Saturday, December 20, 2014


YOU brought me into this world
Full of promises and dreams
Of lovely sunrises , blooming flowers
Of growing tall and growing strong

YOU made me believe that love exists
That Humanity drives this world
That being good is what I must  do
That giving pain to others is wrong

YOU sent me to school to learn
Geography,History, English
To Play , to make friends
To build the future of my country

BUT when I saw those EYES
HE asked me for my blood
To quench his thirst of REVENGE

I gave it away and I saw his EYES
Those EYES I had seen somewhere
They were YOURS

YOU showed me rainbow near the horizon
YOU let me feel the warm SUN
YOU let me experience LOVE

Then YOU asked me come to YOU
YOU watched me drown in the deep sea
THEY did it but it was YOU

WHY?  What is YOUR plan?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where is the world going to?

I feel tired..really really tired. Tired of watching news all around the world which are giving the same news. People are dying. The only difference is that their nationalities change. An Indian dies here, an Australian dies there. But everything means the same to me. People are dying. Innocent people who have nothing to do with any conflict are dying. What could be the purpose of all these. Why should anybody die just because another person has decided to kill another person (for whatever reason). Why?

If I meet God today I will only ask him these questions and if he has answer to these then I will believe that something positive will come out of all these

God , what is your purpose on earth. People are  saying you are the reason for the fights. Why  are you not saying anything?

God, how can you watch children die?

God, when a women is being tortured , where are you? Cant you hear her voice?

God, using your name people are looting money from innocent people. Who is to blame for this.

God, how can anybody abuse someone from the same family? How can such thoughts come to a person.

God you are the main reason why this world still sane but are you the same reason why the world is going insane?

Last but not the least. When will all this end?

These are sincere questions.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

For the Jane Austen in Us

For the Jane Austen in usJane Austen’s 239th birth anniversary is coming up. (Dec 14th 2014) and almost two centuries later, she is still one of the bestsellers!. I read my first Jane Austen at the age of sixteen and got hooked. She has written only few books (Six to be precise, the seventh one was left unfinished, what a pity!)  but what a mark they have left. Why do we love her so much? What is that “thing” which gets us read her so much?  After much thought I realised that it is not one but several factors which make her the most lovable author till this day. I think her works are so relevant to this date owing to many common factors of her book and the present society we live in .Let me list them down and see if you also think so?
  •  Gold-digging mothers looking for rich grooms: Ok in India this is the case. A rich groom is what the bride’s mother dreams of.  The number of houses he has, the cars he owns, the number of times he has visited a “foreign” land.  Mrs Bennette matches this character perfectly so do our modern mothers. This character is from “Pride and Prejudice” who steals the show with her “gold-digging” indexJ.
  • The gossiping neighbourhood Aunty:  Jane Austen books are replete with these characters be it in “Persuasion”,”Sense and Sensibility” or “Pride and Prejudice”. The Aunts rule the gossip market by passing news between houses and becoming the modern “Indian Breaking news channel”. Jane Austen nailed this character to perfection!. Be it Mrs Philip from P&P or Mary from Persuasion or even Emma from Emma , all of the characters thrived on gossip. Hail gossip.
  • The Strong and Silent M&B hero: Jane Austen can be named as the official founder of M&B and Harlequin because her leading men just fit the bill perfectly of a Harlequin hero. Name one lady/girl who doesn’t swoon when they hear the name Darcy?  Colonel Brandon of Sense and Sensibility, Knightly of Emma, Captain Wentworth of Persuasion all are trademark heroes of Romance novelsJ. Darcy is the strong silent type who has a heart of a gold(his housekeeper tells Lizzy when she visits Pemberly). He is not the flirting kind who falls for beauty alone. He wants brains and wit in a girl.  What a character! Wentworth from Persuasion  gives into ego and ignores Anne only to lose the battle at the end. All beautiful characters making the swoon meter hit the maximum for girls like us.
  •  Plane Jane heroine /Girl Next door:  Plain Jane character is a famous one till date.  Many a stories have been written with that theme. The plain girl with ordinary looks, with her exemplary character manages to attract the leading man and ends up happily ever after.  I think Anne of Persuasion is the best the instance of it. Anne loses her bloom very early in her life but with her elegance, maturity and sensibility rises above everybody. Mr Wentworth cannot help himself but to fall in love with her all over again!  This theme has been used umpteen times in movies/books/tv dramas. Jane Austen , take a bow . Your stock characters are still alive!
  • Dancing and Music and parties:  Dance and Music are integral part of Jane Austen’s novels.  Major love stories of her have started in a ball, a card party or dinner parties.  And so is the case even today! Dance and Music is part of every love story till date Romance quotient rises with it and we have to thank Ms Austen for paving the way!
  •  Woman of Substance: All of Jane Austen heroines have a mind of their own. They belonged to the Victorian era (which was conservative of times) and yet the heroines had the guts to express what they feel like. Apart from Mansfield Park heroine, all the rest were witty, bold, sensible and of course unconventional. Anne of Persuasion seems submissive but actually she is not. She opposes her status conscious father strongly to be with her poor friend belonging to lower strata.  Elizabeth oF P&P plainly disapproves Lady DeBorough and even goes to the extent of boldly telling her that she wouldn’t mind being engaged to Mr Darcy. That’s our girl!
  • Status and position in society: Titles and status played a major role in Jane Austen’s books (which probably reflected the Victorian era). A Baronet looked down upon common people. Why, even Darcy (who is owns Pemberly estate in P&P) openly tells Lizzy (while proposing to her) that “despite her family’s status in society” he is ready to go down and ask her for marriage (No wonder Lizzy turns him down!) Status still plays a big role in our present world isn’t it? Poor girl rich guy or rich guy poor girl combo is still looked with a shock!
  • Extended families: Extended families provide all “extra” drama we need to spice up a novel and Austen has pioneered in that art. All her books deal with huge families(cousins,uncles,aunts,neighbours) and their stories  are interwoven with the main story in such a logical fashion that nothing seems out of place.  It is like one organic plant.And for that reason alone we need to bow to Ms Austen. Our current soaps deal with such families but alas not to the same effect as Ms Austen.  They could surely learn something from her.

