From books on Anna Hazare's leadership, famous women's pink gang which focus on people power to a book on Muslim fakirs. This year's book shelf will be high on thought-provoking books in both fiction and non-fiction genre. Here's a look at the much-anticipated book of 2012.
Leading without licence: Leadership the Anna Hazare way
Satheesh Namasivayam and Sivaram Bandhakavi (Rupa)
In February 2011, Anna Hazare suddenly shot to the nation's attention when he conveyed to the prime minister his intention to fast on matters relating to corruption. Since then, he has managed to galvanize a massive, national movement which is determined to eradicate corruption from the country. So, how did Mr Hazare, at the age of 74 and previously unknown to the masses, manage to spearhead this movement against corruption? Simply put, how did he become a leader?
It is this question that Leading without License: Leadership the Anna Hazare Way answers. Two Harvard-trained management consultants, Satheesh Namasivayam and Sivaram Bandhakavi, illustrate how Mr Hazare is masterfully practicing a set of principles, proven to be effective over the ages, in exercising leadership. As they explain, leadership is an act that comprises the performance of smaller sub-acts, in expanding circles of influence. If you understand these sub-acts and know how to combine them, you too can become a leader.
Using the Anna Movement as an example and discussing other comparable cases, leading without License provides guidelines for how you can lead in your everyday life - whether you are an ordinary citizen who wants to address environmental issues in your neighbourhood, a student seeking to change campus politics, or a corporate professional looking to make a mark in your company. No matter where you are or what you do, if you aspire to become a leader, this book is a must-read for you.
The Butterfly Generation: A personal journey into the passions and follies of India's technicolour youth
Palash Krishna Mehrotra (Rupa)
Over sixty per cent of India's population is under the age of 30. In The Butterfly Generation, Palash Krishna Mehrotra paints a no holds barred portrait of young urban Indians, and the world of new money, opportunity and accelerated change that they inhabit. Part memoir, part travelogue, part social commentary, this is the first book about New India to be written from an insider's perspective. Some of the stories it tells are of a doomed call centre worker, a drug dealer on the make, an airline pilot dreaming of the French Riviera, Versova's scriptwriters, the coming of MTV, the rise of heavy metal bands, the Gay Pride March, 'loving jihad' on Valentine's Day, ragging in Indian hostels, McJobs, the single life.
India's Butterfly Generation flits back and forth between Hindi and English, Bollywood and Hollywood, the little black dress and the six-yard sari. Palash Krishna Mehrotra details these varied journeys in one of the finest, most original works of non-fiction from India in years.
The Green Room
Wendell Rodricks (Rupa)
In The Green Room, one of India's most talented and best-known designers tells stories from his life rich with experience and lived with unusual courage and flair. Beginning with his childhood in Bombay, he writes about growing up in a 'glorified chawl' crowded with eccentrics, holidays with his extended family in Goa, managing the kitchen at the Royal Oman Police Officers Club, falling in love with a man he would later marry, studying fashion in Los Angeles and 'reading' every woman on a street in Beverly Hills ('Bust 34 inches, cup C; hips 38 inches; shoulder to apex, nipple point, 11 '), and becoming a designer-first in Bombay and then in Turkey and Goa-and getting to know the rich and the famous, the beautiful and the neurotic, the gossips and the bores.
Witty, candid, irreverent and always entertaining, The Green Room is a sparkling piece of writing and a fascinating memoir.
The Pink Sari Revolution
Amana Fontanella Khan (Pan Macmillan India)
The Pink Sari Revolution transports the reader into the world of India's pink gang, the largest vigilante organisation in the world and the ultimate embodiment of girl power. The pink gang started in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, in 2006. In an area renowned for sky-high levels of gender inequality, a group of poor women wearing pink saris and carrying pink sticks started taking on men who abused their wives. Soon after, they were fighting corrupt police, good-for-nothing politicians and local bandits that operate in large swathes of the state.
The Pink Sari Revolution taps into the 'people power' trend that has been sweeping the globe and will appeal to an international audience interested in compelling and inspirational human stories.
Anuvab Pal (Pan Macmillan India)
Chaos Theory is a novel set partly in the US and partly in India. It is about a middle-aged Indian couple with academic jobs in the US university system. Having studied post-colonialism and having practiced teaching courses on the topic for years, the couple shares their story, keeping in mind their eventful life of being smart young students of literature in a struggling nascent country to established academics in the west. In the process they share their wisdom about life and the changes in outlook about the perception of India both within and without.
Deeply moving and funny at the same time this is a brilliant novel of ideas. The author wrote this as a very successful play (with performances in the New York, Boston, Germany, London, Delhi, Mumbai) and has now novelized the play.
The Tattooed Fakir
Biman Nath (Pan Macmillan India)
It is late eighteenth century in India. Hundreds of armed Muslim fakirs have waged guerrilla warfare against the British colonial power. The British forces have declared them 'enemies of the state', and pursued their enigmatic leader for decades but have failed to catch him alive.
The Tattooed Fakir tells the story of a peasant who is pulled into the whirlwind of these events after his wife ends up in the house of an indigo planter. There is also a French manager of the indigo estate, who is involved in the French espionage of British indigo trade secrets. And there is a mixed race boy who tattoos himself to hide his white skin after joining the band of fakirs and becomes their fiercest soldier.
Jaal: The web
Sangeeta Bahadur (Pan Macmillan India)
Jaal: The Web is the first book in the Kaal trilogy. Set in an imagined world reminiscent of India in the immediate post Vedic era, each book in the trilogy outlines a different phase in the highly unusual life of the main protagonist, Arihant, who shoulders an awesome responsibility, the easier part of which is to destroy Aushij, the Lord of Maya, tricked into a prison of dreams by his siblings many millennia ago. Confronted with enemies, human and Mayavi, Arihant must also come to terms with the results of choices he has made, and the dizzying, often shocking, unfolding of his own purpose and potential. In the ultimate analysis, the trilogy is an exploration of the idea of Self - who am I, what am I, why am I?