Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why does Apple ignore India?

I was greeted with this mail from Apple when I opened my mailbox this Friday.
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iPad. Now Available
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The launch of the "Device of the Year" in India was prominently featured in the newspapers. The Hindu had this to say, "iPad, which was so far being available through overseas markets or in the grey market, is likely to gain popularity in India as more private operators introduce their 3G services, providing better Internet surfing and downloads speeds for the gadget users." (http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/article1135718.ece). What was interesting to note that BSNL has already announced data plans for the device (Rs. 999 - unlimited monthly usage, Rs. 599 - 6GB free a month, 1p/10 kb after free usage and Rs.99 - unlimited daily usage). This is commendable, considering the negative press that BSNL gets for not being nimble enough to respond to competition.

The newspaper reports mentioned that there was no mad rush to the Apple authorized dealers this time around for the product. I think this is because it happened all of a sudden. Apple fanboys were probably caught unaware of the launch. Even MacRumors (www.macrumors.com) - a well-known discussion forum dedicated to Apple products did not cover the event. But the focus of this article is not the apparent lack of interest in the launch. It is something far more disappointing. Is Apple ignoring India's market potential for mac products?

Any casual observer of Apple's product evolution can testify that this is way too late. Within a couple of months, Apple is slated to launch the second generation iPad in the US. The new version is rumored to include a front-facing camera. Assuming that the company retains the existing price levels in the US (Apple's product upgrade strategy is mostly to add features while keeping price levels constant), a 8 GB wi-fi only iPad model will work out to be INR 24,848/-. The same model is being sold in India for INR 27,900/-. An individual is better off waiting for two months for getting the second generation iPad from the US for cheaper.

That brings us to the question of why Apple has not realized the potential for the Indian market. I think there are two main reasons for this:
1. Price sensitive nature of Indian customers - Indians are perceived to be price-sensitive in their buying behavior. This may dissuade them from accepting the "Apple-Premium" which the company's products commands. It is interesting to note in this context that Dell is the market leader in the Indian PC market.

2. Lack of penetration of 3G - Apple's newer products (iPad, iPhone 4) relies heavily on its support for a 3G network. The fact that the rollout of 3G has just started in the country would be a big dampener for the company, primarily because they focus on the overall usability of their products.

But this should change for good. More and more Indians are getting attuned to technological changes in the US and are looking forward to living the Apple experience. Gadget shows in mainstream Indian channels extol the benefits of Apple products. Store chains such as Reliance Digital (Reliance iStore) and Croma are making space for Mac-only zones manned by Apple experts. My visit to the Mac-zone at Chennai's Croma store was a very satisfying one and it was heartening to see shades of the great Apple retail experience here in India. It may be too far-fetched to hope that Apple would one day launch products simultaneously throughout the world. But can we at least hope for a simultaneous launch in both China and India?

Would like to leave with a very interesting thought
http://www.blogbharti.com/kuffir/india/why-apple-hates-india/

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Musically Illiterate

Of all the things I have achieved in life, two talents have always ignored me. They are- music and sports.

Of sports, I have nothing much to write home about. Some 20 runs scored in about the same number of matches in school and that too with the help of a runner plus a freak goal hit because my leg was fortunate to be in that point best summarises my 'achievements' in sports. I am not disappointed about it though, neither were my parents because they did not have not worry about soiled uniforms, late evenings cricket and bruises.

