“Jo yeh padhe/Hanuman Chalisa/Hoye siddhi/sakhi Gaureesa” these lines are known to almost every Hindu. If they have not actually read them, they would have heard them recited by their elders, their parents and their grandparents. The lines written in Awadhi by Tusidas over 400 years ago mean, “Whoever reads/these forty verses of Hanuman/Will achieve whatever he desires/a claim to which Gauri’s lord (Shiva) is witness.” Awadhi is a dialect of Hindi that was commonly spoken in the areas of the Gangetic plains which include the holy cities of Awadh or Ayodhya and Kashi or Varanasi. Continue reading ““My Hanuman Chalisa” by Devdutt Pattanaik”
On June 10, 2017, I had posted links to Book 1 of “Glimpses of a Glorious Past: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale.” This covered the period of the first 50 years of The Lawrence School, Lovedale from 1858 to 1908. As is commonly known, the School was named after Major General Sir Henry Lawrence KCB (1806-1857) who initiated the idea of providing schooling for the children of British soldiers in India, a large number of whom were orphans. He made the first financial contributions and helped raise funds for this purpose. He and his wife Honoria had the satisfaction of seeing their dream come true with the establishment of the Lawrence Asylum at Sanawar in 1847. This is now known as the The Lawrence School, Sanawar. Some years later, in 1855 this was followed by the Lawrence Asylum at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. In the memory of Sir Henry, the main subject of our book which is the institution started as the Ootacamund Lawrence Asylum, was established in 1858. Continue reading “About Book 2 of “Glimpses of a Glorious Past” : An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale”
I am delighted to say that a book project in which I was fairly immersed for a year or more has finally been launched successfully. “Glimpses of A Glorious Past: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale” has found a home in the website of the Old Lawrencians Association (OLA). It was formally released on May 22, 2017 at the AGM of the OLA by its President, Mrs. Rukhmini Reddy Krishnan, (Class of ’61).
The School, founded in 1858, is now over 150 years old. We therefore decided to break the informal history into three parts of fifty years each. Book 1 covers our Founder, Major-General Sir Henry Lawrence, KCB and the formative years of the school. It describes the first 50 years of this institution in the Victorian era of the British Raj. Here is the link for you to read Book 1 online wherever you are and whenever you wish to do so.
The Lawrence School, Lovedale ( Estd 1858)
I got the opportunity to read Haylen Beck’s thriller, “Here and Gone” which will be published by Penguin Random House shortly, thanks to NetGalley. If you are looking for a fast paced story which keeps you hooked, this one is for you. The story is about Audra Kinney, who in her 30’s is fleeing a broken marriage with a rich New Yorker who is abusive apart from being a total Mamma’s boy. They have two children, a boy Sean, aged 11 and a girl Louise, aged 6. While her divorce case drags on, Audra can no longer take the abuse and the toxic atmosphere at home. She decides to flee even before the courts decide on who gets custody of her children. She cannot bear the thought of her children being given in the custody of her husband and mother-in-law. Continue reading ““Here and Gone” by Haylen Beck”
Chitrita Banerji’s “Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals” , much like the sweets from Bengal, is delectable. I find the book was originally published in 1991 as, ” Life and Food in Bengal” and has seen several re-prints since then. Well, that title just about sums up what this slim volume covers. I read the recent 2017 edition published by Aleph Book Company. I have briefly lived in West Bengal, for about 4 years and visited there often, although decades ago. Reading Ms. Banerji’s book brought back innumerable memories of Bengal and Bengali food. If they could evoke such emotion within me a non-Bengali, I can well imagine how much it would instigate a Bengali to debate (and don’t they just love to do that?) on the merits and demerits of the recipes which dot the book from time to time. Continue reading ““Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals” by Chitrita Banerji”
Not often do authors in India venture into sharing their knowledge in as simple yet effective a way as Dr Nagpal and Dr Hindustani have done in their eminently readable book, ” Personal Branding, Storytelling and Beyond.” Actually the concept of personal branding was somewhat alien to our business/corporate society in India. With our businesses largely having roots in benevolent patriarchy, it was often considered impolite, impertinent and even arrogant to speak of your strengths, your achievements and the talents you have to offer. India has changed and so have expectations of the world around us. In this day and age, if you don’t work on developing your personal brand, no one else will. Continue reading ““Personal Branding, Storytelling and Beyond” by Dr Amit Nagpal & Dr Prakash Hindustani”
I enjoyed , “The Age of Shiva” (2008) the first book I have read by the US-based Indian-born writer, Manil Suri. I loved the book, admiring the author for his fascinating eye for detail about family life in middle-class North India. Having read this, I plan to seek out the two other books in his trilogy namely, “The Death of Vishnu” (2001) and “The City of Devi” (2013). Continue reading ““The Age of Shiva” by Manil Suri”
I was in my teens when Lal Bahdur Shastri served as India’s Prime Minister, the second to hold this high office, becoming Prime Minister at a time when the million dollar question was, “Who can step into the huge shoes left by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru?” It’s only after reading, “Lal Bahadur Shastri: A Life of Truth in Politics” by his long time aide C P Srivastava, a senior Officer of the Indian Administrative Service, that I now realize how little we knew of this great man. This book was first published in 1995 and has been re-published recently.
Lal Bahadur was by nature modest and humble which perhaps made him seem more effacing than he actually was. Added to this he was only 5′ 2″ in height, which made him seem diminutive when he stood with other world leaders of his time. To start with I didn’t know his family name was Verma and that Shastri was actually a title accorded to him when he passed the “Shastri” degree examination in the first division in 1925 . Srivastava writes, “On the basis of this degree “Shastri” was added to his name. It was an educational suffix, which in course of time became assimilated to his name. He now came to be known to the world at large as Lal Bahadur Shastri, or just Shastri.” Continue reading ““Lal Bahadur Shastri : A Life of Truth in Politics:” by C.P. Srivastava”
There’s a high you get on reading a well written thriller. I experienced this recently when I finished with, “Private India” written by the famous Indian author, Ashwin Sanghi, in collaboration with one who is perhaps the best known thriller writer in the world today, James Patterson. I have no idea about the extent of the collaboration. Is it really Sanghi’s book co-branded with the more famous name of Patterson or is Patterson reaching out to Indian audiences with stories with a distinctly Indian milieu which can best be described by an Indian writer like Sanghi? Whatever the equation it works well, I am sure, for both of them.
Continue reading ““Private India” by Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson”
No man in recent memory has assumed high office with so much opposition from those who did not vote for him as Donald John Trump did when he was sworn in as the 45 President of the United Sates of America on January 20, 2017. His critics say he knows nothing about politics, government, or foreign policy. He has been labelled a clown, a boorish buffoon and a selfish business man. Yet, Charlie Laderman and Brendan Simms point out in their recent book, ” Donald Trump- The Making of a World View” that Trump has been very consistent in his views for the last thirty years on many matters of significant interest to the United States. Continue reading ““Donald Trump: The Making of a World View” by Laderman & Simms”