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5 Sherpa Recipes That Will Take Your Palate to New Heights…Literally!

Buckle up and prepare for a mouthwatering journey with The Nepal Cookbook by Rohini Rana. From Kur flatbread to Rilduk potato soup, savor the flavors of these 5 Sherpa recipes (and more) and elevate your dining experience with each delicious bite.
Get ready to soar to culinary heights like never before!

 

The Nepal Cookbook
The Nepal Cookbook || Rohini Rana

***

The famous Sherpa community hails from the mountainous region in Tibet and even further, in Mongolia, migrating to settle in the Sagarmatha (Everest) area of the Solukhumbu valley. Sherpa means, people from the east. From their traditional home, they spread out over the eastern hill districts and have earned a glorious name in the history of global mountaineering as the most hardy and resilient people. After the epic scaling of Mt Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953, the Sherpa community has catapulted into prominence as mountaineers and guides and their economy has been vastly uplifted thanks to their skills. Having lived in this mountainous region for years, they are naturally acclimatized to great physical feats at high altitudes, carrying heavy loads and scaling high mountains without the use of oxygen. Pasang Lhamu Sherpa became the first Nepali woman to scale Mt Everest in 1993; she unfortunately died on the slopes during her descent.

 

The Sherpas retain much from their Tibetan heritage but have integrated well into the Nepali mainstream. They are devout Buddhists and have built beautiful monasteries all over the Khumbu region. The most famous being Tengboche, nestling in the oldest Sherpa village in Nepal, one of the highest monasteries in the world, resplendent with beautiful paintings and thangkas. Lhosar, Tibetan New Year, is celebrated with singing, dancing and copious amounts of feasting.

 

One of the Sherpas’ main occupations is animal husbandry of yak, mountain sheep and cattle, grazing them on the alpine grassland slopes. They engage in sporadic farming, growing cereals like maize, barley and wheat, vegetables like potato, radish and beans–these are the staple foods of the Sherpas. Their food culture is similar to Tibet’s, but they have assimilated their own traditional dishes such as fresh and dried yak meat, hand pulled noodles, potato preparations, steaming radish and bean stews, which are delicious and keep them snug and warm during the cold climate of their region.

***

Kur
Sherpa Flat Bread

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • water

PREPARATION
Mix all the ingredients and knead into a smooth dough, cover and let it rest for ½ hour.
Divide into equal-sized balls and roll out into 1⁄4-inch thick discs.
Cook in a warm pan on both sides until they turn golden brown.
Serve topped with yak butter.

***

Rilduk
Sherpa Potato Soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 6 boiled potatoes
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 2-3 chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 red chillies
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 20 timur seeds
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • Salt to taste

 

PREPARATION
Boil and grate the potatoes, place in a large wooden mortar, keep pounding till their elasticity is seen, keep aside.
Heat oil and sauté the onions till a light golden brown.
Crush the timur seeds, garlic and red chillies in a mortar and pestle to a coarse consistency.
Add this ground mixture to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir for 2 minutes.
Add salt, water and chopped green onions to the soup and cook till it boils.
Make small balls of the potato mixture and add to the boiling soup.
Cook till the balls float on top of the liquid.
Add the grated cheese, let it melt, serve hot!

***

Aaloo Phing
Potato Curry with Glass Noodles

This recipe was originally prepared with yak meat, now buff is more commonly used

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup meat cubes with bones (optional)
  • 2 cups potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 cup carrots cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp. chopped onions
  • 25 g phing noodles
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

 

PREPARATION
Soak the noodles in hot water for 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan and add chopped onions, garlic and ginger paste, sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the meat, chopped potatoes and carrots and dry spices, stir for 2 minutes till the vegetables are well coated with the oil and spices.
Add 2 cups of water and cover and cook on medium heat till the meat and potatoes are cooked.
Add the noodles, cook for a further 5 minutes, serve hot, garnished with chopped green onions.
Any meat of your choice like yak, beef, chicken or mutton can be used.

 

***

Shyakpa/Thukpa
Sherpa Soup

Shyakpa and thukpa are Sherpa soups, very similar in taste and ingredients.
The main difference between them being that shyakpa is made out of thick hand-pulled noodles of different shapes, while thukpa is spicier and made out of long and thin spaghetti-like noodles.
This hot, wholesome soup is perfect on a cold, wintry evening.

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6-8

INGREDIENTS
HANDMADE NOODLES

  • 2 cups refined flour
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • Water

SOUP

  • 2 cups yak sukuti or fresh yak/mutton meat
  • 1 cup potatoes
  • ½ cup carrots
  • ½ cup radish
  • 1 bunch bak choy
  • ½ cup sliced onions
  • 2 tbsp. coarsely ground ginger
  • 4 tbsp. coarsely ground garlic
  • 1 tbsp. coarsely ground red chillies
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

 

GARNISH

  • Green onions
  • Chilli oil
  • Timur Chope

 

PREPARATION

Make smooth dough out of the fl our, water and oil, like one would for momos; keep aside.
Chop the meat and vegetables into 1 inch cubes. Heat oil and sauté the roughly crushed garlic and ginger, add the sliced onions with a pinch of turmeric powder. Once the onions are translucent, add the sukuti or meat and cook till it is brown. Add all the vegetables, except the bak choy and cook for a few minutes.
Add water or stock and cook till meat and vegetables are half-cooked, add the handmade noodles, breaking off pieces of the rolled out dough to your preferred size.
Just before serving, add the bak choy and cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with chilli oil and green onions.

 

THUKPA
Use thin noodles and chop the vegetables small, use minced meat instead of meat cubes or sukuti.
This soup is spicier than Shyakpa so add chillies and timur chope (sichuan pepper powder) according to your taste.

 

***

Phapchung
Butter Tea

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 grams Chinese tea
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

PREPARATION

Boil tea in water for 10-15 minutes, strain and add milk, butter and salt. Place in a blender or dhongmu (wooden vessel to make tea), blend and serve hot.

***

Get your copy of The Nepal Cookbook by Rohini Rana wherever books are sold.

O.P. Singh’s Incredible Journey from Books to Badges!

Ever wondered what it takes to transform from a student of theory to a leader in action? From the lecture halls of Delhi University to cracking the civil services exam, explore the milestones that define O.P.Singh’s inspiring ascent. Are you ready to be inspired by the story of ambition, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence?

Read on for a glimpse into the extraordinary!

Crime, Grime and Gumption
Crime, Grime and Gumption || O.P Singh

***

The academic scene at the DU campus was competitive. I mean, you could really feel it, the sense and the urge to learn, to grow big. I found my years at DU intellectually most satisfying. I cannot escape the mention of some of my professors with whom I had the privilege to cover a distance. Randhir Singh, the master of political theory and thought, was an exceptional professor. His oratory skills had the audience eating out of his hands and he was quite popular among the students too. Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, another exceptional mind, handled comparative politics. International relations was the domain of Prof. Mahendra Kumar, while Prof. Susheela Kaushik talked about Indian politics. Last but not the least, Prof. M.P. Singh and Prof. R.B. Jain professed political theory and public administration, respectively. It was one august line-up and I immersed myself in the holy waters of Delhi academics.

 

Besides looking forward to the edifying lectures of eminent faculty members, I used to have after-dinner talks with Shekhar Singh, my senior in academics and also a lecturer at Kirori Mal College, till midnight. We would often discuss threadbare Western political thought, Indian political thought of leaders such as B.R. Ambedkar and M.N. Roy, and politics of representation and participation along with discussions on changing international political order. Shekhar Singh joined the IAS and retired as chief secretary of Telangana. The Central Library offered a refuge of a different kind. Innumerable boys and girls, research scholars and professors from different departments would converge and recreate a sangam, a confluence of varied interests. I, too, became part of the furniture in the library, and I could smell the aspiration for the civil services around me. I was convinced I had come to the right place. My preparation for the exam of my lifetime began in earnest.