But it is my weakness in music that makes me really feel ashamed. I have never learnt music from teachers, neither have I learnt any musical instrument. In public gatherings, I have always felt like a dumbo because of this. There are some mischief makers who announce unilaterally that Mr X or Ms Y is going to sing a song. All is well until X=Karthik! I have tried to make my best efforts to sing a Tamil Song ( whose lyrics I have specially byhearted for this purpose) but all I get is some sympathetic claps. I am dead sure that those claps were intented to make me stop singing rather than as a token of appreciation.Whenever I see Musical Talent shows on TV, I become very sad. They sing songs so melodiously and whenever the comperer wants them to change the pallavi/shruti, they do so effortlessly. Quite frankly, I have never been able to judge the difference between them because I dont know any Shruti/Pallavi. But apparently, they do a good job because their performance is applauded.
I have always had high regards for people who learn classical music and those who sing well. Somehow, I never thought of studying music. My interest in music is solely confined to film songs. Anyday, I would prefer to hear a film song to sa-ri-ga-ma kind of songs. Connosieurs of classical music might consider me as an offender, but I am also helpless. I dont know whether people interested in classical music concerts are truly interested or they are just showing off just to prove that they have refined interests. It is truly amazing to see them appreciate those concerts and percussions.
Its not that I have not made any effort. I tried listening to Unnikrishnan, Balu Murali Krishna etc. But somehow, the best of Unnikrishnan for me has been a Tamil Song- ennavale- from a film called Kadhalan. Even in Malayalam, though I like to hear Yesudas, I would prefer a song called Lajjavathiyae sang by one singer called Jassie Gift.
Same applies to my tryst with musical Instruments. Only one which I played in my life is the plastic trumpet(I like to called it pi-pi) which I used to purchase from temple fairs. Initially, I never knew that there is some membrane at the mouth-end which is giving the music. I felt triumphant thinking that I am making that music.
However, the gratifying thing is that I am not alone with this problem. The popularity of AR Rahman, Himesh Reshamiyya, Gana Ulaganthan and Jassie Gift proves my point. That the country sways more to Woh lamhe than Tansen's songs is a testimony to the fact that music-interests are changing. Though I am not sure, I get a feeling that even in foreign countries, there would be more fans for Britney Spears than say, Zubin Mehta.I have always felt that music should be for the masses. However much you have put effort into a song, as long as you are insisting that you will sing it only in sabhas and look down upon others as street-singers, you are never a true musician. The life purpose of a singer should be to spread music, not confine it only to a class of knowledgable people.
Thats precisely why I like Himesh Reshammiyya. He is not a good singer. Maybe he never knows any Raga name. But still he is famous. Because he understands what people want. He proves that music is for everyone. In my terms, he is a better musician than closed-doors classical concert singers.
They say that Music is God's gift to only some people. For people like me who have not got that gift, not to worry at all. Man aleways overcomes sortcomings and evolves. And through this evolutionary process, emerges Dan-ga-naka-danga-naka-- kinds of songs.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My next best-selling epic

"One Minute Manager" is a famous Management Book written by Ken Blanchard. It essentially talks about how Managers can, with the help of just three one-minute jobs, achieven success at workplace. On the same lines, I have decided to write an epic titled the "The Last Minute Human".

The book will explore the "last-minute-work-tendency" of humans. I am saying humans, instead of any specific category like students/adults etc because this malaise does not look at profession/age/gender and affects everyone uniformly. About the third category, i.e effect of gender, I have some theory which I will deal in a seperate chapter of the book. My book will not suggest solutions. Instead, it will do a thorough analysis of existing behaviour, true to the way we are educated today- learn concepts,dont try to improve on them.

My quest for completing a given work much before the scheduled time has been a long drawn one. The problem seems to have been more acute in studies. Every time a academic year used to finish and after I wiped the beads of perspiration after long nights of cramming, I used to take a solemn promise- "Next Year, I am going to be up-to-date in my studies and homework. I will not keep things till the last minute...." only to violate it in the first week of new academic year. Things become no different went years turned into semesters. Only the place of education changed. The rapidity in which the promise was broken remained the same.

To my great satisfaction, I have realised that this phenomenon is same across all humans. I have met very few people who always did their work before time. And not surprisingly, all of them were girls. Somehow, I feel girls are good at doing things on time. I am not making a sweeping statement but I just felt so. I would like to use this oppurunity to those girls in my Engg class who always used to finish the assignments, drawing sheets and Lab records on time. But for them, I could have never completed thework, leave alone doing it before time.

Maybe, science can provide us answers as to why we are like that. The basic principle in Chemistry is that electrons would prefer to remain in their lowest energy levels unless otherwise given extra energy. Even the great Newton said that bodies will remain in rest until disturbed by an external force. As a corollary of these laws come my law of Human work- "Work done by humman beings will remain in a state of no-start or no-progress unless acted upon by an external deadline". This law is going to become the fundamental feature of my epic.

My chatting with some my friends who have worked in Software industry reveals that this behaviour does not die out, even if they are working inside AC cubicles with endless cups of coffee and Yahoo Messenger for company. The long nights at the deadline date is something which Indian techies have taken for granted. I wonder how things are in other countries. Maybe in hard-working countries like Japan, people would not exhibit this behaviour. I have decided to include an exclusive chapter on the effect of nationality on this behaviour.

