Monday, April 1, 2013

Books, Plays and Events

In order to keep yourself sane and normal, at times you tend to rediscover your interests in things you like. Off late, I can say my weekends have been kind of eventful; if not the entire weekend, at least few hours.

I have a backlog of books to read. Its not that I have not been reading; its that the books keep adding in my cupboard. They refill faster than I have been able to read. I have finished John Grisham's The Pelican Brief. I think its one of his very few books where the story doesn't revolve around attorneys or court rooms. I read Anne Frank's diary. Quite distrubing to read how simple things in life we seem to have taken for granted was a remote luxury to a section of society; all because of some insane ideologies. I also read a collection of short stories from rural Tamil folklore. Its called "Where are you going, you monkeys?" There are many short folklores of Gods/Goddess, spouses, friends, relatives, devils and you realize that you would have definitely heard at least few of them. Its such a welcoming thought to realize how rich our culture has been and how story telling was imbibed as part of everyday life. Its definitely a must read, for generations after us; I wonder if they grow up listening to these folk tales. I have heard a bit from my mom; but I would have heard many more had I grown up with my grand parents. For people like me, this book is a great reveler.

I read Wanderlust by Danielle Steele. Its a story of a 20 something girl from San Francisco wanting to travel the world and experience exotic places like her father and how she is torn between her family and her dream to travel. The journey takes her to Europe, Turkey, Middle East, North of India, Manchuria, Japan and North Africa. Umm, she does that with 5000$ when USA is in great depression. I could picture myself doing something like that...when is the question. I read Lord of Ice - a romantic tale between a rich knight and an orphan girl set in the late 1700s in England.

What else did I read? - Yeah, Mafia Queens of Mumbai. For most of us, who have only known about underworld dons of Mumbai, this is a shocker. If you like crime stories, reading the real ones can be addictive. I read Bridget Jones Edge of Reason - Bridget's relationship with Mark Darcy and her continued dilemma; followed by Memoirs of Geisha. Memoirs interested me a lot; Japan as as whole and the life of Geishas. I visualized Ichiriki teahouse the way it was described in the book. Once I finished reading, I actually googled for the teahouse and found my visualization quite close :-) And yeah, if God favors, maybe visit the tea house once in my lifetime. Aaah wishes!!

I read a couple of pages of The Secret of Nagas and put it aside to read later. I also read 3 chapters of The God of Small Things. I felt it required lot of concentration to be able to follow the context switches that happen so frequently in the book. To imagine Baby Kochamma in her teens and immediately in her 70s and to jump context from Rahel and Estha as kids to grown ups was too much. So I have suspended it for a while. Don't know if I will go back to reading it.

I have many on the list - The Secret of Nagas, The Oath of Vayuputras, The Cannibal, Angel of the Dark, Brida, The Zahir, Aleph, The White Tiger, Eleven Minutes and few more.......... So my hands are full.

I went to an event couple of weeks ago. Its more of a flea market concept that happens once every quarter and its called Sunday Soul Santhe. (Santhe means market in Kannada). People exhibit their handicrafts, knick knacks and other items for sale. Clothes, home-made soaps, paintings, photography, caricatures, chocolates, handmade ladies accessories, jute bags, terra-cotta wares and jewelery, quilled artifacts, artifacts made from recycled materials to name a few. I and Rahul (of ETs blog) wanted to explore if we can showcase our creations from our hobbies and if we could make money out of it, thats bonus. So we went to this event and yeah, there was just one photography stall. I am thinking if its an oppurtunity for me. We will have to pay towards setting up a stall and stall space and all that. But it did give us an idea about the stall, the concept.

