September 23, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

New Releases from Asia – March 2021

28 min read

Raising a Humanist: Conscious Parenting in an Increasingly Fragmented World by Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia

Book Blurb

The world is immensely divided and broken. We have lost the art of having conversations with those who are different from us. While we cannot change the world, we can take small remedial steps starting with our homes and communities. 

The authors—communication scholars—with a vast experience of working with parents, teachers and youth engage you in a conversation that is bound to leave a lasting impression on you, your children, and our world. Using critical questions, pragmatic tips and interesting anecdotes, they touch upon the deep divisive issues of our society and provide fascinating ways to use art, technology and media to provide our children with a nurturing community.

Bold and provocative at times, this empowering book is your companion in raising a humanist.

About the Author/s

Manisha Pathak-Shelat, Professor and Chair, Centre for Development Management and Communication, MICA, Ahmedabad.

Kiran Vinod Bhatia, Doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-–Madison

Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the struggle to remake Indonesia by Ben Bland

Book Blurb

The first English-language political biography of Joko Widodo, from the Lowy Institute.

From a riverside shack to the presidential palace, Joko Widodo surged to the top of Indonesian politics on a wave of hope for change. However, six years into his presidency, the former furniture maker is struggling to deliver the reforms that Indonesia desperately needs. Despite promising to build Indonesia into an Asian powerhouse, Jokowi, as he is known, has faltered in the face of crises, from COVID-19 to an Islamist mass movement.

Man of Contradictions argues that the president embodies the fundamental contradictions of modern Indonesia. He is caught between democracy and authoritarianism, openness and protectionism, Islam and pluralism. Jokowi’s incredible story shows what is possible in Indonesia – and it also shows the limits.

About the Author

Ben Bland is Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute. Before joining the Lowy Institute, Ben was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Hanoi, Hong Kong and Jakarta and experience reporting across China and Southeast Asia over the previous decade. His first book, Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow, was published in 2017, examining the growing tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing. It was described as a ‘David versus Goliath tale’ by the Sydney Morning Herald and commended by the Times Literary Supplement for its ‘lively prose’ and ‘illuminating’ comparisons.

The Last Gathering: A Vivid Portrait of Life in the Red Fort ( Translation of Munshi Faizuddin’s Bazm-i Aakhir)

Book Blurb

First published in 1885, Bazm-i Aakhir, or The Last Gathering is a rich and lively first-hand account of life in the royal court of the last Mughal emperor in Red Fort, Bahadur Shah Zafar. From meticulous details of the day-to-day happenings inside the fort-palace and the royal protocols, to the celebration of festivals such as Eid, Navroz, Diwali, and even Rakshabandhan, this gives us a glimpse into the Delhi of the early nineteenth century.

About the Author

Ather Farouqui, translator, Bazm-i Aakhir, is a pioneering scholar of Urdu language and education. He was conferred the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 2012 for his Urdu and Hindi translations of Sons of Babur (Babur ki Aulad), an English play by Salman Khurshid. Farouqui’s academic focus lies on aspects of Urdu, Urdu-related politics, as well as Muslims in contemporary India. One of his notable publications include the translation of The Life and Poetry of Bahadur Shah Zafar. He also edited Muslims and Media Images: News versus Views and Redefining Urdu Politics in India. His most recent publication, Delhi in Historical Perspectives, is a translation of essays on the historical and cerebral cultural life of the capital city by medieval Indian historian Professor K.A. Nizami. These days Farouqui is translating books of the nineteenth and early twentieth century related to the politics of the time and the syncretic culture of Delhi which evolved as a synthesis of over many centuries and synthesized innumerable regional influences from across the country.

Bombay Hangovers by Rochelle Potkar

Book Blurb

These stories are laced with the grit, sleaze and dynamism of Bombay. They explore the nerve centre of a great metropolis with caustic wit and uncompromising realism. From the red-light corner of Kamathipura and the race course of Mahalaxmi, from South Bombay where a perfume maker works on exotic fragrances to the throbbing epicentre of Thana and the township of Kalyan, from Bandra to Andheri, the city is brought alive through memorable characters, piquant situations and no holds barred language. With the occasional foray into Goa, the poet Rochelle Potkar makes an impressive debut in short fiction, a genre unfairly neglected by most publishers in India.
–Manohar Shetty

These are 16 immersive, entertaining short stories about characters across caste, class, and religion in Bombay. Some of the stories have been nominated for prizes: Fundação Oriente Short Story Competition, 2015 (shortlist); Open Road Review 2016 (winner); DNA-Out of Print Contest 2017 (longlist), and DISQUIET International Literary prize, Lisbon 2019 (notable entry).

Superbly penned stories of struggle and survival, love and frustration, cultural conflicts and pitiable adjustments, family equations and social complications. The range of topics Rochelle Potkar touches upon is remarkable. The absurdities, pathos, and miseries that are part of our life are captured in poignant light. Rochelle has created some memorable characters as she subtly and creatively critiques the power structures in our society, revealing tensions between the hegemonic forces and subjugated classes. Her compassionate and gentle insights lead us to an unexpected, and at times bewildering social realism with very elegant content and structure. This is a must-read volume.— Damodar Mauzo

Having made her mark in poetry, Rochelle Potkar has moved with elan into fiction. I admire the way she structures a scene, shade by shade, tile by tile, leaving the reader admiring the story as a piece of finished art. –Keki Daruwalla

Potkar’s courageous and suave collection takes contemporary Indian writing in English to the inner landscapes of Bombay’s one-room-kitchens, racecourse fortunes and Kamathipura. Her stories are dexterous explorations in tenderness, ambition and sexual abandon. Deceptively straightforward and peppered with wry humour, the stories and their piquant characters come alive against the fascinating canvas of maximum city. –Pervin Saket

Jewels in the guise of stories are adventures in the interior lives of people who not only love and aspire but thrive with the ecstasies of feeling. –William Pei Shih

About the Author

Fictionist | Poet | Critic | Curator | Editor | Translator | Screenwriter

Rochelle Potkar is the author of Four Degrees of Separation and Paper Asylum – shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020. Her poetry film Skirt was showcased on Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland. She is the alumna of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2015) 

Women Who Misbehave by Sayantani Dasgupta

Book Blurb

Women Who Misbehave, much like the women within its pages, contains multitudes and contradictions-it is imaginative and real, unsettling and heartening, funny and poignant, dark and brimming with light.

At a party to celebrate her friend’s wedding anniversary, a young woman spills a dangerous secret. A group of girls mourns the loss of their strange, mysterious neighbour. A dutiful daughter seeks to impress her father even as she escapes his reach. A wife weighs the odds of staying in her marriage when both her reality and the alternative are equally frightening. An aunt comes to terms with an impulsive mistake committed decades ago.

In this wildly original and hauntingly subversive collection of short stories, Sayantani Dasgupta brings to life unforgettable women and their quest for agency. They are violent and nurturing, sacred and profane. They are friends, lovers, wives, sisters and mothers. Unapologetic and real, they embrace the entire range of the human experience, from
the sweetest of loves and sacrifices to the most horrific of crimes.

About the Author

An alumna of St. Stephen’s College and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sayantani Dasgupta received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. She is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is the author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between-a finalist for the Foreword Indies Awards for Creative Nonfiction-and the chapbook The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood. Her writing has appeared in over fifty literary journals and magazines, including, The Hindu, The Rumpus, Scroll, Economic & Political Weekly, IIC Quarterly, Chicago Quarterly Review, and others. She has been awarded a Centrum Foundation Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize Special Mention. Besides the US, she has taught creative writing in India, Italy, and Mexico. Sayantani is also the winner of Season 3 of Write India, adjudged by the novelist Kavita Kane, and organized by the Books division of The Times of India.

Origami and Paper Cuts by Etqad Khan

Book Blurb

‘Origami and Paper Cuts’ is a collection of poems and absorbed thoughts on the most trivial aspects of life. The book houses poems on heartbreaks, memories, women, depression and tales of love. Strong visual imagery will ensure that each poem comes to life in the reader’s mind. There are some poems that will gently brush against your skin and there are some that will shake you. Poetry is a love affair and this book is the mistress you deserve.

About the Author

A Data Scientist by profession and an incoming Master’s student at the University of Bath, Etqad Khan was introduced to poetry at the tender age of nine and soon realized his innate ability to create strong visuals with words. An explorer as he calls himself, he unearths perspectives and weaves stories around them. He is on a quest to understand the purpose of life, and his poems carry an essence of it. Etqad has pinned his hopes on this debut venture and hopes to write more poetry in the future.

