The Collector’s Mother

The Collector’s Mother is a story of grit and perseverance. An ‘unwanted’ woman from an underprivileged background is attacked and, along with her husband, dragged on the village road and humiliated, and the family’s land grabbed by a local land mafia. In the godforsaken village deep into the hinterland, such excesses are not uncommon, but her steely resolve makes her stand out. How she weathers through such soul-sapping encounters to beat all odds and inspires his son to become a collector is at the heart of this extraordinary story set against the backdrop of abject caste oppression, absence of rule of law, persistent traditional power structure, pitiable education system, food insecurity, drought, famine, lack of health care and communication, hatred and domination by fellow villagers.

Desires, Dreams and Powers

Desires, Dreams and Powers is a fascinating saga of the life and times of Tathagata Roy. Not many people may have traipsed into so many fields of life as Roy has. He has been a civil engineer, an encyclopaedic, a university teacher, a researcher, a contract lawyer, a politician, an author in two languages, an intrepid traveller and, lately, a history buff.

 

By writing about his times than his life, Roy covers truly eventful eight decades of a nation in transition, during which British rule transmogrified into the partitions of India and Bengal, the world around him transformed from writing with a quill pen to taming the personal computer and toying with AI, and politics from optimism to Naxalism to hope. His native West Bengal, the crucible of left ideology, finally exorcised the ghost of Marxism by overthrowing the Left Front united in 2011 after 34 years of unbroken communist rule. Through it all, he pranced into high school, segued into engineering college, got his first job with the Indian railways, taught at Jadavpur University, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and capped it all up by becoming the governor of three north-eastern states of India.

 

The book is as much about the trajectory of a nation on the move as it is about Roy’s life. The parallel is unmissable.

Bangaliyana

The word ‘Bangaliyana’ roughly means ‘the Bengali way of life’. Bangaliyana, the book, is a delightful look at the author’s experience of life through his doodles and cartoons. Each page is infused with the vibrant spirit of Bengali culture, cuisine, and language from the author’spoint of view.

 

Being a probashi Bengali, the author straddles the ‘native’ and the ‘cosmopolitan’ effortlessly and shares a unique perspective of the intersection by blending personal anecdotes with humour. The heart of the book beats with humour because of a delightful medley of doodles and cartoons. Over the span of the last decade, the author, a self-taught cartoonist, dedicated most of his weekends cartooning. Among numerous cartoons he created during this period, his exploration of Bengalis and Bangaliyana filled one of his sketchbooks up to the brim. It was within those pages that the seed of inspiration for this book took roots.

 

The book defies being pigeonholed into a single genre. It is part memoir and part short story/humour. While everyday situations have provided a rich repository of ideas for the sketches, the book also captures moments of nostalgia from the author’s growing-up years. It allowed him to dig deep into his memory bank to fish out stories that most probashis will instantly relate to. Bangaliyana is not a critique of Bangla or Bengali culture but a tribute to the spirit of a true-blue Bengali. Whether you are a probashi or simply curious about the Bengali way of life, this book promises a heartfelt laugh.

Modi’s Governance Triumph

Meticulously researched and analysed, Modi’s Governance Triumph: Reshaping India’s Path to Prosperity delves into the Modi government’s key initiatives, reforms and innovations that have left an indelible imprint on India’s socioeconomic and political fabric. From the ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign to sweeping changes in the taxation system with the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST), each chapter unpacks the narrative of a leader who has redefined governance in the world’s largest democracy.

 

The book not only examines the achievements but also critically evaluates the challenges and controversies that have marked Modi’s tenure, providing a well-rounded perspective on his leadership. It is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding changes taking place in India and the role Prime Minister Narendra Modi plays in reshaping the nation’s future.

The Vaccine War

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Dr Bhargava, the director general of Indian Council of Medical Research, assembles a crack team of India’s most brilliant minds, including Dr Nivedita Gupta, Dr Priya Abraham and Dr Pragya Yadav. Together they mount a mission to save humanity from the unseen enemy. The challenges they face are daunting. They must navigate the treacherous waters of international diplomacy and deal with excessive bureaucratic control. Often enough, they find themselves battling against time and misinformation fuelled by fake news. Along the way, they are forced into moral dilemmas to make life-ordeath decisions that affect the nation and its people. As they work tirelessly to develop and distribute a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus that threatened to ravage India, they face opposition from foreign interests and intense scrutiny from the media. The Vaccine War is an inspiring tale of scientific ingenuity, perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit. It celebrates the heroes who fought relentlessly behind the scenes to protect their nation and offers a poignant reminder that unity and science can overcome even the most formidable challenges.

