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

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Inertia


Image from the movie The Machinist













On the cold tracks of a blank tapestry
A train starts rattling through utter silence
Swarm of swirls begin spinning with vanity
Dancing wildly through haunted stillness
Obscure images play on a vast landscape
Scrambling around to form a clear shape

Lost in imagination to seek ultimate destiny
Diving deep into the sea bed of coral reef
To enjoy the remainder of life in tranquility
Basking on the beach in composed relief
All the hassles and turmoils begin to cease
The sun rises to dawn a new era of peace

Past ignites bitter hatred, future calls fear
Blood boils with an inextinguishable rage
Devious schemes sharpen a vicious spear
To avenge the heart aching sorely in a cage
Utterly dejected in the lonely years bygone
Malignant revenge never relents to move on

Contemplating the depth of synopsis written
Digging out destinies beyond the new states
Fingers drum table tops while nails get bitten,
Wheels spin, nerves throb at increasing rates
To nail down objectives fixed hard on target
As the triumph is worth every bead of sweat

Recollection of precious pebbles of jovial times
That dwell deep in the memory of loved ones
Trickles of happy tears bring along many smiles
Eyes twinkle as they look up to the great heavens
Every moment in the lifetime is dearly cherished
As the glint of the past years is never tarnished

Eyes roll deep within, legs oscillate in agitation
Worrying about things of fast approaching days,
Which are beyond control; no room for realization
Then anxiety plays symphony in tormenting ways
"What next? What to do?" nags the spinning mind
Finally, "Let's see what happens. Try not to mind,"

The grand finale approached fast ringing from afar
With honks killing the silence, lights blurring the view,
Magnifying noises entreated to step out of the car
For the roaring engine hardly moved an inch or two
The train racing ahead of time, came to a sudden halt;
Awakening caused the shutdown of the central vault

March 03, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

SHE by H. Rider Haggard


Ursula Andress as SHE

All the books I read after Frankenstein didn't impress me much. That's the reason why I didn't write anything about them. They failed to seize my mind. I remember I have said in my review of King Solomon's Mines that She and Ayesha: The Return of She are next in my reading list. The time finally came to pick up She and what do you know? It overpowered me completely! Rider Haggard did it again. He is a genius! The words to admire him for this work falls short by miles. The concept of creating a woman who is so beautiful in every way, whose grandeur and beauty mesmerizes every man on earth is put forth by the power of words. There is more. It is very desirable for anyone that such a goddess should defy her age and live more than a thousand years. It is so! She is more than 2000 years old. She is not only beautiful by her appearance but also by her splendid Wisdom of Life she has gained over the years. The charm with which philosophy of Life is sandwiched in this history of adventure is truly remarkable. It talks about religion and the faith in God and His existence by giving details which seem subtle and clear at the same time. Such written accounts have made me read again and again to understand the core, which is much more than meets the eye.

It was incredible for to me to learn about the fictitious Caves of Kor. The beautiful landscapes, the tribe of Amahaggar and their hideous customs: the skill with which these are written greatly stimulated my mind. The insides of the caves are described in such a great detail that the sculptures on the walls of the caves have their own tales of history; especially the story of Wedded-in-Death is an exciting one. Ah! The more I try to say about the book, the lesser I succeed in describing its splendor!

Don't be surprised that I haven't revealed anything about the plot and the characters of the story like I do in my book reviews. Its only because I don't want to. Because it will kill the enthusiasm of enjoyment for anyone who is wanting to read the book. Finally, here is a list my favorite chapters of the novel:
Book Cover

Chapters:
10. Speculations
17. The Balance Turns
20. Triumph
21. The Dead And Living Meet
22. Job Has a Presentiment
23. Temple of Truth
25. The Spirit of Life

Further reading:
Quotes and passages from She: Goodreads.com

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Elysium

ELYSIUM
Long steps taken forward with slow and steady strides,
Enjoying lush green landscapes along the countrysides:
Speckled with blooming flowers in the distant trees,
That swayed gaily in the cool winds carrying salted sprays
As the sun drowns beyond the seas with his last rays

All the straws are sewn to form a world so exquisite
As the words are fed to the ears listening intently to elicit -
An Elysium from the heart having deepest hidden desires
Waiting for ages to be free because of untold sorrows
Of not savoring the glory, buried they were in the hollows

