Saturday, 26 July 2014

Trees are special.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

Trees give an aura of wisdom, of great age, and immense strength. If we stop to think about it, each one of us has a special tree in our lives. An immovable object that has marked a place in our memory.
  Grandmother always told me to be like a coconut tree. She had this chorus that she used to recite every time. It told me to be useful and make every part of me useful. It said live in co-existence to find harmony.  Every coconut tree comes with the message – Serve your purpose wholly.
 There are trees that have a mighty base, its truck growing to reaching heights, its boughs branching out as far as it can. Like a human soul with ambitions, his hands stretched towards the sky, his fingers wanting to touch the dreams. When the winds blow hard, even this grand tree bends to the wind.  The trees are saying – look at me, how strong and lone I stand, yet I bend to this wind. I do so lest it breaks me. There are certain happenings in life we cannot ascertain. It comes as a sudden tidal wave, trying hard to carry us away. At times like this, instead of holding your feet and letting the wave break us we must lean in a bit to let the waters pass us without leaving much damage behind.
A tree leaves its marks behind. Each ring on the inside tells a tale of its existence, the meaning of those years it has stood tall – sapling to this. Our lives must be of some significance. Mankind loses much in this race of life that he doesn’t pause to see if his years, his life, is leaving behind a mark to tell his story.
Trees teach us calm. There are times when I hug a tree tight, my ears pressed against its bark, my fingers against its texture, my eyes shut but feeling on my closed lids the light patterns it creates through its leaves. When I hold a tree close, I feel all anxiety leave me. The force inside the tree is telling me to keep going on.  It holds a certain silence inside its form, telling us that we must find the silence within us too.
A tree’s leaves never stop rustling as long as the wind continues to do its job. Maybe the tree is telling us that as long as the world continues to do its job we must do ours.
But the greatest lesson perhaps is this. More magnificent a tree is the more sure you can be that its roots stretch far below the earth. We must have our roots sunk deep into Mother Earth. She, the preserver of life, the  If we intend to grow, we need to breathe in Mother Earth. We need to earn Nature’s love. Just as how a tree no matter how old and weak it is continues to live on with just the support of the mud below it, Earth promises to take care of us if we are in close association with her.
sustainer, the nourishing one.
Trees are like spirits. They talk, teach, and open up a magical world. They are speakers of Nature’s life lessons.  To have a tress as a mentor, parent, friend guarantees that you have a divine strength leading you on.  
Do you have a special tree?

Note: images are copyright to me. 

Friday, 18 July 2014

Internship can be fun.

It has been a while since I last blogged. Internship, writing and other such things have kept me away. I thought I’ll leave something of an update.
This month I started my internship and I think it is a great experience. It shows you the real way things are done and you realize not everything is as orderly as it is so inside an educational institution. I knew this but it hit me rather hard on Day 1 of internship. I felt overwhelmed and slightly scared about how my future would be as a lawyer. However, I’m glad I felt that because fear is a strong motivator and I tried to channel that fear into something more positive. Now, I feel…stronger? Much more confident and determined. I love that thing about fear. It gives you two options. You either let it push you down for the rest of your life or you use it as an asset.
 Internship also opened up some interesting things. I get to see the kind of people I wouldn’t otherwise. The kind you read on paper or in books. That reminds me of this case I read.
There is this particular lady, let us call her Jess, who claims to be a kleptomaniac (the urge to steal). This nice person stole diamond and gold jewelry from a friend and kept it a secret until she wisely donned on the pieces and posted the picture of Facebook. The friend on seeing these pictures put two and two together. Jess was arrested after a complaint was filed. Jess confessed. But the funny part here is not the nature of this case but Jess herself. She is hardly worried about the accusation and the fact she could possibly go to prison. She likes to go on a shopping spree on the day of her court hearing, goes to movies after the hearing, and even told the judge to speed up his pace. Jess is a kleptomaniac who like to steal only jewelry. Convenient, don’t you think?
Yes, this is real.
Apart from these perks, I also get to learn a lot. Studying law makes me feel empowered and gives me the feeling that I can face anything with the power of knowledge of law. I can’t wait to complete these five years of education and step into the world as a lawyer.
That is about it for a brief update.  Also, Sky theaters are amazing.
As well as mocha banana smoothie!  *yum*

Until next time <3

note: Image doesn't belong to me.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Fountainhead

I’ve read many good books. Some of them have blown me away with the words they carry. The Little Prince holds the trophy for me. Rather, held. It had to make way for The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This book is considered to the bible for creative people. I didn’t know about the fame that followed the book until after I had read it. So, my opinion is completely unbiased when I say The Fountainhead is one of the most amazing book ever written.
As I was reading it, I had a sense as if I was reading something very sacred and each word must be read twice so that it could be committed to memory. It is an intensely written book with intense characters who are bound to stay in your head (not your heart) for a long time.
You could ask me why I haven’t written a review.
I feel that by writing a review I will be causing disrespect to those words. You will know what I mean when you read The Fountainhead.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Book Review- The Inhertitance of Loss by Kiran Desai

All day, the colors had been those of dusk, mist moving like a water creature across the great flanks of mountains possessed of ocean shadows and depths. Briefly, visible above the vapor, Kanchenjunga was a far peak whittled out of ice, gathering the last of the light, a plume of snow blown high by the storms at its summit.

