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(ARCHIVE) VOL. XXII NO. 19, January 16-31, 2013
The tales of 3 newsmakers
By Savitha Gautham

Three newsmakers. They have contributed immensely to society through their art, craft and sport. They belong to different generations but are bound by a common thread – overcoming odds to rise and shine. You will learn about their successes and struggles, their triumphs and tribulations in these three books now on the shelves.

Flame: The Inspiring Life of My Mother Shahnaz Husain – Nelofar Currimbhoy (Hachette India, Rs. 295).

The Times of India called this book "... a fascinating read for all who dare to dream!" How true! Beauty has never been the same since Shahnaz Hussain burst into the scene with her 'Herbal' mantra that translated into creams and potions that flew off shelves.

Married young, it was while living in Iran where her husband was working that Shahnaz's tryst with beauty and cosmetology took shape. She pursued it with passion and collaborated with leading institutes such as Swarzkopf, Christine Valmy, Lancôme and Lean of Copenhagen. She then turned an entrepreneur and formed a company that functioned out of her home. Today, a super-successful businesswoman, her brand is a byword in herbal and Ayurvedic beauty products.

In this heart-warming narrative, daughter Nelofar walks readers through the compelling journey of a vivacious woman who created an iconic company while getting past personal and professional hurdles, and emerging as an Indian icon.

Incidentally, Nelofar has dedicated the proceeds from the sale of this book to her NGO, Follow the Flame Foundation, that trains and empowers innumerable women.

* * *

Sounding Off: Memoirs of an Oscar Winning Sound Engineer – Resul Pookutty. Tr. Baiju Natarajan (Penguin, Rs. 399).

At the 81st Academy Awards, when actor Will Smith announced "And the Oscar for Best Sound Mixing goes to… Resul Pookutty and Ian Tapp for Slumdog Millionaire," there was not a dry eye among the movie goers in India. Boy, did he do us proud along with A.R. Rahman!

For Pookutty, life was never easy. One of eight children born in an impoverished family in Vilakkupara, near Kollam in Kerala, Pookutty had to study with a kerosene lamp as his village did not have electricity. Yet, he completed his studies and joined the Government Law College, Trivandrum, to fulfil his father's dream. But he was in love with cinema.

Yet another amazing odyssey of resilience and conviction, it was Pookutty's passion for cinema that took him from the Government Law College to the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. His move to Mumbai, his meeting with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and working on Black and his subsequent projects (including Ghajini), are all recounted for readers to fill their curiosity.

This is finally the story of a man who took the cutting edge of cinematic sound technology into the ruthless film world of Mumbai and waited till international glory sought him out.

This definitive translation by Baiju Natarajan is a must read for movie buffs and anyone who loves a story well told.

* * *

Yuvi – Makarand Waingankar (Harper Sport, Rs. 199).

Sports enthusiasts in the nation were shocked when they learnt that Yuvraj Singh had cancer. No way, how could this young man whose antics on and off the cricket field had captured the people's imagination, have the dreaded C?

Fiery batsman, deceptive bowler, brilliant fielder, Yuvraj, Yuvi to all those who love him, has always been a headline maker – whether for his remarkable skills with bat and ball or his glamorous lifestyle off the field. But it's his courageous battle against a life-threatening illness that has now earned him the greatest respect.

In this account, veteran journalist and cricket administrator Makarand Waingankar, who has known Yuvi practically since the day he was born, takes a trip down memory lane as he remembers the young boy's love for the game.

With inputs from Yuvraj's parents, friends, peers and senior players, and written with rare insight and affection, it is sure to inspire and move all those who leaf through it.

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In this Issue

More money for tourism
A tinder box waiting to explode
Senior citizens develop an arboretum
Discovering Trichy's Madras connections
Desecrating a memorial to courage
The man behind City's National Art Gallery
The tales of 3 newsmakers
An early scam in Madras

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your Diary


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