ONE of the earliest metals to have been used by man, not only in India but also in other parts of the world, silver — the brilliant white shining metal — is second only to gold in preciousness. It has carved a special niche for itself due to its malleability and its multiple uses.

Chughtai’s world of colours
Themes like Islamic history, Hindu mythology and Punjabi legends that dominated Muhammad Abdul Rehman Chughtai’s paintings helped in establishing the historical and cultural identity of the people, writes Dr Kanwarjit Singh Kang
Muhammad Abdul Rehman Chughtai (1894-1975) gave the message of religious harmony through the medium of his paintings when, during the 1920s and 1930s, he painted more than 200 Hindu and Buddhist subjects. His masterpieces include Dance of Shiva, Saint Tulsi Das, Temptation of Buddha, etc.

A free spirit on celluloid
Mahasweta Devi has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize. But the forthright and fearless author is a real-life heroine. Her pen reflects her commitment to social causes and the plight of the downtrodden. Her crusades have been chronicled uniquely in a 51-minute film, writes Shoma A. Chatterji
Noted Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi is the only Indian besides V. S. Naipaul, among the 14 authors shortlisted for the 60,000 Pound Man Booker Prize that recognises lifetime contribution and achievement of a litterateur.

Bizarre way to beauty
Anti-wrinkle treatments like injecting botox are fair enough. But when items like human placenta and snake venom are prescribed to enhance the beauty of the modern miss, one is shocked, says Malini Shekhawat
GRANTED, beauty has a price. But then in modern days one is surprised at the high cost women (and some men, too) are prepared to pay the exorbitant prices for making themselves gorgeous.

Desert safari
A journey through the camel country is an unforgettable experience,
writes Nutan Sehgal

Rajasthan is no longer the mysterious unknown desert trudged only on a camel. Today the state is well connected with all modes of transportation. But the fascination for the camel and the desert remains.

Promos cloud soul of music: Khayyam
Jivraj Burman
Octogenarian music director Khayyam has recently received the Naushad Samman. The first recipient to receive this prestigious award, he says there was a time when the works of composers spoke for themselves but today tunes are popularised through promotions.

I’ll get back to acting soon: Nagesh Kukunoor
Nagesh Kukunoor, who played the lead debut in self-directed Hyderabad Blues, may soon make a comeback to the world of acting by taking some time out of his commitments in filmmaking.

A dinosaur wakes up
The Films Division, once the most vibrant and prolific film production house of the country, is looking forward to newer roles to shake up its image of being a dormant organisation, writes Derek Bose
OR all the media attention and public interest the 60 years of completion of the Films Division of India has generated, this could well be another desultory year in the history of the world’s largest production house for documentary and short films.


NATURECase of the moon bear
by Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd)

TELEVISIONMum’s the word

Food talk: Murg manpasand
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Policy terms binding on firms also
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Peep into Parsiana
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Nano nuisance
by Jaspal Bhatti


Border imbroglio
Parshotam Mehra
India-China Relations: the Border Issue and Beyond
by Mohan Guruswamy and Zorawar Daulet Singh.
Viva Books, New Delhi.
Pages viii+217. Rs 795.

Books received:


In sync with the Indian soul
Chandak Sengoopta
The Immortals
by Amit Chaudhuri.
Pages 404. £16.99

The dark struggle
Rachna Singh
The Sound of Water
by Sanjay Bahadur.
Roli Books.
Pages 168. Rs 195.

Ethical dilemmas
Ashok Vohra
Ethics and the History of Indian Philosophy
by Shyam Ranganathan.
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi.
Pages xviii+402. Rs 795.

Glimpses of 18th-century Delhi
Madhusree Chatterjee
storyteller and a begum swap tales and match their narrative wits in writer-journalist Omair Ahmad's new book The Storyteller's Tale — giving a glimpse of 18th century Delhi after Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Abdali's army plundered it.

A unique portrait
heritage group has uncovered a 400-year-old portrait of playwright William Shakespeare, saying it believed it was the only authentic image of him made during his life.

Recipe for profit
British chef Jamie Oliver has become the country’s biggest selling author after sales of his cookbooks leapt by more than 20 per cent last year. With his latest cookery book, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Oliver pipped Khaled Hosseini, James Patterson and J.K. Rowling by pulling down more than 11.5 million pounds in sales in 2008.

Who will police the police ?
B. S. Thaur
Merian Abhull Yaadan ate Sunehe
(My Unforgettable Memories
and Messages)
by Avtar Singh Gill.
Jaswant Printers, Ludhiana.
Pages 184. Rs 300.

by Pritam Singh Rahi.
Ravi Prakashan, Amritsar.
Pages 144. Rs 150.

Back of the book
The Power of the Possible
by Auriela McCarthy. Jaico.
Pages 260. Rs 295.

Politics Triumphs Economics?
Editors: Pradeep S. Mehta, Simon J. Evenett.
Academic Foundation.
Pages 468. Rs 1195.