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Altering perceptions
For contemporary artist Jitish Kallat, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is about looking at the world through the eyes of the historic town
Their own women
He carefully applied the eye-liner, and then broke into a coy smile, visibly satisfied with what the mirror in front of him showed. Then he put on some lipstick—a dark shade of red—and went about giving the final touches of makeup. Draped in a nauvari (nine- yard sari) and bedecked with jewellery, Anil Hankare, 37, looked every bit a Maharashtrian woman. As he stepped on the stage of...
50th anniversary edition of Manorama Yearbook released
Bengaluru: ISRO Chairman Dr K.Radhakrishnan appreciated efforts of the Manorama Yearbook and said that it was doing a great service by updating civil service aspirants with current information in a concise and comprehensive manner. He said that though whole lot of information is available on Wikipedia, the authenticity of the information cannot be corroborated. “Here we have a service which...
Second nature
His style may seem to be a little over-the-top and outlandish. But it is the reason why his fans adore him. At 63, Rajinikanth is a brand in himself. His films are much-awaited, especially since there is always a buzz around the different looks he tries in them.Five months ago, his daughter made an ambitious animated film, Kochadaiiyaan, in which Rajinikanth played the lead. It tanked. All eyes...
President's book has quiet online launch
President Pranab Mukherjee's book, caught pre-publication in a marketing controversy because its publishers signed an exclusive deal with an online retailer, had a quiet launch on Thursday, the president's 79th birthday.The book, "The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years" (Rupa), was released on by Rupa, which had created a publishing controversy by signing a deal...
The game changer
The setting is serene, the music pure. The mist seems to hide the source, but strangely heightens the clarity of the song. Water babbles behind him and clouds race overhead. The biting cold fails to freeze the flow of notes. Sitting cross-legged on a rock with his eyes closed in dedication, the singer bends the wafting mist to his music. Dressed traditionally, he braves the chill with a brown...
Sup rosa
Mayawati is a babe and a half” is the 'Open Sesame' password at the entrance to a niche Italian restaurant tucked away in a south Delhi market. The manager lets you in and puts a quick tick on the guest list. The bar is open. A dozen or so young people clutching the welcome drink (orange sangria) and munching on breadsticks are into a polite conversation. Along with the evening,...
Worlds apart
The suggestion for a photo session at Arab Ki Sarai in Humayun's Tomb comes from Upamanyu Chatterjee. The 55-year-old author-bureaucrat is agile, gracious and knows his angles in the warm afternoon sun of a yet-to-bloom Delhi winter. On a slow amble back to his B-block residence in Nizamuddin, one floor below the former chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, whom he 'politely greets...
Treasure island
In a region riddled with conflict, Djerba Island off the Tunisian coast is home to Muslims and Jews living in perfect harmony
Braving the odds
He stood there, statuesque, the temple jewellery shimmering under the stage lights. He  looked every bit a stunning female dancer and had you not known it was Haleem Khan, you would have very well mistaken him for a seasoned Kuchipudi female dancer. But, it is Haleem playing the beautiful nayika. Haleem Khan, 31, has built his little niche. "The passion never goes away," he says....
Six Indian authors in NYT 100 Notable Books of 2014
Washington: Works of five Indian-American and one Indian author figure are among 100 Notable Books of 2014 selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.Delhi-born Indian-American author Akhil Sharma's novel "Family Life" figures in the Fiction & Poetry section. "Sharma's novel, deeply unnerving and tender at the core, charts a young man's struggles to...
Crazy stupid love
Women are increasingly ‘downdating’ or settling for men not equal to them in intellect or income. Is being with anybody better than being with nobody?
A passage to Tibet
I met Lhamo Lobsang, a Tibetan exile, at his one-room house near McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. In between teaching me how to tuck the filling into a Tibetan momo—it is all about the secret pinch—he told me about his walk from Tibet to Nepal that lasted 26 days. At the age of 13, he had to leave his family behind and undertake the dangerous journey with 20...
The genteel rebel
Mujeeb Bagh in Delhi's Jamia Nagar is quiet at noon. Tall grass covers the lawns outside the buildings. A young student sits on her piece of green under a slightly sleepy Saturday sun. Flat 34B on the first floor has a board with a fading 'Shamsur Rahman Faruqi' printed on it. A poet, writer, critic and certainly a rebel, Faruqi saheb, as he is known, occupies a prominent space in...
Walking the talk
For a person who begins his autobiography with a reference to himself in the third person, Sri M of Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh comes across as rather unassuming. Clean-cut, clean shaven and often clad in white dhoti and kurta, he does not have the paraphernalia one associates with a spiritual guru. Listen to him talk, and you would know Sri M is the odd man out in the spiritual bandwagon.Born...