No Honour by Awais Khan

Book Blurb

A young woman defies convention in a small Pakistani village, with devastating results for her and her family. A stunning, immense beautiful novel about courage, family and the meaning of love, when everything seems lost…

In sixteen-year-old Abida’s small Pakistani village, there are age-old rules to live by, and her family’s honour to protect. And, yet, her spirit is defiant and she yearns to make a home with the man she loves.

When the unthinkable happens, Abida faces the same fate as other young girls who have chosen unacceptable alliances – certain, public death. Fired by a fierce determination to resist everything she knows to be wrong about the society into which she was born, and aided by her devoted father, Jamil, who puts his own life on the line to help her, she escapes to Lahore and then disappears.

Jamal goes to Lahore in search of Abida – a city where the prejudices that dominate their village take on a new and horrifying form – and father and daughter are caught in a world from which they may never escape.

Moving from the depths of rural Pakistan, riddled with poverty and religious fervour, to the dangerous streets of over-populated Lahore, No Honour is a story of family, of the indomitable spirit of love in its many forms … a story of courage and resilience, when all seems lost, and the inextinguishable fire that lights one young woman’s battle for change.

About the Author

Awais Khan is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Durham University. He has studied creative writing with Faber Academy. His debut novel, In the Company of Strangers, was published to much critical acclaim and he regularly appears on TV and Radio. Awais also teaches a popular online creative writing course to aspiring writers around the world. He is currently working on his third book. When not working, he has his nose buried in a book. He lives in Lahore. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Impetuous Women by Shikhandin

Book Blurb

Impetuous Women is about women who step across the Lakshman Rekha, whose transgressions fly in the face of the establishment, the patriarchy, often their own families and loved ones. From two housewives who play a potentially lethal game of keeping up to an expert baker who serves revenge with chocolate sprinkles on top; from a stern hostel warden who examines her relationship with the teenagers she must surveil to a grouchy widow shuts out the world; from a couple madly in love and desperate for a bit of privacy to a tender bond between a husband and wife, these stories create an unforgettable portrait of modern-day India and the experiential realities of being impetuous, of being women.

This darkly comic, thrillingly tragic collection of stories is sensuous, bittersweet and whimsical by turns, and always wildly, subversively original.

About the Author

Shikhandin is the nom de plume of an Indian writer who writes for adults and children. She is an alumnus of The Anam Cara Writing Workshop, Ireland. Her published books, as Shikhandin, include “Immoderate Men” (Speaking Tiger), and “Vibhuti Cat” (Duckbill-Penguin-RHI). Contributor to Magic Stories for Eight Year Olds by Penguin RHI, and Flipped: An Anthology of School and Sports Stories by Harper Collins. Shikhandin’s honours include, pushcart nominee by Aeolian Harp (USA) 2019, winner 2017 Children First Contest curated by Duckbill in association with Parag an initiative of Tata Trust, first prize Brilliant Flash Fiction Contest 2019 (USA), runner up Half and One Short Story Competition (India), Shortlist Erbacce Poetry Prize (UK), 35th Moon Prize (Writing in a Woman’s Voice: USA), first runner up The DNA-OoP Short Story Contest 2016 (India), second Prize India Currents Katha Short Story Contest 2016 (USA), first prize Anam Cara Short Fiction Competition 2012 (Ireland), long list Bridport Poetry Prize 2006 (UK), finalist Aesthetica Poetry Contest 2010 (UK), Pushcart nominee by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2011 (Hong Kong). Shikhandin’s poetry and prose have been published worldwide.

Aksara Bhagavad Gita by Haribakth & Vaishnavi

Book Blurb

How were the rules framed? They were framed based on the parameters. How was Parameter identified and on what authority? Parameters were identified based on the attributes of the Gita. The authority too is derived from God/Gita. Isn’t the identification process obsolete and unscientific? There isn’t anything more scientific than the Gita. Just see the explosion of Artificial intelligence applications, be it Drones, Siri, Echo, or Robots. They are all non-human but endowed with intelligence.

About the Author

Author is Ravindra Rao, writing under the pen name of Haribakth. Vaishnavi Rao is the co-Author contributing all the illustrations and cover page. Ravindra Rao holds a Post graduate degree in Commerce and a law graduate from Marathwada University, Aurangabad, India. He worked as an IT officer for over 34 years in a state owned Bank before retiring in 2015.  Vaishnavi holds a degree in Interior Design, from Shivaji University, Kolhapur India. She is passionate about Painting, drawing, sketching, foil embossing and other artistic endeavours.  

