Resident Dormitus: Re(ader’s)view

Resident DormitusThe first thing that catch my attention when I see an international school is their tagline. Most of them would have it in Latin. I guess they simply go to this wiki page, and pick one which isn’t taken by the other schools in the city and sounds nice. Something that makes their school feel like Hogwarts.

Well, what struck me over about Vikas Rathi‘s debut novel was it’s name – Resident Dormitus. I went to that page, and couldn’t find it over there. Hmmm… So not a recognized phrase. It could be a spell from Harry Potter too. Whatever it means, it sounds nice and intriguing enough to buy the book.

Here I don’t have to buy the book, BlogAdda.com was kind enough to send me a copy for review. So be it.

Later I found from one of the characters in the book what it means. It indeed have a profound and beautiful meaning – ‘something that is sleeping within’. Dev narrates how a slave boy was able to see the solution of a geometrical problem which he hadn’t known even existed. This talks about the knowledge which is inside all of us, which we don’t realize it exist.

I wouldn’t like to give away the plot – to summarize it but, Resident Dormitus deals with the new Urban lifestyles of young professionals; their changing existential and psychological landscape. Humor is what the base is, sometimes dark and mostly cynic, as for many other books published recently of similar genre and authors.

It does try to pose some philosophical questions about self discovery, relationships (or the lack of it), meaning(lessness) of life, it’s ironies et al. Whether those satisfy you depends on how the reader answer themselves. But I’m sure quite a few, including me, could relate themselves to one or more characters and their thoughts in this Novel. It does make you question your own existence, and choices, voluntary or involuntary, that led to it.

I must admit that I enjoyed reading Resident Dormitus. It might not be a witty as Dork, or as simple as Ineligible Bachelors or as thrilling as Chanakya’s chant, but it has something from all in it. It’s not long either, so you could finish it in one go.

PS: I don’t know what’s in this IIMs syllabus that make all of their alumnus want to be a writer. Similar to the famous writer who publishes interviews of entrepreneurs with/without MBAs, I probably should write a book about IIM grads turned writers.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

The Choice

Irrespective of anything that happens, I still will have to choose between Congress and BJP in the next election. Does this one gives BJP a slightly better edge at this moment. Not very sure if they can sustain this one though..

I’m super lazy right now. A more detailed post whenever I not this lazy. You can read Me/Anna/Govt meanwhile.

Wall of Shame!

‘Gandhi Mahan Street’. What an ironical name for a street!

Even though it sounds a very happy news when you hear that the Untouchability wall has been demolished yesterday after a campaign of protest, it is still deeply saddening to hear such news from 2011. And the fact that the wall remained in free India for two decades.

Tagore wrote in Gitanjali.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

What an anthem!

PS: This is doing rounds in the email forwards these days. I haven’t been able verify the authenticity of this qoute.

Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India.

– Winston Churchill, 1947

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Chanakya’s Chant: Almost Wasted

I hate almost anything that comes up with a deadline. So when I signed up for the ‘Book-for-Review‘ program by BlogAdda, the only part I was skeptical about was the deadline set for writing the review. I have a long pending review for Booksneeze, which I’m planning to write this week. I finished the book almost instantly after receiving, but haven’t got much time to write about it.

Chanakya's_Chant_CoverSo, almost immediately signing up for the program and letting them know the interest for ‘Chanakya’s Chant‘, a historical fiction novel by Ashwin Sanghi (Shawn Haigins for western world), I received the book from BlogAdda. I have read ‘Rozabal Line‘, the first novel by the author, which was an intriguing one to buy his second one with out a doubt.

After being successful in writing (probably first India) a conspiracy theory thriller, Ashwin gets his hands into another uncommon genre amongst Indian authors – Historical fiction. And does a very decent job in it.

Chanakya was definitely a very clever and smart choice for a novel subject. Chanakya (Kautilya) is one of the most interesting personalities from Indian history – probably the best Indian contribution to politics. So when one picks up Chanakya, who lived in 4th century BC in India, as the protagonist for a novel, and sets half of the novel in contemporary India, the plot synopsis itself is enough for one to make a buying decision.

It would sound cliched and almost sounds a lie if I write the political visions of Chanakya is very relevant in contemporary Indian and world politics. But I have read Arthashasthra. Anyone who does that can’t help saying it. The novel skilfully masters the art of jumping two storyline with similar theme.

Another book, I can almost remember uses a similar technique is Delhi by Khushwant Singh. Though similarities cannot be drawn between these two – the former being far superior in storytelling, and Chanakya’s Chant almost losing it at times in the modern day plot – it indeed is a gripping read. I must say that the contemporary (fiction part) is as interesting (or as dis-interesting) as the history. For whatever the novel is not, it definitely is fast paced. If you are kind of person who loves reading for just reading sake – or even any kind – you can consider buying it.

I’ll have to disappoint you, if you were expecting a story synopsis or plot review in here, but for that you should go read the book. It’s no fun to read a paraphrased story. I’ve tried to write something without giving the plot away.

There are books that you can read in one sit, and then forget about it. Then there books that does that, makes you want to read it again – to try to see if you get a new perspective in a second read. There are books that requires great intellectual effort to read – where you’ll have to think almost after every line – and will never forget in your life. Then there are books that is almost impossible to read – some you’ll finish it fast, some you may give up half way, some you might finish with difficulty. Most of the books that I read falls into one of the above four categories.  And If have to put Chanakya’s Chant in there, it fits into category one. This is an excellent airport lounge companion.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

[Image taken from, and copyrighted to http://www.shawnhaigins.com/, under the fair usage assumption. Rest of the post is licensed under WTFPL as usual.]