All posts tagged: writing

Remembering August 6th

Today marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and continues to send shivers down the spines of those that dare to reminisce. 64 years later, the world is still a cradle of hatred, cruelty and destruction. Although we probably had our first tryst with World War II in 6th grade history textbooks, I deeply encountered the implications of war, weapons & death only in 9th grade literature. It tragically transformed historical numbers, facts and figures into real people, emotions and scars. A doctor’s journal entry for August 6, 1945 – Vikram Seth The morning stretched calm, beautiful, and warm. Sprawling half clad, I gazed out at the form Of shimmering leaves and shadows. Suddenly A strong flash, then another, startled me. I saw the old stone lantern brightly lit. Magnesium flares? While I debated it, The roof, the walls and, as it seemed, the world Collapsed in timber and debris, dust swirled Around me – in the garden now – and, weird, My drawers and undershirt disappeared. A splinter jutted from my mangled thigh. …

Poetry at its finest

While reading The Motorycle Diaries, I came across this hauntingly beautiful poem written by Otero Silva, a Venezuelan poet and novelist born in 1908: I heard splashing on the boat her bare feet And sensed in our faces the hungry dusk My heart swaying between her and the street, the road I don’t know where I found the strength to free myself from her eyes to slip from her arms She stayed, crying through rain and glass clouded with grief and tears She stayed, unable to cry Wait! I will come walking with you.

Keep Off The grass

I finally found, read and loved a book that hasn’t been extensively reviewed (yet) on the blogosphere! If you aren’t already enticed by the title, get a load of this: an Indian investment banker on Wall Street, born and brought up in the US, decides to quit his million dollar job to go to India to find his roots. He enrolls himself at IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Bangalore, and what ensues is a hillarious chase of answers, grades and weed.  Obviously, the IIM turns out to be completely different from typical B-schools in the US and elsewhere. Samrat Ratan, the protagonist, once a Yale valedictorian and a big-shot banker, is pitted against the super-brained IITians from the country, only to discover that mediocrity has its own virtues. His constant struggle between his American upbringing and Indian roots initially finds no solace in the rat-race of grades and jobs, until he realizes that relationships are what really matter.  In his quest for happiness, Samrat meets Sarkar and Vinod, the former an incredibly smart guy with …

Under the night sky

She walks the lone road, Silence stinging her senses Like a cold wind would sting Her bare skin, But the night is still And dark, and the sky is dark, Embracing the dainty arch Of the new born moon, As though it were created to protect The moon alone, and nothing below, And no stars shone Upon the silence of the night.    She walks past a house masked By dull peeling white, the smell Of rust, and autumn in sight In a garden, brown and bare.   She walks through the night Till she reaches the end Of her road, the end of all life, And peers through the sky above At the morning light, at the first rays Of the rising sun. A new horizon?  

Teacher Man

Frank McCourt has given a new dimension to teaching in this non-fictional account. He writes about teaching and learning and teaching to learn and learning to teach. McCourt’s journey is rooted in Ireland, from where he seeks to rise in the minds and hearts of the students in New York’s public schools, through his unconventional, inspiring approach to teaching. As he explores his own identity, he accepts that teachers don’t have all the answers, and that is only human. His creative writing class reads and sings cooking recipes, his English class discusses Little Bo Peep! Even when we don’t relate to the Irish life or the NY adolescents, we end up becoming a part of the Teacher Man phenomenon. The racy, decryptable writing makes you belong in McCourt’s classes. His humble, inquisitive approach to teaching makes you want to learn, as though it comes from choice and not force. Great teaching, great writing and very inspirational. If you’re a student, it will give you a new perspective on learning. If you’re a teacher, you’ll want …

The 3 best graduation speeches

Words can be ‘weapons’ of mass inspiration, especially when the right ones are found at the right moments, moments which tend to define the rest of our lives. The following three graduation speeches inspire me most as I prepare to undertake the journey that lies ahead. One. Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, to the Class of 2005 at Stanford. Two. Chetan Bhagat, an IIT grad and the author of Five Point Someone, at Symbiosis (India) Convocation 2008. Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are …

The Arabic Language

Arabic has long fascinated culture-seekers and artists from the west. The language is reminiscent of an ancient setting, and has a crude, poetic aura about it. Despite all the unconventional stuff I fancy myself doing, I never thought I’d be learning Arabic someday! It’s an absolutely brilliant language, though the non-artist in me can barely do justice to the creative strokes of the Arabic alphabet. I learnt my first few today (alif, baa, wow…), together with some introductory greetings (sobah-ul-khair, masaa-un-nuur) so often heard and ignored in hindi movies. Here are some interesting facts about the Arabic lingo: Arabic is written and read from right to left. In fact, books and newspapers are binded on the right, unlike conventional reading material. Check out the front cover of my Arabic textbook and notice the right-binding. All letters are connected when writing in Arabic. Unlike English, this does not vary by handwriting. For example, in print like this, the English letters are all disjointed. In Arabic, even in print, these letters are connected. There are a few …

The Blogosphere – my second home

What started as my lonely little space on the world wide web has integrated into a community of bloggers-turned-friends, rather fast. Well, virtual friends. It took me a while to realize that the blogosphere is full of some amazing people, writers, acquaintances, readers, visitors, even stalkers! I am very honored and rather touched to receive my first ever set of blogging awards today, from a fellow blogger, Nikhil. Thanks Nikhil! Blogging friends forever indeed!  Honestly, I’m not too sure what the 2nd award implies. Oops, honesty I suppose. I’ve seen such blogging awards on some blogs I’ve visited in the past, and today, when I finally became a recipient, I started to explore the origin of these awards. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much, except the blogs of fellow award winners. So now, I’m quite convinced that someone, somewhere, woke up one morning and thought of creating a way to appreciate the efforts of bloggers who kept him entertained on mundane days, informed on busy days, and connected on lonely days,. A way to strengthen blogging bonds among …

Wordle: Funky text designs

If you’re bored of monotonous looking text, or just plain bored, check out Wordle. You can write a bunch of text and it’ll convert the text to some funky patterns, with the words repeated more often appearing more prominent. I spent all of last night playing around with it! I’m considering using it for my presentations soon. The good things in life.