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Meena Alexander

Photo credit: Marion Ettlinger

Meena Alexander was born in India, raised there and in Sudan. At eighteen she went to England to study. She has a special interest in poetry and poetics; questions of gender, migration and memory. She teaches in the Ph.D. program in English at the Graduate Center and the MFA program at Hunter College. She has a BA Honors from Khartoum University in English and French and a PhD from Nottingham University in English Studies. Her scholarly work includes two books on English Romanticism; her work in poetics includes a book of poems and essays The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience. Her volumes of poetry include Stone Roots ; House of a Thousand Doors ; River and Bridge; Illiterate Heart (winner of the PEN Open Book Award); Raw Silk ; and two chapbooks, each a single long poem: The Storm: A Poem in Five Parts, and Night-Scene, the Garden. Her new collection Quickly Changing River will appear in February 2008. She is the editor of Indian Love Poems. Her first poems were published when she was a teenager in Sudan, in Arabic translation and much of her work is concerned with migration and its impact on the writer’s subjectivity, and with the sometimes violent events that compel people to cross borders.

She has read at Poetry International London, Struga Poetry Evenings, Poetry Africa, Calabash Festival, Harbor Front Festival, Poetry Society, India and other international gatherings. She is the author of the memoir Fault Lines (chosen byPublishers Weekly as one of the best books of the year) and has published two novels. She has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Arts Council of England, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, National Council for Research on Women, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Ledig-Rowohlt Foundation; she was in residence at the MacDowell Colony and has held the Martha Walsh Pulver residency for a poet at Yaddo. She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Sorbonne (Paris IV); Frances Wayland Collegium Lecturer at Brown University; Writer in Residence at the Center for American Culture Studies at Columbia University; University Grants Commission Fellow, Kerala University; Writer in Residence, National University of Singapore. In 1998 she was a Member of the Jury for the Neustadt International Award in Literature. She has been named an Elector, American Poets Corner, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.

Some Books


Fault Lines: A Memoir
(“Best Books of 1993” Publishers Weekly)

“This new edition of Fault Lines shows us a poet intent on seeing herself straight … the narrative digs deeper into childhood and reexamines adulthood more painfully than its predecessor, but it carries the same magic of language and image.” — Jill Ker Conway

“Meena Alexander will be a part of the history of global culture. She knows how it looks, feels, tastes and sounds; how it creates and splits identity. Ten years ago, she published an extraordinary memoir, Fault Lines. Now with her habitual courage and subtlety and eloquence, she has interlaced the memoir’s words with new experiences, perceptions, pain, and visions. Fault Lines is faultless.” –Catherine R. Stimpson

“It is difficult to find words with which to preface Meena Alexander’s personal memories. As brilliantly captured in this new edition of Fault Lines, the memories are their own preface and introduction to a mesmerizing text culled from a life lived in fragments and migrations, a quest for nadu at home and in exile … Hers is a life where the present and past are simultaneous remembrances of each other. Her here, in India, Sudan, Europe, and the United States, is both everywhere and nowhere, a life of a ceaseless search for answers where the only certainty is the qalam she holds in her hand, with which she stitches together the fragments of her experience to make a healing wholeness. After all, as a writer she asks, what does she have but the raw materials of her own life?” — Ngugi wa Thiong’o , From the preface to the new edition of Fault Lines


Nampally Road 

(Village Voice Literary Supplement, Editors’ Choice)

“Like Meena Alexander’s poetry, her first novel is a deeply moving blend of lyric beauty and uncompromising toughness.Nampally Road plunges into the tumult, squalor, and corruption of postcolonial India, yet stands back from it at the same time. Alexander’s prose is both passionate and hard, vividly immediate yet always crystal clear… a grim, beautiful book” — Walter Kendrick

“With its restless crowds, cinemas, shops, temples, mango sellers, cobblers, cafes, and bars, Nampally Road becomes a metaphor for contemporary India. Alexander has given us an unsentimental, multifaceted portrait, thankfully remote from that of the British Raj. Her lyrical narrative has the eloquent economy that marks her best poetry … Alexander treads the waters of fiction lightly and gracefully” — Village Voice.

Indian Love Poems
(Edited Anthology)

“This delightful compendium of translations selected and edited by poet Meena Alexander for the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poet series is tiny, only 250 pages, but it’s an encyclopedia in disguise: nothing’s missing. The poems are sometimes passionate, sometimes poignant, sometimes pitiless, often wry, witty or amusing, almost never angry. The lovers are hopeful, fearful, ecstatic, euphoric, fulfilled, reflective, resigned, bemused, sad, calm. Whether the selection was written 2000 years ago in Sanskrit, Prakit or Old Tamil or only yesterday in the languages of modern India (Hindi, Oriya, Urdu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bengali, Kannada, English), the feelings ring true. And the book’s organization couldn’t be more perfect. It follows the very trajectory of love: waiting, meeting, parting. Serenity and wisdom come from accepting the inevitability of this trajectory’s occurring.” — Patricia Lee Sharpe



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Filed under: Author of the week, ,

Zoya Factor



Anuja Chauhan

(Arrived in our Library; under processing)

When the younger players in India’s cricket team find out that advertising executive Zoya Singh Solanki was born at the very moment India won the World Cup back in 1983, they are intrigued. When having breakfast with her is followed by victories on the field, they are impressed. And when not eating with her results in defeat, they decide she’s a lucky charm.

The nation goes a step further. 
Amazed at the ragtag team’s sudden spurt of victories, it declares her a Goddess.

So when the eccentric IBCC president and his mesmeric, always-exquisitely-attired Swamiji invite Zoya to accompany the team to the tenth ICC World Cup, she has no choice but to agree.

