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So True!


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books · Fiction · reading

Three Books


I have been sticking religiously to my 50 books in 2013 reading challenge, even though I haven’t shared my books on this blog for a while. I am completely on track for now though and I hope I will be able to maintain this steady reading schedule throughout the year. Here are the last books I read:

Book Ten: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

I am sorry, but I cannot understand what the fuss is about. This book contains less than 200 pages, but my days of being skeptical towards a short book are long in the past- before I read Love Story by Erich Segal, that is. However, this was one book I did not exactly enjoy. Maybe because I was not looking for the deeper meanings in the narrative, or maybe because I could not relate to the protagonist in any way whatsoever. I only felt pity mingled with disgust for the 16-year-old, slightly unhinged boy who went about pretending to be a grown-up. Seriously, what is the deal with this book? And why is it banned?

In the least, I expected it to build up towards a climatic ending or atleast a twist in the last pages. Well let me not spoil the “suspense” for you *eyes-roll*. Will someone who loves this book please enlighten me?

 

Book Eleven: You Can’t Hide by Karen Rose.

One of the first things I noticed while reading this book was that its author was a chemical engineer who now wrote romantic-thriller novels. Wow. That is inspiring to a certain student of chemical engineering *ahem*. That student is me. Sorry, I had to put it bluntly. Just in case. 🙂

Anyway, this book is about a psychiatrist whose patients are slowly being driven towards suicide one-after-the-other. Someone has access to all her personal files. Someone is breaking her codes of patient-doctor confidentiality. Someone wants to destroy her. But what that someone does not count upon is the large group of people who rally around her in order to protect her and find out who is behind these murders and assisted suicides. The noose is tightening but our psychiatrist protagonist falls in love with a certain police officer.

Suspense is what drives this book forwards. The romantic bits were okay but I felt like they were hindering the book’s flow. And it does not make sense for the protagonists to make love while someone is out there killing people and they’re the only ones who can put an end to it all.

 

Book Twelve: Cold Granite by Stuart Macbridge

By far, my favourite book out of these three. Its the author’s first novel and i can see elements of Ian Rankin in the writing style and flashes of Inspector Rebus in Macbridge’s Logan McRae but the plot is entirely his own and may chill you to the bone.

Aberdeen, Scotland, is emerging as a land of horror for little kids. Someone is busy kidnapping and killing off four year old boys and then sexually abusing the corpses. On his first night back from recuperation, Logan finds himself drawn deeply into a fascinating case of kidnappings, murders, dead bodies and a large group of suspects, all of whom have something or the other to hide. Throw in Logan’s ex-girlfriend who is the police pathologist, a Police Constable he may or may not want to start dating, an ambitious reporter who somehow has access to all of the police’s secrets, a tough boss who is dealing with stress of his own and a schizophrenic roadkill scraper who has built himself a haven of all sorts of dead animals, and Logan is left to deal with a huge dungload of problems. Not to mention the physical and mental scars of his own.

Macbridge paints Aberdeen as a dark place where it rains perennially and the citizens have to deal with a constantly morbid, overcast weather. With a child-killer on the loose, and many other complications blocking his path towards true justice, Logan is fighting against odds as he seeks the pedophile responsible for his chaos.

Yes, Ian Rankin elements are strongly suggested through the structure of this book, its dependence upon local pubs, the nature of Logan’s cities as well as the nature of Logan’s scars.

But I would highly recommend it for crime readers.

 

Currently Reading: The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi. Review coming soon. 🙂

Life · Love

Thank you?


I’m the hero of this story, I don’t need to be saved

-Regina Spektor, Hero

Honestly, I don’t know what I am going to say today. I realize I put up a lot of posts about regrets, about things changing, about faith, inspiration, love, thoughts, musings. Maybe that is what makes this blog part-diary. I wanted to talk about other people, for once. How they’re all full of a little good and a little bad. We see the bad things daily and we guard our hearts against them. We are forever weary of other people and the lies and deceptions they go through. And of course we need to, because otherwise we’ll be left high and dry. But sometimes its good to see the nice things. Can I tell you a little secret? The one day you get to see a whole bunch of people being nice at the same time is on your birthday. What is it about a birthday? Its just another day, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. You’re living on this earth and its a wonderful life so maybe you need to celebrate it once in a while. But for me, a birthday is just one day of the year when you’re important to everyone in your life.

