Thoughts on a plane #2

I’ve been traveling in India and am currently on a flight to Bangalore from Patna. I made the rookie mistake of leaving my Kindle & headphones in the overhead cabin with my bag. I could have retrieved them, but I decided not to.

Bangalore is my favorite city in the whole wide world, and I’m visiting it after two years. A lot has changed since. As much as I’m excited to meet my old pals, I’m also apprehensive about meeting the old me through their eyes. Will she be proud of me?

I’m at such a unique juncture in life right now, I want to take a step back and breathe. I recently graduated with an MBA and a Master’s in Business Analytics, and I’ll be joining one of the Fortune 5 firms as a Senior Manager.

What I’ve strived for all my life, and I think I have come close to achieving it career-wise. All of this seems too good to be true, but makes me wonder, what next? Am I finally in a position to stop worrying about my career for a bit? And if I do that, what else do I do? Yes, hobbies would be my safe haven again. I might be able to write more and draw more. I think I’ll learn piano and some dance form too, but what else?

Why is it never enough? Maybe my idea of success was flawed. Maybe milestones should never be about a career, a degree, or a salary slab but about yourself. It’s funny we never set goals to be happy at 30, content at 45, or fearless at 50. Or at least, I never did. I have always thought of happiness as a by-product of a great career, success, or a relationship. Did I get it all wrong? Is it supposed to be the other way around?

In an ideal world, either this or that would be true. However, in the world that we live in, I think happiness is also a goal and a by-product. To be my happiest self, I think my health, career, support system, and mental state must all align. And it’s a delicate balance. I read somewhere that an unhealthy person wants only one thing while a healthy person wants many, and it hit me hard. Anytime you start chasing a goal relentlessly at the cost of other goals, you shatter the balance. And then, when you achieve that goal and stand on the podium with your medallions and bouquets, you still feel empty.

As grateful as I am for where I am in my life right now and the people who make it worthwhile, today I set my next goal to be and remain happy. That means making time for my career, health, family and friends, hobbies, and just giving back and acknowledging every day. I think if I’m able to achieve that, my MBA might actually be worth its while.

P.S. – Found this in my archives from June 2022 and decided to post it. AND, I also checked off skydiving before 30 from my bucket list last September!

Twin Flames

Twin Flames
“Her eyes bared her soul,” he pondered,

“He had a way with words,” she recalled.

And although they stood right in front of each other,

They walked past each other once more.
There he was, the life of the party; there she was, the mysterious heartthrob.

Their souls, shuddering with distant memories, bowed quietly in awe.

Here’s to playing the game again, the game of mirror souls.

The one that got away last time, the one you needed to hold.
Like psychedelic moths dancing around twin flames, burning millennia inside,

Like kindred spirits that warm the heart, like magnets that bind.

Their eyes lock once again bewitched, eternities intertwine,

And clocks have reset yet again, time watching the charade unwind.
For the souls may forget as they transcend, still the yearning intensifies

And every time they pass each other, the singe deepens in ravines.

It’s dangerous when you get the taste, to have your heart tamed auld lang syne,

Will they take the leap of faith; will they realize they're soulmates this time?
“But her eyes bared her soul…” he pondered,

“And he had a way with words…” she recalled.

Neither said a word yet again,

Another lifetime fell short.

People watching

People watching

I grew up on books and media that perpetuated the idea that a person came with many layers; layers that you unravel slowly, gently, assiduously, and then, maybe, over time, when you’re worthy, and win their hearts and soul, they reveal their innermost, most vulnerable, and most intimate selves to you. And I believed in that notion like religion. So I believed when people told me this new neighbor was tough as a nail but gooey mush inside. And I’m not going to lie, I have heard a few people say that about me too. But this evening, as I was listening to Radiohead with some weirdly unrelated documentary in the background, I had a realization. And I got to typing my thoughts again.

