Category Archives: book reviews

The long haul: The Bombay textile workers strike of 1982-83 – Rajni Bakshi

Image source: http://libcom.org/history/long-haul-bombay-textile-workers-strike-1982-83-rajni-bakshi
Image source: http://libcom.org/history/long-haul-bombay-textile-workers-strike-1982-83-rajni-bakshi

I have always been intrigued by the strikes and unions, growing up, Dad had problems with Shivsena union in his factory and I remember him telling me, “thank GOD its not a Datta Samant union”. After closing his factories in Mumbai due to unions issue pretext , he moved his manufacturing to Ratnagiri.

Nevertheless the name Datta Samant is etched on my consciousness, I also had consistent union problems in 1999-2001 until I closed one of manufacturing unit. But compared to the “Bombay textile workers strike on 82-83”, mine and dads issue with unions looks rather trivial.

Here is book which does a indepth analysis of the same strike, which is superbly referenced and researched by Rajni bakshi , I am glad I found this book in a free format on the internet here ,since its out of print and circulation. One of the most enigmatic figure Dutta Samant has been demystified, his style and methodology explained, what made him so popular and subsequently why his popularity vaned is put forth objectively.

Looking forward to read Rajni Bakshi‘s other books.

Here and there – Collected Travel Writings

Here and There: Collected Travel WritingHere and There: Collected Travel Writing by A Gill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a terrific read! The book was funny all the way with A A Gill smart and sauve dry humour , this is a must read if you dream about travelling or a avid traveller already, A A Gill breaks all those traditional prejudices with this travelogue or travel memoir of his. He has travelled to every darned place in the world including Iceland or Greenland!

A A Gill is essentially a renowned food critic and is dyslexic (I Did some research) , he actually dictates and technically doesnt write. But this British author is just brilliant, I want to read all his other books now!

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Reviewed: Yoga Sutras discourses – Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama

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Review of the Book

There is no book which can be as Indian as “Living with the Himalayan Masters” by Swami Rama. I had never heard about Swami Rama and discovered this book quite serendipitously. The journey of Swami Rama right from his birth to the hard lessons he learnt from some of the greatest sages in the himalaya’s is narrated in this book, Some of which are quite un-believable and It takes a little faith in him, do go through this book as a factual narrative, otherwise you are in to metaphysical fiction this can be entertaining read opening up your imagination to human potential.

Review of the You-tube discourse on Yoga Sutras by Patajani.

I have explored Yoga very superfluously in my youth. Reading the book, made me search for more on Swami Rama, and I stumbled on this humongous 13 hour discourse on the Yoga Sutras by Swami Rama in one of his camps. These discourses are indeed a treasure trove of well intended and ancient wisdom. There are total 86 video’s, it teaches the yogic way of living. Thanks to this, I have started doing pranayama regularly about 2/3 times a day. I highly recommend you to check this out, here is the link to the first video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RiT7IJ617g&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Life, Death & Hope In a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai UndercityBehind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was an awesome read, just couldn’t put it down. The worst fear of any Mumbaikar is to lose his home, or not being able to afford to have a good home and live in a slum because of the high real estate prices. I have this morbid fear too! I often wonder what kind of people live here, what have they done to deserve this kind of fate in life.

All you need to know about the kind of people living in Mumbai’s slum , how and why they land in these slums, what makes them not break out of the poverty? also what are their moralities, what faith shapes up their lives, what are the beliefs and risk they take.

Katherine Boo is incidentally an expert researcher who has been studying the effect of poverty and its consequences for last 20 years or more. There wouldn’t have been a better person writing a book. But it doesn’t read like a research article, it is a beautiful but sad story, written with lot of insights.

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