Category: Books

snippets of book-reviews

Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie

ACTUALLY A OLD REVIEW I WROTE FOR MY BLOG

An engagingly enough and haunting narration of how one person can make a difference in someone’s life.

What does it mean to love someone? What does it mean to watch someone grow up before your eyes? or what does it mean to grow up with someone? Can one person mean so much in life? or for that matter Can one person change your life? There are some books that sneak right away into you, which can be there always with you, for you, to pour its meaning into you, when you are at cross-roads.

It is a story of a professor stricken with ALS, a neurological disease with no cause and cure. A professor who chose to come to terms with his imminent death. It is a chronicle of his tuesdays spent with a student. A student with whom, he could relate his very growing up days. His last classes with discussion about the truths of life, death, fear, love, society, regrets, marriage, family, aging, regrets, money, emotion, culture and a meaningful life.

It was an accident that I chose this book, one lazy noon with nothing to do, visited a nearby book exhibition, took it by the mere attraction of the title. Never Knew that I wouldn’t be the same person anymore. I cried along with Mitch and fought back my tears to keep reading. I cried for Morrie, Morrie’s family and friends, I cried for me, I Cried for my Teacher…..

Have you really had that someone? or were you ever been that someone to anyone?

 Cobalt Blue
Cobalt Blue
In a time, where sexuality and freedom of sexual choice been talked over and over again, here is a book that talks in subtlety and overtly under-tones. It is not a typical tale of an adolescent coming to terms with his sexuality or that of a girl learning to cope up with her first heart-break in life.
The setting of the story in a claustrophobic middle class family with three siblings, where the daughter and the youngest son falls for the mysterious paying guest forms the backdrop of the novel.Intriguing a read and subtly disturbing; It does raise a lot of pertinent questions about the familial space and relationships that function within this important social unit.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

The Kind of book that I sat two days and two nights, with nothing else doing to find out the ending.

A brilliant literary suspense. It is primarily the story about two friends, one a successful writer and the other an aspiring writer. The story is told by the aspiring writer who arrives in the small town of somerset to investigate about the murder of a young Nola thirty three years ago. with each turn of page, more suspense is built and more secrets and mysteries over the missing girl gets unraveled.

 

Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers
Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers
I have never run bookless in my entire life, yet I had the misfortune of reading this book, Had Woody Allen known this book, he would have definitely called it, significantly over-rated. Though in the preface, the gentleman of a writer Shashi Tharoor says “Though I have reviewed many books, including several Indian Novels, I have not included any of my book reviews in this collection. Rather this Volume seeks to assemble my ruminations on aspects of the literary experiences that go beyond any single book.” It is just an accident and the readers’ misfortune that the single book beyond which he couldn’t go is THE GREAT INDIAN NOVEL penned by yours Truly Shashi Tharoor

A glib of writer he is and every other instance he draws reference to his great scholarly and literary work The Great Indian Novel. His great desire to compare and contrast himself with Salman Rushdie alone two chapters; though he could have done it more convincing by being more self-indulgent.
It is more of him and him in every circumstance and less of ruminations about book!

Though I have to admit that there are certain chapters which thoroughly bowled me over! Can try! Nevertheless a good read

 
84, Charing Cross Road
84, Charing Cross Road
Started this book on an early lazy Sunday morning, a short read on a single sitting of three hours. A brilliant read, bringing back the magic of two lost art, Reading and Letter-writing, For someone who firmly believes that life takes you to the best people and best books, this is a greater testimony to my belief,

In a world mediated by mobile phones, internet, communication and the latest Jio-hyped-free data, it is a blessing, relief to know and to be assured that deep friendships take years to built and never in the era of blue ticks of sent items. I insist every reader to read, to know and to be lost in the thoughts of two different souls, and to see the beautiful unfolding of kindness and friendship.

Helena’s quirky personality and the ‘polite British reserve’ Frank’s blend of the personal and the professional attitude add life to their letters, be it the books, family or any odd things they talk about, they pour a bit of their candid selves into these letters.

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the shore is one of the strangest books i’ve read. A journey that stretches itself onto the realms of magic as the reader approaches it. The story is narrated from different perspectives of  Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old boy who runs away from home to escape an oedipal prophecy and thereby making it true and then the story of Nakata, an old man who gained the ability to talk to cats after an incident in his childhood.


