Monday, January 5, 2015

New treasures..

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आज कल पाँव जमींपर नही पड़ते मेरे
बोलो देखा है कभी तुमने मुझे उड़ते हुए.. :)
Yes..Have you seen me flying ?? :P...Now you guys would ask me,what's the silly reason after all ?? (As always)..Cause,this new year I found some new 'treasures'.Yes, Plenty of books..:) :) I'm pretty excited that I'm going to read some of the legendary authors this year..

Earlier 'reading' was just a time pass for me..Then slowly it turned in to a hobby..Later an addiction...Then Passion...Now it's pure obsession..:)

Here I would like to share my joy with you all..These are few among them which I would be waiting to read since long time..Wish me all the best friends..Wish me "Happy reading"..:)


The pleasure of owning books is priceless..

Needless to say this in particular..But like many other book lovers,I'm also mad about Penguins..Though I own many of them,I wish to own more..read more..These are like very special 'Gems'..

The Penguin Gems..Among all Oscar's complete short fiction is something special...I loved it..

Also reading an e-book is an additional pleasure..

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Giver - Lois Lowry

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We humans always dream for an Ideal society where there wouldn't be any traces of hunger,war or pain..If we observe the process of  human evolution,slowly are heading towards a comfortable,nearly Utopian society where we seldom have to take risks,pain or pressures..If something aches inside our body we can afford to take a simple  antibiotic or pill to get rid of the pain instantly..Our modern culture and life style bestow us with such sort of comfort..Ofcourse it is much necessary to some extent but,what if loneliness,depression,pressure,love and passion like emotions could also be kept under control with the help of a small pill ?? What if we can avoid the war in advance by providing every human being equal facilities and opportunities,in the sense making their lives so similar ?? What if we can set rules and control everything from birth to death ?? Just imagine a community where everything is so organized that there wouldn't be a single problem..Also such society wouldn't have any colours,not even differences..Even people don't have to make choices...Peace is there everywhere..If people sense something might cause some problem,then they would instantly 'Release' that cause or them from the community...Seems like an Utopian Society right !! Now the question is "Do we really enjoy the happiness without sensing sorrow."? Without choices are we 'actually living' or getting operated just like Robots..Among all,what is being in the world without 'love' ?

Image from Google
Well,briefly this is the plot of the dystopian novel 'The Giver', written by Lois Lowry..This is the story of Jonas,an eleven year old boy from such community where his life was so peaceful and organized..There is neither pain nor choices in that life...Usually all the members in the community were assigned to different roles at the 12th year ceremony,conducted every year in December..Eventually Jonas was chosen as a rare honourable role as a "Receiver" and this new role would bring enormous changes in his peaceful life where he experiences true meaning of life in the Annex room in Giver's company..In the Giver's quarters Jonas was introduced to memories and books..With that he experiences the real colours of world with all emotions..The story further unfolds,how Jonas cope with his newly found wisdom and felt deceived and lonely in the society he was living till then..

Here are few lines from the book..
The community life was described here...
"The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.”

The Giver's Words..
"The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

Now he was [starving]. If he had stayed in the community, he would not be. It was as simple as that. Once he had yearned for choice.Then, when he had had a choice,he had made the wrong one: the choice to leave. And now he was starving. But if he had stayed…
His thoughts continued. If he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways. He would have lived a life hungry for feelings, for color, for love.”

Jonas hesitated. He wasn’t certain, really, what he had meant. He could feel that there was risk involved, though he wasn’t sure how. “Well,” he said finally, grasping for an explanation, “they had fire right there in that room. There was a fire burning in the fireplace. And there were candles on a table. I can certainly see why those things were outlawed.
 “Still,” he said slowly, almost to himself, “I did like the light they made. And the warmth.

