I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

P.S ... The First In A Series Of Pretentious Tagging Posts

With ONLY two days' rest before I start prepping for the finals, there's not enough time for me to cook up a "pwopah" post, so I'll be having fun with some of the interesting 'tag' memes that pop up on various blogs and social-networking sites.

Here's the first, off Minerva, who in turn got it off AJOBA, "N" (two VERY good blogs) and although I have one or two fundamental problems with it which I'll mention at the end, it's a pretty good exercise.

Off we go then !!


Apparently, the BBC believes that most people will have read only 6 of the books listed below. Here are the rules:
1) Look at the list and put an ‘X’ after those you have read.
2) Tally your total at the bottom.
3) Tag a few people you think would enjoy sharing similar information about their book interests.

I've tweaked the concept a bit by adding extra x's depending on how much I like the books....

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen – x (I was very young ,can’t be blamed)

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien – xx (The phrase “well-thumbed copy” is an understatement)

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte – x (The perfect mix of Gothic and sappy)

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling – xx (Potterhead to the core, I can still remember the 8-hour marathon reads when the new ones came out)

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee – xx (A book that’s funny, moving and makes you think of Gregory Peck, my idea of heaven!)

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell – x (Thoughtcrime doesn’t entail death. Thoughtcrime IS death!)

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens – x ( I prefer the original, starker ending to the revised, happier one)

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott – x (The 1933 movie version, with Katharine Hepburn as Jo March, like totally rules)

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller –("I’m not ashamed,’ Yossarian said. ‘I’m just afraid.")

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - + (Does 70% count?)

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier – xx (Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, with Larry Olivier as Maxim, Joan Fontaine as the 2nd Mr. Winter and the spine-tinglingly good Judith Anderson as the housekeeper; the 1940 movie trumps the book)

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien – xx (Probably the most fruitful purchase of my life,The Hobbit,The Lord Of The Rings and the first two Potters – all for 600 rupees in 2001)

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk -

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger –x (Seems a lot less depressing at each subsequent re-read)

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger -

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell – (Does the movie count? I don’t think so)

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald – xx (The Jazz Age in it’s greatest interpretation, read with Louis Armstrong playing “Tiger Rag” in the background)

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens -

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy – x (Exhausting, but oh-so-very rewarding)

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams – xxx (Oh fruddled Gruntbuggly, thy micturitions are to me…; Genius!!!)

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky – x (Who hasn’t identified with Raskolnikov at least once in their life)

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck – xx (The mind-numbingly stark beauty of the book is brilliantly equalled by John Ford’s masterly film version)

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll – x (…and”Through The Looking Glass”, who needs LSD when you’ve got Alice)

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame – x (What an utterly brilliant children’s book, and what an utterly brilliant TV show)

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy –x (Gets more depressing with each subsequent re-read)

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens – x (Dickens’ de-facto autobiography)

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis -

34 Emma-Jane Austen -

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen -

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis -

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini -

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres -

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden -

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne – x (Doesn’t make up for the fact that Milne was, to put it lightly, a twit!)

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell – xx (The book I’ve got 20 copies of, to distribute among random strangers)

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown – x (I apologize. In the words of Stephen Fry,” Complete loose-stool-water.
Arse-gravy of the very worst kind.

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez – xxx (I read it when I was 15, way too young for it. Thankfully I’ve never completely recovered)

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving -

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins – x (A personal milestone, the first book I ever pinched from a library!)

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery -

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy -

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood -

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding -

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan -

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel – x (Brilliant, but everyone I’ve recommended it to seems to hate it)

52 Dune - Frank Herbert -

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons -

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen -

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth -

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon -

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens – x (I seem to have read a lot of Dickens, lucky me!!)

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley – x (One of my prize possessions, a First Edition from 1932)

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon – x (Heard it as a play on the BBC, read it 4 years later.)

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez – x (With characters named ‘Saint-Amour’ and ‘Escolastica’, I was hooked before I began)

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck -

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov – (Even if Kubrick,Peter Sellers and James Mason hadn’t done wonders with it, it would still have been brilliant)

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt -

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold -

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas – x (Revenge is sweet)

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac – xx (Liberating like nothing else I've ever read)

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy -

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding -

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie -

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville – x (The Great American Novel)

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens – x (Slightly anti-Semitic, but Fagan is teh man!!)

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker – x (I never drink . . . wine)

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett -

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson -

75 Ulysses - James Joyce – x (Joyce took the English novel and split its head open. Thank heavens for that)
76 The Inferno – Dante – x (I wonder which circle of Hell Machiavelli would’ve been in)

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome -

78 Germinal - Emile Zola -

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray -

80 Possession - AS Byatt -

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens – x (What can I say…..)

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell -

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker -

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro – x (The dark side of the Wodehouse world, with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins straining to do their characters justice)

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert – x (anyone who wants to know what a perfect sentence reads like MUST read Bovary, and take notes)

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry -

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White -

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom -

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – xx (The Complete Illustrated Collection, awesomeness!!)

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton -

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad – x ("The horror! The horror!")

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery – xxx (The greatest book written for children. Period.)

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks -

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams – x (I can’t thank my folks enough for keeping me away from Enid Blyton and giving me Watership Down when I was 9)

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole – xx (“My valve has closed” – brilliantness!)

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute -

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas – x (Am I a perve, or are there serious homoerotic undertones in this book?)

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare – xx (I finally found out where half of all the English quotations come from)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl – x (Screw political correctness, the Oompah-Loompahs RULE)

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo – xxxx (Talk about reading the right book at the right time. I owe a lot to Jean Valjean, Threnardier and the Bishop)
My score : 52/100
Not bad, but there's things fundamentally wrong with the list above. No Wodehouse, no Vonnegut, no Updike, no Bellow, no Poe, and worse of all...no Mark Twain. I mean, come on !! wher's Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer?
Anyhoo, anyone who reads this is automatically tagged, but since that only includes me and a bicycle repairman named Majid, I think some affirmative tagging action is necessary.
Movies Of The Week ; The Hangover,District 9, Eraserhead,Blue Velvet
Music Of The Week, Zubeeda Khanum


  1. Yes, 'Gone with the wind' must be read

    and Anna Karenina deserves more xxs

  2. Me likes your blog. Bookmarked for further reading. ^_^

  3. I think I'm one of them who disliked Life of Pi. I read it half though but couldn't bear the ennui it was giving...

  4. Pretty impressive score and nice tempelate. Anyways, how did you get this one?

  5. It's a little late in the day for me to act like the name police, but I'm N, not ajoba (he's the husband who never contributes)

  6. Pardonnez moi N, it shall be corrected.