Before Robert Clive slit his jugular, perhaps in a paroxysm of violent pain in the abdomen, he had excused himself from a game of whist to visit the toilet. He was in his Berkeley Square townhouse in London and had ordered for his carriage to take him to Bath later after noontide.
‘The 1940s’, observes Ashis Nandy, ‘introduced into the South Asian public life a new actor—the refugee.’
Bakhtiar Dadabhoy’s political biography of Salar Jung I, the administrator most often credited with engineering Hyderabad’s turn to modern times is a welcome addition to the field of Hyderabad studies. It tracks the life and times of a man widely acknowledged.
Divided into four sections, the fifteen essays in Nine Nights of the Goddess are a coming together of disciplines, methodologies, sources and places on traditions of the nine-day Navratri celebrations, also known as Navaratra, Mahanavmi, Durga Puja, Dasara or Dassain throughout South Asia.
Gautam Bhatia’s books on architecture in India are, by and large, autobiographical. They are thoughtful reflections of a sensitive and idealistic practitioner at odds with the quotidian values of the profession. As he sees it, it is a profession that actually.
In the abundant literature on secularism that is now at hand, the range of comparative work on distinctive projects of secularism, in different parts of the world, has widened significantly, moving away from earlier binary classifications. The literature shows.
The tenor of Amandeep Sandhu’s Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines is established in the very first chapter titled Satt–Wound. The author, born in Rourkela, admits to only a fragile link with Punjab (spelt Panjab)–his family once belonged to the State. He then provides images that are intimate and distant, uniquely personal and universally familiar all at once: brass vessels.
Colonial stereotypical portrayal of the myriad hill-tribes of India’s North East as, inter alia, demoniacal, relics of the past and uncivilized—abstract principles intended to rationalize the imperial project—has undergirded much of the dominant understandings about the region.
This is a timely intervention by Partha Chatterjee on the question of popular sovereignty in an era of populism and abounding authoritarianism. The book is based on the Ruth Benedict Lectures that Chatterjee delivered at Columbia University in April 2018 and as he admits candidly.
Election Commission of India: Institutionalising Democratic Uncertainties has hit the shelves—physical as well as digital, at a time when the Election Commission of India (ECI) has come under unprecedented scrutiny over its alleged failure to enforce election norms.
Satyajit Ray (1921-1992), who has been one cultural icon, admired as much in Bengal as in much of the world, continues to inspire filmmakers and scholars of different hues. Besides making twenty-eight feature films, all in Bengali except Shatranj Ke Khilari.
Splendid is not the word. Finally, an exemplary work of research that consciously blurs the boundary between the human and the non-human. In Animal Intimacies: Beastly Love in the Himalayas, Radhika Govindrajan attempts and successfully manages to show the reader.
Ulrich Beck in his much-acclaimed book Risk Society: Toward a New Modernity throws light on the consequences of a wide range of hazardous and deadly risks of a highly industrialized and urbanized society. He further elaborates that modern risks are not restricted.
‘May the force be with you!’ The last line of the book is not a mere wish but a self-proclaimed statement of a tech entrepreneur, whose smart work has won many laurels. Decoding mental agility and extraordinary physical ability, Mukesh Bansal, the founder.
How long is the journey from the flash of insight
To the printed page?
Indu Mallah’s poems give the reader a glimpse of that journey which has to be made before one can pour out how one feels about the way things work.
Kalpana Mohan’s book explores the growing aspirations for learning and mastering a foreign language in contemporary India. She provides a rich sociological account of expectations, anxieties, and consequences of such aspirations on not just India’s youth.
Quichotte (pronounced key-shot), as the first page helpfully tells the reader, is a novel written by someone who very obviously watches a lot of TV, or so it seems. At its best the novel reflects an emergent way of thinking where there is very little differentiation.
‘I write to … express that part of women’s lives which is often buried and endured in silence.’ This line from Paramita Satpathy’s conversation with her translator says it all. Each of the fourteen stories in this collection showcases a different problem—each a common issue, rarely discussed.
This novel—and I’m using this classification as a temporary placeholder for an increasingly unstable yet resilient genre—is about a chanced upon manuscript dated 1724 which carries the confessions of Jack Sheppard, ‘an English folk hero and jail breaker.
When in doubt of your mettle, Rimli Gupta’s book, Karno’s Daughter makes for a good litmus test. If you feel exhausted on reading it, you are a wimp, but if the trials and tribulations of Buttermilk the protagonist buoy you, there is hope for you.