September 15, 2002
witty & analytical essays from a superb raconteur
Step Across This
Line: Collected Non-Fiction 1992-2002
by Salman Rushdie. London: Jonathan Cape, 2002. Pages. 454.
this is the water’s edge… this is where the land begins.
Creatures from the watery kingdom climbing on to the dry
terrain step across a frontier, willing to face the enormous
risks involved." Thus begin the Tanner Lectures on Human
Values that Salman Rushdie delivered at Yale earlier this
year. Entitled ‘Step Across This Line,’ this eponymous
section of Rushdie’s latest book lays bare a mind that is on
the one hand poetic and reflective, and on the other incisive,
witty and analytical.
Meet the author
book has its life, its kundali"
critics have pointed out that none of your subsequent works could
match your debut novel Paro. Comment.
Well, every novel has a
life of its own, a sort of autonomous existence. Paro reached
out to a lot of people, and I’m grateful that people still
remember it so many years later. Yet I do feel that I’ve grown as
delightful account of an ace pilot
Himmat Singh Gill
Arjan Singh, DFC
Marshal Of The Indian Air Force
by Roopinder Singh. Rupa. Pages 88. Rs 95.
IN these depressing days of a
scam a day, a biography of a living legend of our armed forces, the
first Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh, brings some hope
that all is not lost yet. This intrepid soldier stands out as an example
of how one man with his dignified behaviour and soldierly élan, can
truly be called a leader of men and of a mighty force that he has so
energetically lead with distinction in war and in peace over the last
of the modern self
the self has always been a radical force in human history, its
high place in the calendar of values today is a relatively
recent phenomenon. The drama of its dialectic is best
understood if we consider the operative energies which have at
once released its poetry and its pathos in our times. Such,
then, is the paradox of the modern self. It’s a force for
our multiple freedoms — in the fields of art, literature,
education, sex, feminist concerns, human rights etc, — as
also an agency that has been grievously misused to undermine
classical continuities and cultures.
Chitleen K Sethi
by Pierre Loti. Translated from French by George A. F. Inman and edited
by Robert Harborough Sherard. Rupa & Co. Pages 274. Rs 195.
MANY years after the major
works on India’s fascinating tradition and history had been produced
by British officers posted in the country, Pierre Loti, a French
traveler, wrote India, forming a part of the vast amount of
Orientalist literature by Europeans on India expounding her greatness.
But today, a hundred years after it was first published in 1901,
Loti’s work can be more easily classified as a highly personalised
travelogue than anything else.
Burma fell to British machinations
Actors on the Burmese Stage: A Trilogy of the Anglo-Burmese
by Terence R. Blackburn, APH, N. Delhi. Pages: Vol. 1 – 71;
Vol. 2 – 109; Vol. 3 – 73. Rs 500 per volume.
THIS was the period
when, in C.A. Bayly’s words, "The Pax Britannica had
begun". The rise of British power in the subcontinent
looked unstoppable. In the 19th century three Anglo-Burmese
wars were fought, viz., 1824-26, 1852 and 1885. Maha Bandula
was the Burmese hero of the first war. The Ava-based ruling
Burmese dynasty seized the Irrawady delta, the Tenasserim
coast, and the Arakan bordering the East India Company’s
of criminal justice administration in India
Jawahar Lal Dwivedi
The Constitution and Criminal Justice Administration
by Dalbir Bharti. APH Publishing Corporation, New Delhi. Pages 320.
book under review attempts to discuss and analyse the
criminal justice administration (CJA) as applicable to India in the
light of constitutional provisions referring to the Constituent
Assembly debates and Supreme Court rulings. It establishes how the
performance of the CJA has direct impact on the success of the
from the lap of nature
by Pratibha Nath. Madhuban Educational Books. Pages 144. Rs 50
READING these children’s
stories reminds me of the childhood when we lived in a distant village
of Punjab. And in the midst of green fields and mango groves was a small
house wherein lived a dadi, always ready with her pitara
of engrossing tales—tales of the sadhus, the fairies, the
beautiful princesses and princes and tales of the animal world. Though
very old, these stories— rooted in the past with relevance for
tomorrow—were very close to human nature. Learning was, therefore, a
R. P. Chaddah
Parting Wish — Poems
by Vijay Vishal. Writers Workshop. Rs 100.
is a difference between solitude (which we all need) and being alone
(when we fall prey to loneliness). In order to achieve the former, you
tend to detach yourself from the world around you for a while; you need
to overcome the dangers of isolating yourself by reaching out to people
through your poems, if you are a poet. Parting Wish is one such
collection of poems especially written to keep the memory of the
poet’s wife afresh, ‘who smiled while alive and smiled out of
poet’s life’ at a young age, leaving the poet with a blue chip of