In all fairness? Nah!
Films and advertising campaigns in India categorise women into two groups ó those who are fair and clear complexioned and those who are constantly facing Ďa lack of excitement and opportunitiesí in their lives because of their dark countenances. They are also given specific personalities because of their colour: The fair ones are lovely and innocent, while the dark ones are sizzling and seductive! How fair is this classification?

Vimla Patil

beauty truly skin deep? It would certainly seem so looking at the fact that in the past year, the market for fairness creams and skin-lightening face washes has notched up an incredible business of Rs. 2000 crore in India and is galloping towards even higher figures given the fact that fairness products, including soap, creams and face washes, made by some of the nationís top MNCs as well as Ďayurvedicí brands are now popular in most South-East Asian countries and among the Asian diaspora in the West.

The dusky Mallika Sherawat, Malaika Arora Khan and Bipasha Basu are the dark temptresses who get to perform item numbers rather than play lead roles Photos: AFP
The dusky Mallika Sherawat, Malaika Arora Khan and Bipasha Basu are the dark temptresses who get to perform item numbers rather than play lead roles Photos: AFP

Kalekaís insightful art
The works of Ranbir Kaleka are, at once, complex and profound. Nonika Singh in conversation with the artist on his journey in art
moving image and the still, the painted one and its projection.... in internationally acclaimed artist Ranbir Kalekaís oeuvre motion fascinates as much as the frozen moment. How the artist arrives at this unique imagery that has viewers gaping and critics lauding earning him prestigious commissions like permanent video installation for Chicagoís new Spertus Museum is certainly not a simple one-liner story. The journey of the artist is invariably as mysterious as the art he creates. Here is an attempt to demystify the artist whose art is at once complex, profound and phantasmagoria

Hard to resist
Thinking may not help resist temptation of sweets, beer or sexy women

stop and think if you among those trying to resist temptation of sweets, beer or sexy women, because thinking may not help. That is one surprising conclusion of a new study by Loran Nordgren and Eileen Chou at Northwestern Universityís Kellogg School of Management, Nordgren and Chou wanted to make sense of two contradictory bodies of literature.

Breather for women
Save the Children, an NGO, has been easing the anguish of militancy-affected widows in Jammu and Kashmir by helping them to raise their children with dignity, writes Ashutosh Sharma

armed conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has left many families devastated. Though the government has failed to give a healing touch to all victims, some NGOs have been making efforts in their own way. Save the Children, an NGO, has been easing the anguish of militancy-affected and disowned "half widows" by helping them to raise their children with dignity.

Jewels down the ages
Traditional Maharashtrian jewellery includes specific pieces to be worn from head to toe, says Dhanvanti Keshavrao

the festival season, people buy gold, especially gold jewellery and traditional Maharashtrian jewellery, crafted in gold. Prakash Kakode, owner of Apna Jeweller at Dadar, says: "Traditional necklaces, particularly, are back in vogue. Hars, mohanmalas and the gold-beaded tushi have now become fashionably popular."

The city of lakes
The Old City of Udaipur is a fascinating study of dynamism and is pulsating with energy, writes Aradhika Sharma

What is Udaipur made of?
Lakes and palaces and temples and tourists,
Thatís what Udaipur is made of!

has emerged as a prime tourist destination for people around the world and nowhere is the true mystique of the city as much evident as it is in the old city or the City Palace area.

The Peter Pan of pop
Though he gave his first hit 53 years ago, he is going strong even now. As he celebrated his 71st birthday recently, the Lucknow-born Cliff Richard remains a pop icon for millions, writes M. Khosla

what seems like an eternity, Cliff Richard has been the Peter Pan of pop. But, says Sir Cliff, he is a little tired of being labelled Peter Pan. "Maybe, I donít look 71 but I certainly donít look 18," he says. In 1958, Cliff released his debutant single Move It, which is regarded as the first British rock íní roll record. And over the past 53 years he has sold over 250 million albums. Only Elvis Presley ó who first inspired Cliff ó can rival that!

