Sidharth Vardhan

Who’s the Mr. Capital-G in here? – a review of Children of Gebalaawi

(A review by Sidharth Vardhanof Children of Gebalaawi by Naguib Mahfouz First written on December 13, 2015) This is an allegory on the history of prophets of Abraham religions – Adam, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad represented as far as humanly possible. Gebelaawi, the creator of an alley, favored his son (from a servant) Adham over his other sons of higher birth including Idris (Iblis). Idris walked out on his father and later tricked Adham into the temptation of knowing Gebelaawi’s will causing G to throw him out. “Your mind stays in the place it’s been thrown out of.” Naguib Mahfouz (Children of Gebelaawi) Another book cover of ‘Children of Gebelaawi’ probably showing Adham in Gebelaawi’s house Adham lived on hoping to get back the comfortable life that was once his, scorn-ing at life to sustain which you have to earn: “Only an animal worries all the time about the next meal. “ Naguib Mahfouz (Children of Gebelaawi) Adham lived a miserable life – the memory of lost paradise can bring more suffering than residence in hell, he saw one of his sons kill the other. However, Gebelaawi promised Adham on later’s death bed that his children will get the life he

Aleph (Short story by Borges) – A review

(A review by SIdharth Vardhanof the short story‘Aleph'(1949) by Jorge Luis Borges[usr 5]) “All language is a set of symbols whose use among its speakers assumes a shared past.” Jorge Luis Borges (Aleph) …. and so there must be things beyond describing powers of language. What if some day you were to come across a thing or an experience who is nothing like shared past? The human impulse to communicate must find a let out, and where mere words are not enough we need poetry: Daneri’s real work lay not in the poetry but in his invention of reasons why the poetry should be admired. Jorge Luis Borges (Aleph) Daneri, like most good poets, didn’t invent reasons, he found them – found them in the inexplicable Aleph. Borges is not only talking about nature of language or importance of poetry, he also seems to be speculating why the descriptions of supernatural are so vague or strange: “How, then, can I translate into words the limitless Aleph, which my floundering mind can scarcely encompass? Mystics, faced with the same problem, fall back on symbols: to signify the godhead, one Persian speaks of a bird that somehow is all birds; Alanus de

The Musical Mirage

(A short story by Sidharth Vardhan First written on January 28, 2018) 1. No one has noticed it yet, that is except for Shradha herself but soon they all will. People will only notice it over time – as she will get more choosy with her dresses, want to see more movies etc but those will only be more visible symptoms of the giant change in her values – a change that needed only six hours starting from the beginning of the movie show that caused it. The cause of change – a Bollywood movie, and a mediocre romance at that, is going to be more shocking for those who have known her at all.

God’s Bread

“Only an animal worries all the time about the next meal.” – Naguib Mahfouz   1. How could he judge her? Who was he to judge her? Hadn’t she been patient enough? Mariah still remembered how she had lost her son, her only child, and it seemed to have only increased her faith – perhaps exactly because her son was taken away. Once when she was a young girl, she thought how strange faith was – the very reasons – the loss of a dear one, floods ruining everything one owns etc that should cause one to lose one’s faith often end up increasing it. Her own life had a similar trajectory – she first gave a serious thought to religion after the death of her mother who was killed by her master’s whip and by the time her father died a few days later of starvation, she was seriously religious. He had managed to marry her to John in his last days thus ensuring that she won’t be left alone.

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