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Punjab, industry, social drama on book shelf

New Delhi: Browse through the bookshelf of thought-provoking new titles that blend gripping narratives with hard facts...

1. Book: "The Punjab Bloodied: Partitioned & Cleansed"; Written by Ishtiaq Ahmed; Published by Rupa & Co; Priced at Rs.995

The book is a definitive, path-breaking account of the partition and the ethnic cleansing in Punjab in 1947 with perspectives from both sides of the border. The numbers cited by the writer are traumatic - 500,000-800,000 brutally massacred, 10 million people forced to flee their homes and 90,000 women abducted by men of the `other` religion.

Besides shedding new light on the events through secret British reports, it contains poignant accounts by eyewitnesses, survivors and even participators in the carnage. It shows how religious differences are no bar to peaceful coexistence, unless highlighted by divisive forces.

2. Book: "The TCS Story . . . and Beyond"; Written by S. Ramadorai; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.699

In 2003, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) set itself a mission: Top Ten by 2010. In 2009, a year ahead of schedule, TCS made good on that promise.

The TCS story is one of modern India`s great success stories.

The writer recounts the steps to that extraordinary success: how TCS played a pioneering role in establishing offshore development centres in India to provide high-end solutions to global corporations.

3. Book: "Welcome to Americastan"; Written by Jabeen Akhtar; Published by Penguin India: Priced at Rs.499

Samira, a Pakistani-American, returns home to her family in North Carolina.

She has been dumped by her boyfriend of eight years for her best friend, fired from her job because she ended up in jail and is on the FBI`s terror watch list after trying to run over her ex.

But living at home with her somewhat eccentric and almost-dysfunctional family proves to be both tricky and exhausting. The book is hilarious and delightfully irreverent, yet is a thoughtful look at the Pakistani community in America.

4. Book: "Yellow is the colour of Longing"; Written by K.R. Meera; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.299

Translated by J. Devika from Malayalam, the book pulls the lid off the normal, everyday life in families and the workplace, sometimes cheekily and sometimes with astoundingly bitter sadness.

This selection showcases the writer`s impressive range of narrative techniques and her capacity for dark humour.

In 2009, her story "Yellow is the Colour of Longing" after which the anthology is named, was one of the three stories from South Asia chosen for an issue of the Feminist Review in London.

Her short story "Ave Maria", which is also part of the collection, won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009. The story dealt with the sensitive issue of how different generations have conceived communism and its transformation in Kerala.

5. Book: "A Dance With The Dragons"; Written by George R.R. Martin; Published by HarperCollins-India; Priced at Rs.699

An epic in the genre of J.R.R. Tolkien`s "The Lord Of The Rings", the book published for the Indian audience, harks to a battle between good and evil. It is based during the time when fairies, dragons and the early voyagers still ruled the world.

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in balance.

In the east, the dragons of queen Daenerys, the last scion of the House of Targaryen have grown to maturity. Many are seeking Daenerys and her dragons.

Among them is the dwarf Tyrion Lannister, who has escaped the king`s gallows with a price on his head.

To the north, lies a great wall of ice and stone where Eddard Stark is elected as the 998th lord. The bitter conflicts are reigniting and the war is played on the theatre of a mythical world by a grand cast of outlaws, priests, dragons, kings and slaves... Who inherits the earth?

IANS

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