When breath becomes air – my opinion about the book

‘When breath becomes air’ is one of the most moving books that I have read. Not that I have read many books but I’m sure anyone who has read this book won’t have a different opinion about the book.

Paul Kalanithi, the author of this book, was a phenomenal writer. His writing was engaging and the book is one good journey through his life. I sat wondering that if all he had mentioned in the book is true which I hope is, Paul could have done so much more with his life in the field of neuroscience. He could have also made his mark in the field of literature. The man was already a brilliant surgeon when he was diagnosed with cancer. I would refrain from going any further about his disease.

Though I have never met him in person, my heart has a lot of respect for the man. In the book he had mentioned spending 100 plus hours a week at work showing his love for the profession. Doctors who show such level of dedication are a rare find. As a reader I could find a connect with him.

It is a small book, one that can be finished in a day or less yet a powerful one. With a cup of coffee, this book won’t disappoint anyone who enjoys reading about people and life.

When breath becomes air

 

Happy New Year – 2016!!! The Turtle Shell

First of all, let me wish everyone who reads this blog with a wonderful, love-filled, peaceful and joyous ‘New Year 2016’. I sincerely hope the new year be better than the current one in all aspects for everyone who lives and strives to live righteously and peacefully.

 

I like this time of the year. It’s winter and it’s time to start everything afresh again. But I do realize that I have to deal with the same situations I have and I’ll be in the same circumstances I am in right now. So all I really do is change the Calendar hanging on my wall….. err, wait, I do not have a Calendar hanging on my wall. So that is one less problem to deal with this new year.

Right now, I finished reading the New Year post I wrote last year. Going through old posts takes me back to those times and I really have a smile on my face.

This current year 2015 was again a year with one or two major surprises, other than which things were pretty much as I expected. Drab! I didn’t expect much from this year, hence not disappointed too. But instead I’m glad for what I got this year.

I started off 2015 living with a few friends, sharing my room with them and I end this year having a place of my own. The latter feels amazing and I am pretty glad to have my own space.

In 2014, I made a couple of big travels. But this year saw my bank accounts dry as a twig. No major travels, but my major acquisition being a 12 year old, rusted and slow motorbike from my cousin who was going to sell it.  It lies unattended at home and I’m pretty happy that it is there. My first motorbike. Now that I have a car and a motorbike, life is three quarters complete. I’ll leave the rest one quarter for travels and other things.

I look forward to 2016 very much. I always did. Even in 2013 and 2014, I always wanted 2016 to arrive quickly. I should go to Mumbai once again this year to meet my friends and I should travel to Meghamalai this year sometime. Those are two things I look forward to and hopefully will happen only in the later half of the new year. The rest is unplanned.

As my Project Manager says, ‘the best way to spend time is to spend it unplanned’. I am going to listen to him for once. This is a year of uncertainty, so be it.

Even though I’m in 2015 right now and I have 2016 to go, I am excited about 2017, i.e. if I am still there. That should be a year to look forward to 🙂

I hope everyone has a classy year ahead filled with peace and contentment.

tn_DSC_0266

As for life, everyone is given with a turtle shell which helps them survive through hard times. Some have hard shells, some shells crack under pressure and some shells need not go through much pressure. I pray that everyone develops an extra hard and tempered turtle shell, even if it’s not needed. Just in case, you never know 😉

On that bombshell, Good night!


 

Remembering Shoba

After a very uneasy day, I finally felt at ease with a two hour long nap. The exact reason of my body still supporting my eyes to stay awake this late night. Today was just another day filled with irritated agitations of mind. I am used to this state of mind, people associated with me aren’t, but I am. For some reason, I love this as much as any other thing in me.

Usually evenings are for YouTube. I select one song and YouTube keeps playing the rest of the songs for me while I do my work. It was late and again I am used to this. Being awake at odd times have always been a part and parcel of my life.

After my work, I came back and sat down in front of YouTube. It was playing a song from the Tamil movie called May Madham (The month of May). A.R. Rahman’s music was mind blowing, especially then. I just got curious about the director whose name is Balu (Venus Balu) but not long after that I stumbled across Balu Mahendra’s profile on Wiki.

