Wednesday, August 20, 2014



     The Silicon Mind: Manikarnika Lagu: Become Pages 367: Price Rs 250/-

The book belongs to the genre of science fiction and it is Manikarnika Lagu’s first novel. She has a doctorate in physics and as a teacher and researcher has contributed many research papers in scientific journals. This background eminently suits her to write a science fiction novel based on a subject as complicated and sophisticated as the neural chip project.

The story centres around the protagonist- young, handsome and successful medical practitioner Dr Aman Kapoor who is involved in a horrific car crash and falls into a state of comatose. Another important character in the story is Prof. Narayan Murthy aka Ray who is a brilliant neuroscientist and the founder of ‘Chetna Coma Clinic’, India’s state-of-the-art specialized care hospital located at Bengaluru. Ray has been collaborating with Prof John Smith also a neuroscientist based in USA in the pioneering neural chip project. They have jointly developed a neural chip, an Artificial Intelligence device, considered to be top of the line and way ahead of competition. It has the capability of enhancing human memory and substantially increasing computational skills. Though this discovery has been an outstanding success in theory, there really has been no volunteer yet prepared to take the risk of having a neural chip implanted in his/her brain even after a year of its discovery. This is a source of great disappointment, frustration and desperation to both Ray and John. As pioneers of a breakthrough scientific development, both the neuroscientists are deeply disturbed at the cold reception the neural chip has received. It has dashed all their hopes of receiving international recognition, money and fame. It had become imperative to urgently get hold of an unconscious patient in a state of coma to implant their neural chip into the human brain to find out its performance. This objective had to be achieved by means fair or foul, as time was running out.   

Immediately after the car accident, Aman is admitted to ‘Get Well’ hospital in Bengaluru. Ray’s technical assistant Murthy is able to have Aman transferred to ‘Chetna Coma Clinic’ in spite of resistance from Dr Tapan Dutta, Director of ‘Get Well’, who has excellent coma care facilities in his hospital. Murthy is helped in this illegal activity by one Velu Swamy- a crook, blackmailer and a money-extracting peddler who provides patients to doctors for their experiments. Aman now comes under the direct care of Ray. The arrival of a comatose patient in their clinic, gives Ray and his team hope and a golden opportunity to implant their discovery in Aman’s brain which would given them a testing ground and invaluable feedback on how it performs in the company of the natural brain.

The chip implant takes place under the supervision of Ray and John and a few specialists from the US. The complicated surgery is performed by a talking robot Haku. Haku has feelings and emotions too!  
A 2mm hole is drilled at a predetermined spot and an extremely sophisticated silicon chip coated with collagen is installed in Aman’s brain. The operation turns out to be successful though Ray keeps his fingers crossed hoping that complications should not arise at a later date.

Unfortunately for Ray after some lapse of time, Aman starts facing some burning problems in his hand and depletion of physical energy. He approaches Ray to seek answers to these unwelcome manifestations. Ray’s responses are unconvincing to Aman. He gradually loses faith in Ray and asks Manasi, a clinical psychologist, to study his CAT scans. Aman is able to obtain these images through Ishan, a journalist and Manasi’s friend. Ishan uses his contacts to break into Murthy’s office and is able to steal the floppy containing the required images. Manasi was sure that the scans would help in giving a clue to identify the probable causes of these weird occurrences. Manasi, a strong-willed woman puts her heart and soul into this project to ascertain the cause of these bizarre incidents. She is single-mindedly focused to enhance her reputation in her field. Aman meanwhile gets further perplexed as he seems to be exhibiting miraculous healing powers which he suspects will not last long. He accidentally discovers this when he attends to a young boy Sameer’s knee injury. The youngster is amazed that there is not even a scar where the wound near the knee which was dressed by Aman had occurred. Aman is deeply concerned that this would bring him fame and later a bad name if this newly acquired power faded away. He disappears for a while from the glare of the media. With the help of Ishan, Mandira makes rapid progress with her investigation albeit a few setbacks and is on the verge of almost hitting the bull’s eye. By a stroke of good luck, Sameer and his friend Sakshi meet Manasi. After finding out that Sakshi is Ray’s daughter, Manasi asks her to convince her father to remove the chip from Aman’s brain because that alone can save him. Manasi is convinced that the neural chip is the culprit. Sakshi who is a brilliant and smart girl agrees to help them for Aman’s sake as she respects him as a kind doctor. Sakshi has the ability to make her doting father Ray run around her in circles. But she insists on proof of the presence of the neural chip in Aman’s brain. Sakshi is convinced. She confronts her father. Ray realizes that the game is up and that his reputation will be in tatters. He realizes that prudence is the better part of valour. He and his team of John and Haku and other specialists perform the chip removal surgery.

