Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi (1916–2006) was a major Pakistani poet (Jalal-o Jamal, Shola-i-Gul, Kisht-e Wafa, to name just a few), short story writer (Chaupal, Sannata, Kapaas Ka Phool and many more), and editor of many journals (Savera, Nuqoosh, Funoon, Adab-e Lateef). As one associated with the Progressive Writers Movement, who later distanced himself from it, Qasimi is acknowledged as a writer who portrayal liberal human values.
This volume is an admirable effort on the part of the editors, translators and commentators to make visible the writings of early twentieth century Bengali Muslim women. The scale of the work is fairly ambitious since the writings of about fifteen women have been anthologized.
This is a book by historians for historians. This is not to deny the value of this collection of essays, which have come out of an academic seminar, but to state clearly wherein lies its quite significant value.
When Jürgen Wasim Frembgen set out to write this book he knew he was attempting the impossible. He was aiming in one slim volume to describe the external practice of Sufis and dervishes throughout the world, and from the dawn of Islam to the present day.
V.S. Pritchett once remarked, tongue only partly in cheek, that boredom was the great resource of the English novelist. There are many ways of understanding this remark. But in one important sense, it may be understood as the cosy Northern equivalent of the Chinese curse—may you live in interesting times.
‘Who is Johnson Thhat? And how has he managed to escape justice for so long, even when in jail?’ reads the intriguing blurb on the back of Farrukh Dhondy’s The Bikini Murders. The title itself hints at a potent combination of sex and violence, reinforced by a lurid picture of bare honey-hued legs and a pair of staring brown eyes. All designed to lure the unsuspecting reader just as the protagonist of the story did with innocent tourists.
V.V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage is a debut novel set against the circumstances of postcolonial Sri Lankan society, torn apart by ethnic conflict. I received my review copy at the time when the media was reporting on the ‘successful’ re-capture of Kilinochi by the Sri Lankan army from the hold of Tamil separatists, and the possibility of finally securing Prabhakaran, the elusive and enigmatic commander of the LTTE.
I made the mistake of reading other reviews of the novel before writing my own. At that time I had not read In the Country of Deceit, and did not know that I would be asked to write on it. Eventually when I did read the novel, it seemed different from the impression I had gathered from the reviews. No one had mentioned that a character in the novel dreams of making a film called Sannata, which would be about the silence of an entire town.
The Bengali likes to sport an intellectual air, which in no way detracts from his deep and abiding interest in things culinary. And the gourmet in him demands that the dishes are properly sequenced, starting with bitter gourd (karela) or even neem leaves cooked with brinjal, depending on the season, followed by a staggering procession of vegetables, fried or in curried form, fish, prawn and meat.
Settling-of-score books can be entertaining, vindictive, or just plain boring. More often than not such a book reveals more about the writer than his subject. Alas, it can also be one long whine—not just me-too, but me-not-him/her, mostly both childish and petulant.
Daughters of India is a collection of profiles of twenty women from diverse communities all over India. It is also a photographic record of artistic activity among these women, ranging from the kolam patterns drawn in front of the house to wall paintings, embroidery and scroll designs.
Should one judge a book by its cover? By its title? Indeed, one should not and I would hasten to speak out against such a superficial and disrespectful attitude towards books and the great effort that it takes to produce them.
When the dowager Maharani of Beri, my god-daughter’s grandmother, visited me for the first time, she brought me a long, narrow pen box, decorated with the curvy exfoliated scrolls characteristic of Kutchi silver.
This book has been several years in the making. Archiving and selecting the photographs by Richard Bartholomew which were exhibited recently at Photo Ink Gallery, New Delhi, must have been an arduous job, since Richard would not ever have even thought of exhibiting them.
The title of this book is extremely apt. As you thumb through this book, you can glimpse the sombre grandeur of the ruins of an imperial empire at Hampi. It is up to the reader whether he/she sees the splendour in the ruins or the ruins of what was once the splendour of Vijayanagar.
The increasing enrollment of girls in school during the past two decades has been accompanied by a less discussed but not insignificant change in the landscape of schooling in South Asia, i.e. the increased feminization of the teaching profession.
Influenced by the works of David Gellner and Eric Hirsch’s Inside Organizations at Work (Oxford, 2001), Cris Shore and Susan Wright’s The Anthropology of Policy: Critical Perspectives on Governance and Power (Routledge, 1997), and Susan Wright’s Anthropology of Organizations (Routledge, 1994), the editorial expedition of Devi Sridhar’s Anthropologists Inside Organizations…
As a commemorative volume, Tracing an Indian Diaspora: Contexts, Memories, Representations celebrates the first ten years of the existence of the Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora (CSID), Hyderabad and the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, held at Hyderabad in January 2006.
The rugged mountainous region straddling the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan have, for many centuries, produced large flows of emigration. Men (there were almost exclusively male migrants) variously described as ‘Afghans’, Pakhtuns’, ‘Pathans’ and ‘Rohillas’, speaking dialects today such as ‘Pashto’, have made their way in significant numbers into northern India, Arabia and beyond.
The book is, both a challenging and an exciting preposition, challenging, because it brings together the intellectual initiatives of the nineteen contributors drawn from different social sciences disciplines, working on diverse crime themes, in pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial time-frame in one large volume; and exciting, because it endeavours to run the two thought streams, namely, human rights and criminology in almost all the essays.