Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Review : Subcontinental Drift

Title : Subcontinental Drift
Author : Murray Laurence
Publisher : Aleph
ISBN : 978-93-83064-25-0

A book on India by a foreigner. Actually so many books have been written by awestruck foreigners on India that it has almost become a genre of books in itself.
An Australian travel writer found his life changed post his first overseas trip to Indonesia where his tryst with Asia began.
He first travelled through the country in 1970s but the 'weird' land strangely and mysteriously hypnotised him into returning to India over and over again as his fascination for the strange land never left him.

The book 'Subcontinental Drift' is actually a collection of his travel stories which are almost like his adventures in a wonderland where nothing is unexpected. He has segregated his stories on the basic of timeline under three categories - a) Young and At Large in India (The 1970s) b) Drifting (The 1980s to the end of the 20th century) c) Condemned to India (The 21st Century). As he travelled extensively through India, he could fathom deep to appreciate the uniqueness and the basis of the age old beliefs which are reflected in his writings. The fluidity with which he narrates his experiences is a pleasurable experience in itself. His wonderful play with words keep the readers engaged till the last page.

Having read many such similar books, I just want to comment that what these authors present is still just what appears on the surface because as our religious scriptures describe the supreme power by - (Neti, neti) this is not it, this is not it!, so is true about India too. It is no exaggeration to say that  if there is any possible adjective for a place, it may very well be true for India.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mouthpiece #42

Parenting perils...
A father and daughter duo waiting for the school bus early in the morning, daughter sporting a smile on her face looking attentively at the small screen of the smartphone almost oblivious of the surroundings. Father is carrying the school bag (obviously of the daughter and a big cup in his hand, which I assumed to have his morning tea until the daughter asked for it, took a sip from the cup and shoved it back in the father’s direction).
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The Greatest Devotee
In one of the interviews Sudha Murthy mentioned about a book - Conversation between God of Death and Nachiketa. Since then I have been looking for that book but as she did not mention the author name, I was not sure which particular book was that. Still I ordered one and came across this anecdote which I found worth sharing here.
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Hurdles, are they real?
Title : Anywhere but Home
Author : Anu Vaidyanathan
A Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from US Canterbury and founder of PatNMarks - an intellectual property consulting firm, Anu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian woman to have completed the Ultraman Canada and Ironman Canada (for the uninitiated, Ultraman entails 10 km swim, 425.6 km Bike and 84.4 km Run and Ironman includes 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike 26.2 mile run).
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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mouthpiece #41

Walking without...
While the human world is clearly and visibly divided based on gender, possession of resources and similar such criteria, there is another factor which very subtly divides humans...
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Shabari's Devotion
It is said that the devotion of Shabari was absolute and complete. What is it that makes any devotion complete? 
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What's new in the kitchen? Gud Seviyan
Wheat flour seviyan (available in Khaadi ashrams) : 1 cup
In case it is hard to find these seviyan, use roasted bambino : 1 cup
Jaggery/gud : 1 cup
Cloves : 3
Cinnamon : 2 cm long
Black cardamom : 1 (crushed)
Ghee : 1 tbsp
Water : 2 cups (if using seviyan) or 1-½ cups (for roasted bambino)
Almonds/Cashews : ½ cup (crushed)
recipe here...

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