The Emperor Cried by by Tagore Almeida

Book Blurb

From the time we are born we are given beliefs and we spend an entire lifetime defending it, being vulnerable and often fearful of thinking outside of the box,. The book is a journey of an individual who spends a major part of his life only to one day stand up against the hypocrisy not of just his fellow mankind but more importantly on that authenticity of the emperor who we are all made to believe is the creator of all.

Sanatan Dharma: Vaidik Gateway to the Next Century by Manoj Singh

Book Blurb

Human civilisation is passing through one of the most difficult times in the history of mankind. The world is in stress. The situation worsens by the day. Sanatan Dharma: Vaidik Gateway to the Next Century attempts to offer a solution to all our problems.

Hinduism is a way of life-with nature, in nature, by nature. Author Manoj Singh elaborates on the practical aspects of one of the oldest cultural civilisations, analysing how it’s more relevant in today’s troubled age. He narrates the evolution of Vaidik civilisation, elaborating the basics of Vaidik Sanatan dharma. He discusses life in Hinduism, its culture, festivals, rituals, customs, yoga, Vedas and mantras, outlining a broad perspective of why and how these are significant.

This comprehensive work touches upon all aspects of Sanatan life philosophy for spiritual enlightenment. A heritable past, which has been otherwise forgotten, is revealed here, hoping to make human journey viable in the present dynamic complexity. This is for anyone who desires to understand the real meaning of living rather than just existing.

About the Author

Manoj Singh is a student of science, a graduate in engineering, a technocrat by profession and has a deep interest in Vaidik literature. His latest book, Main Aryaputr Hoon, is a seminal work based on the findings from the Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas, negating the Aryan invasion theory. An ardent believer of the healing power of nature, he has also authored Swarg-Yatra, chronicling his journey from Kashmir to Ladakh.

Singh has published three novels-BandhanKashmkash and Hostel Ke Panno Se. His novel Bandhan, based on schizophrenia, has been translated into Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil and English. His collection of articles resulted in two books, Vyaktitva Ka Prabhav and Chinta Nahi Chintan.

Jerry Pinto’s poetry collection(s) I Want a Poem + reissue of his long out-of-print debut collection, Asylum.

Book Blurb

Author of the hugely acclaimed novels Em and the Big Hoom and Murder in  Mahim, Jerry Pinto has a big fan following. These sophisticated, literary poems are also remarkably accessible and will appeal to a large and diverse readership—including people who don’t normally read poetry. Jerry Pinto is among the best readers of poetry in India and is popular on social media. He runs a large WhatsApp group with daily readings for lovers of poetry. 

About the Author

Jerry Pinto is a multi-award-winning and well-known poet, novelist, translator and journalist. He has published two books of poetry, Asylum and  I Want a Poem. He has also published a book of verse for children, Tickle Me,  Don’t Tickle Me. His prose titles include the novels Em and the Big Hoom and  Murder in Mahim, and the non-fiction book Helen: The Life and Times of an  H-Bomb.Among his other works are acclaimed translations from Marathi of books by Daya Pawar, Baburao Bagul, Malika Amar Shaikh and Sachin Kundalkar. In 2016, Pinto was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award andYale University’sWindham-Campbell Prize.

The Demoness : The Best Bangladeshi Stories by Niaz Zaman

Book Blurb

Published to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence, the twenty-seven stories in this collection feature the finest short fiction from the nation—since before it achieved independence in 1971 to the present day. Here, readers will find all the greats of Bangladeshi literature: in Kazi Nazrul Islam’s timeless masterpiece, ‘The Demoness’, a woman’s fury is unleashed when she learns that her husband is getting married again; ‘The Raincoat’ by Akhtaruzzaman Elias brings to life the traumatic effect of war on ordinary people; Shawkat Ali’s ‘The Final Resting Place’ is concerned with love, grief, and the human capacity for recovery; in Hasan Azizul Huq’s ‘Nameless and Casteless’, an unnamed protagonist accidentally witnesses the hidden horrors of war; and Anwara Syed Haq’s ‘Pagli’ is a sharp commentary on madness and trauma. Exceptional in subject, theme, and style, these and the other stories in The Demoness reveal an extraordinary picture of a land and its people.

About the Editor

NIAZ ZAMAN retired as Professor of English, University of Dhaka, and is, at present, Advisor, Department of English, Independent University, Bangladesh. Her published work includes the award-winning A Divided Legacy: The Partition in Selected Novels of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. She is also a creative writer and has published novels as well as short stories. She has edited several anthologies including Selected Short Stories from BangladeshThe Escape and Other Stories of 19471971 and After: Selected StoriesUnder the Krishnachura: Fifty Years of Bangladeshi WritingArshilat; and Contemporary Short Stories from Bangladesh.

