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.
Here sleeps a girl with a head full of magical dreams, a heart full of wonder and hands that will shape the world
– Sleeping Beauty
Damn, you are so beautiful. My angel, my beautiful angel. Heaven only knows how many a hours I have spent beholding your tender face, kissing you in your slender slumber, caressing you with every gaze. I have never seen anything, natural nor divine that sis but half as beautiful as my lovely dear. You are but a little piece of heaven god left with me.
For those among you, who by superiority of your intentions are well on your way to let the authorities know that a certain creepy stalker is on the loose. Stop! I pray. I ain’t no pervert nor a creep (that may be up for debate) . I am but one such rare breed of a guy who is so in love in with his wife that watching her fall asleep in you arms is the one thing he looks forward to most everyday, One who just cant help buy gaze at her face and melt as snow at when the slightest hint of a smile dawns on her face.
Time is a strange thing, when you are in love. One could hardly believe how it flies and how it morphs around you. I can but hardly believe that it has been over 7 years since when I first met her, 6 since I first kissed her and eternities since I started loving her and of course 1 since we married. I have known her forever, from lifetimes before and will for lifetimes hence. Even now, every single day I feel as if it was just yesterday that we first met.
Those moments have become so magnificently romanticised, like the balcony in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet our places are no more just blips on the maps but stuffs of lore and serenades. Our stories have been told so many times that they are are now much myth and some essential fact.
I don’t want to write another ode to my beau, have I not written enough of that already. But then for what avail is this piece written, but for the being another ode to she; my love, my muse.
The world, my world is topsy-turvy that is to say the least. Like most men who have lost much of their ways and ideas that define what the world means to them. I try, I try to both live and define what that is all that is all around me. In this vagueness is my salvation, so I fear I will find. Such damnation like the unlucky stars that burn up in a streak, I fear for my life to be such haphazard ordeal. Aimlessly I wander from existential crisis to consequential crisis, consequential to moral and from moral to back. Crisis after crisis I jump like a well-trained and ill-brained dog that knows not what to do but what it is taught to do.
Feeble is my heart so is my wantonness. Feeble is my thought and the grip that holds my pen. Flows not words but blood strained utterances, feeble cacophonous mutterings. Effortless fluency has ceased to be and in its place has risen a dauding emptiness, an exonerated decadence of mental faculty. Confused and intoxicated, devalued and misguided, all the stark reminders of a lost art and it’s ever the more lost artist.
A search into the dungeons of my soul is all I can. Searching for a muse that might still be wandering in it’s dark alley ways. Lost in the catacomb of lost memories, some forgotten some deliberately wished away, slowly feeling and tumbling his way there about. There in its moss ridden walls I might find the old words that in an ungodly fervour I scratched ages ago. Neither do I have that fervour nor it’s feeble descendants, all that were lost. In this age of impatient discoveries all that is left is hope, life’s one last beacon to desperately cling on to.
Hi Guys, I know its been a long time that we have conversed, Its not because I had less to say to you all but because I found it hard to say all those many things I wanted to say. For sometime now, the magic of words had deserted me. I don’t know whether they have come back or not, but I do have something to share and I have decided to share them nevertheless.
Just last week, A few very special friends from college and I successfully completed a road trip to Goa and that’s something worth sharing. Isn’t it?
Day 1: October 1, 2014
Journey: Chennai to Bangalore
- Rajiv Gandhi Memorial
- The Golden Temple at Thirumalaikodi, Vellore
I have been waiting for this day to come for a very long time and yet I was not fully prepared for the day. The morning of the journey I couldn’t find anything. My camera battery was missing, then my mobile phone was missing and then the lonely planet books were missing and once I found all of them my car keys were missing. But at the end of all this I finally started off for Goa, a seven day escape from routine.
The day was nice and ride out of the city was fair, the traffic was manageable and the roads were… hmm lets just say urban. The first pit stop I took was Rajiv Gandhi Memorial near Sriperumbudur. It was a serendipitous discovery of sorts. I found the place as I was driving past I decided to stop over. After it is a place of great national and historical importance.
The Rajiv Gandhi Memorial really surprised me, it was very well kept, neat and tidy and very astutely constructed. Once I finished my half an hour break, walking around the place and taking pictures with my new Canon SX50 HS, I wanted to buy a DSLR and then I thought who am I kidding. Finally I settled for the camera that has an insane optical zoom. Thats quite a nice camera, she helped me capture some of the finest moments of this trip.
Tools for the Trip
The drive from there to Vellore was quite easy, The three line express way from Arcot to Vellore was impeccable and I could easily cruise at 100 in my car (Hyundai Verna).
The next stop for the day was at the Golden Temple at Thirumalaikodi in Vellore. I was surprised to find myself in a middle of a totally commercial temple complex, every inch plated with gold. I will be quite frank about this, the place disgusts me and I will say no more for I don’t want to ruin the mood of the narration.
From the Golden Temple I headed to Bangalore or Bengaluru for some. The road till Hosur was just as exquisite as it was from Arcot to Vellore. But once I touched Hosur it was a different story, the whole and part of the road was dug up asp art of construction and the traffic was slow moving most of the time. After much effort I escaped Hosur only to be caught in the nightmarish traffic in Bangalore. Somehow I reached my friends home and that’s the end of Day 1.