May the genuine Keepers stay

Mix equal proportions of Science and Philosophy, marinate with Mythology and Religion and garnish with mysteries – the result – a perfect book and a splendid read.

Keepers of the KaalChakra, by Ashwin Sanghi, is one such interesting and engaging book. What makes me awestruck is the amount of research, reading and thoughtfulness gone into creating such a masterpiece.

I have read a couple of books by the same author and also many others of the same genre. The effect is the same always or in fact amplified at times. It starts with getting hooked within a few pages and then desperation to finish it off in one go.

Kaalchakra, literally, means the wheel of time and the keepers are the ones who are torch-bearers and beholders of the ageless wisdom and are entrusted with the responsibility carrying it till perpetuity.

This story involves perspectives from different religions and the distorted picture in the today’s world.

Each one wants to prove they are supreme and their ideas are here to stay. Whoever comes in between, will be ruthlessly done away with.

Somewhere all of us know that all religions and faiths are based on similar principles i.e. peace, empathy, compassion and simple living. Its the corruption in the ideas that has happened over the centuries and the dilution of the true essence of any faith has resulted in a chaotic and terror-stricken world.

Its not always fair, just in the name of religion.

Amazing plot, interesting characters and beautifully written book. A must-read recommendation from me.

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Human Beings 2.0

Economics was part of my curriculum. What I distinctly remember is term ‘perfect world’ and also ‘human beings are not rational’ and ‘wants are unlimited’ and ‘ in the long run we all are dead’. Whether or not it makes any sense to me now, back then it never did but the terms are well engraved in my mind and it keeps coming back.

The Giver (Part 1) was one of the random books I just picked up without even knowing that is a quartet. And that was a mistake. The wait to get the remaining parts was one of the longest and also quite an anxious one.

The moment I started the book, it was reminding me of something. Yes, it was the ‘perfect world’ of economics. An administered and well-ordered society, the needs are pre-defined and are met by the society. Everyone knows what is to be done and everyone is taught how it is to be done. Every child is monitored and future is decided based on skills and every elderly person is well taken care of. No chaos.

Sounds perfect, but that’s not all

Somebody decides who is the best life partner for you, somebody decides whether or not you are capable to raise kids, somebody decides what food you should eat, somebody decides what you should feel and what you should not and the same somebody decides whether or not you are fit to live !!

Do we really need a no-chaos world like this?

Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger and Son takes you through an enlightening journey of “perceived” perfect living to a “real” imperfect yet peaceful living. While the story starts with a utopian society, the events and the incidents open up the dark side or rather the making of such a utopian living and how individuals who want to make a difference, strive hard and transform the society.

In the times, where we are talking about machine learning and making machines intelligent, reading this contrasting idea of humans made into machines was quite intriguing.

Would this be our future? Assuming we are the race 1.0, will the Human 2.0 be and live like this?

A must read and not only once, but worth many re-reads.

All through the book and even now when I am writing, the question that’s haunting my mind..

If I were The Giver, what would I give..

Another Mystery revealed

The other day in some conversation I said “If I had to draw parallels to this…” and I realised the influence of Miss Marple on me. Well, I must admit even otherwise, I do try to connect related (and unrelated) things.

Another Agatha Christie thriller I gulped down; A Caribbean Mystery featuring Miss Marple. What more and what different I can say. As always – excellent plot, excellent characters, extra-ordinary Miss Marple and her technique and an interesting mystery unfolded.

Agatha Christie novels, especially the Miss Marple ones, reveal so many perspectives about the human, their mind, their behaviour, their intelligence and of course, their follies.

Like in this one, stories or rather rumours are spread and this happens because of people, in general, who like to gossip around without the even confirming the source of it. The criminal mind obviously takes advantage of this common human behaviour.

Secondly, there is always more than what meets the eye. So one needs to keep this in mind before making any judgements about people or events.

And if one wants to unfold the mystery, the essence is in detail. Note the facts, observe the proceedings, connect the dots and Bingo !! the crime and the criminal get unveiled.

That’s all for The Caribbean Mystery. A definite MUST read for all mystery lover and Agatha Christie fans.

