All posts by #TSBC

“A prosetry on home” by Anamika Purohit

Metaphysical conceits have always intrigued me. Imagine the complexity of love being explained through something as commonplace as a pair of geometric compasses. Or, the nuances of sexual attraction being explored though a flea! What other literary technique offers the fascination derived from incongruous comparisons, reversal of scales, and shock-provoking arguments?

If metaphysical poets had taken it upon themselves to explain abstract, esoteric phenomenon such as death, love, loss, spirituality etc. by the use of logical arguments, then conceit was their most reliable tool. For example, John Donne in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning (published in the early 17th Century) lucidly compares love, and companionship to a pair of compasses where the beloved is taken to be the fixed end and he, the lover/speaker, is the movable end. The speaker attempts to convince the beloved of his fidelity by explaining how both their souls emanate from the same source, almost like a pair of geometric compasses, which are joined at the top. Moreover, if one end is able to move, it is only because the other end keeps it stable. Hence, even though the speaker has to go away from his beloved, she will always be his starting point, his vantage point, which he shall eventually come back to.

Modern-day use of metaphysical conceits can be far more quirky, and interesting. If love and geometric compass were incongruous, then imagine love being compared to an onion in Carol Ann Duffy’s Valentine, a poem published in the second half of the 20th century.

When the idea of this post for the TSBC Blog came to my mind, I was in a process of shortlisting abstract concepts that one grapples with on a day-to-day basis. Love topped the list, but loss came a close second. And, it is the latter that I decided to explore through this post by using a technique that I have always admired as a reader.

Form: prose, or prosetry, as a friend rightly remarked about my creative vents

Conceit: a house, or home, if you will…

The End

I unlock the door to my home, and enter a house that’s not my own.

Ivory warmth, oh, my walls smelled of a glass of warm honey-milk. These walls reek of dull hospital bed-sheets, and gape blankly at me. I enter the kitchen to taste your loud, unselfconscious laughter even as you’d laugh over a silly joke shared by an aunt on the phone, and my tongue tastes the bittersweet tears rolling down my cheeks instead.

The untouched, yet dirty dishes in the sink remind me of hunger, of digestion, assimilation, life, and the world that must go on without the horribly milky, and utterly sweet tea that you’d clumsily make every evening. I will finally go back to my black tea with a dash of lemon, and the tea stained copper-bottom bowls won’t haunt me anymore. I enter the kitchen to look for all the tea-stained copper-bottom bowls, for I have to dispose of all of them. Funnily enough, I don’t find a single one, and the kitchen ceases to be.

The bedroom door is locked. I don’t look for a key. I knock at the door repeatedly. I know you’re in there, at the workstation, as always, and your lack of response fills me with hope. I push the door hard, and it opens into a void. A cloudy, moist void of floating ties, trousers, stoles, bags, and shoes, as if our bedroom is shedding its skin to renew itself. As if it will forget your smile, my nudge, the tip of your fingers on the laptop, the tip of my wet toes on the rug, the traces of your footsteps even as you walked out, the traces of my fingers buried deep into my pillow… Perhaps, it has forgotten, forgotten to lock itself firmly, as you’d have liked.

There is a workstation inside, but a neater one. I find the book on Management Marketing that you’d been telling me about only a week ago. You seem to have left it in the traces of my memory, for I can see the book floating. The rug is still here; partly wet, and I rush to pick it up only in order to smell in it your loud, irritated, shrill voice that you used each time I stepped on it with wet feet. The rug is perpetually wet here, in this house, in my memory.

I step outside the bedroom to look for our coffee table, where we’d enjoy endless rounds of horribly milky tea. I sit on one of the chairs with a mug of strong black tea, and the lemony tang reminds me of the last time we had fought, and the first time I realized that you could abuse too. Was it the last week? I had been pleasantly surprised, for you seemed all the more human all of a sudden. I loved them literary abuses that you used, but I can’t seem to remember any. This must have been a year ago, then. Or, a decade, perhaps? I gape at the sharp corners of the coffee table, but wasn’t our table a round one? And, the chairs? Why don’t they assume a colour? Why are they transparent? Why can’t I remember the colour precisely? Brown, timber, mahogany, or rosewood?  Why can’t I remember? Did we have a coffee table at all? I get up from the chair with a start, and feel the need to get out of this house, which is perhaps not even mine.

