So breastfeeding means a lot of reading and the arrival of my mum means lots of books from India. I generally ask for titles by Indian authors which are harder to get here. Unfortunately, I went into labour earlier than expected so my extensive wishlist on Flipkart came to naught because my mum had to hastily advance her ticket and depart before I could place my order. Instead, I emailed a list from hospital and my dad bought what he could get from Crossword (which unfortunately did not include Mayil Will Not Be Quiet… bah, I am not destined to get the book).

Unfortunately, I read them all in a week:

1. A Free Man by Aman Sethi

This kind of non-fiction seems to be taking off in India. I read and loved Beautiful Thing and this one is along those lines. Following a common man protagonist and tracing their ordinary extraordinary life, revealing something about our society in the process. Although it’s non-fiction, the author gets involved in the story and his voice intrudes here and there which I like much better than some faked neutral omniscience. The book is really well written.

2. Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka

There’s a part in this book called Sales Pitch which says one doesn’t have to be a cricket lover to enjoy this book. And it’s true. I’m not a diehard cricket fan but I’m not clueless or averse to it either. I think some knowledge of cricket does add to the enjoyment of the book just as knowledge of the politics of cricket in Sri Lanka would too but it’s not just, not really about cricket. It’s more about sports journalism and about people, relationships, quirks and eccentricities, politics and Sri Lanka. This should have been the book to read last year, but since I read it this year… it’ll be my pick for the year and the year is just starting so that’s saying something.

3. Death In Mumbai by Meenal Baghel

This is basically a non-fiction account of the Neeraj Grover murder case in which Emile Joseph and Maria Susairaj were convicted. I missed all the hoopla surrounding the case, catching only one hyperactive news report on Star News which claimed Maria had gone free. So I enjoyed the book but really, there’s a lot of extra stuff on Ekta Kapoor and Ram Gopal Varma etc. which is only tangentally relevant and I think was tacked on because otherwise the book would have been to short. Even my mum, who tends to be a non-critical reader, saw through that one.

And that’s it. They got over too quick, necessitating a trip to the public library which resulted in my post-natal bleeding starting up in a big way and making me realise I should have listened to my mother and not walked so much after all. Not sure what I’m going to do when that stock runs out.