हे सर्व कोठून येते? – A Book Review

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If you are aware of the contemporary Marathi theatre scene, then one name will be very familiar to you: Vijay Tendulkar. He was a fantastic playwright with many milestones in Marathi theatre like Ghashiram Kotwal, Gidhade and Sakharam Bainder which are recorded on his name. He had also written stories for some amazing films, such as Ardhasatya, Akrosh and Nishant. On the other hand, he had written many short and long articles, essays on various occasions. “हे सर्व कोठून येते?” is a compilation.

While talking about this book in its prologue, he said “After observing people for so many years, I feel labeling them is pointless. They are very complex, we can only scrape the surface of one’s personality. We have to accept that every person has a whole different life other than one we have experienced. We should not make judgments about the ‘other part’ of life. If we do, then it should be for our own musing.”

This book is all about people he met, interacted and worked with in his long span of a career as a journalist; an editor of various periodicals, a writer and during his work under Nehru Fellowship. He came across various politicians as a journalist and editor and he has tried to present them differently trying to put some light on their unique facet. He had taken the interview of ex-CM of Maharashtra Vasantrao Naik, ex-CM of Gujrat Chimanbhai Patel and J P Naik but in this book he has written elaborately about them and his experience of meeting them for an interview.

While working for Maratha, one of the old popular Marathi daily, he had witnessed a lot of different avatars of Pra. Ke. Atre, legendary writer, orator and owner of Maratha. He has been active in politics in those days and was famous for being blunt while putting his thoughts to words. He has dedicated some of the articles to his fellow writer, friends, and colleagues.

But the last two articles from the book are really different than others. They talk about death, murders and death penalty elaborately. These two articles have made me reschedule my today’s blog post for next week and write this review for you guys. I tell you, folks, I had never read anything so thought-provoking about somebody’s death or somebodies act of murdering another human. I wasn’t able to speak about anything for almost 15 minutes after I finished the book on this note. Guys, I recommend that you grab a copy of the book at least for these two articles. I know, it’s a Marathi book but you feel free to ask me anything if the language is a barrier for you, I will be very happy to help you in this matter.

My rating: – 4.5/5

Name of the book: हे सर्व कोठून येते?

Publisher: Rajhans Prakashan

Pages: 195

ISBN: 81-7434-317-2

ISBN13: 9788174343178

Grab your copy at

Or borrow from your library.


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Absolute Khushwant – A Book Review

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It has been a busy month so far. I just shifted to a new place and was busy in settling down in my new home. When I was putting my books on the shelf, I realised that I had piled up lots of half-read books in the past few months. So I put myself on a new mission to finish these books before I pick up any new book from my ‘yet TBR’ pile.

One of the books in that half-read pile was Absolute Khushwant. I had picked it up when I was traveling from Nashik to Pune as my ‘one for the road’ book. But I had barely managed to read very few pages; thanks to the bumpy ride of the under construction highway. As I reached Pune, the book got sidelined and joined the others in ‘half-read’ pile. I am fascinated by his way of writing so I decided to finish this book before any other book.

This is my first book of Khushwant Singh. I have not read any of his works, not even his weekly columns which used to get published in some Indian newspapers. But the rawness with which he pens his thoughts just holds you till the last word. This simplicity and frankness always touch your heart even if you disagree with his views.

In this book, this 96 old guy writes very frankly on almost all of the aspects of human life. He opens the dialogue, by telling us how he feels about being old. In the later pages, he opens up about his views on sex, love and marriages. He talks about his relationship with his wife Kaval and the rough patch in their marriage. He also writes about his worries, insecurities and much more.

He then moves on to the people he came across in his life, few he liked, he respected and some whom he trashed with his pen. He had trashed the religious fundoos (his word for fundamentalists) from all the religions including his own with harsh strokes of his pen. He took a strong stand against Bhindranwale for which he was on their hit list for years. He shares his views about politics, terrorism and the riots of 1984.

Even being agnostic himself, he writes elaborately on various religious scriptures and what he finds good in them. There is a long piece on Sikh community in the book along with one on the city of Delhi. Khushwant shares his love for Urdu language and especially for Urdu poetry, where he tells us how he enjoyed translating works of great poets in English and his favorites amongst those legends.

As the book comes to an end, topics of his essays turn philosophical like destiny, luck, faith in humanity, etc. He aptly concludes the journey on the point of death. He shares how the death’s of his family members which he witnessed at a tender age affected him, and now at the age of 96 how he expects to put the full stop to his journey, and then he signs off with his remarks on himself.

Overall a good read. I liked his style, the rawness of thoughts, no sugar coating and being straightforward. Now I am looking forward to reading more of his work. I would rate it 3.5/5. I would recommend you this book if you are interested in non-fiction short writings.

