Monday, August 29, 2016

Inked word- Ruskin Bond

"Book readers are special people, and they will always turn to books as the ultimate pleasure. Those who do not read are the unfortunate ones. There's nothing wrong with them; but they are missing out on one of life's compensations and rewards. A great book is a friend that never lets you down. You can return to it again and again, and the joy first derived from it will still be there."

Beautiful lines by Ruskin Bond in his book, "Scenes from WRITER"S LIFE."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Conversations caress my soul. A memory

Title: Strayed Stay

I'm lost.
Am I?
Am I not?

I leave places, straying from the way
I lead a life paving my way

I'm lost leaning into the circle
It's a knot bounded with the circle

Conversations caress my soul
Huddles hearten  my happiness

I'm lost
Am I?
Am I not?

Inspired by situations, I asked myself if i'm lost or not?

Background: No sooner my first novel got published and was launched in my college, I was at the verge of missing placements. I was in a mess. I was so attached to my work that I was still working to push my 1st novel to reach wider audience.

I loved working for it but I wanted  to forget everything for a time and work on what I wanted to do further.

I didn't wanted to do what I wanted to do further because, I was very much in love with 'now' then.

Conversations caressed my soul, my agony. Yes, sometimes all you need to do is to look at yourself from a distance away from you. When you're in too much of fuss to look at yourself from distance, listen to your friends who looks at you and help you.

Sometimes you need to listen to the one who gives you a new sight and leave you to the rest. So, here was the person who gave me a new sight by just asking few questions, by just making me talk.

Bhavana widely known as KBC, my mechanical junior.

I still remember the way she pursued me to make a decision which I made. To prepare for the placements.  I cherish the conversationa and the time travelled with in the course of my engineering life.

I sat for the placements and passing the three rounds I was placed.

When i'm in crowd and seek solitude, I feel i'm lost. When conversations caress my soul and pursue me, I feel i'm not. So in the fuss of feeling lost and not, wrote the piece, 'strayed stay'.

Reading this, I was suggested to stay strayed because that's how I always am.

Scenes from a WRITER'S LIFE

 Scenes from a writer's life is a memoir written by Ruskin Bond. His first autobiography where he wrote about the experiences of his formative years.

When I have to say about the book, without any second thought I'd say, "One of the best memoirs to read." Especially I'd recommend all the writers to read this book.

While I was reading this book, i had great time walking along with the teen RB who loves to stay close to nature, who loves India. 

He wrote with lot of wit and wisdom. Yes he is Ruskin Bond after all who never let his childhood die.

He was contended with what he had. chair, desk and bed, type writer. What more a writer needs? He is a minimalist. At 17 all he had was the same, now also he got same except change is size of desk increased in proportions. He still leads the normal life.

Writer's life is an observer's life.  Most of the time, RB lived in solitude. He was cornered and he cornered himself loving his walks. He lost his father when he was very young.

The book is very touching and things I loved about him are,

He was sure about what he wanted, what he could be.

He stayed close to nature and lived a normal life.

He walks alot. (The one thing which I always love to do)

Undoubtedly he is a great writer and also a great reader. Reading his mentions of book he read, Jaw dropping was my turn.

I quote his lines about reading.

"Book readers are special people, and they will always turn to books as the ultimate pleasure. Those who do not read are the unfortunate ones. There's nothing wrong with them; but they are missing out on one of life's compensations and rewards. A great book is a friend that never lets you down. You can return to it again and again, and the joy first derived from it will still be there."

Cheers to all the readers!!

And also he ends that chapter by saying,
"I think it is fair to say that when I was a boy, reading was my true religion. It helped me to discover my soul."

First when I read the line, 'reading was my true religion,' I couldn't understand it. Then he hits the bull eye. 'It helped me to discover my soul.'

Simply he answered my  ever pondering question, "What's the purpose of religion?."

There are also 3 poems he mentioned in the book. One was written by him.

He writes this to his friend Somi. And when RB was going through difficult period his friend sends the same piece to him.

Hold on to your dreams,
Do not let them die.
We are lame without them-
Birds that cannot fly

The last line embellished the whole poem.

The other poem is by Sarah Doudney.

The Pure, the Bright, the Beautiful.

