The rage of the lamas
Harish Dhillon
A Long Way from Tibet
by Carlo Buldrini. Tara India Research Press, New Delhi. Pages 244. £ 8.95.
THIS book tells us about Tibetans living in exile in India and provides us with a glimpse of the historical-political developments in Tibet and the intricacies of its religion and spirituality. Buldrini, who spent 30 years in India as a journalist, begins his book with the daily reports of the Revolt in Lhasa in 1959, based on contemporary texts and eyewitness accounts.

Spirits of the Raj
Aruti Nayar
British Ghosts and Occult India
by K.R.N. Swamy and Meera Ravi. Writers Workshop, Calcutta. Pages 206. Rs 350.
ALMOST anyone can recall the spine-chilling effect of ghost stories narrated in muffled tones. The well-researched book by K.R.N Swamy, edited by Meera Ravi, seeks to focus on the ghost stories that became a part of the British in India.

One hack of a novel
Arun Gaur
Hacks and Headlines
by Rashme Sehgal. IndiaInk. Roli Books, New Delhi. Pages 319. Rs 295.
THERE seems to be a conscious play on the words "hacks", "head" and "headlines" in the title of the novel. Paro, a Yadav, elopes with Jano, a Jatav. Consequently, Paro’s uncle, Pappu Yadav, gets their heads hacked. It is an everyday crime that could have easily passed off un-noticed.

A sea of emotions
The Master Mariner
by Nina Sood. Stellar Om Books. Pages 256. Rs 225.
IT’S a touching personal tribute of a wife to her husband and a lesson for all that we should count our blessings. Nina Sood travels with her husband not only across the smooth waters, but also on his tough journey through cancer. This novel has been written in a simple language, for it is a story of her life, nay, their lives.

Fear is the key
The Butcher of Amritsar by Nigel Collett has created quite a stir in Britain and in India, too. The first major dispassionate biography of General Reginald Dyer, after a family sponsored one in 1929, this 575-page book is well researched with 142 pages devoted to the appendix, chapter notes, bibliography, index etc.

The rise of the ‘mouthpiece of terror’
Harsh A. Desai
Al-Jazeera : How Arab TV News Challenged the World
by Hugh Miles. Abacus. Pages 426. £ 4.99
THE book is Hugh Mile’s riveting story of how an obscure news channel (Al-Jazeera) from an obscure Middle Eastern country (Qatar) — known for its huge gas reserves but little else — became one of the premier news channels of the world, though it began only in 1996.

Vintage shots from the past
Vikramdeep Johal
Test of Time: Travels in Search of a Cricketing Legend
by John Lazenby. John Murray, London. Pages 242. £ 8.15
Little-known all-rounder Jack Mason played only five Test matches for England, all of them on the tour to Australia in 1897-98. He scored just 129 runs at a poor average of 12.9 and took two wickets at 74.5 runs apiece. Do these figures befit a cricket legend? No, they don’t, but it is said that statistics tell only half the story. In this case, they are even misleading.

Signs and signatures
Sylvia’s hell-fired poetry
Darshan Singh Maini
N February 11, 1963, unable to cope with "the assault of reality", Sylvia Plath took her life in her 31st year. Even the mode and manner of the suicide — thrusting her head into a gas oven with an SOS note for her doctor, and instructions regarding the milk for her two babies — suggest a fiery ordeal that a poet courted as daughter, woman, wife and mother in that twilight hour of her unhappy life.

hindi Review
He wished to be guided by faith alone
Harbans Singh
Kalptaru ki Utsavaleela: Ramkrishna Paramhansa.
by Krishna Bihari Mishra. Bharatiya Jananpith. Pages 596. Rs 380.
Krishna Bihari Mishra has written a remarkable biography of a person who is not only the symbol of spiritual renaissance of modern India but also a person who was a genuine teacher. He influenced and moulded his disciples not as what he wanted them to be but as what they themselves could become, given their traits and potential.

Back of the book

  • Confronting love: Poems.
    Ed by Jerry Pinto & Arundhati Subramaniam. Penguin. Pages 84. Rs 125.

  • Monarchy vs. Democracy: The Epic fight in Nepal
    by Baburam Bhattarai. Samkaleen Teesri Duniya. Pages 179. Rs 250.

  • The Other Side of Belief: Interpreting U.G. Krishnamurti
    by Mukunda Rao. Penguin. Pages 350. Rs 350.