Following the solo trail
More and more women are yielding to the wander bug and the pull of the unknown. They follow their hearts and carve out a solo trail. We listen to a few of them who dare to be different and follow the dictum: Explore. Dream. Discover
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu

vacation time, Dr Harpreet Gill, an academician with MCM DAV College, Chandigarh, happily puts away her saris and satchel in exchange for rugged outdoor gear and a rucksack; taking off for shores unknown and spaces unexplored, all by herself. "I love travelling", she states matter-of-factly. Elaborating further, she says, "Different places, landscapes, cultures, they were all part of my growing up as an Army brat. Solo travelling, for me, was a natural progression. 

'Art & soul

The mysteries of Chavin
Combining primitive religious beliefs and practices and great sophistication at the material level, the mysterious temple in Peru, which was the theme of a recent exhibition at Zurich, continues to remain a puzzle

, it seems, will never end. Till a friend called me up to tell me about a splendid exhibition featuring it at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich, I had never heard the name Chavin. He told me that it was an ancient archaeological site — the full name is Chavin de Huantar, after a village — up in a high valley in the Peruvian Andes. I decided to look it all up.


More for less

The inexpensive mustard oil can be more beneficial than many costly cooking mediums. Rich in mono-unsaturated fats, its consumption can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases by almost 70 per cent
a poor man's oil, mustard oil was almost discarded by the rich and elite for fears of being adulterated or causing heart disease. A traditional oil native to north and north-east India, it seemed to have lost its glory to refined oils. However, scientific research has re-discovered its goodness. And once again it has found respectability and is back in favour on the grocery shelves.

Health Capsules

Under The Greenwood Tree
We must heed our culture's reverence for trees of all kinds. This means preventing the extinction of the kikar tree. In this endeavour the forest department, our farmers and regional research laboratories must unite
Deepak Rikhye
determine when the Acacia farnesiana or the kikar tree arrived in India can entail a labyrinthine search. The kikar has been the quintessence of our landscape in Punjab, Haryana and Ranthambore. But alas! It is diminishing. JR Vaid, a farmer who has been farming his land for decades, is located in Haryana's Ambala District. 

A haven for city weary
Sudha Mahalingam

is a jewel in the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand that has so far managed to remain undetected by the roving eyes of the inveterate SUV-borne Delhi tourist. It is a benign and a relatively obscure hill town with a seductive name and can barely provide beds for car loads of tourists who may land up without notice. Lansdowne can accommodate no more than a couple of hundred people at a given time. And these are wise people who have planned their trips and booked their rooms well ahead.


The curious case of quirky titles
Filmmakers are dangling new baits for cinegoers with quirky, tongue-twisting film titles. Impossible-sounding names like Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola and Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana are intriguing audiences and bringing them to the theatres
Deepa Ranade

since Salman Khan’s films with dry and commonplace titles like Mr & Mrs Khanna and Veer tanked at the boxoffice, Salman has made sure that his films have catchy titles that will instantly catch the fancy of the audience. Wanted, Ready, Ek Tha Tiger and, of course, Dabangg bear testimony to his resolve that ‘well begun is half done’. Two years back when Dabangg released, most of us wondered what it meant. But today once-incomprehensible Dabangg has become a common phrase for anyone who is fearless and audacious!

Flickering Angels
Subhrajit Mitra’s documentary sheds light on the plight of children of prison inmates in West Bengal and the society’s indifference towards these young people who are marginalised for no fault of their own
Shoma A. Chatterji

belong to a ghettoised world. Label them under the common heading called ‘criminals.’ What about their children? What happens to these kids while their parents, often both, are behind bars? No one conceives of prison inmates as people with a family with wives/husbands, in-laws and children. So, one does not question what happens to the children of people serving a jail sentence. Flickering Angels is a documentary that sheds light, perhaps for the first time, on the children of prison inmates in West Bengal.



