Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Gyaan

I hope you must have been on a slide. For those who have not been on one ,

1)You climb up to the slide 
2) You slide 
3)You climb out of the slide.

So which is the best part ? Ya it is the second one when you slide. When you slide, you only enjoy the present and let every other thing go. That is what makes the ride so enjoying. 

The slide signifies our present which is very short lived and must be enjoyed. However we spend most of the time climbing up the slide ( Our Past ) and Climbing out of the slide (Our Future).

To Quote a paragraph from 100 Years of Solitude, " In the shattered schoolhouse where for the first time he had felt the security of power, a few feet from the room where he had come to know the uncertainty of love , Arcadio found the formality of death ridiculous.Death did not matter to him but life did, and therefore the sensation he felt when they gave their decision was not a feeling of fear but of nostalgia. He did not speak until they asked him for the last request." 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On long rides in rain

“The moments we enjoy most as they unfold, and that we treasure long afterward, are the ones we experience most deeply. Depth roots us in the world, gives life substance and wholeness. It enriches our work, our relationships, everything we do. It’s the essential ingredient of a good life and one of the qualities we admire most in others.” William Powers.

The title of the post may seem a bit weird after reading the post because this post is more about rains and my love for it than for the long ride from which I have just returned. Solitary bike rides and drives have become a habit now. It was never the same, I always loved to have someone as a pillion but somehow things have changed and I have started enjoying being on my own.

Rains have always a special place in my life; it has always been an event of liberation for liberation is something which happens to you without knowing it. To talk of liberation, it is something which happens to you when you forget the convention and just let it happen. So this is probably the reason why I can just sit and watch rainfall for hours oblivious to world around me.

The love for it goes right back to when I was a kid. Now talking about kids we call them ignorant and then make them more ignorant throughout their lives under the banner of education. So I was talking about being a kid and as a kid I had my superstitions, though I don’t have any now, owing to the education. The deal was that rains were a good omen for me and I never skipped classes on a rainy day. Somehow the same holds true even today because a rainy day is a happy day but I refrain for calling this as superstition.

Best thing of rains was that the drains are full and the flow is optimum for racing the paper boats. I had attained certain perfection in the same and most of the times I used to win the race with my brother( You may interpret this as the luck connection with rains.) Ironically when later in life I got the opportunity to design real boats and ships I never liked it. (Probably I designed good boats in childhood was an illusion and all those sailed because of the luck factor.)

If you have never   drenched yourself in rain, you will never appreciate the bondage I have with samosa and chai. Samosa and tea is happiness, [Happiness again a big word, though it has a definition in the dictionary it is something which is the least understood. I may give you an example here, you may have samosa and chai in a restaurant which has an ambience which makes you feel of rains and you may be stuffing yourself feeling all happy  about the place ,the service  etc. but that is not happiness. Happiness is drinking the same chai in somewhat dirty cup ( I don’t want to write much about dirt because again it is a big topic) ,having the oily samosas and shivering due to the rain.]

Rains remind me of the happy evenings with friends on the railway track near my school. [To talk about the railway track: It was walking distance from school. There was an elevated patch of land which we had to climb and there were three shops in the bottom. [Shop 1 : Samosa and chai again (devoured so many cups of tea here sitting on the wet  railway tracks feeling detached from the world in a world of my  own.) Shop 2: The foreign brand smoke shop : Our indulgence into group smoking mostly to check out different foreign brands and to keep the metal butts as souvenirs. Shop 3 : Don’t remember because it was not a part of our dream lives.] The hang out places have changed since then , the people also have changed but  the railway track has always been a place which was our own and no other place can take that place.

So the rains have been times of dance , for football ,  for jumping in water pools while returning from school,  of games of ludo with family , bunking tuitions and chatting , bike rides and so much more …………Probably the rains have been a time to take break from life for life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Review : The curious incident of the dog in the night -time - Mark Haddon

Awards and nominations: Winner of the 2003 Whitbread Award and the 2004 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for best first book.

As all things in the world including  reading  depends on your mood. I also pick up books depending on my state of mind. There are books which I love to read in Solitude (Into the wild , One life to ride etc.) , some books when I am down ( Its not abt the bike ) , when in an introspecting state of mind ( Tuesdays with Morrie, The art of motorcycle maintenance) and while traveling I generally prefer a light book which could be read in 4-5 hours. I would rate this book as one of those travel books. Next time you are picking up a book for some trip do pick this one up.

The book is a murder mystery involving the killing of a neighbor’s dog . Christopher the protagonist tries to solve the mystery and in the process learns a lot of other things. He decides to solve the case and side by side write down it in a form of novel. The author has done a great job by writing it in a form which resembles a child narrating the story. Christopher is a guy who loves maths and has a good memory. Not only the chapters are numbered as prime numbers but also from time to time he discusses certain concepts in maths. However he still is a kid and has certain superstitions of his own. His superstitions , eating habits , likes and dislikes , behavior are very amusing adds flavor to the story.

In many of the reviews people have talked about Christopher being an autistic person but there is no such mention in the book and the author also has mentioned so in his webpage.

To quote one of my favorite lines from the book, “Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. Prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you can never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”

Rating : 3/5

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book Review : The Moor's last sigh - Salman Rushdie

Awards and Nominations : Winner of the 1995 Whitbread Novel of the year award and shortlisted for the 1995 booker prize.

This is my first Salman Rushdie novel and this work was very impressive. There are certain lines and some citing which may be criticized(for e.g the dog named Jawaharlal) but again he has been associated with controversies all through out his career. The story centers around the life of the Zogobiy family with the Moor being the last of the tree. It is centered around the cities of Cochin , Bombay and finally ends in Spain.
The rise and fall of the family has been presented in a very humorous way . However the main attraction of the novel is the paintings made by Aurora which depicts the various phases of the moor's life. 
Overall a wonderful book to read .(Rating : 4.5/5)

To quote 2 wonderful passages from the book:

" We look at the galaxy and fall in love, but the universe cares less about us than we about it ,and the stars stay in their courses however much we may wish upon them to do otherwise. It's true that if you  watch the sky wheel turn for a while you'll see a meteor fall , flame and die .That's not a star worth following ; it is just and unlucky rock . Our fates are here on the earth. There are no guiding stars." 

" By embracing the inescapable , I lost my fear of it. I'll tell you a secret about fear : it is an absolutist. With fear , it's all or nothing . Either, like any bullying tyrant , it rules your life with a stupid blinding omnipotence , or else you overthrow it , and its power vanishes in a puff of smoke."

Sunday, September 5, 2010