Generally busy at work and stuff. So couple of random updates.
1. So I had to go to the US Consulate yesterday to get visa done. (Aside - TR: Exactly how many times have you been to the States in the last ten years? I had eight entries and the form had enough space for at least four more. Or is this some special form you Profs have to fill?) Having not been to the US consulate in a while, I had forgotten how painful the experience is. So anyway, I was sitting in the waiting room cursing myself for not carrying a book when I saw this Visit USA Travel Planner lying around. Page 47 - a half pager about the great lake state of Michigan with a couple of pictures. The star picture looked familiar, so I looked again. Lake Michigan, yes, but the skyline was that of Chicago! Stealing the Chicago skyline to con poor Londoners to go to Michigan! WTF?
2. This whole magic realism thing. I love it, some of my favorite writers fall into this category but I always felt that I never completely got it. I wouldn't be lying if I say that for the most part, I am partial to the non-magic world. There, I have said it. Shoot me. Now for the part which is going me get me tortured. These writers who weave all this magic stories. Its not that they are not capable of doing the real world (yeah right, Marquez can't do real world), after all, the best of these writers are the ones who tie in the real so gloriously with the unreal (or the "internal" if you want to call it that), but its that they are just not serious enough about reality. I think at the end of the day they just don't care that much about it. But if you bloody well have so much passion for it and you can write about it so well, why do you need to resort to these magical experiments (especially when they are simply not your forte)? Why the fuck do you need Saleem Sinai when you have Animal? I don't get it. But apart from that, I loved it. If you read just one on the shortlist, read this book. It's a ride you won't forget that easily. Indra Sinha's Animal' s People. My pick for the Booker.
 Yes, yes, I am going to the see the city by the lake. The second reason why I took current job (first being the rent) was that I get to go to Chicago thrice a year. So cool, no?