This entire book reads like a fine collage of  intense vignettes of unrelated dreamy scenes and poignant conversations. A meandering dreamlike tone drives the entire reading experience. A surrealistic “Kafka-esque” thread runs all along the narrative tying the loose ends, before the book ends. One can sense an intentional ambiguity in the very narrative and the plot. At times, it takes a toll on the reader to make connections every now and then, that said, it ain’t an easy read.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)
Apprehensively started reading this book, on a slight intrigue by the title. A Novel that refuses to be coming off age, yet predictable at times. Nevertheless a good read! Something that grows on you, if you have had a friend, with whom you grew up on your teen years. A poignant tale of love, friendship and family and how these three entities can affect the eternity of lives

On Chesil Beach

 On Chesil Beach

“They were young, educated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when a conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible. But it is never easy.”

In a lot of ways, this still happens to be my first read of Ian McEwan. I could only feel a little bleak knowing how the entire course of a life can be changed by a single event in one’s life. Ian beautifully captures the thousand subtle emotions of two different individuals on their nuptial night. The entire novella revolves thoroughly around a number of seamless fragments of flashbacks and memories of Edward and Florence’s lives.

Powerfully through his brevity, the author captures these characters’trivial memories and tidbits of their everyday lives, hopes, dreams,disappointments and how one night that change everything.

The Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things

A Fine achievement of history, science and storytelling. A tale complete in itself that I did feel like my world ceased to exist after Reading

Youth

Youth

This is the third of my coetzee’s book. somehow it was a drag right from the beginning, yet I managed to read to be drained. This narrative is painted with despair and the frustration that becomes the tryst of every day life. The wry observation of the hopelessness that one feels, wading through the alien streets of a different world in one’s youth is beautifully captured. Personally I could NT relate to the author and waited to finish off the book. May be, I read it in the wrong phase/time of life, nevertheless this is definitely not the best of his books or shouldn’t be the first of coetzee’s for one to start with.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Depressingly funny!
Rather Funny and Depressing at the same time in different ways; absurdly philosophical and intricately subtle. An easy read though it leaves you a bit heavy towards the end

The Mirage: A Modern Arabic Novel

The Mirage: A Modern Arabic Novel

A Poignant tale about love, betrayal and family. The sketch of an overprotective mother and the nuanced observations of the conflict and working of the mind of an overtly shy individual makes this writing a brilliant psychological portraiture. The novel leaves you feeling a bit disoriented. A wonderful story teller from Egypt. Thanks Rohit for introducing this wonderful writer 🙂
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The meandering memory of love

Where could i possibly begin?

At an ending. May be an impending ending. That kept us Waiting.

i couldn’t possibly start counting the memories we are both bestowed with, And in great vain, i attempt to remember the mortal remains of memories of togetherness.

For Memory is a burden.

How do i remember thee? Let me uncount the ways
i remember thee to the depth and breadth and height
To the beginning of the warmth in your touch

i remember thee to the end of every next-day
Most quietly waiting by my g-talk for a message to pop up
Into the laziness of your day-ending as my day dawns to the sound of your voice

i shall wait, my time to serve with memories intact
To see you somewhere in all my griefs and faith.
i shall but remember thee Always

For i  know no greater love than, of remembrance
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

A year that just slipped by, a year of grief; certainly,`The Year of Magical Thinking’ when a thousand things dawned onto the quiet mind basking in laziness. An urgent need to seize the slyly time that refuses to wait for any tides. A few memories, that needs exorcizing, if not will continue to haunt the remains of time. A happy memory of learning, loving and living together for a short worthwhile. As the year ends, a few deaths that scarred me remains untangled, in the web of memory. An haphazard need to bid adieu to a thousand things as the year nears its end.

At times, Waking up is a like a dream. A certain kind of feeling it evokes as one wakes up from/to a dream. She did remember this; a distant memory, a near-fading past- his feel of lips on her navel. She could only chuckle at the memory, his less than short of obsession with navels.

Next only to books, those unread, but buying books at every other day, the untidy linings of the books along the walls of every shelf. For only the beauty of Japanese language can find a word for book hoarding – Tsundoku.