When the craving eyes opened to see the face of reality
Among the bed of roses, there was a lonely palm tree
Planted in the backyard garden of a solitary cottage
Shining droplets landed on her joyous face from the skies
Like pearls from heaven against the darkness in her blue eyes

The heart poured out pitiful tears in unutterable distress
Unable to bear the guilt of envy caused by words of joyfulness
Rotten chagrin & shame ascended the throne instead of euphoria
Although it was a little cottage; to her it was a wonderland
But for the rest of the eyes, it was nothing but a barren land

Those pleasing words aspired to open the blinds of gloom:
An endeavor to live life in the couch of her soul-room
The magical spells were her means to foster a paradise
For ultimate delight is flourished from deep within the core
Then the glamour of innate beauty is felt like never before

February 20, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Featured in WE DRINK BECAUSE WE'RE POETS

My poem Identity is featured in We Drink Because We're Poets. Click here to read it. Hope you like it! Thanks for reading.



Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Flower Basket



A basket full of love - rich with endearing flowers
That are tinted only with colors of utmost happiness
Made those innocent eyes shimmer with sparkling showers
While the lips widened to wear a smile of eagerness

As the basket is taken along the hedges of a beautiful garden,
The breeze of misty morning made dew drops trickle down
And quench the earth's thirst, letting the shrubs thrive in the open
While the floral fragrance is savored until the sun goes down

Suddenly, the morning bliss turned savagely gloomy
For there came a darkest storm pelting black stones
Which obliterated the flowers till they bled for mercy
This brutal assault made agony ooze in muted groans

The river of sad tears persistently flowed for a long time
Until the gnawing pain dwindled, then the eyes caught a sign
Beyond the depths of a fragile kernel, quivering with fear:
A spark of faint hope - making the storm slowly disappear

When the spark flourished into full beams of celestial light
The basket is carried again; this time with strength & courage
Those stones remained at the bottom with their smirks of spite
To unleash terror; for the traumatic past was held hostage

Its only when new fragrant flowers are brought in,
Enchanting beauty is replenished with dancing butterflies
As the flowers covered up those heinous stones of pain & sin
Returning smiles to the lips & joyful shine to those weary eyes

*    *    *
Started: 20 January 2014 Finished: 22 January 2014


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Face of Misery


His hands stretched wide rested on the edge of a large water basin, his body slightly bent, head sunk on his chest - panting, his fast deep breaths broke the silence of the men's room. Keeping his eyes closed he could feel the a bead of sweat trickling down his nose and hanging at its tip. When he opened his eyes and looked up facing the mirror, that bead finally dripped in the small pool of water which disturbed the melody of  his breaths.

Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he could see the watery lines on his forehead flown down on his cheeks. It was caused by intense workout in the gym. He had never worked out so hard and so long ever before. His eyes were red and his wet shirt clung to his body. After a short while, his breathing eased. His eyes kept staring at the frame of glass - without blinking; he couldn't see himself; he seemed lost somewhere, somewhere deep...

It was a woman; the woman he had begun to love. The thoughts about what she told him last night had seized him. Her words resonated in his mind ever since she hung up upon him. The thoughts became vivid images in the inner eye. It was not even a month since they had started talking to understand each other. He had developed an intense like for her. But he never wondered she would talk so hard on him without knowing him completely. The pain of her words was exploding in his mind like mortar rounds. He felt the apprehension in her voice about her future with him. He was unable to digest the thought that she could think of him so lightly when it was just a beginning of a long journey.

Suddenly he began blinking his eyes and looked at the face of misery standing in front of him. He was pulled back into reality. He saw the sweat droplets around his eye brows getting evaporated leaving grayish crystalline stain. All he could do to comfort his mind is to feed it with these words: "She is just a girl; she is not a woman yet. Never mind about what happened. I'll talk to her again tonight. But, not to worry. She'll get there; she will get there..."

