Tag Archives: Juggernaut Books

The biggest relevance of Dara Shukoh is that of his ethos: Author Avik Chanda responds…

An exclusive interview with Avik Chanda

By Gargi Vachaknavi

 

Avik Chanda.JPG

Avik Chanda is an author who is a Jack of multiple genres and, unlike the saying goes, emerges the master of most – including that of a best-selling non-fiction book. He has authored a book on the Mughal prince, Dara Shukoh, and it did so well that it beat William Dalrymple’s The Anarchy to the top of the Asian Age best seller list and even now it continues in the top ten bestseller’s list. 

Chanda has two decades of global Big 4 Consulting experience. He is a business adviser, entrepreneur, trainer and a speaker at the Outstanding Speaker’s Bureau; a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review Ascend and a columnist for The Economic Times. Recently, he has been nominated for the Forbes India 2020 ‘Great People Managers’ list. He is also now venturing into another one of his newbies — a start-up in the human resource technology domain which he has christened NUVAH ( ‘new’ was his explanation for the word which he spelt in all caps).

Avik Chanda has been published in more than twenty international journals and anthologies, including Queen’s Quarterly, Stride Magazine, Envoi, Aesthetica, and First Proofs (Penguin India). He has had a solo exhibition of paintings and published two poetry collections in Bengali (Protibhash and Jokhon Bideshe) and one in English, Footnotes (Shearsman, UK). His debut novel, Anchor, was published by Harper Collins in 2015, to high critical praise. His business book, From Command To Empathy: Using EQ in the Age of Disruption (Harper Collins, 2017), addresses the need for greater emotional enablement in the Indian workplace. The book received praise from leaders across both industry and academia, was widely featured in the national press, and is shaping collective consciousness in favour of better work-life integration. In 2018, the book was selected for Amazon India’s Best Reads under the category, Business, Strategy and Management.

Dara ShukohHis third book with Harper Collins, Dara Shukoh: The Man Who Would Be King, was published in October 2019. This work has received glowing reviews from world-renowned academics, authors and commentators, garnered tremendous attention in the national press, featured at prestigious literary meets, been acquired by Audible for audio-book rights. Juggernaut Books is also promoting the book as a mini blockbuster — publishing excerpts from the book — and it has also been on the Bestsellers’ List right since its publication. In this exclusive interview, Chanda reveals more about his muti-layered personality and his work.

 

When and why did you start writing? What moved your muse?

I’ve been passionate about books for as long as I can remember, and I suppose there came a time when I wanted to start writing my own books. Around the years 2003-2007, there was an earlier spate of writing — poetry, in English and Bengali. I produced a couple of collections besides publishing in individual magazines. The current run began about six years ago. In this period, I’ve published a novel, Anchor, a business book, From Command To Empathy, and my latest book, a biography of the Mughal Prince, Dara Shukoh — all three published by Harper Collins. Read more

Short Story : The Long Gone Home

By Ankita Banerjee

The skyscrapers along the nameless street grew four times bigger that afternoon, like a dozen of Hulks coming to life all at once. I picked up pace, but tripped over something and fell down on the sidewalk.  The result was a palpable twinge on my left arm. There was a clothesline tied across what seemed to my eight-year-old self as two gigantic green  skyscrapers and on it hung my mother’s petticoats and a pair of her old red ribbons. “Slow down, it’s going to pour,” she called out to me from faraway. But I was so close to where I wanted to be; I couldn’t wait.

“Fresh catches for only 50 taka (rupees in Bengali) per kilo!” fishmongers cried from the ferry terminal down the street. I walked down gingerly through its slushy stairs. Across the mighty river, Chandannagar sparkled with lights that brought to life mythological birds and animals and vivid blooming flowers sketched on display boards. And then I saw the silvery hilsa (fish found in the Indian subcontinent) — gleaming with a touch of regal pink, stacked all around.

