Reviews

Chemistry was their life

Chemistry was their life

Suggest to a present-day high school student in Bangalore who is interested in chemistry that she should not have the same professional ambitions as a boy in her class and she will likely laugh right in your face. Today, in most countries of the world, women can qualify themselves for a career in teaching and research, and aspire to the topmost positions in both academia and industry. There is no barrier stopping women from achieving their goals, not on paper, at least. Read the rest […]



Sweet Mundappa!

Sweet Mundappa!

Recently, Tulika Publishers of Chennai held a I*Heart*Mangoes contest to coincide with the launch of its latest picture book The Sweetest Mango. I won a copy of the new book. My Review of The Sweetest Mango You can’t be a non-resident Indian and eat fresh Indian mangoes too. I live in Boston and don’t travel to the home country during the summer months, so I am pretty resigned to this fact. This July, however, I was in for a pleasant surprise when I walked into my neighborhood bookstore […]



Churchill’s Secret War

Churchill’s Secret War

Most readers with an interest in world history are familiar with Ireland’s seven-year Potato Famine, which lasted from 1845 until 1852. Fewer know of the catastrophic 1943 famine that claimed up to three million lives in Bengal, an eastern Indian state and then British colony. In the fall of 1942, Bengal’s rice crop failed following a devastating cyclone. As World War ii raged on its eastern border with the Japanese invasion of Burma, Bengal went on to lose its source of rice imports. Despite this crisis, […]



Ginger and Ganesh

Ginger and Ganesh

“Please teach me Indian Vegetarian cooking! I will bring ingredients and pay you $10/hr for your trouble. I would like to know about your culture as well.” In 2008 Nani Power, Virginia-based writer and aficionado of spicy Indian food, impulsively placed this ad on Craig’s list. Much to her delight, more than a dozen Indian immigrants who lived within driving distance of her home responded. Many of her hosts offered her ginger-flavored chai, milky black tea, as a welcome beverage. Over time, some shared their […]



Lilavati’s Daughters

Lilavati’s Daughters

WOMEN ARE UNIVERSALLY underrepresented in science and technology. India is no exception. True, the subcontinent’s institutes of learning are open to all its citizens, but potential female researchers still hesitate at the thresholds of laboratories. Is this because they have seen few role models of their gender in such establishments? “Lilavati’s Daughters: The Women Scientists of India,”  is an inspiring anthology published by the Indian Academy of Sciences in a bid to remedy that visibility problem. Lilavati’s Daughters: The Women Scientists of India, edited by […]



Imagining India

Imagining India

When India opened its markets, nearly two decades ago, international media dubbed the developing nation an emerging economic superpower. So visitors to India’s financial capital may be forgiven their confusion when they see shantytowns right next to high-rise buildings. And the sight of grimy children peddling glossy magazines at intersections can be bemusing, to say the least. But the numbers indicate that India is the second fastest-growing economy in the world. Clearly, some explanation is in order – and that’s exactly what Nandan Nilekani attempts […]