I know him, yes I definitely do. I was accustomed to watching old malayalam movies with my parents and hearing their rants about movies, from my childhood. It’s very sad that they don’t continue that norm now a days. It was good fun when my mother used to poke me to show my father getting all excited watching those over exaggerated fight scenes and we would burst out into laughter.

On one such occasion, I remember watching this movie called ‘Shaline ente Kootukari’ (Shalini, my friend) with my mother. The movie featured Shoba in the lead role, who was by then no more. My mother quoted about her marriage to Balu Mahendra at an early age of 17 years and then followed by her suicide.

She looked very ordinary compared to the likes of Divya Bharti or Raveena Tandon, but there is something really good about being ordinary. Those were my impressions and I liked that. I like ordinary. It takes a lot of talent for an ordinary person to reach heights.

Today after a long long time, when I was reminded of her, I didn’t waste time but went through her Biography. I was amazed by the number of movies a 17 year old had done. Though I didn’t bother counting them, my eyes say it must be more than a hundred. A little more going through her profile made me realize that her mother Prema (who was also an actress by profession) had committed suicide four years later just like her daughter.

In retrospect, there are so many faces I can quickly remember who have died or killed themselves much earlier than their times. Shoba was one, Monisha was another, Divya Bharati was also in the list and the list goes on…. But as a matter of fact, I look at their life and see that they have achieved so much in their life in that short span but when I look at myself and in these three decades of existence, I fail to point out one achievement as such… just one. I think they are like those shooting stars, which come for a short period and bang; they do what they need to and then leave. They were meant to be there for just that period and leave. Maybe…

This is my second post remembering someone, the first one was about Nanditha (the poet) and now Shoba. Pretty glad they come across my mind and I can type about them as well as go back to those days. A memory of any kind would be good enough ode to any artist. Probably she deserves better than this but unfortunately, this is all I have to offer.

I am sure none of the modern day crazy movie goers would find time for watching these old movies, neither are they played on channels these days due to lack of demand but I am definitely sure that some movies from those days were worth a watch. Hopefully yet unfortunately, none of the people of my generation would even know who Shoba is, a thing I am very sure of. But well then, if I can tell some of them about her…. why not!

On that midnight bombshell, you are not completely forgotten 🙂


 

Fast and Furious 7

On a normal weekend, I would just stay back home and watch a movie in my laptop. Thanks to YouTube. But then the whole Fast and Furious 7 thing and Paul Walker had gotten my head from before. I didn’t plan for a movie, and my concept of watching a movie in a movie hall / movie theater means it should have some rich and memorable content. That said I had watched Hobbit series, Gravity, Rush and Interstellar in the cinemas. Need for Speed just for the cars involved…

Yesterday, one of my friend messaged me saying it was a great ode to Paul Walker, the movie Furious 7 and he liked the movie. I brushed the idea of going and watching it, again. But today afternoon saw me nap for a while and I woke up to check out the movie timings. The movie hall is 5 mins from my home. I go in to find a sea of people. It’s not even evening and after waiting for 20 mins I reach the counter. I got the last available seat and that was not close to the screen as well, but towards the side. Fine!

I go in and I am greeted by a house full of people. The movie starts in a bit and I am greeted by action. Insane action… Smashing beautiful cars… and hardcore heavy iron wrought punches that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Sthatham exchange. It was surreal and I am not a great fan of that.

download

Lately Fast and Furious has been like this. I had watched a bit of Fast n Furious 4 and 5. I knew what to expect. I loved the first 3 parts though cos it was all about cars like Indian movie called Dhoom (the first one) which was about superbikes and then the sequels came in and killed the essence of ‘Dhoom’. After 2nd part of Dhoom, I didn’t bother watching Dhoom series cos I know where that is going. God bless Dhoom. I am glad John Abraham didn’t bother doing any of the sequels. The only movie in which I liked him a lot, partly cos of Hayabusa of course.

