Sub title: The Election That Changed India
The 2014 Indian general elections has been regarded as the most important elections in Indian history since 1977. It saw the decimation of the ruling Congress party, a spectacular victory for the BJP and a new style of campaigning that broke every rule in the political game. But how and why? In his riveting book, Rajdeep Sardesai tracks the story of this pivotal elections through all the key players and the big news stories. Beginning with 2012, when Narendra Modi won the state elections in Gujarat for a third time but set his sights on a bigger prize, to the scandals that crippled Manmohan Singh and UPA 2, and moving to the back-room strategies of Team Modi, the extraordinary missteps of Rahul Gandhi and the political dramas of an election year, he draws a panoramic picture of the year that changed India. Page-turning, full of insights and great portraits, and written with a media insider’s eye, 2014 is political storytelling at its absolute best.
Born Again on the Mountain
Sub title: A Story of Losing Everything and Finding It Back
National-level volleyball player Arunima Sinha was shoved off a moving train by thieves. The accident cost the twenty-four-year-old her left leg and sporting career, but it never deterred her. Two years later she retrained as a mountaineer and became the first female amputee to scale Mount Everest. This is her unforgettable story.
Sub title: Media, Magnates, Netas and Me
Vinod Mehta’s new book takes forward the story of Lucknow Boy, recounting his experiences in the corridors of power in Delhi. His views on Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and the Nehru–Gandhi dynasty, and his decoding of coalition politics and the significant changes ushered in by the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, are expressed with his characteristic sharp insight, wit and wisdom. So too are his analyses of the sweeping changes taking place in the print and TV media, and his pen portraits of personalities such as Ratan Tata, Niira Radia, Sachin Tendulkar and Arundhati Roy. Peppered with anecdotes and gossip, every page of this honest, lively and irreverent book is both illuminating and entertaining.
Nehru and Bose
Sub title: Parallel Lives
‘Nobody has done more harm to me ... than Jawaharlal Nehru,’ wrote Subhas Chandra Bose in 1939. Had relations between the two great nationalist leaders soured to the extent that Bose had begun to view Nehru as his enemy? But then, why did he name one of the regiments of the Indian National Army after Jawaharlal? And what prompted Nehru to weep when he heard of Bose’s untimely death in 1945, and to recount soon after, ‘I used to treat him as my younger brother’? Rudrangshu Mukherjee’s fascinating book tracks the growth of these two towering figures against the backdrop of the independence movement, delicately tracing the contours of a friendship that did not quite blossom as political ideologies diverged, and delineates the shadow that fell between them—for, Gandhi saw Nehru as his chosen heir and Bose as a prodigal son. Nehru and Bose: Parallel Lives brings to light the riveting story of two contrasting personalities who would go on to define modern India.
Sub title: Anatomy of a Murder
A fourteen-year-old girl is killed in her comfortable suburban home along with the family servant in puzzling circumstances. Within weeks, her dentist parents are the prime suspects; within months, they are as good as exonerated; a year and a half later, they are on trial. But did they do it? From the controversial police investigation to the media frenzy surrounding the Talwars and the protracted legal battle, every layer of the Aarushi case has mystery and metaphor. Now comes the ultimate retelling of the story. Avirook Sen has followed the court case, examined all the police documents and interviewed key players among investigators, lawyers, family and Aarushi’s friends. In Aarushi he draws a superb portrait of the young woman and the aftermath of her death, and tries to answer the biggest question of all. Acute, gripping and brilliantly written, Aarushi is a book that will take you into the heart of the murder that has gripped the nation.
The Book of Gold Leaves
Two lovers are destined to meet in the city of Srinagar. Roohi is a beautiful, spirited girl who is haunted by dreams of a mysterious man she believes is her true love. Faiz is a young papier-mâché artist on the cusp of painting his masterpiece, the Falaknuma. When fate conspires to bring them together one windswept evening, both fall irrevocably in love.
But it is the 1990s. Kashmir is simmering with political strife and rebellion, and it is only a matter of time before Srinagar is engulfed in the gathering storm. Before they know it, the city they call home is besieged and erupts in violence, threatening everything the two lovers hold dear. An age-old tale of love, war, duty and choice, The Book of Gold Leaves is as devastatingly resonant as it is beautifully written.
Sub title: My Life Inside Al-Qaeda
He was the Western convert who would plunge deep inside al-Qaeda. He named his first son Osama after 9/11 and became a Jihadist. But then - after a sudden loss of faith - Morten Storm made a life-changing decision. He became a double agent and joined the CIA, MI6 and MI5. Filled with hair-raising close calls and duplicity, Storm's story builds to the climactic finale when he must betray his friend and mentor al-Awlaki - al-Qaeda's biggest threat to the West. Storm is trusted to find al-Awlaki a wife from Europe. She becomes the bait for a possible American drone strike.
The Fall of the Kingdom of Punjab
This riveting historical narrative is more full of drama than any fiction. With the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the great Punjab empire he had built was riven by intrigues, betrayals, assassinations and wars until the British finally annexed it, seizing the Kohinoor diamond and sending the young Maharaja Duleep Singh into exile in Britain. Khushwant Singh brings this turbulent period to vivid life in this page-turning account of the collapse of a once-mighty kingdom.
Death and Dying
Billions have died in the thousands of years since human beings first developed language, but we do not have a single credible account of the subjective experience of dying and the afterlife. This is why death continues to be an immense mystery and a subject of eternal fascination.
In Death and Dying, scholars and intellectuals illumine the major issues raised by the inevitable ending to life. The range is wide: from the dread that accompanies all notions of mortality to the objective evidence for the existence of an afterlife; from an exploration of the spiritual dimensions of mourning to analyses of how death was perceived and interpreted by geniuses like John Keats, Rabindranath Tagore and Carl Jung.
Utterly compelling, these essays prompt us to question our fears and notions of death while enabling us to perceive this phenomenon with greater understanding and intelligence.
Indian Voices of the Great War
Sub title: Soldiers' Letters, 1914-18
The voices who could tell the Indian story of the First World War have long been silenced, but at last India is getting the chance to hear its own soldiers speaking in this collection of letters sent by them while they served in France. Fighting alongside soldiers whose language, customs and indeed colour were strange to them, these letters bear eloquent witness to the sepoys’ often unsettling encounters with Europe and European culture. By turns poignant, funny and moving, they provide an intimate picture of the world of the Western Front.