India From Your Couch | Maharaja Drivers

A book for the road

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  • Ladies coupe : Anita NAIR .

     Meet Akhila: forty-five and single, an income-tax clerk, and a woman who has never been allowed to live her own life - always the daughter, the sister, the aunt, the provider - until the day she gets herself a one-way ticket to the seaside town of Kanyakumari. In the intimate atmosphere of the all-women sleeping car - the 'Ladies Coupe' - Akhila asks the five women the question that has been haunting her all her adult life: can a woman stay single and be happy, or does she need a man to feel complete? 

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  • The Alchemy of desire : Tarun TEJPAL

    In turn-of-the-millennium India, a penniless would-be writer halts work on his novel only to feed his ceaseless desire for his beautiful wife. Then a chance occurrence moves the lovers to a sprawling old house in a mist-shrouded spur of the lower Himalayas, where a set of diaries written by a glamorous American adventuress is uncovered during renovations. Her words irresistibly draw the writer away from his beloved, thrusting him through the hole of history into another world and time, revealing dark secrets and overturning all certainties.
     

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  • Of marriageable age : Sharon MAAS

    A spellbinding story of forbidden love, spanning three continents and three decades. Set against the Independence struggles of two British colonies, Of Marriageable Age is ultimately a story of personal triumph against a brutal fate, brought to life by a multicultural cast of characters:. 

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  • The God of small things : Arundhati ROY

    Set in Kerala in the 1960s, The God of Small Things is about two children, Estha and Rahel, and the shocking consequences of a pivotal event in their young lives, the accidental death-by-drowning of a visiting English cousin. In magical and poetic language, the novel paints a vivid picture of life in a small rural Indian town, the thoughts and feelings of the two small children, and the complexity and hypocrisy of the adults in their world. It is also a poignant lesson in the destructive power of the caste system and moral and political bigotry in general 
     

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  • The mistress of spices : Chitra Banerjee DIVAKARUNI

    Tilo, the titular "Mistress of Spices," is a shopkeeper and an immigrant from India who helps customers satisfy their needs and desires with spices. Her life changes when she falls in love with an American man. When she was a little girl she could see what other people couldn't see. 

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  • Q and A : Vikas SWARUP

    Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, India, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all twelve questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never read a newspaper or gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question. 

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  • Lajja (shame) : Taslima NASREEN

    In Ayodhya, in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, on 6 December 1992, Babri Masjid is demolished. The demolition has repercussions in neighboring Bangladesh. The fire of communal rioting erupts, and the Dutta family feels and faces the heat of the communal hatred. Each member of the family feels about this in his/her own way. Sudhamoy, the patriarch, feels that Bangladesh, his motherland, shall never let him down. Kiranmayee as a faithful wife stands by her husband's views. Suranjan, their son, believes that nationalism will be stronger than communalism but is progressively disappointed. He finds himself adopting communal reactions that contrast entirely with the ideology of patriotism he has always had faith in. Nilanjana curses her brother's apathy and coaxes his brother to take the family to a Muslim friend's house for safety.
    It is a story of metamorphosis, in which disastrous events create disillusionment, resulting in violence and resentment. 

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  • For matrimonial purposes : Kavita DASWANI

    Hilarious and heart-warming, For Matrimonial Purposes proves that while the search for love takes many forms, the heartbreak and exhilaration are universal. In a sensual whirl of silk and spices, Kavita Daswani takes us from Bombay to New York and back again - in what is sure to be one of the most welcomed debuts of the summer.
    Unmarried at twenty-four - and with no prospects in sight - Anju is a great source of worry to her family. Despite the best efforts of relatives, fortune-tellers, and matchmakers to arrange a marriage, she can't seem to find a husband - or at least one she's willing to marry. 

     

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  • Midnight's children : Salman RUSHDIE

    Born at the stroke of midnight, at the precise moment of India's independence, Saleem Sinai is destined from birth to be special. For he is one of 1,001 children born in the midnight hour, children who all have special gifts, children with whom Saleem is telepathically linked.
    But there has been a terrible mix up at birth, and Saleem's life takes some unexpected twists and turns. As he grows up amidst a whirlwind of triumphs and disasters, Saleem must learn the ominous consequences of his gift, for the course of his life is inseparably linked to that of his motherland, and his every act is mirrored and magnified in the events that shape the newborn nation of India. It is a great gift, and a terrible burden. 