Though a scientist by training, Manikarnika Lagu has shown great flair in writing. This sci-fi book has a lot of imagination and style in it. She provides just enough scientific and technical information on the neuron chip and its implantation without making it excessively boring for the lay reader. The conversations between the various interesting characters laced with Hindi expressions make the book humorous and a fun to read. She has even provided a glossary at the end of the book for those not so familiar with the Hindi language. As a clever author, she has also brought in an element of sex to keep the interest of the reader stimulated. There is an entire chapter where Mandira, a bored wife and patient of Aman, gets excited by his touch during her physical examination to the extent that her sexual fantasies enable her to have an orgasm.

Sci-fi writers and ‘futurists’ have a common vision. This is called singularity, a point when technology and our bodies meet. We then become different people and at a higher stage of evolution. There are already some courageous people (cyborgs) who have had technological implants into their bodies for a number of reasons and are reaping the benefit of enhanced functions of their body parts. ‘The Silicon Mind’ is a trailblazer and welcome book by Manikarnika Lagu. We need more and more books in this category. Suitably adapted, ‘The Silicon Mind’ has the potential of being turned into a Bollywood movie.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014



The author, Vivian Fernandes, is a well-known journalist who has been in the field for about three decades. As a keen observer of economic policy and governance in the country and a frequent visitor to Gujerat during the last six years, he is eminently qualified to write a book on our new Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As the title of the book rightly suggests, he focuses on the three important pillars of Modi’s attributes- leadership, governance and performance.

Each of the ten chapters of the book has an interesting title. The kick-off starts with the fascinating victory of BJP in the recent national elections and achievement of a majority on its own at the Centre. The author calls it as a Modi tsunami arising out of his own charismatic personality, strategy and tactics, and a raising of levels of hopes and aspirations of people cutting across all differences of caste, creed or religion. It is a great opportunity that Modi has in his hands. To create a society on the basis of citizenship and not on identity and to re-engineer the BJP as a liberal and right of centre party. With a meticulously and painstakingly planned campaign and outstanding branding of Modi ( Abki baar, Modi Sarkaar), the juggernaut could just not be stopped by a weak and disintegrating opposition. The naysayers were many and very eminent people too. They questioned Modi’s emphasis on infrastructure over human development and threat to secularism.

The author is all praise for Modi for his performance as Chief Minister of Gujerat. He had a long and uninterrupted run which enabled him to keep in touch with the common people and ensure that his administration is rooted to ground realities. He made development a mass movement and not the privilege of a few intellectuals or politicians in power. The author explains how Modi dovetailed his government’s leadership with people involvement. He emphasized on ‘minimum government and maximum governance.’ Modi’s RSS background gave him the necessary organizational skills, and with his remarkable oratory he was able to capture the imagination of the audience wherever he went and convince them that “acche din aayenge.” Agricultural growth in Gujerat is an eye-catcher -8% average farm growth against a national average of 3.1%. The Krishi Mahotsav programme saw a rejuvenation of sorts in agricultural production and productivity and the author refers to it as a ‘celebration in agricultural outreach.’ Before the arrival of the monsoon about 100,000 officials from eighteen departments visit farmers in their villages to help them with testing of the soil and advise them on use of nutrients, hybrid seeds and crops for profitable cultivation.

With a cohesive administration and Modi leading from the front, minimum corruption, and use of technology, not only has Gujerat done well in economic sectors but in social sectors as well. Education levels have improved though healthcare is still lagging. The industrial sector too has made great strides in the last decade. With Modi pushing investors and entrepreneurs all the way, there has been a paradigm shift in the way the industrial segment operates. With six biennial Vibrant Gujerat investment summits held so far, Gujerat is considered the most industry-friendly state in the country. The share of manufacturing in Gujerat’s economy is 24% compared to all-India average of 16%.

Modi has reset tribal lives, says the author. Through high-yielding agriculture, dairy farming and skill development, tribal upliftment has been phenomenal. He does not believe in doles. “Give me power so that I can empower you” is his mantra. In his model, tribal farmers are not wedded to any crop. They are wedded to profit. Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana resulted in income enhancement, employable skills for the tribals and a jumpover from low yielding varieties to smart hybrids.

