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Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Saturday, 22nd of May, 2010

Front Page

Dhaka, Moscow sign five-year nuke deal

Bangladesh and Russia yesterday signed a five-year framework agreement on cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy to make ways for nuclear power plants to meet the growing power demand in the country.

Criminals rule vast areas of Sundarbans

Equipped with only sticks, the forest guards of the West Division of the Sundarbans have been engaged in a war against armed robbers, poachers and illegal loggers for the last five years.

AL, BNP to see more rebel candidates

Both the ruling Awami League and opposition BNP may see a rise in rebel candidates for councillors and reserved seats for women in the Chittagong City Corporation polls.

13 killed in Gaibandha bus crashes

Thirteen people were killed and 35 injured in two road accidents in Gaibandha yesterday.

Rab arrested innocent, DB held real killers

Dhaka Metropolitan Police authorities yesterday claimed that the people picked up earlier by Rapid Action Battalion in connection with sub-inspector Goutam Roy murder are innocent and Detective Branch of police arrested the real killers.

Local admin asked to monitor NGOs

Upazila nirbahi officers and deputy commissioners will monitor local level activities of foreign funded NGOs from now on, according to a recent government decision.

BNP grassroots skip elections

As the national executive and standing committees, BNP's grassroots units are forming their committees through elections to only a few top-level posts in contravention of the party constitution.

Scientists make 'artificial life'

Scientists announced a bold step Thursday in the enduring quest to create artificial life. They've produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA.

Manjur gets more support

A section of senior BNP leaders yesterday extended their support to the party backed mayoral candidate Mohammad Manjur Alam in the Chittagong City Corporation elections scheduled for June 17.

Cyclone Laila weakens into depression

The cyclonic storm Laila over north coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, India moved slightly north-north eastwards and weakened into a depression over the same area at 6:00pm yesterday.

Bid to grab school playground: 2 held

Two people were arrested while trying to grab the playground of Motijheel Government Boys High School yesterday.

Woman dies after 23-day fight for life

A housewife died last night at Dhaka Medical College Hospital after fighting for life for 23 days with serious burn injuries.

Magura SP closed for corruption

The superintendent of police (SP) at Magura was closed to the police headquarters on Thursday after a probe committee found him guilty of various irregularities and corruption.

Third seaport in Kalapara

The government is planning to build the country's third seaport and a dockyard at the estuaries of Ramnabad and Andarmanik rivers at Kalapara of the district, said Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday.

CID fails to find out mastermind in 6yrs

Criminal Investigation Department is yet to find out those who masterminded the attack on eminent writer Prof Humayun Azad in 2004.

CHOGM heads of govt meet in Australia next year

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma announced yesterday that the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will be held in Perth, Western Australia on October 28-30, 2011.

Man hacked to death in Kushtia

Criminals hacked a man to death in Mirpur upazila of the district Thursday night.

Peace restored in Thailand

Thailand's leader promised an independent probe into "all events" surrounding the Red Shirt anti-government protests and called yesterday for reconciliation to heal deep political divisions that led to widespread violence and 83 deaths in two months.

BNP calls hartal in Munshiganj on Sunday

Leaders and activists of BNP district unit yesterday called for a dawn-to-dusk hatal in Munshiganj Sunday protesting the killing a local BNP activist.

Germany okays 750b euro rescue plan

Germany's parliament has approved the country's contribution to a 750bn euro ($938bn, £651bn) rescue deal for the eurozone.

South Sudan swears in first elected president

South Sudan swore in Salva Kiir as its first elected president yesterday and the former rebel is likely to lead the semi-autonomous region to independence after a referendum in less than eight months.

Editorial

PM's warning against fraudulent manpower agents

AFTER so many instances of cheating over so long a period, Prime Minister's warning that instant action would be taken against delinquent manpower recruiting agencies is too little too late. What we need is concrete action of punishing some recruiting agents who have broken the law.

Coping with high farm productivity

FARMERS have never failed the nation, not even in bad times. But in times good, they simply act wonders as they have now, and the onus is squarely on us at the moment not to fail them. For, if we did so we would be breaking their heart, even worse, their back and the will to do even better, completely undistracted by hostile clime, even of the political variety.

Sports

All roads lead to Bernabeu

One of the great ironies of the 2010 Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium on Saturday is that the main protagonist for each side will be a Real reject.

