Saturday, June 13, 2009

Unaccustomed Earth

able to sleep well without having to wait and not to toss and turn is a gift.. Blessed are the people who can do that.. here I am past midnight on a Saturday unable to secure a visit from the goddess of sleeep (She is beautiful.. Isn't she ??) .. After a controversial post let's move on to something normal.. A book review ! When ever I read book reviews from the NewYorkTimes I was almost always awed by the reviewers' ability to see through the author and dissect their writing .. Although I cannot even hold a candle to the person who can hold a candle to these reviewers.. Nevertheless I will add my two cents and try to tell my version ..
Unaccustomed Earth
It's a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri the Pulitzer winning writer who won acclaim for her other works "Interpreter of Maladies " and "The NameSake". I started reading her work when I was at Auburn and liked her way of writing about NRI Bengalis and their overseas adventures... Her characters consist of people trying to assimilate into this country's culture but unable to due to their identities or this country's reluctance to accept them as one among themselves.
Coming to Unaccustomed earth the title story of the book which deals with the relationship between Ruma a lawyer who is married to Adam (all of Ms Lahiri's Bengali characters would have either loved or married Americans) and her father. The story brings to light of how Ruma struggles to cope with the pressures of pregnancy and how she wishes her mother would have been around.. Her father pays her a visit between his world tours and she wishes he would stay with her forever.. But he feels a belongingness with a lady who he meets during a tour to Italy and cannot stay with Ruma..
'Hell-heaven' is a story about a married lady who falls for a man she meets in Harvard Yard taking her daughter for a walk.The story is narrated through her daughter and it's about how age makes people wise,less hasty and sensible..
In 'Only Goodness' we learn about 'Sudha' who has a brother with a drinking problem and how she thinks she is the reason for it and tries unsuccessfully to change him until it reaches crescendo and threatens to destroy her own family..
' Choice of Accommodations' is a story about a night gone wrong when a couple attends the marrriage of the husband's school friend..
In 'Nobody's Business' we come across Sang (americanized Sangeetha) and how she falls for an egyptian guy and appears to be in bliss when things start falling apart and it is left to her housemate to come to her help whom she suspects of having a crush on her .. (You see in America housemates can be guys.. ).. you cannot stop feeling sorry for Sang after reading this and the character Sang stays with you for a while..
'Hema and Kaushik' is a trilogy of stories which start with Hema narrating how she felt when kaushik's family visit them to stay with them for a few days.. and then it's Kaushik turn to describe how his life took turns and finally they both meet in Rome and celebrate life and go separate ways again..

My Opinion :
The emotional grip that Ms Lahiri has on her characters is amazing.. The characters stir varied emotions in you while reading.. if you have seen or read 'The Namesake' you should remember Moushumi, the character who married kal Penn (Gogol ).. when I was reading the book and read how Moushumi cheats on Gogol... I was so outraged that my Yahoo IM had the caption of "I hate Moushumi " for the next week .. In this book I felt the same emotions for "Sang". "Sex" too plays a large role in her stories and Novel. Although I am not too much bothered by it I wish she doesn't portray her characters as sex crazy ppl.. (The Namesake). I think she can acquit herself well by breaking the monotony of writing about Bengalis and deal with other subjects as well.. I should say I was not so thrilled by this book.. Maybe it's just a case if expecting too much (No .. not again.. !) I was very impressed by her earlier work and was looking forward to read this ,, I think I got bored about reading bengalis' stories of America.. it is difficult to match or reach expectations if you are writing on the same topic and if you're previous works are already touted as best. Ms Lahiri was one of my favorite authors and still remains as one.. I would suggest people to get this book and start turning away the pages..

