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Dawn of December reading!

You know it’s going to get too cold to step out anyway and what’s the point of making plans you’d cancel later? 

Instead, grab some oranges, a cozy mat and head to your balcony in the sun. And we don’t think we need to tell you about the companion without which your day would be horribly incomplete…  A nice book, of course!  

Doesn’t this seem like the perfect December day? Well, you ought to make these days happen for yourself instead of watching other people enjoy them on Instagram. Feel some of that December beauty by getting one of these beautiful and brilliant books releasing this month!  

December will be cold but these books will make it warmer. So, check out these new releases, curated just for you!


Dr. Cuterus by Dr. Tanaya Narendra
Dr. Cuterus || Dr. Tanaya Narendra

Dr. Cuterus

Tanaya Narendra

No matter what kind of bits you have, the ‘private’ bits between our legs often leave us with … many feelings and many questions.
Is it big enough? Is it too big? Why is it so dark? And hairy? How are babies made? Why do periods hurt? As John Mayer so beautifully sang, your body is a wonderland, but in the land of the Kama Sutra, we often forget this. Words like vagina, clitoris, penis, scrotum tend to confound and embarrass people. Maybe even you, dear reader?

Even though everyone has a body, nobody wants to talk about it. Especially those ‘private’ bits. With so much shame and stigma, we have nowhere to go to learn and understand our bodies. This is where this book comes in-a one-stop scientific, funny, and easy to understand guide to everything you’ve always wondered about what’s ‘down there’. Or even up there! Whatever your concern, Dr Cuterus has got you covered.


Doglapan by Ashneer Grover
Doglapan || Ashneer Grover


Ashneer Grover

This is the unfettered story of Ashneer Grover-the favourite and misunderstood poster boy of Start-up India.
Raw, gut-wrenching in its honesty and completely from the heart, this is storytelling at its finest. A young boy with a ‘refugee’ tag growing up in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar outpaces his circumstances by becoming a rank-holder at the pinnacle of academic excellence in India-IIT Delhi. He goes on to do an MBA from the hallowed halls of IIM Ahmedabad, builds a career as an investment banker at Kotak Investment Banking and AmEx, and is pivotal in the making of two unicorns-Grofers, as CFO, and BharatPe, as co-founder.

As a judge on the popular TV show Shark Tank India, Ashneer becomes a household name even as his life turns upside down. Controversy, media spotlight, garrulous social media chatter descend, making it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.


Panjab by Amandeep Sandhu
Panjab || Amandeep Sandhu


Amandeep Sandhu

In 2015, Amandeep Sandhu began an investigation that was meant to resolve the ‘hole in his heart’, his ’emptiness about matters Panjab’. For three years, he crisscrossed the state and discovered a land that was nothing like the one he had imagined and not like the stories he had heard.
Present-day Panjab prides itself on legends of its military and valorous past even as it struggles with daily horrors. The Green Revolution has wreaked ecological havoc in the state, and a decade and a half of militancy has destabilised its economy and governance. Sikhism-the state’s eclectic and syncretic religion- is in crisis, its gatekeepers brooking no dissent and giving little spiritual guidance. And Panjab has yet to recover from the loss of its other half, now in Pakistan.
This revised edition includes a chapter on the 2020-21 farmers’ struggle which proved beyond doubt that the old spirit of the land with its undercurrent of resistance to power and hegemony still beats away. The hope that Panjab’s unyielding knots can be untied continues to linger.


India in Search of Glory by Ashok
India in Search of Glory || Ashok

India in Search of Glory


India and the Indians have made some progress in 75 years after Independence. The number of literates has gone up. The Indians have become healthier and their life expectancy at birth has gone up. The proportion of people below the poverty line has also halved. But the shine from the story fades when India is compared with that of the East Asian Tigers and China. It looks good but not good enough. India looks far away from the glory it seeks. This issue forms the core subject matter of this book. It tries to argue why India could not achieve more and what all it could have achieved. It paints a picture of its possible future and highlights the areas that need immediate attention.


An Island’s Eleven by Nicholas Brookes
An Island’s Eleven || Nicholas Brookes

An Island’s Eleven

Nicholas Brookes

From Sathasivam to Sangakkara, Murali to Malinga, Sri Lanka can lay claim to some of the world’s most remarkable cricketers – larger-than-life characters who thumbed convention and played the game their own way. More so than anywhere else in the world, Sri Lankan cricket has an identity. This is the land of pint-sized swashbuckling batsman, on-the-fly innovators and contorted, cryptic spinners.

An Island’s Eleven tells this story for the first time, focusing on the characters and moments that have shaped the game forever.


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

The Book of Dals

Pratibha Karan

Dals have been an essential part of the human diet for centuries and they are an integral part of Indian cuisine. There are many enticing varieties of dals to choose from. 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.

This book is not limited by borders. It includes exotic dal recipes from the neighbouring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, and some delicious and wholesome dal-based soups too.


Grasping Greatness
Grasping Greatness

Grasping Greatness

Making India a Leading Power

Since its independence in 1947, India’s leaders have sought to grasp the greatness that the country seemed destined for. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, articulated these aspirations early on but, overwhelmed by development challenges, his successors focused largely on domestic concerns rather than on global leadership. The post-1991 era saw India positioned for the first time in many decades as an economic success, suggesting that it was on the cusp of breaking out as a global player. The twenty-odd years following the 1991 reforms were heady for India. Based on the expectation that India was now poised to ascend as a major power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-less than a year after he first took office in May 2014-expressed his desire that India assume a leading role: completing the transformation from being merely an influential entity into one whose weight and preferences are defining for international politics.