To end the year with something that i recently read/lived through. Kafka on the shore is one of the strangest books i’ve read. A journey that stretches itself onto the realms of magic as the reader approaches it. The story is narrated from different perspectives of  Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old boy who runs away from home to escape an oedipal prophecy and thereby making it true and then the story of Nakata, an old man who gained the ability to talk to cats after an incident in his childhood.

This entire book reads like a fine collage of  intense vignettes of unrelated dreamy scenes and poignant conversations. A meandering dreamlike tone drives the entire reading experience. A surrealistic “Kafka-esque” thread runs all along the narrative tying the loose ends, before the book ends. At times, it takes a toll on the reader to make connections every now and then, that said, it ain’t an easy read.

One can sense an intentional ambiguity in the very narrative and the plot.

May be the book speaks to me in a way, as to the threshold, that had been pushed onto me.

“Listen, Kafka. What you’re experiencing now is the motif of many Greek tragedies. Man doesn’t choose fate. Fate chooses man. That’s the basic worldview of Greek drama.”

As often, i feel the lure of the unknown quite regularly. May be like everything else, Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum”


The Book-Broker

He was new to the place; with hundreds of new faces around, he not only felt new, but also out of place. Still he braced himself for what was ahead in store. With each passing day, he became familiar with the new faces. Soon there would be someone to greet him, smile at him, and stop by to ask, ‘had lunch?’ ‘Do you have class now?’ ‘Nice shirt yaar’, ‘Want to have chai?’ Casual acquaintances do happen this way in a new place.

But still there were few people, who do not need such mere casual niceties. But there was something else; Some other people who took him to them. Kevin, The Great Dane Singer, Nagaraj, Swami, Oliver Twist, Range, Henry, Kalyani, Robert Langdon, Jamie Sullivan, Sparks, Jayakanthan, Harry Potter, Erma Bombeck.

And not to forget Alvin, the cute kid, who lost his family on a Christmas Eve. It was Alvin, who showed a different him to others. People by then knew that he was a story teller. And she loved to listen to his tales. She knew, he is different and all that mattered to him was the words and what they convey to world.

There was this guy and the first novel he brought for him. “The pleasant Interlude”; and from then it was their ritual- A book for every birthday.

Oh! Not to forget how these three met on a mid-night to be introduced as hard cotter potter-maniacs. Be it the mess, corridors, Stone benches, the front shop. They were never tired to carry a conversation of what would happen to Harry and Hogwarts after the death of the beloved Headmaster Dumbledore.

There were a few girls, who met him almost every evening/weekend to get/share/exchange/rob books from him. Also they loved to call him Krishna, for they believed he has a way with girls, but not just with words alone. Those evening spent in the stone benches and those never ending conversations at the girls hostel gate. Girls, it seems had to face a tough time with their infamous warden because of him, as how someone later testified.

Then came two Psycho Seniors. Remember Kevin, not just a problem child in the case of high school shooting, but someone he held close onto and someone who grew on him. She knew that behind this stupidity and Vainokki, rather Bada Jollu Party, there is a sensitized guy.

Not to forget the beautiful world of Malgudi that R K Narayan weaved with his words and imagination, which brought us together and also the hatred of you for poor Ginny, I have never seen anybody so much drooling for our Harry.

Oh! And then the senior and the sister, with whom he had real tough time, when it comes to make her read books, and had to throw up real emotional tantrums to make her read books. Someone who got him Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the first day and the last day of his life in Coimbatore.

Pray for me Brother, Gone with the Wind, My Days, and a Readers Digest Edition of A Walk to Remember were their last exchanges. Rather the meen curry and Kari meen at Neyyattinkara.

Have you ever sit on a public place reading a book? Well you would. But have you ever snatched a book from someone when they were deeply immersed in it? And then call your friend and show, “Hey Look, Nicholas sparks.” And still forget that there was a guy standing in front of you, mouth wide open and little intrigued. I know someone, who just got lost in North Carolina then.

A junior, who was introduced as a fellow Potterian and a co-Aquarian, someone who shared the equal madness and passion for books. Someone who made him gift her, Tuesdays with Morrie

And then someone else walks into his life, a junior to start with, and then turning out to be a precious little brother he always longed for. They grew together without books. I remember those Friday evenings when he went to see him off. Those old book stalls, where he leisurely spend an hour or two buying half of dozen of books, only to be snatched/robbed, when he is back to campus.

