Comedy + jungle tales = Aleph's offerings for April
This April, take in the best work of one of India's finest comic writers, the late Shovon Chowdhury; immerse yourself in wildlife with tales of a formidable tusker journeying through the vast Indo-Malayan rainforests, a forest guard crossing paths with a female leopard and a biologist researching geese as Aleph offers you an eclectic choice to beat the summer heat that is upon us rather early this year.
New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) This April, take in the best work of one of India's finest comic writers, the late Shovon Chowdhury; immerse yourself in wildlife with tales of a formidable tusker journeying through the vast Indo-Malayan rainforests, a forest guard crossing paths with a female leopard and a biologist researching geese as Aleph offers you an eclectic choice to beat the summer heat that is upon us rather early this year.
'Truth Digger' - The Best Of Shovon Chowdhury. Edited by Urmila Chowdhury and Sandipan Deb
This is the very best work of the acclaimed humorist Shovon Chowdhury (1964-2021). The author of the critically acclaimed dystopian novels 'The Competent Authority' and 'Murder with Bengali Characteristics', Chowdhury was a writer with a razor-sharp wit whose work blended the bizarre with the profound. Part-jester, part-rationalist, he employed his terrific sense of humour (often directed at himself) to put an absurd spin on reality.
Besides generous excerpts from his widely praised novels, the book, in the section titled 'The Investigator', presents a selection from his longest-running column with the tagline 'We dig for the truth. So you don't have to'.
'We the People' is a series of reactions to the increasingly bewildering political world; 'The 4-Minute Manager' aims to make a management guru out of everyone; 'Ask Uncle' carries advice from your friendly neighbourhood uncle; 'What If' presents alternate histories from the Chinese capturing Assam to Madhuri Dixit never performing 'Ek, Do, Teen' and more.
Also included is poetry and the previously unpublished piece, 'I Lost My Trousers in Tiljala'. Wildly funny, thought-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining, 'Truth Digger' pays tribute to one of our finest comic writers.
'The Competent Authority', was a finalist for the Hindu Literary Prize, 2014, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize, 2014, and the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award, 2013.
Urmila Chowdhury is Director, Education, at Peepul, an education focused non-profit. She has thirty-three years of varied experience in education as a teacher, school leader, teacher trainer, a drama in education practitioner, and an ELT consultant. Urmila has worked in the social sector since 2009 with the belief that every child regardless of their background deserves a great education. She was married to Shovon Chowdhury for thirty-two years. Shovon took a deep interest in Urmila's work and was her biggest cheerleader.
Sandipan Deb is an independent writer and editor. He has been editor of the Financial Express, managing editor of Outlook, and founder-editor of Outlook Money, Open, and Swarajya magazines. He is the author of several books, including 'The IITians: How an Indian Institution and Its Alumni Are Reshaping the World'; 'Fallen Angel: The Making and Unmaking of Rajat Gupta'; and 'The Last War', a novel reimagining the Mahabharata in the modern Mumbai underworld.
He was the editor of 'Momentous Times', a volume to commemorate 175 years of the Times of India. His writings cover a broad spectrum, from economics to quantum physics, cricket to geopolitics, cinema to the future of technology.
'Blue Sky, White Cloud' - Three Novellas. By Nirmal Ghosh
A defenceless male elephant calf, born on the grasslands of the great Brahmaputra River, grows into a formidable tusker, journeying through the verdant green hills of northeastern India and Burma. With him, we walk through the vastness of the Indo-Malayan rainforests as he attempts to understand the humans who have irretrievably changed the jungles he roams.
Hira Singh, a forest guard in the Nadhia Wildlife Sanctuary, crosses paths with a female leopard who is facing shrinking forests in the hills that are her home. Their lives closely mirror each other's, following similar patterns of love and loss, as fate resolves to bring the two together, perhaps for the last time.
Nadia, a wildlife biologist researching geese, travels to Mongolia, where she tags two geese: Blue Sky and White Cloud. As the birds fly southwards over the Himalayas, she meets Vivek, India's Minister of State for Environment. Their instantaneous friendship soon takes Vivek to a lush valley at the base of the soaring Himalayas, where he must make a decision that will impact the lives of all around him.
With beautiful illustrations and rich prose, the three novellas in 'Blue Sky, White Cloud' narrate stories from the perspectives of man and beast, showing us that, much like us, animals, too, have extraordinary stories to tell.
Nirmal Ghosh is a foreign correspondent, writer, and wildlife conservationist. Born and raised in Calcutta of mixed German-Indian parentage, he has subsequently lived in New Delhi, Singapore, Manila, New Delhi (again), and Bangkok. Currently, he lives in Washington, DC. This is his fifth book.