Saturday, March 20, 2010

Time to go home

Sometimes, you wish you had something to do,
Anything at all that would matter in life
Sometimes, you wish you had taken the time off,
To stop and smell the roses in the path

Sometimes, you wish the world would go faster,
And show you more brilliant hues than possible now
Sometimes, you wish the world stops spinning so fast,
Leaving you to play catch up with everything you love

Sometimes, you wish you had talked to someone some day,
And said some words that needed to be said.
Sometimes, you wish you had held your emotions at bay,
And let the other say things that were to be said.

Sometimes, you wish you were far away in the Amazon
With only Mother Nature giving you company
Sometimes, you wish for your near and dear of life
To stand and help orchestrate a symphony

Sometimes, you wish you had tried that one thing
And satisfied that one desire that pulses through
Sometimes, you wish you could crawl into the shell
And grin and bear the life that is all screwed

Sometimes, you wish to don the war paint
And move heaven and earth to get the things you want
Sometimes, you wish to just stop and rest your weary feet
And ready yourself for the next big adventure

Now, I wish....
that its time to smell the roses and create a symphony
that its time to get off the mad merry-go-round I'm on
that its time to give the shell a sweet airing
that its time to go home!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Resolution lookback

This post is a (supposed) sequel of my resolution post (yeah! yeah! I'm still writing it and should have published it sometime in Jan but haven't yet gotten to it. Maybe I'll make that a prequel to this one! Ha!)
Since I'm still writing the prequel post, I'll give a short jist of what it would have:
A list of resolutions that I had intended for 2010.

Come on! Everyone makes resolutions in January in the spirit of the new year, right? And everyone slips out of one or two of them! I made a few of them and have stuck to them doggedly so far. One of them was to read every book in the top five of New York Bestsellers list. This resolution does not really fall under the "clearing bad habits" list or "improving oneself" list (these are the lists that most peoples' resolutions fall under). I feel that to stop a bad habit, you really don't have to wait until new year. If you think you are wrong and it is bad, then all you have to do is stop it! And improving oneself?? Hmmm... that's a discussion to be had another day!

Back to my book-reading resolution. This came more out of a need: the need for new favorite authors. All of us have some favorite authors and mine had Michael Crichton, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Arther Hailey, Jeffrey Archer, Issac Asimov, Robin Cook, Sidney Sheldon (now don't roll your eyes!!), Kalki, Sujatha, etc. I also read most of the current popular books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chetan Bhagat's books, Dan Brown's novels, etc. But they were not books that I read for the author. I read them because I had received rave reviews of them from friends and family and wanted to give it a try. I came to the point where I've read almost all of my favorite authors' books and didn't have much left to read. And, to my horror, I found that every Tom, Dick and Harry wrote on mysteries, science fiction, political crime thrillers and complex plots. But whether they could make your heart tingle with anticipation about the next twist, that was unknown.

Towards the end of 2009, I started reading books suggested by friends but found that it was a fairly small set and that I wasn't doing justice to other books. There might be that perfect book and perfect author who has not yet been read by any of my friends. And I didn't have the time to sift through the hundreds of reviews for books and then read a book. By then, I lose the enthusiasm for reading. The New Year came at a convenient time and I decided to make a resolution (to suit my needs!) to read all the random books on new york bestsellers list. I chose this list out of thin air but was sure that the books wouldn't hit that list, atleast not the top five, without being appealing to a larger cross section of people across the world/USA.

To be fair, I didn't buy most of them. Thanks to the wonderful public library that I'm a member of, I can lay my hands on them for a tuppence. So all these impressions are my first impressions of the books and what I still feel about them (long after returning them back to the library). I feel that the test of time is the best test for anything - time shows if you really love something, if you like it, if its okish or if its plain bad. My assessment of some books might have been different if I had read and reread them a few times.But for me, reading the same book a second time, especially when the first time didn't make me like it, is a huge non-possibility. Most of the books that I've read a second time (or more) have been ones that took my breath away the first time. I would have to be so awed to actually go back and reread to get that feeling of awe again.