It rarely happens that he gets to read the book first. It was always made sure that the book is circulated among their reading circle; read by everyone and then promptly returned to him.

Such was the life of The Book Broker.

P.S. To all my Book-Lover friends from PSG… Love you folks…

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The God of small things

No!!! This is not a review of the book, or Am not gonna talk about anything related to the book, There is always a coming back for everything on earth and for everyone… And So for me, for someone who didn’t write anything for ages, It is something little that does the wonder in life,

For I believe that little things matter the most in life.. THE MOST… And I greatly adore/admire/love/respect Arundathi Roy, who christened her book, The God of Small things… Happyness like the sands of the sea is made up of numerous little things, Life is made up of such numerous beautiful little things which make the short while a worth while occasion.

Be it watching a sunset, a cozy conversation over a cup of chai or a little shared dinner, a late night coffee or spending an evening with friends … And when I say friends, It sounds a little tricky… for What is a friend and who is a friend differs a lot in every one’s perspective. Someone who makes you feel good, someone who brings you a smile for no reason, someone who makes you care, go for him/her. Nothing great can define a friend and a friendship … It is often the overstated or the understated…

An unexpected catch up in the canteen, leading to an idle no-sense/no need of a sense/all sense conversation, a small walk the talk/hey am leaving/ hey see the sun/

A path through the dried grass, thoroughly littered with shit and shattered glass, and the tall bushes and tress, a careful walk among the once lush greenery, leading to the lake, the dried patch of the earth, a small make-over place to sit, a amateur flutist trying his level best to play sound and a musical response from the cuckoo or a peacock…. Watching the blue hues turn to the orange hues as the clouds magically sweep the sun home, the birds flying home in the V direction, the frogs croaking in the lake, a duck paddling its way to and fro, a small bird searching for the fish, the buffaloes grazing lazily, three friends chatting over, one desperately trying to play flute, the other playing and singing songs and the third other ever innocently watching the stupid acts of the two guys… One thing leading to the other, a talk about Tamil movies, One animatedly talking about her love for Tamil movies, and how she likes the dance of the actor Vijay *Sigh*,, Hey indeed Vijay a great dancer, but actor….. oh My God……

Then a photo session to follow, Oh! how much I love to click people,,, The most beautiful moments captured in the camera and frozen in the mind and every picture tells a story, how the picture was taken, what happened before, during and after… Listening to the old songs, the English rapp, malayalam Naadan pattukal, the Hindu devotional songs, Suprabhatam, “The best way to,” ….. get up in the morning, completes your friend.. How true, The joy of getting up early in the morning to the sound of the magical muse…. Some things just happen… The accidental meeting, the unplanned act of sitting together and watching the sun-set…

An unexpected Gift(s), The most beautiful thing in life is surprise, and the next wonderful thing is being surrounded with people who surprises you… An Unexpected gift, that too a book, It indeed feels great when someone gifts, and then a long ago requested cloth bag…. I felt so good…. An unexpected phone call, when you were busy sharing dinner, what feel is that when you turn into kids and share food, in spite fighting over the fish pieces and still sharing leaving the little for the sure-late-comer….

And a phone call to talk/share/ramble on about the recent Jayakanthan book read.. The Characters Ganga/Henry/Ranga/Kalyani who teach you what life is, An author with a fatherly concern who teaches you the healthy view of life, a non-judgemental writer, the greatest humanist-ever, and therapeutic words brimming with love. Jayakanathan, You made me a human… And tons of Thanks to JB Ma’am for having introducing this legend in my life….

What more can be asked in life than love, people, books, music and certain other little which you love the most and that makes life the more meaning full… They make you passionate and compassionate enough. What more is needed in life than to live life with love? What more can life be? when you’re surrounded by people whom you love and people who love you?

What more can be asked in life, when you know that life is in the little moments of happyness and life is only when you live, As Anu akka says,”what more life can be, when you have learnt, how to romance life…”

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a “small one.”

