Sunday, April 2, 2017

When Breath Becomes Air: A Review

Author: Paul Kalanithi

Rating: 10/10

 This book has been on every bestseller list for about a year now and is highly praised. Naturally, I thought it would be another all-hype-no-substance read. I avoided it. Last Sunday, I chanced upon an article written by Dr. Kalanithi in the Stanford Medical review. His writing was poetic, elegant and encompassing. I decided to read the book and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Heartbreaking, eloquent, humbling and thought-provoking. This is the story of a man brimming with potential but running out of time. His search to understand life and it's meaning lead him to language, literature, and history, but it was in science that he found his calling. This is an account of his journey as it comes to its untimely end.

I could not put this book down despite being unwell. Verghese, who wrote the foreword, is absolutely correct when he says that this is prose poetry. The words are poetic, they reach your heart. I'm saddened by the loss of his family as he was someone you want to know and learn from.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”

A Message from Paul to his daughter:

“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”

Hence, this is a moving and humbling story of a man who has infinite potential and ability, but very limited time. I highly recommend this one. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Princess, I'd rather be CEO

Okay, so a lot of times people refer to the female gender by Princess, my Queen and such. It is often in endearing dynamics or sometimes to mock the snobbishness of the person. I, for one, don't like such titles. I find them rather infuriating. Think about it! A Princess is a title either earned by birth or marriage and both are not decided by a person's caliber or intellect. However, titles like CEO, CTO, President, and Chief not only command respect but are earned. One has to prove their merit to earn them.

So, I don't claim every female will agree with my point of view, but for me, Princess is close to an insult. I'll take Chief, CEO any day. Monarchy never excited me anyway.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Scary 20s

As a twenty-something, I'm just going to say it; the twenties are scary. The amount of growth one experiences in the twenties is unique and happens at an exponential rate. The difference between the emotional quotient of a 21-year-old and a 29-year-old is huge. Compare a 31-year-old and 39-year-old and there is not much difference. As we age, the years of a decade don't make much of a difference.

From just graduating college, first job, first house, and probably even first marriage, twenties have it all. With every passing year I keep getting more scared. What if I screw this up? What if I never make it? What if I a lot is left unfinished and the time runs out? 

Well, I don't know the answers to the the above questions, I still have a couple of years left in this decade. However, if you are reading this and have some insightful, fun, deep, or just any story about your life in the twenties, do leave me a comment.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

In love with Stranger Things

Of late, everyone has been raving about Stranger Things. It is a show currently available on Netflix. Stranger Things is a show set in the 80s and features a group of middle school children, a single mother who is distraught because of the disappearance of her child, a girl named eleven and a super secret super evil government agency. In short, it has a bit of E.T., Poltergeist, and every other govt conspiracy movie. That being said, it is awesome.

I saw the first episode yesterday and I am hooked. Visually it will make you wonder if it was really shot in 2016. they have done a fabulous job in portraying the 80s. All the child actors are good. Adults are not bad either. The storyline is gripping and you feel transported to their world. The screenplay is good and the writing is crisp. I have high expectations from this and it will be interesting to see what happens next in season two which airs in 2017.

Image result for stranger things

All in all, if you love mystery/horror/sci-fi, it is for you.

Books, I'll Leave Behind

Most people want to leave something behind; a legacy. It is a reminder of their existence on this overpopulated planet. While in the end, probably, none of this will matter, but it is a comforting thought. Personally, I don't think I'll leave behind enourmous wealth, estates, stories etc but I do want to leave the gift of knowlegde. I have been collecting books since I was in 16 years old. I want to leave a delectable collection of books that will shape the thinking of young minds. Hopefully, if in the future people still read, someone will read them and it will help them out.

I collect books which I find interesting. This includes all genres, from fiction to econimcs, science, arts, astrology, astronomy, anything and everything. Till now it has been a bit difficult to buy physical books, especially of foreign authors as they are very expensive and I'm a student on a budget. I hope I reach my goal of at least two thousand books by the time I bid adeu to this world.

I want them to be donated to an orpahnage for kids when I die. All of them, for I cannot think of a better use for them. Also, mom I am sorry if all the mess irritates you now, but hopefully I'll find a better case for them soon.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The House which will always be my Home

A house, technically, is nothing but a structure made of bricks, cement, wood, glass, and steel. However, it is the beginning and the end of one's world. It is the only place that is truly ours. Some houses see generations living and breathing in them. We remember homes by not how many square feet it has but, by the memories we made in it. The room where you grew up with your sibling, the kitchen where mom made your favourite dishes, the living room where you fought for the remote for the TV, the veranda where you rode your bicycle, the dining table where dad fed you green vegetables even if you hated their sight; these are memories which transform a house into a home.

I have lived in six houses so far, but the one house in which I spent my childhood remains the closest to me heart. I lived there from the time I was in the kindergarten to till the time I reached 7th grade. It was a fairly big house; the construction was like that of old houses. It had a big yard in the front and back, but the rooms were small. I used to ride my bicycle from the front yard to the back one while my brother sat in the backseat. We didn't have any park nearby, I played in only. Birds were rare and Trees were few. Some of my neighbourhood friends would come over in the evening to play and we had a lot of fun. My mother planted a lot of potted plants to make it look like a park. In the evening, when my dad came home, it would be my duty to open the gate for him so he could bring the car in. Every Independence day, I would go to the top to collect all the fallen kites which I later gave to my some of the older boys in the neighbourhood, as I didn't know how to fly one(still don't). Everyone knew me there, from the nearby pharmacist to the beautician across the street, they welcomed me to their houses and on every festival I got sweets. Most of them didn't have much money, but they had big hearts. It was my paradise and I loved it.

Eventually, we shifted to a new place. I finally got the park and the trees I wanted, but no one to enjoy them with. All the kids here were either too old or too young. My brother found friends of his own age and I was left on my own. Here I get to see a lot many birds, peacocks, squirrels, parrots, and eagles, but I lost my people. This is a much more opulent area, but people are covetous. They don't want to be better; they want to be better than the next person. Although, they have big houses and fancy cars, but they have small, shallow hearts. I don't hate rich people and I don't want anything from them, but I do feel sad that they are missing out. And I would be exaggerating if I said everyone is like this but many are. They lack the warmth, I barely know anyone here.  

So, this is for you my dear house, even though it has been thirteen years since I last saw you, I still love you and will do so till my last breath. You will always be my home and I thank you for all that you gave me.