Books, Reviews and Food
Just finished reading two books : How Opal Mehta… and Manticore’s Secret.
HOM is written by an 18 year old, studying in Harvard. It is about a girl's attempts to get into the Harvard University.
Now for the bad news.
I will live in the eternal guilt that I chose this book for a friend to spend good money on. I should have given him the name of some 20 teen flicks which the same oft-repeated beginnings, endings and everything in between.
The book is about an Indian’s quest to get a life outside her ‘Harvard-aya Namahah’ life style which is also happens to be her - why am I not surprised here? - her parents dream. As the dean asks her to essentially get a life, she tries out the usual stuff –get a makeover, try to get into the hot but emptyheaded bitch-slut trio gang, ignore her real [ read : brainy and drab ] friends, try falling for the school president [ but fall for the rebel ], solve a physics problem with her friends, get to like Harvard, get her plans outed by the bitchgang and finally get into Harvard. And in the process, the author manages to fit each and every teen movie cliché into the book.
A strong sense of de ja vu is to be expected. The sad part, however, was that the book could have been better. But here, the author disappoints us. The characters are one dimensional, there is nothing unpredictable about it, you can predict what is going to happen and when. It would have been better if the author showed some spunk and wrote something against the flow. Before she start on her next work, I suggest she read Five Point Someone. Back to back and a few many times. This is also a book about students, but within 100 odd pages and 2/5th the price, it is a much more rewarding experience for the reader.
The author has got a movie deal. And here is the next chick flick , my brethren. The girl can describe things well. But she has got a long long way to go before she write something which I will recommend to my friends, ie; unless they are like, totally airheads.
Stay away from this one, fellas. And may this good deed book me a place in heaven.
The Manticore’s Secret is worth a read, and worth a buy. But at Rs 300/- I would rather ask a friend to buy it as a gift for me than spend on it myself. The second part of Simoquin Prophecies go forth with wit to spare, though I preferred the first part better. The second book digresses into philosophical questions, subtle (or) hints at the futility of humans while the first one took an irreverent look at hero+quest stories.
My third review is about food. All those amongst you who are bonafide non-veggies and happen to be in Trivandrum, go to the East Gate of the Padmanabha Swamy Temple. Walk in a straight line into the Chaala Bazzar, into the market. Once you are somewhere in the vicinity of the Mosque, [ but before that ] take a left turn, or ask for Rahmaniya. And here my friend, you have entered Paradise.
Let us go back a bit. Legend was that Kettal, a nice cute Moplah [ Mallu Moslem ] had his shop, where the norm was that you pay a little, but eat a lot. Kettal the benevolent supervised the patrons, and did not hesitate to tick off those whom he suspected were maintaining diets. Once you sit down, you have to eat till you could eat no more.
Times have changed. The food is not unlimited. You get 6 chappatis and eight pieces of chicken [ legs, breast or wings ] along with a glass of nimbu paani and lemon pickle. Whatever you ask more is charged separately. The food is hot and tasty, and fresh. The Cheep-cheep of the chickens could be heard, and I studiously ignored it. Food, is divine.
Try it traveler, and then thank me for a wonderful experience.