Nobel Laureate Summer Reading – Part 1

Tidbit #1 from Rajendra Pachauri’s 2010 novel. HSBC, the huge multinational bank, has linked its brand to this strange, stilted prose.

I’m currently wrapping up a big project, so time is scarce. My project involves Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As part of my due diligence, I’ve finally starting reading Pachauri’s 2010 novel, Return to Almora.

The Times of India has a slide show of photos taken at the Mumbai book launch. It reveals that Rahul Bose, a Bollywood actor, was on hand. So was Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries.

According to the Reliance website, that corporation owns “businesses in the energy and materials value chain,” has annual revenues “in excess of US$66 billion,” is a Fortune Global 500 company, and “is the largest private sector company in India.”

But what really fascinates me is the fact that the book launch was sponsored not only by the publisher, Rupa & Co., but by HSBC.


click for full slide show

This multinational bank is another uber valuable company. At the moment, it’s worth £137 billion. (Royal Dutch Shell, which tops the list on the London Stock Exchange, is currently worth £145 billion.)

It isn’t clear to me why a bank would link its brand to this particular work of fiction. But hey, it’s summer here in Canada and we have a time-honoured tradition of reading trashy novels on the beach.

So, for the next several days, as I make my way through Return to Almora (my Kindle tells me I’m currently 17% complete), I’ll share some of its strange, stilted prose here.

And remember, folks, as tells us, this was written by a “Nobel laureate.”

The following morsel is from Chapter 2, which is titled The Child with a Celestial Fancy:

Sunita and Sheila, when they were alone, shared their most intimate secrets and had several laughs together. They had met just last evening and exchanged stories about their sexual experiences. Sheila had described a recent occasion, when she hadn’t used a contraceptive during intercourse with her husband. As soon as the act was over, she rushed to the bathroom and spent twenty minutes douching herself thoroughly. Prem did not even bother to find out what was taking her so long. When she returned to bed, she found him fast asleep.

…Unlike Sheila, Sunita was less forthcoming when it came to sharing the details of her sex life. She merely said that she kept small pieces of sponge, which she promptly inserted whenever she and Amar were ready to make love.



  • David_from_San_Diego

    Great article. The future is very scary. Seriously.

  • JM

    What about reducing military spending or at last taxing the rich more?

    What about cutting profit out of the helath system. Would save a lot of money too… but no its always cutting the entitlement to the poor…

    How about companies like Wal Mart and Mcdonalds paying a decent wage so people dont need food stamps………

    • Caroline Haskin

      What about improving the economy so people can get jobs?
      What about replacing Obamacare with a free-marketplace solution, so businesses aren’t forced to cut hours to make a profit?
      What about letting the people who are happy with their insurance keep it, instead of forcing them (because their policies do not meet ridiculously overblown govt requirements) onto exchanges where they have to pay more for and get less coverage and higher deductibles?

      How about people realizing that jobs at McDonald’s, Walmart, etc. are supposed to be starter jobs and not careers?

      And do you not know that, under Obama, the states and community “organizers” were highly incentivized (paid bonuses) to dramatically increase the numbers of people on food stamps?
      What about kicking the people off food stamps who don’t really need them?

      And why are these people so greedy, entitled, and unappreciative they cannot live for 24 hours without food stamps without rioting or stealing. These mobs of people should be rounded up, identified, and denied food stamps forever IMHO.