Monday, April 30, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Freshly equipped with an M.B.A. from Harvard, Mr. Bandookwala (meaning man of guns) doesn't understand why his management theories consistently fail to work in his home country. He had the brilliance to conceive the social network Facespook, he worked in Google, yet, in the city of his birth – Bombai, the urbs prima Indiae he loves and hates by turns – he is rejected, ostracized, discriminated, frustrated and broken by powerful people, maybe, because he is the colour of monsoon clouds.
And, as if to add to Mr. Bandookwala's problems, though he has never held a gun in his life, guns are pointed at him wherever he goes: in the slums of Charavi by Bombai's underworld don, in the verdant Azad Maidan by a private detective, and in a five-star hotel by an extremist who has come to kill indiscriminately. He escapes from all these encounters by his wits and, providentially, from the extremist because he is a Parisi. In an apocalyptic moment he loses his job, gives up on his marriage, and fights to get his divorce annulled, in the process trying to take custody of his daughter Priyanka, whom he loves dearly.
Through his debut novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard, the author gives us glimpses of a modern Indian city, warts, profanities, and all, as it is, unapologetic about the city’s stinking slums, encroached streets, musty bordellos of Colaba Causeway, conceited rich who live on hills, and corrupt politicians.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
|1||The Adventures of Augie March||Saul Bellow|
|2||All the King's Men|
|4||An American Tragedy|
|5||Animal Farm||George Orwell|
|6||Appointment in Samarra|
|7||Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret|
|12||The Berlin Stories|
|13||The Big Sleep|
|14||The Blind Assassin|
|17||The Bridge of San Luis Rey|
|18||Call It Sleep|
|20||The Catcher in the Rye||J.D.Salinger|
|21||A Clockwork Orange|
|22||The Confessions of Nat Turner|
|24||The Crying of Lot 49|
|25||A Dance to the Music of Time|
|26||The Day of the Locust|
|27||Death Comes for the Archbishop|
|28||A Death in the Family|
|29||The Death of the Heart|
|33||The French Lieutenant's Woman|
|34||The Golden Notebook|
|35||Go Tell it on the Mountain|
|36||Gone With the Wind||Margaret Michelle|
|37||The Grapes of Wrath||John Steinbeck|
|39||The Great Gatsby||Scott Fitzgerald|
|40||A Handful of Dust|
|41||The Heart is A Lonely Hunter|
|42||The Heart of the Matter|
|45||A House for Mr. Biswas||V.S.Naipaul|
|49||Light in August|
|50||The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe|
|52||Lord of the Flies|
|53||The Lord of the Rings||William Golding|
|57||The Man Who Loved Children|
|58||Midnight's Children||Salman Rushdie|
|64||Never Let Me Go|
|66||On the Road||Jack Kerouac|
|67||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest|
|68||The Painted Bird|
|70||A Passage to India||E.M.Forster|
|71||Play It As It Lays|
|74||The Power and the Glory|
|75||The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie|
|76||Rabbit, Run||John Updike|
|81||The Sheltering Sky|
|84||The Sot-Weed Factor|
|85||The Sound and the Fury|
|87||The Spy Who Came in From the Cold|
|88||The Sun Also Rises||Ernst Hemmingway|
|89||Their Eyes Were Watching God|
|90||Things Fall Apart|
|91||To Kill a Mockingbird||Harper Lee|
|92||To the Lighthouse|
|93||Tropic of Cancer||Henry Miller|
|95||Under the Net|
|96||Under the Volcano|
|100||Wide Sargasso Sea|
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
That same year, Judith Geller, the author of the book Titanic: Women and Children First, wrote that "officially there were 154 Syrians on board the Titanic, and 29 were saved: four men, five children and 20 women".
Put another way, that would mean that 125 died. If so, then Arab victims accounted for no less than 23 per cent of the 527 third-class passengers who died - a shocking proportion to have vanished from the story.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
It's as if nothing is done, nothing accomplished. You start a novel and get stuck in the middle with indifferent health and…. And what? The novel stops being a part of your life because you feel you have given it too much attention and not attended to your body, your health. By now you feel the novel is part of you and you can't ditch it. But you look at the mirror: you have a stoop, your tummy bulges out, you get warnings and groanings from different parts of your body. Warnings you can't ignore. You wonder if the only time you get to write the novel – the lonely hour after you come home from work and have dinner – should be wasted this way and not talking to your wife and son. Can you afford to waste your life like that? Is it worth it?
What's the point of writing if creative expression is such a herculean task? Yes, it is. Writing good literature is very, very hard work. I mean to write like the masters you read and not the guylit or chicklit that goes as popular literature. You know a certain CB and his ilk. Personally I don't have anything against these writers or their writing if it is confined to its on genre. But to say it is great literature is way beyond my comprehension of what great literature should be.
The problem with bankers, managers, engineers and scientists who write stories is that they write as follows:
Example (1): a + b = c
They or, their brains have been trained to think rationally and scientifically. They can describe facile action on a very transactional level and not go deep. They can't get to the emotional level of the characters. For example they can't write as follows:
Example (2): Charming, witty, and by nature presentable "a" when he met the pretty though high-strung "b" at the software conference in Mumbai, they decided to get married because they thought they could make a life together. The product of their conjugal life was "c" a bright and inquisitive child.
You see the difference between 1 and 2? How the second example contrasts with the first?
Just now I surfed to a site that has novels like "Forever Love," and "Only Love" by seventeen year old kids. It's kind of a game for them, I mean, writing these novels. It's an extension of the pranks they do. It's not serious literature, but the publisher claims he is publishing quality literature. What quality? So what does it say about Indian Writing in English (IWE)?
These days writing is a very simple task. Technology has made it so. You can key in your story in a computer and edit it. The procedure is simple. You aren't expected to write on foolscap lined paper and maintain old versions of corrected copy. This simplicity has added to the list of people with spare time who want to be writers. Of course, they should write. But have they read the masters? If they don't understand them, have they made an attempt? Have they gone through millions of words before they attempted to write?
I don't know. I let it stand at that. But, sure, I am going ahead with the novel, come what may.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, April 09, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
"Speed is the enemy of depth, nuance, subtlety, attention to detail, reflection, learning, and rich relationships — the enemy of much, in short, that makes life worth living."
Above all, slowly build more strolling, dawdling, moseying, meandering, musing, lingering, relishing, and savoring into your life.