I was still eight, sitting at the doorstep of my mother’s old kitchen and watched her fry ring-shaped pieces of the hilsa in mustard oil. She put two heaped spoons of steamed rice on my plate and mixed it with the oil of hilsa roe and a pinch of salt with her turmeric stained peaky fingers. “Let me pick out the bones for you,” the warmth in her voice echoed from the other end of time and coiled into a globe of ache in my chest. The pain on my left arm was no longer obscure. Read more

The success of mass market fiction is changing the rules of Indian publishing: Here’s how

By Kanishka Gupta

The last few years have witnessed a deluge of mass market writers in India: Ravinder Singh, Durjoy Datta, Sudeep Nagarkar and more recently, Savi Sharma and Ajay K Pandey. While many people attribute this trend to the unprecedented success of Chetan Bhagat’s debut novel Five Point Someone, others say that it is because of the country’s ever expanding young, aspiring reader base, which has an insatiable appetite for these light, undemanding reads.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that this brand of writing has completely changed the different aspects of publishing, be it commissioning, retail or marketing. Editors no longer acquire books in isolation or on the basis of their individual tastes, but in close consultation with a sales team.

“Until Neilsen arrived in India, very few people were aware of the mass market phenomenon that was going on. The communication channels between sales and editorial were also not that great,” Sachin Garg, a bestselling writer and publisher of Grapevine books told me. In fact, distributors only started taking Grapevine seriously once their author Durjoy Datta’s book debuted at number 3 on the Neilsen Charts. ‘The sales figure of a book started being used as a metric for acquisitions and books were acquired for reasons other than the traditional reason of it being a well told story from the editor’s POV,’ says Anish Chandy of Juggernaut Books. Read more

Source: First Post 

Book Review: Reinterpreting Malgudi as a wasteland of urban society

By Tanuj Solanki

A Place of No Importance

By Veena Muthuraman

Publisher: Juggernaut

Pages: 234

Price: Rs  225

The building blocks of R.K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days were simple: a village in South India, the simple problems and solutions of its people, all told in a manner that hid the space-time specifics such that readers believed that they had access to something outside time. Today, the process that turns Malgudi into a nostalgic entity also problematises its usage as a template for new writers. We are talking about globalisation. Or you could say modernity. Whatever its name, our harsh contemporaneity warrants that Malgudi be shown as a harsher place, its systems be shown under duress, its characters be struggling in their interface with a faster, meaner world.

Narayan’s literary descendants can be said to be facing two broad choices. The first is to take realism as the modality, to compromise Malgudi’s timelessness. The other would be to rebel, to create for the reader a contemporary Malgudi that nevertheless retains its old charm, which refers to its current flux as part of a larger cosmic activity, such that we are still allowed to return to Malgudi’s timelessness as our refuge.

Veena Muthuraman’s debut collection, A Place of No Importance, is set in a fictional village named Ayyanarpatti in Tamil Nadu. And she has, for most parts, chosen the first path. Ayyanarpatti is firmly set in a post-liberalisation India, and is confronting 21st century’s hopes and corruptions. The characters here do not face the simple ethical dilemmas or cute coincidences of those in Malgudi; they have more complex desires and denouements. Read more

Source: Sunday Guardian Live

Review: Ice: A Farooq Reshi Investigation by Praveen Swami

By Aminah Sheikh

iceLadakh district — a bikers’ paradise and the dream destination of travel junkies — prides itself in not only the gigantic mountains of the Himalayan range and its enchanting sceneries, but also in a historic place — Kargil. Kargil lies in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, and stands witness to infiltrations, the Indian armed forces guarding the borders and the lives of locals that are mired in politics. Lives that come under the scanner for merely having homes in sensitive regions; the mysterious deaths of locals that get swept under the carpet as deaths caused by “suspicious activities”; images that echo across media channels, if headline worthy.

Praveen Swami’s short story “Ice: A Farooq Reshi Investigation” published by Juggernaut Books is thought-provoking. An expert on Islamist terrorism, Praveen is known for his skilled investigative journalism in conflicted regions of India. “Ice: A Farooq Reshi Investigation” draws upon various dimensions from his years of award-winning reportage, and provides a fresh perspective on grave and sensitive issues with non-intrusive slap-stick humour.

