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Essential reads for the Budget season

With the Union Budget under discussion, it is a good time to visit some essential reads that examine the socioeconomic landscape of the country. Here is a list of critical reads to keep things in perspective this Budget season:

front cover Economics Without Tears
Economics Without Tears||Ashok Sanjay Guha

 

 

Economics without Tears

by Ashok Sanjay Guha

If you are a layman wondering what economics is all about or a freshman student of the subject, this is a book you cannot afford to miss. Starting from the first principles and stripped of mathematics and almost all jargon, it introduces you to all the basic concepts of economic theory as well as to some of its more surprising depths.
Economics pervades every aspect of our lives and our world. This book shows how anyone can acquire an understanding of its key principles while finding the exercise not only an exciting intellectual adventure but also great fun.

 

 

front cover Day to Day Economics
Day to Day Economics||Satish Y. Deodha

Day to Day Economics

by Satish Y. Deodhar

The economy isn’t just for the economists to debate on. All of us are affected by its ups and downs—global recession, rise in interest rates, or hike in food prices. But do we understand the principles at work and how and why they really affect us?
Day to Day Economics is an enjoyable, accessible, and extremely user-friendly book that explains the modern day Indian economy to the layperson. In this relevant book, Professor Deodhar explains the role of the government and its involvement in different aspects of the economy; the need for the RBI and its functions; and how taxes, stock markets, and recessions work. Day to Day Economics will help you go beyond the facts and figures in the budget and connect the trends to your daily life. As with all IIMA Business Books, it comes illustrated with numerous Indian examples and case studies making this the ultimate rookie’s guide to the Indian economy.

 

front cover Coffee Can Investing
Coffee Can Investing||Saurabh Mukherjea, Rakshit Ranjan, Pranab Uniyal

Coffee Can Investing

by Saurabh Mukherjea, Rakshit Ranjan and Pranab Uniyal

Most people invest in the usual assets: real estate, gold, mutual funds, fixed deposits and stock markets. It’s always the same four or five instruments. All they end up making is a measly 8 to 12 per cent per annum. Those who are exceptionally unfortunate get stuck in the middle of a crash and end up losing a lot of money.
What if there was another way? What if you could make not 10 not 15 but 20 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) on your investments? What if there was a way to grow your money four to five times whilst taking half the risk compared to the overall market?
Bestselling author of Gurus of Chaos and The Unusual Billionaires, Saurabh Mukherjea puts his money where his mouth is. Saurabh follows the Coffee Can approach to high-quality, low-risk investing. His firm, Ambit Capital, is one the largest wealth managers in India which invests with this approach and delivers stupendous returns. In Coffee Can Investing, Saurabh will show you how to go about low-risk investments that generate great returns.

 

front cover Demonetization and the Black Economy
Demonetization and the Black Economy||Arun Kumar

Demonetization and the Black Economy

by Arun Kumar

On 8 November 2016, the prime minister announced the immediate cancellation of all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes, wiping out 86 per cent of the currency in circulation. This move, it was claimed, was made to wipe out corruption, deter the generation of black
money, weed out fake Indian currency notes and curb terrorism. India’s well-functioning economy went into a tailspin. Businesses, especially in the unorganized sectors, came to a grinding halt. India continues to grapple with the effects of this move. The black economy has not been dented; counterfeiting and terrorism continue; the credibility of the RBI, banks and currency is damaged; the accountability of the Parliament and the prime minister has been eroded; and the social divide has widened. There have been many arguments and counter-arguments from both sides, but they have missed the complete picture. Demonetization and the Black Economy lucidly explains the story of demonetization along with its effects on the economy.

 

front cover Reviving Jobs
Reviving Jobs||Santosh Mehrotra

Reviving Jobs

by Santosh Mehrotra

Every country in the world experiences the benefits of its demographic dividend, a period that comes but once in the life of a nation-when the share of the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age share. It has the potential to make a country progress towards higher incomes and development. But it can also become a nightmare if there aren’t enough jobs.

