A not so gentle drama

A historical novel is always an interesting proposition for myriads of reasons. The proposition gets even more interesting if it is based on the life of a rather colorful personality who watched history being created from close quarters and perhaps created parts of it from behind the scenes. However, such a venture is also fraught with risks. History is a lightning rod for controversies. Make no mistake. Controversies inevitably get engendered even when one adheres to bland and simple history. If you add novelistic spices to..

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Of Princes, guns and animals

Since the last decade or so, there has been a marked rise in the books related to animals, wildlife, forest, environment and conservation. The reason is not far to seek. With rising population pressures, natural resources are under unprecedented stress. Conserving wildlife and nature has thus become a priority, if not entirely with successive governments, surely with those who understand the importance of rivers, mountains, forests, tigers and birds. Yes, the neo-rich class is now more interested in wildlife tourism, a reason for visible and new-found curiosity among people for lapping up such literary works. But there are, truly..

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An Anthology on the Chennai Floods

It seems like we are at the onset of a climatic change which calls for a revision of our history and geography textbooks that still quote Chirapunji as the place with the highest rainfall in India. According to statistics Mawsynram in Meghalaya, 16 km to the west of Chirapunji, has recorded a considerably higher rainfall in the last 20 years. Another 20 years down the lane we will be narrating the folklore of the Chennai floods to our kids. But it’s high time we put things on paper, document it without waiting for the textbooks or leave it in the hands of Wikipedia..

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From Bhutan, with happiness

Gross National Happiness (GNH): The aggregate level of happiness in a country. In Bhutan, a small kingdom neighbouring India, GNH is inscribed in the constitution. For the Bhutanese people, GNH is a constitutional right, a promise that their country and government is focused on maximising the happiness of its citizens. The idea of GNH, first vocalised by HRH Jigme Wangchuk in 1979, has now become popular around the world. Books like Madeline Drexler’s A Splendid Isolation have helped popularise the idea of GNH, and Bhutan’s ..

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At home with the stormy petrel of Indian politics

Biographies are an important document, particularly if it is about a public figure. Biography of Subramanian Swamy, written by his wife Roxna Swamy, certainly creates interest. His deep involvement during the critical phases of India’s Modern history, his enmity and friendship with the who is who of Indian politics and above all, his ability to gel with a cross section of people ranging from Nobel laureates in Economics, to the Right wingers back home, the company of sharp legal brains in courts where he is usually found with his PILs, to the TV studios defending what he feels is correct; Swamy shares varied platforms with ease..

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Indira: A coloured viewpoint

Sagarika Ghose’s Indira Gandhi: India’s most Powerful Prime Minister is all about deifying the Nehru- Gandhi family. You will get a lot to know even about Motilal Nehru who died when Indira was in her early teens. The author has tried to portray this ‘holy clan’ as the first family of India’s freedom struggle..

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