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Rowling trophies

Just get a load on these amazing numbers behind the Harry Potter franchise: Twenty years, 18 billion dollars in value, seven books, eight films, translated into 68 languages, over 500 million copies sold (and still selling) worldwide, the largest selling book series ever and — this has to be the most impressive part of the statistics — none of which has been read or seen by me. When the first Harry Potter book

5 headlines you are bound to see after GST rollout

* Sample: What GST slab to slot beef curry in? Stumped Fin Min babus look for answer New Delhi, June 28: The much-expected GST (Goods and Services Tax) is all set for introduction and the country is poised on the frontiers of major history and confusion. On the one hand, GST is without a doubt a far-reaching reformist move from the Finance Ministry, certainly the biggest one after the decision to move the default

North by Northwest

Scientists this week assured us that an asteroid is headed towards the Earth and it is only a matter of time before it crashes into our planet. And it will land bang straight on Republic TV headquarters. Okay, the second part will happen only if we are any lucky. But as far as the asteroid crash goes, a top astrophysicist has said it is only a question of when rather

Visa-ranai!

It is fashionable to be critical of government agencies and departments. But there are occasions when we have to be thankful to them for the kind of services they render. For instance, this week’s column couldn’t have been written but for the help of the local passport office, which employs officers who can, in comparison, make the police team that shot dead dreaded brigand Veerappan look total softies. But some

T Nagar on tinder

Yet another tragedy has hit Chennai. I am doubtless referring to the huge fire that has brought down the 8-storeyed ‘The Chennai Silks’ building in T Nagar. But Chennaiites once again showed that regardless of where the mishap was and no matter how enormous it was, you could trust them to rise up to the occasion, make a beeline to the spot of trouble and, in a spirit of human

Journo sacked for revealing in headline what the report contains

* Sub-editor pays the penalty for slipping up on basics of click-bait journalism on Rajini report New Delhi, May 24: When young Naveen Tripathi, a New Delhi-based sub-editor with a popular Internet site that is known for hard-hitting investigative news stories like ‘7 reasons why you will not read this story’, found a news report on Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth’s putative entry into politics land on his news desk, he was

You can read this free*

Let me start with an apology that I morally owe to the lawyer community, who I thought was the worst in the world. But recently I got to understand that banks plumb depths that even lawyers would find too low to stoop. If ever you come across in a room a top banking official and a black mamba, which is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, you

Message in headline 

Last Wednesday a leading Malayalam newspaper came out with a dramatic frontpage where all its news was voluntarily scrubbed out with black ink. It was the publication’s way of sending to the general public the powerful journalistic message: “Hey guys, listen! The full-page ad for our frontpage got cancelled at the very last minute. And it is too late for us to find any actual news now. So we will

Akshay, Amitabh and ACs

The 10th edition of the IPL is more than half-way through and, as ever, this year too this column gets down to analyse the core aspect of the IPL season: TV commercials. But before we get down to discuss the IPL season ads, just a small disclaimer. We will not mention any brand name here. This is not because this column is too classy for such plugs (actually, we wouldn’t mind

'TBF, we got the election dates spot on'

*Poll pundits hit back sharply at critics *Scientists say in a parallel universe Rahul is winning New Delhi, Mar 15: Pollsters and political pundits (journalists) in India, to this day, seem to have got not even one election right. This is a track record that is worse than even, well, Rahul Gandhi’s. At least in the case of Rahul Gandhi there is the very logical and valid excuse that he