Nationalistic uprising
Vijay Saihgal
The Untold Story of 1857: A War of Civilisations
Rupa. Pages 2057(2 volumes). Rs 2,500.
Some may call it a civil rebellion or ‘sepoy mutiny’, the eventful year of 1857 was no less than First War of Independence. History speaks for itself. The recently concluded 150th anniversary of 1857 has seen a spate of researched articles and books on the subject. Till now, very few books were available on the topic by Indian authors, especially those which depicted the Indian point of view or put the events in right perspective. Some British authors have tried to explain 1857 ethos through their writings.

Books received

How they became icons
Himmat Singh Gill
Trailblazers of Gujarat
Kamlendra Kanwar, Harmony Publishers, Pages 270. Rs 495.
Some were originally from Gujarat while others like Verghese Kurien, who hailed from Kerala and who made India the largest producer of milk in the world, never went back and made the state their permanent home—all big names in their own right and considered role models and icons not only in Gujarat but the entire country.

Gripping exploits
Aradhika Sharma
The Conch Bearer
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Roli. Pages 265. Rs 295.
It was two different wishes led Divakaruni into writing The Conch Bearer. One was to create a story for her two sons two boys to enjoy and brag about. The other was, "in post 9/11 America, to give the children of this country a book with Indian characters—foreign, strange, brown skinned characters—a boy and a girl that seem very different from them but turn out, in their hopes and fears, not to be that different after all`85.

Salim Ali’s mark
Lt Gen (retd) Baljit Singh
N the Headquarters Western Command Library at Chandimandir recently, I chanced upon a book, A Company of Birds, by Loke Wan Tho, published in January 1958. It was the kind which you quickly want to take home, drop down on your favourite reading chair and then open one page at a time, deliberately.

Harry Potter prequel fetches £ 25,000
n 800-word hand-written story by bestselling author J.K. Rowling, which she describes as a prequel to the Harry Potter boy wizard books, sold for 25,000 pounds ($ 49,000) at a charity auction recently. Thirteen writers and illustrators donated original short stories on notebook-sized pieces of card to Waterstone’s book store chain which sold them to benefit English PEN, which champions freedom of expression, and Dyslexia Action.

Threats & opportunities
Sridhar K. Chari
India’s National Security — Annual Review 2007
Ed. Satish Kumar. KW Publishers. Pages 654. Rs 1395
Any broad-based review of national security would be a fairly sobering exercise, given the security environment that India finds herself in. And so it is with this volume, India’s National Security, Annual Review 2007, released earlier this year. The book is invaluable in helping both specialist and lay reader gain an appreciation of the issues that are shaping India’s destiny.

Cops, corruption and chaos
Aditi Garg
Families at home
by Reeti Gadekar. Harper Collins. Pages 266. Rs. 295
Power comes with the privilege of rising above the mundane. One can easily choose to select what affects them and what doesn’t. A diligent person could direct that power towards supporting the less worthy, but the choice between self-augmentation and helping others is not always that simple. Working in a system based on rigid hierarchy it starts seeming a better idea to flow with the system and its corruptions, than try and change it and be a sore in everyone’s backs.

Remembering Prof Harbans Singh
Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh
here surely is a close bond between a reader and author, and reading, as we all know, is much more than just a cerebral process. But when the writer happens to be one’s own father, the text becomes a more powerful medium, and the author-reader relationship acquires a greater intimacy.

Different hues of poetry
Randeep Wadehra
Hues of Sienna
by Partho Sengupta. Writers Workshop, Kolkata. Pages 73. Rs 100
A poet creates his own world, ensconces himself in its folds while taking a look at life in the real world. Thus, in the poem, A Jungle Journal, Sengupta says, "Over the waves of pain that pierce the heart/The notes take over and I am a part/Of that which is the universe; it is mine/I am; and there is life, there is day, the sun will shine".

  • Khilvat

  • Twenty-first century challenges to public management

100 books for boys
inisters in the UK have recommended a list of spy books, comics, thrillers and ghost stories for primary schools to encourage more boys to take up reading for fun. The recommended selection is aimed at five to 11-year-olds who spend more time playing computer games than reading a book.