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A hilltop escape with that healing feeling

Letter: Simple side of the tracks

I WAS surprised to read the following in Mark Tully's otherwise excellent piece: "Mahatma Gandhi deliberately chose to travel third-class to demonstrate that he shared the suffering of the poor." How much the Mahatma suffered is questionable, for the whole third-class compartment was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected for him before he was left alone to meditate in peace. As Sarojini Maidu said: "Ah, if the Mahatma only knew what it costs us for him to lead the simple life..."

What's wrong with waving arms?

THE FIRST THING that strikes you when meeting Peter Jauhal, the man who introduced Falun Gong into Britain, is that he is Indian. Given that the papers have spent the past few months writing about a sinister cult which has put the wind up the Chinese government, it seemed reasonable to assume he would be, well, Chinese.

Books Fiction In Brief: When They Lay Bare

When They Lay Bare

Price of inner peace splits guru disciples

THE GREAT guru himself might have approved of the dispute, although that is unlikely. Bhagwan Shree Rajnesh - better known as "Osho" - was, after all, no stranger to controversy. As one of the most popular and flamboyant of the south Asian religious leaders, who brought their mix of pop philosophy and Indian mysticism to the world's spiritually starved masses of the Seventies, he was quite at home in the struggle between the forces of commercialism and the path to true wisdom.

First Night: Rich beauty of love in limbo

First Night Copenhagen Duchess Theatre London

Obituary: Goro Yamaguchi

THE BAMBOO flute is central to Japanese traditional music. It is played vertically, with a notched mouthpiece and five finger holes - four equidistant on top and an upper one at the back for the thumb.

Jazz: Glittering grey marks on the fingerprint file

JAN GARBAREK ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL

Words; Merkin, n.

ONE OF life's mysteries, despite the global village, is that many American books do not appear in Britain. A striking absence is Dreaming of Hitler by Daphne Merkin, one of the movie critics at the New Yorker.

Been there, done that, wrote the book

The Time of Our Time by Norman Mailer Little, Brown pounds 25

Arts: A long meditation about love

Double Take: Paul Taylor and Nick Kimberley on Peter Sellars's production of Peony Pavilion

Television Review: Ally McBeal

"DO YOU ever worry about being sexually adequate," one man asks another in the executive washroom. "No," the other replies, "I know I'm good". "How?" the first one says plaintively. "Cos I'm always satisfied," says the other blithely. "It's good for me." And then, in a perfect grace note to this vignette of male egotism, he lobs his paper towel into the bin and whispers an exultant "Yesss!" The man in question is Ally McBeal's (C4) cheerfully amoral boss, something of a hero of mine as the only character in the series who never wastes his time (or ours) interrogating his motives - he doesn't really need to as they are green all over and carry pictures of American presidents.

Builders send in the fairies in payout dispute

WHEN contractors and clients fall out over a payment, the usual path of dispute leads to stiff warning letters, aggrieved feelings and expensive lawyers' bills. But not in the case of Birse Construction.

A little TM goes far

Jack O'Sullivan reports on a Lancashire school where transcendental meditation is helping produce excellent academic results

On the trail of an unwitting TB carrier

"MORNING Mr Bourner"

Books: This really is Spinal Tap

FLESH GUITAR by Geoff Nicholson, Gollancz pounds 9.99
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His life, the universe and everything

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Save us from small screen superheroes

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Reach for the skies

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12 best hotel spas in the UK

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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