ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Memories of a Forgotten Cosmos

Forgotten Friends: Monks, Marriages, and Memories of Northeast India by Indrani Chatterjee; New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013; pp 453, Rs 1025.

The cosmos stretching from inner Asia, Tibet and North-east India to the Arakan, Myanmar and Bangladesh is the main focus of the book under review. It is a cultural landscape, a shared space across which men,material and ideas have travelled wearing religion, carrying goods, tailoring marriages, weaving kinships, developing friendship codes for the benefit of all. It deals with a broad time frame from the seventh century AD to the 20th century. It discusses region specific developments in Buddhism, Vaishnavism, Saivism, Tantricism and Sufism.

It explores the specific and determinate historical conditions under which statements are combined and regulated to form and define a distinct field of knowledge/objects and develops a particular set of concepts that delimits a specific “regime of truth” or that what counts as truth. To explain or rather establish facts the author uses historical records, archaeological remains, geographical features and ethnography. This has strengthened the work because the reader is forced to think in multiple ways. The book pulls us in, historians and non-historians both.

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