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The Muslim Vanishes: Penguin India’s first-ever audio play

Lights! Camera! Action! … And back to Ghalib’s era!

We know the shayar in you would love a theatrical reading of this amazing book sliding seamlessly into different worlds—history, fantasy, and poetry. So, plug in your earphones and tune into Penguin India’s first-ever audio play ‘The Muslim Vanishes’ and unwind.


Audio play: The Muslim Vanishes
The Muslim Vanishes || Saeed Naqvi

The great poet Ghalib, part of a long tradition of eclectic liberalism, found Benaras so compelling that he wrote his longest poem on the holy city. If we take Ghalib and his myriads of followers out of the equation, will Hindustan be left with a gaping hole or become something quite new? The Muslim Vanishes, a play by Saeed Naqvi, attempts to answer that question.

A Muslim-free India, as a character speculates naively in the play, would be good for socialism, since what the 200 million Muslims leave behind would be equitably shared by the general population. Meanwhile, another character, a political leader, is traumatized by the sudden disappearance of the Muslim voter base and the prospect of a direct electoral confrontation with the numerically stronger Dalits and other backward classes. Caste, the Hindu-Muslim divide, Pakistan and Kashmir—the decibel levels on these subjects are too high for a conversation to take place, with each side fiercely defending their own narrative. What is the way out of this trap?

How to douse the social and political flames? In this razor-sharp, gentle and funny play, Saeed Naqvi draws on a mix of influences—from grandma’s bedtime stories to Aesop’s fables and Mullah Nasruddin’s satirical tales—to spring an inspired surprise on us, taking us on a journey into the realms of both history and fantasy.


You can listen to this audio play on Audible and Google Play.

5 new audiobooks you can spend this World Book Day listening to

Hyped up for world book day on the 23rd of April? It’s a Saturday so we understand if you have too many chores on your to-do list to actually curl up with a book. You also may not be able to spend it at a bookstore adding another pile to your already full and chaotic shelves that need organizing this weekend. If this sounds like you, or even if your eyes are just too weary to focus on tiny letters, we’ve got you covered. You can still spend a perfectly wholesome World Book Day in the comfort of your home while ticking not just one, but five great new books off your TBR (To Be Read, but we’re sure you knew that!) before the spoilers start coming in. All you got to do is download your picks from the books below. You’ve got your work cut out for you, so you can start listening to these while you arrange those bookshelves by colour, authors’ names, or theme.

Hit play and get cracking!


The Origin Story of India’s States
The Origin Story of India’s States
The Origin Story of India’s States || Venkataraghavan Subha Srinivasan

The Origin Story of India’s States is a fascinating and illuminative account of the genesis of India’s states. It presents the incredible origin stories of each of India’s twenty-eight states and eight union territories, spanning from Independence until today.

The state that wasn’t even a part of India until 1975; the union territory that had a prime minister for a single day; the state that has not one or two but three capitals; and the union territory that has beaches on both coasts-this book looks into such unique aspects of Indian history and adds to our understanding of how our nation has been built.


Sita: A Tale of Ancient Love
Sita || Bhanumathi Narasimhan

Sita is a tale of ancient love from Indian mythology & Hindu folklore and legends.

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.

Secrets of Divine Love
Secrets of Divine Love
Secrets of Divine Love || A.Helwa

Secrets of Divine Love draws upon the spiritual secrets of the Qu’ran, mystical poetry and stories from the world’s greatest prophets and spiritual masters to help you reignite your faith, overcome your doubts and deepen your connection with God. Practical exercises and guided meditations will help you develop the tools and awareness to overcome the inner critic that prevents you from experiencing God’s all-encompassing love.

The passages in this book serve as a compass and guiding light that return you to the source of divine peace and surrender. Through the principles and practices of Islam, you will learn how to unlock your spiritual potential and your divine purpose. Secrets of Divine Love uses a rational yet heart-based approach towards the Qu’ran that not only enlightens the mind, but also inspires the soul towards deeper intimacy with God.


Roots to Radiance
Roots to Radiance
Roots to Radiance || Nikita Upadhyay

Do you wish you looked perfect, but don’t have the time or money for expensive treatments? Look no further than Roots to Radiance-your self-care bible to good skin, hair, teeth, nails, etc., and, most importantly, good health.

In Roots to Radiance, you will find 500+ tips and tricks that will help you stay in your ‘A game’. By using its easy-to-make solutions drawn from traditional Indian wisdom, you can lessen and even replace chemicals with wholesome, natural ingredients that will enrich and enhance your daily beauty routine.

