“Mrs Funnybones” by Twinkle Khanna

I had heard about Twinkle Khanna of course. I knew she was the daughter of famous parents both from the Indian film industry: India’s very first super star, Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, of “Bobby” fame. She was a film actress herself.  More recently, I knew of her as the wife of a major modern day film hero, Akshay Kumar.  But I was biased, I confess, like many of my generation. In our days, we never associated Hindi film stars with writing books!  Continue reading ““Mrs Funnybones” by Twinkle Khanna”

“Titanic: The Story Of The Unsinkable Ship” by Hourly History

To most in my generation, the story of the RMS Titanic is not so much associated with a book as with James Cameron’s blockbuster movie of 1997.  However, even as kids we had read about the mighty Titanic and how she met her end in 1912 on her very first voyage. You will know, I am sure, that her end came when she crashed against an iceberg in the ice cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean.  Over 1500 went down with her. Though this accident took place over 100 years ago, it still continues to fascinate those interested in such stories. Continue reading ““Titanic: The Story Of The Unsinkable Ship” by Hourly History”

“1984: India’s Guilty Secret” by Pav Singh

If you are from India or have followed events in India wherever you are in the world, the very mention of 1984 is bound to bring back horrific memories. You will probably remember the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi, India’s then Prime Minister,  and the consequent massacre of the Sikhs, especially in and around New Delhi, the nation’s capital.  Many books have been written about this tragic incident in our country’s history. In my view, “1984: India’s Guilty Secret” by Pav Singh (published by Rupa, 2017) is, one that lays bare what actually happened in just four days that year. Pav Singh is based in the UK and spent a full year in India researching material for this book  Continue reading ““1984: India’s Guilty Secret” by Pav Singh”

“Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service” by Bar-Zohar & Mishal

Have you noticed that generally you cannot talk about Israel without the Mossad coming into the conversation? So deep has Mossad- the Israeli Secret Service – caught the imagination of people all over the world in its six decades of existence since its inception in 1949. Michael Bar-Zohar, (a veteran of many wars for Isreal, with an in depth knowledge of the espionage industry,  and a close aide to the legendary David Ben Gurion)  and Nissim Mishal, (an eminent TV personality in Israel) have collaborated to write, “Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service” . Continue reading ““Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service” by Bar-Zohar & Mishal”

“Upstairs At The White House” by J B West

Mr J Bernard West spent most of his working life in the most prestigious address in the United States, if not in the whole world.  1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, popularly known as the White House is the official residence of possibly the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States of America. Continue reading ““Upstairs At The White House” by J B West”

“To Defeat The Few” by Douglas C. Dildy & Paul F. Crickmore

I have been an admirer and keen follower of Osprey Publishing as they have published many books relating to a period in history which has always fascinated me, namely World War II. Winston Churchill immortalized the fighter pilots of the Royal Air Force  in 1940 during the Battle of Britain. In his inimitable style, Churchill said, ” Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” The RAF pilots came to be known as The Few. Continue reading ““To Defeat The Few” by Douglas C. Dildy & Paul F. Crickmore”

“Hostages To India” by Herbert A Stark

From my last post on “Lachmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi” you will know that I am fond of history and old books. Having studied at The Lawrence School, Lovedale ( originally set up by Major-General Sir Henry Lawrence way back in 1858 for the children of soldiers in the British Army of those times) , it has been my good fortune to have had many Anglo-Indian friends over the decades.

It was with great delight therefore that I read, ” Hostages To India: The Life Story of the Anglo Indian Race” by Herbert Alick Stark. This book was first published in 1926 in Calcutta. The version I read was published thanks to the Internet Archive. Continue reading ““Hostages To India” by Herbert A Stark”

“Lachmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi”by Michael White

Being fond of history and of books, I was delighted to come across an extremely old book  recently. This was ” Lachmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi” by Michael White,  re- published by Project Gutenberg which has brought out over 60,000 ebooks which are available for free to readers. The original was published way back in 1901 by J F Taylor And Company, New York! This book has an interesting sub-title, “The Jeanne D”Arc of India” Continue reading ““Lachmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi”by Michael White”

“The Mitrokhin Archives II. The KGB In The World” by Andrew & Mitrokhin

The lockdown has given me more time to read. My latest reading took me back to times long gone by but was for that reason all the more startling and gripping.

Have you heard of the Mitrokhin Archives? I had but rather vaguely. I now know that  Vasili Mitrokhin, a senior Russian intelligence officer crossed over to the UK in 1992 with masses of documents about the organization he served for decades: the infamous Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti or the KGB. This translate to The State Committee for Security. An organization that sent chills down the spines of the residents in the USSR and its opponents the world over during the years when it was in its prime. Continue reading ““The Mitrokhin Archives II. The KGB In The World” by Andrew & Mitrokhin”

“Her Master Key: A Hotel Housekeeper’s Stories from Inn-dia” by Shruti Johri

Congratulations to Shruti Johri for “Her Master Key: A Hotel Housekeeper’s Stories from Inn-dia” an interesting and well-written book. I wish though that she or her editors in Rupa had stayed with “India” instead of the punny “Inn-dia” in the title.

Almost autobiographical in nature, this book is made up of stories from the life of an Housekeeping Executive in a luxury hotel. So far there hasn’t been much written about the work lives of the housekeeping staff in our hotels. Johri’s book reveals a lot about what remains unseen and unknown as we enter and leave hotels as guests. Continue reading ““Her Master Key: A Hotel Housekeeper’s Stories from Inn-dia” by Shruti Johri”