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Our all time favourites for World Book Day!

Classics are timeless reads that bring you comfort, nostalgia, and warmth to invigorate and inspire you from time to time. This World Book Day, we’re bringing you our favourite books that will stay with you for a lifetime!


Navarasa by A.N.D. Haksar 

Navarasa || A.N.D. Haksar


According to Indian aesthetics, “rasa” is the sap or juice that permeates our culture, art, and helps to direct our basic human feelings. The Natya Shastra, an ancient Hindu text, first made reference to the Navarasas; our art, dance, theatre, and literature are all founded on these nine human emotions. For the first time, 99 verse translations of the nine rasas of old Hindu history are presented in Navarasa: The Nine Flavors of Sanskrit Poetry, coming soon.


The Monkey’s Wounds by Hajra Musroor

The Monkey’s Wound and Other Stories
The Monkey’s Wounds || Hajra Musroor

A compilation of sixteen short tales by Hajra Masroor called The Monkey’s Wound and Other Stories serves as an example of her unyielding voice, her piercing depictions of the bitter realities of life, and the wounds and traumas of women’s inner lives. The tales are taken from her renowned compilation of tales, Sab Afsanay Meray, and are translated from the original Urdu. They are tales that showcase Masroor at her finest.


The Sacred Wordsmith by Raja Rao

The Sacred Wordsmith
The Sacred Wordsmith || Raja Rao


Raja Rao’s best works, including his autobiographical Prefaces and Introductions, are collected in The Sacred Wordsmith. The book includes a number of his well-known acceptance speeches, such as those for the Sahitya Akademi Award and Neustadt International Prize, as well as other well-known writings, including “The World is Sound,” “The Word,” “Why Do You Write?” “The West Discovers Sanskrit,” “The English Language and Us,” and “The Story Round, Around Kanthapura,” a fascinating, unpublished account of the creation of his well-known first novel.


The Postmaster by Rabindranath Tagore

The Postmaster by Rabindranath Tagore
The Postmaster||Rabindranath Tagore


Poet, novelist, painter and musician Rabindranath Tagore created the modern short story in India. Written in the 1890s, during a period of relative isolation, his best stories—included in this selection—recreate vivid images of life and landscapes. They depict the human condition in its many forms: innocence and childhood; love and loss; the city and the village; the natural and the supernatural. Tagore is India’s great Romantic. These stories reflect his profoundly modern, original vision. Translated and introduced by William Radice, this edition includes selected letters, bibliographical notes and a glossary.


Selected Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto

Manto's Selected Stories
Selected Stories|| Saadat Hasan Manto


The gentle dhobi who transforms into a killer, a prostitute who is more child than woman, the cocky, young coachman who falls in love at first sight, a father convinced that his son will die before his first birthday. Saadat Hasan Manto’s stories are vivid, dangerous and troubling and they slice into the everyday world to reveal its sombre, dark heart. These stories were written from the mid 30s on, many under the shadow of Partition. No Indian writer since has quite managed to capture the underbelly of Indian life with as much sympathy and colour. In a new translation that for the first time captures the richness of Manto’s prose and its combination of high emotion and taut narrative, this is a classic collection from the master of the Indian short story.


Lifting the Veil by Ismat Chughati

Ismat Chughtai
Lifting The Veil||Ismat Chughtai


At a time when writing by and about women was rare and tentative, Ismat Chughtai explored female sexuality with unparalleled frankness and examined the political and social mores of her time.
She wrote about the world that she knew, bringing the idiom of the middle class to Urdu prose, and totally transformed the complexion of Urdu fiction.
Lifting the Veil brings together Ismat Chughtai’s fiction and non-fiction writing. The twenty-one pieces in this selection are Chughtai at her best, marked by her brilliant turn of phrase, scintillating dialogue and wry humour, her characteristic irreverence, wit and eye for detail.

One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan
One Part Woman||Perumal Murugan


All of Kali and Ponna’s efforts to conceive a child-from prayers topenance, potions to pilgrimages-have been in vain. Despite being in aloving and sexually satisfying relationship, they are relentlessly houndedby the taunts and insinuations of the people around them.Ultimately, all their hopes and apprehensions come to converge on thechariot festival in the temple of the half-female god Ardhanareeswaraand the revelry surrounding it. Everything hinges on the one night whenrules are relaxed and consensual union between any man and woman issanctioned. This night could end the couple’s suffering and humiliation.