In 2016, she received the prestigious Bangla Academy Award for Translation. Her other awards include the Anannya Sahitya Puruskar (2013) and the Lekhika Sangha Award (2015).

Untranquil Recollections: Nation Building in Post Liberation Bangladesh by Rehman Sobhan

Book Blurb

Rehman Sobhan was directly associated with Bangladesh’s liberation struggle. In this memoir, he provides an insightful, first-hand account of the challenges faced by the newly independent Bangladesh in the early years of its existence. This book attempts to capture the unique problems of reconstructing the war-devastated economy while building institutions from ground up for a nation which for 24 years had been run through a highly centralized system of colonial-style governance. 

Untranquil Recollections gives special attention to the author’s involvement, as a Member of the Planning Commission, in addressing the problem of reconstruction while coping with the political challenges associated with building institutions, formulating economic policies, and overseeing their implementation. The narrative attempts to identify the economic and political forces that were inimical to the radical direction of the national policy set by Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The book concludes with a discussion of the dark events leading to Mujibur Rahman’s assassination along with his family and his closest political colleagues, which resulted in a change in the regime.

Born a Muslim – Some Truths About Islam in India by Ghazala Wahab

Book Blurb

Who are the Indian Muslims?

Are they a monolithic community practising a faith alien to India? Or are they a diverse people, geographically rooted in the cultural ethos of the land? Is there an ‘Indian Islam’, a religion that grew out of Arabia but was nurtured in India and influenced by local traditions and customs? Has the power of Islam declined over the centuries because the faithful have forgotten the spirit of the religion, and are sticking to dogma and rigid rules instead? Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India attempts to answer these questions by taking a hard look at how the world’s second largest religion is practised in the country.

The book tracks the history of the religion from its revelation in Arabia in the seventh century to its spread through many parts of the world. It arrived in India by multiple routes—in the south, in the eighth and ninth centuries CE, with traders from Arabia, and in the north, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, with invaders, rulers, and mystics, largely from Central Asia. Once it was established in India, it morphed and evolved through the centuries until it took on the distinctive contours of the religion that is practised here at present. The author takes a clear-eyed look at every aspect of Islam in India today. She examines the factors that have stalled the socio-economic and intellectual growth of Indian Muslims and attributes both internal factors—such as a disproportionate reliance on the ulema—as well as external ones that have contributed to the backwardness of the community. She shows at length, and with great empathy and understanding, what it is like to live as a Muslim in India and offers suggestions on how their lot might be improved. Weaving together personal memoir, history, reportage, scholarship, and interviews with a wide variety of people, the author highlights how an apathetic and sometimes hostile government attitude and prejudice at all levels of society have contributed to Muslim vulnerability and insecurity.

Born a Muslim goes beyond stereotypes and news headlines to present an extraordinarily compelling and illuminating portrait of one of the largest and most diverse communities in India.

About the Author

GHAZALA WAHAB is executive editor, FORCE, where she writes on homeland security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, left-wing extremism, and religious extremism, and contributes a column, First Person. She is the author of Dragon on Our Doorstep: Managing China through Military Power with Pravin Sawhney. She contributed a chapter on the changing profile of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in the book Operation Parakram: The War Unfinished. A career journalist, Ghazala has worked with The Telegraph and Asian Age.

The Forest Beneath the Mountains by Ankush Saikia

Book Blurb

Shaken by the news of his mother’s death, a man leaves his job in Delhi and returns to Assam. Twenty-five years ago, his father, a forest officer here, was found shot dead in his jeep. With the passing of his mother, the man learns new and startling details of his father’s life, and trying to reclaim an entire life suddenly made unfamiliar, he starts digging into events from far back in time, visiting places where his father had served, in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas.

But the forests he had once roamed as a boy with his father and his band of hard drinking, rugged companions, have long disappeared. Settlers have moved in, and insurgents and security forces now prowl the area. Wandering what was once the Chariduar reserve forest, the man meets a kaleidoscopic cast of characters—people trying to find anchor in an uncertain world— some of whom are remnants of a rapidly disappearing past and some from the region’s turbulent present: foresters, elephant catchers, army contractors, insurgents, police commandos, drifters and double-dealers. As he gets closer to the truth about his father, he finds himself drawn into a local conflict, a world of shifting realities from which he will struggle to disentangle himself.

Wide, unhurried and immersive, The Forest Beneath the Mountains is a compelling blend of memory, family stories, ecology and history. It is a story of people and places at the margins of the Indian republic, and of the inevitable taming of wilderness by man.

About the Author

Ankush Saikia was born in 1975 in Assam and grew up in the US, Assam, Shillong and Meghalaya. He has worked in journalism and publishing in New Delhi, and is the author of several crime thrillers including The Girl from Nongrim Hills and the Detective Arjun Arora series. Saikia was shortlisted for the Outlook/Picador India non-fiction writing competition in 2005, and was one of the recipients of the Shanghai Writers’ Association’s 2018 fellowships. His articles and longform stories (mostly on North East India) have appeared in Fountain Ink magazine,, The Indian Express, The Hindu and Hindustan Times, among others.

A Little Spice Is Extra Nice by Sruthi Vijayan and illustrated by Sanjana Ranjit

Book Blurb

A tablespoon of coconut oil 

A dash of mustard seeds  

A handful of coriander leaves… 

Little Annie and her dear grandfather Appoopan are cooking up a storm in the kitchen. But wait, they have run out of spices!  

After a hearty breakfast,Annie and Appoopan dash off to Kerala’s amazing spice market in Mattancherry to refill their spice box. Here Appoopan introduces Annie to the flavours, smells and stories of the wonderful world of Indian spices: bright yellow turmeric, sweet and spicy cinnamon, the Malabar pepper known as black gold, star anise and so much more.As they walk through the lanes of the market, a mesmerized Annie also meets the people who work hard to bring these spices to our kitchen and table. Filled with illustrations as colourful and flavourful as the spices it describes, A  Little Spice Is Extra Nice is a perfect introduction to the delicious world of food for the youngest readers. 

The Author 

Sruthi Vijayan is a photographer and writer from Chennai. She’s a voracious reader of recipes and a collector of instant ramen from around the world. Years from now, she would like to be known as the old lady who lives by the sea, in a house that smells like toasted bread with too many stories to tell. 

The Illustrator 

Sanjana Ranjit is an illustrator who lives in a little Italian town with her husband and her two-year-old daughter. She has worked as an art director, an interior designer, and a graphic artist. Despite her various experiences, creating art has been at the centre of everything she’s done.

Life in the Clock Tower Valley by Shakoor Rather

Book Blurb

Srinagar, summer of 2008: the chinar trees are shedding leaves, outdated matadors are still polluting the streets and checkpoints with men in army fatigue dot the city.

Samar, a college student, is head over heels in love with Rabiya, his batchmate. Secret rendezvous in matadors, campus corridors and at the city’s historical sites help them to get to know each other better. But will their love survive the unending curfews and their families’ opposing political allegiances?

Sheikh Mubarak, Samar’s neighbour, is a famed metal craftsman stuck in a loveless marriage. He is further distanced from his unsympathetic wife, Naziya, when he loses his cherished pregnant cow on a curfewed night. Will their marriage survive the arrival of Rosaline, a tourist from New York?

Sana, Mubarak and Naziya’s five-year-old daughter, is best friends with Pintoji, the neighbourhood simpleton. Both chase their little dreams together with a wide-eyed curiosity, ignoring the adults who frequently indulge in the stone throwing game. But what happens when Pintoji ventures out without a care during a curfew?

Delicate and sensitive, Life in the Clock Tower Valley is an unusual debut novel that travels between Kashmir’s pristine past, its grievous present and always uncertain future, giving us an insider’s view to everyday life and emotions in the conflict-ridden valley.

About the Author

Shakoor Rather is a Kashmiri journalist based in Delhi. He has written extensively about Kashmir’s politics, society, culture and heritage. Having grown up in the Kashmir Valley during its most difficult decades, he writes with rare sensitivity about the different dimensions of the conflict there. In a journalistic career spanning nearly a decade, he has also travelled widely, reporting on scientific and technological advancements as well as environmental issues from various countries.

