Sunday, January 13, 2008

In the name of Pepper....

Don't you just love books? I do.
I've written about this before. I just adore the fact that books have this capacity to transfer us into another world. That too in about a minute or two!

I just finished reading 'Water for elephants' by Sara Gruen. It is one of those books where you are not really sure whether you liked it. It just grew on me as i was reading. It was in first person, which put me off slightly but, the story i suppose was different, circus in America during the depression. Anyway, it is the next book i laid my hands on which compelled me to write this post... 'Freedom at Midnight'. History that runs like a novel! That too pages and pages of Indian freedom struggle, of British Raj, of Viceroys and Queen, of Pakistan and Kashmir and of Indian Independence of course. In other words what should have been a technically boring 600 pages turned out to be the most entertaining and informative book! A true masterpiece. 

It is just a wonderful feeling when one's prejudice gets broken. I remember hating those times when i was compelled to answer history questions. 'Quit India Movement', 'Clement Atlee' 'Indian Mutiny' etc. How i hated the history question paper! But today i can't wait to get back to those pages. Well, what do you know?

Just thought I could share this bit of information here.... It seems the Dutch privateers who controlled the spice trade raised the price of Pepper, five shillings a pound, which the merchants in England thought was outrageous! Hence 25 merchants decided to hit the seas in search of the 'Land of Spices' - India. Thus was born the East India Company, hence the Imperialism and Independence and hence the title....

18 Comments:

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Deepali said...

Interesting - something so small leading to something so big.

A lot of things that I hated when I was younger, seem to be so important today. Maths for example :)

I don't read much non-fiction and have been going crazy recently cause a friend of mine started the harry potter series and I get an SMS from him every Saturday Sunday saying he finished 1 book in a day. He already finished book 5 and I am still on the same novel I was at before he started some 2 weeks ago. Makes me feel I should be reading more. Maybe I'll pick up Freedom at Midnight next.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Hammett said...

I love books.. i just love reading... i find it entertaining... I haven't read anything on history though.. i find it boring... maybe coz I haven't read any book that could change that... hehe.. cheers!! :)

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger c e e d y said...

Did you by any chance delete a post or am I hallucinating.....

adversity and crisis brings out the best in people....and arent we glad that that 5 shillings did what it did - we got to learn "hinglish" - so as Indians we have been intelletually able to spread like butter all over the world.....just making everyones lives spicier :)

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

Hey... I love books too.. and I am put off by books in first person too :) Anyway, have been meaning to read freedom at midnight for so long now.. after reading your post, I am sure I will enjoy it.. Thanks!! Will make sure to buy a copy when I am in India next :-)

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger KP said...

everyone hates history its too boring and history is a history and everywhere it sucks!! but good informative post...

"hence the title.... " I would like to continue here

hence india got screwed and hence india became poor country.......:(

my two cents...cheap ones i know......

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger KP said...

btw whats ur take on Patriots vs Giants superbowl ??

you and ceedy fellow bloggers will be in dilema whom to support?

Its almost certain Patriots vs Giants superbowl ...... I would like to hear Newyorkers view on this one......

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ deepali: he hee.. I still get nitemares ending up in the xam hall for maths w/o prep. phew! Am a crazy Harry Potter fan myself. Finished the 7th, the day it got released sitting for 18 hrs straight! ;) So i understand ur friend there. Hey just out of love for books, it will be nice if you pick up some good fic. now and then, don't give up on that genre so soon. 'freedom at midnight' tho' u'll 'njoy.

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ Hammett: better late than never hammett ;) BTW living in London, you shud have all the motivation to ruffle thru' some history there!

@ceedy: I did delete sumthin' man! he heee Just kidding. u r hallucinating... big time buddy!

Even i had a similar thought, in fact the book says England's biggest gift to India was the English language. It is so true. Progress as we know 2de might not have xisted if not for them...

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ preethi: Looks like we have more in common than just names.:) BTW i'm also from Chennai! Yes am glad i took the first bite of this book. feels good to pass in on..

@kp: .....hence the progress, hence ur presence here... even tho' we got plundered monetarily a greater gift was left behind albeit unintentionally by the English. The English language.

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ kp: Patriots rock man! No dilema there! Dunno about ceedy. Lets c what he says. Giants cannot win against the Patriots. Btw i was telling my hubby yest. about the ardent colts fan blog pal, KP! :) u disappointed 'bout them? Maybe it's time to change loyalties now eh?? :)))

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Hammett said...

Yea.. I guess I should do that.. hehe.. Again, I'm not the history FAN.. ;) Maybe you have convinced me to write something about that. You never know.. Let's see!!! :)

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger Compassion Unlimitted said...

Nice read..First person stories..need to think about it hard !if pepper and spices could make us land country as wonderful as india,why not have a go at it,i mean the trip and the book
Wish you and your family a Happy Pongal
Nostalgic about Chennai.A cancerian trait..hmm
TC
CU

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger c e e d y said...

Happy Pongal.....

 
At 6:35 PM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ hammett: When u do, i'll take all the credit for it he he heeee

@CU: Yeah why not?.... And yes. I'm a cancerian. How did you nail it so damn right?? Happy Pongal ....

@ ceedy: Thanx man. :)

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger KP said...

hehehe...Trust me my frnz and family had their share of harassing me after COLTS lost...I so knew this was coming....lol COLTS did disppoint me this yr since they were the defending superbowl champs...

I just hope Giants/Packers or Chargers...knock patriots off...
hahaha....I know pats are too good this year...I hate NE for cheating....

I always believe in this

1) It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings

2) It aint over till its over..

BTW..How is little tanya doing?...

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger Cosmic Joy said...

We should have had a salt and pepper satyagraha back then :)

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ kp: Kp i know NE cheated b4, i agree but it is in the past. Everybody has a past. A team has one too! I know it is not true sportsmanship et al. But what about right now? They're on their own. No recorded stuff anywhere! Many like to support the underdogs, But i say it takes a lot to get to the top place and remain toppers. Imagine the kind of training, the motivation the rigorous , innumerable practice sessions. They exude positive energy which i like to watch.... lets c. It ain't over till the fat lady sings!! :) tanya is doin gr8.Thanks. A post on her is due. Will do it soon.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Preethi said...

@ cosmic joy: he heeeee. Wud've been too late nyway....

 

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