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Posts Tagged ‘Indian Defence: Crises & Challenges’


Two Fates: The Story of My Divorce
Judy Balan| Westland| 199 pp, Rs 150

Two Fates is a puerile romp that’s as breezy, infantile and forgettable as a Bollywood teenage flick. The writing as imaginative as the aspirations of the pushy writer, “Judy is a single mother who has no real achievements to her credit…Two Fates is her first book through which she hopes to become famous, sell movie rights and fight with Amir Khan.” And yes, she has website and claims to write ‘other stuff’ like reviews, interviews and stories, no not for boring newspapers or magazines, but (how cute!) for her five year old girl. What she would really like is for the world to get over Carrie Bradshaw and give her a column. Any takers?

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Indian Defence: Crises & Challenges
Dr NC Asthana & Dr Anjali Nirmal| Pointer Publishers| pp 356, Rs 2400

In this book on comparative strength and weaknesses of Indian, Pakistani and Chinese military might, an IPS officer tells us that the whole world is impotent in front of US might. The Chinese are ruthless and Pakistan is desperate. And we, we lack a national character and are easily waylaid by media and politicians who at a drop of a hat turn peaceniks. Asthana received the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2011, has served as IG CRPF Kashmir and IGP CoBRA. He describes himself as the last polymath, hates sports, which he considers juvenile but practices kickboxing and enjoys doing bench presses. Together with his wife they have authored 16 books.

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The Perfect World
Priya Kumar| Embassy Books| 319 pp, Rs 275

The incredible changes that have taken place across the world can be disturbing, elating and confusing all at the same time. The uncertainty of where we may be heading as people, society and individuals can be unsettling. Inter-personal relations come under stress, as does our approach to the work we chose to do. Increasingly we are confronted with a neurosis that can be destructive and self-defeating. In India the tradition has been to seek out gurus to pull us out of life’s spiral. The west falls back on what it calls self-help books and ‘motivational speakers’. Priya the darling of Punjabi NRIs is one of them.

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War of the Worldviews
Deepak Chopra & Leaonard Mlodinow| Rider Books| 315 pp, Price not mentioned

Which worldview is right? Does science describe the universe or do ancient practices like meditation unravel mysteries that are beyond the worldview of science? Deepak Chopra the most famous student of Guru Maharishi Yogi and Leonard Mlodinov, professor at the Caltech take diverse positions on the evolution of the universe, quantum physics and neuroscience. This book has evoked intense reactions. There are those who see Chopra as a man who has repackaged Jiddu Krishnamurthy’s philosophy and mixed it with psedo science and pop psychology, and those who revere him as a new age guru. Mlodinov, a famous physicist and writer who has co-authored book with Stephen Hawkins – besides scripting the cult Star Trek: The Next Generation – allege some, has been duped by marketing agents into co-authoring this book.

(An edited version of the above reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of the Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 18 December 2011)

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