A stage for all the world
Neelam Mansingh
The Prithviwallahs presented
by Shashi Kapoor with Deepa Gahlot. Roli Books. Pages 151. Price not stated.

reading the book I was reminded of the words of Bharat Muni, the sage who wrote the Natya Shastra: Natak wohi kar sakta hai jis ka kutumb ho (theatre can only be performed/supported by one who has a sense of family). This fourth century aphorism was aptly reflected in the relationships that Prithviraj Kapoor had with his actors, technicians, backstage workers, script writers and umpteen family members who were not only part of his itinerant repertory but also became members of his continuously growing family.

Write choice: The language of excellence
Malayalam short story writer Paul Zachariah, English novelist Upmanyu Chatterjee, Hindi poet Viren Dangwal and Punjabi critic Satinder Singh Noor were among the winners of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi awards for 2004. Nirupama Dutt looks at the men and their metier.

Unto self too, but not the people
Shastri Ramachandaran
Rendering Unto Caesar
by Bradman Weerakoon. New Dawn Press Group (An Imprint of Sterling Publishers), New Delhi. Pages 396. Rs 900.
Bradman Weerakoon, admittedly, is the underling. The stars in his firmament are the nine prime minsters and presidents of Sri Lanka under whom he served. Of late, quite a few underlings - in the descriptive, not pejorative, sense of the term - have come up with their accounts. Former bureaucrats P C Alexander, T S R Subramaniam and B G Deshmukh are the ones that come to mind, besides former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh.

Old wine with NRI tag
Chetna Keer Banerjee

Whispering Vines
by Renu Mahajan
Publish America. Pages 200. Price not stated.

sprinkling of Mills & Boon mush. A dash of Barbara Cartland’s roseate romanticism. And touches of a Georgette Heyer vintage pulp. Canada-based writer Renu Mahajan’s Whispering Vines has a bit of all this but little else. It is simply old wine in a new bottle, with an NRI tag instead of a British byline.

In quest of self-discovery
Rajdeep Bains

Beyond Indigo
by Preethi Nair. Harper Collins, India.
Pages 326. Rs 295.

reethi Nair is an author who writes about, among other issues, identity. This is probably due to the fact that when Preethi self-published her first novel she had to masquerade as "publicist Preu Menon" in order to promote the book. Preethi won the Asian Woman of Achievement award for her endeavours and "Preu" was short-listed as Publicist of the Year for the PPC awards. Her success as "Preu" and with the book Gypsy Masala led to her discovery, and her intriguing true story, which rivals any plotline, unfurled.

Real fairy world
Jaswant Kaur
Sir Lawley’s Ghost and Other Stories
by Asha Nehemiah.
Rupa & Co., New Delhi. Pages 134. Rs 195.

eading these children’s stories reminds me of an article published in Spectrum about three years back. It was a long write-up by Juhi Bakshi, lamenting that most of the fairy takes that children read have lost their relevance. Quoting a few, she had made a case for tales that are more realistic and contemporary, tales that entrench a value system, glorify inner beauty than external appearance and focus on truth, honesty and compassion.

Tips for global giants
Peeyush Agnihotri
Multinationals in India
by Jai B.P. Sinha. Sage Publications. Pages 290. Rs 350.

hen in India, do as the Indians do. That has been the theory of a few of the successful global corporate houses, which decided to make India their production base. Applying Darwin’s theory of evolution to the corporate world, it can be said that only those multinational companies (MNCs) will survive, which are most adaptable to change.

Short takes
Check out the right name
Randeep Wadehra
Name holds significance for individuals
Hindu Names for Girls
by Maneka Gandhi
Penguin. Pages: ix+151. Price: Rs 200
There's plenty in a name. It provides identity to an individual. In a stratified society it tells a whole lot of things like one's religious denomination, caste, region and even the village one belongs to. In the Hindu society naming a newborn is a religious ritual that could be rather complex - what with consulting the family purohit, working out the horoscope and selecting an auspicious day to hold the naamkaran sanskaar - the child-naming ceremony.

Muslim & Parsi Names
by Maneka Gandhi & Ozair Husain. Penguin.
Pages: xiv+527. Price: Rs 395

Rani of Jhansi
by Dr Bhawan Singh Rana
Diamond Books, N. Delhi. Pages: 151. Price: Rs 95

gets rolling again