Five in the morning. Waiting for my flight, a super hot cappuccino in hand and a blueberry muffin lying close on the table. Amul girl couldn't have ch...moreFive in the morning. Waiting for my flight, a super hot cappuccino in hand and a blueberry muffin lying close on the table. Amul girl couldn't have chosen a more perfect setting to make me chuckle.
I proudly belong to the generation when the bill boards of Amul were hand painted. Sitting in the auto to/from school, the large hoarding of Amul on the cosy corner of a otherwise busy intersection always made everyone peek.
I waited for the two days of the month when some new issue is underlined by being chosen to be dealt by the sweet and perky Amul girl.
Ideas piled up when the first outlines of the new drawing were seen, known that till the time we will be back next day a new talking point will be gained. The next day, it was always a surprise.
This book is a journey for the people of a generation.
When dozens of people in your facebook account did not share funny pictures and cartoons like a daily ritual. When the only dose of cartoons one used to get was on Sundays, on the 2nd page of the newspaper and in the morning slot of the TV.
This indeed was a nostalgic journey and it's for anyone who could identify a good banter and have a laugh about it. (less)
The Reluctant Fundamentalist drew me towards this first book written by the author. I was so impressed with this pakistani author that I cringed for a...moreThe Reluctant Fundamentalist drew me towards this first book written by the author. I was so impressed with this pakistani author that I cringed for a long time before buying and reading this book. I felt like depriving myself of some assured pleasure just within my grasp.
I must commit, with all these expectations it was not a smooth sail for the author. At times he gave the glimpses of the master strokes but probably the reading of this 'first-person narrative' in his second book, killed the joy of originality for me.
The story of 3 protagonists : the best friends and a wife make for an interesting story. The reader never feels the want of research and understanding from the author. The intricate emotions of an ambitious wife and mother, an obscenely rich cuckold and a lost soul are aptly explored.
At times you might get sick of the theme or may plainly question the narration itself but still the book manages to keep the interest alive.
In spite of the shortfalls it is a nice gift and definitely a one time read. Mostly recommended as a good experiment read for anyone.(less)
I won't lie about the fact that I was very excited to read this book. It's mostly because
- the first 5 books' box set lived right on my desk close to...moreI won't lie about the fact that I was very excited to read this book. It's mostly because
- the first 5 books' box set lived right on my desk close to bed till I finished them all - I ordered and read the 6th book as soon as I finished the set
So how is this latest installment?
As with almost all the series (consider Potter as an exception)this is not as good and fun as the initial ones. Gregory is still faltering at different levels and his filial love is still on tenterhooks. But again the experiences are new.
The comfort and warmth that one expects from a known avenue, a tested formula and a familiar writing style is still there.
Gregory has started to look at girls with an adolescent's perspective and the incidents may make you reminiscent. The goof-ups are still funny and at times one is forced to think of the older days when mistakes were pardonable and there was nothing like a blunder.
If this book has craved me to read more about the wimpy kid and to wait for the next installment, that's thumps up from my side. That will remain till the book doesn't loose the innocence that has carried it all this way.
A book for those ardent readers, passionate collectors and curious souls who linger around bookstores just for the fun of it. Going to a bookstore is...moreA book for those ardent readers, passionate collectors and curious souls who linger around bookstores just for the fun of it. Going to a bookstore is like a religious ceremony which is sacred as well as painful for them at the same time. Painful for the reason of the space and resources to accomodate the treasure found.
It's innocent fun with a tinge of that holier-than-thou attitude that I as a devout reader carry. My sadistic bones were fed well, I tell you.
[Added Later- Want to order something on the similar lines. Any suggestion anyone?](less)
On the death of R.K., he said he had a mixed feeling because he always found Narayan's English too bland and 'grammatically incorrect' for anyone's taste. He called R.K. a man who never wanted to learn and lived a negligent life.
Narayan would have himself partially agreed with Tharoor. He never wanted to influence his writing from anyone else's and thus never read any other author's work(strange in itself).
He wanted his writing to be for the mango people and that's why all his stories are set in the rural. His protagonists are farmers or vendors and even idlers. His story is woven with the emotions of a man with simple desires and even simpler tastes.
This is a simple story from the kitty of the Narayan. This is the one which established Narayan in my mind as an author of the masses. The characters couldn't be more identifiable with the common man.
A man with an aimless life found a shred of hope which we call purpose. While pursuing that 'purpose' he encounters emotional and physical turmoils which he is too pampered and handicapped to handle.
The pleasure the reader gets is in the way the man's life and characters slowly unfolds with the story.
At times, one may love or hate him but will definitely root for him.
I confess that I have never been a big Rahul Dravid fan. For me he played a very important role in the team but it is of coming at No. 3 and consisten...moreI confess that I have never been a big Rahul Dravid fan. For me he played a very important role in the team but it is of coming at No. 3 and consistently giving the strike to the batsman at the other end, which worked the best in the era of Saurav and Sachin opening the innings.
In the later part of his career most of my admiration for him came because of the nostalgia and the stubbornness of hanging to a golden period(for me) of Indian cricket. They say, in the hindsight everything falls in place so well.
The reason of picking this book was the same. To relive the golden moments of the past and to learn about the man who when looked closely was indeed the only Mr. Dependable and Mr. Consistent.
The book is a collection of various articles, commentaries and interviews published in various media during his career and some very fine articles after his retirement.
The articles take a wide view from some of the best innings of Rahul Dravid to his life as a very private and disciplined cricketer.
The book is definitely a one time read and deserves to remain in the collection of a proud reader for a long long time.
