Don’t Die

(A song first written onMay 3, 2019) Don’t die Please don’t die Please hear me cry Please don’t dieNot nowNot already I can’t deal with another loss With the rest of the world, I am already cross. I can’t handle another death You are my gem, precious wealth So please don’t die Can you still hear me cry Please don’t die You alone were my friend You suffered when I suffered But now this shared time too will end Everyone must leave or die That is my life’s trend But not you Please not you Please don’t die Shower water saw me cry Please please don’t die We used to play together in rains But no tears nor rains willEver wash these strains I never ever deserved you Lesser still your pains Yet I beg don’t die Please don’t die All I know is to cry Please, please don’t die If you must suffer to the bitter end Better it be now my friend I will miss youWilll forever want to kiss you Yet can’t anymore hear you sigh If that is only way out, please die. Or no, no, don’t die Can’t help but cryPlease don’t die Please please

The Seekers After the Sun

(A Flash FictionFirst written on April 25, 2016) “They are just wasting their time” “How” “They are looking for the sun.” “That is not a waste of time. They are bound to find it sooner or later.” “No. They won’t.” “And why is that? Sun can be seen anywhere. And it is a sight worth seeking.” “Yes. But they are looking for it in corners of planets and depths of books. In the darkness of caves or carved up rocks. Believe it or not, they are looking for the sun and have candles in their hands.”

Chronicle of a Death Foretold – a review

(A review by Sidharth Vardhanof ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ –  a novel by Nobel laureate  Gabriel García Márquez) ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ is a journalistic account of a murder, and not at all detective-like at that. In very first pages both the murderers and the murdered are revealed. It is only the writing style of Gabriel Marquez that makes this average story so enjoyable. , Gabriel put the Santigo’s flip side in the very beginning and then goes on to reveal the motive of murder which makes you believe that the murder may have some justification. Slowly though we realize he probably didn’t do the thing he was murdered for. The character gets more humane in later half; still, his behavior, especially in those last moments is strange. The chronicle shows you the hollow nature of society. A really, really expensive marriage wouldn’t survive a day. Angela Vicaro’s writing letters to her husband for seventeen years is something so weird that you won’t believe it to be real if you didn’t know otherwise – especially because she didn’t want to be married to him in the first place. Then there is the fact that only hours before the murder,

The righteous ways of ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’

(A review of ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’, a novel by Anne BronteReview first written on May 20, 2019) Of course, it is an excellent book and was definitely ahead of its time – to the point that it aroused much criticism in times it was written. The fact of a woman walking out on her husband must itself have been sensational during those times. I am really curious about the lives of Bronte sisters. I could really like to read a common biography of them or see a Doctor Who episode based on them. All that said, I am gonna focus on why I didn’t like this one as much as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Part of the reason why I have avoided reading ‘The Tennant of Windfell Hall’ this long is that I had read Agnes Grey and was worried that the protagonist here would be just as righteous. It is one of the most dislikable qualities a person can have in my opinion. Now there are two reasons I hate righteousness. First, righteous people will cause themselves unnecessary suffering. Helen, for example, will suffer gladly for this righteousness. First, she chooses to stick around with a

Of Han Kang’s ‘Human Acts’

(A review of ‘Human Acts’a novel by Han Kang) “I still remember the moment when my gaze fell upon the mutilated face of a young woman, her features slashed through with a bayonet. Soundlessly, and without fuss, some tender thing deep inside me broke. Something that, until then, I hadn’t realised was there.” Han Kang (Human Acts) A semi-fictional account of unnecessarily violent supression of a student uprising in Han Kang’s home town, Gwangju, South Korea in 1980 through point of view of inter-related characters. I guess it would have been brutal to expect another ‘The Vegetarian’ from her but this is beautiful in its own way – showing what it means having to live through such incidences – how it changes the way one sees the world: “Is it true that human beings are fundamentally cruel? Is the experience of cruelty the only thing we share as a species? Is the dignity that we cling to nothing but self-delusion, masking from ourselves the single truth: that each one of us is capable of being reduced to an insect, a ravening beast, a lump of meat? To be degraded, slaughtered – is this the essential of humankind, one which history

Of Dying – a review of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’

