On the racks – January 2022

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Savi and The Memory Keeper

Author                  : Bijal Vachharajani
Publisher             : Hachette India
Pages                    : 248; 350

Moving into a new city after losing her farther wasn’t the best thing for Savi. At her new school, she finds it difficult to adjust, but makes new friends who she initially believed were “the most stuck-up of classmates.” To add to her challenges, she is put into an Eco Club at the school. Savi is the butt of ridicule for her poor knowledge of plants and trees. Things take a positive turn as she and her new friends begin to explore nature and discover its magical healing powers. They hug trees, converse with the flora and provide the club with diverse information on the environment. The book deals with grief and climate change, the other pressing issue of our times.

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Three Thousand Stitches

Author                  : Sudha Murthy
Publisher             : Penguin Random House
Pages                    : 192; 206

From being thrown a slipper by a group of Devadasis to making a difference in their lives through the Infosys Foundation and acceptance by the oppressed and subjugated women, the book deals with several gender issues and much more in a sensitive manner. Equally appealing is her narrative of her father’s love. Sudha Murthy takes us down memory lane, fondly recalling her testing, yet enriching days, at an engineering college where she was the only female student of her batch. Later, the book fast forwards to recent times where she was once judged by her attire and called “cattle class” by a fellow traveller at the Heathrow Airport. In other chapters, she dwells at length on social issues including alcoholism, conservatism, exploitation and discrimination.

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Rumours of Spring

Author                  : Farah Bashir
Publisher             : Fourth Estate India
Pages                    : 240; 317

The author poignantly narrates what it means to live under the constant watch of militants and the strict vigil by the Army in Kashmir during 1990s. This hard-hitting, trauma-ridden account of Farah’s early life in Srinagar recalls the death of her dear Bobeh (grandmother) in the backdrop of Indian troops and militants battling across the cityscape marred by the violence with sporadic clashes and killings, which has become the new normal since then. Even ordinary chores like studying for exams, walking to the bus stop, combing her hair, and falling asleep, are all riddled with anxiety and fear in these troubling times. The book is a lucid presentation of a teenager’s experience of the “violence, oppression and subjugation of the Kashmiri people” by the armed forces.

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