A Home for Sir Vidia

It is ironical that Nobel Laureate Sir V. S. Naipaul was asked to prove his Indian origin recently, given the fact that he has spent a lifetime writing about the diaspora, says Rajnish Wattas

THE recent news report that Lady Nadira had a taste of the sarkari ways of the Indian High Commission couldnít have left Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul amused in his rocking chair in the wood-lined study of his Wiltshire cottage, UK. Trust the Indian High Commission to extend its Ďstate-of-the-artí rude and crude bureaucratic ways, regardless of the fact that the visitor was none other than the wife of a Nobel Laureate, who the country gushingly claims is of Indian origin!

Calling on City Beautiful
N his visit to India in April, 1989, while researching for his book, India: a Million Mutinies Now, he made a brief visit to Chandigarh to cover the Punjab region. And it all started with a small news item in a local newspaper mentioning his arrival. Being an avid Naipaul fan, I had a great urge to meet my literary Ďidolí.

A slice of Haryana
A venture of Kurukshetra University, Dharohar displays a rare ensemble of artefacts belonging to ancient, medieval and contemporary history and heritage of the state, writes Narendra Kaushik
N Haryana, the only culture is agriculture. So they say in half-jest. But a visit to heritage museum in Kurukshetra University (KU) may turn the phrase on its head. For the museum called Dharohar exhibits hitherto unknown and lesser-known facets of Haryanavi culture.

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Designing harmony
Kappil Kishore has found a deep connection between fashion and astrology. He tells people which clothes will bring peace and prosperity to their lives,
writes Geetu Vaid
look at his profile proves that he is a fashion designer, and the presence of a double "p" in his name Kappil proves that he has a strong belief in numerology and in the science of astrology. But what comes as a surprise is that this suave and stylish person makes his clients also accept the fact that there is a deep and inherent link between astrology and fashion, and that the principles of this ancient science can define fashion for them.

Take criticism sportingly
Use criticism to conquer your shortcomings, and rule the world,
says Deepa Gopala Krishnan
American actress Megan Fox says she canít handle criticism, and lives like a recluse to avoid reading negative comments. A Zen believer says that we should be like a flowing river. Negativities are the stones that try to stop the riverís flow. Just as the river finds its path in spite of the stones, we must find our path without getting stagnant.

Costly cocktail
Mai Tai, served in Belfastís The Merchant Hotel, has earned the distinction of being the worldís most expensive cocktail. The concoction comprises the same ingredients as the original, first poured in 1944 at Trader Vicís, a South Seas-style bar-and-restaurant in Oakland, US Trader Vicís founder, Victor Jules Bergeron Jr, narrated the origins of his Mai Tai in his book Frankly Speaking: Trader Vicís Own Story.

Birds of beauty
A few rural and urban communities in Maharashtra have worked hard to create some wonderful peacock sanctuaries and jungle habitats, making them a touristís delight, writes Vimla Patil
Within a short distance from Mumbai, stand a couple of magnificent peacock sanctuaries of India. The jungles around Ahmednagar district and the wooded areas of Pune, both in Maharashtra, resound with the cries of peacocks as the rainy season draws near. With the first showers, the forests become verdant and cool, making them a perfect background for more than 6,000 dancing peacocks that live in the hills and valleys of these regions.

Pt Ravi Shankar Not out at 90
Pandit Ravi Shankar, who was recently felicitated for his lifetime contribution to Indian classical music, says music had been "his life" for the last 75 years. The legend was feted by diplomats, well-wishers and admirers, who gathered to celebrate the musicianís birth year and share glimpses of his nine-decade-old life. Described as the doyen of Indian string instrumentalists, he is still grounded in music at 90.

The Curious Case of an Indian-made Hitler film
Based on the life and times of the dictator, Dear Friend Hitler has generated much controversy, even before it has been shot, writes V. Gangadhar
Filmmakers, the world over, agree that biographies of famous people have often been good topics for films. The characters can be from history, distant past, good or bad, but must be interesting. Hollywood had come out with films on Alexander-the Great, Julius Caesar, King Henry V, Queen Elizabeth, Marie Antoinette, Shakespeare, Beethoven as well as a number of legends from the nearer past.

Boman basics
With hits like Munnabhai MBBS, 3 Idiots and Well Done Abba in his kitty, thereís no stopping Boman Irani. Sreya Basu chats up the versatile actor
You started your film career at 44. What made you take so long to take the decision?
I donít know. I always loved acting and used to take part in school and college plays. Before joining films, I was into theatre also. But donít know why I worked at a wafer (Uncle Chips) shop in Dadar (Mumbai) till the age of 32. Then, at a really terrible holiday in Ooty, I decided I had to do something with my life.


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