Asha enters Guinness 
Bollywood playback singer Asha Bhosle has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most number of single studio recordings. Asha has recorded up to 11,000 solo, duets and chorus-backed songs like "Mehbooba Mehbooba", "Chura Liya Hai Tumne", "Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja" and several others in over 20 Indian languages since 1947.

Promise of a new dawn
An evocative literary adaptation for the screen by a first-time director fetches Punjabi cinema global critical acclaim like never before, writes Saibal Chatterjee

isnít often that a Punjabi-language film makes waves on the international festival circuit. But that isnít the only reason why Gurvinder Singhís Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan (Alms of a Blind Horse), a fine adaptation of Jnanpith award-winning litterateur Gurdial Singhís novel about an impoverished Dalit village, should be celebrated as a major breakthrough.

I try to maintain my privacy: Dharmendra
Priyanka Sharma

than five decades in the film industry and still going strong. Dharmendra has just had a new release but admits to being media shy and is clearly uncomfortable in the movie world of today where good films suffer because they are not promoted and where everything is treated like a commodity. When celebrities are looking for extra media mileage, the veteran actor, whose Tell Me O Kkhuda released recently, says he is not game for too much exposure.



Give all policy details to clients
by Pushpa Girimaji

Food talk: The beetroot effect
by Pushpesh Pant

Globoscope: Weak screenplay
by Ervell E. Menezes

TELEVISION: Secret lives of African cats

ULTA PULTACorruption-less world
by Jaspal Bhatti


Indian influence
Our culture and philosophy, seen through western eyes
Indian Culture and Indiaís Future
By Mickel Danino
DK Printworld. Pages 254.Rs 300.

Reviewed by Nirbhai Singh


Childhood revisited
1/7 Bondel Road
By Gautam Benegal
Wisdom Tree. Pages 123. Price: Not mentioned

Reviewed by Satinder Kaur

A voice of her own Iran
The Cypress Tree- A love letter to Iran
by Kamin Mohammadi
Bloomsbury. Pages 272. Rs 499.
Reviewed by Deepti

Cerebral gourmandís food for thought
Christopher Hirst

a star writer at the New Yorker, The Table Comes First by Adam Gopnik is largely about French food. But the title comes from our own Fergus Henderson, the nose-to-tail maestro of St John restaurant in London. "I donít understand how a young couple can begin life by buying a sofa or television," he told Gopnik. "Donít they know the table comes first?" This is Gopnik in a nutshell.

An intuitive poet
Malayalam poet K. Satchidanandan, who was a strong contender for the Nobel this year, is a poets' poet across the criss-cross of the country's many languages, writes Nirupama Dutt

Who said that trees have ceased to follow windís language? That we must conceal from lilies and rabbits the news of the death of love? ó K. Satchidanandan

the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature has gone to Sweden's most famous living poet, Tomas Transtromer, the nomination of our own Malayalam poet K. Satchidanandan, along with famed fiction writer Mahashveta Devi and well-known re-teller of folk tales Vijaydaan Detha, brought the rich variety of India's regional literature as well as its depth before the eyes of the world and three of our languages ó Malayali, Bengali and Rajasthani ó were done proud.

A tale of two Dickens
New biography of Charles Dickens is out, just in time for his bicentennial 

harles Dickens
published his first story in a London monthly at age 22. Although he wasn't paid and it appeared without his name, he was so overcome with joy and pride it took him half an hour to recover. When he died of a stroke 36 years later, he had earned a fortune many times over and had been hailed as the greatest novelist of the 19th century. The story of how Dickens rose to such heights from a modest background, forced to leave school at 15 by his parents, who could no longer afford the fees, is no less epic than his sprawling novels.

From Berlin with love
Germany-based Bharatnatyam duo of Shebana Devi Mangold and Johanna Devi Lanzaro shares the passion for Indian dance and more
S. D. Sharma

born, raised and educated in Berlin, I am still far away from the influence of western musical culture. Strange as it may seem, it is true that I fell in love with the rich Indian culture, especially classical dancing, which is very close to my heart," asserts young German Bharatnatyam danseuse Shebana Devi Mangold (27).