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Shashi Tharoor's Tharoorosaurus launched and available online!

 

An illustrated book on Ruskin’s 70-yr journey

 

 

‘A song of India’ by the most loved Indian writer Ruskin Bond will shed light on his lesser known life before he became a successful author, claim publishers Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House India, recently. The illustrated book which hit the book-stand on July 20 marks the 70th year of Bond's literary career.

 

 Set in the year 1951, the book takes the reader back to Bond's last year in Dehradun, before he set sail for England to write and ‘Chase his calling’. It was also the year that later became the basis for his first novel, ‘The Room on the Roof’ (1956).

 

All through his stay in England, Ruskin said he longed for a sense of familiarity. He also talks about experiencing little joys like receiving his first money order, publishing his stories and finding new friends.

 

 In ‘A Song of India’, which is the fourth installment in his memoir series that includes ‘Looking for the Rainbow’ (2017), ‘Till the Clouds Roll By’ (2017) and ‘Coming Round the Mountain’ (2019), Bond tells the story of his 16-year-old self and how he was struggling to begin his writing journey.

 

After his schooling in Shimla, Ruskin’s mother sent him to stay with his aunt in England for “better prospects” in 1951. It was here that he began writing his first book, ‘The Room on the Roof’, while doing odd jobs at a grocery store and later at a photo studio.

 

 After getting an advance of 50 pounds for the book, Ruskin managed to come back to Dehradun in 1957, where he wrote short stories, before moving to Mussoorie in 1963.

 

Courtesy: TOI

 

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi's 'Vishesh' will hit the book-stand soon

 

 

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, India's youngest basketball team captain, will publish his memoir that will hit bookstands on August 29--which is the National Sports Day.  Bluerose will be publishing this book.

 

The book titled "Vishesh: Code To Win", narrates the tribulations of a basketball player in a cricket-dominated nation and also reveals his strenuous journey of becoming the captain against all odds. It is written by sportswoman-turned-author Nirupama Yadav.

 

Bhriguvanshi, 29, hails from Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi and has been playing for India since 2007. He was first awarded the captainship of the Indian team in 2010.

 

During his career spanning over 15 years, Bhriguvanshi has represented India at various championships -- Asian Games (2), Asian Championships (5), Beach Asian Games (3), Indoor Asian Games (2), South Asian Games (2) and South Asian Championships (7).

 

In 2017 Bhriguvanshi was the first Indian to be signed by Australia's National Basketball League (NBL). He was set to train with the Adelaide 36ers. But that’s when fate had different plans.

 

The objective of the book, according to the publishers of the book was to encourage the sports industry to focus more on developing games in India apart from cricket so that players get their due recognition.

 

“The 130-page biography is written in a story format along with the learnings. At times, the readers will feel that Vishesh is directly talking to them as a mentor. It steers readers on developing a mindset along with the skill set in basketball. The book also includes the selection procedure in Indian basketball team and a note from the man, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, himself,” they added.

 

 

https://affairscloud.com/current-affairs-4-august-2020/

Banking upon a pandemonium in India

 

 

Roli Books recently announced the publication of its most explosive book on the Indian banking crisis  by Tamal Bandyopadhyay. The book called, ‘Pandemonium: The Great Indian Banking Tragedy’ is set to be published in the last quarter of 2020.

 

 

Roli Books claims that it is the ultimate insider story on the rot that exists within the Indian banking. The book is a timely look at the dramatic forces reshaping banking in Asia’s third-largest economy. A must-read to understand contemporary India’s challenges and economic potential.

 

Two big announcements from the wizarding circuit

 

Rowling invites all to Harry Potter at Home and announces the releasing date of the much awaited fairy tale The Ickabog,

 

Author of the much loved series ‘Harry Porter’,  JK Rowling announced the launch of “Harry Potter at Home”. She tweeted, “Parents, teachers and carers working to keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown might need a bit of magic, so I’m delighted to launch http://harrypotterathome.com.

 

A statement accompanying the launch claimed that the new hub was aimed to help inspire children, their families  and friends all around the world to read for pleasure and enjoy stories, as well as bring some magic-infused joy and entertainment to all the family.