Abahani's hattrick closer

Two-time champions Abahani are just one point away from a hattrick of Bangladesh League titles when the Sky Blues managed a 2-1 win over Sheikh Russel KC in their home match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

'Our World Cup has started'

Argentina coach Maradona held his first training session with his World Cup squad on Thursday, and said he had high hopes for the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa.

Tigers lose in three days

It could have ended on the second day but still, losing a four-day game on the third day would be embarrassing enough for Bangladesh after they conceded a morale-shattering 9-wicket defeat to the English Lions at the County Ground in Derby yesterday.

Nayan the difference

A last gasp strike from Nayan helped Wanderers Club defeat Mohakhali XI 3-2 in the Bashundhara Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Doulatpur, BL College post wins

The inter-college Clear Men Confidence Cup football tournament got underway yesterday in Khulna and Rangpur.

Local Snippets

Gregarious Club posted a crucial 71-66 win over Europa Youth Club in the Premier Bank First Division Basketball League at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.

Germans rust Clockwork Orange

WORLD CUP 1974 CONTINUED
If you believe Van Hanegem, Holland lost the match there and then. Half the team wanted to push on and look for a second goal, the rest to play keep-ball and humiliate the Germans.

Champions still a threat

There are two ways of looking at reigning champions Italy at the World Cup in South Africa in June.

Ballack blow for Germany

With Germany bidding for their fourth World Cup title in South Africa, defender Philipp Lahm admits there is an air of expectation on Joachim Loew's side to prove themselves.

How They Compare

GOALKEEPER
Inter Milan: The Italian champions boast one of the finest goalkeepers in world football in Julio Cesar. The Brazilian has 47 caps for his national team and Inter have won the Serie A title every year he has been at the club. Former Italy World Cup winner Dino Zoff is a big fan.

Ribery to sign new deal

Bayern Munich playmaker Franck Ribery will sign a three-year contract extension that will make him the club's highest ever earner and keep him with the German champions until 2015, it was reported Friday.

Real after Martinez

Real Madrid, who failed to win a title last season despite a massive spending spree, are hoping to snag rising star Javier Martinez of Athletic Bilbao to boost their fortunes, a news report said.

Cameroon arrive in Austria

The Cameroon national team on Thursday arrived in Austria for a training camp ahead of the June 11-July 11 World Cup in South Africa, the Austrian news agency APA reported.

Proteas sweep T20 series

Ryan McLaren kept his nerve in a tense final over to help South Africa formalise a one-run victory over West Indies, and sweep their two-match Twenty20 International series on Thursday.

Flanagan vows crackdown

Sir Ronnie Flanagan has vowed to tackle match-fixing with zero tolerance when he begins his new post with the International Cricket Council, amid fresh concerns over corruption.

Armstrong slams & crashes

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong abandoned the Tour of California after crashing early in the fifth stage on Thursday.

Federer, Serena get tough draw

Rafael Nadal claimed the first victory of the French Open on Friday after defending champion Roger Federer was handed a tricky draw while Serena Williams was on collision course with long-time rival Justine Henin.

Bolt tips on striking pose

Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man and the unrivalled champion at striking a pose after a big win, says a signature stance is all about personality.

IPL 3 clean, confirms ICC

Paul Condon, the outgoing chief of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), has said it worried about the first two IPL seasons not because it suspected match-fixing but because of the lack of infrastructure to prevent it. He said the third edition held this year was a clean event largely due to the heavy involvement of the ACSU.

SL rest key players

Batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has been appointed to lead the squad to Zimbabwe for a tri-nation one-day international series that also involves India, Sri Lanka Cricket said Thursday.

Metropolitan

Survivors still cry for adequate food, safe water, rehabilitation

Journalists from home and abroad who covered the devastation of cyclone Aila yesterday called for immediate reconstruction of the damaged embankments in the affected areas and ensuring rehabilitation of the survivors.

Hartal aimed at creating instability: AL

The main opposition BNP has resorted to 'destructive' political programme like hartal as part of its conspiracy to create instability in the country, Awami League leaders said at a rally yesterday.

Give highest priority to energy, power in next budget: Mirza Aziz

Putting highest priority on energy and power sector in the upcoming budget, a former finance adviser said that the government might not be able to implement the big Annual Development Programme (ADP) of around Tk 38,500 crore.

Rajuk misses 4th deadline for handover of plots

In a little more than a year, the city development authority has missed its own deadline for the fourth time to hand over thousands of plots to would-be homeowners in two areas of Dhaka.

Donors should align aid policy with strategies of developing countries

Bangladesh wants the development partners to align their aid policies with the strategies of developing countries to ensure food security amid price volatilities and shocks they face today.

