Synapses of the brain
Reviewed by Roopinder Singh
Em and the Big Hoom
Jerry Pinto. Aleph, New Delhi. Pages 235. Rs 495.
SHE called him Mambo, and Augie, but almost never by his given name, Augestine. He called her Imelda, which was her name, and sometimes, Beloved. The author calls her Em and him Hoom. The lived in Bombay, in Mahim in the last decades of the 1900s. They loved each other deeply, and were, in turn, adored by their children.

Unravelling Kashmir's kidnapping story
Reviewed by Manisha Gangahar
The Meadow
By Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark Penguin. Rs 499; Pages: 510
Locating answers in Kashmir is more than an ordeal, one can't help but get lost on the way. In fact, even asking the right questions become quite a task in the conflict zone, where words are loaded with meanings that go beyond their literal denotations. The Meadow is then a feat, for it not only asks appropriate questions but reaches out to a few answers as well.

The solo player
Teaching students at the National School of Drama the art of making solos, actor Maya Rao tells them to start with nothing and tap into their inner consciousness
Nonika Singh
great idea is often born out of emptiness, solitude and nothingness. And eminent theatre person Maya Krishna Rao often enough locks herself in an empty room, looks within and presto a performance takes birth. Just like a painter who sits before a blank canvas and knows not which direction his or her brush will take, she lets her inner self guide her. Thus a newspaper report, a piece of poetry, a line she overheard becomes the trigger to the magical world of creation.

Empowering the rural poor of the world
Reviewed by D S Cheema
Target 3 Billion, PURA, Innovative Solutions towards Sustainable Development
By Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh. Penguin Books. Pages 298. Rs 299
Amartya Sen notes that the connotation of universal language that claims to embrace all, especially the marginalised and the poor of the world, can be traced 200 years back when in 1790s two writers Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Paine wrote, "It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world."

Disturbing encounters
Reviewed by Ram Varma
Beautiful Country, Stories from Another India
By Syeda Hameed & Gunjan Veda. Harper Collins, India. Pages 365. Rs 399.
Syeda Hameed, a member of that esoteric, charmed circle called the Planning Commission, took occasional sorties into "remote corners, sparsely inhabited places, crowded urban spaces and ghettos of India," to see for herself the outreach of our national plans and projects. She took her OSD, a young journalist Gunjan Veda, along with her on these journeys of discovery.

Journey from figures to verses
Shayad Yaheen Se Ho, a collection of Urdu poems and ghazals symbolises the journey of R Satyanarayan, the CEO to Satya 'Muasir', the poet. The book has been published in three scripts — Urdu, Roman and Devnagri
Vandana Shukla
O begin with, it defied logic. A "Madrasi entrepreneur" coming up with a book of Urdu poetry. So, one was forced to take note of it, beyond the novelty of the idea to discover that the ‘foreward’ is written by none other than Dr Karan Singh who lavishes praise on the entrepreneur's poetic gifts expressed in Urdu, a language associated with antiquity and leisure.

Time to sing a different toon?
Simon Usborne
little over a year from now, Epic will arrive at cinemas. How do we know? Because 20th Century Fox has just issued a press release. It devotes a a forest, has to save the world) but several more to announcing its ‘Epic’casting.

Bloggers meet offline
HE air was abuzz with tech talk as more than 250 bloggers came together Sunday for the IndiBlogger meet in the capital. They shared Twitter handles instead of visiting cards, clicked pictures with their smartphones and tablets, and blogged about the evening using their Blackberries.

short takes
A polymath, poet and chic-lit