Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jaipur Literature Fest

Image Courtesy: Google

Most of the literary festivals around the word are supposed to offer the following things:

Books, stories, poems, words, and the wonderful chance of meeting the people who write them.

Literature festivals never talk politics or race or casteism or gender.

Exposing certain breeds of cultural tyrants is not deemed to be the purpose of Jaipur Literature Fest; at least, I think so.

Who in the world would buy what I just said about literary fests? At least I won’t. In this paradoxical idealism, I can see the traces of myself being negated and asserted and negated again.

Literature festivals do talk politics, race, caste and gender.

This later thought is the reality and the former, naïve idealism. One can see in this case, reality creates wounds while naivety heals them.

After previous year’s fray by the Islamists and Hinduists, I was doubtful if there would be another JaipurLiterature Fest in the coming year, meaning 2013. I was so sure about the cancellation of this years Fest, as anyone, familiar with the excessive influences extremist groups have in the Indian illiterate mind. Salman Rushdie was banned from the Fest the previous year and his Satanic Verses was sacked. In an attempt to express solidarity many writers read out parts from this text of holy Islamic blasphemy.

Image Courtesy: Google
Even though banned, Mr. Rushdie, like in many of his novels and especially in The Enchantress of Florence, took a magical realistic avatar and through ‘Creative Praxis’. He appeared on a virtual screen as a reflection of his mortal self. The concept of ‘Creative Praxis’ proposes that an individual, if oppressed by tyranny, can use creative measures of finding and expressing his individualism. The video conference was the ‘Creative Praxis’. And Mr. Rushdie was successful in it.

But how long would Mr. Rushdie be able to evade the practitioners of cultural tyranny? What about the Literature Fest Vs religious-terrorist duel? Religious Terrorists or RTs get a major media coverage in India. That was the reason why I doubted the possibilities of seeing the Jaipur Literature Fest another year. But here it is!

Proving that they have the guts enough to face the RTs of both green and saffron clad, the Jaipur Literature Fest entered another year of its journey. It disappoints me how erroneous my assumptions were about the future of the Fest. I did not anticipate the arrival of the Fest and so could not reserve a seat beforehand by train to Jaipur, adding to my embarrassment. Well, for me it is just another year of not attending the Literature Fest, whatever the reasons be. Hopefully I can be there next year. But at the same time, it relieves me to a great extend finding literature and the fantasy of “people talking about books” still going on.

Mr. Rushdie might appear in his metaphysical avatar on a TV screen, probably, this year too. The writers who read out from Satanic Verses the previous year are banned from the Fest by the Islamists. Will they be able to attend the Fest or will they use Creative Praxis and find their own paths to come round the obstacles, is a question that adds masala to the event. Another major attraction this year would be the announcement of the Man Booker prize for best fiction.

The Hinduists have this strange idea, lately of banning writers from Pakistan, in the Jaipur Literature Fest. Oddly enough, this idea rhymes with the nationalistic spirits of the Indian masses, in the aftermath of the recent breach of Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, by Pakistani army cum terrorists cum sepoys. This assures that there would not be a single Pakistani writer in the Fest this year.

The reality once again knocks on the door. Strange ideas are the result of a not so strange strategy. And of course, literature festivals do talk dirty things. Sshis Nandy had his turn already. Who will be next?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Newspaper Mornings

Image Courtesy: Google
The routine drama of daily life is mostly structured like this:
Getting up in the morning,
morning chores,
breakfast,
getting the daily bus to work,
forgetting to put the signature in the attendance column,
screeching at the maximum voice to students who hardly believe in the prospect of listening to another young person who boast of being a teacher,
having the same tiffin for lunch,
dozing off in the afternoon light-hours,
taking the same bus back home,
thinking about the benefits of exercise and regretting over not getting enough time for workouts.

Image Courtesy: Google
In an attempt to make a difference, I started a new habit lately: buying news papers every morning at the news stand, where I get the bus to college too, inside the old bus stand.

