Tag Archives: books

The Defense Rests

dr.baru-3An interaction with Dr.Sanjaya Baru who is in Goa for the Marathi Launch of the book the accidental Prime Minister, as a curtain raiser for the annual Goa Art and literary festival http://www.goaartlitfest.com/
Dr.Baru the Geo-economist, who is an Indian political commentator and policy analyst. Has authored the non-fiction best-seller The Accidental Prime Minster.”
“My daughter who belongs to the sms generation asked me how could I work for someone like Manmohan Singh? The book is my answer to her” says Dr.Baru, it is an excellent defence for Mr.Manmohan Singh.
“There is a fundamental change in the thinking of people worldwide, we are lucky that our country chooses to do it with democracy,” was his observation. Dr.Baru, talked of 2004 where the nation disillusioned by the coalition govt. Headed by Mr.Vajpayee was voted out in favour of the congress party. It was then that Mrs. Gandhi looked for a person of impeccable integrity and presence without being a persona in his or her own right. Thus Mr.Manmohan Singh became the accidental prime minister as he confessed. The congress party then delivered too; there was a 9% growth. And the next election the party was voted back. Of course the voters were mostly urban Indians.
So what went wrong?
Do you remember? That Mr.Manmohan Singh was the face of the 2009 election campaign of congress? People voted Manmohan Singh’s leadership and not really the congress party. The first step that went off was Mr. Singh opted for the Rajya Sabha route instead of the Lokasabha.
Nine years of congress party’s reported card, showed 9 major scams like the coal scam — 2012, the 2G scam—2008, the chopper scam—2012, the Tatra truck scam –2012, common wealth games scam 2010, cash for vote 2011, adarsh 2012, IPL scam 2013, satyam scam—2009 , no matter how impeccable personal integrity the tenure went down as the “Manmohan Singh govt.”
The actual decapitation occurred with Mrs. Gandhi’s manoeuvres to shift the face of congress from Mr.Manmohan Singh to Mr.Rahul Gandhi, it was not only ungraceful and obvious, it was also demeaning to a man of Mr. Singh’s stature.
Why did he not put his foot down, after all he did in the case of the nuclear deal…?
That Dr.Baru did concede was an interesting question, particularly since he was in the know of what was happening so his silence would implicate that he was party to it.
Yet when the head of the state is not the head of the party there is a dual power issue. It existed between Nehru and Kripalani. Acharya Kripalani would insist that Nehru kept him informed of the government moves, JyothiBasu reported each day to the party president before he wound up for the day until the gentleman passed away. It was the party president who is real power, until Mrs. Gandhi roughshod the then president and the Prime minster became the power centre.
logo GALFDr.Baru was talking about the nation being at the helm of the launch of the second republic, the first one being the Nehruvian republic (1950-2014). The change is definitely visible. The reason that he cites is the aging regional parties, making it difficult for their heirs to continue the legacy. There is a fundamental change among people and this change is forever, as he commented we are lucky that our country chooses to do it democratically and not with violence like we see in other countries.
About the issue of corruption he said, it is no doubt there, and will be there it exists even in china and US, but would be essential is to focus on education, health and city building and there would be no stopping us from being a super power by 2050, but the time frame is not earlier than that.

A Mythological Bhel

indraThundergod- The Ascendance of Indra

Book 1 of Vedic Trilogy.

ISBN 978-93-81626-97-9

Publisher’s          westlandbooks.in

Author                  Rajiv Menon.

A book based on Indian mythology. It looks like he is trying to recreate the Aryan invasion. The book talks about the deification of the Vedic pantheon, with the assumption that the Vedic pantheon has its origin in the middle Asian ancient civilization. He has used the ——– mythology.

Though an interesting read, it does not allow the reader to really connect to the Vedic pantheon. He is diligently abstained from the Bhagawatization by using clutches of Rama or Krishna which is interesting.

In the context of the Harapan civilization he refers to nature worship which is the authentic faith of the subcontinent before being conveniently classified as a ubiquitous Hindu.

