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Books to read on International Mother Language Day

This International Mother Language Day, we bring you our favourite reads to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity. Scroll down to find the books that you would like to read next.

 

Hangwoman by K.R. Meera 

Hangwoman
Hangwoman || K.R. Meera

The Grddha Mullick family takes great pride in their long history, which dates back to 400 B.C. The Grddha Mullicks play a key role as eyewitnesses to the significant events that have shaped the history of the subcontinent in these amazing stories of hangmen and hangings. The narrative of Chetna, the youngest member in the family, is transformed into an epic and twisted coming-of-age tale thanks to Meera’s amazing imagination. Will the passionate young lady be able to break free from her love? Will she be able to kill someone? Will she shine a brighter light on Grddha Mullick’s famous name? Or will she give in to the glamour of fame and the rush of having the ability to decide someone’s fate? As the drama sputters towards its unavoidable conclusion, the vile pleasures of voyeurism and the punishing ironies of violence are kept in agile balance.

 

Lajja by Taslima Nasrin 

Lajja
Lajja || Taslima Nasrin

Lajja, a brutal indictment of religious fanaticism and man’s inhumanity to man, was outlawed in Bangladesh but quickly rose to fame elsewhere. The Dutta family, which consists of Sudhamoy and Kironmoyee, as well as their offspring Suranjan and Maya, has always resided in Bangladesh. Unlike the majority of their friends and family, they are not willing to leave their nation even though they are a part of a small, weak Hindu community. Sudhamoy has a naive optimism and idealism that he will not be let down by his homeland. On December 6, 1992, the Babri Mosque was destroyed. The incident is condemned by the entire world, but Bangladesh feels its immediate effects the most keenly as Muslim mobs start to hunt down and assault Hindus. The Duttas’ world starts to disintegrate as the nightmare comes at their door.

 

Chowringhee by Sankar 

Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: Chowringhee
Chowringhee || Sankar

Best-selling Bengali author Sankar’s 1962 book Chowringhee, which is set in 1950s Calcutta, is written in Bengali. It focuses on the private lives of administrators, staff members, and visitors at the Shahjahan, one of Calcutta’s biggest hotels. The newest employee, Shankar, tells the tales of a number of individuals whose lives intersect in the hotel’s suites, restaurants, bar, and backrooms. Chowringhee is as much an eulogy as it is an homage to a city and its people thanks to its barely veiled accounts of the private lives of real-life celebrities and its sympathetic story that seamlessly weaves the past and the present.

 

One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan 

Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: One Part Woman
One Part Woman || Perumal Murugan

Kali and Ponna’s relationship is tested by the Chariot Festival, which could end their suffering and humiliation, but also put their marriage to the ultimate test. One Part Woman evokes an intimate and unsettling portrait of marriage, love and sex.

 

Tejo Tungabhadra by Vasudhendra 

Tejo Tungabhadra
Tejo Tungabhadra || Vasudhendra

Tejo Tungabhadra is a grand saga of love, ambition, greed, and a deep zest for life, set in the late 15th and early 16th century. The profoundly antisemitic society around Bella and her family, who are young Jewish refugees living in Lisbon on the banks of the Tejo River, poses daily threats to their lives and dignity. Her lover, Gabriel, travels to India with General Albuquerque’s fleet in search of riches and a bright future for the two of them. Meanwhile, the young pair Hampamma and Keshava are caught in the violent religious storm and the cruel rigmarole of tradition on the banks of the Tungabhadra in the Vijayanagara Empire. With all the thunder and gush of colliding rivers, the two tales come together in Goa. Tejo Tungabhadra, a grand saga of love, desire, greed, and a profound zest for life through the tossing waves of history, is set in the late 15th and early 16th century.

 

Lifting the Veil by Ismat Chughtai 

Lifting The Veil
Lifting the Veil || Ismat Chughtai

Ismat Chughtai investigated female sexuality with unparalleled frankness and looked at the political and social mores of her time at a time when writing by and about women was uncommon and tentative. She completely changed the tone of Urdu fiction by writing about the society she was familiar with and introducing middle-class idiom into Urdu prose.

In Lifting the Veil, Ismat Chughtai’s fiction and nonfiction work are combined. The twenty-one pieces in this collection showcase Chughtai’s finest work, which is distinguished by her exquisite word choice, enthralling dialogue, wry humour, and her trademark irreverence, wit, and attention to detail.

 

The Princess and the Political Agent by Binodini 

Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: The Princess and the Political Agent
The Princess and the Political Agent || Binodini

This is the love tale of Sanatombi and Lt. Col. Henry St. P. Maxwell, the British representative in the Tibeto-Burman kingdom of Manipur, which has now been translated into English by Binodini’s son, L. Somi Roy. A moving story of loyalty and betrayal, treachery, and bravery, it is set amid the Raj’s imperialist machinations, the grandeur of kings, warring princes, cunning queens, and obedient retainers. Binodini’s viewpoint, which revives front-page international headlines from the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891, glistens with wit, empathy, and beauty and vividly depicts the court and manners of a little-known country. She uncovers a forgotten era of the British Raj and its extraordinary past in the process.

