Travelling In, Travelling Out; Edited by Namita Gokhale, Harper Collins, Rs.599

This is an unconventional anthology of travel pieces by writers ranging from M.J. Akbar and Aman Nath to Devdutt Pattanaik, Jerry Pinto, Rahul Pandita and Advaita Kala. Featured here are essays on the changing face of the popular hill resort Nainital, living as a Pakistani in the remote city of Copenhagen, a woman traveller being strip-searched at an American airport and traversing the dark interiors of the haunted Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan, among others. Gokhale has put together an eclectic collection of 25 stories that are surprising, moving and sometimes mysterious. Focusing on the Indian experience, the book captures a country of shifting landscapes — physical, cultural, psychological.

Bol Bam; Scharada Dubey, Tranquebar, Rs.350

A yatra is essentially a shared spiritual journey and the writer has undertaken many of her own, particularly to places central to the worship of Shiva. Shiva’s wild, untamed manifestation resonates strongly with millions of people, she says. To some, this choice seemed an odd one, since there are many reasons for non-belief today. But Scharada Dubey chooses not to turn her back on such cultural riches. Large numbers of people move about the country, in obedience to the rhythm of a seasonal call that their forefathers have answered. This book seeks to explore several such yatras through the particular prism of Shiva worship. The author joins the throng around Shiva, observing, listening, absorbing the deep, quiet enchantment of faith.