Kaka Vidhate

Right down to his core, Duryodhan believes that the Kuru kingdom belongs to the Kauravas. He will not give away even an inch of that ancestral land without a fight. How can he? The Pandavas are not even the real sons of Maharaj Pandu, they are not true heirs of the Kurus. In his bestselling Marathi novel, Kaka Vidhate reimagines the enduring tale of the Mahabharat, turning away from the victors to listen to other points of view. In so doing, he reveals an endlessly fascinating protagonist: Duryodhan. He peels back layers upon layers to reveal unknown facets to the character. To some the Kaurava prince is an anti-hero, to others a hero no less than Arjun. In Vidhate’s telling, he is an enigmatic life force that shook and overwhelmed many a statesman and warrior.

Matinee Men: A Journey through Bollywood

Roshmila Bhattacharya

Do you know that the horror movie Mahal grew out of an eerie experience Ashok Kumar had during an overnight stay at a resort? A nervous Yusuf Khan learnt of his screen name Dilip Kumar from his debut film’s promotions? Or Aditya Chopra had to fool Shah Rukh Khan into agreeing to a narration by saying DDLJ was an action film! This book attempts to go beneath the pancake and the paint, beyond the glam and the glory, to bring to the readers the human behind the celluloid persona. Peppered with anecdotes and candid interviews with some of the Indian Cinema’s most iconic stars, it is a story of Bollywood as seen through the world of its greatest magicians, the stars.

Queen of Mahishmathi

Anand Neelakantan

Sivagami’s missteps have only deepened her determination to fulfil her father’s wish and stop the despicable activities at Gauriparvat. And so she battles on. Unknown to her, Maharaja Somadeva’s challengers have begun to close in on the king, and Sivagami finds herself at a disadvantage. With a player like Somadeva, though, the biggest mistake you can make is to not immediately checkmate and destroy. The game of chaturanga is not quite over. As Sivagami takes on the kingdom’s enemies, guided by Somadeva, she finds in her manoeuvres an echo of the man she has always detested. In her journey to becoming the queen of Mahishmathi, Sivagami must choose between love and ambition, principles and deviousness, selflessness and envy.

Pakistan’s Terror Conundrum

Khaled Ahmed

Pakistan was born amid communal violence and a collective consciousness of danger. Right from the outset, democracy was up for debate between the politicians nurtured by the British Raj and an orthodox clergy that advocated a utopia in which Islam was to be the ideological guide. Today, the threat of religion as an extra-legal force is causing many Pakistanis to think if the state can move ahead with Islam as its credo. In this collection of writings, senior journalist Khaled Ahmed examines Pakistan’s policies regarding terrorism against the backdrop of increasing pressure from international organisations. Ahmed looks at the origins and activities of the various terrorist organisations, the role of the state and ideology of its founding figures.