At Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore respectively.
At Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore respectively.
If you are in the NCR, please do try to be there for the official launch event of “The Mine” at India International Center Conference Room III and Lawns from 6:30 pm where I shall be in conversation with noted critic Jaiarjun Singh to be followed by a open QA session involving the audience. The book, or blog and/or anything else will be discussed.
No invitation cards are required. Please walk right in. [IBN review of "The Mine"]
Yes it can’t get more blatant than that. My next novel “The Mine” (publisher: Westland, 290 pages) is now available for pre-order. (Links to some fine stores on the left-hand-side). For those of you too lazy emm too tired to move your eyes a few pixels to the left, here is a link to the Flipkart order-page.
For those who do not yet know that I have written a second book, I have. After my first novel “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss”, I felt the need to move as much away as the MIHYAP-RTDM world as possible and try something different. Which is why I put on weight like Vidya Balan did for “Dirty Picture” and explored something totally out of, to use a phrase made popular by Guru Greg, my comfort zone. Thus was born “The Mine”, a psychological-horror thriller, based on an idea I have had for years.
So here’s what happened. Narayana Murthy, the big chief at Infosys, complained that the standards of IIT students were going down and held coaching schools responsible. Nothing particularly earth-shaking about this pronouncement, in every generation, those that have grown old have complained “when we were your age, things were so much better.” Chetan Bhagat, thought-leader and best-selling author and an IIT alum himself, felt sufficiently piqued by this to retort that he who runs body-shopping company should not comment on the standards of others. Such a rap-battle, of course, generated a lot of heat and light in the popular media. Of course then Mr. Bhagat’s new book released to glowing reviews and insane sales and he kind of apologized for his previous statement and all was right with the world again.
[DO NOT read this post if you have not read the Harry Potter books. It is full of spoilers. If you have not read the Potter books or not read them all, may I suggest my article in this Sunday's DNA.]
I open at the close. This “I” of course here refers to purse-strings. Not that it has not opened before. The Potter movie franchise has netted 6 billion profits in its decade long run and 20 billion in related merchandize, making it by far the most profitable series of movies ever. And with Deathly Hallows Part 2 pulling down the curtains, one need not be skilled in Divination to know that this one will net enough Galleons to fill many a Gringotts. As a movie it is strictly workmanlike, moving from one incident to another with little in way of exposition. Like the others in the series, it snips off many of the most critical parts of the Potter saga, and thus should only be seen by the converted, that is those who can fill in the gaps with their knowledge. At one point of time, the franchise used to pretend it was for those who had not read the books, now it has ceased pretending. Which at least is honest.
Many of you may (or may not) know about my second book, “The Mine” (publisher: Tata Westland), set to release January 2012. So since I will be off for a little vacation, I thought of leaving you with something about it.
After “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss”, I was sure about two things. First of all, my next project would be radically different in tone and content from anything on the blog. Second there would not be even a bit of “humor” in it. I use quotes around humor because I have always been wary of being tagged as a humor writer. Humor, for me, has been principally a device, certainly not a ends in itself. Putting it in another way, I write on a variety of topics. Sometimes I use humor to make my point. Many times I do not. For MIHYAP I had used humor. For the next, I had decided I would not.
On August 20 2004, Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind was born. Now many of you readers, the regulars and definitely the drive-bys might consider this silly or borderline kooky that someone would consider the anniversary of a blog worth remembering and devoting a whole post to. But for me this entity made up of bits, suspended in the conceptual space called the Internet, populated by my thoughts and supported by technology has assumed a life of its own as I fuss over it, worry about how it looks, change its clothes from time to time, clean the dirt that trolls and advertisers leave behind, fret about illnesses brought about by server crashes and spend days, months and years just watching it grow. And so in this vein of anthropomorphizing, blog birthdays become significant events if only because they serve as an excuse to stop awhile, cut a cake and blow a candle. Or six.
On March 19th, in Elgin Road Crossword, May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss had its Kolkata launch event. With Bipasa Basu’s alma mater nearby, one could not but feel overwhelmed by the intellectual shadow cast by memories of her presence, in the same manner that one is overawed when in Shantiniketan. Helmed by Rimi Chatterjee, the event went off excellently with attendance being so considerable that the manager of Crossword said she had not seen such a crowd for a book event in that store. Ever. Not the kind of crowd seen at one of Bipasha Basu’s “Beeri Jalaile” lit-events on New Year’s Eve but still quite good.
Questions were varied and interesting with my favorite being “Why are Bengali men so bad at approaching women?” Now I dont know when I became the expert on analyzing the pick-up techniques of Bengali men, but my answer was on the lines of “Bengali men are mortally afraid of being rejected. Hence they find it tough to start a business or approach women.” What I didnt mention was that Bengali men also lack good pick-up lines since “Why don’t we go to my place, say Hello to my mum and have some lau-sukto?” somehow have stopped working in recent times. [Telegraph coverage of event, (HT also covered the event but HT Cal doesnt go online)]
The “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss” launch event in Kolkata is on March 19th at 6:30 at Crossword Elgin Road near to the place (Bhowanipore College) where Bipasa Basu studied. I will be in conversation with Rimi Chatterjee . Please feel free to attend and bring along a friend or two. And no need to RSVP as per above poster.
On March 21st, at Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), Park Street at 4 pm, I want to do a blogmeet/tweetup/ where as promised before, the interactions will be of a more “personal” nature (interpret that as you wish). Originally my plan was to do it at T3 but it seems T3 has closed down. To coordinate, my cell number is 8981122343. [Map here]
Caption 1: Since neither Gulshan (jo ladkiyon ke saath shaadi karta hai par honeymoon naheen manata) from Gunda nor Gul Panag showed up at my launch, the only Gul that khila-ed was “Gulmohar”, the hall in India Habitat Center where the event was held
Arriving an hour before the event, with a broom and a bottle of phenyl, I waited a while before meeting panelist no 1 Jai Arjun Singh, who would later on in the evening prove that siring babies is incontrovertible proof of a rocking sex life. He would be soon joined by panelist no 2 Sidin Vadukut, the Shakeela of English writing and best-selling author, who greeted me with a “Long time no see” before we both came to the realization that we have never actually met before. At least in this life.