“No thali is complete without those lovely spicy tidbits on the side. The book is replete with trivia to regale your friends over beer or kaapi (bet you didn’t know the ubiquitous dosa can be spelt in more ways than you can find fillings to stuff in it)!” – Dev Nadkarni.
The book has selected essays on general subjects as well as the author’s observations of life in Singapore.
The errant but smart-cookie domestic help, the glib chicanery of door-to-door salespeople, the virtues of the humble domestic broom, the street corner scrap dealer, smartphones, a whole list of vegetarian delights… nothing is unimportant enough for the author not to expand into a three-hundred-and-something word piece. It’s cabbages and kings at a whole new level!
Bifocals and a Walking Stick is like a thali brimming with endless goodies and then some. Etymology, linguistics, history, philosophy, sociology, technology – and that’s just a few of the topics that the book touches upon. And dry as those subjects might seem, they’re contextualised in a slice-of-life sort of way. And then there are the travelogues – from Luxembourg to Singapore and Mangalore by ship, air, road and rail.