The author points out similarities in implementation of programmes by Modi with the Chinese and calls it the Chinese style. Modi wants Gujerat to be the industrial locomotive and the hub of industrial activity. He is likely to achieve that status for Gujerat. Gujerat was referred to by the ‘Economist’ as India’s Guangdong. It has a strong infrastructure with a dense network of good roads, huge industrial estates, 25% of its 41 ports navigable during all seasons, a 2800 km long gas grid and it is self sufficient in power. Modi strongly believes in infrastructure development for economic growth.

The author is unbiased in his assessment of Modi. He lauds his achievements. At the same time, the black marks of the Gujerat riots, his intolerance for dissent, his dictatorial ways of working, his exclusion of certain communities in his growth vision, his strong Hindutva beliefs shown during his Chief Ministership are some worrying factors which are highlighted. Will he now transform himself to a real national leader and statesman and rise above discrimination and high-handedness and make the entire development process all-inclusive in actions rather in sloganeering is something that has to be seen over time.

Vivian Fernandes expects Narendra Modi to bring method into governance of the nation, keep his administration rooted to the ground and motivated and hold his ministers accountable, going by his past performance in Gujarat. Modi is a compulsive campaigner. Modi will like to make Indian society like the Chinese society- mobilized and not argumentative. Modi wants development to be a movement, like our freedom struggle; it must be inclusive and all must wholeheartedly be involved in it. If people have a sense of ownership, the outcome has to be spectacular. In Gujarat, Modi conducted a series of campaigns: Nirmal (sanitary) Gujarat, Nirogi (healthy) Balak (child), Kanya Kelavani (girl's education), Shala Praveshotsav (school enrolment festival), Beti Bachao (save the girl child) and so on. They were all successful in varying degrees.

In conclusion, Vivian Fernandes lists a few priorities for the Prime Minister:
Restructuring of the Railways, denationalizing the coal industry and breaking-up of Coal India, ensuring that electricity flows into all villages which have electricity connection, implementation of Goods and Services Tax, introducing labour reforms and raising the level of FDI in the defence equipment manufacturing sector thereby encouraging international defence equipment manufacturers to invest in India.

The book has a foreword by Raghav Bahl , founder and ex-editor of network 18 who has known Vivian Fernandes for about two decades. He admires his ability to go into details, to make enquiries and to fortify his arguments with facts and figures. The book is objective and non-judgemental. It praises Modi where it is due and does not overlook his weaknesses. Packed with innumerable examples of Modi’s out of the box thinking and his unique and homemade model of governance, the book is bound to appeal to those readers who want to see him as he truly is. Neither overblown for his achievements nor derided for some of his shortcomings.


Friday, July 18, 2014



“The Geeta is the universal mother. She turns away nobody. Her door is wide open to anyone who knocks. A true votary of the Geeta does not know what disappointment is. He ever dwells in perennial joy and ‘peace that passeth all understanding.’ But that peace and joy comes not to the sceptic or to him who is proud of his intellect or learning. It is reserved only for the humble in spirit who brings to her worship a fullness of faith and an undivided singleness of mind. There never was a man who worshipped her in this spirit and went back disappointed”. - Mahatma Gandhi

Written into the frame of the ‘Mahabharata’, the Bhagavad Gita (BG) is universally accepted as one of the world’s great scriptures and whose teaching is of the highest value. It gives philosophical advice as to how one should lead one’s life, one’s duty in this transient world and it shows the exit route for the ultimate release or Moksha.

BG occurs in the Bhisma Parva of Mahabharata and comprises of eighteen chapters. At the beginning of the Mahabharata war, Arjuna suffers an existential collapse and declares that he will not fight. Krishna, his dear friend and charioteer takes in hand the task of treating Arjuna’s neurotic mind. Krishna conveys his message and exhorts Arjuna to “get up and fight”. In 700 verses, Krishna covers the entire gamut of Hindu philosophy. Arjuna ultimately realizes the meaning of “My Dharma” under the guidance of the Supreme Lord Krishna. In the last chapter of BG, Arjuna declares that all his delusions have ended.   