From refreshing life lessons to inevitable struggles and motivational inspiration, this book will help you sail through every beauty or life concern you’ve ever had.


A Rude Life
A Rude Life
A Rude Life || Vir Sanghvi

Vir Sanghvi’s has been an interesting life – one that took him to Oxford, movie and political journalism, television and magazines – and he depicts it with the silky polish his readers expect of him. In his autobiography, A Rude Life, he turns his dispassionate observer’s gaze on himself, and in taut prose tells us about all that he’s experienced, and nothing more for he’s still a private man.

He unhurriedly recounts memories from his childhood and college years, moving on to give us an understanding of how he wrote his biggest stories, while giving us an insider’s view into the politics and glamour of that time.

This is an explosively entertaining memoir that details one of the most eventful careers in Indian journalism. Studded with a cast of unforgettable characters like Morarji Desai, Giani Zail Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani and a host of other prominent political and cultural figures, A Rude Life is a delicious read.

10 new audiobooks to listen to right now!

Bookworms can sometimes have too much on their plate, have sore eyes or just be in a situation where reading is impossible. But you know what? Don’t let that get you down because we’ve got the perfect answer to your prayers. Be it while doing chores or travelling or simply being too tired to read, audiobooks will have your back. Here are ten of the newest audiobooks we’ve just released. We’re certain you won’t want to hit pause on any of these!



Corporate Divas||Sonia Golani

Corporate Divas

Eighteen extremely talented and determined women have balanced the home and the boardroom with equal aplomb, setting standards in the corporate world for all to follow. Corporate Divas offers inspiring insights into what motivates and sustains India’s leading corporate women. Through a series of in-depth conversations, this book reveals the unconventional styles and the secret mantras they use to achieve phenomenal success in their professions. A riveting and an uplifting listen, it is an indispensable resource for anyone striving to build the right attitudes for success in today’s highly competitive global environment.



The Vijay Mallya Story||K. Giriprakash

The Vijay Mallya Story

Giriprakash’s book, titled The Vijay Mallya Story, is an intriguing story of the life of Vijay Mallya, an Indian industrialist with a history of ground breaking success. He was given numerous titles, like the King of Good Times, The Liquor King of India, King of Good Thrones, and many more. The making of this industrial tycoon, his success story, the story of his decline with the downfall of Kingfisher, and a lot of important events from his life are presented in the book.


Vijay Mallya is a name that has been heard with relation to a lot of important and prime events, be it through his presence in Indian parliament, being an owner of IPL team Royal Challengers, Bangalore, or being an industrialist. Giriprakash has included lesser-known facts and stories from the professional events of Mallya’s life in this book. Mallya had three decades of success with numerous businesses. The book not merely includes the professional life of Mallya but also of his childhood events, the business acumen he was born with, and how he shared his relationship with his father. The book explains how his skills and the business-dealing abilities got him a long period of unmatched success, while the fall of Kingfisher has been a break in his reign.


The author has done in-depth research on Mallya’s life, and the major and minor events of his business life with some interesting details of his young days are all


Roses Are Blood Red||Novoneel Chakraborty

Roses Are Blood Red: Even True Love Has a Dangerous Side

“I’ll gift you a love story that every girl desires, but few get to live.”


He’d told me once. And boy, did he stick to his words! Vanav Thakur is the most perfect boyfriend that any girl can have. He ticks every box you can ever have for your Mr. Right. Trust me on this. He cares for me, respects me, never objectifies me, never says no to me for anything, understands me, is progressive, and has no shadow of any male chauvinism in him. Sometimes, I wonder if I really deserve him. My parents, like me, had no option but to accept him as my boyfriend. Everything was hunky-dory, and I thought I would be that one girl who would never have any relationship hiccup until I stumbled upon the reason behind his perfection.


I’m Aarisha Shergill, and my life is about to get ripped apart because I should have known some things should be left alone.


Is love capable of healing the deep wounds that love itself creates within you?


Mysteriously thrilling in its essence, Roses Are Blood Red is the haunting story of a passion and eternal love.


The Mind of a Consultant ||Sandeep K. Krishnan

The Mind of a Consultant

Management consulting is seen as a glamorous profession. Behind the mystique are the consultants who put in extraordinary effort, synthesize great problem-solving skills, and display fine personal attributes that enable them to capture the attention and respect of their clients. This book opens up to that world through the story of Samanta Thomas, a character based on countless excellent consultants, through whom we get inside the very mind of a consultant and their journey. As you traverse the journey of a management graduate growing to a partner in a top consulting firm, The Mind of a Consultant helps you understand various key skills that makes a successful consultant. The real-life experiences of consulting leaders bridge the gap between concepts and practical insights.