The list goes on.  Her foresight, her exemplary observation of the society around her, her understanding of human emotions and relations is above par. Jane Austen continues to enthrall us for the sole reason that she made stories of real human emotions which have not changed till date.   #Respect #Brilliant  for our dear Jane Austen.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Stop these Bollywood cliches

Bollywood we had had enough. We do not want to see these cliches (post-2000)  anymore
1. Stop portraying women as skimpily clad girls with lots gusto in the beginning only to end up at the end again as doormat. ( Ex-Cocktail(Deepika's character, Ishaqzaade(Parineeti's character)

2.Being loud and boisterous and "in your face" attitude is not equal to being modern woman.

3. Make 3D movies for the heck of it with no purpose. (Dangerous Ishq)

4. Try use graphics,technology and what not which clearly look third rate and then claim to have made the best technological film ever.

5. Girl who is modern can wear salwar kameez and sarees.

6. Bollywood heroines giving lectures on obejectification in real life and getting objectified in reel life.

7. Use media to advantage for film promotion, self promotion , brand promotion and what not and then blaming media for intruding into their lives. Letting them "intrude" for your convenience is as sickening.

8. Lifting, copying stories,scenes,action sequences,songs,dance moves is WRONG. STOP IT.

9.  Looting people with exorbitant ticket rates. No wonder you are earning in crores. But for this the people are to be blamed.

10. Its ok to show girls as coy and shy  because real life does have these kind of girls.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I don't know Phil Hughes personally and yet......

I don't know Phil Hughes personally. I don't what records you have broken  or were you really good at cricket. But when I heard about your  death yesterday my heart went heavy. I still feel heavy. I feel heavy with the thought that you didn't want to leave this world. That you wanted to do much more in life and you could have. That you  chose this sport with lot of braveness and courage. Feel heavy with pain thinking about his parents. Nothing can be more painful than seeing your child pass away before you.
God's way of working is quiet confusing at times. Otherwise he wouldn't have done this.But God has been merciful in the fact that Phil Hughes never regained consciousness after being hit. At least he didn't go through any pain and was not aware of what was happening to his brain. But God ,please show more kindness in giving strenghth to his parents so that they cope  with the loss. That their restless souls gets some peace and then Phil Hughes will rest in peace.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Investing in a relation

Today we are living in such a cynical world. We are questioning every relationship we have. We hardly trust anybody. Forget others , we sometimes don't trust ourselves!  We aremso into this "marketing"  jargons that everything is give and take policy. The problem is we all want to take first and then give. And when everybody thinks this way, there can only be a deadlock! Each is waiting for the other to give and finally none get anything. All  they get is  a let down feeling.  But this can change! It can change if one tries to give first and then see if we can anything is return!  

