Monthly Archives: August 2016

Road to Success

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picture credits- http://www.123rf.com

My dad once told me on a fine summer day

that for excellence and prosperity there exists no easy way.

You have to take up the road less trailed

for through the worst of storms have the stupendous ships often sailed.

No doubt it would be quite intimidating at first

but definitely worth an attempt to quench that earnest thirst.

The thirst to attain excellence in your field of work,

removing from your life every minute trace of murk.

It’s time you pick those magic seeds of willpower and sow,

and as you water them each day, watch how into your dreams they grow.

While you are wandering if walking that extra mile counts,

you have no idea what crucial share in your success it amounts.

So tie your shoelaces tight and pull up your socks,

for moving majestic mountains you must start with the rocks.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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picture credits- thewrap.com

Missing those carefree days of childhood? Missing those endless adventures and the inimitable fun? Well, you are just one decision away from reliving those moments. Whether or not you care, that overshadowed kid within you has secretly treasured all those priceless memories, hoping that some day you may want to go through those dusty files. Believe me my friend, there is no better time than NOW. Move out of the confines of those concrete walls of your office, and start walking down that memory lane. Go to a nearby kids park, get rid of your shoes, loosen your tie and just sit somewhere you can hear those innocent giggles and laughter. Hear those happy kids. Watch them run and fall and laugh. Far away from the humdrum of the world of adults, let the peace you feel around the kids seep in.

Well now that you might be wandering  about the title of this post, I better get to  the point about what exactly made me all nostalgic and reminisce my childhood days. I was visiting my sister’s place and she had these 7 books stacked together, resting peacefully on her table. We are often told not to judge a book by it’s cover but I won’t deny that I have a thing for colorful children’s books. When I asked her about them she told me that she bought them to gift to one of our cousins. And hence I was even more inclined to drink in their contents before it was time to part.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney has won millions of young and old hearts worldwide and after just 3 years of its publishing, it was recorded that it had 20 million online readers and had an average of 70,000 readers per day.

Having the similar habit myself, I could well relate to Greg. Unlike the present generation kids whose favorite play things are tablets and play stations, we the kids of 90’s were given drawing kits having crayons, sketch-pens, markers, color pencils, water-color tubes, glitters and so on. To create one’s own cartoon characters and getting them to talk through comic strips was a craze back then. As I leafed through the pages of these amazingly innocent and playful books, all my own childhood memories came flooding back.

Childhood is undoubtedly the best phase of one’s life. There is no such thing as pretending, manipulating, stressing out and faking smiles. Childhood friendships have a complete different meaning. Greg and Rowley fight at times, but patch up in quite funny yet touchy ways. I loved the way Greg has illustrated the life of every kid in general with the help of pictures that will make you laugh until your stomach hurts. It would definitely make you appreciate and applaud not just the creativity of the author but also the creativity that is undoubtedly every child’s forte.

Feel like going back in time and have some real fun? Well here you go:-

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
  6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel
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ppicture credits- fbhdcover.com

Remember, you are never too old to pick a children’s book. Go ahead. Happy reading 🙂

 

 

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The Bibliophile

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picture courtesy- favim.com

How could I ever turn disloyal,

when the love we share is meant to be eternal?

I’ve always been yours to elate,

for nothing compares to the way you unashamedly satiate.

Perhaps you are annoyed for I haven’t composed a sonnet for you,

but regardless of that my feelings are nothing but true.

I promise to write endless poesies at your praise,

setting my turmoil and reticence ablaze.

Your first stare pierced right through my heart,

claiming my brain and soul from the very start.

Your sultry touch burning into my skin,

mixing with the blood and rushing through my veins akin.

Fondling my senses with recherche passion,

professing me as yours with mutual discretion.

Humans with their plasticity seem to me like statues of wax

and soulfulness is what the appeal in them lacks.

And hence I’m all yours to devour,

since you have allowed me to feel your soul beyond the contour.

You will remain the only one who will ever have the right

to impart pleasure or pain to me with all your might.

With every passing day I feel our kinship flourishing,

your grip on my soul ever so slightly tightening.

I wish to live a thousand lives with you,

sharing our grief and mirth like we always do.

Waking up each day to your warm embrace

while my fingers travel promptly through every leaf they trace.

You are the drug that keeps me alive,

and despite of ceaseless brutal attempts of humans I strive.

They say I should disentangle myself from your tenacious grasp,

but little do they know that nothing in the world can loosen your clasp.

I want you to be my only worshiped obsession,

traveling the world together with elation.

Nearing the end of my life lying on my deathbed I would bless

and ask you for the promise to comfort another equally needy damsel in distress.

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“Beauty redefined”

Defying prejudiced parameters of beauty

they charmingly established the significance of labor

and shone through their sweat.

“Hope”-Haiku

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picture credit- lancelang.org

Thou art the kindling fire

that breathes life unto my collapsing veins

thine existence my only incitement.

MEASURING LOSS

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picture courtesy- http://www.littlepink.org

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.

The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we are alive.”

-Norman Cousins

As I am getting older, I’ve started accepting the fact that at times we just need to let go. Let go of the wishful thinking, the emptiness, the self-inflicted pain and the habit of brooding over the things that we could never have. As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. Having reached the point where life demands attention towards issues other than my personal interests, I realize that not everyone is born to merely live for themselves. Walking down the frequently trodden path of history, I see bliss on the faces of people. The people who became immortal, for they removed their focus from their immediate surroundings and lay it on the bigger picture. What is it that made these people eternal in the pages of history? Was it their love for self? NO. They are celebrated because they decided to live for others. They served a bigger purpose and that is what made them heroes.

No doubt we all have come across millions of stories of suicide. While reflecting over the reasons that led them to quit life, we find that even though most of the problems are grave, they are not the issues that could not have been solved or let go. Perhaps they needed to hear from someone else that life is way bigger than their problems. They should have let go. For no problem can possibly be serious enough to make you pay the price with your life.

Life is like a test paper, where not a single person in history has ever scored 100%. It is a test that you can never be too well prepared for. Where there will be mistakes, disappointments, failure, grief, physical pain, emotional pain and countless other kinds of pain, there would also be a silver lining. However, at times you may have to strain your eyes to see it. For there would also be surprises, success, happiness, beauty and magic.

Losing one’s family member at a tender age, struggling for expected academic excellence, being bullied by peers at school, toxic relationships, these are the most common losses that the young mass faces. However, measuring them on a scale would be unavailing. Since every individual has a different level of sensitivity and maturity. The good news is that with time, the puzzle starts solving itself. So, what changes with time? The situations or our reactions? It is the later. No teacher is finer or supreme than EXPERIENCE. The loss that inflicted tremendous pain a couple of years back, may make you even laugh now. For you will realize that it was not worth all the fretting and crying. That is another beautiful aspect of life. As you get to witness higher problems faced by the humanity, you would feel ashamed of breaking down for petty reasons. With age, comes wisdom.

Embrace whatever comes your way. Life is a challenge. Accept it with pride and live a remarkable life. It is all about experiencing, creating, sharing and serving your purpose for the benefit of humanity. Never cease to believe in the supreme power.And no matter what losses you may have to endure, never let the human in you die.

Cheers to life!

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

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picture coutesy-http://strg.stageagent.com/

There couldn’t have been a more apt title to this book of rare excellence. Halfway through the book even I was pondering that how does a mockingbird fit into the story, but then when I discovered the meaning as I was leafing through the last part, I was flooded by that overwhelming sensation. No wonder it is a popular classic. I want you to experience that same rush, so I’m going to do you the favor of not discussing the title any more.

When something touches me as deeply as this one did, I fail to contain myself and rant about it until someone stops me. And the good thing with blogging is that, this baby doesn’t ever ask me to shut up. So here I go on spilling out whatever I feel my readers should know. You may question my taste for tragedies or feel-good books, but trust me when I tell you that it’s a novel of substance. You just HAVE to read this. Since its original publication in 1960, it has continued to play its charm on millions of readers worldwide. It has been translated to more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies, has been turned into a successful movie, voted as the best novel of 20th century across the United States of America and has won the Pulitzer award.

Right after I was done with the book I looked up Harper Lee to find more of her works and was both astonished and devastated by the fact that it is the only one. But who cares that it is the only one, when it is enough to hook you up every single time you read it. I read it two times back to back and both times I fell in love with it in completely different ways. I hate it when such great books are stolen of their originality by the movie makers but I sure as hell don’t want this one to face any injustice. The movie better be detailed and step up to my expectations. It’s a novel that holds a great significance even today. Racism is a curse that continues to prevail in various corners of the Globe. And we are in need of more people like Atticus who don’t judge people by their color and believe in fighting for the black and the white equally. Justice needs to be done to people facing atrocities in different walks of life merely because of the labels they are born with. Color being the worst of those absurd labels.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

It is not just racism that has been the primary theme of this book. Parenting, children’s psychology, humanity in general has been the focus of Lee. Full of beautifully woven characters, this is a very realistic story which no doubt has been lived by many. Atticus is an honorable man of about 50, single father, lawyer and most importantly a honest human who defies the norms set by the society and struggles to impart to his children the importance of being a good human being. Just that. Untampered. Impartial. Human beings.