Rowling, earlier had already announced a special, open license for teachers to read the seven Harry Potter books aloud to their pupils in virtual read-a-long sessions on video, according to her official website. The Rowling Index is an archive of a featured project that JK Rowling has written throughout the years - from novels and short stories to articles and forewords for other books. All the magazines are now freely available on the website.

 

Another major announcement made by Rowling was the date of release of her fairy tale book ‘The Ickabog’, which is to be published as a hardback, ebook and an audio book in November this year, with international editions to follow soon after.

 

First serialised for free online this summer on The Ickabog.com, the author wanted to share the personal family favourite, which she wrote over ten years ago as a bedtime story for her younger children, to help entertain children, parents and carers confined at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Rowling will be donating her royalties from The Ickabog to The Volant Charitable Trust to assist those who have been particularly impacted by coronavirus.

 

For more details including the donation of royalties to The Volant Trust visit https://www.theickabog.com/the-story/

 

 

Hugo Award 2020 announced!

 

 

Debut writer Arkady Martine won the Hugo Award 2020 for her book 'A Memory Called Empire'. The book trails an ambassador who goes on an interstellar journey where she later discovers that her predecessor was killed. Martine said that it's “an especially sharp honour to receive this award for my first novel”, according to The Guardian, which reported the news.

 

This year’s Hugo Award were announced in an online ceremony hosted by fantasy-fiction writer George RR Martin on July 31. The Hugo Awards is one of the most prestigious prizes given for best science fiction writing.

 

The Hugo Award winners in other categories include:

1. Best Novella - Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone for 'This Is How You Lose the Time'

 

2. Best Novelette- N.K. Jemisin for 'Emergency Skin'. This is Jemisin's fourth Hugo Award!

 

3. Best Short Story- S.L. Huang for 'As the Last I May Know'

 

4. Best Series- James S. A. Corey for 'The Expanse'

 

5. Best Related Work - Jeannette Ng for '2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech'

 

6. Best Graphic Story or Comic- Nnedi Okorafor (writer), Tana Ford and James Devlin (artists) for 'LaGuardia'

 

7. Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form- Neil Gaiman, director Douglas Mackinnon 'Good Omens'

 

8. Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form - Daniel Schofield, director Valeria Migliassi Collins for The Good Place: 'The Answer'

 

 To view the full list of winners see the Hugo Awards website http://www.thehugoawards.org/.

 

 

 

Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020 for ‘Look Up’!

 

 

Picture book ‘Look Up!’ by Nathan Byron and illustrator Dapo Adeola and published by Puffin has won the overall £5,000 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. ‘Look Up!’ was named as the winner in the best illustrated book category. The book is about a young science enthusiast called Rocket as she tries to convince her elder brother to look up from his phone at an impending meteor shower.

 

The other winners of the award are ‘Bearmouth’ by Liz Hyder published by Pushkin Children’s in the older readers category, and ‘High-rise Mystery’ by Sharna Jackson of  Knights Of publication in the younger readers category. Each of these books have bagged £2000 as prize.

 

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is voted for by Waterstones booksellers, with the winning books promoted across the retail chain’s stores.

 

The prize is an annual award given to children's literature published during the previous year. The first award was given in 2005. The purpose of the prize is “to uncover hidden talents in children’s writing” and is therefore open only to authors who have published no more than three books. Beginning in 2012, the prize was divided into three categories: Picture Books, Fiction written by children in the ages 5 to 12, and Teen. https://www.waterstones.com/the-waterstones-childrens-book-prize

 

 

Colin Roderick Award 2020 shortlist announced

 

Six books have been shortlisted for the 2020 Colin Roderick Award. This award is  administered by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies at James Cook University.

 

The shortlist:

Garry Disher, Peace

Catherine Jinks, Shepherd

Alice Robinson, The Glad Shout

Omar Sakr, The Lost Arabs

Miriam Sved, A Universe of Sufficient Size

Sally Young, Paper Emperors: The Rise of Australia’s Newspaper Empires.

 

The award carries a cash award of $20,000 and is presented to the author of the title the judges determine is the best book published in Australia in the previous calendar year that deals with ‘any aspect of Australian life’. According to a press release the 2020 shortlist--which was announced in June--includes four novels, a work of nonfiction and a collection of poetry.

