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.