I plan to write a list of books that I read every month and what I thought about them, albeit in a few words. If there comes a book by which I was heavily blown away, then I'll dedicate a post to it. [Flash warning: what suits me need not suit you and vice versa! And my opinion of a book need not reflect yours! Give the book a try if you think you might like it!] Lets start the initial list of books I read in the past few weeks.
  1. Dear John - an interesting one. This was one of the first books I read after I made the resolution and was fairly new to the whole show. The story was paced well but didn't include any mystery or thrillers. Emotional and good for introspection. But I found I wouldn't mind books of this genre now and then. (Earlier, I would've run helter-skelter from books of this genre).
  2. The Lost Symbol - don't attempt it if you are not a fan of Dan Brown; even then, it would be hard to connect if you've not actually gone through the museums and halls of DC. I did recently and relived the happy memories of the trip through the book - so I liked it; I can't say how much that affected my judgement though.
  3. First Family - racy. The loopholes were less but the story tries to show a beaten story in different light. Not very original. Think Clinton and you've hit it pretty much.
  4. The Truth About Lord Stoneville - trash.
  5. Impact - good, I loved the last twist to it. But again, science related - so my judgement may be biased.
  6. The First Rule - had some mindless wanderings in the story. Could have been cut by one-fifth and we wouldn't have missed much.
  7. The Lovely Bones - I don't like the genre. Period. The book might be interesting but the genre threw me off.
  8. The Shack - I literally had to drag myself to finish this one. Showed me that there were some books/genres that I just can't read. Was one of the books I read initially and that gave me a good perspective of the variety of genres I was going to face in this exercise.
  9. A reliable wife - very New Englandish. And meandered some too. I think I'm too young to fully understand this book (came to this conclusion after I discussed this book with an older friend - guess there is still a lot I should learn about the heart).
  10. Arctic Drift - lots of hypotheses. Finally, the author went way out with the results. There was no gradual crescendo to the climax. I'd rather prefer books like that.
  11. Cross Country - not much to say. Typical Patterson.
  12. The Devil's Punchbowl - they threw in many things and tried to come up with a gripping storyline; and failed badly. Beware the exciting title!
  13. Plum Spooky - I like the number series; I find it quirky yet plausible. One of the few series that I liked after a long time. However, this book wasn't as good as the series. Maybe because it was an in-between job??
  14. True Colors - brought out the tension between three sisters and their lives well; it started out well, flattened a bit and then perked up in the end. If you are a woman and have sisters of your own, this would make sense. Else, try it at your own risk!
  15. Shanghai Girls - read this one right after True Colors. Yet another one on sisters and their intertwined lives. The settings are different but the principles finally are the same. But I couldn't connect to it much.
  16. Street Game - again, they put together lots of stuff and tried to come up with a nail-biting story but that didn't work out well. Jaimie's and Mack's relationship was supposed to be one part of the story but I felt that it overshadowed the rest. And, frankly when I'm reading books of crime/thriller genre, I'm not looking for relationship stuff. But the mememetrics stuff was cool (effects of doing a thesis in biometrics makes you love anything bio+computers stuff - I am biased) So, okish.
  17. Under the Dome - interesting concept and an interesting way to look at everyone's life with that concept. Certainly one of the few new-idea books I read recently.
  18. Pirate Latitudes - Definitely Crichtonish. Liked it (not loved it!! This is not in his best works list! Is that why he didn't publish it when he was alive? Did he think it was not worth publishing with his name on it? I certainly felt so. Still, this book was a surprise for I had missed Crichton's works after he died and then I got this one. Hence the like!)
  19. Push - one of the books that made me uncomfortable since its a story that I just can't relate to it but know its damn true and that people meet with it daily. Though I cringed at the swear words, I understand that they are needed to bring the characters to life. If you are looking for something hard hitting, then this one would work. This showed me a new world of people - not many books have done so; but I'd rather not read such books every day and darken my mood; just a personal preference.
  20. The Associate - My first book of this exercise; liked the style. But then, this is one of my favorite genres. So, no complaints!
  21. What I did for love - okish
  22. The Templar Cross - similar to Dan Brown's books; ok for one read if you are crazy about the genre.
  23. 7th Heaven - Didn't like it much.
  24. Sizzle - Liked this one. The story is the same but the connection points were different. In the last scene, one of the guys in the book says "I gave her up so she can live". One question to him: Dei, idhu avalukku theriyumaada? Ethana per ipdi kelambi irukeenga?*
  25. Whiter Tiger - had been on my to-read list for quite some time. An interesting book; interlaced with the complexities of Indian society.
  26. The Complete Persepolis - Loved this one! A heavy story but told with comics. Thanks to Aths for suggesting it.
  27. Embroideries - I read this with the huge expectation created by the complete persepolis. But it didn't meet it. It was funny, yes; but not my recommendation list.
  28. Nerds: who they are and why we need more of them - This book was more like reading a thesis on electromagnetic oscillation pattern analysis. I had to read novels in between so that I don't get completely swamped by this one. Well written; but as an Indian, I thought many things were rather obvious. And I couldn't connect to the rest since I didn't grow up in USA. Read it at your own risk!
  29. How Opel Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life - Ha! Ha! Funny! though I guess I'm past that stage where I'd absolutely love that book. I'd have done so, had I read it some 7 years back :D
  30. The Twenties girl - now this book found a place on my recommendation list. A light read with the right amount of story!! I wasn't captivated from page one, but slowly started liking the style and what it portrayed.
  31. Camel club - Too many twists that I lost track! (or, did I read it when I was really tired?)
  32. Bleachers - This one is about letting go and settling things out. I'm usually not a fan of this genre - so not on my recommendation list.
  33. Vi Agra Falls - Paagal* story, as my roommate would put it :D
  34. 2666 - ugh! I've lost the patience to read heavy literature, even one with good amount of twists.
  35. Fired up - first book of DreamLighter series. Okish... but I'm curious to know how it turns out.
  36. Pretties - Another one from Aths' recommendation list. Though the story itself was not very exciting, I look forward to reading the next one in the series. Guess that's a big win!
  37. Poor Little Bitch Girl - I had this feeling of deja vu when I read this one; so it didn't make much of an impression.
  38. Skipping Christmas - Ha! Ha! light reading material but the final touch was good and unexpected.
I'm in the process of reading some other books currently. You'll see them in the next list. Not all of the books in the above list were from the New York bestseller's list. Some came from friends' recommendation lists and some I picked up when browsing or reading something. But I'm glad for this exercise; I get to read a lot of genres and experiment with different authors and styles. For example, even though Push is a very hard hitting book, I wouldn't have it in my book shelf as it doesn't really make me comfortable. But that doesn't mean the book is not good. It is really good about what it portrays; I fail to connect to it as a reader; or rather, the connection I make to it makes me squirm under its glare of truth and I would rather have something light and funny to read instead of something hard and introspective. On the other hand, the twenties girl had a title and back flap story that I just wouldn't have picked up. But now I love this book enough to seriously consider buying it for my collection. This exercise made me realize not to judge a book by its cover, literally! :D

