Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This book is packaged in the form of a series of letters written from an Indian entrepreneur to a Chinese Premiere during the latter’s visit to India, the intention being to “enlighten” him about the real India. The book is about the journey of this man’s (white tiger) life in India – one part of it in “darkness” and the other basking in “light”. The darkness which prevails in the villages and the light which makes the modern cities glow…

The protagonist who started his life in the darkness and moved into the light, provides an account of the path he took to carve out of himself a successful entrepreneur. The character himself is clear on the morality issues, but has no repentance of what he did in his journey towards entrepreneurship. Very fluently, he continues providing his confessions of the crimes he keeps on committing, but at the same time, he has no repentance of what he did in his journey towards entrepreneurial success. He sites numerous evidence of the injustice and corruption prevailing in India driven by an extremely servitude attitude of those who are at the receiving end.
Aravind Adiga is successful in building empathy for the character, while keeping the style of narration extremely simple and entertaining.
However, he draws a very gloomy picture of India. Even the “light” of the cities is tainted with all the “darkness” of humanity. Of course, this is an individual and independent story line, but this book which has already won Bookers is likely to lend a distorted touch to the success stories prevalent in India.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Semi autobiographical in nature, this book depicts the fall of a Syrian Christian family pictured against the contemporary social happenings in the state of Kerela. Lyrical in style and innovative in approach, the author has built the narration through a series of flashbacks and flashforwards.

Through the lives of a pair of fraternal twins names Estha and Rahel, the author articulately weaves the rest of characters and relates them with something, which could probably have influenced her in her real life. Unhappiness is one common chord that can be identified with most of the characters…a kind of unhappiness which finds its source within the family setup. The weakness of the family system is the basis of the story. However, external factors like untouchability, communism, politics and other social prejudices have influenced the family set up to a large extent. She uses Malayalam terms like Mammachi, Kochamma, Sophie Mol to integrate the characters to the local setting.

Narration is as beautiful as ever. In one section, the author describes Kathakali dance. Very rarely have I read a description as beautiful as this.

The theme is probably supposed to be tragic but I guess it’s slightly difficult to empathize with the author. No emotional link is likely to develop with the characters. It’s once again the beauty of the words that creates the magic

Sunday, September 13, 2009


This book, which is an amalgamation of fables and history, brings together the stories from three different lands (India, Persia and Italy) with a remarkable sense of imagery and floral fantasy. The theme links the Mughal Indian culture with that of the creativity of the Florentine renaissance through the beautiful princess Qara Koz. The linkage in itself is a marvelous thread of Rushdie’s imaginations...adding to the existing richness of the medieval history…which moulds together the complexity of power, politics, valor, betrayal and lust. The span of characters ranges from Akbar to Machiavelli, from an Uzkek Khan to a Persian prince, from Birbal to Abul Fazl…it’s just too extensive and unending.

A complicated Indian emperor, a mysterious stranger from Florence and the parallel subscripts of reality intertwined with imaginations and fanciful magical effects.….this book is an example why Salman Rushdie is one of the most complicated authors of this age. This book probably also acts as the voice of Salman Rushdie into his views on religion and on the existence of God. Feminine beauty is synonymous with eroticism in most of its contexts.

But, more than anything else, the book is about dazzling, ornamental lines with a fairy tale approach. If you can allow yourself to sink into this Rushdie’s creation and keep a distance from reality, you will definitely feel the extension of your imaginative horizon. Where can one find a book, where each line carries the floral effect of imagination with such glitter...that you have to stop for a while to imagine the rich dreamlike setting.

“From the black bowl of the skies, came the answering fires of the stars”

This is not an easy book to read…and not at all an easy book to understand….nevertheless an excellent book to enjoy the beauty and magic that words of classic Rushdie can create.