The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Encounters with high & mighty
Roopinder Singh
Heart to Heart
by K. Natwar Singh. Rupa and Co, New Delhi. Pages 302. Rs 395.

WE know their names, have seen their photographs and want to know more about them. Prominent personalities like Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Teresa, Queen Elizabeth, K. R. Narayan, Octavio Paz, E. M. Forster and others have been very much part of our collective mindscape for decades, and there is always a craving for more information about them.

Warmth in winter
B. N. Goswamy
The Time of My Life
by Krishen Khanna. Viking/Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 184. Rs. 325.

ONE of the great joys that many people miss out on, while engaging with Mirza Ghalib’s work, is getting to the letters that he wrote. For there is, in them — apart from the wonderful elegance of language, the clarity of tone that one associates with his poetry — a delightful directness, a warmth that draws you instantly to him.

Scholarly musings on the Muslim community
Himmat Singh Gill
Islam in the subcontinent
by Mushirul Hasan. Manohar. Pages 530. Rs 995.

MUSHIRUL HASAN, Professor of modern Indian history at Jamia Millia Islamia at New Delhi and born just after Partition, seems to have an in depth understanding of the Muslim psyche.


Tracing the resurrection of Islam in Central Asia
Manisha Gangahar

Jihad: The rise of militant Islam in Central Asia.
Ahmed Rashid. Orient Longman, Hyderabad. Pages 281. Rs 295.

INCE Darwin’s theory of Origin of Species the concept of "survival of the fittest" has become a mandate for modern civilisation. However, more than proving oneself as superior it is essential to prove the other a misfit.

Writing and difference
Rumina Sethi

edited by Nicholas Royle. 2nd edition. Palgrave Press, Hampshire and New York. Pages 312. $ 20.

ECONSTRUCTION is yesterday’s news. Often it is believed that ‘theory’ is a virus or a parasite. And so the old guard waits patiently for the body politic to restore itself to equilibrium and maintain its bodily fluids after the ‘ghost’ has retreated and new passionate recruits have settled down to a more sedate and stable conservatism.

Our heroes and chinks in armour
Kuldip Singh Bajwa
Musharraf’s War
edited by Maj Gen Rajendra Nath, PVSM (retd). Lancer Books, New Delhi. Pages 298. Rs. 580.
THE Pakistani aggression in Kargil in 1999 was a link in the long chain of unabated hostility towards India ever since 1947. Maj Gen Rajendra Nath and his fellow contributors have made a commendable effort to take a holistic view of this conflict.

One with the world
Rajnish Wattas
Heaven and Earth and I: Ethics of Nature Conservation in Asia.
Edited by Vivek Menon & Masayuki Skamoto. Penguin Enterprise. Rs 250. Pages 201

IT would be a lonely planet and a terrible one if there was no wildlife. Imagine life, if one had to suffer only the company of one’s fellow human beings. Although ancient wisdom, folklore, philosophies and religious texts of the East are rich with details of man’s happy co-existence with birds, animals and other living beings, such co-existence is rare these days.

Complex hues of India
K. Rajbir Deswal

Faiths, Fairs and Festivals of India
by C. H. Buck. Rupa & Co, Delhi. Pages 222. Rs 195.

"VAIDIYA Dharama is like a river, which has shallows that a child may play in and depth that the strongest diver cannot fathom." "The habits of Musalmans in India differ considerably from those of their confreres in Arabia, Persia, Turkey, Egypt…however the main principles of Islam have retained their purity in India."

Cards of fortune
Vinita Gardner

Annual Horoscope 2003 — Tarot Card Readings
by Ma Prem Usha. Fusion Books, New Delhi. Pages 400. Rs 195.

ESTINY is not a matter of change, it is a matter of choices; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." Ma Prem Usha, an Osho sanyasin for over thirty years, brings this goal within the ambit of human endeavour and achievement through her powerful Tarot card readings.

Short takes
From Naga nationalist to rationalist
Jaswant Singh

My Native Country: The Land of the Nagas
by V.K. Nuh. Spectrum Publications, Delhi. Pages 153. Rs 330.

HE British kept India’s North-East closed to all except their white officers and foreign missionaries. This gave the missionaries an open field to convert the tribes, helped by the British officers. This went on all through the British rule and the result has been that today the North-Eastern hills form an almost unbroken Christian belt.

Write view
Using spirituality to handle the vicissitudes of life
Randeep Wadehra

Transcending Sorrow through Dhyana
by Surinder Singh. Platinum Publications, Chandigarh. Pages 194. Rs 200.
WHILE playing variegated roles as social beings, people often undergo severe mental, physical and spiritual test. The moral fibre experiences great stress and strain. As a result some become social renegades, iconoclasts or cynics, while others introspect and develop a sapient mindset.