The pure, the bright, the beautiful,
That stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulse to a wordless prayer,
The dreams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit's yearning cry,
The striving after better hopes....
These things can never die!

The other poem by Ernest Dowson

They are not long, the days of wine and roses
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerged for a while, then closes
Within a dream.

I'll no more give any excerpts from the book. Read the rest to go for a walk with the yooung Ruskin Bond.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

I'm grateful to have good teachers in my life. During my graduation days, one of the Department which was close to me was Chemistry Department  even though I only had that subject for one semester.

I could walk into the department at any time and blabber out what all I want and still they'd be there to listen and share what little they know about the talk which we share.

Jyotsna Mam, my Chemistry Professor suggested me this book while we were having one long conversation about everything that comes under the Sun.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

I was given a brief introduction on him. In Carnegie Mellon University they had the series called "The Last Lecture Series,"in which the professor considering their demise would ruminate about what matters most to them.

So, this person being a Cancer Patient, will give his last lecture in his life about what matters most to him.

Dying man?  All the humanity within gets kicked to pity!

I learnt not to pity hearing few good words which I'll share in my next blog post.

I wanted to know more about him.

And there I was with this book in my hand.

At the beginning of the book, he answers the question 'Why? Why last lecture?' He knows that he was dying and he knows that he had little time left but, still he chose to spend a good amount of time for the last lecture.

All he could give was a lecture as he says, " I was trying to put my self in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach of my children. If I were a painter, I would have painted for them. But I'm a lecturer, so I lectured. "

He takes you along to show the elephant in the room which is about, reveal what's in there.

I quote his lines,

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."

He had some bad cards but he dealt with so much of  wit and wisdom. And he describes about all his childhood dreams which he almost made them real. Even though he did not accomplish his one dream, joining in the NFL, he got more in pursuing it.

He cherishes and feel grateful for his parents for allowing him to dream big.

He talks about the failure, "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."

There are many lessons to learn and the most important lesson I was awed at was, 'Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.' He terms the problems and obstacles in the life as 'Brick Walls.'

Also, there are few tips to all the young men and women for their life when Randy listens to his friend who says,

"When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it's really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do."

A good tip to follow in life.

In his lecture, he doesn't rue about cancer or talk about his family as he'd get emotional but, he wrote about his family in the book. He describes how he loved his family. How he became a man who  planned out very well before his desmise.

I loved the book. It's a very easy read. But, sometimes you stop reading and take a breath to pay respect to him for the life he lived. Great optimism and he is the hero.

I'd suggest to read the book rather than watching his 'Last Lecture.'


It's always an excitement to listen to the stories of A.R.R.

Smile surrounds my lips, happiness hails from all the place I see. It's my childish excitement when I listen to the new tunes of A.R.R

Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo,

Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada

Much awaited Album. Every song seems to surprise me all the way.

Watching the curtain raiser video, I can't wait to listen to the album.


 What gift is more precious than a book?

I was presented by this novel,'The Men Within' by the author himself for the work I did at TEDxVNRVJIET.

I'm fortunate enough to share my experiences and travel in life for a time with this person who guides me, encourages me and more than everything gives a sight, from which there's always something to learn.

Harimohan Paruvu.

I'd write more about our journey in next post but, for now, I'd share my thoughts on his novel, "The Men Within."

This is a beautiful book which gave me a roller coaster ride. This made me reminisce my cricket memories. This book has precious values printed to follow in our own life.

Turned a few pages and in mid of the story, I experience goose bumps, draining my mind with new perspectives, rationale thoughts.

It was not at all an easy read because I was ceased by the words which inspired me, which moved me. I took my own time to read, took all the lessons I could from it. I tell you! the stuff is not at all preachy. Those are like our normal conversations we have with our friends. But, are gripping while you travel along the characters.

It's a story about a cricket team of Golconda High School who had no fortune to look up for the win in whatever match they played for 20 years. The yielding team gets a new coach, alumni student who makes them believe that they can also dream. Trust me it's a tough job to make others believe in themselves. He hit it straight and the rest was solved slowly. They make history.

The roles are given to their absolute. This story is about the people who are on the field, so coach will be the mentor who doesn't tell what to do, what not to do, but puts ball in their court to act. He teaches them to make decisions backing their strength. In the course of their journey, they eventually enjoy their path and reach the destination, the win.

