Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Like the venerable Joey Tribbiani, I am of the opinion that two good things necessarily make another good thing.

Rice? Good. Potato? Good. Meat? Good. Biriyani? Brilliant;
Chocolate? Good. Toast? Good. Nutella on bread? Brilliant.
Fruits? Good. Winter? Good. Oranges in the winter sunshine? Outstanding.

You get the drift.

This book was no exception. One of my favourite bloggers? Good. One of my favourite movies? Good. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro the book? Brilliant.

I may be biased because the book helped me overcome the dark valleys of readers block, but Jai Arjun Singh does such a fantastic job of taking us backstage that the reader is not able to come up for a breath before all the chapters have been read. It is only after the epilogue has been picked apart by one's brain that one realizes the stupendous amount of love and research that must have gone into this.

In the world of film-induced metaphors, this book is surely a Switzerland ka cake.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's been a miserable few months. Scores of books have been started and forgotten. Thousands of words have been glanced at disdainfully and discarded. I've read pujosonkhyas, bits of Steinbeck, a few pages of Lemony Snicket. One whole chapter of Joseph Heller.

It is nightmarishly ridiculous, this reader's block. And it is breathtaking in its loneliness.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Some months are not bookmonths. August, it stunned me by its unbookness. No matter how hard I tried, I could not finish books. I started and abandoned Catch 22 and Grapes of Wrath (which I lovedlovedloved, at least as much as I managed to finish). Heck, I found it difficult to finish this random Jeffrey Archer book. Jeffrey Archer! One should be able to read him half dead! But then, yesterday, I sat down with a bunch of S' old Anandamelas, and what do you know? I raced through them like I was famished. So it turns out that August was not an unbookmonth. It was just a bengalibookmonth. Who would've thunk it?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I read this surreptitiously while in the office. Sneaking in a few words before lunch. A few lines after tackling a particularly difficult manuscript. Maybe because of my own sneaky nature of reading, I found this to be perfect as a whodunit. Perfect in pitch, perfect in style, perfect even in building characters that is often the downfall of many a lesser writer.

But the author, dear readers, THE AUTHOR. I demand greatness from her. In my delirious J K Rowling fangirl state, I want inexhaustible supply of literary perfection to pour forth from her blonde head.

And, well, that doesn't happen. It is unputdownable, but doesn't incessantly demand my brainspace like all her other creations did. Maybe it is me, maybe it is her, maybe it is my own lofty Agatha Christie reading expectations, but the sorting hat would probably sort this book to be a Hufflepuff.

But really, is that such a bad thing?

Rushdie is a difficult author to hate. Rushdie is a difficult man to love. But oh, when he writes, how he writes. And the words, like the source of all words in Haroun and the Sea of Stories, flow across, over, on top of one another. Messy and frightening and incredible and flawed, but, above all, above all, incredibly, incredibly beautiful.

Such a beautiful, difficult, annoying book. Such a different book from Rushdie's usual haunting magic realism offerings. Such a living, breathing proof of why, and how, people differ and act and love and live. Such a Hogwartsian glimpse into an extraordinary life lived under extraordinary circumstances.

Many reams, many columns have been written about the self indulgence of this book and this author. About the dismissive hurt of his four marriages. About the drabness of the last hundred pages. About his inexplicable life with the fourth wife, the millennial illusion as he refers to it. I agree with all of these.

But I am, at the end of it all, a plebian, humble Rushdie fangirl. And to me, the words, the utter beauty of this man's writing, make me want to hug this book. Secretly and tightly to my chest.    

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's been a long time since I read. Properly read, I mean. (Glancing at the morning headlines, and occasionally racing through a bestseller don't count.)

My previous job sucked me dry and spit me out so that all I could do at the end of each day was collapse and sleep. My eyes ached from the Excel sheets. My mind was a mush from the inane everyday Honey Singh banter. It wasn't my fault. Or maybe it was, for letting the job take away far more than it gave back.

Enough of the whining, though. The thing is, the job is gone. The mush is gone. The roommate has purchased a new bookshelf, and my life is brilliant again. The colours are brighter. The coffee is stronger. There is a spring in my steps. And I can read again. Oh sweet, blessed, glorious words. How I have missed you.

I am currently in the middle of Joseph Anton, and wondering why this wasn't read before. Such sheer perfection, it is. I wake up every morning, and sit beside the window for a while before going to work. Looking at the sunshine. Reading my book. And generally contemplating life.

My heart, as they say, is happy.