P.S1.Well I Thank Nikhil for His , Honest Blogger Award that He bestowed upon this Humble Blog And his Cho cho cho chweet words for me

“the tamil payyan-most men aren even half as honest as he is in his space,the longest posts in ma blgroll which is quite superb though you tend to struggle for words thaks to the sheer magnitude of his posts,fun loving,humorous and sexy.. :p).”

P.S2. And if you have noticed I had changed the blog name from Musings to Musings of a true believer. People Who knows me well, Know well about this Incurable optimist too and I believe that I’m a true Believer, an Inspiration from Nicholas Sparks..

P.S3. And, Recently I had been asked by a good friend of mine, to actually confess (anything) in my blog, I remember telling this to a friend, followed by a roar of laughter. But I believe in this still …, “I want to read with my lady-love, A walk to Remember in my first night and cry.” It’s now left to you to imagine, what kind of a man would want to read in his Nuptial Night……

P.S4. This post is dedicated to all my friends who have been with/through me, eternally.

A few thousand words…

Wish you a Merry christmas. May the season of Hope and love bring abundant joy in life. Fingers crossed in prayers…  

It’s Christmas…

Remembering all those days, right from school days, when I used to get gifts every christmas in the school, chocolates, cakes and a Gift, then a movie. Those days when we used to go for christmas carols, sleeping halfway through that, when i endlessly wrote letters to Santa every christmas, And once when my uncle told that Santa would come at mid-night and we kids, went to meet him, actually what turned out was that we chased him out instead,, and now down in dumps am here trying new ways to kill time till my exam, Blog, mails, book, read, write, sketch(New found passion), search (rather ransack, No wonder one of my friends called me a libraraian’s night-mare) the library, browse, roam around, eat, sleep and yesterdayI found out another, Cook, The chef in me overtook… 

Should I feel guilty???

I felt different, rather it felt different. I’ve been this way. My mind feels as if it has been through a roller-coaster ride. I don’t know why. I get excited for nothing and suddenly I feel down-in-the-dumps. then I feel very plain, just the usual aiyo-paavam-payan (Poorly poor guy looks). Sometimes I turn anxious, As anxious as i am very now. Or as anxious as a mother of a young-girl-who-is-on-her-first-date.

I remember getting up early one morning. Must be 4 AM, I get up and manage to wake up my own self and,

the voice:”Barath, you have to get up, you have to complete that story.”
Me: “Oh! No, Not now please, I would appreciate some sleep.”
the voice:”But, you have to write it da, remember what you said last night,”
Me: “what did I say?”
the voice:”Oh! its-its something like you have to finish it and then put it in your blog, Its un-updated for a while na.Forget that, you first get up.”

Me: “Just one hour please.”
the voice:”See you have to be serious. You need to start preparing for your exam too and its not even a month and you haven’t even started, babloo listen-“

Me: “Can’t you leave me in peace?”
Before that, Another me in me wakes up,
Me1: “Can’t you leave that poor-child for a while. Let him sleep.”
Me: “listen na, Naan Thoongarean, I Will sleep.”
the voice: “ekkedo ketuolli. Hell with you.” 

I dutifully got up in the morning and completed a short-story collection, but sinfully stay away from my text… 

The Silent Raga.

There are tales that are to be told, if not they tell themselves. A very compelling read, The Silent Raga by Ameen Merchant. I loved this book by just the last phrase in the back-flop of the book- The Infinite Healing power of love.. A moving tale of a brahmin house-hold in Sripuram, where the elder sister runs off with a Bollywood Muslim actor. An account of growing up in an Agraharam, their everyday life, love and loss. Can simple things be beautiful? Can love heal your past? Can you meddle with fate? Can betrayals be the bygones? Yes. Yes.Yes.

Read it for you may not love it. But it is a tale that should be known, for it happens or it may happen in the family where you, I, my friend or your friend were born. I loved Ameen for his daringness-The appropriate Brahmin Tamil words that were used frequently and yet not provided with a glossary. Ameen Merchant in his acknowledgement has mentioned about Indhumathi akka, who taught him the infinite richness of the language and who only knows what happened to Janaki akka. No outsider could bring in beautifully such an insightful understanding of the cultural nuances of a Tamil Brahmin household. An engagingly haunting enough narration speaks for the rest of the story.

