Bollywood Nights – Shobhaa Dé
Bollywood is no place for a vulnerable, small-town girl like Aasha Rani. But that doesn’t stop her mother from pushing her into a world of exploitation and bedroom casting calls. Aasha has no choice but to thrive-despite the vicious circles of starlets, pimps, and celebrities who want to see her meet her end.
But the day she meets Bollywood’s leading man, everything she’s worked so hard for is jeopardised. Because she may be falling for Akshay Arora-and there’s no room for love in a business where it’s the stranger under your sheets holding the key to your success. With her innocence stolen and nowhere else to turn, Aasha knows her downfall could come as quickly as her rise to fame. And letting herself love might just be the most fatal career move of her life…
Sleeping on Jupiter – Anuradha Roy
A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping. The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What is someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers? Over the next five days, the old women live out their long-planned dream of a holiday together; their temple guide finds ecstasy in forbidden love, and the girl is joined by a photographer battling his own demons. The full force of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence, friendship and fear as Jarmuli is revealed as a place with a long, dark past that transforms all who encounter it.
Before the Rains – Dinah Jefferies
1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband’s death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza’s only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she’s determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince’s handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families – and society – think otherwise. Eventually, they will have to make a choice between doing what’s expected, or following their hearts. . .
The Himalayan Summer – Louise Brown
Ellie Jeffreys arrives in Darjeeling with her British husband, en route to Kathmandu. They have ten-month-old, golden-haired twins, and despite appearing to be a happy family, Ellie’s relationship with the overbearing, philandering Francis is disintegrating.
At a cocktail party, Ellie meets Hugh Douglas, a maverick explorer and botanist. Despite the rumours surrounding Hugh, Ellie is drawn to him. A year later, Nepal is devastated by a catastrophic earthquake and in a falling building, Ellie is forced to make an instant, and terrible, decision: she has time to save only one of her children. When she returns for her son’s body the next day, it has gone. Ellie knows he cannot have disappeared; someone, somewhere has her child, and it is to Hugh that she turns for help.
Jahanara: Princess of Princesses – Kathryn Lasky
In the 1600s, the Mughal emperors of India were among the greatest rulers of the East. Jahanara is the daughter of one of these ultra-rich and powerful figures, Shah Jahan The Magnificent. The oldest and favorite of his children, she is showered with emeralds, diamonds, and rubies, and is attended by numerous servants and learned tutors. Yet, her world is not one of pure contentment. It is rife with intrigue and turmoil as her father fights for his rights to rule – and she struggles against the confinement her Muslim religion dictates. Jahanara’s diary allows readers to witness the exotic splendor and unforgettable drama of this past great dynasty.
The Far Pavilions – M.M. Kaye
The Far Pavilions is a story about an Englishman- Ashton Pelham-Martyn -brought up as a Hindu. It is the story of his passionate, but dangerous love for Juli, an Indian princess. It is the story of divided loyalties, of friendship that endures till death, of high adventure and of the clash between East and West.
Delayed Monsoon – Chitralekha Paul
After a prolonged dry spell, dark clouds loom over the horizon. The rain drops hit the parched earth with a vengeance. The aroma of soaked earth fills the air. A sense of rejuvenation spreads around, as new life springs out, transforming the barren landscape into a thriving oasis. Abhilasha, the mother of a grown up girl felt the same when she finally meets the love she had longed for. A union in the most unusual of circumstances and in the most unusual of places –the internet. Abhilasha was caught in a dilemma whether to listen to her mind or to follow the beats of her heart.
But this conflict served as an impetus which pushed her to a new height. Going through an emotional roller-coaster, finally, she reached a stage where her passion turned into compassion, the most powerful form of love, where all conflicts appear trivial, finding their way into a harmonious homogeneity. In this new scenario, none of her loved ones was left behind. A strong conviction bonded and inspired everyone to undertake life’s journey where the rough edges were smoothened by the healing touch of love.