In the 150th anniversary year of the great revolt of 1857, William Dalrymple has stolen a march over professional historians (that is, historians who also happen to be academics, for, Dalrymple is in his own way a professional historian having been engaged for long in researching and writing on historical themes), by producing a major new study of the event.
Every once in a while human life expresses itself in ways that funda-mentally transforms prevalent images of what it means to be human in any given society. The vulnerability to and dependence of young children on adults often leaves them incapable of avoiding or resisting exploitation, abuse and even death.
Northern Pakistan, comprising its Northern Areas and Chitral (NAC) is one of the most rugged and mountainous regions of Central Asia. This region is located among four of the highest mountain ranges in the world, including the Himalayas, Karakorum, Pamir and Hidukush ranges.
The title captures the scope of the book. Placed in the context of claims and counter-claims about the ability of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to reconfigure gendering relations in favour of women, the book brings in empirical and theoretical material to this debate.
Reading a collection of essays written as discrete pieces over a long period of time is a curious exercise in freedom. I’d imagine it would enable the author to break free of ‘writing time’—from the chronology of her own labour process- and engage with her own work as a dialogue of ideas that may not have surfaced all at once.
Selvy Thriuchandran’s book is essentially a description and analysis of two types of verses from the oral tradition that used to be commonly sung by women in Sri Lankan Tamil society over time even though the popularity of these have diminished in more recent times. The types of verses Thiruchandran has focused on are tallattu and oppari, which are described by her as lullabies and lament songs respectively.
One of the many treats of this book, an anthology of nineteen autobiographical essays on motherhood, is a marvellous evocation of food by some of the contributors. C.S. Lakshmi heads the list, with sections such as ‘Songs on the Terrace and Cakes with Green and Pink Icing’ and ‘Food as Communication, Food as Adventure’.