A search for
Mercy In Her Eyes: The
Films of Mira Nair
by John Kenneth Muir.
Westland Books. Pages 290. Rs 295.
through a collection of
films in a Music World outlet one day, I happened to look out of the
glass window and saw to my amusement three city urchins engrossed in
dancing to Hrithik Roshan’s hit number Ek pal ka jeena of Kaho
Na Pyar Hai fame. This little vignette, so reminiscent of a
‘frame’ from Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay, sent me willy-nilly
to get hold of a DVD of the film.
A Maidan View
by Mihir Bose. Penguin.
Pages 372. Rs 295.
book defies classification.
Broadly speaking, it can be categorised as ‘the history of Indian
cricket’. However, once you start perusing the volume, it branches off
in different directions. Beginning with the chronological facts of
cricket, the book unfolds several significant historical events of 19th
and 20th century British India. It is against the backdrop of Sepoy
Mutiny, Civil Disobedience Movement, Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the
affairs of princely states that the author embarks on describing the
relevant incidents that led to the development of cricket in India.
and tribulations of travel writing
The Lonely Planet Story
by Tony and Maureen Wheeler.
Periplus. Pages 375. $16.95.
all started with wanderlust.
In the early 1970s, a recently married couple took off on a trip to
remember in a bid to get travel out of their system before settling into
their "real" jobs. Their trip began in Asia and ended in
Australia where they landed with just 27 cents to their credit.
of a modern-day sage
Swami Vivekananda: The Living
by Chaturvedi Badrinath. Penguin Books. Pages 452. Rs 375.
is an interesting book on
Vivekananda, it attempts to bring into focus the relationship between
the life and the thought of this unique sage of modern India. It is the
product of research into Vivekananda’s life and thought. The author
has done a deep study of Vivekananda’s letters and other writings to
give an exposition of the relationship between his life and his
spiritual journey. He has tried to bring out the existential dimension
of Vivekananda the man and not the icon.
Angad B. Sodhi
Sikhs in Britain
by Gurharpal Singh and
Darshan Singh Tatla.
Routledge, Zed Books. £17.99.
You can be assured to find a Sikh presence anywhere you go in the world.
There are an estimated 16 to 18 million Sikhs around the globe, at least
one million located abroad, predominantly in three countries, Canada,
the USA and the UK. Of the three, the UK has the largest Sikh presence
in terms of population.
Ecological Security: The
Foundation of Sustainable Development
ed. Samar Singh.
Shipra Publications, Delhi.
Pages XIV+208. Rs 495.
debate on environment and
development is now four decades old. Heads of governments congregated
thrice at Stockholm (1972), Rio (1992) and Johannesburg (2002) to thrash
out the nuances related to this complex issue.
the finish for honour’s sake
Izzat Ke Naam
by Mukhtar Mai in collaboration
with Marie-Therese Cuny; Pages 107. Rs 100. Arvind Kumar Publishers,
Ke Naam chronicles the saga of
a human spirit that refuses to yield to adversity. The woman fights back
not only to reclaim her honour but also embark upon a mission that is
the first step in empowering an individual. The story of Mukhtar Mai,
her horrific rape in that part of Pakistan where tribal customs take
precedence over civil laws, is now all too well known.
of the emotional stock-room
The Lay of the Land
by Richard Ford
amazing how much Richard
Ford can pack into a national holiday. The Lay of the Land is a
massive, ruminative, poignant and cathartic novel that unpacks an awful
lot of luggage into the few days of America’s Thanksgiving holiday in
the fall of 2000. The Clinton-Bush electoral farrago rumbles on in the
country at large but 55-year-old Frank Bascombe’s problems are all
intimate. His twenty-something daughter Clarissa is living with him
again, which is good; but she moved in to support him after his shocking
prostate diagnosis. Worse still, she then ditched her smart girlfriend
to experiment with men again, and her "woogling" now disturbs
the calm of his sequestered Jersey Shore home.
you give former South African president Nelson Mandela for Christmas?
Well, football ace David Beckham solved that problem neatly by deciding
to send an autobiography of himself to the freedom fighter. The
hardback copy of David Beckham: My World, published in October
2000, is just one of the many X’mas presents that have been pouring
into the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.
of a trailblazer
by Deepti Priya Mehrotra
Penguin. Pages: viii + 318. Rs 295.
a pleb earns elite’s
respect, one sits up and takes notice. And, if that pleb is a Dalit
woman, a legend is born to earn the nation’s unstinting homage. Gulab
Bai belonged to Bedia caste of UP’s Balpurva village. As a twelve-year
old in 1931 she stormed the then male bastion when she became the sole
female performer in a nautanki troupe, only to set up her own company
Impact of Partition: Refuges
by Amtul Hassan.
Manohar. Pages 141. Rs 260
Path to Nirvana
by Gursharn S Zal
Trafford, Canada. Pages 209.