Monday, June 30, 2008

Books read in the Summers

1) The Three Mistakes of My Life -- Chetan Bhagat

Bad literature. Written in the same spirit as I used to write my engineering assignments.

2) Choke -- Chuck Palahniuk

Nice. Caustic, bitter, funny. Typical bone dry prose. But not even close to Fight Club.

3) Netochka Nezvanova -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Netochka Nezvanova is a female name meaning "Nameless Nobody" (sort of an Indian analogue of "Anamika"). This one's an incomplete book that Dostoyevsky attempted to write before he was sent off to Siberia. Hardly his best, but you get to see his obsessions developing post-infancy.

4) Kari -- Amruta Patil

This one was finished sitting in Andheri's Landmark in an hour or so. The female in question is an Indian who's written this story set in Mumbai about a lesbian female called Kari. Pretty good for a debut, this graphic novel is recommended to anybody who has a spare hour in a bookshop.

5) कुरु कुरु स्वाहा -- मनोहर श्याम जोशी

Mercilessly self-deprecatory, savagely funny, remorselessly irreverent, bitterly scathing, unapologetically cynical and employing a remarkably brilliant experimentation in narrative structure, this book was easily one of the greatest I've read in a long time.

What attracted me from the very outset was the blurb description of the author ("...laziness and self doubt have always prevented him from publishing his works"). Although the cult status of this book was never in question, whether or not I will join the cult was the question which has since been resolved most emphatically.

Although highly recommended, non native Hindi readers will encounter huge difficulties with the book on account of its heavy use of Hindi slang interspersed with a good dose of highbrow litgiri.

What a book!!!

6) The Argumentative Indian -- Amartya Sen

Excellent work by one of the best in the business. Highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested in modern India/Indian history.

7) मेरी प्रिय कहानियां -- अज्ञेय

Finished during the long 19 hour nothingness that goes by the name of a Waiting Room in Jhansi. Not great. Agyeya was a far better novelist and poet than a short story writer.

8) उमरावनगर में कुछ दिन -- श्रीलाल शुक्ला

Three stories written in the same spirit as his masterpiece Raag Darbari. Satire and caustic wit to Shrilal Shukla is what hollering and random enemy slaying is to Sunny Deol.

Next on the playlist are:

A) Survivor -- Chuck Palahniuk
B) Stand on Zanzibar -- John Brunner
C) Diary -- Chuck Palahniuk.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More books

Some more books've been bought during my trip to Mumbai-Bangalore. Two of them from Somnath on account of his having lost a couple of bets some time ago and one gifted by my sister in Mumbai. They are:

1) Godel, Escher Bach : an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter (courtesy Somnath),
2) Survivor by Chuck Palanhiuk (courtesy Somnath)
3) The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen (courtesy Didi).

Currently I'm having an nice time here in Bangalore meeting up old friends and seeing their shocked expressions (they had assumed I'd died a while ago).

Seems like an awesome summer...

Monday, June 16, 2008


Having nothing to do at home forced me into reading The three mistakes of my life -- the latest offering by Chetan Bhagat. I proceeded to correct the situation the very next day and bought shitloads of books to help me pass time. I also made Sheri and Sonu buy those books which I have had in mind to read but were getting too expensive for my shoestring budget. The list is the following:

1) Choke -- Chuck Palahniuk
2) The Idiot -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
3) Netochka Nezvanova -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4) मेरी प्रिय कहानियाँ -- अज्ञेय
5) कुरु कुरु स्वाहा... -- मनोहर श्याम जोशी

The Idiot because my collection of Dostoyevsky lacked this. Netochka Nezvanova because Dostoyevsky pulled a fast one on me and I found that there exists a fiction book he wrote that I had not read (yet again!).

I made Sonu buy The Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner and Sheri bought American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Diary by Chuck Palahniuk.

Finally, seems like an interesting summer.

Friday, June 13, 2008

For Fellow SF Geeks

The Science Fiction story writing competition at the Scientific Indian.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

This post has no title

Among the first things I am going to do in Lucknow is watch Sarkaar Raj. This will be followed shortly by viewings of Aamir, Speed Racer and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Sarkar Raj, because obviously it's a RGV film; Aamir because it is made by Rajkumar Gupta -- a protegé of Anurag Kashyap (he is the producer of this film); Speed Racer because it is written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers and is based on a cartoon series I used to follow on Cartoon Network a long time ago, and Hellboy II because it is made by the awesome Guillermo del Toro - the man who made El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth).

Monday, June 02, 2008

Life Cycle of a Household Insect

(Read from Top to Bottom)


Sleep ---->
Dreams ---->
Goals ---->
Plans ---->
Fight ---->
Failure/Give-Up ---->
Depression ---->
Philosophy ---->
Depression ---->
Philosophy ---->
Depression ---->


Sleep ---->
No-Dream ---->
Boredom ---->
Depression ---->
Philosophy ---->
Depression ---->
Philosophy ---->
Depression ---->
Philosophy ---->
Depression ---->