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Category: Non-Fiction/Reference

Non-Fiction/Reference

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    Through the ages, Delhi has had an effect on its inhabitants. Steeped in a rich history of cultural mingling and periods of creative exchange, the city provided fertile ground for poetic synthesis. Delhi established a legacy of poets whose words set hearts ablaze for the times to come. Love, with all its wine-infused passions and experiences of yearning, has preoccupied classic poets of the city. It also offers to the reader rhymed English transcreations of the selected ghazals so that the work can be enjoyed for the rhythm that the original Urdu-language embraces. As a patron of Urdu poetry and a resident of Delhi, Sanjiv Saraf’s personal investment in preserving and furthering the arts in the Urdu world led to the creation of this book. His careful curation and trans-creations render these ghazals readable to novices of classic Urdu poetry. The selection of works that made their way to this book caters to a wide readership-those reading to experience Delhi from the past, those who wish to engage with the musicality of rhymed verses and, most significantly, those who wish to explore the themes of love as conceptualized by classic poets. Desire, longing and the complexities of love are therefore open to exploration for you, dear reader and lover, through the words laid out in these ghazals by the ‘voices from beyond’.

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  • God Market, The: How Globalisation Is Ma

    A dazzling translation of one of the most revered ancient Bhakti poems

    The Tiruvaymoli (sacred utterance or sacred truth) is a grand 1102-verse poem, composed in the ninth century by Sathakopan-Nammalvar, the greatest of the alvar poets. Ingeniously weaving a garland of words-where each beginning is also an ending-the poet traces his cyclical quest for union with the supreme lord, Visnu. In this magnificent translation, Archana Venkatesan transports the flavour and cadences of Tamil into English, capturing the different voices and range of emotions through which the poet expresses his enduring desire for release. The scholarly introduction illuminates the poem’s kaleidoscopic brilliance and the traditions of devotional religiosity it inspired.

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  • Songs of the Gurus: From Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh

    Chanakya’s numerous sayings on life and living — popularized in the wake of his successful strategy to put Chandragupta Maurya on the throne, if legend is to be believed — have been compiled in numerous collections and anthologies over time. This entire corpus was referred to as Chanakya Niti.
    These aphorisms, which continue to be recalled and quoted in many parts of India, primarily deal with everyday living: with family and social surroundings, friends and enemies, wealth and knowledge, and the inevitable end of everything. They also advise on the good and bad in life, proper and improper conduct, and how to manage many difficult situations.
    A.N.D. Haksar’s wonderful translation also places this work into context, showing how these verses have endured in the popular imagination for so long.

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  • Maths Sutra: The Art of Indian Speed Calculation

    Bold, sharp and amazingly relevant, Naveen Chourey’s impassioned poetry-on mob lynching, Kashmir and the plight of out soldiers among others-will force you to think afresh on nationalism, patriotism and the state of our country.
    Naveen’s youthful idealism, vision for an egalitarian world and progressive thoughts make Kohra Ghana Hai one of the most courageous works of our times.

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  • Dance With Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa

    Mirza Ghalib is perhaps the most widely chronicled Urdu poet in English. But few can pithily capture the essence of his life and work as enjoyably as Raza Mir can. In this lively, witty and illuminating account, Ghalib emerges from these pages as a man of his time but also one who looms large over history.
    Raza infuses his research with just the right amount of anecdote and trivia, evoking Ghalib as an outspoken genius, a game-changer who never shied away from aiming a witty barb (or three) at his rivals. Moreover, Ghalib also lived in a crucial age that saw the end of Mughal rule and the destruction of his beloved Delhi.
    Ghalib: A Thousand Desires also comprises a selection of the great poet’s most enduring poems and ghazals, accompanied by Raza’s insightful commentary that decodes underlying themes and meanings in these verses.

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    SHORTLISTED FOR GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD 2019

    scream
    so that one day
    a hundred years from now
    another sister will not have to
    dry her tears wondering
    where in history
    she lost her voice
    The six sections of the book explore what it means to be a young woman living in a world that doesn’t always hear her and tell the story of Kiran as she flees a history of trauma and raises her daughter, Sahaara, while living undocumented in North America.
    Delving into current cultural conversations including sexual assault, mental health, feminism, and immigration, this narrative of resilience, healing, empowerment, and love will galvanize readers to fight for what is right in their world.

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    Kaifi Azmi’s literary legacy remains a bright star in the firmament of Urdu poetry. His poetic temperament-ranging from timeless lyrics in films like Kagaz Ke Phool to soaring revolutionary verses that denounced tyranny-seamlessly combined the radical and the progressive with the lyrical and the romantic.

    Love and romance, in fact, run like warp through the woof of politics and protest in Kaifi’s poetry. This beautifully curated volume brings together poems and lyrics that reflect Kaifi’s views on women and romance-from sweetly lyrical odes like ‘The First Greeting’ to the powerful, anthem-like ‘Woman’; from the haunting ‘Regret’ to the mercurial ‘She of Many Faces’. These stunning verses conjure a dynamic portrait of womanhood as seen through the eyes of an exquisitely gifted poet.

