Philosophy Posts

“The Puffin Book of Hindu Gods and Goddesses”

The Puffin Book of Hindu Gods and Goddesses is a nifty introduction to the prominent gods of the Hindu pantheon. It is a peppy reference to the gods and goddesses one encounters often in Hindu mythology. These are the ones such as Vishwakarma, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Saraswati, Parvati, Lakshmi, Ganeshea, Hanuman, Durga and Kali whom one hears of often. There is a neat catalogue with short descriptions of the prominent gods and their avatars such as Shakti/Sati ( Durga, Kali and Meenakshi); Vishnu ( Matsaya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Rama, Krishna, Balrama, Kalki, Jagannatha ); Shiva ( Rudra, Bhairava, Nataraja, Lingam)  and Ardhanareshwari ( Shiva + Shakti). In the opening pages describing the Vedic gods the authors — Neelima P. Aryan and Ameya Nagarajan — have tried drawing parallels between the gods of Hindu and Greek mythology. For instance, Akash with Zeus — both are considered to be the father of gods. Each description is accompanied by a full-page illustration created in bright colours by Priyankar Gupta that are charming but have done little to break out of the mould created by Anant Pai decades ago.

The Puffin Book of Hindu Gods and Goddesses is the kind of book which will forever be in demand. It is a beautifully produced four-colour book printed on good art paper allowing for rich reading experience in print. A good production will also ensure that despite being flipped through often the book will withstand any rough use. Creating a reasonably priced book as an in-house department product by the Puffin team will definitely ensure a steady stream of revenue for the firm — a classic formula used often by other firms as well. It is also a fine example of sharp commissioning that straddles the hyper-local and diaspora markets.

Having said that there are a few more examples of illustrated books on the Hindu gods and goddesses that have proven to be extremely popular — Bhakti Mathur, Pixar’s Sanjay Patel‘s series, a wonderful series of cut out board books for children by Om Books editorial team and splendid books on Hanuman and Krishna by
Mala Dayal and on Shiva by Subhadra Sen Gupta published by Red Turtle.

Now for some enterprising publishing firm to create books on gods and goddesses of other religions as well. Puffin India, Juggernaut and Om Books have opened the innings with collection of stories from the Quran and the Bible with their retellings. Goodword books creates phenomenal Islamic books for children. In the past Penguin India had also published a beautiful anthology of greatest stories ever told from various faiths edited by Sampurna Chattarji ( 2004). Maybe it is time to revive some of the backlist publications once more.

16 March 2017 

The Power Of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith

The Power Of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith is a beautifully written testimony to the importance of slowing down in life, to be one with the elements, learn to share stories, be good listeners. Thus develop a sense of belonging, a purpose for living by sharing of experiences, making one resilient and creating a critical component for existence — social support. These strategies will help overcome stress, inculcate positive thinking and find the power of meaning. “Taken together they light up the world!”

7 February 2017 

Penguin Classics from Penguin Random House India ( 8 Sept 2015)

This is a fabulous catalogue of books. Many of them are being reissued, many are translations commissioned for the first time and some are award-winning books. They have been rejacketed splendidly. A collection worth reading, dipping into, owning in personal and library collections. I am copy-pasting the catalogue with some of the beautiful book covers. For more information please contact Ambar Sahil Chatterjee, Associate Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House India. 

Penguin_Group-logo-311DF536C6-seeklogo.com

PENGUIN CLASSICS

MODERN CLASSICS
Bengali

BENGALI
CHATTOPADHYAY, SARATCHANDRA
The Final Question
Translated by Dept of English, Jadavpur University
9780143067788 • 392 • `399 • B/PB • World
Srikanta
Translated by Aruna Chakravarthi
9780143066477 • 504 • `499 • B/PB • World
DAS, JIBANANANDA Selected Poems
Translated by C. Das Gupta
9780143100263 • 104 • `199 • B/PB • World
MITRA, PREMENDRA Mosquito and Other Stories
Translated by Amlan Das Gupta
9780143063902 • 192 • `200 • B/PB • World
PARASHURAM Selected Stories
Translated by Sukanto Chaudhuri and Palash Baran Pal
9780143062202 • 324 • `299 • B/PB • World
RAY, SATYAJIT Indigo: Selected Stories
Translated by Indrani Majumdar
9780143068099 • 264 • `350 • B/PB • World
TAGORE, RABINDRANATH
‘A towering figure in the millennium-old literature of Bengal’ New York Review of Books
‘Not only an immensely versatile poet; he was also a great short story writer, novelist, [and] essayist’ Amartya Sen
Farewell Song
Translated by Radha Chakravarthy
978014341632 • 162 • `199 • B/PB • World except US

Gitanjali
Translated by William Radice
9780143419563 • 344 • `399 • B/PB • World
Gora
Translated by Radha Chakravarthy
9780143065838 • 544 • `499 • B/PB • World
He (Shey)
Translated by Aparna Chaudhuri
9780143102090 • 176 • `250 • B/PB • World
Home and the World
Translated by Sreejata Guha
9780143031413 • 240 • `350 • B/PB • World
Letters from a Young Poet: 1887-1895
Translated by Rosinka Chaudhuri
9780143415763 • 364 • `499 • B/PB • World
Postmaster: Selected Stories
Translated by William Radice
9780140188547 • 322 • `350 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Selected Poems
Translated by William Radice
9780140183665 • 208 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
English