 

I visited my mother and Gaya during the long breaks, especially during the summers. The train journey across the Gangetic plain held an unparalleled charm. In the company of friends and friends of friends, we travelled in a spirit of camaraderie. Second-class journey, reservation or no reservation, crowded platforms— nothing dissuaded our spirits of adventure. I still remember Gaya Station and its crazy, cacophonous milieu of coolies in red shirts, with their golden brassards in place, the shouting brigade of vendors and the lone shout of ‘chai-chai’ resounding even after one had left the premises of the rail station.

 

After my master’s with distinguished honours, I rested my eyes and hope on my MPhil programme in political science. My dream of clearing the civil services exam was still on. Deshbandhu College of Delhi University offered me a lectureship and I grabbed the opportunity. Thus began a small yet significant start to my career. Though my heart lay elsewhere, I was lucky to keep myself and my mind on course. The year was 1982. The urge and the thirst to do something big was alive and I knew it was just a matter of time.

 

Dates hold a strange fascination for me, and 19 May 1983 became another such landmark. No, it wasn’t the day of the results of the UPSC examination but the day I appeared for the selection interview. As I stepped out of the cool confines of the imposing UPSC building and on to Shahjahan Road, I exuded a certain confidence, the confidence of having arrived. The forty-five-minute interview had been a breeze. I was grilled by the chairperson of the interview board, R.O. Dhan. She was possibly the vice chancellor of some university and had real pointed questions in her armoury. Former IPS officer John Lobo, another board member, carried the legacy of having investigated the famous homicide case of Admiral K.M. Nanavati. From the United Nations to the Chauri Chaura incident, the interviewers were thorough in their approach.

 

The UPSC interview was held in the month of May. The news of my selection came through in June. Life has its own way of springing surprises. At times I think back on my journey to academic success, a candidate who cracked one of the toughest examinations in the country, in fact in the world. There is always a trigger that catapults one from a modest follower to a fiery leader. Fifth standard had been mine. I had started believing in myself and taking myself more seriously when I stood first then. This precisely was a moment when I reinvented myself afresh and a sense of competition was instilled in my young mind.

 

My training and induction were fixed to commence in the first week of December. For me, the ultimate had happened. God had blessed me with his indulgent embrace. My mother was with me in the momentous occasion, so were my sisters and brother Shree Prakash. Babuji was missing in the picture and that stung me.

 

And then, out of nowhere, the love of my life tiptoed into the family and straight to my heart.

***

Get your copy of Crime, Grime, and Gumption by O.P. Singh wherever books are sold.

February Books That Feel Like a Big Hug!

Get ready for a fun ride with this February’s newly released children’s books! From island adventures to learning about languages, These stories promise joy for every young reader.
Grab a book, and let the fun begin!

Ostrich Girl
Ostrich Girl || Lesley D. Biswas

A visitor mistakes Ritu’s bird call for an ostrich’s and wants to see the bird.
But there are no ostriches on Henry Island! where will Ritu find one to show him?

 

10 Indian Languages and How They Came to Be (10s Series)
10 Indian Languages and How They Came to Be (10s Series) || Karthik Venkatesh

This book talks about ten Indian languages—of the thousand-odd languages spoken in India—and their evolution, transformation and development. These languages are:

Tamil
Telugu
Brahui
Santali
Khasi
Kokborok
Manipuri
Marathi
Punjabi
Hindi

Karthik Venkatesh traces the long and varied journeys of these languages through time, examining the cultural shifts and political and social influences that have shaped them. He provides a glimpse of their literature, tracks the growth of their scripts and identifies landmark moments that have preserved and reinvented these ten Indian languages.

 

Under the Bakul Tree
Under the Bakul Tree || Mrinal Kalita

When Ashim, the bright, cheerful class topper and the ‘jewel’ of Mahendra master, suddenly drops out of school, everyone is surprised. His classmate and academic rival, Nirmal, is deeply troubled by Ashim’s behaviour and decides to investigate.

As Nirmal discovers more about Ashim’s circumstances, a friendship as pure as the bakul flower blooms that stands its ground against the harsh realities of growing up in rural Assam.

A heartwarming coming-of-age tale, the book celebrates friendship, hope and determination as it unravels the devastating effects of poverty and of an education system that has failed the ones who need it the most—the misfits and outcasts.

Translated for the first time from the Assamese, Under the Bakul Tree is one of the finest young adult novels from India and is an invaluable addition to India’s rich literary landscape.

 

What Happened to Grandpa
What Happened to Grandpa || Nandini Nayar

Something strange is happening to Grandpa. Words and names are slipping away, and favourite faces and places are becoming distant memories.

As Grandpa’s family seems to be losing him, it is up to Neha to remind them about the things he stood for. She shares his adventures and spins his stories, but will that help them remember Grandpa and celebrate him?

In this heartwarming picture book about love, loss, and remembering, discover the priceless bond we have with grandparents and how their memories live on.

February Favourites: Feel The Love on Every Page

February is here, and so is your ticket to a journey filled with love, life, and a bit of everything in between! From not-your-topical romance tropes to tackling parenting in the digital age, or even unraveling the mystery of sports governance (yes, It’s a thing!), these newly released books are here to be your delightful companions, sprinkling a bit of magic to this month of love.

Get ready to feel the love on every page!

Under the Night Jasmine
Under the Night Jasmine || Manav Kaul

When the pandemic strikes and the lockdown happens, the usually, always travelling Rohit is forced travel within himself and explore his relationships thus far: with his mother, his teacher, his lovers—relationships that affect his current thought process, his relationships now. With the first stirrings of sexual attraction for his teacher and her lover came the shame of desire. His relationship with his lost girlfriend, with Dushyant, brings in guilt and remorse. What could he have done differently? What kind of a shameless person was he, using people to fulfil himself?
Fluctuating between poetry and prose, questioning even the method of writing Under the Night Jasmine is a world that is layered and many-splendored. It’s a coming-of-age novel — A micro look at a man’s world that both pushes back and fascinates.

 

Ma is Scared
Ma is Scared || Anjali Kajal

The stories in Anjali Kajal’s debut collection draw us into the lives of ordinary women in Northern India, making us realise quite how rarely we witness these experiences from Dalit points of view.
Whether combating the caste-based disdain of colleagues at work or in the classroom or enduring the new blows that the pandemic landed on Dalit communities, Anjali’s characters find a resilience and a dignity that we can all learn from.

 

Lilliput Land
Lilliput Land || Rama Bijapurkar

One of the largest consumer markets of the world, India is made up of lots and lots of small consumers—each earning and spending just a little bit that adds up to a lot. It is served by millions of small suppliers oozing innovation and customer intimacy, and is powered by digital infrastructure that does billions of unique and small transactions every day.

In her new book, Rama Bijapurkar dismisses the easy and simplistic view of the Indian demographic and embraces all the complexities and opportunities that new India has to offer.

 

iParent
iParent || Neha J Hiranandani

Neha J Hiranandani’s iParent comes to the rescue! This book decodes India’s app generation and elevates the discussion beyond ‘these kids and their phones!’ Based on research, candid conversations and personal reflection, this timely book is a witty meditation on parenting in a digital world. Hilarious and informative in equal measure, iParent empowers you to connect with the new generation and guide them to cyber-safety without being a helicopter parent. No judgement, no preaching.

