Friday, October 27, 2006

Five Six, Pick up the Tricks

Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry
Paperweight by Stephen Fry
Saturday by Ian McEwan
Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
In a Free State by V S Naipaul

Saturday is vintage McEwan. Taut, Exact Writing. Supreme Delight at first read .Full pleasures to be shared after I finish the book.

We already love Fry’s writing. Actually we just love the man himself. We got so excited with the two books we saw first that we forgot to pick up The Ode Less Travelled which shall be purchased the moment our next set of coupons arrive.

And so, quiet flows the Dee. Not SRK, you crumbs,…

We are particularly delighted to have acquired Iris Murdoch’s Booker winner, especially since we have been in its pursuit for over a year now. It took some indecision before picking In a Free State ahead of A Bend in the River.

Back to reading now.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Happy Diwali

Its been a crowded Diwali weekend what with all the movie watching, reading, flying visit to Pune, book buying with friends, running from Worli seaface to Charni Road on a Sunday morning, etc…

(Thanks to Majji’s insistence, I watched 2 great movies) - Before Sunrise & Before Sunset, which have resulted in yet another addition to our crush list - Julie Delpy’s character who ranks alongside the characters from Sideways and Lost in Translation as our crushes on fictional characters… I will write a more detailed blog on the movies soon.

Also managed to buy some books in between the movies that I managed to watch at the theatres - Open Season & Lage Raho Munnabhai.
Bapu Kuti by Rajni Bakshi
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

Thanks to G-man and some other people who had recommended Bapu Kuti to me.
The Inheritance of Loss seems promising. More soon...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hutch Delhi Half Marathon 2006

1 hr 50 mins 43 secs.
Very Hot day. (The capitalization in the previous sentence is intentional.)

I did my 1st 2 km in 8 mins. Realized that my race was cooked then itself. Did try slowing down and all the other stuff, but nothing helped in the end.

Bad Start since most people didn't even realize that the race had kicked off, when we started. Lost about 45 secs when I realized that the race was on, since I had crossed the starting line. There was no gun or I didn't hear one.

Although I had come in with hopes of 1:40, ended up 10 mins outside it, mostly due to bad planning and quite some trying heat.

A little disappointed since I had looked forward to doing well in my 1st race in Delhi. Not sure I will even come back next year.

But had great fun catching up with friends' and their families. And one of my bhabhis does not like bananas! Found out one of the uncles had clocked around 11 sec for 100 m in 1969!!! So I guess my weekend was made, especially since the uncle under question is mostly a sedate guy otherwise. Was quite a surprize to find this out.

Also got the customary goodies. So overall good fun...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Run on Sunday

Am running the Hutch Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday.
Also plan to run with the same bandanna that I ran with in Mumbai for Manju.

More when I get back from the run.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Poon-eh?!

Just when one thought that the good feeling of returning to Madras (itself an unexpected feeling) was about to materialize, life or rather work has taken a sudden turn and we might just be in Pune till end of this year, starting soon. Trial runs begin next week.

So much for planning.

The unpacking-packing routine will now extend across 3 states.

From Madrasi to Gulti to Ghati, we are making moves ;)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

IITM Open Quiz, New Book, ...

Well, this time too, my team didn't qualify, but the experience was great.
Nice quiz. Loads of prizes and meeting with so many quizzing buddies from Bangalore and a couple of audience prizes which resulted in the addition of a real treasure to our collection - Movie Game Book: A Serious Pursuit of Film Trivia

I don't usually link to Amazon, but this one movie buffs must check out. The book has amazing production value. It has several innovations. It has a page with a flap with slots with alternate slots blocked. The open slots reveal actresses and the covered spots hold the respective Bond actors who the actresses figured with and the likes. Another sets has muses and the directors. Similarly one set has strips with quotes and lifting the strip reveals the person who uttered it. There are the obvious pitfalls of translation from French, but the book more than makes up for such irritants. A cinema-buff's delight. All thanks due to a sale at Landmark, made possible in part due to a coupon earned as an audience prize at the IITM quiz :)

Late Entry for Hutch Half Marathon

A plug for the Hutch Delhi HM and also since this
is an opportunity for later entrants.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Wodehouse: A Life

What would you do if you were a self-confessed Wodehouse buff and found that there were already two biographies written about the man who created such a fantastic universe of comic aunts, uncles, pigs, earls, gardeners, etc…, especially when both were written with the blessings of the old man PGW himself?

You would write another one if you were Robert McCrum, exploring new ground that none of the others had expanded upon, especially his wartime ‘mishap’ or misdemeanour “Plum’ was widely vilified for, to the extent that Wodehouse never returned to the country of his birth after the infamous Berlin broadcasts.

Robert McCrum, the biographer is the literary editor of the Observer in London and a self-confessed Wodehouse fan. He has turned out a rich tribute to PGW, who lived till the ripe age of 94, creating some of the most loveable characters in English literature, including Jeeves, Wooster, Lord Emsworth, Mulliner, (my dear) Bobbie Wickham and a few hundred others. For those of us not in the UK and USA, the book lends valuable introduction to Plum’s considerable work outside the world of literature including Broadway & West End and even Hollywood.

The book dwells at depth on the making of the legend of a shy individual that Wodehouse was, and narrating the tale of a man who was most comfortable at his work – writing, than at anything else. It is a trifle surprising to know that PGW was a genial man but hardly talkative and rather reserved for someone who created such colorful characters.

The book is divided into 5 phases – PGW’s childhood and grooming till his breaking
out as a struggling author, his subsequent success and American experience, his literary peak and financial success, the disgrace of his Berlin broadcasts (the prelude to it, the actual event and its ripples) and the final phase including his last works as well as his attempts at atonement and the various honours that came his way towards the end of his life.

Wodehouse was eventually knighted for his services to English literature and the league of his fans itself reads like a who’s who of the English speaking world – George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, Tom Sharpe etc. This book itself comes recommended by one of the previous biographers, several people from Wodehouse’s life as well as luminaries such as literary heavyweights such as Stephen Fry and John Le Carre.

Must read for bibliophiles and Wodehousians.