Publish with us

Follow Penguin

Follow Penguinsters

Follow Hind Pocket Books

An Exclusive Glimpse into the Life of ‘Gobind’

Embark on a journey with Gobind by Harinder Sikka, a story filled with love, loyalty, and tough choices. Born in poverty, Gobind rises through the ranks of the Indian Navy, but his success is shadowed by unfulfilled promises and unresolved love. When faced with a new challenge and a tempting encounter in Russia, Gobind must choose between duty and desire.

 

Read this exclusive excerpt to get a glimpse into the early life of Gobind and taste the thrill of a love story, a saga of passion, and human endurance all wrapped in one!

 

Gobind
Gobind || Harinder Sikka

***

As the sun emerged from the distant horizon, the fields too began changing colour. The rapidly strengthening sun rays turned brighter with every passing minute, turning the dark and dense looking crops into a lush green landscape. Tiny golden-yellow flowers on top of the crops looked as if each plant had been knighted with a golden crown by mother nature. All kinds of birds emerged from their deep slumber and filled the atmosphere with a burst of chirpy sounds.
The entire village was soon bathed in different hues. Not to be left behind, the animals too began walking around their territories, marking, urinating on every pole, tree and bush. The farmers too began making a beeline on the snake-like thin track to their respective fields. Their farming tools hung from their shoulders like weapons saddled on the shoulders of soldiers enroute to the battlefield. Nature in its full glory was like a beacon of peace, love and tranquility all round.

 

Gargling and spitting the water out, Ranjit Singh accepted from his wife an old piece of cloth that was once a garment, re-stitched to serve as a face napkin. While handing it back to Amrita, he looked at her inquiringly, ‘Where’s Gobind?’

 

‘Oh, he has already left for the fields. Says he will come back in three hours and go to school afterwards,’ she replied.

 

The cloth napkin slipped out of Ranjit’s hand and fell on the wet floor between them.

 

‘Which fields?’ he asked, his face filled with shock and surprise.

 

‘To work in Bihari Lal’s field. Before leaving home, he told me that he wished to earn while he studied. I couldn’t stop him. He just left without discussing it further.’

 

Ranjit was speechless. His young, school-going teenage son had taken a decision to work part-time, without even consulting his father.

 

‘I don’t know what to make of all this. Working part time isn’t wrong. In fact, I am happy for this will inculcate discipline in him. But all of a sudden? I will ask Bihari ji what’s he up to.’

 

Amrita bent down to pick the cloth from the floor. Then, flapping it in the air repeatedly, she tried to remove the excess water it had absorbed from the wet floor and flung it on the clothesline to dry. She turned towards her husband and looked straight into his eyes. ‘Maybe we should leave him alone. Let him discover himself. He didn’t sleep well. He even sat up on the cot in the middle of night to say his prayers. He was unsettled last night after your stern talk. But he looked different this morning and very charged up when I met him, before he left quickly. There’s this visible change in him that I have never seen before. I am happy and worried.’

 

‘Prayer? Gobind? And how do you know he has changed?’ Ranjit’s face was now filled with confusion.

 

‘Because I am his mother.’

 

Ranjit’s eyes followed Amrita as she went inside the room. Then, wiping his hands on the cloth napkin that Amrita had just hung, he turned his attention outside. He lifted himself up on his toes and looked in the direction of the large haveli with vast green fields where his son was supposed to be working. His eyes scanned the horizon but couldn’t see Gobind. Turning back, he walked inside to find Amrita standing at the entrance, watching her husband.

 

‘Please stop worrying. You’ll get late for work. Get ready; I will get your breakfast. Your tiffin is also ready. Please don’t forget to take it along.’

 

Amrita’s affection-filled instructions relaxed Ranjit to some extent. Stepping into the room, he sat down on the floor while Amrita served him breakfast. It was the same food that he had eaten last night. He ate in silence. But his mind was racing in many directions while Amrita rotated the hand-held fan on its swivel. Before leaving home for work, he stood before the lord’s picture hung on the wall, joined his palms and murmured so softly that even his own ears couldn’t hear his own words.

