A mother's dilemma, a virtual world, Nepal
The nightmare of being the mother of a 27-year-old, looking at a relationship through the lens of virtual reality and a journey through Nepal are some of the hand-picked gems IANS is treating its readers to this weekend. Take a look.
1. Book: Simi's Mum's Diary: The Daughter of All Battles; Author: Rupa Gulab; Publisher: Amaryllis; Pages: 201; Price: Rs. 175
Being a mother to a 27 year old can be a nightmare. Particularly if she is sassy, stubborn, sulky and selfish – like Simi.
Simi's mum is cool but confused. Why is it that when normal girls are falling in love with vampires and other sexy corpses, her daughter brings home the most disgusting specimens of mankind imaginable? There
is the hypochondriac hostelite with the appetite of a locust, the firang who loves hanging out in slums and others.
And then to be accused of being an evil khap panchayat mum.
Even worse, in between relationships, Simi doesn't do normal girly things to recover; she turns to religion, anarchy and bad poetry.
It is terribly frustrating, because Simi's mum is dying to introduce her to medical student Imran – the cutest and nicest guy ever, who just happens to live in the building. Naturally, Simi's suffering mum needs to vent occasionally. Because no matter how cool she thinks she is, she will never be cool enough for Simi.
2. Book: Maya; Author: Clyde DeSouza; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 210; Price: Rs. 250
Dan and Krish have invented a gadget that they know will change the way people experience reality. When their invention is still in its trial phase, an accident kills Krish's sister, Maya. Little does he know that Dan and Maya were deeply in love.
For both, the pain of her loss is intense, but Dan will not accept losing Maya, and challenges the powers that be that took her away. He sets about creating something unique that he knows will fulfill Maya's dream of becoming a dancer and also satisfy his need to be with her.
But is it the right thing to do?
The novel bridges two worlds – the real and the virtual and explores human relationships through this lens.
3. Book: The Two-Year Mountain: A Nepal Journey; Author: Phil Deutschle; Pages: 350; Price: Rs. 395
When Phil Deutschle sets out for Nepal, he is naively unaware of the ordeals he will face – striving to teach in the Nepali language, suffering from debilitating disease, painfully adapting to a foreign culture – but imperceptibly over two years, he grows so attached to the village that he ultimately leaves it in tears.
Following the alienation of his departure, he sets off on a reckless, solo climb of Mount Pharchamo, hardly caring whether he survives. Now, 34 years, later, Deutschle returns to his village, intent on learning
the fate of his family and his students in the wake of Nepal's bloody Maoist civil war.
4. Book: The Debt Collector's Due; Author: Adhirath Sethi; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 174; Price: Rs. 250
There comes a day in everybody's life when one needs to sit down and decide what to do with the rest of it. But our layabout here, Samay, slept through it, as he did most days growing up. Waking up aged 27, he finds that he barely has any money left in the bank and the only job anyone is willing to give him as as a debt collector for small businesses.
His less than ordinary life takes a mad turn when he is mistaken by mob boss Pande for a hitman and given Rs. 75 lakh as payment. Samay wants to take the money and flee the city, but he discovers that Amrita, his
college flame and now a journalist, is next on the hit list.
This novel is a wild ride through the drama of college heartbreak and terrifying murder in south Mumbai's Parsi colony, from the sweaty alleys of Crawford Market to the mist-filled valley of Panchgani.
This is a story about shifting fortunes and high stakes, a breathless read from the first page to the very last word.