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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.

Peng-wins at the Golden Book Awards! ?

Penguin Random House created history this year with seven major victories at the Golden Book Awards! These wins serve as a testament to our commitment to promoting great stories and fostering a love of reading in people around the world. If you haven’t already, add these seven page-turners to your to-read list.

 

The Dolphin and the Shark by Namita Thapar

The Dolphin and the Shark
The Dolphin and the Shark || Namita Thapar

The Dolphin and the Shark is inspired on Namita Thapar’s experiences as a Shark Tank India judge, operating the India business of the pharmaceutical company Emcure, and establishing her own entrepreneurship institute. The book emphasises how today’s leaders must create a balance between being a shark (an aggressive leader) and a dolphin (empathetic leader).

 

Doglapan by Ashneer Grover

Doglapan
Doglapan || Ashneer Grover

Ashneer becomes a household figure as a judge on the renowned TV show Shark Tank India, even as his life is turned upside down. Controversy, media exposure, and raucous social media conversation overwhelm, making it difficult to separate fact from fantasy. This is the uncensored narrative of Ashneer Grover, the beloved but misunderstood poster boy of Start-up India. This is storytelling at its best: honest, gut-wrenching in its honesty, and completely from the heart.

 

Energize Your Mind by Gaur Gopal Das

Energize Your Mind
Energize Your Mind || Gaur Gopal Das

Gaur Gopal Das, renowned author and life coach, decodes the mind in this book. He uses anecdotes and analytical studies to educate us how to shape our minds for higher well-being. He gives engaging activities, meditation techniques, and worksheets throughout the book to help us take control of our minds.

 

Build, Don’t Talk by Raj Shamani

Build, Don’t Talk
Build, Don’t Talk || Raj Shamani

Our schools taught us how to run in the race, but not how to win. This book does what our schools couldn’t. To assist you in winning the race. Build, Don’t Talk by Raj Shamani is a must-read since it is packed with excellent tips gathered from his own journey as an entrepreneur and content developer.

 

Rahul Bajaj by Gita Piramal

Rahul Bajaj
Rahul Bajaj || Gita Piramal

Rahul Bajaj is a millionaire businessman, former member of Parliament, and the chairman emeritus of the Bajaj Group. This book tells the tale of India, not solely Rahul Bajaj. From the time Rahul Bajaj’s mother was imprisoned during the freedom movement to the prism of his eventful life, the author brings us through the country’s evolution.

The book is packed with tales, business lessons, and political asides based on unconstrained interviews. At its heart, it is a touching human narrative.

 

The Wisdom Bridge by Kamlesh D. Patel

The Wisdom Bridge
The Wisdom Bridge || Kamlesh D. Patel

Daaji outlines nine ideas in The Wisdom Bridge to help you, the reader, live a life that inspires your children and loved ones. These concepts are useful resources for parents, soon-to-be parents, grandparents, and carers who want to live satisfying and joyful lives. They will not only help you enrich your children’s lives and create responsible teenagers, but they will also prepare the way for an inspired life and strong family relationships.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid || Jeff Kinney

In Diper Överlöde, book 17 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney, Greg Heffley is finding out that the road to fame and glory comes with some hardships.

Greg has no idea what he’s getting himself into when he decides to join his brother Rodrick’s band, Löded Diper. But he soon discovers that late hours, unpaid gigs, band member feuds, and financial difficulties are all part of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Can Greg assist Löded Diper in becoming the legends they believe they are? Will spending too much time with Rodrick’s band be detrimental?

The Booker Prize 2022 Winner The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

The book was first published in India in 2020 as Chats With The Dead

Penguin Random House India is proud to announce that critically acclaimed Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, which was first published by Penguin India as Chats With The Dead, has won this year’s Booker Prize for Fiction. This is the first Booker Prize for Shehan. This was also the first time that books originating from an Indian publisher had been nominated for the Booker Prize two years in a row. In 2021, Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North was in the running for the Booker Prize. Tomb of Sand, written by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell, and published by Penguin in India, was also the winner of the International Booker Prize 2022.

A classic whodunit with a brilliant twist, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida searingly exposes the plight of a country caught in the aftermath of civil war. Embroiled in red tape, memories of war, and ethical dilemmas, this unforgettable story captures readers right from the very first page up to its startling denouement, constantly upending its premise with its staggering humanity.

