Monday, July 04, 2005


Of late I have been on more than one flight. The flights to Leh and back and then to Pune for Hemant's wedding. I managed to read about 3-4 books in the meanwhile. During the trips to Leh, I read the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. The author tries to fashion a detective after Miss Marple, and does a good turn by making the tale more like folk stories from Africa. I had picked up another book for Leh, Red Carpet, by an author based in Bangalore (or at least writes about Bangalore). The book however got forgotten in Delhi enroute to Leh, and now that I have it in my possession again, I've started it. The first story was no great shakes.

On the way to Pune I picked up a Wodehouse, hoping to get an easy read. It was. Luck of the Bodkins, as it turned out, was something I had read earlier. But then, it is difficult to remember the Wodehouses separate from one another sometimes. Unless it is Leave it to Psmith, which stands out, in my humble opinion, the best of Wodehouse and one of the funniest books around.

Back in Bangalore, I picked up the The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It is a book written in first person, from an autistic teenager's point of view. I have no knowledge or experience with someone like that, but the book did make a good read. It sure does make feel one more comfortable with one's idiosyncracies, if there are some :). I wasn't sure all through if it was meant to be a children's book or not. There is sadness in the book, but from the autistic child's point of view, there is a simplification to everything. And the actions of this child, that would otherwise seem so strange (and they do to the people in the story), have very logical reasons.

Currently I am also reading Ignited Minds by APJ Abdul Kalam. I am through with the first couple of chapters. In some ways, the book tries to preach wisdom, and in some ways tries to inspire one to dream and make big things happen. What I liked most about the book so far was that it acknowledges outright that the book is not intended for cynical adults like me, and tries to speak to the children in their language, for Mr. Kalam believes it is these minds that will listen and will act. Sitting in India, seeing things broken around one in so many ways, it does make one nod one's head in agreement as one reads along.

Besides the books, every morning now I wake up early to pick up the newspaper. Not to read the news but to get my hands on the daily Su-do-ku puzzle. I had printed some out for the flights to Leh, and managed to crack some of the "very hard" ones during the flight. Alas, the papers carry easy to medium ones only. Apparently these are gaining huge popularity across the world these days. Someone in our office circulated them around before they started appearing in the newspapers, and now it seems too mainstream.

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