Problem-solving, management models, financial acumen, client management, leadership, networking, and work-life integration – this book hands you the tools to professional career success in a hands-on and easy-to-understand manner.


Life in the Uniform||Amit Lodha

Life in the Uniform: The Adventures of an IPS Officer in Bihar

Amit Lodha is a decorated IPS officer holding the rank of inspector general. But before he rose the ranks in the service, he was an IIT graduate who was struggling to find his true purpose.

In this book, Lodha tells us how he turned his life around and studied for the UPSC exams. He also tells us how he trained to be an officer and had the most memorable beginning to his career, in Bihar. Punctuated with his signature humour and adventure-packed stories on everything from solving a kidnapping to handling a mob, Life in the Uniform gives us a chance to experience an IPS officer’s life through his own eyes.


My Olympic Journey||Digvijay Singh Deo, Amit Bose

My Olympic Journey

Chronicling the stories of 50 of India’s leading Olympians for the first time ever in one comprehensive edition, Digvijay Singh Deo and Amit Bose bring you the games through the eyes of some of the best sportspersons in the country. These first-person accounts of Olympic medalists from 1948 till 2012, such as Balbir Singh, Leander Paes, Karnam Malleswari, Abhinav Bindra, and Sushil Kumar, and pioneers like Milkha Singh, P. T. Usha, and Anjali Bhagwat, reveal their hopes, superstitions, grit, and challenges. Their experiences and interactions are sure to make you laugh and shed a tear and, most importantly, open your eyes to the struggles they had to endure to reach the Olympics.


These personal stories give a close-up view of what it means to represent India at the most prestigious sporting event in the world, making you a part of the soaring glory and shattering disappointment that only an Olympic Games can deliver. With photos from the personal archives of each athlete, this is a front-row seat to the privileged Olympic experience.


Ground Scorching Tax||Arun Kumar

Ground Scorching Tax

On 1 July 2017, Goods and Services Tax (GST) became a reality. The government hailed it as the biggest tax reform of independent India which would herald a new freedom for the nation and unify it with ‘One Nation One Tax’. Some of the claims made by the government were that GST would bring about ease of doing business; increase tax collection; lower inflation; increase GDP growth by one to two percent; and check the black economy.

More than a year later, we have more questions than answers.

  • Why did the economy slow down?
  • Is the government likely to collect more taxes?
  • Why have prices continued to rise?
  • Why has Malaysia withdrawn GST?

Turns out that problems with GST are both transitional and structural. To correct for these, there have been a few hundred notifications and orders from the government which have added to the confusion.

In this book, well known economist Arun Kumar explains the reality behind GST. Known for not pulling any punches, the author explains why GST is a double-edged sword for the common man, why it will increase inequality across sectors and regions, why it will hurt small businesses – everything the government does not want you to know.


Shadow City||Taran N. Khan

Shadow City

When Taran N. Khan first arrived in Kabul in the spring of 2006 – five years after the Taliban government was overthrown – she found a city both familiar and unknown. Falling in with poets, archaeologists, and filmmakers, she begins to explore the city, and, over the course of several returns, discovers a Kabul quite different from the one she had expected.


Shadow City is an account of these expeditions, a personal and meditative portrait of a city we know primarily in terms of conflict. With Khan as our guide, we move from the glitter of wedding halls to the imperiled beauty of a Buddhist monastery, slip inside a beauty salon and wander through book markets. But as these walks take us deeper into the city, it becomes clear that to talk of Kabul’s various wars in the past tense is a mistake.


Part reportage and part reflection, Shadow City is an elegiac prose map of Kabul’s hidden spaces – and the cities that we carry within us.


Across the Line||Nayanika Mahtani

Across The Line

A tale of borders and beliefs shaped by the games people play.


The year: 1947. New Delhi. Cyril Radcliffe’s hands are clammy, partly from the heat but mostly from the enormity of the task assigned. Mopping the sweat off his brow, he picks up his pen, draws a deep breath – and a dark line.


Rawalpindi. A barbaric frenzy of rioters fills the streets, disrupting a game of pithoo between Toshi and her brother, Tarlok, shattering their lives unimaginably.


The year: 2008. Rawalpindi. Cricket-crazy Inaya is sneaking out behind her father’s back for net practice when she discovers that she is not the only one in her family keeping a secret.


