Friday, October 2, 2015


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov

Wanted to read this book after reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran". I really like the prose of Nabokov, the words he used, the manner in which he drew the readers into the mind of the perverse pedophiliac Humbert. 
Humbert fell in love with Dolores Haze (Lolita) the 12 year old child of a widow at first sight. After meeting Lolita, he schemed to "possess" her and it didn't help that young Lolita was similarly attracted to Humbert. When Lolita was away at summer camp, he received a note from Mrs Haze that she was in love with Humbert. Humbert decided then that the best way he could remain with Lolita was to marry her mother and so that was what he did. Much to Humbert's chagrin, mrs haze met with an accident right after discovering his dark secret. And this was how he and Lolita began their aberrant and doomed relationship. For two years, they traveled on the dusty roads of America and with Lolita growing older and bored. She finally decided to run away with a man from her old hometown. This man was eventually killed by Humbert for stealing his one true love away. This was how and why the story was written. Humbert wrote to an imaginary jury to justify the murder. 
When Humbert finally tracked Lolita after several years, he said:"It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever ever sight." Lolita then was no longer the nymphet he knew. She was 17, married to an ordinary man, and pregnant. But Humbert still loved her and it was then that Lolita told her the about the man she had ran away with, unknowingly sentencing the man to his death.
I think this is one of the classic books that one must read and it amazes how people would risk their lives just to read and discuss this book in Iran. 

27sep- 4 oct 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

The ragged trousered philanthropists - Robert tressell

Thought this was a rather interesting book, even the life of the author and how the book came about was interesting. This was the author's first and last book and he never lived to see it published. Robert tressell was the author's pen-name and he had worked as a sign writer before deciding to write a book on the social issues he had seen. The book was then published three years after his death and was heavily edited. The editor had cut his book from 250k words to 150k. The current edition that I read was however, the full version. Lengthy it was but a well-worth read.
The book was about the lives of the "working men" in England in the1900s. The author termed them as philanthropists as he thought the way they slogged so hard and not reaped any rewards was akin to being philanthropist. The working men were a group of builders and painters who worked to the bones day and night and yet still lived in poverty. The loafers as the author called them were the ones who didn't have to labor but sat in their offices, giving orders, and lived in luxury. The main lead was Owen, an intelligent man who believed that the reasons for poverty were money, capitalism, private ownership, etc. He advocated fiercely for socialism and eloquently tried to convince his counterparts that they could change the present system, that they could find a way to get themselves out of their current dire state if only they would try. However, Owen soon realized that his efforts were futile. His co-workers did not believe that it is possible that their situation could change. They believed faithfully in being controlled and worked to death by the money men, whom they believed were superior to them and so should lord over them. 
I agree fully that sometimes people do not believe they could rise through the ranks as all their lives they have been told they are not good enough. Power, wealth etc are meant for the individuals who they deemed to be their betters and so they resign to their fate and accept the cards they are dealt with.
It was a very grim and desperate situation painted by the author, with the working men living from hand to mouth and their wives and children suffering along with them. Yet the working men's belief was that if the current life was good enough for them, it would be good enough for their kids. A vicious cycle ensued. Their children would become laborers like them, half starved and overworked, just because they didn't believe that the situation could be better for the likes of them.
Owen and his counterparts spent most of their money and time on brochures on socialism and holding talks to educate  the working class of the viability of socialism but the working class believed firmly in having the capitalists ruled over them. These individuals turned aggressive against all those who promoted socialism and continued to vote for the capitalists. They could not see the dire state they were in and believed this is the way things should be, because this is the only way they have known their entire lives.
It is rather sad that people are often the ones who set their own traps and put themselves to death. 
Almost to the end of the story, Philpot died on the job as the ropes to secure a ladder were unravelling and he did not dare to bring the matter up nor did he dare to reject the work, as he was afraid of being fired. The ropes tore and he fell to his death. The entire book was so grim and gray and reminded me of the gloomy weather in London. The teeny weeny bit of joy was at the end of the book, when hunter, the mean-spirited foreman committed suicide in a moment of madness of trying to draft a bidding proposal for a job that would please his employer, Rushton. Also when Owen in a fit of anger confronted Rushton about not letting one of the young apprentice lit the fire in freezing weather, Rushton got a shock and started treating Owen a little more humanely. 
Throughout the book the author talked about the Christian hypocrites. I have to admit that oftentimes Christians are deemed as hypocrites as we do not preach what we say. Not that I'm trying to find excuses for Christians, but we have to keep in mind that most of us are work-in-progress individuals. But of course there are also those who truly are vile and who use god's words to bully/for ulterior motives. 
It took me a rather long time to finish the book and I'm glad I can now move on to something else.

