The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, November 3, 2002

Off the Shelf
Find your way in the maze of mind
V. N. Datta
O think is not easy and to know how to do this is one of the highest and the most neglected branches of education. In fact, if we knew the origin, development and modus operandi of thinking, we shall have discovered one of the secrets of life. Shakespeare wrote that there is nothing good and bad, but thinking makes it so.

Exploring Corbusier — Chandigarh conundrums
Rajnish Wattas

Chandigarh's Le Corbusier: The Struggle for Modernity in Postcolonial India.
by Vikramaditya Prakash Mapin. Pages 167. Price not mentioned.

HAT'S Chandigarh's identity? Is it an Indian city, a modern Indian city or a Western-Desi hybrid? These are some of the questions often debated in the architectural academia or in the spirited cocktail circles of the city.

Sifting history’s changing ‘facts’
Harbans Singh

The Present in Delhi’s Pasts
by Sunil Kumar. Three Essays. Pages I+131. Rs 140.

refreshing book containing essays which are not just about old monuments and villages in New Delhi but an inward journey in the collective responses of a society to events of the past, periodically reinterpreted and reinvented to justify the present. The author, Sunil Kumar, a teacher in Delhi University, has investigated through these essays the medieval history of some of the sites and has traced the gradual changes that have occurred over the years, each one of them providing an insight into the motives of the builders, the compulsions of the times and the efforts of the present to reinvent the myths to mould the past.

Traditions, dogmas and lives of Marwari women
Priyanka Singh

Stolen Sunshine
by Smita Jhavar. New Age Books. Pages 149. Rs 150.

TOLEN Sunshine is an attempt to delineate the lives of Marwari women bound by tradition and limitations imposed by society which only wants to see them as meek bahus, incapable of any reasoning other than which helps in the efficient running of a household.

Holding a mirror to life
Jaswant Kaur

One Last Mirror
A novel by Andrew Harvey. Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages 160. Rs 200.

OME is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in", said Robert Frost in The Death of the Hired Man. But what if ‘they’ do not take you in? And what if ‘they’ blame you for their sad state of affairs? Will you be able to live in peace? Is that home really a home? No, certainly not.

Words of wisdom from a teacher of ancient truths
R. P. Chaddah

How to End Suffering
by Dolores Wood. Penguin. Pages: 257. Rs 250.

ow to End Suffering is a tribute to the work and teachings of Sri Easwaran from Dolores Wood. Wood has worked in the fields of journalism and publishing for more than two decades. She came into contact with Sri Easwaran in 1990 when she took up a job with Nilgiri Press, the publishing arm of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, California, founded by Sri Easwaran.


Fall of love and hope
Geetu Vaid

My Place
by Surinder Kaur. Unistar Books, Chandigarh. Pages 160. Rs 100.

HE Indian woman is born free but is everywhere in chains. This is yet another attempt by a woman writer to depict the dilemma being faced by countless women in India: whether to live according to the norms laid by society or to live on their own terms, following their own heart. According to the author, the novel is an attempt at conveying that love is a thoughtless and instant process. It can catch up happen to a person irrespective of age, marital status or social standing.


Short Takes
Series brings to life heroes that never died
Jaswant Singh
HERE has always been a shortage of books on eminent persons who have made a contribution to the making of India, which could attract young school-going readers both in terms of cost and excellence in production. Rupa and Company, a forward-looking publishing house, has filled this void with a number of biographies under its Charitravali series. They have short-listed 29 names, many belonging to the past, some still alive, and have already published 19 CD-sized books, printed on art paper, attractively designed and moderately priced.

Signs & signatures
Man is doomed to look for answers
Darshan Singh Maini
N normal circumstances, we are seldom tempted to probe the nature or character of a coincidence, and tend to regard it as a chance happening, a freak incident. And since such coincidences often cross our lives, we do not, as a rule, try to see beyond or far, where they may (or perhaps, must) connect with a larger expanse of experience, or with some hidden purpose or design.