Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Love letter ....

 I will never say I love you , I do not need to tell you that , you already know this from what I speak , write, how I behave…


On the other hand , I will always have doubts about your love ,till I die ,so I will never be able to believe what you say…so you also need not say you love me….


Sometimes I think ,the you in my head is much better than the actual you… Are you even real or exist just in my head ? Am I in love with you or just the idea of love  ?

As a famous character in a book said " It is all happening inside your head , but that does not mean it is not real…" Scary , isn't it ?


Most of the time , I also think "why did I meet you" … I was tranquil, complacent ,even happy before that….


I don't understand myself… is this really me ? Who is experiencing these violent emotions ? Who is this who thinks of throwing herself from the top floor of the building ? Is this real or am I living a role ? The role that is slowly replacing the real me…


I do not like this me at all.. the one who continuously thinks about you and talks to you in my head… There is also a sane ,rational me in my mind who tells this mad me to run away...as far as possible… nothing good can come out of this…


Without offering resistance , I try to float in this flood of emotions , but still secretly hoping that the flood carries me away from you….



That is why… I will always try to run away from you...Not because I am angry or hate you , but to protect my heart,my self, my sanity ….

Whatever you say , I will always attempt to go away… not sure if I will ever succeed…  but try, I will… always…


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Some ranting about a book which I hated.

I finished 'In the woods' today. I absolutely hated it. But I will still recommend it with caution because not everybody would have my reading tastes, somebody may actually like it.
I will not continue this series, in fact I will not read anything by Tana French.
My reasons for hating it...
  1. First person narrative : I don't like it in literary fiction , fantasy , mystery and even in police procedurals. Exception is Agatha Christie.
  2. Was it really a police procedural or detective story ? Most of the novel was spent in analysis of detective's feelings.
  3. I like mysteries as puzzles. Intellectually stimulating. Satisfying when they are solved. This was none of that. I don't want to read about the real legwork, boring paperwork, tons of interviews of witnesses.
  4. Unreliable narrator , psychopaths : hate both.
  5. Detective could not separate his personal life from work.
  6. Failed romance between detective partners which spoiled their relationship. Unnecessary.
  7. Very slow pace , would have been acceptable if I would have liked the mystery
  8. Mystery uninteresting, but still disturbing , I can not sleep now. Hence hating it even more.
  9. Lots of unnecessary, boring stuff regarding road development. ( 🤦 !)
  10. 2 mysteries,of which one remains unresolved. Feeling cheated.  Hate it absolutely.( But thank God, I haven't spent my hard earned money…)
  11. The narrator detective remains as a solitary depressed and disturbed man in the end.
  12. The perpetrator goes unpunished. In fact, unblemished and unaccused too. Free to commit more such crimes. Hate that so much that if I had a physical copy, I would have thrown it across the room ! And the perp was not particularly intelligent too, just psychopathic. 
  13. Though this is a series, the only common theme will be the city of Dublin.
  14. Not formed an attachment to a single character.
  15. Feel absolutely stupid for spending so much time reading it.

