Who were the Shudras?

Sat 06 January 2018 by Thejaswi Puthraya

How does one expose the hypocrisy of an orthodoxy? By studying their sources of 'truth' and invalidate them. That's the approach taken by BR Ambedkar in his book "Who were the Shudras?". He quotes the Vedas and other scriptures to demonstrate tampering and selective reading as a basis to prop …

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On Nationalism

Fri 29 December 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

"On Nationalism" is a collection of essays by historian Romila Thapar, jurist AG Noorani and journalist Sadanand Menon. The JNU sedition row of 2016 prompted these personalities to pen down their thoughts on the concept of nationalism and how vested interests misuse it (not just restricted to India but a …

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The temple tiger and more man-eaters of Kumaon

Mon 25 December 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

I was aware of Jim Corbett's role as a conservationist where he spent a large portion of his life trying to save the tiger in the United Provinces (currently the state of Uttarakhand) but little did I know that he started off as a hunter. He would be commissioned by …

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The First War of Independence

Fri 22 December 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

"The First War of Independence" is the translation of Vinayak Damodar Savarakar's Marathi book on the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. This is a book I will suggest all English readers to avoid because there are a lot of typos, grammatical errors, bad formatting and factual contradictions (within the book). These …

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Men without women

Wed 06 December 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

I was supposed to have picked up collection of short stories with the same name by Ernest Hemingway but got confused and ended up purchasing this. This was my first Murakami book (also a collection of short stories) and it is a blend of comedy with tragedy. The common theme …

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How to create a mind

Sat 02 December 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

The human brain is a masterpiece! It can recognize so many patterns and store a lot of memories. But how did the brain evolve and can it be mathematically simulated? Ray Kurzweil's book - "How to create a mind", answers these questions through a series of thought experiments.

Through these experiments …

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The Serpent's Revenge: Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata

Fri 24 November 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Sudha Murthy has compiled 25 short stories (some localised) from the fringes of the Mahabharata. Some stories like that of the Akshayapatra are well known whereas the others like the yagna by Janamejaya (great grandson of Arjuna) to slay all snakes (to avenge the death of his father Parikshit) not …

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Fahrenheit 451

Thu 23 November 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

I used to wonder if only the English wrote dystopian novels. But Ray Bradbury, an American writer swept that doubt away when I picked up "Fahrenheit 451".

In a distant future, firemen are tasked with searching, raiding and destroying books and snuffing out knowledge. The protagonist of this book, Guy …

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Untouchable

Mon 20 November 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Untouchable is the story of a teenage boy born into a lower caste of untouchables. He has aspirations like the rest of the kids of his age. Everyday, he is slurred on the basis of his caste and nagged of his ancestors and his subservience to the upper castes. Fed …

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The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Fri 17 November 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Siddhartha Mukherjee, an oncologist gets his readers up and personal with Cancer through a voluminous history of all the major types of cancer. He scours historical texts, medical journals and all public sources to document the earliest cases, various variants of the disease, treatment procedures, research methodologies and how and …

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