Writing Memoirs is not an easy undertaking, especially for one who is well past 80 when human faculties become frail, the will falters and memory fades. Layers over layers of experience stored in the consciousness get dusty and vague, emotions overtake rationality and a realistic reading of one’s own past becomes difficult.
The year 2012 marks the 25th year of the induction of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. The book under review is, therefore, timely. It is simplistic to say that My Days in Sri Lanka is a narration of events of Lakhan Mehrotra’s 14 month tenure as India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka.
The word city has become synonymous with crisis. The unplanned chaos and the complete inability of the various city planning authorities to cope with the urbanization process in India has resulted in this crisis. It requires great commitment and vision to see beyond the sprawling urban cities of India to a future where a balance is achieved between rural and urban life.
The last two decades have witnessed an emergence of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) in India as a significant concern in inter/national policy discourse and initiatives. Incidentally, this period has also been one of liberalization and globalization of the Indian economy.
It has been about eight months since Apple co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs died, and the adulation he received in life has not receded even in death. After all, the character of the company he helped build—how it stood for a quirky, independent alternative to the gigantic and frankly bland Microsoft—was a rallying point for so many people fed up with Windows computers, Microsoft’s lack of innovative software and general Big Corporation mindset. Of course, that is not to forget the much more recent innovations in the form of the iPod, iPhone and iPad—so popular and trendy that the prefix ‘i’ has become almost synonymous with modernity and innovation.
Like every great newspaper, the Hindu has accreted to itself legends of various kinds illumining its unique qualities. My own favourite is the one told me by the late Professor Bhaskaran ‘Oh! the Hindu! They won’t print an obituary without first checking with the deceased.’
Stephen Hawking, the retired Lucasian Professor at Cambridge is without doubt the most well known scientist in the world. Much like the image of the white haired Einstein with the mischievous smile came to signify the Atomic Age for most people, Hawking is the public face of high brow science in our times.
The publication of the set of papers presented at the International Society for Metaphysics at Vishwa Bharati in 1976 should be welcome to all students of philosophy and perhaps more so to those who have no specialization in the subject. As one belonging to the second category but deeply interested in the implications of the discovery of science on philosophy have been greatly stimulated by these sets of essays which cover a wide range of subjects.
In the year 1996, Jatin Das, the much celebrated painter, sculptor, muralist and poet, created the Flight of Steel. Commissioned by the Bhilai Steel Plant, the Flight of Steel was one of the largest sculptures ever made by the artist. Forged out of steel with the help of engineers and welders from the Steel Plant, it stood on a roundabout in Bhilai City, in what was then Madhya Pradesh. In March 2012, on a visit back to Bhilai City, the sculptor was in for a nasty shock: the sculpture had vanished from the roundabout, and was rumoured to have been moved piecemeal to a zoo.