Books This Weekend: Climbing the corporate ladder, losing weight the yogic way, rekindling the Kathak romance


New Delhi– You can learn how to overcome early challenges at the workplace and get an insider view of what makes organisations tick; you can also take the yogic path for slimming and weight loss; and you may also explore how ‘Kathak’ dance has shaped and evolved over the millennia – from the Mughal invasion to the present day.

The IANS bookshelf has an eclectic offering this weekend. Soak it all up.

1. Book: The Secret Life of Organisations – Invisible rules of success for the young Indian professional; Authors: Shalini Lal and Pradnya Parasher; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 215; Price: Rs 399

Does one really need a mentor to succeed? Have you ever noticed how great gamers manage to keep moving up the levels of a game by working out the secret passages and the secret rules?

“This book is for anyone who is just starting out in their career and wants to understand the invisible rules by which organisations operate,” say HR professionals Lal and Parashar, who tap into decades of experience and observations from working with prominent firms across the world to steer you through the fascinating inner life of companies.

In the process, they answer myriad questions: how do you effectively transition from student life to a high-stakes work environment, how do you navigate hidden patterns of corporate culture, how do you capitalise on your personality to be most effective at work, how do you prepare for the unknowns of a fast-evolving work environment – and more.

“It has taken us a few decades to get closer to our own personal sweet spots, but it is our hope that you will be way smarter. After all, you are starting your careers off with a ‘secret’ understanding of your organisations that we simply didn’t know of,” the authors say.

2. Book: Yoga and diet for weight loss; Author Bijoylaxmi Hota; Publisher: Rupa; Pages 137; Price: Rs 295

When the mind is tense, nurtures negative emotions or thinks too much about a subject, the ‘prana’ (the subtle bio-energy) is directed more to the ‘ida nadi’ (meant to energise all mental work), leaving less ‘prana’ for the ‘pingala nadi’ which supplies energy to the body tissues for physical activities, says Hota, an Integrated Yoga Therapist with 40 years of experience who gives as much importance to diet as to yoga as diet plays a major role in one’s health.

Thus, if you are trying to lose weight, this is the right book for you. Unlike most other weight-loss programmes, which are partial and superficial in their approach, the methods contained in this book deal with the deeper and more subtle aspects of a human being and root out the core causes.

“Slimming is not just about what you eat, how much you eat, how much you exercise or what form of exercise you do…more importantly, it is how fast your body utilises your food,” Hota writes.

In other words, how efficient is your metabolism? The target should be to hasten the process and make it so fast that without being a clinical problem, it can burn all your calories quickly. How to do this is exactly what the book teaches you.

3. Book: Kathak – The Dance of Storytellers; Author: Rachna Ramya; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 360; Price: Rs 1,495

Like other Indian art forms, the Kathak dance was shaped and evolved over the centuries through a multitude of influences, such as the Mughal courtly culture, the Bhakti Movement, the system of patronages and various cross-cultural exchanges throughout India.

To this end, the book explores both the philosophical and practical aspects of Kathak – that originated more than 2,000 years ago as a form of storytelling – including its origin, development, schools techniques and music. Reverence for Kathak declined during the British Raj and it suffered greatly from being labelled as a nautch dance – a style purely for sensual pleasure. Kathak in independent India regained its space and became the classical dance of North India.

The book further delves into the use of the Kathak repertoire to express an idea or a story, essential principles and techniques of the form, its schools and major artists, the format of a performance, the application of music, the importance of conscientious training and the system of practice through the lens of theory and application.


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