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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, Indian“Now look at the person in the mirror and tell her that you love her.”

Sanjaneka stared and stared, unable to utter the simple words aloud.

Why is Sanjaneka unable to love herself? What past is she running away from?

How does an Uber ride help Samar to save his marriage?

Why does the dull moonlight of a gibbous moon trouble Varun so much?

Three lives. One Utopian centre.

The Total Holistic Centre (The THC) welcomes the broken and those looking for closure through its doors and works its magic to return them to the world fulfilled. This is the story of these three troubled souls who seek solace at the centre, indulge in its unusual treatment and find the cures to their ailments in surprising places.

A book on loss, longing and changing circumstances, The THC dives into uncomfortable topics that are usually swept under the rug: fragile relationships, deteriorating marriages, addictions, impotence, and the delicate bond between fathers and sons.

Welcome to the THC!

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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianSatyajit, a successful movie director, has accomplished all that there is to achieve-fame, success, and wealth – yet he harbors a sense of discontentment within.

While the audience cheers for his brand of cinema; and the industry fills its coffers by amassing collections from his films; he personally is dejected at the prospect of making yet another of those ostentatious melodramatic romantic family dramas.

His inability to find a balance in his relationships and his core need to live up to his potential makes him search for answers and leads him to a realization that his anguish is a result of the projection of his frustration on those who care about him.

When he lays his hands on a script that has the potential to fulfill his heart’s desire, he grabs the opportunity with both hands and sets out on a trip to research and unearth more details.

During the course of this road trip, he meets different people who not only provide him the necessary answers that would turn his vision into a magnum opus but also provide a deep understanding of the eternal principles of life and most importantly the unchanging and universal truth.

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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianA memoir of renowned painter Shyamal Dutta Ray. Written by his daughter Haimanti Dutta Ray, this book is a personal, emotional journey giving us an insight into the life of this remarkable painter.

Haimanti Datta Ray had studied english literature at St. Xavier’s College and Calcutta University. She had felt that it would be only through literature that bonds, both humane and cultural can be established around the globe.

‘In Loving Memory’ is her first book and she hopes that it would touch readers hearts as emotionally as it has touched hers while writing it.

“…the writing style is simple and to the point. The inclusion of some of Dutta Ray’s paintings is an added bonus. I am definitely going to cherish this one for a long time. I am glad I picked up this book.” – The Tales Pensieve

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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianThe Princess of a Whorehouse is a poignant tale of a young girl’s coming of age in one of the most ruthless realms of society in which several naive women and their blameless children are deprived of liberty and freedom to make life choices.

Three-year-old naïve Aparajita is unaware of a murky spell ahead when her widowed mother, Ramya struggles to find a livelihood in a small town in Jharkhand. Ramya takes a dubious decision to relocate to a strange land, a thousand miles away, looking for greener pastures of life. Ramya’s whole world comes crashing down around her when she reaches the megacity of Delhi, and finds that a hypocrite kinfolk traded her dignity and Aparajita’s destiny for a trifling sum of money.

Trapped in the merciless milieu of one of the largest red-light districts in India, Aparajita faces the repercussions of something she has least control of. A restrained society snubs Aparajita for her social class, under the influence of a centuries-old enigma that still persists in the fifth largest economy of the world. The fiasco rips her hope and crushes her childhood dream to study as she grows up in the street of ill repute.

Will Aparajita shrug off her melancholy past in order to break the stereotype? Will she ever pave her way as a bona fide citizen in a prestige obsessed community?

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When Baby Kiriti arrived in this world, he was like a lost butterfly in a sea of white. A baby who is born and thrust into the huge sea of humanity called India, rides and steers his destiny ship, as he constantly grapples with the Clown inside him, who meanwhile brings out his own set of funny oars in these troubled waters.

