JustBooks Connect - May 2011 newsletter

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JustBooks Connect - May 2011 newsletter

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JustBooks Connect - May 2011 newsletter

  1. 1. Volume 2 Issue 3www.justbooksclc.comblog.justbooksclc.com CONNECT May 2011 For limited circulation A JustBooks Publication Did You Copy that? Pg 9 purview of the law and commercial regu-Anindita Sengupta lations. "The technology that preserved the Quiz balance of our history-between uses of our culture that were free and uses of our cultureOn April 23rd, UNESCO celebrated that were only upon permission-has beenWorld Book and Copyright Day. My bet undone," he says.is not everyone attended that party. My Lessig goes on to outline the many dan-bet is that even among my Pg 14friends and fellow-writers,there would have beensome arguments on thatfront. With Kindle, Google Justbooks and Wikipedia,copyright (and copyleft) is Kidsone of the hotplate ques-tions of our day and itseems as good a time asany to bring it up.Copyleft is the opposite ofcopyright; it makes a par-ticular work free anddemands that all modifiedand extended versions of Pg 15the program also be givenfor free. Works under Authorcopyleft may be repro- Profileduced, adapted or distrib-uted. In his book FreeCulture, which is consid-ered a seminal work of thecopyleft, free culturemovement, lawyer and Let me pull the copyright question closerpolitical activist Lawrence to home. To writing. As a poet, Im awareLessig points out that before the Internet of the perils of art. Its a precarious occu- gers of copyright and restrictive access. Itcame along, culture was bifurcated along pation. In some cases-like English poetry withholds information from people whothe lines of free culture and commercial in India-its not an occupation at all. That dont have the means to pay for it. In cer-culture. The former included plays, story- is to say, it demands the same time and tain cases such as academic journals, thistelling, poetry recitation, mixing tapes effort that an occupation would but does- is harmful for, say, cancer patients whoand so on; the latter was art made and nt somehow garner the status. But what have no way to access what is going on insold commercially. Then the Internet do you really do? is the question every terms of cancer research. But it is alsoerased or blurred the lines between the poet faces at some point. Would I not like harmful for the scholars themselves whotwo. It provided a space where free and to earn some money from books. Of increasingly feel they are writing only forcommercial could overlap and intermin- course, I would. Do I want to give my each other. As a result, academiagle. Big media felt a need to nose in. And work away for free? Not really. becomes a claustrophic and narrow spacemore and more, that part of culture At the same time, I cant imagine living where nerds talk only to each other in awhich was earlier free came under the language that only they understand. contd on pg 2...
  2. 2. 2 JustBooks Connect - May 2011 contd from pg 1... From the Editor’s without free access to Desk the hundreds of jour- nals now available on the Internet. T oday books and reading are as They allow me to important as they were before. read poetry from Hence it becomes imperative that around the world. books are accessible and available to Mostly, theyre free. one and all and book reading is encour- Richard Stallman who aged. founded the GNU free This is where the importance of World software system used Book and Copyright Day, which is cele- copyright law to build a brated on April 23rd of each year, comes world of free software. in. Software licensed The World Book and Copyright Day is under the GNU Public celebrated to promote reading, publish- License can be modified ing and protection of intellectual prop- and distributed freely, erty through copyright. provided the new The future of books and the copyright source code is also issue concerns all of us-readers, writers, made available for oth- publishers. ers, a sort of pay it for- In this e-books and e-readers era ward logic. Perhaps, where we have wikis, blogs, and free the same applies here. downloads available, this day also Poets publish in online emphasises on the importance of and journals, usually with- adherence to copyright laws and other out payment, because measures to protect intellectual proper- theyre happy to be able ty through copyright. to read other poets For year 2011, UNESCO suggested doing the same. that during the events organized on this Free culture is growing occasion special attention be given to every day. Wikipedia, a the evolution of book production, from volunteer-run encyclo- writing to digital, their complementari- pedia, contains over 15 ty and future challenges. million entries in more One other interesting event that hap- than 270 languages and pens on this day is the selection of a is among the 10 most World Book Capital City. visited websites on the World Book Capital is a title bestowed planet. Recently, the by UNESCO to a city in recognition of International Music the quality of its programs that promote Score Library Project books and foster reading. The designa- created waves when tra- tion runs from one World Book and ditional music publish- Copyright Day to the next. ers started taking alarm path. Creative Commons, for example. Buenos Aires was the World Book at its growing archive of 85,000 classi- creativecommons.org develops software Capital for year 2011, whereas Yerevan cal music scores. Working on the same that allows people to choose their own (capital of Armenia) is named as the principles as Gutenberg or Wikipedia, licenses. These licenses "provide simple, 2012 World Book Capital by UNESCO. IMSLP adds several thousand scores standardized alternatives to the "all rights Lastly, as you must have noticed this each month. reserved" paradigm of traditional copy- year JustBooks is expanding like never It is run by volunteers, completely right". There are problems here too and before. And its bound to reflect in crowd-sourced and loose about miss- these are being debated hotly. JustBooks Connect too. ing pages and copyright issues. Whatever the outcome of these thank- From this edition onwards, JustBooks Publishers are worried that nobody fully bloodless wars, copyright is cer- Connect will be of 16 pages. This means will buy music scores if they are avail- tainly one of the burning issues of the more content for you to read, and more able for free. The same could apply to decade. As writers and readers, we ways of making connection with you for writing. need to think about how free-or not-we us. But its also important to think about want our content to be and what were We encourage our members to con- this: when I read a little of somebodys willing to do for that. tribute to our readers section and avail writing for free, chances are that I will the free reading fee offer. Do tell us buy more if I like it. Which is exactly Sources: what you think of this edition and send why some artists give away some of Free Trove of Music Scores on Web Hits Sensitive Copyright Note, NYTimes.com, 22 us your feedback to editor@just- their work for free and require pay- February 2011 ; booksclc.com. ment for the rest of it. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/arts/music Somewhere between the barricades of /22music-imslp.html. As always happy reading!  All Rights Reserved and the detritus of Free Culture, Lawrence Lessig, 2004; No Rights Reserved, there is a middle http://www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf 