Even in cricket, the tem batting would waste 10-15 overs keeping the wicket-keeper busy by collecting all the balls, and then try hitting in the last 5 overs. Though they offer an explanation to this saying that they wre trying to 'settle-in' or trying to 'read-the-pitch', I doubt these explanations. Surely, it is this pervading behaviour at work.

But the last-minute-work syndrome has one big advantage in it. It brings in uncertainity in our life and along with it the thrill associated with this uncertainity. Nature is not supposed to run on time-tables and pre-set schedules. had we humans being all promt and punctual in work, this world would have become a very boring place.

As for this epic of mine, I am planning to launch it by 2008. And I am 100 % sure that I will not start the work on it until the night of December 31st, 2007.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My only addiction in life

Now-a-days, the newspapers are agog with the news of a late minister's son being caught for consuming narcotic drugs. There has been exhaustive commentries on how this incidence is reflecting the growing incidence of addiction to dangerous things by urban youth. I heaved a sigh of relief thanking God that so far I have never fallen addict to any behaviour. But on closer reflection, I was proved wrong. I am indeed badly addicted to a very dangerous habit. That of 'Afternoon Sleeping'.

Its been over a month since I started my summer project and in this one month, my only grudge is that I have never been able to sleep in the afternoon. As I am new to work, I am finding the work environment very puzzling. We are given a lunch break of one hour. Even the slowest eater can complete his/her lunch is 15-20 minutes. Then why arent they using the rest of the time to catch a quick nap? Instead, I find people using that time also to chat on official matters and gossiping. If ever I become a permanent employee, and during my lunch if somebody were to initiate some discussion the declining market share of brand X in market Y, I wont hesitate to splash the butter milk on his face!

My association with afternoon sleep started during the long break after class 10 exams. Jobless and friendless, I resorted to two loyal friends, books and sleep. In between reading books, I slept for two hours from 2 to 4. When school reopened for class 11, I started experiencing withdrawal symptoms. During lunch-break, I longed for a bed and tried hard to sleep on the bench but failed. The addiction had set in.

That it has continued till now can be verified from any of my classmates. But I have no regrets for it. In fact, I personally support the cause of afternoon sleep. I tried to think of any mention of this habit in mythology. I was not dissappointed. Legend says that when Bheema was searching for some flower which Draupadi wanted, he saw a monkey man( Hanuman) sleeping on the ground. For all possibilities, the Vaman-avatar must have been having his afternoon nap. World-war specialists say that Winston Churchill used to catch a quick afternoon nap even before addressing war meetings! And so was Napoleon. So you see, I am in good company.

The kind of rejuvanation which it gives you, nothing to beat it. In fact, instead of spening lakhs of rupees on yoga sessions, meditation etc, companies can encourage their employees to catch some winks in order to relieve their stress. It will come out cheaper for the company also. But they have to make it mandatory that no person should be disturbed during the sleep!

India I believe is well-suited for afternoon sleep, thanks to its hot summers. When the French ruled Pondicherry, unable to beat the heat, they introduced the system of afternoon siesta for their employees. And the practise continues even today. Maybe, over the next few centuries, Indians would genetically adapt,as per Darwin's Theory and would convert to afternoon sleepers!

I have never ventured into Student politics or fights for any cause. But this is a cause which I want to take up diligently. I am planning to start an association for those having such a habit. Instead of encouraging people to kick the addiction, I would encourage them to continue it and refine it. The association would file for a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme court fighting for the rights of employees to sleep for 5-10 minutes. You may think that it's crazy to file a PIL for this. But if a Director can file a PIL complaining that theatres are not exhibiting a film (however boring it is), then why cant I?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

School Saawdhan, School Vishram....

Two weeks ago, there was a opinion poll in my school yahoo groups. "Which was the most memorable moments for you in your school life?". I voted for "School Assembly". I was not alone. School Assembly received 40% of votes.

I was extremely fortunate to have studied in various schools because of my father's transferable job. I have mostly studied in Kendriya Vidyalayas, namely KV Naval Base Cochin 1 & 2; KV Payyanur;Bishop Moore Vidyapeeth, Mavelikara; KV Kottayam; KV Trichur and KV CLRI, Chennai.

I have always wondered why there is no assembly concept in colleges and universities. Does 'grown-up' mean that we should not pray to God in the morning? Does it mean we should not stand in a group and take a pledge for our nation or hear and imbibe a thought for the day? Maybe, the rampant student violence, addiction to drugs and smoking, groupism in colleges is mainly because of the absence of a college assembly.

