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6 Must-Have Cookbooks for a Showstopping Diwali!

Are you ready to light up your taste buds and celebrate the flavors of Diwali? In this handpicked collection of 7 must-have cookbooks, we’re bringing you the essence of this joyous festival through delicious recipes, rich traditions, and a sprinkle of spice. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, these books are your guide to creating a feast that will make this Diwali truly unforgettable!

 

The Illustrated Masala Lab
The Illustrated Masala Lab || Krish Ashok

Masala Lab by Krish Ashok is a scientific exploration of Indian cooking aimed at inquisitive chefs who want to turn their kitchens into joyful, creative playgrounds for gastronomic experimentation. In this special edition, Meghna Menon’s vibrant illustrations effortlessly complement Krish Ashok’s lighthearted approach to the demystification of culinary science, making it the perfect vehicle to absorb the exhaustive testing, groundbreaking research and scientific rigour that went into the making of this revolutionary book.

 

Mrs K M Mathew's Finest Recipes
Mrs K M Mathew’s Finest Recipes

Few have championed the cuisine of Kerala like Mrs K.M. Mathew (1922-2003), who authored many a column and twenty-three cookbooks, introducing an entire generation to the culinary culture of the state. A true master of the craft, she travelled across the length and breadth of Kerala, visiting homes and restaurants, noting down recipes, before going back home to experiment with dishes repeatedly until they were perfect. Eventually, she ushered in a shift from the oral telling of recipes to written instructions, and before long, due to her innovative and easy step-by-step approach to cooking, her cookbooks were being
gifted to newly married couples. Even today, her books not only serve as a treasure chest of unforgettable recipes but also inspire new readers to rush to the kitchen.

Mrs K.M. Mathew’s Finest Recipes brings a definitive compilation of her all-time top recipes, which have been enjoyed around the world, to a new generation of readers.

On the Pickle Trail
On the Pickle Trail || Monish Gujral

In this book, Monish Gujral brings together a collection of 100 pickles to start you on your journey of pickling. These recipes are not only simple and easy to make, each also has health benefits. From the Italian Giardiniera (pickled vegetables) to the Israeli Torshi Left (white turnip pickle), from the Gari(Japanese ginger pickle) to the Cebollas Encurtidas (pickled onions from Ecuador), this book is a treasure trove of some of the best pickles from around the world. Start your lip-smacking journey today!

 

The Book of Dals
The Book of Dals || Pratibha Karan

Pratibha Karan, in The Book of Dals, takes you on an incredible journey to different regions of the country and shows how locally available spices and herbs, vegetables and fruit impact the food of that region. The variety of dals and dal-based dishes that you can make with these are phenomenal and mind-boggling.

 

The Essential Kerala Coobook
The Essential Kerala Coobook || Vijay Kannampilly

In recent times, the coconut-flavoured cuisine of the Malayalis has gained immense popularity. Appam and Istoo, Avial and Olan, Irachi Biryani and Pathiri, all these and more are now served in restaurants and homes all over India. As the author explains in his introduction to the book, the ancient association of food with religion, the influence of foreign trade and the intermingling of different communities have all combined to make Kerala cuisine what it is today. Interestingly, even though a variety of spices grow literally in their backyards, Malayalis abstain from an overpowering use of these, rendering their cuisine different from other Asian cuisines. Instead, there is a range of delicately spiced dishes, harmoniously balanced and simple to prepare, neither too rich nor too bland, and always delicious. The recipes in this volume cover the entire range of vegetables, meat, seafood, pickles, sweets and snacks, served both as daily fare and as part of the sadya on festive occasions, taking in the specialities of the different regions and communities of the state.

 

Passionate About Baking
Passionate About Baking || Deeba Rajpal

A home baker for over 20 years, food stylist and photographer Deeba Rajpal put her passion to the test when she decided to blog about her adventures in the kitchen. Soon, her simple yet delectable dessert recipes accompanied by beautiful, evocative imagery struck a chord with people across the globe, turning her blog, Passionate about Baking, into one of the most popular blogs in the country.
Inspired by her blog, this book is a collection of some of her most loved chocolate dessert recipes for every kind of indulgence. With healthy, tasty yet easy-to-make chocolate delights — from tarts, tea cakes and cupcakes to cookies, traybakes and cakes for special occasions — and simple tips and tricks, Deeba shows you how working with chocolate can be oh so fun!