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


one of my friends Karthik posed the question of how to win over expectations ? (Please see comments section of my earlier post.. ) . He also remarked that it is quite natural to expect from other people what we are ready to give .. I agree to this but think that it's not when you expect that a problem arises but when you get carried away and expect too much .. How long are you going to give someone to reach the level of expectations that you have set for them? how patient can you be ? Many times people do not ask you to go out of your way to help them.. it's only your inclination to give what it takes and then maybe expect the same in return.. for example you recognize a friends need without being asked and help him/her and expect the other person to also recognize when you are in need of help with out you actually asking him.. while it's great if that happens but if it doesn't then you should be able to ask him/her for help and move on rather than make an issue of the other person not becoming your alter ego .. Hello ! they didn't ask you to help out without asking.. it's only your over enthusiasm that prevailed.. I would say there are two ways to not fall into this trap
1) let them ask you for help
2) don't expect them to do exactly the same things as you did ..
An Ideal scenario would be you finding your expectations met but it shouldn't bother you much if it didn't happen.. think of it as normal (not ideal .. ) and move on.. Hey I think even asking not to think about it too is too idealistic .. but as they say "forgive your enemies but don't forget what they did" .. so remember and redeem .. remember what they did or in most cases didn't do to you .. If you think it's just a minor glitch in their behavior or a case of different circumstances forget it, else review your actions toward them.. maybe they don't deserve your over attention anymore..
I always tell this to some of my friends.. If you stand in the center and draw concentric circles with each circle representing the access level and the nearest circle having your closest friends .. who would have the ability to hurt you most ?? the people nearest to you .. the people who you think are good friends and so have let them stay in the closest circle .. so rethink your decisions .. they didn't come there, you brought them there .. you have put them in a position from where everything they do or not do affects you.. so know more about your people before you put them in positions from where they can hurt you.. also remember the people in the closest circle not only can hurt you but can also make your stay in the earth memorable.. so look at the brighter side of things and have a ball...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Update :

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Orlando Magic 90-103.. and there by have been eliminated from the NBA title race ... Been there felt that .. ! Dejavu..  I empathize with you Cleveland fans .. "The Drive ","The shot" and "The Melt down" ruined your title hopes in the last 50 years.. I don't have a name for this one but if you ask me for one .. I would say.. "The Hype".. Too much hype has done Cleveland in..  Cleveland had everything to lose including reputation and Orlando had everything to gain maybe even the "TITLE".. The mourning begins ... ..

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I am back ...

It's amazing what an year can do to your life..! I mean it could bring all the happiness into your life or suck the life out of your life (Ironic isn't it ?). Well the last year (It's been an year since I have made my last post.. ) was a 30-7o in terms of ups and downs with more downs than I can handle.. so I spent most of the past 12 months trying to regain footing.. But then on a brighter side the learning curve was steepest during this time , I learned a lot about myself as well as others and am sure that will help me in not repeating the mistakes that I have committed in the past.
In my opinion "Expectations are the root cause for all problems". This is not to say that lack of expectations will not land you in troubles but expecting less would also make your problems less intimidating.. More on this later... 
Moving on from "lessons learnt" segment .. Being in US for nearly 4 years, I have turned out to be an avid follower of American Football (NFL) and a hardcore fan of "NewEnglandPatriots (NWE)". While it was a happy time during the regular season where they went 16-0 and 11-5 the past two years was miserable during the playoffs.. They lost in superbowl in 2008 and they didn't make the playoffs in 2009 (It's a first in 20+ years that a team with a 11-5 didn't make it to the post season..) During the off-season I follow NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers are my favorite team .. they too give me plenty to moan during the playoffs .. They were defeated by the eventual champions Boston last year in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.. I hope and Pray that they will not be eliminated today by Orlando "Magic".. (It's playoffs time  baby..). I am amazed at the role sports can play in everyone's everyday life. We roll with our teams.. we rise and fall with them. A few months ago in College Basketball's National championship game Michigan state was playing University of North Carolina (UNC) and many were rooting for the Cinderella team "Michigan State" to beat UNC ,so people of Detroit can feel better in spite of the economic downturn at the "Auto-Capital of the world". I think people will look around for reasons to make them happy and Identifying themselves with winners falls into that type.. Imagine if India wins the Cricket world cup,we would celebrate for months,talk for years and cherish for decades.. Sports is truly amazinggggg..
India went to elections and the world called it the "most remarkable election". While I have my doubts about the effectiveness of Congress govt especially with the power not with the PM (entire nation knows but chose not to do anything .. ), I am happy that the government has a clear majority and do not need to spend most of its time pacifying the many coalition partners.. Way to go.. ! 
I have promised in the past that I will blog regularly and failed.. so although my intentions are the same even now i.e to blog regularly.. I will stay away from making the promise.. Thanks to all the people who made me realize the importance of expressing myself .. :)
Cheers ..

P.S : If  you decide to comment on this post.. Please identify yourself.. it's better that way Thanks

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Time and tide waits for none......

