OFF the shelf

Delhi College: bridging cultures
V. N. Datta
The Delhi College: Traditional Elites, the Colonial State and
Education before 1857
ed. Margrit Pernau.
Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
Pages 340. Rs 625.

every book there is a writer. Are the books written for the personal gratification of authors? Is the purpose utilitarian, educational or to gain public applause? There are writers who publish books because they are inspired by purely a disinterested pursuit of knowledge and to clarify the issues that agitate them.

India shows Europe the veg way
Mike Lockey
The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India
by Tristram Stuart. W.W. Norton.
Pages 416. $ 26.95.

book, recently published in Britain, is an intriguing account of how vegetarianism, influenced by India, has been a potent social force in Europe over the past 400 years. The book is called The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India and it has been written by one Tristram Stuart.


A story of duplicity, deceit and doubletalk
K. K. Katyal
A J&K Primer—From Myth to Reality
by B. G. Verghese
Facts speak louder than analysis or laboured interpretations. The significance of this, sadly ignored by sections of journalists, is borne out by the 73-page narration of the Kashmir problem by B. G. Verghese, veteran journalist and author. A J&K Primer—From Myth to Reality does not purport to be elaborate history of Jammu and Kashmir or a scholarly critique. He merely quotes from the relevant documents, avoiding his personal opinions.

A love legend of our times
Nirupama Dutt
Amrita Imroz: A Love Story
Uma Trilok.
Penguin India.
Pages 128. Rs 195.

loves a love legend, and more so if it has tragic overtones with lovers dying young. Why go all the way to Verona in Italy to find an example? Our own country has legendary loves aplenty. Punjab, of course, takes the cake with Heer-Ranjha, Sohni-Mahiwal and Mirza-Sahiban.

The candid critic
Rachna Singh

Bombay Talkies
Mayank Shekhar.
Frog Books.
Pages 268. Rs 295.

Gandhi has suddenly become popular with the "cool" and "hip" generation of today. And it is certainly not because of any advertising "blitzkrieg" by the government aimed at the awareness-building of national icons. For this we have to thank none other than our very own Bollywood blockbuster Lage raho Munna Bhai, which has made waves with "gandhigiri". This has proved once again that the Indian psyche has lost none of its fascination for Bollywood cinema, Indian cricket, notwithstanding.

That Lady of Lawrence
Raj Chatterjee

is ripping — she’s the finest woman I’ve never met — you must, above all, meet her. She’s the daughter of Baron von Richtofen. She’s splendid, she really is." Ninety-four years ago, on April 17, 1912, D.H. Lawrence wrote those words to a friend, also well-known in literary circles, Edward Garnett.

Anxiety in e-future
Aparna M. Sridhar
by G.B. Prabhat
Frog Books, Mumbai, 2006.
Pages 224. Rs 250.

sensitive portrayal of what’s happening to India’s urban digital youth, G B Prabhat’s Eimona succeeds – and depresses. Cloaked in gentle satire, it is nonetheless chilling in its portrayal of a money-obsessed future that a section of India is hurtling towards, with the only social prop being psychiatric web portals.

Of Puadh and Pablo Neruda
Surinder Singh Tej

Puadh Darpan
Edited by Manmohan Singh Daon
Punjabi Sath-Panj Nad Parkashan, Lambra (Jalandhar)
Pages 144. Rs 140.

undivided Punjab had many regions. Out of these Pothohar, Majha, Doaba and Malwa gained more prominence. Each of these was blessed with a distinct identity in terms of dialect, subculture, lifestyle and sociocultural milieu. After the Partition, Majha, Malwa and Doaba continued to remain on the forefront while Puadh, another distinct region, could not gain prominence despite being a large geographical entity.

Back of the book
The Interpretation of Murder
by Jed Rubenfeld
Headline Review. Pages 407. £6.00

1909. A city of breathtaking modernity, heartstopping skyscrapers and glittering high society, whose opulence conceals a darker face: corruption, vice and murder. On the morning after Sigmund Freud arrives in New York on the steamship ‘George Washington,’a stunning debutante is found bound and strangled in her penthouse apartment, high above Broadway.

  • Sex, Lies and Online Dating
    by Rachel Gibson.
    Headline. Pages 276. £2.50

  • The Queen of the Night
    by Paul Doherty
    Pages 301. £6.00