Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On fellow bloggers

The more I read blogs, the more opinionated I get about what I like and don't like. This of course has nothing to do with the content of my blog. The standards and rules I expect others to uphold will not be applied to me.
I find that there are a lot of people who write well. That is the good part. But I don't understand this compulsive desire most have to publish their opinion of the latest book or movie. There are some who do a good job. Reviews take effort. And now a shameless plug for a friend. Payal does a very good job of reviewing books. Her review is detailed, informative and not overly opinionated. Read her Harry Potter review, and you will know what I mean.
But most others have a very shallow approach to reviewing. It is annoying, superficial and shallow and it is worse when it is done by self-important, self-indulgent bloggers.
Bottomline? Your opinion does not matter. Just as mine does not even as I write this. And it is important to know that.
It is simple. Either entertain or inform.
And this blog shall, for the next few posts, review other blogs. Hathirpithi has finally found a purpose to its life.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


I think everybody has their own take on why they like to read books. Mine is that they were my best friends and gave me company through the worst of an awkward adolescent phase. They have always been my companions on long, boring train journeys. For as long as I had a book close at hand, I would never be bored or lonely and that was the promise hidden in every book.
But more than that, the joy of reading has always been more about entering lives that are so different from mine and yet being a part of it. It is being allowed to enter the most intimate parts of somebody's home and being warmly welcomed. It is about forgetting oneself while reading the book. Sure, television does that and so do movies, but it is never the same as having one's own image of the printed word.
And so when people tell me they don't like to read, I always feel a little sorry for them because I think they are missing out on so much.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Poor Aamir

Poor Aamir Khan! seems like the world will just not give his personal life a break.
All TV news channels are now carrying reports on Aamir Khan's illegitmate son with freelance journalist Jessica Hines.
And with this we bury objectivity--Star news is actually saying stuff like "bechara Jaan, is main uski kya galti hai ki uska baap usse nahin milna chahta hai," or something on those lines. How hypocritical. As if they care.
Anyway, turns out he also had an affair with Mamta Kulkarni. That disappointed me. I mean, surely he could have done better than Mamta.
But apart from that, while I avidly follow the news on Aamir's colourful life on television, my sympathies lie strictly with him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Kite Runner

Sometimes one comes across a book that makes one feel so good about having read it; feel privileged almost that one had the opportunity to read something like it. For me, that book was "The Kite Runner." I was totally unaware of the hype surrounding it and I just accidentally stumbled across it. I had two books to read last weekend--"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and "The Kite Runner". HBP was something I had been saving for the weekend, something I had been looking forward to. But the less said about it the better. Thank God I had "The Kite Runner" to turn to.
What Khaled Hosseini does is paint a very vivid picture. The book just comes alive. So what if I have never been to Kabul, I could see it in my mind's eye. I could see Amir and Hassan, the two childhood friends, one the master and the latter the ever loyal, faithful and very lovable servant. The one whose first word was Amir and who was eventually betrayed by the one he would have done anything for. I could see the two boys going to a hillock, climbing trees, flying kites; feel Amir's loathing for himself and his pain at his father's coldness towards him.
The pain of betrayal and the joy of redemption.
It is just a book that made one want to not read anything else for a while. Not my words, but something that Isabelle Allende says about the book. I second it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Porn Times

Sex Sells. If so, the Times of India must have seen its circulation soar in the past two days.For those who hadn't seen the MMS of Preity Zinta's look alike bathing or Mallika Sherawat's twin (?) making out with a guy, The Times of India has taken care of that particular shortfall.For the past couple of days Delhi Times has been doing stories on the MMS of various film stars or their look alikes in various states of undress and sexual gratification. Exposes are fine, but why is Delhi Times carrying explicit pictures which leave nothing to the imagination. And I mean nothing. Yesterday it was Preity Zinta, today it is Mallika Sherawat. Who is it going to be tomorrow? Riya Sen?The Times group is using sex to sell its paper and, worse, pretending to do so in the guise of serious journalism. Does it really have such a poor opinion of its readers that it thinks they won't see through the ruse? I detest such journalism where the only thing that matters is how much you sell, and not what you sell.But for those who like porn, access to it just got cheaper. For Rs 2, you can now settle down to your daily fix of porn brought to you by India's largest selling daily, The Times of India. And for those who like news, well, you poor sods had better get used to seeing porn first thing in the morning. Or switch to the Indian Express.