tintin’s most famous tales, The Blue Lotus, has been withdrawn from the bookstores due to its bawdy content.

Book on Sivaji Ganesan
new book by S. Theodore Baskaran Sivaji Ganesan: Profile of an Icon in the memory of Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan and part of a series on the legends of Indian cinema has been released recently.