Since 2012, the number of youth entrants into the labour force has increased at an accelerating pace, while the number of jobs created has decreased. This situation might become graver between 2020 and 2030 as the labour force swells further. Reviving Jobs, the third volume in the Rethinking India series, offers suggestions on how India can make the best use of the remaining period of its demographic dividend-any failure to do so will cause millions to suffer in poverty for decades to come.

front cover Leapfrogging to Pole-vaulting
Leapfrogging to Pole-vaulting||RA Mashelkar and Ravi Pandit

 

Leapfrogging to Pole-vaulting

by RA Mashelkar and Ravi Pandit

An exhilarating manifesto for the future, this book convinces readers to make the shift from reactive leapfrogging to proactive pole-vaulting through radical transformation. The unique ‘3-4-7 framework’ demonstrates how a paralysing mass of problems can be brought down to a formidable formula, thus making every problem solvable, no matter how big and complex. The book is dotted with inspiring case studies that can instil confidence in people from across the world to put this framework into practice for assured success.

Dr Mashelkar and Mr Pandit ably show in this must-read book that-as an interplay of global issues constantly raise the bar for innovation today-there has never been a better time to use our learnings to pole-vault over those bars into a new future!

 

front cover Some Sizes Fit All
Some Sizes Fit All||Akhil Gupta

Some Sizes Fit All

by Akhil Gupta

An oft-repeated dictum every time a company fails to replicate its past successes when introducing a new product or entering a new market is that one size does not fit all. Business gurus advise that every new situation, market and environment calls for a fresh approach and requires ‘unlearning’ what one might have learnt elsewhere, even if that had met with great success. While this statement may appear to be obvious, it is often quoted out of context. The fact is that certain fundamentals of business-irrespective of line of business, geography or scale-are universally applicable.
Some Sizes Fit All is an attempt to explain these fundamental pillars for any kind of business. An authentic and lucid presentation of management concepts and practices-which Akhil Gupta has tried and tested first hand through his illustrious career-this is a must-read for anyone trying to build a robust and financially sound business.

front cover India Unbound
India Unbound||Gurcharan Das

 

 

India Unbound

by Gurcharan Das

India Unbound is the riveting story of a nation’s rise from poverty to prosperity and the clash of ideas that occurred along the way. Gurcharan Das examines the highs and lows of independent India through the prism of history, his own experiences and those of numerous others he has met-from young people in sleepy UP villages to chiefs of software companies in Bangalore. Defining and exploring the new mindset of the nation, India Unbound is the perfect introduction to contemporary India.

 

 

front cover Bridgital Nation
Bridgital Nation||N. Chandrasekaran, Roopa Purushothaman

Bridgital Nation

by N. Chandrasekaran and Roopa Purushothaman

It is 2030. India is among the world’s top three economies. All Indians use advanced technology to either do their job or get their job done. All Indians have access to quality jobs, better healthcare and skill-based education. Technology and human beings coexist in a mutually beneficial ecosystem. This reality is possible. It is within reach. With Bridgital. In this ground-breaking book, N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, presents a powerful vision for the future. To the coming disruption of artificial intelligence, he proposes an ingenious solution, where India is perfectly positioned to pave a unique path from the rest of the world. Instead of accepting technology as an inevitable replacement for human labour, India can use it as an aid; instead of taking them away, AI can generate jobs.

 

front cover India Grows at Night
India Grows At Night||Gurcharan Das

 

 

India Grows At Night

by Gurcharan Das

Indians wryly admit that ‘India grows at night’. But that is only half the saying: the full expression is: India grows at night . . . when the government sleeps’, suggesting that the nation may be rising despite the state. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if India also grew during the day — in other words, if public policy supported private enterprise? What India needs is a strong liberal state, but, says Das, achieving this will not be easy, because India has historically had a weak state and a strong society.

 

 

front cover Of Counsel
Of Counsel||Arvind Subramanian

Of Counsel

by Arvind Subramanian

For nearly four years, Arvind Subramanian stood at the centre of economic policymaking in India. Through the communication of big ideas and the publication of accessible Economic Surveys, he gained a reputation as an innovator. Through honest pronouncements that avoided spin, he became a figure of public trust. What does it entail to serve at the helm of the world’s fastest-growing economy, where decision-making affects a population of more than a billion people?

In Of CounselThe Challenges of the Modi-Jaitley Economy, Arvind Subramanian provides an inside account of his rollercoaster journey as the chief economic advisor to the Government of India from 2014-18, succeeding Raghuram Rajan as captain of the ship. With an illustrious cast of characters, Subramanian’s part-memoir, part-analytical writings candidly reveal the numerous triumphs and challenges of policymaking at the zenith, while appraising India’s economic potential, health and future through comprehensive research and original hypotheses.