 

#GiftAPenguin: The Hottest Trend this Festive Season

This November, dive into a treasure trove of stories, from leadership sagas to thrilling investigations. Unearth the secrets of self-discovery and delve into exciting adventures. The perfect gift for any bookworm? #GiftAPenguin book from these November releases that are bound to delight!

 

Fake news
Fake News || Gaurav Sood

Fake News analyses the impact of fake news both on products and personalities. Foregrounded in rigorous research, it examines how fake news is used by companies, political parties, and leaders to create, amplify, and even tarnish a brand’s image and equity. It emphasizes how the customers’ perception of a brand impacts and influences its reputation, and acts as a decisive force in them gaining or losing competitive advantages. Elucidating how brands can interact both directly and indirectly with fake news, it brings to the readers’ notice how sometimes brands are the victims of fake news and other times, the purveyors.

 

The Golden Touch
The Golden Touch || TS Kalnyanaraman

The Golden Touch lays out the extraordinary story of Kalyan Jewellers and the life of its founder, T.S. Kalyanaraman. It is the very personal account of a visionary with humble beginnings from Thrissur who set up one of the largest jewellery stores in the country—a Rs 17,000 crore behemoth employing over 8000 people.

 

Buddha in Love
Buddha in Love || Geetanjali Pandit

An abusive marriage, a divorce and the subsequent emotional, mental and social fallout forced Geetanjali Pandit to question all her assumptions about romance and relationships.
Buddha in Love distils all she learnt. We are not born relationship-ready; they take work—and contrary to what you might expect, on yourself. What does it take to be in a loving relationship? Do all relationships look the same? Does a relationship equate to happiness? Why and when should you marry?

 

Pain
Pain || Shweta Singh Kirti

No human is unacquainted with the concept of pain. It is an inescapable universal experience. Shweta Kirti’s pain has been, unfortunately, very public because of the death of her thirty-four-year-old brother, the Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

What she learnt, however, is that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. It is pain that can teach us how to rise above suffering and the limits we create for ourselves with our attachment to material goals like money, fame, success and relationships. In Pain A Portal to Enlightenment, Shweta shares her learnings so that no one is alone on this hard but necessary odyssey.

 

M.K.Nambyar A Constitutional Visionary
M.K.Nambyar A Constitutional Visionary || K.K. Venugopal

M.K Nambyar A Constitutional Visionary is an attempt to preserve in perpetuity the life of one of India’s greatest constitutional lawyers, M.K. Nambiar. Written by his son and a legal luminary himself, K.K. Venugopal, this biography provides a fascinating account of Mr Nambiar’s life. It not only describes the man but also recapitulates Indian legal history dating to before Independence. The book includes some of the landmark cases Mr Nambiar fought in his legal career. Some of these cases have significantly contributed to the development of constitutional law in India. For example, A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras resulted in the basic structure doctrine, which continues to guide and inspire lawyers and judges.

 

The Parents I Met
The Parents I Met || Mansi Zaveri

Featuring interviews conducted by Mansi Zaveri, the founder of the award-winning parenting platform Kidsstoppress.com, The Parents I Met is an anthology of her authentic conversations with parents of successful individuals who made it big against all odds. What was it that they did right while raising their kids to create the person their child is today? This is what she set out to find.

The challenges faced by each new generation may be unique, but the fundamental principles to overcome them remain the same. We hope that in these stories, you will find answers, advice or simply validation.

 

The Girl with Broken Dreams
The Girl with Broken Dreams || Devashish Sardana

Simone Singh, a feisty CBI investigator struggling with her own mental health, is charged with solving the crimes. But time is running out as more teens start committing ‘suicide’ all over India. As Simone inches closer to the web of deception woven by the cunning killer, little does she know that the hunter is becoming the hunted. Can Simone take down the crafty puppeteer before her own mental demons bring her crashing down?

