Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Troll Hunter-a Not-To-Miss Classic

Over the years I have grown increasingly sick of movies from the US, from Hollywood or not, and, more broadly speaking, English-Language films. British films might be somewhat "clever" but even they do not offer the mature nature and skill and talent that is commonly found in, say, French films. Another reason to avoid the genre is that it stultifies your world view until all you know about the world is all Hollywood and its cronies want to tell you. Thus, for the past so many years, I do what has to be done so that I can watch films from all over the world. 
Indeed, I cannot be accused of being regional for I seem to have as much aversion to Bollywood and other Indian regional mainstream cinema as I have to Hollywood. I am fairly catholic, otherwise, in my viewing tastes although I prefer films from South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and, most certainly, those from France.
Thus it was a change to come across The Troll Hunter, to finally get to see it for I had seen the trailer when it was about to be released. The film is well made and thoroughly enjoyable to any student of cinema or any film buff. 
This Norwegian film is said to be a mix of Jurassic Park and The Blair Witch Project but it is an insult to this fine piece of work to compare it to Spielberg's commercial popcorn or the childish BWP.
Using a fine dry combination of wit, humour, social comment,legend and special effects, the film takes you through amazing countrysides and into the realm of the larger than life in a most entertaining fashion.
So prepare to enjoy and hunt down this film ASAP!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Populaire-More fun than your everyday Hollywood, Bollywood film

An entertaining film has to have all kinds of elements: humour, action, crisis...
Populaire incorporates, in the most wonderful way, love and competition into a story about typing!
The excellence of the film lies in the way it is made-exactly like films set in those days. There are superb touches in the editing and other film making tactics which ensure a quality viewing experience.
The protagonists are refreshingly ordinary looking but with their skilled acting engage the viewer to develop a very soft spot for them.
The film is really all about atmosphere-the dresses, the magazines, the cigarette smoking and the cars...but it's also a lot about love-a good old fashioned love story for all ages, valid worldwide.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Barbarian Invasions -Another typical Canadian French Film

I've had a soft spot for French films-mainly the comedies and some action movies and this because that's the genre I generally enjoy watching. In the process I came across another breed: Canadian French films.
Now this is a whole new beast! It is morose, most often not too well made and, overall, I cannot say I enjoyed any that I've viewed.
The funny thing is that one would expect that Land of Plenty to be more prone to lightness than France itself. On the contrary, the French know how to laugh, how to make a decent film and other things which make life so much the more enjoyable. Sort of reminds me of the case of Singapore, a nation of plenty which produces zilch in terms of excellence.

The Barbarian Invasions is a film about a dying man and how his estranged son goes about making his last days memorable by inviting all his father's arty farty and, supposedly, thus sexually liberated friends.
Every so often one imagines that the film is going somewhere -only it doesn't. It is, to put it very simply, a slow and lingering death!
But I would still say that it was a worthwhile experience. I learned that Canada in 2003 or so was much like India: the conditions in the hospital, scenes of traffic on flyovers...
In the beginning I thought that the barbarians would be the immigrant population shown in the hospital corridors but no! Then I assumed the film would discuss 9/11 but again that was a false lead! And so it went: fluffy nothings dribbled randomly in a morose tale which chases the smoke!
However, I insist that it be viewed for its saving grace is that you get an insight into Canada which all the Mountie bounty and Quebec's Just For Laughs Gags cannot bring home.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Crying Ladies

I do not remember my first Tagalog film but I certainly first developed a taste for them while we lived in Malaysia via TV and Malaysia's finest: pirated DVDs of the most excellent quality.
Outstanding are La Visa Loca and Pinoy Blonde.
However, a Tagalog film is not something you stumble upon ever day and I long hungered to see The Crying Ladies. Perhaps I had seen a review of it, the DVD cover?
Anyway, I finally got to see it last night and it was extremely satisfying.
The film is basically about three women who function as hired mourners at Chinese funerals. I have observed a similar custom in India both in personal experience and via cinema.
When I was in my undergraduate years I attended a college for women where a lot of girls came from nearby villages. There was a very sweet girl who passed away of some illness at that time and we had gone to her village house to offer condolences. Even as we approached we saw village women who suddenly broke into wailing and beating their chests as soon as they crossed the gate.
While it is an antithesis to expect humour in a film about death, Crying Ladies is an affectionate look at the Philippines in all its aspects: family, love, sex, addictions, sins, religions and, of course, death.
It is a film which would be widely enjoyed in India as a lot of the funeral customs will seem familiar but more than that it is the gentle personalities, the accepting nature of the characters-accepting the failings and foibles of friends and relatives, and even those of oneself. 
In the span of one film you get a taste of the cuisine, glimpses of the day to day life of commoners and their dreams and ambitions.
Another aspect which brings the movie close to the Indian psyche is the ease with which the different religions stand shoulder to shoulder with almost no contradiction or conflict. The funeral service is simultaneously conducted by Buddhist monks and a Christian priest. The language uses a Muslim origin word for thanks: Selamat, to quote just one example of the vibrant presence of Islam also in the hodgepodge.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