I always held the argument that news papers in Kerala never learnt how to balance news from different areas. Most of them have a surplus political content. In one of the conferences conducted by one of the leading Malayalam dailies, with a literary bend, a speaker said “politics is sold here like hot chocolate”. I don’t know how fast the sales of hot chocolate are, since I never tasted one. You know, it’s not a very popular drink in Kerala. Perhaps, too much of chocolate could burn you to ashes under the sun flames turned full swing. He also mentioned sports and said the reason why most of the news papers spend more space for sports is the salability of sports. I wonder again how true that statement could be in a state where sports is not even an optional subject in schools and where stadiums bring only corruption money into the wallets of politicians and no sportsmen.

There is a very evident paradox here. But isn’t a paradox the marking feature of this state, Kerala? Just think…Kerala is the first state in India to acquire complete literacy. [Or so people like to believe and governments advertise] however, one cannot find any other state in India with such a large number of school and college working days stranded due to strikes by politically motivated vicious students union gangs.
Image Courtesy: Google

The paradox the news papers follow is in no way surprising. This is precisely the reason why I do not get much closer to news papers. However, there is one change I noticed in recent months. Perhaps this situation is just the microcosm of the world’s semi-civilized-hypocrisies.

There are many national dailies that have recently spread out their branches in Kerala. And some of them are in English language. A few of them show the real balancing act, cancelling out the caustic political news smokes with their art, books, and international pages. It’s true; there are some news papers that give pages to art, books, films, fashion, etc. I am more than happy to find such a news paper. Still, I may not mention its name here, as it might cause a case of libel for using their name without their permission.

Image Courtesy: Google
The news paper I am talking about is South India’s largest selling newspaper. So I have something to do these days, off the track, out of the routine—buying the paper in a hurry from the news stand and running for the bus with the paper still in hand. The crispy feel of the paper in my hand and the smell of ink are delicious. Then the feeling of keeping the pages steady inside the bus—that too is remarkable, although I do not generally attempt to read from inside the bus. This particular news paper, I found, do not boast of a high-class language. It has just simple sentences and may be even repeated statements of the same news. I would call it ‘bus-simple’. I mean, the language doesn’t demand a continued and focused attention for more than a few seconds. So it is highly apt for reading while traveling, especially in Kerala (pathetic story—it’s for another time). That is why it is ‘bus-simple’.

But when I think about routine, I am a bit concerned. What if this new habit of buying newspapers became a routine?  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Genre/Labels__Should We Stick??

Image Courtesy: Google
This article is especially for those who belong to the world of art, writing in specific. At least you should have an idea of how books are created and what magnitude of labour goes into the production of them.

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Beauty is inexplicable and it serves better if one leaves it to be so. But often we encounter trends that might suggest a different truth. From movies to fashion, from literature to social activism, there exist patterns to which each individual belonging to these activities tries to cling to. Or else, doom might befall them. It is truth.

This can be illustrated with some simple examples. If one needs to look beautiful, and wears mud on one’s face, that would not guarantee admiration, but quite the opposite. This is true with movies or writing too.

In politics too one finds no different story.

In politics, we have all been granted unusual amounts of rants and promises over the years and still find ourselves betrayed at the end of five years or ten years each…or whatever it takes to end one government and start the other. At the start of another government, we all look for more to expect and at the end find it disappointing. Anything out of this way is deemed not normal or clearly looked at with some suspicion. Yes, that is true; it is suspicion that is born out of any attempt to be generous or to do things out of the way.

Saddam Husain, when he was alive, seemed to have a good reputation with his natives. People have been talking about the generosity of the dictator. But the West looked at it with suspicion. Of course, there was no other way either. How would you feel if a political leader comes to your home and gives you one billion rupees, just for nothing in return?