 

The Book of Body Positivity
The Book of Body Positivity || Rajeev Kurapati

We assume doctors and medical professionals know it all, and that policymakers in public health have the best interests of society in mind—unfortunately, many of these assumptions are incorrect. The Book of Body Positivity explains why the measures to control the so-called obesity epidemic have failed and offers solutions towards a healthier planetary future. With a penetrating critique of the current practice of medicine, this book is an astute guide to contemporary fragmented science centred around weight and health.

 

Strategic Choices, Ethical Dilemmas
Strategic Choices, Ethical Dilemmas || Aruna Narlikar, Amitabh Mattoo, Amrita Narlikar

Drawing on the timeless stories of the Mahabharat, Strategic Choices, Ethical Dilemmas applies its practical wisdom to questions of our personal lives. It explores winning strategies that are suited to the modern day and work together with ethical choices.

Written for a broader audience of scholars, practitioners and other avid readers, Strategic Choices, Ethical Dilemmas will be useful for all those seeking to put the world to rights and provide some tasty food for thought for those who enjoy paradoxes and squared circles.

 

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

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

But this shift towards India’s Hindu ethos has prompted the Opposition and many allied commentators to fear the rise of a second republic—a ‘Hindu Rashtra’—moored to an implacable ultra-nationalist and majoritarian dogma. The INDIA bloc has declared the 2024 election as the last opportunity to stop the rise of Modi and his idea of India.

Evocative, anecdotal, argumentative and deeply researched, Modi and India: 2024 and the Battle for Bharat chronicles the emergence of, and the battle for, a new republic in the making.

 

Muslim Politics in India
Muslim Politics in India || Hamid Dalwai, Dilip Chitre

Dalwai’s Muslim Politics in India is arguably the most perceptive analysis of Muslim politics to appear in post-Independence India. It retains the same freshness-and relevance-which it had when it was first published some three decades back. First published in 1968, an enlarged edition was later published under the title Muslim Politics in Secular India by Hind Pocket Books, Delhi, in 1972.

 

His Majesty's Headhunters
His Majesty’s Headhunters || Mmhonlümo Kikon

Surprisingly little is known about the siege of Kohima, considered a game-changing event that altered the course of world history during the Second World War. His Majesty’s Headhunters adds to our understanding of this battle and shows how it redefined a whole era.

Providing a unique perspective of Nagaland and its warriors, His Majesty’s Headhunters uncovers the untold story of the siege, regarded as one of the more celebrated battles of D-Day and often referred to as the ‘Stalingrad of the East’ by Western scholars. Historians even believe that this was the last battle of the British Empire
and the first battle of the ‘New India’.

 

Unboxing Bengaluru
Unboxing Bengaluru || Malini Goyal, Prashanth Prakash

In Unboxing Bengaluru—the first ever deep-dive into the city—Malini Goyal and Prashanth Prakash ably unravel the city’s journey and the ensuing social, behavioural, technological and consumptive changes. They look at why people are drawn to the city; how the cosmopolitan culture and multi-linguistic society gives it a distinct flavour; the parallel economies that have cropped up; how the influx of young workers have changed the city; and the fault-lines of unplanned and poorly managed growth over the decades.
Richly researched and vividly written, Unboxing Bengaluru is filled with absorbing vignettes, extensive reportage and solid data. A fascinating book and a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the city, and indeed, India.

 

Fighting Retreat
Fighting Retreat || Walter Reid

Churchill strove to sabotage any moves towards Independence, crippling the Government of India Act over five years of dogged opposition to its passage in the 1930s. As prime minister during the Second World War, Churchill frustrated the freedom struggle from behind the scenes, delaying Independence by a decade. To this day for Indians, he is the imperialist villain, held personally responsible for the Bengal Famine of 1943.

Fighting Retreat reveals Churchill at his worst: cruel, obstructive and selfish. However, the same man was outstandingly liberal at the Colonial Office, risking his career with his generosity to the Boers, the Irish and the Middle East. Why was he so strangely hostile towards India?

