Kishwar Desai


Kishwar Desai

Reigning in the rain

All republicans ran for cover this week as a shower of Diamond Jubilee celebrations poured down in Great Britain.

Ash & global furore over her figure

Who would have imagined that the Daily Mail and the Guardian and even the BBC would be concerned about how Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would look on the Red Carpet in Cannes this year?

Harried at Heathrow

A bit of caution would be advised for those of you planning to come to London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, the summer holidays, a shopping spree or just on a straightforward business trip. The queues at Heathrow’s border control have been getting longer and longer, causing serious discomfort to travellers. Recently, as the coalition government’s fortunes wobbled dangerously on many matters, the Heathrow mess gave another stick for the Opposition to beat them with.

Partying Pippa & the ‘stunned’ paparazzi

If every generation of the Royal family needs one wild card to liven it up, then the present lot has found its saviour in Pippa Middleton, who now joins the long list of men and women (including Princ

Can good looks wreck your life?

Recently in the United Kingdom a slightly delusional article by journalist Samantha Brick lamenting that her “pretty face” has made women desperately envious, sent the Twitter world, the Internet and

Britain through the kaleidoscope

When Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her diamond jubilee with British parliamentarians this week, it was time again for tiaras and tradition except that the Queen wore a hat. Members from both Houses of Parliament trooped in to greet the 86-year-old dapper monarch at Parliament’s Westminster Hall, which is the oldest standing structure of the Palace of Westminster dating from before 1,000 AD. It is here that Warren Hastings was tried for his crimes in India and was acquitted after seven years.

It’s a woman’s world

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than to announce the all-women longlist for the Orange Prize, the £30,000 bonanza that awaits women authors, much to the chagrin of their male counterparts?
This year it has rained historical novels — starting from the Homeric period to World War II, there’s a list of 20 glittering authors, which includes five debut novels and four “seconds”. Joanna Trollope, as the chair of the jury, has already ploughed through all 143 submissions. An author herself, she remarked, obviously impressed with the quality, “Fiction is a way into life’s great dilemmas” and found that women were “extraordinarily unafraid” to enter that emotional space.

Tetchy Brits and their tantrums

Is it the unseasonably warm weather — Britain is as hot as Morocco — which has made everyone so tetchy? Or have the good manners of the British become a thing of the past? Just look at British pop-soul star Adele fresh out of her six Grammy wins. At the Brit awards she won two more awards but then in the middle of her acceptance speech, drowning in accolades and applause, she was impertinently shoved off the stage by the compere who wanted to announce the next item. So she did what came naturally — and put up a finger in a rude gesture.

Diamonds and rust

Temperatu-res may have dropped dramatically, but London is warming up for a year of celebrations, as only the British know how. Despite the gloom of recession and the icy winds, guns have been booming from Edinburgh Castle, Hyde Park and the Tower of London to mark the start of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations. These will culminate in a long June weekend packed with public events to commemorate her accession.

Must India downplay its secular credentials?

As part of a secular nation, one must be able to respect and appreciate religions other than one’s own without prejudice or dismay. And what better way to do it than as an academic and intellectual exercise? But is India ready to display its multi-faith credentials in an analytical fashion?

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.