• Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Reviews

Published Date: January 19, 2015
From the 'Horse's Mouth'

From the 'Horse's Mouth'

Shahnoor  Wahid finds the collection of the personal accounts of the writer worth a second read. The writing style is straight forward and at times piquantly piercing when it comes to calling a spade a spade. Memoirs can turn out to be drab, often dismal, if the writer fails to offer one entrancing episode after another and thus keep the readers glued to the pages. The readers, in most cases, are perennially hungry for action; scandals; drama and melodrama, and many of them also crave to read about things bordering on the bizarre. One therefore has to be careful while writing memoirs. Hasnat Abdul Hye is one writer who does...

Published Date: January 19, 2015
In front of an 'unwiped' mirror or cheval-glass

In front of an 'unwiped' mirror or cheval-glass

2014 will be remembered as a very promising  year for English poetry for lovers of poetry in  India; excellent books of poems by Ranjit Hoskote (Central Time), Arundhathi Subramaniam ( Travelling with God; Eating God (Ed.) and translations of verse by Joy Goswami, Sampurna Chattarji ,K Satchidanandan, Manglesh Dabral and Hemant Divate have already hit book stores there this year. Moreover, the publication of a long overdue collection of poems by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is like the icing on the cake; it will, with a bit of luck, put an end to the anxiety of followers of Mehrotra's poems about his tryst with his muse. One may reproach Arvind Krishna...

Published Date: January 19, 2015
Last of the Raj Memsahibs

Last of the Raj Memsahibs

‘As I write this in Lymington in 1978, the widow of an Indian Cavalry Officer, I am a member of a dying breed' begins the Preface to this book. The author wanted to correct the derogatory impression of the English memsahib in India as a mindless female, whose sole interests were drinking cocktails, dancing and 'ordering servants about like slaves'. The passage of time since these memoirs were written has somewhat altered our view of the upper-class English woman in the dying days of the British Raj. There have been further sturdy defences of such women and many similar autobiographical accounts. In the late 1970s the 'raj industry '...

Published Date: January 19, 2015
'A Burnt-Out Case'-A descent into darkness with Graham Greene

'A Burnt-Out Case'-A descent into darkness with Graham Greene

Ever have one of those days, weeks or months when you suddenly feel tired of everything in life? When all that you achieved becomes pointless and you long to run away somewhere where no one knows you at all? Well, it never happened to me because I'm a bright little ray of sunshine but for those who have had sudden bouts of such existential identity crisis, Graham Greene's 'A Burnt-Out Case' is the book that they will be able to identify with. In a nutshell, the story is about a world famous architect who becomes tired of his life, job and fame, a “… victim of a terrible attack of...

Published Date: January 19, 2015
Don Quixote : The Unreal Knight

Don Quixote : The Unreal Knight

No man they say is an island. Thus when a part of a land is washed away, we all feel that part of me is gone. The news of a departure, the pathos of parting, the trauma of bereavement thus reminds us that we indeed are for a short period of time in this world and makes, in a way a rather rude wakeup call on our chores unfinished, the chords we did not strike, the notes that we could have played in a flute  ensemble. The off beat in a cycle of rhythm, the season ending rain in the morn, the schism and gamble in a dark casino...