 

‘With your permission, dear lord, I wish to go to work. It’s a new day, an amazing one at that. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Only you, dear Guru Gobind, can help my son, Gobind.’

 

***

Get your copy of Gobind by Harinder Sikka wherever books are sold.

Strong women, behind the scenes

What do the strong women we know, go through to become who they are? What goes on behind the scenes – and what makes a woman strong?

Many of them have fought to bring the world where it is today. And we must continue to be inspired by them so we can continue their paths and legacy’s. Here is a list of books of strong women with strong voices, to inspire you, this Women’s Day

 

Lajja
Lajja by Taslima Nasrin

A savage indictment of religious extremism and man’s inhumanity to man, Lajja was banned in Bangladesh but became a bestseller in the rest of the world. This brand-new translation marks the twentieth anniversary of this controversial novel. The Dattas Sudhamoy and Kironmoyee and their children, Suronjon and Maya have lived in Bangladesh all their lives. Despite being members of a small Hindu community that is terrorized at every opportunity by Muslim fundamentalists, they refuse to leave their country, unlike most of their friends and relatives.

*

Split
Split by Taslima Nasrin 

 

Taslima Nasrin is known for her powerful writing on women’s rights and uncompromising criticism of religious fundamentalism. This defiance on her part had led to the ban on the Bengali original of this book by the Left Front in West Bengal as well as the Government of Bangladesh in 2003. While the West Bengal government lifted the injunction after the ban was struck down by the Calcutta High Court in 2005, Nasrin was eventually driven out of Kolkata and forced to expunge passages from the book, besides facing a four-million-dollar defamation lawsuit. Bold and evocative, Split: A Life opens a window to the experiences and works of one of the bravest writers of our times.

*

Dark Holds No Terrors
The Dark Holds No Terrors by Shashi Deshpande 

‘Why are you still alive-why didn’t you die?’
Years on, Sarita still remembers her mother’s bitter words uttered when as a little girl she was unable to save her younger brother from drowning. Now, her mother is dead and Sarita returns to the family home, ostensibly to take care of her father, but in reality to escape the nightmarish brutality her husband inflicts on her every night. In the quiet of her old father’s company Sarita reflects on the events of her life: her stultifying small town childhood, her domineering mother, her marriage to the charismatic young poet Mahohar.

*

Lifting The Veil
Lifting the Veil by Ismat Chughtai

At a time when writing by and about women was rare and tentative, 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 humor, her characteristic irreverence, wit and eye for detail.

*

 

A Gift of Goddess Lakshmi by Manobi Bandopadhyay

The extraordinary and courageous journey of a transgender to define her identity and set new standards of achievement.

With unflinching honesty and deep understanding, Manobi tells the moving story of her transformation from a man to a woman; about how she continued to pursue her academics despite the severe upheavals and went on to become the first transgender principal of a girls’ college. And in doing so, she did not just define her own identity, but also inspired her entire community.

*

Empress
Empress by Ruby Lal

Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal uncovers the rich life and world of Nur Jahan, rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal and orientalist cliches of romance and intrigue, while giving a new insight into the lives of the women and the girls during the Mughal Empire, even where scholars claim there are no sources. Nur’s confident assertion of authority and talent is revelatory. In Empress, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens us to a fascinating history.

*

The Inheritance of Loss
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.

*

Calling Sehmat
Calling Sehmat by Harinder Sikka

When a young college-going Kashmiri girl, Sehmat, gets to know her dying father’s last wish, she can do little but surrender to his passion and patriotism and follow the path he has so painstakingly laid out. It is the beginning of her transformation from an ordinary girl into a deadly spy.
She’s then married off to the son of a well-connected Pakistani general, and her mission is to regularly pass information to the Indian intelligence. Something she does with extreme courage and bravado, till she stumbles on information that could destroy the naval might of her beloved country.

