Monday, December 29, 2014

Whenever I think about great writing. I think about Salman Rushdie and the following passage which is by far the best passage I have ever read in any book!

We look up and we hope the stars look down, we pray that there may be stars for us to follow, stars moving across the heavens and leading us to our destiny, but it's only our vanity. We look at the galaxy and fall in love, but the universe cares less about us than we do about it, and the stars stay in their courses however much we may wish upon them to do otherwise. It's true that if you watch the sky-wheel turn for a while you'll see a meteor fall, flame and die. That's not a star worth following; it's just an unlucky rock. Our fates are here on earth. There are no guiding stars.

--- Salman Rushdie, 'The Moor's Last Sigh'

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Catcher in the Rye

I didn't get this book!

I'm not saying its badly written or anything. Thats not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that I didn't get it. Its just a long rant by a teenager that is completely understandable and extremely normal. What the main character feels and does is what almost any teenager would feel and do. So whats the big deal. This book is not full of some obscure revelations or anything.

What I mean is I don't get why this book is a classic. Its just a decent book. Nothing more. Just an insight into a teenage mind. Nothing profound. Nothing deep. Simple, obvious observations. No plot, no story, no beginning and no end. Just a recounting of three days in the life of a confused teenager. Sorry, I just don't get it.

Don't get me wrong, I got the messages that others claim to have got from this book. All that stuff about things changing and all. Obviously its sad that life is ending and things change and we would like them to not change. But thats the key word there "OBVIOUS". I know these things. I don't need this book to remind me of them. And anyway, it just states them. Doesn't give a different, more profound take on them. Just states what I already think. You see? I don't see why it should be a classic for stating (while important) very, very obvious truths of life in the most simple of ways!

I don't get it!

The Reader (5/10)

A war movie that begins after the war. A war movie that doesn't feature a single war scene. But nonetheless, a war movie that tackles some important questions arising from wars. Thats "The Reader" in a nutshell.

The movie starts after the end of WWII and shows us the affair between a young man and a woman twice his age. An interesting aspect of this affair is that the lady likes being read to. Thats where the slightly misleading title comes from. Anyway, the affair is short-lived and the next time we see these two, the young man is a law student observing a war crimes trial and the lady is among those on trial.

The movie doesn't exactly preach anything but it seems to try to make the war criminals human. By telling us that this woman who was responsible for hundreds of deaths, just liked being read to, the film in some way tries to humanize her. Add to this the fact that the ending seems to somehow absolve her of her crimes, and the message of the movie seems to be that even war criminals were simply human with innate human traits.

And this is why I didn't like this movie at all. I have the utmost respect for human life and so, this woman who valued her orders more than innocent lives will never have my compassion or forgiveness. She was a monster and just because she liked books and reading doesn't make her any less of a monster. The movie seemed to forgive her while I never, ever would.

Having said that, technically the movie is great. Very well directed with excellent acting all round. Thats the only reason I rate it 5/10 instead of 1/10

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A sobering thought:

It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


A great quote to start the week:

"We can only die in the future, right now we are always alive"

Such a simple statement, yet so full of possibilities!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where do you go when you're lonely

Where do you go when you're lonely?
Where do you go when you're blue?
Where do you go when you're lonely?
I'll follow you
When the stars go blue

--- Ryan Adams

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Listen carefully!

When Someone Deeply Listens To You

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

--- John Fox

Il mio haiku

gocce di pioggia,
piange il cielo.

--- dreamcatcher

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Bei Hennef - D H Lawrence

Staying with D H Lawrence, how about this simple blissful poem written by him? It starts off nice and calm and romantic, a happy poem. And then, the entire mood of the poem changed by one single last line. Masterful! What a poet!!!

The little river twittering in the twilight,
The wan, wondering look of the pale sky,
This is almost bliss.

And everything shut up and gone to sleep,
All the troubles and anxieties and pain
Gone under the twilight.

Only the twilight now, and the soft "Sh!" of the river
That will last for ever.

And at last I know my love for you is here;
I can see it all, it is whole like the twilight,
It is large, so large, I could not see it before,
Because of the little lights and flickers and interruptions,
Troubles, anxieties and pains.

You are the call and I am the answer,
You are the wish, and I the fulfilment,
You are the night, and I the day.
What else - it is perfect enough.
It is perfectly complete,
You and I,
What more--?

Strange, how we suffer in spite of this.

- D H Lawrence 

Wonderful Words

I am a lover of words. I absolutely adore how powerful words can be. As such, there are certain quotes that I read and instantly fall in love with. Mostly because they make me think (that's what good writing is all about, in my humble opinion, it makes us think) Here is one example of one such quote that doesn't fail to entrance me every single time I read it.

"If I were the moon, I know where I would fall down"
- D H Lawrence, 'The Rainbow'

Monday, October 06, 2014

Lisey's Story - Another tribute to Stephen King

Some of the writing techniques in "Lisey's Story" were breathtaking. One in particular to me was the final proof of Stephen King's reaching the absolute pinnacle of writing. A memory today, calling up a memory 10 years back, which in turn calls up a memory 17 years before that. The quotes below will illustrate what I mean (here the first sentence is today, the second 10 years back, the third 17 years before that which recounts something that happened 15+ years before that):

Silence in the study over the barn, where it was hot and she was hurt and her husband was dead

Silence in the guest room where its cold and her husband is 'gone'

Silence in the bedroom at The Antlers, where they lie together, Scott and Lisey "Now we are two"

And then the living Scott speaks for the one thats dead in 2006 and 'gone' in 1996..."

I challenge anybody who appreciates good writing to read this passage and not remain speechless.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Pearls from 'Lisey's Story'

'Lisey's Story' is Stephen King's masterpiece. Elsewhere on these pages I have paid my tribute to this amazing piece of art. But I believe that nobody can really describe the beauty of King's writing. Like the Matrix you have to see it for yourself. So being a good fan, I have collected here the best bits of 'Lisey's Story'

Doesn't every hurricane have an eye?

Alone never felt more lonely than when you woke up and discovered you had the house to yourself. That you and the mice in the walls were the only ones breathing.

"Baby", he says at last.

Then : "Babyluv"
For Lisey Debusher, 22, weary of her family and equally tired of being on her own, it is enough. Finally enough. He has hollered her home.

It was then that Scott spoke to her, and for the last time

- "Lisey"
Infinitely tender, that voice. Calling her name, calling her home
- "Little Lisey : Babyluv"

Its hard to think when the moon is down and the hour is none

Sometimes it was best to be quiet. Sometimes it was best to shut your everlasting mouth and hang on, hang on, hang on

I love you with all that passes for my heart

He might be in love with her, but he was also half in love with death

You're good for the ones you love. You WANT to be good for the ones you love, because you know that your time with them will end up being too short, no matter how long it is

Shh... now you must be still

But Paul says nothing, only looks at his brother, dark blue eyes locked on hazel ones, and this hell will go on for another twenty-five hundred days; seven endless years. "Do what you can and let the rest go" is what Paul's eyes say to Scott and it breaks his heart. And when he jumps from the bench at last (to what part of him is firmly convinced will be his death), it isn't because of their father's threats but because his brother's eyes have given him permission to stay right where he is if in the end he's just too scared to do it.

To stay on the bench even if it gets Paul Landon killed.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Daphnis dearest, wherefore weave me
Webs of lies lest truth should grieve me?
I could pardon much, believe me:
Dower me, Daphnis, or bereave me,
Kiss me, kill me, love me, leave me—
Damn me, dear, but don’t deceive me!

--- Edith Nesbit