English thulika: What is a Good Story?
Narla V.R.: THE need for SCIENTIFIC SPIRIT
Narla V.R.: CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN TELUGU
Narla V.R.: ANDHRA’S CONTRIBUTION TO CULTURE
Narla V.R.: INDIAN CULTURE -sublime and ridiculous aspects
Narla V.R.: ART AND SCIENCE of AJANTA AND ELLORA
Narla V.R.: Enjoy Shakespeare - Avoid emulation
Narla V.R.: V R Narla on culture
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: Durgesh Nandini - Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
“Durgesh Nandini” is the first Bengali novel written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Having heard about it first time during school days, I had a perpetual fascination to it. Over a period of time, I read Bankim’s “Anandmath” first and then, his first novel and the only one in English - “Rajmohan’s wife” next. I kept hearing about Durgesh Nandini through online sources periodically. Finally, got a chance to read it now! Thanks to the friend who lent me this book.
I prefer to classify it as a Historical Thriller, if there exists such a genre. It has all the requirements of a thriller novel, full of several twists and turns. Its a tale of the relations and wars between the Mughals, Rajputs and Pathans. Maharaja Mansingh of Amber is assigned the duty of checking the advent of Pathans in to Bengal area by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Pathans already occupied the Orissa area. Jagat Singh, young son of Mansingh is sent on this mission. In this process, he meets Tilottama, the daughter of Virendra Singh, ruler of Ghar Mandaran. Its love at first sight for both of them, though owing to a flash back, its impossible for the marriage to happen, due to a rivalry between Virendra Singh and Man Singh. There are Bimala, the maid of Virendra Singh and Abhiram Swami, his spiritual advisor. In a sudden twist in tale, when Jagat is on a secret meeting with Tilottama in her palace, Pathans attack Virendra singh for not siding with them in the war with Mughals. Jagat is taken captive, despite putting up a valiant fight. Virendra Singh is beheaded by Katlu Khan, the Pathan Ruler. The rest of the story is on how Bimala takes revenge on Katlu Khan. Who is Bimala? Why should a servant maid avenge Virendra Singh’s death? What is the fate of Tilottama? What happens to Jagat - all this form rest of the story.
It appeared to be 200+ pages, but, perhaps the font size was bigger. I read it quicker than expected. The narration style was gripping enough. It was racy and I had the feeling of “what happens next?” all the time, throughout. It had a good dose of History in it too, nevertheless, told in a very interesting way. I don’t know how much of this book is fact and how much of it is fiction, though. One thing that still baffles me is the name - Durgesh Nandini. I don’t know why the book is named so. Further, I expected something else from the novel. Hence, for no mistake of its, I was dissappointed with the novel. But, then, Bankim and “Durgesh Nandini” are enough to drive you in to reading this. The theme and narration will keep you glued to it.
Verdict: Its a very good novel for the first read. Further, it makes you more curious about Bankim and encourages to read more of him.
Name: Durgesh Nandini
Author: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
English Translation: B.M.Bhalla
Publishers: India Log (www.indialog.co.in)
English thulika: My new book just released
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: Chokher Bali - the book
I have been thinking of writing this post for many days now.It needed an idle weekend and computer availability to make this post spring to life, which happened at last! Well, to start it, “Choker Bali” is a novel by Rabindranath Tagore, who needs no introduction to any Indian reader. However, I first knew about Choker Bali as a Rituparno Ghosh movie starring Aishwarya Rai, which was released in 2003. It was only in the movie credits that I came to know that it is a Tagore novel. Since then, I wanted to read the book. Perhaps, I was destined to lay my hands on it only now. Thanks to this wonderful college library, I am able to satiate atleast some of those unfulfilled desires “Chokher Bali” is literally translated as “a grain of sand which causes the eyes to water”. I read this English translation by Sukhendu Ray.
The story primarily revolves around five characters - Mahendra and his wife Asha, Binodini (played by Aishwarya Rai in the movie) and Bihari, Mahendra’s friend and Rajlakshmi, Mahendra’s mother. Mahendra and Bihari both reject to marry Binodini at one point of time. Later, it so happens that Binodini marries and soon is widowed. Then comes Ashalatha. Though initially Bihari was expected to marry her, he sacrifices for Mahendra. All is well…Mahendra is so besotted with Asha that he neglects his studies, though Ashalatha is not so intelligent that she meets Mahendra’s expectations from her intellectually. Now arrives Binodini, on Rajlakshmi’s request. Both of them hail from same place and share some relationship. Binodini and Asha become friends and name their friendship as “Chokher Bali”. They address each other as “Bali”. With the arrival of Binodini, the relationship equations undergo a massive change, owing to the influence of Binodini on Mahendra and Bihari equally. This is the story in brief.
The characterization of Binodini was amazing. I don’t say that she is a good character. But, what fascinated me is the ability with which the character was moulded. It has several complex shades to it. It appeared to me like its impossible to put so many sides of the character, so many deep feelings inside her on to paper. But, then, Tagore did that and did that so smoothly, I did not at any point feel that the language is difficult. The book left me thinking about Binodini and trying to understand her behavior, for the following 2,3 days after reading it. I thought about the respective characters, their behaviors and their reactions to various scenarios again and again in the days that followed. I think this is an important characteristic of a well-written novel.
Verdict : I will not hesitate to read this novel again, if I get a chance.
Well, destiny has it that I am reading all well-written novels these days. Hence, readers can be sure that I did not lose my nitpicking ability yet. Or perhaps, I am not as demanding a reader that I was a few weeks back or perhaps, I fell in to the Bengali trap
Name: Chokher Bali
English Translation: Sukhendu Ray
Publishers: Rupa & Co
Price: around 200/-
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: Chowringhee - Sankar
“Chowringhee” is the English translation of a Bengali novel with the same name. The Bengali version was released way back in 1962, though it took more than 40 years for the English translation to actually happen. The story of how this English translation finally got released as a book is in itself a good story, which made me even more curious about the book. Bengali writers hardly dissappoint me and “Sankar”, the author of Chowringhee is no exception. I liked the simplicity of the novel and narration. I want to read more of Mani Sankar Mukherjee alias Sankar now
“Chowringhee” is the story of life at “Hotel Shahjahan”, a famous hotel in Kolkata. Sankar is a new recruit in to this hotel. The story is about various people in the life of Sankar, life at Shahjahan, relationships and has a bit of history too. Everyone has several stories to say. Everybody is a world in themselves. These several worlds exist in co-relation with one another, bound by the threads of relationships. In the same way, every place has some history associated with it and will be having several stories to say. However, lifeless as it is, it remains a mute witness to everything that happens around it. It speaks through those people who have long standing association with it. I would prefer to call that kind of people historians too. Indeed, they are the only sources of unwritten history, insignificant and inconsequential in a more worldly sense.
Narration was very gripping. Sata Bose, Karabi Guha, Sujatha, Marco, Byron, Rosie, Connie, Lambretta, Anindo, Mrs Prakarshi etc - all these characters came in to life in front of me as I progressed through the novel. I am still able to visualize some scenes, as I think of any one of the characters. All the characters were so full of life to me that, I was affected when Karabi died, when fate played diabolically with Sata Bose, when I “saw” Connie and Lambretta’s story-every significant event in the plot had some effect on me. I think I need not say more words in its praise. If its giving the reader a visual-feel to this extent, I don’t think anymore more needs to be expected from a well-written novel.
Its simple to the core and its about normal lives. Thats the best pat of it. Yeah, surely you can get enough insights in to the lives of Hotel staff too. You can get an idea of what lives of hotel staff will be like. Translation was good and pleasing to read. Arunava Sinha did a great job in translating the feelings not just in to English…but to the non-Bengali readers too
Translator: Arunava Sinha
Published in : 2007
Cost: Rs 295/-
Penguin India page for the book here.
Narla V.R.: Man and his world
Narla V.R.: Thoughts of Narla V.R.
Narla V.R.: V.R.Narla as Parliament member( Rajya Sabha)
Narla V.R.: Different Opinions about V.R. Narla
Narla V.R.: Who wrote what on V.R.Narla
Narla V.R.: How Narla VR viewed B R Ambedkar
Narla V.R.: Narla`s opinion about Rajneesh
Narla V.R.: Criticism on Viswanatha Satyanarayana
Narla V.R.: Narla V R dedications
Narla V.R.: Complete writings of V R Narla in 12 volumes
Narla V.R.: Narla Photo Album URL
Narla V.R.: Truth about Gita - Intoduction
Narla V.R.: Truth about Gita Telugu version as e-book
Narla V.R.: Narla library in B R Ambedkar Open University
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: The best of Ruskin bond
Saturday was a Ruskin Bonding day for me
I took a copy of “The best of Ruskin Bond” with me, to spend a weekend without internet at home. I had some minimum confidence that I will not be bored with the book. The book is a collection of various forms of his writings - stories,travelogues,essays,poems,horror tales,excerpts and novellas. I did not venture in to reading excerpts and those novellas. Excerpts since I don’t like reading one part of a novel and then, wondering about “what happens next?” later. Novellas since I read both of them before. Anyways, this collection did not dissappoint me, and it only increased the “minimum guarantee” feel about Ruskin Bond.
More than the normal short stories that he wrote, I liked his essays. I would call these “personal essays”, as RKNarayan said. Actually, I began to see some similarities between Bond and Narayan. Both of them write in simple language and about simple things in life. Both of them are not boring, normally. :) Ofcourse, the only difference is that I am never tired of RKN. But, sometimes, I don’t feel like reading some of Ruskin Bond’s pieces. Some appear not interestingly written for me… However, Ruskin Bond is also this kind of author, whom you can pick up at any point of time and just spend your idle hours peacefully and with atleast some smiles.
As I read through the different pieces of Bond, I was tempted to draw a couple of inferences about Ruskin Bond-the person and Ruskin Bond-the writer (I seriously doubt that the line of difference is quite thin as I have this f eeling that he wrote largely from his personal experiences). Ofcourse,
caution: these inferences might turn in to autobiographical comparisions as the number rises.
1. More than the short-stories, Bond’s essays are more attractive and more absorbing to read (The inherent gossipper that I am, I might be biased in saying this, as these are personal essays..;))
2. “The tales of the macabre”, though are only 5 or 6 in number, were also very impressively written.
3. I don’t understand the fun in keeping so many “excerpts”. (Perhaps, I am not made to read such excerpts..)
4. Bond’s style is simple and uncomplicated. Themes are also simple and uncomplicated. Ideal stuff for idling weekends.
5. His Travelogues are too formally written for his style.
6. Bond is a nature lover and a walk-lover (I like this band of nature-walk lovers….I am also one of them, though not as much a traveller as them).
7. Bond is a serious book-lover. (I too want to put myself in to this category… so, since our tastes match, we are of one kind…heehee)
8. Bond loves life at a leisurely pace. (I too would love to, but, I can’t afford!)
Finally, this weekend with Ruskin Bond left me inspired to write a couple of blog posts (Which, if time permits, will appear soon), made me realise the similarities between RKN and Bond, made me understand Bond, the person and his life style and finally, left me with a satisfaction that I read an enjoyable book. Ruskin Bond is certainly not in my list of all-time favourites (Though, I would still keep RKN in the list.). But, then, I can’t help liking some of his writings…and wouldn’t perhaps mind a second reading of some of his essays and vignettes. I would also love to read more of his brand of “horror” stories.
English thulika: Urban Characters in Telugu Fiction of the Sixties and Seventies.
