Book of the Week #35: [Guest Post]

Yashas:

So, as they say, all good things must come to an end…

What kind of a rule is that, anyway? I hate it. Stupid rule…

As one can possibly discern from my sour demeanour, I am here to announce that the conclusion of our collaboration with this wonderful young lady is now upon us.

Of course, we wouldn’t just let her leave, at least not without a final, particularly amazing post. And with that in mind, we chose to save the best for the last.

So, here we have the post that Shruti herself prefaced by saying, “Spent a reallllllllllly long time on this post and still feel like I can’t talk enough about it.”


Shruti:

Man’s Search for Meaning,

by Dr. Viktor E. Frankl

“If you read but one book this year, Dr Frankl’s book should be that one.”

—Los Angeles Times, on Man’s Search for Meaning

This is my sixth post on this blog. Considering how much Yashas has been requesting me to guest author more BoTW posts, it might seem like I have read scores of books.

Shall I let you in on a secret? I haven’t. Ssshhh…

Well, at least not as many as I would have loved to, by this time. And definitely not even close to what bibliomaniacs read by the time they are 23!

Continue reading Book of the Week #35: [Guest Post]

Word of the Week #65:

Cynosure

Last night, as I lay in my bed, my mind spent a few moments organising the schedule for the day. That is just how my mind works.

This morning, however, as I woke up to the pitter-patter of the drops of water falling onto the balcony floor, my mind had somehow been wiped clean.

It is odd how, for no obvious reason, the rain has the power to pull us away from everything that ties us to our world, and spirit us away…

It also has a way of making the entire day about itself.

So, how does one make the most of a rainy day? Well, I, for one, have the simplest of plans.

I just look out the window, and smile.

The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged – though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.

— Robert Frost, Lodged

Book of the Week #34: [Guest Post]

Yashas:

Led by this dauntless young lady, we continue this month of literary heavyweights with what is probably the very first Pulitzer Prize winner of our list.

Let us all strap in, shall we?


Shruti:

Interpreter of Maladies,

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Interpreter of Maladies is one of the most recognised works of its London-born American author of Indian descent, Jhumpa Lahiri.

A collection of nine short stories, the book is heralded as an impeccable narrative of the immigrant experience. After having read a short story from the same book—that goes by the same name—for an English course, I was not entirely sure how I felt about it. But I was eager to read more from the book. I recently did, and let’s say, I am not disappointed! Continue reading Book of the Week #34: [Guest Post]

Word of the Week #64:

Fortuitous

People who know me would probably know how the very prospect of getting a haircut fills my mouth with burning vitriol.

The reaction is almost incomparable, with the possibility of having to clean my room being a major, albeit rare, exception.

Nonetheless, as one grows older, one comes to realise that maintaining these long, glossy, bouncy, wavy hair, which have now come to be a significant part of your identity, is growing more and more untenable every passing day.

“Time erodes us all.”
― Meg Rosoff

With a heavy heart, I decided to pay a visit to the barbers’, and shear off my lustrous mane, lest I ruin whatever still remained of it.

However, as it would turn out, my wallet was completely empty, and a visit was all I could afford to pay.

And, as the gods above would have it, my mane survives another day.

Book of the Week #33: [Guest Post]

Shruti:

Siddhartha,

by Hermann Hesse
Translated by Hilda Rosner

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”

Siddhartha, written by the German writer and painter Hermann Hesse, was written in 1922. Originally written in German, it was first published in English in the United States in 1951.

The book remains, till date, one of the most influential novels, based in India, by a Western author. I came to know of the book a few years ago. Having a deep interest in spirituality and philosophy, it was only natural that I was drawn to this book.

Continue reading Book of the Week #33: [Guest Post]

Word of the Week #63:

Inclement

So, after getting thoroughly drenched earlier today, I can say that the summer is officially over, and monsoon has arrived, and with quite a bang, if I may say so.

Congratulations to the guys over at IMD, who forecast monsoon to hit us between 10th and 15th of this month.

While many might be overjoyed with that news, I happen to have rather mixed feelings about the rains, and not just because I am grumpy after getting soaked to the skin. Continue reading Word of the Week #63:

Book of the Week #32: [Guest Post]

Yashas:

She is back, Ladies and Gentlemen, and quite frankly, we could not be more glad!

And this week, she picks out a book that falls directly into her own backyard.

She says she hadn’t written this post with my blog in her mind; she just wanted to share her love for the book with the entire world, and isn’t that the very purpose of our blog?

Needless to say, I managed to badger her into sharing her words here. Such avaricious, you know.

For the uninitiated, might I elaborate just a little on the significance of the phrase “Pale Blue Dot”. It is actually a reference to the photograph of the Earth taken on 14th February, 1990, by Voyager 1 from a distance of roughly 6 billion kilometres.

pale_blue_dot
Pale Blue Dot

Really puts things in perspective, does it not?

So, here we go…


Shruti:

Pale Blue Dot,

by Carl Sagan

Literally the best book I have ever read!

You might think I am enlisting the book in that category because I am an Astrophysics student. I won’t deny that I might be ‘biased’ that way, but in all honesty, I feel that this is one book that every person should give a read.

Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed the Cosmos series by Carl Sagan, I couldn’t wait to read his books; although, I did wait. I watched that series more than three years ago! Insightful, inspiring and refreshing.

Was the Pale Blue Dot just what I had expected? No, it was much more.

This is one of the richest books I have read, in terms of content, style and language. Sagan has the ability to capture the imagination of even those people who are least interested in space science. His words are arresting, his style intelligent; what else could you expect from a world-renowned astrophysicist and science communicator?

Continue reading Book of the Week #32: [Guest Post]