Of little things, accidental parenthood, graphic narratives and some poems (IANS Books This Weekend)

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New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) Read through the delightful tale of a young couple who learn how to find meaning in “a little love, a little togetherness and a little happiness”; flick through an amusing journey of accidental parenthood making life topsy-turvy for a mother who did not expect to be expecting; dive into an anthology of graphic narratives; and finally, relish some fresh poems by a young novelist-poet.

The IANS bookshelf has these delightful reads for this weekend:

1. Book: Little Things; Author: Dipen Shah; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 199; Pages: 207

Adapted from Dice Media’s similarly titled web series, the book “Little Things” has a simple message: You don’t need big things to happen. A little love, a little togetherness and a little happiness are all you need.

Whether it is in dealing with a bad day at work, trying out a new restaurant or experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on a weekend, the protagonists Dhruv and Kavya go through a series of simple yet charming incidents. This book offers a peek into the life of a young couple who knows how to find meaning in the ‘little things’.

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Its author, Dipen Shah, was born in Mumbai and spent his childhood in Doha. He loves comedy and wishes to be a comedian some day.

2. Book: I Didn’t Expect to be Expecting; Author: Richa S. MUkherjee; Publisher: HarperCollins; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 331

Nothing fazes Tara, who is living a blessed life in the maximum city with her husband Abhimanyu and is at the pinnacle of her career in her 30s — not even a foul-mouthed best friend or a food-burning arch-nemesis in the form of her maid.

And then, Tara discovers that she’s pregnant, and, suddenly, all that well-honed composure crumbles. It doesn’t help that she’s got an equally jittery (if supportive) husband by her side. Now, Tara must face her anxieties about parenthood as she navigates friendships, marriage and career, all the while dealing with the fact that her body and mind are steadily feeling like they belong to someone else.

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3. Book: Longform: An Anthology of Graphic Narratives; Editors: Sarbajit Sen, Debkumar Mitra, Sekhar Mukherjee, Pinaki De; Publisher: HarperCollins; Price: Rs 1499; Pages: 400

The first volume of the anthology tells graphic stories that subvert conventional narrative; stories about ordinary people; autobiographies; travel tales — and through these stories establish comics as a permanent feature on a reader’s shelf. The title “Longform” is inspired by a Joe Sacco essay on the shrinking space to tell long graphic stories.

The anthology takes us through the streets of Rome and Kolkata, modern day Tehran and ancient Bhutan, around-the-corner dystopias, imaginary cities and kaleidoscopic dreamscapes. The artists presented here include well-known names from India and elsewhere, such as Prakash Moorthy, Barroux, Venkat Shyam, Allen Shaw, as well as emerging artists.

“Longfrom is precisely the stimulus and catalyst that indian comics need right now to build for the future. Its quality and sincerity are sure to connect with a local and global readership who are eager to explore where comics are taking us next,” noted Comics curator and writer Paul Gravett writes as an endorsement.

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4. Book: The Profane; Author: Satyajit Sarna; Publisher: HarperCollins; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 104

A brew of art, politics, religion and mythology, “The Profane” poetry collection has poems of heartbreak and disillusion, of loneliness and mortality, but also of passion for life on earth in all its mud and glory. Kurt Cobain, Napoleon and Amir Khusro meet in the pages of this collection — and Homeric tough guys get what they deserve.

In the third sequence in the poem titled “Let Me Tell You About Delhi”, Khusro is addressed directly, albeit too late. “Khusro, your bazaars had flowers and incense/spice and dung, silk and cotton. We have thrown/open the doors to a world of plastics, to wear/ and to adorn, to hold and to decorate…”

Together, the poems make for a pleasent read about the oft-ignored aspects about our daily lives.



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