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Spirituality solitude & safaris
From spiritual holidays to noise-free vacations away from the party circuit, youngsters in the region are seeking out something different this winter, writes Mehak Uppal

Just when we think that we know the young brigade well, they take us by surprise! With the year-end approaching, we were all set to listen to the plans of incessant partying, loud music and huge get-togethers. But it seems like a different flavour has caught on with the youth this season, as they talk about spiritual holidays, spending New Yearís Eve alone under an open sky and much more!

A matter of faith
Born Michel Jean Louis Rudel and now Darshan Singh Rudel, a baptised Sikh, this Frenchman does organic farming near Anandpur Sahib, writes Charandeep Singh
Born in Montpellier, South France, he is currently residing at Anandpur Sahib. Born as Michel Jean Louis Rudel, he is now known as Darshan Singh Rudel. Born as a Roman Catholic, he is now a Sikh. Is it some kind of a paradox we are talking about? Or is it destiny? "No, it is Waheguru da bhana", says a smiling Darshan Singh at his organic farm in Anandpur Sahib, which is popularly called as Angrez da farm.

Exquisite gems
Coral jewellery can be adapted by the contemporary Indian woman to fit both her modern and traditional needs, says Banalata Bipani
They arenít precious stones and they are most certainly not in the family of precious metals, but, nevertheless, they are regarded as exquisite for ornamentation and are prized by those who use them as jewellery. Havenít guessed what we are talking about yet? Well, it is coral!

No free run for monkeys
The marauding monkeys of Himachal Pradesh are all set to face the gun following official orders, writes Vishal Gulati
Himachal Pradesh takes pride in temples dedicated to Lord Hanuman, but the tale is about to turn grim for thousands for monkeys in the state. The government has now backed a farmer outfitís plan to shoot monkeys at sight as the simians have been causing huge damage to crops. ďOperation MonkeyĒ has already received the consent of the government, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said.

A green haven
On a trip to Vancouver, Sudha Mahalingam visits Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge, two famous landmarks of the city
As our ferry from Victoria, an idyllic town in Vancouver Island just across the bay, glides unhurriedly towards Canadaís mainland, thickly forested islands, with occasional smoking chimneys peering out of the foliage, line up on both sides. This seems quintessential Pacific Northwest, untamed and unharmed by modern civilization or so it appears.

The yoga of sound
Brij Khandelwal
Holland-based Indian origin filmmaker Rishi Chaman, who had earlier made Bollywood Blues, is making a telefilm on Nada Yoga in Dutch and English. He says it is a modern, spiritual and musical version of the wellness technique where East meets West.

My mom is my biggest critic: Ragini Khanna
Television actress Ragini Khanna, popularly known as Suhana of Sasural Genda Phool, reveals that her mother is her biggest critic when it comes to acting. Ragini is the niece of Bollywood actor Govinda. She started her career on small screen with Radha Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhaengi and later went on to do Bhaskar Bharti, which was about a man who turns into a woman after being cursed by one of his spurned woman. She is currently working in Sasural Genda Phool being aired on Star Plus.

I am game for Bollywood
In a chat with Jyothi Venkatesh, Freida Pinto says that she would like to be a part of new-age Indian cinema
Freida Pinto, who plays a key role in Woody Allenís latest film You will Meet A Dark Tall Stranger, which is scheduled for release on December 17, is a beauty with brains. "The character of the musicologist Dia that I play in the film is a very troubled character, who does not know what she wants out of life. I was very troubled when I set out to play the character. I did not feel mystified when I played the character with a different bent of mind," Freida tells me at the outset when I interview her at Goa.

Train of mayhem
Geoffrey Macnab takes a look at disaster movies that have been successful at the
box office
Did they really panic? Itís one of the best-known stories about early cinema. The audience members at the first screening of the LumiEre brothersí The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat in early 1896 were so terrified at the sight of a steam train rumbling toward them on the big screen that they were thrown into convulsions of terror. Whether itís true or not, itís one of the defining moments in early cinema history. Ever since, movies about trains ó especially runaway trains ó have been made at regular intervals.

Timeless classic
Devdas, which marked the blossoming of Indian cinema and revolutionised filmmaking, continues to inspire even after decades, writes Pran Nevile
Recently, I saw Saigalís Devdas on the TV that virtually transported me to 1935 ó three quarters of a century ago when I had first seen it at Lahore as a schoolboy. An all-time classic Devdas, the first superhit after the advent of the talkies was the rage of that period. Its unprecedented box-office success immortalised the producer, New Theatres, Calcutta, of B.N. Sircar, director P.C. Barua and singer-superstar Kundan Lal Saigal. I have vivid memories of the packed cinema hall at Lahore and the thunderous clapping that followed Saigalís haunting number "Balam aye baso more man mein". In tune with the customary practice, some onlookers even exhibited their applause by throwing coins on the stage.

FRUIT FACTS

COLUMNS

íart & soul: Risen from the soil
by B. N. Goswamy

TELEVISION: Indian idol, Hollywood tunes

food talk: Chicken champ
by Pushpesh Pant

New ruling to stop unwanted calls, SMSs
by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: Judgment day
by Jaspal Bhatti

BOOKS

Songs of freedom
Reviewed by M. Rajivlochan
1857: The Oral Tradition
By Pankaj Rag.
Rupa. Pages 212. Rs 395.

Varied and incisive reportage
Reviewed by Aradhika Sharma
Beware Falling Coconuts
By Adam Clapham.
Rupa. Pages 272. Rs 295.

What it means to be Indian
Reviewed by Pankaj K. Singh
Sons of Babur: A Play in Search of India
By Salman Khurshid.
Rupa. Pages xx + 121. Rs 295.

Mentoring youth
Reviewed by Jayanti Roy
Life Competencies for Adolescents: Training Manual for Facilitators, Teachers and Parents
By Devendra Agochiya.
Sage. Pages 351. Rs 495.

Poignant tale
Reviewed by David Evans
The Blind Side of the Heart
By Julia Franck.
Trans. Anthea Bell. Vintage.
Pages 432. £7.99.

Improving the quality of governance
Reviewed by V. Eshwar Anand
Building A World-Class Civil Service For Twenty-First Century India
By S.K. Das
Oxford University Press.
Pages 269. Rs 675

Inexplicable India
Zafri Mudasser Nofil
WSJ journalist S. Mitra Kalita reconciles many faces of the country in her new book

Food fables
Madhusree Chatterjee
Eatables have a story to tell, as Ratna Rajaiah explores in How the Banana Goes to Heaven

Back of the book
Rock retelling to racy thrillers
Adrenaline
By Jeff Abbott
Hachette. Pages 499. Rs 295

  • Rock & Roll Jihad
    By Salman Ahmad
    Jaico. Pages 226. Rs 395

  • The Noahís Ark Quest
    By Boyd Morrison
    Hachette. Pages 565. Rs 295.

  • The House with Five Courtyards
    Govind Mishra translated by Masooma Ali
    Penguin. Pages 269. Rs 299.





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