Of dreams, reviving lost life and modern Indian contradictions (IANS Books This Weekend)

Has work stress been taking over your life? In store this week are answers to some key questions on how to ace at work – and how to ‘work smarter not harder’. Also, read a warm tale of a 44-year-old divorced mother who has to take devastating decisions to have a child. Reminisce the distant dreams through some well-knit poems by Meena Alexander. And embark on a tale of love fleeting through contradictions of a modern day in India. Here’s the assorted fare the IANS bookshelf has in store for you this weekend. Read on!

1.Book: How a Little Planning Beats a Lot of Firefighting; Use simple planning skills to transform your productivity; Author: Fergus O’Connell; Publisher: Robinson; Pages: 149; Price: Rs.250

Has work been taking such a toll on you that you feel a life has been lost? Never leaving work on time despite putting immense amounts of effort? If you have been told by seniors that you need to ‘work smarter not harder’ or ‘have to do more with less’, this book has answers on how one can do that.

The author has compiled behaviour-changing ways on how one can get their life back: To be able to do much more with far less effort, supporting the ways with logical reasoning and graphs, statistics. Here is a fool-proof way to ace at your work.

2. Book: The House of Hidden Mothers; Author: Meera Syal; Publisher: Black Swan; Pages: 419; Price: $16.49 (amazon.com)

This gripping tale revolves around Shyama, a 44-year-old divorced mother in east London. Shyama falls madly in love with Toby, a pale English farmer’s son. Love for Toby makes Shyama want a child. But, with her age, she cannot conceive. So Shyama chooses a young girl, Mala, who she had met in rural India, to be the surrogate mother.

Young Mala herself is trapped in an oppressive marriage, constantly dreaming to escape. But only after the child is born do difficulties surround their lives. Some decisions taken lead to tearing their lives apart. One who reads this heart-wrenching tale will find oneself in the Shyama’s shoes.

3.Book: Atmospheric Embroidery; Author: Meera Alexander; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 70; Price: Rs.399

This collection of poems by Meena Alexander, as the name suggests, is like an embroidery running blissfully through geographical heights and depths. She writes on south India and the seas to distant lands in North America. She sings her dreams through the poems. Most importantly, the reminiscences she brings to life shall for long hold a place in anyone’s memory.

4. Book: Love Not For Sale; Author: Anurag Garg; Publisher: Random House; Pages: 207; Price: Rs.175

Coming from the best selling author of ‘A Half-baked Love Story’ this book highlights the issues and contradictions in a ‘modern’ India very vividly. Kabir Thapar, the son of a rich capitalist in Mumbai, is scarred for life after his mother’s death. He is left even more broken with his father finding himself a new life in no time.

Kabir then embarks on a spiral of alcohol and drugs. Escaping from a hit-and-run case, he finds himself in the city’s red-light area. He meets a sex worker named Sehar, who brings him back to life with love. Kabir must now face the emotion he has been running away from – love.

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