But it will also put their marriage to the ultimate test.Acutely observed, One Part Woman lays bare with unsparing clarity arelationship caught between the dictates of social convention and the tugof personal anxieties, vividly conjuring an intimate and unsettling portraitof marriage, love and sex.


Loom of Time by Kalidasa

Loom of Time by Kalidasa
Loom Of Time||Kalidasa


Kalidasa is the greatest poet and playwright in classical Sanskrit literature and one of the greatest in world literature. Kalidasa is said to have lived and composed his work at the close of the first millennium BC though his dates have not been conclusively established. In all, seven of his works have survived: three plays, three long poems and an incomplete epic. Of these, this volume offers, in a brilliant new translation, his two most famous works, the play Sakuntala, a beautiful blend of romance and fairy tale with elements of comedy; and Meghadutam (The Cloud Messenger), the many-layered poem of longing and separation.

Also included is Rtusamharam (The Gathering of the Seasons), a much-neglected poem that celebrates the fulfillment of love and deserves to be known better. Taken together, these works provide a window to the remarkable world and work of a poet of whom it was said: Once, when poets were counted, Kalidasa occupied the little finger; the ring finger remains unnamed true to its name; for his second has not been found.


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A poignant story of love and fealty, treachery and valour!

The Manipuri writer Binodini’s Sahitya Akademi Award-winning historical novel The Princess and the Political Agent tells the love story of her aunt Princess Sanatombi and Lt. Col. Henry P. Maxwell, the British representative in the subjugated Tibeto-Burman kingdom of Manipur.

A poignant story of love and fealty, treachery and valour, it is set in the midst of the imperialist intrigues of the British Raj, the glory of kings, warring princes, clever queens and loyal retainers. Reviving front-page global headlines of the day, Binodini’s perspective is from the vanquished by love and war, and the humbling of a proud kingdom. Its sorrows and empathy sparkle with wit and beauty, as it deftly dissects the build-up and aftermath of the perfidy of the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.

Here is an excerpt from the book!

Sanatombi saw Manipur’s last war first-hand. She witnessed as a young child the bitter rivalries of the princes, their quarrels, the entanglements of politics. She had seen it all: the fears, the sorrows, the consultations, the talks.

And there were many internal matters of the palace. She saw the splendid throne her grandfather his lordship Chandrakirti sat on for thirty-six years. But she did not get to live in the palace for very long. She was given in marriage at a young age to a man called Manikchand from the Nongmaithem family. There was a reason for this.

One day the Grand Queen Mother summoned Jasumati, consort of her royal grandson Crown Prince Surchandra and said, ‘My dear, keep a close eye on your daughter. She is wilful and is going to be a handful. It is not enough to be kind-hearted. It will not do to be an accommodating and accepting worm of a person. You do not have any male offspring. The astrologers also say your daughter is of strong birth. I want to find a good match for her and get her married. What do you think?’

‘The Grand Queen Mother needs only to instruct us. What can your humble servant say? After you inform your royal grandson, I defer to whatever the Divine Majesty and the Grand Queen Mother decide,’ replied the meek Lady of Satpam.

Jasumati was a gentle woman. No one in the palace talked about her much. She may have had her disappointments and sorrows but she expressed them to no one. Most people in the palace did not even know of her existence. Her senior sister-wife Premamayi, Lady of Ngangbam, dominated all. Even though Premamayi was not the first wife of Surchandra, she overshadowed all—and so it must be. It was only to be

expected that the clever rises above the many. It might be said that Jasumati merely gave birth to her daughter, for Sanatombi spent most of her time with her co-mother the Lady of Ngangbam, and the Grand Queen Mother. She only came home to sleep and her mother barely got to see her at all. She spent her days going from one household in the palace to another. Jasumati worried about her too. She knew her daughter was unruly, strong-willed and driven to win. It would have been better if she had been a boy, she thought to herself. Time and again Sanatombi would cause an uproar and stir up trouble. Even when as a mother she could not bear it any longer she could not beat Sanatombi or discipline her, for the Grand Queen Mother stood as her bulwark. The Grand Queen Mother, Lady of Meisnam, doted excessively on her great-grandchild. And then she says—Watch your daughter closely, when it is she who allows her to run wild . . . —but who could she have said this to? There was no one who could dare to talk back to the Grand Queen Mother, the Lady of Meisnam. So, even though she followed all palace protocol with great care, she suffered defeat at the hands of Sanatombi; she weakened when it came to her. Her great-grandmother favoured the unruly Sanatombi.

