Saturday, November 26, 2011

Better by Atul Gawande

Bought this book from Book Worm y'day. Am a self-confessed Gawande fan. And the book so far has been brilliant. Am willing to post a detailed review for anyone willing to pay for it :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A special block run with the Kenyans

We often read and come across articles on how to run the Kenyan way.
There is not much of an elixir, sadly.
It is ball-busting pace, day after day, sadly.

Read this happy piece

Get blessed with some athletic genes and work like mad to make it big. And Moses Mosop is as big as it gets. Mosop is in fact way too muscular for an elite Kenyan. Perhaps sign of things to come?

Expensive Coffee?

Ok, first I want to be a multimillionaire. So wire me your dollars.
Next I want to be in Venice, CA to be at the Slow Bar!

Read this to see why. Now you will know why I want to be a multimillionaire first

Friday, November 18, 2011

Aman Sethi’s “A Free Man”

Aman Sethi’s “A Free Man” is a disturbing tale of the life of an itinerant labourer, told painstakingly by the young author. In fact when I began reading the book, I didn’t even know it was non-fiction.

The book bubbles with dark comedy and sadness. It is a movie waiting to be made, a la Peepli Live, an urban version, if you may.

My favourite part of the book isn’t even about its protagonist but it stays with you long after you have read the book . Here it is

“…Though the tender had mandated a “scratch resistant” scanning surface, the scanner - as befitting any high-tech gadget – was extraordinarily sensitive to dust. It worked best when recording images of clean, slightly moist thumbs that when pressed down onto the glass surface, flattened ever so slightly to allow for a true record of the fingerprint in question. ‘But these beggars’, the exasperation in Sharmaji’s voice is palpable, ‘their hands are so dirty, so filthy, that the scanner just cannot pick up the image.’ All they got were blurry smudges that the machone was unable to identify, let alone catalogue and search. ‘So we started washing their hands before registering them. But that took long. ‘ The department also tried bathing them – but after a bath, the beggars look ‘just like anyone else’. How then can the judge make his decision?...

In the course of 140 words, Aman Sethi paints a whole canvas ranging from irony to despair to absurdity. And that is how the book is. Must read.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Run the Edge by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano

Just bought the Kindle version of "Run the Edge" by an athlete, of whom most readers form a fantastic image of, thanks to Chris Lear's great book "Running with the Buffaloes."

Had been planning to buy the autographed paperback but plumped for the Kindle version, which I have begun reading right away.

Given that Adam Goucher retired y'day, just couldn't wait to read the book. Besides the several inspirational quotes by Galen Rupp, etc being put up by readers got to me...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

5 book reviews

Here are a few more book reviews I have done in the recent past

Mohammed Hanif's Our Lady of Alice Bhatti
The Greatest Show on Earth edited by Jerry Pinto
Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of all Maladies
Siddhartha Deb's The beautiful and the damned
Nandini Vaidyanathan's Entrepedia

Thursday, November 03, 2011

'Marathon Boy' review by WSJ

Tragic Story of Budhia-the marathon kid

Most Indians who read the papers would be familiar with the story of the child named Budhia who captured the public's imagination a few years ago with his incredible feats.
This movie tells the tragic story.
One can only lament about what could have been, say if Rob Castella's program for Indigenous Runners had been emulated
HT: Letsrun.com

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Damian runs for Lewa Children's Home of Kenya

This is a post which combines two of my current interests - Running & Raising money through running.

Damian who is a fellow runner from Bangalore is running in Sunday's race at NYC. Here is his own take on what he is upto.

"
It's that time of year again - time for the New York City Marathon! After last year there were so many reasons I wanted to run it again. Simply put it was a fantastic event, and who wants to miss an opportunity to take part in such festivities again. Also I didn't get to my target time in 2010, so that left me with something to chew on through most of 2011. But most importantly, it gives me the opportunity to again run for the Lewa Children's Home of Kenya.

As many of you know, last year we raised 7500 GBP, which was matched 1:1 by Bread and Water for Africa. With a total of 15,000 GBP (!) Lewa was able to complete it's water security projects (two very impressive reservoirs) that are key to its self-sufficiency in food, and to earning an income from its agricultural surplus. I had a chance to visit these completed projects just 2 weeks ago, and can vouch they have been done to the highest standard, and are already transforming the prospects of the Lewa Home, and associated school.

I'm a big believer in funding activities that enable a philanthropic organization to become financially self-sufficient. And so this year I am running for a similar project: Lewa's expanded Cheese Factory! That's right, the Lewa Children's Home, and it's associated farm, already makes the best Gouda cheese you will find in Kenya, if not in Amsterdam! (sorry if that offends any of my friends from the Netherlands)

Lewa needs to expand this Cheese Factory as they have more demand than they can cater for. I'm running to raise 7500 GBP to enable them to complete this project. And again, this money will be matched 1:1 by Bread and Water for Africa. So you know that any donation you make will go twice as far.

There's only one week now (actually a little less!) until the New York Marathon kicks off. I'd like to ask you to please take this opportunity to make a donation – no matter how small! To do so, please click on the link below, where you will also be able to see some photos and a write-up to better describe the Home, its children, and its activities. Donating is quick and easy, and it will have such a huge impact on the lives of little ones in Kenya.


Since its inception Lewa has taken in hundreds of abandoned or orphaned children, and profoundly touched the lives of thousands of families in its local community around Eldoret in Kenya. By making this contribution you will help Lewa build a sustainable foundation for continuing to help and secure the lives of profoundly disadvantage children, and give them a future they otherwise simply would not have.

Thank you on behalf of Lewa for your support. And I look forward to your encouragement on race day!"

God speed Damian. May you set PBs and may your fund set a record too. Do your bit. Click on the link and contribute to Damian's effort. Remember that no amount is small.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Books from Quizzing

Thanks to a coupon at Blossoms from last week's Ganesh Nayak finals, I managed to get
Nathaniel's Nutmeg by Giles Milton (whose "Samurai Williams" I have).

And then today's slightly disappointing performance* at the Bangalore Landmark finals yielded the following

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby (supposedly a classic in travel writing)
The Feud that sparked the Renaissance by Paul Robert Walker (seems super interesting)
Poplorica by Martin J Smith and Patrick J Kiger (had to bring up the 500 total!)

So I go to a quiz, get a coupon, buy a book, read that book, answer some question at a future quiz based on something I read in that book, get another coupon and so on, ad infinitum ;)

* Unlike last week's performance at Hyd, where we almost didn't score at all in the 2nd half, we scored about once each in both halves of the quiz. So we are improving!