Ruminations: Down a dangerous path

Communal and caste biases in Bengal have never really been dominant enough to sway election results. However, the systematic communal polarisation of the state, coinciding with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s designs for taking political power and chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s response to those efforts are now threatening to upset that record. As the recent violence in Basirhat showed, this is not a case of soft Hindutva clashing with minority appeasement.

ScreenSavour: Same, Same but different

Decades ago as a kid when I had gone to see the popular romantic comedy, Roman Holiday, for the first time at a theatre in Kolkata, I was startled by the presence of Dev Anand on the screen; the elderly uncle who accompanied me, explained that this was actually Gregory Peck, and Dev Anand had styled himself on the Hollywood star.

Spy’s eye: Trump’s issues with Intelligence

The spat between the Intelligence agencies of the US and its democratically elected President Donald Trump is not only bizarre but also for that reason, an extraordinary case study for evaluating the mandate that should determine the relationship between the National Intelligence and the Political Executive in a democratic dispensation.

High leverage a cause of concern for markets

Even as the market is touching new highs, the leverage ratios of Indian companies is not as enthusing. Our survey based on annual interim financials of 2,300 companies show that for the second year in a row, there has been progress, albeit modest, in deleveraging corporate balance sheets.


As the Afridi raiders stormed down the Muzzafarabad Road making their tryst with Srinagar, burning the Mahura power station effecting a lights out in Kashmir Valley, Maharaja of J&K Hari Singh knew that the end game had begun. Fate always a seductress, fortunately was on India’s side. If the Kabali/Afridi raiders hadn’t stopped to sack, rape and pillage a small Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Convent in Baramulla, the script may well have been different.

Close-in: Shastri leads race for coach

Indian cricket is never short of excitement and controversy. The huge sponsorship deals of Team India and IPL have been bagged by OPPO and VIVO, respectively, two Chinese mobile phone manufacturers owned by BBK Electronic Corporation. The big guns of advertising -- FMCGs, automobile companies and airlines, the regular brand building high profile firms -- were bewildered at being left out of the race by these two new entrants.

Book Review: A charming history

Every city has its own smell. It lingers in the air like an unending story, wafting through the streets and lanes, finding expression in people’s lives. In Lucknow, the city of nawabs, some would say that smell is of the kebabs prepared with delicate spices and herbs. Take in the air deeply. You will smell its heritage and its culture too. It is everywhere, in crowded Chowk or the city’s best market in Hazratganj, around the Imambara or in front of the Sankatmochan temple, in quiet Mall Avenue, in the eerie silence of the Residency or in front of the Jama Masjid.

Newsmaker: Lonely warrior

In his 20ft by 12ft shop in Delhi's Yusuf Sarai market, crammed with all the knick-knacks he thought had market demand, the shopkeeper was watching the news on television. There were lines of static across the screen and the snowy whiteness of a poor signal, bringing alive the charm of terrestrial TV, even though he had a cable connection. The small TV set had been kept on the top shelf, squeezed between a pile of paper plates wrapped in grimy cellophane and rolls of insulated wire.

Moodindigo: Give us creative freedom

The multiple award-winning director, Madhur Bhandarkar has a film releasing at the end of this month, it will be his 13th film and, for the superstitious, this may be one of the reasons why he is facing immense pressure about it’s subject. But then Bhandarkar has often been called “controversial” for the subjects he chooses. As an auteur, he tends to turn his lens on microcosms.

Gizmo Geek: House in the clouds

When you hear the term ‘second home’, you don’t necessarily think of a place up in the clouds. Though that’s exactly what Kestrel Aviation had in mind—and not in the metaphorical sense—when they decided to convert a Boeing Dreamliner into a luxury apartment that just happens to be able to fly, available for customisation for the discerning
and paying ultra-high-end customers.