The school assembly at KV was a unique experience. It started with Saawdhan Vishram. We then proceeded to the Prarthana. It consisted of a Sanskrit Slokha 'Asathoma Sathgamaya..' followed by a Hindi song. We then used to take a pledge 'India is my country, al Indians are my brothers and sisters...'. It was followed by the thought for the day, news, special feature, community song and finally ended up with National Assembly.

Some schools had some unique add-ons. In KV Kottayam, the day's Birthday boy/girl was called on stage and the entire school used to sing the birthday song. In KV Payyanur, we used to sing a song even while walking back to the classes. During Wednesday/Saturday there used to be Mass PT after the assembly, which I used to hate becuase I have always been very weak. But now when I see people of all ages jogging in the IIT campus, I realise the real motive behind the school introducing these exercises.

The school assembly helped us in many ways. Firstly, it gave us a good start in the morning by making us pray to God before beginning our day. Secondly, being the gathering point for all students, it used to be the first point of discussion of the previous day's cricket match, or serial incidences. For some, it was the moment of realisation of a home work submission due for that day. Above all, it used to be an occasion of oneness. The school assembly is a place where we lose the "I" factor and realise the importance of "we" factor. A not-so-good advatage was that it provided an opportunity to lazy goons to get some time in order to finish the homework which they had never started.

I know of people who used to come up with the strangest of excuses to bunk the assembly. Ranging from fever, flu, cough, to unknown diseases along with a letter from his father. I also tried it once but unfortunately on that day, I had bagged a participation certificate. I lost an opportunity to go to stage and receive it from the Principal. That was the last assembly i bunked.
My experiences of being in the other side of the stage has not been so successful. I once messed up the English Pledge. On another occassion, I narrated a write-up on SETI which nobody understood. I was never given a chance to narrate the News, though I believe that I would have done a good job by highlighting all the positive news rather than the news about Terrorist Strikes, Naxal Attacks and Celebrity Deaths.
Even today, when I cycle along K V IIT Powai, I see the ground with a fond rememberence of my school. The sound of morning assembly reverbates my ears. "School Rashtra Gan Shuru Kar.... Jana Gana Mana..."

Of Statues and Memorials

"Statue" is a very prominent bus-stop in Trivandrum. Being the nearest bust-stop for the busy State Secretariat and other Government buildings, it is naturally the nerve centre of all activites in the state capital. However, I do not know how many among those people who frequent the bus-stop know why the stop is named so. The statue in question is that of Madhava Rao, former Devan of the Travancore King.

This fact came to my mind when I read about the Kannagi statue being reinstated at the Marina in Chennai. Of the political motives behind its demolition in the first place and its subsequent re-instation, I am not interested to comment. What I am interested is the importance which we Indians give to Statues and Memorials.

This topic has already been discussed by R K Narayan in one of his essays to The Hindu. I have consciously taken ideas from that essay. So please dont charge me with plagurism a la Kavya Vishwanathan!

Statues have been used by political leaders for ages to honour leaders, freedom fighters, former chief ministers, kings, queens... virtually everybody except the common man like you and me. It was found to be the easiest way to proclaim loyalty to a particular party, religion/sect or an individual. The news of a particular North Indian lady CM installing Ambedkar statues and parks in every nook and corner of her state is still fresh in public memory.

Is installing a statue, an effective tribute to a person? Answer is an emphatic NO. Thats because

1) People hardly notice whose statue it is. For example: How many of Chennaiites know the real significance of the Horse statue near Gemini flyover?

2) People never pause and look at a statue- Instead of building them at busy road junctions, the municpality can install them at parks or construct some fountain along with some seats so that people who frequent the place get a chance to rest and pay attention to the statue

3) the statues are never cleaned properly. They are covered with bird's droppings and surrounded by festoons.placards and coloured pamphlets of all political parties ( in fact, in this sense, Statues are entirely apolitical)

4) The inscriptions below them has almost faded.

I think Mahatma Gandhi would have a place in the Guiness Book of records for featuring in the the maximum number of statues. I have heard that his stautues exists even in other countries like South Africa, Uzbekhistan etc.

