As soon as February begins, there’s a nip in the air, something that the weatherman can’t quite comprehend. Cities turn into the sets of La La Land and romance brews in every café. Some people have even speculated to witness moonlight during the day.
For those who detest this month of love and hibernate their way through it or for those who are hopeless romantics, we have a pile of new and fresh, off-the-press, beautiful books releasing that all of us can hold in our hands this February! This pile has fiction, adventure, culture, biographies, music and more! A bit of everything to fill each day of your month with something extraordinary!
Looking for a home in your bookshelves and hearts, here they are:
Translated from the Bengali by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay
Aranyak, written in 1939, is a famous Bengali novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay based on his long and arduous years in northern Bihar. There he came into contact with a part of the world that, even now, remains unknown to most of us. ‘Aranyak’ literally means ‘Of the Forest’. This novel explores the simple and heart-warming story of a man who gets a job as an estate manager in Bihar, and slowly falls in love with the beautiful and tranquil forest around him. The dichotomy of urban and rural life comes alive, reflecting the great love that human beings and nature can share, one that Bandyopadhyay experienced in his heart. Written by one of the greatest Bengali authors, this haunting novel is rooted in guilt and sadness but also tremendous beauty.
Singing in the Dark
Singing in the Dark brings together the finest of poetic responses to the coronavirus pandemic. More than a hundred of the world’s most esteemed poets reflect upon a crisis that has dramatically altered our lives, and laid bare our vulnerabilities. The poems capture all its dimensions: the trauma of solitude, the unexpected transformation in the expression of interpersonal relationships, the even sharper visibility of the class divide, the marvellous revival of nature and the profound realization of the transience of human existence. The moods vary from quiet contemplation and choking anguish to suppressed rage and cautious celebration in an anthology that serves as an aesthetic archive of a strange era in human history.
Also known as the ‘Poet of the East’, Allama Muhammad Iqbal earned a doctorate in philosophy from the Ludwig-Maximillian University at Munich, and wrote his most evocative poems in Urdu, a language that was not his mother tongue. His funeral was attended by 70,000 people, which included colonialists and freedom fighters, socialist atheists and Islamic fundamentalists, Indian nationalists and Muslim Leaguers, reflecting his ability to defy categorization.The book is a relatively short volume that introduces Iqbal to the millennial generation. It is written in a relatively contemporary language, similar to Ghalib: A Thousand Desires. A bulk of the book will comprise a temporal and intellectual biography of Iqbal, while the rest will include a detailed discussion of one of Iqbal’s poems, a translation of some of his well-known poems, and a sampling of some of his famous verses.
The Queen of Indian Pop
Vikas Kumar Jha
In this vivid biography, which was originally written in Hindi, Vikas Kumar Jha captures the entire arc of Uthup’s career in music. From her childhood days in Mumbai and her first gigs singing with jazz bands in Chennai’s glitzy nightclubs to her meteoric rise as India’s musical sensation and her philanthropic work, Jha covers it all and manages to weave a narrative that is colourful, inspiring and bound to keep any reader engrossed till the end. This pitch-perfect English translation, by Srishti Jha, offers the reader a front-row seat to the life and times of the inimitable Usha Uthup.
Annus Horribilis is concerned with the violence of thinking, alone. The voices in these poems move through relationships, family, friendship, external disintegration, the labour of loving, being loved and of caring, where they are constantly confronted with the familiar turning foreign, the quotidian becoming a scene of absolute hostility, and where a word otherwise spoken easily becomes incommunicable. The book grapples with a (habitually futile) desire to communicate what should only be communicable-looking for some friend in language-that won’t lead to misunderstanding or, worse, silence. It searches for a language in which thought might survive and perhaps even reach out towards others.
A true story, Beguiled starts with Gitanjali meeting Randeep Singh Taneja at a farm party in Delhi. He called himself ‘Randy’. He flirted with her; she resisted. She was a single mother, a divorcee, and Randy was five years younger. They became friends, went for walks in Lodhi Garden, had coffee in Khan Market, and he asked her hand in marriage. She refused, he beguiled her, they fell in love, and she said yes.
The couple moved to London and this is where the first signs of trouble began. Away from all that was familiar to her, Gitanjali began to notice that Randy was not all that declared to be. Random phone calls from women who claimed to either be his wife or his girlfriend, a child who called him ‘Papa’, photographs of Randy with other women, multiple cell phones…and for all this he had reasonable explanations that left her with no room for doubt. Gitanjali thought she knew her husband. That is until she hadn’t opened his cell phone and found out about the many lives he was leading across the world.
Beguiled is a dark and gripping story about a marriage gone wrong.
The Hidden Hindu
Prithvi, a twenty-one-year-old, is searching for a mysterious middle-aged aghori (Shiva devotee), Om Shastri, who was traced more than 200 years ago before he was captured and transported to a high-tech facility on an isolated Indian island. When the aghori was drugged and hypnotized for interrogation by a team of specialists, he claimed to have witnessed all four yugas (the epochs in Hinduism) and even participated in both Ramayana and Mahabharata. Om’s revelations of his incredible past that defied the nature of mortality left everyone baffled. The team also discovers that Om had been in search of the other immortals from every yuga. These bizarre secrets could shake up the ancient beliefs of the present and alter the course of the future. So who is Om Shastri? Why was he captured? Board the boat of Om Shastri’s secrets, Prithvi’s pursuit and adventures of other enigmatic immortals of Hindu mythology in this exciting and revealing journey.
Raghu Palat, Pushpa Palat
This is an intimate account of the extraordinary life of Parukutty Nethyaramma, who went on to become one of the most powerful rulers of the Kingdom of Cochin.
At the age of fourteen, her marriage thrust her into a hostile world. Taking on her detractors, Parukutty stubbornly and fearlessly forged ahead to become a voice none could gainsay. Despite a seventeen-year age gap, she had built a special, unshakable bond with her husband. When he was crowned the sovereign ruler of Cochin, she vowed to support and protect his position throughout her life. Theirs was an enviable partnership of two incredible equals who together went on to break many traditional norms. At a time when women were relegated to the shadows, Parukutty travelled with her husband, participated in important discussions, and even went on to rule as his proxy. She became a force to be reckoned with in her own right.
The Millennial Yogi
‘How do I fight? I see failure at every juncture,’ said Jay.
‘If we divide our life the way we sort laundry, we will never find peace,’ replied Vini.
Jayshankar Prasad, or Jay, has had a shady-yet-mercurial rise in his journey as an entrepreneur, but he has little idea as to what is around the corner. On the other hand, Vini, a mystic monk, has already been there, and knows what it is like to have it all and then lose it in an instant. Greed . . . power . . . money . . . are all transitory.
In a serendipitous twist of fate, Jay crosses paths with the enigmatic Vini and thus begins a cathartic and transformative journey. The Millennial Yogi is the zeitgeist parable for anyone searching for meaning and purpose in life. With prose that is both photographic and profound, Deepam Chatterjee has crafted an extraordinary tale of loss, redemption and the fight for one’s soul in an increasingly materialistic world.
Savarkar: A Contested Legacy from A Forgotten Past
The Complete 2-Volume Biography of Savarkar
As the intellectual fountainhead of the ideology of Hindutva, which is in political ascendancy in India today, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is undoubtedly one of the most contentious political thinkers and leaders of the twentieth century. From the heady days of revolution and generating international support for the cause of India’s freedom as a law student in London, Savarkar found himself arrested, unfairly tried for sedition, transported and incarcerated at the Cellular Jail, in the Andamans, for over a decade, where he underwent unimaginable torture.
Decades after his death, Savarkar continues to uniquely influence India’s political scenario. An optimistic advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity in his treatise on the 1857 War of Independence, what was it that transformed him into a proponent of ‘Hindutva’? What was it that transformed him in the Cellular Jail to a proponent of ‘Hindutva’, which viewed Muslims with suspicion?
This two-volume biography series, exploring a vast range of original archival documents from across India and outside it, in English and several Indian languages, historian Vikram Sampath brings to light his life and works.
Something I’m Waiting To Tell You
After nearly losing the love of his life to a terrible accident, Ronnie realizes how much he loves Adira and what an idiot he had been to hurt her. What’s more, her overprotective mother now takes care of her, and does not like Ronnie being anywhere near her daughter.
He’s going through hell-unable to go back in time and fix things, unable to say what he missed saying to her, ‘I love you . . .’
All he wants now is a second chance, to trace his steps back into a loving relationship and win Adira over. It will not be easy because life is tough; love, even tougher.
The Game of Dice
A fascinating illustrated rendition of the all-consuming Mahabharata … A spectacular show of words and images dealing with love and death, loyalty and duplicity, conflict and concord, and much more …
Impelled by elemental forces of death, destruction and creation, Panchali, with electrifying visuals cinematically construed, reaches its climax: two consecutive games of dice. Marred by deceit, treachery and trickery, and fuelled by obsession, passion and rage, the gambling episode provides the preface to the coming, all-consuming Mahabharata war.
The Tiger’s Pause
The Untold Story of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Peace Efforts in Sri Lanka
As the fourth phase of the twenty-six-year-long civil war in Sri Lanka was about to begin, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living, visited the island nation with a singular aim: to bring peace to its citizens while trying to mediate between Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and the government. The Tiger’s Pause chronicles Gurudev’s time in a highly strung country and also offers an exclusive look into the final chapters of Sri Lanka’s deadly conflict.
Swami Virupaksha, who spent nine years in the country expounding the Art of Living courses and organizing Gurudev’s visits, expertly charts the enormous hope of the Tamil and Sinhalese people against overwhelming misery. In prose that is both concise and empathetic, Swami Virupaksha gives readers a sweeping view of Gurudev’s endeavours towards a ceasefire agreement, and the ups and downs of a country’s quest for peace. The Tiger’s Pause is the narrative of the Sri Lankan people, and gives us a sense of what it takes to understand and address a shared trauma.
The Stone Tower
A path traversed by caravans laden with silk, spices and much more besides, the old Silk Road influenced trade, religions, cultures and economies across Europe, Asia and far beyond.
In his latest book, Riaz Dean blends the best of this region’s history and geography with ancient cartography to solve a 2,000-year-old riddle that has perplexed scholars for centuries: Where was the Stone Tower that the great geographer Claudius Ptolemy had written about? This highly significant but now-lost landmark represented the midpoint and thumping heart of the Silk Road, as merchant caravans plied their wares between the Occident and the Orient.
The $Ten Trillion Dream
The State of the Indian Economy and the Policy Reforms Agenda
India rightly aspires to be an upper-middle-income economy with its vast workforce gainfully employed
to have a decent standard of living. This, however, is a challenging proposition as India continues to
grapple with major economic policy issues. This book discusses the present state of India’s economy. It thematically explores the critical policy issues India faces today and suggests reforms for India to become a $10-trillion economy by the mid-2030s. The book presents a wide-angled and comprehensive view of the state of the Indian economy. It analyses India’s macroeconomy in the light of its evolution since Independence and covers the performance of the Indian economy on macro parameters of growth, inflation, monetary management, credit management, foreign capital inflows, fiscal management and other important macroeconomic fundamentals. Covering major sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, industry and services, the book also captures India’s progress towards becoming a digital economy.
Achieving Meaningful Success
Unleash the Power of Me!
This book will be an adept lifetime mentor faithfully by your side to guide you through various stages of life. It guides you in achieving meaningful success including tremendous professional success through multidimensional and balanced life goals, which are the key to happiness and fulfilment. The book first focuses on defining the person you aspire to be through a step-by-step process to define your aspirational life goals. Then it guides you in becoming the best version of yourself and worthy of realizing your aspirations. The ideas shared are relevant to people of ages fifteen years onwards, from high school students to early and senior professionals to CEOs. It also includes insights from exclusive interviews with Ratan Tata, Narayan Murthy, Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Sadhguru, John Chambers, Dr Devi Shetty, Rahul Dravid, Prakash Padukone, Vinita Bali, Vani Kola, and more. These distinguished people have achieved amazing success by passionately pursuing their goal-based journeys and have underlined the ideas shared in the book.
There are not many Indian heroes whose lives have been as dramatic and adventurous as that of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. That, however, is an assessment of his life based on what is widely known about him. These often revolve around his resignation from the Indian Civil Service, joining the freedom movement, to be exiled twice for over seven years, throwing a challenge to the Gandhian leadership in the Congress, taking up an extremist position against the British Raj, evading the famed intelligence network to travel to Europe and then to Southeast Asia, forming two Governments and raising two armies and then disappearing into the unknown. All this in a span of just two decades.
Now, new information throws light on Bose’s intense political activities surrounding the revolutionary groups in Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra and United Provinces, his efforts to bridge the increasing communal divide and his influence among the splintered political landscape; his outlook and relations with women; his plunge into the depths of spirituality; his penchant for covert operations and his efforts to engineer a rebellion among the Indian armed forces. With this new information, what appeared to be dramatic now becomes more intense with plots and subplots under one man’s single-minded focus on freeing the motherland and envisioning its development in a new era.
Pacey, thought-provoking and absolutely unputdownable, Bose: The Untold Story of an Inconvenient Nationalist will open a window to many hitherto untold and unknown stories of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Master on Masters
Amjad Ali Khan
Veteran musician and sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan writes a deeply personal book about the lives and times of some of the greatest icons of Indian classical music. Having known these stalwarts personally, he recalls anecdotes and details about their individual musical styles, bringing them alive.
Twelve eminent musicians of the twentieth century appear in the book – Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Begum Akhtar, Alla Rakha, Kesarbai Kerkar, Kumar Gandharva, M.S. Subbulakshmi, Bhimsen Joshi, Bismillah Khan, Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan and Kishan Maharaj. In writing about them, Amjad Ali Khan transcends the Gharana and north-south divide, and presents portraits of these great artists that are drawn with affection, humour and warmth.
The Stock Market Guide That Makes You Rich
Are you inspired by billionaires around the world but think becoming a billionaire is too far out of your reach?
Are you confused about the behaviour of the stock market and the implications of investing in it?
Are you actually scared of investing in the stock market? If yes, then Investonomy is a must-read for you!
Investonomy not only explains modern value investing principles but also unveils certain secrets of the stock market. It busts popular myths and misconceptions as well. A thorough reading of this book will enable you to chart your own investment plans, and soon, you’ll be all set for your personal wealth-creation journey through equity investment. Investonomy is an initiative to empower existing, as well as potential, investors like you.
Why I Failed
Lessons from Leaders
Fail! And we are stamped for life. Don’t we try and run from failure all our lives? But, ‘spontaneous doing has to go through failures’. Acknowledging failure is singularly the most difficult thing to do. It takes tremendous courage to come out and say, yes, I failed. Shweta Punj chronicles sixteen leaders who have celebrated their failure as much as their success. Each story is an anatomy of failure. So whether it was the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ that led Abhinav Bindra to miss that winning shot, or whether it was a suicide attempt that pushed Sabyasachi Mukherjee into fully realizing his potential-these stories will encourage you to look at failure differently.
How Cancer Gave Me a New Life
Healed is the powerful, moving and deeply personal story of actor Manisha Koirala’s battle against ovarian cancer. From her treatment in the US and the wonderful care provided by the oncologists there to how she rebuilt her life once she returned home, the book takes us on an emotional roller-coaster ride through her many fears and struggles and shows how she eventually came out triumphant.
Today, as she completes six years of being cancer-free, she shares her story-one marked by apprehensions, disappointments and uncertainties-and the lessons she learnt along the way. Through her journey, she unravels cancer for us and inspires us to not buckle under its fear, but emerge alive, kicking and victorious.
A Book of Joyous Awakenings
Playful Principles for Conscious Living
What if, to lead our most fulfilling life, there was nothing to acquire, nothing to accomplish, nothing to master? What if we are already home, already whole, already complete? What if, all that is needed, is to gently set down the burden?
Unburden is an invitation to examine ideas, identities and concepts that bind and limit us. We begin to access the power and potency that comes from trusting the silence underlying all thoughts and experiences.
In Nithya Shanti’s inimitable voice, discover profound teachings, simply told. Nithya shares anecdotes, exercises for self-discovery and pointers for awakening, through a distillation of timeless wisdom and contemporary discoveries, along with his own innovations from decades of intensive teaching and practice.
Disrupt and Conquer
How TTK Prestige Became a Billion Dollar Company
The TTK Group was founded in 1928 in Chennai (then Madras) by T.T. Krishnamachari, who later became a Union minister and held the portfolios of finance, industry and commerce for close to fifteen years.
In this book, the current chairman T.T. Jagannathan, along with Sandhya Mendonca, takes us through the journey of this extraordinary company which fought off bankruptcy and rose like a phoenix to become a highly profitable, successful entity.
Like a phoenix, the group and its constituent companies, have risen from the ashes, many times over, to stand tall and proud. This is the story of a journey that began with early success and experienced catastrophic disasters, and set about turning its fortunes around in stunning comebacks, time and again.
With invaluable business lessons, decades of experience and innovation distilled in these pages, Disrupt and Conquer is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs, executives and business leaders.
Everything Is Out of Syllabus
An Instruction Manual for Life
Life seldom comes with an instruction manual or a guidebook. It’s often messy and unpredictable too. While our education may prepare us for situations covered within its set syllabus, most of life happens outside this realm and this leaves us grappling with questions around work, life and everything in between.
Hence, this book.
Varun Duggirala has survived and thrived in a system that throws curveballs at us without the tools to actually overcome them. In Everything Is Out of Syllabus, he offers answers to important questions like:
What is the true meaning of success? How can one become more creative and think outside the box?
How can we connect with people, including ourselves? And much more.
Most importantly, he tells readers what are the skills one needs to master to live a more fulfilled life that is optimized for happiness.
When Coal Turned Gold
The Making of a Maharatna Company
Coal India Ltd (CIL) contributes to about 82 per cent of India’s coal production. In When Coal Turned Gold, former chairman and managing director of CIL, Partha Sarathi Bhattacharyya, tells the story, warts and all, of how he dealt with the Dhanbad coal mafia, how he changed the way the industry was perceived, how he dealt with the trade unions and the government and, most importantly, how he was able to script one of the greatest success stories the country had ever seen.
With this immense list, our love for books seems like one that’ll last forever. The perfect love story, what do you think?