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10 Awe-Inspiring Memoirs That Will Stay with You Forever

Embark on an enthralling journey through this collection of ten inspiring memoirs that delve into the extraordinary lives of remarkable individuals who faced daunting challenges with unwavering courage and hope. Each of these resilient tales will tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the indomitable human spirit.

Lost To The World
Lost To The World || Shahbaz Taseer

Lost to the World is the remarkable true story of Taseer’s time in captivity, and of his astonishing escape. It is a story of extraordinary faith, bravery and sorrow, with moments of kindness, humour and empathy, offering a hopeful light in the dark years of his imprisonment.

While deeply harrowing, this tale is also about resilience. Taseer countered his captors’ narrative of a holy war by immersing himself in the Quran in search of hope and a means to see his own humanity under even the most inhumane conditions, and ultimately to find a way back to his family.


Water in a Broken Pot
Water in a Broken Pot || Yogesh Maitreya

Incredibly moving and hauntingly honest, Water in a Broken Pot is the memoir of Yogesh Maitreya, a leading independent Indian Dalit publisher, writer, and poet. Encompassing experiences of pain, loneliness, depravation, alienation, and the political consciousness of his caste identity, this intimately moving memoir is a story of resilience and raw brutality. Growing up in a working-class family with meagre wages to get by in life, Yogesh writes of his father’s struggle against alcohol and passion for cinema; of intergenerational dreams shattered; working day and night shifts in factories; the struggle of being lost, overlooked and unmentored in India’s schooling, college and University systems which continue to be casteist, exclusionary and hostile; and feelings of lovelessness, loss and heartaches.


Nowhere Man
Nowhere Man || Shivalik Bakshi

Capt. Kamal Bakshi fought in the 1971 Indo-Pak War and went missing after the Battle of Chhamb–the bloodiest battle of 1971. Although no one from his battalion had seen him get killed, no one had been able to locate his body. And so, the military declared him ‘Missing, Believed Killed’–the ambiguous status assigned to soldiers when their death cannot be confirmed.
However, six years after the war, the Indian government changed its mind. The Ministry of External Affairs announced in Parliament that Indian intelligence agencies have reason to believe that Pakistan had not been truthful when it handed over the list of Indian POWs in its custody. It went on to state the names of at least forty Indian soldiers still believed to be in Pakistani custody and one of the names was Kamal Bakshi’s.
This book has been written by his nephew Shivalik Bakshi. It is his story, recreated from his letters, diaries, recollections of those who crossed paths with him and published accounts of the Battle of Chhamb.


A Walk Up The Hill
A Walk Up The Hill || Madhav Gadgil

A Walk Up the Hill is an account of Madhav Gadgil’s life walking up and down the country’s hills and dales, watching peacocks dance and elephants prance, living among fisherfolk on the west coast, horticulturists on Western Ghats, and the tribals of Manipur and Maharashtra, all the while being a part of a vibrant scientific community.


Faf Through Fire
Faf Through Fire || Faf Du Plessis

In Faf Through Fire, Du Plessis lays bare the story of his growth, from a youth with a questionable moral compass outside of cricket to a leader known for his integrity, values, honesty and empathy for his teammates. He reflects on how influential leaders, such as Gary Kirsten, Stephen Fleming, Doc Moosajee, Graeme Smith, A.B. de Villiers, Owen Eastwood, Russell Domingo, Ottis Gibson and M.S. Dhoni, helped mould him into a man who leads with grit, purpose and a love of people. He also explores the destructive relationships, offering his perspective, in devastating detail, on his final years of international cricket. Neither the changing room nor the boardroom is off limits in this no-holds-barred account.


The Defiant Optimist
The Defiant Optimist || Durreen Shahnaz

From growing up with constrained life chances, to working as the first Bangladeshi woman on Wall Street, to becoming a global leader in impact investing, Shahnaz takes us on a mesmerizing trek of innovation, compassion, and enterprise. We accompany her to villages in Bangladesh where she helps women entrepreneurs learn to proudly sign their names, and on visits to venture capitalists who walk past her to shake her male employees’ hands. We go to a garment factory where women labour for low wages, and to a town in India where microfinance offers women enough capital to run grocery stores and tailor shops. Along the way, the birth of her two daughters only fuels her relentless pursuit of a world where girls are valued. Finally, armed with financial backers and a plan, Shahnaz successfully launches the Women’s Livelihood Bond™ Series, the world’s first tradable financial product for investing in underserved women’s livelihoods.


