Friday, August 10, 2012

I cannot read in moving vehicles. This is a bit of a damp squib, because ideally, I would've loved to read wherever. Whenever. Whichever. Whatever. (Yeah, get the drift...)

So, in response to my woozy motion sick brain, which makes me feel nauseous for such ridiculous things as sitting in a vehicle moving backwards (let alone reading in it) I have deviced something called the busread. This is inspired from the fact that I have a 30 minute bus ride to my office everyday, which is where I do most of my mobile reading. The hitch?  I get to read only when the bus has stopped at a red light or is stuck in a jam or is in anyway not moving. My busread at any particular point of time goes with me wherever I go: doctor's offices, beauty parlours, airports, workplace... The idea is, I should always have something to read in an emergency situation and I will be damned if I let some pansy motion sickness deny me that.

So. Anyways. I've just finished reading Lady Chatterley's Lover, which was my last busread. This was partly brought on by the fact that I was a little ashamed that my Master's in English literature was achieved without reading any Lawrence. I was also, for a large part, extremely interested in what the brouhaha was all about.

And now that I've finished it, I have no qualms admitting that the book is, for want of better words, odd. The plot is very signature Lawrence and his theories of individual regeneration. But deep down, it's a love story and the sudden, strange, awkward sex scenes leave you a little bewildered. I understand the important role it played in the history of censorship in England, but personally, I think the book would have worked just fine without the sex bits. Lawrence's language carries enough punch to make sure that one reads, even if one finds the content strange. I mean...really...I couldn't, for the life of me, take the book seriously once Lady Chatterley had bent down and braided her lover's pubic hair with some forget-me-nots, in a, to quote the author "curiously tender gesture".

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Normally, I am deeply suspicious of anything the American media goes gaga over. Cough...Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, Vikram Yoga...cough.

However, a the corporate world makes one do a lot of things, and one fine day, when I could not bring myself to stare at the bright white lights and Excel sheets of my steel and glass office any longer, I went ahead and downloaded the first book on my computer. (Yes, illegally. Yes, so shoot me.) And decided that I had to go ahead and read the rest of the books.

So, that's what I did. Downloading the next two installments surreptitiously. Reading them during lunch breaks. Reading them during boring days when the head felt like exploding. And Mockingjay, the last of the trilogy that I finished a while ago, was worth every bit of stolen office time.

It is strange how Collins steals up on you, unawares. The first book, you like. The second book, you aren't so sure, but you can see what she is getting at. The third book, quite literally, stops you in your tracks.

 There is no redemption in the dystopic, Orwellian plot. No neat resolution of all issues concerned. No happily ever afters with a neat little bow at the top. The numbing violence that started at the first book goes on...and on...and on. And even though you want it to end at one point, you know the author won't take the easy way out, that she won't play to the audience. Because violence, once it is unleashed, is uncontrollable. A faceless, nameless beast that devours everyone in its path and isn't satisfied still.

I wish Collins would write more books, especially for young adults. Teenagers need more words like these in their lives.

So, I finished this last night. And now I want to know what happens next, buggerit.

It is surprising, really, how fast fantasy can win me over. Throw in a few realistic spells, some interesting dragons and boggarts and wizards, and I am sold.

Here, especially, I can see the plot twists from far away. The language is no great guns. And there are far superior YA novels in the market. But still...but still...I go over to Flipkart, wondering if I should buy the next book in the series.


p.s. Or maybe I should just look up the Wikipedia page.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The brain, it is generally not itself when confronted with 102 F body temperatures. Not the brain's fault, really, because my limbs, my head, and even my throat had given up on me last week. The maid had not turned up for four days, both my flatmates were out cold with similar ailments, and as I lay in a virus infested house, with a searing headache and a kitchen full of dirty dishes, my tired eyes refused to register the words of the book I was reading: Salman Rushdie's fascinating 'Grimus'. So I relented, listened to my sore limbs and head and throat, and picked this up from the bedside bookshelf.

And whaddaya know? I enjoyed it too. The big fonts and the simple, linear storyline made sure that my fever-addled brain could process the information. Who knew that dragons and witches are good for the lonely, sick, longing-for-home soul?

So, now I'm reading 'Physik', which is the third book of this series. My body needs to get rid of a little more virus until it's ready to delve into Rushdie's magic realism again.