Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh! the joy of reading for pleasure...

Being on sick leave has its perks. Devouring as much books as you can. Doing MBA meant I was constantly reading Management books which left me with little time to pursue my hobby - reading. Being on leave, I have got that time get back to it with vigour.I am not much of a reviewer and this is my first time 'writing' about books that I read.

The Sins of the Father (Jeffrey Archer) was a let down of sorts. Even though the book starts with enough suspense, it fizzles out and leaves you extremely disappointed at the end. I don't like reading from different characters' perspective in one story since it doesn't provide continuity, but the first few chapters were entertaining.

The Litigators (John Grisham) I was left wondering if this is the same John Grisham who wrote novels like The Pelican Brief, The Street Lawyer and The Firm. Horrendous story because there is no story at all. Most excruciating book and I would gladly advise everyone to avoid. Kanchan, won't forgive you for not warning me!

Calico Joe (John Grisham) had an emotional story involving the protagonist and Baseball. A quick overview of baseball by the author was extremely well written and the whole book makes for a quick read. Nothing earth shattering, but nothing to do with the Lawyer-giri (like Gandhi-giri) that we have all come to associate John Grisham novels with. After The Litigators, Thank God for that!!

After growing with on staple diet of Mary Clark Higgins, James Patterson, Jeffrey Archer, Robin Cook, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, I have had enough of firang stuff. I have started reading Desi authors (most of whom are 2nd Gen Indian Americans). Since we are so used to western stories told by westerners getting used to the language and the thought process is a bit difficult, but these books are not that bad as others make them out to be. Of course, I hate those Indian authors who write in such difficult English and long sentences that you forget what it was about when you come to the end of the sentence (just to show how superior their linguistic skills are so they can eye that oh-so-nice Booker prize). But breezy stories make for a good read.

StarStruck (Rajal Pitroda) was my first book by Indian-origin(or shall I say ABCD?) author. We all have our perceptions about Bollywood. This book is about an Investment banker who comes down to Mumbai and as fate might have it, ends up working for a Hindi Film Producer. As the story goes, the story brings up the quirks of stars, the extra marital affairs right under the nose of spouse, underworld links and a sudden twist which ends the story and has the protagonist ending up back in NY and trying to console herself that her i-dream-of-doing-something-different-i-feel-something-missing-inside-me has been sufficiently pacified and that the effort was worth it. Breezy read, not bad for a first novel. I wonder why it is that all the Investment Bankers, Management Consultants shun the mega bucks and turn authors!! :-P (Pun intended, read Dork if you want to understand what I mean).

Hindi-Bindi Club (Monica Pradhan) One more 'Management consultant' turned author. Stories told through the eyes of 6 characters -3 mothers and 3 daughters who see life from different angles and are going through different stages of life. The story has enough emotions, the tumults of being 'India-American', ladies who have spend almost 3 decades in US but still yearn for homeland, a semi-arranged marriage, father-daughter quarrel, a twist with tragedy and the resulting philosophical view when one stares death in the face and has the chance to live again, an extra marital affair(?!! why was that necessary, I wonder), Partition and the painful emotions associated with that memory; secrets held due to unfulfilled teenage love. Every chapter has recipes of most known Indian (read Marathi, Punjabi and Bengali) dishes. So you can cook these dishes as well if it pleases you. All in all, a nice story.

Dork (Sidin Vidukut) It contains all the private jokes an MBA would know and smile about no matter how many times he/she has come across it. All regional stereotypes that we make fun of, those job interviews and politics behind it, life as a 'management consultant'!! First 2 chapters are hilarious and then the language becomes crass and the story too predictable. Some situations are really funny and overall a good read.

Monday, April 16, 2012

2012 and happy to be free*

I have been away for too long this time. Apart from a quick post last Oct, I have been MIA (Missing In Action, for the uninitiated) for more than 6 months now.

Anyways, there are so many things that have happened. 2012 has been great so far. New year, New Life. Following in Prof. Ramya's footsteps, I take this opportunity to count my blessings.

Things I am grateful for
1) Loving and supportive family who supported me through thick & thin these past 3 years as I struggled with balancing work, life and everything else.
2) Professors who made 2.75 years' of my MBA a journey to cherish.
3) Friends who have provided a reality check when I was struggling to stay sane (Dear sis, you count here too).
4) A wonderful vacation in Nepal, which is also my first full-blown International vacation. (UK was more of a pain-cum-pleasure trip (all the dental surgeries being the pain part and some sight seeing thrown in by family being the pleasure).
5) My new car which is so small and so cute!! (Oh, you will hear more about this sooooon, I promise!)
6) An opportunity to receive my MBA from none other than Mr Mukesh Ambani on 30th March
7) A surgery last that took care of the implant in my leg. Am also grateful for having a wonderful Orthopaedic Surgeon who is also my uncle.

Well, with some things crossed off my check list, I am looking forward for the rest of the year. As I recover from the surgery, it is time to unwind but put the plans that have been on hold to action. May God be with me.


* Free in my context means free time that I have (now that I have completed my MBA) to pursue my next round of dreams.