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.

Booked…


Image

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

Publisher

ISBN

 

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

conversations


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.

View all my reviews


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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.

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