1. Reporting, by David Remnick, the editor of New Yorker.
2. From Our Correspondent, a compilation of dispatches from BBC reporters.
3. Maximum City, by Suketu Mehta.
4. Sahara, a journey by Michael Palin.
5. The City of Falling Angels, an account of Venice by John Berendt.
6. Newsweek and Economist magazines.
But destiny seemed to have hatched a conspiracy at the stroke of midnight. When I woke up, my wife sprang a surprise on me. It was intended to be a pleasant surprise: she had bought tickets for KANK, that is Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Imagine being dragged out of home at 9.30 in the morning, that too on a holiday!
Served her right for inflicting the torture on me: while in all Hindi movies, married people who stray, as in people who commit adultery, meet with an horrible end; in KANK, an adulterous pair goes on to live happily ever after. So adultery has finally got the approval of Bollywood! Wow! I mean if Shah Rukh Khan can, why can't I? Are you listening, wifey dear? I know what you will say. You will say, "If Rani Mukherjee can, why can't I Mr Ghosh?"
Such warnings don't work for me. I mean I have always had people who keep saying: "You think you can do whatever you want to? What if your wife/girlfriend does the same?" My answer has been the same: If a woman wants to indulge in adultery, she will, irrespective of her partner's behaviour. Nothing on earth can stop her. So why lose sleep over it?
Back to KANK. I can understand people taking great pains to make such grand movies. But what I can't understand is people waiting for such movies to be released -- as if it's a huge event of national importance -- and wasting so much of time and space discussing it. My verdict on KANK:
1. Karan Johar has lost it. A father urging his daughter to run behind a train that is just moving out of the station and grab the hand of her lover is understandable; but a man asking his adulterous wife to rush to the station so that she can unite with her lover (Indian term is "paramour") is a bit too dramatic. Too too dramatic.
2. What was Amitabh Bachchan doing in the movie? Making an ass of himself?
3. I will remember the movie, if at all, only because of Rani Mukherjee. She looked gorgeous as she played out the emotions of an unhappily married woman who finds liberation in the arms of another man. She is just too good.