A chronicle with a difference
Reviewed by G S Cheema
Poor but Spirited in Karimnagar: Field Notes of a Civil Servant
By Sumita Dawra.
Harper Collins. Pages 281. Rs 350

While going through Sumita Dawra’s Field Notes of a Civil Servant, I was inevitably reminded of my days as a district officer. To my embarrassment, all I could recall were the hours wasted in rest houses waiting for VIPs, the monthly meetings of the district rural development agencies (memorable mainly on account of the lunches served by the lead bank), and tedious court sittings, trying to concentrate on the arguments of advocates. Of course, we did other things too, but I would be hard put to recall any particularly significant or meaningful achievement, certainly nothing memorable, except for the occasional gaffe or blunder, like, for instance, when the stage collapsed under the weight of local notables rushing on to the dais, to sit with the VIP.

A trip down nostalgia lane
Reviewed Parbina Rashid
Voices in the Valley
By Suravi Sharma Kumar.
Rupa. Pages 296. Rs 295 

The 1962 war with China is now part of history but what remains fresh in the collective psyche of the Northeastern people is the comment the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, reportedly made, "My heart goes out to the countrymen in Assam" before leaving them, as it turned out, in the hands of the enemy. 

Capturing an epic’s timeless appeal 
Reviewed by Harbir K Singh
The Mahabharata 
By Shiv K Kumar.
HarperCollins India. Rs 399

The Mahabharata, considered to be one of the greatest epics in the world, is a great work of writing which explores the entire range of human emotions. It delves deep into the psyche of human emotions be it love-hate, lust-vengeance, greed-jealousy, loyalty-betrayal. All types of human emotions and the psyche is portrayed so well and naturally that the epic becomes a human story.

From captivity to freedom
Reviewed by Kanwalpreet

The Woman Who Flew
By Nasreen Jahan, 
Penguin. Pages 360. Rs 399.

Nasreen Jahan, winner of the Philips Literary Award in Bangladesh writes a poignant story of a young girl, Nina who is a small town girl brought up with many siblings amidst poverty. She moves to Dhaka after getting married to Rezaul.Tragedy strikes when she loses her newborn. Fate has further tests stored for her when she divorces her husband, Rezaul and tries to move on in life. Her struggle, as she pushes ahead in life intrigues the reader. 

Soul talk in alien tongue
Reviewed by Abhishek Joshi
Reading Gandhi in Two Tongues and Other Essays
By Tridip Suhrud. 
Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Pages 214. Rs 250 

Describing an incident that is a telling reflection on Mahatma Gandhi's bilingual mode of thought, Tridip Suhrud, in Reading Gandhi in Two Tongues, says he was in South Africa when the Transvaal Government proposed changes in the Asiatic Act. The changes made registration of all Asiatics compulsory and demanded that they submit impressions of all their fingers, a clause seen as humiliating. Describing his response, Gandhi says: "I took the Transvaal Government Gazette Extraordinary of August 22, 1906 in which the Ordinace was published, home from the office. I went up a hill near the house in the company of a friend and began to translate the draft Ordinance into Gujarati."

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