I finished reading Fountainhead (by Ayn Rand) back in February when I was finally relaxing after going through the rigours of the semester exams. It is an epic novel championing the individualism of mankind. I loved this book like anything. I had borrowed it from a friend. I also finished reading One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) soon after, which is a colourful and delicious narrative of a small village Macondo and its people as they rise and fall through the sands of time – hundred years of time, that is. This one, and also Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand), I had bought from Oxford Bookstore recently. I don’t think I’ll read Atlas Shrugged anytime soon, for it is huge. It is one of the largest novels in English language. Even in a small type, it crosses 1000 pages.
I had been home in the weekend at the time of Holi when I got two bestsellers from Crossword – Love In The Time Of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Inheritance Of Loss (Kiran Desai). Also got 2 more from Golpark. Sacred Games (Vikram Chandra) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khalid Husseini). It will take me a long time to finish reading all these books.
I am reading Sacred Games right now. It is an epic. A moving story – or rather many stories intertwined – that takes you through the dark underworld of Mumbai mafias.. and every now and then moves back and forth, sometimes to Punjab ravaged by partition, or to Bengal in the 1970s Naxalite era. Vikram Chandra, with his elegant style, is a master storyteller.
At home I was reading a Bengali novel by Narayan Sanyal (নারায়ণ সান্যাল) titled Rupomanjori (রূপমঞ্জরী). It is a fascinating journey through Bengal and elsewhere in India in the 18th century – a time when the Britishers are making their presence felt but the royal forces are still present, languishing though. This brilliant historical fiction is a must read for anybody. I’ll complete the book when I return home again.