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Review by Mala Sen

Comments on India: The Peacock's Call by Mala Sen (Author of The Bandit Queen and Death by Fire)

Death by Fire written by Mala SenMy Dear Aline,

Thank you so much for the copy of your book. I love the cover and the peacock, which I believe comes from your father's collections of pictures. I very much regret that I am not able to attend the launch on Saturday; as you know, I am to leave for India myself within days of the event to do research for my own forthcoming book. I wish you and your guests a joyful evening!

Your book brought back many memories of my own childhood, evoking images of army life, its precision, elegance and etiquette of manner. Mind you, being me, I always found it a bit 'stiff' as a child, if you know what I mean! Still, you capture the spirit of it and times past. A lovely book with such an eye for amusing details! Many of my own countrymen would miss what you have observed and appreciated.

Unfortunately, in these times, the military solution is not one I support at global level. We need more understanding of different histories and cultures, and I really do feel your book contributes to that process of evolution.

Your love for India and its people shines through. You have written a kind of love story. Congratulations! This depth of understanding is what we need in these troubled times.

See you soon. All my love Mala.