Sunday June 24, 2018

Weekend Book reading: Four books to mull over

1
//
123
Republish
Reprint

Embark on a new vision for India-Indonesia relations in the 2015-2025 decade, a boy’s plight to fulfil his father’s last wish, a girl’s journey from being a tomboy to a reluctant woman in progress; a love story of two opposites that ends on a bittersweet and poignant note. Check out these books for your weekend reading:

1. Book: Masala Bumbu; Edited by Gurjit Singh; Publisher: Berita Satu; Pages: 229; Price: Not Specified

Written by Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh, the book is a labor of love on how the relationship between two countries can be intensified.

Published to mark last year’s ‘Sahabat India’ festival, it serves as the platform for a broader agenda for future cooperation and intensification of the India-Indonesia relationship.

2. Book: Daddy’s Boy; Author: Shandana Minhas; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 219; Price: Rs. 499

Asfandyar Ikram, the protagonist had no idea of his father Anis Nabi’s existence till the day he learns of his death. He arrives in Karachi for the last rites and discovers his father had some last wishes, but which are kept secret by the deceased’s three friends.

Instead, a mysterious woman arrives to distract him. Will Asfandyar be able to uncover his father’s wishes? Read to know!

3. Book: The Spectacular Miss; Author: Sonia Bahl; Publisher: FingerPrints; Pages: 234; Price: Rs. 250

Eight-year-old Nira had only one over-powering wish – to be a boy. She steps into her brother’s clothes and becomes the gang leader of neighborhood boys.

Her family shapes her personality and a poignant relationship with her brother’s best friend shapes her life. The book compiles a hilarious journey of Nira, her growing up as a tomboy and turning into a reluctant woman in progress,

4. Book: You are the Best Wife: A True Love Story; Author: Ajay K Pandey; Publusher: Srishti Publishers; Pages: 240 Price: Rs. 175

Ajay and Bhavna are people with contradictory ideologies who fall in love. While Ajay believes in living for self, Bhavna teaches him to live for others. But destiny has other plans for them.

Based on a true story, the book conveys the heart-warming story of Ajay and Bhavna, how Bhavna’s last words became a strength for Ajay who lives to fulfil his promise of love. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Shriya Katoch

    Books truly are humans best friends. Relaxing in with a book is the high point of everyone;s weekends

Next Story

“A Suitable Girl”: Most Awaited Novel By Vikram Seth, Finally Published

Seth suffered from writer's block after his break-up

0
"A Suitable Girl": Most Awaited Novel By Vikram Seth, Finally Published, flickr

Hardly has any novel been awaited with as much curiosity and anticipation in recent times as Vikram Seth’s sequel to the monumental “A Suitable Boy” (1993). Five years on, since he was first expected to deliver the manuscript, the novel is still to see the light of the day. But what seems like a saga of missed deadlines can very well — far from our eyes — be a masterpiece in the making.

“The more I talk of her, the more shy she becomes,” Seth had told this correspondent in 2015 about “A Suitable Girl”, the novel-in-waiting.

Seth, as his literary agent David Godwin puts it, has been known to take his time with his books. The prolonged delay, however, was not acceptable to Hamish Hamilton (an imprint of Penguin Random House) and he was asked to return an advance payment of $1.7 million when the deal was called off. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, an imprint of the British publisher Orion, then acquired the novel — and it was scheduled to release in 2016.

But a flying bird — a friend and confidant of the writer — says that he is now giving the “final touch” to the novel and that one can expect “the big announcement” soon.

Seth released a collection of poems titled “Summer Requiem” in the meanwhile. In the collection, he traces the immutable shiftings of the seasons, the relentless rhythms of a great world that both “gifts and harms”. Composed as they were while he was (which he still is) writing the sequel, several poems in the offering open doors to his mind, or perhaps they may be preludes to the larger narrative that he is weaving.

“I have so carefully mapped/the corners of my mind/that I am forever waking/in a lost country,” he writes in the opening poem. Interestingly, Seth’s companion to “A Suitable Boy” will be a jump sequel — the characters have travelled from the 1950s and it will be very much a novel set in somewhat the present times.

novels By Vikram Seth
novels By Vikram Seth, flickr

In its title poem, he mourns that the “liberated generation lives a restrained youth,” and then adds: “I must forsake attachment”. On another occasion in the book, readers find him lamenting over “the peaceful love” that the narrator has “never found”. In another short poem “Late Light” he writes: “Outside the great world’s gifts and harms/ There must be somewhere I can go/To rest within a lover’s arm/At ease with the impending snow”.

Reportedly, Seth suffered from writer’s block after his break-up with French violinist Phillippe Honor but that was a long time ago and was reflected in “An Equal Music”. He has moved on or has he not?

Nonetheless, it has been about five years since “A Suitable Girl” was first expected to hit the stands but the wait is surely worth it. As writer-politician Shashi Tharoor says about his good friend’s technique — that “Vikram Seth draws an entire roadmap of his novel, planning every minute element in great detail” — the sequel, thanks to all the anticipation and the pressure on the writer, may actually be a masterpiece in the making, as sublime as its counterpart and yet set in the time of its readers.

Vikram Seth is a recipient of the Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award, and among several other prestigious honours, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. He has been widely translated and is among leading novelists on the global stage. He has published three novels — “The Golden Gate” (1986), “A Suitable Boy” (1993) and “An Equal Music” (1999) — along with several collections of poetry such as “Mappings” and “All You Who Sleep Tonight”.

Also read: Here is all the reason for Bookworms to look ahead for the upcoming year: A List of the Best Stories and Novels in 2017!

Seth — an openly gay man — is also one of the prominent faces of the campaign against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality. (IANS)