Time to tick
Atul Gawande, the doctor author with a list of books that have been runaway successes, is out with one that looks set to be his best so far. The title¯Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End¯suggests that the book would be for those in their sunset years or are on its threshold. But anyone who has read the book would know better than to judge it by the title. Drawing from...
Space craft
India reached Mars this September. But there were already several places in Mars, mostly craters, named after Indian towns like Kakori, Poona, Lonar, Broach and Rayadurg. This interesting nugget comes from the well-timed book on the cheapest and first successful maiden venture to Mars by any country.Though Pallava Bagla and Subhadra Menon call their book Reaching for the Stars: India's...
Match made in India
When  Senegalese-American singer Akon came to India to record the song Chammak Challo in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Ra.One, he learnt how to sing in Hindi, promoted actor Suniel Shetty’s NGO I Am She and celebrated his birthday with Sonakshi Sinha. In other words, he tried really hard to woo Indians. The audience, too, reciprocated with equal warmth. Even though the film bombed at the...
Jhumpa Lahiri in shortlist for DSC Prize
New Delhi: Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is one of five frontrunners for next year's DSC Prize, one of South Asia's biggest literary awards, according to the shortlist announced in London on Thursday.The five writers on the 2015 shortlist are a step closer to winning the $50,000 awarded to the author of the best novel about South Asia published or translated into...
Rolling the dice
Actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar passes away
Mumbai: Bollywood actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar, who was being treated for a lung infection at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here, passed away on Monday. He was 64. His last rites will be performed in his native place in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday, family sources said. Amrapurkar had won two Filmfare awards. In 1984, he won the award for the best supporting actor for Ardh Satya and in 1991,...
The hangman's noose
At a time when women are trying to break the glass ceiling in glamorous and well-paying fields, K.R. Meera has chosen a most unusual career for Chetna, the protagonist of her novel Hangwoman. Set in Kolkata, Meera's novel, written originally in Malayalam, narrates the coming of age of the 22-year-old girl, who takes up the job of a hangwoman. It is also the story of the millions who populate...
Ticking glory
Rebel with a cause
Neel Mukherjee’s Booker-shortlisted The Lives of Others has everything that makes a Bengali novel¯exploitation, class struggle and family drama
Ahmedabad to a T
A lonely sojourn
At the third annual festival of the Kerala Museum, artistes will juxtapose tradition with modernity and create art that is an amalgamation of both
Amitabh is a commodity, not an actor
Art of memory
This year’s Nobel Prize winner for literature, Patrick Modiano, is relatively unknown to readers outside France and French-speaking countries. For one thing, he has always eluded publicity. For the other, not all his works are available in English translation.But even at this stage, his works have appealed to scholars and critics all over the world. They agree that despite their apparent...
Making sense of rituals
Experiments in eternity
The island first appears as a dark line on the horizon, southeast of the coastal village of Paleochora in Crete. Once you utter the island’s name, Gavdos, everyone around you in Crete behaves differently: the car-rental agent, the hotel clerk, the innkeeper who served you barley crispbread and octopus tentacles. Their faces light up as you say you are heading to the mole-shaped island in...
Cracking the Dan code
A recluse with a conflicted childhood, a writer with a reader’s insight, Dan Brown, like his books, is both mysterious and predictable
India nominates 'Liar's Dice' for Oscars
'Film festivals broaden your perspective'
MAMI 2014's international competition jury head British filmmaker Peter Webber on his love for Indian films and why film festivals in smaller cities are the real eye openers
I want to play an everyday man
Dev Patel speaks at breakneck speed. After a long day at work and an even longer commute in a Mumbai local train, it is difficult to keep up with him. Was he always like this? “Pretty much,” he says. “When I was young, my mother sent me to Taekwondo classes to channel my energy.” English actor Judi Dench, who acted with Patel in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its...
Unsung heroes
History has forgotten the role of an Indian battalion in saving masterpieces of the Renaissance during World War II
Lama lore in gore
'Paid film journalism is frightening'
MAMI kicks off
Australia's Flanagan wins Man Booker prize
Social change, a click away
MAMI can make it
A kind ‘mother’
Bangalore Lit Fest to begin on Sept 26
Acting for Attenborough
Venerable vegetation
Pistol, peas and perfection
More Inside THE WEEK
Social malaise
Cleanliness drive
Unsafe ride
Interview - Sharapova
Role reversal
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grand slam  |  Sania Mirza
Serving aces, nonstop
Roger Federer was born to play tennis and I am delighted that the people of my country got the opportunity to watch him live for the first time ever. I am grateful that I shared the court with him and there is so ...  »