You don’t strip a person naked; you don’t unravel them, and there are probably no shells to break, no layers to peel, no yarn to be undone, and no codes to crack. People are seeds when you meet them, and they grow around you. People are probably the greatest receptors. They absorb your gaze, they read your lips, and they watch your fingers as they move. They are taking everything in, and subconsciously you are too.

People are probably the most vulnerable when they make that first eye contact with you. It’s a conscious decision to let you in from there on, and it starts with a blank slate. I want you to think of that first moment when you met someone important in your life – maybe a friend or a foe. You had no idea, did you? That first conversation, that first eye contact, the first spark that becomes the fuel for the rest of your relationship, whether you are friends, lovers, neighbors, or work buddies. It always starts raw. You have already seen them naked, and then everything you say and do together starts sprouting this mesh that engulfs you both, and you ride it out. The more you engage, the more it grows, and like anything else, it can grow into a beautiful flower, or a weed you would rather pluck out of your lives. But, you always grow with each interaction- both as an individual and together. You create this complex, inexplicable, metaphysical, almost magical entity between you, which is almost as alive as the both of you. That’s why no two friendships are alike, and no two relationships will ever be the same. This essence you have both created is unique to every interaction you will have. And I probably cannot begin to fathom the gravity of this, but you might question, well then, if every interaction with a person creates something brand new, why don’t we remember every person we meet? And I would dare to say, just like some scents are forgettable, and just like some days roll into another, some interactions simply do not stand out. Is that a reflection of that person? No. What doesn’t tickle your soul maybe someone else’s lifeline. You might question, well, by that theory, are you saying it’s my fault when a person mistreats me? Is it because of a signal I gave that this song that we created just doesn’t let me sleep at night? And the answer is no. People come in all shapes and sizes, and yes people lie, cheat, and sadly take advantage of each other. Does a cheater cheat everyone? Maybe not. Does a murderer murder everybody? I hope not. So, is it your fault they cheated on you? No. It’s just a reflection of their energy, not yours. Sometimes, there’s no excuse for things. And that’s what makes people so complex- we spend lifetimes figuring them out. Doesn’t my theory then meet its immediate pitfall? I’d dare to say no. No theory can explain everything (Sorry Hawking!), and mine has exceptions too. And maybe, when I grow older and wiser, I will have another epiphany again, but for now, this will do.

Humans, in general, are also good at pattern recognition, so sometimes, when you begin building this castle with this new person, it reminds you of another castle you built years ago, and how lonely you felt inside it. So you do not want to see this castle through completion, and that’s fine. It may be your instincts coming in to your rescue, your intellect ringing alarm bells, or just the fear of that reeking trauma again. And that’s okay too. The alarms may just be your gut reminding you that you’re not ready yet and need to heal a little more to go down that path. Listen to your gut, it rarely lies.

And then you may question, well then, shouldn’t someone challenge themselves or dare? And there is no right answer to that. At the end of the day, every experience you build should make you happy. Your definition of adrenaline or dopamine may be someone else’s Prozac. And now I see you rolling your eyes and going, “Well, those are chemicals; they have the same effect on people!” Maybe they do, but at the end of the day they react with the chemistry of your body, and just like Feve Delicieuse smells almost irresistible on one of my gal pals, and absolutely sickening on me, it’s not the same. It’s also why I’m not writing a medical journal, but seeking the familiar comfort of words and literature to work through my thoughts.

If you think about it, navigating life is just navigating through people and their complex thoughts. You are probably not the missing piece to someone’s puzzle, but I can assure you, you’re going to have a heck of fun solving some zig saws with some and will feel like playing escape room with some others. There, I said everything if it gave you food for thought and maybe nothing if it left you confused. But, I’m really hoping this leaves a contended smile on a few faces thinking about these castles, songs, bouquets, and tapestries you have built with these very important people in your life, and that you cherish your growth a little more today.

