Friday, October 26, 2012

Forgiving oneself is the hardest thing........

We all make mistakes. Some minor, some major and some utterly disastrous. But making mistakes is easy; the difficult part is when you have to forgive yourself for it.......

After every mistake that one knows one has committed there is this whole cycle that begins. First is denial- it was not my fault, it could have been any one, just my bad luck..... One can form a highly un-penetrative shield of such phases to shun the guilt that may follow. 

Second, comes the blame game- It was his fault, she is the culprit; I was used and etc, etc... The shield might have weakened now but one is still pointing fingers.

Third phase is the acceptance. It may come to you in a blow or maybe a metaphor might suddenly take a new meaning for you and you realize that while pointing one finger at someone you were pointing three at yourself. And the final and hardest part, ‘forgiving oneself’ begins. 

In my case, let’s say I screwed up big time (pardon the slang). And that too at the most crucial point in my life (so far). And my life is pretty messed up now because of that. I have always been a focused student and I knew what I had to do in life since the third grade, but in the 12th grade I lost my focus,I lost myself in a big way and ended up in a B-grade college. I know this is not the end of life but every time I look back a huge wave of guilt and remorse hits me. I know I could have done a lot better but I didn't. Also, some crazy things happened during that time that shook me hard but still, I think I could have handled it all differently. 
So, as there is nothing I can do to change it, I will just have to forgive myself.Oprah defines forgiveness as: 

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”-Oprah Winfrey
        And that what I am trying to do, I am just gonna give up the hope that the past could have been any different........

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Emperor Of All Maladies: Review

Author : 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reading this book is a journey in itself. The book begins with the references to cancer in the past, in ancient texts. It then reaches to the struggle of Sidney Farber and Mary Lasker who initiated funds such as the "jimmy fund" and through extensive lobbying, advertising and sensitizing the public at large, bought the fight against cancer under the spot light. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sidney Sheldon's Angel Of The Dark:Review

Rating:  3.25 out of 5

I visited a book fair recently. It was awesome and I found many good reads there (Ha!).This was one of them.

I have read about four Sidney Sheldon's books and I found them interesting. This one, despite its title, is not fully written by Sidney Sheldon. Its author is Tilly Bagshawe. She built this story on some unpublished work of Sidney Sheldon. But this story is not disappointing at all.

The story begins when a very-old-very-rich man, Andrew Jakes is murdered in cold blood and his wife-Angela Jakes, is brutally raped. Due to lack of evidence the police fail to pin the accomplice and the case is closed. The wife disappears and leaves all her inheritance i.e. four hundred million dollars to charity. Everyone seems to move on except for Danny McGuire. He ruins himself in the process of trying to find her, Angela Jakes and the murderer but to no good. He then joins the Interpol and marries again, to get over her.
Back in LA, Matt, the long estranged son of Andrew Jakes is fascinated by this story and wants to a documentary on it. But it soon becomes his passion and later his life.

Story has an interesting plot spanning over France, America, Hong Kong and India. The author clearly has done her research. She got most facts right. The technicalities are well taken care of too but at a certain points in the story one may notice a few loop-holes, like wouldn't they have analyzed the DNA samples of the victims and if one disables the infrared security the surveillance cams would still be on and a few others but for the story's sake it’s better to ignore them. 

The writing is well paced and keeps one hooked to the story. The story doesn't lag overall and there is no rambling like one may find in thrillers generally, where whole chapters are written in building the characters. The characters are shaped well and are interestingly real. The leads i.e. the wives are portrayed as goddesses with hearts deeper than the ocean. The detectives are rather naive and fail to look at what is right in front of them. I don't want to talk more about the characters because then you'll know the end.

I always tend to figure out the end of a story by the time I am like half way through it and I am rarely wrong and this book was no exception to that. Also the funny thing in this story is the portrayal of the men. Most of them (except of maybe Inspector Liu and the mastermind of the murders), are either too naive or either too stupid or both. They are shallow in a sense that they wag their tails for a woman who they have just met and just because of her beauty wag their tails after her, even to a point that they cheat on their spouse, leave their pregnant wife, their family and go completely broke. 

The end of this story could have been better if the author would have just omitted the last two chapter, they take the fun out. For the last time I wanted to believe a man would choose his wife but again he abandons her while she is pregnant and chooses the so called love. Typical men huh! That is why I earlier wrote that the characters are interestingly real. 

Thus his is a good paced thriller which would keep you hooked for the major part of it and Could pass for a weekend read or a book one wants to read while commuting. I read it while travelling to and from my college in the metro.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Summer I turned Pretty Trilogy : Review

This trilogy by Jenny Han is a about three teenagers- Conrad, Jeremiah and Isabel a.k.a. Belly  and the summers they always spend together. Their mothers are best friends and they spend each summer at the beach house at Cousins Beach. Conrad and Jeremiah are siblings while Belly has a brother named Steven.