Kitne Ghazi Aaye, Kitne Ghazi Gaye
Kitne Ghazi Aaye, Kitne Ghazi Gaye || Lt Gen. K.J.S. ‘Tiny’ Dhillon (Retd)

In Kitne Ghazi Aaye Kitne Ghazi Gaye, ‘Tiny’ Dhillon opens a hitherto-closed window, not only to his life but also to Kashmir. He recounts fascinating tales about the toughest challenges he encountered, from age three right up to those from his multiple tenures in Kashmir from 1988 to 2020, where it was his responsibility to maintain a balance between counter-terrorism operations on the one hand and to use military soft power on the other. Dhillon retraces his entire journey, from being a young boy to becoming the Commander of the Chinar Corps, with Kashmir as an inseparable part of this story.


Zikr In the light and Shade of Time || Muzaffar Ali

Muzaffar Ali’s autobiography is a peek into this wealth of experience-a close look at Ali, prince, poet, philosopher, film-maker, automobile aficionado and artist. Zikr is also a rich interior portrait of an artist, as Ali takes us behind the scenes of films like Anjuman and Gaman, speaking of the sensibilities that shaped them and the influences on his work. Above all, this is a book that resounds with a deep love for life.


Lata Mangeshkar A Life in Music
Lata Mangeshkar A Life in Music || Yatindra Mishra

An ode to the majestic life of the late Lata Mangeshkar, Lata: A Life in Music celebrates art in its totality and tells the life story of India’s most loved vocal artists. The result of Yatindra Mishra’s decade-long dialogue with the great singer, it also explores the lesser-known aspects of the great artist, introducing the readers to Lata Mangeshkar as an intellectual and cultural exponent and providing a rare glimpse into the person behind the revered enigma.



Heart Tantrums
Heart Tantrums || Aisha Sarwari

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

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

Jawaharlal Nehru: A life in words

There is no dearth of writing on Jawaharlal Nehru. More will always be less when accounting for his contribution to the country, which starts from before the inception of India, the idea of India. A man who fought imperialism, colonialism, and strove for the idea of a nation propped by secularism, diversity and communal camaraderie is not a figure easily summarised in words. But this 14th of November, we are celebrating Nehru’s birthday with a list of works that come close to portraying the brilliance of his persona, a figure larger than life, vital to our history.




An Autobiography

front cover an autobiography
An Autobiography||Jawaharlal Nehru

by Jawaharlal Nehru


Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, was a great personality who also wrote a number ofinspiring and knowledgeable books. ‘Jawaharlal Nehru: An Autobiography’ is his autobiographical work which he penned down between the years of 1934 and 1935 while he was in prison. In this book, Nehru explores his ideologies and the events in his life that led him to the situation he was positioned in when he wrote this book.

The practice of civil disobedience that Nehru had taken up, is discussed by him terms of his belief in the movement. The author starts off the book with an introduction to his ancestral history, where he mentions that his predecessors had to run away from Kashmir to settle elsewhere.

The book also paints a vivid picture of the pre-independence era in India, where the air of dissension was at an all-time high. The book depicts the political realisation of an upcoming giant of a nation and the battle for its freedom.



front cover Discovery of India
The Discovery of India||Jawaharlal Nehru

The Discovery of India

by Jawaharlal Nehru


Jawaharlal Nehru wrote the book ‘The Discovery of India’, during his imprisonment at Ahmednagar fort for participating in the Quit India Movement (1942 – 1946). The book was written during Nehru’s four years of confinement to solitude in prison and is his way of paying an homage to his beloved country and its rich culture.