 

Another India
Another India || Pratinav Anil

Another India tells the story of the world’s biggest religious minority through vivid biographical portraits that weave together the stories of both elite and subaltern Muslims.

By challenging traditional histories and highlighting the neglect of minority rights since Independence, Pratinav Anil argues that Muslims, since 1947, have had to contend with discrimination, disadvantage, deindustrialization, dispossession and disenfranchisement, as well as an unresponsive leadership. He explores the rise and fall of the Indian Muslim elite and the birth of the nationalist Muslim, and emphasizes the importance of class in understanding the dynamics of Indian politics.

 

Career 3.0
Career 3.0 || Abhijit Bhaduri

We need to master the rules of Career 3.0.

In Career 3.0, Abhijit Bhaduri, a renowned expert on talent and leadership, shows you how to develop the six key skills that will make you future-ready and successful in Career 3.0. Whether you work for an organization, run your own business or do both, you will discover how to adapt to change, learn new skills, and lead with impact.

Career 3.0 is a guide that will help you stay relevant. The book is filled with inspiring stories that will challenge you to rethink your career vision, strategy and action. It will give you the tools and techniques to thrive in the new world of work.

You may be surprised to find out that you already have a Career 3.0 mindset. Now you know what it is called.

 

The Gallery
The Gallery || Manju Kapur

THE GALLERY pursues the question of what it takes for a woman to stand up for herself, through the intertwined lives of Minal and Ellora Sahni, wife and daughter of a successful New Delhi lawyer, and Maitrye and Tashi, wife
and daughter of the office peon at the Sahni law practice. In her new novel, Manju Kapur brings together themes of independence, identity and womanhood by focusing on a set of principal characters who are connected through work and physical proximity, yet separated by class and power.

 

The Patient in Bed Number 12
The Patient in Bed Number 12 || Raj Kamal Jha

The Patient in Bed Number 12 is a remarkable novel framed as a confession from parent to child, from child to parent. In this profoundly moving exchange, secrets long buried tumble out, mysterious and dreamlike: a grieving mother finds solace in a newspaper photograph; a ghost comes to life in an abandoned fridge; children fill empty jars with the night’s darkness; a young couple plan how to seek permission for their love; and three men with a phone camera turn a family’s world upside down.

 

The Journey to Adi Kailash
The Journey to Adi Kailash || M.K. Ramachandran

The Journey to Adi Kailash is no different. While detailing his trek to one of the most revered mountains of India, Ramachandran includes interpretations of our history, culture, traditions, the Puranas and the Upanishads, as well as contributions by great sadhus, sages and rishis. He weaves in interesting stories—of how the Asuras came to India, the ancient technology of turning metal to gold, the ninety-five-year-old woman who is well-versed in the 144 courses of Kriya Yoga, the yogi who acquires the power to fly into the sky . .

 

Bear with Me, Amma
Bear with Me, Amma || Gita Krishnankutty, M.T. Vasudevan Nair

MT, as he is popularly known, is one of the most illustrious writers and film-makers from modern Kerala. His life’s work has won him the Jnanpith Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the National Film Award and the Padma Bhushan, among others.

MT grew up in the village of Kudallur in Kerala and his writings constantly evoke the landscape of the years he spent there. Many of the characters in his stories are based on people who lived in this region and the stories themselves often retell incidents that happened there.

The memoirs as well as the stories in this volume were chosen by MT himself. They pay homage to his childhood, his craft and most importantly, his Amma, whose restful presence they beautifully and poignantly capture.

 

 

The Great Indian Manthan
The Great Indian Manthan || Ed by Pushparaj Deshpande, Gurdeep Singh Sappal

India is rapidly becoming the world’s largest flailing democracy. India’s institutional framework has been systematically undermined, from within and without. In the tenth volume of the Rethinking India series, some of India’s most eminent persons write of how we can think of re-engineering India’s hardware (redressing structural flaws in India’s existing institutions, creating new institutions equipped to address fresh challenges and re-engaging all of India’s systems), as well as ensuring progressive forces radically re-invent their political strategies and operational methodologies to socialize Indians to constitutional values.

