This week’s reading list includes  a book on a Hindu prayer, the translation of a Bhojpuri  classic, and a look at how to unlock the potential of our senses

HT Picks; New Reads – books ht picks


194pp, 399 rupees; Westland

kausalyāsupraā rāma purā saṃdhyā pravartate /
uttiṣṭha naraśārdūla kartavyaṃ daivamāhnikam //
O Rama, son of the fortunate Kaushalya, the eastern twilight (dawn) is dawning. Rise up, lion among men, it is necessary to perform daily morning rituals.
With these poignant lines begins the almost omnipresent Hindu prayer, the Venkatesa Suprabhatam. An appeal to the Lord to rise up and save the world, the Venkatesa Suprabhatam it is the first of four recitations sung together every morning at Lord Venkateswara’s temple in Tirumala, where it was originally sung. Prativadi Bhayankaram Anna, who composed this prayer in the 15th century, was a saint, a poet, and a fervent devotee of Lord Vishnu. The poet’s devotion shines most unforgettably in the performance of MS Subbulakshmi, which echoes through many houses in South India in the mornings.
Venkatesa Suprabhatam: The History of India’s Most Popular Prayer it is a translation of the sentence, a journey through its verses and also a deep immersion in the history of its composition and the circumstances of its author.
So if you’ve grown up listening Suprabhatam Or simply curious about these topics, this scholarly but accessible book is a compelling examination of the cultural phenomenon.


304pp, 499 rupees;  HarperCollins

304pp, 499 rupees; HarperCollins

A fascinating and revealing look at how we can unlock the true potential of our five senses and use them to vastly improve every part of our lives. How can color prepare you for creative thinking? What kind of music helps you run faster? What aromas can help you fall asleep? Our senses have a powerful effect on how we think, feel, and behave; however, we do not use them to their full potential. For more than a decade, multi-sensory marketer Russell Jones has used the science of the senses to design products, brands, and retail environments that torment our senses in revolutionary ways. In this incredible new book, Jones takes research from the world of neuroscience, experimental and behavioral psychology and beyond, and shows you how to live in a more multisensory way; paying attention to the sounds, scents, colors, objects, shapes and textures that constantly surround you, to deeply impact and enhance every aspect of your life. Whether it’s helping you feel energized in the morning, getting the most out of your exercise, being efficient in the office, avoiding getting caught in the traps of smart retailers, or creating the perfect sensory environment to enjoy your meal. And finally, it helps you have the most restful night and the most restful night’s sleep that you can. Sense is a fascinating and revealing look at how you can use your senses in a way that you’ve never done before.


399 rupees |  192pp;  Penguin Random House India

399 rupees | 192pp; Penguin Random House India

“Babu Sahib! You must have heard of a Phoolsunghi, the pecking of flowers. It can never be kept captive in a cage. It sucks the nectar from one flower and then flies to the next. “
When Dhelabai, Muzaffarpur’s most popular tawaif, despises Babu Haliwant Sahay, a powerful zamindar from Chappra, he decides to build a cage that would trap her forever. Thus, the elusive Phoolsunghi is trapped within the four walls of the Red Mansion.
Forgetting the past, Dhelabai begins a new life of luxury, comfort and respect. One day, she hears the soulful voice of Mahendra Misir and loses her heart for him. Mahendra is also deeply sorry, but lovers must endure the worst of circumstances and their own actions, which repeatedly tear them apart.
The first translation of a Bhojpuri novel into English, Phoolsunghi ttransports readers to a forgotten world full of women Y mehfils, court cases and counterfeit currency, and the waves of the Saryu River.
Pandey Kapil (1930-2017) was a dean of Bhojpuri literature, best remembered as the longtime visionary editor of Bhojpuri Sammelan Patrika and the founder of Akhil Bharatiya Bhojpuri Sahitya Sammelan (founded in 1973). To promote young authors, he established his own publishing house, Bhojpuri Sansthan (est. 1970), which produced some of Bhojpuri’s best writing. Phoolsunghi it is his best work, and perhaps, also of Bhojpuri literature. *

* All text of press releases.


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