Grasping Greatness explores the various tasks pertaining to this push for eminence in world affairs. Edited by Ashley J. Tellis, Bibek Debroy and C. Raja Mohan, Grasping Greatness is an important contribution to the intellectual debates as India enters into a new era on the world stage.


4G Code to Good Health by Ishi Khosla
4G Code to Good Health || Ishi Khosla

4G Code to Good Health

Ishi Khosla

Do you know that if you just eat the right foods, you can control your appetite and weight, remove cravings, control moods, manage sleep and much more?
Each of us today wants to be healthy and lead a balanced life. The pandemic has also taught us how important it is to have strong immunity. Yet we struggle with what to eat and what not to. Noted dietician and nutritionist Ishi Khosla says that our gut is the control panel of our health. Our forefathers knew it. That is why it is said, ‘Jaise ann vaisa mann‘ or you are what you eat. Ishi takes it a step further when she says, ‘We are not only what we eat, but what we digest-and what we DON’T eat!’ In this book, she distils decades of experience and knowledge and combines it with the wisdom of the past to provide an insight into the science of the 4 Gs-Gut, Girth, Gluten and Glucose-and their connection with each other, so we can modify our eating habits and lifestyle in a permanent manner. Remember, our bodies are forgiving and capable of healing. It’s NEVER too late!


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

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.


Heart on the Edge by Novoneel Chakraborty
Heart on the Edge || Novoneel Chakraborty

Heart on the Edge

Novoneel Chakraborty

Naishee Kamaraj has a special bond with her younger brother, Shravan. One day when he suddenly goes missing, everyone tells her perhaps he left of his own volition, but Naishee knew her brother better than anyone else. She fears there has been foul play. And her fears come true when she receives a second-hand phone with a video of her brother being held captive. She needs to perform some horrific activities to save her brother. As time ticks by, Naishee knows she will come out a totally different being by the end of it all . . .


Anthill by Vinoy Thomas, Nandakumar K.
Anthill || Vinoy Thomas, Nandakumar K.


Vinoy Thomas, Nandakumar K.

Bounded by dense Kodagu forests on the south and west, and rivers on the north and east, Perumbadi, at the border between Kerala and Karnataka, has hidden itself from the world. Its very isolation has attracted varied settlers from south Kerala over the years. The first settler on this land, Kunji Varkey, was fleeing the opprobrium of getting his own daughter pregnant. Those who followed had similar shameful secrets.

Anthill, the exquisite translation from the Malayalam of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi-winning novel Puttu, is the story of common people who tried to wriggle out of the shackles of family, religion and other restraining institutions, but eventually also struggle to civilize themselves-from their beginnings of a hillbilly existence and life as a promiscuous community.

Stop Weighting by Ramya Subramanian
Stop Weighting || Ramya Subramanian

Stop Weighting

Ramya Subramanian

Ramya, the confident superstar and influencer of today, was once a naive and self-conscious teenager, who suffered bullying and body shaming. Just as any other insecure adolescent would, she began a long and tortuous journey to become ‘thin’. Ludicrous crash diets, intense workouts at the gym and an all-pervading sense of inferiority afflicted her for nearly a decade.
In the midst of this, Ramya was catapulted into fame at an early age when she got her first break as a television anchor. But with the media attention came all the toxic side-effects of being a celebrity. Until she decided to take back control over her life. Today, Ramya is healthier and happier than she has ever been. In Stop Weighting we find out how she achieved this.
Digging into stories, mistakes and life lessons, the book draws from the highs and lows of Ramya’s personal fitness journey with the hope that it will help others to lay the groundwork for their own. She busts the myths around fitness and helps readers establish safe and sustainable methods to become healthier without false promises or crazy diets.


The Sthory of Two Wimmin Named Kalyani and Dakshayani by R. Rajasree, Devika J.
The Sthory of Two Wimmin Named Kalyani and Dakshayani || R. Rajasree, Devika J.

The Sthory of Two Wimmin Named Kalyani and Dakshayani

R. Rajasree, Devika J.

The Sthory of Two Wimmin Kalyani and Dakshayani traces luminous paths of female friendship in the rural worlds of north Malabar, through the lives of two rural women, Kalyani and Dakshayani. Rebelling against the patriarchy in school at the age of six (‘Rot in ‘ell, yuh sonofabitch’, yells Dakshayani at the school master who lifted her skirt to pinch her thigh, and walks out of school, with Kalyani following
in solidarity), the two friends take on life and love. Women have no native place, they learn-but they have each other. Rajashree’s cleverly
crafted narrator pauses and plays the scenes of their struggles, pains and laughter, drawing strength from them for her own battle against
the mind-police. The bittersweet longing for one’s place of birth, the dialects of Malayalam, animals, spirits-all come alive in Rajashree’s
beautifully crafted tale, enabled by Devika’s magnificent and careful translation.


The Ultimate Sales Accelerator by  Amit Agarwal
The Ultimate Sales Accelerator || Amit Agarwal

The Ultimate Sales Accelerator

Amit Agarwal

There are 7.7 billion sales owners in the world. Everyone is selling either a product, a service or an idea. The fact that everyone is selling brings its own unique challenges and possibilities.

How can high-growth companies and start-ups win clients amid unprecedented competition?

How can one close large deals virtually?

What is the higher purpose of sales?

Sharing forty-two practical business, consumer and real-life experiences, this book reveals one simple and powerful sales strategy that is the perfect answer to all the above questions. In an engaging manner, Amit provides you with a clear and easy-to-implement blueprint for this strategy.


