Silence… Erling Kagge… Book Review

“I believe silence is the new luxury. Silence is more exclusive and long-lasting than other luxuries…… Silence is the only need that those who are on the constant lookout for the latest luxury can never attain…”

I fell in love with the cover of this book, much against age-old advice 😊… I judged it and I bought it… And I never regretted it.

The word ‘Silence’ and all that it stands for has always intrigued me, but I never questioned that deep desire.

Often I find myself stuffing my ears with ear plugs to erase every intrusive sound… I felt a need to be enveloped and hugged by the kind of silence one finds high up in the mountains, while on a trek, or deep under water while scuba diving.

To find someone who made it his life’s mission to be curious about it and write a book about it was a wish fulfilled, for me.

Erling Kagge has written a work of great beauty and wisdom. One feels like taking ones time reading it, savouring every sentence, rolling it on ones tongue like exotic wine, and then slowly ingesting it.

The author speaks from experience, both personal and historical, about the significance and importance of finding pockets of silence in daily life.

The font size, the page layout, cover design, are all areas where a lot of thought has gone in.

This book is certainly not a fast paced thriller, it’s a slow chugging train on a narrow gauge track, making its way through the maze of ones mind, urging it to slow down, and enjoy the ride… 😊

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Book Review.. Urdu Poetry

My connection with Urdu poetry is mostly limited to my memories of my father. He could remember and recite the most appropriate ‘sher’ at a party and regale fellow officers for hours😊.

As I grew older, the beauty of the world enclosed within two lines, never ceased to amaze me and give me a warm, fuzzy feeling within. Much like the distilled beauty of Zen poetry.

I have loved this book since I purchased it months back. It has poetry in Urdu, english and it’s translation, also in English. While I wish I could read Urdu, this is the next best option.

The topics are divided according to the main gist, like, Love (Ishq), Mysticism (Tasawwuf)… They have couplets on that topic by all eminent Urdu poets. This is what is most fascinating…. How one topic is viewed so differently by every poet 🙂

I pick open a page at random and read a few couplets, trying to read it in the English/Urdu version. It’s like the taste of some exotic drink on one’s tongue. Beautiful!

Shri KC Kanda has produced a labour of love… His hardwork and passion cannot be missed.

In bringing so many poets inside one cover, he has given the reader, amateur or seasoned, a treasure for keeps.

Book Review – behind the beautiful forevers

When a non-fiction  book is written by a Pulitzer Prize winning author and when it is a reportage of life in ‘Annawadi’, a makeshift settlement behind a row of luxury hotels and close to the new International Airport in Mumbai, it cannot but be a gripping and touching read. 

The aspirations and goals of parents and the younger generation strike a chord. One is guilt-ridden as ones eyes move around the room in which they are sitting and reading… Maybe sunk in a favourite couch, coffee at hand, fresh fragrance to soothe and create an ‘atmosphere’ perfect for reading….and then you enter the slums, gagging on imaginary stench, and gut-wrenching poverty.

The excitement of rag pickers when they come across trash thrown by the rich,  gives a clear insight into a world very few pause to think about. The suppressed emotions and tensions over sex, religion and power, show the layers in which society exists. It also reflects on how idealism is a luxury one affords when the belly is full and the children are healthy, otherwise one would sell ones soul and ones body too. 

Catherine’s book is relentless and no-holds-barred account of life. It has a truth that all of us are aware of but few are comfortable enough to confront, quite like Arvind Adiga’s ‘White Tiger’. 

The stories that pan out are touching and shocking… How can people live like this, one wonders?

But they do… Millions of them…

My Thoughts… Book Review

I must admit that this was the first time I read a Kannada novel translated into English. 

This is a slim copy taking us into a middle-class urban Indian family that comes into big money after seeing a life of great financial difficulties. The sentiments of all members, the emotional tug of war, the petty lies and deceit that make their way into personalities make for a fascinating read. 

It was over in one lazy Sunday reading session but has piqued my curiosity enough to know and read more works by Vivek Shanbhag. 

A Beautiful Book.. ðŸ˜Š

I must have seen this cover a hundred times, yet I can’t get over the beauty of it! The colours, the expression, the textures… All are a work of extreme purity. 

Now, to come to what’s between the covers… Pure excellence.

Meandering between three decades, starting from the art and life of the first female Dutch artist to be invited to join the Artists Guild in 1600s, to present day New York of 2000 and a painting called, ‘At the Edge of the Wood’ and it’s forgery. Three alternating timelines and locations and their impact on the lives of different people, is done masterfully by Dominic Smith. 

I couldn’t agree more with the ‘People’ magazine review… “This beautiful meditation on love, loss, and art is as luminous as a Vermeer. ‘

Loved every word of this fabulous book.