review

Independent India's wars: A full but not fully fair account

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To a great extent, the author meets most of his objectives - though he misses the opportunity to try to resolve certain controversies, reconcile conflicting narratives related to quite a few incidents and solve some mysteries - say for example, the mysterious officer who appears in Kashmir during the 1947 conflict and tries to reverse decisions (as recounted in Lt. Gen. L.P. Sen's "Slender Was the Thread").

An explosion far bigger than Gujarat riots

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This book is the ultimate in investigative journalism. One has to salute Rana Ayyub for taking extraordinary risks to do what she did. When she launched the book, she revealed that no publisher was willing to publish it; and so she decided to self-publish it. If Pulitzer had a prize for courageous journalism overseas, she would undoubtedly get it. 

Much has changed in 25 years of India's liberalisation

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The book honestly makes you go through the good and bad turn of events. It is not judgmental but candidly spells out how India has shaped out. It is not preachy, but still makes the reader ponder at various points whether "what's changed" has been towards growth. Especially, at a point, where it reminds you of the 2012 gang-rape of a physiotherapy intern.

The hazards of changing history

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Suppose we had the power to travel back in time and change history by preventing the death of a key figure, or perhaps, eliminating a troublemaker. But would time sweep on in the same way we anticipated or would it or some other mechanism that runs the universe foil our efforts to make the future (our present) better than the one we know?

'Keh Doon Tumhe.': Shashi Kapoor and his all-round film career

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In time when Bollywood is a no longer only an Indian phenomenon, but engaging with Hollywood on its own terms and becoming a vibrant part of global cinema, his is a story that needs to be told. 

How Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw broke the glass ceiling with Biocon

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The book chronicles Biocon's 37-year long journey like a story. It narrates how, over a period of time, Shaw became a brand ambassador: "Not just of a flegling industry but of innovation-led business in general. By interacting with the funding and regulatory agencies and the political system, she gave a face to the industry."

A 'jingo imperialist' called Rudyard Kipling

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Despite the nearly seven years he spent in India, Kipling's love for and knowledge of the country was debatable. He had no Indian friends and he knew India through servants and courtiers looking for favours from the white man. His mind was closed to anything good in the East. He would distort or bend Indian words, a liberty he would not take with European languages like French.

A desperate mission to Karachi - and its strange objective

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Military thrillers have not been very frequent in India - at least in the time when this first came - but Nath, who earlier "sold ice-creams, peddled computer training courses, written ad copy and reported on business as a journalist," manages to perform very creditably in presenting its various nuances, while combining it with a substantial espionage/international intrigue component.

When Chittagong was 'liberated' from British

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Subodh Roy was born into an affluent family in Chittagong - his father was a successful lawyer - and had no interest in politics until a friend's brother convinced him that ending the British Raj was more important than building a career. So, at age 12, Roy became a volunteer at the conference of the Congress party when it was held in the port town (then East Bengal, now in Bangladesh) in 1928. This is where he first met Surya Sen, popularly known as 'Master Da,' the later mastermind of the armoury raid.

A way to do more in lesser time with lower stress?

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Allen's method only calls for focus accompanied with clarity and decisiveness in planning and executing, which largely needs common sense and simple logic - but in most situations of pressure and tension, people to even forget these basic human attributes.

REVIEW

Books

Independent India's wars: A full but not fully fair account

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


To a great extent, the author meets most of his objectives - though he misses the opportunity to try to resolve certain controversies, reconcile conflicting narratives related to quite a few incidents and solve some mysteries - say for example, the mysterious officer who appears in Kashmir during the 1947 conflict and tries to reverse decisions (as recounted in Lt. Gen. L.P. Sen's "Slender Was the Thread").

An explosion far bigger than Gujarat riots

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


This book is the ultimate in investigative journalism. One has to salute Rana Ayyub for taking extraordinary risks to do what she did. When she launched the book, she revealed that no publisher was willing to publish it; and so she decided to self-publish it. If Pulitzer had a prize for courageous journalism overseas, she would undoubtedly get it. 

Much has changed in 25 years of India's liberalisation

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


The book honestly makes you go through the good and bad turn of events. It is not judgmental but candidly spells out how India has shaped out. It is not preachy, but still makes the reader ponder at various points whether "what's changed" has been towards growth. Especially, at a point, where it reminds you of the 2012 gang-rape of a physiotherapy intern.

The hazards of changing history

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


Suppose we had the power to travel back in time and change history by preventing the death of a key figure, or perhaps, eliminating a troublemaker. But would time sweep on in the same way we anticipated or would it or some other mechanism that runs the universe foil our efforts to make the future (our present) better than the one we know?

