10 Donts while reading Shantaram!



A post was long overdue.. Largely coz I was engrossed in one of man's biggest quests!!

I have done it.. I have done the unthinkable.. For years together engineers have dreaded reading any book thats fatter than 4 fingers put together.. Infact we love thin anorexic books, that explains why Jigar and Easy solutions(God bless Techmax Publications) were such a hit! How they included the whole syllabus in 27 pages max still leaves me dumbfounded!

So, as I was saying I have done the unimaginable! I have read "Shantaram".. For those who came late, Shantaram is a book by Gregory David Roberts. This is a fat ass book with over 930 pages.. Thats more pages than most engineering students read in an entire semester!!!

Would I recommend it? Well hell yeah!

So how many days did it take me to finish it off? 60 days!!! Did it actually take me 60 days? Well hell Yeah! It did! And the fact that I didnt read it for anymore than an hour each day didnt help :P
Its a dumb book for starters.. There are like 177 characters in the book and for the first 30 chapters, the story goes no where!! The book has like 42 chapters, thats more chapters than all of ApMech, Metallurgy, SOM, DOM put together!!

So how to read Shantaram with minimum effort?(You like tht, dont u?)

#1. Dont try and remember any names..There are like 57 Muslim names, 22 German, Swiss and German-Swiss names and like 84 Hindu names. Ofcourse there are Algerian and Iranian and Afghan names too..

#2. Dont worry if you dont remember the names, Roberts describes the facial contours of every guy who has a dialogue in the book. He goes like "I looked into the Amber gold eyes of the handsome Afghan" and you know hes talking bout Abdel Khader Khan.. And you can be sure Abdel khan is gonna blurt something out..

#3. Dont read the description of facial expressions.. Roberts has this extremely annoying habit of describing the facial expressions and the colour of the eyes and hair and such admists a dialogue.. By the time you finish reading it, and come to the dialogue, you forget what topic were the characters speaking about in the first place!!
He describes "Kalra", who plays his love interest, like 13 times in the 900 pages.. and he doesnt do it like normal men who are in love go, he goes "and her green eyes, like the green of the sea, her black hair like the black of the sky.." - sheesh!!eek
I mean, its okay, but 13 times!! 13 times?!!!!?

#4. Dont miss the fight scenes!! They are the only reason why I kept reading the book. Also the jail and the slums are well depicted(not tht I have been there :P)..

#5. Dont expect too much funny from Roberts, there are a few instances when he extracts a chuckle or two from you, but thats all you gonna get.. No feel good book this :P

#6. Dont take Roberts too seriously.. He boasts of learning the local language when he was in Bombay for 4 years.. He also claims that he knows marathi and farsi and half a dozen other Asian languages.
Well, his Marathi is nothing to write home about. He goes "Kay pahije tum?" when the right usage is "Kay pahije tumhala?"(What do you want?).. Now dont mistake me for a Shiv Sainik or anything, I am glad that a gora Australian is trying to speak my language... But honestly mate, had I stayed in France for 4 years, I would speak better french than Roberts speaks Marathi..twisted

#7. Dont miss the war in Afghanistan..Loved the war scenes at the end..(I make it sound like a movie!)

#8. Dont expect a story.. Its not like the Godfather or any other book you have read for that matter.. Shantaram is a memoir and is written like one writes a diary. Ofcourse a lot of stuff is made up by Roberts.. If I have to categorise the book, I would call it semi-fiction.

#9. Dont expect sophistication from Roberts.. As it is, its a mafia novel.. But there are more F words in the first 100 pages of Shantaram than there are in the whole of Godfather. Whats more? There are assorted choicest of Indian gaalis, used by him. I would have loved to list some of them here, but this blog has a PG-13 rating, so cant do it mate!!

#10. Dont lose patience, there is a lot to learn from the book. Every 19 pages he comes up with something wise which lingers on in your memory..
Reading 19 pages for that one wise thought is cruel!! Its like those technical reference books(by foreign authors ofcourse!) you get from the college library, where you have to read 30 pages to get one formula!! (Ah..Those were the days!!)

I so wish Jigar and easy solution would join hands in a quest to bring us this wonderfully weird book in an anorexic form!

But I am still recommending it.. not as strongly as Pushkar, Aroop, Sandy or Madhuri had recommended it to me, but its definite read :)

Theres a lot to learn from the book just like there was a lot to learn from those foreign authors' reference books..

