Friday, September 30, 2005


"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." - Agatha Christie

To be alive is a grand thing!!

2 quick (and random) thoughts:
a) It is.
b) Isn't it?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Old diaries are amazing things! Stumbled upon this poem in a pale old diary.

There's so much poetry in this poem! Isn't it?

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

by Edgar Allen Poe

Sunday, September 25, 2005

jus' thinkin'

3 stimulating things that I read today:

"I am interested in politics for only one reason - to reach the day when I will not have to be interested in politics. I want to secure a society in which I will be free to pursue my own concerns and goals, knowing that the government will not interfere to wreck them, knowing that my life, my work, my future are not at the mercy of the state or the whim of a dictator."
- Ayn Rand

"Autumn - a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
- Albert Camus

"Look, I really don't want to wax philosophical, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively."
- Mel Brooks
(I found this one very invigorating even though I don't completely agree with it - I don't believe life is the very opposite of death - the way light is not the absence of darkness.)

Neat, no? :-)

Saturday, September 24, 2005


"An eyeful a day keeps the doctor away.
Staring at women's breasts is good for men's health and makes them live longer, a new survey reveals. Researchers
(in a "five-year study of 200 men" in Germany) have discovered that a ten-minute ogle at women's breasts is as healthy as half-an-hour in the gym."

I am at a total loss of words. Things that completely escape me about this whole so-called research affair:
1. This "study" gets conceptualized and operationalized.
2. It gets funded.
3. It gets published.
4. A newspaper prominently prints the "findings".

Right now I am so irritated by the whole thing that I don't even want to get into some sort of intellectual discussion on this (not that I won't ... sometime later may be). Is it even required of me to actually articulate why I find the whole affair sooooooo very irritating? Does it even demand academic/intellectual scrutiny to decide how damaging it is? Is it me or is it them? Why do I feel so vexed that I feel like shouting from every rooftop in town screaming, "People are more than a pile of organs and fluids! Women are not FMCGs stacked up at the corner grocery store!! Wake up and smell the coffee!!!"

And as I shout my head off, I recall what I read in yesterday's newspaper about this students' magazine in a New Zealand university that has come with a "how to" guide on date rape. (For those who are wondering: Nope, not meant for women to help protect themselves. Yup, for people to actually "how to" do it).

How low shall we have to tumble before eventually realizing that we have embarrassed ourselves enough!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sea and Sphinx

just looking at the sea is a very humbling and at the same time very empowering experience... just watching the waves come and go... listening to the sound as they hit shore... looking at the mist that rises as the waves enthusiastically rush to drench the sun-baked golden sand...

i was there last week...

and was reminded of kahlil gibran:

"The Sphinx spoke only once, and the Sphinx said, "A grain of sand is a desert, and a desert is a grain of sand; and now let us all be silent again." I heard the Sphinx, but I did not understand." (Sea and Foam)

the sea spoke. the sphinx spoke. but i did not understand!
will i ever?

Friday, September 16, 2005

My Shadow

The thought contained in this poem quite tickled me...

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

by R L Stevenson

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Books and us

I have always wondered... why do we like the books we like? Why do some of them seep through our skin and sink so deep into our minds that it becomes almost impossible to purge them out even when we want to?

Has it ever happened that you meet someone... or simply come across someone... and develop a sudden liking... or immense disliking? The other person doesn't even need to open his/her mouth. S/he doesn't need to do anything to deserve to be liked/disliked. All the person's gotta do is be there... at that moment. It happens with me often... well, not with all people. But it has certainly happened with certain people I've met. I agree, there are people who grow on you... and your likings/dislikings may change over time. But that's not what I'm speaking of. Nope, I'm also not talking of how that person carries him/herself... what s/he says... how s/he looks... nothing. As I said, all that person's got to do is to be there.

Sometimes I feel books are like people. Perhaps it is my relationship with books that is like the one with people above. But it happens. You go to a bookstore, and you have made up your mind of getting yourself something to read, and it just so happens that you don't feel like taking home a single book in the damn store. It just doesn't click! And then, sometimes while you are just ambling your time away, you come across this book whose title sounds weird and the author's name is even weirder. But you like it... I don't think it has got anything to do with the author, endorsements, the plot... all the book's gotta do is be there. This wand seller in one of the Harry Potter books says, "You don't choose the wand, the wand chooses you." I think it's something like that. You pick a book from some alcove in the store, and you just connect!! Nope, I'm not talking of the infatuation with title (like the one I had with "If nobody speaks of remarkable things" ... I'm sorry if I got the name wrong... am not too good with remembering those), or the cover design... nope, I'm not speaking of bollywood romances. I'm talking here of a profound connection with the book. Like you pick a book and you feel you've been searching for this... like the book too has been looking for you... and are overwhelmed by this acute need to read it.

It has happened with me so very often. And this phenomenon (can it be called one?) has led to some of the best book discoveries... I've stumbled upon some of my favourite books this way. Like I chanced upon "The Divine Child" while killing time in a bookstore... I picked this book up... and headed straight for the payment counter. The book turned out to be one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking journeys I've embarked upon. Same thing happened with the "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" (it wasn't as famous then)... and I was just so pleased with myself for having picked that book up from one forgotten corner during a book sale. The same thing has happened with so many other books as well.

Why... is the question? Why do we like the books we like. Ok, even if we didn't connect with them in the bizarre way described above, why do we still like the books we like? Is it only about the literary skills and sensibilities of the author? Is it only the fact that you liked the last book by the same chap? Is it only about the plot... the emotion... the intrigue... the turn of phrase? We could find these in soooooo many books. But why do we end up liking... or perhaps loving some books so deeply? Do we like them because they remind us of ourselves? Or is it that they portray the lives we'd want to live... or the lives we have lived? Do we like them because they affirm our beliefs... or challenge them? Do we like them because they help us escape reality... or we like them bacause they present it? Why?

Guess I am just an irrational person. I like certain books because... well, because I like them. And I guess books too are like irrational people. They choose me... well, because they choose to.