Six Years!

In the past month or two, cutting through hectic work schedules, manoeuvring hefty month-end targets and sinking into an ennui (impossible to shrug off), I carved out time for two main activities- one, search and buy a good music system (hi-end, assembled and absolutely a delight) and two, catch up on reading. Thankfully, April served a plethora of holidays to enjoy both. In any case, the sultry and humid weather that swamped Bombay disallowed any activity beyond home. And both IPL & the current on-going tussle between multi-plex owners & producers ensured no release worth watching hit the theaters.

I saw two flicks I had missed earlier – on DVD. 13B was engrossing and entertaining. Though not overtly scary, it carried enough drama to hold viewer’s interest;  however, the director failed minutes before the climax. Jai Veeru was absolutely disgusting – the premise was so kiddish, I am sure it couldn’t have even looked good on paper. Why did they even waste time & money filming it?

Coming to books, I finished Jeffery Archer’s latest release – Paths of Glory. It’s a ficitonalized account of mountaineer George Mallory, who may or may not be the first person to set foot on Mt. Everest. Archer narrates the story in his inimitable fashion, peppering it with interesting anecdotes, starting it from the beginning, in a saga-fashion, just like many of his previous works.

Since reaching Mt. Everest would inevitably involve a bit of India, there is a tiny section set in Bombay (so that’s why he was here last year, to research and get a feel?). However, I found that sliver entirely uninteresting and completely uninspiring, and certainly a huge disappointment. I expected better from Archer, even if the story is set in 1920’s. Rather, I found Vikram Bhatt’s research (or imagination) of that era much more vivid & compelling in 1920 (even though it is downright gross to compare two different media – films & books – but then, a book allows for more in-depth detailing, which makes Archer’s ommision even futher glaring!)

Overall, the novel is a good light read, not comparable to his legendary works, a notch lower than his previous Prisoner of Birth (of which, I have his duly signed copy), but certainly much above the other mass I read.

The biggest letdown was John Grisham’s The Associate. With an awesome build-up, and a terrific story-line (about a young associate haunted by his seemingly reckless past), the novel could have been sensational. Sadly, its climax simply shatters all the good work of previous pages. In fact, there is no climax, no end at all – so much so, I had to check & recheck whether the copy I bought had the last few pages missing! Either Grisham was in a hurry to publish it (which seems unlikely) or he has a sequel in mind (which could be a possibility). Either ways, I expected better.

Other than these two, I read several other relatively unknown authors (though all the cover jackets proclaimed them #1 New York Times Best Sellers!). A colleague (who knows my penchant for reading) keeps regularly passing me these books. They are an excellent read to pass a Saturday evening & whole Sunday. Some are genuinely gripping till the time they last, but soon fade off. The proximity of these reads ensure a gala confusion- characters of one have seagued into another. But one thing, most are set in American towns (often smaller ones from where the authors originate), and hence give an absorbing & hitherto unknown insight. As they last, I like to be part of these people, using my imagination where the author has not filled in, and enjoy them like long-lost friends dropping in home. These novels usually don’t have complex tales, and generally carry happy endings. And oh yes, the amount of coffee at work (almost always bad at work place) and the general sense of ‘work’ there keeps me guessing, is working in America really that ‘glamorous’? Some, looked like a TV mini-series rather than a full-blown movie. So, that’s where the difference lies between the good and the great!

My latest finish in this lot are , Mary Higgins Clark’s The Second Time Around and Nora Roberts’ Birthright. Clark’s novel is better of the two. Both carry some suspense. Both have strong women protagonists. And both should read Agatha Christie to realize that ‘the murderer’ should be a suspect from a pool of people who are properly introduced and given enough word space, so that needle of suspicion can keep spinning. Roberts fails miserably here. The wrong-doer is from a bunch of side-characters, whom I had nearly skimmed over. She could have given more time there to the side-characters so that the reader could have kept guessing which one is ‘the one’- instead she wastes valuable pages on what essentially is a Mills-and-Boons type of romance, with elongated (and perfect) love making (after a while it became so irritating that I simply skipped pages anytime the hero and heroine were alone), ending in soft sighs, tears flowing down and breaths going choppy.

There were more, but they have slipped my memory for now. Will try to write on them later.

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15 Responses to “Six Years!”

  1. Anz says:

    After very long….me first!!!!

  2. Anz says:

    Your posts have been more than just well…writings on some blog. They have been enlightening and guiding in addition to being fun. The peak time you referred to will be special to a lot of people especially me. The wait to comment first, be the first to read your stories with all the ‘bollywood spice’ and obviously the wait for the release of the continuation parts to an ongoing story after much drama and intrigue are something that always bring a smile.

    Though irregular do keep this place active with posts.

    Congratulations & Happy 6th Birthday Random Expressions!!!! and many more to come.

  3. Kislay says:

    Hi Deepak!

    Nice to hear this.

    Keep on writing…

  4. Kaush says:

    Dang I missed it and a very belated happy birthday to you too. We have enjoyed your blog and have loved reading your work…… Why don’t you start back again?

  5. Sweety says:

    Hi DJ, finally, you wrote some thing…i wud visit this page daily to check if you have posted some thing. I enjoy reading your posts and do keep writing often…:)

  6. hi deepak…nc goin buddy..
    this is jamwal

  7. kirti says:

    Hello Deepak,
    Congratulations ! Its indeed a long stint and I am sure will go on and on and on.
    I stumbled upon your blog and just loved reading your posts. you really have a knack to keep the readers engaged .
    I am new to blogging , in case you find time pl visit my blog. your comments (honest) will be helpful.

  8. Heyyy ! Heartiest Congratulations ! Six years is a long time….more power to you ! Hope you write more and often…engaging it always is and will be 🙂

  9. ekta says:

    I seriously miss the ‘old’ blogging days… we all would wait to write ‘me 1st’. seems every1 had so much time to write, comment, chat….

    DJ, would be great to see a story here…plsss…sometime soon.

  10. Harshad Jangla says:

    Hey DJ

    Also beleted Happy BD.
    Keep writing plz.

    -Harshad Jangla
    Atlanta, USA

  11. vandy says:

    Hey DJ
    Oh those golden years of blogging but I hope that the bond is forever.


  12. Seema says:

    Congratulations! I recently passed that milestone myself. I still remember your stories and the blast we used to have in the comments section. Those carefree days of blogging everyday (twice on some days) seem to be in the distant past. These days other worldly worries seem to have taken over.
    Although a handful of us try to keep the fire burning. Continue writing and entertaining us 🙂

  13. Hey EVERYONE – Thanks a ton for the lovely words 🙂 Read ALL the comments and grinning 😀

  14. Prakash says:


    Congratulations. I think its been two years since I visited your blog myself! Glad to be back and glad to see you are active in 2010 writing on your blog. Keep writing dude and I will start following you again 🙂 I am doing good and right now in Toronto, Canada…I have stopped blogging as I am into other things such as writing a book…so I am busy with it…Cheers man

  15. @ Prakash – Great to see you back. I am not very active here these days, as you can see the gap btn two posts.

    Anyways, a new post is up. Hope u will return to read it too…

    Writing a book? Whoa! Topic ?

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