The author, Meghnad Desai, is a confirmed atheist, a well-known economist and Marxist. He has achieved eminence in the academic world and in public life in the UK where he has received honours for his contributions. He is also a recipient of Pravasi Bharatiya Puraskar in 2004 and Padma Bhushan in 2008. Triggered by reading D D Kosambi’s book on Indian history, the author was particularly attracted by his critique of BG. He dug deeper into the thought process of Kosambi and developed his own ideas on this sacred text. He was also influenced by reading Dr G S Khair’s book ‘Quest for the Original Geeta’ translated into English from Marathi. Interestingly, while doing his research, Desai found that the older authors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Justice Telang who was the first Indian translator of BG in English had made a critical assessment of this sacred composition unlike the present approach of accepting it ‘in toto’ and as the last word. He decided to dig deeper and examine whether indeed BG had multiple authorship. The BG has 700 verses and eighteen chapters as generally accepted. There are different views about the number of chapters and the number of verses which are in variance with the accepted status. The author quotes Dr S. Radhakrishnan (former President of India) where he hints at the possibility that the cryptic advice given by Krishna to Arjuna was worked up into a poem of 700 verses by another author. Actually Desai goes on to establish that indeed as per his research and understanding there are three authors as concluded by Dr Khair with whom he was in full agreement. Dr Khair had named the three authors as Vyasa (119 verses), Vaisampayana(126 verses) and Souti (455 verses) who wrote it in different periods of time spread over 800 years. Dr Khair claims that he arrived at this conclusion after examining the style, concepts, vocabulary, terminology and the nature of BG’s contents. Desai who has gone along with Dr Khair’s theory has tried to prove his reasoning by attributing certain motives to these authors. The first author wrote during pre-Buddhist time around 600 BCE, the second author was a Buddha contemporary and the third author whom he considers as the Editor is supposed to have done it around 300 BCE. It was an attempt to deflate the popularity that Buddhism had gained and to inflate Brahminism which had seen a decline during Buddhist domination. And that the contradictions supposedly observed in the treatise may be attributed to the plurality of its authorship. In his attempt to question Krishna as the author of this religious and philosophical treatise, Desai quotes Swami Vivekananda who had hinted at the possibility of Shankaracharya (who wrote a famous commentary on BG) to have implanted it in the body of the Mahabharata. In short, the author’s attempt is to establish that the authorship is human and not divine.

Desai starts his book with the statement that he was thoroughly confused while reading the BG and that he could not make head or tail of it. He considers it as ‘ a confused philosophical book.’ He cites the examples of many Hindu terrorists who while fighting British colonialism used BG to justify their actions. He questions whether Krishna was a historical character. “Why are we respecting the text uncritically which has so many flaws?” According to Desai, BG has sections attacking lower castes and non-Aryan people and considers certain verses disturbing and corrupting. He concludes that it is a war-mongering scripture of the ruling class, misogynist and not suitable for a secular and modern India.

It is a natural state in untrained minds devoid of bhakthi to think on the above lines. Desai’s confusion would have been cleared had he approached a Guru in all humility and understood BG’s philosophy. Perhaps his intellectual arrogance came in the way. He should also introspect deeply over what Krishna says to Arjuna. “ I have given thee words of vision and wisdom more secret than hidden mysteries. Ponder over them in silence of thy soul and then in freedom do thy will.” Desai should know that his contrarian approach, interpretation of BG and questioning the authorship and philosophy of a ‘symphony which represents a peak of Indian spirituality’, reflects insufficient knowledge bordering on ignorance, a biased attitude and an inability to appreciate an outstanding philosophy which embodies the reasoning mind and brings out the essentials of karma and dharma and which is admired by philosophers all over the world. Sadly, Hinduism has become a ‘punching bag’. Many authors have attempted to beliitle Hindusim. His interpretation of BG will certainly hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus. Would Desai have dared to write such a book on Islam or Christianity?

A discerning reader will naturally come to the conclusion that Desai has made a vain attempt to discredit a sacred philosophy through hollow and unsubstantiated arguments and to bolster a fanciful theory of multiple authorship of a sacred book universally accepted by Hindus as the voice of God.


