Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Books, Me and a Cup of Coffee

Dribbling the last drop of filter coffee onto my ever gastronomic neurons, I kissed goodbye to this year's reading. It is time to catch a gasp of fresh air and recollect the bountiful times of the year spent in reading. The journey began with The Myth of Sissyphus, a philosophical account by Camus that imparts a sense of life and existence in a world torn apart by chaos. No one will back up on our ardent fervor to pursue personal objectives is a fact and this is subtely pointed out with remarkable clarity.

Stephen Chobsky's epistolary work The Perks of Being a Wallflower precisely details the growing up phase of an introvert and the poignant yet lucid style would have made me yearn more if I had read this book as teenager and not young adult. Nevertheless, the lessons learnt there were amplified by Scott Peck's lauded bible of living with spiritual values- The Road Less Travelled. Few sentences out there are to be read not once or twice but over and over again until the ideas seep deep.

Among the travel writings, Around India in 80 Trains by Rajesh Monisha wins accolades for celebrating the spirit of Indian Railways with wit, humour and a mild dose of sarcasm. Though the book was chosen with not much expectations, the writing was at par with my all time favourite account on Indian Railways, Chai, Chai. Hail Indian mass transit system!

Set around the same theme, both Tibet, Tibet and A Journey in Ladakh are classic renditions portraying the culture, tradition and ideals of Buddhism and pilgrimage. It is high time that I set out on a trip to the mountains and not confine myself to be an armchair traveller.

To spice up reading in a light way, Le Petit Nicholas and Tom Gates' Everything Amazing were picked up. The former one has deep-seated philosophy hidden beneath humour filled lines and the later is a musing of childhood and innocence. Once in a while, it is vital to slip back to tender age memories so as to replenish mind, body and soul. That said, nothing can perform the stint better than good books.

Let me write about the next book before the clock strikes the dead hour for The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova still gives me chills. Wound around the lives of three folks from three succeeding generations, the gripping tale will make one conveniently realise that blood sucking draculas are living amongst us- along crowded streets, silent racks in a library and brightly lit rooms but that is not all. Speak of the devil and it is here hunting for the most inquistive and intellectual breed on earth.

For once, I learnt that a piece of writing can make one both curious and furious. Thanks to J.M.G. Clezio's Terra Amata for that. The book is so overpowered with details that I lost patience just after second chapter. However,the intricate details cast a spell on the reader to slow down and enjoy the world one sip at a time. On the whole, Terra Amata is a fine substitute for meditation.

While the above mentioned books were instrumental in bringing about a change in my attitude towards reading and life in general, two well known books, Reginald and The Prophet gave me sleepless nights and palpitations. I am not leaving them here. They are reserved to be reread and analysed in 2015-New Year, New Thoughts and New Ideas.

Friday, 19 December 2014

It is she, again.

Angst ridden rants of a sleep paralysed specimen.

Curled up like a shrimp, I sleep
To the hush lullaby of distant winds.
Concealed under the diaphanous sheets,
A tranquil trance on my cradle neat.
The Teak door creaks, whines and moans,
A hard run breeze assaults her ribs.
Some rich gloss leaks from the orb of night,
And scantly veneers the floor inside.
An agile stir, my eyelids squint,
Loathing to stare the dead of night.
A swift slant at half open door, I curse
Intestinal fortitude. Damn, what I see !
Cold sweat trills, down the temple raps,
Feet teetering on the brink of torpor,
Fingers fizzle, heart flounders and
The ball of fire in deep skull quavers.
A voluptuous form, beguiling indeed,
Strides onward,chanting an aria of her own.
Plopping down by my frosting knees, she strokes
my cheeks that stiffen with unease and terror.
The heaviness hikes, my forehead shudders.
Angst hidden underneath my flesh oozes,
With every diabolical shear upon my neck.
Shedding invisible tears at vain attempts
To gasp fresh air and gain a spoon of life.
Owning a latched body and a clamped mind,
A game, I am, to the ogre besides.
Decade back, she made a scene on a pitch dark night,
Sending bouts of dread down my choking throat.
All set to plunge her nails acute, 
to savour my vital body juice under the night tide.
It is she, again.