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Dream catchers
In an industry filled with struggling actors, casting directors are stalked, worshipped and bombarded with calls
An army with a state
What is wrong with Pakistan? The question continues to be debated ad nauseam in books, journals, newspapers, television studios, war rooms, classrooms and diplomatic corridors. Yet, an answer looks elusive. The Warrior State by T.V. Paul, professor of international relations at McGill University in Canada, and the author of 15 books on international security and south Asia, is yet another attempt...
Fans shocked, say plot is unacceptable
How can Archie die? Is he not, along with Jughead, Reggie, Betty and Ronnie, part of the team of eternal entertainers? The initial reaction from Archie fans is that of shock.  “Archie was a character that represented the youth and was part of our growing up days. Whatever be the reason, killing him is unacceptable,” says Neetu Mohan. “The very idea of Archie being killed is...
Sunshine story
It is a huge responsibility to try and pay tribute to a film like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which, despite having released 19 years ago, continues to stay alive in the hearts of many and is treated as the last word when it comes to Bollywood rom-coms. Although the storyline was predictable, the film did have a lot of things working in its favour then—fresh foreign locales, a dazzling...
An authentic voice
Red’ Austin, as he was affectionately known, is no more. But Granville Austin's (1927-2014) inestimable contribution to a better understanding of India’s Constitution lives on.  A graduate in American literature, Austin started his life as a journalist and photographer, earning his doctorate in modern Indian history at Oxford. But he had no legal training¯highly...
Over the boundary
The reason why most Indians would instantly feel at home in New Zealand is that the Kiwis are as crazy about cricket as we are. Sample this: a Kiwi cabby inquiring about Shikhar Dhawan's birthplace. We were a bit embarrassed when he started asking us about almost every member of our IPL teams. So if not for New Zealand, what could be a better place to co-host the ICC Cricket World Cup in...
Confronting a world of contrasts
In one of the scenes, a bunch of young women are giggling over cradling the butt of a rifle in a self-defence class of Durga Vahini, a Hindu fundamentalist camp. In another, a group of bikini-clad women are parading—Casper-esque —a white cloth covering them from head to upper torso, their legs being evaluated by the (male) judges. One gender, two contrasting worlds. This is at the...
Dilip Kumar's home made national heritage
Peshawar: Legendary actor Dilip Kumar's ancestral home here has been declared as a national heritage and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered authorities to acquire the dilapidated property, a move he hopes would bring Pakistan and India closer. Sharif has already approved an order in this regard and sent it to Information Ministry, which has forwarded it to director general Pakistan...
'Belly of the Tantra' brought me back home: Purohit
Coming out of a screening of US-based filmmaker Pankaj Purohit's documentary Belly Of The Tantra at Mumbai's National Centre For the Performing Arts, many looked disturbed. Some were so overwhelmed that they said they needed some time to gather their thoughts. This was the first time that uncut version of the film, which is based on the flesh-eating Aghori swamis and was banned by the...
Fitting tribute to Bimal Roy
"It is a mediocre film with good acting by the male actor. Direction is also good." These are the words scribbled by legendary filmmaker Bimal Roy on a notepad while he was serving as a jury member in the 1st Moscow International Film Festival. The film he wrote about was Jalsaghar, the fourth film of another Indian legend, Satyajit Ray. The notepad is one of the exhibits at...
Author Gordimer dies
South African Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer, an unwavering moralist who became one of the most powerful voices against the injustice of apartheid, has died at the age of 90, her family said on Monday.Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, died at her Johannesburg home on Sunday evening in the presence of her children, Hugo and Oriane, a statement from the...
Zohra Sehgal dies at 102
Zohra Sehgal, a quintessential Bollywood diva who essayed character roles with aplomb in a career spanning over seven decades in both theatre and cinema, died on Thursday at the age of 102. A Padma Vibhushan awardee, Sehgal breathed her last at Max hospital here around 4:30pm on Thursday. "She was admitted yesterday and diagnosed with pneumonia. A heart patient, she suffered a cardiac arrest...
A quest for identity
Calling Bangladesh-born Zia Haider Rahman's debut novel cerebral would be an understatement. In the Light of What We Know engages the reader at different levels and no, its not highbrow only on account of the numerous thoughts and ideas that one encounters in it as it delves into intellectual and philosophical realms but also because of its sheer scope and magnitude and therein lies...
Missing the mark
It is not a good idea to judge a movie by its name. This is what Bobby Jasoos taught me. Despite the jasoos in its name, there is not much of jasoosi in there. Nor is there the shade of brilliance in Vidya Balan's one-woman acting army that we applauded for in films like The Dirty Picture and Kahaani. The faith that comes with seeing Balan's face on a film's poster has started shaking...