I lock the door, and surprisingly the key fits in once again. I close my eyes and walk away from the house into a void, afraid that the next time I might not even find my way back to my house. I am forgetting, and will forget. I will forget you, and move on to another house, another kitchen, another bedroom, and perhaps a square shaped coffee table. I wish I could hold on to you in the deep recesses of my memory, to our house, to us, forever, but I suppose this is what loss is all about. Unlocking a door in your mind, and entering a house that’s no longer home.


Anamika Purohit tweets from @OnlyAnamika has this to say:

It started with reading, and a certain fascination with words. The power of words to soil, to heal. This was my home, then, and my refuge, now. Other than such random musings, I find myself pursuing research, watching films, teaching undergrad students, listening to music, and simply wallowing in engaging thoughts & conversations…


 

The Joy of Storytelling

“Pictures speak a thousand words” might be true, but during our visit to Sapera Basti there were many words spoken and elaborate scenarios conceived as little eyes, wide with amazement, and ears full of promise, entered into the world of magic, ghosts, talking animals, and wonderment in the form of stories. Let’s go back in time. […]

via The Joy of Storytelling — Ticker Eats the World

The Pen Room: A family museum in the heart of Birmingham, UK

Situated in the heart of Birmingham’s City Center, in the Jewelry Quarter district, the Pen Room is a museum and activity center for pen enthusiasts of all ages. Seeped in history and artifacts from the 19th and 20th century, The Pen Room celebrates the importance of Birmingham as the one-time center of the world when […]

via The Pen Room: A family museum in the heart of Birmingham, UK — Ticker Eats the World

The Great #TSBC Book Exchange Programme 2016

Let’s welcome 2016 with a bang, shall we? Please welcome the Great TSBC Book Exchange Programme 2016. 😀

TSBC Exchange

#TSBC is a labour of love for us and we haven’t let limited resources or our personal lives deter us from our goal of sharing the love for books and the joy of reading with all of you. May we say, with pride and happiness, that we have succeeded to a large extent in this and #TSBC has become like a little family now ?

One of the primary goals of #TSBC, besides talking about books, is to be a medium for people to find others who share similar interests in books. Towards this, we are constantly on the lookout for activities that can be enjoyed by all and also spread the love of reading among people of all ages. Towards this, we introduced the Great #TSBC Book Exchange Programme in September 2013 to some amazing response.

And that enthused us enough to offer it again in 2014, and now again with the onset of the new year in 2016. This third edition is pretty much similar to the previous editions with some minor changes. So without much ado let’s get down to the brass tacks.

How does the Great #TSBC Book Exchange Programme 2016 Work?

It’s quite simple.

The Book Exchange programme is similar to the idea of Secret Santa. Admittedly, the idea is neither new nor original, but since something like this is being done exclusive for books, we hope it will bring some surprise and joy into the lives of the people who love reading.

So what happens is this: If you sign up for the Great #TSBC Book Exchange Programme, you will be the anonymous Secret Book Giver for one person randomly assigned to you. In turn, you will receive a book or books from your Secret Book Giver, who will remain anonymous to you.

Some Important Points to Keep in Mind

Continue reading The Great #TSBC Book Exchange Programme 2016

There’s change in the air !

Things are a-changing at #TSBC.

Over time we’ve felt that by not collaborating with publishers, at least occasionally, you were losing out. Because we don’t run #TSBC as a business, we can’t have as many giveaways as we’d like to. Also, we think that since publishers are an important aspect of reading, they should also be celebrated. As a result we have decided to contact a few publishers who we think are exceptional their field and try and have events catered around books and reading.

Yes, things are changing now and we hope for the best. We thought you should know about how these changes will come into play.

  1. We plan on not promoting any single book or author at this time, even when collaborating with publishers.
  2. As much as possible all the events that are part of the promotion, will focus on the books and reading. But obviously, the interest of the publisher will be kept in mind since they are the ones generous enough to give us books for giveaways.
  3. These events and collaborations will not become a regular feature and our operations will remain the same. We promise that our recommendations and choices will not be influenced in any way just because a publisher is collaborating with us. However, the reason why we are collaborating with a publisher is because we already love their work.
  4. While we will try our level best not to have the “RT and Follow” procedures, I hope you will appreciate that you will have to follow the Twitter handles of the publisher and #TSBC to be eligible for the giveaways.

What’s in this for us? First up, we are not starting a PR company. We are still the same with our own separate businesses to take care of. However, we will request the publishers to give us (the three founders) some books for our personal use.

We also promise that in the end we are doing this for you, for more giveaways, for spreading the love of books a little more and let’s be honest here, everyone loves a free book. However, for the time being, we are staying away from working with a particular author or promote a particular book. Working with publishers will hopefully give all of us the benefit of dealing with multiple books by various authors.

