At least one aspect of my birthdays are quite predictable to me: the fact that someone will gift me a book! And this October 18, my friends gifted me a classic that I've been long wanting to read. I've of course heard that this masterpiece is not necessarily an easy read and not for everyone, but I'm still excited about having Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina on my shelves!
Shocking though it may be, I've not read a single of Tolstoy's books. Have you? Is Anna Karenina better than War and Peace like my Dad seems to think?
At the cost of repeating myself, Rabindranath Tagore is my all-time favourite poet. But he was more than just a poet; he was a novelist, musician, painter, playwright and one of the foremost thinkers, feminists and makers of modern India (more on that later). He also delivered some very memorable, 'chillingly prophetic' lectures during the First World War that spoke of the theory of nationalism as an inclusive and not exclusive idea. Penguin India has published a collection of these lectures titled Nationalism which it calls 'mandatory reading in today's climate of xenophobia, sectarianism, violence and intolerance'. Plus, this book has an introduction by one of my favourite writers Ramachandra Guha. Needless to say, I just had to buy it. I can't wait to read and review the book!
I'm still not done with Guha's magnificent India After Gandhi. In my defense, it is a mammoth, almost 1000 page book which transverses the history of India after Independence in its pages and it isnt worth running through such a book. Savouring it and slowly studying it is a much better bet for me. Anyway, I'm extremely excited about Guha's newest book which hasn't released yet here. Makers of Modern India is a book where Guha 'profiles nineteen Indians whose ideas had a defining impact on the formation and evolution of our Republic, and presents rare and compelling excerpts from their writings and speeches.' Read more about it here.