Harbhajan Singh Much ADo about nothing!

THE intense off-the-field controversy, created by television advertisements, featuring Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh for competing liquor brands, albeit through surrogate ads, has kicked up a row about the ethicality of it all. Whether cricketers should sponsor liquor ads, even if it’s through surrogate brands, has become a matter of debate. The latest ad features Dhoni and a Harbhajan lookalike, and takes a dig at the off-spinner, though it’s a harmless spoof for sodas of two famous liquor brands of the same names that they endorse.

Twig tea, anyone?
A third of herbal and green teas have been found to have extra unlisted ingredients, writes Alister Doyle
Herbal teas often contain unlisted extra ingredients such as weeds, ferns or bits of tree, according to a study by New York high school students that could help tighten labelling rules.

Justice delayed… and denied
The aging parents of the first martyr of the Kargil war, Captain Saurabh Kalia, continue to live at Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, in the hope that the perpetrators of the atrocities committed on their son and his five comrades will be brought to book, writes Navreet Milton
Maa, tum dekhna, ek din aisa kaam karunga, saari duniya mein mera naam hoga (Mother, you will see one day I will perform such an act that the entire world would acknowledge it)." "These were the last words my son said to me over the phone," recollects the misty-eyed Vijaya, mother of the first martyr of the Kargil war, Captain Saurabh Kalia.

Chugging down the memory track
The introduction of bullet train services from Beijing to Shanghai reminds Maj-Gen G. G. Dwivedi (retd) of his maiden train journey in China, more than a decade back
HE engineering marvel of Qinghai-Lhasa railway line stands overshadowed with the introduction of bullet train services from Beijing to Shanghai. The train was started to mark the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. It train covers a distance of 1,465 km in just five hours with a to and fro service almost every 15 minutes.

Cruising on notes of change
The varying themes of Hindi films demand a new kind of music to attract young crowds
ITH bold numbers like "The mutton song", "Karma is a bitch" and now "Bhaag D K Bose", Bollywood music has turned a new leaf. The popularity of the numbers, replete with punchy, unconventional and slang-laden lyrics laced with pacy tunes, has elbowed out sugary romantic numbers from youngsters’ playlists.

Super gamble for superstars
With Shah Rukh Khan’s RA.One and Hrithik Roshan’s Krrish 2 in the offing, Bollywood is on the verge of reinventing the superhero for domestic audiences, writes Saibal Chatterjee

IF you’ve seen the Hindi version of the big-budget Hollywood sci-fi epic, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, released recently, you would have found the ‘voice’ of the heroic Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobats, rather familiar. It belongs to Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. He lent his voice to the mighty fictional character without charging director Michael Bay a single penny.

Honour for Stanley Ka Dabba
Writer-filmmaker-child activist Amole Gupte’s Stanley Ka Dabba won a special award at the Giffoni Film Festival, one of the largest children’s film fest in Europe. The award "United Against Injustice: Depends on me" has been given by ActionAid, an organisation whose vision is to have a world without poverty.



TELEVISION: A new biking culture

NATURE: Paradise regained

Globoscope: For action’s sake
by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Bite into a bonda
by Pushpesh Pant

Study loans: Banks must be flexible
by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: Loo humour
by Jaspal Bhatti


Asia’s rising superpower
China has prioritised development of infrastructure on all frontiers, including Tibet, with the belief that such infrastructure is part of political and military power projection
China: Military Modernisation and Strategy
By Monika Chansoria.
KW Publishers. 
Pages 339. Rs 795.

Reviewed by General V. P. Malik

Books received: English

Poignant tale of love and longing
The Folded Earth
By Anuradha Roy.
Pages 262. Rs 495. 
Reviewed by Deepti

Lending a helping hand
The Essential Guide to Doing 
your Research Project
By Zina O’Leary.
Pages 308. Rs 450.
Reviewed by Jayanti Roy

Nuances of English language
Tenses and Grammatical Concepts in English 
By Chander Parkash Rahi.
Des Raj & Sons, Patiala. 
Pages 223. Rs 110.
Reviewed by B. S. Thaur

Forgotten Victorian man of letters
By D.J. Taylor. 
Pages 512. £10.99.
Reviewed by Lesley McDowell

Panoramic prose
Sanjeev Gandhi
Premchand broke the barriers between the writer and the mass reader, the peasant and the worker, as his novels and short stories advocated humanism, equality and justice

unshi Premchand was not only a versatile writer, but also a social philosopher, a born rebel, a patriot, a freedom fighter, and the harbinger of the progressive movement in Indian Literature. It was he who brought a new wave of realism in Urdu and Hindi fiction in the first decade of the 20th century and thus gave a new dimension to fiction writing in these languages.

Young perspectives
Madhusree Chatterjee
Magic and vampires stir India's young adult literature
OY wizard Harry Potter, youthful criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl and vampire Edward from the Twilight series — the neo-adolescent heroes of the West — have spurred the creativity of young Indian authors and led to a stream of books set in a fantasy world, eagerly read by their contemporaries.

Back of the book
Miss Timmins’ School for Girls
By Nayana Currimbhoy
Harper Collins. Pages 496. Rs 399.
Live from London
By Parinda Joshi
Rupa & Co. Pages 204. Rs 195
Theodore Boone: The Abduction
By John Grisham
Hachette. Pages 217. Rs 225