When There Is Clarity in the Thought

Product @ Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/9384454117/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The most brought item in Amazon India is books. I began with Amazon.com in US, buying my course books and maybe a gadget here and there. Amazon website is so easy to figure out for a confused person like me. It also made me feel safe when I ordered books from them. So even after switching continent I still enjoy shopping in Amazon.

Among the various books that I have got, spiritual books are slightly popular with me. I love to collect The Bhagavad Gita. I collect them not to gather dust; but the book to become dog-eared due to constant reading and annotated with the inner reflection.

The above URL is my latest collection of the books. The first time I encountered Songs of God (The Bhagavad Gita) was when I was in my 8th Grade. It was well worn out copy of my youngest uncle. All my uncles, aunt and my father were believers in this book. Each incorporated the teachings in their own way and with their special quirks. But the Sanatana Dharma was very much a way of life in my family and I believe it has filtered to the current generations with their individualistic version of it.

But these are all incidental events, the main reason that I have such fascination for this book is the fact, that the various version that I read gave me insight only to that level of emotional growth that I held within me at that moment. During the 8th grade I understood nothing of the book, I flipped through with earnestness of course, but did not understand anything. After the rush and stress of 10th grade, I again settled to read the book. This time the chapter on Karma Yoga was very appealing. I kept reading it repeatedly.

Then, when I reached my first year of college, I decided that I would club lamp lighting activity with reading the book, in the hope, maybe I will get clarity of the ideas given in the book. The Gita is a huge tomb of footnoted explanation for which you need to read up a lot on the other explanatory books. So then, I checked out various schools of thought, which included, Sri Aurobindo,  Paramahansa Yogananda, then many other explanation providing shows by many gurus from north to south. These gurus excelled in the art of pravachan or discourses.

I somehow showed a greater inclination towards the South Gurus since it sat well with my sensitivity. I am greatly influenced by Velukkudi Sri U. Ve. Krishnan Swamy. I found his discourse far more convincing to my seeking soul. But I never stop at one Guru, my nature is to keep searching until I can say, ah! Now I know.

My quest never stopped at any given point of my life. The progress that I have made is based on the emotional growth and psychological effect that was present in me at the time of reading the text of Gita. So why does this specific book be over and above other scriptures. I would say the simplicity of the entire work.

The fact that I cannot read the source language in which it was written, Sanskrit, it didn’t stop me from perusing to read it in English translation. My Uncle’s copy was a very poor translation and later when I began collecting other translations, something was always missing in it. But the English part didn’t sit well or resonate with my inner writer’s spirit, until I picked my latest copy from Nightingale’s Vedic Cosmos division’s, which is involved in publishing Vedic Literature with the true aspiration to bring to the seeking soul the lessons from the ancient past.

For the first time, I understood Sri Krishna better. I found a connection between each chapter and how they were interlinked. It is like any Analytical Essay on the Soul and Its ultimate goal on Earth. I personally feel that this life is rather interesting, given the fact that, I am seeing it emotionally, scientifically (theory and practical), philosophically, and essentially to discover what really happens to humans whether individually or collectively.

I was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s speech in the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893. Though the import of it took a long time to happen for me. By some mysterious logic which I don’t even know, my mind understands of things related to spirituality. I always believed that my life was a spiritual progress with a process already settled into my inner Self.

Spiritualism is never far away from my thoughts and I try to understand this mystery called life in my own ways. In that self-discovery process I have used The Bhagavad Gita a lot. Among the many books that I read about the interpretation of the Gita, one of them was Devadutta Pattnaik’s My Gita. which was an interesting way of looking at the text.

But this time when I read the Vedic Cosmos’s version of the gita’s translation, I was blown over. For the first time, I saw the logic in the text. I might still not have got the complete import of it, but I figured out the points covered and the sequence in which Sri Krishna places these ideas as progressive path of improvement towards self-realization and reaching god head.

