In the foreword to his novel A Life Incomplete the legendary Punjabi author Nanak Singh narrates the story of the very conception of his novel and interestingly, he calls the foreword ‘More Fact than Foreword’. To me this story is actually a masterstroke of the story teller’s fictional strategy:
The birth of the Tamil Book, if it indeed can be narrated, it is here and comprehensively done at that, by Venkata-chalapathy. Backed by meticulous research, at times with finer details verging on the fastidious, the writer has done a yeoman service to the world of the Tamil word.
Writing Memoirs is not an easy undertaking, especially for one who is well past 80 when human faculties become frail, the will falters and memory fades. Layers over layers of experience stored in the consciousness get dusty and vague, emotions overtake rationality and a realistic reading of one’s own past becomes difficult.
The year 2012 marks the 25th year of the induction of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. The book under review is, therefore, timely. It is simplistic to say that My Days in Sri Lanka is a narration of events of Lakhan Mehrotra’s 14 month tenure as India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka.
The word city has become synonymous with crisis. The unplanned chaos and the complete inability of the various city planning authorities to cope with the urbanization process in India has resulted in this crisis. It requires great commitment and vision to see beyond the sprawling urban cities of India to a future where a balance is achieved between rural and urban life.
The last two decades have witnessed an emergence of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) in India as a significant concern in inter/national policy discourse and initiatives. Incidentally, this period has also been one of liberalization and globalization of the Indian economy.