    This scintillating new translation is accompanied by an illuminating introduction by Rakhshanda Jalil on Kaifi Azmi’s life and legacy, as well as a moving foreword by his daughter Shabana Azmi.

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    Born in the United States into a secularized Hindu family, Amit Majmudar puzzled over the many religious traditions on offer and found that the Bhagavad-Gita had much to teach him with its ‘song of multiplicities.’ Chief among them is that ‘its own assertions aren’t as important as the relationships between its characters . . . The Gita imagined a relationship in which the soul and God are equals.’ It is, he believes, ‘the greatest poem of friendship . . . in any language.’ His verse translation captures the many tones and strategies Krishna uses with Arjuna-strict and berating, detached and philosophical, tender and personable.
    The listener’s guides to each section expand on the main text and what is happening between the lines in accessible terms. Godsong is an instant classic in the field, from a poet of skill, fine intellect, and-perhaps most important-devotion.

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  • Penguin Gandhi Reader, The

    The narrator in Jeet Thayil’s second full-length collection abandons the sectarian histories of 1990s’ Bombay for New York City-and the events of September 11, 2001. In the faux prologue poem, ‘About the Author’, he stands on ‘Sixth, watching ruin, with/a handful of rain and a prophecy’, a citizen of no country except the republic that gives the book its title. English here is more than a language. It is a source of divinity, and it holds a hard-won tenderness for all things living.

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  • First Sikh, The: The Life and Legacy of Guru Nanak

    Vanishing Acts by Ranjit Hoskoté, winner of the Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Award 2004, brings together some of his best poetry, drawn from his three published collections, along with a substantial body of new poems. While continuing to explore the interplay between the epic, devastating sweep of historical events and an intimate, often vulnerable, self, his new poems dwell on emigrants, fugitives, interpreters, double agents—survivors who walk the fragile border between eternity and transience. Experimenting with a variety of forms—ranging from the canticle to the cycle, the adapted sonnet to the passionate apostrophe—Hoskoté expresses the anxieties and delights of a transitive self that constantly shifts location, and evokes strikingly the worlds that can open up at the edges of memory, identity and language.

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    ‘Ambitious, sophisticated and charged . . . an astonishing achievement’ Ruth Padel

    Jonahwhale, in three beautiful movements, takes on very current themes in its playful, mostly aquatic scope, moving from the ocean to the river Ganga to Bombay’s Marine Drive waterfront. It invokes the narratives of Biblical prophet Jonah, who escapes death by spending three nights in the belly of a whale, and Melville’s Moby Dick, whose obsessive Captain Ahab chases the eponymous whale who bit off his leg. These poems resurrect the diverse figures who ran ships along the global trade routes of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Hoskote reflects on the city at war with itself, and a planet embattled by ecological and political crisis.

    At the heart of the rich, wide-ranging canvas, Hoskote puts into play the idea of cultural confluence. A sophisticated project in anamnesia, Jonahwhale retrieves fragments and episodes from the multiple pasts that we inherit; it makes an inquiry into the unregarded legacies of the colonial encounter at sea rather than on land. Ambitious, accessible and rejoicing in the language and beauty of the many stunning connections it makes, this new book establishes Hoskote as one of our most gifted contemporary poets.

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  • Sixteen Stormy Days: The Story of the First Amendment of the Indian Constitution

    Gulzar, one of India’s finest film-makers and lyricists and has always been a poet at heart. His oeuvre is steeped in a poetic sensibility, marked by a lyricism rare in the world of Hindi cinema. Today, Gulzar is regarded as one of India’s foremost Urdu poets, unparalleled in his exploration of human relationships and the insight and sensitivity with which he addresses the many facets of daily life. The sophistication and cadences of Gulzar’s work come alive in this bilingual edition of some of his best poetry, sensitively translated by Pavan K. Varma.

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    “For no particular reason
    He had the blue cow tattooed on his right shoulder
    He would have been killed in the riots yesterday
    But they were good people—
    Seeing a cow, they let him go!

    Written in Gulzar’s inimitable style, the poems in his newest volume of poetry reflect and comment, sometimes elliptically through a visual image, sometimes with breathtaking immediacy and directness, on the political reality in the country today. Powerful, poignant and impossible to ignore or gloss over, the fifty-two threads that make up Suspected Poems unfold across the entire political spectrum—from the disturbed climate in the country and the culture of intolerance to the plight of the aam aadmi, from the continued oppression of Dalits and minority communities to fluctuating Indo–Pak relations.

    Written with Gulzar’s characteristic incisiveness and his unique perspective, and translated marvelously into English by Pavan K. Varma, Suspected Poems, made available in a special keepsake bilingual edition, will delight every reader of poetry and Gulzar’s many fans.

