Mumbai Fables by Gyan Prakash

Mumbai Fables covers the evolution of Mumbai from a Portuguese colony, to British rule and its evolution as a major metropolis. It throws light on how some of the major historical figures like Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy made their fortune. The development of the textile mills and their decline after the strike in 1982-83 includes relevant statistics. Some of the changes in the nature of the city as its name changed from Bombay to Mumbai are documented, but not in very great detail.
One of the unusual portions of the book is the story of the Doga, a comic book character. However, the book could have included some of the events of the last decade in greater detail.

Mumbai Fables

by Gyan Prakash

Publisher : Harper Collins , 2010

Pages : 396

Review: The Emerald Isle by R.K.Narayan

The book, The Emerald Isle by R.K.Narayan is based on the authors travels to the different parts of Karnataka. He writes a short summary on the history of most of the towns or villages and also describes its current condition. Among the places he discusses is Coorg and the special privileges granted to its residents by the British. Another place he discusses in detail is Srirangapatnam, the one time stronghold of Tipu Sultan and his battle with the British. He also recounts how Bangalore got its name from the baked beans offered to the king travelling in disguise and charts out the gradual evolution of the city.

Book: The Emerald Isle by R.K.Narayan

Pages : 177

Publisher : Penguin India

Review: Temptations of the West by Pankaj Mishra

Temptations of the West – How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond has the author travelling to different parts of the country to interview to various people and discussing the evolution of society and life in the region over a period of time. Many times, the actions an individual takes are due to the circumstances, factors which are beyond his or her control. The evolution of Allahabad from British times, the place where Pandit Nehru and his father lived to the Allahabad of today is covered in a comprehensive manner. The author also visits Mumbai, to meet film directors, struggling and successful actors, Kashmir and Afganistan and Tibet.

Book: Temptations of the West by Pankaj Mishra

Pages : 439

Publisher : Picador India

Online shopping reviews

Online shopping in India
If you are planning to buy any product online, you should check online shopping reviews for photos, prices and customer support of the different online shopping websites before selecting a particular product. Some of the e-commerce websites covered are Ebay.in, Flipkart.com, Yebhi.com, Infibeam.com, Rediff.com, Dailydealbazaar.com , Indiaplaza.in,Adexmart.com, Lenskart.com, Watchkart.com, Theitdepot.com , Fabindia.com, Snapdeal.com, Koovs.com , Timtara.com , Bigadda.com, Shoppersstop.com , Bookadda.com, Healthkart.com , Indiangiftsportal.com , Rangde.org

Review : Mother Pious Lady – Making sense of Everyday India by Santosh Desai

Mother Pious Lady – Making sense of Everyday India is a candid look at middle class India, the superficial external changes which hide how some things still remain the same. In the chapter “Global Dreaming” he writes about how the difference in the opinions of the directors , professors of IIMs and the alumni of the IIMs.  The alumni of the IIMs who were very well placed in high paying jobs wanted to build the IIMs as a global brand, but the directors and professors who had access to limited resources were more realistic.  There is a significant difference between the hype and reality, and it is important to distinguish between the two.  Most chapters in the book are less than three pages, making this book an easy read. 

Mother Pious Lady – Making sense of Everyday India

By Santosh Desai

Pages: 380

Published in 2010 by Harper Collins Publishers India

Review : I have a dream by Rashmi Bansal

The stories of 20 social entrepreneurs are covered in the book “I have a dream” by Rashmi Bansal. She profiles each entrepreneur, his or her life as well as the ups and downs of their business. Of particular interest is the story of Desicrew a rural BPO in which “work from home” is discussed. It is said that it will not work as people are not disciplined and do not have enough exposure or infrastructure. Desicrew does work outsourced from other clients, so delivery deadlines are important.
If you have your own monetization methods, deadlines can be very flexible.

Other interesting stories are those of Akanksha, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Pipal Tree and Mirakle Couriers
This book offers a glimpse of the various opportunities for social entrepeneurship available in India today.

Book: I have a dream by Rashmi Bansal

Pages : 337

Publisher : Westland

Review: Mass Media and Society by K.B.Datta

The book Mass Media and Society – Issues and Challenges by K.B.Datta studies the evolution of media over a period of time. It covers radio, television and the print media. The book has a chapter on the evolution of the free press, but notes how ownership in increasingly concentrated amount fewer publishers compared to ownership patterns a few years ago and the high costs involved today. It also notes the main factors which encourage the media to support the dominant power interests like state censorship, high entry costs, corporate ownership, advertiser influence, mass markets, public relations firms .  The book mainly focuses on the mass media in USA and UK

Book: Mass Media and Society by K.B.Datta

Pages : 286

Publisher : Akansha Publishing House, New Delhi, India

Review : Unbound , Indian Women @ Work by Gita Aravandum

One of the biggest disadvantages (and advantages) of having an online business is that you do not really have to interact personally or meet any one face to face to grow your business. Since it is nearly ten years since I was able to quit my job, and this book is an interesting read on conditions for working women in the last decade.  This book focuses mainly on the popular career choices for women – software, journalism , call centres, entertainment industry.  One of the widely used terms in the book is that she earns a good salary or earns well, but no numbers are provided.

The other thing is that the author comments on the lack of women CEOs in the software industry, there are a lot of women software engineers at the entry level, but few to none at the top level. When you work in any company which you do not own, you always have to live up to some one else’s standards. Being a female entrepreneur is difficult in India, even more so if you are single with little family support. And very few  women have the guts to sacrifice almost everything to grow their business.
The book also has stories of women who are educated, earn well but are still trapped in unhappy marriages due to family pressures.

Unbound, Indian Women @ Work

by Gita Aravamudan

Publisher : Penguin Books India , 2010

Pages : 214

Review : The Indian Media – Illusion, Delusion and Reality

The Indian Media
The Indian Media

The book “The Indian Media – Illusion, Delusion and Reality” was delivered to me after I made 2 unsuccessful attempts to purchase it earlier. It contains a compilation of essays written by more 30 journalists on a variety of issues such as Environmental issues, Culture, Business and ethics, coverage of scams, broadcasting in India. In the choice for news, Print versus Television by Alok Mehta , there are interesting statistics like the total number of registered newspapers in India was 55780 and the total circulation these newspapers was 142 million.(these are likely to be 2005/2006 figures) .

In Media, Business and Ethics,  Sucheta Dalal writes that in India, companies and even government agencies, control journalists who dare to tell the truth through a combination of exclusion, character assassination or complaints. If you are an online publisher or blogger, this is particularly important and is a reflection on the freedom of the press in India .
The Press and Proprietors , though written by Prem Bhatia in March 1994, is still relevant today as it looks at the tradeoff between profits and the influence the media has.

A good read, I wish I had read this book a year or two ago.

 The Indian Media – Illusion, Delusion and Reality
Essays in Honour of Prem Bhatia
Edited by AshaRani Mathur

First Published 2006
Second Impression 2007
Published by Rupa & Co.