 

Leadership Chronicles
Leadership Chronicles || Debashis Chatterjee

Leadership Chronicles decodes some of the deep secrets of leadership. It tells the story of a lifetime of teaching, learning and institution-building like never before. This book is a voyage of discovery of those unseen facets and mysteries of a maverick teacher’s life.

Debashis Chatterjee shares authentic insights from his personal and professional journey of nearly three decades. The perspectives, stories and anecdotes reframe and shed light on the global application of classical Indian thought. This work presents transformative wisdom in a way that would stimulate your mind.

Told with candour, sensitivity and humour, the chronicles present a rich harvest of insights and ideas on the making of a leader.

12 Books to Make Your Diwali a Little Brighter

Diwali is among the biggest Hindu festivals and is celebrated almost all over North India.
With the festivities going strong, what isn’t there to love about this time of the year? To add to the fun and excitement, we’ve put together a list of books for you to read this Diwali!
Take a look at our Diwali bookshelf, that is sure to brighten up your life even more!
Hindu Rites and Rituals: Where They Come from and What They Mean  

Millions of Hindus the world over grow up observing rites, rituals and religious practices that lie at the heart of Hinduism, but which they don’t know the significance of. This handy book tells the fascinating stories and explains the science behind the Hindu rites and rituals that we sometimes follow blindly. It is essential reading for anyone interested in India’s cultural tradition.
Hinduism : An Alphabetical Guide

Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions; an amalgam of diverse beliefs and schools, it originates in the Vedas and is rooted in Indian culture. Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide illuminates complex philosophical concepts through lucid definitions, a historical perspective and incisive analyses.
The Book of Ram

Hindus believe that in stressful and tumultuous times chanting Ram’s name and hearing his tale, the Ramayan, brings stability, hope, peace and prosperity. Reviled by feminists, appropriated by politicians, Ram remains serene in his majesty, the only Hindu deity to be worshipped as a king.
Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana

This book approaches Ram by speculating on Sita—her childhood with her father, Janak, who hosted sages mentioned in the Upanishads; her stay in the forest with her husband who had to be a celibate ascetic while she was in the prime of her youth; her interactions with the women of Lanka, recipes she exchanged, emotions they shared; her connection with the earth, her mother; her role as the Goddess, the untamed Kali as well as the demure Gauri, in transforming the stoic prince of Ayodhya into God.
Book of Vishnu

Vishnu, the Supreme Being, is the preserver, the protector of the good and the guardian of dharma. Combining the skill of a storyteller with the insight of a scholar, Nanditha Krishna has brought to glorious life perhaps the most powerful and revered god in the Hindu pantheon.
Book of Hanuman

Hanuman is an outstanding scholar, a fearless warrior, and the ideal lieutenant: intelligent, totally committed to his master, selfless and humble. Drawing upon stories from Valmiki’s Ramayana, Parvez Dewan weaves an engrossing narrative that captures the significance of Hanuman, perhaps the most accessible deity in the Hindu pantheon.
The Book of Lakshmi

Lakshmi is the goddess of all that is good wealth (dhana), beauty (saundarya) and happiness (sukha). Using a range of sources, from ancient texts to sculptures and everyday religious customs and prayers, this fascinating and deeply-insightful book sheds new light not only on the figure of Lakshmi, but also on the fundamental tenets of Hinduism as it is practised today.
In Search Of Sita: Rivisiting Mythology

Sita is one of the defining figures of Indian womanhood, yet there is no single version of her story. In Search of Sita presents essays, conversations and commentaries that explore different aspects of her life. It revisits mythology, reopening the debate on her birth, her days in exile, her abduction, the test by fire, the birth of her sons and, finally, her return to the earth-offering fresh interpretations of this enigmatic figure and her indelible impact on our everyday lives.
The Ramayana