New Delhi. Jai accidentally stumbles upon an old, hidden away diary in his kitchen. The date of its last entry: August 17, 1947.


As Jai and Inaya’s unlikely worlds collide, another story unfolds. A story that started with the drawing of a line. A story that shifts the truth in their lives.




A much-used word, karma is loosely understood as a system of checks and balances in our lives, of good actions and bad deeds, of good thoughts and bad intentions. A system that seemingly ensures that at the end of the day one gets what one deserves. This grossly oversimplified understanding has created many complexities in our lives and taken away from us the very fundamentals of the joy of living.


Through this book, not only does Sadhguru explain what karma is and how we can use its concepts to enhance our lives, he also tells us about the sutras, a step-by-step guide to navigating our way in this challenging world. In the process, we get a deeper, richer understanding of life and the power to craft our destinies.


Happy listening!

New Year’s special: A reader’s resolutions

The New Year is almost upon us and research tells us that people who make resolutions on New Years’ as opposed to resolutions taken up throughout the year, succeed in keeping them. So let’s get this New Year started with some interesting choice of resolutions for bibliophiles:


1. The Books that Defined the Eras – Books that are legendary don’t only define people, they also revolutionize the time period and the thinking. The Beats in the USA and the Hungryalists in India defined literature and revolutionized it. They lived the words they wrote. My New Year resolution is to plunge myself into these literary movements and read all their work, the whys, the whats and the hows.



2. Cosplay – Cosplay is really cool in general. But in places like India, where cosplay doesn’t happen everywhere across the country and frequently, it would be so much fun to dress up as your favourite fictional character and be them for a day. It would certainly startle some people out, but it would also be so much fun! Imagine dressing up as Hermione Granger or Cho Chang from Harry Potter and screaming Expelliarmus with your wand!




3. The Forbidden – The forbidden is also the most tempting.  This year could be the year for you to read all the banned books, books by exiled authors and controversial books.  There is plenty of fish in the sea, for you to pick and choose the one you want to hook and read.




4. Popular Fiction – Lewis Carroll, in his book, ‘An Experiment in Criticism’, also muses about the blasphemy or the dark aura that literature-elitists have created around the books that constitute the genre of popular fiction. There is always ONE (or more than one) book that EVERY book-lover wants to read but is hesitant to, because the Literature Gods have declared them as blasphemy. But this New Year can be letting go of all the inhibitions and reading what we like and trying to understand the animosity displayed against popular fiction.




5. Audio books – This New Year could be about downloading the ‘discography’ of as many authors and poets as possible. To be able to listen to the works of artists in their voice is a completely different and new experience, everyone must be acquainted with. The way the tenor of the voice drops, picks up, trembles at different places, and completely changes one’s understanding of literary experience. So do not hesitate to listen to audiobooks by writers!




6. Clean the Clutter- Every book-lover has a messy book shelf, they always bookmark for cleaning later. But start this New Year by cleaning the clutter, arrange your books according to colour, or title or author. Or arrange them according to priority and need; place the books you don’t need in your life right now far behind, or in the corner, and keep the ones that cheer you up right in the middle where you can see them.




7. Collect Bookmarks – We might not have any friend writing to us and sending us postcards from exotic places, but books are our exotic places and bookmarks, our postcards. So, collect bookmarks like post cards to boast about the places you’ve been to in books.




8. Read a Book A Week – Reading a book a day is not only ambitious but also the whole exercise of reading is rendered futile because we’re hardly learning anything as we are more worried about sticking to our timeline. Reading a book a week is much more productive and relaxing – pick up any book of your choice and start reading it. Don’t stick to one genre. Explore more. Read stuff that you’ve avoided all these years, the books that make you cringe and the books that make you judge others. Read everything, read a book a week, read leisurely.




9. Join a Book Club – Join a book club! For what? Well, I don’t know. And that is exactly what we have to find out. What really happens in book clubs? Do people just sit around and discuss books? Just imagine coming up with insane new theories about books you’ve read, with people pitching in. Imagine arranging for cosplay events, poetry and other fun literary events, with these people.  Book clubs can be your own literary haven, away from the overrated normal non-readers’ world.




10. Write – Almost every obsessive reader writes. Promise yourself this New Year, to write something new or old every day. Put up sticky notes everywhere to remind yourself, write everyday about everything; the bug bites and the cold. Accompany your writing with a lot of reading and before you know it, you might even end up compiling a book!




Happy 2020, readers! 🙂

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