Slow is Beautiful by Ahlawat Gunjan
Slow is Beautiful || Ahlawat Gunjan

Slow is Beautiful

The Ultimate Art Journal for Mindful Living Through Nature

Ahlawat Gunjan

Slow is Beautiful is an invitation to embark on a journey through mindfulness and cut through the clutter and noise of the world around you. Under the guidance of artist and visual designer Ahlawat Gunjan, you’ll learn to see, observe, reflect, and practise using artistic techniques developed through years of training to re-kindle a lost instinct. This beautiful collector’s edition prepares you to welcome a new artistic vision into your lives by building a relationship with form, colour, and composition in a uniquely accessible way. Each of the sixty easy-to-use prompts in this book is an essential step highlighted by vibrant ink and watercolour paintings inspired from nature, created and curated by the artist himself to motivate reader to draw, erase, paint, experiment, create and, most importantly, embrace their mistakes.


Such a beautiful bounty of books, which one are you adding to your TBR?







Five Traditional Morning Routines to Optimize Your Energy

Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda Cover
Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda||Janesh Vaidya

In a post-pandemic era, your immunity is your only savior. The following five traditional routines to optimize your energy can help you feel energized not just physically, but also mentally. According to Janesh Vaidya’s Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda, the morning is the best time to start a good habit. This is because when we choose good thoughts in the morning, it sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. Moreover, following this, every day can bring in positivity for the rest of the week, and eventually, your entire life will be a cycle of positive energy.

If you’re struggling to find a good morning routine to help you get started, don’t fret! Here are five traditional Ayurveda practices to help you start your day with healthy habits. The following morning routines have been practiced by the traditional Ayurveda practitioners in India, known as Vaidyas. No matter what your presently dominating elements are, you can incorporate them into your morning routine and optimize your energy, both mentally and physically!



Clear your mind

Physical Practice: When your mind wakes from sleep in the morning, instead of rising, stay in your bed for a couple of minutes, lying in savasana and breathing gently, with eyes closed.

Note: Savasana is the corpse pose in yoga.

Mental Practice: Be grateful for being alive today. Cultivate affirmative thoughts and connect with your positive feelings, contemplating what you would love to do today to fulfill your heart’s wishes.


Clean your mouth and your mind

Physical Practice: Brush your teeth and tongue and massage your gums with your index fingers. (If you are following a clean, plant-based diet and you brush your teeth with toothpaste in the evening, you only need to use warm water to clean your teeth in the morning.) If you have any Kapha symptoms, such as mucus congestion in the throat, gargle with warm saline water.

Mental Practice: Look in the mirror with a smile from your heart, seeing a reflection of your good sides. Plan how you can invest your positive energies in the coming hours of the day to find joy and peace in your life, and prepare to greet the people you meet with a smile.


Cleanse your esophagus, stomach, and mind

Physical Practice: Practice water therapy or drink herbal tea as prescribed for your Pre-Dominant Element or PDE. For more information on water therapy, you can consult Janesh Vaidya’s website here.

Mental Practice: Sit in a comfortable position, with a focused mind leading to affirmative thoughts. Drink slowly, as if you are eating the water/tea.


Eliminate waste particles and toxins from your intestines, and release tension from your belly

Physical Practice: Make a habit of sitting on the toilet for a few minutes in the morning after drinking the water/herbal tea. This routine helps the brain program the excretory organs to eliminate waste matter from the intestines every morning, even for people who have difficulty emptying the bowels regularly

Mental Practice: While sitting on the toilet, try to connect your mind to the bottom of your abdomen by placing your palms over your belly. Inhale, filling the diaphragm until the belly expands to its maximum, then exhale, gently drawing the belly toward the spine.


Vitalize your body and mind

Physical Practice: Follow your daily morning exercise/yoga therapy program. You can find specialized yoga programs for your PDE in Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda by Janesh Vaidya.

Mental Practice: When you are on the yoga mat, keep your complete focus inward and observe your body from head to toe while making a rhythmic flow of breath through your inhalations and exhalations.

The morning often brings with itself a set of new opportunities, and according to ancient health practices, the early morning sun rays can heal many illnesses in our system. The sunlight improves Agni, the fire element, which controls the immune power in the body, and the morning sun rejuvenates the brain and supports the production of hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for our mental function.

Follow these five traditional morning routines to optimize your energy throughout the day. For more insights into ayurvedic practices and how they can help your immune system, grab a copy of Boost Your Immune Power with Ayurveda today!

COVID-19 : The past and the future

Anirban Mahapatra’s COVID-19 is a meticulous dive into the pandemic that changed the 21st century world. In this excerpt, he delves into what the future could look like, and what kind of a situation we’re likely to have on our hands in the near future:


Envisioning what the future holds in store is like imagining what dry land is like while in a storm in the middle of the ocean. Even in the best of times, predicting the future is a risky enterprise. A devastating pandemic of this scale and severity imposes additional challenges because we have no reference point in the modern era for something like this. Off-the-cuff comments may be forgotten but writing tends to stick around and haunt the writer. If you’re too certain with your pronouncements, you’re almost certain to be wrong. If you’re too vague, no one will read what you have to say.

We are only coming to terms with the direct fallout of the pandemic, but what will be the ramifications for long-term health and planning? What will be the implications for travel, for immigration and for commerce? Will countries continue to look inward once the pandemic is over?

Certain aspects of human life and society have changed due to the immediate effects of the pandemic. It is possible, therefore, to make short-term predictions. What will happen five, ten, or fifteen years down the road because of the ongoing, cataclysmic event and our responses to it are more difficult to say.