The story revolves around them as they grow up and are about to start a new life where there may nor may not be that beach house or those summers.

In the first book, the three of them realize that they have "grown up", and the feelings that they had for each other transforms the dynamics of their relationships. Belly is shown as teen who is still very childish and acts like one whereas Conrad is now grim and sad and is isolating himself from the others. His mother, Susannah  who is the very link that connects them, is now terminal and  this is affecting everyone. Belly who has always had this huge crush on Conrad waits for him while Conrad tries to stay aloof and Jeremiah tells Belly about his feeling for her.

The story packs a lot of drama and it is interesting to see how people change with time. The book includes flashbacks where Belly tells stories from her childhood which explains present scenarios. The characters in this book transform as one reaches the end but still I thiink they could have been more depth to them.

The second book begins with Susannah's death. This takes a huge toll from everyone. Belly's mother Laurel, who is the strongest in the family, has become detached from everyone and Conrad is missing. He left summer school and no one has a clues as to where he might be. Thus, Jeremiah and Belly set out  to find him. This time they were not spending summer at their usual spot - Cousins Beach but instead Belly had to stay home. So this whole "Find Conrad scenario " attracts her and she joins Jeremiah in the search without informing anyone.

This time around the story packs Belly's and Jeremiah's perspectives. As Conrad tries to push Belly away from him she finds love with Jeremiah and finally let's Conrad go.

In third book, there is wedding waiting for you. Yes, Jeremiah and Belly are getting married and everyone else is shocked and angry at the same time. The two of them are barely 19 and have decided   to tie the knot. Everyone, initially, is against this. But by the time everyone gets their heads around this and gives the wedding a go Belly is not so sure she is ready for it. Conrad is back like he was before his mother died. He helps Belly and Finally confesses that he always loved her. Now, Belly has to choose.

The writing is not week but please don't expect this to a Jane Austen.This isn't a novel which compells you to think intellectually  But it is a novel that  can make you feel good, the story can bring a smile on your face and can make you believe in love ..............

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Why I think Flatland should be thrown into the Trash Can

Rating : Let's just not talk about it

Author: Edwin A. Abbott

Every nerd/geek or even a mathematics enthusiast would have, at least,  heard about the famous essay Flatland: A romance of many dimensions. I read it a while ago myself. The internet too is filled with its praises and extolling reviews.

Sadly, for me this "land" just does not make sense and I'll explain why.

Firstly, lets take a plane paper and draw a circle as well as a line segment on it.It would look something like this:
a circle and a line segment
  This would represent a male and a female in a two dimensional plane. Now, if you would imagine yourself to be either you could very well understand that life as we know it would be impossible in such an environment. This is so because as there is no depth or the third dimension in a two dimensional plane. So actions such a movement, sensing, or anything for that matter would be impossible.

Now, Edwin A. Abbott, the very author of Flatland, talks about a world of two dimensions whose inhabitants are pentagons, circles, line segments and various other two dimensional geometric shapes. They move around, have houses, have a government, police and are basically a projection of the three dimensional world, i.e. our world, on a two dimensional plane.
I, personally find this notion of a 2-D life absurd and stupid. As to do any "living action" as we know them, we need the third dimension.

Even if I ignore the whole paradox in the existence of a two dimensional world, I find the book filled with chauvinism, rank-ism, and all the other problems that our world is filled with. I mean, if you are imaging a world then might as well imagine it to be Utopian and if not Utopian then at least a little better than ours.

Thus, this book greatly disappointed me overall and in my opinion should be trashed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

13 Things That Don't Make Sense: Review

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Author: Michael Brooks

This book is one of those which compels one to think and encourages one to learn more, to educate oneself. Being a nerd/geek that I am, the whole concept of these amazing yet baffling mysteries science faces today, attracted me and I wanted to read this as fast as possible. I practically lived with this book while I was reading it.

The book packs 13 phenomenon that we all see, all observe, all experience but no one can really give a satisfactory explanation as to why these phenomenon occur. All thirteen of them are sewn together in a series with one leading to the other.I really appreciate the author's writing skills as not most non-fiction books are such well written.

Also, the author writer in a very unbiased manner and includes both the pros and cons of the subject. Some of the topics such as how the constants may not really be constant really got me thinking about rigid and close minded we can be to change and how going against a scientific celebrity like Newton or Einstein could practically ruin one's career. It is sad. I find it a paradox that how in science we are searching for new and still our biases don't want to see new.

The book is thoroughly  researched and  make for an excellent read. It does not answer question and neither does it favors any one, which I think is the best part about it.