French Classics -Abridged in Easy French

Last week I picked up a pile of books at the Alliance Francaise at Pune. Since I'm allowed two books from the children's section, I tend to choose classics from there to get a quick glimpse of what would otherwise consume more hours of reading than I'm prepared to devote at present.
La Morte Amoureuse by Theophile Gautier (Lecture en Francais facile, from Cle International), is an early Vampire story. The edition opens with a small write up on the author, proceeds to introduce the characters of the story with picture portraits and is broken up into chapters, each followed by a set of simple and engaging exercises. The chapters are interspersed with picture story type interludes. This is another good strategy to engage the reluctant reader.
As such this abridged version did not tempt me to follow it up with the original but it did inspire me to read up about the story and I'm enchanted to read that
 Gautier uses colors associated with Orientalism throughout his work: red, green, white, silver and gold. Each of these colors are the foundation of a symbolism of colors in "La Morte amoureuse". This is particularly notable in the descriptions of Clarimonde, with her green eyes, her red lips (with red drops of blood), her white skin, her silver voice, her green and gold traveling gown, etc.
I also learned that the title is inspired from Delacroix's painting. 

File:Delacroix - La Mort de Sardanapale (1827).jpg
La Mort de Sardanapale
 Gautier was apparently a wannabe painter and this was his way of offering homage to the great painter whom he had met some years before this story emerged.
I think you can buy or order it at Goyal Saab's if you live in India.
Alternatively, if your French is up for it, read it here or here if you'd like the English translation.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Suraj Bharade-Art @Taj Vivanta

During our visit to Taj Blue Diamond, Pune, we met a fine young artist, Mr. Suraj Bharade

We were admiring an arrangement on one of the walls at Latitude where what appeared to be water flowing down panels created very beautiful patterns.
Suraj introduced himself and led us to a little table with samples of his work. He told us about his life, his spiritual seekings and his relationship with Shiva. 
And from this fount of inspiration flows his art
We were deeply moved to be blessed by this encounter and really thrilled when he came to our table with these two paintings as a gift for us.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Parachute Advansed to Latitude: A Lot of Leeway for Love Dobara

It all began sometime early this year when I came across Parachute Advansed's Fall In Love Dobara contest   
Tell us about the most 
memorable moment 
you've shared with 
your husband ‐ one that 
you would love to relive ‐ and 
you could win 
The Perfect Date! 
I dashed off my entry:
The most memorable moment I've shared with my husband that I would like to relive is...
Although my life with my husband is filled with endlessly memorable moments, the most memorable one took place in the days soon after we met. It was a cold early spring morning in Delhi and we had spent the night chatting and suddenly we noticed dawn was about to be born. He took me for a walk through the misty landscape and we came upon a garden of flowers but there was a barbed wire hedge around it. He leaped over it smoothly and plucked a bunch of flowers. Before I could blink he was kneeling before me, presenting me with this bouquet. It was symbolic of the romantic life full of fragrant memories that lay ahead.
Serendipitously I won a fantastic gift
from a Company whose products I do indeed love and use: from the kitchen to the cosmetic closet, Parachute coconut oil products are our first choice.

I was thrilled with the gift vouchers but not so sure how enjoyable it would be in reality.  Procrastinating, I dashed off emails to Taj, Vivanta (The hotel in which I could use my gift vouchers for a romantic meal).

The response was so touching. I received emails and phone calls so movingly eager to make my day!

A special thanks to Devendra S. Ratnawat, Executive Assistant Manager, Food & Beverage and Shilpa Gokhale, Director of Sales. They were absolute darlings! 

It was finally on Saturday, the 8th of June, that we set out for our date, a couple of days after our actual anniversary date.