One day when Sanatombi had grown up a bit, she said, ‘I will play kang, Grand Queen Mother.’ ‘Of course, my grandchild shall play. And who will be the kang teams?’ The Grand Queen Mother arranged it all. The court shuffleboard teams were Hijam Leikai and the palace. They gathered only the prettiest girls among them, both the palace and Hijam Leikai. They established many rules—no borrowing of pucks, no throwing of pucks in the air, and suchlike. The shuffleboard court was polished with fresh milk. There was a lot of noisy activity. Sanatombi was going to play her first game of court shuffleboard at the palace. But as the sorry tale unspooled, Sanatombi came to her royal great-grandmother, her face red with fury, and demanded, ‘Grand Queen Mother, beat Lukhoi. He has stopped us from playing kang, he says we cannot play.’

A little while later, there was a great hue and cry. ‘Sanatombi has bitten Prince Lukhoi! Oh no, what is to be done!’

The matter was this. Prince Lukhoi had barred Sanatombi when she arrived to play at the shuffleboard court. Lukhoi was born to the Lady of Ngangbam, wife of Surchandra. The Lady of Ngangbam was not only clever but she had even produced a male offspring, and one day, sooner or later, Lukhoi could ascend the throne at Kangla. Even though he was a child, Lukhoi was well aware of this. His unthinking caregivers and attendants never failed to remind the child of it, and so he was very headstrong. He and Sanatombi were not that far apart in age.

He had come in while Sanatombi and her friends were noisily busy in the shuffleboard court and said, ‘Is it true you all are going to play kang, Royal Elder Sister? You may not play.’

‘Why not?’
‘Because I am telling you. You cannot.’
‘And who are you? Should I stop just because you do not

allow it? It is none of your business. I am doing it. What are you going to do about it?’

The Princess and the Political Agent|| Binodini

‘You cannot do as you like.’ ‘And why not?’
‘I am Prince Lukhoi.’
‘And I am Sanatombi.’

‘I am the male offspring—you are female.’
‘What attitude, Mr Male Offspring!’
Sanatombi flared up in anger. It was true she was a daughter. A daughter had no claim upon the throne at Kangla. But she did not accept this; she did not accept being told she could not do as she wanted. She did not know that her mother who only had daughters was not considered a blessed woman. It was especially true in the palace. How was she any different from a barren woman? Her birth mother lived choked in secret, her throat constricted, dry. It was not as if Sanatombi had not sometimes heard her mother heave a deep sigh. But she never found out why. The Grand Queen Mother had never once said to her face, ‘You are a female; you are of inferior destiny.’ She had said, ‘Now, there’s my great-granddaughter, now that’s my great-granddaughter.’ But sometimes late at night, her mother Jasumati said to her quietly, ‘Sanatombi, you are a daughter, so conduct yourself with that knowledge … … … .’ What was it she said? Sanatombi, her thoughts wandering somewhere else, paid her scant heed. Lukhoi not allowing her to play court shuffleboard enraged Sanatombi no end.

Sanatombi said, ‘So what if you are a male?’

‘I am stopping you from playing kang, that’s what,’

Lukhoi answered with attitude. He was also just a boy at the time. It was around that age just before youth when boys are at their most obnoxious.

Sanatombi said, ‘What is it that you want?’ ‘Let Hijam Ibemhal play on the palace team.’ ‘Oh really? The one from Hijam Leikai?’ ‘Even so.’

‘Oh, is that why you are coming and sticking your nose in?’

‘Why did you go to Grand Queen Mother without telling me first you were playing kang?’


‘You have to inform me first—I was going to rehearse my dance here. If you want to play kang here, you have to inform me first.’

‘Your dancing goes on in the women dancers’ court. Has this male offspring no shame, being in the women dancers’ court?’

‘Men should be part of the women dancers’ court. You cannot play kang, and that is that.’ Saying this, he plunked himself down cross-legged in the middle of the shuffleboard court. Smoothened and polished for many days beforehand, the shuffleboard court shone like a mirror. It was not to be stepped upon. Sanatombi could not bear it any longer. She leapt at him and grabbed his hair. The two fought, they could not be pulled apart.