'The Giver' won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has made in to a movie under same title.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram )

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Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is a historical place near Chennai..It's just 45 minutes drive from the city,located in the East Coast Road..Mahabalipuram is very famous for its rock-cut shore temples..This was built in 7th century by the Pallava king Narasihma Varma..A lone lighthouse on a hill watches over a group of temples below...You will see some breathtaking rock carvings on the roadside..The craftsmanship is simply amazing...Here we go with few pictures of this wonderful place...

The shore temple-The famous Shore Temple being actually a complex of three temples : 
West facing: Rajasimhesvara
East facing : Kshatriyasimesvara
 and the smaller one facing East : Nrupatisimhesvara..

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The sea view from the shore temple...
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The Arjuna's penance
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The below is the Group of monuments - It is one among the fifteen world heritage sites of India declared by UNESCO...
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The balancing rock...
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Pearls and coloured stones for sale
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You'll see some beautiful stone carvings of Hindu gods on the roadside...
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Below : The Pancha Pandava rathas or the Five Chariots..It is one of the best monolithic temples i.e. each temple built in a single rock..


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I for Inspiration

Just like rainbow,life has various shades..Some dark some grey some green and some purple..Now which shade do you prefer to see ?? I know I know green obviously...Here is that 'Green' shade..

These pics were taken during our visit to Mahabalipuram..

Somehow I'm very much pleased to see this foreigner cheering kids and taking photos at the temple..
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These children were trying to build a sand castle again and again,while the waves taking it away..Seems they were not ready to give up yet..
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An old woman selling her crafts and shells...Probably she would give you the best answer for what is there in being independent at that age..
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Missing Person - Patrick Modiano

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If you wan't to read this book I suggest you to skip this post..Of course,I'm not going to tell you the whole story..But some sort of scantiness is making me write this..

Usually what does you readers expect from a detective story or a thriller mystery ? You would be unable to sleep till you read the last line of the book..right ? You feel like you deserve to know every little truth of the story..But you know what,this author,very graciously snatches away your right..You couldn't even blame him,for he assures you with beauty in the untold story itself...At the end,we poor readers will remain thinking that "What would have happened to her !!!"..The book Missing Person was written by the Noble Prize winner of the year 2014, Parick Modiano..Earlier version of this book was written in French and later it was translated in to English by Daniel Weissbort..

Image from Google
The plot set in the post World war-II period when the Nazi Germany occupied France..In that period,so many people were missing and dead..The story starts when Guy Roland,a detective by profession sets out in search of his identity..He suffers with Amnesia thus forgets every thing related to his past,he doesn't even remember his race or his nationality..In that process he meets different personalities in various places with the help of photographs,news papers and address directories..With every little detail of a stranger,he use to assume himself as that person..His Retd.Boss and former detective Hutte helps him from Nice in this regard..Finally he identifies himself as Pedro..The story doesn't come to an end with this truth alone..He needs to find another missing person who tried to cross the Swiss-Franco border with him..So again the search takes a new turn..The story is filled with numerous characters and difficult names to pronounce..Though there are several French,American and Russian characters,the story mainly revolves around five people,Pedro (Guy Roland-The protagonist),his friend Freddie,Gay Orlov (Freddie's girl friend) ,Wildmer (an American jockey) and Denise (Pedro's life partner)


Patrick Modiano - Courtesy Google
The book finely elaborates the actual circumstances and tragedies faced by the people of France under the military command of Nazi Germany..Pedro's search for identity arouses so many questions..Without a name and a nationality do we really carry any identity ?? Are those the exact parameters to define an individual ?? The book seems to be a detective story in the beginning,but the author successfully transmutes the plot in to a philosophical and sagacious concept of journey with his magical narration..Sometimes,too many descriptions of surroundings and places in this book made me deviated,but I felt it is quite necessary to emphasize the darkness of the plot..The places,particularly the streets/apartments/hotels/bars etc were depicted in such a wonderful manner that you would exactly feel that you were almost there..I would say this is certainly one of the best things about the book..After some time you might forget the story,the characters and the whole plot,but believe me,you would never be able to forget Paris after reading this..Some times the poetic expressions made me recollect the writing style of Julian Barnes..Patrick Modiano also leaves the readers with the same feeling of inadequacy like Barnes..

