Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 23 ARTS & BOOKS January 8, 2021 A Book About The Life And Times Of Physician PK Vedanthan Aims To Raise Funds For Charitable Causes By a StaffWriter T he book “PK Portrayed” is a story of the life journey of Dr. P.K. Vedan- than, a philanthropist and physi- cian, founder of International Asthma Services, and contributor to numerous causes. It traces his life from his roots in Krishna Murthy Puram in Mysore, Karna- taka state, giving a vivid description of life in the 1960s small-town India, through life-changing events, how these shaped his outlook and changed his priorities through life. Dr. Vedanthan spent time as a physi- cian also in Colorado. According to the website of National Jewish Health (na- where he was a former fellow, Dr. Vedanthan created the Inter- national Asthma Services organization in the late 1980s “to address the worldwide problem of asthma in areas including In- dia, Africa, Mauritius, Fiji, South America and the Philippines.” The IAS is a non- profit organization serving disadvantaged populations through educating patients and providers; offering free medical care; and giving physicians and hospitals mate- rials, technology and training. A separate section in the book entitled “Memorable Events” encompasses his varied experiences, his travels around the world, adventures with family and friends, as well as joyful and painful memories, according to the brief description accom- panying the book. In his latest effort at supporting chari- table activities, Dr. Vedanthan is putting the book about his life up for donations. “One of the ways I am planning to conduct the next fund-drive is through the distribution of a unique book, ‘PK PORTRAYED’ by Mr. MOHAN MURTHY, an author and publisher in Mysore, India. This book encompasses my life frommy childhood years, through the different stages of life, to the present day, all in an easily readable and seamless narration. The book is presently available in Eng- lish,” Dr. Vedanthan says on the website of Global Chest Initiatives at . Dr. Vedanthan’s International Asthma Services has been deeply involved since the 1980s, with providing charitable services — organizing asthma awareness camps; building free charitable clinics; ar- ranging for the transfer of medical equip- ment across continents; and expanding post-MD educational programs in the field of immunology. Most of Dr. Vedanthan’s philanthropic works has been self-funded, with addi- tional support from colleagues, well-wish- ers, alumni from the Diploma programs as well as from friends and relatives, he says Dr. Vedanthan uses all the funds col- lected to support the following institu- tions in India: Swaasha Allergy Asthma charitable clinic at MMCRI, Mysore. Karnataka Swaasha Allergy Asthma Charitable clinic at Jodhpur, Rajasthan Asthma Allergy Awareness camps in various locations Asthma Allergy Network India (AANI) Planned Centre of excellence in Al- lergy, Asthma & Immunology at CMC, Vellore, India This book is not for sale, Dr. Vedan- than emphasizes. “A copy of the book will be sent to all donors. A copy will be sent on request to those who are not donors too, free of cost,” he says. For more details and donations please visit: ( Photo Courtesy:Dr.P.K.Vedanthan Book jacket of “P K Portrayed”: Biography of Dr. P.K. Vedanthan, narrated by Mohan Murthy. 10 Books To Read In January T hings we can count on in 2021: a presidential inauguration, more covid-19 vaccinations and new reading material. Even if you re- ceived books as holiday gifts, you’ll want to check out January’s offerings, which include a prequel to Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give,” a fresh perspective on land ownership from SimonWinchester and a dual biography of sisters who changed medical history. - “Black Buck: A Novel,” by Mateo Askari- pour (Jan. 5) Askaripour’s satire revolves around the rudderless Darren, whose fortunes change when he joins the sales team of a strange start-up where he’s the sole em- ployee of color. But soon, family trouble convinces him to use his newfound suc- cess for his community’s good. - “The Prophets: A Novel,” by Robert Jones Jr. (Jan. 5) Jones may be best known as the blogger “Son of Baldwin.” His extraordi- nary debut, with its sinuous, multivoiced narrative, will change that. It’s a love story between two young enslaved men, Isaiah and Samuel. When someone reveals their secret, the repercussions aren’t just from above, and the fallout tests their Missis- sippi plantation community. - “The Children’s Blizzard: A Novel,” by Melanie Benjamin (Jan. 12) During a spell of mild winter weather in the 19th-century Dakota Territory, chil- dren had returned to school. Then an un- expected blizzard struck, leaving students and their teachers stranded and uncertain of what to do next. Based on the real-life 1888 “Schoolhouse Blizzard,” Benjamin’s eighth novel delves into the dark realities of immigrant life in the AmericanWest. - “Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust,” by James Comey (Jan. 5) Even when a political figure has detractors - as former FBI director Comey certainly does - their insights might be useful. Comey’s follow-up to his 2018 “A Higher Loyalty” is a call for transparency in law enforcement, backed by anecdotes from a long career that began in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of NewYork. - “Concrete Rose,” by Angie Thomas (Jan. 12) In “The Hate U Give,” Thomas intro- duced us to Starr Carter, a teenage girl torn between her poor neighborhood and upscale prep school. In “Concrete Rose,” Thomas tells the story of Starr’s father, Maverick, whose own father was a King Lords gang leader. - “The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine,” by Janice P. Nimura (Jan. 19) Even if you know who Elizabeth Blackwell is - the first woman to receive an MD in the United States - you may not know her sister Emily’s name. Nimura (“Daughters of the Samurai”) examines Emily Blackwell’s brilliance, and how the sisters’ achievements and (at times contentious) partnership changed the landscape of American medicine for good. - “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World,” by Simon Win- chester (Jan. 19) We live on it, we tend to it, we fight over it. The world’s acreage supports and sustains us, but we rarely think about what it really means to “own” that land. Winchester, celebrated for his history of the Oxford English Dictionary, “The Professor and the Madman,” considers the ground beneath our feet and why we want so desperately to claim it. - “Let Me Tell You What I Mean,” by Joan Didion (Jan. 26) These 12 pieces make an excellent introduction to Didion’s gimlet eye on American life. With a foreword by critic Hilton Als, “Let Me Tell YouWhat I Mean” includes the essay “Why IWrite,” pro- files of such disparate figures as Robert Mapplethorpe and Nancy Reagan, and a consideration of Hearst Castle. - “Burnt Sugar: A Novel,” by Avni Doshi (Jan. 26) In her Booker Prize-shortlisted debut, the American-born Doshi turns to her parents’ Indian roots for a tale about mothers, daughters and how their recollections of their shared history dif- fer. When a woman’s memory fails, her neglected daughter, now a married artist, must decide whether she can forgive old sins. - “Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It,” by Ethan Kross (Jan. 26) Psychologist Kross directs the Uni- versity of Michigan’s Emotion & Self Control Laboratory, where he conducted the research for this book about some- thing that everyone has: an inner voice. Whether you use it as a critic or a coach, Kross writes, is up to you. Patrick is the editor, most recently, of “The Books That Changed My Life: Reflec- tions by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians and Other Remarkable People.” -Special To TheWashington Post By Bethanne Patrick Chatter; Burnt Sugar; The Doctors Blackwell Photo by:CrownOverlookW.W.Norton —Handout viaTheWashington Post