On Books & Reviews

Lanka’s Princess: Not so memorable after all

Lanka's PrincessLanka’s Princess by Kavita Kané

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My review may be biased as I prefer the Mahabharat epic to the Ramayana of which she is a part. I found her characterisation uniteresting and unrelenting when compared to a Menaka in Menaka’s Choice or an Urvi in Karana’s Wife. But like I said it could be my bias towards the epic; the reason why I’m yet to read Sita’s Sister.

Surpankha or Meenakshi reminded you of someone who is beyond reason and needed a moment of catharisis to even consider a different viewpoint. It reminds you of a lot of the younger generation today who think the world is out to get them and fail to even consider or notice that the people who care are only looking out for them. As such this fast-paced book will appeal to certain lot of people but failed to leave me behind with something.

Worth a read if you are looking for a different point of view for the known epic.

View all my reviews

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On Books & Reviews

The 5 books I wish I had the courage to re-read

At various points in my life, I’ve heard of these authors and I’ve read these books. Some books I’ve read early on and some much later. I still haven’t gathered the courage to re-read them lest it destroy the magic it created for me in the first reading. These five books have command a pride of place on my bookshelf and I love to lend them out to friends. But re-read them myself, I never will.

Read my favourite quotes or parts, yes. But not the entire book. You evolve from the person you are when you read the book. Its so difficult to appreciate the same  thing once you are looking at it from a different point of view.

So here goes the list:

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • I sat by the River Piedra and wept by Paulo Coelho
  • The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
  • Then and Now by Somerset Maugham

Do you have any books like these? Please leave you recommendations in the comments box.

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On Books & Reviews

The read book feel

Today in eight hours I travelled eight years and back.

My first tryst with College Street began way back in 2000 when I was sent there hunting for some chemistry book not available in the then popular Park Street bookstores. I caught a cab with my benchmate and left for this forbidden, unexplored territory. My benchmate, a regular there, ensured we got the book out of our way in ten minutes and then devoted the next few hours poring through every small bookstall, browsing through their wares at display. Finicky about wanting books in mint condition I didn’t quite understand the love for a yellow-paged book with a weird smell. A closer look at these and you would find the first-editions of your favourite classics – a rare Bernard Shaw book or a Maugham novel. The entire obsession with new books was shattered in a matter of hours from walking down College Square to India Coffee House.

It’s been a while now. I moved on from hunting for books to a quick-browse-and-pick-up option at a modern format bookstore or worse still online. But today it was different. Today I walked down from College Square once again, not to buy books, though, but to inspect the Pujo sho-sha. With time in hand I couldn’t help but stop at every open bookstall and look at what they have on offer. Not that I was in the mood to hunt but I wanted to know. I was clicking pictures for a dream project, but more and more I began to remember what’s so special in a read book.

A read book makes you wonder what kind of person the previous reader would be. Why did he give the book away? What did he feel while reading the book? Did he want more people to feel the same or was it a burden just seeing it lie on his table day in and out? Did it become a part of who he is? Did he begin to identify with one character so much that he needed to move the book away in order to forget the character? Would I feel the similar urge?

At the end of this philosophical and high-held debate it just boiled down to the familiar touch of yellow pages and the old book smell. The warmth of the read book, the comfort that knowing someone before you has been here and you are safe. You are not alone.

Fresh-off-the-press is a delight to receive and the old book smell is a delight to indulge in.

Didn’t realise how badly I missed it till now – the read book feel, the library book wali feeling.

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