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The journey of Fauji Akhbar, rechristened Sainik Samachar in 1954, had started on January 2, 1909. Over the last century it has remained the chief chronicler of the tales of valour of the men in uniform. Taking off as an Urdu weekly, it moved from Simla to Lahore to, finally, Delhi. Now it is a fortnightly published in 13 languages. The centennial anthology Soldiering On, gives a panoramic view of the major events of the past 100 years as reported by the journal. Excerpts:

Madhushala on canvas
By way of 135 serigraphs, Sanjeev Kumar has enthused new life into the verses of Harivansh Rai Bachchanís magnum opus, writes Nonika Singh 
Raah pakkad tu ek chalachal paa jaayega madhushala ...
IT was in 1994 as a student of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, that Sanjeev Kumar got smitten by Harivansh Rai Bachchanís poetry, which continues to inspire him even after a decade.

Joy of dance
Sensual dances have come of age in urban India and are no longer associated with vulgarity. As their popularity grows, many dance studios and institutes, where these are taught, have come up in metros, says Kalindi Sheth
YOU have to feel sexy," says Lavina Khanna, as she instructs a group of women ranging from college students to the middle-aged. Khanna is taking a session in lap dancing, as part of her fitness class at Pulse Studio in Mumbai.

Ravenís roost for a kingís crown
Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd)
B
HUTAN is the only country in the world that around 1980 had declared that the measure of its prosperity shall not be its GNP (Gross National Product) but its GNH, that is the Gross National Happiness. Axiomatically, by the first decade of the 21st century, through a legislation enacted by a constitutionally elected Assembly, Bhutan opted to retain 60 per cent of its landmass under the natural forest cover.

Clear the clutter
Get rid of the clutter in your house. It is the doorway to misery. A cluttered home reflects a distracted mind, says Anju Munshi
DO you have a basement full of supplies for a hobby that you have been thinking of taking up? Or clothes that you think you can fit into one day?

African mosaic
Right from its southern tip to enchanting Swaziland and Zambia, this picturesque continent is a travellerís paradise, writes Sakshi Manchanda
THE southern tip of Africa is one of the most exotic travel destinations having an abundance of natural marvels like the Victoria Falls, Ezulwini Valley, Table Mountains and many beautiful beaches and waterfronts.

Fading notes of ghazals
There has been a marked decline in the number of ghazals in Hindi movies as the trend has moved towards creating fast songs, says Ruchika Kher 
THE lilting melodies of Jhuki jhuki si nazar and Chupke chupke raat din never fail to impress music buffs even today, but the popular ghazal genre seems to have taken a backseat in Bollywood.

A new dawn
The year is likely to witness some of the biggest, brightest and bravest films to hit the Hindi screen ever, writes Derek Bose
Contrary to all prophesies of gloom, 2009 has begun on a positive note for Bollywood. The spirit of good cheer and optimism that marked the release of Aamir Khanís Ghajini during the Christmas weekend has spilled into the New Year, with the box-office now suddenly looking upbeat.

Bollywood goes gay
Homosexuality in Bollywood is finally coming out of the closet, writes Shakuntala Rao 
WHAT is unique about Karan Joharís Dostana? Not much if you were to read the reviews in newspapers and magazines and watch seamless promos on cable.


COLUMNS

TELEVISIONJaws of death

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Visual feast
by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Magic of methi
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: The loan trap
by Pushpa Girimaji

BRIDGE
by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Souvenir stories
by Jaspal Bhatti

BOOKS

In midst of a long journey
Amar Chandel
Innovative India Rises
Ed. L.K. Sharma.
Medialand, London.
Pages 364. £35 (soft cover), £ 45 (hard bound).

Books received
english

Shades of belonging
Amreeta Sen
Memoryís Gold ó Writings on Calcutta
Ed. Amit Chaudhuri.
Penguin/Viking.
Pages 532. Rs 699.

Towards better global studies
Randeep Wadehra
International Relations in South Asia
Ed. Navnita Chadha Behera. Sage.
Pages: vii+342. Price not mentioned.

A heavy dose of Northeast
Parbina Rashid
Next Door
by Jahnavi Barua.
Penguin.
Rs 250. Pages 232. 

Romantic fantasy
Shalini Rawat
Chandrakanta
by Devkinandan Khatri.
Translated by Deepa Aggarwal.
Puffin Classics.
Pages 252. Rs 199.

Agony of Partition
Aditi Garg
Love Longing and Death ó Mystic Stories
by Amar Jaleel.
Promilla and Co.
Pages 262. Rs 295.

How to conduct effective research
Kanwalpreet
Anthropologists Inside Organisations ó South Asian Case Studies
Ed. Devi Sridhar.
Sage Publications.
Pages 170. Rs 495.

The ugly face of Goa
D
OMESTIC violence is "fairly common" in Goa. One-third of its women suffer from anaemia, and one-fourth are undernourished, says a new book that for a change takes the focus away from the state being a sun-and-sand tourist haven.

A lesson in humility
Christina Patterson
A
lastair Campbell has written a novel about humility. Campbell, the new Labour attack dog, bully boy and Machiavellian master of that new lynchpin of the new political culture, "spin", has channelled his considerable storytelling skills into a novel which pivots on an essay, and then a eulogy, on humility.





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