The Raj, Lahore and Bhai Ram
by Pervez and Sajida Vandal. National College of Arts, Lahore. Pages
268. Rs 1,500.
ASK anyone in Punjab about
Bhai Ram Singh and you would invite blank stares, even in Amritsar,
where there should be good reasons to remember him. He was the man who
designed Khalsa College, Amritsar, in 1892. Even the persons connected
with the college (I have been a student there for four years and a
teacher for six years) hardly know anything about him.
"Heartland": Uttar Pradesh in India’s Body Politic
by Gyanesh Kudaisya, Sage Series in Modern Indian History –Volume X,
Sage Publications. Pages 471. Rs 595
a population of 166 million, if Uttar Pradesh were to secede from India
and declare itself as a ‘Republic’ it would be the sixth-largest
nation in the world. A provoking thought indeed. But surely it is
neither its geographical size nor its population density that makes the
state the subject of three of the ten volumes in the ongoing Sage Series
in Modern Indian History.
Wonder Tales of South Asia
by Simon Digby. Oxford. Pages 303. Rs 295.
Digby offers a
bouquet of wonder tales from the subcontinent to readers who have a lust
for romances and anecdotes from the mediaeval period. The tales also
cater to the tastes of persons who like to study with scholarly devotion
the subject of immortal beings, their love for the mortals and the tales
that straddle the world of morality and worldly wisdom.
plethora of visions
Himmat Singh Gill
by Sagarika Ghose. HarperCollins. Pages 273. Rs 295.
is a novel about many plots, many characters and many messages, and it
goes to the credit of Sagarika Ghose that, whether on the banks of the
Ganges at the Kumbh or on a burning beach at Alqueria in Goa, she is
able to paint life in raw reality and confront readers with the eternal
truth that "without one’s own true vision, one may as well be
revelation, a twin treat
The Stone Laughs and Atonement
by La. Sa. Ra. translated from Tamil by Padma Narayanan. Katha. Pages
250. Rs 200.
Sa Ramamirthan (La Sa
Ra) is a much-loved Tamil writer. His two sequential novellas, The
Stone Laughs and Atonement, are expertly
translated from Tamil by Padma Narayanan. Both novellas are infused with
mystical elements, philosophical truths as well as ordinariness of the
events. At the background, these are studies of human relationships. La
Sa Ra, through his character Dharamrajan, explores various predicaments
Selected Short Stories
by Mulk Raj Anand. ed. Saros Cowasjee. Penguin. Pages 262. Rs 250.
main forte has been to awaken us to the realities of life in India,
which we already know, but to which we have turned a blind eye,"
asserts Saros Cowasjee, expert on Mulk Raj Anand, who has selected and
edited with an introduction this cluster of stories by that stalwart in
Indo-Anglican fiction. The majority of the stories, portraying agonies
and woes of the underdogs, touch us deeply.
A lucid account of Iraq
This book will stand the
test of time, writes Paul Rogers
The Occupation: War And
Resistance In Iraq
by Patrick Cockburn Verso, £15.99
THE recent comments by
General Dannatt brought into the open concerns about Iraq expressed
repeatedly by senior military figures and civil servants alike. They
were almost never willing to go public, given Tony Blair's absolute
conviction of his rightness. Most would accept just about all the
analysis in Patrick Cockburn's new book, and would hope that Blair might
have the wisdom to read and learn from it.
wins Dylan prize
Thomas might have been happy to "labour by singing light/Not for
ambition or bread" but he died in poverty. Most writers have to be
rather relaxed about paying the rent—or the bar bills. Rachel Trezise,
who recently won the EDS Dylan Thomas Award, can now breathe easy for
quite a while.
SIGNS & SIGNATURES
Insider who walked away
Darshan Singh Maini
position of Arthur Koestler, "a naturalised British Citizen of
uncertain and mixed racial origin," to use his own words, is unique
in so far as the political novel in England is concerned. The fact that
he has had to express himself in a foreign language, which incidentally
he has mastered as few foreigners, makes him unique among the political
by Rajashree Rupa. Pages 242. Rs 95
by Saros Cowasjee Vision Books. Pages 152.
by Rummy Nandlal Abhishek,
Chandigarh. Pages 126. Rs 295