JustBooks Connect - March 2011 newsletter


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JustBooks Connect - March 2011 newsletter

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JustBooks Connect - March 2011 newsletter

  1. 1. Volume 2 Issue 1www.justbooksclc.comblog.justbooksclc.com CONNECT March 2011 For limited circulation A JustBooks Publication Pg 7 Quiz Pg 11 Just Kids Uncle Pai, Thank You Pg 12 computer games, no internet or cableSapana Rawat connection, the only source of entertain-I ment was Doordarshan or the newspa- still have the certificate and the thank you letter I got from Uncle Pai for sub- per. Books were not cheap especially the Author childrens books, as most were imported mitting a story for a competition that and not easily available. ProfileTinkle held in 1987. Our English teacher Our school librarian used to lock up thealways encouraged us to respond to the National Geographic, Readers Digest,various calls for participation and compe- Tintin, and copies of Calvin and Hobbestitions that Tinkle or other publications in the cupboards with glass doors; so that lucky ones who atleast got to see theirused to advertise. We, the obedient stu- we would consider ourselves to be the covers. Encyclopedias were meant to bedents, did our duty though more so read in the 30 minutes library time webecause some marks were attached to this used to get. There were hardly anyprocess. Young Reader fiction works available. It was only Uncle Pai of Tinkle who And what was there was scrutinized bywould send us nice thank you notes and our librarian, who wasted no time ina certificate for participating. The fact that checking with our class teacher if it wasUncle Pai took time to read our letters, appropriate for our age. Hence, under thewhether he really read it himself or not investigative eyes of our librarian and thedid not matter, he did sign and send us a teachers, any fiction book that was notnice letter remember-that itself meant a authored by Enid Blyton and her likes,lot to a 12 year old. This encouraged us to was not meant to be issued to the tweenswrite regularly. and teens. Growing up in 80s and 90s was differ-ent. There were no electronic gizmos, contd on pg 2...
  2. 2. 2 JustBooks Connect - March 2011 contd from pg 1... From the Editor’s My school being a Central “ Even though youd hate to admit it Desk School subscribed to a couple of Russian (then USSR) chil- now everyone of us had read a Tinkle J ustBooks Connect is one year dren magazines. The most pop- at some point or the other in our child- old this month. A year is a ular one was Misha (the Bear), hood. "Suppandi" was the coolest good time to take stock of which was pretty good but was things. all about the USSR. Misha character we knew in Junior school.”— We started with eight page encouraged us to have pen pals Varun Agarwal , 24 . newsletter consisting of general in Russia. And you bet many of literary articles and book us did, yes for those extra marks but also other history book could. Even now when I reviews done our literary team. for novelty. think of a Ramayana or Mahabharata char- Today we are a 12 page newslet- So it was no surprise, that we looked for- acter, ACK illustrations conjure up images. ter with dedicated space for our ward to Indian childrens books and Our love for Tinkle or ACK did not end readers contribution, quiz, blog, comics like Target, Nandan, Champak, there. We collected ACK and Tinkle edi- top recommended books for Chandamama, Tinkle and tions like we collected stamps and adults as well as young readers. Amar Chitra Katha. They coins. We were secretive, envious, And now we have plans for were widely available, not friendly or unhappy depending on expanding it further. too expensive and approved the size of our collection. It was a This joyous journey has been by our parents and teachers. prized collection. possible because of our literary Amongst these Tinkle and We vied with each team, which consists of 12 writ- ACK stood out clearly. other to see who has ers, that brings about the month- Firstly, because they were read the latest copy. The ly book reviews and author pro- comics unlike the kid with the largest col- files, our JustBooks staff who others, so had lots lection was everyones shared their general thoughts of interesting illus- best friend. We carried from Karnataka Rajyostava to trations and their our collection in train Indian cricket and all our mem- simple language and buses when we bers who sent in their experience could be under- went on summer vaca- with JustBooks for Readers stood by even tion to our grandmoth- Voice. younger kids. ers place and shared We are very grateful to mem- Secondly, they the books with our bers like Dorothy Victor, Dimple had amazing char- cousins and sometimes Mahesh Tahilramani and acters like Kalia, with kids and adults Venkatesh Ganapathy, who have Doob-Doob, Chamataka we met on these trains regularly contributed to our Shambu Shikari, and buses. Readers section. Suppandi etc whose Friendships were Over the last one year we have adventures tickled us to made (sometimes bro- tried to make JustBooks Connect no end. We named our ken!) over these comics. We made interesting and worth our mem- teachers, our dear our own stories and jokes by end- bers time by presenting what we librarian, our close friends and ing - And guess what would think will appeal to our mem- whoever we could, after these Suppandi do. And we grew up. bers. The only way for us to characters. We still remember and refer to Mr. Anant Pai, founder of Amar know if JustBooks Connect is them by those names. Thirdly, it educated Chitra Khata and Tinkle, passed away last connecting with you or not is for us about all those unknown India folklores month at the age of 81. Uncle Pai to all chil- us to hear from you! So do pen and taught us Indian Mythology as no dren, he was singularly responsible for down your feedback, sugges- introducing the Indian mythology and cre- tions and comments and send ating endearing charac- them to: editor@justbooksclc. ters like Suppandi, com. Shambu Shikari, Raja Better still if you want to share Hooda, Tantri Mantri, your articles, in 500 words, on Kaalia the Crow for any literary related topic, be it— children. As for kids the books and authors that like me, who grew up inspired you, an event or hap- reading his Tinkle and pening that you observed, or ACK, he gave us more- your own poem and opinion— memories, childhood send them our way and get a gift and stuff its made of. from us. Come to think of it, We are offering a one month perhaps I am able to reading fee free to our members write this because of for contributing to JustBooks the encouragement Connect. For more details on this given by those thank offer write to editor@just- you notes of Uncle Pai. booksclc.com. Thank you, Uncle Pai. Rest in peace. 
