Love in the time of war

Aminatta Forna

Aminatta FornaThe brilliance of this novel comes not from its unusual setting or the depiction of a place in gory detail, but from a sensitive weave of emotions that could have gone off into a dangerous tangent but doesn’t. The novel is an insightful portrayal of the fractured sensibilities of Freetown, a city in a civil war- torn country where a brute majority of the population suffers from post-traumatic stress, the results of war wounds both physical and psychological. Continue reading “Love in the time of war”

In search of love, catharsis and more

Tahmima Anam

Susan Brownmiller Bangladesh is mentioned in prominence in Susan Brownmiller’s pioneering work on the politics of rape, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. The 1971 War of Liberation and its aftermath in the context of war “crimes” against women has been compared in the book to the Japanese rapes in Nanjing and German rapes in Russia during World War II. “… 200,000, 300,000 or possibly 400,000 women (three sets of statistics have been variously quoted) were raped. Hit-and-run rape of large numbers of Bengali women was brutally simple in terms of logistics as the Pakistani regulars swept through and occupied the tiny, populous land …” (p 81). Continue reading “In search of love, catharsis and more”

‘Beethoven and Friends’ is excellently produced

In my thirties, as a parent whose kids gorged on a diet of the Cartoon Network, the inevitable Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes and Bug Bunny especially, some sounds of what I saw on the small screen remained with me as a precursor to a larger education. Later, with an emergent interest in Western Classical Music, I got hold of a collection of the Great Western Classicals, and found that many of the tunes in the list were familiar, so familiar that I could hum along once I got the first note. Surprisingly, some of these were connections that went back to the Cartoon Network times with my son, the Old Spice advertisements during the breaks, and the wedding theme BG used in those Hollywood movies on the channels. Continue reading “‘Beethoven and Friends’ is excellently produced”

Tender Hooks: Butterfly repackaged for India?

When The Diary of a Social Butterfly, a collection of Moni Mohsin‘s tongue-in-cheek peppy pieces came out in 2008, the journalist-cum-author acquired quite an unprecedented following among the readers in India. The write-ups were her former columns with the Friday Times, a National weekly in Pakistan. Her hilarious social commentary on Pakistani high society, camouflaged in the chutney-talk narrative of ‘Butterfly’, a socialite, was no mere light stuff, although it appeared to be so at first glance. It was perceptive to the core and reflected the concerns of the educated citizen in Pakistan; a view not easily accessible to one living outside the country. Well, the Bridget Jones of Pakistan is back with a sequel to Butterfly’s exploits, aptly named ‘Tender Hooks’. Continue reading “Tender Hooks: Butterfly repackaged for India?”