Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where shall we go this Summer - A book review

This book is penned by the Sahitya Academy Winner - Anita Desai who is also the mother of the Booker Prize winner - Kiran Desai. I have come across these authors many a times, but reading their writing for the first time. I am not sure if I get the right thing what the author intended to say. My understanding of the book is right here for u to read. A very small read of just 150 pages made me feel so much for the plight of so many women who get used to their surroundings without any complaints. Sita - the protagonist of the novel alights on the Manori island with a baby in her womb and with her daughter and son on the Monsoon of 1967. She escapes from her daily routines of the busy Bombay life and tries to soothe her nerves down in the breeze and pleasant weather of Manori. Situated in Manori, her father's home has turned now into more or less a place which has only dirt and dust enveloped around it. The narration does not tell you clearly why is she fed up with her life and what was the reason made her run away from her responsibilities. The clarity in the reasons is dull because, those were not considered as some big issues in the Society we live.

Was she able to find the peacefulness and come out of her solitude in that island? Nothing happens dramatic in Sita's life at the end of the story. Her loyal and truthful husband Raman comes and takes her back once again to the same life. No domestic violence is thrust upon Sita nor is she losing her independence. But the daily chores of the kids fight, maid servant's duel, neighbour's gossip, the hurried city life - these all were few reasons for her escape to the island. To her dismay, the magical island then, didnot succeed now in giving her what she wanted. After sometime, she learnt that hiding all her fears and complaints and being silent to what all happening around her is the only thing she can do. Sita slowly gets used to her life and returns back to Bombay with her family. Is she happy in doing this or does she have no way other than doing this? No matter how many monsoon comes, she can only run away for a while from all this. She had to return back again to the same chores and she can only wait for the next monsoon to answer to the question - Where shall we go this Summer?. How many of us are like Sita who cannot express which suffocates them and not able to find the proper get-rid for it? We get used to complaints and fears and we live with it in this fast - turning life.

Am I insane

What do I want? Why is my mind not ready to accept anything which I come across and be cool and calm? Rather it is just wavering from one wish to another wish and trying to make myself look upset all the time. The wierd dreams of getting married or something related to marriage has been haunting my early morning sleeps for the past 4 days. How come I get these dreams regularly when I am least prepared to get married now. Is it true that mind always searches something to be sad and to be upset? If so it is happening with me. I have nothing to worry so much right now. In spite of it, I am like - yuck I dont want this kind of happenings with me. I want to be cool and do something about this kind of thinking. Is it because I hear so many news from so many people who are getting married. Am I becoming jealous about them? or is it the strangest thought that arose in me that i will remain unmarried for long years to come? But why is this marriage a big issue with me now? I have been saying all these days that I dont want to get married soon. I want some more time. But I am sure why I want that much time. To find the right person? To make myself face some new person? or To get accustomed to new environment. No body is forcing me to think like this. Something is missing in life. I lost some grip of life to which I was clinging to till now. What is it? It is really difficult to find that and make myself clear. May be I know that and I am not ready to accept it. Hence I guess I am just writing all this rubbish out here. I will have to definitely accept the fact that I will not get what I wanted. But what do i need? no body except me can say that. I dont want to "get used" to this sort of mentality, coz getting used to is the worst solution to any problem. Hopefully something different should happen to get me out of this feeling.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Books, books and more books

I have never been this crazy about buying and reading books all my life till this year. Might be I was never alone before and I had never this much time for myself earlier to spend in reading a book. From September 2010, I am going to allocate every month a little % of my Salary to buy some new books. My mom and sister do that regularly. Let me also try to do them. Hopefully I should read them all and enjoy reading. This post is about some of the places in this city where I get to grab some nice books. You guys should have noticed the Mahogany Wood Shelfari Shelf widget added in my blog. I am planning to buy a book shelf of that sort.

The best pastime for me and my mom during the weekends is to visit Landmark and browse through the books and the movies. From the starting of this year, January 1st, not even a month has passed without we missing the visit to Landmark. We were really thrilled in our first visit to see the huge hall with so many racks of books orderly placed under different genres – Indian fiction, World fiction, Bestsellers, Romance, Arts, Cookery, Literary fiction and more and more. It is just amazing to see some sale going on for the books for this month. I was lucky to get hold of the Nobel award winning book – One hundred years of Solitude for a good offer and I am reading it presently. Hopefully I should understand that literature at least to a range of 5 on a scale of 10. I have put my eye on so many other books which I had planned to get the next weekend. I and Mom can spend even 4 hours in Landmark without getting bored until we can bear the chillness of the air condition over there.

The British Library where we hold a family membership is another favorite hang-out of ours. It is a small library, but an ultra-modern one with new technologies, though with less number of books compared to the huge collection at Landmark, but I get to read rare and interesting books. The librarian and the assistant over there were so kind last weekend that they let me inside even without a library card.

During weekends, we hunt through out the new city for the old books stalls and the books which mostly I get are for my mom who reads so much of Mills & Boons. I like helping her out in the shops but I take extra caution not to touch any of those books. My hands are kind of allergic to that dust and the state of books. But then, I got my entire set of Harry Potter collections from these old book shops and they are not second-handed to my luck. They are of course pirated versions and I am sorry for it but I can’t afford the whole lot of original series.