What I Talk About When I Talk About Murakami

It was a rainy evening about seven years ago when I entered a book store. It was the perfect refuge – warm lights, thin crowd, a tea bar and loads of books. I marched to the tea bar, ordered a ginger- mint tea, placed my bag on a chair in the seating area and hopped to the alleys to browse for books while the tea was being brewed. Running my eyes like a squirrel, I was surveying the titles one after another when they came to a halt – they spotted a pristine white cover with a circular swirl in blood red. That is it. If the cover art struck me as a bored painter’s good night splash, the name at the bottom of it left me thinking. THE ELEPHANT VANISHES. Err… Has the elephant vanished into red-white whirlpool? What kind of a book could this be? And then, my eyes fell on the name at top of the band of the cover. MURAKAMI. Continue reading


Happy Birthday, Ernest Hemingway!


Happy Birthday, Mr. Hemingway!

This man is such a delight to read. Despite his topsy-turvy life, both as a civilian and an author, he went on to gather such wealth of life pearls that reading just a single interview of his’ opens new vistas of perception for me. He faltered much in his journey; fame dancing like a fleeting cloud on his skies. But he sustained the weathers and drew his umbrella without ado.

His writing is passionate and blunt, just how a prisoner allowed to take intermittent walks in free air, might talk.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Continue reading



It’s not a belated birthday wish. It’s a continuing one. Breathing in the Proustian air is one of my most favorite stress-busters since the time I have been introduced to it. An air so rich yet so clear, it permeates into my lungs with its slight, caressing bend, filling me with a sense of beauty that no amount of dark inhalation can pollute. Proust was special, even as a child. Which 14 year old would scribble such answers to a random, vanilla questionnaire after all? Even if I squeeze my most refined juices, I won’t be able to drench his intellect an inch. Continue reading



It doesn’t happen with everybody; rare is this phenomenon. That every time I come across your name, a surge of hope washes me over is unique to you, for me; for I have loved very few people which such reverence, even fewer, for this long. It is almost ten years since I first came across you, as a young challenger to the apple-of-everyone’s-eyes, Roger Federer when you stamped your arrival with a stupendous run at Roland Garros, your debut at the tourney. While the sports world went berserk, understandably so, you were a picture of incredibly-plain-but-certainly-not-commonplace equanimity. An element so earthy, so unreal, for a guy, all of 19, to handle all the attention of the world with such disarming humility and effusive charm. What, of course, bound me to you for the succeeding 10 years (and another 10 years hence too) was not your astounding haul of 14 Grand Slam titles, 28 Master Titles and innumerable other mind-boggling records but your consistency – Continue reading



Happy Birthday, Mr. Coetzee!

It’s a day late but not more can pass without I sending you a birthday wish. I met your pen only last year; a delightful meeting by all means. I found your pen, by which I measure all the writers, with a visibly lackluster body but an impeccably sharp nib. That something so plain and vanilla can burst into something so searing and aching was one of the high points of my last year’s reading. I am reminded of Life and Times of Michael K with a muffled groan; a groan that Michael never released but a groan that filled my innards with abhorrent vulnerability. Continue reading



Happy Birthday, Sir Joyce!

Its a bit of an injustice that you never lived long enough to see me, since if you had, you would have felt pleasantly proud and inflated in nurturing vanity at the sight of a fan so bewitched that she continued holding onto your works for almost an entire year, fearing if she let go, she might lose a part of her insanity.

Yes, I share your insanity; that dogged, rigid, stain-like thing which revels in its unfathomable DNA and sticky demeanour. Many a scholars and historians, academicians and mere admirers, have written pages and pages about you – about your life, your death and everything in between. But for me, you lived beyond all of them. Continue reading




Today, you turned 67 in your world and 5 in mine! And for the idiosyncrasies you have gifted me during this course, thanks a ton! I am going to post a longer message tomorrow since I am the cat in the alley is waiting for his food and the jazz vinyl keeping him occupied is going to be over in the next few minutes! So, yeah, tomorrow. But well, I made it a point to wish you today; isn’t that enough? 🙂

Oh, while I am away, do reiterate this article, authored by you a few years back; it never fails to inspire the reader.


[Image courtesy http://www.konbini.com]

Book Review: Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli (2011)

faces-in-the-crowd1Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars


Like Valeria, I stare at the faces in the crowd; the crowd of short paragraphs hurrying across the surface of this book, intermingling with the innate desire to escape the mound without any considerable collision.

Like each paragraph, I anoint a barren, precise tone; a tone synthesizing topical fervor and ornate truants, rendering authenticity to a near magical premise.

Like the topical fervor, I vacillate between two worlds; the fact that I am fictionalizing and the fiction that I am factualizing. Continue reading



Lá breithe shona duit, Mr. Banville! Err… Mr. Black, too!

You are a gorgeously enigmatic man, my dear Sir. You write some of the most beautiful lines and then disown them with condescension of a stereotyped stepfather. You sprinkle scents of honour and merit on your mentors and then spray an obnoxious liquid into their laminated alleys. You switch identities with Benjamin Black and live a swift life of a brooder and criminal with surprising ease. Ah! You have kept me captivated with not just your fictional exploits but also your factual stunts. And somewhere, I know, this string of unpredictable behavior is a culmination of your restlessness. You have been forever on-the-go; pausing in life was never your thing.  Continue reading



Happy Birthday, Mr. Lewis!

I always have a lot to ask you rather than tell you; you confuse me well after all! A life resembling a sine-curve sans the regularity has placed you in a certain pedestal in my world onto which my eyes are capable of seeing only a part; lot remains hidden. For I wonder; what exactly made you write The Screwtape Letters when you were a devout believer of the Lord? Was that a work for the world or more for yourself? Was your protagonist, the Devil, a manifestation of your dilemmas that kept you on the border of theism and atheism? After all, you had seen a lot. You were living in a time that was witnessing a transformation; and every change of such nature turns many long-held beliefs into much abhorred casualties. Continue reading