Sunday, April 27, 2003
grand narrative of the later Mughals
J. S. Grewal
The Forgotten Mughals:
A History of the Later Emperors of the House of Babur (1707-1857)
by G. S. Cheema. Manohar, New Delhi. Pages 552.
THIS book reads well. It
gives a fascinating narrative of events connected with emperors and
courtesan-queens, parties and politics at the court, foreign
invaders and native rebels, armies and camps, commanders and
soldiers, based largely on the classic works of William Irvine,
Jadunath Sarkar, and Percial Spear, and the contemporary sources
like Ghulam Husain’s Siyar al-Mutakhkhrin.
account of the killing fields of Cambodia
Himmat Singh Gill
First They Killed My Father
by Loung Ung. Penguin Books. Pages 222. Rs 295.
PUBLISHED as part of the
Editor’s Choice series — a hand-picked selection by Penguin of
the best contemporary books around the world — this autobiography
by a Cambodian girl who had to flee Phnom Penh to escape the killing
fields of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975, is undoubtedly one of the
most chilling eyewitness accounts that I have read in a long time.
a western imposition?
Globalisation or Gobble-isation: The Arab Experience
by Ash Narain Roy. Konarak Publishers Pvt Ltd, Delhi. Pages 189. Rs
FEW issues over the past
decade or two, have generated such animated if heated debates as
globalisation with its ardent protagonists and equally staunch
antagonists in formidable battle array. Public platforms, the Press,
electronic media—you name it—no opportunity has been missed, no
holds barred. However, no broad consensus has emerged on the issue
and the jury is still out.
the pencil remembers
The Carpenter’s Pencil
by Manuel Rivas. Translated from Galician by Jonathan Dunne. Vintage
Pages 166. A33.95
THEY say the pen is
mightier than the sword. What about the pencil? Take a look at the
amazing story of this pencil: It survives the Spanish Civil War,
outlasts those who have used it, and conjures up the spirit of one
of them. On top of that, when a protagonist comes face to face with
death, it grows to the length of a spear and scares the life out of
over Bridget Jones, Nanny is here
The Nanny Diaries
by Nicola Kraus & Emma Mclaughlin. Penguin Books. Pages 306. $15
TWO children, one a
demanding three going on 30, and another an infant constantly
hankering for his next feed or a nappy change, innumerable sleepless
nights, but that hasn’t stopped me from completing a marathon run
with what would under normal circumstances be classified as an
mirror to a vanished milieu
Dancing Round the Maypole: Growing Out of British India
by Rani Sircar. Rupa & Co. Pages 265. Rs 195
GIVING away with the little
gardener's sickle, flitting after rainbow butterflies, dodging the
daisies and picking the pansies, stuffing fireflies into a broken
torch trusting it will light up the dark night, tucking away
tattered stamps, pieces of ribbons, flowers`85memories, priceless as
black diamonds, soft as souffl`E9.
the evolution of regional navies
Navies of South Asia
by K. R. Singh. Rupa, Delhi. Pages 459. Rs 500.
BEFORE the European
projection in the late 15th century, the maritime order in the
Indian Ocean region was characterised by the regional
self-sufficiency and autonomy. Indian Ocean communities were bonded
by large-scale maritime trading systems while outside influences
A poet of
delicate aspects of life
THERE has been an intense
debate in the Punjabi world of letters about the nature of poetry,
particularly the prosodic problems associated with rhyme, patterns of
sounds and beats. Free verse was not accepted by Punjabi poets in the
early years of the 20th century despite Prof. Puran Singh’s
contribution to this genre. Even in the modern times the most celebrated
Punjabi poets like Prof. Mohan Singh, Shiv Kumar Batalvi and Surjit
Pattar owe their popularity to lyricism, which their verses exude in
with devtas & demons!
Tales of Fabled Beasts, Gods and Demons
by Bulbul Sharma. Puffin Books. Pages 112. Rs 199.
SOME of your parents might have
a bone to pick with me. The new session has barely begun and I am
already asking you to take a break and escape into the world of demons
and devtas of Indian mythology to which Bulbul Sharma has opened
a door for you with Tales of Fabled Beasts, Gods and Demons.
Where civility is a cultural trait
People of India: Karnataka (In three parts)
edited by K.S. Singh, B.G. Halbar, S.G. Morab, Suresh Patil and Ramji
East-West Press, New Delhi. Pages: liii+1612. Price: Rs. 1935/-.
COURTEOUS Kannadiga —
that’s the picture one’s mind conjures up when one thinks of the
people of Karnataka. The state epitomises a culture where politeness is
neither associated with timidity nor treated as an artifice.