The Clown’s journey continues on from a Karma-Guru to a trader of special water from Europe (thanks to his Made-in-China friend!), and from a music director (the Bad-Boy theme!) to the founder of a school, and a dirty sock to a sex-crazed, horny bunch of young fellas. The colors of the Clown’s comedy are different but he always plays to the circus of life. As Kiriti encounters a wide array of characters from the length and breadth of India, a land as rich as its flavours, the carefree years full of joy and young hopes come to an end, with the sweet smell of Ganja still lingering under the starry nights. The philosophTales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, Indiany of Meaning is preached, after a session of holy smokes, on the sides of a dusty highway which sees blood and grime daily.

And finally with the Mystical Game which casts a shadow on Kiriti’s life having been won, everything is laid to rest under a blanket of white, only to be stumbled upon by a Sherpa on the peaks of the mighty Himalayas that wakes up something inside of his adorable son!

Is it a Thief, his Dream or the Clown?

And there is a 2000 year old Surprise Gift with the Novel! (Any Guesses?)

India’s Biggest Comedy in Literature! Dedicated to the Desi Software Dudes/Dudesses who turn their Coffee, Beer and even their Blood (sometimes!) into Code & The Great Indian Students who find Facebook to be the most interesting amongst their Books. Google is now 18 years old & still doesn’t know how to get a Girlfriend (try Googling “How to get a Girlfriend”)! Read, Laugh & get a Girlfriend! Da Bad Boy Novel!

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The play introduces both Gandhi and Ambedkar through significant events in their lives. In an opening scene Gandhi is shown to have been thrown off a train with his baggage. The very next day he is physically assaulted by another train official on another train. A lesser known train journey in Babasaheb Ambedkar’s life also proves to be life changing. The play shows Babasaheb as a young boy descending from a train, and how he and his siblings cannot travel to see their father because no cart driver is willing to take them there – all because they are Dalits.

Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianIn the second Act the play moves on to show Gandhi and Ambedkar having matured and become great leaders, the one of the Indian nation and the other of the Dalit community. The Poona conflict between the two great men on the issue of separate electorates for the Dalits sought by Ambedkar and granted by the British thereafter ensues. Gandhi goes on a fast unto death unless the proposal is withdrawn for he believes that this will divide the country. Ambedkar, on the other hand, asserts that he will be hanged from a lamppost rather than betray the cause of his people….

To give the play a contemporary feel and edge, in the opening and concluding scenes three middle-aged intellectuals – a Dalit judge, a Muslim vice-chancellor and a Hindu politician – discuss the above events. A parallel fictional story line involving these three characters, who happen to be old friends, adds to the modern day relevance of the play.

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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianYoung and attractive Poonam who lives in Model Town, Delhi has an arranged marriage with Ravinder who manages a shop together with his father in Ghaziabad. The boy’s family have expectations of a fat dowry from the marriage. Ravinder hopes to set up shop independently in an expensive commercial area. Poonam’s mother Mrs Bajaj has hidden her financial status from the family her daughter is marrying into. When that family’s expectations of a large dowry are not met, things turn sour. Very sour.

And they are now about to turn smoky and acrid as Mrs Arora the mother-in-law starts to scheme and plan on how to use a kerosene stove to get rid of her daughter-in-law.

Will Mrs Arora succeed in her designs or will Poonam escape an attempt on her life? This is a very serious theme but the play is written out like a comedy.

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Sanju, a young college student visits Delhi’s red light area with a friend to celebrate his examination results. Soon after his visit he gets involved in a relationship with Ulfat who teaches at his college. Ulfat is trapped in a bad marriage with Hoover, a lawyer who has recently joined hands with his doctor friend Falooda to set up an NGO that will work on AIDS related issues.
Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianUnknown to Sanju, he has contracted AIDS and he passes it on to Ulfat. When Hoover learns of his wife’s infidelity he throws her out of the house. She moves into Sanju’s small studio flat. They seek advice from Elisabeth, a nun who distributes condoms in the red light area. As a result of her help they go to visit Dr Falooda’s clinic to try to obtain anti-retroviral drugs free of cost. Meanwhile, Hoover and Falooda are in search of patients on whom to test a so-called AIDS vaccine as the behest of an American doctor, Dr Carlos, who promises them introductions to funding agencies.