Our nation is a one obsessed with statues. Lakhs of rupees has been spent designing them and double the amount is spent in organising functions to unveil them, in most cases by a VIP from Delhi. Only to glide into oblivion a few years later. When will this stop? Maybe, they should have a 'Statue Regulatory Authority' or privatise the job of Statue installation. Alternately, there should be protests and rallies condeming the wasteful government expendititure on statues. The height of irony would be if the leader of these rallies gets killed in police firing and his supporters erect his staue to commemerate the incidence.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Road widening in Mumbai

At last, after staying in the great city of Bombay, I am getting an oppurtunity to travel around the city, thanks to my summers which is taking me mainly to four places, Mahalaxmi, Vile Parle(W), Chembur and Bhiwandi. The first three places are within the city while the fourth one lies in the outskirts.

It has given me an oppurtunity to see how life works in the city of dreams. That itself is a topic of a seperate blog and I am going to mainly narrate my experience with the road-widening projects in this city.

To put in two words- terribly slow.

When I had come to IIT Bombay for my interviews, I saw the projects at their preliminary phase( later on I learnt that the projects had been in that phase for over a year). I dreamt inside my mind, of me getting into IIT Bombay, and during holidays taking an auto and going over the flyovers or the widened road. Fortunately, the first part of my dream came true, but the second part still remains unfulfilled. The projects have shown only superficial progress and more damage has been done because of battered side roads snd construction equipments jutting out from no where.

I am not a person who complains about everything in this country-like some people who can find fault even with the Mumbai Local trains. I personally salute this city and its people. It is undoubtedly the greatest city in the country and I am of the firm belief that three-four years in Mumbai would make a man/woman out of a boy/girl.

But it is with the road projects that I find a really sad affair. Agreed that the plans of MMRDA, MUTP, BMC......... and other half-a-dozen organizations created by the Maharashtra Government to manage Mumbai are grandiose and results cannot be expected overnight. But even then, ona realistic estimate, the projects have been really slow.

The Jogeshwari-Vikroli Link road is the best exmaple of how an excellent project can be hijacked by sloppy execution. It is intended to link the two Expressways and was expected to reduce travel time by more than an hour. But thats only if it was completed. They have not even acquired the land at IIT Market section and the Gandhinagar flyover is only half complete.

Next example is the Andheri-Kurla road. Things have become so bad at Marol Pipe Line road, and the section in front of the Leela galleria and one repenets why the widening was started at the first place. And pray, I dont understand the purpose of the Information Kiosk ( a cuboidal thing put up on the side of the road by the MMRDA). The only information which it gives is the latest logo of one of the split sections of a prominent business house in the country. And it is kept staright in the middle of the section which is being widened).

Things are no better at the sections which has been widened, like the one at Saki Naka. People waiting for buses bound to Chakala/Andheri occupy the entire widened section, that the BEST buses still stop at the place where they used to stop before. This clearly defeats the purpose of road wideningInstead, they should put dividers and make a bus-bay and insist on people not standing on the road. This system is there in Adayar Depot Bus stop in Chennai as well as in South Bombay bus-stops like Byculla Station Stop.

Abundant printing ink has been wasted by newspapers printing about these issues but still there has been no improvement. I dont nwo whether the construction contractors are fined if there is delay in the projects. If there is no such clause, then it is high time is introduced.

Mumbai is a jewel for India. For many in this world, the city is the window to the country. We all need to be proud of this city and see to that it is not scarred by such erratic projects and useless roads. As I put the fullstop after this sentence, another bout of rains ( sorry , 'pre-monsoon surprise showers', as the BMC would like to call it) is going to fall and the slushy mud generated by incomplete road projects is going to get even more slushy and become a death trap for those unfortunate motorists who would decide to go over it to overtake a BEST bus.

Small yet compact city-Trivandrum

I did my engineering from the College of Engineering, Trivandrum and thats how I got an opportunity to live in that city. This blog is not about the 'industrial potenial of Trivandrum' or 'Urban planning' but it is about how I felt in this city.

First things first, Trivandrum is a very small city. So small that you can challenge the notion of calling it a city. I dont know how cartographers have demarcated the city limits but to me Trivandrum stretches from Ulloor to Manacaud in a N-S direction and from the sea till Sasthamangalam in a W-E direction. The old Alliance Francaise building ( Mani Bhavan) can be said as the outer limit of urban Trivandrum. If you catch a bus on one end of the city, even in peak traffic conditions, you can reach the other end in at max one hour. But thats exactly the advantage which the city has.

