Posts

Showing posts from March, 2014

Wasteland

Image
Beginners

By Raymond Carver

Alcohol, bad marriages, loneliness, desperation that comes from the loss of dreams… and sometimes, somewhere, a tiny bright ray of  hope. That’s what Carver’s stories are about. There are 17 of them in this collection - the original and previously unpublished version of his stories in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Each of these 17 is a small gem, shining on tiny slivers of the human condition - rough, ordinary lives with all their attendant miseries and transient joys. There is Max, alone and drinking, with all his household goods out in the driveway, put out for sale. Until a young couple drives up looking for a bargain and ends up drinking and dancing with Max all night. A tiny moment of connection in a life otherwise going to seed. There is Duane and Holly, two people trying to make a life for themselves, trying to get past the drinking and the money problems, trying to grow old together. Until the rug is pulled out from under their feet when …

Explaining India

How do you explain India to a non-Indian?

Here’s how some people did: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/features/brand-equity/creative-thinkers-strategists-doers-on-how-theyd-introduce-india-via-its-cultural-artifacts/articleshow/32242368.cms

And here’s how I would:

1. Read R.K.Narayan’s Swami and Friends. Or watch the television series Malgudi Days. Either is a great way to get to know the innocence of a small town India, now possibly long gone. But it goes some way to explain where we all come from - a resource-poor, imagination-rich culture. 2. Read Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games. If Swami and Friends was our past, Sacred Games is our rambunctious, terribly untidy present. It presents contemporary big-city life in all its corrupt unholy mess - with unimaginable wealth on one hand and a lower middle class struggling to keep their head above water on the other. Maximum City could do the same with a less fictionalised version. 3. Watch a few episodes of Amir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate. It ex…