 

front cover Beyond 2020
Beyond 2020||A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Yagnaswami Sundara Rajan

Beyond 2020

by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Yagnaswami Sundara Rajan

India 2020 is about to become a reality. Are we ready?

In 1998, Dr Kalam and Y.S. Rajan published the now iconic India 2020, a vision document for the new millennium that charted how India could become one of the top five economic powers in the world by 2020. Now, it is time to take stock of how much India has achieved and what lies ahead. In many ways, India’s growth story in the twenty-first century has been hamstrung by missed opportunities and slowdowns in project execution; but it has also been marked by new opportunities and emerging technologies that make faster and more inclusive growth viable. A renewed policy focus is now needed for agriculture, manufacturing, mining, the chemicals industry, health care and infrastructure to invigorate these sectors and boost economic growth, argue Kalam and Rajan. Alongside, education, job creation, emerging technologies, biodiversity, waste management, national security and the knowledge economy are some of the other vital areas that we need to build now that we have arrived beyond 2020.

front cover Emerging India
Emerging India||Bimal Jalan

 

 

 

Emerging India

by Bimal Jalan

Bimal Jalan has closely followed the path of India’s economic policies across its changing trajectories, from before the time the economy was liberalized to the present. The pieces in Emerging India study the relationship between political and economic reforms and inclusive and incremental growth.

 

front cover How to Read Amartya Sen
How to Read Amartya Sen||Lawrence Hamilton

 

How to Read Amartya Sen

by Lawrence Hamilton

This book offers a much-needed introduction to Amartya Sen’s extraordinary variety of ideas. Lawrence Hamilton provides an excellent, accessible guide to the full range of Sen’s writings, contextualizing his ideas and summarizing the associated debates. Hamilton reconstructs Sen’s critiques of the major philosophies of his time, assesses his now famous concern for capabilities as an alternative for thinking about poverty, inequality, gender discrimination, development, democracy and justice, and unearths some overlooked gems. Throughout, these major theoretical and philosophical achievements are subjected to rigorous scrutiny.
How to Read Amartya Sen is a major work on one of the most influential economists and philosophers of the last few centuries. It will be illuminating for readers keen to understand the breadth of Sen’s vision, and an invaluable resource for scholars, policy makers and global activists.

front cover The Indian Rennaissance
The Indian Rennaissance||Sanjeev Sanyal

 

The Indian Rennaissance

by Sanjeev Sanyal

One thousand years ago, India was at the height of its power, influencing the world with its ideas and trade. Now, ten centuries later, India’s recent economic performance is once again attracting world attention as the country re-awakens not just as an economy but as a civilization.

In The Indian Renaissance: India’s Rise after a Thousand Years of Decline, Sanjeev Sanyal looks at the processes that led to ten centuries of decline. He also examines the powerful economic and social forces that are working together to transform India beyond recognition. These range from demographic shifts to rising literacy levels and, the most important revolution, the opening of minds and changed attitude towards innovation and risk-fundamental, if India is to take advantage of the twenty-first century.

 

front cover In Service of the Republic
In Service of the Republic||Vijay Kelkar, Ajay Shah

In Service of the Republic

by Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah

As a $3-trillion economy, India is on her way to becoming an economic superpower. Between 1991 and 2011, the period of our best growth, there was also a substantial decline in the number of people below the poverty line. Since 2011, however, there has been a marked retreat in the high growth performance of the previous two decades. What happened to the promise? Where have we faltered? How do we change course? How do we overcome the ever-present dangers of the middle-income trap, and get rich before we grow old? And one question above all else: What do we need to do to make our tryst with destiny?

As professional economists as well as former civil servants, Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah have spent most of their lives thinking about and working on these questions. The result: In Service  of the Republic, a meticulously researched work that stands at the intersection of economics, political philosophy and public administration. This highly readable book lays out the art and the science of the policymaking that we need, from the high ideas to the gritty practicalities that go into building the Republic.