Will there be more public interest in interest in infectious diseases and medicine? Will it become a field that attracts more of the brightest minds as engineering, information technology, finance and business management have in preceding decades? Will physicians take up more active roles in framing public policy? Will economists stress-test catastrophic economic events of this nature?

Human societies are designed to maximize connections. Over the course of a day, most of us have dozens of close interactions with other people. The design of cities, buildings, jobs, transportation and commerce keeps the human need for connection in mind more than the rare threat of a disease that spreads by human-to- human interaction.

Front cover COVID-19 Separating Fact from Fiction
COVID-19||Anirban Mahapatra

What can we say looking at the past? Based on a study of the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 1918, the historian Nancy Bristow writes, ‘If history is any guide, not much will change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.’4 Yet, it is impossible to use history as guide, because the world has changed immensely in a century. In 1918, viruses had not been characterized. Colonial powers ruled the world and were in the middle of World War I. Commercial airline travel was non-existent. There was no Internet to allow the lay public to read research articles immediately and view daily statistics on illness and death.

… We can assume that the pandemic will irrevocably change some business practices. There will be more people working from home permanently and less business travel to meet clients and for conferences. Technological solutions that were embraced perhaps with a bit of trepidation during the pandemic will become wider habits.

Distancing is challenging in factories, warehouses, prisons, airplanes, dormitories and ships where space is maximized. Due to a premium being put on space in cities and the density of population, buildings have grown vertically. Property values have risen globally since the Great Recession. Gentrification had led to a return to economically disadvantaged areas. It is possible that there will be a reshaping of how urban spaces are used, with more people now moving outward instead of flocking to New York, Mumbai or London. But the experience of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tokyo in the first year of the pandemic has demonstrated that even within densely populated cities, measures can be taken to keep infections low. There may be a reshaping of urban societies, but it is still too early to tell. People tend to go where there are economic opportunities.

More broadly, will humans finally address the pressing problems of the day which the pandemic brought into stark relief?

Problems of inequality, poor access to healthcare and economic opportunities, and lack of equal rights are prevalent globally.

The pandemic allows humans to face difficult challenges that we have been ignoring, instead of denying or downplaying them. It gives us a chance to reframe priorities and reimagine society.

As humans we tend to focus on immediate problems. Our ancestors were good at hiding from tigers and other dangerous animals, finding caves to sleep in when it was raining, and building a fire when it was cold. Longer-term planning for problems does not come easily. This is applicable to both people individually and to us as a species.

… We keep asking ourselves, ‘When will the pandemic end?’ But we can’t mark the end as the date when it is over only for those of us who are privileged. We know that the biological pandemic will end one day. What we must also ensure is that there is an end to the social one.


COVID-19 is an excellent and insightful read. Anyone can read this book, and everyone should read this book.


A witty, moving and intensely personal retelling of a woman’s battle with infertility

When Rohini married Ranjith and moved to the ‘big city’, they had already planned the next five years of their life: job, home, and then child. After three years of marriage and amidst increasing pressure from family, they decided to seek medical help to conceive. But they weren’t prepared for what came next-not only in terms of the invasive, gruelling and deeply uncomfortable nature of infertility treatment but also the financial and emotional strain it would put on their marriage, and the gnawing shame and feeling of inadequacy that she would experience as a woman unable to bear a child.


What’s a Lemon Squeezer Doing in My Vagina? is a witty, moving and intensely personal retelling of Rohini’s five-year-long battle with infertility, capturing the indignities of medical procedures, the sting of prying questions from friends and strangers, the disproportionate burden of treatment on the woman, the everyday anxieties about wayward hormones, follicles and embryos and the overarching anxiety about the outcome of the treatment. It offers a no-holds-barred view of her circuitous and highly bumpy road to motherhood.It was 8 a.m. on a Saturday and the reception area was already packed with couples at various stages of treatment. As first-time visitors, we paid the registration fee and went into a consultation room. A bespectacled, presumably junior consultant motioned us to sit down and began inquiring into our condition, reading out queries from a four-page data sheet in her hand and filling it in as the Q&A progressed.


There were questions on our medical history, the nature of my menstrual cycle, our lifestyle, hereditary diseases and, of course, the most critical query: how long we had been trying to conceive. That probably did not tick all the boxes, so what followed was a point-by-point probing of our sex life.


‘How often do you have intercourse?’
‘Once or twice a week.’
‘When was the last time you had intercourse?’
‘Last Sunday.’
‘Have you experienced any sexual dysfunction?’
‘Do you have any history of sexually transmitted diseases?’


Our tone was flat and deadpan, betraying none of the unease we felt, as if it were routine to discuss the schedule and specifications of our sex life. Of course, only I spoke.


Ranjith leaned back in his chair, arms folded across his chest, and uttered a syllable or two when a question was specifically directed at him. He had come there only for me.


Once the patient history form was filled up the doctor said she would have to examine me and pointed to a bed in the same room. I knew what was coming and didn’t look forward to it, but agreed obediently. Removing my shoes, I stepped on a two-rung stool and climbed onto the steel examination table while she drew a curtain around it.


‘Please remove your pyjamas,’ she ordered.


I loosened the knot of my salwar, pulled it down along with my underwear and lay down on my back. She wore her gloves, dipped her index and middle fingers in jelly and inserted them inside my vagina, feeling the contours of my insides in rough, rapid moves. I held my breath, interlocked my fingers tightly and focused unblinkingly on the ceiling.


What’s Lemon Squeezer Doing In My Vagina | Rohini S. Rajagopal

After a few seconds she noted, ‘There is nothing anatomically wrong with your body.’
‘Hmm,’ I exhaled. The only thing I cared for was the departure of the groping fingers and restoration
of dignity to my half-naked self.