The book started from ancient history, Nehru wrote at length of Vedas, Upanishads and textbooks on ancient time and ends during the British raj. The book is a broad view of Indian history, culture and philosophy, the same can also be seen in the television series. The book is considered as one of the finest writing om Indian History. The television series Bharat Ek Khoj which was released in 1988 was based on this book.



front cover Glimpses of World History
Glimpses of World History||Jawaharlal Nehru


Glimpses of World History

by Jawaharlal Nehru


‘Glimpses of the World History’ is an account of the progress of the world through centuries and ages. This book is a collection of letters that Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to his daughter Indira when he was in various Indian prisons for three years. The letters were meant to introduce her to the world and its history. In the first few letters, Nehru expresses his sadness for not being able to be around his daughter and give her the materialistic gifts that other parents could but  he promises to give her a gift that he could afford; in the form of knowledge and wisdom through words that come from the very core of his heart. Nehru wrote 196 letters and covered the history of mankind from 6000 BC to the time he was writing the letters.


front cover Letters From a Father to HIs Daughter
Letters From a Father to HIs Daughter||Jawaharlal Nehru


Letters from a Father to His Daughter

by Jawaharlal Nehru


When Indira Gandhi was a little girl of ten, she spent the summer in Mussoorie, while her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was in Allahabad. Over the summer, Nehru wrote her a series of letters in which he told her the story of how and when the earth was made, how human and animal life began, and how civilizations and societies
evolved all over the world.

Written in 1928, these letters remain fresh and vibrant, and capture Nehru’s love for people and for nature, whose story was for him ‘more interesting than any other story or novel that you may have read’. This is a priceless collection of letters from one legendary leader to another.





Get a small glimpse into the life of Pandit Nehru in his own words.


5 facts About the Father of our Nation You Should Know

Today marks the 148th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, or as he was dearly addressed, Bapuji. The extraordinary figure he was, revered and followed by many, Bapuji followed a simple, ordinary lifestyle. His teachings on truth and nonviolence (ahimsa) inspired the masses in India’s freedom movement against the British Raj, and it continues to do so even now.
Here are a few facts about the man who changed the landscape of India forever.  
The gift of anger creative - 1
Humble soul
The gift of anger creative - 2
Gandhiji understood the importance of self-sustenance
The gift of anger creative - 3
Gandhiji believed meditation was important for both body and mind
The gift of anger creative - 4
Kasturbaji died in prison, sent there with Gandhiji for civil disobedience
The gift of anger creative - 5
How many of these facts did you know about Bapu?
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Divya Dutta

In a career spanning more than two decades, Divya Dutta has appeared in multiple Hindi, Punjabi, Malayalam and English films. She is noted for playing a wide variety of roles in various film genres, and has established herself as one of the leading actresses of parallel cinema.
Here are a few things you may not have known about the IIFA Award winner.
Find out more about Divya Dutta in her memoir Me and Ma.

