Hobbies amid hard work
Many people take up a hobby that is far removed from their calling but answers the call of creativity. S. D. Sharma meets some such professionals to find out how they balance their passions with demanding careers
Bureaucrat-cum-dancer Shovana Narayan does riyaz or writing before going to office daily. T
are people whose excellence in a hobby makes them scale such heights that they come to be better known for their passion than their profession. There are others who strive to strike a balance between their calling and their creativity so as to achieve proficiency in both realms.`A0A few such persons share their experiences and tell how their hobbies complement or enrich their professional pursuits.

Bureaucrat-cum-dancer Shovana Narayan does riyaz or writing before going to office daily. Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Alice in the garden
The Mad Hatters, Cheshire cat, besides other characters from Lewis Carroll’s famous book Alice in Wonderland, stole the show at this year’s flower show near London, writes Daksha Hathi

on earth were Alice, the Mad Hatters, and that cheeky Cheshire cat doing at the Hampton Court flower show near London? Could it be to coax more visitors to pay up the hefty 20 pounds for the ticket? This always well-attended floral extravaganza lures garden lovers like catnip lures the sleepiest and laziest cats.

Leaders in fashion
There was a time when Indian politicians wore crumpled clothes to project an image of being one with the masses. Now they are making fashion statements before a new generation of voters, says Nivedita Sharma

constant media glare, Indian politicians are leaving behind their shabby, Socialist look to make fashion statements before a new and demanding generation of voters, albeit in native cultural style. From the elderly Sheila Dixit to the graceful Sonia Gandhi to the dashing Omar Abdullah, they do not hesitate to dress well in their own crisp cotton-and-silk way.

Beauty by design
Today, beauty does not lie in the eyes of the beholder. It lies in the hands of a cosmetologist, says Homai Sagar

Once upon a time, the old saying, "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder," might have held true. Today, it would appear that beauty lies in the salon of the cosmetologist. Image-conscious people are flocking cosmetic surgery clinics for new noses, tummy tucks and larger breasts. Cosmetic counselling, also known as anti-ageing counselling, is becoming increasingly popular.`A0

Think right and lose weight
who want to lose weight and keep it off have to not only change their ways, but their way of thinking about food, exercise and lifestyle behaviours, according to experts at the Loyola Centre for Fitness.

Caves of contrast
One of the earliest groups of Jain rock-carved shelters, Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves, were built as austere cells for monks, but the caves have many beautiful sculptures of dancing girls, exotic paintings and carvings of second century BC, writes Tanushree Podder

Although Orissa has some beautiful beaches at Puri, the Jagannath Temple and the exotic architectural beauty of Konark Sun Temple, there are many unexplored ancient monuments in Orissa, which have not been eulogised in the media. So it was a casual conversation with a co-passenger in the bus that took me to Udayagiri and Khandagiri, just across the highway to Bhubaneswar, very accessible and very historical.

Goya’s historic war prints 
war, hunger and human suffering fanned the imagination of iconic 18th century Spanish artist Goya, who captured the horrors of Napoleon’s invasion of Spain on canvas, drawings and etchings. Now his legacy has travelled all the way to India.

Bollywood statues woo fans
large number of Indians throng to see the wax models of the Bollywood superstars in London’s Madame Tussauds. Officials of the Madame Tussauds said that over the years, there was a surge in the number of Indians who visited the museum.

The bare truth
When actresses shed their inhibitions, it does add a bang to commercial Hindi cinema’s buck. But the act is rarely allowed to go beyond the point of no return, writes Saibal Chatterjee

All-out nudity is a strict no-no in mainstream Hindi cinema. That is how it has always been. Mumbai filmmakers have no qualms about getting a lead actress to slip into a two-piece bikini or a micro-mini to inveigle the masses but they still draw a clear line between resorting to ‘harmless’ titillation and going the whole hog in the dare-bare department.

Ingrid’s charm endures
Gifted with intensity and emotional depth, Ingrid Bergman was at her best in romantic scenes, writes Ranjan Das Gupta

Satyajit Ray was watching Joan of Arc at Lighthouse, Kolkata, during its second run in the mid 1950s. After seeing the film, his opinion about its heroine Ingrid Bergman was that she hypnotised her audience. This view of Ray was also shared by Alfred Hitchcock and Ingmar Bergman.The ‘Swedish Cow’, as Hollywood defined her during her initial days, took the American cinema by storm in the 1940s and 1950s.



’art & soul: The Chinese sky
by B.N. Goswamy

TELEVISION: Nocturnal tales

Globoscope: Hamming all the way
by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Green delight
by Pushpesh Pant

You must knowgeneric name of drug prescribed
by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: A Test-ing fast
by Jaspal Bhatti


Beyond borders
A perspective of postmodernism on the issues of religion, ethnicity and identity
Theorising Religion in a Postmodern Context: Special Topic Issue of South Asian Review (Vol. 30, No. 1)
Ed. John Hawley. Pages 381. 
Price not mentioned.
Reviewed by Rumina Sethi

Books received: English

Anatomy of infidelity
The Exiles
By Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla.
HarperCollins. Page 406. Rs 350.
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur

Amma’s Advice: Traditional Wisdom for Modern Times
By Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.
Konarak Publishers. Pages 205. Rs 3,500.


Combating poverty
Employment Guarantee Programme and Pro-Poor Growth: The Study of a Village in Gujarat
By Indira Hirway, M. R. Saluja and Bhupesh Yadav.
Academic Foundation. Pages 221. Rs 795.

Outrage over diet book 
Jeremy Laurance
diet book for six-year-olds with a cover that features a plump child holding a skinny frock in front of the mirror has been attacked by nutrition experts.

Khushwant reloaded
Not a Nice Man to Know returns in a new avatar
hushwant Singh
, the grand old man of contemporary Indo-Anglian literature has returned in a new avatar with an updated edition of his signature anthology, Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh.

When art meets activism
Nonika Singh

ordinary mortal might see and draw a firm dividing line between art and activism. However, Delhi-based prolific theatre person Arvind Gaur crosses that line easily and fluidly. So, for him Anna’s cause is "our cause" and Mahesh Bhatt, one of Anna’s detractors, just the right "creative and intelligent" person to work with. He senses no contradiction between supporting Anna and directing Mahesh Bhatt’s play The Last Salute.

Short Takes
Elders, empires and education
Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra
Perceptions and Problem of Elderly in Old Age Homes
by Gurjeet Virk Sidhu
Arun Publishing House. Pages: 184. Rs. 316

Brick by Red brick
by T.T. Ram Mohan
Rupa & Co. Pages: xiv+281. Rs. 495

The Princely State of Jind Revisited
by Rajeev Jindal
Gulab Publications. Pages: 134. Rs. 500