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The Free Voice: On Democracy, Culture and the Nation by Ravish Kumar

November 24, 2017

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‘The National Project for Instilling Fear in the people has reached completion. Before the promised highways and jobs, everybody has been unfailingly given one thing—fear. For every individual, fear is now the daily bread. We are all experiencing fear; it comes to us in many different forms—from the moment we step out of our homes, with so many warnings ringing in our ears… It is only the lapdog media which is safe in India today. Jump into and snuggle down in the lap of authority and nobody will dare say anything to you.’

Few journalists today have as keen an understanding of Indian society and politics and as strong a commitment to the truth as Ravish Kumar. Fewer still can match him in eloquence and integrity. In this necessary book, he examines why debate and dialogue have given way to hate and intolerance in India, how elected representatives, the media and other institutions are failing us, and looks at ways to repair the damage to our democracy.

Long Night of Storm: Selected Stories by Indra Bahadur Rai, Translated by Prawin Adhikari

November 24, 2017

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The ancient law laid down by kings of Nepal allows Harshajit to cut down Rudraman, who has staked claim to his wife, Thuli. But when, after days of relentless pursuit Harshajit catches up with Rudraman and Thuli on the border with Mughal India, he witnesses a fearsome encounter that compels him to consecrate their marriage with his own hands. A man on his way to Darjeeling stops in a bungalow near the Teesta to enjoy the sounds of the river. But after the labourers next door start cooking kheer, he finds, in their chatter about the ideal recipe, a profound insight into the human condition. And Jayamaya, part of the Gurkha community fleeing Burma during the Second World War, helplessly witnesses her life disintegrate in the face of invasion.

In Some Waking Dreams, Indra Bahadur Rai records, with wisdom and empathy, the individual lives and the shared histories of a people. Lyrically translated, this is a collection to read, and to keep returning to.

Barenaked Love: Stories by Mihir Srivastava

November 14, 2017

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An artist invites people to shed their clothes so he can sketch and paint them. They drift into his life and out of it; some he falls in love with, others fall in love with him, and, with some, he forges connections that go much beyond love. A voluptuous psychiatrist whose vulnerability constantly threatens to engulf him; a man with whom the artist becomes obsessed; and a woman with the mind of a child in an adult’s body about whom he discovers that art, and the act of painting, is the only solace he can give her and her anxious parents.
Embellished by attractive sketches and line drawings by the author, Barenaked Love is a rich, moving book about love, its incandescence and its darknesses, its myriad shades and forms, and the infinite ways in which it can be expressed.

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