Back at the table, she handed us a printout that laid down the next steps. ‘Please come back once you finish all the tests on this sheet,’ she said. We nodded dutifully and stepped out of the room, our to-do list in hand. We chose the diagnostics lab first. There were twenty odd tests to strike off the list—from HIV to blood sugar to the various hormones that govern reproduction. The phlebotomist1 indicated a student chair and asked me to place my extended arm on the foldable writing pad. He drained several millilitres of my blood into colour-coded vials. I did not fear needles and breathed easily through the prick of skin and tightness of strap. It was certainly easier than offering access to the inner recesses of my vagina.


Once I was done, Ranjith sat on the same chair and went through the same motions. Next was sperm collection. A male technician handed Ranjith a small plastic container with a white label on it. He asked him to make use of a room at the opposite end of the corridor with the sign ‘Sample Collection’ outside. Ranjith hid the cup in his closed fist and walked into the room. As the door closed I caught a fleeting glimpse of its interiors—peeling walls and a broken chair. I sat on the bench, facing the closed door, trying to block all thoughts. After fifteen minutes he emerged.


The final stop was ultrasound. I was led into a room overpowered by medical equipment and asked to lie down on a long, narrow bed. My salwar and underwear rested on hooks in the bathroom. A chirpy radiologist photographed the insides of my uterus with the transducer, noting down measurements of my ovaries on paper. Once or twice she yelped in delight at the images that appeared on the screen.


‘Excellent. A triple lining!’ she said. I maintained my breathless silence, again fixated only on when the ultrasound probe would be withdrawn from my vagina.


As soon as Ranjith and I stepped into the clinic, it was as if an invisible wall had emerged to separate us—husband and wife—snapping the lines and wires of marital communication. We walked around the clinic like zombies, taking instructions, undoing zippers, lowering underwear, offering arms for needles . . . It was like a spontaneous, self-imposed blockade. We resisted processing the happenings around us. We resisted conversation. We resisted each other’s eyes even, each feeling sickeningly guilty that the other had been dragged into such a distasteful setting.


We had come in expecting the privacy and safety of a cosy consultation room, but the fertility clinic turned out to be an open parade in which our self-respect and dignity were systematically poked, squeezed and drained out. It was only about one and a half hours later, when the stripping and skinning were complete, that we were ushered into the cabin of the doctor we had come to meet in the first place.

What is dry fasting and why should you do it?

‘All the vitality and all the energy I have comes to me because my body is purified by fasting’

—Mahatma Gandhi

You must always turn to nature when you are sick or afflicted with disease. Nature holds all the answers, and when you align yourself with it, you heal and recover. Dry fasting is one such answer. Dry fasting is complete abstinence from food and water for a particular window during the day, followed by breaking the fast in a specific manner. This window during which one fasts is called the elimination phase, and the window during which one eats is called the building phase.

Dry fasting—or absolute fasting or Hebrew fasting— comes naturally to animals that are sick and wounded. They retire to a secluded place and fast until the body is restored to normal. it’s their natural instinct to refuse food during this time of recovery. At the most, they partake only of water and medicinal herbs. Ever seen a sick cat eat grass? The body is intelligent enough to heal. When the crisis is over, the appetite returns naturally. Humans also have fasting instincts, just like animals. but, unfortunately, when we fall sick, in most cases we fail to follow nature. We continue to eat food, even if in small amounts, and suffer because of it.

The Dry Fasting Miracle|| Luke Coutinho and Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Ali Bin Rashed Al Nuaimi

Go back a thousand years. What did the early man do? Since food was scarce, they could only feast when they hunted—otherwise they fasted. This evolutionary adaptation has made our bodies efficient at fasting even in this era. if one observes children carefully—and even adults, for that matter—the moment they get sick or hurt, their appetite is what drops first. By switching on its healing mechanism, the body uses its natural intelligence to protect us. The appetite is lost for healing to take place as the immune system requires a lot of energy.

One of my clients, Neha Gupta, wrote to me saying that she had completed seventeen hours of fasting yesterday and thirteen-and-a-half hours today. She said she could never have imagined that she could dry-fast and that, too, with no hunger pangs, as she is known in her family as someone with no control over her appetite. She feels calmer now and more composed, with clarity of thought, but, most importantly, she says she feels happy!

The body is made up of five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, air and Ether. Fasting cleanses the element of Ether. During dry fasting, all vital forces are engaged in cleansing the body. It should be understood that the fast in itself does not bring about a new vital force but removes toxins in the body, which are the real cause of ill health. In the case of a disease, however, dry fasting is most beneficial when one practises it right from the initial stage.

Well, this is just the beginning of what dry fasting does. Read on to know more about the ancient wisdom behind the practice.

From beauty to general well-being, discover the miracle of dry fasting and the route to a new you in Luke Coutinho and Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Ali Bin Rashed Al Nuaimi’s book, The Dry Fasting Miracle. Get your book here.

Check in with yourself today through these books

Books and stories are invaluable companions – especially to connect with and accept ourselves on a deeper, rawer level.

Times are challenging, and recent events have brought to the fore a dire need to address mental health concerns that most of us grapple with in silence and solitude. It’s crucial for us and our loved ones to know how to help and cope.

From personal stories to fictional characters that will speak to you and your struggles – scroll down below for a diverse list of books that will help you develop deep insights into your mind and your mental and spiritual health.


