Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hosseini's Kabul

The Kite Runner

Hmmm... Now what do I think about it ?!

It was a story of sadness suffering repentance acceptance forgiveness and blah and blah and blah. I know it was supposed to be a great book and all but it just did not move me. It was like a local language serial that moves on and on with twists and turns and the storyline seemed like all the hardships and difficulties in the world will come down and blowup on the central characters of the novel.

I know it's a very serious novel and has touched many hearts and I apologize for so vehemently criticizing the novel.

Yes, I pity the hardships the characters faced. Yes many of them are terrible and have happened in real life too and war has destroyed many lives and homes. I agree.

But what makes me criticize is that the spirit of the book. It didn't feel genuine. It didn't feel like it was written to show out the suffering or to speak of human values. It seemed like it was aimed at making you cry so that it can be a best-seller. Well I didn't shed a tear. Not because I am heartless. Just because it didn't touch my heart.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I love the title. Even more so how the title came to be. It's beautiful. This touched my heart. Period

The rest of the novel didn't seem to move me. In fact for most of the book I didn't follow why the story is happening. It started off well. But then, it just went on and on and it ended somewhere. I didn't even feel like it had an ending or what the book was supposed to be about. I failed to see it.

Bottom line: I can't appreciate Khaled Hosseini. I guess I shouldn't be reading his books.

The Devil Speaks

Eh ! not on this post... But in the novel "Devil and Ms Prym" by Paulo Coelho.

It was like a 'Tom & Jerry" cartoon! Each of us has the devil and the angel next to us affecting our thought :) Kinda cute.

But I found it boring and draggy. As one goes through the book the way people think is slowly transformed. It's nice how Coelho portrayed people and their thoughts and their nature.

We all want to be good. And even when we are doing something considered unethical by ourselves we still lie to ourselves and justify the act. It's trippy. As in :

Person A
A decides what is good and bad
A feels like doing what is decided previously as bad
A cannot do bad
A twists the idea and makes it sound like the previously decided good
A convinces the conscience that the might be bad deed is actually good
A convinces but the necessity of convincing comes from the fact that A thinks that the act that A is portraying as good was actually considered bad by A only.
A does whatever
A is happy
A is also worried
A is distressed
A cannot take it anymore so...
A forgets

Read the novel if you have to kill time. Makes a trippy read. Recommended especially (if you haven't read already) for Puppet/Madman, Leela and Vatsap? ( only because I think an interesting blog post will come out of it :) )

Friday, May 30, 2008

Life @ Jamshedpur

Ah! Been long since I had proper Internet access. And longer since I blogged.
Updates: I m in Jamshedpur! :)

Why? : For my internship in Tata Steel. I'm here for 8 weeks and I 'work' at the G Blast Furnace.
My project makes me do something like study a few machines and improve them.
And I have no idea how!

But the molten metal I tell you is soooooo beautiful. It flows and radiates like liquid gold. Someone said it right when they said "A country that has steel has the gold".

Been into the plant a couple of times and I'll remember this experience.

About work, it's well not really work. I haven't done anything as yet. But yeah going around and talking to people. People are nice and friendly and are willing to help on the contrary to what i heard before Icame.

Another observation : in the G BF office there is just one female employee and two female trainees (including me).

It goes without saying that the only language acceptable here is Hindi. So yes I speak in Hindi most of the time here. But yeah if you happen to know Bengali it helps. Which I don't so it doesn't in my case

About the city : It's a great vision of a great man. But other than that it has nothing. It doesn't even have a decent movie place. Oh! It has the Jubilee Park built for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Tata Steel (then TISCO).

Incidentally, this year the centenary celebrations of Tata Steel (1907-2007).
Incidentally, the day I joined, 19th May, is the death anniversary of Jamshedji N Tata.

Cheers tot he future stay :) and some work.

Friday, May 09, 2008

That Shiny Little Piece

I saw you the other day in Forum. You were eating at Mac D. I was really really happy to see you. I considered walking up to you and saying hi. But I didn't. Had it been that we hadn't spoken a word for a year I would have. But it's been only two months since we stopped talking. So I didn't know what to say to you.

And then I saw it in dangling from your neck. I can't believe that you still kept it. What do you do with it ? Look at it and cry ?? Why are you eating alone?

I wanted to run to you and hug you tight for not forgetting me and ask you all these questions. I certainly thought you'd forget me. You almost forgot me for a year now anyway. The tiny pieces of conversation we had prior to the two months hardly lasted ten minutes. I did not think I would matter to you at all.
But when I saw that shiny little piece in your chain it occurred to me that I might have made a mistake in judging you.

