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Mughals, marriage and military

Akbar: The Mighty Emperor
By Kavitha Mandana.
Penguin-Puffin. Rs 150.

FOR Mughal emperor Humayun, the news of the birth of Akbar allowed him a moment of quiet joy in the wilderness of a camp he was confined to. He broke a musk pod and the fragrance wafted across the camp. The father hoped his son's fame would spread through like the scent of musk.  Kavitha Mandana's book profiles the most charismatic of Mughal emperors, Akbar, in the context of the times he lived in and the life he led in the Mughal court through short and offbeat anecdotes, character sketches of his relatives, aides and sons - who narrate the persona of the man as they saw him in lucid, prose rich in visual imagery. An exciting book for both the children and adults.


Chicken Soup for the Indian Armed Forces Soul
Eds Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Raksha Bharadia.
Tranquebar. Rs 295.

The men and women who lay down their lives in our defence are a source of inspiration for all of us. This collection of 101 inspiring stories reinforces the belief. They are tales of resilience, loyalty, love, strength, courage and friendship. They are living inspiration that no odd is insurmountable.

The armed forces personnel and their families from all over the country have contributed to this book.

Bharadia is the editor of the Chicken Soup series while Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are New York Times’ best-selling authors, who are also motivational speakers.

Legend of the Lepchas: Folk Tales from Sikkim
By Yishey Doma.
Tranquebar. Rs 200.

IN the beginning, there was nothing but a vast emptiness on earth and in the sky. Then, Itbu-Moo, the mother creator, shaped the mountains, the rivers and the lakes. But something was missing. Why did her creation feel empty? There was no man. The mother goddess picked up a fresh ball of snow and created the first man and then the first woman. They were the supreme deities of the Lepchas.

Poet and journalist Yishey Doma, author of the widely-acclaimed coffee table book, Sikkim, The Hidden Fruitful Valley, narrates the lores of her hills that centre on the gods, goddesses, people, animals and nature in a cohesive world where one cannot do without the other. Each short story is accompanied by an illustration.

Love on Velocity Express
By N. Sampath Kumar.
Cedar Books. Rs 125.

Shyam, a rich spoilt brat, is jolted out of his conventional wisdom when the girl his parents want him to wed turns out to be "maverick". She demands to be reunited with her former flame. Shyam battles confusion as he helps her sift for her love with a laboured non-chalance. He is ready to pretend to become anything — a friend, guide and confidant — to pull it off at the aisle. The romantic comedy takes several painful detours, some trifle artful, before Shyam and Megha marry to live out their lives under the arclights in Mumbai.

They become television serial producers in a spillover from the story of their ultra-modern love. A good debut, though the prose drags occasionally. — IANS