 

The award was founded in 1967 and recognises the best original book, in the judges' opinion, that is published in Australia’s oldest literary awards. The award is coupled with the silver HT Priestley Memorial Medal. The foundation is based at James Cook University and is funded through the generosity of the late Professor Colin Roderick CBE, his wife Mrs Margaret Roderick, as well as donations and membership from the general public. The 2021 nominations will be open on 14 September this year and the deadline is 11 December.

 

For more information about the award see the website https://www.jcu.edu.au/foundation-for-australian-literary-studies/colin-roderick-award

Courtesy: TOI

 

Avni Doshi shortlisted for Booker dozen

 

After seven years and over eight drafts, Avni Doshi novel “Burnt Sugar”, shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The book is about a torturous mother-daughter relationship. There are 12 other contenders with Avni. She admitted to Khaleej Times to being in “tears” when her publisher gave her the news. She thanked the jury for “deeply” engaging with her work. Two titles from Bloomsbury - "Apeirogon" by Colum McCann and "Such a Fun Age" - by Kiley Reid are among the 13 books with jury chair Margaret Busby saying that each of them "carries an impact... deserving of wide readership".

 

The longlist was drawn up on August 4, 2020 by a panel of five judges that apart from Busby, included editor, literary critic and former publisher author Lee Child; author and critic Sameer Rahim; writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; and classicist and translator Emily Wilson.

 

The longlist was chosen from 162 novels published in the UK or Ireland between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020. The Booker Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.

 

The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 15.  The winner will be announced in November. Each of the shortlisted authors will receive 2,500 pounds and a specially bound edition of their book.

 

The 2020 longlist, or 'The Booker Dozen' as it is known, is:

 

Avni Doshi (US), "Burnt Sugar" (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House);

Diane Cook (US), "The New Wilderness" (Oneworld Publications); Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe),

"This Mournable Body" (Faber & Faber) , Gabriel Krauze (UK),

Who They Was (4th Estate, HarperCollins), Hilary Mantel (UK),

"The Mirror & The Light" (4th Estate, HarperCollins); Colum McCann (Ireland/US),

Apeirogon (Bloomsbury Publishing), Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/US),

"The Shadow King" (Canongate Books), Kiley Reid (US),

"Such a Fun Age" (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing) ; Brandon Taylor (US),

"Real Life" (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing); Anne Tyler (US),

"Redhead by The Side of The Road (Chatto & Windus, Vintage); Douglas Stuart (Scotland/US),

"Shuggie Bain" (Picador, Pan Macmillan); Sophie Ward (UK),

"Love and Other Thought Experiments" (Corsair, Little, Brown) ; and

C. Pam Zhang (US), "How Much of These Hills is Gold" (Virago, Little, Brown).

 

Courtesy: Tripoto.com

Courtesy: TOI

 

Rajasthan’s treasure trove: An underground library with 9 lakh books, one of Asia’s biggest!

 

How many of you know about one of one of Asia's biggest underground library in Rajasthan located deep in the Thar desert.This library has over 9 lakh books.

 

Where is this secret library?

 

The library is built in the Bhadariya village of Pokaran Tehsil in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. This library can seat 4,000 people at once, which makes it one of the biggest libraries in Asia. What makes it unique is the fact that it is built 16 ft under the ground and, because of its location, the library remains cool even during hot and humid summers.

History of the library

 

The library was built by Harbansh Singh Nirmal, who is also known as Bhadariya Maharaj . The collection of the library consists of books from different regions of the world. There are thousands of books that were gifted to him on various occasions by people. According to locals here, the Maharaja stayed in the library for several years and read almost all the books there. The books present in the library range from science and astronomy to astrology and history. One can also find dictionaries, Atlas and epics inside this treasure trove.

 

This bibliotheca features 562 glass shelves, where all the books are well-preserved and are made available to scholars and learners, who come here from all over the world for research and learning purposes.

 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/destinations/rajasthans-treasure-trove-an-underground-library-with-900000-books-one-of-asias-biggest/as75892476.cms

 

Courtesy: News18.com

 

Shiv Panikker on his new Anime Comic Book - Gone Case

 

Producer, director and screenwriter Shiv Panikker recently launched his first ever graphic novel ‘Gone Case’. Gone Case is Mumbai’s first Horror Graphic Novel made by comic book fans for comic book fans.

