List of books I started but could not complete

October 31, 2014

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov It’s all very recent.  It’s not because I did not like the book.  It’s not that I’ve abandoned those books and I will never pick them up again.  It was just because I felt too lazy to keep on reading.

I am making this list just to make myself feel “ashamed” about not being consistent with my reading so that I would perhaps read some of them.  It is also to make a point that I should not start a new book  unless I finish the one in hand.  I know not all books are cover-to-cover read, but still I wish I could make it a more disciplined thing.

Here, the list:

  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It was a second read this time.  I’ve read this years ago in Marathi translation.  This time, I wanted to give it a fresh try.
  • The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.  Again, this was a second try.  Last time, I had finished half of it.  This time, it was just one chapter.
  • Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally.  I started this after watching the movie.  Later, I thought I should reading some standard book on this topic, so I left this one and picked up the next one.
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer.  This was really going good.  It’s about 2000 pages (including ~400 pages of notes and references.  I had already finished 100+ pages when I left it.
  • That’s it! I think I need to gather up myself and start doing one thing at a time.
  • P.S.  Plan of action for now is to start with the “Collected Stories” by Gabriel Garcia Marqez.  Again, this I had started and left after reading one story (which was actually so good, about a boy who dies at the age of 3 and keeps on growing in his coffin etc).  I’m not being able to finish a novel, I will try to finish a story at least.

I got an IQ of 137

October 13, 2014

I got an IQ of 137.  I know it doesn’t mean anything.  The number of intelligence quotient was never a sole criteria to be a successful person.  It may just suggest the person has really got some “serious problem!”  Whatever it means – it feels good to have such score, even more when you see yourself mostly good for nothing!

IQ137

It was an online test.  I don’t know the methodology, what type of scoring model they used etc.  I would perhaps not care for that.  For a person who stays mostly recluse, it’s good to have something to console himself with.

I had taken a similar test years ago and had got 139 then.  These two marks less I don’t know if those are because of my increased age, different methodology, or just because my “intelligence” didn’t grow matching up with my age.  Also, there were one or two questions where after hitting submit I felt I could have chosen different answer, but that’s part of the game.

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I want to read a book

October 9, 2014

I get 24 hours a day.  I need to live in these 24 hours.  I get my breaths counted.  I am not using my breaths to the fullest.

What’s stopping me from living to the fullest?  I don’t know.  I am going sleep too late.  It means I am getting a lot of time in the evenings.  I am still not reading books.  Why?

Where are my priorities?  Am I even prioritizing things or letting them happen as they come?

It’s not that I am absolutely wasting my time.  I watched some good movies over these weekends: the Oscar-winning Palestinian movie Omar, Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, some rom-coms.  I spend some time playing music in the evenings.  I have classes for nine hours a day.  I don’t know how much time remains for me in a day.

I’m not pleased.  I want to read a “book” – a full-length book.

Ek dost bahut duur se aata hai..

October 4, 2014

Finally, I did go Bhopal yesterday.  The feeling that I could actually meet dear Shams bhai proved stronger than my laziness.

I reached Bhopal station and he came to pick me.  We went his home. We went out.  Visited places – the lakes, Taj-ul-Masajid (Crown of the Mosques), the shaheen (Eagle) of Iqbal, curfew waali maata, various historical structures in Bhopal, many of them in ruins, few maintained.  We rode on his bike on roads.  We had samovar tea.  We had lunch.

Me with Mr. Shams Adanan Alavi.

And we talked, talked, and talked –

of the city, it’s people, it’s structures and monuments, it’s literature, it’s language.  We talked of Maharashtra, it’s politics, the social movements of Maharashtra, and the literary movements thereof.  We talked of Mahatma Phule.  We talked of Sikandar Jahaan Begum.  We talked of Annabhau Sathe and Dr. Ambedkar.  We talked about the Dhamma Chakra Pravartan festival at Deekahsbhoomi, Nagpur.  We talked of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.  We talked of Maratha Seva Sangh.  We talked of Marathi ghazal.  We talked of poetic meter.  And then it was a time to finish the visit and come back!

Later I felt like I talked too much and made him listen all the time.  I had gone there to listen to him.  I noted a few times when he was talking about himself, I myself started talking.  Perhaps, I was so excited..  Perhaps some other time..

I came back.  Today, he posted a poem on his Facebook.. A poem dedicated to me.. “a friend comes from far away..” ek dost bahut door se aata hai.. Never believed someone would dedicate me a poem..

And I am overwhelmed.. almost in tears to read it!

Ek dost bahut duur se aata hai

Dedicated to Ganesh Dhamodkar
نذر گنیش دھاموڈکر

Ek dost bohat door se aata hai
arz-e-baraar٭ ki Khusbhu lata hai
kehta hai Marathi aur Urdu mein Ghazal voh
aur mujhe Chakbast** ka she’r sunaata hai
ab tak rabt tha us se
magar mulaqaat na thi
hoti thee.n baate.n magar shayad milne ki saa’at na thii
voh naujawaa.n jahaaN bhi jaata hai
saath Gahlib ka barqi diivaa.n le jaata hai
Ek dost bohat door se aata hai…
dhyaan se dekhe usne shahr ke dar-o-faseel
taal ke aks meiN nazar aayii use ‘Ambazari jheel’
hai kam-sukhan magar kamaal kar jaata hai
yakdam Taj Bhopali ke baare me.n savaal kar jaata hai
Ek dost bohat door se aata hai…
Uski aankho.n meN kuchh khwaab haiN
khamushi ke pas-e-pusht kaii inqelab haiN
apne kuchh Khwaab mujhe sunaata hai
ham se jab misra mauzoo.n nahi hota
voh jumla bhi ‘beher’ mein keh jaata hai
Ek dost bohat door se aata hai…

                                                                        Shams ‘Adnan’ Alavi

[Arz-e-Baraar=Land of Berar in today's Maharashtra
٭٭Renowned Urdu poet late Brij Narayan Chakbast
barqi divaa.n=Diwan in file in computer/pen drive/pdf]

Losing the ground..

