Friday, May 20, 2011


I don't update this thing half as much as I should. That is ironical, because on an average day I have around five different half-written blog posts floating around inside my head. Since currently I have the attention span of a two year old on crack, and good, coherent writing has stopped happening ages ago, I thought I would do this book meme which has been going around. This would mean that I get to write at least a couple of sentences each day. Given the current circumstances, where my mind is constantly full of grocery lists and deadlines, two sentences are basically worth their weight in gold. Or rum. Whichever people prefer.

Anyways, before I digress and go on to talk about the comedy circus that my life is, let us answer today's question and put an end to this mindless banter.

Day 1

Best book(s) you read last year:

Last year was a year which shoved me down and pulled me up, kicked me away and pushed me back so many times that by the end of 2010, I was a little motion sick and had difficulty remembering if I was standing on my head or on my two feet. Needless to say, reading suffered quite a bit. I read a lot when I first moved to Delhi and moved to the PG and knew no one and was confined to one room. Then, as my workload and social circle grew, so did the pile of half-read and unread tomes in the cupboard. I started reading The Outsider (Yes, it took me this long. Yes I'm suitably ashamed.) but the book got misplaced when we changed houses last year. Therefore, alas, I've not finished the book. (Yes, I'm suitably ashamed again.)I've a sneaky suspicion that had I finished it, it would've been my favourite book by far.
Keeping all of this in mind, I think Jaya by Devdutt Patnaik was the best book I read last year. I've always been fascinated by the Mahabharata and I read Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel right before I read this book. The latter was an interesting take on the epic, but the former just blew me away. The illustrations, the pithy notes at the end of each section, the anthropological observations - everything was just about right. It is rare that all the elements of a book come together in perfect harmony. But when it does, what an unadulterated delight it is.

1 comment:

Abhishek Mukherjee said...

Ah, the prodigal kid returns. To what she's best at, finally.

Jaya is probably the best book I've read in 2011 as well (thanks!). The thing about a new version of the Mahabharat is however well-acquainted we might be with the epic, a new book always opens up new dimensions. And Jaya has opened up newer dimensions than all other Mahabharats I've come across, put together.

Unlike other books, Jaya actually assumes that the reader is already well-acquainted with Mahabharat, and provides a stunningly in-depth view of the book.

And the illustrations, as you've mentioned, are uniquely breathtaking.