  3. 3. JustBooks Connect - May 2011 3Freedom at Midnight Where the Serpent LivesLarry Collins & Dominique Lapierre Ruth PadelPenguin HachetteBihag Bhatt Anindita Sengupta T R he book gives a blow by blow account of osamund is a bored, disillusioned the last phase of Indian independence housewife stuck in an unhappy mar- struggle: starting from the day Louise riage with a philandering man. They Mountbatten is offered the job as the last Viceroy have not shared a bedroom for years. Their of India to the fateful day of Mahatma Gandhis son Russell has retreated into a cocoon of dis- murder and his funeral. Though the authors gust and dope. Rosamunds struggle to have visibly tried to be impartial, the white emerge from her fugue is padded to novel mans burden gets in to their view and the local length by some reasonably interesting details characters are portrayed unfairly at times. on Indias forests, the lives of serpents, factsNone of these though obstruct the flow enough to cause ebb in about wildlife conservation and a climacticinterest. This book is a must read for anyone interested in twist that involves dangers, both animal and human. Padel isunderstanding the more-bitter-less-sweet dynamics prevalent precise, powerful and tender when dealing with the animalin Indian sub-continent and highly recommended to everyone world. At the end, one feels as if one has gorged on beautifulwho loves reading.  phrases and been left unsatisfied. Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore Chai, Chai: Travels in Places Where you StopSchool of Villainy but Never Get OffShamini Flint Bishwanath GhoshPiatkus Tranquebar PressGeetanjali Singh Chanda Pushpa Achanta M W ark Thompson, a British lawyer is hen I first heard the name of this book, found murdered in his office. In I expected it to have a connection to Singapore the murder of a "foreign intercity trains in India. But on read- talent" as expat professionals are called, is a ing Chai, Chai one will find that journalist very serious matter as it can seriously tarnish Bishwanath Ghosh (now an assistant editor Singapores reputation as a safe business cen- with Times of India in Chennai) offers much tre. The police would prefer to limit damage more than that. It is a collection of delightful with a quick resolution of the case. But the anecdotes of his train journeys and short visitsmeticulous, lumbering Inspector Singh cannot be hurried. All to certain towns across the country.the characters - the present and ex-wives of the victim as well And it also has some interesting and perhaps little known factsas each of his colleagues have plausible motives for murder about these small places which are actually important junctionsand each lead the portly inspector into the dark underbelly of that make the lifeline of Indian Railways. It is not an exaggera-the life of the privileged in Singapore. In his pursuit of the tion to state that the subtitle of the book, Travels in Places Wherekiller the plodding Inspectors also proves that sharp minds are You Stop but Never Get Off captures the essence of its contents innot antithetical to layered girth and sweaty armpits.  a nutshell. The Greatest Show on Earth Profit ZoneRichard Dawkins Adrian J. Slywotzky & David J. MorrisonBantam Three Rivers PressDr. Rajagopalan Manjula Sundharam W M e marvel at the complex beauty of life any companies who focus on grow- forms and the web of ecosystems. The ing their market share first and prof- sheer elegance of a cheetah or the its later, struggle to make profits. beauty of a peacock tempts us to imagine the Profit Zone presents stories of businesses hands of a master designer, God. But what is who succeeded by focusing on sustainable the evidence for creationism? Should it be profits before expanding their market share. taught in schools anymore? The theory of natu- It is important for businesses to own con- ral selection provides a cohesive, simple and sumer relationship, create uniqueness and elegant explanation supported by excellent evi- follow the value than volume to reach and remain in the profitdence- from artificial selection while breeding domesticated ani- zone. Written in an engaging and easy to read style, the bookmals and plants, fossil finds and developments in cellular and reached the best sellers list . The authors provide inspirationmolecular biology. Dawkins marshals all these beautifully to and insight on making profits for entrepreneurs and all thoseargue his case for banishing the creationists from schools.  responsible for profits of their businesses.  For detailed reviews check out justbooksclc.com
  4. 4. 4 JustBooks Connect - May 2011Book Review Finding her musical notes tude of the three old ladies sharing a accepted by Dhondutai quite easily whileThe Music Room small apartment and is slowly won over. Dhondutai herself has to struggle a lot Now the music lessons start. before she is accepted by Kesarbai who inNamita Devidayal Namita talks at various points in the turn learns from Alladiya Khan. book the special aspects of learning music While Alladiya Khan and DhondutaiRandom House and the differences between Hindustani are quite ready to accept the disciples (Indian) and Western music. Kesarbai is reticent and makes Dhondutai The importance of Guru-Shishya wait a bit.Y. Ananthanarayanan parampara in which the Guru passes on The tumultuous happenings at Babri all his or her knowledge in a leisurely Masjid during December 1992 are manner, which is the base of learning of brought to life through a wonderful gath- T Indian music, is brought out beautifully. ering of musicians of different faiths at his is an The book is sprinkled with beautiful Dadar, the hotbed of Shiv Sena politics. auto-biog- anecdotes from historic musical figures Surprisingly the 1993 riots in Mumbai are raphical like Tansen, Haridas and contemporary given the miss. Namita has not made any effort relating to musicians like Chaurasiya, Dagar broth- attempt to paper over the deep-rooted the authors ers, Omkarnath Thakur and so on. There prejudices which exist between efforts at learning is a beautiful explanation of the idea and Maharashtrian upper class and lower music from a profundity of the Ragas. At various class or other faiths. On the other hand, master. However the contribution of Islamic musi- it is more of a cians to Hindustani classical biography of the music is very revealing and themusical icons of the Hindustani music wonderful manner in which thesince Namita has kept her role to a mini- two religions work together ismum. This book is about Dhondutai depicted informatively.Kulkarni, a little known