See the whole piece starts from when Arjuna is confused and reluctant to fight. From 0 -100% switch of attitude was achieved with remarkable oratory accomplishment by Sri Krishna. I feel that each chapter deals with specific issue at hand and then show how to progress forward with utmost care. Given my nature, I tend to pursue ideas and cross reference them with actual performance by me.

I have been reading this book since Friday last for personal and work related need. The level of clarity that I felt this time, while reading the book, was extremely surprising for me. The translation was done with great care for details and part of the manodharam could be deeply felt. Yes, it did have a few places where I felt, that it could be done well, which is atypically just my personal quirks on certain kind of sentence. But my critic cannot be fully acceptable, since I am seeing this work from just the English translation angle. Yes, the fact remains, that I am seeing it with many other translated versions from my previous reading. I feel this one was the closest that brought my thinking mind in alignment with the text.

I am enjoying the connectivity that I felt with the text and the fact that it was there all the while but, the Supreme gives the understanding that is needed for the text. I am grateful and humbled by the new understanding and the seeker is resting at base camp 1 and it is a long way to the summit of complete understanding.

Image Source: Amazon India

Motivational Speech and Their Role in My Life

What really motivates human beings? Is it a few words of encouragement, or is it an entire mindset to think differently, or is it, that you find your motivation in self-talk and self-encouragement?

I have often wondered, how I could get motivated and make self-progress in life. How much of these thoughts are just vanity trying to please itself? Because, at every point, there is a need to find a purpose to support the activities, that human beings perform in their life.

The Unchanged Self

So given my desire for books ranged on different topics, motivational and self-help books were my favorite ones. The interesting part of these books is the fact, that their influence on me remained right up to four hours. Because at the end of the four hours, I am back to my old ways. So technically the motivational speech didn’t change me! This used to disappoint me to a great extent.

Temporary Influence of Motivational Books

So then, is motivation just a temporary influence of mind by the words written by an author, that loses its effect after some time or after the mind is away from the text for a specific duration? This question has haunted me a lot and the fact that I have not scanned the entire book into my brain like a computer, thus I am unable to hold on to an ideology which is different from what I believe in.

For me, every book that I read, I would focus on the message only for a prescribed space of time. Once, there is space from the influencing thoughts, then, I am back to my old thoughts. So, does it mean, that motivational speaker’s thoughts and ideas are not easy for me to internalize and carry forward?

Power of Positive Thinking

Among my various books, that I enjoyed reading were those related to self-help and motivational books. I began reading the first book on Self-help when I was 14-years-old. “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale was a very difficult book to read since the writer wrote in a heavy restrained tone.

Moreover, I was at the beginner level with language. So, the writer’s personal choice of words kept getting in the way of my understanding of the text and its central meaning. When I read this book, my understanding of the text was very limited.

By the time, I came to a settlement with my warring thoughts, I was forced to come to an assumption, that I have understood what Peale was trying to say, or at least the general idea of having a positive thinking mindset.

Who Moved My Cheese

Later maybe after about four years, I came across a book, which was light to read and was different from all the other self-help book. The author fixed the life’s variable at change is a constant and the cheese of happiness will be moved under all condition. Given the interesting take on the choice of seeking cheese in our life, I found an interesting connection. But still, it was a hard job to change with time and move with the cheese.

I found Dr. Spenser Johnson very easy to read but did I understand the concept, that is the question? I remember reading the thin book at least five times before I set it back on the shelf and resolutely told myself that I need to make space between the new thoughts and my old ones.

And the Monk Spoke After Selling His Ferrari

Robin Sharma’s book was an interest read for me. There was some connection because the language used had become slowly familiar by the time I reached “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” There were some thoughts that felt a little difficult to come to terms with, but then, the book flowed well in its own set of requirements.

Of course, I am in Robin Sharma’s mailing list and there is some interesting self-help content that includes audio-visual, written, and encouraging snippets of inspiration. While I look thoroughly perplexed with the fact that change of self is inevitable and the principle of change being a constant has entered the literature of self-help book.

