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HOW can you make the Encyclopaedia Britannica better? The question has vexed Robert McHenry, editor-in-chief of the illustrious series, for a long, long time. Here in India to explore the possibilities of not only updating its databank on the country, but also to look at the possible electronic products that can be developed and adapted for India, McHenry says: "We want to make products which are relevant to this market." Indians will certainly welcome the effort.
Raageshwari, the peppy Oye VJ-turned-Duniya singer, is beginning to see red. Especially Coca Cola red. The soft-drink giant got Raags to do her own concert, part of a raindance party organised by Coke in Bangalore last week. It now plans to sign her on for an endorsement deal which will make her the first celeb to endorse Coke in India. Oye Raageshwari, way to go.
THE gentleman protests too much. Imran Khan, cricketer-turned-politician, tried desperately to push a paternity scandal under the carpet. But Sita White, his ex-girlfriend, proved smarter. With classic bad timing, the lady announced, in the midst of Imran's election debut, that he was the father of her daughter. The cricketer's denials were met with a paternity suit in the US, which has since been decided in Sita's favour. But it seems a long way off when Tyrian, Sita's daughter, will be able to call Imran Daddy dearest.
IT was a fax Goutam Ghosh found difficult to believe. Last fortnight, the 46-year-old film director, who has made such critically acclaimed films as Paar, Padma Nadir Majhi and Gudiya, won the Vittorio De Sica award. He is reported to have told a friend: "Look at the people who have got this recognition before. Who am I in comparison?" Indeed, he has an illustrious line of predecessors who have won the Italian award—Kurosawa, Bergman, Visconti and Fellini. Ghosh's modesty is becoming.
WHAT does it take to set a record? Grit and determination, Calcutta's Masudur Rahman Baidya will tell you. Son of an imam, this 29-year-old lost both his legs in a train accident when he was only 11 years old. Yet he has gone on to become the first Asian to cross the English Channel without his artificial legs. Sponsors have given him enough money to help him see his dream through. What he now needs is a regular job. In all other ways, Baidya believes hum kisi se kum nahin.
THEREhave been many attempts to look at India’s 50 years of independence. The latest is by well-known author Dom Moraes and his current creative companion Saryu Ahuja, an architect by profession. They are collaborating on a book which will take a hard look at Independent India’s 50th year. Says Dom: "The book will chronicle the year 1996 to 1997 and see what exactly this anniversary means. We are interviewing people all over to see what went wrong, if at all." The book is scheduled to hit the stands next August.