One thing I have perused religiously is the 'discussion forum' at the end of each article on rediff.com. These learned fora for knowledgeable, measured and gentlemanly debate and discussion never fail to either make me guffaw or cringe in disbelieveing irritation.
I love Russian names. They allow me to rollllll my tongue over each syllable, and enjoy the sound to the fullest.
Example: I would love to live in Vladivostok. Vladddd - veeee - vostokkkkk Or be friends with Anastasia Myskina. Mysssss-keee-na. Or Kouuuur-neee-ko-vaaaa How about Oleg Deripaska? Dereeeeee-passss-kaaaa And best of all: Yelena Schvelenko
My first post in the-year-of-redemption-that-never-came aka 2009 is thankfully about a good thing. White Tiger. I must confess at the outset that from the broad outline of the story, I expected this to be a preachy, bleeding heart kind of book. It won a Booker? Oh, it must be reaching out to the Slumdog kind of audience. How bad is India, how miserable its people (disclaimer: I have read Q&A but haven't seen the movie, so this is an immature and potentially baseless comment). Thinking so, I had all but given this book a miss. Till I was handed over a copy by Mom, with a must read recommendation. The wife read it, and was all praises for it. So I started reading it too. And I was hooked!! I could not put it down and had to finish it very very late at night. It is not preachy in the least. It is an interesting account of potentially millions of true stories that happen in front of, ahead of, even all around me. It makes me sympathise with the totally amoral protagonist. I root for him. I even identify with him. I am ashamed about the totally true description of society as a chicken coop. I admire the author for getting into the head of the protagonist and writing what seems like a fantastically authentic account of his life. The best part about the book is that it is essentially a happy story. It fills me with disgust, and also with hope. Aravind Adiga fully deserves his award. May he win many more. In real life, I hope my generation sees many White Tigers.