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dimanche 14 juin 2009

A Quiet Sunday afternoon at an Indian Reservation

It is very pleasant, this solitude, being alone in the house, surrounded by silence and all windows open and it is verdant all around, with large trees standing guard.
sundays are a good time to catch up on emails from friends.. and that is what i have done.. now to pay a little attention to reading..
I bought some new books just a day or two ago. 
Those who love magical realism, would love to know more about its greatest proponent, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, not its originator, that honour must go to the Cuban, Alejo Carpentier.
An authorized biography has been published just three or so years after the publication of an autobiography..
A fresh and insightful biography about a most popular writer of the 20th century, says one review. The book is by Gerard Martin who spent seventeen years researching thoroughly for this book..
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A life
I look forward to immersing myself in this book, preferably at the start of a long journey, like the one planned for August from Paris to Bangalore to Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh to Yangon and back to Paris...
As an Endocrinologist, a physician specializing in metabolism of the body, I am often asked to discuss the effect of Food in the various aspects of the functioning of the body. I am interested in the prevention of diseases rather than trying to follow the latest trends in the treatment using a wide variety of unproven or not so proven drugs.
so it is nice to combine my interest in human nutrition and literature.. The book is Twinkie, Deconstructed.. the sub title being My journey to discover How tot he Ingredients found in Processed foods are grown, Mined(yes, mined) and manipulated into what american eats.. I plan to condense the important points for the digestion (sorry for the pun) of my patients and colleagues and will put it on
it is by Steve Ettlinger. Just a simple question to you food mavens? what is polysorbate 60 that makes the taste of icecream in america so different from a cone of icecream from Coppelia in Havana? more to follow..
Bed time reading and the book that accompanies me to toilets and restaurants and airlineslounges is by Tarun Tejpal, whom I consider to be one of the best writers in contemporary India.. This is his seecond book I am reading, the title is  The story of my assassins.. Beautifully written, thus appealing to those with the love of the language and weaving a complex story of his complex country and thus of great interest to travellers to his magical country, it is an eloquent esssay and commentary of the life and society in the most divided of the societies.. I quote a few lines from the book:
Chaaku learned that almost allfo the world lived in colossal and constant fear.Afraid of everything- the police, officials and courts, the thugs, criminals and mafia; afraid of the estalishment and the anti-establishment; afraid of failure and of criticism, of being humiliated and of being mocked, of being ugly and of being bald; afraid of cockroaches and of cats, of the seas and the skies, of lightning and of electricity; afraid fo priests and physicians; afraid of dying  and of living. More than hope, people's lives seemed to be defined by fear. Most hope, it seemed, was only about somehow eign able to negotiate fears successfully. A tiny minority managed to cross the line of fear- of the police and the courts and failure and censure and priess and cockroaches- and this tiny mnority then became the shapers of the world in which the rest lived..

Those of you who do not know Tejapl, he is the founder editor a very influential weekly called Tehelka (see their website) in India, exposing crime and grime while applauding the fluorescence of that society..

Let me go back to my Nespresso and Tejpal...