Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Torna 2014

I have written a post on the experiences we had during our previous Torna Trek that was done after the onset of monsoon. This time around the monsoon got delayed a bit. Though we enjoyed the scenery, we missed walking in the clouds towards the top of the mountain and the lush blanket of greenery all around us. We had sensed the grandness of Torna by the slight outlines that stood out amongst the dense fog, but this time around we actually saw the grandness of the mountain and the immense fortification of the fort.

Just like last year, we completed the trek and then went to Mirch Masala for some scrumptious lunch.

Some pictures from this year's visit to Torna:
A familiar sight. Sometimes these dogs will accompany you throughout the trek. We rewarded them with some egg yolks.
Some cloud cover hovering around the top of the mountain
The view of the grand Torna. (Click to see the larger version)
The railings towards the top
The trekking route as seen from the top
Fortifications that have withstood centuries of human history and forces of nature
Torna trek route from Velhe

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy - Book Review

Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the WestBlood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is someone in there? the first man said.
The man who was relieving himself did not look up. I wouldnt go in there if I was you, he said.

Is there somebody in there?
I wouldnt go in.

He hitched himself up and buttoned his trousers and stepped past them and went up the walk toward the lights. The first man watched him go and then opened the door of the jakes.
Good God almighty, he said.

What is it?
He didnt answer. He stepped past the other and went back up the walk. The other man stood looking after him. Then he opened the door and looked in.

What he must have seen is a copy of the book "Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West"
I had approached the book with a lot of caution, but not only did it shock me and took me off guard (more than) once in a while, it made me cringe like never before. I usually read and watch a lot of violent books and movies. Gore and slash. But nothing ever prepared me for the bone-chilling, heart-squeezing, brain-freezing violence that suddenly pounced and as swiftly went away.

Eventually making me feel lonely. Almost making me miss the violence. Suggesting conversion. Submission to the ultimate.

While he danced around in my thoughts. Picking my nerves and playing notes I've seldom experienced before. Rendering me restless to understand the deeper meaning beyond the depths. I tried to clarify the symbolic ideas that shadowed the harsh yet metaphoric simplicity, where the most fearful activity was swiftly executed. But I failed. I couldn't coagulate the bits of the underlying objectives and reasons and weave them in a string of logical succession.
To say I loved the book without understanding it completely yet feeling a lot of it would be accurate. I caught what the author throws at you in the landscape trying to make you understand the vivid yet harsh surroundings that is probably a mirage for the twisted members of the society.

I understood the wonderful symbolic summarization of the transgression of the Kid.

I almost accepted the terrorizing portrayal of the most violent tendencies of humans and the consequences in an unrestrained candour that were told in a matter-of-fact way.

I bowed to the beautiful landscape and it's survivors. The pilgrims of the oldest sect of mankind.
My hook in this book was chapter 4. Here is what I had noted after reading it:

Starts on a very slow note. Bulldozing a vivid landscape with beautiful descriptions that were at times beyond comprehension and needed re-reads to get some meaning out of it. But how the tempo shifts, how the hunter becomes the hunted, just flames across the eyes. Just like lighting matchstick in a pitch dark room. Suddenly you see ghosts and monsters inches in front of you and all you have to do is submit. Submit and surrender to the clarion screams and chaotic hooves stamping off the slithering words that deliver a sudden shock.

"Chap prays for rain, blood pours from the skies."
So then, "What's he judge of?"
While reading this book, I was reminded of Detectives Hart and Cohle from the TV show True Detective. Glanton echoed a bit of Hart's personality and Cohle echoed some of Judge Holden's.
You can read proper reviews and evaluations of the book here and here. I wrote what I felt. I need to read it again objectively. But I dare say that I will come out just as foggy.
I would also like to drop in this amateurish post "I am You" that I had written in 2011. The book reminded me of this post.

View all my reviews