Hindustani clas- The transformation of the rela-sical singer and her life. It covers over 100 tionship between Namita andyears of musical heritage relating to the Dhondutai, whichJaipur gharana. Even a musical novice starts as one between alike me (I can appreciate great music, but master and a reluctantcannot understand the intricacies) was student and endsable to get a lot of enriching information almost like a mother-relating to the world of music. daughter bonding, is Namita Devidayal is a journalist with brought about slowlyTimes of India, Mumbai. She was educat- but in a warm anded at Princeton, New Jersey. This book beautiful manner.won the Vodafone Crossword Popular stages in the book What Namita learnsBook award for 2007 and was named an many Ragas are is not just music butOutlook book of 2007. brought into the dis- life in general, the The book starts with Namitas mother cussion and a brief musical history andtaking her to Dhondutais house to learn explanation is avail- the greatness of themusic. Namita is not exactly excited at able as to the nature of the Raga and masters of the past.having to go to shady Kennedy Bridge. when it is sung. Bhairavi and Bhoop are The language of the book is not flowery, In their first meeting itself, Dhondutai, the Ragas covered in depth. as many Indian authors tend to lapse into,while making tea, talks about the need to There is a nice episode on Namita ask- but simple and common-place. Thisthink about the number of people who ing to be taught a two-note taan and after seems to have been deliberately done byhave worked hard to bring the tea to the mastering it Dhondutai tells her "This is Namita to make sure that the essence oftable. The grower, the plucker, the pack- not a Satyanarayan Prasad to be distributed the book is not lost amongst language dif-er, the milkman, the gur maker and so on. for free. You will only reveal this to your stu- ficult-to-understand.Namita is fascinated by the positive atti- dent". This emphasizes the importance The book has received critical acclaim. given to the Guru-Shishya parampara. However the fact that it can be read,The transformation of the The two major musical figures who are understood and appreciated by a person, covered in depth are Alladiya Khan and who would not understand the differencerelationship between Namita Kesarbai Kerkar. The first is the founding between a two-note taan and four-noteand Dhondutai, which starts figure of the Jaipur Gharana and the sec- taan, means that the book has achieved itsas one between a master and a ond is a tempestuous and haughty stu- purpose. dent of Alladiya Khan. In turn This book is an excellent musical biog-reluctant student and ends Dhondutai, who is a much mellower fig- raphy without resorting to high-browalmost like a mother-daughter ure, learns from Kesarbai. technical stuff. Do not miss this one. Yourbonding.” The contrast between the music teach- life will be enriched when you read it.  ers is brought out very well. Namita is
  5. 5. JustBooks Connect - May 2011 5Book Review All is fair in love and food vate scandals that permeate the armyChef: A Novel life.Jaspreet SinghPenguin K ip goes back and forth between memories as he returns to cook for the ex-Generals (now Governor) daughters wedding. He is an ill man now with a tumour growing inside his brain and this is aReshmi Chakraborty journey both for demanding answers and his own personal redemption after his resignation 14 years ago.I ts a very different Kashmir the reader Rubiya, the Generals daughter has a encounters in Chef, Jaspreet Singhs Pakistani fiancé and the General slow and steady record of the harsh- believes the wedding cuisine requires aness of military life in Kashmir. The touch of Kirpals magic to smooth theKashmir here is beautiful but bar-ren and evoked more through itsfood than through a descriptionof its beauty. Kip, as Kirpal Singhis better known, is the son of a clash in the border. "There is awar hero whose body vanished Hindu Rogan Josh and a Musliminto the Siachen glacier after a Rogan Josh," he says. "Over the yearsplane crash. "An officers son will I have developed my own recipe, aalways become an officer," says Chef Rogan Josh inspired by these two greatKishen, Kips mentor in the novel traditions." Abut Kip chooses the kitchen s a Sikh, his loyalties lie withinstead, though he has been put India but he is able to have aon a fast track to promotion. dispassionate view of the Indo-Pak There he is coached by Kishen warfare and its history. Gradually,in the nuances of food and sex. as he encounters the enemyKishen teaches Kirpal about cook- woman who has floated acciden-ing both Indian and international tally to India and is suspected to becuisine and also teaches him to a terrorist, he is instructed by thegive food its due honour. General to find out her every secret Kishen is eccentric and philo- by getting close to her.sophical in equal measure and a Kip falls in love with her, ques-character you remember from the tioning his own sense of right andbook even though he is somewhat wrong, morality and justice whichloathsome. "Before cutting a toma- are given a severe shake. It alsoto, give it the reverence it deserves shows the extent to which the armyand ask: Tomato, what would you like will go to get information about theto become? Do you want to be alone? enemy.Or do you prefer company? Apricot, Years later, as Kirpal travels backwhat would you like to become? to Kashmir and encounters Rubiya,Would you like to become more than the Generals daughter, he seeks answersyourself in the company of saffron?" relations. Kirpal on the other hand has his own personal agenda for meeting the to a few questions he has always had Such instructions aside, Kip, who is dis- regarding Irem, the enemy woman andtracted with a 20-year-olds constant General and his daughter. The Siachen Glacier looms large in the finds them, leading the novel to a shock-obsession of finding a woman, leads a ing yet not surprising end that hints atsomewhat lonely and silent life in the novel, both in Kirpals mind as it took his father and in the sequence of events. the rot that affects our countrys defencecamp. He is also a keen observer of the services.many unavoidable intricacies of army Despite the serious issue it unravels (i.e., corruption and abuse among army top Kashmir is a tricky topic to write on butlife-from the officers flirty wife to the Singh manages to infuse Kip with a mucharmys dinner diplomacy with religious brass), Chef remains a lyrical novel that moves along in a slow pace, much like a needed detachment throughout the book.clerics. It makes him a great observer and gives As Kishen moves to Siachen after he lovingly, slow cooked meal. Innovatively enough, Singh uses the difference in the book an ambiguity that is often leftsees Kips interest in the hospital nurse he upon the reader to interpret. His writingshares a past with, Kip gets more respon- cooking styles to show the futility of war based on religion as India and Pakistan is simple yet rather lyrical, especiallysibility and understands much of the pri- when describing Kashmir. 
