Publish With Us

Follow Penguin

Follow Penguinsters

Follow Hind Pocket Books

Listen up! Celebrate Women’s Day with these Must-Hear Audiobooks

Ever wondered what tales of resilience, courage, and empowerment lie within the lives of women worldwide? Dive into this handpicked selection of audiobooks, each offering a unique perspective and insight into the remarkable contributions of women from all walks of life. Let’s embark on a journey together to honor their strength and celebrate their stories this International Women’s Day!

 

Sita's Ascent Audiobook
Sita’s Ascent || Vayu Naidu

Sita has been sent to Valmiki’s ashram at Rama’s command never to return. This extraordinary novel is her story, she who as much as Rama, is at the heart of the Ramayana, one of the greatest living epics. It is also the story of Lakshmana, crushed by guilt on Sita’s abduction of Soorpanakka shocked at Ravana’s being struck by love, alien to the rakshasa’s code and of Rama’s turmoil when confronted by public gossip about Sita, his beloved wife. Through the remembrances of these and other characters, Sita comes alive as a figure of womanhood.

Inspired by myriad age old and culturally diverse retellings, Vayu Naidu creates a rich, deeply moving and original work of fiction. Sita’s ascent illuminates the physical and emotive landscape of a woman in exile, who crosses the desert of loss and ascends the abyss of abandonment with the power of love that transforms the narrators and the listeners.

 

The Force Behind the Forces
The Force Behind the Forces || Swapnil Pandey

Who continues to pay the costs of war long after our soldiers are gone?

There are many stories of courageous heroes at the borders, but how much do we know about the women standing strong behind them?

The Force behind the Forces is a collection of seven true stories of eternal love, courage and sacrifice. Written by an army wife, Swapnil Pandey, this book brings to light moving stories of unimaginable valour in the face of broken dreams, lost hopes and shattered families. It proves that bullets and bombs can only pierce the bodies of our soldiers, for their stories will live on in the hearts of these brave women forever, women who have dedicated their lives to the nation, without even a uniform to call their own.

 

Common Yet Uncommon
Common Yet Uncommon || Sudha Murty

Meet these people: Bundle Bindu, so named because he likes his truth with a little embellishment, Jayant the shopkeeper who doesn’t make any profit, and Lunchbox Nalini, Sudha Murty herself, who brings her empty lunchbox—to be filled with food—wherever she goes!

Written in Sudha Murty’s inimitable style, Common Yet Uncommon is a heartwarming picture of everyday life and the foibles and quirks of ordinary people. In the fourteen tales that make up the collection, Sudha Murty delves into memories of childhood, life in her hometown and the people she’s crossed paths with. These and the other characters who populate this book do not possess wealth or fame. They are unpolished and outspoken, transparent and magnanimous.

Their stories are tales of unvarnished humans, with faults and big hearts.

Testament to the unique parlance of a small town, Common Yet Uncommon speaks a universal language of what it means to be human.

 

Tomb of Sand
Tomb of Sand || Geetanjali Shree

In northern India, an eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband, and then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention–including striking up a friendship with a transgender person–confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two.

To her family’s consternation, Ma insists on travelling to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

Rather than respond to tragedy with seriousness, Geetanjali Shree’s playful tone and exuberant wordplay results in a book that is engaging, funny, and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders.

 

The Kargil Girl
The Kargil Girl || Flt Lt Gunjan Saxena, Kiran Nirvan

In 1994, twenty-year-old Gunjan Saxena boards a train to Mysore to appear for the selection process of the fourth Short Service Commission (for women) pilot course. Seventy-four weeks of back-breaking training later, she passes out of the Air Force Academy in Dundigal as Pilot Officer Gunjan Saxena.

On 3 May 1999, local shepherds report a Pakistani intrusion in Kargil. By mid-May, thousands of Indian troops are engaged in fierce mountain warfare with the aim to flush out the intruders. The Indian Air Force launches Operation Safed Sagar, with all its pilots at its disposal. While female pilots are yet to be employed in a war zone, they are called in for medical evacuation, dropping of supplies and reconnaissance.

This is the time for Saxena to prove her mettle. From airdropping vital supplies to Indian troops in the Dras and Batalik regions and casualty evacuation from the midst of the ongoing battle, to meticulously informing her seniors of enemy positions and even narrowly escaping a Pakistani rocket missile during one of her sorties, Saxena fearlessly discharges her duties, earning herself the moniker ‘The Kargil Girl’. This is her inspiring story, in her words.

 

Happy International Women’s Day!

The Best March Reads Mini Bookworms!

March brings exciting new books for kids! Get ready for fun adventures and sweet stories that will spark imaginations and smiles.

I Won't Wash My Hair
I Won’t Wash My Hair || Arti Sonthalia

In Divya’s hair, you will find pencils, peanuts and paintbrushes! All because Divya refuses to wash her hair. But how long can she go on like this?

 

How to Win an Election
How to Win an Election || Menaka Raman

The middle school elections are coming up and everyone is in a frenzy of making posters, promises and predictions.

When Sachin is disqualified from contesting the elections, he sets out to help his best friend Mini win. But their path to victory is littered with runaway lizards, incriminating bathroom graffiti, hacked videos and dangerous baked goods.

Which candidate fears Mini so much that they will descend to such villainy? Mini and Sachin must find out—or be disgraced forever.

 

Mehar's World of Colours
Mehar’s World of Colours || Arti Sonthalia

Mehar loves books, art and colours and wants to make her own comic book one day with her best friend Ananya. But her mom wants her to swim like her big sister Saanvi and win competitions and medals.

When her school offers an after-school activity class to learn comic-making, Mehar is super excited and wants to sign up for it. But will her mom approve of anything that will make her miss swimming practice?

Dive into Mehar’s colourful world as she works hard to make her dreams come true!

Spring Clean Your TBR with these March Books!

March is here, bringing with it a burst of new books that reflect the changing season. From stories of overcoming challenges to thrilling adventures and heartfelt romances, there’s something for everyone as we embrace the start of spring. Join us in exploring these fresh reads and diving into the spirit of renewal this month!

 

 

CLASH
Clash: Amazon vs Walmart | Nirmalya Kumar

Amazon and Walmart, with more than half a trillion in revenues annually, are the two largest companies in the world. They have not only redefined the retail industry—Walmart in the 1980s/1990s and Amazon since 2000—but have also been the benchmark for business best practices (e.g., the use of IT, supply chain, data analytics, customer orientation). This year, it is anticipated that Amazon will dethrone Walmart as the world’s largest company, a position that Walmart has occupied for more than two decades.

By examining these two companies and their business models in depth, Professor Nirmalya Kumar elucidates on the more general phenomenon of incumbents competing with disruptors (e.g., Volkswagen vs Tesla, Marriott vs Airbnb) as well as the move to omnichannel retail where physical stores must coexist with online retailers.

 

Crypto the Disruptor
Crypto the Disruptor || Mukesh Jindal

Crypto the Disruptor answers these and other such penetrating questions as it traces the history of money and the global economy. Providing a deep historical perspective, the author, through stories, captures the journey of the world’s financial system from the stone-age to the present. It analyses the movement of the world economic system from a centralized entity to a decentralized one and emphasizes the role of technology in the transformation of the global financial system. More importantly, this book explores the emergence of new forms of money such as cryptocurrencies and their relevance in a new world driven by digital technology. The final chapter educates readers about crypto investing in India and how investors should approach this new asset class, which is volatile yet offers great potential to create stupendous wealth.

 

Mine Your Language
Mine Your Language || Abhishek Borah

In Mine Your LanguageAbhishek Borah meticulously and marvellously showcases the influence of language on business. Through examples ranging from Toyota to Tesla and Metallica to Mahatma Gandhi, you will read about how to improvise on social media, how changing the use of simple pronouns like ‘we’ and ‘you’ can affect a firm’s bottom line, how to spot a fake review online and much more.