 Emotional Intelligence by Rajagopalan Purushothaman

Book Blurb

In the digital world, The significance of emotional intelligence (EI) will gain further importance as technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation partly or fully replace human intervention. Humans will be valued by their unique characteristics and skills in the digital world. There is no doubt that EI is one of the differentiating future competencies in industry 4.0. The book helps in understanding Each component of EI along with its meaning, significance and application in our professional and personal lives. It talks about the five main elements of EI, namely self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy and social skills that allow us to escape from the ordinary. The necessary foundation for building EI is based on the three main components of mindfulness, resilience and compassion, which are also discussed in the book. It further provides steps for driving with EI and is filled with EI self-assessment tools and exercises. Emotional intelligence shares the recipe for lifelong health, good relationships, professional and personal success, and happiness.

About the Author

Rajagopalan Purushothaman (Puru), winner of Gold Award, Brandon Hall, USA, and Asian Human Capital Award, Singapore, for ‘WORKSMART’ learning intervention established by the Human Capital Leadership Institute, is responsible for L&D strategic solutions and digital learning landscape at Reliance Industries Ltd.

As a Senior Vice-president, his responsibilities at Reliance Industries Ltd include setting up a corporate academy, training on effectiveness and business impact measurement, designing a competency framework, assessment development centre design and roll-out, leadership development, job readiness and developing performance enhancement and succession plan learning solutions for Jio-bp, petro-retailing and aviation fuel.

Puru, an IMT Ghaziabad alumni with nearly 35 years of experience in the retail, telecom, manufacturing and information industry in business development and L&D, has also been felicitated with LEAP Vault for the CLO of the year, Best Corporate Academy and Best Business Impacting Learning Intervention by TISS.

In over three decades of his professional career, Puru has multiple accomplishments in areas such as L&D, business development, and sales and marketing functions. The most recent being establishing the Reliance Retail Academy and executing learning solutions for Jio launch to more than 100,000 resources, and interventions in Jio, Reliance Industries, Reliance Retail, Reliance Infocomm and NIS Sparta Ltd have facilitated more than 1,000 workshops on leadership development and EI.

Puru is currently doing a PhD in digital assessment. In his free time, Puru is a fitness enthusiast who loves to travel and explore places as well as people across the globe, most recently being scaling the 5,895 m Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania along with his daughter and son-in-law.

My Life is a Song: Gaddar’s Anthems for the Revolution, translated and with an introduction by Vasanth Kannabiran

Book Blurb

Gaddar, poet, singer, revolutionary, is among the most well-known of the creative minds associated with people’s resistance movements in India. Born Gummadi Vittal Rao in 1947, in Tupran village of Medak district in what is now Telangana, Gaddar became an activist in his youth after dropping out of engineering college due to poverty. With a gift for singing and song-writing, he travelled the road—for some time underground—reaching lakhs of people with his music, and became the cultural face of‘ rebellion’, the literal meaning of his nom de guerre.

Of the thousands of songs Gaddar performed, only a few were ever recorded in print. My Life Is a Song brings together, for the first time in English translation, twenty-three representative songs, selected by his friend and fellow traveller, Vasanth Kannabiran. Translated from the original Telugu with an eye to Gaddar’s unique style and delivery, this selection takes the extraordinary ‘anthems’ of one of India’s greatest singer-poets—and a living legend of revolutionary thought—to a wider audience.

About the Author

Revolutionary poet and singer Gaddar is one of the most prominent faces of the Naxalite movement in India. Over the last two decades he has moved on to chart his own path that combines Marxist principles of class resistance with Ambedkarite ideas on the necessity of fighting caste injustice. He was also a leading figure in the struggle for a separate Telangana as the founding president of the Telangana Praja Front. He lives with his wife Vimala in Hyderabad, but frequently travels across India. The Translator: Vasanth Kannabiran is a poet, writer and campaigner for women’s rights and communal harmony who has been active for over five decades. She is the founder of the Asmita Resource Centre for Women.

Arc Asylum by Prateek Joshi

Book Blurb

A man losing himself, marching with Death, and occasionally delusional, struggles to veer away from his compulsions, vehemently denying the clarity of ordinary life.

Can deep contemplation give rise to macabre visions? What happens when the attempts to resolve the maze-like twists-and-turns of a deranged mind break down? Does the idyllic self, in contempt, reveal a profane and diabolical side? Some men can answer this with a tone of authority. Others go through spirals of Decadence, spending even years and becoming obscure and absurd in the pursuit of authenticity, blurring the difference between real and unreal.

The narrator’s condition, exhausted after constant reasoning and self-reflection, declines, followed by a subsequent loss of morale, breeding fear, which pervades into his surroundings. A Conviction in logic paves the road to freedom, or so he believes until the noxious elements of his own experiences begin to unhinge him.

