Pearl of wisdom
Jyoti Singh
Bahudha and the Post 9/11 World
by Balmiki Prasad Singh. Oxford University Press. Pages 370. Rs 745.
THE fundamental issue facing the world today is unbeatably, "How to live?" or more appropriately "How we all ought to live?" This crucial question finds an answer in the volume under review. Drawing upon the ancient Indian philosophical concept of Bahudha—Pluralism—the dominant strain in the volume reflects the attitude of modern civilisation.

Books received: Hindi

In defence of faith
A.J. Philip
The Delusion Of Disbelief
David Aikman. Tyndale House Publishers. Pages 250. $16.50.
ATHEISM is as old as Charvaka maharshi whose philosophy focused on sense perception and matter. He propounded the theory that matter is the only reality and perception through the senses the only method of gaining knowledge. The all-encompassing Hinduism accepted atheism as another strand of faith like monotheism and polytheism. Few realise that Buddhism is essentially based on the belief that God is non-existent.

Delightful romp
Deepika Gurdev
Almost Single
by Advaita Kala. HarperCollins India. Pages 284. Rs 195.
ON my recent visit to Chandigarh, I had to put my well-planned reading list aside because a cover had caught my attention at a book depot in the city. It showed a woman in a rather corporate looking maroon saree teamed with red Reebok shoes. It immediately commanded attention. Would this be one of those covers created just to sell?

A flight of fancy
Ivninderpal Singh
One Afternoon
by Roma Bansal. Rupa & Co. Pages 250. Rs 195.
Relationships are defined by social norms and values. And those, which don’t conform to social order, are looked down upon and social actions come into play to ‘force’ the ‘offenders’ to fall in line. The story revolves around a relationship between two women who never come out in the open to challenge society and in the end part ways.

Dylan code deciphered
Amarinder Sandhu
Viva Santiago
by Colin Fernandes. Penguin. Pages 137. Rs 199.
VIVA Santiago tells the story of Alonso Gonzalez and his family settled in Goa. Alonso’s maverick grandfather is the central character and the story revolves around him and his doings. The opening sentence of the book sums up grandpa’s philosophy: "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a well-preserved body; rather, to slide in sideways, Mojito in one hand, Mary Jane in the other, screaming Whoo! What a ride!"

Resurgent city
Madhusree Chatterjee
The Untold Charminar: Writings on Hyderabad
Ed. Syeda Imam. Penguin. Rs 399.
Edited by former "ad-woman" Syeda Imam, The Untold Charminar: Writings on Hyderabad is an anthology on a city that was once ruled by the world's richest man - the Nizam. And its essays sure shine like the twinkling jewels in his treasury. Hyderabad after all bequeathed to the world some of the most legendary diamonds that the Indian royalty has ever seen - the Orloff, the Jacob, the Hope, the Great Moghul, the Taj-e-Mah and the Darya-i-Noor, mined from the famous pits of Golconda.

Four Indians in Man Asian Prize long list
OUR Indian authors have found a place in the long list of the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize 2008. All four Indians authors were published by Penguin, a statement from the publisher said Thursday. The long list of the prize was announced July 22 and there are 21 writers on this list this year.

Love through letters
Andy McSmith
HERE is a scene in the film Sex and the City that has sent its mostly female fans crowding into bookshops, only to emerge empty-handed. Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, is lying in bed next to her lover, Mr Big (Chris Noth), reading extracts from an interesting-looking book called Love Letters of Great Men.

Punjabi Review
Epic endeavour
B. S. Thaur

  • Mahabharat de Atharan Kuknoos
    by B. S. Bir. Page 128. Rs 135.

  • Malwai Gidda or Mardan da Gidda
    by Dalbar Singh. Pages 144. Rs 150.