Impressions 'n Expressions

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On books

On the topic of books...

Recently one of my friends asked me if I have a top 10 must read books and that got me there really a top 10 or 100? Can we really have something like that?

As we grow, we tend to assimilate a lot from the environment we are in as also our experiences, thus there is a constant flux within ourselves and despite not wanting to..we are changing, so what we liked probably 10 years ago may not necesarily be that interesting now....books are like flavours of the month...difficult to have fav books...then there are the categories too..besides the broader classification of fiction and non-fiction...

Along the way I have read quite a few books, but offhand i wouldnt be able to name many as 'must read' though..some of the books that have stayed with me and I would like to go back to are,

Dostoevesky's 'Brothers Karamazov' and 'Crime and Punishment'- I read these the first time probably during my school days..but the second and third reading proved to be more compelling

Marquez's '100 years of Solitude' - It was only towards the end I realised how much I really liked the crazy and quirky inhabitants of Macondo and Marquez's writing. This book propelled me to more of Marquez's writings including 'Love in the time of cholera', 'The Genral in his Labyrinth', 'Chronicles of a death foretold'

Le Carre's 'The Man who came in from the cold' - A wonderful book that created a beautiful imagery in my head about the cold, dark and dreary lives of those espionage agents...I never read another Le Carre book, though I saw 'The tailor of Panama' and found it highly enjoyable

Dicken's 'Oliver Twist' - Though its is nostalgia here...:)

James Michener's 'The Drifters' - This may seem kinda dated, but the time I read it I was easily influenced..not by the hedonistic pursuits of the lead charcters..but how they travelled down that road...touches a lot of issues primarily anti-war

Penrose's 'Shadows of the Mind' and 'Emperor's new mind' - ( I thought Ramachandran's 'Phantoms of the Brain' would be a good read..but it was very disappointing...despite the reviews)

Jostein Gaarder's 'Sophie's World - This is an easy read into the world of western philosophy..right from the time of socrates to kant and sartre...this may not be a good novel..but it gave me a very good intro on western philosophy..

Nehru's 'Glimpses of World History' - Must read for anybody I gez..

A L Basham's 'Wonder that was India' - Another fav

Ayn Rand's 'Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged'...somehow i really liked Fountainhead when I read it the first time in 1996 in Trichy and read it in less than a week...while I found Atlas Shrugged even more interesting cz of the basic theme..

Umberto Eco's 'Name of the Rose' as well as 'Foucalts pendulam'..try it..take your might take awhile to get into the former..but its worth it..

I am reading Barnaard's 'One Life' now, it is good, but I gez it has partly to do with the two lessons we had in our school days. Likewise, I read Braithwaite's 'To sir, with Love'..not great literature..but nostalgic

Recently I purchased two books from the fact I got one of my colleagues there to buy it for me as it was not available here..David Ellis's 'The Company of Liars'..a really gud is the story of the murder of a woman convicted of murdering her husband..but is told in reverse chronology..that is, it starts from where she gets is a 'compulsive page turner' as they say..the other one was Paul Hoffman's 'Archimedes Revenge', a wonderful book on mathematics..this is one you will love, Alan. I want to start on GEB, but am not getting the time..this past few weeks have been real busy...not in absolute terms..but somehow cant manage any time to do any reading..i manage the newspapers and magz and other light readings in the loo where i spent a considerable amount of time :)

Oh btw..Amartya Sen's 'argumentative indian' is a really gud collection of essays and I gez you shud read it..

Thursday, June 08, 2006

is memory but a recreation?

This is something I wrote sometime back, dont remember when though..mustve been during one of those times when I was 'high' and on an introspective journey. Didnt know if I should really put this in here..but then I figured it wont make any difference and moreover I have not been really posting anything here, copying and pasting from a notepad doesnt take too much of an effort :)

The following may have no basis on anything that transpired in my life..but then everything that I am is a product of my in that sense it may also be connected with me and my on...

meaningless routine 'n a balmy summer day
of countless cigerettes and dreams none
intimidating and imposing, she walks in
vulnerable, 'n with promises anew
a thought so close and a touch too far
hearts abeatin' for something more

walks in the rain, a friend in need
alleyways, autos, staircases and byways
'ladies coupe', 'ancient promises'
'brothers in arms', '18 till i die'
of spoken fantasies and unspoken cravings
lust and love or was it other way round?

jealosies spawn hurt and pain
silences and partings, a way of life
tears and laughter, mingled amidst
prohibited needs and dangerous wants
tearing apart a gift so pure, altruism
was thy just a myth?

break from the past 'n a new beginning
another life or was it the same?
passions anew, thirsting for more.
mouths grappled and fingers twirled
universe imploded, becoming one
did we just die, and come again?

is memory but a recreation?
of things past and and being alive
of scooter rides and car drives
late lunches and evening movies
lingering conversations and spontaneous laughter
phone calls and window shopping

beautiful fingers, twitching nose
hair like satin, smile bewitching
warm embraces, teasing glances
simple dreams, a beautiful song
secret longings and hidden passions
deep desires and love explored

its not poetry that i aspire for
its not consolation that i seek
its in the hearts of men to ponder
the vagaries of fate and misfortunes
to die a thousand deaths
in the light of sins committed

beauty defined and beauty lost
never before and never after
redemption shall i seek,
for tomorrows but are reflections
of guilt 'n sorrows of days passed
of mistakes sought and steps untaken

journey, into an unknown vortex
promises and desires, satiation sought
inadmissible truths and untold lies
lay across an ocean of hope
the search for truth, none remains
opague and blurred visions remain

This is sort of incomplete, I dont know why I didnt write anymore...probably dozed off :)

Anyways I dont have the energy to continue... someday probably when I revist this I might think of completing this..but then again, I may not either.