This can happen only if we genuinely invest in relationships. The problem with today's world is nobody has the time to do so.  And what is even more funny , one who gives importance to family relations is considered a foolish person letting go of their individuality. Who the hell told you so? 
Time and again it has been proven that , a family with good relations is a happy family. Not a family with greatest riches, nor a family with greatest academicians. We all keep working hard individually with happiness as the end goal. If we can get the happiness with great relations all around, why not invest more time into it?

Before I get into investing into a relationship, I do not mean fake messages on FB  or false smiley faces on WhatsApp. They are not in my terms building a relationship.  A true relationship is built gradually. It is built with lots of work from our side.  This process may take years. But it is definitely worth it. A solid relationship at the end of four years will give you lifelong happiness. And happiness is our goal right?  When we keep thinking about , what am I getting in return, or what will I get in return , then we get into the selfish mode. First give it a try. Try hard, Give hundred percent. Even after your trials, the relationship is not working , then it was probably not worth it. But first give it a TRY. 

The most ignored relations of our world are our own families. We assume , mom is always there. We believe dad will bail us out. Work hard in maintaining a good relation with your family. Small gestures, a smile, listening to your family member will go a long way in building a relation. A hug, a pat on a shoulder, a good laugh  all these things matter. Going home and asking mom about her day will cheer her up. Asking your brother about his exams or the latest game he has will bring a smile to his face. If these things don't come naturally to us then we must do it consciously. It is not being fake. It is being more sensitive. Hard work always pays. And this hard work will also pay. It will pay you in happiness. 

When we pass away , nobody talks about our designation we passed away with. People only think about how we were as a person. They say "He was a good man, she was a helpful lady, he was always polite". Nobody will talk about our riches. They will only talk about our richness as a person . This richness can only come from how we have built our relationship with the rest of the world. So time has come to start investing! Where to start? Start with your mom :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

This is how I would change the Humsafar Ending

Are you all watching Humsafar ?  Let us say this, if you are a woman and if you have not seen Fawad Khan yet , then something doesn't sound right. That's right ladies, the swoon meter hits the max with Fawad Khan. But his looks aside, I feel there are many things which make "Humsafar" a memorable watch.  The lead couple did such a wonderful job that we almost believe that Khirad and Asher are real life couple!  The amazing chemistry between the two, their good looks ,  their acting and of course all the sweet romantic moments between the two make the serial a hit.  The story itself is not that great because it lacks originality. Any girl who has grown up on Mills and Boon diet can tell the story backward! Yep it is that predictable.  What I really like about the serial is that it actually has a ending , unlike our great soaps which go on and on for years with wafer thin plots. So we must take this as a cue and start doing something similar here.

Although the serial is very good, I feel the way they rushed the ending was not correct. They jam packed all the accusations, redemption, apologies in one last episode. Somehow Khirad forgiving Asher in one scene seemed almost ridiculous. Here is a lady who has suffered hardships for four years and the sole reason for her hardships was this man Asher who simply didn't trust his wife. He believed every tom , dick and harry but his wife! How can any woman forgive such a man in one scene?  Second absurd thing was the coincidence of Asher eavesdropping on his mom's conversation. He reading Khirad's letter and immediately listening to his mom's conversation with Khizar seemed too stretched.  Asher, goes back to pick Khirad but hardly opens his mouth. He says , Hareem wants her mom and that's why he has come here.Hello? You  came to know the biggest truth of your life. Is this the way you react?

So here is the way I would have ended the serial if I were the director/writer.

1. When Khizar comes to Asher to confess his mistake and expose Asher's mom , I would have made Asher listen to him. This would have two-fold effect. Asher , who is already missing Khirad , would have had heart melt to listen to anybody who can absolve Khirad of her sins. And he listening to Khizar would have made the audience have a soft corner for him. And yes Khizar still deserves that slap he gets from Asher. So the slap stays !

