A lyrical collection from an acclaimed master of Hindi poetry The poems in this selection capture the range of styles and concerns of one of Hindi’s most well-known writers. Chosen from a body of work spanning several decades, these are beautifully translated by Rahul Soni and introduced by poet Arundhathi Subramaniam. (Harper)
2. I Am Big. So What!? – Shuchi Singh Kalra
Is it only in India where people don’t realize that starting a conversation with, “Oh, you’ve put on weight!” is incredibly rude? Perhaps I should respond with “Oh, you’ve become uglier!” so they get the point. From stores that do not stock clothes my size to unsolicited advice from neighbourhood aunties, my life-quite annoyingly-is ruled by the numbers on the scale. What’s the big deal about being big? You may wonder. Well, quite a lot, actually. For starters, you get dumped by the only man you’ve ever loved, social situations go from awkward to embarrassing within seconds, and don’t even get me started on the family’s never-ending search for a suitable groom. They just don’t make men my size these days! Nevertheless, here I am, about to meet Suitor No. 7. Begrudgingly, of course. Ride along as I navigate the crazy arranged marriage market. And trust me, it’s crazier when you’re more than a little curvy.
3. The Sialkot Saga – Ashwin Sanghi
We all know Sanghi who’s often been called the Indian Dan Brown. This new one sounds just as interesting as his rest. ‘When it’s a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.’ The trajectories of Arvind and Arbaaz, both ‘businessmen’ of a kind whose lives are unwillingly intertwined, ricochet off one another while they play out their sinister and murderous plots of personal and professional one-upmanship, all the while breaking every rule in the book. Both are unaware that what they seek and fight over is the very obstacle in realising an ancient secret that dates back to a time long forgotten. And yet, at the heart of it all, there lies tenderness… and pathos… and blood… and rare moments of an almost exalted happiness. So, can it be that a man is both sinner and saint, victor and victim, black and white? (Westland and Tranquebar)
4. Upon an Old Wall Dreaming: More of My Favourite Stories and Sketches – Ruskin Bond
Ruskin Bond’s writing brings the world to us in profound and remarkable ways. His signature style is simplicity itself, but the themes he tackles are big, deep and universal—love, loss, happiness, grief, and all the shades of emotion in between. These are stories of city and small town, mountain and lowland, and of life lived slowly and lightly. For over fifty years, these tales have charmed and beguiled several generations of readers. Last year, Ruskin Bond made a selection of his favourite stories (from the several hundred that he has written) that were published in a book entitled A Gathering of Friends. It proved to be enormously popular, selling out in a matter of weeks. Encouraged by its success, the author has made a further selection of his favourite stories and non-fiction sketches, leavening the mix with several pieces that have never been published before. It is a collection that will burnish his reputation as one of the world’s great storytellers. (Aleph Book Company)
What books are you buying in March?