Soaring high
Reviewed by Vijay Mohan
The Black Archers: Illustrated History of No. 47 Squadron
by Pushpindar Singh.
Society for Aerospace Studies, New Delhi.
Pages 100. Price not mentioned.
FEW squadrons have the distinction of being the first to fly a foreign-made fighter aircraft outside its country of origin. So, when IAF’s No. 47 Squadron re-equipped with the MiG-29 in 1987, it marked the beginning of a new era in air dominance operations over the sub-continent.

Bleak view of life in prison
Reviewed by Kanwalpreet
Women, Crime and Prison Life
by Madhurima.
Deep and Deep.
Pages 244. Rs 990.

PRISON, the hitherto forgotten places in our society, a forsaken place where people who committed crimes were relegated to the background. Even today, prisoners and undertrials live in such pathetic conditions that human rights are a far cry from their lives.

Insights into mainstream cinema
Reviewed by Rachna Singh
Melodrama and the Nation: Sexual Economies of Bombay Cinema
by Karen Gabriel.
Women Unlimited Publications.
Pages 392. Rs 595.

OLLYWOOD, despite its numerically stunning 245 annual film releases, has been peripheral to academic concerns. The song-dance sequences, the macho super hero, the melodramatic content and comic relief of mainstream cinema did not appeal to a majority of film scholars as subject matter for cinematic discourses. Karen Gabriel in her book Melodrama and the Nation rectifies this disjunction between scholars of cinema and the popular cinema of Bollywood.

Sad saga of failures
Reviewed by Rajbir Deswal
If I could Tell you
by Soumya Bhattacharya.
Pages 200. Rs 350.
THIS book is a telling tale of failures galore. Failed childhood. Failed manhood. Failed aspirations. Failed promises. Failed matrimony. Failed parenthood. Failed calculations. The hero’s lament "F***ing New India. It made, and then unmade me" appropriates it aptly, for he suffers all this and much more, with the killer blow of the 2008 Share Market crash, when he finally "decides".

An emotional roller coaster 
Reviewed by Manmeet Sodhi
Nothing can be as Crazy …
by Ajay Mohan Jain.
Pages 242. Rs 95.
CASHING in on the trend of ‘career novels’, Ajay Mohan Jain has successfully churned out quite an engaging novel. An alumnus of IIT, Kanpur, the author has once again proved that IITians, in addition to being cerebral and earning millions across the world, can write a book also!

Epic engagement
Humra Quraishi
Sahitya Akademi awardee Chaturvedi Badrinath talks of his prize-winning work and more
HATURVEDI BADRINATH, who has bagged the Sahitya Akademi award (English language category) for The Mahabharata – An Inquiry In The Human Condition, is a former civil servant. He was in the Tamil Nadu cadre of the Indian Administrative Service from 1957 to 1989.

Crown confidential
Shree Venkatram
Shrabani Basu’s new book tells the tale of Queen Victoria’s Indian confidante
nearthing pieces of history and then offering them to readers in the form a gripping book seems to be a tough job. And if one happens to be a busy correspondent of The Telegraph in London besides being a mother of two growing children, how does one find the time to pen not one but three epic books, each blended with exhaustive details from the past?

Graphic detail
Madhusree Chatterjee
Graphic novels find a toehold, with a Bollywood twist
raphic novels, the illustrated avatar of the conventional storybook, are gradually making their presence felt in the country, offering a wider bouquet of Indian and foreign titles and even roping in Bollywood filmmakers for racy scripts.