 

front cover India’s Long Road
India’s Long Road||Vijay Joshi

India’s Long Road

by Vijay Joshi

India has been the subject of many extravagant predictions and hopes. In this powerful and wide-ranging book, distinguished economist Vijay Joshi argues that the foundations of rapid, durable and inclusive economic growth in India are distinctly shaky. He lays out a penetrating analysis of the country’s recent faltering performance, set against the backdrop of its political economy, and charts the course it should follow to achieve widely shared prosperity.
Joshi argues that for India to realize its huge potential, the relation among the state, the market and the private sector must be comprehensively realigned. Deeper liberalization is very necessary but far from sufficient. The state needs to perform much more effectively many core tasks that belong squarely in its domain. His radical reform model includes a fiscally affordable scheme to provide a regular ‘basic income’ for all citizens that would speedily abolish extreme poverty.
An authoritative work of tremendous scope and depth, India’s Long Road is essential reading for anyone who wants to know where India is today, where it is headed, and what it should do to attain its ambitious goals.

 

 

 

Fun new reads for your shelves, this Children’s Day

Not that we need an occasion to buy books, but Children’s Day is the perfect time to add some fascinating and wonderful reads to your young readers’ shelves! From magical adventures in forests, to exciting stories about monarchs, and a glimpse into the constitution of India, we have you covered on all fronts.

 

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front cover of A Box of Stories
A Box of Stories||Ruskin Bond

 

A Box of Stories: A Collector’s Edition

by Ruskin Bond

 

A collector’s edition featuring the best of Ruskin Bond’s works

Featuring some of Ruskin Bond’s finest stories, poetry and selected non-fiction pieces, this special collector’s edition brings together the best works of India’s best-loved author for all his fans. Included in the collection are the two treasuries The Room of Many Colours and Uncles, Aunts and Elephants. Featuring illustrations and a rich cast of characters, this box set is a    perfect collection for fans of the master storyteller.

 

 

front cover The Magic of the Lost Temple
The Magic of the Lost Temple||Sudha Murty

The Magic Of The Lost Temple

by Sudha Murty

 

City girl Nooni is surprised at the pace of life in her grandparents’ village in Karnataka. But she quickly gets used to the gentle routine there and involves herself in a flurry of activities, including papad making, organizing picnics and learning to ride a cycle, with her new-found friends.

Things get exciting when Nooni stumbles upon an ancient fabled stepwell right in the middle of a forest.

Join the intrepid Nooni on an adventure of a lifetime in this much-awaited book by Sudha Murty that is heart-warming, charming and absolutely unputdownable.

 

front cover Moin and the Monster
Moin and The Monster||Anushka Ravishankar, Anitha Balachandran

 

 

Moin and the monster

by Anushka Ravishankar

Illustrated by Anitha Balachandran

 

One night, in the dim darkness of his room, Moin heard something shuffling and sniffling under his bed …’

It is a monster. Moin has to learn to live with the monster, which does nothing but eat bananas, sing silly songs and try out new hairstyles.

However, keeping the monster a secret from his parents and teachers is a tough task and finally Moin decides that the only thing to do is send the monster back where it came from…

 

 

front cover Book of Beasts
Book of Beasts||M Krishnan

 

 

Book of Beasts: An A to Z Rhyming Bestiary

by M Krishnan

 

The hispid hare is rather rare in fact, outside north-eastern east it lives nowhere and even there it is a most uncommon beast.
With scientific facts, quirky verse and gorgeous illustrations, this is a most unusual alphabet book!
A writer and an artist, M Krishnan was one of India’s best-known naturalists.

 

 

 

front cover 10 Indian Monarchs
10 Indian Monarchs Whose Amazing Stories You May Not Know||Devika Rangachari

10 Indian Monarchs Whose Amazing Stories You May Not Know

by Devika Rangachari

 

This book tells the stories of ten Indian monarchs who find, at best, passing mention in the history textbooks we read, though their lives were exciting and their achievements considerable:
Ajatashatru
Bindusara
Rudradaman
Pulakeshin II
Jayapida
Didda
Ramapala
Abbakka
Chand Bibi
Ahilyabai Holkar

Historian and award-winning novelist, Devika Rangachari writes absorbing tales of the men and women who shaped lives and kingdoms in their times.

 

 

front cover of The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop
The Curious Case of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop||Nandini Nayar

The Curious Case of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop

by Nandini Nayar

 

Making and selling sweets day after day is the life of Vishnudas Mithaiwala, the owner of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop. However, when Laddoo appears at his doorstep one night, claiming to be his estranged sister Revati’s son, Vishnu’s life is thrown into confusion. More craziness ensues when Anu turns up, also insisting that she’s Revati’s child! With no idea how to discern the real Mithaiwala, life is full of chaos for Vishnu, as the two children compete to prove their identity.

