FOLK For Future
Our soul-stirring folk songs are often born out of struggle. Now, these folk music traditions, like Punjab’s Jugni, are being reinvented to connect them to GenNext and how! Nirupama Dutt takes a look

is indeed the food for love, as Baba Shakespeare indicated. It is played on not just for love but also for struggle, messaging and change, as the SMS generation would put it. Folk music, a part of the collective consciousness, has the power to connect thousands by just the striking of a few notes or singing out of a verse and it has been a vibrant medium always for the songs of struggle.

The Jugni fusion number by Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi has been on top of the charts for over a year
The Jugni fusion number by Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi has been on top of the charts for over a year
Kabirvani plays the role of connecting people even today
Kabirvani plays the role of connecting people even today

Princess who refused to pay taxes
Princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh was one of the prominent figures in the movement to secure women’s right to vote in Great Britain, writes Dr Kanwarjit Singh Kang

Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh, who emerged as a champion in the cause of women’s rights, was born on August 8, 1876 at Elveden in England. She was the fifth of six children of Maharaja Duleep Singh and his first wife, Bamba Muller. She was named Sophia after her mother’s mother and at her christening Queen Victoria became her godmother.

Sharks in trouble
are in big trouble on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and worldwide, according to scientists who claim to have developed the world’s first way to measure rates of decline in shark population. "There is mounting evidence of widespread, substantial, and ongoing declines in the abundance of shark populations worldwide, coincident with marked rises in global shark catches in the last half-century," said lead scientist Mizue Hisano at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. 

Frog jumps back from extinction
Jeffrey Heller
thought it had croaked. But missing for a half-century and listed as extinct in 1996, the Hula painted frog has been spotted again in northern Israel, its only known habitat. "The species now has another chance to survive," Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority have said, reporting that one of its inspectors had come across the frog in the Hula Valley and that it had been placed in a protective facility.

Brain – storming session
The study represented the first direct evidence of how the brain combines multiple sources of sensory information to form as accurate a perception as possible of its environment
you ever wondered how we make accurate perception of environment out of smell, taste, hear, view and touch. Now, a team of scientists at the University of Rochester, Washington University in St. Louis, and Baylor College of Medicine has solved the mystery.

Style over tradition
Haryana has seen a major transformation in dress and culture. The new generation is following the pattern set by filmstars and models, writes Bijendra Ahlawat

has been hardly a doubt about the fact that vibrancy of the people of Haryana finds expression in their lifestyle. Their simplicity and spirited enthusiasm for life is quite evident in their way of dressing. While the dress of the people has been generally simple, the way of dressing and clothing appears to have undergone a sea change over the past few decades, and the residents of the state have been very much a part of the ongoing transformation due to urbanisation. 

Yoga in America
For over 50 million Americans today, yoga has become a part of their routine, says Pheroze Khareghat 

, Americans have been characterised by acquisition, capitalism and materialism, action and achievement as opposed to, say, contemplation and introspection. Thus, even from the standpoint of psychological makeup, the inward qualities of`A0yoga go against the grain of many Americans. 

Romancing the Rann
The unforgiving environment of Kutch brings out the best in the people who live there. Their colourful thatched, bhungas (huts), and bright and intricate embroidery are expressions of their soaring artistic spirit, write Hugh and Colleen Gantzer

were high-stepping in their own reflections like timorous ballet dancers. This was on a drive on the road from Gujarat’s Bhuj to Hodka in the scrub and saline wildernesses of the Banni lands of the Rann of Kutch. In an unexpected stretch of marsh, a flock of flamingoes foraged fastidiously. The more shellfish they found, the more they plonked.

Sunderbans out of wonders race
Sunderbans, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is the single largest block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest. It was recently voted out of the provisional list of the ‘New Seven Wonders of Nature’, writes Pradipta Tapadar 
Sunderbans voted out of the race for the ‘New Seven Wonders of Nature’, tourism industry insiders say the world’s single largest block of mangrove forests may have lost a golden opportunity to become a global destination for wildlife tourism.

