Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
If Cosmopolitan had existed in ancient Rome, Ovid would be the editor. Here’s Ovid’s advice to women:
What attracts us is elegance - so don’t neglect your hairstyle;
Looks can be made or marred by a skilful touch.
Nor will one style suit all: there are innumerable fashions,
And each girl should look in her glass
Before choosing what suits her reflection. Long features go best with
A plain central parting: that’s how
Laodamia’s hair was arranged. A round-faced lady
Should pile all her hair on top,
Leaving the ears exposed. One girl should wear it down on
Her shoulders, like Apollo about to play
The lyre; another should braid it in the style of the huntress
Diana, when she’s after some frightened beast,
Skirt hitched up.
I long to be a frightened beast. Anyway, go read Charlotte Higgins’s piece on Ovid’s advice on finding a partner, which is an extract from her book Latin Love Lessons. That’s certainly more inviting than Lovely Latin Lessons. No?
Sita Sings the Blues: The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told
Dev.D doesn't flinch from depicting the individual’s downward spiral
9 across: Van Morrison classic from Moondance (7)
6 down: Order beginning with ‘A’ (12)