I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier by Shaheen Bhatt

I’ve Never Been (Un)Happier, Shaheen Bhatt

I don’t write about my experiences with depression to defend the legitimacy of my pain. My pain is real; it does not come to me because of my lifestyle, and it is not taken away by my lifestyle.

Unwittingly known as Alia Bhatt’s older sister and diagnosed with depression at the eighteen, this tell-all memoir is an intimate and raw look at the day-to-day experiences of living with depression.


Battles of the Mind by Anna Chandy

Battles in the Mind, Anna Chandy

Our minds fight battles, trials and tribulations on a daily basis. Anna Chandy, the chair of the Live, Love, Laugh Foundation along with actress Deepika Padukone, shares here a personal story of survival through pain and lows – a story that we all can take away something from. Above all, her story teaches us to hope.


Death is Not the Answer by Anjali Chhabria

Death is not the Answer, Dr. Anjali Chhabria

Did you know that India is the world’s suicide capital with over 2.6 lakh cases reported every year?

From recognizing covert suicidal intentions to timely interventions – it has become more important than ever to develop insights into the minds of suicidal patients. Psychiatrist Dr. Anjali Chhabria attempts with to help thousands who are questioning the motive of their life, or dealing with grief – as well as people who have lost loved ones to suicide.


Beating the Blues by Seema Hingorrany

Beating the Blues, Seema Hingorrany

According to a WHO study, a mindboggling 35.9 percent of India suffers from Major Depressive Episodes (MDE). India’s leading clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and trauma researcher Seema Hingorrany provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to treating depression, examining what the term really means, its signs, causes, and symptoms; and some accessible self-help techniques you can adopt to manage it in your day-to-day life.


On Meditation by Sri M

On Meditation, Sri M

In today’s challenging world, don’t you wish you knew how to quieten your mind and focus on yourself?

Spiritual leader Sri M breaks down the practice of meditation into a simple and easy method that any working man or woman, young or old, can practise in their everyday lives.


Happy for No Reason by Mandira Bedi

Happy for No Reason, Mandira Bedi

Mandira Bedi is a fitness icon. But behind the six-pack is also a snotty, complaining, can’t-get-out-of-bed-today girl who, in her own way, is still searching for true and unconditional happiness.

In her book, she invites you along on an ongoing discovery of some kind of non-scientific, non-spiritual and as-yet-non-existent formula for finding peace in everything; of how to be happy for no reason.


How to Travel Light by Shreevatsa Nevatia

How to Travel Light, Shreevatsa Nevatia

Diagnosed as bipolar at twenty-three, a young journalist struggles for a decade, fighting a cycle of depression, and euphoria.

In this candid, stylish journey, we visit diverse former loves and eccentric fellow sufferers; mental health institutions and Benares; his moments with Diana Eck and Deepika Padukone-and reckonings with past wounds.


The Beauty of Ally My Days by Ruskin Bond

The Beauty of All My Days, Ruskin Bond


‘So here I am, delving into the past like Monsieur Poirot, not to solve a mystery, but to try to understand some of the events that have helped define the sort of person I have become.’

India’s most loved storyteller embarks on a self-reflective journey alongside his readers. Each chapter of this memoir is a remembrance of times past, an attempt to resurrect a person or a period or an episode, a reflection on the unpredictability of life. Some paths lead nowhere; others lead to a spring of pure water. Take any path and hope for the best. At least it will lead you out of the shadows.



The Younger Ones Struggle Too


Flyaway Boy by Jane De Suza

Flyaway Boy, Jane De Suza

Spirited and powerfully imaginative, Flyaway Boy is a story about embracing everything that makes you uniquely you.

Kabir doesn’t fit in. Not in the wintry hill town, he lives in, and not in his school, where the lines are always straight. Backed into a corner with no way out, Kabir vanishes. With every adult’s nightmare now coming true, finding this flyaway boy will mean understanding who he really is.

This one is a must-read for every parent to understand, accept, and connect with their child better.


Inside a Dark Box by Ritu Vaishnav

Inside a Dark Box, Ritu Vaishnav

When you get trapped in darkness, finding your way out can be a long and lonely battle, especially when the war is within your own head. Here’s a peep inside a mind struggling with itself.

Powerfully illustrated and extremely accessible, Inside a Dark Box is a simple book about what depression can feel like.


The Lies We Tell by Himanjali Sarkar

The Lies We Tell, Himanjali Sankar


Seventeen-year-old Irfan Ahmed is handsome, easy-going and deeply in love with his girlfriend, Uma. However, when Uma dumps him for his best friend, Rishi, Irfan’s life begins to unravel. Things haven’t been good at home ever since his sister left. And soon, they get worse.

when a photograph of Uma begins to circulate among their classmates, everyone suspects it’s Irfan taking his revenge on his two erstwhile best friends.

Is Irfan really going out of his mind or is there someone else out there playing games with him?


Unbroken by Nandhika Nambi

Unbroken, Nandhika Nambi


So okay, I’m a monster.

But look what I have to deal with–my brother is a frightened little freak, my father is selfish and ill-tempered, my mother is an ignorant doormat and my friends are just plain irritating. And I’m in a prison surrounded by them all, with nowhere to escape.

But one day, something happens … and suddenly I see what these relationships and people (however annoying) mean to me. I’ve been a monster for such a long time now, I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be human. Is it too late?


In the end, all these books and characters come together to convey a simple yet strong message – you are seen, and you are not alone. It is okay to reach out. Your mental health matters.

Team Penguin wishes you safety, health and wellbeing.

History of the Coronavirus

On the eve of 31 December 2019, as the world celebrated the start of a new decade, the province of Wuhan alerted the World Health Organization of several ‘flu-like’ cases. Less than a week later, a novel coronavirus, was identified. In February, the disease it caused was named COVID-19.

