Two books

When thoughts turn stale, read a book. I’m reading two at the moment, which is telling.

Patriots and Partisans by historian Ram Guha, an accessible narration of the historical roots of modern Indian national politics.

Flights by Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, a work of fiction that I noticed because of its beautiful cover and then for its compelling blurb: part musings, part storytelling, on the connections between human anatomy and travelling.

I picked both these books up at the Bangalore airport after noticing an ad for Peps mattresses, and how – per the brand’s claim – it “cures jet lag”. What nonsense.

I fished my phone out of the pocket, took a picture of the banner and began to blog… noticing a couple lines later that it’s just more of the same.

Then I remembered some quote I’d read somewhere by someone famous that you can’t hope to produce good work without reading good writing. Possibly more so for someone who expresses the entirety of his creative potential through words.

So the books. Both of them are gripping – no surprises with Guha and lots of surprises with Tokarczuk. Flights‘ is an intriguing premise, you must admit. Let’s see how they go.

Oh, I also remembered a recent oped in The Hindu by Mini Kapoor, about how reading on the internet has likely diminished literate humans’ capacity for reading large texts and letting complex ideas ferment in the mind instead, as usually happens, of flitting between shorter texts and constantly recycling (allegedly original) opinions.

This isn’t an original argument. I myself have felt that Twitter – as a microblog – has probably made blogging harder.

Nonetheless, here we are. And here we go.