A work of imagination, the play nevertheless reflects realities of the AIDS situation in a country that today has the highest number of HIV positive persons.

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In this partnership between so-called equals, which can be compared to a polyandrous marriage. The Supreme Court is the woman and Parliament and the Executive her two husbands, one more loutish that the other, depending on your point of view.

In the Nirbhaya case too the gap between theory and law has been highlighted. Following the terrible episode (and even before) there has been continual and great improvement in the substantive laws for both women as well as children who have been victims of sexual violence and yet despite their being so much publicity on the case, the author argues that, concretely, although there has been improvement in the laws themselves, we are nowhere near better enforcement or implementation. Even after the institution of a fast track trial and with the nation’s attention focused on it, the Nirbhaya case still dragged on and it took more than nine months for the trial court to reach a verdict and, as the author explains there are still potentially further delays waiting at the level of the superior courts, the High Court certainly and the Supreme Court too, quite possibly. As the author goes on to show in this well argued book, a woman who is the victim of a sex related crime ‘courts injustice’ whenever she comes to a court, be she the victim of a rape, an acid attack of sexual harassment, the mother or father of such a victim or be it even any ordinary person struggling to find justice.

Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianOur courts, particularly the Supreme Court is performing the function of a nagging wife. Time and again she pulls up the lazy, good-for-nothing husbands (read ‘failure of governance’) and what does either husband do? He goes for a walk, ignoring the wife’s anguished screams even as they follow him. If she complains too much, he tells himself, he’ll see to it that she doesn’t get the silk sari and other goodies she wants (read ‘promotions’, ‘post retirement assignments’, etc). It is only one of the ways he ensures that she doesn’t step too much out of line. All wives nag, he consoles himself. Nagging here and there is tolerable but she must make sure that he gets his meals on time (read ‘doesn’t bar him from contesting elections even if there are a dozen or more criminal cases pending against him’). Meanwhile the overzealous wife doesn’t realize that while she rails and rants against the erring ways of her husband, the dishes are piling up in the kitchen and the maid has gone away for six months and the dishes, they are piling up (read, the arrears are accumulating)

The time has come. It cannot continue to remain ‘business as usual’. There will be justice for Nirbhaya. Our ‘brave heart’ will also bring justice and relief to all her sisters and possibly, even to the rest of us.

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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianJohn, a lecturer in philosophy at Delhi University, returns to his flat one evening to find a letter waiting for him. A subsequent meeting with the author of the letter leaves a question mark over the supposed death of john’s fiancée, some years back.

He temporarily suspends his work with the hijra community in Delhi to accompany Diamond, a researcher in aesthetics, to Shimla, where he had studied. At Shimla they find themselves in the midst of a right-wing conspiracy.

After four weeks, when John returns to Delhi he is nowhere near a solution to the problem. If anything, events in the past seem even more inexplicable.

This is a story of a deeply felt personal quest for beauty and love, against the backdrop of modern India with all its strange contradictions and tensions.

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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianRabi is an Indian lawyer, who comes to New College, Oxford to do a six-month diploma in Human Rights Law.

The novel chronicles the high and low points of his half-year through his interaction with relatives long settled in England, former Indian friends now based there, and students who represent British, American, European and other nationalities.

He falls in love with an English girl and for some time it appears that the story will follow on the lines of the tragic affair his great uncle had with a European woman years earlier.

Does it or is Rabi’s story going to be different after all it has been decades since that affair?

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Tales, Pensieve, Reviewers, Programme, Apply, Review, Book, IndianMonika and her two cousins, Pravir and Roomy, form a small group devoted to the protection of the environment. They discover the world of through adventure, mystery and romance.

From Nainital to Delhi and back they make friends, explore places of interest together and even solve the mystery of a ‘Green Ghost’ in a haunted house.

The Three Greens, as they call themselves, are just as curious as they are environmentally conscious. They learn from their peers, elders and from nature. Engagingly told these stories conduct us through small experiences and seek solutions to serious environmental issues.

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