The book is the Journal of an outsider, trying to articulate a method to overcome the momentary only to severe ties with the present. Will he understand the deeper meaning of existence after being in limbo, wasting with his degenerating memories and desires?

About the Author

Prateek Joshi is a medical graduate from the University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He moves between words and their impractical aspects only to find himself stranded, placid only when poetry transfigures peculiarities between the pauses of breath.

A spade is a spade only when you are playing clear-headed. A dash into the obscure favors him, pushing for more into life, apparent and unmistakable.

His debut book was ‘Anatomy of a Self-Indulgent Moongazer’. Besides losing hours to reading books and writing poems, time given to his mushroom farm is spent well.

Clock in the Jungle by Ketki Pandit, illustrated by Sneha Uplekar

Book Blurb

Do the creatures of a jungle have a time table? Do they sleep in the mornings and stay awake all night? Do they play all day or are they always busy? Travel round the clock in a forest in the Western Ghats of India and see what happens hour by hour. The green snake basks in the morning sun, the langurs laze high on tree branches in the afternoons, and the owls hoot away at night…And when it is tiger o’clock, guess what happens!

Clock in the Jungle is a beautifully illustrated introduction to the wonders of wildlife, told playfully across twenty-four magical hours.

About the Author

Ketki is a restless animal in the concrete jungle of Mumbai, India—always planning her next escape into the wilderness. She is a graduate of Film and TV Institute of India and New York University. She spends her time reading, writing, making films, teaching screenwriting and fussing over her potted plants. The Illustrator : Sneha writes, draws and makes films, and is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, India. When she is not tinkering with words and pictures, she is fangirling over turtles (the best animals to exist!). Sneha lives in Bristol, UK, with her partner and a (almost) pet fox. But really, she lives in the forest inside her head.

How People Buy Online: The Psychology Behind Consumer Behaviour by Seema Gupta

Book Blurb

Marketers have long debated on what governs buying decisions of digital consumers. Are these decisions rational or are they driven by whims and fancies? Human decisions are controlled more by the reptilian brain led by fear and the mammalian brain governed by emotions, rather than the neo cortex that works on rationale. Is it then possible for marketers to decode buying decisions of digital consumers and market their wares strategically in a highly competitive marketplace? How people buy online proves it is possible. Not only does it break the myths about online shopping behaviour, but it also reveals some deep marketing insights for consumer engagement by delving into consumer psychology and behavioural economics. This unique intersection of marketing with psychology makes this book an absorbing read, especially for management professionals.

About the Author

Seema Gupta, Consultant, trainer, blogger and speaker in the area of digital marketing, and Associate Professor at IIM Bangalore.

News from Trumplandia: America Revisited by Tiberiu Dianu

Book Blurb 

The book is a collection of essays about the transformation of America, which has turned from a united nation to one more divided than ever. Some pundits predict that, if things don’t change, another civil war could occur. Have we reached a point of no return? Hopefully, America is mature enough to learn from its mistakes and avoid further scars along its evolving history.

Trumplandia is a welcome addition toward understanding current events, Washington’s international policy, and the present American society; a society polarized and divided as it has not been since the Civil War.” NICHOLAS DIMA, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor and Research Associate, Nelson Institute, James Madison University, Virginia

“The book is fascinating. It provides background to, and insights into [the] current and past political history as well as offering a personal view… of the country and society. Presented in thematic form in chapters and sections, the insights offered provide a suggestive radiography…” Dr. DENNIS DELETANT, OBE, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington DC

“There has been this backsliding in… what a truly functioning rule-of-law state is, that has proper separation of co-equal powers, which, if you don’t keep working on that, you backslide. And I am even worried about that here, in the United States right now, about backsliding.” OBIE MOORE, Esq., OLM Advisors LLC, Washington DC

“Indeed, Trumplandia should be a welcome addition to any scholar, student or layman’s library, especially in its international edition. If anyone loses sleep over its challenging assertions, then it will have been well worth it.” ERNESTO MORALES HIZON, Ph.D. Candidate in American and Comparative Politics at Claremont Graduate University, Member, Integrated Bar of the Philippines

About the Author

TIBERIU DIANU has practiced law in Romania (as a corporate lawyer, judge, senior counselor at the Ministry of Justice, university professor and senior legal researcher), and in the United States (as a legal expert for the judiciary). He published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. Tiberiu currently lives and works in Washington, DC.

About Author

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