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The exciting genre of personalized story telling for children and young adults is fast gaining ground. Pujita Krishna's recent book 'The Unusual Adventures of a Gutsy Explorer' for Merlinwand is one such illustrated story book where the reader gets to be his or her own hero! Interesting characters and vivid destinations make this a must-have in very child's book shelf.


Populated by women, their desires, dilemmas, decisions, and doubts, this book undoubtedly seeks women as its favoured readers. Men are welcome to help themselves to it as well, but they may find themselves somewhat lost in a literary setting that nudges them aside, albeit playfully.
At 28, Jayanti is seemingly a woman who has it all: a good looking fiancé who is a pilot in the Air Force, a well-paying cushy job, two loving parents, and close friends. But in reality, she is unravelling. Alok, her fiancé, doesn’t hold the mojo for her anymore. She hates her job. After six years on the same beat, she wants something more out of her life. Her life comes undone pretty much after her chance encounter with Russo at an art gallery in Hyderabad where she lives. Russo is not just an artist but also a drug dealer, working for a Goan drug overlord, Jimmy. Unsuspectingly, through a strange sequence of events involving her naïve maid Vijji, Jayanti finds herself in a heady situation mixed with drugs and goons that takes her to Gokarna, even as she falls head over heels in love with Russo. Her two friends Arpita, a Tollywood starlet, and Srilaxmi, a much married woman looking for excitement, are along for the ride. The journey, although foolishly motivated, helps her and her friends, find some answers for themselves.

My thesis documentation and study of a unique process of revival taking place at the Ranganathaswamy Temple in the city of Hyderabad, India. Ritual dances performed by Telugu speaking devadasis of this region have been reinstated at the temple under the able guidance and direction of Swapnasundari, a prominent dancer and researcher from India, since 1996. Vilasini Natyam is the name now given to the readapted, revived dance of the Telugu devadasis. The ritual dancing at the temple takes place in the week-long annual temple festival known as the brahmotsavam. The nature of the study being ethnographic, I relied greatly on semi-structured interviews and participating in and observing the festival itself. The study has resulted in detailed documentation of this process of revival and also brought forth opinions and reflections on how it has affected, changed, influenced the lives of the many people connected with it.

Revival of Vilasini Natyam at the Rangan

Love's shades are myriad and moving . . . Who first said Love is a many-splendoured thing , is a difficult matter to trace but movies, plays, poems and songs have claimed the phrase greedily over the years. Love is the most complex, perplexing phenomenon one can ever encounter, spanning the most insipid to darkest emotions known to Man. Definitions, meaning, interpretations and perspectives vary from dictionary to dictionary and from person to person. If one sits down to compile all the interpretations, the length of the compilation would surpass the length of the guide to understanding women and men and what happens between them. Perhaps this is what is meant by the many-splendoured shades of love. Shades of Love, Grapevine India's first anthology, comprises of twenty five short stories, written by some of the biggest best sellers and many debutante writers. However, each story is a different shade. From the innocent to the macabre, the mundane to the supernatural, from the soulful to the psychotic, each tale seeks to spur the reader on a journey from shade to shade.

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