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January 13, 2015

Slices of Life and Love…Book Reviews

Text by Huzan Tata

Epics, short tales, a story of inspiration and a love saga – Verve picks an array of titles and themes to add to your bookshelves this New Year

  • Redrawing India, Kovid Gupta And Shaheen Mistri, Random House India
  • The Emerging Feminine, Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy, Yatra Books
  • The Mahabharata Quest – The Alexander Secret, Christopher C. Doyle, Westland India
  • Unseasonal Rain, Anupa Mehta, Estrade Publishers

Redrawing India
Kovid Gupta and Shaheen Mistri
Random House India
The name Akanksha will ring a bell for everyone who has interacted with little kids clad in yellow and orange t-shirts with the foundation’s ‘sun’ logo on them (or those who’ve volunteered at the organisation for extra credits in college). Taking the educational NGO’s idea further, entrepreneur Shaheen Mistri founded Teach for India. This non-fiction book illustrates her journey, starting with how an encounter with Pinky, a child from the slums, changed her life forever. An engaging read, the story of Shaheen’s endevour is  interspersed with poems, stories and personal experiences by Teach for India alumni and students. Redrawing India inspires one to think about the greater cause of education, and what it can do for the children of our country and their future.

The Emerging Feminine
Rashna Imhasly-Gandhy
Yatra Books
Most people are familiar with the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, but this book delves deeper into the stories and analyses their characters. Whether it is Kunti’s motherly instincts, Karna’s greatness or Sita’s struggles ­­­­— psychology has an answer to everything. Through these mythological characters, the book explores femininity and its changes over time. For students, psychologists, or anyone who’d like to read a take on the psychology of Indian women, Imhasly-Gandhy’s non-fiction tome is a good choice.

The Mahabharata Quest – The Alexander Secret
Christopher C. Doyle
Westland India
Christopher Doyle’s latest novel unravels themes of mystery, historical fiction and mythology. Centred on Vijay — an Indian intelligence agent — and an archaeologist, Alice, the story travels through countries, timelines and centuries to present a tale of mystery, crime and action. Beginning with an incident that takes place in
316 BC involving Alexander the Great’s generals, the novel has everyone from the ancient Greek ruler to modern day Indian intelligence agencies trying to discover the Mahabharata secret. Using the epic as a base for the thriller, this page-turner will surely appeal to fans of mystery books.

Unseasonal Rain
Anupa Mehta
Estrade Publishers
“The things we ache to hear often remain unsaid.” Thoughts like this make Anupa Mehta’s collection of short stories a pleasant read. Containing nine stories, each of which brings out aspects of human feelings and behaviour, the book is good for a lazy Sunday – the language is simple, and one can devour the entire volume from cover to cover in a few hours. Pick this up for its engaging style, and to explore human emotions of love, loss, belonging, happiness and desire.

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