Powerful narration of history
Amar Chandel
In Search of a Future: The Story of Kashmir
by David Devadas. Penguin. Pages 381. Rs 495.
Kashmir is one of the most extensively written about topics in the country. However, despite such wealth of published material, it is not one of the easiest subjects to comprehend, for the simple reason that there are far too many strands to the whole development. Miss one and you run the risk of forming a wrong impression about the goings-on.

Selling products in our villages
D.S. Cheema
Advertising and Marketing in Rural India
Advertising and Marketing in Rural India by Tej K Bhatia. Macmillan India. Pages 327. Rs. 465.
While it is well established that India lives in its more than 65,000 villages and rural India is the backbone of Indian economy, yet this sector has been neglected and rural marketing has not got its rightful place in the post-liberalisation period.

Books received

Learning more about North-East
Himmat Singh Gill
Frontier in Flames
Ed. Jaideep Saikia. Viking/Penguin. Pages 205. Rs 450.
It can’t be said that the whole of the Indian north-east frontier is up in flames. However, there is no gainsaying the fact that at some time or the other this part of our land, which was amalgamated rather late into the Dominion of India when the British were around, has been a worrisome adjunct in governance and national integration ever since we gained Independence. Due to its far-flung location and the indifferent state of communications, the issue of merging with the others is often compounded by a feeling of isolation and "not being part" of the rest of the country.

Myriad colours of life
Jaishree Rana
The Strawberry Sun and Other Poems
by Manjit Kaur. Writers Workshop, Calcutta. Pages 57. Rs 120.
This is a collection rich with myriad colours of human experience told in such a simple yet engaging manner that the reader doesn’t even realise when the personal transcends into the universal. Many poems depict feminist sensibility, which are perhaps the most powerful ones. In some poems, like The Dilemma, the poet talks about very personal and intimate experiences of a woman:

Why we did not win those wars
Vijay Mohan
Unlearned Lessons: An Appraisal of India’s Military Mishaps
by Lt Col Gautam Das (retd). Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi. Pages 352. Rs 595.
The Indian subcontinent has been a vast battlefield since time immemorial. It has faced more invasions and has seen more wars and battles than any other region on the earth. Yet the dominating country in this region has paid little heed to the art and science of war and its application to achieve and sustain objectives of national interest.

Celebrating the martyr
Aruti Nayar
Martyr As Bridegroom: A Folk Representation of Bhagat Singh
by Ishwar Dayal Gaur. Anthem Press. Pages 198. Rs 495
The author seeks to pull out the revolutionary Bhagat Singh from the confines of stuffy history books and political rhetoric and place him in the pulsating and throbbing vernacular space where he continues to live on and be immortalised. This popularity is in the form of catch songs or popular forms of narrative. It is said that "Folklore should be studied as a conception of the world and life in opposition to official conceptions of the world." That is precisely what the author of the book under review seeks to do.

Rules of the game redefined
or all those guys who are searching for the right girl and meaningful relationships, the book The Rules of The Game will surely come handy. The book’s author Neil Strauss strives to give guys the confidence they often lack to have permanent affairs.

A kiss in words
The golden rule of writing love letters is ignored by this gang of professionals, writes Emma Hagestadt
Four-letter Word: New Love Letters
Ed. by Joshua Knelman & Rosalind Porter Chatto & Windus, £312.99.
If the words "Darling Dodi" failed to set your heart aflutter, perhaps this anthology of fictional love letters might. Drafting in the help of 40 professionals – Margaret Atwood, A L Kennedy, Hari Kunzru and Leonard Cohen among them – the co-editors hope to reveal what the "L" word looks like in the 21st century.

Men prefer tear-jerkers
omen prefer stories that seem to be true, while men enjoy fictionalised tear-jerkers where protagonists overcome challenges through sacrifice and bravery, a new study says. The study, findings of which have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, found there is a significant difference in the way men and women react to dramatic entertainment that elicits deep emotional reactions.

Voices from the stage
Randeep Wadehra
Woman consciousness and Indian ethos
Ed Alka Sharma. Omega Publications, New Delhi. Pages: xx+190. Rs 450.
For ages women in India have been simultaneously deified, demonised and damned. She is either a Devi, a she-devil (raakshasi) or a doormat but never human. But, does this sum up her status in the Indian ethos? More important, what is the level of her own awareness regarding the various challenges to her very existence, and her potential to overcome these?

  • Theatre of the streets
    Ed. Sudhanva Deshpande. Jan Natya Manch, N. Delhi, Pages 160. Rs 120

  • The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
    by Himendra Thakur Antarjyoti, New Delhi. Pages xxii+90. Rs 100