My First Earning – An Excerpt

June 1979
For several days, I stayed at home. Initially, I helped my mother in her household chores. I also liked to look after the cattle. I woke up early in the morning, took the cattle for grazing along the hills and also helped in milking the cows. When I prepared the husk for the cattle, it used to get stuck all over my body. My mother then helped me tidy up. After my bath, I would bathe the cattle and in the evening, I again took them for grazing. This routine continued for around three months. By now, the monsoon had arrived and the work at the farm was increasing. Hence, I changed my routine and started taking an interest in working at the farm. The processes of plantation intrigued me and I began to help my father in the farm.
One day, when I was with my father, the mat (account- keeper) came to him and informed him about a plantation job available in the village. He said that every worker would be paid a sum of Rs 5 per day.
As soon as I heard that, my eyes gleamed with excitement. For me, a sum of Rs 5 per day was a huge amount. It struck me that not long ago, we didn’t even have Rs 2.50 for my school fees. Compared to that, Rs 5 seemed like a jackpot! I was motivated to work hard for it.
I was lost in excitement. Earning this money would help me pay the fees of two of my siblings. I felt as if I had landed an incredible opportunity. I wanted to do the job anyhow and informed the mat about my intentions. He looked at me with scorn and left the place. His reaction was natural as I was only eight years old at that time and the task demanded power and stamina. No eight-year-old was fit for the job.
But my mind would not take no for an answer. I needed the job and was ready to work hard for it. However, I was an eight-year-old at the end of the day and had to ask my father for help. Initially, he was reluctant and refused to listen, but later, my determination to help with the family’s situation made him talk to the mat.
The very next day, I was in front of the mat once again. My father tried to convince him about my abilities. I was disappointed by his earlier refusal to let me work for him and did not want to be subjected to it again. He initially hesitated but when I reassured him of my dedication, he agreed and explained how to go about the work.
The work was with the forest department for its new campaign to plant some trees in the village. I had to work at the plant nursery, which was situated some 4 kilometres down the hill. I had to collect the plants, carry them on my back, travel uphill to the village for another 4 kilometres and plant them. Once all the trees were planted, I had to go back again and get more seedlings.
It was the day before I was to start work. The excitement about my new job didn’t let me sleep. The next day I woke up before sunrise. Once awake, I saw that it was raining outside. In the hills, when there is heavy rainfall, it becomes difficult to walk down the hill. The soil becomes wet and there are high chances of losing balance, slipping on the mud and hurting oneself badly. Hence, we were often advised to not go down the hills during heavy rains. That day too, because of the harsh weather, I was told by my parents to not go out. But nothing would deter me. I felt as if this job was the biggest milestone I had crossed in my life and not even the heaviest rains could stop me.
I didn’t listen to my parents and rushed out of my house. Since I had been told to reach the place by 8 a.m., I picked up my pace. The way to the nursery in the heavy downpour wasn’t easy at all. I slipped a few times and the constant rains made it more and more difficult. But I didn’t look back and continued walking.
When I reached the nursery, to my utter shock and confusion, I couldn’t see a single soul there. There was absolutely no one around! I was in despair. The sudden happiness and excitement of reaching the nursery, working and earning was shattered. I roamed about and found a guard sitting there. When I inquired, he replied that due to the heavy rains no one had shown up yet. Seeing my dejected face, he suggested that I could wait if I wanted for them to arrive.
I decided to wait. By now, the rain had slowed down. It was merely a drizzle and yet no one came. The guard told me to come back the next day. I left the place completely dejected. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. It was a dark and foreboding night. The moon was nowhere to be seen as if it was hiding behind a curtain of clouds. Just like the moon, I felt lost in desolation, trying to hide my feelings and my tears in a ragged blanket. I had been looking forward to my first earning but the day ended with no money in my hands. The rains had completely stopped by then and the sky was pitch- dark and still. I kept on tossing and turning throughout the night, waiting for sleep.
In the morning, I woke up with the same enthusiasm. The gloom of the previous night seemed like a forgotten thing. I got ready and rushed to the nursery. Fortunately, the work was in progress and the presence of the mat was a sign of relief for me. After talking to him, I picked up a sack full of seedlings and a spade. The mat instructed me to complete at least two rounds in the day, so I carried the sack of plants on my shoulder and went up the hill with great enthusiasm. At that time, I felt as if the sack of plants was no ordinary sack; it was a magic box which would gift me my first earning. I kept on walking briskly for the next two hours, planted the seedlings at the designated place and walked down to the nursery to collect more seedlings. The same routine continued for the entire day. I was so involved in the work that I even skipped lunch. Food was the last thing on my mind.
By evening, I realized that I had actually enjoyed the work and had developed an interest in planting the seedlings. When I went to the nursery, the mat was happy as I had completed three rounds of planting. He took out a small bag from his pocket and took out a note with five written on it and gave it to me.
That moment is still fresh in my mind, as if it was only yesterday. It was an inexplicable feeling, something that till date counts as one of my happiest memories. My first earning! I was on cloud nine.
When I reached home, my mother was still in the kitchen waiting for me. I looked around for my father and spotted him lying on a khaat, a string bed, in the courtyard. I gave him the money. He stared at me for a few minutes. I saw tears welling up in his eyes but at that time I was too young to understand his emotions. He slowly patted my back and told me to give the money to my mother.
Perhaps, this was the moment when I stopped being a child. In just a day, I had shed the cloak of childhood and became an earning member of my family.


An inspirational and emotional roller coaster, The Man who became Khali is a no-holds-barred account of a man who not only went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship but also conquered his inner demons and physical anomalies.
This is the story of how Dalip Singh Rana became the international icon – The Great Khali! Get your copy today at or from any leading book store near you.

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