(A review of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’ a novel by Leo Tolstoy First reviewed on February 27, 2015) “Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych) How do you define an interesting life? Ivan has seen it all one can normally expect to see in a life – he has loved, he has married, has have children, has seen ups and downs in his professional life – yet the moment death shows its face, he comes to conclusion that his life was futile – everything is so ordinary including the very cause of his death. He comes to wonder at the meaninglessness of everything he has done: “Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?” suddenly came into his head. “But how not so, when I’ve done everything as it should be done?” Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych) With each successive chapter, his health declines and death becomes more and more real, initially he is fully focused on saving his life. His family and friends, it seems to him, are not taking his disease with enough attention. “but that what was

One Hundred Years of Magic

(A review by Sidharth Vardhanof ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ –  a novel by Nobel laureate  Gabriel García MárquezFirst reviewed on August 27, 2014) “How are you, Colonel?” he asked in passing. “Right here,” he answered. “Waiting for my funeral procession to pass …..” Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude) “The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point” Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude) “He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude.” Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude) You know what is common between “One hundred years of solitude’, Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Twilight’?…You either love them or make fun of them. This one fell in the first category for me. The things that make this book so special to some are also the things that make it boring top others. The theme of time moving in circles with names and events repeating is both beautiful and boring. Look at names for example. There are twenty-two Aurlianos in it, four Arcadeos and three Remodeos. There is an Ursula, an Amranta and an Amranta

Of the shape of the ruins – a review

(A review of ‘The Shape of the Ruins’,a novel by Juan Gabriel Vásquez,English translation by Anne McLean short-listed for International Booker in 2019Review first written on March 10, 2019) I do love how the books are growing shorter. This is the biggest (the only big) book in 2019’s long list of International Booker (now in short list) and it didn’t feel that long. I think what makes it a quick read is that much of it is narrating facts and events Which kind of offer much less food for thought per minute. The main theme is conspiracy theories. And it had a putting off effect on me. I find some of them interesting (Dan Brown novels are interesting) but not the ones that concern the death of political figures (Kennedy, Bose, etc), definitely not enough to read 600 page long novels on them. The Marquez Connections This one interested me because of the mention of the name of Gabriel Marquez in some of the reviews. Apparently, Marquez happened to be in place of murder of a famous Colombian politician, Gaitain, just after the murder took place and would remember, in his autobiography (Living to Tell The Tale), a mysterious elegant

Mouthful of Birds – a review

(A review of ‘Mouthful of Birds’,a collection of short stories by Samantha Schweblin long-listed for International Booker in 2019 for English translation by Megan McDowell) Most of these short stories have a sort of nightmarish qualities about them, much like another Intentional Booker nominee from author, Fever Dreams (but ‘Fever Dreams’ had a far better execution IMO and, to be honest, should have won International Booker that year). Sometimes the nightmarish quality is due to environment or because of the perspective of a child narrator while others really have a somewhat Kafka-like dream-realism (unpredictable sequence of surreal events) with an which is the thing I enjoy most about this author. The unease one feels during a nightmare is common to the narrators of all the good stories in here. ‘Headlights’, ‘Butterflies’, ‘Preserves”, ‘toward the civilisation’ etc are some of the best ones. There a few less enjoyable stories (the titular story, incidentally, was one of those I enjoyed less), but the 5-star ones are too difficult to ignore. A bad sample, bad not because it is a bad story, but because it doesn’t have this nightmarish quality, can be read here.

Ugliness

(A short story first written on March 4, 2019) 1. His clothes were as black as the background. The place was marked by a complete lack of landmarks – trees, walls etc. Nothing but the darkness and, in it, that ugly man visible. but the darkness in the place wasn’t just a lack of light it seemed to have a material presence, it surrounded the place like a black fog and you could look in all direction without seeing far because of it. This fog like effect was produced by a lack of a visible source of the dim light that circumscribes one’s vision. This man whom he saw only in profile seemed so ugly to Manoj that he thought it won’t be an exaggeration to deny him humanity and call him a monster. The ‘monster’ was very heavy about his stomach, had a crooked nose and an almost albino skin shade with ugly black wrinkles spouting in the face. He smiled showing deformed, yellowish teeth. His eyes were of that undefined colour which Manoj quickly read as the colour of greed. The very sight of this man made a shiver ran down Manoj’s neck whose disgust was combined by