December 6, 2013

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Condemned Stone



A small stone fallen from the great rocky mountains
Insignificant, repulsive and brittle with razor sharp edges
It was cursed, then stranded and ultimately... forgotten
Rusted under the dark clouds among the weedy hedges

It lived in a world so cruel that the rains never poured,
Neither a flower, nor a bird; not a thing of beauty was adored
The sun never opened his eyes to bless this dejected piece of rock
Thus, even in the haunted stillness, the leaves trembled in shock

It was proclaimed, "The stone does not deserve to be here!"
Unable to withstand its presence, the stone was thrown away
To a place that was never known - infested with peril and fear -
An ugly festering face of mercy that nature can possibly display

It was a new world where time always crawled like a snail;
Scorching days never came to an end, nor did the miserable nights
Tormenting years prolonged forever, just like an endless tragic tale
Storms got increasingly fierce making the seas explode with huge tides

Rains poured mercilessly hard and the drops shot like arrows
Spearheaded by bolts of fury blistering from those volcanic clouds
It was fated for the stone to endure these immortal pangs of sorrow
And face the wrath of nature being wrapped in blazing shrouds

The stone didn't get ornamented despite all the act of terror
Neither did it shatter, nor did the sharp edges become slick
But, all the unrelenting dirt got peeled off in the sight of horror
And got transformed into a gem that was once regarded sick

This marked the gem's show of real power and splendor!
Then it was time for this new world to reveal its true self:
It was a planet meant only for such gems to twinkle and prosper;
A star of everlasting radiance; a self-sustaining galaxy all by itself!

The world that abandoned the stone was stunned!
To see it as a priceless gem that was once shunned
It was indeed a miracle to see the sun open his eyes
As he couldn't stand its beaming rays piercing the skies

The world in which the gem was battered and discouraged
Always made sure this enchanting beauty was kept unseen
But the boon was guarded safely within from being ravaged
Waiting to be unveiled from the darkest abyss ever seen

The stone was indeed undeserved to be in that world of scorn
For it was destined to stand alone and outshine as a scion of Victory
The wait must come to an end; the day of reckoning must dawn
As the gem was born to be the beacon of Excellence and Glory

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Best Left Unspoken

Every time I think of you,
I feel the tenderness of your heart
Which never fails to mesmerize me
The more I tried to describe your beauty
I always found it less - much, much less
For your love cannot be measured by words;
The feelings I have for you cannot be uttered
Truth is, words lack power to carry
The weight of our divine emotions
So the last thing I want to say,
From the bottom of my heart, is:
My soul blooms when I talk with you,
Then the world around me is never the same
For it is only filled with happiness
So, it's best to leave our love unspoken

November 14, 2013

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knowledge, Intelligence and Talent

What makes you deduce that a person is intelligent? Think about it for a while. What made me to come up with this question is that there is misconception among certain people: People with knowledge or people with higher degrees of education are intelligent people. I strongly disagree. What is knowledge? Its nothing but information, facts, understanding of a particular subject. Let's say you have all of that. Then you are merely knowledgeable on the subject. It doesn't make you intelligent. You're not intelligent unless you utilize your knowledge. If I see two people with different levels of education in, let's say: Computer Networks, I will not and can not say one person is more intelligent than the other. I agree that to achieve what you wish for, knowledge is needed. It depends on the individual how far he goes to gain knowledge. Patience and perseverance are severely tested. Once desired knowledge is gained, it doesn't make him/her intelligent. Intelligence comes to show when how quickly or effectively one applies the gained knowledge practically to solve real world problems. What's the use if there is sack of rice in the cellar which is never used? It ultimately decays. So, be wise in choosing what you really want to become. Its useless to cram your mind with all knowledge and go on boasting on the streets, "Hey! I know this, I know that. I learnt rocket science. I learnt biology, medicine, geology." I say, "Oh yeah? What have you done with all that? Have you built a rocket ship which carries loads of medicines to treat sick martians? Gimme a break!" Bottom line is: Knowledge does not make you intelligent. It only makes you knowledgeable.

There is one important thing which is worth adding here. In certain people, knowledge brings ego with it. The same is said in the Bhagavad Gita as "Knowledge without character". When you ponder over this phrase, it actually makes a lot of sense. Here is a simple real life example to illustrate its meaning. Lets go back to college days. Imagine your professor is super smart. Later you realize that he is equally conceited. Do you think you will ever go to him to understand the subject or to clarify your doubts? I guess not. Instead, you avoid him and disregard him. But, if he was a nice laid-back guy, you would have visited him more often and learnt more. So, who wins at the end of the day? Its the character of a man, not knowledge.

