A tragicomic soap
Doordarshan Days by Bhaskar Ghose.
Penguin/Viking, New Delhi Pages 238.
Those born and brought up on a staple diet
of private TV channels can scarcely believe that there was a time when
Doordarshan reigned supreme, but they who were witness to that era would
recall how it dominated one’s life. Bhaskar Ghose headed the
organisation in the turbulent 1980s and played an instrumental role in
all that it was notorious for. He has now penned those bitter-sheet
memories in a no-holds-barred fashion and made it as racy as a spy
friend and comrade
V. N. Datta
A Clear Star: C. F. Andrews and India, 1904-1914
Daniel O’Connor. Chronicle Books, New Delhi. Pages 300. Price not
THIS work, a revised edition of the
earlier expensive European version, includes new material on the Indian
Church commentaries, which explore how a confirmed Christian missionary
like C. F. Andrews wrestled with the idea of adjusting the missionary
propaganda with his ideals of liberating India from the British rule.
Voices in the City
Anita Desai Orient Paperbacks, Pages 245. Rs
Winner of the Sahitya
Academy Award, Anita Desai’s Voices in the City is a novel
based on the life of middle-class intellectuals. The story is woven
around two sisters, Monisha and Amla, and their brother, Nirode, caught
in the cross-currents of changing social values. Indian social milieu in
transition—holding on to the traditional views, yet inclining towards
the forces of modernity—is in focus.
25 Eminent Indians: 1947-2005
H. N. Verma and Amrit Verma
GIP Books. Pages 245. Price not stated
Everyone reads history, but only a few
write history; and those who make history are rarer still.
The Vermas have put together
vignettes of 25 Indians who have shaped the history of modern India. The
historical canvas encompasses not only political figures but also they
who have made a mark in science, humanities, fine arts, business and
Prove you are extraordinary
years ago, Yiyun Li had a problem: How do you persuade the literary
world to take you seriously when you’re a 28-year-old native Chinese
speaker trying to write in English, you’ve published exactly nothing
and your training consists of a single adult-education class?
Central Asia: Pre-historic to Modern Times,
by B.G. Gafurov Vol. I, Maulana Azad Institute of Asian Studies,
Kolkata, Shipra Publications, Delhi, 2005, pp. xxii + 464, price (2 vols)
This impressive tome is the
English version published for the first time of the well-known Soviet
Tajik Orientalist Babajan Gafurov’s magnum opus, Tazhiki. First
published from Moscow in Russian in 1972, it appeared 17 years later
from Dushanbe (1989); the book under review is based on the latter
edition. Tazhiki is a well-researched, comprehensive historical
account of all the peoples of Central Asia, and not of the Tajiks only.
|Tales that left an imprint
Harsh A. Desai on the books that enthused him and fired his imagination in 2005
The other day I was sitting at the Leopold Café at Colaba, in Bombay with a wise man discussing books and he was telling me about his
favourite books. He happily mentioned Lawrence Durrrell and George Elliot but his eyes really lit up when he started talking about Conrad and Melville; so I
Teacher man by Frank McCourt
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
Picks from the world of non-fiction
Real-life narratives can often be more riveting than fiction.
M. Rajivlochan on the tomes that created a buzz