The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Memories too painful to recall
Suresh Kohli

Memories of Madness: Stories of 1947
Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 524. Rs 395.

NY recollections of Partition can at best be a painful reminder. A collection of creative writings on the tragic event needs no formal introduction. That’s probably why publishers of the book rightfully abstained from inflicting one on readers. Such an introduction is all the more unwarranted if an anthology of Partition literature consists of writings either done originally in English or rendered into it competently.

Right on Mark about India!
S. Nihal Singh

India in Slow Motion
by Mark Tully and Gillian Wright. Viking. Pages 302. Rs 450.

HERE are many ways of looking at India and berating the elite, comprised not merely of the ruling establishment, the politicians and bureaucrats, but also the professional classes and captains of industry. The problems, it is universally acknowledged, are immense; the difficulty is not just in defining them but also in suggesting ways to surmount them.

Critique of Whitman
Darshan Singh Maini
I Stand Apart: Alienated Center in Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself
by Arun Gaur, Writers Workshop, Calcutta. Pages 170. Rs 300.

HIS volume, a doctoral dissertation on Whitman’s egocentric personality and its complete alienation in his most famous long poem, Song of Myself, poses many a prickly problem in so far as Gaur, like other Whitman detractors and demolition critics, elects to adopt a most disparaging tone. What he has done has, in fact, not a new thing, for despite such diatribes and jibes, the Whitmanian caravan keeps its wagons rolling and flags flying almost all over the world, thanks to the translations in various tongues.


Menageries: Princely and public
Surjit Hans

Zoo: A History of Zoological Gardens in the West
by Eric Baratay and Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier, tr. Oliver Welsh. Reaktion, London. Pages 400. £ 28

HE book was originally published in French in 1998. The English edition has been published with financial help from the French Ministry of Culture. The architecture of zoos, their integration into the process of urban development, the sociology of their founders and personnel and their scientific or artistic relevance are significant themes of the book. The zoo is a constantly renewed and transformed product of the views and attitudes it helps to shape.

Yoga as a new-age exercise to combat stress
Priyanka Singh

Yoga and Health
by Swami Adhyatmananda. Gurjar Grantha Ratna karvalaya. Pages 280. Rs 100

OGA has always intrigued the West, only this time the with-it high profile fitness freaks have their own gurus and are patronising yoga centres that have sprung up. Yoga is being sold as a mantra that can alleviate suffering and achieve "balance" so vital to combat stress. In the country of its origin, it is being looked at with renewed interest and is emerging as a dynamic new-age exercise. Most upmarket health clubs have enlisted the services of yoga experts.

Journey as a symbol and metaphor
M. L. Raina

An Ambiguous Journey to the City: The Village and the Other Odd Ruins of the Self in Indian Imagination
by Ashish Nandy Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Pages XIII+146. Rs 345.

OPULAR film, as opposed to art film, is a democratic medium since it appeals to a large section of the masses and makes little pretense of intellectual refinement. It lends itself to an infinite number of approaches. The sociologist or cultural anthropologist uses it to study the nature of society. The Freudian psychologist considers the element of wish-fulfilment rippling under the social plot.

An enchanting world
Jaswant Kaur

Rusty: the Boy From the Hills
by Ruskin Bond. Puffin by Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages VIII+209. Rs 199.

USTY—the sweet, quiet and sensitive boy from Dehra Dun—is back, this time in a different style, in a new package. If R.K. Narayan—the Malgudi master—portrayed the peculiarities and ironies of life in as sensitive a manner as possible, Ruskin Bond turns an ordinary of life into an extraordinary story with an equal ease. Sometimes making the reader laugh with his self-poking, gentle humour and sometimes arousing his sympathy with his subtle depiction of human suffering.


Invest wisely to multiply your money
B.S. Thaur

Tax & Investment Planner
by Sudhir Malik. Taxmann’s. Pages 269, Rs 200.

LTHOUGH the title of the book might suggest that it is an addition to the slew of similar books already in the market and on the tables of tax practitioners but a cursory browsing of the book reveals that it is off-beat. More than 80 per cent of the book has been devoted to detailed discussions of various avenues for investment. This feature makes the book a ‘must have’ for investors, particularly the middle-level and smaller ones.

Meet the author
“If I had to write for a livelihood, it would have killed my creativity”
HININE Antony is the regional winner from Asia of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short-Story Award (2002). She won this award for her story A Dog’s Death. She also won the Commonwealth Short Story Award in 2001 for Somewhere In Gujarat. Her collection of short stories — Barefoot And Pregnant — has been recently published by Rupa. She spoke to Humra Quraishi in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:

Write view
Trite translation, wearisome verse
Randeep Wadehra

The Images
by Keshari Nath Tripathi.
Rupa & Co., New Delhi. Pages xxxiv+102. Rs 195.

HE works of such literary giants as Pant, Nirala, Suman and Harivanshrai Bachchan in Hindi, Amrita Pritam, Shiv Batalvi and Surjit Pattar in Punjabi, Mahakavi Vennikulam Gopala Kurup in Malayalam and many others in different Indian languages have enriched modern Indian poetry. Tagore universalised the Indian metaphor. Admittedly, evaluating a translation is generally not fair to the original work. Translating a poem is not easy.