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

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Some people write when they are stressed, others read. For some reading is an escape, for others it is as real as it gets. Spending two weeks away from technology in most of its forms - no cell, no email, few phone calls, sitting with my Nani, I did what I could only do best. I read.

These books went with me to the lawn, when the day got cooler, to the drawing room when the sun was at its peak and to the bedroom in the still of the night.

There were some wonderful stories, some sad ones, some happy ones, some forgettable ones. I will be reviewing some of these books at length, though what worked for me was (in no order of merit) High Tea in Mosul, Book of Rachel, Home, City of Fear and India's Unending Journey.

I've yet to get to Life of Pi - don't even ask how I missed out on this Booker winner.

I was expecting more out of Shashi Tharoor's Bookless in Baghdad (turned out to be a collection of articles, thoughts, pieces) and Pankaj Mishra's Butter Chicken in Ludhiana. I enjoy Mishra's writing though the journey through small town India didn't push me to the edge of my seat.

That's what Manju Kapur's Home did. I'd enjoyed her debut Difficult Daughters, only to be disappointed with Kapur's second novel A Married Woman. For the longest time, I'd put Home on my 'attempt to read' shelf. I took it along just for the heck of it. Found it impossible to put down. Read it in one sitting, through the night, only to be admonished the next morning -
When will you learn to take care of your eyes and your health?
It was a great story, Masi. Ok I won't do it again, I promised my aunt half-heartedly.

And the next morning, I had Esther David's Book of Rachel in hand. Whoever said work breaks were for sleeping?