Tejo Tungabhadra: Tributaries Of Time, Vasudhendra, translated from the Kannada by Maithreyi Karnoor

Tejo Tungabhadra tells the story of two rivers on different continents whose souls are bound together by history. On the banks of the river Tejo in Lisbon, Bella, a young Jewish refugee, and her family face daily threats to their lives and dignity from the deeply antisemitic society around them. Gabriel, her lover, sails to India with General Albuquerque’s fleet seeking wealth and a secure future for themselves.

Meanwhile, on the banks of the Tungabhadra in the Vijayanagara Empire, the young couple Hampamma and Keshava find themselves caught in the storm of religious violence and the cruel rigmarole of tradition. The two stories converge in Goa with all the thunder and gush of meeting rivers.

Shurjo’s Clan, Iffat Nawaz

During the hours of daylight, young Shurjomukhi’s family is like any other in Dhaka, going through the motions of school, work, and domesticity in a nation still in the flush of youth. But every night, once darkness falls over their asymmetrical house, they switch over to the Unknown world. Death does not exist in the Unknown side and the family is joined for dinner by Shurjo’s freedom fighter uncles, who were martyred in the tea gardens of Sylhet at the start of the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, and her grandmother who killed herself by jumping into a well in the aftermath of 1947.

These dinners are festive affairs, replete with the joy of reunion, music and stories, but underneath the celebration, Shurjo’s family is riddled with the traumas of their past: death, war, migration, separation, the inability to belong to a land, dwelling in an in-between space, an eternal limbo. And when the miasmic shadow of the past inevitably falls on young Shurjo, the pitfalls of their dual reality is laid bare. The only way forward is an upheaval that splits the family apart, flinging Shurjo and her parents to the other end of the world.

Manjhi’s Mayhem, Tanuj Solanki

Sewaram Manjhi works as a security guard outside a posh Bombay cafe. On the surface, he’s like the millions of invisible Indians who make the city tick, but there is a difference: he holds rage in his heart, and he will go to any length to get a taste of the good life. Enter Santosh, hostess at the restaurant across the street. A damsel in distress, Santosh has a strange request for Manjhi, and far be it from him to say no.

What follows is ‘tabaahi’ – mayhem – as Manjhi finds himself caught in a web of lies and deceit, and on the trail of a bag full of money that will lead to broken noses, bloody heads, sex, seduction, and murder. If he succeeds, Manjhi might finally discover what it means to be in control of one’s destiny in a land where birth determines fate.

Happy Endings, Minita Sanghvi

Krish is the latest ‘it’ thing. The Indian-export, award-winning lesbian author, who is being actively pursued by Bollywood’s darling Karan Raichand for movie rights to her Booker nominated book. But her past catches up to her on the 14-hour flight back to India when she’s seated next to Mahi, the woman who broke her heart ten years ago. Mahi, now Mahek Singh, is India’s top-most actress and Karan’s biggest star.

As old memories and anger resurface, Mahi and Krish have to contend with Bollywood glamour, interfering relatives, crazy fans, and zealous best friends, all of which complicates their already star-crossed relationship. Traversing the past, present and a hopeful future, can Krish move beyond her heartbreak? Will Mahi have to choose between her career and her love all over again?

Or will a second chance finally lead to happiness?

Caveman’s Secret Sauce: Finding Answers to the World’s Oldest Questions, Nimish Dayalu

What if, one day, you find yourself in a Himalayan cave, far away from the world? For Jeet, this is a choice he made after leaving city life behind.

One evening, a strange man called Adi, who does mysterious things, makes his way into Jeet’s cave. The two develop a friendship that will help Jeet unravel the secrets of the wild. In his pursuit to grow, Jeet travels to a mountain village that has been untouched by time and then up a sacred mountain, meeting some fascinating characters along his journey. On this quest from the surreal to the supernatural, Jeet untangles some of the most complex mysteries of the world, which often kept him awake at night in the city.

The Greatest Goan Stories Ever Told, selected and edited by Manohar Shetty

The Greatest Goan Stories Ever Told features some of the best short fiction to emerge from writers of Goans living in India and abroad over the last century, in English and translated from the Portuguese, Konkani, and Marathi. The storytellers included range from eminent writers such as Laxmanrao Sardessai and Vimala Devi to contemporary writers like Damodar Mauzo, Ramnath Gajanan Gawade, Jessica Faleiro, and Derek Mascarenhas.

The collected stories cover subjects as wide, diverse, and absorbing – from iron ore mining in Epitácio Pais’s “A Story about Mines”, Pundalik Naik’s “The Palm Tree”, the agrarian village lifestyle in Mahableshwar Sail’s “The Yoke”, and Prakash S Parienkar’s “The Sacrifice”, to diasporic experiences in Selma Carvalho’s “Bed Blocker No 10”, Roanna Gonsalves’s “Curry Muncher”, and patriarchal family structures in Nayana Adarkar’s “The Protector”. Shetty threads these stories together – its varied characters from various communities and religions, its colourful people, and enigma of the state.

Independence, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

India. August, 1946. Everything is about to change.

Priya, Jamini and Deepa, Dr Nabakumar Ganguly’s daughters, live in Ranipur, Bengal, safe from the rising turbulence in the country. When their father is killed on Direct Action Day, their world turns upside down.

Priya, the youngest, intelligent and idealistic, is determined to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor, no matter how difficult. Jamini, devout, dutiful and talented, helps her mother stitch kanthas to make ends meet. Hungering for affection even as she is resentful of her sisters, she nurses a secret desire. Beautiful Deepa, the eldest, all set to marry well, falls in love with Raza, a youth leader of the Muslim League, and must face the consequences.

When India is partitioned, the sisters find themselves separated from one another, afraid of what will happen not only themselves but also to the others. It is only then that they understand what it means to be independent, and the price one has to pay for it.

Andaman Adventure: Barren Island, Deepak Dalal

When the book begins, Vikram, Aditya and Chitra are in Port Blair, the capital city of the Andamans. The trio are recuperating from their recent adventure in the remote Jarawa Jungles in the Andaman Islands. While exploring this colourful city, Vikram stumbles upon a series of intriguing clues. However, the investigations he conducts end up ruffling some feathers and manage to upset some powerful criminals. To escape their wrath, Vikram is forced to undertake a secret voyage destined for unknown shores, under cover of darkness.

In the remote corners of the Andaman Sea lies an island called Barren. Vikram arrives at this uninhabited and forgotten outpost of India, and soon discovers that it is not just a band of desperate men he must pit his wits against. Primal forces of nature, the very ones that shaped our planet, are at work on Barren Island, and Vikram and his companions have to face these challenges as well. Finally, this scintillating adventure series comes to a fiery and exhilarating climax on Barren Island’s isolated shores.