Book Review: The Siege

The Siege is a book on the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, focused almost entirely on the Taj Hotel, by career journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark. The duo happen to be married and are co-authors of an impressive array of investigative journalism style books on terrorism. While reading the book, it is easy to forget that the book is fact

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Book Review: The Ivory Throne

There has been a dearth of good readable Indian history books and The Ivory Throne helps fill that void. (Other eminently readable and lesser known Indian history books: 1857 by Vishnu Bhatt, Do and Die by Manini Chatterjee). Manu S. Pillai’s Ivory Throne is a fantastic book that chronicles the history of the kingdom of Travancore. To be frank, I only picked the book

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Book Review: The Missionary Position

Written by renowned polemicist, Hitchens, The Missionary Position is a sort of sting operation conducted on the life of Mother Teresa. At 99 pages, it is also probably among the thinnest yet incredibly good books that I have read. Hitchens lays bare Teresa’ life like it should have been. After all, what’s wrong with a little bit of devil’s advocacy? And,

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Book Review: Amritsar – Mrs. Gandhi’s Last Battle

I have recently gotten hooked to Indian history again, after a few years. To be honest, except Guha’s “India after Gandhi”, I wasn’t aware of any good book on India’s history post Independence. And I have recently come across around five… I read Amritsar right after Kuldip Nayar’s fantastic ‘Emergency Retold‘ and loved it. Mark Tully and Satish Jacob take

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Book Review: Dhanda by Shobha Bondre

I got onto this book after reading the fantastic ‘Rokda‘ from the same publisher. I am in a phase where I am finding contemporary Indian history interesting, which is why I breezed through Shobha Bondre’s ‘Dhanda‘ in two days. Though I liked the book, it had two major flaws. One, except the Gujarati Mayor character, I had heard of none

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Book Review: Emergency Retold by Kuldip Nayar

I remember asking my mother if she remembered the Emergency in the 70’s and she told me, “Yes, a lot of people went to jail; but corruption went away. Trains, buses used to be on time.” That and the undeniable fact that Indira Gandhi had induced the Emergency to satiate her hunger for power, had been my narrow viewpoint on

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Book Review: 1857 – The Real Story of the Great Uprising

Written by a Brahmin mendicant (Vishnu Bhatt), who somehow fortuitously ended up being in parts of India where (and when) the revolt was breaking out, ‘1857‘ is a fantastic book chronicling the first great uprising of the Indian freedom struggle. Vishnu Bhatt wrote the book as a diary – which was published only after his death in the early 20th

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Book Review: Do and Die

I read this book after I came to know the movie version wasn’t really an accurate adaptation of the actual history of the Chittagong uprising. Being a history buff, I really wanted to know what actually happened in Chittagong. Chatterjee does justice to the subject and keeps you hooked even though you know the fate of the uprising already (from

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Book Review: The Curse of Brahma

As a lover of books based on Indian mythology, I opened Jagmohan Bhanver’s The Curse of Brahma with a bit of apprehension. And, there was a certain reason behind that. Lately, a number of retelling of Indian mythologies had disappointed me. But, to my own surprise, this book captured my attention in the Prologue and then I could not stop

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Book Review: Travels in Kashmir

Frederick Drew pointed out emphatically – ‘from Kashmir AND FROM NO OTHER SPOT IN ASIA one may go westward through countries entirely Muhammadan, as far as Constantinople; eastward among none but Buddhists to China; and southward over lands where the Hindu religion prevails, to the extremity of the Indian peninsula.’ What can be more enticing than the above lines about

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Book Review: The Thirteenth Day

The Thirteenth Day is the tale of the Great War between the cousins – Pandavas and Kauravas. The title announces what can be expected out of the book. The blurb is crisp and describes the story, arousing the reader’s interest. The cover page gives a sneak peek into the battle field and how it would have been. Mahabharatha is one

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Book Review: The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi

“What has, however, clearly happened in my case is the discovery that in all probability there is a vital defect in my technique of the working of non-violence. There was no real appreciation of non-violence in the thirty years’ struggle against British Raj. Therefore, the peace that masses maintained during that struggle of a generation with exemplary patience, had not

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Book Review: The Guardians of the Halahala

Halahala – Hindu mythology. Vikramaditya – Indian history. Did I tell you I am a mythological & historical fiction fan. Shatrujeet Nath just went ahead and blurred the lines between the two, and the result is a book that gave me a reason to return to reviewing books 🙂 Coming to the book, The Guardians of the Halahala takes us

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Book Review: Labyrinth

Anthologies are not very rare in the Indian literary market these days, and yet there are few which can be counted into good ones. Litizen is a virtual platform for writers and it has come up with an interesting anthology, unrestricted to the bounds of genre. There’s gaming, ghosts, paranormal activities, beautiful con artists at job and a little magic

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Book Review: The Yogic Manager

The art of yoga, is the way to good living, as we all know. Combining yoga with the principles of management, is quite novel and unique to say the least. The book draws inspiration from the epic, The Mahabharata, especially the gem within that epic, The Bhagavad Gita, which is the series of conversational pieces between Lord Krishna and Prince Arjuna/ Dhananjaya. In the Foreword of The Yogic Manager:

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Book Review: The Wordkeepers

Part of Debut Indian Writers Challenge 2013 As soon as I started reading the first page of Jash Sen’s debut novel, The Wordkeepers, I was instantly hooked by the scene, which drew me right onto the battleground in Kurukshetra, set at a pivotal moment, with Arjun–Ashwatthama about to annihilate the planet, and Lord Krishna trying to prevent it. Thus began a

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Book Review: Life..Love..Kumbh

Part of Debut Indian Writers Challenge 2013, South Asian Challenge 2013 and Reading Challenge 2013: First Reads What is the most exotic thing you know about Kumbh Mela in India. Answer in the form below. The most e.x.o.t.i.c. answer makes you the Reader-Winner of July 2013 and gets the laughter riot book The President’s Coming by Anuvab Pal home delivered at your place. A

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Book Review: Shiva Trilogy

The Shiva Trilogy by Amish for me will always represent that whiff of freshness that stormed the Indian literary scene that was nearly choking with louveeee in 2010! (not that the scene is any different now [after 3 years] but the winds are definitely changing). The mythological – historical – adventure – fiction series is all but immortalized as one of the trend changers amongst Indian books and Indian publishing

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Book Review: Roll of Honour

Part of South Asian Challenge 2013 and Reading Challenge 2013: First Reads This review is honoured to be on the author’s website. I had earlier interviewed Amandeep and his answers were the major push behind me wanting to read the book. I was born at the end of 1983 in Bhopal. Two major events happened in Bhopal around my formative, childhood years

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Book Review: Return of a King

Part of 2013 Reading Challenge: First Reads Title: Return of a King Author: William Dalrymple Publisher: Bloomsburry Publishing Plc ISBN: 978-1-4088-1830-5 Pages: 487 Genre: Non-Fiction Rating: 4.5 of 5 Reviewed for: MySmartPrice The line between fiction and real blurs as one digs more into the real. History exploring is one such real digging and unbelievable are the treasures that pop

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