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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Living - Anjali Joseph

Some book covers call out to you and this one definitely wolf whistled! The image of the brown ‘Kolhapuri chappals’ against the blue background and a mysterious shadow - Oh how intriguing! I remember how at one point in my life, these chappals were definite must haves in my wardrobe. They were perfect for sultry summer days and also added an uber chic element when combined with the right clothes to exude a sense of fusion between the east and west.  I still own a pair but rarely get an opportunity to slip into their comforting hollows thanks to the cold and wet weather that London braves most time of year. But now summer is almost here and I have gently been prodded by this book to revisit this much loved pair of chappals so I can blissfully trod paths laced with cherry blossoms and feel the warmth of the sun upon my skin.
‘The Living’ by Anjali Joseph is a first person narrative of 2 characters – Claire and Arun  living in two entirely different parts of the world, England and India r…

'The Good Wife' - Bagri Literature Festival, Asia House

‘The Good Wife’ event, part of the Bagri Literature Festival took place on 11th May 2016 at the formidable Asia House, dedicated to Asian culture and its many forms be it art, books, film or food. The event was a panel discussion chaired by Radhika Sanghani, (author and women’s writer at The Telegraph) to explore the manner in which the concept and definition of family is going through transition and how this in turn has impacted women and their rights in Asian countries. Therefore to see 3 panellists, each representing her country by means of providing insight into the aforementioned transition was very apt.
The panel comprised of  Ramita Navai (representing Iran), author of City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death and the search for truth in Tehran,  Elif Shafak (representing Turkey), author of Honour and The Forty Rules of Love, and playwright Sharmila Chauhan (representing India) of Born AgainThe Husbands and 10 Women.
INDIA
The discussion was opened by the amiable Radhika as she asked Shar…

The Red Carpet : Bangalore Stories - Lavanya Sankaran

I sit to review this book and coincidence strikes me rather suddenly. It is Mother’s day today and this book is based in a city that my mother associates with ‘home’. After all, it was in Bangalore that she lived until she got married and left her dear city for Bombay.
I have very fond memories of Bangalore as it was Ammamma’s home and summer holidays meant a trip with mom to her ‘maika’. I can’t help but feel nostalgic as I attempt to revisit the sights and sounds of Bangalore recreated beautifully in the short stories that comprise ‘The Red Carpet’ by Lavanya Sankaran.
“Bangalore was a strange city, a potpourri of beggars and billionaries and determinedly laid back ways”. “They (the Bangaloreans) spoke of their city’s attractions to visitors in tones of disparaging surprise. Oh. You like the weather? Yeah, it’s okay. I guess. Cool. Blue skies and all”. “A chill crowd, like. Doing ultra cool things chumma, simply, for no reason other than to do it”.  These lines from one of the short …

Those Pricey Thakur Girls - Anuja Chauhan

I would normally be very suspicious of a book title that uses the adjective ‘pricey’ to describe the female gender but then my eyes were drawn towards the gaze of the feline on the cover and then to the colourful flip flops and finally to the shadows on the wall.  So in summary, I saw colour (game!), a cat (set!) and summer (match!). Did I just judge a book by its cover? Of course I did and I have no regrets!
Five sisters with their unique personalities, their quirky parents and a big mansion… does this ring a bell? And did I just hear you groan about it being a desi rip off on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice?! I want to clear that misconception right at the start. Although it is tempting to fall prey to the beast that is cognitive misery by drawing parallels between both books, such a thought wouldn’t do justice to either.
Laxmi Narayan Thakur, a seasoned High Court Judge and his wife Mamta live in a sprawling mansion on New Delhi’s affluent Hailey Road. Their brood of 5 inimitable…