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Showing posts from November, 2010

Book Review: Family Baggage by Monica McInerney

When I saw the nicely packed brown suitcase on the blurb of this novel titled, "Family Baggage," I knew I wanted to go on and find out what else is in the baggage. Some books are like that. They hint secrets in a simple, non-violent way. This book did, too.

Initially, I felt disaappointed. It seemed to be about Harriet Turner, a young woman in her thirties, who is taking a bunch of old people on a themed holiday tour that is based around a popular UK serial. It seemed to go into logistics of travel, not bringing the characters to life at one go. There were times when I wasn't sure whether I was reading a traval itinery but as the book progressed, it became a journey of one insecure woman whose family background is the baggage. Her relationship with her parents and siblings is deep but clouded by the presence of a dynamic, super confident foster sister, Lara. Lara is just perfectly poised and beautiful. Everyone adores her and the world seems to revolve around her, while …

5 Bizarre Things That I Did This Week

My life is seriously turning bizarre. Here 's a recap: I spend a whole day with a bunch of flirtatious young Italians who kept clicking my photographs while I was trying to talk some sense into them about India and they would keep asking me ridiculous questions to keep me talking every time I stopped talking. Finally, I gave a bow and walked away becafuse I was wondering whether they think I am mad. Not that India doesn't have mad people in the country, just look at us - the kind of mad people we elect to positions of power. There was a really high profile meeting in one of Gurgaon's five star hotels and I got to know about it pretty late in the day. So, here I go, wearing my worst looking orange-peach kurtha and jeans that look torn, to the hotel. Obviously, the people out there were dressed to kill but they probably thought I am fashionable because they talked to me like a normal person while I wanted the ground beneath my feet to swallow me up! Of course, it was worse th…

India's Demographic Dividend

The winter chill has begun to set in Delhi, early morning mist wraps us all in its cold. Feels great to wake up and have steaming hot coffee before the rush to work that paves the way for a very hectic, exhausting day.

In the last three weeks, I've met over a hundred people, top brass entrepreneurs, students, educators, academicians and so on. What strikes me about these people, irrespective of age, is their energy to make things happen and their passionate belief that India is on the cusp of a golden, super power era. 

Today's young teenagers and youths that we see around us are the nation's treasures. I'm not kidding. By 2050, no other country in the world will have such a young, vibrant and talented pool of youngsters. Most developing countries in the world are facing the problem of low youth population and increasing number of aged population for whom their governments have to provide social security and many other benefits. These governments are worried sick about h…

Putting Compassion into Practice

I watched Anjali, a Tamil movie directed by Mani Ratnam. Raghuvaran, acting as the father, is brilliant. The film also has actress Revathy's finest performance as a mother oif three children. A mother who struggles to explain to herself why she has a child who is not normal  and yet she loves this child more than the other two. And yet she finds herself unable to express that love easily. It's a film that parents and children should watch together.

Also read: It is brave to be different from the others. We all can dance when we find music that we love.

                                             [Image: Gratisography] The movie's story revolves around a happy married couple with three children. They live in a respectable society, have a good life and yes, part of the typical young middle class. The rude awakening to their stable life comes in the form of a child. That is just the beginning. Their youngest child is not 'normal' (starring Shyamlee aged barely 2 years a…

Book Review: The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

When I began reading, The Other Hand by Chris Cleave, the pure beauty and brilliance of the language coupled with the all too powerful narrative of two women from two different worlds stopped me in my tracks. One part of me wanted to devour the book because it seemed like a confluence of literary-cultural fusion but the other part of me wanted to savor every moment of the book, make it stretch to sweetness and pain, as much as possible.
The story is about an illegal Nigerian immigrant who reached England, in search of an English couple, Andrew and Sarah. The emotions, thoughts and conversations that continue buzzing in her head make her as real as you and I. When she lands up at the door of Sarah, it is the day the Englishwoman has just turned widow. “Most days, I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming…A pound coin can go wherever it thinks it will be safest. It can cross deserts and oceans and leave the sound of gunfire a…

Diwali Greetings

Happy Diwali to all of you, dear friends.

At my end, we did a quick lighting up of the house with decorative lights, and watched our kid's eyes light up and that was just the best feeling in the world. He played with his friend (neighbor's kid) called Ansh till ten in the night and enjoyed a lot.

Today, we will light the diyas together. I have a fetish for candles and diyas and bought a beautiful collection of assorted types from the market that is nearby. Evening will be for lighting the diyas, giving gifts to adi's friends and of course, doing the Lakshmi Puja which I like to do myself.

So, dear friends, I wish you a very Happy, Prosperous and Joy filled Diwali.

The Answer Is......

I was in an introspective mode when I put up the following update on my Facebook update: You all know me so well coz u r my friends, yet sometimes you know me not at all. Here is a question: Who's the most important person in my life? How do you know?Nothing would have prepared me for the interesting responses I got from my friends. However, only my dear friend @ksekher from Mumbai got it right instantly. Sekhara, u r a genius:)Most people chose my four year old son Adi and/or Sri Sathya Sai Baba as the most important person in my life. Even those with whom I don't speak about Baba seemed to choose Baba as the most important person in my life.  Many of you gave me logical, correct answers. Fact is that you forget I am a simple, sentimental woman. All that logic goes over my creative head. All that I know is to love and write. So, here I am, sharing my thoughts with you on a query that I got so much interesting, insightful feedback on.To a great extent, that is true but the thin…