Its Friday..I'm making a confession..



This Friday's Question:

Blogger Confession: What's the last book you could not finish? 
(or had a hard time finishing?)

The Enchantress of Florence

I still haven't finish reading it! I've been reading for the past two months now!! (Can you believe it?!) I have this habit if finishing books however miserable they are unless i own the book. For some reason i go on a guilt trip thinking it would have gotten better eventually. hehe!Does that happen to you?
 This is my first Salman Rushdie book and the back flap sounded fascinating to me, but i find some of the content heavy and harsh, but that is not why I haven't finished it. The story is just so loopy and beats around the bush like crazy, it like he has a two page story to tell but Rushdie has gone into every little characters history to make this a fat novel. I've got about 1/4 to go, i decided to push myself till i can't handle it..! :P
But I there was this other book which i didn't bother with finishing- The White Mughals by William Dalrymple..I read barely 50 pages for over a month and then gave up!


Re-cap this week..

Comments

  1. Hey!! This is a surprise to me...remember reading this book in Poorna. You were really interested in what it was about. I remember you taking it from me, reading the story on the back cover and asking me if you could borrow it after I was done. At that time, I thought it was a little too adult for you- not adult in the shady sense of the word, but rather in the sense that it was about people doing and feeling things that you'd have to be a at a certain age to even understand...I tried telling you that,and I remember you telling me that with Ujjwala, you had read a lot of books that were written for people older than your age group. Also, that Salman Rushdie was one of Ujjwala's favourite writers and seeing his books in her hands, you had always been curious about them.Do you remember that bit of conversation?

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  3. I happened to read this book at about the same time that Akbar's Hindu wife's identity suddenly, and for no understandable reason, came into focus.
    Gowarikar, the Hindi film director, was shooting his Aishwarya-Hritik starrer, "Akbar Jodha".
    Some historians had suddenly dug out the fact that Jodha was in reality not Akbar's wife's name at all. Instead, this report claimed, Jodha was Akbar's son, Jehangir's Hindu wife's name. Strange.
    Especially because just the year before, I had been to Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, and seen Akbar's palace there. Within the palace premises, there were three seperate palaces, one for each of his queens - one of whom was Hindu, the second Christian, and the third, a Muslim. Each of the three places were built and decorated in styles that symbolised each of these three religions. The muslim wife, for example, had a palace that was built the persian way...The Hindu wife had a small temple to herself. The Archeaological survey of India had a small slab of stone placed just outside the Hindu wife's quarters, which said that the Hindu wife was called Jodhabai, was the mother of Jehangir/Salim, Akbar's successor to the throne, that Jodha was a Rajput princess. It also said she was Akbar's favourite, the reason why her palace was much larger than those of the other two wives.
    And then, there was this book, which claimed that Jodha was not even real. Just a figment of Akbar's imagination. A myth he had built in his head. A person who understood and loved him. It was really something! It got me wondering about how Akbar, one of the most powerful emperors of India, as a person was different from Akbar the royal. How hard it must have been to rule a country that was divided into so many warring factions, to have so many intrigues and conspiracies brewing within the palace itself, to never feel safe. At one point, there were reports of how even Salim, Akbar's favourite son, was conspiring to assassinate his father and seize the throne from him. How lonely he must have been, for Akbar to create such a fantasy.
    Even in those days, when you imagine that love and companionship meant something entirely different from what it means to us now, even though he was at a position where he could possibly marry anyone he chose, Akbar sat on his throne, wishing so hard for one person who he could connect to...you know?
    It was odd thinking of someone who I had read about in my school history books as just an ornery person...

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  4. I like Rushdie and Dalrymple for 'humanising' history. So often, when you read about the larger events that changed the world, these personal insights into the people involved in that moment kind of get lost...you never hear their stories...you never see yourself in their shoes...these stories bring back the context to me...I am not sure how much of these stories are really true...but, they make me think, make me imagine the people I read of in history as people I know, see or hear about...and, often, I end up getting the feeling that nothing in the world is really new...everything is just re-search, a term that is often used only in the context of science...but means so much even in life...across the ages, we all, irrespective of what time or space we occupy, just search for the same things...experience the same...it's unique and new to us but ancient to the world...
    I've often wished that I'd discovered these books when I was in school and learning history. Reading your post now, though, I wonder if I'd have been able to appreciate or understand them at that age...

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  5. I found the Jodha bit quite interesting now that you mention all that info parallel to this! I guess i should come back to the book sometime later from now, but i think what would make this book interesting would be some reading around the chosen theme..! About the book at times i could get into the book, but at the times the harsh content got tiresome and lonng and suddenly the book seems so s-l-o-w! I too like it when history is "humanized". I tried a Dalrymple too- "The White Mughals"..that i couldn't get past the first 50 pages..! To me i think description and merry-go-round writing can get to me..I can handle it to an extent but after a point i get frustrated. Both authors often weave story into story..I always enjoy the bit where things fall into place after all the weaving (thats what i like abt crime authors..:P) But i have low tolerance for elongated threads of stories..:P It seems to me that that authors get very carried away with their tales..

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  8. Hmmm...you might have something there. Did you know that that is exactly the biggest criticism that Salman Rushdie gets from his contemporaries? He is known to be a master story-teller, great with words...but, sometimes, they say, you know that he's showing off...getting too carried away by his own cleverness...:)
    With Dalrymple, you might want to try 'Nine Lives'. It's fun, and one of my favourites. 'The White Mughals' might be fun at a later date...:)

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  9. Nine Lives! I have..i read some of the beginning but it was at a friends house and i never got around to borrowing it! That was quite an interesting read! :) Though I did like Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories, esp the copy Poorna had! It was beautifully illustrated, almost distracting! :P

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