The phone calls, the flowers, the sketching, the skating. All the time we spent together for two years passed in front of my eyes like a flash of a camera, in photographs and short videos, including how we drifted apart, how we almost stopped talking and how we finally stopped talking.

That tiny little piece dangling from your neck is all that connects us now, now that you are out of my reach.

Ah! Here come your friends. So you are not alone. Hmmm.. who are all these people, they are so different from the people you used to hang out with. But then it included me in those days.
I walked closer so I could here the conversation.
"Hey dude! What's up? I booked the tickets just now. By this time tomorrow we would be in Mumbai!" (Mumbai? Why are you going to Mumbai?)
"Well, that's good news. Good for us. So what else?"
"Hey what's that thing in your neck? New fashion eh?"
"It's real!"
"What ?!! You are kidding me right?"
"Hush up.. It's real!" (coming from another friend)
"Come on guys! What's happening??"
"You dont what to know"
"But I do"
"You really don't"
"He shot his girlfriend with it" (coming from the other friend)
"With this bullet?!" He was so sure it was a prank!
"Naaah! Then why do you wear it?"
"This tiny little piece dangling from my neck is all that connects us now, now that she is out of my reach."

I looked at you with pride and back at the bullet that dangles from your neck.

A Sunny Day for Sunflowers

Walking down the steadily curving road was a little girl in a white dress. She looked at the shops as she passed by them and saw the beautiful things that were displayed in the windows. The wonderful dresses, stylish shades, elegant perfumes and delicious sweets were all so tempting. She gazed at them. She could buy them if she wanted. She could wear those beautiful dresses and shades and perfumes and eat those sweets. But she didn't as much as she would like to. Instead she bought a bouquet of sunflowers.

I watched her from my table by the road where I ate my sandwich and sipped my coffee every morning for breakfast. I walked up to her and asked her why she bought the flowers when she so longingly looked at the sweets and the dresses.
"At least you still would have the dress and sweets fill your stomach. What worth are these flowers which would wither away by tomorrow? You can only gaze at their beauty, but for how long?"

She smiled at me. "What are your favorite flowers?"
"The very same that lie in my arms right now?"
"Here you go!" She put them in my hands. I was surprised. "These are for you!"
I nervously smiled at her and tried to give them back to her. She stubbornly refused.

Finally I had to accept and she made to leave when I asked her for her name. She smiled. Oh, such a sweet smile! "Find out" was all she said.

It didn't make any sense to me. And I watched her walk away when I made to go back to my cold breakfast on my table. I reached my table to see that there was yet another bouquet of sunflowers lying there.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Another Magical Journey

The train began to move. The last few days passed away before I knew it and here I was alone on the journey. I felt lonely.
And it occurred to me that felt and left have just two consonants interchanged. Don't ask me why it occurred to me. But as usual I have a book to keep me company - "The Zahir" by Paulo Coelho.

I think I'm beginning to fall in love with Paulo Coelho. It's not the story nor the style of writing nor the concept. It's the person behind the book. He talks about love and all the usual stuff. But he's different.

It transforms the world around me. The dimensions of time and space do not mean anything to me. Pages turn and I am transported to France and Central Asia while in reality from Chennai to Bangalore. The book is a journey just like mine. In search of people emotions, energy of love.

But if there was one thing that I would like to change about the book, it would be the ending.

The book is about an extremely successful man who goes in search of his wife who left him. She had helped him become the success that he is and was very happy with him. Yet she left him. She was a war correspondent who found men at limits adorn ultimate love and came back to tell her husband the stories and yet she left him. She left him without notice. She just left him.
And as this wife transforms into his Zahir swallowing every thought of his, he begins his quest for her. And through this journey he finds out what really matters to her and what she truly is.

At the end of the novel he finally reaches her and gets her back. A happy ending, just like how I like it. But for this particular book I would have liked it if the story ended at her doorstep when he holds the doorknob and turns it. I felt it would have made more sense not to reveal what happens after he meets her. The reason being, the book is about the journey. It's not about the result.
Just like in the Bhagavadgeeta, concertrate on doing your best and forget about the result.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Swaying Dreams

pendulum playing peek-a-boo
time traveling in bouts of Deja Vu
the afternoon spent in deep slumber
the night that I barely remember
the day that passed in silence
the night of wavy resonance
the frothing laughter, the elegant food
conversations to suit the mood
fun delusion hiding future fears
misty eyes with silent tears
trail of thoughts the train had left
shall return no more as away I drift

A toast to all my seniors who have touched my life. A farewell to you. And may happiness always find it's way to you. Thank you for everything.