  3. 3. JustBooks Connect - March 2011 3Tales From Firozsha Baag Beautiful ThingRohinton Mistry Sonia FaleiroPenguin India Hamish HamiltonAnindita Sengupta Pushpa Achanta M B istrys first collection of stories looks at eautiful Thing is a realistic foray into life in a Parsi colony in Bombay and the world of young women who danced there is the density of many characters in the bars of Mumbai. Revolving and lives in these stories, a sense of gullies and around Leela, a sprightly nineteen year old mohallas bursting at the seams, places where bar dancer, the book consists mainly of first people must learn to live with each other person accounts. Apart from describing what because there is simply no choice. What is inter- led these girls into the profession it talks esting about the book is that it functions as the about their lives, aspirations and disappoint- sum of its parts, but also as a composite whole. ments. All these incidents may remind one ofA larger narrative of life in a Parsi colony in the the sixties scenes from a pot boiler produced by the com-emerges through the separate tellings. The characters have mercial Hindi film industry. Through an engaging and movingrange and depth and the imagery is engaging. Mistrys prose is narrative interspersed with a few comparisons between her liferich, his insights into human life seldom facile.  and theirs, Sonia Faleiro opens up a little known territory. Stupid Cupid Beowulf: A New VerseMamang Dai Translation by Seamus HeaneyPenguin Faber and FaberAnindita Sengupta Anindita Sengupta W K hat I need to say first about Mamang nown as one of the most significant Dais latest novel Stupid Cupid is works of Anglo-Saxon literature, the old that the title is deceptive. Stupid English heroic poem Beowulf was Cupid is not chick lit. The story does revolve recently revived in popular consciousness by a around love though. Adna, a north-eastern Hollywood movie. Over 3000 lines, reading the migrant to Delhi, finds her late aunt has left poem may seem more daunting but Seamus her a bungalow in South Delhi. She decides to Heaney’s translation is a pleasure to read. His start a "love agency", a "decent meeting place language is contemporary, yet it evokes thewhere men and women, lovers and friends, could rendezvous mood of those times-the resplendence and the perilous thrills ofwithout too much sweat." At its heart, Stupid Cupid is a com- war.ing of age story and it is natural that Adna will be threatened An epic poem in translation is obviously not beach reading butand changed by the time the book is over. But Dais touch is curl up on a cold evening with tea and disappear into the darkalso gentle and assured so this happens with certain stealth. cliffs and seas where monsters lurk. Give yourself over to themThe sadness, when it comes, is slow and soft.  and the most beautiful monster of all: language.  Switch: How to Change Things When ChangeSellotape LegacyBoria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta is HardHarperCollins Chip & Dan Heath Random House Manjula SundharamDr. Rajagopalan M S witch illustrates how change is not an ajumdar and Mehta have woven this event but a process. When we are pre- book around three themes: the topical sented with a change situation we controversies about the corruption in protest and find ways to resist. But when it the run up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games comes to accepting the change that a new (CWG) at Delhi, CWG’s original agenda of pre- born brings in the family, we voluntarily wel- serving the links of erstwhile British Empire to come the change. Like parenthood we also the crown and its later conversion into a plat- embrace lot of other big changes like new form for Nehru’s non-alignment and global homes, new technologies and new clients.anti-apartheid movement, and of late, the use of international Authors Chip and Dan Heath remind us that there is thesports events as a means of projecting ‘soft power’ by China and emotional side and the rational side in all of us.. They illustrateIndia. It is a good read for sports enthusiasts who are puzzled how our emotional side overpowers our rational side most ofand frustrated with the off-the -field shenanigans.  the time.  For detailed reviews check out justbooksclc.com
  4. 4. 4 JustBooks Connect - March 2011Book Review "The past is a foreign country" tory and memory, the betrayal of a neigh- most a superb story-teller. The narrativeCan You Hear the Nightbird bour by another and the tragedy and vio- is gripping and moves at a fast pace. TheCall? lence perpetrated on innocent people historical events are an integral and who had nothing to do with the cause. At organic part of what propels characters to a meta level these are universal issues of action and shapes who they are and whoAnita Rau Badami betrayal, love and desire. But, here, they they become. For instance, a secular, free-Harper Collins come as a domino effect of destruction thinking Bibi-ji is driven in the end to side that can be traced back through a histori- with a fundamentalist whom she had ear- cal continuum beginning with the lier labeled a "loud-mouthed fraud." The Komagatu Maru incident, the Partition, nuanced and sympathetically drawnGeetanjali Singh Chanda the 1984 Delhi riots and the blowing characters stand out and draw the up of Air Indias Kanishka reader into the story. flight in 1985. Others like Jasbeer or the English In an interview, Anita Rau Badami Colonel Samuel Hunt are minorstates, "I dont identify myself with any one characters who are touchinglycommunity. I left India five years ago. drawn with great psychologicalFor me its important to make as clean insight making them unforget-a break as possible because otherwise table. But Bibiji, Leela andyoure constantly