A long time ago, in a far-off kingdom, a boy and a girl, born on the same day, were destined to be together—and then painfully wrenched apart. The boy was Siddhattha, heir to the Sakya kingdom and the future Buddha; the girl was the beautiful and precocious Yasodhara, his friend who became his loving wife.
In this exquisitely crafted narrative, we encounter Yasodhara as a fiercely independent, passionate and resilient individual. We witness her joys and sorrows, her expectations and frustrations, her fairy-tale wedding, and her overwhelming devastation at the departure of her beloved.
It is through her eyes that we witness Siddhattha’s slow transformation, from a sheltered prince to a deeply sensitive young man. On the way, we see how the gods watch over the future Buddha from the clouds, how the king and his ministers try to keep the suffering of the world from him and how he eventually renounces the throne, his wife and newly-born son to seek enlightenment.
Resurrecting a forgotten woman from the origin stories of the Buddha, Vanessa R. Sasson combines the spirit of fiction and the fabulism of Indian mythology with impeccable scholarship, to tell the evocative and deeply moving story of an extraordinary life.
Leonard Woolf, husband of Virginia Woolf, the celebrated author, drew on his own experiences as a colonial civil servant in Ceylon to write this ground-breaking book. It is one of the best-loved and best-known stories in Sri Lanka, even today.
The Village in the Jungle describes the lives of a poor family in a tiny isolated village as they struggle to survive. Apart from the problems of poverty, disease, superstition and the pitfalls of the jungle itself, they must contend with an unsympathetic colonial system and the corruption it engenders. The head of the family is a hunter, Silindu, with two daughters. Their lives are shattered when a licentious trader comes to the village and convinces the headman to frame the elder daughter’s husband and send him to prison. Although Silindu tries to intervene, he is put on trial for murder in an English-speaking court where he has no voice.
This volume includes a short story, ‘Pearls and Swine’, which vividly draws on Woolf’s own experiences as a young District Commissioner, as well as a new biographical afterword by Sir Christopher Ondaatje, author of Woolf in Ceylon. Packed with first-hand knowledge of the colonial machine, The Village in the Jungle accurately depicts its profound disregard for its subject peoples.
Eleven-year-old Nimmi Daruwala does not like her last name at all, nor Sumit, her chief tormentor and general pie-faced classmate. But she loves drama, Miss Tanvi, her drama teacher—and, most of all, inventing utterly unusual words. On the first day of Grade 6, Nimmi wakes up thinking it is going to be a spectacular+fabulous=spectabulous year. But starting with an ill-fitting skort, nothing goes right for her. Sumit is suddenly on the same school bus as her. Her best friend Sophia is talking in a strange singsong accent and is friendly with mean girl Alisha Dubash. And Nimmi’s favourite drama teacher has taken the year off. In her place there is the dull, pale-eyed Miss Aatmaja, who brands Nimmi the Troublemaker of Grade 6!
With jumping rubber spiders, tumbling candy coloured school furniture, a principal with one too many bright ideas, and a birthday party where almost everything goes wrong, Nimmi’s Spectabulous Schooldays is hilarious and dramatic and a story every schoolchild will relate to.
Fifteen-year-old Aladdin is befriended by a stranger who says he is Aladdin’s uncle. Charmed by his generosity and friendliness, Aladdin accompanies the man to a cave somewhere in the wilderness outside the city. From the cave, Aladdin gathers all kinds of astonishing jewels—and a lamp that looks old and ordinary. But when the stranger reveals himself as a magician, and locks Aladdin in the cave, the boy discovers there is magic everywhere, including in the old ring he is wearing on his finger. From here start the extraordinary exploits of Aladdin. Will he be able to become a rich man with the help of the genie of the lamp? Will he win the hand and heart of the Princess Badroulboudour? And how will he rescue her when his lamp is stolen from him by trickery?
An everlasting story of genies and enchantment, love and deceit, a poor boy and a beautiful princess, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp will capture the hearts of readers once more, in this beautiful edition introduced by Ruskin Bond.
Heidi is an orphan and comes to live with her grandfather when she is five years old. Grandfather’s house is among the tall mountains, surrounded by beautiful meadows. Soon, Heidi begins to love her life here with the goats she looks after, her new friend Peter, his blind grandmother who dotes on Heidi and even her stern grandfather. But one day, she is taken far away from all of this to Frankfurt, a busy city where she can neither see the sky nor walk about as she pleases. As Heidi learns to live a new life, she keeps yearning for her old one, till one day, someone is convinced there is a ghost walking about at night in the house. Who is this ghost? What is the ghost’s connection with Heidi? Will it help Heidi to go back to the village and to her grandfather?