  6. 6. 6 JustBooks Connect - May 2011 Reader’s Reader’s Contribution Voice this practice of tearing off the pages of the serial stories and binding them as a G Venkatesh book for reading at a later date and pre-R serving them for posterity. eading is a simple, relaxing and Once upon a time, short stories seri- D enjoyable way for parents to uring the 60S, 70s and 80s, alised in Doordarshan carried a hard spend time with children. It is an much of the Tamil population hitting message too. Doordarshanexcellent way to bond and show them dispersed across Indian cities broadcast Hrishikesh Mukherjees won-that they are important to us. had one thing in common-the love for derful tele-serial called "Darpan". Every The summer holidays are the perfect reading serial stories by well-known week, a story by a famous regionaltime to encourage your child to read, authors. Tamil stories serialised in mag- writer was translated as a one-episodeand what better way of doing that than azines used to be a rage then. Tamil serial. Then came Manju Singhs greatbecoming a member of a library. magazines like Ananda serial, "Ek Kahani" on similar JustBooks has provided a much-need- Vikatan, Kumudam and lines.ed oasis for thirsty readers of Navi Kalki dominated the scene Two short stories stand out inMumbai! I have been a member of the offering a plethora of my memory. The first one - anlibrary since they opened in Nerul in options to upcoming writers adaptation of aMay 2010. It has been exciting to see to show case Sindhi story- istheir collection growing each month. their writing about a man whoRecently, the library has also begun talent. vents out hisorganizing storytelling sessions on Be it office frustrationsSunday mornings. Mumbai or on his wife and My daughter is an avid reader and Pune or Delhi children day afterenjoys visiting the library each week. or Nasik or day. Ostensibly,My son, who is a beginner reader, also Bengaluru, his boss is givingenjoys reading thanks to inspiration readers rel- him a hard time.from his sister and the family. ished reading Eventually, under Before the library was established, we these stories counselling advice, he buys aused to hang out at the mall. But now, if and discussing them with pair of punching bags and everythe children are bored, they want to go their friends and neighbours. evening, he lets out his anger onto JustBooks to browse and borrow Similarly Chitralekha was a the punching bags after comingbooks. magazine in Gujarat that home. He is much more relaxed Visiting the JustBooks library is an made serial stories a house- now.outing the entire family looks forward hold affair whereas Balamitra was a The second one was about a dark andto. popular Telugu magazine specifically podgy Bengali girl. She gets married to aimed at children. a handsome young man, who finds it Mrs. Vidhya Venkat, The moment of suspense came when difficult to consummate the marriage. Nerul, Navi Mumbai  the serial story was about to end. For Patient and sincere, the girl diverts her days, the possible ending of the story attention to prayers. Eventually, the would be discussed! Popular writer man thaws and realises that inner beau- Manians serial stories in Ananda ty matters the most and this culminates Vikatan, most of which, revolved in a happy ending. around middle class families and their However today, our households are struggles to meet both ends meet, were hooked onto the idiot box to watch one immensely popular. Well known writer T.V serial after the other. Sivasankaris story "47 days" made the Magazines still exist; but they hardly Tamilians paranoid. carry any serial stories; even if they The story detailed the travails of an carry one, you are not sure how many innocent girl called Visalam who mar- will actually read them. In this bleak ries a Tamilian boy settled in the US scenario, there is a ray of hope. only to discover that the boy has JustBooks has some wonderful books in already married an American woman. their collection. We may not be able to Visalam ends up becoming an unpaid recreate the past but we can certainly housemaid in her own home but relive the past by reading such books. musters up the courage to escape when her husband becomes barbaric. G Venkatesh lives in HAL stage III People exchanged magazines with and works for a private firm in Indira each other and there was a time when Nagar. Reading has fuelled his cre- housewives finished their household ativity all these years, he also writes chores early to read through the maga- when he has the urge to share his zines in the afternoon. thoughts with others. He is a strong Many Tamilian households also had votary of the logic that - "Knowledge always give you the edge". 
  7. 7. JustBooks Connect - May 2011 7As we see itDiscovering the joys of reading habit among the children of today if we many who start reading books youngRam Mohan Susarla are to progress and evolve. Though read- and grow old with books for company. ing as a habit needs initiation and a bit However, this is not to dissuade adults of hand holding, there are instances from reading and as recent trends show,A h! The Joys of reading... have you where people have taken to books like a book that captivates ones imagination ever had the snug feeling of ducks to water (the so-called self taught can convert even the diehard pessimist being tucked up on a people) without any external help. into the faithful.cold wintry day with a book in What we need is a kind of Harryyour hands and a hot beverage Potter phenomenon for adults as wellto go with it? There is nothing where an enterprisingmore pleasurable than engag- author comes up withing in the simple pleasures of an innovative idea thatlife that one gets by reading hooks the adults too likebooks. Chetan Bhagat or chick- In recent years, with the lit? Reading books can beadvent of television and the undertaken as a compan-internet, reading books has ion in journeys or totaken a backseat though the spend ones weekends in afaithful continue to insist quiet and relaxed manner.that books are the realMcCoy and everythingelse comes second. The W hat better way to escape the concrete jungle than to pick up apleasures and joys of book and lose one in the tra-reading are unmatched vails of the main charactersand though one needs to relating to them as oneengage with the books would to our family mem-that one reads unlike the bers? By the end of the book,compressed attention it would be hard to sayspans and reduced con- whether one has read thecentration that media book or the book has read us.like TV and the internet Book readers come in differ-fosters on us, it is not ent varieties and though somenecessarily the case might insist on finishing a bookthat reading a book is in one setting, there are othersonly for the grey who take their own sweet timehaired intellectuals to complete the book.with thick glasses. The point here is that like one For instance, the walks on cloud nine after watch-Harry Potter series ing a movie or a play in a theatre,by J.K. Rowling is widely books can similarly make one feelcredited with bringing a renaissance in It is uplifted and what better, they canthe art of reading among kids though it the duty of parents and show a path to the reader to mullneeds to be seen if this is a one off won- elders in the family to teach children to over and think about long after theder or an enduring passion. read widely and deeply to succeed in book is read. As the internet has revolutionized the this uber competitive knowledge age. Reading books as a habit has some-way we communicate in this digital age, Knowledge is power and the emerging what taken a beating in recent years duethe invention of the printing press by paradigm requires that one is knowl- to various reasons.Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 was one of edgeable in ones areas of expertise as However, all is not lost since the pub-the turning points that was pivotal in well as an engaged with the world with- lishing industry has evolved with theushering the Enlightenment era that lift- in and without if one wants to succeed in times and is rolling out innovative strate-ed Europe out of the Dark Ages. Till the globalized world economy. More gies not only to "Catch them young" butthen, knowledge was passed down oral- than anything else, books hold a mirror also to convince the adults as well. It isly and through edifices. onto ourselves and let us introspect in a in this context that the pleasures of read- The printing press made the acquisi- critical manner. This leads to develop- ing need to be told and repeated to onetion of knowledge accessible to one and ment of self and personality to tackle the and all to welcome as many as possibleall and this is how the saga of the read- myriad challenges that life throws up at into the world of delights of reading.ing as a habit began to take hold. every stage. And as Joe Ryan said- Theres nothing to The rest as they say is history and weare now at a threshold where we need torekindle (no pun intended) the reading R eading as a habit can be cultivated at any age though the proverbial early bird catching the worm is a truism for match curling up with a good book when theres a repair job to be done around the house. 
