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Tuesday , December 11 , 2012
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Monday 17 April 8st 13, alcohol units 6 (drowning sorrows), cigarettes 19 (fumigating sorrows), calories 3983 (suffocating sorrows with fat-duvet). positive thoughts 1 (vg).

Two diaries, two movies and a decade later, Bridget Jones is back! Author Helen Fielding announced recently that the loving and self-loathing Londoner will have a third book to her name, set in today’s London. The prospect leaves Bookworm’s mind buzzing with questions — How will we find Bridget now? Surely not single? Is she still obsessed with her weight? What about love? Most importantly, will her two dishy men, Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver, make it to Book 3?

so, what would the modern-day Bridget write in her diary? “It’s more like ‘number of Twitter followers: 0. Still no followers. Still no followers’. But she has grown up. My life has moved on and hers will move on too,” Fielding told The Guardian.

“She’s still trying to give up [drinking and smoking], she’s still on a diet. She’s trying a bit harder, and is a bit more successful, but she’s never really going to change.” Fielding also expressed her interest in the online dating scene of today’s generation.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Fielding started Bridget Jones’s Diary as a column in The Independent in 1995, which was later published as a book in 1996. The second book, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was published in 1999. Then in 2001 came the charming Renée Zellweger as Bridget on screen, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth accounting for the film’s drool quotient. For the 2004 sequel, Zellweger reportedly gained and lost pounds at will. Now it remains to be seen what Book 3 makes her do.

Love and relationships in the age of Twitter and fat-free gelatos,” says the publisher’s website about the book. Urban Shots (Greyoak Westland, Rs 145), edited by Paritosh Uttam, actually packs in much more within its 28 stories. Grouped under five heads — relationships, love, friendship, angst and longing, 13 authors have woven together some very relatable tales of everyday lives.

Kainaz Motivala, who was seen in Wake Up Sid and Ragini MMS, not only features on the cover, but has also penned a story, Hope Comes in Small Packages. The best read is possibly The Biggest Problem by Paritosh Uttam, which tells the tale of old age and a disloyal wife, all in four pages. Just About Average by Malathi Jaikumar, where an ordinary woman with an ordinary life ends up being extraordinary for a day, is well-written too. A little boy lost in the complex world of adults, Stick Figures by Vrinda Baliga, tugs at the heart-strings, while talking of friendships and love, Apple Pies and A Grey Sweater by Prateek Gupta can bring back memories for each one of us.

Sadly, the book is rife with Hinglish and is pretty poorly edited.

The latest in the Urban Shots series is Urban Shots Bright Lights, edited by Paritosh Uttam, Urban Shots Crossroads, edited by Ahmed Faiyaz, and Urban Shots The Love Collection, edited by Sneh Thakur, all priced at Rs 199.

City boy in shortlist

The shortlist for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize 2013 was announced in London on December 6 and Calcutta boy Devdan Chaudhuri’s Anatomy of Self is one of the six chosen unpublished works.

The other names on the list are Avni Doshi (Girl in White Cotton), Ayesha Heble (Third Person Singular), Kanza Javed (Ashes, Wine and Dust), Minakshi Thakur (Lovers Like You and I) and Olivier Sanjay Lafont (Arjun).

The final announcement will be made on January 10 in Calcutta during the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, which will be held from January 9 to 13.

Started in 2012, the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize is given out by Tibor Jones & Associates, a leading London-based literary agency, with the support of the University of East Anglia (UEA) to encourage budding and unrepresented writers in South Asia. This year’s joint winner Srikumar Sen, an 81-year-old former journalist, also from Calcutta, will be launching his book The Skinning Tree with Picador India on December 15.