2. After this Asher goes straight to Khirad and ask for an apology and asks her to come back with him. She disagrees and blames him for all her miseries and tells him that she can never forgive him. Asher promises her that he will never try to get close to her again, till she agrees to take him back.But for the sake of Hareem , let them both stay together at least. This way Hareem wont miss her mum and dad. Asher goes down on his knees and begs her to forgive him and come back. At this point I would make Khirad agree to come back , but not forgive Asher.

3. Asher takes Khirad back to the house, where he has the confrontation scene with his mom. I would keep the scene as it is , except for the part where he says that he would have divorced his wife , if his mom had told so.(Why should he do that anyway?)

4. After the scene, Khirad,Asher and Hareem leave the house to stay in another house. Asher's mom doesnt become mad , but ,yes, regrets her behaviour.

5. Asher tries his best to make Hareem and Khirad happy with his actions. 

6. Asher discusses his jealousy and the way  he behaved before 4 years. His actions were blinded by jealousy and hence he is suffering now. If only he had trusted her this wouldn;t have happened.  He then confesses to her that , he always felt she was too good for him. And that's why he believed that she would leave him! If only he believed her love. 

7. Khirad is seen slowly softening her stand towards Asher though some scenes. Like , if Asher falls sick, she still cares for him

8. Khirad also realises that she still loves him and forgives him.

9. All is well that ends well.

So how is my story?

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Karnataka Rajyostsava Day
The yellow and red colours fluttering in the wind , in every street of Karnataka can only mean one thing. Yes , Karnataka Rajyotsava day!  Every year , on November  1 , people of Karnataka and all the the kannada speaking people around the world come together to celebrate the birth of Karnataka.  Let us see some interesting  facts about this special day.

The state of Karnataka was formed on Nov 1 , 1956 , when all the Kannada speaking regions were merged to form one unified state. Did you know that, Aluru Venkata Rao  , was the first person who actually  came up with this idea of unifying all the Kannada regions into one in the year 1905!  He definitely was a visionary, because his vision did come true and we are enjoying the fruits of his vision now.  In 1956, Mysore state, North Karnataka, Canara were merged to form the new state. An interesting trivia is that, when the regions were merged into a state, the whole state was named Mysore and not Karnataka! It was only in the year 1973 that our state was renamed to Karnataka. Sri Devaraj Urs was the Chief Minister at the time.

How the day is celebrated by Government of Karnataka
This day is probably as famous as any festival of the state. All the people come together and celebrate it lots of happiness and pride. Government of Karnataka organises a procession on this day . Rajyostsava awards are given away on this day. The recipients of the award come from various walks of life. Just like republic day, tableaux of Goddess Bhuvaneswari Devi is decorated and presented.  Cultural events are followed by this.

How the rest celebrate it?
Karnataka is probably the only state, where each and everybody residing in the state celebrates it. It is like a festival. Apartments (such as ours) come together and organise the function. Every autowallah, on this day has the red and yellow fluttering flag , clearly taking pride in the day.  On this day, every street of the state comes alive, with lights and colours! This is like a second Diwali for the state.  

