by Anuradha Goyal
367 Book Reviews
350 Authors
103 Publishers
29 Author Interviews


The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail by Chetan Mahajan

Chetan MahajanA highly educated corporate executive ends up in Jail far away from him home for no fault of his and spends about 30 odd days there. The situation is revealing as the people from two different worlds meet at an equal footing, irrespective of their backgrounds and their alleged crimes, they are all victims of the system to an extent. Author comes out introduced to a different world and hopefully more sensitive to it.

This work is purely based on author’s first hand experience and he mentions right in the beginning that everything is true, including the name of the employer for whom he had to go to jail. I see some restrain in his writing, some holding back and feel that fictionalizing the narrative can potentially lend more truth to the story. When you are talking about people who are in power even when they are in Jail, you tend to be a bit constrained and Continue reading

Losing my Religion by Vishwas Mudagal

Vishwas Mudagal

When this book came for review, I was really not in a position to accept any new books for review, but I had liked almost every book that came from Fingerprint Publishing so I picked it up to read. It lived up to my expectation and before I knew I was sucked into the plot. Protagonist of the story had streaks of me – an entrepreneur (I am not, but I study them) and a traveler with a keen business sense.

The book moves places with the story – it begins with Bangalore, takes you to a remote village in Himachal and actually makes you Google for the place before it settles for a bit on west coast of India between Gokarna and Goa. It then takes you to Haridwar before its finale in America. Each of these places chosen for the story are unique and have a history behind them, each of them is as different from the other as possible. The spaces are an integral part of the story, as they change perspectives of the characters Continue reading

A Strange kind of Paradise by Sam Miller

Sam Miller

India through foreign eyes

India is a mystery – even to people who are born and brought up here, so the foreigners who come here are totally lost and try to make sense of it in many different ways. One of the favorite with current day explorers is to walk in the footsteps of ancient travelers and verify what they said, look for the remaining traces of their times and document the changes.  In between they also get new experiences or discover some related and unrelated information.

Subtitle of this book says ‘India Through Foreign Eyes’ and I would add ‘through the ages’ to that. Miller starts from the first documented traveler to India – Megasthenes and goes down to current day travelers he tracing what they saw, what they said and what still remains of that.  He is also celebrating his spending 25 years in India. He is married to an Indian and has explored this country first hand for many years now and that gives him a lot of grip on the subject. Book is divided into two segments – one where he Continue reading

Akshay Manwani on chronicling Sahir Ludhianvi

Author of Sahir Ludhianvi - The People's PoetTell us about your growing up. Where did you live, what did you study and what do you do for a living?

I was born and brought up in Delhi where I did my schooling and lived up to 1997. Thereafter, I changed cities quite a few times, moving to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi to pursue my graduation, post-graduation, for the initial years of my working life in the corporate world, before settling down in Mumbai in 2009.

How did you gravitate towards writing a biography of a poet and a film personality?

This was around 2008 when I was doing some freelance work for a film website while working in my father’s business in Delhi. I had to write a lot of short profiles on yesteryear Hindi cinema personalities – actors, playback singers, music directors etc. Continue reading

Short Stories for C6

C6 Magazine

Books featured in this article

  1. Another Man’s Wife by Manjul Bajaj
  2. India – A traveller’s literary companion Edited by Chandrahas Choudhury
  3. Intimate Pretence by Paramita Satpathy
  4. Happy Birthday! by Meghna Pant
  5. Aerogrammes by Tania James

This is a monthly feature that I write for Channel 6 Magazine where I talk about books around a theme.

Hidimba by Narendra Kohli

Hidimba by Narendra Kohli

Narendra Kohli has re-written Mahabharata as Maha Samar and that is one series that I hope to read sometime. He has also written a series on the women in Mahabharata and Hidimba is a small novella based on Hidimba – the Rakshasa wife of Bheem, the first ever daughter-in-law of the Pandavas. Her episode in Mahabharata is small one and her contribution to the war is a brave son she bore Bheem.

This small book details out the small episode when Bheem along with his brothers and mother stayed in Hidimbavan after Duryodhana tried to burn them in varnavata. From this story it seems they stayed here for a year or so as Ghatotkach is born during their stay. Story starts with Bheem killing Hidimba’s brother Hidimb who was also the ruler of the region. They have been said to belong to rakshasa Jati but the descriptions Continue reading

Escape to Nowhere by Amar Bhushan

Amar BhushanA friend whose book choices I have usually liked recommended me this book. I was told that I would have to ignore the writing style and I tried doing that while I was reading this book. Well, the story inspired from a real life incident talks about the Indian intelligence agency and how it deals with an officer who is suspected to be spying for another agency.

Deputy chief of the agency seems to be an alter ego of author and the key authority behind nabbing the suspect project. I am sure there is more to the real version, but in the book he starts investigation on a simple tip from one of the junior officers that only says the said officer is asking too many questions to people from other departments and is spending way beyond his means on luxuries. From here, author gives a day-by-day account of the investigation, a format that I do not remember reading elsewhere. Continue reading

Delhi Mostly Harmless by Elizabeth Chatterjee

Elizabeth ChatterjeeParticipant Observer is a technique in anthropology, where the researcher becomes apart of the community or society he or she is studying. They try and live the life of their subjects to get as close to their perspective as possible but they also remain vigilant observers. They go back to literature to validate and verify their observations; they refer to previous research and more often than not come out with their own hypothesis of why things are the way they are. This book’s author is a doctoral student who lived in Delhi for sometime and from where she moved around the country. She attempts to first hand explore the common myths associated with in India in general and Delhi in particular.

Moving to a city introduces you to many nuances of the city, right from how the locals look at you, how open they are to accepting you to finding the difference between what you get at the shelves of grocery stores. Author pivots her narration on the various incidents during her stay in Delhi but takes the reader on ‘Introduction to India’ Continue reading

When your Granny was a little Girl by Manju Dasgupta

Manju DasguptaA grandmother, who lives away from her two grandchildren from two sons, writes the story of her childhood for them. Separated by two generations and innumerable changes the childhood she had was a subject of fairy tales for the children of today. To tell them how they lived in big joint families and how vacations meant visiting grandparents and other relatives is something that kids would relate to more if they hear it from their granny rather than from a third person.

In a very short story, with the help of some beautiful illustrations, Manju tells about the life of kids before independence, how festivals were celebrated, how everyone used to live in harmony oblivious to religion of the neighbors even when the boundaries of caste were discreetly drawn and accepted by all. She talks about the houses in various localities in Kolkata, Continue reading

Legendotes of Hyderabad by Narendra Luther

Narendra LutherNarendra Luther is a leading authority on Hyderabad, having authored many books on the city and its various aspects like rocks etc. In this book he narrates Legends and Anecdotes of the city’s past, most of which are related to the Sultans, Nizams and their ministers who ruled the region from the city. Stories range from the oldest residents of the region – its rocks to foundation laying of the city of Hyderabad to Nizam’s education, their obsessions and how people were expected to behave in their presence. If you do not know the city and its past very well, you would really enjoy it.

I always wondered how did the Nizam become the riches person on earth and this book throws some light on it – it was all about collecting Nazar from anyone who had any money to offer to Nizam. He would send some small gift Continue reading