Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review: Killing the Water by Mahmud Rahman (Penguin, 2010)

It's nice when I can genuinely say nice things about a book (okay, you may laugh). :)

Mahmud Rahman's collection of short stories set in Bangladesh, and the US, during the time of unrest in Bangladesh, is sensitively written. The language is simple and evocative, and beautifully portrays the bewilderment of the common man caught in such a scenario.

In spite of their realism, the stories remain non-cynical, and there seems to be an innocence about Rahman's central characters. Most stories end on a note of hope and positivity - the feeling that all is or will be well again.

My personal favourite would be 'Postcards from a Stranger', 'Killing the Water', and 'Interrogation'.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The small gods

It's strange really what some denizens of the literary-glitterary world, the most educated of our lot; the literate, polished, sophisticated, intellectual elite of our society -- the sensitive, perceptive, awe-inspiring trend setters -- have become.

They have become big. Too big to register the fellow, ordinary human beings around them; too big to notice a friendly smile, an extended hand, a warm hello; too big to remember the basics of good manners they were probably taught in whatever schools they went to(oh, but they must've been to the best!) .

They are big. So big that they are beyond good manners; beyond any 'please' and 'thank you'; beyond humilty and grace. They are the small gods of their own worlds, and nobody else has a place in their scheme of things.

And then they write papers, rue the lack of finesse in people, and tut-tut about dying humanity.