About a month ago I got a chance to read a very interesting book called Sapiens. It was written by a historian and it was one of the most thought provoking books I have had a chance to read. I rarely read non-fiction but history interests me somewhat. This book was more of a mashup between human history and psychology. It’s goal in a way was to write an unbiased history of the Homo genus, more specifically the Homo sapiens species. That, btw, is modern human beings
What really caught my attention was a very obscure fact. The brain matter of another human species, Neanderthals, was bigger than homo sapiens. Yet that specie died out and never developed civilization and sophisticated tools etc. For all of my life, I had assumed that humans are special because we have more brain matter. However I was clearly wrong.
I just finished another epic book. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. As always with his works, I am left in a state of hangover. There is definitely something about this guy which makes me crave for his books. In itself Murakami is a genre of books. If you could refer to something as Shakespearean then probably you can call his books Kafkaseque ( which of course represents his most famous work Kafka on the Shore ) .
The book is a story revolving around a limited number of characters. There is Tengo, a big 30 year old math teacher cum novelist. There is Aomame ( i love her name for some reason ), who is a fitness trainer and then there is Fuka-Eri or Eriko Fukada, a 17 year old girl who wrote a book Air Chrysalis. Somewhere in their lives the usual year of 1984 changes to a differnt time. For convenience sake its called 1Q84.
No matter how many books you read, each new one has its own set of possibilities and expectations. And somehow it takes a lot of time for me now to select a book to read next.
So there was this book called Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. A random stumble in a way while looking around for a good read. The Japanese connection could be one of the reason i wanted to read this. And so it was that i finally bought this book. But somehow as if by destiny, i never got a chance or the desire to start with it for a month. It was as if i was waiting for a perfect moment to start this book.
Its as if a light appeared, just as the darkness seemed to descend. That’s how it feels after reading this book recently. God is not Dead by Amit Goswami. The central theme is God, and Quantum Physics. Doesn’t seem related, right? Well it is and isn’t in a sense.
The reality is that materialism ( love for something physical ), and spiritualism ( love for something beyond matter ) appear to be 2 sides of the same coin. Two opposites that dont seem to meet. It was the same for me. I was split in 2 parts and both had the 2 extremes. One that wanted to go and meditate in Himalayas. The other wanting to be the owner of the biggest corporation in the world. This fight always continued, and sometimes left me exhausted. How do i fit both of them in my life, to create a perfect harmony?
Something about the way things are around me, seems to nag me always. Society as i see it, seems so imperfect. Its hard to believe it exists. I write about it frequently. But mostly i used to point out the issues. I did not have an answer. I still do not have an answer on how to take society to a better point, if it exists.
But lately i have an answer to the better society. Its not my own totally, rather inspired by a book called Island by Aldous Huxley. I seem to have a thing for his writings. They are much intriguing and leaves lot to wonder on the future. So about this book. Well in this book, there exists an alternate society in a small independent state, that has restricted the interaction between its people and the outside world. Its all done without force, mind you!! Continue reading
Its one of the name that might remain in my memory for a long time to come. He is not my best friend or mentor. He is just a character from a book. A book i had intended to read as a novel, a work of fiction. But it turned out to give me some lessons in philosophy and morality that might be imprinted forever. The book was "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand. And truly it was an awesome book. Every page of this really long book, was worth it.
The character of Mr. Howard Roark was such, as if, to him everyone else was invisible. He was a guy perfectly ( more like ideally ) confident and perhaps the biggest strength he had was of "indifference", of being indifferent to any and every thing. This may generally be considered to be cold. But then, to me, it felt more like he was one guy who wasn’t here to be someone, not here to get better than his neighbor. He was someone who wanted to create someone. To pursue his love, solely on his own, without any interference and without any bother. And he was not fighting in the rat race, so much the part of our world. Even hard circumstances wouldn’t force him to sway to a path, that was easier or something he did not love.
The last book i read was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
Obviously it was a very acclaimed book, and winner of Booker Prize too. So there were infact a lot of expectations leading up to the book. Like perhaps it would be highly addictive, or amazing story, or something good.
But somehow, for me, the book turned out to fall way short of the hype that was around it. There were perhaps 2 major reasons why this happened . The first one was the content of the book. The story in parts was well written and captivating, but such parts very rare and random in the book. And for me almost half the book was skippable. In the sense, that if some incident occurs then 2-3 pages are spent in some totally random unconnected things, which even if you skip, you can understand what is going on correctly.
Crime is a universal phenomena. Amazingly, it is among the very few things common throughout our history. Even languages were different in history, but crime has remained a benchmark.
Perhaps one of the thing that has changed since ancient times, is what we define as crime. Or specifically the acts which we may term as crime. To call sun as the centre of our solar system was a crime a few hundred years ago. Even thinking certain things could make you a criminal not so long ago. I dont want to talk of crime in general, but in perspective with one criminal act. Killing.
Killing has been regarded a crime since time beginning ( or mankind’s time beginning ). I recently happened to read a book called CRIME and PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostovesky. Continue reading