Khokar points out that this dance form has three major
attributes – nritta (grammar or technique), nritya (expressional,
emotive quotient) and natya (element or structure). One
can only agree with the author when he asserts that over a
period of two centuries it has evolved from a highly codified
style to one affording the maximum freedom to innovate. The
journey of the dance from the shrine to the proscenium has been
accomplished without losing the original content. It indeed is a
"sparkling example of creative evolution in terms of
material, music, costume etc. Bharatnatyam today ranks as a
major cultural symbol of India".
containing illustrations of the nav-rasas and their
practitioners, celebrates the "heritage, the histrionics,
the pioneers, prodigals and prima donnas" of Bharatnatyam
– which is synonymous with ‘Bharat’ – India – that
dances to the eternal sounds of the universe.
Challenges of the 21st Century
by Arvind Kumar.
A.P.H., New Delhi. Pages xii+673. Rs 1795.
Environment is the
new millennium’s hottest issue. Water, air and earth are
getting polluted at a life-threatening rate. Worse, the nature’s
pollution-controllers in the form of the eco-system, viz.,
forests, water bodies and the dependent plants and animals, are
fast disappearing – perhaps forever. The rise in human
population and the increasing affluence have put immense strain
on the environment. In fact the natural systems and the human
societies are evolving in a manner that does not augur well for
life on the planet. If natural systems have tried to keep human
population in check through floods, famines, disease and natural
disasters, the human societies in turn have wiped out countless
species and habitats.
The use of
hydrocarbons, greenhouse gases and other toxic pollutants is
increasing at an alarming rate. Urbanisation is leading to
deforestation, endangering bio-diversity. Although the problem
is global in nature the author has kept the Indian context in
focus. He points out that India has a long history of conserving
its natural heritage. Since our ancient lifestyle was
eco-friendly it would be wrong to treat local communities as
"problems" while attempting to preserve and nurture
biodiversity. He advocates "spectrum approach" wherein
even the lowest of life forms like insects, mites, fungi etc are
included in the process of environmental sustentation.
polyhouse, probiotics, DDT’s adverse affects, vermicomposting
potential of earthworms etc evoke interest.
God is Your Trainer
by D.K. Bhawsar. Dolphin
Books, New Delhi. Pages 340. Rs 270.
Right from the
times when scriptures were composed till date a huge corpus of
didactic literature has been amassed. How one should conduct
oneself while playing variegated roles in a society, the effects
of one’s actions on others as well as on one’s own self,
have been elucidated with suitable examples. Here is another
Jimmy Durante says
in this book that Namaste is a mantra for building trust
with strangers. He then goes on to explain its meaning and
usefulness as a tool of social interaction. And he has a some
sage advice, "be nice to people on your way up because you
meet them on your way down". Then there is a chapter on
personal management that highlights the significance of emotion.
Bhawsar feels that emotions are essential for one’s material
as well as spiritual progress.
emotions like anger, love, hate etc the author points out that
emotional intelligence is the skill to perceive, explain,
understand and effectively apply the "power and acumen of
emotional energy, information and influence." Subsequent to
mulling over such hypotheses you can go through chapters
relating to the management of anger, hate, faith, happiness and