Of Art & Artists

Artists have earned a reputation over time. “The artist type” is a different breed- a crude, carefree, cocky, unschooled, impetuous, and volatile one. She might make you nervous or make you fall in love, but many a time, gut-punch you without warning.

You’re not scared of how grotesquely she dresses sometimes or how inconspicuously blends in the background. You’re scared of her mind. The intricate threads of thoughts twining through her being and the serpentine ravines of ideas meandering through her mind; her life force has sifted through ungodly dimensions. She has perceived nothingness and exuded the world. Her hunches have been so accurate, they’ve fostered superstitions and her eyes have locked with yours to make you feel violated.

Remember the last time you read something, and it reverberated so thuderously in the depths of your bosom you gasped? Or the last time you watched a live performance and forgot to clap because the reality of the artist seemed larger than your life? How many times did a painting remind you of your childish, forgotten dreams, and how many compositions have become a part of your personality, not because you grew up on them, but because you grew up due to them?

Artists are the ones feeling every raindrop melting on their skin and every crumb of sand singing their feet. She’s listened longer than you’ve spoken and seen farther than you’ve traveled. She has worn so many shoes quietly, hungrily, and inveterately; her soul has been the real “tramp” of the town.

So, are artists crazy or just a bit more human? In the world that we live today, we have succeeded to some extent, in normalizing getting in touch with our sexualities. I guess getting in touch with our soul should be normalized too. Oh, the faces you’d unlock and the world you’ll see! The best part is – a true artist always leaves the door open behind her. So, whether you follow her work or follow HER, you’re in for the revelation of a lifetime. And if you have a moment, take a long breath, think about what you’d do if you had infinite time and money was not a concern. Your heart already knows. This is just an echo from your heart to never lose sight of that again.

Thoughts on a plane

I’m flying to Phoenix this weekend for a quick getaway with my girlfriends. Well, Arizona is not something you plan for summer, but it was the only place that’d work for all of us, so here we are!
My work week has been pretty chill, that is, until today. I was slammed with meetings that continued through my ride to the airport until I boarded my flight. I’m mid-air now, and it’s a long flight from Atlanta. (Well, it’s only 4 hours, but 4 hours without internet isn’t pretty!)


I’m reading both Don Quixote and Songs of Fire and Ice and have been switching between the two books for 2 hours restlessly. Why wouldn’t the plot move along! I tried to get some shut-eye, but repetitive announcements make it quite impossible. So here I’m writing my thoughts down.

Continue reading “Thoughts on a plane”

A Ghost Story?

It was a chilly February of 2014. I was in college and had participated in a robotics event at the IIT Kharagpur Tech Fest with my team of four- consisting of my then-on-and-off boyfriend and a ‘new couple’. As awkward as it was, we are not going to talk about any cute love stories or get into the inner workings of our earthquake detector bot. This is about a series of strange events that started during our 2-day stay at Kharagpur.

College fests are a foreign concept to many outside India, so I will tell some more about it. Most reputed Indian colleges conduct fests that are 2–7-day events at the home college open to participants from universities across the country. During my time, fests had two major nomination categories – Cultural/ Arts fests and Tech fests. I was a member of the Robotics Society, and our team often participated in competitions during our engineering days. Our finals were on Day 2, and that’s where our story begins.

Continue reading “A Ghost Story?”

Excuses, Giveaways, & Videotape

Excuses, Giveaways, & Videotape

Shoutout to @krenaiwit and her amazing blog- becomingwifeyblog.com! I’m thrilled to win the 250 subscriber giveaway.

Keep shining Mrs. Renai!

Getting Real About Relationships

Wifeys & Gentlemen,

OMG hi! I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve been here and I have really really missed ya’ll.

I promise (as always), I am not going to do the whole “excuses” thing, despite what the title says, and just say that between my last update and today, I have had a lot on my plate. ALOT.