The story is written as a personal account, or rather, a narration by the protagonist Farooq Reshi, Kargil’s Superintendent of Police, as he is pushed out of his lazy chair to investigate the case of four dead “Buddhist” shepherds, assumed to have been killed by Lashkar terrorists. Infamous among peers for his obnoxious behavior when drunk, Farooq’s demeanor reminds the reader of Sherlock Holmes, as he goes about solving the case.

“Nothing happened in Kargil. Nothing that concerned the police, anyway. Every once in a while, someone would get drunk and beat up someone else, or someone would run off with someone else’s wife, and there would be a bit of a to-do about it, and somebody or the other would disappear, never to be heard of again. No one troubled us for assistance on that sort of thing, though: they’d realized it’s faster, and a lot cheaper, not to involve the police in their problem.”

…This sets the tone of a story that is gripping in its revelations. It mocks the hypocrisy of authorities with simplicity in expression – an underground bedroom, reserved for newly married officers to protect them from Pakistani troop’s artillery, bears “loud-red Tibetan kitsch dragons, playfully curled around mirrors…”

Read more

What to read in 2017

By Palash Krishna Mehrotra

Is any year a good year for books? Despite doomsday predictions, the book is alive and kicking. Here’s a list of titles to look out for in 2017, from all God’s publishers, big and small.

The God of Small Things came out in my last year of college in 1997. Two decades later, as I sit perched on the cusp of middle-age, Arundhati Roy returns with her new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Has she changed; have we changed? We shall find out soon.

Among other novels from Penguin Random House India, there’s Nadeem Aslam’s The Golden Legend, set in contemporary Pakistan; Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West,a love story set against the backdrop of the international refugee crisis; and Perumal Murugan’s Seasons of the Palm, the story of a young untouchable farmhand. In his novel, Friend of My Youth, a meditation on the passage of time, Amit Chaudhuri treads the fine line between fiction and non-fiction and emerges with a sensitive commemoration of Bombay and an unusual friendship. Read more

Source: DailyO

History revisited: Author William Darlymple questions the static nature of history

By Sukant Deepak

William Dalrymple will speak to us on one condition. “Order tea for me, and make me talk.” When boys in their teenage were chasing girls, he was in the darkroom, experimenting with black and white. “Of course! I never chased girls. I don’t chase girls. I will never chase girls!” he says and hugs the delicate Olivia Fraser, his wife.

The location is perfect. Almost. No one disturbs us at the outdoor café ‘Stop ‘N Stare’ in Chandigarh. While Fraser, wearing a permanent smile on her lips ignores us completely and buries herself into a book, Dalrymple, known best for books like The City of Djinns and The White Mughals, between sips of kadak chai, talks about his recent book of black and white photographs The Writer’s Eye, a collection of 60 photographs shot over two years during his travels across different landscapes in India and around the world, says that none of the photographs were taken with a view to exhibit.”All of them are dark and grainy-the kinds I loved taking when I was a teenager,” says the 51-year-old writer. It is believed that the author did this book to take a break from his mega project on the East India Company. The author agrees, and adds that the book Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond, which he co-authored with Anita Anand and published by Juggernaut, also falls in that category. “Read it to know that whatever you knew about the diamond was wrong. There is way too much fiction and myth making around this diamond. By the way, the Mughals didn’t regard it as a great asset,” he says. Read more

Source: India Today

The next big thing: Books to look forward to in 2017

What will be in, what will be out, what’s going to be hot and what’s not, experts tell us about books that threaten to stir a storm in 2017

R. Sivapriya, Executive Editor, Juggernaut Books

2017 looks like it will be the year of women writers. At Juggernaut, we are publishing impressive debuts by three young women — Anita Sivakumaran, Tashan Mehta and Devi Yesodharan. And the new novels of two of the most promising voices in the Indian literary landscape — Meena Kandasamy and Parvati Sharma.