 

It combines the elements of horror and mystery. Published by Blue Rose Publishers, ‘Gone Case’ is about a series of events all connected to one big case. A Mumbai based cop with a dark past is tasked with escorting an escaped inmate back to the asylum. Along the way, he suspects that the inmate might be a serial killer and the asylum may be haunted.

 

 He told PTI “Two years ago while working on Ryan Reynolds and Michael Bay’s film set for Netflix’s 6 Underground, I got inspired to write my own story. Just the scale of what a Netflix production could be in today’s day and age made me believe that anyone can do it in their own little way, if they have a good content-driven story. After pitching the script to a producer, I was told to reduce the intensity, add a couple of songs and a love story arc to Gone Case, that’s when I realised that Gone Case isn’t ready for the screen as yet.”

 

https://www.facebook.com/gonecaseofficial/

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/bollywood-filmmaker-shiv-panniker-launches-anime-comic-book--gone-case/1911007

 

Courtesy: Mathrubhumi

The Djinn who digs into his city’s past

 

Local historian M P Narayana Pisharody (Thrissur, Kerala) was planning to publish his 15th book before he turns 80 years. Nothing has stopped Pisharody from researching into his city’s local history and writing. He has already finished two books titled 'Discovery of India in Pocket Size' and 'Keralathinte Sthalacharithram' and will soon publish them.

 

Content of books:

'Ente Swathvanweshana Kathakal' is a research by the author, into his family and the history of local residents living near him. The book contains chapters like 'Muthupattanavum manikyapattanavum', 'Nammude Anushtanakalakalum Thalamelangalum', '2018-le Kerala Pralayam oru Visakalanam' and 'Madhyakeralathinte Samskarikacharithram'.

The book 'Discovery of India in Pocket Size' is an abridged version of Indian history from Vedic era to the post-Independence years.

 

'Keralathinte Sthalacharithram' is the history behind the names of major places in all districts of Kerala based on the importance of events. The districts are classified as cultural capital - Thrissur, political capital - Thiruvananthapuram, commercial capital - Ernakulam, educational capital-Kozhikode and so on.

 

Pisharody served the revenue department for three decades and retired in 1995. All of his books were published after his retirement. In 2009, he received 'Sargaswaram' scholarly literature award for his book 'Ente Jeevithadarshanam'.

 

His wife Savithri helps him by dictating the books. The couple has two sons Dr Krishnan Narayanan, an Ayurveda doctor in Bengaluru, Dr Madhavan Narayanan, Badminton Asian umpire and assistant professor of sports in a college at Eramllikkara, and a daughter Lakshmi Narayanan.

 

https://english.mathrubhumi.com/books/books-news/lockdown-or-not-this-80-yr-old-writer-never-stops-researching-local-history-1.4948892

Courtesy: BBC

President Bush’s New Book Will Include His Paintings Of Immigrants

 

Former US President George W Bush is all set for the release of his ‘Out Of Many, One’. It is a book dedicated to the millions of immigrants who come to the US to fulfil their dreams. The announcement was made on Thursday last week by the publisher Crown. The book will be released in conjunction with an exhibition which is to be held at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

 

The book mainly consists of powerful four-color portraits—personally painted by the President himself—and these stories are accompanied by their stories. The book reminds one of the many ways in which US has been strengthened by the individuals who have come here in search of a better life, a statement issued by the publisher claimed.

 

Key highlight of the book

 

The book has 43 portraits painted by the 43rd president of immigrants the president knows, as well as biographical essays accompanying them.

 

Bush writes in the introduction of the book which was earlier reported by AP News, that while he acknowledges that immigration can be “an emotional issue” Bush does not believe it is a “partisan issue,” adding, “It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us.”

 

Bush writes in the introduction according to AP news that he did not want the book to be published during the election season — he has yet to endorse Trump or the presumptive Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden. The book will “include bold, principle-based solutions that comprehensively address the current debate on immigration,” Crown said in a statement.

 

The former president wishes to donate a portion of the book’s earnings to organizations that help immigrants resettle.