 

From Waris to Heer
From Waris to Heer || Haroon Khalid

Heer. The perfect beauty. Ranjha. The perfect lover.

Heer-Ranjha. The perfect love legend.

Waris Shah. Its creator.

From Waris to Heer narrates the story of Heer, Ranjha and Waris, and reimagines the story of the creation of the immortal love legend.

Written in the style of a qissa, the novel, much of which is set in a tumultuous period in eighteenth-century Punjab, evokes both the spirit and the style of the original text even as it makes the story relatable to a modern audience. Lyrically narrated, it is among the most moving novels of our time about the power of love and commitment in a society that seeks to shackle its youth and censor its writers.

 

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.

 

Boundary Lab
Boundary Lab || Nandan Kamath

Sport is a petri dish. In it, society tests not only human limits but also individual and collective attitudes and norms, often before they impact the wider world beyond the boundary.

In its quest for universal rules, organized sport must regularly balance multiple interests and answer difficult questions. This helps sport—and through sport, society—to tweak laws, markets, morals and technological advances. The outcomes of the resulting debates influence the way we live, view each other, and organize our world.

Why should we care about sport and its governance? Within the covers of Boundary Lab lie the answers.

 

Being Hindu, Being India
Being Hindu, Being India || Vanya Vaidehi Bhargav

Meticulously researched and eloquently written, Being Hindu, Being Indian offers the first comprehensive examination of Lajpat Rai’s nationalist thought. By revealing the complexities of Rai’s thinking, it provokes us to think more deeply about broader questions relevant to present-day politics: Are all expressions of ‘Hindu nationalism’ the same as Hindutva? What are the similarities and differences between ‘Hindu’ and ‘Indian’ nationalism? Can communalism and secularism be expressed together? How should we understand fluidity in politics? This book invites readers to treat Lajpat Rai’s ideas as a gateway to think more deeply about history, politics, religious identity and nationhood.

 

Babur
Babur || Aabhas Maldahiyar

Gripping, anecdotal and deeply researched Babur: The Chessboard King delves into Hindustan’s economic landscape during Timurid rule and portrays Babur as a multifaceted ruler, challenging the typical depiction of an infallible conqueror and a good human being. Meticulously sourced from the Persian manuscript of the Baburnama and other primary sources, this book represents a milestone in Babur’s biographical genre, essential for comprehending the ambitions of this enigmatic king.

 

Take Your Time & Hurry Up
Take Your Time & Hurry Up || Joey Kidney

Have you ever felt lost or alone in your thoughts, feelings and experiences?

Take Your Time and Hurry Up continues Joey’s experiences as he leaves his early twenties and heads toward adulthood. This book appeals to anyone who is navigating ‘adulting’ without a compass or a map, and who is searching for a sense of belonging.

Joey gently encourages his audience to find comfort, mindfulness, guidance and connection. A clear theme is woven through each passage: a reminder to slow down. After all, what’s the rush.

 

The Elephant Moves
The Elephant Moves || Amitabh Kant, Amit Kapoor

The Elephant Moves unfolds a captivating saga, tracing India’s economic journey through the lens of competitiveness. From unraveling economic history (‘origins unveiled”) to navigating global dynamics (“sailing the tides”), the book explores the forces shaping nations. It delves into the facets of many Indias, unveiling opportunities in heterogeneity.

 

The Great Flap of 1942
The Great Flap of 1942 || Mukund Padmanabhan

The Great Flap of 1942 is a narrative history of a neglected and scarcely known period—between December 1941 and mid-1942—when all of India was caught in a state of panic. This was largely a result of the British administration’s mistaken belief that Japan was on the verge of launching a full-fledged invasion. It was a time when the Raj became unduly alarmed, when the tongue of rumour wagged wildly about Japanese prowess and British weakness and when there was a huge and largely unmapped exodus (of Indians and Europeans) from both sides of the coastline to ‘safer’ inland regions. This book demonstrates, quite astonishingly, that the Raj cynically encouraged the exodus and contributed to the repeated cycles of rumour, panic and flight. It also reveals how the shadow of the Japanese threat influenced the course of nationalist politics, altered British attitudes towards India and charted the course towards Independence.

 

We, The Citizens
We, The Citizens || Pranay Kotasthane, Khyati Pathak, Anupam Manur

What is a republic? How do markets work? What is the role of society in bringing about change? These may be abstract questions, but they have a concrete impact on all of us.

We, the citizens, live at the intersection of the Indian state, market and society. Yet, many of us are unaware of what these entities stand for, how they interact with each other, and how they touch our lives.

We, The Citizens, by Khyati Pathak, Anupam Manur and Pranay Kotasthane, decodes public policy in the Indian context in a graphical narrative format relatable to readers of all ages. If you want to be an engaged citizen, aspire to be a positive change-maker, or wish to understand our sociopolitical environment, this book is for you.

The idea of India was an audacious dream. The fulfilment of this dream lies upon We, the citizens.

 

 

Accelerating India's Development
Accelerating India’s Development || Karthik Muralidharan

Seventy-five years after Independence, India has much to be proud of. We are both the world’s biggest democracy and fastest-growing large economy. Yet, we face profound challenges that hinder both individual well-being and aggregate growth, including education and skills, health and nutrition, public safety, justice, social protection, and jobs.

Accelerating India’s Development is addressed to all Indians—leaders, officials, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, citizens, and civil society—and provides an urgent call to action. It argues that building an effective state is the great unfinished task of Indian democracy, because quality public services are key to translating the political equality of ‘One Person, One Vote’ into greater equality of opportunity for all Indians.

 

Action
Action || Vivek Mashrani, Anand Venkitachalam

Personal finance is a subject that touches every aspect of our lives, yet it is one that many of us struggle to understand and manage effectively. It is a complex and ever-evolving field that requires constant attention and adaptation. The principles of personal finance are not just about managing money but about creating a better future for yourself and your loved ones. Exploring 100 personal finance principles that will help you make the most of your money, this book brings to light the key principles of personal finance using, what the authors call, the ACTION framework: Assess, Create a plan, Track progress, Invest, Optimize and Navigate.

 

Mastering the Data Paradox
Mastering the Data Paradox || Nithin Seth

There are two remarkable phenomena that are unfolding almost simultaneously. The first is the emergence of a data-first world, where data has become a central driving force, shaping industries and fueling innovation. The second is the dawn of the AI age, propelled by the advent of Generative AI, that has created the possibility to leverage the data of the world for the first time. The convergence of these two, with data as the common denominator, holds immense promise and the opportunities are boundless.

This book provides us with opportunities to push our thinking, to innovate, to transform and to create a better future at all levels—individual, enterprise and the world.

The Descendants – Will Jay Succeed in Finding the Key to Immortality?

Ever wondered what happens when a mysterious meteor lands, carrying a powerful black element with supernatural possibilities? Join Jay, the CEO of Vantra Labs, in Laksh Maheshwari and Ashish Kavi’s The Descendants, as he embarks on a modern-day adventure where science collides with ancient prophecies. Does history repeat itself, and can Jay navigate the intricate blend of family, science, and destiny?

Find out in this exclusive excerpt!

The Descendants
The Descendants || Laksh Maheshwari, Ashish Kavi

 ***

The sudden flash of a lightning bolt reflected on the glass panes of the city’s skyscrapers intimidated Jay, pulling him out of his trance as he walked towards the parking lot. He moved gingerly towards his car, clad in his impeccable Vanquish II suit and carrying a leather laptop bag in his right hand, drenched from head to toe.  

 

Dhananjay Somvanshi, the rightful heir to Vantra Technologies, had been brutally dethroned. Two days ago, he was on the path to saving the world and now here he was, discarded like a piece of scrap by his own family.  

