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Showing posts from December, 2016

Winters are Here- Notes from the Cold

Winters are here. Not the devastating one which numbs one’s soul and drives deep into the body like the brutal edge of a knife piercing through a slab of ice, with wisps of smoke rising from it. Delhi, the city of extreme weathers, is not there yet. The evenings are cold, but bearable, the mornings are chilly, but welcoming. The war between the Sun and the winter continues. The Sun is brighter than the summer days, but not cruel. There is more brightness than the heat, like a strict disciplinarian father, observing his loveliest daughter, an Elizabeth Bennet to a Mr. Bennet. Winter, in Delhi, steps in slowly with unsure steps and once it finds the ground firm enough to bear its heavy steps, it stamps with the madness of a wild beast, as January brings in the New Year. The bright sunbeams of the initial days of splendid winter mornings dies, helpless in the face of a sudden vengeance of the grey winters descending from an unkind heaven- fog, mist, smog; its broken wings spread, decayin…

Why Congress Should not Try Muddying the Waters and leave the Army Alone?

In a world offering unprecedented anonymity to people on social media, and a tempting opportunity of unimaginable dishonesty to people on mainstream media, it is appropriate to make a disclaimer pronouncing my lack of credentials when I write about subjects in which my interest is limited to being a logical and nation-loving India. I was not an economist when I wrote about demonetization and I am not a military or defense expert, when I am writing this post about the needless controversy being raked about the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).  I wrote earlier on Demonetization as an ordinary citizen and possibly, as a poet and a writer, with no ax to grind. My intent of writing on the appointment of the next Army chief is similar. I do not know the new Army Chief, Lt. General Bipin Rawat, nor do I know the two officers he superseded, both by all accounts of exemplary merit. We live in odd times. The social media is a lawless arena. It offers great opportunity to naive…

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen

What chance would the craftiest biographer stand against the subject who saw him coming and decided to amuse himself.” – Wrote Julian Barnes about Gustave Flaubert, in Flaubert’s Parrot (Click here to read review), a semi-biographical fiction on Flaubert. Essentially his point is let the writer be, as a person, that is. Jane Austen makes for an even difficult person to be traced. Mr. Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) wrote about her, “I doubt whether it would be possible to mention any other author of note whose personal obscurity of was so complete.”It sure does help when we consider the work of a writer which defined the way we looked at things for generations to come. That is the reason having spent one chapter arguing against it, Barnes ended up writing Flaubert’s Parrot and I end up writing here about Jane Austen. But this is not a biography, not even a biographical note (which can be found on Wiki - Link here), rather a homage and an ode.
            Jane Austen was borne this…

Book Review: Our Particular Shadows

It is a pity that I had kept this book unread for such a long time. But then, this is the second book by Radhika Mukherjee that I was reading. The earlier book (Broken Shadows Review here) was such a sweet pleasure that I wanted to read this one with due respect that her writing truly deserves. Writings of some writers are like ripe fruit, which if handled carelessly would fall and explode. Her writing is like that. Her earlier book to me was a sweet surprise, this one was an eager expectation.
Radhika writes prose but it is so near to poetry. In fact, when you read it, let yourself emerge in it. It has the magic, the vigor and the flow much nearer to spoken-word poetry. The magic of experimental prose is in the honesty it carries. It is as if the writer decided not to let his own consciousness stand between the page and his soul, as if the medium merged into the creator and they are no longer two distinct entities.
The magic rises from the mundane, a night, in its silence, weaves a son…

Wanting to be Read- Plight of a Writer

A common statement and position many writers take is that we write for ourselves and we don’t care about other people’s opinion about our writing. It is self-deceiving and kind of self-protective position. We want to save ourselves of the scathing impact of brutal reviews and avoid the embarrassment of reviews which do not happen. Let us get this straight. Writers write to be read. Reviews are a sign that they are being read. That apart, in the today’s world, and possibly it always has been that way; one picks up the books read and recommended by those we believe in, in matters literary. From that perspective, reviews are very important to the writers. 
Don’t look down on the desire of a writer to be reviewed. Don’t be so judgement, not in such a hurry. It is not always commercial reason that one wants the book to sell. It can also be because the author truly believes that he has a message, he has an emotion to share with the world. It can be that and just that. Reviews make the books …