How one man changed Indian badminton, a celebrity memoir, and a book that looks at food and traditon of a particular community - all that on the list of must reads this week. (HT Team)
How one man changed Indian badminton, a celebrity memoir, and a book that looks at food and traditon of a particular community - all that on the list of must reads this week. (HT Team)

HT Picks: New Reads

On this week’s reading list are books on the man who changed badminton in the country, a celebrity memoir, and one on the food and customs of a community that’s dwindling in numbers in India
By HT Team
PUBLISHED ON APR 16, 2021 10:40 PM IST

The Rise and Rise of Indian Badminton

₹399, 206pp; Westland
₹399, 206pp; Westland

Prakash Padukone and his All England championship victory in 1980 had firmed up India’s relationship with badminton, and Pullela Gopichand’s win at the same competition in 2001 cemented it. But it is the last decade that saw a definite transformation in Indian badminton – a decade in which Gopichand moved into coaching with his eponymous academy in Hyderabad.

Gopichand’s band of racquet–wielding champions, among them Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth and a host of others, have excelled on the world stage. Since 2011, India has bagged a medal in every edition of the World Championship, not to mention Saina’s Olympic bronze in 2012 and Sindhu’s silver in 2016.

What is behind India’s emergence on the world badminton stage? What obstacles threatened to derail this project? What lies ahead in the future? Abhijeet Kulkarni, who has closely followed the new energy in the sport from its early years, delves deep into the heart of it to write of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this unprecedented success story.

Partly an investigation of the sport in India, and partly a deep dive into the coaching techniques and mental strategies that have aided its transformation, The Gopichand Factor is the definitive history of the rise and rise of Indian badminton.*

The Emotional Life of an Actor

311pp, Rs699; Westland
311pp, Rs699; Westland

Kabir Bedi went from Bollywood, worked in Hollywood, and became a star in Europe. His Sandokan series broke all European television viewership records. In 2010, Kabir received the highest ranking civilian honour in Italy and was bestowed the title of Cavaliere(Knight).

Kabir is probably best known across the world for his role as the villain in the James Bond film Octopussy, and for his star turn in The Bold and the Beautiful, one of the most watched shows in the world. He is also a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars.

Film, television, theatre, radio, Kabir has done them all. Within these pages, he tells his stories of triumph and tragedy, milestones and mistakes, remembrance and regret, affairs and anxieties, love and lingering loss. And heart-wrenching setbacks. With millions of fans and well wishers across the world, Kabir writes with emotional honesty of the mistakes he made in love and life, and on the successes that made India proud.*

The cuisine of Indian Jews

199pp, Rs399; HarperCollins
199pp, Rs399; HarperCollins

The Indian Jewish community comprises a tiny but important part of the population. Over the centuries, its members have stuck to their dietary laws and integrated Indian habits with their customs, leading to some unique ceremonies, rituals and recipes that have been passed down from one generation to another. Despite living in different corners of India, they are still bound by the common threads of food and religion. However, with modernization and emigration, many of the traditions are fast being forgotten.

In Bene Appetit, Esther David, a Bene Israel Jew herself, records some of these traditions before they are lost. She also reveals some closely guarded recipes like chik-cha-halva, rose biscuits, jumping potatoes, hameen, Jewish biryani, Pakoda curry , agar-agar jelly and many more.

Extensively researched, with heartwarming anecdotes interspersed with beautiful illustrations, this book lays out a moveable feast. *

*All text from book flap.

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