Akshay’s gurudakshina
few know that it was TV actress Pratima Kazmi, popular for her role as the waspish-tongued Nani of Uttaran, who taught struggling Akshay Kumar Hindi, and after two decades the star offered to give her gurudakshina. At the first edition of Colors’ Golden Petal Awards here recently, Akshay made this revelation. "I have something to tell you all about this lady," Akshay said as he spotted Kazmi at the awards function.

AN uncommon life
Biopics on the lives of film stars often underline the theme that despite their stardom, these superstars have little control over their lives, writes M. L. Dhawan

the formulae-ridden film world, only a handful films have been made on film icons so far. Most of these films took up issues like financial mismanagement by actors, how they got cheated or exploited, their string of broken relationships; and how behind the pomp and show of the tinsel town, they lived lonely lives and met with tragic ends. Often their heart-breaking affairs and dwindling career graphs took them towards the path of self-destruction. The common theme in such films is that despite their stardom, these superstars had no control over their lives.

Veena Malik’s horror act
Subhash K. Jha

actress Veena Malik is busy shooting a 3D horror movie in a jungle in southern India. Though the destination is being kept a secret for security reasons, Veena says she is having a lot of fun and adventure shooting the film.



TELEVISION: Thrill-a-minute series

Globoscope: Riveting screenplay
by Ervell E. Menezes

Food talk: Potato fervour
by Pushpesh Pant

Look up website on customer service
by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: Divide and rule
by Jaspal Bhatti


Winged beauties
Birds of Baramulla
By Lt Col Rohit Gupta.
Published by 19 Infantry Division.
Allied Marketing Services, New Delhi. Pages 147. Price not stated.

Reviewed by Lt-Gen (retd) Baljit Singh


Mighty emperor
Ashoka the Great
By Wytze Keuning. Trans. J. E. Steur.
Rupa. Pages 1,059. Rs 995.

Reviewed by M. Rajivlochan

An unfinished agenda
My Kashmir: The Dying of the Light
By Wajahat Habibullah.
Penguin/Viking. Pages 236. Price not mentioned.

Reviewed by Ram Varma

Extraordinary tales
An Evening in Lucknow
By K. A. Abbas.
HarperCollins. Pages 226. Rs 299.
Reviewed by Aradhika Sharma

Translation time
Nonika Singh

the well-known UK-based poet Amarjit Chandan not to mince words. So, the man, who has only recently translated a biography, Sehaj Prakriti, on eminent painter Paramjit Singh, doesn’t wax eloquent over either the original book Prakrati Aur Prakratish: Paramjit Singh Ki Kala, penned by art critic Vinod Bhardwaj, or the artist. Sure, he hails it as a significant work and Paramjit, according to him, is one of the major artists of the country, the first to paint Punjab’s landscapes. Interestingly, the first ponytail Sikh, too, he adds.

Beyond boundaries
S. D. Sharma
Actor Girija Shanker talks of his journey into Bollywood and his latest foray into Hollywood
None of the religious epics have influenced the life of Indians the world over as the Ramayana and Mahabharata and I am certainly blessed to have been part of the mega TV serial Mahabharata," says Bollywood actor Girija Shanker, who immortalised the role of the blind emperor, Dhritrashtra, in this serial of B. R. Chopra.

China to Chandni Chowk
Madhusree Chatterjee
Never thought Mao's biography would be an expose, says the Chinese writer, Jung Chang, on a visit to India
Her book ripped the veil off Mao Zedong's regime and was described as a "bombshell of a devastating work" by the British media. But the biography of China's most well-known personality is not the only one that has made writer Jung Chang famous. London-based Chang is the co-author of Mao: The Unknown Story and also the generational saga, Wild Swans: The Three Daughters of China.