 

Lata by Yatindra Mishra 

Lata
Lata || Yatindra Mishra

Lata: A Life in Music is a celebration of art and the life of one of India’s most revered vocalists. It is a tribute to the marvellous life of the Late Lata Mangeshkar. The final result of Yatindra Mishra’s ten-year conversation with the legendary performer, it also uncovers the great artist’s lesser-known sides, introducing readers to Lata Mangeshkar as an intellectual and cultural exponent and offering a rare window into the person behind the adored legend.

8 books to help you prioritize your mental health in 2023!

Hey, you! We are here to remind you that mental health is as important as physical health. So, prioritize your mental health in 2023!

Some of you might have missed adding ‘self-care’ to your long list of resolutions this year. However, each one of us should take an extra step in taking care of our bodies, mind, and soul right from the beginning of the year. To help you in the journey of refreshing your mind and relieving your worries, we bring to you five books that can be a good starting point. Scroll through this list and choose the books that will become your companions in your self-care journey and help you understand your mind better.

 

front cover if i'm honest
If I’m Honest||Sidhartha Mallya

 

Sidhartha Mallya has had a unique life to say the least. Born into one of India’s most prominent business families, he has had-from an outside perspective-what many would consider a blessed life. Appearances can often be deceiving, though, and at times what was going on inside was a very different story. In 2016, he went through depression. Something that came as a bit of a surprise to him, given that he seemingly had the world at his feet: he was young, had just graduated from a prestigious drama school and had upcoming film projects. However, despite all the wonderful opportunities that awaited him, he felt desperately unhappy, constantly low and like his insides were being crushed by a vice. That was when Sidhartha realized that something was not right and he sought professional help. Thus began the journey to understanding his current mental state as well as an exploration of the other mental issues he has suffered throughout his life and where they might have stemmed from. Sidhartha also writes about what helped him face and overcome his challenges.

 

 

Energize Your Mind

Energize Your Mind
Energize Your Mind || Gaur Gopal Das

 

In this book, bestselling author and life coach Gaur Gopal Das decodes how the mind works. He combines his anecdotal style with analytical research to teach us how to discipline our mind for our greater well-being. Throughout this book, he provides interactive exercises, meditation techniques and worksheets to help us take charge of our minds.

This book is an essential read for anyone who wants to work towards a better, more fulfilling future for themselves.

 

 

And How Do You Feel About That?

And How Do You Feel About That?
And How Do You Feel About That? || Aruna Gopakumar, Yashodhara Lal

 

Ever wondered what REALLY happens in the therapy room?
For too long, therapy has been seen as taboo in our society and is shrouded in myth–it’s only for the weak or ‘crazies’, it’s just blaming your parents, a therapist ‘only listens’ and so on. In this book, Aruna Gopakumar and Yashodhara Lal bust those myths and show you how therapy actually works.
With decades of combined experience in the field, these two therapists share fascinating stories based on their practice. You’ll meet the woman who sends secret messages to her husband during arguments; the towering tattooed man who realizes he can’t save his sister; the teenager whose life is revealed in the tale of a lonely bear; the divorced man angry with his ex-wife for starting to date again; the fiery gay young man impatient to change the world; the lady who won’t relax until her daughter is perfect; and many more.
Written with authenticity, warmth, simplicity, and lightness, And How Do You Feel About That brings you an understanding of the world of possibilities that opens up when we embark on an inner exploration – in dialogue with another.

 

Chemical Khichdi

Chemical Khichdi
Chemical Khichdi || Aparna Piramal Raje

 

Part memoir and part self-help guide, Chemical Khichdi provides a pathway for anyone with a mental health condition and the family, friends, colleagues, and medical professionals that love and care for them.

Empathetic, candid and accessible, it outlines ‘seven therapies’ that have enabled Aparna to ‘hack’ her mental health and find equilibrium over the years, and shows how you or someone you know can also do the same.

 

 

The Wisdom Bridge

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

 

The intentions, thoughts and actions of the elders are caught by the hearts of the children. The children observe, learn and imbibe the teachings quickly and faithfully, and the elders have the responsibility to not only raise the children well, but nurture and guide them in a way that they can lead fulfilling lives.

Daaji in The Wisdom Bridge offers nine principles to guide you, the reader, to live a life that inspires your children and your loved ones. These principles are important references for parents, parents-to-be, grandparents and caregivers to create fulfilling and happy lives. They will not only help you enrich the lives of your children and raise responsible teenagers, but pave the way for an inspired life and resilient bonds in your family.

