Firangis in
Ranjit Singh’s

The Lion’s Firanghis: The Europeans at the Court of Lahore traces the journey and lives of foreigners in Ranjit Singh’s court. An excerpt…
THE Sikh Kingdom under the benevolent leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) known as ‘Sarkar-e-Khalsa’ and the ‘Lion of the Punjab’ was considered a hegemony amongst all the Indian princely states that were under the jurisdiction of the East India Company in the early part of the 19th century.

Court chronicles
Bobby Singh Bansal chose to explore a path less explored when he started working on the manuscript that became The Lion’s Firanghis: The Europeans at the Court of Lahore. The following are excerpts from an exclusive interview with Roopinder Singh:

Shahryar’s world of words
Shahira Naim chats up the poet, who has won the 44th Jnanpith Award for his contribution to Urdu poetry
AME rests easy on his shoulders, as Shahryar, in his own words, regrets not being able to change with the times. Leaving his native place of Chandera Sharif in Bulandshahr, Akhlaq Mohammad Khan, who was to be known as Shahryar, had come to Aligarh not to be associated with its literary luminaries teaching at Aligarh Muslim University and dominating Urdu poetry.

Visionary educationist
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad realised that education could not only eradicate poverty and illiteracy from the country, but could also be used as an effective tool for social change and economic growth, writes Arun Kumar Sharma
HE celebration of November 11 as National Education Day — which commemorates the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad — will go a long way in understanding his profound educational ideas and philosophy.

Jacket of authority
The Nehru jacket today is becoming a symbol of those who are in power, says Pheroze Khareghat
OR the opening ceremony of the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, as the 300-member British team strode into the huge Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, a gasp of pleasant surprise went around the spectators.

Cool in the 60s
Shobhaa De lays great emphasis on family values and ties, and underlines the importance of a spiritual quest

WHAT does Sonia Gandhi, Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Azim Premji and Shobhaa De have in common apart from being successful in their own fields and inspiring as ever? All belong to the vibrant 60s’ club, which also has Jayalalitha, Hillary Clinton, Hema Malini, Tom Alter, to name a few, as members.

In pursuit of mighty mahseer
Nestled along the Cauvery are some beautiful fishing camps, world-renowned as home to the great mahseer — the finest and the largest tropical sporting fish known to man, writes Sumitra Senapaty
NGLERs speak passionately about the ‘one’ that got away. The life-giving Cauvery is probably the only place on earth where the mahseer, king of fish, is found in plenty.

Spiders prefer virgins
new study has revealed that male spiders that get to have sex only once or twice in their lives are far more interested in a female spider’s virginity than in her size.

34 years of Ank
Founded in 1976 by Dinesh Thakur, Ank is the largest Hindi theatre group, writes V. Gangadhar
N a recent weekend, the people of Mumbai, undeterred by the traffic and crowds of the festival season, flocked to Juhu Prithvi theatre for a wonderful double theatre delight —the record breaking 1,060th show of zany comedy, Hai Mera Dil and the 200 plus staging of the heart wrenching play on Partition, Jis Lahore Nahin Dekhya.

A world transplanted
NRI and Indian filmmakers, who make films in English, Hindi or any regional language, generally present a myopic picture of the Indian diaspora that does not go with the reality. Shoma A. Chatterji explores this unrealistic projection of ‘desi’ life abroad
OPULAR cinema is in the business of selling dreams, not the truth, they say. But do dreams need to be so distanced from the truth that it gives not only a warped and distorted image of reality but also projects an image that is stereotyped and fake?



TELEVISION: Secrets of magic

Globoscope: Cinema of substance
by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Lentils for good health
by Pushpesh Pant

Not giving promised gift unfair
by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: Spurious Diwali
by Jaspal Bhatti


Epic saga retold
Reviewed by Kuldip Dhiman
Shree Ramayana Mahanveshanam (Vol I & II)
By M. Veerappa Moily.
Pages 802+674. Rs 1,500.


Tryst with destiny
Reviewed by Amarinder Sandhu
A Journey Forever
By G. A. Kulkarni.
Translated from Marathi by Vilas Salunke.
Frog Books.
Pages 332. Rs 350.

Grim tale of human suffering
Reviewed by Harbans Singh
This is not that Dawn: Jhootha Sach
By Yashpal.
Penguin Books.
Pages 1119. Rs 599.

Zestful Zohra
Zohra Segal's Close-up — Memoirs Of A Life On Stage & Screen relives the turning points of the actor’s life
N April 1981, I was very lucky to get this compact and pretty attic flat in Crouch End, Hornsey, N8, belonging to the Hornsey Housing Trust. I had been familiar with the area since 1970, as it was adjacent to our Highgate flat, and I often came to Crouch End to buy the Jewish chola bread, as well as borrow books from the Haringay Library.

Fortune built on a simple idea
Martin Hickman
HE autobiography of a cravat-wearing furry mammal is poised to become one of the publishing sensations of 2010, having already attracted more advance sales than the life story of Tony Blair.

Theatre with a vision
Nonika Singh
lARITY of thought and vision not only defines noted theatreperson Devendra Raj Ankur but is also the key to his resounding success. Back in 1969, when he joined the hallowed portals of the National School of Drama (NSD) he knew theatre and theatre alone was going to be his muse.

Short Takes
Casting the sardonic eye
Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra
The Goat, The Sofa and Mr Swami 
by R. Chandrasekar. 
Pages 296. Rs 250.
Her Flight to the Love Nest
by Kuldip Singh Bedi.
Diamond Books.
Pages 206. Rs 100.
by Lisbon Ferrao.
Frog Books.
Pages 208. Rs 225.