Rain was impending but Nature cast a lenient glance our way: it was a real dreamy drive to Vivanta by Taj Blue Diamond Pune 

From the very entrance it was a grand welcome and tell you what, it didn't appeared orchestrated: we had settled on Latitude and asked the way: a young man from security smilingly led us there.

We entered a serenely lit space escorted by a sweet young lady. We sat for a bit at a very cosy table
but the outdoors also looked very inviting and we moved to the poolside and, in this weather, it was paradise.

What a romantic brunch it was: we were waited upon but most unobtrusively.

A beer each, some sparkling champagne each: toasts to our 31 years together and blessings for the 31 years ahead.

With the beer we were served some excellent starters: the chicken tikka was delectable as was the vegetarian kebabs

Time flowed timeless under the swaying palms and slow theater of monsoon clouds. We chatted and sipped and anon were served with exquisite appams and coconut milk stew of the most divine purity and freshness.

No one made us feel we had to hurry things up-it was as if Taj staff played cupid!

Brunch was an array of tasty dishes covering a more than satisfactory range of cuisines, gentle live music soothed the soul...

We ate to our fill, delicious desserts included

 and nearly fell off our cosy chairs when lo and behold, an anniversary cake manifested!
And with all the grace of perfect hosts they offered to pack it up for us.

As I went up to take a photo of all the fine young people who helped make our dream date,

I was presented with a humongous bouquet!

Thank you, Parachute Advansed and Taj Blue Diamond for making dreams come true for two confirmed lovers 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vathikuchi-Very Paisa Vasool

I have this love of Tamil movies although I cannot read the language and can barely follow the audio. I love the songs and dances. But, on a more serious note, it is also the story lines, the acting and, often, some very slick editing and visual compositions which attract me.

From the start, Vathikuchi plunges you into the story. The visual narrative pursues its course, zig zagging via brief flashbacks, deftly weaving its way through a couple of really cool songs,

all the way to a very cute happy ending.

Nothing to write home about? Well, surprisingly this story rocks: a good boy beats up bad guys, falls in love with one very crazy chick who never for a moment believes he's telling the truth about all the hair raising episodes he gets embroiled in, a few nicely done fight scenes, and a talent for making the gruesome almost hilarious.

It's a pity Tamil films don't get the exposure they deserve!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ring the Bell: Will the Coin Drop in the Slot?

It's all very well to talk about the power of individual and collective action to challenge the habits, norms, and cultures that perpetuate violence, particularly violence against women. Pardon me for being  more than a little amused by such talk...

Let's look at the words habits, norms, and cultures. What exactly do they mean or represent? Are they interrelated?  Is violence born of habits, norms and cultures alone? Are animal societies free of violence? 

More distressingly, are studies of gender dictated patterns of behaviour among animals being suppressed increasingly given certain data might be deemed "politically incorrect"? Insider stories within communities consisting of professionals in the fields of Science seem to indicate that a scientist whose papers distress certain groups might not only lose her/his right to publish but will also find her/his job/livelihood threatened. We are not in the best age of Science whilst we might boast of being in an age of technological triumphs. 

We all cultivate or acquire habits (Although the habit of scientific enquiry is a rare one),. All over the world, society encourages us to to preserve certain habits which, directly or indirectly, contribute to violence against women. Patriotism is a social habit which tacitly approves violence against "enemy" women. Throughout history women have been deemed spoils of war and victory.  Patriotism is a norm which prescribes certain habits: we all stand up to salute a flag, we all recognise others who share our norm of hatred for a common enemy. Culture is strong hue of Patriotism: the world over people are patriotic without question, just as they are religious or they choose to be "good citizens" even when the State is the very epitome of wrong values. Without question. Depending on our cultural background we are deemed to adopt specific norms and cultivate certain habits. I wonder what habits,norms and culture Clinton and his ilk the world over drew upon? I also wonder at the number of people (whose culture, norms and habits, we have been taught, turn them into misogynistic monsters) who treat women with common courtesy, perform no acts of violence against women given their geo political backgrounds?

Violence against women is not endemic: news of a certain kind from certain regions of the world merely lends itself lock, stock and barrel to readymade prejudices about those regions and such news is then magnified and regurgitated over other regions of the world-regions which hold stubborn prejudices, prejudices which have gone deep within thanks to the misplaced efforts of those who apply certain laws. Political correctness, for example. Lip service is the best way to co-opt any good initiative.