 

 

The Friend

The Friend
The Friend || Sri M, Mohini Kent Noon

 

Sri M is widely known as a spiritual leader and teacher. However, he believes, for him to truly connect with someone and guide them, they must be friends.
In this book, Mohini Kent asks him about love, life, religion, marriage, death and everything in between making it a one-stop shop complete collection of Sri M’s teachings and philosophy. Following the ancient form of a conversation between a guru and a disciple, this book is easy to read and relatable for people of all ages.

 

 

Slow is Beautiful by Ahlawat Gunjan

Slow is Beautiful
Slow is Beautiful || Ahlawat Gunjan

 

Slow is Beautiful serves as an invitation to engage in a voyage of mindfulness and to tune out the clutter and noise in your environment. You’ll learn to see, watch, reflect, and practise using artistic methods developed through years of training under the direction of artist and visual designer Ahlawat Gunjan in order to rekindle a lost instinct. By developing a relationship with form, colour, and composition in a particularly approachable manner, this lovely collector’s edition equips you to accept a fresh artistic perspective into your lives. In order to encourage readers to draw, erase, paint, experiment, create, and, most importantly, embrace their errors, each of the book’s sixty simple prompts is highlighted by vibrant ink and watercolour paintings created and curated by the artist himself.

 

25 Small Habits by Manoj Chenthamarakshan

25 Small Habits
25 Small Habits || Manoj Chenthamarakshan

 

We all recognize that our habits influence how we live, but when we also know how challenging it can be to adopt a new habit. Most individuals struggle after the first week to keep up with a new habit. This book doesn’t teach you how to create habits; instead, it provides you with a list of 25 quick, easy routines that you can adopt right away.

The practises in this book are meant to help you develop holistically in terms of your personal growth, as well as your community, job, relationships, physical health, and mental health. You can decide which habits you can incorporate into your daily plan.

 

In Conversation with the Nation: We The People

Over the last decade, conversations around constitutional rights and state directives have taken precedence. Facts and opinions ebb and flow into each other, and in some instances, it becomes difficult to separate their boundaries and compartmentalise. Public perception and our understanding of our own locations within structures of the state and state power have shifted to a great extent, and how we understand the nation and nationhood has also been coloured by communal differences, identity politics and an onslaught of conservative discourse around human rights and minority communities.

We The People, the fourth volume in the series Rethinking India, does the difficult work of trudging through this quagmire. It agglomerates the most visionary thinkers and the sharpest minds in the political and sociolegal sphere and brings us a volume packed with indispensable insights into the construction and mechanism behind the functioning of the nation, and our relationship with it.

In their essay ‘Fighting Inequality: Rights and Entitlements’, Amitabh Behar and Savvy Soumya Misra write about how even someone like Manmohan Singh, who was pro-liberalisation of the market, had highlighted the necessity to consider carefully the status of inequality in the country. He elaborated on his warning, explaining how despite being one of the fastest growing economies of the world, some groups have been marginalised and remain divested of access to social and economic reform. In fact, he also links this fast growth to this very inequality, stating that its speed and scope is actually achieved at the expense of peripheral groups who are left behind.

India is a country where 63 billionaires own more wealth than the union budget for 2018-19, and the wealth of the nine richest people equals the wealth collectively owned by the poorest 50% of the population. Behar and Misra explore how India, due to its population, is a major factor in the global development and inequality trends. The writers also highlight social inequalities, no doubt a key agent in economic inequalities. Citing the work of Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, they discuss how caste hierarchies have created deep seated roots of inequality, breeding discrimination through the fabric of our society.

Prashant Bhushan and Anjali Bharadwaj take up another extremely important strand of discussion around the structures of the nation in their essay, ‘The Role of Independent Institutions in Protecting and Promoting Constitutional Rights’. They discuss how an effective rule of law can only be guaranteed by independent and efficient institutions, and how this is the primary safeguard of democracy. The Indian judiciary has passed some landmark judgements in the recent past, securing the rights of citizens in the process. But, the writers note, it is not enough to merely have the skeletal promise of these rights. There is a need for independent and reliable networks that ensure at ground level that these rights are secured, and that theory is indeed translated into practice. Delving into the judiciary as one such system, Bhushan and Bharadwaj discuss fault lines that have been exposed in the system, and how despite the Right To Information Act being applicable to courts as well, courts have resisted making their workings in certain cases transparent. The writers also give a clear picture of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013, and pick up many more tensions in the conversation around the institutions which are supposed to be the guarantors of rights, like the Central Bureau of Investigation.

We The People spans crucial ideas like economic rights, social democracy, right to education and health, and the MGNREGA among others, bringing into sharp focus important discussions that too often do not engage the public. But the public is the most crucial aspect of these constitutional directives; after all, these conversations affect us and our positions as citizens directly. This volume breaks down these important concepts into accessible essays, and is a much-required reading.

 

[To delve deeper, get your copy of We The People today.]

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