December 22, 2002
too painful to recall
Memories of Madness: Stories of 1947
Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 524. Rs 395.
ANY 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
on Mark about India!
S. Nihal Singh
India in Slow Motion
by Mark Tully and Gillian Wright. Viking. Pages 302. Rs 450.
THERE 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.
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.
THIS 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.
Princely and public
Zoo: A History of Zoological Gardens in the West
by Eric Baratay and Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier, tr. Oliver Welsh.
Reaktion, London. Pages 400. £ 28
THE 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.
as a new-age exercise to combat stress
Yoga and Health
by Swami Adhyatmananda. Gurjar Grantha Ratna karvalaya. Pages 280. Rs
YOGA 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.
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
POPULAR 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
Rusty: the Boy From the Hills
by Ruskin Bond. Puffin by Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages VIII+209. Rs
RUSTY—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.
wisely to multiply your money
Tax & Investment Planner
by Sudhir Malik. Taxmann’s. Pages 269, Rs 200.
ALTHOUGH 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.
I had to write for a livelihood, it would have killed my
SHININE 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.
translation, wearisome verse
by Keshari Nath Tripathi.
Rupa & Co., New Delhi. Pages xxxiv+102. Rs 195.
THE 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.