My Pet peeve, Jasmine

I had a major near-migraine in the marriage, It was a simple marriage in a temple. How much I Loved this simple marriage in the temple, But jasmines should better stay away in marriages. I felt like banging my head against the wall and yell the hell out of me. Oh no, not again I can put up with jasmine. No grudge against the flowers and no offence against jasmine lovers. I just wish the whitey doesn’t smell much. It doesn’t matter to me whether it is good or bad, all I want is the Jasmine to smell less or humbly request my olfactory cells to de-sensitize itself a bit. The girl in the departmental store-counter exactly looked like someone who was on the shooting sets of a first night scene of a Tamil movie. Am not good at describing people, that too girls. So better imagine or check out any Tamil movie. It shows the girl getting into the room, the guy getting the milk tumbler from her and they sit on the bed, then either a close-up shot of two love-birds or blooming of the flowers or the scene of a distant sun-rise in a close-up shot.

And about one of the oldest historical and literary doubts of Tamil ancestry. Does a women’s hair have natural fragrance or is it the use of flowers and cosmetics that gives a fragrance? Well who the hell cares? I just simply couldn’t get the amazement off my mind, what kind of a man would have given a thought or two on this.

And a word about me,

I don’t have any problem on how people dress and to bother the least, am not interested enough to rove around or concerned enough to preach sermons on the art of dressing. It’s up to the individual, but definitely all those girly-girly accessories turns me off. The Bangling bangles, the glittering giantess ear-droppings, the jingle-jingle junk metal jewels and the list goes on… I really cross my fingers with desperate hope that I meet someone who has a big positive NO to all this. If not, I have to declare that girls don’t turn me on and follow Elton’s path.

An Inbetween P.S: For people who have known me well, If you are reading this, Remember those days, when i have walked with any one of you, all through the shopping malls, Shilparamam, Krishna silks, or the streets of Cross-cut, Opnakkara veedhi or Ukaddam. I have endured enough to understand what that attracts a girl more in these shops. I don’t complain and I would never complain. I dedicate this to those, sisters n friends, who made a real man out of me to understand this part of a Girl’s Psyche, Before something comes up. Here I wave my white flage,, Truce Dears…

Jewellery and Marriages,

A wedding is a typical place where women put on a best show to display (Show off???) their August Austentine metals. Dressed in silk saris, promised to easily weigh a quarter of the person’s weight. I’m pitifully reminded of elephants in the Thrissur Pooram. The sight simply sickens me for no reasons. I scan the place thoroughly to spot a human in the crowd. Rarely, I come across one in the maddening crowd. One can see different kinds of people in such places. The Have’s as well as Have not’s. I crumble inside with the thought of how the rich people establish a maximum inequality in their favor by their grandeur appearance. Appearances are always deceptive, not just appearances, but everything of them.

Are women and gold made for each-other? Advertisements that show women easily getting married because of the jewels don’t show the latter Half, the Truth where it is understood that men were after the gold and not the girl. Is it the grace or the gold that determines the women’s quality? In Tamil as they say, Punnagaya Ponnagaya? Does gold hold any significance in weddings? May be wedding talked in terms of market value holds some(Like the groom), But Like gold, do grooms hold any investment value or re-sale value?

Life together is more than a one-day grand show. As Sparks tells, “Planning a wedding can take months.But planning a marriage takes a life-time.”It is just the egotistical instinct of us. What will others think if I get my child married in a simple manner? At times, we live for others. Totally in a wrong way, not the life meant for others, but making sure that others make a good commentary on us. To make us great, we put up a show to make a fool of ourselves. Living together is more than a mere day show. As Morrie says, “For one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel Good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own…”

Marriage just requires the presence of two consenting individuals. What else can be a great requirement? As a law-abiding citizen, I believe in the legality of the marriage. Even the so called holy-thread Mangal sutra is too much for a marriage. But I believe wedding rings make it more romantic, where you give in your hand and take your partner’s in return.(Read it equality) Mangal sutra. Well just talking figuratively, do you really want to bow before him and make a slave out of your self? And remember it’s just a one-sided license.

The greatest “Social institution” of our country is in the brink of disaster. Well honestly, Who cares this in the era of increasing divorces, one-night stands and casual live-in times? Just give it a thought before you enter anywhere.

