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Showing posts from October, 2009

Girish Karnad's Play

Saw a brilliant performance of Bikhre Bimb, a Hindi adaptation of Girish Karnad's work. In a one act, solo performance, Arundhati Nag conveyed a range of emotions, from ecstacy to jealousy to helplessness. It's about a surprising twist to an acclaimed author's life story. The props used are very intelligent- a TV that carries a spitting image of the actor on stage, talking to her out of the idiot box.

Having seen a play after quite some time, I felt the impact was even better. A sidelight was the presence of Shabana Azmi at the theatre (Ranga Shankara). Bangalore seems to be picking up again as a 'playful' place, judging by audience number and reactions. Long live drama!

English Language

Reading a fascinating book called Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, who usually writes travelogues. What strikes me about him is his meticulous research into facts and anecdotes about diverse people. Reminiscent of Arthur Hailey who in the past wrote about airports, hotels, finance industry etc. in great detail. This book has a lot of interesting observations about English language, its history, evolution, and reasons why it became the force that it is, compared to many other languages.

One important reason for its rapid development in tune with the times is that there is no single custodian of the language, and the second is that English is open to influences and new words from many other languages. The stories of the people who wrote the first few dictionaries of the language (Webster being one of them)are also quite fascinating. One dictionary took almost forty years to compile!

Diwali

I hit a record of sorts by meeting 3 different friends, two old and one new, in the three days this Diwali. I usually shudder to drive in Bangalore (a phobia of sorts) due to the sorry state of the roads and even sorrier driving habits of Bangaloreans. Which is why this is a record.

The feelings evoked by Diwali are however, unique. It brings about the urge to splurge on everything- food, sweets in particular, sparkling diyas, or lights of any kind, consumer goods, etc. I restricted myself to a new music system cum many other things, made by an unheard of Japanese brand. But I am sure I would have bought something else if the holiday had been longer.

Also saw Blue, India's first movie with underwater action occupying a lot of screen time. I thought it was a good attempt at this, and action on the road. Only a flimsy story to take it forward, but the, which Bond movie has a great story? Lara Dutta makes a good Bond-style heroine, though that can't be said about Sanjay Dutt and …

Bangalore Book Fair

The Bangalore Book Fair is an annual event that hosts publishers from all over. This year's edition is special, however, because pothi.com will have a stall there. What is pothi.com? It is a Print-on-demand (or POD) publisher based in Bangalore. So what, you may ask. They are also the publisher of my autobiography called "My Experiments with Half-truths". That's what makes this year's event special for me. It's from November 6th to 15th.

What makes the POD so attractive to fiction/poetry/non-fiction authors is that the content is entirely under the author's control. So a Michael Moore (whose Stupid White Men had some problems getting published) could use this form of publishing, and so could you or I, unknown authors to begin with, who may never get published any other way. Sales are usually slow, because it is sold online against an order, and the author needs to promote his book (as I am doing now), but there is no pressure on an author to buy a minimum …