  8. 8. 8 JustBooks Connect - May 2011Musings When words come alive are abridged, graphic versions of interna- LAssociation, US: Pantheon Books) aPuspha Achanta tional cultural epics, literary classics, French autobiographical comic by adventure novels and many other sub- Marjane Satrapi portrays her childhood jects produced particularly for a young until her adolescence in Iran during andA picture is worth a thousand audience. after the Islamic revolution. words. Is that why almost every Classics Illustrated anthologies Drawn in black and white, the graphic book irrespective of its genre has launched in 1941 in the United States are novel gained popularity and was ren-at least a few pictures or illustrations? good examples. One can also find books dered in many languages. MarvelWhat purpose does a drawing or photo- of fiction like the Sherlock Holmes or the Comics brought out collections ofgraph serve? Well, it can depict the sub- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde series in similar Captain Marvel, Spiderman, Doctorject of the book or some facets of it to formats. Doom, etc. and DC Comics producedfamiliarize the reader with it. Catwoman, Batman, Superman antholo- For example, an autobiography can Graphic Works gies, in print and digital versions.contain one or more photographs of theperson, members of her or his family, G raphic novels emerged as a distinct genre a few decades ago although they have probably existed for much Similarly, tankobon, dedicated book- sized volumes of the Japanese manga comics sell greatly in Japan and haveancestral home or town and other per-sons, places or influenced charactersevents connected in Taiwanese andwith the individual. South Korean car-Fictional work like a toons. Further, theymurder mystery or a are released inromance might not French, English andhave any illustra- on the Internet.tions at all. The All these demon-objective of an strate the range ofimage is to comple- books with visualment or supplement content having athe text but not wide appeal. Sarnathreplace it. Unless its Banerjees Corridorabout photography, (Penguin, 2004), waspainting or other widely advertised asvisual art forms Indias first graphicwhere words are novel.minimal. Or its a picture H owever, Delhi based artist Orijit Sens sixty pagebook for kids - onewhere the illustra- comic, River oftions primarily narrate a story or convey Stories (Kalpavriksh,some information. Actually, books for longer. Will Eisner apparently catego- 1994) about the Narmada Dam controver-children are perhaps incomplete without rized his first book A Contract with God sy, is considered an important precedent.drawings or graphics. and Other Tenement Stories (Baronet Chennai based Blaft Publications entered Comics featuring Asterix and Obelix, Books, October 1978) as a graphic novel to the graphic novel arena with GeorgePeanuts, Dilbert, The Phantom et al have impress a busy executive at Bantam Mathen or Appupens Moonward (2009).all gained immense worldwide following Books. Graphic novels are also called comicacross generations and even inspired He is sometimes credited with popular- novel, picture novella, trade paperbacks,films, theme parks and merchandise. ising this modern classification. The dust etc. by marketers or critics like the writer They are essentially fictional works that jacket and introduction to Richard Alan Moore or the cartoonist Seth.present their story through multi Corbens Bloodstar (1976), adapted from European and Japanese graphic albums,coloured pictures or black and white Robert E. Howards story had the phrase adopted the label to designate artisticallydrawings and text. "graphic novel". "serious" comics.I n India, the well known ones are the The earliest known citation of the words Amar Chitra Katha series (literally "graphic novel" was by Richard Kyle in Book Coversmeaning Immortal Picture Stories) that Capa-Alpha #2 (November 1964), Comic Irrespective of a books theme, its covernarrate myths, legends, folk tales, history Amateur Press Alliances newsletter. matters much. Small wonder that special-and parables through colour illustrations Art Spiegelmans Maus: A Survivors ized artists and designers decide its front,and words. Launched in 1967 by the late Tale (1972-1991, Apex Novelties, RAW rear and inner look. Most books have anAnant Pai along with India Book House, Magazine, Pantheon Books), a memoir of image outside and behind with thethey have been fairly sought after espe- the authors Holocaust survivor father, authors photograph inside.cially by kids. Vladek Spiegelman, is a graphic narrative That the legendary film maker and But some of the publications were criti- depicting Jews as mice and Germans as famous childrens writer Satyajit Raycized for stereotypical and regressive rep- cats. It is the only comic book that won drew and designed all his works reiter-resentations of gender and caste. There the Pulitzer Prize. Persepolis (2000, ates the value of pictures in a book. 
