Film songs and drama on bookshelf (IANS Books This Week)

January 21st, 2012 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog Millionaire New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) Chill with a varied pile of books on history, Gulzar’s lyrics and Dalai Lama’s philosophy this weekend. Browse on:

1. “Sentinels of Raisina Hill”; Written by Dhirendra Singh and Mohan Joseph; Published by Timeless Books, Priced at Rs.3,000

The book is perhaps the first-ever coffee table book about the government’s secretariat buildings - the north and south blocks as they are known. The book comes at a time when New Delhi completes 100 years since the British announced the transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi.

The book focuses on the architectural evolution of the North and South blocks - and relies on numerous black and white sketches to explore the interiors and exteriors of the buildings that combine colonial and Indian architectural styles. The sketches are complimented by several old black and white photographs of the imposing complex that once hosted the British East India Company and later the government of India offices.

2. “A Free Man”; Written by Aman Sethi; Published by Random House; Priced at Rs.399

Mohammed Ashraf has studied biology and after college has learnt how to repair television sets, cut suit lengths and slice chicken. He has lived in Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Surat and Patna, but one evening he gets stoned on the streets of Sadar Bazar in North Delhi.

The morning shall bring hangovers, whiskey breakfasts, and possibly some answers to the lingering questions that haunt him. How did he get here and what is the way back home. The book is an account of a nameless man in an invisible city.

3. “Beyond Religion: Ethics For a Whole World”; Written by Tenzin Gyatso (Dalai Lama); Published by Harper Collins-India; Priced at Rs.399

Ten years ago, in his bestselling “Ethics for a New Millennium”, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. Now, in “Beyond Religion”, the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the non-religious way.

Transcending the mere “religion wars”, he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that gives full respect to religion. With the highest level of spiritual and intellectual authority, the Dalai Lama makes a stirring appeal for what he calls a ‘third way’, a path to an ethical and happy life, and to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect.

“Beyond Religion” is an essential statement from the Dalai Lama, a blueprint for all those who may choose not to identify with a religious tradition, yet yearn for a life of spiritual fulfilment as they work for a better world.

4. “100 Lyrics”; Written by Gulzar; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.299

From “Mora gora ang lai le”, his first film lyric written for Bimal Roy’s “Bandini” in 1963, to the Oscar-winning “Jai ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”, Gulzar has brought a rare poetic sensibility to popular Hindi film music over a five-decade-long career. His sophisticated insights into psychological complexities, his ability to capture the essence of nature’s sounds and spoken dialects in written words, and above all his inimitable - and often surprising - imagery have entertained millions of movie and music lovers down the years.

This book is a collection of some of the most memorable lyrics and sketches by Gulzar.

5. “Curse of the Godman”; Written by Biddu; Published by Harper Collins India; Priced at Rs.299

1951… An unseen spectre terrorizes the areas around Darjeeling’s scenic tea plantations. As the events unfold, Michael and Sarah Patterson, British owners of the thriving Silver Glade plantation, find their lives intricately enmeshed, and with the frightening figure of a Naga sadhu whom Michael glimpses on a dark night.

The sleepy little town nestled in the hills of northeast India wakes up to a number of murky incidents - a society lady’s murder, the appearance of a godman, the search for an elusive predator, the blossoming love between a Hindu and a Christian, and the furtive attraction between Sarah and her husband’s best friend, Sanjay Kapoor, who is also the manager of the plantation - all of which come together in a riveting climax.

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