The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, October 20, 2002

American window on world religions
Roopinder Singh

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.

The cultural logic of postmodernism
Rumina Sethi

Irony and Crisis: A Critical History of Postmodern Culture
by Stuart Sim. Icon, Cambridge, UK. Pages 304. £ 11.99.

ANY 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.


The tales that dead men tell
Nicci Gerrard
The Book of Illusions
by Paul Auster. Faber and Faber. Pages 321.
THE 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.

Brilliance in untruths, half-truths, lies, and white lies
Bhavana Pankaj
Lies: Half Told
by Asghar Wajahat; translated by Rakshanda Jalil; Srishti Publishers. Pages 119. Rs 95.

THAT'S 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.

Literary lives
Mysterious world of the Queen of Crime
Randeep Wadehra
GATHA 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.

Meet the author
“Best literature comes out of turmoil”
YED 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.


Short takes
Vivid glimpses of life in 19th century India
Jaswant Singh

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.
IPLING 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.

Poetry with an eternal message
M. L. Sharma

Laut Aao Parth
by Madhav Kaushik. Sahitya Bhandar. Pages 64. Rs 95.

AUT 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.

Formulating HR strategies
P. K. Vasudeva

Human Resource Strategy: Architecture for Change
by Ashok, Chanda and Shilpa Kabra. Response Books, New Delhi. Pages 313. Rs 450.

N 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 goals.