 

 

Do beliefs get stronger with age?

Never give up, face the situations boldly and most importantly, have belief in yourself !!

This would be my answer if I had to summarise the learning from the old man’s experience with the sea. Yeah, I am talking about Ernest Hemingway’s book, The Old Man and The Sea.

Looking at the size of the book, I have taken a considerably long time to finish. Actually had picked up this one a few months ago but couldn’t read beyond a few pages. Primarily because I rarely do anything fishy !! So all the terms such as sardines, stiff, tiller, etc. did not make much sense to me nor did I try to educate myself regarding those.

Under usual circumstances, I would have written off the book, however, there something which drew me back to the old man always. Well, was it his optimistic approach towards life? Or sheer confidence in himself that no matter whatever age he is, how much strength is left in him, that he’ll have a great catch one day !!

Yes, I was waiting for that day and felt sad for whatever happened after his great catch.

In spite of having absolutely no knowledge about fishing, if I could visualise the old man, his techniques and his fight with massive sharks, I need not have to say anything more about how beautifully the author has put together this adventure.

More than adventure, or more than a mere fishing experience, I feel this book is a classic example of determination. An old classic of an old man is a must read !!

If you think you can, you really can !!

 

Not all promises are broken

What seemed like a simple and obvious story at the beginning eventually turned out to be painful yet a heart-touching reflection of the situation today.

Women have been oppressed for a long time, at different levels, unknown to self at times and suffering silently at times. It may not be appropriate to make this as a generalized statement as there are examples of women being treated with respect and dignity. I do not have any statistics with me to prove what is more prevalent.

The trending #MeToo revelations are shocking to hear and know.

The Scarlet Promise by Sangeeta Kathuria takes us through the ordeal of a girl, who has been a victim of emotional and physical abuse. And the situation gets worsened due to pressures of the so-called society.

Seems like nothing new and probably something one hears every now and then. By the time you are through with the book, the distinction between it being a fiction or a reality gets blurred. It hurts as well.

I always have liked happy endings and was so glad and the end was how I would have liked. And they live happily ever after !!

A nightmare to a fairy tale, how does that happen? Power of love and friendship can do wonders. Read the book and reinstate the belief.

A short and soulful read.

To get a copy of the book, check out the author’s website here.

 

Would it be more than 5?

The count here indicates the number of people I would meet in the heaven (I could be a good contender for hell as well, perhaps 😉 )

Easy to guess, the book in reference here is Mitch Albom’s The five people you meet in Heaven.

The systematically woven fabric of experiences and feelings, from loved ones and complete strangers and in fact someone you haven’t even met during your lifetime, does create an impact.

While I would have discussed and also imagined, how life would be after death and what heaven and hell would be made up of, Mitch Albom’s visualisation has been quite different and interesting too.

Before coolly settling down in heaven, the story of your own life unfolds before you revealing some forgotten and some fondly remembered incidents and a deep lesson underneath these. It was 5 people and 5 lessons for Eddie, will I have more? Would the situation be different, if it was hell instead of heaven, I wonder?

So what are the 5 lessons? Umm, I would say pick up the book and get a feel of it.

A nice little book, though Tuesdays with Morrie still remains my favourite.

 

 

 

Extraordinarily Ordinary

Sudha Murthy happens to be one of my favourites and I eagerly await to read more of her writings. I guess I would have read everything that has been published till now. The simplicity of her writing or more should I say, of her thoughts appeals to me.

Three Thousand stitches, a collection of extraordinary tales of people’s lives.

As usual, this book of hers is thought-provoking and inspirational. For the past couple of years, I also have been thinking (and still thinking) what is it that I can do for the society and for the people. While I am unable to find a start, from the experiences jotted down I just to take that leap of faith and I will find my way.

This book has about 10 odd stories of the paths people have tread and reached where they are today. Achievement, of course, always doesn’t mean material wealth but contentment and inner peace as well.

While all the stories are good, the one which is still lingering in my mind – What is it that I can give up? Many answers, but not yet pursued.

Three Thousand Stitches is a definite MUST READ for all those who like simplicity and search for extraordinary in the ordinary.