Pursued by international cricket boards on the one hand, wooed by Cola majors on the other, Zoya struggles to stay grounded in the thick of the world cup action. And it doesn’t help that she keeps clashing with the erratically brilliant new skipper who tells her flatly that he doesn’t believe  in luck…

In this entertaining debut novel, feisty heroine Zoya Solanki meets the Indian cricket team in the course of her advertising job. The team wins whenever she breakfasts with them. The players believe she’s their lucky charm; but not the dashing captain, who reckons hard work and talent matter more. But there is a growing undercurrent of romance in his rather fraught encounters with Zoya.
All this resolves itself in the lead-up to the 2011 Cricket World Cup.The pace rarely flags, and Zoya herself is that rarity in our contemporary fiction, a genuinely likeable protagonist. Moreover, its setting is one barely covered by more “literary” writers, a dynamic, young middle-class urban India. Zoya is its authentic embodiment.

Readers will connect with her droll takes on a variety of subjects: the marriage market, the tendency of NDTV newsreaders to parrot their boss’s style, peculiarly emphasised phrasing and all, or how many of Delhi’s less fashionable addresses have a soul that the posh bits lack. Equally, they will see themselves reflected in Zoya’s appealing meld of insecure ditziness and midnight-oil burning professionalism. The only flaw is that media coverage has made India’s real cricketers too well-known for us to visualise the fictional ones. Luckily, where The Zoya Factorreally works is not as a cricketing tale but as an entirely enjoyable romantic comedy.


Filed under: Book of the week, ,

Quiz Time



1. Which is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses?

2. What do the English call the game that the Greeks call Podosfero?

3. Which electronics giant has the tagline: “”?

4. Scyld Berry is the editor of which famous annual publication on a particular sport?

5. Which famous Indian singer’s recording company is called ‘Tharangini’?

6. Which wonder of the world is reckoned by many civil engineers to weigh 6,648,000 tons?

7. Which allotrope was once called ‘plumbago’ for its ability to make a smooth black mark on paper like lead?

8. Alphabetically, who would be the first of the seven Chiranjeevis in Indian mythology?

9. In misram, how many pulses to a beat?

10. ‘With time to spare’ is the autobiography of which stylish left-handed batsman from England?

11. Why doesn’t Obelix get a share of magic potion when others have it?

12. Which of Beethoven’s symphony is called ‘Choral’?

13. How did the plane Bockscar (or Bock’s Car) become notorious in August 1945?

14. Which football team is nicknamed ‘Blades’ because of the famous steel industry in that area?

15. In Harry Potter adventures, which password opens the secret passage to the basement of Honeydukes candy store in Hogsmeade?



1. Psalm 119; 2. Football

3. Sony; 4. Wisden Almanac

5. K.J. Yesudas

6. Great Pyramid of Egypt

7. Graphite; 8. Ashwathama

9. Seven; 10. David Gower

11. He fell into a cauldron of it

and it had a permanent effect

on him; 12. Symphony

No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125;

13. It dropped the bomb

on Nagasaki; 14. Sheffield

United; 15. Dissendium

Filed under: Young World Quiz,

Childhood on hold




















Courtesy: The Hindu

Cooked meals enhance child attendance at the anganwadi, foster egalitarian social norms, providE employment to poor women, and act as a form of nutrition education.


Over 1000 people, mostly women, from 15 states gathered and rallied in the capital on September 2 to press long standing demands for better services for their children in the context of the ‘new’ 11th Plan. Parents, anganwadi workers, pan chayat representatives, and grassroots workers spoke — through songs, slogans and stories — of their anger and despair at the state of their children and the anganwadis that were meant to support the critical age group of children under six. They also came fully prepared to say what needs to be done.

Women shared and compared experiences between the advanced Tamil Nadu, rejoicing in greater and greater gains for the ICDS and through that for women and children, and the dismal realities of the same programme in states like Uttar Pradesh. Why, they asked, can children of the same country not have the same basic services under the same programme?

Meanwhile, metres away, the nodal ministry for children, the planning commission, finance ministry and the PM’s office are still pondering upon the fate of our children in a bizarre impasse on what exactly needs to be done to achieve the urgent goals of reductions in malnutrition and child mortality. A paper on the “Strategies For Children Under Six” has recently been prepared by a working group of the Right to Food campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan stating a common understanding based on field experiences and academic research. It builds on four complementary interventions: (1) ‘Universalisation with quality” of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS); (2) crèches and day care facilities; (3) maternity entitlements; and (4) support for “infant and young child feeding” (IYCF), particularly breastfeeding.

Essential needs


The participants of the public meeting and rally once again endorsed each of these as being absolutely essential for children under six and presented a memorandum of demands to the Prime Minister. While some recommendations have been incorporated in the 11th Plan, there is still no comprehensive policy framework for children under six. Even the basic issues have not been squarely addressed.

For instance, the 11th Plan makes no clear recommendation about supplementary nutrition for children in the ICDS. Instead it argues that there could be two approaches to feeding children: one being hot cooked meals and the other ready-to-eat food and that the decisions between the two options “could also be left to decentralised decision making”.

It is indeed disappointing that this critical decision has been avoided by passing it on to “decentralised decision making” while many other policies have been made centrally.

Nutrition issues


Various steering committees and working groups of the Planning Commission as well as various fora of international and national experts have recommended nutritious cooked meals based on local foods as the best means of providing nutrition support to this age group.

Cooked meals also serve many important purposes, such as enhancing child attendance at the anganwadi, fostering egalitarian social norms, providing employment to poor women, and acting as a form of nutrition education. Moreover, about 10 states are quite successfully already serving hot cooked meals at their anganwadis with community support.

Those advocating distribution of ready-to-eat fortified food envisage special therapeutic products as being the key solution. This necessitates a relatively centralised procurement and distribution, and its attendant risks of corruption.

In fact it is due to a recognition of the corruption caused by contractor-based centralised procurements that the Supreme Court passed an order (in the ‘right to food’ case) banning private contractors in ICDS and directing that “funds should be spent by village communities, self-help groups and Mahila Mandals”.