My Romance with the rail…

It is more than a fantasy to travel, where one can unwind life. A thousand memories recollected from life to relive them. Some most memorable, strange, bad, weird, yet it is memories, that cannot be undone. There is something gracious in the journeys which teaches you the acceptance of memories and the journey called Life.

It was around 8.30 PM, that I boarded my train, bidding my love and short-farewell to dad and mom, I felt a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. Am kind of used to the travel, but honestly the thing that was traumatizing me was the memory.Last time, I left home and was on my way back in the same train. I last met Vipin, We had a small-dinner in the cantonment station. The train was halted for an hour, We talked for a while, a kind of catching up after a long while and I never knew that it will be my last while with him. And there was a kind of a pulling up inside me, I know it still hurts inside. Yet-Life goes on. 

And it was a pleasant surprise to meet Nishanth, His mom cooked me Chicken, Chicken biryani and I know for sure that life is going to be sure like this catching up people on the way to something-else. It is quite good to see them once in a while, The life of the past, the people from the past, the grown-ups a real part of your growing up days.  

And in the dark, sitting by the windows, I look out to the passing by nature to seek a re-assuring smile. I set out to dive into my  own divine universe of contemplation. I think the unthinkable but nothing in particular. And this act helps me to put things past and look at the life passing by, like the scenery outside the window. 

The sights, the lights, the images of the night and the people in his life tells me a story, of which I have no clue.” The inherent urge to know all scares me beyond comfort. I sets my world in the rewind mode and takes a tour back in time to learn from the life I had not lived. I know that I cannot gain control over anything. 

I knew from the sight outside window when I see and regale in the rustic rural of our landscape, the India which is not told and shown, the India which doesn’t shine like the brand India. I, like the millions others travelling by the  window seats of the Indian railways discover the Often-found-but-not-bothered India. A India which only the others can feel exotic about. It all happens inside me with the outside world, mutely witnessing it. I took a book and slowly divulged into it, an easy way to the alternate world. 

The peace-full Potterian me

And then I saw this kid, reading Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets, the last pages, I saw him totally engrossed in the book throughout the travel, standing by the entrance. I was even scared for him, but he was totally into the book. Must be, he was reading it for the first-time. Well, I did remember meeting Neeta, a girl from bangalore, who I had no clue then, that she will be gonna be my best potter-pal. I was like him, reading Harry potter and the Order of phoenix, then. She just casually started a conversation. Soon I was not-so-drooling and closed the book for no better-reasons. We had a thorough heated discussion on Snape. Mind you, Anybody out there, I never thought ill of snape and loved him thoroughly with the same respect I had for Dumbledore. I Trusted Snape as how dumbledore trusted Snape. We somehow come to peace with the other for the sake of our co-travellers and parted our ways with an anger which soon turned out to be the most rewarding experience. For I never met such spirited Potterian till now, the exceptions being me and JB ma’m. 

I was thinking, should I talk with the kid. I hesitated, in spite of knowing that I, no way look like a kidnapper or a child molester. I didnt feel like intruding him when he was in Hogwarts. As Rita akka remarked, I cannot be Nasty like Neeta who just drops in and talks. well I know it is going to be my funeral, when you have read this. Babe, Just listen I didn’t mean it, but just mentioned it. And before I could talk, the train reached the terminal and we had to get down. 

This kid just disappeared. I took an auto, and when I was about to get down, I saw this kid sitting next to me in the same auto, closing the book, with a smile. I stopped, got down and Asked him if he was reading it for the first time, He said yes and he just  watches the HP series movies and now he could no more wait for the sixth movie, so started reading the book. I felt So happy, Happy for him, Happy for me and Happy for JK Rowling… Soemthing that I just cannot contain in me, when I see someone reading HarrY potter. 

                                                       ……………..Potterians of the world unite…………….

