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Showing posts from January, 2017

After The Prophet- By Lesley Hazleton- Book Review

Writing on History is never easy. In the past, men were giants, Gods or Devils. Distances in time and Affection (or Hatred) impacts the way we look at history, and we tell history. It is often inability to offer human dimension to historical character and to presume that men in those times were, even in those times were guided by basic human instincts and merely responded to the customs and conventions of the times they were captive of. The writing becomes even more difficult when the pen slides on the slippery slopes on the edge where history meets religion. It is not about maintaining the superhuman narrative of the Heroes of those times because one believes in it, rather it is again the century old instinct of survival. How can a religion be legitimate if its founders and heroes were not super human? 
It goes totally to the credit of Ms. Hazleton that she makes an extremely impartial and objective inquiry into the truth about the youngest and fastest spreading religion. Being the yo…

My Take on Arun Shourie’s Interview to Swati Chaturvedi

Intellectuals and scholars like the leaders, at times hold a place of such high reverence in one’s mind that any minor slip, any pettiness on their part, breaks the heart of those who had at one point of time, admired them. I was like most of the Nineties youth was always charmed by Arun Shourie, the Journalist-turned-politician. He, with over-sized half-shirts with pens prominently parked in his pocket was probably the first common man politicians in the post-emergency era, much before Kejriwal turned that uniform into a political attire of Twenty-first century. I was quite young when Shourie came into the political arena and like all young men was quite a fool and romantic. Like Arvind Kejriwal, Shourie moved about with the air of middle-class men, hiding carefully and successfully his background of affluence- like his having been schooled in the elite Modern School and St. Stephen’s in Delhi, and his stint in the world bank, much like Arvind Kejriwal who almost made one believe as …

Book Review: Before We Visit the Goddess- By Chitra B Divakaruni

"As for my next book, I won't write it till it has grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall." 
Ms. Virginia Woolf famously wrote the above on how she decides on the time to start writing her new book. I do not know Chitra B. Divakaruni well enough to know if she waits to write before it grows heavy, asking to be cut or it will fall. But the succulent prose of her novel does suggest a very ripe and mature story. Before We Visit the Goddess is one rare book by a contemporary writer, mainstream writer, if I were to say, that I not only finished; I savored it and finished it with a sense of longing. The story is written with such affection that it shows. 
Chitra comes out as a serious writer with deep affection to her story and sincere respect to her craft. The language is not lazy, and the emotions are never half-baked, it almost has the taste of a carefully cooked curry left to simmer overnight, rendered magical by the last b…