Its Significance-Unifying the state
The most interesting part of the day is that people from all over the state, residing here come and join in the celebrations. It is this day, which lets them know about the history of the state and its significance. The day is not connected to any religion, caste or sect, which probably gives a deeper message to all of us. It is the celebration of unity in diversity.  It almost seems that this day is another way of bringing the whole state together and understand that staying together is the key to all the happiness in the society.
Now that we have seen, what this day is all about, which most of you would have known by now. Why don’t we see some interesting, unknown facts about Karnataka?  Let us see how well you know your KarnatakaJ. So here we go.
  • Did you know that Kittur Rani Chennamma, queen of princely state of Kittur, was the first woman to fight against the British army , by leading an army herself?  It was way before Jhansi ki Rani . Her statue is in Indian Parliament complex!
  • Karnataka Khadi Gramodyaga Samyukta Sangha in Hubli is the only place in India which is authorized to manufacture the Flag of India.
  • M Viswesharaya’s(one of the greatest engineers of India)  birthday  , which is 15th September is celebrated as Engineer’s day in India. He was the chief engineer of KRS Dam (Mysore) and even Mysore Soap factory.
  •  What does Devanhalli  strike you? Airport? Actually it is the birth place to Tipu Sultan!
  •  Of the 26 world heritage UNESCO sites in India , two of them are in Karnataka. One of them is at Hampi i.e the the statue of Ugranarsimha . The second heritage site is at Pattadkal . The monuments of Hampi and Pattadakal were made UNESCO sites in 1986 and 1987 respectively. Time to visit them?
  • Did you know that Gandhi visited Karrnataka only once? This was during the Belgaum Congress session in 1924. At the time Gandhi was the president of Congress.
  • The name “Karnataka”  is derived from “Karunadu” meaning high plateau due to its location on the deccan plain.
  • Do you know that there are references to Karnataka in Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana? In Bhagavata Purana it is described in Chapter 6 of Canto 5. It is said that Rishabhadeva ended his avatara in Kutakachala hill in Karnata province.  Kutakachala hill is in present day Kollur , Karnataka.
  • Bangalore was the first city to receive electricity. Guess which building received the first spark?  The City Market building.
  • Bangalore had almost 280 lakes and tanks.  Most for any city. Wonder what happened to them.
  • The maximum number of Nobel Prize nominations from India (in Science) have come from Bangalore! Sir CV Raman got the Nobel Prize in 1930. He was associated with IISc Bangalore.
  • Bangalore is higher altitude than Dehradun.  That’s why we all own such beautiful jackets!
  • Now, time has come to change Bangalore to Bengaluru.  Do you know the origin of this name?  There are many theories behind it. One is that it came from the name “Benda Kaal Ooru(Town of Boiled beans). There is another one based on a tiny village called “Hale Bengaluru” (Old Bengaluru) which is present near the current Hebbal Lake. Either way we are happy!

Hope you all enjoyed this facts about Karnataka.  All the facts have been gathered from various sources on net and they need to be credited for them.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"thing" and my kid

Ok , all the parents out there are very much aware of this. Every child/teenager today is hooked to "them". They are so much into it that they dont eat at dining tables anymore.They neither go down and play. They dont know the joy of watching sky or dont know what it means to feel the rain on their skin. Their tiny fingers are constantly fighting a losing battle with the "thing" in their hands. The "thing" is controlling them , the "thing" makes them feel high, the "thing" drives them. And I will be very honest, the "thing" is driving me crazy. I am not able to see my child becoming a slave to it. But when I deny my child what he craves for ,he is upset, he is constantly thinking about "it". His mind doesn't rest till I give him "that".  And it is upsetting me a lot. Where am I doing wrong? It is not as if I am not  giving him "that" at all. He gets it everyday for a specified amount of time but it doesn't satisfy him. He wants more.

What I noticed is that this is the case with every child whose parents can afford all those things. But most of them are able to give it to their child without any hesitation and I find some parents feel quiet proud about it also. 

I am sure you all know what I am talking about. Yep all the fancy gadgets which were created to make our life easier and sometimes I feel they have taken over our lives so much that we have reached a stage where we have become slaves to it. Is it good? Absolutely NO. But what hurts me most is that kids and teenager who do not know what is the limit are getting hurt in the process. Their creative side is getting stifled. Their social skills are getting trampled. Their physical activity is getting dwindled. They do not know what it is to hold a book and read. They dont know what is the joy of playing a board game. They dont know what it is to sit around a dining table and have food. 

But what is the solution to this? Cutting it completely off is not the solution ,I know. But letting them understand that there are other things in the world which require our attention is the need of the hour.
The big task is how? my answer is "I dont know". I feel quiet helpless in this situation but I will definitely come up with something and come back to this blog with an answer. I will take it as a challenge!
 Wish me luck.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Election 2014 and voting

The time has come again. The time to vote and finally show what you want or rather who you want to push to the parliament so that he/she can make some sense there and do some good governance.   The elections in my place are over and yes I voted. To avoid rush we all left early in the morning and saw that a queue had already built in out polling booth.  It made me quiet happy. I thought finally India has woken up and has understood the value of voting.  But my elation was crumbled to pieces when I read in the paper next day that Bangalore South constituency(ours) recorded the lowest turnout in Karnataka.  Considering the fact that this time the candidates were high profile ones ,I thought maybe people will vote more. But No. When I tried to figure out why this may have happened I realised that many had actually utilised the day   as an extended long weekend and left for holidays! April 17th was election day, April 18th was good friday and you know the rest. A four day weekend awaited the greedy citizens and they bolted the moment election date was announced. What a shame! I can understand if an family emergency or any other valid reason but planned holiday makes my blood boil! How can we  as citizens behave so irresponsibly?  We ,who are living in the age where media is covering 24 by 7 the lives of every politician , should be more responsible and act like a true citizen.  