However there are gross patches in the narration like the practise of sati, which is hinted at, it, does not make sense as the ancient civilization practised remarriage and polyandry even if we were to talk in terms of the mid Asian civilization.

The physical description of male and female beauty is more in tune with contemporary build, the concept of pear shaped voluptuous women is unknown to the author, a quick run of Botticelli, Ravi Verma and temple carvings may revive it.

The decor, the life style that dictates the walk and wear of a society is quite distinct but the author has not been able to overcome the colonial symbols of grandeur.

There were very interesting twists like the saptarishi’s being light bodies, the emerges of pishacha’s as people with infected blood. Maybe some research is required over that, for paisachi or the language of the pisacha’s are accepted both in literature and mythology. The use of Valli the community name of indigenous medicine makers.

The legends of vishwamitra and Kashyapa are reinterpreted, with Indra being the chosen one to unite the sons of Aditi the presentation reminds one of the lost tribes of Israel.

All the best if you are planning to read the trilogy.

About The Author. Rajiv.G.Menon has been an avid reader, Actor, Screenwriter, traveler, beach bum. The book has been inspired by his readings on Indian, Norse and Greek Mythology.



Picking up favourite books is like picking the body that you’d not like to loose.

Groucho Marx says outside of a dog, a book is a man’s friend and inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. The later part I agree, but Groucho, dogs bark and demand attention, books don’t demand they only compel.

Like Lloyd Alexander says we don’t need to have just one favourite. We keep adding favourites. Out favourite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at particular stage in our lives. And lives change. We have other favourites that give what we most at that particular time. We never lose the favourites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.

There are myths that can reveal, and can be broken there are Hero’s who can take us on their journey, letting us choose who we want to be.  Fairy tale? Are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Think of it, in a good book room you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing wisdom contained in all the books though your skin without opening them.

At the end of the day like Oscar Wilde put it, ïf one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again there is no use in reading it at all.”


Sign of the cross

Sign of the cross

Author Chris Kuzneski.

Genre:  thriller, Christian mythology




An interesting fictional thriller, narrated in a comfortable pace.  The author takes us through the Christian lore, and the politically savvy Roman Empire. He has used the available roman historic factors and academic debates to weave a thriller from Boston to Beijing, from Denmark to Libya while the action is cantered at the intersection in the catacombs of Orvieto. Where an archaeologist uncovers an ancient scroll dating back two thousand years. A scroll that holds the key to a dark and treacherous secret that could rock the very foundation of the church.

Chris Kuzneski focuses on story, action and history with a vague hint of romance making the book very interesting. Glad I discovered a new author in my favourite genre.

About the author.           Chris Kuzneski is a New York Times best selling American author. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have been published in more than 40 countries. Born sept.2nd 1969, in Indiana is the alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh.               Catch him on http://www.chriskuzneski.com


We are so busy shedding, trimming and downsizing.

When we do this with words we tend to be incoherent. One way of dealing with this is to cut out words and use precise and concise ones.

With regards to words we use a range of them—“twelve a clock in the noon”

“End result” and many more.

Quite a few words have lost their potency as they are over used.

We have lost the art of conversation. The best way to retrieve it is to spend time with families, our own and others. We pick up quaint words, precise words, beautiful words and not so beautiful words.

My daughters love spending time with the Kane family, introduced to us by Rick Riordan while I prefer the family at Blanding’s.

The chain is very simple, when we read sentences; we think sentences, when think sentences we write sentences, when we write sentences we speak sentences.