Image Courtesy: Google
How could one understand anything that one doesn’t know about previously, let alone enjoying? For example, the news of a UFO sighting might thrill us; an alien contact might shrill us; and a close encounter might kill us. What we see here, is a close reading of how one reacts to the unknown. There is zero amount of aesthetic entertainment in the real event of a close encounter. A book is not like that, it should have an aesthetic dimension too.

Often, some writers shun this step, to give a name to what they do. This is mostly due to two reasons; the first one—it’s not an easy job for any writer to understand the magnitude of what he or she does. To label means to be judgmental. How can a parent be judgmental towards their children? This is the same with artists and writers too. A painting, a book, a piece of music, all plays that role of children in their lives and they are bound by the laws of love.  

The second reason why some writers avoid labels is the fear of carrying over the genre titles upon themselves. Once tagged with a label, always known by that label. As an instance these days, writers of what was once celebrated as “Horror” fiction try to assert themselves as writers of “Thrillers” or better with no labels at all. The Horror Writers Association’s website shows the reason: “Instead of "evolving, ever-changing," horror became defined—typecast if you will—forced to conform to a certain method and a certain manner. Publishers flooded the market with books that matched this formula, giving readers more and more of what they demanded.” And “Horror's originality, its vital essence, had been stolen right before our eyes.”
Image Courtesy: Google

Such writers as Dean Koontz take a cautious stand as well. The website goes on saying, “Dean Koontz's books are filled with the strange and fantastic, yet he vehemently argues against being labeled a horror writer, despite being the first president of this very organization….As the horror boom of the eighties turned into the drought of the nineties, horror went underground.”

For a beginner, there is always some crush for what the masters do. When this happens and starts taking hold of the beginner’s writing life, a void between practicability and idealism starts developing. This results into clashes within oneself, not in the productivity of literary works. The majority of time and efforts are burned up by this confusion: whether to stay uninfluenced by genres or to establish oneself in any one category within the specific form of art. In such circumstances, some writers tend to lose whatever little audience they have by trying “differences” or divergent writing. Breaking laws sounds extremely appealing when there is no status at all being part of a society that breeds those laws. It’s a beginner’s syndrome. Sometimes, the writer’s creative train even slips off the track. To stay in the game, one has to follow the rules of the game too.   

The priority of a writer is not to write a “different” kind of book. One’s sincere and genuine attempt to create artistic expressions makes the book different and great. This means, there is no need to deny the possibilities of writing literatures ‘genre-specific’. This helps in narrowing down the perspective horizons of the reader and helps the writer gain a crucial grounding in the mind of the reader. Those books that appear with the label ‘fiction’ on their back cover sure give the readers the apprehension that they will satiate his or her thirst for a novel. While buying books, this is a significant help anyone can get.

Image Courtesy: Google
So if “YA” appears on the label no reader would attempt to expect a horror story involving two old people. This gives a preface to the book. Books speak through its label even before a page is turned.

I mentioned it elsewhere as well. “Labels have a paradoxical binary role to play. Within a label a writer may find himself adapted and indulge in a more focused production. However, sometimes, this very focus backfires and provides no options for the writer to work on something apart from the routine, even if he or she wants to go beyond what is their usual way of writing. This is much like the misery of the character Paul Sheldon from the novel Misery, by Stephen King. Obviously, it is market that creates such labels and governs the very system of professional writing.” (Book Review: Caught-a novel by Harlan Coben)

A writer’s pursuit is to understand and at the same time to be understood. If a label like a mystery or a thriller or a YA can add to the understanding of what you do, in the world, then why don’t? 

Courtesy: Horror Writers Association 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tales of Alfadur


The Bunyan Tree, Butterfly and the Traveler
Image Courtesy: Google
When he was in the land of Indus, Alfadur lived inside a banyan tree in the form of a small butterfly. He never went searching for flowers and never wandered the land and glided on the breeze like ordinary butterflies. His only companion was the tree, the wide, vast and ancient banyan tree. The banyan tree was near the holy river of the Hindus, where the river met the sea of the Arabs. The wooded area surrounding the tree hid it from the eyes of the world.

