Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bioscope man

By Indrajit Hazra
Publisher: Penguin India
Pages: 308, Price: Rs 299

Finished reading The Bioscope Man by Indrajit Hazra a few days ago. Mr Hazra writes a weekly column in the daily newspaper The Hindustan Times. The book made for some good reading. When I had spotted this book at my favourite Bookstore, the name Indrajit Hazra sounded familiar. Then I realized I read his column in the Sunday edition of HT.

The start, in particular, was quite funny and hilarious. Though some time the book tended to get dense and I lost track of the going ons. I found the chapters entitled `Interval' which occurs between chapters, quite uncomprehensive and off the track.

The book tells the story of Mr Abani Chatterjee. In fact it is written in the first person and Abani is telling us his story. [bioscope,, informs me means an early form of motion-picture projector, used about 1900.] So it is story about early times of movies, and the story is set at early 1900s, when the movies used to be silent. What I found funny about the story is that Abani Chatterjee, like his fater, is shown to be personal disaster prone, and what happens to him, off the screen, could well have happened in a movie. This particular sequence of Abani meeting his personal and absurd disaster is quite well written and is very funny. Here is an extract `I panicked. Instead of turning the tap off and proceeding to explain matters, I tried to move away from and towards her at the same time. In the process, one of my legs caught the other and fall on her like a lizard that had just lost its grip on the ceiling.'

What I also like about the book, besides its beautiful cover, is the font used in the book. The chapters entitled Interval, had different font, which is also very good. Also the books is typeset in one and half space, which made for easier reading, especially in the train, while commuting, where I read most of this book. I wish all the books had beautiful font and one and half spacing to add to the reading pleasure.

A detailed review of the book, which appeared in the Hindustan Times, is here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My new mobile?

Sony Ericsson has unveiled three new walkman phones yesterday -- W902, W595 and W302. W595 looks to be good. I will certainly buy it when it becomes available in India.

I am quite happy with current Walkman Phone, W610i, but its screen is quite small, and W595 has 2.2 inch screen with resolution of 320 x 240. Hope it will not be priced high. I expect it to be priced in the region of 12 K in India. Or Maybe higher. Let us see.

The other two Walkman phones, W902 and W302, seems to be higher and lower end phones, respectively.

The full product detail about W595 is given here . This phone is successor to W580 phone, which I had almost bought, then I saw W610i and had fallen in love with its good looks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Samosa power

Hindustan Times reports
Some of the toughest troops in the world have fallen in love with Indian culinary delights. In an outstanding endorsement of Indian menu, chicken tikka and samosa have become the staple diet for the Israeli Defence Forces.
I am amused. Yummy food zindabad.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Adventures of a bunch of keys

This happened to me yesterday. I was late, as usual, leaving home for office. I catch 7:20 a.m. train everyday and leave, please believe me, at 7:12. Catch an Auto rickshaw 7:15 and am at station at 7:18.

Yesterday was no different, except that it was a Friday and I do not bring lunch from home on a Friday, hence no need to take shoulder bag. I transfer all my usual stuff, keys bunch, headphone for mobile etc. to my trouser pockets. I did the same thing yesterday, but was late by a minute and was already in panic that I will miss my beloved 7:20 train. It had happened on many Fridays that I had left my keys bunch at home. So when I felt hot (oh God, when will it start raining again), I took out my handkerchief to wipe my sweating brow and then, I realized that my trouser pocket was feeling light which means I had left my keys bunch, once again at home. Okay, I said to myself, I will call home and get this confirmed and feel stupid on one more Friday. I called home from the train and and my wife informed me coolly that no, the keys bunch is not there at its usual place, I must have taken it and that I should not leave home in such a tearing hurry. Okay Okay, I said I will not do so in future. But where are the keys bunch. It contained my office key, my desk drawer key and also our home key. I began to panic. And started to sweat. I called home again and requested my wife to look carefully at home, I may have dropped it somewhere near the usual place. No, she informed me, the keys are not be found near its usual place.

My only hope was that I must have dropped it from my trouser pocket, while taking out the hanky. If it has dropped out of auto, then it is lost, and if it is dropped inside the auto, then I may get it back. I tried to recall how the driver of auto looked and draw up a mental picture of him. I had travelled in his auto for the first time.

Needless to say I spent the whole day, that is yesterday, at office, in sort of panic and at self-blame game. And left the office early, at the earliest opportunity. I scanned all the autos at station, where I get down usually, for the auto driver of the morning. No luck. All the drivers were fat, while the Man I was looking for was quite slim.

There was only one way, by which I could get back my bunch of keys. The only way.

Today being a Saturday, was an off day for me. But I acted if it was a Friday and left the home at usual time of 7:12 a.m. Reached the main road and, please believe me, after few minutes yesterday's auto rickshaw driver passed by, I could not believed it and the driver also recognized me and stopped. I went across to him said I travelled in your auto yesterday and before I could finish he took out my keys bunch and handed it over to me. He explained that the next customer, after I had left, had spotted the keys bunch and had handed it over to him. I was, of course, overjoyed. I took out some money from my wallet and handed it over to him, as a reward for him. And thanked him many many times.

So miracles do happen. Personally, I do not believe in miracles, I depend on them!

Thank you Shri Honest Autowalla and thank you unknown, alert. he or she, who spotted my keys bunch.