Suddenly Lukhoi yelled, ‘She bit me! The witch, the witch!’

Sanatombi went off to tell the Grand Queen Mother. Lukhoi was left crying, yelling ‘She-Demon, She-Demon’ at her. ‘She-Demon’ was Sanatombi’s hated nickname.

All hurried towards the quarters of the Grand Queen Mother. Sanatombi’s mother, the Lady of Satpam, heard and came running. She lashed out at her child and hit her. She struck out at her wildly. Sanatombi did not cry. She stood rock- still. The others separated them. Hearing of this, Sanatombi’s nurse came running and put her arms around her child.

Sanatombi said, ‘Of course, I beat him up. Can he do as he pleases just because he’s a male offspring? I will beat him, I will keep on beating him.’

‘Look at the mouth on her.’ Her mother tried to hit her again. The Grand Queen Mother tried to separate them. Then Sanatombi went and stood by the Grand Queen Mother, watching. She was very pleased with herself.

Lukhoi’s mother, the Lady of Ngangbam, arrived.
Laughing, she said, ‘Do not beat her, sister-wife. Why make a big thing of a matter between children?’ Saying this, she examined her child’s wounds. She did not mean what she said, for she was upset.

‘Please do as you see fit, elder sister-wife. I am not going to be able to handle this girl. Look how she has bitten the child on his arm … Here, let Mother take a look.’

The Lady of Ngangbam laughed and said, ‘Of course you should beat him, my child. How can he be disrespectful to

his older royal sister? Lukhoi, say you are sorry to your older sister. Why did you try to destroy my daughter’s kang court? What right does a boy have to do that.’ She pretended to blame her son.

‘Why should I kowtow when I did no wrong?’ ‘How he lies and says he did no wrong!’

They went at each other again. The Lady of Ngangbam stopped them, laughing. They made light of the matter but both the Lady of Ngangbam and the Lady of Satpam each knew what the other was thinking.

There were countless incidents and uproars like this because of Sanatombi. The girl-bearing Jasumati conducted herself with great discretion. But male offspring or female did not matter to Sanatombi. She did as she pleased.


A Drop of Blood – excerpt

Mohan Karan has been blessed with exceptional good looks-and a rare blood type. An orphan with few connections, he finds that his degree in English literature is unable to secure him a proper job. However, he discovers he can make good money by selling his blood to a private blood bank. And while this opens up unexpected possibilities for this unemployed graduate, little does he realize that it all comes at great personal cost.

Here is an excerpt from the book!

Finally, he arrived at the porch of the people’s Blood Bank and stopped. he found himself staring at the back of an ambulance, standing under the porch, with a giant red cross on it. he wanted to turn away from it but, helplessly, he kept on staring.

As he continued to stare, he was taken with an unshakeable curiosity, as if his own blood, from head to toe, had begun to pulse with a singular question.

‘two thousand years ago . . .’
Karan’s thoughts were speaking to him again.

‘. . . that heavy cross was tied to the shoulders and arms of some virtuous human being and then, he was whipped repeatedly and made to walk miles barefoot through the public markets. then in some square, nails were driven through the palms of that honest, virtuous human and into that cross, and the heavy wood of that cross was drenched red, inside and out, with the sacred blood of that incomparable human being. the sacrifice of that great man is still alive today, even after two thousand years. his blood has become immortal!’

Karan’s own blood appeared afflicted to him.

‘But why, in this age, do the priests of gold tell every poor man that he is as great as christ? Why have they hammered nails and attached the cross to every single poor person? Why do the poor have to suffer the same, relentless anguish that uniquely belongs to God’s own son?’ Karan became exceedingly troubled at this thought.

‘if every poor person has to be tied to a cross then why does the colour of his blood fade? Why doesn’t he receive infinite credit for his sacrifice? Why are the doors of sainthood and immortality closed to him?’

After a few moments, a nurse with the red cross walked out in a hurry from the people’s Blood Bank building and got into the ambulance. even after the ambulance had departed, Karan could still see the red cross in his mind’s eye.

‘hello!’ the elderly clerk from the people’s Blood Bank, who had stopped at the doorway, called out to Karan.

‘have you come to give blood? . . . hello?’

Karan looked at him as if he was coming out of a trance.

‘oh . . . hello!’

As soon as he got his bearings and recognized the clerk, Karan’s voice took on the warmth of familiarity.

the two of them continued talking as they went inside the blood bank.