How about a challenge to try this one.

book 2 shiva triology

The Secret of the Nagas (Shiva Trilogy, #2)The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The secret of the Nagas
Author: Amish Tripati
Published by: Westland ltd.
ISBN: 978-93-80658-79-7
The second in the trilogy promised by Amish, I have not the read the first one, but this has inspired me to read it. Believe me I regret reading the Immortals of Meluha it is a spoiler to this book.
Calling an amarachitra katha induced thriller is also belittling the author’s craft. Though I guess that is the nearest identification that our generation that grew on amarchitra katha can give it.
Amish has beautifully demystified the mythology making it very interesting. If I were to call it a mythological thriller I would be ignoring the imparting of philosophy.There are small notables like the opposite of love is not hate but apathy.
Though the IIM Alumnus has done a bit more homework this time round his lack of knowledge or deficiency in adaption comes through.
!.Till few years before Kautilya the education was vocational oriented, and the guru-kula kind of system. so question of village schools did not arise.
2.Kshatriya women marrying Brahmans, was acceptable but not the other way round.
Looking forward to reading the last book on this triology.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Amish Tripati an alumnus of IIM quit corporate world to write the triology.

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The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy, #1)

<img alt=”The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy, #1)” border=”0″ src=”http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1274597543m/7913305.jpg” />The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

My rating: <a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/258771333″>2 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Publisher: Westland Ltd.
If I had read the Immortals of Meluha first there was no way I would have bought the secret of the Naga’s or even bothered to read it.
The author traverses through a hypothesis that Shiva was a migrant from Tibet who performed great fete, he eventually got deified. Definitely an interesting possibility with parallel examples of Gandhi and Lady Di. He has retold popular legends to fit the story narration.
Despite of an interesting concept being fairly well written the lack certain knowledge which is taken for granted is missing. Yet the IIM Alumnus must have done his research courtesy Romila Thappar and Baushem?
Some areas where the errors are unpardonably glaring
• Until the Gupta period, women did not cover their upper body. This trend was seen in Kerala almost up to Ravi Varna. The concept of women covering the head is post Islamic which has transcended from the Middle Eastern women via Kashmir—ref. Raja Taragnini.
• Knowledge was decimated through oral traditions for a long time. The written manuscripts were the part of Brahman cal heritage.
• It was considered an ill-omen to travel at night so the question of your queen Veerini reading in a prhaara lamp is ridiculous.
• Kathak is again the re-invention of Natyashastra tradition post Islamic before that it was not called any dance form. It was nartana, nrtya, ekaharya, abhinaya whatever depending on the rendering. If you do want to call it a form it is TandavaLakshana—ref.Natyashastra.
• Printing again is in and around Gupta period.
• There were no concepts of windows as such, there were doors and Jaali’s Jaali’s let in air and light.—ref. Shilpa shastra.
It is a good read, a thriller inspired by Amara Chitra Katha, no more. Worth ONE read, on a long train journey.
The author Amish Tripati is an IIM Alumnus, who has planned out a trilogy on Shiva. He intends following up the current novel with the secret of the Nagas.

<a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4292306-parwati-singari”>View all my reviews</a>

Hooked by Books

If you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life. —Siberian Elder

My favorite author?
Intelligence is one thing that I am greatly attracted to, wit of course is a must. Writers tend to be pinnacles of intelligence. Actors are great and awesome but it is the writer who creates a new world from scratch.
An author is a person who writes a novel, poem, essay, He/She is the creator,originator or maker of anything be it a literary work, or a tax plan! and is different from a compiler, translator, editor or a copyist.
The literary production of a writer is also refered to as author eg. To find a passage in an author.
Writers or authors can either make you think or wonder, the purpose of author though is to persuade, entertain,instruct and inform.
But on earth do authors write?
Thomas Berger got it bang on Because it isn’t there!
Coming to my all time favorite authors, I presume plinky’s enquires are directed towards the entertaining kinds. The storytellers.
I call them the comfort food of the mind, the Enid Blyton’s,the Mill and Boons, the Barbara Cartland’s the Zane Grey’s and many