 

With each step he took, he mulled over a single question— how could this happen?  

 

He reached his Mercedes and sat in the backseat. Water dripped from his pants and began to pool on the car’s floor as he closed the door with a loud thud. With a thousand thoughts whirling through his head, he first took off his shoes and socks, and then his soaked jacket which he folded neatly beside him. He felt another wave of fury boiling through him. Clenching his jaw, he started throwing punches at the car seat and took his laptop and smashed it repeatedly against the window till it was completely destroyed.  

 

The man sitting in a white uniform in the driver’s seat remained unfazed. 

‘Let’s go home, Kaka. There’s nothing left for me here,’ Dhananjay said.  

 

‘Letting anger steep within is no better than diluting your blood with poison and expecting it to kill the other person,’ the man in the driver’s seat spoke without looking behind.  

 

‘What?’  

 

‘Whenever you feel rage bubbling inside you, think of the consequences; where would the decisions you make under such a cloud lead you? Anger never creates, Jay, it only destroys.’ Kaka smiled pensively.  

 

Jay’s eyes scanned the seat and the floor which was now dusted with the laptop’s parts and realized the futility of his actions. He looked outside the window and noticed that it had stopped raining.  

 

A sadhu wrapped in saffron from head to toe walked by their car. He was strangely dry and seemed unbothered by the muddy puddles or the bits of litter floating out of the clogged gutters along the sidewalks.  

 

‘I wish I could go somewhere far away from all this hideousness, to live a quiet life of peace and solitude.’ He sighed. ‘I feel lost now. All my efforts over the past months have been in vain and I feel defeated by the ones I call my flesh and blood.’  

 

There is no peace without conflict;  

 

no joy without sadness;  

 

no virtue without sin;  

 

and son, there is no sannyasa (renunciation) without karma.  

 

‘What do you mean, Kaka?’  

 

‘I mean no learning without burning!’ Kaka joked and laughed. 

 

A slight smile broke out on Jay’s lips and he felt calmer. Kaka had had this impact on him ever since he was a child. He had always been an anchor and a friend whenever Jay needed support or advice. Kaka was like a father when Jay needed love and a guru when he needed direction. ‘Follow your own path and leave the rest to Hari (Lord),’ he would always say.  

 

‘What happened, Jay?’ Kaka asked with concern.  

 

Kaka had been driving, and it was only now that Jay noticed that they were not heading home.  

 

‘Kaka, where are we?’ He looked out, trying to recognize the area which looked like an uninhabited clifftop.  

 

‘We are just making a pit stop,’ Kaka said with his constant gentle smile. He got out of the car and stood at the edge of the cliff, whistling a beautiful melody.  

 

Jay stepped out of the car and looked around. The view was amazing. He could see the whole city spread out in front of him. In the distance, he could see the majestic building with a ‘V’ on it, towering over the other buildings.  

 

‘Now tell me, what happened in there?’ Kaka stopped his whistling and asked.  

 

‘Arindam Chachu is on a wretched path that can only lead to havoc. You always knew this would happen, but I still couldn’t believe that he’s capable of such despicable actions.’ Jay shook his head.  

 

‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power,’ Kaka said. 

 

***

Get your copy of The Descendants by Laksh Maheshwari and Ashish Kavi wherever books are sold.

Why Lakshmi is More Than Just the Goddess of Prosperity

Explore Hindu mythology like never before with Namita Gokhale’s Treasures of Lakshmi. In this book, Gokhale unfolds the stories of ancient deities, exploring their evolution from the Rig Vedic era to the post-Buddha period. Against the historical backdrop of events like Alexander’s arrival in India, the book delves into the tales of gods and goddesses, with a special focus on Lakshmi’s story of prosperity from the Vishnu Purana.

 

The Treasures of Lakshmi
The Treasures of Lakshmi || Namita Gokhale

***

THERE ARE MANY gods and goddesses in the Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism is a newer word, proposed as recently as the nineteenth century). Aldous Huxley translated it as ‘the perennial philosophy’. In the Rig Veda, the gods which feature in the hymns are Indra, Agni, Varuna and Surya, who become minor gods by the time of post-Buddha India. It is said that when Alexander arrived in the Indian subcontinent in the fourth century bce, there was worship of a god similar to Heracles, who has been later identified as Krishna.

 

The Vishnu Purana is dated by its most recent translator, Professor Bibek Debroy, as being from the period 450 bce to 300 bce, definitely a post-Buddha document. You see immediately that the Vishnu Purana is post-Vedic and even post-Vedantic. Vishnu replaces the abstract universal principle of Brahman: ‘He is the supreme Brahman.’ The irresistible conjecture is that faced with the concrete persona of Buddha and the rapid spread of Buddhism, the Sanatan Dharmists retaliated with a personal but immensely powerful god: Vishnu.

 

So, sometime in the second half of the last millennium bce, there is a shift to the modern Trimurti structure with Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The old Rig Vedic gods are demoted and a new set emerges which takes over. The Vishnu Purana has stories about all three deities but constantly reiterates the supreme position of Vishnu.

 

Then, Brahma somehow gets displaced. (We need not go into this episode.) There are few, if any, temples dedicated to him, relative to the other two male gods. Somewhere, then, the mother goddess, Durga/Kali/Amba, becomes as important in the Trinity as Vishnu and Shiva. There is some discussion of Durga being a pre-Aryan goddess, but this may be controverted. Saraswati is the only other goddess worshipped in her own right and not as the consort of a male god.

 

The point is that while the pantheon of deities is crowded, there are only three at the top—two male gods and one female goddess. (Of course, attributing gender to gods and goddesses is tricky. Shiva doubles up as Ardhanareeshwar.) Lakshmi, the subject of this essay, is not in the top Trinity. She appears as the consort of Vishnu and is worshipped especially on the thirteenth night of the waning moon cycle, two nights before Diwali. The occasion is called Dhanteras in Gujarati, being the one night dedicated to the goddess of prosperity. No other goddess has a Diwali slot.

 

But as Shri, Lakshmi is ubiquitous. We append the labels ‘Shri’, ‘Shriman’, ‘Shrimati’, indicating someone favoured or due to be favoured by the goddess Lakshmi. Widows (in Gujarati at least) are addressed as ‘Gangaswaroop’, definitely not Shrimati. Fortune for a woman resides in having a husband around.

 

It is in the Vishnu Purana—a massive document running to almost 600 pages in Bibek Debroy’s book—that we encounter Lakshmi’s story. Purana storytelling is, of course, not straightforward or linear. It wanders, often telling the same story more than once with different nuances. You are supposed to listen and retain the details.

 

Lakshmi is first mentioned along with the story of Sati (Parvati) in Chapter 1 (8) titled ‘Rudra’s Account’. In the Vishnu Purana, Parashara is talking to Maitreya and telling him the long story of Vishnu. Rudra occurs in the Rig Veda and is called Shiva later on. Rudra marries Sati. But then Daksha’s anger comes in the way and Sati gives up her body. However, she is born again as the daughter of Himavat and Mena as Uma. ‘In this form, the illustrious Hara married her again.’

 

The first casual mention of Lakshmi follows. ‘Bhrigu’s wife Khyati gave birth to the divinities, Dhatri and Vidhatri, and to Shri, the wife of Narayana, the god of the gods.’ Maitreya asks how that can be, since Lakshmi emerged from the churning of the ocean. So, in a way, Lakshmi’s story is presumed to be known, but of course given the style of a Purana it has to be told again. Parashara launches into a laudatory description of Shri, but more so of Vishnu, whose female companion Shri is. Vishnu is praised to the utmost, while Lakshmi has glory as Vishnu’s other.