Lets talk about talent now. What is talent? Its an innate gift of certain art. In my opinion, everyone is equally talented in their respective fields of interests. If anyone points out, "Hey, the first guy is more talented than the second guy." I won't agree. Its just that the second guy has not discovered his talent yet. Discovery of talent happens in many ways. Very often, you want to let out your emotions - be it joy, sorrow or wild excitement. If you dig deeper into your soul, these emotions get liberated, or get channelized as a work of art - writing, singing, dancing, or some new invention in science and technology. Some discover their talents all by themselves, some need inspirations and the rest discover it in their own weird ways. While some people don't discover their gifts at all; its their loss. I still remember the day when I admired poetry of my co-worker and decided that I will come up with my own stuff. I had to struggle a bit to align my scrambled thoughts to come up with my first piece. So, writing became my let out. Let me give you a spiritual insight of this. God creates humans in equal order. So, how can you say God is biased or prejudiced to gift only a certain set of individuals with talents, and not everyone? He looks down upon us as equal beings and helps the needy. So, what I am saying is all are equally talented; its up to you to discover it and unravel it from within yourself.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Interview with Zest Literary Journal

Dear Friends,

As a follow up of publication of Issue 3 of Zest Literary Journal, I am extremely delighted to share the news that I had the wonderful privilege by the Executive Editor, Kate Alexander, to feature me in an interview.

Click here to read it: Why We Write: Amit Herlekar

Cheers,
Amit


Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Rocking Chair


Sunk in my chair, legs crossed
Fingers gently brushing my lips
Rocking my chair pensively
You cross my mind
Then the rocking stops
My face blooms with a faint smile
Looking up at the azure sky
My eyes begin to glitter
Against the rays of the setting sun
While the birds are soaring gaily
Returning to their homes
I pull you back from my memory
And see through the life we lived,
Together with love & compassion

I never missed laughing
At all your jokes
Knowing they weren't funny
That was one way to
See the best picture
Of my life:
Your beautiful face 
Wearing a lovely smile

We walked hand in hand
On our everyday strolls at dusk
Enjoyed the cool weather all around
Made sure words didn't steal our smiles
Glimpsing at each other from time to time
For our eyes spoke a thousand words at once
And innocence dominated the air
Filling it with long-lasting fragrance
Of overgrown budding jasmines
While we watched the little kids play

Back home,
 As you laid your head
On my shoulder
With my arms around you
In my inner eye
I wondered: Is this a dream?
Or, am I in heaven?
Then I returned to reality
With a firm belief:
I am blessed to have you

Now those golden years are bygone
I sit here, in this chair, and cherish
Those priceless moments
Which come to me as dreams
For I lived my life to the fullest,
Without any regrets
Even though you've left this world
I know you are watching over me
From the heavens above

December 19, 2013

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jee Le Zaraa...

This is an English translation of the Hindi song: Jee Le Zara from the movie: Talaash. I must confess, this is not a word-by-word translation of the song. I have attempted to bring out the real essence out of it. That said, no translation can beat the song. Its about keeping the last dying hope alive, sung beautifully in a voice filled with pain. This song moved me a lot. So the translation below, is my tribute to it. Please listen to the song first:


I am pondering in silence; you are quiet as well, 
Honestly, the fault is all because of the time
Every heartbeat always resonates grief and sorrow
And yet, I don't know why the heart still says:

Live your life... please try a little... just a little
Oh my life companion, the one who speaks my voice
Please come closer to me... try living a little

I don't deny that life is full of pain
But there is solace in it as well
We both know: I am yours and you are mine
So let us be the same; so will be the desire between us
But, why is the bridge broken between our hearts?
Why are we upset even to live our own lives?
Come, let us open the doors of our hearts,
And let us both pour our hearts out:

Live your life... please try a little... just a little
Oh my life companion, the one who speaks my voice
Please come closer to me... try living a little

Let the clouds of sadness pass away
Now then let our lives shimmer with joy
Put the bitter past behind our backs
At least listen to what the heart has to say:

Live your life... please try a little... just a little
Oh my life companion, the one who speaks my voice
Please come closer to me... try living a little