Starting next week, we will have the first of our collaborations. We will also keep a log below of these collaborations just so you are aware.

We encourage you to participate in the events as and when they happen. We hope that this activity will help us put a spotlight on people who work inside the industry and many times behind the scenes.

Collaborations:

March 23 to 29, 2015:  Blaft Publications  @blaftness

#TSBC Postcards

We’re bringing sexy (read Snail Mail) back in fashion. In case you are wondering, you read that right the first time. 🙂

As most of you are aware, along with our love for books, it has been our endeavour to bring together book lovers and form a community where book discussions of all sorts can take place. One of the “complaints” we often get is that a number of our followers who live abroad are unable to participate in everything we do; they especially miss out on giveaways. So, we decided to come up with an idea that would break through all sorts of boundaries, and that idea is #TSBCPostcards.

#TSBC, Postcards

Continue reading #TSBC Postcards

Reading India with TSBC

About 6 months back, we stumbled across Ann Morgan’s blog, A Year of Reading the World and were blown away by what she had done. And with good reason too !

In 2012, Ann Morgan embarked on a year-long journey of the literary kind. She read a book from every independent country in the world. That was a total of 196 books read that year. Since then, Ann has published a book titled Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer, which talks about her journey — the stories, the research, the people involved — and how it changed her thinking and her perception of the world.

Reading about Ann’s literary journey on her blog and later her book, inspired us and got us thinking about reading the immediate world around us. Reading India. Reading India’s diversity and sub-cultures through her various States and Union Territories (UTs), one book at a time. Reading India with you and through you.

That’s how the idea of #TSBCReadsIndia was born.

So, what exactly is #TSBCReadsIndia and how does it work? We have elaborated on it in a question and answer format below and one that we hope will tell you all that you wish to know. Continue reading Reading India with TSBC

@TSBookClub Hashtags: Deconstructed, Decoded, Demystified

It seems we are a little over our heads with all the hashtags that we have concocted ever since we began #TSBC. Mind you, we aren’t complaining. But its always nice to simplify things, isn’t it? So, we have collected all the hashtags together and have attempted to deconstruct, decode and demystify them for the new participants. In other words, we explain each of the hashtags right here in one place on this page. Some of the grander hashtags have been features in individual posts, and you can click on their header to be directed to them.

So here goes…

#TSBC

The grand daddy of all the book chats and the reason why we exist ! #TSBC is our weekly chat that takes place every Sunday between 15:00 – 16:00 Indian Standard Time. It consists of us discussing  6 questions tweeted over an hour — 1 question every 10 minutes — on a book related topic decided earlier. It is a great way to meet fellow book readers and interact on different aspects of literature, publishing, personal choices, and pretty much anything related to books in the minutest of ways. Continue reading @TSBookClub Hashtags: Deconstructed, Decoded, Demystified

The Sunday Book Chat (#TSBookChat)

We, at The Sunday Book Club, have always tried to be different and unique in spreading our love for books.

We started off with what we believe was a first-of-its-kind twitter chat about books in India, and then introduced other book-related hashtags that run across the week to engross and engage with book lovers from around the world. We have also organised giveaways from time to time. So, amidst all these new ideas (and with more to come), we thought of doing something familiar, something that everyone would expect a “Book Club” to do.

On the day when we celebrate our 100th #TSBC chat, we are excited to announce the start of a bi-monthly (once every two months) twitter book chat that follows the norms of a “normal” or regular book club.

In a nutshell, at the start of every two months, we will announce one book that we would like everyone to read. The reason why we are doing this on a bi-monthly basis is because this will give everyone ample time to source the book and also time to read it, keeping in mind varied reading speeds.

Continue reading The Sunday Book Chat (#TSBookChat)

10 Reasons for the Success and Failure of eBooks

A couple of years back, eBooks were supposed to revolutionize the publishing world. The end of bookstores was near (and it still is, but for a completely different reason). Physical books were supposed to be a thing of the past and with eBooks being “nature friendly” (debatable), it seemed that conventional books had already lost the battle.

Things are different today. While there might be growth in favour of digitalization, it’s not fast enough to cover the expenses that publishers have to pour into this new format.  It seems that publishers have to really push hard to sell digital editions of their books.

So, why is it that while we have adopted and adapted to new technology in almost all fields that people still prefer physical books over eBooks?

Here’s are my 10 reasons for why I think so:

Continue reading 10 Reasons for the Success and Failure of eBooks