Nano car. Big questions.

Is Ratan Tata a hero or a villain? His Tata Nano car is set to put India’s lower middle class on wheels with its unbelievably low price, but at what cost to the environment?

If you read the New York Times, Time, the Los Angeles Times or the Australian, you will find that there is a new villain on the global stage. He is Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate.

Nano car. Big questions. (Part 2 of 2)

Is Ratan Tata a hero or a villain? His Tatan Nano car is set to put India’s lower middle class on wheels with its unbelievably low price but at what cost to the environment?

<BACK to Nano car. Big questions. (Part 1 of 2)

That was what Ratan presented in New Delhi when he, accompanied by electronic fireworks and the theme song of 2001: A Space Odyssey, drove what looked like an enlarged white jellybean onto the stage of the auto expo.

Moral anaesthesia

Cost cutting at his clinics has cost wealthy Nevada-based physician Dipak Desai his reputation.

More than 30 years ago, a young Indian doctor called Dipak Desai landed in New York looking for fame and fortune. Since then he has found fortune. On September 27, 2009, he will have national, if not international, fame, though not the way he wanted it.

Seducing the Indians

Mills & Boon's passage to India is not simply a holiday romance.

"I'll be your mistress – for a million dollars."

For years, model Briana Davenport fought temptation – in the form of a six-foot, blue-eyed seducer. Jarrod Hammond was her employer's sworn enemy and as such off-limits to her… and her bed.

India's poor little rich prince

The waxing and waning of the Nizam of Hyderabad reflects the waves of change that have swept the sub-continent since India's independence.

chowmahalla palace

It starts off with the whiff of an Indian fable, turns into a cautionary tale on the crosswinds of post-colonialism, then veers into a modern soap opera involving politics, eccentric royals, squabbling relatives, international lawyers and the world of high finance.

Sexy cardamom

Meet the spice that is queen of the kitchen and the bedroom.

Why is cardamom called the Queen of the Spices? Maybe it is its association with queens. The large leaved plant with purple and white flowers had a place in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The terraced garden was built by King Nebuchadnezzar for his wife who was homesick. Cleoptara burnt cardamom incense whenever Mark Antony visited. The Arabian Nights makes frequent reference to cardamom’s use as an aphrodisiac.

Sticking together

The prosperous Harilela clan of nearly 100 lives under one roof in Hong Kong.

Many rich families aspire to be unique. The Harilela clan, which runs the richest Indian business concern in Hong Kong, doesn’t even need to try—they are unique in the sense that there is only one family in the entire world with that surname.

The Harilelas hail from the Indian (now Pakistani) province of Sindh. A century ago, they were called the Mirchandanis—a surname that ended with the three letters "ani", like so many of their compatriots.

Running Ranbaxy

Malvinder Mohan Singh, CEO of Ranbaxy, aims to make the company the fifth largest generic drug maker in the world by 2012.

For the moment, the most famous Sikh in the world is Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India. Soon it could be Malvinder Mohan Singh, CEO of Ranbaxy, India’s largest pharmaceuticals company.

At 35, Malvinder is young for the top job. There had been many sceptics when he was appointed CEO in January 2006, not least because his family, a major player in India’s healthcare industry, is controlling shareholder of Ranbaxy.