The funeral of a smile

Here by, I cordially invite you to the last funeral of the living smile. Well If you haven’t attended one, Please make it possible to attend this without fail. I really wonder that how you would have missed the death and the funeral of a smile all these days, living here. I see at least a dozen everyday. What else can I do than witness the death and the funeral. At times, it is silent like I smile and you don’t see me or ignore and walk past me, sometimes it just takes a word to kill the smile, sometimes the curt ignorance and the silence, which deafens the smile to death. You just walk past, but I prefer to wait and see them die peacefully for I cannot save them.  when I walk, I tread upon the ground carefully not to step on any smile that’s dead or on the ones that are shattered and stripped of life. I don’t wish to hurt them more. I just walk by, but if you can see, I cry silently inside for I knew the pain. Like a smile, Dreams and hopes are the most often killed, by us, unknowingly, rather unwilling to be known. We have perfected them to perfection, that we no longer know that we kill them. I have killed them enough in number already. So I knew. Now I look out longingly at the smiles that have been bloomed for me. I daily walk through the grave-yard called society where smiles, dreams and hopes are brutally killed for they are not violence, but norms of society which every individual should listen to. For they are excluded from the standard defining definition of Violence set by the society… ie You and me

P.S. Previously published as Yeh Dil Maange More… 


an old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson…

What does it mean to love someone? What does it mean to watch someone grow up before your eyes? or what does it mean to grow up with someone? Can one person mean so much in life? or for that matter Can one person change your life? There are some books that sneak right away into you, which can be there always with you, for you, to pour its meaning into you, when you are at cross-roads.

It is a story of a professor stricken with ALS, a neurological disease with no cause and cure. A professor who chose to come to terms with his imminent death. It is a chronicle of his tuesdays spent with a student. A student with whom, he could relate his very growing up days. His last classes with discussion about the truths of life, death, fear, love, society, regrets, marriage, family, aging, regrets, money, emotion, culture and a meaningful life.

The Last class of my old professor’s life had only one student. I was the student.

It is also the story of a successful sports journalist who lost in touch with his mentor, The story of someone who was caught in the materialistic entrapment of the world, just like us and lost the very basic humaness and the meaning of life as we proceed in the process of living a unlively life. Mitch Albom lost contact with what we perceived as life once. As he was flickering through TV channels, he heard his professor’s name and went numb.

The most wonderful thing about morrie is how he learnt to see humor even in his last days of life. He wrote bite-sized philosophies about living with death’s shadow.

” Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.”
“Accept the past as past without denying it or discarding it.”
“Once you learn how to die, you learnt how to live.”
“Don’t assume that its too late to get involved.”

What can be worthiest thing that you can give someone?

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

When Morrie was with with you, he was really with you. he looked you staright in the eye asa if you were the only person in the world.
I believe in being fully present,” Morrie said, “That means you should be with the person you’re with.

Morrie talks about culture.

” The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enoughj to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things like they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you let meaning into your life is to devote yourself and loving others, devote yourself yo your community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

The story moves in narration from the past conversations between “The Coach” and “The Player”, their growing up stories and events that had affected their lives. An enoughly engaging and haunting narration of how one person can make a difference in someone’s life.

It was an accident that I chose this book, one lazy noon with nothing to do, visited a nearby book exhibition, took it by the mere attraction of the title. Never Knew that I wouldn’t be the same person anymore. I cried along with Mitch and fought back my tears to keep reading. I cried for Morrie, Morrie’s family and friends, I cried for me, I Cried for my Teacher…..

What can be life’s greatest lesson?

It doesnt matter to me,
That I didn’t crack up an entrance exam for a professional course.
If I dont become a professional in life,
If I don’t get a packaged job,
If I don’t wear Allen Sally’s on fridays,
If I don’t get to wear Addidas or Nike,
If I don’t hang out in Baristas or dine in McDonalds.
If I don’t spend my weekends in European Seashores.
If I don’t holiday in Mahindra holiday clubs
If I don’t own a Apache or drive a Mercedes Benz,
If I don’t make it like Chetan Bhagat.

The most important thing to me in life is. I was that important somebody in someone’s life in their growing-up days. That’s sums up everything in life.

Have you really had that someone? or were you ever been that someone to anyone?

P.S: Never tried a book review before, well as you know me, It’s not in me to review things. I rather greatly beleive in personalized reviews. So it is your comments and how far you have been inspired/influenced/persuaded/cajoled/tempted to read the book that really matters.
Still If not convinced, Bricks, Bats (Preferably Hockey), Rotten eggs and tomatoes most welcome.

For further readings:
Tuesdays with Morrie
Another Review

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