Now only if we could have Shantaram enrolled in 27 pages!! smile



Dedicated to Techmax Publishers.. A lot of us owe our degrees to you smile 10 Donts while reading Shantaram!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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Well, I had a lotta free time of late. So I decided to update you guys on my favourite women on Indian Television(not that you care much rolleyesrazz)

I have a kinda countdown here, but point to be noted here is that I like all of them almost equally (I am saying this so that none of the women mentioned on the countdown feel bad). Let me also clarify that I am not "rating" the women, so all those feminist organisations, please dont blacken my face...


5. Ahana Deol:
Coming up at #5 is Ahana Deol, Hema Malini's shy younger daughter.. Ahana is camera shy, which is evident from her ads, but it adds to her charm.. Its quite a heartbreak that Ahana wont act in movies, shes more interested in working behind the camera..



Check out her video below(Kent water purifier).. For the untrained eye, its difficult to identify whos Ahana and whos Esha, well, a piece of advice- The one who looks pretty is Ahana twisted



4. Amrit Maghera:
At #4, we have the half brit-half punjabi supermodel Amrit Maghera.




She hosts "Top Ten Countdown" on Zee Cafe. So what makes her appear on my list..? Her Accent!! Love her accent. She was born and brought up in Britian, so she has this British accent.. So when she presents the show its more like - Welchum to the Tup Ten Countduwn... (Okay, I did a really bad imitation of her accent)..



But u get the point, dont u? And she sways from side to side when she presents, that again is very um..er.. whats the appropriate word here...um..haan..sexy..




3. Parizaad Kohla:
At #3, our very own Parizaad makes an entry.. The classiest of all presenters, this girl had a natural charm. She rose to fame when she compered "The Great Indian Laughter Challenge".. The show was male dominated, with the judges, the participants and even the band was all male.. In such a barren show, the only oasis was Parizaad...



Her dimples made men drool, her elegance, her looong legs, the way she talked, her broken hindi, her smile, her dimples(did i mention tht already?) made us men weak in the knees... Her innocence was charming.. Her inabilty to understand Suman's and Sidhu's double meaning jokes was actually liked by the conservative Indian...



Shes got married 2 years ago and is now expecting.. Now only if she gives birth to a daughter, 20 years down the line, I hope I can write bout her as I did for her mother (The fact tht 20 yrs down the line i will be 40 should not be considered)




2. Parineeta Sheth :
#2 on my list is Parineeta sheth...I first saw her when I was in the 11th grade. She presented some travel show on DD-1. Well, just for the record I had no cable TV for 2 yrs - the 11th and the 12th grade.. I found cable to be quite a distraction and asked my cablewala to cut the connection (which to my surprise he gladly agreed to..)



Back to the topic, well the thing is, I was in love with Parineeta Sheth... She was perfect.. Tall, curvy, classy... I dont like travel shows much, so it came as a surprise to my parents that their son was interested in some travel show on DoorDarshan!! But then nuthing escapes the seasoned eye of the parent, my mother realised that it was not Italy or Mauritius that I was interested in.. I was interested in the Presenter!!! For a 16 yr old, its difficult to accept that he likes someone, so what if she comes on TV!!



Parineeta can now be seen as a mom in some ads, she also plays a part in CID (Sony). She had a small part in Saif Ali Khan starrer HumTum
This is probably the longest affair I have had with a girl.. Its been 7 years now, and I still cant get over her...!! She would be the first on the list had it not been for the girl who takes the #1 spot...





1. Shriya Sharma
Finally the #1 spot.. The prettiest woman, (well, actually shes a girl) on Indian Television today. Shes one of the 5 kids on the new show - "Kya aap panchvi pass se tez hain?". While SRK is supposed to be the star on the show, he fades out when hes beside Shriya..



Though I believe having Shriya on this list is not fair to Parineeta and co., shes just too cute to resist.. Plus if you were to meet these 5 women/girls out on the street, I am sure Shriya would catch your attention before any of the other girls did..



Shriya is not just a doll btw, shes pretty intelligent too (judging from the way she answers the questions on the show..) And she can give SRK some serious competition when it comes to screen presence mrgreen
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Hmm.. so there goes my list.. Readers are welcome to post their lists in the comments section Top 5 : Prettiest women on Indian TelevisionSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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Anti-maths Girl!