more. They are all equally dear, but the first among equals
Crime buster Dame Agatha Christie:
I like to visualize a traditional grandmother of the sixties finishing her days chores, saying her evening prayers, then curling up in a rocking chair with a glass of … lets leave it to imagination…and reading whodunit.
Agatha Christie wrote 72 books in all, she had stock detectives in Jane Marple, and Hercules Poirot. Though the plots were often repeated and the basic pattern of the stories were the same a murder-an accident a suicide. The most unlikely person is the murderer, still there is something that catches the fancy. Of her all her books, my favorites are The Secret Of the Chimney’s, The Seven dial Mystery, Nemesis and The Murder on the Orient Express.
I like his sense of absurdity, and humor, the way he plays with words, Like the reference to Aunt Dahlia, or the elaborate system of British feudalism. Jeeves, Bertie Wooster, Lord Dunstan, Lord Emsworth, The Empress of Blandings these are friends in deed, when one is in need. Jeeves by the way unwinds after a day’s hard work of managing Bertie Wooster with an Agatha Christie novel.

Kannada author
Shantraj Aithal, very Wodehouse like in his writing is his sense of humour and use of language. He has the ability to convert the mundane into hilarious. What I like about Mr.Aithal is his subtle and dry sense of humour. There are no double entries, just plain clean humour. He has penned a total of 5 books and the sixth is on its way.


The newest breed of Authors, I enjoy reading authors on sulekha.com like Citylover, but the one I enjoy the most is Keeya or nupurroopa.sulekha.com she writes on Indian mythology which is really enjoyable.




stories live in your blood and bones, follow the seasons and light candles on the darkest night-every storyteller knows she or he is also a teacher… —Patti Davi

Percy Jackson and the lightening thief

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Author Rick Riordan
Publisher Puffin books
Genre Adventure-Roman Mythology
ISBN 978-0-141-32999

From Enid Blyton, one graduated to Nancy Drew and Hardy boys. But teenage adventures with a lot of Mythology thrown in.
Rick Riordan feeds an appetite whetted by JK Rowling, Equally enticing the book is enjoyable. The book requires a certain knowledge of Roman mythology. Instead of wizards and witches we have mortals or rather demi-gods with a Olympian parent and a mortal parent. The child is essentially without a magical abilities but taps on intrinsic strengths.
A thoroughly enjoyable book to relax with.
Definitely a safe book to leave tween and teenagers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Riordon is an award-winning mystery writer. He has worked as middle-school teacher for 15yrs. He is now a full time author and lives in San Antonio with his family. The Lost Heroes of Olympus, The Kane Chronicles are the other series from this writer.

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read a book day

September 6th is read a book day.
For a bookworm like me it the ideal holiday. Rains outside, a warm cup of coffee, banana chips and books. Books could be PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie.
I remember Brigadier Cariappa from the bamboli army camp tell us when he learnt how to read how an amazing new world was discovered by him. Or like the poet Tennyson one travels the world through the eyes of the author. They are documents of a lifestyle, thought and philosophy of a generation.
My earliest memory of the romance with the books is my mother showing me some pictures. The first book I read was Enid Blytons “Famous five go on an adventure ” anyway it was a famous five with my older cousin initiating me to a world of whodunits.
Of course I had my share of Mills and Boons, Barbara Cartlands and Denise Robins. I even read a couple of Danielle Steel’s. Before discovering Zane Greys and the Sudden series.
When my kids came along I had subscribed to tinkle for my older daughter. The brat that she is, she would get me to narrate the story in Kannada, then my husband had to narrate it in Marathi. In our absence she would place all her dolls and narrate the stories to them. When my younger daughter was born the dolls were replaced by her. When she was 10yrs told my older daughter read and explained the autobiography of a Yogi to her younger sister who was 5yrs.
My younger daughter was more into autobiographies. Abdul Kalam and Vikram Sarabhai being her favourites. Now of course it is Harry Potter and the Twilight Series.
When my dad was in the terminal stage of his disease, mornings he would read the newspaper. Then my younger daughter would read him her favourite books and they were all the green dragons for 10 year olds. In the evening my three year old niece would read/share her picture books. He would look forward to these interactions with his grandchildren.