Friday, February 29, 2008

A Convenient Truth

Been trying to write for some time, but lethargy has kept me from it. Well, that alone could be a measure of how much I mean this - watch this documentary called Earth (it's known by different names in different languages, Tierra in Spanish for example). It's supposed to be the most expensive documentary film ever produced. It's a BBC production, and brilliant would be an under-statement for it. It shows, without ever preaching as much, why we need to save all this.

I am going to watch it again at home on MY LCD TV. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Books Tag

A book that made you laugh: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Read by a lot less people than their more famous cousins from the H2G2 series, the two Dirk Gently books are, nevertheless, equally if not more hilarious. The jokes are not as obvious at times as in H2G2, but Douglas Adams was in better form as a writer with these books.
A close second would be Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, which manages to make impending apocalypse funnier than you ever thought was possible.

A book that made you cry: The Kite Runner.

A book that scared you: Can't think of any one book, but most books by Stephen King that I have read (haven't read many though) have been pretty scary.

A book that disgusted you: 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade. Well, I had picked it up for that very reason, so can't complain. I realized that the written word does have the power to almost make you puke.

A book you loved in elementary school: The Picture of Dorian Gray - I still find the basic idea of the story very intriguing. I had read a very simplified version of it the first time, but made it a point to find the complete novel later.

A book you loved in middle school or junior high school: The O Henry Omnibus - It claimed to have every single short-story written by the great Mr Porter. I fancied myself a short-story writer in the same league and no other book has had a greater influence on my tastes as his stories. This was one gifted man.

A book you loved in high school: The God of Small Things - The only novel that I have read more than once (four times now) and still find absolutely fantastic. My copy's not with me anymore though.

A book you loved in college: Midnight's Children - Yeah, I waited till college to read this one. If Salman Rushdie had not written anything else after this, he would still have been up there in my pantheon of personal gods.
And, of course, Beloved - the book that I made my ground-breaking book report on in college.

A book that challenged your identity: The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey - Never have I felt a stronger urge to leave all comforts and give way to Wanderlust than after reading this account of Che's journey through some of the most desolate parts of South America. Parts of India are as difficult to travel through without feeling ashamed for not being able to do anything for the people barely surviving there. The feeling, of course, was short-lived.

A series that you love: Transmetropolitan and Y - The Last Man

Your favorite horror book: American Psycho - Aahh...the vivid ways of torturing young, beautiful women.

Your favorite science fiction book: Foundation - Though 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ender's Game would come close second and third, I was blown away by Asimov's imagination in this book. More so because till the time I grudgingly picked up this book, I had believed that Asimov is grossly over-rated.

Your favorite fantasy: 1001 Arabian Nights - Read it in school and was scandalized by the depictions of things one normally talks of in hushed tones as a kid. Read a few stories again later in college, and found it extremely fascinating.

Your favorite mystery: The Hound of the Baskervilles - This was the first Sherlock Holmes story I read, way back when I was in Class II. And it still gives me goose-bumps.

Your favorite biography: I am not very big on biographies. The only one I can recall reading bits and pieces of is The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

Your favorite "coming of age" book: To Kill A Mockingbird - I read the book and watched the movie very close to each other, and this is one of those rare instances where the film was almost as good as the book.

Your favorite classic: Mahabharat - Of course, the only complete version I have read is the one we had as part of our curriculum in school. But, in all its versions, it still remains the most complete work of fiction I have ever known.

Your favorite romance book: Lolita - Probably the book I love the most. I am thankful to Prof Alok Rai for making me see what this book is all about or I would have committed the grave crime of mistaking it for a cheap story.

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