Now getting back to Fast and Furious 7, it had some good cars getting ripped off. Tore my heart into bits to see exotic cars dying like that (I realize that it is not real…maybe) but then it doesn’t matter. I am still heart broken. But overall I must admit that I liked the movie. I liked Tony Jaa, I liked Paul’s CGI, I liked Michelle (always have :D)… and more over I felt good watching it.

Aww… I forgot Natalie Kelly was also there for a small scene with Lucas Black, the actors of Tokyo Drift.

On the return, I pumped the volume of my radio up which was playing electronic music, and my side windows down just to feel the wind. Just goes to speak that my otherwise sleeping adrenaline was pumped up … a bit, and that was a pleasant feeling. Not going to gym for a long time had killed every such feeling that used to arise and hence it felt special tonight.

I am afraid I would have to recommend this movie, even for a conservative family. There is not much of vulgarity, but there sure is some good explosion and violence. Who doesn’t love that in reel life? But in real life, Vin Diesel wouldn’t even have attempted blowing up buildings in Abu Dhabi. So I hope you guys understand where I am coming from. It’s unrealistic action but then it’s fun to watch unless you are a very spiritual person.

Hey Vin, if you are listening. The next sequel if there is one, do something which focuses more on cars; Like Tokyo Drift or even better than that. Enough blowing up buildings in US, spare some for the rich poor millionaires and billionaires of US. I think it would be great to see you guys focus more on cars, which was the initial theme.  Not just say Limited Slips and then show me that you jump of the cliff and LSD’s saved you. Oh come on! Just use the LSD’s for better things like … you know, staying on the road!

Even this version of the movie made words flow easily and I didn’t have to look back till this sentence. Credits to you all 🙂 I am not that bad after all, I admit I enjoyed and it was fun to watch the cars jump from the airplane.

I wish the crew a very best of luck for their future endeavors and a thank you for entertaining us all  (they might not need my wishes but then it’s free) and let me remind that this was a great tribute to Paul Walker. Amazing chap he was, and will be missed dearly.

On that bombshell, let me surrender myself to Leonard Cohen’s bass filled voice; his music will feed on me or vice-versa till I call it a day.


 

100 Posts… Another milestone!!!

Hey folks,

This is not a usual milestone post, but first of all, let me THANK YOU for reading this blog. My current stats are like,

101 posts, spread into 13 different categories with 194 people following me and 4875 views, 1671 comments. I just can’t thank you all enough for reading things I have put up.

When I had a lot of free time from work some 4 years back, I started off with Short stories. This is my first short story here, followed by this. I just loved these, for 4 important friends in my life proof read this and I had taken over a week to completely write it down. I have a notepad where I write my stories and poems down. Later on whenever an idea occurred, I would write the idea down and then later on coming back and writing the story. There are few of my stories which I have not published here, few of them which are there in my first blog (of which I copied a number of them here).

I don’t know how the poems came, but I started getting lazy and I shortened my ideas and made it poems. I think I have published more poems and bs than anything else. Anyone who knows me would laugh when he knows I write poems, not because I write good/bad but I was just not that kind of guy. A fan of boxing, a fan of football, a fan of cars/motorcycles – that was me. Life can take 360 degree turns sometimes 😥 and I must confess it can be pretty shit.

I think I have deviated a lot from the initial plan, creating number of categories and ranting about usual stuff. I don’t for a bit, regret that, but I think it’s time to shape the blog into what it was meant for. The best excuse I have for deviating from my plans is, I was obsessed with WP, actually I am. So many things to read, so many people I know, in so less time. Aww.. it felt good. WP became my FB and I stopped using FB, which I am really glad about. FB is just a blown up baloon, you see people doing wonderful things, just to realize that your life is more pathetic than you thought. I hate that, instead now I would post pics, and videos and just log off from there 😀 Smart ass…

I think I have spent a lot of time here, 1 post in 3-4 days average (200+ days and 101 posts) but I have definitely tried to maintain the quality. After doing a few initial posts, I stopped looking up on Google for synonyms, and number of times that I proof read reduced from 6-7 to 2-3 times. Recently after 75 posts, this realization came that this blog is not what it was meant to be. I wanted to round it off to 100 before I try and reshape my blog.