  9. 9. JustBooks Connect - May 2011 9 1. World Book and Copyright 4. World Book and Copyright Day was first celebrated in: Day is celebrated on: 1926 May 1st 1995 April 23rd 2000 May 23rd 5. What does World Book and Copyright Day pro- mote? Publishing. Reading. All of the above. 2. World Book and Copyright Day is organized by: UNICEF World Bank UNESCO 3. Whose death anniversary coincides with World Book and Copyright Day? Cervantes Lord Byron Rabindranath Tagore 1.April 23rd 2.UNESCO 3.Cervantes 4.1995 5.All of the above. JUSTBOOKS Will e-books replace books? TOP 5 A recent report in the media has many people voicing their opinion that the sales of digital books in India is expected to N EW A RRIVALS pick up in coming months but that will not impact the afi- 1. Deliverance by Gauri cionados love for hardcover books as has been the case in the West. Deshpande Foremost are the opinions of Kapish Mehra, MD, Rupa & Co, who 2. The Sly Company of People does not see iPads or Kindle book readers replacing the hard copy. Who Care by Rahul A similar view is echoed Bhattacharya by Vivek Mehra, MD and 3. The Vague Woman’s CEO, SAGE Publications Handbook by Devapriya Roy who opines that it is very 4. The Nowhere Nation by difficult to believe that dig- Ashok Mitra ital books will replace 5. From the Brink Of paper books. Bankruptcy by Vinay Bharat The strongest votary of Ram books, Chairman and CEO of the Penguin Group, John R ECOMMENDED Makinson says "The idea of 1. Fugitive Histories by Githa the book dying comes up all Hariharan the time which is wrong. 2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Books matter more in India Ishiguro than anywhere else we publish 3. Salim Must Die by Mukul them." Deva Consider all of the above 4. The Buck Stops Here by with this prediction by Forrester Research: 2010 will end with $966 Ashutosh Garg million in eBooks sold to consumers. By 2015, the industry will have 5. Incoming! by Ted Nield nearly tripled to almost $3 billion, a point at which the industry will be forever altered. R ENTALS Some interesting statistics too: 1. where 7% of online adults who read books read eBooks. But that 1. Only Time Will Tell by Jeffery 7% happens to be a very attractive bunch: they read the most books Archer and spend the most money on books. 2. And Thereby Hangs A Tale by 2. The average eBook reader already consumes 41% of books in digi- Jeffery Archer tal form. Oh, and that includes the people who dont have an 3. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown eReader yet, which is nearly half of them. For those that have a 4. The Red Pyramid (The Kane Kindle or other eReader, they read 66% of their books digitally. Chronicles)by Rick Riordan 5. 2 States: The Story Of My Marriage by Chetan Bhagat From JustBooks blog - http://blog.justbooksclc.com 
  10. 10. 10 JustBooks Connect - May 2011On the bandwagon A Day of ReckoningE veryone knows about them. Most of us dream of gettinginto it. Some get a calland a select few get in. We have all heardabout the (in) famousstarting packages and thetop-jobs offered at IIMs.We also know theamount of pressure andpain inflicted on students.But neither of these is ona students mind on theday of his graduation ashe walks the ramp. Its a pleasure to watchthe sea of studentsdressed in convocationrobes of different colorson a convocation day.Pride glows on the stu-dent and parents facesalike, as they watch theirward walk towards thepodium. This is the day whereall their efforts culminate.This is the day when all questions. Pahlajani and Ritesh Sharma puts forth athose sleepless nights, tough subjects, Each student is almost ready to take similar story of a boy next door, whosurprise quizzes and intense prepara- on a corporate job by the time they com- dreams big and pursues a career in man-tions come to an end. This is the day pletes the course, having understood the agement, before becoming disillusionedwhen one of the most premier institu- underlying principles and experienced and questioning the choices he hadtions in the country recognizes their real-life scenarios. made.achievement and gives credence to theeffort they have put in. 2011s ceremony at IIM Bangalore was IIMs also take the role of tuning a stu- dents psych towards a corporate job. Students get accustomed to unusual L ove, a rather bad idea by Anirban Mukherjee gives us a taste of campus politics and details how experiences inits 36th Annual Convocation and was working hours, tight deadlines and peer- IIM can change personalities.presided over by Mukesh Ambani, pressure. No wonder top Investment Then there are also those who discard-chairman of IIM, Bangalore and Kapil Banks and FMCG companies like P&G ed the conventional path and choose toSibal, the current HRD minister. prefer hiring their next generation lead- make a difference in lesser known areas. While Mukesh was given the painful ers directly from campus and never take Rashmi Bansal describes 25 such peoplejob of distributing certificates to about laterals. in her book Stay Hungry Stay Foolish.450 students, Kapil had the job of hand-ing out awards to toppers. Handing over450 certificates is no short order. Names A part from the business knowledge required to sustain in the corporate world, a major benefit a student derives People who chose to be entrepreneurs than taking up a high paying corporate job. Some of them became social entre-were being called out in rapid order; out of such institutions is networking. 5 preneurs, which meant working forstudents would barely shake Mukeshs years from hence, people who passed social and public causes for very less orhands, smile at the camera and walk off. out from a single batch will be in such almost no money. Their stories willEven then after a point of time, one wide and varied fields that just main- inspire more graduates to take thewould start losing count of how many taining contact between them can turn untrodden path.had already walked. out to be extremely profitable in whatev- The hope that our IIMs graduate will While it can be argued that the pres- er domain they are. do well not just in investment banks andsure on students to pass examinations at Many have taken the literary route and FMCGs but also contribute to our publicIIMs is quite high, the outcome seems to given us a peek into what goes on sector and policies, will be alive till suchjustify the means. Its almost impossible behind these IIM walls. brave graduates exist.to pass by mugging up syllabus or hav- Karan Bajajs Keep Off the Grass As for the IIMs, they will continue toing photo-graphic memory. depicts the struggles and coming of age occupy a place among Indias most pre- For whatever they are worth, each of an immigrant, while facing pressure mier education institutions as long assubject needs to be understood by its and extreme competition in an IIM envi- there are top-jobs on offer and excellenceconcepts, to be able to tackle the exam ronment. Joker in the Pack by Neeraj is on demand. 
