The Tribune - Spectrum

, June 30, 2002

The pinnacle & debacle of Lucknow
Harbans Singh

The Lucknow Omnibus—Lucknow: The Last Phase of an Oriental Culture
by Abdul Halim Sharar; A Fatal Friendship: The Nawabs, the British and the City of Lucknow by Rosie Llewllyn-Jones; The Making of Colonial Lucknow: 1856-1877 by Veena Talwar Oldenberg. Oxford University Press. Rs 495.
NO other Indian city and its culture arouse so much curiosity, nostalgia and debate as Lucknow. Its virtues have often been berated, its sins and follies magnified, and the legendry manners lampooned; its wealth and splendour have been yearned for and the loss of cultural ethos lamented.

Domination and subversion
Shelly Walia

Helene Cixous: Authorship, Autobiography and Love
by Susan Sellers. Polity Press, Cambridge. Pages.191. £13.95.
HELENE Cixous’ play The Conquest of the School of Madhubai is based on Phoolan Devi’s life for she was pained and fascinated by her intense desire for vengeance. She has collaborated with Mnouchkine, Ariane (1939– ), the French theater director who founded the Théâtre du Soleil, on Sihanouk (1985, a production about Cambodia) and L’indiade (1987), a play about India’s struggle for Independence.

Coral reefs, multi-coloured fish & Andamanese people
Kuldip Kalia

Andamans: the Emerald Necklace of India
by Tilak Ranjan Bera. UBS Publishers, New Delhi. Pages .xiv + 117. Rs 200.
SOME incidents become a part of the history and are often quoted as illustrations for salutary impact. One such event occurred in 1949. The then Chief Commissioner, Mr. A.K. Ghosh toured the Kondul Island of Nicobar group, the headman of an area hoisted the British flag in his honour without knowing that India had got its freedom in 1947.


Real life non-heroes
Bhavana Pankaj
The Village by the Sea
by Anita Desai, Puffin Books. Pages 260. Rs 199.
THE story is simple, sweet and touching. There are Lila and Hari whose lives, "dusty and rutted" like the roads of their village, revolve around a sick mother, a permanently drunk father and two younger, school-going sisters, Bela and Kamal. Poverty and despair have shoved childhood into the cooler as they wrestle with their gloomy, uncertain future.

Dear Diary...horrific notes from Kashmir Valley
Kuljit Bains
Under the Shadow of Militancy: The Diary of an Unknown Kashmiri
by Tej N. Dhar. Rupa, New Delhi. Pages XX+236. Rs 295
UNRESTRAINED by matters of form and expectation, forthright from its being relatively private, and accurate owing to immediacy of reporting, a diary can be a fairly honest and unassuming piece of work. Here we have one on the life of an unknown Kashmiri Pandit during 1990 when the community was forced to undertake a kind of exodus from the beautiful valley.

Deceptive advertising & you
D. S. Cheema
Advertising Law & Ethics
by Justice P.B. Sawant & P.K. Bandyopadhyay. Universal Law Publishing Co, Delhi. Pages 414 Rs 375
ADVERTISING is one of the major tools companies use to direct persuasive communication to target buyers. Advertising is recognised by the courts as a form of "commercial speech" which "does no more than propose a commercial transaction." "Commercial speech"must be regulated if it is misleading, if it concerns an illegal product or if there is substantial evidence that it is against the interest of the community.

A teller of tales
Punam Khaira Sidhu
A Pair of Mustachios
by Mulk Raj Anand, Orient Paperbacks. Pages 110, Rs 95.
THINK Indian writers writing in English and the two enduring names from the 1930s whose books are still in print are Mulk Raj Anand and R.K. Narayan. Their works have been translated into several languages.

A journalistic escape into fiction that does not jell
Aruti Nayar

An Escape into Silence
by Bhaskar Roy, New Century Publications, Delhi, Pages 324, Rs. 395
AN Escape into Silence certainly does not offer an escape for the reader. The novel requires engagement and involvement to ensure the participation of the readers who can not afford to suspend either rationality or lose themselves in the flow of the story.

The truth behind terrorist menace
Jaspal Singh
DEHSHATGARDI: America ate Kashmir (Terrorism: America and Kashmir — published by Lokgeet Parkashan, Chandigarh) is a collection of 30 articles by Hari Jaisingh, Editor of The Tribune and one of the most perceptive media persons in this region. Recently he was unanimously elected President of the Editors Guild of India.

Dabwali fire and its aftermath
Jaswant Singh
Tragedy and After
by Gurtej; Raman Publications, Mandi Dabwali; Pages 111; Rs 85.
DECEMBER 23, 1995, was a tearful day that the town of Dabwali in Haryana may take centuries to forget. A well-known school was holding its annual function in the presence of VIPs, its students and their parents when a devastating fire left the town mourning for 388 children and their parents and 250 groaning with severe burns.

The last Empire on Earth: Variations on Stars & Stripes
Darshan Singh Maini
HEN we take an overarching view of World empires, from the Roman to the British, we begin to understand both the dynamics of their rise and the dialectic of their fall and cease. For the energies that fuelled their expansion and sway extended over a period of centuries, caused an inner erosion; the slave territories and colonies sapped the pioneering spirit.