Manasi Subramaniam, Associate Publisher and Head of Rights at Penguin Random House India and the editor of the book, said, ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almedia by Shehan Karunatilaka is a masterful work of modern philosophy that insists on being uproariously funny through all its deft acrobatics through the living and the dead. I am delighted that this brilliant book has won the Booker Prize 2022.’

Meru Gokhale, Publisher, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, says, I am absolutely delighted at the honour and recognition being given to Shehan Karunatilaka’s work. It’s wonderful to see writers from South Asia receive long-overdue international recognition in this extraordinary year for Penguin Press, through both the Booker International Prize for Tomb of Sand and the Booker Prize for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.

The Booker Prize 2022’s jury is chaired by Neil MacGregor, cultural historian, writer and broadcaster along with a five-person panel- Critics Shahidha Bari and M. John Harrison, historian Helen Castor and novelist and poet Alain Mabanckou.

About the author:

Shehan Karunatilaka is a Sri Lankan writer whose first book Chinaman won the Commonwealth Book Prize, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and the Gratiaen Prize, and was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize.

Must read JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

The JCB Prize for Literature has just unveiled its 2022 Longlist and we have three books in the run. Shortlist to be announced on 7th October 2022. Stay Tuned! 

 

 

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell

Tomb of sand JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 
Buy now!

JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

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 Odd Book of Baby Names by Anees Salim

The odd book of baby names JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 
Buy Now!

JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

Can a life be like a jigsaw puzzle, pieces waiting to be conjoined? Like a game of hide-and-seek? Like playing statues? Can memories have colour? Can the sins of the father survive his descendants?
In a family – is it a family if they don’t know it? – that does not rely on the weakness of memory runs a strange register of names. The odd book of baby names has been custom-made on palace stationery for the patriarch, an eccentric king, one of the last kings of India, who dutifully records in it the name of his every offspring. As he bitterly draws his final breaths, eight of his one hundred rumoured children trace the savage lies of their father and reckon with the burdens of their lineage.
Layered with multiple perspectives and cadences, each tale recounted in sharp, tantalizing vignettes, this is a rich tapestry of narratives and a kaleidoscopic journey into the dysfunctional heart of the Indian family. Written with the lightness of comedy and the seriousness of tragedy, the playfulness of an inventive riddle and the intellectual heft of a philosophical undertaking, The Odd Book of Baby Names is Salim’s most ambitious novel yet.

 

Rohzin by Rahman Abbas

Rohzin
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JCB Prize for Literature Longlist 

Mumbai was almost submerged on the fatal noon of 26 July 2005, when the merciless downpour and cloudburst had spread utter darkness and horror in the heart of the city. River Mithi was inundated, and the sea was furious. At this hour of torturous gloom, Rohzin begins declaring in the first line that it was the last day in the life of two lovers, Asrar and Hina.

The arc of the novel studies various aspects of human emotions, especially love, longing and sexuality as sublime expressions. The emotions are examined, so is love as well as the absence of it, through a gamut of characters and their interrelated lives: Asrar’s relationship with his teacher, Ms Jamila, a prostitute named Shanti and, later, with Hina; Hina’s classmate Vidhi’s relations with her lover and others; Hina’s father Yusuf’s love for Aymal; Vanu’s indulgence in prostitutes.

Rohzin dwells on the plane of an imagination that takes readers on a unique journey across the city of Mumbai, a highly intriguing character in its own right.

How adopting a pet changes your kid for the better

When we think of the picture-perfect family, it’s impossible to leave pets out of the picture. Especially, the human-dog relationship which is not new. It’s so traditional to society, that there’s archaeological evidence for it!

Taking in a pet, no matter how normal today, may seem overwhelming. Thinking about its effects can be a great way of getting started. How will having a furry friend in the family help the house? This is where ‘adopt don’t shop’ becomes more than just a call for animal rights. By adopting pets, we open the doors to life lessons unteachable in school.

Read on to find out how something as straightforward as pet adoption could be more fulfilling than imagined!

