Time's Lost Atlas- An Anthology Worth Reading

harsh agarwal

The Book Blurb:
“Ready to travel to Pakistan, London, Nepal, China, New York, India, in one single book?With 11 stories encompassing 11 major events of the last decade, this anthology is a concoction of tragedy, romance, mystery and thriller, brewed to perfection to ensure a nail biting experience.Reminisce and relish the events which shook the world. Breathe the freshness of past, dive into the reasons that shaped the world as it is now, walk through your bygone times, fly across the continents marking your longest journey ever- for you hold the Time’s Lost Atlas in your hand.”

My thoughts:

The name of the book speaks of something lost in time, or of some things perhaps forgotten. It is the debut book by the Half Baked Beans Publishing. I like this name. ‘Half Baked Beans’- to me it means something that’s in process, midway in the journey of ‘baking’, not accomplished yet aspiring. Many thanks to Namrata for introducing me to this wonderful collection of short stories. One of her short stories has found place here. I received it from her as a part of a book giveaway. I enjoyed reading every story, and overall it was a wholesome experience.

Each story in the compilation has a fact at its core, an actual event that took place in recent history, coated with fiction and a brilliant narration. It retells about the ideas and people who changed the face of internet; about con men and their heists around the world; about world’s best deception and the best kept secret behind the public identity of the best automobile company; of spies and whistle blowers; and of the spirit of togetherness, friendship and peace through the motto of ‘One World One Dream’ of The Beijing Olympics. Another set of stories recount the tragic tales- the tsunami of 2004, assassination of a public figure in Pakistan, the Nepal Uprising, riots and communal violence that tore apart the country many a times.

Most of the stories are narrated from the perspective of those people whom history doesn’t choose to remember. They are the sufferers, the victims; they are the background to a tragedy. They find no place in history.

I don’t know how to put it, but I feel a sense of pride to hold this book in my hand. I have always loved short story collections- ‘Urban Shots’, ‘Chicken Soup’ series, ‘Love stories that touched my heart’, still I can say this one’s unique and original. I do hope ‘Time’s Lost Atlas’ continues as a series. Many events around the world are worth a mention in such a selection. I could think of two of them now. December 16, 2012- the incident which brought about rallies, protests throughout the country in every city, in every state demanding for justice, united the whole country of the cause and forced the lawmakers to redeem the laws. And another incident is the Kedarnath floods, that took lives of so many pilgrims and devotees, and saw one of the world’s biggest rescue operations by the Indian Army.

half baked beans


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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