     

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  • Inside the haveli : Rama MEHTA

    A modern classic about an independent young woman's struggle to hold on to her identity in a traditional world. Geeta, an educated, vivacious Bombay girl, marries into a conservative family and abruptly finds herself living in purdah in her husband's ancestral haveli. Faced with this and other traditions that threaten to snuff out her independence and progressive views, Geeta fights to maintain the modem values that she has always lived by. Inside the Haveli is the story of how Geeta manages to carve out an identity for herself in the new and ostensibly stifling environment she has been plunged into. 

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  • Raj : Gita MEHTA

    Jaya Singh is the intelligent, beautiful, and compassionate daughter of the Maharajah and Maharani of Balmer. Raised in the thousand-year-old tradition of purdah, a strict regime of seclusion, silence, and submission, Jaya is ill-prepared to assume the role of Regent Maharani of Sirpur upon the death of her decadent, Westernized husband. But Jaya bravely fulfills her duty and soon finds herself thrust into the center of a roiling political battle in which the future of the kingdom is at stake . . . and her own future as well. 

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  • Arranged marriage : Chitra Banerjee DIVAKARUNI

    A captivating and emotional book, at times funny, at times sad, but always profound. Composed of short stories, where no two are alike but together give an incredible sense of harmony and leaves every reader with a deep impression. With all these short stories Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni wants especially Indian women to be strong and conscious of the values each and every one of them has and wants to evoke the possibility of change, of starting anew. 

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  • Untouchables ( My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India) : Narendra JADHAV

    Every sixth human being in the world today is an Indian, and every sixth Indian is an untouchable. For thousands of years the untouchables, or Dalits, the people at the bottom of the Hindu caste system, have been treated as subhuman. Their story has rarely been told. This remarkable book achieves something altogether unprecedented: it gives voice to India's voiceless. 

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  • Are you experienced? : William SUTCLIFFE

    A devastatingly funny satire on the whole idea of student travel,and particularly the India back-pack trail. Dave travels to India with Liz because he thinks he might be able to get her into bed. Liz travels to India with Dave because she wants a companion for her voyage of spiritual discovery. She loves it. He dreams of frosty mornings, pints of lager and restaurants where vegetable curry is only a side-dish... 

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  • Transmission : Hari KUNZRU

    In Transmission, award-winning writer Hari Kunzru takes an ultra-contemporary turn with the story of an Indian computer programmer whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer.
    Lonely and naive, Arjun spends his days as a lowly assistant virus- tester, pining away for his free-spirited colleague Christine. Arjun gets laid off like so many of his Silicon Valley peers, and in an act of desperation to keep his job, he releases a mischievous but destructive virus around the globe that has major unintended consequences. As world order unravels, so does Arjun's sanity, in a rollicking cataclysm that reaches Bollywood and, not so coincidentally, the glamorous star of Arjun's favorite Indian movie. 

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  • Five past midnight in Bhopal : Dominique LAPIERRE

    It was December 3, 1984. In the ancient city of Bhopal, a cloud of toxic gas escaped from an American pesticide plant, killing and injuring thousands of people. When the noxious clouds cleared, the worst industrial disaster in history had taken place. Now, Dominique Lapierre brings the hundreds of characters, conflicts, and adventures together in an unforgettable tale of love and hope. Readers will meet the poetry-loving factory worker who unleashes the apocalypse, the young Indian bride who was to be married that terrible night, and the doctors who died that night saving others. It is a gripping, fascinating account that is already mesmerizing readers around the world. 

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  • City of joy : Dominique LAPIERRE

    Living in the seeming hell of one of the poorest and most crowded quarters of Calcutta are the saints of today: saints such as Mother Teresa, saints such as Stephen Kovalski, an unkown Polish Catholic priest who made his home there to care for the poorest of the poor. And Max Loeb, an American physician dedicated to fighting disease in this dirty hellhole. City of Joy, the story of these saints, is a testament to the human spirit unbowed by the most wretched of circumstances. 

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  • Freedom at midnight : Dominique LAPIERRE

    This 2009 edition of Freedom At Midnight takes the readers back in time, when India was on the verge of obtaining freedom from the British Raj. The authors start off by throwing light on the appointment of Lord Mountbatten as the nation's final viceroy. This book also comprises of interviews with a number of witnesses to these events, including Lord Mountbatten.

     
     
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