And of course, 2017 will be the year of Arundhati Roy. I am hugely curious to read the new novel. It is certainly going to be the most talked about book of the year. Seriously, women writers are all set to own the year.

I am also looking forward to Ali Akbar Natiq’s first novel (in English from Urdu) and Aniruddan Vasudevan’s debut short story collection (in Tamil). I know they are both in work in progress and should be in print later this year. And I also can’t wait for the new China Mieville – The Last Days Of New Paris to reach India.

Kapish Mehra, Managing Director, Rupa

It’s hard to be crystal ball gazing, but I think 2017 will be an interesting year for Indian publishing. Among genres, I see that non-fiction will further consolidate in the market, as it has for the past few years even as fiction — both literary and commercial — continue to.

Children’s fiction too looks like it’s going to be a promising space in the coming year. We at Rupa are coming out with a series of Mighty Raju pictorial books, combining educational content with entertainment. Read more

Source: DNA India

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Arnab Ray

By Aminah Sheikh

arnab-ray

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

I guess I am expected to say: “I write because I love to”. But that’s about as true an answer as “I went into politics because I wanted to serve the country” or that “my father is a film-star has nothing to do with my decision to go into films”. The reason I write is to get published, and the reason I want to get published is to be read. So the actual answer to the question is “I write because I want you to read.” There is no greater high than the knowledge that someone invested the most precious resource they have, namely their time, in something you created, and hopefully obtained a satisfactory return on that investment.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

My next book The Mahabharata Murders, a serial killer mystery, comes out in 2017 from Juggernaut, and I have done only one round of edits. At the moment, I am writing the next book in the Sultan of Delhi series, Sultan of Delhi: Resurrection, and for that I had to put on the back-burner, another project that I had finished quite a bit of—Shakchunni, a horror novel, set in 1930s Bengal.

Describe your writing aesthetic.

Conflict, characters, ending.  The inherent conflict, internal as well as external, must be well-established, the characters must have arcs (no static cardboards please), and the ending must pack a punch. Did I forget something? Oh yes. Conversations. They must be the primary vehicle for moving the story forward.

Read more

Excerpts: The Burning Forest: India’s War in Bastar by Nandini Sundar

the-burning-forest_300_cmyk

From Mining to Militarism 

Mining and militarism have a deeply intimate history. In 2003, when India liberalized its mining policy, the de facto Maoist control over the region was seen as constituting a major obstacle to rapid industrialization and land acquisition. Industry associations like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) explicitly supported the government’s offensive against the Maoists and called for the involvement of the private sector in this effort:

The growing Maoist insurgency over large swathes of the mineral rich countryside could soon hurt some industrial investment plans. Just when India needs to ramp up its industrial machine to lock in growth and when foreign companies are joining the party – Naxalites are clashing with mining and steel companies essential to India’s long-term success.

Human rights activists argue that it is not a coincidence that Salwa Judum began just when the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding for a steel plant with the Tatas in June 2005. Around the same time, Essar was acquiring land for another steel plant in Dhurli and Bhansi villages, and both the Tatas and Essar were given captive iron ore mines on the Bailadilla hills. ‘Public hearings’ were held in Lohandiguda, Dhurli and Bhansi, in order to fulfi l the offi cial requirement under PESA of eliciting villagers’ ‘consent’:

The villagers under the leadership of Dantewada Adivasi Mahasabha and Sangharsh Samiti Dhurli, said that on 9th September the police forced them to sign No objection letters. Two constables were posted in each house. No outsider was allowed at the meeting place. People were not allowed to leave their homes or to talk to each other. According to villagers, at 9 a.m. they were forced into vehicles, and taken to the meeting location. Supporters of the opposition leader (Mahendra Karma) also helped the police in this process. The villagers related that they were taken into a room in twos, and pistols were placed at their temples to make them sign where told.

Read more

« Older Entries