Mar 30, 2009

The balance

I was lying in bed yesterday, trying hard to fall asleep, when the play on lights on my ceiling lit up certain thoughts in my mind. It had been a tiring day, shopping and having some mad fun with friends. And then coming home to find my cousins and uncle there, waiting for me. Some family time followed. And when I later speculated, it seemed like two different worlds for me.

On one hand was my mad gang, English speaking, totally modern, always up to some craziness and with their own worldview that would be constantly discussed, debated and thrown on the table.

On the other hand was my typically Gujju family, thats no less when it comes to zest and fun and madness. But it is madness of a different kind. It's more constrained.

Both have warmth, but of a different kind.

And I realised somehow that was one of the better days of my life. A day that I enjoyed. And it was not bcos of any special thing I did, or anything different that happened. It was simply cos I managed to have 'balanced fun'. I experienced two different lives in one day, and I realised I need them both. Taking any one of them from me would leave me restless.

We all are on a constant quest for balance in life. On all fronts. We seek it in every sphere, and everything we do.

And I found a balance in that day. Correction: I found THE balance in that day.

Mar 18, 2009

Time-travel in a split second

Sleep in your mother’s arms once again. Experience the first rain. Discover the secret cave behind your house. Feel the snow between your fingers.

Invent things that haven’t yet been invented. Or fly in a plane without leaving the ground. Lie among tulips as you watch the birds. Live on the moon for that little while.

Fast forward or rewind. Freeze time and play with it.

Jump back to that moment. Or create one you imagined.

Forget the world. Find the world.

Bring life into one moment… a moment of escape.

Mar 16, 2009

Life @ 10 km/hr

Escape. To the little bylanes while zooming on a highway.
Choose the diversion, even when the road ahead is wide open. Take the sudden left turn down the mud-track. Steer away from long roads to travel at 10 km/hr. Discover your own road, and follow the scents and sounds.

Escape. To unknown places some afternoon.
Jump the fence, and reach strange yards. Climb a tree and look at the world down below. Fly a kite on the hill no one goes to. Lie down in the hay with your dog.

Escape. To find life in everything.
Compete with the wind to laugh out loud. Splash in the rain while on your way to work. Walk slowly and follow the snail. Smell the leaves and wave at the trees. Wink at the stars. Lie in the grass and stare at the sky.

Escape. To take a day off from time.
Forget your age and run in the park. Eat all you can. Leave a boat in the stream nearby. Find shapes in clouds of places far away. Watch the sky change colours through the day. Sing with the birds. Dance without reason.

Once in a while, walk slowly through life. Once in a while, escape the ordinary.

Mar 14, 2009

Don’t grow wings. Learn to fly without them.

Sometimes, when a room feels stuffy, all you need to do is open the window.

Just like in life.

All you need to do is break free. Just like a little kid, trying to break free from his inabilities, to try and reach his favourite toy. Like a tree swaying with the wind, trying to break free from the ground.

Break the permanency of routine. And be the vagrant ray of light that winds its way through darkness. Be the whiff of scent that leaves its flowers to mingle with the air around.

Be the little drop of water that trickles down unknown roads to find its puddle. Be the moonlight that finds a way into the most reticent corners of earth. When you are the tired traveller in the heat, be your own valley of flowers.

When looking for an escape, don’t look around. Create one within you. Leave your mind blank for a moment, and let all thoughts escape you. Don’t go looking for the answers to life. Make up the most interesting answers yourself.

Close your eyes and reach your heart. Don’t run away to look for a haven. Find your paradise right where you are.

Let a moment of change enter every second. Let a smile escape when moods are sombre. Don’t wait for wings to sprout so you can fly. Escape to your paradise anyway.

Mar 12, 2009

What the bookshelf MUST have

A must read for book lovers, and a checklist for 'Litters' like me - here are a few lists of the best books of all times.

