Goodbye Princess
While her striking beauty and graceful aura earned her a place in the world’s most beautiful women’s list, Maharani Gayatri Devi’s strong character and zest for life made her stand apart as a woman who reached out to people and gave a new dimension to the traditionally limited role of a Maharani. A peep into the enchanting persona and the life and times of this extraordinary woman, who passed away recently, through excerpts from her memoirs A Princess Remembers:
SOON after our first visit to Jaipur, Ma told me that Jai had said he wanted to marry me when I was grown up and that she had replied, "I never heard such sentimental rubbish!" couldn’t bring myself to believe that someone so far out of my orbit, a hero with a full and fascinating life of his own could possibly be serious about me.

Maharani Gayatri Devi
The last post

Virtual creation
An artist using the electronic mode to paint doesn’t have the creative freedom that he gets in a conventional painting, writes S S Bhatti
Computer art or painting, which is gaining popularity these days, stands in sharp contradistinction to the process, materials, tools and techniques of a conventional painting. Contrary to the common belief that it is easier than the conventional painting, an artist, using the electronic mode, is faced with umpteen problems and inconveniences. 

Instrument of divinity
Dhananjaya Bhat
N Hindu mythology, most of the divinities are associated with some music instrument, like Lord Shiva with the damaru, Saraswati with veena. But it is the flute, associated with Lord Krishna, for which there are many esoteric explanations by Saints.

Radio service for the poor
Women belonging to the weaker sections are participating in community radio programmes. An experiment titled Science For Women (SFW) aims to link their daily lives with science through this medium. The anchors are taught how to conduct interviews and produce programmes, reports Sushmita Malaviya
When credits of a film roll, we see the names of those who made the film. They must be feeling proud seeing their names. Today, women associated with Anna Community Radio (Anna CR) have a similar sense of accomplishment. We know we have the talent to make radio programmes just like famous filmmakers.

Hanky and your image
The popularity of the handkerchief is attributed to its use in expressing an individual’s identity. The design should be in keeping with the client’s image, says Pheroz Khareghat
TO most of us—the aaam admi—the handkerchief/ rumal is something to crumble up and keep in our pant pockets, for use when wiping sweat from our brows or when blowing/clearing our noses. But for the fashionable elite, the handkerchief has its own connotations.

How green is my valley
Monsoon is the time to visit the lovely valley of Manipur, a kaleidoscope of different hues as its hills change from a brilliant lime to a mystical bluish green, writes Kiran Jagat
UP in the misty mountains at a height of about 6,000 ft above the sea level is Siroi mountain, home to the Siroi lily. A rare beauty, it only blooms in May for about 10 days.

Queen of ghazals
Homai Batliwala
AFTER Begum Akhtar, Farida Khanum of Pakistan is widely regarded as the world’s number one female ghazal singer, a position she has enjoyed for over three decades, especially after the demise of Begum Akhtar in 1974. In fact both these famous ghazal singers had the same guru – Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan.

The lost plot
Most of the big-budget films hitting the screen these days appear high on promise and low on delivery, writes Derek Bose
HE French have a wonderful saying which fits pat on Bollywood: Plus ca change, plus c’est le meme chose. The more things change, the more they seem the same. 

Remembering Leela
Actress Leela Naidu, who was listed in the Vogue among the 10 most beautiful women in the world, was a class apart, reminisces Shoma A. Chatterji
HE concept of beauty is dynamic and subjective, that keeps evolving over time, place and person. But some people are born with beauty that is absolute and universal and remains the same across time and place. Leela Naidu was gifted with this absolute beauty.


TELEVISIONClass confidence

HOLLYWOOD HUES: A slice of Europe
by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Pakora the Japanese way
by Pushpesh Pant

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by Pushpa Girimaji

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Moment of lie
by Jaspal Bhatti


Green paradise
Donald Banerjee
Golf Destinations
By Ashwini Luthra and Chandni Luthra. Photos: Parvin Singh.
Asian Education Society, Chandigarh.
Pages 96. Price not mentioned.

Books received: hindi

Subcontinent’s stories flower in India
Madhusree Chatterjee
HE ever-growing popularity of Indo-Anglian writing and the publishing boom in India have opened the floodgates for English writers from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh as well.

Saga of trials and tribulations
Shakuntala Rao
In the Valley of Mist: Kashmir: One Family in a Changing World
By Justine Hardy.
Free Press, New York.
Pages 209. $25.

Epitome of romanticism
Amarinder Sandhu
Nautch Girls of the Raj
By Pran Neville.
Penguin Books.
Pages 136. Rs 250.

Unsung hero
Baba Banda Singh Bahadur: Battle Strategy Against Mughal Forces
By Surinder Singh.
Har-Anand Publications. 
Pages 128. Rs 295.

Tribute to Indian companies
D. S. Cheema
India’s Global Powerhouses
By Nirmalya Kumar.
Harvard Business Press.
Pages 250. Rs 695.

urdu book review
Hope amidst ruins
Amar Nath Wadehra
Yeh Khandar Bhi Mere Hain
By Kashmiri Lal Zakir
Pages 123. Rs 175.

Greene’s unfinished mystery found
Arifa Akbar
T was a gem of a find, a long-lost unfinished murder mystery tale containing the classic ingredients of a country house, a dead body, bloodied weapon and a cast of upper-class suspects. It was also handwritten in Graham Greene’s distinctive scrawl and included the Catholic themes that were hallmarks of much of
his work.