How can we blame the government if we are not choosing the right ones to represent us?  How can we show a finger at them when your un-marked thumb is pointing at you ? How can you say things like politicians suck when you suck as a citizen? 

I have decided that if next time people blame the government for anything, I will ask only one question first. The answer of it will decide if I am going to participate in their debate or not. Yes you guessed it right. The question would be -DID YOU VOTE? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Malaysian Airlines missing

I know the whole world is glued on to this. We are all thinking what could possibly have happened to the plane? The number of possibilities have reached to around ten.  When I think of those passengers on the plane my heart only asks one question "Why did God do this?". Why did he have to be so cruel to their relatives? They don't even know what has gone wrong with their loved ones. Will they see them ever again? They don't know. Will they see their face(at least body) again? They don'y know. I feel very sad. I have fear of flying  i.e whenever I board a flight I wonder if I will land safely again. Every turbulence scares me and increases my heartbeat at a rate which can audible to others around me. But I still go on flights.  The theory is simple. Whenever we board flights we are giving ourselves into the hands to God,pilot and fate ,terrorists, natural catastrophe. What can be done to avoid this? The answer is too complex. 

- For mechanical failures of the airline, all the airline can do is make sure they thoroughly test the flight for every single crack, anomaly and damage. The airlines must be doing this . So if we happen to go on a flight which still develops a technical snag , the only thing which comes to my mind is : There is nothing anybody could have done.

- For Natural catastrophe - This is again something which can be avoided if the airlines check the weather forecast thoroughly and make sure there is no storm building up as we board a flight. But despite the forecast ,many a storms have brought down a flight. Again not in our hands.

- Terrorism: This is something which can be cut short at  planning stage itself if the so called intelligence agencies are truly doing their job.  But if they do make it to the airport. The airport security checking should nab them immidietly. If we climb such an ill-fated flight  then the whole security team,government  should be held responsible for the passengers fate. God will never participate in such an evil.

- Pilot : If the pilot has a personal agenda and he wants to put the passengers at risk then there is nothing anybody can do. Pilot suicide is the scariest thing I have ever heard. We put all our lives in this guys hands , we trust him, we beleive that he will take us to our destination in a safe and neat way. But when he decides that our destinations are heaven what can we do? I request all the pilots to never do this. Never put your personal crisis onto others. We have families like you do. And every time a pilot does this ,our trust in him withers away slowly. Please dont do this.

My final words about the missing flight is that  I hope there is closure to this whole episode. Let there be an answer ,one way or the other. But let there be an answer soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Re-discovery of Somerset Maugham

Everybody knows Somerset Maugham. Even I knew him but never read him! But recently a good thing happened to me. I picked up a Somerset Maugham short stories book and am I glad I did that. For some reason I was prejudiced about Maugham that he would write only serious stuff . But I was mistaken partly. His stories were serious but there is always and undertone of flippancy in them. His writing flows like smooth river which is waiting for a big fall or turn and when that fall or turn does happen you are not left with a shock but a smile on your face. You must read one story of his to understand what I mean . But some stories are quiet touching as well.

The story "Rain"  is like a opera which raises to a crescendo pitch and then falls. The ending will make you feel for the protagonist Sadie Thompson so much and will probably make you hate the men as she does at the end.  I believe this is what Maugham wanted to achieve at the end.  He wanted us to take side of Sadie and we did.  I think his view on morality shows up through this story.  He hated the moral police of his time and his views on sin and immorality was very neutral.  I think that may have come from his childhood and his sexual orientation.  He supported ladies who spoke their mind and who were intellectuals. He somehow portrayed women with strong moral values ("Rain","Jane") as laughing stocks.  And his writing will surely make you less judgmental about morality in general. At least it did that for me.

There are other stories like "Mr.Harrington's Washing" which had Russian Revolution as the backdrop and some memorable characters. The ending is tragic and yet it will just make you say "Oh" and go to the next story. And this is because Maugham builds the story in such a way.