‘You will have to wait a little while,’ the elderly clerk explained to him as he entered his office. ‘two men are giving blood in the theatre right now.’

he sat down on his chair and offered Karan a seat in front of him.

‘What’s the matter? You look just as unsettled as my boss. And just like him, you don’t seem well. You haven’t started needing blood instead of giving it, have you?’ he spoke in a matter-of-fact tone.

‘how could a poor man take someone else’s blood, shree . . .?’

‘Acharya,’ the clerk offered his name.

‘shree Acharyaji. A poor man can’t even claim his own blood as his own.’

‘come now, if your blood wasn’t your own, you should have handed the money over to me instead of taking it yourself.’

Acharya opened the registry and began entering Karan’s details.

‘it’s taken you a while to return, hasn’t it? You haven’t found work, have you?’

This short, blistering novel launched Joginder Paul’s literary career, cleverly exploring the insidious ways in which the mighty habitually prey upon the vulnerable. Incisive in its observations, A Drop of Blood also ably tackles themes of female desire. Snehal Shingavi’s lucid translation makes this important work available in English for the first time. Get your e-book here to find out what happens next!

Raja Rao Contemplates the Deeper Significance of India

First published in 1996 when he was eighty-eight years old, The Meaning of India is a selection of nearly six decades of Raja Rao’s non-fiction. It is an audacious contemplation on the deeper significance of India. A combination of fables, journeys, discussions and meditations, it advances the view that India is not just a geographical entity, or even a civilization-state. India is, above all, a metaphysic, a way of being and regarding the self and the world.


How does the book use fables, journeys, discussions and meditations? Read these excerpts from the book to find out:


India—A Fable

‘Your country—you get there by sailboat?’ he asked.

I said, ‘No. One goes there on steamers. One goes night and day, and for fifteen days. Then one comes to India.’

‘India,’ he repeated. He left the camel on the gravel. He sat by the pool, thinking.

‘And you? Have you a princess?’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I even have two. They are not princesses. They are goddesses. One on my right hand and one on my left hand.’

‘One on your right hand, and one on your left hand. They are goddesses.’


‘What is a goddess, a goddess, Monsieur le Prince?’


Journeys (From ‘When Malraux Meets Jawaharlal Nehru’)

Twenty-two years later, in the autumn of 1958, there was a telephone call from André Malraux. I had just come back from Trivandrum (I spent about six months in Trivandrum and six months in Paris every year). Malraux said, ‘I have today, in fact only a few moments ago, been asked by General De Gaulle to head the first diplomatic mission abroad, of his new government. And where do you think it is going to—to India. Since it is you, mon ami, who first made me meet Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, I want you to accompany me on this historic visit.


Discussions (From ‘My First Meeting with Pandit Jawaharlal’)

‘Romain Rolland spoke to me about you,’ he said after a long silence as we were walking back to the pension. I still remember the sun was completely unaware of himself and the trees stood inordinately still. They seemed aching for a breath, a touch, an efflorescence of the noncontingential. Everything seeks its own death and discovery, for suchness alone is meaning.

‘Oh, did he?’ I mumbled from nowhere.

‘Yes, and he said you knew your France well.’

‘I suppose it’s because I recognize my India so deeply, Panditji. With Indian eyes all is meaning.’

‘Do you always speak like this?’

‘I always speak to the tree,’ I answered. I did not mention the Bodhisattva.



Meditations (From ‘Look, the Universe Is Burning!’)

Is man the universe’s centre or Truth the centre of man?—that’s the only real question. Or, may it be the truth of the universe and the truth of man coincide, cancelling each other out, as it were, taking us vertically to the supreme non-dual affirmation. The non-dual is also the non-causal. The great Vedantic philosopher Gaudapada (fourth century ad?) says, cause and effect are like proving the father is the son of the son, or the son is the father of the father, thus there is neither father nor son. 

These are some excerpts from Raja Rao’s The Meaning of India. To read them all, check out the book here: The Meaning of India

Power of Poetry: Memorable Verses from Tamil Magnum Opus “Tiruvaymoli”

During this difficult time, we tend to turn to powers higher than us. The ancient poet-saint Nammalvar’s magnum opus “Tiruvaymoli”, or “Endless Song”, is a grand 1100-verse Tamil poem in praise of Tirumal—among the many names for Lord Vishnu. On the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami, here are some verses on the devotee’s love and longing for the supreme lord, in Archana Venkatesan’s dazzling translation, that will light you up from within.


I.1.5 Each knows what they know,

each finds a different path

Each has their god

each reaches his feet

Each of these gods lacks nothing,

everyone is fated

to find their way to the great lord

who’s always there.

II.5.1 In that place he loved me

fused with my breath.

the lord who wears lovely garlands,

a crown conch disc thread jewels:

His large eyes like a pool of lotuses

his lips red lotuses, his feet too lotuses,

his red-gold body glows.

IV.3.8 You’ve entered my breath,

radiant light of wisdom

filling the seven beautiful worlds.

My breath is yours

Your breath is mine

I can’t describe how this is

I can’t describe the way you are.


Archana Venkatesan’s Endless Song is a dazzling translation of one of the most revered ancient Bhakti poems.

Ingeniously weaving a garland of words-where each beginning is also an ending-the poet traces his cyclical quest for union with the supreme lord, Visnu. In this magnificent translation, Archana Venkatesan transports the flavour and cadences of Tamil into English, capturing the different voices and range of emotions through which the poet expresses his enduring desire for release.

We are turning to poetry and its power to heal; are you?

9 Indian Classics That You Must Read (If You Haven’t Already)

From the endless number of books written by Indian writers in multiple languages, there have been a few which have broken barriers of time and language successfully. Read by millions of people down in India and across the world, here are nine classics that you should include in your ‘must-read’ list, if you haven’t already.
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Home and the World
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I, Lalla
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My Name is Radha
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Grab your set of these timeless stories here today!
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6 Fascinating Political Strategy Pointers from a Gujarati Classic

K.M. Munshi was one of Gujarat’s most well-known literary writers. Munshi’s Glory of Patan, the first book in the epic trilogy is a landmark and bestselling classic in Gujarat. A mix of romance and politics, this fast-paced saga  is sure to delight readers of historical fiction.
Here are six fascinating points of political strategy from the K. M. Munshi’s masterpiece.
Honour Comes First
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One Kingdom, One Rule
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Where Expediency Matters
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Winning is Everything
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Measured Tactics, Calculated Risks
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Religion’s Nemesis
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Get the bestselling epic about a key moment in Gujarat’s history here!
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A Trip Down Memory Lane: 6 Classics to Relive Your Childhood

Some of our most unforgettable books were the ones we read in our childhood.  Perhaps it was our unfettered imaginations, or the ease with which we learned things, or perhaps that pure, creative mind that absorbed all stories and made those books memorable throughout our lives.
And now, more than ever, in our chaotic lives, is a good time to return to our glorious reading memories
Here are six classics that will take you on a trip down memory lane!
The Wizard of Oz
When a terrifying tornado crashes through Kansas, Dorothy, a little girl from a neighbourhood, is whisked away with her dog to the magical land of Oz. She thinks she’s lost forever and that’s when she embarks on an enchanting adventure.
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Malgudi Days
The fun that Swami and his friends have in the sleepy little town of Malgudi made Malgudi not just a place but an emotion. It meant hopping on a joyride and getting off at the Malgudi Railway Station, to enjoy a fascinating world.
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Sherlock Holmes
How can we forget our beloved detective who possesses unique powers of deduction and sets about inspecting complex cases, wearing his famous hat and smoking his pipe? We can’t help but tag along, as Sherlock Holmes conducts thrilling investigations, be it the foggy streets of Victorian London or the beautiful English countryside.
The Jungle Book
A heart-warming story of a friendship between a boy man and the jungle, The Jungle Book tells a story of a ‘man-cub’ being saved from the jaws of an evil tiger and adopted by a pack of wolves. As Mowgli grows, our excitement grows with him and his escapades in the Seeonee jungle.
Around the World in Eighty Days
The candidate: A daring traveller. The challenge: To travel across the world in just eighty days!
As the race against the clock begins, we are taken on a thrilling trip through exotic lands and dangerous places. Sometimes aboard a train, sometimes riding an elephant, it’s an exciting hustle to win the bet.
A charming story of the love for a place and for one’s grandparents, in this classic we are mesmerised by the joys experienced by Heidi, living in the Alps with her grandfather. When her strict aunt sends her away to the city, Heidi yearns to return to the happiness of life with her grandfather.
Is there a memory of a book you would like to share? Do you have a beloved classic that you would want to talk about? Tell us – we would LOVE to know!

Classic Translations and Their Breathtaking Book Covers

The world of literature is full of some enigmatic works that transcend the boundaries of language.
If you are looking to immerse  yourself in some beautifully translated works (with stunning covers), look no further.
Here’s a list of five gorgeous looking classic translations that will leave you enthralled!
Kalidasa’s Classics
Kalidasa, perhaps the most extraordinary of India’s classical poets, composed seven major works: three plays, two epic poems and two lyric poems. Originally written in Sanskrit, the legacy of the writings have passed on to generations through various translated media. Kalidasa’s classics are also filled with lush imagery—from the magnificence of the bountiful earth to the glory of the celestial gods, from the hypnotic lilt of birdsong to the passionate love stories between couples. This vibrant verbal imagery  translates beautifully into the covers of these books. Whether it be the green hue of the glorious forests in Meghdutam or the myriad of colours in the love story between Shakuntala and Dushyanta in Abhijananashakuntalam or the colour blue depicting the travails of Dashratha in Raghuvamsam, the covers of the translations reflect the beauty of his works.
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My Name is Radha by Sadat Hasan Manto
My Name Is Radha is a path-breaking translation of stories that  delve deep into Manto’s creative world. In this singular collection, the focus rests on Manto the writer. The vibrant pink hue of the cover reflects the boldness  of Manto’s writings and the retro-graphic and font on the cover reflect Muhammad Umar Memon’s attempt to keep true to the artfulness in the translation.
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The Broken Mirror, None Other, and Steps in Darkness
Written and translated by the eminent iconoclast Krishna Baldev Vaid, his writings echo an aspect of the turmoil the people and the Indian subcontinent went through during the time of partition. The perpetuating, almost uncontrollable patterns on the covers of these translations perhaps reflect the myriad moods that people suffered through during those times.
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Decoding the Panchatantra: 6 Little-Known Facts About the Evergreen Animal Fables

Originally composed in Sanskrit, the Panchatantra is one of the oldest collections of fables in the world. Devised for the purposes of teaching three dull-witted sons of a king, it strives to convey the principles of kingship and some valuable life lessons.
Nilanjana Roy, author and journalist, notes in her introduction to the refreshing new translation of the Panchatantra: “Stories are alive and they like to travel.” In fact, the more brilliant the stories the wider their reach. And therein lies the magic of the Panchatantra – it has hopped down and affected numerous centuries and generations!
Here are six little-known yet brilliant facts about the Panchatantra!
Who wrote the Panchatantra?Panchatantra - Blog Creatives 01Vishnusharma was renowned far and wide for his learning and his skill as a teacher, and was therefore given the task of educating the sons of the king and making them fit to rule. He was eighty years old at the time yet accepted the challenge, and devised the stories of the Panchatantra to  teach the princes the rules of kingship and the principles of government.
When was the Panchatantra composed?Panchatantra - Blog Creatives 02The exact date of its composition is uncertain. We do know, however, that it was translated into Pahlavi in 550 CE. Thus, we know with certainty that the Panchatantra must have been composed before this date.
Where was the Panchatantra composed?Panchatantra - Blog Creatives 03We do not know the exact location of this city, or even if it was a real place. The Panchatantra only states, rather vaguely, that Mahilaropya was the capital city of ‘a kingdom in the south’.
The Structure of the PanchatantraPanchatantra - Blog Creatives 04The original Panchatantra is a mixture of verse and prose. The stories are narrated mainly in prose, but the lessons derived from the tales are usually given in verse form. Panchatantra takes its audience into a series of stories, deeper and deeper, from one level to the next.
Characters in the PanchatantraPanchatantra - Blog Creatives 05The author has used a device to make it easy for his audience to understand the nature of his characters, and that is their names. He has given his characters, whether human or animal, names that highlight certain aspects of their appearance or behaviour. Thus, we have Pingalaka the lion, whose name means ‘one who is red–gold’, named for his fiery coat!
Translations and RetellingsPanchatantra - Blog Creatives 06The subject matter of the Panchatantra and its delightful tales made it a very popular text. Its stories, carried far and wide by travellers and merchants, spread rapidly across the world.
Want to soak in the magic of the Panchatantra? Relive the joy of this enduring classic, translated brilliantly from the original by Rohini Chowdhury and now in a classic keepsake edition – here!

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