The provision of cooked meals at the anganwadi for children aged 3-6 years must become a national policy. Nutritious supplements based on local foods must also be developed for children under three. Despite all technical and experiential wisdom, the Ministry of Women and Child Development steadfastly refuses to declare a nutritional policy that stands in favour of good quality meals offering nutrient sufficiency and diversity.

Commercial interests


Another urgent issue is the prevention of interference from commercial interests in policies and programmes related to child health and nutrition, e.g. through advocacy of ‘ready-to-eat’ food or ‘public-private partnerships’. This is a growing threat, requiring the formulation of a comprehensive and coherent policy to guide and regulate PPPs through a democratic and transparent process rather than allowing every private partner to implement its own policies regarding IYCF through public programmes. In fact, the attempts for companies to try to influence infant and young child feeding are not new and have necessitated laws such as the IMS Act to keep them at bay.

Recent attempts by biscuit manufacturers and other processed food companies to find large markets in the arena of state-support to child feeding are reminiscent of the unethical influences of the drug industry in the sector of health.

These influences are even being routed through respectable and influential technical agencies and attempts by civil society organisations to insist upon a declaration of “no conflict of interest” by them has met with considerable resistance since some of them have food processing companies among their governing boards.

Other concerns such as providing for two anganwadi workers for each centre, expanding the coverage of crèches, having a separate allocation for breastfeeding promotion, counselling and support, providing minimum space and infrastructure, radically improving training, and regularisation for anganwadi workers have also not been sufficiently addressed.

Increase resources


One probable reason for this is the reluctance to increase the resources required for this, at the cost of over a hundred million poor and malnourished children under the age of six. Although substantial increases in the allocations for ICDS have been recommended in the 11thplan, they are still inadequate. It is estimated that about 0.5 per cent of the GDP should be allocated to ICDS and other related interventions for the overall care and well being of children under six.

While that is much higher than the present allocations, it is not much considering that children under six constitute 16 per cent of our population and that their lives are, or should be, invaluable.

The authors are members of the Working Group for Children Under Six (of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and Right to Food Campaign)

Filed under: Article of the Week, ,

Sample Question papers

Class X




Class XII








Filed under: Downloads, , , , ,

My favourite Teacher



The time a student spends in school is the most enjoyable and learning part of his\her life. It decides the future of one’s life. The teachers in the school help us in achieving this. We do all what the teacher tells us to do. My favourite teacher is my English teacher of class 5 in Kendriya Vidyalaya A.F.S Akkulam. Her name is Mrs Shobha. We used to enjoy her class. It was very interesting and also informative. She pointed out our mistakes and encouraged us to do better the next time. She also tells us to do activities in the class such as: One day in our class we made aloo chat it was fun making it in class with madam helping us .With this activity we learned to share and do things together. She used to share her life experiences with us. She used to tell us to do a lot of book reading. She used to never beat anyone but she was very strict .Even now I keep talking to her on the phone for her advice and inspiration.




Filed under: Creative Corner,

Teaching as a career

Looking for a Career Option in the Field of Teaching ? This section features Teaching as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

As this field is so vast having areas of specialisations, different skills and type of training are required for different levels. Areas of specialisation include teaching at nursery schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, institutes, special schools etc. Each level calls for a different expertise. If you love to be with children, teaching at schools would be a good option, but if you want to be with young adults, it is better to look at the college or university level. Good teachers can bring out the best in every student.

They are the ones who make a difference in the lives of their students. Rousing students from their apathy and watching their curiosity grow is one of the biggest rewards of teaching.

The trick in being a popular teacher – the kind starry-eyed kids in school follow around with adoration writ large on their faces, and in college, seek out for advice, guidance and some simple hand-holding – is identifying yourself with the students. They are the most loved of teachers who climb down from the high perch of authority that their job automatically places them on, and see things from the students’ perspective. And those who are aware of the power to shape lives that has been vested in them, and use it responsibly.

Teaching is a highly noble profession, most suited one especially for women. Teachers are always a boon to society. Through their intelligence, patience and wisdom, they attempt to not only hone the learner’s intellect and aptitude but also, create a well-rounded personality. Teaching has an influence in developing ones mind and character and also gives the satisfaction of having sparked the light of knowledge and dispelled the clouds of ignorance.

This profession requires dedication, perseverance and patience. Knowledge of the subject one is teaching as well as a rich experience in co-curriculars; keenness to take on responsibility; tact; patience and the ability to get along with all kinds of people are essential.

Main reason for opting this career could be interest in the subject, secure professional career and regular annual vacations. It can also be a second career for those who have retired from professional services.

You need to have a blend of mind, patience, confidence, liking for and an understanding of children which is a must. You must have organizing capacity, friendly and helpful nature to enter into this field. Teacher should have the ability to communicate well, to create a liking in young minds even in the case of most boring subjects. She/he should have a deep passion for the subject one handles. Must encourage in students the ability to analyse and think. A teacher must always remember that apart from teaching, it is he/she who shapes a child’s character. Teacher has to be a friend, philosopher and guide to his wards.

Courses in Teaching:

  1. Pre-primary:Most polytechnics and vocational training centres conduct training for pre-school teachers. The preferred eligibility is Class XII with 50% aggregate. Personal attributes are, however, more important. There are montessori teacher training schools which are privately owned in some large cities.


  2. Primary teacher training:Teachers with diplomas in education / Bachelors in education teach the primary classes. Graduates of Home Science also serve as primary teachers


  3. Secondary and senior secondary teachers:Teachers having B Ed Degrees after graduation are called Trained Graduate Teachers (TGTs), after postgraduation they are called postgraduate trained teachers (PGTs). This training is imparted in teacher’s training colleges.


  4. Some universities offer these courses through correspondence:For inservice teachers to get trained. There are contact programmes for giving practical orientation. In 1996, the National council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has regulated the training of teachers. Correspondence/distance education courses are meant for teachers who are currently working.


