Anita Desai – The Village by the Sea
A Classic of Our Time. Untouched by the twentieth century, Thul, the small fishing village near Bombay, is still ruled by the age-old seasonal rhythms. Hari and Lila have lived in the village all their lives, but their family is now desperately down on its luck. Their father drinks; their mother is seriously ill; and there is no money to keep them fed and clothed. Delicately and exquisitely executed, Anita Desai s gentle and probing story traces the evolution of Hari and Lila into adults as each of them faces the family’s predicament – just as the first signs of industrial India creep into their village.
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Amitav Ghosh – The Hungry Tide
An Indian myth says that when the river Ganges first descended from the heavens, the force of the cascade was so great that the earth would have been destroyed if it had not been for the god Shiva, who tamed the torrent by catching it in his dreadlocks. It is only when the Ganges approaches the Bay of Bengal that it frees itself and separates into thousands of wandering strands. The result is the Sundarbans, an immense stretch of mangrove forest, a half-drowned land where the waters of the Himalayas merge with the incoming tides of the sea.
It is this vast archipelago of islands that provides the setting for Amitav Ghosh’s new novel. In the Sundarbans the tides reach more than 100 miles inland and every day thousands of hectares of forest disappear only to re-emerge hours later. Dense as the mangrove forests are, from a human point of view it is only a little less barren than a desert. There is a terrible, vengeful beauty here, a place teeming with crocodiles, snakes, sharks and man-eating tigers. This is the only place on earth where man is more often prey than predator.
And it is into this terrain that an eccentric, wealthy Scotsman named Daniel Hamilton tried to create a utopian society, of all races and religions and conquer the might of the Sundarbans. In January 2001, a small ship arrives to conduct an ecological survey of this vast but little-known environment and the scientists on board begin to trace the journeys of the descendants of this society.
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Salman Rusdie – Midnight’s Children
‘Midnight’s Children’ by the renowned author Sulman Rushdie is an epic novel that opens up with a child being born at midnight on 15th August, 1947, just at a time when India is achieving Independence from centuries of foreign British colonial rule.
Winner of Booker Prize, this book has been added in the list of Great Book of the 20th century and narrates the story of Saleem Siana and the times he lives with the newborn nation.
Divided in three parts, the novel begins with the story of Siani’s family and the various events that lead to India’s independence and eventually to partition. Born precisely at the midnight, Saleem was born with telepathic powers and later discovers that all the kids born in India between 12 A.M. and 1 A.M. are impregnated with the special power.
Using his telepathic powers, he assembles a conference with all kids to reflect upon the issues like culture, linguistic, religion and political differences to shape the nation. Highlighting the relation between father and son and a nation yet in its nascent stage, it is an enchanting family adventure with lots of human drama and shocking summoning.
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Khushwant Singh – Train to Pakistan
The partition of India was one of the most dreadful times in the recent Indian history. Since 1950s, it has time and again been depicted in various media. However, while most of those focussed mainly on the socio-political causes and effects, the Train to Pakistan is a novel which has captured the essential human trauma and suffering in the face of such a terror and crisis.
The novel commences with a description of Mano Majra, a little village with Muslim and Sikh population that suddenly becomes a part of the border between Indian and Pakistan. An idyllic and peaceful village, Mano Majra resorted to love and harmony even at the face of all odds till external forces come and disrupted all the harmony.
The odds start when a train filled with dead bodies of Sikhs and Hindus arrive in Mano Majra. Riots and strikes reached a high with the Sikhs and Hindus being on one side and the Muslims on the other. Torn between them and their vested interests are two people—Juggut and Iqbal, the former being a criminal and the latter being a western educated fellow on a mission to reform the society. Also underlying it is a love story that transcends all religion and odds.
Regarded as one of the most heart-rending testimonials of the partition of 1947, the Train to Pakistan is an ideal novel for those who wishes to learn more about India’s past and is looking for more than the socio-political scenario behind the partition.
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Shatrujeet Nath – Vikramaditya Veergatha Series
The Guardians of the Halahala
The Price of a Promise Paid in Blood’
The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, the Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.
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The Conspiracy at Meru
Victory is Temporary the Battle is Eternal’.
Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered; its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta…
The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.
Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?
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