Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bit of this and that

OK, we have our own Nigella. Anjum Anand , our desi Nigella, is more beautiful and attractive than the original. She is doing a show on Travel and Living called “Indian Cooking Made Easy”. That, I think, is fallacious; there is no such thing as easy Indian Cooking. I have personally struggled with rustling up basic rajma chaval when on assignments. Now if I had Anjum to instruct me, that could have made a difference. The funny thing is that my wife is an avid follower of Nigella and Anjum. One would have thought that good looking women who know how to cook, would find it very easy to make enemies in the camp of the fairer sex . Somehow, this basic theory of survival of the fittest turns on its heads in this case. I think the TV makes them seem much less threatening.

Odds and Ends

The love of the British for bureaucracy gives us these interesting statistics:

Return of Killed, Wounded and Missing of the Delhi Field Force, from the commencement of the Operations in the neighbourhood of Delhi, on 30th May 1857 up to the capture of the city on the 20th September.

Killed 1012
Wounded 2795
Missing 29
Total 3837

We are also informed that 139 horses were killed, while 186 were wounded and 53 missing.

Photo Credit:

Delhi Chronicles

TV Dinners

Rajat Kapoor hosted a TV show, The Lounge, on NDTV Good Times. What is an actor doing hosting a show on books, and that too on Indian fiction? And his discomfort showed, as he struggled to get the myriad generation-spanning authors to open up. Worse, some of the guests wanted to take over his role, and it was not a pretty sight. Anil Dharker, who was blatantly selling his book, Icons ( a non-fiction book), recommended Salman Rushdie, Ruth Prawar Jhabvala, Jhumpa Lahiri et al. Which begs the questions; how do you define or label an Indian writer? All the writers listed by Anil, to my mind, are not Indian fiction writers. Sure, they are of Indian origin, and have Indian oriented plots, but does that classify them as Indian writers? I am not too sure. William Darymple seems to me more an Indian writer than a Scottish one. I find it extremely difficult to connect with Jhumpa Lahiri on her musings of Indian immigrants to US of A.

As if he did not have enough difficulties in handling one guest, Rajat went in for a second one- Karan Bajaj, the author of “Keep of the Grass”, who seemed much more refreshing. He is ( or was) a management consultant, and it showed in his language; black box, light at the end of the tuneel, anti-intellucitiasm- phrases which seemed straight out of the meeting room 9D1 at Boston Consulting Group. With Chetan Bhagat’s juvenile success every MBA hot shot thinks he can write a book, and get it published. Well, maybe he can. But I am not spending my money on it.

And finally to top it all was the diva of the evening, the blogger of “The Compulsive Confessor”. Here was an author who did not seem to have ulterior motives. She writes for the love of it, and doesn’t care a damn if anybody reads it. Somehow Anil found this difficult to swallow. Who reads blogs which are not crafted, he whined. Well, if Anil surfed her blog, I think the answer is pretty obvious; the counter reads 862,437. Of course, Rajat had to have the last word, and his inane question- What books do you read, was again a cinch; visit the website and look up the “Library Thing” side bar chum. And next time do try to read a bit more on the guests you invite.

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