Books

Bard Knows No Boundaries

In what can be termed as one of the most romantic colonial hangovers, Shakespeare continues to inspire a generation of Indians. The poet has been able to cross over and become adopted in mainstream Indian culture.

Shakespeare And Bollywood: To Be or Not Be?

What makes Shakespeare so seductively fascinating and relevant to Bollywood is the commonality of tensions and issues that plague mankind — immigration, racism, sexual violence, homelessness, etc. These leit motifs do not belong to the privileged, elitist, educated or intellectuals, but to the human race, rooted as they are in human nature.

Dreams Lost and Found

Three recent books by overseas Indian writers, two fiction and one nonfiction, deal with the heartaches, trials and triumphs of emigration. The authors honestly and eloquently chronicle how leaving one’s past behind and starting over can result in loss, mourning and sacrifices.

Chitra Divakaruni: Truth is Complicated

The lives of Indian immigrants are central to Chitra Divakaruni’s work. Her focus is shifting to include children of immigrants who face a different challenge in assimilating into the world they live in.

Hey Ram

Mispronouncing Indian Words. Is it Raamaa or Raama

Is The Spelling Bee Success of Indian Americans a Legacy of British Colonialism

South Asian American spelling success is connected to the history of this ethnic community’s immigration to the United States.

Tagore And His Women

He strongly believed in fighting for women’s upliftment using his pen as a weapon.

Calligraphy in India

Calligraphy has moved across paper, coins, seals, metal objects, copper plates, arms and armors, etc., wherein it also blended with flora and fauna designs.

India’s First Renaissance Man

Ab’ul Hasan Yamin ud-Din Khusrow (1253-1325) or Amir Khusro, as we usually know him, seemed to epitomize the assimilative nature of India.

Perchance to Dream

In literature, dreams as inspirations, settings or plot devices are wide-ranging, right down to J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer.

Storytelling in Kashmir

It was so participative that in between his narrative, the storyteller would ask someone in the audience to repeat the last line of the tale.

Existentialism’s Genesis in 19th Century Urdu Poetry

A consistent but concise definition of Existentialism is difficult to frame, but Sartre came closest in describing it as “the attempt to draw all the consequences from a position of consistent atheism.

Indian Diaspora in Fiction

Politicians, business magnates, sports stars — the Indian diaspora has done well for itself in its new homes around the world.

Lucknow City of Poets

A long-standing convention divides the Urdu ghazal tradition into “Dabistan-e-Dehli” and “Dabistan-e-Lakhnau” .

You Said It. We Loved It

A tribute to R.K. Laxman, arguably the greatest ever Indian cartoonist.

Digital Era Pulps Indian Pulp Fiction

There are no longer any potential writers or new readers because people are now more interested in television and using their mobile phones or the internet.

Virtuous Wrong

Scott Dadich, Wired editor in chief, advocates intentional wrong as a design virtue.

To Be or Not To Be English

English is a foreign language and I believe it can never be a language for social inclusion.

Pseudo Intellectual’s Day Out

The sudden craze of the hoi polloi to gatecrash into every cultural and literary event in India

Books & the Baboos

Boi Para, Kolkata’s historic College Street, is the world’s biggest and oldest second hand book mart functioning since 1850.

Malcolm Gladwell On The Advantages Of Disadvantages

He starts the book by dissecting the classic tale of David and Goliath, challenging our beliefs about what the story tells us regarding underdogs and giants, and ultimately, our fundamental assumptions about power.

Mythologies With a Modern Twist

Having dared to think out-of- the-box, a brave new breed of publishers have revamped the modern Indian comics by adding a zing to flat storytelling and zoomed in on lesser- known aspects of Indian mythologies, making new pop-culture icons out of age-old characters.

Why Indian Business Books Bomb

Indian business books about Indian businesses typically describe idiosyncratic conditions that apply only to India, which is not very useful as learning material for conducting business in developed economies.

Midnight's Children: Two Authors in Search of a Film

Rushdie and Mehta’s Midnight’s Children promises a doubled up feast for thought and senses before the theater goes dark.

Emerging Shades of Indian Erotica

In the last two years, the book, which captured the imagination of millions of Indian readers, is compelling indigenous publishers to explore the feasibility of homegrown erotica.

Writers Without Borders

This year, the Kumbh Mela of literary gatherings seemed to have morphed into an universe of literary outpourings spawning galaxies of thoughts and clusters of ideas around the academic magnets.

Being a Successful Poet is an Exercise in Obscurity

To some extent. Bombay is a mistress to many a lonely soul, its opiate histories and drunken peripheries have a natural intoxication.

Cartography is all About Imagination

My experience of Pakistan being firsthand gave me confidence to carry on and take any allegation of inferiority head on.

A Kumbh of Literature

Religion is a continuous process and Kumbh is no exception.

Hold the Shloka

World’s only Sanskrit daily holds out against the odds.

Are Writers Performers

In a world awash with new tools for communication and engagement, the symbolism, mystique and magic of anonymity, however seductive, is losing ground to new anthems celebrating the spirit of contact, connection and interaction.

Seeking Silence

In this interview Iyer spoke on an unusual topic — the value of silence and stillness amid the rush of business.

Tagore Haunted by Depression

Bhattacharya attributes the bard’s chronic loneliness to “disappointment with the support he received from his people.

Experiments With Gandhi

Even the most uncharitable reading of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and works would discount any possibility that Gandhi had sexual liaisons, much less homosexual ones, after 1906. Only fabricated and dishonest interpretations can — and have.

Joseph Lelyveld

“I thought the book might be controversial for other reasons.”

Unlocking the Brain’s Secrets

Washington Post reporter Shankar Vedantam’s book The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elects Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives, (Random House, 2010, $26) was

Almost Single, But Most Eligible

I tolerate my job, hate my boss, and bond big time with my friends, while routinely suffering from umbilical cord whiplash.

How Indian Is Indian Writing In English?

What is it that makes the most talented of India’s literary geniuses steer clear of Indian shores to settle down in foreign lands?

A Writer In The House?

Quick! We need a heart by-pass!

'Indians Are Privately Smart And Publicly Dumb'

In his book Games Indians Play: Why We Are the Way We Are, V. Raghunathan writes about a farmer whose corn won top awards year

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