Book rack/

Book rack/

The Elephant catchers
Subroto Bagchi
Hachette, 2013, pp 232, 499
Unlike an operation to catch rabbits, trapping an elephant calls for expertise over enthusiasm. Many organisations, even those that may have a brilliant start, falter in their attempts to achieve transformational growth. Subroto Bagchi distils his years of on the-ground learning to explore what such organisations must do to climb to the next level and beyond.

If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother
Julia Sweeney
Bloomsbury, 2013, pp 243, 499
While Julia Sweeney is known as a talented comedienne and writer and performer of her one-woman shows, she is also a talented essayist. Julia adopted a Chinese girl named Mulan and then, a few years later, married and moved from Los Angeles to Chicago. She writes about deciding to adopt her child, being adopted by a dog, and meeting Mr Right.

Punjab — A history from aurangzeb to Mountbatten
Rajmohan Gandhi
Aleph, 2013, pp 432, 695
For centuries, the fertile land of five rivers in the north of the Indian subcontinent was coveted by numerous empires and invaders. Award-winning historian, biographer and scholar, Rajmohan Gandhi, traces its history during its most tumultuous phase, from the death of Aurangzeb, in the early 18th century, to its brutal partition in 1947.

Ayodhya, the dark night
Krishna Jha & Dhirendra Jha
Harper Collins, 2013, pp 193, 499
22 December 1949: A conspiracy that began with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi culminated in the execution of the Ayodhya strategy. Late that night, a little-known sadhu, Abhiram Das, and his followers entered the Babri Masjid and planted an idol of Rama inside it.  The authors take us behind the scenes to examine the motivations and workings of the Mahasabha members who pulled the strings.

Playing at love
Lakshmi Palecanda
Pageturn, 2013, pp 169, 99
Vinna, researching for a script, is inspired to take on the role of a bar dancer for an evening to get into the skin of the character she is exploring. However, things go awry when the police raid the bar she is dancing in on that evening. She then bumps into tycoon Ranjan Pandey, who mistakes her for a bar dancer and thrusts a large sum of money into her hands.

Degree coffee by the yard — A short Biography of Madras
Nirmala Lakshman
Aleph, 2013, pp 156, 295
This is a tale of two cities — Madras and Chennai. The author braids together the essential aspects of Madras and Chennai to give us an exquisite portrait of the iconic city. The story of Madras, founded by the British, almost gives way to that of Chennai, but the two are so intertwined that it is impossible to tell them apart.