Awe and laughter

While yesterday's Dementieva vs Henin second round showdown at the Australian Open was one of the best tennis matches I've seen in the longest time, this fan fiction tribute to The Big Lebowski ("The Dude Abides") by Adam Bertocci is the funniest thing I've read. Enjoy.


Short story published on Eclectica.org

Eclectica has published one of my short stories. Read it here.

Read the complete Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Eclectica here.


Unclued, food and smog

...might be going down the drain. Sankalak was setting the Hindu Crossword for most of this past week and I'd made pretty good progress. But now it's Nita Jaggi and though I've not done today's yet, I am sure I'll be getting just a clue right.

Interesting post about smog, bad weather and football over at More Than Mind Games.

I remember reading this post by Tara Parker-Pope on the NYT's Well blog (published last year and one of the most viewed stories on the site) and counting the foods I regularly eat that appear on the list: five. Not that bad.


On Ruth and Manohla

I watched Ruth Padel begin her reading last night describing the cold weather in London. She was standing next to a rack filled with Chelsea and Manchester United replica jerseys. I wonder if she found it strange - here she was, in Bangalore, reading poetry about her great-great-grandfather Charles Darwin, surrounded by the paraphernalia of one of the biggest commercial juggernauts of this century.

Her poetry, especially the Darwin poems, and the extracts she read from her first, yet to be completed novel, were simply transporting.

Jezebel has interviewed my favorite film critic, the NYT's Manohla Dargis about women filmmakers in Hollywood. A must read.



Now that there's a lot of time on my hands, I was rather afraid my brain might turn into cornmeal, so I started doing The Hindu crossword - even before I brushed my teeth and ate anything. The first couple of days I was making good progress and then, today, the setter changed. So now I am back to square one. After five minutes of intense brain bending, I'd managed to solve only one clue. Sigh.

Something more cheerful here.


Sunday morning - smells, words and sounds

The smells - well, best not to think about them on an empty stomach. As for words and sounds - I just finished the last few sections of Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry. While listening to bad 90s rock on VH1. As for the book, it creeped me out. Hopefully will be able to write a post about it once I've finished reflecting on it (and who knows how long that will take). But there are connections to Le Fanu and Wilkie Collins that I want to think about and digest.

The African Cup on Nations starts next weekend in Angola and I wish a channel here in India was showing it - but it doesn't look likely. But there are some great perspectives on the tournament and a great year ahead for Africa, football wise, on the Guardian's site. Kanu looks back at his childhood here and Paul Doyle has tipped Ivory Coast to win the ACON.


The morning reading round

The FA Cup third round fixtures take place today and Richard Williams has written about the Leeds-Manchester United match.

I read this a few days back and like all of Mantel's writing, it refuses to leave my head days after I've finished reading. A wonderful look at Cinderella's not so great happily ever after.

A tribute to cartoonist David Levine by Steve Bell here.


First chuckle of 2010

One of the best things that happened in 2009 (besides Barcelona's incredible run) was that beach ball. Barney Ronay writes about the unusual objects that grabbed sporting headlines last year.

TFA Reading - Ruth Padel - January 8

Toto Funds the Arts

in association with

The British Council
& the Association of British Scholars

is delighted to invite you
to Ruth Padel’s reading of her poetry and fiction.

Ruth will also be in conversation with poet-novelist Anjum Hasan.

Venue: Crossword Bookstore, ACR Towers, Ground Floor, 32 Residency Road, Bangalore - 1

Date and time: Friday, 8 January 2010 at 7.00 pm

Coffee/tea and refreshments will be served from 6.30 pm onwards

Ruth Padel, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Zoological Society of London, is a prize-winning British poet. Her seventh poetry collection, Darwin - A Life in Poems, is an intimate verse biography of her great-great-grandfather Charles Darwin, bringing out connections between his personal life and his work. She has written an acclaimed book on tiger conservation, Tigers in Red Weather, for which she explored forests in South East Asia, Sumatra, Russia, China, Bhutan and Nepal as well as India. She is visiting India on a British Council Darwin Now grant, to complete research for her first novel, which will focus on king cobra conservation. She will read from Darwin - A Life in Poems, Tigers in Red Weather, and her forthcoming novel, Where the Serpent Lives. To find out more about Ruth and her work, visit www.ruthpadel.com

Anjum Hasan is the author of the novels Neti, Neti (2009) and Lunatic in my Head (2007), and the book of poems Street on the Hill (2006). Her poems, short fiction, essays and reviews have appeared anthologies, magazines and journals in India and abroad. She is Books Editor, The Caravan.