This week I am sharing with you my views on the book City of Nine Gates by Pankaj Rajput. First of all I thank BlogAdda for offering me to review this book. The format of this book is complex so that it cannot be classified into any particular category. It has a story containing brief and frequent episodes of time travel and fantasy. Indian philosophy is the backbone or rather the foundation of this work. In a way, you can say that Rajput has used the narrative to explain the basic concepts of Indian philosophy. Keeping this in mind, note that the narrative itself is of secondary importance here, whereas the philosophy remains the primary objective and highlight of this work. Also note that the success or failure of any published book depends not only on the writer but also on the publisher and editing staff. Continue reading
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Book Review: ‘I Owed You One’ By Madhu Vajpayee
This was a very hectic week, in which I had to travel a lot, both by bus and train, taking long breaks in between. It was an official trip and exhausted me completely. Today all affairs have completed, and tomorrow would be my last day in Ahmedabad. All along this one week duration, my constant companion was a recently published novel ‘I Owed You One’ by Madhu Vajpayee. I had received this book from BlogAdda for review. Before I start making my comments on the literary aspect of this work, I would like to stress that books like this one are the reason why printed books will never go extinct. The publishing work of this book is outstanding, and being an artist, I could immediately appreciate and admire the piece of art that the publisher has come up with. Continue reading
Book Review: ‘The Big Switch’ By John Thomas
Along with rapid growth and development, the IT revolution has also brought in several problems which were previously not known. The young generation is still inexperienced in its dealings with the outside world and does not have any possibility of support from the older generation. How does it fight its battles continues to enjoy the focus of contemporary literature. The recent changes in society in general, and in the workplace in particular, present a lot of scope for experiment in literature. Still, the numerous books that have been set on this background ended up being similar to each other, just like the uniforms of the professionals whose lives they narrate. Continue reading
Do Surnames Carry Signatures Of Migration?
Surname is a very involved subject, which encompasses caste, profession, language and native place. For example, you need not be told where your colleague Bandyopadhyay hails from or why your neighbour Agarkar is not a Bihari. As long as surnames are unique — Rao, Gowda, Chaturvedi, Mukherjee or Kulkarni — everything is fine. However, whenever there is an overlap — obvious or apparent — new questions arise. An example could be Trivedi. Today we would discuss few such cases. Note that here our aim is not about the classification and nomenclature per se, nor do we attempt at understanding the logic behind surname and its distinction from Jati, Varna, or Gotra. Here we are only concerned with the migration or movement of people as reflected in their surnames. Continue reading
How Modern Art Is Different From Traditional Art
In an amusing short story, Satyajit Ray narrated a funny incident in the life of an artist. This artist had worked for several days on an oil painting that he titled ‘The Somnambulist’, and which he wanted to submit as his entry in a competition sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts of the state government. On the last date of submission, instead of sending his painting, by mistake he dispatched the cloth that he had used to wipe and clean his brushes. However, the organizers considered that dirty cloth to be a modern art work and selected it for the first prize!
For most of us, this incomprehensibility is the underlying criterion for any work of art to be classified as ‘modern art’. It goes to an extreme that whenever we fail to understand any artwork, we label it as modern art! Continue reading
Postscript: This reflection has been featured in 26 December 2016 edition of BlogAdda Perky Tweets. For my other selections at BlogAdda, please click here.
Has Cinema Made Us More Insensitive?
I do not remember the exact title and date when that article was published; the only detail I can recall is that it appeared in The Hindu, and that it examined the role of cinema in violence and other crimes. It made an interesting observation that although people may not be immediately motivated to subscribe to violent behaviour after watching action movies, watching it played repeatedly on screen does make them callous and apathetic. No arguments; yes, we do not seem to be appalled any more while witnessing the aftermath of violence of any type in society. Continue reading
My Tweet Featured in Blogadda Perky Tweets!
Head Held Low
So often it happens that we follow certain habits, mostly mechanically, but become aware of it only when someone else mentions it to us. And then it becomes a problem. The same thing happens while observing others’ habits. People might be doing certain things over and over again before our eyes, yet we don’t notice. However, as soon as some third person brings it to our notice, we too start noticing and then the sight becomes annoying. I know several people who end every sentence with an emphatic (and rude) ‘right?’, people biting their nails whenever they start thinking, and playing tabla when they are approaching the solution of their problem and so on. Some others tap their shoes on floor, while others rotate their chairs. Then again few people open a door with a hand but close it with a foot, few others do it the other way round.
Whenever we open newspapers to seek job opportunities, or log in to the job portals on the internet, one of the information we look for is the required educational qualification. Whether the vacancy is for a defence personnel, chartered accountant, professor, scientist, or a railway employee, educational qualifications, experience, and essential and desirable skills are clearly mentioned. Now the doubt arises — just like a certain minimum qualification and skill is expected for the aforementioned jobs, whether any similar criterion is expected in other fields such as arts, music, literature, drama, cinema, and also politics. Continue reading