Sidharth Vardhan

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,

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

Sex, Music and Jealousy – Kreuzer Sonata

(A review by Sidharth Vardhanof Kreuzer Sonata by Leo TolstoyFirst written on December 31, 2018 ) Kreuzer Sonata – 1901 painting Rene Francois Xavier Prinet’s painting inspired by Leo Tolstoy ‘s novel This was good, I liked two Tolstoy novellas I have read much better than the more popular epic monsters. This one is alive with a sort of energy I never expected from him. And this book even faced censorship! Both Russia and USA thought it was indecent. Well, outside DH Lawrence, it is most sex-centric book I have read that doesn’t use the word ‘sex’. Roosevelt even called him immoralist for writing the book.  Leo Tolstoy Actually Tolstoy’s fault lies in opposite direction. He is telling you how sex is a bad thing. He is telling everyone that we should offer sexual abstinence, even if it means humanity must perish – influenced by Christianity. He is the perfect example of the corrupted Christian that Nietzsche talked about in his Antichrist. (Last book I read.) I am not a fan of his epic books, but you could love the author who wrote them – compassionate, jumping in mind of one character from that of other, refusing to pass the

On Innocence

I’m not much into romantic stories – I mean how much of ‘Ellen, I love you’ and ‘Newland, it is wrong’ one can bear? More so, love triangles – and why they call it love triangles. Just look at this one – Archer has relations with May and Ellen but the two women do not love each other, so where is the third side of the triangle? Shouldn’t it be called love angle or love V? In fact, if you think about it, a love triangle is only possible when at least one of three people is homosexual or bisexual … well, that is just the kind of thing I wonder about when not working on my paper on quantum mechanics involved in the motion of Nitrogen particles in low atmospheric temperatures. Also, I don’t much like leisure classes; for me they represent half the things that are wrong with the world – they are hypocrites, full of ideas of ‘society’ and ‘common folks’, vain, sinfully rich, are always talking about useless subjects like- other equally boring people, balls, marriages, clothes (clothes! Clothes!), food etc. The good thing is Wharton doesn’t much like them either. Different Forms of Innocence There

Diary of a Cynical Suicide – 9

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanFirst written on January 25, 2019) 201.My last wish that I don’t see ever getting fulfilled is for someone to hold my hand and tell me “I understand.” That is perhaps all I need from all my friends. But perhaps they aren’t friends. Perhaps I just don’t have the luxury of friends. 202.I don’t even how to make effort or in what direction to make. I don’t have it in me to walk another mile to find happiness. All I want is for this suffering to end. Everywhere I see, there are people … Living things suffering. I don’t want this anymore. No more of this world in my eyes. I must close them to the world and close them so that they are never opened around. 203.Pain Letter – 18I guess you did listen to me and delete the last letter. Well, delete this one too. I will make it short. I am never gonna find any self-respect again – ever. And for the rest of my life, I will never be able to open up before another person knowing that they will walk out the second I learn to look at them for

Fighting Like An Old Couple

(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan First written on November 6, 2018) “we fight and it passes the time.” – Ernest Hemingway 8 p.m. Major Baldev Singh, the fifty-eight old advocate, returns home. He had been playing chess with his friend ‘Sharma’ for the whole day. He returns home to find it locked and curses the whole universe in general and his wife, Simran Kaur in particular. Why can’t this woman stay at home? He kicks the door. He hates it – not finding her home, waiting for him with cooked food. He waits for her sitting on the stool just outside their main door and he doesn’t have to wait for long, though it seemed long to him, for she is here in five minutes. She has whitening hair like her husband. While his legs, one of which had once received a bullet, are giving in; his body is still muscular. She on other hand can still run around like a girl of twenty but has a pot belly. He secretly hates her for going fat just she openly calls him lame when they are in arguing. “Where were you?” He lets his anger show in his voice. “I

Comfort Objects Part II The Prince or the dragon?

(A short fiction by Sidharth VardhanFebruary 17, 2018The story of patient’s sister which is mentioned in the beginning of this story can be found here. ) 1. “You, psychologists, are rather patient people – or perhaps you aren’t even listening. For here I am talking about my sister and her comfort object when this is supposed to be about myself.” “My purpose? So you want to say that you think I have a purpose behind telling you about my sister and her need for her comfort toy to be able to sleep? You are right. There are poets in spirts who never wrote poems because they lacked the necessary language skills to translate the poems in their heart. I, sometimes, have the vanity to feel that way – and I feel the key to my being here – the reason of my trying to kill myself is so nice parabled in my sister’s need for her comfort object. I spend a lot of time psychoanalyzing myself – you see, that is habit one develops when one is a literature professor and, I have lately reached the conclusion that what we call love is, in my case at least, a need

Ficklish Loves

(A song by Sidharth VardhanFirst written on April 17, 2018) “Take away your ficklish lovesNo bigger than smallest of monthsThey may suit some otherMyself can’t handle anotherParts of my souls are still in gravesWhich were build by fantasiesYou thought were your lovesAnd I loved the idea of deathTill you showed me dead too sufferIn storms of your passing fantasies

The Fall

(A short story first written on March 22, 2018) 1. He was so very careful with his steps. From very early on, he has decided one can’t be too careful as one walks to one’s destination, for one can so easily fall within a momentary carelessness on these rocky lands. And so many people had told him that they didn’t manage to reach the destination in time because they had fallen. Because, and it is a well-known fact, how people, once fallen, may not rise again for years. Too scared of the answer he might get, he didn’t ask anyone what it was like down there where they fell. But one can easily imagine how much they were suffering even now, when they had finally picked themselves up, from that look on their face. Something in the corner of their eyes sung the saddest songs he had heard. One could see scars all over their body and their complaints about pain in left side of their chest were quite well known. And he was sure he couldn’t stand that. Though he pretended to be strong, he knew deep in his heart that he was fragile and weak. And he knew

Three Cigarettes and a Song

A tribute to Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities) and Damien Rice (Cheers Darling)A short story First written on March 26, 2018) As usual, she had her beautiful smile on when she opened the door and she greeted him with her daily question, addressing him, as she always did, with his last name “How you are doing today, Carton?” He greeted her back – never ever answering the question, asked her after her husband and went to meet her children. The children were waiting for him to arrive as he was their playmate and played the game with the same excitement as they did – only losing deliberately to his younger rivals. “You will never learn Carton” the young girl would say with a shake of the head and using his last name much like her mother. “You just wait and watch, I will surely beat you two tomorrow.” He would say pretending to take the challenge. Soon they all took their dinner and then it was time to put the children in their bed. As per ritual, he told them a bedtime story – a new one every day as their parents would watch and once the children were

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