What I Read: August 2021

20 Mar 1977 by KA Abbas and A Feast of cultures by Josy Joseph

I don’t read as many books as I used to, but I have been making a fresh attempt off-late leaning on Kindle and Audible apps. This month however I got down to read two physical books after a long time.

The first one I had purchased ages back, but never got around to reading it. Another one came to by pure chance from someone who had bought it from Bangalore for his travel reading. These books came to me at two different times, but they were in a way meant to be read together. The issues covered and the perspectives overlap to a large degree.

The first was A Feast Of Vultures by Josy Joseph. The writing style and the content matches his writing style over the years in print, as he manages to capture the essence of Indian bureaucracy and business class by presenting different perspectives that at least I knew nothing about.

The book is divided into three sections, Middlemen, Private Player Sector and Big Leagues. These sections are futher divided into chapters that present the messy structure of Indian democracy and our recent history that we seldom talk about anymore.

The other book, ’20th March 1977 A Day Like Any Other Day’ by KA Abbas, presents the timeline around emergency declared by Indira Gandhi. Barring the slightly fictionalised monologues by key players in Indian democracy, it is a take that explains so much about the politics of the country back then. My biggest takeaway was how much Congress party had changed since then and the book was in a way a guide to the rot that had set into the party during those years.

Unfortunately I could not find this book in any of the stores online, but if you do manage to spot it anywhere I will highly recommend it.

I hope we continue to have writers like this even a few decades from now, because such critical perspectives are needed to analyse the path we have taken and they further become a cautionary tale on pride and its inevitable downfall of the imperious minds.

So here’s to memories, hope and retrospectives.

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