Sunday, April 18, 2010

Home truths

Need we be re-introduced to our motherland in this bland way, asks Shinie Antony, unimpressed by the anthology that explores tried and tested Indian themes.

Being a typical Indian, I warmed to this book — Indian Essentials — at first sight because of its sheer bulk, giving me more than its price, more than I can indeed read. Also, I can now do the traditional thing and name-drop this book into conversations and come across as hundred percent literate, well read and that too in English. Oooh, I can do all things Indian with this book on Indianness! Alas, the publishers had the same idea. They did an Indian on me — by collecting big names and giving them tried and tested ‘Indian’ themes to harp on, by giving me — the reader — home truths that I already knew and lived by and coped with on a daily basis.

To be served pissed-off veteran voices, albeit piping hot with spiffy headlines, on matters this mundane is to be taken on a thoroughly Indian ride. Really, need we be re-introduced to our motherland in this bland, bland way? Anthologies are the buffets of books; one can read the new rabble-rousers along with the old, established rogues.

Full report here Deccan Herald

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