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Book Review: Singing Gandhi's India by Lakshmi Subramanian

About the Book Here are the first-ever and only detailed account of Gandhi and music in India. How politics and music interspersed with each other has been paid scanty, if not any, attention, let alone Gandhi’s role in it. Looking at prayer as politics, singing Gandhi’s India traces Gandhi’s relationship with music and nationalism. Uncovering his writings on music, ashram Bhajan practice, the Vande Mataram debate, Subramanian makes a case for closer scrutiny of Gandhian oeuvre to map sonic politics in twentieth-century India. My take on the book When I first received a copy of 'Singing Gandhi’ s India by Lakshmi Subramanian, I had a different notion about the book. I thought it was about Gandhi and his love for music but the book is completely different from what I expected, and is more insightful. I would say it is a very enlightening book on Gandhi and Music, it’s more about his expositions on music as an artistic activity or more on a very specific resource in building a sonic comm…

Book review: The Elephant Girl by Chitta Ranjan

About the book
The forests of Eastern India, during the late years of the British Raj, were rife with stories about a mythical maiden riding a wild pachyderm. On a train ride through these deep jungles, a series of strange events unfold to pique the curiosity of Raj Narayan, the crown prince of Paschim Behar. Two attempts on Raj’s life as well as the murder of his father, the Maharajah and his favorite brother in the Royal Palace seem to be linked to a conspiracy to shroud the legend of the elephant girl in secrecy. What starts as a short trip soon hurtles crown prince Raj into a rollercoaster ride of adventure as he becomes obsessed to get to the bottom of the mystery of the elephant girl. Torn between his urge to seek out the mysterious maiden notwithstanding the advanced pregnancy of his wife and the evolving intrigues around succession amongst the brothers and his beautiful stepmother, he finds himself in the maze of royal intrigue with the players shuttling between the opulent roy…

Book Review: I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier by Shaheen Bhatt

About the book Lights, Camera . . . Inaction
Unwittingly known as Alia Bhatt’s older sister, screenwriter and fame-child Shaheen Bhatt has been a powerhouse of quiet restraint—until now. In a sweeping act of courage, she now invites you into her head.
Shaheen was diagnosed with depression at eighteen, after five years of already living with it. In this emotionally arresting memoir, she reveals the daily experiences and debilitating big picture of one of the most critically misinterpreted mental illnesses in the twenty-first century. Equal parts conundrum and enlightenment, Shaheen takes us through the personal pendulum of understanding and living with depression in her privileged circumstances. With honesty and a profound self-awareness, Shaheen lays claim to her sadness, finding it a home in the universal fabric of the human condition.
In this multi-dimensional, philosophical tell-all, Shaheen acknowledges, accepts and overcomes the peculiarities of this way of being alive. A topic of ma…

Book Review: Black Warrant by Sunil Gupta and Sunetra Choudhury

About the book What is life like inside Asia’s largest prison? What happens when a man is hanged, but his pulse refuses to give up even after two hours? Did Nirbhaya’s rapist, Ram Singh, commit suicide or was he murdered? For the first time, we have a riveting account from an insider who has spent close to four decades as an officer at Tihar Jail during some of the most turbulent times in Indian political history. For the first time, he breaks his silence about all he’s seen – from the first man he met in Tihar, Charles Sobhraj, to the controversies surrounding former CBI head, Alok Verma. Responsible for carrying out ‘Black Warrants’, Gupta witnessed 14 hangings, the most recent and his last, being that of Afzal Guru. Joining him is award-winning journalist Sunetra Choudhury whose recent book Behind Bars is a bestseller and took her deep inside the maze of prisons. Read this book for the most intimate and raw account of India’s judicial and criminal justice system.
My take on the book T…