Transforming the Steel Frame : The Tribune India


Transforming the Steel Frame

Transforming the Steel Frame

Transforming the Steel Frame Edited by Vinod Rai. Rupa. Pages 233. Rs 595

Book Title: Transforming the Steel Frame

Author: Vinod Rai

Indian bureaucracy is often referred to as the steel frame for the administration of the country. However, in recent years, it has faced more barbs than accolades for its performance. Curated by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, ‘Transforming the Steel Frame: Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform’ examines the roles and responsibilities of the bureaucracy in modern times. It sets forth a vision of the future through an analysis and review of past attempts at reform, in the process revisiting the strengths of the systems as well as the flaws that prevent its optimal functioning. The book offers an overview of the civil services as they are and, more importantly, as they should be.

The Bandit Queens

by Parini Shroff.
Pages 335. Rs 499

Fiction for her, writes author Parini Shroff, is when research meets compassion. This is why, she believes, facts don’t change people’s minds, but stories do. ‘The Bandit Queens’ is a darkly hilarious tale on gossip, caste, village life, patriarchy and above all, the strength of women in impossible situations. Five years ago, Geeta lost her no-good husband, as in actually lost him — he walked out on her. But in her remote village, rumour has it that she killed him. Being known as a ‘self-made’ widow comes with some perks. No one messes with Geeta. It’s even good for business as no one dares to not buy her jewellery. Shroff’s debut novel is a treat.

The Last Tiger: My Favourite Animal Stories

by Ruskin Bond.
Pages 248. Rs 599

A new collection by Ruskin Bond features the best of animal tales written by him in the last seven decades. The title story introduces a wise and crafty tiger who survives every attempt on his life. There are stories about dangerous encounters in the wild; others bring the wildlife of the Himalayas to vivid, memorable life. The book also features a new story — ‘The Call of the Leopard’. In the ‘Introduction’, the author takes us behind the stories and shares how the animals and birds mentioned in his stories came from his own family and surroundings. ‘The Last Tiger’ promises to thrill, delight, terrify, and entertain Bond’s legions of fans, and all those with an interest in the world of nature.

H for Heritage: Mumbai

by Fiona Fernandez. Illustrations by Sumedha Sah.
Pages 103. Rs 499

In ‘H for Heritage: Mumbai’, author Fiona Fernandez introduces young minds to the metropolitan city’s origins and evolution. Told in an A-Z format, each letter explores an important, unique location, milestone, landmark, or personality. The stories behind the subjects have been turned into pocket-sized accounts and trivia. The author also gives a sneak peek into many unheard-of gems of Mumbai’s famous and infamous, its indigenous and migrant communities, all of whom contributed to its enterprise and eccentricities, and its farsighted thinkers, who had big dreams for the city. The book is a first in a series that will feature other Indian cities as well, all aimed at raising a timely voice about heritage conservation. Discover, explore, be charmed.

Struggle for National Selfhood

by J Nandakumar.
Indus Scrolls Press.
Pages 364. Rs 550

Author J Nandakumar says that a nation that has no consciousness of the past cannot give shape to a great and glorious future. Reclaiming our past and recapturing the Dharmic vision is important for the furtherance of our future, to help us emerge as a confident nation capable of playing its civilisational role, he opines. National convener of Prajna Pravah, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated organisation, Nandakumar surveys the freedom movement from a historical perspective to bring out in detail what he feels was the real motivation of the freedom fighters — to preserve and revitalise the swa consciousness, our national selfhood. The book provides a new template to view the past.