Zebunissa, Her Relatives and the Period

This book written in French by Annie Krieger Krynicki has been translated into English by Enjum Hamid. The book in itself has interesting details on Mughal culture and politics, life in the Mughal court and zenana, personal lives and traits of the Mughal Prince and Princess and the romantic liaisons of Dara Shikoh, Jahanara, Roshnara and above all Aurangzeb. The portrayal of Aurangzeb as sensitive, sensual and romantic is noteworthy, which is in complete contrast to the conventional wisdom on him. The exhaustive descriptions of the imperial military expeditions of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb, the political pragmatism of Jahanara and Roshnara, the Sufi silsilahs, astrology in the Mughal court and Mughal life and many such narratives hold the attention of the reader throughout. But then, one wonders about Zebunissa, the heroine of this book, on whom the book is actually supposed to focus. The details on her as compared to the other Mughals are meagre and rather inadequate to justify the title of the book.

East India Company to Independence

This is a short book on a very long and tumultuous period of Indian history and Judd is ambitious in tracing the rise and fall of the East India Company rule and the subsequent British Raj in this summary fashion. However, this concise account is written in the best traditions of popular history and is aimed, one would surmise, primarily at the general reader rather than an academic audience per se. But while there are no novel interpretations or new data presented, it nevertheless has much to commend it.

East India Company to Independence

This is a short book on a very long and tumultuous period of Indian history and Judd is ambitious in tracing the rise and fall of the East India Company rule and the subsequent British Raj in this summary fashion. However, this concise account is written in the best traditions of popular history and is aimed, one would surmise, primarily at the general reader rather than an academic audience per se. But while there are no novel interpretations or new data presented, it nevertheless has much to commend it.

East India Company to Independence

This is a short book on a very long and tumultuous period of Indian history and Judd is ambitious in tracing the rise and fall of the East India Company rule and the subsequent British Raj in this summary fashion. However, this concise account is written in the best traditions of popular history and is aimed, one would surmise, primarily at the general reader rather than an academic audience per se. But while there are no novel interpretations or new data presented, it nevertheless has much to commend it.

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This is the third volume in an ambitious project to analyse the history of the Indian Freedom Movement in the metropolitan country, Great Britain, from the late twenties to the attainment of Independence. The first two volumes dealt with Krishna Menon’s evolution as a social activist and intellectual through various phases—boy scout leader, voluntary theosophist, and a very young probationary political activist in Britain. These volumes take us upto 1932, a few months after the Second Round Table conference, in which Gandhiji played the major role. That volume was most memorable for Krishna Menon’s personal contribution to supporting Gandhiji in London at a difficult moment.

Traversing the Tinsel World

It is rare to come by a book on the ‘art of cinema’ anymore. With cinema itself becoming increasingly a product of divergent traditions, and the study of the medium given over to local specializations, one would today perhaps not venture to train one’s sight on such an object. B.D. Garga himself called his informative book on Indian cinema So Many Cinemas (1996) as if to record his wonderment at the impossible array of tongues that the medium has spawned within a single nation, not just verbally, but in form and language.

Saint Sakharam and the Talkative Cyclist

Vijay Tendulkar is very special to Indian theatre. For one, he is not afraid of being accessible. His language, his themes and his craftsmanship do not scare theatre people away. I like this quality in him. Vijay Tendulkar always knew that it was essential for his plays to survive as popular theatre texts, in order that he emerge as a major Indian playwright. Today Tendulkar’s literary merit is well established, even beyond the boundaries of Marathi drama.

Hindi = Delhi = India?

There are two problems with ‘Indian theatre’. One is that it is theatre. The other is that it is Indian. This has curious implications for the scholar. Of all the arts, theatre has resisted mechanical – and now digital – reproduction the most. In this, it is not only the very opposite of cinema, the quintessential mass art of the industrial age, but even the plastic arts and music have adapted to the industrial age rather well. Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code is a runaway bestseller, even though only a tiny fraction of its readers would have seen Leonardo’s works in the original, because the mass reproduction of the paintings makes it possible for us to follow the clues in the novel.Theatre has resisted this tendency.

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The editor of this periodical has a wry sense of humour. She requested Girish Karnad to review the Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre, edited by me. Now she asks me to review Karnad’s Collected Plays, also published by Oxford University Press. Readers will appreciate the subtle trap in which she has placed me, not unlike those we typically encounter in Karnad’s drama. If I praise the set (which naturally I should), wags will nod their heads knowingly and joke that we belong to the Mutual Back-slapping Society. Therefore the only face-saving option for me is to criticize, so as to earn the tag of fairness.

A Tale Of Love And Adventure

Mr Iyer Goes To War is the first novel written by Ryan Lobo, who is essentially a photographer and film maker. His films have been shown on channels like Animal Planet, National Geographic amongst others. His writings have been carried by Boston Review, The Wall Street Journal, Caravan and others.
In his novel Ryan Lobo writes about the escapades of an individual who has a vision of what he was in one of his previous incarnations and decides to take up the task of completing, in this life, what remained incomplete in his previous one.

Transparent Worldview

Bhagawandass Morwal has carved a niche for himself in the domain of contemporary Hindi literature. His memoir is a captivating creation because of its novelty of theme, deft narrative stroke, element of storytelling, a transparent world-view, elegant point of view, a tendency to give importance to ‘mirror-narratives’ in opposition to ‘grand narrative’, a unique blending of different perspectives of a life lived. With the onslaught of postmodernism in literature there came to the forefront a tendency to distrust ‘meta-narratives’—what Lyotard calls ‘incredulity towards meta-narratives’.