The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Unforgettable images of a century
Roopinder Singh

Century: One Hundred Years of Human Progress, Regression,
Suffering and Hope
by Bruce Bernard. Phaidon Press, London. Pages 1,236. Rs 800.

LL too often an image encapsulates reality. Confusing, complicated situations are somehow reduced to simplistic but understandable bites that reflect reality as we can deal with it. This is especially true for journalistic images.

Anatomy of conflict
Shelley Walia

Unholy Wars 
by John Cooley. Pluto, London. Pages 268. 'A313.99.

OOD shall overpower evil." "We will smoke the barbarians out of their holes." These are George Bush’s utterances after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and before the Afghan war, liturgical yet predator-like. The meanings attributed to words can never have a one-hundred-percent guarantee, being always contaminated by their opposites. Structuring and categorising reality is not all that simple.

View from the Roof of the World
Parshotam Mehra

Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land
by Patrick French. Harper Collins & India Today Group. Pages 333. Rs 395.

VER the past half a century or so, since the Chinese "liberation" (October 1950) and especially in the aftermath of the rebellion in March 1959 and the flight of the Dalai Lama along with almost a 1,00,00 of his people, there has been a veritable flood of books on Tibet. Not all measure up to much, some are no more than journalistic writings, others half-baked fictional emigre accounts. A few, however, stand out as deft mixtures of scholarship and first-hand acquaintance with existing ground realities.


Write view
Is Iraq war the beginning of end of American glory?
Randeep Wadehra

War on Iraq
by Dr. Sharad S. Chauhan (I.P.S). APH, New Delhi. Pages viii+425. Rs 795.

HE power of the USA is at its zenith. The next step may well be downhill. Is the invasion of Iraq the beginning of the end? Bush has given a notice to the world. There is going to be only one bully in the global village. The others can only be his sidekicks a la Blair. What were the compulsions for invading Iraq? Its WMD? But where are the weapons? To liberate the people of Iraq? But was there any such call from the people? And how were they "liberated"? By bombing them out of existence?

Values, the incomparable treasure
Ashu Pasricha

An Indian Monk: His Life & Adventures
by Shree Purohit Swami. Rupa. Delhi. Pages 205. Rs 95.

HE values taught in India over the past 5,000 years have great relevance to the times we live in. And yet so few Indians are aware of our priceless heritage. It has been a longstanding conviction that India is like a donkey carrying a sack of gold, not aware of what it is carrying, content in moving along with the load on its back.

Re-enacting scenes from a grim human drama
Nishi Malhotra
Sita’s Curse: Stories of Dowry Victims
by Seema Sirohi. HarperCollins. Pages 292. Rs 295.

OWRY deaths became more common during the 1990s, ironically a decade that created a sense of progress for women`85Gains were made but the problems facing women did not lessen proportionately. Every major crime against women recorded a rise—rape, molestation, domestic abuse, trafficking, kidnapping, sexual harassment."

Answering expectant questions
Deepika Gurdev

What To Expect When You Are Expecting
by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff & Sandi E. Hathaway. Pages 407. First Published 1984. Revised & Updated Edition 2002. `A3 11 (British).

T comes as no surprise that this book has been dubbed the "pregnancy Bible", "the book for all mothers to be", something "you must get as soon as the pregnancy test turns out positive". Considering that close to 19 years after it first hit the bookshelves, What to Expect When You are Expecting has sold over 10 million copies worldwide and continues to figure prominently on bestseller lists, all these eulogies ring true.

Meet the author
“Hard work & emotional intelligence helped Sikhs to succeed abroad”
Humra Quraishi

had met US-based Surjit Kaur at Khushwant Singh’s home on earlier occasions. There was something about her that struck me. She was vibrant, confident and forthcoming. She had no hesitation in telling me that she’d been a single mom to her only child Ranju and the fact that while writing this latest book — her fifth — she was battling breast cancer.


Unravelling mindless rituals of education
D.S. Cheema

Constructing School Knowledge
by Padma M. Sarangapani. Sage Publications. Delhi.
Pages 308. Rs 350.

HE author has tried to construct school knowledge studying a government-run primary school in a village near Delhi, which is eagerly developing into a small town. The book is based on the thesis presented by the author to the Department of Education, Delhi University, for a Ph.D. degree.

Punjabi literature
Focusing on the problems of Punjab peasantry
Jaspal Singh

ITH seven collections of short stories and seven novels, Baldev Singh from Moga has now emerged as an important writer of popular themes in fiction. Lal Batti, his unconventional novel about life in Kolkata’s red-light area was well received by the Punjabi readers and social reformers. Baldev made a mark as a writer of sensitive prose with his three-volume Sarhaknama (the road narrative), a series of creative writings about the life of truck drivers in India.