Book Title: Just Aspire
Author: Ajai Chowdhry
When Ajai Chowdhry left Jabalpur, the sleepy town, little did he know that he would find himself at the vanguard of pathbreaking revolutions that would transform India. The year was 1975 and Ajai’s life was to take a huge turn as he left his job and jumped into the uncharted waters of entrepreneurship, founding Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL) with Shiv Nadar, Arjun Malhotra, Yogesh Vaidya, Subhash Arora and DS Puri. Not many Indians knew what a computer was. Over the next four decades, HCL would go on to become one of the largest IT companies in India and a household brand. In ‘Just Aspire’, Ajai shares the story of a successful business behemoth and the dreams, aspirations, hope and achievements from the eyes of a small-town boy.
Author VJ James calls ‘Dattapaharam: Call of the Forest’ his greatest challenge ever as a writer. A surreal mystery, ‘Dattapaharam’ is about a missing friend in a world of birds and forests. Mahesh reads a small news item about a mysterious forest dweller who appeared in the middle of a rainforest out of nowhere and disappeared without a clue. Immediately, he recognises the man to be Freddie Robert, their friend, who had disappeared into the forest several months ago in search of a rare new bird. Mahesh and his four friends need to return to the forest and search for him. The book is a rumination on solitude, man’s connection with nature and the strings that attach us to this world.
Major General Rajpal Punia’s dream of a career in the Indian Army began when he was 10 years old and donned a Sainik School uniform for the first time. His career has taken him from patrolling the hotly contested Line of Actual Control to the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in warzones across the world. ‘Rejoice in Adversity, Triumph in War’ is a collection of anecdotes from his four-decade career in the Army, a testament to how the Army is not a livelihood but a way of life, one that can transport you from a social soiree to a dangerous jungle in the space of a night, and where postings are often to places that the GPS cannot navigate to.
Even as a digestive gremlin limited Charmaine O’Brien’s diet to toast, pancakes, finger chips and bananas for many weeks on her maiden trip to India in the early 1990s, she keenly observed the food life all through and that marked the beginning of her foray into Indian food and the way the country eats. Her first book was the Penguin Food Guide to India. In her new book, ‘Eating the Present, Tasting the Future’, she explores India through its changing food and eating habits. The book journeys through the contemporary foodscape to discover the myriad forces transforming what, how and where Indians are producing, trading, and eating their food. At a time when food and our relationship with it are topics of increasing global interest, this is an important work offering a unique insight into a complex society.
In popular imagination, the Eighties is a black mark, typified by mindless movies and perishable music. It was also a decade of opposites, when the best of New Wave 2.0 won acclaim and awards across the globe. In ‘When Ardh Satya Met Himmatwala: The Many Lives of 1980s’ Bollywood Cinema’, Avijit Ghosh narrates the fascinating story of perhaps the most eventful, disruptive and transformative decade of Hindi cinema. It was a time of furious change beyond the silver screen, when video cassettes brought cinema to drawing rooms and piracy put movie theatres in a crisis. The book also explores the strong North and South interactions during the period.