    THE ACCIDENTAL PRIME MINISTER : THE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF MANMOHAN SINGH : SANJAYA BARU : PENGUIN BOOKS : PAGES 320 : PRICE RS 599/- : Contrary to the belief that the book is ‘a work of fiction’ and a ‘stab in the back’ as Congress spokesmen and some others claim, actually the book is kind to Manmohan Singh and a bit flattering too. The book is essentially a tell-all memoir and about how the author ran the PM’s media affairs and his view of men in the PMO and also of some of the PM’s colleagues. Sanjay Baru who was media advisor to the PM from May 2004 to August 2008 claims that he has given a true account of the goings on in the country’s CEO’s office. Sanjay Baru traces Manmohan Singh’s first four dream years in UPA1. His reputation was squeaky clean then nationally and internationally. He enjoyed an excellent rapport with some of the world’s great leaders who considered him to be a practical and effective economist and a true statesman. His zenith was the government’s victory over the nuclear deal for which he put his reputation at stake. In the second term, however, unfortunately, a few things went horribly wrong. Firstly, Manmohan Singh thought he was the architect of the UPA victory in the elections which his colleagues never liked and that he could do no wrong. Secondly, the Maran affair, 2G scam and the coal scam which came one after another during the UPA2 regime, dealt a debilitating blow to Manmohan Singh and his reputation. He was seen clearly as a person who did not have his own mind. He was seen as a PM who sought instructions from the Congress Party President and bent backwards to execute them. According to the author, Sonia Gandhi appointed Manmohan Singh under compulsion after her bitter experience with Narasimna Rao. That led to a dual power structure resulting in lack of clarity and confusion. Manmohan Singh continued to support his cabinet colleagues who were involved in the humongous scams till he was compelled by the Opposition party to sack them or force them to resign. In the process, he brought the party to the brink of disaster. During this period, the country remained practically leaderless and directionless. The author projects him as a good man, but one who succumbed to pressures even from ministers and MPs in policy matters. He bowed down to coalition chieftains and compromised on governance. Unable to counter vested interests within his government and party, he often remained a mute spectator resulting in a state of policy paralysis. Though the book is about Manmohan Singh, the author also covers other personalities like Natwar Singh, M K Narayanan, A K Antony, Pranab Mukherjee and a few bureaucrats. Here was an opportunity for readers to understand the contemporary political history of India from an insider. Was he truly a puppet or his own man? What was the reason for Manmohan Singh to be so subservient? Sanjay Baru definitely could have thrown more light on this subject. Sanjay Baru has been criticized for several reasons. That he tried to give an impression that he was a very important person and privy to confidential information as a) an adviser to the PM helping him to decide on important filling-up of senior bureaucratic positions which were lying vacant and b) on the affairs of the State. Also, the timing of the release of his book on the eve of the General Elections came in for a lot of flak. There could be some merit in that criticism but then few authors could have resisted the temptation when they think that they have a best-seller on hand and which could generate record sales.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Anita Ratnam is a multifaceted personality and well-known in India and abroad. She is a scholar, choreographer,TV personality, cultural activist and importantly a sensitive dancer. Trained in the Bharata Natyam dance form from an early age, she is a dancer of exquisite grace and eloquence. Highly accomplished in Bharata Natyam and other classical Indian dances, she has developed her own style of contemporary dance form
influenced by theatre which she refers to as 'Neo Bharatam'. Her forte is her creativity, skill in infinite improvisations, passion, dedication and commitment resulting in an unique and balanced mix of song, dance and theatre. She is a woman of substance who did not give up her passion for dance after her motherhood. On the contrary, motherhood acted for her as a catalyst enabling her to further explore her innate creativity and talent for visualisation and imagery.

Last Sunday, Anita Ratnam gave a scintillating dance performance called "Circles of Love" at NCPA (National Centre for Performing Arts), Mumbai, on the occasion of the Mudra Dance festival 2014 being held from 24th to 30th April. The festival was centred around the subject of motherhood and its relationship with dance. In a breathtaking performance, Anita Ratnam kept the audience spellbound with her presentation of the various facets of motherhood projecting her own life as an example of intergenerational bonding of five generations - her great grandmother, grandmother, mother, herself and her daughter all of them symbolically represented by the famous Russian Matryoshka nested dolls, one smaller one emerging from the bigger one.

Anita Ratnam portrayed the roles of Devaki and Yasodha from Hindu mythology - one who gave birth to Lord Krishna but did not have the fortune to nurture Him and the other who lived on the other side of the Yamuna river and was lucky to tend to Him and take care of Him and enjoy His sports. The emotions of love and angst of these mothers were beautifully conveyed by Anita Ratnam. The SriVaishnavite mystic saint Aandal in her Thiruppavai had expressed how Lord Krishna was transferred from one lap to another. (Orutthi maganai pirandu, or iravil orutthi maganai ollitthu valazha). Born as a son to one woman and brought up as a son by another in secrecy. The depiction of Jabala and Satyakama from the Chandogya Upanishad were also poignantlly conveyed by Anita Ratnam. It is a touching story of Satyakama who had a burning desire to learn the Ultimate Truth (Brahman) but was initially disallowed to join the select group of students of higher caste and pedigree by Muni Gautama. When asked about his gothra, Satyakama had no answer. He rushed to his mother Jabala in tears who consoled him and asked him to tell the truth to the Muni that even she did not know who was the father. Impressed with Satyakama's honesty, Muni Gautama accepted Satyakama into his fold in the Gurukul lauding him for his truthfulness. "Dear Satyakama, honesty is the greatest virtue of a true Brahmin and I therefore accept you", said Muni Gautama.

