Non-Fiction Reads: Lone Fox Dancing by Ruskin Bond

^^ As I walked home last night I saw a lone fox dancing In the cold moonlight. I stood and watched. Then Took the low road, knowing The night was his by right. Sometimes, when words ring true, I’m like a lone fox dancing In the morning dew. – From Lone Fox Dancing by Ruskin Bond I … Read more

Short Story Reads: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Gifted with an elegance remeniscient of Anita Desai and glowingly compassionate, Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies (1999) still eminates with delicate, beautifully carved keen insights.  Indians living overseas are pivotal to most of the gathered tales.   A Temporary Matter is about five days of a one-hour power cut and how … Read more

Short Story Reads: Night in Tunisia and Other Stories by Neil Jordan

Over the years my shepherd like attitude to books has waned. No longer does my heart bleed if a page has a dog-ear. Placing a book under a heap of dozen other books to straighten out the dog-ear, applying steam iron on the page, binding books with cardboard hardcover, designing a separate book cover with … Read more

Fantasy Reads: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

The first edition cover of  The Hobbit To put it simply, I haven’t read a fantasy as satisfying and sumptuous as The Hobbit. In its best moments (and there are innumerable), Tolkien makes us believe that he was there, seeing it all, in another place, another time, eons ago. First published in 1937, Tolkien wrote … Read more

Fiction Reads: A Tiger for Malgudi by RK Narayan

RK Narayan (1906 – 2001) Most of RK Narayan’s novels and short stories are set in the fictional, sleepy town of Malgudi, somewhere in south India. A Tiger for Malgudi is no exception. Even as an aging zoo tiger narrates its life history, the story’s climatic moments inevitably occur in the small town. Instead of … Read more

Murder Mysteries: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The first time I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, to be more precise, reached a pivotal point, I couldn’t, and this is no exaggeration, believe my eyes.  Down with fever that pre-teen December in Ahmedabad, and confined to the bed, I was convinced that the fever had gone to my head.  How on the earth could … Read more

Non-Fiction Reads: The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara

This isn’t a tale of derring-do, nor is it merely some kind of ‘cynical account’; it isn’t meant to be, at least. It’s a chunk of two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams. In nine months a man can think a lot of thoughts, from the height of philosophical … Read more

Fiction Reads: Turbulence by Samit Basu

All passengers on a London-Delhi flight mysteriously end up with superpowers. Soon, the new, uncertain beings take sides. The meek are done away with and only a few remain of the lot. A battle for survival and domination ensues. Meanwhile, film, comic book, music and other popular culture references populate the plot, keeping it light … Read more

Fiction Reads: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Now Chil the Kite brings home the night  That Mang the Bat sets free –  The herds are shut in byre and hut  For loosed till dawn are we. This is the hour of pride and power,  Talon and Tush and claw.  Oh hear the call! – Good Hunting all That keep the Jungle Law!  … Read more

Murder Mysteries: Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case by Agatha Christie

The clues undoubtedly lead us to the fact that Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case is a humdinger of a mystery novel. It is certainly among Christie’s best. More than 20 odd years post their first appearance at Styles (The Mysterious Affair at Styles) –  Poirot and Hastings reunite in literary convenience at Styles – which is … Read more