Saturday, November 14, 2015

Factotum - Charles Bukowski

A couple of weeks back it seems,I scribbled few lines like "What am I reading""...Yes after finishing this dirty and filthy read I couldn't help but questioning myself ""What the**** am I reading ?" Forgive me for writing this way,but this must be Bukowski effect for sure..And this is going to be my first and last read from this author..The other day I stumbled upon some of his impressive quotes on net and without a second thought I picked up his work..I'm used to picking up a book with blank impression for I feel getting to know the details always spoil the actual experience of reading..

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However I would always enjoy a book,either good or bad when it comes to reading,for I believe in the popular saying by Benjamin Disraeli "A new acquaintance is like a new book.I prefer it,even if bad, to a classic..

Now after all the negative blabbering about this sort of gritty literature,let me tell you some positives too.At the beginning Charles Bukowski sounded like a renowned Telugu author Chalam,who wrote in the similar way but in a very composed manner I must say) But as we go further,it turned out to be more and more raw and naked..Needless to say Bukowski is horribly honest,however it is so disagreeable and nasty..It was said that the protagonist Henry Chinaski's characterization is based on the author's real life personality..Yet another theory of existentialism but completely unrefined in style...

If we consider the fact that a capable writer is the one who only writes about the life he lived,we would certainly honour Charles Bukowski for the awful revelations of his life through the character of Henry Chinaski..If you are one of those who believe literature is not only about fairy tales and glass castles,then you'll be able to understand this author,he'll show you the the other side of the coin..Vulgar language,dirty lanes,whore houses and the wild wandering life of Henry Chinaski..

Here are few interesting lines from the book,
But starvation, unfortunately,  didn’t improve art. It only hindered it. A man’s soul was rooted  in his stomach. A man could write much better after eating a  porterhouse steak and drinking a pint of whiskey than he could  ever write after eating a nickel candy bar. The myth of the  starving artist was a hoax. Once you realized that everything  was a hoax you got wise and began to bleed and burn your  fellow man. I’d build an empire upon the broken bodies and  lives of helpless men, women, and children—I’d shove it to  them all the way. I’d show them.
Frankly, I was horrified by life,  at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed. So I stayed in bed and drank.
“I’m a genius but nobody knows it but me.”
My ambition is handicapped by laziness.” 
I don’t think that flowers are meant for the dead who  don’t need them,” I said rather lamely.
I wasn’t very good. My idea was to wander about doing  nothing, always avoiding the boss, and avoiding the stoolies  who might report to the boss. I wasn’t all that clever. It was  more instinct than anything else. I always started a job with  the feeling that I’d soon quit or be fired, and this gave me a  relaxed manner that was mistaken for intelligence or some  secret power.
These people are assholes, assholes! They have no intel-ligence! They don’t know how to think! They’re afraid of the mind!They’re sick! They’re cowards! They aren’t thinking men like you and me. 
                      I need a writer. Are you a good one ?
                     “Every writer thinks he’s a good one.”
We chatted and after a few minutes a girl came in and  handed John the check. He reached across the desk and handed  it to me. A decent guy. I heard later that he died soon after  that, but Jan and I got our beef stew and our vegetables and  our French wine and we went on living.
I  wanted to be a writer. Almost everybody was a writer. Not  everybody thought they could be a dentist or an automobile  mechanic but everybody knew they could be a writer. Of those  fifty guys in the room, probably fifteen of them thought they  were writers. Almost everybody used words and could write them down, i.e., almost everybody  could be a writer. But most men, fortunately, aren’t writers,  or even cab drivers, and some men—many men—unfortunately  aren’t anything.
"Some people don’t like anybody who is famous.”  “And some people don’t like anybody who isn’t".

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chennai bites -3 : Dakshinachitra Heritage Museum

I believe climate always plays vital role in sight seeing..That too when it's a heavy rainy day and you are in a house,a one fifty years old one,in a village full of greenery all around,when you remember every word your grannies told you about their villages,their culture and their way of living...This is what happen to you when you visit Dakshinachitra Heritage museum situated in East Coast road (ECR),Chennai..This place mirrors the life style,architecture and cultural heritage of South Indian villages..There are several model houses of Andhra,Karnataka,Tamilandu and Kerala in this museum..Especially it's a must visit for metro people who crave for greenery and are so sick of the modern life style..Here we go with the pictures....

