Leaf from history
Reviewed by J. S. Grewal
The Makers of Modern Punjab
By Kirpal Singh and Prithipal Singh Kapur.
Singh Brothers, Amritsar.
Pages xvi + 174. Rs 225.
IN a recent international seminar on "History and Memory" organised by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla, two basic points emerged very forcefully: one, that memory plays an important part in our responses to social situations and two, that oral evidence is a valuable source of history.

Books received: english

Glimpse into a bygone era
Reviewed by Belu Maheshwari
The Begum’s Secret
By A. K. Srikumar.
Penguin. Pages 253. Rs 299.
SET in the late 18th-century Awadh, this work of historical fiction gives the reader a glimpse of an era gone by. The backdrop is Lucknow, the capital of Awadh, a town full of contradictions, hunger and opulence, a Nawab who is liberal and generous with his awam but a bad administrator, intelligent but manipulative begums, discovery of a new culinary preparation which is celebrated as Dum Pukhat even today, but a culture on the wane.

A life lived fully
Reviewed by Aditi Garg
Johnny Gone Down
By Karan Bajaj.
Pages 308. Rs 99.

HAT is happiness? Many will say success, others may say it is having all you want materialistically and yet others may count in the well-being and affection of loved ones. All things that constitute a secured, guarded and confirmed idea of happiness or a path to it.

Tales of simple folks
Reviewed by Parbina Rashid
Legends of the Lepchas: Folk Tales from Sikkim
By Yishey Doma.
Pages 137. Rs 200.

HEN the creator becomes "Mother Creator" and social custom requires a perspective groom to present all sorts of gifts to a girl’s family to win her hand in marriage, you know you have reached the North-East.

Engaging travelogue
Sumit Ahlawat
Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast
By Samanth Subramanian.
Penguin Books.
Pages 184. Rs 250.

INDIA’s 5,700-km-long coastline is one of its most prominent features, the one that gives India its shape on the world map, influences its climate, and has set the terms of its trade, culture and course of its history, and yet, despite all this, little has been written on all these themes, especially if one compares it to the vast amount of literature produced on the great Himalayas, its rivers and inland plains.

General-ly speaking
Chetna Keer Banerjee
Former Army officer-turned-writer Sajita Nair offers insights into gender, generals and garrisons
ebutantE novelist Sajita Nair, who after herself serving in the Army has penned a portrait of military life, seen from the eyes of two women officers in She’s a Jolly Good Fellow, tells about the book, battalions and things beyond:
How has your book been received by both men and women in the Forces? Any gender comments it has elicited?

What’s in a phrase!
S. Raghunath

WHEN the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) slapped a show-cause notice on Indian Premier League (IPL) Chairman Lalit Modi and followed it up with a dismissal order, an incensed Modi charged it with "adding insult to injury".

Back of the book
Pleasures, pilferers and a princess
The Pleasure Seekers
By Tishani Doshi.
Penguin. Rs 499.

  • The Thing about Thugs
    By Tabish Khair.
    HarperCollins. Rs 299.

  • The Crimson Throne
    By Sudhir Kakar.
    Penguin. Rs 450.

  • Lost Princess of Coorg
    By C.P. Belliappa.
    Rupa & Co. Rs 295.