Down the memory lane - Taxi driver 1954

Taxi driver 1954
This film was apparently shot in 30 days without much budget.It was a Navketan film,all the three brothers and their wives and fiancees were involved.The beautiful,then empty & spacious city of Bombay played an important role in the movie.. 
The so called vamp without any evil acts was the one who wore (comparatively more ) plunging necklines and danced and sang in a nightclub , racy but melodious and meaningful numbers. The nightclub definitely had a before and after moment, before it was a dingy,shady place populated by goons,poor gamblers and taxi drivers. After its owner wins the lottery,it is made a more sophisticated place.  The opening song ‘Dil se milake dil pyar kijiye’ is the most melodious of all the cabaret songs. (I wonder why SDB used different voices for both the ladies ,Sheila Ramani & Kalpana.) The second song is actually meant to break the fight between two groups, hero and some goons. ‘Jeene do aur jiyo…’ she tells both. ‘Dil jale to jale’ is another wonderful song,depicting the anguish of both Hero ( heroine has left him) and the vamp( Hero is not interested in her).
The story is unremarkable, though it was one of the first noir films,showing the underground mafia and their involvement with the film world. Girl comes from a village to sing for a music director, can not find him in the huge Bombay city and ends up meeting our hero, called Hero by his friends. Hero rescues her from some goons who stay in the movie and perform various other nefarious acts like bank robbery,car theft etc.She stays in his house ,till she suddenly feels she is coming in way of his romance with the nightclub dancer.( That premise was really thin.) This is followed by a bank robbery by some goons using the hero's car( I expected the hero to be framed for that) , the hero's friend finding the heroine and then the hero delivers her to her true destination ,the music director. She is instantly liked,accepted there and supposedly gets an opportunity to sing in a movie ( song here is implied,not shown). The plot suddenly ,a little disconnectedly jumps back to the nightclub as our good soul Mala( the heroine) recommends the vamp's name for some racy numbers in the same film. The final climactic action sequence is flimsy, though there were some good moments . The night shots in BW films had these problems frequently ,you can not see what is happening till somebody decides to smoke and use a lighter or a matchstick.
When they meet each other after a brief parting, the scene that follows is one of the most romantic (and even bold) scenes from the fifties. Hero hugs her very tightly in the small space of the cab ,says 'why did you go away ?'and she smiles with joy.
The comic scenes are not very funny ,in fact the way in which Hero chops of Mala's hair is very cruel. The poor girl is crying and still doesn't blame him and he callously hushes her.This is followed by Hero teaching Mala smoking,swagger and foul language of the drivers and cleaners of Bombay.This also involved sudden appearance and disappearance of Hero’s sister in law.
The hero with a hairy chest and a wristwatch ( however poor he is) on a hairy wrist is strangely manly. ( Dev was never a manly action hero, though there was at least one action sequence in most of his films.) However poor, he will wear a necktie in at least one scene. Most of the films, he was very nattily dressed in full shirt, coat, suit, tie. We never see a shirtless hero with his six packs in any old films,in fact the hero's conspicuously non muscular arms were a norm ,if he happened to wear a half shirt or a Tee.
‘Jaye to jaye kahan’ is one of the most melodious pairs of songs. I always thought the Talat version was primary(  comes first in the movie) but this is the song where Mala showcases her talent for the music director and at the same time expresses her anguish that she will not be with Hero after this. Beautiful, haunting , soulful and meaningful words and melody ! The Talat version has entirely different lyrics with the same tune and is equally haunting and soulful. The only shortcoming was their expressions. Not too strong in the emotive expression department, these two !
There is also a scene where a drunk Hero comes home to sweet, simple,innocent Mala, holds her roughly and also holds her by her hair but she refuses to see anything but goodness in him. However,the next day she understands that all that was wrong and she is sulking. So this is followed by  a roothna manana type of song( dekho maane nahi) … not very famous , mostly forgettable , but cute. Picturised in a ferry off the Gateway of India , both of them look cute together ,her smiling shyly at him and he feeding her something ,when she is just beginning to lipsync an aalap .. she manages to avoid that thing, probably an orange, till the alap is finished. Looks like there were not many retakes and cuts.
These two keep on calling each other Funtoosh endearingly. Not sure what they mean by that, Funtoosh sounds like somebody with a devil may care attitude. But their behaviour is hardly that.
I wanted to see the film where Dev married Mona. I wanted to see if I could spot a sort of before and after. But I couldn't.The film was okay, though it had its moments.Songs were beautiful...

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Three books that I would be reading next

