If you have read Malgudi Days, you will love reading Half Pants Full Pants. It will make you think of your childhood. In retrospect, those wonder years were truly magical. This book captures the magic of wearing half pants and the exasperation of dealing with adults who wear full pants. He says, “The book is set against a backdrop of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Apart from the excesses of childhood madness and adventures that we indulged in, the book captures nuances of social mores, traditions and mindsets of South Indian Brahmins in a small town.”
The one who left the strongest impression on me was Abhinav Bindra who was there to talk about autobiography A Shot at History. Abhinav comes through as “unflappable” almost to the point of being cold and unemotional, but in a very positive way. He seemed to go through this adulation with a somewhat detached view. Look at it like this, he won the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games. It has been eight years since then. Could it be that we don’t win enough medals because we celebrate our victories for too long. It is true that the 6 ounces of gold that Abhinav’s medal had lifted the entire nation’s self-worth. Maybe we should celebrate the moment of victory without lingering on it and then shift our focus towards the next Olympics.
Have you read the Mahabharata? Which version of the Mahabharata did you read? Therein lies the genesis of this book Duryodhana by V Raghunathan. Who do you think is the hero of the tale? Is it Arjuna? Is it Krishna? Is it the five Pandavas and Draupadi? Was it Karna? Could it be Duryodhana? After all if history is written by the victors, how would you know that the version you have grown up knowing is the correct version?
We were meeting after a long time. I remember Shantanu Moitra who used to be the guitarist in school and now a successful composer in Bollywood. We were all waiting to hear Shantanu tell us stories. He is now on a mission to save Indian folk music. The stories about his early attempts at composition and more. “Remember the rock show you pulled off. We actually sold tickets – and […]
The petrol pump was located in Devanahalli just outside the city of Bangalore. It was a convenient spot for people to tank up as they would head out towards the airport. The eight police constables were in not in uniform today. They sat on rickety steel chairs, sipping tea in silence. The young lady who was sitting with the cops seemed uninterested in the tea. She suddenly nudged her colleague, […]
It is hard to write a biography these days. After all there is so much available on the internet. When the subject is an actress of yesteryears, one wonders who would be interested in reading the biography. Vinod Mehta wrote a biography of Meena Kumari shortly after her death in 1972. This one is the revised and updated version done after forty years. What made him so obsessed with the […]
“A mysterious ailment afflicts Indrah, reducing the omnipotent king of the gods to, well, not quite the man he used to be. To add to his woes, the Holy Trinity threaten to fire him for dereliction of duty. But Indrah’s troubles wilt in comparison to those of his asura counterpart, Bali, ruler of Tripura. Even as Indrah’s its fretting over his delicate health, an assassination attempt on Bali leaves the […]
This is the sight I dread the most when I travel. Knowing my luck, I have no difficulty finding my seat on the flight even if I do not have my boarding card. I just have to close my eyes and follow the sound till it cannot grow any louder. Then I open my eyes and yippee I am in the seat right next to someone howling his (or her) […]
Ask any publisher and they will tell you that people do not buy poetry. I have never understood why it does not make commercial sense to buy poetry. When I look at my bookshelf the number of poetry I have is abysmally small as compared to works of fiction. Poetry is hard to appreciate if you do not have the same sensitivity about the subject of the poem as the […]
Rebirth is the second book by Jahnavi Barua that I am reviewing. I had read her collection of short stories called Next Door about two years back and was totally bowled over. You can read that review here. I had the privilege of reading the early draft of this novel – see the advantage of having Jahnavi as a friend! Jahnavi started writing as a full time writer in 2004. […]