Off the shelf
Reflections of a Ghadarite
V. N. Datta
The Art of Living and Karma and Dharma
by Bhagwan S. Gyanee. Ed. Surinder Pal Singh. Punjabi Bhawan, Ludhiana. Pages 164 and 104.
THESE two books containing 32 essays were written by Bhagwan S. Gyanee who had taken a prominent part in the Ghadar movement in Punjab which was ruthlessly crushed by Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant-Governor, Punjab. Gyanee was closely associated with the firebrand revolutionary Har Dyal who had profoundly influenced his political and intellectual thinking.


Books received

Quest for the carnal
Harbans Singh
Yayati: A Classic Tale of Lust
by V. S. Khandekar. Orient Paperbacks. Pages 251. Rs 195.
FOR many spiritually inclined readers, the great epic Mahabharata is significant because it contains the eternal message of the Gita; but to the more earthly, it is a book that contains complex, intriguing and often enigmatic characters that are fascinating and real. Among the many such characters, two are better known for becoming syndromes that continue to rule the passions and motives of human beings. Of the two, the Dhritrashtra syndrome is often talked about though it is the Yayati syndrome, the unending search for carnal satiation that explores the underbelly of human beings.

Search for Sheikh Farid
Wazir Singh
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Wale Sheikh Farid di Bhal
by Prof Pritam Singh. Singh Brothers, Amritsar. Pages 368. Rs 650.
THE book is a research treatise on Baba Sheikh Farid, the 12th-century savant of the Chishti order of Sufis. He flourished about three centuries earlier than the advent of Guru Nanak. When the first recession of the holy Guru Granth Sahib was compiled and edited by Guru Arjan Dev in 1604, Baba Farid figured among 15 saints whose compositions found place of honour in the Granth, along with the contributions of the Gurus.

Tale of two woeful worlds
Shalini Rawat
by Saikat Majumdar. HarperCollins. Pages 293. Rs 295.
The twin-stories of the novel encompass the history of an old schoolteacher in the present-day Calcutta and of a widow living possibly a century or more ago. The amateur writer-cum-teacher struggles to get his exasperatingly slow pension files moving in an archaic bureaucratic set-up that cannot be moved both literally and figuratively.

Roget's life of pain pain, grief & sorrow
Arthur Spiegelman
is mother suffered dark depressions and tried to dominate his life. His sister and daughter had severe mental problems, his father and wife died young and a beloved uncle committed suicide in his arms. So what did Peter Mark Roget, the creator of Roget's Thesaurus, do to handle all the pain, grief, sorrow, affliction, woe, bitterness, unhappiness and misery in a life that lasted over 90 years?

Magnificent memorial
The evocative memorial erected for Takazhi Sivasankara Pillai, the grand old man of Malayalam literature, is the first for any author in the country. An eight-day Takazhi Sahitya Sammelan is scheduled in Shankaramangalam from April 8 to 17, reports M.S. Unnikrishnan
The silent wail of Kadalamma (sea-mother) seems to resonate in the quietitude of Takazhi Shivashankara Pillai’s magnificent memorial as the raison d’etre of the complex is the presence of the essence of his most famous fictional work, Chemmeen.

Mapping the terror trail
Madhushree Chatterjee
boy from Lucknow is lured into Pakistan as a jehadi by a terrorist group. Months later, on the eve of Diwali and Eid, a series of bomb blasts unleash death on the streets of Delhi...It’s time to call in the ultra-secret Force 22 of the Indian Army.

What the Dickens
Dickens’ family seeks to overturn the writer’s dying wish, reports Arifa Akbar
In 1869, a year before Charles Dickens died, he wrote in his will that he wanted to be remembered for his work alone. No plaques, no statues, "no monument memorial or testimonial whatever" were to be allowed to commemorate the life of one of Britain’s greatest authors.

A lifetime to literature
r Sansar Chandra, the eminent Sanskrit scholar, has been awarded the Haryana Sahitya Rattan Samman instituted by the Haryana Sahitya Akademi. He is the first recipient of this award which carries a cash prize of Rs two lakh. It has been conferred on Dr Sansar Chandra for his life-long contribution to literature.