Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday morning nitpicking

Random sentences from today’s newspapers that I didn’t understand:

"Sacred Games is a slap in the face of Jane Austen, hard enough to send her back to snob heaven in hitching tears" – from Ashok Banker’s review of the Vikram Chandra book: Hindustan Times

“Today’s audience doesn’t have the patience for anything fake. They want sensible, fast-paced and real stuff.” – director Madhur Bhandarkar, quoted in a story about how moviegoers’ tastes have “matured”: Indian Express

“I think cheating on your wife for a fling is the stupidest thing to do after jumping off a skyscraper” – actor R Madhavan, quoted in Delhi Times

(Well, duh. Not much chance you’ll get to do anything after jumping off a skyscraper)

Model Gauhar Khan was present donned up in a black dress. And she surely was in a playful mood when our shutterbug went clickety click! – Delhi Times, page 3


  1. Hmmm. From charming, erudite, discerning, literate ... to collector of puke-fests?

    I hope normal programming will be resumed soon.


  2. "hitching tears"? Ah well, it's Ashok Banker. Whatever happened to that half-brother of Mahesh Bhatt story?

    "sensible, fast-paced and real", from Bimal Roy to Madhur Bhandarkar.

    Necrophilia, anyone? Though honestly, I don't think cheating is stupid. A lot of marriages in this world are built on the rock solid foundation of the straying partner.

    "donned up in a black dress"? Ah well, it's Delhi Times.

    Jai, rendering exemplary community service, reading all the news fit to print, so we don't have to. Bravo!

  3. What's with all the recent Austen-bashing? There was C P Surendran in TOI's books page a month or so ago comparing her with Albert Camus and calling her all sorts of names. This was apropos of that survey that found the Pride and Prejudice was the all-time favourite novel for women while the men went overwhelmingly for The Outsider.

    But comparing the two authors? Does that make sense?

  4. U will now be put on the official hate-list of the wanker banker. He will troll you and leave gallons of turgid prose.

  5. Marauder: it does seem to be in fashion, doesn't it? I didn't see Surendran's piece, but extolling Sacred Games by running down Austen seemed a particularly lazy and pointless thing to do. Like a 16-year-old showing off his Anti-Snob badge. [Also, Chandra's book contains bits of wordplay like this: "...shading the city's long-toothed silhouette in the benevolent umbra of his blue safari suit..." So I'm not sure it should be held up as an example of earthy, common-man prose anyway.]

    Or maybe Banker's comparison had something to do with the Indian need to maintain karmic balance - you can't praise something without simultaneously trashing something else.

    Swati: pleased to be of service! And yes, the Delhi Times reference wasn't too remarkable - you get at least six of those on P3 every day. Amit (India Uncut) has done a good job of chronicling the Purplocity in recent times.

    DD: I take it you're speaking from personal experience?

    JAP: you didn't see the erudite, discerning, literate Sacred Games post? ;-)

  6. "the Indian need to maintain karmic balance - you can't praise something without simultaneously trashing something else."

    wow what a great insight! :)

  7. Marauder, I read that review. It's puerile and bullshit of the highest order. I thought we'd moved beyond the whole sexist Austen bashing but that article is littered with it. Here's a sample:

    " Austen guides potentially ambitious women—and which one of them, alas, isn't?—how to go about it. She hands you an ever tightening leash to the male beast. Which is why women love her work. Austen empowers them."

    Thanks Mr. Surendran, for truly understanding what empowers women.

    And that Banker review takes cheap shots at not only Austen, but Vikram Seth as well. I found this sentence particularly obnoxious:

    "First, A Suitable Boy was best read in short bursts and often smelled like the work of an eloquent young Adonais madly in love with his own powdered-and-perfumed self (the titular character was a thinly veiled alter-ego of Seth himself, one suspected) and obsessed with a British hangover"

    Did Banker even bother to read A Suitable Boy before writing this tripe?

  8. Hey can someone post the link to the review? can't find it on the website.

  9. Banker is by far the most obnoxious and pretentious 'writer' that iv ever heard of and had the mis-fortune of meeting. His books read like someone's sat down wit a thesaurus and substituted every word for a more fancy-sounding one. So do i care what he thinks of austen and seth... NO!

    Bhandarkar??? puhleez ...

    Delhi times is an off-shoot of TOI right??? I wish I cud lead a morcha against that paper. I hate it so much.. do u know that they r still extolling the virtues of Mumbai Mirror, even tho they still hav to distribute it free with the actual paper everyday!!

  10. You missed this gem from the Express review of Chandra's book: "...Vikram Chandra’s novel has a futuristic drift. It takes the present and flights off to extreme co-ordinates."

  11. Ah well, since when has Banker started writing sentences which make sense?