ALI, AGHA SHAHID The Country Without a Post Office
9780143420736 • 104 • `250 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only

ANAND, MULK RAJ
Coolie
9780140186802 • 208 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Seven Summers
9780144000180 • 256 • `250 • B/PB • World
Untouchable
9780143027805 • 160 • `200 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
DAS, KAMALA Selected Poems
Edited with an introduction by Devindra Kohli
9780143421047 • 328 • `399 • B/PB • World
HOSAIN, ATTIA Sunlight on a Broken Column
9780143066484 • 336 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent and
Singapore only
MARKANDAYA, KAMALA Nectar in a Sieve
9780143066576 • 200 • `250 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent and
Singapore only
MEHROTRA, ARVIND KRISHNA Collected Poems: 1969-2014
Introduction by Amit Chaudhuri
9780143420842 • 336 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
MEHTA, VED
Daddyji
9780143421030 • 232 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Face to Face: An Autobiography
9780143420767 • 328 • `499 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles
9780143421023 • 312 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Portrait of India
9780143422303 • 640 • `699 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
MORAES, DOM Selected Poems: 1954-2004
Edited with an introduction by Ranjit Hoskote
9780143418320 • 368 • `499 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent and
Singapore only

NARAYAN, R.K.
‘A first-rate storyteller’ New Yorker
The Guide
Introduction by Pico Iyer
9780143414988 • 224 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
The Man-eater of Malgudi
Introduction by Pico Iyer
9780143414964 • 216 • `225 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
The Vendor of Sweets
Introduction by Pico Iyer
9780143414971 • 176 • `250 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Waiting for the Mahatma
Introduction by Pico Iyer
9780143414995 • 224 • `225 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
NEHRU, JAWAHARLAL The Discovery of India
9780143031031 • 656 • `650 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent and
Singapore only
‘Gives an understanding of the glorious intellectual and spiritual
tradition of [a] great country’ Albert Einstein
RAMANUJAN, A.K. Folktales from India
9780143066439 • 456 • `499 • Demy/PB • India only
RAO, RAJA
‘A pathbreaker of Indian writing in English’ Guardian
The Cat and Shakespeare
Introduction by R. Parthasarathy
9780143422327 • 240 • `299 • B/PB • World except North America
Collected Stories
Introduction by R. Parthasarathy
9780143422310 • 240 • `299 • B/PB • World except North America

Kanthapura
Introduction by R. Parthasarathy
9780143422341 • 240 • `299 • B/PB • World except North America
The Serpent and the Rope
Introduction by R. Parthasarathy
9780143422334 • 400 • `499 • B/PB • World except North America
TAGORE, RABINDRANATH Nationalism
Introduction by Ramachandra Guha
9780143064671 • 164 • `250 • B/PB • World

Hindi

ASHK, UPENDRANATH
Falling Walls
Translated by Daisy Rockwell
9780143423690 • 440 • `599 • Demy/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Hats and Doctors
Translated by Daisy Rockwell
9780143417187 • 240 • `299 • B/PB • World except North America
JAINENDRA The Resignation: Tyagpatra
Translated by Rohini Chowdhury
Introduction by Mridula Garg
9780143415244 • 200 • `250 • B/PB • World
KAMLESHWAR Partitions
Translated by Ameena Kazi Ansari
9780143063704 • 384 • `350 • B/PB • World

PREMCHAND
‘One of the subcontinent’s best loved writers’ The Hindu
The Co-wife and Other Stories
Translated by Ruth Vanita
9780143101727 • 304 • `350 • B/PB • World
Playground: Rangbhoomi
Translated by Manju Jain
9780143102113 • 692 • `599 • Demy/PB • World
RAKESH, MOHAN One Day in the Season of Rain
Translated by Aparna Dharwadker and Vinay Dharwadker
9780670088027 • 288 • `499 • B/HB • World
SAHNI, BHISHAM
‘His literary merits—sharp wit, gentle irony, all-pervasive humour, penetrating
insight into character, mastery as raconteur, and profound grasp of the yearnings
of the human heart’ Outlook
Today’s Pasts: A Memoir
Translated by Snehal Shinghavi
9780670086665 • 300 • `499 • B/HB • World
Basanti
Translated by Shveta Sarda
9780143419815 • 220 • `299 • B/PB • World
Mansion
Translated by Shveta Sarda
9780143419822 • 352 • `399 • B/PB • World
Middle India
Translated by Gillian Wright
9780143066460 • 256 • `350 • B/PB • World
Boyhood
Translated by Anna Khanna
9780143420071 • 240 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent except Bhutan
Tamas
Translated by the author
9780143063681 • 360 • `399 • B/PB • World

