The Invisible Enemy: A Global Story of Biological and Chemical Warfare, Girish Kuber, translated from the Marathi by Subha Pande

A translation of Girish Kuber’s Yuddha Jivanche, this book explores the history of biological and chemical warfare and weapons development. It takes the reader on a rollercoaster journey from historical times to the present.

The Invisible Enemy opens our eyes to how multinational companies and developed nations are working to create some of the most dangerous viruses and biological weapons which can destroy humanity. Chemical and pharma companies have also been the producers of weapons of mass destruction and benefitted from it-be it BASF which produced chemical weapons in World War I, or ICI, the British chemical company which produced a chemical causing blindness. Sandoz, another company, produced LSD, which was part of a chemical warfare project. The British used opium to create drug addicts in the Afghan war. This book is a timely reminder and a wake-up call against invisible, life destructing enemies.

The Economy Class Founder: A Completely True Story, Manasij Ganguli

Manasij Ganguly was living a chilled-out life with a good job when he and his co-founders decided to build a start-up called ThreadSol. They had barely any savings, no godfathers to lean on and had done very little research about the business. They had simply fallen in love with the idea of solving a problem and building a start-up. This is his story – brutally honest, often hilarious, sometimes terrifying, and it tells what it takes to build a start-up in India.

An Epic Life: Ramanand Sagar, From Barsaat to Ramayan, Prem Sagar

On January 25, 1987, with the telecast of the very first episode of Ramayan, Indian television changed for all time to come. In a matter of weeks, the series became a national obsession. During the Ramayan slot, roads emptied out and no weddings and political rallies were scheduled for that time. More than three decades later, there has been nothing to match it.

Ramanand Sagar, the man behind the phenomenon and a successful filmmaker from Bombay, was among the first to recognise the immense power of television. He first made his mark as a writer in Raj Kapoor’s Barsat (1949). From 1961 to 1970, Sagar wrote, produced and directed six consecutive silver jubilee hits – Ghunghat, Zindagi, Arzoo, Ankhen, Geet, and Lalkar.

An Epic Life: Ramanand Sagar, From Barsaat to Ramayan is an intimate look at the life of a visionary. It traces Sagar’s life from his birth in Kashmir in 1917, his dramatic escape in 1947 when Pakistani tribesmen attacked the state, his arrival in Bombay, and his subsequent glorious career-the crowning achievement of which was the smashing success of Ramayan.

From Manjunath to Manjamma: The Inspiring Life of a Transgender Folk Artist, Manjamma Jogati and Harsha Bhat

As a young Manjamma lay unconscious after a suicide attempt, she could not have imagined that one day she would receive a National Award from the President of India. A transgender folk artist who became the president of the Karnataka Folk Academy, her life’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable.

As a young boy, Manjunath discovered that he felt more like a woman, which led to him being ostracised and mocked. The transforamtion into Manjamma, a performer of the Jogathi nritya, was a testimony to her grit and determination. Jogathi nritya is a dance form performed by the Jogathi transgender community, and Manjamma became its leading proponent, popularizing it on a national level.

From being stripped of her modesty to being given one of the highest civilian honours of the country Manjamma’s is an inspiring, heart-rending story, which she tells in this book with complete honesty.

The Quest for Modern Assam: A History 1942-2000, Arupjyoti Saikia

The crucial battles of World War II fought in India’s north-east-followed soon after by Independence and Partition-had a critical impact on the making of modern Assam. In the three decades following 1947, the state of Assam underwent massive political turmoil, geographical instability, and social and demographic upheaval, among others. Later, the truncated state suffered widespread unrest as various groups believed their cultural identity and political leverage were under threat. New social energies and political forces were unleashed and came to the fore. The Quest for Modern Assam explores the interconnected layers of political, environmental, economic and cultural processes that shaped the development of Assam since the 1940s.

Through the Broken Glass: An Autobiography, TN Seshan

On August 2, 1993, elections were indefinitely postponed through an order issued by the Chief Election Commissioner, TN Seshan. The CEC, ironically, is tasked to “conduct” elections, so why did he take such a step? Seshan had put everything on the line while signing that order. And it was an indication as to the lengths he would go to prosecute his designated mandate. And the Supreme Court too did not find the order to be unlawful.

Before Seshan came on the scene, the Election Commission was increasingly functioning as an appendage of the government. Over and above that, there was evidence that malpractice and lawlessness in elections were reaching alarming levels. If that trend were to continue then further down that track lay the ignominy of a banana republic and the danger of Balkanization.

In his autobiography, Through the Broken Glass, Seshan brings to light his years of struggles to usher in a new era of electoral reforms in India.