Opening this book is like flying on a magic carpet across fabled lands and landscapes. It is a compilation of five legends drawn from the main regions of the Indus Valley, spanning the Himalayas to the desert sands of the Arabian Sea, in what is now Pakistan, encompassing Khyber, Pakhtunkwa, Punjab, Baluchistan, and Sindh, embracing a plural culture.
How I Became a Tree by Sumana Roy is the story of Sumana, who, tired of the violence, greed, hatred, pace of life of the present day ‘human’ life looks for an alternative for which she turns to nature—the life of a tree—to find solace. She recounts her journey with all its doubts and fears, the impact of works of other writers, painters, scholars on her as she moved towards achieving her goal.
Tamil is the oldest surviving classical language of India, and Tamil literature goes back to the early centuries of the Christian era. The old heroic and romantic literature, the devotional hymns of the Saiva and Vaishnava saints and narrative literature form the glory of Tamil.
The Partition of India was a cataclysmic event that rent the fabric of the nation, causing scars that persist into the present. The corrosive, debilitating effects of colonialism were temporary, but they ended in a brutal carnage, the real and metaphorical mutilations of which were almost impossible to erase from the collective unconscious.
In its broadest sense a masque is a pageant—a brilliant amalgamation of dazzling music, dance and colour. Zelaldinus (Jalaluddin Akbar) in his days as the Mughal emperor, is supposed to have held many masques in Fatehpur Sikri, the red stone capital he built in the Aravali range, beyond Agra. There, the women of his
An anthology offered under the label Indian Perspectives, ought to have two things: an Introduction—preferably a strong one; and a Selection that is discriminating—and therefore strong. Hers has no introduction and may be half a dozen real poets out of its presentation of thirty.
With a narrative steeped in the annals of Kumaon history, Namita Gokhale’s Things to Leave Behind, may well be a historical novel; but then again, so deeply interlaced are the political fortunes of this land at the threshold of modernity with the history of the Pant family that pigeonholing appears, at best, an exercise in reductionism.
‘13” is an auspicious number for this collection of short stories by author Shane Joseph. The
number ‘13’ conjures up feelings of foreboding and unease, which is exactly what Joseph delivers in this assembly of stories. Throughout the telling of the ‘13’ tales Joseph introduces us to a myriad characters wrestling with their own personal demons; some mental, some physical and some the very environment they inhabit.
The first book is a collection of letters to and from Dr. M.A. Ansari; it also contains some statements issued by Dr. Ansari in his long political career and his addresses as chairman of the reception committee for the Delhi session of the Muslim League in 1918, president of the Indian National Congress at its Madras session in 1927, and chairman of the all-parties Muslim National Convention at Calcutta in 1928.
During the entire decade of the 1960s, Sudhir Chakravarti traversed the space covering Nadia, Bardhaman, Birbhum and Murshidabad in this Bengal and Meherpur and Kusthia in the other Bengal (Bangladesh) comprising countless villages to look for so many hidden meta-religions as practised by wandering minstrels who are known as bauls, bairagis, dervishes, fakirs, sahajiyas and udasins. Cutting across tiny hamlets and settlements tucked away in the farthest corners of Bengal he completed an intensive research and the result was his much-acclaimed book Gobheer Nirjon Pothey.