Thursday, February 2, 2023
Vikas Datta, Journalist, IANS, Delhi -
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Vikas Datta
Vikas Datta, -
Journalist, IANS
Delhi, India



 My Articles

1. Key insights, tastefully served: The essays of Umberto Eco (IANS Column: Bookends) ( Books )

Umberto Eco (1932-2016) came into the limelight with his debut novel "The Name of the Rose" (1980, English 1983, film starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater, 1986)

2. Hearing the 'music' from across universe - and the implications (Book Review) ( Books )

Hailed as the scientific breakthrough of the century, LIGO's (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) validation of existence of gravitational waves, predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 as an outcome of his general theory of relativity, was said to eclipse the successful search for the elusive Higgs boson (the "god particle").

3. Living a good, full and long life - the Japanese way ( Books )

The book brings out the Japanese concept of Ikigai which roughly means 'the happiness of always being busy'reflecting the old Japanese proverb: "Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years."

4. Engineering and human life - a curious resemblance ( Books )

Prima facie, nothing could seem more distanced from the human condition than engineering, but we will be surprised with the points of resemblance.

5. A kaleidoscope of Pakistan's other surprising side (Book review) ( Books )

In the mid-1950s, the screening of a Hollywood film in a Karachi cinema ended with the place getting trashed. Eventually, its exhibition had to be stopped for it continued to "cause riots".

6. Tanks, the mean, tough war machine and its complex course ( Books )

The entire story of Tanks, which dates from much before they first trundled on to the battlefield in World War I -- as this book shows - hinges on the development and interplay of these attributes: Mobility, protection, firepower and communication.

7. The ignored/unknown kitsch that also advanced Bollywood (Book Review) ( Books )

Advertising professional-cum-movie maniac Amborish Roychoudhury showcase in this delightful compilation, films that never received their full due, but have gone on to become cult classics.

8. Truth, torture, Trump and more: James Comey's eventful career (Book Review) ( Books )

As an Assistant US Attorney in New York in the early 1990s, James Comey was part of the anti-mafia campaign and became well versed about how its top bosses perceived themselves, the people who worked for them and the world.

9. The French novelist who fought for justice - and the price he paid ( Books )

A country that prided itself on its ideals of liberty and justice uncovers an embarrassing espionage case, but matters are so orchestrated that an innocent, conscientious officer is accused and convicted -- just because of his religion.

10. Brown: The colour of toil but non-acceptance across the West? (Book Review) ( Books )

All our social development and our technological advancements don't seem enough to eradicate our long-persisting atavistic sense of difference based on appearance, which though long-suppressed is now emerging free from its restraints.

11. Whither India? An atlas of present faults and future courses (Book Review) ( Books )

12. A call for jihad in an earthly paradise and its consequences (Book Review) ( Books )

The book is about how people from far off places are being drawn into the violent maelstrom of the Arab heartlands to engage in jihad either alongside the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda

13. The Trump syndrome and its impact: A psychiatric probe ( Books )

The times when a country that sees itself as a world leader -- and many around the globe look up to -- seems to have collectively abandoned sanity and ended up with a President who seems something out of a psychology textbook.

14. Perceptions, Postures and Pragmatism: India-Pakistan relations down the decades ( Books )

Shifting from cordial and promising to suspicious and hostile (and back again), regularly overshadowed by history, ideology and perceptions, prone to public posturing but also quiet, behind-the-scenes pragmatism, Indian-Pakistan relations possess their own unique and complex logic, which even the eminent political scientist Hans Morgenthau would find hard to explain.

15. Tackling terror, battling betrayal - a British politician's fate ( Books )

'The Knives' is British novelist Richard T. Kelly's tale about the security challenges faced by today's Britain and the political costs and considerations in tackling them.

16. Jane Austen, much more than a woman writer of courtship and matrimony ( Books )

Jane Austen was an English novelist in the 18th century whose works can strike a chord with readers in patriarchial societies still prevalent across the world

17. Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh: The tragedies of Meena Kumari's life, work and verse ( News and Blogs )

The barely four-decade life of Meena Kumari, whose 85th birth anniversary is on Tuesday (August 1), was no less tragic as her roles in cinematic classics.

18. The key aide who ensures a US President's success or failure (Book Review) ( Books )

An account of the US Presidents' Chiefs of Staff, termed the second the second most-powerful political job in the US, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama.

