Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Review: Lost Horizon by James Hilton



If we were to think that Shangri-La is just a myth and that it does not exist, we are wrong. Because this book brings it alive upon the valley of Blue Moon. The story is about four people, on board a hijacked aeroplane, are taken to an unknown place in the stormy mountains of Tibet. They eventually find refuge in a lamasery at Shangri-La. This is where it all begins. The unmatched natural beauty of the lamasery and the surrounding landscape is very enticing. It occurred to me that I want to make my home there.

The characterization of the four people is very unique. It feels they are real people I come across every day; a funny American, two British Consuls and a Christian missionary - all with different mindsets who blend well with different situations; but there is one person who doesn't. I must admit that the main character, Richard Conway, reflects my soul very intimately. The story is fast-paced; it does not waste time in narrating unnecessary details. This enabled me to get immersed in the novel completely.

The latter half of the book is about philosophy. It is centered around the principle of moderation. The atmospherics of Shangri-La and the discipline of moderation makes man defy time - he ages slowly, but he cannot live forever - death is inevitable. The idea behind the principle is, that man's dedication needs enough time to attain the highest level of wisdom; moderation is the way in which there is no race against time. You will comfortably learn everything about Nature at your own pace. Apart from this, the thought processes involved in the minds of the High Lama, Chang and Convey, and the interactions between them are exquisitely detailed. H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines and She also describe philosophy. But, this one has a different feel to it - an exotic flavor that is enjoyable to read.

I hardly have any words to describe the extent of beauty with which this book is written. If I like to put it the other way, the words by which the Secret of Happy Life is articulated is so enchanting that it truly defines the beautiful mind and soul of James Hilton. I have become a big fan of this guy and I long to read all his works. Well, this invaluable novel deserves to be in everyone's bookshelf. I would certainly revisit it sometime in the future. Lastly, I quote the words by the High Lama to lift your spirits up.

My friend, it is not an arduous task that I bequeath, for our order knows only silken bonds. To be gentle and patient, to care for the riches of the mind, to preside in wisdom and secrecy while the storm rages without — it will all be very pleasantly simple for you, and you will doubtless find great happiness.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Face Of Many Mirrors

A jolly kid facing a tall frame of glass
Began admiring himself at the reflection
His eyes squinted, twinkling with curiosity
Oh! What a delight it was to see that boy!
His head held high, hair neatly cropped,
Hands in his pockets, legs parted in style,
And appreciating all the minute details,
He bloomed with a smile of great pride

Another mirror came hopping around
And it stood to the left of that old frame
It was lofty piece with ornamented frame
Its regal appearance stole his eyes away
He tirelessly jumped out of excitement
At the spectacle of this new found thing
The joy inside him went out of control

But it was an incongruous affair in between
Which the boy did not entirely comprehend:
The awful grimace reflected by the new glass
And yet, he kept on playing with it because,
He was mesmerized by its alluring beauty
Nonetheless, he could not neglect anymore
The height of cold animosity ridiculed by it

When the boy grew old enough into a man,
He contemplated the mirror and realized,
"I am blindfolded by its contrived charm."
As darkness was looming inside his heart,
Developing into a plague of disgusting gloom
He could ignore his own grimace, no more!
Hence he embraced the mirror on the right,
And the one on the left was left all alone


October 14, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Struggle Within



The confrontation of mind and heart
Conceals the emotions deep within
When they are revolting to break out
It is the instinct - the innate nature
Of the soul not to show or utter
Even the slightest hint of sorrow

The dam of silent tears is closed
Behind the mask of my impassive face
A great degree of violent pain is endured
When a volcano on the verge of eruption
Is capped by silence to let it implode
Not to cause additional distress

My conscience does not comprehend,
That the silence evokes hostility
Which haunts in the eyes gazing at me
But they will never understand,
The agony inflicted upon the heart

Accusation begins to confront avoidance
Adjuring to break the distancing silence
Without understanding the struggle within

August 6, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Inferno: The Beating Of A Dead Heart

INFERNO

The Beating Of A Dead Heart


Head turned back, brows locked, eyes fixed on the stormy sky
Unrelenting to forgive, hate boiled to a point of raging flame
For the prestige of it was too dear to lose out to compassion
Nurtured by vigorous vanity, contempt had grown into cancer
Such callous display expected nothing in return but loathing
Waiting in vain with great patience for the final touch down
Proud to be crowned as an atrocious prince of willful scorn
Spite was surplus in the heart making it oblivious of mercy

As the curtains went up, it was an unexpected surprise;
A sight of displeasure began clouding those furious eyes
It was not hate that was revealed! It was a face of love,
Emanating from the bottom of a heart crying out of pity
In a dire need to cradle that heart under the spell of evil
Tears were shed in prayers to root out the abhorrence,
And to plant a seed of love that will grow like a beanstalk,
To flourish a heart that beats in rhythms of endearment

But compassion was mistaken to be an act of retaliation
Then assault was launched only to receive warm affections
Spears of vicious snakes hurled, boomeranged garlands
Infuriating the hostility burning to the point of inferno
Such a heart which only detests when infected with hate,
Turned those eyes blind towards the sweet colors of love
Thus, without standing the sight of a hand offering to help,
Love tasted bitter as it was regarded as sickening poison

The beauty of love did not decline in the wicked sight of hate
It grew brighter with every audacious show of abomination
Like a rising sun at dawn, spreading the subtle morning rays,
A gentle breeze blew and chased those stormy clouds away
The resenting heart did not see a chance to change its stand
Utterly reluctant to accept the face of loss in a petty battle
Thus, it ended living in perpetual death of gnawing vexation
Ultimately, a prolonged repentance burnt the soul to cinder

July 30, 2014