Feb 24, 2012

Love, Life and all that Jazz

Hmmm... another Indian Fiction to review. (If you sense a hint of disdain, read my earlier posts about BFR) so, let's get on with it... shall we?

Did you have a habit of writing a diary? I remember from my earlier years, there was this huge craze in school kids around writing diaries. Jotting down what happened on a daily basis, no matter how mundane. Those years were filled with chronicle-ing daily routine, in the hopes that some day this writing will be of a great reading material. These were also the years when a lot of diary related literature was being published. No matter who the author was or what the quality of the written material is, a lot of diaries were being published. Some of these were a really fantastic read, like Anne Frank's...even Cecelia Ahern's Love Rosie falls in the category. While others were simply really, well...lets be polite and say...not so great.

Reading Ahmed Faiyaz's "Love, Life and all the Jazz" is kind of like reading through a diary.

The novel is aimed at young crowd. Aimed at a crowd that is still dreaming about life outside the carefree world of college, who are still unsure of what to expect from "real" world. A crowd that is still trying to figure out "what’s next". The novel is a glimpse of what all is possible. and an epiphany of "Plans are futile" & re-iterating the age old "Life is full of unexpected".

The novel revolves around lives of four friends; Tanveer, Tania, Vicky and Sameer. The narrative starts a couple of days after their graduation and within a couple of pages, introduces and establishes each character. You meet the naive and responsible Tanveer, for whom the life is about reason and responsibilities to the family; the spoilt rich kid, Vicky, for whom life is about enjoying finer things in life; Sameer, with his plans and grand dreams. And Tania, the glue that holds the group together. You walk with these four through 6 years of their lives. The storyline is rather unimpressive and has all the elements of a stereotypical post college life novel. College life, love affairs, career choices, struggle to justify the need to be abroad, clashes with family due to inter-religion love, office politics, falling out of love, pinning after a break-up, marriage and post marriage chaos... the events are everyday events and they even happen in a very predictable rate and manner. So, if you are looking for an engaging read that captures your imagination and gives you something to chew on post reading...this is NOT a novel you should pick up. BUT...

Feb 22, 2012

Shiva plays Dumb Charades

I'm so still that even snakes can climb on my body and coil around my neck and we both invite everyone around to sit still, not run around restless all the time.

The children suddenly realised that all the gods n goddesses whose pictures they had seen were constantly playing dumb charades with their hands and feet, communicating different ideas. They have been playing dumb charades in temples for a very long time, expecting devotees to guess what they were saying. But while the gods continued to play, the devotees had stopped playi g and so the gods were left alone with their mudras that no one bothered to understand.

Excerpt from Devdutt Pattnaik's Fun in Devlok series for children. Sometimes BIG ideas come in small, illustrated, big font-ed packages... :)

Feb 18, 2012

From the Secrets of Shiva by Devdutt Pattnaik

Fear of death leads to two kinds of fears as it transforms all living creatures either into predator or prey. The fear of scarcity haunts the predator as it hunts for food; the fear of predation haunts the prey as it avoids being hunted.

Nature has no favorites. Both the lion and the deer have to run in order to survive.

The lion runs to catch its prey and the deer runs to escape its predator. The deer may be a prey to the lion, but it is predator to the grass. Thus no one in nature is a mere victim.

Without realizing it every victim is a victimiser, and there is no escape from this cycle of life.

Feb 4, 2012

Born in shame... Born trilogy by Nora Roberts

'There'll be a next time,' he says, 'because a man doesn't stop going down such a lovely path once he's begun it. And a woman is a glorious thing to hold and to have. The right woman, when you find her, is more than sunlight. You watch for her, Murphy, and whike you're sniffing those sweet flowers along the way, treat them with care and affection, and don't bruise their petals. If you love with kindness, even when you can't love with permanence, you'll deserve the one who's waiting along the path for you.'