India is a land of stories which, apart from their age-old charm, are a simple way of communicating profound truths. This book is an attempt to bring alive some of the deepest mysteries of existence through the narrative of stories.
Probashir Golpo Shongroho, a collection of more than 20 short stories, is a continuation of Bimal Chakravartty’s tales that began in his debut book, Jana Awjanar Majhe. Bengali is a sweet language – almost poetic – and these tales, each with a hint of a moral – right from ‘if you love someone then don’t hide it’ to ‘destruction has a music that is its very own for it heralds the beginning of something new’; from ‘sorry is still one of the hardest words to say’ to ‘widow remarriage continues to be a taboo’ – all add the right aroma to this book. The author might not have lived in Kolkata for many years, but his tales have the Kolkata flavour – it is anything but probashi. Read this collection of very simply told tales to appreciate youthful writing, where seriousness gets effortlessly interwoven with humour, written by a quintessential Bengali. If you know the bliss of eating bhaat-daal on a Sunday afternoon, then read the book, and if you don’t know, then read it and find out.
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.
A Primer on Indian Social Structures Caste is being used as a major weapon to shame Hindus. This crisp and easy primer presents a powerful counter to Western Universalism’s harsh attacks on caste. It is a long over-due toolkit to help all open-minded people gain an understanding of the subtleties of Hinduism’s complex social order. This social structure has, after all, produced a civilization with unparalleled diversity. The Vedic world view along with the historical journey of Varna and Jati demolishes the prevailing myths about caste.
The Power of Future Machines is a collection of essays by experts exploring the future impact of Artificial Intelligence in various fields of human endeavor. Building upon the dialectical and analytical framework provided in the book Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power: 5 Battlegrounds, experts from various fields (military, geopolitics, strategic affairs, physics, policy, and others) engage and describe for a wider audience the potential impact of AI. Given their specific vantage points and deriving from their areas of expertise, this anthology makes for a fascinating read. The essays discuss how AI will affect policy making, both in narrow areas of expertise as well as its effect on humanity at large. Aimed at policy makers, experts and a broader audience, these varied perspectives on AI add something vital to the current skewed AI discourse.