Heidi has been a favourite of adults and children all over the world since it was first published. In this new edition introduced by Ruskin Bond, be ready to fall under its spell once again.
When Billy Bones, an old sailor, dies at Admiral Benbow Inn, young Jim Hawkins gets drawn into the most exciting adventure of his life. Among the dead man’s belongings, Jim discovers a map that leads to a hidden treasure on a remote island, and shows it to Dr Livesey and Squire Trelawney. They, in turn, recruit a crew of seasoned seamen, and embark on a voyage to the island. They set sail on the Hispaniola where Jim learns of a mutiny brewing on the ship, masterminded by Long John Silver, the ship’s deceitful one-legged cook. As events hurtle towards electrifying swordfights and shocking murders, Jim learns about friendship, bravery and loyalty.
A timeless adventure classic, Treasure Island has inspired generations of readers and writers alike. This new edition, introduced by Ruskin Bond, will enthral readers all over again.
In this collection—ranging from stories of love found and lost to tales of the supernatural—Ghosh masterfully traces the inscrutable ways of the human heart. The reigning queen of Bombay cinema allows a younger leading man to fall in love with her to spite her husband. A schoolmaster’s ravishing wife joins him in the small town where he works, inspires him to build a garden for her, and sets about wrecking his life. An impoverished student sits across a purdah from a nawab’s begum; she dictates letters to her husband and, as the student takes down her words, he falls into forbidden love with the voice from across the screen. And an unbending priest from Noakhali finds all the principles of his life upended after Muslim rioters kidnap his daughter.
Marked by psychological insight, keen observation and vivid prose, That Bird Called Happiness brings to readers the work of one of the greats—not only of Bengali literature but of the Indian literary canon.
Among the most politically and socially engaged Marathi writers, Makarand Sathe is also a popular playwright. This volume brings together three of his best works in English translation.
They Went Ahead is set in a limbo-like space after death. The two characters can’t figure out how to leave it, despite seeing others moving on, all around them. Finally, they realize that if they rape a poor farmer’s wife, also stuck there, they will be able to leave…but how are they supposed to come to terms with their own consciences?
Various vivid characters are caught in a traffic jam in Crossroads. The impetuous Pratap, who has lost his job, wants a simple answer to help him understand the crisis he faces, but Achyut Athavale, a liberal thinker, can only offer him diverse and equally valid narratives. The other characters further enrich the narrative with their various preoccupations. But when the situation escalates into physical conflict, their many identities become two again—the violent and the non-violent.
The Man Who Saw the Sun explores questions of truth and justice using dialogues between famous figures from Ancient Greece, like Socrates—whose trial is at the core of the play—Xanthippe and Phaedo, which are observed by four present-day characters.
Thought-provoking yet always accessible, experimental yet lightened by a unique sense of humour, Makarand Sathe’s plays work beautifully across languages and media. This collection by one of India’s finest playwrights belongs on every theatre-lover’s shelf.
Madhu, Gaurav and Sunil are on a school trip to the hills of Chikmagalur with their classmates and Rajesh sir, their teacher. All they are looking forward to are two days of fun and hikes. But things start unravelling soon enough. The ‘lodge’ where they are staying is actually a dilapidated old bungalow with dusty rooms, gross, leaky bathrooms, and a surly, ancient caretaker. Then, to their horror, when they head to the nearby forest, one by one the teenagers realize that a bloodthirsty, malevolent wolf is stalking them. But no one has seen or heard of the existence of wolves in these forests and hills for decades. So is this a creature from the mists of legend? Why is he out for revenge? And what have these three friends done to earn his wrath?
The Legend of the Wolf is a heart-pounding, suspenseful adventure story filled with twists and turns that will keep readers rivetted till the final astounding climax.
Raj is going to what has to be the worst summer camp ever—Camp Sweets, where they teach children how to become expert sweet-makers. Yes, his mother is the owner of the Tasty Mithai Bhandar that serves the best gulab jamuns, jalebis, rasgullas and other delectable confections in town. But has anyone ever asked him what he wants? Certainly not to be anywhere near laddoos and imartis. Grumpy and annoyed, he turns up at Camp Sweets determined to not learn anything.
Yet, there are boys and girls here who adore sweets. As Raj whips up one Indian dessert after another, he finds that with all the crazy cooking and new friendships, Camp Sweets is a summer camp like no other. And the kitchen is where monstrously sweet adventures begin…