Othappu does not exactly mean ‘The Scent of the Other Side’, as readers may tend to think, looking at the subtitle! It is a word to be found in the Malayalam Catholic Bible meaning ‘to stumble’ or ‘to falter’ from the straight way of the faith and to turn to evil ways (p. xx).
Abdul Rahman Siddiqi belongs to the rare, and now practically invisible, Dilliwallas who were born and brought up in Delhi. He belongs to the Dilli Punjabi Saudagran community which migrated to Delhi from Panipat during the reign of Shah Jahan, to settle as a trading community.
Before I begin the review of G.J.V. Prasad’s work a word on the dust jacket cover: it speaks of the multicultural, multilingual, multifarious ways in which English is read, written, and spoken in India. Hence, fish swim in a sea of words taken from Hindi, Tamil and English, the fish possibly being us who swim in the multitudinous seas that make up the many currents of English usage in India today and of yore.
That there are multiple histories rather than a history of the Partition is borne out by studying the literature produced in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Contrary to popular perception, there is no generalized or undifferentiated response to the Partition among those who have chronicled it.
By 2030, 40 per cent of India’s population will be living in urban areas according to projections. The gargantuan gap between the inexorable rise of the country’s urban population, on the one hand, and policy making on urban entitlements, investments, infrastructure, and administrative norms, on the other, is therefore extremely discomfiting. This is not for lack of scholarly interest in the subject.
Integrating Services in South Asia’ comes at a very im-portant juncture when services negotiations are under way within SAARC nations and are also de-emed to be a very impor-tant part of bilateral and multilateral trading arran-gements with huge poten-tial for the region.