HT PICKS: New reads for the lockdown – books ht picks

knows how milk and rice kundalia nidhi dugar

256pp, 399 Rupees; Penguin

The daughters of Maria de Bastar practise sex as an institution for marriage, but according to the rules – you may not sleep with your partner more than three times; the Hulak women of the Concan coast sing all day long – in the woods, in the fields, in the markets and during demonstrations; the Kanjars steal, rape and kill from generation to generation and show how to roast a lizard when he is hungry. Originally from India, these Adivas still live in the forests and hills, with religious beliefs, traditions and rituals so far removed from the rest of the country that they represent the anthropological richness of our heritage.
In this book, prose, oral stories and Adivasi history are mixed together to tell the story of six remarkable tribes in India – in the light of the radical changes that took place in the last century – because they were taken apart and put together in such a way that none of them could understand them.


336pp, 599 rupees

This book, written in the context of the Bangladeshi liberation war in 1971, recalls the early years of Taslima Nasrin’s reign. From her birth on a holy day at the beginning of her femininity at the age of 14, to the first memories that alternate between scenes of violence, memories of her divine mother, the rise of religious fundamentalism, the trauma of harassment and the beginning of the journey that redefined her world, My Girl is a tour de force*.


260pp, 699 rupees. HarperCollins.

In this groundbreaking book, Raghavan uses previously untapped archive resources to weave new stories about the experience of nation-building in South Asia after the end of the ministry. Through meticulous research, she challenges conventional wisdom about the spread of hostility and war rhetoric.
The book shows how friendship and cordiality have dominated relations between the states of India and Pakistan in the first five years since the Section was founded. The book analyses the events that led to the exchange of letters between Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan, the signing of the Minority Pact between the two Prime Ministers and the early stages of negotiations on the Indus water region, and argues that the still neglected considerations should be taken more into account in the analysis of the bilateral dialogue. In addition, the calculations of the Indian and Pakistani delegates were discussed at various internal conferences held in the years following the secession.
This book will be of interest to specialists in the history of diplomacy and to a wide audience looking for peace stories in the South Asian region*.

* All copies of the book cover