Music, love and history (IANS Books This Weekend)

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Unravel the mystique behind Bollywood’s most adored composer-singer Rahul Dev Burman, flick through the love life of two very different women, and read about the historical events that become significant only when one peeps into the past.

1. Book: R.D. Burmania; Author: Chaitanya Padukone; Publisher: Notionpress; Pages: 187; Price: Rs 375

Eminent showbiz journalist and Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award recipient Chaitanya Padukone, chimes a tribute that strings together amazing, amusing and fascinating anecdotes, incidents and idiosyncrasies as well as rare, startling photographs while unraveling the mystique behind Bollywood’s most-adored composer-singer Rahul Dev Burman.

This memoir also features exclusive tributes to the musician from illustrious luminaries like Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Rishi Kapoor, A.R. Rahman, Zeenat Aman, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Hariharan, Sonu Nigam, Himesh Reshammiya, Shekhar Kapur, Mahesh Bhatt, Babul Supriyo, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar and Hema Malini, et al.

2. Book: Now I Love You, Now I Don’t; Author: Shoma Narayanan; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 208; Price: Rs 195

“Now I Love You, Now I Don’t” is the story of two very different women. Anjali is a traditional wife and mother. No one can guess that she and her husband have been estranged for most of their married life and their reconciliation is a few fragile months old. Zina, on the other hand, is beautiful, ambitious and completely unscrupulous. Out for what she can get, she is perhaps more surprised than anyone else when she falls head over heels in love with a very unlikely young man. Anjali’s and Zina’s lives then get inextricably entangled by a series of events that follow.

Despite their initial dislike for each other, Anjali and Zina pull together when disaster threatens. But will they achieve their own happily ever after?

3. Book: Pearl by the River; Author: Sudipta Mitra; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 237; Price: Rs 295

History emerges with clarity in retrospect. Events become significant only when one peeps into the past. Perhaps no one had anticipated that the exile of Wajid Ali Shah, King of Awadh, would eventually lead to a cultural and aesthetic renaissance in Calcutta.

Wajid Ali Shah reached the banks of the Hooghly on May 26, 1856, following a long and weary journey of three months. But destiny was not kind to him and soon he was arrested and placed in Fort William by the British government. After being in custody for 25 months, the former king was eventually released. But a twist of fate had changed his path and taken him away from a life of luxury to austerity.

It is difficut to decipher the real man from all that has been written about the Nawab. With a prologue by Dr Meerza Kaukub, the great grandson of Wajid Ali Shah, Pearl by the River elaborates on how the seeds for an enriching, artistic and intellectual life for Calcuttans were sown on the day Wajid Ali Shah stepped into his caravan for his life’s last journey to the then capital of the colonial India.