Immortal roses, and prose
Absence, exile and the devastating loss of a daughter have overshadowed Isabel Allende's life and shaped her work. Her answer? To keep writing and count her blessings
The Mexican touch
Tucked in a corner past the bustling lanes of Colaba's flea market, the Causeway, is the area's newest quick service joint—Mexiloko. The walls are splashed with bright hues of yellow, red and green with doodles of cowboy hats and guitar, just in case you need to be reminded of what to expect. The space is small and can seat about 12-13 walk-ins and the fare is basic with nachos,...
Her own song
“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.” Winston ChurchillSisters Sultana and Jyoti Nooran sang the popular Sufi number Allah Hoo at the Nakodar Mela in Jalandhar, Punjab, in May last year. And, it changed their lives forever. The audience was spellbound by their rendition of the classic, which has versions by renowned...
Hardbound history
THE WEEK’s newest coffee-table book is a compilation of the popular First Citizen column, which chronicles President Pranab Mukherjee’s time in the Rashtrapati Bhavan
Pancholis file Rs 100-cr libel suit against Jiah's mom
Mumbai: Actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, whose son Suraj is facing charges of abetting the suicide of actress Jiah Khan, have filed a Rs 100 crore defamation suit in the Bombay High Court against Rabia Khan, the mother of the deceased. Two days back, the High Court, hearing Rabia's plea, had transferred the probe from Mumbai police to CBI, asking the agency to find out whether...
Shahrukh Khan conferred with top French award
Superstar Shahrukh Khan was on Tuesday conferred with top French civilian award 'Knight of the Legion of Honour'. Visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius presented the prestigious award to the 48-year-old actor at a function here for his outstanding contribution to cultural diversity across the world. "I feel very humbled and grateful for this prestigious honour. Today is my...
King's winning move
The suave and charismatic businessman who took Audi India to numero uno position among luxury carmakers is also the fun-loving travel junkie who plays golf and learns Hindi
Nawab of nuances
From being an also-ran actor to producing films he believes in, Saif Ali Khan says he has become wise with age
It’s got the stamp
Philately, as a genre in book publishing, is very specialised. And, recently, a couple of interesting books in this genre hit the stands. The first is veteran journalist B.G. Verghese’s Post Haste—Quintessential India. The author captures the essence of Indian history from ancient times right up to the present. But what is novel about the book is that it is illustrated entirely with...
Fact versus fiction
What part of Indian history is myth and what part of it is fact? RomilaThapar asks this question in her latest book, The Past as Present: Forging Contemporary Identities Through History. She underlines the importance of rigorous scholarship and critical thinking in historical study. A lot of fissures have appeared in Indian history and society in recent decades. History, she says, can’t be...
Crash course
There is no way yet to avert a financial crisis. While “booms, panics, and bust” teach valuable lessons, crashing is inevitable. That is Bob Swarup’s deduction in Money Mania, a historical record of instances of financial turmoil “from ancient Rome to the Great Meltdown” of 2008. The author, almost like a financial historian, trails every global financial crisis. He...
Chinese thriller
Decoded is a complex exploration of dreams, cryptography and spy craft. It provides a rare opportunity for English readers to experience the work of Mai Jia, a bestselling Chinese novelist. Mai Jia (the pseudonym of Jiang Benhu) is a literary phenomenon in China. He was enrolled in a military college in China in the 1980s and served in an intelligence unit of the People’s Liberation Army...
Lights Out: A path of hope
He is a real life hero who lost his sight, but dreamt up a vision; a blind man who helps others like him see a future. Bangalore-based Laxmi Subramani is one of those rare human beings who inspires just about everyone who gets to meet him. Just by being himself. For many years now, Bangalore has been proudly watching Subramani’s rise as a journalist, got shaken up by his hard-hitting...
One for the books
The big, fat wedding—as loveless as it may have been—is over. Penguin Group and Random House, publishing giants and traditional rivals, merged last year to form Penguin Random House. It was the biggest and the most watched link-up in publishing history, and the couple is now settling in. In the best tradition of modern marriages, the company's first step in India was finding...
Forward in motion
Sometime in 1993, a man in his 20s loitered around in front of Amitabh Bachchan's bungalow in Juhu, waiting to catch a glimpse of “at least the shadow” of his idol. Little did he know that in another 20 years, he would be calling the shots and directing Bachchan inside that very house. Neither did he know that he would be hailed as the decade's biggest changemaker in the Hindi...
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India & Arab world
Vaidik speaks
Wanted: justice
The other Mrs Gandhi
Poet species
Round Rob-in  |  Rob Hughes
East or West, Germany is the best
The party is over. The celebrations in Germany might go on for a while. The consequences are still unravelling, politically, economically and, of course, in the sacking of the national coach of the host country.If ...  »
Power Point  |  Sachidananda Murthy
Wipe the state clean
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to visit every ministry in New Delhi has resulted in a cleanliness drive across the dozen bhawans where major activities of the government are carried out. Hundreds of broken ...  »