I'm also glad that I read 40 books in two and a half months. I consider that amount of reading good enough (with everything else going on in life), though my mom's going to be worried sick that I only read and not do anything else. But my other resolutions took care of the "not doing anything else" part. More on that later! Do let me know if there are any books that you think are interesting and that I should read. I'm always open to reading new books and authors, not that it has to hit the top five of the bestsellers list. And, your reviews on any or all of these books if you've read them would be awesome!

Dei, idhu avalukku theriyumaada? Ethana per ipdi kelambi irukeenga?* - Does she know this? How many people have started like this?
Paagal* - Mad as the hatter

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dear Mr.Boring Pompous Lecturer!

Warning: This is a rant post. I couldn't rant about this one on Facebook or Orkut or Gtalk or any of the hundred and one social networks out there for fear of hurting someone or something. I ranted about it to one of my closest buds and that helped but lets just say I'm still simmering! Since my blog is also my space to rant out, here you go to get the full flow of it. If you are not interested, please stop at this point and check the next post. I might be in a better mood then!

P.S to the warning: If you know me in person, please please do me a favor and not ask anything about this post!! Atleast to save your head and our friendship... Rest assured that the person in this post doesn't know about my blog at all... (one of the saving graces!)

In person, I'm a very friendly person who loves doing things with friends all the time. By 'all the time', I literally mean all the time. I'd be happiest if I can be with friends and have fun 24x7x365. My weekends are busier than weekdays and every weekday has something new at the end of it to spend with friends. So, I have a large social circle with myriad intertwinings in it. I try my best to keep the circle good and happy (being the Libran I am, I want everyone around me to be happy! It might sound silly to some... but then that is what I aim for, every single day. I would go out of my way to really make someone atleast temporarily happy. In that process, I've caused some permanent damage and felt bad for it later but that is a story for another day). I try and share my time and resources with everyone in it sometimes giving up what I want out of it all.

Now, there is a certain person in my circle who is neither a friend nor an acquaintance. I don't even want to hint about that person. So lets go with the generalized he. If you want, you are totally welcome to think the person is a she. But I digress...
Going back to the story, for lack of any other word, our relationship can be termed as friendship. And that is a rare one for I welcome and love making and maintaining friends (look at the looonnnnggg intro at the top). I think he is a scum rat but civility demands I be nice and friendly to him. So, going with civility, I'm civil with him but barely so...

I've known him since college but met him a few weeks ago at a party hosted by a common friend and he started jabbering away to nonsense. I couldn't even feign interest in whatever he said. Finally, a friend rescued me and we left the place. Then I met him again in some mall and had to bear some really boring lecture on women's bill. Please, Mr.Boring Pompous Lecturer! I don't care even an iota about the bill for it is not going to affect me in any way. I know I'm not being the best of citizens by saying this but I personally DON'T CARE about this one. I think its a total sham and that people are politicizing the entire issue. If everyone can make sure that they treat the women they meet in daily life with respect and love and help develop confidence, then that is the path for true liberation. I think everything else is a coverup for getting more votes. Do you know that I realized that you had spoken the same thing to me in the party only when you asked me questions on it in the mall?? Sheesh! You are even worse than my eighth standard Geography teacher, who asked questions without teaching anything! Atleast then I knew she was asking something from the book!

