Sunday, April 19, 2009

The White Tiger

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga is a wonderfully written book which is so readable,full of wit,sarcasm and biting reality. I generally keep away from critically acclaimed books and especially Booker winners but this book is nothing of the sort.It tells the story of one Balram Halwai and his letters to the visiting Chinese Premier(Wen Jiabao) detailing his exploits and the reality of two India's - one inhabited by the rich and full of choices and the other India which is ridden with poverty and where there is no choice but to exist in drudgery.The wicked humour of the narrator keeps one company throughout the book and the book is a joy to read.
In fact the book details Delhi in quite detail and the mention of PVR Saket, Greater Kailash ,South-Ex and Gurgaon adds to the experience for those of us familiar with Delhi.A book that entertains and pains because it brings out the stark realities of life.A book that needs not to be just read but understood.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Theatre of the Absurd ...

The news channels are going on and on about what Mr.Narendra Modi had to say about the Congress Party (he had likened Congress to an 126 year old budhiya) and then the repartee by Ms.Priyanka Vadra Gandhi and so on. Now, if this becomes the issue on which the entire media is focusing and a matter of intense debate ,then there is something seriously wrong somewhere. Where are the real issues and why they do not get even half the publicity these non-issues get. To top it all Mulayam Singh Yadav has come out with an outrageous election manifesto for his Samajwadi Party which promises to put a stop to the spread of english language and roll back of computers.Thankfully, Samajwadi Party has no chance of coming to power on its own not even in distant future, though it might extend suppport to a ruling coalition at the centre.But in that case it would be more interested in extracting its pound of flesh for the support and not really insist on these supercilious demands.I was really shocked to see a news caption few days back where Lalu Prasad Yadav (Fodder Scam) and Mulayam Singh Yadav (Disproportionate Assets Case) had jointly proclaimed to fight corruption.Now, if people with such dubious credentials and doubtful integrity want to fight corruption then there must be something good about corruption.