A world turned upside down

by Rumina Sethi

Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction
by Robert J. C. Young. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Pages 180. £ 6.99.

S
everal years ago, in his book Colonial Desire, Robert Young presented an interestingly engineered contrast between the East and the West in his description of the zero degree GMT Meridian that runs arbitrarily through the Old Royal Observatory in London.

Lives interrupted, dreams live on
by Roopinder Singh
Dreams after Darkness
by Manraj Grewal. Rupa & Co., New Delhi. Pages 224. Rs 395.

I
ndividuals whose shadow loomed large over Punjab during the "dark decade" between 1983 and 1993 when violence punctuated ordinary life in the state come alive in this series of 10 interview-based accounts by Grewal. In just less than a decade after militancy in the state was declared over, that time seems a historical fact more than a lived experience that impacted the lives of thousands of persons living in Punjab and the reverberations of which were felt around the world.

Life and language
by Shastri Ramachandaran

A Place to Live Contemporary Tamil Short Fiction
Edited by Dilip Kumar translated by Vasantha Surya Penguin, New Delhi. Rs 250. Pages 276.

T
ranslations never fail to bring home the truth of the observation that the limitations of oneís language are the limitations of oneís life. Indian languages are a treasure house of literature. Yet a large majority of Indians, whose mother tongue is different from motherís tongue, discover cultural experiences specific to their language only through translations.

Punjabi review
A humorous trip down memory lane
by Nirupama Dutt

Mera Pind
by Giani Gurdit Singh. Sahit Parkashan, Chandigarh. Pages 544. Rs 200.

M
itthewal, an obscure Malwai village of the Malerkotla state of yore, was to be immortalised by Giani Gurdit Singh, in any essay written way back in 1953 at the time of the amalgamation of the states and the creation of East Punjab following Independence.

books received: HINDI

Encounter with a torrid past
by Rajdeep Bains

The Wages of Life
by Vikram Kapur. Srishti. Pages 239. Rs 250.

O
ne thing all of us are sure of is our own past. What if we are suddenly faced with a past we never knew existed? What if it changed history, as we know it? Ravi Malhotra, computer engineer from Seattle and hero of Vikram Kapurís latest novel, is faced with just the same dilemma. Being part of national history is not always a pleasant experience.

Ageing gracefully
by R. L. Singal

The Greying of India
by Rajgopal Dhar Chakraborti. Sage Publications, New Delhi. Pages 470. Rs 880.

T
his book on population ageing is useful for students and researchers in the field of demography (study of statistics of births, deaths, diseases etc as illustrating conditions of life in communities) as well as for the general reader, keen to know the problems and status of the aged in the world, particularly in Asia and further specifically in India.

Excesses of the last Vasco
by Aditi Garg

Goa, and the Blue Mountains Or Six Months of Sick Leave
by Richard F. Burton. Penguin Books. Pages 240. Rs 250.

T
he allure of Goa is such that it draws local and foreign travellers in droves. It has long been the centre for merry making and the hub of Anglo-Indian cultural activities. Its Portuguese colonial past has lent it a distinct flavour that sets it apart from the other holiday spots.

Short takes
by Randeep Wadehra
Look, the Moon!
by Sandhya Rao. Tulika, Chennai. Rs. 70.

R
ight from infancy wonderment becomes a factor in oneís growing up process. The many-splendoured nature ó birds, animals, plants, snowcapped mountains, flowing streams, germination of seeds ó never ceases to amaze children. Among all these the moon holds a special place. 

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