Friday, April 26, 2013

I am 30 and I know it (most of the times)!

Yes, I became 30 recently. 3 decades and all.

It was a lovely time spent with all the lovely people. What a surprise that was! :)

To top it off in the best way possible, P and Nik were a part of a team working on this endearing project. P compiled 30 lines from Moral Redundancy and tried to match them with 30 photos that I've clicked. She then passed the burden to the talented Nik who designed a classy print book. All this while keeping a surprise! And there I was wondering (and happy) about the sudden rise in visitors to my blog (which on a regular day is rather meagre!) I am really, really grateful for this wonderful surprise.

You can see a digital copy here:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Matryoshka doll and incomplete books

Those of you who have read Cloud Atlas would probably know that the book's overall structure is based on the principle of a Matryoshka doll. The six stories are spread out in such a way that the first one is left halfway to be completed at the end of the book, the second one is completed second last, and so on. The middle story is complete and it has certain elements (am sure I can find some more when I re-read the book) that subtly strings all of the stories together. Very interesting idea, and a rather good book.

Now. What does this have to do with incomplete books?

This year has been a lull period in terms of reading. More than the books I have read, I have left incomplete books. Some of them have been carried from last year. Here is a list of books I have not finished, since last year:
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
  • Kingdom's End: Selected Stories - Saadat Hasan Manto (Since this one is short stories, it can be read as and when.)
  • The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami (Yes, I know! Maybe I picked this book at the wrong time.)
  • Embassytown by China Mieville (Not this books fault. Though it is a bit hard to get into. People say that it gets better after page 50 or so. The ideas and concepts are indeed mind blowing so far! But, I am simply waiting for Infinite Jest!)
That's how we take the detour to Infinite Jest. Yes. I have been reading so much about this book and it's colossal size in terms of pages and thoughts, and the admiration it elicits from the folks who love it. As soon as I could manage up some more courage over the usual book-hoarding obsession, I ordered this book (Though it can be said that it is an indirect gift. Hint: Voucher).

So, Infinite Jest is on it's way. I am not sure what double meaning this earlier line carries. It also is a reference to Hamlet (Hail internet-scholars!). The book sounds promising though. Very promising. I am equally scared and excited to start it. I know it's huge (about 1000+ pages) and dense, and I know I will have to work towards reading it, with patience, and at this juncture I think I will be able to read it, but the coming days will speak more.

Then after finishing IJ (look at the bravado!), whenever I do complete it, I would like to complete the other books in the order I left them.

How's that? Sounds good right now!

Matryoshka doll made of books,
not as easy as it looks,
Infinite Jest might be the one that binds,
to connect the unassociated minds. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse - Book Review

SiddharthaSiddhartha by Hermann Hesse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Owing to this being a translated book and almost 90 years old, the language was not as smooth as I expected. Or maybe I expected it to be as smooth as some of the concepts and thoughts put across in the book.

This book traces the changes in Siddhartha's life. From a child to a child. Insert child is the father of man in there somewhere and seal it. Oh, but I digress. There are some really wonderful and big thoughts filled in this small book. Specially in the second half of the book when Siddhartha's thoughts flow like (or with) the river.

Specially the last few pages are really worth it. Though, one can always debate on some of the stated philosophies. Like, yes good and evil, truth and lie, and other binary things (are they really binary) are a part of what makes the whole, but then why does Siddhartha suggests that we don't hate, but love the world as is. Aren't love and hate opposites? On the other hand, they might not be opposites.

My only wish was that I should have come across this book and other similar ones when I was a wayward teenager or a twenteenager. Some things would have made a deeper mark than the breezing touch of the book right now. Still, it definitely is a good read!

View all my reviews