Caught in the middle
Reviewed by Parshotam Mehra
Maoist and Other Armed Conflicts
By Anuradha M. Chenoy and Kamal A. Mitra Chenoy.
Penguin. Pages vi + 320. Rs 350.
Among the myriad problems New Delhi is up against on the domestic front, one of the most crucial, if also challenging, is the scourge of armed conflicts which by definition are neither area nor region specific. Though Punjab nearer home and the relatively distant Mizoram are peaceful today, both have been through a rough patch not so very long ago. Today’s conflicts in Jammu and Kashmir, the northeast as well as the Naxalite-affected regions in Bengal, Bihar, Chhatisgarh et al claim not only precious lives but retard development and arrest the normal functioning of civil society.

Meetings with remarkable individuals
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur
Leading Ladies: Women who Inspire India
By Sudha Menon. Fortytwo Bookz Galaxy. Pages 422. Rs 295.
We spent our childhood enthralled by tales of heroes and heroines; their quests, trials and victories. It is one of those things that unite man, our preoccupation and fascination with larger-than-life figures. Leading Ladies by Sudha Menon recreates that magic with these real-life accounts of achievements, so grand that mere fiction seems dull by comparison. These are fables for adults as the success of these ladies inspires us to find their qualities in ourselves. This book answers those often asked questions, what makes achievers who they are and how they do what they do.

Victims of divorce
Reviewed by Aradhika Sharma
by Manju Kapur. Random House. Pages 415. Rs 450.
"Children from divorced families don’t follow the same rules as regular children — they grow up much faster and have seen insecurity and strife too early in life. You can’t apply the same parameters to them as you can to your own children, who are safe and warm and cherished."
I remember my divorced friend saying this with quiet sadness and a heavy hearted conviction when a lady in our group was giving her gyan on how to ‘handle’ her kids.

Insights into global trade
Reviewed by Satish Kapoor
International Trade: Text and Cases
By P. K. Vasudeva. Excel Books. Pages 512. Rs 395.
This book gives detailed information on the external trade performance of 153 countries in terms of overall trends in current value, volume, and price: the importance of trading partners and the significance of individual commodities imported and exported.

Struggle against discrimination
Reviewed by Kanwalpreet
The Pale King
By David Foster Wallace. Hamish Hamilton. Pages 547. £ 20.
The downtrodden in every society have to wage a war at local, national and at international levels. The struggle passes through various phases; it mellows down at times and intensifies at other times. New allies are formed and new opportunities are explored to attain equality and justice. This is what this book aims to record.

Guiding force for Gen Next
Annam Suresh
Ekla chalo (march alone);
Choto pakhi chandana, (where the mind is without fear)
Strains from Rabindranath Tagore echo in the virtual world even today, nurtured to immortality by a large, thriving heterogeneous online community, comprising dozens of groups and fora, actively exchanging notes and discussing Tagore — appropriate for a man who hated borders and divisions and saw the whole world as one large, tolerant unit that encouraged coexistence of diverse cultures and beliefs.

Writer of the world
The Tagore Centre in London has a library of the poet’s complete works in Bengali. Many of these are available in English, Urdu, German and Russian translations, reports Shoma A. Chatterji
t Alexandra Park Road in London stands the main office of the Tagore Centre, founded in May 1985, to spread the message of Rabindranath Tagore’s contribution to literature, art, drama, music and philosophy. It has a branch in Glasgow, and apart from a well-stocked lending library of Tagore’s works, the centre organises seminars, conferences and cultural programmes. "One of our biggest achievements has been to secure Tagore’s work in the national curriculum for schools in England and Wales, ensuring that children of all cultures are able to enjoy Tagore’s work and life," says present chairperson Kalyan Kundu.

Urdu Book Review
Empathy, introspection and the sardonic eye
Reviewed by Amar Nath Wadehra
Dard ki Fasal
by Krishan Betab Educational Publishing House. Pages: 104. Rs. 100
Duniya nay tajarbato-havadis kee shakal mein
Jo kuchch mujhay diya hai lauta raha hoon main
(Whatever the world has given to me by way of experiences and accidents, I am returning the same) — Sahir Ludhianavi
Invariably, pain sets off a range of emotions leading to actions that may prove to be cathartic. This collection of 14 stories portrays human beings in variegated situations with pain-induced reaction as the conspicuous undercurrent.