Bookends: Love, travels and peeking into the future

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New Delhi– Flick through the tale of three women looking for love in the online dating space, wade through the story about a solitary walk on a village road in the English countryside and know the interesting story of a man who bravely breaks conventions.

The IANS bookshelf has varied fare for you this week. Read on!

Book-Cupidity Ping me love1. Book: Cupidity — Ping Me, Love; Author: Kiren Rai and Madhvi Ahuja; Publisher: Om; Pages: 206; Price: Rs 195

Set in New Delhi, “Cupidity — Ping Me”, Love is a fast-paced novel about three women looking for love in the online dating space, with an interesting twist to the tale. The story is about close friends Tara, a much-married woman, Naina, recently divorced, and Nihal, a transgender looking to breathe free in a hostile society.

They are successful urban professionals living the good life, or so it seems, for each one craves an understanding companion. The three friends discover the exciting world of online dating, and set out in search of an ideal emotional anchor. As they get drawn deeper into the vortex of online chatting, virtual reality threatens to overshadow their ordinary, mundane existence, and the idea of exploring new boundaries takes shape.

2. Book: Every Mile a Memory; Author: Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 219; Price: Rs 295

Travelling in the 21st century is not only about check-ins, posting selfies or writing status messages with hashtags. It is about visiting the places one may have only read about, seen in movies or heard about; it’s about standing on a landmark and feeling something; it’s about refreshing memories and making new memories.

“Every Mile a Memory” is not only a travelogue about monuments and landscapes. It is not only about famous cities like London, Paris and Rome but is also about a solitary walk on a village road in the English countryside, about a quiet boat-ride on the Ganga and about long train journeys to nowhere. It is sipping a cup of coffee in a café in Barcelona and yet it is also about enjoying chai from a kulhad on some half-forgotten railway station in the Indian hinterland.

As Sharma travels around the globe and his own motherland, all the events, sights, thoughts, memories and feelings form a complex kaleidoscope that eventually crystallises into words to give a unique perspective on places — Britain, Europe, Turkey, Morocco and, of course, India.

3. Book: Dvarca; Author: Madhav Mathur; Publisher: Fingerprint; Pages: 335; Price: Rs 295

At the turn of the 22nd century, the world is a mess of warring factions — surprise! The powers-that-be have fought insanity with an equal and opposite insanity. India has been remodelled under a new bicolour flag and a state religion called Navmarg.

Anyone who does not belong is a threat. Madhav Mathur’s “Dvarca” is a dark and humorous satire that follows the life of an ordinary family, struggling to get by in this totalitarian regime. Gandharva is a patriotic and pious low-level bureaucrat at the Ministry of Finance and Salvation, working hard on his status and overdue promotion. His dutiful and curious wife, Jyoti, works at Dvarca Mills and witnesses a ghastly act of terror, leading to perilous flirtations with dissent.

Their two little children, Nakul and Mira, are model students in their predestined streams, indoctrinated and well on their way to becoming faithful and productive citizens. The State religion and cutting-edge science combine to create new ways to make citizens safe, and to hound and hunt those who do not conform. Everything is “perfect” in this controlled and policed system, until one fateful night a man happens to break the routine. (IANS)


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