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Storage in a Syrian Christian house..
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In the below two pics you can see the window adjoining the kitchen and well is one of the best sight  in a Kerala houses..
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Monday, November 2, 2015

Winter Journal - Paul Auser

Earlier this month when I was browsing through my reading shelf,this book with the title 'Winter Journal' caught my eye..As the Indian winter is almost here I thought this would be befitting title to read..This is my first book from this author,Paul Auster,about whom I learnt sometime back when I was looking for stuff on 'Existentialism',my new passion these days..Though Camus and Hesse introduced me to this very topic,Paul Auster's approach was a bit more simple and transparent when compared to their theories..The absurdity in Hesse and Camus seems somewhat intense,inapplicable to practicality where as Paul Auster's journal come with more feasible explanations.

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It's not a memoir but a journal which unfolds the author's experiences and minute details of his day to day life..The whole narration is in second person which is like he is speaking to his own self..The author narrates his experiences starting from the crucial transitional period of self awareness when he was thirty-one years old,his first marriage had just cracked apart and he had an eighteen-month-old son and no regular job,no money to speak of,inadequate living as a freelance translator, author of three small books of poetry with at most one hundred readers in the world..
Your work had staggered to a halt, you were stuck and confused, you had not written a poem in more than a year, and you were slowly coming to the realization that you would never be able to write again. Such was the spot you were in that winter evening more than thirty-two years ago when you walked into the high school gym to watch the open rehearsal of Nina W.’s work in progress.
The best part about the book is the way he described about his mother who was a very strong woman but completely shattered when she lost her love..
When she was young, from her late twenties to her early forties, a mysterious combination of carriage, poise, and elegance, the clothes that pointed to but did not overstate the sensuality of the person inside them, the perfume, the makeup, the jewelry, the stylishly coiffed hair, and, above all, the playful look in the eyes, at once forthright and demure, a look of confidence, and even if she wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the world, she acted as if she were, and a woman who can pull that off will inevitably make heads turn.
Needless to say this is a perfect winter read..Through out reading you would have a wonderful company of a man who would surprise you with his profound sense of outlook towards life.

Here are more few favourite thoughts from this book,
Afraid to die, which in the end is probably no different from saying: afraid to live.
You would like to know who you are. With little or nothing to guide you, you take it for granted that you are the product of vast, prehistoric migrations, of conquests, rapes, and abductions, that the long and circuitous intersections of your ancestral horde have extended over many territories and kingdoms, for you are not the only person who has traveled, after all, tribes of human beings have been moving around the earth for tens of thousands of years, and who knows who begat whom begat whom begat whom begat whom begat whom to end up with your two parents begetting you in 1947? You can go back only as far as your grandparents, with some scant information about your great-grandparents on your mother’s side, which means that the generations that came before them are no more than blank space, a void of conjecture and blind guesswork.
Your eyes water up when you watch certain movies, you have dropped tears onto the pages of numerous books, you have cried at moments of immense personal sorrow, but death freezes you and shuts you down, robbing you of all emotion, all affect, all connection to your own heart. From the very beginning, you have gone dead in the face of death, and that is what happened to you with your mother’s death as well. At least for the first little while, the first two days and nights, but then lightning struck again, and you were scorched.
Whenever you find yourself slipping into a nostalgic frame of mind, mourning the loss of the things that seemed to make life better then than it is now, you tell yourself to stop and think carefully, to look back at Then with the same scrutiny you apply to looking at Now, and before long you come to the conclusion that there is little difference between them, that the Now and the Then are essentially the same.
Some memories are so strange to you, so unlikely, so outside the realm of the plausible, that you find it difficult to reconcile them with the fact that you are the person who experienced the events you are remembering.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Godavari Glory - Godavari Nitya Haarathi : Rajahmundry

Yesterday we had a wonderful experience of  Godavari Nitya Haarathi..It's a regular event conducted in Rajahmudry by govt.of Andhra Pradesh since Godavari Pushkaralu..Here I'm sharing few pics of that memorable experience..
The sunset view
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The golden tresses of Godavari
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Socially sanskari ladki

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A says : Please do help me..People are so misunderstanding me these days..They only see what they want to see..I do care but spilling love on social media and PDAs are not really my scene..
B says : Then show them exactly what you want them to see..Showing is alone important than doing..

A says : Ohh,stop your usual nonsense..Would you just get me straight to the point..
B says : Grow up girl,learn to sugarcoat your words first,It's not enough to have sincere  affections..Nowadays you must also shout it from the rooftops..

