Sunday, March 04, 2007


This week I read Kleptomania, a book of great short stories across many genres. Its a gem of a collection; but couple of stories that got my attention were the sci-fi futuristic ones. They had some brilliant concepts & premises; told from the future but making a statement on today.

'Sharing Air' is an account narrated by a girl somewhere in the future where human beings depend on custom-made air-cylinders & the concept of sharing air with other human beings is alien, even distgusting to them. Yet there is a minority cult which feels that to breathe shared air is to taste real freedom.

'Gandhi-toxin' is a story in the conflict-torn & hatred-ridden future where a scientist re-creates the DNA of Gandhiji. Some hope to conquer the world by injecting this formula in people and spreading pacifism in the enemy camp; but instead get conquered.

These stories create a very bleak & grim vision of tomorrow; but bring out rather simply where we're heading today. Found them fascinating.

While on the subject of futuristic stories, I read this the other day: Indian movie-maker Shekhar Kapur is making a movie called Paani (Water); which is a futuristic satire. His movie is going to be based in Mumbai of 2040 where water becomes a precious currency; a sort of borderline between the have's and have-not's; and a weapon of exploitation. Hmm, can't wait to watch this one! (More on his website.)


Lotus Reads said...

I await "Paani" with bated breath! I can't remember Shekhar Kapur's last movie, all I know it's been long, too long, since I've seen anything by him.

All of Canada's gearing up to see "The Namesake" which releases here on the 09th...I'm tempted to go see it again, but I also have "Little Children" and "Notes On A Scandal" ( I read both books and they were wonderful) on my "must see" list as well. I've got to find time for the cinema!

Radha said...

My favourite Shekhar Kapur movie is 'Masoom'. Have you seen it?

Hmm, so many movies; lots to catch up on!! :)

lalunadiosa said...

Hvae you read her previous collection Hot Death Cold Soup? It is awesome! I was disappointed by Kleptomania actually. I think it had something to do with the first story - made me cringe!
Thanx for the movie news though. Sounds worth a dekho!

Radha said...

I remember borrowing a book from you a few yrs back; cant remember what it was called, but it was my first book by Manjula Padmanabhan.

I quite liked Kleptomania as a collection because of the sheer variety of ideas and genres; each with its own pace & style.

The first story 'Kleptomania' made me uncomfortable too. It was more a writers story than a readers, I thought.

Moi said...

Gandhi-toxin sounds interesting.....and i like the cover of the book too immensely....Shekhar kapur...Oh i miss him from the days of Suiting ads and his cameo in Udan, the DD serial from the days of yore.....wonder if anyone remembers that one!!! he sure's a "thinking woman's eye candy"!!! :) Wud look fwd to the movie.....its been ages since he made a movie, anyways!!!

lalunadiosa said...

That's true. You have re-pique my interest in that collection - will re-read it this weekend (skipping th first story though!)
What are you reading currently?

Radha said...

Isn't it an fascinating concept? Its a whole new take on pacifism vs. agression. And about Shekhar Kapur, the last movie I saw was Bandit Queen which was ok; but I find his blog very interesting and the whole premise behind Paani makes me want to watch the movie.

Hey, I'm between books at the moment. Havent decided what the next one is going to be. How about you? I'm sure you're getting thru a lot of books these days with the snow keeping you indoors?

Nabeel said...

i love the cover of the first book.

Radha said...

I quite liked it too!

diyadear said...

radha, thanks for all the info.. it was a nice read. :)

Radha said...

Hey Diya,