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A heart-wrenching family saga: Book Review of Pachinko by Lee Min-jin

  Pachinko by Lee Min-jin My rating: 3 of 5 stars A saga of Korean immigrants that covers three generations of a family and their strife and trials as they try to assimilate into Japanese society. The story is fascinating as it highlights the issues of Korean culture and the discrimination they faced at the hands of their colonisers, the Japanese. It tackles the issue of what it means to be a Korean living in Japan at the turn of the century and up until the 21st century. Identity remains at the core of this heart wrenching family saga. The story begins with Sunja who along with her mother runs a boarding house for working class men. They lead a hard, simple life. Sunja's attraction for a wealthy man who is much older than her leaves her pregnant. But she refuses his offer of becoming his mistress and instead marries the minister who is staying at their boarding house, moving with him to Japan. Even though Sunja's story is central to the book, it is as much a book of the sec
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Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree - Review of the International Booker Prize Winner

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree My rating: 5 of 5 stars Geetanjali Shree's original book in Hindi is called Ret Samadhi and the translated version by Daisy Rockwell is Tomb of Sand. The writer's style is lyrical and captures the essence of an Indian family completely and evocatively. In fact the amazing thing about the author's style is that it goes above and beyond the cast of characters, roping in inanimate objects (like the door, for instance), the natural elements, crows and invisible things like borders. The story lies not so much in the plotline of an old woman and her journey to find the house and man she has left behind as in highlighting the nuances of families, countries, borders, neighbourhoods, galis and mohallas , the environment, the smells, sounds and landscape, the past and present and everything in between (including a delightful treatise on the silk sari as narrated from the point of view of a crow!) that makes up the heart and soul of India. The writi

Sholay - The Greatest Story Ever Told

By Jaideep Sen   The other day I saw an interview of Karan Johar where he mentioned how upset he gets when he meets film related people who say they’ve not seen Sholay. Seeing the respect, he gave Sholay made my love and respect for Karan Johar go many notches higher because for you to be in Love with Indian Cinema, you have to be in love with Sholay .  I see some part of Sholay almost every day. In fact even while punching the keys of my laptop while writing this piece, the epic is playing in front as an inspiration. The reason Sholay stands on the Number 1 block of the victory stand of Indian Cinema since 15th August, 1975 and is unshakeable even 47 years after its release and will always be immovable is because it’s the only perfect amalgam of writing and form, that too in every department of filmmaking.   We need to be grateful to the writing of Salim Saab, Javed Saab, the big heartedness of G.P Sippy Saab and the craftmanship of Ramesh Sippy Ji for giving us what Shekhar Ka

Mere Paas Baap Hain!

  By Jaideep Sen Mere Pass Baap Hain! ....Now that’s  something Salman Khan can say with pride in real life because of amongst multiple reasons the one great talent that he’s inherited from his father, Salim Khan Saab,  is the Eye to spot special talent like father and son themselves are. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Salman Khan   As I  watched Gangubai Kathiwadi which personally I feel is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Best Film to date , and was swept by its brilliance I  instinctively thought of doffing my hat to Salman Khan , through this piece,  for giving us this gem of a filmmaker. Salim Khan and Amitabh Bachchan Having been around in the film Industry for three  decades I know what a fight it is to convince an A Lister to do your first film and  when unfortunately it fails commercially --as it happened with Khamoshi-The Musical -- it’s  unheard of for the star to do the same filmmaker’s second film.  But  in this case Salman did not flinch, stood by Sanjay Bhansali and ho w! Hum Dil D

Bombay Heights: The perfect Diwali read is now available in paperback

Reading romance during the festive season adds to the fun and sparkle, doesn't it? So, for Diwali 2021, I decided to bring out a Paperback edition of my rom-com Bombay Heights: Sleepless in the City of Dreams .  The best part is that the story takes place during the festive season. What's not to love! So, get ready to be immersed in the spirit of the festival of lights!  Blurb: Small town girl Sanjana Kale wants a fresh start in Mumbai. A challenging job and some much needed distance from her ludicrously over-protective family could get her life under control. Forced to team up with video game designer Ashwin Deo, who is too attractive for his own good, she finds life becoming a whole lot more complicated when he turns out to be her new neighbour. How can she maintain a professional distance with this charming troublemaker who believes in getting up close and personal? To make matters worse, her ex tries to manipulate her loved ones to work his way back into her life