The Small Town Sea. Book Review

It must be fun being an author with a vivid imagination 😊… To make up characters and give them characteristics, to decide their quirks and idiocyncracies. To walk the reader into your imagined locations, where they unquestioningly follow….up the mountain or down by the sea.

This book, narrated in the voice of a thirteen-year-old boy, takes us into the innocence of childhood and also its acute helplessness. It takes us into a small town by the sea, where a child, uprooted from the city tries to find his bearings through a very difficult time of his life.

There is refreshing use of language here. The sentences are beautifully and meaningfully woven. The scene of a chase left me breathless as I ran with the protagonist and his friend Bilal through narrow lanes and rugged landscape, willing them to escape to safety. πŸ˜€

As the story takes shape in an unhurried manner, one is lulled by the pace of the small town sea. While it looks innocuous, this book has deeper layers that invite one to introspect. Children become unhappy pawns in the games that adults play. Quite often swallowing the screams and questions that arise…

I did take time to get fully involved in the story and many a times my pug got his teeth into it faster than me😁… But I persevered and was richly rewarded!

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The Truth About Me. Book Review

Ever swallowed a bitter pill that lodged itself in the throat, melting into a sour fluid with every agitated swallow? Well, this book is one such pill.

In its very existence lies the truth about how terrifying life can be. Every page that gathers to become a chapter, holds within its words acute pain, humiliation, anger, hunger, violation…

The story of Revathi, born Doraiswamy is written with precision and candour. There are no embellishments, no paragraphs to make the reading light. It is one tightrope journey that keeps one glued to the story of how a boy desperately wants to be a woman and wants the world to understand this overwhelming feeling.

This is where she is completely let down… By Family and society. The life of a ‘Hijra’, it’s secret community and tightlaced hierarchy, are worlds into which very few might have a glimpse. This book is a peep hole.

How little one understands the millions who share this planet… Under garish makeup and a manly voice, lies a wounded soul, that still smiles because till death happens, there is life to be traversed.

I bought this book for Rs. 10/- from a second hand book store. It is a signed copy. The reason for my curiosity could be Rama, the eunuch who visits me near Diwali time every year, she leaves a list of things that her people need for the winter.

Over the years, I have learnt to calm the fear that irrationally arose when I was around them. It could be because Rama visits me alone and is not brash… Or it could be that I have grown….

The Truth About Me. Book Review

Ever swallowed a bitter pill that lodged itself in the throat, melting into a sour fluid with every agitated swallow? Well, this book is one such pill.

In its very existence lies the truth about how terrifying life can be. Every page that gathers to become a chapter, holds within its words acute pain, humiliation, anger, hunger, violation…

The story of Revathi, born Doraiswamy is written with precision and candour. There are no embellishments, no paragraphs to make the reading light. It is one tightrope journey that keeps one glued to the story of how a boy desperately wants to be a woman and wants the world to understand this overwhelming feeling.

This is where she is completely let down… By Family and society. The life of a ‘Hijra’, it’s secret community and tightlaced hierarchy, are worlds into which very few might have a glimpse. This book is a peep hole.

How little one understands the millions who share this planet… Under garish makeup and a manly voice, lies a wounded soul, that still smiles because till death happens, there is life to be traversed.

I bought this book for Rs. 10/- from a second hand book store. It is a signed copy. The reason for my curiosity could be Rama, the eunuch who visits me near Diwali time every year, she leaves a list of things that her people need for the winter.

Over the years, I have learnt to calm the fear that irrationally arose when I was around them. It could be because Rama visits me alone and is not brash… Or it could be that I have grown….

The Truth About Me. Book Review

Ever swallowed a bitter pill that lodged itself in the throat, melting into a sour fluid with every agitated swallow? Well, this book is one such pill.

In its very existence lies the truth about how terrifying life can be. Every page that gathers to become a chapter, holds within its words acute pain, humiliation, anger, hunger, violation…

The story of Revathi, born Doraiswamy is written with precision and candour. There are no embellishments, no paragraphs to make the reading light. It is one tightrope journey that keeps one glued to the story of how a boy desperately wants to be a woman and wants the world to understand this overwhelming feeling.

This is where she is completely let down… By Family and society. The life of a ‘Hijra’, it’s secret community and tightlaced hierarchy, are worlds into which very few might have a glimpse. This book is a peep hole.

How little one understands the millions who share this planet… Under garish makeup and a manly voice, lies a wounded soul, that still smiles because till death happens, there is life to be traversed.

I bought this book for Rs. 10/- from a second hand book store. It is a signed copy. The reason for my curiosity could be Rama, the eunuch who visits me near Diwali time every year, she leaves a list of things that her people need for the winter.

Over the years, I have learnt to calm the fear that irrationally arose when I was around them. It could be because Rama visits me alone and is not brash… Or it could be that I have grown….

Call Me By Your Name… Book Review.. Andre Aciman

It felt like a friend walked away today… Someone witty and intelligent, someone who had a way with words and wizardry to turn sentences into little works of art that I was tempted to underline, read again and note in my journal for safe-keeping, maybe, frame them at some point 😊.

I will remember this book. I will remember it for the story, for the places it took me to, for the languid mornings and unhurried afternoons, for sunlight strewn gardens, wine and the conversations… And Rome and roaming.

I will also remember it for the thrill that first love brings along with the excitement and the ache. I will remember it for the poignant intimacy that the author managed to generate between his protagonists, Elio and Oliver.

‘Call me by Your Name’ intrigued me as a book title. I mulled over it and thought about it, it was just so beautiful… In what sort of a relationship does one demand this from someone, I wondered? After reading the book I understood it.

I didn’t want this book to end and yet I couldn’t wait to turn the pages…

Silence… Erling Kagge… Book Review

“I believe silence is the new luxury. Silence is more exclusive and long-lasting than other luxuries…… Silence is the only need that those who are on the constant lookout for the latest luxury can never attain…”

I fell in love with the cover of this book, much against age-old advice 😊… I judged it and I bought it… And I never regretted it.

The word ‘Silence’ and all that it stands for has always intrigued me, but I never questioned that deep desire.

Often I find myself stuffing my ears with ear plugs to erase every intrusive sound… I felt a need to be enveloped and hugged by the kind of silence one finds high up in the mountains, while on a trek, or deep under water while scuba diving.

To find someone who made it his life’s mission to be curious about it and write a book about it was a wish fulfilled, for me.

Erling Kagge has written a work of great beauty and wisdom. One feels like taking ones time reading it, savouring every sentence, rolling it on ones tongue like exotic wine, and then slowly ingesting it.

The author speaks from experience, both personal and historical, about the significance and importance of finding pockets of silence in daily life.

The font size, the page layout, cover design, are all areas where a lot of thought has gone in.

This book is certainly not a fast paced thriller, it’s a slow chugging train on a narrow gauge track, making its way through the maze of ones mind, urging it to slow down, and enjoy the ride… 😊

Book Review – behind the beautiful forevers

When a non-fiction  book is written by a Pulitzer Prize winning author and when it is a reportage of life in ‘Annawadi’, a makeshift settlement behind a row of luxury hotels and close to the new International Airport in Mumbai, it cannot but be a gripping and touching read. 

The aspirations and goals of parents and the younger generation strike a chord. One is guilt-ridden as ones eyes move around the room in which they are sitting and reading… Maybe sunk in a favourite couch, coffee at hand, fresh fragrance to soothe and create an ‘atmosphere’ perfect for reading….and then you enter the slums, gagging on imaginary stench, and gut-wrenching poverty.

The excitement of rag pickers when they come across trash thrown by the rich,  gives a clear insight into a world very few pause to think about. The suppressed emotions and tensions over sex, religion and power, show the layers in which society exists. It also reflects on how idealism is a luxury one affords when the belly is full and the children are healthy, otherwise one would sell ones soul and ones body too. 

Catherine’s book is relentless and no-holds-barred account of life. It has a truth that all of us are aware of but few are comfortable enough to confront, quite like Arvind Adiga’s ‘White Tiger’. 

The stories that pan out are touching and shocking… How can people live like this, one wonders?

But they do… Millions of them…