“Excellence: The Amitabh Bachchan Way” by Virender Kapoor

In a country where 15 to 24 year olds make up more than 35 %  of the population  there is a strong need to have effective role models. In my view, the famous actor Amitabh Bachchan qualifies quite comfortably to be such a role model. Fortunately too in India “Bollywood” the world of Hindi cinema had tremendous influence on the minds of people so it is not at all surprising that Virender Kapoor chose to write a self-help/motivational book based on this super star.  Continue reading ““Excellence: The Amitabh Bachchan Way” by Virender Kapoor”

“Devi: The Goddesses of India” edited by John Stratton Hawley & Donna Marie Wulff

Hindus, by and large, are accustomed to a plethora of Gods and Goddesses. From childhood on they have seen their parents and the elders in their houses worship a myriad of gods and goddesses. Every child will remember a shrine, big or small, ornate or simple, which housed the gods and goddesses to which the family prayed. The Gods and Goddesses which featured in the prayers often depended upon which part of the country one lived in. In the North of India, it was commonly Vaishno Devi, just as it was Durga in the East of India and Saraswati , the Goddess of Learning in the South of India. Perhaps Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth was a common factor all over the country. I too had my own notions about the Goddesses of India. Continue reading ““Devi: The Goddesses of India” edited by John Stratton Hawley & Donna Marie Wulff”

Book 3 of “Glimpses of a Glorious Past: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale.”

Some of you, I know, have been following here the story of a school that is today over 159 years old. I speak of my Alma Mater, the good old Lawrence School, Lovedale. This is located in the scenic Nilgiri Hills in the state of Tamilnadu in the south of India. You would recall that a bunch of us who are alumni, (we are called Old Lawrencians or OLs for short), have attempted to write a book on the history of this old institution.

 

We decided to call it “Glimpses of a Glorious Past: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale.”  Book 1, which covered the first fifty years from 1858 to 1908 was uploaded to the website of The Old Lawrencians Association, Lovedale on June 10, 2017. I shall not describe this because I would like you to read it for yourselves.

Later came Book 2, which covered the next fifty years from 1908 to 1958.  This was uploaded on July 26, 2017. The period covered in Book 2 saw the zenith of the old British Raj and later the coming of Independence for a new, democratic India.

I am pleased to inform you that yesterday, Book 3 of “Glimpses…” has been uploaded. This covers the third fifty years from 1959 to 2009. By then the School already had a reputation for being one of the finest public schools in India. I use the term ” public school ” in the way it is used in the UK as distinct from the public school in the United States.

Here’s hoping Old Lawrencians all over the world across many generations would enjoy dipping into this work from time to time to savour the sense of the past. Many have contributed by sharing their reminiscences and giving their inputs.

 

 

 

 

“Curried Cultures” edited by Ray & Srinivas

I found, “Curried Cultures” edited by Krishnendu Ray and Tulasi Srinivas to be a fascinating book. Perhaps this is because I like stories about people, and yes, I like food! This is no collection of recipes or descriptions of what people eat in various cultures, lest you get me wrong. It is a scholarly yet eminently readable book of 300 + pages about how food, and Indian food in particular has influenced cultures and been influenced by cultures in different parts of the world. This meticulously researched book, replete with notes as one would expect of a book of this type yet retains readability which is ever so important, especially for the lay man who may not be a research scholar. Continue reading ““Curried Cultures” edited by Ray & Srinivas”

“Shadow Over The Atlantic” by Robert Forsyth

“Shadow Over The Atlantic” (The Luftwaffe and the U-Boats: 1943-45) is pretty much the story of Fernaufklarungsgruppe 5 of the Luftwaffe tasked to provide surveillance of the Allied convoys in the Atlantic and inform the German Navy’s U-boats packs about their movements. Admiral Karl Doenitz, the creator of the U-boat fleets, realized the value of air reconnaissance and surveillance far more than his counterparts in the Luftwaffe did. He knew they could be a potent weapon which could give timely information to his U-boat commanders of enemy shipping, their numbers, composition and direction. This would enable him to assign the nearest U-boat pack to attack the convoy. Continue reading ““Shadow Over The Atlantic” by Robert Forsyth”

“The Life of Hinduism” Edited by John Stratton Hawley & Vasudha Narayanan

Perhaps as you grow older, you become more interested in religion and spiritualism. This could be one reason why these days I have been reading books I would never have sought out even 10 years ago. One on this list is, ” The Life of Hinduism” edited by John Stratton Hawley, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Religion at Bernard College, and Vasudha Narayanan, Professor at the University of Florida. This was first published by the University of California Press in 2006. The version I read is the one published exclusively  for South Asia by the Aleph Book Company in 2017.  Continue reading ““The Life of Hinduism” Edited by John Stratton Hawley & Vasudha Narayanan”

” Glimpses of a Glorious Past”: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale: Book 2, 1908-1958

On June 10, 2017, I had shared the links to Book 1 of  “Glimpses of a Glorious Past: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale” which resides in the website of the Old Lawrencians Association (Lovedale). In that post, I have explained in detail about this book project and how happy we the contributors were that it was supported by the Old Lawrencians Association. The book was formally released at Lovedale during the Annual General Body Meeting of the OLA during Founder’s on May 22, 2017. Book 1, for those of you who have not yet read it, covers the period from 1858 to 1908.

 

 

I am delighted to inform you that Book 2 of ” Glimpses….” which covers the second fifty years from 1908 to 1958 has recently been uploaded to the website of the OLA.  Here is the link for you to read Book 2 of ” Glimpses of a Glorious Past: An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale”.

As you can imagine the second fifty years were of crucial importance in the history of the School. I have captured the essence of Book 2 in this blog post of July 12, 2017 titled, ” About Book 2 of Glimpses….”.

Happy reading and send us your comments and feedback. Thank you!

 

 

 

“My Hanuman Chalisa” by Devdutt Pattanaik

“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”

About Book 2 of “Glimpses of a Glorious Past” : An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale

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”

“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)

Continue reading ““Glimpses of a Glorious Past” : An Informal History of The Lawrence School, Lovedale”