Work Effectively with the End In Mind  

Stephen R Covey made an interesting read, but then, I kept comparing the material with my inner perception. I liked the fact that he spoke of the Inside-Out process and that was helpful for me. The seven habits are something that is really hard to earn and to keep.

But when you read Dr. Covey your understanding takes on a new level. Maybe over the years of self-help book reading, I had acquired an inkling into my own thought process and come to a new understanding.

Finally…what?!

All the self-help cannot add up to one small step of effort taken to regularly make a change happen in one’s life. Before that, it is essential to know that your life requires change and understand the need for a change. I still believe that self-help is a great help when there is no confusion in the thought process. A confused mind cannot bring change. Only a clear mind can bring about change that is effective and positive for the person seeking change in life.

Speeches that were interesting with notes:

  1. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
  • Connecting the dots in the future
  • Love what you do and don’t settle until you find it
  • Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

2. Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson ► Animated Book Summary

  • Change Happens (They keep moving the cheese)
  • Anticipate Change (Get ready for the cheese to move)
  • Monitor Change (Smell the cheese often to know when the cheese gets old)
  • Adapt to Change (Learn to let go old cheese and enjoy new cheese)
  • Change (Move with the cheese)
  • Enjoy the Change (Savor the new cheese and enjoy the adventure of finding new cheese)

3. How to react when someone insults you? Dealing with Rude People – Personality Development Tips

  • Why do people insult others?
    • Insecure feeling as against others
    • Unexpressed Jealousy
    • Lack of Understanding
    • Teasing is Cool
  • How to respond to Insult?
    • Stay Calm | breath if required to calm down and not react but proact to a situation
    • Express How You Exactly Feel without getting affected by the insult
  • Simply Ignore the insult and focus on what is important in your response to insult
  • Use Humor to Turn the Table of Insult on the Insulter
  • Report Chronic Insult related to gender, sexuality, religion or disability

 

Panoramic View of History of India

Book Title: India Shastra | Reflections on the Nation in our Time

Author: Shashi Tharoor

Translator:  N/A

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Author:

This book is the first of my political books that I have ventured to read up. Shashi Tharoor as an author is very structured and articulate. His thoughts are progressive and innovative. Each chapter has been written with the mindset to expand the readers thoughts and get a general perception of true advancement of India.

As a person who has held official posts in the Indian government, he speaks erudite lingo of progress. Sometimes the best expressed thoughts create the right kind of impact on the readers. As an author I found him to be convincing with much of the intelligence of political tendency to be articulate to a fault.

Sometimes, I found him to be pro-congress in his expressions. I think that is expected given that he belongs in the Congress party. But I was disappointed that it colored some of his perceptions, I looked forward for some fair deal in voicing what Congress did wrong too. But then loyalties are stood up to by using finesse of expressions.

Book in a Nutshell:

The book is divided into 8 section under the varied topics, and sub-topics are covered with well structured thought process. This gives a reader a complete panoramic view of India’s political stand from Pre-Independence day to Modified days. The book contains some really interesting information bundled into knowledge packets. The past, present and future of India is beautifully drawn using words as a medium.

The author has been really sharp and erudite in expressing his visions, provisions for better Indian governance. The common goal of India has been given a beautiful platform to perform and excel with good and wise leadership at the helm. Is there a single party that can provide good leadership at the helm is still open for a debate?

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

Shashi Tharoor as a thinker is par excellence. His thought process is really the niche that this book enjoys and educates the readers. The fact that India at various stage of history has been bouncing back on its feet and continuing its journey of progress. As the largest live democracy India’s political engine works with its regular set of maintenance requirement.

Per se, I had no dislikes about the book; but I did felt that Shashi couldn’t prevent the voice of his party infringe his words in certain places. If BJP voices strongly against minority, then Congress goes equally loud on religion and other weaker points of BJP. But then, there is no ownership to faults in Congress governance. This could possibly be that while representing a greater machine of Democracy’s working in voting populace that will get your eyes popping, I believe the Laxmanian Common Man has to bear the brunt.

My Opinion

I must say that the book was really much more informative than the history book that I read in my school days. Given the requirement to rote learn all details, I wonder if history books do carry the truth or truth according to the group that won the war. When I read Shashi Tharoor’s history, then I wondered all the hardship of memorizing even the swatted shape of a dead mosquito in my history book doesn’t serve the purpose of educating me. But given so many wars, humans have yet to learn that war is futile and not worth all those bloodshed.

History is often written by the winners of the situation and it is angled to make the winner’s look better. But history is always is written on blood that will leave you cold and rebuked as an outcaste. But then what does the common man want of all this history upheaval? I would say that the night will follow the day and likewise, various parties may come and go; but still, public problems are just that, public problem unresolved.

Image Source: Flipkart

A Boy Growing Up In a Graveyard | A Light Take

Book Title: The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Translator:  N/A

Rating:   3.5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Neil Gaiman is an author who loves libraries from his formative years. The surprising thing about this author is his quality of making the horrific almost a natural occurrence. I enjoyed the way he works on the story of Bod and there are some excellent moments of surprises. The flow of words is done with such care, that I like the way things connect in this book.

The storyteller’s style is a little green; but the magic of words and images create a feeling of eerie quality. It is like seeing an Halloween costumed kindergarten play. The various components of this story presents an interesting combination of fictional imagination being given the reality coloring, that have an almost thrilling experience for the reader.

Story in a Nutshell:

The story surrounds around a little boy named Bod and how he grows in the graveyard with complete access to the world of the dead. The experiences that Bod undergoes in this story is quiet interesting. A sense of protectiveness towards Bod that is shown by graveyard dwellers makes the spirits of the death to have reminiscent human feelings. The young baby in the crib loses not only its entire family; but also has to put up with threats to his life, all through his growing years.

The best part of the story is the realistic way in which the story ends. The episodes around the graveyard and Bod’s understanding that takes form through his own emotional growth is a wonderful way to experience this book. There are much more interesting information in the book, that captures the attention of the readers.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

I like the way the graveyard is structured and the magical quality with which the scenes are set together to bring out the sense of thrill and a more human view of the life beyond. Of course, the concept of hell is dealt differently in my culture and this book gave me another perspective.

There is nothing that I dislike in this book. I believe I will not come across a book which I would dislike. I always thought that a book is basically a point of view and the author or creator takes the pleasure of creating it for their readers.

My Opinion

I believe this book is a great starting point for young readers who are willing to explore friendly kind of ghosts and other creatures who live in the graveyard. I did tell my niece when she suggested this book from her book shelf, that I am easily frightened person. My niece was very insistent, that I read the book only before I go to sleep. By the time I was four pages down the book with my slow reading, I knew this story to be gripping. I suggest it even for people who are easily frightened to experiment with life in the beyond and quirks around those hangouts.

Image Source: Pexels.com

Surprised In the Summer of 2000

It was in the year 2000, that I came across Ponniyin Selvan and before that I knew nothing of this epic book. It had happened quiet by accident like much of my other experiences in life.

My father ran a family trust that had printed two books and he wanted to collect the payment for the earlier batch, so he took me along to Higginbothams, a book store in Chennai.

He left me with the books, while he went to settle the payment issue and I was left lost in the world of books displayed on the shelves. Of course, my father regretted leaving alone with the books once he saw the arm load of books that I was carrying to buy.

I was browsing the books in the shelves when I came across a book titled “The First Floods” of Ponniyin Selvan (Part 1) translated by C V Karthik Narayanan. It was the last book on the 12 books I was already holding. But after one look at this book, I moved no further and picked that book to begin reading, just when my father came searching for me.

One look at my expression and my father asked, “You are not thinking of making me pay for all those books, are you?” Well my father can be very easily convinced and I believe my sad puppy face did do its magic. But then he bargained hard and eventually I dropped all the books and chose Ponniyin Selvan alone. I was hugging the copy close to my heart as I walked out of the shop dreaming and quietly convinced that I am the actual owner of an entire world.

