Methodical madness
Gopalaswamy’s collection of bottles includes one depicting Kerala’s annual Allappuzha Onam boat race
Unusual hobbies not only keep boredom at bay but also give creativity a whole new dimension. Here’s some inspiration in the form of offbeat pastimes, writes Annam Suresh
obbies can be far removed from collecting stamps and coins or playing scrabble. The mind can rustle up a boggling range of activities that range from the bizarre to the profitable to plain inexplicable.

Troubled constabulary
A policeman’s job is a coveted one in Kerala, with its high unemployment figures. But the tensions of strenuous training and situations of conflict have adversely affected the personal lives of the cops, writes Shwetha George

WHILE the media’s focus has invariably been on police atrocities, not enough attention has been paid to the poor conditions under which police personnel at the lower levels of the constabulary live and work — factors which could play a part in triggering police brutality.

Indian designs on world fashion
Italian designers feel India has a powerful tradition in fashion and textiles that has been recognised the world over, says Madhusree Chatterjee
epresentatives of two leading Italy-based fashion, art and design institutes have recently been in Delhi to help give Indian fashion a competitive edge and in turn gain knowledge about the use of heritage textiles.

Panning Lake District
Lake District in northwest England is not only known for its breathtaking scenery but also its traditional cuisine, writes Nivedita Choudhuri
HE Lake District has continuously grown in popularity and attracts new waves of visitors each year. It is a place of superlatives – the highest mountains in England, the deepest and longest lakes, the smallest church, the highest passes, the steepest roads and some of the finest places of outstanding natural beauty in Europe. 

Cleverest bird
HE African grey parrot could be the cleverest bird on the planet as it is capable of intelligent reasoning at the same level as a child, a media report said. The bird is capable of working out the location of hidden food using the kind of deduction and elimination skills previously seen only in humans and apes, it said.

Mythology, history rule airwaves
Historical, mythological and fantasy costume dramas seem to have caught the fancy of TV producers, writes Radhika Bhirani
NDiA's rich history and mythology are once again feeding the small screen, with many new shows hoping to captivate viewers, like the Ramayan and Mahabharat did in the 1980s. From reality programmes, TV has taken a leap into history and legend, beaming palatial sets, elaborate costumes, glitzy jewellery and hi-tech action sequences into homes.

Southern splendour
With some adaptations, the story content of hit South Indian films is being used to make successful Hindi films, says V. Gangadhar
AY back in the late 1940s when Gemini Studios boss and South Indian movie moghul S.S. Vasan found that his expensive Tamil film Chandralekha did not bring in the anticipated boxoffice returns, he planned a new strategy.

‘Films fail only because of their prices’
Jyothi Venkatesh chats up Amitabh Bachchan, who is back with his latest film Bbuddhah Hoga Terra Baap
Tell me about Bbuddhah Hoga Terra Baap!
liked the role when director Puri Jagannadh narrated the subject to me. He was an associate of Ram Gopal. It was Ram Gopal Varma, who recommended Puri to me. I had seen Puri’s Pokkiri; the Telugu original of the Hindi hit Wanted.



`ART & SOUL: A sense of history
by B.N. Goswamy

TELEVISION: Revered river

Globoscope: Flimsy plot
by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Champ chops
by Pushpesh Pant

Check track records of online shops
by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: Age for alcohol
by Jaspal Bhatti


Empire of the mind
A well-informed look at the world of science in India today
Geek Nation: How Indian Science is
Taking over the World
By Angela Saini. 
Hodder & Stoughton/Hachette.
Pages 288. Rs 499.
Reviewed by Roopinder Singh

Engrossing tale
The Lotus Queen
By Rikin Khamar.
Pages 157. Rs 195.

Reviewed by Jai Brar

Frankly speaking
The Big Bookshelf: Sunil Sethi in Conversation with 30 Famous Writers
Ed. Sunil Sethi.
Pages 240. Rs 350.
Reviewed by Mohammad Imtiaz

Tibet’s little-known war
Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA and Memories of a Forgotten War
By Carole McGranahan.
Duke University Press, Durham.
Pages xx + 308. $23.95.
Reviewed by Parshotam Mehra

Brilliant and original
Singing through the Nightmare
By Randeep Wadehra
Ukay Publishing Co. 
Pages 127. Rs 195.
Reviewed by Dr Iqbal Judge

New look at Netaji
Madhusree Chatterjee
The latest biography analyses Netaji's life, legacy and ascent to the peak of nationalist policies
ubhas Chandra Bose has always been regarded as a great popular hero, but official recognition of his stature as an iconic freedom fighter was somewhat muted during the primeministership of his rival, Jawaharlal Nehru, until 1964, says Netaji's grand-nephew Sugata Bose, a professor of history at Harvard University.

Fleeting fable
Arun Kumar
An American scribe's sideways glance at India is captured in a new novel
SIDEWAYS on a Scooter, a new book on India by an American journalist who lived in New Delhi for some years, is billed as a "deft cultural examination" that peels back the "stereotypical image of India as a land of call centres, yoginis, and Bollywood".