SalmanToor The painter who celebrates kitsch
Salma Mahmud etches a portrait of the young artist from Pakistan, who is making waves in his country as well as abroad
Paradise Villas (Oil on canvas)The agonised expression on the face of the Gorgon Medusa in the centre of Perseus' mirror-shield as he prepares to cut off her head in Reubens' Perseus and Andromeda is a foreshadowing of Salman Toor's horror-struck faces in his varied portfolios. Witness his canvas, The Useless Prince, recently exhibited at Lahore's innovative Rohtas II Gallery. This face is reminiscent of his earlier ravaged countenance of a young man, petrified and amazed, which, in turn, reminds the viewer of Gustave Courbet's Self Portrait, The Desperate Man, with his wide staring eyes and hands tearing at his hair.

Paradise Villas (Oil on canvas)

Antikythera mechanism The world's first computer
Discovered in a shipwreck, the Antikythera Mechanism exhibited in the National Archaelogical Museum in Athens was a startling invention. The instrument could, on any date, determine the exact position of the sun, the moon, the known planets, their position in the constellations, and also the days left for the next Olympic games
Siddhartha Wig
had chanced upon an interesting article, "Decoding the world's first computer" a few months ago in a compilation of the best science writing for the last year. There, among a series of serious science writings, this had caught my fancy. What amazed me was the uniqueness of the find, how it was discovered and the thrill of how it was decoded.

Wake up to A new dawn
As the world awaits the dawn of 2012, Shobita Shivshankar lists some popular sunrise global spots to welcome it
How do you plan to say goodbye to 2011 and welcome the first rays of the New Year? Maybe huddled in your blanket in front of the TV watching the world celebrate; or partying with a small group of friends; or chanting devotional mantras for prosperity; or just following your daily routine wondering what’s so special about the first break of dawn of the New Year?

Back to the 1980s
Bollywood went retro with a vengeance this year. The strategy yielded rich dividends as action potboilers and a biopic about a southern seductress of yore raked in big bucks, writes Saibal Chatterjee
The Mumbai movie industry walked backwards in 2011. Retro was in. A slew of releases sought inspiration in narrative formulations of the 1980s. Bollywood’s boxoffice fortunes soared as several full-on action potboilers raked in big bucks.



Food talk: It’s pary time
by Pushpesh Pant

Dogged insurance cos say no to claims for dog-bite injuries

by Pushpa Girimaji

ULTA PULTA: Smelly Affair
by Jaspal Bhatti


Meet the PM's biographer
Vandana Shukla
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has found his Boswell within the family. His daughter Daman Singh is writing a biography on the journey of her parents.

Psychoanalyst on the couch
A Book of Memory Confessions and Reflections
by Sudhir Kakar
Pages: 318 Rs. 499

Reviewed by Aruti Nayar

‘Meaningful poetry lies at heart of ghazal’
SD Sharma interviews ghazal maestro Chandan Das for whom singing is an expression of universal human emotions
"Ghazal mein zaat bhi hai aur kayanaat bhi hai/ Hamari baat `A0bhi hai aur tumhari baat bhi hai`85" Endorsing the essence of poet Ale Ahmad Saroor’s couplet which defines ghazal, the acclaimed ghazal maestro Chandan Das maintains that this genre of poetry is an expression of the entire spectrum of human emotions, both personal and universal.

Tribute to a legacy Jobs well done
Steve Jobs
By Walter Isaacson.
Little Brown; Hardback.
Pages 627, Rs 899

Reviewed by Chandramohan

Readyreckoner for harried NRI wives
Lives on the Brink: Bridging the Chasm between Two Great Nations, India and United States.
Anu Peshawaria Diamond Pocket
Books Rs 250.Pages 216

Reviewed by Nonika Singh

Managing human resources across borders
International Human Resource Management
By Anne-Wil Harzing and Ashly H. Pinnington.
Sage. Pages 641. Rs 695.

Reviewed by D. S. Cheema

Scholarly work on India's foreign policy
Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy
By David M. Malone.
Oxford University Press.
Pages xxii + 425. Rs 695
Reviewed by Parshotam Mehra

In memory of Shakespeare
The tragedy of Arthur
By Arthur Phillips Duckworth,
(£ sterling)16.99
Reviewed by Jonathan Gibbs