First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
– Martin Niemöller
There is a reason that today I start with the profound lines of Martin Niemöller, In a world divided on any number of lines, devoid of any nuance, where the shades of grey are all but gone. Where we kid ourselves, sitting in our comfort zone, with utmost an lackadaisical shrug, when we impart gravitas to the grave miscarriages of justice that happen right in front of our very eyes.
Everyday we stand not with our crucified brethren, in their excruciating despair is yet another day we move closer to the inadvertent breaching of our very own social fortresses. Echoing the words of Martin, Who will fight along us tomorrow when we excuse ourself from fighting for the besieged, who will be left to fight along us?
It is disheartening to think that in this age of readily and freely available information, we stand as a species more vapid and ignorant; refusing to learn from our mistakes, even the most recent of ones. Today the very grandsons of soldiers who fought in Europe to liberate it from fascism can be found embracing the very absolutist ideology that was defeated with much bloodshed. It bequeaths great shame on those heroes who lay waste their potential for an ungrateful tomorrow.
How is it that we are today in golden age of human ingenuity gold fishes; needing to lose and regain freedom; to have to fight the very same fights again and again against the very same foe. Only for as much as to appreciate what is already there. How is that today the great pillars of our society that stood the tests of millennia so scalded and emancipated that they require the round the clock protection from self-righteous peanut-brained zombies of vigilantes.
As the clock ticks close to Ragnarok and as the giant abyss of chaos become ever the more omniscient, it is the right time if ever to remember Martin Niemöller and his wise words. Today we must stand aware and awake; alert to the many threads that coming knocks; ever ready to take arms to defend the freedom that we have won at great cost. To make the last stand for our brethren when called upon.
Note : Thanks dad, for all the words you have ever said to me the poem of Martin Niemöller were the most profound.
Men without women is a collection short stories of, lets face it men without women. They revolve around the lives of men who has been left out without women; some willingly chose it and some by the hand of fate. What is common among them are the fact that they all eventually lose their women and as Murakami finally concludes “When you have lost one women, you have lost them all”; they lose it all.
These are stories that are daunting and that linger on after the first read; some even demand a greater look and some leave a lingering sense of incompletion. For most part no story here is complete; the author demands of us the effort to conclude them and that is ofter frustrating as many of these stories demand and extract an emotional connect.
Of the half dozen stories here, a few stood out to me as a reader here. “Drive my car” the first of the stories revolves around a actor who hires a female driver to chauffeur him around and confides in her the tragic marriage of his and his friendship with his wife’s suitor after her death. “Scheherazade” which depicts one day of a man and his married mistress, and the subtle yet lovely exchange between them one day (This one left me wanting more).
Murakami has a way of extracting different emotions of different people and that has always ended up dividing his readers quite deeply in factions; and these stories are no different, some scream misogyny and some see beauty.
Verdict : These stories and nevertheless beautifully crafted and eases the reader through the pages and elicits deep emotions. deciphering Murakami is a profession and that for another man to take up, for me they are beautiful and lovely.
Disappointed, thats is the short and long of it. Coming from Salman Rushdie, The author of books like Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Midnights children, The Golden house was expected to excite and entice; it was as his books before expected to be a delight to read and unfortunately the opposite seems to be true. This book required an laborious effort to consume and an undue tenacity to finish. I believe like all Salman was compelled to comment on the current socio-political state of affairs both home and abroad, but this books in hindsight appears to be a bad outlet for such a social commentary. A short concise series of editorials would have served a better purpose. Unfortunately this is what Slaman chose and I feel this attempt has failed both as a book and as a social commentary (coming from a lesser author may be an argument can be made but not from The Salman Rushdie).
The Golden house is the story of Nero Golden and his children seen through the eyes of René, an young film maker, set in a an exclusive private garden in lower Manhattan. The goldens are altruistic people with pretentious roman names, eccentric in their own way and always running from something or the other, a dark past, some shady business, sexuality and often life and truth itself. The characters are eccentric in an half -hearted attempt at mimicking the flamboyance of The Great Gatsby but as a recurring theme in this book; failing (if not miserably, then convincingly so).
There are some genuine spaces when Rushdie comes on to being his old self, when words start flowing with a forgotten vigor, when prose tends to be poetic and beautiful more so. But as mirages in a hot midday desert, they are fleeting and ephemeral.