Days and nights, Alfadur slept inside a small cavern in the tree, until one day, when he woke up and took human form. He became a naked woman and started walking around the tree with her gaze fixed upon the ground, as if in search for something.

Before long, the neighbouring bushes and thorns shook and from the figs that lay on the floor came a crushing sound. A young man emerged from the bushes. His name was Aamod. He too was intently searching for something on the ground.

The moment Aamod felt the presence of another being in the vicinity he stood up and looked around. She was on the other side of the wide banyan, at that moment. So he could not see her. But he could hear the sound of the dried leaves crushing under someone’s feet. He waited warily for what was to come, preparing in his mind for running across the buses or climbing up the tree in case if it was a carnivorous animal.

Her head emerged first. That gave Aamod a startle, because she was arched forward with her gaze fixed on the ground, searching. Her hairs fell forward and covered her face and shoulders. It was a strange sight to behold. Aamod thought for a moment she must be some evil predator of human souls. When she reached close to Aamod, still in the same posture, she stood up. Her hairs fell off to both sides and with her right hand she shoved the rest away from her face.

Aamod had never seen such a woman. She was gold among a heap of copper. She was sun among the fireflies of rainy days. She was truth among the shame of lies. She was the memory of summer when the winter is at its peak.

His eyes could see only her, but he tried to look away deeming to make himself appear gentle and of good breed. Her body glowed in the rays of the evening sun. The young man did not know what to ask. So he asked hesitantly, “What are you doing here?”
“I am looking for something that I lost here,” she said.
Her voice was the melody of a river, a breath of breeze in the suffocating sun of the desert, a shore in the deluge of Ganga, a Neem at the distance of a long trodden road.
“Oh, I too was searching for something!” He said after a pause.
“What were you searching for?” she asked Aamod, looking in the eyes.

“Uh…,” he hesitated again, as the looks of her eyes were exquisite.
“I was searching for a golden ring I bought for…someone…The camel I rode fell down stumbling over a root. My goods and all that I was carrying went down along with me to the ground. I could not find the ring. I had kept it close to my heart, in a pocket, here…,” He pointed towards his heart and a pocket that was inside his long dress.

He thought it would be better not to reveal who he bought the ring for. It was for his young wife.
Image Courtesy: Google
“Who did you buy it for?” she asked. He did not answer, but kept looking at her body that was now a ruby from the slanting rays of the sun and the radiant red light from the evening clouds.

“Do you want to have me?” she asked Aamod.
“Yes,” he replied.
And they mated.

After both of them were tired, she asked, “What was that you were searching for?”
“I don’t remember anymore!” Aamod said, feeling guilty and wondering to him what would happen next. He hated himself for losing his mind in front of that strange woman of wilderness.      
“For whom did you seek it?” she asked again. He stood up freeing himself from her arms and donned the cloths that were lying on the ground, scattered.
“For my wife, a wonderful woman, who is waiting for me, away at my home in the Southern lands,” He said.

“But you came here just for a golden ring, didn’t you? And now…” she said and looked at him, standing up. He covered his eyes.
“The golden ring was your desire to win her. But by having my body, you have already lost the right to own your beautiful wife.” She said. Her voice now sounded like death, cold and indifferent. Tears tore off the silence between them with his sobes.

After a long silence he mumbled, “I don’t deserve to see her again. I deserve death.” “Don’t cry, young traveler,” she said. This time her voice was different; it had the earlier sweetness in it. It was soothing.
“You didn’t live beyond forgiveness. There is hope for you still, because now you can see your wife among the glitters of desires. Your tears are the love for her, transformed into pain. You don’t own her anymore, but you deserve her.”

Tears glided down his cheeks through his fingers that were covering his eyes.

