Football, cricket and other stories (Books This Weekend)
1. Book: The Football Fanatic's Essential Guide; Author: Novy Kapadia; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 236; Price: Rs. 199
Football is not just a beautiful game but a global obsession. Witness the frenzy of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with every match, every goal and every player being analysed with fervour and recorded with vigour. This essential guide is a companion for all the football-crazy fans who want key facts and statistics right on hand.
This guide is packed with important and fascinating information on international matches and players, and India's role in football history. Put together by a reputed sports broadcaster and columnist, this compendium is invaluable for every passionate enthusiast of this legendary game.
2. Book: The Last Wave; Author: Pankaj Sekhsaria; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 290; Price: Rs. 350
Ever the aimless drifter, Harish finds the anchor his life needs in a chance encounter with members of the ancient and threatened Jarawa community - the original inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands - and the tropical rainforests there. As he observes the slow but sure destruction of everything the Jarawas require for their survival, Harish is moved by a need to understand and to do something. His unlikely friend and partner on this quest is uncle Pame, a 70-year-old Karen boatman whose father was brought to the islands from Burma (Myanmar) by the British in the 1920s.
The island also brings him to Seema, a "local-born" descendant of one of the convicts who were lodged in the infamous cellular jail at Port Blair. Seema has seen the world but, unlike most educated islanders of her generation, has decided to return home. Harish's earnestness, his fascination and growing love for the islands, their shared attempt to understand the Jarawas and the loss of her own first love all draw Seema closer to Harish.
As many things seem to fall in place and parallel journeys converge, an unknown contender appears: the giant tsunami of December 2004.
This novel is not only a story of lost love but also of a culture, a community, and an ecology poised on the sharp edge of time and history.
3. Book: Junior Premier League: The First XI; Author: Joy Bhattacharjya; Publisher: Puffin; Pages: 170; Price: Rs. 199
When 12-year-old Neel goes to Ranchi for his winter break, he meets Sachin, a local boy who has an amazing new bowling action. Over weeks of practising with each other, Neel realises that Sachin could be the next Sunil Narine or Muthiah Muralitharan.
Once the vacation is over, Neel returns to Delhi and forgets about Sachin in the excitement of preparing for a place in the Junior Devils, the Delhi team of the first Junior Premier League tournament.
But by a quirk of fate, Sachin moves to his aunt's home in Delhi when his father is transferred out of Ranchi. He finally gets his chance to join Neel in the Junior Devils. What follows is a roller coaster of hope, fear, excitement and disappointment that is the lot of every cricketer. It's not easy being a JPL star. But for Sachin, Neel and friends, the journey is just about to begin.
4. Book: Chaos Down Under; Author: Nishant Kaushik; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 280; Price: Rs. 295
Nakul Kapoor is back. To tell you the truth, he never left. The management at Bytesphere had simply forgotten about his existence. And then everything changed when his unit HR cold-called him after reading his profile on "Monster", the recruitment website, and asked him if he would like to appear for an interview with - you guessed it - Bytesphere!
After everyone except Nakul has had a good laugh about this confusion, he is asked to resurrect a dying relationship with an Australian client. "Because growth is all about embracing challenges", is what they tell him; "Because no one else is willing to do this," is what they mean to tell him.
Will a team of amateurs win the client over? Will a seemingly harmless fabrication of data cost Nakul his career, or will he manage to pass the buck? Will he manage to drown Sameer into the deep blue Pacific for trying to ruin his love life? Follow Nakul and the team, once again, as they try to navigate the chaos down under.
(Posted on 20-06-2014)