love for Maximum City
Michael Edison Hayden
often wondered. Why must a story begin at the beginning?" starts
Sharada Dwivedi’s novella The Broken Flute. "Why can it
not start from the end?" But despite her untimely death early last
month, the end of Dwivedi’s own story has still not yet fully been
written. Such is the case with any author who leaves behind a collection
of work that will long outlast her own life. Writing must be pored over.
It must be discussed. Therefore, in approaching the still-unfinished
legacy of one of India’s most accomplished historians, it might be
better to start not at a beginning or end, but a symbolic aside, a point
that describes not the work she did, but what it represented.
other side of
Reviewed by Aruti Nayar
Agnostic Khushwant There is no
by Khushwant Singh with Ashok Chopra. Hay House. Pages 245. Rs 299
is not vintage Khushwant Singh of wine, women and risqué humour.
Neither are there any digs and asides that leave a lot to imagination.
There is no double entendre and stress on sex and sexuality,
another Khushwant-defining feature. On offer is a well-written book that
is immensely informative. Agnostic Khushwant. There is no God! is
an easy read about the different religions—-Sikhism, Islam and
Buddhism. With great skill and dexterity, he unravels the complex
philosophy underlying religions in a lucid style which is readable. The
book has been divided into 14 chapters for a macroscopic view on various
aspects of different religions, their scriptures and even internecine
problems that beset religions and their practitioners.
is food for their soul
a part of the ongoing commemoration of the 150th birth
anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the Sangeet Natak Akademi,
the apex body of performing arts in India, has conferred the one-time
honour of Akademi Rattan and Akademi Puruskar awards to maestros in the
realms of art. The honour, to be presented by the President of
India shortly, carries a purse of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively,
besides a citation, shawl and memento. The following awardees have got
Akademi Rattan awards.
book on North-East
Reviewed by Parbina
The Judgement That Never Came: Army Rule in North-East India
by Nandita Haksar and Sebastian M Hongray. Chicken Neck. Pages 380. Rs
14, 2004—In a most unusual protest, some 40 women stripped
naked and staged an angry demonstration in front of the Assam Rifles
base at Imphal, Manipur, shouting slogans, "Indian Army rape
us", "Indian Army take our flesh." They were protesting
against the alleged rape, torture and custodial death of Thangjam
Manorama by the Indian Army.
for gendered progress
Reviewed by Rajesh Kumar
Harvesting Feminist Knowledge
for Public Policy: Rebuilding Progress
by Devaki Jain and Diane Elson, jointly published by International
Development Research Centre and Sage, New Delhi. Pages 347. Rs 795
book corroborates historically and empirically, the fact that ,
it is often women who bear the bruntwhen an economic crisis hits. The 14
essays in the book draw attention towards growing gender inequalities
under the ‘triple crises’ of food, fuel and finance, besides
pointing out the crises of water, energy, climate change and women’s
unpaid care work.
curses and elixirs
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur
Bali and the Ocean of Milk
by Nilanjan P. Chowdhury. Harper Collins. Pages 306. Rs 199.
epics Mahabharata and Ramayana have captured the
hearts and minds of generations. They have inspired numerous
reimagining’s and retellings. Bali and the Ocean of Milk by
Nilanjan P. Chowdhury is the latest in a long line of such works.
lives than one
Reviewed by Ruth Vanita
The Women’s Movement In India: Making A Difference
Edited by Ritu Menon. Women Unlimited. Pages 386 . Rs 350
a decade, I unwittingly followed Virginia Woolf’s advice to
women writers, by leading the life of a secular nun, celibate, putting
most of my earnings into Manushi, with virtually no personal or
social life, working for a cause not related in any immediate way to my
own being. I did a lot of writing in Manushi anonymously or using
pseudonyms. My main pleasures were writing verse, reading and conversing
with friends, who were colleagues either at college or at Manushi.