Posts Tagged ‘alienation’

Ganesha on the Dashboard
V. Raghunathan & M.A. Eswaran| Penguin| Rs 299

Aisa lagta hai ki Indra devta hamse naraaz hai,” [It seems Lord Indira (rain god) is unhappy with us] said Delhi’s CM Sheila Dixit, replying to the delay in preparations for the Common Wealth Games in 2010. There is something wrong with Indians, say the authors of this book, when people accept that appealing to god is perfectly justified for the government. Could this be because Indians lack a scientific temper? Raghunathan, a banker, who writes a column for a daily economics newspaper, and Eswaran, a retired nuclear physicist, come together to collate their responses to our nation’s obsession with gods and god men, astrology, numerology, rituals etc. Especially readable is Eswaran’s ruminations on science’s relationship with god.


The Magic
Thonda Byrne| Simon & Schuster| Rs 399

Fifteen years ago, Rhonda Byrne, suggested in her book The Secret that simply thinking about a thing one can manifest its existence. Therefore, positive thinking, she argued, created a positive life. Her subsequent two books, The Power and now, The Magic has taken the argument to the moral plane. In The Power Byrne argued that change could only be powered by thought and now in the latest book,  The Magic she says that magic is powered by gratitude. In the words of science, one’s existence is a factual reality. The thoughts and emotions that guide you, spring from the moral universe that surrounds you. In other words, divinity is a matter of faith.


Fish in a Dwindling Lake
Ambai| Penguin| Rs 250

Fish in a Dwindling Lake is Ambai aka Dr. C. S. Lakshmi’s third collection of short stories to appear in English. In these stories, the writer uses the female body as tool to make sense of love, longing and life among Mumbai’s Tamil community. “The only reality is the body…,” she tells her translator Lakshmi Holmstrom, “We exist, because the body exists.” Ambai, who writes in Tamil, is known for her criticism of 1970s Tamil literature that focused on “male angst and alienation”. As a feminist, her interest has been to bring the woman, as an independent powerful entity, back into contemporary Tamil narrative.

(An edited version of the above reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of the Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 11 March 2012)

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