So let me conclude again, by saying that I am seriously thinking of axing the sections like rumblings, poems, un-parliamentary from now on and would concentrate posting only Short stories, Photographs, Travelogues & Automotive. At least I would try not to post any of my rantings, or poems here. Rather just write it down in my old note pad…

If ever I am going to be in need of ranting, I am going to do it here. I am a guest author here, and I have been thinking about ranting on the Indian Weed, the Ganja 😀 and our college experiences, which I will definitely do.

Since I am not a great expert in automobiles, and I don’t get that much of a chance to drive different cars, the automobile section is going to be dry. Again traveling needs money, and I don’t travel much these days cos of that, travelogues section is again going to be dry. Hopefully the other two might not be void of posts, for too long.

So again, a very thank you to everyone following and reading this blog. I think I have done the right thing by calling off the extras, hope I don’t rethink on it and start posting them again. I hope I can improve the quality of my posts in the coming days 🙂

Please also know that if I have followed your blog, I have read 2 or more than 2 of your posts. I wouldn’t hit the follow button if I haven’t read your post.

Thank you guys, have a great time ahead!


 

दुख़ आँसू वगेरा वगेरा

Just for a change, and I have almost forgotten writing devanagari lipi (these fonts below). Read it at your own risk. Disclaimer towards the bottom of the post. 


 

हम चार लोग एक फ्लॅट में रहा करते थे, और मेरा उम्र सब से कम|

हमारा फ्लॅट के दो कमरो के एक में शॅंकीचाचा और अजय मामा रहते थे, दूसरे कमरे में प्राजीश चाचा और मैं रहता है| ‘शंकी पॅंकी’ हमे छोड़ कर जा रहा था| उसे कही और दूसरा काम मिल गया था| प्राजीश चाचा का गाव जाने का समय आगत हो चुका था| वे पता नही कितने दिनो के लिए, पर छुट्टी पर चल बसे| बचा था शंकी चाचा, अजय मामा आंड मी|

 

प्राजीश चाचा के जाने के ठीक १३ दिन बाद ‘शांकी पनकी’ का हमारे कंपनी में आखरी दिन था| ‘शंकी पनकी’ निकल पड़े अपने नये काम के दौरान| बड़ी दुख की बात थी क्यूंकी शंकी हमारा नेता जैसा था| चाहे दारू हो या सोशियलाइज़िंग, शंकी का कोई प्रतियोगी नही| अँग्रेज़ी बोलने में थोड़ी परेशानी होती थी पर चलो यार हम अँग्रेज़ तो नही हें| हम हिन्दुस्तान के क़िस्सी गाव के पेड़ पर चढ़ लेते थे कभी किसी नदी मे गोता लगा लेते, पर स्कूल में अँग्रेज़ी कभी गौर से नही स्टडी की|

 

शंकी के होते हुए मैं कभी अजय मामा से ज़्यादा बात नही किया करता था| इसका मतलब यह नही की हम पराए थे| बस यही की शंकी का टाँग खीचने और हँसी मज़ाक में मैं उलजा रहता था| अजय मामा का ड्यूटी भी रात की हुआ करती थी| एक बार शंकी जो चला गया, हमारे फ्लॅट में सूनापन छा गया| अजय मामा मेरे ख़याल में सिर्फ़ तीन चीज़ें करते थे, अपनी पत्नी का फोन पर याद करना, दारू पीकर सो जाना और टीवी सीरियल देखना| अजय मामा की किस्मत अची नही क्यूंकी मेरा दारू के प्रति दिलचस्पी बहुत कम, या फिर नही ही कह लो| यह बात भी है की शंकी और अजय मामा २ साल से साथ दारू पीते आए है| आज अचानक शंकी चाचा नही| दारू में जो यारी बनती है, वो साधारण यारीऔर दोस्ती से कई गुना मजबूत है| कई गुना|

 

यही समझ में थोड़े दिनो तक मैं भी चुप रहा| कभी कुछ बातें होती थी मगर देखा जाए तो घर में सन्नाटा छा गया था| कभी लगता था क्या उस कमरे मे कुछ और तो नही चल रहा था जो मैं नही जानता? फिर कुछ और दिन गुज़रे, हालत तो वही| मैं अब सोच में पद गया की शंकी ने क्या दिया या किया जो मैं नही दे पाया/ पा रहा था| 😛 या फिर क्या वे दोनो….. :ओ :ओ |