Man-Woman relationship is explored thoroughly in his stories . His dealing of extramarital affairs is so frivolous that you wonder if he had  many extramarital affairs himself. This may bring scornful reaction from many but Maugham somehow puts the plain truth so plainly that you don't suspect him for a minute. He has dealt with other topics like murder, illness and master-slave relationship in somewhat less serious way.

Maugham spent most of his time in Far-East and South Asian countries and hence his stories are all placed in such places. His description of the place make you fall in love with the place and would make your heart desire to see the place.

I would recommend Maugham to anybody who has a classic taste in books.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The word love

I think the most overrated word in this world is the word "love". Ninety percent of everybody's life is spent on things surrounding love. Heartbreaks, depressions are caused by lack of love. But I always wondered why do we think so much about it? The other day my friend told me about a line from Stephen Covey's book about love being a verb and not a noun. That line had a profound impact on me and I wondered how would the world be if only people "showed" love instead of pining over the noun "love". The three words which the whole world dies to hear is "I love you". But I wonder if this is how it should be . If only people loved instead of saying "I love you". On Valentine's day people want cards and chocolates not because they love cards and chocolates  but because they believe that the person has taken an effort to buy me these things which in turn shows that he "loves" her.  This belief is quiet debatable. But instead of concentrating on special days like Birthdays,Valentines day  if we all worked hard to love rest of the years there would be fewer problems and more happiness all around. 

So how can we show love? Cards,cake,flowers  are just embellishments in front of the real "love" gestures. Before I go ahead let me clarify that for me love is not just between couple. It can talk about any relation mother-daughter, father-daughter,mother-son,grandparents-grandchildren,two friends,siblings anybody. 

Love is when we are ready to give up on a thing wholeheartedly so that your loved one is happy. Love is when your loved one is sick and you nurse them  praying everyday that he gets better. It is when your loved one accepts you the way you are and  works himself around it. It is acceptance of the whole fact that we may fight and argue but that doesn't mean we are ready to give up on each other for ever. Love is the only thing which enables us to get over grudges and arguments and become normal self again . Small gestures  alone build love.

Having said the above things I also believe that a normal .sane person with a good character(as in personality) is capable of loving anybody. It need not be anyone specific. And those people are loved back in return as well.But we must remember to "love" first and then returns are automatic :). So dont wait for the cards,valentine day flowers but show your "love" gestures and that should take care of everything else.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What kind of Leader does India need?

There are two kinds of leaders.One who leads by example and other who motivates others to  set examples. India as a country has seen many such leaders. Gandhi was probably the only leader who fell in both categories. He showed his resistance against foreign rule himself first and then motivated others to join him. But that is indeed rare. People like APJ Abdul Kalam , Sachin Tendulkar, ANR(actor) have led by example. They have shown ordinary people how dedication, determination and talent can make us shine. People like AB Vajpayee, Subhash Chandra Bose have motivated, inspired others to set an example. 

So what kind of leader does India need now? I believe that Indian youth have more or less realized the importance of good life and a country with good governance. What India needs now are leaders who can lead by example. We do not need any more motivational speakers screaming in every rally asking us to wake up. The time has come for the leaders of the country to step up and set an good example by showing their skills in administration,governance, economics and science. Instead of talking about big dreams and asking the country to vote for them let them show us some meat. We want the leaders to show us the detailed plan they have for each of constituencies.  We want to know the list they have in hand containing all the problems we as people are facing.  We want to know how competent their team of ministers are in governance and administration. We want to know what their plans are in controlling the spiraling population, what is their "big picture" plan to improve the literacy rate of India. We want to know  what they are doing about the rising gas prices and power hikes.  Only then we will vote for them. We do not want any more leaders talking about RTI, empowerment and employment as if they were empty words and nothing else. We dont care about anybody's oratory skills or whether they wear khadi bandgalas.  Let them wear shirt and pant but PLEASE first show us that you are competent enough to do the job. For every job  we apply, our qualifications right from tenth standard are needed. We need to have experience and on top of it we need to go thru five rounds of interviews and only then we get the job. You leaders must show us also, that you deserve to get this job of leading us and making decisions for us!  They are setting a bad example by giving tickets to murders, rapists, criminal( I dont care if their cases are still "on trial") . We dont need such bad examples. They need to select competent people to stand for their people and show us they are indeed leaders who have the ability to judge who is good and who is bad.

The big question is does India have any such leaders? Kejriwal to some extent has tried to be one but how long will it last? Anybody else?  I am still thinking.....

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Persuasion Jane Austen

This book is probably the most underrated book of Austen  and yet it is the best of the seven novels she has written.  The thought and maturity with which she wrote this book reflects in her characters and the scintillating dialogues.   The book begins with Sir Walter Elliot reading from his family book describing the family history and himself.   It is the only book he ever reads!  Austen brings out Sir Walter Elliot’s vanity in a sentence!  Such gems are spread throughout the book  and will make you fall in love with the book again and again.
The story  is about Anne ,the second daughter of Walter Elliot. Austen has written the book from Anne’s perspective  and we know about the rest of the characters either through their dialogues or Anne’s thoughts about them.  Anne falls in love with Captain Frederick Wentworth at a young age of nineteen.  At the time Wentworth has no fortune to talk about.  When Wentworth proposes to Anne, she is persuaded by her Godmother to give up the match.  Anne’s Godmother is Lady Russell who belives that the match will be an imprudent one. Anne is heartbroken and yet she refuses Wentoworth. Wentworth is heartbroken ( “When you broke my heart in pieces”)  and is determined to make a mark for himself . Time moves on and it is seven years later that he returns once more to Uppercross  village because his sister and brother-in-law(Mrs and Mr Croft) have rented Kellynch hall.  Anne and Wentworth meet again.  The silent looks  , Wentworth’s resentment towards Anne, Anne’s jealousy of Wentworth  everything is shown so subtely and yet it  reaches the reader like fresh air. You can feel it but can’t see it or describe it.  Reader’s heart secretly prays that they unite again .  Austen makes sure that this wish is fulfilled only at the end (sigh). 
The story is very simple one so what stands out in this beautiful love story is the journey through with Anne and Wentworth realise their frailties and embrace what should have been theirs from the beginning.  Austen makes the first separation worthwhile for both the protagonist. If Anne had rebelled and married Wentworth would he have gone on to become a naval officer or taken up dead ship like Asp (which would have sank many times) and make a fortune out of it?  Would have Anne have realised that firmness of character is the most important of all for a solid foundation of a relationship? The answer would be no to both I believe.  A particular incident involving Louisa Musgrove changes their lives once again. Wentworth realises that firmness of character is not a permanent trait and that one can be persuaded to do something against our character. This key incident is the turning point of the book. Both Anne and Wentworth re-unite with complete acceptance of their past behaviour  and look forward to a golden future.

The other characters which appear in the novel add to the drama and bring Anne and Wentworth closer.  The delightful Mrs Croft has a fantastic character and  has some of the best quotes of the book. When Wentworth says he doesn’t like women on ship , she immediately  snubs Wentworth(who is her brother of course)  saying  “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”   I fell in love with her character soon after this.   Anne’s siblings are nothing but vain and stupid so there is nothing much to say there .  Lady Russell is the one who persuades Anne to reject Wentworth the first time but second time she fails but Austen  makes sure that reader doesn’t feel any animosity towards the Lady Russell. All in all they make a great family with delightful incidents.
Austen’s narration is through Anne.  Austen probably did this because Anne is reticent by nature and the only way Anne could tell the reader how she felt was if she herself narrated the story .  This proved to be the best part of the book. Anne describes everything so well that we hardly need anybody else’s thoughts in it. 
There is another reason why the book may captivate many. Because of numerous quotes (you can say gems) throughout the book.  The best one is this
My idea of good the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation;that is what I call good company.’
‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently ,’that is not good company that is the best.”
There are many more gems . The letter Wentworth writes to Anne at the end is the best love letter any man could possibly write.  We must read the book just for this.  There is one more quote which also reflects the age to Austen belongs. But somehow it is relevant even to this day .
“Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.” 
This quote shows Austen’s opinion about women’s role in society.  She depicted/described women’s role in Victorian era so well that we probably don’t have to look into history books for it.
We all know what a genius Austen was/is (through Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility) but this book affirms it thousand times more with her mature and wiser writing. Writing which reflects the fact that she had understood the world better and most importantly what love meant.