Showing posts from June, 2017

The 7th Decade - is it really so different ?

Turning 70 – is it really such a great milestone?

Last year I entered the 7th decade of my life and was very excited about it. Somehow it seemed such a great occasion. A friend of mine had SIX birthday parties – held by her friends and family. I was determined to really have a birthday in style – in Rome with some close friends. But as luck would have it, our program got cancelled a day earlier and I spent my birthday on a flight from Delhi to New York! So much for best laid plans.

 But today as I come close to my 71st birthday, I wonder – am I any different?

Oh, the bones do ache, there is a reluctance to do work in any form and like most of my friends we make a beeline for the nearest chairs when we go somewhere. Physically, a lot has changed, not for the better, I can assure you!

But am I mentally any different? I am a little more tolerant – my children and husband may not agree with me, but I have become more accepting of people. I do not keep trying to change them, I have learn…
All Eyes on Her by Poonam Sharma
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

All Eyes On Her
Authored by Poonam Sharma

‘Revenge is sweet but sabotage is more entertaining’

With a blurb like this, you pick up this book, and look forward to an entertaining tale of revenge and mischief – a bit like a ‘chick-lit’ novel.

This is definitely a light, airy novel, dealing with the life of a young girl of Indian origin, living in Los Angeles and working with a law firm which deals with celebrity clients. Somehow it reminds you of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, for there are many references to brand names, and high society going-ons, even though it is based on the legal fraternity rather than the fashion writing industry.

This is Poonam Sharma’s second novel. She acknowledges it ‘To the females who have made my difficult, because you taught me how to protect myself and, incidentally, gave me another idea for a book’. With an acknowledgement like that she strikes a chord with most women, and specially the ones who work in…
That Woman You See by Sujata Parashar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Look around you; you are surrounded by fascinating women, women who will charm you, women who will rebuff you, smiling women and some who look like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Maybe you are one of these fascinating women, maybe you are one of the men who are fascinated by these women, whosoever you may be, That Woman You See is somewhere connected to your life and home.
Sujata Parashar has ventured into the field of short story writing with a glimpse into the lives of these women who are a part of our world. Her book That Woman You See attempts to fathom the complexities of women in India, complexities which are a part of women worldwide.
Frankly I am not a short story fan, somehow I am often left with a feeling that there must be more to this story – the author maybe needs to elaborate upon it more. But while reading Sujata’s book I soon realised that her exploration of the various facets of women in India…
The Saga of Muziris by A Sethumadhavan and Prema Jayakumar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Saga of Muziris

Lost in this land of myriad cultures and communities there are some stories which carry within them a narrative of an era which is similar to our present day yet different in so many ways. They show us a mirror image of what our country truly was – a collage of religions and beliefs and a nation that had lived in harmony with communities with different identities through centuries. I have often wondered where did those communities disappear to ? Is it possible that we only visit them in our books or do we find remnants of their buildings and artefacts around us – something that we can touch and feel and maybe hear voices from many generations ago.
The Saga of Muziris, written by Sethu in Malayalam under the name Marupiravi, and beautifully translated into English by Prema Jayakumar is a book that delves into a lost civilisation in Kerala, a maritime port which drowned under the same wa…
Ajmer sharif Awakening of Sufism in South Asia by Reema Abbasi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ajmer Sharif - Awakening of Sufism in South Asia
By Reema Abbasi

There are a few places in this world which hold a very special place in my heart. Three of them are precious because of their sanctity, because they connect me with someone who takes care of me and watches over me. The three places are Vaishnodevi Shrine, Jerusalem and Ajmer Sharif Dargah.

To find a beautiful book about Ajmer Sharif with amazing pictures and a lovely history of Sufism using the Dargah as the focal point was like receiving a treasured gift. It was as if I had been taken back to a place that I love to visit often. Suddenly I was introduced to new aspects of a much loved friend and it was as if he had been given a new face and I was discovering new facets about him!

Reema Abbasi is a young journalist who has won awards for her gender sensitive reporting. She has written a book on “Historic Temples in Pakistan: A call to cons…
Lata Her Own Voice: Conversations with Nasreen Munni Kabir by Kabir Munni Nasreen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lata Mangheskar – in her own voice
Conversations with Nasreen Munni Kabir

What an absolutely beautiful book!!

It is one of the most enjoyable ‘coffee-table’ books that I have ever read or seen. To relegate it to the level of ‘coffee-table’ books would be doing it an injustice – because it has some amazing photographs that I have seen, and it brings one of our most famous icons closer to us. The black and white image of a very young Lataji on the cove, sets the tone for a memorable book.

Nasreen Munni Kabir did a six-part documentary series on Lata Mangheskar in 1991 for Channel 4, titled ‘In Her Own Voice’. In 2008, she began to update the conversations she had with Lataji and convert them into a book.

Lataji is one of the most reclusive of Indian icons. She leads a sheltered life and rarely do we see her in film magazines, nor has her life been enmeshed in any sca…


My city is a fascinating city – and I wish more people would love it rather than keep complaining about it. Oh, I do agree that it has bad traffic problems, its citizens have major attitude problems and the pollution is enough to make you want to run away. But there is so much to love in this city – there is so much to enjoy here – let me tell you some of the reasons why I feel that there are few places like it!! 1. Music everywhere – it is winter and the music season is becoming very active. Where else can you sit in the Nehru Park and listen to phenomenal musicians such as Amjad Ali Khan, L. Subramanian, Kishori Amonkar and many others for free. Which other city can boast of free Percussion festivals, where you can just sit back among amazing greenery and get lost in the sounds around you. Now they are also going to have a Food Palate festival at Nehru Park. What I love is the fact that during these concerts the audience ranges from the very young to the very old, proving that o…