In his autobiography, veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar recounts the times when he was witness to important events, like the crucial negotiations between the Akali Dal and the Congress in the 1980s. Excerpts:
the turmoil in punjab

Sant Harchand Singh Longowal (centre) at Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib just days after signing the Rajiv-Longowal accord
Sant Harchand Singh Longowal (centre) at Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib just days after signing the Rajiv-Longowal accord Tribune photo by Karam Singh

When I first met Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, he was already cast in his role of both hero and villain. He was as prominent as Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal, the head of the Akali Dal. Although the demand for a Punjabi suba had been conceded (the Punjabi-speaking districts were grouped together to form Punjab state) the Sikhs were generally unhappy with the solution.

Rare black tiger photographed
very rare melanistic or black tiger has been photographed in the core area of the Similipal National Park in Odisha. "We have physical evidence on existence of black tiger inside the core area of the tiger reserve in the Similipal National Park," Forest and Environment minister Debi Prasad Mishra has said.

Victories stained with blood
On this day in 1497, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama set sail for India, a voyage that changed the politico-economic scenario of the subcontinent. A look at the life and times of the man whose discoveries are among the most important historical world events
Belu Maheshwari

asco da Gama
rose from a middling position in the Portuguese society in a span of a few years to acquire the image of an icon of Portugal’s national pride after his triumphant return from India. According to political economist Adam Smith, the event was one of the two greatest`A0and most important events recorded in the history of mankind. His voyages also changed the politico-economic firmament of Indian subcontinent forever.

Of adventure and peace
Wanaka is an idyllic little lakeside town in New Zealand that offers some lovely views and adrenalin-rush packed skydives
Angad Sodhi

beauty of travelling lies in going off the beaten path. Everybody speaks of Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland when it comes to New Zealand, but very few know about the hidden gem that is Wanaka, an idyllic little lakeside town, in South Island. Located, a 45-minute drive from Queenstown lies Lake Wanaka. And on its shore, lies the sleepy little town of Oanaka (Maori for 'the place of Anaka, who was a Maori chief of lore), or as it is now known Wanaka. With a local population of around 6,000, Wanaka is a resort town, where people come to ski, do water sports, hike and relax.

Wheels in reels
Sharman Joshi stole the Ferrari as well as the hearts of cinegoers in Ferrari Ki Sawari, as did Kishore Kumar in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Amitabh Bachchan in the bus that ferried him from Bombay To Goa, Sunny Deol in his rumbling truck in Gadar and John Abraham speeding up on his Hayabusa in Dhoom. Deepa Ranade finds many vehicles that played key roles in films
erbie Goes Bananas is my earliest memory of a car geared up to play a major role in a film — the moody Beetle car that kept a bunch of us school kids tickled with its antics. While Hollywood has always relied on the technical wizardry of vehicles in films, Indian cinema has probed the emotional connect. Stalwart filmmaker Bimal Roy transported the humble hand-drawn rickshaw from Kolkata lanes to being a cinematic emblem of human suffering in Do Bigha Zameen. But it wasn’t easy for him to get the film started, for that matter it hasn’t ever been easy casting means of transport in films.

Nora Ephron – the sharpest wit
The talented and fearless reporter Nora Ephron had many facets to her personality. A tribute to the versatile writer who died recently 
Ervell E. Menezes

the name ring a bell? It won’t for the brave new GenNext, who may not have seen her films but for many, it surely does for she changed the way women thought in the 1990s as those who’ve seen Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail will readily agree. Ephorn also tried to bring a rapprochement between women libbers Gloria Steinhem and Betty Friedan because she did not believe in the passivity of her tribe. For, she was a very talented woman, who switched channels as and when she felt like it, showing her rarer versatility and that yearning desire to move forward. Ephron died last week. She was 71. Condolences poured in from all quarters leading with Tom Hanks.

Rahman to rock Olympics with Punjabi beats
A.R. Rahman is set to team up with Hollywood director Danny Boyle again — this time to compose a song for the London Olympics’ opening ceremony. The music maestro reveals it will be a Punjabi song celebrating Indian influence in Britain.


TELEVISION: Trend-setting women

Food Talk: Bitter delight
by Pushpesh Pant

Consumers beware: Educating students on fee refunds
by Pushpa Girimaji

MUSIC ZONE: Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL)
by Saurabh & Gaurav

ULTA PULTA: Powerful tales
by Jaspal Bhatti

Webside HUMOUR: Total control
Compiled by Sunil Sharma

ON OLYMPIC TRACK: Storm in a te(a)nnis cup
by M. S. Unnikrishnan

by Karuna Goswamy


A rib-tickling take on babus
Reviewed by Ram Varma
The subtle humour of the book brings James Thurber to mind, while its hilarity reminds the reader of Mark Twain
Bureaucrazy Gets Crazier: IAS Unmasked
By M.K. Kaw. Konark Publishers. Pages 196. Rs 250.

Challenges and agenda of security
Reviewed by Satyabrat Sinha 
Security Deficit: Comprehensive Internal Security Strategy for India
By N. Manoharan.
Centre for Land Warfare Studies and Pentagon Press. 
Pages 197. Rs 495.

Cash on delivery
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur
Origins of Love
By Kishwar Desai. Simon & Schuster. Pages 470. Rs 350

Recalling the Radicals
Nirupama Dutt
Set apart by clime, language and circumstance, these two towering literary giants of the 20th century, Saadat Hasan Manto and Albert Camus, had much in common and will remain the eternal ‘outsiders’ recording the inhuman human drama of their times 
"Who is this Manto?" an old man in Chandigarh asks of his morning walk companion.
"Don’t you know Saadat Hasan Manto?"
"Okay, you mean Saddam Husain but he never suffixed Manto to his name."

Rich literary history
Reviewed by Jasbir Jain
The History of Punjabi Literature (Part-I): Modern Punjabi Poetry
By Tejwant Singh Gill.
Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala. Pages 220. Rs 250.

new & notable
Textiles and Dress of Gujarat
By Eiluned Edwards.
V&A Publishing in association with Mapin Publishing.
Pages 246. $55.

Woman of many rhythms
Nonika Singh

the realm of Indian classical music, classical musician Anuradha Pal stands apart for more reasons than one. Feminine grace personified, she chose to storm a male bastion and is today easily the most distinguished female tabla player the nation can boast of.

International scene
A sporting story geared towards human drama
By Chris Cleave. Hodder & Stoughton. £16.99.

By Juliet Nicolson. Bloomsbury. £14.99.
China in Ten Words
By Yu Hua. Duckworth. £16.99.