Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do we all...

...turn into our parents? This was what me and my sister were discussing over lunch the other day and that reiterated one belief- run as much as you can you cannot run away from your genes! Of late, ever since we hit mid twenties my sister and I have noticed a lot of similar characteristics of our parents in us, some small and some big- the same impatience,the omnipresent nagging or even the way we behave under certain cirumstances- the recklessness and the squeamishness, everything had a mirror effect, a sense of deva-vu and I was thinking- is it really so bad that it becomes a cause of concern? I have noticed how my Father has imbibed traits of his father, and the resemblance at times is uncanny and very funny. Most of us are so touchy about our parents in so many different ways that we dont even ponder to treat them as real people, they remain only as parents. When you are in your teens, that's the last thing you want to be because in a haste to magnify everything around us we dont realise the value of things but as you grow older you realise and appreciate how difficult their job is- the trials and tribulations,the thanklessness of it all and that's why so many people get along better with their parents when they start earning or living alone because the true worth of anything is known only after you no longer have it. I can see myself in daddy's shoes in say 25 years, only hope that my hair is intact!

Interviewed the amazing Sanjna Kapoor and had a great time. She was simply stunning, not beautiful but enigmatic in the true sense of the word. She was intelligent and can give any of the Bollywood bimbos a run for their money with her logical and calm replies. The only funny part was when I asked her about Kareena and Ranbir, she replied gamely "Oh, let's not talk about that".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Reviews

Really wanted to write something concrete but am too busy these days doing nothing! However, really liked these two Book Reviews I did for the magazine I work for and they had to be here....

Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna

This eagerly anticipated debut brings with it a whiff of fresh writing and an elegiac descriptive prowess which catches your eye right from the first page. In the news for the record advance paid, Sarita Mandanna justifies every penny paid because of her lucid style and a plot which gets its fundamentals right. Set in British ruled 1878 Coorg and traversing till Indian Independence the story is told through the fiery Devi, the love of her life- Tiger killer Machu and her ardent admirer Devanna. Warm, ferocious and unabashed, the crux of the book is her love for Machu and the blows which are dealt adroitly by fate. The remarkable style of narration, the lilting description of Coorg and the overwhelming intensity of passion Devi feels, first for a man and then for Nara Malai or Tiger Hills, the Coffee Plantation to which she transfers her love, fervor and intensity are documented with a verbosity that is frighteningly real and touchingly tender.

While the pace does slacken in the last part especially while dealing with the second generation, the powerful characters and vivid imagery come to the rescue. Set against the back drop of two World Wars, it is an engrossing tale of lost love and misjudged affections. Some parts of the book which detail the hurt accumulated by the lead characters or those which say that grudges are simply a waste of time bring to forte the judicious flair for writing the author has and make us eager to sample her next work.

The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi

Right from the intriguing name to the intricately carved ending, there is something about this book which makes it endearing. At one level it a love story, at another it’s a genuflection of a “hybrid” family trying hard for that elusive quality- a happy ending and as you begin to unravel the plot you realize that it’s a story about love, the difference being sublimely and so delicately interwoven that you wonder that a distinction so small can create a story so warm! Babo, a member of a strictly vegetarian Jain family spreads his wings and finds himself in London where he meets Sian, Welsh (Not English!), beautiful and besotted by the aspect of finding true love settles down in rusty old Madras with daughters Bean and Mayuri proving that theirs is a union which will last come what may. While it starts off on a low note, you are completely absorbed by the brilliant characterization, heartfelt compassion and gritty humor be it the wry snow haired Ba with her warm heart and penchant to smell people who are hundreds of kilometers away or Ignatius, the courageous hermaphrodite who weaves magic with fingers, every incident and every character brings an innate subtlety which is a delight to read. Original, bold, uplifting and clever it is an accomplished debut, something even adept hands at writing would be proud to produce.

I really do hope someone reads the reviews and picks up the books!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I love the fact that after having a dinner for two and half hours with Sa, I sill feel that there is so much more to talk about! Went to review a new restaurant in town (Circle) and made the most of it. The great food, great conversation really made wonder about the importance of having a good talk with some one who understands what you are saying. I have always loved yapping away, but there are just so many people with whom I can really be myself and talk of absolutely inane things like saying the day after my birthday that my reflexes are getting slower and getting a grin in return. Understanding is so difficult to find in this blasted world that some times it becomes a small mercy which needs to be thanked for. There is no exchange like ones with people who know you in and out. Another facet is that there is really nothing like having a really good talk to get things out of your system. Inane, trivial, trite or simply ridiculous it’s so much more fun when you know that you have some one to share all of it with! To- conversations, unhindered, cozy and all powerful!

Was at two weddings last week, same muhurtam and two very good friends. How I managed (with the bumper traffic) don’t ask, but had fun…great fun though was a little wistful that the life I have known is changing before my very own eyes. Goodbye long meaningless Sunday brunches, endless wandering on the roads and midnight conversations teetering on the edge of lunacy.

Loved Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna- warm, ferocious and frighteningly real, raw even!