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New Delhi, May 12, 2017: Learn to question the concept of nationalism by reading the tale of an air warrior; know about the the obstacles faced by women vying for a top job; go through the fastest way to lose weight; flick through the story of a teenager who sets out to investigate a murder through his indulgence and escapades.
The IANS bookshelf offers a good combination of fiction and non-fiction for this weekend. Read on!
1. Book: Baaz; Author: Anuja Chauhan; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 430; Price: Rs 399
“Why do they call you Baaz?”
“It means falcon,” he replies solemnly. “Or bird of prey. Because I swoop down on the enemy planes just like a Baaz would.”
Then he grins. The grey eyes sparkle.
“It’s also short for bastard.”
It’s 1971. The USSR-backed India-Mukti Bahini alliance is on the brink of war against the US-aided Pakistani forces. As the Cold War threatens to turn red hot, handsome, laughing Ishaan Faujdaar, a farm boy from Chakkahera in Haryana, is elated to be in the IAF, flying the Gnat, a tiny fighter plane nicknamed “Sabre Slayer” for the devastation it had caused in the ranks of Pakistan’s F-86 Sabre squadrons in the 1965 war.
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Flanked by his buddies Raks, a MiG-21 pilot, Maddy, who flies a Caribou transport aircraft, and fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana, Shaanu has nothing on his mind but glory and adventure — until he encounters Tehmina Dadyseth, a famed bathing beauty and sister of a dead fauji, who makes him question the very concept of nationalism and whose eyes fill with disillusioned scorn whenever people wax eloquent about patriotism and war.
Pulsating with love, laughter and courage, “Baaz” is Anuja Chauhan’s tribute to our men in uniform.
2. Book: The Shortlist; Author: Maya Kavita; Publisher: Tara; Pages: 333; Price: Rs 299
Four female executives are on Trans-Geo Tech’s shortlist to become the next CEO. The same women are on Jim Kenyon’s shortlist for murder.
But Jim has one more victim on his list — his nemesis Ella Laraway. She now works for Ridley Latimer’s company, Tackle and Trim. Ella accepts TGT’s invitation to help them vet the shortlist of CEO candidates to replace Tapan Rao. She knows Jim won’t be able to resist this chance to kill them all.
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After all, Wargrave Island is a remote place on the Canadian-American border. Meanwhile, detective Rae Birnam and detective Frank Bianchi (from Outsourced) are aware that Jim may try to kill Ella and they are gathering nearby. Then the body count starts rising.
First, their hostess Mrs Owen disappears. Then Jim knocks out the power and communications. He kills Warren, the handyman. The women (Sondra, Bettina, Parvani, Mickey, Julia) decide to do what they learned in business — pair off to divide and conquer, and fight for themselves. But Julia dies.
Through the book, the author examines the path to career success at TGT and the obstacles faced by women vying for a top job. One of those obstacles will test every skill they have. Although the list of candidates may be short, there’s someone close by with plans to make it a lot shorter.
But Ella finally comes through with help from boss-cum-lover Ridly Latimer, TGT gets its new CEO, the villains are all locked up or dead and Ella finally manages to take a well-deserved break.
3. Book: The Blood Sugar Solution; Author: Mark Hyman; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 423; Price: Rs 399
In “The Blood Sugar Solution”, Mark Hyman reveals that the secret solution to losing weight and preventing not just diabetes but also heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer is balanced insulin levels.
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Hyman describes the seven keys to achieving wellness — nutrition, hormones, inflammation, digestion, detoxification, energy metabolism, and a calm mind. He explains his revolutionary six-week healthy-living programme.
With advice on diet, green living, supplements, medication, exercise, and personalizing the plan for optimal results, the book also teaches readers how to maintain lifelong health. Groundbreaking and timely, the book is the fastest way to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel better than ever.
4. Book: From The Darkness; Author: Abhishek Ray; Publisher: Tara; Pages: 184; Price: Rs 299
An old woman is found dead, a tribal warlord intent on destroying what has been irrevocably resurrected, a troubled teenager craves intoxication more than life, and a middle-aged woman who has a secret — a secret that could destroy her and everything around her.
