FICTION/ REFLECTIVE WRITING
“Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018” by Sabarna Roy
This book features fiction, short-shorts, poems, semi-autobiographical and autobiographical pieces, opinions, observations, and conversations. It is a kaleidoscope of random and reflective thoughts, which are mysteriously structured to a pattern. With an artistic writing style, the book conveys the percipient contemplations of the author.
“Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020” by Sabarna Roy
This book contains writings in myriad genres and formats; and is packaged with a selection of letters, ideas, conversations and poems. It comprises of a novella, Duality, and a poem cycle, Winter Poems 2020. Presented as conversations between a step-father and his daughter over coffee and desserts, the book delves into themes of dualism of human life; discussions on literary characters like Lolita, Humbert Humbert, Anna Karenina, and thought-leaders like Hegel, Marx, and Heisenberg; political phenomena like the Bolshevik Revolution; and ecological phenomena like marine conservation. The poems in this book are exciting and have intense emotional overtones.
“Smritichitre: The Memoirs of a Spirited Wife” by Lakshmibai Tilak, translated from the Marathi by Shanta Gokhale
First published in Marathi in 1934, “Smritichitre” became an instant classic. In this masterly translation of this classic by Shanta Gokhale, the only complete one available in English, we get to know about Lakshmi Bai Tilak. Born in 1868 into a strict Maharashtrian Brahmin family, she was married at the age of eleven to poet Narayan Waman Tilak, a man much older than her. In her memoir, Lakshmi Bai candidly describes her complex relationship with her husband and their unwavering devotion to each other. But at the core of their relationship was their concern for society and the well-being of every human being, irrespective of caste, class or gender.
Equally touching is her recounting of his conversion to Christianity which led to a separation of five long years. After their reunion, she, too, was gradually disillusioned with orthodox Hindu customs and caste divisions and converted to Christianity. After Narayan Tilak’s death in 1919, she came into her own as a matron in a girls’ hostel in Mumbai and later gathered enough courage to move to Karachi with her family. Lakshmi Bai’s honesty and her recounting of every difficulty she faced with unfailing humour makes this book a memorable read.
“Young Bravehearts” by Nupur Sandhu and Srrot Jha
This book features real life stories of bravery and incredible feats by children. Co-authored by Nupur Sandhu and Srrot Jha, the stories in this book commemorate children of India who have won the National Bravery Award for their courageous deeds. The stories include a mix of old and new ones, featuring past as well as recent awardees. It also includes the story of the brave feat of Mr. Harish Chandra Mehra, the first ever recipient of the National Bravery Award in 1958. Each of the stories has an accompanying poem written by Esna Malhotra, and the illustrations have been done by Dea Bassan.