Wednesday, October 21

Give me blue...

A time will come when no one will want the red ones anymore- check this out

Friday, October 9

Half of a Yellow Sun

A book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The book  is the second book I think by this author, her first one called Purple Hibiscus (which I have not laid my hands on yet) won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. The story narrated by 13-year old Ugwu (houseboy of an ambitious professor, Odenigbo) is set during the Biafran war. The story is about love, war, ambitions and hopes. Every character has a role to play in the book- the twin sisters Olanna and Kainene, their lives with Odenigbo and Richard respectively, Ugwu and his various escapades into his fantasies, the sisters' parents, Odenigbo's mother and his diverse group of friends, every single one of them are important in the book and I love this about the book. 
While there is nothing pleasant about the Biafran War (or any war for that matter), the author has brought out not just the unpleasantness of the war but has also been able to describe the complicated lives of her characters both prior to and during the war very beautifully. In fact at one point I thought I was one of her characters (something I felt when I read Atwood's book), Ugwu's narration seemed matter-of-factly (yet unarguably powerful), seemed like you belonged in the scene with him. 

A bit about the War

Biafra was an unrecognized secessionist state that existed between the years 1967-1970 (the country dominated by the Igbos separated from Nigeria a few years after its independence from the English). While early on the Biafran army did make some progress, the Nigerian army struck back more powerfully and their key strategy was to close down key routes. This led to starvation and hence numerous deaths, and as with most other wars children were the worst affected. 
You can read a lot of stuff online- just google either about the war or its effects. NY times  had an article on the conditions in Nigeria 20 years after the war and BBC had this to say 30 years after the war (they seem to have interviewed Chief Ojukwu, the head of the Eastern region of Nigeria, who in 1967 declared the Republic of Biafra).

To me the most striking thing from the book is when Ugwu writes about Starvation in his own book, it brings out those tears!

Friday, October 2

Who are Jon and Kate

or now should I ask who is Kate? It has been bothering me ever since the news media has been hijacked by Jon and Kate- and I ask to myself who are these people and what are they so famous for? Initially my reaction was  "Of course, these were celebrity Hollywood couple that I had never heard of"- makes sense right. No, it does not, these are just some random couple who had 8 children through artificial insemination procedures and that is the reason they are famous- they are parents of 8 children and for reasons known only to them they decided to let the cameras into their daily lives!
Initially their show aired on Discovery health and now their show is one highest rated shows on TLC. Now that raises the question- who on earth watches a family take of their children? Surely my mother would not have wanted anyone watching her raise her children (sorry ma, but am sure some of her terror tactics would have led to boos from people). Apparently these guys give tips on raising 8 children and I guess since they have that many they automatically become the best at their jobs!
I really loved this article on American spectator about this show, talking about how hard it is to stay away from such these shows. Two days ago I had no clue about who these people were and now I am in their lives too. I can proudly share with you these few facts- Jon and Kate are separated, Jon has been dropped from the show and Kate is set to air another show next year. In all this melee there is never a talk about the 8 children, I guess there were just means to fame.

PS I was just kidding about me in their lives people, I could not bring myself to even try watching it! And the other thing that annoys me- Larry King interviewed Kate, why on earth, I wonder?!