I am far from being an attention-seeker, since I am one of those people who likes to hide behind things like this blog. Words come out easily this way and I can rant about how wonderful life is from behind a computer screen. Usually, a day or two before my birthday I play the scene in my head: a cake and candles and me, lots of smiling around and everyone’s eyes on me. Call me crazy, but the thought makes me uncomfortable. As a child, I did not always appreciate my parents’ throwing me a huge party with games and food. But they always did it, out of a lot of love and a desire to make me realize  especially on that one day of the year, that I was very special to them. That I was loved and I had reasons to smile. So, despite the discomfort, when the birthday moment was finally upon me, the butterflies would go away. You know why? Because people made it better. People smiling at you, teasing you, giving you gifts, singing ‘Happy birthday’!

It may be ten years later and I might still not like attention, but that nice warm birthday feeling is what I like. Its not about knowing that you’re special. Its about knowing the people to whom you’re special.

That’s what a birthday is all about. And this birthday I sure felt special, in the kind of way I’ve always wanted. The people who sought me out at midnight were people I can look in the eye with a genuine smile and say ‘thank you’ and mean it fully, without wearing any masks at all.

The people who brought me a beautiful cake and great balloons and made everything so messy that I had to shower at 2 am, made me feel wonderful and happy inside; they were all there for me and to me, it didn’t feel like it was a duty they were performing, but a way of telling me they loved me.

I loved all the special birthday messages that the special people of my life wrote for me; whether it was a heartfelt genuine poem, written by someone who isn’t a regular writer like yours truly but when he does write, I know how much it is meant. Or a long birthday message written on a card which was hand-delivered to me at 3 am and made me feel inadequate towards the goodwill generated in it. Or my 9 year-old brother’s handmade card which I have showed off to all my Facebook friends. Or the great birthday message my cousin wrote on my wall.

And of course, every little phone call, sms, wall post or Whatsapp message is just another reminder that someone knows its your birthday, even though Facebook might be the godsend messenger of birthday-joy-spreading.

But some of the best stuff during your tender years of early adulthood, still comes from your parents.

Oops I guess this has turned into a birthday thank you post though I didn’t mean for it to.

A little candid confession: Last year, I wondered if a certain somebody I used to be really good friends with, would wish me at all but she chose not to. Burning bridges seemed more important to her than building new ones. It made me sad then, though now it doesn’t anymore. I haven’t ever said anything directly on my blog about this but I guess now I just want to say that despite all the good in people that is revealed to you on your birthday, some of the bad stuff is right there if you want to pick it out too. And sadly I have. Sometimes people just want you to read their minds and figure out on your own how you’ve messed up. Well we’re not mind-readers or psychics. The truth is, some friendships just cannot stand the pressure that comes externally ie. vis-a-vis other people and their constant attempts to break you. Those friendships make me feel sad.

So I remembered the one time when I was telling her about something that was bothering me, and then she said, ‘Well and if that’s how you felt about it, did you ever stop to think about how it made me feel?’

The true answer to that is, no. I did not. I never did and you never told me. So there. Merci beaucoup.

 

Life · philosophical

Broken


Sifting through the memories of my life for so very long, I find many gaps in these twenty-odd years. As I stand on the brink of turning 21, I realize that with age, regrets are starting to pile up too. I feel like it is the worst thing about growing up.

All those things and people and feelings which become memories which translate into ONE emotion. Regret.Why did I do something. Why didn’t I do something. Why did I let someone go? Why didn’t I let someone go? My mind is already full of many such questions and it is easy to expect that no matter what, they will continue to grow until my dying day. And that is just making me sad.

There are so many people we unintentionally hurt, so many people who unintentionally hurt us. And there never is a second chance to just say sorry. And time will always move forward, those first chances will never come back. They will get buried deeper and deeper under a pile of regrets which you will carry around with you and ultimately die with.

Its the heaviness inside your heart. Sometimes it just gets to you. And induces feelings of helplessness because nothing you do can change the things you did do. Nothing you do can reverse those actions you regret. Nothing on earth will ever bring back the giddy joy of being a little kid, when it was easy to forget your tiny sorrows the moment you saw a colorful butterfly or a sandbox full of new things to imagine.

Its the politics of life that ultimately get to us. The emphasis we pay to human relationships and its trivialities instead of the many joyous opportunities that life’s transience provides us with.

But we’re all, ultimately, broken.

Life · Poems

Just Noise


That building up in my ears

That pounding in my head

Its just noise.

 

There’s nobody coming

The silence is pervading

This wait is in vain

That sound of broken glass

It was just noise.

 

That heartless crusade

The rising-up of an echo

To a terrifying crescendo

Its just noise.

 

Those silent tears

That wordless goodbye

That meeting of eyes

The secrets behind closed doors

They’re all just noise.

 

There are no more unjustifiable questions

There are no more solutions

The humming of this universe

Its just noise.

 

The blood bath behind

Those creepy smiles

Its just noise.

