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Showing posts from December, 2020

Book Review: A Conflict in Thin Air by Prosenjit Das Gupta

A Conflict in Thin Air by Prosenjit Das Gupta is a work of non-fiction, inspired by the books based on India and China that at length discuss history, diplomatic stand-off, wars, culture and much more. The author is a well-learnt man who admits reading many books and research papers on Indo-China topic. According to this book, which is nowadays hard to get via offline or online, India's tension with China is not new or rooted in the year 1962. It actually delves deep into the history. The author has provided lucid explanation of 8th century when all three countries (China, Tibet, India) were equal on the lines of trade and often crossed the mighty Himalayan borders to trade with great equality. Next focus on history is when the British started ruling India and at the same time Tibet and China were fighting for their space or say independence scuffle. When China totally took over Tibet, the relationship between India and its biggest geographical neighbor China begins worsening.

Book Review: A Partition in the Mind by Prosenjit Das Gupta

A Partition in the Mind by Prosenjit Das Gupta is, in the author’s own words, yet “another look” at the Partition of India in 1947. The narrative begins as far back as the ancient period and ends with the partition of 1947. It is packed with information, references, and quotations and certainly gives the reader different perspectives at different points (not necessarily new). For example, the presence of Hindus at the lower and middle levels of administration during the Sultanate and the evolution of an Indo-Islamic culture as a result of ‘intermingling’. The book claims to ‘give context to the text and in pursuing this objective the author felt it necessary to explore the issue with a certain detachment through the ‘lens of historiography’. It has been said that there is no such thing as ‘objective history’ as history does not constitute a body of facts but their interpretation backed by convincing evidence. A detached approach to history can be honest and fair but also dry and colo

Book Review: One & Done by Veronica D’Souza

One & Done by Veronica D’Souza is a short and helpful book with a lot of meaningful content for parents. As from the title, one could guess that it’s emphasizing only on one-child parenting. But a close look reveals that the book is not only a guiding star for parents raising just one child but also a fountain of knowledge for parents having more than one child. The nature of the book is self-help and it intends to help parents that think that having one child is like living always on tenterhooks. The world is changing, so do the tenacity of people. The book starts on a pragmatic note, as it explains the effects of Covid pandemic on family planning. Later as the book chugs ahead, readers will find it a different yet engaging read, especially that section on giving answers to others is well-captured. The book is well segmented into praises, introductions, author notes, interviews, and finally the main content that stretches up to 10 chapters. The core theme of the book is happy fa

Book Review: The Saga of Shom and Raima by Tapan Ghosh

This is my second Tapan Ghosh book. A year ago I had the opportunity to explore the Anglo-Indian culture with his book ‘An Anglo-Indian in Love’. What I exquisitely like about this author is that he writes with a fervent passion the stories of ordinary with something extraordinaire. Even this novel that sounds like a pure romance has elements of horror and nationalism and one big global issue: terrorism. The book is romantic with strange themes that finally blend in the essence of pure love. The story features Suman Bhatia aka Shom and Raima. Shom is middle aged, tied with hedonistic duties of the world. Well, when he stumbles across Raima on FB, they begin chatting and much more. Shom is double the age of Raima. The world doesn’t look up to them as promising lovers. But being in love is a pure and one of the most romantic feelings in itself. As a reader, I felt their love story took time to get fully hatched. The couple hangs around, chat, meet, and so on. The building of love part is

Book Review: Bayan by Pramudith D. Rupasinghe

Bayan by Pramudith D. Rupasinghe is a classic piece of literature caught between the chasm of pre and post Soviet era. “Bayan” is a sort of Russian musical instrument that keeps the protagonist Ivan alive. The novel is about a 70-year-old man named Ivan Nikolayevich. Through his wisdom and cogitation and soliloquy and later interaction with a stranger from South America, we get acquainted with the profound psychological effect it leaves on readers. The novel, by all means, is beautifully written with heaviness that is hard to understand for naïve or shallow readers. Ivan is most of the time busy with his Bayan. It is the music and songs of his own imagination that keeps him floating in the ocean of memories. The novel explores the hammering of old age and how a creative and aloof heart copes up with it. Ivan is matchless while thinking and talking about the old culture and transitions he had been through due to social and political shifts. The novel is brimming with cultural insights a

Book Review: One Proverb One Tale by the Indian Proverb

Proverbs, maxims, and old sayings are an integral part of our Indian culture, heritage, and lineage. The rudimentary base of proverbs is not contemporary; rather it dates back to the dawn of civilizations. However, it is our Indian culture and its allied traditions that have kept proverbs alive until now.   We Indians take pride in quoting circumstances through juicy (yet slightly sarcastic) proverbs. We would say...our ancestors or old people said this and that... It not only puts fun in conversation but also doles out wisdom in a fewer words. But the current plight is that may be our current generation is being bereaved of proverbs culture. The reason is clear Internet and social media due to advanced form of communication. I read scores of proverbs of Kabir Das and others during my school days. The literary backdrop of our country is rich and abundant with proverbs. The only thing missing is that we are not passing them to next generations. So, today, I got this book to discus

Story Summary: The Banyan Tree by Ruskin Bond

This article presents the short summary of the story ‘The Banyan Tree’ written by Ruskin Bond from the NCERT book Honeysuckle for class 6. The story is about a boy who lives with his grandparents in Dehradun. In his house, there is a big Banyan tree. The boy climbs the tree and enjoys his time sitting on its branches and watches the world beneath it. The boy interacts with squirrels and snails and butterflies. The boy also makes a platform sort of thing among the branches to read books. The banyan tree is older than his grandfather who is around 65 years of age. The boy finds the tree full of birds and chirping during spring time. Well, one summer when the outside world was reeling under the shock of hot breeze, the boy climbs the tree, and settles on his makeshift platform with his books. The day was hot so all people, including the gardener, were inside. From the above, a cobra snake comes out from the cactus, and there soon arrives mongoose too. Fight between a snake and a mongo