Of surrogacy, life, relations and Partition

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) See how two women discover the best and the worst about India’s surrogacy industry; discover another meaning of life from the story of a woman who one day comes face-to-face with a treasure that lay buried in her heart for very long; learn that you have to disappoint those closest to you in order to forge your own path; and flick through a new work on the horrific Partition of India, which became a defining moment in Asian history.

These are the writings that IANS bookshelf has to offer this weekend.

1. Book: A House For Happy Mothers; Author: Amulya Malladi; Publisher: Lake Union; Pages: 301; Price: Rs 399

In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs — a loving husband, a career, and a home — but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads, but she wants a better education for her gifted son.

Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: A baby farm where she can rent her only asset — her womb — to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world and renewed hope to each other.

2. Book: The Indigo Sun; Author: Rupa Bhullar; Publisher: Rupa: Pages: 284; Price: Rs 295

“The Indigo Sun” is an enchanting tale set in the desert of Rajasthan where Maya, a young NRI woman, is led on a transformative journey by a young boy, Ananda, a mystic gypsy woman named Leela, and Veer, a well-respected, socially-driven entrepreneur from London. Together, they embark on a colourful odyssey encompassing culture, heritage, simplicity and celebration of life.

In a distant land and surrounded by strangers, Maya’s past, present and future come together as do her body, mind and soul. She discovers another meaning of life, forms incredible bonds, meets the man of her dreams, and finally comes face-to-face with her truth — a treasure that lay buried in her heart all along.

She is finally home.

3. Book: The Arrangement; Author: Sonya Ali; Publisher: Hachette: Pages: 345; Price: Rs 399

Twenty-nine year-old Raina is still unmarried and battling her family’s expectations for her future — they think that by now she should have been married in a dream Indian wedding. The pressure reaches new heights when her grandmother, Nani, decides to play matchmaker in order to find her the perfect arranged marriage.

Eager not to disappoint her family, Raina goes along with the plan but when the love of her life returns — ex-boyfriend Dev — she’s forced to confront her true feelings. As she tries to free herself from the cultural pressures she faces, Raina realises that sometimes you have to disappoint those closest to you in order to forge your own path.

4. Book: Shedding the Past, Embracing the Future; Author: Arun Bhatnagar; Publisher: Konark: Pages: 264; Price: Rs 650

This book is among the latest writings on the horrific saga of Partition which became a defining moment in Asian history. Its repercussions and after-effects are in evidence even today. With the blame-game for tragedies such as the Partition and the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, the Kashmir and Tibet questions, the China policy, the economic scenario, the social and ethnic challenges, communal strife and gender violence having gone on and on, an attempt is made to suggest answers. Issues pertaining to governance and administration and of foreign policy are addressed at some length.

In several ways, the seeds of the troubles and difficulties that have confronted the new India were sown in August 1947 itself.

The run-up to independence also witnessed the growth of the Hindutva movement through the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS and, at a later date, the birth of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS). The BJP of today, with Narendra Modi at the helm, is an outcome thereof. This comprehensive and lucidly-written book traces and analyses the journey of the emergence of independent India and the roots of many of the basic issues and problems. Time to study the past and learn from experiences and mistakes.

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