Book rack

Whispers from the wild: writings by ERC Davidar
Edited by Priya Davidar
Penguin, 2012, pp 345, 399

Some people talk about nature, others listen to it. Listening can reveal wonders like how to befriend an elephant, how to talk to a tiger and how to live in the jungle. Many such experiences crowd this volume containing unpublished writings from the early and last years of well-known naturalist, the late ERC Davidar.

Sounding off: the memoirs of an oscar-winning sound designer
Resul Pookutty with Baiju Natarajan
Virago, 2012, pp 408, 399

Resul Pookutty’s autobiography, Sounding Off, is the amazing odyssey of a village boy from Kerala whose resilience and conviction took him to the very cutting edge of cinematic sound technology — from struggling in the ruthless film world of Mumbai to winning international glory. This definitive translation is a celebration of both cinema and life.

Sethji Shobhaa De
Penguin, 2012, pp 290, 250

Sethji is the head of the ABSP, a crucial coalition partner in the government. He is a man who refuses to play by any moral codes or lose a single battle. Easing his way is Amrita, his ravishing and aloof daughter in law who guards her own secrets. When two of the country’s most powerful men team up to challenge Sethji, the politician has to fight the deadliest battle of his life, a battle in which he must stake everything.

Harold M Bergsma
Rupa, 2012, pp 283, 295

Bonded tells the stories of lives that are very different, yet linked with each other. Masih is indentured to a landowner Mohammed Hakim. Forced by poverty, Masih contracts his seven-year-old son Patrus, to serve in a carpet factory. Chamak, Mohammed’s niece, is forced into sexual slavery. She succeeds in escaping but is forever imprisoned in absurd codes of shame and purity that society imposes on her.

Dining with the maharajas: thousand years of culinary tradition
Neha Prasada and Ashima Narain
Roli Books, 2012, pp 324, 4,000

A banquet with over 200 dishes; 140 recipes for pulao; puris, which, when broken, had a bird flying out of each of them; a dessert originally attributes to Mughal Empress Nur Jehan — this book showcases the culinary traditions of the royal families of Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Jodhpur, Mahmudabad, Mysore, Patiala, Rampur, Sailana, Tripura and Udaipur.

Bookie gambler fixer spy: a journey to the heart of cricket’s underworld
Ed Hawkins
Bloomsbury, 2012, pp 240, 345

For years, Ed Hawkins made friends with India’s illegal bookmakers as well as the corruption officers of the International Cricket Council who are trying to shut them down. This is a startling and powerful journey to the core of India’s illegal bookmaking industry that exposes the scale of corruption and match-fixing that runs rife through cricket.

Sons of sita
Ashok K Banker
Wisdom Tree, 2012, pp 388, 345

Sita spends her days in a remote forest ashram, with Valmiki training her sons. Rama decides to launch the Ashwamedha Yajna. Two young siblings capture Ashwamedha and challenge Ayodhya’s army. To Rama’s chagrin, they turn out to be the sons of Sita.

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