dealing with these two Nimmo dominate the landscapeworlds, two cultures and that can be a - each in their very differentvery, very difficult experience. You become ways. Each of them is a sur-completely schizophrenic and its not a vivor and one who battles pri-happy state of mind to be in." And yet, each vate demons to assuage theirof her three novels Tamarind Mem, The nightmares and grief. Bibi-jiHeros Walk and Can You Hear the lives with the double guilt ofNightbird Call? measure and map the having stolen her sistersdistance between India and Canada and destiny and then takenback again. Each novel shows that clean away her nieces son;breaks are not possible however much Leela, taunted for being aone may will them. And, although as "half and half" by her ownSalman Rushdie said, "The past is a foreign grandmother finallycountry" - it is a foreign country that con- learns that it can be anstantly impinges on present and future advantage "to live nei-existences. Even political events such as ther here not there, likethe Anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in Delhi rever- a frog comfortable inberate and affect the characters in far water and on land";away Vancouver in Can You Hear the and Nimmo, twiceNightbird Call? The links are not as dis- destroyed, cannot learn "to let the feartant as the proponents of the Chaos go" and is destroyed by it.Theory might suggest, they are evoked by B a d a m i In a quirky reversal of the old adageand directly linked to atavistic identities recounts her personal that behind every successful man there isof religion, community and soil. experience after Indira Gandhis assassi- a woman, we see here that each of these The dedication and the three epigraphs nation, of having seen a man being set on women have warm, supportive and lov-at the beginning of the book reveal the fire and then thrown over a culvert. ing husbands. Nimmos taxi-driver hus-central issues at the core of the novel - the Reaching Delhi she felt "it was like a war band Satpal tries to restore her family toconfusion and relationship between his- zone." The subsequent blowing up of the her by randomly telling every Canada- Air India flight felt like a continua- bound passenger he ferries to the airport tion of that story: "I was struck by the to look out for his wifes aunt Sharanjeet “At a meta level these are uni- whole story of how this history, this bag- and to give her their address. It is like a versal issues of betrayal, love and gage, had travelled to Canada and sim- message in a bottle thrown out to sea and desire. But, here, they come as a mered over here and affected a planeload yet the utterly impossible does happen domino effect of destruction that of The three women protagonists- innocent people." and Leela delivers the address to Bibi-ji. "A bad memory" Bibi-ji says, "was neces- can be traced back through a his- Bibi-ji, Leela and Nimmo are shaped sary for a person wishing to settle in…" but torical continuum beginning with and caught up in these histories, not neither Bibi-ji, Leela or Nimmo are the Komagatu Maru incident, the which they play a making, victims of their individual part as but in blessed with forgetfulness. Their links to the past shape their destiny. Nimmo most Partition, the 1984 Delhi riots and protagonists. Badamis genius of all is haunted by terrifying images, and the blowing up of Air Indias though is that although her research vaguely remembered though deeply felt, is meticulous and she is fair and of a past that may or may not even have Kanishka flight in 1985. “ even-handed, she is first and fore- been hers. 
  5. 5. JustBooks Connect - March 2011 5Book ReviewSame dreams different realities make for an interesting read. Foremost Despite the misgivings and the bitter-Dreaming in Hindi: Coming being Richs desire to delve into another ness with which Rich seems to narrateAwake in Another Language language at a time when her life was several of her Indian experiences, it can falling apart. She interviews researchers be fascinating to read her journey intoKatherine Russell Rich and neurolinguists and records notewor- mastering Hindi and the way it mirrorsTranquebar thy observations. "In navigating another her thoughts. “In Hindi, you drink a ciga- language," says Rich after interviewing rette, night spreads, you eat a beating and eat the Montreal based linguist Michael the sun,” Rich writes, a shining exampleReshmi Chakraborty Paradis, "youre not using precisely the of how your mind works differently in same brain you do when employing your another language. Rich also delves quite first." Apparently, the first time around- deep into the science of language acquisi- emotions, such as encouragement from tion and how your brain functions differ- the mother (Can you say that? Good ently when you are trying to learn a new Boy!), helps a language set. language. So far so good. The observations how- To most Indian readers, who are famil- ever go on a downhill spree once Rich iar with at least two or three languages it reaches India and starts her course. may seem surprising but the research and Refreshingly enough, she chooses to look observations Rich throws up makes for at the country through the Hindi lens. some interesting and unusual knowledge Unfortunately, it is coloured in the same gathering. prejudiced taint many western writers view India with. Rich has a condescend- ing manner of describing things, from the T he book is actually the sum of three parts. One is Richs Indian experience and somewhat like a travelogue. The institute directors Indian English to her other is the scientific foray into a new lan- fellow learners. guage acquisition and backed up with H er experiences, like the diarrhoea lecture at the beginning of her course are funny but if you are an Indian some solid research, while the third part is on the learning of a sign language as she works among deaf students in reader no longer happy to see your coun- Rajasthan with Anukul, their dedicated try served up in the same spoon, the next teacher. It opens a new world of language line can be jarring: We were in India now, for her in a way thats surprising to bothK atherine Russell Rich has just where irreverence was unfathomable. Rich and the reader. emerged after battling and surviv- Her description of her host family, the Shortly after Richs arrival in India, the ing cancer and been fired from her Jains and most of her Indian contacts, US is rocked by 9/11 while India seesdead-end job as a magazine editor. As an remain one-dimensional, seen from communal violence. Rich weaves these inescape route, she impulsively agrees to Richs slightly lofty angle. And that, her narrative, though it makes for aan assignment in India and once there, despite Suketu Mehtas glowing praise in somewhat densely and sometimes, con-decides to learn Hindi in an institute the book jacket and despite the book fusingly packed memoir. In the end, evenbased out of Rajasthan. making it to Oprahs 10 Terrific Reads of if you choose to be a tolerant reader and She gives an interesting reason for her 2009, remains the problem with Richs ignore the condescending observations,foray into Hindi in the books prologue: I Hindi memoir. Like many western Dreaming in Hindi seems an amalgama-no longer had the language to describe authors, she forgets that there are many tion of too much of everything: A trave-my own life. So I decided to borrow Indias. And one India isnt necessarily an logue, an observation of rising terrorismsomeone elses. accurate description of the other. So if and communal hatred, a personal jour- If that sounds as interesting as the title, some of the men are dubious, attempting ney, a scrutiny of a country, the psychol-Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in to take out Western women for beer and ogy of learning a new language, its usageAnother Language, unfortunately the some milky white western woman drives and the different worlds it opens up. Werest of the book is not. minor Rajasthan royalty wild, it isnt a do wish, Rich had restricted herself to Sure, theres enough material here to microcosm of what the entire country is. just the wonders of the language. 
  6. 6. 6 JustBooks Connect - March 2011 Reader’s Reader’s Contribution VoiceE very time I enter JustBooks I think of Jorge Luis Borges saying -“I have always imagined that Paradisewill be a kind of library.” I have always feltJustBooks is a huge gift hamper for oneto delve in only to find innumerable gifthampers packed one within the other. I always entered JustBooks with a cer-tain amount of trepidation, a kind ofeager anticipation as to what books willI chance upon. I have never felt disap-pointed in finding the book of my taste.The very act of sitting between theshelves and browsing through is a reju-venating experience. The library has awide selection to cater to everyonesneeds. It has a welcoming staff and apleasing ambience. I have observedevery member coming there returningwith a happy smile. I once asked Mr. Ravi Kumar, whoruns the Fraser Town franchise, as towho is genius behind such a venture. true,For one to start library as a commercial Dimple Mahesh Tahilramani By buying you a gift or two,venture, not only daring business acu- Or helped you chase away yourmen is required but a nobility of mind Blues, Htoo is very essential. urry, scurry, rush and dash-that Make sure you say Thank you. I am told that I am the first member of what our lives have boiled down If you suddenly sneeze,JustBooks, Fraser Town. If so it is a to these days. Arent we taking Or wanna fly past like a Bee,happy coincidence and I am proud of it. most things and most people for grant- And theres somebody in between,The long felt need of the people of our ed? Its best to use Excuse me.area was more than adequately met by We have totally forgotten the worth ofits opening. In the short span I have the golden words. Have we ever tried Then there may be times,developed a kinship, that I strongly feel thanking our parents who slog it out for When you could have been in athat our interests are intertwined. I am us day in and day out? What about our hurry,sure I echo the sentiments of others too! teachers who mould us into wonderful And spilled on someone your curry, humans? Or maybe our children when Lets not forget the Golden word Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy they do something really special from Sorry. Fraser Town  their hearts? When I lived overseas, people there And last but not the least, were so courteous in their dealings that Is when you need something, they would thank everyone, be it the bus Be it a book or a piece of cheese, driver who helped them reach their des- Be generous enough to utter, Please. tination, the restaurant staff who provid- ed them with a sumptuous meal, the So dont hold yourselves back, hairdresser who gave them a makeover By simply placing the Golden Words that would make heads turn or even the on the rack, maid who helped them with their chores Whether you use them with a making their life much simpler! stranger or even your kin, Believe me uttering words like Please, One thing is you are sure to Win. Thank you, Excuse me and Sorry hardly takes a fraction of a second but can have magical effects. Ive experienced it and Dimple is a mother of a beautiful 10 hope all of you will do so too. year old daughter and a softskills and language trainer. Here is a little poem: She loves reading books and interact- ing with people and believes that each Whenever you feel someones been of us is special in his or her way. 