"Oh, I hate Maths, not that i m not good at it, I just dont like it.."
"hmm.. I kinda knew tht you were not a Maths girl.."
"Oh, whats a maths girl?"
"A Maths girl is the one who likes maths, they are kinda tomboyish and aggressive, u knw,they r not tht girlie.."
"hmm.. i see.. everything tht i am not?"
"Yeah :).. right! You are an Anti-Maths girl"
"hahaahahaha....And wht r they supposed to be like?"

hmm... Over that conversation, I realised I had identified one of species of the female kingdom.(bravo!)

Defn: An Anti- Maths girl is the one who is so by the virtue of not liking Maths, not necessarily because shes not good at it.. This kinda girl can be found outside most medical, biotech, bioinformatics colleges...Usually found where Biology rocks and Maths sucks, or simply where Maths sucks idea

I have come to like them over the years.. Now that maybe coz there arent a lotta maths girls around, even if there are they are pretty much like us, and lets accept it, "us" arent that interesting.. "Us" are geeks, we are emotionally dyslexic(wht a term, ah.. genius), films like Kuch Kuch hota hai are as boring as calculus, come to think of it, calculus aint half as boring as KKHH lol





So, I was wondering what makes me like the Anti-Maths girl..and this is what I came up with..

They are pretty! Yeah, very important trait tht mrgreen
And not only they are pretty, even their handbags, cellphone covers, pens, nail-polish, notebooks are pretty.. There is an overdose of colour there, and most of it is pink.. Ofcourse, its not just pink, its called "baby pink".. Theres something with these girls, they have to actually identify the shade of the colour.. So the pendant that she is wearing is not blue, but "turquoise"... Now wasnt turquoise supposed to be an animal? The one which goes into its shell when it senses danger and stuff? Oh wait,... thts tortoise!!mrgreen

The kurti that shes wearing isnt brown, its "peach".. Peach? Peach is a fruit girl, NOT a colour!
Talking bout colours, anti-maths girls are the ones who can carry off "electric green" nailpolish on Tuesday, and replace it with "shocking pink" on Wednesday.. Btw, it looks good on them..

While we are still on colour, dont take an anti-math girl to shop with u..
"What coloured T-shirts you like.."
"er.. me? Well.. black and white, then brown, navy blue.."
(Looks at you bewildered)
"Those are not even colours!!"
bwahahahaha..everyone(including the salesgirls) laugh laugh...mad

And whats with the rings these girls wear.. they can wear one in every finger of their hand(including the thumb) and it still doesnt look that bad.. Actually it looks nice.. there is something bout metal and girls, cant explain in words.. But metal touching a girls skin is such a er.. ahem.. sexy sight.. But seriously, when you see men wearing ear studs or thumb rings, they look like, well, ugly..



Its not just the way they dress that we like, its also how they make you feel when they are around.. Like when they laugh even at your silly jokes.. I dont know how, but evolution figured it out I guess, and somehow allowed men to access the hidden reserves of humour inside them when a girl is around..

Its weird, but I feel when a man says he misses a girl, he actually misses her laughing at his jokes.. Its the most wonderful sound, guys should be allowed to tape the laughs of the girls they like and listen to it when they are down or alone..


Its funny what maths can do to your Emotional Quotient.. It just messes the emotional part of the brain... There are times when you dont understand why are you feeling so messed up and they can actually tell you what you are feeling and why in words that you never had in your vocabulary..

Most of these girls are smarter than us for sure, but they will never make you realise that.. They let you win arguments and two-player xbox games that you force them to play.. They use "how cute" and "how sweet" in every 5th sentence, and you try and find out what statement of yours made her say tht.. You make a mental note of tht statement and say it everytime you meet her only so tht you can get a "how sweet" again..




hmm.. there... I said almost everything I know bout the Anti-maths girl.. One of my frds got into a Phd prog today.. Now only if they had Anti maths girl as a topic of research.. Research sounds more fun when you like the subject, nahi?
Dr.Arshat Chaudhary, and how cool wud that sound.. wink

P.S.
I thank all my guy friends for sharing their experiences over the years..

Disclaimer: No girls, Anti-maths or otherwise have been hurt in the process of this research...twisted Anti-maths Girl!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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