From a self-help book unlike any other, to a fictional tale on the realities of modern indian marriages and an insight into Bollywood baddies, HELLO! brings you a mixed bag of reads to keep you occupied this weekend …
Barkat by Vikas Khanna
Multi-hyphenate Vikas Khanna needs no introduction. In Barkat: The Inspiration and the Story Behind One of World’s Largest Food Drives FEED INDIA, the award-winning chef with a Michelin-starred New York restaurant takes you through his awe-inspiring journey. The moving narrative chronicles his tryst with fate, coupled with a resolve to make his vision — to showcase Indian culture and cuisine on the world stage — a reality. The book is a heart-warming tale of Khanna’s journey from humble beginnings — he hails from Amritsar — to amassing global acclaim. Be it his pursuit for a Michelin star or organising one of the world’s largest food drives, Feed India, during the pandemic, Khanna’s intent to celebrate and share food is at the crux of all his soulful work. Through the pages of Barkat, he embarks on a path that brings him closer to his fans from the world over.
Boys Don’t Cry by Meghna Pant
While it’s easy to post pictures of a happy marriage online, living through one is often a different ball game altogether. Taking notes from the realities of modern Indian marriages, award-winning author Meghna Pant pens a rather thrilling read, highlighting the oft-overlooked tales of marital abuse and neglect. When protagonist Maneka Pataudi gets embroiled in a crime narrative with the passing of her husband, readers are brought to a thought- provoking question: are her confessions the truth or a lie? Is she telling the story as a victim or a perpetrator? Is it better for women to kill for love or be killed for it? As Pant herself says in an interview, Boys Don’t Cry is “a peek into the closed doors of a modern Indian marriage of the kind of husband no man should become. It’s a conversation on mental health that every family should have”.
Pure Evil: The Bad Men Of Bollywood by Balaji Vittal
Over the years, Bollywood villains have managed to evoke a sense of lure and build an air of mystery around them. They’re intriguing at their best, irksome at their worst. Iconic dialogues like “Mogambo khush hua” from Mr. India and “Yeh haath mujhe de de, Thakur” from Sholay hold as much popularity today as they did decades ago during their release. And with Pure Evil, author Balaji Vittal dives deep into the enigma to explore the subject and its dark yet delightful nuances. Interspersed with riveting, behind-the-curtain facts about these characters, their portrayal and the actors themselves, the book unveils a ‘big black box’ by a staunch Bollywood loyalist, who traces the evolution of the unforgettable bad boys of Indian cinema.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
One might believe that its results that make a self- help book what they’re meant to be. But author James Clear makes it rather clear (pun unintended) in his New York Times bestseller that this isn’t always the case. Unlike usual self-help books, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones focuses on establishing a system of practical strategies that needn’t work for anyone but you. As Clear aptly puts it in his book: “Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” Peppered with moving real-life stories from Olympic gold medallists, award- winning artists, business leaders and other such personalities, Atomic Habits is a trusty survival kit for those keen on exploring the science of developing small yet powerful and consistent habits to become the best versions of themselves.
Shringara Of Shrinathji by Amit Ambalal
A limited-edition coffee-table book, Shringara of Shrinathji catalogues 60 previously unpublished and captivating miniature paintings of the centuries-old Pushtimarg tradition, interspersed with expositions by author and celebrated scholar Amit Ambalal. Conceptualised by design pioneer Vikram Goyal, the collector’s item contains exceptional, high-quality photographic reproductions of these artworks of the different aspects of Shrinathji’s adornments, including the shringari, the head dress, ornaments, dress and the pichvai backdrop. It’s a visual anthology of the late Gokal Lal Mehta’s family collection of Nathdwara paintings.
A Little Book Of India: Celebrating 75 Years Of Independence by Ruskin Bond
With the diamond jubilee anniversary of India’s independence came this slice of wonder from acclaimed author Ruskin Bond. A Little Book of India was born out of Bond’s reverence for the country he’s called home for 84 years. It traces India’s transformative journey through his memories and impressions, an homage to the nation’s diversity in culture, geography and more that evokes a sense of nostalgia we didn’t know was buried deep within us. A delightful read in Bond’s signature style of writing, the book reminds us why he’s India’s most-loved author.
Silent Parade: A Detective Galileo Novel by Keigo Higashino
Part of the gripping Detective Galieleo series of mystery novels, Silent Parade brings you a crime fiction in Keigo Higashino’s distinct intriguing style, with delightful insights into Japanese culture. The story follows the disappearance of a popular young girl and a series of seemingly impossible murders. These force Chief Inspector Kusangi of the Tokyo Police to reach out to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manabu Yukawa — better known as Detective Galileo. Plot twists, perplexing alibis and a riveting sense of suspense make this thrilling murder-mystery a page-turner through and through.
Unburden: A Book Of Joyous Awakenings by Nithya Shanti With Andini Sen Mehra
At one point in our lives we’ve all wondered whether there’s a particular code to crack to have it all. What if everything we assumed about success and fulfillment was, in reality, all a farce? In Unburden, Nithya Shanti unravels a basket of curious and soul-stirring findings he amassed as a forest monk. A compelling first-person narrative, co-authored with acclaimed poet and Reuel International Prize recipient Nandini Sen Mehra, the book delves deep into a subject that arouses as much intrigue as marvel —what is it that we really want? Interesting anecdotes interspersed with exercises for self-discovery and Shanti’s teachings for awakening make Unburden an inspiring read, which will push you to tread a path of awareness and gratitude to experience joy for what it really is.
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in HELLO! India’s February and March 2022 issues. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!