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A kind ‘mother’
UR. Ananthamurthy was a superstar by the time I first encountered him as a student in 1975. He had shaken up the placid, complacent state of Karnataka, especially the conservatives who believed in the supreme value of their traditions. Samskara had left serious dents on the conservative culture and Ananthamurthy became a hero to some and a hideous figure to many.But the image I would like to...
It is an unusual life...
It has been a while since Angelina Jolie has presented herself in a movie, and thus in public. But when the 38-year-old faced the press again in London ahead of her last film, Maleficent, it became apparent that she had lost nothing of her beauty, warmth and wit. She elegantly fielded questions on her relationship with loved ones, her daughter Vivienne’s acting debut and the day when her...
An actor with many questions
A decade ago, Sohum Shah was a builder in a small town in Rajasthan. Today, he is the force behind films like Ship of Theseus and Tumbad
Acting for Attenborough
It was through Dolly Thakore, who was casting for the film Gandhi, in the early 80s that I first met Richard Attenborough. I was called to the Centaur Airport Hotel in Mumbai, where Richard was halting between his journey from Delhi to England. I met him over a cup of tea. As he also hailed from a theatre background, the conversation mostly centred on theatre and it lasted for a good 45...
Venerable vegetation
Sacred Plants of India, written by Dr Nanditha Krishna and M. Amirthalingam, takes readers on an intriguing and rewarding journey as the duo unravels the association between plants and sacredness in Indian culture.“This was a book waiting to be written,” says Krishna, a historian, environmentalist and director of the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation and the CPR Environmental Education...
Pistol, peas and perfection
If it were not for Guruji and his yoga, my brothers and I would probably not have been born. My mother, Dhan Palkhivala, had been told by allopaths that the shape of her uterus was not conducive to childbirth. After she started practising yoga with Guruji, mom gave birth to my eldest brother, Aadil, now a famous yoga teacher in the US. My mother had been specifically asked by Guruji to do yoga...
Scene Change
From the drawing room of a house to the basement, a protected monument and even a basketball court, theatre groups are opting for unconventional settings to make the experience more intimate and informal
Sailor as hero
If sailing was as popular as cricket, Indian Navy Commander Dilip Donde would have been feted as much as Sunil Gavaskar or Kapil Dev. But, as a vice admiral hinted at in a conversation with Donde, Indians are not born sailors and we do not have seawater flowing in our veins. He discouraged Donde who met him to discuss the first Indian solo circumnavigation mission. “We cannot do it. It is...
Butterfly is back
After her hugely successful The Diary of a Social Butterfly, which came out in 2008, Moni Mohsin followed it up with Tender Hooks in 2011. Now, she brings us The Return of the Butterfly, which is a dazzling description of today's Pakistani society.Mohsin’s Butterfly is “sophisty, smart and socialist”, who went to Convent of Jesus and Mary school and Kinnaird college. Now,...
Life's like that
On a monsoon afternoon, when the rain beats against the window panes and the nip in the air makes you curl up in your favourite quilt, go for R.M. Rajagopal's The Empty Pedestal, a collection of 21 short stories. The book's allure lies in the fact that there are no intellectual pretensions, no advice, no prescriptions. The volume is so inspired by life that you will easily identify with...
Different strokes
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.—Pablo PicassoThe Birla Education Trust (BET) added a splash of colour to the routine of their students by organising an International Art Meet at Birla Balika Vidyapeeth in Pilani from August 11 to August 16. Aimed as an exposure for students of five BET schools, the meet saw participation of artists from six countries. Two...
Augmented reality: changing art with technology
Edinburgh: The studio in the Drill Hall, a centre for participatory arts for the local Leith community in Edinburgh’s Dalmeny Street, is tiny. The artist’s colours and paintings jostle with each other for space. Just another typical artistic mess, I thought to myself as I carefully craned my neck to look at some of his work. His oil on canvas paintings were interesting, his sketches...
Walking With Giants: A Memoir
joined the Indian Administrative Service two years after India became independent. For the next four decades he was part of the steel frame that helped shape the future of the young nation. In Walking with Giants, Ramachandran recalls those tumultuous formative years, dominated by towering personalities like Pandit Nehru, C. Rajagopalachari, Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi.
Temple Architecture and Art of the Early Chalukyas
THE EARLY CHALUKYAS, A dynasty which ruled large parts of the Deccan region between the sixth and eighth centuries, were famous for their outstanding and distinctive architectural style. Architectural marvels bearing testimony to Chalukyan magnificence can be seen in sites like Badami and Pattadakal, in present day-Karnataka. George Michell, who has a PhD in Indian Archaeology from the School of...
Drama in uniform
Film: MardaaniDirector: Pradeep SarkarCast: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Bhasin, Jishu SenguptaRating: 2/5So how do you make a female Bollywood actor play a police officer? Put her on a diet, make her mouth expletives, get her to pack a punch or two and dress her up as androgynously as possible. Rani Mukerji, who plays Crime Branch officer Shivani Shivaji Roy in adman-turned-filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar's...
Riding the wave
After the success of Ship of Theseus, director Anand Gandhi's second film will be grander both in terms of budget and vision
Memory charm
In his last years, Khushwant Singh had become a homebody, his house an extension of his quirky personality. Six months after his death, all that remains at home is a trace of his time
Oscar-winning filmmaker Richard Attenborough dead
London: British actor and film director Richard Attenborough died on Sunday at the age of 90.One of Attenborough's greatest achievements was making the cinematic tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, for which he won an Oscar for best director. But he also won worldwide acting fame for roles such as a theme park owner in 'Jurassic Park'.Richard Samuel Attenborough was born on August 29, 1923, in...
The everyday man
I grew up watching Mrs. Doubtfire.  From it, I learned that in America, it’s legal for women to flaunt their cleavages; that Pierce Brosnan doesn’t sleep in his suit; and that if you can’t cook, there’s always Chinese takeaway. I also discovered Robin Williams. His tinny Mrs. Doubtfire voice saying, “Ohh, thank you dear. Yes, touch me again and I’ll drown...
Northeast has a lot of stories that need to be told: Sange
It is not every day that you get to see a film about or from the northeast on the big screen. Reeling under the pressure of making the economics of cinema work, our filmmakers conveniently brush the region's stories, languages and geo-political issues under the carpet.Meet Sange Dorjee Thongdok, a filmmaker from Arunachal Pradesh's Shertukpen community, who has made a film about his land...
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freewheeling  |  Derek O'Brien
Let's be fair on fare
In the 1890s, my mother’s grandfather joined the Bengal Nagpur Railway. For my family, this began a four-generation association with the railways. He rose to become an assistant engineer, working in the area ...  »
grand slam  |  Sania Mirza
Quietly brilliant
It is unfortunate that one of India’s finest tennis players has played the last professional match of his career and is yet to be accorded the kind of hero’s farewell, which he so richly deserves, by ...  »