APRIL 2014
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Book Reviews By NITISH S. RELE,
[email protected]

Stories from My Heart: A Cardiologist’s Reflections on The Gift of Life” (280 pages, $19.95) by Dr. M.P. Ravindra Nathan; published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing (available at amazon.com, www.createspace.com/4230283 and Kindle publishing)

If you have been an avid reader of Dr. Ravindra Nathan’s monthly columns in Khaas Baat for the last nine years, you will want to acquire a copy of this collection of essays by the well-known cardiologist. The author has divided the chapters into The Art of Medicine, The Science of Medicine and the Business and Politics of Medicine. It is only when you read the stories, some heartwarming and a few heartbreaking, that you understand the sincere compassion and devotion the good doctor has to save the lives of his patients. We are even taken back to India when Dr. Nathan first became interested in medicine, then on to England before he moved to the United States in 1972. He also writes about his own brush with death in vivid detail. You can tell that these truly are stories told from the heart. A warm, loving and caring heart.

Are you Indian?: A Humorous Guide to Growing Up Indian in America” (154 pages, $12.99) by Sanjit Singh; published by Bad Swami Productions (www.badswami.com)

FOBs (Fresh off the Boat) and ABCDs (American Born Confused Desi) aren’t the only ones that take the heat, tongue in cheek, in this hilarious book by the famed author, speaker and entrepreneur. Also under the radar are Indian Uncles and Aunties, Indian names, spelling bee parents, Original Desai Gangstas, marriage ads, Indophiles, yoga teachers, etc. Here are a couple of funny one-liners: “He (Indian uncle) also has matching hair emerging from each ear like two jet black Christmas trees.” “At home, the TV remote control is either plastic wrapped or Ziploc-bagged like a priceless relic. This does help keep the curry off, though.” “At some point, your Indian parents will try to bargain down prices at Walmart.” “To come up with a Punjabi nickname, pick any consonant and add the suffix ‘-ikku,’ ‘-oopi,’ or ‘-inku.’ Examples include Tikku, Bicku and Pinku.” As you turn each page, you will be chuckling your way to the last word. Guaranteed.

The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation” (208 pages, $13.95); by Gavin Flood and Charles Martin; published by W.W. Norton (www.wwnorton.com)

The dialogue between Lord Krishna and warrior Arjuna has been translated numerous times in English. This time, an Englishman, a Hindu studies scholar, and an American, a well-known poet, have successfully joined hands to interpret the Sanskrit text into an easy-to-understand narrative epic. All 18 chapters dealing with life, death, soul, duty and morality are a delight to read. Flood and Martin have also devoted a 28-page intro to the significance of the Bhagavad Gita in the “Mahabharata.” We finished reading the book within a few hours. So will you.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” (228 pages, $26.95) by Mohsin Hamid; published by Riverhead Books (www.riverheadbooks.com)

His previous book “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” was an instant bestseller. It also was made into a film by Mira Nair. Now, Hamid has another smash hit on his hands. And before you rush to buy the book to get super wealthy yourself, don’t let the title deceive you. This is the story of two people in love, sort of, but disguised as a self-help guide. It relates the story of a man’s rise from rural poverty to massive wealth as he makes several sacrifices along the way. He builds his empire somewhere in contemporary Asia on one of the increasingly scarcer commodities: water. As we trace his growth, we simultaneously follow the girl of his dreams pursue her own dreams and then perish. This is brilliant, genre-bending work by a remarkable master storyteller.


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