On Writing – Stephen King
One of the most successful writers of our time holds court on writing. He starts with telling us his own story and then delves into the process of writing – the do’s and dont’s. So does Mr. King offer us fresh advice we’ve never heard before? Not really – but still when advice comes from the king himself – you listen. The lessons that stayed with me were: write true (Hemingway said that a couple generations ago – but still…), write and read a lot, learn what the underlying theme of your book is, etc. The book is written in a really ( he would hate my using an unnecessary adverb here) simple style – easy on the eyes. The language is conversational and casual – fun to read. Read for pleasure and to learn about one of the best-selling authors of our times, if not for unique writing tips.
When the rose thorn pricked your rosy fingertips and your rosy blood trickled down,
I stood shocked, spellbound.
With the shape of a rose,
Complexion of a lily,
And the scent of a jasmine,
Are made of,
the same blood,
This Earth Of Mankind – Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Pramoedya is perhaps the best known Indonesian author of all times. This Earth of Mankind was the first of the Buru Quartet which he wrote from jail. There were no writing implements, so he told the story in installments to other inmates and then wrote it down from memory after getting released. The story is set in the Dutch era Surabaya where the protagonist, a native, is the student of a prestigious school. The story involves his falling in love with a mixed heritage girl and the challenge they face when the Dutch assert their rights over her. The dynamics between ‘pure bloods’, ‘Indos’ and ‘natives’ are interesting and the presentation of the colonial Indonesia is fabulous. The writing is old school – so not too exciting and the translation adds another layer between the writer and the reader. However, the story continues to unfold at a good pace and the novel continues to be readable. However the story falls into a bit of an innuendo after two thirds of the book and the characters become paper caricatures. Another flaw a key mystery is unresolved. Read for a flavor of the past.
The sunshine of my life.
The moment, everything is dark and grey.
– The clouds
– The rain
– The routine
– The life
The sunshine of my life.
To colour my life the colour of sun
– Open wavy luxuriant hair.
– A broad red bindiya on the forehead.
– Wearing a dress the colour of sun.
– And a laughter that is catchy.
– With the jhanak of a payal and
– The chanak of a bangle
– And the talk of Byron, Milton & Shelly
The sunshine of my life
A drive in the rains for hours together.
A walk on the lawn in the morning mist.
A talk of intimate secret memories.
A soothing touch, a gentle kiss.
The sunshine of my life
We will live our lives together!
Slaughter House-Five: Kurt Vonnegut
It is hard to describe what Slaughter House – Five is all about. It’s about the horrors of World War II on both sides, it’s about a man’s obsession with fantasy books and flights of fancy it affords him to perceived outer space and the concept of time travel. But it only explains some aspects of the book and doesn’t do justice to the delightful read it is. Billy Pilgrim time travels, has been to the planet Tralfamadore and has seen bombing of Dresden. Vonnegut is a true master of the art of storytelling and the tale is told simply, yet it’s compelling and the reader’s immersion in it is complete from the start. An example of the simplicity and yet depth of the narration: “Nobody took Rumsfoord’s diagnosis seriously. The staff thought Rumsfoord was a hateful old man, conceited and cruel. He often said to them, in one way or another, that people who were weak deserved to die. Whereas the staff, of course was devoted to the idea that weak people should be helped as much as possible, that nobody should die.” An amazing thing about the book is the ease with which the writer moves between past and present to the various dimensions of Billy Pilgrim’s life. Never once it causes a disruption. In fact, you look forward to the transition – whether it is to Dresden, Illium, or Tralfamadore as the story is equally exciting on all the dimensions.
Recommendation: Must Read
Quickly, you tiptoed your way in to my heart.
who lived there.
It was vacant, gloomy and dark.
Cobwebs hung in every corner.
No one had ever lived there.
For a moment, you stayed,
to remove the decay of time from the walls,
to make a charming place to live.
And exhausted, fell asleep.
When I saw the door of my heart open,
I was pained.
it had ceased to exist ages ago.
I locked the door,
And threw the key away.
That was how
You come to stay in my heart…forever.
Lock and Key.
A winter in Delhi.
Warm sunny and lazy.
And as I laze idly in the sun on a Sunday morning,
I think about how long it has been for me to be in love.
… in love with love, in love with the thought of love.
I close my eyes.
And the first face that comes up is you.
In the crowd of so many beloveds and lovers.
And the thought that comes with your face…
…is the thought of holding your hand in the sun.
To be clasping those multi-ringed fingers in mine.
Like touching your soul by touching your skin.
You are unattainable.
So listen my distant unattainable love.
Let us keep it this way.
For I am sure
Attaining your love will lose it all,
So let’s have you where you are.
So that on such rare lazy mornings
When I feel romantic
And think of holding a hand in the sun
I will have you to think of.