 

I hide behind a door

And look at the pink sky

But no matter where I look

Everything is just noise.

Life · philosophical

Sometimes


Sometimes I wish I could be a singer. What am I doing, going where everyone else is going? My voice is fairly decent and I can sing but then, so can hundreds and thousands of people.

Anyway, what I really wish is that I didn’t have to be caught up in this maddening world where all I am trying to do is flow with the crowd. Its like I am caught up with a million people, all racing down a narrow street, climbing over one another and just scrambling along, not caring about anything else. And the street is too crowded, the sky is too far up; just a narrow strip of azure, miles high, out of reach. But what are we all scrambling towards? I have no clue.

Sometimes I wish I could fall back and let everyone clamber on ahead of me, until they’re far far away. Then I’d just lie down , right there, in the middle of the street and stare up at the sky and dream.

And when I said I wish I could be a singer, I meant I wish I could be one of those people who get to spend their time doing something they love and something they believe in with all their heart. 😩

Why is life so unfair?

Sometimes. I just can’t take it anymore

 

Uncategorized

Before Exams


Things to do before exams:

1) Reinvent your blog

2) Play games on your phone

3) Crave for chocolate

4) Take long baths 

5) Procrastinate and worry and then bite your nails

6) Crave for cheese

7) Clean your room

8) Sleep

9) Listen to music

10) Read the newspaper

11) Think of the funniest, most creative things to write and promise yourself that you’ll get right down to them once your exams are over. 

12) Daydream about exams getting over

books · Fiction · reading

After The Funeral – Agatha Christie


 

Another Poirot book I read recently; one in which you get to see the classic Poirot- ageing, foreign, funny, egg-shaped and intelligent!

After the funeral of one Richard Abernethie, when his extended family is gathered for dinner, his youngest sister is heard to comment, “It’s been hushed up very nicely … but he was murdered, wasn’t he?”

And even though everyone chooses to ignore those words and let them pass, the next day the same sister Cora is found murdered in her country home, with a hatchet delivering multiple blows.

The family solicitor Entwhistle, who was also an old friend of Richard Abernethie, senses something amiss in the whole situation. He talks to everyone who had heard Cora’s comment after the funeral and wonders who in the family was desperate enough for money, that they resorted to murders. He calls in Hercule Poirot to solve the case.

Like most other Agatha Christie books, this one too, sets a witty, creepy tune to the entire murder setting and ends with an unexpected, unforeseen twist which most definitely does not disappoint.

Do read, for a page-turner!

books · history · reading

Beyond the Last Blue Mountain


 

Born in Paris, France in 1904 to a French mother and a father who descended from the distinguished Parsi family of the Tatas, J.R.D. or ‘Jeh’ spent  a luxurious childhood shunting between Japan and India and France. He lost his mother at a young age and his father soon after.

When he was small, he got influenced by Louis Bleriot. His love for aeroplanes, even during their earliest days when it was commonly believed that airplanes were only meant for warfare, was to become a lasting passion of his life. He was one of those who foresaw, with a shrewd insight, that airplanes would get commercial in a big way.

When he was 24 he became the first Indian to obtain a flying license. He flew solo from India to England for an organized competition. He lost by a hair’s breadth to an 18 year old Aspy Engineer. Soon after, J.R.D. started India’s first airmail service- which was to grow into a full-fledged airline Air India.

The Tatas have always been one of a handful of Indian industrialists and businessmen who are forever known for giving Indian industries new directions whilst simultaneously maintaining their ethics and value system. J.R.D. Tata undertook tasks with a flourish. Despite his abrupt and unsteady starts, he took upon the challenge of building an empire and helped make it sour to newer heights.

This book also explores his relationships with Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. The socialist in Nehru was so adverse to the terms ‘profit’ that it strained his long friendship with JRD Tata, whom he ultimately saw as a businessman obsessed with self-gain. JRD, however, was a lot more than that. He had vision and a sense of what was going to turn out to be important and despite his somewhat cold understanding with both the first Indian Prime Minister, and later his daughter, he did not stop voicing his concerns to them. They both had their own ways of ignoring  him. Nehru would just stare dead out of the window and JRD could never be sure if he was listening or not, but he certainly did not respond. In the end, they just agreed to disagree, but there always was an elephant in the room when they were together.

Much worst were JRD’s dealings with Morarji Desai, whom he disregarded from the start. In the early 1990’s, retired though he was, JRD expressed a dissatisfaction given the fact that though the things he had envisioned in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s  were coming to be, he was too old to actually be an active participant. It was always to be his greatest regret, that despite his farsightedness and vision, he was never able to push past the politics and bureaucracy of a country which went the wrong way…