It was nearly two years later, that I was able to get the rest of the parts of the book. Appa got a promise from me when I got all the parts on the same day that I am not going to ask him for anything for the rest of the year and I readily agreed to not ask him anything for the rest of my life! But my father just shook his head and got me the books.

My father was a fair person who didn’t exploit the situation by asking me to give up any of my wild ways in life. Mind you, on that day I was willing enough to agree even to study the dry subject Economics too, if I had to redo my college. I was that agreeable to any conditions for the rest of the books.

To this day, if I come across a book, it would stop all my other works completely and I get warned, threatened by my mother for not doing my assigned chores. Eventually, she will give up on me as she knows nothing will stop me from completing the book. She also knew that I will bug her for the rest of her working time to just talk to her about the story that I read. There isn’t any hope for my confirming to house rules until I finish the book that had captivated my sensitivity.

Both my parents were surprised that I was so goo goo and gaa gaa about the historical novel which was popular during their young adult days. They were happy to have a conversation about the Kalki magazine being their favorite and how people in their house would fight for the copy.

Once I finished the book and I wanted the rest of the books. I reread the Part 1 book about couple of more times and every time the magic remained and never vanished from my imagination. I think I feel in love with Vallavarayan Vandiyathevan that summer of 2000.

Around that time, I was part of a Writer’s Mailing List through email. It was very basic and I was trying to get any native English speakers’ opinion on my work. I found myself wanting in trying to be calm and collected but it took me a long time to understand their critic on my works. I wished to know if I could even contemplate publishing them in the future.

I remember writing a piece that was totally inspired by Kalki’s “The First Floods.” Even today when I reread that piece of creative non-fiction, I am reminded of the causative feel that made me write. Even now I feel that magic of reading the hero on a tired horse traversing along the banks of Veeranam was so romantic for me.

When I wrote that piece I was like nothing could be more magical than the moment that I am drawing out of my memory that pure imagination. I almost felt that Chennai had turned into something special and when the Koel’s call resonated in the sky darkened with rain-bearing clouds, my heart would just sing a timeless and ageless song.

I tried really hard to read the book in Tamil since the magic of a language cannot be captured at the same level. But honestly, I think C V Karthik Narayanan had done an exemplary artistry with the translation. The rhythm of a Tamil story in English was beautifully captured. Since then, I am trying to write like Kalki but then nowhere near as yet, I am not giving up hope though. But the truth is that, if you write the way you write, the writer within will find that personal rhythm which the reader is able to connect with eventually.

My favorite character in the epic novel was Nandini and I just loved her role as a vamp. I was like rushing to read the books because there was such energy in the work that I felt enervated as the plot unfolded. I think none of the characters were willfully bad. The shades of grey that I found in their personality were such pleasure, that I found happiness in the balance expressed in the story.

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Realms of Fairy Tales in King’s County Library

I had visited King’s County Library twice and the first one was to find books on painting and the second was for Fairy tales. My short visit to Seattle was for pleasure and some time with important people in life. I love visiting libraries, which ever part of the world that I travel to. I make sure wherever it is, I visit one in the vicinity.

King’s County was a small library compared to Larkin Library in San Francisco, CA. This library catered to small community, but then, the collection of books and magazines are one up than the local Indian library.

During my first visit to the library, I was in search for pictures that I could replicate using Acrylic paints. But unfortunately, I couldn’t find any in the library.

Here was my issue at hand, I had a painting project underway with no images to replicate.

After much searching around I found a poster with common birds in Seattle and settled down to replicate them. My revised painting project theme, became the common birds in US, specifically Seattle.

By the time, I made the second visit my project of five common birds had been completed and I was moving on to write a fairy tale flavored short story for age group of 6-9 years.

I wanted to know about Fairies where else but the library will be the only place to get inputs on the topic. My generous relative dropped me off at the library and promised to pick me up. I had an hour and the whole library was mine! Heaven!