  7. 7. JustBooks Connect - March 2011 7 1. This is considered to be one 4. What is Dr. Watsons first name? of the best cricket books: John Seabiscuit by Laura Edward Hillenbrand George Beyond a Boundary by CLR James 5. Name the latest The Boys of book by Orhan Summer by Pamuk: Roger Kahn The Museum of 2. Middle Stage is a: Innocence Journal by Tehelka Snow Blog by Chandrahas Choudhury The Naïve and the Book by Dr. Vijay Nagaswami Sentimental Novelist 3. This Literary festival is not dedicated just to Poetry Sentimental Novelist Poetry With Prakriti 5. The Naïve and the The Hyderabad Literary Festival Jaipur Literary Festival 4.John Jaipur Literary Festival by Chandrahas Choudhury 3. 1. Beyond a Boundary 2. Blog JUSTBOOKS Heres A Case For Returning TOP 5 H eres an issue that never fails to tickle us when conveyed to prospective members of JustBooks: Returning books bor- rowed. When told not to worry about the three aspects gener- ally associated with N EW A RRIVALS libraries, they usually go 1. The Brief Wondrous Life Whoa! of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz 1. No reading charges per 2. Sirigannada By Vivek book. Shanbhag 2. No deadlines to return 3. The Tell-Tale Brain by V. books. S. Ramachandran 3. Therefore, No late fees. 4. India:A Portrait by Patrick Of course, all this is possi- French ble because we have a 5. Jawaharlal Nehru: Civilizing A monthly membership plans- Savage World by Nayantara depending on whether you Sahgal want 2, 3 or 4 books. It begins with a very afford- R ECOMMENDED able Rs. 150 per month - enough to trigger another 1. Hitch-22 by Christopher Whoa, youre kidding me". Hitchens We believe in keeping 2. The Thousand Autumns of things simple as it takes Jacob de Zoet by David away the worry library patrons subliminally are concerned with - Mitchell returning books back! 3. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Take the case of Mr. George Washington. He may have been one of Ngozi Adichie the founding fathers of the US, but he appears not to have been a 4. East of the Sun by Siddhartha model library patron. Sarma Since George Washington could never tell a lie, presumably he 5. Making India Work by William Nanda Bissell would fess up to owing 1,677 pounds, 15 shillings and some odd pence in library fines for two books overdue for more than 220 years. R ENTALS Washington borrowed two books-Law of Nations and Volume 12 of 1. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown Commons Debate - from the New York Society Library on Oct. 5, 2. 2 States: The Story Of My 1789, according to the librarys first circulation ledger. Marriage by Chetan Bhagat Library records do not show him returning it back. They still har- 3. And Thereby Hangs A Tale by bour a hope that his descendants may do the good deed. Jeffery Archer In case they do, you know what to do to hear the news here? 4. The Red Pyramid (The Kane Return! Chronicles) by Rick Riordan 5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog From JustBooks blog - http://blog.justbooksclc.com/  Days by Jeff Kinney
  8. 8. 8 JustBooks Connect - March 2011Musings The e-book enigma ple are entering the middle class, more content in more than 24 regional lan-Anindita Sengupta people are reading. The same people, guages. Experts feel this is fertile ground however, are not so far ahead on the for e-books. ( See The Times of India 12 online buying curve. December 2010). Already, Im wonderingIndia seems to have held out sofar against the e-book epidem- P lus e-readers are not cheap. Were value-conscious. Few people will buy a gadget that just does one thing when for whether to discontinue taking a newspa- per. I just read all my news online these days. Already, I buy classics less. It is notic but for how long? the same price, they can get a gadget that altogether impossible to envision a day does many things. when books will be a little like LP records, collectorsT hese days, when I visit a items, things that are library or book shop, I sold or exchanged at judge a book on a factor mysterious, under-besides desirability, price, and ground places wherehow big a crush I have on the people handle themauthor. I quickly calculate how with reverence. Idifficult it would be to get hold hope that day neverof it online. comes. So far Ive resisted the lure ofthe Kindle but this says nothing T he reasons are wholly senti- mental. I recentlyreally. Unlike a lot of booklovers, Im not terrible senti- moved house andmental about the smell of while climbing upbooks. My olfactory sense the narrow flight ofseems to respond-in very non- stairs to my flat, theerudite fashion-to perfume, movers panted andincense, flowers and petrichor puffed with mybut not so much to paper. I also boxes full of books.find it reasonably easy to read “Yenide, madam?”text off a computer screen. one of them askedThese days I dont carry as me. (“What is this?”)many books with me on holi- “You have a lot ofday. Instead I carry my net book things”, my landladywhich has a comforting hoard includingclassics, poetry and comics. But I cant B ut I am puzzled that publishers dont think this can change. More and more people are doing things online from buy- said. Not things, I wanted to say. Books.seem to take the final step towards a more Its been a difficult year on the personal ing railway tickets to booking hotels to front but as I sit here, in the living roompaperless existence. Despite my deep and buying books. As access and connectivity with late afternoon light touching the cur-abiding concerns about the environment, get cheaper and easier, this will continue. tains, they remain old and stable. Warm.and more importantly, lack of shelf space. Already e-reader prices are dropping and No