The book, The inheritance of Loss, starts with these lines. The beauty of the description had me hooked immediately. I knew this story was not going to be a light one, but rather an educational journey where the writer throws across complex ideas and thoughts that is bound to provoke the reader’s mind. I was not disappointed.
Taken from Wikipedia-

The major theme running throughout is one closely related to colonialism and the effects of post-colonialism: the loss of identity and the way it travels through generations as a sense of loss. Individuals within the text show snobbery at those who embody the Indian way of life and vice versa, with characters displaying an anger at the English Indians who have lost their traditions.'

The main characters in the story are – Sai, Biju, Jemubhai Patel, and his cook.

He story revolves around Sai, a teenager who is living with her paternal grandfather Jemubhai Patel, former Justice. They live in the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas in an old manor named Cho Oyu. The house inspite of its great history is now in a crumbling state, the termites eating the place down. Sai was brought up in India in a convent. After the death of her parents she was sent to her grandfather. Here, it is the cook who really looks after the girl. Her grandfather isn’t very concerned. Because of lack of finance he is unable to send her to a good school. Hence, tutors are hired to teach her the basics. This is how she meets Gyan, her physics teacher. He isn’t much older to her and Sai and Gyan fall in love with each other.

Jemubhai Patel, her grandfather, doesn’t really step up to this role. He hates anything that connects him to his family. The judge was educated in England. Since the initiation of his studies, he had always wanted to cut his Indian roots and embrace the west. In spite of him trying, the British don’t accept him as one of their own nor do the Indians. Desai shows us the brutal side to the judge. We see him recalling incidents where he looks down upon his uneducated family, rapes his wife, beats her up, sends her back to her parents house, ignores his child. It seems that the only person the judge loves is his dog Mutt.
The Judge’s words after his dog goes missing-
“A man wasn't equal to an animal, not one particle of him. Human life was stinking corrupt, and meanwhile there were beautiful creatures who lived with delicacy on the earth without doing anyone harm. "We should be dying." the judge almost wept.”
Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss

Desai switches narration between Sai and Biju. Biju is the son of the judge’s cook who stays in America. The story takes place post-colonialism hence there are still much influence of the British on the Indians and their mind set towards anything foreign. Biju travels to US by illegal means and is staying in the place without legal documents. He works in different restaurants and meets varied people. Contrary to what his father thinks, Biju is not living a life of luxury. Desai uses satire to show many aspects of human behavior. Biju sees Indians coming to the restaurants he works and ordering beef. Cow is considered sacred to Hindus hence Biju is unable to hide his disgust for these Indians.

Gyan, Sai’s lover/tutor, is a Nepali. The Gorkhaland movement is used as a historic backdrop of the novel. The Gorkhaland movement involves the revolt of the Nepalies against the Indian government and against those who have embraced a western life. Gyan in search of an identity joins the Gorkhas and this leads to a break in relation between Sai and Gyan.
The inhertitance of loss is not a book that involves around one central theme. It deals with life and the different faces in one’s life. Dealing heavily on human perception and their decisions, Kiran Desia’s words have a way of finding their way to a certain part of the reader’s mind where one can chew over it. There is a conflict between the beautiful scenic setting the story is set in and the human wars. Many might find the story a bit of a drag and boring. However, the amazing thing about the book is that it captures true life in all its ugly and pretty shades.

“A journey once begun, has no end”
The book ends true to these words. There is no definite “happily ever after” end to this story. It ends on a note of hope.
The book has won many acclaims and awards. It won the Man Booker Prize for the year 2006, the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award in 2007 and many more.
Favourite parts-
The satire- this is done so well- not a bit more or a bit less.
The writing – Kiran Desai has beautiful writing that paints vivid pictures.
The humor – Though most of the humor is centered on sarcasm there is the right sprinkle of humor.

Another book that I read this week is Girls In Trucks by Katie Crouch. I picked the book from the shelf because I was drawn by the amazing book cover and I am all about supporting debut novels. The story was disappointing. Sarah, the protagonist is not very lovable. The writing is poor. To make it interesting the writer switches around with first person narrative, second person narrative and third person. It gets tiring.The book gets 6/10 from me. 


What book have you read lately?
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