 

Teaching Boundaries

As kids, one of the first difficult things we learn is that we won’t always get what we want. Something as simple as ‘no, you cannot have ice-cream at 9 a.m.’ could be difficult to process. When a puppy is in the house, there will be times when the furry friend won’t be in the mood to play. The child might be upset by this, but over time it will understand that the puppy has its own wants and needs. This also contributes to better Emotional Intelligence, as discovered and confirmed by studies.

 

Routine and Structure

Having to teach a puppy to not go potty in the house, making sure it obeys orders shows the child examples of how routine and structure are for the better. By establishing a daily timeline for their furry friend(s), kids also land up following a similarly organized structure.

Inni & Bobo Find Each Other||Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu

Compassion and empathy

Perhaps the winning argument for adoption is that it gives a second life to a stray. By downplaying on the breed of a dog, taking a puppy from a shelter helps kids learn about empathy and compassion. The words aren’t abstract terms but real experiences that they will always refer to when thinking about kindness and helping others.

 

Self-Esteem and Independence

When kids participate in taking care of pets, they unknowingly give themselves examples of performing tasks. Kids are less likely to be underconfident about their abilities when they already know they can take care of another living being!

We hope these pointers helped you visualize a pet-friendly life with your children. Remember, adopt don’t shop!

*

Inni and Bobo Find Each Other is available at your nearest bookstore as well as on Amazon.

Get Job Ready with this quiz!

If you’re a young job aspirant and want to improve your employability skills, then Get Job Ready by Vasu Eda is a must-read for you.

However, before you go on this transformational journey, it is important to assess your current skills and identify the aspects you need to work on the most. Self-assessments can help you understand and articulate the environment and situations where you can leverage your strengths to thrive. 

Be it personality development, enhancing your value system, or analyzing your interests to ensure you work in a field you’re passionate about, being self-aware is key. 

 

Take this quiz to find out which skill you need to hone!

 

  1. Which of the following is the most important to you?

A) An impressionable personality

B) Your value system

C) Communicating with others

 

  1. Which of these are you intimidated by you?

A) Assertive people

B) Self-guided individuals

C) Articulate leaders

 

  1. Which of these do you wish to be better at?

A) First impressions

B) Defining what you stand for

C) Understanding others

 

  1. Which of these is the biggest hurdle for you?

A) Establishing your presence in a crowd

B) Articulating which values you want to integrate in your life

C) Connecting with people

 

    5.  If you could choose one superpower, which one would it be?

A) Better confidence

B) Better decision making

C) Better communication skills

Answer Key

If you chose:

Mostly As

You need to work on your personality development skills!

 

Mostly Bs

You need to work on your value system!

 

Mostly Cs

You need to work on your communication and articulation skills!

 

Ready to take the next step?

Get your copy of Get Job Ready by Vasu Eda to enhance your employability skills and land your dream job straight out of college!

Introduce kids to their personal storyteller!

While some kids love to read, there are some who are yet to be introduced to the world of books. And for both kinds, Penguin brings something special- audiobooks!

Bring back the nostalgic habit of storytelling to kids with their own personal storyteller! Before you know it, your child would become a bibliophile and perhaps even a storyteller!

 

Here are some of our favourite audiobooks for you to choose from:

 

Grandparents' Bag of Stories by Sudha Murty
Grandparents’ Bag of Stories || Sudha Murty

 

Grandparents’ Bag of Stories

By Sudha Murty

It’s 2020, and children are stuck indoors as the novel coronavirus finds its way into India. A nationwide lockdown is announced, and amidst the growing crisis, Ajja and Ajji welcome their grandchildren and Kamlu Ajji into their house in Shiggaon.

From stitching masks, sharing household chores, preparing food for workers to losing themselves in timeless tales, the lockdown turns into a memorable time for the children as they enter the enchanting world of goddesses, kings, princesses, serpents, magical beanstalks, thieves, kingdoms, and palaces, among others. The myriad stories told by their grandparents become the biggest source of joy, making the children compassionate, worldly-wise and more resilient than ever.

 

Grandma's Bag of Stories by Sudha Murty
Grandma’s Bag of Stories || Sudha Murty

 

Grandma’s Bag of Stories

By Sudha Murty

Memories of a grandparent spinning tales around animals and mysterious characters have kept many of us rapt till date. Sudha Murty’s Grandma’s Bag of Stories is simply delightful. The story starts with Anand, Krishna, Raghu and Meena arriving at their grandparents’ house in Shiggaon. Overjoyed Ajji and Ajja (Grandmother and Grandfather in Kannada) get the house ready, while Ajji prepares delicious snacks for children. Finally, times comes when everyone gathers around Ajji, as she opens her big bag of stories. She tells stories of kings and cheats, princesses and onions, monkeys and mice and scorpions and hidden treasures.

