Friday, July 15, 2011

2 States - The story of my marriage

Chetan Bhagat's 2 States - The book is about a marriage between Krish Malhotra and Ananya Swaminathan which is irrelevant. What is relevant is the marriage between a Punjabi and a Tamilian, brahmin at that.

It starts of with a college romance set in the backdrops of IIM(A). While most of us are used to anecdotes on inedible mess food, low cost STD calls, we dont have a peek at the romances that blossom between the creme de la creme of Indian intellectuals. It is heartening that the conversations are not over head transmissions but Bollywoodish and a lot of love making involved. I guess Chetan Bhagat wanted to make sure that this gets made into a movie.

While there is little respect left for Chetan Bhagat after his 3 idiots debacle, 2 states comes as a surprise. He is responsible for readers turning to Indian authors for chic lit and fictions. A light read but not a must read.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Balancing Acts

Yoga is not only a form of exercise but it develops a deeper connection with your mind, body and soul. For four friends who bond through yoga after their school reunion, yoga not only cures their aching muscles but helps reprioritize and refocus their energies to things that really matter and are passionate about.

Debut author Zoe Fishman has captured the personalities of the four women adequately and NYC life is not all about the Carrie Bradshaws and manalos.

This i have to agree with, everyday jostlings, bills and ambitions have nothing to do with the Carrie Bradshaws of SATC... infact it has nothing to do with NYC. Life in the city is more than just that, so i was thrilled to read a book that captures the city life with a bit more maturity and with a little less smoking and bedtime :):)

This book is perfect for a light read and i would definetly recommend it ... for yogites or non-yogites :):)

Friday, July 9, 2010

In the time of the butterflies

This is probably the second book i have read about a revolution, the first being Freedom at Midnight.

Books/movies about war and rebels are always enthralling... it takes us to the period of war and the thrill, suspense, remorse and urgency is always near and present.

The Mirabal sisters fight the dictator Trujillo in their own way.. with the wit of knowledge, sharp tongues, ammunition they learn to use and store and through love and prayer. The book also brings out the distinct personality of each of the sisters - Religious Patria, submissive Dede, Rebellious Minerva and timid Maria... their collective spirits and indivijual identities. The regime of Trujillo is not adequately presented although we realize any rule of a dictator is merciless and power hungry.

After wikipediaing the Mirabal sisters, we realize the author seems to have left behind chunks of violence & crime committed against them. Neverthless, the book takes you through their fictional life while being as close to the real one as is possible. This is a chance we get to understand the history of the much touristy Dominican Republic.

I would definetly recommend this book and a review(in-depth) can be found here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Chic-Lits are there for a reason. When you dont want to indulge in the characters, immerse in the storyline, entangle your thoughts with that of the authors.. you grab a chic-lit. These books are a light read, you can start and finish them in a day or hours. The two reasons are sufficient for me to have picked up
  • Hope in a Jar - Beth Harbison
  • How Opel Mehta Got kissed, Got Wild and Got a life - Kavya Vishwanathan
Now i forgot to mention that one of the reasons i like reading chiclits are for the cheesy factor. Like when you watch Alaipayuthey or Pretty Women - there is a very high quotient of cheesiness but also the story is well told. Likewise, the literature shouldnt suffer because it falls into the category of Chic-lit.

Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison is definetly better of the two. While she wrote the famed shoe addicts series, this one is not very engrossing. And why is it that one of the protagonists are always fat and finding secret ways to lose weight and failing at it miserably. Somebody change the scene and set a new tone. I have never gone to high school in america but from the movies and books i have read, it seems more scary than hell. Friends break up in high school and make up when they are 40.. nice but too late. Worth a read once but if you find something else, please move along. No love is lost in this one :)

How Opal Mehta Got kissed, Got Wild and Got a life by Kavya Vishwananthan. If you think you have heard about this author or book somewhere, you are right. This article is an interesting read compared to the book itself. So help yourself.