Save Meghna from encroachment

An environmental group yesterday demanded that the government make the river Meghna in Ashuganj free from encroachment.

Zonta Club IV executives

Munira Naim and Najmi Moyeen have been elected president and secretary of Zonta Club IV-Dhaka recently, says a pres release.

'Raise tax on tobacco products'

Speakers at a programme yesterday called on the government to raise tax on tobacco products and use this money to rehabilitate bidi workers through providing alternative jobs to them, as they face serious health hazards at their bidi factories.

Capital dredging in all rivers soon

Capital dredging will be carried out soon in all rivers of the country to revive the lost waterways.

Occupied land of Dhakeshwari Mandir to be recovered

Deputy Leader of the House and Awami League Presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury yesterday assured members of the Hindu community of returning the 'vested properties' to the owners and taking steps for recovering illegally occupied land of the Dhakeshwari Jatiya Mandir.

Garment workers threaten movement

Leaders of Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra yesterday threatened to launch a tough movement if the government does not fix Tk 5000 as minimum wages for a garment worker by July 27.

Couple killed in lightning

A couple and a woman were killed when a lightning struck them in Chapainawabganj and Sherpur during a heavy rain and storm early yesterday and on Thursday night.

Traffic disrupted at Mawa Ghat

Traffic movement remained disrupted yesterday due to a technical fault of a ferry and the rise of water level at Mawa Ghat, causing sufferings to hundreds of passengers.

Expat rescued from drug rehabilitation centre in N'ganj

The police arrested a director of a drug rehabilitation centre in Narayanganj on Thursday night on charges of confining a youth to his centre.

20 injured as Magura AL factions clash

At least 20 people were injured, 11 seriously, in a clash between two groups of the governing Awami League at a village in Magura yesterday.

15 injured as tornado hits Lalmonirhat villages

At least 15 people, including seven women, were injured as a tornado lashed five villages in Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat on Thursday night.

3 robbers held in Khulna

Three robbers along with arms were arrested from Modinabad Launch Ghat in Koira upazila early yesterday.

Moscow keen to boost ties in energy sector

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday expressed his keenness to intensify cooperation with Bangladesh in various fields, including the energy sector, and forge closest ties to work hand in hand.

International

Two vehicles plunge into gorges in Kashmir, 23 dead

At least 23 people were killed yesterday and 60 injured when a bus and an army vehicle plunged into gorges in two separate accidents in Indian-administered Kashmir, police said.

People pay tribute to slain leaders in Kashmir

Thousands of people turned out yesterday to pay tribute to two slain separatist leaders in Indian Kashmir, as a one-day strike called to mark the occasion closed shops and businesses.

Pakistan's Musharraf to "join politics"

Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said he intends going home to enter politics, perhaps standing to become president or prime minister, CNN reported.

Cyclone Laila weakens, death toll 26 in India

Cyclone Laila weakened yesterday after battering India's southeastern coast with several days of torrential rain and high winds that claimed 26 lives, officials said.

Group presents new evidence on abuses in Sri Lanka

An international rights group said yesterday it has new evidence that wartime abuses were perpetrated against civilians during the final phase of Sri Lanka's long and bloody civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Darjeeling tense after Gorkha leader killed

Gorkha leader Madan Tamang, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), was stabbed to death yesterday allegedly by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supporters in this West Bengal town, police said.

Afghan police find bodies at plane crash site

Afghan authorities have recovered several bodies from the wreckage of a passenger plane that crashed earlier this week with 48 people aboard, including six foreigners, the interior ministry said yesterday.

Six more detained in Pakistan

Pakistani authorities have taken into custody another six persons on suspicion of having links to Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad, arrested in the US for the botched Times Square car bombing.

Peace, stability in Thailand crucial to Asean

Peace and stability in Thailand are crucial to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the bloc said yesterday, in a rare statement about the internal affairs of a member state.

South Korea vows caution over ship, North sees war

South Korea said after a rare emergency security meeting yesterday it would respond prudently to the sinking of one of its naval ships by the North, but Pyongyang warned the peninsula was being driven to war.

Turkish PM urges Obama not to dismiss Iran nuclear deal

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged US President Barack Obama not to dismiss a nuclear fuel swap deal sealed with Iran and to give diplomacy a chance, his press office said yesterday.