This book is ideal for young children and those who are 5+ in age. Stories are accompanied morals. Lucid and simple language of the book make it thoroughly enjoyable.

 

Unfair by Rasil Ahuja
Unfair || Rasil Ahuja

 

Unfair by Rasil Ahuja

Auditions are on for the seventh-grade annual play. Lina sets her heart and sights on the lead role, but the drama teacher seems to think Lina isn’t the right shade for the part. All Lina wants is a fair chance to try out for the role.

Meher finds math far more interesting, and less dramatic, than Macbeth. When her extroverted BFF Lina suddenly becomes distraught and withdrawn, Meher tries to figure out what she may have done wrong. Will their friendship fade, or will Meher find a solution to this problem?

 

 

Nava Durga by Nalini Ramachandran
Nava Durga || Nalini Ramachandran

 

Nava Durga by Nalini Ramachandran

Durga, as this powerful warrior-goddess is known,
Has nine special forms – each one unique, not just a clone.
Shailaputri, Brahmacharini and Chandraghanta, Kushmanda and Skandamata,
Katyayani and Kaalratri,
Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri…
They are the Nava Durga,
Worshipped during Navaratri,
The festival of nine nights and nine days
That’s celebrated across India and the world in myriad ways
To praise the goddesses and their glory.
This is their story!

7 dream jobs and how to find them by Chandan Deshmukh
7 dream jobs and how to find them || Chandan Deshmukh

 

7 Dream Jobs and How to Find Them

By Chandan Deshmukh

On an average, 11 hours a day for the rest of your life, you’ll either be working or traveling to your workplace. Now imagine being stuck in the wrong job! A study says that 80 percent of Indians are unhappy with their jobs. Then how can we find a job that makes us happy? Is there a formula we can use to find our dream job?

Go on a journey with national best-selling author Chandan Deshmukh as he guides you through the various opportunities, challenges, and turning points of any career and most of all, finding a job that makes you happy.

 

Amma, Take Me to The Golden Temple by Bhakti Mathur
Amma, Take Me to The Golden Temple || Bhakti Mathur

Amma, Take Me to The Golden Temple

by Bhakti Mathur

Join Amma and her children as they travel to the famous Golden Temple in Amritsar. Take a tour through the wonderful sights, sounds, and history of Darbar Sahib. Hear stories about the Sikh gurus. Visit Darshani Deori and Akal Takht.

Savour a drink from the sacred waters at Har Ki Pauri and the langar from the world’s biggest kitchen! Learn Guru Nanak’s eternal message of equality, love, and service. Told through interesting stories with captivating illustrations, this new series introduces listeners to the history of different faiths and their associated monuments.

 

Amma, Take me to Shirdi by Bhakti Mathur
Amma, Take me to Shirdi || Bhakti Mathur

 

Amma, Take Me to Shirdi

By Bhakti Mathur

Join Amma and her boys as they travel to Shirdi, home to one of India’s most celebrated saints – Sai Baba. Hear the story of one of the most loved and revered mystics. Walk around the neem tree that gave him shelter. Relish a few moments in Dwarka Mai, the dilapidated mosque that became his home. Visit Dhuni Mai, the ever-burning fire Sai Baba had lit, and receive his blessings.

Let Amma take you on a journey to witness the life of this unique saint who taught by example, compassion, and kindness, and who, for a century, has been drawing millions of adoring devotees every year. Told through interesting stories with captivating illustrations, this book brings alive an important place of worship in an engaging and non-preachy way.

 

 Which book are you going to make your kids listen to next?

Kalki Koechlin Busting Myths About Pregnancy and Parenthood

Parenthood is a challenging process, no matter who you are. Ask actress Kalki Koechlin! 
In her graphic narrative The Elephant in the Womb, Kalki records the physical, mental, and emotional reckonings that she and her partner had to face, before and after childbirth. While archiving these raw feelings, she manages to bust a lot of myths surrounding pregnancy. Below are some of the many myths that the author dismantles while experiencing childbirth for the first time. 
 

