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Title — Summer Holidays

Publisher — Rupa

Price — Rs. 295/-

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.in/Summer-Holidays-Koral-Dasgupta/dp/9353333768/

It was Mira’s first day at IIT Bombay. They both had to rush. Rishi packed his bag and hers, dropping a set of duplicate keys into her bag before they left.

‘You know how Kohli sends the ball soaring towards the boundary?’ Rishi asked as they rode his bike. ‘He stands erect as the ball comes from the front and swerves it towards the left like this.’ As they approached a crossing, the red lights turned green and Rishi took a sharp turn towards the left, emulating the skipper’s bat.

‘Are you mad?’ Mira cried. ‘If you get caught by the traffic police, the BCCI won’t be impressed.’

Rishi drove past the khaki-clad policeman standing a few metres away, writing something in a small pad in his hand. ‘…And here’s the end of another over.’ He stopped abruptly at the red signal, and his sister pushed him from behind, irritated.

 

Artwork

 

Title – Rasia, The Dance of Desire
Publisher – Rupa Publications (2017)
Price – Rs. 295/-

 

Excerpt from chapter 2

Raj Shekhar Subramanian

Thiruvananthapuram

2015

 

Manasi!

My entire being arouses with a protective shield towards this woman. Seventeen years of togetherness is a long time. When have I ever been a husband who wakes up, orders breakfast, takes bath, goes to office, watches television, has dinner and kisses the wife goodnight? Manasi isn’t tired of my creative whims. At least, not yet. Rather, the unpredictability keeps her entertained. My demure wife though, has her own ways to follow her mind. Without the least warning, she goes ahead with things without considering the consequences they might have on me and everyone else around her. Just like her secret visit to my orphanage. Just like she had agreed to marry me on an impulse, even though I had promised her neither luxury nor riches, no undying romance as suitors usually do.

What a strange evening it was when I saw her for the first time.

That was 1998. I had landed up in Kolkata for my final round of meetings with Britannia industries. I was being absorbed by the organization in their supply chain wing post my B.Tech. The city was celebrating the Saptami day of Durga Puja, and was all decked up in pomp and gaiety. Every lane was crowded. After finishing the formalities with Britannia, I was walking leisurely through Rashbihari Avenue watching people pouring into the sari shops, pampering themselves.

So lucky—this privileged class!

I had broken free from my orphanage and moved to the college hostel when I was sixteen. I topped various examinations at all academic levels. The Government, since then, had taken special care of me. I thrived on scholarships for a large part of my life. That made life easier, but I never had the opportunity to splurge. My funds were limited, and I had vast plans with the money I had for the days to come.

The sun had set; darkness was slowly taking over. The city, with its lamps and lights, seemed to awaken to welcome the evening festivities. Distracted with my thoughts, I had unmindfully landed up at one of the pandals*, lit brightly, surging with visitors. I made my way through the chaos and pushed myself forward. A young girl in her early twenties, flawlessly draped in a cotton saree, was dancing with the dhaak** that played. Her vigour wasn’t impaired by the growing crowd watching her. I could tell from her moves that she wasn’t professionally trained. Yet, she had a style—of youth and feminine abundance, of letting go and not holding back. She smiled as she stretched, bent and whirled around; her muscles and body reflected serene fulfilment. Her eyes, beneath a big maroon bindi, sparkled with mischief.

CoverNarration by Rajput sculptor, Aniruddh Jain Solanki; chapter 2

Our business was started by my grandfather and it has flourished with time and expanded in product lines, thanks to the business acumen of his sons and grandsons. Every male at home is supposed to grow up breathing and dreaming diamonds. Joining the business is an achievement; an elaborate puja where the entire family comes together to pray for success and prosperity of the new entrant is an auspicious prelude to the joining. And thus starts an endless journey where every mistake is ripped apart and every success celebrated. Big families like ours have their own cultures of kitchen politics, envies and futile power equations; yet the business keeps us together. All women of the household prepare food together and the entire family still comes together for the morning puja, breakfast and dinner in deference to a non-negotiable rule. I happened to be a special favourite of my grandmother. They say that the goddess of prosperity showered special blessings during my birth and business multiplied immediately after. My birth lakshans were perfectly crafted by the goddess! As I grew up, a lot of my demands were treated with special favour, drawing prolonged arguments and comparisons in the kitchen. However, my grandmother believed that I am blessed by Lakshmi-Narayan and settled all debates with a ‘let him be!’ After school Dad expected me to study metallurgy; I said if at all I have to continue with academics then it will be Mathematics from Delhi University. All wars that continued for weeks behind closed doors initially and with the participation of a greater audience later, were settled with a ‘let him be. No one knew that the worst was yet to come. 

by Anurag Batra

CoverFall Winter Collections (Niyogi Books, 2015) by Koral Dasgupta has a style about it that is unique. Dasgupta’s entry into fiction writing is as unique and smooth as the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore. The book is simple, yet poetic; and being set in Shantiniketan, it is very Bengali.

The two protagonists, Sanghamitra Banerjee and Aniruddh Jain Solanki are so real that you almost believe that it is a non-fiction story written as fiction. The protagonists being depicted as real and human is a real win for the writer. The reader wants to meet the protagonists, as both seem talented, unique and flawless in their own ways.

The two protagonists are attracted to each other, as both are lonely and seek fulfillment, and that manifests itself as a relationship. Both have been chasing their dreams, yet running from something. Both have gifts that have blossomed, but need appreciation. In some ways, Fall Winter Collections is a commentary on how contemporary society treats individuals and how everyone needs redemption through love. 

HNY

Shahrukh Khan has kept on juggling roles and pushing himself higher over the years, and in a career which spans almost two and a half decades he has finally emerged as one of the biggest entrepreneurs of the country. It is his image of that of a family man, his frank admission of his success and failures, candid confessions of fears and setbacks that make him a familiar face and household name, says Dr. Anindita Chatterjee in this review of Koral Dasgupta’s Power of A Common Man: Connecting with Consumers the SRK Way (2014).

SRK_bookPower of A Common Man: Connecting with Consumers the SRK Way.

Author: Koral Dasgupta

Publisher: Westland Books

Date of Publication: 2014

ISBN: 978-93-84030-15-5

Pages: 310 + xv

Price on cover: Rs 395

Celebrity culture consists of every possible component that is publicly available about an individual, such as images, writing, autobiography, interviews and movies. ‘Celebrity ecology’, as Pramod Nayar identifies it in his seminal work Seeing Stars: Spectacle, Society and Celebrity Culture is the apparatus of this representation, production, circulation and consumption of iconic figures, events and actions. The celebrity, today, is thus a cumulative effect of her or his achievements as well as of the media coverage of these achievements. It can now be safely asserted that celebrity is thus a socially constructed identity that consists of two basic dimensions: