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March 09, 2017

3 Books To Read This Month

Text by Huzan Tata

Head from the noisy streets of Mumbai to the arresting vistas of Kashmir with our pick of reads

The Promise Of Beauty And Why It Matters
Shakti Maira
Harpercollins
‘Beauty’ or ‘beautiful’ are terms that are used so often, many are of the opinion that their real meaning is lost somewhere. In his second tome, artist-philosopher Maira delves into understanding the true essence of the word, and provokes readers to think about the growing ugliness of our world. Featuring in-depth interviews with 18 stalwarts from the fields of science, arts and social activism, the book provides an all-round view on the concept of beauty, and teaches readers how it’s the key to evaluating any kind of problem. Enjoy the author’s interactions with renowned thinkers, from Anjolie Ela Menon and Ashok Vajpeyi to Vandana Shiva and Ruth Padel. If nothing else, the book is sure to challenge your ideology on the subject, and will have you pondering the beauty of beauty, long after a read.

Zoon
Selina Sen
Tranquebar
The gorgeous backdrop of Kashmir, historical characters and a location fraught with strife — Zoon is Sen’s second novel, a fictional story set in the crown of India. Follow the lives of Joya, who’s part of a production team shooting a film that the book gets its name from, and historian Rashid as they battle their emotions, circumstances and fate. Peppered with poems by Habba Khatoon — on whom the fictitious movie is based — and a plot that involves tragedy, romance and drama, the book is a great pick for a lazy Sunday read.

Under The Sun — Business As Usual
Ayesha Taleyarkhan
Self-Published
‘Mumbai is a city, Bombay is an emotion’ is a phrase most people heading to the Maharashtrian capital must have heard at some point. Taleyarkhan, known for her offbeat photographs of the island city where she grew up, captures its vibrancy in her latest coffee-table book. Think cutting chai or dabelis, paan shops that dot every corner or roadside vendors selling bangles and baubles on footpaths, and myriad festivals that add to the energy of the place — the book treats you to glimpses of them all. With an essay by writer Chintan Girish Modi and quotes from poets, designers, and curators, Under The Sun brings you Mumbai at its best.

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