So whether you are just inquisitive about the role of language in affecting consumer and company behaviour or a student wondering about the utility of language analysis in understanding them, Mine Your Language will teach you to use language to influence, engage and predict!

 

Mrityunjay
Mrityunjay || Parakh Om Bhatt, Raj Javiya

PRESENT DAY, BHARAT
Renowned archaeologist Sudhir Arya dies mysteriously the night before Diwali. His grandson, Vivaan, comes to his hometown to perform the last rites. Here, he gets a phone call that sets him off on a puzzling journey as he discovers thousand-year-old secrets and shocking facts about his identity.
1026 CE, PRABHAS KSHETRA
Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi has attacked the first jyotirlinga of Lord Mahadev: Somnath. Did he seek the temple’s treasures? Or was he looking for a Puranic heirloom of Sanatan Dharma, the mystery of which has been buried under layers of time?
470 CE, ARAB LAND
Yogi Matsyendranath awakens the kundalini energy of his army through the ritual of Aatma Jaagran as it takes on terrifying, evil entities tasked with protecting the greatest mystery of the Kaliyuga.
SATYUGA, ARYAVARTA
Through yagnas, bloody sacrifices and mantras prohibited in the Vedas, Devi Anishtatri, the goddess of malevolence, is invoked. She appears in her most ferocious form and grants a boon so potent it could change the fate of the universe.

What is the link between Aryavarta, Arab Land and Prabhas Kshetra?
What is the vicious boon that threatens to change the fate of the cosmos?
The ultimate battle of Kaliyuga is about to begin . . .

 

Ebrahim Alkazi
Ebrahim Alkazi || Amal Allana

Amal Allana’s compelling biography of her father is the first carefully researched, full-length account of the life, work and times of Ebrahim Alkazi, one of the giants of twentieth-century theatre and a key promoter of the visual arts movement in India. Evoking the excitement of Alkazi’s student years in England, the controversies that surrounded his provocative ideas to transform the theatre movement in Bombay and later in Delhi, as the director of the National School of Drama (NSD), this book charts Alkazi’s meteoric rise to the top, with his modernist staging of plays and his aim of putting Hindi theatre on the map.

 

How Not To Be A Superwoman
How Not To Be A Superwoman || Nilanjana Bhowmick

In How Not to Be a Superwoman, Nilanjana Bhowmick explores the immense pressure women face to excel in every roleas mothers, career women, partners and friendsand the toll this pursuit takes on their mental health and happiness. Her compelling work unveils the raw, real stories of diverse women who have broken free from the relentless cycle of perfectionism, and offers insightful, practical advice on achieving balance and joy that comes from embracing one’s true self. Through a feminist lens, she confronts and rejects society’s unrealistic expectations while advocating for a life of fulfilment, self-compassion and genuine empowerment. This is a must-read for women seeking to liberate themselves from the exhausting superwoman ideal and embrace a more self-loving, balanced way of living.

 

India's Forgotten Country
India’s Forgotten Country || Bela Bhatia

Over the course of more than three decades, Bela Bhatia’s work and concerns have brought her face-to-face with the harsh nature of people’s lives in India’s ‘forgotten country’—the hamlets, villages and slums—and the oppressive forces that rule and ruin the lives of Dalits, Adivasis, bonded labourers, women and other downtrodden groups. She has also witnessed how their everyday lives are pockmarked with violence and the brutality—often organized—they face when they resist.
India’s Forgotten Country captures Bela’s early years as an activist in rural Gujarat, her research on the Naxalite movement, her investigations of violations of democratic rights in different regions, and her recent years dealing with the ongoing conflict between the state and Maoists in Bastar. The essays build on first-hand investigations conducted in states ranging from Bihar and Telangana to Rajasthan and Nagaland, besides Kashmir. People such as Deepa Musahar, Kaliben, Muchaki Sukadi, Zarifa Begum, Tareptsuba and others have ample space in this book to speak for themselves.

 

Like Being Alive Twice
Like Being Alive Twice || Dharini Bhaskar

In an unnamed nation that’s about to rupture, Priyamvada (Poppy), a Hindu and Tariq, a Muslim are in love. In a few hours, Tariq intends to propose; Poppy intends to say yes. Both assume that they’ll fend off political blowback. For, surely, their privilege will protect them.

But will it? Will Poppy and Tariq sustain a love so wholesome, so cossetted, that it remains impervious to a dystopian state? Or will the two be rent apart by chance and circumstance? What will their lives look like as they plunge into a brave new future, together or apart?

Written in alternating chapters, Like Being Alive Twice trails fact and possibility—the tale as-it-was and the tale as-it-could-have-been-if-only—arranging and rearranging, tweaking and nudging; hoping to find a lasting peace in one or the other story; hoping, above all else, that such peace will prevail over murderous times.

Politically urgent, stylistically intrepid, and relentless in its commitment to scrutinizing love, loss and the language of privilege, Like Being Alive Twice tells of the frantic pursuit of life piled upon life, even as a bloodied world closes in.

 

Manoj Bajpayee
Manoj Bajpayee || Piyush Pandey

Manoj Bajpayee is a rarity; he’s one of a small cohort of theatre actors who have gone on from humble beginnings to achieve big heights in Hindi cinema. Bajpayee, famous for iconic movies like Satya and the beloved TV show Family Man, is known not only for his skills but also as a master of his craft. His fans adore him for his selection of always interesting projects that compel them to see a side of the world unfamiliar to them.

This biography is the story of Manoj Bajpayee’s commitment and devout passion for acting. It reveals many hitherto unknown aspects of his life to his readers—how his father also had a flair for acting and auditioned at the Pune Film Institute; how his ancestors came to Champaran, Bihar, from Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh; and how he spent his early childhood in the village where Mahatma Gandhi had visited during the Champaran Satyagraha.

Written by Piyush Pandey, who has worked in close coordination with Manoj Bajpayee for more than a decade, this book gives a rare insight into the life of one of India’s best contemporary actors.

 

Negotiate or Stagnate
Negotiate or Stagnate || Prakash Chugani

This book, written by an internationally renowned negotiation expert, is about the art of negotiation. It deals with the use of negotiation not only in business but also in our day-to-day life: how to negotiate a better salary; how to negotiate a promotion; how to negotiate a job; how to negotiate with your parnets, colleagues and friends, among other.

 

The Autobiography of God
The Autobiography of God || Lenaa Kumar

As this journey of self-discovery spanning eighteen years unfolds, Lenaa keeps a promise she made to herself during her darkest hours: ‘If I can stay off psychiatric medication for two years, I will write a book for fellow sufferers of anxiety, depression and the rigid psychiatric system.’ Now, five years later, the clarity has distilled down to five questions, one answer and a system of instant self-realization.

What am I? Who am I? Where am I? When am I? Why am I?

Can you answer these questions to your own satisfaction? If the answer is not a definite ‘Yes’, dive right into The Autobiography of God.

 

The Idea of Democracy
The Idea of Democracy || Sam Pitora

While electoral democracy continues to be the most prevalent form of government, a series of indicators measuring political and civic freedom reveal that the institution of democracy is in deep distress. With the liberal foundations of democracy shakier than ever before, confidence in institutions has plummeted. The Idea of Democracy looks at this paradox of so-called democratic success coupled with its liberal decline. It provides a detailed analysis of the essence of democracy, its workings, the kind of values it needs to encapsulate, forces and safeguards which work in liberal democracy’s favour and how they can be preserved.

 

The Rumbling Earth
The Rumbling Earth || C.P. Rajendran, Kusala Rajendran

The renowned seismologists C.P. Rajendran and Kusala Rajendran offer a riveting story of the Indian earthquakes, their science, history and impact. Like all other natural phenomena, earthquakes are part of life-sustaining forces—the creators of the mountains, valleys and springs or even deserts on Earth—a theatre where the show never ends.

