Sunday, January 30, 2005

Two Paragraphs from an Unpublished Novel

He was sad, just sad. He was at sea. He felt like an island. Nothing could join him to the mainland of massive humanity. He felt no urge to talk, no need to see any face, no desire to hear any voice. In fact, he suspected he felt nothing, and had no ambition to think about anything. Lethargy comes with sadness, and this manifested only in his thoughts and feelings, for he went on with his daily chores. It was only in some moments spaced apart by days or weeks that his inner sorrow manifested in the fog in his eye, the curling of his lip, and he was now becoming adept in hiding it. He could hide it from everyone, except himself.


He was hopeful that his days would become brighter, the nights would turn warmer, the time would be fragrant with the joy of blossom of dreams yet unfulfilled. He prayed for the realization of a dream that was so beautiful that it hurt to even dream about it. He worked for an ideal that was doomed from the very onset. He lived in this world, and thought about this world in his own way, and that there was something that could either change the world for him or change his perspective! He not only suffered through his optimism, he also allowed his life to become a treasure hunt, where the goal helps the seeker to live through any trouble and torment without a frown. Alas! Dreams, however times you may dream them, are dreams!

Friday, January 28, 2005

A House for Mr Biswas!

Review (also posted on

V. S. Naipaul' A House for Mr. Biswas is an exotic novel. He writes about Indians in Trinidad; his acute observations and fantastic skill at capturing each element of human life and emotion makes this novel endearing, lasting, rich, eternal. Having grown up with a desire to write myself, I find this novel as a beautiful piece that not only tells the story of Mr Biswas, but also should be read as a brilliant piece of work emerging from a writer's struggle and strife to define his childhood, the world he has grown up in, and the world he will always associate with his past.

The novel eventhough set in Trinidad captures essential elements of Indian classes struggling to live with hopes and dreams stiffled by the plain lack of money, labor or talent required to achieve them. The novel is brilliant in parts as well the whole: in parts where he describes the "sons and daddies" outside the examination center, where he describes the complex, contrived relationship between people; where he writes about the relationship between father and son; where he captures the jealousies, envies, anger, trust, hopelessness of family members; where he invokes imagery about festivities, death ceremony, birth. I could go on and on, for having lived in a society teeming with such instances, I was amazed with the ease and ability Naipaul has written about these.

The novel is witty, has comic relief, sarcasm, has bursts of sentimentality that arises due to strain between close relations, and is full of vivid colors, flavors, smells, images, sounds and characters of a strange world. I have always come across articles talking about Naipaul's distaste for India, for his acerbic wit, describing him as a controversial person full of scathing remarks. But after reading this book, I see myself saluting this man for writing such a frank, honest, culturally rich and emotionally correct novel. Our country and culture allows for existence for very complex characters, rooted in true or false beliefs, nurtured by social and historial chaos and Naipaul looks around and starts telling the tale with a vision of someone who has suffered and yet succeeded by coming out of this miasma. He describes the victims, and he also shows the way by which the victims can save themselves.

This is also a story about the desire to own, to possess a place that you can call your own. This is a story about how several dreams of the parents doused in the daily struggles of existence are later realized through their sons and daughters. This is a story of disorder, and of the underlying order. This is the story about characters and families, that like the House Mr Biswas eventually has for himself, present bright facades and paints outside, and internally struggle to stay up, together, useful and integrated, relying on each other. It indeed is a superb piece of literature!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

You must be a prism!

You must be a prism
Please, truly tell me
You must be a prism
Through you I see
Life is a rainbow
Spectrum of love n hope
In my simple life
Colors n warmth you evoke!

You must be a prism
Haven't I told you so
You must be a prism
Indeed you need to know
So pure and clear
So beautiful in symmetry
A joy to who can see
The manifold of your artistry!

PS: You must wonder at the choice of words:) As a matter of fact, the poem came about when I was reading a book on Optics! As you see, Physics and poetry are a dangerous mix!

(I had posted this on orkut earlier: I am skeptic of posting really good poetry here or for that matter anywhere on net. I prize my emotions and words, and cannot allow myself to make my sentences available for use or misuse by endless plagiarists! )

Insomnia Owl and Bat!

Insomnia! Its past 3 am as always, I have left my bed after an hour of tossing and turning, engaged in randomest of thoughts.

I guess I am an owl! My eyes are not that big though, and I wear glasses! I do not hoot, unless I am forced to sing! I cannot even sing these days, because of cough my windpipe sounds like an untuned sexophone played by an untrained child!

"yahan har shaakh pe ullu baitha hai"

What I never understood was why in India Owl is "ullu", associated with stupidity, while in the west the same owl is considered wise. Maybe we Indians prize sleep too much, and consider it idiocy to be awake at these ungodly hours! Maybe there is no god, and if so, no hours are ungodly!

Its amazing that no wisdom or folly is associated with a bat. Bats are amazing creatures. Think about it! They have no vision, so they rely entirely on what they hear to see the world around them, and they sleep upside down. Man! What perspective would such an existence give you! Maybe Batman knows! Maybe he is an insomniac too!

I guess I will return into the covers, and let my laptop rest while my sleepless brain cells continue to culture unco-ordinated, irrelevant thoughts.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Humble Beginning!

Its 11:10 pm, Tuesday night. I am creating a blog! I try to think of a title and come up with a seemingly bizarre one: Random thoughts of a chaotic being. Long long years ago, I prized the conviction of "simple living and high thinking", but title of that kind would be at best boring:). In any case over time, I discovered that I am neither structured to be simple and orderly nor ready to indulge completely in high thinking. I romance with chaos in my research, and experience it continuously in my heart and head. It might seem that random thoughts of a chaotic being is a stylish way of saying that I have no control over my daily routine and habits, but trust me, there is a method to my madness.

If you can see through the mist and you associate fog with what it beautifully hides, if you have the eye for the complex beauty that lies within the turbulent, murky waters, if the uncertainities and arbitrariness of ideas and life is fascinating to you, you might have stumbled to the right blog. My blog is the place where you will find random ideas and emotions sculptured into an undefined article, difficult to describe, but worth looking at nevertheless.

Atleast I hope so! To say I have random thoughts, and I am a chaotic being, and then try to make predictions as to how this blog would evolve is unpardonable sin only a diehard optimist like me can commit!

All the best to readers and the "poster"!