Fables from the real world
Rajdeep Bains
The Winning Team
by Githa Hariharan.
Rupa. Pages 96. Rs 395.
Legendary Lives
by Meena Arora Nayak.
Puffin, Penguin.
Pages 240. Rs 250.
MOST young children when introduced to books in English are given non-Indian writings. It may be a good idea, since not much Indian writing in English is available that can hold children’s interest. A couple of new books make that seem untrue — The Winning Team by Githa Hariharan and Legendary Lives by Meena Arora Nayak.

Imagined destinies
Shastri Ramachandaran
My Nine Lives: Chapters of a Possible Past.
by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. John Murray. Pages 276. Rs 395
A nation is an imagined community. When identity can be imagined, and invented, it seems only natural that the individual would want to reinvent her life, speculate on an alternative life and live other lives. Everyone wonders, at one time or another, how it would be to live another life than the one s/he is living.

Reel evil
Kuldip Dhiman
. . . Pran: A Biography
by Bunny Reuben. Foreword by Amitabh Bachchan. HarperCollins. Pages 446. Rs 500.
IN this story, Pran is the hero. The life story of Pran Krishen Sikand is just like the script of a Shakespearean play or a typical Hindi film where destiny plays a bigger role than the actors themselves. Villainy was thrust upon this quintessential gentleman who was actually much better looking than many of the successful heroes he took on.

Punjabi review
Many twists in the tale
Nirupama Dutt
Pauna Aadmi
by B. S. Bir. Mehram Publications. Pages 184. Rs 30.
THE canvas of the stories of B.S. Bir encased in Pauna Adami is very contemporary as the author traverses through a world well known to him from Goraya to Chandigarh or Ludhiana to Paonta Sahib. Other times he moves to Bangalore or Mumbai and brings back everyday tales of everyday people.

  • PM deserves better
    Pradhan Mantri Dr Manmohan Singh: Ik Vilakhan Shaksiyat.
    by B. S. Bir, Surinder Bir Singh Sethi, Ravinder Singh Sodhi. Arsee Publications, Delhi. Pages 188. Rs 225.

Medicine for the soul
Aradhika Sekhon
The Alchemy of Yoga
by Osho. Fusion Books, New Delhi.
Pages 294. Rs 150.
OSHO is a fountain of wisdom that never goes dry. (He is) this century's most original mind`85the quintessence of the wisdom of the ages. When V. N. Narayanan said this about Osho, surely he was also referring to the fact that Osho makes ancient wisdom attainable and simple to understand for the ordinary person who cannot go to the source.

Quizzers’ delight
Seema Sachdeva
The Penguin-Landmark Quiz Book
by Gautam Padmanabhan and Navin Jayakumar. Penguin Books. Pages 202. Rs 199.
A refreshing change from monotonous books on general knowledge, the book is attempts to make quizzing lively. The book is a compilation of the best questions of 11 Landmark Quizzes. The Landmark Quiz is held every year on August 15 at the Music Academy in Chennai.

Being 18 till you die
Harbir K. Singh
The End of Aging
by Carol Orlock. Magna Publishing, Mumbai. Pages 248. Rs 175.
OLD age will no longer be life of wheelchairs, walkers, tottering bodies and fading memories. Our seventies and eighties will be as productive, charming, attractive, enthusiastic and smart as our youth. Scientists are changing the biological process of aging. Medical science through various experiments are changing concept of old age.

Grandpa’s way
D. S. Cheema
The Power of Human Relations
by Jyothi Menon.
Pearson. Pages 156. Price not stated.
THE book is the story of the power of human relations read through the lens of a grandfather’s wisdom tempering with practice, experience and maturity. Jyothi Menon, Head of Human Relations, Lason India, distils her personal passion for people at workplace and weaves it into a canvas much beyond the walls of her own company.

The tragedy of trying circumstances
Aditi Garg
by Usha Rajagpoalan
Rupa and Co. Pages 334. Rs 295.
Intimate human relationships form the basis of a lot of literature. The treatment that the author gives to the emotions of the characters involved makes some works unique. Amrita is different and better in a lot of ways from the run-of-the-mill stories. It focuses on the love-hate relationship between two sisters.

short takes
Stories from abode of Gods
Randeep Wadehra
by S.R. Harnot, translated by Saroj Vasishth. Sanbun. Pages 116. Rs 125.
THESE stories pertain to a world that is real, yet seemingly ethereal: The idyllic countryside of Himachal Pradesh, where people and birds and animals understand each other’s language and communicate mutually. Shades of Hugh Lofting’s Dr. Dolittle? Hardly.