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Dreams, movies, philosophy on bookshelf


New Delhi : Explore dreams, learn about Satyajit Ray’s movies and delve into flaws hidden behind a mask of civilised existence with this week’s bouquet…Read on.

1. Book: “On Dreams and Dreaming: Boundaries of Consciousness”; Edited by Sudhir Kakar; Published by Penguin Books; Priced at Rs.399

Mapping the uncharted territory on the edges of psychological knowledge, the essays in this anthology explore compelling aspects of dreams and dreaming. They discuss topics as diverse as memorable dreams, lucid dreaming, the role of dreams in the evolution of human consciousness.

2. Book: “Satyajit Ray: In Search of the Modern”; Written by Suranjan Ganguly; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.250

Satyajit Ray was India’s pre-eminent filmmaker, as well as a major figure in world cinema. He made more than 30 movies and was awarded an Oscar for Lifetime Achievements in 1992. A truly cosmopolitan artist, he combined elements from his own culture with
those of the West, creating a unique synthesis.

The book examines six major movies by Ray focusing on issues of human subjectivity, the importance of education, the emancipation of women and the rise of the new middle class and the crisis of identity in post-independence India.

3. Book: “Unusual People Do Things Differently”; Written by T.G.C. Prasad; Written by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.399

Unusual people are ordinary people who strive hard to do ordinary things. They are sensitive to nuances, look to provide lateral solutions, dare to think out of the box and often end up changing the rules of the game. The writer presents the experiences and views of 65 individuals from well-known names like Mike Lawrie, Azim Premji and
Mother Teresa to a chef, masseur and service boy to connect their achievements, journeys and inspirations.

4. Book: “Table for Four”; Written by K. Srilata; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.250

The book is a rumination on the burden of secrets, learning to let go and accepting the losses and betrayals in our lives. It is their last evening together. Maya, Sandra and Derek – graduate students in Santa Cruz and housemates for three years – are preparing for dinner with uncle Prithvi, the house owner. Sandra is prone to Orkut attacks, Derek pines for an Afghan boy and Maya who has the hots for Derek is terrified of the ocean.

The elusive uncle Prithvi communicates through notes he leaves all over the places. The trio, Maya, Sandra and Prithvi swap stories as they wait for Derek to come. Their lives unravel, spilling dark secrets and Derek does not turn up fearing he might reveal himself.

5. Book: “The Valley of Masks”; Written by Tarun Tejpal; Published by HarperCollins, India; Priced at Rs.499

This is the story of a protagonist and his race, an exploration of the pathologies of power, purity and dogma, of men and their fantasies. Slightly autobiographical, the protagonist talks of his crusades, ego, his brand of spirituality, emotions, aesthetics and of a life spent battling a shadowy system of flaws in a valley, where everything is either masked or hidden behind veneers of civilized existence as he hears the call of the 9 o clock train and sees the sand draining off his hour glass. The characters are alphabets, numbers and words that convey their state of being in the tale.