History is steeped in examples of how, whenever anything ugly rears its head for too long, it is swept away at some point or the other. Mother Earth has her cleansing process and this applies to the anthropological levels of human society as well. From the war against royalty and tyranny of the French Revolution, to the abolition of slavery in the UK and the USA, from the defeat of Hitler’s anti-Semitic dictatorship to the slow freedom of colonies under European domination, world freedom has been and continues to be a slow fight. But there is so much to be hopeful for! So much is changing and the changes are in front of our eyes.
We are living in a truly radical age! The outburst of connectivity has spun the world on it’s axis, faster and harder than ever before. The era of a flat world is truly here and a modern revolution is descending upon us. Perhaps I am being too much of an idealist, but on looking back I see how everything is pointing towards improvement and growth for the world as a whole. From Malala Yousafzai to Edward Snowden, Twenty Thirteen has been a year of hope.
Closer home, December in India saw something stupendous take place when, during the Delhi elections, Congress was thrown completely off its feet from its stronghold by the AAP.
AAP or Aam Aadmi Party was launched towards the end of 2012. Springing from a movement that aimed at minimizing corruption in our government (something the Indian administration is famous for, world over), AAP used a unique approach to battle the powerful major political parties of the country. AAP comprises of people who belong to the middle and lower strata of society; educated and dynamic young men and women who are truly sick to their bone of watching a country with so much potential grow heavy and hollow under the modern-day political tyranny of the Congress-led UPA coalition who have ruled India these past nine and a half years. Led by Arvind Kejriwal, an IIT graduate, AAP aims at transparency and honesty, it brings new hope to the common people. And even while Congressmen considered them unworthy opponents, ‘newbies’ to this complex world, inept at playing the game of politics, AAP used the internet and media and even good old door-to-door propaganda to win Delhi. Now so many hopes rest with them, as Arvind Kejriwal makes ready to ascend to the seat of Delhi Chief Minister. Things are about to change.
On a personal front, I have battled this year with a bunch of disappointments but on the whole. I think I have learnt a lot. Not just about personal hardships and how to face them but about the kind of things that really matter! i began this year with a challenge of reading 50 books and on any other year I might have gotten through, but I’ve only managed 29 so far. I will round it off to a thirty or maybe thirty one but the book I am reading right now (The Karamazov Brothers) is 860 pages thick and hence a somewhat slow slog.
Anyway, here’s a list of the books I read this year, starting from the beginning:
Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
The Sorceress by Micheal Scott
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman
Dying Day by Robert Ryan
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
Beyond the Last Blue Mountain by R.M. Lala
After the Funeral by Agatha Christie
Inferno by Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
You Can’t Hide by Karen Ross
Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride
The Rozabal Line by Ashwin Sanghi
The Innocent by David Baldacci
The Ares Decision by Robert Ludlum
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow by George R.R. Martin
A Storm of Sword: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin
Gone Girl by Gyllian Flynn
The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom
The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
The Name of a Rose by Umberto Eco
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
The Serpent’s Tooth by Alex Rutherford
Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens