Thursday, May 28, 2009

SHE's in my Life

Dark secrets linger in everyone's heart, and none lives, without the attempt to screen others from perceiving those.This is a literary attempt to break the tradition and share mine, but with the name filtered atleast till the concluding part.

SHE(Ms.X) knocked me down completely. I understood what "Love @ First Sight " really means. She wouldn't come over for a cup of coffee even if I ask her out, always calm & serene and out there in solitude. Shy enough to move away from the company of people, expecting one should take that extra effort to approach and then get on with her. Regularly, I started watching her from a distance, and was keen to avoid the direct eye contact, knowing very well that I couldn't take her sublime radiance.This went on for a while until the most unexpected thing happened.

When Fate had scripted something, You can't bypass that. Likewise, It was destined that we both have to meet by chance at Munnar. She was damn gorgeous, and I felt that she must be as pure as a virgin. Shrugging aside the shyness, we both got into speaking terms and thus it went on. I knew she was too good for me and was happy over the fact that she is atleast considering me and radiates a smile whenever I see her.

It was through her I came to know Ms.Y. Y is kind of a complicated character, but a very interesting one.She is a beauty in herself. When with her, time flies by very fast.She would tease you a lot, but thats what keeps me hooked to her. Though I am not too close to her, there are some who really are. I envy them with all my heart.

When you know someone very close or from childhood, you tend to overlook them, though they are beautiful. such was the case with Ms.Z, I know her from my childhood days, a girl next door character, very close and had been a great companion for me. She grew as I grew, and was in sync with my wavelength. She would understand my feelings like no other and cheer me up whenever I was in a low.

So are these three my girlfriends? would they fillup the back seat of my bike whenever I ride? No, they won't because, replace Ms.X with Nature, Ms.Y with Photography and Ms.Z with Books and read the previous paragraphs again. Dont try to hit me, its the caffiene in my head doing all this

In layman terms, these three(trekking, photography and books)does the job of a girlfriend very well, keeps me busy after office hours, sucks money like anything and also keeps me entralled and excited!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Les Miserables

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, an Epic tale of social injustice, politics, heroism and love, is setup in the early 19th(1800s) century French backdrop.The commercial success of this novel is etched in history that could be best explained by an anecdote. while on his vacation during the publishing of this novel, Hugo telegraphed the publishers a single "?" to know the outcome and for that the publishers replied with a single "!"

I read the abridged English translation by Norman Denny original version being in French. The protagonist of the story Jean Valjean steals a loaf of bread in his early years and then spends many years trying to escape his reputation as a criminal.Though he is a changed man and rises socially, he is not allowed to forget his past by the sadistic policemen Javert who is determined to expose him. Jean Valjean thus runs from city to city with his adopted daughter Cosette escaping the clutches of Javert and the vile designs of the villian Thenardier.Many characters chip in and add their part making it more interesting and gripping.

The narration is simply superb with vivid descriptions and the love between Cosette and Marius is best described. For something similar to the "Annalum Nokkinal avalum nokkinal" scene here goes the excerpt
"Thus for the first year Marius saw them(Cosette and her father) almost daily in the same place at the same time. He liked the look of the Man but took no interest in the girl.

For some six months he did not setfoot in the alleyway.Then one day he went back and there was the same couple,seated on the same bench. But as he drew near them he was struck by a change. The man was the same , but the girl was not. What he now saw was a tall and beautiful creature,soft chestnut hair flecked with gold, a forehead of marble, cheeks like rose petals, a pale sensitive skin, an exquisite mouth.


She was no longer a schoolgirl in a plush hat and woollen dress.She acquired taste as well as beauty and now dressed with simple, unpretentious elegance.

Marius went by their bench. the girl looked up at him and their eyes met. What message was to be read in her eyes? Marius could not have said. nothing and yet everything. A spark had passed between them.