Here are few lines from the book,

Strange people. The kind that leave the merest blur behind them, soon vanished. Hutte and I often used to talk about these traceless beings. They spring up out of nothing one fine day and return there, having sparkled a little. Beauty queens. Gigolos. Butterflies. Most of them, even when alive, had no more substance than steam which will never condense. Hutte, for instance, used to quote the case of a fellow he called "the beach man." This man had spent forty years of his life on beaches or by the sides of swimming pools, chatting pleasantly with summer visitors and rich idlers. He is to be seen,in his bathing costume, in the corners and backgrounds of thousands of holiday snaps, among groups of happy people, but no one knew his name and why he was there. And no one noticed when one day he vanished from the photographs. I did not dare tell Hutte, but I felt that "the beach man" was myself.
Though it would not have surprised him if I had confessed it. Hutte was always saying that, in the end, we were all "beach men" and that "the sand" - I am quoting his own words - "keeps the traces of our footsteps only a few moments."

There, under the embankment trees, I had the unpleasant sensation that I was dreaming. I had already lived my life and was just a ghost hovering in the tepid air of a Saturday evening. Why try to renew ties which had been broken and look for paths that had been blocked off long ago? And this plump, moustachioed little man, walking beside me, hardly seemed real.

Howard de Luz. Yes, the sound of it stirred something in me, something as fleeting as moonlight passing over some object. If I was this Howard de Luz, I had shown a certain originality in my life style, since, among so many more reputable and absorbing professions, I had chosen that of being John Gilbert's confidant.

Inwardly I repeated this name I'd been given at birth.This name by which I had been called through out a section of my like and which,for number of people,had conjured up my face.'Pedro'.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Story - Kamala Das

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My obsession with the memoirs of writers and artists made me pick this book..Though I was not well acquainted with the author's works,the controversy tag of the book was enough to tempt me..'My Story' is an autobiography of Kamala Das (Kamala Surayya or Madhavi Kutty), a renowned Malayali  poetess,novelist and short story writer..This autobiography depicts her intensely personal and most private relations and experiences in her passage to womanhood..
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Like all my earlier readings,I started reading her with a blank impression..I set aside all the preconceived notions on her controversial life..The memoir starts when she was a child and her suffering under the racial discrimination in British colonial and missionary schools in Kolkata..When I finished half of the book,I started hating her..Though I'm a woman,I completely failed to understand her loneliness and pain in her marital canopy which made her choose the path she lived..She tried to define the term 'Love' several times in the book but all I felt,it was not love but carnal desires and infatuations..She also blames her husband for not giving the emotional kind of love or he doesn't know what is love..In the process she completely ignores the freedom he gave her to be herself..Instead of all her misdeeds she was bestowed by enormous freedom from him which none can allow in any relationship..She says that he is the reason for her to decide "to be unfaithful to him atleast physically.." I'm not going to discuss this autobiography on moral grounds any further,as it's much repulsive to the traditional and moral aspects of society..In this work,she unfolds the most intimate,private life of a woman with brutal honesty which can not be digested or appreciated by the common class..

Anyways, I can't be totally rude to her..She was neglected by her parents..Also her childhood marriage is one of the primary reasons for her demeanor,but her matured years with three beautiful kids couldn't satisfied her longing for love hitherto..So what kind of love she is looking for,I wonder!! Her husband allowed her to be herself atleast..It would be ideal if she would come out of the painful relationship with dignity and lived her life the way she wants..But she shared  the same roof  with the person she disliked and had extramarital affairs and she tried to convince the readers that she was constantly in search of love(?)..One more thing is,being married to a RBI employee she enjoyed the luxuries and company of  high class society,but still,she says that they never had enough money to lead their life in a better way..

