SEA OF POPPIES BY AMITAV GHOSH(book review)

September 7, 2009 § 20 Comments

Yes it is a nice book, yes I loved it. But on second thought, what happened anyway?

A disposed Landlord being sent to exile, a woman rescued from the pyre of her husband by a fellow from a lower caste , Opium(hence the sea of poppies) addicts , Opium harvesting , Opium wars(being mentioned) , ship and boats and well friendships across races and colours.

If this book(as it is) was written by anyone else other than Ghosh, I will dare say, it wouldn’t have been a hit. It’s not my favorite among his works(The Hungry Tide swallows that) but there is something about it which actually makes you like the book. Of course since there are a couple of sequels to follow, we are left to wonder.

Yet the ending is not that Strong, especially for someone like me, for whom “series” represents either the Happy Potter variety or the Blyton or the Christi variety. I felt slightly cheated, as if I was left in the middle of the ocean, no clue as to what I was doing there. Maybe the ship could have sailed a bit more, but it is the authors choice I wonder whats in store.

For those who are used to reading Ghosh’s book, there are no surprises in this one. The backdrop is Indian(and as usual has a lot to do with Bengal) and the characters are as usual well presented. There is always a variety in his characters and in the books which I have read(three I think) none of them are repetitive either in personality or in presentation.

Its pretty light(maybe because the other books which I am reading at the moment are way more serious stuff). I am pretty comfortable with his writing and the way he takes his stories. The 500 odd pages fly by, no drags anywhere. The book jumps ships pretty fast and its always nice to read things which make the world look like a small place.

Rating:- 9/10( as I said it is the ending!)

Image from here.

My little sister’s project on Mughals :)

August 6, 2009 § 23 Comments

Yup thats my sister and her friends 😛 They did this for a computer science project 🙂 (after making me download a software called Photostory { ya microsoft does have a few free software!} ) .

” Laziness is the mother of invention” , so mom feels because :-

Got them to speak through the speaker mode on the phone from their houses.

Click here to read her entry and comment on it 🙂

HA if only I was that innovative 😛 The maximum I have done till date is to assemble a project in under 15 mins( took print outs of the material and pics , told people to bring charts , sketches etc and assembled in school 😛 – I do miss those things 😦 )

And ya do comment on her blog ( ya ya she finally has decided it is high time she starts writing over there diligently 🙂 )

P.S:-Krithu I know you don’t like me to call you little , but come on kiddo , you are only in seventh!!

Happy birthday shy-u

July 1, 2009 § 13 Comments

From Downloads

The only person on this earth who hates being clicked – ya thats my cousin . She whined and whined after I clicked this photo . Her eyes “ache” when  someone takes a photo (even without the flash 😉 ) . And of course I never got the chance to take a photo of the palm tree 😉

The baby among us , but trust me she is the best among us(cousins) when it comes to fighting 😉

So from all of us – happy happy birthday 😉

P.S:- where is my chocolate ?

P.S:- I am off to college so you can’t call and shout at me , lol 😛

Barriers and justice

April 7, 2009 § 13 Comments

Something stood still-
A barrier to his will ;
As if efforts are meant to be laughed at,
And the world lived far away from the facts.

A day would come , someday,
Where all that was not his would fall;
In a sudden breath of brilliance ,
Life would seem high away in the stars.

Until till , everyday and night ,
He dreamt and saw them high;
His morning star ,he waited for,
The time for the inner call.

Till then he lay , his dreams
never dormant , yet for a few moments,
His mind did torment and remind him
Of days , when love scant and fray.

The wall did stand still ,
But he did paint it –
till it does fall finally,
The paint was a coat of sanity.

And as he does see it as just another wall ,
For the world, he is just another brick in the wall*
But nothing else matters*,
Someday*, things will flipside*,

An overture will break it and give him life
And as the first allegro breaks from the largo,
Life then slowly does seem to raise to the Prestissimo ,
And to the ulterior he can move and grow.

What is within is forever,
The spirit, the will of one will never
Fade into the common commotion of noise
But will rather stand out-the voice of the insane poise.

What does matter does lay in wait,
Down the path ,through the fare way
Placed by our own actions and our plays
Which do make , a butterfly ,

The harbinger of the universe’s fate.
A picture is never complete,
For the world never accepts defeat,
For its desire is to seek,

The purpose and raise higher,
To where the rising sun is lower
And the plains and hills of Earth a blur,
Beyond the bright tempting azure.