 

Sati Savitri
Sati Savitri || Devdutt Pattanaik

Manu said that a woman’s dharma is to be mother, daughter, sister and wife in service of men, regardless of the caste. In modern times we call this patriarchy. In the Veda, the need to control and favour hierarchy, is an expression of an anxious mind.

Hindu, Buddhist and Jain lore is full of tales where women do not let men define their dharma. In modern times we call this feminism. In the Veda, the acceptance of a woman’s choice is an expression of a wise and secure mind.

While in Western myth, patriarchy is traditional and feminism is progressive, in Indian myth both patriarchy and feminism have always co-existed, in eternal tension, through endless cycles of rebirth. Liberation thus is not a foreign idea. It has always been here.

You have heard tales of patriarchy. This book tells you the other tales—the ones they don’t tell you.

The Internet’s Effect on Deep Thinking: Insights from iParent

Parenting in today’s digital age is undeniably challenging. With technology, the internet, and social media dominating our lives, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of notifications and updates. So how do we guide our children through the digital world’s maze without a map? Neha J Hiranandani‘s iParent is a friendly companion for parents navigating the complexities of raising kids in a digital age. Packed with practical advice and a dash of humor, it’s the go-to resource for fostering cyber-savvy kids without the stress.

Read this exclusive excerpt to know more!

iParent
iParent || Neha J Hiranandani

***

I remember reading about the Flynn effect in college. Buried neck-deep in books and classes, it was heartening to read that improved access to nutrition and better schools had made humans smarter in the twentieth century. Perfect grades seemed more achievable—after all, we had all become collectively smarter! That buoyancy, however, lasted just a few short decades. As things stand, the world is experiencing a reversal of the Flynn effect, and global IQ scores have dropped precipitously by six points. The truth is, we’re all turning a bit doltish. As one expert puts it, ‘People are getting dumber. That’s not a judgment; it’s a global fact.’

 

Most of us experience this doltishness every day. It’s getting harder to remember the names of colleagues, words stay permanently suspended on the tips of our tongues, and really, who can remember anyone’s birthday anymore? The Internet has fundamentally altered the way we process information, and as a result, we’re all struggling to focus. Every time we go online, our brains get subtly rewired. And since we are online so much, our brains are constantly adapting to accommodate the Internet’s deluge of small, shallow fragments of information.

 

Nicholas Carr, one of the most influential thinkers of our times, Is the author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, which went on to become a Pulitzer Prize finalist. ‘I’m not thinking the way I used to think,’ says Carr. The Internet, he says, ‘is chipping away [the] capacity for concentration and contemplation.’ Online activity, especially when we’re restlessly ping ponging from one activity to another makes us lose focus. Jumping from text to email, opening one tab and then quickly clicking on another, switching frantically back and forth between news and notifications—all of this destroys the calm brain and creates a new kind of mind, one that becomes comfortable processing information in quick, fragmented bursts. The faster, the better.

 

As Carr’s book title implies, over time our brains lose the ability to go deep. We start living in the shallows. ‘Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now, I zip along the surface like a guy on a jetski,’ he says. Admittedly, living life on a jetski sounds like great fun but you are likely to encounter a few problems. With all that wind in your hair, salt in your eyes and the world whizzing by, it’s difficult to make thoughtful decisions. It’s tough to stop and deeply appreciate beauty on a jetski or to meaningfully engage with an intractable problem. Given that our circuitry is so malleable, the more we stay online, the more we train our brains to be distracted. We can rapidly process snippets of information, but sustained attention becomes massively challenging. The longer we are on the jetski, the more challenging it is to get off it.

 

It’s not just Carr; scores of experts agree that the human brain simply wasn’t built for the endless game of ping-pong tantalizingly offered by our phones. The consequences seem especially disturbing for iGen which is growing up with easy and immediate access to information which ultimately has an effect on how the kids function, both emotionally and otherwise. Experts suggest that this generation will have ‘a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience and a lack of deep-thinking ability.’ Screenagers’ are not the only ones affected. Nine and ten-year-olds indulging in over two hours of screen time per day scored lower on thinking and language tests. Some kids saw a premature thinning of the cerebral cortex as they spent time on screens—their grey matter was disappearing.

 

Disappearing grey matter or not, it’s hard to stop! Regardless of which generation we belong to, none of us can stop pinging. Every notification, every distraction is a little dopamine nugget in disguise and it’s challenging to focus on something when you’re used to getting a reward hit every few seconds. Drunk on dopamine, we start liking the distractions. We seek them out. The more we seek them, the more we click and the more we click— bullseye!—the more accurately the algorithm can place irresistible links directly in our fields of vision. Think about the last time that you went to a shopping mall. You likely had a salesperson come up and ask you to try a product. It’s usually not a big deal because you’re likely to only encounter a couple of pushy salespeople per mall visit. But when you’re online, the push and pulls come at you from all directions!

 

‘Have you tried this new recipe?’ Potatoes, green onions and a touch of mustard.’

‘Are you looking to lose ten kilos in twenty days?’

‘Have you checked out the season’s hottest filter?’

‘Become a millionaire overnight. Join our mailing list for just Rs 199’

‘Join our community to always feel happy.’

‘Free shipping on this summer’s hottest perfume that will make you smell like Italian lemons.’

‘Are you bored? Lonely? Depressed?’ Here are fourteen essential oils that you need right now.’

‘Looking for love? There’s a big surprise waiting for you.’

‘Get discounted Diwali hampers when you order in March.’

 

The sales push doesn’t end because whether it’s essential oils or real estate, the algorithm knows what we want better than anyone else. So, we click on these irresistible links, breaking our attention, disrupting our concentration and creating an avalanche of lost focus, which in turn, overtaxes our brains. And wouldn’t you know it, an overtaxed brain finds distractions more distracting, and there it is: a self-perpetuating dependence loop. We click and lose focus, which makes us want to click all the more. Clickety-click we go all day, tappity tap we go all night, leaking data and losing focus all the while.

***

Get your copy of iParent by Neha J Hiranandani wherever books are sold.

The Best of Gulzar: Winner of the 2023 Jnanpith Award

Join us in honoring the literary brilliance of Gulzar Sahab, the esteemed recipient of the prestigious 2023 Jnanpith Award. As we pay tribute to his remarkable achievement, immerse yourself in this curated collection of Gulzar’s books, each page a testament to his unparalleled mastery of storytelling, poetry, and the human experience.

 

Triveni
Triveni | Gulzar

In Triveni are birds perched on branches, moonstruck musings, a house of straws, walking roses and unbridled desires of the heart. The poems are inhabited by lost lovers, unreturned books and bloodsucking rumours. A poetic form unique to Gulzar, Triveni is a confluence of three of India’s majestic rivers—the golden-hued Ganges, the deep green Yamuna and a third, the mythical one that lies beneath the former two, the Saraswati.
A form Gulzar began experimenting with in the 1960s, Triveni comes close to several classical Japanese forms of poetry such as the Haiku, Senryu and Tanka. The closest Indian forms to Triveni are the doha and shayari. In this stunning translation by Neha R. Krishna, Triveni have been transcreated as tanka and are ladled with musicality, breaking away from the charm of rhyme and metre. This collection, too, is a confluence or sangam of forms and nothing short of a gift from one of India’s most beloved poets.

 

Actually...I Met Them
Actually…I Met Them || Gulzar

From Bimal Roy to Satyajit Ray, R.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar, Ritwik Ghatak, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Mahasweta Devi and Samaresh Basu, among others, in this fascinating book, Gulzar Saab goes down memory lane to bring to light his relationship with the doyens of cinema, music and literature, who he had known and worked with over a long period of time. In his words, ‘It seems like a dream when I revisit my memories of such great gurus and colleagues, and I feel overwhelmed that I have really interacted with them. I have to pinch myself on realizing that actually . . . I met them.’

