The end of an era
Rumina Sethi
Raja Rao nativised English and let his words convey his spirit. Indian writing will be poorer without him
Many years ago, when I met Mulk Raj Anand in connection with my doctoral thesis on Indian writing, he referred to the early trio of Indian writers who wrote in English as the three chachas, the other two being Raja Rao and R. K. Narayan.

A Renaissance man
Gary Lachman
The Devilís Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science
by Philip Ball. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Pages 448. £26 Heinemann £20 £18
IN English-speaking countries, the name Philip Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim (1493 - 1541) isnít often heard these days. Nor is the much shorter, though no less self-important pseudonym this distinguished Renaissance figure adopted.

Darwinís daring champion
Thirty years of the selfish gene
Kuldip Dhiman
Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think
Ed. Alan Grafen and Mark Ridley. Oxford University Press. Pages 283. Rs 425.
IN 1976, The Selfish Gene appeared and created a publishing coup the reverberations of which are being felt thirty years on. Richard Dawkins, then a young biologist from Oxford, had written a book which all talk about, but only a few actually read and understand.

Double take on reality
Rachna Singh
The Open Frame Reader: Unreeling the Documentary Film
ed. Rajiv Mehrotra. Rupa and Co. Pages 162, Rs 250
THE documentary genre is regarded as a poor cousin of commercial cinema. For most of us, a documentary is a factual and boring delineation of the real world, which we would rather forgo for the magical delights of commercial cinema.

The best time to live
B. S. Thaur
Changing Panorama of Life since Independence
Dr R. L. Singal. Abhishek Publications. Pages 236. Rs 495.
Reasons can be many, but it is fashion to disdain the present and eulogise the past, however wretched the latter had been. The oldies are generally heard saying that the Raj was better than the present rule. In this book, Dr R. L. Singal has highlighted the tremendous development after Independence and compared the conditions prevalent then to these times.

Time at last for some stress-free reading
Kanchan Mehta
The Power of Relaxation
Tanushree Podder. Viva Book. Pages 221. Rs 195.
Stress, fountain of numerous agonies, has become the hallmark of a hurry-up world. Relaxation is the perfect antidote to stress and one should learn to master the art of it. "Relaxed people are smarter, healthier, more successful, sharp thinkers, beautiful, popular and have better career graphs. They make better lovers.

The chronicle retold in short
Jyoti Singh
Babur Nama: Journal of Emperor Akbar
Ed. by Dilip Hiro. Penguin. Pages 385. Rs 350
Zahir-ud-din Mohammad Babur (1483-1530), founder of the Mughal Empire, has the distinction of being the only emperor who maintained a journal. His habit to write the dayís events started as soon as he became the governor of Andijan following the assassination of his father Omar Sheikh Mirza, when he was only 10.

Recognition to master storyteller
Murali Krishnan
A
spirited campaign by a blog site has forced Karnataka Governor T.N. Chaturvedi to intercede on behalf of hundreds of bloggers to seek recognition for celebrated author R.K. Narayan on his birth centenary this year. Churumuri.wordpress.com, one of the fastest growing weblogs, ran a weeklong campaign to secure the master storyteller his place in Mysore where he spent much of his writing life.

Tribute to Premchand
Girish Kumar Dubey
A
S the nation prepares itself to mark the birth centenary of renowned short story writer and novelist Munshi Premchand, at least 11 popular artistes from different parts of the country have arrived in Lamahi (Varanasi) to bring alive some of the characters from his most appreciated stories.

SHORT TAKES
Nehruís impact on intellectuals
Randeep Wadehra

  • The Legacy of Nehru
    by K. Natwar Singh Rupa. Pages 115. Rs 195

  • The French Collection
    by KJS Chatrath Indian Publishersí Distributors, Delhi. Pages xiv + 155. Rs 295

  • Sun Signs
    by P. Khurrana Rupa. Pages xiv + 298. Rs 195





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