This is a list by The Guardian. I find this list one of the better ones since it incorporates writers from all parts of the world. Quite a collection I personally would love to own:

  1. Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930), Things Fall Apart
  2. Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875), Fairy Tales and Stories
  3. Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817), Pride and Prejudice
  4. Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850), Old Goriot
  5. Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989), Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
  6. Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375), Decameron
  7. Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986), Collected Fictions
  8. Emily Bronte, England, (1818-1848), Wuthering Heights
  9. Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960), The Stranger
  10. Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970), Poems.
  11. Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961), Journey to the End of the Night
  12. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616), Don Quixote
  13. Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400), Canterbury Tales
  14. Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904), Selected Stories
  15. Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924), Nostromo
  16. Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321), The Divine Comedy
  17. Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870), Great Expectations
  18. Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784), Jacques the Fatalist and His Master
  19. Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957), Berlin Alexanderplatz
  20. Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881), Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Possessed; The Brothers Karamazov
  21. George Eliot, England, (1819-1880), Middlemarch
  22. Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994), Invisible Man
  23. Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC), Medea
  24. William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962), Absalom, Absalom; The Sound and the Fury
  25. Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880), Madame Bovary; A Sentimental Education
  26. Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936), Gypsy Ballads
  27. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Colombia, (b. 1928), One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera
  28. Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia (c 1800 BC).
  29. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832), Faust
  30. Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852), Dead Souls
  31. Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927), The Tin Drum
  32. Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967), The Devil to Pay in the Backlands
  33. Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952), Hunger.
  34. Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961), The Old Man and the Sea
  35. Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC), The Iliad and The Odyssey
  36. Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906), A Doll's House
  37. The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC).
  38. James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941), Ulysses
  39. Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924), The Complete Stories; The Trial; The Castle Bohemia
  40. Kalidasa, India, (c. 400), The Recognition of Sakuntala
  41. Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972), The Sound of the Mountain
  42. Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957), Zorba the Greek
  43. DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930), Sons and Lovers
  44. Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998), Independent People
  45. Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837), Complete Poems
  46. Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919), The Golden Notebook
  47. Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002), Pippi Longstocking
  48. Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936), Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
  49. Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC).
  50. Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911), Children of Gebelawi
  51. Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955), Buddenbrook; The Magic Mountain
  52. Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891), Moby Dick
  53. Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592), Essays.
  54. Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985), History
  55. Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931), Beloved
  56. Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (N/A), The Tale of Genji Genji
  57. Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942), The Man Without Qualities
  58. Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977), Lolita
  59. Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300).
  60. George Orwell, England, (1903-1950), 1984
  61. Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC), Metamorphoses
  62. Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935), The Book of Disquiet
  63. Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849), The Complete Tales
  64. Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922), Remembrance of Things Past
  65. Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553), Gargantua and Pantagruel
  66. Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986), Pedro Paramo
  67. Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273), Mathnawi
  68. Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947), Midnight's Children
  69. Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292), The Orchard
  70. Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929), Season of Migration to the North
  71. Jose Saramago, Portugal, (b. 1922), Blindness
  72. William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616), Hamlet; King Lear; Othello
  73. Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC), Oedipus the King
  74. Stendhal, France, (1783-1842), The Red and the Black
  75. Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768), The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
  76. Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928), Confessions of Zeno
  77. Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745), Gulliver's Travels
  78. Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910), War and Peace; Anna Karenina; The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories
  79. Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500).
  80. Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  81. Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC), Ramayana
  82. Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC), The Aeneid
  83. Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892), Leaves of Grass
  84. Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941), Mrs. Dalloway; To the Lighthouse
  85. Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987), Memoirs of Hadrian
Here is BBC's top 100 books list. This concentrates highly on British and American writers, with some others included here and there:
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

P.S: Budday coming. Ask me which ones I don't have and you'll know what to get me :D

Mar 6, 2009


Well I have lots of guys say they don't gossip. And then I have known and experienced most of them gossip to no end. And then they say, why should we gossip? We have better things to do. So well, because I don't have anything better to do, here are a few reasons, why guys are better gossipers than girls:

  1. Hey, if underwear can be shared, why not ‘information’!
  2. Active imaginations and forgetfulness are the markers of a genius. So who can blame them if they allow their imagination to run on facts and then forget the actual ‘information’ along the way?
  3. The stomach should be used for storing food not ‘information’. If any ‘information’ enters, immediately evacuate it to make way for more food.
  4. It’s just a technique to avoid another World War. If everyone knows everything, there will be no secrets, and hence no secret weapons of mass destruction. Right?
  5. The policy: Say it all when you are sober, so that you don’t have anything to blurt when you are drunk.
  6. The world is too boring. Distractions are necessary. And if there is an interesting distraction somewhere, let everyone benefit from it.
  7. Live in the present. Why imagine what happens in the future when you can sit with a smoke and a beer at the beach now! What can such ‘minor information’ do to the future anyway?
  8. There is no jealousy, no your-shoes-are-better-than-mine, or your-assests-are-better-than-mine between them. All ‘information’ is therefore equal, and everyone has a right to it.
  9. An attempt at serving the society. It’s important to stand united and educate one and all. The aim is to achieve 100 % literacy.
  10. Girls are too busy thinking of ten reasons for everything. So the guys have decided to carry on the mantle.