*

Born Again on the Mountain
Born Again on the mountain

National-level volleyball player Arunima Sinha had a promising future ahead of her. Then one day she was shoved from a moving train by thieves as she attempted to fight them off. The horrific accident cost the twenty-four-year-old her left leg, but it never deterred her. A year later, she had retrained as a mountaineer and become the first female amputee to reach Mount Everest. This is her unforgettable story of hope, courage and resilience.

*

Millionaire Housewives
Millionaire Housewives by Rinku Paul | Puja Singhal 

Millionaire Housewives tells the stories of twelve enterprising homemakers who, in spite of having no prior experience in business, managed to build successful empires through the single-minded pursuit of their goal, defying all stereotypes. Amidst their varied motivations and struggles, Millionaire Housewives offers valuable lessons for homemakers who want to venture into entrepreneurship.

Delve deep into what India’s 72nd Republic Day truly represents with these books

The Constitution of India came into effect on 26th January, 1950. As we celebrate India’s 72nd Republic Day, let’s dig deeper to understand the journey till this day in 1950, and our journey since then.

Here is a list of books from various authors, including Abhinav Chandrachud, Ramachandra Guha, Khushwant Singh, Sagarika Ghosh, K.R. Narayanan and many more! What’s more, there are titles for the little ones as well!

 

Republic of Rhetoric
Republic of Rhetoric || Abhinav Chandrachud

Exploring socio-political as well as legal history of India, from the British period to the present, this book brings to light the idea of ‘free speech’ or what is popularly known as the freedom expression in the country. Analysing the present law relating to obscenity and free speech, this book will evaluate whether the enactment of the Constitution made a significant difference to the right to free speech in India. Deeply researched, authoritative and anecdotal, this book offers arguments that have not been substantially advanced before.

*

How India Became Democratic
How India Became Democratic || Ornit Shani

How India Became Democratic explores the greatest experiment in democratic human history. It tells the untold story of the preparation of the electoral roll on the basis of universal adult franchise in the world’s largest democracy. Ornit Shani offers a new view of the institutionalisation of democracy in India, and of the way democracy captured the political imagination of its diverse peoples.

*

Makers Of Modern India
Makers of Modern India || Ramachandra Guha

Makers of Modern India is a detailed source for information about the country’s political traditions. The republic of India had a very tumultuous beginning and the author shows you how 19 political activists were instrumental in the evolution of this country. The author goes beyond a description of the people by including extracts of the speeches they have written. Each phase of the freedom movement and the following years of independent India are shown through the written works produced by these 19 individuals.

*

Democrats and Dissenters
Democrats and Dissenters || Ramachandra Guha

A major new collection of essays by Ramachandra Guha, Democrats and Dissenters is a work of rigorous scholarship on topics of compelling contemporary interest, written with elegance and wit.

The book covers a wide range of themes: from the varying national projects of India’s neighbours to political debates within India itself, from the responsibilities of writers to the complex relationship between democracy and violence.

*

The Idea Of India
The Idea Of India || Sunil Khilnani

This long essay makes an eloquent and persuasive argument for Nehru’s idea of nationhood in India. At a time when the relevance of Nehru’s vision is under scrutiny, this book assumes a special significance.

*

The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India || 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.

*

India’s Legal System
India’s Legal System || Fali S Nariman

India has the second-largest legal profession in the world, but the systemic delays and chronic impediments of its judicial system inspire little confidence in the common person. In India’s Legal System, renowned constitutional expert and senior Supreme Court lawyer Fali S. Nariman looks for possible reasons. While realistically appraising the criminal justice system and the performance of legal practitioners, he elaborates aspects of contemporary practice, such as public interest litigation, judicial review and activism.

*

The Case That Shook India
The Case That Shook India || Prashant Bhushan

On 12 June 1975, for the first time in independent India’s history, the election of a prime minister was set aside by a high court judgment. The watershed case, Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain, acted as the catalyst for the imposition of the Emergency. Based on detailed notes of the court proceedings, The Case That Shook India is both a significant legal and a historical document.