 

Love in the Sky
Love in the Sky || Gulzar

The colours on your two wings are not the same . . . one’s a brilliant yellow and the other is just the shade of ripe jamun berries I so love! May I call you Jamuni? You are so pretty!’ And every time she would flutter her wings and fly away in one smooth move.’

Ghuggu is a crow, and Jamuni the one he loves – a love of of bright yellow and purple, who comes out every afternoon to fly in the sky, silent and lovely. Ghuggu falls in love with her, not knowing why she will never speak back to him, not knowing why she will never fly to him. He sees one day that she is tied to her owner with a thread, a sharp thread that can cut, and he mourns for her freedom. One day, a storm brews, and when the Jamuni comes out, the crow runs to her to protect her – but can he protect himself? Gulzar perfectly captures the sweetness of love in this charming, delightfully silly story of love.

 

Bhushan Banmali
Bhushan Banmali || Gulzar

Gulzar reminisces about an old school poet – an eccentric man named Bhushan Banmali. Bhushan had a wife and a mother but at heart he was a nomad, and one day when their tug-of-war over him got too much, he packed his bags and moved in with Gulzar himself! Suddenly Gulzar found himself at parties full of rum and fried fish and kebabs, overflowing with poetry from dawn to dusk. One day Gulzar and Bhushan pack their bags to go to the mountains, and freezing and tired, they manage to find a spark of generosity to keep their cold nights hilariously warm. Taken from Gulzar’s life, these stories will enthrall any fan with a universally heartwarming touch.

 

The Stench
The Stench || Gulzar

The Stench paints a poignant portrait of Mumbai’s characteristic slums in the masterful prose of Gulzar. Delicately woven stories all come together – from the bitter-gourd vine separating two shanty huts, to the camaraderie of men who’d gather together on charpoys outside their homes in the evening light. Life in the slum was hard and grim, but it was theirs. But one morning, the shanty towns are razed and the people are given neat, sterile rooms to be packed in away from sight. Where will the precious goats and chickens grow on the third floor? The concrete gathers no moss, but no green blooms within these four unyielding walls. The question remains – is a life you don’t know a life you will ever want? Gulzar draws the loneliness and chaos of the urban life with astute brilliance in this beautifully detailed insight into Mumbai slums.

 

The Rain
The Rain || Gulzar

‘The rain was unrelenting. It had poured night and day, for five days in a row. And Damoo had been drinking relentlessly, day and night, all through those five days, competing with the downpour. Neither would the rain let up nor would Damoo let go. The steadfast rain and stubborn Damoo. Drunk, both.’

Gulzar writes a wrenching account of the Mumbai Floods – rains that laid waste to a city already bursting at the seams. He draws out the small hopes on which the people live and how easily they can flow away. How long can alcohol hold the rain at bay? A deeply moving, unsettling story on what it takes to stay alive.

 

Border
Border || Gulzar

‘In the village below, there are a lot of men whose houses are on this side but their farms on the other,’ Majeed began to stutter in answer. ‘There are men in a similar situation in villages on the other side too whose houses and farms are thus divided. Families and relations too. So . . .’

Gulzar writes with poignant power on the horrors of Partition, exploring the lives of those who have lived on the border made heartbreakingly complex with a sudden, arbitrary line whose scar spans generations. Major Kulwant has grown up in the valley, and he now returns as a soldier to guard it. What happens when he finds out that his old childhood friend is an enemy across the line? A touching story on how friendship and hope blooms in defiance of nationalism brought to life with the joys of a childhood in Punjab.

 

100 Lyrics
100 Lyrics || Gulzar

From ‘Mora gora ang lai le’, his first film lyric written for Bimal Roy’s Bandini in 1963, to the Oscar-winning ‘Jai ho’ from Slumdog Millionaire, Gulzar has brought a rare poetic sensibility to popular Hindi film music over a five-decade-long career. His sophisticated insights into psychological complexities, his ability to capture the essence of nature’s sounds and spoken dialects in written words, and above all his inimitable-and often surprising-imagery have entertained his legions of fans over successive generations. It represents Gulzar’s most memorable compositions of all time, and feature anecdotes about the composition of the lyrics as well as sketches by Gulzar.

 

Another 100 Lyrics
Another 100 Lyrics || Gulzar

After the great success of 100 Lyrics, this new volume contains a hundred more of Gulzar’s marvellous compositions.
Gulzar has brought a rare poetic sensibility to popular Hindi film music over a five-decade-long career, and this collection showcases some of his best work, from early lyrics like ‘Ganga aaye kahan se‘ (Kabuliwala, 1961) and ‘Koi hota jisko apna‘ (Mere Apne) to classics such as ‘Tere bina jiya jaye na‘ (Ghar), ‘Do naina aur ek kahani‘ (Masoom) and ‘Roz roz ankhon taley‘ (Jeeva) and later blockbusters like ‘Goli maar bheje mein‘ (Satya), ‘Beedi jalai le‘ (Omkara), ‘Dhan te nan‘ (Kaminey), ‘Dil toh bachcha hai ji‘ (Ishqiya), ‘Challa‘ (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) and ‘Bismil‘ (Haider). In addition, Another 100 Lyrics contains some brilliant poems from non-film albums like Dil Padosi HaiMarasimIshqa Ishqa and Koi Baat Chale.
Complete with anecdotes about the compositions of some of these lyrics and photographs from Gulzar’s personal collection, Another 100 Lyrics is a true collector’s item.

 

Green Poems
Green Poems || Gulzar, Translated by Pavan K.Varma

‘On the branches of these wild plants
Some words occasionally sprout
But never a full poem . . .’
One of the country’s best-loved poets and lyricists, Gulzar is renowned for his inimitable way of seeing things, his witty expressions, his quirky turns of phrase. All these creative talents come into play in delightful, unexpected ways in his new bilingual collection Green Poems, which celebrates his innate connection with nature.
Gulzar writes about rivers, forests, mountains; snow, rain, clouds; the sky, the earth and space; a familiar tree, a disused well; Kullu, Manali, Chamba, Thimpu. Like glimpses of nature, the poems are often short, an image captured in a few words. And sometimes the image gives rise to a striking thought: ‘When I pass through the forest I feel my ancestors are around me . . .’
For those new to Gulzar’s work as well as his many fans, Green Poems will prove to be a true joy.

 

Half a Rupee
Half a Rupee || Gulzar

A fascinating short story from the inimitable Gulzar
Gulzar is one of India’s most renowned poets and lyricists. This e-single sees him turning his hand to another creative form at which he is equally adept – short-form prose narrative.
This story is taken from Gulzar’s new collection Half a Rupee: Stories, which comprises twenty-five gripping tales available in English for the very first time. From real-life stories about well-known personalities to tales set in Kashmir, in the hinterland, in the modern megalopolis and on the LoC, from anecdotes of love and betrayal to fables of courage and conviction, these are enthralling stories told in Gulzar’s unique style; each story will delight you.

 

Neglected Poems
Neglected Poems || Gulzar

Gulzar is regarded as one of India’s foremost Urdu poets today, renowned for his unusual perspectives on life, his keen understanding of the complexities of human relationships, and his striking imagery. After Selected Poems, a collection of some of his best poetry translated by Pavan K. Varma was extremely well received, Gulzar has chosen to present his next sixty poems in an inimitable way: labelling them Neglected Poems.
‘Neglected’ only in name, these poems represent Gulzar at his creative and imaginative best, as he meditates on nature (the mountains, the monsoon, a sparrow), delves into human psychology (when a relationship ends one is amazed to notice that ‘everything goes on exactly as it used to’), explores great cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and New York (‘In your town, my friend, how is it that there are no homes for ants?’), and confronts the most telling moments of everyday life.

Fool Me Twice: A Birthday Surprise Like No Other but Was it Worth the Risk?

Ever wondered what happens when teenage romance collides with life’s unexpected curveballs? In Fool Me Twice by Nona Uppal, the answer unfolds amidst the bustling streets of New Delhi. Brace yourself for a whirlwind of emotions as we delve into Sana’s journey of love, loss, and the resilience that follows.

