Ancient Promises

Ancient Promises by Jaishree Misra


Jaishree “Janu” Misra writes a simple, spellbinding tale of love and loss, of pain and deserved happiness which simply rings aloud through and through with bitter experience. Once in a while, I read a book that stays with me for a long, long time. Something inside me takes notice, and I think on the sentences, the words and the characters in the book when I’m doing very different things. Usually, it’s because I identify with some of the characters in the book, and usually, if the protagonist is male, I tend to step into their shoes. But Janu at a lively, imaginative and wonderful 18 years of age, and Arjun a boyish teenager (who loves cricket) that she falls in love with – both of em, can’t be more unlike me. I regret to inform you that it’s her Malayalee husband Suresh I found a kindred spirit in, the Suresh that Janu is forced to marry after abandoning her first love. And Suresh is what I fear I will become 😀

The story, for an Indian author, is refreshingly simple. By that I mean, there aren’t any connivings with the language that both Roy and Rushdie seem to tinker with. Nor is there (despite the name) any deep-rooted mysticism; Janu is human and approachable and her problems are real and vivid and so hard to solve. I can’t draw any parallels with more complicated tales that other Indian authors tend to write nowadays either, but neither is it a return to the ‘before Rushdie’ age with it’s desi tinge; it’s what I feel Indian writing should be – true to the heart, direct, and definitely Indian. Rushdie has said something though that I remember: you have to be an insider and an outsider to see the whole picture. Janu definitely fits the bill, and it’s her unique blend of Delhi-traits and upbringing and her decidedly Malayalee roots that give this story life. I won’t paraphrase the story here because I’m cheating you of a good read, and neither will I give out the many gems of observations that Janu makes about life in Kerala. But if you do get the time, pick up this book; if you’re a Malayalee, don’t miss this.

Its and It's

I’ve seen this error so many times on the net – in articles, in blogs, in the front page of so many web sites – that I think I’ll spare a few words for it. The subject is of course, English Grammar, and for ppl wh0 typ3 l1ke th15, this is not a consideration. Real people may read the next paragraph.

I, T, and S can form two combinations in that order. Its and It’s: i.e., a simple I, T and S, and I, T, an apostrophe and an S. The difference between them is that ‘Its’ is a posessive pronoun, where as ‘It’s’ mean It is.

Correct: It’s a nice day. Why? Because it expands to ‘It is a nice day.’

Wrong: It’s name is Dolores. Why? Because it expands to ‘It is name is Dolores.’

Correct: The cat had its whiskers cut. Why? Because ‘its’ is a posessive pronoun here.

See also: It’s/Its

The Corrs: Borrowed Heaven

I’ve been listening to the new Corrs album – Borrowed Heaven – and it really sounds good. I’ve always liked them for their melodies, but the album has quite a few excellent vocals as well. Other similar artists that I like: Muse, Dido, Norah Jones, Sarah Mclachlan, Faith Hill, Natalie Imbruglia, Cranberries, Radiohead, mellowdrone, and Coldplay. So go clicky clicky :-).

I probably shouldn’t be doing this, but for the unscrupulous, here is a magnet link to the album: Corrs: Borrowed Heaven.

As an aside, Shareaza has gone Open Source with version 2.0. It’s probably the best Peer-to-Peer downloader out there, so go give it a try.

If anyone can list similar artists here, that would be nice. I’m always looking for new music. Tata! 😀

School and I

It was when I went back to school the other day that I discovered how much I missed organizing things and speaking. Compared to my time in school, my college is a pretty sorry spectacle for the eye: no events to speak of, no magazine to write in, no good teachers, no basketball, very few interesting people and lots of useless free time. Add to that a very aging syllabus and the general apathy of everyone around and it sucks something out of me everytime I go there. I hate the idea of compulsory attendance first and foremost. Granted, I did choose this stream to be in, but sitting shut-eyed through desultory classes is hardly fun. And it seems as if the topics which are supposed to be interesting are taught by an equally spineless faculty.

A frequent refrain in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series is that you can’t be embarassed unless you allow yourselves to be. Another quite apt observation I have to make is that you can’t be depressed and sad and wallow in self-pity unless you open the door. But college nowadays is just enough marks so that you can take home a good report card. And that’s a sorry state to be in.

A mantra to live by:

Don’t look, don’t care, don’t wallow in it at all,
Sit tight, think pretty, and climb off your heavy wall.