Tamas
Translated by Daisy Rockwell
9780670088058 • 360 • `499 • B/HB • Indian Subcontinent only
SHUKLA, SHRILAL Raag Darbari
Translated by Gillian Wright
9780143418894 • 360 • `399 • B/PB • World
‘If fiction is the moral history of our time, Shrilal Shukla chronicled
it with a poignancy never seen before’ Frontline
VAID, KRISHNA BALDEV
‘A stalwart of Hindi literature’ The Hindu
The Broken Mirror
Translated by Charles Sparrows and the author
9780143419785 • 420 • `499 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
The Sculptor in Exile
Translated by the author
9780143419808 • 296 • `399 • B/PB • World
Steps in Darkness
Translated by the author
9780143419792 • 184 • `299 • B/PB • World
VERMA, NIRMAL
‘A uniquely tender sensibility’ Amitav Ghosh
Days of Longing
Translated by Krishna Baldev Vaid
9780143419143 • 232 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
A Rag Called Happiness
Translated by Kuldip Singh
9780143420033 • 192 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only

The Red Tin Roof
Translated by Kuldip Singh
9780143420019 • 240 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
YADAV, RAJENDRA Strangers on a Roof
Translated by Ruth Vanita
9780143423829 • 264 • `299 • B/PB • World
YASHPAL
Divya
Translated by Anand
9780143103127 • 304 • `299 • B/PB • World
This Is Not That Dawn: Jhootha Sach
Translated by Anand
Introduction by Harish Trivedi
9780143103134 • 1119 • `799 • Demy/PB • World

Malayalam

DAS, KAMALA
‘A rebel who defied categorisation’ The Times
Childhood in Malabar
Translated by Gita Krishnankutty
9780143068358 • 224 • `299 • B/PB • World
VIJAYAN, O.V. The Legends of Khasak
Translated by the author
9780143063674 • 216 • `250 • B/PB • World

Oriya

 

TAMIL
NAGARAJAN, G. Tomorrow Is One More Day
Translated by A. Julie and Abbie Ziffren
9780143414124 • 128 • `199 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent,
Singapore and Malaysia only
RAMASWAMY, SUNDARA
One of the most versatile and innovative of Tamil writers, a great modernist
and a dazzling stylist
Children, Women, Men
Translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom
9780143420149 • 552 • `499 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Winner of the Crossword Prize for Translation 2014
Tamarind History
Translated by Blake Wentworth
9780143065616 • 220 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Waves
Translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom and Gomathi Narayanan
9780143420156 • 200 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
22
TELUGU
CHASO Doll’s Wedding and Other Stories
Translated by David Shulman and Velcheru Narayana Rao
9780143068686 • 216 • `299 • B/PB • World
URDU
ALI, AHMED; MAHMUD-UZ-ZAFAR; JAHAN, RASHID
AND ZAHEER, SAJJAD Angaaray
Translated by Snehal Shingavi
9780670087174 • 208 • `499 • B/HB • World
The iconic book that changed the rules of Urdu literature
CHUGTAI, ISMAT
‘Urdu’s most courageous and controversial woman writer’ Sunday Herald
A Life in Words: Memoirs
Translated by M. Asaduddin
9780143420316 • 312 • `399 • B/PB • World
Winner of the Crossword Prize for Translation 2013
Lifting the Veil: Selected Stories
Translated by M. Asaduddin
9780143066453 • 288 • `350 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation 2004
IKRAMULLAH Regret: Two Novellas
Translated by Faruq Hassan and Muhammad Umar Memon
9780143423126 • 264 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
25
IQBAL Taking Issue and Allah’s Answer
Translated by Mustansir Dalvi
9780143416852 • 184 • `299 • B/PB • World
MANTO, SAADAT HASAN
‘The undisputed master of the modern Indian short story’ Salman Rushdie
Bitter Fruit: The Very Best of Saadat Hasan Manto
Translated by Khalid Hasan
9780143102175 • 736 • `650 • Demy/PB • World
Kingdom’s End: Selected Stories
Translated by Khalid Hasan
97801434102182 • 240 • `399 • B/PB • World
Mottled Dawn: Fifty Sketches and Stories of Partition
Translated by Khalid Hasan
Introduction by Daniyal Mueenuddin
9780143418313 • 214 • `299 • B/PB • World
My Name Is Radha: The Essential Manto
Translated by Muhammad Umar Memon
9780670086900 • 340 • `599 • Royal/HB • Indian Subcontinent only
Stars from Another Sky
Translated by Khalid Hasan
Introduction by Jerry Pinto
9780143415367 • 200 • `350 • B/PB • World
MAZOOM, REZA RAHI A Village Divided
Translated by Gillian Wright
9780143063667 • 395 • `395 • B/PB • World
NAIYER, MASUD
‘A poet’s storyteller’ Agha Shahid Ali
Collected Stories
Translated by Muhammad Umar Memon
TBC • 600 • Royal/HB • `899 • World
The Occult
Translated by Muhammad Umar Memon
9780670086993 • 240 • `399 • B/HB • South Asia except Pakistan