A says : I keep my affections a private affair..
B says : Here is the point..Oh dear,you should either throw your love on social media walls or to the least, learn to keep it as whatsapp status messages..Make sure a minimum of 100 people were constantly watching when you are spreading that divine thing called love..

A says : Whatttt !!! You are totally mad..
B says : But this is how things work these days..Let me help you a little bit more..Like,comment and if you love them a lot just reshare every little crap they post..And praise them for everything,again forget not,you're doing it in public..Then you'll see the magic.

A says : Oh shut up..
B says : No...You grow up..

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Us - David Nicholls

Every individual on this planet has a unique approach towards life...Most of the times they clash when two people from entirely different perspectives on life live together under the same roof...The marriage of the wild and crazy artist Connie and the very ordinary and stable scientist Douglas is a complete mismatch though they fall in love with each other following the universal law,'The opposites attract'..But could love be the only ingredient required for a successful marriage ?..No,right ?..There are so many other factors that influence a relationship..Here at this very point,starts the story of Douglas and Connie and their only son Albie(or Egg-his nickname),the 'Us' family..

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'Us' was written by David Nicholls,followed by his most popular work 'One Day'..Its is the story of Douglas Petersen who tries to save his drowning relationships with his wife and seventeen year old son..Douglas narrates the story to us..To rekindle the love and affection in their relationship they  plan a grand tour to Europe..Douglas feels that he could be able to convince Connie and eventually everything would fall into place by the end of this trip..But whether it happen the way he wish it to be  is the remaining part of the story...'Us' is all about relationships and life perspectives..Also there are some wonderful psychological illustrations..No doubt the writer is a master storyteller with wonderful flow of narration but reading travelogues is a kinda boring for me..I couldn't enjoy them much,for I believe in only experiencing them..Otherwise,readers who can enjoy reading about places would find some wonderful descriptions about Amsterdam night life,Venice streets and Barcelona beaches etc..When it comes to Douglas-Connie's and Douglas-Albie's relationships the author maintained a decent composure through out the novel while judging characters..It's hard for the readers to take sides because everyone appears right on their own way..However we feel a little more concerned about Douglas who is although very caring and loving person but lacks creative and intellectual streak like Connie and Albie..But is love is all about PDAs and creative kinda expression in this typical age of technology ? Still thinking....

Pages :412

Here I'm sharing few favourite lines from the book,

I had always been led to believe that ageing was a slow and gradual process, the creep of a glacier. Now I realise that it happens in a rush, like snow falling off a roof.

It is not necessary to be seen to be right about everything, even when that is the case.

Soon I found myself sitting between two actors on drugs, a position that, a number of peer-reviewed research papers have since confirmed, is precisely the worst place a biochemist can be.

I don’t really think it’s my “scene”, Karen.’

Emotional intelligence, the perfect oxymoron! 

It seemed the tendency to wilfully misinterpret jokes was contagious.

Don’t you see?’ said Connie, hurling cutlery at the drawer. ‘Even if it’s hard, he has to try! If he loves it, we have to let him try. Why must you always have to stomp on his dreams?
I’ve got nothing against his dreams as long as they’re attainable.’ 
‘But if they’re attainable then they’re not dreams!
And that’s why it’s a waste of time!’ I said. ‘The problem with telling people that they can do anything they want to do is that it is objectively, factually inaccurate. Otherwise the whole world would just be ballet dancers and pop stars.

When did it start, Douglas?’ she said, her voice low. ‘When did you start to drain the passion out of everything.

After nearly a quarter of a century, the questions about our distant pasts have all been posed and we’re left with ‘how was your day?’ and ‘when will you be home?’ and ‘have you put the bins out?’ Our biographies involve each other so intrinsically now that we’re both on nearly every page. We know the answers because we were there, and so curiosity becomes hard to maintain; replaced, I suppose, by nostalgia.

There’s a saying, cited in popular song, that if you love someone you must set them free. Well, that’s just nonsense. If you love someone, you bind them to you with heavy metal chains.

Weddings turn the bride and groom into performers.

Was it the happiest day of our lives? Probably not, if only because the truly happy days tend not to involve so much organisation, are rarely so public or so expensive. The happy ones sneak up, unexpected.