Proverbs and adages abound which extol putting a woman in her "place" especially with a beating. Whereas it is assumed that, in certain parts of the world, especially among certain races, people have magically evolved such that such sayings are merely quaint relics, we are all prone to penalise certain other cultures and races for acts of violence against women by drawing on their religious and other cultural writings. "See, you cannot deny that such and such Holy Book of these people expressly encourages and allows these horrifying things!" 

Yet there is no evidence that I can accept of any increased degree of violence in some parts of the world as opposed to others: there are horrifying instances of rape and other brutality against women all over the world and we must accept that certain groups of nations have the power to cover "their asses" so to speak. Let us take, for example, convicting someone for war crimes, making a whole nation apologise to another for something or the other done long, long ago. We all know about the brutalities committed by certain races once upon a time in order to acquire material resources which their own regions could not produce. We all know that these same countries wage "crusades" to corner oil resources. 

So what exactly do we mean when we speak of habits, norms and cultures? 

So is it entirely hopeless to contemplate change, a shift in how we treat our womenfolk the world over?

I think not but I do think we shall only reach partial or disastrous solutions because at no point are we willing to allow the merciless light of scientific research to lead the way. Science is stifled by noisy activists who prefer to heed the trumped tales woven by a number of so called social scientists whose claim to fame is a chair in a university in certain regions for the world. Sitting on their thrones these charlatans enjoy creating monster hordes of activists, smilingly blessing marathons and other carnival feats to "endorse" "initiatives"... 

We have assumed that people are only sexually ready/active by such and such age while the age of attaining puberty is dropping significantly. While we seek answers in abstractions like habits, norms and culture, the very real actions of hormones and other physiological workings are neatly swept under the carpet.

But, in the meantime, even as we can re-train our brains to look for answers rather than swallowing hook, line and sinker all that media hysteria tells us, we need to understand that simple things which can be done to ensure the day to day safety of all citizens of all genders but which will not be undertaken as corruption is seemingly ineradicable. The police who should provide the required sense of safety are, the world over, the epitome of the misuse and abuse of the law.

The rich rape and brutalise but we are told that it is the uneducated frustrated boor whose culture drives him to act the beast!

Excuse me for feeling quite amused at the sheer hopelessness given our collective blindnesses and fondness for this disability.   

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WeChat with anyone, anywhere? Global Cacophony or a Symphony of Diversity?

I hadn't the faintest idea what a WeChat is.  And now I know. Fascinating...

I can just imagine how delightful it would be in an aggravating sort of way if I could indulge in this with five of my dearest ones.

My Mom (hereinafter referred to as MM): Gita, your hair is so dry! I wish I was there to give you a head massage!

My Dad (hereinafter referred to as MD): Raggi, let the poor thing be! Gita, you look like a butsukooka!

My Son (hereinafter referred to as MS): What's a butsukooka??!!

My Husband (hereinafter referred to as MH): What?! It's a Boot which Sue cooked-was so tasty everyone went "Ah!" when they ate it.

My Daughter-in-law (hereinafter referred to as MDIL): Oh! Mom!!! You must send me the recipe! Is it a Malayalee dish?

Me (hereinafter referred to as M): Amma!!!! I'm 54 years old, for Godsake! I love my hair just the way it is!!! 

Daddy!!! I do not look like a butsukooka and you may have gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds but you've left us wondering what a butsukooka is! Not fair!!! 

And as for you, beta, don't even ask! It's some ancient Telugu term for a bushy haired dog or so I think... 

Hubby!!!!  Stop using your gadgets in the bathroom! I swear I hate hearing you flush when you're saying "Yes, dear" to me! I can see you, you know...

Baby girl, don't let this madhouse drive you nuts-we're a regular madhouse

Meanwhile MS plays with some emoticons 

MM: Oh! See! Our bacha is becoming a famous artist-like that fellow, you know-what was his name? Pagla Pistachio?

MD: Bah! Keep quiet! You don't know anything! He is doing new math-nowadays people do calculations like this-it's back to the basics-just like counting with an abacus  -didn't you read that PC Quest issue in the Heavenly Library? All computers are based on the abacus and that is why the Chinese are so powerful now.

MH: No, no, Doctor! These are emoticons-we use these to show how we feel!

And in the meantime, MS and MDIL are checking their FB pages while MM is squeaking in further bewilderment. 

MD and MH begin arguing about physics and the Bhagavad Gita and all is just a series of blah blah blah until mercifully an incessant beeping breaks into my consciousness.