*

The Great Repression
The Great Repression || Chitranshul Sinha

The Indian Penal Code was formulated in 1860, three years after the first Indian revolt for independence. Where did this law come from? How did it evolve? And what place does it have in a mature democracy? Concise, incisive and thoughtful, The Great Repression by Chitranshul Sinha, an advocate on record of the Supreme Court of India, tells the story of this outdated colonial-era law.

*

The Burden Of Democracy
The Burden Of Democracy || Pratap Bhanu Mehta

After nearly seven decades of its existence, there is a pervasive feeling that India’s democracy is in crisis. But what is the nature of this threat? In this essay, republished now with a new foreword from the author, Pratap Bhanu Mehtare minds us what a bold experiment bringing democracy to a largely illiterate and unpropertied India was.

Optimistic, lively and closely argued, The Burden of Democracy offers a new ideological imagination that throws light on our discontents. By returning to the basics of democracy it serves to illuminate our predicament, even while perceiving the broad contours for change.

*

The End Of India
The End Of India || Khushwant Singh

Analysing the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002, the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, the burning of Graham Staines and his children, the targeted killings by terrorists in Punjab and Kashmir, Khushwant Singh forces us to confront the absolute corruption of religion that has made us among the most brutal people on earth. He also points out that fundamentalism has less to do with religion than with politics. And communal politics, he reminds us, is only the most visible of the demons we have nurtured and let loose upon ourselves.

*

India’s Struggle For Independence
India’s Struggle For Independence || Bipin Chandra & Others

India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra is your go to book for an in-depth and detailed overview on Indian independence movement . Indian freedom struggle is one of the most important parts of its history. A lot has been written and said about it, but there still remains a gap. Rarely do we get to hear accounts of the independence from the entire country and not just one region at one place. This book fits in perfectly in this gap and also provides a narration on the impact this movement had on the people.

*

Why I Am a Liberal
Why I Am a Liberal || Sagarika Ghose 

 

The stamping out of difference, the quelling of diversity and the burial of argument is, in fact, most un-Indian. Anyone who seeks to end that dialogue process is ignoring Indianness and patriotism. The liberal Indian argues for the rights of the marginalized in the tradition of Gandhi for trust, mutual understanding and bridge-building. Real patriotism lies in old-fashioned ideas of accommodation, friendship and generosity; not in force, muscle flexing and dominance. Why I Am a Liberal is Sagarika Ghose’s impassioned meditation on why India needs to be liberal.

*

In The Name Of The People
In The Name Of The People || K R Narayanan

In the Name of the People brings together K.R.Narayanan’s most important writings spanning five decades, from his first published article in 1954 to the Republic Day speech of 2000. In these pieces, he covers a diverse range of topics, from Indo–US ties and India–China relations to human development, Islam in India and women in politics; from the benefits of the parliamentary system and the need to build democracy from the grassroots to the role of education and technology in development and the importance of a sustainable environment.

*

Vichhoda
Vichhoda || Harinder Sikka

Bibi Amrit Kaur’s life is literally torn apart in the 1947 riots. She’s now in a different country with a different identity. She accepts this new life gracefully and begins a new chapter. She gets married and has two children. Life, however, has something else in store for her. It breaks her apart. Again.

This time the pain is unbearable.

But the hope that she will reunite with her children and be whole again keeps her alive. And she doesn’t let the bitterness cloud her days, becoming a beacon of hope and courage for all.

From the bestselling author of Calling Sehmat comes another hitherto untold story of strength, sacrifice and resilience.

*

Sixteen Stormy Days
Sixteen Stormy Days || Tripurdaman Singh

Sixteen Stormy Days narrates the riveting story of the First Amendment to the Constitution of India-one of the pivotal events in Indian political and constitutional history, and its first great battle of ideas. Drawing on parliamentary debates, press reports, judicial pronouncements, official correspondence and existing scholarship, Sixteen Stormy Days challenges conventional wisdom on iconic figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru, B.R. Ambedkar, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel and Shyama Prasad Mookerji, and lays bare the vast gulf between the liberal promise of India’s Constitution and the authoritarian impulses of her first government.

*

Ambedkar’s Preamble
Ambedkar’s Preamble || Aakash Singh Rathore

 

Although Dr Ambedkar is universally regarded as the chief architect of the Constitution, the specifics of his role as chairman of the Drafting Committee are not widely discussed. Totally neglected is his almost single-handed authorship of the Constitution’s Preamble, which is frequently and mistakenly attributed to B.N. Rau rather than to Ambedkar.
This book establishes how and why the Preamble to the Constitution of India is essentially an Ambedkarite preamble.

*

Vision for a Nation
Vision For A Nation || Ashish Nandy, Aakash Singh Rathore

What is the nation? What is the idea of India? Whose India is it, anyway?
This inaugural volume in the series titled Rethinking India aims to kickstart a national dialogue on the key questions of our times. It brings together India’s foremost intellectuals, academics, activists, technocrats, professionals and policymakers to offer an in-depth exploration of these issues, deriving from their long-standing work, experience and unflinching commitment to the collective idea of India, of who we can and ought to be. Vision for a Nation: Paths and Perspectives champions a plural, inclusive, just, equitable and prosperous India, committed to individual dignity as the foundation of the unity and vibrancy of the nation.

Let’s not leave the children out! Here is a list of books for your children.

We, The Children Of India
We The Children Of India || LeIla Seth 

Former Chief Justice Leila Seth makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest reader. What is a democratic republic, why are we secular, what is sovereignty? Believing that it is never too early for young people to learn about the Constitution, she tackles these concepts and explains them in a manner everyone can grasp and enjoy. Accompanied by numerous photographs, captivating and inspiring illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Bindia Thapar, and delightful bits of trivia, We, the Children of India is essential reading for every young citizen.

*

The Constitution of India for Children
The Constitution Of India For Children || Subhadra Sen Gupta

Every 26th January, people gather on New Delhi’s Rajpath amidst a colourful jamboree of fluttering flags, marching soldiers and dancing children. What is celebrated on this day is at the heart of our democracy-the magnificent Constitution of India.

The document didn’t only lay down the law but united India with a vision that took two years, eleven months and seventeen days to realise. Subhadra Sen Gupta captures the many momentous occasions in Indian history that led to its making in The Constitution of India for Children. Populated with facts and dotted with cheerful illustrations, this book provides answers to innumerable questions asked over the years.

*

The Puffin History Of India (Vol.1)
The Puffin History Of India (Vol.1) || Roshen Dalal
The Puffin History Of India (Vol. 2)
The Puffin History Of India (Vol. 2) || Roshen Dalal

These books trace the fascinating story of the social, political, cultural and economic development across the high points of Indian history-from the earliest times to the British conquest, the Nationalist movement and, finally, the triumph of Independence. The informal, engaging style and the colourful descriptions of people, events and cultures provide a comprehensive picture of what life was like in India up to 1947. Informative, well researched and containing a host of illustrations and maps, this amazing reference guide helps bring the past to life for students and young readers like never before.

*

India A To Z
India A To Z

What was India’s very own desi dino called? How did India’s currency come to be named the rupee? Which Indian glacier is the highest battleground in the world? Who wrote the world’s first grammar book? If questions like these make you curious about incredible India, here is a bumper info-pedia packed with fascinating facts, terrific trivia and colourful cartoons on just about everything in India, this book encourages interest in a wide range of subjects.

*

My India
My India || A.P.J Abdul Kalam

My India: Ideas for the Future is a collection of excerpts from Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s speeches in his post presidency years. Drawn from Dr Kalam’s addresses to parliaments, universities, schools and other institutions in India and abroad, they include his ideas on science, nation-building, poverty, compassion and self-confidence.

error: Content is protected !!