Elephant in the Womb front cover
The Elephant in the Womb||Kalki Koechlin

Myth 1: Miscarriages should not be talked about

Kalki starts her memoir right off the bat with a crucial point: miscarriage is not a matter of shame. It can feel tragic, can trigger grief and depression, but the guilt and shame are aggravated by treating miscarriage itself like a myth. 1 in 4 pregnancies experience a miscarriage, and most women experience this in the first trimester itself. Because most people hush it up and bring up other superstitions like the evil eye, the psychological effects of miscarriage are often felt by the mother, all by herself.    

 

Myth 2: Pregnant women should restrict their movements  

It doesn’t take long for people to change their behaviour around pregnant women, and The Elephant in the Womb describes this in fun, illustrative anecdotes. Once Kalki got pregnant, people around her began treating her like a porcelain doll, ready to break. When in fact, she wanted nothing more than to still hang out with friends and socialize! This myth is harmful especially because pregnant women need exercise in preparation for childbirth. 

 

Myth 3: ‘Standard Procedure’ should be followed  

The medical routines and processes which most expecting mothers are told are ‘standard procedure’, are sometimes myth. With the help of other mothers’ anecdotes, Kalki quickly realizes that she gets to decide how her body should be treated during her pregnancy. From discovering that anomaly scans are not mandatory to choosing both a doula as well as a gynaecologist for advice, Kalki establishes boundaries early on in her pregnancy. Most pregnant women let go of the authority of this process, often falling victim to unnecessary invasive procedures, not knowing that they are most likely to know what is best for their body.  

 

Myth 4: Maternal instinct 

Haven’t we all grown up hearing ‘mommy knows best’? Every mother has experienced being a mother for the first time, which means that making mistakes, looking out for support, having more people involved with the care of the baby is not an option but crucial for the mother’s physical and mental wellness. With postpartum depression being a real issue, it is unfair that women are expected to magically know and take care of all the affairs of the home after such a life-changing event.  

 

The Elephant in the Womb is a unique graphic memoir that creatively expresses the hopes and anxieties of a modern mother in an ever-changing world.  

Why we need to start talking about Indian millennials

India is one of the youngest countries in the world, thanks to its population of over 400 million millennials. Being in such great numbers shows how this demographic makes their country a huge well of untapped potential. What is it that makes millennials the true influencers, and what is their greatest obstacle?

In this interview, author (and millennial) Vivaan Marwaha answers some key questions about how he worked on this book and the method of writing and researching about such a massive data set.

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What Millennials Want||Vivan Marwaha

Born between 1981 and 1996, roughly numbering more than 440 million, Indian millennials are without any doubt the largest millennial cohort on the planet.

But how much do we know about this generation? India’s youth is India’s future, but in order to build a prosperous future, we need to comprehensively understand the economic aspirations, social views, and political attitudes of the young Indians who will take the country forward.

Like every other generation in India, millennials are incredibly diverse: with not just significant economic division, but also important linguistic, regional, caste, gender and religious differences, which make the generation difficult to understand as a cohesive group.

Yet millennials have the potential to be India’s most significant generation. If you’re not convinced about why they could become the country’s most important—and potentially most disruptive—generation, consider some of these numbers.

India’s median age, according to a 2021 estimate by the CIA World Factbook, is twenty-eight years. This means that half of its population is under the age of twenty-eight. By contrast, the median age in the world’s top three economies— namely, the United States, China, and Japan—is thirty-eight, thirty-seven and forty-seven years respectively. Among the top ten economies in the world, India has the youngest population followed distantly by Brazil, which has a median age of thirty-two years. By 2021, two-thirds of India’s population will be within the working age of twenty to thirty-five years.

These young Indians will be the world’s largest labour force and market for goods and services. This is what is referred to as India’s ‘demographic dividend’. This term was popularized by academics, journalists, and businesspersons keen on investing in India in the early 2000s, who saw the country’s youth as an asset in the longer-run, particularly when compared to China, a country whose one-child policy was viewed as a demographic crisis in the making. It was believed that with the right education and investment in human capital, a growing middle class and an increase in foreign investment in the economy, India would not only enjoy high single-digit and even double-digit GDP growth, but its millennials and working-age population would power the country to transform itself like many east Asian success stories.