Well I can tell you now that married life is not a plateau, not at all. There are ravines and great jagged peaks and hidden crevasses that send the both of you scrabbling into darkness. Then there are dull, parched stretches that you feel will never end, and much of the journey is in fraught silence, and sometimes you can’t see the other person at all, sometimes they drift off very far away from you, quite out of sight, and the journey is hard. It is just very, very, very hard.

Grief is as much about regret for what you’ve never had as sadness for what you’ve lost.

Humans, I mean. It feels too much like a test, like surviving in the wilderness. It’s a good experience to have, one is pleased to have succeeded, but it’s still not the best. I miss company.

But perhaps it’s a delusion for each generation to think that they know better than their parents. If this were true, then parental wisdom would increase with time like the processing power of computer chips, refining over generations, and we’d now be living in some utopia of openness and understanding.

The great virtue of defeat, once accepted, is that it at least allows one to rest.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Solitude speaks

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A says, You can not live like this..This is not a free world..After all you are part of this society.
B says,Yes I'm...I'm not a Zombie to live alone..

A says,But you've never been part of our society..
B says, What do you mean by "being part of society" ? Allowing the society to have control over me ?? on my thoughts ? my life ?

A says,Not control but ,you don't mingle with people easily..They say you are egoistic..
B says,No I do..Perhaps they are not in my crowd..I'm a bit choosy..And whosoever branded me as an egoistic person must have attempted several times to get control over me and failed..

A says,You must find happiness in people's company..
B says,I'm happy by myself...If I'm not self sufficient then only I need someone else to complete me..

A says,You better go and live in Himalayas then.
B says,To live a life one wishes to live,one need not renounce the society..I'd love to explore this world as much as you'd love to do so..

A says,then why don't you try to mingle with those crowds.
B says,that's because I feel sad and uncomfortable among crowds..

A says,You are selfish then...
B says,No................................................Well then,Yes.......If you say so because I'm,a small atom of this universe,trying to live my tiny life on my terms...but not up to your expectations..

Monday, August 24, 2015

You are not so smart - David McRaney

After a long long time,I'm back here with my new reading experience..However,I'm tired of spilling my silly opinions on various topics and rigid preconceived notions and pseudo intellectual blabberings everywhere..Somehow,I got terribly bored with the verbal expressions of every damn experience..I know I know I've started again...:P

Let me come to the point..I recently finished reading "You are not so smart" by David McRaney..This comes under nonfiction category,Yeah,after a long time I picked a book from this genre..No story to tell you here,but I would like to share few interesting lines from the book..Though I enjoyed the read,I skipped some experimental parts related to psychology..Here are few of my favourite lines from the book..Don't forget to read the last paragraph on conformity.

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THE MISCONCEPTION: You are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is.
THE TRUTH: You are as deluded as the rest of us, but that’s OK, it keeps you sane.

You are naturally hindered into thinking in certain ways and not others, and the world around you is the product of dealing with these biases, not overcoming them.

You are a story you tell yourself. You engage in introspection, and with great confidence you see the history of your life with all the characters and settings—and you at the center as protagonist in the tale of who you are. This is all a great, beautiful confabulation without which you could not function.

THE MISCONCEPTION: You know when you are being influenced and how it is affecting your behavior.
THE TRUTH: You are unaware of the constant nudging you receive from
ideas formed in your unconscious mind.

THE MISCONCEPTION: You know when you are lying to yourself.
THE TRUTH: You are often ignorant of your motivations and create fictional narratives to explain your decisions, emotions, and history without realizing it.

You want to be right about how you see the world, so you seek out information
that confirms your beliefs and avoid contradictory evidence and opinions.people weren’t buying books for the information, they were buying them for the confirmation. (Some time back,I said the same lines while talking about my reading habits..:P)

Over time, by never seeking the antithetical, through accumulating subscriptions to magazines, stacks of books, and hours of television, you can become so confident in your worldview that no one can dissuade you. Remember, there’s always someone out there willing to sell eyeballs to advertisers by offering a guaranteed audience of people looking for validation. Ask yourself if you are in that audience. In science, you move closer to the truth by seeking evidence to the contrary. Perhaps the same method should inform your opinions as well.

THE MISCONCEPTION: After you learn something new, you remember how you were once ignorant or wrong.
THE TRUTH: You often look back on the things you’ve just learned and assume you knew them or believed them all along.

Charles Darwin said it best: “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does
knowledge.” Whether it’s playing guitar or writing short stories or telling jokes or taking photos—whatever—amateurs are far more likely to think they are experts than actual experts are.