When I had an opportunity to talk about this book, we shared few sights.

The story is obvious. Yes, you take any sports-based story, the plot will be same but the journey which the characters go through is what matters. And also author being a cricketer, shares few deep insights behind creating the characters in a way he created. You'll live the journey which will take you for a roller coaster ride with all highs and lows.

As a writer I truly respect the amount of hard work put, at inking words on paper, describing the characters.  I bow to the author for the vivid description. He managed to describe 11 characters evocatively and also described other 10 characters clearly who supported to make the story a wholesome.

This book definitely cleared the air around me which hovered around regarding 'fear', 'attachment and detachment.'  No matter what, you've to sweat in the field to win. At the same time, you've to detach yourself from the long dream if you lose. And try harder.

All I would say is to grab the book and enjoy the read reminiscing your cricket memories.
Check out the book,

Sunday, August 21, 2016

In conversation with Harimohan.

It was a bright morning while I walked on a road canopied with  the trees by side. Smile sparked on my face looking at the Rain Harvesting pit which I scarcely see. I was on my way to Harimohan sir's home.

I was welcomed by himself, the towered personality, Harimohan sir.

We sat and talked. And talked.  I cherish the conversation as it was ranged from perspectives to cricket, technology and everything under the sun.

I acknowledged the plush greenery at his living place and said him about it. "Sir, I felt that I'm back to Bangalore streets looking at the trees. This place is so peaceful."

"I grew up here. Very good place to live around the nature. It's very peaceful." He mentioned. Glad to find these pockets of residences filled with greenery amidst sprawling concrete urban spaces. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Strange Men Strange Places

This is my first book of Ruskin Bond.

I picked up this book just by looking at the name Ruskin Bond. I didn't even read the blurb and started reading the book. The book starts with the chapter about a duel. This book  has many anecdotes happened during 17th and 18th century in India. I was introduced to many interesting places. I enjoyed reading about few soldiers. One of them is Benoit de Boigne who lead the army of Madhava Rao Sindhia. He administered very well during his time.

Within 92 pages, author briefed few stories and left me astounded by few facts about the advent of Postal system in India  and Mail runners.

There are few personalities author talked about who are worth to read about. Personalities like Claude Martine, James Skinner who became Sikander to the Indians.

It's a good read.

A warrior knows what to do in the field.

In the book, 'The Men Within' there is a  situation where, after losing a match coach asks the team if they wish for a win when they play.

One of the players says, "It's not important who wins or loses sir. You win some, you lose some.
Our parents, our teachers,our books,everyone says that. It's important that we play, winning is not everything."

Coach retorts the answer with his words.

"When a sportsman or a warrior walks on  to the battlefield, he has one clear purpose- to win.
A sportsman playing without knowing his purpose is as stupid as a warrior who is on the battlefield not knowing whether to fight or not."

I never read  or saw soldier straying off from their purpose in the field. It's very important to be focused in any situation. If not, we mess up the lives.

The aftermath thoughts should not be misinterpreted to have such attitude during playing.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thought provoking letter.

I'd love to share a thought provoking article written by Tejasvi Balvuri.

If International Olympic Committee (IOC) would write an open letter    

Hi India, SORRY for distracting you every 4 years. I hope I did not keep you away from cricket for a very long time. It is that time of the era where world wars (1916, 1940 and 1944 Olympics cancelled-World War 1 & 2) are no longer common, and when there is no war of that magnitude we have to conduct Olympics every 4 years. So SORRY about that and to start of with:

SORRY to introduce you to athletes from parts of the country (India) that you haven't even heard of. I really understand how much pain you have to go through to "google" new names every olympics and to find out that these places exist in India.

SORRY, to introduce you to new sports persons every olympics because the irony is in a few years these athletes are not seen in olympics 2020, rather you see them trying to win a "meal" for themselves and their families on a daily basis in the future. (It is the same story that repeats its self in almost all the events).

And I am really SORRY to show you that your women are better at sports than your male counterparts. I really feel bad for the so called male chauvinistic groups because even after putting the women through daily routine of trials and tribulation, it is the women who perform way better than their male sports persons. It is really heart-rending to see that in a country that rejoices at the birth of "male" child has to act like it is happy and jubilant when it's women bring you the highest laurels at this level.