English thulika: Six Blind men and the Elephant
English thulika: Updated 7/29/08 Thulika.net
English thulika: Girls’ Voices
Narla V.R.: Seetha Josyam, play of Narla
Narla V.R.: V R Narla
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: The IITians - Sandipan Deb
On a fateful day last week, I landed in the library, feeling bored sitting in lab. As fate would have it, the library was under maintenance and contrary to the popular screenshots that one will have about a library, it was buzzing with noise. There was not much of scope to browse through the general books section, as it was the place which was the center of all this commotion…where all the maintenance staff were centered. So, I just went and picked a random book from one shelf which was still not sanctified by the staff. This random book happened to be “The IITians” by Sandipan Deb. Seeing the caption for the title, I remembered reading about this book in Hindu or TOI long back, when it was released. I was doing my B.E. then. I liked that review a lot and wanted to read it. Ofcourse, the cost is 425/- which, for an Indian student, is enough to kill even a desire that is very consuming Now that I got to read this book for free, with all time in the world with me, I grabbed the chance.
I cannot say that its a master piece. But, never in recent past did I sit in library for hours together reading a single book. It is interesting in parts, motivating some where..and normal else where. All in all, though the author, an IITian himself, talked of some things as being uniquely IITian, they were infact universal. Being from a normal Osmania University college in Andhra Pradesh, and now from IIIT, I too was able to identify myself with many of the statements mentioned in the book. I think it has a sense of universality at places. The book covers everything about IITs from the story of their inception to life there to what alumni did to what are the problems with the system. Its a non-formal history of IITs in essence. You can get an inkling of almost every non-technical aspect that you want to know about IIT, if u read this book. An encyclopedia of IITian life - what happens to your life during your stay there. Its serious and comical at the same time I bet it can be an enjoyable reading experience.
This book in essence covered every other aspect that might strike to the reader. In that sense, its this completely written book, which understands the ever-inquisitive & over-curious readers like me. Again, perhaps because its because of the inherent gossipper in me that I was able to enjoy reading most of the book. I don’t see any other dominant reason other than this in my completion of a 350+ paged book with only a single break between the two sittings. Its a simple book, written in a simple, yet attractive way. Perhaps, more than anybody else, an IIT-ian in general and IIT-Kgpian in particular can identify themselves the best with this book, though I still stand by my words that any collegian student, particularly with on-campus life can identify with many parts of the book. The culture and atmosphere might be remarkably different in IITs but then, theres the air of similarity too…after all, college life!
I am amazed at the research that went on in making of this book. You come across so many ex-iitians speaking about themselves, their institution, their work post-IIT etc etc. I can’t help but congratulate Sandipan Deb, albeit in this obscure blog, for the amount of hard work he had put in to make this book what it is. I’d rather say that this is the best book of this kind that I have read so far.
The IITians: The Story of a Remarkable Indian Institution and How its Alumni Are Reshaping the World
Publishing Date: January 2004
Publisher: Penguin Books IndiaNumber of Pages: 392
English thulika: Grading an LCTL student
English thulika: A Shell With a Hole
English thulika: Telugu stories in English
PUSTAKALAYAM: Sravana Megham
'Sravana Megham' is about human relations in modern times. It is about the roles we play. It looks deeper into and dissects the so called value system. The book is authored by D.Uma Devi.
The book is brought out by DSN publications, Guntur and is available in all leading book stores.