American Indians or ABCD's as we refer to them are definetly a confused generation. They suffer in their social life but excel in academics. They are smart but not cool. Opal Mehta definetly fits this streotype and when Harvard almost rejects her for the lack of social life(duh?),she strives to get cool and chic. The parents draw elaborate plans(with pie charts, flowcharts and flash cards) and get their dear daughter to even kiss a guy(american ofcourse). Anything for Harvard that is. While i laughed my heart out watching Bend it like Beckham where indian parents are stuck in the British lifestyle, i can hardle grin at how the Mehta's plan and plot. It isn't funny and definetly not realistic(i hope so).

I wonder why Kavya had to plagiarise her work, am sure most of us could come up with this book if we put pen to paper. For each one's own, but if you want to know what not to do with your kids you can read through this one.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Namesake

The Namesake directed by Mira Nair. I watched it today, because this was the only DVD i could lay my hands from the list i dutifully carried to the library.(Sigh, in this age of online streaming, i still rent DVD's from the lib).

If you are expecting pace in the lines of Monsoon Wedding, this is a let-down. The pace is real slow, almost qualifies for a documentary. When i read the book there were several parts that impressed me and some i did not care for. Somehow in the movie, the parts that are emphasized are the parts you do not remember from the book.

Kal Penn has given a good performance but we have seen so many ABCD's that we can't really appreciate his conflicts anymore. They are streo-typed and cliched. Tabu looks old and masculine. She does emote well but too lanky for the role. I would have preferred ... let me think..... cant think of any actresses in bollywood.. Can you?

Most of us who have travelled far and wide from our homelands have an inexplicable longing to get back and an intense desire to defend our country, traditions, cuisine and kinship. When children are born in the US to Indians, there seem to be a sea of change and the family is always raging a war. I was hoping The Namesake would bring out these aspects... but i guess it was lost in traslation!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Lost Symbol - sooo lost!!!

The Lost Symbol goes on a fishing expedition and the city of choice is Washington D.C. Dan Brown's fascination with symbols and ancient mysteries were overwhelming in Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, but he is losing his touch.

The book starts with Robert Langdon being summoned for a lecture in D.C.Once he arrives the scene starts spiralling out of control. They are in search for Ancient Mysteries of the Masonic Order and a Lost Word. DUH???

Thats the expression that stays with you till you patiently plod through all 133 chapters amounting to 509 pages. The search is stereo-typed, the evil comes in weird forms and you dont really care whether they find what they are looking for.

If you thought stunts in Rajni movies defy gravity, Balakrishna running on the trainning is laughable, i encourage all directors and story writers to read Lost Symbol to discover new tactics and stunts that is fodder for upcoming movies. New ideas for Kollywood and Tollywood. But you have to read through all 509 pages.

I could almost imagine Robert Langdon being played by Tom Hanks and visualize most of the scenes in the book in a major motion picture in a couple of years, but this is a movie i would gladly skip. Why willingly undergo torture?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nights in Rodanthe

"Happiness is that most young people seemed to think that those things lay somewhere in the future while most older people beleived that it lay in the past" - Chapter 15, Nights in Rodanthe, Nicholas Sparks.

When i started reading this book i felt myself thinking about Bridges of Madison County. While the latter is a masterpiece, the former is a bit amateurish. Also i can never understand how two people who spend about three days in all can find ever lasting, eternal love. It would take more time for me to trust a person, more time before beginning to open up about personal tragedies and definetly more time to fall in love... leave alone sharing the same bed. (Maybe am not one of those self confessed romantics afterall). The protagonists, however, seemed to field through these emotions and hold them dear for their rest of their life, in all but three days.

That said, the writing is brilliant. The author uses the right words and paints the picture of a women shattered by her divorce poignantly. The man who thought he was running for something, realises he is running away from something and wants to make amends with his son. The war he wages within himself is portrayed well and although we are not sure how he acheives this change, we begin to think he attained what he started after.

I'm not sure why the author introduced the character of a widowed husband trying to make a doctor understand what the loss of his patient has done to his life. No feelings evoked whatsoever.

If you are looking for a light read, pick up this book but its definetly not a romance on the likes of Francesca and Kincaid.