Trivandrum being the state capital, there is no dearth of public facilities. A University, Assembly building, Public Library, Bal Bhavan, Parks, Museums, Art Galleries, Tourist Villages, you name it, the Governement had established it in the city. So you had the twin advantages of small size yet all amenities that makes Trivandrum a superb place for a relaxed living.

Two places which I liked was the British Library and Alliance Francaise, and I can proudly say that I made full use of both the facilities. I often pity my other city counterparts who claim that they could not become British Library members or learn French at Alliance Francaise because it was very far from their homes. At Trivandrum, both these places were only half-hour bus-ride from my home.

I was thinking that a picture perfect city like Trivandrum should have captured a writer's imagination. My search finally ended in the Fiction section of the British Library. It was in R K Narayan'as Malgudi that I could see the reflection of Trivandrum.
I could easily compare Vinayak Mudaliar Street to East Fort area- where majority Tamilians stay. Lawley Extension to me was Vazhuthacaud and Vellayambalam- where the ministers, IAS officers, Police Commisioner etc used to stay. Kabir Street was Palayam. The railway station as same as that of Central Station. Mempi forests was Ponmudi. Sarayu river was Karamana river. Additionally, Trivandrum has beaches, which Malgudi could not boast about. Everything came to life in R K Narayan's works.

I could easily picture Chandran( hero of Bachelor of Arts) being a student of University College. I could picturise Swami being a student of Govt HSS. Financial expert Margayya was undoubtedly the person sitting under the tress,outside the district court at Vanchiyoor. The printer of Malgudi was the Editor of one of those dozen obscure newspapers which have their offices behind the Secreatariat and besides the Govt Press Road.

In Trivandrum, I can say that I have 'seen-this-done-that' kind. Eaten at costly hotels like Mascot, Swagath Inn as well as thattukadas and brahmin mess. Roamed around in posh localities like Jawahar Nagar as well as 'common-man' localities like Statue. Medical College, Ulloor etc. Seen Shankhumugan, Veli, Akkulam and Kovalam. Attended fairs, exhibitions, book fairs, festivals and all. In short, had a really nice time.

You may say, it is because of a less strenous 4 years called Engineering. But no, had it been some other city like Bombay, on holidays I would have rather preferred to sleep in my house rather than fight my way through crowded locals and reach a tourist spot.

Many of my friends often used to complain that the city offers no entertainment. Maybe they are partly correct, expecially so if you are used to the urban hip lifestyles of other upcoming cities. But for a relaxed person, there cannot be a better place.

I am currently doing my MBA at IIT Bombay and I go back to Trivandrum during vacations. I always cherish my stay there and I long to get back to the place, every night I spend at Bombay.

Foreword

This blog is dedicated to the person who has greatly inspired my writing skills, R K Narayan.

I started reading R K Narayan'a books during my 3rd semester at the College of Engineering, Trivandrum. I was extremely fortunate to be a member of the British Library, Trivandrum. In other cities like Chennai, Mumbai etc. the British Library is in the most posh locality of the city, far away from where the middle class people stay. For example, imagine somebeody staying in Kalyan ( Bombay) wanting to become a British Library member. He may have to come all the way to South Bombay! Trivandrum offered me the luxury of a small yet all-encompassing city.

Sorry for digressing from the topic but I wanted to write about my experience with R K Narayan books. The first book I read was, I think, "Grandmother's Tales'. But the novel which truly captured my attention was ' Bachelor of Arts'. So beutifully was the story written and so relevent is the story in todays context, that I dont want to reveal details of it and I would like the reader to read this book ( I am sure the e-book is available for free at Project Gutenurg).

I dont know whether R K Narayan is famous ouside India or for that matter, outside South India. Because the main reason why I liked his books was because I could easliy relate to his characters. Being a South Indian myself, I could easily picturise the surroundings of Malgudi, Lawley Extension, Vinayak Mudaliar Street, Mempi forests, the Municipality building overlooking the Sarayu river etc etc.

His essays were also very simple. Nothing political, nothing satirical about World issues. Plain and simple issues dealt in plain and simple English. Yes! Thats going to be my header for the blog. If the reader is expecting some 'expert opinion' on 'burning issues' then he may please skip this blog try something else.

Happy reading. And if you find time, do try to read R K Narayan's works. I am sure you will like it!