Pain of being a Kashmiri Muslim
Shahira Naim
Manufacturing Terrorism: Kashmiri Encounters with Media and the Law
by Syed Bismillah Geelani,
Promilla & Co publishers in association with Bibliophile South Asia and
Poles Apart
Pages 234. Rs 450.
ost of us read about the mid-air drama where 12 passengers, all Indian businessmen, every single one of them a Muslim, 10 from Mumbai alone, were singled out, handcuffed and detained on flight no. 42, in front of 149 other passengers. They had to suffer such humiliation as the crew had reported "suspicious behavior". Responding promptly, the pilot of the Mumbai-bound Northwest Airlines cut short its scheduled flight and returned to Amsterdamís Schiphol airport with US sky marshals on board and escorted by Dutch F-16 jetfighters.

Intrepid warrior queen
Jyoti Singh

Raj of the Rani Tapti Roy. Penguin. Pages 236. Rs 295.
What we have here is a pulsating rendition of Rani Laxmi Baiís biography. An objective study of her circumstances, achievements and limitations, it gives a concrete and complete shape to Raniís life. Roy has deftly integrated the authenticated incidents with the stories that grew around her, wherever the information falls short and seems relevant.

Anatomy of a way of life
Roopinder Singh
The World According to Sikhi
I. J. Singh The Centennial Foundation, Ontario. Pages 170. $ 20.
One of the most sought-after erudite writers and speakers in the USA and Canada on matters concerning the Sikhs is a Professor, not of religion or philosophy as you might imagine, but of anatomical sciences at New York University.

The Enid Blyton mould
Rachna Singh
3 Novels
Shashi Deshpande. Puffin Books. Pages 379. Rs 295.
As a child with passion for reading, all my summer holidays were spent in the library sitting in a har-backed chair reading the adventures of Famous Five or Secret Seven or Adventurous Four et al. The wonderful world created by Enid Blyton was completely enthralling and captivating to a child of nine. Even today, almost three decades later, a book by Enid Blyton brings back those wonderful summers when my friends and I would try our hand at sleuthing or disguising like "Fatty".

An absorbing treat
Arun Gaur
The Library of South Asian Literature series:

The Second Wife
translated by David Rubin.
Pages 206. Rs 175.

Land of Five Rivers
Stories selected and translated by Khushwant Singh Pages 199. Rs 175.

Phatik Chand
Satyajit Ray translated by Lila Ray.
Pages 112. Rs 150.

All titles: Orient Paperbacks, New Delhi.
Indian readers of Hindi fiction must be familiar with Premchandís Nirmala. First published in 1927, it is the story of a young girl who, married off to a widower with three sons, suffers a series of miseries and an eventual catastrophe. The book under review is a translation of Nirmala with a changed title.

Epic quest
The Mahabharata: An inquiry in the human condition
by Chaturvedi Badrinath
Orient Longman. Pages 683.
Rs 1095.
haturvedi Badrinath shows that the Mahabharata is the most systematic inquiry into the human condition. Its principal concern is the relationship of the self with the self and with the other. This book not only proves the universality of the themes explored in the Mahabharata, but also how this great epic provides us with a method to understand the human condition itself. Badrinath shows that the concerns of the Mahabharata are the concerns of everyday life ó of dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

New-Age Brahmastra
Ashok Malik
Soochnadhikar : Naya Loktantra, Nayi Patrakarita
Arvind Kejriwal and Vishnu Rajgadia, Lohia Granthalya, Ranchi.
Pages 112. Rs 225. (HB) Rs 65.00 (PB)
orruption is so widespread in India that it is practically impossible to get your passport, driving licence or ration card without paying a bribe. If you refuse to pay a bribe for getting a new electricity connection, replacing a faulty meter or rectification of a wrong bill, endless objections will ensure that you keep making the rounds of offices.

Portraits by a killer
Andrew Buncombe
Cornwell, the crime writer who famously claimed to have discovered 80 works produced by the artist she believes was the notorious serial killer.

Young fare
Pirates make for a hearty read
Laurie Muchnick
hat is it about kids and pirates? I think it comes down to one word: costumes. Just like princesses, fire-fighters and other perennial preschool favourites, pirates have great gear for playing dress-up. At my three-year-old son's pirate party, his friends loaded up with beaded necklaces, rings, eye patches and hooks and were as happy as if they'd found real buried treasure.

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