  5. Lecturers:College lecturers require a good academic record with at least 55% or an equivalent grade at master’s degree level in the relevant subject from an Indian University or a foreign University. The eligibility test for lecturers, National Eligibility Test (NET), is conducted by UGC, CSIR or similar tests accredited by the UGC. The State level test SLET is for appointments within the state. The promotion is based on performance, duration of service, and research publications.


  6. Nursery teachers:Training of 1-2 years at Polytechnics/ Vocational Training Institutes.


  7. After Graduation:(Any school subject), a Bachelors in Education (B Ed) for TGT Grade Jobs


  8. After Postgraduation:(Any school subject), B Ed for PGT grade jobs.


  9. After Postgraduation / M.Phil:Take the NET/ SLET Exam for College Teaching

    Please click here for the list of the Teaching Institutes in India.


    Besides school and college teaching, teachers write course books, work as distance education tutors, conduct tutorial classes and serve as examiners.

    prospects in Teaching:

    1. Play schools
    2. Nursery schools
    3. Primary/elementary schools
    4. Secondary schools
    5. Colleges
    6. Universities
    7. Educational research institutes
    8. Special schools
    9. Self employment by starting institutes/tutorials



    1. Nursery / Primary Schools: Nursery and primary school teachers have a huge responsibility in the sense that, it is what children learn and experience during their early years that shape their views and affect success or failures later in their lives. Thus teachers play a vital role in the social and intellectual development of children. They introduce children to numbers, language, science, social studies as well social interactions. Here games, music, artwork, computers and other tools are used to teach basic skills. While kindergarten teachers deal with children of 3 to 5 years, primary school teachers deal with those of 6 to 12 years.
    2. Secondary Schools: The secondary school teachers instruct students from 8th to 12th standard. Usually they deal with one particular subject in which they specialise. Good base in the subject is a must.
    3. Colleges/Universities: In universities or colleges there are lecturers and professors who specialise in a particular field. They give lectures, guidance and help the students in their academic and research work. Those who have organising ability have a further scope to become a principal, vice-chancellor in the management level.
    4. Special schools: A challenging area in the field of teaching is that of dealing with children having physical and mental handicap and learning disabilities. The work is emotionally and physically demanding which needs a lot of patience. They have to work in close association with parents and medical professionals like speech therapist, physiotherapist etc. It is different from the normal teaching norms as each child needs special care depending on his/her disability.

Filed under: Career Corner,


By Gabriel García Márquez 

Translated by Edith Grossman. 484 pages. Alfred A. Knopf. $26.95. 

(Available in our Library)


Critics have frequently observed that magical realism in Latin America, Eastern Europe and the developing world has been a product of those regions’ tumultuous histories, a mirror of their surreal politics and the disorienting fallout that politics has had on people’s daily lives. But as Gabriel García Márquez’s new magical memoir makes clear, the sources of his phantasmagorical work lie as much in his family’s anomalous past and his own experiences as they do in the convoluted politics and historical woes of his native Colombia.

”Living to Tell the Tale” — a title that conjures memories of ”Moby- Dick,” as well as this Nobel laureate’s own nonfiction book ”The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor” — is the first volume of a planned autobiographical trilogy. But its most powerful sections read like one of his mesmerizing novels, transporting the reader to a Latin America haunted by the ghosts of history and shaped by the exigencies of its daunting geography, by its heat and jungles and febrile light. The book provides as memorable a portrait of a young writer’s apprenticeship as the one William Styron gave us in ”Sophie’s Choice,” even as it illuminates the alchemy Mr. García Márquez acquired from masters like Faulkner and Joyce and Borges and later used to transform family stories and firsthand experiences into fecund myths of his own.

As in so many of his novels Mr. García Márquez uses an elliptical narrative in these pages, cutting back and forth in time to show how memory colors experience, how time moves on a Proustian loop between the present and the past. While recounting a trip he took as a young man with his mother to his childhood home in the remote town of Aracataca, he lays out the story of his family, a story that would indelibly inform his later fiction, from the remarkable ”One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1970) through the equally potent ”Love in the Time of Cholera” (1988).

His family, we learn, saw the move to this Wild West-like town as ”a journey into forgetting”; they had left their earlier home after a duel in which the author’s grandfather killed another man. Aracataca was a place, Mr. García Márquez writes, that ”entered history on its left foot as a remote district without God or law,” a place where ”the banana fever” — galvanized by the arrival of the United Fruit Company, its promise of sudden riches and the company’s abrupt departure — brought ”extreme social disorder,” a place subject to dry hurricanes, killing droughts, sudden floods, plagues of locusts, and ”a leaf storm of adventurers from all over the world who took control of the streets by force of arms.”

Mr. García Márquez’s mother — a model for the many strong, resilient women in his fiction — established, he recalls, ”a matriarchal power whose domain extended to the most distant relatives in the most unexpected places, like a planetary system that she controlled from her kitchen with a subdued voice and almost without blinking, while the pot of beans was simmering.” Her courtship by and eventual marriage to a young telegraph operator — Mr. García Márquez’s father, who became a model for the many impulsive dreamers in his stories — would provide the inspiration for the epic love affair celebrated in ”Love in the Time of Cholera.”

In that novel the fictional couple meet in the 19th century; their courtship, forbidden by the girl’s father, lasts more than 50 years. The real-life romance between Mr. García Márquez’s mother and her ardent suitor was also denounced by her family, who sent her on a long, arduous journey ”as a brutal cure for her lovesickness.” But in the end her parents reluctantly agreed to a wedding after a priest wrote them a letter expressing ”his heartfelt certainty that there was no human power capable of overcoming this obdurate love.”

The portraits that Mr. García Márquez draws of other family members are equally resonant, and reminiscent of the characters who populate his fiction.