 

Chapter 1 (9) is devoted to the story of the emergence of Lakshmi from the churning of the ocean, Samudramanthan.It is a fascinating account as to how Shri emerges from the ocean churning process. The story starts in somewhat dramatic fashion with the sage Durvasa ‘observing the vow of acting like a lunatic’. He has a divine garland made of santanaka flowers, which grow in Indra’s gardens. The sage throws the garland at Indra, who is riding the Airavata. Indra puts it on the Airavata, who throws it off. Durvasa is enraged by this disrespect and curses Indra and the gods that they will lose their prosperity. He says, ‘All mobile and immobile entities dread the arousal of Lakshmi’s wrath. But because you take yourself to be the king of the gods, in your pride, you have slighted her and me.’ In this way, the story of Lakshmi is laid out. (Though she is first mentioned in ‘Rudra’s Account’, that is a passing reference in which Lakshmi is included along with other characters.)

***

Get your copy of Treasures of Lakshmi by Namita Gokhale wherever books are sold.

Why Saving Money Isn’t Sexy, but Absolutely Necessary

Ever wondered why saving money feels like a snooze-fest? Ankur Warikoo’s Make Epic Money has the answer!
In this no-nonsense guide, Warikoo breaks through the boredom, offering a blueprint to make your savings hustle just as hard as you do.

Get ready for a learning experience that’s not just about saving but about discovering the power to walk away from the mundane and live life on your own epic terms!

 

Make Epic Money
Make Epic Money || Ankur Warikoo

 

“Life will throw everything but the kitchen sink in your path, and then it will throw
the kitchen sink. It’s your job to avoid the obstacles.”
– Andre Agassi, Open

 

Saving isn’t sexy.
We should save. We get it.
For the future, for our marriage, for our kids, for retirement.
Blah, Blah, blah. Heard it all before.

 

Yet, we don’t.
Because saving isn’t sexy. Or fun. Or exciting.
It’s boring.

 

The future seems so far off.
Our goals seem so far off.
“Retirement? I haven’t even started earning properly yet!”

 

AND we’re not making enough money…
AND we’ll miss out on life…
Our friends are putting up reels of sundowners in Goa.

Why should WE save?
So, we postpone saving.
We’ll start tomorrow. Next month. Next year.
Just not today.

 

But we should save.
Because. Life. Is. Crazy.
Almost like a Bollywood movie.
One moment, we’re happily dancing around a tree. Next moment, we’re hit by a flying coconut.
Plot twists and drama.
Just not as entertaining when it happens to us.

 

Medical emergencies. Job losses.
Lawsuits. Unexpected death in the family.
All horrible things to think about.
We hope (fingers crossed) they’ll never happen.
But we know that they might.
The absolute last thing we want to worry about in such times is whether we have sufficient funds to cover
us, and see us through.

 

Savings give you the ultimate F*** You Power
The power to walk away from a job you hate.
The power to handle a medical emergency without depleting your reserves.
The power to get a better interest rate on a loan.
The power to move into your own place.
The power to live life on your terms.

 

You don’t have to give up what you love.
Saving does not equal stopping spending. Sitting at home. Being miserable.
Once you’ve decided how much you want to save, spend the rest on whatever you want.
With no guilt.

 

Here are 13 tips to help you save more
→ Budget – boring but effective!
You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
Minimum 20% of your income has to be saved, every month/year.

 

→ Automate your savings
If we have money in the bank, we tend to spend it.
It’s not always easy to do the right thing.
So, make the right thing easy!

Automate!

Sign up for as much EPF deduction as you can, so it never reaches you.
Do monthly SIPs (and don’t stop them!).
Open a separate investment account.
As soon as your salary hits, sweep your investment amount to that account.
Park your emergency fund, your SIP instalments, your lump sum investments in the new account.

 

→ 30-day rule
If you really want to buy something big, wait for 30 days.
Chances are you’ll decide you won’t need it.

 

→ Try a fortnightly money ‘fast’
Once a week or fortnight, don’t spend on anything. Anything.
Spoiler: This will require some advance preparation.
Food? Take food from home.
Ride to work? Carpool.
Coffee? Your office coffee machine was made for this non-spending day.

 

→ Choose debit/UPI over credit cards
Debit/UPI is money you actually have.
Credit cards give you the illusion of money that you may not actually have.
If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it. Ha!
The best part? It’s free (a lot of places still charge a surcharge on credit cards)!

 

→ Use credit cards, ONLY if you have 100% of the money
Credit cards can be a good thing:
● 30 to 45 days of an interest-free loan.
● Improved credit rating (if you make the full payment every month)
● Rewards and vouchers – who doesn’t want those?
But ONLY IF you have the full amount.

 

→ Make shopping lists and stick to them
It’s a fact – a list makes us stick to it.
Do this even if you’re buying online.

 

→ Rent, if you’re not a frequent user
Nowadays, everything is on rent – be it cars, gadgets or gowns!
So, don’t buy things you won’t use frequently.
In our parents’ time, renting was shocking.
Today, the mantra is ‘reduce, reuse’. Do that.
P.S. I rent my camera lens. The ones I like are insanely expensive and I pay peanuts to use them for 7
days a year at most!

 

→ Buy bigger sizes
Bigger sizes tend to be cheaper, per unit.
If you have the storage space, buy larger packs, particularly non-perishable items.

 

→ Use deal/discount sites
Use deals and discount sites as much as you can. There’s no shame in it.
It just means that you respect your money.
Your money will start to respect you back.

 

→ Pay off your loans faster
Just because you have a 25-year home loan, doesn’t mean you take 25 years to repay it.
Repayment initially goes more towards the interest and less towards repaying the principal.
Repay early, save!

E.g: Pay 1 extra EMI/year (13 instead of 12). Increase that EMI by 10% every year.
A 25-year loan reduces to 10 years. And you save 60% on your interest amount!

 

→ Buy life insurance when you’re young.
You pay a lower premium and get longer coverage.
Why wouldn’t you save on something so fundamental?
E.g., If you buy insurance when you’re 25 till you’re 65, you get 40 years of cover and STILL end up
paying a lesser premium, than if you were to buy the same cover at age 35 (and only get cover for 30
years).

 

→ Shop online in incognito mode
Prices keep increasing when you keep searching for items online – flight tickets, hotels or even products.
Switch to incognito mode.
You’ll get a price that is given to a new user.
This is usually the lowest price, because they want the new user to convert.

 

This can’t work on apps, so do your buying on your desktop or laptop.
Disclaimer: I have no way to prove this.
—————-
Use these hacks as a smart way to save more money, without compromising on your desires and needs.

 

Save as a gift to your future self:
The gift of security.
The ability to meet your life-goals.
A safety net for unpredictability.
Freedom to live life on your own terms.

 

But.

 

DON’T go through life focusing only on a savings mindset.
There’s a limit to how much you can save.
But remember there’s no limit on how much you can earn.
Keep finding ways to increase your income.
That will help you build wealth much faster than saving will.

 

***

Want to manage your hard-earned money like a pro?

Get your copy of Make Epic Money by Ankur Warikoo wherever books are sold.

The Ultimate Bharat Book Binge

This Republic Day, join us for a thoughtful exploration through books unveiling India’s rich history. From tales of strength to political insights, we’re delving into stories that define our nation. Get ready for a reflective reading journey as we celebrate the essence of Republic Day.

Let The Ultimate Bharat Book Binge begin!

