Walk down Punjab’s history lane
Reviewed by Belu Maheshwari

Punjab: A History From Aurangzeb To Mountbatten 
by Rajmohan Gandhi
Aleph Book Company. 
Pages 432. Rs 695
The history of Punjab has fascinated researchers, political thinkers, sociologists, even the lay person, because of its chequered yet culturally rich past. The Partition of 1947, which was the biggest holocaust and migration ever seen before or afterwards, has fascinated the contemporary world. Why did an Indian state, which was economically prosperous and politically stable, kill the nationalist dream of freedom in unity?

What it takes to be in the big league
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur
Power Play 
by Parinda Joshi,
Fingerprint! Pages 292. Rs 250
being a cricket fan in India is a rollercoaster ride where the exhilaration of victory, the agony of defeat, the glory of trophies and the disgrace of scandals are all part of the experience. India’s love affair with cricket is a rocky relationship as author Parinda Joshi clearly portrays in Power Play. Vivek Grewal finds himself in the familiar predicament of having to watch his favourite team lose. Lose constantly. Lose badly. So much so that they become synonymous with losing and are dubbed the ‘Official Losers of the League’. Tired of feeling the same impotent rage as millions of other viewers, Vivek decides to do something.

Out-of-the-box, original flights of fantasy
Reviewed by Aradhika Sharma
The Three Virgins
by Manjula Padmanabhan,
Zubaan. Pages 250. Rs 499
the most striking feature about Manjula Padmanabhan’s short stories is the imagination of the author. She can get into the skin of the characters and situations you’ve grown up with — Dracula, Ravana, and the Sati pratha — and change them for you forever. It seems like her imagination has a life of its own — darting hither and thither — being fanciful, fearless and free.

Behind the mask
Reviewed by Suresh Kohli
Meena Kumari: The Classic Biography
by Vinod Mehta,
HarperCollins, Pages 248. Rs 350
that’s not what emerges from this "classic biography" that was written when the dust had just about begin to settle in that godforsaken, "most unkempt" Shia cemetery at Rehmata Baug, Mazagaon, Mumbai on that day of March 1972.