Tue. Jun 25th, 2019

The Seer

Read, Think, Act

Book Reviews

8 min read

He spoke of “Joe” and said you were the only real soul who had “attained freedom among us all,” including himself. You could drop everything, everybody and go out without a thought of regret & do your work, that you had attained this through thousands of reincarnations, he had seen it in India & here. No luxury counted, no misery (as in India) mattered – [you were] the same poised soul, etc.

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9 min read

MS Subbulakshmi was introduced to the world as a perfect image of Tamil Brahmin housewife, shedding her Devadasi past. The hunger to control could have even made them change the colour of the people – the only thing they could not. They even controlled the rhythm of bodies as I read- “Rukmini Devi Arundale stripped the Bharatnatyam dance drama, once performed in the temple mandapams, of its eroticism and adapted it to the Western style stage, giving it “respectability” even while wrenching it from its ancient custodians, the Devadasis.” It beguiles me to no end how the Indian eye saw beauty in eroticism and its detailing as we can see in Khajuraho with unabashed appreciation. The roving British eye which hailed the Queen, saw “overt” sexual tenor in Kerala’s Mohiniattam.

9 min read

We either have the stupefying ancient caves and temples in the subconscious world of our minds or the British architecture immediately around us and the Mughals made sure we inherited their forts,fortresses, Urdu and cuisine. Perhaps, we are still learning about history – excavating, archiving and somewhat beginning to understand it.

5 min read

Bara is a short read but it does make some impressive political observations in just a handful of pages. What surprises me the most is that this was written more than 30 years ago, yet the questions that the author raised then is still relevant. When he tells the protagonist, “Are you a bureaucrat? Are you a revolutionary? You delude yourself that you can be both”, doesn’t it remind you of the likes of Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal or Irom Sharmila?

8 min read

Countries have habits. Our country has a habit of either believing too strongly in somebody or not believing a word of the person. Whether a person is truthful is a thing to be analyzed only much later when someone else who can have a greater command on our belief system appears on the scene. Many nations have a national habit of believing only their own. Other nations have the habit of believing anything that is imported. Few countries can maintain a balance between the two and analyze.

9 min read 2

Times, they are a-changing- Grapes of Wrath saw through the early symptoms of the disease which would become an epidemic around the world. The farmers whose “love is thinned with money, and all their fierceness dribbled away in interest until they were no longer farmers at all, but little shopkeepers of crops, little manufacturers who must sell before they can make.”

“Then those farmers who were not good shopkeepers lost their land to good shopkeepers.”

5 min read 2

It sings the glory of unsung heroes and paints the struggles of their lives. It makes you fall in love with those fallen stars and tells you why some deserved more than being forgiven. The book tells you how football has been an instrument of change bringing about a revolution in the political landscape of many of these countries and how footballers were not only sports icons but also champions of nationalist movements.