And Laddoo, worried about his parents, who have suddenly disappeared, is thrown another curveball-he senses a ghostly presence in the house! When a plot to steal the Mithaiwala family’s valuable recipe book is hatched, Laddoo tries to use this new psychic ability to save the day.

 

front cover Akbar and The Tricky Traitor
Akbar and the Tricky Traitor||Natasha Sharma

 

 

Akbar and the Tricky Traitor

by Natasha Sharma

 

The mighty Mughal emperor Akbar is angry. Someone is leaking secrets of his court to his enemies. What’s worse, his enemies are now laughing at Akbar. Who can help the emperor   solve this mystery?

Mysteries you’ll never find in history books

 

 

 

front cover of Timmi in Tangles
Timmi in Tangles||Shals Mahajan

 

 

Timmi in Tangles

by Shals Mahajan

 

Timmi’s life is full of tangles. Her mother expects her to go to school even though she’s a raja; Idliamma eats up all her idlis and everyone thinks Timmi ate them … and why can’t people understand that if you have a giant for a friend you can lift the roof to let the rain in?

 

 

 

 

front cover of Simply Nanju
Simply Nanju||Zainab Sulaiman

 

Simply Nanju

by Zainab Sulaiman

 

Nothing worries Nanju too much; not the fact that he walks funny or that he’s known as the class copy cat or that the cleverest (and prettiest) girl in class barely knows he’s alive.

But when books start disappearing from the classroom, the needle of suspicion begins to point at Nanju. Aided by his beloved best friend, the fragile but brainy Mahesh, Nanju has to find out who the real thief is. Otherwise, his father might pack him off to Unni Mama’s all-boys Hostel from Hell, and Nanju might lose all that’s dear to him.

Set in a school for children who are differently abled, this funny, fast-paced whodunit will keep you guessing till the very end.

 

 

front cover Discover India
Discover India: The Complete Collection||Sonia Mehta

Discover India: The Complete Collection

by Sonia Mehta

 

The Discover India series will take you on a grand tour of every single one of our country’s states. Join the adorable Pushka and Mishki and the wise and witty Daadu Dolma as they traverse the length and breadth of India. Meet nawabs in Andhra Pradesh, roam the highways of Haryana, learn the history of Odisha, study the culture of Bihar, explore the snow-laden valleys of Uttarakhand and pick up a new dance in Sikkim.

 

 

 

 

The Jungle Radio

front cover The Jungle Radio
The Jungle Radio||Devangana Dash

by Devangana Dash

 

Come, listen to the sweet jungle orchestra, featuring the Woodpecker’s drums, the Hornbill’s trumpet and the Kingfisher’s blues

When curious little Gul hears some strange sounds coming from her radio, she follows the musical clues into . . . an Indian jungle! On her walk, she finds feathered friends who TWEET, TAPP and TALK. There are some who howl and hoot, and others who play the flute. With a KEE here and a KAW there, Gul discovers songs everywhere!

Brought to life by painterly illustrations, The Jungle Radio is a little story about the language of birds-their songs and sounds-with a loud and clear call to listen to the world around us.

 

 

front cover of We the Children of India
We, The Children Of India||Leila Seth

We, The Children Of India

by Leila Seth

Illustrated by Bindia Thapar

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 Incredible History of India’s Geography

front cover The Incredible History of India's Geography
The Incredible History Of India’s Geography||Sanjeev Sanyal

by Sanjeev Sanyal

 

Could you be related to a blonde Lithuanian?

Did you know that India is the only country that has both lions and tigers?

Who found out how tall Mt Everest is?

If you’ve ever wanted to know the answers to questions like these, this is the book for you. In here you will find various things you never expected, such as the fact that we still greet each other like the Harappans did and that people used to think India was full of one-eyed giants. And, sneakily, you’ll also know more about India’s history and geography by the end of it. Full of quirky pictures and crazy trivia, this book takes you on a fantastic journey through the incredible history of India’s geography.

 

 

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Pack your young reader’s day with this varied collection!

