“Selected Stories” is a collection of short stories written by one of the most famous Urdu writers of the Indian sub-continent Saadat Hasan Manto as translated by Khalid Hasan. This collection brings together some of his best-known stories, especially the kind of stories that made him (in)famous - the travails of ordinary people during the particularly bloody partition of the Indian sub-continent into India and Pakistan and the stirrings of sexual desire in conflict with a prudish society.
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[2014-06-07] “Selected Stories”
[2014-05-04] Hello World Open 2014
I had not heard of the Hello World Open coding challenge until I came across a Hacker News post about it. It seemed somewhat similar to the ICFP contests, albeit with much more time available for coding (14 days versus 3 days for the ICFP contests), and therefore for fun. So I decided to take part in it and it did turn out to be fun, though I remained true to form and did not finish coding before the time-limit expired.
[2014-03-21] “The Hindus”
“The Hindus: An Alternative History” by Wendy Doniger was in the news recently when its publisher Penguin India decided to withdraw it from India after a prolonged legal fight, fearing for the safety of its employees and its persecution under a repressive and antiquated law. This shameful state of affairs has made it very difficult to get this book in India even though the Indian government hasn't actually banned the book. Thankfully there are other ways to get this book, which is a great relief since I have come to believe that every Indian (and every person seriously interested in India) should read this book as it provides an excellent context for understanding our country. It is really ridiculous that the author is being attacked so viciously by fundamentalists on the far right since if you actually read the book, she comes across as someone with a great love for Hinduism and India. That she has handled this whole affair with grace and poise makes me respect her even more.
[2014-03-06] “Beating The Street”
In “Beating The Street” Peter Lynch tries to show ordinary investors how to pick stocks and get better returns on average than most professional investors. I would ordinarily have dismissed such a book outright, but when it comes from the former head of the Magellan Fund, which grew from $18 million in assets to $14 billion in assets in about 13 years under him, it merits a second look.