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Islamic finance, Bollywood and S.D. Burman
Friday July 18, 2014 5:54 PM, IANS

The roots of Islamic finance lie in the foundations of Islam and Sharia law, fragmented memories of musician and composer S.D.Burman's life and interesting titbits from the lives of Bollywood directors: the IANS bookshelf this week is buzzing with stories from different genres. Take a look.

Harris Irfan

1. Book: Decoding Bollywood: Stories of 15 Film Directors; Author: Sonia Golani; Publisher: Westland; Pages: 185; Price: Rs. 250

Some like Farah Khan and Zoya Akhtar had sterling antecedents but it took a tough childhood and intermittent assignments on film sets to win the box office with "Om Shanti Om" and "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara"; while Ashutosh Gowariker auditioned for folk dances and failed with his debut film; "Lagaan" created cinematic history and Anurag Basu had to first dance as a background extra and later overcome cancer to witness "Barfi" win hearts and awards. These and other hitherto unfamiliar stories of directors belonging to the "Rs.100 crore club" like Rohit Shetty and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the adventurous Kabir Khan and the maverick Mahesh Bhatt take us through the unusual lives of 15 makers of extraordinary films.

The author achieves the incredible task by candidly discussing the hype around the Oscars, the exclusivity of the Rs.100 crore club, the effect of corporatisation and much more.

2. Book: Sun Mere Bandhu Re: The Musical World of S.D. Burman; Author: Sathya Saran; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 258; Price: Rs. 499

This chronicle of the life of legendary singer and musician Sachin Dev Burman tells his story through a kaleidoscope of montages from the inner and outer worlds he inhabited. Fragmented memoirs of his days in the sylvan surroundings of Comilla (now in Bangladesh), interviews, press clippings and archival material piece together the story of the man who created some of Hindi cinema's most enduring songs. Facts and records are knitted into a multidimensional narrative that carries the reader into the little-known world of a man whose contradictions made him unique and gave him a place all his own in music.

(Incidentally, a certain Ramesh Tendulkar was such an ardent fan of S.D. Burman that he named his son Sachin after him.)

3.. Book: Heaven's Bankers: Inside the Hidden World of Islamic Finance; Author: Harris Irfan; Publisher: Constable; Pages: 348; Price: Rs. 999

A trillon dollar financial industry is revolutionising the global economy. Governments and corporations across the Islamic world are increasingly turning to finance that complies with Sharia law to fund economic growth. Even in the West, Islamic finance is rapidly becoming an important alternative source of funding at a time when the conventional finance industry is reeling from the effects of the financial crisis.

From its origins in the seventh century, Islamic finance has sought to develop core ethical principles that are based in the foundations of Islam and Sharia. By engaging critically with the complexities of international finance, it has evolved and adapted in a world emerging from the economic and moral aftermath of the global financial crisis. But with increasing Western interest, is it able to remain true to the principles of its faith? Can it maintain the ideals of social justice? Or is Islamic finance guilty of the very dangers it seeks to avoid?

4. Book: Mumbai Confidential; Author: Saurav Mohapatra and Vivek Shinde; Publisher: Inked; Pages: 142; Price: Rs. 499

Five years ago, Arjun Kadam was a rising star in the ranks of the Mumbai police that engaged gangsters in shootouts. A tragic event sends him spiralling into depression and drug abuse. Kadam is reduced to a pale shadow of his former self when he becomes the victim of a hit-and-run vehicle that also claims the life of a street urchin.

Waking from a month-long coma, Kadam is determined to catch the culprit. Obsessed with his mission, Kadam sets off a desperate gambit of deadly intrigue and deception that pits him against the very machine of violence and corruption he once helped create.

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