The Future of the Great Game: Sir Olaf
Caroe, India’s Independence and the Defence of Asia.
Peter John Probst. University of Akron Press, Ohio.
Pages xx + 199. $ 15.
major thrust of this slim
volume based on Caroe’s long and distinguished career in the Indian
civil service, his eventful tenure as foreign secretary (1939-45) and
governor of NWFP (1946-7) apart from his extensive writings is to give
the lie to an oft-repeated canard that he worked for the creation of
Pakistan. More, that in the mid-1950s, he was the ‘grey eminence’
behind the US administration’s decision to arm Pakistan.
The Narrow Corridor: Moments in
a Woman’s Life
by Muriel Wasi. Promila & Co, New Delhi.
Pages 117. Rs 295.
many people have heard about
Muriel Wasi who had retired from the Ministry of Education in 1970 as
Deputy Educational Adviser. After her retirement, she taught English at
St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and thereafter at the Jesus and Mary
College, New Delhi for three and a half, and five years, respectively.
The Paradox of Excellence: How
Great Performance Can Kill Your Business
by David Mosby and Michael Weissman. Josey Bass — a John Wiley
$ 23. Pages 202.
something each one of us has
faced. Often you find that the better you get at your job, the higher
the bar for appraising you. While job definitions for two workers may be
the same, it isn’t necessary that the super performer gets the just
rewards at the end of the day.
living to dead
Strangely Like War
by George Draffan and Derrick Jensen. Natraj Publishers, Dehradun. Rs.
are under siege! They are being plundered, exploited and murdered by the
human axe—helplessly, without a fight, they fall down, dead. The irony
is that while humans wage the deadly war on trees in the guise of
development, they do not realise that it is their own generations that
million more Da Vinci Code
for the onslaught: For
anyone who somehow missed picking up one of the 43 million hardcover
copies of The Da Vinci Code that have been sold around the world
in the last three years, the publisher is finally getting around to
releasing the paperback—in a big way.
Asian magazine on the Net
new Internet magazine is being widely noticed by those interested in
South Asia. The magazine, South Asia Post (southasiapost.org), offers
readers analysis and articles on many subjects, including politics,
business, economy, films, art and literature.
distant lands come alive
1500 Years of African and Asian
Edited by Tabish Khair, Martin Leer, Justin D. Edwards and Hanna Ziadeh
Foreword by Amitav Ghosh
Signal Books Pages 421.
is a scholarly anthology, as
expected when each of the editors is currently practising in
universities in Northern Europe and Africa. If one leaves the editorial
inputs preceding each extract aside, we have the most fascinating and
readable excerpts from travellers spanning the Asian/African continents
from the times of Faxian (Fa Hsien) in the 4th century till
the Indian reformer Malabari’s visit to England in the late 19th.
That sense of wonder
beyond space and time
and the texts that followed it, also shatter the common myth that travel
writing was in the past — because it is today — largely a prose
genre. Apart from the travel in epic poems like the Ramayana and
the Mahabharata, we have texts like Kalidasa’s long poem Meghadutam
(fifth to seventh century AD) that revolve around real or fictional
travel. Around the same time in China, we also had Tang poetry, which
contains poems that can only be read as descriptive and, in all
likelihood, actual travel accounts. One can also claim that some Bhakti
and Sufi poets in medieval times wrote travel-based poems.
These Hills Called Home:
Stories From A War Zone
by Temsula Ao Zubaan/
Penguin Pages 147. Rs 195.
EIGHT years of ceasefire has
made Nagaland a haven of peace in the Northeast. But this cannot
obliterate memories of the harrowing times the state went through for
much of the post-Independence period. While the rest of India celebrated
Independence, the Nagas sought their own independence.
The Death of Common Sense
by Vinish Garg
Arun Publishing House, Chandigarh. Pages 194. Rs 160.
novel is based on a couple
of premises, viz., common sense is the most important ‘thing’ for a
person, and secondly families having girls are happier than those
without girls because sisters and daughters (wives/daughters-in-law are
not mentioned) bring harmony. However neither commonsense nor importance
is absolute concept.
Development of Physical Education
and Sports in India
by Dr. Daisy Sheokand Unistar,
Chandigarh. Pages 200. Rs 395.
Glimpses of My Life
by Balbir Singh
Trimurthy Enterprises, Delhi. Pages 191. Rs 195.
can psychoanalyse yourself and be paid for it”
Nirbir K. Ghosh
heart missed a beat when I
received an e-mail from my friend Ethelbert Miller telling me about the
tragic untimely demise of Octavia Butler (1947-2006) at Seattle, USA. I
learnt that Octavia Butler, who was only 58, fell and hit her head on
the sidewalk outside her Lake Forest Park home in Seattle and died. It
just seemed like a Camus or Becket story ending. In the science-fiction
world, death doesn’t necessarily mean The End.