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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

On the bookshelves this week

Indo-Asian News Service  New Delhi, March 11, 2011
First Published: 06:35 IST(11/3/2011) | Last Updated: 06:35 IST(11/3/2011)
There's an eclectic mix of genres for your reading pleasure this week. Take your pick from business, photography and history.

1. From the Brink of Bankruptcy: The DCM Story; Written by Vinay Bharat-Ram; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.499.

The book is a fascinating account of both an industrial family and a business enterprise which broke fresh ground and created an economic and technological success under quite difficult circumstances.

Vinay Bharat-Ram, grandson of the legendary Lala Shri Ram, grew up in one of Delhi's oldest business families. Today, he heads the DCM Group. The book recollects the umpteen challenges the company faced over the years: labour unrest, the insufferable Emergency years, Swaraj Paul's hostile takeover bid, a drop in the company's share prices and huge debts. Having overcome most obstacles, a resurgent DCM group is now active in fields like software, engineering, textiles and real estate.

2. Apradhini: Women Without Men; Written by Shivani/Translated by Ira Pande; Published by Harper-Collins India; Priced at Rs.200.

The volume is a searing collection of life-stories from the heart of India. The earth-eating Muggi, groomed by her brother-in-law, cons 14 men into marrying her and runs off with their money, but falls in love with the 15th and eagerly awaits the day she will be released from prison so that she can return to him. The intimidating Vaishnavi pushes a buffalo, her cruel mother-in-law and husband over the edge of a ravine and spends the rest of her life punishing herself, wandering from place to place, homeless and penniless.

In this collection of sketches of ordinary women with extraordinary pasts, we read of women whose lives have been changed because of men, women who now survive on the fringes of society - or outside it.

3. 1857: The Real Story of the Great Uprising; Written by Vishnu Bhatt & Godshe Versaikar/Translated by Mrinal Pande; Published by HarperCollins-India; Priced at Rs.250.

Around the middle of the nineteenth century, when the East India Company had consolidated its hold over the Indian subcontinent, a Chitpavan Brahmin by the name of Vishnu Bhatt Godshe Versaikar decided to cross the Vindhya mountains with his aged uncle to earn some money. What he had not foreseen was how his trip would coincide with the historic Sepoy Mutiny and play havoc with their travel plans.

This is a unique first-person, eyewitness account of their picaresque journey, recorded several years after their return home. This is also perhaps the only documentation of a momentous event in the history of India by an impoverished but learned young beggar-priest. In this gripping yet sensitive translation, Mrinal Pande brings to life for today's reader the account of Vishnu Bhatt's adventures, and the fascinating history of its publication.

4. Principles of Design Through Photography; Written by Deepak John Matthew; Published by Wisdom Tree; Priced at Rs.1,495.

In an age of digital photography, viewers often neglect a photograph's composition and aesthetic value in favour of its informative value. This book is an investigation of how a particular principle of design - rhythm, harmony, contrast - is used in a composition, and how that composition will, in turn, help the photographer convey an effective message to the viewer.

Each composition aims to give a visual experience of the principle of design that helps to better perceive a photograph. Each principle of design has been isolated as much as possible so that it can be understood and used in combination with other design elements. This book is an introduction to the way in which photographs can be read and appreciated, and will delight students of photography, aesthetes and those who are curious about design and photography.

5. Sachin: Genius Unplugged; Collection of Essays edited by Suresh Menon; Published by Westland Ltd; Priced at Rs.599.

Sachin Tendulkar has made poets of prose writers even if his stroke play has demonstrated the futility of conveying in words the brilliance of his batsmanship. In this collection of essays by some of the finest writers on cricket, the attempt is not so much to pin Sachin down as to let him roam free; beyond statistics; above nationalities and above the need to explain.


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