Mathematical tricks

Fool your friends; baffle your buddies; and perplex your parents with dozens of amazing tricks. Each of these fascinating feats appears to be the work of magical forces, but their true secret lies in mathematical manipulations. Correctly guess the age of any volunteer. Startle a stranger with knowledge about his or her life. Read minds, make accurate predictions, perform lightning-quick calculations, and demonstrate seemingly mystical powers of memory. Perform extraordinary effects with cards, dice, pencil and paper (and occasionally a calculator).

In all of these tricks, the mathematical principle is well-concealed, and in many of them the use of numbers isn’t even suspected.

For each trick, an explanation of why it works is included to help you understand the principle behind it as well as to enable you to make your own variations or to develop other tricks on your own.

The Magical Math Book Bob Longe Rs. 40

Historical choas

Nation-states often shape the boundaries of historical enquiry, and thus silence the very histories that have sutured nations to territorial states. ‘India’ and ‘Pakistan’ were drawn onto maps in the midst of Partition’s genocidal violence and one of the largest displacements of people in the twentieth century.

Yet this historical specificity of decolonisation on the very making of a nationalized cartography of modern South Asia has largely gone unexamined.

In this remarkable study based on more than two years of ethnographic and archival research, Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar argues that the combined interventions of the two postcolonial states were enormously important in shaping these massive displacements.

She examines the long, contentious, and ambivalent process of drawing political boundaries and making distinct nation-states in the midst of this historic chaos.

Zamindar crosses political and conceptual boundaries to bring together oral histories with north Indian Muslim families divided between the two cities of Delhi and Karachi with extensive archival research in previously unexamined Urdu newspapers and government records of India and Pakistan.

The Long Partition And the Making of Modern South Asia Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar Rs. 495

A tale of vengeance

From the highly acclaimed author of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon and Hunting Midnight comes a sweeping tale of persecution, devotion and vengeance in colonial Goa. By the time the 16th century was drawing to a close in the Portuguese colony of Goa, the Catholic Inquisition was making excellent progress. ‘Sorcerers’ – whether native Hindus or immigrant Jews – who refused to betray others or give up their beliefs were either strangled by executioners or burnt alive in public autos-da-fé.

The Zarco family manages to stick firm to its Portuguese-Jewish roots until, as the children reach adulthood, both father and son are betrayed to the Inquisition. Gradually, the truth of the family’s destruction is revealed.

The consequences are devastating. Impeccably researched, Guardian of the Dawn is both a riveting historical mystery and, in its exploration of the nature of evil, a powerful reinterpretation of Othello. This is Richard Zimler at his imaginative, energetic – and insightful – best.

Guardian of the Dawn Richard Zimler Rs. 350