THE MISCONCEPTION: You are more concerned with the validity of information than the person delivering it.
THE TRUTH: The status and credentials of an individual greatly influence your perception of that individual’s message.

When you see the opinions of some people as better than others on the merit of their status or training alone, you are arguing from authority.

THE MISCONCEPTION: If you can’t trust someone, you should ignore that person’s claims.
THE TRUTH: What someone says and why they say it should be judged

THE MISCONCEPTION: People who are losing at the game of life must have done something to deserve it.
THE TRUTH: The beneficiaries of good fortune often do nothing to earn it, and bad people often get away with their actions without consequences.

On fashion and consumerism,
Wait long enough, and what was once mainstream will fall into obscurity. When that happens, it will become valuable again to those looking for authenticity or irony or cleverness. The value, then, is not intrinsic. The thing itself doesn’t have as much value as the perception of how it was obtained or why it is possessed. Once enough people join in, like with oversized glasses frames or slap bracelets, the status gained from owning the item or being a fan of the band is lost, and the search begins again.You would compete like this no matter how society was constructed. Competition for status is built into the human experience at the biological level. Poor people compete with resources. The middle class competes with selection. The wealthy compete with possessions.You sold out long ago in one way or another. The specifics of who you sell to and how much you make—those are only details.

A wonderful description about conformity,
Most people, especially those in Western cultures, like to see themselves as individuals, as people who march to a different beat. You are probably the same sort of person. You value your individuality and see yourself as a nonconformist with unique taste, but ask yourself: How far does this nonconformity go? Do you live in an igloo made of boar tusks in the Arizona desert while refusing to drink the public water supply? Do you speak a language you and your sister created as children and lick strangers on the face during the closing credits of dollar-theater matinees? When other people applaud, do you clap your feet together and boo? To truly refuse to conform to the norms of your culture and the laws of the land would be a daunting exercise in futility. You may not agree with the zeitgeist, but you know conformity is part of the game of life.Chances are, you pick your battles and let a lot of things slide. If you travel to a foreign country, you look to
others as guides on how to behave. When you visit someone else’s home, you do as that person does. In a college classroom you sit quietly and take notes. If you join a gym or start a new job, the first thing you do is look for clues as to how to behave. You shave your legs or your face. You wear deodorant. You conform. As psychologist Noam Shpancer explains on his blog, “We are often not even aware when we are conforming. It is our home base, our default mode.” Shpancer says you conform because social acceptance is built into your brain. To thrive, you know you need allies. You get a better picture of the world when you can receive information from multiple sources. You need friends because outcasts are cut off from valuable resources. So when you are around others, you look for cues as to how to behave, and you use the information offered by your peers to make better decisions. When everyone you know tells you about an awesome app for your phone or a book you should read, it sways you. If all of your friends tell you to avoid a certain part of town or a brand of cheese, you take their advice. Conformity is a survival mechanism.

The world outside your head and the world inside it are not identical. The information flowing into consciousness from your senses is not only limited by your attention, but also edited before it arrives. Once there, it mixes like paint with all the other thoughts and perceptions swirling inside your cranium. The way you feel, the culture you grew up in, the task at hand, the chaos of technology and society—it all creates a granular, busy visual world. Only a slice of it arrives in your mind. Despite this, the great circus of human activity and invention goes on. You choose what to see more than you realize, and then you form beliefs without taking into account your selective vision. You can’t do much about it other than to choose wisely when it is important. Don’t put faith in your senses when you wear a hands-free headset in the car or lose yourself in a book in a public place. The unexpected isn’t guaranteed to jar you out of your daydream.

THE MISCONCEPTION: You are one person, and your happiness is based
on being content with your life.
THE TRUTH: You are multiple selves, and happiness is based on satisfying
all of them.

Happy reading friends..:)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Gokarna - Karnataka

Gokarna means Cow's ear..It is one of the foremost holy places in India..The main temple's deity is Lord Siva who is worshiped as Gokarneshwara or Mahabaleswara..It is not only a temple town but also a holiday destination..The place looked fabulous with streets having shops on both sides and traditional brick houses..There are several beaches here and also as this place is nearby Goa,we saw many foreigners passing through the streets.
Here are few pics taken during our visit to the temple,

The entrance of the temple,
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Chariot in temple premises...
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The flowers for worshiping
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A stall of Puja articles..
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Loved the colourful embroidered umbrellas..
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A shopkeeper making drums,A very happy person he is..:)
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