In this delightful book, the reader is invited to overhear a series of playful, sharp philosophical debates between the author and her beloved cat.
To Suki—a sulky, silky feline who believes she is a goddess—her owner is simply her ‘high priestess’, there to do her bidding. To Suniti—a writer, poet, fabulist and feminist icon—Suki is ‘a stroppy cat who talks too much’. But as they discuss the merits of vegetarianism, or the meaning of happiness, or war, or morality or any topic under the sun, it soon becomes clear that the bond between human and animal is a deep, complex and loving one.
Far more than a personal memoir about a dearly departed pet, Suki is a philosophical novel full of tender wisdom, and a unique exploration of the relationship between human and animal.
Readers who have enjoyed J.R. Ackerley’s My Dog Tulip, Nilanjana Roy’s The Wildings or Paul Auster’s Timbuktu will fall in love with the maddening, lovable, unique character that is Suki—as seen through the eyes of Suniti Namjoshi, her companion, fellow-traveller and one of the foremost women writers of her generation.
Moving to Goa
Many people dream of escaping the stresses and strains of urban life and moving to Goa. Katharina Kakar and her husband, the psychoanalyst and writer Sudhir Kakar, followed their dream and boldly took that plunge—buying a charming old house in a tranquil south Goa village, where they hoped to find a whole new way of living and working.
Ten years later, they are still there, living the idyll—and the reality—of life in Goa. So which is the real Goa? Is it all about sun and sand, beaches and bikinis, feni and vindaloo? This book captures the allure of all these, as well as the festivals and rituals that punctuate the rhythm of village life. It portrays fascinating local characters, ranging from ageing hippies, beach boys and elusive workmen to the aristocratic residents of Goa’s grand old mansions. But it also reveals lesser-known aspects of Goa: the hidden—often shocking—histories of its colonial past; and the debates and fissures that engage and divide Goan society today.
In part personal memoir and travelogue, in part an insightful look at Goan history and society, this book portrays Goa with all its paradoxes and problems, its seductive pleasures and, above all, its unique and enduring charm.
If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai
Sub title: A Conducted Tour of India
Battles Half Won
Sub title: India's Improbable Democracy
In this lively collection of essays, Ashutosh Varshney analyses the deepening of Indian democracy since 1947 and the challenges this has created. The overview traces the forging and consolidation of India’s improbable democracy. Other essays examine themes ranging from Hindu nationalism, caste politics and ethnic conflict to the north–south economic divergence and politics of economic reforms.
The book offers original insights on several key questions: how federalism has handled linguistic diversity thus far, and why governance and regional underdevelopment will drive the formation of new states now; how coalition making induces ideological moderation in the politics of the BJP; how the political empowerment of the Dalits has not ensured their economic transformation; how the social revolution in the south led to its overtaking the north; and how the 1991 economic reforms succeeded because they affected elite, not mass, politics.
Lucid and erudite, Battles Half Won brilliantly portrays the successes and failures of India’s experience in a new, comparative perspective, enriching our understanding of the idea of democracy.
The Testament of Mary
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2013
Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary is the moving story of the Virgin Mary, told by a novelist famous for writing brilliantly about the family.
From the author of Brooklyn, in a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.
As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.
The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
Fatima Bhutto’s stunning fiction debut begins and ends one rainswept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in the troubled tribal region of Waziristan, close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. The second brother, a doctor, goes to check in at his hospital. His troubled wife does not join the family that morning for no one knows where Mina goes these days. And the youngest, the idealist, leaves for town on a motorbike. Seated behind him is a beautiful, fragile girl whose world has been overwhelmed by war. Three hours later their day will end in devastating circumstances.
The Shadow of the Crescent Moon chronicles the lives of people trying to live and love in a world on fire. Beautifully written, full of emotion and heartbreak, this is an extraordinary novel.
How to Make Enemies and Offend People
Often described as ‘the funniest ever writer to have come out of trans-Yamuna Delhi in the 75–77 kg category’, G. Sampath launches a hilarious counteroffensive against perpetually offensive people and issues in this small but potent volume. From Ajay Devgn’s nipples to his wife’s real-estate ambitions, Arnab Goswami’s special powers to male virgins’ special problems, sari-obsessed women to pesticide-obsessed farmers, Sampath runs his vampire-like fingernails across the private obsessions and public frustrations of the Indian Everyman. Wily old genius that he is, where you expect him to draw blood, he draws a chuckle.
Sub title: The Makings of a Genius
Young Tagore is a first-of-its-kind psychobiography that deepens our understanding of Rabindranath Tagore, perhaps the greatest multifaceted genius India has produced in the last two hundred years. In this reconstruction of Tagore’s childhood and youth, preeminent psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar draws a nuanced portrait of the young prodigy and the decisive experiences that shaped him: the death of his mother when he was fourteen, the intimate bond he shared with his sister-in-law Kadambari and his sojourn in England. Through these Kakar uncovers the vital themes in young Rabi’s inner world that shaped his creative genius: his yearning for solitude that was tempered by his fear of loneliness; his preoccupation with spiritual concerns that enabled him to give voice to the sensualist within; and his abiding quest to find a balance between traditional Indian values and Western cosmopolitanism.
Kakar’s scrutiny is intense as he pieces together this incredible puzzle, but the rigorous scholarship is finely balanced with deep empathy. In laying bare the inner workings of Tagore’s brilliance, Kakar reveals the real man behind the towering genius.
Triumph in Bombay
Sub title: Travels during the Cricket World Cup
Vaibhav Vats was ten years old when the 1996 cricket World Cup was held in South Asia. Celebrations erupted after India beat Pakistan and he saw the local confectioner give away his sweets for free. But the euphoria soon turned to gloom as the Indian team subsequently crashed out in the semi-final. It remained one of the defining memories of his childhood.
Fifteen years later, in 2011, when the World Cup returns to the subcontinent, Vaibhav decides to travel across Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India, following the Cup. It is a journey both personal and exploratory, to understand what the game means in his own life and what it means to more than a billion people. Through six breathless weeks, he shadows the tournament from its exhilarating opening in Dhaka to the last ball at the Wankhede Stadium. In between, he spends time with oddballs and followers of all hues, such as a Sinhalese coach in Tamil-dominated Trincomalee and cricket aficionados at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. And finally, he witnesses the Indian team, as if propelled by destiny, claim the greatest victory of all.
Anecdotal and incisive, Triumph in Bombay is an extraordinary travelogue that announces the arrival of a brilliant new talent.
‘Similes, metaphors and extended descriptions . . . hit the mark with fine precision’ —Navshakti
Anima burns her diaries which record the long period of grief and mourning that followed Siddharth’s death in the Bombay riots. Bold lines of black on a blank canvas lead Ashesh to start a new painting. Sharada sings her own composition in the noon raag Shuddh Sarang at an evening concert. Crowfall unobtrusively follows an eventful year in the lives of a group of friends—a journalist, a teacher, a musician and three painters—in Mumbai. Like the cycle of seasons, love and violence and heartbreak and joy pursue each other. And it is friendship that provides uncompromising solace amidst the ravening pressures of life today in the big city.
Steeped in sensuous detail, Crowfall takes in art and identity, music and communal madness, and the clash of the old and the new to etch a finely nuanced portrait of contemporary Mumbai