Here's to the guy who was and is one of the few Gentlemen of the Gentlemen's game. (less)
I swear that if anyone else, any other author would have crafted the story line similar to this book, I would have hated him. Must have cursed him wit...more
I swear that if anyone else, any other author would have crafted the story line similar to this book, I would have hated him. Must have cursed him with all my heart and would also have made an attempt or two to leave the book midway.
But no sir, not Mr. Narayan. He won't let me do it.
Every time my thoughts went awry he built a new wave of ideas to bring me back. The reader is coaxed and cajoled as much as the characters to keep going and take it all head on. A little bit too literally, I must say.
We are incorrigible morons if we look to Bhagats and like for inspiration when the master has already left him most precious gems behind.
What is left is to find them and admire them. I wasn't able to do anything more than that. Just stand by and see the master at work.
The magic of Mr. Narayan lives and with it lives my love for the one who is for the masses.
This review is no good and nothing good will come out of it.
No, No, trust me. I know what I am saying.
Okay may be by the complete tone of this revie...moreThis review is no good and nothing good will come out of it.
No, No, trust me. I know what I am saying.
Okay may be by the complete tone of this review you may get a glimpse of the way this book is written. But nothing more than that. I promise!
I am not going to tell you about any of the three unfortunate orphans(I know there is nothing like a fortunate orphan, or may be there is, I am not sure so I'll let it be) or the problems that befell them.
So you ask me what am I writing this for? Well, mostly because I am vainglorious. 'Vainglorious' here means 'too pleased with oneself to care what pain is brought to others who have to read the trash one has written'.
Why am I so? Oh! I am so glad you asked. I was aching to let this story out. Now is my chance and I am going to run with it. 'Run with it" here means 'to grab the opportunity quickly when one sees it'.
Here it goes then....
Last week I got a chance to visit Bangalore. Now what's so great about it? Well first, going from Delhi to Bangalore is not that easy. One needs a lot of time and over and above that a very good reason.
So, I chanced on it for an official visit(here's the second) and I was fairly excited for the opportunity because I had been looking forward to this trip for quite sometime now.
Oh, so you are lost again. Why Bangalore you ask and why not Calicut or Mysore(which I also visited)?
The reason being this place called 'Blossom Book Store'. I have been reading the rave reviews of this place for so long now that it became a moral necessity for me to visit it.
It's said to be the Mecca for a book lover.
Some say their hands don't stop from flicking the pages of one book or the other. Others say they try to stop themselves from going there anymore because every time they do, they have to do their budgets all over again.
With these in mind I waited patiently for my flight to land, to check in the hotel and then to complete the drudgery which we like to call the day's work.
By evening I was all geared up with anticipation which was dampened a little by the fact that I missed my lunch and was getting pangs in my stomach.
While walking on the posh M.G.Road on which this book store is situated I promised my self to get something to eat from the Subway that I encountered close to it. But everything else later, first I needed to see this place and placate my curious mind that this is also one of those famous hangouts for bookworms which is over hyped and for an impoverished economy book collector like me, overpriced.
From the exterior the place looks quite plain and normal like a bookstore. But what I didn't realize in the beginning is that this is just the place where I am going to fall in love at every nook and corner(I hope my soon-to-be-wife won't take offence by this line, again).
So, as I was telling, the entrance looks familiar with many books lined neatly on the bookshelves and even more lying around arranged or waiting for their place on the shelves. But just when my hopes were lowest the owner asked me to visit the next floor for more 'fiction'. There started a journey which my pocket was not at all ready to embark upon.
What I found was not just numerous books arranged neatly in every place possible on some 800 square feet but a large number were found also on the stair case.
Looking at the many shelves and many editions of the same titles(new and old, paperback and hard bound) I found myself scrounging for the books I wanted to own for long and discovering many which I just grew the desire to own and read.
And this is not all, there is another floor completely dedicated to non-fiction and on the way up one will find numerous books for children and grown ups alike neatly stacked on the stairwell. For the first time in my life it took me around 30 minutes to climb some 20 flights of stairs. It all looked so beautiful.
So culminating this journey I ended up with a basket full of books that I happily carried to the ground floor billing counter. After taking in another book that I found lying around on the floor added to my collection, I begged him(yes, I really did) to do the billing fast so as to stop me from buying anymore.
After 3 magical hours I was standing on the same road with a 10 kg carton in my hands, an empty stomach and a goofish smile on my face when I didn't even know how am I going to complete my itinerary with this big box to carry around.
And how is all this related to this particular book? Well, this is one of those which shared my experience that day and I am a happy owner of this complete set.
After reading on the jacket that this is another compilation of his articles written for various newspapers and magazines I was ready to be bombarded with more and less the same anecdotes and ideas that have dominated his articles and books in the past. But in the first few pieces only I realized that I was in for a roller coaster ride.
The essays are divided among five headings namely Inspirations, Reconsiderations, The literary life, Appropriations and Interrogations.
As the names suggest each bunch deals with Tharoor's different views on various subjects. It starts from his stories of early life and what dominated his time as a young reader.
Reconsiderations, his writings on various authors like Wodehouse, Pushkin, Narayana and even Rushdie and Naipaul. Here the reader feels the thrall of seeing the writers he adores taking a human form from the hands of Tharoor.
The Literary Life, related to his books(bringing in some amount of flattery) and numerous other observations of his life like the dismal Literacy rate of the world's largest economy United States.
Appropriations talk about some lighter topics remotley related to reading and in Interragotaions, speeches given by Tharoor looking at the larger picture.
Highly readable and barring a few place, novel too. (less)