Bollywood is back
Kashmir was once the favourite location for films, but militancy and instability kept cinema out of the Valley for almost 18 years. With peace returning to this ‘paradise on earth’, the film connection, too, is being revived, writes Ehsan Fazili from Srinagar
HE mesmerising beauty of Kashmir has bewitched not only the tourists visiting the state but Bollywood, too. This romance of camera and Kashmir continued for more than three decades, as the picturesque locales of the Valley presented prime shooting locations for Bollywood.

A song sequence for Sadiyan being shot in the Tulip Garden in Srinagar. The garden, which is often compared with the tulip fields in Holland, is attracting tourists as well as film crews Photos Amin War
A song sequence for Sadiyan being shot in the Tulip Garden in Srinagar. The garden, which is often compared with the tulip fields in Holland, is attracting tourists as well as film crews Photos Amin War

He introduced India to the West
Kanwarjit Singh Kang on Sir William Jones, whose study of comparative
linguistics led to an Oriental renaissance in the West
THE Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident ...

Serpentine stories
The discovery of a fossilised backbone of 45 feet long snake in Colombia challenges our understanding of past climates and environments, writes Steve Connor
T GREW up to 45ft long, weighed more than a ton and dined on giant turtles and fearsome crocodiles. It is also the biggest known snake to have ever lived — and even dwarfed the Hollywood serpent that tried to eat Jennifer Lopez in Anaconda.

Value from waste
T is 11 am at Kalakshetra Colony — a seaside residential area in south Chennai. The door-to-door garbage-collecting agent of Neel Metal Fanalca, the firm that the Chennai Corporation has hired for clearing garbage in the colony, is leaving with a collection trolley that is still not full.

Meet the real-life Tarzan
Jonathan Brown
ITH film-star looks, long untamed locks and a special bond with wild animals, Olivier Houalet has become a real-life Tarzan, who can relate to cheetahs just like his cinematic counterpart. Houalet has developed such a special way of dealing with the animals that he has become known as "the cheetah whisperer".

Legends in stone
Chhattisgarh, a 21st century state, is home to many ancient temples. Tanushree Podder highlights some unique features of temples in Rajim near Raipur

Temples and sculptures are a part of culture of Chhattisgarh, as much as Teejan Bai’s Pandvani. Some of the remarkable temples of India are situated here.

Bollywood songs drowning non-film music albums 
Ruchika Kher
Acclaimed singers like Sonu Nigam, Shaan, KK and even Asha Bhonsle have come out with independent music albums that have been popular with audiences. But these non-film albums are now on the decline and many blame Bollywood for the downward trend.

Street performers steal the show
Arvind Sinha’s documentary King of India was the only film from India to have been selected for screening at the Joris Evans Competition in Amsterdam, writes Shoma A. Chatterji
THE camera opens on the crudely painted face of a little boy of six or seven. His name is Raja Hindustani, after the popular Aamir Khan hit because, his parents say he was born the day Raja Hindustani was released.

Ultimate screen beauty
Audrey Hepburn has been voted the ultimate screen beauty in a poll of Hollywood actresses through the ages. The Roman Holiday star was chosen ahead of modern divas, including Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley and Halle Berry.


TELEVISIONThe cool pool

by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Channa, the Kabooli way
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Hospitals must ensure nursing care
by Pushpa Girimaji

by David Bird

ULTA PULTAAll in the air
by Jaspal Bhatti


In search of roots
Rachna Singh
The Girl From Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten
Histories and a Sense of Home
by Sadia Shepard.
Penguin Books
Pages 364. Rs 450.
THE literature of diaspora has caught the imagination of literature lovers all over the world. And why not? An empathy with the ‘rootlessness’ of the ‘diasporic’ protagonist often becomes the inspiration to undertake a personal voyage of self-discovery.

Ode to failure
Madhusree Chatterjee
by Rana Dasgupta. Fourth Estate Ltd. 
Pages 368. £ 9.89.

t could well be a leaf out of One Hundred Years of Solitude or even Arabian Nights, say critics. British Indian writer Rana Dasgupta’s new novel, Solo, is about the life and daydreams of a 100-year-old man.

Pedestrian’s view of life
Shalini Rawat
Holy Cow and Other Poems
by S. Nihal Singh.
Writers Workshop.
Pages 72. Rs 150 (soft cover), Rs 200 (hard bound).
THE praxis of poetry has undergone a sea change in the past couple of decades. From being the favoured form of literature and colloquial expression, poetry has lost its moorings and become a caricature of its former self.

God under the microscope
Kuldip Dhiman
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
by Daniel C. Dennett.
Penguin Books.
Pages 447. £3.25.

WHEN science started making earthshaking discoveries by challenging ancient dogma, many felt that religion would not survive the rational onslaught for too long. Religion, however, is flourishing even in this modern age of space exploration, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology. It seems that there is something about religious belief which modern education and science are unable to shake off.

Comedy of manners
Kavita Soni-Sharma
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People
by Farahad Zama.
Abacus, London.
Pages 276. Rs 800.

ON a crisp winter morning, Hyder Ali, a retired government clerk is taking in the fragrance of the jasmine flowers and enjoying being in the garden he has created in his modest yard when he sees a man ‘stealing’ a bright blossom. Ali is livid.

Magical love story
Ravia Gupta
A Guy Thing
by Suman Hossain.
Frog Books. Pages 132. Rs 145.

A debut fiction by Suman Hossain, A Guy Thing is the story of an IITian, Sahil, who is a dreamer and has the courage to follow his dreams. He wants to break the norms at IIT, Delhi, and change the clich`E9, which he has heard from girls that "IITians are nerds".

The karmic quest
Mehru Jaffer
ELL-KNOWN photographer and poet Dorothea Nuernberg, 44, has a dozen books to her credit. Yet, none of these accomplishments soothe the restless soul of this Viennese writer. "I still have to conquer my own nature. I want to awaken my sleeping spirit and stand face-to-face with my true consciousness," says Nuernberg, during a chat at an Italian caf`E9 in the heart of Vienna’s affluent 19th district.

Teenage techie on a roll
Nabeel A. Khan
HE twists and turns of dingy lanes in Old Delhi’s Kasab Pura take you to a one-room rented accommodation where one of the country’s youngest cyber wizards and "ethical hacker" Sahil Khan lives. He is now getting ready for the release of his fourth book.

Courts, Panchayats and Nagarpalikas — Background And Review Of The Case Law
by K.C Sivaramakrishnan. Academic Foundation.
Pages 343. Rs 995.

  • Daughters of Shame
    by Jasvinder Sanghera. Hachette.
    Pages 305. Rs 295.