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.
Not quite a novel, but more an interconnected set of short stories each with its own protagonist-narrator offering a different point of view on a series of unfolding events, Half-Open Windows is a superb translation of Ganesh Matkari’s fast paced Khidkya Ardhya Ugdya published in 2014.
Over the past few decades theme based writing with focus on situations and communities have seen the light. So Partition stories, Tsunami stories, women’s writings, dalit stories and so on made their way into the market. We have also had a number of films based on these lines.
Muziris is the story of generations, Muziris is the story of an Ahalya waiting to come alive, she is a life force lurking to be discovered from behind termite-ridden pages, she housed a civilization to be celebrated, she influenced the financial structure of the world, her shores were dangerous and the Yavana sailors came in to eat, drink and to whore, ponnode vanthu kariyode poka, she held so many sights and sounds. And what happened to Muziris ?
The Life of Harishchandra, a 13th cen-tury Kannada classic by poet Raghavanka, is the latest volume
brought out by The Murthy Classic Library of India which is bringing out extremely well edited and professionally worked out English translations of classic Indian texts for not just a global audience, but to Indian readers as well.
At a first glance, the title may sound old fashioned, vintage lit-crit in the genre of Life & Times or Men of Letters series. But the book opens with the freshness of a new found love that encourages a rediscovery of the self. Ranga Rao’s doctoral dissertation was on Narayan, in the sixties.
India is geographically contiguous to two other nuclear weapon powers, and both
these countries, China and Pakistan have adversarial relations with India. On the contrary, China and Pakistan are known to share an all-weather friendship and have a convergent strategic aim to curtail India’s rise.
There is no dearth of biographical accounts of Indira Gandhi (1917–84), and there lies the challenge before the author Sagarika Ghose, a journalist and novelist, as to what new could she offer. One of the identifiable novelties of this portrait is a creative style of beginning and/or ending the chapters with a letter from the author to the departed soul.