Path to humanism
Ashok Vohra
The Centrality of Ethics in Buddhism: Exploratory Essays
by Hari Shankar Prasad.
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi.
Pages XVI+602. Rs 795.

MANY lay readers, modern critics and even scholars of Buddhist canon generally believe, though mistakenly, that Buddha himself and the later Buddhists too are primarily concerned with the ways of attaining Nibbana (liberation) from the existential suffering, disquiet and unhappiness that we face in the lived world.

Books received

Power of love
Anita Sethi
Starbook: A Magical Tale of Love and Regeneration
by Ben Okri. Rider
Pages 424. 312.99.
SET in a mythical land, the central relationship in Starbook is between a prince and maiden. They do not fall in love at first sight. She is not at first beautiful, but "like a work of art in formation," as Okri depicts, "how unpromising excellent things are in their youth. How awkward true beauty seems in its early stages." Works of art in their formation are foremost in this novel both figuratively and literally, for the maiden’s father works deep within the forest, crafting sculptures and employing apprentices to learn "the hidden arts of making," working on both inner and outer surfaces to shape, carve, polish, mould sculptures and also to work on turning ordinary metal into gold.

In the middle of creativity
Shiela Gujral
That’s OK, Tammanna & Other Reveries
by Dr J. Bhagyalakshmi.
Alok Parva Prakashan. Page 176.
It is amazing how J. Bhagyalakshmi, a highly competent professional, could cover a huge field of creative literature with perfect ease and captivate the minds of the readers. So far, I was only aware of the moral and humanitarian aspects of her writings. I had read a very few of her books and seldom any ‘middles’.

Ode to a lively city
Gayatri Rajwade
Ten Heritage Walks of Mumbai
by Fiona Fernandez. Rupa & Co.
Pages 187. Rs 395.

This one breaks certain myths which bustling Mumbai frequently suffers from. Often charged with being far too ‘modern’ in comparison with the rest of the country, Fiona Fernandez’s Mumbai takes the reader for a persuasive amble through roads forgotten yet fascinating, unveiling a city lively with architectural legacies.

Key to talent management
D. S. Cheema
Toyota Talent
by Jeffrey K. Liker and David P. Meier. Tata McGraw-Hill.
Pages 326. Rs 350.

It has been recognised by organisations the world over, that, all winning strategies stem from talent management systems, which are mastered by the unique winners. The only sustainable competitive advantage an organisation can have over the others is to be able to spot, develop, use and create the human resources in such a manner that it can change faster than its competitors. It’s only the talent which can make and break the rules of the game; how to get ahead in an extremely competitive and fast-changing business world of today.

Snatches of inner strife
Aruti Nayar
To Each Her Own
An Anthology of Contemporary Hindi Short Stories
Compiled and Translated by Vandana R. Singh 
National Book Trust, India.
Pages 216. Rs 95.

The anthology comprises 22 short stories, originally written in Hindi by women writers but not necessarily about women. They encapsulate the contemporary urban experience. Singh makes available an entire realm of creative expression not only of the ‘pillars’of Hindi literature such as Krishna Sobti, Mannu Bhandari, Mridula Garg, Manjul Bhagat, Mamta Kalia and Chitra Mudgal but also the second-generation voices like Alka Saraogi, Geetanjali Shree, Nasira Sharma, Rajee Seth and Rekha.

Lasting Bond with the hills
Rajnish Wattas visits the most famous address in Mussoorie and meets the childlike Ruskin Bond whose latest work is an ode to nature.
Recently when Ruskin Bond walked into the Cambridge Book shop at Mussoorie to sign books for his legion of fans, I almost felt like saying, "I’ve been expecting you Mr Bond." This Bond, too, shoots but with his pen, and that, too, with disarming humour. In fact, at 73 he comes across more like the favourite story-telling, amiable, uncle.

Mediation, modernity and terrorism
Randeep Wadhera

  • Settle for more
    by Sriram Panchu, East-West Books, Chennai. Pages: xvi + 98. Rs 250

  • War against insurgency and terrorism in Kashmir
    by Gen. YM Bammi. Natraj, Dehra Dun.Pages 410. Rs 450

  • Articles of faith
    by Major Singh Gurmat Pustak Centre,Ludhiana. Pages: xi+65. Rs 60


    To be or not to be dumb
    plays will soon get a makeover in the form of comic strips to make the Bard’s work more interesting for students. The eternal literary figure’s renowned works like Macbeth are to be re-written to condensed his well-crafted verses into short phrases. However, the Queen’s English Society has cautioned that "dumbed down" comic strips will help students escape dealing with the language and theme of Shakespeare’s plays.

    Books received