Bihar’s bounty
Juicy litchis are like manna on a hot summer’s day. Bihar is the largest producer of this fruit in India, but litchi growers in the state are treading a rough road to serve this ‘delicate darling’ on our tables, writes Sanjay Singh
LITCHI is a native fruit of China, which is still its largest producer in the world. However, the growing acceptance of this rare fruit in other Asian and western countries has made it a widely consumed exotic one. 

Doon losing litchi
Multi-storey apartment blocks have not only changed the skyline of Dehradun but have also threatened the fate of the city’s litchi, writes Jotirmay Thapliyal
Ever since it donned the mantle of a busy and bustling state capital, Dehradun has not only lost its aura of a quaint British cantonment which was a retiree’s haven, but is also on the brink of losing its aroma of litchi in summer months. Going by the trend, Dehra litchis may soon be history.

Genius at work
Maths wizard Anand Kumar of Bihar is known all over the country for his ‘Super 30’ programme. He selects 30 poor but bright students out of thousands who appear every year for a test, and prepares them to get into the IITs, writes Uttam Sengupta
nand Kumar was not a household name 15 years ago. He was then barely into his twenties, a postgraduate student of mathematics in Patna University. His father was employed in the Postal Department, and the family struggled to make ends meet.

On a wild trail
India’s rich and varied wildlife is found in its sanctuaries and national parks, writes Gyan Marwah
India’s spectacular wildlife and its huge variety of flora and fauna is being preserved beautifully in its national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. In recent years these parks and sanctuaries have added another aspect to their repertoire — that of wildlife tourism.

A visitor views an installation at the Danish and the Nordic pavilion during the vernissage of the 53rd Biennale International Art Exhibition in Venice
A visitor views an installation at the Danish and the Nordic pavilion during the vernissage of the 53rd Biennale International Art Exhibition in Venice Photo: Reuters 

We need more substance on TV: Smriti Irani
Jasmine Singh chats up this original Ekta bahu, on her comeback show and her political career 
Tell us something about your role in is a middle class woman’s journey to discover whether her individuality and values can withstand the pressure of the ever-changing competitive world.

Fair choice
Slickly edited Our Family documents the journey of three generations of transgender female subjects as they discover their sexual identities and blur the line between themselves and what is seen as normal social behaviour, writes Shoma A. Chatterji
SET in Tamil Nadu, Our Family is a different kind of documentary film that for the first time perhaps puts across a powerful statement on alternative sexuality and on new forms of family.

Honour for Kaka
Even after four decades, no actor has been able to match the appeal of Rajesh Khanna in his heyday, writes M.L. Dhawan
HE charisma of Rajesh Khanna, who was recently honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at IIFA, in China lies in the fact that he imbued majesty to mediocrity. His ordinary physique, average looks and non-heroic visage brought to fore the loveable boy-next-door.


TELEVISIONGender games

Nature: Call of the koel

Food talk: Tomato soiree
by Pushpesh Pant

rights.htm Wrong delivery of parcel an offence
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: From the battle front
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Mother conflict
by Jaspal Bhatti


Scales of social economics
Humra Quraishi
Muslims In North India — Frozen In The Past 
by Syed Iqbal Hasnain.
Pages 139. Rs 295.

Books received

Chilling reminder
Gayatri Rajwade
Piercing the Heart: Unheard Voices of 26/11
by Simran Sodhi
Rupa & Co. Pages 68. Rs 95.

26/11 Mumbai Attacked 
Ed. Harinder Baweja.
Lotus/Roli. Pages 216. Rs 295.

Womanhood in verse
Deepa Gopala Krishnan
got to read Kamala Das in 2003, when I had her poems in my Honours course. Then, I, along with my other classmates, used to literally cringe at the blatant frankness in her poems, wondering, why were such sexually explicit poems included in our syllabus? How could she be one of the most famous writers in Indian English literature?

Pros and cons of federalism
Harbans Singh
Federalism in India: A Quest for New Identity
by Dr Sarita.
Regal Publications.
Pages 240. Rs 880.

Making things happen
Kavita Soni-Sharma
Paradise in Our Backyard: A Blueprint for Nepall
by Karna Sakya.
Penguin Books.
Pages 233. Rs 275.

A path less trodden
Jayanti Roy
Unarmed Heroes
Ed. Peace Direct.
Pages 261. Rs 295.

Tale of myth and reality
Anita Sethi
The Gathering Night
by Margaret Elphinstone.
Canongate Books.
Pages 480. £12.99.

Prodigal son parable wins hands down
Cahal Milmo and Arifa Akbar
N HER 28 years of writing, Marilynne Robinson has been far from prolific. But the American author’s track record for producing quality rather than novel won the prestigious Orange Prize. The 66-year-old writer was the "unanimous" choice of the panel judging the women-only fiction award, presented at a ceremony in London’s Royal Festival Hall.

The “green” adventure
HAT happens when a photographer and wildlife enthusiast goes on a 14-day safari to Africa? The answer is a colourful eco-friendly coffee table book.