The Calcutta Chromosome

So, my reading habit has taken a back seat for the last few months. But that did not stop me from buying books and storing them for later. With a little help from Abinaya and other fellow bookworms, I was able to read about a book every month in college. Considering they were mostly James Patterson books on the David Cross series, it was quite a handful. I will review that series a little later once I get the chronology right considering I’m reading the books in some random order.

Then again, after my first tryst with Amitav Ghosh in Sea of Poppies, I couldn’t resist buying some other book of his I saw in Odyssey the other day – The Calcutta Chromosome. The book belongs to the sci-fi genre and it won the Arthur C. Clarke award – something I didn’t quite understand why it deserved until the very end.


The Calcutta Chromosome is, in all ways, different from the books I’ve read in the genre. Considering I’m an avid fan of Arthur Clarke and Isaac Asimov, I should say I’m not kidding about that.

The story starts with an Egyptian dude at some point in the future and consists of flashbacks either in the form of letters or documents recovered by his all-knowing machine – Ava. In this sense, it reminded me of The Fourth Estate by Jeffrey Archer where every chapter would start like a news article. This wasn’t exactly the same but it gets the job done.

In gist, the story follows the Egyptian dude – Antar, as he traces the steps of L. Murugan, his former, presently missing colleague who in turn in tracing the steps of Ronald Ross, the man who discovered the means by which malaria is transmitted.

If you ask me, the novel can also be partially categorised in the Fantasy genre. But that’s beside the point.

I found the novel pretty interesting actually. I could never have guessed most of the twists the story takes and I’m a guy who can predict Agatha Christie novels through sheer statistics – the least likely is the most obvious. But this novel had some very interesting twists. Since I hate giving spoilers, I will not delve any further into the story.

The novel is really small .. as in only 276 pages in the version I bought. It is a definite page turner, unlike Sea of Poppies which took me ages to finish for all it was worth.

Any more description and I would be giving away plotlines and spoilers.

Consensus: VERY different sci-fi thriller. Read it if you love the genre. Romantics will love this. Logically inclined people will find this a big bore and worth bitching about a lot. Personally, I loved it 🙂


Yee Haw!!

Yes, that’s what I feel like saying. Why? This is why:

John Marston seeks revenge!

That’s right … I have FINALLY acquired the much talked about game. How is it? I’m not sure, really. I will get into my groove with the game tonight. Sandeep and Vikku came to my house today and totally spoilt the save point for the game. So yeah, I’m gonna start all over again.

Apart from that, I have been trying real hard to get the PS3 to connect to the internet. So far, it has not been a success. The major problem with the PS3 (as with my phone) is that it needs an access point network and can’t connect to an ad-hoc network. Why? I don’t know.

So basically, after some googling (they should make that a proper verb), I came across this software called Connectify which is able to do what I want. The problem? It STILL doesn’t work with my PS3 (although my phone is able to connect to it)!!

I need to get some DLC for the game (it’s paid, I believe). I also need to desperately get a PSN ID. Oh well … Hopefully, I figure it out by tonight.

I just came back from Bangalore, btw. The trip was … fun. It wasn’t worth it for the In Plant Training, or for the accommodation, or for the worthless hours spent roaming the city. It was just worth it to be back with friends. Sometimes, I look forward to college for this particular reason.

The reading I got into so voraciously has not been coming along well. The last book I started with – “Sea of Poppies” by Amitav Ghosh still isn’t over (not even half over, come to think of it). I desperately wanna finish it before college reopens (which is next week 😐 )

Next thing to look forward to? Artemis Fowl – Atlantis Complex … releasing on 20th July. I won’t be here. But my mother will be. I will make sure she buys it.

The Artemis Fowl series is really awesome. For a book targeted at the juvenile reading market, it keeps me very very hooked. Eoin Colfer has made the first chapter for the new book worth the read. I’m just looking forward to his version of a sequel to the EPIC (yeah, E-P-I-C) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

Mom is hogging the TV now, so yeah, I need to get back to that book.


Back and Gone Again!

Travelling is supposed to be really awesome. I believe in that age-old dictum (rephrased to suit the modern times). But then, too much travel is tiresome. I have been travelling – a LOT! For the past 15 days, I have not known much rest except for the last 2 days of it, I guess.

This trip to Bombay was really something – I actually moved around so much that my whole time table changed. I also understood, in true sense, the meaning of the word hectic.

Giving a full summary of the trip is a pain in the hands that type and on the brain that reminisces to collect enough memories to put into the post. So yeah, I’m basically NOT gonna do that. Suffice it to say that the Inplant Training was basically OK. Not that you expect much from it in any case. The certificates are still pending though.

On the other hand, there are some other more interesting news that I would like to share. I found some true love in life after a long, long time. I am so happy and so sad that my ex will now not be treated with the same reverence. Yes, it is pretty obvious that I’m using metaphors here. But then, here is the real thing:

Isn't she beautiful? *sniff sniff*

Yes, I am now the proud owner of a PS3 – The latest edition as well. After putting tantrums, reasoning and shouting at my parents (all of which I am NOT ashamed of in any way), I have got it!

I also got THIS free:

Yes, that is Kratos - The king of badass!

Yes, I feel all hazy and dream-like 🙂

Anyway, I got the PS3 a day before I left. I played as much of the game as I possibly could. I played it in easy mode (I just wanted to finish it, see?). I got back yesterday and now, about an hour ago, I officially finished the game. It was absolutely phenomenal and TOTALLY worth the ratings.

I can now go to Bangalore with a clear conscience 😀 … There are some more things to do though – search for new games, a HDMI cable at a cheap price (It is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE how much a cable can cost these days) and hopefully another controller. All in good time.

Now that the game is over, I need to get back to some reading. Yes, I have taken up the age-old hobby. I am trying to get a membership card at Crossword so that I can get some discounts on future purchases … but I’m just too busy at the moment.

Read this new book by an Indian author called “The Immortals of Meluha”. It’s about how Shiva may have actually been a human whose karma recast him as God in the books of history. VERY well done book – a little too amateur in some senses but then, it was well worth the read. It is part of a trilogy and I’m waiting for the other 2 parts – “The Secret of the Nagas” and “The Oath of the Vayuputras” … Strikes me that the author – Amish Tripathi – has really outdone himself with the titles 😀 . Thinking of reviewing the whole series once the other 2 parts are out.

I also finished a 4-novel omnibus edition of Miss Marple cases (Agatha Christie is da best!) . I need to get back to “Sea of Poppies” by Amitav Ghosh which was a nomination for the Man Booker Prize of 2008 (yep, that DAMN good!).

I leave for Bangalore tomorrow for a training at BHEL. When? At frickin 4:30 in the morning *shakes head in disbelief*

Oh well, hopefully the net works there. In any case, until I come back, adios!

PS : Did you people see the Apple iPhone 4 signal strength problem? *laughs his head off at Apple Inc* 😀