One of India’s greatest epics, the Ramayana pervades the country’s moral and cultural consciousness. Believed to have been composed by Vālmīki sometime between the eighth and sixth centuries BC, it recounts the tragic and magical tale of Rāma, the wrongfully exiled prince of Ayodhyā, an incarnation of the god Viṣṇu, born to rid the earth of the terrible demon Rāvaṇa. Widely acclaimed since its first publication in 1996, Arshia Sattar’s stellar translation is an absolute delight, successfully bridging time and space to bring us the wisdom, adventure and eroticism of this enduring classic.
Lost Loves : Exploring Rama’s Anguish

The essays in this book imagine what might have been the thoughts and feelings of Rama and Sita as they lived through those terrible years of trial and separation. They explore what happens to love in separation, and how public lives and private desires collide to devastating effect. By trying to see the events of their lives as Rama and Sita may have seen them, Arshia Sattar makes the existential conflicts of the Ramayana fascinatingly relevant and freshly inspiring for the contemporary reader.
Rig Veda
 

This selection of 108 of the hymns, chosen for their eloquence and wisdom, focuses on the enduring themes of creation, sacrifice, death, women, the sacred plant soma and the gods. Inspirational and profound, it provides a fascinating introduction to one of the founding texts of Hindu scripture – an awesome and venerable ancient work of Vedic ritual, prayer, philosophy, legend and faith.
The Upanisads

A brilliant introduction to the essence of living Hinduism the thirteen principal Upanisads, Sanskrit texts in the religious traditions of the Vedas, lie at the heart of Hinduism. This authentic and nuanced rendering makes accessible to the modern reader something of the beauty and variety of these ancient and rich texts of Hinduism. The Upanisads belong to the tradition of literature that is ‘heard’ rather than ‘remembered’, and in her translation Roebuck seeks to reveal the intent of the authors and arrive at ‘the original’ text.


 

5 Books That Will Brighten Up Your Diwali

Diwali is a celebration of lights, homecoming, and the victory of good over evil. This Diwali, come home to stories of hope and triumph of humanity over darkness, fear and hopelessness.
Here are 5 books you should read this Diwali 

Yaarana



Hoshang Merchant in this collection captures the true meaning of yaraana or male friendship and bonding, an often ignored facet of South Asian life and sexuality. The collection features some enigmatic stories like  Ashok Row Kavi’s autobiographical piece on growing up gay in Bombay and Vikram Seth’s brilliantly etched account of a homosexual relationship in The Golden Gate. The book shows how love and companionship can brighten up any dark day.

Kanshiram

Kanshiram: Leader of the Dalits by [Narayan, Badri]
Fetching from various oral and written sources, Badri Narayan shows how Kanshiram mobilized dalits with his homespun idiom, cycle rallies and, uniquely, the use of local folk heroes and myths, rousing their self-respect, and how he struck opportunistic alliances with higher-caste parties to seize power for dalits. Authoritative and insightful, this is a rare portrait of the man who changed the face of dalit society and, indeed, of Indian politics. The book inspires one to fight for their rights, and combat the force of darkness.

Bombay Stories


Bombay Stories is a collection of short stories about actors, prostitutes, intellectuals, conmen and more. Originally written in Urdu by Saadat Hasan Manto, it is set in the 1930s and 1940s, when the author had just arrived in the city. Anyone who is interested in the history and culture of Bombay or is a fan of translated Urdu literature, can enjoy reading this book. It will guide one to seek what is good, and annihilate the evil in this world.

Unheard Voices

In this book, civil servant and social activist Harsh Mander draws on his own and his colleagues’ experiences to explore the lives of twenty people who have survived and coped despite being pushed to the hopeless margins of society. The stories act like beacons of hope that will make Diwali seem a little brighter. The book will enlighten one to seek light in this weary world.

Children, Women, Men


Set in the late 1930s and reflecting the political and social turmoil of the pre-war years, it chronicles the psychological conflict between Srinivasa Aiyar and his nine-year-old son, Balu. The ambitious novel also tells the story of Anandam, a young widow, as she considers remarriage, and Sridaran, who chooses to break off his studies in England in order to join nationalist activities at home. The book in its true essence display how happiness is found in the darkest days.
So, which book are you reading this Diwali?

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