He comes knocking on the door
A man of forty-five,
His face a story of time gone by.
He speaks her name 
But she doesn't live here anymore.

She doesn't live here anymore 
In the old house with the creaky swing
On the porch.
The roof where they once laid,
Counting the stars,
Is now covered with moss,
The evidence of their youth 
Forever lost.

She doesn't live here anymore.
He had loved her and she him,
But time, you know, has a funny way with things,
It steals hearts away,
And lovers become strangers.

The windows rattle as the wind blows,
The leaves of the weeping willow
Fall gently to the ground.
The overgrown weeds graze his feet,
The day is dimming,
In the gentle glow of the setting sun,
He sees his and her names 
Carved in the ragged trunk of 
The big willow tree.
Forever thine,
Forever mine,
There she will be,
Etched deeply in his mind. 

Forever mine,
Forever thine,
She doesn't live here anymore.
A little headstone
Hidden by the tall brown grass,
There she lies now,
Forever thine.

The girl doesn't live here anymore,
She who had wanted to see the world with him,
She who had wanted to see the capes,
the ruins of Athen, the pyramids of Egypt,
She who had wanted to dance with him,
Till the stars faded into the night.
She who had wanted to live a life of adventures with him,
She who had loved him,
But he who had loved the safe harbors.
That girl now lies
Beneath his feet. 
The man of 45,
He weeps

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Garden of Eden

The hollowness I darenot speak of,
The echoes of the silence,
They resonate of the bleakness
Before my eyes.
Hidden are the secrets
Of the garden of Eden
A place verdant,
And filled with life.
It is a hope beyond my reach,
A place where damned souls
Are not to be.
Inferno, paradiso,
The divine's comedy,
Sometimes the flames threatened to engulf.
but sometimes in my wildest dream,
I glimpsed Eden.
Sometimes I landed in the in-between,
the place half-hell, half-paradise,
The place where good and evil often meet,
The place where savages rage wars,
The place where sometimes you may glimpse a sliver of goodness,
Of love that is pure,
Of light that is pure.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

There is always somewhere to go,
There is always something to do.
There is no time for hellos,
Sometimes we forget to say our goodbyes.
You know time is strange,
It slips through your fingers like fine sand.
You know time is strange,
One day you awake and the days are gone.
Count your days,
Measure the hours,
Time passes in a breath.
Count your blessings,
Each day is a gift,
One day you are here 
Tomorrow you may be gone.
Count your days
Measure the hours
One day you are running
The next you may be down.
The plans you make 
The dreams you have
They are like porcelain
A careless gust of the wind
And they are broken.
We know not what tomorrow brings,
Follow the heart wisely,
And live the day.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

You will always be safely lodged in my heart,
Though the wind may blow us astray,
Drives us to the edge,
We get lost,
But we will never be apart.

The memories packed and locked away,
Deep in the recesses of my mind
Though my hair may turn silver
And I may forget a thing or two,
But the pictures of the two of us,
They will remain till the end of time.

The days may come,
When we are longer in each other's lives,
Because the good Lord calls us back to where we belong,
But I will hold on to all that I know of you.
You may be a gentle whisper in the wind,
A soft leap of the heart,
A drop of rain on my cheek,
The warmth of the sun on my skin.