HT Picks; New Reads
The many legends that make a city
Why is the heart of Delhi named after an obscure British scion? How is South Delhi’s Saket related to Lord Rama’s birthplace, Ayodhya? Shaheen Bagh is a seat of Muslim resistance. But what does Shaheen meant to the Indian Muslim?
To tell us the story of Delhi, journalist Adrija Roychowdhury takes a deep dive into the legends behind the names of its many streets. Delhi, in Thy Name is a compelling account of the many emotions, aspirations ,desires , identities, histories and memories that went behind the naming of places in the national capital of India. From the crevices of Chandni Chowk to the arcades of Connaught Place and the quarters of CR Park, the book delves into the little secrets that went into naming Delhi, as recounted by the people of the city.
Exhaustively researched and passionately told, the book is an attempt to decode what the act of naming and renaming means, both to those in power and to those being governed. The book provides a key to Delhi, opening its doors to the readers in the very way that the city likes to think of itself – as alluring, energetic, infuriating, lyrical, nostalgic, frustrating, unforgettable, magical.*
The definitive story
India and Bangladesh achieved a historic victory in the 1971 war. Yet 50 years later, important questions remain about India’s aims and policy in the war. Did India have a plan to break up Pakistan? When and why did it involve itself with the Bangladesh freedom struggle? When did India decide to prepare for military action? Why was no other country prepared to support the cause of an independent Bangladesh? How was India able to counter the US-China-Pakistan axis that emerged dramatically midway through the liberation struggle? How did India persuade the Soviet Union to shed its initial reluctance to support the liberation war? Did India ‘win the war but lose the peace’ by signing the Simla Agreement?
Drawing on previously unexplored Indian records, eminent diplomat and historian Chandrashekar Dasgupta dispels many myths as he sheds fascinating new light on these and other questions. Deeply researched over eighteen years, this authoritative, lucid and compellingly narrated book also reveals why and how India fashioned an overarching grand strategy, employing every instrument of national power – political, diplomatic, economic and military – to help the Bangladesh freedom fighters speedily liberate their country.*
Select Short Stories By Women Writers
What are the defining elements of short fiction by contemporary women writers? How do they navigate the world around them to create literature? These questions gave shape to the idea of The Punch Magazine’s inaugural anthology, comprising 18 shorts stories, selected from the pool of submissions by women writers in India and around the world, that showcase just how culture, besides the past, informs and illuminates literature.
The stories featured in this anthology reflect a certain kind of sensibility and sensitivity. It takes us along the pathways these writers forge to create art out of the rhythms and ruptures of life, dwelling on the characters’ experiences and memories of a thousand pleasures and pains suspended in the continuum of time. Steeped in the cultural moorings of the places they are set in - from Kashmir to Kerala, and from Washington and London to Rome, these stories portray the concerns and preoccupations of individuals both within and outside the precincts of home. They speak of our times - the way we live, the way we love.*
*All copy from book flap.