Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Great Divide - India and Pakistan


Author: Various

Edited By: Ira Pande

Language: English

Pages: 380

Cost: 495 Rs.

Publisher: Harper Collins

First Published in India: 2009

This book is actually a quarterly published by India Today and Harper Collins. It is compilation of various authors from India and Pakistan about relationship between India and Pakistan, story of partition and its effect, the future, the past and present for both the countries. After 26/11 India and Pakistan are almost went to war again.

This book is deals with various aspects of relationship between India and Pakistan. It talks about partition, how the demands for partition developed, role of Jinnah in partition, effects of partition, and reasons behind partition, how it went wrong. It also compares India and Pakistan on various aspects such as democracy, economy, culture etc. The book tries to describe why Indian democracy prospered and in Pakistan democracy could not sustain. It tries to reason out why there is still conflict between two countries after more than six decades.

The book hosts various essays on India – Pakistan by following Authors from both the countries:

1. Ashutosh Varshney

2. Arvind Sharma

3. Swapan Dasgupta

4. U.C. Dubey

5. Philip Oldenberg

6. Ashok Malik

7. B.G. Verghese

8. Meghnad Desai

9. Prem Shankar Jha

10. Salman Haidar

11. C. Raja Mohan

12. Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy

13. Ajai Sahani

14. Mukul Kesavan

15. Ajoy Bose

16. Beena Sarwar

17. Amit Baruah

18. Sonia Jabbar

19. Salima Hashmi

20. Yousuf Saeed

21. Laila Tyabji

22. Shiv Vishvnathan

23. Alok Rai

24. Ira Pande

25. Kai Friese

26. Rehan Ansari

27. Madhu Purnima Kishwar

28. Urvashi Butalia

29. Sabeena Gadi Hoke

30. Nadeem Aslam

31. Sunil Sethi

32. Daniyal Mueenuddin

33. And brilliant photographs taken by Kulwant Roy

I think this is must read book for every Indian. If I have to rate it I will give it 8 out of 10.

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Tambada Raqt - Nava Halla"

BOOK REVIEW “Tambad Raqt – Nava Halla”

Author: Arun Mokashi

Language: Marathi

Pages: 184

Cost: 400 Rs.

Publisher: Granthali Prakashan

First Published in India: 10th May 2008

“Tambad Raqt – Nava Halla” is a book based on Afghanistan. We all know how dreadful life people of Afghanistan are living. But while reading this book, looking at pictures and going through the facts, I realize their life is far worse than I could have imagined. Just imagine how you will feel when your home is a death trap. People of Afghanistan are victims of war going on for more than 3-4 decades. First it was war between local communities, then between Russians and Talibanis who were supported by Pakistan & America, and now between America and Talibanis. Warriors changed of either side but the war never ended. America and Russia made Afghanistan battlefield for war between them out of their own country. As we know in any war if anything gets badly destructed it is battlefield and that’s what happening to Afghanistan.

When Russians left Afghanistan, people of Afghanistan felt they got their freedom finally with the help of America. But this freedom proved to be much worst for them. After Russia the power went to Taliban, which is proved as menace not only for Afghanistan but for whole world. They were group of people who enforce cruelty on the name of religion especially on women. Their brutal, inhuman punishments towards people they think on wrong side shocked whole world. They did not allow any sort of entertainment in the country, even kite flying was banned. Women were restricted from education.

This war affected generations of Afghanistan, many died brutal death, many got handicapped because of minefields especially children, many lost their families; people have live like refugee in their own country or on the boarders of Pakistan. Afghanistan today may be stable than earlier under America’s surveillance. They gone through elections but they don’t have infrastructure or economy of their own. They largely depend on millions of dollars coming from America. But more importantly they still have fear of Taliban which is moved to Pakistan looming over them all the time.