Outrage over Gulf oil spill grows

Thick, sticky oil crept deeper into delicate marshes of the Mississippi Delta, an arrival dreaded for a month since the crude started spewing into the Gulf, as anger and frustration mounted over efforts to plug the gusher from a blown-out well and contain the spill.

US cartoonist apologises over Facebook row

A cartoonist whose work inspired an internet campaign inviting people to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad has apologised for her role in the row.

Gaza gunmen infiltrate Israel, die in firefight

Two Palestinian militants infiltrated Israel yesterday from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip but were killed in a firefight with Israeli troops, the Israeli military said.

Moms again reunite with 3 Americans held in Iran

Three Americans jailed in Iran for 10 months met with their mothers a second time yesterday as Iranian authorities used their visit to underline their complaints about their own citizens detained by the United States.

Arts & Entertainment

Connecting with nature

Grace Institute Art Gallery in New York is going to organise a nine-day art exhibition, titled “Breathing Colour” featuring Bangladeshi expatriate painter Md. Tokon. The painter has been in New York since 2001. Over the years the artist has carved a niche for himself in the city's art scene. The exhibition will start from May 24 and will continue till July 1.

“Fair Game”: Chronicling the outing of a CIA agent

Naomi Watts has gotten used to playing unstable women. But with the Cannes Film Festival entry “Fair Game,” Watts is playing a woman as steady as they come in Valerie Plame, whose secret CIA identity was leaked by the George W. Bush administration.

“Rakkhushi” on Desh TV

On the occasion of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's 111th birth anniversary, Desh TV will air the Bangla film “Rakkhushi” on May 25 at 11:45pm.

TV play “Bon-er Bedey” on Channel i

Marking birth anniversary of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Channel i will air a single-episode TV play “Bon-er Bedey” on May 25 at 7:50 pm. Geetali Hasan has made the adaptation from a lyrical drama by Nazrul. Aruna Biswas has directed the play.

Soovas Dutt hospitalised in Patuakhali

Veteran film personality Soovas Dutt has been hospitalised in Patuakhali. He was admitted to the Patuakhali General Hospital last Thursday.

Going Hollywood: Satyajit Ray’s unrealised dream?

It has recently emerged that master filmmaker Satyajit Ray's wish to make a film in Bangladesh remained unfulfilled, as he could never reproduce on the big screen eminent writer Selina Hossain's novel “Hangor Nodi O Grenade”. Now renowned Hollywood director Martin Scorsese is saying that Ray's dream of making a Hollywood movie too had to be shelved due to “some dirty politics played by unknown quarters.”

Int’l Children’s Film Festival in Feni

With the slogan “Future in Frame,” a five-day international film screening began yesterday at the district Shilpakala Auditorium in Feni. Children's Film Society Feni along with CDSB Foundation has organised the festival that will end on May 25.

DS Cafe'

This month DS Café will have actress Aupee Karim take your calls at The Daily Star office. Readers will have the opportunity to ask Aupee whatever they want to know. Call 8126155 on next Saturday, May 29, between 12 and 1 pm to speak to Aupee!!!

OP-ED

Behind the defining symbol of fear

THE baleful actions of police have once again attracted citizens' attention, thus no wonder that the very erudite column of The Daily Star takes serious issue with the apparent highhanded action of our lawmen with regard to the requisition of vehicles (post- editorial of May 19). The columnist very passionately and rightly draws attention to the despicable affront to the citizen's dignity and honour by a band of insensitive state functionaries.

What's wrong with Delhi?

MAOISTS kill 40 more people, including security officials, at the same place, Dantewada, in Chattisgarh where some Gandhians had marched for peace earlier in the week. Essential supplies to the northeastern state of Manipur continue to be blocked by the Nagas. Food prices show a 20 percent increase in six months. Teachers assault a vice-chancellor. Two passengers are killed in a melee that the railway officials caused when changing platforms of two trains at the nick of their departure. Police detain a bearded cleric for one day on the complaint of a lady passenger who suspected him to be a terrorist.

Eve teasing: Combat the scoundrel

SURVEYING the newspapers over the last few months we must have to be shocked realising the unprecedented rate of suicide cases among the young girls due to eve teasing. As reported in the newspapers in the recent past Nurina, Elora, Simi, Trisha, Tonni, Swapna, Tithi, Rumi committed suicide to escape the cruelty of stalkers' repression. Over the last four months, as reported in The Daily Star, fourteen girls, due to repression of stalkers, opted for ultimate destiny of their lives finding no other alternatives.

