OFf the shelf
The magnificent Sikh kingdom
Reviewed by V. N. Datta
The Last Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar
By Amarinder Singh.
Roli Books. Pages XIX + 347. Rs 695.

T is indeed a fascinating theme for a practising historian to study and write on the rise and fall of a kingdom. The subject of "fallen greatness" has an immense imaginative appeal, and strikes instinctively a pliant chord with the reader.

Books received: english

Tribute to ‘Queen of Hills’
Reviewed by Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu
Whispering Deodars: Writings from Shimla Hills
Ed. Minakshi Chaudhry.
Pages 255. Rs 295.
SHIMLA has long been at the forefront of India’s colonial history, largely credited to its beautiful landscape and cool environs. A small town rich with events, architecture and memories, Shimla still hasn’t lost its enviable charm.

Feminist perspectives
Reviewed by Neel Kamal Puri
The Story Retold: Selected Stories
By Alka Saraogi. Trans. Vandana R. Singh
Penguin Books.
Pages 168. Rs 199.

ALKA Saraogi’s The Tale Retold (originally in Hindi) is as much about the tale which is waiting to be told as it is about the story grappling with its own narrative structure. The cleverly innovative structure can become an integral part of a story, an additive to its essential flavour.

Spooky tale
Reviewed by Ravia Gupta
Maria’s Room
By Shreekumar Varma.
Pages 324. Rs 299.

THERE are voices asking him where he is going. There are those that ask him to leave Goa. There are voices that laugh in his face and others that sob uncontrollably. Once, in the dark of a powerless dusk, he sits in candlelight, trying to get on with his story. He hears a soft voice full of mischief: "Come, let’s dance. Let’s rush out of the window and dance!"

Of life and nature
Reviewed by Ramesh Luthra
The Dreaming House
by Tanya Mendonsa.
Pages 136. Rs 299.

THIS anthology is a beautiful bouquet of poems in alluring hues and shades. It displays a mind that is quite mature, spiritually inclined and extremely in love with the soil, rivers, sounds of birds and colours of flowers. Rightly can the collection be termed as "a journey both spiritual and geographical".

Of snarls, suspense and separatism
Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra
Tsunami on Roads: Wake up India 
by Dr Sanjay Kulshrestha.
Conscious Citizens.
Pages 207. Rs 250.

  • The Unprofessional Photographer
    by Ratinder Jhaj.
    Frog Books.
    Pages 107. Rs 125.

  • The Punjab Crisis: Student’s Perspective
    by Mohammed Jameel.
    Pages xiii+225. Rs 495.

Making of Maruti
A new book, The Maruti Story, tells the tale of India's original people's car
It has dominated the Indian passenger car market for over two decades as the original people's automobile in India. Now, the person who has been at the helm of this iconic project shares how Maruti 800 arrived, braving all roadblocks.

Going places
Nonika Singh
CHAL Buleya hun othe chaleeye, jithe hovan anhe, no koi saadi jaat pachaane, na koi saanu manne (Roughly translated, it means let us move to a new place where no one knows us or salutes our mettle). It is this philosophical wisdom of Sufi saint Bulle Shah that prompted eminent artist Prem Singh to find new moorings 10 years ago.