Reviewed by Uttam
India China: Neighbours Strangers
Edited by Ira Pande.
HarperCollins (a joint venture with India Today Group & India
Pages 455. Rs 699.
anthology is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the
relationship between India and China. Will the Chinese dragon and the
Indian elephant dance together or will they remain rivals and destroy
one or each other is the fascinating question that is sought to be
addressed in this anthology of over 30 essays. The volume, by
coincidence or design, has been published on the 60th anniversary this
year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two
Reviewed by V. Eshwar
Before Memory Fades: An
Fali S. Nariman
Hay House India. Pages 459. Rs 599
country is perhaps as lucky as India in having a galaxy of legal
luminaries. If C.K. Daphtary, H.M. Seervai and Nani A. Palkhivala were
all jurists par excellence in their lifetime, Fali S. Nariman is no
less. He has proven his legal acumen and scholarship over the past four
Reviewed by Nonika Singh
Made in India:
Adventures of a Lifetime
By Biddu. HarperCollins. Pages 252. Rs 399.
the lilting song Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye that had
the whole nation rocking or the equally delightful Made in India sung
by the original Indipop singer Alisha Chinai. Well, now meet the man
behind the music—Biddu. Today Biddu may not exactly be a household
name in India, yet at least these two songs have ensured why you should
read about him. Certainly, there are many more reasons why his
delectable autobiography deserves your attention—it is written in
engaging, racy and enchantingly simple and readable manner. In fact, the
story of Biddu and his ride to success almost coincides with India’s
coming of age.
Reviewed by Rajbir Deswal
Tales from the Bench and
By Vicaji J. Taraporevala
Penguin Books. Pages 168. Rs 350.
present compilation by octogenarian advocate of Bombay High Court Vicaji
J. Taraporevala is a treasure house of wit, humour and repartee,
tickling funny bone material, sizzling satire and naughty commentary on
the otherwise perceived dull ambience in the courts of law. The drabness
of the transactions in courts has in this handy volume been projected as
enlivened, to be experienced with a punch of honest to the core
quibbling; sometimes by the judges and at others, the lawyers; sometimes
by the litigants and at others, the accused.
saint of saints
Reviewed by Kuldip Dhiman
The Sadhaka of Dakshineswar
By Amiya P. Sen.
Penguin/Viking. Pages 178. Rs 325.
are many paths to God realisation, such as the path of bhakti
(devotion), jnana (knowledge), karma (action), etc., and
Hinduism does not favour any particular path. The idea is the seeker
ought to choose the path according to his own nature and disposition.
The irony is that the follower of one particular path often finds other
paths worthless or even harmful, that is because he just cannot
appreciate the other viewpoint. And this is the cause of all the
religious strife the world over.
Reviewed by Julian Hall
Portrait of an Addict as
a Young Man
By Bill Clegg.
Cape. Pages 240. £312.99.
if you consider many accounts of middle-class drug addiction as tending
towards a self-imposed mess, you’d be hard pressed not to be
captivated by the prose of Bill Clegg, a fallen angel (now
redeemed—not least by this book) of the New York literary scene.
Clegg’s memoir of his crack-fuelled fall from grace, which has seen
him momentarily rotate through 180 degrees from agent to author, is
beautifully measured and adroitly paced (thanks in small part to the
simple ploy of generous space between paragraphs), mixing a
matter-of-fact eye for detail with just enough emotion to unsettle and
suspect that every newspaper editor or a magazine and book
publisher receives a large volume of mail from disappointed contributors
whose last "piece" has been brusquely rejected.
of the book
miracles and masters
The Begum's Secret
by A.K. Srikumar Penguin. Rs.299.
Lucknow, the year 1784 might have passed as its predecessor,
unsung and cheerless, but for a significant piece of news. A messenger
from Calcutta announced the arrival of the Laat Sahib, or the British
Viceroy of India. The people of the fetid capital of Awadh by the Gomti
river were invigorated. It meant employment.
by Manu Joseph
HarperCollins. Rs 499.
A Masterful Spirit
by Homi J.Bhabha Penguin. Rs.1,299.
by Mitali Perkins HarperCollins. Rs.199.
by Dibyendu Palit Penguin. Rs.150.
by Namita Devidayal Random House. Rs.399.
Miracle on the 17th
by James Patterson
Hachette Books. Rs.1,161.
by Kishore Pillai
Indialog Publications. Rs.195.