Book Reviews

Divine MusicAuthor: Suruchi Mohan
Publisher: Orient Publishing
(Pp 256, ISBN 978122204728, Rs 240)

It is a captivating coming-of-age tale against the backdrop of intricate world of north Indian classical music. Rich in details of Indian traditions and music, the author narrates a powerful story of growing dissatisfaction of ordinary people, their yearnings and hopes, their aspirations and accomplishments, their predicaments, joys and sorrows. The characters come alive and pull you into their middle class values and lives with finely depicted scenes.

The tale revolves around Sarika and her revered guru who recognizes a great talent in her, even far better than his. Well-written, lucid and entertaining, the book is a refresher, that too from a debutant author.

Author: Nirmala Sharma
Publisher: Niyogi Books
(Pp 180, ISBN 978-81-89738-19-8)

Kumarajiva is the luminescent word of the endless reverie of the Buddhist Sutras and Sastras where the grand cosmology of time and space finds harmony in the symbolic order of life. The book is an effort to outline the life and work of Kumarajiva who gave a new direction to the efflorescence of Sanskrit sutras in a new Chinese edition. In his linguistic creativity, Kumarajiva laid the foundations of deep bonds of friendship between India and China, and thence with Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

The book covers life and works of Kumarajiva, his translation activities, his biography, Sengjui biography and Chinese text of the life of Kumarajiva. The text is accompanied with around 100 beautiful illustrations of murals and scrolls besides breath-taking pictures, which take the readers down the ancient times. Infact, it is the first full-length nation of the extraordinary life, immense literary output, manifold philosophical perspectives and the development of a new translation methodology by him.

The author also discusses his critical texts that became the foundation of sects and philosophical systems in East Asia. Beautifully produced, the book is a feast for the eyes and a wealth of knowledge for all those who wish to know more about Kumarajiva.

Author: RVM
Publisher: Sterling Paperbacks
(Pp 87, ISBN 9788120755963, Rs 195)

Happiness is all what we seek, but not everyone is happy. Why? RVM explores the reason why people are unhappy and gives 6 simple steps to happiness. Do you really know what makes you happy? Do you really make efforts to make yourself happy? The book teaches you how to find happiness in life. It helps you know what makes you happy and how you can retain the happiness. The book also helps you to eliminate joy stealers from your life so that you can be happy for the rest of the life.

Written in a very simple manner, with no jargons, the book uses motivational language and helps you seek happiness in life. Happiness is guaranteed…if only, you want to be happy – that’s the mantra of this book.

The author, RVM, is a ‘Positivelife’ philosopher, author, singer and motivator. Businessman turned philosopher, RVM has built a RVM Humanitarian Home and Hospital to help poor. This book is an extension of his philosophical talks about happiness.

Author: AK Jain
Publisher: Readworthy Publications (P) Ltd
(Pp 312, ISBN 978-93-80009-19-3, Rs 950)

The book offers a planning and design framework for trade and commerce, offices, hotels, shopping malls, etc together with a new paradigm for the marginalized street vendors. The studies to ‘actual ground’ situation provide a practical guide for all those involved with the livelihoods and lifestyles, in terms of planning for business, trade and commerce.

The book relates to actual Indian situation. Illustrations and pictures aid in better understanding of the subject. Besides, the book also gives important information like the mixed use regulation of Delhi Master Plan 2021, National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, etc.

The author, AK Jain is an architect-town planner, formerly the commissioner of Delhi Development Authority. He is also on the advisory board of the UN Habitat and a visiting faculty at Delhi School of Planning and Architecture.

Author: Tushar Mukherjee
Publisher: Ramakrishna Mission Lokasiksha Parishad
(Pp 301, Rs 125)

Swami Vivekananda had rightly said, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.” Education for All, the modern call to the nation by the National Literacy Mission is mere reiteration of the obvious felt by Swamiji at that time.

Education for All is a compilation of essays on formal and popular education. The author, Tushar Mukherjee was associated with training, orientation and research centre of the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Narendrapur after retiring from Department of Education, Government of West Bengal. He has had an abiding interest in the field of adult education. The book is a collection of his selected past publications in different journals.

People interested in formal and popular education can share his experience by going through this book. He has also raised some contradictory issues which would provoke further discussion and enrich discourse on formal, non-formal and popular education to the overall understanding of our national education policy.

The book is divided into six chapters thematically to provide opportunities to readers with various interests to skip and read selectively. The author, besides elucidating various kinds of educational programmes, has also mentioned the importance of continuing and life long education, which is nothing but the manifestation of the immortal sayings of Sri Ramakrishna that ‘Jabat Banchi Tabat Sikhi’ or one learns till his last breath. In all, this is a thought-provoking book for all who wish to know more about education.