Endearing Bond
In the serene Doon valley, Ruskin Bond is a living legend. Humble and down-to-earth, this world-famous writer is forever striving to preserve the innocence of childhood, and exudes a fair amount of it even in the seventh decade of his life. His birthday falls on May 19, and in this piece, written exclusively for The Tribune, he shares his thoughts on turning 75
THE barket calls from the top of the spruce tree. Summer is here again. The 75th summer of my life, although I have to admit that I don’t remember the first five. I remember an early summer in Jamnagar, paddling on the beach and staring out at a little steamer making its way across the Gulf of Kutch; an April morning in Dehradun, the air scented with mango blossom; a long hot summer in New Delhi, the bhisti splashing water on the khus-khus reed curtain (no air-conditioning then); a summer’s day in Shimla, consuming ice-creams in the company of my father. All these summers before I was 10.

The boy forever
Rajnish Wattas
S a boy I grew up reading Ruskin Bond’s delightful stories about quaint bazaars, remote railway stations and small towns.

Photo by Rajnish Wattas

No cruelty, this?
There are people who will neglect their personal comfort to nurse an injured dog or a bird. But the milk of their kindness tends to dry up when it comes to protesting against the manner in which millions of birds and animals are slaughtered to feed human beings, says Amar Chandel
NE'S heart melts at the deep concern shown by some kind souls towards the animals subjected to cruelties of various kinds. There are wonderful people who will even neglect their personal comfort to nurse an injured dog or a bird. It is only thanks to their campaign that ivory and shahtoosh trade has come to an end.

Majestic mirrors
The ancient art of making metal mirrors is still practiced, without modifications, by a few artisan families in Aranmula village of Kerala. The making of the mirror, a unique gift of India to the world, involves a long process that needs a lot of patience, writes Sadanand Menon
IKE Darjeeling tea or Benarsi sari, the Aranmula bronze mirror is a unique gift of India to the world. The exquisite metal bronze mirror is produced only in Aranmula, a village in Kerala.

Back to enamel jewellery
As gold prices rise, women prefer to invest in age-old enamel jewellery, which has the gleam of gold and the brilliance of precious stones, says Madhurika Bose
ITH gold touching Rs 1,500 per gram, women are on the lookout for more economical options as far as their jewellery is concerned. They cannot do better than invest in enamel jewellery, which has the gleam of gold, brilliance of precious stones and the sheen of enamel.

Chic Chicago
It is the city of jazz, Nat King Cole, mafia. Political home of Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, it is also quintessentially American, writes Lalit Mohan
AS the aircraft descends over the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan the spectacular skyline of Chicago looms ahead. Chicago has a special quality: the quality of being quintessentially American. Because of all major US cities it is more American than any other city.

From Ang to Zoozoos
Forty-four years after legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray created the iconic dwarf Ang, which was adapted by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg as the E.T., a crew of 25 admen has given India a new cult of queer beings — the Zoozoos.

Straight with all the curves
Celina Jaitley talks to Ritesh Sharma about gay activism, films and her mentor Feroz Khan, who passed away recently
ITH as many as seven releases lined up in the next few months, you are getting ready to shoot for your second international venture, The Quest Of Sheherzade and are awaiting the release of the first Love Has No Language. So it seems to be pretty busy time for you?

Poster boy of secularism
Shakuntala Rao
Listing Shah Rukh Khan as one of 50 global power elites, Newsweek writes, "Who is the world’s biggest movie star? Brad? Will? Nah. His name is Shah Rukh Khan, and he’s the king of Bollywood.



Nature: Antsy wisdom

Food talk: Mast murg
by Pushpesh Pant

rights.htmIgnore small fractions
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Missing fireworks
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Black & Gill
by Jaspal Bhatti


Beyond borders
Rumina Sethi
Same-Sex Love in India: A Literary History
Eds. Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai.
Pages 479. Rs 450.

Books received:

The daughter’s case
Nonika Singh
Punjab is a readymade topic for researchers," quips academician author, a lecturer in development studies, University of Manchester. Documenting the obsession of Punjabis with a male child in a book titled Son Preference, this proud Punjaban is dismayed with the social inequalities that criss cross the social fabric of the state. "When it comes to social equilibrium, Punjab is a total disgrace", she says.

Understanding du Maurier
Aradhika Sharma
by Justine Picardie.
Pages 405. Rs 350.

Nature vs development
Ambika Sharma
by Dr Kulwant Singh Pathania and Dr Arun Kumar.
Regal Publications.
Pages 290. Rs 980.

Emotional journey of a refugee
Manmeet Sodhi
Lahore to Delhi ... Rising from the Ashes
by Pran Seth.
Pages 288. Rs 345.

Incisive trilogy
Shalini Rawat
The Complete Fiction of Jaya Varma
Writers’ Workshop. Rs 950.

Farewell to feminist icon
Marilyn French, one of the most renowned feminist writers, has passed away in New York after suffering a heart failure. She was 79. The author breathed her last on May 2 in a Manhattan hospital, said Carol Jenkins, her friend and president of the city’s Women’s Media Center.

The essence of Malayaliness
Kerala is many things to many people. While it is "God’s own country" for some because of its scenic lushness, others think it an "embarrassment that encourages constant disorder in its politics and economy". 

Fair laureate
Boyd Tonkin on Carol Ann Duffy’s appointment as the first woman Poet Laureate
Carol Ann Duffy’s appointment as the first female — and first openly gay — laureate in 350 years will rightly be hailed as a transfusion of fresh blood and energy for a role that always risks dying from sheer tedious respectability.

Back of the book
Issues not Tissues
by Ann Marie McMahon. Sterling.
Pages 86. Rs 99.

The Secrets of Bhakti
by Taoshobuddha. Sterling.
Pages 198. Rs 350.