Monday, January 25, 2010

Notable books before the long long vacation

There are quite a few books I read in the last 2 months, which was basically at lot of free time interspersed with trips and sudden bouts of action, and quite a few of them are worth a paragraph or review if not pages of accolades :P. But before I was to embark on to fulfill this necessity, I checked out my earlier posts labelled 'reading' and found that I haven't showered the same justice on my earlier reads. So, let me rectify that first:

Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham: A somewhat humourous, somewhat satirical take on authors, fun to read but not extraordinary ;). However, while reading it, I remember getting tired of the description of the activities of the old-gone Victorian British era individuals. Perhaps, I was more in mood for a more modern setting.

Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams: The last in the Hitchhiker's series (I think!), containing the same elements which now somewhat getting repetitive, having lost their ingenuity. But then, also absolutely hilarious in bits.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding: It is not so well renowned for no reason. On the lines of Animal farm, but more brutal in depiction. Scary for the optmistic readers filled with the-world-is-heaven type of outlook but funny and satisfying for the cynical types like me :D.

The song before it is sung by Justin Cartwright: This novel is based on the historical story about the attempt to assassinate Hitler by some anti-Nazi German leaders. No, it is not the book that the not-well-made movie Valkyrie is based on. Coincidently, I had just finished the book (took many months given my lack of dedication towards reading in that period) that the movie was released. Of course I didn't bother to watch it. Anyway, coming back to the book, it merges the account of an historian trying to piece together the life of a martyr involved in the attempt and at the same time trying to sort out his jumbled and painful life. The book is gripping in parts. Only.

Immortality by Milan Kundera: Now, we finally come to the best book of the lot. In fact, I feel one of the best reads I have read. Milan Kundera is a very different kind of author. His narration of the story in his 'novel' is mixed with his own views and thoughts about the behaviour of the characters. It is as if he is sitting on the chair next to you and telling you a story while also indulging in a somewhat philosophical conversation with you. And his insights into human behaviour and emotions are extraordinary- the seem like a revelation but ring so true that you end up agreeing completely with him and admonish yourself for not having understood that before. Especially in this book, he intermingles his main story with several other small stories whose connections are obvious only later, and also with accounts and discussions about a few well known figures of history, ranging from Goethe to Hemingway. The whole book has a 'wow' feel to it, though some might get annoyed and be uninterested in the frequent diversions to the above mentioned discussions ;)

Okay, enough for this post, the several books that were read during the vacation will be written about in the next post!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Eternal Enigma

Always an enigma.

flatter, flutter, words, eye-lashes
beckon, beguile, looks, smiles
indulgent, innocent, cooking, demanding
generous, gregarious, charms, gifts
unrestrained, unabashed, caring, flirting

prolonged, perceptible, quiet, distant
unanswered, unacknowledged, calls, changes
rising, realising, aloofness, distress
frequent, foment, ignore, bore
insipid, impede, meetings, passions

A whiff of that, a hint of this
Always an enigma, She is.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

changing fiction

I came here with full josh to blog about a particular topic and enlighten you all with the revelations. Alas, I hadn't even typed a complete sentence that the facade was removed and I realised that all my enthusiasm was misplaced and that the idea was foggier than Delhi airports on winter mornings. So what do I do instead? ;) .. I write the following. Wonder what such couple of paragraphs of stories are called!

It reminded her of that time. Generally on such occasions of remembrance, unfailingly, she pauses. Closes her eyes, sighs, and tries to get back to whatever it is she was distracted from. Not this time though. It had struck like a sudden strong gust of wind, leaving her breathless, metaphorically. She relented and let her mind wander to those bygone times. That glitter in the eye and that sunshine of a smile. Those flirtatious moments with him had always brought out the best in her. Days were amazingly beautiful then, or so it seems now. No matter how much she rationalises, and in spite of all the scepticism that she attempts to imbibe, those times still seem wonderful. He was wonderful. That's what hurt her- 'was'.

The change might have been gradual, but certainly wasn't a smooth curve. She believed it happened in steps. One fine day, she no longer found the conversations charming. And there definitely was a particular party wherein she no longer found his eyes seeking hers, no exchange of smiles across the room. Then on another, she no longer felt admired by him. She also clearly remembers that evening when she was bored and lost, and wanted to speak to someone, but he wasn't the first choice anymore.

Had he felt the change happening to? She didn't know. But she knew that even now he was still there for. Even after all this 'cooling-off' period, he seems always ready to meet her. Or even just to talk to her. She knew that she only had to mention it and he would instantaneously be available and provide companionship. She wondered if he hasn't yet realised that things aren't the same between them anymore. But then, he has to. They no longer talk daily, in fact not even weekly, rarely meet and that too only as part of a group.

She still wanted that guy whose very thought seemed to put a spring in her step. But the person she desired, no longer existed. People change with time. She has. So has he. But she still seeks the one whom she knew in those times. Just exactly as she knew him. Not the new him. She sighed again.