Retelling Shakuntala’s tale, and reminiscing Allahabad memories and other stories (IANS Books This Weekend)

To suit the present times, mythology has its own interpretations by present generation writers. Read this unknown side of Shakuntala, a little different from what the Mahabharata had to say. Also to read are tales on the Allahabad of yore and of underage CEOs who are raising their ideas into careers. Here’s what we have for you on IANS bookshelf for this weekend. Read on!

1. Book: Shakuntala: The Woman Wronged; Author: Utkarsh Patel; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 273; Price: Rs. 295

This is the story of Shakuntala, not as told by Vyasa, but by a corporate professional turned mythologist and author for the present-day generation. Everyone knows Shakuntala as the woman who met Dushyant, their marriage and their separation due to a curse.

Shakuntala, as the author says, was a very heroic single mother who brought her child up to be a great conqueror – the mother of the man who gave this land its name – Bharata. What the author also relates, from a feminist perspective, is the unknown side of Shakuntala – that the one immortalized by Kalidasa is very different from the that of the Mahabharata – a strong, fiery woman who stood up for her rights when she was spurned by her beloved. According to the author, Shakuntala is one of the most powerful yet underrated female characters of the Mahabharata.

2. Book: Allahabad Aria: Stories about Allahabad; Author: Neelum Saran Gour; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 180; Price: Rs. 195

Who doesn’t like to reminisce of travels or of old cities one has lived in? To rekindle such memories you may have, here’s an interesting share of a mischievous diarist’s writings on crazy escapades of diplomats, jurists and the leaders of the industry during their student days in Allahabad city in Uttar Pradesh.

One can indulge, through this book, in a modest jeweler experiencing the warmth of family bonding through meetings of allies at the Kumbh Mela; or of a telegram that becomes the last testament of love from a man who has lost his speech.

Here is a chance to relive the nostalgia surrounding this beautiful city’s monuments, forts and river banks.

3. Book: The Underage CEOs: Fascinating stories of young Indians who became CEOs in their twenties; Author: Ganesh. V; Publisher: Collins Business; Pages: 224; Price: Rs. 250

Coming from a marketing professional and writer, the author, through this book relates some inspiring stories of young Indians who flew out of the usual ways, to own their companies in their twenties.

Featuring in this book are the young fellowmen who have set up ways to transform lives of the underprivileged children in Jharkhand, or protecting priceless online data, and some showing the world ways to engage children in practical education and farming in homes. Here are these inspiring young achievers showing that age is just a number and that ideas can be pursued and be made into careers. 4. Book: The Success Sutra: An Indian Approach to Wealth; Author: Devdutt Pattanaik; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 150; Price: Rs. 399

Here’s a mythologist and leadership consultant, who was also formerly the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group with ways to the success sutra. With people chasing Goddess Lakshmi for success and wealth, here is the author with his insights on business and creation of wealth and success.

Packed with insights on how individuals can create success by taking the path of strategic thinking and decision-making. This is the book after the author’s acclaimed bestseller Business Sutra, with many lessons on creation of success.

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