Three books that I would be reading next
1.Lethal white - Robert Galbraith
I love JKR's Harry Potter books . I like her Cormoran Strike ones. They are okay but I wouldn't  miss them. But then why I am reading this ? Even after deciding that I will not continue the series ?  Well, because I got it free and as a part of my minimalism drive, I have decided to read and/or throw away all the unread books I possess !
This is a thriller and it is the fourth book in the series. I have already started this and I'm about 20% in the book. As with all her books, the characters are well written. The plot moves a bit slowly and takes detours to show us backstories and side stories of the characters. I do like the reading experience but I am find that it evaporates soon from my memory .
2.Fool's errand : Robin Hobb
This is the seventh book in her 16 book long  fantasy series ‘The realm of elderlings’.Unlike the previous JKR series , I love this one and I read other books in between because I don't want to finish the series fast. Because I would find it very heartbreaking to live in the world where there are no more Robin Hobb books to read.
This series consists of 4 trilogies and a quartet. This book is the beginning of the third trilogy. Here we return to the characters of the first trilogy. These are  slow moving books with well written, strong characters and strong plot . They are in fact called literary fiction fantasies. The magic element is not wand wielding, firework inducing thing causing people to transform ,disappear or die. It is more of a mental connection to people and animals and hence feels natural and realistic....if at all there is such thing as natural or realistic magic. And there are dragons , which may not be my favourite trope in a fantasy but they make life interesting in there.
3. There are  many candidates for the post of the third book. There is Circe by Madeline Miller which is an award winning fantasy book. There are also second books in at least 2 different fantasy stories and there are many first books in fantasy series waiting for me . So, difficult to say which book I would pick after finishing these two….
On books that teach me :
Human soul thrives on stories. Books give us that and much more. It teaches us courage , to go forward in spite of fear. It teaches us about truth and reality , that it only our perception , truth cannot be set in concrete.
I believe school teaches us facts and concepts , it introduces us to various subjects. Real education begins after the school and books are our hand-holding, guiding friends for that journey. The lessons they teach stay in our mind, long after the facts and concepts fizzle out. They shape ourworld view.  
I read somewhere ' why read dull, drab self help books,when you have great stories giving you the same wisdom, in an intersting way, so that you will remember and internalize it forever?'
To conclude, books for me are great friends and guides, sometimes more than the real people...



Monday, January 28, 2019

Audiobooks ?

I am a more visual person than auditory. In school I never understood a topic by merely listening to it , I had to read it myself. So,it is not surprising that I do not go for audiobooks. Only written word for me ! On paper or on electronic books… I read !

But I feel audiobooks are here to stay . Like all new things , they may have resistance in this generation of readers. My generation has embraced the electronic reader with gusto , next generation will audiobook their way through their TBR pile ! As long as they love books, one should be happy about it.

I can see certain advantages in audio books over ebooks/paper books.  When you are driving and you have a long commute , you can listen to a book . A good way to utilize the time !

Also,  if in old age,God forbid, your eyesight becomes weak, you can still 'read’ a book.

In my opinion , the most wonderful experience of an audiobook would come from  a work of fiction or a book that would have a lot of dialogues . Here the author / narrator would enunciate the dialogues and the character would come alive in your mind. Different accents, tones, voice modulations … sometimes the way words are said , may change the whole meaning !

I recently heard an audiobook..’ 84, Charing Cross Road’ by Helene Hanff. It is an epistolary book based on the correspondence between the american author and a British bookseller. The way the narrators made the characters alive was wonderful ! I almost decided to buy an audible membership !

But then I heard another audiobook. The book was a nonfiction one called ‘ Goodbye things ‘ by Fumio Sasaki. I had no problems with narration or the content of the book , but when I tried to look for a particular idea expressed in the book , I couldn't. It may be easy on Audible, I am not sure ,but since this was a freely available book on you tube , I was lost.

So,in conclusion , I will say that for now,  I will stick to my e-reader and physical books, but I will surely keep my ears open ….

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Favourite books 2018

The year 2018 was very good in terms of reading as I mentioned in my previous post. I read so many good books, that it was very difficult for me to choose my favorite ones. Some books which I enjoyed reading did not remain so in my memory, so I demoted them to honorable mentions. Some books, however, have remained in my mind, long after I finished them. In lingering there, they have risen in my mind. Here is the list of my favorite books.

1.84, Charing Cross Road : HeIene Hanff

This is a nonfiction epistolary book about the correspondence between the author and a London bookseller. I loved this book so much that I read by it immediately after I finished it.

2. Diary of a bookseller : Shaun Bythell

Again a nonfiction book, on books. This is, as the title says, diary of a bookseller ! It is written in a diary format( as the title says !)  and is very funny.

3. Broken earth trilogy : N.K.Jemisin

I know this is cheating because I am including 3 books here. But as this is my list, I follow only my rules!

This is a fantasy series with the magic system based on natural energy of earth. I loved this series because the story and characters were good ,the writing was simple,beautiful and flowing. Most importantly, the way in which the story was told in second person ,was unique and intriguing and as we realise in the last book ,was very important for the story.