I open my eyes. I'm in bed and mighty irritated to be woken up on Mother's Day when I planned to snooze till noon. I blindly grab the beeping object and then a delighted realisation breaks in!

It's a brand new gadget! And it's got a little card on it that says: Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Hope you like your gift-and I've loaded WeChat on it so let's begin right away :D!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Request For New PAN Card Or/And Changes Or Correction in PAN Data

My father's surname name: Fuck (Very logical-I am a result of this act obviously)
First name: What
Middle name: The
This is what I shall type in the pan card Request for New PAN Card Or/ And Changes Or Correction in PAN Data ( until and unless Govt of India changes it. A more decent and sensible thing would be to ask for Mother's name. She carries us for 9 months, most often she alone cares for us life long.
Further insult added to injury: 2. Father's Name (Even married women should give father's name only)
Not only is it bad enough that the person who only usually and most often only provides a homeopathic sample (Sperm) is the person considered so important in a woman's life but it is assumed that this hapless wretch will otherwise only have as important enough (for Govt of India) in life as defining her effectively her husband.
Most Indian women will put husband, child, in laws, elders, etc. etc long before any consideration of self and here Govt of India considers that a woman is thus entitled not to honour but to this terrible rape of the self
Anyway, Govt of India, I cannot afford a roof over my head to call my own as you pamper rascals and scoundrels and even the so called underprivileged who are now better off are being forced by your wretched minions to pay huge bribes to get a decent job. Of what use is your Pan Card to me????
Last time I had to pay more than Rs. 4000 to get change of address accepted by you because my father had the misfortune to have a caste name (bloody complicated stuff) which was further buggered by our dear British robbers whose boots we still lick by following their name systems.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


I've sometimes been asked to write about the Gita. Since I tend to refer to it now and again.

I've never quite had that level of audacity for the simple reason that I do not know that much Sanskrit, that I've skimmed through the Gita maybe once in my life. And as for the rest, I've had to learn a chapter here or there-once or twice at school, off and on, in later life, because my father had recommended reading a page of it a day.

I cannot with any degree of truthfulness say that I understood much/any of it but there is no doubt that I do enjoy the poetry of the style, the language. 

I can, however, say that an almost daily reading of the Gita's Kavacham (which was taught to me by my father) did transform me. For one thing, I was unable to conceive of an "enemy", once lines from this section of the Gita were well imprinted on memory.

 Behold, O Partha, my hundreds and thousands of divine forms, various in kind, various in shape and hue.
On an amusing note, I recall one situation in which I used this "spell": Delhi's traffic is really scary and I used to be terrified when our two wheeler wove through narrow spaces, amidst reckless buses and other huge vehicles. Feeling all these "dangerous things" were just part of me tended to defuse the sense of fear, I suppose.

The Kavacham has many other parts which, each in their own way, empower self, form protection-or a sense of protectedness.

Ironically, or not, some of these verses seem to be used during cremations, as a reassurance to kith and kin, that the "soul" of their dear departed is, effectively, quite alright:
Weapons cannot cleave it, nor the fire burn, nor do the waters drench it, nor the wind dry.
All in all, it's pretty powerful stuff to tell yourself on a daily basis-changes you, changes how you look at the world.

But let's return to why I tend to refer to the Gita. Besides this life changing Kavacham, I'm almost always deeply moved by the 11th Chapter where "God", as the friend of man/of the human "soul", deigns to offer the mortal a vision of the "Divine Self".

I doubt anything of why it so moves me can be grasped unless one knows some Sanskrit-there is a tone which is lost, however good the translation. Perhaps it is just that it resounds for me with the memory of my father reciting these verses, almost with tears in his eyes.

I am not a religious, nor even a "spiritual" person-nor a rebel...Yet I am a Hindu by birth, am formed of certain common definitions of godhead... That the Divine is Everything, all at once. To be All in one instant: good, bad, beautiful, ugly, big, small...It must, surely, be a unique and fairly terrifying experience...

But that is mere sentimentality whereas, as with the reading of the Kavacham, there are other sections which bear witness to a transforming effect, if I may say so.

And that is probably why I heard that people, especially women, are advised not to read the Gita. When I asked a pretty young woman, who was, by the way, from a Brahmin family, why this was supposed to be so, she replied that she was told that the person who reads the Gita is changed.