Institutionalising political system for development

INTEREST in good governance and development in Bangladesh both in isolation and in combination are commonplace and growing. Much of the scholarly pursuit in has been aimed at initiating a debate on the unexplored theme of governance as a critical variable in the development process. Its main focus centres around delimiting the boundary of the broad concept of governance especially when one attempts to mix it with development.

UK election: the real winners

I flick through newspaper after newspaper in deep shock these days. In all the coverage of the UK election, the international media has totally missed the real story.

Environment

Establish international climate justice tribunal

It seems media has not given importance to the the People's World Conference on Climate Change on 19-22 April in Bolivia as it deserved.

How will it respond to predicted climate change?

KUAKATA, locally known as Sagar Kannya (daughter of the sea) is located in the southwest of Bangladesh. Next to Cox's Bazar it is the second most famous sea beach of this country. And Kuakata is one of the rarest sea beaches of the world, which has a rare scenic beauty offering the full view of the rising and setting of crimson sun in the water of the Bay of Bengal. This 30 km long and 03 km wide beach has a typical natural setting and sandy as gently sloping into the Bay of Bengal.

For liveable and sustainable cities

LIVEABLE and Vibrant Cities” was theme of the inaugural world cities summit. The discussion topics emphasized the challenges of growing cities. Various discussions and speeches were presented on issues like sustainable urban infrastructure development, maintaining clean environment, good quality of life and economic competitiveness.

Literature

Images of society

Qazi Motahar Hossain (1897-1981) remains a powerful voice in Bangladesh's intellectual circles. As a writer, scientist, statistician and journalist, he was --- and is --- unique in the many dimensions of life he explored. He knew Kazi Nazrul Islam and Kazi Abdul Wadud and many others who were to leave a lasting impact on life in Bengal, indeed in the Indian subcontinent. A formidable chess player, he was at the same time known as an inimitable conversationalist.
The following article is a translation of a section from Qazi Motahar Hossain's Shomaj Chitro as it appears in Qazi Motahar Hossain Rochonaboli, Tritio Khondo, published by Bangla Academy (1992).

Recalling the Hatch-Barnwells

Flashback ! One sunny, summer afternoon in Dhaka of 1961. Our father had just picked us up, me and my sister, after school in a Willys jeep, probably a World War II vintage vehicle. He knew that his children cherished a little ride around the enthralling beauty of Ramna Park before heading for home. We were leisurely cruising down Minto Road savouring the verdant foliage, the lush greenery, interspersed by colonial era red-brick bungalows. It was a picturesque sight to behold. Scenic, serene and somewhat languid. Hardly much traffic in those days. Dhaka was still a laid-back provincial capital then.

A tale of literary adda

We left the university almost three decades back. At this age I feel that there can be nothing better than a weekly adda or a session of gossiping. Work hard to earn money, eat, help the needy and gossip. Don't harm anyone, don't backbite --- and gossip to your heart's content. No experience can be more delightful than gossiping with your near and dear ones.

. . . from Nahid Khan

In search of you

Star Health

Save newborns at risk of hepatitis B virus

Every year, a significant number of children is born with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and a considerable number is exposed latter in their lifetime. However, vaccine to prevent the virus introduced in the national immunisation programme in Bangladesh is inaccurately scheduled that does not comply with scientific recommendation.

More bran tied to longer life in diabetic women

Among women with diabetes, those who bulk up their diets with plenty of bran may live longer and be less likely to die of heart disease, a new study hints.

Many lights for human rights

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, a programme of the Global Health Council, based in the USA, is one of the oldest and largest grassroots mobilisation campaigns for HIV/AIDS awareness in the world.

Benefits of prenatal vitamin A last a decade: study

Children whose malnourished mothers took vitamin A during pregnancy had stronger lungs throughout childhood, with the benefits measurable well past the age of 9, researchers reported recently.

Study finds eating nuts helps lowering cholesterol

Eating nuts every day helps lower total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol and improves the ratio of total cholesterol to good HDL cholesterol, a study reports.

Processed meat products increase health risks

Canned food might bring an additional risk to your health due to the addition of salt and chemical additives required to process, cure and preserve meat products, a new study suggests. The journal Circulation, published the study recently revealed that salt and chemicals in processed meats to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Seminar on complex coronary intervention

With a view to updating knowledge on challenging coronary interventions, recently Cardiology Department of Sir Salimullah Medical College and Mitford Hospital (SSMC and MH) organised a seminar in a local hotel in the city.

