Reading Updates and Other News…

I had all the good intentions of blogging about Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca”, which I was re-reading as part of RIP IX; but the road to hell is paved with good intentions and that’s exactly what happened to me. Long hours at work, trying to get the “Identity Campaign” going and some unnecessary irritants have rendered this day absolutely exhausting and therefore I blog simply today to give everybody a reading update and to share something I really liked on Pinterest some time ago and had every intentions of sharing it here, but never did for one reason or other…like I said the road to hell and all that!!

In reading news, I progress slowly on “Angelica” by Arthur Phillip and I am not sure why this book is taking so long, but have every intentions of completing by the end of this week. I am really enjoying “The Complete Works of Christine Rossetti”, but she was a prolific writer and had reading all the works takes some time; besides since I am enjoying it so much, I decided to take it slow and savor it more. Out of nowhere and on an accidental recommendation, I picked up “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Seabold – the narrative seems highly unusual and I am very curious as to how it finally pans out. I am also trying to finish Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Gothic Tales” – those tales are seriously Gothic and a perfect read for the RIP! I have yet to begin either “The Painted Girls” by Cathy Marie Buchanan or “Penmarric” by Susan Howatch, besides finally getting down to reading “The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters” by Michelle Lovric – I have been desperate to read these three for some time and still have not gotten around to despite having spent precious and my always limited funds to buy them! I am also in the middle of “The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon” by Richard Zimler and still not sure about the book!

That’s my bookish update!! Now for the post from Pintrest that I wanted to share; This was developed by Laura E Kelly and I found it really amusing!!

Reader-Species-Infographic1

 

Me thinks me is a bit of the OCD Reader, the Book Preserver and Worshipper, with touches of Compulsive Book Buyer and the Immersive reader with streaks of The Book Buster, The Re-Reader, The Promiscuous reader and the multitasker and Sigh!! Yes I am ashamed to admit a strong dash of The Book Snob!!! So what are your styles? What do you think you are?

To end, I know this is getting kind of repetitive, but I do need help! I am currently running a crowdfunding project and we need your support to make it happen. Details are found here.

There are a couple of ways to support this cause –

  1. We need financial patronage – We need your monetary help to complete this project. Every contribution is of great value and you have our heartfelt appreciation for any amount that you put forth. You can pay via a credit/debit card, directly at Indiegogo’s Webiste (The project is called Identity on a Palate)
  2. Help us Spread the Word – Please share this campaign on your social network so that more people can become aware of this project. The more people see this, more the chances of us reaching our goal. Please so send me the link or a mail for the same, as we would love to see this live!

Please do help and Thank You again!

A Plea….

I write to all of you on a matter of a whole different nature from my usual rumblings of books! As you all know, I have a day job – of a Project Manager and a night job of a writer. Recently this avatar of a night job took a twist of faith and I found myself as a writer, researcher and a co-producer of a documentary film. (Don’t ask me how I ended up here, it’s a long story and I am sure I will bore all of you off your socks!!) Anyway, I wanted to share some insights about this film and seek some support!!

In the midnight of August 15th 1947, India declared her independence from the British Empire. However this independence was not without its price; West Punjab and East Bengal were partitioned to create the state of Pakistan. In the shadow of this partition, this drawing of artificial boundaries separating one land into two led to an “Indian Exodus”. The Hindus living in these regions left their traditional lands and homes to cross the now effective borders of the Indian state and to live in India, while many Muslims similarly crossed the border to live in the new state of Pakistan. My family, i.e. my grandparents, along with millions like them, moved from the then East Bengal to re-start their interrupted lives across Ganges to what is now called West Bengal. But the transition was not smooth and after the swell of violence had ended, the angst of displacement remained, and with it came the slow awareness that the East Bengal migrants were slowly but surely losing their identity. East Bengal, the traditional land of this migrant population was/is a rich land, thriving in fisheries, granaries and a host of different kinds of vegetation; naturally identity to these people came from the food they consumed and in which they traded. Special foods for special days of the month, festivals celebrating food and songs rejoicing the many kind of dishes! Needless to say, we were one food obsessed tribe! However this migrant population soon realized that they could not replace their original identity across the border, simply because across the border, the things which defined their identity, the ingredients to their exotic cuisine were no longer available. The succeeding generations brought up on this side of the world, assimilated and while they heard stories of the food and culture of their parents, never really knew what it meant. Today, as a third generation East Bengali, my claim to understanding of this unique food and culture is borderline and bare. On the other hand the first generation of these migrants are a fast thinning crowd-many have ceased to live, while some have degenerated beyond remembrance. This film is an effort to record this dying culture that was defined by foods, an effort to collate what is left and to share with the world a unique story of a population which celebrated their joys, sorrows and life itself through food!

This project till now has been completely self-funded which included travel, cost of equipment, purchase of necessary hardware and software and occasional production crew employment charges. We have conducted extensive research for this project, both from primary and secondary resources. We have also garnered a number of first generation interviews to understand the primary narrative and how to integrate it with our core vision of this film. We have logged and organized about 10 hours of footage by speaking with close friends, family of the first generation migrants. Our next steps would include concluding the production work effort with  more interviews and narratives  from second and third generation East Bengal migrants, belonging to different districts as well some scholars and government official to get a 360* perspective of this phenomena. We would need help of a trained camera crew with sound engineers to make sure professional industry standards of documentary film making. Travel would be a part of this effort to gain diverse perspective and enhance the richness of the narrative. To fund for all and more, we have opened a campaign on Indiegogo and need your support and assistance to make this happen!

There are a couple of things that can be done to make this attempt successful –

  1. We need financial patronage – We need your monetary help to complete this project. Every contribution is of great value and you have our heartfelt appreciation for any amount that you put forth. You can pay via a credit/debit card, directly at Indiegogo’s Website (The project is called Identity on a Palate) or by clicking on this hyperlink –https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/identity-on-a-palate
  2. Help us Spread the Word – Please share this campaign on your social network so that more people can become aware of this project. The more people see this, more the chances of us reaching our goal. Please so send me the link or a mail for the same, as we would love to see this live!

I realize my presumptuousness in imposing this on all of you, but I am also aware of your beliefs in things like freedom, culture and identity and therefore seek your help boldly without any inhibition!!

Please do help and Thank You again!

To end, I leave you with a snippet on one of the interviews series of this project, where the first generation migrants recount their journey across the border, the food that they left behind and the festivals that are now almost forgotten!!