Sakala Sowbhagayangalum Arulum Sri Lalitha – Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam, Vilakkavurai, Dr. Sudha Seshaiyyan - Giri Trading Agency Private Limited – Rs. 300. website

Giri Trading that specialises in goods connected with religious practice, has a rich section of literature too. Recently, it has come out with two books, subjects dear to the heart of a devout Hindu. Sri Lalitha by Sudha Seshaiyyan is a treasure that gives the meaning of each of the 1,000 names of Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam. From Sri Matha (Auspicious Mother) to Lalithambika (the Supreme Goddess called Lalitha), the author’s explanation is simple and in a lucid style. Stories associated with Devi, links to other slokas, Soundarya Lahari, for instance, and scriptures make the volume divine. Devi upasakas, including Bharatiar, form an appropriate prelude to the volume that carries a preface by scholar Dr. Goda Venkateswara Sastri.

Sundara Kandam that occupies pride of place in a worshipper’s collection, is different from the familiar LIFCO version. The slokas of Valmiki Ramayanam have been neatly paraphrased with the surprise addition of Hanuman Makutabishekam. The book dotted with illustrations, is priced at Rs. 225.

Sri Venkateswara – Lord Balaji and His Holy Abode of Tirupathi, Shantha Nair – Jaico Publishing House – – - Rs.199

Tirumala. The very name evokes images of the stately mist-covered hills and the resplendent Lord for whose darshan devotees travel across the globe. This month, which corresponds to Purattasi of the Tamil Calendar, is dedicated to Him. Shantha Nair, who has spent the better part of her life in the temple town of Tirupati, presents a comprehensive view of Tirumala, tracing its history, the architecture and ecology. Favourite deity of millions of Hindus, Sri Venkateswara, popularly referred to as Balaji, draws them all to His shrine located atop seven hills. The author has not missed the legend aspects, giving in detail the wedding of Srinivasa and Padmavati. The shrines around Tirupati, the temples in the neighbourhood, the festivals and rituals at Tirumala and darshan details go to make up the content of the book.

Ka.Na.Subramanian’s Selected Stories, Sa. Kandasami – Sahitya Akademi – Rs. 125

Kandasamy, himself a litterateur, has compiled a book of short stories that reflect the human psyche. With amazing variation in style and diction, Ka.Na.Su captures the actions and reactions of the characters.