Books to dive into in the month of April

New Delhi, March 12 (IANSlife) These Penguin launches are set to make your reading list all the more interesting in the coming weeks.

Soli Sorabjee: Life and Times: Abhinav Chandrachud

How does a Parsi lawyer, deeply influenced by the principles of Roman Catholicism, fall in love with a Bahai and go on to become the Attorney General of India for a Hindu nationalist BJP government?

How does a boy with a broken leg, who studied in a Gujarati medium school and lost his father at the age of nineteen, go on to mount a heroic defense of the Janata government’s decision to dissolve Congress state legislatures in the Supreme Court in 1977?

How does a newspaper columnist who admires Nehru, who criticizes the BJP for being ‘obsessed’ with ‘demolishing mosques’ and advises them to replace ‘Hindutva’ with ‘Bharatva’ or ‘Indianness’, get chosen by Prime Minister Vajpayee to represent the government in the Supreme Court in many cases including the Ayodhya case?

How does a lawyer with a humdrum customs and excise law practice, whose grandfather sold horse-drawn carriages in Bombay, become a U.N. human rights rapporteur, and repeatedly defend the fundamental right to free speech and expression in the Supreme Court of India?

Authorised, comprehensive and absolutely unputdownable, this first biography of Soli Sorabjee opens a window to life and times of India’s foremost constitutional experts.

Journey to the Edge of the Earth: Joeanna Rebello Fernandes and Cdr Abhilash Tomy (Retd.)

Imagine an infinite blue ocean and somewhere in the middle of it, tossed by wind and wave—a single boat. In it a solitary sailor.

This is the gritty, glorious and true adventure of Commander Abhilash Tomy, a former officer of the Indian Navy, who in 2012 set off on the journey of a lifetime. Without once stopping by land, he circumnavigated the world alone for 151 days, encountering deathly perils on choppy waters! No other Indian had sailed like this before. When he finally returned to India, Abhilash was awarded the Kirti Chakra for his heroism.

Dive right into this rousing tale of a real-life hero whose ambition, courage, and determination to circle the world on his little boat, will fire up your imagination. And as you travel with Abhilash across the ocean, learn about famous ships and sailors, legends and maps, winds and currents, and a score and more fascinating stories about our world of water.

BEGUILED, A Real-Life Story of How a Woman Got Conned in Love: Ruchika Soi

Gitanjali met Randeep Singh Taneja at a farm party in Delhi. He called himself ‘Randy’. He flirted with her; she resisted. She was a single mother, a divorcee, and Randy was five years younger. They became friends, went for walks in Lodhi Garden, had coffee in Khan Market, and he asked her hand in marriage. She refused, he beguiled her, they fell in love, and she said yes.

The couple moved to London and this is where the first signs of trouble began. Away from all that was familiar to her, Gitanjali began to notice that Randy was not all that declared to be. Random phone calls from women who claimed to either be his wife or his girlfriend, a child who called him ‘Papa’, photographs of Randy with other women, multiple cell phones…and for all this he had reasonable explanations that left her with no room for doubt.

Gitanjali thought she knew her husband. That is until she hadn’t opened his cell phone and found out about the many lives he was leading across the world.

This book is a dark and gripping story about a marriage gone wrong. It is a cautionary tale of how we may think we know someone when we really don’t.

Beguiled is a true story.

The commissioner for lost causes: Arun Shourie

The work done by Arun Shourie and his colleagues rocked institutions and governments: the freeing of 40,000 undertrials; revealing the Bhagalpur blindings; purchasing Kamla; dislodging a ‘Sultan’; foiling ‘strikes’; controverting Judges; battling privilege motions; courting contempt of court charges; nailing corruption, forgeries, lies, and the opportunism of rulers; uncovering suppressed reports… What lay behind these and the consequences that followed?

A comprehensive account of dramatic incidents like getting governments to swallow legislation against the press, unseating of chief ministers, a prime minister unspooling himself even as manoeuvres to unseat him are scotched, a deputy prime minister trying to dislodge colleagues with fabricated documents, people’s movements ending up as rivulets in the sand, The Commissioner for Lost Causes discusses Shourie’s innings, the calumny hurled at him, his dismissal, and his being recalled and removed again.

Delicious tales of characters from the noble to the colourful to the short-sighted to outright bounders: from JP, to a president, to prime ministers, a deputy prime minister, chief ministers, a conman, indignant editors, and of course a great warrior, the press baron, feature in this honest retelling of the life of Arun Shourie, the writer, former editor and minister who was acclaimed as one of the fifty ‘World Press Freedom Heroes’.

Let me hijack your mind: Alyque Padamsee, Vandana Saxena Poria

In this one-of-its-kind book by the late Alyque Padamsee, he invites us to re-examine and think afresh about some of our most deeply held beliefs, from love, marriage, terrorism, leadership, money, gender, faith to education. Let Me Hijack Your Mind is Alyque’s parting gift to Indians, exhorting them to throw out the old and embrace new ways of approaching everything, which will lead them towards a more exciting and contented life-and a better society and country. It is a way to open windows in their mind to think about life aside from greed, power and money. This is a book designed to throw everyone off-balance in a good way, because it is crammed with fresh ideas on how to live, how to dream and how to completely reset our mindset and attitudes. As Alyque says in his inimitable style: ‘Get people out of stuffy thinking’.

Some of the provocative questions he asks are:

. Why should marriage be ’till death do us par”?

. Why are terrorists breaking the law of their very own holy books?

. Why are multinational companies obsessed with GNP (Gross National Product) instead of GNH (Gross National Happiness)?

. Why do men fear women? And why do women hate themselves?

A fun, racy and often shocking read, the book busts some of the most well-known taboos, includes life hacks drawing on his experiences in advertising and theatre, as well as new ‘commandments’ for the present generation.

(IANSlife can be contacted at ianslife@ians.in)

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