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    “Faiz Ahmed Faiz is widely regarded as the greatest Urdu poet of the twentieth century, and the iconic voice of a generation. Although he is best remembered for his revolutionary verses that decried tyranny and called for justice, his oeuvre also extended to scintillating, soulful poems of love. In this remarkable selection of Faiz’s most memorable poems and ghazals, readers will be able to experience a new dimension of the great poet’s genius. Along with popular favourites like ‘Subh-e Azadi’, with its anguished evocation of the horror and pain of the Partition, The Colours of My Heart also introduces readers to little-known gems that display Faiz’s extraordinary flair for tender hope and quiet longing.
    A rich cornucopia of delights, The Colours of My Heart celebrates Faiz’s greatest work. Baran Farooqi’s superb translation is accompanied by an illuminating introduction to Faiz’s incredible life and enduring legacy.

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  • First, They Erased Our Name: A Rohingya Speaks

    Blended with the intricacies of European and Urdu traditional cultures, the poetic works of Agha Shahid Ali had the power to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary.

    The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems is an anthology of his life works that spans to thirty years of his career as a poet and six successful volumes that he had the chance to publish during his lifetime. This book opens with his last poetic composition The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems, a canzone, which was published posthumously. He had penned this poem a year prior to his death.

    This book contains some of his famous poems like Postcard from Kashmir, A Lost Memory of Delhi, Snowmen, Cracked Portraits, Story of a Silence, Poets on Bathroom Walls, Now No Longer Little, Medusa, The Blessed Word: A prologue, Some Visions of the World Cashmere, New Delhi Airport, I have Loved, and many more remarkable poems.

    From his early works to his mature translations of Ghazals, the readers can evidently see his progression from his directly descriptive poetic works to the dynamic and stratified compositions of his later collections in this book. This is the underlying factor that adds to make The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems, the ultimate book for his fans.

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  • Business Unusual: The Story of Tata

    A collector’s item containing all the stories from Roald Dahl’s world-famous books-Over to You, Someone like You, Kiss Kiss and Switch Bitch-plus eight tales of the unexpected

    ‘The absolute master of the twist-in-the-tale’ Observer

    ‘Roald Dahl is one of the few writers whose work can accurately be described as addictive’ Irish Times

    ‘These stories pack their punch . . . [The] repeated serving right of villains never quite softens the hard-boiled, even cynical, strain in Dahl’s vision of humanity, and it’s that ruthless unsentimentalism that is Dahl’s greatest attraction’ Observer

    ‘Dahl is too good a storyteller to become predictable, so you never know whether the tyrant or the tyrannized will win in the end’ Daily Telegraph

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  • MGR: A Life

    Mumbai has produced many dons-but perhaps none so colourful as Abu Salem. The flamboyant ex-aide of Dawood Ibrahim is best known for his involvement in the Mumbai blasts of 1993 and for the murder of music composer Gulshan Kumar. But he became equally famous for his relationship with actress Monica Bedi and his close connection to Bollywood, leading to a number of attempted murders of the film industry’s biggest names.

    Now comes the ultimate telling of his life from the writer who knows the Mumbai underworld better than anyone else. Gripping, full of unknown details and first-hand accounts, My Name Is Abu Salem is another unputdownable book from S. Hussain Zaidi.

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    On the afternoon of 12 March 1993, a series of explosions cut a swathe of terror and destruction through Bombay. The toll: 257 killed or missing, 713 injured, and a city in a shambles.
    In Black Friday, S. Hussain Zaidi takes us into the heart of the conspiracy which spanned several countries, and the massive investigation that ensued. A product of four years of meticulous research, the book gives chilling insights into the criminal mind, through interviews with close associates of Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, among others. The characters we meet are compelling: the terrorists, the corrupt law enforcement agents who abetted the plot, the investigators who would stop at nothing, and, above all, the people of Bombay of whose resilient spirit this book is a celebration.

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  • 30 Days to Better English

    “A report from the epicenter of the Naxalite war

    In its war against the Maoists, it is the Indian state that usually gets to tell its side of story. But official explanations are not meant to convey truth. Most often they attempt to cover up the reality and obscure it. The claim that only one warring side has the right to propagate its views whereas the other does not because they are projected as ‘enemy’ is questionable when we know there are two sides to any conflict and where both sides comprise our own people.

    In this situation of internal war, not satisfied with the knowledge offered by books and documents, Gautam Navlakha went into the heart of Bastar to get to know the Maoists first hand. This book is an account of the fortnight he spent in the guerilla zone where the Maoists run their people’s government, the Jantana Sarkar. His enquiry unflinching and his perspective critical but partisan, Navlakha succeeds in the difficult task of making the demonized human, laying bare the heartland of rebellion.

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  • Made in India: A Memoir

    Good morning, it’s 6 a.m. and I am wide awake because the man of the house has decided that he needs to perform a series of complex manoeuvres that involve him balancing on his left elbow. When I fell asleep last night, there was a baby lying next to me. Her smelly diaper is still wedged on my head but aside from this rather damp clue, I can’t seem to find her anywhere. I could ask my mother-in-law if she has seen the baby, but she may just tell me that I need to fast on alternate Mondays, and God will deliver the baby back to me . . .

    Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman-a woman who organizes dinner each evening, even as she goes to work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her Mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country. Based on Twinkle Khanna’s super-hit column, Mrs Funnybones marks the debut of one of our funniest, most original voices.

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