Celina who co-hosted the BYOB Party with us spoke about a book that made an imprint on her. Roots by Alex Hailey starts with the story of Kunta Kinte, a man who was brought to the slave markets of the New World. It was interesting that she mentioned a story that stressed on the perspective of the oppressed as the book that Jaya talked about-From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia– also focused on new perspectives.
Pankaj Mishra’s work is arresting and a must-read as it tells the story of how the non-Western world rose to the challenge of western oppression and rethought alternative ways of governance. Mishra navigates through the Asian intellectual perspective and is refreshing for readers who would like a perspective closer to home. Mishra represents important thinkers like Al-Afghani.
“What strikes me is that democracy was perceived to be created by people who did not themselves believe int he ideals that they preached. This is where reactionary elements came from,” Jaya said.
The book has been written in a chronological manner and it’s a collection of Mishra’s commentaries: a story of thought or a history of ideas around certain broad themes. It was shortlisted for Orwell Prize, 2013.
You may want to read Edmund Wilson in Benares by Pankaj Mishra to get a taste of his effortless writing style.
Aditya’s choice of book was the sole light book in the discussion. He got a book called Gaata Rahe Mera Dil by Balaji Vittal (Author), Anirudha Bhattacharjee. For lovers of old Bollywood music, this book is a collector’s item. The composition of classics and the anecdotes of the making of these songs make this book a delightful read. Aditya particularly enjoyed the part where Sharmila Tagore forgets her lines when she meets Shashi Kapoor.
On that light note, we come to an end of the BYOB Party at JustBooks, Sahakarnagar.