A Tale of Two Books

Once in a while a rare event happens – I am moved enough to write about a book or movie that I watched. Once, long ago, I tried maintaining a blog of all the movies I watched – didn’t work. Although I do manage to maintain a list of movies I have seen each year for the last two year – 2009; 2010.

Over the last two weeks I read two books which confirmed something I have been maintaining ever since the 3 Idiots controversy and the success of Two States (Thank You Chetan Bhagat). Indian writing in English has moved out of the stratosphere where you had to be a recognized thinker to be published or your work had to be “heavy”.

The first book is The Orphan Diaries by Shashi Warrier. I happened to read his latest book (The Homecoming) first and liked his writing, which is why I picked up this one. Unlike The Homecoming, The Diaries is a more breezy and fast-paced novel, a real airport read. The book traces the actions of a commando Col Rajan Menon who needs to clear his name off the murder of the PM’s grand-daughter and of stealing a set of top secret diaries.

The second book is an audacious attempt by a first time author Amish. He announces himself with a trilogy. The first installment is just out in stores and believe me it is a page turner. The year is 1900 BC, and the kingdom of Meluha is under threat. Meluha is awaiting its savior, and until he comes they have to hold things together. A barbarian tribal chief – Shiva – shows the predicted signs of being the savior. The books outlines how Shiva – Barbarian chieftain becomes Shiva Mahadev.

Now why do I mention these two books? Both the books are movie material. Notwithstanding the farce associated with 3 Idiots and Five-Point Someone, I hope some movie maker sees the potential of these books and makes them into movies. Bollywood has always struggled for good stories. They could never turn to literature because no one was writing the kind of stuff that could be made into movies that would appeal to a wide range of people. Fortunately those books are being written now, and hopefully our movie makers will take notice.



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