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Knowing a Warrior and a Seductress

Most of the stories we hear or see in India are inspired in some way or the other by the two great epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. What is intriguing about these two epics is that you pick any character and that character is never purely good or bad. Each characterisation is just so layered. This is a trait that definitely stands out in the Mahabharata. Take Arjun, for instance. He is the idealist in a world that is not ideal.

Munshi Premchand, father of modern hindi literature

Munshi Premchand, one of the greatest literary figures of modern Hindi literature was born on July 31, 1880. Premchand was born in a small village Lamhi, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. His name was Dhanpat Rai. He lost his mother at a very young age and was brought up by his grandmother. But after his grandmother died, his father remarried. His stepmother did not love him, and Premchand grew up missing his mother. This loneliness led him to fiction in which

Paperback revolution that started with Penguin

The first Penguin paperback book is published in England, kick-starting the paperback revolution on July 30, 1935. The introduction of steam-powered printing press, pulp mills, automatic typesetting and a good well-connected railway network led to many changes and developments in the printing and publishing business. Taking advantage of the new developments, Simms and Mcintyre of Belfast, Routledge & Sons and Ward & Lock mass-produced cheap yellowback or paperback editions of already available works. They distributed and sold them throughout the British

Mein Kampf, the philosophical autobiography of Hitler

The first volume of Mein Kampf, the philosophical autobiography of Adolf Hitler, was published on July 18, 1925. Mein Kampf was clearly a blueprint of Hitler’s agenda for Germany and the Third Reich and a clear indication of what Europe would go through from 1939 to 1945. Mein Kampf is a book by Hitler, but he did not sit down and write it. It was during his prison stay in Landsberg in 1923-1924, he dictated it to Rudolf Hess, a fellow mate. Therefore

Book Review – Shammi Kapoor: The Game Changer

Did you know that Shammi Kapoor had a string of 19 flops before his first hit? Did you know he nearly married Mumtaz? Or that he was really smitten by socialite Bina Ramani? 'Shammi Kapoor: The Game Changer', a biography of the dashing actor by Rauf Ahmed is full of such nuggets. It does an excellent job of helping the reader discover the human behind the persona that was Shammi Kapoor. And the delving deep into the personal and professional life

Book review: Destiny of Shattered Dreams

Destiny of Shattered Dreams is an insider’s account of what goes on in the corporate and big businesses in India. The nexus between businesspeople, underworld and politicians is clearly etched out. This fictional drama has a heady mix of power and passion, ambition, deceit and drama, lost love, lust and regret. It charts the journey of an ordinary middle-class guy, Atul Malhotra and his rise in business in just a decade. The story is a flashback account of his rise

Raakshas – the making of a demon

Traumatic incidents when one is young can have a long-lasting effect on an individual's mind and take people on different paths - depending on their own strength of character. In Raakshas, one is moved by guilt to become a protector of law and order, while the other goes down the dark road of becoming a serial killer. The book is about these two intersecting paths with plenty of incidents and drama thrown in. ‘Raakshas’ begins with a background of the main

Notching it up a few levels at Doon Lit Fest

9.00 am, April 22, 2016. It felt like I was ready to take on the world with my premier co-owned and organised event – WIC India Dehradun Literature Festival. Nervous and excited I stood on the stage at the host venue the World Integrity Center, contemplating, if things would change hereon for me from all aspects. I was to open the festival welcoming the authors, guests and the audience and was excited to witness the first-of-its-kind festival for book lovers

Anything But Khamosh: all about Shotgun

Shatrughan Sinha has a special place in film-land. Even when he played a negative role, he had charm and dare I say, sympathy. He was the original enfant terrible of Hindi films. Now, of course, he is a seasoned politician whose booming voice and witty one-liners cause crowds to cheer loudly. Anything but Khamosh, an absolutely un-put-down-able book on the life and times of Shatrughan Sinha tells us many candid, less-known and insightful details about the first ever Indian film

Get high on literature in Dehradun

Dehradun is all set to witness the first ever gala literature event on the coming weekend. World Integrity Center, India (WIC India) – the most sought after cultural hub in Dehradun, is gearing up to host the first ever Literature Festival in the city on 22nd and 23rd April, 2016. The festival’s organizing partners include the prestigious ‘Harvard Club of India’ and leading PR and brand consultancy firm, ‘Springhead Communications’. 25 renowned fiction and non-fiction authors along with 6 of the