Monday, October 22, 2012

Invite for Saraswati Puja and Street Plays

Hi all,

Greetings of the season and wishing you great joy and happiness on the occasion of Dussehra!

Our annual Saraswati Puja is scheduled on Dussehra day, 24th Oct, Wed, at 4.30 pm at the Store. Please join us in our prayers to the Goddess of Wisdom and may her blessings be on all of us.

We have two exciting events scheduled for 28th Oct, Sunday. twistntales has been a trendsetter in providing performance space to new groups, street theatre and other awareness/ protest movements. As a part of this endeavour, on Sun, 28th Oct, we present two groups.

The first is a group of school children from Sanskriti School, from classes 8 to 10. These children have put up a street play to create awareness regarding the harmful effects of crackers during Diwali. This will be their first public performance and all of you are requested to join and attend with your children.

The second group is Lokayat. Many of you who are regulars at twistntales know about Lokayat and the various causes that they are engaged in. Lokayat is an NGO based in Pune, and takes up social and civic issues. It comprises working professionals who give their evenings and weekends to a good cause. They use novel techniques of protest, one of them being street plays.

Lokayat members will present a play on Sex Selection

India's daughters are disappearing. New research by ActionAid and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) show that the number of girls born and surviving in northern India compared to boys falls far short of normal expectations, and continues to slide. India is the heartland of the sex selection controversy. Its alarming statistics have spurred official efforts to redress the sex ratio imbalance through legislation that prohibits sex selection, whether at the pre-conception stage or through abortion. What was once seen as a barbaric practice has, chillingly, now become increasingly accepted, albeit sometimes in more ‘technically advanced’ forms. Female infanticide has found a partner in female feticide.

Social causes underlying this have to be highlighted and awareness is required. Please do spread the word around – both the street plays will be followed by a discussion.

The plays will start at 6pm at twistntales on 28th Oct, Sunday

And now for those who can’t make it on that day, there are always new books, some of which have been reviewed for you,

New Books:

“India Grows at Night” by Gurcharan Das @ Rs. 599/- (pgs 306)

From the title of the book the complete quote is ‘India Grows at Night while the government sleeps’. Gurcharan Das implies that as Indians, we are prospering in our private lives but our country’s public issues are a failure. Beginning with Aristotle’s quote ‘The state exists for the sake of a good life, not for the sake of life alone’ he says that as an individual we have a very high sense of responsibility in the Indian home- if you don’t work you don’t eat- this accountability is missing in public life and state affairs. Prosperity is spreading but governance failure is pervading in public life. He offers a solution by suggesting the concept of a liberal state, wherein a state would have legitimate authority to take quick decisive action and also be accountable to the people. But he also points out that this ideal would be difficult to achieve as historically India has had a weak state and a strong society. Provocative and brilliant, Gurcharan Das’ writing makes us reconsider our own opinions and proof-less judgments.

‘Ending Corruption: How to Clean Up India’ by N. Vittal @ Rs. 499/- (pgs 255)

The past few years of India have been years of war against corruption. Heroes and leaders like Kiran Bedi and Anna Hazare have fought and sacrificed for this just cause. N. Vittal, former CVC and author of 14 books, analyses the complete situation after the 2010 mega scams and traces the roots of this growing rot to the decline of accountability in public life, lack of transparency in governance, greed and decline in integrity. Due to his experience as an insider of government for four decades, N. Vittal’s informed insights and systematic assessment of corruption helps us understand the true nature of its roots and the area it covers today and how we as Indian citizens can achieve a clean India.

‘The King in Exile’ by Sudha Shah @ Rs. 799/- (pgs 456)

An absorbing read, exhaustively researched and gracefully written, The King in Exile is the compelling story of King Thibaw, the last King of Burma. He belonged to the Konbaug Dynasty, a line of rulers known as ‘Kings who rule the Universe’ and treated as demi-gods by their subject. In 1885, he was deposed by the British to live in exile in Ratnagiri, a small and isolated town in India. The book traces the story of the King before his exile, when he had power of life and death over his people and after exile, when he was subject to the totalitarian control of the British. A debut writer Sudha Shah has merged her seven year long research with elements of true life drama and tragedy, to produce a work of brilliance.

“My Husband & Other Animals” by Janaki Lenin @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 282)

My Husband and Other Animals is a collection of stories written by Janaki Lenin- an animal enthusiast - on her experiences with her unpredictable husband Rom Whitaker- herpetologist, wildlife conservationist, and founder of Madras Crocodile Bank and Madras Snake Park- and other reptiles of the wild. After traveling the world and dealing with the most dangerous and home invading reptiles they settled in a farm in Tamil Nadu for a quite holiday only to find themselves at war with tree frogs, adamant Russell’s Vipers and a dog eating leopard. ‘With Rom, there is never a dull moment in life!’ says Janaki Lenin. Entertaining and amusing, the stories in this book shed light on the kingdom of beasts and plants, providing insights into animal dispositions and the interactions of humans with animals. Most of all, it highlights Rom and Janaki’s diverse stories with all the ‘wonderful creatures’ small and large. Currently they live with four dogs, a pair of emus, a flock of geese and a pig!

“Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss” by Jai Pausch @ Rs. 295/- (pgs 228)

After her husband Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture imparted us inspiring lessons in living, Jai Pausch teaches us to Dream New Dreams even if we are faced with the most critical loss. Jai narrates a powerful story of grief, healing and newfound independence after her husband, Randy Pausch’s death due to pancreatic cancer. Inspiring and deeply moving, the book reaches out and helps all those who are struggling due to the loss of a loved one.

"Conversations With Mani Ratnam” by Baradwaj Rangan @ Rs. 799/- (pgs 305)

‘There are two things that bother a filmmaker. One, when he is offered a lifetime achievement award and second, when he is asked to do a book on his films’. A genius of a man, in this book Mani Ratnam opens up to Baradwaj Rangan, about his art, as well as his life before films. Often candid, witty and pensive, Mani Ratnam talks about his choice of themes like that of patriotism in ‘Roja’ to the knottiness in urban relationships like in ‘Agni Natchatiram’. He further elaborates on the choice of artful music and innovative methods of lighting; also he discusses the power and impacts of films on society. Complete with profound interviews with Mani Ratnam on each of his films this book is truly a tribute to the filmmaker who built the bridge between old and neo cinema in India. Baradwaj Rangan is a National Award-winning film critic, and currently deputy editor at ‘The Hindu.’


‘Silent House’ by Orhan Pamuk @ Rs. 599/- (pgs 334)

In the small town of Cennethisar lives an old widow Fatma. She is looked after solely by her hostile servant Recep – a dwarf and her dead husband’s illegitimate son. The long awaited annual visit of Fatma’s three grandchildren – Faruk the historian, Nilgun the revolutionary and Metin, the high school nerd triggers a chain of events that threatens to change the family’s destiny forever. Set against the backdrop of the Turkish military coup of 1980 Silent House, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk’s novel (available in English for the first time) is a powerful and vivid narrative of the fate of a family inextricably linked with the struggles of a country on the brink of change.

“The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling @ Rs. 850/- (pgs 503)

Pagford, with its cobbled streets, picturesque buildings and friendly residents seems to be the quintessentially ideal English town, until the unexpected death of Barry Fairbrother, a local activist, creates a vacancy in the Parish Council. In the weeks that follow the quiet village is thrown into turmoil as wives turn against husbands, children turn against parents and long festering resentments come to the fore. With a panoramic cast of characters and a gripping plot, master-storyteller J.K. Rowling (author of the best-selling Harry Potter series) will take you on a rollercoaster journey in this dark, honest and utterly compelling novel for adults.

“Winter of the World” by Ken Follett (Book two in the Century Trilogy) @ Rs. 399/-pgs 940)

Two years after the international sensation Fall of Giants comes Winter of World the second installment of the epic Century Trilogy by master storyteller Ken Follet. Spanning from 1939 to 1946, this thrilling novel follows the fate of five families – American, French, German, British and Welsh – as they struggle against the tumultuous economic, political and social events that unfold around them. From the rise of Hitler to the war against Communism, from the Spanish Civil War to the bombing of the Pearl Harbour and the ultimate explosion of the atomic bomb, this meticulously researched novel will suck you into its world of powerful characters and fast-moving action until the final breathtaking climax is reached.

“The Krishna Key” by Ashwin Sanghi @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 475)

The blue god successfully brought about countless miracles for the betterment of mankind and when he was gone the entire universe desperately waited for his return. At last our prayers were answered after the most difficult years and he returned but in a different avatar and opposite ideologies. Racing breathlessly from the submerged remains of Dwaraka and the mysterious lingam of Somnath to the icy heights of Mount Kailash, in a quest to discover the cryptic location of Krishna’s most prized possession, Ashwin Sanghvi, best selling author of Chanakya’s Chant, brings you another exhaustively research whopper of a plot, while providing an incredible alternative interpretation of the Vedic Ages that will be relished by conspiracy buffs and thriller-addicts alike.

‘The Chakh Le India Cookbook’ by Aditya Bal @ Rs. 395/- (pgs 157)

For, Aditya Bal, one of India’s best known models cooking has been a lifelong passion. Inspired by his grandmother’s delicious Kashmiri concoctions, he decided to head to Goa to pursue a career in the food industry, where a chance encounter with Monica Narula, executive producer of NDTV Good Times led to the wildly popular TV show ‘Chakh Le India’. Based on his travels across the country ‘the Chakh le India Cookbook’ offers an impressive collection of recipes – from Ladakhi Mutton Thukpa and Himachali Tava Murg to Amritsari Paneer Bhurji and Aam ki Kheer – that effectively capture the very essence of Indian cuisine. A must have for all lovers of Indian food, the mouthwatering recipes in this book are easy to follow for beginners and more experienced cooks alike.

‘Sunlight on the Garden: A story of Childhood & Youth’ by Andre Beteille @ Rs. 499/- (pgs 293)

‘Sunlight on the Garden’ is Andre Beteille’s – a brilliant sociologist and winner of the Padma Bhushan (2005) – eloquent memoir spanning his schooldays and his early years as a sociologist. Written simply, the memoir explores portraits of family members, neighbours, school friends and teachers in a time when India lived through colonization, famine, communal riots and partition. Infused with sociological observations and insights into relationships, caste, class and community, this book opens up the doors of universal human dilemmas and desires.

‘Breaking the Bow’ Edited by Anil Menon & Vandana Singh @ Rs. 395/- (pgs 338)

‘Breaking the Bow’ is the brainchild of author Anil Menon, born at a workshop of ‘Speculative Fiction’ at IIT Kanpur. The epic tale of Ramayan has captured the imagination of the people of South Asia for ages, and over the years it has been retold and reinterpreted countless number of times. What sets apart this extraordinary anthology of twenty five stories is that although they draw their inspiration from the Ramayana, they dare to break the boundaries and explore new realms of fiction – from magic realism to science-fiction and fantasy. With an impressive cosmopolitan group of writers (including Manjula Padmanabhan, Kuzhali Manickavel, Abha Dasewar) some strong new voices, this is a book that is at once mesmerizing and thought-provoking.

‘Paperclips Don’t Grow on Trees’ by Catherine Devrye @ Rs. 250/- (pgs 212)

After decades of growth and prosperity, since the Global Financial Crisis concern about the economy has been a crucial issue. This simple and practical book offers solutions and insights to help sustain a business, cut on costs and add values to operations. In short it teaches you how to eliminate waste and stimulate value. Catherine DeVrye is not an economist, but was an executive with IBM globally for a decade and she is a number one bestselling author, winner of the Australian Executive Woman of the Year Award and thought leader.

Other new books:

‘The Empire of Moghul: The Tainted Throne’ by Alex Ruthereford @ Rs. 599/-
‘The Dust Will Never Settle’ by Mukul Deva @ Rs. 299/-
‘How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-founded a Million Dollar Company’ by Varun Agarwal@ Rs. 140/-
‘Close, Too Close: The Tranquebar Book of Queer Erotica’ edited by Meenu and Shruti @ Rs. 395/- ‘Joseph Anton’ by Salman Rushdie @ Rs. 799/-
‘Bullshit Quotient: Decoding India’s Corporate, Social and Legal Fineprint’ by Ranjeev Dubey @ Rs. 350/- ‘Let’s go Time Travelling: Life in India Through the Ages’ by Subhadra Sen Gupta @ Rs. 199/-
‘In Search of Oneness: The Bhagavad Gita and the Quran through Sufi Eyes’ by Moosa Raza @ Rs. 399/- ‘31: A Thriller’ by Upendra Namburi @ Rs. 250/-
‘Decoding Rahul Gandhi’ by Aarthi Ramachandran @ Rs. 350/-
‘Indira Gandhi: Tryst With Power’ by Nayantara Sahgal @ Rs. 399/-
‘A Perfect Time for Pandas’ (#48 Magic Tree House Series) by Mary Pope Osborne @ Rs. 450/- ‘Human: The Science Behind What Makes Your Brain Unique’ by Michael S. Gazzaniga @ Rs. 615/- ‘Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes’ by Jamie Oliver @ Rs. 1515/-
‘Sounding Off’ by Resul Pookutty with Baiju Natarajan @ Rs. 399/-
‘The One World School House’ by Salman Khan @ Rs. 399/-
‘Playing to Win’ by Saina Nehwal @ Rs. 199/-
‘Rammohun Roy – A critical Biography’ by Amiya P. Sen @ Rs. 450/-
‘N-W’ BY Zadie Smith @ Rs. 499/- ‘Mastani’ by Kusum Choppra @ Rs. 195/-
‘Lessons in Lean Management: 53 Ideas to Transform Services’ by Debashis Sarkar @ Rs. 350/-

Happy Reading and enjoy your books !

See you at the Store on Wed, for Saraswati Puja and Sun, 28th Oct for the street plays,

From the team at,


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