On the surface, Rohan is just another average teenager who goes to school, likes listening to rock music, hates his parents and has his own ideas of fun. He does, however, have an interesting indulgence, now and then. His love for the occasional joint of marijuana, rolled and sealed at the tip, gives him the escape that he craves for.
When a brutal murder in his neighbourhood brings the police knocking on his door, he decides to make his life more interesting than ever.
He sets out to investigate the murder, not through logic or deduction, but through his indulgence and his escapades. Little does he know that close at hand, in the physical world, lurks a terror so ghastly and terrifying that even a renegade warlord from the jungles of Sunderbans — Bagha — shudders in his sleep when he dreams of it. Which is why he has come back, all the way, looking for it. To win what he once lost. To regain what he once couldn’t salvage.
Will Rohan get the answers he is looking for, from the beyond? Or will Bagha slay the demons once and for all? Or will the darkness take them both? (IANS)
Super model and actress Hailey Bieber said she is lucky to have a husband like Justin Bieber, refuting rumours of the ace singer not treating her properly. Hailey was speaking at singer Demi Lovato's podcast '4D With Demi Lovato', dailymail.co.uk reported.
Talking about her popstar husband and rumours around their marriage, Hailey said: "I think one of the biggest things is you have to know what the truth is behind everything. You know, there's so many narratives that float around about me, about him, about us together." She addressed the rumours point blank as she said: "There's one big fat narrative that goes around that's like, 'Justin is not nice to her, and that he mistreats her', and I'm just like, it's so far from the truth, and it's the complete and utter opposite."
Hailey went on to set the record straight about Justin, who she married in 2018. She said: "I really am lucky to say I'm with someone who is extremely respectful of me, who makes me feel special every single day. So when I see the opposite of that, I'm just like, 'Huh?' And everybody around who knows us personally would say the same thing." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber, husband, respectful, truth, married
Among the Tamil epics written during the Sangam age, only a few survived to this day. Manimegalai is one such. It is written as a sequel to the Sillapadikaram, taking the story forward of Kovalan and Madhavi's daughter, Manimegalai. The Sillapadikaram is about the injustice of the Madurai kingdom in the execution of Kovalan, which turned Kannagi, his wife into a goddess seeking vengeance for her husband's death. Kovalan, before his death, has an affair with a court dancer, Madhavi, and his daughter, Manimegalai, is said to begin a different tradition among the Tamils.
The epic, written by Sattanar, introduces Buddhism to Dravidian culture, something that has been alien to them for years. Manimegalai is the protagonist, who flees constantly from the pursuit of Chola prince Udhayakumara, and tries to lead an ascetic life. Throughout the plot, Buddhist tenets are used to avoid the culmination of a love-story. Manimegalai is believed to be the anti-love story sequel to the Sillapadikaram.
A complete work of Tamil epic written by hand on leaves Image source: wikimedia commons
The Sillapadikaram was written by a Jain monk, Illango Adigal, and Sattanar, uses the sequel to question Jainism. It is almost a political battle between two new religions competing for a place in a predominantly Hindu society. Parts of Manimegalai even go to the extent of opening ridiculing Jain practices and beliefs.
Critics of Tamil literature have stated that while the Tamil epics have great poetic significance, they are inferior to other world epics when it comes to clearly portraying religious affiliations. In fact, they refer to the newer religions with an infant's perspective. Some scholars have found that Sillapadikaram has more ethical substance than its sequel, but in and of itself, despite being written by a Jain monk, reads like Hindu poetry (Subhramanya Aiyar, 1906).
Keywords: Manimegalai, Sillapadikaram, Tamil Epic, Sattanar, Ilango Adigal, Chola kingdom, Sangam Age, Buddhism
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "With Covid-19 hurting India's 'Household' (HH) and 'Government' sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question."
"On the contrary, with listed companies' financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum." The report prescribed that various economic participants - households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates -- to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. | Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India. The 'HH' sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India's investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments. Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of 'HH' and government sector.
"Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years." It further pointed out that unless 'HH', 'Unlisted Corporate', and government sectors can improve their financial positions -- leading to a demand uptick -- a strong revival in investments seems challenging. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, covid, pandemic, growth, household, government, investment