Of marketing, Tamil Nadu commoners, Khushwant Singh

Consumer BehaviourNew Delhi : Enlighten yourself on integrated marketing communications, models of communication strategy and diffusion of innovation; delve into the depths of the human psyche through stories dealing with the commoners of Tamil Nadu; read about the legendary author Khushwant Singh; and flick through a volume which is a trove of Urdu stories, and poetry.

The IANS bookshelf has varied fare for this weekend.

1. Book: Consumer Behaviour; Author: Sangeeta Sahney; Publisher: Oxford University Press; Pages: 586 Price: Rs 625

Consumer Behaviour (CB) intended for students of MBA specialising in marketing, undertakes detailed discussions to explain and analyse the behaviour of Indian consumers and strategies used by marketers to deal with them.

The book is divided into 16 chapters. It begins with introducing the subject, market research, market segmentation and positioning. Following this, the book elaborates on the process of consumer decision-making, providing key learning for a budding marketer to handle situations. The effect of psychological influences such as needs, emotions, memory, personality, perception, imagery and attitude while making a choice before a purchase is well covered.

There is an elaborate discussion on sociological influences on the buying behaviour of a consumer including family, social class and lifestyle. The book also includes chapters on integrated marketing communications and models of communication strategy.

Besides students, the book with its application-oriented approach would also be useful to marketing professionals.

2. Book: The Heroine And Other Stories; Author: D. Jayakanthan; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 157; Price: Rs 295

D. Jayakanthan’s short stories depict the life of common people in Tamil Nadu in the middle of the 20th century and reflect his progressive thinking. Selected and translated by the author’s daughter, these stories sensitively explore situations in the lives of both the marginalised and the middle class and comprise some of the best of his writing.

Each story in this collection delves into the depths of the human psyche, revealing the hidden strengths ordinary people find within themselves when faced with extraordinary circumstances. Portraying courage, vulnerability and humanity in its many dimensions, The Heroine And Other Stories” reminds us of the richness of our regional literatures, presents highlights from the oeuvre of a master storyteller and holds up a mirror to ourselves.

3. Book: In Wisdom And In Jest; Authors: Vijay Narain Shankar and Onkar Singh; Publisher: Vitasta; Pages: 266; Price: Rs 350

An icon and legend in his life time, Khushwant Singh was arguably India’s most popular writer. Nothing mattered to him except writing the truth, as he saw it. Writing was his life and his pen wrote on till his last breath.

There was a time when literate India could not do without the chota peg of Kushwant–an intelligent tapestry of his secular thoughts, humour, poetry, sarcasm and acid wit. Once called ‘Zorba the Sardar’, Kushwant Singh was a free thinker and a warrior of ideas who used his pen like a sword. As an iconoclast and rebel, he tried to blast the humbug of hypocrisy.

His works expressed his anger at issues of communalism, sexual taboos and he had a don’t-give-a-damn attitude to exposing the foolishness of people.

Internationally acclaimed for his books, “Train to Pakistan” and “A History of the Sikhs”, he was called a ‘dirty old man’ for his explicit erotica.

“Maybe they call me that because I have a bath after many days”, he once said. People loved what he did, what he said and what he wrote. They still do and and that is what this book is all about.

4. Book: A Thousand Yearnings; Author: Ralph Russel; Publisher: Speaking Tiger; Pages: 381; Price: Rs 599

For many people, Urdu is indelibly associated with a bygone era: the cultural renaissance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the face of colonial oppression, heady mushairas and romantic poetry. For others, it brings to mind the gritty prose of the Progressive Writers portraying the grim social realities of the mid-20th century.

In this luminous collection of Urdu poetry and prose, Ralph Russell expands our world of Urdu letters to include folk and oral narratives, besides prose and poetry. By situating each form historically, he gives us a refreshing perspective on the diverse literary cultures and histories of India.



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