1947-57 India Birth of a Republic
1947-57 India Birth of a Republic || Chandrachur Ghose

The first decade after India’s independence, 1947-1957, was probably the most crucial in the nation’s history. Opening a window to this period, this book weaves a story out of the complex ideas and events that have largely remained beneath the surface of public discourse. The transfer of power, the framing of the Constitution and the formation of the governance machinery; the clash of ideas and ideologies among parties and personalities; the beginning of the disintegration of the Congress and the consolidation of political forces in the opposition; Nehru’s grappling with existential problems at home and his quest for global peace; the interplay between democratic ideals and ruthless power play-all these factors impinged on each other and shaped the new republic in its formative decade.

 

You Must Know Your Constitution
You Must Know Your Constitution || Fali S. Nariman

26 November 1949 marks the date when the longest constitution in the world was formally adopted to guide the largest democracy in the world. It effectively transformed the British Dominion of India into one nation—the independent Republic of India. The supreme law of the land set forth the workings of Indian democracy and polity, and its provisions aimed to secure justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity for the people of India. As drafted and as conceived, the constitution makes provision for a functioning democracy and not an electoral autocracy, and this is how it has to be worked. It is therefore imperative for all citizens to familiarise themselves with its provisions.

 

Modi and India
Modi and India || Rahul Shivshankar, Siddhartha Talya

In 2014, the BJP, under the leadership of Modi, won a clear majority in the Lok Sabha elections. The National Democratic Alliance’s triumph ended a nearly two-and-a-half-decade run of mostly messy coalition governments. In 2019, the BJP further improved its tally, cementing its parliamentary majority and its ability to ring in transformational laws and policies. Most of the initiatives taken by the Modi-led NDA have been aimed at positioning Bharat as a ‘Vishwa Guru’—an exemplar of moral righteousness, a pluralistic democracy led by dharma and drawing sustenance from the wellspring of an eternal Hindu universalism.

 

Middle of Diamond India
Middle of Diamond India || Shashank Mani

Middle of Diamond India proposes a revolutionary idea – that India has long ignored its largest and most talented segment, citizens in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 districts, its Middle.

The book reveals the hidden stories of those in its Middle who have been ignored owing to their location and language. By examining India’s revolutionary past, its culture, its citizens, its innovators, and its spirit, the book illuminates this Diamond shaped India.

 

The Great Flap of 1942
The Great Flap of 1942 || Mukund Padmanabhan

The Great Flap of 1942 is a narrative history of a neglected and scarcely known period—between December 1941 and mid-1942—when all of India was caught in a state of panic. This was largely a result of the British administration’s mistaken belief that Japan was on the verge of launching a full-fledged invasion. It was a time when the Raj became unduly alarmed, when the tongue of rumour wagged wildly about Japanese prowess and British weakness and when there was a huge and largely unmapped exodus (of Indians and Europeans) from both sides of the coastline to ‘safer’ inland regions. This book demonstrates, quite astonishingly, that the Raj cynically encouraged the exodus and contributed to the repeated cycles of rumour, panic and flight. It also reveals how the shadow of the Japanese threat influenced the course of nationalist politics, altered British attitudes towards India and charted the course towards Independence.

 

Babasaheb
Babasaheb || Savita Ambedkar, Nadeem Khan

Born into a middle-class, Sarasvat Brahmin family, Dr Sharada Kabir met and got to know Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar as a patient riddled with life-threatening diseases, and eventually married him on 15 April 1948, getting rechristened as Savita Ambedkar. From the day of their wedding to the death of Dr Ambedkar on 6 December 1956, she aided him in some of his greatest achievements-drafting the Constitution of India, framing the Hindu Code Bill, writing some of his most celebrated books, including The Buddha and His Dhamma, and leading millions of Dalits into Buddhism. Following his death, she was hounded into obscurity by some of Dr Ambedkar’s followers, who saw her as a threat to their political ambitions. She re-emerged into public life in 1970 and got back to working on the mission to which her husband had devoted his life-the welfare of the Dalit community. Her autobiography, Dr Ambedkaraanchya Sahavaasaat, was first published in Marathi in 1990.

 

Madam President
Madam President || Sandeep Sahu

 

Madam President is the first-ever comprehensive and authentic biography of Droupadi Murmu, the fifteenth President of India, by senior journalist Sandeep Sahu. Murmu’s long and eventful political journey is a story of true perseverance and inspiration. Having battled early years of struggle in securing quality education, being struck by a series of personal tragedies such as the loss of her husband and two sons in quick succession,
and suffering electoral victories and losses, Murmu has risen through her circumstances with grace, fortitude and resilience that make her the well-revered leader she is today.

These Seats are Reserved
These Seats are Reserved || Abhinav Chandrachud

Reservation or affirmative action is a hugely controversial policy in India. While constitutionally mandated and with historians, political scientists and social activists convinced of its need, many resist it and consider it as compromising ‘merit’ and against the principle of equality of opportunity.

In These Seats Are Reserved, Abhinav traces the history and making of the reservation policy.

 

M.K.Nambyar
M.K.Nambyar || K.K. Venugopal

It is rare to see a lawyer from a district court occupy centre stage in the Supreme Court but M.K. Nambyar achieved this remarkable feat. Starting his practice in a district court in Mangalore, M.K. Nambyar rose to become an eminent constitutional lawyer. Written by his son K.K. Venugopal, a legal luminary himself, this biography provides a fascinating account of Nambyar’s life. It not only describes the man but also recapitulates India’s legal history from the pre-Independence era. The book includes some landmark cases argued by Nambyar that have significantly contributed to the development of constitutional law in India such as A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras and I.C. Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, where he sowed the seeds of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine. These cases continue to guide and inspire lawyers and judges today.

Court on Trial
Court on Trial || Aparna Chandra, Sital Kalantry, William H.J. Hubbard

The Indian Supreme Court was established nearly seventy-five years ago as a core part of India’s constitutional project. Does the Court live up to the ideals of justice imagined by the framers of the Indian Constitution? Critics of the Supreme Court point out that it takes too long to adjudicate cases, a select group of senior advocates exercise disproportionate influence on the outcome of cases, the Chief Justice of India strategically assigns cases with an eye to outcome, and the self-appointments process-known as the collegium-is just another ‘old boy’s network’. Building on nearly a decade of original empirical research, Court on Trail examines these and other controversies plaguing the Supreme Court today. The authors provide an overview of the Supreme Court and its processes which are often shrouded in mystery, and present data-driven suggestions for improving the effectiveness and integrity of the Court.

 

Breaking the Mould
Breaking the Mould || Raghuram Rajan, Rohit Lamba

In Breaking the Mould, the authors explain how we can accelerate economic development by investing in our people’s human capital, expanding opportunities in high-skilled services and manufacturing centred on innovative new products, and making India a ferment of ideas and creativity. India’s democratic traditions will support this path, helped further by governance reforms, including strengthening our democratic institutions and greater decentralization.

A Bookish Tour of India’s Past and Present!

Take a trip into India’s political landscape with this curated selection of books offering unique perspectives on significant events and influential figures over the last few decades. From the aftermaths of the pivotal Ayodhya verdict to the forty-day hearing of the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, these reads provide a compass to navigate the complexities of Indian politics.

Let’s prepare to be informed, challenged, and empowered by a richer understanding of our diverse nation.

Sunrise Over Ayodhya
Sunrise Over Ayodhya || Sunrise over Ayodhya

On 9 November 2019, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous verdict, cleared the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

As we look back, we will be able to see how much we have lost over Ayodhya through the years of conflict. If the loss of a mosque is preservation of faith, if the establishment of a temple is emancipation of faith, we can all join together in celebrating faith in the Constitution. Sometimes, a step back to accommodate is several steps forward towards our common destiny.

Through this book, Salman Khurshid explores how the greatest opportunity that the judgment offers is a reaffirmation of India as a secular society.

