Showing posts from November, 2023

The Christmas guest by Peter Swanson – book review

Peter Swanson is well and truly back! He redeems himself with this book after a series of duds across last few years. He started off with a big bang in “Kind worth Killing”, “Girl with Clock for a heart” and “Her every fear”. But was unable to match up to the bar he had set for himself. His next releases were bad or borderline average to say the least. With “Christmas Guest”, his smallest in terms of number of pages, I guess he has found back his story telling form. Like Agatha Christie, who had a penchant for producing brain twisting plots, even though they were majorly set within a closed setup – be it a single room or a house or on a ship or train for that matter. She was the queen of mysteries related to confined spaces. Swanson’s strength is on Point of view kind of storytelling. One of the other reasons that I prefer reading him being, there are only a handful of characters with simple sounding names. Each of those characters are reinforced on the readers, chapter after chapter,

Of looks and other things

It was several years ago when I read an article about the most good-looking man in the world for that year. It was my first experience with such metrics and never had I came across such labels and tags, which became quite common place in last decade or so. The man in picture was Denzel Washington who hadn’t won his Oscar then and was featuring on many a hit movie. “Crimson tide” was the first movie that I saw featuring Denzel, which was spoken about well at that time. I saw the movie a good ten years after it was released, but the persona which he carried on screen lingered for a while. He came across as an irritated frustrated soul who was literally a moment away from punching his captain, still managing to control his emotions and do his duty to the best of his ability. The next movie that I saw of him was “Training day” that I happened to see on IIT Madras Amphitheatre. It was the only movie that I saw on IIT campus and contrary to the previous one, was not so impressed with Denzel

Of triumph and disaster

 There is this thing called “Australianism” defined by John Arlott that I found to resonate with across decades now, ever since I first read it. Meaning it applies to squad after squad, leader after leader, captain after captain, cutting across formats and continents, for those magnificent men in yellow or white, depending on the format. According to Arlott – “Australianism' means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down.” You can add a small event called world cup finals as well to this definition.  My earliest memory of a heart break after watching a cricket f

Of OTT, TV and future

Ever since Corona burst into limelight, there had been murmurs around similar incident-based themes ruling the storylines across all “woods” for time to come. OTT has seriously taken to Virus attacks as a theme and with “Kaalapaani” being a runaway hit, obviously it has spawned many such similar story lines. The recent one being PI Meena on Prime. What starts as a hit and run case, very quickly morphs into bio terror plot with the perps stretching all the way across Eastern and Northern India till Middle east Asia and beyond. Another noteworthy thing that has happened since the dawn of OTT being, newer and nascent locales in India are being explored for very first time. There are so many series coming up and running already, that are based on the far neglected Eastern side of the Indian subcontinent. Even character wise NE Indians hardly found proper representation for they didn’t just look different than those from mainland and rest of the country, but their cultures were distinctly d

Random ramblings

We had a LIFCO dictionary (English to Tamil) that had several things other than usual words and meanings. It had a section called proverbs which had English proverbs and their equivalent in Tamil. One proverb that I remember, in particular, related to the context of this post, is “Art is long, life is short”. I never realized the meaning of these proverbs, but it got stuck in my head. In the aftermath of Mathew Perry’s demise, also for a fact that I hadn’t watched any episode of friend in a past few months, randomly selected an episode from one of the earlier seasons. In that episode, The one with Barry and Mindy’s wedding, Chandler happens to meet someone online. That person, whom he believes is a lady while others caution that it could be anyone pretending to be one on the internet, advises him to be his true self. That person suggests Chandler to come out of his humor façade and face the real world in his real self. When he tries to be a regular person, reacting non-sarcastically, i