Read about an organisation of 4,000 leaders - 275 staff members, 3,000 alumni and 1,000 current Fellows - that's transforming the lives of 38,000 students across India who otherwise would not have access to quality education; follow the resolve of a woman diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer but who loses the battle; and finally, deal with the tough choices that force you to carry the baggage of your past.
The IANS bookshelf has varied fare to offer this weekend. Immerse yourself in knowledge.
1. Book: Grey Sunshine - Stories From Teach For India; Author: Sandeep Rai; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 270; Price: Rs 399.
India's education crisis is a complex puzzle with layers of issues from attendance to teaching quality. At the bottom line, there's a severe lack of leadership. Enter the decade old Teach For India that is building a movement of leaders who are attempting to eliminate educational inequity in India.
"This book, perhaps more than anything, is about getting closer to greyness. It's a journey into stories that, quite honestly, don't always end well. As you read, you'll discover - just as we have - that embedded in every story of hope is a story of truth, a story of struggle and hardship reminding us that, for India's poor, sunshine is always chequered with greyness," writes Sandeep Rai, the chief of City Operations at Teach For India.
2. Tales from the Tail End - My Cancer Diary; Author: Ananya Mukherjee; Publisher: Speaking Tiger; Pages: 102; Price: Rs 399.
"A few well meaning folk who visit me hold my hand, weep some, and say they are sorry for me. I don't know what to do, so I pat them gently on the thigh (ladies only) and say, 'Don't worry, it'll all be okay'. They look at me strangely and mumble that I'm strong.
"I've always been strong-hearted and proud of it. So am I not sad? When I was first diagnosed with Stage One of an aggressive type of breast cancer, I was stunned and disappointed in myself but quickly found my resolve. I chose to fight cheerfully, selecting the best doctors, eating healthy, praying hard, sending out affirmations to the universe, with a deep belief and faith that I'd be okay.
"Then I learnt hope was a bad thing," reads the diary of Ananya Mukherjee, who lost the fight on November 18, 2018 despite more than 50 sessions of chemotherapy.
It's a must-read account of grit and determination.
3. Book: Shadow of the Past; Author: Mayank Manohar; Publisher: Fingerprint/Passion; Pages: 167; Price: Rs 199.
"The night was cold; she held a beer bottle in her hand as she blew out smoke rings followed by a sigh. Blowing the smoke rings filled her heart with a feeling of ecstasy. But the moment the ring dissolved into the darkness of the night, the feeling of being lost in the dark woods again alienated her as she took another long drag from the cigarette and sipped the beer."
So begins this story about three young people crippled by their own past and insecurities and how their life changes when they stop running away and start embracing it. But the question always remains: To what extent can anyone go to get rid of their past?
An apt tale for today's Internet generation.