There’s his Aunt Francisca, who ”sewed her own made-to-measure shroud with such fine workmanship that death waited for more than two weeks until she had finished it,” his beloved grandfather who painted the walls of his workshop white so that the young Gabriel had an inviting surface on which to paint; and his grandmother, ”the most credulous and impressionable woman I have ever known,” a fantasist or visionary who saw ”that the rocking chairs rocked alone, that the phantom of puerperal fever was lurking in the bedrooms of women in labor, that the scent of jasmines from the garden was like an invisible ghost.”

Although the sections of this book chronicling his adventures at school and his early forays into journalism lack the fierce, tactile magic of the portions dealing with his family, Mr. García Márquez delivers a wonderfully vital portrait of himself as a young, aspiring writer. He captures the avidity with which he used to devour books — too poor to buy his own, he would often stay up all night, finishing novels he had borrowed from friends — and the zeal with which he deconstructed them, scouring them for clues to technique, to language, to structure, to anything that might help him learn how to write.

He conjures up, in vivid bloody detail, the explosive historical backdrop against which he came of age (during the late 1940’s and 50’s, a period often called ”La Violencia,” when more than 200,000 people died). And he studiously delineates the penurious existence he lived as a young man: sleeping in the office where he worked, cadging meals here and there, worried that he did not even have the few coins needed to buy a copy of the paper containing his first published story.

At the beginning of this volume the author is still a shy young man trying to find a way to tell his parents that he does not want to become a doctor or lawyer, as they had hoped, but intends to become a writer. By its end he is a journalist and published short-story writer, and well on the road toward becoming the literary magus we know today, a master magician who would be as influential for successive generations of writers as Faulkner and Joyce and Borges had been, in those early remembered years, for him. 


Filed under: Book Reviews, ,

New Books 10/09/08

Library Media Centre

Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom


New Books as on 10/09/2008

Call Number



808.068 AGA-B Agantuk Butterflies
808.068 ARP-A Arpita Barua Aladdin and the magic lamp
808.068 ARP-B Arpita Barua Beauty and the beast
808.068 ARP-B Arpita Barua Beauty and the beast
808.068 ARP-C Arpita Barua Cinderella
808.068 ARP-L Arpita Barua Little Mermaid
808.068 ARP-L Arpita Barua Little Mermaid
808.068 ARP-P Arpita Barua Peter Pan
808.068 ARP-P Arpita Barua Pinocchio
808.068 ARP-R Arpita Barua Rumpelstiltskin
808.068 ARP-S Arpita Barua Sleeping beauty
808.068 ARP-S Arpita Barua Snow White
808.068 ARP-S Arpita Barua Snow White
808.068 ARP-T Arpita Barua Three Billy Goats Gruff
808.068 ARP-T Arpita Barua Three Billy Goats Gruff
808.068 AYS-A Aysha Rau Amazing fish
808.068 BLY-N Blyton, Enid Noddy the magician
808.068 BLY-N Blyton, Enid Noddy and the magic watch
808.068 CAT   Cat and the Cock and other stories
808.068 DIG-W Digby, Anne Well done the naughtiest girl
808.068 PRA-F Prakash, R C Food
808.068 RAM-A Ramesh, B G Aesop’s fables
808.068 RAM-A Ramesh, B G Aesop’s fables
808.068 RAM-J Ramesh, B G Jataka Tales
808.068 RAM-J Ramesh, B G Jataka Tales
808.068 RAM-K Ramesh, B G Krishna leela
808.068 RAM-K Ramesh, B G Krishna leela
808.068 RAM-S Ramesh, B G Stories of Tenali Ramakrishna
808.068 RAM-S Ramesh, B G Stories of Tenali Ramakrishna
808.068 RAM-V Ramesh, B G Vikram-Betal stories
808.068 RAM-V Ramesh, B G Vikram-Betal stories
808.068 SAM-C Sam, D S, Ed. Children’s ramayana
808.068 SAM-C Sam, D S, Ed. Children’s ramayana
808.068 SAN-T Sanjay Sarkar Transport
808.068 SHY-A Shyam Dua, Comp. Akbar Birbal (h)
808.068 SHY-A Shyam Dua, Ed. Akbar Birbal
808.068 SHY-A.2 Shyam Dua, Comp. Akbar Birbal 2
808.068 SHY-C Shyam Dua, Ed. Children’s Mahabharata
808.068 SHY-C Shyam Dua, Ed. Children’s Mahabharata
808.068 SHY-D.3 Shyam Dua, Ed. Double digest: Storybook 3
808.068 SHY-H Shyam Dua, Comp. Hitopadesh ki kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-H Shyam Dua, Comp. Hitopadesha 2 (h)
808.068 SHY-H Shyam Dua, Ed. Hitopadesha 2
808.068 SHY-H Shyam Dua, Comp. Hitopadesh ki kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-J Shyam Dua, Comp. Jathak kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-J Shyam Dua, Ed. Jataka tales
808.068 SHY-J Shyam Dua, Comp. Jathak kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-J Shyam Dua, Ed. Jataka tales 2
808.068 SHY-J.2 Shyam Dua, Comp. Jathak kathayem 2 (h)
808.068 SHY-K Shyam Dua, Ed. Kathasaritsagar
808.068 SHY-N Shyam Dua, Comp. Naithik kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-N Shyam Dua, Comp. Naithik kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-P Shyam Dua, Comp. Panchatantra ki kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-P Shyam Dua, Ed. Panchatantra
808.068 SHY-P Shyam Dua, Comp. Panchatantra ki kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-S Shyam Dua, Comp. Sikshaprad kathayem (h)
808.068 SHY-T Shyam Dua, Comp. Thenali Ram (h)
808.068 SHY-T Shyam Dua, Ed. Tales of Kathasaritsagar
808.068 SHY-T.2 Shyam Dua, Comp. Thenali Ram 2 (h)
808.068 SHY-V Shyam Dua, Comp. Vikram-Vetal (h)
808.068 SHY-V Shyam Dua, Comp. Vikram-Vetal (h)
808.068 STE-T Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure island
808.068 STE-T Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure island
808.068 TIN   Tinkle digest
822.33 TAL   Tales from Shakespeare, Book1
822.33 TAL.2   Tales from Shakespeare, Book2
823 ALC-L Alcott, Lousia May Little women
823 BLY-F Blyton, Enid Fun for the secret seven
823 BLY-F Blyton, Enid Fun for the secret seven
823 BLY-N Blyton, Enid Naughtiest girl again
823 BLY-N Blyton, Enid Naughtiest girl is a monitor
823 BLY-S Blyton, Enid Secret Seven adventure
823 BLY-S Blyton, Enid Secret Seven adventure
823 BLY-S Blyton, Enid Shock for the secret seven
823 BLY-T Blyton, Enid Three cheers, secret seven
823 BLY-T Blyton, Enid Three cheers, secret seven
823 DAN-D Daniels, Lucy Donkey on the doorstep
823 DAN-F Daniels, Lucy Foals in the field
823 DIC-C Dickens, Charles Christmas carol
823 DIC-C Dickens, Charles Christmas carol
823 DIG-N Digby, Anne Naughtiest girl saves the day
823 DIG-N Digby, Anne Naughtiest girl wants to win
823 DIG-N Digby, Anne Naughtiest girl saves the day
823 DOY-H Doyle, Arthur Conan Hound of the baskervilles
823 DUM-R Du Maurier, Daphne Rebecca
823 ELI-M Eliot, George Mill on the floss
823 HEL-C Heller, Joseph Catch-22
823 KEE-N.64 Keene, Carolyn Nancy Drew Notebooks, No.64: The Bunny-Hop Hoax
823 KEE-N.68 Keene, Carolyn Nancy Drew Notebooks, No.68: The Apple Bandit
823 KEE-N.69 Keene, Carolyn Nancy Drew Notebooks, No.69: The Kitten Caper
823 KEE-N.8 Keene, Carolyn Nancy Drew Notebooks, No.8: The Best Detective
823 KIP-K Kipling, Rudyard Kim
823 MAL-K Malory, Thomas King Arthur and the Knights of the round table
823 ORC-S Orczy, Baroness Scarlet pimpernel
823 POI-V Poile Sengupta Vikram and Vetal
823 POI-V Poile Sengupta Vikram and Vetal
823 SHA-G Shashi Tharoor Great Indian novel
823 SPY-H Spyri, Johanna Heidi
823 STE-K Stevenson, R L Kidnapped
823 STE-S Stevenson, Robert Louis Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
823 STE-S Stevenson, Robert Louis Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
823 STI-B Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter
823 STI-D Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Deep in the Jungle of Doom
823 STI-G Stine, R L Goosebumps: Ghost Camp
823 STI-G.2 Stine, R L Goosebumps: Night of the living dummy II
823 STI-I Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: It came from the internet
823 STI-I Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Invaders from the big screen
823 STI-L Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Lost in Stinkeye Swamp
823 STI-L Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Little Comic Shop of Horrors
823 STI-L Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Lost in Stinkeye Swamp
823 STI-S Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Shop till you drop . . . dead!
823 STI-T Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Trapped in Bat Wing Hall
823 STI-W Stine, R L Goosebumps: Why I’m afraid of Bees
823 STI-W Stine, R L Give Yourself Goosebumps: Welcome to the wicked Wax Museum
828 VAR-I Varghese Kurien I too had a dream: As told to Gouri Salvi
8H4 BHA-N Bharati Reddy Nibandhavali (h)
8H4 BHA-N Bharati Reddy Nibandhom ka khazana (h)
8H4 CHA-A Chandra Krishnamoorthi Adhunik nibandh kosh (h)
T 339 NCE-I.12 NCERT Introductory macroeconomics: Textbook in Economics for class XII