BLACK CLASSICS

BENGALI
CHAKRAVARTI, KAVIKANKAN MUKUNDARAM Chandimangal Translated by Edward M. Yazijian
9780143422181 • 360 • `399 • B/PB • World
DUTT, MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN The Poem of the Killing of Meghnad: Meghnādbadh kābya
Translated by William Radice
9780143414131 • 552 • `499 • B/PB • World
HOSSAIN, ROKEYA SAKHAWAT Sultana’s Dream and Padmarag Translated by Barnita Bagchi
9780144000036 • 228 • `250 • B/PB • World
A feminist utopian cult classic
ENGLISH
CHATTOPADHYAY, BANKIM CHANDRA Rajmohan’s Wife
Introduction by Meenakshi Mukherjee
9780143067436 • 168 • `250 • B/PB • World
FRENCH
DUTT, TORU Diary of Mademoiselle D’Arvers
9780143032557 • 168 • `200 • B/PB • World
32 33
GUJARATI
ANANDGHAN It’s a City-showman’s Show!: Transcendental Songs of Anandghan
Translated by Imre Bangha and Richard Fynes
9780143415558 • 168 • `299 • B/PB • World except North America
and Australia
HINDI
BANARASIDAS Ardhakathanak: A Half Story
Translated by Rohini Chowdhury
Introduction by Rupert Snell
9780143100546 • 360 • `399 • B/PB • World
The first autobiography in the Indian literary tradition
KABIR Kabir: The Weaver’s Songs
Translated by Vinay Dharwadker
9780143029687 • 328 • `399 • B/PB • World
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi English Translation Award 2007
KANNADA
I Keep Vigil of Rudra: The Vachanas
Translated with an introduction by H.S. Shivaprakash
9780143063575 • 262 • `299 • B/PB • World
Speaking of Siva
Translated by A.K. Ramanujan
9780140442700 • 200 • `250 • B/PB • India only
KASHMIRI
DĚD, LAL I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Děd
Translated by Ranjit Hoskote
9780143420781 • 328 • `299 • B/PB • World
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi English Translation Award 2013
MALAYALAM
PUNTANAM AND MELPATTUR Two Measures of Bhakti
Translated by Vijay Nambisan
9780143064480 • 108 • `150 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent and
Singapore only
PALI
Jatakas, The: Birth Stories of the Bodhisatta
Translated by Sarah Shaw
9780144001477 • 408 • `399 • B/PB • World

PERSIAN
GHANI, TAHIR The Captured Gazelle: The Poems of Ghani Kashmiri
Translated by Mufti Mudasir Farooqi and Nusrat Bazaz
9780143415626 • 280 • `399 • B/PB • World
KHUSRAU, AMIR In the Bazaar of Love: The Selected Poetry of Amir Khusrau Translated by Paul E. Losensky and Sunil Sharma
9780143420798 • 224 • `299 • B/PB • World
A comprehensive selection from one of the best-loved and most accomplished poets of the subcontinent
PRAKRIT
The Absent Traveller: Prakit Love Poetry from the Gathasaptasati of Satavahana Hala Translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
9780143100805 • 120 • `199 • B/PB • World
‘Witty, terse, spare, memorable’ A.K. Ramanujan
Circle of Six Seasons: A Selection from Old Tamil, Prakrit and Sanskrit Poetry Translated by Martha Ann Selby
9780141007724 • 200 • `250 • B/PB • World
Forest of Thieves and the Magic Garden
Translated by Phyllis Granoff
9780140437225 • 384 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only

SANSKRIT
BANA Kadambari
Translated by Padmini Rajappa
9780143064664 • 424 • `399 • B/PB • World
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi English Translation Award 2014
Bhagavad Gita, The
Translated by Juan Mascaro
9780140441215 • 128 • `250 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
BHASA The Shattered Thigh and Other Plays
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780143104308 • 160 • `250 • B/PB • World
DANDIN Tales of the Ten Princes: Dasa Kumara Charitam
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780143104223 • 218 • `250 • B/PB • World
Hindu Myths
Translated by Wendy Doniger
9780144000111 • 357 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
KALIDASA
The greatest poet of the Sanskrit language
Abhijnanashakuntalam: The Recognition of Shakuntala
Translated by Vinay Dharwadker
9780670087464 • 300 • `399 • B/HB • World
Kumarasambhavam: The Origin of the Young God
Translated by Hank Heifetz
9780143424079 • 240 • `399 • B/PB • World
The Loom of Time
Translated by Chandra Rajan
9780144000784 • 344 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only

Malavikagnimitram: The Dancer and the King
Translated by Srinivas Reddy
9780143424086 • 176 • `399 • B/PB • World
Raghuvamsam: The Line of Raghu
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780670087105 • 208 • `399 • B/HB • World
KAUTILYA The Arthashastra
Translated by L.N. Rangarajan
9780140446036 • 872 • `650 • Demy/PB • World
The pre-eminent manual on statecraft
KSHEMENDRA
The Courtesan’s Keeper: Samaya Matrika
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780143421474 • 200 • `299 • B/PB • World
Three Satires from Ancient Kashmir
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780143063230 • 184 • `250 • B/PB • World
MALLA, KALYANA Suleiman Charitra
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780143420590 • 144 • `250 • B/PB • World
MANU Laws of Manu
Translated by Wendy Doniger and Brian K. Smith
9780140445404 • 368 • `450 • B/PB • India only
NARAYANA Hitopadesa
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780144000791 • 260 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
PATANJALI Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra
Translated by Shyam Ranganathan
9780143102199 • 336 • `399 • B/PB • Commonwealth countries and South Asia only
The foundational text for the practice of yoga