The scene is based in the Maycomb County, a part of the silent Southern region. “A tired old town” as the author speaks of it.

The narrator is Scout, a girl about nine years old, whom I found as the most fascinating character portrayed in the book. Constantly being in the shadow of her brother Jem (4 years her senior) her features are not much “lady-like”. I couldn’t help laughing and relating to the same words that were thrown my way by random relatives when I was a kid. Don’t sit like that, don’t dress like that, don’t eat like that, don’t talk like that, don’t laugh like that. God, I don’t even remember so many don’ts.

Dill is a friend of Jem, and for Scout he is apparently the love of her life. Having a very active imagination these three kids never cease to amaze the readers. Their funny endeavors, which they carry out indeed very seriously, often land them into troubles that they did not expect.  The Radley place is the object of their constant attention. And me being fortunate enough as a kid who had a very active imagination ( what Jem was to Scout, my sister was to me) I too had a certain curiosity and fear associated to a huge rotting building in the neighborhood, which I came to find later that was no haunted house. In fact was occupied by normal human beings and most surprisingly one of my sister’s classmates. I was happy to be finally going to that place to play, but I never stopped imagining ghosts lurking in the place. Boo Radley (whose actual name is Arthur Radley) is the ghost for these kids. Having never seen the man out of the confines of his house ever since their birth, the children had a good enough reason to let their imagination run wild and decide for themselves the looks and nature of the Radley under question. When asked by Dill, “Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo. Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were blood stained-if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time.” What do you say to that? Overly active imagination. Isn’t it?  Miss Rachel Haverford, Miss Maudie, Mrs. Dubose, Aunt Alexandra(who came to live with Jem, Scout and Atticus at a temporary arrangement while he was on a case), even their cook Calpurnia kept pointing it out to them to help them grow into a sophisticated gentle man and lady.

Another short term but significant character is uncle Jack. After having a conversation with Scout he faced a huge turmoil and went to Atticus to share his fear.

“I shall never marry, Atticus.”

“Why?”

“I might have children.”

Atticus said, “You have a lot to learn, Jack.”

“I know. Your daughter gave me my first lesson this afternoon. She said I didn’t understand children much and told me why. Atticus, she told me how I should have treated her-oh dear, I’m so sorry I romped on her.”

It was a very touching scene for me. A girl of nine, who was parented by a man who had shown her ever since her birth that her views mattered, made a grown up man realize that he was wrong. She believed that she had a say; she had the right to put forth her opinion as an individual at such tender age. And a thousand applauds to Atticus who raised her in that way. While in reality most of the parents don’t allow their children to make decisions for themselves, they suffer as those children grow into adults unsure about life, and incompetent in the outer world.

Even though Lee has addressed to a very serious issue in the book, she has done no bargain with the other issues of relative importance that she has touched upon. Laced with a very plausible sense of humor, the book has done justice to the issue in question.

Having discussed the appetizers and desserts, let us get back to discussing the main course. However badly I want to rant all about what happens, there won’t be left anything for you to discover. So, I’ll just portray the character that the book’s purpose was to do justice to. And story of his life is left for you to uncover. Tom Robinson is a Negro and the accused whose defendant is Atticus. Fighting for Tom is no child’s play for Atticus especially when the whole society condemns him for it. Just like a forest fire news of the case travels at a reckless speed and every soul in the community starts judging the people involved.

In the words of Atticus, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” And that is precisely what he did. People started calling out to him as “negro-lover” and did not give him the support he was entitled to. And yet, he fought for Tom with the best of his faculties. He saw him as a person, not as a black person. He is a character to learn a lot from. It is easy to ignore the hardships of others but you know what, it is not right. And to have a taste of what true happiness is, one must do what is right. This timeless classic teaches a lot. It is for you to get under the skin of each of the characters and walk through the story wearing their shoes. It is the kind of book that would want to read and re-read until you can be sure that it has changed you. It would be a worthwhile experience. Happy reading J

 

 

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