I truely appreciate her honesty with which she revealed the dark corners of her life in the society of double standards..Such kind of work usually couldn't be expected by an Indian woman..I bow to her courage in this regard..I haven't found a single point where she tried to project her as the poor victim of a typical society..Some praised her writing as bold and rebellious..But I believe,the beauty in feminism lies in patience,commitment and above all dignity..Anyways,I'll stop my rude conclusions about this book for I strongly disliked her..Perhaps nobody has any right to judge her,particularly on moral grounds.Because it's her life..I felt that this book is a best example for showing the necessity of emotional control in the civilized society..This memoir was far ahead of its time and is now acknowledged as a bonafide masterpiece..I would like to say that this is the most straight forward and extremely honest memoir I've ever read.Would like to read some of her works,probably reading her works might help me understand her a little more.

Here are few lines from the book,
Society can well ask me how I could become what I became,although born to parents as high-principled as mine were.Ask the books that I read why I changed.Ask the authors dead and alive who communicated with me and gave me the courage to be myself.The books like a mother-cow licked the calf of my thought in to shape and left me to lie at the altar of the world as a sacrificial gift'..

If my desires were lotuses in a pond,closing their petals at dusk and opening out at dawn once upon a time,they were now totally dead,rotted and dissolved,and for them there was no more to be  a re-sprouting.The pond had cleared itself of all growth.It was placid. 

There was Carlo,the dark haired young man who loved me enough to want to marry me;there was in another city the one I was infatuated with ,and of course at home there was my husband,passionate and eager as a lover.I was a poor girl who found rich all of sudden.I was drunk with power.

With words I had destroyed my life.I had used them like swords in what was meant to be a purification dance,but blood was unwittingly shed.

She always knew she was a poet and thus different from others:
They cannot close shops like shop-men and return home.Their shop is their mind and as long as they carry it with them,they feel the pressures and torments.A poet's raw material is not stone or clay;It is her personality.I could not escape from my predicament even for a moment.

The essence of the writer eludes the non-writer. All that the writer reveals to such people are her oddities of dress and her emotional excesses.Finally when the muscles of the mind have picked up enough to read people's secret thoughts,the writer shies away from the invisible hostility and clings to her own type,those dreaming ones,born with a fragment of wing still attached to a shoulder.As I wrote more and more,in the circles I was compelled to move in,I became lonelier and lonelier.I felt that my loneliness was like a red brand on my face.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Winter reading

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It's already winter..And winter is for reading..So many books are piling up in my bookshelf but I'm too busy with my kiddoo and daily household works that I could hardly afford the luxury of winter reading..Chilling nights are only time left for books..After the end of a very tiring day,wrapped up in the blankets with a book in my hand,I was too lazy to drop few lines in the blog...So thought of posting a couple of pics instead of the regular blah blah blah... So guys Have a good coffee....Read a book....Enjoy the winter..:)

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Happy winter reading friends..:)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kadiyapulanka (Kadiyam) - The land of flowers

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In these Dassara holidays we had a brief visit to the destination of flowers,Kadiyam Nurseries as my kid is immensely passionate about flowers and plants..He is having a peculiar hobby of collecting different flowers from roadside while playing with his friends..Coming to the place,Kadiyam is a small village having 630 flower nurseries,exporting Rs 150 crore worth of production every year to different parts of the country and giving direct and indirect employment to around 25,000 people.An important industry for Kadiyapulanka is horticulture, with the area's nurseries exporting flowers throughout India.Also this tiny village is famous for the flower show, which is held in January every year and is a prominent place for trading of floriculture and horticulture. Besides, the beautiful garden of Jasmine, Roses and many other flowers, are frequented by nature lovers.The nearest railway station and airport are in Rajahamundry.

Here are few clicks..
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The Rose garden
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The Nursery men working..
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