Book Reviews

Author: Vinod Malhotra
Publisher: Third Eye, an imprint of Pentagon Press
(Pp 194, ISBN 978-93-86618-00-9, Rs 295)

The debate whether Krishna or Arjuna are historical or mythological personages, will continue as long as the word Bhagwadgita is spoken. What is more relevant is the context, vulnerabilities, lifestyle and the avowed goals of human existence. The breadth and the depth of Krishna's wisdom encapsulated in 700 verses have no parallel and are relevant for the entire mankind in a timeless paradigm. This book is a humble attempt at simplifying the esoteric contents of Gita for a universal reference.

This book gives practical aspects of management of our life and teaches us how to apply the teachings of Gita in our day-to-day life. It delivers valuable insights on how most of the physical pains that we experience, are due to our "thoughts." Written in an easy-to-understand language, the book is a must read for people of all ages.

- Varsha Verma

Author: Dr. Nagendra Kumar Neeraj
Publisher: Popular Book Depot
(Pp 336, ISBN 978-81-86098-14-1, Rs 350)

Diabetes is a dreaded disease and has made life miserable for people who suffer from it and their families. Allopathy is a suppressive treatment and use it checks escalation of this disease but it does not has a permanent cure to it. But, yoga and natural care can be the most effective and permanent therapy for the treatment of diabetes.

The book looks at this treatment which makes diabetes curable. The book throws light on not just the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of diabetes, but also focuses on allopathic treatment, diet, useful recipes for diabetic people, yoga, therapeutic exercises, benefits of walk, alternative medicine therapy and natural care.

The book is a beacon for the proper care and treatment of diabetic patients!

- Varsha Verma

Author: Geetanjali Shree
Translator: Nita Kumar
Publisher: Niyogi Books (Pp 223, ISBN 978-81-933935-0-5, Rs 395)

Mai, the word itself brings out emotions. Mai or mother is someone who holds the entire family together, who sacrifices her life for her family and whose love has no bounds. But, she is also considered to be the weakest in the family, yet she often emerges as the strongest. The book looks at a family in a North Indian town, which is a joint family. Three generations of women and their men live different strategies of adjustment and achievement to accommodate patriarchy. At the centre is mai, the mother, seemingly weak and silent, but it is she who holds together the subtle patterns of relationships and agencies, and quietly carves out a life for herself as also for those around her. Her New Age children are obsessed with rescuing her from the ‘prison’ and escaping themselves; but as the story unfolds, any simplistic notion of bondage and freedom goes for a toss.

A beautiful tale of love and emotions, the author uses simple incidents from life, weaving together a story which will touch every heart. A must read book for all!

- Varsha Verma

Author: Rochelle Almeida
Publisher: Lexington Books, New York (
(Pp 227, ISBN 978-1-4985-4588-4, US$ 100)

During the British Raj in India, a new community was spawned by the union of white settler men and Indian women. Called Anglo-Indians, they aligned themselves to the British, and when freedom-hungry Indians mounted their frenzied “Quit India” campaign, the Anglo-Indians assumed they too had to leave and topics go “home” to Britain, a home they had never seen. From India’s Independence in 1947 until the 1960s, some 50,000 Anglo-Indians migrated to England, confident they would be welcomed in their faraway paradise.

What transpired after they reached those chilly shores in the subject of Britain’s Anglo-Indians, an absorbing book by Rochelle Almeida, a clinical professor of global cultures in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University, who charts the plight of this community from its earliest beginnings, evidenced by many pages of bibliography. Making several visits to Britain from her Connecticut home, the author interviewed hundreds of Anglo-Indians who, under the cloak of anonymity, felt free to speak their minds on the prejudices and injustices they experienced in their early days, facing such insults as: “Why don’t you go back to where you came from?” and landlords and employers freely practising racial discrimination by denying them rented accommodation and jobs, respectively.

However, after several teeth-gritting years, all worked out well, even better than expected, on every front. As one firstgeneration Anglo-Indian migrant journalist commented: “Life is so very different and wonderful from what it was when we first arrived here...with our bizarre misconceptions, culture clashes, sensitivities and chips on our shoulders the size of the Taj Mahal. We are now more mature and happier than we have ever been.”

The irony is that neither the authorities of Independent India, nor the departing British, had wanted them to leave India, as Almeida discovered. This is an informative and highly readable book, meticulously researched by the author who is also an international journalist.

- Rudy Otter

Author: Swami Vivekananda
Publisher: Teenage Publishers
(Pp 264, ISBN 978-9385385629, $11.99)

The present lifestyle has deteriorated one's physical and mental health. People are too busy and have little patience and tolerance. What we forget is that our bodies need to be treated like temples and considered sacred if we hope to live fully and completely.

This lifestyle can be changed by getting up early and starting your day with Yogasanas. The book teaches you to practise right breathing and right diet for mental balance. It also teaches you coordination of mind and body. Yoga can also change your lifestyle from chaos to tranquility. Written in an easy to understand manner, the book will be a ready reckoner for one and all. It will help you not only to improve your health, but will also help you think more clearly.

- Vasu V