A slim 47-page booklet forms the kernel of this book; the rest is mere padding in the form of introduction, appendices and notes. However, the 47 pages of Iqbal contain much that is illuminating and useful—not merely about one of the greatest poets of the Urdu language but also about his age and many of his peers.
There are documents that survive the strife of history. Who would have known that a missive written by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, to Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal emperor, right after his defeat at the hands of the Mughal army, would survive ironically as Zafarnama, an epistle of victory?
That the US invasion of Iraq informs, indeed haunts, policy-making in the US was illustrated in some speeches and justifications related to the UN-sanctioned but US and NATO-led no-fly-zone over Libya. What seemed to vex policy-makers and military strategists was whether UN Resolution 1973 allowed for ‘regime change’.
To be able to distill your love for words and art into the work that you do for a living, and that work of a nature that fulfills a niche in society, is to be fortunate. Debjani Chatterjee, well known and much awarded poet from Sheffield, England, was once a community relations officer.
Raghu Rai is one of India’s most celebrated photographers and his 29th book of photographs on Mumbai is yet another visual treat. Aimed at capturing the essence of Mumbai, it is almost a study of contrasts and very evocatively captures slices of what Mumbai as the city really is.
This is an intense book but then rarely does a book that indulges in architectural theory make itself so lucid and strong-footed. Setting the stage for declaring the emergence of Post-Rational Architecture, Jaimini Mehta eloquently traces the vocation’s transition over its recent two hundred and fifty year-old history.
It is common fare for books on cultural anthropology to begin with statndard kowtowing to Clifford Geetz and Edward Said. Past the introductory chapter, most often they succumb to the very pitfalls that Said and Geetz warn them about. Images of Afghanistan is cultural anthropology at its finest as it tries throughout to maintain a lived engagement and refreshing critical distance from its subject.