She continued, “I am just a butterfly. What you did with me was just a dream you had. You did not violate your tradition. I am just a butterfly, look at me!”
Faded by tears Aamod saw a miracle. The woman in front of him turned into magnificent colours. In awe and fear, he opened his eyes and stared at the sight. Instead of the woman, there was a butterfly. It flew to the banyan tree nearby and disappeared inside a hole on the tree. He felt dizzy. He closed his eyes and sat on the ground.

He felt the ground shaking. It swayed like he was on a camel’s back. He feared it might be an earthquake. His eyelids felt heavy when he tried to open them. When he opened them finally, he found himself sitting on his camel’s back, riding towards home. He also saw that all his bags were in tact.

“Was everything a dream?” he asked himself.  However, his tears were still fresh, real. Deep inside, he knew it wasn’t a dream. He thought about the ring. But it did not matter much any more. He was riding for his home and once he reached there he would live with his wife and love her more than ever, always remembering the lessons the wilderness taught him.

He felt for the ring in his chest pocket, anyway.

The ring was there.

It was not lost in the wilderness, among the bushes.

If he had never lost the ring, he had never met the woman.

He took the ring out. The rays of the morning sun gleamed upon it. In the sunlight Aamod saw there was a vague mark on the surface of the ring. He made the camel stop, so that he could look closely. On the surface of the ring, he found a colour patch. When he rubbed over it with his thumb, it came on to his thumb and it was the colour from a butterfly’s wing.

__The End__
This is the only place you can read this story from. 
Anu Lal

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dalitality or Brutality? Two girls and a Burning Conscience

Rape is to force someone to have sex when they are unwilling, using violence or threatening behaviour. This is the definition, upon which the law of morality and judiciary works, not the Indian politicians, not the media guys, not the intellectuals. I pained to see the recent developments surrounding a rape happened in Delhi. The victim has lost her struggle to get back to life. She failed in what we can call an instinct all of us will have when we are brutally chased to death—the struggle to exist. In the sane social life, it is better to die than living a life of shame, but when it comes to real life, we all will struggle for our life.

When a fellow being is struggling hard to hold on to life, what our fellow human beings need to do?
Image Courtesy: Sarath Krishnan

Image Courtesy: Sarath Krishnan
The following are the lines of argument made by Arundhati Roy and some Dalit activists, or so I have understood them (http://www.reporteronlive.com/story/5897/index.html).

The incident got unusual media support and popular support because the victim is from the middle class family and the culprit from the lower class. The upper class people in India can’t accept the idea of a lower class man raping a middle class woman, so they are offended greatly. Every day, similar atrocities are happening against the Dalits in India, but no one bothers.

The problem with this view is that the girl who was in the hospital (dead now), was not responsible for the “caste based” rapes that happen in India. Who am I to say that, right? Poor me! If we say Dalits are being raped every day and the victims are from the lower class family, and so he should be prosecuted and so on, I have only one silly, (yes, very silly) question, “Do you guys want reservation in rapes too?”

Another silly, (yes silly again) question, “Will the rapists ask for caste and community certificates while performing the heinous act upon your body?” Can I ask one more question? What about the people who protested in the streets of Delhi? Were they all from upper caste or upper class? Poor me, I can’t understand these theoretical analyses. I am just a human being, nothing but human. What I do have is just some crap of commonsense.   
Last month, exactly 16th of December, I bought Chennai Times and read the news about Jacintha Saldanha’s death, with an add attached with it: ‘if you want the latest update of the news and how Jessica’s parents feel about it now, just download our mobile app in your phone”. This says everything, everything that’s needed.

When I read the intellectualized versions of the rape victim of Delhi, (Jyothi or Amanda, whatever sentimental names TV channels call her) I felt shocked. The response of the police and the governments did not instill a different feeling in me. The ad that sells the feelings of the Jacintha’s family was yet another humongous shock. I am not used to such “adult material” in cruelty.