Filed under: New Book Alert

Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga’s book” The White Tiger” shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize






Early life and education

Aravind Adiga was born in Chennai in 1974. He grew up in Mangalore and studied at Canara High School, then at St. Aloysius’ College, where he completed his SSLC in 1990. After emigrating to Sydney, Australia with his family, he studied at James Ruse Agricultural High School. He studied English literature at Columbia University, New York and Magdalen College, Oxford.


Adiga began his journalistic career as a financial journalist, with pieces published in Financial TimesMoney and the Wall Street Journal.

He was subsequently hired by TIME, where he remained a correspondent for three years before going freelance. During his freelance period, he wrote The White Tiger. He is now based inMumbai.

Published work

The White Tiger: A Novel (Free Press, 2008)

Ref: Wikipedia

Filed under: Author of the week, , , ,

Cyber Quiz



V.V. Ramanan 









1. What had its genesis at #232, Santa Margarita Avenue, Menlo Park, California?

2. Writer-producer Aaron Sorkin, the co-creator of ‘The West Wing’, is to write a film about the creation of which popular social-networking site?

3. A commercial for which news-making product was shelved after Britain’s advertising watchdog ruled that it misled buyers by giving an impression that users would have unfettered access to the entire Internet over their mobile phone?

4. Recently, which millionaire pop singer’s music video ‘Girlfriend’ is said to have knocked off Judson Laipply’s ‘Evolution of Dance’ as the most watched clip of all time on YouTube?

5. Which news service inadvertently released a story about the death of Steve Jobs recently?

6. The informal motto of Google is….?

7. Adobe’s Photoshop Express is to be rebranded as…?

8. Name the Firefox extension released by Carnegie Mellon University researchers that can protect wireless network users from so-called ‘man-in-the-middle.’

9. Which online giant is acquiring, the book networking site, and, which specialises in out-of-print book sales?

10. What is common to PicSay, Cab4me and Wertago?



1. Google. It was the house where Page and Brin stayed.

2. Facebook

3. Apple iPhone.

4. Avril Lavigne.

5. Bloomberg

6. ’Don’t be evil’.


8. ‘Perspectives’

9. Amazon

10. They are three of the 10 applications that received a $2,75,000 award from Google in the final phase of Android Developer Challenge I.