Rig Veda
Translated by Wendy Doniger
9780140444025 • 344 • `399 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
SANKARA The Roots of Vedanta
Translated by Sudhakshina Rangaswami
9780143064459 • 480 • `499 • B/PB • World
ŚARMA, VISNU The Panćatantra
Translated by Chandra Rajan
9780144000715 • 512 • `499 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Seduction of Shiva, The: Tales of Life and Love
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780143415404 • 256 • `399 • B/PB • World
Simhasana Dvatrimsika: Thirty-Two Tales
Translated by A.N.D. Haskar
9780140447484 • 216 • `250 • B/PB • World
SIVADASA The Five and Twenty Tales of the Genie
Translated by Chandra Rajan
9780144000456 • 336 • `299 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
SOMADEVA Tales from the Kathasaritasagara
Translated by Arshia Sattar
9780140247213 • 264 • `350 • B/PB • World
Subhashitavali: An Anthology of Comic, Erotic and other Verse
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780143101369 • 208 • `250 • B/PB • World
TRYAMBKAYAJVAN The Perfect Wife: Stridharmapaddhati
Translated by Julia Leslie
9780140435986 • 392 • `375 • B/PB • World

Upanisads, The
Translated by Valerie J. Roebuck
9780140447491 • 503 • `499 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
VALMIKI Ramayana
Translated by Arshia Sattar
9780140298666 • 696 • `699 • B/PB • World
A brilliant, beloved translation of the great Indian great epic
VATSYAYANA
Kama Sutra: A Guide to the Art of Pleasure
Translated by A.N.D. Haksar
9780670085637 • 240 • `450 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana
Translated by Richard Burton
9780143066446 • 258 • `350 • B/PB • World
TAMIL
Extraordinary Child
Translated by Paula Richman
9780143063179 • 312 • `375 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent and
UK only
ILANGO Cilappatikaram: The Tale of an Anklet
Translated by R. Parthasarathy
9780143031963 • 440 • `450 • Demy/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi English Translation Award 1995
KAMBAN The Kamba Ramayana
Translated by P.S. Sundaram
9780143028154 • 464 • `450 • B/PB • World
Love Stands Alone: Selections from Tamil Sangam Poetry
Translated by M.L. Thangappa
Introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy
9780143103974 • 256 • `299 • B/PB • World
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi English Translation Award 2012
River Speaks,The: The Vaiyai Poems from the Paripatal
Translated by V.N. Muthukumar and Elizabeth Rani Segran
9780143415077 • 182 • `250 • B/PB • World except North America

NAMMĀLVĀR
A Hundred Measures of Time: Tiruviruttam Translated by Archana Venkatesan
9780143066378 • 280 • `399 • B/PB • World
Hymns for the Drowning Translated by A.K. Ramanujan
9780144000104 • 175 • `250 • B/PB • World
Red Lilies and Frightened Birds: Muttollayiram Translated by M.L. Thangappa
Introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy
9780143064855 • 240 • `299 • B/PB • World
TIRUVALLUVAR Kural
Translated by P.S. Sundaram
9780144000098 • 168 • `250 • B/PB • World
TELUGU
APPARAO, GURAJADA Girls for Sale: Kanyasulkam Translated by Velcheru Narayana Rao
9780143066880 • 366 • `350 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
KRISHNADEVARAYA, SRI The Giver of the Worn Garland: Amuktamalyada Translated by Srinivas Reddy
9780143065456 • 264 • `250 • B/PB • World
A masterpiece by the sixteenth-century emperor Krishnadevaraya
of Vijayanagaram

MUDDUPALANI The Appeasement of Radhika
Translated by Sandhya Mulchandani
9780143417484 • 200 • `250 • B/PB • World
TURKISH
BABUR Babur Nama
Translated by Annette Beveridge
Selected with an introduction by Dilip Hiro
9780144001491 • 385 • `450 • B/PB • World
URDU
AMMAN, MIR A Tale of Four Dervishes
Translated by Mohammed Zakir
9780140245738 • 158 • `199 • B/PB • Indian Subcontinent only
Tilism-e-Hoshruba: The Enchantment of the Senses
Translated by Shahnaz Aijazuddin
9780143102724 • 924 • `699 • Demy/PB • World
The world’s first magical fantasy epic

 

MISCELLANEOUS CLASSICS

ARABIC
Quran
Translated by Tarif Khalidi
9780670084173 • 560 • `599 • B/HB • Indian Subcontinent only
BENGALI
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52 53
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The greatest story ever told, now in its definitive translation
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VALMIKI Ramayana
Translated by Arshia Sattar
9780670084180 • 696 • `699 • B/HB • World

 

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ABIJNANASAKUNTALAM_WEB

 

 

 

A HUNDRED MEASURES OF TIME_web

THE CAT AND SHAKESPEARE_webANGAARAY_web (1)

 

 

MY NAME IS RADHA_web (2)

A. C. Grayling “The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times”

A C Grayling3 May is World Press Freedom Day.

