Conversations with Waheeda Rehman
Renowned for her natural talent and haunting beauty, Waheeda Rehman’s career spans an astonishing array of key films in Indian cinema, including Pyaasa, Abhijan, Mujhe Jeene Do, Guide, Teesri Kasam and Rang De Basanti.
In this engaging book of conversations with Nasreen Munni Kabir, Waheeda Rehman proves to be a lively raconteur, speaking about her life and work with refreshing honesty, humour and insight: from the devastating loss of her parents when she was young to making a life in cinema on her own terms, from insightful accounts of working with extraordinary film practitioners like Guru Dutt, Raj Khosla, Satyajit Ray, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Vijay Anand to her friendship with stars like Nargis and Nanda.
A slice of cinema history told through compelling anecdotes and astute observations, Conversations with Waheeda Rehman provides a rare view of a much-adored and award-winning actress of Indian cinema.
In Central Time, Ranjit Hoskote becomes the storyteller of a turbulent epoch. We meet Ovid and Ghalib, poets in exile or eclipse, in these poems, which are by turns elliptical, conversational and narrative. We meet painters who betray their art, and sculptors who are betrayed by theirs. Fascinated by the enigmas of time, memory and evanescence that art invokes, Hoskote addresses a range of artists including Bihzad, Magritte, Masaki Fujihata and Ranbir Kaleka. At the same time, he retains his affection for the natural world, celebrating the textures and intensities of sensuous experience: the roughness of stone, the dance of light, the flowering of touch and the taste of salt and cinnamon.
A testament to a present shimmering like a mirage between contested pasts and vexed futures, this book pivots around moments of encounter: a defiant squirrel in Anuradhapura, an intriguing collection of objects in a Berlin museum or a man discovering a mass grave near Kabul. Written between 2006 and 2014, the hundred poems that form Central Time resonate with the crises of war, genocide, terror, forced migration and the precariousness of belonging.
Sub title: The Man Cricket Loved Back
‘“Sachin Sachin” will reverberate in my ears till I stop breathing’ —Sachin Tendulkar in his farewell speech
Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from the sport in November 2013 was among the most-watched cricket events of the year, one that tugged at the heartstrings of Indians and cricket lovers worldwide. Shortly after he walked off the field for the last time, the Government of India bestowed the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on him.
Sachin Tendulkar: The Man Cricket Loved Back is an ESPNcricinfo anthology of fine writing on India’s greatest cricketer. This collection brings together affectionate and perceptive appreciations from teammates and rivals who saw Tendulkar up close—among them, V.V.S. Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, John Wright, Allan Donald, Greg Chappell, Sanjay Manjrekar and Aakash Chopra—and contributions from the who’s who of cricket writing, including Gideon Haigh, Mike Marqusee, Ayaz Memon, Ed Smith, Mark Nicholas, Rohit Brijnath, Sharda Ugra and Mukul Kesavan. It also features several interviews conducted with Sachin over the years, and superb pictures of him on and off the field, making for a comprehensive portrait of the cricketer and the man through the eyes of those who have watched and studied him from the closest quarters.
The Living Goddess
Sub title: "A Journey into the Heart of Kathmandu"
To Nepalis the Living Goddess is the embodiment of Devi. Legends swirl about her. But the facts remain shrouded in secrecy and closely guarded by the Living Goddess’s priests and caretakers. Why are Buddhist girls worshipped by Hindu monarchs? Are the initiation rituals as macabre as they are rumoured to be? And what happens to Living Goddesses once they attain puberty? Using myth, religion, history and her unprecedented access to the priests, caretakers and former Living Goddesses, Isabella Tree takes us deep into this hidden world. Through it she draws a vivid portrait of the girl-goddess, the beliefs and practices of traditional Nepal, and the uneasy journey it now makes towards modernity. Deeply felt and written over many years of travel and research, The Living Goddess is a profound, compelling and extremely moving book.
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.