For the first time, nah second time I think; I watched a play at Alliance Francaise. It was a humorous play in English titled "What's with Indian men?" Now with the title, you can gather what it would be about. A girl trying to find a suitable boy to get married meets men of different kinds and the conversation that follows. It was a very nice experience. For one; away from those crowd infested malls with their plasticky overdo, food, drinks and customer service. The play provided what was most needed - entertainment. Nothing else. The live singing after each scene was great, the lyrics, the song was wonderful. I think I would go to watch more plays here after than watch a movie. It also gives you a chance to talk to the artistes, try participating in one of the plays. Alliance Francaise also showcases French movies, plays, music festival. Its nominally charged or free sometimes.

I tried to do a photo walk at the famous KR Market yesterday evening. It was late in the evening and also I was not too confident of getting photos. It requires lot of guts to take photos nonchalantly in a crowded area and yet not compromise on the shots you want to take. I did get curious questions why I was taking snaps, if I were from TV. I think I got a couple of good ones before the power went off. It was also not the best place with people jostling around and pick pocketers all around. But I always want to click at a market - the mood, the chaos, the activities is a photographer's dream to capture the essence. Lets see.

I have highlighted the names of books and events so that if you are interested; you can easily pick the names from here


  1. I have been so busy with just teaching and reading law books that I haven't got any time to read any other kind of books. I have so many pending books. Hope lectures get over soon and I get some free time in hand so that I will be able to read something.

    You are on a reading spree. Good good.

    1. Yeah wrap them up soon. I am! and better read when the interest is on a high; I know there would be time when I don't want to read for sometime

  2. You seem to be putting your time to good pleasures. The play sounds very interesting. And of course the pleasures of reading - enjoy! :)

  3. To sum it up life isn't bad . isn't it?
    To do things that doesn't make you bored of existence and to forget about the banalities outside is pretty fortunate indeed.

    I think that your judgement of "The GST" is a bit premature. Perhaps I was able to identify with the story and the age it was set in because it ran parallel to my age. I could even recollect identical incidences and scenes that were pictured in it.It is not a great work but interesting.

    But then books as people have a different plain that need not blend with us.

    Anne Frank's Diary is a book that must be in the curriculum.
    I would recommend to you an interesting transliteration ( though the original that is in 1500 plus pages have the unique essence that the translation could not reproduce), the abridged selected version and titled "Lore & Legends of Kerala" Oxford Uty press. Would give you an insight into the past life and how myths took over.

    I guess we can look forward to some shots of the flea markets and the melee of the market place?

    I wonder when I will be able to spend days with nothing to do , time to do as much as I want to do and no pressures what so ever.
    Have good time B.

    1. Anil,

      I wouldn't deny about my views on GST. In fact, I was discussing it with a friend yesterday and said it was not fair on my part to comment since I have not read the entire book yet. But for now, thats what it is. I felt it difficult to hold my concentration and follow the book. Maybe sometime later.

      I would be interested to read Lore and Legends of Kerala. The title sounds fun. I didn't click at the flea market; didn't take my camera along. Maybe next time. Market ones - I have very few. Lets see if there is something thats worth sharing.

      Its that Anil, sometimes you have so much to do but you don't want to do. I am in that phase most times.

  4. click at a market - the mood, the chaos..yezz nothing clicks better than that:)

    1. Yup! I should be able to do justice to it. Let me see how the pics have turned up :)

  5. Anil's comment sums up exactly what I would want to say. Other than GST, the only book I have read among the ones you mentioned is Anne Frank.

    What impresses me most is that you are able to strike a balance between your professional occupations and your hobbies, which not many are fortunate of.

    1. Balan,

      You know sometimes one needs to squeeze time for hobbies and other interests to remain sane; after all the stress and insane stuff that work throws up in the name of influencing, making a change, being a leader blah blah blah

  6. Same for me... the books are getting added at a faster pace than they are being read! Have read The Pelican brief, Anne Frank's Diary, Wanderlust, Memoirs of Geisha, God of Small Things. Currently reading a Japanese thriller... Salvation of a Saint!
    Looking forward to see your clicks from the market! :)

    1. Thanks Shilpa. Got few more books yesterday :) Will post the clicks at Market sometime


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!