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READING IN THE RAIN!!

As the city deals with the monsoon, Farah Palia asks screen writer Aliya Curmally to recommend her favorite reads for a wet evening.

Aliya's love for storytelling led her to the film industry where she worked six years in production, distribution and marketing. Her first screenplay, an untitled horror-mystery, was picked up by iRock Media in 2012. She turned playwright and lyricist with last year's Chivas Studio's musical performance 'Love and All That Jazz' directed by Rohan Sippy and is one of five writers worldwideto have been selected for Torino Filmlab's transmedia project 'Writers Room.' In order to be immersed in the book, she suggests a warm duvet and 'bhajjias' as the narrative takes you away from the wet cold weather outdoors. With no further ado here is her must-read list for the months of August-September:
 
The Twentieth Wife, Shadow Princess and The Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan
 
A trilogy of books on Empress Nur Jahan, it unravels the life and politics of the Mughal Empire and is filled with descriptions about the foods they ate, the battles they fought and the clothes they wore. It begins when a Persian nobleman flees his homeland and heads to India and the Mughal court of Emperor Akbar. Ghias has with him a pregnant wife and three kids. When his family stops at Qandahar, his wife gives birth to a girl named Mehrunnisa. 34 years later, this child will become The Twentieth Wife of Emperor Jahangir and comes into power during her marriage to Jahangir in The Feast of Roses. Her niece marries Jahangir's son Shah Jahan. When she dies in childbirth in June of 1631, Shah Jahan builds Taj Mahal in her memory. Mehrunnisa's grand-niece Princess Jahanara takes center stage in the third novel Shadow Princess. Aliya 'loves the ability to be able to go into a world that explores what a woman's life would have been at the Mughal Court and also get a rundown of all the privileges and shortcomings of life at the time.'
 
The Fault is in Our Stars by John Green 
 
A best-seller and a heart-wrenching tale of two teenagers with cancer who meet in a support group and have an affinity for each other which leads to life-changing events for both of them. The dialogue and descriptions of the feelings between the protagonists is touching. The writing is honest and readers have loved how the characters had cancer and yet the book was not about cancer. It has remarkable characterization and a surprisingly quirky tone as it unfolds a tragic story. Aliya is a fan as she is 'always interested in writers who can pull that off.'
 
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
 
This is a collection of ten letters written by poet Rilke (between 1902 and 1908) to a young man struggling to find his artistic voice while trying to choose between a literary career and entering the Army. Rilke meanwhile was torn between three women, often on the move and battling the failing health that would eventually shorten his life. However he did go on to pen this work. It's a book you'll read several times and each time it will seem like the first time! All of Aliya's artistic friends 'swear by this book as 'the bible' for creative people to remind themselves what being an artist is all about. 
 
Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind by Alex Stone
 
Aliya is super excited about this account by Alex Stone, journalist and part-time conjurer, on his attempt to win the 23rd World Championships of Magic, which is also known as 'Magic Olympics' and is the most prestigious competition of its kind. Stone takes us inside the world of Vegas illusionists, shady three-card monte dealers on Lower Manhattan's Canal Street and seemingly perfect card tricks. 'Through exploring how magic tricks work Alex Stone explores how and where the human mind is fooled, and that's always an interesting and eye-opening read! It is meant to be a nice blend of competition, psychology and because it's all about magic, fun and games too!'
 
I cannot wait to turn pages! Can you?
 
 
 
 
 
Allya Curmally
 
15-AUGUST-2012
 
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2 Comments
 
16-AUGUST-2012 Jasmeen Dugal
‎Farah Palia, how is the Taj trilogy? Too heavy or fun?
 
 
15-AUGUST-2012 kalpana
Good selection, Farah. Which ones have you read so far? And what would you feel?
 
 
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