Monday, March 19, 2007

Readings

I have been dreaming of beaches for three or four nights in a row now. In fact, even my afternoon nap today featured me on Baga beach, Goa. Two nights ago I was in Baga too, having lost my cell phone and loving it.
This could have something to do with reading Bougainvillea House, a brilliantly creepy and readable novel by a surgeon called Kalpana Swaminathan. (The book is set in Baga). A surgeon, I ask you! I wonder why the woman is not more well-known. I fairly careened through the last section of the book, my eyes hurting with sleep under my harsh fluorescent tubelight. I couldn't care less. The ending left me a little shaky and disturbed and I couldn't sleep very well. But that just shows you the power of a well-written book.
After this tome, I picked up not one, but two books by other Indian authors who shall not be named. Suffice it to say, the surgeon had raised the bar too high and I was disappointed by the other two. Their work seemed dull and dishwater-like. Their characters were hair-pullingly boring after the compellingly vicious Clarice Aranxa that lived in Bougainvillea House.
So I went back to Uncle Fred in the Springtime by PG Wodehouse. Uncle Fred is cracked and proud of it. He shall deliver me from dullness, and how. Next, I'm going to read The Clown by Heinrich Boll, about a fellow who was a professional clown during WWII, I think it was. The friend who lent me this book once said that he had thought about me while reading it because the clown apparently gets a lot of headaches too. So now I remind people of a morose, ageing, migraine-suffering clown. Gah!

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