I am learning how to be “okay” with not being ok all the time. I am also learning how to find that sweet balance between parenting/family, job, blog, and just being me.

This blog is such a big part of me, but it is also hard work. Unfortunately, it sometimes has to be pushed back to make more room and time for the business that pays me and the people that mean the world to me.

But enough of that; I know we all know how life works. I’m…

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The human heart could not possibly endure the loss of a child and sometimes, sons end up paying for the sins of their fathers. While funerals may vary between the rich and the poor, the grappling grief remains the same.

“You shall not bow down to (idols) or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

– (Deuteronomy 5:9-10, NIV)

Meet my Grandma

My grandma is older than India’s independence. She’s no taller than 4 feet 9 and I call her ‘Amma’. She was married at 16 to my grandfather, who she says looked like a Bollywood superstar. I have no memory of my grandfather but judging by her pride, I bet he was a catch!

Recently, I got a notification Amma was live on Facebook and I instinctively clicked to see her singing one of her favorite songs too close to the camera. The other day, I got a concerned call from her when someone commented on my display pic, “This is sick!”. She religiously explained to me how to make the perfect herbal tea to feel better. She also insisted I send her pictures of me drinking the tea for the next five days. She is addicted to online games and I often see her posting her results from quizzes like “Which Game of Thrones character are You?” or “How will you die?”. Now she’s on Twitter and her tweets crack me up every time.

Growing up, whenever I would come home after my day’s shopping, try on the clothes once again, and show them to my mom and her, she wouldn’t hold back and tell me the dress looked absolutely awful. Her complete lack of tact in ripping off the bandage amazed me every time and I would look at my mom who would say I looked beautiful anyway. That’s also the reason why I could not trust my mother with things like these!

Although deeply spiritual, Amma was never the religious type and when I would see my dad and mom going these extra miles organizing religious rites and rituals, I would see her sitting nonchalantly in a corner munching peanuts. There was a constant tiff in our house for the TV remote between my dad who wanted to watch news and godmen, and my grandma who wanted her daily dose of Ekta Kapoor soap operas. She told me one day, “Your dad is really superstitious and morbidly boring.” I mean between the two, definitely my grandma knew how to have more fun!

She was my best friend growing up and she still is. As a kid, I would look forward to accompanying her to local markets because I would get my pick at anything I wanted. Everyday before school, she would pack my lunch. She was also my go-to home tutor for Math, English, Hindi and Sanskrit. I remember asking her the same question every other day and her explaining it to me over and over again, with the same enthusiasm as the first time. She has not been cooking for years now as her health deteriorates, and I stopped eating ‘Malpuas’ the day she stepped out of kitchen.

We have our own secret handshake that ends up with me hugging and kissing her cheeks and her pretend annoyance with the whole goddamn thing. Once I was late for my flight and left the house in a hurry just kissing her goodbye only to learn later that she cried I forgot about our secret handshake. So, I made sure I did it right the next time and I saw her getting worked up and annoyed and absolutely thankful at the same time!

I have been seeing her less and less over the years and we’re not even in the same continent anymore. I try keeping up with her, but she can barely hear me over the phone. Whenever I video call her, she tells everyone I came home to visit her and my heart breaks a little. I know she won’t read or understand this anymore, even if I tell her myself, but I really do hope she knows that I carry a bit of her with me every day wherever I go!

Per Mahabharata, the epic Hindu mythology, Savitri was Satyavan’s beautiful, loyal and devoted wife, who was able to revive him after his demise by outwitting Yama (the God of Death). Side note: she was also deemed ‘Sati’, a title conferred to the most chaste of all women. Sati practice (widow burning) on the other hand emerged when the original Sati from another tale sacrificed her life for the love of Shiva, the Hindu God. Sati practice dictates that the widow must immolate herself alive on her husband’s funeral pyre should he die. The husbands do not need to burn themselves if their wives die of course. We abolished that in 1829, so I’m grateful for that! (I’m aware of oversimplifying this- it started as a voluntary tradition for widows, progressing quickly to become a forced practice that did not discount a widow’s wishes, much like every other blast from the past – topic for another day!)

Continue reading “Sati Savitri – Empowered or Enslaved?”

A Harmless Dance

A Harmless Dance

Every morning, after he left, I would rush to the window and watch him close the door behind. With my heart still beating out of my chest, I would recount the night again and see the sky blush until she would melt into a sea of sunlight. She was my friend and my confidante, and I loved mornings!

I would wait eagerly for the first rays of the sun to knock on my window sill, and as it seeped through the glass, I would retract my hand coquettishly. I would place my hand on the nook right next to the sill and look the other way until, like an old habit, I could feel the very first rays gently caressing my fingertips while the warmth slithered up my bare arms. I would pause a bit, and then offer the rest of my hand in submission.

Continue reading “A Harmless Dance”

An Open Letter to my Ex

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Dear Ex boyfriend,

I miss you sometimes. You, or the idea of you, I’m not sure. Never mind. Today is one such day.

Let’s try to catch up. I met a lot of people in the short span of the life after you. You will never know about them. I’m sure you have come a long way too and there’s no turning back.

Apparently, I am an amazing kisser. Apparently, I am not as bloated as you made me believe. Apparently, I am a strong woman and it turns out, I have dreams and aspirations too.

“How could he leave you?”

“How can anyone leave you?”

But, then,

Continue reading “An Open Letter to my Ex”

Moby Dick: or, the White Whale by Herman Melville My rating: 3 of 5 stars

moby dick

“Call me Ishmael.” – undoubtedly one of the most powerful opening lines in the history of English Literature.

But, remember that time when you were a toddler and your mom used to flash these otherwise insanely scrumptious candies at you during meals, you pounced at them and somehow they tasted like spinach and broccoli, every time? Well, that is the déjà vu I had throughout the book. I mean, this, to me, is one of the most confusing books ever written- non-fiction concealed inside a very attractive wrapper of fiction. Book? Text book? Dissertation? Thesis?

Continue reading “Moby Dick: or, the White Whale by Herman Melville My rating: 3 of 5 stars”

Blur

That is some hideous wall art. Yellow is probably the worst color in the world, or is it brown? I mean, look at it, or you could, had not the sun been staring blatantly at you the whole time. Damn you Ricky! Why wouldn’t you draw the screens for once? What is more repulsive than the constipated February sun? I want to bark at him, but that would invite a conversation, I don’t want that. Where’s the bloody coffee again?

Oh! The stench of Jasmine. Meera is here. I will just stare at my screen now. I had actually cared about her once. Hah! What a douche! That little wench doesn’t know why she’s here, forget the whats and hows. TL my foot! Continue reading “Blur”

Animal Farm by George Orwell My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Well, how do you review a book like this? Even before I delve into that, what bowled me over was how short a time it took Orwell to write this book – ‘November 1943 – February 1944’. Sure, it is a short read; a little over a hundred pages. But, what it conveys takes up an entire Constitution or someone’s entire career to convey. This book may be shy in words, but so rich in interpretation, it kind of completes itself in every reader’s mind, at its own pace and morphs into a different dystopia; different, yet same.

It is a brilliant allegory that mocks Stalin in the name of Napoleon. This is a story of Control and power struggle. Every animal mimes a familiar trait –

Continue reading “Animal Farm by George Orwell My rating: 4 of 5 stars”

Teenage Diaries: The Days That Were by Saurabh Sharma My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teenage Diaries: The Days That Were

It’s rare when a book becomes a person and starts talking to you. It’s even rarer when you start heeding this ‘book-person’ more than you do real people! For most part, it was like a conversation; like GK and I were friends forever and he was telling me one of his crazy stories yet again. I’m glad I came across this book.