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Recent Reading Experience

What I really feel according to my recent reading experience is that, stories should only nudge your mind, not your heart. I mean, a story should carry intelligence, twists, etc. It should not be that, I should get emotionally attached to a book. Otherwise, it messes my mind and heart. I recently read Frankenstein and The Catcher of the Rye - both, excellent novels. Frankenstein, as described in my book review, is a fantastic novel. But its a very depressing story. It manipulated me in some way. I felt very low. Same is the case with The Catcher in the Rye. Its a sad monotonous novel about a secluded boy. There is never a doubt about the magnificence of these works. But, they made me emotionally crippled. It affected the real me. That's a huge problem. I stop being myself and start being someone else without even realizing it. Could you possibly see how confused I became in the swamp of mental distress? I lost control - the grip of being strong. I became fragile and weak emotionally, and thus leading to dilemma and dismay. I was trapped in the mist of melancholy and negative thoughts overpowered me continuously. Trust me, its terrible to go through this. I felt as if my life was taking its toll. I am writing these words now because I am gaining that lost strength, regaining my old self. I haven't picked up a book for the past four days as I was determined to take a break. I never knew this break would lead to this realization. I guess whatever happened, its good. It became my "Self realization exercise". It got best exercised now: when I am alone. Boy, books are indeed harmful!

Novels on detective science, mystery, crime, thrillers, adventures won't let me down if I find them really good. They deal only with the mind. They boost my spirits up to a great degree and the control is entirely held by my mind. It makes me ambitious to come up with something new, something creative. I had plans of reading Charles Dickens critically acclaimed novel: Great Exceptions and there is one classic by Russian author titled: Crime and Punishment. I guess I have to remove these books from my reading list to have a healthy and sound mind. Next reading stop: The Daughter of Time. I am feeling so much better having let all of this down here. Thank God! My blog saves me from many troubles. Whew!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Please Vote!

You heard what I said. Please vote. That's the least you could do. Legally. To witness change in this country we live in, that's all we can do. Vote! That's our right; our only privilege to change the face of our nation. Let's exercise it.

I have been festering in the middle of so many discussions about India's problems and unresolved issues while having lunch with colleagues and during tea breaks. I sit quietly because I very well know I can't do anything about it. Mainly because I am not at all interested in it and secondly, I really can't do anything about it. I am helpless. Everyone is smart enough to talk and debate for hours about high voltage drama that's shown on news channels and in the newspapers. Today's media is constantly feeding negativism. So our minds are tuned to it. We don't get excited if there is any pleasant news. And how can media lose their business, when they know that only the scandalous news is making money for them? And we, "smart people", all we do is talking. If we are so much concerned about the country's progress, why do we just sit and blabber about how pathetic India is? Why don't we join politics and start making the change?

So, considering most citizens, who want to live their lives the easy way, but sick and tired of the state of affairs of the country, the best thing we can do is vote. We are seeing drama everyday on TV. We are watching news, interviews and talk shows involving our leading political leaders. So, its an undeniable fact that we do have just enough intelligence to foresee a person leading our country who can bring in that change. I am not saying the change will happen overnight. It will certainly take time. But by exercising our basic right of casting vote is the first step towards the change that we anticipate. "How does my vote count? After all It's a single vote! It hardly matters." The answer is, no! It matters. Even I used to think in the same way. Trust me, there are many citizens who think likewise. And what happens? Looking at the total voting count, the number dangles between 45% and 60%. And this number is going to decide who is going to govern the country! What's worse! Some part of this percentage comes from people who are lured by money and all other immoral/illegal means to cast their votes to hand-picked "so called" leaders without their free will. Therefore, I am entreating all the citizens of India to cast their votes in this year's general elections.

When I shared this with my colleague, he came up with new information. This time there is a choice of "None of these" on the voting machines. If you think that none of the political leaders are fit, you can select this option. What next? Well, there is a fight going on in the Supreme Court. If the count of this is 50% and above, there will be a re-election. The Election Commission will set a directive which won't let the same babus stand a chance for the second time. Well, I think this is a start, better than nothing.