For a moment, I just stood there and felt the emotional calm of the place. Then, I browsed and found the small collection of books still in the library with the help of the Librarian.

Within a few minutes I was in the world of fairies and nuances of their ways with humans became three dimensional view. Imagination in a human is the best gift that gets doubled, when the mind also churns lot of more details from text to image transition.

I was so engrossed in the details of various kinds of fairies and other elements connected with various countries, that I forgot where the time had flown. Among the various stories and research materials that I read, there was one from Norway which was very intriguing.

The fairies were also known as Little People who were well-versed in playing instrument and mesmerizing people. The story was about a human mocking a fairy and challenging that he could play the very tune better than the fairy. The boastful man challenges to play the tune and come out of maze unscathed.

But the little people keep him imprisoned in the maze and so this flute player’s tune is often heard from the channel’s in the ground. I was totally taken in by the story.

The library’s calm and peaceful environment was such an inspiration that I was shocked when my phone vibrated in my pocket. I jerked into the present and started to get ready to leave the library.

I remember that moment even now as an emotional touchstone, wherein the reality and imagination have a head-on collision. Sometimes, I live for those kind of moment. The world of books is a great elixir when the reader least expects.

 

Photo Courtesy: Srividya Suri

New York Public Library | Riverside

Today, I visited the New York Public Library. I entered the premises through a revolving door. I found the library so calming and soothing for my spirit. I enjoyed browsing through a lot of interesting books.

I looked longingly at the Romances and gave into my intellectual demand; and picked books by G. K. Chesterton, Shakespeare made simple, and Lewis Carroll’s piece. I must say it is really fascinating to read works written by these people.

One of my fascination is collecting Library Cards. Indian, Singapore and New York library cards are so uninspiring; but the San Francisco library card sang to a different beat.

My cousin J and I had gone to a concert by Thornetta Davis (Detroit’s Queen of Blues)  last evening. I enjoyed the songs Ms. Davis sang with such gusto. The umphoof factor of her performance was the fact, that she engaged with her audience and created a sense of belonging.

I am used to listening to concert without making any bodily movement during the rendition. So it was fascinating to watch people of varied types and ages shake their legs to the rhythmic beat.

One the first day of my stay in New York, I felt it was filled with being taken over by the view. I found the city resonate into my memory, where I have seen and felt the beat of other cities of my past.

The two cities that New York invoked from my memory was Mumbai and Singapore. Both these cities I had visited at various stages of my life. Mumbai during my middle school and Singapore post-marriage.

Mumbai was far more colourful than Singapore and New York. But all these cities are different in certain unique aspect. For instance, in the people that you find in these cities are really varied but somehow they were same in their core value aspect.

I still remember my Aunt feeling proud that Mumbaikars can hide the fact of their ailments from all. She exclaimed to me,”Watch how dressed up are the patients who visit the doctor?” I blinked a couple of times not really understanding what she was driving at.

But later in my life I understood why she placed so much importance for that external appearance of all is well attitude. But back then, I felt the doctor should know that I’m unwell, if not he would send me back with no prescription for a cure. Ah! Life moves on and what felt ridiculous at 10 make sense in 30.

Some people feel that the concrete jungle kinda leaves you hollow and bereft of your soul. It also leaves behind a sense of mad rush. But I disagree with both these points. I believe that within a small existence there is much to explore. Somehow a smaller apartment with the view of other buildings is much more comforting than the spacious spread of unoccupied land.

I must say that I enjoy J’s apartment and her kitchen is simply divine. It hardly feels like I just arrived a couple of days before to New York. I resonate to the heart of the cities beats.  Yesterday, while walking back we saw the scultpure that gets changed periodically to fit the current month’s theme.

It was mosaic tile sculpture which made the whole presentation wonderful to watch. It seemed more like a snapshot of the folktale of African origin. The spirits of the jungle was represented in the pillar. We admired it for a while and walked on. On net searching I found that it was actually an installation by Kathy Ruttenberg.