  11. 11. JustBooks Connect - May 2011 11Lost in time Portrait of a Vanished WorldA Forgotten Empire, (Vijayanagar): commercial maneuverings in the rela- towards the Muslim courts as he was tionship of Vijayanagara kings with the employed by one of them. He was theA Contribution to the History of Portugese in Goa. The importance of the court historian of Adil Shah of Bijapur.IndiaRobert Sewell horse trade is emphasized and the domi- nance of this trade by the Portugese made them intrepid players in the game of S ewells account is based on the writ- ings, apart from those of the two Portugese eye witnesses mentionedIndyPublish power. above, of the Italian traveler Nicolo He stops in his telling of the story to Conti, who visited India during the reign draw our attention to yet another version of Devaraya II of Vijayanagar and of of the same story. Duarte Barbosa, a Abdul Razzak, who was a PersianDr. Rajeshwari Ghose cousin of Magellan, has left a description ambassador and also visited the court of of the capital in the beginning of the 16th Devaraya II. Paes was a visitor at theS century and his version sometimes dif- court of Krishna Deva Raya, (1509-1530), ewells book, which was a pioneer- the greatest king of the ing venture in his time, still enthralls Vijayanagar Empire. the reader. He modestly comments The second part of the book ison his own work by saying "The result a sensitive translation of thewill perhaps seem disjointed, crude and unin- eye witness accounts of Paesteresting but let it be remembered that it is and Nuniz. The discreet andonly a first attempt." The apology is totally short footnotes make it easierunwarranted as it is one of those rare for us to understand the narra-books on history, which is written so well tive as these writers hadthat it is as absorbing as a novel. strange spellings for names of The first chapters of the book, which people and places such asruns to nearly 200 pages is Sewells own Bisnaga for Vijayanagara, usedaccount of the origin of the Empire, its by the Portugese, while theearly kings, the growth of the empire, a Russian Nikitin calls itdetailed study of Devaraya I and II of the Bichenagar and Conti refers toearly 15th century, and the city of it as Bizenaglia and so on.Vijayanagara in its early years. Where the account becomes The second half of the book is a trans- unintelligible, the author giveslation of the accounts of Domingo Paes an editorial footnote, whichand Fernao Nuniz, two 16th century comes as a welcome relief toPortuguese travelers who spent some the general reader.time in Vijayanagara and have left Since Sewells book, numer-detailed accounts of the many facets of ous tomes have been written onthe empire. the Vijayanagara Empire and In the preface the author tells us how fers from another persons telling of the equally plentiful works have been pub-the manuscripts were found in Paris and story. The author gently brings out these lished on the city of Hampi, its art andhad been sent from Goa to Portugal and discrepancies. . architecture. Tsomehow landed up in the Bibliotheque he heartrending drama of destruction The writers have contributed theirin Paris. His methodology in the first part is told in the style of a Greek tragedy. expertise to the state of art, literature,of the book is that of describing an "The plunder was so great that every private music, administration, religious life, posi-account of an event by one foreign travel- man in the Allied army (i.e. the confederation tion of women, patterns of feudalism ander and then comparing it with that given of the Deccani Sultans) became rich in gold, the claim of Vijayanagara kings to beby another traveler and finally, when jewels, effects, tents, horses…" He adds defenders of the faith of Hinduismpossible, verifying the data through a "This was not a defeat merely, it was a cata- against Islamic onslaught, and have dealtstudy of inscriptional sources. clysm". "Never perhaps in the history of the with many more subjects relating to the All this sounds rather pedantic but the world has such havoc been wrought and Life and Times under this medievalauthor manages to communicate his wrought so suddenly on so splendid a city; empire.enthusiasm for the subject and takes us teeming with a wealthy and industrious pop- Sometimes, they have pointed out fac-on a journey of unraveling the mysteries ulation in the full plenitude of prosperity one tual errors in Sewells writing.of the empire and his style is that of tak- day, and on the next seized, pillaged and Nevertheless, this book, though writtening the reader along with him. reduced to ruins, amid scenes of savage mas- well over a hundred years ago, still The journey with him as a guide and sacre and horrors beggaring description" retains its own special flavour. It has, iftranslator is a romantic journey of discov- (p.173). anything, improved with age, like select Wery, of seeing say Krishna Deva Raya hile the author is very sympathetic vintage wine, for as any wine connois-through the eyes of Domingo Paes, who to the rulers of Vijayanagara, he seur knows, only few wines improvewas actually present in court. He high- balances his account by often quoting with age, and only a few of these accruelights the nature of political intrigues and Farishta, who had a definite slant any significant value. 
  12. 12. 12 JustBooks Connect - May 2011 Italo Calvino (1923-1985) what we need from them. Each cityAnindita Sengupta also lends itself to metaphorical read- IN A NUTSHELL ings. Take this descrip- tion of Armilla: Born in: A small suburb of "The fact remains that it Havana, Cuba. has no walls, no ceilings, no Raised in: San Remo, Italy. floors: it has nothing that Parents were: Botanists, travelers makes it seem a city except and experimenters, secular, paci- the water pipes that rise ver- fist. tically where the houses In childhood: he felt like a misfit should be and spread out horizontally where the because of his love for literature floors should be: a forest of over science. pipes that end in taps, Studied: Agriculture to please his showers, spouts, overflows. family; later, literature at the Against the sky a lavabos University of Turin where he did white stands out, or a bath- his thesis on Joseph Conrad. tub, or some other porcelain, Day jobs: At a publishing house; like late fruit still hanging as a journalist. from the boughs. You would At 21 he joined the Italian think that the plumbers had finished their job and gone Resistance for 20 months of fight- away before the bricklayers ing in the Maritime Alps. arrived; or else their Politics: Was a member of the hydraulic systems, inde- Italian Communist Party but the structable, had survived a Soviet invasion of Hungary disillu- catastrophe, an earthquake, sioned him and he left. He was or the corrosion of ter- deeply affected by Ernest Che mites." Armilla is a city Guevara. reduced-or streamlined-I Married: Argentinian translator talo Calvino was the most-translated to its most basic needs. Then the highly meta-fictional If on Esther Judith Singer (Chichita) in contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death. Calvino started off a winters night a traveler is about a 1964 in Havana.writing realist novels but came into his reader trying to read a book called If Lived most of his life in: Paris.own in allegorical novels that skillfully on a winters night a traveler. First book: The Crow Comes Lasttwined fantasy, fable, history and story. Alternate chapters are written in the (1949), a collection of stories basedThe turning point came in 1965 when he second person telling the reader what on wartime experiences.published Cosmicomics, twelve fantastic he is doing in preparation for reading Major Works: Cosmicomicsstories that take off from scientific facts the next chapter. Even-numbered (1968), Invisible Cities (1972), andand muse about the creation of the uni- chapters are single chapters from If on a winters night a travelerverse, man, society. whichever book the reader is trying to read. (1979). The multi-layered worlds in his booksfree the reader. His stories are playful but Calvino explores the relationship Also wrote: Essays and Lectures.not self-indulgent. Meaning is not between reader and writer, among Influences: Cesare Pavese, Kafka,obscured by text. It is made to explode in other things and the carefully struc- Mann, Borges; the Oulipo Groupresplendent ways. Reading Calvino is a tured novel is like a mathematical including Roland Barthes, Georgesbit like watching fireworks, full of unex- dance. If all of this sounds heavy, the Perec, and Claude Lévi-Strauss.pected whorls and colours. fault lies in my description because Awards and Honours: Honorary Jeanette Winterson credits Calvino with Calvinos writing reflects one of his Member of the American Academyfreeing up post-war fiction from social core values, that of lightness. (1975); Austrian State Prize forrealism (The Sunday Times; May 7, 2009). Which reader hasnt felt that sense of defeat (even as there is excitement) European Literature (1976); FrenchHis brave and experimental short fictionin Invisible Cities (1972) has influenced as he or she enters a bookshop, Légion dhonneur (1981).generations of writers. Written as a con- knowing that a majority of books Other Interests: Film.versation between an aging Kublai Khan must remain unread? Calvino looksand explorer Marco Polo, the book con- at this familiar situation with sharp Before You Die’ if you are to feel that youtains 55 prose poems, each one describing humour. Calvino was a strong contender have known enough of life.a different, imagined city that Polo for the Nobel Prize but never received it.reports on. This matters little when one looks at his Sources: Each city is fascinating on its own body of work and feels a bit like the hap- http://en.wikipedia.orgterms, lends new ways to look at the way less reader in his book, knowing that http://www.guardian.co.ukcities function, what we make of them, these are ‘Books That You Must Read http://www.des.emory.edu 
  13. 13. JustBooks Connect - May 2011 13In Focus Getting on board tion in terms of value toRavi Kumar your existing members? Timely delivery of request- ed books and availability ofIn this article, we introduce to you wide category of books willanother proud JustBooks franchise be helpful to our existingowner, Mr. Shekar Krishnamurthy. members.Mr. Krishnamurthy has been run- How much of time do youning our HSR Layout franchise in spend at the JustBooks out-Bangalore. HSR Layout has just let personally? Howcompleted one year of its operations rewarding is the experienceand it services the reading require- of interacting with yourments of more than a thousand members?members. Here Mr. Krishnamurthy Initially I used to be thereshares with us his life experiences daily, but once the libraryinside and outside of JustBooks. got established I needed to go twice or thrice a week. Our members are happy with the service, most of theTell us a little bit about yourself and member interactions areyour family related to questions onI was born and brought up in Bangalore. when the book will beAfter finishing my 10th std. in a received after they haveBangalore school, I took up my first job placed a request for it.at the age of 16 yrs. Later I did B.Com family. I resigned in Oct 2010 on my ownthrough correspondence. and started the HSR Layout franchise on What kind of books do you read person- I worked for the next 31 years, mostly 19th Feb 2010. ally? Who are your favourite authors?in Accounts and Finance departments, I read mostly Kannada books. T.K Ramalater I moved to commercials. In com- Why and how did this franchise option Rao is my favourite author.mercials, I handled various areas like happen?operations, procurement, merchandising, Two years before joining Strata, I was What is your advice to book lovers whowarehouse manager, training, new ware- thinking of becoming an entrepreneur. would like to turn entrepreneurshouse set-up, etc. My job did not give enough satisfaction through JustBooks? My Wife, who hails from Hassan, though money was not a problem. Many Like any business this also needs initialKarnataka, works for E&Y in Bangalore options were explored right from investment. But the smaller format makesand our 16-year old daughter has just Grocery shop, Stationery shop, pharma- it possible for those who want to start andcompleted 1st PUC. cy, fancy and gifts stores, door delivery of do not have much starting capital. There medicines, etc. But there is always risk is no repeated investment required.What were you doing before joining involved in any business. Hence I was Books need to be replenished frequentlyJustBooks as an employee? reluctant to choose an option. hence there is no hassle of investing onAs I mentioned above, I started my career While working in Strata, one of my well inventory. The library software is period-at the age of 16 yrs in Coorg where I wisher suggested taking up a JustBooks ically updated. Overall this is goodworked for 3 years as an Assistant Depot franchise. However, initial capital invest- choice for those who are looking for aManager. Then I relocated to Bangalore ment was a worry for me. change from monotonous job profile toand for the next 25 years worked in the After working for 3 months, I under- something new.Accounts and Finance areas. stood the franchise concept well and triedLater I got an opportunity to serve the for smaller format franchise (1400 sq. Ft) We then talked to one of JustBookshealthcare service sector. which meant low capital investment. members from HSR Layout and this is And that was it! what he had to say:How was your experience with "Many congratulations on having com-JustBooks as an employee? How has been the customer response to pleted a year. My family is very happyI had never heard of JustBooks before I JustBooks as a concept & your library, in with the exceptionally good service youmet Mr. Sundar Rajan (Founder MD of particular? have provided and also at the large andStrata Retail) at Whitefield. I got an The concept was well accepted and also still expanding collection of books youassignment for two months to complete a much appreciated. The need for such a have. Hope that you continue and bringdocumentation process, after which library was expected by HSR Layout in more books for us to leisurely borrowSundar gave me an opportunity to join in community. and read. Thank You, JustBooks"as Senior Commercial Manager. And this —Shouvonik Sengupta way I became a member of JustBooks What do you think will be a great addi-

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