gadget is shiny enough to outshineIt may have something to do with habit. with more competition, they will be them. The printed word is hardly perma-The heft of them. Brightness. Texture. A cheaper. nent. All it takes is a flood, a deluge, a fire.room without books just does not feel There are a huge number of publishing And yet it provides an illusion of heldhomey enough. houses in India, and theyre generatingA t the recent DSC Jaipur Literary Festival, there was a debate about thefuture of the printed book. Everyone time, something like permanence. talked about our booming publishingmarket. The printed book will never die.Indians are naturally "inquisitive". Etc.Im not sure what Indian curiosity has towith printed books versus e-books butwell let that go. "Books matter more inIndia than anywhere else we publish them,"said John Makinson, Chairman and CEOof the Penguin Group of publishers. Evenas book sales drop in western countries,the non-academic book market in India isgrowing at a rate of 15 to 18 percent annu-ally (Timeslive.co.za 25 January 2011).W hy printed books continue to trump e-books in India is not a mysteryreally. More people are literate, more peo-
  9. 9. JustBooks Connect - March 2011 9Food for thought Using the F-word sion included kebab, LebaneseThe F-Word salad, Vietnamese laksa, Thai chick- en curry, Indianized stir-fry, water- melon sorbet and Goan fish, allMita Kapur served with noodles and boiledHarper Collins rice. It was a hit and thats all that mattered. After all belly rules the mind and happy stomachs means happy people.Aradhana Janga M ita Kapur takes you along on her journey and entertains you with events and people in her life-pre-marriage, the birth of her children, their growing years, her memorable holidays, her sisters, her parents, husband, in-laws, nephews and her children. Most dishes are associated with memo- ries, both good and bad. The disas- trous pie her sister tried to bake ages ago, or the meethi (sweet) roti that never fails to provide her the doting yet strict mother, loving wife, homely comfort. The randomly pickedimpressive daughter-in-law, supportive events contribute their bit in keeping it sister, pampered daughter and an indul- interesting especially since she avoids gent cook. dwelling on them, they are mentioned to And once in a while there is the short, serve the purpose of connecting the dots almost autobiographical interview with (read "recipes"). the owner of a restaurant that has been Her trips, whether to London, Phuket around for ages, or of her mother. Stories or Pushkar, revolve around food. She long forgotten but which are the thread enjoys delectable fare irrespective of to the food they cook. The recipes are being served in a fancy restaurant or the simple to follow and Kapur encourages roadside dhaba. And its not just the culi- the trial and error hands-on method. nary pleasure, but the obsessive inquisi- As she says "Ive learnt not just byT he F-Word nope, nobody raining tiveness to know more about it and the observation but by following all my senses - abuses, but offering "fiery fresh fra- excitement that follows that confirms taste, touch, smell, hearing." And kudos to grant family famished fun fried food shes a foodie. Prabha Mallya whose illustrations are afiesta flavours" as the cover proclaims, She simply revels being a part of good fun distraction in the book. Tand rightly so. Its all about FOOD for food, either as the audience or the artist. he verbatim production of conversa-the soul. Remember the comfort food An Indian chicken dish such as "Dum ka tions in Hindi might be a bit discon-your mom made every time you got sick. Murgh" is capable of evoking the same certing to readers who are not familiarIt made everything better and you could- emotions for her as its Thai counterpart with the language. But then, on the othernt dream of replacing it with any exotic "Gaeng Ped Gai". hand, it might prove entertaining fordish on earth? Or recollect the simple Only Mita Kapur with her love for Hindi speaking folks.salad that simply took your breath good cuisine can include a typical Indian For those who pick up this book withaway? Or how about the chicken you dessert such as "Malpua" with equalthe only aim of sharpening their culinaryhad that got all its fantastic flavour from aplomb alongside a "Mocha Granita" or a skills, theyre in for a shock; unlike typi-a simple marinade? "Chocolate Souffle", a trend that you will cal cookbooks, this one does not have a Mita Kapurs book is all about that and find throughout the book. single photograph of any dish. Might bemore. It is as much about exotic dishes Anecdotes from her food-obsessed or a bit disheartening and frustrating, espe-as it is about a basic rice and lentil com- rather meat-obsessed joint family cially for the authentic local dishesbination. abound. You get a peek at all her facets- which are rare in restaurants and home. You try but fail to classify the book Overall, a great book on food.under any specific cuisine, just because “ For those who pick up this Kapurs seemingly frank rhetorical is refreshing, funny, and touching. Readit is not meant to be. It is all about the book with the only aim of sharp- it for the love of food and all thingscuisine Kapur has enjoyed over theyears. Not necessarily Indian, but a mix ening their culinary skills, theyre good. Kapur might very well agreeof dishes she has ladled out to her near in for a shock; unlike typical with George Bernard Shaw when heand dear and enjoyed every minute of cookbooks, this one does not have love of food". no sincerer love than the said "There isit; a cocktail of sorts. Her idea of food for a special occa- a single photograph of any dish.” Bon appetit! 
