Archive for June 16, 2009

Review : Gently Falls The Bakula

Posted: June 16, 2009 in Reviews

Book: Gently Falls The Bakula
Author: Sudha Murty
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 01-feb-2009

Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd

About This Book:
‘Shrikant was restless . . . Holding a bakula flower in his palm, he was wondering why he was fascinated by this tiny flower, that was neither as beautiful as a rose nor had the fragrance of a jasmine or a champaka. And yet, it was very special to him. It held an inexplicable attraction for him.’ Shrimati and Shrikant are neighbours and star students of their school in the small north Karnataka town of Hubli. It leaves no one in surprise when they come first and second respectively in the final Board exams. Soon Shrikant discovers he is strangely attracted to Shrimati, a plain-looking yet charming person, who always does better than him in the exams. Shrimati too falls in love with the amiable and handsome Shrikant and the two get married. Shrikant joins an IT company and starts rapidly climbing the corporate ladder. He works relentlessly and reaches the pinnacle of his industry, while Shrimati abandons her academic aspirations and becomes his uncomplaining shadow, silently fulfilling her duties as a corporate leader’s wife. But one day, while talking to an old professor, she starts examining what she has done with her life and realizes it is dismally empty . . .
Gently Falls the Bakula is the story of a marriage that loses its way as ambition and self-interest take their toll. Written nearly three decades ago, Sudha Murty’s first novel remains startlingly relevant in its scrutiny of modern values and work ethics.

My Views:

When I had picked up the book from the book store I had no idea of reading it so soon but just reading the first page drew me in to the story . I loved it from Line one. Summary on the book cover gives you a fair idea of what the story is but only by reading it do you understand the emotions filled in to the story . When I read about Shrimati , the protagonist ,I remembered so many women I knew who had done the same for their spouses.The commitment ,the sacrifices that go unsung and un noticed by the family and their husbands is not new but its very rarely talked about and much more rarely written about in such a beautiful manner. Women according to Indian traditions and so to say many other world cultures are supposed to stay at home ,cook and take care of the family willingly or unwillingly. This has come down from ages and not many households have changed their view on women’s rights or their independence financially or career wise.You might say that modern culture is different but look closely , Is it really that different? Even career women are expected to do what she would have done if she had stayed at home. Working doesn’t exempt her from being subjected to taunts from in laws or sometimes husband. Not generalising it but 70% of women go thru it.

Characters are really well written, and plot holds the imagination of the reader up to the last page. The idyllic life of Hubli-Dharwad, the harshness and hustle bustle of Mumbai are pictured in a way only Sudha Murthy could have done.The book neither justifies nor glorifies anybody ,but it tells a good deal about our choices ,be it good ones or bad ones , or the ones that make us who we are today. I loved the ending and I think it couldn’t have been concluded in a better way.

I would highly recommend this book. Read it and do tell me how you felt about it.

I have very often avoided reading award winning books. I used to think that those were meant for immensely intellectual sort of readers who can find the hidden meaning out of the lines which sometimes make no sense to a common person.I was so wrong.Really , really wrong. When I finished God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy I realised how prejudiced I had been about the reading choices. So I am plunging head on in to this Book Awards III Reading Challenge.

This Challenge being hosted at Book Awards Reading Challenge last for 5 months, from July 1 through December 1, 2009.

Rules :

  1. Read 5 books from 5 different awards during July 1, 2009 through December 1, 2009.
  2. Overlaps with other challenges are permitted.
  3. Choices don’t have to be posted right away, and lists may be changed at any time.
  4. ‘Award winners’ is loosely defined; make the challenge fit your needs.

Here’s my list ( though I might change one or two books depending on what’s available at my library)

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (World Fantasy Award 2006)

Beloved – Toni Morrison (Pulitzer Prize 1988)

Half Of A Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Orange Prize 2007)

Kaddish For A Child Not Born – Imre Kertesz (Nobel Prize 2002)

The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh (Arthur C Clarke Award 1997)

My Weekly Loot

Posted: June 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

I spent the last 3 days in Delhi on vacation with my family ,though the temperature outside was 42 degree Celsius we were determined to make the best of this .We had a really great time seeing all the places of interest Qutub Minar , Red Fort , India Gate , Lotus Temple, Rajghat, CP and so many little markets in the bylanes selling the best types of trinkets and accessories from all over India. Due to all the hustle bustle of traveling and sight seeing I hardly had time to read any of the books I carried with me. At the end of the tour while we were waiting at the airport I decided to buy some more books (I know but I can’t stop myself when I see a book store :)) . Here are some books that I bought and I am really looking forward to reading.

Book: A Town Called Dehra
Author: Ruskin Bond
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 01-sep-2008
Publisher: Penguin Books India (penguin)
Number of Pages: 240

Book: Half Of A Yellow Sun
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 2007
Publisher: Harper Collins Paper Back
Number of Pages: 448 pages

Book: Letter’s From A Father To His Daughter
Author: Jawaharlal Nehru
Binding: Plc
Publishing Date: 04-nov-2004
Publisher: Penguin Books India (puffin)
Number of Pages: 168

Book: The Music Room
Author: Namita Devidayal
Binding: Hardcover
Publishing Date: 2007
Publisher: Random House Publishers India
Number of Pages: 320