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“Real friends stick together”: Beethoven and Carnival!

Luis Dias The stereotypical image of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) has a piercing glare, an unkempt shock of hair and is always unsmiling. Those who have a passing acquaintance with his life story will know of a turbulent childhood; a domineering father; a mother figure drained by struggling finances, repeated pregnancies, and consequent ill-health; of Beethoven’s awkwardness in society and …

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Feeling the poet’s presence

There are fresh discoveries on every page of ‘Out of Syllabus’, Sumana Roy’s debut collection of poetry Kunal Ray I want to begin with a confession. Writing about poetry is terribly difficult or at least I find it so. I read, teach and talk about poetry with great enthusiasm. I often find myself hunting for the right expression in the …

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Into the Wild West

TENSING RODRIGUES Superintendent, Geological Survey of India between 1858 and 1891 in South India, Robert Bruce Foote, was the first to offer a clue to the mystery of Parsuram’s axe, though indirectly. Foote wrote: “The settlement of man on the heavily forested mountains (Sahyadri) was not possible till he had obtained the use of iron axes, wherewith to fell the …

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Find relevant ideologies of secularism

Mark Tully Just before the Delhi election campaign got underway, the president and his predecessor both stressed the importance of debate and discussion in a democracy. Speaking at The Indian Express’ Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, President Ram Nath Kovind said: “A democracy like ours deeply relies on uncovering facts and the willingness to debate them.” Giving the first …

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Is the print dictionary losing meaning?

Sales of print dictionaries are dipping fast in the digital age Manoj Sharma Vivek Mathur, a freelance copywriter, was quite dejected after deciding to ditch, after a decade, his print dictionary in favour of dictionary apps on his mobile phone. “Until six months ago, I always kept one in my bag, even though I was looking up words on my …

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Emergence of a leader

Chanakya To get a sense of how far Arvind Kejriwal has travelled in his short political journey of less than a decade, compare two images. The first is from his first term in office. In 2014, the chief minister of Delhi decided to sit on a ‘dharna’ in the heart of the capital. It sent out a message that Kejriwal, …

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On ‘forced’ food choices and children

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi My granddaughter, Anasuyaa, five, is a vegetarian and a very healthy eater. She loves vegetables, specially broccoli. She doesn’t like maida in any form, including cakes. She likes the idea of icecream, but will rarely go beyond a few licks. My son went through a phase of offering her lollipops, which she took to please him but …

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Bangladesh is doing well

Karan Thapar Frankly, I blame Henry Kissinger. Way back in the 1970s, he called Bangladesh “an international basket case”. At the time, no doubt, it was. Television images of the frequent devastating floods it suffered confirmed this characterisation. So the description stuck. Today, Bangladesh is a different country. The world may be slow in changing its opinion – although I …

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Co-work-cations: Building work into your travel itinerary

New start-ups are offering to help plan vacations with built-in time at co-working spaces and networking events, for the gig-economy freelancer on the go Aishwarya Iyer The gig economy means that you can work from anywhere, and travel all year round. But it’s not easy. So a crop of start-ups are helping freelancers build work time into their travel, with …

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Celebrating solo

More people are choosing to stay single or partner on their own terms. And startups in areas from food and realty to living and dating are responding by redesigning offerings to accommodate those coming in, in ones Madhusree Ghosh We’re having conversations with bots; treating our plants like they’re children (check out #plantmom on Instagram); seeing celebrities like Emma Watson …

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