  10. 10. 10 JustBooks Connect - March 2011 Meeting the maker of SuppandiJ ustBooks, Nerul recently organ- standing lines, sleeping lines, ized a workshop on Learn The Art curve lines and did this for near- Of Drawing Comics in Mumbai. ly for 6 to 8 months. The workshop was conducted byTinkle comics illustrator for What future plans for Suppandi?Suppandi, Archana Amberkar, dur- Suppandi is soon going to fea-ing which she fielded questions from ture in an animated movie. Theher young fans. Here are some movie team will work on it.excerpts: Do you get bored being withHow long does it take for you to Suppandi every single day?illustrate one Suppandi story? No, I love drawing Suppandi.It depends on the story. If the story Apart from Suppandi, I alsois interesting, then it takes one day illustrate other characters likeelse it takes two days. Pyarelal and Lajo, ZimZim and Gotala, Ina, Mina, Mynah, MoApart from the characters of Tinkle for Tinkle.magazine, who are your favouritecomic characters? You have been drawing soPhantom is my favourite comic char- many characters for the Tinkleacter. comics, which character is the easiest to draw?If there is one thing you can change All the characters are easy toabout Suppandi, what would it be? draw. With practice everythingWe are already working on to bring your character as an illustrator? becomes easy.little changes in Suppandi. Today he is I gradually learned from my father, bymuch more than just a domestic help. watching him draw every day and If you were to give Suppandi anotherHowever we would like to maintain his admiring his work. name, what would it be?innocence. I dont know, I have been drawing Whats the future of children books in Suppandi all the time…maybe youWho gave the name Suppandi? India? should give some suggestion.It was Mr Anant Pai, the founder of The future is very bright. People areTinkle comics who named the character again cherishing books. Walk into a Which is your favourite Suppandi story?Suppandi. book store and you will notice that the All Suppandi stories are my favourite. biggest section is for the childrens The one which I relish the most is theHow did you think of creating and books. one in which Suppandis employerdrawing Suppandi? hands him over a CD and asks him toIt was my dad, Ram Waeerkar who cre- When was Suppandi first introduced in burn it. Suppandi goes ahead and literal-ated and drew the first Suppandi. After Tinkle? When did you start drawing ly burns the CD.him it was my brother who drew Suppandi?Suppandi for a brief period before I took Suppandi was introduced in Tinkle No. After spending the whole day withover. 27 by Ram Waeerkar. I started my career Suppandi, how do you unwind your- as cartoonist with Tinkle in 1992. I start- self?Tell us a bit about your childhood? ed drawing three panels of Suppandi Drawing Suppandi stories is in a wayI grew up watching two great artist jokes then switched to full length relaxing as his jokes are fun to draw. Itswork (My father Ram Waeerkar and Suppandi stories. the satisfaction of creating and thebrother Sanjeev (who is now with thought that it will be read and enjoyedMAAC Institute) both had their studios Having completed your graduation in by many children that keeps me going.at home) and without realizing I learned commerce, what made you become ana lot about art. illustrator? Was it family pressure as Would you create a new character? both your father and brother were illus- Right now I am too busy with SuppandiDid you read a lot of comics when you trators? to think of any another character.were young? My father always respected my decision. Suppandi has his own comic now. It isYes. I always loved to read comics. Even So when I got bored of the odd jobs of called Suppandi 48, as it has 48 pages.now I prefer a comic book to a novel. accounting I told him I would like to draw. He completely supported me. Any life lessons you want to share withIf you were not an illustrator, what young fans of Suppandi?would you be? Your dad taught you drawing! Was he a Success comes with hard work . DontI would like to be a fashion designer. strict teacher? hesitate to choose a career that you like. Yes my father was a very strict teacher. I Only then you will be able to work withHow has your dad helped you to shape started with A,BC.... in drawing that is, passion and without pressure. 
  11. 11. JustBooks Connect - March 2011 11 Just KidsRiddle Of The Seventh neighborhood. He intends to convert it into an influx of steel and concrete, driv-Stone ing millions of vermins to death.Monideepa Sahu Rishabh hears of a treasure hidden awayIllustrator: Pooja Pottenkulam by an ancient king and sets about to findAge group: 9-13 yrs it, but it turns out to be unbelievablyPages: 178 tough. The Shark is also after it, andYoung Zubaan Books over the centuries, scores of treasure hunters - humans and vermins alike had tried, but in vain. Jayanthi Harsha This book was written and published in 2010. Monideepa Sahu reverted to writing due to her dreary profession asI n the dark of night, the world is a banker. She has never looked back taken over by creatures that we call ever since starting her literary career - "vermin" - cockroaches, spiders, rats, now she has several titles under her belt,mites, termites, leeches, mosquitoes etc. which includes A Rainbow Feast: NewIts a bustling community, much more Asian Stories and The Puffin Book ofhyperactive than the one which we Thathas shop and Shashee just spins Mystery Stories. Pooja Pottenkulam, thehumans currently inhabit. webs all over the place and at times illustrator is trained as an animation These communities are populated by jumps into Venkat Thatas coffee cup or filmmaker; her professional work alsopopulations way more diverse than the scares the wits out of any spider-hating includes illustration, book design andcombined human population. Whats customer who happened to come by her animation curating.more, these vermins are much more way. This story is an easy-paced childrenscapable than we humans make them out One night, one of the strangest and fiction and does not include an excess ofto be. unimaginable things happen-Rishabh magic. It also shows how active the ver- As it goes, this storys central character and Shashee turn into humans due to min world really is with amazinglyis Rishabh