The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Of artificial ideological constructs
Surinder S. Jodhka
Globalisation, Hindu Nationalism & Christians in India
by Lancy Lobo. Rawat Publications, Jaipur. Pages 240. Rs 450.

THE last 20 years or so have been very critical in the contemporary history of India. Indian economy, politics and society have seen many new processes and trends emerging during this period. Globalisation and Hindu nationalism are two such important new phenomena that made their presence felt on the Indian scene during this period, more or less, simultaneously.

Smooth wine of dark arts
Rajdeep Bains
Sacred Evil: Encounters With the Unknown
by Ipsita Roy Chakraverti. HarperCollins India, New Delhi. Rs 250. Pages 200.

GHOSTS, witches, tantrics, voodoo dolls, haunted trees and buildings`85. The list can go on and on. We have all at one time or the other indulged our imaginations and dwelt upon the unknown. In Sacred Evil Ipsita Roy Chakraverti leads us into a world where the mystic dwells with the tangible and the unreal is not quite so.

Journey through mid-life marital blues
Rajnish Wattas
The Uncoupling
by Cauvery Madhavan. Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 239. Rs 250.

THIS book is likely to be of interest to only a limited readership because of it deals mainly with the marital problems of people in a particular age group. Even the ones who are interested in the issue that the author tackles will need plenty of patience to undertake the long, tedious journey.

Short takes
Braveheart from Karnal who soared high
Jaswant Singh
Kalpana Chawla: A fairytale saga with a tragic end
by Indra Gupta and R. Gupta; Icon Publications, New Delhi. Pages 126. Rs 25.
Kalpana Chawla: A life
by Anil Padmanabhan; Puffin Books, New Delhi. Pages 94. Rs 125.

AIRYTALES, as a rule, have a happy ending and the bottom line is: "and they lived happily ever after". However, this fairy from the small town of Karnal is an exception. In fact, Kalpana Chawla has always been an exception to established rules.

Blending modernity with tradition
Ashutosh Kumar
Contemporary India: A sociological view.
by Satish Deshpande. Viking, Penguin, New Delhi, Pages 213. Rs 350.

IN the book, Satish Deshpande, a sociologist with the Institute of Economic Growth undertakes the task of examining critically what common sense tells us about the transformation of the social and economic landscape in contemporary India.


Bengal in medieval times
Ivninderpal Singh
The Bengal Sultanate; Politics, Economy and Coins (AD 1205-1576)
by Syed Ejaz Hussain, Manohar, Delhi. Pages XVIII +435. Rs 1,100.
THE geo-political conditions of Bengal, especially its long distance from Delhi, put constraints on its control by the Sultans of Delhi. Taking advantage of the difficulty in communication by land or water and Bengalís hot and humid climate, which often did not suit soldiers, its governors frequently asserted independence from Delhi.

Life, love & loneliness in a womanís world
Padam Ahlawat
Bakerís Dozen
by Shoma A. Chatterji. Rupa, New Delhi. Pages 161. Rs 150

ROM the title of the book one would think it had 12 stories. A thirteenth story, however, has been given as a bonus. The story goes that in Britain one loaf of bread was given as a bonus on the purchase of a dozen loaves.

A guru who fails to inspire
Arun Gaur

Guru by Your Bedside
by S.D. Pandey. Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 268. Rs 250
IT is a tribute paid by the author to his guru Sri Madhava Ashish, a Briton, who came from England and joined the Mirtola ashram in Almora hills. From his guru the author learned how to quieten the restless mind by watching oneís thoughts, to recognise the androgynous nature of the psyche, to drop the egotistical dross, and to hold on to illuminating intuitions.

Meet the author
Dowry needs to be dealt with, not ignored
Aditi Tandon
HEN USA-based journalist Seema Sirohi came to India with her husband on his three-year posting in 2000, she was no longer looking for news. Enough of news had happened since the 1980s when she joined the New Delhi bureau of the Associated Press after studying journalism at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Punjabi literature
Rich expose of the legal underbelly
Jaspal Singh
ITTER Sen Meet is an attorney based in Ludhiana. However, he has been thrust into the limelight as a Punjabi novelist, delineating intricate court practices and the decadence in the legal system of the country. Two of his earlier novels Tapteesh (investigation) and Katehira (dock/witness box), dealing with the cumbersome court procedure and the dispensation of justice, were widely acclaimed.