Book Review: Broken News by Amrita Tripathi

Yet another debut novel by an Indian author. But Broken News is more than a college-goer’s love story. It gives you a peep into the world of news, the world that lies behind the TV screens in our drawing rooms. Oh yes, that’s what they say, even though I sometimes wonder if all people keep their sole television sets (India has multiple cellphones in every home but TV sets are still, majorly, single) in their drawing rooms. At least my parents don’t. And I don’t have a TV set of my own yet.

So coming to the book, Amrita’s Broken News reminds me vaguely of Bridget Jones’ Diary which I had read long back, mainly because both of them talk about thirty something single women, and in some way, have a similarity in their tones too. But then, while Bridget is obsessed with her love life, Amrita’s character M is not much involved in a relationship and talks about life in general, focusing on the work part of it.

While the book starts quite casually, and has a ‘bitchy’ tone in the beginning chapters, it gets more serious as the life of the character, M, gets more complicated and her problems start outgrowing her. She starts with the small trouble around her in the office and gets on to more difficult things, even murder/suicide which make things difficult to cope with.

And then, there are some interesting things too. I mean, apart from the main text of the book. Like before every chapter there is a ‘What We Learn’ where u get three lessons from the chapter. For example, the first chapter starts with

  • We all sit in judgement
  • Post-colonial angst’s still alive and kicking
  • Gods no longer smile.

Well, I think I have told you enough about the book and if it’s difficult to continue without a spoiler. Hence I will stop here. To summarize, I would say that Broken News is not a path-breaking story but if you want to see the Television News Industry from a been-there-done-that girl’s eye, it’s certainly not bad. A good debut.

Made in India: Biddu: Book Review

Frankly, it’s not really a book review. It’s more of a love affair with a book which happens to be my hardly-known-to-me hero’s autobiography.

Biddu was a name that I had read a lot of times, on a lot of tracks that I loved during the Indipop revolution of mid to late ’90s. And so, somehow without even knowing him much, he was a hero for me. At that time, all I knew about Biddu was that he was a guy who didn’t know much Hindi (that was my reason that he didn’t sing himself and didn’t take out his own album) and most probably he lived outside India. That he was a south Indian was my common sense because he didn’t know Hindi.
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Booker, God and me

I have finished reading more than 75 books till date, maybe something around 90. But there is a huge number of books I started, bought, or borrowed but never reached their end, for different reasons. One of these books was Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.

For the first time in my life I had heard the name of Booker prize due to this book. Arundhati Roy had made us all proud when she won the Man Booker Prize for her God of Small Things. Though I still don’t know how a woman got a ‘Man’ Booker Prize, I committed all the three names (prize, lady and book) to my memory which helped me solve at least one question in all the general knowledge quizzes for the next one year, and sometimes even after that.

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Books et cetera

Perfect strangers
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
The Gift
Swami – Sharatchandra (H)
Men of Steel – Vir Sanghvi
United States of Europe
True Believer
Elephant Tiger and Cellphone
Inscrutable Americans
HT leadership summit: India: the next global superpower?
Life on a Refrigerator Door
The Wedding
Above Average
Apne Apne Ajnabi – Agyeya (H)
Families at Home – Reeti Gadekar
The Bridge across forever
The Time Machine (abridged)
Nehru – Shashi Tharoor
Illusions
It’s my life – S Shenoy
The Lost Boy
Message in a Bottle
A Child Called ‘it’
In spite of the Gods
The Kite Runner
A Man named Dave
Delhi is Not Far
By the River Piedra..
Thanks for the memories
Of course I Love You..
Nights in Rodanthe

2 States

Rusty

Last year, that is 2008, was first such year when I had done some thorough reading. And as a result I finished 25 books in 2008. And then, on the eve of new year, I decided to read 50 books in 2009, a resolution which is still far from complete in November, but I’ve been successful in finishing a big number, 36 till date, which is my biggest number in a year, even though I’m 14 books away from my target. The books that I have finished in this year are listed here.

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Book: Dilli to Pagal Hai (Shivjeet Kullar)

Dilli to Pagal HaiThe story of buying Dilli to Pagal Hai (DTPH) is interesting. I was in the Bangalore Book Festival, which is running from 6th to 15th November, 2009. I had been through the bookfair and was tired, having a plain Dosa and Appy while my friend told me that we had bought total 13 books. And then, I decided it wasn’t a good number and we needed to buy one more. The reason that was running in my mind was that I was already running behind my schedule in completing 50 books for the year and didn’t want any bad signs. So I once again entered the Hall 2, where books were on display. I had thought of buying a book from The Times Group stall and this time it caught my eye which it had missed the last time (yeah, they’re no Arjunas, they miss the eye of the customer they have to fish) and finally, after loving the title, the cover and part of first article, I bought it.

I do not know if it’s exactly a book review, but now that I have almost finished the book and even the story of how-I-got-this-piece-on-my-hands, it’s very normal that I tell you how I liked the book, or am liking it as there are still 20 pages remaining. Continue reading “Book: Dilli to Pagal Hai (Shivjeet Kullar)”