Paperback: 200 pages

Publisher: Penguin India (17 August 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0143068717

ISBN-13: 978-0143068716

Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.2 x 19.6 cm

You can grab your copy at

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Ruskin’s Rusty

Ever since I took my first dive in English literature, Ruskin Bond has been my one of the favorite author. His stories have fascinated me since my first read. I don’t know how many times I have reread them. But for some reason, Ruskin’s Rusty always have dodged me. It’s not the case that I didn’t get a chance to buy it before or it was out of print. When your bestie is with you and you both are very crazy about books, some things just click. I know one should not judge a book by its cover but guys, this edition of “The room on the roof” is so irresistible with a fabulous watercolor cover which you can’t just ignore and move on. We both bought it. That day, I changed my topic for ‘R’ of this A to Z challenge. It can’t be anything other than “Ruskin’s Rusty”

Just like any other Ruskin Bond book, it doesn’t let you leave the book without finishing the story. Or should I say, just like this book his all other stories hold you until you finish the reading? This is the first book Ruskin ever wrote. My copy being the special edition for the 60th anniversary of this award-winning book. It comes with a bonus of introduction by Tom Alter, and Ruskin’s special preface telling us the story covering the time past 60 years of this book. Eye catching water-color illustrations by Gunjan Ahlawat comes with the classic words of Ruskin as the special feature of this special edition.

As this is the first novel in the Rusty series, It introduces us to an Anglo-Indian boy from his late teens living his unhappy life with his stern guardian, who elopes the house of his guardian to live among his friends from the town of Dehra. It is fascinating to read how life can take turns so dramatically without giving any signs for the same. One fine day, Rusty is with his friends enjoying the hustle of bazaar, enjoying baths on the common tank in the town, eating chaats with his buddies, and then one by one, his well-wisher walk on different paths of their lives. To know what happens when lonely Rusty takes decision to leave Dehra for England, you better grab your copy. I am sure you won’t leave it until you get the answer of this question.

You can grab your copy at

Amazon

Flipkart

And a bookstore near you

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I am participating in A to Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on day 18 challenge. “R is about Ruskin’s Rusty”

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Shogun: Race to be the Supreme…

I just finished the third book of 2017, and I know its long way to go and reach the goal of 100 books. James Clavell had done a great job of keeping me bound to his first novel of the Asian Saga “Shogun” and not picking up some smaller book. Shogun is set in Japan of 1600. It’s huge book to finish it in a week or so, At-least for me. But it took me on such an amazing historical journey of the feudal systems of Japan.

Shogun is the story of first British naval pilot Blackthorne, who is able to reach Japanese shores. It takes us on his journey of getting sucked up in the race for power in feudal lords; Daimyōs; of Japan. European conflict between Anglo-Dutch and Spaniards-Portuguese lobbies also keep influencing the storyline as the arrival of Blackthorne threatens the existing setups of Portuguese-Spanish establishments and their trade lines with Asia. The book is full of plot surprises as everybody knows politics and race for power are never straight forward businesses.

He had managed to weave the triangular conflict between Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists terrifically in the plot of the novel. Many times, characters face the dilemma about putting faith or liege lord at first place.

He manages to make us travel all the distances, across the country, by sea, by road, through mountains, makes us stay at the huge castle. As the story starts inching towards the climax, it’s almost abrupt ending. If we consider the whole excitement he had built up for the climax, it just drops you down from the cliff and our historical journey ends with a sudden halt.

I would give the rating of 3.5/5. He looses 1.5 just because of this abrupt climax but the book is really classic read. Please do read it. You can grab your copy from following

Amazon
Flipkart
– Bookstores near you

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माँटुकले दिवस : छोट्या – मोठ्याची निखळ मैत्री

IMG_20150704_112236कित्येक वेळा म्हटलं जातं आयुष्य आनंदात जगायचं असेल तर आपल्यातलं लहान मुल कायम जाग ठेवावं. पण रोजच्या ऑफिसच्या कटकटी, कामाचे ताणताणाव, आजूबाजूला घडणाऱ्या, मनाला त्रासदायक अशा गोष्टी, या साऱ्या रामरगाड्यात ते बिचारं लहान मुल कुठे हरवून जातं कळतच नाही. पण आजूबाजूला कोणी छोटा दोस्त मिळाला तर? तर आयुष्यात किती बहार येईल हे फक्त “माँटुकले दिवस”च आपल्याला सांगू शकेल. पुस्तकाचं एकही पान न चाळता घेतलेलं हे पहिलच पुस्तक. हे नावच इतकं कमाल आहे की मला तर त्या पुस्तकाच्या शेल्फ पासून पुढे हालताच येईना. त्यात फिकट निळ्या, हिरव्या रंगत बनवलेलं सुंदर मुखपृष्ठ आणि संदेश कुलकर्णींनी लिहिलेलं आहे हे बघून तर ह्या खरेदीवर शिक्कामोर्तबच झालं.

त्या तीन साडेतीन वर्षाच्या पिटुकल्या मेंदूत काय वेगानी नवनवीन कल्पना जन्माला येत असतात. त्यातूनच त्याचे नवनवीन खेळ तयार होतात. कधी चाळीच्या जिन्याचा रेल्वेचा डबा होतो, अचानक कुठलीशी खिडकी तयार होते.

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Stories from the 40s

Some books indeed get published with that one quality which stops you putting that book down once you turned its first page. Some days back I came across one such book in Marathi. Title of the book was fascinating in itself. ” फुले आणि दगड” speaks loudly contradictions in qualities possessed by people around us. This is a collection of stories written by वि. स. खांडेकर, V. S. Khandekar who is reknowned for his remarkable novel ययाती  based on story of Yayati Devayani from Indian Mythology.

But here in this book he takes us on the journey of Maharashtrian village life in the decade of 1940s.

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