Archive for December, 2014

Vanoli Anna: RIP

December 24, 2014

Hindu reports on the passing away of Koothapiran. The Sunday evening programme of Siruvar Solai was much anticipated one at our home. Vanoli Anna with radio where children’s groups can perform for the programme and Azha. Valliappa with Gokulam where children could contribute pieces to be published in the magazine did a lot to promote creativity among school children.

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Rudranghsu Mukherjee’s Parallel Lives

December 22, 2014

An excellent book; I am almost half-way through. Strongly recommended. Here is Mukul Kesavan on the book; here is Narasaiah.

The Magician’s Land

December 17, 2014

A good read; I agree with this reviewer — this probably is the best of the three books — even though, I found some of the later chapters a tad too lengthy.

Chembai and the Music Academy

December 12, 2014

Sriram’s article on Chembai and the Music Academy is a must-read.  It is very difficult to argue forcefully or fight with Institutions while maintaining no ill-will. Chembai seems to have managed it. When we are on the topic, let me also strongly recommend Lakshmi Subramanian’s From the Tanjore court to the Madras Music Academy: A social history of music in South India. I am yet to complete the book. But I liked whatever I have read so far.

Biography of Bhagvad Gita

December 11, 2014

I read Richard R Davis’ The Bhagvad Gita: A biography. Doniger’s review of the book is here. A good read.

Vijaya Ramaswamy’s Walking Naked: Women, Society, Spirituality in South India

December 10, 2014

Though this books seems was published in 1997 (and, I have 2007 second revised edition with me), I was unaware of its existence till I saw a reference in one of Ram Guha’s articles. It is a must-read, especially if you are interested in the poetry of Mira, Andal and Akka Mahadevi. I especially liked the sections of the book on Sangam literature, Budhdhist and Jain literature and Veerashaiva movement — obviously because of my own interests. Strongly recommended. If I have any quibble, it is that some of the pieces are a bit dis-jointed and there are a few minor mis-prints and mistakes.