I read several Sci-Fi in which through some scientific experiments or so, humans are replaced by mutants, with extra-human powers. I would say, we already passed that stage, we are that mutants, who can’t feel those very human emotions, that of compassion, love, sympathy and so on. I myself, yes, I myself doing the same thing, raping it for the thousandth time… Oh, Lord, Forgive me for this Sin!
***

Article By—
Sarath Krishnan


For the first time in its history, The Indian Commentator is publishing a guest post by another author. This article is written by a friend of mine, Mr. Sarath Krishnan. When he mailed this article to me, asking to read it and let him know what I feel about it, I did not hesitate to ask him permission for publishing the article in my blog. It was more of a favour from his side to allow me the permission to publish it.

This article is delayed a bit in being published. One reason for this delay was the potential threat from governmental policies regarding how to handle the protests. The second reason was the involvement of political parties in the Delhi rape issue. The protests, though began as an apolitical movement, later took a stringently political nature. The Indian Commentator is an apolitical space. It has no affiliation or opposition with any of the political parties in India or anywhere in the world. 

Today the whole of humanity, especially, Indian morality (the same morality that never lets a man walk with a woman) is ashamed on Delhi-girl’s death. Let’s pray for the peace of our own mind first and then the peace of her innocent soul.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review: Caught-a novel by Harlan Coben

“The world is nothing but a bunch of thin lines separating what we think as extremes.”(236) Harlan Coben; Caught.
Courtesy: Penguingroup.com

Caught is a novel that begins with a surprising twist in the destiny of a social worker. This opening part introduces another major character, a reporter. However, even after the twists in the beginning that could very well remind the readers that much would be coming in the following section of the book (and that is guaranteed), the rest of the novel, until the ending part, remains rather bleak for a thriller. In the case of some books, all is well that ends well.  The novel ends with three words; “I forgive you.” This sentence reflects happiness and contentment, a perfect way to end the book. The language of the book though, is not literary and is matter-of-fact. This could be substantial in creating a specific voice for the novel. Coben’s language has its influence upon readers undeniably; it takes the readers into its flow and rhythm. It is simple too. And it is this linguistic flow that kept me going most of the time, through the bleak parts of the thriller towards the most gripping and surprising end.

This is my first Coben novel for review. The prose is lucid and fast paced with sans philosophy and zero didacticism, but plenty of hard-to-believe-realism and zoomed in pictures of lives in American suburbs. Often it is seen that writers, as they gain their dominant voice among readers, find themselves tagged with labels. Such labels as, writer of ‘literary fiction’, ‘horror’, ‘historical fiction’, ‘historical fantasy’ (such as the books by Tim Powers), ‘suspense thrillers’, ‘legal thrillers’ (of course, a review of John Grisham’s The Confession will soon appear on this wall), and many others, create as well as destroy the ‘writerly’ spaces that are unique for each writer according to his or her subjectivity.

Labels have a paradoxical binary role to play. Within a label a writer may find himself adapted and indulge in a more focused production. However, sometimes, this very focus backfires and provides no options for the writer to work on something apart from the routine, even if he or she wants to go beyond what is their usual way of writing. This is much like the misery of the character Paul Sheldon from the novel Misery, by Stephen King. Obviously, it is market that creates such labels and governs the very system of professional writing.
Courtesy: Google Images

Harlan Coben addresses himself a writer of “suburban thrillers”. Suburban thrillers often show, “the same brownstone walkups where family life often occurred to be simultaneously the backdrop and setting of the most anti-social criminal behaviour and planning. With everyone living on top of each other in these tenements, a criminal caper could be hatched around the same table from which the kids were sent packing to bed.” Roger Westcombe writes this about the genre of suburban thrillers, which started making its presence a decade after World War II, in his article titled “Domesticity That Never Sleeps: the Emergence of the Suburban Thriller”. His words ring so very close to what Mr. Coben does in his books.