Anita Ratnam exuded an aroma of deep spirituality in a language of visions, concentration and illumination. Like a humming bird darting between shadows, with her rhythmic body movements she conjured up different images. Her poise and grace together with strength, stamina, flexibility and agility of body and feet were a treat to watch. Her swiftness and grace captivated the audience. The dances were interjected with poetry on motherhood composed by famous national and international poets which were read out by poet Malavika Sanghvi. A seven decades old sari passed on to her by her mother was the subject of a dance very touchingly performed. Accompanied by Vedant Bharadwaj who sang an immortal Tamil lullaby which featured in a Tamil film of yesteryears was one of the highlights of the dance performance. The continuous and melodious background music was very pleasing to the ear.

Anita Ratnam refers to herself as a 'contemporary classicist' and an 'intersectionist'.These expressions clearly identify the genre of her dance form. It is modern yet rooted in history and culture. It addresses sensitive and other  feminist and social issues creatively. As founder Director of 'Arangham'- a performing arts organisation to promote performing and visual arts of India, her dances are essentially to modern audiences who get spiritually enlightened and uplifted. She is a role model for budding young mothers who wish to continue dancing.

Her dances have an element of humour too. Like the modern dance with the red sari around her neck in which she refers to grandmoms, moms, supermoms and tigermoms with the last words "Mere paas Ma hai."

The finale of the dance performance was the symbolic presentation of rice and the clay pot. Dancing exquisitely, Anita Ratnam pours the rice on the ground with both her palms and places the 'kalasha' (clay pot) over the rice, the pot signifying sanctity and the rice signifying fertility.

"Janani janamabhoomischa swargaadapi gariyasi." Mother and motherland are superior to even Heaven says an old Sanskrit saying. Nothing could be truer. Thaai (mother), thaaimozhi (mothertongue) and thaainadu (motherland) are indeed very dear to Anita Ratnam.

How can one sum up such a phenomenal performance from the viewer's perspective? A splendid programme and a delightful thrill for the audience. It was a "Wow" experience.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


    This is a book consisting of a compilation of Krithis on Sree Krishna by late Smt Parvathi and her husband Sri G Sankaran. Smt Parvathi was well-versed in Sanskrit and a devotee of Guruvayurappan. The authors, ardent Krishna-bhakthaas, were a part of a four-member team that translated the Malayalam Bhaktharanjini commentary on Narayana Bhattathri’s ‘Sriman naarayaneeyam’. This book contains about 245 classical krithis of 32 outstanding composers of both Carnatic and Hindustani classical music such as Naarayana Teertha, Muthuswamy Deekshitar, Swaati Tirunaal, Mysore Varadachariar, Annamaachaarya, Tyaagaraaja, Aandaal, Paapanaasam Sivan, Purandaradaasa, Meera, Soordaas and many other luminaries. The Carnatic krithis were composed in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam languages. The authors in their Introduction have stated that Lord Krishna is considered to be a ‘poorna avatara’ of Lord Vishnu and that many of the composers have identified Krishna with Lord Vishnu and that many such kirthis have been included in this collection. The book contains a short write-up on each of the 32 chosen composers followed by the text of their kirthis consisting of pallavi, anupallavi and charanam and its meaning. The authors have effectively conveyed to the readers the meaning and purport of the lyrics in simple English. Understanding of the meanings of the lyrics would also help vocalists to express the sentiment or bhaava which the composers had wished to convey through their compositions. A combination of eruditeness with a devotional fervour is not very common. The couple’s deep and abiding devotion to their ishtadevata Lord Guruvaayurappan gets manifested in the brilliant translation of this select collection of lyrics. They have done an unforgettable and yeoman service for bhakthaas, music lovers and practitioners of classical music in this very difficult task of selecting and bringing together the kirthis on Sree Krishna and translating them from various languages into English. This book will always remain on my study-table to constantly remind me of the Supreme Lord and thus keep me in a permanent state of God-consciousness.