Sunday, July 27, 2003
IN the death of Bhisham Sahni
we have lost the one writer who had been, almost effortlessly, carrying
forward the Premchand legacy. One last met him about little over a month
ago by design shortly after return from a shooting spell in Kashmir. He
had looked and sounded visibly healthy. He had appeared his
compassionate self on the phone. Death is, in any case, a silent
a long journey
An Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English.
edited by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. Permanent Black, New Delhi.
Pages 406. Rs 1,495.
INDIAN literature in
English is no longer an oxymoron. Works in English have always
assumed the status of national literature while the regional
languages occupy a less national character. The influence of English
continues to be irresistible even though we belong very much to a
‘polyglot’ tradition of bi- or tri-lingualism in a country where
the use of English has also never been seen to markedly jeopardise
or displace indigenous languages.
work of courage
by Uzma Aslam Khan. Penguin, New Delhi.
Pages 448. Rs 395
SILKWORMS produce a thread
so fine that a mile of it can be wound around your arm. Yet it is
strong enough to bind all the characters together in this delicately
woven work. Silk, the omniscient thread that runs through the fabric
of Trespassing, is also the main cord that brings
together the political and the personal elements in the lives of
people intent on keeping just these apart.
love, loss and laughter
Dev and Simran
by Eunice de Souza. Penguin Books. Pages 132. Rs 195.
WHAT a wonderful read this
little book turned out to be! Not very impressive to look at, this
innocuous-looking novel covers a whole range of human emotions —
humour, friendship and sorrow. It also talks about the problems that the
average urbanite deals with in relationships, how they work them out and
how they deal with the business of living.
and times of Afghan Sikhs
MANY novelists in the world
have their favourite locales to situate their novels. Thomas Hardy
had his native Wessex (South-west England) and Arnold Bennet and
Sholokhov had the Potteries (Staffordshire) and the Don region,
respectively. In Punjabi, among others, Gurumukh Singh Sehgal has
emerged as a significant novelist writing about life in a particular
region, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan, as it
existed before partition.
All the elements of
Olivia and Jai
by Rebecca Ryman. Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 644. Rs 495.
OVERWEENING love, betrayal and hatred form the elements of Olivia and
Jai, written under a pseudonym. Set in colonial Calcutta of the
pre-independence era, the book is a gripping love saga of Olivia
O’Rourke, a spirited in-your- face American, and Jai Raventhorne,
half-breed, lowly bastard son of Sir Joshua Templewood, a fact that is
concealed till the very end of the book.
analysis of Green Revolution
Surinder S. Jodhka
Green Revolutions Reconsidered:
the Rural World of Contemporary Punjab
by Himmat Singh. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Pages xii+302. Price 595.
agrarian changes and increase in productivity of land experienced in
Punjab during 1960s and 1970s was phenomenal. Even though it occupied
less than two per cent of the total land area of India, Punjab began to
produce enough surplus food grains to solve the problem of food scarcity
facing the entire country. Thanks to the success of its agrarian
economy, Punjab emerged as the most "progressive" and
prosperous state of independent India. Punjab was an example of success
worthy of emulation by the entire developing world.
knowledge in IT companies
Leading with knowledge
Edited by Madanmohan Rao. Tata Mc Graw Hill. Pages 588. Price: Not
THE book is about Knowledge
Management (KM) practices in global IT companies. It is the first in a
series of books called KM travelogues to be edited by a Bangalore based
consultant. As the series unfolds it will provide useful insight into KM
practices, its tools and traps etc. Though a number of books have been
written on KM, none provides first-hand accounts by KM experts.
rollercoaster ride around the world with John Simpson
Strange Places, Questionable People
by John Simpson. Pan Macmillan, London. Pages 548. £ 8.
EACH war has its heroes and in
the present wired age, these heroes include not just the soldiers on the
battlefield but also those who tell the story as it unfolds. The
recently concluded US-led ‘shock and awe’ campaign in Iraq saw the
emergence of a new breed of news broadcasters. Replacing Peter Arnett,
formerly from CNN, were the likes of Nick Robertson.
The scandals of
Rich Like Us
by Nayantara Sahgal. Harper-Collins, New Delhi.
Pages 301. Rs 295.
WHEN this novel, set in the
early phase of the Emergency, was first published in 1985, it caused
ripples. After an Indian edition in 1999, and a second impression in
2003, it remains as fresh as it was when it was first published.