Books, Lit Fests, News, Movies, Art, Fashion and TV of course... "I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book." - GROUCHO MARX

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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Friday, March 31, 2006


Skipper Dravid wants 'FIRE' in the batting. But is he gonna get it? Is Bhajji gonna spin some more surprises? Am I going to be celebrating by the end of today?

Let's face it, I'd stopped watching the wickets tumbling at the Feroze Shah Kotla Grounds. I woke up three hours later and tuned in to watch the proceedings just as Flintoff's wicket crumbled. The rest as they say is history. We lived to see yet another victroy. Whether it was momentous is quite another story. Just how will the saga unfold this time round? I'm heading right home to figure that out.


Just came across this piece...

Embattled Thai Prime Minister has often recommended books for his cabinet to read. Now there's a list of ''must-read'' works of literature that's been proposed to him by Associate Professor Carina Chotirawe, a lecturer in English literature at Thailand's Chulalongkorn University.

Interesting, how a lot of them assess the psyche of a leader. Not many surprises in this rather compelling compilation:

1) 1984 by George Orwell.
2) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
3) The Tragedy of Dr Faustus - a play by Christopher Marlowe.
4) The Emperor's New Clothes - a classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson.
5) All My Sons by American playwright Arthur Miller.
6) Macbeth, by William Shakespeare.
7) Ozymandias by Percy B. Shelly.
8) A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul.
9) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
10) Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.


It has been an amazing few weeks. So many fabulous folks appearing on the show. Enjoyed meeting all of them.

The most memorable though were Indian dancers Alarmel Valli and Madhavi Mudgal. My pal Soundarya generously gave me a ticket and their show was definitely worth staying awake, only to show up for work the next morning. It was energy in motion. You have to see it to believe it.

I mean in real life both Valli and Mudgal are so grounded, so petite that you wonder how they are going to rock the Esplanade stage.

The show takes off, mercifully without the kind of prelude that had marked that dismal performance by Bollywood actress Hema Malini.

Here you have two seasoned performers, enormously serious about their craft and about keeping it alive. The audience is appreciative as it rightly should be. And I find myself glued to my seat, wishing the show never was over.

No surprise that they have made dream sequences out of traditional Indian dance and mesmerised audiences worldwide. Through Odissi will meet Baharatnatyam in a way never seen before in 24 cities in France. Don't miss it for the world if you happen to be there....


How often do you get a Professor of Strategic Marketing, that too at Oxford, delving into the world of 'Miniaturists', 'Opium Clerks' and 'Racists'. In between all of that he also acts, writes and narrates his own documentaries.

Kunal Basu is all of that and a whole lot more. Another one of those amazing writers who make you wonder what exactly you have been doing with your 24 hours.

And despite his sheer brilliance, that amazing voice (which he unfortunately kept losing in our chilly studios), meeting Kunal is a dream come true. There is always so much to ask on the show, and always so little time. I chat some more on the way out and discover a man who doesn't believe in taking breaks. He is already at work on his next book. It's 'coming along fine', he says modestly.

Given that he does not believe in repeating himself. That after the Miniaturists, he took his readers on a stunning journey through the beautiful island of Arlinda, a journey that could be dubbed a study in black and white - I can't wait for the next book.

Though before we get to that, here's a little more about 'Racists': The year is 1855 and two of Europe's pre-eminent scientists are about to begin an experiment with the aim of settling an argument that has raged for decades. With that unravels a fascinating tale, by an author whose real life seems amazingly far removed from the topics he writes about.

With its mix of science, history, romance and a seemingly preposterous experiment at work, the book is gripping from the word go. In an effortless sweep through lands unknown, issues best left untouched, Basu's immensely moving work, just like his earlier ones takes you on a journey that is entertaining and fulfilling in the same breath.