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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Books Read in 2014

“Why is America so rich and we are so poor?” I posed the question to my father in the summers of 1998. My father answered me as best he could: “India is a young democratic country of 50 years with huge population while America is almost 200 years old." I nodded in agreement, satisfied with the explanation. One answer unearthed a dangerous way to more questions.  I was a nationalist, theist and a more enthusiastic supporter of RSS version of India at that phase of life. I had complete trust in their claim of ancient knowledge and glory of Hindu India. So, why we failed to defend our country from foreign culture and invaders ? Why Hindus were treated like slave for thousand of years in their own country ? How to solve Islamic and Christian problem?

That started an active engagement with history books. Yet, I haven't touched NCERT books. I studied history books to have an idea of India. My grip on history was weak because, half-truths and myths are intermingled as historical fact. I wanted to know an accepted version of history - validated by both losers and winners. It was the reading habit that gave me the chance to think more deeply. Nothing was considered as averse and accepted with open heart in heated debates with friends. It's often hard to separate myth from reality. Reading diverse set of books helped me to find rational view in the haze of morality and deliberate ignorance. I was able to see that every perceived external interference doesn't involve a sinister plot. I was able to challenge infallibility of books and beliefs. There was not always misinterpretation by the reader. The travesty of the modern world history is to find a 'factual' narrative in the versions of religious 'right' and Red 'Left'. I concluded with a solid reality of our lives - Social Reality in past or present does not come, like topaz crystals, already made. It is well hidden in camouflage of culture, taboo and class in the maze of daily life. I had started not to view at history as a place of debate and multiple opinions, rather than reductive nature of evidences. Our history is a hybrid of facts and fiction, it is a tale nonetheless, which represents a sore reality, and I have tried my utmost to learn it in a sympathetic and sensitive manner.

If one doesn't contradict oneself on a regular basis, then one is not thinking. We all start popular readings for a start, then make own way. Everyone’s reading list is unique, but each is remarkable in its own way.I don't read today in order to master the craft of writing; I read because I like to read but surely it helps in putting words together. Imitation, it turns out, is a great engine for personal growth to some extent. I always travel through books, but never get lost in them. A lot of books are in the pending list for reading. Life is short for reading all I wish. There’s a more likelihood of me doing what is necessary but mot sufficient.

Books Read in 2014:

Our Moon has Blood Clots - The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits :- Rahul Pandita - English - 9/10 - Compelling Memoir of person giving us a brief account of ethnic cleansing.

In the Land of Invisible Women :- Qanta A. Ahmed - English - 7.5/10 - It gives a vivid description of religion, racism, culture and society of Saudi regime from the perspective of a Western trained Muslim doctor woman.

Hello Bastar: The Untold Story Of India's Maoist Movement :- Rahul Pandita - English - 7/10 -  A poignant book that explains story of Maoist movement  through the eyes of reporter.

Acts of Faith :- Erich Segal - English - 7/10 - A boring romantic story caught in the web of Jewish Christian relationship.

I am Malala :- Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb - English - 6/10 - A brave account of girl but written for people having not having clue on Afghan situation

And the Mountains Echoed :- Khaled Hosseini - English - 7/10 -

A Game of Thrones :- George R. R. Martin - English - 8.5/10 - A must read thriller in realm of epic fantasy novels.

A Clash of Kings :- George R. R. Martin - English - 8.5/10 - A must read thriller in realm of epic fantasy novels.

A Storm of Swords :- George R. R. Martin - English - 8.5/10 - A must read thriller in realm of epic fantasy novels.

A Feast for Crows :- George R. R. Martin - English - 8/10 - A must read thriller in realm of epic fantasy novels.

A Dance with Dragons :- George R. R. Martin - English - 8/10 - A must read thriller in realm of epic fantasy novels.

The Devotion of Suspect X :- Keigo Higashino - English - 7/10 - A detective novel that starts beautifully but was disappointed with sudden and swift end.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why I am infrequent here ?

"Sometimes one has to be a fool in the beginning, to become wise in the end." - Irving Stone, Lust for Life

It is human nature to underrate the present and grossly overrate the past. Life is full of these strange vignettes. So it’s easy to see why what others would call strange is simply pure normality to a person. I had gone through many small experiences that has changed me in a way that I could never go back to the carefree person I once was. I feel neither responsible, nor easy-going towards anything. A habit of seriousness coiled the soul. Amid this habit of pessimistic outlook towards life, I kept blog as a a diary in order to express inner feelings. Writing is one of my favorite hobby that I pursued with passion to understand life in little details. I was in an eternal search for an emotional anchor from long time. Slowly an inner frustration bloomed as mental blockage that can't be put in the word. I stopped writing and became infrequent here.

When we are in relations for the sake of it, they only serve to crush our life. Even when we try hard to live a life to that didn't naturally suited often gave a quick route to unhappiness. The big question arrived on the scene - Am I wasting entire life looking for what looks like a mirage? Frustrating jobs, private life in doldrums, and no financial base were always on the margin. I was lost in the dark side of the personal quest of happiness. It becomes mental stress to cope up with self expectation to fulfill potential and combating peer pressure. I was in dire need of huge detox for getting out of this negative frame of mind. Some miracle happened on Friday the 13th.

I met someone. It was the the moment of time in life when one person changes the journey of life. It’s in these moments of discovery and acceptance that the life finally comes into its own shadow. We talked few times and met once. We are getting married in upcoming January. 'Nidhi' is the name of my better half. She is a lovely, mature and confident person. I have found calmness and peace of the mind in my life partner lately. I am finding time and energy to do things I used to enjoy, like reading books, and finding happiness in small things in life. But with rediscovered inner tranquility, I will prefer to do meditation, jogging, explore nature, or do the many other things on my life to-do list. Writing is like an aesthetic part of my life. That is inseparable from me, and  I will rediscover my grove.

There are pain and tough times in life to ensure a balance is sought. It can't all be roses and bloom. There has to be a bit of dark days to remind us to not be complacent and to not take anything for granted. Often failure of dreams often rock our sleep. And, when you hit rock bottom the only way is up. As we get older, we come to appreciate the tough times; Just as bruises heal quicker on the young, so do mental scars. Life's bitterest tears are shed in the graveyards for the words that were left unspoken and for the deeds that were left undone... 

Gaining wisdom is hugely healthy for mind and body. It keeps us fresh. I re-framed personal and professional goals. I have been a work in progress for several years, and is a long way from realizing the full potential.Things doesn't changed in a day or two, I am finding today love gradually over time. We are on a journey into the unknown; their heads are clear. For me this is new beginning and success of relation is event horizon ; a story in which the journey itself is as important as the arrival. It is the importance of the present and the need to recover waste time. In the life marked by more ifs and buts than certainties, to dream of better future with a loved one is daring act. To express unspoken and write from heart is nice gesture. There are small comedies and romance of the everyday life that occur, that I love them in my own search for life and place. I try to join in my own good memories through all kinds of experience, through thick and thin, and finding myself when self-acceptance kicked in. I I think, is to bear the bad days with a smile. If you can do that, the good days become more and more frequent.


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