Price of the book is Rs. 120/-. Pages: 240
English thulika: Dr. Nayani Krishnakumari: A Distinguished Scholar in Telugu Folklore and Literature
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: నవతరంగానికి నేను
గత పది రోజుల్లో నేను అకిరా కురొసవా పైనా, నవతరంగం పైనా మెరుపుదాడి ప్రకటించాను. ఆ ప్రభావం నవతరంగాన్ని చూస్తున వాళ్ళు చూసే ఉంటారు. ఏదో, నా తృప్తి కోసం, ఇక్కడ కూడా అక్కడి వ్యాసాలకి లంకెలు ఇస్తున్నాను:
1. On “Ikiru” (1952)
2. On “Throne of blood” (1957)
3. On “The Hidden Fortress” (1958 )
4. On “High and Low” (1963)
5. On “Dersu Uzala” (1975)
ఇవి కాక -
6. On “Ratatouille” (2007)
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: The Tipping Point
“The tipping point” by Malcolm Gladwell - I purchased this book, out of impulse, fresh from the effect of “Blink”, almost one year ago. That it took me one year to write a blog post on it does not in any way mean that this book did not interest me. Infact, I confess that this had a lot of influence on me and never did in recent past did I suggest people to read a book, as many times as I did for this. I even went to the extent of generously offering to keep the book at their disposal too
Well, this book is on - “how little things can make a big difference”, as the caption to the book indicates. It discusses about the “tipping point”, which is the exact point at which an idea or a fashion -crosses the limit, spreads rapidly everywhere and anywhere. It speaks about the contagiousness of certain notions.. perhaps, “stickiness” is the better word, to say in the author’s words. This book provides good case-studies to explain the same. I majorly enjoyed reading those case-studies. During the past one year, I remember reading most of those cases, more than once. The simplicity in conveying the message is the best part of this book. I think, this book might be even more interesting to the business adminstration students, though, I believe, its equally “useful” for everyone, if the sole purpose of reading any book is that it should be “useful” to you.
I particularly liked the first three chapters - the three rules of epidemics, the law of the few and the stickiness factor. They more or less summarises the whole idea of tipping point. I must have read all the pages till here more than once….they still hold that charm in my case :). This book is one must-read book…it will surely provide you with a new outlook - at all the things you experience thereafter.
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: Touching Lives
Touching Lives - The little known triumphs of the Indian space programme by S.K.Das
When I first saw this book, and heard some good words about it, it somehow failed to generate interest in me. Perhaps, the name ISRO made me feel that this is not my sort of book..I don’t know. However, one fine day, I infact began reading it… and it not only amazed me… it made me think..it made me feel great about ISRO and taught me a lot of things on what technology can do to common man.
“Touching Lives” is an account of how ISRO’s technology reached far corners of India and how people benifited from it. I am still half-way through the book, but cannot resist writing a post on it now. Perhaps, I might end up writing another post too, once I complete reading it. Its written by S.K.Das, an ex-civil servant and associated with ISRO. The story begins with Dr Kasturirangan, the then ISRO head asking Das to go around and see how successfully ISRO’s programs are running in Indian villages. This was in response to an anonymous letter, which had some complaints. So, S.K.Das sets out on a mission to explore and check on ISRO’s activities…and the book begins to generate curiosity in you.
It begins by describing about ISRO’s activities in Alirajpur village in Madhya Pradesh.. the SITE project. Its a tribal dominated village and the aim of the project is to educate the people there about various things starting from agriculture to general hygeine. It is from this place that the complaining anonymous letter arrived. Here, we meet the villagers, who share their experiences with the project and talk about how they benifited by it. My admiration to ISRO’s work began here… and is still going on.
There are cases of ISRO helping Fishermen in being more productive in lesser time and by less investment (Lakshadweep), reaching remote villages and giving them access to some of the country’s best doctors by their Telemedicine program (Portblair,Lakshadweep, Tripura etc), helping people in Koraput finding water resources, providing Education in Chamaraja Nagar (EDUSAT) etc. Most of the beneficiaries were the Below Poverty Line people. Most of them are Tribals, who are illiterate and living in utter penury. After seeing all those pessimistic accounts in news papers regularly, I was surprised to read about these things. Perhaps, what Dr Kalam said was true after all! - we highlight only when theres something amiss and when its “BAD”. Our papers perhaps really do not care about the good things, that happen too. I am quite surprised that.. when ISRO is doing so many things, I remained blissfully unaware, despite trying to follow whats going on around me. Lucky that I found this book. Thanks to my brother, who told me about this.