Read this exclusive excerpt to know more!

Fool Me Twice
Fool Me Twice || Nona Uppal

***

‘Ashish, can you cut it out, please? You’re going to get us arrested.’ Bani had been game for Ashish’s plan in theory, which meant she, half-drunk on a pint of beer, had nodded furiously when he had explained it. Now that they were mid-execution, it seemed at least slightly criminal.

‘I’m too young and pretty to go to jail.’ Ashish turned around to glare at Bani.

‘I’ve got this,’ he hissed back.

‘Bhaiya, in sabka kitna (How much for these)?’ Ashish asked the man handling the roadside bird shop, pointing to all the birds on display. ‘And the ones at the
back too.’

The shop, called ‘Flying Dreemz’—a five-minute walk from our school, Horizon High International, in Hauz Khas—adorned the streets with the pastel hues of pink, blue and green cages that could only do so much to hide the sad faces of the birds trapped in them. The shopkeeper was understandably suspicious. Was he being recorded for a prank on TV?

 

‘Sab? Fifty ke fifty? Pakka?’ he confirmed. The deal was one of those too-good-to-be-true kinds.

‘Haan, pakka. All birds, no discount. Kitna?’

Ashish had no way to determine if the price the shopkeeper quoted was a steal or a loot. When his father had handed him the stack of notes, he’d been ultra-generous. ‘Make sure you get her something nice,’ he had said, patting Ashish on the back.

Handing the shopkeeper the money warily, Ashish wondered if this was going to be a disaster.

‘Badiya sir,’ the shopkeeper said, comically bobbing his head as he retrieved the notes from Ashish.

Having successfully completed the transaction, Ashish looked at Bani with his ‘Are you game?’ eyes.

‘This could either be epic or an epic blunder,’ she blurted out, her hands fixed on her phone camera, with Ashish positioned in the centre of the shaky frame.
‘Lekar kaise jaayenge aap inhe (How will you take these)?’ The guy asked Ashish, eyeing his i10. ‘Truckwruck ka kuch arrangement?’
But carrying the birds home was not what Ashish had in mind.

One by one, he unlocked the cages that weren’t really locked in the first place. Having been born and bred in captivity, it took a few seconds for the birds to
realize what an open cage meant. Only when one of them dared to flap its wings and fly into the blue sky did the others realize they could do it too.

 

‘Yeh kya kar rahe hain aap?’ the shopkeeper shrieked, finally looking up from counting his earnings.

‘Saala paagal!’ he scrambled to lock the leftover cages, yelling profanities at Ashish and Bani, but it was too late. The last bird had already flown away.

 

Ashish hadn’t gone mad, though. Far from it. Every day for the past two years, Ashish, Bani and I had walked out of our school’s main gate soon after the final school bell for a quick ice cream before heading back home. Our trusted Kwality Walls cart was usually parked right next to this bird shop, the ownership of which had been passed down to many different men over the years. Despite looking forward to my Cola bar all day, my skin burning from the sweltering heat, one look at the birds would make me lose all my appetite. I admit that it was mostly silly. But I couldn’t drown it out. All those pretty birds locked away in pastel-coloured cages, waiting for someone to set them free. Instead, they were bought by rich people and carried in cars to jazz up their maximalist homes.

 

It was one of those things I thought no one was noticing, a two-second glitch on my face that the most attentive of eyes could miss. Here’s where I got it wrong—Ashish was always looking. So, for my eighteenth birthday, when his consistent pleading for me to tell him what he could gift me failed, he rejigged his strategy. What could he do that would mean more than buying me a pair of shoes I would ditch for my Bata chappals or a bag to fill with stuff I would much rather carry in my hands?

 

After capturing the rainbow colours in the sky as the birds flew away, Bani panned the camera towards Ashish’s face. ‘Look here,’ Bani signalled.
Ashish faced the camera. ‘I don’t know if this is stupid,’ he said. ‘Umm, it probably is. But, fuck it. It fits because I’m stupidly in love with you. Happy birthday, Sana.’

 

Bani turned the camera around to record herself.
‘If you think it’s stupid, it was all his idea,’ she said, laughing. ‘But I love you too, munchkin.’

 

The end was a lot choppier than the rest—the camera being stuffed, while still on, in Bani’s bag, as they escaped in Ashish’s i10 that drove like it was always in second gear. I saw the video and heard the entire story a week later, on the night of my birthday, as Ashish and Bani sat next to me and played it on Bani’s laptop. Scrunching up the fabric of my loose t-shirt to wipe the fat tears trickling down my cheeks, I broke out laughing as the end scenes rolled. This kind of luck and love, I realized, might just be illegal to possess.

 

***

Curios to know what happened next?
Get your copy of Fool Me Twice by Nona Uppal wherever books are sold.

Babur’s Secret Weapon: Not Swords, But… Stones?

Embark on a journey through the tumultuous life of Babur, the visionary founder of the Timurid Empire in Hindustan, with Aabhas Maldahiyar‘s latest book, Babur: The Chessboard King. From his early struggles to his relentless pursuit of power, this highly researched biography paints a poignant picture of a multifaceted ruler known as ‘the chessboard king.’

Ready to unravel history?

Babur
Babur || Aabhas Maldahiyar

***

On 8 July of ad 1499, commissaries were sent galloping off at once—a few to call the troops of horse riders and on foot in the nearby districts, and others to urge Qambar Ali to return, and the important ones who were away at home. The available warriors were told to arrange their weapons—shovels, axes and the best of war materials in the store. The horse riders and foot soldiers from the nearby districts made their way to Andijān. As they reached, those already in the district
and those who barged in were gathered. On 25 August of that year, Babur, relying on Allah, went to Hafiz Beg’s Charbagh and stayed there for four days to ensure perfect equipment arrangements for the battle ahead. Once that was done, an array of right, left and centre was formed which included the van, horse and foot. On 30 August, the army led by Babur began to march for Osh. He was determined to get Tambal. As the news of Babur approaching with such a might
reached Tambal, he rode towards Rabat-i-Sarhang, a sub-district in the north. That very night, Babur along with his troop dismounted in Lat-kint. The next day, when they were passing through Osh, news came that Tambal had gone to Andijān. Babur decided to march on for Auzkint. The men of Tambal reached in Andijān but the moats prevented their ladders from entering the fort from working. Babur’s raiders on the other hand retired after having overrun the area around Auzkint laying their hands on anything worth their trouble.

 

Tambal had stationed his younger brother, Khalil in Madu, with around 300 men. Madu was one of the forts of Osh, renowned for its strength. Babur and his men decided to turn to Khalil and see this strongest of the forts. The northern face of the Madu fort stood very high above the bed of a torrent. The arrows shot from this bed could barely reach the ramparts. On this very side was a water-thief, crafted like a lane with ramparts on both sides that ran from the fort to the water. On the other side, was the rising ground with its circumference surrounded by a big ditch. The torrent had helped those occupying the fort in carrying stones the size of mortars. As per Babur’s knowledge, no fort of such class was ever defended with stones of such large size as those taken into Madu. A large stone was dropped on Kitta Beg’s elder brother, Abdul Qasim Kohbur as he went under the ramparts. He came down rolling, without once getting to his feet, from that great height down to the foot of the glacis. And then a stone flung from a double waterway hit Yar Ali Balal in his head leaving it trepanned. The wrath of falling stones spelled disaster for Babur’s men. Many of them perished. However, Babur’s men made a great comeback by facing the showering stones. The assault began with the next dawn, and they kept fighting till the evening. They had lost the water-thief and hence could not continue the fight the next morning. They came out and sought to agree on the terms. Babur took around four scores of Khalil’s men and sent them to Andijān for safekeeping as some of his begs and household were prisoners in their hands. The Madu affair turned out very well for Babur.

