Perhaps as you grow older, you become more interested in religion and spiritualism. This could be one reason why these days I have been reading books I would never have sought out even 10 years ago. One on this list is, ” The Life of Hinduism” edited by John Stratton Hawley, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Religion at Bernard College, and Vasudha Narayanan, Professor at the University of Florida. This was first published by the University of California Press in 2006. The version I read is the one published exclusively for South Asia by the Aleph Book Company in 2017. Continue reading ““The Life of Hinduism” Edited by John Stratton Hawley & Vasudha Narayanan”
Chitrita Banerji’s “Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals” , much like the sweets from Bengal, is delectable. I find the book was originally published in 1991 as, ” Life and Food in Bengal” and has seen several re-prints since then. Well, that title just about sums up what this slim volume covers. I read the recent 2017 edition published by Aleph Book Company. I have briefly lived in West Bengal, for about 4 years and visited there often, although decades ago. Reading Ms. Banerji’s book brought back innumerable memories of Bengal and Bengali food. If they could evoke such emotion within me a non-Bengali, I can well imagine how much it would instigate a Bengali to debate (and don’t they just love to do that?) on the merits and demerits of the recipes which dot the book from time to time. Continue reading ““Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals” by Chitrita Banerji”
I enjoyed , “The Age of Shiva” (2008) the first book I have read by the US-based Indian-born writer, Manil Suri. I loved the book, admiring the author for his fascinating eye for detail about family life in middle-class North India. Having read this, I plan to seek out the two other books in his trilogy namely, “The Death of Vishnu” (2001) and “The City of Devi” (2013). Continue reading ““The Age of Shiva” by Manil Suri”
Although this book was published in 2007 by ECCO, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, I must confess rather sheepishly that I just read, “India After Gandhi” by Ramachandra Guha-in October 2016. The by line is an apt description of the book, “The History Of The World’s Largest Democracy.”
The hard bound edition ( which my friend Divakar Kaza said would improve my biceps before I was done with this tome) runs into 759 pages, followed by nearly 100 pages of well-researched notes. The cover flap says, “massively researched and elegantly written, India After Gandhi is at once a magisterial account of India’s rebirth and the work of a scholar at the height of his powers.” I would agree. It certainly is extensively researched and most elegantly written though I would have said, “height of his prowess” speaking of the author’s talents rather than his “powers.” Continue reading ““India After Gandhi” by Ramachandra Guha”
If you study books on sexuality and love, which is a topic, rarely if at all, written about in India, Ira Trivedi’s “India In Love: Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century” must rank amongst the best. Meticulous research backed by anecdotal data and personal narratives of ordinary Indians, people who could well be someone we know, make for some highly educative as well as interesting reading. The book, published by Aleph Book Company in 2014 is, I believe, something every educated Indian should read. It clears so many cobwebs in our minds and lays to rest myths that have made any talk about sex and sexuality virtually taboo in our traditional society. A blurb in Mid-day puts it so well, ” Trivedi charged into India’s bedroom and pulled the covers right off. No more secrets.” Continue reading “” India In Love” by Ira Trivedi”
I am delighted that I successfully completed NaNoWriMo 2014 where the challenge was to write a novel of 50,000 words during the calendar month of November.
” Life In The City” is a collection of short stories, 14 in all, which capture different aspects of life in a city in contemporary India. Since I live in Bengaluru ( recently made the official name for the erstwhile Bangalore) most of my stories tend to be set here. I guess the issues are the same in different cities of India. While the stories are largely a figment of my imagination, I must confess that the inspiration for at least a few of them came from real life incidents as reported in the daily newspapers.
The stories feature a wide variety of characters and situations which I hope most readers will be able to easily relate to. They involve, amongst others, an elderly woman who gets a fresh lease of life; a bored housewife caught up, thanks to her addiction for the internet, in a net of deceit; and, a couple who settle down in Bengaluru to come across ghosts from the past.
This is now work in progress and I hope to share more details of this project with time.
Here’s this article in DNA by Priyanka Golikeri which speaks of how ebooks will over time be the next big thing in publishing in India. The market in India is still nascent at less than 1% of a Rs. 10,000 crore book publishing industry.
We now have just a week to go before we blast off for NaNoWriMo 2012. The objective is to write a novel of 50,000 words during the calendar month of November 2012, starting from scratch. Some choose to be “rebels” and do short stories instead. I have chosen to be part of this rebel band this year.
“He Sees Everything & Other Short Stories” is my first ebook. Wherever there are people, there is greed, there is sacrifice; ingratitude and indebtedness; hatred and love; humor and poignancy. Woven around these emotions are seven short stories set in contemporary India. Continue reading ““He Sees Everything & Other Short Stories””