Strategic Issues

A strong foreign ministry required

IN her present term in office, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a number of initiatives in foreign affairs that have earned Bangladesh international recognition. Her visit to New York in October; to the Climate Conference in Copenhagen in November and her official visit to India in January this year have all brought good results for Bangladesh. Her stand against terrorism during her visit to India and later at the SAARC Summit in Thimpu has attracted positive attention towards Bangladesh.

Carrots instead of sticks for Karzai

AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai visited Washington from May 10 - 13 for what Obama administration officials described as an opportunity to evaluate the broad strategic partnership between the two countries as they focused on shared security, governance and development goals.

Germany deploys more fighting equipment to Afghanistan

After the mid-April decision to deploy Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled guns to the north of Afghanistan, German Defense Secretary Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg announced additional heavy materiel, such as infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), also would be sent.

Russia vows to not use Black Sea base for attacks

President Dmitry Medvedev on May 18 moved to assure the West and states with Black Sea coastlines that Russia would not use its military base on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to attack a foreign country.

Prospect of Iranian sanction gathers pace

A new phase of discussions over how to impose sanctions on Iran for its continued pursuit of nuclear teachnology for military means has opened ahead of a crucial review conference set for 3 May in New York of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Tehran is a signatory.

Star Books Review

Pukur, godhuli bela and remarkable lives

WILLIAM Dalrymple, a household name in our part of the world, makes an arduous journey to construct stories taken from life, some of which are bizarre, some heart-rending, some with a blend of political ideology and some others being simple descriptions of occupations handed down from generation to generation where concerns about the changing patterns of life adopted by their offspring threaten the adults' age-old customs and culture. This job of the writer is no less arduous than the treks he makes through the length and breadth of the region. His tenacity in narrating the tales of nine lives has been most rewarding to his readers as it has charted new vistas by unwinding stories hitherto unknown. The protagonists' utterances about their own lives in detail and unreservedly, of course, elicited by the questions of the author, make each story distinctly unique. Here one cannot but appreciate the authenticity inherent in their narratives as they pour their hearts out to the author. And for this, all credit goes to the writer because his total involvement with them not primarily as a writer but as a person with all human qualities helped establish a rapport failing which there would not have been any stories with a human face. In one of the appreciations of this book, Dalrymple has been described as one of the 'greatest storytellers' of 'one of the world's greatest storytelling cultures', that is, India. True, but it would rather have been a more befitting description of him if it had said that he has been a most unusually engaging listener and collector of stories. Storytelling is natural to him because he is a writer who travels a lot and is keen on knowing people in a holistic manner. Rather the people in this book have been marvellous storytellers that in turn made him a seasoned storyteller. In the introduction, the author draws readers' attention to the contrasts in his methodology used in this book with the one that he adopted in both From the Holy Mountain and In Xanadu where the narrator's role was much more pronounced than those of the people. Dalrymple states that he has reversed this method and by doing so, he has brought the subjects from the background to the fore. And it is precisely this quality in Nine Lives that has made every story glimmer in its own style and content.

Misery in post-apartheid land

Disgrace by Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee is the winner of the 1999 Booker Prize. It is a tale of human and animal misery in post-apartheid South Africa. Middle aged and divorced David Lurie, a teacher of Romantic poetry, is reduced to a pathetic figure when his alleged affair with Melanie, one of his students, is revealed. Even the prostitute who used to receive him abandons him. He is humiliated by a group of students who are friends of Melanie. His colleagues start avoiding him. Disgraced and unable to face up to the scandal, he goes away to Lucy, his daughter in the Eastern Cape. Here awaits him a different life of harsh realities.

Of family values

MOST often what we see as 'the end' of a story does not always draw a proper end. A new journey begins with another story. Similarly, in the novel The English Teacher, Krishna, who is the English teacher in the Albert Mission College, goes through a journey of life that does not end with the end of the story. It seems like a very ordinary story but often the extraordinary incidents take birth from the ordinary story. This autobiographical novel written by R. K. Narayan is based on this theme.

A leader's letters

RONALD Reagan, the Hollywood actor-turned politician who became one of the powerful presidents of the United States, was an extraordinary correspondent. With over 10,000 letters to his credit in his lifetime, Reagan proved himself to be a brave fighter throughout his life until Alzheimer's knocked him down. The letters, written for family members and friends, politicians and citizens reveal that he had an outstanding skills of communication which earned him the title of Great Communicator. Many historical and political events have been thrown up through some valuable insights from his letters. In fact, the book gives a true account of Ronald Reagan the man in all the years he lived till his death some years ago.


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