Archive for October, 2014

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.
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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.