Authors Posts by Atul K Thakur

Atul K Thakur

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Non-fiction/2016: The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore by Manu S. Pillai, Harper Collins, 694pp; Rs 699 (Paperback) Manu S. Pillai is aged twenty-six, when he has produced this most remarkable work on the extraordinary life and deeds of Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the last and popularly unknown queen of the House of Travancore – “The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore”. Knowing it took him six years to conceptualize and complete this book in maiden attempt, one has to really applaud the resurgent Asian intellectualism, where the age for serious historiography is now touching the base

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No Regrets by D N Ghosh, Rupa Publications, 375pp, Rs 695 (Hardback, Non-fiction) For those who are not aware: D N Ghosh has been an extraordinaire bureaucrat, banker, professor and corporate leader. Moreover, he is a known authority in banking and financial history, and accordingly his autobiography offers to his readers, a vast array of literature on the said topic besides the narrator’s reminiscences. Not in usual stodgy bureaucratic fashion of writings, Ghosh presents interesting anecdotes from his time as Secretary to the Government of India (GoI) and Chairman, State Bank of India (SBI). A remarkable policy maker and an

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An old reality is Nitish Kumar’s snapping of over one and half decade old ties with BJP. He knows and the world knows, this happened because of Narendra Modi’s enduring interest in core rightist ideology unlike his octogenarian predecessor in looking back mode, L K Advani. Nitish was comfortable with Advani, before and after the later’s heartily endorsement as Jinnah as ‘secular’. Although in collective reckoning, Jinnah was not a secular leader – and Advani too didn’t loose his faith in aggressive Hindutva, but the politics is not to track on a linear path. Thus in nostalgia of better handled

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Book Review: Fiction/Maps for a Mortal World: Selected prose by Adil Jussawalla—Edited & introduced by Jerry Pinto, Aleph, 340pp; Rs495 (Paperback) The worst thing about being a human being is being a human being. ‘I wish I was bird’, as the railway clerk in Nissim Ezekiel’s poem says. But if I were, the worst thing about being a bird would be being a bird. Adil Jussawalla supremely talented literary world is uniquely diverse and unwaveringly at peace with others’ writing—so you read many such good pointers while turning the pages of this beautiful book. Jussawalla, a prolific poet, columnist, critic—and

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The beginning of a new age of violence in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989 took off with the mayhem ensued by the permission of the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, for the intelligence apparatus of her country to export fighters outward from the Kashmir valley. Since then, Kashmir is visible more like a chessboard for a large malicious game of intrigue, where the official truth appears manufactured narrative rather than it should be in its natural shape. The tug of war between India and the opposition forces from Kashmir along with the clear support of Pakistan and its

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Aruni Kashyap   Aruni is among those few, who practically objected the stereotypical portrayal of Northeast India as a ‘subject matter.’ These seven states, otherwise, are far too diversified to be approached with narrowly preoccupied views. But from the ‘mainland,’ any attempt of correction remained elusive so far, alas! The House with a Thousand Stories is set in the backdrop of turbulent Assam, especially on the killing years in the late 1990s-early 2000s. Politically conscious albeit modestly judgmental, Aruni weaves many stories into a complex fold that intricately separates the soft notions from real tragedies in action. The novel is

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Fatima Bhutto Fatima Bhutto is a conscience keeper of her sensibility. She has proved it on time and again. Her detailed memoir, Songs of Blood and Sword, had made the world knowing about the very famous Bhutto’s overtures with the real politicking of Pakistan’s tragic democracy, like never before. Then, she championed in writing uncomfortable truths of her family and politics, dutifully, and broke a firm impression that the load of powerful past can keep the flame of personal intention and integrity on toe. Remarkably, she did it when she was quite young—and now she is back, with her debut

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Raza Rumi As Raza is Rumi, so ploy of narrower gratifications should normally evade his identity. Surprisingly (for conformity between author and editor), the cover of Delhi by heart presents this most impartial and genuine self-narration on the city Delhi as—‘Impressions of a Pakistani Traveler’. In actual, the author was never alien to this city—as like many of us, he too could see beyond the boundary without falling in guise of extreme limiting factors—such as nationality and uncomfortable equations among the two nieghbouring nations. Like insiders of this city, his comfort level is more competent with the old parts of

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Mayank Austen Soofi By Atul K Thakur Mayank is not laconic as a writer and he also breaks the stereotypical views. His book, Nobody Can Love You More on Delhi’s red light area, Garstin Bastion Road, confirms it. G. B. Road, as it is known popularly is generally considered the work place for ‘fallen women’, pimps and visitors without identity or moral position. But it’s an existing world, with running oldest profession of the civilization and also of other petty trades. Here flesh traded and could be seen from the corner, unlike Delhi’s alternative elite flesh trade market, which was

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Mohsin Hamid is the author of the 2007 novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. He lives in Lahore, Pakistan. Photograph by Ed Kashi By Atul K Thakur [H]ow the books, in general are meant for? They are for ‘self-help’, reveals the narrator of Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, on a less cryptic note. Though he doesn’t assert its universal supremacy, but cites it’s fallible and can be deviated as well. The later conclusion, Hamid’s third novel gives that narrator is ‘other’ and reader is ‘self’-the book progresses under this existential arrangement, and through taking meticulous care of

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