 

The turning tides of Indian history

Indian culture has been greatly marked by foreign arrivals. As trade turned into colonial settlements, India would forever carry the remnants of that imperial history. This excerpt from The Incredible History of The Indian Ocean explores how some of these colonial advents set up European strongholds on Indian lands:

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In 1580, the English sea captain Francis Drake returned to England after circumnavigating (travelling all the way around) the world. He brought back two things: one, a ship filled with Spanish booty and spices from the Indies, and two, information that the Portuguese hold on trade in the Indian Ocean region was not as secure as widely believed.

The English now decided that it was time to stake a claim on the spice trade. A fleet of three ships was sent out under the command of James Lancaster in 1591. The ships bypassed India and made directly for the Straits of Malacca. The English did not even pretend to trade but simply plundered Portuguese and local ships before heading back. On the way home, however, two of the three ships were wrecked in a storm and all the ill-gotten cargo was lost. The smallest of the three ships somehow limped back with just twenty-five survivors, including Lancaster himself.

In the meantime, the Dutch also sent out a number of fleets, which brought home much valuable cargo. Spurred on by this, English merchants decided to take another shot at sailing eastwards. Queen Elizabeth I was petitioned for a royal charter, a document that granted a right or power to a person or a group. On New Year’s Eve in 1600, the merchants set up as ‘The Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies’; we know this now as the East India Company (EIC). Dutch merchants similarly banded together to form the United East India Company (also known by its Dutch initials, VOC).

Both of these entities would grow to become among the largest and most powerful multinational companies the world

Front cover ofThe Incredible History of the Indian Ocean
The Incredible History of The Indian Ocean||Sanjeev Sanyal

has ever seen.

… The English soon set up modest warehouses in Machilipatnam on the Andhra coast, Hugli in Bengal and Surat in Gujarat. As business grew, the EIC decided that it was necessary to build fortified settlements that could be defended against both Indian rulers as well as European rivals. The first of these was Madras (now Chennai). A small strip of coastline was acquired from the local ruler in 1639 by the EIC agent Francis Day. It was an odd choice as it was neither easily defensible nor did it have a sheltered harbour. Ships had to be anchored far from the shore and boats had to ferry people and goods through heavy surf. It was not uncommon for boats to overturn and cause the loss of life and property. Nonetheless, the English built a fortified warehouse here and christened it Fort St George.

The next major settlement was Bombay, which was acquired from the Portuguese as part of the dowry when King Charles II married Catherine of Braganza. The group of small islands was leased to the EIC in 1668 for ten pounds per annum. Unlike Madras, it already had a small but functioning settlement and also a good harbour. As a naval power, the English would have found its island geography easier to defend and a more substantial fort was built on the main island, in the area still known as ‘Fort’. A series of smaller fortifications were also maintained at various strategic points.

The third major EIC settlement was built in Bengal. Yet again, the decision was taken because the English found their position in the old river port of Hugli untenable due to conflicts with the Mughal governor. When peace was finally declared after an abject apology from the English, they were allowed to return and set up a new establishment. In 1690, the EIC’s agent Job Charnock bought the rights to three villages from the local landlords for 1300 rupees. This is how Calcutta (now Kolkata) was founded. The English soon built Fort William—this is not the star-shaped eighteenth- century fort that is used today as the Indian Army’s eastern headquarters but its predecessor, which was built on the site now occupied by the General Post Office. Nonetheless, the proximity of the Mughals and later the Marathas made the EIC directors in London nervous. The humid, swampy terrain, moreover, took a heavy toll on the Europeans and even Job Charnock died within three years of founding the outpost. It is worth mentioning that each of the above EIC settlements soon attracted a sizeable population of Indian merchants, clerks, labourers, sailors, artisans, mercenaries and other service providers. Thus, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta each developed a thriving ‘black town’ where the Indians lived.

The English were not the only Europeans building trading posts during this period. The French East India Company, a relative latecomer, would build a number of outposts including a major settlement in Pondicherry (now Puducherry). This was established right next to the Roman-era port of Arikamedu. Pondicherry would remain a French possession till the 1950s and still retains a strong French flavour.

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Through The Incredible History of The Indian Ocean, Sanjeev Sanyal has created a comprehensive channel into understanding the maritime history of our country, and the events that have shaped its culture.

An incredible history of Sanjeev Sanyal

Now that we know that Phoenicians probably sailed around the Cape of Good Hope 2000 years before Vasco da Gama, we’re here to find out more about the man who gave us that amazing fact and others like them! Get to know writer Sanjeev Sanyal a little better.