 

आख़िर आज अजय मामा ने दिल की बातें बता दी| शंकी जाने से उन्हे उतना ही दुख हुआ जितना मुझे हुआ है, मतलब ज़्यादा नही :प पर वे अपना फॅमिली यहा ना होंने का दर्द महसूस कर रहे है| इस फ्लॅट लेने से पहले हम सब अलग रहा करते थे, शंकी अलग, मैं अलग और अक़ेला, अजय मामा अपने फॅमिली के साथ, प्राजीश चाचा भी अपने फॅमिली के साथ| अब अजय मामा और प्राजीश चाचा के घरवाले यहा नही| अफ़सोस! शंकी सोशियल आदमी होने के नाते शायद कुछ जादू किया और मामा बोलने लगे| अजय मामा यह भी बोले की अगर कर्ज़ का भोज उतर जाता तो पक्का वे अपने गाव चले जाते| काश!

 

लाइफ इस नोट फेर!!! (LIFE IS NOT FAIR!!!)


 

This is a quick story of me and my new roommates Shanky-panky, Ajay and Pra–esh (long name,Phew!). Kindly ignore the grammar, spelling and other mistakes. It’s been a while I have written Hindi/Marathi, and I am not even going to proof read this 😛

Thanks to http://www.shabdkosh.com for some words and http://www.quillpad.in/ for allowing me to type Devanagari. 

Wise old man

I have a grey hair on my head, meaning I am growing old. This is probably good for an Indian man.


 

I can go out and start moral policing. Like the guy I saw on facebook today. Catch hold of all the young couples walking by in a railway station or a bus stand. Slap the shit out the young lad and threaten the girl asking for her parents number till she sobs and begs me to leave her alone and not call her parents. The parents are old anyways, and they will listen to me not their kids. I have so much belief that they will believe me much more than their blood. Because this is India, and easily since I am old and seen life much more I have the advantage. I can create some drama, have some action and go home thinking that I have done society a great favor. 


 

 

I can look at my younger generations right in their eyes and rant out advises. Advises on how they should focus on their career. Advises on how they should excel in studies. Advises on how 1% marks can be a life changer. I haven’t done much in my life, rather I am miserable loser. But come on, I am old and I have seen and experienced life much more. What does these pizza generation youngsters know? I am the one who should guide them to a good life. I will do everything possible by me to see that he studies and not waste his career singing songs or modeling or whatever. 


 

I can get some politicians to recommend me and get a job in the government office. I can easily make some money. Nothing is illegal since it’s my country and my govt’s money. Govt is like my mother’s third husband, that means kind of step dad (as pizza generation would say) and I can say take a couple of thousands from a handicapped pension. If she comes asking for the money, I can abuse and make fun of her in the govt office and make her feel humiliated for being born a handicap. I can simply have the money for myself and since I am old and wise, no one can question me. If at all media decides to blow up this matter, I still have the same politician to help and support me. I can easily turn a blind eye to the handicapped widow, her tears, her needs, her kids, her necessity cos I am old and I have seen life and hardships much more than her. Life is indeed ruthless and she should learn to live by it.


 

Last but not the least, I can join some religious group. Since there is option for everyone in every religion. I can spread my views of communal hatred, violence and people will believe me since I am old. My words are of wisdom for I have the experience of a lifetime. I can easily convince the group that if by any chance a person dies an unnatural death, point out his religion and then avenge his death. I will easily point out that the person who is dead belongs to our community and much more than an  Indian, he belonged to our community and hence blood must flow. The youngsters of the community who were behind this and the whole community should fear and cry, and hence blood must flow. What if innocents die? Sacrifice.Who knows for this deed, tomorrow I can be some VIP! 


This post is in regards to soumya chakraborty and his post which made me think a lot and then decide that keeping quiet might not help but posting against it might. Evil is everywhere, we just need to see and react to it. Dedicated to all those wise people in our country, who are really wise!