Filed under: YW-Cyber Quiz,

Young World Quiz


1. Which Asian country would be celebrating the ‘Chrysanthemum Day’ today i.e 9/9/08?

2. What type of animal was Bruce in Pixar’s ‘Finding Nemo’?

3. Why has Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr. been in the news recently?

4. According to the proverb, what is “the mother of invention”?

5. Which are the two current Olympic weightlifting events?

6. What is the common term for Hansen’s disease?

7. In the popular ‘Friends’ TV series, which leading characters’ surnames are Geller?

8. In which century was the famed Inca city of Machu Pichu said to have been built?

9. ‘Chippiparai’ is an indigenous breed of…?

10. Who is the twin sister of the cartoon hero He-Man?

11. In Greek mythology, who died when he flew too close to the sun?

12. In the Indian Army, which rank comes typically above a Major and below a Colonel?

13. How many feet away is the first hurdle from the starting blocks in 110m hurdles event?

14. Which U.S. State has the abbreviation KY?

15. What is ‘Biotic pollination’?



1.Japan; 2. Great white shark.

3. He is Barack Obama’s run

ning mate for the U.S. Presidential election; 4. Necessity;

5. Snatch and Clean & Jerk;

6. Leprosy; 7. Ross and Monica;

8. 15th Century; 9. Dog.

10. She-Ra; 11. Icarus.

12. Lieutenant Colonel.

13. 45 feet; 14. Kentucky.

15. Pollination which is medi

ated by an organism (called a


Courtesy: V.V.Ramanan, The Hindu

Filed under: Young World Quiz,

Hindi Fortnightly Book Exhibition

Exhibition of Hindi Books in the library in connection with the Hindi Fortnightly celebrartion

Date: 15-27 September 2008

Filed under: Exhibitions,Displays, ,

Library Time table



























































Filed under: Library Time Table

Large Hadron Collider

First beam in the LHC – accelerating science

the beam was successfully steered around the accelerator.A historic moment in the CERN Control Centre: the beam was successfully steered around the accelerator.

Geneva, 10 September 2008. The first beam in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN1 was successfully steered around the full 27 kilometres of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator at 10h28 this morning. This historic event marks a key moment in the transition from over two decades of preparation to a new era of scientific discovery.

“It’s a fantastic moment,” said LHC project leader Lyn Evans, “we can now look forward to a new era of understanding about the origins and evolution of the universe.”

Starting up a major new particle accelerator takes much more than flipping a switch. Thousands of individual elements have to work in harmony, timings have to be synchronized to under a billionth of a second, and beams finer than a human hair have to be brought into head-on collision. Today’s success puts a tick next to the first of those steps, and over the next few weeks, as the LHC’s operators gain experience and confidence with the new machine, the machine’s acceleration systems will be brought into play, and the beams will be brought into collision to allow the research programme to begin.

Once colliding beams have been established, there will be a period of measurement and calibration for the LHC’s four major experiments, and new results could start to appear in around a year. Experiments at the LHC will allow physicists to complete a journey that started with Newton’s description of gravity. Gravity acts on mass, but so far science is unable to explain the mechanism that generates mass. Experiments at the LHC will provide the answer. LHC experiments will also try to probe the mysterious dark matter of the universe – visible matter seems to account for just 5% of what must exist, while about a quarter is believed to be dark matter. They will investigate the reason for nature’s preference for matter over antimatter, and they will probe matter as it existed at the very beginning of time.

“The LHC is a discovery machine,” said CERN Director General Robert Aymar, “its research programme has the potential to change our view of the Universe profoundly, continuing a tradition of human curiosity that’s as old as mankind itself.”

Tributes have been coming in from laboratories around the world that have contributed to today’s success.

“The completion of the LHC marks the start of a revolution in particle physics,” said Pier Oddone, Director of the US Fermilab. “We commend CERN and its member countries for creating the foundation for many nations to come together in this magnificent enterprise. We appreciate the support that DOE and NSF have provided throughout the LHC’s construction. We in the US are proud to have contributed to the accelerator and detectors at the LHC, together with thousands of colleagues around the world with whom we share this quest.”

“I congratulate you on the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider,” said Atsuto Suzuki, Director of Japan’s KEK laboratory, “This is a historical moment.”

“It has been a fascinating and rewarding experience for us,” said Vinod  C. Sahni, Director of India’s Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, “I extend our best wishes to CERN for a productive run with the LHC machine in the years to come.”

“As some might say: ‘One short trip for a proton, but one giant leap for mankind!’ TRIUMF, and indeed all of Canada, is delighted to bear witness to this amazing feat,” said Nigel S. Lockyer, Director of Canada’s TRIUMF laboratory. “Everyone has been involved but CERN is to be especially congratulated for bringing the world together to embark on such an incredible adventure.”

In a visit to CERN shortly before the LHC’s start-up United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said: “I am very honored to visit CERN, an invaluable scientific institution and a shining example what international community can achieve through joint efforts and contribution. I convey my deepest admiration to all the scientists and wish them all the success for their research for peaceful development of scientific progress.”

1 CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.

LHC Guide


Explore More at CERN

Filed under: Article of the Week, ,

Imagination is more important than knowledge

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

These were the words of the famous physicist Albert Einstein, who went on to say that “Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

If you venture into the subatomic world in an attempt to unveil its inner workings, possession of all the knowledge in the world is not enough. Instead, invite your imagination to serve as a guide, because many rules as we know them no longer apply. Just like the story of Alice In Wonderland, this new world may look familiar but it is not fully comprehensible. Scales shift and matter transforms. Transitory twins appear and extra dimensions hide.

Nature has the ability to throw us the biggest surprises, so expect dramatic twists and unexpected turns; many before you have dreamed up mind–blowing theories and crazy concepts. Some of these have prevailed against the tests of time and armies of knowledgeable critics – thus far.

Someone, sometime, somewhere, may succeed in completing these unfinished mysteries, or even rewrite the chapters entirely. The book is by no means finished.