For me, being able to say that is really refreshing in a way that it’s not my genre. I generally don’t go for YA. I started reading itself with this in the first place, but was soon perpetuated with the same ideas and notions being hurled in my face in the same predictable fashion. The problem with the contemporary Indian authors of this genre is that they try too hard to impress. As a reader, I feel like calling them out and yell, “Back off! I get it…I get it, damn it!” (I am offending so many people right now!) But hey, that’s just my opinion. Continue reading “Teenage Diaries: The Days That Were by Saurabh Sharma My rating: 4 of 5 stars”

THIS MODERN LOVE: a novel by Ray Hecht My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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This book plays off several shades of the contemporary grunge with a persistent neo-noir gradation. It saturates the cliché and builds it up through every paragraph till it blows into a cumulonimbus of decay. It is a tale of ‘missed connections’ and opportunities. A dystopic dirge keeps throbbing in the background while the four protagonists dance to its tune in perfect psychedelia.

It is hard to go through the book from this frame of reference. We can see ourselves in the pages making love to cellphones and avatars and losing sight of the reality while sinking deep into the mire of a new strain of love, the new romance. No one cares anymore for ‘the real thing’. Is there actually something real? Well, we do not have the time to spare on that kind of discovery. In an age of fast food and digital cash, finding true love seems rather dreary and time-consuming. We have let ourselves be annihilated with lust instead. Modern love is nothing more, but a raunchy escapade. It is more of a habit, a mechanical urge. Continue reading “THIS MODERN LOVE: a novel by Ray Hecht My rating: 4 of 5 stars”

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)

“She seemed to walk in an atmosphere of things about to happen.”

I wasn’t even aware that ‘Anne of Green Gables’ had so many sequels. When I did come to know, I decided not to read them, as sequels are never good enough. And, I did not want to spoil the fun I already had.

But, Gilbert Blythe! He made me do it. I had to know what became of them, even though I know it in my heart! I had to know how it plays over. The best part about this series is, it is so effortless. It is like a pampering spree. I cannot compare this series to any other in this regard. It is like a soothing joyride. The freshness is carried over from its prequel. Many new consequential characters were introduced. The story grows on you. It is like I and the whole of Avonlea are buddies already; as if I lived amongst them somewhere on the island.

I do admit though, it is not better than the first part. But, it could not be. Knowing Anne was the best thing ever to happen. Now, it’s like accompanying her on her journey forward. I was adamant not to go any further in the series. But, then, Gilbert Blythe hasn’t proposed yet. Anne has blushed under his gaze for the first time. And then, her ambitions; she is going to college this season. I have no choice at this point. I am going to read the third part!

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Love Beyond Social Confines by Laxman Rao My rating: 3.9 of 5 stars

Love Beyond Social Confines

I have never come across anything like this book. It is a rustic, raw, heartfelt and honest novella. It was an extremely different experience as compared to what I have been having for a long time, reading. Let me break it down to you.

First of all, I finished this book in a single sitting. The entire plot played like a docudrama in front of my eyes. It felt like I had somehow discovered somebody’s old journal and had to devour it at warp speed lest I should be found out sneaking.

It was only after reading this book that I realized how much I had missed the good old Indian writing. I am glad that people like Laxman Rao are still carrying on the legacy and doing it so brilliantly. That brings me to the author himself. I literally had goosebumps reading about his life struggles.(Yes, I like to know my authors.) It also felt like this story was a part of him, and not just something he conjured up in his mind one fine day because he decided to write a book.
Continue reading “Love Beyond Social Confines by Laxman Rao My rating: 3.9 of 5 stars”

Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

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“But if you call me Anne, please call me Anne with an ‘e’.”

Oh Anne! What a treat you were. This novella is so refreshing and innocent, it actually takes you back in time, and if it is in anyway possible, makes you ten years younger when you’re done! I was so bewitched by this ‘ravishing’ Anne that I dreaded the idea of finishing the book at all.