I implore to all the politicians of India. Improvement of the nation not only means to bring in new opportunities, industries, jobs, infrastructure, etc. All of this will happen anyway. There is no way stopping these objectives from execution. But lets accept the fact. India is in huge pile of mess and corruption is the stinking scum of it. It needs to be cleaned up - from the grass-roots to the leaves. Then, it will be a big leap forward to make our country flourish faster. Then any citizen won't have to bribe in any Government offices. Elected officials should be bound to do their duties rightfully. Otherwise, they should be sacked. Its so distressing even to think of situations when I had to bribe just to make them listen to my words. Curbing corruption will certainly improve the overall development progress of the entire nation. The other point that is equally indispensable is security. People are afraid to walk on streets. Indian judiciary is very strong. But it lacks strict and prompt execution. Cops are meant to protect people. Their duty is to ensure security. But they act powerless. So people are scared of cops. This is deplorable.

Now, please don't tell me you don't have a voter's card. That's such lame and a crappy excuse man. Give me a break! Its such a ridiculous reason. If you don't have this and/or you don't want to cast your vote, then please don't talk anything about current affairs of this country. Because you don't have the god damn right to discuss bullshit. I want to have my meal peacefully at least once in a day. I don't want spoil my day with your crap filled bowl of political diagnosis which will always leave my stomach upset!

EVERY VOTE COUNTS. BEGINNING APRIL 7, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

A masterpiece! That's all I can say. This is the book where I relished every line of every page. Mary Shelley is the person who has really got the skill to express deepest emotions of the heart and complexities of a passionate mind through words. She is simply brilliant. The book absorbed me and I played Frankenstein and the monster as I read along!

The book starts with four letters. I can never imagine how anyone could write such beautiful letters with so much feelings in it. Mind you, the word "beautiful" is so impotent that it is not even close in describing the real beauty of writing in those letters. I think those letters are the best ones I have ever read in my life. Then the story forks away to start the actual plot. And it grows more and more exciting with the words minutely detailing the inception of Frankenstein's eccentric idea. The way he ardently prepares himself to learn the hidden secrets of nature, and finally decides to create life from the dead all by himself! The words expressed are so thought provoking that they nudged my brain cells as I was devouring them. It certainly made me think for a while, "Yes, it could be possible."

Chapters 8 - 9: Incredible chapters - They make the reader devour sorrow! They describe misery and suffering of a little girl who is sentenced to death  because she is falsely convicted of murder. Imagine the despair when the girl is sweet, loving and caring by nature. How can it be possible for a writer to express grief so splendidly in words which I am so powerless to express its beauty in the least possible way? I think its only Mary Shelley. Chapter 10: It details the beauty of the great Swiss Alps. It will take you on a hike along with Frankenstein.

Chapters 12 - 16: As the story moves along, it describes how the monster (abandoned by its creator) learns about human beings; our ways, our language, our history and how all this knowledge changes the mindset of it. It also learns about human feelings and emotions that form bonds of family and friendship. Its phenomenal to see how a creature understands and perceives humanity. Then the confusion that knowledge imparts on which side to choose when it learns both good and evil. It studies endearing humans within its vicinity which, despite being stranded, longs for being loved, to be one among the humans instead of worldly pleasure or vice. Thus, the creature chooses the good side of it. This provides a great insight to think that even a wretch, both horrid and repulsive by looks, has intense desire to love and be loved unconditionally. To me, this monster is a metaphor and it is explained brilliantly in great detail. Love does not go by looks. One needs to see what lies beneath. Once the monster makes an attempt to face the humans asking for shelter with pure intentions, it gets forsaken only to cause bitter hatred towards them. Thus, it decides to ravage its creator!


Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore, I am powerful!

What follows is a very tragic tale of despair and misery. Each chapter dwells deeper into the heart sickened by agony which any reader can easily relate. The description of sorrow is so painful that one begins to believe that there is no life without loved ones.

Mary Shelley is a brilliant narrator. She had an invaluable gift of story telling. Every chapter has passages and quotes that I will cherish forever. I have highlighted them in the book. It's amazing to think that a person can be filled with so many splendid thoughts and can put them forth using words! She wrote this novel at the age of nineteen which I think is extraordinary. It's amazing! So far, honestly, classical novels have never failed me. They always keep their promises. This one has taught me many things which I will never be able express here. The novel is a bomb, a stupendous poem of epic proportions that explodes your mind with unimaginable power. This is certainly a must-read-again book for me.

Further reading: