Kindling my Nook, bungling my book

It’s very unlikely I’ll buy a ebook reader – Amazon’s Kindle or the new Nook, from Barnes and Noble. Even if I ever do, out of curiosity more than anything else, to me they they will always remain a poor surrogate, something of a novelty that I might tinker with or even carry on a […]

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Funniest Tintin snippet, ever?

My three year old son has realized the quite American way of emphasizing his speech with a trailing “ever” – I don’t like this food ever… I don’t want to take a nap ever.. and so on. Along the “ever” line, I decided, while re-reading several of the Tintin comic books this summer, to choose […]

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King’s Ransom by Ed McBain (or, High and Low by Akira Kurosawa)

In the fifties, Ed McBain wrote a rather nondescript book, a crime thriller which had all the cliches and ingredients of a potboiler – wooden, flat characters mouthing banalities, the stereotype business tycoon, the tough cop etc. etc. There was, however, a distinct complexity to the plot, which though the author could barely leverage, but […]

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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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Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

An alternative title to Unaccustomed Earth could very well be-“The distraught lives of Bengali Americans”. It is no secret that Lahiri writes about Bengali Americans, their travails and search for identity. It was the prevalent theme in the much vaunted “Interpreter of Maladies.” It was the same theme expanded into a novel in “The Namesake.” […]

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Behind the words

I have just begun reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Unaccustomed Earth”. The back cover caught my eye. It is not that I haven’t seen her picture before, and was caught unaware by the fact that she is good looking (quite photogenic too). But the way photograph has been rendered, she could pass for a model, or a […]

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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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