The three cities of my experience resonates to their own unique rhythm and I enjoyed the varied beats. Somehow, I can never seem to understand my own perferences and likes. I strongly believe, that it is never the place; but it is you, who determine to matching up of the city’s intrinsic beats.

 

Image Source: Pexels.com

Carroll’s Alice in the Wonderland | My Take

Book Title: Alice in Wonderland

Author: Lewis Carroll (pen name) | Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (real name)

Translator:  N/A

Rating:   4 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson as a writer was really fantastic and highly imaginative. I found his works completely entertaining in an unique way. His story telling methods are interesting to observe. There is always a difference between telling a story to a child and an adult. I have often observed when I am telling a story to a child which is created for short term entertainment, there is a rough skeletal story line but the embellishing is done based on the child’s sway of interest. That way I find the disjointedness of the story plot is clear to see. The fact that Lewis had to later polish the oral format to written format.

Story in a Nutshell:

A very bored Alice sees a rabbit rushing around with a big watch in his hand. Taken over by curiosity, Alice follows him only to accidentally fall into an endless rabbit hole. Then the adventure in the world found under the ground takes her through various unique creatures and eventually when she opens her eyes she is a slightly disappointed that it was a dream; but then, she is also happy that it was over, since was quiet confusing to experience using a child’s logic. The fact that the underground people are not very logical and fair.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

The innumerable characters that are featured in this novel are truly fascinating to read. There is a sense of wonder to observe how the story line which a non-existent story line still is able to create a sense of a tale that brings together all the characters into a single plot line.

I loved the idea of things growing out of proportion and the constant changing of size could be distracting to some but I found it was a parallel to child’s reality. Just imagine right up to the time a baby in the cradle grows up to become a adult the presence of the adult is dominant. There are times when children are expected to behave their older age child and childhood gets diluted into forced grown up states. The fact is that the storyteller’s intention was not to address an adult in this story, but rather a child and its logic towards issues and other matters.

Each characters is so beautifully interesting and intriguing for a the child and childlike reader. The surprising things for me in this novel were the fact that Carroll used his creativity to bring out the best in the situation for Alice. The idea was not to be moralistic or preachy. The story was more about given a situation how one could logically try to find a solution. But given that all situations were according to the adult perspective could be viewed as ludicrous and nonsensical, but not so to a child.

My Opinion

This novel is a wonderful read and complex mathematical view of a story line plot which I found interesting to read. If you really want to appreciate this book, then try telling a story to a child and hold his or her attention for the given stretch of time. You will be better able to understand and like Lewis Carroll’s nonsense plot.

Image Source:  http://illustratorslounge.com/editorial/alices-adventures-in-wonderland-john-tenniel

Feeding the Child Right

I feel truly inspired after my solids feeding session with my youngest niece D2 and the idea was to write a fairy tale; but then here I’m writing a CNF. Life is truly a wonderful gift and if one could spend time seeing it with the right attitude.

My nieces and nephews have always been my inspiration. I still remember that I wrote my first short story for my brother’s first daughter N. Then, I wrote a poem for A and for K my brother’s youngest daughter, I wrote a ballad. Then both A and K together created a partially done story-line which was converted into visual medium, my little Minions!

Whereas, in my sister’s children case, I wrote a story for my nephew D and for Niece D2, I was inspired to write a fairy tale. There was such great fun with children. Actually, D2 is watching me write lying on my lap. She wants to type too, but then I have to tell her, that “Dearest, I will give you a chance like your brother.”

Life is all about learning new things and with children you learn a lot more. My first experience with feeding my nieces and nephews began with N when she was returning to her home. We had camped in our eldest uncle’s flat in Mumbai and that is when I had the pleasure to hold N on my lap as she was fed by my SIL.

I watched her eat her solids and something in my heart moved and the story found its nebulous start to form in my mind. It took me more than three months to write that story. I even sent it to my brother to read out to the baby N who will not understand a word of it.