Sobha Singh Artist

The magic of eminent artist Sardar Sobha Singh continues to live even after his death in the year 1986.. Despite an uneasy childhood, Sobha Singh rose to a widely loved and respected artist with innumerable admirers in India and several other countries. A man of vision, Sobha Singh was a versatile genius.. Though a renowned artist, several other facets of his persona have mostly remained unknown. This biography records the life of the artist besides providing some glimpses of his art. This book is an extension of the author’s mission to preserve and propagate art and the philosophy of his grandfather Sobha Singh Artist so that with the passage of time facts are not replaced with unsubstantiated matter.

The Never-Dying Fire

Little known in his own country, Sri Aurobindo was nevertheless one of the more significant personalities of twenty century-India. After studying humanities in England, he embarked on a political struggle to challenge Britain’s colonial domination over India. In 1906, he founded the newspaper Bande Mataram, laying the groundwork of India’s future independence, notably through Passive Resistance, which was later adopted by Gandhi. But far from Gandhi’s pacifism, Sri Aurobindo was convinced that freedom could only be achieved via action, and even via armed struggle.

 

Absorbed by India’s century-old wisdom, his commitment to his country was doubled by an unremitting inner spiritual quest.

 

In 1910, Sri Aurobindo began another life in Pondicherry. In his written works, notably The Life Divine, published in 1920, he propounded an “Integral Yoga” describing the conditions of the “The Great Passage”, meant to lead to the next evolution of mankind.

 

His work influenced and attracted disciples from around the world to his ashram, founded in 1926 with his companion Mira Alfassa, and later to the Auroville community, a few kilometres from Pondicherry.

 

Through this biography, Luc Venet reveals the unfolding of Sri Aurobindo’s exceptional force and opens up the path to a new evolution of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo & The Literary Renaissance of India

This book is a significant addition to the growing body of literature on Sri Aurobindo. Dr. Singh delves deep into the works of Sri Aurobindo to present a compelling and fascinating collage of the philosopher’s multifaceted and multidimensional genius: Sri Aurobindo as seer and mystic, as visionary and poet, as writer, translator, linguist and critic, and as India’s first spiritual nationalist. Sri Aurobindo, as this book declares, a true fountainhead of India’s literary renaissance, needs to be discovered and better appreciated not just in India, but globally, and Dr Singh has given an incredible tribute to the saint with this exceptional book.

Sri Aurobindo and Philosophy

This book delves deep into the works of Sri Aurobindo to present a compelling and fascinating collage of his multifaceted and multidimensional genius, who is not only one of the greatest political leaders of modern times but a supreme visionary, thinker par excellence, great scholar and writer, spiritual guide and statesman, and a leader of all humanity.

 

The author presents perspectives on his vast oeuvre as a darshanik and shares his exalted dream and aspiration for India and humanity, his horizonless ranges that are their own skylines, his lights, and his snow-capped peaks.


It gives a glimpse into Sri Aurobindo’s pragmatic integral philosophy that is unique in being Vedantic in essence yet modern in expression and outlook.

Life of An Industani

The book is a Force 12 hurricane, dropping only to a 10 gale now and then, for it sweeps one along breathlessly from incident to incident, place to place, name to name. From the arresting prologue itself, the book is brutally honest, exhilarating and even self-deprecating. It is a story that most of Young India must read, for it provides an incredible ring-side view to critical events in the 1980s and 90s that shaped the destiny of the nation. The author’s subsequent credentials as a military history writer, his earlier works and his vast exposure to virtually every part of the subcontinent, place him in a unique position to paint scenario after scenario where the reader is completely mesmerised by the cinematic unfolding of events.

Of Newtons and Apples

Evocatively titled, Of Newtons and Apples: Insights into 50 Great Minds in Human History does exactly what it promises. It gives us a glimpse into the professional and personal lives of 50 great personalities whose names, in some cases, are a part of everyday conversation, while in others, they are familiar names about whom we know little.

 

Just the way the falling of an apple led to major discoveries by Newton, this work tries to identify sources of the genius of the personalities across human history. These men and women were either creators or those who redefined the course of history in their field of work. Interestingly, each article focuses on a major achievement and one aspect of their personal lives. Such sharpness makes the articles short, engaging and, in many cases, poetic.

 

The classification of personalities into Building, Doing and Thinking gives us new eyes to look at them once again and debate within ourselves, the fuzzy boundaries that exist between these three primary human activities.