Posts Tagged ‘review’

01/26/2011 ~ New Madhouse Review -1

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

As soon as someone mentions IIT, it conjures  respect and awe but also at the same time we  imagine a non-interesting, studious and serious life. What many don’t know is the whackiest, weirdest fun is had in the hostels of IIT.  The life at IIT Hostel always intrigued me, since I am married to an IITan. Anyone who is married or has dated an IITan would agree that it is almost like a secret brotherhood, the stories and the fun or things that they have done in those years remain strictly between them. It is almost sacred and not for public sharing. One knows a wild time was had, weird nick names shared, whacky things done but it is never discussed with families.

Madhouse: True Stories of the Inmates of Hostel 4, IIT Bombay is a book that will give the reader an insight of what goes around these hostels. It is a compilation of all the ex-students of IIT Bombay who lived in Hostel 4. Starting from their ragging days to their graduation ex students have recalled memorable incidents of their life in hostel.  The compilation is specifically of IIT Powai, Hostel 4 passouts but the episodes will give the reader a fair insight into the life at IIT.  Happy stories, funny stories, laugh out loud stories the book has it all. Most of the stories though are from the students of 80s.

Reading the book made me realize why these men bond just so much, how friendships are made forever, why such elaborate efforts for a reunion are made whenever even a single friend comes visiting from abroad.  The shared experiences, the shared jokes, the shared past every time they meet come alive. Even as an outsider you can’t help but notice the bond of friendship, trust they share.

The book, as one reads it, one can figure out the tremendous effort that would have gone into getting stories from all the ex-students, considering most of them lead busy lives in different corners of the world.

Excellent initiative but honestly a book that would be enjoyed strictly by people who have lived in that hostel.

Sharmila Phadke in Loksatta

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

clip from Loksattaगौरीच्या मुलीचं पुस्तक

POL in Marie Claire India december 2009

Monday, December 14th, 2009
Marie Claire Dec 2009

Marie Claire Dec 2009


and write them into major events. Or
take marginally interesting people and
write them into giants and trolls and
goddesses. For example, the people
Ginny has sex with. There have been
men and women that I had crushes
on, that I might have wanted to have
a larger relationship, or just sex with.
And circumstances or their desires did
not allow it – well, Ginny got lucky (or
unlucky) where I did not. My mother
was quite a character and I did draw
upon her for Ginny’s mother. But I
had to distort her in order to make
her larger than life. I wanted to write
fiction about a woman somewhat like
me. After I started writing, she took
on her own character. So when I read
the book after its final edit, she didn’t
resemble me. I’m glad for that. Even if
everyone insists on assuming this is – as
one reviewer put it – “autobiography
masquerading as novel” – it is a novel,
and any resemblance to persons living
or dead is purely inspirational!
Who are your favourite writers?
Jane Austen, Kurt Vonnegut, John
Steinbeck, Italo Calvino, Lawrence
Durrell, Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
– the list keeps growing longer. I have
a weakness for comics, graphic novels
and science fiction.
De spi t e the f raught f ami l y
relationships, the book is actually
about family.
Family is an odd thing. There isn’t
always a mutual desire to be part of it
– we don’t choose our parents, or even
our children. We may love them, but
wouldn’t admit it to ourselves if we
did not. Ginny is unfortunate that she
doesn’t have any models to base her
social morals on, or the size and colour
of her family. But she is fortunate too,
in not having those models. Like a
traveller on an unknown road, she has
to make it up as she goes along.
By Manjula Narayan
The Complaints
Ian Rankin
Hachette India, Rs 595
Ian Rankin’s new hero
Malcolm Fox works for
the Edinburgh Police’s
Professional Standards Unit
aka The Complaints. He’s
a cop who catches crooked cops. If his first
outing is anything to go by, readers will soon
learn to love Fox as much as they do crabby
Scot Inspector Rebus. The author’s even been
hinting that Rebus and Fox might make a joint
appearance some day. Bet you can’t wait!
The New Anthem: The
Continent in Its
Own Words
Edited by Ahmede
Tranquebar, Rs 350
Here’s a book that brings
together voices from the
Indian subcontinent. Do stop to read ‘If You
Are Afraid of Heights’ by Raj Kamal Jha, ‘The
Ocean of Mrs Nagai’ by Sharbari Ahmed and
‘Cyclone’ by Khademul Islam. Also in the
fiction anthology are works by Amit Chaudhuri,
Tabish Khair, Padma Viswanathan, Kamila
Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid and Altaf Tyrewala.
new on shelves
novel A Pack
of Lies is an
Rs 295)
Don’t Swallow Your
Gum and Other
Medical Myths
Dr Aaron Carroll & Dr
Rachel Vreeman
Penguin, Rs 350
‘You use only 10 per cent
of your brain,’ ‘Acupuncture doesn’t really
work,’ ‘Condoms protect you from all STDs’
and ‘Eating at night makes you fat’ are some
beliefs challenged in the book. Though some of
the arguments aren’t entirely convincing, it’s
definitely a witty read.
book stills: manasa madishetty
234 marie claire india december 2009
Urmila Deshpande’s A Pack
of Lies traces the journey of
her protagonist Ginny as she
struggles to make sense of family
and of life in 1980s Mumbai. Here,
the original calendar girl – she was a
leading model – talks about her novel.
How much of the book is drawn
from your life?
Ginny is often assumed to be me
because the book is written in first
person. Yes, I am Ginny and Ginny is
me, but I am also not Ginny, and she
is also not me! There are moments in
my life that I used as starting points
to write Ginny – my relationship with
my mother, or my sisters, for example.
But I did not want to be restricted to
the truth. I wanted to take possibilities,
Marie Claire Dec 2009

Marie Claire Dec 2009

Reviews and other strange things…

Sunday, November 1st, 2009


Friday, October 30th, 2009
Asian Age Newspaper Mumbai, Oct 25.

Asian Age Newspaper Mumbai, Oct 25.

DNA Article

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Write up in the Indian newspaper DNA…

Beyond the expected

Note: They got Umi’s mother’s name wrong… It should be Gauri Deshpande, not Shashi Deshpande. Umi is not related to Shashi Deshpande in any way other than as a friend and fellow writer.

Here’s what the paper artcile looks like…

DNA Article: Beyond the expected.

DNA Article: Beyond the expected.

And here’s another image from the newspaper:

Prahlad Kakkar and Umi at the Mumbai Launch

Prahlad Kakkar and Umi at the Mumbai Launch

More news and article updates as they occur. Get in touch if you spot anything, we’ll credit you of course.