Suheldev by Amish

If you were to ask a High School student in India if she has heard of Suheldev, chances are that she would reply in the negative. Likewise for the battle of Bahraich. Not because Suheldev was a fictional character, or Bahraich a fictional location. This important king and a very significant battle are simply left […]

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Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine by Nirendranath Chakraborty

Nirendranath Chakraborty was a noted Bengali poet from India, recipient of Sahitya Akademi award, India’s National Academy of letters. This is a translation of his Bengali poem, অমলকান্তি রোদ্দুর হতে চেয়েছিল, which literally means – Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine Translated by Mystic Wanderer Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine by Mystic Wanderer is licensed under […]

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The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

I read Vikram Seth’s Suitable Boy over two years ago. Yet many of the characters, even lesser ones – like Mahesh Kapoor, remain vivid in my memory. I can almost see the man when I close my eyes and try to imagine a scene from the story. One could argue that it’s unfair to compare […]

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Maximum City by Suketu Mehta

I would disagree with those that have classified Maximum City under “Description and Travel”. A typical book of travel is mostly an outsider’s perspective. Here, the outsider’s perspective notwithstanding, is a lot more – nostalgia, and a sincere attempt to contextualize and understand a culture one has left behind or never known in the past […]

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Mélange

Several months back, I began reading Salman Rushdie’s “Enchantress of Florence”. Even brilliance of prose can be tedious, as I realized not too far into the book. Nonetheless, it did trigger in me some interest in history. Out came a dusty paperback from my bookshelf, an old edition of History of India Vol. 2 by […]

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Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

To read an Amitav Ghosh novel is not merely to get a glimpse of the best of contemporary Indian writing, but also a snapshot of an oft-ignored episode of history. The “Sea of Poppies” is no exception. After a somewhat lukewarm tryst with Sunderbans and the Gangetic Dolphin (Hungry Tide), the first novel of the […]

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Literary potshots

In Fury, a Salman Rushdie character (Prof. Solanka) flays Hemingway, calling him the “most effeminate” of novelists, or something to that effect. It suits Rushdie, his writing leaning towards the opposite spectrum of literary style. A few years down the line, Rohinton Mistry writes in Family Matters – “…Yezad felt that Punjabi migrants of a […]

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From Heaven Lake by Vikram Seth

When Vikram Seth traveled through China almost twenty five years ago, the country was much less fashionable in popular parlance than it is today. Sinkiang and Tibet are likely to be far more accessible to the tourist today, possibly even to the hitch hiker, which is what was Seth’s choice incarnate – an interesting albeit […]

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Adiga wins the Booker

It is probably news no longer, but I am happy with the choice, though it might sound strange when I haven’t read the other books in contention. On reading The White Tiger, I did get the feeling that it might actually win, no matter the competition. Congratulations to Aravind Adiga! Link to BBC Interview.

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The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

What becomes apparent soon into The White Tiger is its anger. This is the voice of the post liberal India, the generation after Rushdie and Mistry. While the principals of Mistry’s Fine Balance are crushed in subhuman surroundings, the one here rises in protest using the very system which keeps countless others like him in […]

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