I am forced to share this section from Khushwant Singh’s last book Khushwantnama, on how to live and happy and long life. Although Khushwant says that a long life is more a work of genes, sill a happy life can be managed. And normally a happy man/woman lives longer. Hence all this hullaballoo! Enjoy the post!
The long list of books to be read by me is always growing long, not to mention the ones on my bookshelf which I haven’t read as I keep adding more to the already sizeable collection. So, when I got this email from Liberty Books promoting Sadruddin Hashwani’s book titled, “Truth Always Prevails” there was nothing else to do than order it. And that’s exactly what I did, deftly the book was shipped to me the very next day and I sat down reading it. And hence the review…
I bought 2 States by Chetan Bhagat on instinct. It looked good sitting in the shelves of Liberty Books and I just picked it up. It is a fiction which describes the story of love marriage. Love marriages are not very common in India and Pakistan as we still believe in arranged marriages. Its actually a very complicated affair; boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy has to love her parents, girl has to love boy’s parents, girl’s parents and boy’s parents have to love each other, if the girl and the boy want to get married. If anyone out of the above is not in love with the other, the whole equation becomes imbalanced to the point of falling apart and love takes a back seat. So Chetan Bhagat tells this story in a very amusing and fun filled way.
“The Patiala Peg of Publishing is No More” ~ Shobhaa De
That might be so, but his writing are here to stay! This is perhaps the only book (as of now) containing one of the best and choicest of obits on Khushwant Singh. Khushwant Singh: The Legend Lives On has been edited by his son Rahul Singh. I so badly wanted to read it in one go, but the vagaries of time prevented that. So it was two or three obits, in between tea, telephone calls, lunch breaks, wife’s lectures, kids remonstrations, the boss’s calling and what not. But what a treat it was reading this book. The WOW factor is a straight 10/10.
Eugene Salomon is New Taxi driver commonly called as a cabbie, with over thirty years of driving experience on the streets of NY, or Big Apple as they call it. What sets him apart form most cabbies is that he is a native, contrary to present practice where most cabbies are immigrants from all over the world (with people from India and Pakistan making it to the list). I found this book at an outlet of Liberty Books, Karachi and bought it on instinct (after having read the title, didn’t even leaf through the pages). Well most books I buy are on instinct! And I haven’t for a page regretted buying it. This cabbie has a lot of stories to tell, and some are interesting ones, indeed.
Wayne Croning, the author of Karachi Backwaters was born in Karachi in the early 60’s. He got his education in the same city but later emigrated to Canada where he lives presently with his family. I thought it would be a good idea to interview him to know more about him, and about the city of his birth. He was kind enough to answer all my questions in detail and I am really grateful to him for sending over the nice pics of that era. One tends to get nostalgic just by looking at old pics and I am sure Wayne misses the city of his birth. In this interview he talks about himself, his family, his early life in Karachi, how it is in Canada, in fact he pours it all out. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Every year for the past three years Oxford University Press, Pakistan has been holding a competition for fresh budding writers. The event is publicized in papers and their website inviting young aspiring writers to submit their stories on a various topics. Last year it was about the city of Karachi. This year they invited stories from all over Pakistan on four themes, “The bravest place on Earth”, “Paved and unpaved ways”, “The meaning of me” and “Because this is what matters”. All the selected stories have been published in a book titled, “I’ll find my way”, edited by Maniza Naqvi, who happens to be an established writer. The book was launched during the 5th Karachi Literature Festival.
I must confess these have to be the cutest and most useful accessories for book lovers, that I have ever come across. Small, crafty and practicable, one doubles up as a bookmark and a book holder and the other an uber-small light for night time book reading. I came across these at a local store and making a decision whether to buy them or not was not at all difficult. They were bought instantly, just about the time it takes to swipe a Credit card and pack them.
I bought this Lilliputian, book on “Native American Wisdom” from the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington. Somehow, it appealed to me, sitting amongst the other mementos in those imposing racks. Time was short and the supply of money wasn’t very promising. Still the little book was hard to ignore.
As I child I was always inspired by the Red Indians that we used to see in the Western and cowboy movies, some starred by John Wayne. The Native Indians were always portrayed as savages in those movies, which was kind of difficult to understand. But after having read this small book I am convinced they had a civilization of their own, strong beliefs, customs, traditions, society and a way of life. I am going to share some of the sayings of those old Chiefs (who are since long dead), for you to read and decide for yourself. But a little something about the book first.
After having read so many books authored by Khushwant Singh, I badly wanted to read some book written on him, but none was to be found. I guess they were all waiting for him to die. It makes more sense to write about the dead, instead of a living person. So this unplanned visit to the Frere Hall had me scouring for something interesting. Lo and Behold, I found this book, “A Man Called Khushwant Singh”, edited by Rohini Singh, sitting in at the bottom of a huge heap of books as if placed in forced state of “solitary confinement.” One look at it was enough, telling me this was a keeper. The shopkeeper wanted 250 rupees for it, I protested, a little haggling followed, finally he won, saying, “original hai”. Meaning, its not a fake. By the way, I don’t like fake copies of books that they make here, its unethical, the paper they use sucks big time and I find the books repulsive, very that is.