Courtesy: European organization for Nuclear Research

Filed under: Snippets

Man Booker 2008 shortlist

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction Shortlist 2008

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2008 shortlist was announced on Tuesday 9 September 2008.Aravind Adiga
  • Aravind Adiga

The White Tiger

  • Atlantic

    Born in a village in heartland India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school by…

    read more »

    The White Tiger

  • Sebastian Barry

    The Secret Scripture

    Faber & Faber

    Told through the journals of Roseanne McNulty and her psychiatrist Dr Grene, the story that emerges – of Roseanne’s family…

    read more »

    The Secret Scripture

  • Amitav Ghosh

    Sea of Poppies

    John Murray

    In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt…

    read more »

    Sea of Poppies

  • Linda Grant

    The Clothes on Their Backs


    In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from…

    read more »

    The Clothes on Their Backs

  • Philip Hensher

    The Northern Clemency

    Fourth Estate

    Set in Sheffield, The Northern Clemency charts the relationship between two families: Malcolm and Katherine Glover and their three children;…

    read more »

    The Northern Clemency

  • Steve Toltz

    A Fraction of the Whole

    Hamish Hamilton

    As he recollects the events that led to his father’s demise, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking…

    read more »

    A Fraction of the Whole

Read More at the Man Booker

Filed under: Book of the week, ,

New Periodicals

Filed under: New Periodicals

Teacher’s Day Book Exhibition

Exhibition of Books by and on Dr.S.Radhakrishnan

Date: 4-6 September, 2008

Venue: The Library

Filed under: Exhibitions,Displays, ,

Dara Shikoh

Forgotten Link


Every Indian who has ever translated a text into English owes something to a Mughal prince who lies buried in the compound of Humayun’s tomb in Delhi. The anniversary of his death, August 30, is a date we should remember with national melanchol y. The school-room facts are well known: in the struggle for the Mughal throne 350 years ago, Shah Jahan’s eldest son Prince Dara Shikoh was defeated, and brought to Delhi where he was led through the city in a disgrace-parade on an old and unwashed elephant.

Chief charge


What is significant for us today is not that there was a war for kingship — in itself nothing unusual — but that one of the chief charges Aurangzeb brought against the rightful heir was that in publishing the Majma-‘ul-Bahrain (The Mingling of the Two Oceans) Dara had openly committed to the truth in Hinduism. Like his great-grandfather, Dara tried to bridge the gap between Hinduism and Islam. The Emperor Akbar had strongly believed that his Mughal nobles needed to understand their Hindu subjects and had set up a translation bureau to render the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata into Persian. Prince Dara Shikoh went much further.

Dara Shikoh, whose name means “the glory of Darius”, was born to Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal in 1615. He was the heir apparent and his father’s favourite son. As he grew up, and began to display very special qualities of scholarship and a deep interest in mysticism, which he researched relentlessly, it became clear that he was no ordinary man. In 1640 he was introduced to Lahore’s famous Qadri Sufi saint, Hazrat Mian Mir who had urged both Jehangir and Shah Jahan to be kind to all their subjects. In the same year, Dara published his first book, Sakinatul Auliya, a collection of biographical sketches of Muslim saints. His interests took a steep turn when he met Baba Lal Bairagi, a Hindu gnostic, conversations with whom he recorded in a little book entitled Mukalama Baba Lal wa Dara Shikoh.

He befriended Hindus, Sikhs and Christians and his spiritual explorations led him to a great cross-language venture. In seeking to find a common mystical language between Islam and Hinduism, Dara Shikoh commissioned the translation of many Upanishads from Sanskrit into Persian and even personally participated in some of these renderings. He believed in joint scholarship and, amazing though it sounds, encouraged by Dara, learned men both Hindu and Muslim, worked together. His translation is called theSirr-e-Akbar (The Greatest Mystery) and in his Introduction he boldly states that the work referred to in the Holy Quran as the Kitab al-maknun or the “hidden book” is none other than the Upanishads. If his brother needed evidence against him, it is easy to see how Dara himself gave Aurangzeb sufficient material.

Famous work


Dara’s most famous work, Majma-ul-Bahrain (The Mingling of the Two Oceans) was also devoted to finding the common links between Sufism and Hindu monotheism. When it was published, the book sealed his doom and Aurangzeb used the conviction of religious groups and the ambition of political ones to overcome Dara, making out a strong case that he was unfit to rule. In June 1659, for his work in translating Sanskrit texts, Aurangzeb had Dara declared a heretic who deserved to die. Dara had already been defeated in battle and was Aurangzeb’s prisoner. In the end when his killers came for him, Dara was cooking a meal for himself and his young son. The deposed prince fought like a king, using a kitchen knife against the swords of his assassins. Just as the translators of the Bible into German and English met with fatal opposition, so too did the first translator of the Upanishads. He was buried without ceremony, his headless body dumped in a hastily dug grave.

A hundred and forty years after Dara Shikoh was murdered, his translation of the Upanishads, which had lain forgotten and unread, were translated into a mix of Latin, Greek and Persian by the French traveller Anquetill Duperon (1801) and was the very text that caught the attention of Schopenhauer who wrote those unforgettable words nine years later, “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life. It will be the solace of my death”. This sudden discovery of a vast body of literature in a sophisticated and advanced language that had remained unknown for so many centuries sent a tremor through the libraries of Europe and scholars there began to view India with new eyes.

In being the first to make the link between two entirely different — even hostile — traditions, it was the ideals and work of this Mughal prince that launched Indian thought in the Western world. The motives behind his linguistic border-breaches led to Dara’s ruin; but eventually, the translation of his translation formed the road to cultural ties between civilisations. The distinguished historian Sathyanath Iyer wrote, “He is to be reckoned among the great Seekers of Truth who can appeal to the modern mind.”


Courtesy: The Hindu

Filed under: Article of the Week, ,


Reading4Pleasure School 2020

Reading 4 Pleasure School 2020 Award


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