What he had encountered was not the frank innocent gaze of a child.
There comes a day when every girl has this look in her eyes, and woe to him who encounters it! She looked steadily at him with a soft pensive glance that caused him to tremble from head to foot.Marius was in the first violent and entranced throes of a grand passion.
A single look had done it."
The beauty of Cosette is best described from this excerpt
"One day when Cosette was in the garden she heard old Toussaint say:'Has monsieur noticed how pretty Mademoiselle is growing?' She did not hear her father's reply, but Toussiant's words filled her with amazement. She ran up to her bedroom and looked hard at herself in the glass.

She uttered a cry,delighted by what she saw.
She was beautiful as well as pretty.Her figure had filled out, her skin was finer and there was a new splendour in her blue eyes.

In less than a month she was not merely one of the prettiest women in Paris, which is saying a great deal,but one of the best dressed, which is saying even more."

I found the following lines pretty amusing and quite true too!!
"Cosette for her part,was giving away nothing.without knowing precisely what was happening to her,she knew that something had happened to her and it must be kept secret.

There is a law applying to those youthful years of agitation and turmoil, those frantic struggles of first love against first impediments: it is that the girl never falls into any trap and the young man falls into all of them."

Compared to the vulgar description of the intimate relationship that most modern writers are ept at, Victor Hugo has handled that scene with a single sentence, but the meanings' conveyed(such are the powers of the contemporary writer!!!)
"The day after the wedding is one of solitude. We respect the privacy of the newly-weds and perhaps their late arising."

Les Miserables is a good book to savour and read...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

On a hat-trick run

Wanting to find solace in some classics, after my previous read of Fountainhead, I took up "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D Salinger. I knew I made a big mistake this time.

The first person narration of Holden Claufield, expressing his teenage angst on anything and everything could get you nothing but headache. The whole story is about the 3-4 days of the so-called-vacation that Holden takes(doing whatever he likes) when he is expelled from school, before packing home. The ways of Holden(a poor role model) and his illogical and flimsy decisions taken throughout, and his disrespect for elders(Including his parents) doesn't resemble anything close to that of an average matured, teenage guys of today. Combining this with all the bad habits(highly deplorable for his age) that Holden has, there is no take away from this book. The first person narrative makes it even more gloomier and depressing.

It is no wonder, that it is one of the controversial and most censured books of the 50's to 80's. Somehow this book became popular, though I could not attribute anything to speak of. Anyone in his right sense of mind wouldn't want to find himself synonymous with the despicable character of Holden Claufield.

Hats off to my school and college syllabus framers for making me to study Shakespeare, O Henry, Dickens etc and not this book which is still being taught in High schools, esp in English speaking countries!!! Any takers on whether it is going to be a Hat-Trick read of boring books?? This is one feat, that I surely don't want to achieve.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Learning to Say "No"

I am Mr.Nobody to be a critic of Ayn Rand's "The FountainHead", but what follows is just a rant that crossed my mind when I started reading it, which eventually lead me to return back without finishing it.

The character of Howard Roark (Protagonist) (the guy who never bends, just for the sake of "what-would-the-society-tell") is obnoxious. In real life, this protagonist would end up only as a failure(From the society's perspective, but in his mind, he would continue to be a winner, what is the use of this puffed up EGO, I don't understand).

Next irritating character is Dominique Francon, characterized as an intellectual sure-shot head-turner, who marries almost all the characters in the novel except for Toohey(because he is old??) and Guy Francon(because he is her father, Ayn Rand could have tried that too, that's revolutionary isn't??) just to punish her, because she lives in a society where people doesn't recognize true-raw-creativity(good reason eh?? This shit is much worser than I-came-late-cos-of-cycle-tyre-puncture reason I used to give in school). I don't understand her ideology-crap of marrying Keating, simultaneously having a relationship with Howard Roark and also planning for the downfall of Howard by destroying his reputation. (Psssst!! She eventually marries Howard Roark!!! after divorcing Keating and marrying Gail Wynand and then divorcing... I remember only these people names) Ayn Rand describes Dominique as "the woman for a man like Howard Roark." (Good, that she doesn't describe her as the woman for every Man)

As I could not take this **** any longer I gave back the book at the library deciding not to venture out any further, into any of her works. obviously, it is not for ME!!! Now started reading J.D.Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" which better not dwell along the same lines.