Since leaving the White House, Bush has written three bestsellers: his presidential memoir ‘Decision Points’, a biography of his father former President George H.W. Bush 41 and Portraits of Courage, a collection of oil paintings and stories honoring US military veterans. The new book from the former President will set him apart from many of his fellow Republicans — immigration, claim US media channels.

 

 Bush had served as president from 2001-2009, and has often praised the contributions of immigrants. As president, Bush had supported a bipartisan immigration reform bill which narrowly failed to pass in 2007.

Bush’s position on immigration.

 

While in office, Bush pushed forward a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2007 that wasn’t passed and was opposed by members of both parties. It would have offered legal status to millions of illegal immigrants while trying to secure the nation’s borders. The conservatives had criticised the bill claiming that it was a “form of amnesty for lawbreakers.” At a naturalization ceremony of George W. Bush Presidential Center last year, Bush said, “America's elected representatives have a duty to regulate who comes in and when,” adding, “In meeting this responsibility, it helps to remember that America's immigrant history made us who we are. Amid all the complications of policy, may we never forget that immigration is a blessing and a strength.”

 

QUOTE

“At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation. Immigrants' talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped us become the leader of the world,” Bush has said.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/elanagross/2020/08/06/new-bush-book-will-include-his-paintings-of-immigrants/#10533b6671e7

 

  ‘O’, No ! Oprah’s mag to stop publishing by 2020 end

 

Oprah Winfrey’s magazine ‘O’ will stop being published after its December 2020 issue, Business of Fashion magazine recently reported.

 

A representative for Hearst Magazines then clarified that , “the brand is not going away,” but will be “more digitally centric.” As the brand celebrates 20 years of O, The Oprah Magazine, we’re thinking about what’s next, but again the partnership and the brand are not going away,” the representative shared with The Hollywood Reporter (THR). “This is a natural next step for the brand, which has grown to an online audience of 8 million, extending its voice and vision with video and social content. We will continue to invest in this platform as the brand grows and evolves into one that is more digitally centric.”

 

The first issue of the ‘O’ was published on April 19, 2000. The average paid circulation of the magazine today is 2.2 million copies and a print audience of 10 million. Recently,  Oprah made a second huge donation to the pandemic relief efforts.

 

 

   Periyar’s iconic books are now in Hindi

 

Two books, ‘Dharm aur Vishwadrishti’ and ‘Sachchi Ramayan’, by renowned rationalists and social reformer E V Ramasamy Periyar are now available for readers in Hindi. The books are being brought out by Rajkamal Prakashan. The books  were originally written in Tamil, are among the first publications by the group after the coronavirus induced lockdown in March.

 

The books, originally written in Tamil and are among the first publications by the group after Covid unlock. The books will introduce the great thinker to north India and also the diverse dimensions of Periyar’s intellectual contribution to the great social revolution. The philosopher, many will not know, changed the political structure of social balance in a large part of the country. This may surprise you , but it’s true, the publisher has claimed. Periyar wrote about marriage, the freedom of women, the importance and use of literature, the weaknesses of Indian Marxism, the real intention and hypocrisy of Gandhism and Liberalism etc, it said.

 

 Rajkamal Prakashan group claims it will be publishing two books every 10 days, since it has just resumed publication work after Covid. During lockdown, the publication house added 100 e-books to its collection-- engaging readers through its unique initiative on WhatsApp, where it continues to send reading materials, including stories and excerpts from classics, to over 30,000 phone numbers.

 

 

 

  A poet and a prodigy!

 

Four-year-old Nadim Shamma-Sourgen has now become one of the youngest-ever writers to land a book deal after signing with publishing company Walker Books. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the youngest commercially published female author is Dorothy Straight, who wrote How the World Began in 1962, aged four. It was published in 1964, when she was six. The Guinness record for the youngest published male author is held by Sri Lankan Thanuwana Serasinghe, who was four years and 356 days old when he released his book Junk Food on 5 January 2017, after writing it in three days.

 

It all started with Kate Clanchy publishing his first poem on Twitter after meeting his mother Yasmine Shamma, who is a poet herself and a lecturer at the University of Reading.  Clanchy has won the 2020 Orwell Prize for Political writing for her book “Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me,” is a teacher with First Story, a nonprofit that encourages young people to write creatively. Now, one of her youngest students is getting a book deal. “The poems talk about such important feelings, like love and loneliness, and Nadim finds the perfect words,” she told the Guardian. “They are simple, inspirational and have a wisdom all of their own.” Clanchy says that Nadim’s age is exactly what makes his work important.

