Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Coincidence

How about this for a coincidence?

Long ago, when I had overcome a bout of greediness--OK... let's be a bit positive and call it enthusiasm, or love for books, or... eagerness, for lack of any other word--in buying books that have a good rating... I must talk about my book selection routine a little later; perhaps, that's an entirely different conversation (monologue?) altogether. Too much of meandering... I know. Anyways, the book, 'All the light we cannot see' by Anthony Doerr was one among them. And then, when I start reading it, I enthusiastically pursue the habit of jotting down the stuff that really impresses me, shakes me or whatever kind of emotion it brings out of me. So, of the three pages of ravings about the book, the one praise that I bother to write down is by J. R. Moehringer, author of Sutton and the Tender Bar. 

"Doerr sees the world as a scientist, but feels as a poet. He knows about everything - radios, diamonds, molluscs, birds, flowers, locks, guns, - but he also writes a line so beautiful, creates an image or scene so haunting, it makes you think foerver differenty about the big things - love, fear, cruelty, kindness, the countless facets of the human heart ... Doerr's new novel is that novel, the one you savour, and ponder, and happily lose sleep over, then go around urging all your friends to read - now"

It is indeed an amazing take on the book; no doubt about it. That is the reason why it takes a place in my beloved notebook. Now, the date was 28 Dec 2016. I have entries, more from books that I cared to leave midway, than from those that I bothered to finish. Just a rude reminder to myself that 2017 has been the worst of all the un-self years I have had to deal with so far. Un-self? I mean, not being myself or having very less time for myself. 

The last fews book that I read (in 2016) were 'Wonder' by RJ Palacio, 'When breath becomes air', by Paul Kalanithi, 'The One and Only Ivan' by Katherine Applegate, and in 2017, just one book: 'The Gita for Children', by Roopa Pai. And for the books that I deserted too quickly are Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Malala's I am Malala, John Grisham's The Firm, Kiran Desai's Inheritance of Loss, Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places, Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun, Harari's Sapiens, Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, and Thich Nhat Hanh's Old Path White clouds. I know... Whatever!

And today, in a history of firsts, I manage to finish a book, and that's 'Open' by Andre Agassi. Rarely have books been able to catch my attention early on (he starts off like a wounded soldier and yet having to face the battle with such hate for the battlefield), and have made me read it till the last word. And this is one among such; I finished reading in one week, given my hectic schedule. In the last two pages of the book... a kind of closing statement from Andre, is the 'acknowledgements' section.

It reads, 'This book would not exist without my friend J. R. Moehringer. It was J.R., before we even met, who first made me think seriously about putting my story on paper. During my final U.S. Open, in 2006, I spent all my free time reading J.R.'s staggering memoir, The Tender Bar.'

And then, it is quite obvious that I would not remember that I had written that name a long ago, that too for some other book. I just happened to notice the name when I was about to jot down the difficult words in Andre's book on my notebook, and happened to peruse through the other entries that I had made.

Coincidence, right? I picked Moehringer's name so randomly, which was part of an praise list of some other book, and it comes back after a year in some other context; he is now the pseudo-author of a book that I manage to complete.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sun

What do you wonder at, my son?

That the fragile flower
permeates cheer

while the fearless man
wilts and withers

under the light and glow
of our beloved sun?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Who am I?


I have seen your anger
I have seen you being rash
I have seen you being irrational
I have seen you lash

I have seen you as an arrant rogue
I have seen you being loved
I have seen you being used
I have seen your devotion

I have seen your fondness
I have seen you happy
I have seen you helpless

I have seen you punish 'em
and when you've let 'em flourish

I have seen you threaten
I have seen you tremble

I have seen you being blamed
I have seen you being wanted

I have seen you change, 
forms and shapes, and,
I have seen your resolve

I have seen you repent
I have seen you cleanse
I have seen you calm
and I have seen you cry

I have seen you being bullied
I have seen you betray
I have seen you in pain
and when you loved in vain


However...

You are unlike the humans around,
You never fake.

In all, I have seen all of you.

Who am I to you, dear rain?


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wrinkles

I read my writings of a decade ago.
Vernal, vivacious, pithy and sharp.
Liberal, focused, aplenty and nimble.

And then, I immediately,
scrutinize my face in the mirror.
Wrinkled and dull.

I wonder...

If my mind became as vulnerable
as my skin had become--owing to its love,

Time.



Sunday, June 04, 2017

Introduction to Violence

Wouldn't exposing kids to the act of buying meat from a butcher (and thereby to the cleaning process) be considered as an act of violence?

~ Running Thoughts, June 04

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hyperbole

Seeing a speck on one's own nose.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Of Death and Sufferance

Does death kill ego, hatred, and any other forms of misgivings? For a moment, I thought it did. No... Not really. Between two beings in a tensed relationship, it proves who won and who had the last laugh. Under the pretext of homage, the ego-clad victor stands tall towering over the dead, registering the fact that he has won the race of time. Of course, it is only a temporary relief. But then, we are all ingrained in accumulating brownie points through temporary aspects, be it measures, relief, or victories; such a temporal object the human is. We go behind all things ephemeral: beauty, fame, money, power and whatever falls in the line of that trajectory. Well, what else can we expect? There is but one thing that we do which is indeed anti-temporal. And that is dying.

If one believes in after birth, then even that is temporal. What does this one important act of mankind signify? Because I do not believe in after-birth, I assume that it hardly signifies anything to the dead. For those who are left to survive the death, it is loss, both monetary and non-monetary. But then, death also bestows the survivor with wealth, power, and the usual accompanying suspects. Death brings out what was never said before—of the dead and the things surrounding them. With matters concerning benefits, at times, it brings more estrangements and more misgivings.

Of course, when the death has nothing to do with power, money, and fame, it is pain. It pains from deep inside to come to terms with the vacuum and the desolation created by the dead’s absence. Our heart cringes even with the very thought about the loss of someone who filled your time and senses with joy… like the loss of your very own progeny. 

All said, even these after effects are ephemeral. Time stands a victor, gobbling up even the sorrow that death creates. Don't you forget the fallible human memory that plays the partner in crime with time.

And of sufferance, does death act as a means to reconciliation? In most cases, it does. It makes the intolerant to reconsider and let what was then a major rift to macerate into a passable event. 

Leave alone a situation of death... Even if there is a near-death situation, and if an opportunity for reconciliation presents itself, would we not think about disengaging our ego and come forth to express our forgiveness and be uber-human about it? If that can be done, can we not imagine such a hypothetical situation, be large-hearted, shed our hatred, and look to work in harmony with folks whom we cannot even stand the sight of? That one act of kindness would open up so much more possibilities for collaborative living. If not anything, it would, at the least, let us be at peace with ourselves. 

And certainly, next to work, sufferance is the deliverance of mankind.