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Showing posts from June, 2014

Book Review- My Salinger Year- By Joanna Rakoff

This is a beautiful, beautiful book. I came across this book through a review on The Guardian. The book is Memoirs of Joanna Rakoff, taking the reader into her life in “The Agency” - a literary agency which represented J D Salinger, standing on the cusp of a change as the Agency moves from the age of Typewriters and Dictaphones to Computer.  The perspective of the story is very new. It doesn’t rely on the typecast characters where the young woman is either a world-changing activist or a hopeless romantic or a soul-less woman. She is as real as a woman (or a man, for that matter) can be. She has many things to do, to build a career, to write poetry, to fall in love. Not one of the things, not many of the things, all of the things which engage the mind of young people. She joins the Agency expecting to slowly slip into a literary career. She writes poems in the morning and like an ill-paid apprentice deliberates about the lunch to be had. Her sense of description and observation is prof…

A Writer's Secret Pleasure of Ruffling Feathers

I write. I blog, write poetry, tell stories, in essence, I write. When I sit down and watch the world around me, I try to interpret it in words. When I am sad, I recoil into words and when I am happy, I soar high into the sky on the beautiful wings of words.
Words follow the emotions and sometimes fall short of them. But, I try to ensure that they never lie. The beauty of a word is not in its sound, nor on its hallowed origin. The beauty of a word lies in the truth it represents. The truth is always an uncomfortable thing, for the writer and for the reader. It always ruffles the feathers. In fact, the discomfort that the word brings is the measure of the truth it contains. A tame, timid truth serves no one and is merely a camouflage of the truth. Truth is outrageous by its very nature, primarily because we are so conditioned to ignore it and secondarily, on account of its tendency to stick to its shape, ignorant of any pressure to mold it out of form. We are so well conditioned to ign…

On The Father's Day

We like to believe love to be just and uniform. But it isn't. We do not love all the people. We also do not love those we love, equally, at all the time. There is some kind of gradation in love and we love different people differently. It may depend on our general outlook and the way we look at various relationships at one point of time. There are some relationships which emerges out of nowhere and overwhelms our being and all the other relationships.

Fatherhood has been one such love for me. Before we had my daughter, six years back, I never could have imagining myself of such a love. In love, one person loves and the another allows to be loved- that is what Somerset Maugham wrote and I had read him when I was quite young. Not only Maugham, whatever was left was further sealed by the man called Nietzsche. I loved, I loved with vigor, with an angry, audacious passion, but I never could give my last inch into the love that I had begotten into, ever. 

Some relations begin much earlier…

My Writing Life

My writing life has had its own heights of ecstasy and depths of depression. Very usual, it happens to all writers. There are moments of extreme confidence when we believe that the creator Himself speaks through us and through our pen flows his words, and then there are fog-ridden days when nothing seems to be going right and one is filled with self-doubt and one believes this claim of being a writer is nothing but fake. Summers in Delhi are characteristically excruciating. 
I remember, when I first wrote a collection of essays with strange sense of urgency- If Truth Were To Be Told, as if, if not written then, it would go wasted with a dying man's last breath. No, I wasn't dying then and am still alive. You would have guessed it anyways by now. But then that was a huge sense of urgency there. I was scared every moment if the book would ever be written. Anyway, the book did not sell a lot, in fact, sold very few. But then it was followed by stories, and collection of poems. It …