3 May 2015 is also when the unfortunate hashtag #GoHomeIndianMedia is trending on Twitter. The people of Nepal are hugely disappointed with the journalists from India covering the horrendous earthquake. Ironically they seem to have support from many others across the Indian subcontinent. For instance, http://scroll.in/article/724851/your-media-are-acting-like-they-are-shooting-a-family-serial-nepalis-trend-gohomeindianmedia .

Later this week, on 5 May 2015, PEN American Center will be honouring the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo with the PEN/ Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award. It has resulted in six prominent authors dropping out of the PEN Gala, with more than 145 authors distancing themselves from the event. The six authors are Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Taiye Selasi, Teju Cole, Francine Prose and Rachel Kushner. Many opinions have been offered in the press. For instance, Andrew Solomon, President, and Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, of PEN American Center wrote on 1 May 2015, “Why we’re honoring Charlie Hebdo” ( http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/02/opinion/why-were-honoring-charlie-hebdo.html?_r=0); Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker, 30 April 2015, “PEN Has Every Right to Honor Charlie Hebdo”   (http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/pen-has-every-right-to-honor-charlie-hebdo ); Masha Gessen in Slate.com on 1 May 2015, ““Paying Attention and Paying Respect Is All That Writers Can Do: Why PEN is right to honor Charlie Hebdo.” (http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2015/05/pen_and_charlie_hebdo_why_the_foundation_is_right_to_honor_the_magazine.html) ; Katha Pollit in The Nation on 30 April 2015 ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Deserves Its Award for Courage in Free Expression. Here’s Why.” ( http://www.thenation.com/blog/205897/charlie-hebdo-deserves-its-award-courage-free-expression-heres-why); Salil Tripathi, Writer and former co-chair, English PEN Writers-at-Risk Committee wrote about the courage it takes to write without fear and importance of freedom of expression. ( http://www.pen.org/blog/courage-continuing); Garry Trudeau’s speech in The Atlantic, 11 April 2015, “On the abuse of satire” ( http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/04/the-abuse-of-satire/390312/);  Susan Bernofsky on 1 May 2015 in Translationista”Why I signed the PEN protest letter” ( http://translationista.net/2015/05/why-i-signed-the-pen-protest-letter.html) and Joe Sacco in the Guardian on 9 January 2015, “A response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks” ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/jan/09/joe-sacco-on-satire-a-response-to-the-attacks).  

Closer home, in India, we have for the past eighteen months had innumerable instances of muzzling of voices, authors such as Perumal Murugan, being coerced in such a manner that he has vowed to give up writing. Here is an excellent speech given by noted historian Romila Thapar on religious sentiments and freedom of expression, published in the Hindu on 13 March 2015, “The Real Reasons for Hurt Sentiments” (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-real-reasons-for-hurt-sentiments/article6987156.ece). Like him, there are many more sad examples.

In this context it is worth reading a brilliant essay, “Free Speech” by British philosopher A.C. Grayling. I am reproducing extracts of it below but the entire essay can be read in A. C. Grayling “The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times”, published by Bloomsbury. Many of the essays originated in places as various as Prospect magazine, the Guardian, Observer, Times, New Statesman, New York Review of Books, talks on the BBC, chapters in edited collections, and elsewhere. Unfortunately there are no dates given for the published essays, so it is impossible to gauge the time they were written in. Yet, the essay under discussion seems pertinent even today. 

…though liberty is indivisible, regimes of liberties have a structure. The keystone of the arch is free speech. Without free speech one cannot claim other liberties, or defend them when they are attacked. Without free speech one cannot have a democratic process, which requires the statement and testing of policy proposals and party platforms. Without free speech one cannot have a due process at law, in which one can defend oneself, accuse, collect and examine evidence, make a case or refute one. Without free speech there cannot be genuine education and research, enquiry, debate, exchange of information, challenges to falsehood, questioning of governments, proposal and examination of opinion. Without free speech there cannot be a free press, which although it always abuses its freedoms in the hunt for profit, is necessary with all its warts, as one of the two essential estates of a free society ( the other being an independent judiciary). Without free speech there cannot be a flourishing literature and theatre. Without free speech there are limits to innovation and experiment in any walk of life. In short and in sum, without free speech there is no freedom worth the name in other respects where freedom matters.

The principle of freedom of speech promiscuously allows bad free speech, ranging from the stupid to the malicious and dangerous. If it is genuinely dangerous to life, as for example in direct incitement to murder, it invites a case-specific limitation. But generally the remedy for bad free speech is better free speech in response. In the case of libel and slander there is, as an instance of this, the post facto remedy of the courts. True, malicious mud-slinging is damaging even if a libel action is won, but free speech does not come free, and in a mature society we have to recognise that benefits carry costs, and this is one of them. So vital is free speech to the health and liberty of a society that the plea of ‘feeling offended’ by what people say about one’s choices and beliefs is not and can never be a reason for limiting free speech…. .

…The assault on free speech is well under way: it is the time for defence of it to get well under way too. ( p. 172-174)

A.C.Grayling The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times Bloomsbury, Great Britain, 2015. Pb. pp.300 Rs499

( This blog post was updated on 4 May 2015 to include a few more links on Charlie Hebdo.)

#GoHomeIndianMedia

#GoHomeIndianMedia

Ruzbeh Bharucha “Rabda: My Sai…My Sigh”

Rabda‘Baba, there are so many who are going through hell. the Hindus believe that there are thirty-three crore Gods and Goddesses and there are so many Masters. I mean there are more Gods in heaven than there are people in a few countries down here on Mother Earth. Why can’t you all just work something out and tell those going through their private hell?’

‘You are such a classical idiot, my daft child. The answer is simple, Rabda. Either you believe that God does not exist, there is no Supreme Power running this grand show, or you believe in a just God. You cannot believe in a God who exists but is unjust. God is completely just. S(H)e loves each and every being, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may be to others. God exists and throbs in a worm just as S(H)e breathes and works through a perfect Master and archangels.’ ( p.52)

I am not a regular reader of spiritual books but a lot of people I know are devout followers of Sai Baba of Shirdi. So when I spotted Rabda: My Sai…My Sigh  I was intrigued. Ruzbeh N. Bharucha too one had heard of. The book is about Rabda who has attempted suicide and Sai Baba of Shirdi who enters the hospital room and awakens the spirit body of Rabda. From then on, it is a conversation that flips back and forth in time. For once, the book blurb says it well: “Set in the present, Rabda takes the reader to the past, to when the Sai lived in His physical body. The life and philosophy of Sai Baba of Shirdi are revealed, often in His own words, and questions pertaining to Him and spirituality are answered.” What I found fascinating while reading this book was the stress on establishing the Sufi principles of the Sai Baba are very clear. Till I read this book, I had no idea that the Sai Baba was a spiritual leader for communities across religions. Otherwise the saffronisation of the Sai Baba is the dominant image in public discourse. ( The book jacket is in saffron.) I strongly suspect this book will be a sleeper hit. It is not the publicity buzz but word-of-mouth recommendations that will propel book sales.

After reading the book, I emailed Ruzbeh Bharucha a bunch of questions. Here is the edited version:

How long did this book take you to write?
It took me forty days to write the book. I researched for two months prior that but most of the conversations and ideology of BABA has come through naturally while writing the book. Trust me. The book wrote itself or if I don’t sound too preachy, BABA must have for some reason known best to HIM, wrote the book, as HE couldn’t leave something so important to a dork like me.

What prompted you to write a history about the Sai Baba? Are they not enough books published on the Sai Baba?

No amount of books can do justice to a Master. I also wanted to bring about three things from Rabda. First and foremost I wanted to focus on BABA’s ideology and not the innumerable miracles performed by BABA. Most books focus on the miracles. HE is a Master so HE better perform miracles. No big deal :-). Secondly I wanted to bring forth BABA’s spiritual Oneness and HIS sufism. His words and conversations with Abdul, HIS disciple, who recorded BABA’s preachings are rarely spoken or written about. Thirdly, I wanted BABA’s schedule, style of speaking, HIS Divine madness and HIS humaneness and sense of humour and HIS flowery abusive language to flow through which not many books bring forth. BABA was GOD in man. I wanted both GOD and man to come forth.

The writing makes me feel as if you are a medium for Sai Baba. I may be wrong and my apologies for asking this. I know little about spiritual writing or even different beliefs. But are you a medium? Your website describes you as a “Channel”? What is the difference?

I really don’t know if BABA comes through me. And if HE does I have no idea why. I certainly am flawed nice and proper. Medium or Channel or Instrument are merely words. They mean the same thing that the grace and love and wisdom and guidance of the Master flows through the individual. But I believe we all are mediums when we do something right, humane, compassionate.

There is a line in Mike Dooley’s The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You which says ” Religion needs spirituality. Spirituality does not need religion.” What do you think?

Religion now is used to bring forth duality and discord while spirituality, then, now and for eternity will always bring forth Oneness. Relgion is a code of rules. Spirituality is the breath of the Divine.

How did you venture into writing books about spirituality? 

Since a child I have always been fascinated with the paranormal. I have always seen the futility of existence as we know it. Have been taken to innumerable sages, sufis, mediums, since a child, with the hope that I would behave like a rational human being and They have for some reason always treated me with lot of love and humour. At the age of seventeen yoga brought forth the sanity of going within and The Autobiography of a Yogi, which I read at the age of eighteen made me realise that the world of the spirit was far more real and fascinating than our so called real but mundane world. And then of course researching for The Last Marathon, my first book on spirit communication and life after death made me realise that I love spirits; both the paranormal and the drinking type like absinthe and sake and fenny. Spirits rock. Apart from this, as I channel and people come from all over, I have realised that if I can write about the world of spirits, channeling, Masters, may be my existence and burden on mother Earth, could be partially justified. Also I like to believe, that most Zoroastrians are either paranormal or abnormal. I chose the former hee hee.