Many of us want time to go slow when we r experiencing the time of our life whether it is spending time with our loved ones or having a ball with our buddies.... or basking in the glory brought upon us by our colleagues..... the opposite is true too, we want time to zoom by during our hard times whether it is during our exams or staying away from our near and dear or having tough times at work.... I can only wish both of these would happen but reality strikes in your face and makes the hardships last longer while the happy times pass by as if you were dreaming......
Yes I am posting after a long time for reasons unknown to myself in a strange way.. it was a rollercoster ride for the past year or so..... more sorrows than happy times but hey.. no complaints whatsoever ..... it is what it is.... trying to find reason for something out of your control is something like trying to hit a home run every time you walk to the plate.. It ain't happening bro....
now after the emotional issues coming to latest developments or as a matter of fact events supreme court has upheld the government proposition of 27% reservation to the OBCs proving the fact that the government is still run by a bunch of thoughtless people who one day will only be remembered for the precedent they set forth as the so called "Visionaries". I don't have a problem with reservations but I have a problem with their effectiveness. folks I myself am a OBC what if I come down to India and take CAT exam and get into an IIM on the basis of reservation .wouldn't that be gross..!! yes it will be and can anyone guarantee me that wouldn't happen in future. okay the court in its directive said that the creamy layer would be sidelined, but who decides the criteria for creamy layer. I have a valid argument when I say that all my graduate studies were completed without spending my family money, so.. that cannot be a criteria to disbar me from using reservation or atleast there will be people who will be discontent and might move even to court for their rights. so. my friends it is a relative term like "good" and "Ideal" and can only exist on paper or in dreams. I request people to consider one alternative.. please make economic position as a criteria rather than playing divisive politics based on caste . give scholarships to students who are good in merit but poor in money holdings. make our nation a place where any eligible person will not be deprived just because he was born to parents in wrong caste. i cannot guarantee 100% efficiency but atleast that makes more sense than following a system that reminds the very same thing(caste) which it is aimed not to and treat everyone equal. Isn't that ironical ..!!!!
moving on it interests me that sanjay manjrekar made these comments on sachin " Sachin is the elephant in the room of whom no one want to talk about" ... I can draw only one conclusion from these words. that people need to be careful while speaking in public because what you say decides what you are worth of. If you want to hog limelight by taking a shot at legends... think a second time.. because if you don't make sense.. forget about gaining you will be left with nothing.... It reminds me of words a governess in Archer's Kane and Abel says about TV and liveshows" too many things will be said in public which will be regretted later".....

so friends who are in different stages of life and different places of world "No matter what the circumstances are always find a reason to smile...." to quote one of my seniors " life is wonderful when you can laugh at yourself ...."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The week that was....

What can I say abt last week.. shall i call it hectic coz i spent most of my time in my lab?? or entertaining because of the leaks chappell made to the media.. about his report before the working committee of BCCI....shall i say "Surprising".. seeing the way sachin reacted on Chappell..( I always support sachin no matter what..!!!) or pathetic hearing that bandh has been celebrated in andhra and Tamilnadu against the supreme court for asking the govt some serious questions?? what ever it maybe it was just another week.. just a quote "If you want to know the value of a week ask a graduate student who is about to graduate... "the life of a graduate student can be a food for thought for some other day...

I will say a few words about a legend who i think is always underrated but always overperforms.. no prizes for guessing.. he is the "Jumbo Anil kumble..".. A typical South Indian vegetarian.. who gave everything he has to cricket but was not disappointed at the lack of pomposity some of his mates enjoyed .. I think he won more matches for our country than any other player... boyyy i had some very good moments which i will cherish throughout my life.. like when he bowled the entire pakistan team at kotla.. and when he took 6/12 against westindies to give hero cup.. when he emerged as top wicket taker both at the world cup in 1996 surpassing murali and warne.. and also in the Indian tour of Australia where he took 24 wickets.. and helped india retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy..

He is an example for what commitment and determination can take you to.. he did not have a magical arm like murali.. nor huge flipper like warne all he had was the will to succeed and he did himself no harm by having good work ethics.. he showed us how not to take success into head and start overreacting( are u listening sehwag and yuvi..) .. that humility and modesty will always keep in you goodstead... why all this kumble talk??? because this phenomenal player has bowed out of oneday cricket.. an irreparable loss considering the fact that there is not a single spinner who can match him 50%.. Pity India...

Of late cricket has been dominating my blog i want to digress form this monster.. i have recently read "First among equals" by Jeffrey Archer.. Although the first part is a bit boring the narratio picks up afterwards and is worth a read for the details he provides about the working of british parliament system.. not the best of his writings though.. Iam reading "The catcher in the rye" by J.D salinger.. the so called one in top ten American books of all time.. it's interesting although it is debatable if it is so good as to be in top ten...