I never met such a girl. I could never ‘imagine’ such a girl either. What a torpedo of delights! This is one of the best coming-of-age stories out there. I would admit though, that if such a ‘scrumptious’ tiny girl really existed, she would be more intimidating than sweet, for Anne of Green Gables talked and she talked a lot and the only thing she did more than talking was imagining. Every character in the book is so relatable and unique that I cannot imagine a better way to put this story through. This girl is so prudent, yet laced to the roots in an unbelievably commendable fashion. There are so many strong messages throughout the book, yet you never feel them being rubbed on your face. There is something about this story which is simply pristine in its charm and charisma. Continue reading “Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars”

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

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“Every heart has its own skeletons.”

A scandal never gets old. It’s crazy how the human society works. We are trained consciously and subconsciously right from our birth to put up this facade of righteousness around us, while all we covertly scavenge for and relish is the darkness and the fall of anyone but ourselves.

Anna Karenina is a satire on the society, politics, war and the human character. It is also a love story and a hate story. Anna is not perfect. Anna is not righteous by the book. But, when has perfection attracted us so much as the flaws? Anything or anyone who has that power to lure our inner demons, make us feel vulnerable and in danger of melting down the facade we have been building so ardently since we can remember ourselves, is the thing we try our best not to confront and when we do, more often than not, we surrender. Continue reading “Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy My rating: 5 of 5 stars”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

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“Bah,” said Scrooge, “Humbug.”

This is a story that became the seed for so many stories, Carols, adaptations, television series, movies and what not! What Dickens conjured with three ghosts and a stingy inveterate senile miser, was never done before or could be equaled again with all the elves, fairies and Santa to the rescue.

The tale is spun so seamlessly through the shortcomings and sheer disregard of Christian feelings exhibited by the protagonist Scrooge, the hideousness of his actions, the tastelessness of his selfish attitude and his ultimate redemption in the face of death and fear. Continue reading “A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars”

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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#18th longest novel of all time.
# “One of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world”- Upton Sinclair

“Liberation is not deliverance.”

Have you ever experienced the satisfaction that comes from reading or watching something so complete that your own life comes full circle to you thereafter?
If you haven’t, read this book. If you think you have, read this book imperatively. If you have, in fact, read the book, pat yourselves on the back.

Les Miserables is Continue reading “Les Misérables by Victor Hugo My rating: 5 of 5 stars”

Walden by Henry David Thoreau My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”

Walden!

Well, I love it and hate it. But, probably I love it more. The book is so pluralistic, yet singular in the underlying idea. There are tones and undertones and overtones, yet it is the simplest thing I have ever come across.

This is one of those unwonted books that I have struggled to sit through. But, this is also a book that keeps me haunting back and forth days after finishing it. It actually makes me cogitate and think about things I had given up thinking long ago.

This book is not timeless, at least in my opinion, like the other books in this genre are. I remember myself getting so worked up with some of the ideas Thoreau planted in my brain and I could not see it materialize in the present era. May be it is just me, and technically his ideas are not impossible to execute altogether. But, I don’t find it pragmatic or rather beneficial to anybody today. “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.”

I will break it down to you.

Continue reading “Walden by Henry David Thoreau My rating: 3 of 5 stars”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

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This book is unique in a way that two lines in and the book had me completely. That’s new, because I’m a skeptic and I normally take pages or chapters to finally make up my mind about a book. What Mr. Gatsby did to the people he met, probably this book did to me. Pay attention here, I haven’t said that I liked the content yet. I only said the book had me and my undivided attention. I do not imply that I hated the content either. The book, just somehow, managed to draw the kind of attention foreign to its genre. When you delve into a “great book”, a “classic”, you normally go in slow and give it time (at least I do). But, with this book, when I got in, I was devouring everything wolfish-ly, as if I were reading a thriller or solving a mystery.

Continue reading “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald My rating: 4 of 5 stars”