the rat, one of those hyperac- some strange magic and the grand accurate descriptions of the scenes andtive vermins, who considers himself adventure begins. Oddly enough, both drawings. The plot could have beenvery ordinary. But the circumstances the vermins seem to have kept their ver- spiced up with a little more complexitywhich he finds himself thrust into are min talents even when in human form. injected into the story. But overall theextraordinary. Shashee, a spider, whose They manage to prove to Venkat story is very effective in portraying thecharacter entirely contrasts to that of Thathas grandchildren, Deepak and feelings and preferences of verminsRishabh, is the next most important Leela that they used to be the vermins when compared to our own, hence mak-character in the story. She is the matri- wandering the house once and slowly ing it a perfect read for youngsters,arch of the spiders and has quite a high get settled in the household. more particularly the ones who are terri-opinion of herself and looks down at her However, being a human also comes bly scared by the creepy crawlies! Thefellow vermins, especially Rishabh. with a price-there is school and lots of bizarre and magical events make you Rishabh and Shashee live in an old nasty geometry homework which drives laugh at their absurdity, but in someherb shop, ran by an absent-minded old Rishabh to his wits end. Even worse, strange way, they seem to be startlingman, Venkat Thatha. Rishabh considers there is a nasty moneylender, called possible and we find it easy to believehimself to be an "organizer" and "data "The Shark", who is not only after that indeed it did happen - thats wherelogger" of all the stuff in Venkat Venkat Thathas property, but the whole the real magic of the story lies.  JustBooks Picks for Young Readers Busy Ants by Pulak Biswas Snoring Shanmugam by Radhika Atisa and the Seven Wonders by Anu Chadha Kumar The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle The Crow Chronicles by Ranjit Lal The Key Of Chaos by Payal Dhar Sameers House by Nina Sabnani See You Around, Sam by Lois Lowry Flute in the Forest by Leela Gour Broome
  12. 12. 12 JustBooks Connect - March 2011Author in focusKeki Daruwalla experiences as a police LocationsAnindita Sengupta officer. It is true that riot, crime and pover- AECS Layout ty are part of many 65470141 poems. Daruwalla has BellandurH aving published twelve said: "The exterior 25740710, 42118813 books over three world cant be wished Frazer Town decades of his writing away, it is there like the 41644449career, nine of them collections air" (Pratilipi.com June HSR Layoutof poetry, Keki N. Daruwalla is 2010). This engage- 22587430, 7259974251the most important Indian poet ment with the world Indira Nagarwriting in English today. Its around him is palpa- 65831547, 42044157not only that in a climate where ble. In Map-maker Jayanagar 5th Blockpoetry is hard to publish, he has (2002), he writes a 9740894014, 42068676 The sea brought her in, JP Nagar-Dollarsbeen consistent. Its also that he series of dramatic monologues wrapped in seaweed Colonyhas been active in contributing by mythic and imagined figures. and slapped her on the sand, 42003087to the life of the community, all five feet of her JP Nagarediting anthologies, serving as with the armour of her scales 42351761Secretary of the Sahitya and the filigree of her rose Kalyan NagarAkademi, and guiding a moles. 42084394, 9986072204younger generation of poets. Or ‘Requiem for a Hawk’ in Koramangala His collected poems, Collected which both the life and the 40982460Poems ( 1970-2005) was pub- death of the hawk are rendered Malleshwaramlished by Penguin India in 2006. with excellent visual charge. The 41280649 In an early essay called The starting verses set the scene for Rajarajeshwari NagarDecolonised Muse (later pub- the hawks death with precision 9535854732lished at PoetryInternational letting us see the hawks flight, RMV II StageWeb.org), Daruwalla talked the hunt, the sky and the wrong- 23410800about the problems of being ness of the time like a quiet Sarjapur Roadan Indian poet writing in sledge-hammer at the end of the 42129279English. "The poem had to be section. Vijaya Bank Layoutsecurely fastened to an Indian Then breaking spiral and ring, 41645690setting; should seek freshly lean of body, he banked, Vijaynagarupturned earth under a monsoon climbing 42117539downpour," he says and links in an arc on still, nonchalant Whitefieldto this factor, his abiding wings. 42053027, 32999406interest in "place, site, land- Peering for prey, his eyes Nerul Mumbaiscape." This concern with bored 02227729788,hybrid and exiled identity But his later poems are more through space, till a salt-rinse 09004819059strongly informs Daruwallas philosophical as well. Concise of air Dombivliwork. His poems have the curi- style and powerful imagery are hit him, and the cavernous 02516505544ous quality of being free and distinguishing characteristics of roar, Punerooted at the same time. Time his work. His tone is often iron- as of a subway train. It was 02025896016and place are important as is ic, even cynical as he responds the sea in high tide. His eye HyderabadIndian history and society. to the disenchantment of his took in the heavens in one 04030560660Winter Poems looks at the generation with "a landscape of scouting look.Emergency while Crossing of meaninglessness":Rivers is about Varanasi. But "Then why should I tread the He had come to the wrong sky. Daruwalla writes formal as ForGreek wars, astronomy and Kafka beatmyth also find their way in. or the Waste Land, well as free verse and his way with rhyme is polished, musical- franchiseFrom the Mahabharat to when Mother, you are near atRoethke, Daruwallas influences hand ity an important part of his inquiries poems. For anybody interestedare diverse, his world wide andvariegated. one vast, sprawling defeat?" His poems often have the arc in Indian poetry in English, his contact: work is a touchstone alongside His work has sometimes beencriticised for being too literal, and energy of paintings and his descriptions of nature are espe- Nissim Ezekiel, AK Ramanujan manager@too direct in its rendering of his cially affecting. Consider Fish: and Dom Moraes.  justbooks Advertise with us, contact (080)-6001-5285 or editor@justbooksclc.com clc.com