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An indentured worker’s journey

This new contribution to diaspora studies maps a woman’s tumultuous passage from India to West Indies »

Impact of migration on Himalayan communities

In the recent years I have travelled in and out of Nepal many times. In the mornings when I return from Kathmandu on a flight to New Delhi, a significant number of my fellow travellers at the airp... »
Chennai: 16/09/2014: The Hindu: oeb: Book Review Column:
Title: Shaping the Discourse. Women's Writings in Bengali Periodicals 1865 - 1947.
Author: Ipshita Chanda and Jayeeta Bagchi.
Publisher: School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University.

Voices of women from colonial Bengal

The purpose of an anthology is often the most important thing about it. The title, 'Shaping the Discourse', describes the light in which the collection of women's writings in Bengali periodicals f... »
THE DURABLE SLUM: — Dharavi and the Right to Stay Put in Globalizing Mumbai: Liza Weinstein; Orient Blackswan, 3-6-752, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad-500029. Rs. 695.

What ails Dharavi’s development

World’s largest slum needs modest plans for its redevelopment, says this eye-opening research work »
WHEN MEDIA GOES TO WAR — Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion and the Limits of Dissent: Anthony Dimaggio; Aakar Books, 28 E, Pocket IV, Mayur Vihar Phase I, Delhi-110091. Rs. 795.

Bending to back the status quo

If the elections are to determine who among the ruling classes are to misrepresent the electorate for a given period of time, the media’s job is to ensure that the process goes on smoothly, withou... »
September 21, 2014

The translation quandary

Ghaus Siwani’s Urdu translation of Persian poetry, Do Aatisha, contains works by 11 Persian masters — Sheikh Fariduddin Attar, Khaqani Sherwani, Nizami Ganjawi, Sheikh Sa’adi Shirazi, Maulan... »
INDIA’S SENTINEL — Select Writings of Air Commodore Jasjit Singh: Edited by Manpreet Sethi, Shalini Chawla; KW Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 4676/21, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110002. Rs. 980.
September 8, 2014

India, Pakistan and nuclear weapons

The global nuclear weapons scene has changed meaningfully over the last decade. After a new government has taken charge in New Delhi, its response to Pakistan has also shown a new facet in calling... »
The Lives of Others; Neel Mukherjee, Random House India, Rs.599.
September 6, 2014

Written with élan

The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee, now on the Booker longlist, is a saga of Bengali upper middle-class life juxtaposed against the Naxal movement of the late 1960s. Sketched on a large... »
The Red Tin Roof, Nirmal Verma (Trans. Kuldip Singh), Ravi Dayal & Penguin India, Rs.299.
September 6, 2014

Crossing linguistic borders

Lest in these speedy times, we forget, dismiss or just think of Nirmal Verma as a writer of bygone days! These novels published as Modern Classics are timely in showcasing them for new readers, es... »
Indians at Herod’s Gate: A Jerusalem Tale, Navtej Sarna, Rupa, Rs.500.
September 6, 2014

Home away from home

Navtej Sarna’s Indians at Herod’s Gate: A Jerusalem Tale is the story of Sheikh Nazir Ansari, a police inspector’s son from Saharanpur who went on to establish Indian Hospice in Jerusalem,... »
Escape Artist; Sridala Swami, Aleph, Rs.195.
September 6, 2014

A whiff of the French existentialists...

Poetry lovers know the thrill of holding a new beautifully produced volume in their hands. Even if the poet is known, you don’t always know what to expect, for a good poet is a chameleon, and her w... »
The Half Mother; Shahnaz Bashir, Hachette, Rs. 295
September 6, 2014

War and peace

The term half widow comes from a deeply inhuman use of state military power by which thousands of men have been picked by the police or the Army in the North-East, in Punjab and now in Kashmir. The... »
Englishh Fictional Dispatches from a Hyperral Nation; Altaf Tyrewala, Penguin, Rs. 450
September 6, 2014

Tales from Mumbai’s underbelly

Altaf Tyrewala’s collection of short stories is mostly about Mumbai’s underbelly and the men and women who inhabit this cruel city. There is nothing likeable about Tyrewala’s Mumbai. The stories ar... »
INSIDE THE SOLID STATE — The Story of Bharat Electronics: S. Krishnan, S. Prabhala, V.K. Koshy; Westland Books Pvt. Ltd., 61, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai-600095. Rs. 1500..
September 8, 2014

The story of a sterling public enterprise

“A more happy case was that of the Versatile Console System (VCS) for naval ships. D. Lakshmi, the first recruited woman engineer of BEL, handled this development and successfully completed it on... »
3 Sections; Vijay Seshadri, HarperCollins India, Rs.299.
September 6, 2014

The square root of minus one

Vijay Seshadri is an Indian-born U.S. poet in his early sixties. After spending his first five years in Bangalore, he moved to the U.S. and grew up in the Midwest, largely in Columbus, Ohio. He has... »
September 6, 2014

Literature as subversion

Misogynist violence seems to be integral to the fabric of our society. The emotional and verbal space is ruthlessly colonised by men so as to evict women into a state of subjugation and silence.»
Navtej Sarna. Photo: V.V. Krishnan
September 6, 2014

Cosmic connections

Navtej Sarna comes across as a man of few words. His body language stays humble during the course of a conversation. But he talks of the past without nostalgia clouding his judgement. His body of w... »
Central Time; Ranjit Hoskote, Penguin, Rs.399.
September 6, 2014

Time travel

Read now. There’s heaven inside these words./Hang on to every line. The heart of this poem will never stop.(written, inspired by Ranjit Hoskote’s ‘Incision’, from Central Time)... »
Jorasanko: The Joined Bridge; Ed. Madan G. Gandhi and Kiriti Sengupta, Poetry Society of India; Rs.230.
September 6, 2014

A reader’s delight

Mangalesh Debral’s compositions are translated by some of the best in the field: Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Sudeep Sen, Daniel Wessbort, Vishnu Khare, Asad Zaidi, Giridhar Rathi and Akhil Katyal. The... »
No Country; Kalyan Ray, Bloomsbury, Rs.599
September 6, 2014

Realistic, riveting

No Country begins with a murder and ends with its solution. From the discovery of the bodies, the tale wanders back in time and space, beginning its intricate weave in Ireland, just before t... »

Amandeep Sandhu, Manjul Bajaj, Manu Joseph and Sonora Jha read from their novels that were shortlisted for The Hindu Prize for Fiction 2013. Ziya Us Salam introduces them and moderates the session. <... »