4. The final empire : Brandon Sanderson

This is the first book in the long fantasy series Mistborn. The magic system here is very interesting, based on burning/utilising metals inside your body. As I have read only the first book I will not comment on the story or characters here ,but I will say that Sanderson is a terrific writer.

5.The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle :

A very unusual mystery where the time is warped and characters go round and round on the same story arc. Loved it for the unique idea and will be rereading it soon.

6. Sapiens : Yuval Noah Harari

This book took me the longest time to finish, no fault of the book as such. I kept on getting distracted by new fiction books. I am going to reread this book ,at some point in future.

7.Holding : Graham Norton

I read 2 books by this author in 2018. Though both were good, I preferred this one. This is a mystery but rather a slow one and has very well written characters. An unusual thing about this book is the protagonist who is an obese , good natured ,middle aged policeman who actually has a love life.

8. Ship of magic : Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb has become one of my favourite fantasy authors. This book is a part of a really long series called’ The Realm of Elderlings’ ,and  is composed of multiple trilogies and quartets. This book is the first in the second trilogy. Though there is a common thread in all the trilogies,this one appeared totally unrelated. But I am patient (and eager… ),eventually, when I read all the 16 books I will know…

9. Little fires everywhere : Celeste Ng( pronounced Ing)

This is a good ,old, solid, family ,emotional drama..

I loved it because it is written in a easy,flowing language, with great characters and a great story with a fantastic twist…

10. The western wind : Samantha Harvey

This book has a beautiful cover,but I have the e book so …

When I read it , I was irritated because of the slow pace. Though it was a murder mystery, the story is told backwards and when I reached the last page , I couldn't see the point. It was as if the author wanted me to live life as if in 13th century when the book begins. I gave it only 3 stars. But slowly ,the book has grown on me. I will probably re read it in this or the next year.

So, that is my list of 2018 favourites..

What are your favourite books ? Have You read any of these ? If yes, what is your opinion ?





Friday, January 4, 2019

Bookish thoughts on 2018 & 2019

Bookish thoughts on 2018 & 2019

I had set certain goals more myself at the beginning of 2018 and I am ashamed to admit that I haven't been able to complete any of those.

I failed to utilise the  library.

I failed to discipline or curb my buying.

I failed to read more genres. Just refused to step out of my comfort zones.

Did not read much nonfiction.

Did not write or blogg.

Only thing that I achieved was getting rid of some of my not loved books.

So, this year , my only goal is to read less,read properly and not to buy any book and yes , not to hesitate to give up reading books which do not interest me and not be embarrassed about my reading tastes.

My top 18 favourites of 2018 :

I read over 110 books this year. I am giving an approximate figure as I deleted my goodreads in my detox fit. Also some library books and some physical books as well as marathi books  haven’t been noted down anywhere.

I tried to make a list of 5 books -failed, 10 & 18 books - also failed. I am unable to choose less than 35 books. This task has become too daunting .
Finally, giving up the thought of writing short summary for each book,  I have decided just to enumerate the books in 2 lists - favourites and  honorable mentions . They are in no particular order , again, because I have failed at ranking them...

Honorable mentions first :-

Soul of an octopus - Sy Montgomery - nonfiction

This is going to hurt - Adam Kay -nonfiction/memoir

Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo - Taylor Jenkins Reid -Literary fiction

The hoarder -Jess Kidd - Fantasy/ literary fiction

The butchering art -Lindsey Fitzharris -  nonfiction

If cats disappeared from the world - Genki Kawamura-Fantasy/ literary fiction

Ghostwritten -David Mitchell - Fantasy/ literary fiction

The great passage -Shion Miura - literary fiction

Gillespie and I -Jane Harris - historical fiction

Bleaker house - Nell Stevens - nonfiction/ memoir

The rabbit back literature society -Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen - Fantasy/ literary fiction

Tinman -Sarah Winman - literary fiction

A monster calls -Patrick Ness - literary fiction

A tale for the time being - Ruth Ozeki -literary fiction

Psychology of time travel -Kate Mascarenhas-  mystery / science fiction