Writer Anushka Ravishankar strikes again, with a novel little book—and this time, it’s about a little girl who goes to the market, with a little money from her mother, but so captivating are the strange sights that she spends her time, lost in the wonderful world. Flowers, bangles, toys and fish … the list is endless as she skips along the narrow lanes, peers at the colourful stalls, gapes at sellers and buyers, and loses all track of time.

If ever there was a book that captured every nuance that might appeal to a child, then this is probably it. Not for nothing is Anushka Ravishankar dubbed India’s Dr Seuss; her words are bright, appealing, and flavoured with such spirit and energy that even a word like Papayaaaaaaaa! is transformed into a long-drawn out horrified scream—uttered by Falguni Fruitseller, who stumbles upon a crocodile in a ditch—and reduces you to excited giggles.

Loneliness of Being M.K. Gandhi

The political appropriation of Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy has been going on for decades. Now the trend has spread to unlikely quarters. Gandhi peersat us from posters, sharing space with his ideological opponents. Even artifacts associated with him, like his spectacles, have been used as logo in government propaganda. Commercialization has been a parallel process, initially for marketing products purportedly of cottage industries, and then for a whole range ofother things. The powers that be appreciate the brand value of the
name Gandhi.

This collection of essays by Indian academics on American literature ranges in quality from the solitary brilliance of V.Y. Kantak’s essay on Faulkner’s Tech­nique, through the competent and inter­esting (Neila Seshadri’s Leslie A. Fiedler: Critic as Mythographer, Isaac Sequeira’s Essay on Sylvia Plath), to the (alas!) majority that is mediocre, or, at best, stolid and painstaking.