I would end this year on a somewhat personal note.I started blogging seriously only this year, though I had setup the site way back in 2003. Added a few books to my reading list and the most memorable reads of the year were Natasha’s Dance by Orlando Figes, Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar, The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen and Casanova in Bolzano by the Hungarian novelist Sandor Marai.
Andrey Platonov’s Happy Moscow seemed promising based on my earlier reading of the novel Soul and also the excellent translator’s note, but did not exactly register anything more than the style.
Hopscotch was a mixed experience- it disappointed somewhat, though incisive in places. Casanova in Bolzano is a dress- rehearsal for the author’s truly flawless work Embers.
The year had started with Axomiya writer Indira Goswami’s novellete Pages Stained with Blood and I will end the last day of the year reading Andre Malrux’s La Condition Humaine (the title badly translated as Man’s Fate in English).
On the political front, one has seen the Left rebound in South America- unfortunately few desis and desi bloggers have paid much attention to political developments in that continent that, in the words of Carlos Fuentes has finally found its identity. At the same time, the Hindutva brigade does not find itself in the pink of health. Conservative hardliners in the US may yet not be on the defensive as yet, but certainly they are not on on the offensive anylonger. After giving Iraq a theocratic constitution, they are now set, practically speaking, to put pro- Iran hardliners in position after the elections.
This is called tying oneself in knots.
The good thing about blogging is that one doesn’t have to necessarily re- cap it all. The software does it all for you. Much of what one read and thought over the year is all there…organized by date and time. Blogging also helped to “meet” a lot of people and interact with their ideas, specially with those who are younger and brimming with ideas, and are less cynical.
One has found familiar faces in indecipherable IP addresses !
The coming year augurs well, the list of books that are lined up for reading is long, friends that now include those that one has never met face to face- urge and inspire. One hopes that the stamina not only sustains but expands.
And of course, I almost forgot to mention, I switched over from my favourite Australian Shiraz and Argentinian red wines to French wine- something that the Master- a certain gentleman by the name of Assadullah Khan Ghalib- loved and craved. No couplets have come forth as yet though. Maybe it takes time for the wine to take effect… maybe in the coming year…