best and the mediocre
Tejwant Singh Gill
The Oxford India Anthology of
Modern Urdu Literature (Vols. I & II)
Ed. Mehr Afsan Farooqi. OUP. Pages 325 and 349. Rs 795 each.
volumes comprise selections of modern Urdu literature in English
translation, including 130 authors, covering a span of almost 150 years.
Mehr Afshan Farooqi, Professor of South Asian Literature at the
University of Virginia, USA, has edited both the volumes. The selection
of writings is indeed judicious. Though translation is good, some poetic
pieces need to be replenished.
Dreams Die Young
by C. V. Murali. Frog Books. Pages 95. Rs 145.
makes a terrorist? Is it a consequence of some kind of a despair rising
out of the system? Is it a ramification of the pitilessness, deafness on
part of the higher section of the society that aggravates the sense of
incompatibility with the social structure? These are some of the
pertinent questions that Murali’s debut novella, Dreams Die Young poses.
of a young faith
History of Sikh Gurus Retold
by Surjit Singh Gandhi. Atlantic, New Delhi. Pages 1,171. Rs 2,100 (set)
aptly-titled two-volume set devoutly retells the history of Sikh Gurus
by garnering material from rare sources—secondary Persian, English and
old primary Punjabi, etc. These sources are significant for updating
missing historical gaps. Although these helped the author to
authenticate prevalent traditions and legends, their historicity is not
established. It doesn’t give the objective picture of the Gurus’
teachings and their lives. The Gurus had historical sense, which is the
singular contribution to the Indian history.
B. S. Thaur
Itehas Riasat Jind
by Krishan Betab. Mahan Printers, Sangrur. Pages 134. Rs 600.
book discusses the history of one of the Phulkian dynasty states, Jind,
the other being Patiala and Nabha. All these princely states along with
the states of Faridkot, Kapurthala and Nalagarh were made into one unit
with the nomenclature of Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) in
We the People of India: A Story
of Gangland Democracy
by Maloy Krishna Dhar. Vitasta, New Delhi. Pages X+443. Rs 395.
Sarthi, the protagonist
in the novel, muses: "I liked to deactivate the stinking system by
entering into it and immobilising its components from within." To
accomplish this mission and to oust the Bharti family that has been
ruling India for 60 years, he raises, through his political training, R.
K. Dharmi from the status of a billionaire fish-seller to the office of
the Prime Minister.
the razor’s edge
Tabish Khair’s Essays on Moderation and Mayhem
Compiled & edited by Renu Kaul Verma Vitasta Publishing. Pages 302.
first thing that puts this lucid collection of essays apart is
the sincerity that shines through. There are no attempts to obfuscate
issues, use complex arguments or jargon to confound the reader. It is
this honesty that marks Tabish Khair’s writing as does the careful,
rather cautious, use of language. He uses words with discretion and it
is the predominance of reason, and not passion, that defines this
anthology of 34 essays. He was born into a Muslim family at Gaya in
Bihar and belonged within the community of Indian Muslims to a large
minority, the middle class professional.
should hold their heads high’
comes as a surprise when noted writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana tells us
that she takes no more than five to six days to write a novel.`A0 But
then, the intensity she portrays through words has its root in the
writer, who writes only when she feels strongly about something and
throughout the process is completely`A0 absorbed in her characters,
thinks of them, dreams of them and, writes about them.
of Babur strikes a chord
Dipankar De Sarkar
leader Salman Khurshid says he hopes his recently-written play on
Mughal history will lead to the return of the remains of India’s last
Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Khurshid, former minister of state
for external affairs, was speaking at a launch and reading of his play, Sons
of Babur, in London. An emotional and dramatic reading in Urdu by
former BBC presenter Pervez Alam was followed by queries from the
audience on Bahadur Shah Zafar, who spent his last days in Myanmar after
being exiled by the British for his role in the 1857 uprising.
politics, and at its receiving end
Reservations for women
edited by Meena Dhanda; series
editor: Rajeswari Sundar Rajan
Women Unlimited & Kali for Women.
Pages: xl+390. Rs 600
decides a more hospitable political space for women? If it is
education and socio-economic emancipation then women in the West should
have been better off than those in, say, Asia – which is not the case.
If democracy is the enabling force then it is bemusing to note that
women in Pakistan and China enjoy better representation than their
sisters in India.
by BS Thapliyal.
Selective & Scientific
Books, N. Delhi. Pages 241. Rs 295
by Kumar Pankaj & Ayushma
Diamond Books. Pages 176.