For the past few days i have been entertained by the music of L subamanyam... for starters he is a renowned violinist who does albums in Fusion music.. the music was awesome...words cannot describe him and his achievements in the worls of music and iam a no one when it comes to talking about him...I heard him first at a late nite working session in one of my friend's lab.. the first thing i did after listening was , I took a pen drive and copied his collection... Thanks Sachin for introducing me to some good music and for sharing.. ur collection...

of late I have been hearing some bad news... regarding my friends.. which makes me naturally sad but i have been rather happy seeing my reactions of the entire mess.. had it been 3 years earlier i would have been doomed .. thank god .. because he knows when to make what to happen.. sure experience makes you wiser.. but more importantly it decreases the haste in you.. no longer you are over emotional and asking yourself questions like y does it happen only to me...?? you just feel sad when ur best of friends turns a traitor or cheats you and u accept it quietly... (although meaning of quiet differs for different ppl..) and move on.. yes life goes on.. it doesn't stop for anyone anytime anywhere....

See ya soon...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Good Show INDIA

The unthinkable happened.. INDIA are out of the world cup.. the worst ever performance in world cups .The blame game started rolling ....Dravid blamed the top order. chappell blamed the entire team ,Sharad pawar first blamed the media and then blamed team India and said the contract of greg chappell will be reviewed.. I ask the simple question " y was chappell doing what he was doing in the first place..??" the management said he had a vision 2007 when he was made the coach.. although he did not prove himself as a gud coach even in domestic level he was given the reins of indian team he immediately created a controversy saying ganguly was not fit to be a player.. he shud have been stopped then and there itself... instead he was given a free hand and can anyone answer me including chappell what the hell happened to the vision 2007... has it lost its steam and ceased working when 2007 arrived ....?? with all due respect to his talent DRAVID is not a captaincy material... he always had excuses ready ... Hail experimentation ... coz the main player who was experimented for the whole period before world cup "Irfan Pathan" could not even get a single match in the world cup... what sort of experiments are you doing u crazy fellas.... which did not yield even a single result rather they made players look like s/w pros " u never know if ur job is secure"... I made a complete turn around from my previous post.. coz i could not bear india losing so tamely.. the match reminded me of the semi final of 1996 world cup with the exceptions that "the pitch was gud for batting in this case and THE GOD too failed...."

Sachin can u explain to ur millions of fans how you felt after you were bowled like that... you did no harm to the reputation that " you cannot rise to the occasion when required".. ofcourse u did a pakistan in 2003 world cup or a sharjah a decade ago...but u were the one who was equipped with the talent and temparement to tackle murali... u had to show the way ah... yes u showed the way... by scoring a duck... Dravid sir can u explain to us the foolish ppl who support you day and night what made you to play uthappa and dhoni after thier consistent failures.... yeah go on and tell the ppl that sehwag came gud by scoring a century against bermuda.. a classical case of elephant stamping on a fly.... and only that was because u showed faith in him.... u didn't say a word abt ganguly while he was in exile... now we will see who comes to ur support.... dude.. that was not the way to treat a buddy... of yours.. u were afraid of backlash.. now the same thing plays against you.... you were not able to do even half as gud as ganguly as a captain.... what made you to bat like u were in a test match secnario when u needed to score some quick runs against the lankans.. may be u were saving urself from blushes.. gud job .... there can be any number of questions .. but does anyone have answers ???? can the board assure this will not repeat or give the ppl the reasons for the debacle.. no they r only worried abt the telecast losses .. they suffered.. get the hell out u idiots... do u really care abt anything other than money and power can u spell cricket correctly... let it be run by ppl who share passion .... my kind request to all the people who are involved with runing and playing cricket "please do not allow this to happen again.... u have everything u need dont u think u act a bit responsible and accountable to ur actions?? Is this too much to ask from you ?? afterall you owe the ppl of india for your bank balances and ur celibrity statuses .. think abt it ..will ya..."
I will end the post by quoting siddharth from cricinfo
"Several questions need to be asked, including serious ones of Dravid and coach Greg Chappell, but the most galling aspect is that there doesn't seem to be any long-term vision, any honest appraisals. Indian cricket needs a massive overhaul (if a first-round exit doesn't instigate it, nothing will) but the fact that it's unlikely to happen is even more disturbing. It's not the Indian board's motto yet, but as someone once famously said, "Money can't buy happiness but it can give you the kind of misery with which you can live comfortably.""