Roopinder Singh meets
Ramchandra Gandhi and reviews his latest book, which reminds him of
Philosophy Society meetings with the author.
Muniya’s Light: A Narrative of Truth and Myth
by Ramchandra Gandhi.
IndiaInk/Roli Books. Pages 248. Rs 350.
Bose Sahib, the legendary teacher,
philosopher, cricketer of St Stephen’s College, Delhi, often came to
the college campus long after he had retired. He attended the Philo-Soc
(Philosophy Society), meetings at the residence of his protégé, R. K.
is self, a variation of that form’
seeds of discord
Identity and religion:
Foundations of Anti-Islamism in India
by Amalendu Misra.
Sage Publications, New Delhi. Pages 262. Rs 295.
The conclusion of
this book is that the government should ensure dialogue between the
leaders of the Hindus and the Muslim to reduce hostility. Having been
part of the conduct of such dialogues, I can say that confabulations
have a limited value. There is always that one man, group or political
party, which insists, often without basis, that it has been slighted and
would therefore want to break someone else’s head, burn property and,
in general, create nuisance.
large slice of cheer
Piece of Cake
by Swati Kaushal, Penguin. Pages 367. Rs 250
Let me try to recall – when was
it that I last laughed out loud while reading a book? Laughed not just
once but several times? I think it was more than fifteen years ago,
while reading Anurag Mathur’s bestseller The Inscrutable Americans.
down, it’s brilliant
Gagandep Singh Ghuman
Along the Ganga: To the Inner Shores of India
by Ilija Trojanow. Translated by Ranjit Hoskote. Penguin. Pages: 184. Rs
Successful travel writing depends
on the writer’s ability to "show rather than tell". If the
travelogue can "transpose" the readers to the unfamiliar,
acquaint them with the sights and sounds, smells and rhythms of that
world, give them a feeling of vicarious "get-away" to that
unknown, it has achieved its purpose.
on your bookshelf
A Compendium of Family Health
by Dr Ishrat Syed and Dr Kalpana Swaminathan.
Rupa & Co, New Delhi. Pages 843. Price 395.
At a national seminar I attended
recently, a session of interaction between doctors and patients was a
welcome item. Medicine, like all sciences, is systematised and
leader or ruthless zealot?
Pol Pot: The History of
by Philip Short. John Murray.
Pages 656. £12.99
Philip Short’s biography on Pol
Pot deals with an enigmatic man, complex and shadowy. The attempts to
recreate Pol in his historical, social and political milieu interpret
Cambodian history without playing on the accepted notions of the man.
Kashmir Laee Qurbani
by Himmat Singh, Akali Kaur Singh Trust, Patiala. Pages 458. Rs 900
This book by Himmat Singh focuses
on the role played by Sikhs in Kashmir, from 1499 to 1999. The writer
stresses that the association of the Sikhs with Kashmir goes back to
Guru Nanak Dev, who visited the place during his travels across the
subcontinent. Later, other gurus also visited the valley and had a good
mirror for mad times
Windows on the World, an extraordinary novel-essay-memoir about
September 11, 2001, and its cultural aftermath, has won this year’s £
10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in Frank Wynne’s
Tennessee’s Sad Song
He would go on to become
one of America’s most celebrated playwrights. But believed people
thought him talentless. He also knew he was about to fail his Greek
exam. The man who would soon change his name to Tennessee poured out his
heart in a 17-line poem that he scribbled on the back of his exam paper.
He then got up and left the room.
of a go-getter
Agony and Ecstasy
by T.R. Kakkar. Siddharth Publications. Pages: 196. Rs 250
He was merely four years old when
his family was uprooted from Pakistan during the Partition. He was
orphaned when very young. He toiled in a factory, but his never-say-die
spirit impelled him to better his lot. He failed to get a bus
conductor’s job with the DTU. Poor physique disqualified him for the
How to be a High
by Rajesh Chadha, Unistar, Chandigarh. Pages: 151. Rs 125.
The Feminist Sensibility
in the Novels of Thomas Hardy
by Manjit Kaur. Sarup and Sons. Pages: ii + 147. Rs 300.