Ruzbeh N. Bharucha Rabda: My Sai . . . My Sigh Penguin Ananda, an imprint of Penguin Books, Gurgaon, India. Pb. pp.278 Rs 299 

29 December 2014 

Pam Grout, E Squared

Pam Grout, E Squared

Pam GroutThis is one of those books that are quick to read but stay with you forever. The premise is quite simple. Think positive and you will be rewarded well. It could be in any form. An opportunity or a material request fulfilled. According to Pam Grout, thinking positively unleashes positive energies swirling around you and make things happen in your favour. She argues that never underestimate the power of your thoughts and what you wish for, it can come true.

There are nine chapters based upon nine experiments. One of those being the Abracadabra principle. The literal translation being that ” I will create as I speak”. For Pam Grout this is a powerful concept. It is the positive attitude that changes one’s outlook and earns rewards.

The book is mostly anecdotal but it is strangely comforting to read. Much like the articles that were published once upon a time in Reader’s Digest. When you are down in the dumps, reading and being inspired by such pep-me-up kind of literature may not be a bad thing at all. It is a confidence building measure. Read it.

Pam Grout E2 HayHouse, New Delhi, India, 2013. Pb. pp. 164 Rs. 250

 

Kancha Ilaiah on “Why I am not a Hindu”  (From Stree Samya blog)

Kancha Ilaiah on “Why I am not a Hindu” (From Stree Samya blog)

This is a blog post that I have taken as is from the Stree Samya Books blog. The link is: http://stree-samyabooks.blogspot.in/2013/03/why-i-am-not-hindu.html

Why I Am Not a Hindu: A Sudra Critique of Hindutva Philosophy, Culture and Political Economy
Kancha Ilaiah
demy octavo pb 3rd rpt 2009 163pp ISBN 81-85604-82-7
rev. ed. with Afterword Rs 300

‘In Kancha Ilaiah’s conceptual universe, you feel the pain of life. In his ideas, you sense the vulnerability of battling unpredicatable waters. But in his intellectual adventurousness, you also sense the gaiety of robust combat and the fun in the fight.’~~Sagarika Ghose, Outlook

Kancha Ilaiah writes with passionate anger, laced with sarcasm on the caste system and Indian society. He looks at the socio-economic and cultural differences between the Dalitbahujans and Hindus in the contexts of childhood, family life, market relations, power relations, Gods and Goddesses, death and, not least, Hindutva. Synthesizing many of the ideas of Bahujans, he presents their vision of a more just society.
In this second edition, he presents an Afterword that discusses the history of this book, often seen as the manifesto of the downtrodden Dalitbahujans. He talks of its reviews as well of the abuse he has received from its detractors. He reminds us of the need of an ongoing dialogue. As he says, he wrote the book ‘for all who have open minds. My request to Brahmins, Baniya and Neo-Kshatriyas [upper class Sudras] is this; you learnt only what to teach others: the Dalitbahujans. Now in your own interest and in the interest of this great country you must learn to listen and to read what we have to say.’

‘The most gratifying thing for me was that it [this book] was listed as a millennium book [by The Pioneer] along with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Annihilaion of Caste. Moreover, it has been translated into several Indian languages. In a way it has become a weapon in the hands of Dalitbahujan activists.’ [Afterword]

Kancha Ilaiah is professor and director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad and an activist in the Dalitbahujan and civil liberties movement.

He is the author of Untouchable God published by Samya in 2012,God as a Political Philosopher:Buddha’s Challenge to Brahminism, and Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism.
Published By:Samya
Enquiries: 16 Southern Ave, Calcutta 700026 tel:033 2466 0812/ 033 6519 5737
email streesamya.manager@gmail.com website: www.stree-samyabooks.com

“Don’t buy this book now!”

“Don’t buy this book now!”

“Structured procrastination.” A delicious phrase coined by John Perry in Don’t But This Book Now! for merely faffing. Without really making you feel guilty he lists a number of reasons why structured procrastination is absolutely acceptable and an activity that should be indulged in as often as possible—It makes one a more productive and better human being. Having said that he explores the reasons for procrastination. One of the main reasons is to be a perfectionist but he puts it so nicely, “You have to get into the habit of forcing yourself to analyze, at the time you accept a task, the costs and benefits of doing a less-than perfect job.” He adds, “The system of breaking tasks down into small increments, and giving yourself a good pat on the back for achieving each of them, has solid credentials.” He offers some splendid advice on how to break the spell browsing incessantly on the internet or watching a mindless programme on the television. (Of the computer he says, “it is also a bane for the procrastinator, because it makes sinking time in utterly worthless pursuits tempting and easy. The big problems are coping with email and surfing the Web.”) The book is an expansion of an earlier essay called “Structured Procrastination” for which John Perry (who’s a Professor of Philosophy at Stanford) won the Ig Nobel Prize at Harvard University. Surprisingly the essays in this slim volume help in boosting one’s confidence. As one of the blurbs on the book cover says that you are tempted to follow the strategies (making lists) discussed to overcome procrastination. It is time well spent in reading Don’t Buy This Book Now!