Looking back at partition, some best stories, fat love tales (IANS Books This Weekend)

When confronted with a disappointing Indian reality, we are apt to ask “what if” questions. Here’s a book that raises questions about India’s pioneers who steered a new nation.

Then, a book that combines the best stories by 10 authors across the globe. After that, follow the journey of an overweight and under-confident woman trying to fulfill her aspirations and overcome rejection in love. The IANS bookshelf this weekend has much to keep you occupied.

1. Book: Understanding the Founding Fathers; Author: Rajmohan Gandhi; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 138; Price: Rs. 299

Who was really responsible for the partition of the sub-continent? Were Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar enemies? Did Gandhi weaken the country’s Hindus? Would Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel have led the independent nation better than Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru?

This new book by historian Rajmohan Gandhi – Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson – answers such questions of perennial interest. It seeks to set the record straight on Gandhi, Ambedkar, Bose and Patel – the founding fathers of the Indian republic who steered a newly-Independent nation as well as their great opponent, Pakistan’s Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

2. Book: Of Love and Other Sorrows; Author: Ashok Chopra; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 258; Price: Rs. 599

At a time when reports announcing death of the books are rife, Ashok Chopra’s work takes readers on a fascinating journey in the company of some of the biggest names in modern literature.

The book offers stories written by Vaclav Havel, Isabel Allende, Gunter Grass, Graham Greene, Nadine Gordimer, Naguib Mahfouz, Milan Kundera, Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Pablo Neruda. The works of these writers will seduce readers to rediscover these masters for themselves.

3. Book: I Am Big So What; Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra; Publisher: Fingerprint; Pages: 196; Price: Rs. 199

You might think what’s the big deal about being big? From stores that do not stock oversized clothes to unsolicited advice from neighbouring aunties, to get dumped by the man you love – life at times is ruled by the numbers on the scale.

A funny romantic comedy revolving around the life of Roli is not just her story but of many women who are fat. The book navigates through the arranged marriage market, humorously narrating her family’s never ending search for suitable groom for her.

4. Book: Solo in Singapore; Author: Tanushree Podder; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 237; Price: Rs. 199

When Munmun Menon arrived in Singapore, she came with a heart full of hurt and a head full of dreams, hoping for a miracle. Reconnecting with her estranged father is also her aim. But things begin to look up when Munmun bumps into dreamboat Ayan Mukherjee.

Munmun is left wondering whether the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Will Munmun turn her solo meal into a romantic dinner for two? Will she succeed in turning her overconfidence into a confident love story? Here’s a love story that will make your mouth water.

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