19. A surrealistic, supernatural quest in Karachi - and beyond ( Books )

20. The straight dope about the Fuehrer and the Nazi war machine (Book Review) ( Books )

His vegetarianism, teetotalism, anti smoking and concern for animals didn't prevent Adolf Hitler's megalomania, psychopathic racism and callous disregard for human suffering.

21. Nanak, the apostle of oneness, compassion and 'Charhdi Kala' (Book Review) ( Books )

In every age, when humanity becomes mired in gross materialism, ritualistic faith and religious antagonism, there appears an inspired figure seeking to bridge the divide, show a better path and revive relations with the divine..Story of Guru Nanak

22. The 'Great South Asian War' and its salutary lessons ( Books )

Veteran Myra Macdonald's book on India-Pakistan relations over the last two decades and its high and low points

23. Kishori Amonkar: An incomparable voice, an eclectic innovator (Tribute) ( Arts,Crafts & Culture )

Schooled directly and indirectly by stellar proponents of her Jaipur gharana, Kishori Amonkar never remained bound by its style only to emerge as one of the foremost exponents of Indian classical music.

24. An Indian eternal man and the philosopher's stone quest ( Books )

Krishna Udayansankar new venture features the Epic Mahabharata's most potent, promising but scandalously underutilised character - Ashvatthama, son of the preceptor Drona.

25. The dark side of Karachi and its violent politics ( Books )

Masterfully utilising Karachi as a backdrop, with its chaotic, complicated and (lethally) combative power plays, Pakistani police officer-cum-novelist Omar Shahid Hamid delivers another gritty account of the unprepossessing, unsavoury but undeniable link between politics, crime, law enforcement, media -- and terrorism.

26. A catalogue of unlikely, unexpected museums around the world ( Books )

27. Love and heartbreak, Allahabad style (Book Review) ( Books )

The book revolves around newly-turned-21 Binny Bajpai, who has become an alluring woman, a bit naive but well conscious of the power of a "jut of the hip, or a flutter of her eyelashes" to seek (male) attention whenever feeling neglected especially in favour of her convent-educated counterparts.

28. The knowledge deficit in the information age - and its consequences (Book Review) ( Books )

Die-hard Donald Trump supporters said they feared that white Americans were becoming a minority in their own country, while Brexiters were concerned about the rising tide of immigrants on the island. Were their apprehensions genuine or justified?

29. Telling the City of Grace's story: Lucknow's diligent biographer ( Books )

Abdul Halim 'Sharar' (1860-1926) was one of the most illustrious Lakhnavis, an indefatigable writer who chronicled all facets of Lucknow city and its residents' life.

30. Negotiating the world by the nose, the doggy way (Book Review) ( Books )

Psychologist and animal behaviour expert Alexandra Horowitz's account of dogs' powerful and well-developed sense of smell and what we can learn from it

31. Quo Vadis, Russia? Attempting some answers (Book Review) ( Books )

32. An Arab Spring version of Aladdin? (Book Review) ( Books )

In the first of a series re-imagining classic fairy tales in new, unexpected ways,Liz Braswell presents a darker, more grittier, almost dystopian take on the familiar Arabian Nights story.

33. The ISI, Pakistan and South Asia: A dark, intertwined history (Book Review) ( Books )

The first-ever, full-length account of Pakistan's ISI by German scholar Hein G. Kiessling

34. Making a difference in our world - the third Clinton's ideas (Book Review) ( Books )

35. Acting violently: Charles Bronson and his 'tough guy' film career (Charles Bronson's 95th birth anniversary is on Nov 3) ( News and Blogs )

36. Taming the Afghans, plugging the invasion route: A forgotten contribution to Indian security ( Books )

37. Bob Dylan: Blowing in the Wind to Nobel Literature Prize ( Arts,Crafts & Culture )

Be it the iconic "Blowing in the Wind" , "Masters of War" and more, Bob Dylan's ballads not only became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war movements, but can still articulate deep concern at global and social conditions.

38. Love in the shadow of the 'Nirbhaya' episode (Book Review) ( Books )

Mornings After is about Love in the shadow of the 'Nirbhaya' episode

39. Mentally mastering money for a more meaningful life (Book Review) ( Books )

Mind Over Money is about The Psychology of Money and How to Use it Better. It explains how to mentally master money for a more meaningful life

40. Against Elections - The Case for Democracy (Book Review) ( Books )

41. A look back on former President Dr S. Radhakrishnan whose birthday is celebrated as Teachers Day in India ( News and Blogs )

September 5 has been celebrated as Teacher's Day in India, since 1962.