The main reason why I didn't even tell you my views on it was because I wasn't even that interested enough in you or your thoughts on it. I didn't even want an argument, for argument's sake(that, from a person who loves debates! Sigh! See how bad you are... ). I thought that if I just nod and say yeah right for everything, you'll lose steam and run out of things to say. But how am I to know that you considered that as the major motivation to continue??? Please understand that if someone keeps looking at her watch, makes her friends call her just to rescue her from your aruvai, says she has some work to do at home, etc etc, she is just itching to get away from you, even if you are the world's last remaining person!!

Then, as my bad luck will have it, I met him in the Indian grocery store with a long queue in front. It took all my patience to not drop my basket and run from there as if a hundred hyenas were after me. I had to stand and grin and bear the lecture again. Dude!! did you forget that I told you that I don't give a sh!t about the bill? Why bore me with the one topic you know on earth? And, how exactly did you manage to subvert my attempts to change the topic and get back to this one? What exactly is the connection between our company's tech fest and women's bill? I have to give it to you on this one! You are one of the very few that I've met who doggedly refused to change topics even when it was glaringly obvious that the other person wanted it. And that is not a proud thing, you dumbo! It is something you lack; To top it all, you managed to stand near my car driver door for half an hour preventing me from getting into my car and escaping from your clutches! I had to stand in the cold and listen to your whines! As a result, I missed spending more time with my roomies and S and A. You totally suck!!

So, here you go! Here is what I wanted to say on my Facebook status, my Gtalk status and even my office communicator: To save everyone's sanity, please GET LOST!!! Please please don't get anywhere near to me till I get myself back to normal. I know that losing sleep for a stupid like you is totally unnecessary. But then, your lectures and encounters get me to such a worked up state that I'm typing this away at 2 am in the night. I couldn't even update my Gtalk status or Google buzz since you have the indecency to ask me if I blocked you if you don't see me online for a few days. Yes! I blocked you and yes, I've had to unblock you again just to escape that yucky question everytime! This time though, I'm blocking you permanently... I've reached the ends this time. Mind you, this is not something you should be proud about. I did the unblocking only because I didn't want any kind of conflict with you. Its more because of my nature rather than you...

I realized how bad GTalk invisible status is today. I didn't know if that guy was truly online or not. I couldn't even rant peacefully! For all the people out there who are on invisible mode on Gtalk, please please be online (for its only your friends who know you are online) or please sign out!! Being invisible and pinging only when you want to is plain high-handedness.... do you think you are so busy that the world can't ping you when it needs but you can ping others when you want help? Please!! Everyone is as busy as you are.. just because someone is on GTalk and in available mode doesn't mean they have nothing at all to do. It just means that they don't mind spending a few minutes talking to friends. And the fact that you can ping me since you see me online, but I can't ping you since I think you are offline??? That falls in "Yuck!!" category!

When I type into someone's chat window that shows they are offline(when they are invisible), I trust that the person is actually offline. Please don't kill the trust I place in you. If you are busy, please change to busy status and tell your friends that you shouldn't be disturbed when you are busy or have a particular status message on it. And process the messages you get when you are on busy status once you are done with work. Being invisible is so damn sheesh!! Be courageous enough to say that you are somewhere when you ARE actually there. Please be grown up about it.

If you think there are morons who expect immediate response from you even when you put a busy status, then its high time you start thinking about your GTalk friends list. And please please don't be on busy status ALL THE TIME. Social networking is fun as well! So give some of your time (time that you spend facebooking or playing with new stuff or reading on google reader) to be on green and available, atleast once a month!! If you are on red all the time, there is no meaning for that status after that. People would surely disrespect that message. Its all in your hands buddy!

Though this rant hasn't cooled me down, I'm happy to have vented it somewhere! Oh, I think I should have asked that guy to just shut up instead of torturing mankind! Now, how good it would be if I can really tell a person that in real life situations... Sometimes, being a Libran is a bother! I guess I better learn how to tune out such morons when they blah blah blah!

PS - for the 0.001% probability case: Moron! If you are actually reading this blog post and know that I meant you, you'll know who I am as well. In that case, please don't come and ask me if I meant all this. Yes! I mean every word of it. Though I doubt if you will listen to it. I can already imagine you standing in my way and boring me with one of your endless lectures... Yikes!