 

After having finished this campaign successfully, Babur and his men went to Unju Tupa, a village in Osh, and dismounted there. On the other hand, unsuccessful Tambal retired from Andijān and went to sub-district Rabat-i-Sarhang. He dismounted in the village called Ab-i-Khān. Now, Babur and Tambal were merely five miles away from each other. But despite such proximity, there was no war or battle for around six weeks. But peace is not eternal.
The foragers on both sides were at play with each passing day. While the people of Tambal could see Babur’s camp, ditches were dug all around as a sign of precaution. Babur also made his soldiers go out in their mail along the ditch. Despite such watchfulness, a night alarm was given every two or three days, and the cry to keep arms up. But one eventful day, when Sayyidi Beg Taghai had gone out with the foragers, the foe (Tambal’s forces) came up suddenly in massive
strength taking him a prisoner.

***

Get your copy of Babur by Aabhas Maldahiyar wherever books are sold.

Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day with These Romantic Reads!

Love is in the air, and our curated collection of romance books is ready to steal your heart this Valentine’s Day! From sizzling meet-cutes to soul-stirring tales of love lost and found, these books are bursting with passion, drama, and everything in between. Get ready to fall head over heels into a world of romance like never before!

 

Fool Me Twice
Fool Me Twice || Nona Uppal

Set in New Delhi, Fool Me Twice is an unconventional story that will stump readers expecting a good, old romance trope. We meet and fall in love with a young couple planning their futures together when life rudely hijacks the steering wheel. Exploring the ways a twenty-year-old navigates grief and life after a loss that shatters most fifty-year-olds, Fool Me Twice looks at the complexity of falling in love ‘again’ at an age where most are falling for the first time, and what it feels like to move on from mourning one great love to make room for another.

 

All That Sizzles
All That Sizzles || Sakshama Puri Dhaliwal

A spicy meet-cute that will delight your rom-com palate!

Wedding planner Tanvi Bedi is all fired up about her latest project, the $100 million wedding of a media heiress. The only hitch is her high-profile client’s wishlist chef, Nik Shankar. Weddings are a complete no-no for Nik, but there must be something—or someone—he can’t resist.

Nik Shankar’s lifelong dream of inheriting his ancestral home is in jeopardy due to his estranged grandfather’s absurd caveat—Nik must get married to claim the property. When Tanvi storms into his office, an inconceivable solution presents itself: Nik will craft the wedding if Tanvi pretends to be his fiancée.

What starts as a recipe for disaster whips up into a delectable feast of simmering chemistry and fiery passion. But as the line between fake and real blurs, Tanvi and Nik must confront their inner demons before their charade goes up in smoke.

Could love be the secret ingredient they need?

 

All He Left Me Was a Recipe
All He Left Me Was a Recipe || Shenaz Treasury

Part fact, part fiction, All He Left Me Was a Recipe is a never-ending pursuit of love, a quest for the ever-elusive ‘Mr Right,’ all while kissing the ‘Mr Maybes’. It’s a rollercoaster ride through the fabulous and often hilariously complicated world of modern dating where love, lust and culinary metaphors are on the menu.
From ‘a-ha’ moments to giggles and even some epic heartbreaks with a fair share of tear-shedding, this book is a VIP pass to Shenaz Treasury’s heart in all its shapes and forms over the years. Every story wraps up with
a recipe—a memento from each of these unforgettable encounters—along with some timeless life lessons.
So, pour a glass of wine, get comfy and dive into a world that’ll make you laugh, shed a tear or two, and who knows, you might just find yourself along the way.

 

 

The Henna Start-up
The Henna Start-Up || Andaleeb Wajid

Abir Maqsood is angry.

She has things to do: a career to carve, money to earn, and, in the small stuff, a dining table to fix. But there are many obstacles in the way: lack of money, her parents’ over-protective attitude, and a most annoying distraction in class called Arsalan.

When her mother is not paid her dues for her henna service, Abir resolves to help her by creating a henna app. Her college is also running a programme for student start-ups so things look most fortuitous. But the path to getting funding is littered with more thorns than roses.

As Abir navigates through college, friendships and social pressures with determination, will she find the freedom that she is truly looking for?

 

 

Zen
Zen || Shabnam Minwala

In this deeply addictive, sweeping book about the life and times of the two Zainabs, is captured a short history of Mumbai, and of India. Of what we were and what we have become.

Zipping between the past and the present, between midnight’s children and millennials and getting both right, Shabnam Minwalla has crafted a page-turner whose heart is open, inclusive and populated by a host of memorable characters. -Jerry Pinto

 

Terminal 3
Terminal 3 || Debasmita Dasgupta

It’s August 2019 and Khwab Nazir is waiting to board the plane at Terminal 3 of New Delhi International Airport. Set to represent India at an international jiu-jitsu tournament, Khwab nervously looks towards her unknown future. She also reflects on her complicated past-of growing up against the insurmountable difficulties
of life in Kashmir.

Between happiness and emptiness, desire and grief, penance and peace-Khwab has endured. She has a dream that life will be a paradise, one day. Breathing against the backdrop of conflict, Terminal 3, is the story of the everyday people striving to live their dreams in the Valley.

 

The Girl Who Kept Falling in Love
The Girl Who Kept Falling in Love || Rheea Mukherjee

Told through the lens of urban myths, accounts of past lovers, bared confessions and half-truths that make up Kaya’s world, The Girl Who Kept Falling in Love dives deep into the futilities of being attached to global aspiration and fighting institutionalized hate while chasing a universal need for love and acceptance.

 

It was Always You
It was Always You || Sudeep Nagarkar

Have you ever regretted a lost love?
Karan and Shruti are a happily married couple. Until Karan’s ex resurfaces into his life one day. Soon Karan finds himself getting nostalgic over matters of the heart and thinking fondly of his first romance. Will he put his steady and seemingly perfect marriage at stake for his ex-girlfriend?
Meanwhile his best friend Aditya finds his own relationship with his wife Jasmine going through an emotional turmoil. Will both friends work towards keeping their marriage afloat, or make a decision they would later regret?

The Perfect Us
The Perfect Us || Durjoy Datta

Love is not having to hold back . . . but will she ever truly let him in?
Avantika is an investment banker, an ambitious go-getter and the exact opposite of Deb-a corporate professional turned failed writer, turned scripter of saas-bahu serials.
They’ve been together for ten years, surviving everything from college to rave parties to annoying best friends, including Shrey, who has no respect for personal boundaries, and Vernita and Tanmay-the annoying yet enviable ‘it’ couple who seem to have it all.
Now Avantika wants to take the next step. But will Deb be able to catch up? Or will it rip them apart? No matter how hard he tries, Deb can’t convince Avantika that he’s the one for her. Not as long as she is broken and her past looms in the background-pushing her, troubling her, goading her to question if their love is enough.
Will Deb be able to find their perfect place?
The Perfect Us is love’s struggle to find a happily ever after. . .

 

Heart Tantrums
Heart Tantrums || Aisha Sarwari

In order to be able to survive, Aisha Sarwari was told, love and devoted acts of service will always light the way. These however, become the very reason of her complete unravelling.

In this large and messy voice of a memoir, Heart Tantrums artfully describes the scatter of catastrophic losses-the loss of her father in early adolescence; leaving behind her family home in East Africa; and trying to fit into a completely different culture in Lahore after marriage. In 2017, when Aisha first held her husband Yasser Latif Hamdani’s brain MRI against the light, she began to also lose the man she loved to a personality-altering brain tumour.

 

 

I Too Had a Love Story
I Too Had a Love Story || Ravinder Singh

Do love stories ever die?. . . How would you react when a beautiful person comes into your life, and then goes away from you . . . forever?Not all love stories are meant to have a perfect ending. I Too Had a Love Story is one such saga. It is the tender and heartfelt tale of Ravin and Khushi-two people who found each other on a matrimonial site and fell in love . . . until life put their love to the ultimate test.Romantic, emotional and sincere, this heartbreaking true life story has already touched a million hearts. This bestselling novel is a must-read for anyone who believes in the magic of love . . .