I think everyone must read this book or any other book on Afghanistan. It will make all of us realize what violence can do to a country. I rate this book 7 out of 10.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Must Read Books.......... Part 3

21. Book Name: “Changuna”
Language: Marathi
Author: Aacharya Atre (Pra. Ke. Atre)
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 224
Cost: 120 Rs.
Publisher: Parchure Prakashan
First Published: 15 August 1954

22. Book Name: “Balut”
Language: Marathi
Author: Daya Pawar
Genre: Autobiography
Pages: 196
Cost: 32 Rs.
Publisher: Granthali Prakashan
First Published: 24th December 1978
23.Book Name: “Pangira”
Language: Marathi
Author: Vishwas Patil
Genre: Novel, Fiction
Pages: 192
Cost: 130 Rs.
Publisher: Rajhans Prakashan

24. Book Name: “Bhutacha Janm Aani Katha”
Language: Marathi
Author: Da. Ma. Mirasadar
Genre: Short Stories, Humor
Pages: 146
Cost: 50 Rs.
Publisher: Continental Prakashan
First Published: 1958
25.Book Name: “Shilanganach Sona”
Language: Marathi
Author: Babasaheb Purandare
Genre: Fiction, History
Pages: 103
Cost: 12 Rs.
Publisher: Purandare Prakashan

26. Book Name: “Appointment”
Language: Marathi
Author: Vi. Va. Shirwadkar
Genre: Short Stories
Pages: 156
Cost: 12 Rs.
Publisher: Viswakarma Sahityalay
First Published: January 1978

27. Book Name: “Samidha”
Language: Marathi
Author: Ranjit Desai
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 171
Cost: 15 Rs.
Publisher: Ajab Pustakalay
First Published: 3rd March 1979
28. Book Name: “Bhatache Phul”
Language: Marathi
Author: Ga. Di. Madgulkar
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 146
Cost: 125 Rs.
Publisher: Kulkarni Granthagar
29. Book Name: “Mirasdari”
Language: Marathi
Author: Da. Ma. Mirasdar
Genre: Short Stories
Pages: 365
Cost: 100 Rs.
Publisher: Continental Prakashan
First Published: 1966
30. Book Name: “Zunz”
Language: Marathi
Author: Na. Sa. Inamdar
Genre: Biographical Novel
Pages: 620
Cost: 200 Rs.
Publisher: Continental Prakashan
First Published: 1966

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Haak Aabhalachi"

BOOK REVIEW “Hak Aabhalachi”

Author: Shri. Na. Pendase

Language: Marathi

Genre: Biographical Novel

Pages: 241

Cost: 200/-

Publisher: Parchure Prakashan

First Published in India: 19 March, 2007

“Hak Aabhalachi” is a biographical novel on ‘Lokmanya Tilak’. Lokmanya Tilak has been my idol from my childhood days. He is one of the top most respected, talented, larger than life, and God like personalities of Maharashtra. He is in the league of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharj for me. We still regret that there are still not enough books on Chatrapti Shivaji Maharaj. Same thing also applies for Lokmanya Tilak. There are hardly any books which elaborates the story of this Maharashtra’s Hero. Only way today’s youth is learning about him is through school books. And that is surely not enough. So when I came across this book I was overjoyed. And other reason to pick this book is that the book is penned by Shri. Na. Pendase, who is one of my favorite authors. So I had huge expectation from this book.

But book does not fulfill any of my expectation. I did not come across any new thing about Lokmanya Tilak’s life which I wasn’t already familiar of. Book is irritatingly repetitive. You will find same story repeated in every chapter. Book is not at all in the form on novel it looks like grouping of essays written on Lokmanya Tilak. As I mention earlier Shri. Na. Pendase is my favorite author. But I did find his class and quality lacking badly in this book. It may be because while writing this book he was really old as he mentioned in prologue. As a fan of his work I really feel sad to say that this is worst book written by him. And saddest thing is that it happened with the book which was based on my idol ‘Lokmanya Tilak’.

Although it is not up to the mark of best novels, youth of Maharashtra and India should read this book. And try to know the great man who served Maharashtra immensely. I hope someone will do more research on him and put light on the life of Tilak. Or after 2-3 decades Lokmanya Tilak will remain as a statue in some junction or name for any train any station any road for next generation. He will fade away from history.

If I have to rate this book I will give it 3 out of 10.