When she roars…

Not so much and yet very much, its a Cecelia Ahern creation. ROAR is an inspirational, motivational and soulful account of what it means to be a woman. Collection of about 30 narratives showcasing the known and deepest feelings.

What I liked the most was the personification of ideas and thoughts which actually blurred the line between imagination and reality. Stories which which do not seem real but yet are so real.

From the commonly “assumed” perceptions to deep hidden emotions, each of the facet that was portrayed beautifully. Be it about the woman becoming invisible, or the one talking to ducks or the one with feather in her head or the one who just goes into her closet and roars, I could relate to everything, either myself or the women I know.

If this is all about women, should it be read by men too? This was question cropped up in my mind as I started writing about it. Then again I wondered, would my narration in anyway imply that this book should be definitely read if one wants to understand women.

I am strong believer of gender equality (giving due to respect to the natural differences and advantages each gender has). However, over the years of being oppressed and sidelined, the emotions, the feelings and the desires, get buried somewhere.

Roar has given that voice to those unsaid, suppressed and even unimagined facets of a woman.

Definitely, a recommended read.

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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.

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..

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 !!

 

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.

In the name of religion..

I am feeling nothing but pleased to have read this book.

I was hooked on to Rajat Mitra’s The Infidel Next Door. Set in the backdrop of religion and man-made controversies makes you feel wasn’t religion supposed to bring peace and harmony than violence and chaos. The book mirrors the atrocities of the real life. It was heart touching as well as an eye-opener.

Within a few pages, I became the part of the story. I could feel my heart silently weeping when I saw a young girl sacrificing her love (and killing her soul) and two young lads undergo emotional and physical torture, just for the sake of false ideas masked under the name of religion. It’s terrible.

I believe in God but am not strictly a religious person. May be that’s why I fail to understand the reason (or passion as it may be looked at) behind religion being used as the motive to create the differences.

The author Rajat Mitra has beautifully articulated the emotions and harsh reality of life.. of being a human. I must say it was a truly engaging story line. I doubt if my vocabulary is wide enough to describe my journey of going through the saga.

Since I like happy endings, I wish this one had too..

Great work and I would rate this one as a MUST read.

A few more words.. in the name of God..

 

Many questions, Many answers
Some marked resolved
And still some linger around.
Some I drop, Some come back
God, is that your way of showing
The determination I lack?

Today my question is to you, Oh Lord
You created the Man,
A fine species and a super brain
Of that came religion,
Of that came faith,
But looking at the chaos,
Does that make you feel
All efforts down the drain?

Religion was to unite,
Culture was to bind
Look around everywhere
Its only otherwise
That you find.

Its you who the men seek
Yet its you makes them weak
In your name, they fight
So convinced of being right.

Does that irritate
Or does that agitate
When you see your own creation
Is no longer made of love,
But burns with desire of hate?

I can feel your pain
I can sense your despair
When you yell and when you tell
Its neither the rituals nor the quantum
But peace, belief in yourself and compassion
Is all that I care.

That’s my view
That’s my thought
Ain’t any inch closer
To the answer I sought

More about soul than soup!!

Yeah, it’s an easy book. Finally, I finished the another one in the Chicken Soup for Soul series, and this is one which I had picked up long back.

This time it was about friendship.

FRIEND..no words can describe it, still a feeble attempt of mine..

A word that rings a bell
Lifts your spirits
And casts a spell.
Shakes the world for you
Makes the day for you.

Nah, it’s not a word
It’s a person
Who’s there for you
For no reason
Yet for every season
Cares for you and
Dares for you.

No, it’s not a person either
It’s a feeling
It’s a blessing
It can be the happiness
It can be your solace
Fortunate are those
Who find this feeling in their space

Well, it ain’t a feeling too
It’s part of you
Life is incomplete
Living can become a dead end
If you don’t have someone
Whom you can call
That’s my best friend!!

All the stories and experiences were really heart touching and warm. Every page I read, couldn’t help but think of my #BFFs.

As always, good show guys for compiling another great version of the Chicken Soup for Soul.

Wondering which one should I pick up next??