Browsing All Posts filed under »Books«

Readers Write In #289: Aims, a Memoir

October 24, 2020


(by G Waugh) Born into a middle class family that subsisted on a single income, there was only one purpose for which I was thrust into education- ‘settling’ in life. ‘Settling’ meant only one thing- getting a well-paid job, marrying and having kids. After slogging for over four years in an area where I was […]

Readers Write In #282: Crash Course in Tamil Short Fiction 101

October 16, 2020


(by V Vijaysree) Though I speak Tamil fluently,I tend to stumble over the printed word. I almost never read for fun in Tamil.Unsurprisingly, the only Tamil authors I know of are the ones who have written for the movies. I had no idea how much I liked being read to in my first language till […]

Readers Write In #280: Book review of Svetlana Alexievich’s Second Hand Time (2013)

October 12, 2020


(by G Waugh) You are a woman with two kids. You own a Masters degree and work as a professor in some university. You had free education, free medical facilities and so do your children. Your husband works as an engineer in some State-owned company. You live in a modest apartment and since there is […]

Readers Write In #278: The Catcher in the Rye

October 4, 2020


(by Vikram MN) The Catcher in the Rye killed me. It surely did. There are a million ways to express joy but I choose to express the way Holden does. Every day I read the book I thought of various things to write about it and various way to start the review but I did […]

Readers Write In #275: Friends of Vishnupuram meet Mani Ratnam

September 26, 2020


(by Eswar) On 27th September 2020, the friends of Vishnupuram will meet director Mani Ratnam for an online conversation. On this occasion, here is a brief note on the relationship between readers and writers and how two blogs are keeping an old tradition alive today. Tamil literary tradition has always fostered a particular relationship. A […]

Readers Write In #271: Why should we read the Mahabharata?

September 18, 2020


(by G Waugh) I had always wanted to write exclusively about the Mahabharata. The below question from a reader Varsha Ganesh on the comments section came as an excuse for me to do it.   “I’m really curious about your comment on the Mahabharata too. What made you read all those different interpretations on it? […]

Venice Film Festival 2020: Rodrigo Sepulveda’s Chilean drama, ‘My Tender Matador’, is about a young revolutionary and an ageing homosexual

September 11, 2020


I would have liked to know the source of Carlos’s feelings for Queen, whatever they were. But how can we hope to define something that he himself hasn’t fully grasped? A film festival is a place to discover great films, yes, but sometimes, even a not-bad (i.e. decidedly un-great) film can prove worthwhile. On the […]

Readers Write In #265: Why read fiction?

September 10, 2020


(by G Waugh) This piece shall be in response to a question that has been put to me numerous times by my group of friends that predominantly consist of people who have not been bitten by the reading bug yet. “Why do I have to read? When there is a glut of content that the […]

Readers Write In #258: Padhavikkaga and Sujatha’s fiction

September 3, 2020


(by G Waugh) Spoilers Ahead.. Dhanraj, a 29-year old politician, is an independent candidate contesting the Assembly By-election at Ramarajapuram. He beats the sitting MLA Chinnappan who belongs to the ruling party through sheer hard-work and activism braving the odds of black money and big publicity. He is greeted by the Chief Minister Arumugam immediately […]

Modernism by Other Means

August 29, 2020


A plug for Srikanth Srinivasan’s book: MODERNISM BY OTHER MEANS, about the filmmaker Amit Dutta. Srikanth is a deeply thoughtful commentator on cinema, and his book fills an important gap in writing about Indian cinema. I thought his book would be of interest to many readers of this blog. Link for the Kindle e-book: Link […]

Readers Write In #248: The Selfish Gene theory of Dawkins, simplified

August 21, 2020


(by G Waugh) Consider the DNA in your body as a parasite. Your body is a carrier. The DNA is the one that dictates what you should do and even how. The DNA has no hidden intent other than leaving copies of the same behind even after its expiry. It just wants to multiply itself […]


August 19, 2020


A plug for Madan Mohan’s “long story” (as he calls it)… I have written a long story (coming to over 30 pages) entitled “Democracy” for the Kindle UK contest. The e-book is available for purchase here: You can read a small excerpt here: ” After some small talk, he got to the crux. “Ever wondered […]

The Last Empire – A Short History of Twentieth Century Russia

August 13, 2020


A plug for G Waugh’s book version of his essays on Russia… I would like to announce the launching of my first book – THE LAST EMPIRE – A Short History of Twentieth Century Russia. It is a collection of fifteen essays that chronicle the history of Russia/USSR from 1917 till 1991. The origin and […]

JK Rowling’s tweets, and Polish filmmaker Małgorzata Szumowska’s ‘In the Name Of’, a gay drama on MUBI

June 13, 2020


He craves human contact. He asks his sister if she has someone to hug. She replies, “My children.” But that word reminds him of something that’s even more forbidden than his desires… As if to coincide with PRIDE month, June, a startling irony has been unfolding. You must have heard about JK Rowling’s “transphobic tweets”, […]

Readers Write In #200: Malgudi and cinema

June 7, 2020


(by Ananya Natarajan) The title, Mr. Sampath – The Printer of Malgudi, is an apparent misnomer. It gives the sense that Mr. Sampath is the only printer in the bustling fictional town. This is not the case. We observe the events unfold through Srinivas’ gaze, who is hunting for a printer to print his newspaper. After facing many refusals, […]

Readers Write In #194: Devdas, Melancholia, and the City.

May 25, 2020


(by Sagar Tetali) Why Devdas’ depression is about more than just Parvati, and why it is political. Indian cinema returns to Devdas every few years, ostensibly, due to the diktats of commerce—a successful formula—but also, it seems, as a way of understanding his predicament, like someone telling and retelling a story, remembering details and attempting […]

Readers Write In #193: The Boy Who Continues To Live

May 25, 2020


(by Abishek Balaji) Revisiting the pop culture phenomenon of our generation Corona virus made me do, as RandeepHooda said, the one thing I thought I’d never do – clean my room. While navigating through mountains of clothes,gadgets,question papers and books, I had a near-Imtiaz Ali moment- I made shelf discovery. In it was 4 of […]

Readers Write In #189: A look at Greta Gerwig’s Little Women (on Prime) through the prism of the book it is based on

May 23, 2020


(by Aparna Namboodiripad, who comments here as tonks) I’ve often asked myself why I am so fond of 19th century novels. I never get tired of re- reading them, and find myself repeatedly moved when I do. One reason probably is that classics are stories that have withstood the test of time, so there are […]

‘Red Beard’, the last Kurosawa-Mifune collaboration, is a film for these times, because it’s about healing and hope

April 3, 2020


When Kurosawa asked Márquez if he had seen ‘Red Beard’, the writer replied, “I have seen it six times in 20 years and I talked about it to my children almost every day until they were able to see it…” Could there be a better time to talk about Red Beard? It was the great […]

Readers Write In #133: Parasite and The White Tiger: Doing what it takes

January 22, 2020


(by Adhithya K R) The White Tiger was one of the darkest books that I’ve read. The book started with a former driver explaining that he had murdered his employer. It hadn’t been very difficult because his master had trusted him. For a while, after reading it, I was puzzled by how people trusted others […]