Monday, June 14, 2010


When I hear somebody sigh, "Life is hard," I am always tempted to ask, "Compared to what? - Sydney J. Harris

Life is such a heavy word; it is so complicated to pen what you think of it and what you want to do of it. On a deeper thought, nothing is too complicated; it is just the way we look at it.

Most often than not, our relationships take a toll on us, it’s not always possible to maintain a cordial relation with everyone in your network chain. Life seems miserable-drowning in stress, complains, fights and rifts. We don’t have to learn the art to tackle or the lessons of being patient, all we have to learn is to let go.

Miseries, unhappiness, distress are too much of a burden or rather an additional baggage. Let it go. With whatever little dignity left in your relationship, try to come out. It’s hard to build a complicated web around you, which you don’t need to anyway; you might just get engulfed in it. Just remember, travel light- shed the excess baggage.

A friend told me once, after attending his grandmom’s funeral – ‘You scream, you yell, you get disappointed and frustrated with such trivial things in life which you consider might be important at that time. You have no idea what the next moment has in store for you, you have no idea how much time is left with you, but one thing is certain; one day you will be reduced to ashes.’

It was an awakening. It made me realize, life is actually very simple. All you need to do is just follow your heart and do what you want to, whether that leads to success of failure, it’s altogether a different thing. But we live just once and if we don’t do what we desire to do now, there is no second chance.

What is life without some pain and struggle may be if everything was going fine with life we would have longed for some excitement! You don’t need friends or relatives just to have a decent funeral for yourself, I mean how good is all that after you are dead? But you need all these people to make your life comfortable, exciting, un-lonely, happy and easy.

The thought of having someone no matter how near or far, just the fact that someone is always going to be there for you, makes you fearless isn’t it?

Embrace life the way it is, do not complain, you chose it right? Even if you felt it was thrusted upon you, you still accepted it. There is no tried and tested formula of living a contented life, all you have to do is travel light, shed the excess baggage and don’t forget to collect souvenirs while you are on move.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My review - Johnny Gone Down

The best thing about Johnny Gone Down is the cover. It is simply marvellous. The Buddha statue, the Christ the Redeemer, the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, computers, flights pointing particular direction, danger sign, smoke alcohol drugs, blade, shooting guns, outer space and so much more!!!

So when you study the cover before starting the book, you know for sure that you are seated for an intercontinental ride. I really liked the way Karan describes the Khmer Rouge era, the killings the torture, it was as though I was watching it, the pregnant women-stabbed, Nikhil eyeing the second rice bowl - the hunger "or even just the smell" was so real and so horrible, "He never rose again.Everyday I envied him", “they removed the body when the smell bothered them”...I have never read a description like this, its pain and defeat written all over. "they had converted a school into torture chamber for educated bourgeoisie"...The Cambodian chapter was the most interesting, most horrifying and most painful.

This is a line from Khmer Rouge Wiki:

Money was abolished, books were burned, teachers, merchants, and almost the entire intellectual elite of the country were murdered, to make the agricultural communism, as Pol Pot envisioned it, a reality. The planned relocation to the countryside resulted in the complete halt of almost all economic activity: even schools and hospitals were closed, as well as banks, and industrial and service companies.

Hats off to the author for writing the story so well.

Small details like Marco using.."men", I could actually hear his accent! "I spent every moment I could glued to my chair; only my fingers on the mouse moved, edging my icon closer to Lara's so we could be together..", “she signed out in the evening to take care of our son, I thought hopefully, I would start working on virtual environment adding tools and option that I thought could please her.” The desperation of getting her back Virtually!!! Thinking of what the person is going through, his state of mind, he wanting his wife so much that even her icon gives him a bout of new life, adding tools to please her! Pain described liked this...the last time I felt like this way was while reading Jeffrey Archer's Kane and Abel (the way Archer described Abel tied up and forced to watch his sister being brutally raped by American soldiers and his sister ultimately bleeding to death... I remember myself sobbing!).

But the end, -- the duel, the guy turning out to be Sam's servant, meeting Sam at the wedding, reuniting with Lara. All this was too Bollywoodish or the masala Hindi movie. I would have liked it more real, even Gump losses his wife in the end. The best thing about Keep Off the Grass was its epilogue and we Indians love happy endings. That way this ending should be the best part too, but still it could have been a more believable happy ending.

To summarize, the novel is really very good. It kind of reminds me of Sidney Sheldon, complete package of drama, spirituality, sorrow, love, lust, gang fights, wealth, poverty, pain, despair and success against all odds.