Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Book Reviews By NITISH S. RELE,

A Bad CharacterA Bad Character” (244 pages; $24) by Deepti Kapoor; published by Alfred A. Knopf (

“My boyfriend died when I was twenty-one,” begins this brilliantly written lyrical novel in blocks of subtle but candid paragraphs. The protagonist is a 20-year-old single woman in New Delhi whose mother has died and father taken off for Singapore. Idha, she calls herself, lives with an aunt who has been attempting to marry her off to an NRI among other potential suitors without success. One day, Idha chances upon him, her unruly boyfriend. “Ugly with dark skin, with short wiry hair, with a large flat nose and eyes bursting out on either side like flares, with big ears and a fleshy mouth that holds many teeth,” as she puts it. The two get together and he takes her on a tumultuous trip of Delhi – from Khan Market to Paharganj to Palika Bazaar to Nizamuddin dargah. They indulge in drugs, make love, talk about everything under the sun, and drive in his car in and out of town for hours before the boyfriend’s untimely death in an accident on the highway out of Delhi. Kapoor should be highly commended for writing this gritty and stark debut novel. If a book has exposed the underbelly of the capital of India recently, this one is it. As Idha puts this, “There was a time when the sun would shine, but that time has gone. In its place there is the grey of pollution and the dirty clouds of freezing fog that roll into the buildings, like cotton wool wiped along the back of a filthy neck, clinging to the city in a frozen, depthless sky.

The Last WordThe Last Word” (294 pages; $25) by Hanif Kureishi; published by Scribner (

The story is simple. London publisher Rob Deveraux hires a 30-something Harry Johnson to write a biography of Mamoon Azam, an aged crabby British-Indian novelist, playwright and essayist. The hope is that the biography will be provocative enough to generate big book sales and bring the old accomplished writer back into the limelight. Toward that end, Johnson takes temporary residence in Prospects House, which is Mamoon’s estate in the English countryside. Once he meets up with Mamoon’s second and much-younger wife Liana Luccioni and then the talented author himself, things are set in motion, which are downright hilarious. It is the battle of wills exposing the frailties of age versus the recklessness of youth. Kureishi has always been a writer who shocks and grabs the reader’s attention with one- and two-liners. It’s quite evident in the one-on-one pointed and candid dialogues between Mamoon and Johnson. “The novelist is the same—a trickster, deceiver, conman: whatever. But mostly he is a seducer.” “You know, when you end a relationship and say you fell out of love, you actually mean you were never really in love. The past is a river, not a statue.” “The truth is, everything we really desire is either forbidden, immoral, or unhealthy, and, if you’re lucky, all three at once.” If you have enjoyed Kureishi’s past works such as “My Beautiful Laundrette” and “Intimacy, you will want to add “The Last Word” to the list.

homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontent newseditor's notehealthimmigration
financemindbody/ayurveda/NUTRITIONmoviesfashionmusic/art/dancebooks/getawaysUS-Indo businessbeat
IIFA 2014astrologyyouthcuisinemotoringplaces of worshipclassifiedsarchivesBLOGFACEBOOK
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Cuisine Astrology Art/Youth Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook!