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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Book review: My Beloved’s MBA Plans, The Country Without a Post Office

Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 16, 2013
First Published: 17:24 IST(16/10/2013) | Last Updated: 18:18 IST(16/10/2013)

Treading on a path less travelled
The first look at My Beloved’s MBA Plans, by first-time author Disha Chhabra (though she uses only her first name in the book) immediately makes you want to slot it under the ‘Just another story of life on a B-school campus’ bracket. However, Disha’s book is a refreshing departure from the usual campus-themed fictional books. An alumni of IIM Calcutta, Disha’s book chronicles in a story-cum-interview style, the lives of IIM students who decide to take up studying post-marriage. Her stories dwell on the hurdles they face, and the sacrifices that their better halves have to make to see them through this critical mid-career decision. It is a wonderful first-hand account written in simple language, one that could even leave the reader motivated enough to, perhaps, take an off-the-beaten track decision.

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Title: My Beloved’s MBA Plans
Author: Disha
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Price: Rs. 100
Himika chaudhuri

Poems from paradise
Kashmir may be Indian literature’s pet, but it’s only once a while that you come across a book that’s less defeatist and more about development and dreams of the scarred state. Agha Shahid Ali’s anthology of prose-poems, The Country Without a Post Office, dwells less on what’s dead and more on what’s alive, thankfully. Ali writes from memories and figments and the blurred lines of what he has seen and what he imagines to be, and of the healing that is slowly coming over the hurt. He quotes other poets generously, especially Emily Dickinson. The title talks about the many letters lying unsent in the post offices, with hopes and hearts trapped helplessly inside.

The poems are set in everyday scenes — gunfire, grandma’s cottage, trains, flights, lakes, boyhood ... and towards the end, drift to the corners that are slowly carving out a new life for the soul of his state. The smiles of its children and the colours of the skies don’t let the dark take over his words.
Title: The Country Without a Post Office
Author: Agha Shahid Ali
Publisher: Penguin
Price: Rs250
Soumya Mukerji

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