October 20, 2002
window on world religions
Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America
Gurinder Singh Mann, Paul David Mumrich and Raymond B Williams.
Oxford University Press, New York. Pages 160. $24.
significant fallout of September 11 on life in America was a
heightened interest in religion beyond the Judaeo-Christian
tradition. It comes as a bit of a surprise to many Americans that
religious traditions as diverse as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism
have been part of the American cultural mosaic for more than a
century. In fact The Dial magazine, which was favoured by
intellectuals, published a Buddhist text as early as 1844, four
years before the first Chinese immigrants arrived in the USA.
cultural logic of postmodernism
Irony and Crisis: A Critical History of Postmodern Culture
by Stuart Sim. Icon, Cambridge, UK. Pages 304. £ 11.99.
academics around the world have from the outset resisted the practice of
theory in the postmodernist/poststructuralist context. They accuse it of
being trendy and jargonistic. I see only one reason for it; their
resistance is a lack of persistence with something which by now has lost
its allure, and has become integral to curriculum in most of the
universities around the world.
tales that dead men tell
The Book of Illusions
by Paul Auster. Faber and Faber. Pages 321.
Book of Illusions is a detective story with catastrophe at its
heels, the salvation of self as its object and, at its
emotional heart, loss and deep silence. We are unmistakably in
Paul Auster’s world of doubles, parallels, mazes, massed
shadows, masks, deaths within deaths, stories within stories,
like a Chinese box of revelations.
in untruths, half-truths, lies, and white lies
Lies: Half Told
by Asghar Wajahat; translated by Rakshanda Jalil; Srishti
Publishers. Pages 119. Rs 95.
quintessential Dr Syed Asghar Wajahat. Pithy. Pointed. Pungent. Like
a sage, sometimes, who advises not to scale the mountain seeking
wisdom, when the answer lies at your feet! Or a true-blue satirist
who understands only too well that being funny is serious business.
world of the Queen of Crime
Christie writing as Mary Westmacott" — this legend
overshadowed the novel’s title, The Burden, which I
had begun to read with great expectations. Though there was no
Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, and hardly any mystery, the
novel proved to be worth more than the money spent on it. A
story of sibling jealousy, of one-sided love, of interplay of
emotions in all their shades mixed with a sense of guilt keeps
one enthralled till the last page.
literature comes out of turmoil”
Anwar Owais, an engineer with the J&K government, is in
his early thirties and has already written three poetry books:
The Nothing Wolf, The Princess and the Madman, Kashmir. He
is one of those rare Kashmiris who write in English. His
writings reflect the stark, honest reality of the day.
glimpses of life in 19th century India
The Song of
the Little Hunter (41 pages), The King’s Ankus (97 pages),
The Miracle of Purun Bhagat and other stories (56 pages), all
by Rudyard Kipling; Rupa & Co, New Delhi. Rs 50 each.
has written some fine books for children containing some
highly amusing animal stories. He also wrote a number of books
for grown-ups, mostly collections of short stories. His
writings give vivid glimpses of life in 19th century India,
though you can discern an apparent bias in favour of the white
race and an attempt to glorify the Raj.
with an eternal message
M. L. Sharma
Laut Aao Parth
by Madhav Kaushik. Sahitya Bhandar. Pages 64. Rs 95.
Aao Paarth is the
tenth literary work of Madhav Kaushik. It is in the style of
Sanskrit Khand kavya, a long poem on a mythical or a
mythological theme with a message for humanity at large. In
this genre of writing this is Kaushik’s second book. The
first was Suno Radhika, which was well received in
literary circles. Written in four parts, this poem is in blank
verse but still there is lilting music in its lines.
P. K. Vasudeva
Human Resource Strategy: Architecture for Change
by Ashok, Chanda and Shilpa Kabra. Response Books, New Delhi.
Pages 313. Rs 450.
an increasingly competitive world, business organisations try
to outperform each other. Herein, human resource (HR) plays an
important and decisive role. In order to face extremely
competitive situations, it is essential that business
organisations align their HR strategies to achieve business