Jana Aranya by Sankar / Satyajit Ray

I discovered Jana Aranya through Satyajit Ray, one of the most illustrious auteurs in cinematic history. Written by Sankar (Mani Shankar Mukherjee), it was a novel in a collection titled “Swarga, Marta, Patal” (Heavenly realm, Earthly realm and Lower realms, translated in resonance of the Lokas in Hindu philosophy). Another one from the collection, titled […]

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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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Life Over Two Beers And Other Stories by Sanjeev Sanyal

Life Over Two Beers And Other Stories is Sanyal’s first published work of fiction. In his own words “—it sent me on a happy journey and I will probably remain primarily a non-fiction writer.” This collection of mostly satirical short stories is very approachable. A quick read, it elicits a smile or an acknowledgement every […]

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson became a sensation with the publication of his Millennium trilogy. Sadly, only after his untimely death. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first of the trilogy, is a page turner and keeps one glued till the end. I had already seen the movie. I wish I hadn’t. While you can make an […]

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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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An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

Michael, a brilliant but temperamental violinist, finds that the love of his life happens to be living in the same city he calls home: London. Julia, a pianist, his first and only love, is someone he cannot forget, though they had parted on unfavorable terms ten years ago. He clings on to her memories, from […]

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The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

It is not a badly written book. But not one “that” well written to deserve an award, and least of all one as prestigious as the Booker. So why did The Inheritance of Loss win the Booker? Answer: a) The rest in running were no better b) The judges blundered c) My perceptions are, well, […]

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A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

If you missed the Introductory bit… Dukhi, the father and Ishvar and Narayan, fed up of the oppression of lower castes, sends his sons to his friend Ashraf, so he can train them as tailors, breaking away from the erstwhile caste dictated professoin of chamaar. Narayan then returns to the village, setting up his own […]

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A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth: Mago, Homosexuality!

To give readers nuances of Bengali life, Vikram Seth uses some clichés, like a mother awed by Tagore and the household poetry of the Chatterjees. This doesn’t come off as too tiresome, since Tagore was(and still is) a tremendous influence in Bengal and art and literature have a significant place in the lives of most […]

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A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Title: A Suitable Boy Author: Vikram Seth Read: Aug 2007   The fictitious city of Brahmpur in the fictitious state of Purva Pradesh, with its fair mix of Hindus and Muslims, is the reflection of a north Indian city, like Lucknow, famous for it’s Nawabi heritage. Purva in many Indian languages means North or Uttar, […]

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