"You'll talk to some writers who write the serial killer book about people who hack up people for no reason - that's not me. The international thriller that reaches the White House? That's not what I do. My milieu is the neighbourhood, the family, suburban America - reflective of suburbia all over the world," Coben explains in an interview given to journalist Chris Wiegand of Guardian.co.uk. Coben was born in New Jersey and his novels reflect the setting of his own middle-class background.

Women become a significant motif in most of Harlan Coben’s novels that boast of its setting in the suburbia. In many of his novels a woman goes missing and a woman goes searching. Wendy Tynes, news reporter with the NTC news is one who is connected with the victims of the girl-missing, the central theme of the story, as well as responsible for nailing the case of the notorious Dan Mercer, a social worker and accused pedophile, the second theme of the story. These two cases converge, surprisingly and with elegant craftsmanship, into being Caught. The final three chapters and the Epilogue (pp: 379) unveils some unexpected twists in the plot in an endearing Harlan Coben simple-prose. The puzzle of death is reversed into the clarity and promise of new life.

A character, who offers an occasional punch to the story, without being under the spotlight, turns out to be crucial and the cross on the grave—Ed Grayson. His turn to be big and doer of significant things comes in the final chapter. His son was molested and used in the making of child pornography by his wife’s brother. But he had believed it to be Dan Mercer, the person snared by the media and masked as a monster. Dan Mercer, the social worker, was caught on camera in Wendy’s journalistic adventure at the start of the novel. When Ed Grayson realizes the truth later, he had to do the atonement. If I mention the events that lead Ed Grayson to his deliverance, that would bring a humongous spoiler upon the potential readers of Caught. There is nothing worse than a review with a major twist in the story bared in the dry and apathetic autopsy by the critic.

In Caught no character in particular carries the title of the protagonist. Two ideas, an accused pedophile on the run for his life, and a missing girl, become the binary of significance. It would not entirely be surprising if the readers find it difficult to tag a particular character the protagonist of this novel, I mean, those readers who are used with the style of writing novels with some character being at the epicenter of all the action, alone.

Wendy Tynes stays for a long time in the story and has a role in the main action, though not without any exaggeration of her own space in the story. She is the one who connects all the crucial dots at the end of the novel, for the readers. Wendy is a powerful woman, born out of fire, who had lost her husband in an accident, in the past. Wendy Tynes, in terms of her personality and relationship with other characters, can be proclaimed the hero of the novel. Coben relies on this character to solve the puzzles and nail tight what is left out from the main plot for the reason of maintaining suspense or due to the demands of other issues within the plot.
Courtesy: Google Images

Caught promises a lot about the writer. Harlan Coben’s suburban America is not a complacent space of the bourgeois, but the location of brooding evil and unexpected human conflict. Caught has an aesthetics that has direct bearings upon the middle class life in suburban America. Harlan Coben’s sense of ‘ordinary evil’ and ‘common place terror’ is remarkable. He is, sure to be, the one to look at, with full expectations, for a good book.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another Girl-Missing

Pain never takes vacation. Here is another news of girl-missing. There is no telling what I feel or what any of them who are close to this girl feels. I do not think this is a time when we can think about sorrow and pain. This is time to act, to find them, all those missing from their homes, their families, and beloved ones.

Image Courtesy: Facebook
This is yet another instance of how social media can be of great help. I received this picture from Facebook. Here it is.
My review of Harlan Coben’s novel Caught comes next!  The waiting is over. The year 2012 came to a close and the next started off. There may be people who celebrated this shift, this change of speculative time. I am not one among them. I could not, and shall not. I felt hollow within myself. It seems my mind is just reflecting the intellectual and psychic vacuum of my nation, where any one can get raped and killed on open and justice is just a cliché.
Courtesy: Google Images

RIP Delhi girl. You are innocent, but you had to pay the price for trusting this nation. 
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