Wednesday, July 27, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 7

Most Underrated Book

Okay finally, a topic which was difficult not because there are too many books and I had to choose one but because I don't think any book is underrated as such. I would have said Bridget Jones' Diary. But I don't think it's underrated at all. If anything, it has it's own proper place in the world of chick lit. It's the whole genre of chick lit that's underrated. Ditto graphic novels. Or any type of commercial fiction. Thus, it'd be unfair to point out just one book (I eat my own first sentence. :/) when there are so many great books in an underrated genre. So, I decided on this one from the "open category" of the genres:

The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie: So many people I know hate Salman Rushdie and his works. But I happen to love him. The world thinks he is a genius. But, only for his Midnight's Children. That's all that they'll ever talk about. (Or, of course, Satanic Verses for its controversial quality.) But The Enchantress of Florence is really good. So many of my senses were evoked while reading this one. It is well-written, well-narrated, funny, sensual, magical and just generally, all other adjectives that are awesome. :D Unfortunately, it has been overshadowed by the presence of Midnight's Children. But I hope not forever.

Bref, go read. :)

*This beautiful image is courtesy Google images, of course. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Genuine Koschans

1) What does one do when a certain ex-boyfriend is now feeling lonely and calls one up and one doesn't know how to react?

2) Seeing as virginity for women is given so much importance in India, how many brides are really virgin when they get married?

2.1) Seeing as the "first night" is given so much importance in India and made a big deal of, how many couples really, actually have sex make love after the long wedding day just because "it's the first night"?

2.2) So, everybody wants their first time to be beautiful, wonderful and all those things. But of course it's never going to be. You'll fumble around and not know what the fuck to do. Besides, it'll pain like a bitch. (2.4: Is it the same for boys? I've heard it is but was never really convinced.) So, how do all these people call first times "beautiful"? And more importantly, why do they leave it to the first night of marriage? Are they so eager to start the fuckery that marriage is? (Pun totally not intended.)

2.5) If a girl remains celibate for a long time (let's say 2 years) will it hurt all over again when she becomes sexually active again? [Okay, that's enough. Stop laughing and answer the question. I only ask coz needless to say I've never been in that situation.]

3) Is it really everyone's mothers who are always the problem? All the cases I know of, including mine, the problems are always the mothers. In that case, why do the films always show the mothers as being this nice, selfless, doting women? (3.1: Are all mothers prejudiced and judgmental?)

4) I know this question has been asked over and over again by a lot of people but really, what is it with people wanting their children's pictures as display pictures?! It's scary when their status updates are something like: "What the fuck do these in-laws think of themselves?" No. Kidding.

5) Is money really the most important thing in the world? More important than your relations and ethics? And please, before your reflexes jump in and say "of course not!!" think for a moment and then answer. Because I think the answer might be yes for me.

6) Whether we die in 2012 or not, can we please kill all the T.Vs?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

13th July, 2011

Remember all those things I had said about Bombay being horrible? I take it all back. I take every single, little thing back right now.

But, in return I want this senseless rubbish to stop! Why is Bombay targeted like this every time? No matter how much smaller than before, today's bomb-blasts brought back the horrifying memories of the 11/7 Mumbai train blasts and the 26/11 terrorist attacks on the Taj and other near-by areas. That icy, cold feeling around your pounding heart when you hear the news because you were supposed to be there but for some reason changed your plans. You don't know whether to be relieved or sad for the blasts. And then, the sudden slicing of a red-hot iron rod through your stomach when you realise that your friends hadn't changed the plan. The jitters running through you coz the phone lines are all jammed and down and you have no way to contact your family/ friends and know if they are safe. Everything comes rushing back to you. All the pictures, the news footage, the stories, the blogs you had read - everything comes back to you. And you are just left hyperventilating, wondering why nobody is replying.

And then, things calm down. Phone lines open. You hear from your family and friends. Everyone is safe. It's like a huge burden has been moved from your heart. You are fine. Still disturbed by all the other innocent people who died. But your life has not stopped. It's once again the 7:22 CST local the next day. As usual. A candle light protest walk, 2 months of heightened security and the same apathy and we are back where we began. 2 years and a new blast. New anxiety over family and friends' well-being, new out-rage towards the inhuman act/ our inability to deal with it, new candle-light walk, new articles about Bombay's resilience and spirit in the newspaper, newly heightened security, new politicians vying for a vote-bank and then finally, once again, the old apathy returning. 

And I am angry. I am SO angry that my city has to go through this time and again just coz Bombay's supposed to be awesome. I want to rip all the terrorists in the world to pieces. If you want to terrorize and kill people because they don't practice a certain religion or don't speak a certain language or don't bow down to your King or don't believe in Star Trek or whatever other absurd reason you might have, I don't think you have any rights to stay alive. In fact, I think you should die a slow, painful and horrible death that I wouldn't even wish for the biggest of my enemies.

But more than that, I am sad at our reactions and our inability to do anything. When will we learn and do something about it? Every time something like this happens, I feel so small, insignificant and useless. What could I have done? What can I do so that this doesn't happen again? I still don't hate Bombay enough to sit back and not feel anything when it is in pain. I can't see it going through all this all over again. For the first time in the last 8 months, I am crying for a real reason outside of me. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 6

A Book that made me sad

I've read quite a few depressing books but being the sort of person I am, I tend to forget things I don't like/ things that disturb me. (Actually, I tend to forget things. But, here, this applies better. :P) However, Partition literature (and I've read a lot of it) has always stayed with me. I talk about Indian partition lit, not Irish, German or Palestinian. And I think that is because I can relate to it and I know people who have gone through it all. So, it was very difficult to choose which one of all the Partition lit books I've read should I put up here. The two works I was the most confused with are The Ice Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa and short stories by Saddat Hasan Manto, particularly, Thanda Ghosht. So, finally I picked The Ice-Candy Man simply coz it's a book whereas Thanda Ghosht is a short story. And yes, I know it's a very lame way of choosing but that's the best I could do.

It was also made into the very nice film-1947: Earth.
The Ice-Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa: It depicts the horrible times of Partition but at the same time it's a bit aloof since it's narrated by a child from a community who was never affected by the Partition. However, I think it is that aloofness that gives the book it's impact. Here are these horrible things happening to people, committed by their own friends and neighbours and all these people feel nothing! "Until yesterday, we were the best of the friends but today, you are nothing more than a Hindu/ a Muslim to me. I am going to kill you mostly because I fear if I don't do it first, then you'll kill me. And while I am at it anyway, let me find some of the most gruesome ways to kill you coz if not, the other people from the community will mock me for being a sissy. So, I'll kill you even if it kills me inside." And the best thing about the book is that it's narrated by an 8-year old girl. Her innocence really puts into perspective the pointless violence of the Partition.

I know it's depressing and I cried through most of the book but at the same time, I would really recommend everyone to read it coz it's so beautiful!

*Picture courtesy Google Pictures

Friday, July 1, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 5

A Book that makes you happy.

When it came to a book that makes me happy, I had a 100 names bombarding through my head, vying for attention. "Pick me! You know you want to!" said every one of them. Should it be my childhood Enid Blyton memories? Or the Harry Potter series? (I think people have had enough of my fan-girly squeals about HP. So I chucked that choice. :P) Or a couple classics that I really like? Or the Terry Pratchett books? Or some of the really good chick lit that I've read recently? Everyone reading this blog knows what a sucker I am for chick lits. So, finally, I decided on some chick lit of the 19th century. ;)

That is one kickass cover for this book! :D 
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: This was the first classic I was introduced to in my school library and immediately fell in love with Darcy and Elizabeth's amazing story. :P (What? I was a 12 year old girl! :P) And then, when I started college, this was our first text for our first year lit class. What's more? It was taught by my most favourite prof ever! So, whenever I think of this book or read it, I am reminded of my school day fantasies of meeting a perfect Darcy (Of course, now I can only laugh derisively at those fantasies but well, that innocence was something. :)) And of the brilliant discussions with Chhaya Mam in lit class, the presentations we had and the way we compared it to Bridget Jones' Diary and Sex and the City. :) Also, of course, of watching Colin Firth in the BBC Pride and Prejudice series and drooling over him. :P And then, re-re-re-watching the lake scene with Sun and Moon. What lovely memories! :D :P

So, I get a classic and a chick lit all rolled into one with a man that, of course, can only exist in books, but a Colin Firth, nonetheless, to fantasize about. Of course this book makes me happy. :)

* Picture courtesy Google Images.