Friday, 25 December 2015

The Bride of Amman by Fadi Zaghmout, translated from Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp: Book Review

Passed university with distinction? Good, you are well enough a bride material now.
Thirty and unmarried? Bad, you've almost reached your expiry date.
Did your father take your virginity? It's okay. Keep quiet.
Do you love someone of another religion?  Beware,you might be soon ostracized from your society.
Are you attracted towards the same sex as your's? Worse, control yourself, get married and have children. 

Author Fadi Zaghmout shares such social taboos that have confined young Arab men and women to the deepest corners of their beings. The Bride of Amman is a tale of five young dwellers of Amman, the capital city of Jordan where gender inequality and gender discrimination, make them struggle through their everyday lives. 

Published originally in Arabic, the book is translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Title is Untitled by Santosh Avvannavar, Kundan Srivastava & Raghunath Babu Are: Book Review

Santosh, an author dedicated to bringing into awareness the social crimes and injustice in India, has teamed with Kundan Srivastava & Raghunath Babu Are in Title is Untitled. The authors have come up with 11 short fictions in the book that highlight how women in India become victims of rape and forced marriages. The stories also speak of how some women unlawfully misuse women-centric laws like dowry laws in their favour. Yet, other stories, on a lighter side, underline how shallow Indian education system is and ironically, how deep the Indian Beggary system is.

Written with utmost sincerity, the book is sure to churn your feelings towards such victims. At the end of each story, through the Dear 'No Light' Diary, the authors present brief facts about the issue related to the particular story. I appreciate their thoughtful efforts in collecting the data.

As I always recommend, please try to imbibe the authors' messages from this book and spread them as far as you can.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Our Heritage Revisited by Anju Saha: Book Review

Most of us including me, if asked which Hindu texts we are aware of, would have Mahabharata and Ramayana in our answers. If asked twice, we may answer Vedas but then we wouldn't know any other word about the Vedas. 

For centuries, we have cornered ancient Hindu scriptures to temple priests. Of course, unfortunately, not all of us are permitted to acquire and practice the knowledge of Vedas. However, isn't it good to learn what in the first place Vedas and Upanishads are? 

That's what Author Anju Saha does in her book, Our Heritage Revisited! She takes us through an easy and comfortable ride into the world of ancient Hindu scriptures. If you've felt guilty for being ignorant of them all these years, here's the right tool for you. 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Grey & White Day Scholar by Raj Sekar: Book Review

25 years past schooling, the author and his friends think about a reunion of their school classmates. A few of them travel from Chennai to Tirupattur, a town in Vellore district, Tamil Nadu and the place where their school is located. Grey & White Day Scholar is all about the memories the author recollects as he travels to his old school. They travel in search of their other classmates and eventually discover the whereabouts of a few of them. 

The author has realistically brought out the little joys, that towns in Tamil Nadu would have offered its school boys in the 1980s. Readers who did schooling in the same period in a similar town can not only relate to the author's experiences but also can drench in beautiful memory showers.