This weekend Kabir & I discuss Imtiaz Ali’s film ‘Highway’ on Convocinema…
A review of Burma Burma, Fort on @Zomato — http://zoma.to/review/25474374
I began to love this book, even though winter is far away… Ironically, Bombay (Mumbai), the city I reside in, doesn’t actually have an elaborate winter season. Winter here is similar to European summer. But love somehow manages to visit and leave me from time to time. Let me focus on the object of my literary love at the moment.
Love begins in Winter
In the book ‘Love begins in winter’, the season is a metaphor for the state of mind of its protagonists. Love finds two strangers in the midst of their blues.
Rarely has text induced goose bumps on my rigid skin… ‘Love begins in winter’ managed to do just that. A short simple story where the moody poetic writing style makes the story special. At the very start of the book, the protagonist is playing his cello to the audience. Simon Van Booy elaborates that single line in such a way that the reader can actually feel every emotion the protagonist feels while playing his music. Nothing much happens in the book in terms of a plot and yet so much keeps playing on minds of the characters that it doesn’t matter whether there is a plot or not. This is one of the rare love stories that touch the reader with it’s raw emotional power without being melodramatic.
Love begins in Winter is one of the five books in this series of stories by Simon Van Booy
Some of the gems from the book:
Grief is a country where it rains and rains but nothing grows.
Music is what language once aspired to be.
The only authentic memories find us—like letters addressed to someone we used to be.
Music, paintings, sculptures, and books of the world are mirrors in which people see versions of themselves.
Music helps us understand where we have come from but, more importantly, what has happened to us.
Shweta Kesari reviews my book Postcards From Memory on the link below
As the author prepares the paranormal backdrop for his narrative to spring out of graves at the very start of the book, you get biographies woven together into a single fabric that is free from all hindrances of normalcy. The nomadic narration is the soul of Dozakhnama. Stories start at one point and sprout in various stories. History and Fantasy mingle to create an unique blend of language. But then undoubtedly that’s the language the two legendary literary figures Mirza Ghalib and Manto would have loved to talk to each other in.
When Mirza Ghalib and Manto who are quite apart from each other in life and death by time and distance, meet on the common ground of literature to share their experiences, the ground realities of Indian history chapters like Mughal rule, British invasion, Sepoy mutiny, Partition take shape from the point of view of a poet and a story writer who lived through those times and weren’t much appreciated while they were still living.
Dozakhnama gives us tales of tortured souls told in an innovative way. Though originally written in Bengali by Rabisankar Bal and translated in English by Arunava Sinha, the effect of the original seems to have come through. I cannot know how effective the original must have been due to my language barrier but the English translation doesn’t seem lost in what it wants to convey. Garnished with witty lines and Ghalib’s poetry, Dozakhnama is a one of those books that you come across only once in a while. Personally I think Indian and Pakistani readers will be able to relate to Dozakhnama in a better way than readers from other countries because of the shared culture and history. Having said that Dozakhnama is still a journey worth taking.
“He who cannot leave his home and go out on the road will never find happiness.”