With the monsoon finally arriving, it's time to sit by the window and chill out with books on ghosts, cinema and music this weekend:
1. The Washer of the Dead: Written by Venita Coelho; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.199.
A woman haunted by the wind, a land where ghosts speak for the voiceless, a washer of the dead who begins to hear them speak - this anthology of ghost stories is more feminist than spooky but the power of narrative is stunning.
India is a land that has long been haunted. Each region has its own legion of those that return. Their names spill like an incantation, a litany...says Coelho, describing her book.
From Assam comes the enchantress with her voice of desire - dragging the man from his bed into the depths of the killer river. The changeling comes from Uttar Pradesh - the child who never smiles but kills. The stories are whimsical, terrifying and compelling.
2. Sex in Cinema: Written by Fareed Kazmi; Published by Rupa Publications Pvt Ltd; Priced at Rs.395.
Female sexuality has held Indian cinema together for nearly 80 years. The women leads play a decisive role in a movie's rating at the box office. This book traces the history of female sexuality and its portrayal in movies.
From Meena Kumari to haughty mother-in-law Lalita Pawar - women characters have been known for particular traits in Indian cinema, be it Pyaasa or Salaam Namaste.
3. My Name is Gauhar Jaan! The Life and Times of a Musician: Written by Vikram Sampath; Published by Rupa Publications Pvt Ltd; Priced at Rs.595.
The book brings Indian musician Gauhar Jaan, an early pioneer of classical and gramaphone music, to life by de-mystifying the myths surrounding her.
Gauhar Jaan was known for her melodious voice, her flair for languages, poetic sensibility and extravagant lifestyle. From her early days in Varanasi and Azamgarh to her heydays in Kolkata, till her fall from grace in Mysore, the book is a journey through the musician's roller coaster life.
4. The Leader Who Had No Title: Written by Robin Sharma; Published by Jaico Publishing House; Priced at Rs.195.
The writer who has been sharing his success formula with Fortune 500 companies for the last 15 years has brought his knowledge of leadership and motivation to the public sphere. He advises readers on how to optimally utilise individual resources while helping companies achieve breakthrough in difficult times.
5. Delhi Calm: Written by Vishwajyoti Ghosh; Published by Harper-Collins India, Priced at Rs.499.
Imagine waking up one morning to learn that all your rights as a citizen are suspended. Imagine living the way the state tells you to - being told how, where and when to laugh, live or love. Imagine constant surveillance - all your acts, words, thoughts watched, all forms of expression subverted for the purpose of nation building.
'Walk More, Talk Less', yell microphones as you walk down the streets...But don't lose heart - the trains are on time! This is the graphic story - or rather a graphic novel - set in the mid-1970s. It revolves around three young men with vastly different perspectives, but all dreaming of 'change'.