Food TalkJack of all tastes
by Pushpesh Pant

Buyers beware!: You can't bank on this!
by Pushpa Girimaji

Webside HUMOURCrease age
by Sunil Sharma

LIFE'S LESSONS: A different kind of athlete

GOOD MOTORINGHow to face foggy days

by Karuna Goswamy

weekly horoscope



How seeds of empire were sown
Reviewed by Rajiv M Lochan

India in the World Economy: From Antiquity to the Present
By Tirthankar Roy. Cambridge 
University Press. Pages 288. Rs 795

system of trading into which the European East India companies intervened had been well-established for centuries and India was one of the most powerful economies of the world in the year 1500. Within 250 years, Europeans were ruling India. Was European success due to the raw violence that characterised European capitalism as against non-violent Asian trade? Was it because of European access to American silver or was it because of superior commercial acumen? Roy rejects all three arguments.

High stakes and low blows
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur

The Adventures of an Intrepid Film Critic
By Anna MM Vetticad
Om Books. Pages 234.  Rs 295.

dream merchants of Bollywood entertain billions worldwide; influencing lifestyles, moulding mindsets, setting fashion trends and filling gossip columns. But even ardent movie buffs underestimate the sheer magnitude of this industry. So the author undertook the formidable task of viewing all the films released in Delhi during 2011. Among the 121 movie reviews she blogged there are many virtually unheard of productions some rightly so and others woefully unappreciated. Additionally her interviews with producers, directors and actors provide insight into motivations of those both established and aspiring.

Drama behind the screen
Small Screen Big Lies
By Kish
Wisdom Village. Pages 202. Rs 150

s are running high at a television network as declining ratings and revenues necessitate a complete overhaul. With the mercurial Fred Davies in charge nothing is certain and no one is safe as popular shows and established stars are axed while a newbie assistant like Abhish Kumar is catapulted to stardom.

All about means and ends
Wrong Means Right End
By Varsha Dixit
Rupa Pages 311. Rs 140.

ove and romance are the farthest things from recently divorced Sneha's mind. The matchmaking efforts of her happily married best friend Nandini are wasted on her. As a single mother and working woman her priorities are clear. But when Nandini's marriage is threatened by her husband's ex-fianc`E9 everything changes.

Tribute to Siachen heroes
Reviewd by Geetu Vaid

Siachen: The Cold War
By Rishi Kumar Aan Comics.
Pages 48. Rs 150

Battlefield Siachen
By Rishi Kumar Aan Comics.
Pages 56. Rs 150

not a completely untested terrain, war comics is a largely unexplored genre in the Indian context, thus making the two recent titles Siachen: The Cold War and Battlefield Siachen released by Aan Comics and created by Rishi Kumar worth taking a note, especially in the pre-Republic Day patriotic ambience. The Indian setting of the storyline gives a different perspective of military operations to a generation fed on the sound and fury of action-packed video games like "Call of Duty".

Making of a sporting star
Reviewed by Chandni S. Chandel
Saina Nehwal… playing to win 
By Saina Nehwal
Penguin Books. Pages 118. Rs 199

of 22, bearing her share of travails was like a roller-coaster ride for Saina Nehwal. The Arjuna Award, the Padma Shri, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, a standing ovation at Parliament are exceptional achievements at this age, but a lot of big and small sacrifices of a girl and her parents have gone into making her what she is. Yet, Saina could still have waited a few more years to release her biography. The 117-page book is a good keep for teenagers and prospective sportspersons. She nudges youngsters to go by their interest as she confesses that it was not pressure from parents but her interest that made them support her.

A welcome trend 
By Lauren Oliver Hodder. £6.99T

second title in the Delirium trilogy can be read as a stand-alone, but it also follows Oliver’s young heroine, Lena Haloway, after she flees her dystopian society where love is forbidden and everyone has to undergo "the Cure" when they turn 18.

Memoir that transcends personal history
Reviewed by Abhishek Joshi 
The Victoria Cross: A Love Story 
By Ashali Varma 
Pearson. Pages 243. Rs 375 

Ashali Varma's
memoir is a moving tribute to her parents, Prem and Mohini Bhagat. It is introduced to the reader as a narrative of courage and love. Well, the love story works at many different levels. Lt Prem Bhagat was the first Indian officer to be awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in World War II. His Commanding Officer described his action of clearing 55 miles of a mined road in 96 hours as "the longest continued feat ... of sheer cold courage."

TOP 5 Non-Fiction bestsellers