 

 “I wasn’t tweeting the poems because they were so much like adult work – it was because they were so purely childlike,” Clanchy told the Guardian newspaper. “Nadim has the very rare ability to articulate in images what it is to be a four-year-old, to love your mum and bugs, to wonder about baddies, baths and love, and to ‘hang up your brave’ when you come in from nursery. The individual poems moved thousands on Twitter, but they work even better as a group because they create a whole world full of glitter and hugs. This will be such a special book to share with a child.” Yasmin told SkyNews that Nadim is still learning to read and write, so he dictates his poems to her. He likes writing about nature, he said, but also writes about his daily experiences, such as coming home from school.

 

Nadim’s poems range from Coming Home (“Take our gloves off / Take our shoes off / Put them where they’re supposed to go. / You take off your brave feeling / Because there’s nothing / to be scared of in the house”), to Love (“Everyone has love / Even baddies”).

 

 

   Kuckoo’s ‘Sacred’ story  to come out in 2021

 

In her upcoming memoir the “Sacred Games” actress Kubbra Sait shares her struggles in the entertainment world and her early childhood. The book is truly inspirational  for people who feel that they are being ‘othered’. Kubbra claims that the memoir is the "best thing to happen to me during the lockdown".

 

Kubbra will talk about her challenges, she's had to face and how she overcome them. As a child she has battled a crippling social anxiety. She was also bullied  and teased about her appearance as an adult. Kubbra burst onto the screen with her performance in "Sacred Games" and since then she hasn't looked back, publishers HarperCollins India claims in a press release.

 

"From an insecure childhood to reclaiming her confidence and going on to achieve her professional dreams, Kubbra has an amazing transformational story. Her writing, a combination of sassiness and vulnerability, will strike a chord with anyone navigating life's challenges," says Sonal Nerurkar, senior commissioning editor at HarperCollins India.

 

According to Jayapriya Vasudevan, partner, Jacaranda Literary Agency, "This 'accidental writer' writes faster than I can think! So much to look forward to with this book and this writer."

 

Kubbra's portrayal of the transgender Kuckoo on the Netflix marquee show "Sacred Games" fetched her ITA Award for Best Actress (negative role). She has also acted in films like "Sultan", "Ready" and "Gully Boy".

 

 

   Publish your books online with Ukiyoto Publishing House

 

An marketplace for paperback books in India has been launched with Ukiyoto India! Choose your titles and get your books delivered to your home anywhere in India.

 

Link - https://www.ukiyotoindia.com/bookstore

 

   New translated works on Rumi's poetry to release soon

 

Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi’s works are marked by lyrical beauty and spiritual insight--it’s a deep understanding of human suffering that coexists with blissful abandon. Author, playwright, screenwriter and activist, Farrukh Dhondy in his new book, ‘Rumi A new Collection’ translates Rumi’s couplets and poems and shows us how the 13th century Persian poet continues to be relevant, almost eight centuries after they were composed. Contemporary audiences can derive new meanings in them. The book is being brought out by Harper Collins India publication.

 

Rumi’s poems bring together the divine and the human, the mystical and the corporeal to create a vivid kaleidoscope of poetic images. Dhondy attempts to bring out the beauty and sensibility of the verses whilst imitating the metre of the original. His translations provide a modern idiom to the poems, carefully keeping intact their religious context.

 

But how did Dhondy begin on his journey of exploring Rumi’s poetry?

 

It all started when one of Dhondy’s friend presented him an anthology of Rumi translations. This was when he was catching a plane to go to Australia. While recalling the incident , Dhondy says in an interview, “The translations were tedious, boring and without rhyme, rhythm or charm and written in a pedestrian if pretentious Americanese or in some ungrammatical chopped-prose English. I stopped reading.”.