India’s millennials can only become a global power if they have cash in their wallets and stable jobs.

But there’s scant attention paid to millennials as a unique generation. Instead of viewing them as independent islands of young Indians based on their caste, class, or religion, in my book, I shine light on what brings them together—their common aspirations, anxieties, and experiences. When new policies and cultural issues are debated in India, lawmakers, news reporters and commentators all too often neglect to consider the impact these developments have on the millions of young Indians currently getting their education or joining the economy. The quality of their education; their opinions on hot-button cultural issues; their political beliefs; and whether they find employment will be crucial to India’s future in the economic and political order of the 21st Century. As the country seeks to become a global leader, members of its most populous generation will soon become its most powerful, and it is hard to overstate the importance of understanding the attitudes, behaviours, and views of India’s millennials. What Millennials Want is a book which combines data and anecdotes to narrate an intimate biography of this dynamic and important generation.

 

 

Three trailblazing mathematicians who put India on the world map

India’s mathematicians have made significant contributions over the last 5000 years. From the ever-popular Aryabhata, widely recognized for revolutionizing the number system and Shakuntala Devi, universally admired for her fast mental calculations to pioneers forgotten by time, like Baudhayana, who explained the Pythagoras’ theorem nearly 3000 years ago, India has produced many trailblazers in the field of mathematics.

Here are the stories of three such inspirational figures whose passion for knowledge and love for maths not only earned them worldwide acclaim but also brought prestige to the country.

 

Madhava – He is considered the greatest mathematician-astronomer to emerge from medieval India whose works laid the foundation for the Kerala School of Mathematics, which flourished between the late 14th century and the 18th century.

Madhava was a genius. He went a step ahead and linked the idea of an infinite series with geometry and trigonometry. He even obtained a way to calculate the value of pi correct to 13 decimal places, and this was two centuries before Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a polymath from Germany.

It is perceived that Newton and Leibniz independently found the methods of calculus by building on and borrowing from the works of mathematicians like Fermat, Taylor, Gregory, Pascal and Bernoulli. But what is not known is that the elements of calculus were already known in Kerala, India, for over 250 years. The West has now recognized this and accordingly renamed some results regarding the trigonometric series, previously known as the Newton, Gregory and Leibniz series, as the Madhava-Newton, Madhava- Gregory and the Madhava-Leibniz series, respectively.

 

Srinivasa Ramanujan – During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled over 3900 identities and equations, which have all been proved by later mathematicians. This contributed to breakthrough research in mathematics and remarkable discoveries in crystallography and string theory.

It was in January 1913 that Ramanujan wrote the famous letter to an English mathematician Prof. G.H. Hardy of Cambridge University with numerous theorems he had researched and worked upon himself. Hardy was initially skeptical of Ramanujan’s work assuming that he was a fraud but soon had to change his mind as he went through the theorems given in the letter. He finally concluded that Ramanujan was ‘a mathematician of the highest quality, a man of altogether exceptional originality and power’. Hardy then immediately made arrangements to invite Ramanujan to Cambridge University from India.

Ramanujan was elected as a member of the London Mathematical Society in 1917 and the next year, in 1918, Ramanujan was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society—the youngest ever at thirty-one years of age.

 

Shakuntala Devi – was India’s iconic ambassador in the field of mathematics and travelled the world enthralling audiences with her number-crunching prowess.

She was found displaying exceptional memorization skills by her father while he was showing her card tricks. She was only three at the time. At six, the young wonder, Shakuntala Devi started travelling with her father, doing roadshows, where she displayed her unique calculation abilities of large multiplications, cube roots of huge numbers and even questions related to dates! In 1980, at the Imperial College of London, she rose to meteoric success and global fame by multiplying two 13-digit numbers in 28 seconds flat.

In her book In the Wonderland of Numbers, she wrote ‘As for numbers, they hate nobody, and nobody can afford to hate them!’ She continues to give us hope that mathematics can also be fun and exciting and that it is essential to approach it with a spirit of curiosity!

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The Great Indian Mathematicians by Gaurav Tekriwal

To know more about India’s finest mathematicians, read The Greatest Indian Mathematicians. It is an ideal introduction for the next generation of tenacious and curious maths wizards.

 

 

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