Monday, March 2, 2015

Dostoyevsky

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/11/11/dostoyevsky-dream/

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Certain damnation

The great sorrows you bring,
Out of love,
Borne pain. 
The heart crumbled into dust 
And one forgets tomorrow. 
Hopes are blown out
Like a candle in the wind,
And only the dark remains.

Be still, the heart moans,
As it beats and trembles against its will,
In your unbearable lightness. 
Be gone, it commands me,
To leave your sphere.
For to be here,
Means a certain death,
And a slow and painful crawl
Towards my perdition.






Thursday, February 26, 2015

The space trilogy - CS Lewis

Finished part 1 of the book - out of the silent planet. Didn't know CS Lewis actually wrote sci-fi. I'd liked sci-fi in the past but not sure why I kinda outgrew it. Story began with Ransom looking for an inn to stay the night but who ended up at a manor and was kidnapped by two guys Devine and Weston. He awoke to find himself on a spaceship, not knowing his destination. When the spaceship landed, he was told that he was on Malacandra, or what we know as Mars. It was then that he realized that he was to be offered as a human sacrifice to the sorns. He managed to escape during a Hnakra attack and ended up on the hrossa's land. There he was treated kindly by the hrossa and managed to learn the Malacandra's language, the eldil (which is uncannily like the Holy Spirit), and other creatures on Malacandra. He learnt that the hrossas are creatures of songs and poetries, agriculture, and fishermen; the sorns are the intellectuals, and the pfifltriggi are the makers of things/ sculptures. All three species lived in harmony and I really enjoyed the part where Ransom asked one of the hrossa if any one of the species had tried to harm one another. The hrossa was surprised at such a question, not understanding why there was ever a need to hurt one another. 
Ransom went on to explain about the concept of wants/needs and scarcity of resources, which we humans know best are recipes for evil and wars. 
The hrossa said that such a thing would never happen on their planet as there would never be overpopulation or scarcity of resources; resources are given whenever any species asked for them.

Ransom soon realized that the sorns were not asking for a human sacrifice but rather to get to know the race from Thulcandra (earth), the silent planet, the "bent" Oyarsa (the evil one) and about Maledil (the creator). Devine and Weston had mistakenly thought otherwise. I guess "bent" minds tend to think that others would harbour the same malicious intentions as themselves.

The story ended with a confrontation between the three humans and the Martians, with Ransom being the middleman and who was on the side of the Martians. They were eventually returned to earth unharmed. 

Although the plot doesn't seem like much, it actually holds a lot of philosophical and theological metaphors. I find it very clever. During the conversation with the Oyarsa (sorta like the chief/ elder of Mars), Weston declared that he wanted the human race to continue to survive, hence he would do anything to ensure that men have a place to live, even if that means killing off other species and conquering their planets. The Oyarsa went on to say that in order for men to survive on other planets, they would have to evolve into something else that may no longer resemble men. Weston said it was not the shape of men that he cared for. Oyarsa said if it was not the body of men that he cared for then it must be their minds. Still that was not possible as to love men's mind would be to love all species which possess minds similar to
Men's. clearly Weston did not love men as he was ever ready to kill Ransom, his own kind, to achieve his goals, and he had also killed three hrossa without batting an eye. Again Weston defended himself and said that he cared for the human race and what man begets (whatever that means). Finally Oyarsa said that all men innately knew the laws of pity, shame, and love of kindred but the evil one had made us forget all these except for the love of kindred in Weston's case. He exhibited this love albeit in a twisted and half-baked way, obeying it but not truly understanding it and hence getting it all wrong. 

Another part which just made me smile at the cleverness of it was this: 
"... You have spent all your time since then in flying from me...... To deliver you out of the hands of those two I stirred up a hnakra to try if you would come to me of your own will. But you hid among the hrossa and though they told you to come to me, you would not. After that I sent my eldil to fetch you, but still you would not come....." 
It just sounded very much like God talking to us. He chases after his lost sheeps, wanting them to return to him. But we run away from Him because of our fears (of what I do not know).still he pursues us relentlessly, sending sometimes a toss and turn in the storm so that we may turn to him for help. And Sometimes he sends us help in the form of other fellow human beings who will hopefully lead us back to him. 

I can go on forever in writing this book review. 

I don't know why we run away from God. Why do we fear to return to him? Or are we just too caught up in the webs of this world? Why do I fear living as much as I fear death? 

I guess the book stirs up a lot of questions about God, mankind, etc. and for that, I think it qualifies less as a sci-fic book and more of a theological/philosophical one. If however, I had not known about God and whatnots, then I may not have caught all these nuances and would have classified it as pure sci-fic. 





Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It was....

I was lured by that strange belief,
That cursed myth,
Which charmed and crawled,
Into my foolish heart. 

That mysterious thing,
which passed from the lips of those long dead,
And poisoned gullible minds.
It is archaic,
Borne from where, no one knows,
A thing that should have been buried,
When light first touched the soils of earth.

A wretched thing that had tormented
A many great minds.
That insidious thing which brought death 
To those whose faith in it grew too large for their wasted hearts. 

That thing,
I think it was called,
If I remembered rightly,
It was....
LOVE.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

A dear friend

"Each and every time that I was determined to forget you and move on, you came and disrupted my plans. I should hate you for that but I can't. Maybe I never will. Each and every time u say something that makes me angry and jealous, but I forgive you anyway after a day. Maybe it is the start to a pure friendship. Maybe all the forgiving and forgetting will one day free myself from all that I ever feel for you. One day, there will be nothing left and I can look you in the eye and tell you, you've been a dear friend."

Eleanor wrote with determination but also with a sense of broken-heartedness in a letter addressed to George. Beneath her steely exterior, lay a heart that was weak, where a gentle blow could leave her grieving for weeks. At times like these, she hated herself and wished she was built differently.
She sealed the letter carefully, then paused and ran her fingers over the envelope. With her fingers lingering over the letter, she started to have second thoughts about sending out the letter.
Again, she hated herself for her impulsive determination, which would always weaken into a bout of indecisiveness. 
"Oh how wretched am I! This cowardice! This sorry excuse of a heart!" She buried her face in the palms of her hands, her face a contortion of anger (with herself), pain, and shame. 
With George, she never knew where she stood. But little did she know that George felt exactly the same way about her.

George said at his desk, the tip of his quill lingered over the thick, off-white paper that would eventually become a letter addressed to Eleanor. He had so much to say but had no idea where to begin. 
"Oh how wretched am I! To be in love with a woman with no heart! Absolutely abhorrent! What have I ever done to deserve this, my God!" He cried out. He threw the quill across the desk, the black ink splattered across the letter and the desk. He got up from the desk, furious with himself.
Ah, if only hearts in love could be tamed then there would be two less wretched souls in the world.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The possibilities - kaui hart hemmings

Very good read although the plot is very similar to The Descendants. I like how Hemmings' focus is always on the human emotions, conflicts, the interactions between people, and familial relationships. In The Possibilties, the lead character, Sarah had just lost her son to an avalanche. While clearing out his room with her best friend, Suzanne, she discovered that he had been peddling weed while working as a valet. She began to realize that there were things she didn't know about her son, Cully. Things got even more complicated when a young girl, Kit, showed up at her doorstep and subsequently left her a diary belonging to Cully. Sarah eventually learnt that the girl was Cully's girlfriend and that she was pregnant. Sarah was left in a dilemma when Kit offered the unborn child to Sarah for adoption. A part of her wanted to do it because that would mean keeping a part of Cully alive but a part of her knew that it wasn't right to mess with a young girl's life like that. I especially love the character of Lyle, Sarah's father, a witty, humorous,  sarcastic gentleman who loved his daughter very much. I also loved the interaction between him and Kit, the way they understood each other's jokes and the way they both liked and dished out little factoids. 


brave new world - aldous Huxley

It's one of those much raved about book that people say you must read. But I'm not sure if I like it that much. It was a futuristic world that Huxley created, where through eugenics and dysgenics, human beings were created according to a hierarchical system. Everyone knew where their place in life was and no one questioned why, as they had all been brainwashed since the day they were born. But Bernard one of the Alphas who was created different began to have doubts about the utopian world they lived in. He decided to visit the other world, where things had not changed and children were not created in test tubes. There he met the Savage (John), who was very much like us. He loved Shakespeare and the likes, all of which were destroyed in this brave new world. The Savage became a sorta circus freak, where the utopians would come and "see" him as we would in a zoo.
He subsequently ran away to live as a hermit but was eventually discovered. I'm not sure why the savage whipped himself as penance for feeling any forms of pleasure. Perhaps to remember the horror he had witnessed when living as a circus monkey in the brave new world, or perhaps he felt guilty for feeling joy when his mother had suffered indignity at her deathbed. 

The new world that Huxley created is seemingly grosteque and unimaginable. But I wonder if people from the past would view us in the same way. 

Although I don't like the book that much, I think I might have to revisit it some day coz I somehow feel that there are some
subtle nuances that I am not picking up on.