Sunday, December 13, 2009


'Kari' by amruta patil is what am talking about. A graphic novel that looks like a comic book at first glance. So if I would have seen the book first would definitely not have picked it. However in my case read the review first and with a little research about the author and after reading some of her online blogs with her short stories I was all ready to pick my book for the weekend.
Kari as a graphic novel is the first one that I read (not sure if there are others of this kind except of the comic genre). The author who is just 29 definitely ensures that the novel oozes with freshness, themes that we can relate to and lifelike graphics. The story primarily revolves around 'Kari' who is dealing with her lesbianism and her job at an ad agency. The pace of the novel owing to its graphics is very fast and a book that can be finished in a couple of hours.
So did I like the novel? Yes
So would I read another of Amruta's or anyone's graphic novel? Maybe.
My only concern as of now of a graphic novel is that I'am forced to imagine the author wants me to and cannot imagine the words in any other form. However this could also be due to the fact that its the first on of the kind for me:-)
On the whole I can say Amrutha is one to look out for......

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Color is Yellow

Reporting at the time of war, interviewing a business tycoon, Responsibility of providing the right to information to all were the key incentives which made me take up journalism as one of the subjects during college times. Theoretically and practically equipped to a minimal extent, still did not pursue it as a career as my mother was hysterical with the idea of me reporting crime stories.
In retrospect I don’t think I made a completely wrong decision of not pursuing it. I have gone from the phase of considering journalism as one of the noblest profession during college time to wondering if I can just get away from all the news that gets displayed on visual or print media. Thoughts that run across my mind while watching/reading these days are:
a) Did someone pay to write from this point of view? (Journalism standards and ethics –Reporting should always be non biased point)
b) Was this entire scene staged? (Journalism standards and ethics – Accuracy to be the guiding principle for reporting)
c) How could the reporter be asking such questions to a person who just lost his family?(Journalism standards and ethics – Be compassionate, sensitive, cautious and judicious to all people involved)
d) How can they use such words in the article to sensationalize things(Journalism standards and ethics – Appropriate usage of words, clarity and brevity)
The one role that is taken ‘too’ seriously is the role of informing the public of everything. Be it a snake getting into a politician’s house, the home improvements made in the politician’s house, the whereabouts of actors, sensationalizing a crime story or terror incident (26/11) and revealing all the details (tips for budding crimes), harping on superstitious practices and its benefits etc etc. All the ‘news’ pieces would find prime spots in print media and if it is visual media then it can range from it being flashed in headlines to discussions over these cases for days together.
In text book terms this kind of journalism was called ‘Yellow Journalism’ where news is created for catching the eye of people or for entertainment value by resorting illegal practices. However now it looks like the entire news arena is Yellow. Its not like news does not get reported but these articles with its glitz and extravaganza supercedes the actual news pieces and leaving some of us(atleast me) imagining that we are all part of a circus created by media.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Reading………Books….I still remember the first books that my dad who himself is a voracious reader got for me and my brother and how I lapped it up so quickly that my father realized that this is just the beginning. Moved on to the usual Famous Five genre of books, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer and now the books that I enjoy reading are random ones from various authors. The age old method of reading the gist of the story at the back of the book while choosing a book works best and I very rarely get disappointed.

Reading while in school – In those times I never used go to buy books so the I ones I read were those my father used to get for me which used to primarily include Russian Authors and then I graduated to reading books that my father had collected over the years –(Victoria Holt and James Hadley Chase). Also there were the books that I could borrow and people used to gift on birthdays – Famous Five and Nancy DrewJ.

Reading while in college – Along with the books from my dad’s personal collection(Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer) I discovered something new; I could buy second hand books from some shops(that’s when I started my collection). Then of course there was the library at college where I had to choose books once a week without even touching them just by looking at the title from outside the glass window. So that introduced me to a new way of choosing books – books by random authors. This was a very new way of reading for me as I got bombarded with all kinds of writings and along with one of my core subjects being Literature I was transported to a different world in those days.

Reading after starting to work – Now that I could afford buying books with my own money that was like the best experience. The pure pleasure of being at a book store reading 100’s of covers to choose the best ones. Aptly that’s when Bangalore saw the rise of huge book stores like Crossword , Landmark etc. In my college days the only book stores that I had heard of were Gangaram’s , Sapna’s and Higgin Bothams but now there was the entire ocean available in Bangalore. The books that I now started reading were random. This was the time I stopped reading 2 books of the same author as I started finding it repetitive. For example like most others I was intrigued by Da vinci Code but when I picked another of his ‘Angels and Demons’ just could not read more than 1 Chapter so many things were similar. Some of the best books that I have read in the recent ones are ‘Kite Runner’ ‘Five Point Someone’(though chetan bhagat’s later books look disappointingly like bollywood flicks only)’Shantaram’. The one am currently on is Stephen King’s ‘Bag of Bones’ (so far so good).

One thing that I would like to tell about reading is that few years back I had thought that the reading habit is somehow lost for the current generation. But I was pleasantly taken aback when I see one of my nephews who read books with the same rigor as me. The advantage of the current generation is the affordability and the variety that they have at their age. (Though I still don’t understand the fixation that they have for books on fantasy only; out of my league).

However let me end by telling that reading has always been an exploration of a different world where picturizing the characters, landscape etc is a thrilling experience and no movie can give me that kind of a thrill till date.