 

Something I Never Told You
Something I Never Told You || Shravya Bhinder

When in love, you tend to take each other for granted, and sometimes, that can cost you a lifetime of togetherness . . .
Ronnie knew that his first crush was way out of his league, and yet he pursued and wooed Adira. Shyly and from a distance in the beginning, and more persuasively later. He couldn’t believe it when the beautiful Adira actually began to reciprocate, falling in love with him for his simplicity and honesty.

Slowly, as they get close and comfortable with each other, life takes on another hue. From truly magical it becomes routine. There are fights and then making-up sessions-a clash of egos and doubts.

Things begin to change for the worst.

It is too late.
Ronnie and Adira will probably never find their forever after . .

 

Something I'm Waiting to Tell You
Something I’m Waiting to Tell You || Shravya Bhinder

‘Letting go of her was not easy but winning her back was harder than anything I could have ever imagined’

After nearly losing the love of his life to a terrible accident, Ronnie realizes how much he loves Adira and what an idiot he had been to hurt her. What’s more, her overprotective mother now takes care of her, and does not like Ronnie being anywhere near her daughter.
He’s going through hell-unable to go back in time and fix things, unable to say what he missed saying to her, ‘I love you . . .’
All he wants now is a second chance, to trace his steps back into a loving relationship and win Adira over. It will not be easy because life is tough; love, even tougher.
Something I’m Waiting to Tell You is the sweet, intense conclusion of a story that started with Something I Never Told You, a book that will teach you a thing or two about soulmates.

 

Make A Move
Make A Move || Stuti Changle

Join rising YouTube star Alara, struggling but hopeful stand-up comedian Aarav, and zany but zen beach shack owner Ricky on a quest for the truth in You Live Only Once.
Discover yourself with Myra, Kabir and Sandy, three individuals who refuse to give up on themselves as they make life-changing decisions, in On the Open Road.
Embark on the adventure of growing up with Iti, Nishit and Shelly in Where the Sun Never Sets.
Bestselling author Stuti Changle’s trio of novels are life-changing stories of human relationships, of introspection, and of having the courage to follow your dreams.
Now together in this boxset, they promise to entertain, inspire and, of course, compel you to Make a Move.

 

World's Best Girlfriend
World’s Best Girlfriend || Durjoy Datta

When he turns, I see his eyes. There’s a sense of surety in them, a sense of danger, a sense of entitlement and definitely, arrogance.’

Daksh and Aanchal meet under improbable circumstances in the most unlikely of places-a posh resort in the Andamans. While Aanchal is fighting hard to escape the shackles of a lower middle-class existence, Daksh is aimless and unsure of what his future holds. Strangely, they are drawn to each other.

‘My gaze drifts to her exposed back, and the tiny knot that secures her shimmering choli in place. Emotions of anger mix with a strange desire in me.’

Four years later, when they meet again, Daksh’s world has crumbled around him. The burden of caring for his sick father and six-year-old sister has left him with little time for anything else. Yet, despite their diverging paths, Daksh and Aanchal find themselves reconnecting in unexpected ways. Their mutual attraction deepens.

Till now, fate has been pushing them together, but what will happen when they decide to take matters into their own hands? Will life be as they’ve imagined, or will destiny take even that away from them?

 

World's Best Boyfriend
World’s Best Boyfriend || Durjoy Datta

Hate, is a four letter word.
So is love.
And sometimes, people can’t tell the difference…

Dhurv and Aranya spend a good part of their lives trying to figure out why they want to destroy each other, why they hurt each other so deeply. And, why they can’t stay away from each other.
The answer is just as difficult each time because all they’ve wanted is to do the worst, most miserable things to one another.
Yet there is something that tells them: THIS IS NOT IT.
If you want to know the answer to it all, read the book.

8 Romance Audiobooks to Remind You How Single You Are!

Get ready to swoon, sigh, and maybe shed a tear or two as you dive into these 8 irresistible romance audiobooks that promise to tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the beauty (and occasional agony) of love. From chance encounters to shattered hearts and second chances, this handpicked collection has got it all.
So grab your headphones, cozy up, and prepare to be swept away into Durjoy Datta’s world of romance, where love reigns supreme, even if you’re flying solo this Valentine’s Day!

 

World's Best Girlfriend
World’s Best Girlfriend || Durjoy Datta

‘When he turns, I see his eyes. There’s a sense of surety in them, a sense of danger, a sense of entitlement and definitely, arrogance.’

Daksh and Aanchal meet under improbable circumstances in the most unlikely of places—a posh resort in the Andamans. While Aanchal is fighting hard to escape the shackles of a lower middle-class existence, Daksh is aimless and unsure of what his future holds. Strangely, they are drawn to each other.

‘My gaze drifts to her exposed back, and the tiny knot that secures her shimmering choli in place. Emotions of anger mix with a strange desire in me.’

Four years later, when they meet again, Daksh’s world has crumbled around him. The burden of caring for his sick father and six-year-old sister has left him with little time for anything else. Yet, despite their diverging paths, Daksh and Aanchal find themselves reconnecting in unexpected ways. Their mutual attraction deepens.

Till now, fate has been pushing them together, but what will happen when they decide to take matters into their own hands? Will life be as they’ve imagined, or will destiny take even that away from them?

 

Wish I Could Tell You
Wish I Could Tell You || Durjoy Datta

Can you find yourself after you have lost that special someone? A disillusioned and heartbroken Anusha finds herself in the small world of WeD. Struggling to cope with her feelings and the job of raising money for charity, she reluctantly searches for a worthwhile cause to support.

For Ananth, who has been on the opposite side, no life is less worthy, no cause too small to support. Behind them are teams for whom going to extraordinary lengths to save lives is more than a full-time occupation. In front of them is the virtual world of social media—watching, interacting, judging, making choices, and sometimes, saving lives. From the virtual to the real, their lives and that of their families, entangle in a way that moving together is the only solution. They can’t escape each other. In this world of complicated relationships, should love be such a difficult ride?

 

A Touch of Eternity
A Touch of Eternity || Durjoy Datta

Born on the same day and at the same time, Druvan and Anvesha know they are soulmates in every sense of the word. Their parents, however, refuse to accept their “togetherness” at first and try to tear them apart. Druvan and Anvesha try their best to explain why that cannot happen.

In the same timeline, the world has made huge progress in science and some of the first experiments to combine the body and the soul have begun. This is an opportunity for them to prove their love and tell the world that it is love that can make the impossible, possible.

Druvan and Anvesha participate in the experiment as if their life depends on it, because it does. The only thing that remains to be seen is, will the dream of a man to control love and life come true? And when the time comes, can one stay true to their soulmate?

 

If It's Not Forever It's Not Love
If It’s Not Forever It’s Not Love || Durjoy Datta, Nikita Singh

When Deb, an author and publisher, survives the bomb blasts at Chandni Chowk, he knows his life is nothing short of a miracle. Though he escapes with minor injuries, he is haunted by the images and voices he heard on that unfortunate day.

Even as he recovers, his feet take him to where the blasts took place. From the burnt remains, he discovers a diary. It seems to belong to a dead man who was deeply in love with a girl. As he reads the heartbreaking narrative, he knows this story must never be left incomplete. Thus begins Deb’s journey with his girlfriend, Avantika, and his best friend, Shrey, to hand over the diary to the man’s beloved.

Highly engrossing and powerfully told, If It’s Not Forever tells an unforgettable tale of love and life.

 

The Girl of My Dreams
The Girl of My Dreams || Durjoy Datta

We are in the car. She’s looking at me. I can see the love in her eyes for me. Then a huge crash. She’s flung out of the window. I’m thrown out too. A pool of blood. Her eyes are still on me…but now it’s a death stare.

I am Daman, and I wake up to this nightmare. Every. Single. Day.

