On this week’s HT Picks, a murder mystery, essays on art, and a look at drought . (HT Team)
On this week’s HT Picks, a murder mystery, essays on art, and a look at drought . (HT Team)

HT Picks; New Reads

This week’s list of interesting reads includes a murder mystery, a collection of essays by a distinguished Indian artist on art and artists, and a book on drought in Marathwada
By HT Team
PUBLISHED ON FEB 19, 2021 07:07 PM IST

Not a simple crime

423pp, ₹399; Harper Collins
423pp, ₹399; Harper Collins

When a hunky personal trainer is found asphyxiated to death under an overloaded barbell at the posh Delhi Turf club on the eve of the club elections, it is first thought to be just a freak accident. But soon it becomes clear that one of the members of the DTC – all pickled-in-privilege Dilliwallahs – is a cold-blooded killer.As the capital bristles with conspiracy theories, ACP Bhavani Singh, a genial, close-to-retirement Crime Branch veteran is appointed to the case. With the assistance of Akash ‘Kashi’ Dogra, hottie crusader for human rights who despises all the club stands for, and Bambi Todi, wealthy girl-about-town who loves the place like a second home, Bhavani sets off to solve a crime that seems simple enough on the surface but turns out to have roots as deep as New Delhi’s famous neem trees.Anuja Chauhan returns with a bloody good romance set in the pulsating heart of Lutyens’ Delhi.*

On art and artists

339pp, ₹699; Copper Coin
339pp, ₹699; Copper Coin

Painter, sculptor, graphic artist, designer and teacher, A Ramachandran is not only among India’s most distinguished artists, but also a seasoned storyteller. Whether recalling a golden childhood in Kerala or recounting life-altering encounters with uncompromising masters of art, he does it with grace, finesse and empathy. Illustrated with a selection of his best drawings and artworks, this book begins with a delightful autobiographical essay in which he tells us about his early fascination with oil paintings, temples, and the clock, besides his first Mona Lisa whom he painted at the age of 12: the maidservant. He follows it up with several captivating pieces of prose that reveal the depth, passion and humanness of one of the finest minds at work in India. In prose that is as remarkable as his art, he captures every episode that made his life eventful and turned him into the master he is.*

The story of an Indian drought

230pp, ₹599; HarperCollins
230pp, ₹599; HarperCollins

Maharastra, India’s richest state by GDP, has its eyes set on becoming the country’s first trillion dollar economy by 2025. At the same time, Marathwada – a historically backward part of the state, adjoining the distressed Vidarbha region and home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Ajanta and Ellora caves – has seen a surge in farmer suicides. At the heart of the crisis is a cyclical drought that has persisted for almost a decade. Multiple relief packages and loan waivers have not reversed the trend. On the contrary, the story grows more tragic every year as thousands of farmer families flee to the big cities, while those who stay back are plagued by bad credit and crop loss. Landscapes of Loss tells the story of Marathwada – with its stunning basalt hills, scorched brown earth, the flaming reds and pinks the locals wear – through the accounts of its people: marginal farmers, dalits, landless labourers, farm widows and children. It lays bare the complex factors that have brought the region to this pass – a story representative, in many ways, of the agrarian unrest in large parts of rural India.*

*All copy from flap

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Flower power: A flower market in Bengaluru. (Shutterstock)

Review: Flower Shower by Alka Pande

By Subhashini Chandramani
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 05:34 PM IST
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