And finally, SORRY to show you that there 41 different kinds of sports that are played in the Olympics and CRICKET is just not one among them.

P.S. "A government or a system is mostly a reflection of what the people in the country demand". You only ask for cricket and forget about the other sports this is what happens (currently at 61st spot in the medals tally and just for your knowledge India is the 2nd most populous country in the world). However, I would say you are lucky at least in one aspect India, you ask for a male child for prosperity and yet it is the women who have prospered in the Olympics.

Change in the thought. change in the habits.

Once in 4 years, we all wish to see our country in the table with good number of medals.
Do we know in how many games, our people are participating in?
We, yet, does the least which we think is the utmost thing a Indian can do. Encourage the person by updating the fb status.
Something has to change.
Thoughts. Actions.
Do we really encourage other games like the way we encourage cricket?
I do not intend to blame cricket, but we do not deserve to expect medals when we do not bother least about other games during No-Olympics Season.

Good article.

A good article to know better about the person 'Gopichand'who pushed the sport, making champions.

Photograph. A memory. A perspective

On the occasion of 'World Photo Day,' I'd like to share my favorite Photographer who surprised me, prompting me to write many musing tales.

Photography is a passionate hobby. When I was introduced to Facebook, I was introduced to a few mesmerizing photos clicked by 'Joseph Joe Radhik.' He is the first photographer I ever heard of. Looking at his photos, I was in awe. I could see the emotions, intensity.

All other pictures I could see till then was about memory and cheese smiles but, his pictures had an intense expression.

Every photo had a story to tell. I gave out time staring at the pictures interpreting the expressions and emotions.

Few years passed by and many of my friends started pursuing Photography as a hobby.

From hobby to a passion, it turned into an obsession. Few of their clicks speak everything about their obsession.

Written in the darkness.

After reading the poem written by Christie  Moses, "Somewhere inside the dark" it took back me to the days of  darkness. Nights when I wrote about darkness.

After reading the poem, lines, 'There seems to be no poetry in the sunlight' struck me taking back to the times where I loved darkness, only darkness.

I used to write when I was curbed by the darkness and solitude.

Darkness and Solitude liberated me to bring out the best of me.

Loving the darkness, wrote a poem about 'the darkness,' in the darkness which I love.

I am humbled.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Redefine the Gender Equality.

Procastinator talking about his procastination at TED.

Listen to the full story of procastinator.

Here's the link for his story

And here is the link for the talk. Don't procastinate! Watch it. A very good one.

Thought is impossible without word

A friend of mine asked why there are so many words in 'English'. He was  irritated looking at the book, Word power made easy.

Being a logophile, I stared at him and said, "I'm not feeling good by your words and by listening to what you have said."

"Whatever", he said.

"Instead of the whole sentence, I can use the word, 'irritated'. The more vocabulary you have, the more  diverse are your expressions."

He was convinced.

After having the conversation, I don't know if he had learned anything out of it, I started pondering about the words, expressions, and thoughts.

Suddenly I was struck by Vivekananda's words. It was about Microcosmos and Macrocosmos. I quote the line, 
"Thought is impossible without words."

Over a cup of coffee. A memory

366 days back, I had an hour long conversation with my  senior about her wish.
Her wish was to create a community TEDxVNRVJIET.
Like they say, "a mind once stretched by new idea would never regain its original dimensions "
It was just a thought she sowed in my mind and today the thought has turned into action and action fruited few reactions and thoughts.
It's still spurring with the conversations and new ideas.
My mechanical super senior Tejaswi texted me if I'm interested in organising an event which would help college, me and everyone who are interested to spread the ideas.
Seemed interesting and said yes! And told we'd work.

No sooner I said yes, she planned a meet next day and asked me to meet at a  cafe near college.
11:00 am
Senior: Heyyy
And the conversation lasted for hours.

That was the first time I was meeting her. Even though she was in college as a 4th yearite when I joined as fresher, I never met her till then. I knew her gang but never had a moment to meet and talk to her in specific.

Me: Do you think, that we can do this?
Senior: Dude! You get the permission from college and the rest is not possible.

She is such a sweet person,
She shattered all the delusions I had. She was the one who pushed me to think "Yes we can."
She pushed hard enough that I believed in the thought, in the idea, in TEDxVNRVJIET.
And the rest is history :)

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