A leap of faith
Reviewed by D. S. Cheema
Indians at Herod's Gate: A Jerusalem Tale
by Navtej Sarna
Rupa. Pages 182. Rs 500
The job of the Indian Foreign Service's officers often takes them to far-off places. It provides them with opportunities to travel and stay in different parts of the world and write about their unique travel experiences. The writer in Sarna, the diplomat, has fully utilised this opportunity and one of the outcomes is this historical-travel story of centuries-old connection between India and Jerusalem. This book is an intriguing history of an Indian hospice in Jerusalem. It also underlines the connection of India and Indians with this ancient and holy city.


The strength within us
Reviewed by Jayanti Roy
Gifted: Inspiring Stories of People with Disabilities
by Sudha Menon and VR Ferose.
Random House. Pages 260. Rs 299
ifted is a compilation of fifteen life stories of people with disabilities, who with their courage, exemplary conviction and an indomitable spirit made their lives worth emulating. While working for the India Inclusion Summit, 2013, one of the authors, VR Ferose came in contact with several such people who had reached the heights of success, despite getting an unfair treatment from life. He observed that each one of them possessed traits he had studied in leaders or pioneers in different domains and wanted to tell the stories of these unsung heroes who are constantly competing and bettering their records on the track of life. These valiant individuals, their struggles, their supportive families, their stories can surely guide us on life, correct our course and give us the right perspective. This is the objective of the book, which it fulfills quite compellingly.

Man, an island unto himself
Reviewed by Priyanka Singh
by Keki N Daruwala.
Tranquebar. Pages 208. Rs 325
n island captivates, conjuring images of solitude; of a lonely landmass holding on its own amid the stretching expanse of a water sheet; of hope; of challenges; of anchor and moorings. Presenting an evocative collection of short stories revolving around islands, Keki Daruwalla transports the reader to the realm of magic, where the breeze smells of sea and salt. The islands are disconcerting, uplifting, liberating and prod a soul-search. These are every man's stories of frailties and vulnerabilities; stories that inspire and cause despair.

A gripping tale of fear
Reviewed by Vikrant Parmar
by Girvani Dhyani.
Harper Collins. Pages 181. Rs 250
Every human has a story inside, itching to find form in printable words. Debutant author Girvani Dhyani, an attorney based in New York City, has a rather interesting one. In her novel S.T.A.L.K.E.D, she explores the dark alleys of fear and machinations of the human mind to share an absorbing tale.

Knotty issues
Reviewed by Aditi Garg
Matrimonial Mocktales
by Hetal Adesara.
Om. Pages 205. Rs 195
he obsession with finding the right match drives Indians to marry off their daughters when they are still in their teens. This enthusiastic pursuit is a result of the 'best before date’ that seems to loom large on the matrimonial prospects of every girl. The older she gets, more the pressure on her to get married. The story of Matrimonial Mocktales written by Hetal Adsara revolves around Rhea. Barely out of her pigtails, she got engaged and later went through a broken engagement, followed by a failed marriage to an alcoholic and a string of romantic relationships that all seemed doomed.