N was the first for so many of first time things story-wise. When we paired up to create imaginary things it used to be complete March Madness and peerless Spring Equinox. I feel that it is easier to write if I used my little family members as audience for my stories. I found stories that used them were more interesting and compelling.

My sister’s son D was so interested in Russian folk tales. I, somehow am attracted to folk tales and fairy tales, which gives me great inner pleasures to explore in great depth. I have a latest collection of folk tales by Nelson Mandela presented by SIL after her Africa vacation.

Even today, I can still feel the magic of watching Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre production of fairy tales. There is much that can be learned and unlearned with children. When we become adults our sense of finding right and wrong becomes too strong. See life with a child’s mind everything will be funny and absolutely comical.

But for the first time D2 inspired me to write a magical realism story. Why not a fairy tale that has a single heroine! It should be her adventure and doesn’t end with her married and living happily ever after in a castle in the far away rich kingdom.

Long time ago in the land far known to all the little people, there was a little baby Rose. Her father was an adventurer who was lost in the search of a unique star outside the rims of the Universe. Rose wanted to find her father, so leaves her mother’s gentle care, and goes in search of her father. With this base, any level of expansion can be done.

But then, where is the magical realism in this?! But then, it is a nebulous and much is unsaid. D2 is interested in the story since she is eager to type. Okay short break. While D2 is happily playing in her Gimboree figuring textures, I get to write.

Both my brother’s and sister’s children are keen readers and their sense of humor is so typical of fun loving children which is part of our family DNA. I enjoy reading magical realism so much, that I feel, the stories with magic in them makes them truly wonderful.

Annotated with my niece’s musical rendition of happiness that can be found in her singing voice, I find that books of fairy tales and folk tales could provide children with innumerable new understanding. Nebulous is expanding and finding it own creative energy which means it is time to write that story.

Image Source: Pexels.com

Touched and Stirred by Magical Realism

Book Title: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Translator:  Spanish to English

Rating:  4. 5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  Amazon | Flipkart | SnapDeal

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

My mentor recommended reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez to get an understanding of magical realism genre. This was the first story in this genre which unconsciously reflected in the works that I submitted to mentor for one-on-one mentorship. The storyteller was so fabulous with his words and his storytelling methods were so clear, that it was such an easy story to read. Within the space of the format short story the writer created a world which passed through months while creating lovable illusion of the old man.

Story in a Nutshell:

The story revolves around the strange looking old man with huge wings landing at Pelayo and Elisenda’s doorstep. The stranger arrives unexpectedly and leaves as unexpectedly from their house. The whole mystery behind the stranger visit is fresh and full of intrigue for just a short duration. Strange man is popular figure to be looked at and provoked. Pelayo and Elisenda make the most of the situation and make a small fortune from charging for seeing the strange man. The stranger’s uniqueness is overshadowed by another unusual person and people flock up to see that, instead of the strange man, who was getting to be boring to watch. The author played around the stranger walking into the house and how he leaves eventually without making any recognizable difference.

 

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

This story was my first exposure to magical realism and it felt really different from all the other stories. I liked the idea of getting a really supernatural element into the ordinary existence, and then, let it play out its course. This technique was done with great efficiency by the writer. I liked the way the story goes and there was much to explore within that space and the author made full use of that unique space.

There was nothing to dislike about this story and I felt a little disappointed that the people though they declared the stranger to an angel and lost interest on him after a duration. But then, I believe it is exactly the way human being react. Something remains novel and interesting until it satisfies the unique curiosity. The minute the novelty of newness had replaced with over familiarity, it then takes away the novelty. But this is also a fact of life and the author played with it gracefully.

My Opinion

I would recommend reading this short story because it didn’t have a moment when the mind was not turned inside-out in self-questioning. There were such great passages to read in a sitting, that it creates great joy to the reader. People who are looking for complex plots with fine-tuned sensitivity would enjoy Marquez’s stories.

 

Image Source:  http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?507702