Pictures from Malala
Don't we all wish to get a magic pencil to redraw reality and change the world? Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel laureate and Pakistani activist for female education, experienced terror in her country while growing up. In her new picture book Malala's Magic Pencil, she tells her story through illustrations. The book, published by Penguin UK and illustrated by Kerascoët, a New York Times best-selling illustrator team of Sebastian Cosset and Marie Pommepuy, is expected to be in the market in October. With this work, Malala wishes to inspire children to hold on to hope and work hard to change the world that needs fixing.

Pic/Bipin Kokate
Pic/Bipin Kokate

Mass attraction
Women of a Byculla NGO reach out to actor Arjun Rampal who dropped by to interact with them last afternoon.

Jordanian tunes
We often hear of Indian musicians touring the globe to perform before their fans, usually of Indian origin. But there seems to be a growing number of global connoisseurs for Hindustani music outside India.

Gino Banks and Niladri Kumar
Gino Banks and Niladri Kumar

Sitar-Zitar player Niladri Kumar, drummer Gino Banks, tabla player Vijay Ghate and keyboard player Aggi Fernandes performed at the Jerash Festival in Jordan yesterday. Called the Niladri Kumar Quartet, we're told they performed to a packed house. The festival was started in 1981 by Queen Nour to enrich cultural activities in the country, and features an array of Jordanian, Arab and foreign artistes.

Khatri leaves the Company
Barely a few months after Sorabh Pant left the East India Company, another funnyman has followed suit. Atul Khatri, the silver-haired gent with some of the wittiest wisecracks among the ensemble has decided to move on.

While this diarist had been hearing murmurs from the community, yesterday, an official social media post by EIC confirmed our doubts. In a similar template that was used to announce Pant's exit, the post saluted Khatri's Sindhi genes and routed people to his solo venture. We're wondering if we should read between the lines, or shall we say, gags?

Getting it on with achaar
Move over chocolate, strawberry and even, baingan. There's a new, and bizarre, condom flavour that believes in 'spicing it up between the sheets' quite literally. Recently, a leading Indian condom brand announced the newest addition to its range, Achaari flavoured condoms, calling them 'very Indian, tangy and tantalising'. What cracked us up were hilarious reactions on social media, including puns like 'in a pickle' and 'achaari masti', and husband-wife jokes on using it as an ingredient in achaari chicken. The one that really stood out had the product placed under a question where a woman asked, 'aaj paraanthe ke saath kya khau?'

Switzerland calling
Kalki Koechlin's debut documentary will be getting its world premiere at the Locarno Festival next week. And while this festival, held annually in Switzerland, may not be as popular as Cannes to us Indians, it is, in fact, one of the world's longest-running film festivals.

For this film, titled Azmaish, Koechlin tied up with Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar, and the duo's aim was to look at the two opposite paths that India and Pakistan chose to walk post Partition, and explore new perspectives for peace between these forever-feuding neighbours.