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Had he not been a much loved sitar virtuoso, this frail nonagenarian may have wowed world audiences as a dancer. The arts course through Pandit Ravi Shankar’s veins like an impassioned gale, a force he recreates as his callused fingers dance over the sitar, making every string his own.

Halloween and all the usual autumn scariness will come and go, but this scary little creature seems determined to stay. Bedbugs are rapidly colonizing landmark buildings in the city of New York, apart from being the subject of a major bug scare across the United States. Afraid of carrying troops of merry bloodsuckers home, tourists are cancelling vacation sojourns at the height of the holiday season.

One of the hottest message-minded costume options this year is a green jumpsuit covered in oil, with a ‘bp’ logo, where ‘bp’ stands for bad planning. The jumpsuit is reflective of the various transformations that make Halloween an eagerly awaited secular celebration and a retail boom occasion that leaves both advertisers and shoppers happy. That apart, all those lusciously huge pumpkins you grew in your hydroponics garden are now waiting to be utilized in ways that range from the creative to the outrageous. Take the pumpkin-smashing extravaganzas that some farmers use as a marketing spiel!

So you’ve had a bountiful hydroponics harvest this year. Your larder is full of color, with juicy and plump vegetables and fruits of all hues. You may have sold some of your produce and sent out gift baskets. Why, you even gave your strange and asocial next-door neighbor a fruit basket, to his own bewilderment. Yet, your harvest just seems bigger by the day, more than you could ever possibly use, and you’re worried it will lose its freshness before you get down to doing something about it.

... in Wine and Dine

Ever heard of a turophile? Over hundreds of acres of verdant pasture populated by happy, mooing cows, turophiles, or connoisseurs of cheese, are changing the quiet face of the dairy world. If wine tourism was the craze of this decade, could cheese trailing be far behind? Elevating cheese to the level of an art, cheese trails treat tourists to the fascinating processes that bring lovingly aged wheels of cheese to their tables.

... in Wine and Dine

Given my fantasies of dancing courtesans and opulent princely courts stoked by a steady diet of Hindi cinema, I didn’t know what to expect when I went to Lucknow last winter. Clearly, there was no blast from the past in sight; I didn’t expect I’d encounter relics from a culture that was at its zenith more than a century ago. The Lucknow of today is the capital of Uttar Pradesh in northern India, a growing city that is continually expanding outwards, notorious for a chief minister who is very fascinated by self-portraiture. But, step into the old city, which is a labyrinth of narrow winding lanes hemmed in by the cold concrete of the other Lucknow, and you are in a different world altogether.

The haze of opinions surrounding the use of ozone in the medical and therapeutic contexts is as unstable as the triatomic ozone molecule itself. An allotrope of oxygen, ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms. This fast disappearing layer from the atmosphere has shot down to earth following increasingly popular claims of its miraculous healing properties and curative powers. The practice of ozone therapy dates back to the late nineteenth century; the Florida Medical Association published research on the therapeutic uses of ozone in 1885.

They called Inception an existential heist film. Some made allegorical connections between the business of moviemaking and the geometry of dreams in Inception. Yet others claimed that the film existed in a dream from start to finish, debating whether a film in a dream made cinematic sense at all. Dream or not, Inception has drawn fresh attention to the possibilities of dream manipulation, dream mastery and lucid dreaming in real life.

Winter is still a few months away, which is why you should be making the most of inclement weather in the tropics when your own lands are besieged by dreary light and heaps of cottony snow. But Phuket, Bali or the Caribbean islands are not what we have in mind! Instead of these much-milked island holidays, we went island-hopping in Asia, Africa and Europe to find you ten places that are a choice selection of the best seaside experiences ever, with something for everyone from the diving freak to the nature lover.

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