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Reading Zero Degree

The novel begins by addressing The Lady Reader and it suggests, that as she begins reading the text of Zero Degree, she maybe upto anything—working, having sex, fantasising, chanting, screaming with labour pain etc… As Charu Nivedita spews his critique, or a disguised critique of magic realism that is undergoing an existential crisis—it gets a wee bit complicated here—one witnesses the throes of one literary genre getting transformed into another.

Whatever Charu Nivedita likes to call this form of writing it is far from boring. It is a laugh riot and you are sucked into the novel not knowing how to tackle it. I am warning you that there is no easy method to read this, you will get lost in the sea of ideas and words and there is no looking back. Don’t bother to go back to unravel things—I suggest you just flow with the words. Then it gets more complicated—the existential crisis of the author gets intertwined with the existential crisis of the genre and that gets intertwined with the ex…

A good buffet spread at The International Hotel

The Great Spoiler: It is great to be the first for a buffet. To run the spoon through the artfully designed dishes.
It's hot: the chutney and preserve section
Really that is not kichadi but pachadi: The bittergourd pachadi is an interesting idea

If there is one dish that I like at The International Hotel it is their Seafood Au Gratin. That afternoon I had that yearning for the cheesy gooey melt with its small bits of seafood- squid and all. The rings of squid or sear cube nudge against the softness of your inner cheek and urge you to sink your teeth into them while the cheese spreads slowly over your tongue. The texture is amazing against your palate. It was one of those moments when I just had to have the au gratin with warm buttered rolls. And believe me I am not even pregnant to have that sudden onslaught of yearnings. But I guess it was one of those moments.
But what greeted me at the Coq D’Or restaurant was a spread of the buffet. We were the first to arrive. There is a certain …

The Colour of Fantasy: A brief history of Graphic Novels in India

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(The Image above courtesy Moonward)
The relationship between the text and the visual is perhaps most intimate in a graphic novel. Each complements the other to hold the novel together. But, there are often times when the page or the frame is devoid of text. However, the narrative remains uninterrupted. The reader then has the liberty to assume control of the space and interpret the visual to give it a language that is exclusively his own. Undoubtedly, all this is complex and gripping.

Yes, these are exciting times for both the graphic novelists and the reader in India. Hardly five years in the Indian market, the graphic novel is on the threshold of a new phase. It is alluring more and more writers to the craft and interesting experiments in the structure of the novel are underway. The genre has grown by leaps and bounds and more than half a dozen graphic novels (by Indians) are expected to hit the stores in 2010.

What is it all about? The term ‘graphic novel’ conjures up images of a r…