Your June reading list
From much-awaited translations to new releases here’s what you should stack up on for the coming week.
Nireeswaran (Vayalar and Kerala Sahitya Akademi winner)
From the author of Anti-clock, Shortlisted for the JCB Award 2021 comes this “compelling narrative of shifting faiths and displaced gods. As realities and fantasies disentangle there appears in the nether regions an un-god, Nireeswaran, with no halo. A mind-boggling work from a master novelist” said M. Mukundan, recipient of JCB Prize 2021.
Is it possible for society to exist without religion? Nireeswaran, the most celebrated of Malayalam novelist VJ James’ works, uses incisive humour and satire to question blind faith and give an insight into what true spirituality is.
Three atheists, Antony, Sahir, and Bhaskaran, embark on an elaborate prank to establish that God is nothing but a superstition. They instal a mutilated idol of Nireeswaran, literally anti-god, to show people how hollow their religion is. Their plan starts turning awry when miracles start being attributed to Nireeswaran-a man waking up from coma after twenty-four years, a jobless man ineligible for government employment getting a contract, a prostitute turning into a saint-leading hordes to turn up to worship the fake deity.
The trio is put in a quandary. Will they fight their own creation? Is their intractable minds an indication that atheism is a religion in itself? Belief and disbelief, it is possible, are two sides of the same coin.
The Wait by Damodar Mauzo And Other Stories
“Damodar Mauzo’s stories present us with vivid glimpses of the richly diverse, cosmopolitan reality of contemporary Goa. In these perceptive, keenly observed stories Hindus, Catholics and Muslims all find ways to co-exist, in defiance of bigotry,” said Amitav Ghosh. From the 2022 Jnanpith Award winner, Konkani writer Damodar Mauzo’s sometimes bizarre, sometimes tender stories, set largely in Goa, create a world far removed from the sun and sand and the holiday resorts. Here you find villagers facing moral choices, children waking up to the realities of adult lives, men who dwell on remorse, women who live a life of regret and communities whose bonds are growing tenuous in an age of religious polarization.
Probing the deepest corners of the human psyche with tongue-in-cheek humour, Mauzo’s stories reveal the many threads that connect us to others and the ease with which they can be broken. Written in simple prose and yet layered in nuances, The Wait is a collection that brings to the anglophone world one of the doyens of Konkani literature.
Equal, yet different
A book by Anita Bhogle on how women want to be treated and need to be treated at home and in the workplace.
Equal, Yet Different is exactly how women want to be treated and need to be treated at home and in the workplace. This book talks about the catalysts that are required for women to reach peak potential-conditions, people, or even mindsets at home, at work, and in the ecosystem. Anita Bhogle draws from the professional experiences and wisdom of a large number of women leaders and experts.
Talking about the motivation behind this book, author, Anita Bhogle said, “I believe ‘Equal, Yet Different’ is how women would like to be and need to be treated at home and in the workplace. They are equal to men in terms of ability and ambition but different because of how they are conditioned and given the challenges they face. The book draws on the wisdom and experience of several professionals and experts and attempts to identify conditions, people, and mindsets that can prove to be catalysts for women to achieve their full potential. The millennials are lucky to have access to the experience of a fairly large pool of career women today. As a society, it is time we realise that diversity and inclusion will only make the world a better place.”
Can one make sunscreen from saffron? Can hemp oil help heal acne? How does madder root help cure hyperpigmentation? Beauty Unbottled is a unique DIY guide on how to use herbs and plants to turn your kitchen into a beauty lab. Learn how to treat hair loss, frizz, dandruff and premature greying with powerful Ayurvedic kitchen herbs. Create your own masks, moisturizers, serums and shampoos with superfoods like neem, tulsi, jasmine and sandalwood-herbs that are revered in Ayurveda. Explore the alchemy of Ayurveda and its long-lost, forgotten beauty secrets with simple step-by-step skin and hair recipes (with vegan options) in this definitive guide and self-help book. This book will also guide you to read and understand labels, have a balanced diet for a healthy body and choose ingredients that are super effective yet gentle on you and mother earth.
Bhagwandas Hostel at Banaras Hindu University can be mistaken as being like any other college hostel, but that would be a gross error. For, among the corridors of BD Hostel roam never-before-seen characters: Suraj the narrator, whose goal is to woo a girl, any girl; Anurag De, for whom cricket is life, literally, and Jaivardhan, whose melancholia gets him to answer every query with ghanta.
Follow the adventures of the three friends and others as they navigate undergraduate life in one of India’s most vibrant colleges, plan to steal exam papers, struggle to speak to women, find friends in corridors lined with dirty linen, and forge lifelong bonds amid bad mess food.
First published in Hindi in 2015, Banaras Talkies has remained on the bestseller list since then. A slice-of-life novel, it captures college life with all its twists and turns. Written with the idiomatic flourish that is the hallmark of Banarasi colloquialism by Satya Vyas, this comic novel is one of India’s great coming-of-age novels.
Writer Rebel Soldier Lover: The Many Lives of Agyeya
Writer, Rebel, Soldier, Lover features a formidable cast of characters: from writers like Premchand, Phanishwarnath Renu, Raja Rao, Mulk Raj Anand and Josephine Miles to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, revolutionary Chandra Shekhar Azad and actor Balraj Sahni. And its landscapes stretch from British jails, an intellectually robust Allahabad and modern-day Delhi to monasteries in Europe, the homes of Agyeya’s friends in the Himalayas and universities in the US. The book is a magnificent examination of Agyeya’s civilizational enterprise. Ambitious and scholarly, it is also an unputdownable, whirlwind of a read. (IANSlife)