 

Ek Ruka Hua Faisla
Ek Ruka Hua Faisla || Prabhakar Kumar Mishra

No any cases run so long and important in the history of modern India, which has a serious impact on the politics, society and its overall thinking of the country. The supreme court of India gave its verdict on the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute going on for centuries, on 9th November 2019, after a continuous hearing for forty days.
This book is an eye witness account of the same forty days of hearing in the Supreme Court. The book presents the background of the judges, the lawyers and the parties concerned, the ups and downs in the litigation and our secular justice system without any bias.

 

Ayodhya
Ayodhya || P V Narasimha Rao

P.V. Narasimha Rao was the prime minister of India when, on 6 December 1992, thousands of kar sevaks stormed into the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The nation watched in horror as the centuries-old mosque was razed to the ground, in the presence of paramilitary forces and senior political leaders, marking a turning point in post-Independence Indian history.

Many hold Rao responsible for not preventing the demolition, while others accuse him of being a co-conspirator. In this tell-all account, Rao reveals what really transpired in the run-up to that fateful day. Drawing on the Supreme Court order, parliamentary proceedings, eyewitness reports and his own insights, he presents a comprehensive view of the machinations that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Nearly three decades after the event, Ayodhya: 6 December 1992 remains a valuable resource to understanding the political manoeuvres behind the Ram Mandir issue and the dangers of exploiting religious sentiments for narrow electoral gains.

 

Crime, Grime and Gumption
Crime, Grime and Gumption || O.P. Singh

A 1983 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, O.P. Singh donned various roles in the state and central services. Through his tenure, he witnessed several challenges, from the tackling of militancy in Kheri to managing disasters such as the April 2015 Nepal earthquake and the Srinagar and Chennai floods of 2014 and 2015, respectively. The Ayodhya verdict, Citizenship Amendment Act protests, the Kumbh Mela and Lok Sabha polls of 2019 all tested this officer’s mettle.

From the dusty plains of Gaya, Bihar, to the swampy and terror-infested wetlands of Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, Crime, Grime and Gumption is an honest and hard-hitting account of law enforcement and governance in the Hindi belt of India. As the ‘policewallah’ gives you a peek into the world of the khaki in this memoir, you will be left thirsting for more.

 

Soli Sorabjee
Soli Sorabjee || Abhinav Chandrachud

How does a Parsi lawyer, deeply influenced by the principles of Roman Catholicism, fall in love with a Bahá’í and go on to become the Attorney General of India for a Hindu nationalist BJP government? How does a boy with a broken leg, who studied in a Gujarati-medium school, and lost his father at the age of nineteen, go on to mount a heroic defense of the Janata government’s decision to dissolve Congress state legislatures (in 1977) in the Supreme Court? How does a newspaper columnist who admires Nehru, who criticizes the BJP for being ‘obsessed’ with ‘demolishing mosques’ and advises them to replace ‘Hindutva’ with ‘Bharatva’ or ‘Indianness’, get chosen by Prime Minister Vajpayee to represent the government in the Supreme Court in many cases, including the Ayodhya case? How does a lawyer with a humdrum customs and excise law practice, whose grandfather sold horsedrawn carriages in Bombay, become a U.N. human rights rapporteur, and repeatedly defend the fundamental right to free speech and expression in the Supreme Court of India?

 

Soul and Sword
Soul and Sword || Hindolsen Gupta

Soul and Sword traces the journey of political Hinduism from events that are critical to its self-narration, that is, early Indian resistance to invasions, to intellectual definitions by nineteenth-century littérateurs and more contemporary electoral politics. It tries to understand the context and historical sources used to construct and promote political Hinduism’s world view.
From award-winning writer Hindol Sengupta, Soul and Sword is absolutely critical reading to understand India’s present and future.

 

Being Hindu
Being Hindu || Hindol Sengupta

Being Hindu is an exploration of Hinduism in a way you have never seen before, almost through your own eyes. This is the first book on Hinduism to have won the Wilbur Award given by the Religion Communicators Council of America for excellence in writing about religion.

 

Patriots and Partisans
Patriots and Partisans || Ramachandra Guha

‘I am a person of moderate views,’ writes Ramachandra Guha, ‘these sometimes expressed in extreme fashion.’ In this wide-ranging and wonderfully readable collection of essays, Guha defends the liberal centre against the dogmas of left and right, and does so with style, depth, and polemical verve. The book begins with a brilliant overview of the major threats to the Indian Republic. Other essays turn a critical eye on Hindutva, the Communist left, and the dynasty-obsessed Congress party.

The essays in Part II of this book focus on writers and scholars, and include some sparkling portraits. Whether writing about politics or culture, whether profiling individuals or analysing social trends, Ramachandra Guha displays a masterly touch, confirming his standing as India’s most admired historian and public intellectual.

 

Indian History Companion
Indian History Companion || Bipan Chandra, Ramachandra Guha, Gopa Sabharwal

India’s Struggle for Independence-the first and most reliable study of the country’s epic fight for freedom by some of India’s most authoritative historians-is an established classic.
Makers of Modern India presents rare and compelling excerpts from the writings and speeches of nineteen Indians whose ideas had a defining impact on the formation and evolution of our republic.
India since 1947 is the definitive guide to post-Independence India, covering a wide range of topics, from agriculture, law, archaeology and the arts to science and technology, sports and wars.

 

Makers of Modern India
Makers of Modern India || Guha Ramachandra, Ramachandra Guha

The Makers of Modern India highlights little-known aspects of major figures in Indian history like Tagore and Nehru; it also rehabilitates thinkers who have been unjustly forgotten, such as Tarabai Shinde and Hamid Dalwai. These makers of modern India did not speak in one voice: their perspectives are sometimes complementary, at other times contradictory. The topics they explore and analyse include religion, caste, gender, language, nationalism, colonialism, democracy, secularism and the economy-that is to say, all that is significant in the human condition. These issues have a resonance in our own times, not just in India but everywhere in the world as well.

From Ayodhya to Your Bookshelf: Must-Read Tales of Lord Ram

Step into the world of Lord Ram with our handpicked collection of books, that make the epic tales easy to grasp, offering insights into life lessons, values, and the spirit of India. Whether you’re familiar with the Ramayana or new to these stories, join us in celebrating the historic inauguration of the Ram Mandir by exploring the wisdom and cultural richness found within the pages of these sacred books.

Teachings from the Ramayana on Family & Life
Teachings from the Ramayana on Family & Life || Shantanu Gupta

With the help of twenty-five stories from the Ramayana, this book offers essential life lessons for a happy family life. Throwing light on challenging real-life scenarios that often perplex us, Teachings from the Ramayana offers simple ways to negotiate those challenges. From how to effectively deal with negative company to the value of meaningful friendship and the importance of a good guide—this book is packed with ideas, drawn from the great epic, that you can put to use in your day-to-day life. Through this personal engagement with the Ramayana you can find solutions to life’s many problems.

 

Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: The Book of Ram
Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: The Book of Ram || Devdutt Pattanaik

E is Eka-vachani, a king who always keeps his word; Eka-bani, an archer who strikes his target with the first arrow; and Eka-patni, a husband who is eternally and absolutely devoted to a single wife. He is maryada purushottam Ram, the supreme upholder of social values, the scion of the Raghu clan, jewel of the solar dynasty, the seventh avatar of Vishnu, God who establishes order in worldly life. Hindus believe that in stressful and tumultuous times chanting Ram’s name and hearing his tale, the Ramayan, brings stability, hope, peace and prosperity. Reviled by feminists, appropriated by politicians, Ram remains serene in his majesty, the only Hindu deity to be worshipped as a king.