The symptoms of Coronavirus are dangerously similar to that of the common flu: fever, coughing, breathlessness, tiredness, headache and muscle pain. But in India, that has such a high population density, we will have to do more than just stick to Namaste to greet each other. What we need most right now is credible and comprehensive information from professionals that can help us understand what the Coronavirus is, and how we can prepare and protect ourselves against it.

Panic is historically an integral component of pandemics. Understanding the Coronavirus within a larger, historical context of pandemics and survival is crucial to prepare – mentally, emotionally, and strategically – for the times about to come. Find an introduction to the history of the coronavirus below:

The Coronavirus

The story of the coronavirus (CoV) begins with Dr David Arthur John Tyrrell, a British virologist studying the common cold. Dr Tyrrell was born in Middlesex, United Kingdom, in 1925, and completed his medical training in 1948. The same year, the Common Cold Research Unit (CCRU) was founded under the auspices of the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council. In 1957, Dr Tyrrell joined the unit, excited at the prospect of developing a cure for the common cold and, in 1982, became its director.

At the CCRU, he experimented on volunteers to study viruses responsible for the common cold. Newspaper advertisements offered a unique ten-day stay at CCRU where

The volunteers would be infected with preparations of a cold virus. They would be paid £1.75 per day and would be housed in small groups, strictly isolated from one another.

In 1965, Dr Tyrrell’s team isolated an unusual virus from a young boy with the common cold. They exposed several volunteers to his nasal washings and they developed a cold. Interestingly, the virus, initially named B814 after the number of nasal washings, grew exclusively on human embryonic tracheal cultures.

In 1966, Dr Dorothy Hamre and Dr John Procknow identified a similar virus in medical students sick with a cold. Later that year, Dr Tyrrell demonstrated under an electron microscope that the new virus resembled the bird bronchitis virus and the mouse hepatitis virus. With this new information, scientists around the world identified related viruses, giving them similarly unimaginative alphanumeric names. Shortly thereafter, these new viruses were collectively named coronaviruses (CoVs) for their crown-like appearance.

Dr David Tyrrell’s brilliant discovery laid the groundwork for modern research on coronaviruses. Scientists have since identified numerous coronaviruses in a multitude of animal species. These include alpha, beta, gamma, and delta coronaviruses. Gamma and delta coronaviruses infect birds and have not been proven to cause human infections. Alpha and beta coronaviruses have infected humans and many other mammals, especially bats. The seven coronaviruses that have infected humans are called human coronaviruses (HCoVs). Of these, HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 are two human alphacoronaviruses, while HCoV-HKU1 and HCoV-OC43 are two human betacoronaviruses. Last, there are the three notorious human betacoronaviruses that have caused SARS, MERS and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO has declared COVID-19 as the most dangerous threat to world public health, the first pandemic due to a coronavirus.

To understand responses and possible ways forward by placing COVID-19 in a historical context, the authors mention Lord Byron’s words: ‘The best prophet of the future is the past’.

A complete story of a disease must include the 5 Ws: the what, who, where, when and why. Epidemiologists are the disease detectives who investigate a new disease like COVID-19. They explore the what (health issue of concern), who (person or people affected), where (place in which the disease is occurring), when (time course of the disease) and why (causes, risk factors, modes of transmission).Stories of past pandemics and viruses help disease investigators and scientists build this framework in order to tackle the novel Coronavirus affecting the world currently.

The Coronavirus: What You Need to Know About the Global Pandemic is the first book that addresses the history, evolution, facts and myths around the pandemic.

Esha Deol Thaktani’s Yummy Food Recipe for Your Kids

When can I introduce my baby to solid foods?

Becoming a new mother can be an exciting yet overwhelming time. No matter how prepared you are, there will always be many confusing moments, opinions and a whole lot of drama! And just like any other new mom, Esha Deol Takhtani was faced with many such questions soon after the birth of her two daughters-Radhya and Miraya.

Packed with advice, tips, stories and easy and delicious recipes for toddlers, Amma Mia reflects the personal journey of one woman’s transformation into a mother. Informative and easy to follow, this book will help new mothers navigate the ups and downs of raising a healthy toddler and make their child fall in love with food.



Read a recipe from the book below:


Continental Potato Wrap
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
 ½ tbsp.  mustard seeds
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger–garlic paste
1 potato
 ½ tbsp. turmeric powder
½ tbsp. amchur powder
 ¼ tbsp. garam masala powder
 ½ cup of water
 ½ cup of flour, to which you may add ¼ tsp. salt
 1 tbsp. oil
  • In a pan add oil and sauté cumin seeds, mustard seeds, chopped onion and ginger–garlic paste. Fry well. Add the spices and mix well.
  • Add enough water and salt to the flour so it achieves the consistency of dosa batter.
  • Mix the potato in with the rest of the mixture till cooked.
  • In a non-stick pan, pour refined oil and spread the flour batter like you would to make a dosa. Fill the stuffing in the centre. Fold it properly and fry on a low flame. Your tasty breakfast is ready to be served.



For more tips and tricks, check out Amma Mia by Esha Deol Takhtani.


Shake a Leg with Mandira Bedi’s Workout Playlist

Mandira Bedi is a fitness icon. But behind the six-pack is also a snotty, complaining, can’t-get-out-of-bed-today girl who, in her own way, is still searching for true happiness. Not conditional, materialistic, transactional happiness, but just happiness. So has she cracked it yet? Mandira says ‘No’. But she genuinely believes that she’s headed in the right direction. In her own chaotic way, she seems to have discovered some kind of non-scientific, non-spiritual and as-yet-non-existent formula for finding peace in everything. Just being happy for no reason.