'Keh Doon Tumhe.': Shashi Kapoor and his all-round film career

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


In time when Bollywood is a no longer only an Indian phenomenon, but engaging with Hollywood on its own terms and becoming a vibrant part of global cinema, his is a story that needs to be told. 

How Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw broke the glass ceiling with Biocon

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


The book chronicles Biocon's 37-year long journey like a story. It narrates how, over a period of time, Shaw became a brand ambassador: "Not just of a flegling industry but of innovation-led business in general. By interacting with the funding and regulatory agencies and the political system, she gave a face to the industry."

A 'jingo imperialist' called Rudyard Kipling

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


Despite the nearly seven years he spent in India, Kipling's love for and knowledge of the country was debatable. He had no Indian friends and he knew India through servants and courtiers looking for favours from the white man. His mind was closed to anything good in the East. He would distort or bend Indian words, a liberty he would not take with European languages like French.

A desperate mission to Karachi - and its strange objective

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


Military thrillers have not been very frequent in India - at least in the time when this first came - but Nath, who earlier "sold ice-creams, peddled computer training courses, written ad copy and reported on business as a journalist," manages to perform very creditably in presenting its various nuances, while combining it with a substantial espionage/international intrigue component.

When Chittagong was 'liberated' from British

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


Subodh Roy was born into an affluent family in Chittagong - his father was a successful lawyer - and had no interest in politics until a friend's brother convinced him that ending the British Raj was more important than building a career. So, at age 12, Roy became a volunteer at the conference of the Congress party when it was held in the port town (then East Bengal, now in Bangladesh) in 1928. This is where he first met Surya Sen, popularly known as 'Master Da,' the later mastermind of the armoury raid.

A way to do more in lesser time with lower stress?

IANS Rating  

User Rating  


Allen's method only calls for focus accompanied with clarity and decisiveness in planning and executing, which largely needs common sense and simple logic - but in most situations of pressure and tension, people to even forget these basic human attributes.

Movies

'Thithi': Ground-breaking, rule-bending masterpiece

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Every year, there is one outstanding non-Bollywood film that throws forward a socio-cultural dilemma in a style so direct and blunt that it doesn't feel like cinema. "Thithi" is that rare achievement of 2016. It is so real, it is unreal!

'Housefull 3': Packed with quirky characters, crass gags

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The actors, except for Jackie Shroff, indulge in buffoonery to the hilt. They all are loud, over-the-top characters who go overboard with their exhibition and that’s because their characters demands them to do so.

'Veerappan': Brilliant camerawork engages you

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The script written by R.D. Tailang and Ram Gopal Varma, is based on narratives from N. K. Senthamarai Kannan, the Police Commissioner, who headed Operation Cocoon, an initiative launched by the Special Task Force of Tamil Nadu Police to nab the forest brigand and his associates.

'Phobia': Real and Palpable

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Radhika, who essays Mehak brilliantly, portrayed a gamut of emotions with ease and conviction. She almost carries the film squarely on her shoulders.

'Waiting': Actors rule the roost

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The characters are well-etched and the actors play their parts earnestly. Kalki Koechlin as Tara Deshpande and Naseeruddin Shah as Shiv Natraj, shine in their respective roles displaying a broad spectrum of emotions from serious to comic.

'The Angry Birds Movie' leaves you more annoyed than angry

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Thirteen years ago, Adam Sandler had anger management issues in a film called "Anger Management". This time it’s a red bird called Red who is prone to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat.

'Sarbjit' is a gem

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The film has tremendous visual velocity. Whether it’s Randeep’s Sarabjit locked up in a cell large enough to house a rat, or shots of Dalbir strolling forlornly amidst a bloom of yellow flowers, cinematographer Kiran Deohans captures the innermost sanctity of hearts torn asunder by political violence.

'Buddha in a Traffic Jam': Good intention, bad execution

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Correlating socialism and corruption, the film speaks about why socialism has no future and stimulates the audience for a revolution to change the world. But who will bell the cat?

'Pencil': A thriller that hardly thrills

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"Pencil" could have been an excellent edge-of-the-seat campus thriller, provided the makers didn't try and commercialise it for the masses. Had they stuck to the template (sans a romantic track) that was followed in the original, this could've been a path-breaking film.

'Criminal': Complex, but has strong performances

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The film is Kevin Costner's canvas and he leaves an indelible mark as Jericho, the criminal. He exhibits a fairly authentic portrayal of a heartless criminal, who over a period of time, turns sensitive.

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