October 2, 2014

What am I doing?  I am at Indore for a training.  Tomorrow and the day after are holidays.  Then a half working day on Saturday.  Then again holidays for two days.  The bosses were kind enough to offer a leave on Saturday, if one applies for it.  I didn’t.  People are planning where to go and what to do. I am sitting in room, watching TV, and writing this post because “what else?”

Plan was to visit @indscribe.  Two hundred kilometer isn’t much.  I have two whole days.  I wanted to meet him for so long.  But why am I losing interest in everything?

It’s around midnight.  Better I go asleep.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

August 25, 2014

I was awake till late last night. It was about 2 o’clock. I was not feeling sleepy. I had already had a good sleep in the afternoon – it was a Sunday. Not feeling sleepy, I was playing with phone, checking statuses here and there. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, I started feeling my own heartbeats. It was not pounding, but a flutter, thready rhythm. Everything started seeming hollow. It felt like I am going to crumble within myself. It was a feeling like – when you take terbutaline syrup and your heart goes shallow. The feeling was not much pronounced. It was not impossible to ignore, only if I could fall asleep.

Sleep was elusive. I used my time-tested somniferous techniques; they help for sure. I had good sleep, until morning, when nightmarish dreams started. I was trying to catch a train, caught the door bar, my hand slipped and I fell on the platform. The guard noted and slowed down the train, then I caught it. Some other incident. I was at some local station. Suddenly, there was smoke coming from everywhere. People started running haywire fearing a terrorist attack. I too ran away and caught some local, which swiftly moved out of the station. Later I noted the train was going to Karjat, not where I wanted to go.

Phone rang out of nowhere. Relieved, I woke up.

In the name of life

August 7, 2014

Like I’ve already lost the race, I stand still on the road, going nowhere. Like life is already over and the days are just a debt I owe to the unknown, I pass my days, in installments, day by day. How much it’s left still?

Like I am not living this life at all. This is life of someone else that I’m being forced to live. These are the days of someone else that I am passing – without any interst of my own in them.

Like I won’t mind much if the life remains no more some day. Like it’s not the life of someone who loved it so much once. Like we need to keep going with it because we have no right over it – no right to live it, no right not to live it either.

Like I don’t know where life is heading and why. But I still know it’s heading to every other direction than the one it should have headed. Like I have already stopped bothering where it would end up, because I already know it won’t end up where I had wished it would.

Like it’s heading to a hell in the name of life…

Four days of nothing

July 21, 2014

Three days I didn’t go to office. Then a Sunday. I spent my days in bed. First day, I went out – Gateway of India. People were taking photos. I got a portrait done, a pencil sketch – still the first one I ever got. The other two days were bleak. I tried opening all windows. I tried to clean up the room a little. It seemed to help for a while.

Not going to office also means breach of routine. I skip meals, sometimes both, and eat whatever I can find nearby. Also, I did not shave. It’s more than a week now. I have not washed clothes (from time immemorable).

I picked reading “Journey to the Center of Earth” and reached up to Rejkiavik – Capital city of Iceland – and we have started our journey forth on horses and with a local guide.

Meanwhile, Baba fell ill. Sodium went low. It was a big concern with his CKD. He visited his nephrologist on Saturday, improving now. Also, there were little fights, here, there.. Somehow, the four-day holidays ended.

Have we already stopped writing emails?

July 14, 2014

It has been long since I got a mail in my inbox – a personal email. Spams, notifications, promotional emails is all what I get these days. Have people already stopped the practise of sending mails?

Letters are a thing of bygone days. There was a charm to it. I’ve written letters sometimes as long as 40 pages. Even a 4-line letter is a rarity now. I won’t complain about that. Lifestyles have changed over years.

But mails? Is it because of social media and instant messaging that we are ignoring this classy and more elaborate form of communication? Can a whatsapp message ever take place of a mail? An email is an email – a virtual letter. A Whatsapp/Facebook message is nothing.

It’s my birthday today. I’ve got a couple of phone calls. I made some mandatory phone calls. I am getting loads of birthday wishes on Facebook – a formal ritual that it is. I am missing a mail.

A meh day

July 3, 2014

Such a “meh” day. It’s only start of the day and my eyes are already aching. I had a good sleep last night; slept early and woke up late. It must not be because of sleep.

Work is going slow. The weather is damp with rains. The traffic is irritatingly slow. Yesterday, it took more than an hour for six kilometers – and all way standing in the bus. Same story repeated this morning. Too much time.. difficult more so if you’ve motion sickness.

Mumbai is a different place – not very much of my liking. Different people, different weather, different work culture. I sit all the day doing nothing. I hide myself from others. I take care no one notices me. It’s not the same old me who likes his work, who takes initiatives, who goes out of his way to help others.

Life is providing no respite, and I am doing nothing to make it simpler.


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