This weekend, the bookshelf explores some profound truths of life.
1. "Change Your Life, Change the World"; Written by Ryuho Okawa; Published by Jaico Books; Priced at Rs.225
Spiritual leader and bestselling author Ryuho Okawa advises people of all nations to remember their spiritual roots and accept that all of humanity, regardless of race, religion or culture, was originally a part of one gigantic family tree - the Cosmic Tree. The book urges people to find the power to change their lives and the world by giving love to others unconditionally, understanding the meaning of life and transforming the world into one world. The writer, founder of "Happy Science", a happiness forum in Japan, is dedicated to the pursuit of happiness.
2. "The Wednesday's Soul"; Written by Sourabh Pant; Published by Westland Ltd; Priced at Rs.250
Nyra Dubey lies on a grey road after being run over by a bus. A fortnight ago, she would have settled for it - even embraced it but now death is a colossal incovenience, holding her back from enjoying her newly-acquired fridge-size boyfriend. Questions race through her head as Nyra learns that souls are made of light and that she is in a destructive plot to destroy the life after life. And that the quickest way to escape from the monster is by rubbing its bum from inside - create terror in the head of the monster called death.
3. "Tell Me a Story"; Written by Rupa Bajwa, Published by Pan Macmillan; Priced at Rs.399
Set partly in the small, buzzing town of Amritsar and partly in New Delhi, this is the story of Rani, a young Indian woman who enjoys her work in a local beauty parlour, loves telling bedtime stories to her little nephew, and is blissfully in love with Shah Rukh Khan, the movie star. However, her naturally happy disposition is marred by the real world. Her lower middle-class family lives in a state of constant struggle - to make ends meet, to hang on to their dreams, to keep their fragile lives from collapsing.
However, as their financial troubles escalate, so do Rani's sister-in-law's taunts, brother's frustration and father's resignation. Rani's stories dry up. And her solitary journey of love and loss begins. Random events happen that affect each of them, changing their lives forever, and Rani finds herself in Delhi, in a sudden head-on collision with a world completely alien to her. She finds an unlikely ally in her employer, Sadhna, a stalled novelist, who has been unable to function in a savage literary marketplace.
4. "The Coalition of Competitors"; Written by Kiran Karnik; Published by Harper Collins-India; Priced at Rs.399
A small event in 1987 - a meeting of entrepreneurs with big ideas in Delhi - went on to change the face of the Indian software industry. For, at the meeting, attended among others by N.R. Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani, it was decided that an independent association was needed to represent the interests of the IT software and services industry, and thus Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) was born.
As India's economic reforms began in 1991, the existence of Nasscom - and its ability to present the industry's unified view - aided the take-off of the IT sector. From evangelising to brand building, from crisis management to foreign diplomacy, from being an adversarial proponent of a viewpoint to being a partner of the government, from a supporting to a stellar role - Nasscom has, over the years, played many parts. The result: it has been instrumental in the spectacular growth of India's IT software exports from around US$400 million in 1991 to over US$60 billion today.
5. "The Resignation"; Written by Jainendra/Translated by Rohini Chowdhury, Mridula Garg; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.250
Jainendra, the popular Hindi writer, introduced the "psychological" in Hindi fiction. Questions of love, marriage and relationships occupy much of Jainendra's works, taking them into the realm of the internal and the intimate. In "The Resignation", Jainendra tells the story of Mrinal, a young woman whose uncompromising idealism results in her family and society rejecting her completely. Almost 75 years after it was written, the story of Mrinal's struggle against stultifying social norms and her fierce individualism reaches out to English-speaking readers in a new translation.