Waking up from a long coma, Daman learns that he was in a massive car crash with a girl who vanished soon after the accident, leaving him for dead.

Strangely, all he remembers is a hazy face, her hypnotic eyes, and her name – Shreyasi.

To come to terms with his memory lapse, he starts piecing together stories about himself and Shreyasi from his dreams, which he then turns into a hugely popular blog.

When he’s offered a lucrative publishing deal to convert his blog pieces into a novel, he signs up immediately. However, he gives in to editorial pressure and agrees to corrupt the original edgy character of Shreyasi.

Big mistake.

From then on, Daman is stalked and threatened by a terrifying beauty who claims to be Shreyasi and who will stop at nothing to make him pay for being a sell-out.

Before Daman fights back, he needs to know: Is she really who she claims to be? What does she want from him now? What if he doesn’t do what she wants him to?

The Girl of My Dreams is definitely not your usual love story.

 

The Boy with a Broken Heart
The Boy with a Broken Heart || Durjoy Datta

You’re asking me to hold your hand. And now you’re turning away from me. You are saying something, but I can’t hear you. It’s too windy. You’re crying now. Now you’re smiling. I’m done. I love you….

It’s been two years since Raghu left his first love, Brahmi, on the edge of the roof one fateful night. He couldn’t save her; he couldn’t be with her. Having lost everything, Raghu now wants to stay hidden from the world.

However, the annoyingly persistent Advaita finds his elusiveness very attractive. And the more he ignores her, the more she’s drawn to him till she bulldozes her way into an unlikely friendship.

What attracts at first, begins to grate. Advaita can’t help but want to know what Raghu has left behind, what he’s hiding, and who broke his heart. She wants to love him back to life, but for that she needs to know what wrecked him in the first place.

After all, the antidote to heartache is love.

 

She Broke Up, I Didn't
She Broke Up, I Didn’t! || Durjoy Datta

Deb is absolutely crazily in love with the stunning Avantika. He can’t believe she is his. Their relationship is going great except for the one time when Deb faltered by breaching her trust. After he apologized, Avantika grudgingly accepted him back. However, his insecurity about her seems to be pushing him into infidelity again. The trust he had worked so hard to build is lost once again. Will Avantika take him back this time, or will she move on?

In She Broke Up, I Didn’t!, Durjoy Datta explores the themes of fidelity, love, and lust through a roller coaster of misunderstandings and mistakes that are so common in relationships today.

 

World's Best Boyfriend
World’s Best Boyfriend || Durjoy Datta

Dhurv and Aranya spend a good part of their lives trying to figure out why they want to destroy each other, why they hurt each other so deeply. And, why they can’t stay away from each other.
The answer is just as difficult each time because all they’ve wanted is to do the worst, most miserable things to one another.
Yet there is something that tells them: THIS IS NOT IT.
If you want to know the answer to it all, read the book.

Hanuman Schools a Temple Looter (the Hard Way)

Join Hanuman, the legendary monkey-god, on an extraordinary quest in The Later Adventures of Hanuman by Amit Majumdar. Follow along as Hanuman embarks on thrilling adventures to uphold sacred traditions, confront oppressive rulers, and safeguard the timeless legacy of the Ramayana.

The Later Adventures of Hanuman
The Later Adventures of Hanuman || Amit Majumdar

***

Hanuman grew more pious with age. Like many a worldly grandfather, he turned his mind to higher things. Mountaintop temples, pilgrim trails, sacred groves and rivers, libraries honeycombed with sacred scrolls, roadside Goddess shrines, holy cities—these drew him as never before. Maybe it was because he had stayed so close to the sacred by simply staying at Rama’s side. Or maybe he was just thinking more about mortality (even though he himself was immortal) and sickness (even though he was healthy) and old age (even though he could still touch his toes and none of his joints crackled).

 

One day, Hanuman visited a Shiva temple in Kashmir. A lingam made of light had ruptured the earth there, and a temple had been built around it. He was surprised to find the temple in disrepair, the grounds overgrown with weeds and the priests unusually skinny and haggard looking. Noon would see the bells ring and the lingam washed in milk, according to the ancient rite, but the chief priest, with a forlorn look, was adding water to the milk. This puzzled Hanuman. The temple was very crowded, and he saw visitors stuffing plenty of money into the donation box.

 

‘What’s all this?’ demanded Hanuman. ‘The temple is thriving, but it looks like it’s abandoned. I can’t even accuse you priests of embezzlement since you all look like you haven’t eaten a proper meal in years.’

 

The chief priest joined his hands before the talking monkey. The monkey hadn’t said he was Hanuman— Shiva incarnate, many said—but who else could it be?

‘It’s the king’s tax collector,’ the chief priest explained. ‘There’s more than enough money for the temple’s upkeep and for our own modest needs. We could even feed thousands of people a day if only we kept what we take in. But we don’t. Every day, the king sends a bureaucrat to our temple. He collects the temple tax, which is twenty-seven per cent right there, and then he adds the tax calculation surcharge, reimbursement for his commute, a coin-sorting fee, a coin-counting fee, and a per-hour rate for the whole process. By the end of all those assessments, sir, we barely have enough to buy a bottle of milk to mix with water for our noon rite.’

 

Hanuman frowned in righteous indignation. ‘By what right does the king take a cut of what belongs to Shiva? If it goes from Shiva’s devotees to Shiva, there’s
no need for a middleman. You say this bureaucrat dumps the donation box into his bag?’

‘He is very formal about it. He reaches in and helps himself.’

‘I promise you,’ Hanuman said, ‘today is the last time he’ll try collecting.’

 

That night, a fellow as portly as the priests were skinny had himself carried up the temple steps in a litter, like a little emperor. This was Rupianath, the bureaucrat in the service of the king.

The priests looked everywhere, wondering when Hanuman would sweep down with his gada and knock this collector to the ground. Rupianath would need to
be carried then, wouldn’t he? But the mysterious talking monkey was nowhere to be found. His promise had been words and nothing more, it seemed.

 

The priests lined up with their hands joined as usual— for they knew that Rupianath could take even more than he took if he sensed disrespect. They performed the other ritual of the temple, which involved praising the king’s piety, his generous police protection and his wise administrative skill.

 

Rupianath spat bright red betel-nut juice to one side (he demanded respect but showed none to the temple) and stuck his hand in the donation box. He grabbed his first handful of coins and raised his eyebrows in shock. With a yelp, he snatched his hand away. Torchlight revealed a bite mark.

 

‘There’s some kind of rat in there!’ shouted Rupianath, looking accusingly at the equally surprised priests.

 

‘Let’s take a look. Those are flat teeth that bit you,’ said the chief priest, getting a sense of what was going on. ‘So, this is a man’s bite?’

‘Or a monkey’s . . . or a God’s.’

Rupianath pointed at the box. ‘Stick your hand in there and take out a handful of coins.

The chief priest’s hand felt around in the bin for some time or seemed to do so. ‘I don’t feel any coins in here, sir.’

‘There were heaps of them! I felt them!’

‘Give it a try again,’ said the chief priest.

Rupianath stuck his hand in the box, and, this time, he yelped twice as loud. He held up a hand that was missing the tips of the index and middle fingers. The stumps were bleeding. With a furious set of kicks and blows from his cane, he smashed the box to splinters. When he did so, the world’s tiniest monkey—whose head the chief priest had been petting—became the world’s biggest monkey and sat cross-legged with his teeth bared and hissing.

 

The bureaucrat, unlike a conventional demon, required no violence from Hanuman to be vanquished. Rupianath’s terror and disbelief sent him shuffling
backwards to the steps, and he tumbled down cracking so many ribs that every breath for four months felt like being stabbed with seven knives. He ran howling from that vision of Hanuman resplendent and hostile, and he never dared visit that temple again.

 

***

Get your copy of The Later Adventures of Hanuman by Amit Majumdar wherever books are sold.

error: Content is protected !!