Verdict : If this is your first foray into Rushdie’s works I suggest you start elsewhere, if not then I suggest elsewhere as well. You lose nothing by not reading this book and if you dont read the Rushdie you know and love would shine a bit brighter.
It is not often that a book review becomes more a review of the author than the book itself; albeit they overlap nonetheless to a certain extend. Bernie is a man who needs no introductions any more; little over an year ago that was hardly the case. Over an year and a half ago when he was just the obscure senator from Vermont this was hardly true. This book chronicles the remarkable journey of Bernie Sanders and the astonishing rise of democratic socialism in a capitalistic United States.
In this book, Bernie in his own unmistakable words takes the reader through the 2016 Presidential primary and its numerous turning points. He explains how he broke out o f his own obscurity in the wider public space and into the icon that he is today. It covers everything, his intends, his motivations, his rallies, town-halls, the battles lost the victories won and above all else his convictions. Our revolution offers less to the sanders fan than the general public; to the uninitiated the book is very much a great window into the world of democratic socialism.
As an external observer, some one not from the States, Bernie and what he stands for is not as revolutionary as it appears to the Americans, universal health care and free education are hallmark of most progressive regimes. This doesn’t undermine his effort to redeem his nation and bring it to the forefront of human development.
In short this is a book that is not necessarily a must read for all but is nevertheless a good book that offers a brief glimpse into the rot in the United States political system.
Rated : 3 of 5.
Speaking you mind and standing you what you believe always comes at a cost. There are always people obnoxious to their own failing ready to pounce on you with life condoning questions and wisdom. Random people who not so much as to have ever bought you a cup of coffee ready to help you with life advice and tip son how to live your life. It is never the case that everyone is happy about what you said, or how you said it or where you said it. Some are even concerned by the general will of the people (except when its public elections of course). It would just seem to appear that you are everyones affair.
So for all those condescending generous bitches, feel free and screw em. You got be you, unapologetically you.
If you are an Indian and if you are married, you are bound to be asked a particular question way too often. Its hilarious the concoctions conjured as facaded to make the callous intrusion into ones privacy palatable. People assume that the next thing you need is a baby and that like them I tread my life addled. That in this menial existence, primal urges and perceptions are the commandments to abide by. Offended? Feel free to burn my effigy, they do come cheap.
So, do I want a child. Honestly may be, somewhere in future, in a distant future far away enough to not be thinking about it, a future nebulous and fantastical. A lot needs be done, many miles be travelled, mountains be climbed and oceans be crossed, lands be scene and life experienced. I feel nothing but pity to the poor souls who live life mechanically, for those of you who rot as seasons pass by your window. Dreams are to be lived while you still can, they too high a price to be paid for anything. I have seen far too many parents who have condemned their children to the dreams of theirs, burden them with dreams that they failed to purse, wings cut and trimmed before they even taste the liberation of flight. Ultimately it is not fair to oneself not to the child.
The world is full of people anyway, I do not fathom the urge to procreate in the world. The poor planet already harbour more than it can carry. It should be a sin to procreate in this world where the already barely has enough, to create one here is to lay claim to what is someones’ now. When I fetch food for my child, I take it not from the surplus but from a poor child plate. When give my child education it was someone less fortunate who had to part with his. To claim anything of this world is a crime on to the unfortunate.
I will have my child, god forbid. But not today, not now, but when the time is right. When I can be the father that I want to be and not the one I am condemned by the circumstances created by me to be.
This novel by Isabel Allende is an easy addictive adventure-thriller of superior quality. For the general reader it is the story of a band of completely different people (A missionary, two preteens, a raunchy pilot, a bold photographer in search of his big moment and a journalist) exploring the unexplored riverines of Ngobe in search of the missionary’s missing colleagues.
But for some others it is the story of the Pygmies, their exploitation, their suffering and their utter de-humanization by those more powerful than them. It is for them the story of slavery, of deception, of oppression and the malice of power. It is in all a melancholic travelogue about the liberation its uncertainties, its inherent hope and that pinch of magic that we all so desperately desire.
The book is a beauty to read, easy to fall in love and amazingly capable of transferring the reader to the darkest deepest most beautiful magical forests. The visual devices takes this journey to another level of addictive ecstasy altogether. Isabel Allende is a marvellous writer, one for the ages.