The Gene: An Intimate History

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By Sunil Kumar Only the 2nd post this month; another review. A long rambling philosophical cum scientific book by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Genetics is a new science – you can plausibly date it from the rediscovery around 1900 of Gregor Mendel’s …

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The Romanovs

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By Sunil Kumar 9th month of 2017. On my visit to the U.K last month; picked up 3 books in Heffer’s Cambridge including this massive tome from Simon Sebag Montefiore; a history of Russia’s last imperial clan; the Romanovs. A …

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What does Nehru write about Shivaji in the “Discovery of India”?

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By Sunil Kumar My Qra answers continued: Excerpts from Nehru’s Discovery of India; “Only an Akbar might have understood the situation and controlled the new forces that were rising. Perhaps even he could have only postponed the dissolution of his …

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In what ways was Ashoka the great inspired by Buddhism and the Arthashastra?

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By Sunil Kumar Ashoka formed a strong empire and like other kings and emperors of the time intrinsically believed in the intrinsic powers of royalty. His religious world-view was tempered by Buddhism to the extent that he is supposed to …

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What are the top 10 non-fiction books about India everybody must read?

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By Sunil Kumar In no particular order; here are some non-fictional books about India that made an impact somewhat personally. Around India in 80 Trains – Monisha Rajesh: Liked the descriptions in this book, the train rides and different facets of …

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What happens at the end of the Five Orange Pips?

By Sunil Kumar Thanks, Shubham. The Five Orange Pips is a story that I read a long time back. The story about John Openshaw and his racist uncle Elias who goes to the US; becomes a Colonel for the Confederate …

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Why do Indians consider Kushan empire as part of Indian history?

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By Sunil Kumar Kanishka is the man most discussed when it comes to the Kushan empire in present-day books. The Yuezhi may have been an Europoid people, ancient Chinese sources do describe the existence of “white people with long hair” (the Bai …

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What is the best thing about being a poet?

By Sunil Kumar To paraphrase a famous scientist; the best thing about being a poet is the ability to navigate strange seas of thought alone. Depending on the nature of poetry; you grapple with profundity, discover new idioms or cope …

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The Age of Modi

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By Sunil Kumar In the digital age; the quest for fifteen minutes(seconds, nanoseconds) of fame has led to an explosion of ideas; and egotist odes to oneself. The current PM of India seems to have ridden the cusp of this …

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India: A Wounded Civilization

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By Sunil Kumar If a mass of articles and daily analysis were not enough to remind me of the fact that India is a wounded civilization; V.S Naipaul‘s 1975 book on his perceptions surely has. Landing in an antique Bombay …

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