Conform or be damned

Medieval mindsets still govern attitudes towards women in private and public spheres. The media glare following Geetika’s suicide and Fiza’s death shows how women can be pushed to the edge by social pressure
Ratna Raman
When Marissa Mayer took over as CEO of Yahoo, the man who had been at the helm when darkness reigned over Yahoo-sphere stepped down. Marissa’s baby, scheduled to arrive in the next couple of months, has drawn attention to the conflict of interests that Marissa will grapple with, namely, bonding with a new-born baby versus heading a corporate entity seeking a turnaround. However, Baby Mayer has nanny care in triplicate and doting daddy, apart from material mom so all should bode well for the Mayer future.
Women march and raise slogans during a protest against growing cases of sexual abuse in New Delhi
Women march and raise slogans during a protest against growing cases of sexual abuse in New Delhi

Of peace, love and boundaries
Anirudh Dhanda
he entire sky was covered with dark clouds. The morning was really cool. Any moment, the thirst of Amritsar was to be quenched by the Rain God. The yet-to-come smell of raindrops on dry soil and flaky walls of old houses made one glow within. Finally, the Rain God seemed happy.

Gateway to Mecca
Jeddah, the second largest Saudi Arabian city after the capital Riyadh, amazes with its cosmopolitanism
Niku Sidhu
eddah is least likely to be on the wish list of tourists worldwide. It is, however, the gateway for those who would like to know and understand the Middle East better; manifesting many a surprise as the layers unfold

Captain Courageous
With India having won the ODI series in Sri Lanka, Dhoni has silenced his detractors once again
M. S. Unnikrishnan
ahender Singh Dhoni has yet again proved that he’s ‘captain courageous’ who deflects criticism of his leadership by his deeds to silence his detractors. Before setting out for the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka, two of his ‘star’ colleagues — Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir — had openly questioned Dhoni’s captaincy, saying that he was lucky enough to have always led a talented bunch, who collectively contributed to make him the most successful Indian captain ever, forgetting the fact that Dhoni’s captaincy skills played vital roles when the chips were down.

The beast of video virulence
Film promos, songs and censored bold scenes — all have gone viral on the internet much to the distress of Bollywood. Jackie Shroff's expletive-ridden video clips floating in the cyber space, however, took things too far
Deepa Ranade
emember how young Neil Nitin Mukesh foamed at his mouth when his Sudhir Mishra-directed yet-to-release venture Tera Kya Hoga Johnny was suddenly made freely available on the net? He even went on to accuse his director of foul play (2011).

Straw art
Artists burn a 10 m high straw art installation of a phoenix during the recent 7th Straw — Land Art Festival in Osijek, East Croatia. Twenty artists made 20 art installations using 30 tons of straw.
Artists burn a 10 m high straw art installation of a phoenix during the recent 7th Straw — Land Art Festival in Osijek, East Croatia. Twenty artists made 20 art installations using 30 tons of straw. Photo: Reuters

Rise & rise of Ridley
Ridley Scott, whose recent film Promethus was a pale shadow of his classic works, gave a whole new thrust to the genre of science fiction
Ervell E. Menezes
ne never stops singing praises of European cinema because it comes alive when dealing with the fate and foibles of human nature as compared to Hollywood which excels in escapist entertainment. It shifted gears, however, in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s during the ‘Decade of Change’ when it captured the changing nuances of human nature but went back to its old self after that. Still, it has its breed of actors from Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kramer, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott, to mention a few, even though Scott’s latest Prometheus is a letdown.

HEALTH capsules
No evidence that sex spoils sport
he Greeks believed athletes should avoid sex before sport, but modern Olympians and scientists are torn over the merits of in-competition coitus and whether abstinence enhances performance. For years coaches and athletes have practiced abstinence the night or even weeks before a big event, although all bets are off when the medal ceremony is over — 1,50,000 condoms were handed out to the 10,500 athletes competing at the London Games.


`ART & SOUL: Matters of detail
by B.N. Goswamy

TELEVISION: Building a dream home

Food Talk: Fish flavour
by Pushpesh Pant

Consumers beware: The proof of purchase is in the receipt
by Pushpa Girimaji

by H. Kishie Singh

ULTA PULTA: Power play
by Jaspal Bhatti

Webside HUMOUR: Deadly Mistake
Compiled by Sunil Sharma

by Karuna Goswamy


Writing the history of history
The writer quickly takes us through the standard pathways of history as they were evolving in America, Europe and England. Public enthusiasm for history happened much later
Reviewed by M Rajiv Lochan
Framing History: Context and perspectives
By Bhupendra Yadav. Publications Division, Government of India, New Delhi. Pages 444, Rs 260.

In a class of his own
Nonika Singh

Brilliant take on evolution of ethics
Reviewed by B. L. Chakoo
Global Ethics: An Introduction
By Heather Widdows, Acumen Publishing, Durham, 2011. Pages 294. Price not mentioned.

Capturing the spirit of the age
Reviewed by Aradhika Sharma
India Rising: Tales from Changing Nation
By Oliver Balch. Faber and Faber. Pages 330. UK 4.99

All work, no play makes world poorer
How Much Is Enough? The Love of Money, and the Case for a Good Life
By Robert Skidelsky & Edward Skidelsky. Allen Lane £20

Indian kidlit: Miles to go
Vibha Sharma

Consummate playwright
Reviewed by Aditi Garg
Three Plays
By Gurcharan Das. Penguin Books. Pages 206. Rs 250

Gore has gone, we need ‘feud’ good men!
John Walsh

short takes
Terrorism, underworld and journalism
Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra
The Newsroom Mafia
By Oswald Pereira Grey Oak/Westland. Pages 259. Rs 245

  • The Valley of Shadows
    By Abhay Narayan Sapru. Chlorophyll-Wisdom Tree. Pages xvi+170. Rs 245

  • English Newspapers on Indian Independence
    By Soma Dutta. Kalpaz. Pages 392. Rs 750