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Posts Tagged ‘Turning Point’


Colours Of The Cage
Arun Ferreira | Aleph | Rs 295

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 7.40.30 PMIn May 2007 human rights activist from Bandra, Arun Ferreira, was arrested by the Nagpur Police. He was charged with criminal conspiracy, murder, possession of arms and rioting. He was branded a Maoist. It took him four years and eight months to prove the State wrong. Ferreira was held in the notorious Nagpur jail – which he describes in this book in great detail. He speaks of the corruption, torture, code of conduct between prison mates, the general air of helplessness and the small things that keep hope alive. A chilling story, simply told.

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Fewer, Bigger, Bolder
Sanjay Khosla & Mohanbir Sawhney | Penguin | Rs 699

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 7.40.46 PMSanjay Khosla is a former president of Kraft Foods and Mahanbir Sawhney is a consultant in business innovation. Both currently work at Kellog School of Management. The flap mentions a third person, a longtime editor of ‘Chicago’ magazine, Richard Babock as a writer and teacher in Chicago – who we suspect is the actual writer of this tome. The book comes with a foreword by former chairman and CEO, Kraft Foods, Irene Rosenfeld who reveals that Khosla helped the company sell ‘Oreo’ cookie outside US. This book, she hopes, will be a ‘classic’ like ‘Oreo’.

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Turning Point
Ed. by Nikita Singh | Offshoots | Rs 399

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 7.41.01 PM‘Turning Point’ presents 8 short stories by young Indian writers that includes a vampire going through an identity crisis, a ghost stuck in the world of the living, a closet psychopath, a boy in love and a crime buster in Ahmedabad. The writers include Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, Durjoy Dutta, Judy Balan, Harsh Snehanshu, Shoma Narayanan, Parinda Joshi, Atulya Mahajan and the editor of the anthology, Nikita Singh. “Every story,” says Singh, “starts or ends at a turning point. Or maybe revolves around one. Things change – that’s one truth of life.” Where have we heard this before?

(The above reviews appeared in Sunday edition of the Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 16 November 2014.)

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The Two-Second Advantage
How We Succeeded in Anticipating Future – Just Enough

Vivek Ranadive & Kevin Maney | Hachette India | 256 pp, Rs 499

Sometime back, America’s prime retailer, Wal-Mart noticed that certain products, among them, pre-    baked toaster pastries made by Kellogg flew off the shelves just before a hurricane hit a region. Armed with this information it now regularly rushes these snacks to the stores in the hurricane’s path. The authors, Vivek Ranadive and Kevin Maney, call this ‘the two-second advantage’. Most people, they argue, can be divided into two types – those born with natural talent and those that hone their skills over time. The two represent how our brain works, an area that is being studied and co-opted by neuroscientists to develop predictive technology in areas as diverse as google search, increasing wine production to managing GPS based traffic snarls. Enterprises need to seize this advantage, even if it violates privacy issues. After all, hasn’t the use of surveillance cameras, mobiles and other tech solutions made our neighbourhoods and countries safer, they ask? Not all may agree.

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Silent Scream
Kishin R Wadhwaney |Siddharth Publications| 172 pp, Rs 400

Veteran cricket journalist, KR Wadhwaney takes on Ruchira Girhotra case to highlight “the over all sexual morality obtaining in the country.” Sadly, Wadhwaney makes no attempt to study how people in position of power sexually exploit young sporting talent in India. Instead, he focuses on retelling the sordid Ruchira saga while making not so charitable remarks about modern women. He notes that today’s woman is no longer symbol of ‘Sati-Savitri’ and that she’s more readily inclined towards pre-marital sex than a boy is. By dropping her guard, he argues, women invite trouble and pain. Today a woman, “Enjoys freedom of speech, dress and actions but all this should not be at the expense of safety, morality and chastity.”His empathy towards Ruchira and how the case unfolded, including how former Haryana IGP SP Singh Rathore exploited the political, bureaucratic and judicial system to serve his ends, however, saves the book from dissolving into a rant on modern day mores.

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The Turning Point
516 pp,
Rs 499

The Web of Life
320 pp, Rs 399

The Hidden Connections
272 pp, Rs 399

Fritjof Capra | Harper Collins India

When ‘The Turning Point’ was first published in 1982, Fritjof Capra was basking in the limelight of ‘Tao of Physics’ – a seminal book on how scientific ideas merge with mysticism. With ‘The Turning Point’ he examined how important areas of contemporary life including medicine, psychology, economics, political science and ecology would inevitable guide modern day science. Then came ‘Web of Life’ and ‘The Hidden Connections’ where Capra discarded the thinking of Descartes and Newton, in favour of a more holistic, ecological view. His radical synthesis of scientific theories including Gaia theory and chaos theory paved way for an extraordinary new foundation for ecological policies that would allow us to build and sustain communities without diminishing opportunities for future generations. Ever relevant, the reissue of his work in paperback by Harper Collins comes as a pleasant surprise. It’s a pity though that all three books have been reprinted in a tiny, non-reader friendly, compressed typeface.

(An edited version of these reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of the Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 16 October 2011)

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