Well, most of us, soon after birth and as part of the process of growing up, begin to express and experience our "individual self", our sense of "I". Few get to sense that this is actually quite a zoo! Some of those zoo owners are definitely demented -schizophrenics, for example (the multiple personality thing).

Some of us, however, for one reason or another, find ourselves with some quality time with "self". For most of us, most of the time, this "alone" time is scary - I would go so far as to say that it can be injurious and even destructive unless there has been some exposure to the concepts of that which unfolds when we are with ourselves, concepts of the paths and processes that all this involves...

Anyway, the point is that there is a part in the Gita which talks about these selves in the self.
Witness, source of the consent, upholder of the work of Nature, her enjoyer, almighty Lord and supreme Self is the Supreme Soul seated in this body. 
For those who have spent some time trying to silence the noisy traffic of the mind, there is, already, maybe only subconsciously, the glimpse of the Witness self. The part of us which can stand aside and watch the inside and the outside with a certain degree of detachment.

If practiced enough, this can sometimes lead to a kind of toying with permitting or sanctioning this or that in oneself. "I shall do this, I shall not do that"...

But it does not stop here if allowed to proceed, this path of discovery of self and its works! After a time, in some, there is an attitude of being ok with whatever is...almost like the King on one of the planets St Exupery's little prince visits.
"May I sit down?" came now a timid inquiry from the little prince.
"I order you to do so," the king answered him, and majestically gathered in a fold of his ermine mantle.
But the little prince was wondering . . . The planet was tiny. Over what could this king really rule?
"Sire," he said to him, "I beg that you will excuse my asking you a question--"
"I order you to ask me a question," the king hastened to assure him.
"Sire--over what do you rule?"
"Over everything," said the king, with magnificent simplicity.
And, if one matures beyond this point, one reaches a state where everything is quite enjoyable. I might venture to say that this state is almost in built in a certain age-phase, that as we age there is a point, a rather grandparently stage, where we find a lot in life quite amusing. When one is young one tends to take so very many things with such a lot of seriousness!

The final stage is termed as that of the Lord. In any organisation the Head at the very top is deeply concerned with everything but not necessarily bothered about petty things-I'm just risking a guess for I have no clue what that stage feels like.

It is not necessary for these steps to occur one by one in this order. In fact, all these exist in all of us, perhaps? And should we choose, these selves are revealed to us and, should we have the capacity, we can, through this knowledge, work some degree of control over ourselves, and, thus, over our lives.

The thirteenth Chapter was much recommended to me by my father but it is not one that reads so easy, nor one which I find easy to wrap my brains around.

See for yourself.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Bone Thief, Jefferson Bass

As a fan of Bones I tend to look for crime fiction based on forensics. 

These days, books are written and published in large numbers. Yet there are complaints that people don’t read enough.

Could be it’s not that people have, overnight, developed a reluctance to read. Could be a lot of what’s being published is frankly bad writing? 

So what should constitute good writing, given that the aim of such a style is to cause the reader to read, to read through to the end?

After the deplorable Godfather of Kathmandu, Jefferson Bass’ The Bone Thief shows promise as an example of attractive style.

Read an excerpt from THE BONE THIEF.

I know I want to read on...

So how is it with you? Do you plod through any given book feeling it's your fault you find it hard to read on?  Or can you be critical about what you read? 

One reason for our lack of judgement might be that all too many of us are wannabe writers and all too many wannabe writers are too lax on themselves: it feels so good to output x number of words per day and, hey, they sound so well in your head!

That's the tragedy! Your readers are not in your head. They're out there. The words you write need to get out there.

I suggest that if you're serious about writing, read aloud. Especially your own writing. Observe where you stumble and falter. Perhaps that will help you redesign your piece?

Thursday, March 21, 2013


This is the book for you if you do not like action, if you enjoy pages and pages of the protagonist’s introspection, if you enjoy a warped view of the “natives”, if you enjoyed Kipling and Maugham

In short, The Godfather of Kathmandu is yet another product of a writer who has obviously attended classes of some sort on How to Write Novels, who believes in his 1000 words per day regime.

Charming at first, in a caricaturist way, the novel begins to pall when page after page plods painfully through what looks like a Lobsang Rampa bizarro world.
Initially, the reading conjured shades of an Oxide Pang movie: the greenish hue, the odd shred of horror thrown in…

And here and there, there is, admittedly, something of some small worth: a description of a mall rings quite genuine, for example.

But, mostly, a book to give the miss! Or to a Miss? The Missus?