BYOB Parties

  • Our host at INTACH, Meera Iyer spoke to us about a moving tribute to Girish Karnad at Rangashankara. Sixteen of his plays were featured and read in English, Kannada and Hindi. “We came back home with editions of most of his works,” she said. ” I was particularly impressed by Bali, the Sacrifice. Like many of […]

  • Sanchit spoke about how difficult and traumatic it had been to read Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead. “I only wanted a light read,” he said. “But all that romanticism and capitalism blew my mind away and not in a good way. I needed a break from it.” That’s why he ended up picking up the book The […]

  • We started the BYOB Party talking about whether the drives within us to succeed are to be harnessed and overcome or fulfilled. Ayush moved on to the realm of romance. A friend challenged him to write a humorous love story, and during his research he realized that most love stories were badly written, displaying sexism and […]

Short Book Reviews

  • SBR: The Liberation of Sita, translated from Telugu, is a revision of Ramayana through the stories of marginal female characters of the original like Ahalya, Renuka, Shurpanakha, and Urmila. This is unlike the stories of the neglected characters written by writers like Maithili Sharan Gupt which don’t challenge the main narrative, just highlight the ignored one. This […]

  • SBR: My feelings for Pyre by Perumal Murugan fall somewhere in between those for One Part Woman and Poonachi by the same author. One Part Woman was a revelation, Poonachi was a bit of disappointment. Pyre was a pleasure to read, but the story doesn’t tell you anything new. It reveals the characters and the […]

  • SBR: Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? is a book for our times. It isn’t a self-improvement text about what an individual should be doing, as people sometimes tend to infer from its subtitle. It is about what a just society should look like. In addressing that question, the author draws on ancient to […]

Worth a Read: Books

  • Once again, I am recommending a Hindi book for which I can’t locate an English translation (See earlier recommendation – Ghumakkad Shashtra by Rahul Sankrityayan). According to Wikipedia, Aapka Bunty by Mannu Bhandari has been translated into many languages, including English. However, I don’t know inside which moth-eaten cupboard those translations are gathering dust. But […]

  • Whether it makes you feel rambunctious, resigned or resentful, the reality is that in the modern world the only perspective on history, political discourse as well as moral imperatives that commands legitimacy has been the western one. The reason for that is not profound or surprising. It is the old story of history being written […]

  • The Illicit Happiness of Other People is melancholy, humorous and philosophical, all at the same time.  When I first read the book a few weeks ago, I found the first few chapters a drag. I was, perhaps, wondering why I am being presented with bits and pieces of a decently smart, but an intellectually megalomaniacal […]

General

  • Poonachi: Or the Story of a Black Goat by Perumal Murugan is available in Kindle version for ~Rs. 97 and hardcover version for Rs. 102. The hardcover version is slightly tricky though, because as of now, it is the regular price that shows us as Rs. 102. If you click on the “Deal of the […]

  • If the launch of the Netflix show, controversies around subtitling and a PIL to defend Rajiv Gandhi’s honor has not made you curious about Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, I don’t know what will! It is a voluminous book (I own the paperback). So, while you may not be able to finish it before watching […]

  • Here are some interesting current deals on Kindle. The prices are likely to change. Do check them before ordering. A Booker Prize Winning World War II Novel Rs. 55.80 A curious adventure as the author literally chases the monsoon. Rs. 70/- Rediscovering Indian History in World War II Rs. 159.60 Contemporary Kannada Writing in English! Rs. […]