 

The Valmiki Ramayana (Box Set)
The Valmiki Ramayana (Box Set) || Bibek Debroy

The Valmiki Ramayana remains a living force in the lives of the Indian people. A timeless epic, it recounts the legend of the noble prince Rama and his battle to vanquish the demon king Ravana.

Even before he is crowned king of Ayodhya, Rama is exiled to the Dandaka forests where he is accompanied by his beauteous wife Sita and loyal brother Lakshmana. Deep in the jungle, Sita is abducted by Ravana and taken to his island kingdom Lanka, setting into motion a dramatic chain of events that culminates in an epoch-defining war. Filled with adventure and spectacle, the Ramayana is also the poignant story of a family caught up in the conflict between personal duty and individual desires.

In Bibek Debroy’s majestic new translation, the complete and unabridged text of the Critical Edition of this beloved epic can now be relished by a new generation of readers.

 

The Best of Indian Mythology Box Set
The Best of Indian Mythology Box Set || Devdutt Pattanaik

Take an epic voyage with Devdutt through ancient and mythological worlds. This captivating, richly illustrated narrative will regale readers with the many legends and parables that make our collective cultural heritage. Through decades of research, Devdutt decodes ancient epic tales and presents them with a blend of simplicity, candidness, and elegance. This box-set is sure to ring in the festive spirit this holiday season.

 

Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata
Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata || Devdutt Pattanaik

An enthralling retelling of India’s greatest epic, the Mahabharata, Jaya seamlessly weaves into a single narrative plots from the Sanskrit classic as well as its many folk and regional variants. With clarity and simplicity, the tales in this elegant volume reveal the eternal relevance of the Mahabharata and the complex and disturbing meditation on the human condition that has shaped Indian thought for over 3000 years.
Sita approaches Ram and the Ramayana by speculating on the titular character: her childhood with her father, Janaka, who hosted sages mentioned in the Upanishads; her stay in the forest with her husband, who had to be a celibate ascetic while she was in the prime of her youth; her interactions with the women of Lanka, recipes she exchanged, the emotions they shared; her role as a goddess, the untamed Kali as well as the demure Gauri, in transforming the stoic prince of Ayodhya into God.
The Bhagavata is the story of Krishna, known as Shyam to those who find beauty, wisdom and love in his dark complexion. Shyam tells the story of Krishna’s birth and his death, bringing together the fragments of this great epic composed over thousands of years, first as the Harivamsa, then as the Bhagavata Purana, and finally as the passionate songs of poet-sages in various regional languages.

 

In Search of Sita
In Search of Sita || Namita Gokhale, Malashri Lal

In Search of Sita presents essays, conversations and commentaries that explore different aspects of her life. It revisits mythology, reopening the debate on her birth, her days in exile, her abduction, the test by fire, the birth of her sons and, finally, her return to the earth-offering fresh interpretations of this enigmatic figure and her indelible impact on our everyday lives.

 

he Ramayana for Children
he Ramayana for Children || Bulbul Sharma

In this fast-moving version for children, the ancient saga-with infinite stories woven in-takes on new life. With the perfect mix of drama and excitement, gods and princes, and love and war, this contemporary retelling makes for an ideal read for young readers.

Told with simplicity, freshness and great vitality by Bulbul Sharma, this book has remained a perennial classic for decades.

 

The Ramcharitmanas 1
The Ramcharitmanas 1 || Tulsidas

The most popular devotional text recounting the adventures of the Hindu god Ram
The Ramcharitmanas, composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas in the sixteenth century during a dynamic period of religious reform, was instrumental in making the story of Ram-and his divine feats against Ravan, the demon king of Lanka-widely accessible to the common people for the first time. Prior to that, this tale was exclusively the preserve of the priestly class who could read Valmiki’s Sanskrit epic, The Ramayana. By reimagining Valmiki’s text in the vernacular language, as a poem to be imbibed through recitation rather than reading, Tulsidas kindled a devotional revolution, forever changing the religious and social landscape of northern India.
Rohini Chowdhury’s exquisite translation brings Tulsidas’s magnum opus vividly to life, and her detailed introduction sheds crucial light on the poet and his work, placing them both in the wider context of Hindi literature.

 

The Ramcharitmanas 2
The Ramcharitmanas 2 || Tulsidas

The most popular devotional text recounting the adventures of the Hindu god Ram
The Ramcharitmanas, composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas in the sixteenth century during a dynamic period of religious reform, was instrumental in making the story of Ram-and his divine feats against Ravan, the demon king of Lanka-widely accessible to the common people for the first time. Prior to that, this tale was exclusively the preserve of the priestly class who could read Valmiki’s Sanskrit epic, The Ramayana. By reimagining Valmiki’s text in the vernacular language, as a poem to be imbibed through recitation rather than reading, Tulsidas kindled a devotional revolution, forever changing the religious and social landscape of northern India.
Rohini Chowdhury’s exquisite translation brings Tulsidas’s magnum opus vividly to life, and her detailed introduction sheds crucial light on the poet and his work, placing them both in the wider context of Hindi literature.

 

The Ramcharitmanas 3
The Ramcharitmanas 3 || Tulsidas

The most popular devotional text recounting the adventures of the Hindu god Ram
The Ramcharitmanas, composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas in the sixteenth century during a dynamic period of religious reform, was instrumental in making the story of Ram-and his divine feats against Ravan, the demon king of Lanka-widely accessible to the common people for the first time. Prior to that, this tale was exclusively the preserve of the priestly class who could read Valmiki’s Sanskrit epic, The Ramayana. By reimagining Valmiki’s text in the vernacular language, as a poem to be imbibed through recitation rather than reading, Tulsidas kindled a devotional revolution, forever changing the religious and social landscape of northern India.
Rohini Chowdhury’s exquisite translation brings Tulsidas’s magnum opus vividly to life, and her detailed introduction sheds crucial light on the poet and his work, placing them both in the wider context of Hindi literature.

 

The Girl Who Chose & The Boys Who Fought
The Girl Who Chose & The Boys Who Fought || Pattanaik Devdutt

A BOOK ABOUT CONSENT AND CHOOSING RESPONSIBLY

The Ramayana, the ancient tale of Ram and Ravana, is one that has been reinterpreted in
myriad ways exalting the virtues of the princes. Few notice, however, that the story is actually led by the girl who chose, Sita.

A BOOK ABOUT HANDLING BULLIES AND BEING HUMBLE

The Mahabharata is the tale of the five Pandavas and their cousins, the hundred Kauravas, who threw out family morals. Instead of taking care of their five orphaned cousins, the princes burnt their house, abused their wife and stole their kingdom. This is the saga of the boys who fought, not for revenge but for dharma.

 

Sita
Sita || Bhanumathi Narasimhan

The vibration of the sacred sound of her beloved’s name, ‘Ram’, filled her mind as it emanated from the tiny Vanara. ‘His being is filled with Rama,’ she pondered, ‘but does he know me?’

Sita, the beloved princess of Mithila, is one of the most revered women in Indian history; so well known, yet probably the least understood. At every crossroad of her life, she chose acceptance and grace over self-pity. Her life was filled with sacrifice yet wherever she was, there was abundance. It was as if she was carved out of an intense longing for Rama, yet she had infinite patience. In every situation she reflected his light and he reflected her love.

In her, we find someone who is so divine yet so human.

In this poignant narration, Bhanumathi shows us the world through the eyes of Sita. We think what Sita thinks, we feel what she feels, and for these few special moments, we become a part of her. And perhaps, through this perspective, and Sita’s immortal story, we will discover the true strength of a woman.

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