But it was about him and not the world,
But it is about him and not the world,
But it will be about him and not the world,
A conceited almost nullity,

Yet if not for him , what could be?
And where will be the ability to see
And hear him and his temperament
His staunch vivacity?

The picture is complete,
For finally The artist does paint the eye,
And the work does come alive ,
And the protagonist does abide,

None. For he is born out of a will ,
And until it is fulfilled, he will walk
The land , how ever long it is spanned
And fulfil the thoughts plan.

Independence contingent upon man,
Destiny presupposed , yet a juxtapose
Did did I rise and it did choose,
And so it will never lose.

Man’s work is to break Inability,
To achieve it or not is destiny.
Mortality is lost ,
When sense of reality is found.

The only justice is poetic,
And it is set into a music,
The matrix when one does act,
The feeling we know it for a fact.

The light shines the brightest

*- Name of songs.

The essence

April 1, 2009 § 9 Comments

Sense,
Essence,
At a certain distance,
Connected through reverence or vengeance.
For a few a revelation,
Others a illegitimate menace.

Far away from the visceral planes,
Where one notorious thought reins,
In a dream of a certain refrain,
The colours of freedom seem strained.

Through the senses-scintillations,
Through the emotions-vibrations,
The balance of  past and future,
Deliberately hang on the vision,
Of a mortal and bound scion.

Words may pass wisdom,
Actions may give martyrdom,
But neither can provoke, freedom,
Unless within the creature arises
A stroke (almost a epiphany,
Yet one of time’s boundless nature)
On the verge of breaching space,
Yet binds the universe,
Into the cramped room of a head.
And there it fills the thoughts,
The emotions and something shines,
A rudimentary essence,
The grit of our race’s existence.
Origin unknown,
Yet never visceral,
It is the knowledge of many an incidental,
carved into the nerves -the child
Of verses of unknown depths
And the knows worlds’ heavens.

And as such a realization dawns upon,
In those glorious hours,which life is called upon,
Everything tries to belong and then in a strung call,
Falls upon and arranges as if bound by a song,
To show the exactitude-the answer to the puzzle
Of living. Yet by the time the strains resurface,
Negligence reverberates and confiscates,
The essence through illusions.

At that,petty decorations need harnessing-
Water needs colour,
For the solvent cannot solve,
The lack of opaque it possesses,
For it is deemed unclean without spillage
For a bearded man said that was its visage.

And while the forces seem violent-
The wind torrential in its wisdom
And the seas tumultuous in action,
Humans throng and try to belong through religion.
The docile are then fermented
With ideas that man is tormented
By the virtues used
To bind him and rule.

Albeit that does come purity,
But then named
Heretic ,by some capricious decree,
Only later , understood to be,
What is really seen;
But veracity needed fire
And so it was lit
With a match upon a soulless hay
With chants of hail for the gist of the display.
Such are binds which curtail the hands
Of values and refined sands.

They call him the devil,
And he does roam among humans.
he has no eight tails waging
Or thirteen a table set,
All he has is a gullible mind
And he does exploit with haste
And then spreads like a plague
From man to man,
Until everyone seems wan
And prone to the entourage
Of a abyss and its flaming reaches,
Illusions bent from the malleable,but
Mind,that oh! if used properly is divine!

Finally as all seem corrupt
And thought dead and shut up,
Struck a ray through the condescending grey,
Creation was set alive again,a rebirth ,
Now life doesn’t seem vain.
And that abrupt force was all hailed,
And his words proclaimed
As wisdom, his actions martyrdom,
But fail did everything to grasp its freedom.

Then the devil did descend in full,
Dressed in white,peace he would bring,
No one would sing,the mantras
Of old and sally no more would
The undercurrent wisdom
(Relight by nature with
A little bit of nurture)
As the mirror reflects
The myriad darkness
And in it man would see
Nothing , for an eye
Is as good as its lens,
Mind is as good as its exponent.

But the devil was faced,
He could not rebate
Nor could he reinstate
His hold. The keepers
Were three,wisdom was set free,
Though humans have a hand on
The devil’s vehemence,
Another does hold the benevolence,
Of the spirit of creation.

The sevens and nines
Will never die,
Unless new numbers are sworn by,
And so will never the life
Be left astray,
For there is a final way,
The path which all do face
And on a gloom filled morning comes
To the surface,there they do
See the light from the negation,
It is the mere lack of contradiction
Which sets the world into a revolution.

The light shines the brightest

The Angel Of God by Jyothi Menon – Book review

March 29, 2009 § 17 Comments

Picture from the Author’s site(link at the end).

 

A pretty ‘warm’ book and a lovely story. Something about it makes you feel comfortable,maybe becuase we Indians already have heard about people,whom she has created . This book would have welcomed more superlative appraisal from me, if not for a few places where the ‘ HR ‘ sticks out.

The story has three main characters , the first one being a  underworld  don called Moosa . The character is someone who you would like to encounter in real life,in fact you do wonder where are such good , kind hearted people, but then you realize that something is not right and well he is ‘ bastardised by the circumstances’ – his childhood in the world famous Dharawi and the various illegal things he gets into make him into a black sheep,but a sheep never the less.

The second is a character called Bhaskaran who is from an ancient family in Kerala. He grows in a place a close to Dharawi where he happens to meet Moosa during a row. He later goes on to achieve ,thanks to Moosa Bhai’s help.

The third is a orphan called Abubacker,in Khozikode,who , with the help of Moosa become a ‘Muthalali’. The book has vivid descriptions of the illegal businesses both in Kerala and Mumbai. Moosa helps in the making of two men,both different- one educated in MIT(Bhaskaran) and the other educated by experience in the underworld. The book also moves a lot – Kerala,Chennai,Mumbai, Libya,Middle East ,Nagpur etc.

As I said,the book seemed to have bit too much of the HR angel. This being fiction, every paragraph helps in molding the story and the reader being a person who picks up this book from the best seller stand,is bound be at loss,when he is faced with description of running a business,it catches you out ,when at about 1 0r 2 in the morning between a nice story someone talks about business.Also if it were so simple,then everyone would be a entrepenuer . But maybe that is the cynic in me,rather maybe it is a reaction to the fact that a particular part towards the end , seemed to add a certain degree of reality to it and rob it of the ‘cho cho sweet why can’t this be a feel good movie/ wah wah a fairy tale at last’.

I never like to reveal the story,except maybe the main characters,because my belief is that,reading a detailed review,takes away a bit of the charm of reading a book. I would say,read this book,if you want a something light and feel good(there are a few bits of harsh reality,which seeing other stories now days,would make into a fairy tale anyway) .It also gives you an insight into a few places and ways of living(ya well I guess it is better than travel and living).  Though I just criticised the HR part,there are a few messages which have been put in with a bit of euphamism which we all can use,when we deal with people( Okay, I am not know for my patience when dealing with certain type of people,so yes,maybe I should learn). I might be over rating this book,but anyway..

 

Rating – 8/10. Makes a nice little quick read.

Author’s page.

A fairy tale

March 27, 2009 § 14 Comments

In my dreams I do believe,
One day I will achieve.

 

Fairy tales begin with ‘once upon a time’ and so does this one. Once upon a time, in a world far far away  from ‘reality’ there was a little boy in a big city. He dreamed of reaching the stars which he saw and thought that if he could keep improving his paper plane design, he could build a craft and finally go and see the stars closer.

 

From photoshopped

He was a good old chatterbox,non-stop super-sense  if not to others ,to himself. But what was more shocking was the way he could observe people and things. Though people around made fun of  him,he loved the stars and told himself, he would go up away from this world and see them some day , some how. But at that he didn’t know one thing-that when people decide your dream is ridiculous they try to make sure you can never reach it.

And so the time came when the kid entered first standard and the bright lad, now hated school,because the teachers some how didn’t like him.The smart boy he had been in kindergarten was now gone. He realized he liked a certain girl ,who was popular,got good marks and whom everyone wanted to talk to-things he wasn’t. Oh! he and marks – Some how,they never seemed to matter to him,yet they seemed to give people a reason to say why he can’t go to the ‘space’ and visit the universe ,he wasn’t getting enough marks!

But that didn’t stop him,he was a determined kid.In his mind,he could see himself peeping out of the window at the stars and enjoying the serene silence. Where ever he thought of that,he felt on top of that world,below him called earth,how those people tried to tell him he can’t fly,but he was little bird wasn’t he? 

In his dreams ,he achieved plenty more. He lead a life,away from the reality. And as life would have it,he was never popular in school, though he wished he was , but that gave him plenty of time,to live in his own little world of ideas and ideals. But his marks saw a bit of daylight and slowly started going up for a while.

By the time he entered his teens,he still thought of his stars but he now understood,what the world would do-he was old enough to understand people and their ways. So one day he sat and told himself,no matter what life throws at him,he would get there.

But within a while,all changed and his dreams seemed to have gone away.Someone seemed to have stamped the little paper plane -he hated it,he never was a earthling,earth was meant for creatures who wanted safety,not for heroes like him.Then suddenly,a thread stuck from the sky and he started to climb towards the stars. One the way up,he knocked on God’s door and give him his best smile.

But suddenly everything came crashing,some human was pulling him down, this shouldn’t happen,to the little boy,the young man told himself  , would this be the end of the road for his dream. Then something struck him, there is another path, to his dream,not one of climbing up a thread, but one which he had to discover and on the way he would learn more about humans and the way they act . He told himself that he would make it , he felt the warmth of the dreams .

During the day,he observed the race he was left in and tried to figure out why people were people and why they might be so. Then they called him a idealist. He hated it as much as he hated the way people behaved. But he knew,if he ever was going to go to the stars, he needed to tell these people , it was they who showed him , his ideas and ideals , they who showed him how to build a paper plane and it was they who crushed it and pulled the ropes. This was not helplessness . If he wanted he knew, there were other ways, there were people , who would love to have him(or so he believed) but he despised helplessness , if not this, than that , the stars kept calling. 

Year after year,he tried; Then one night,he wept,the man did weep, he wanted his little paper plane , so he took a paper and made such a plane and as things would have it,in the plane he saw what he had missed , he knew that all the while he had made the choices towards love ,he knew that got him here. But he also knew, in the heart of every child,there lives a star and if you remain that kid,no one can steal the dream in your head. So he lay dreaming…..Yup, this was the path of love…

 

                             X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X

A fairy tale should have a good or a positive ending ,  will this  end is such a way? I leave it you to write what happens to the young man…

A new silence

March 24, 2009 § 13 Comments

A new silence,
The gap before a new penchant.
In it,seems to lull,
A song once in which life was dwelt.
 
A memoir,
A remains,
Yet the strands of belonging curtail.
The inertia maybe strong,
But I will move, to where I belong,
Even if only in my dreams,
That Reality is far from perceived
By anyone but me.

Myself I will never give,
And whatever the world does ,
Never forgive.

For the shores can be further away,
But some how,some day,
I will reach it,for only to understand
The limitless ocean,
Free from words and relation,my penchant.

The gaps do sing,
But their meaning
I do know,
Let the hours go,
I dare to watch the flow,
Never mind what of mine
Is lost or hurt,
I will get a chance to flirt,
With the destiny I do wish
To reap, For my efforts,
Are not meant to be vain,
I will surely something,gain.

The light shines the brightest

this is 25.

March 18, 2009 § 20 Comments

Reema tagged me to write 25 random things,so well this is 25! 

1) I wrote this post on the eve of my economics exam,now I have forgotten what I had thought out

2) I like to try to do everything with my left. In this respect I now prefer to use my left in footie and am almost as good with my left as I am with my right in Table tennis.The only thing tough is writing with my left.

3) I dream a lot. And I have in my dreams been in movies,become a top biz man ,played for all the top football clubs and published a hell a lot of books and been the hero.It is worth mentioning all these things till date have remained as dreams. Oh! and talking of dreams,this post crosses my mind.

4) I love to try and make inanimate things alive.Some how it seems nice to have something which is not prejudiced to talk to.

5) I can be in a dream land for a long time, in this case the real world and that world almost merge.I sort of float around and to many people around start acting in a very attached,detached way…

6) I hate to read anything twice. And so I never study for my exams.I just start sleeping or well start doing something else,like blogging 🙂 

7) I am a true cancerian,while I can take any amount of nonsense,some times,I get damn emotional.

8) For me the things which I feel are virtues,are something I will not give up,no matter what.You can call me tenacious or arrogant.

9) If I respect someone,I genuinely respect them.If I don’t ,I don’t really care who they are and if I have little tolerance towards certain people…

10) I love to watch football,especially flowing,attacking football.

11) It doesn’t matter what people tell me,I believe everything in this world is connected,that is why we have so called miracles,things act a certain way because they are all linked and there have been enough incidents to prove me right.

12) YU! means a lot to me. But not many of its members seem to care. I try to tell myself not to conclude ,that people will be people but I am tempted to.( If you do really care,wake up! Don’t tell me you can’t find anything to write or comment!! ) { strictly meant for YU! members,but then most of them don’t read my blog anyway 😛 } 

13) Someone pointed out a while back,that this blog has more women/girl readers.And I have always wondered why 😛 

14) I can be very very irritating and well my class mates and friends can vouch for it .

15) Sometimes I become a 5 year old.And when I am in that state,like in my dreams,the world seems all fine and azure.

16) I cried in front of my whole class in 10th,I was that sensitive.But then that was the year a lot changed for me. I started writing poetry ,it was a turning point in my life. 

17) It really doesn’t matter who you are and what you do,all that matters is that you use your senses and enjoy the world.I hate the world for making things complicated.

18) When I am damn happy or damn sad,I ask myself ” What the hell are you doing here anyway? ” and also ” what is all this? ” 

19) I like to be special to people. And there are lot of people who are special to me.But some how many of them don’t  seem stick around.

20) I have seen a ghost as a kid and no I was not dreaming ,I still remember it.

21) I hate smokers . And I don’t care what the cost is,I either walk out or tell the person not to smoke around me.

22) Till date I have showed all those people who belittled me what I am made up of but it is not yet done,I wish and I hope and I will.

23) I have been blogging for almost 3 years now.Many have come and many have went but I learnt the differences between people and I have also noticed how people who blog have changed.

24) I don’t really care what “people” think about what I write. My poetry is my way of telling myself things.I post it here,because I feel there are people out there,who may like to read it.

25) And my blog means a lot to me.If not for poetry and this place,I don’t know,where my self confidence and belief would be.Thank you all!

And for once I  am not tagging anyone 😉 

P.S:- Sorry for making this so serious. I want to play the joker ,I so badly want to!

sambar magic(the tale of thondiraja)-part-8!(spoof)

March 11, 2009 § 5 Comments

Read part 7 here.

 

The king heard the sage speak out.It was the best speech he had ever heard,not even the home minister was capable of such,not even Obama was capable of such,not even ,not even,the Martian who tried to take over Earth was capable of such,not even ,not even,there was no comparison left, “ha! such wisdom” the king thought to himself.

To others around him,the king seemed lulled like he was watching a 4 hr Hindi movie, like the snake who was charmed in the street corners on some country, like poor people at the hands of corrupt politicians or kids on orkut getting hacked. And all the while ,the king was dreaming of a coup, that someone was talking over his kingdom. 

It struck the poor king,he burst out, ” What do you call a brahmin boy who can write with both his hands? ” 

The sage looked pleased,”ha so the spirits have woken up ,have they” , he said in a deep baritone,as if the moon had flown away. ” I know the answer,to your wit, ‘ ambi-dexterous’ (ambi – boy/man) ..ha ha ha,such wit,welcome to the land of thondi,whom am I speaking to? ” 

” This is the great spirit of thondi raja’s great to the power of 100 grand father,How are you oh! sage,you look as young as you were,when you made Alexander go back! My ,I remember,you were wearing those Chinese silk stuff,when did you change fashion?” 

“OH! I change my fashion,as it comes. My fellows rule the world of fashion you know.You want to go to Milan ,watch a fashion show and play football with Beckham,I have some passes for you.” 

“Ha! no,my time here is short.I am using a Prepaid connection and my we have recession in heaven as well,so before they lock me out,I need to get back. We are asking for a bailout,but since elections are approaching and the parties are busy wasting money on campaign posters and false promises…anyway,This is what I have to say,anyway,oyi, my son,do you hear me? ”

” yes thatha( grand father).”

” On the 5th full moon from today,go and climb the great peak of thondi and stand there,with some of your French wine,Swiss cheese and Thiyirsadham,that day we shall upgrade to the platinum thondi member. Be well dressed ,the special angles will be there and oh! they likes bribes,so have some nice gift handy for him.”

” oh! I shall do as you say thatha,but one problem,I do not take or pay bribes,I have been inspired by bloggers to not do so.I refuse to pay bribes.” 

“Ha! that is sad,make your choice,I have to go,my balance is almost over,my I should change connections,waiting for number portability..bye..”

The king woke up from the trance . He left so fresh, ha he had such wonderful ideas and he got the message,he dutifully recited it,like some sacred hymn,lest he forget it! He left as if he was growing younger by the day,like Benjamin Button…

Suddenly there was a blast and a gunman appeared,he placed the PK-A7 on the kings head and with a wild laugh screamed “Game over”….

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