By the waters running through the valleys of Kashmir, teenage boys come to play cricket, talk about girls, and just be. But a few years later, when they are young men and violence grips the region, they are gone.
Only the son of the local headman has stayed. He knows his friends have slipped over the border to Pakistan, and turned militant to bear arms against the Indian army. He would like to join them - but he cannot.
Instead, put in an impossible position by an Indian army Captain, he must cross into the shadowland between the opposing sides, a ghost walking among the dead. His fate, like that of his lost brothers, unknown . . .
• Devastating . . . haunting . . . gripping in its narrative drama (Kamila Shamsie, Guardian)
• Compelling . . . An important and poetic testimony to an all-too-easily forgotten war (Daily Mail)
• A thrilling, powerful debut (Sunday Times)
• 'A beautifully realized account of horror, grief and the psychological trauma of war' Observer
• Waheed builds an atmosphere of menace and despair . . . his tale possesses a disturbing power that is both lingering and profound (Independent on Sunday)
• I loved it. The voice is lyrical, to match the beauty of Kashmir, and yet is tinged with melancholy and grief. I was shaking at times, was livid at times and was moved to tears ultimately. (Nadeem Aslam)
• Mirza's rage has a flaming beauty... Certainly there is an epic quality about The Collaborator (Geeta Doctor, India Today)
• A powerful first novel (Books of the Year Financial Times)
• The Collaborator is that rare thing, a virtually flawless novel. (Eunice de Souza, Mumbai Mirror)
• Waheed’s writing combines the elegance and gymnastics of another reinterpreter of recent wars and revolutions, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and of Mohammed Hanif, the author of the sublime Pakistani satire A Case of Exploding Mangoes. (Justine Hardy, The Times)
• 'Waheed's prose burns with the fever of anger and despair; the scenes in the valley are exceptional, conveying, a hallucinatory living nightmare that has become an everyday reality for Kashmiris' Metro
Nobody Can Love You More
Sub title: Life in Delhi's Red Light District
The sex workers of Kotha No. 300 raise their children, cook for their lovers, visit temples, shrines and mosques, complain about pimps and brothel owners, listen to film songs, and solicit and entertain customers.
By following the daily lives of the denizens of one kotha, Mayank Austen Soofi paints an intimate portrait of women for whom sex is work—a way to make a living.
With precise details and haunting photographs, Soofi delicately and carefully etches the everyday world of those who inhabit the peripheries of society.
Live like a Maharaja
Sub title: How to Turn Your Home into a Palace
On her show, Amrita Gandhi has been a welcome guest to royal families all over India. Live Like a Maharaja: How to turn your Home into a Palace is her treasure trove of royal lifestyle tips and secrets that will change the way you live. Discover the art of setting a dining table from the royal house of Rampur; learn how to accessorize and drape your chiffon sari like Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur; uncover Saif Ali Khan’s style commandments and master the secrets of an authentic Hyderabadi biryani from the chefs of Falaknuma Palace.
Full of great advice on how to create luxury out of the ordinary, this book is an exciting journey into the lives and homes of India’s royal families, revealing the prized lifestyle secrets that will make kings and queens of all of us.
The Seduction of Shiva
Sub title: Tales of Life and Love
The god Shiva is utterly seduced by Mohini, the enchanting female form assumed by the god Vishnu during the churning of the ocean for nectar. A barber employs wit and wile and rumours of witchcraft to win his wife back from the lustful attentions of their king. The celestial nymph Urvashi curses the Pandava prince Arjuna when he rejects her sexual advances. A woman caught in adultery befools her elders with a religious ritual. A man with a disagreeable missing wife insists nevertheless that she be recovered by his ruler who has a similar problem.
Refined, colloquial, romantic, cynical, satirical by turns, these stories of erotic love, elegantly translated from the Sanskrit classics, make a sustained argument for the secular ends of life—of desire tempered with discrimination and pleasure with restraint.
The Courtesan's Keeper
Sub title: Samaya Matrika
This feast of smiles was put together
giving the secret strategies
and all the tricks of courtesans
One of Kshemendra’s finest satires, The Courtesan’s Keeper is a delightful and rambunctious rendition of the life and times of the courtesan Kankali as she teaches the ways of the world to her ward Kalavati. From the attractive courtesan and her shrewd keeper, to the experienced barber and the avaricious trader, the book brings to life the vibrant society of Kashmir Valley a thousand years ago through a host of characters, each drawn in vivid detail. With its terse narrative, directness and economy of style and fast-paced action, the book is fully suited for the twenty-first-century reader.
The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail
When Chetan Mahajan is wrongfully sent to Bokaro Jail, he encounters a world completely different from his corporate life in Delhi. From picking the best prison ward, befriending the people who can get him mobile phone access and upgraded food, and training for his upcoming marathon in the tiny prison yard, Chetan soon learns to work the prison system. In the process he makes unlikely friends, and discovers what India’s underbelly really looks like.
A true story, The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail, is thought provoking, amusing and touching. It will show you the Indian prison as you have never seen it before.
Sub title: The Truth about India’s Manual Scavengers
In many parts of the country, the inhuman practice of manual scavenging continues to thrive in spite of a law banning it. Moreover, the people forced to carry out this degrading work remain invisible to the rest of us, pushed to the margins of society without any recourse to help or hope. Now, for the first time, award-winning journalist Bhasha Singh turns the spotlight on this ignored community. In Unseen, based on over a decade of research, she unveils the horrific plight of manual scavengers across eleven states in the country while also recording their ongoing struggle for self-empowerment. Previously published in Hindi to both critical and commercial success, this is an explosive work of reportage on a burning issue.
On Sal Mal Lane
Sri Lanka, 1979. The Herath family has just moved to Sal Mal Lane, a quiet street disturbed only by the cries of the children whose families that live there. As the neighbors adapt to the newcomers in different ways, the children fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes, and small rivalries. Their innocence contrasts sharply with the petty prejudices of the adults charged with their care. But the tremors of civil war are mounting, and it is only a matter of time before the conflict engulfs them all and the sleepy neighborhood erupts in violence.
Tender and heartbreaking, On Sal Mal Lane is an evocative story of what was lost to a country and its people.
Jungle Trees of Central India
Sub title: A Field Guide for Tree Spotters
Covering an area larger than France, and including five of India’s most-visited tiger reserves, the forests of Central India are one of the country’s most iconic wildscapes. Jungle Trees of Central India is a lavishly illustrated and user-friendly field guide to every wild tree you are will see in this entire region.
A culmination of four years of research, the book has over 2000 photographs with thumbnail keys to all the bark, flowers, fruit and leaves. An ideal companion for your travels in the region, this book will turn you into an expert tree spotter and take your enjoyment of wild places to another level.
Sub title: The Lessons of My Life
If there’s anyone who’s been around, seen it all and lived life to the hilt, it has to be Khushwant Singh. India’s most popular and prolific writer has, over the years, enlightened and outraged in equal measure, and enriched our lives with his humour, his honesty and his sharp insights and observations.
In Khushwantnama, the 98-year-old reflects on a life lived fully and the lessons it has taught him. Here is his distilled wisdom on subjects as diverse as old age and the fear of death; on the joy of sex, the pleasures of poetry and the importance of laughter; on how to cope with retirement and live a long, happy and healthy life. Here, too, are his reflections on politics, politicians and the future of India; on what it takes to be a writer; and on what religion means to him.