1) He was one of the first Indians to get a paragliding pilot license. He was part of the first batch of Indians in 1990 to earn a pilot’s license after undergoing training in Himachal Pradesh. Since there was no Indian certification body at that time, the license was given by the British Association of Paragliding Clubs.


An image of a person paragliding

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2) He also has an Instructor grade certification for kayaking and canoeing from way back in 1991. He was one of the earliest certified instructors of the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association.

 

Illustration of a boy rowing a boat

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3) He is a martial arts black belt (Taekwondo) which he earned in 2008.

 

Illustration of a boy in a white Taekwondo attire with a black belt

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4) He is currently researching a book on the contributions of armed Revolutionaries in India’s freedom struggle

 

Illustration of a man's silhouette addressing a gathering

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5) He collects old maps of India, Indian cities and of the Indian Ocean.

 

An illustration of the world map without borders

 

Sanjeev Sanyal has given us a fascinating maritime history of the Indian Ocean, with the most beautiful illustrations.

Front cover of The Incredible History of the Indian Ocean
The Incredible History of the Indian Ocean || Sanjeev Sanyal

Champions of mindfulness: September reads for the young minds!

Another month has rolled around and we hope that like us, the young minds are excited for some new stories!

Our list for this month will make them champions of mythology, nature, mindfulness and even of the Indian Ocean!

Time to flip through!

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Incredible History of the Indian Ocean
Sanjeev Sanyal (author), Jit Chowdhury (Illustrator)
The Incredible History of the Indian Ocean || Sanjeev Sanyal

 

When did the first humans arrive in India and how did they get here? What are Roman artefacts from hundreds of years ago doing in a town near Puducherry? How did merchants from Arabia end up near Kochi?

Read on to learn about the fearless travellers and sailors, pirates and conquerors who set out to cross the ocean in search of gold and glory!

 

The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales For Kids!
Anand Neelakantan

 

The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales for Kids || Anand Neelakantan

Aren’t we chubby, aren’t we cute?

Aren’t we lovely, as sweet as fruit?

Give us a bear hug, give us a kiss

Regret not later for giving it a miss.

Indulge in some very, extremely, most funny naughty tales of asura twins Kundakka and Mandakka, who hate going to school; clumsy Bhasma and pet pig Nakura, who create trouble in the village; brothers Atapi and Vatapi, who like to eat ninety-six cartfuls of fruits as dessert; the great Bana who claps with his thousand hands and so many more!

 

 

Mindfulness with Moksha
Ira Trivedi

 

Mindfulness with Moksha || Ira Trivedi

The practice of mindfulness at any age can have profound effect on your life. So why not get your young one to start early? In this fast-paced world, with so many distractions, it is important to stay grounded and not lose sight of what’s important. Being mindful brings clarity, mental strength, focus and inner peace.

With this calming read-along book, parents and guardians can help their children work through fun exercises-a great way to spend quality family time!

 

10 Indian Champions Who Are Trying To Save The Planet
Bijal Vaccharajani, Radha Rangarajan

 

10 Indian Champions || Bijal Vachharajani, Radha Rangarajan

This book tells the stories of ten Indian conservationists working in diverse ways to save the world from human destructiveness, often facing seemingly insurmountable odds.

Get the young readers to learn about the inspiring lives of people who are striving to solve the most pressing problems on this planet—from climate change to habitat degradation, from food insecurity to species loss.

 

A Vikram–Aditya Story: Ranthambore Adventure
Deepak Dalal
Ranthambore Adventure || Deepak Dalal

 

 

This is the story of a tiger.

Once a helpless ball of fur, Genghis emerges as a mighty predator, the king of the forest. But the jungle isn’t just his kingdom. Soon, Genghis finds himself fighting for his skin against equally powerful predators of a different kind–humans.

The very same ones that Vikram and Aditya get embroiled with when they attempt to lay their hands on a diary that belongs to a ruthless tiger poacher.

 

 

Queen of Earth  
Devika Rangachari

 

Queen of Earth || Devika Rangachari

Prithvimahadevi is the daughter of the powerful Somavamshi king of Kosala. Her life is circumscribed by the rules that govern the existence of women of her royal family.

She is married to her father’s enemy, the Bhaumakara ruler, Shubhakaradeva, who worships strange gods. There seems to be some hope for her to fulfil her dreams of becoming a great queen…But is she willing to play the game of sacrifice and betrayal that this will entail?

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