I had a fun time last night; met Nilofer for dinner at Reza's (ah, fessenjan...) and then went on to see an hour of short films by S. Asian filmmakers. I'll post a longer review to the DesiLit blog in the next day or two, but I particularly liked the two films by Keshni Kashyap, Waxed Poetic and Hole. They were funny, smart, and the lead actress in Hole was incredibly appealing, in an Amelie sort of way. I hope I get to see her in more work. We ran into a bunch of friends at the film -- Sadaf and Shashi and Sheena and Fawzia and Vish. Nilofer, Fawzia, Vish and I ended up going out for drinks afterward, where we mostly talked about Pakistan, Bangladesh, and their hopes for peace and cultural progressivism. Or rather, they talked and I listened and learned -- sometimes I feel so ignorant about other parts of the world.
Came home and collapsed hard; my cold is worse, and I really don't have energy to spend more than a few hours up and about. The rest of the time, I've been dutifully resting and reading. I recently read an old Cynthia Voight novel, Izzy, Willy-Nilly, which was fine, but not nearly as good as her best. Her best is pretty damn good. And now I'm halfway through Yann Martel's Life of Pi, the story of an Indian boy trapped on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with a Bengal tiger. I'm not sure what I think of it yet -- there's a lot of meditation on religion, which so far isn't doing so much for me. What's really appealing are the same things that I found irresistible about Swiss Family Robinson when I was a kid -- the details of makeshift survival. The narrator's voice is also rather charming. But still...hmm... The book won the Booker Prize, but Nilofer said she wasn't impressed by it. We'll see what I think when it's done.
It frets at me sometimes, how individual reader reaction is, and how no matter how marvellous a book may seem to me, there will be readers who get nothing out of it, or who find it actively annoying. I know that's just the way it is, but still -- I think there's a little dream inside every writer, that they'll someday write a book that *everyone* adores. Since I can't think of such a book in the entire history of literature, it seems like a pretty goofy dream. But there it is...
Back to the resting. Cold, go away. I'm finally starting to want to write again, after a two-week brain-dead hiatus, but sitting upright is hard.