A terrorist’s tale, some spirituality, some branding tips


New Delhi : Here are five new books to sit back and enjoy this week:

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1. “Traitor” – written by Shobasakti; published by Penguin-Viking: Set in the turbulent milieu of bullets and blood at the peak of the LTTE struggle in Sri Lanka, “Traitor” is a rhetoric of torture, pain and black humour that gives voice to the testimonies of millions of refugees of the torn land.

Nesakumaran’s story begins in the Sri Lanka of the 1980s when, radicalised by the dream of a Tamil state, he abandons his seminary. As a terrorist, he is not much of a threat because of the missions he botches up, but once Nesakumaran enters the system, he is trapped in a whirlpool of interrogation chambers, army camps and regional camps. The book climaxes with the massacre of Tamil prisoners by the Sinhalese inmates in the Welikade prison in 1983. A powerful book of pain, pathos and dark humour.

2. “A Requiem For a Brand” – written by Pradip Chanda; published by Roli-Lotus: Brands call the business shots in the 21st century. But brand loyalty, says veteran brandman Pradip Chanda, is inversely proportional to the income and education level of the knowledge consumer.

The business writer probes why and how brands became strategic assets as he profiles the evolution of the new knowledge consumer and how companies protect the equity of the brands they have nurtured over the decades. The book advocates a new approach to building brand loyalty in today’s high-tech, high-stakes, brand-hostile environs.

3. “Ramakrishna Paramahansa: The Sadhaka of Dakshineswar” – written by Amiya P. Sen; published by Penguin Viking: He is the Buddha of Bengal. The spiritual life and experiences of Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-86) reflect in some ways the richness and underlying unity of the Hindu-Bengali religious culture as well as its inherent tensions.

The book throws light on him in the context of the contradictions of 19th century Bengal – his Vaishnav roots and Sakti worship, bhakti gyan and the tradition of gurus and sadhakas. This is the third biography of the seer by Amiya P. Sen and provides rare insights into the guru’s life.

4. “Mask In the Mirror” – written by Nidhi Chawla; published by Cedar Books Pustak Mahal: Living a writer’s life is like straddling two bizarre worlds. The book narrates the journey of an ordinary man who decided to write one day. The first sentence of his book changes his life as he confronts himself.

The writer, a simpleton, realises is complex temperament and abstraction of thoughts as he metamorphoses into a writer. Author Nidhi Chawla, a criminal lawyer by profession, uses her insight into human nature and psychological aberrations to probe a writer’s brain.

5. “Ash & Tara And The Emerald Dagger” – written by Jeanne Perrett; published by Penguin-Puffin: Emperor Akbar is about to lose his lucky emerald dagger that a stranger on a white horse gives him during a battle. Thieves are eyeing it.

Poor twins Ash and Tara who live in a village on the bank of Yamuna opposite Agra Fort sniffs the plot and wings their way into the Agra Fort to battle some of the vilest villains.