 

But then when he returned to Mumbai he discussed Rumi with his maternal uncle.  “I casually said to my mamaji that I thought his favourite poet was rubbish.” His uncle  was “absolutely shocked”. Dhondy said, “My uncle began to recite Rumi verses in Persian which he had studied and memorised. His recitation was melodic and mesmeric”. Dhondy immediately asked his uncle to translate began taking notes in English and in Hindustani. Dhondy sat up for hours and attempted to render these notes into verse. This was how Dhondy begn on his journey of Rumi.

 

The author believes that Rumi and other Sufis’ are in an eternal quest of orienting the mind and the emotions to accept that there is a primal energy of the universe, the essence that infuses all living things, and that it is within oneself and discoverable. “Human beings, however bound by empirical science, however sceptical about religion and God, are never free from wonder about life and creation.” Rumi (1207–1273) , a scholar and poet, who founded the Mawlawi Sufi order, wrote the six-volume epic work called the Masnavi, which is also known as the Persian Quran in verse. Rumi may have lived in Konya in Turkey but wrote essentially in Persian, says Dhondy.

 

Dhondy continues to be a respected and provocative commentator on contemporary multicultural and radical affairs.  He has always cherished and held close to his role as an activist. He is a teacher as well. Dhondy remains closely tied to this vocation, because of “the discipline, and for keeping in touch with people. Otherwise you become one of those writers who writes about writers.” And it is through retaining this pedagogic and educational zeal that his subtle verdicts on the multicultural experience, over the years, have derived much of their topical force.

 

 

   Roli Books to publish Naxal Kobad Ghandy’s memoir in 2021

 

 

Activist and Marxist thinker Kobad Ghandy, who has been accused of being a Maosit ideologue and an anti-national by the government for his activities, will come out with his memoir next year. The book will chronicle his time as a student in London, his return to India and his life working for Dalits and poor. He will also write about his late wife Anuradha Shanbagh’s involvement with the Naxalites, till he became a leading Naxal thinker. The memoir will be published in the first quarter of 2021. Priya Kapoor, the Director of Roli Books has confirmed the news.

 

   Activists Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde wins 2020 Shakti Bhatt Book Prize

 

Activists and scholars Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha have been named joint winners of the new 2020 Shakti Bhatt Prize. While Teltumbde has authored over two dozen books. In 2018 he published ‘The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections’. He is a management professor at the Goa Institute of Management. While Navlakha wrote ‘Days and Nights in the Heartland of Rebellion’ which was published by Penguin India in 2012. He is also an editorial consultant of the Economic and Political Weekly. He is a civil liberties, democratic, and human rights activist and a journalist. He is engaged with the People's Union for Democratic Rights.

    Penguin Random House India to publish Sonu Sood’s debut book

 

The actor turned author Sonu Sood will document his migrant rescue missions  in Mumbai in a book. The book will be published later this year by Penguin Random House India’s Ebury Press Imprint. The book is about the 46-year-old actor launching an initiative to help reunite migrant workers who were stranded in Mumbai with their families in distant corners of the country. Sood continues to be in touch with the various migrant workers that he has been transported back home over the past few months.

   Seema Mustafa’s book on Shaheen Bagh released on July 15

 

Seema Mustafa, who is presently the founder-editor of ‘The Citizen’, an online initiative, released the first comprehensive book ‘Shaheen Bagh and the idea of India’ on Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), one of the most important civil rights movements in the history of Independent India. On 15 December 2019, police in riot gear stormed Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University and attacked unarmed students protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which makes religion a factor in the process of granting Indian citizenship. In neighbouring Shaheen Bagh, mothers and other relatives and friends of the students came out into the streets in outrage and anguish. Shaheen Bagh and the Idea of India examines how the sit-in by a small group of Muslim women—many of whom had stepped out of their homes alone for the first time—united millions of Indians of different faiths and ideologies in defence of the principles of liberty, equality and secularism enshrined in our Constitution. Seema Mustafa has been a journalist since the age of nineteen. She has worked in or written for a number of major Indian newspapers—including The Patriot, The Pioneer, The Indian Express, The Telegraph, Economic Times and Asian Age—and travelled across the globe on assignments. She also worked for a couple of years as the National Affairs Editor for the News X television channel. She has covered conflict in Assam, Punjab and Kashmir; communal violence in different states of India; and was the first Indian journalist to cover the first war in Beirut.

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