When time stops

This fortnight, we give you a peek into two much talked about new books that are almost autobiographical.

Dhiman Chattopadhyay        Print Edition: July 13, 2008

Excerpted from Almost Single
by Advaita Kala
Price: Rs 195
Pages: 284
(With permission from HarperCollins)

One Enchanted Evening
As if my day isn’t bad enough, the limp-wristed Tanya opens the door to Karan’s apartment. ‘Welcome, come on in!’ Great, she is playing hostess! ‘Isn’t that the latest Rohit Bal, the “must have” look for the season?’ Misha whispers as we follow tantalising Tanya into Karan’s house. I ignore her remark. I feel so cheated. Betrayed by Gudda for dressing my rival, and by Misha for acknowledging it. Betrayed by Karan for letting Tanya play hostess when I have spent the last couple of hours trying to knock my body into some kind of shape, just for him and this stupid party.

As Misha and Anushka go off to get me a drink, I sit down on the couch, as erect as a bean-pole. Right in my line of vision is the silver-framed photograph of Gucci Mama. She occupies pride of place on the coffee table. Karan is definitely a Mama’s boy. ‘So you made it.’ Karan sinks into the couch next to me. ‘I saw you come in and tried to catch your eye but you weren’t looking.’ ‘I’m sorry I missed you,’ I say, still looking straight ahead. ‘That’s my mother, the same photograph you saw the other day.’ Gosh, he must think I am a freak, eyeballing his mother like that! ‘I know.

I was just admiring the frame.’ I turn my entire body to face him and it’s suddenly a very uncomfortable intimate situation. Here we are on a two-seater amongst at least 30 people. This is not how I had planned our Mills & Boon moment.

The 3 Mistakes of My Life
by Chetan Bhagat
Price: Rs 95 Pages: 256
(With permission from Rupa)

The girl who feared maths
She sat up straight and shook her head. ‘Let me make myself clear. I positively hate maths. For me, it occupies a place right up there with cockroaches and lizards. I get disgusted, nauseated, and depressed by it. Between an electric shock or a maths test, I will choose the former. I heard some people have to walk two miles to get water in Rajasthan. I would trade my maths problems for that walk, every day. Maths is the worst thing ever invented by man.

What were they thinking? Language is too easy, so let’s make up some creepy symbols and manipulate them to haunt every generation of kids. Who cares if sin theta is different from cos theta? Who wants to know the expansion of the sum of cubes?’ ‘Wow, that’s some reaction,’ I said, my mouth still open. ‘And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extracted is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.’ ‘I think you are approaching it the wrong way.’ ‘Oh ho ho, don’t go there. I am not just approaching it. I have lived, compromised, struggled with it. It is a troubled relationship we have shared for years. From classes I to XII, this subject does not go away.’

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