We are sharing here one of her secrets from Happy For No Reason: her terrific playlist for power-packed workout sessions!




Mandira Bedi’s Top 40 Workout Songs (You Will Never Need Another Playlist)
  1. Have It All (Jason Mraz)
  2.  Woke Up Late (Drax Project)
  3.  Build Me Up Buttercup (The Foundation)
  4.  Old Town Road (Lil Nas X)
  5.  Don’t Start Now (Dua Lipa)
  6.  Close to Me (Ellie Goulding)
  7.  Titanium (David Guetta)
  8.  Keeping Me Under (Two Another)
  9.  Glorious (Macklemore)
  10.  More Mess (Kungs)
  11.  Don’t Matter to Me (Drake & Michael Jackson)
  12.  Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z & Alicia Keys)
  13.  Truth Hurts (Lizzo)
  14.  Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)
  15.  The Shape of You (Ed Sheeran)
  16.  Faith (Wham)
  17. Wasabi (Little Mix)
  18. Memories (Maroon 5)
  19. Day ’n’ Nite (Kidi Cudi)
  20. 2 in a Million (Steve Aoki, Sting & SHAED)
  21. Body (Loud Luxury & Brando)
  22.  24k Magic (Bruno Mars)
  23.  Respect (Arethra Franklin)
  24.  Feel It Still (Portugal. The Man)
  25.  Rock DJ (Robbie Williams)
  26.  Feels (Calvin Harris)
  27.  Cake by the Ocean (DNCE)
  28.  Firework (Katy Perry)
  29.  Dancing in the Moonlight (Toploader)
  30.  Middle of a Heartbreak (Leland)
  31.  Classic (MKTO)
  32.  Wild Thoughts (DJ Khaled)
  33.  Hand in My Pocket (Alanis Morissette)
  34.  Attention (Charlie Puth)
  35.  Sweet like Cola (Lou Bega)
  36.  Desert Rose (Sting)
  37.  Good Thing (Zedd & Kehlani)
  38.  Talk (Khalid)
  39.  Catch & Release (Matt Simmons)
  40.  Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay)

    To find out more of Mandira’s secrets for being Happy For No Reason, get the book here 🙂

Best of times, Worst of Times: Momspeak Perspectives

Momspeak: The funny, bittersweet story of motherhood in India is an original, provocative book that peels off the layers of social propriety and delves deep into the visceral reality of motherhood, much glorified but barely understood in India. Exploring the spectrum of experiences mothers have as women, as humans—from ecstasy to depression, jealous possessiveness to indifference, exhaustion to sensual desire—Pooja Pande reveals the personal, social and emotional roller-coaster that motherhood can be.


This Mother’s Day, Pooja Pande shares her thoughts on the experience of motherhood during these unprecedented times, and shares an excerpt from Momspeak. Read on below.


These may be the best of times and the worst of times


It’s the best of times because a pandemic the intensity of which they say is still to come has already caused the human race, every single human being on the planet, to take stock, in different ways, of their lives, their selves, their pasts, presents, and futures.

It’s the worst of times because a pandemic, the intensity of which they say is still to come, has already crippled nations, it’ peoples, its leaders, its economies, claiming lives by the millions, affecting many more. The uncertainty is a never before experienced event for all of humanity.

The uncertainty has caused a never before experienced event of togetherness. As always, even with this global health crisis worsening by the day, perspective is everything. And there’s no other experience that works wonders for putting things into perspective – by first shattering and then reshaping it – than motherhood. Right from carrying the life inside her to birthing, going onto watch her grow, shaping what she can, and above all, letting her go, for she has to ultimately forge her path in the world, a mother’s only lesson is one in perspective.

Thoughts I gathered on this lesson holds me in stead during these best and worst of times – it asks of me to turn the worst of times into the best. I explored them deeply in the chapter titled Letting Go, in my new book Momspeak, and On Mother’s Day today, I’d like to share them with you.

The letting go has to do with the future too, and a preparation, affirmation, acknowledgement of it. We all know we’re going to die, but do we ever mindfully contemplate a world where we have ceased to exist? Nisha, mother to Nakul and Neel, voices this, but she poses a string of fun questions to me, ‘Like, have you ever thought how one day your daughter might be a super-famous pop singer and you will become the famous X ki maa? And then you’ll be a Wikipedia entry when you’re dead? What does that mean?’ Even as I reel from Nisha’s clairvoyant probing—how does she know about Ahaana’s predilection and penchant for crooning Ariana Grande songs?—she goes all existential, but in a good way, ‘It’s a deep, changing the centre of the universe, kind of truth. Genetically, sure, it’s a perpetuation of your pool. But, for all practical purposes, they’re a memento mori—a symbol of your death, your mortality—from the moment they are born. And really, nothing else.’ When they say birth and death are intrinsically intertwined, this is what it means for the mother who has done the birthing business—not only is the certainty of death a given for the one who has just been born, the mother, in her near-death experience of giving birth, is also, in effect, that much closer to it. This universal truth draws attention to itself bang in the middle of her giving life. (…) It is up to us to seek the affirmation inherent in it then, because letting go does not mean you do not care. Oh no. There is much too much building and shaping and crafting and moulding to be done here, with a lot of care. Oh yes. It is, in some sense, an ultimate letting go, because you have made a bid for reaching out to the universe.

Read the many funny, bittersweet stories of motherhood in Pooja Pande’s Momspeak. Get the book here.

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