Ofcourse, the book potrays only a positive side..and gives an impression that its a fool proof thing and there are absolutely no problems that they ever faced. But, then, I think they can be excused…as we see the reverse scenario in the news-journalism these days. To conclude, hopefully, I come up with another blogpost on this. But, before that… let me strongly recommend to whoever reads this post - that this is a must read book…
Penguin publishers, cost: Rs 250/-
Available on most of the online bookstores too.
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: Adventures in Antarctica
“Adventures in Antarctica” is a sort of travelogue book, written by the brother-sister duo of Suravi and Rishi Thomas, aged 16 and 13 respectively, at the time when the book was released. I just browsed through the book for sometime, sitting in the library. I should say, its a delightful read. Despite it being written by non-professional people, and by kids in particular, it was very well written. I thoroughly enjoyed whatever time I spent on this book.
The book is essentially about the kids’ trip to Antarctica and their experiences there. It has some very nice photographs too. Best part of the book is that its priced at 195 only. Under normal circumstances, I would have said even that as an atrocious price. But, given the paper quality and the number of photographs provided, I think the book gives value to your money. Compared to many of those books, which are normal in style and content but priced at exorbitant prices, just because it was written by some celebrity, I think this is an “evenly priced” book
I wish the teenagers all the very best in their future efforts I liked the book and will keep liking it too
Details: Adventures in Antarctica, Author: Thomas, Suravi & Thomas, Rishi.
ISBN : 0143330284
Publishers: Puffin Books (I don’t know if alternative publishers exist. I read this edition)
PUSTAKALAYAM: Viniyoga Tarangini
sowmyawrites .... » Books - English: Idols - Sunil Gavaskar
“Idols” is a book by Sunil Gavaskar on the cricketers whom he like the most. It had some thirty profiles on the whole, written in a simple and story telling manner. I have heard about this book and “Sunny Days” in school days. Back then, it was just another book amongst thousands of books. But, as time passed and I began to read more on cricket, I got inquisitive about those books. But, as fate would have it, I found random books like - “Zed” by Zaheer Abbas, “Captaincy” by Ray Illingworth etc on the stalls, never these two books. Gradually, I stopped trying for them though their thoughts existed in my subconscious self. Finally, I got hold of this book when I was away at a small township in Uttar Karnataka district and I got the feel of it.
So, this book can be understood as the cricketing biographies of those players, said from the eyes of Gavaskar. It covered the international stars of his days like Rohan Kanhai (Gavaskar named his son as Rohan as a tribute to Kanhai), Sobers, Hadlee, Marsh, Kapil Dev, “Jimmy” Amarnath, “Zed” Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Viv Richards, Bishen singh Bedi, Prasanna, B.S.Chandra Sekhar, Venkataraghavan etc etc and also the unfortunate national cricketers, who never made it in to test cricket - Rajinder Goel and P.Shivalkar. Ofcourse, the list that I mentioned is not exhaustive. I am recollecting from the names I saw. It was full of stories - known and unknown, interesting and sometimes surprising too. Ofcourse, a player who had a long career is bound to have interesting inside stories which are all the more interesting to curious cats like me. I think the desire to know about others is an inherent characteristic of a human being, which makes biographies and autobiographies so successful among fans and other readers…
This post is more a “i finally read it” post than about the book as such, as you must have understood by now. As I googled to get some info on it, I found this information about a Sunil Gavaskar omnibus. Interesting link….Cricket Literature fans can try this out!
Gopichand Tripuraneni: Gopichand and his works - a review
Gopichand Tripuraneni: (శీర్షిక లేదు)
Gopichand Tripuraneni: Gopichand Tripuraneni
కధలు - అనామకుడు: (శీర్షిక లేదు)
కధలు - అనామకుడు: (శీర్షిక లేదు)