HT Picks: The most interesting books of the week
SHAHJAHANABAD; THE LIVING CITY OF OLD DELHI BY RANA SAFVI
What is today the overcrowded, neglected city of Old Delhi was once the magnificent capital of the Mughal empire.
At its heart was the spectacular Qila-e-Mubarak, now known as the Red Fort. Commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639, the beautiful city of Shahjahanabad was built around it, on the bank of the Yamuna. Almost a decade later, in 1648, Shah Jahan entered through the river gate and celebrated the completion of this ‘paradise on earth’ filled with gardens, palaces, water bodies, mosques and temples. About two hundred years later, the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, left the fort by the same gate after the failed Mutiny against the British in 1857. Subsequently ,both the fort and the city fared badly, as they faced the wrath of the British.
The final instalment in Rana Safvi’s informative, illustrated series of books on Delhi, Shahjahanabad: The Living City of Old Delhi describes the magnificence of the fort and the city through its buildings that are a living monument to the grandeur and strife of the past.*
PARTY LIKE A STAR BY SHILARNA VAZE
Learn how to entertain like the celebrity swish-set, with recipes, tips and photos from actual parties thrown by Bollywood stars and big brands. Find a detailed plan of action for every kind of party, be it brunch, high tea or even a wedding.
Shilarna Vaze , chef and founder of Gaia Gourmet, who has cooked for the best parties and the biggest stars, will turn you into the perfect host with her scrumptious recipes, advice on picking the right party professionals, indispensable checklists and getting every detail just right. Thrown into the mix are essential tips for décor, service and menu planning, as well as expert and celebrity inputs on how to put together a perfect soiree.*
THE NEPAL NEXUS BY SUDHEER SHARMA
This fast-paced and comprehensive account of Nepal today traces the recent past and the present of Nepali politics and geopolitics from the vantage point of an insider who had a ringside view of the developments of the last two decades. This was a turbulent, eventful era which had a transformative impact on the country. In this short span, Nepal experienced the Maoist revolt, the palace massacre, the state of emergency, the royal coup, the people’s movement, the republic, the Madhes uprising, the Constituent Assembly, federalism and the new Constitution.
Looking back at these developments, Sudheer Sharma argues that poverty, unemployment and oppression drove the Maoist revolt, and despite its ultimate failure, it played a decisive role in the socio-political transformation of Nepal, Furthermore, the relationship between the Maoists, the monarchy (Durbar) and the Indian establishment (Delhi) is absolutely critical to the understanding of the trajectory of the changes. The Nepal Nexus examines the impact of each of these three strands and tracks the complex interplay between them.*
*All copy from the book flap.