1. A slice of life by Smita Das Jain
Every human wears a mask. Behind the cheerful facade lies faith, hope, trust, love, despair, confidence, insecurity . Everyone has a story. A DINK couple finding Work From Home a challenge. The Couple who wasn’t one. A rigid person who deviates from a lifelong habit. Two people who remain in touch for 35 years, without talking. A daughter who has sacrificed her dreams for her mother. A fictional potpourri of extraordinary narratives of ordinary people who have more to their everyday lives beneath the surface, these stories reflect myriad hues of human behaviour. From the author of the suspense thriller ‘The Lost Identity’ comes an anthology that touches the human heart.
2. An Indian Farrago: Stories and Poems by Mohit Khare
A crook messes up his first murder due to a misplaced phone call, a tenant grapples with his grumpy ex-landlord to get back his deposit, a son revels in his father coming out of depression due to a leopard. An orphan slum boy and his dog caught in Mumbai’s biggest deluge, a young boy’s escapades in the hills only to be held captive while witnessing wildfires, a gifted but struggling poet becoming estranged with his wife due to the adversities of life.
In this seeming farrago of short stories and poems – you will encounter incredible but real characters dealing with tricky situations, complex human relationships, dreams, superstitions and even reflections on the basic premise of life.
3. Blood & Brown Sugar: The Ride of His Life by L.A. NOLAN
Motorcycles, guns, heroin. These things were not a part of Alex Crossman’s life. He was a simple young man, leading a peaceful, mundane existence. Right up to the moment he accidentally injures a member of Montreal’s most nefarious motorcycle club, the Chevaux de Fer. As recompense, Alex is forced to travel to India and escort the Club’s latest drug shipment home.
While under the watchful eye of the Club’s Indian contingent and ensnared by the seductive charms of its president’s mistress, Ipsita Chaudhary, Alex begins his dark and agonizing metamorphosis from a law-abiding citizen to outlaw biker.
Now, inescapably leveraged into the gang’s sinister world and with the Narcotics Control Bureau in hot pursuit, he struggles to resist the incessant pull of this dark and unfamiliar lifestyle. A lifestyle fraught with tainted love and criminal behaviour. Long dead ghosts from his past whisper to his subconscious, luring him down a twisted and terrifying path of self-realization.
4.The Golden Warrior by Naveen Rajaka
An evil supernatural entity has returned after 300 years to fulfil his insidious intention. He wants to achieve something that no one has – immortality. He captures 300 innocent children to offer them for sacrifice to complete the ritual. Asmi, one of the kidnapped children, has a little brother who takes it upon himself to save the only family he has. Erish, merely 8 years old and specially-abled with a twisted arm, embarks on a long and perilous journey to reach the Golden Warrior, the only one who has the power to vanquish the evil. With only a fortnight’s time to find this Warrior “born out of flames” and innumerable challenges to pass through in the journey, Erish realises he only has his iron will to bank on. From fighting a man-eating humanoid to having to resist electric shocks, will he overcome all the hurdles and pain in his way to save his sister And there is price to be paid to use the powers of the Golden Warrior, a price that could cost him his own life. Will he be able to make the sacrifice?
5. Bandilanka’s Forgotten Lives by Kamakshi Pappu Murti
Bandilanka, a fictional village in Southern India, represents many such ones across the Indian subcontinent, still caught up in the age-old customs, and superstitions that are destructive at times. The characters in this collection have each faced some form of injustice or loss.
‘A cleaning woman’s tale’ and ‘Vegetable vendor Sundari’ exemplify sex-discrimination in the village. ‘Widowhood across generations’ describes the fate of widows from all castes, classes, and age groups. ‘The matter of trans lives’ and ‘Tradition’s stranglehold’ show how despite a 2014 law formally recognizing the existence of a third gender, Hijras continue to face hate and persecution, as does the entire LGBTQ+ community.
Bigotry raises its ugly head in ‘Night soil removers Kaavanna and Kondamma,’ but is condemned in an interesting reversal of fate. ‘A washerman’s dream’ is the poignant story of a washerman who with his dying breath thanks a loving family for giving him the strength to stand up to a lifetime of rejection because of his perceived low caste.
6. You Are a Zero by Rohit Sai Chetla
Arjun had everything a teenager could dream of – good lifestyle, supportive parents, great friends, the love of his life – Harshu, and the ambition to be successful one day.
A tragedy befell, throwing him into pain and misery. He found himself at a crossroad, disillusioned by the education system, without his love by his side, questioning the meaning of life itself. And thus began his descent into chaos, drugs, and alcohol.
Will Arjun survive and come out of this turmoil? Will life lend him a helping hand?
7. In Search Of by Aditi Bathia
“Can you ever forget your one true first love? Does marriage supersede love? Can marriage survive without love? And what happens when the love of your life leaves you, only to return at the most vulnerable time of your life?
Join Anya, a successful advertising executive, on her journey to discover answers to these questions as she bumps into Aarav, her ex from her life before marriage and now her firm’s client, after eight long years. As sparks reignite instantly upon her reunion with Aarav, Anya risks her marriage with Yohan to explore what the other side of loyalty holds for her.
8. The Breakthrough, 11 Trailblazers. One Movement by Megha Bajaj
We all want happiness and success and keep chasing both throughout our lives. However, only 4-5 per cent of people in the entire world end up becoming successful and from among them less than 1 per cent become successful and happy. What is the secret power that propels these people to the top of the pyramid? What makes them who they are?
Bestselling Author Megha Bajaj set out on a journey and visited different parts of the country and discovered 11 such individuals who were truly happy and successful. She realized that in a country of 1.3 billion people these individuals had one thing in common—they had the rare ability to turn an ordinary event into a significant one and then turn that into a ‘breakthrough’.
They seize the moment when there is nothing perceptible to seize; they look at the present and create a future; they realize that the Supreme Power is always there, only if one believes unfailingly, surrenders completely and works tirelessly. Meet Nitin, Asha, Arun, Chitra, Sandeep, Kanni, Uvaraj, Guru, Kavish, Mukesh, Praburam and Sushiil.
9. Between Us by Sanhita Baruah
A short and comforting book containing short notes reminding one of old-school love in a modern world. The book is divided into four chapters. The first chapter “On the last page of my notebook” takes you to the innocent world of teen love. The second chapter “ Modern love” is all about modern day dating. The third chapter “Not meant for each other “ plays with the concept of soulmates and twin flames, and how relationships are mere relationships and not love in its truest form. The final chapter is titled “ Love in Abundance” and it talks about how we can find love everywhere around us.